Graphic Friday- Archie, vol. 3

It’s happened.  I’ve become confused.

I read the second volume of Hot Archie back in December and in the meantime, well, a lot has happened.  Besides the fact that my brain is having a hard time accessing details from Before Baby, I’ve also gone and gotten myself addicted to Riverdale and in the past two weeks have watched eight episodes.  (It’s hard fitting in binges right now but I’m doing my best, dammit.)

So, it took a little adjusting but I eventually managed to get back into the groove.

Look, I have always been an Archie fan.  I used to pick up the occasional comic at the grocery store.  I was a fan of the Prom digest every year.  I know that The Archies are credited with the song “Sugar, Sugar.”  I recognize most of the characters, though I did have to look a few up for Riverdale watching purposes.  What I’m saying is that I am biased.  I am going to be here for all of the new Archie.  I may not read the new Jughead  (I didn’t like it.)  but I am IN for the new Archie.

In this volume, we find Veronica shipped off to boarding school in Switzerland where she meets her nemesis, Cheryl Blossom.  When the two wage war on one another and Veronica gets the upper hand, Cherly manages to weasel her way to Riverdale where she sets her sights on Archie as the ultimate revenge.  While Archie and Betty are both dealing with their broken hearts, Veronica is frantically trying to get back home before it’s too late.  Good old fashion fun!

Podcast Tuesday- June 27, 2017

Podcasts: 1006

Confession:  When I first started listening to On Being, I was not into it.  It was one of those weird things.  You know what I mean?  Like when I first watched The Anchorman and thought it wasn’t funny at all until I started quoting it and then realized I loved it.  It’s kind of like that.

I don’t recall what my actual first episode was but on this attempt at catching up, Krista Tippet was interviewing a physicist about beauty and math and science.  Okay, in all fairness I was listening to this while I had a couple of beers and hung out around the house by myself.  It was night when I was feeling tired and frustrated and Hubby was off playing games with his brother.  I had a really nice beer to drink and it was warm but cloudy out.  I stood at the deck rail and smoked while I listened and looked around the back yard (and the three back yard surrounding my back yard).  It felt pointless.  Like, why was I listening to a physicist explain the science of beauty?  Plus, as a rule, I don’t like interviews.

But I listened.  And then I listened to another a couple of days later.  And then another.  And then this weekend I found myself catching up on the 57 episodes I had downloaded on my phone and really enjoying it.

I don’t actively listen to all of it.  Sometimes it goes in one ear and out the other.  But there have been things that have stuck with me.  A discussion on grief while I was cleaning the nursery at a time when I was really missing my dad.  Or Elizabeth Gilbert discussing creativity and her book Big Magic which I had recently read.  Riding home from work while listening to a talk about mindfulness.

What I’m saying is that it’s grown on me.  Driving home last night, I was wondering if I was the kind of person who would apply these ideas to my life.  I always wanted to be peaceful and wise and mindful.  But I also love the drama of life, the little trials and tribulations that keep life interesting.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Yes, I know that this is another classic I’m late getting to.  Maybe it’s just the corners of the internet that I hang out in, but it seems like so many women have memories of reading the Anne books when they were girls, or of having them read to them.  When I was growing up, I had no interest in the Anne books.  I wanted to read Fear Street, not something that would be all girly and flowery and probably religious.  But this is why I am glad that I have saved so much of this stuff for later in life.  Would I have loved the Little House books when I was 10?  Hell no, but I found them super fascinating as a 32 year old.

And now I’m 33 and finally getting around to Anne of Green Gables.  I have so much more of a reading history now that it added to my enjoyment.  I DID enjoy it, you know.  I laughed and chuckled and gasped.  Anne was not nearly as naughty as I expected and her life wasn’t as dark as I was lead to believe.  (I recently read about Anne being a tragic character in the first book and while I feel that she would really like the label I also feel like it doesn’t quite fit.)

When Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, middle-aged siblings who never married and keep the family farm together, decide to get an orphan, they settle on a boy who will be able to help with the chores.  Due to a misunderstanding, when Matthew goes to fetch the orphan from the station he finds that he has been sent a girl.  Matthew has never been good at talking to girls or women but Anne merrily fills up the conversation all the way back to Avonlea.  By the time they get there, Matthew is taken by her and manages to quietly convince his sister to keep her.

Anne is always getting into scrapes.  Her head is in the clouds.  She is dramatic and a dreamer.  Also, I felt she was kind of a Pollyanna, which I think is absolutely fine. The book follows Anne’s life through a series of years as she grows up and learns lessons and becomes dear to those around her.

I did enjoy this book and I am ready to start the next.

Tally Monday- June 26, 2017

Checked Out

  1. Archie, vol 3 by Mark Waid

Bought

  1. The Cheerleader by Caroline B. Cooney

Read

  1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  2. A Room of Her Own by Chris Casson Mason
  3. “Guts” by Gnesis Villan
  4. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Currently Reading: Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar

 

Early this morning, I realized that I could have easily finished Gwendy’s Button Box this weekend.  At 175 pages, it isn’t much of a book.  It’s marketed as a novella and for King that’s certainly about right.  Hubby was out of town on a boys’ camping trip for our friend’s bachelor party and I was home with Little Dude.  Saturday I had a couple of errands to run but LD and I were home by about 12:30.  I accomplished a lot this weekend.  I’m starting the work week with a clean house and all of the laundry done, plus I managed to bathe a baby who hates baths and cut his nails, which is a practice in complete anxiety.  Friday I had a program at work that ran until 9 but every night LD went right to bed and slept through it.  And me?  What was I doing during those hours which could have been spent blissfully reading in the quiet house?

Well, I had some beers.  I talked to my brother.  I ate a lot of fries.  I colored.  And I watched the complete third season of The Ranch, finishing just after Hubby got home and just in time for us to take in three episodes of Riverdale.

Sometimes I get this longing to just FUCKING FINISH SOMETHING ALREADY.  When I was on maternity leave, the only show that I finished was The Ranch and then BAM! There’s a new season.  I just wanted to be done with something.  Plus, it’s GD hilarious.  I’m incredibly invested.

I’m also super invested in Riverdale.  Why?  It’s so damn dramatic.  I can’t help myself!  I was so excited when I heard that this show was coming out, especially after taking in the new run of Archie comics.  It kind of feels like my life is steeped in Riverdale right now and I am perfectly okay with that.  I just got volume 3 of the comics in and I meant to read it for Graphic Friday but there was no time for anything that day.  I’ll read it this Friday.

I wanted to talk a bit about my New and Improved Reading System.  You know the one?  The one where I don’t plan any further and the next book and I read King, book I own, book I own, young adult.  Already I am fighting myself from making more rules and more structure and adding more books.  At the end of the first cycle, which finished up with We Were Liars, it felt really good to read that way.  I’m ticking away at my Stephen King reading.  I’m working through books that I own, some of which have been in my stash for a decade.  When I finish a book I own (or don’t, as with The Blue Jay’s Dance) I can donate it or add it to my “permanent collection.”  It’s nice to read some of the books that I suggest to patrons.  If I add more, I’ll just be ruining the fun of it.

And there is that part of me that wants to read through all of the series I’ve been meaning to try.  And there is a part of me that thinks I should only draw random books from my book jar.  (That’s where my next book came from and I have been wavering back and forth on whether or not I want to bother with it or donate it and move on.)  The point of changing things was that I wanted more freedom.  FREEDOM!

But I am nothing is not structured, believe it or not.

Well, I can’t wait to find out what the buttons on Gwendy’s box do.  But I also really, really need to know who killed Jason Blossom.  So we’ll see what I have to say next week.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

I am going to do my best not to spoil this for you.  However, I went into this one knowing what the big twist was because of blog.  I didn’t want to know.  I intended to read the book eventually.  But the spoiler was on its own line right under the spoiler warning with no extra spacing and I saw it before I could look away.  Then I shook my fists in rage and have bitched about it numerous times since.

Because *some people* don’t seem to get how to properly warn of spoilers.  ~Some people.~

That did put me in an interesting spot to start this book because I went in knowing the truth and got to look for clues along the way.  I STILL missed stuff, you guys.  I mean, I knew what was coming and kept thinking, “How is she going to do this?  What is her plan here?”  When the twist came, it was still a surprise and I still HAD TO KNOW.  Kudos, Lockhart.

Cady Sinclair leads a charmed life.  She comes from an old family with trust funds and an island.  Every summer she goes to the island with her family and spends it with her cousins, Johnny and Mirren, and Gat, who she calls the liars.  Everything seems to change during Summer Fifteen when Cady finds herself in love with Gat.  But then an accident sends Cady away from the island and into a reeling sickness of amnesia and headaches.  When she returns, everything is different and nobody will tell her why.  She only has four weeks to figure out what happened during Summer Fifteen.  Was she the victim of some terrible crime?  What did she do wrong?

This was a great read.  It pulled me in right away and I devoured the first half of the book in one sitting.  (The internet was down.  That probably helped.)  I didn’t want to read but once I started reading, I didn’t want to stop.  I held the pages open with baby feet so that I could keep reading.  So, the question then becomes: Can you still love a book if you hate the ending?  I did not even hate the twist, just the way that it was executed.  It felt, I don’t know, unnecessary to me somehow even though it was the whole point of the book.  The sense I get is that you will either hate it or love it.  I can tell you that hating it did not make me love to rest of the book any less.

Also, fabulous summer read.

Podcast Tuesday: June 20, 2017

Podcasts on my phone: 1003

A couple of weeks ago, I tried to explain to Hubby why decision making is so hard for me.  It’s not because I am deciding what to do but I am deciding what not to do.  When I decide to read, I am actually deciding not to listen to podcasts or clean or watch TV or color or anything else.  Then I begin to wonder if I have made the right choice or if, even though my book is really good and I can’t wait to find out what happens, I might not get more out of one of the things that I have chosen not to do.

It’s gross.  It’s real pessimism, I think.  Whatever I am doing is obviously not the right thing.  Obviously.

Where I’m going here is that I have not listened to many podcasts this week.  There are a couple of reasons for that.

First, when I am at home I only listen to them when Hubby is gone or is outside or is otherwise occupied.  I’m not sure why.  I feel kind of like I am intruding on him when I listen to stuff, I guess.  Even in the mornings, I listen to podcasts until he gets up.  I pause when he passes through the living room and goes out for his morning smoke.  I pause when he comes back in.  And so on.  He doesn’t necessarily interrupt or even comment about my podcasts.  I should just let them run.

Second, I’ve been listening to an audiobook in my car.  I had intended to go back to audiobooks when I came back to work in May but I put it off a couple of weeks so that I could keep playing catch up with my podcasts.  Then I decided that it was important to me to read 100 books this year and the only way that I can do that is with audio added in.  I am listening to Anne of Green Gables which I have never read and I am really enjoying it.  But I miss my podcasts.  Today I’m taking a break from Anne’s antics and playing catch up instead.

Last week I talked about Zestology and On Being, both podcasts that make me feel like being healthier even if I don’t go through with it.  Once upon a time, two summers ago, I went on a girls trip with my friends and the day I came home was Father’s Day.  Hubby had gone to visit his dad and the house was empty when I got home.  I had a raging hangover and was feeling pretty GD terrible about myself.  So, I turned on a church podcast.  Seriously.  I listened to it and it spoke to me and I got my house clean and got myself together and vowed to lead a better life.

Sometimes I need that, that idea that I can be more than I am.  Podcasts get me there a little bit faster than books.

Gift from the Sea by Anne Marrow Lindbergh

I finished this book a week ago and just haven’t gotten around to reviewing it yet.  Reviews are one of those things that I tend to push to the wayside when I am busy and I am busy.  Working full time, managing a household, mothering, wifing, friending, daughtering.  It is a lot and that is kind of the point of this book, which I came across after it was mentioned in another of my favorite books.

Lindbergh used a two week vacation on the beach to work out some of her thoughts on being a busy woman and finding balance.  Her argument is that we all need a little space and solitude in order to continue giving.  We give until our cup is empty and then we must fill it back up with some solitude.

It was a relief to hear someone else say that women need solitude.  I found myself jealous of Lindbergh’s vacation, remembering a girls’ trip last year when I stayed in the cottage one night and read in the blissful quiet.  I missed my quiet mornings in my office, journaling and meditating behind a closed door.  Mostly, though, I realized how important it is for me to take time for myself.  It’s kind of like how you get more done if you just slow down.

I’ve noticed that I am accumulating a little collection of women’s books that I’ve been underlining and really thinking about, a kind of special collection.  This book will go there to be looked back at time after after.