I have been all right. Going to the gym 4+ days a week is not my natural inclination, and I still hurt in many places, but it is clear the activity is keeping my mood afloat, helping me sleep better and, yes, building strength and stamina. I took tonight off to browse the local library book sale -- $2 for Neil Clarke's Best Science Fiction of the Year vol. 1 and Whale Rider on DVD, yay -- and write a post.
My sister came to visit over Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day weekend. (Wow, it looks even worse to put those side by side than to use one alone. Wish we could just say Indigenous Peoples Day now, but it hasn't permeated the culture yet.) We went to a book event featuring chef Jacques Pépin, daughter Claudine and granddaughter Shorey. Having grown up watching Pépin, Julia Child and the Frugal Gourmet on PBS, it was a real treat -- especially since he came out twenty minutes early to do photo ops with anyone who wanted.
The discussion itself was quite funny. Claudine, the moderator, got teased by her dad, but she dished it right back. "Never work with family," she quipped at one point. They told stories about things like how PBS timed its filmings so if Claudine wasn't a fast enough learner at rolling out dough or whatever, Jacques would elbow her out of the way and do it himself. Whereas when he partnered with Julia Child, she just told the film crew, "We're going to make this dish and we'll tell you when we're done," meaning some poor editor had to trim 110 minutes down to 20-something. Nor did they work from recipes, so airings were delayed because the producers had to reverse engineer them.
We also went to the county fair in the rain, figuring the crowds would thin out. Incorrect! Nonetheless, we enjoyed many animals, vegetables and
Work has been work-y. We were urged to apply for some awards in our field, which took up most of the last three days. I've won a few in this job, so I'm a bit hopeful. Otherwise just trying to keep my head down and enjoy the aspects of this career that I enjoy while our office's overall stress rises and morale dips. Pretty sure [coworker] is about to quit.
Good news is we still get financial support for professional development. Next week I'm flying to San Francisco for a conference. If any of you have food recommendations in the Union Square/SoMa area, especially for breakfast and lunch, share away. I'm already set on returning to a couple of takeout places in Chinatown for tasty tasty dim sum. Still dreaming of the shrimp and leek dumplings from my first visit there a year and a half ago.
I'm revisiting Yuletide source, taking a lot of notes, & contemplating my reading challenge parameters for next year. This year I've focused on women authors again, but lately I've been thinking about literary awards. Maybe next year I'll try doing the Pulitzer lists or something.
Thanks for the good wishes re the cold. It's still lingering but I'm largely better. I'm still baffled that my body allowed a respiratory infection to happen at all. Maybe my allergic responses are relenting a little? *hopes*
dirt ( outside, inside )
neighbors ( squeaky wheels among so many other nice people )
healthcrap ( osteoarthritis + fibromyalgia )
Hope y'all are well! <3
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I finished Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch. It was good, but I'm not sure these books are quite my genre -- I want less focus on complicated cases and just a touch more on interpersonal relationships and the process of learning magic. Maybe I should just read the fanfic? Anyway, my TV died over the weekend, so now the boy and I are spending our evenings listening to the audiobook of Midnight Riot, the first Rivers of London book, which is wryly and excellently performed by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, who does all the accents and makes me wish they'd stripped out the unnecessary speech tags.
Currently... I still have Cary Elwes waiting for me, but first I'm catching up on fanfic (primarily Les Mis E/R, and Star Wars Finn/Poe) and various internet posts that've been accumulating on my Kindle.
I've watched four episodes of Chicago Typewriter, and I'm soooo confuuuuused. Is it past-lives or time travel? Or a mix of both? Is Yoo a manifestation of the spirit of the typewriter (in which case, am I shipping Han Se Joo/the typewriter o.O)? And did they only name Yoo that so they could use that Platters song "Only You (and You Alone)" in the soundtrack -- hilariously, I might add? What is going onnnn? (Please don't tell me!)
Also, it's a little painful watching him struggle with writer's block, when I too am in a slump. I keep shouting advice at him that I am not taking myself. ;-P
I also watched the 2-episode time-travel/undercover-as-a-eunuch drama, Splash Splash Love, about a high school student who runs away from her SAT exams and jumps through a puddle into drought-stricken Jeoseon, where her identity is immediately mistaken because apparently "high school senior" is a homophone for "eunuch" in Korean. It was cute but felt like a school play compared to Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, by which I mean they didn't manage to sell me on the world-building, and the relationships felt very rushed. And the age difference between the pairing bothered me. And (on an extremely shallow note) the actors weren't as pretty.
J and I have given up on My Girl (I'll finish it on my own) and switched to Master's Sun instead, which is a re-watch for me. Ghosts! Humour! Complicated backstories! Oh, my!
Mystery Queen and Chief Kim are both on hold this week.
My TV turned into a radio over the weekend, so our Parks & Recreation re-watch has stalled (though we did watch the Halloween episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine last night on my teeny laptop). Since I failed to buy a replacement over the weekend, I decided to explore the possibility of having my TV repaired after all and yesterday drove half an hour up the motorway and into Lower Hutt to the repair place.
I realise that to many of you, half an hour's drive sounds like nothing, but Wellington is very compact, and when I gave the repair guy my address, he said, "You're a long way from home." Heh.
Anyway, we have the rest of Parks and The Expanse s2 on DVD waiting for us, and Pru comes over to watch dramas with me once a week, so I'm going to have to resolve the issue somehow. I'd rather not watch stuff on my desktop, because it would involve reconfiguring my living room.
Ha ha ha ha ha. *sigh*
I had my first language exchange over the weekend. We talked for over two hours, in a mix of Korean and English, and we're meeting again tomorrow. I'm a little concerned that we want different things, but I guess we'll see how we go.
I've also downloaded Duolingo, now they offer Korean, and I'm working my way through that. It's fun and addictive (game-ification!), but I'm not sure I'm learning a great deal. I need to knuckle down and actually memorise some vocab.
And my classes start up again this evening.
The guy who used to fix my computer finally emailed me back (\o/) and said he's super busy atm, so I'm hanging in here, waiting until his time frees up enough that he can look at it. Which is 100% better than not having a plan.
...is sunny and warming up. I have some errands to run, and I think I'm going to bike out and have lunch with the boy. And then, of course, Kclass.
Okay, moving on to better things, I am happy to report that I have actually finished a book or two after a long stretch of getting nothing read. (And I actually watched a few movies, too, and am FINALLY starting Star Wars Rebels, though that is going to be a hassle going forward as I have to have a kid hook a computer into the TV for watching purposes.)
Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After, Heather Harpham===A memoir of trying to stay sane through a child’s bone marrow transplant… I have no idea why I picked this up on the way out of the library, but then I read it in an afternoon and it broke my dry streak of not getting more than 20 pages into anything before losing interest, but I’m still not sure why.
On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service, Rhys Bowen===The latest Lady Georgie cozy mystery and not exactly my favorite. I know the pre-WWII upper class was a small, closed group, but I always have to roll my eyes when everyone Georgie knows shows up in the same small town in another country. Also, I do not approve of Granddad’s new living arrangement, though I’m happy Queenie has found her place. Can we get on with the wedding now?
His Majesty’s Hope, Susan Elia MacNeal===Book #3 of the Maggie Hope series, which I waver back and forth between liking and really being annoyed at. It’s not quite to the level of hate-reading, but honestly, I want to smack characters more often than is probably healthy. So, this one is Maggie undercover in Nazi Germany and is really claustrophobic in atmosphere (which appropriate and well-written, but still a little suffocating.) I have more of the series (I really love the book design & I have been slowly accumulating them through used book sales) so I’m sure I’ll keep on reading, but probably not right now.
Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch, narrated by Kobda Holdbrook-Smith===Another Peter Grant story, another fabulous read by KHS. Seriously, he is fantastic, not just with Peter’s voice, but all of the characters. Also: jazz vampires. For real.
The Darwath Trilogy, Barbara Hambly===Yes, still. I finished the first book, which was an exciting milestone, but then I got sidetracked again. This is my 600+ page omnibus for my reading challenge, so I’m still planning on continuing.
Miss Wonderful, Loretta Chase, narrated by Kate Reading===Oh, so smooth. I feel like I should be taking notes as to how LC sets up an entire character in a single conversation, all without an ounce of info-dump.
The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South, Michael W Twitty==So, D’s family (and thus my kids) have (white (ostensibly)) roots going back hundreds of years in Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia, and I feel like this book is telling more about their history than anything else I’ve ever read. Plus, damn, the recipes are seriously good.
I finished a couple of books this week. First The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton. He tends to write series - one set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and one in Chicago. The Lock Artist is a stand-alone novel, and a very good one. It's a coming-of-age story, the redemption of love, and a mystery-thriller, and it all works very well. It's told in alternate chapters from the POV of the central character. The chapters alternate, telling his story in segments; later chapters alternate from 1999 to 2000. I am impressed at how well this organization works, and how it adds to the story. I recommend it highly to anyone who reads mysteries at all.
My second book was Rex Stout's Black Orchids. I must have read it before, but clearly a long time ago. I found a group of the Nero Wolfe Library editions in the B2P workroom and bought them all. I have been meaning to add more to my collection but had not bought any for a while; these fit in my collection, and I could not remember Black Orchids,, so reread it first. It is really solid Wolfe/Archie argument and banter, first written in 1942, just before Archie began army work.
I just started The Last Ballad, the latest by Wiley Cash. He's on my Must Buy list; this is his 3rd published novel. Set in North Carolina in 1929, the central character, Ella May Wiggins, was a real person, active in a textile mill strike. I've not read very far, but we get unions, a woman committed to action to improve her life, and the union opposition of that time and place.
I have no idea. This week is Books to Prisoners book sale week, and I am very busy with it; I doubt I will read much.
Would you like to help me prioritize topics?
You should post about:
Recent read: All Systems Red - Martha Wells
Recent read: Provenance - Ann Leckie
Recent read: Stories of Your Life - Ted Chiang
Recent read: Mash Up - ed. Gardner Dozois
Recent read: From a Certain POV (Star Wars stories)
TV: The Good Place
TV: Star Trek: Discovery
Vid notes for "When I Go"
What I've been up to
Thoughts on personal training and touch
Thoughts on body image
Or something else that you are welcome to suggest in comments. :)
ETA: Whoops, forgot "Movies: Blade Runner 2049." ETA 2: and Festivids. Note to self.
Nothing, because I'm still not getting any sleep for more than two to four hours at a time, which gives me about an hour of usable consciousness each time I wake up, after which I cannot focus on anything more strenuous than, like, YouTube videos about how crayons are made, until I get another couple hours. Rinse. Repeat. I have a giant list of fannish things to do starting with "answer these emails from two weeks ago" and I haven't done any of it. I haven't worked on my Big Bang in two weeks. Argh.
What I'm Reading Now
( Champions #13, Doctor Strange #26, Invincible Iron Man #593, Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man #5, X-Men Gold #14 )
What I'm Reading Next
See above, re: argh.