Friday, August 26, 2016

Return of the Book Review

Daughter of Mystery (Jones): Fantastic.  Fantasy in a quasi-historical setting, but the women are firmly their own people.  A+, would buy again (I paid ACTUAL MONEY for this one, dear readers).

Emperor's Agent (Graham): Pretty good.  A compelling alternate-Napoleonic setting.  Fewer women, but they have an interesting story line.

Death of the Necromancer (Wells): Set in Ile-Rien, story about a group of thieves.  I cannot bear the Raksura series, but this was ace.  (I've read the rest of the Ile-Rien ones, in the distant past.)

Trafalgar& Boone (Cannon, a dude): Steampunk-ish story of women archaeologists in a magical world.  Okay, but nothing to write home about.  Think I got bored and never finished it.

Orffyreus Wheel (Wilson, also a dude): Was in the bundle.  Fanboy conspiracy theory Da Vinci Code wanking.  Boring, did not finish.

Cold Magic & sequels (Elliott): Young women in a vastly different alternate-history.  The very best I have ever seen at doing a believable quasi-historical world that has richness of ethnicity and custom, while not oppressing women, and while giving the female characters agency and power.  (Though they do seem to escape from places with tedious regularity, which continues through all three books.)  Delightful ending. Recommend.

Black as He's Painted (Marsh): Re-read.  Mystery, minimally gory; certain colonialist attitudes of the 1940s are on full display and are partly examined, but also ingrained in the author, which makes it strange.

Assorted Georgette Heyer mysteries: they're okay.  Recommend rereading Grand Sophy instead.

Just City (Walton): Interesting premise: people praying to Athena are kidnapped back though time to a utopian city.  Probably ends badly, but I got bored after the first 50 pages and couldn't tell you.

Thirteenth House (Shinn): re-read.  A mainly gentle and somewhat fluffy fantasy novel with light romance.  Soothing to read. I recommend the whole series if this sort of thing is your cup of tea.  Many interesting, dimensional female characters doing cool stuff.

Unseen Academicals (Pratchett): re-read.  Academia most thoroughly satirized.  Entertaining.

Hat Full of Sky (Pratchett): re-read. I'd forgotten how amazingly dark and depressing this one is.  Oops.


Anything you'd like to recommend to me, dear readers?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

My non-vaccinating SIL now thinks her MLM essential oils and energy drinks helped cure ("cure") her father's stage IV lymphoma.  I've never been so glad they're 7000 miles away.

It's a trifecta of NOPE.

Bless. Her. Heart.

Monday, August 15, 2016

IT'S BACK

Tonight I sat at the table and seriously considered getting the awl out of the toolbox and poking just a little hole in the back of my head.  Because it might feel BETTER.

My In-Laws

Me to Dr. S, a few months ago: "Dear, sometime we should talk about what your parents are going to do when they can't live in that giant house any more... which will be in a few years because of [assorted preventable health issues, history of CANCER!! (it was Stage I, ten year life expectancy is unaffected), and a neurodegenerative condition].

Dr. S, very huffy: "I don't see the point!  They won't listen to me anyways and we'll just deal with it when we deal with it and it won't be your problem anyways." [Stomps off.[


Dr. S, this week, after visiting his parents: "Dear, we should talk about what my parents are going to do.  My dad had a fall and eventually they won't be able to live in that big house any more."

(Readers, I RESISTED the urge to say I Told You So.)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Worst Summer

"And how was your summer?" people chirp sunnily.  "We went to Barbados, and visited family in Colorado, and went hiking, and enjoyed all the summer concerts!"

"Mmmm," I say.

There have been 12 doctor visits since June 1.  Until this week, when I finally started to get better, I didn't realize how weak and tired I had been.  We have had lots of Mommy Yelling Be QUIET and even more Unstructured Lego Time. We have not had fun.

But I didn't throw myself under a truck yet, so there's that.

(I'm not going to throw myself under a large vehicle of any kind, I have to take care of the children.  But many days, it has seemed an improvement in my quality of life.)

In two weeks I will go see the Fancy Immunologist in City Over The Mountains and perhaps they will have something to say about what all this nonsense is, and what to do about it.  Two months is too long to be this sick and in this much pain. This is not normal. This is not okay.  I can't go on like this.  I can't.


Edit: fourth ENT trip has finally done in the stabbed-with-knives headache.  (Now I have assorted muscle aches, but perhaps I can sleep.)  However, that was 1/6 of a year.  Dear God, I hope the immunologists have something to tell me.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Redo From Start

I just read about four pages of a book.

And then the main character gets groped by her boss, after hours, in a conference room, and then....

...she does NOT smack him, scream bloody murder, and immediately call the police and HR.

It is the Year Of Your Lord 2016!  NOPE!

(I should have checked SBTB first.)

Monday, August 01, 2016

Friendship, Part 5, Or: People I Wish I Liked

Do you ever meet people (in person, that is) and you... want to like them, but something is just not right for a friendship or, indeed, any degree of real intimacy?  Especially in Small Town USA here, I often meet people and think, not that they could be my friends, but that I wish I could want to be friends with them.  (In other words, I wish they were themselves, but without one or more completely objectionable traits.)

The latest crop includes, but is not limited to:

1) A wide array of One True Way people.  Evangelical vegans.  Homeschoolers who believe- and tell you!- that no child could get a decent education at a public school, and besides, it'll damage the little darlings.  Evangelizing Christians.  Evangelizing anyone.  I have examined my life choices, thank you, and while they may not all be optimal, they are mine.

2) People with Deep Personal Stuff that they have made, and are making, no effort to sort out.  Untreated severe eating disorders.  Anxiety.  Depression.  Not people who have sought treatment and it wasn't effective; not people who are working through different options.  People who literally won't leave the house for half a year in case they might catch a cold.

3) People who say one thing and do the exact opposite.  And then are puzzled about the results.  As in, "I am really bored!  I really want to work!" And then not applying for a single job.  What... did you think was going to happen?  Or people who really want their child to sleep through the night but give them milk and cookies at 3 AM every night. That's precisely the opposite of how to get the desired result.

4) People for whom no amount of 'proof' is ever enough.  See also: all the rabid Hillary haters, vaccine deniers, and antiscientific nuts who think turmeric cures arthritis.

5) Everyone who truly believes a woman should never have the right to choose an abortion. (Edit: just people who think NEVER.  Not the life or health of the pregnant person, not an ectopic, not incest or rape, not fatal birth defects.  I have one strongly anti-choice not-close friend but she also believes that access to birth control and social services and food stamps and stopping POC being killed on the streets is part of being against abortion.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Some Good Things

I've been a regular Negative Nellie (odd how chronic pain will really put a damper on one's cheerful outlook) so here are some things that are not terrible:


  • We have no debt (aside from the mortgage).*
  • The spouse has an excellent and well-paid job with great co-workers. 
  • We live in a beautiful, idyllic region of the state.  
  • There is a creek in our front yard.  Also, two flower gardens and a dozen fruit trees.
  • My kids get a longer leash here than I felt was safe when living in a city.  (Example: this fall, Bug will be walking home alone.  He is seven.  It's not very far.) 
  • Even though they're far away, I have excellent friends.
  • The other moms around here are very kind and helpful. 
  • We see my parents frequently and it is great.
  • There is a really good major medical center not too far away.**
  • There is free bluegrass on Wednesday mornings and Sweetpea dances along and wiggles her little tushie.
  • I only have 25% of the headache I had ten days ago.***

* WELL, technically we do, as we have a 0% loan on the van, but we have... enough to pay it off in our checking account.  I feel that doesn't really count. 
** An hour and a half.
*** Admittedly, ten days ago I felt that being run over by a truck would greatly improve my quality of life.