Monday, June 13, 2022

Camera Bamera Book Book Book

Received my Goodwill camera and it came in a box with everything and seems to be in very good shape. Olympus Stylus 1010. I got very frustrated with the crummy camera in my Samsung phone. I am looking forward to taking some better pictures! 

Book comments. I am reading a book that I am enjoying but I do have a bone to pick. One of the main characters sustains injuries and then this has an inadequate amount of consequences in my opinion. This is a character whose thoughts we hear sometimes, the narrator is omniscient and pov moves from character to character within a small group. But there is no treatment described and the character's thoughts go from intense suffering to nothing so quickly. I'm baffled. 

I wonder what caused this lack in the writing. Theories: dislike of violence/injury description? Maybe not since we have a big bad who is busy abusing and terrifying our band of buddies with graphic threats of torture in the section I'm reading. Regarding characters as more abstract entities rather than flesh and blood? I wonder if this could be it. Enough npcs disappearing perhaps dulls the curiosity for what happens after a battle injury? Or too many characters and not enough autorial attention to go around? I can't determine 

Despite this missing bit, the book is providing the fast page-turning romp that I was hoping for when I picked it up. It's contrast to The Historian which is going slower than I expected. I like the mood and the variety of settings and the epistolary pieces. But. It's just not taking off for me and I wonder why. I have decided to trust that it will pick up shortly. The description of the narrator's father's Amsterdam canal house bedroom is pretty great. 

I'm laying down one of the other summer books I started. The historical fiction was including too many modern outlooks for me. Tant pis, lots of other books to taste. 

Oldest kid missed her train from Chicago (Friday afternoon downtown traffic and summer construction) but was able to change her ticket to the next day and is with us now. A knock on effect had her paying a $50 late cancellation fee at the dentist. Young adulting is happening. It's wonderful to have her here and I'll be glad to fling her back to go off to Barcelona shortly.  


Friday, June 3, 2022

Small steps

I washed my hair today and got to work on time. I am congratulating myself on this excellent effort. Being awake in the night made getting going this morning more difficult than usual. I was hot and restless between 3 and 4am. Trying to identify why: I spent time outside (it was a jewel of a day yesterday), I had physical activity (walked to the Union and back plus mowing), I took my B vitamin. Maybe it was the Dr. Pepper at noon? 

Speaking of caffeinated elixirs, I have been making some cold brew coffee and even made with store brand half caff preground - it is mild and nice. I realized halfway through the cup this morning that I could have iced it instead of microwaving. Next time. An additional perk (ha!) is that my coffee breath after is less powerful. 

Our forecast continues cooler than usual for this time of year. I am grateful that climate change (at least this year) is affecting this location in that way. 

I will mow the backyard after work and then I'm going to go downtown and listen to some band at a patio show. 

I'm doing the first week of Liftoff. Trying new things is good for the brain I hear. Pushups are included and I'm using the back of the wooden couch to start. My left upper arm and shoulder are much better after my 25 days with the chatty Canadian.   

 Isn't this gorgeous? Theodore Roosevelt Jr. with a macaw:

Junior grew up to be a hero, links for more info here Kai Ryssdal tweet. From the first citation: 

"56 year-old arthritis stricken, cane using General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. storms the beaches of Normandy with his men(the only general to do so).
Only a week later he would suffer a fatal heart attack while returning from battle. (1944)"

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Late Spring Booking

Discussed No One Is Talking About This yesterday with the Bay Area tribute book group. It was just three of us, one was sick and one hasn't participated for the last three books. I found it more slight than I expected. It's a quick read if you need one. The first half made me laugh several times and made me read bits aloud to my husband. The cat being named Dr. Butthole may be the best for me. She does high/low humor very well. Excerpts:

"A hundred years ago you would have been mining coal and had fourteen children all named Jane," she often marveled, as she watched a man stab a finger at his wife in front of the Keurig display. "Two hundred years ago, you might have been in a coffee shop in Göttingen, shaking the daily paper, hashing out the questions of the day - and I would be shaking out the sheets from the windows, not knowing how to read."


Of course it was always the people who called themselves enlightened who stole the most. Who picked up the slang earliest. To show - what? That they were not like the others? That they knew what was worth stealing?


"You could write it," she had said to the man in Toronto, "someone could write it," but all writing about the portal so far had a strong whiff of old white intellectuals being weird about the blues, with possible boner involvement.


Self-care, she thought, and sprinkled in her tub a large quantity of an essential oil that smelled like a Siberian forest. But when she lowered herself into the trembling water, what she would have referred to in the portal as her b'hole began to burn with such a white-hot medieval fire that she stoodstraight up in the bath and shouted the name of a big naked god she no longer believed in, and as strong rivers flowed off her in every direction she did not remember the conditions of the modern moment at all, she was unaware of anything except the specific address of her own body, which meant either that the hot bath had worked to restore her to herself, or else that she would have sold out her neighbors to the regime in an instant, one or the other. 

We agreed that the two halves of the book make for a pretty simple story. But I'm happy to have read it and have discussed with friends. I may see if I can rope some of my h.s. Zoom friends for the next book. 

I finished The Girl in the Tower, the second book in a medieval Russia fantasy series by Arden. I don't like the title much but gobbled up the book. Like the first one, it is amazingly successful at using the fairy tale infrastructure and weaving human characters and motivations through it. Really good, I picked up the third at the library too. 

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Faulks was nicely done. I've read two authors' homages to the great PGW now and liked them both. The maestro has inspired more art. Faulks also wrote a Bond novel, I'm almost tempted, 

Currently starting The Widows of Malabar Hill by Massey. It seems like a perfect summer mystery novel - at least judging from the beautiful cover! I have a tall stack of TBR books now including The Historian by Kostova. I'm told it's vampire-iffic and Euro touristy and that also smacks of a good summer read.   


Youngest had her graduation ceremony, bless her. She's committed to the university in Las Cruces and has a plan. We'll need to figure out the financing, which will include student loans, sorry kid. I love her a lot and hope she will find some good stuff in her college experience. 

Oldest gets here on the train a week from tomorrow. Although it may be in the wee hours of the next day, because Amtrak. We get to enjoy her company for a week before she goes back to Chicago and then off to her European study abroad plus more travel after. What luck to parent two people I like so much and who have so much to offer.