Norabelle414's Trilogy in Three Parts

É uma continuação do tópico Norabelle414's Trilogy in Two Parts.

Este tópico foi continuado por Norabelle414's Trilogy in Four Parts.

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2023

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Norabelle414's Trilogy in Three Parts

Editado: Nov 18, 6:45 pm

Sunbeam cat

Hello and welcome! I'm Nora. I live in the Washington DC area. This is my fourteenth year of having my own thread in the 75ers group! Aside from books, I also love:

animals/biology/zoology - I am once again starting to volunteer at Smithsonian's National Zoo
TV - scripted only, mostly science fiction and fantasy, especially anything based on a book
theater - I have season tickets to Arena Stage but I go to shows elsewhere as well
podcasts - especially about books
knitting (I'm on Ravelry), and now also cross stitch and embroidery
progressive politics (particularly urbanism)

You can find me on Bluesky @ norabelle (send me a message if you want an invite)

I know trying to read more books is a futile goal, so my goals for 2023 are:
1) Be more present here, including actually posting on everyone else's thread instead of just lurking
2) Write reviews promptly after finishing a book

Editado: Ago 19, 9:04 pm

For a full list of books I have read this year, click here:

Editado: Ago 19, 9:51 pm

Started a new topic a bit early because the joke of my topic names only works if I end up with a number of topics besides three.

Nothing went on Thursday or Friday. Today I had an online zoo meeting in the morning and then I went to the library.

Tomorrow I'm baby-sitting, and Wednesday, and Saturday

Currently reading:
Today I finished I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes within us and a Grander View of Life. I didn't love it as much as I thought I would, it was a bit of a rollercoaster. Like the mushroom book I read earlier this year, there were some fascinating bits of natural science and also some weird fatphobia
The next book club book, for November, is The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, which I've had on my shelf for...12 years? The audiobook is Amazon-exclusive (ughhh) so I'll be reading in paper so I should get started ASAP.
I'm also still reading The Queer Principles of Kit Webb and Bea Wolf.
Reviews behind: 1

Currently playing:
I mostly finished my replay of Pokemon Sword so I switched back to my original playthrough. I kind of figured out how to do surprise trades over the internet. It's a slog because most people are giving away crap but I did manage to get a couple of pokemon that are exclusive to the other version.

Currently listening(?!):
I don't listen to a ton of music anymore since I started listening to podcasts in about 2015 (except when it's Eurovision season) but I've been on a real Taylor Swift binge the past few days. Mostly listening to Folklore and Evermore on repeat

Currently crafting:

Currently watching:
Caught up on Moonshine, Family Law, What We Do in the Shadows, Harley Quinn, Grown-ish, Reservation Dogs, Futurama, Only Murders in the Building, The Afterparty, and the season finale of Warrior. And....I'm out of TV? I have nothing to watch until Monday.

Ago 20, 12:34 am

Happy new one, Nora. x

Ago 20, 8:54 am

Happy new thread, Nora!

Ago 20, 4:24 pm

Happy new thread! I really liked The Windup Girl when I read it ages ago.

Ago 20, 9:17 pm

>5 PaulCranswick:, >6 katiekrug: Thanks Paul and Katie!

>7 _Zoe_: I'm 95% sure you liking it is the reason I bought this copy back in 2012. I do read the books you recommend....eventually

Ago 20, 10:02 pm

Happy new thread, Nora!

Ago 20, 10:02 pm

Baby-sitting went well. We colored with crayons and went outside and colored with chalk and went to the playground across the street and went down the slide.

I have a spaghetti squash I need to cook but I didn't get home until after 8 so I ate a frozen dinner. Hopefully I'll have the energy to cook the spaghetti squash tomorrow after work.

Baby-sitting again on Wednesday but other than that it's just normal work stuff this week.

Currently reading:
While baby-sitting we read:
Maxi the Little Taxi by Elizabeth Upton and Henry Cole (several times...she really loves cars and yellow right now so it was a perfect match)
What Can You Do with a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla and Magaly Morales
(both of those I checked out from the library)
Food Truck Fest! by Alexandra Penfold and Mike Dutton (her current favorite, which her parents checked out from the library)
Read a little bit of Fat Talk: Parenting in the Age of Diet Culture by Virginia Sole-Smith on the very short bus ride. A nice antidote to casual fatphobia in other books I read.
Reviews behind: 4 (1 adult, 3 kids)

Currently playing:
Nothing today.

Currently listening(?!):
The Barbie soundtrack!

Currently crafting:

Currently watching:
I started This Fool, a show about a kind of dorky man who works at a gang-rehab non-profit and lives with his cousin who has just gotten out of prison and is in the program. Very funny and cute.

Ago 21, 9:24 am

Happy new thread, Nora!

Ago 21, 4:51 pm

Happy new one, Nora!

Ago 22, 9:05 am

>11 FAMeulstee:, >12 drneutron: Thanks Anita and Jim!

Ago 22, 11:27 am

It's quiet around here this everyone on vacation?

Yesterday after work I cooked the spaghetti squash and some regular spaghetti so that's most of my meals for this week sorted. Can't say I'm a big fan, nor do I think it feels or tastes anything like spaghetti, but when mixed with regular spaghetti you can hardly tell its there.

I went to bed a little too late last night and then slept terribly, so I'm quite tired today. I don't think any of my coworkers are going to be in the office today, which is bad news for me staying focused. However, last week I got the facilities staff to move the motion detector for the overhead lights closer to my cubicle so I won't be in the dark most of the day. They will probably need to move it again, because yesterday morning the person who comes in earliest was in the dark for awhile, but for the next week or so I don't have to worry about the lights going off on me.

Nothing going on today after work but I will need to resist the urge to take a nap because tomorrow I have to go into the office AND baby-sit after work (though the baby will only be awake for about an hour of it).

Currently reading:
Fat Talk: Parenting in the Age of Diet Culture is a balm to my soul. I thought it would make me mad but I'm already perpetually mad about the subject so reading such a thoughtful book is just cathartic. That's my current bus book and The Queer Principles of Kit Webb is my current at-home book.
There's a bit of disruption in my reading schedule coming, as I've just learned that my childhood neighbor-friend, who is the same age as my brother, wrote a book and got a fancy publishing deal and is doing a book tour. Exciting! So I've pre-ordered his book, Where There Was Fire, which comes out next week, and I'm going to try to read at least most of it before his DC tour date of Sept 9. (While I was at it I also pre-ordered Emily Wilson's translation of The Iliad, which comes out at the end of September.) Also my hold on Lessons in Chemistry is in transit so I should be picking that up later this week.
Reviews behind: 4 (1 adult, 3 kids)

Currently playing:
Did a few dozen more surprise trades in Pokemon Sword but only got one pokemon I didn't already have so I might need to quit. What I've learned from this experience of re-playing is that it really is better to engage with every part of the game as I'm playing through instead of ignoring the parts I find confusing like I usually do....

Currently listening(?!):
A very fun episode of the podcast Decoder Ring about the history of catchphrases, featuring a lot of Urkel.

Currently crafting:
Nothing, but I'm going to try to bring something with me to baby-sitting tomorrow. I should also get started on some winter accessories for her. What do we think the chances are that her favorite color will still be yellow in 5 months?

Currently watching:
Caught up on Futurama and Winning Time, a very aesthetically pleasing show about something I do not care about at all. I watched the first two (out of three) episodes of Telemarketers, an HBO documentary about those phone calls you get asking you to donate money to disabled veterans or the "police association". It's an interesting show, filmed by amateurs who used to work as telemarketers and started digging into their sketchy company. I do already know how it ends, though, because I got one of those calls yesterday.

Ago 22, 12:36 pm

>14 norabelle414: Agreed on spaghetti squash. Not my fave. Fat Talk looks like a really valuable read and I'll be looking forward to your thoughts.

Ago 22, 2:02 pm

>15 curioussquared: I enjoyed it in my lunch today (with real spaghetti and lots of cheese and tomato) but I don't know why people say you can eat it instead of spaghetti. Have they had spaghetti before??

Ago 22, 5:07 pm

>16 norabelle414: Yeah, my issue is not with it as a food but as a pasta replacement. Same with zucchini noodles, lol. Say what you will, but those are not noodles!

Ago 22, 5:36 pm

>14 norabelle414: I'm here, but lazy about actually posting, as usual. In your last thread I meant to say that I also got Covid for the first time on my way back through DC, but the timing was far enough apart that it couldn't have been related. I blame the Politics & Prose for having the highest density of people in a low-ceilinged space.

>8 norabelle414: As for the current discussion, I'm impressed that you do get through your TBR pile eventually! I wish I could say as much.

Ago 22, 7:20 pm

>17 curioussquared: No they are not!!!

>18 _Zoe_: Oh no! I hope you're doing better now. It's so hard to say how it's being passed around anymore since no one is contact-tracing. I think technically we were together within the 14-day window but I did a bunch of other things in that window too.

We'll see.... I haven't read it yet!

Editado: Ago 23, 1:52 pm

I was curious about whether I do, in fact, get through my TBR pile so I crunched some numbers. The largest differences between my LT entry date and date read, not including rereads, are:

1 - Dracula, which I owned pre-LT, entered July 2007 and read November 2022, 5,597 days later.
2 - War and Peace, also owned pre-LT, entered July 2007, read October 2018, 4,104 days later.
3 - Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, owned pre-LT, entered on July 2007, read July 2017, 3,669 days later (I hated it, shouldn't have bothered).
4 - The Lady and the Panda, the first post-LT book on the list, entered April 2014, read June 2023, 3,375 days later.
5 - Never Let Me Go, entered April 2011, read April 2017, 2,187 days later.
6 - A History of Rock Creek Park, entered December 2014, read September 2020, 2,076 days later.
7 - American Zoo, entered December 2015, read July 2021, 2,026 days later.

After that it gets down to a 4-year gap which is unremarkable, imo.

Assuming I get through The Windup Girl it would be in second place at about 4,291 days later (though only on a technicality because I don't remember exactly when I got War & Peace. I think it might have been for high school graduation which would add a little over a year.)

Interesting to note that I read 1 & 2 for large social community reads, 3 & 5 because they were about to be covered by a podcast I listen to, and 4, 6, 7, and The Windup Girl for the book club I run. Apparently what gets me to read a TBR book is a social aspect combined with a deadline.

I still have 518 TBR books in my library, 45 of which are from before I joined LT. But I'm getting better at getting rid of books I'm never going to read (or never read again). I've gotten rid of 181 books in the past few years, 75 of which were from before LT and about half of those I never read.

Ago 23, 4:15 pm

Yesterday I was very tired after work but I knew if I napped I would mess up my sleep schedule and today would be hard. When I'm tired I find it hard to control my attention, so I did nothing aside from going down the statistics rabbit hole. I'm thankful I already had the spaghetti and squash prepared for dinner so I didn't have to think about it.

Went to bed a little too late last night but slept really well. Tonight I'm baby-sitting from 6 to 10. Tomorrow is my friend's birthday and we're going out for oysters.

Currently reading:
Still enjoying Fat Talk: Parenting in the Age of Diet Culture on the bus. Read a bit of The Queer Principles of Kit Webb before bed.
Reviews behind: 4 (1 adult, 3 kids)

Currently playing:
Too tired

Currently listening(?!):
Back to Taylor Swift. I'm definitely more into Folklore than Evermore.

Currently crafting:
Nothing, but bringing it with me tonight.

Currently watching:
Watched s2e1 of This Fool. Tonight I'll have access to my brother's Amazon account so I'll probably watch some Good Omens season 2 and maybe Red, White, and Royal Blue.

Ago 27, 6:36 pm

I hope you all had a good weekend!

Wednesday baby-sitting went smoothly. I didn't get a chance to order dinner until after the baby went down and I was worried most places would no longer be delivering at 8:15pm on a Wednesday, only to find that my favorite taco place is now open 24/7! What a gift.

For dinner on Thursday my birthday friend and I went to an oyster bar in the adjacent city which was having their annual restaurant week. The restaurant gave my friend some free oysters for his birthday, and I ordered more oysters, a shrimp po-boy, and key lime pie. There was a little drizzle but we were on a covered roof deck so it was a nice time. Friday after work I did nothing. Yesterday I was up bright and early to baby-sit at 7:30am, bridging the gap between my sister-in-law's flight to see her family in Maine and my brother's flight home from his work trip to Manila. I got home around 11:30am and goofed off on the internet for the rest of the day. Today, more goofing off (and some reading!)

Should be a quiet work week, as several of my coworkers are on travel. Planning to go to the library after work on Tuesday to pick up my hold on Lessons in Chemistry.

Currently reading:
While baby-sitting on Wednesday we read Christopher Pumpkin and This is a School. Saturday we had less chance for books but we still read Little Dumplings. Still chugging along in Fat Talk: Parenting in the Age of Diet Culture and The Queer Principles of Kit Webb, still enjoying both but now that I'm halfway through each I wish they would get to the actionable advice and the actionable smooching, respectively.
I finished Bea Wolf today and really really loved it!
Reviews behind: 8 (2 books, 6 picture books)

Currently playing:
I'm back into Pokemon Violet, for which I still have some endgame content to play, as well as trying to finish my pokedex. There's an expansion coming out in a couple weeks, too.

Currently listening:
I got through a huge backlog of podcast episodes on Saturday. As of today I only have 5 episodes of podcasts that I'm a completionist about.
The song stuck in my head this week has been Stay by Monika Linkytė, this year's Eurovision entry from Lithuania. No clue why things get stuck in my head when I haven't heard them for weeks or months.

Currently crafting:
I did get a few rows of socks knitted while baby-sitting on Wednesday, but it has not inspired me to pick it up again.

Currently watching:
Wednesday I watched two episodes of Good Omens season 2, and half of Red, White, and Royal Blue. I caught up on What We Do in the Shadows, Harley Quinn, Grown-ish, The Afterparty, Only Murders in the Building, Family Law, Moonshine (this was the season 1 finale but seasons 2 and 3 have already aired in Canada so I'm hoping we'll get them soon because I enjoyed it), and Reservation Dogs. Watched up to s2e6 of This Fool.

Ago 27, 6:44 pm

Not to jinx myself but I've already read more books this year than any year since 2018. I posted a picture of my current book stack to social media, something I haven't done in a long time. (I posted a couple right at the beginning of COVID and when my library reopened in mid-2021 but I never read any of the books so they're just depressing)

(this is also a test to see if I can post pics to here from BlueSky. let me know if you can't see it!)

Ago 27, 9:16 pm

19. I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong

This is a placeholder. I've written a review but I won't post it until after the book club meetings because I will probably want to edit it.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

20. Maxi the Little Taxi by Elizabeth Upton, illustrated by Henry Cole

A New York City taxi named Maxi (a Pixar-style car with a big face and no driver) goes about his day, but he splashes in too many puddles and gets muddy so no one wants to ride with him. A little kid passenger suggests Maxi go to a car wash, and so he does.

I didn’t know it when I got this out from the library but my niece is very into cars and yellow right now so it’s been a big hit. It’s a cute enough story with a slight rhythm to it, but don’t think about the plot too hard (he goes to the car wash right before going back to the garage where a man washes him…). I really loved the artwork and the public transportation & sense of community.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ♥ (4.5/5)

21. What Can You Do with a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla, illustrated by Magaly Morales

Two kids get paletas from the paleta cart and think of all the things they can do with them. They could draw on the ground, they could give themselves a mustache, but they decide the best thing to do is to eat them.

Fairly simple, but lovely colorful drawings. There are enough Spanish words to provide a sense of specificity but not so many that I, a person who does not know any Spanish, couldn’t easily read it. My niece was not terribly into it yet but we’re going to get paletas soon so hopefully that will change.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

22. Food Truck Fest! by Alexandra Penfold, illustrated by Mike Dutton

Food truck workers prepare for a food truck festival, while a family prepare to attend the festival. The bridge is closed due to turtles (?!?) so everyone has to take the ferry, but they still get to the festival and have a great time serving and eating lots of different kinds of food.

So specific and very cute. There’s a running gag of the baby of the family missing their shoe, and in the background you can see the cat playing with the shoe. I loved the sense of community, going to an urban street festival, and also things going wrong and everyone just working around it (the closed bridge and the missing baby shoe, to be specific).

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (5/5)

Ago 28, 12:54 pm

Happy new thread! I was, in fact, on vacation, but I'm back now!

Ago 28, 1:19 pm

>23 norabelle414: Love the book stack!

Ago 28, 3:00 pm

>25 foggidawn: I knew it! Welcome back!

>26 curioussquared: Thanks! It feels really good to post a picture with a good chance of actually reading the books in it.

Ago 29, 12:08 pm

Happy Tuesday!

Yesterday was a quiet day at work and a quiet day at home. I cooked some wax beans and ate them with cherry tomatoes, cheese, and vinaigrette, which marks the first time I have used everything in my little vegetable delivery without anything going bad. I don't talk about food here a whole lot because I have a history of disordered eating and I usually find cooking too overwhelming (it tends to take up all of my ability to pay attention and so I'm useless for the rest of the day), but I'm pretty proud of myself for this one. Did I clean up the kitchen afterward? No.

Today should be quiet as well, no one on my team is in the office except me. A good time to get things done but also goof off. Heading to the library after work to pick up Lessons in Chemistry. Bea Wolf is due back today but I'd like to keep it until I write a review. I recently subscribed to a magazine called Bookforum, which has been around for awhile, went out of business, and is now resurrected. I try not to subscribe to too many magazines, because they just pile up, but this one only publishes quarterly so it should be fine. My first issue arrived yesterday and I meant to bring it to work to read at lunch but I forgot. Tomorrow!

I was amazed to see that my brother's childhood best friend's book (mentioned in >14 norabelle414:) is at the top of Barnes & Noble's website main page today! Incredible, I'm so proud of him. Today is pub day and my pre-ordered copy should hopefully arrive in the next couple days.

Nothing going on tomorrow. Thursday night is a livestream of the podcast Overdue; they're discussing Moneyball which I'm not interested in reading but looking forward to hearing them talk about.

Currently reading:
Read some of The Queer Principles of Kit Webb before bed on Sunday, and after work yesterday, and before bed last night. Fat Talk: Parenting in the Age of Diet Culture is still a great bus book. I think I should be able to finish it around when its due back (Sep 9) even with the other books I have incoming.
Reviews behind: 4 (1 books, 3 picture books)

Currently playing:

Currently listening:
Enjoying this week's episode of The Worst Bestsellers podcast about The Secret at Solaire, Nancy Drew #111. Today's Taylor Swift song stuck in my head is mad woman from Folklore.

Currently crafting:
I found some origami paper in my desk at work so I made a couple cranes today.

Currently watching:
Watched the final episode of Telemarketers. I had already heard that nothing really happens in the end so my expectations were low and I ended up really enjoying it. It's an endearing story about two guys with no resources who once played a very small part in an evil empire and spent 20 years trying to expose it. That's nice even if they weren't successful. Hopefully people are watching and maybe more public attention will get something done. I also watched Winning Time.

Ago 29, 12:18 pm

Ooh, enjoy Lessons in Chemistry! I thought it was a lot of fun.

Ago 29, 12:31 pm

Using everything in your vegetable delivery is something to be celebrated! I'm not good at doing that, either.

Ago 29, 9:25 pm

>29 foggidawn: Thanks, I plan to!

>30 curioussquared: Thank you! I try not to feel too down about things going bad because I get such a small amount and I'm supporting local farmers, but it feels great to use it all for once!

Editado: Ago 29, 9:28 pm

23. This Is a School by John Schu, illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison

A book about school as a community, and the wide variety of people who attend school and work at school.

Very simple but enjoyable. I especially appreciate the gender-neutral language - when I was pointing things out to my niece I accidentally called two students “a boy” and “a girl” but the book calls them “a student” and “another student” and I should be more careful.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

24. Christopher Pumpkin by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, illustrated by Nick East

A spooky witch enchants a bunch of pumpkins to be her servants and most of them are named things like "Icky" and "Ooze" but one is named Christopher. All the other pumpkins decorate with spiderwebs and cook rotten rat pizza for dinner but Christopher decorates with pastel balloons and bakes pink cupcakes. The witch says he needs to be spooky and has to scare someone or she will kick him out so he scares HER with cute pink things.

This book rules! I love that nothing “happens” to Christopher to make him different, he just is that way even though he was made exactly the same as the other pumpkins. And he’s just unabashedly himself. I especially liked that he doesn’t actually get “acceptance” in the end, he just has fun scaring the witch away by being himself, because he is self-aware enough to know that who he is is scary to her, but never considers changing.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (5/5)

25. Little Dumplings by Jekka Kuhlmann, Krissy Kuhlmann, and Haley Hazell, illustrated by Manita Boonyong

A very cute book about many different kinds of dumplings from all over the world. Mostly just pictures and rhyming lists of names.

I love dumplings and I love this book. All of the dumplings are very cute. I only wish that the pronunciation guide was either at the beginning of the book or alongside the pictures, because I stumbled through a lot of them before realizing there were pronunciations at the back.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ♥ (4.5/5)

26. Bea Wolf by Zach Weinersmith, illustrated by Boulet

Long ago, in the kid-kingdom of Suburbia, Treeheart was built. Generations of kid-kings ruled there, a hall full of candy and toys. But the sound of their merriment disgruntled their dyspeptic neighbor, Grindle. He attacked Treeheart and its merry-makers, adultifying all of them. No one could stand against him, and so the children cried out for a hero. Across the creek, someone heard them. Her name was Bea Wolf.

This book is a graphic novel retelling of Beowulf, and it’s incredible. I’ve never been able to get through Beowulf myself, but the graphic novel and adapted language made it so accessible that I think I have a better chance now. The language has such a compelling rhythm to it that I couldn’t help but read the whole thing out loud, by myself, to my cat. I really enjoyed Weinersmith’s notes at the end about a brief history of the story, and especially his thought process on adapting the language using lots of hyphenated epithets and alliteration. This book is absolutely a classic, and I will be buying a copy to put on my shelves right next to D’Aulaire’s.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (5/5)

Ago 30, 7:02 am

>21 norabelle414: I also enjoy folklore more than evermore! In fact, I didn't even add the evermore album to my library, I see.

Editado: Ago 30, 10:38 pm

>1 norabelle414: Hi Nora! Happy new Thread!
I always appreciate pictures of Rory. Orange kitties are love 14 I prefer Acorn Squash myself; roasted and covered in maple syrup and nutmeg. Mmmm.

>20 norabelle414: I mean, hey, still looks like progress to me! As reading is to be a fun hobby, not a chore/second job, peeling through the pile should be a joy and not a guilt trip. Go at your own pace :)

>23 norabelle414: Indeed I can.
And, also, *Blows Party Horn in Celebration.*

>28 norabelle414: I mean, that's fair, cooking is an exhaustive task (and as a neurodivergent myself I feel you on the attention and the food waste) but it's great to see you taking more strides in the kitchen. And, hey, there are worse fates than leaving a task for another time, eh?

Ago 31, 6:40 pm

>33 ursula: When Evermore first came out I thought I had just gotten Taylor-fatigue from listening to Folklore too many times, but now that I have some distance it's clear I like Folklore better.

>34 Ravenwoodwitch: I don't really feel guilt for not having read books, but I do think that books are for reading. If they're just sitting on my shelf for many years without being read, they're not serving their purpose.

Ago 31, 6:40 pm

27. The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian

Kit Webb was once a bandit, but is now retired and running a coffee shop after a bad experience resulting in a permanent leg injury. Percy is a foppish nobleman with a plan - hire the handsome highwayman to steal something from his father, the Duke, that he can use to extort money which he will use to pay off his own blackmailer, who is threatening to reveal that Percy is not the Duke’s rightful heir. Anyway, they fall in love.

Absolutely delightful. The leads are well-realized and have great chemistry. They have real reasons to distrust each other, that they have to do real work on in the end! The story of Percy’s inheritance and Kit’s family history is almost too complicated, in a way that I found really enjoyable. I was truly surprised by the ending because I hadn’t really been following (and I can never remember who the Jacobites are. I’m not even sure if this is actually a spoiler).

The couple in the next book have the same names as my brother and my sister-in-law so I will not be reading it, but I do need someone else to read it and tell me what happens, thanks.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (5/5)

Ago 31, 7:08 pm

>36 norabelle414: Lol, that is a very solid reason for not reading book 2!! Honestly it's been long enough now that I can't tell you plot details, but I really liked it (possibly even more than book 1).

My mostly spoiler-free review from last year is behind spoiler tags. After the events of The Queer Principles of Kit Webb, Marian is on the run to where her father is staying in Kent. But Rob, her former blackmailer and Kit's friend, can see she's in shock, and he's not about to let her go alone. The two head off together, with Marian disguised as a man, learning more about each other along the way -- Marian is different from how Rob expected a Duchess to act, and Rob is quite unlike any highwayman Marian has ever encountered, appearing entirely soft-hearted and giving his money away left and right. As the two begin to develop feelings for each other, they also know their situations prevent anything from ever coming from it... but Rob's secret might mean otherwise.

Such a fun historical romance -- I liked this even better than the previous entry. Sebastian explores themes of past trauma and consent really well in a way that is meaningful and adds to the novel without making it heavy or difficult to read. My one complaint might be that this is very much a narrative with only two characters -- Rob and Marian are really it for most of the book until the last 80% or so when we start to see a few of the characters from the previous novel. The end is really cozy with a fun little found family wish fulfillment epilogue. 4 stars.

Also, I believe at one point there is only one bed at the inn, which is one of my personal favorite tropes.

Ago 31, 9:48 pm

Happy whatever day today is! Thursday?

Quiet work-from-home day today. Tomorrow should be the same.

Yesterday my new vegetable delivery arrived. It contained corn (great), green beans (good), 2 zucchini (not great but I can eat 2), and a big eggplant (absolute no-go - I've already given it away). I also picked up some skincare stuff (just face wash and lotion, nothing exciting) because my skin just seems to be getting oilier and oilier. I can't wait for summer to be over! And returned a bunch of books to the library.

Tonight I'm watching a livestream of the podcast Overdue.

I made the mistake of mentioning that I didn't have a lot of plans this long weekend and so now I have a lot going on. Nothing tomorrow but Saturday I have book club and feeding my friend's cat, Sunday I'm going to a craft fair then baby-sitting my niece, and Monday (the holiday) I'm volunteering at the zoo.

Currently reading:
Finished The Queer Principles of Kit Webb and loved it. Got into a big chapter of Fat Talk about eating disorders in men/fathers and it's fascinating. Still hoping to finish by Sep 9. Where There Was Fire should arrive tomorrow. Hoping to finish that one by Sep 9 as well. As soon as I finish those (or Sep 9, whichever comes first) I'll get started on Lessons in Chemistry.
Reviews behind: 0

Currently playing:

Currently listening:
I've really been missing the podcasts Maintenance Phase and If Books Could Kill, which have been on hiatus for awhile while host Michael Hobbes has carpel tunnel, but Maintenance Phase posted a bonus episode today so I'm hopeful they'll be back soon.

Currently crafting:

Currently watching:
I watched the first episode of a new documentary on PBS about The Troubles, called Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland. It's extremely good but there are 5 episodes that aired across 3 days (Mon-Tue-Wed this week) so I'm already way behind. I feel like in media there's a lot of talk about innocent families caught in the crossfire of the republicans and the loyalists but this show has in-depth interviews with actual IRA members and British soldiers stationed in Northern Ireland and that's a perspective I have been missing in my understanding of the Troubles. Also, Only Murders in the Building.

Ago 31, 10:28 pm

>37 curioussquared: It seems good! Can I gift it to my sister-in-law or is that weird??? She does read a decent amount but I don't know if she likes romance novels.

I think mostly my interests are about what was going on with Marian and Rob (the book characters, not my sister-in-law and brother) during the events of the first book....I assume they had been sending flirty letters as blackmailer and blackmailee, but did she find out about Kit from Rob? Did he actually tell her to have Kit do the robbery or did he just casually mention his friend who used to be a highwayman and now runs a coffee shop and she came up with the plan herself?

ooh, I also love an only-one-bed situation

Set 1, 12:47 am

>39 norabelle414: Honestly, I don't remember the answers to your questions ☹️ sorry!!! But I think it would be a fun gift for your SIL even if you're not sure she'd read it!

Set 1, 1:39 pm

>38 norabelle414: Hope you have an energizing weekend, even with all the stuff to do :)
And eggplant. Ew. I've never been able to find a way to eat it.

Set 1, 2:43 pm

>38 norabelle414: & >41 Ravenwoodwitch: I would also have given that eggplant right away. I haven't tried it since childhood, so maybe I would like it now? But my childhood aversion was . . . quite severe, so I'm not willing to risk it!

Set 1, 7:24 pm

I like a good eggplant parmesan but it's tricky to make at home.

Could you do zucchini muffins or bread with your zucchini, if you don't like the veggie on its own?

I hope your long weekend is a good mix of fun and restful!

Set 2, 12:02 am

>40 curioussquared: No worries! I was just putting my questions out into the universe :-)

>41 Ravenwoodwitch: >42 foggidawn: Eggplant is gross! My mom loves it and eats it all the time even though she's slightly allergic (!) and it makes her tongue swell up. Allergies can be genetic, right? I probably shouldn't risk it.

>43 MickyFine: Zucchini bread!!! You're a genius!!!!

Set 2, 12:17 am

Let's pretend it's still Friday.

Today after work I went to the grocery store and did a ton of laundry, including fresh bedsheets, yay!

Tomorrow I get to sleep in until 8, what a luxury. I have to go buy bagels at my bagel place which is only open 8-12 Sat-Sun, then I have book club in the late morning but no one has signed up so it might just be me. After that I'm going to feed my friend's cat.

Sunday, craft fair and baby-sitting.

Currently reading:
Chugging along in Fat Talk. The section I'm in now is about youth sports, which doesn't interest me much because I never participated, but there is a lot about how youth sports talks a lot of game about being healthy and good for kids but doesn't leave any space for different kinds of bodies and abilities, which was certainly my experience.
I also started Where There Was Fire, which arrived today. It's only 270 pages so I think I should get most of it read by the 9th.
Reviews behind: 0

Currently playing:

Currently listening:
Next week I'm going to see Death Cab For Cutie on their tour for the 10th anniversary of their album Transatlanticism, so I've been listening to that (it's still not my thing but it's not bad).

Currently crafting:

Currently watching:
Caught up on Harley Quinn, Futurama, and The Afterparty. Now I'm watching the second episode of Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland while folding laundry.

Set 2, 9:02 am

I hope you get all the best bagels and that at least a couple people show up for book club. *fingers crossed*

Set 5, 9:53 pm

Happy *checks notes* Tuesday?

I was planning on updating over the weekend but every time I tried LT was down or too slow due to a DDOS attack so I didn't.

Saturday I bought bagels, attended online book club but no one else showed up (this was the first meeting of 2 for this book; there are more people signed up for the next meeting which is tomorrow). Then I went into the city to feed my friend's cat.

Sunday was the craft fair, which I thought was opening at 10 but was actually opening at 12, and I had to babysit at 1 so I didn't get a lot of time to browse. I was too anxious about the time crunch combined with the unreliable Sunday bus schedule to really absorb what I was looking at or enjoy myself. Then I baby-sat from 1 to 6:30. We didn't read any books, partly because she was already napping when I got there and I left before bedtime, but also because my brother for some reason removed most of the books from everywhere in the house except next to the crib, including putting ALL of the library books in his car so he could return them. I'm not sure what's going on with that and I didn't press the issue because he had a friend with him. We did read an issue of Babybug magazine, and she looked at my copy of Washingtonian magazine and disappointedly flipped through Where There Was Fire looking for pictures.

Monday I volunteered at the bird house, which is about to close for several weeks for HVAC repairs. I got an okay amount of sleep all weekend but not a great amount, so I didn't really do much around the house.

Today I'm in the office, but I'm the only person from my team here, which means there's no one to drown out the very loud man around the corner from me who talks constantly on speakerphone all day long.

Tomorrow I have an all-day off-site meeting, which I am very excited about. I get to take a 15-minute metro trip to an urban area to work with people in-person instead of sitting in traffic on a private shuttle for 45 minutes to sit alone in my cubicle farm in the middle of nowhere. I haven't even thought about where I'm going to get lunch yet. There are so many options! There will be a happy hour afterward, but I can't stay too long because I have online book club at 7.

Not much else going on this week until Saturday, when I go to my childhood friend's author talk at the library.

Currently reading:
Did not get a ton of reading done this weekend because I was too tired and cranky. I have read about 100 pages of Where There Was Fire. It's more language-driven, to use Nancy Pearl's four doorways to reading, than I usually read so I'm not finding it easy to get lost in. But 100 pages is not bad for a book that came out a week ago! I probably won't finish it before Saturday but I feel good about my chunk.
Reviews behind: 0

Currently playing:

Currently listening:
A lot of kids music...we listened to Raffi and some Carole King. My niece liked the upbeat Carole King songs but not the more melancholy ones. I also tested out a Spotify playlist I forgot I had made of songs I enjoy that I thought kids would like too, but didn't get very far.

Currently crafting:
I got a few rows of knitting done while baby-sitting because my niece wanted to sit at the grown-up table and play with her car, and I tested to see what would happen if I knitted next to her while she played and she seemed to like that.

Currently watching:
I finished the second half of Red, White, and Royal Blue, which was fine. I don't have the same problems with the actor playing Henry that some people seem to, I just don't think he's given much to do. I thought they could have been clearer about the homophobia of institutions like the royal family but of course they pulled their punches. The political plotline was improved, but it still seems like it was written by someone who thinks winning elections is the same as getting things done (it's not).
I finished Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland, which was really incredible all the way through. The bravery and humility of the interviewees is amazing, both those who talked openly about their family members being murdered, and those who said they voted "No" on the peace agreement or looked into the camera and said they would join a paramilitary again tomorrow if the opportunity arose.
I also watched the season finales of Family Law (I really enjoy this law-procedural-with-no-cops, I hope it keeps going), This Fool (great), and What We Do in the Shadows (kind of meh on the last two episodes - I find The Guide incredibly annoying and I don't buy Guillermo being too gentle to be a vampire after what we've seen since season 2, nor do I buy Nandor being aware of that. I'm not thrilled with the reset to Guillermo's humanity but we'll see what next season brings. I caught up on Reservation Dogs, Futurama (the inevitable COVID episode was not as bad as I thought it would be, I actually found it pretty funny), and Winning Time. Started new seasons of Unforgotten and Van Der Valk.

Set 6, 8:06 am

Hello, Nora, finally checking in here after the turmoil of LT the last few days. Sounds like you had an overall pleasant weekend, and a good start to the work week. Happy Wednesday, and hope the meeting goes well!

Set 6, 12:55 pm

Hi Nora! Hope the meeting today is fun and productive.

I watched Red, White, and Royal Blue over the weekend. I haven't heard about the issues with the actor playing Henry, but I liked him well enough. I enjoyed the movie overall but part of me wondered if it would work as well for people who haven't read the book. The falling in love section felt a little light in the movie.

Set 6, 11:48 pm

I hope the all-day meeting went well and you had an excellent lunch.

Set 7, 8:20 pm

>48 bell7: Thanks! It did!

>49 curioussquared: People had been complaining about the actor, but I think he's a perfectly fine actor (I've heard good things about him in Bottoms, which I haven't seen yet) it's just not a well-written (in the movie) character.

>50 MickyFine: I did, thank you!

Set 7, 9:12 pm

My meeting on Wednesday was everything I hoped it would be. I ended up taking the bus instead of Metro because it saved me 2 blocks of walking on both ends. The meeting was a really great time, a lot of my old coworkers were there. The speakers were fantastic and one of them basically just talked about what she likes about our field (research ethics) and a lot of books she has read that are histories of or critiques (not in the negative sense) of our field and now there are like 8 more books on my TBR list. I had narrowed down my lunch options to 8 different places in a 1-block radius; in the end we went to a food court so that we would have more options and I got a steak sandwich and a bubble tea. After the meeting there was a happy hour 2 blocks away, where we just chatted with each other at a bar and ate pretzels and it was so nice.

In the evening I led the book club meeting, we had 5 people total and it was a good discussion. I don't think I need to make any changes to my review so I'll post it shortly.

This morning I had a big project to work on so....I cleaned my stove. It's spotless now! I've been really wanting to take my book up to the roof of my building to read like I used to, but it's been too hot. I thought we would get some rain today that could maybe cool everything down but no, it's still in the 90s and very humid. Maybe next week!

I had been using LibraryThing recommendations to dictate what books I put on hold at the library (not that I really need to .. they're just the books that you guys read) but my recent addition of baby books to my catalog meant that almost all of my recommendations were for baby books. So, I've unchecked "use for recommendations" from all of my existing collections (I think it was every book I've ever read and every book I currently own?) and made a brand new collection "for recommendations" that includes only books I have read, and doesn't include any baby books or books I didn't like or series I want some distance from (Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, etc.). I'm interested to see how it changes my LibraryThing recommendations.

Currently reading:
Read a few more pages of Where There Was Fire, but not much.
Reviews behind: 0

Currently playing:
Nothing. The EXP Share podcast is done with Pokemon Sword/Shield and moving on to Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl which I own but I probably won't start a new game because that game is boring.

Currently listening:
Give Up by The Postal Service - getting ready for next week's concert

Currently crafting:
Decided I wanted to make friendship bracelets, got out a ton of yarn, made half a friendship bracelet, got bored, now there's yarn everywhere.

Currently watching:
Caught up on Only Murders in the Building and Reservation Dogs. Started a new show called Spellbound, a very cheesy tween show about a Canadian girl who gets into a fancy ballet school in Paris and then also discovers she's a witch. It's not great television so far but it's fine to have on while I do other things since there's nothing else to watch at the moment.

Set 7, 9:53 pm

19. I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong

Microbes are everywhere. They’re in the air we breathe and on every surface we touch and in the water we drink and the food we eat. They’re inside our bodies, helping us digest our food and protecting us from infections. They’re even inside our own cells in the form of mitochondria. This book details some of the things bacteria can do and some of the ways they affect us, as well as research that is being done to try to manipulate bacteria or manipulate the environment using bacteria.

My expectations were very high for this book, and the results are mixed. It’s a real rollercoaster - some of the research on amazing things bacteria can do and the ways it affects the world are incredible, but they’re intermixed with sections about how this bacteria or that bacteria could help someone lose five pounds (which the book assumes must be “healthy”) or cause them to lose 5 pounds (which the book assumes must be “unhealthy”). I was hoping for something more critical of assumptions like that, but maybe this was more marketable.

The most interesting thing I learned about microbes from this book did have to do with animal diets, however. A lot of the food that animals consume (particularly plants) is not digested by the animal themselves, but by the bacteria that live inside them, which then produce smaller molecules that can be digested by the animal. In some cases (multi-chamber-stomached herbivores like cows) the animals even digest the bacteria themselves as their “food” after feeding them grass or hay. This is especially true of mammalian breast milk, which contains very large sugar molecules which can’t be digested by babies at all. The milk feeds the microbes, and the microbes feed the babies. Incredible stuff.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

Set 8, 1:41 pm

Decided I wanted to make friendship bracelets, got out a ton of yarn, made half a friendship bracelet, got bored, now there's yarn everywhere.

Maybe Rory will make a bracelet for you? lol

Set 9, 10:56 pm

Good evening (saying "good evening" always makes me feel like I'm either fancy or about to do the Monster Mash)

Nothing happened Friday. Today I slept in, went out to buy bagels, then went to see my childhood friend John Manuel Arias talk about his new book Where There Was Fire at the DC public library downtown. It was so nice to see him, and there were lots of other people I knew as well, who I hadn't seen in 20-25 years. Afterward we went out for drinks and then dinner. While I was at the DC library anyway I figured I would get my library card renewed. I only really use the DC public library if neither of the other two libraries I have a card at has a book I'm looking for, but I like to have it as backup. Turns out my card expired so long ago that I'm not even in the system anymore. Whoops! Anyway, I have a card there again.

Tomorrow a friend and I are going out to the big Asian supermarket in the suburbs, and stopping by Goodwill on the way so I can drop off some clothes and books. On Monday I'm having my monthly dinner with my dad and brother. Then Thursday I'm going to a Death Cab for Cutie / The Postal Service concert that is wayyyyy far away, but I'm taking a cool service I found called Rally Bus, which is like Megabus but for events like sports games and festivals.

Currently reading:
I did not finish Where There Was Fire before the event, but the other people I was chatting with all afternoon were also about halfway through so it was fine. I also need to finish Fat Talk which was due to the library today. I only have a few dozen pages left so I'll just keep it a bit longer.
I've checked the audiobook of The Possibility of Life: Science, Imagination, and Our Quest for Kinship in the Cosmos back out, which I had previously returned because it was too similar to I Contain Multitudes. I also need to get to The Windup Girl and Lessons in Chemistry soon.
Reviews behind: 0

Currently playing:

Currently listening:

Currently crafting:
I did eventually make one friendship bracelet but there's still yarn everywhere....

Currently watching:
Friday I watched Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, which was delightful. I also watched the season finale of The Afterparty. I thought the ending was a little anti-climactic (either you noticed that Feng accidentally switched the glasses and the solution was obvious, or you didn't notice and it came out of the blue) but as with the first season, the whole point of it is the cinematic choices, not the plot.

Set 10, 8:35 am

>55 norabelle414: I've always thought you were very fancy. 😊

Have a grand time on your shopping adventure today! Are you browsing at Goodwill or just dropping off?

Set 10, 10:08 am

>56 MickyFine: Just dropping off! I can get to the Goodwill for browsing just fine on the bus, but I find it too cumbersome to take my donations on the bus so I save them up for when one of my friends with a car wants to go.

I'm about to leave and I've ended up with a medium sized box of housewares, 2 trash bags of clothes, and 21 books. Not bad!

Set 10, 6:47 pm

>57 norabelle414: Doesn’t it feel good to get donations out of the house? I have a box of kitchen stuff that needs to go, but I should probably look through my clothes, too.

Set 11, 10:54 am

>58 foggidawn: It does! I've found myself fantasizing recently about moving house just so I have an excuse to get rid of stuff, but I really shouldn't wait that long!

Set 11, 11:19 am

Happy Monday!

I had a good, uneventful time dropping things off at Goodwill and going to the Asian supermarket yesterday. I bought a lot of frozen dumplings and then cleaned out my freezer to fit them all. My refrigerator died in May 2020 and I lost most of what was in the freezer, and most of what I restocked with was not stuff I would normally use but I took what I could get at the time. I feel a lot of guilt about throwing away food but at some point I have to admit that I'm just not ever going to use it. Its purpose was to be a safety net in case I completely ran out of food during a pandemic, and it served that purpose.

This morning I was feeling relatively ready for a good day but then the route I normally walk to the bus was closed and I had to walk far around, I spilled some coffee on the bus seat and feel bad about it, my computer took a verrryyyy long time to start up this morning, I have a surprise meeting this afternoon that was planned on Friday but no one told me about, and I lost an earring. So now I'm cranky!

Tonight I'm going out to dinner with my dad and brother.

Currently reading:
A few more pages of Where There Was Fire
Reviews behind: 0

Currently playing:

Currently listening:

Currently crafting:

Currently watching:
Caught up on Harley Quinn and watched the season 2 premiere of America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston. I watched the first episode of The Changeling, which was incredible but definitely a full-attention kind of show. I needed something I only had to pay partial attention to so I started a rewatch of A Discovery of Witches (I've only seen seasons 1 and 2 but the 3rd season was just added to Max).

Set 11, 2:36 pm

Sorry to hear about the very Monday-ish Monday, Nora.

Hopefully dinner with the family is tasty at least.

Set 11, 3:22 pm

Boo, Monday. Hope your meal with family is fun.

Set 12, 11:17 am

Dinner was good last night but it was sooooo long... Our reservation was at 6:45 and we got done around 10 and I got home at 10:30. I was only awake at home for a total of maybe 90 minutes yesterday? So I didn't really do anything else. And I had to get up at 6 so I'm quite tired today.

I did end up finding my earring yesterday, though. It was on the floor on the bus.

Currently reading:
A few more pages of Where There Was Fire. I got a little confused with lots of flashbacks so I had to backtrack a little bit.
Reviews behind: 0

Didn't do anything else.

Editado: Set 13, 12:41 pm

Yesterday I was very exhausted. I had a little leftover food from dinner on Monday so I ate that for dinner yesterday.

I found out last night that the rules for the (outdoor) concert venue I'm going to tomorrow are absolutely draconian. No outside beverages - each person is allowed to bring one (1) empty reusable non-glass water bottle. No bags larger than 13"x15". No backpacks at all, no matter how small they are. No baskets or coolers. The email I got says "Personal food items in a clear, reusable, non-glass container are permitted (1 per guest)" while the website says "Personal food items in a clear, disposable, non-glass container are permitted (1 per guest)", which is obviously contradictory. It also says "small blankets may be permitted" which is incredibly unhelpful. So now I'm extremely anxious about all of that! I was thinking of going to more events at this venue in the future since I'm excited about the concept of Rally Bus but now I'm definitely not.

Currently reading:
Finished the section of Fat Talk about youth sports and now I'm in a section about puberty, particularly the moral panic about, supposedly, fatter girls starting puberty earlier (spoiler alert - it's not that simple). The chapters seem to be getting more specific as the book goes on, which is a nice way to structure a book like this.
Reviews behind: 0

Currently crafting:
Since I'm already feeling extremely anxious, I might as well also feel anxious about what I'm going to make for people for Christmas presents. I'm still in a big crafting slump.

Currently watching:
Caught up on Winning Time. I tried to watch episode 2 of The Changeling but I was already too anxious so I only made it about halfway and then switched to s1e5 of A Discovery of Witches.

Set 13, 12:30 pm

Those venue rules would stress me out too!

Editado: Set 15, 12:07 pm

Happy (almost) weekend!!!!

Yesterday I teleworked and then went to see Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service in concert. I'm still not a huge fan but concerts are always fun. The interesting thing about going to a concert about an album that came out 20 years ago is that there were SO MANY kids there. Lots of infants, some tweens that were into it, one 6yo sitting next to me who was decidedly *not* into it. I brought some snacks (in a small clear bag, of course) but not real food so I bought dinner at the venue and it was $40 for a burger, onion rings, and a beer. Ugh! One of the people I was going with and I took Rally Bus to and from the venue, which was full of happy concert-goers and very fun. Infinitely better than riding in a car, especially after the concert when we were all so tired. I got back downtown about 12:15, 15 minutes after the last train and shelled out for a 10-minute rideshare instead of a 60 minute bus ride.

While cleaning out some things to take to Goodwill last weekend I found a WHOLE CHOCOLATE ORANGE left over from Christmas and I've been snacking on that all week, what a treat.

The weather yesterday was phenomenal, and should continue to be for the next few days. I'm hoping to enjoy it by going up to my building's roof deck to read, like I used to a few years ago. Nothing else planned this weekend.

Currently reading:
I brought Lessons in Chemistry for the bus ride and read almost 100 pages! I also read more of Where There was Fire. It's nice to have 3 great books making steady progress but I should probably finish something at some point!
Reviews behind: 0

Currently crafting:
Thinking about maybe buying yarn to knit placemats as Christmas presents

Currently listening:
Excited to listen to ...anything non-Ben Gibbard for awhile

Currently playing:
I bought a new game called Grow: Song of the Evertree by the same people who made Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles (look....they're good at making games, not naming them) but I haven't started it yet.

Currently watching:
Watched episode 2 of The Changeling. It's creepy! Caught up on Only Murders in the Building (nice to see Theo again!), s5e2 of Unforgotten (I know Sunny and the new detective will get along eventually but right now the tension is stressing me out! Please just be friends!), and the second half of s3e1 of Van Der Valk (I really don't like PBS's habit of cutting 2-hour drama episodes in half...because they're not written to be cut that way it's always confusing)

Set 15, 12:01 pm

Rally Bus is such a great idea. I'm glad it worked out.

Chocolate oranges are the best part of my Christmas stocking every year :)

Set 16, 5:25 pm

Surprise chocolate orange is the best!

Set 16, 7:31 pm

>67 katiekrug:, >68 MickyFine: I don't think I've eaten a chocolate orange between February and November before! They don't usually last that long.

Editado: Set 17, 12:01 am

Yesterday I was hoping to sleep in and start work late but I had a couple tasks due before noon. I got them done but then I was pretty tired the rest of the day. I did go to the grocery store.

Today I slept in as late as I could (8), went out to get a bagel sandwich, then enjoyed the cooler weather (high of 80F with low humidity) by sitting on the roof and reading for a few hours. I enjoyed it a little too much and I'm pretty badly sunburned. Whoops!

Tomorrow I don't have any thing planned but I probably shouldn't sit on the roof for long again. Unless...I sit facing the other way so my sunburn is even? Hmm...

Currently reading:
I finished Fat Talk: Parenting in the Age of Diet Culture by Virginia Sole-Smith. The last chapter was helpful tips and scripts about talking to all kinds of people about fat bodies - doctors, coaches, thin kids, fat kids, etc. Really helpful stuff. I also made a list on LT of all the books in the suggested reading list at the end:
I also read a little bit more of Lessons in Chemistry and I'm not loving it (particularly after reading Fat Talk, the discussion of kids eating the "wrong" amount and the perfection of cooking and having the "right" body for rowing is jarring) but I'm confident it will get better.
Reviews behind: 1

Currently crafting:
About to pull the trigger on a yarn purchase which of course means that there will be a sale or I will find something else I want immediately afterward

Currently listening:
I listened to some Bowling for Soup this afternoon and discovered they have an album of lullaby covers called "Bowling for Sleep" which is very funny

Currently playing:
I played some of my new game Grow: Song of the Evertree and I'm not sure about it so far

Currently watching:
Caught up on Reservation Dogs, Futurama, and the season finale of Harley Quinn. Watched episode 3 of The Changeling which is still creepy and confusing. Started a new show called The Swarm which is an import airing here on The CW but it looks very expensive. I discovered that my friend that I text with while watching tv had not seen season 1 of Welcome to Wrexham, so I'm rewatching that before starting season 2. We've watched 5 episodes so far.
I also watched the movie Theater Camp, which is streaming on Hulu now, and it was extremely funny and good.

Set 17, 9:50 am

>70 norabelle414: Sorry to hear about the sunburn, Nora. That's no fun. Do you have an umbrella you could prop up so you can still enjoy the weather without sun exposure?

Ooh, what's the yarn for?

Set 17, 10:29 am

>66 norabelle414: When we went to see My Chem last year, there were so many young kids - not babies/toddlers like that but definitely lots of teens and tweens with their parents accompanying them - some of the parents looked like the 6yo you described. ;)

Sorry to hear about your sunburn, hopefully it starts to feel better quickly.

Editado: Set 18, 11:46 am

>71 MickyFine: No, I only have small commuter umbrellas, nothing that doesn't need to be held. If I do want to enjoy the weather without the direct sunlight there are lounge chairs with umbrellas on the ground next to my building, but I like the peace of being on the roof.
I bought a bunch of cotton/linen yarn to make these placemats which I will give to someone for Christmas:

>72 ursula: That's funny! I didn't see any kids who were more into it than their parents at the concert, I wonder if MCR has aged better than Death Cab? Though this was specifically an anniversary tour for 2003's Transatlanticism and Give Up, they didn't play anything new.

ETA: I just remembered a very funny moment when I was waiting in line for my extremely expensive burger - the guy in front of me had two elementary-school-age girls with him and was telling them that missing part of a concert because you're waiting in a long line is part of the concert-going experience. I find all of it very sweet because my parents never would have taken me to a rock concert.

Editado: Set 18, 12:11 pm

Good morning (whoops it's afternoon now)!

It was cool and a bit overcast yesterday and I did debate going back on the roof as that's my second-favorite type of weather (my first favorite being very cold and sunny) but there was some drizzle and I'm reading a library book. My sunburn hurt a lot yesterday but is doing much better today, thanks for your concern. The worst part is on my lower thigh, from my knee to about 8 inches up, so I was worried about the shorts I usually wear under my work dresses being painful, but it's not at all.

Today I'm in the office. The weather was a little drizzly this morning but should be nice this afternoon. My plan for after work is to finish writing my review of Fat Talk (I've written most of it but I want to do it justice) then return it to the library (and pick up a hold if the library is still open). Lessons in Chemistry is technically due back tomorrow but I think I have a good chance of finishing in the next few days so I'm going to hang onto it.

Wednesday I have another off-site meeting in the same place as the week before last. I was supposed to get together with my aunt and uncle who are visiting the DC area but they have COVID so they've gone back home.

Speaking of COVID....Friday I have an appointment for my latest COVID vaccine and seasonal flu vaccine. Please get yours too!

Currently reading:
Finally to the point in Lessons in Chemistry where the main character has to consider the feelings of anyone in her life - a baby and finding it more enjoyable. That beginning section could have been a quarter as long.
Reviews behind: 1

Currently crafting:
Doing lots of crafting in my head but nothing in my hands

Currently listening:
The fan-favorite Eurovision 2023 runner-up, Käärijä, has a new song out and I don't care for it.

Currently playing:
I went back to Pokemon Violet and finished a couple more endgame quests and then thought, I'm already here so I might as well buy the new expansion pack. I played an hour or so, but most of the pokemon I've seen so far are from gen 2 which is very boring.

Currently watching:

Set 18, 12:47 pm

>74 norabelle414: I work for a big grocery store company that also operates pharmacies so I have to get my vaccines from one of our stores for them to be covered, and they still say they don't have it in stock :( Eagerly waiting to make my appointment!

Set 18, 1:47 pm

>75 curioussquared: There's certainly no guarantee it will be in stock for me! But the CVS website did let me make an appointment. I know a couple people who had appointments for last Friday but had to reschedule because the shipments hadn't arrived yet.

Set 18, 4:58 pm

*Fingers crosses* that your sunburn continues to heal and you get your shots as planned. I'm hoping to go to my pharmacy for mine on a day I have off in a couple of weeks so that I can completely relax if I have a poor reaction to the flu shot (I feel... off and tired for 24 hours afterwards, usually, though last year getting the flu and COVID booster I was fine).

Set 18, 5:52 pm

Thanks for the reminder to check for booster availability around me. I'll get it in the next couple of weeks - most places seem to have Pfizer and I've been a Moderna girl all along. I know it doesn't matter, but....

As someone who burns very easily, you have my sympathy.

Set 18, 6:05 pm

>74 norabelle414: crafting in my head
It's a start... Will the arrival of yarn inspire you?
>74 norabelle414: latest COVID vaccine
I have my eye on this... but previous doses have put me out of commission for a day so I have to think about the timing.

Set 18, 9:04 pm

>77 bell7:, >79 qebo: I have not had any negative reactions to any of my previous vaccinations but I usually schedule for an afternoon when I have nothing going on the next day just in case

>78 katiekrug: I've gotten a variety so far, but this one will be Moderna (theoretically)

>79 qebo: Will the arrival of yarn inspire you?
Hm.... looking around at all the yarn I've bought in the past few years I'm going to say no.

Set 18, 9:05 pm

28. Fat Talk: Parenting in the Age of Diet Culture by Virginia Sole-Smith

Our society is absolutely oozing with fatphobia. Everyone takes for granted that being fat is exactly the same as being unhealthy, that taking up less space is better, that eating less is virtuous, and that dieting and weight loss are desirable and achievable. It’s drilled into us as soon as we’re conscious, from the media and our parents and our doctors. Even if we, as adults, realize how awful all of this has been to us, and put in the work that it takes to unlearn, how do we fix this cycle?

The first third of this book breaks down all of the things that are assumed to be true when it comes to kids (and other humans) and fat. No, being fat is not unhealthy. Healthy kids come in all shapes and sizes, and so do unhealthy kids. “Lose weight” is not a valid medical treatment or advice, since 1) it does not improve health and 2) there is no universally or consistently effective method for weight loss, and the vast majority of weight loss attempts fail, so telling someone to lose weight is only marginally more realistic than telling them to grow a second head. A lot of adults understand these things on some level, or at least have experience dealing with them, but that’s not true for kids. Kids can pick up on fatphobic comments but don’t know how to deal with them, which teaches kids that they can’t trust their own bodies, which turns into eating disorders that can cause life-long physical and mental health problems. Particularly notable is that while food restriction in thin kids is a concerning eating disorder, the same food restriction in fat kids is encouraged as “dieting” despite resulting in the exact same health problems.

The middle section of this book is very intimate discussions with families about their struggles with unlearning internalized fatphobia and the aftermath of disordered eating in their families. I really applaud these families for their candor, especially the ones that are so open about things they have done wrong (e.g. literally locking up food in the parents’ bedroom to try to keep kids from binge eating). Families provide examples of different ways to approach a healthy relationship with food for kids, and the up-sides and down-sides of each.

The final third gets into more specific topics relating to kids and fatphobia and eating disorders, such as youth sports, puberty, and social media. At the end is the section I cherished the most - how to have conversations about bodies and fatphobia with various people, from co-parents to grandparents to thin kids and fat kids.

I cannot overstate how cathartic reading this book felt. A lot of the individual bits and pieces I had absorbed elsewhere but to see them all laid out plainly with backing evidence is really validating. I feel more prepared now to deal with my own internalized biases and to support the children in my life.

At the end is a list of suggested media, mostly books, which I have made into a list here:

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (5/5)

Set 19, 3:33 am

>73 norabelle414: MCR released a single song in 2022, but there hadn't otherwise been anything new since they broke up.

My parents also wouldn't have ever taken me to a concert. But I took both of my kids to their first concerts (Em, Foo Fighters; Jake, Linkin Park).

Set 19, 7:17 am

My father drove me and a friend to our first concert (Violent Femmes at Vassar College when we were ~15) but stayed in the car and read :-P

There are some great books on the List you made from Fat Talk!

Set 19, 3:18 pm

Happy Tuesday,

Nice weather yesterday. Obviously I did finish my review of Fat Talk but did not go to the library, I was too tired. Hopefully I can go today (not that I'm less tired....)

Tomorrow I have an off-site meeting then I might hit up Trader Joe's on my way home.

I keep forgetting to mention this here (thanks Katie for the reminder) - I have several invite codes to the social media site Bluesky, if anyone wants one. Just send me a message.

Currently reading:
On page 150 of Lessons in Chemistry, it's fine. I've also listened to about half of the audiobook of The Possibility of Life: Science, Imagination, and Our Quest for Kinship in the Cosmos, which is a sweet little non-fiction book about the philosophy of searching for alien life, including lots of discussion of pop culture like Star Trek and A Wrinkle in Time.
Reviews behind: 0

Currently crafting:

Currently listening:
One of the two official Taskmaster podcasts was previously co-hosted by Lou Sanders from series 8 but she has departed and the new co-host is Jenny Eclair from series 15, which is a nice breath of fresh air.

Currently playing:
Nothing. Had to delete a casual phone game I play sometimes called Tiny Shop, because 5 minutes a few times a day was really adding up.

Currently watching:
Watched s2e2 of America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston, "Arkansas, Hidden Gems" and s5e2 of Unforgotten.

Set 19, 3:37 pm

>82 ursula: , >83 katiekrug: My mom took me to a Peter, Paul, & Mary concert in 2002 when I was 14, the absolute worst age to appreciate it. The first concert I went to voluntarily was a Jack Johnson concert in 2004, which my mom told me I was not allowed to go to but I did anyway. (In hindsight Jack Johnson is not that different from Peter, Paul, and Mary but at the time he was a world apart to both me and my mom.)

The first concert I went to voluntarily AND was allowed to go to was an all-ages Flogging Molly concert at a club(!) when I was 17, but for some inexplicable reason my mom made me take my 13yo brother with me even though he didn't want to go. Also we had to be home before 10 so we only got to see half of Flogging Molly's set (the opening acts were good though).

Set 20, 2:07 pm

What exactly is Bluesky?

Set 20, 5:22 pm

>86 The_Hibernator: It's a social media site that works kind of like a simpler Twitter (from the user perspective - I think it's pretty different from the developer perspective). It's new and so they are increasing the number of users slowly by using an invite system. I'm sure it won't last forever but for now at least it's better than Twitter.

Set 22, 3:06 pm

Happy Friday!

The weather has been lovely all week.

Wednesday I had my off-site meeting and it turned out to be much smaller than the previous one, only about 15 people, and I was the only one from my organization there in-person so I felt very important. I went to a kebab place someone recommended for lunch and it was great but I didn't know what to order and so I got too much and felt bad throwing it away. Yesterday after work I went to read up on the roof in the evening when the sun was low so I wouldn't get sunburned, but I only got about 20 minutes before the sun went down. There are lights so it wasn't too dark but it was windy and just not as much fun.

Today I had a meeting at 11 and now I'm going to take the rest of the afternoon off. I got a message earlier this week that I am estimated to max out my Paid Time Off accrual in December so I guess I should take some time off. I have my COVID vaccination appointment at 6pm but I've been hearing that many of the pharmacies around here have run out so I'm not holding my breath.

Currently reading:
More than 250 pages into Lessons in Chemistry and I'm still not loving it. The anachronisms are pretty annoying and I find all of the characters unlikable. I don't hate it though, and I think the TV show is going to be great.
Reviews behind: 0

Currently crafting:

Currently listening:
Which of the Pickwick Triplets Did It? (very mild spoilers for this week's Only Murders in the Building)

Currently playing:
Nothing yet, but it's supposed to rain all weekend and I'm going to spend some quality time with Pokemon Violet/The Teal Mask

Currently watching:
The series finale of Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. I didn't care about the basketball but it was a great period drama. Caught up on Only Murders in the Building and Reservation Dogs. Watched the first episode of The Gold, a dramatization of a real 1980s bank heist, and the first episode of the new season of Taskmaster! All of the previous seasons are now legally available to watch on YouTube, and the new episodes are posted legally the day after they air! Very exciting. I'm also up to episode 9 in my rewatch of season 1 of Welcome to Wrexham.

Set 22, 3:26 pm

>88 norabelle414: Ooh... I might start watching past seasons of Taskmaster on YouTube. I've only watched a few episodes of the British version!

I think I'm a week behind on Only Murders so won't click your link, but the Matthew Broderick cameo was SO good.

Set 24, 12:43 pm

Rainy weekend (I like it, honestly) but I think it's supposed to clear up this afternoon

Did not get to take time off on Friday because things kept coming up (have I mentioned lately how horrible telework is for work/life boundaries?). I will need to find some more time to take off before the end of the year so I don't stop accruing. I did get my COVID and flu vaccinations Friday afternoon; the pharmacist said he had plenty of doses, his problem was having enough staff to administer them.

Yesterday I vegged around, today is more of the same. I learned from my brother that they have bought a house way out in the suburbs and are moving next month, so that's likely the end of my career as a last-minute free dog-sitter and baby-sitter. Having a lot of feelings about that (and several stress dreams about trying to get out to the suburbs while also feeding a cat)

Next week should be business as usual. Mostly just keeping an eye on the news in case there's a government shutdown, in which case I will still be working and get paid, due to how my contract is structured, but I'll have to telework.

Currently reading:
Almost done with Lessons in Chemistry and it's time to admit that I just really do not like this book.
Reviews behind: 0

Currently crafting:
I always approach this section thinking that I did some crafting, but no. I just thought about crafting.

Currently listening:
No music, but I've caught up on a lot of podcasts

Currently playing:
A lot of Pokemon Violet/The Teal Mask. Since violet/scarlet are based on Spain I had assumed that the expansion pack would be based on somewhere Spain-adjacent (Mexico? the Canary Islands?) the same way that sword/shield was based on England and the expansions were based on scotland and the isle of man. But no, it's northern Japan. It's cute though!

Currently watching:
Caught up on America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston, Futurama, The Gold, the first half of s3e2 of Van Der Valk and The Swarm (interesting to watch a disaster show about killer bacteria after just reading I Contain Multitudes!). Up to episode 12 in my Welcome to Wrexham rewatch.

Editado: Set 25, 9:49 am

29. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Elizabeth Zott is a brilliant chemist in 1952. She is disrespected by all of her male colleagues and disdainful of other women. The only person of her intellectual equal who takes her seriously is her coworker Calvin Evans. They fall in love but she refuses to compromise her autonomy and reputation by getting married. When Calvin dies in an accident and Elizabeth finds out she’s pregnant, she’s fired from her lab and has to get a new job - hosting a cooking TV show.

My expectations for this book were very high and I was pretty disappointed. The general plot is fine, and I liked the tone (it’s a bit funny but there’s some serious trauma). However, I found all of the characters very unpleasant, especially Elizabeth, who is mean to everyone until they have been bending over backwards for her for years. The plot depends on the mid-century setting, but the world-building is atrocious. It's full of anachronisms, both those that somewhat serve the story (Californians being scandalized by a woman wearing pants in 1962) and those that are laughably unnecessary (a character making a reference to The Godfather, a book published 7 years later). The quantity of sexism Elizabeth experiences is perfectly realistic, but its depiction is cartoonish, feeling like a thick film on top of a modern text instead of a natural part of the world.

I am looking forward to the TV show, however, because I think all of the flaws could be fixed with good editing.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ♥ (2.5/5)

Set 25, 12:56 pm

>91 norabelle414: I'm not putting this in my review but these are my 3 worst quibbles with Lessons in Chemistry (worst both in that they are bad things to have in the book and also that quibbles reflect poorly on me personally):

3) Very weird anti-leash agenda. Your husband was run over by a police car! Why would you be mad about the leash and not cars and/or police???
2) Why would a CHEMIST refuse to promote a can of soup by saying it's full of chemicals???? EVERYTHING is chemicals, that's literally how chemistry works!!!!
1) The book states "It was the 1950s so abortion was not an option." Uhh...... 1a) just because abortion was illegal in some places doesn't mean people weren't getting them, and 1b) later in the book she tells women how to poison their husbands with mushrooms, there's no way she doesn't know how to induce an abortion!!!!

Set 25, 1:14 pm

I think you've convinced me not to read the book. I will give the TV adaptation a try, though.

Set 25, 1:24 pm

>92 norabelle414: All very good points. I found the story compelling enough that I glossed over this stuff but in hindsight... yeah.

Set 25, 2:04 pm

Happy Monday!

Last night I was invited over to my brother's house for dinner last minute, and that was fun. My sister-in-law also read Lessons in Chemistry, which I recommended to her before I read it, but she really enjoyed it so I didn't feel bad. I played with my niece and then put her to bed. We read:
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson

Then I chatted with my brother and sister-in-law for a few hours and we played a board game. My sister-in-law and I bought tickets to see Evita next week. We talked about their new house and coordinating the few remaining dogsitting events on my calendar, including more than a week at Thanksgiving which is going to be very complicated. No stress dreams about it last night, that I remember.

The only plan for today is to stop by the library. Also the grocery store, since I forgot to go last week..whoops!

Very pleased to see the Writers' Guild of America has come to a tentative agreement with the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers, I hope they get everything they wanted.

Also, if you're in the US you can order more free COVID tests starting today from so go do that!!

Currently reading:
Finished Lessons in Chemistry. Started The Windup Girl last night but did not read any on the bus this morning. I've had a lot of trouble getting into the book the few other times I've tried to read it, so I've decided I need get at least halfway through before I can read anything else. And no more books out from the library (um, except for the two holds that are ready for pick-up today).
Reviews behind: 0

Currently crafting:

Currently listening:

Currently playing:
A bit of Pokemon Violet/The Teal Mask, and when I was at my brother's house we played Dominion.

Currently watching:
Just an episode of The Changeling and a couple more episodes of Welcome to Wrexham.

Set 25, 2:19 pm

30. Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson

Readers press the soil to "plant" seeds, rub the sun to make it shine, pat the clouds to make it rain, say hi to a worm, shoo away a snail, etc. to help a garden grow.

Short but very cute. I like that there aren't special textures or anything, you're just touching the normal book pages. I also like that part of the process of growing the garden is for the flowers to die and spread their seeds. And that it's pro-worm.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ♥ (4.5/5)

Set 25, 9:14 pm

>92 norabelle414: What Natalie >94 curioussquared: said.

What books did you get at the library?

Set 25, 10:09 pm

>97 bell7: I thought I was going to be able to pick up two holds, but only one was ready: Pawpaw: In Search of America's Forgotten Fruit

Set 27, 12:56 pm

It's Wednesday!

Monday after work I dropped off my stuff and went to the library to return Lessons in Chemistry and pick up my hold. When I got home I was too tired to do much of anything else. I called my mom and we talked for quite awhile.

Yesterday after work I dropped off my stuff and went to the grocery store. I got the usual groceries and also some cake ingredients. A few of my coworkers had birthdays this month and we're celebrating next week and one of them is lactose-intolerant so I'm making a bit of a different cake than I usually do. My go-to dairy-free cake is an orange olive oil cake but I've made that recently so I might do a lemon chiffon. I was too tired to do anything else, though I did clean out the fridge as I was putting the groceries away.

This morning was deliciously chilly. I missed the bus for the first time in quite awhile but I was still the first person on my team to arrive at work so it didn't really matter. Today I'm printing some work out since I might not be in the office next week if the government shuts down. The only plan for after work is to run the dishwasher and take out the trash.

Currently reading:
I'm about 60 pages into The Windup Girl but still finding it difficult to get into because the perspective changes every chapter so I feel like I'm starting a whole new book.
Reviews behind: 0

Currently crafting:
I think about crafting so much but somehow nothing magically happens

Currently listening:

Currently playing:

Currently watching:
Only Murders in the Building, and the rest of season 1 of Welcome to Wrexham. I still don't care about soccer but it's just such a nice, well-made show.

Set 28, 9:14 am

Set 28, 11:42 am

>100 foggidawn:

Oh the things I could say about 50 shades of Grey or Daisy Jones.

But yeah, sorry the book isn't working out so well. And that the work/life boundaries are getting kinda blurry. It's honestly why I prefer in-person work over working from home. I'm all screwy, mentally, when I'm working professionally in the space that's supposed to be relaxing. I hope you get that time off soon.

Set 28, 3:33 pm

>91 norabelle414: Wow. That's a lot of not liking that book. 🤣😂

Set 29, 6:41 pm

Happy weekend!

Have not been doing much this week. My copy of Emily R. Wilson's new translation of The Illiad arrived today.

Tomorrow I have an early-morning haircut appointment. I hate getting a haircut (I never know how to tell them how to cut my hair, and hairstylists are always telling me I treat my hair wrong (even when I do exactly what they said to do last visit)) so I like to get it out of the way first thing so I don't stress about it all day.

Obviously I don't know if the government is going to be shut down on Sunday, no one does, but I also don't know what I'm supposed to do on Monday if the government is shut down. All I've gotten from my boss is "we'll let you know whether you're required to come into the office on Monday" but it's already 6:30 on Friday so I guess that means I'll need to log on to my work computer on Sunday to find out what to do on Monday? Unless I want to get up early on Monday just in case (I don't).

I'm supposed to bake a cake on Sunday for my coworker's birthday on Monday, but I don't know if I should do that either. Maybe I'll make one anyway and eat it all myself.

Currently reading:
Almost 100 pages into The Windup Girl. I need to read at least 180 pages before I can start anything else.
I'm currently (like, as I write this) listening to the audiobook of The Possibility of Life: Science, Imagination, and Our Quest for Kinship in the Cosmos, because I have about 32 minutes left and the checkout expires in an hour. Am I going to make it???
Reviews behind: 0

Currently crafting:
I've actually been crafting! I'm about halfway done with a knitted placemat. I'm hoping to make 4-6 to give to someone (probably my mom but maybe my brother and sister-in-law) for Christmas

Currently playing:

Currently watching:
Welcome to Wrexham s2e4, The Changeling e5, The Gold, Taskmaster, Unforgotten, and the first episode of Still Up

Set 29, 6:57 pm

>100 foggidawn:, >101 Ravenwoodwitch:, >102 The_Hibernator: It's not a bad book! It was just not for me.

Out 1, 2:48 pm

I’m glad to see a shutdown was averted (for now). Hope the haircut went well! I have had some really patronizing stylists in my time, too — which is pretty much why I stick to the inexpensive places and don’t get my hair cut very often.

Out 2, 11:52 am

>105 foggidawn: I tend to do that as well, but I think it turns around to bite me. I think the cheaper stylists try to upsell shampoo, mousse, etc. so they can get commission, and I definitely get worse comments when I let my hair grow long before getting it cut. It's always a struggle between how much I hate getting my hair cut and how much I hate having long hair.

Out 2, 4:02 pm

Happy Monday.

Saturday I got a haircut, mostly painless. I was going to go to the library afterward but my haircut was too quick! Instead of going home and then going out again I bought a coffee and sat in the park and read until the library opened. On my way home I bought a bacon, egg, & cheese bagel and tried to eat it while reading on the roof but it was too windy to manage both a book and messy food. The rest of the day I mostly fretted about what I was supposed to do if the government shut down. A temporary budget was passed late Saturday evening, but we get to do this all again in mid-November.

Sunday I went to the monthly craft fair across the street from my apartment. I bought a card game from two guys who said I was their first sale, and some bottled simple syrup in interesting Thai flavors (lemongrass, toasted rice, etc.). I also picked up some cards from interesting vendors that I wasn't ready to buy from yet, like a woman who makes jewelry with pressed flowers in it. Good ideas for christmas. I also baked a cake, a fluffy white chiffon with strawberry egg white frosting for my coworker who can't have dairy.

Only a few of my coworkers are in the office today so I had to eat a second piece of cake, poor me.

Quiet this week, then Friday I'm going to see Evita with my sister-in-law and Sunday I'm going to the Maryland Renaissance Festival.

Currently reading:
120 pages into The Windup Girl and I am finding it easier to follow.
Reviews behind: 1

Currently crafting:
I finished the placemat and it came out pretty nice

I don't love the way the pattern is written, especially where it says "no counting!" (which is code for "lots of measuring", which I don't like) and "no seaming!" (I would consider pick-up-and-knit to be a kind of seaming). But I took good notes while I made this one and did some research. I watched at least 4 videos about how to pick-up-and-knit in various situations and all of them had "do what feels right to you" vibes which I hate. But I eventually found a good website with clear information on the different ways to pick-up-and-knit from all sides, as well as the proper ratio of stitches, so I'm feeling good about consistently knitting the rest of them. I might try to knit all 3 at once.

Currently playing:
Picked up New Pokemon Snap again. I finally looked up how to solve the puzzle at the end of the main game and now I've unlocked a few more locations. I'll play a bit longer but it's not engaging enough for me to get completionist about.

Currently watching:
Caught up on Still Up, Futurama, and Welcome to Wrexham. I rewatched all of season 1 of SurrealEstate, which comes back this week, and seasons 1 and 2 of Starstruck, which came back last week.

Out 2, 4:17 pm

The placemat looks nice! And your cake sounds delicious.

I can't remember if I ever finished New Pokemon Snap. I should go back to it. Same with Starstruck -- I think I never made it through season 2 and I don't remember why. Thank you for reminding me of all this media I abandoned 😂

Out 3, 10:00 am

I'd lost track of your thread! Christopher Pumpkin and Little Dumplings look delightful. I was meh on Bea Wolf, so I'm glad you loved it. It's nice when a book lands with other readers.

My copy of the Wilson arrived a couple of days after it published. I cannot wait to start! Oddly, despite being a total sea person, I prefer Iliad to Odyssey.

Out 4, 2:23 pm

Howdy, Nora!
>107 norabelle414: Oh la la, another Ren Fair. You'll have to tell me how fun that one is, I'm dying to know. And if the new Pokemon SNAP is worth the buy or not.
Love the placemat; I'm a sucker for tans and blues.

Out 4, 9:07 pm

Oooh, I hope the Ren Faire is fun! I'm going to one in a couple of weeks, and very much looking forward to it.

Out 6, 7:13 pm

Glad to hear the shutdown is averted (for now). Every time this happens on your side of the border, all I can think of is the West Wing.

I hope your week flew by and that the ren faire this weekend is a blast.

Out 7, 12:48 am

Happy weekend!

This week was pretty blah. It's hot here (low 80s F, which would cool for the summer but it's October!! The heat in my apartment is going to turn on next week!) which is probably causing my bad mood.

Tonight I went to see Evita with my sister-in-law and it was so beautiful. The cast is mostly Argentinian and the director is a young woman and it was just very moving.

Tomorrow I have nothing going on but it is supposed to rain. Sunday I'm going to the renaissance festival, then Monday is a holiday and I'm having dinner with my dad and brother and listening to a lecture about, I think, gardens.

Currently reading:
Really lost my momentum with reading this week so I'm still only 150 pages into The Windup Girl, which I really do need to finish by the 1st of November. I told myself earlier this week that I could read a bit of a different book to try to get my momentum back but I didn't do that either.
Reviews behind: 1

Currently crafting:
Started another placemat but haven't gotten very far.

Currently playing:
I found a Wordle-like game called Metazooa ( where you try to guess an animal every day based on taxonomy (e.g. if the animal of the day was "human" and you guessed "goldfish" it would tell you that they are both vertebrates; if you guessed "spider monkey" it would tell you they are both primates) and I've been enjoying that a lot.
However, there is also a plant version called Metaflora ( and it sucks because it is too hard because plants are too weird!!! Why is there an order that contains cacti, carnations, beets, and carnivorous plants??

Currently listening:
Nothing right now, but Don't Cry For Me, Argentina is definitely going to be happening tomorrow.

Currently watching:
I watched the series finale of Reservation Dogs, which was very appropriate and touching. What a good show. Also the season finales of Futurama, which was fine but did not need to exist, and Only Murders in the Building, which was good. Caught up on Taskmaster (last week I would have said Lucy was my favorite and I think Susan will win but Susan had such a bad episode this week! I'm hoping she can turn it around. ), Welcome to Wrexham, The Gold, Still Up, The Swarm, and America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston. I watched the first episode of season 3 of Starstruck, as well as the premieres of The Irrational (very bad) and Found (truly offensive, I didn't make it through the whole episode). Earlier this week I found out that season 1 of World on Fire was streaming for free on PBS for one week only, so I watched that. It's just as good the second time around, and I'm excited for the new season next week.

Out 7, 12:57 am

>108 curioussquared: You're welcome! I'm here to serve.

>109 libraryperilous: I don't think I've ever actually read The Iliad, so I'm excited to do so!

>110 Ravenwoodwitch: I think the Maryland Renaissance Festival is the 3rd biggest in the country? I've never been before but it's so popular around here that the official state sport of Maryland is, in fact, jousting.
I can't really say if you should buy New Pokemon Snap. I don't find it particularly compelling but I do find it soothing. It was very nice to play during the early-ish pandemic but it doesn't hit the same now.

>111 bell7: Oh fun! In Massachusetts?

>112 MickyFine: Thanks Micky!

Out 7, 6:06 am

>107 norabelle414: Nice placemat!

Hope you have a blast at the Renaissance fair.

Out 8, 4:40 pm

Hope the Ren Faire is going well! (and that you can get some rest afterwards)

Out 10, 10:36 am

>115 figsfromthistle:, >116 Ravenwoodwitch: Thanks Anita and Angela! I did have a great time.

Out 10, 12:12 pm

It's Tuesday!

The weather was indeed why I felt so awful last week. Saturday it was chilly and I felt INCREDIBLE. Hopefully it only gets colder from here. I've been sleeping better at night because it's cold but waking up earlier because of my open windows and the outside noise. I made my first hot tea of the season (I HATE hot drinks when its hot outside) which also lead to my first forgotten hot tea of the season. Now it's truly autumn.

Saturday I think I did something but I don't really remember what. Maybe I cleaned the kitchen. It rained quite a bit in the morning; in the afternoon I read on the roof a little bit but it was quite windy so only about half an hour.

Sunday some friends and I went to Annapolis to get crabs for lunch and then to the Maryland Renaissance Festival. I had never been before and it was very fun. The weather was perfect (slightly chilly but very sunny with a small breeze) and we had a great time just walking around. We ate apple dumplings, fried cheese, scotch eggs, cheesecake on a stick, a local beer brewed especially for the event, and other yummy fair things. I bought a dried flower crown, some local honey, and a wooden game to give my mom's husband for Christmas. My favorite shop we saw had decorated horseshoe crab molts (just the shed shells; no horseshoe crabs were harmed) and taxidermied mice in funny outfits and I'm kind of kicking myself for not getting anything. We watched a jousting tournament (not my thing) and a birds of prey show (very much my thing). It was an excellent time and everyone in our group was on the same page about pacing and direction and what to stop and look at, even though there were 7 of us. Could not have gone better.

Yesterday was a holiday. I goofed around in the morning, went to the grocery store, and then went to dinner with my dad and brother and sister-in-law and saw a presentation from the horticulture manager of American University, who was responsible for turning the entire campus, in the middle of the city, into a certified arboretum. Really amazing stuff, consisting of planting trees and native plants but mostly tearing out parking lots and converting streets to walkways. I'm hoping to go on a tour soon.

Today I'm back in the office. It should be a relatively quiet week. I'm hoping to do some laundry tonight, though not too much because I'm dog-sitting at my brother's house this weekend, where I can do laundry for free.

Currently reading:
I'm on page 200 of The Windup Girl so I'm on track to finish on time, but I'll probably be sending my current library books back unread.
Reviews behind: 1

Currently crafting:
I'm almost done with the first rectangle of the second placemat. I need to clean off my couch to make it more comfortable so I can get more knitting done.

Currently playing:
Nothing at the moment.

Currently listening:
I was not in charge of the tunes for the trip to and from Annapolis, but we listened to Olivia Rodrigo's Guts. It was fine, I find her enjoyable but not spectacular. Vampire stood out as the catchiest.

Currently watching:
I'm behind on mostly everything at the moment but I watched the two most recent episodes of The Changeling, the final two episodes of this season of Unforgotten (glad the two leads have a better relationship now but I found the crime-solving this season to be a little unbelievable. There's no way people remember details about two strangers they saw arguing on the street 7 years ago), the season finale of Van der Valk (hated this episode), s6e9 of The Vampire Diaries (still watching it but extremely slowly) and another episode (s3e2) of Starstruck. I'm also rewatching season 1 of Our Flag Means Death, but slowly because a friend and I are watching it together (remotely) and we've both been busy. Haven't started season 2 yet.

Out 10, 12:16 pm

>118 bell7: Wow, THE New England Renaissance Festival!

Out 10, 12:44 pm

>119 norabelle414: The ren faire sounds like a terrific time! I keep moving farther away from the Ohio one, but my brother and his family are in Maryland, so maybe next year I will go visit them when the festival is going on.

Out 10, 12:45 pm

Glad the ren faire went well! Sounds like a fun time.

Out 11, 2:58 pm

I'm glad to hear the Ren Faire was such a success. If there are any in Canada, none of them are anywhere near me, sadly.

Out 11, 3:46 pm

>121 foggidawn: You should! It's every weekend for 9 weeks so you have a lot of options (though I'm sure late August - October is a busy time for you)

>122 curioussquared: Thanks Natalie! It really was.

>123 MickyFine: I bet there are, they're everywhere! What about the Bashaw Medieval Faire?

Out 11, 4:19 pm

Happy Wednesday!

Yesterday I did not do laundry. I only needed one more work-appropriate outfit for this week and I managed to scrounge something together. I did clean off the couch (it was a real mess) and empty and refill the dishwasher, though.

Nothing going on this week.

Currently reading:
On page 210 of The Windup Girl but I need to read more than that per day to finish on time.
Reviews behind: 1

Currently watching:
Watched the first episodes of Sullivan's Crossing and The Spencer Sisters. They're both enjoyable background TV. Why are all Canadian shows dramedies about 30yos who have simultaneous professional and romantic crises and move in with their parents who are either 1) rich but cold or 2) poor and own a seasonal tourist trap? I'm not mad about it, I'm just asking questions.
I also watched two episodes of season 1 of Our Flag Means Death.

Out 12, 5:13 pm

I mean there's Being Erica and her parents fall into neither category. Although admittedly it's an older show...

Out 13, 1:46 pm

>125 norabelle414: I haven't folded laundry for 3 weeks. 🤦‍♀️

Out 13, 4:54 pm

>119 norabelle414: Oh that sounds like such a blast! I didn't get ant consumables from my Ren Faire, but I'm kicking myself over it now. That food sounds freakin' delicious.
If you ever wanna join the fun and wear a costume, I've had some good luck buying pieces on Etsy.

>125 norabelle414: So I read somewhere putting the laundry on my bed would push me to do it sooner.
There's...two piles of clean clothes on my bed right now. So... *helpless shrug*
Hope the rest of this week has been kind to you!

Out 13, 5:41 pm

>120 norabelle414: It's the only one I've been to, so I have no idea how big it really is compared to others, but certainly what my friends tell me is one of the best in Massachusetts. I still have the Maryland Ren Faire on my list of places I'd like to go someday :D

Hope today was a good day!

Editado: Out 13, 9:24 pm

Happy weekend!

Yesterday I got a bunch of work done but not much else.

Today I finished two work projects before noon and took the rest of the day off. I had a meeting with the zoo volunteer coordinator who said that the zoo volunteer book club that I run needs to end. She's going to try to start a new book club, run by zoo staff, early next year, but for now November will be the last meeting.

Now I'm dog-sitting at my brother's house, through Sunday afternoon. The weather was lovely today so we went on two very long walks. Tomorrow is going to be rainy.

The next few weeks (months?) are going to be very busy - I have zoo training on Tuesday, baby-sitting on Wednesday, a zoo event on Saturday, baby-sitting on Sunday, then my mom arrives for a 10 day visit.

Currently reading:
100 pages of The Windup Girl to go. It's not terrible but the mild racism and sexism are getting to me.
Reviews behind: 1

Currently crafting:
Finished the first block of two more placemats and almost done with a third.

Currently watching:
I watched the new adaptation of The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, and I hated it. It's not worth getting to into the weeds but I don't understand why they bothered to update it to the present day if they weren't going to even try to be accurate or consult anyone who's been in the Navy.
Caught up on Welcome to Wrexham, Still Up, The Gold, Taskmaster, SurrealEstate (turns out there's no way to legally watch this in the US without a cable subscription, even for pay! So I had to fly to Canada). Finished rewatching season 1 of Our Flag Means Death and started season 2. Also started rewatching season 1 of Loki, but now that I'm at my brother's house I'm using his Prime account to watch season 2 of Good Omens.

Out 13, 9:32 pm

>126 MickyFine: Oh yes, there's plenty, I was just struck by the similarities between Family Law/Moonshine/Sullivan's Crossing/The Spencer Sisters

>127 The_Hibernator: Folding laundry is overrated! You're just going to have to unfold it to wear it anyway.

>128 Ravenwoodwitch: Costumes are not really my thing, but I did enjoy my flower crown

>129 bell7: I think your niece and nephew would really like it! There's a whole section just for little kids, including free pony rides for anyone weighing under a certain weight.

Out 16, 9:56 am

>130 norabelle414: Sorry to hear about your book club. Are you sad to see the end of it? Or glad to have one less responsibility on your plate? (Or both?)

Out 16, 11:26 am

>132 foggidawn: Thanks, Foggi. I think I would feel okay about the book club being shut down if things weren't going so poorly otherwise at the zoo. The book club is almost the only peer-to-peer communication or social activity that zoo volunteers have had for the last 3.5 years, and the volunteer coordinator has been telling us for a year that we aren't allowed to coordinate social activities on our own because the zoo is going to do them, but they've done nothing.
I'm also disappointed because I was hoping to get the club into some more radical books in the future, but even if the zoo does stand up their own book club all of the books would probably need to be "approved". I did pass along a copy of the big list of potential books I made, though.

The voting for the 2024 books was already finished, (unfortunately I got several comments in the anonymous google form stating they were very happy the book club was going to continue...oops) so here's what we would have been reading next year:

How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World
Poached: Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking
Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds
Last Chance to See
Once There Were Wolves

I'll try to read these next year anyway, but the book club was a really big motivator for me.

Out 16, 1:03 pm

>130 norabelle414: I'm so sorry to hear about your book club. It's not fair for them to insist on running things without anything to show for it.

Out 16, 6:48 pm

>133 norabelle414: we aren't allowed to coordinate social activities on our own because the zoo is going to do them, but they've done nothing
Well that sounds incredibly frustrating. How can they stop you from coordinating?

Out 16, 9:18 pm

>134 Ravenwoodwitch: Thanks Angela

>135 qebo: We let everyone know about events (what the book club is reading, zoom links, etc.) in the volunteer newsletter, which we're not allowed to do anymore. I don't really have any way to contact anyone. I can give my personal email address out to anyone who shows up to the November meeting, but I'm not sure how many people will be there because the announcement only ran once in the newsletter at the end of September and was then removed. Some people only come to some of the meetings so I would have no way to contact even the book club regulars who don't come to this one meeting. We also are no longer allowed to use the zoo name or publicly state that we're associated with the zoo so I can't post on Facebook or anything like that.

Editado: Out 17, 1:19 pm

It's Tuesday!

Saturday it rained all day so I just stayed snuggled up with the dog and watched tv and knit. Sunday was beautiful again so we went for a long walk before I headed home.

Last week I had a discount so I ordered 3 books, one to give to my sister-in-law for Christmas and two copies of a book to give my mom for Christmas (one copy for her and one copy for me, that's how buying Christmas presents works, right?). I received only one copy of the duplicate book, a very minor problem which was not my fault and they fixed immediately. However, I somehow managed to buy the Spanish edition of the book for my sister-in-law, which I now have to return, a big inconvenience and entirely my fault. Argh.

Also last week on social media I solicited recommendations for plus-size skirts with pockets and then ordered some. So far I've received:
- Grey pencil skirt from Snag - It's a little tighter than I usually like but maybe I'll be in the mood for it sometimes
- Leaf skirt from Morningwitch - I really enjoy this one, I'm wearing it today. I opted for the leaf print instead of something more interesting with skulls or bugs on it because it is mostly for work, but I will definitely be buying from them again.

This evening I have online zoo training, tomorrow I'm babysitting after work but it shouldn't be too late. Saturday I'll be a manager at the zoo's Halloween event, Sunday more babysitting

Currently reading:
The Wind-up Girl - 50 pages left! Things are finally happening, but the plot is probably going to end where I wish it had started, instead.
Reviews behind: 1

Currently crafting:
Finished the second block of two placemats and almost done with #3. Knitting these at the same time was a great idea, it takes much less effort to make sure they're identical.

Currently watching:
Took advantage of my brother's TV to finish all of Good Omens, season 2. It was good but I liked the first season better. On a whim I started the show Deadloch, an Australian show which is both a parody of a gritty murder mystery and also an incredibly good gritty murder mystery. I watched the whole thing straight through and absolutely adored it. And I watched all of the final season of Sex Education. Still a great show, though I missed some of the characters that didn't return. A good ending. I've watched up to s2e4 of Our Flag Means Death, s3e4 of Starstruck, and s2e1 of Loki. Still a bit behind on stuff.

Out 17, 12:32 pm

>137 norabelle414: Love the leaf skirt! I have some great tights from Snag but haven't tried their other clothing items. Also Deadloch sounds fantastic -- definitely will check it out.

Out 21, 1:32 pm

Happy weekend!

Tuesday night I had an online training for managers at tonight's zoo event. Since it was for already-experienced volunteers it was brief and full of people I already knew. It was nice to see their faces.

Wednesday I thought I was babysitting from 6 to 8 while my brother worked from home for a couple hours, but it turns out he meant working on their new house so I was actually there until after 10. No big deal except that I had only brought snacks and not a real dinner, and I hadn't brought my knitting. Before bedtime we read:
Plant the Tiny Seed
Pink is Not a Color by Lindsay Ward
Abuela's Super Capa by Ana Siqueira

Thursday and Friday I laid low. I was hoping to take some time off in the afternoon but my coworkers always want to have impromptu meetings or call me at 3pm and since I'm just sitting around doing nothing there's no real reason not to. I'm most productive in the mornings so I don't really want to take time off in the morning, and taking time off in the middle of the day doesn't feel very relaxing.

I'm just about to leave for tonight's zoo Halloween event, where I'll be managing about 25 volunteers. Fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly (usually the problems are fairly simple - having to move volunteers around so that a group of friends can work together, all the kids want Twix and no one wants Dots, etc.)

Tomorrow I'm babysitting in the afternoon while my brother and sister-in-law work on their new house. Tuesday I'm going to see POTUS; or Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive with my dad. Wednesday my mom arrives for a 10 day visit (staying with my brother, not me).

Currently reading:
I'm in the home stretch of The Windup Girl, only 30 pages left. I've lost my mojo because the book club meeting isn't until the 1st so I'm probably going to put it aside for awhile. I should get back to Where There Was Fire but it doesn't fit in my purse very well so I might go with The Helios Syndrome, a novella I just got out from the library.
Reviews behind: 3 (1 book, 2 picture books)

Currently crafting:
Finished the third block of one placemat and almost done with #2. It's going great, a great project to work on while watching TV.

Currently watching:
Finished The Changeling (I'm still not sure what happened), The Gold (I think there's a lot of British class stuff here that went over my head (they mentioned Masons a lot at the beginning and I'm still not sure why) but it was an enjoyable watch anyway) and America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston (I loved that they had an episode that took place in the cold, all of the other episodes have been hot places and/or summer. Caught up on Our Flag Means Death, Welcome to Wrexham, Taskmaster, and Last Week Tonight. I'm about one episode behind on everything else.

Out 21, 2:15 pm

I really enjoyed POTUS; or Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive when I saw it here. I hope you do, too!

Out 23, 12:55 pm

>138 curioussquared: I'm still not loving the Snag skirt. It's much shorter on me than any of the photos online, possibly because I need a larger size, but I don't really like any of the ones they have in a larger size. (Don't get me started on companies that say they sell plus size but the larger sizes are always sold out!) The tights and shorts are still great, though.

>140 katiekrug: That's good to know, Katie!

Out 23, 3:58 pm

It's Monday.

Saturday night's zoo event went very smoothly. I was assigned to a smaller, flatter section than last year so I only got about 18k steps as opposed to last year's 25k. Sunday afternoon baby-sitting also went very smoothly, she only fussed a bit toward the end when I tried to peel her banana but she did not want it peeled but also she couldn't eat it while it was unpeeled. I watched some TV and did some knitting while she was napping.

It's been an inauspicious start to the week, as last night I had a terrible time sleeping for no discernible reason. Then I got to work and had digestive issues, but not bad enough to go home since I had to lead a meeting at 1pm that would have been a huge pain to reschedule. Now that my meeting is done I would like to go home a little early but it's already 3:30 so not that early. I'm starving and tired.

Tomorrow I'm going to the play after work (I will probably stop at home and grab dinner instead of going out somewhere), Wednesday I'm having dinner with my mom at my brother's house, after that I don't know what's going on because my mom doesn't like to plan things. I think I'm going to take all of Friday off of work just in case but I might end up sitting around doing nothing.

Currently reading:
Where There Was Fire is now my backpack book, but I was too tired to read on the bus today. I started The Helios Syndrome on the Metro on Saturday but haven't gotten very far.
Reviews behind: 3 (1 book, 2 picture books)

Currently crafting:
Finished the third block of 2 placemats and almost done with #3.

Currently watching:
While I was babysitting I used my brother's Netflix account to watch the first episode of Bodies, which I found very intriguing. It's based on a graphic novel. When I got home I was going to watch s2e1 of Hotel Portofino, but I realized the last 3 episodes of season 1 were available for free so I re-watched those instead.

Out 24, 1:56 pm

>142 norabelle414: If that peel situation doesn't personify what it's like to deal with kids, I don't know what does.
Sorry yesterday went the way it did, and I hope you feel better today!

Out 25, 3:43 pm

>143 Ravenwoodwitch: Thankfully since the day was otherwise perfectly lovely, I could laugh at myself as I chased her around yelling "just let me peel your banana!!!"

Out 25, 4:23 pm

Happy Wednesday! It always feels like a mini-Friday since its the end of my in-office days for the week.

Last night I went to see POTUS; or Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive, which was entertaining but not groundbreaking. My dad hated it, as I suspected he would, and he didn't stay for the post-show discussion with the cast, but I did. It was very nice, definitely my favorite part.

My mom arrived this morning and I'll be having dinner with them at my brother's house. Tomorrow I'm working from home and will probably log off a couple hours early, then Friday I'll have the whole day off. I think we're going to go to the library book sale.

Currently reading:
Have not read any recently.
Reviews behind: 3 (1 book, 2 picture books)

Currently crafting:
No more progress on the placemats.

Currently watching:
Monday I watched s2e1+2 of Hotel Portofino.

Out 28, 10:40 am

I hope your Friday off was lovely, Nora!

Out 30, 1:25 pm

Happy Monday!

Wednesday I had dinner with my mom, niece, brother, and sister-in-law. Thursday morning my brother and sister-in-law went out of town for a wedding. I worked most of the day then took off a couple hours early to hang out with my mom. We walked to pick my niece up from daycare and walked home in the too-hot weather.

Friday I took the whole day off of work. My mom dropped my niece off at daycare and then we got breakfast and went to the big library book sale. I got:
Killers of a Certain Age
Harlem Shuffle
Sea of Tranquility
The Magician's Land (the 3rd book in The Magicians trilogy)
Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon
The Nickel Boys
The Thursday Murder Club
Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
The Constant Rabbit
To Say Nothing of the Dog
All the Crooked Saints

I also bought The Last Wish (the first Witcher book) and The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross for my brother and Evvie Drake Starts Over, Matrix by Lauren Groff, and Anna K. by Jenny Lee for my sister-in-law. For my niece my mom got a book of fairy tales, Sing a Song of Popcorn: Every Child's Book of Poems, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Frederick and his Friends, Each Peach Pear Plum, and Higglety Pigglety Pop, a Maurice Sendak I had never heard of. For herself she got a book of soup recipes, a book about Wales, Shuggie Bain, Horse by Geraldine Brooks, The Dutch House, and The Marriage Portrait.

After that we just went home because it was too hot to be out. Saturday I went to the grocery store then picked up some empanadas from a new place near my brother's house, I was expecting them to be fine but they were incredible and I will definitely be going back. Then we went to see my brother's new house. They just had the floors redone and are getting the walls ready for painting. It's a nice little house with a good yard (currently full of deer poop) and we chatted with the neighbors, who were very nice. My niece loved collecting cones from the magnolia tree and playing in the mulch. As the crow flies they are a quarter-mile from a Metro station but walking it's over a mile because: suburbs. Yesterday my brother and sister-in-law came home and my mom and I entertained my niece while they unpacked and got some work done. I went home right after dinner and assembled a pumpkin mac & cheese.

Today I'm in the office. This morning I baked the mac & cheese and brought it into the office because we're having a party today at 2pm (which means I have not gotten anything done today because I'm too excited.) Not sure what else this week will bring besides dinner at my brother's house and a book club meeting on Wednesday.

Currently reading:
I thought I would give myself a break to read something else before finishing The Windup Girl but I didn't read anything else and now I need to finish. Makes me very concerned for my reading motivation once there's no more book club.
Reviews behind: 3 (1 book, 2 picture books)

Currently crafting:
I could definitely have finished the placemats by now except that I might give them to my mom for Christmas and so I don't want to knit them around her.

Currently watching:
I'm caught up on Welcome to Wrexham, Taskmaster, and the season finale of Our Flag Means Death. Very good season but I think I need to watch it again to catch everything. My mom and I watched the first three episodes of Lessons in Chemistry. They've made many changes - the child being a mid-season reveal instead of known from the start; Calvin being hit by a bus instead of a police car (much less realistic); getting rid of most of the rowing stuff; changing the timing of Elizabeth and Calvin getting together, moving in together, getting 6:30, and Calvin dying; and the biggest change of making Harriet a young black mother with a deployed husband instead of a white empty-nester with an abusive husband - but it started with my least favorite line from the book so I'm not thrilled with it.
I also watched the first 3 hours of a 4-hour documentary called American Bison. I'll finish it but I'm pretty unimpressed. Maybe I know too much about bison to be the target audience, but I haven't really learned anything. The more I watch non-Ken Burns documentaries the more I realize I just really don't like Ken Burns documentaries.

Out 30, 2:06 pm

>147 norabelle414: Such a good haul!! On Saturday I went to one of the pop up book sales my local library's Friends of the Library org has been doing at branches instead of doing a huge book sale like they used to and it was... disappointing, lol, even though I got there when it opened. I did find a nice copy of Sea of Tranquility, though, so we're twinsies there.

Yikes, all the changes you mentioned make me not want to watch Lessons in Chemistry at all. Not that I have Apple TV+ or any plans to get it so it would probably be a while anyway, lol.

Out 30, 2:35 pm

Nothing like walking away from a book sale with a full bag. Hope you had fun at the party!

Out 30, 3:30 pm

Your book sale haul looks amazing! Hope you're having a good day.

Out 31, 7:14 pm

The haul is *definitely* amazing!

Nov 2, 9:35 am

Sounds like you got lots of lovely quality time with the family on the weekend and like everyone else I'm super impressed by your library book sale haul.

Editado: Nov 6, 3:36 pm

Monday again! I thought I had updated mid-week last week but apparently not!

Last Monday's pumpkin mac & cheese turned out great, and the pumpkin party was a good time. In retrospect we should not have had the party at 2pm because everyone (me) was starving by that point and some people (me) ate too much and then couldn't eat any dinner someone (my mom) made for them. Tuesday my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and niece went trick-or-treating at their new house. Then my mom and I ate out Vietnamese food for dinner. The horrible heat wave of the weekend had broken and it was finally pho weather. Wednesday after work I quickly finished The Windup Girl and then had the second-to-last meeting of my book club. We had 5 people, but mostly just talked about the end of the book club. Everyone agreed that the book was okay and they didn't regret reading it but wouldn't necessarily recommend it.

Thursday I took the morning off of work and my mom and I went to a new urban wetland park and looked for birds. We only saw some ducks but it's a very nice park and I will go back in the spring. After work we took my niece to the park before dinner. Friday I took the morning off of work again but my mom was busy so I used it to relax and go to the grocery store. My brother was home for dinner so we ordered delivery and helped him pack.

Saturday morning, my mom left. The volunteer group that I was on the board of had their last official meeting, to vote to dissolve the organization. A few members showed up and expressed their dissatisfaction, which was kind of annoying because we have been trying to work things out for almost 3 years and if we had had this kind of support a few years ago maybe we would have stood a chance. But regardless, the motion did pass and the volunteer organization is no more. Afterward I had the last book club meeting. No one attended except my friend who I talk to all the time anyway. I spent the rest of the weekend catching up on TV and generally relaxing.

Tomorrow is election day. I'm going to try to vote before work, hopefully the line won't be too long. Friday is a holiday so I'm planning to volunteer at the zoo, with the pandas since they are leaving forever next week. Saturday I'm planning to go see Emily R. Wilson talk at a bookstore, and Sunday I'm volunteering again.

Currently reading:
As mentioned, I did finish The Windup Girl. I've had trouble getting into anything else, even though I have some delightful things checked out from the library. A podcast I listen to is going to be discussing All Systems Red in 2 weeks, which is plenty of time to read such a short book I already own. I have no excuse!
Reviews behind: 4 (2 books, 2 picture books)

Currently crafting:
Finished the 3rd block of all 3 placemats and got started on the 4th.

Currently watching:
I absolutely demolished my to-watch list this weekend. Almost caught up on 3 weeks' worth of TV. As of yesterday I was caught up on: Lessons in Chemistry, Loki, Taskmaster, SurrealEstate, Sullivan's Crossing, The Spencer Sisters, Welcome to Wrexham, Native America season 2 (this season is about Native contributions in the modern era and I'm really loving it), World on Fire, Annika, Hotel Portofino, Saturday Night Live, Last Week Tonight, and the finales of Still Up (meh overall, though I liked the ending) and Starstruck (really lovely, very much enjoyed the ending). I started the new show Everyone Else Burns, a British import about a family in a doomsday church who are so annoying that even the other people in their church think they're overdoing it. It's very funny and has several Taskmaster alums in it.

Nov 6, 3:38 pm

>148 curioussquared:->152 MickyFine: Thanks Natalie, Angela, Mary, Jim, and Micky! Now I just have them, I guess???

Nov 6, 4:03 pm

>153 norabelle414: Yay, Murderbot! Also, thank you for recommending Deadloch -- Tim and I started watching it on Saturday and we're obsessed. The woman who plays Constable Matsuda was on the season of Australian Taskmaster I watched, which is fun.

Editado: Nov 6, 4:19 pm

>155 curioussquared: Oooh, I like her a lot! Did you notice that the actress who plays Eddie also plays Archie (Jim's new friend) on season 2 of Our Flag Means Death?

Nov 6, 4:23 pm

>156 norabelle414: Yes, I noticed this when my friend and I were watching OFMD last night! Gotta love all the Kiwi actors :)

Nov 7, 4:15 pm

It's Tuesday!

Yesterday I ate lunch with my normal lunch buddy (the only other person I know here who eats lunch away from their desk) and he decided to spend the whole time talking about how although he is (allegedly) in favor of zoning reform (to legalize other types of housing besides detached houses, in our county where the average cost of a detached house is more than $1,000,000), the individual projects seem to him to raise significant questions such as, what if a person who lives in a duplex cuts down a tree? what if a person who lives in a rowhouse is loud? what if a person who lives in an apartment has a car? It's just so exhausting to have to hear homeowners constantly bend over backwards to justify why people like me shouldn't be allowed to own a home near them. Between that and being a bit hormonal at the moment, I was feeling very, very low yesterday.

Today I voted! Most of the races here are uncontested except two county board seats, for which I voted for one pro-housing democrat and wrote in another, because I'm not voting for anyone anti-housing no matter what letter they have after their name. There was a short line and voting only took 10 minutes, but that was 5 minutes longer than I had anticipated so I did end up missing my bus. I waited 20 minutes on a bench in the shade, no tragedy, and the next bus was not playing loud radio so I got some reading done. Tonight I plan to catch up on more TV and maybe write some reviews?

I'm starting to plan for Thanksgiving week, when I'll be dog-sitting at my brother's new house for 9 days. I'll probably order groceries and bring a bunch of knitting and books (and my personal computer, in addition to my work computer). Since public transportation is limited I plan to do a lot of walking, with and without the dog. There are some restaurants by the metro station (1 mile away), a coffee shop 1/2 mile in the other direction, and a public library about 2 miles away. Not a short walk but very doable in nice fall weather. Their new county's library system has reciprocity with mine so I signed up to get a card. Not sure if I'll use it, but I'll have it.

Currently reading:
I read about 40 pages of The Helios Syndrome on the bus which is, since it's a novella, almost half. Also yesterday I read most of the Introduction to Emily R. Wilson's translation of The Illiad.
Reviews behind: 4 (2 books, 2 picture books)

Currently crafting:
No progress

Currently watching:
s2e3 of Hotel Portofino and rewatched episodes 1 and 2 of The Gilded Age before I start season 2.

Nov 8, 1:43 pm

Now it's Wednesday.

I was up too late last night for two reasons:
1) Though I normally stay very far from election results as they come in, Virginia Democrats were, slightly unexpectedly, poised to take both the Senate AND the House of Delegates. They did! It's also worth noting that several ""parental choice"" (barf) conservative candidates were running for school board in my brother's new county, and they all lost.
2) Last night I started to see some rumors online, did some Googling, and sure enough, a flight plan was filed for the panda plane to leave this morning, so the giant pandas are now gone from the zoo. With absolutely no notice or acknowledgement to the volunteers who have worked with them for decades, not even after the press release went out to all of the media.
As I mentioned on Monday, I have scheduled to volunteer on this Friday and Sunday, which I guess will now consist of telling angry and sad visitors that the pandas are already gone.

I've also determined that my apartment has a moth problem. I went to Target yesterday but they don't have any kind of moth repellent or treatment or prevention at all (I asked the staff and they suggested... Off! bug spray). I bought some cedar blocks online but they will take a week or so to get here. In the meantime I am going to try to throw out a very old upholstered chair which is near where I saw the moths the first time, then vacuum the crap out of the carpet underneath, and spray some vinegar on it. And maybe get some diatomaceous earth? I'm willing to try anything that is inexpensive and harmless to the cat.

Tomorrow I'm working from home, and I have to go to the library to pick up holds since my branch is going to be closed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday due to the holiday.

Currently reading:
I was deep enough into The Helios Syndrome that I could read it on the bus even with the radio on, so now only have about 10 pages left. I'll finish it on the bus home (or maybe sooner if I can find a quiet moment...). I wanted to read some more of The Illiad yesterday before bed but there was too much going on.
Reviews behind: 4 (2 books, 2 picture books)

Currently crafting:
No progress

Currently watching:
The season finale of The Swarm. It didn't have a real ending and looks likely to be canceled, so I can't say I recommend it even if I enjoyed it.
Maybe I'll read the book. Also watched s1e3-4 of The Gilded Age.

Nov 8, 3:53 pm

I'm sorry to hear about your moth problem. That's a real pain.

But yay for good election results!

Nov 9, 9:45 am

>159 norabelle414: Moths. Ick.
Sorry that's happening right now, and thank goodness you figured it out before they found your yarn.

Nov 9, 10:20 am

Hooray for good election results! Sorry about the moths. I hope they are easily evicted.

Nov 10, 7:07 pm

>158 norabelle414: The only thing that makes me sadder and angrier than anti-housing Democrats is the anti-immigrant turn the whole party has taken. Lots of work to do to make the Democratic Party better!

Pumpkin mac and cheese sounds delicious!

Nov 11, 12:53 pm

>160 MickyFine:, >161 Ravenwoodwitch:, >162 curioussquared: Thanks everyone! The freight elevator in my building has been down for a few days, so I haven't been able to take the chair out to the dumpster, but I did move it to my entryway (yes, I have to climb over it every time I leave my apartment, but Rory thinks that's a great adventure) and treat the carpet underneath with a lot of vinegar so hopefully that does the trick. If the freight elevator isn't back up by this evening I might wait until late and take it down in the passenger elevator.

>163 libraryperilous: Thanks for the commiseration, Diana! You would think that the worst of the housing debate would be over, since the county board passed a housing plan earlier this year (individual owners can apply for a permit to build up to 6-unit housing, within very strict parameters, out of a limited number of permits per year) but now homeowners are suing each proposed development to prevent them from being built. In a county that votes 85% Democratic.

The pumpkin mac and cheese was so good! This is similar to what I did: but pumpkin puree is so creamy and orange and mild that I feel like you could add it to any mac and cheese at all and it would work.

Editado: Nov 14, 10:41 am

Happy Saturday!

Thursday I picked up a bunch of library holds, which should tide me over through Thanksgiving (but will probably be returned unread as usual...). Yesterday I had the day off for today's holiday so I volunteered at the zoo. It poured cold rain all day. I was soaked as soon as I got off the Metro (even with a raincoat and an umbrella), I spilled coffee on myself trying to juggle an umbrella, drink, and breakfast while fishing my ID out of my bag. Normally if it's raining during my shift I can hide out in the Panda House, but it's closed so I was stuck outside. None of the animals wanted to come out in that weather, and neither did any visitors.

Today, though, is stunning. 50 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. This morning I read in bed for awhile, and then went out to get my weekly bagels. I was planning to go to a bookstore on the other side of the city to see Emily R. Wilson talk about The Iliad, but she's tested positive for COVID and it's been cancelled. Maybe I'll go read on the roof.

Tomorrow I'm volunteering at the zoo again but the weather should be great. Monday I'm having dinner at my brother's new house. I'm planning to go straight there from work, which will be a practice run for when I am dog-sitting the week after next.

Currently reading:
Finished The Helios Syndrome. It was fantastic. I also picked back up Where There Was Fire, which I would like to finish soon. I started All Systems Red on the Metro yesterday, which will be covered by the podcast Overdue on the 27th, but also realized that they are covering The Stranger by Albert Camus on the 13th, which I own and have never read and is only 150 pages, so I started that one as well. To recap, I am currently reading 4 books, none of which are any of the 5 books I have checked out from the library.
Reviews behind: 5 (3 books, 2 picture books)

Currently crafting:
A few rows of placemat but nothing notable.

Currently watching:
I started the new show The Buccaneers, based on the Edith Wharton novel, which is not really historically accurate but feels somehow timeless. It's not great but I'm enjoying it a lot. I caught up on Last Week Tonight, Native America, Taskmaster, Welcome to Wrexham, Annika, World on Fire, Hotel Portofino, and the season 4 premiere of For All Mankind. I was thinking of rewatching the previous seasons first but that's 30 high-stress, hour-long episodes and I just don't have the time. Maybe over Thanksgiving. I'm up to s1e7 in my rewatch of The Gilded Age, and excited to get started on the new season before I fall too far behind.

Nov 12, 10:42 am

Ugh the rainy volunteer shift sounds miserable but I'm glad the rest of the weekend has been good so far.

Is this your first time reading Murderbot???

Nov 14, 11:00 am

>166 MickyFine: It is...I bought the first one in January 2019 and then went into a 3-year-long reading slump so I never got around to it.

Nov 14, 1:35 pm

It's Tuesday...

Saturday I did nothing since the event with Emily Wilson was cancelled. Sunday I volunteered at the zoo and the weather was *gorgeous*. Some people from a local meet-up group I joined awhile ago came by. (They were planning to go anyway and I told them I would be there working.) It was nice to meet them in-person because I haven't actually attended any of their meet-ups yet.....

Yesterday I worked in the office and then went straight to my brother's house for dinner. While the normal shuttle takes about 20 minutes to get from my office to the Metro stop near my brother's house, I found out that some of them are express shuttles and only take about 10 minutes. From there it's about a mile walk but the sidewalks are wide and the terrain is flat so it was very pleasant. After dinner my brother drove us to the Metro station (if it was just me I would have walked but I had my dad with me) and from there it took about 46 minutes to get home. Not too bad. It was pretty late though and I'm very tired today.

Not much going on this week. Murphy's Law of Library Holds has struck again and I have to pick up 4 more holds in addition to the 5 library books I've already got out....whoops! Then Friday I have a virtual meeting with the new volunteer coordinator at the zoo to discuss her starting an official book club to replace the one that just ended. I go to dogsit at my brother's house on Saturday. I'll have to pack up my clothes and work stuff and books and knitting and decide what I want to bring with me per day (I'll be going back home probably every-other day)

Currently reading:
Just a couple pages left in The Stranger. It has the vibe I was expecting but the plot is completely different from what I thought it was? My favorite part is how well it fits in my purse. It even fits in some of my pockets!?! Small books are great.
Reviews behind: 5 (3 books, 2 picture books)

Currently crafting:

Currently listening:
I'm SO far behind on all of my podcasts. What have I even been doing lately??

Currently watching:
I finished rewatching s1 of The Gilded Age and watched the first episode of s2. Caught up on The Buccaneers, SurrealEstate, Everyone Else Burns, The Spencer Sisters, Sullivan's Crossing, and watched the season finale of Loki. The last two episodes were better than it's been since the first two episodes of season 1.

Editado: Nov 14, 7:30 pm

31. The Possibility of Life: Science, Imagination and Our Quest for Kinship in the Cosmos {audiobook} by Jamie Green, narrated by Jamie Green

Analysis and musings on aliens. Not whether they actually exist, but why we humans do or do not want them to, and why we imagine that they look particular ways. What do our thoughts on aliens say about us as a species?

I really enjoyed this gentle little book, a mix of pop culture about aliens and philosophy about aliens. I have read similar books about a cultural analysis of other phenomena like zombies, but this is just so much kinder and more human than anything else. You almost don’t notice the massive amounts of research and interviews with expert scientists and writers that clearly went into it.

The author is not a professional narrator, but she’s very good (and I was already familiar with her voice from a few podcast episodes).

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ♥ (4.5/5)

Nov 14, 7:21 pm

32. Pink Is Not a Color, written and illustrated by Lindsay Ward

Pink feels excluded because they are not part of the rainbow. Even though the rainbow colors tell pink it’s fine for Pink to hang out with them, Pink doesn’t feel welcome until they find many other colors that are also not part of the rainbow.

Very cute drawings. I like reading all of the color names but all of the language is very casual which I enjoy reading to myself but don’t like reading out loud.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

Editado: Nov 14, 7:29 pm

33. Abuela’s Super Capa by Ana Siqueira, illustrated by Elisa Chavarri

Luis loves to play superhero with his abuela, but then she gets sick and can’t play anymore. Luis learns to be the bigger superhero and lets his little sister be the little superhero.

The colors of the illustrations are beautiful, and my niece loves yelling “super capa!” whenever possible. But she’s never experienced a sick relative and doesn’t have any siblings so I’m not sure how much she gets it.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (5/5)

Nov 14, 7:59 pm

34. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

It’s 200-ish years in the future, and the oil and coal supply have mostly collapsed. Agriculture has completely privatized, and several companies own the rights to most of the world’s food supply and sabotage their competitors with deadly blights. Anderson Lake works for an agriculture company, currently undercover in Bangkok pretending to run a kinetic energy factory. Emiko is an artificial human - a windup - designed for servitude and currently occupied as a sex worker. Kanya is high up in the environmental ministry, cracking down on businesses and importers that violate quarantine protocols, and fighting corruption in her own ranks. Hock Seng is a refugee several times over, currently working for Anderson Lake and waiting until he can cut and run. When the Thai ministry of trade decides that money is more important than ecology and declares war on the environmental ministry they, and everyone else, are caught in the middle.

Interesting ideas here, but they are already pretty dated and the plot falls very flat. Why is there no solar or wind power in this post-oil future? Despite being the title character, Emiko doesn’t really do anything until close to the end. It’s very violent and sexist and racist in that early-00s way … it clearly doesn’t agree with them but it’s still showing them to the reader. The only real thing this story has to say is about corruption, so an American author deciding to set it in SE Asia is a bad look.
I didn’t hate the story overall, but it went on too long and eventually ended up where I wished it had begun instead - Bangkok has flooded, Kanya considers her internal conflict, and Emiko is free - though I wish she had made it out of the city to the rumored encampment of other windups.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ (3/5)

Nov 14, 7:59 pm

35. The Helios Syndrome by Vivian Shaw

Devin Stacy works as a freelance necromancer for the National Transportation Safety Board, contacting deceased plane crash pilots to investigate why they crashed. He’s currently being haunted by the pilot of a crash he couldn’t solve and he doesn’t know why … until a lot of creepy plane stuff starts happening.

I really loved this little novella! Devin is a great character, the mystery is very spooky, and it’s delightful to watch it be solved by some guys who are good at their jobs. I really hope she writes more about these characters.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (5/5)

Nov 15, 12:45 pm

>172 norabelle414: I've often wondered if I should read that one, but it sounds like I can give it a miss.

>173 norabelle414: Intriguing!

Nov 15, 2:00 pm

>174 foggidawn: I wouldn't bother with The Windup Girl, as Oryx and Crake did it better, but I will probably read more of Bacigalupi's work myself.

Nov 15, 4:07 pm

It's Wednesday, the mini-Friday

Yesterday I picked up 4 more books from the library so I now have NINE books out from the library in addition to the 4 owned books I am currently reading. Whoops!

The rest of this week I'll be packing and cleaning up my apartment so it's not too much of a pigsty when my friend comes by to feed Rory while I'm dog-sitting. This *must* include, yes, throwing the arm chair away, which I still haven't done. I just found out the water in my apartment is going to be shut off from 9am to 5pm on Friday, which throws another wrench in things. I scheduled a grocery delivery to my brother's house for Saturday evening so I can have plenty of the junk food he doesn't like to keep around.

Currently reading:
Finished The Stranger on the bus this morning. Did not care for it! Then I switched to All Systems Red. I also need to get into The Iliad, as the podcast Overdue is already on chapter 4 and I haven't finished the introduction.
Reviews behind: 1

Currently crafting:

Currently listening:
Listening to all my podcasts on 1.5x now since I'm so far behind, which is probably why my eye won't stop twitching

Currently watching:
Got totally caught up on The Gilded Age because I kept getting spoiled. Still behind on a few other things.

Nov 15, 10:56 pm

36. The Stranger by Albert Camus, translated by Stuart Gilbert

Meursault's mother has died, so he travels to her funeral at an assisted living facility outside of the city. When he returns home to Algiers continues drifting through life without any real motivation or preferences, until he ends up, for no reason he or anyone else can fathom, fatally shooting a stranger on the beach. He is then put through a rather futile murder trial.

This book has basically the vibes I was expecting, having read Camus before, but not the plot. It's hard to feel much sympathy for the narrator. He seems to genuinely have trouble engaging with the world but he also tacitly endorses animal abuse, domestic abuse, assault, racism, and lying to the police even though we know that he knows they are wrong. Oh, and the part where he shoots a stranger 5 times for no reason! The trial is slightly absurdist, as the prosecutor focuses on Meursault's relationship with his mother instead of his actions, but it's hard to argue he shouldn't be convicted for killing a person without any reason or remorse.

This edition was translated by Stuart Gilbert. The beginning of the book is very short choppy sentences, which led me to feel very removed from the narrator. That certainly could have been purposeful, based on the plot, but there's no translator's note so I'm not sure if it's just a translation quirk.

This book is not one I'm going to revisit, but I do still have a lot of thoughts

Rating: ❤ ❤ ♥ (2.5/5)
Este tópico foi continuado por Norabelle414's Trilogy in Four Parts.