Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Brief Book Reviews Returns

Henchmen of Zenda (KJ Charles): A true delight.  I recommend you go read the original Prisoner of Zenda (it's short! and free!) and then buy this immediately.

Four Weddings and Maybe a Funeral (Rhys Bowen): No better or worse than all the others in the series.  Kind of meh, but I read it anyways.

Prisoner in the Castle (MacNeal):  F. I read two pages and put it down; it starts with a violent, unnecessary, and frankly unbelievable death.  The last installment featured Nazis heavily; I couldn't read it, since I have enough Nazis nearby in real life (link content warning: violent Nazis).

Goldenhand (Nix): The latest in a long-running series that has been getting less and less good over time.  Lacking in plot, style, and editing, but I read it anyways.

Nevermoor (Townsend): A strange and delightful story about strange and delightful lands (children's book, on Zenmoo's recommendation).

Caraval: A strange and fairly original cabinet-of-wonders style story.  I regret to inform you that the heroine does fall in love, but I'm still going to read the next one.

The Rook (O'Malley): Extremely implausible/ not my cup of tea.  DNF.

Spinning Silver (Novik): A fantastic (in both senses) novel with a fantasy Eastern Europe theme; I recommend it whole-heartedly and don't want to say any more because you should go read it.

Hex Hall Series: Magic! Teens!  … inevitable love triangle.

As always, I welcome recommendations!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Annual Break

We are, once more, having the annual Grandparent Visiting Without Me. (I would trade 'in-laws who don't suck' for 'ten days a year by myself' in a heartbeat, but alas, I cannot.)

While the children are gone, I feel the need to do All The Things.  I cleaned, laundered, made ten pounds of meat into jerky, cooked dinner for yet another friend-with-new-baby, spent three hours pruning at Sweetpea's preschool, got a haircut, mowed the !@#$! lawn,  finished a knitting project, went through the entire pile of mending/sewing projects, dropped off school supplies at orientation, filled out ten forms (twice over!), and made another set of Child School Tags.  I still need to make granola and breakfast quiche, register for yet another online class, possibly mow some more** and eventually, start prepping for the New! Improved! Bio For Real Life! class.

It's enjoyable to be alone- some- but the pressure to do stuff is real, and I do get tired of it eventually.  On the other hand: what luxury to be tired of being ALL ALONE.

* The big kids each have a backpack tag with a removable card; on the card is a list of where they go each day after school. (Monday: bus; Tuesday: walk home; etc.)  Yes, I could have bought luggage tags; I am too cheap.  

** I am afraid the mower and I will both end up in the creek.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

False Economies

Dearest spouse of mine,

It would have been worth the extra $70 for the self-propelled lawn mower.  Next time I am buying the lawn mower.

-Your very sore and irritated spouse

(I only mow about once a year BUT STILL.)

What economy have you regretted lately?

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Unpaid Work

Spouse: "A question. Colleague and I are writing a grant with Former Colleague. If I put in that we'll fly down for a meeting, will that be okay?"
Me: "Why can't Former Colleague fly here?"
Spouse: "It would complicate her childcare arrangements and she says her spouse can't do it alone."
Me: "How many kids do they have?!? How old?"
Spouse: "One. The kid is three."
Me: "So because this woman's male spouse can't take care of one kid, alone, for two nights, you're asking ME, your FEMALE spouse, to take care of THREE kids alone for two nights? How EXACTLY is this okay?"
Spouse: "....."
Me: "Have you asked her if she can, instead, find a spouse who doesn't suck?"

Friday, July 27, 2018

Dilemma in the Age of the Tangerine Toupee

Today I stopped to buy doughnuts from the doughnut truck, which is occasionally parked off the main road.

The doughnut truck is run by an older white guy, who has a Moscow Muppet sticker on the back of the truck (bad enough!) and also an Inf0-w4rs sticker.

Am I obligated to shun this business now?  Relevant: in this county about 75% of people voted for Mango Mussolini; I probably cannot shun all of them.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

I Sure Hope They Remember This Stuff

I have just returned from dragging the children off to the eastern part of the Midwest for a week (to visit my college roommate and her family); it was predictably bonkers (five children, three adults, one dog, one cat, one small house) but fun.  They enjoyed the Great Lake and the water slide, possibly not in that order.

In two weeks I am dragging them off to the nearest attractive bit of the Atlantic Ocean, where I have booked an airb&b that appears acceptable.  (There was one dude who was 100% shady and at least 50/50 on being an axe murderer.  The other 50% probability belongs to "Russian bot", based on the spelling, so who knows.)  My very patient mother is coming with me; we are staying two nights.

The amount of mental energy, logistics, necessary items, and time involved in taking three young children anywhere is kind of mind-boggling.  I really, really hope they are enjoying these trips (I am... mostly....) because by the end of the summer I am going to be All Out of Planning Capacity.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Some Good Things

I am attempting to combat a midsummer funk caused by being the childcare.  So, here are some good things.

Peach picking in the mountains:

Taking the kids hiking in slightly different mountains:


The complete #firstworldproblem that I don't work in the summers.


So, what's good in your life?