Monday, May 03, 2021

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals:

  • Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells - pre-ordered in 2020
  • The Little Spacecraft that Could by Joyce Lapin and Simona Ceccarelli - from Sterling Children's Books for review

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • The Last Night in London by Karen White
  • Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac
  • The Little Spacecraft that Could by Joyce Lapin and Simona Ceccarelli

I was reading a friend's Instagram post, last night, about how we get so tied to numbers when it concerns our reading and how she shifted from counting books to counting pages because she's having a year much like mine . . . kind of a slow reading year, very atypical. She said it didn't work. She was still obsessing over numbers, so now she's trying to just be happy with what she reads and forget numbers completely. I will always notice the numbers because I've literally been tracking my reads for about 30 years. It's just ingrained. Still, I'm working on trying to ignore them and just enjoy my reading. Some weeks that works, sometimes it doesn't. But, I'm getting better about tolerating myself when I only manage to read a few pages before falling asleep or . . . worst case scenario . . . don't feel like reading at all. 

Currently reading:

  • The Gap by Benjamin Gilmour
  • Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

I read Benjamin Gilmour's first book, Paramedico, a few years back and was excited when he contacted me to tell me he had a new release. But, Ben lives in Australia and The Gap wasn't yet available in the US. In fact, at the time I couldn't even figure out a way to order a copy. The author said he would contact his publisher and try to get me a copy but that never happened, which is fine from my end, although not helpful for the author. Finally, just before the end of the year, I was able to order it and I am so glad I did. While reading about the stress of being a paramedic and the types of calls they go out on is probably not for everyone, it's sort of a minor passion of mine and I am enjoying the book immensely. 

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang is a book I bought a few years ago after watching the movie Arrival and reading that the movie was based on a short story by Chiang, which is in this collection. When I started my "short story per day" goal, I looked for it and couldn't locate my copy. But, I did some deep cleaning, this weekend, and found it, yay! The first story, "Tower of Babylon" was unique and rather stunning, so now I'm even more excited about reading on. 

Posts since last Malarkey: 

In other news:

I'm now on Season 3 of Chuck and we're within a couple episodes of finishing The Mallorca Files (which I hope will keep going . . . there are fewer episodes in the second season). And, I'm still enjoying Atlantic Crossing, although I don't buy into the portrayal of Eleanor Roosevelt as a whiner and Missy LeHand as openly envious and rude to the princess. I'm guessing both portrayals were designed to add drama. I did manage to watch the episode that I missed at the PBS website and I'm glad I did as there were some important moments that helped clarify the following episode. 

We got out once, this weekend, to fetch some things we needed at Sam's, one being a large bag of flour. Thanks to the pandemic, Huzzybuns now bakes bread regularly (usually, a couple new baguettes each week, sometimes extras to freeze). We were both pleased that everyone was masked up and observing social distancing. All of our mandates were lifted on Friday — no mask mandates, no indoor seating limits, etc. — except for masks in schools during the final month of the school year. But, stores can still require masks and the larger ones still do. I feel more comfortable being around people in masks, in spite of being fully vaccinated, so that's a relief. It may take a while to feel OK around people in public. 

At home, we are having some yardwork done, which excites me no end. I have allergies so I'm not much help in the yard, although I'm great for weeding planters, trimming shrubs, picking up limbs, and plucking tomatoes. And, now that husband is commuting back to work, most days, he is adjusting and hasn't quite kept up with all those nasty vines and volunteer trees. So, I asked around and found a guy to clean up the yard a bit. He pointed out a fungus on our camellias, which he says explains why our azaleas died suddenly at the end of last summer, and with that revelation, the job became bigger. The camellias were going to die and we really wanted to refresh the gardens, anyway. So, the front gardens are being redone almost entirely. I'm not kidding when I say I'm excited. I was afraid the neighbors probably hated us, the yard was looking so bad. 

Painting-wise, I did very little, this last couple of weeks. I've played with my gelli plate (a squishy pad used for printmaking) enough that now I'm starting to cut figures out of the paper, which was mostly painted experimentally to get the hang of it. But, my work area was getting too messy so I've stopped to clean it, put things away, and get organized. I have to do that now and then because I tend to get things out and leave them out, so my work space shrinks as I'm hemmed in by paint, brushes, jars of gel, pens, canvases, pieces of torn paper, etc. It's looking better but not quite finished. I do love getting messy with paint. 

What's up in your world? 

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