Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Malarkey

I'm still battling a late-summer slump (yep, it's still freaking hot down here in the underbelly of the nation) but I don't want you guys to think I've completely abandoned my blog. That's not my intention, anyway. However, I don't have the energy for Book Blogger Appreciation Week, this year, so I'm just going to carry on as usual and try to get at least 3 reviews written, later this week. Happy BBAW to book bloggers everywhere!

First the bookish malarkey:

I've finished reading Simon Van Booy's Why We Fight and enjoyed it. As soon as I get myself percolating, I'll write a review. Writing a Monday Malarkey post is at least in part designed to force myself to write something, anything. I think I've just gotten a little out of the habit.

Last night, I finished reading London's Strangest Tales by Tom Quinn. I plan to review that, as well as Man Gave Names to All the Animals by Bob Dylan, illustrated by Jim Arnosky (a children's book), this week.

And, now the babble:

Reading slumps suck!! But, you knew that. I don't go through reading slumps often but if I'm really scheduled there are times that my brain just refuses to read anything at all that isn't urgently calling out to me. To try to overcome that, I've dumped a lot of books, this summer, allowing myself to move on whenever one's not grabbing me. It took me a while to give in and start laying books aside, but I think doing so has helped and my reading is finally starting to pick up. Now, of course, I'm way behind on reviews so I'm getting much more serious about not accepting books. Feel free to lay odds on my success or failure.

This got in the way of my reading, too:

But, man, what a great excuse to not read, being exhausted after a day of zipping around London. We had such a great time. One of the coolest things I saw? People reading everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. I saw people reading while they walked and ducking under eaves to read when it rained, reading whenever they had to wait (in restaurants, at the theater, you name it). And, of course most everyone was reading whenever they were on the train or waiting on the train or sometimes going up the escalator.

I'm very envious of the fact that publishers in Great Britain put out new releases in paperback. I am a diehard paperback gal -- I don't like hardbacks at all -- so if I could have stuffed more books in my bag, I would have bought more of the titles I'll have to wait a year or more to see in paperback, here. Not that I needed them, but it would have been fun.

Seriously, just babble:

Yesterday, I stayed home while my husband dropped off Kiddo at school (he was home for the weekend) because I needed to stay home to make sure I made it to Bible study. The guys dropped by the Celtic Festival in Jackson and found a patch that said my mother-in-law's maiden name is Scottish. "So," said my husband, "the next time I'm in Scotland, I can get the kilt."

I wasn't quite sure what to say to that, so I just said, "Uh, okay," and then he went on: "I always knew there must be a reason I long to play the bagpipes." Okay, that cracked me up.

Kitty news:

Things are improving, little by little. Fiona still needs her quiet time at night, when Isabel goes to her own room (which, by the way, contains food, water, toys, a bed, a scratching post and a litterbox -- it's a little difficult finding the room to step around all that stuff to do the laundry, these days), but when they're together the harmonious stretches seem to be lasting a little longer each day. You can see why Fiona might find little Isabel a bit irritating:

I'm really quite proud of my little Fi for putting up with Isabel so nicely. Tomorrow marks two weeks as a two-cat family! I'm excited. I really think they're doing well. And, anyway, there is no way I can fathom making poor Izzy go to The Barn of Doom. She is a sweet kitten and deserves a decent home.

Off to read. Hope everyone has a fabulous week!

Bookfool, trying to deserve her name

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  1. How long did you get to spend in London? It's one of my dream destinations! Fi and Izzy together are adorable!

  2. Kathy,

    We were in London for a week. You should just go for it. I've been to London several times and it's still one of my favorite places on the planet, although it just keeps getting more crowded (and the Tube seemed a little rackety).

    Thanks! I'm so thrilled that the fights are getting farther apart. I was hoping Fiona's laid-back nature would help her accept a kitten and she's still uptight at times but I do think it's just a matter of time and Izzy growing out of the kitten stage. Things are going very, very well. Wahoo for that!! :)

  3. Of the three Van Booys I'm starting with Why We Fight, too. I think Rocketgirl has forgotten abou the Love volume for the moment. I haven't heard about it for at least two days, anyway.

    London! Jealous is me.

  4. Andi,

    I enjoyed Why We Fight and plan to start another one, soon, but there's just not enough Simon to please me. I need more Simon. Fortunately, I'm pretty sure he's got a novel coming out some time in the near future. I cannot freaking wait. Saved by Rocket Girl's bad memory? LOL

    London's great. You can tag along, next time. Sound good?

    BTW, so sorry you're suffering from the annual sinus thing. I used to lose my voice at every change of the seasons and I think it was allergy related. Could there be a fall allergen that's setting you off?

  5. That Fiona face picture just might be the cutest kitty picture I've ever seen in my whole life!

    Glad to hear you were on my side of the pond for a visit even if it was just to a big ol' island :) Glad you had a good time.

  6. That looks like a little happy smile from Fiona in that first picture :D But I'm guessing she's probably actually sleeping, huh?

    I've been in a big reading slump too :( It's HORRIBLE!! It's the 14th of September now and I've only read ONE book this month :( That's so awful. I really need to pick it up. So this new book of Simon' it more short stories or is it one of those novels??? Either way I'm excited to hear about it!!

    And oh London just sounds so wonderful with all of those readers!!! I'm a big fan of paperbacks too. I'll take them over hardbacks anyday.

    And how cool that y'all have a celtic festival :D I would so love that. And last thing...that picture of Fi and Izzy is adorable :D It reminds me of when Megan had a cat a while ago and she used to run around swatting buddy's tail all the time :p Poor little kitty ran away though and she never found her :(

  7. I entirely missed that you were a two cat family! I have been out of the loop lately, it seems. Congrats on the second cat!!

  8. I'm so jealous! My husband is from England and after 14 years of marriage, we still have yet to go back. We were in school for so long, and now we're going to wait a couple of years until our youngest is closer to 12.

    Glad the kitties are doing better together!

  9. Nikki,

    I follow "I Have Cat" on Facebook and she is a big fan of what she calls "nose pics" -- super-close cat photos where the nose is the focus. They're so cute that I've been working on getting a nose pic of Fiona for weeks, if not months. Finally! She has to be really knocked out for a close-up like that. LOL

    Aw, thanks. You know I would have zipped over to Italy if I could have. I've been thinking about you. Sorry I haven't commented on your blog -- I'm reading blogs but just not commenting, at the moment. I'll try to speak up, soon.

    Hey Chris,

    I owe you a note and a parcel. Still haven't found the right box for the job. I'll write to you. Look in your email box, later.

    Yep, Fi was sleeping. She won't let me get too close with the camera if she's awake, most of the time. She's a moody girl, especially with the new little furball driving her nuts. :)

    Simon's new books are not much of Simon at all, unfortunately. They're collections of writings on a specific topic and as editor he mostly gathered and wrote brief introductions to each work. Why We Fight has writings as diverse as the story of Cain and Abel from the Bible and excerpts from Les Miserables and Antigone. It's a really fun read but I am dying to read his first novel. I don't know when it's scheduled for release but it's got to be pretty soon.

    London is awesome for book lovers. You can't help but feel at home amongst crowds of Londoners sneaking books out of their bags at every opportunity.

    Oh, no! I'm sorry Megan lost her kitty! Ours are indoors-only. After Spooky was attacked by a pack of dogs, I vowed that my next kitties would never go outside. So far, so good!

  10. Kailana,

    We've only been a 2-cat family for exactly 2 weeks! When we returned from London, I went to pick up Fiona from the vet (she was boarded) and they had actually held the kitten for me to ask if I'd be willing to adopt her. Isabel was found just outside the clinic in a bush. Apparently, they know me well at that veterinary clinic. LOL Thanks!


    It took me something on the order of 17 or 18 years to get back to England after my first visit in 1980. Hang in there. It's worth the wait. Very cool that you married an Englishman.

    Thanks! It's a wobbly peace accord we've got going here, but things are definitely improving. I'm glad. I like having more than one kitty; if one's in an uppity mood, you can always go chat with the other. :)

  11. Your time in London sounds fabulous, and is a great excuse to get behind in your reading!

    Your kitties are cute - glad to hear they are starting to get along.

  12. Alyce,

    It was, indeed. We had a fabulous time in London. It wasn't really just London that set me behind, though. It was coming home from Alaska, having to unpack, pack up a kid and get him situated at college, then repack for yet another trip. Definitely worth the reading slump. :)

    Thanks! It's a delicate peace accord we've got going here -- sometimes we still hear the little piglet squeal that means Fi has had enough and is wrestling down the little hellion, but most of the time they're okay. I'm thrilled about that!

  13. If this is the second time you got this comment from me, sorry! I tried commenting earlier, and it looked like Blogger failed on me.

    The last part of your post got me even more psyched about getting a kitten (only 3 more weeks, and then she's coming to live with me!). I can't wait to have a little girl around who views everything around her that's even remotely string-like as something to attack and play with. Poor Fiona, though - I'm sure that's got to be annoying.

  14. Library Girl,

    There was only one comment to approve, so I assume Blogger screwed up.

    You're getting a kitten?! Yay!! Kittens are the bomb. Izzy sometimes drives me nuts but she is such a cutie and a total cuddle-bunny in addition to being the easiest animal on the planet to entertain. Everything is a toy. If she's bugging either of us, I just roll a ball and off she goes. :)

  15. That picture is awful cute, both of them are actually. I'm glad to hear they are getting along a bit better :) Hopefully things will just keep improving.

    Also - you were in London?! Very very very cool!! I hope you had a wonderful time!

  16. Amy,

    Thanks. It is so funny to see Fiona and Isabel next to each other because Izzy makes Fi look so huge! But, she's not at all. She's really a fairly small cat. I'm kind of wondering if Isabel will outgrow her. I think they're going to be okay. I'm really happy about that and am pretty sure it boils down to Fiona being such a sweet, laid-back thing. She was shocked that I brought home another animal but she's adjusting pretty well.

    Yep, we went to London for a week. It was great fun. Huz was at a conference and I spent most of my alone time in Greenwich because it's a nice place to wander around, has a great market and was just 3 train stops from our hotel. Somewhere in those files, I have a picture of my feet -- one foot on each side of the Prime Meridian. Everyone does that. It's so funny to walk up and see dozens of people straddling the line that marks the Prime Meridian!

  17. It's true, Fiona really does look huge in that picture :) And Greenwich sounds way cool - I hope you'll post more pictures later :)

  18. I'll tag along with you in London, too. It seems like a lifetime ago I was there for two full weeks. We stayed at Selfridges and walked/Tubed everywhere! Great city!

    Don't apologize for your reading slump or lack of posts. My post today was yet another Wordless Wednesday. I may get a review posted before the month is over! ;)

    Love that last pix of the kitties. Izzy looks like quite the troublemaker. ;)

  19. I love that shot of Isabel and Fiona. When Phoebe was a kitten she used to play with our older cat's tail all the time. He'd be real patient (obviously we're not talking about Howie here) and then when he'd had enough he'd turn around and chase her around the house. This photo brought back a sweet memory for me.

  20. Amy,

    Fiona definitely is full-grown, now, though. I wonder if we should be celebrating a birthday. I'm not sure when her fake birthday is. One of the ladies at the veterinary clinic counted backwards and said, "Now she has a birthdate!" You have to do that with the ones that are dumped. Why anyone would ditch such a sweetheart is beyond me.

    Greenwich is definitely way cool. It's relaxing by comparison with the hubbub of inner London -- except on the busiest market days, you can barely move through the market, but everywhere else it's pretty wide open.

  21. Les,

    Selfridges has hotel facilities? I didn't know that! We didn't go to Selfridges on this trip, but it's one of my favorite department stores. You can tag along. I just need to set a date and tell everyone, "Okay, this is when we're all meeting in London!" Wouldn't that be fun?

    Argh, I feel like apologizing. I tried to write a review, today, and just completely failed. Ah, well. Maybe tomorrow. Or Friday.

    Isabel is definitely a troublemaker. I'm sure she'll grow out of it, eventually, but we may have a few wild months ahead of us. We're having fun, though. Not so certain Fiona's having a blast . . .


    Aw, that's sweet and, actually, very similar to what Fiona does. She's stunningly patient but when the kitten really gets on her nerves, she'll leap on her and gnaw on her -- never with teeth. I'm pretty impressed at how gentle she is, really. Just a bit ago, Fiona was lying on the den floor and Isabel pounced on her. Fi tried to just bat Izzy away and when that didn't work, they wrestled till Izzy ran off. The expression on Fiona's face was hilarious. It was half, "Grrrr!" and half, "Why? Why did they do this to me, why?" LOL


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