topaz119: (Default)
This not-working-from-home thing is kinda lame. I am reserving judgement until I see what kind of stock grant they’re talking about, but I’m (privately) putting them on notice because I am not sure I want to keep going into an office 5 days/week and having to sort the rest of life out on the fringes. I know that’s how most people work, but I’m not sure I want to go back to that, at least not w/o any significant financial incentive. (Or, I’m just having my regularly scheduled omg-school-started-I-hate-life freakout--it's hard to say.)

So, there’s some travel stuff coming up, maybe I can see some of you…?
  • Sun/Mon, Aug 20-21 – Eclipse Day – I’m taking the easy way out and just going up north a bit, around Lake Hartwell. (Fingers crossed for weather.)
  • Thurs-Mon, Aug 31-Sept4 – DragonCon – We’re in the same hotel as recent years and you all know how much I &heart; the bartenders at Pulse in the Marriott, so yell at me if you’re going to be around. No cosplay this year, unless I throw together some random steampunk persona.
  • Fri-Sun, Sept8-10 – NYC!! – I have to burn some Ritz-Carlton free nights and this is literally the only weekend between now & Nov that D’s & my schedules align. I haven’t booked flights yet, but we’ll be staying down in the Financial District (b/c, see above, re: free.) I have no idea what my dear, darling husband wants to do, but I generally have to keep him busy, so I’m thinking a walking tour on Saturday morning, ending in Brooklyn & then maybe a show on Sat night & I don’t know what on Sunday morning, but maybe the Met…?

    There's possibly a little bit more to come, but I have to see how kids' schedules shake out.

    ....aaaaaand I'm late for Wednesday books, but that’s not much of a surprise by this point, right?

    Dark Days Club, Alison Goodman – So very much a Regency Buffy, which is not a bad thing, just amusing. Good world-building, both the Regency and the demon stuff—I really felt like she loved both sources and worked hard to integrate them. I’ll have to see if the library has the next one.

    A Queen From The North, Erin McRae, Racheline Maltese – You all know how much I love me a modern-day, marry-the-prince romance (well, when I’m not ranting about how poorly it was executed), and this one has the added catnip of an alternate history timeline that is actually rooted in the War of Roses and all of that fallout, so when I saw/heard this on one of the romance blogs (I’m thinking it was redheadedgirl on Smart Bitches, b/c our tastes tend to align) I snagged it up and inhaled it in a day. (I ask you: what’s not to love about a marriage-of-convenience-turned-real plot? Well, again: the execution of it all.) Verdict: goooooood. And more to come. The romance itself was a little low-key, but the supporting characters were good (and wonderfully not a solid wall of white-cis-het) and while yes, most of the obstacles could have been avoided by actual communication between the principals, it felt like everybody’s reasons for avoidance were real (stupid, but real, which is so true) so that worked for me—I am looking forward to the next in the series.

    Warrior’s Apprentice, Lois McMaster Bujold, narrated by someone who was fine, but not worth going to find the listing as I write this – The House of Boys loooooves the Vorkosigans, and since I have worked my way through their other love (Dresden), I figured I’d go for these, too. I was entertained, though the cover image is horrible and I could have gone for someone reading this who was closer in age to the teenaged Miles. Minor quibbles, though. I need to line up the next one because #2Son is leading off our conversations as I leave the office with things like, “seriously, don’t be looking at your twitter feed at stoplights. You need to keep yourself distracted until you’re home,” which is probably not untrue. I’m really only reading to get to A Civil Campaign and the most recent novel about Cordelia, but I’ll go through the intervening steps.

    The Darwath Trilogy, Barbara Hambly – I got sidetracked on this one b/c Dark Days was horribly overdue and then Queen came zooming in out of nowhere and totally sideswiped my attention, but I made myself pick it back up last night to keep from cycling through twitter endlessly.

    I need to maybe grab the next Peter Grant or Vorkosigan on audio, and then go through what BabyBoy brought back from the Shared Worlds book giveaway. I’m 6 books behind on my book challenge, but part of that is because I get into series and end up reading 4 books where only 1 counts toward the specific trope or setting or whatever for the challenge.

    Ciao, kids!
  • topaz119: (life)
    I’m having the kind of week where the high point is getting a new Dyson vacuum cleaner (amazon had a deal on refurbs that got one of their animal-rated models down to $200USD), yay?

    I’ll spare you the rest (though I will say that having a team outing to an Indian buffet swapped out for a lunch&learn with takeout pizza almost made me cry.)

    Books? Books…

    Midnight Riot, Ben Aaronovitch, narrated by Kobda Holbrook-Smith -- So, yes, everyone who has been telling me for forever that I should read this book: yes, you were so right, I had a blast with it, even if it was a little more gruesome than I was expecting. On the flip side, I was laughing out loud in the middle of traffic hell the whole time I was listening to it, which more than balanced out the gore. Also, the narration was outstanding, really one of the best performances I’ve listened to this year.

    The Little Beach Street Bakery, Jenny Colgan -- I had some time to kill over the weekend and ended up at a bookstore (shocker, I know.) It wasn’t anything cool or indie (I was forbidden from *that* bookstore as BabyBoy was roaming around with his pack of friends in that area and didn’t need the threat of parental presence), just a random B&N in Spartanburg, South Carolina, but I saw this on an endcap and had loved another book of hers, so I grabbed it on the way out the door & started in on it while I waited for my presence to be allowable again. So, the other one of hers I read centered on books and Scotland, which is a lethal combination for me, but this one had baking (bread baking, not cupcakes, not that there’s anything wrong with the latter other than they’re a wee bit overdone these days) and Cornwall, which is seriously almost as lethal. So yes, once again I fell hard for the setting and didn’t mind the characters along the way. I am also delighted to see there are sequels for the next time I need somewhere to run & hide away (which, let’s be serious here, is possibly the next time I open twitter.)

    I dropped When Dimple Met Rishi, mostly because it turns out I’m not really in the mood for NA (I get that the seemingly unending repetition of Dimple’s personal hero’s name was used to define her enthusiastic character, and it was very on point for a young woman of her age and attitude, but holy cow, I was 3 chapters into the book and I was already sick of hearing it), but also because after 3 interactions between our main characters, one of which ended with D (appropriately) throwing her iced coffee at R, I found D’s interior monologue about how ‘easy it was to talk’ to R waaaay too much telling, and decided I was done.

    I’m also putting Monstress on hold--I have yet to find a large enough chunk of time to get into the story, which is very in media res, with a judicious amount of time-shifting (so I find myself having to really put a lot of attention into it.) It’s a gorgeous book, but I kept not remembering details and they’re using those details to fill in the backstory, both narratively and graphically, and having to re-read, and re-re-read. Possibly the next time I’m on a plane…?

    The Darwath Trilogy, Barbara Hambly -- I got sucked into life on a Cornish island; this one fell by the wayside, oops.

    The Dark Days Club -- Hmm, so this is sort of turning into a Regency Buffy--complete with the older, more experienced mentor who I am fairly sure is going to turn out to be one of the things Our Heroine is supposed to hunt (Hi Angel!), an enthusiastic non-powered Scooby gang, a clueless mother figure, and your all-purpose-nasty-representation-of-the-patriarchy older rich dude--which is fine, and she’s setting up a lot, I can tell, but I’m going to be really irritated if the lady's maid gets fridged.

    Probably more of Peter Grant and then I swear I’m going into my TBR pile. SWEAR.
    topaz119: (Default)
    Not even fandom can hold back the sick feelings that real-world news has been bringing, much less get me through calling my m.f. red-state-senators as often as I can make myself, so my IG has ballooned with all manner of OTT cooking and baking accounts. Some of them only last a couple of days, so I'm always looking for more, which is how I stumbled over So Yummy, which I swear is what Darcy from in deep with you darling is doing while she's in hiding in Wakanda. I mean, there are a lot of crazy baking blogs/IGs out there, but none of them quite hit the level of Funfetti Fried Oreos or Red Velvet Oreo Lava Cakes. Clearly, she started off coming up with this stuff to keep herself from going crazy while she's there, but now she's in a groove and monetizing it (to an offshore account, of course) so when everything gets sorted out and life can get back to normal, she's got a little nest egg + a shiny new career path, yeah? (Clint has taken to adding another couple of miles to his daily run just to keep up with all the sugar and carbs she throws at him every day. He is totally okay with this.)

    (I guess it really always does come back to fandom to keep me more-or-less sane. No surprise there.)

    Okay, I swore (to myself, at least) that I'd keep up with the Wednesday book meme, so let's do that, too.

    Hunted, Megan Spooner -- YA retelling of Beauty and the Beast, where Beauty is a hunter and spends a fair amount of her time with the Beast working out how she's going to kill him. Beauty as an archer? I was all over it, and I feel like there are a fair number of ppl reading this who would also take to the concept. And I am happy to say it pretty much fulfilled its promise, so feel free to go for it.

    The Darwath Trilogy, Barbara Hambly -- I always forget how much I like her writing until I stumble over another of her books and get sucked in to a world that's different from all the others.

    The Dark Days Club, Alison Goodman -- what Pride and Prejudice and Zombies could have been if the author had actually liked the conventions of the Regency romance he was building on. And knew how to create a supernatural world that overlays the normal one.

    Midnight Riot, Ben Aaronovitch, narrated by Kobda Holdbrook-Smith -- I feel like I'd really like the book anyway, but the narration is ten shades of awesome.

    When Dimple Met Rishi, Sandhya Menon -- New Adult romance that I think I'm about ready to bail on. It's not them, it's me, etc, etc, etc… I think I'm officially Too Old For This.

    I think that Currently Reading list is more than enough to deal with for now!
    topaz119: (Default)
    I started to do the Wednesday book meme, realized it had been months since I’d last done it--including Beach Week, where I read non-stop--and threw up my hands. I’ve finished/abandoned 20ish books since then and typing them all out is a bit overwhelming. (If you’re interested, I’m here on Goodreads. Also, I'm happy to add/friend you there, too, just let me know.)

    I did want to note that I have finally gotten to the end of the published Dresden books – it’s taken almost 2 years, but I’ve listened to every single one of them. This, btw, is a lot of James Marsters in my ears. (This is generally not a bad thing.) The boys are ecstatic that I am not spoilable any more.

    It’s weird, though… Between catching up on that and finishing up watching Parks & Rec, my brain is all adrift for what I should be watching/listening to next. Even if I detoured off to something different, there’s always been that next ep/book waiting in the wings. For *years*…

    For my tv-watching, I think I’m going for Brooklyn 99 next – it seems to have a similar tone as P&R and for audiobooks, maybe Rivers of London. I’ve downloaded the first of that, but then I got sidetracked on all the Disney podcasts flipping out over all the new stuff from D23. I’ve reached my Disney fanboy limit, though, so it’s probably time to get back into narrative mode. (But if any of you want to talk Galaxy’s Edge, etc, please feel free to chime in in the comments. Also, if you need a traveling partner to Orlando, I do still have that Annual Pass just burning a hole in my (virtual) pocket…)

    (I should also do a rewatch of Battlestar Galactica, before DragonCon, and the boys are clamoring for me to go finish up Clone Wars so I can watch Rebels, also in time for DragonCon. Yeah, that’s going to happen…)
    topaz119: (shamrock love)
    Catching up with my media consumption over the last few months, cutting because it got loooong...

    books )

    tv )

    movies )

    Virtual cookies to anyone who made it through all that!
    topaz119: (somanybooks)
    I like the idea of Crafting Tuesdays, but all my creative energy is going toward figuring out what the hell to do with my house, so I doubt I'll pick that up. I do resolve to do more with the Wednesday book meme, and to pick up Recipe Fridays, because I am always reading and cooking, no matter what...

    Hamilton: The Revolution, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter – BabyBoy ended up getting this for Christmas, and then it showed up as a possibility for the first week of the 52-week challenge I fell into on Goodreads, so I picked it up and ran with it. Obviously, it's geared toward fans, but I found a lot of interesting stuff in it, everything from the specific hip-hop influences to just the sheer amount of re-work that was going on right up to opening night. The book itself was hell to lug around, though. ;)

    Black Widow: Red Vengeance, Margaret Stohl – Her second Black Widow novel, which, I think, addresses the 'there wasn't enough Natasha' criticism of the first book. There's a lot of Natasha here, and the plot does revolve around the Red Room, and the other Widows. Plus, there is a bonus guest-starring role from Captain Marvel, and I am not ever going to say no to more Carol Danvers (especially when there's no connection to Civil War II.) (I would still like more Hawkeye, but that shouldn't surprise any of you reading this.)

    Why Kings Confess, Who Buries the Dead, When Falcons Fall, C.S. Harris – The last 3 St. Cyr historical mysteries, though there is one scheduled for release in the spring, and while I'm still enjoying them, I'm happy enough to take a break for a bit. I'm kind of at the point where I'm going yes, yes, murder and mayhem, right, just tell me what's going on with the Earl and the family and have we found [redacted] on the continent yet?

    Smarter, Faster, Better: The Secrets of Being Productive, Charles Duhigg – Not a lot of actionable advice here, but it did have actual interesting examples of SMART goals (I do them every year and usually find them a waste of everyone's time) and some higher-level thoughts. I did not ever feel like throwing it across the room, if that helps?

    A Study in Scarlet Women, Sherry Thomas – This is the first of her gender-swapped Sherlock (Charlotte) Holmes mysteries. I literally just opened it this morning but it has great buzz.

    The Unleashing, Shelly Laurenston – The first of *her* Call of Crows paranormal shifter romance series, in which the women are all Norse warrior-shifters. Yeah. Sometimes fandom really does prepare you for reality.

    Ghost Story, Jim Butcher – This is … ::squints:: … good lord, #13 of the Dresden series. I seriously can't believe I'm still hanging in there, but here I am. Still just doing the audiobooks with these, so James Marsters' voice is permanently in my head now.

    I swear I'm going to dig through my TBR stacks, both virtual and real, so who knows. I may just do a random number generator and see where that takes me…
    topaz119: (somanybooks)
    I will eventually get around to the year-end memes (which I enjoy but end up doing in January, as December is always so crazy.) Since it is Wednesday, let's start with the book meme for the last month or so of 2016 (GR says I read 50 books in 2016, which is mostly WIN. Discussion of why only 'mostly' below.)

    The Winter Sea, Susannah Kearsley, FINALLY. It took me months to listen to this, but for whatever reason, I hung with it. (I suspect it's that the Scottish history geek has deep roots in my psyche, but I am not in the mood to give this book any more of my time to really parse it out.) While I was really not a fan of the modern-day framing story, I had to laugh at a few outraged reviews on GR, where the part about the modern-day author & her outdoorsy Scottish history professor of a beau having a common ancestor or two caused them (the readers) to squick out… I mean, this was nearly 300 years' worth of genealogy; at that point, there's barely any DNA in common even with siblings to start. After 10 or so generations, you're related to everybody in the country. Anyway. Done.

    Do You Want To Start A Scandal?, Tessa Dare – I have not had a lot of luck with my most recent TD reads, but this one must have just hit me at the right moment, and it was a delightful bit of froth that kept me smiling throughout Thanksgiving.

    What Maidens Mourn, What Darkness Brings, C.S. Harris – Two more Sebastian St Cyr mysteries, and I have to say, I am loving the attention to historical detail that comes with every book. I am not one of those readers who analyzes every clue and scrap of information to try to figure out who did it (so when I do actually figure things out, you know it was pretty straightforward), but I like how the motives and actions are tied to the time and place of the crime (ie, these are not wallpaper historicals.) Seb is still madly over-dramatic and a giant wooby-in-the-making (it's a Very Good Thing his closest friend is a brilliant, if morphine-addicted, doctor. Otherwise, I feel like he'd have succumbed to one or the other of his assorted injuries.) Also, Hero continues to rule.

    Magnate, Joanna Shupe, historical romance, New York Victorian era. I was a little stalled on this for reasons I have yet to figure out, but then she threw in the oh-dear-your-clothes-are-covered-in-snow-we-must-get-them-off-you trope, so clearly I couldn't just leave them hanging, right? I am not entire sure how I feel about this one still -- on the one hand, I loved that the heroine was a financial wizard, but on the other hand, I feel like she was conveniently both virginal and completely unselfconscious about sex. Also, we seem to have glossed right over the hero's high-handed business and personal dealings. (IOW, we walked riiiiiiight up to the alpha/alpha-hole line and maybe needed a little more recognition of that fact.)

    Last Chance Christmas Ball, Mary Jo Putney, et al, YAY FOR CHRISTMAS FLUFF. I didn't even mind that this was all short stories stitched together around the conceit of the titular ball, or that almost all of them are second chance romances, where the protagonists were together before and then not, because REASONS, and now they're trying again. It was all very soothing and calming while I was trying not to scream at the idiots during rush hour (audiobook, obvs!)

    Why Kings Confess, C. S. Harris, historical mystery, next in the St Cyr series and I think we're finally casting an eye toward Seb's doctor friend and maybe getting him a life (and offering an alternative to the opium for his pain), so that's good.

    Hamilton: The Revolution, LMM & Jeremy Carter -- I just joined a 52 Books reading challenge on Goodreads (see below), where there's a topic each week and you get to pick a book to fulfill it and this first week is a book from the GR Choice Awards, of which this counts and seeing as BabyBoy got it for Christmas and it's already Wednesday of the challenge week, it seemed to be the easiest thing to go for.

    I have the last two published St. Cyr books, still have the next Black Widow YA, and now that Rogue One has STOLEN MY BRAIN, I suspect I will be in the hunt for All The Star Wars stories.

    Plus, I got to 50 books this year and missing the last 2 so I can say 'I read a book a week' is somewhat annoying, so the last remaining part of my brain thought that the Around the Year in 52 Books challenge group on Goodreads sounded like a good idea. I will be seeing how far I get with that this year, too. Let me know if you join and we can compare notes as we go!

    Also, if you're looking for a bookish challenge for the year, BookRiot has a handy round-up post.
    topaz119: (it's a bookworm thing)
    The refrigerator is still not really working, sigh. Fortunately, I have a coach for a husband, and he has a ridiculous number of big coolers that he uses during summer camps and practices, so the boys hosed them all out and I have everything packed out in them. Also fortunately, the freezer attached to the sad fridge is still working so I haven't had to find space for all of that stuff, too. I'm being super-creative and trying to use up everything I can, which is at least saving the money I'd usually spend at the store/restaurants this week. (Yeah, if the blasted thing needs replaced, that's a drop in the bucket, but every little thing helps, right? argh.)

    Let's talk about books...

    The Winter Sea, Susanna Kearsley -- yes, STILL. I finally broke down and put it on 1.25 speed on the Audible app, in hopes of getting through it, Scottish accents be damned. I'm not sure why I don't just ditch it, but for whatever reason, I keep coming back to it. It's not that I'm loving it all that much (the present day heroine is acting like a teenage ninny, not a 30ish successful novelist, which is really my sticking point, I think. I keep trying to re-frame it as a NA romance, but then there's the part about how she's done this all before, and that's before I keep muttering about how, NO, DNA DOES NO WORK THAT WAY.) Like I said, I really don't know why I haven't bailed, but here we are...

    Magnate, Joanna Shupe -- Historical romance set in early 20th C New York, for a change. Rough and ready industrialist and sekrit!financial whiz daughter of Old Money. Marriage-by-blackmail! Overheard conversations! Insta!attraction! In other words, all kinds of tropey goodness in a surprisingly well-done historical environment.

    Royally Screwed, Emma Chase -- You guys know I love me a well-done Common Girl/Boy Marries The Prince story, and this one definitely falls into that well-done category (also, the Girl category), with bonus points for how much I really liked the supporting characters and how they gradually revealed themselves as the H/H got to know them. Warnings for alternating first-person narratives and this definitely falls more toward the erotic romance category b/c there is a lot ("") of sex.

    I dunno... I still have the next Black Widow book (Red Vengeance) and my hold for Eligible, the latest of the P&P cottage industry, just pinged up, so... On the other hand, I have way too many things hanging around waiting to be read...
    topaz119: (somanybooks)
    Let's get caught up on books…

    Second Chance at Paris, Cole McCade – I really wanted to like this book more than I ended up doing. I'm all for lady scientist heroines, but a couple of things just yanked me out of the story (mostly related to how the astrophysics profession works, plus a few 'um, no, actual laws of physics don't work like that'.) And of course, once you get that break, you start seeing other issues, too, and the whole fragile illusion of stepping outside your normal life crashes down. So, I finished it, but only barely.

    Changes, Jim Butcher – Book #12 of the Dresden Files, and I was spoiled going in for the big decision, so I spent the first half of the book 'seeing' the plot points getting ticked off to where Dresden has to make the momentous decision. #2Son & I listened to this while driving down and back from Orlando, so I got big chunks of James Marsters' narration, which is never a bad thing. spoilers ) Also, I like Thomas and Molly (and not as siblings, because something needs to jolt Harry out of his blue megrims.)

    The Bookshop on the Corner, Jenny Colgan – You know how sometimes the right book presents itself at the exact moment you need it, and no matter its literary merits, you just fall into it and never want to climb out? Yeah, this book was all that and a cherry on top for me. I don't know that it's any better than your average small town romance, but it had Scotland and a little bookstore and a grumpy local dude and Scotland and a mad romance involving a train and books as a way to heal and find yourself, and did I mention Scotland? (Also, there was an improbably luxurious converted barn for the heroine to live in while she reinvented her life (the existence of which was actually explained, so points for that.) Oh, and it came with a soaking tub and high-end bath products. WHAT COULD BE BETTER?)

    Where Serpents Sleep, What Remains of Heaven, Where Shadows Dance, C.S. Harris – Books 4, 5, & 6 of the Sebastian St Cyr mysteries, which continue to entertain me fabulously. I do approve of Sebastian's marital decisions, and I'm looking forward to see how actual parenthood knocks him even further off his equilibrium. I could wish for someone who could deal with Paul's fascination with learning how human bodies function and his unfortunate addiction to opium and give him a little companionship on the side, but that's a minor wish. I see where a fair number of people feel the mysteries are a little too complicated, but it was an exceeding complicated era and since all of the murders tend to be tied up with the events of the day, I'm pretty impressed that everything dovetails together. Also, major props for writing Prinny as the nightmare he really was.

    Designing Your Life, Burnett & Evans – I do enjoy a good self-help book, though I got burned with the last one I read (ugh, I even bought the audio book) and have backed off the genre for the last 6 months or so. This one is based on the course that's Stanford's most popular elective and I have to say it was pretty interesting (though, really, I've known enough designers in my professional life to not just blindly accept that their process is The Best Thing Ever.) I had this from the library and will probably request it again and see if I want to buy it and foist it on the boys. :D

    The Winter Sea, Susanna Kearsley – Again with Scotland, though this one isn't hitting nearly as many buttons as the one above. Honestly, I'm surprised I'm still listening to this. It's taking me forever, both because it's a long book (SK is into exhaustive detail) and because I can't really hit the accelerated playback and still understand all the variety of Scottish accents. Also, I am side-eyeing the heck out of the explanation for the memory sharing, because, um, no? DNA doesn't work like that. I think I would have liked it better with some woo-woo glossover. Now I'm far enough in that I'm not giving up, but I'm not really all that invested in who our modern heroine is going to end up with, and I already know the disaster that was the Jacobite cause in Scotland, so I mostly am listening just to see how she survives.

    The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead – I swear to God, I don't understand how this country has survived its past.

    Black Widow: Red Vengeance, Margaret Stohl – My only complaint about her first Black Widow book was that it spent more time on the younger characters than on Natasha, but by all accounts, this one remedies that. I am cautiously optimistic, but as I said after finishing the last one, it's not like I'm awash in official ways to let TPTB know that I like the character and would like to see (A LOT) more of her.
    topaz119: (hawkeye&hawkeye)
    Okay, random reading and writing notes:

    I somehow went from #127 on the hold list for Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad (this was yesterday evening when I was at the actual library), to having it show up on my account this morning as waiting to be picked up. I don’t actually understand, but I will be going by to grab it before they figure out where they made the mistake!

    It is also getting to be time for the fall version of Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, which I have done for the last few iterations and HAD THE BEST TIME EVER. It is super low-key—I don’t actually try to read for 24 hours, but rather treat it as giving myself permission to sit and read all day, which I used to do all the time as a kid/teen, but is virtually unheard of now in my near-dotage. These weeks leading up to it are part of the fun, too: I wander through my out-of-control TBR stack (physical & virtual) and assemble a likely looking set of books, assemble tasty snacks and drinks, put the HoB on alert that I’m not available for chores (this is mostly to reinforce to myself that it’s a Day of Reading, not so much them) and dive in on the day. In the spring, it’s nice to sit out on the deck, but in the fall, I get the fireplace going (pro tip for warmer climates: those fake logs from the grocery store put out next to no heat, and a wooden wick candle picks up the slack on the auditory side. Oh! And this year I have my Bearded!ChrisEvans candle for olfactory excellence.)

    On the writing front, it is once again time to sign up for [community profile] mini_wrimo / [ profile] mini_wrimo, for those of us who are not quite up for doing full-on NaNoWriMo. (While I might get to the point that 50K in a month isn’t an unreal concept, it’s probably never going to be during the month where I’m staging Thanksgiving and gearing up for the blitz of December.) But I can usually give MiniWrimo a good try, and will be attempting it once more this year. Sign-ups are open!

    Also! [ profile] lostemotion is doing the crazy thing and running a Hawkeye-Squared fic exchange! (That’s Kate/Clint from Marvel comics, aka Hawkeye/Hawkeye. See icon for reference.) They tick all my favorite writing boxes: age differences, found family, super-excellent competence porn (as Hawkeyes) while flailing all over the place as functioning adults, with an excellent setup for friends-to-lovers (and all the good & bad that can call forth.) I haven’t done a challenge all year (except for [ profile] picfor1000, for which I coincidentally wrote HawkeyeSquared) so I’m in, \o/.

    …aaaaand lunch is done, bye!
    topaz119: (somanybooks)
    The Winter Sea, by Susanna Kearsley--it is, like all of her work, very, verrrrry detailed. It also turns out to be about D’s family (the Scottish clan from the 1700s, so nobody we know), which I didn’t realize when I snagged e/audiobook on whatever Deal of the Day I got it on. It was a little bit of a kick when the Countess of Erroll showed up as a character. (I seriously doubt D’s family is from that exact branch of the family, but they were/are that clan. It’s given me renewed interest in digging through genealogy records. After 4 or 5 generations, it’s just so many names on a screen to me, even with my own family.)

    Designing Your Life, Bill Burnett & Dave Evans--the book form of their Stanford course on using design principles to figure out what you want to be when you grow up (even if you're already there, ie, old.) I mostly got this to see if it might help #2Son with his less-traditional life plan, but I'm enjoying it on my own, too. (I do enjoy a good self-help book and this one is low on the woo-woo scale, which is even more endearing to me.)

    A Second Chance At Paris, Cole McCade--I've completely lost the battle to stop adding to my (already staggering) TBR pile, both virtual and not, and this is one of the romance kindle deals I've been unable to resist. But seriously, the heroine is an astrophysicist with a father suffering from Alzheimers--how could I pass that one up? So far, it's not bad. There is some serious lack of communication in the main couple's background, which usually sets my teeth on edge, but since this case involves high school miscommunication, I'm letting it slide for now.

    Since the last time I checked in...

    Turn Coat, Jim Butcher, audio by James Marsters -- #10 or 11 of the Dresden books; I can't remember the last time I've lasted this long in a series, but now I'm at the point where I'll be damned if I stop. (Also, good on Butcher for letting the Luccio situation play out the way he did. I'm also to the point where I think he actually planned it that way, too.)

    When Gods Die and Why Mermaids Sing, C.S. Harris -- #2 & 3 of the Sebastian St. Cyr books (Regency-era badass ex-military viscount with an Irish actress mistress & a former street-rat of a tiger), both of which I very much enjoyed. There was one point where I was a little worried that the actress was ripe for fridging, but in the next chapter Harris set up her agency and involvement so that while I am not entirely sure she'd going to survive much longer, it probably will have more to do with her own (valid, understandable) choices. The setting is spot on, too -- no wonder my mom loved these books.

    I have a couple of Beverly Jenkins' books on my bedside table so I think those are next up. Also, 2 more St. Cyr mysteries.

    You all know I almost never watch anything as it's actually airing, but I'm making an effort for Poldark, if only because of my mom (again.) Even if I can't call and dish with her about this version and even knowing the general plot line (we watched the original series way back in the day), I can't let it air without watching. I have to say that I think this Elizabeth is much more sympathetically written, because I *never* saw her point back in the '70s (omg, Team Delmelza all the way) but now I am rooting for her to find some way to happiness (so long as she keeps her mitts off Ross.)

    The boys have been shepherding me through Parks and Rec, which never appealed to me when it was on, but that was apparently because I watched in the first season. We skipped clean over S1 & S2 and I am having a *blast* with S3 onward. We're up to Leslie's campaign for city council and while it is striking a little too close to home these days, I still get all the warm fuzzies from it.

    I'm tiptoeing through Daredevil and Jessica Jones, mostly because I fell hard for Mike Coulter in the first episode of JJ and really want to watch Luke Cage with the proper background, but I can only take about 1 episode a week because of the dark (themes, not settings.)

    Other than that, all I watch is HGTV and the Food network. :D

    For some reason, I have been in this total Bollywood mood. Maybe because Sonali Dev's writing reminded me how much I loved the drama and flair? (She has a new book out right now and I ended up re-reading her first two on various planes this summer.) Luckily, the library has an excellent collection of the genre, because it’s otherwise a pricey addiction. So, yes, lots of giant dance numbers, except my 2 favorites turned out to be straight drama, not musicals. (Dil Chahta Hai, which is a coming-of-age arc about 3 friends and their romantic entanglements; and Monsoon Wedding, which does have the obligatory wedding but where the wedding is the catalyst for the drama in that everyone comes together and Stuff Happens. I am not ashamed to admit I cried through parts of both.) I'm still on the waiting list for Dil Dhadhakne Do (which sounds like the same big family Drama, only with a 30th anniversary cruise) and Band Baaja Baharat (friends to lovers against a backdrop of wedding planners. Dear lord, the bulletproof tropes that one hits for me...)

    Sidenote: Last weekend D wanders into the bedroom asking if I had RSVP'd for his friend N's wedding, which, uh, no? Your friend, your chore. I haven't even met the bride-to-be, though I do like the groom a lot. He's adorable. (He taught with D for years.) So, they're a modern couple and everything is set up online, which forces D to go through the (agonizing, seriously, no one ever had to do so much stuff to rsvp a wedding, yes, my eyes are rolling out of my head) process of downloading the app and finding the wedding and then he's all, 'a sanjeet?' (he's spelling it out for me), 'what is that and why do I have to rsvp for that, too?', so yay for cultural diversity in reading and watching and still being able to impress the husband even after 30 years?

    I am the world's worst gamer--my hand-eye coordination can handle typing & that's about it, but I am managing to play Knight of the Old Republic with much support from the HoB. I'm so proud? Also, on my phone I have been playing Regency Love for a couple of months & might just find myself running off with a most unsuitable beau. Also on the phone, I have just started Fallen London, but I have no idea what I'm doing there, so I'm expecting to die a horrible death at any moment.
    topaz119: (somanybooks)
    So, I got all the way to Sunday evening at home, but then Oldest's car died on the side of the interstate and by the time we dealt with that and got everyone and everything where they/it needed to be, I didn't get to bed until 1 a.m. and the final laundry/cleaning/cooking didn't happen. :(

    Plus, the car is mostly dead (the timing belt blew and it'll take ~900 USD to even see what else got damaged when it went) and not worth fixing, so now I'm on a blitz to find the kid a new car so he can get back from his late classes, which means I've got another weekend of back-and-forthing coming up.

    Also, my aunt and uncle live in San Bernadino and he's a semi-retired fire chief and yeah, did that situation blow up overnight or what? I know there are several of my fandom friends who are affected by this situation, too, and I am hoping everyone is safe. ::hugs::

    But, since adulting means you better learn to let go of the crap when you can, so the non-crap can sustain you when you can't, here's the Wednesday book meme--

    The Royal Nanny, Karen Harper – a fictionalized biography of the nanny who raised Edward VII and George V and their siblings, including their youngest brother, John, who died as a teenager of complications due to epilepsy. I picked this up less because of David and Bertie and more because you almost never see mention of Johnnie in any book about the royals of this era. Despite my general dislike of fictional biographies, this worked well enough on most levels for me. I did appreciate the bibliography the author included, just for the ability to fact-check the narrative.

    What Angels Fear, C. S. Harris – You know I love me some Regency crack, especially when we’re dealing with the post-Napoleonic years, no matter the genre, but this one was extra helpings of catnip for me, what with the lone-wolf, PTSD-suffering, badass viscount of a main character. I really should have gotten to this series sooner—my mom had been talking about it for the last year of our daily ‘whatcha reading?’ chats—but now I’m on it. (Also, I would like to raise my hand for a ship with the calm, rational, plain, do-gooding daughter of the morally-ambiguous advisor to Prinny. Just sayin’.)

    Mr. and Mr. Smith, HelenKay Dimon—m/m novella of the secret agent variety. I could have gone for it being a little bit longer (I get the appeal of jumping right in, in media res, but if you’re going to give me flashbacks/dreams of happier times anyway, maybe give me a little base to build my worry on?) On the plus side: remember when m/m pro-fic was just atrociously bad? Yeah, this isn’t that. Definitely worth my amazon credits.

    Veil of Lies, Jeri Westerson – DNF, though I think it was b/c I wanted more Regency investigations (see above) and I couldn’t quite make the jump back in time to the Black Prince and Chaucer. I’m placing this on the Try Again pile.

    Turn Coat, Jim Butcher – More Dresden, still audiobooking the series (thank you, James Marsters), still rolling my eyes over Dresden’s particular form of idiocy. So far in this one, we have Thomas and Murphy and Molly involved, so my Found Family button is safely mashed. I’m beginning to worry about who really might be leading the Black Council, but I’ll just leave it at that.

    More of the aforementioned badass Regency viscount sleuthing around, I think.
    topaz119: (somanybooks)
    Oh, y'all, I am laughing (in that way that's sort of screaming) so hard about work right now. There's a whole other story there, one that I will get into later, but for now, let's talk books. It's been a couple of months, but for a while, I couldn't focus on much other than my hard-core comfort fic re-reads so there aren't as many books stacked up as there might ordinarily be.

    Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates === I finished this before the latest round of horrible events, but it's not as though the topic was any less important then. I certainly can't say anything in summation that does justice to the book other than to say that I shouldn't have had to read it to understand, but that's kind of the point of it all.

    Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow === For a 700+ page book, this read very easily. I managed to finish prior to seeing the musical, which made that even more astonishing. Also, I do know that people wrote of their love and affection for their friends much more easily and descriptively in the era, and Hamilton was way OTT even for that era (and would apparently sleep with anyone who caught his eye), but holy crap, the Hamilton/Laurens crackles off the page (and by page, I mean their own correspondence.) It was actually downplayed in the musical, though the significance of having the same actor play both Laurens and Phillip Hamilton can't be understated. They were emotionally intimate even if not physically (and Laurens was quite possibly gay, while Hamilton, as mentioned previously, was not given to turning anyone down.) So, yeah, I read a giant, thoroughly researched biography and came out of it with a new slash pairing, but I swear I couldn't help it.

    The Raven King, Maggie Stiefvater === I was very much looking forward to this one, but then it started and all this stuff started happening and I promptly lost interest. I *really* love Blue and her Raven boys, though, so I gritted my teeth and kept going to find out what happened to everyone, but given how little I remember of getting to the end, I think I probably should have just skipped to the back and read the last two chapters. I still love the kids, though.

    Small Favor, Jim Butcher === Book #10 of the Dresden Files and I can't remember the last time I hung on so far into a series. It helps that Butcher is getting better at plotting and has a great cast of supporting characters from previous books to pull from. Plus, I've done all of them as audiobooks and James Marsters is pretty stellar and really adds a depth to Dresden that helps in his less well-written moments.

    Bloodline, Claudia Gray === I think this is the real set up for The Force Awakens as it lays out the political situation a few years before the movie and answers all those pesky questions that the script skimmed over. Plus: HUTTSLAYER.

    Jane Steele, Lyndsey Faye === While this is not exactly 'Jane Eyre: Serial Killer,' it is close enough and written with enough evident love for the canon to pull off the parallels. Paired with Bloodline, it made for excellent badass heroine beach reading.

    The Bollywood Bride, Sonali Dev === I think an appreciation for Bollywood plots might make the difference between like and love for this book. If you can throw yourself into all the drama of a good Bollywood romance, all the stuff that happened in the past in this book won't even raise an eyebrow. Surprising no one, I'm sure, I did love the found family aspect and I adored Ria's aunt and uncle, and the flock of friends who zoomed around feeding everyone (the setting was a wedding, so there was extra extra feeding going on.)

    Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, narrated by Rosamund Pike === Utterly fabulous narration. FABULOUS.

    Wait 'Til Next Year, Doris Kearns Goodwin === DKG's memoirs of growing up on Long Island in the late 50s as a fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers. I have this emotional knee-jerk reaction to this book and connecting to parental figures through baseball and keeping score (substituting my grandfather for my father) so I may not be unbiased.

    I'm going through my mom's kindle account and pulling out what I want to keep so I'm guessing it'll be either a cozy mystery or a historical romance.
    topaz119: (somanybooks)
    I was tagged by [ profile] vaguepositivity for a book meme, which I'm crossposting here, too.

    Rules: In a text post, list 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard - they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag 10 friends, including me, so I’ll see your list.

    1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum – The first book I remember reading by myself (I was 6/7) and THEN, I found out there were MORE. I ended up getting an Inter-library Loan from the main Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh before I turned 8. My mom had to sign for it and my grandmother paid the fee, but I got my hands on Ozma of Oz.

    2. The Secret of the Old Clock, Carolyn Keene – Nancy Drew #1. I read my way through these for a solid year or two. I had the yellow hardback versions, but my grandmother still had my mom's original series, so I read all those, too. I know they're formulaic and trite, but 40 years ago, there really weren't many books with a competent female protagonist, let alone one who saved the day. See also: Trixie Belden.

    3. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain – I read it too young, but it's a rollicking good adventure, and then I read it as an adult and really understood what he was writing about and it works on both levels.

    4. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott – I read, I write, I am Jo. (And I'm in the minority of being okay with the Professor v. Laurie.)

    5. Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, Dee Brown – I was way too young for this, but it was on my parents' bookshelves and I had free reign. I still can't watch a Hollywood Western.

    6. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte – My love of gothic romances, let me show you it.

    7. Bride of the MacHugh, Jan Cox Speas – I was into Highland clans and politics and romance waaaaaaay before Outlander.

    8. Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston – This is not the first book you think of for a suburban, Southern county library book club, but bless the director, she not only got this on the list, but also booked a discussion leader who didn't at all back down from the genteel, polite, racist reactions to the book.

    9. The Mists of Avalon -- Professional fan fic ftw.

    10. Beloved, Toni Morrison – I was in such a book hangover from this that I could barely function for a week, and nobody I knew had read it. Oh, for the agonies that the internet actually solved.

    I'm supposed to tag people but I have no idea if you've already done this or not, so if you haven't feel free to play along!
    topaz119: (Darcy)
    Ugh, I am in one of those funks, where everything is annoying me. I have to curtail my interpersonal interaction (on- and off-line) during times like this, or I just stress myself out and end up in an ugly spiral that totally kills my New Year's Resolution ("Be less of a bitch this year than last.") Or possibly ends up with me fired for calling people names, which is also problematic.

    So: good things…

  • I did go see Civil War on Saturday (with #2Son and D) and we all enjoyed it, even D, who is so not into the geek scene (of any flavor. He saves his energy for sports.) #2 and I had a blast. He loves Black Panther and was over the moon with his introduction. I think I've left maybe 2 comments about the movie overall, both flail-y squee, but not really spoilery, but… )

  • I spent most of Mother's Day writing Darcy's reaction to Civil War, which is always entertaining (and in this case, somewhat cathartic), plus: posting fic, \o/. This is Darcy from in deep with you darling, so she's been through all the ups and downs of the MCU -- Operation: Normal Life Is So F*cked.

  • My herb garden is going nuts this spring. I have more cilantro than I know what to do with, even with making batch after batch of a chimichurri-like sauce for steaks and chicken. The dill and basil and mint, I'm keeping up with, but the cilantro is trying to take over the world.

  • I finally have The Raven King in my hands and am blocking out time to read, \o/.
  • topaz119: (somanybooks)
    Well, more like the April reading meme, but roll with me...

    When a Scot Ties the Knot, Tessa Dare -- I... really should have loved this one, but for a really long time, I thought it was going to go DNF. I liked all the disparate parts (her, him, the castle, people finding a home, etc, etc) but I dislike the trope TD used to get them together, and only finished by skipping over the parts with sex (not that it was badly written per se, just that I don't like the set-up used to get them naked.) Finished, though.

    White Night, Jim Butcher -- I'm still trundling through the Dresden audiobooks (I only started reading them b/c the HoB loved them and kept wanting me to read), but as advertised, I do think they're getting better. I can remember how the middle part of the early books just draaaaaaaggged on, but now things keep moving along. Also, I think there are enough side characters I really like to keep all the books populated with a favorite. In this case, both Marcone and Thomas are around, which is perfect for me. Harry's idea of how to mentor/teach Molly makes me want to smack him, but I do feel that's actually consistent with his character. Also, wow with the Harry/Marcone in this one. 

    Scandal Wears Satin, Loretta Chase -- Book #2 of her Dressmakers series, which suffers, I think, from the HEA of the first book. The stakes aren't nearly as high in this one--no one is going to starve if things don't work out. Everyone is in reaction mode, b/c the big issue affects a side character and only spills over to the h/h by proxy. Still: LC. A favorite for a reason.

    Arabella, Georgette Heyer -- An old favorite, but on audiobook this time through. It suffered a bit in how the narrator read Beaumaris and how that just didn't match up with how he's sounded in my head for lo these many years. 

    March, Geraldine Brooks -- I went into this knowing that Brooks based the character of Mr. March was based on Bronson Alcott, who is not my favorite authorial parent (to say the least!) I'm actually pretty shocked that I not only finished this, but enjoyed the journey. I feel like I found personal letters & journals of people I'd only known as a child, with all the good & bad that seeing them through adult eyes implies. 

    The Iron Duke, Meljean Brook -- Despite my love of steampunk, I had somehow not managed to read this one (which is sort of the ur-steampunk romance) until this most recent 24-Hour Readathon. The world-building is really fantastic and Brook manages not to info-dump it all at once. I think I could have gone with a bit more character development and the end felt rushed (in that we had this glorious ride of a build-up but then the HEA almost happens off screen, but that's possibly because it was more of an action-adventure with a romantic subplot that grew all kinds of crazy) but I did really enjoy it.

    You Are A Badass, Jen Sincero -- sigh. I really need to not take random recommendations to heart. The non-stop advice to Be on the right 'frequency to engage' with the universe/spirit/god/etc was bad enough but then there was the part about how people are depressed so they can get attention & that was enough of that. DNF.

    Come As You Are, Emily Nagoski -- Given that I grew up in a Catholic family (sex is only for baby-making) during the sexual revolution of the 70s (if it feels good, do it), I kinda feel like it's a miracle I have at least a semi-adjusted attitude toward sex. This book would have been invaluable to college-aged!me (less guilt! better orgasms!), but it was still fascinating to all grown up me.

    Level Up, Cathy Yardley -- Short contemporary romance that ultimately felt really disposable. Plus points for a Hispanic, computer geek of a heroine, and even more plus points for the group of friends she finds herself in the middle of (I want a bookstore like the one in the center of the plot), but everything moved so quickly that I'm having trouble recalling details even though I only just finished it. 

    Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates -- The library just delivered my hold, which is great timing given that we (#2Son and I) just finished his first Black Panther (and loved it.)

    Small Favor, Jim Butcher -- #10 of the Dresden Files. I'm rolling my eyes (Luccio, REALLY?), but still listening. 

    The Bollywood Bride, Sonali Dev -- I just started, but there's a lot of backstory being alluded to.

    The Raven King, as soon as I can get my butt to the library!
    topaz119: (somanybooks)
    Today’s goal: add "but I’m making progress" every time the brain weasels tell me how there’s so much to do. (My to-do lists really do overfloweth, but having my brain tell me a hundred times an hour how I’ll never cope is not helpful at all and since I am failing at turning that inner-monologue off, I’m trying to tack the progress part onto the end.)

    Adulting is no fun sometimes (but next weekend is unlimited food & wine which is in the Adulting!YAY! column.) (See what I did there?)

    Also, it is Wednesday, so I will catch up on the reading meme, which crosses that off the Virtual Life list AND allows me to interact with y’all. Double-score?

    Silk Is For Seduction, Loretta Chase – Another of LC’s fabulous historical romances, in which the heroine is *not* an innocent young miss waiting for her Prince Charming. There is lots of good stuff in this, not the least of which is that the actual romance part and how well it worked. I would love for someone to have illustrated all the gowns Marcelline and her sisters designed and created—surely somewhere this exists?

    Venetia, Georgette Heyer, audiobook narrated by Phyllida Nash – One of my favorite Heyers and the audio version just highlighted the ease and friendship between Venetia and Damerel. Unfortunately, it also highlighted the interminable mansplaining going on with just about every single male character. OY. I’m glad I knew there was a happy ending coming (also, for some reason, Damerel’s orgy comment is A Big Thing on goodreads, so I feel like I should add that if Venetia wants orgies, whatever the definition, OF COURSE Damerel is going to give them to her. Didn’t we just spend an entire book on the road to Venetia Really Really Really Knows What She Wants and Damerel Actually Listens?)

    This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking, John Brockman, ed. – Finished in that I officially noped right on out of it. Disappointing.

    White Night, Jim Butcher, audiobook narrated by James Marsters – Yep, still trucking along with the Dresden series. This one has both Thomas and Marcone, so that’s a plus.

    Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow – I had to send it back to the library unfinished (it’s 700+ pages) but I am back on the Hold list so I can keep going with it. The goal is to have it finished by July, when we have tickets for the Broadway show. If nothing else, Beach Week is the week before that, so I’ll have some dedicated reading time available then.

    March, Geraldine Brooks – I’d just started this when my mom passed away, and I lost all focus, but I might pick it back up again shortly. If March himself turns out to be… difficult (read 'mansplaining ass') (as Bronson Alcott was IRL) I reserve the right to DNF.

    I am adopting a 'cruise through the books I already own and see what pops' policy, b/c, y’all, my TBR list is utterly out of control. I would like to get the number of unread books I have laying around (both actually and virtually) into double digits.

    ALSO! The Spring 2016 Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon is April 23! Sign-ups are open now – I am too old to stay up for 24 hours, but it is an *excellent* excuse to do nothing but read all day long (and have people cheerlead for you while you do it!)
    topaz119: (somanybooks)
    Catching up on the Wednesday reading meme…

    it's been a while )
    topaz119: (somanybooks)
    So, [ profile] msktrnanny and I are sort of interested in PopSugar's 2016 reading challenge so I thought I'd put the graphic here to kick things off.

    this is either going to be too small to read or so big it'll mess up your layouts, so behind the cut it goes )

    I have a few thoughts on books that match (Cinder, et al for the book based on a fairy tale, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them for the book that's going to be a movie this year) and some of them are sort of gimme's (a book I can read in a day is pretty much anything, and if I only read one graphic novel this year I'll be shocked) but I'm not sure where I'm going to find a protagonist who's a tech writer and who really knows what exactly my 'hometown' is.

    Still, it should be fun (I managed about half of the 2015 challenge, which was far better than I anticipated.) The real joy is that a few years ago I would never have done anything like this because I never felt like I had the time (or the brain power, really) to read all the things that I wanted to read and I certainly wasn't going to let someone else dictate that, but it's better now, \o/.
    topaz119: (somanybooks)
    It’s Wednesday, which has been my long-time work-from-home day, so I’m sitting in the living room, enjoying the lit-up tree and the money pit my collection of Department 56 houses in the pre-dawn darkness. The cat got her Christmas present early (a catnip infused scratching board three times as big as she is herself) and is literally rolling on it, enjoying the good life (and, with a bit of luck, not tearing up my furniture.)

    Wednesday also means the book/reading meme, yeah? This week, I come armed with visual aids! (and apologies to those who’ve already seen this on facebook—I know there’s some overlap.)

    Re-reads of the holiday parts of Winter Solstice and Coming Home, Rosamunde Pilcher, and a re-listen to The Twelve Clues of Christmas, Rhys Bowen, also for the holiday fluff. I swear I went and looked for something new to take care of my need for treacle, but every time I searched for ‘holiday’ I’d end up with David Sedaris, which, while amusing and topical, was not what I was looking for. I totally agree with his skewering of the holiday excesses, but while I’m in the middle of trying to pull off yet another balancing act between expectations and something meaningful, I don’t need him snarking in my ear about the very idiocies I’m trying to avoid.

    So. ::breathes deep:: I went back to the familiar. At least I didn’t fall all the way into the abyss and haul out the Jan Karon?

    Vienna, 1814: How the Conquerors of Napoleon Made Love, War, and Peace at the Congress of Vienna, David King – a little non-fiction to go along with all the Regencies I tend to default to.

    I also got re-started listening to Proven Guilty, the Dresden book I abandoned for the fluff. At some point, I will run out of audiobooks in this series and my ears will not know what to do w/o James Marsters.

    The promised visual aid, behind the cut )

    And now is the time I go take a page out of Fly Lady and get dressed down to my shoes and see how much tidying and decluttering I can do with my phone in my pocket on speaker and mute and the day’s conference calls in the background.

    ♥ Have a good day, everyone.

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