Cammykitty's May/June 75ers
This is a continuation of the topic Cammykitty returns to the 75ers - March.
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So many things May stands for! May Day - two types, the Pagan celebration of fertility and Spring, or the United Workers of the World. Then it's a month to celebrate journalists, and it's mental health awareness month. Since I heard this episode Manic and Depressed of NPR's Fresh Air, I decided to do Mental Health Awareness Month. It's an interview with Chris Gethard, who has a new show called Career Suicide because he has made comedy out of his depression. So many people have. I don't know if I'll read much on psychology this month, but here's a nod to the subject. I myself have had depression for several years, but it's treated so usually no big thing. One of the things Gethard mentions, and that this month is all about, is breaking the silence on mental illness to make people with mental illness feel less alone and make it easier for them to find help.
Yes, Chris is a nerd. Great when Nerd Boy succeeds.
Some of you know me already, but I'm guessing a lot of you don't. I'm certainly not the most chatty or active person on LT. I am a paraprofessional in a US Middle School, urban population. I think our demographics are about 30% white, 30% black including Somali, 30% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran descent) 10% "other" which is mostly Tibetan and Guyanese. It's an interesting and rewarding place to work, although I always say I've got to leave because it doesn't cover the bills well. I've said that for over 10 years. And it's coming into the last month of the school year, so the kids are getting crazier and crazier while the staff is trying hard to replenish their patience over the weekends! It's easier in the beginning of the year when the kids come back and you can compare them to "same time last year" and see how much they've grown.
I also am dog crazy, and volunteer as an assistant dog trainer at a local obedience school. Bertie is now living with someone else, and I'm going to go visit her soon. She's got a younger dog as a playmate now, so I'm hoping when I see her she'll say "Yippee! I missed you! But don't make me leave this place."
This is my Wanda with her pup Bertie. Uncle Sage is in the background with wet legs. That's the way he likes it. Sage is a chicken dog, so my goals regarding him this month are getting him back on Prozac - yes, mental health awareness month - I think the Prozac helps him be less anxious - and to get him out in the world so he no longer is afraid of empty baby buggies. I was sooooo tempted to take the empty baby buggy we found on our walk today and plop it in the middle of the living room with treats around it. ... I might go back for it!
This is Uncle Sage and Bertie playing in the snow. Photo is from February I think.
My home group for years has been the category group, and I find it hard to give up. I'm keeping three categories and the rest of my reading will land where it falls.
1. Winter World
2. A Kind and Just Parent
3. The Latchkey Dog
This month, I intend to finish The Latchkey Dog which I'm finding pretty meh, but I'm going to finish it, Dingnabbit! I also saw Robert Sapolsky interviewed on The Daily Show and am interested in reading his new book Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst.
If you're a Trump supporter, you may not want to watch this.
I've been reading around the world, starting years ago with South Africa, then moving through Latin America. Now I've made it to Europe.
Southern European Authors
Authors from Italy, Andorra, Macedonia, Gibraltar, Greece, France, Spain, Portugal, Albania, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
visited 48 states (21.3%)
Create your own visited map of The World
1. My Father's Books by Luan Starova Albania and Macedonia
2. The Ministry of Pain croatia
3. Why I killed my best friend Greece
1. The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric
is planned for this month, from Bosnia. I had never heard of Andric before, but he has received a Nobel Prize for Literature and his Bosnian Chronicles are on the 1001 Books to Read Before you Die list. I was hoping to read Bosnian Chronicles, but Drina was at the used bookstore and it seemed meant to be because I have a friend whose heart dog, and last Irish Water Spaniel was named Drina after the river. She was my heart dog's Aunt, and jumped on top of him when he was a pup trying to learn to swim. Naughty Drina.
2. Tiger's wife Serbia
Books in the Spanish Language
1. Spanish-American Short Stories
2. Spanish-American Short Stories counts as two because time-consuming
3. 1st 3rd of Cuentos de Eva Luna por Isabel Allende
The image is Blacksad, a Spanish graphic novel originally published in France but set in the United States. Love it! But sadly, I've caught up with what is available in the US. I've heard rumors about another coming out though haven't seen a sign of it. Wah!
Short stories - I have tons and tons of collections of short stories and tend to read a few stories and then set the collection aside, so here's where I'm going to keep track of my short stories because otherwise I'll have no clue. My brother would say "So what's new" but he doesn't know where to find me on LT, so I don't have to stick out my tongue and give him a raspberry back for that would-be comment. At the end of the year, I'm going to count them up and each group of ten will probably equal 1 book. Unless it's something like Timmy's Never at Home, that is a collection I intend to read in its entirety. Then It will count as one, whether it is more or less than ten.
from The Weird Compendium
The Town of Cats by Hagiwara Sakutaro
Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass by Bruno Schulz
Far Below by Robert Barbour Johnson
Smoke Ghost by Fritz Lieber
White Rabbits by Leonora Carrington
Mimic by Donald Wollheim
The Crowd by Ray Bradbury
The Long Sheet by William Sansom
The Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges
A Child in the Bush of Ghosts by Olympe Bhely-Quenum
from Long Hidden
The Witch of Tarup
from Never at Home by L. Timmel Duchamp
Explanations are Clear
The Tears of Niobe
The Nones of Quintilus
A Question of Grammar
from Get in Trouble by Kelly Link
The Summer People
TIOLI #7 Shamrock Tea - a book with a plant in the name
I badly need a ticker if I really want to clear books out of my house. Here's for the ones read from my collection owned previously to March.
#13 is pearl ruled! Doesn't it figure the unlucky number would be a stinkbomb book. It was a poetry book about dead animals. Well, the poet would argue that it had loftier subject matter than that, but to me, it could've been titled Roadkill Cafe.
and oooo I am so forgetful. (Not really, I just figure I'll need this space for dog pics or something)
Happy new thread, Katie!
>3 cammykitty: I hope Bertie likes the place she lives now.
Happy new thread, Katie. Hooray for the approaching end of the school year.
Thanks everyone for coming by and visiting! I've done fairly well so far on the Sage goal - walks & happy pills. And today they were doing some sort of construction in front of the house, so hopefully those happy pills helped!
Finished #39, Green Card Youth Voices. I was expecting this to have some incredible stories in it, and it could have but it didn't. The book read like an ELL class project (English as a Learned Language) where they assigned an essay about where one came from, what it was like arriving in Minnesota and adjusting to it, what ones goals are... and the book was for them so they could have a completed project they could be proud of.
It could have been a lot more than that had the editor taken a different view of the project, and given the kids more guidance in writing. The essays lacked the details that would've made them interesting, unique and really informative to a non-refugee population. Over and over again, the kids say "I didn't want to leave. I didn't want to come to America" but only a few painted a good picture of what they left and why they left. No one asked "was it a bad situation you had made the best of?" or "Now that you've been in the US for awhile, do you think this was worth splitting up your family?" Many of the kid's families were split up permanently, or for a period of several years, because they couldn't all get visas at once. Frankly, the book would've been more interesting as a series of interviews, and with a little more language support for the kids.
Hi Katie--Happy new thread!! I saw Trevor's interview and would love to get to Robert Sapolsky's new book Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst. I thought he was pretty social and very funny...especially for a neuroscientist kinda guy. LOL And I was a neuroscience geek, so I have perspective on this. ; )
I love your short story explanation of 10 SS =1 book. Works for me!
Congrats on the almost end of the school year. : )
Hi Berly - yah, I thought Sapolsky was pretty charming. Especially when Noah got a little... Trump baiting. I loved the response to the pussy comment "I'm a professor!"
Hi Lori!!! Thanks for stopping by.
Book 40, off-shelf #15 The Latchkey Dog
This book didn't give that much insight into how handling a dog that is frequently home alone is different than any other dog. It wasn't organized in a way that would be useful to the first time owner. It was sort of amusing, but in a way that eventually struck me as condescending. Basically, it was a bunch of anecdotes drawn from the author"s New York training practice and frankly, a lot of her clients are idiots. I see idiot dog owners regularly. Granted, I see more good dog owners than idiot ones but I don't need to go out of my way to read about idiots. I know what happens to people too "soft-hearted" to give a command to a dog. I didn't need to read a book about a bunch of people who spoil their dogs rotten and then don't know what hit them when the dog comes up with a behavior problem. So, long and short of this, it's a book about how a multitude of dog problems can be helped by exercise, consistency and basic dog obedience. Yup, we knew that.
LOL! Thanks Paul. I don't have to work this weekend!!! And the sky is blue!!! It will be lovely.
Update - I'm doing fine, but yes, having a chocolate craving! A couple days ago, I went to the co-op specifically for their "triple threat brownie" and the bakery case was empty. So today, I went back and got malted milk balls, peanut better parfait, Irish Cream Cake, Chocolate Ganache cake and Triple Threat Brownies. Ya'd think I was afraid of a shortage so made a run on the store. ...
Which brings me to the reading front. I've got a little more than 100 pages left of Defining Moment about FDR. It's gotten much better now that he has won the presidency. I was not liking him in his early days, and would've snubbed him in favor of a conversation with Eleanor. ... whom my father loathed! He was in the Marines during WWII and apparently Eleanor made some comment about the Marines that gained her their undying enmity.
Dogs are fine, but no recent photos. Sage is doing well on his prozac + socialization routine, although I got lazy today. No excuse for me, except my great need to procure chocolate.
My school district is embroiled in a social media disgrace that started right before MLK day. Apparently some kids at the STEM school (kindergarten through 5th grade) wanted to do something re Black Lives Matter, and 14 staff members wanted to support them and went to the principal and asked permission to wear BLM t-shirts in support of them. They were told no, according to the district, because there wasn't enough notice so it couldn't include the entire staff. A diversity event did happen later the next week. Fine, but in the meantime 3 of those staff members have been laid off and the school board voted to fire one of them yesterday. I know the lay offs had nothing to do with BLM. I know the person who was fired, but not well so I have no idea what brought it about. I can't imagine simply asking the principal to wear a political t-shirt would've done it, but perhaps badmouthing his decision (if that happened) wouldn't have been a bright move. Apparently she took two vacation days as "sick" days, but that isn't that uncommon. As for the lay-offs, almost all of the 1st year teachers in the district are being let go and that's typical for our district. If you last 3 years, you have tenure and they are pretty picky about who they let get it. Having suffered through a teacher who had tenure and had lost her desire to teach a good twenty years before, I can appreciate that. Anyway, as a district, we now have protestors. The police removed a couple from the school board meeting. And I thought school BORED meeting was always an appropriate pun. Let me know if we hit national news! I had joked that we should all wear Martin Luther King Jr, and Frederick Douglass Lives t-shirts spiced up with a few rasta Bob Marley shirts one day, but I don't think that's so funny right now... although the more I think about it, someone should make the Frederick Douglass t-shirts and I'd love to have a good MLK t-shirt. Louis Armstrong would be cool too. Nothing political in honoring a broad range of black lives.
I love that Douglass quote. And maybe some of the people who came out to protest will stick around and become involved in the school board.
>34 cammykitty: One thing I noticed about Douglass is that he is a doppelganger for The Dubliners' late, great Luke Kelly.
Have a great weekend.
Thanks for visiting! Paul, LOL - I remember seeing a movie about an Irish band that said they were the Blacks of the UK. Makes sense he had a doppelganger in Ireland!
So I've been in a bit of a funk. Sorry for not being here much in the last couple weeks. I've been retreating in myself and right now the hubbub and squirrellyness and adhdness of school has just been too much for me! The last few weeks of school, the kids get ... different. I don't think they know they are doing it. The teachers change a bit too. We're still on duty, but we know that what behaviors we've been working on all year aren't going to change at this point. No patience left! I have one kid who has actually started sleeping through tests! And you can't tell me it isn't a deliberate choice because the minute the class is over he "wakes up" and is bouncing around the halls flirting with the girls and acting "cool" with his friends. When I worked with a kid with an actual sleep disorder, it didn't matter if it was class time or free time. He was always acting tired.
So, about me. Last night I drank some tea and went to see the Guillermo del Torro exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. It's the last weekend, and it was crowded! I really wish I'd known it was there sooner and had been able to go when it didn't feel so much like you had to get on a conveyer belt to see the art. Don't go against the flow! I'm sure at Del Torro's house, you can wash back and forth among the bric a brac and art and horrors. It was like entering the cluttered house of an obsessive, passionate artist. Some people were saying he must be troubled or that there was a thin line before he crossed over into psychopath - but I know enough artists and horror writers and horror fans to know that isn't true. He's just found his happy place, and it's a dark one!
As the parent of a middle schooler, I know what you're talking about. And even my sixteen-year-old has flaked out now that all those AP tests are over. And a week into the summer and they'll miss their friends and school.
I'm glad you made it to the exhibition. I know that for me they're restorative in that they feed some inner part of me. Only a few days until summer vacation!
book 41 - Not a good reading month! I finished Defining Moment about a week ago. I'm glad I read it and started enjoying it much more once I got to the point where FDR had actually won. Alter seemed cautious not to make pronouncements on the personal stuff. I found it interesting when he weighed in on the Eleanor/Hick relationship. He said so and so biographer insisted it was a friendship whereas Blanche Wiesen Cook insisted they were lovers. He doesn't pick a side or give evidence to back up either, until several chapters later. Then he pulls a paragraph or two out of Eleanor's letters to Hick, and it's pretty obvious the Cook is right. That said, I was surprised at the intensity of the relationship between Franklin and Eleanor. We all know the marriage had become a loveless one, each with their own affairs, but it seems like there was a deep tie of another sort between them.
I've got two books I'm hoping to finish before the end of the weekend, Shamrock Tea that would've fit nicely into Del Torro's collection, and Orphan Train. The girl I am reading it with has already finished! There is about a week left in our reading period, but she got really into it and spent a lot of her own time at home reading. Yeah, her!
Book 42, off-shelf #16 Shamrock Tea
This is a strange novel by Irish poet Ciaran Carson. It is about color and perception, and central to the story is the Arnolfini Double Portrait by Jan Van Eyck
Each chapter is named with a color, and the writing is exquisitely detailed. It is about perception and time, and includes Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Basically, three kids go back into the portrait to replenish the supply of Shamrock Tea which is a drug that creates extreme perception and mild magical abilities in some people. I enjoyed the book, but to be honest, the plot isn't that unique. What is unique is the way he manages to throw all sorts of bits and bobs into it, as though he was cutting and pasting in trivia from a monastic library. With bookbinder's glue. It's a 3 star read. I won't go back and read it again.
#43 Finished Orphan Train. Intense, and I can see why the girls liked it, but I think they were focused on the modern, younger girl timeline whereas I was focused on the 91 year old woman's story. The Irish girl. Ending predictable, but there are only so many ways to end a book like this one. Still mad that
>42 cammykitty: I still need to read this one. It has been sitting on the "read soon" TBR shelf for a couple years!
Ron, it's really good. The ending was perhaps a bit orchestrated? But I forgive the author for that, and the kids won't notice that. Hope you get to it!
#44!!! I just barely got through the goal numbers for the month!!! #44 was an audiobook This census-taker by China Mieville. I've liked his short stories and had great respect for him, but this is the first Mieville novel I've tackled. I enjoyed it but am not left feeling I want more. This census-taker is a real-life problem, a child witnesses his father kill his mother but has no proof and therefor has to continue living with him, set in a magic world. It had the feel of a world that an avid Mieville reader would know and get more layers from. There are definitely threads left hanging for another book. Frankly, I think what made this a meh read instead of a really good read was the reader. The reader was definitely meh, reading with less emotion than the words deserved.
Hi! School is almost over. Hang in there. Haven't seen you guys in the news yet, but then Portland had the nut job on the tram shooting, so that's all our news has been talking about. Makes me so mad.
ON a happier note, I enjoyed the Orphan Train and totally agree with your review!
>45 cammykitty: Doesn't sound like a typical Miéville novel based on the description, but I suppose it's more about *how* he writes rather thatn the subjects/plots he writes *about*. Narration really can make or break an audiobook, can't they? I'm so picky about audiobooks that I raarely ever listen to them anymore.
I've only read two of his books but really liked both of them (The City & The City and Iron Council. The City and the City was mind-boggling until I understood what that universe was like, but I really loved reading it. Iron Council took me longer to start enjoying. I just borrowed Kraken from the library so we'll see how that one is whenever I get to it.
So, this month I'd like to tip my hat to collectors. I saw the Guillermo del Toro exhibit at the Minneapolis Art Institute, and he is obviously a rabid collector. He made me want to start looking at what I gather with an attempt to organize them...ha ha...organize...ha ha... and made me want to go hit all the antique stores and comic book stores and garage sales to try to start collecting something to rival his. Again, ha ha. So, what have I collected in my life? Butterflies. We used to raise monarch butterflies, and any butterfly we could catch with our nets. Mostly, we released them again but if the butterfly was unfortunate enough to expire in the house, it went into our drawer of carefully collected butterflies. Stamps - our grandfather was quite a stamp collector, so we did too. There were packets you could buy from foreign countries that had cool stamps like this one:
Rocks. Of course. Didn't every kid? Music. In the 80s, I was on the cutting edge. Now, it's something different. I won't compete for the longest spotify playlist, but that's kind of what has happened to music collecting. Semi-precious gemstone beads - went a bit nuts on that one and had to stop beading cold-turkey. Books. I don't even consider that collecting. That's just behaving like myself. That's buying necessary items.
So what do you people collect?
Berly & Paws! Thanks for stopping by.
Berly, yes. That tragedy in Portland definitely makes our school's drama seem like nothing. Our drama has blown over already, but those two men will be mourned for quite a while and I hope the third recovers well!
Paws: I didn't think it seemed like Mieville either. I'm going to have to try one of the more popular books in The City and the City world. He has some really devoted fans.
P.S. Just had an interview at the place that sells the Triple Threat Brownies. Keep your fingers crossed for me! 20% discount on food, and if it's on sale discount on sale price, and they also financially compensate their employees for volunteering someplace else. So I could do some volunteer hours teaching English as a second language to adults or work at a food shelf or.... and get a few hours paid for. I answered why I wanted to work at that particular place with "Id like to work at a place whose values, meaning moral values not price, are the same as my own." And that was before I knew about their practical support of volunteerism.
I'm actually a little afraid that I'll get the job and find the place isn't as special as I think it is, and therefore lose a place that I really like and admire. - nah - If they offer the job at the same or more than what I'm getting now, I'm taking it. :)
I'm impressed by a business that compensates their employees for volunteer work. I'm (as they say in Germany) holding my thumbs for you.
I collect(ed) all things cats. Cat mugs, cat earrings and brooches and pendants, cat dishes, cat teapots, cat figurines, cat sculptures, cat themed clothing, books on cats, cat vases, cat pens and stickers and stationery and cards, cat push pins and paperclips, plush cats, cat Christmas ornaments, cat fabrics and purses, cat puzzles, cat clocks and watches, and other odds and ends. I've slowed down a great deal since retirement and actually would love a vehicle to get rid of stuff I don't absolutely love. I could stock a whole store of cat-themed merchandise!! I can't bring myself to just donate it, at this point at least.
>52 ronincats: Ha ha Roni! I can see you with a little corner in an antique store or some such place called The Scratching Post! It would be cute. I have a friend who sells antiques at a collective. It means she has to mind the store once or twice a week, but she enjoys it and sells some stuff.
And of course, I collect Irish Water Spaniel stuff, but there isn't much of it. Certainly not as dangerous a hobby as collecting cats, and I've got nothing compared to the breeders. I do have a greeting card with a pack of Irish doing what they do best, which is getting wet and in the inside, an illustrator drew a bunch of poodles. Argh!
This is my latest t-shirt acquisition:
I'm not really a collector (except for books, obv.). I hate cleaning and collections tend to need dusting (if you have them out on display) which is definitely a con on the pro/con list. And I don't really have enough interest and patience to maintain collecting. I focus on just acquiring specific items I like instead.
There were some collections when I was a kid but they rarely lasted long. Stamps for a while, and I still have them in the attic or somewhere (including my dad's old collection which he gave to me); what we call "bookmarks" but I believe are called "scraps" in the UK/US (glossy pics of angels/kids/animals/etc., often with glitter on them) but mainly to hold on to my mum and grandma's collections - didn't expand that much on myself; penguin figurines that came in Kinder eggs for a while; bottle caps one summer...
Paws - I agree on the cleaning and organizing. Definitely con. Does not happen much here. ;) bookmarks/scraps confuses me because if your glossy pics of angels etc is long and narrow, we'd still call it a bookmark. We do scrapbooking but the things we put in a scrapbook are just things. At least they were when I was a kid! Now, scrapbooking has become a folkart and you can spend tons of money on little scrapbooking scissors and stickers and papers and just about everything. I did the bottle caps too, but they didn't last and got lost somewhere. We never got to drink much soda pop, which when you're a kid and not allowed beer is the major source of bottle caps.
I'm still feeling the pull of the Guillermo del Toro exhibit and want to go look at some Spanish comic books - the rumored Blacksad release in the US hasn't happened yet. Thing is, I don't think anywhere near me has an exhibit of those, not even the Mercado Central which feels a lot like walking into Mexico.
>55 cammykitty: They can be both small and large. They're sold in sheets of between five and 30 (depending on the size of the bookmarks) where they're connected to each other via white strips that you cut off. They're collected/traded the same way football/ice hockey/baseball cards are.
It's not like scrapbooking, though. Scrapbooking has photos and knickknacks and it's all glued in. Bookmarks are put in bookmark albums and kept as they are.
This is what I get when I search for the term in Swedish, hope it works for you: https://www.google.se/search?biw=1026&bih=676&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=bokm%C3%A4rken&oq=bokm%C3%A4rken&gs_l=img.3..0l10.1428.1428.0.1718.104.22.168.0.0.0.102.102.0j1.1.0....0...1.1.64.img..0.1.102.IuBUb7XrG9U
(I see several sheets/bookmarks that I have in that search. I almost feel like starting up again!)
>56 PawsforThought: Those are called in Dutch poesie plaatjes, used mainly in poesie books (I think autograph book in English), where you write down a little rhyme for the owner (mostly little girls). Was very populair in my youth!
The rectangular ones are the ones we call boekenlegger (bookmark in English), used to keep track in books.
>57 FAMeulstee: Oh, that's interesting. We call both these things and the things English people call bookmarks "bokmärken" (bookmarks). I think they were originally designed to be fancier bookmarks to place in books but they were so pretty that people (mainly little girls) started collecting.
I was at an auction preview with my mum today and in one of the lots there was a bookmark album I just had to look through. Quite a few very pretty bookmarks in it, but they were glued in (NO!) so it'd be an absolute nightmare to get them out.
Paws & Anita: How interesting! I looked at the link, and these are a little like what we call book plates, which are cute plates that you paste into books to say that they belong in your library. Good if you loan books and want them back. I don't think we have bokmarken in the US. That sounds like a different tradition. They seem very Victorian! Cute.
And speaking of collecting and Guillermo del Toro, I was super bad today. I went to Hot Comics for the second time in the last week or so. First time I arrived after close but got to browse anyway because there was a guy with a lovely dog visiting with the owner. So, I left without buying. Today, not so lucky! I got talking to the owner, and left with March II, Rat God and the his recommendation "like .... and Del Toro had written it" and I hadn't even mentioned Del Toro - "Black Hammer". He recommended Witches and Rachel Rising too, which I'd noticed the time before and am interested in. Also I looked at My Favorite Thing is Monsters which looked good, but it's expensive!!! So probably good that I got out of there under $60. Don't let me go back soon.
>60 cammykitty: Sounds like a great palce. I love it when retail staff are genuinely helpful (not just helpfull at pushing stuff on you, but actually helping you find what you'd like). I'm going to look into those titles.
>60 cammykitty: It sounds like you've found a new regular haunt. And you're supporting a local business.
Paws & Kay, Yup, I think it is a new regular haunt... and an expensive new something to collect. Graphic novels aren't cheap!!! But I've got one packed with me. I'm leaving in about 10 minutes for Wisconsin - Future Problem Solving competition with the 5th graders. Nervous!!! But I'm leaving Rat God at home! Perhaps a bit too gory to explain why I think horror is cool on the bus. I'm taking March II and the Guillermo del Toro exhibit book instead. Del Toro never (notice sarcasm) never gets gory.
Last night, finished book #45, the Obama read, Girl on the Train when I should have been getting the house ready for the dog sitter. Talk about unreliable narrator! Nicely done! I knew the author wasn't following by the rules by the third chapter. I did figure it out about halfway through, but not all the nuances. Very psychological thriller, and recommended. Hard to find nice men in this one though!!!
The dog sitter is my boyfriend, and sadly, he's not going to be able to spend a lot of time with the dogs. His mother isn't doing that great, so he needs to split his time between her, work and the dogs. I feel for the pups because they are obviously expecting a chill day with mommy at home and a nice, cool, green (with weeds) yard available. Nope! Well, I better go see if I can set up some mellow jazz or something for them so they aren't eavesdropping on the neighbors all day. Hasta luego!
Have lots of fun and I'm wishing your team luck and good spirits at the competition.
Hope Wisconsin is fine and that you are too, Katie. Have a great weekend.
Rosalita - Not quite the last one! There's still got to be a few out there that haven't read it.
Kay - They didn't do as well as they would've liked in the competition but they had a lot of fun. After the Future Problem Solving stuff was done, they joined two different dance groups for the FPS talent show. One was a Thai dance with a group from Thailand and the other was a synchronized swim routine with no water choreographed by a few 6th grade girls from California. I'll see if I can find photos somewhere. I didn't get any good ones.
Paul - went well but I'm tired!!! Need some non-people time. I'm sure any booklover can understand that!
Berly - yes, will comment on the Obama thread too. Just haven't had much awake time until now! I'm thinking the dogs thought the jazz was fine but the bf didn't!
So, about me. I got the job offer for the co-op, which was the job I was ooohing and aahing over because they've got a scratch & dent bin of free produce and will pay you for some volunteer time. Coolest! Paperwork tomorrow.
Dogs have mostly liked the last few days. Yesterday, we took them over to Harriet Island to walk around the Mississippi. Today, Wanda went with me to Petco to buy some matt scissors and I let her pick out a chewie (apparently peanut butter twisties smell good) which she liked immensely, but she didn't like she had to do to get it. She had to let me comb out and de-matt her topknot and ears. She was pretty good, but Sage is such a baby! His topknot isn't half as bad and the minute I touch him with a comb, whine whine whine! Now to get Wanda to see her breeder for a haircut before it can get bad again. As for Sage, it's the groomer for you!
Reading- Book 46: finished March: Book Two by John Lewis on Tuesday. Intense. I had to read it in small chunks because it got to me. I knew about the Freedom Riders, but the first hand account, the pictures, the violence against everyone including government officials sent to control the whole thing was more than I was expecting. The illustrations too sent the message home. I'm definitely on board for reading the third one. Not sure the second is quite as middle grade friendly as the first one. In this one, it was very clear that some people gave their health or their life to the cause.
Book #47: My collections book Guillermo Del Toro: At Home with the Monsters has no touchstone??? It was the book that went along with the art exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. It had some interesting articles on the history of monsters, and on Del Toro's "philosophy" for lack of a better word. What has always amazed me, and scared the &*%^ out of me when watching his movies, is that the traditional horror aspect of the movies is far less scary than the "real" world aspect. From his writings in this, it's obvious that he's aware of that. He believes that the world of monsters is a world of imperfections that is often kinder than our world and expectations of beauty and order.
The images in the book are pretty cool, but a bit disappointing because there were different ones in the exhibit and I'd like a chance to see some of those again. In the exhibit, there was a little black and white snapshot of Del Toro and his sister as kids playing. She looks like she's lying down on nothing, floating, as he stands above her with plastic vampire teeth on. I'd love to get a better look at that photo! Alas, not in the book. There are a lot of images not in the book, and also some in the book that weren't in the exhibit.
And quote time, from Del Toro We are going to be done as a species. And at that point, the entire canon of Shakespeare or your grocery list or a first run of DC Comics is going to have the same importance. Geologically speaking, I think it's really good to think that we are not, and will barely ever be, on the radar. Talk about humility! He's humble for the entire human race.
Satan and Death with Sin Intervening by John Henry Fuseli
Berly - not much on details yet. They still have to do criminal background check on me. You know, poor teachers are soooo dangerous. I'll be cashiering part-time. Lateral move from Goodwill, except Goodwill doesn't have an employee discount anymore, which believe it or not was the straw that broke this camel's back. A lot of people that I like have been leaving, and there's a rumor going about that they may start closing stores. So, yes time to look for an alternate port in the storm.
Food is good at co-op, but a tad expensive. I've been a member there for about 25 years. The people there seem interesting and I should start eating better! Which my doctors will appreciate. They will be consolidating with another major co-op in town in July, which hopefully won't bring too many changes. I'm hoping to keep the Goodwill job through the summer too, and then will keep the one that is my favorite... which will of course be the co-op!
Book 48: Rat God by Richard Corben
Richard Corben is very prominent in the comic book world as an illustrator, or so I'm told. And the town in this book was named "Arkham." You Lovecraftians know exactly what that means. Just the place for rats. Corben both illustrated and wrote Rat God. I got to say, I was uncomfortable with it. One reviewer said they thought the writing was clunky and wish that Corben had delegated that. Clunky wouldn't be my word for it. He used a "Me Tarzan" style dialog for the modern Native American characters that struck me as racist, and raised cultural appropriation alarm bells for me. There were elements in it too that fight those alarm bells, and the end was satisfying. Racism as subject matter is appropriate in an homage to Lovecraft who wrote "Rats in the Walls" with a cat named N_____ as a character with no blushing, while using disgust/fear of the other as a theme. As for Rat God's plot, maybe I'm not used to reading collected comic books, but there was a repeating motif of our dislikable hero getting beat up in every chapter. Fine. He deserved a few knocks. But space is tight in comic books and I wanted some more plot development instead, or at least a different form of pain than Clark had already suffered. So it was an okay read but I'm debating whether or not the book deserves shelf space in my home or goes to the next Diversicon auction.
Just checking in here...hope the job is going well. What else have you read lately? Hope life is treating you well. : )
Didn't realise Katie that with the new job you would have so little time for us!
Have a great weekend and do come and update your pals soon.
Awwww... Here's the update. And thanks for worrying about me! So sorry to do that to you. You're right, things haven't been all that well in Katieland. Depression kicked my butt. This summer it was the worst it has been since I was first diagnosed, which was after my mother died about 15 years ago if that gives you an idea. Usually I'm one of those people who have depression but it's medicated and therefore no problem. This time, don't know why... Life wasn't going wrong. It was just my brain chemistry. The depression is starting to be under control again. And it wasn't kill my self type depression, just don't want to see people do anything even read depression. And when that started to get better, I've been hit by a series of sinus infections we're still playing with.
The co-op job is wonderful. I'm also still working at the school, which is more challenging because I'm working mostly in an "academic skills class" which is code for social skills class and the kids are more affected by autism etc than ones I've worked with in the past, and we're also challenging them in their biggest weakness. In the past, I've just been helping them keep up with class. This is more regulating their tempers, learning how to understand other people, communicating effectively etc.
So the new job at the co-op is just cashiering. It's a bit boring compared to what I did at Goodwill, but the co-op is financially stable which I can't say for Goodwill. The people there are warm, funny, compassionate and accommadating. The food is awesome and I'm eating much healthier, and for a lot less money than I have in the past. I'm starting to know a lot of the customers so perhaps I could be said to chat and count money for a living.
Argentina!!!! Uruguay!!! I went for a bit over a week with DS, Bruce's evil twin if any of you remember her. She used to be active in the category group. Maybe more on that later. Now I have the bug and want to go back to South America. I got to use my Spanish and it was great talking with people there.
Books - I'm not really reading, but am starting to listen on audio again. Usually books that are comfortable that I've already read a million times like Bunnicula and Lemony Snickett.
From memory, these are the "new to me" reads.
Monstrous which I liked.
Mafalda vol 6 which I bought at the San Telmo market in Argentina. Fun
Las Epicas de un Cucaracha Rocanrol - yup, you got it - a kid's novel from Uruguay about a cockroach that is in a rock band. His father banishes him from Buenos Aires and makes him move to a mansion in the countryside of Uruguay where he finds a community of cockroaches that has just been invaded by some hungry rats. The mansion is called Hamlin --- hmmmm Took me forever to read it but it was great fun, and it used the Argentinian Vos/Sos construction so now I'm sort of comfortable with that.
Harry Potter 1, 2, and 3. First read of Prisoner of Askaban and I'm finally becoming a Potter fan. The Audiobooks didn't work well on my nook, so I used this as an excuse to by the top of the line nook which I just got up and running last night. An improvement, but we'll see. I'm beginning to be unimpressed with Samsung, and I'm one of the people that forgave them for exploding batteries - could've happened to any company...
I think that's all the new to me books. I'm listening to Murakami's Dance Dance Dance among others right now.
I've also been working hard on my Spanish, listening to something in Spanish on youtube every day. Next time I'm in Latin America, I hope my most challenging statement will be better than my one from the last trip "El inodoro no sirve. Huele mal. Lo siento." The toilet doesn't work. It smells bad. I'm sorry. - which, by the way, was enough to make me a favorite of the maid.
I'm jealous of your travels and glad you're on the road to better brain chemistry. Good to see you here, even if you're not reading much. The desire to dig into books will return in time.
This is a time of year when I as a non-American ponder over what I am thankful for.
I am thankful for this group and its ability to keep me sane during topsy-turvy times.
I am thankful that you are part of this group.
I am thankful for this opportunity to say thank you.
On this day of Thanksgiving, I am grateful for many things, one of them being my
Thank you for being so wonderful! And thank you for the update!! I hope your brain behaves and the depression leaves you alone. : )
Katie - I hope you are feeling better. Good job with the Spanish. I'd like to hear more about your trip. SA is still on my wishlist.
Thanks for stopping by, Kay, Paul, Kim and Beth. I'm still not up to full speed, but feeling a bit better every day. I start allergy shots next week in hopes that it will prevent these sinus infections. And a new trimester starts! Our lead is kicking it off with a meeting to discuss students and our new assignments, which kind of scares me. We've never had a meeting like that before, and usually only exploratory classes change at this point but not many students change. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have one more class with the Autism specialist. I'm already with her for three classes, and don't think that will change. Except we're supposed to be getting some students added, and the classes are smalll, but considering who is in them, they are already too big. So that's the life update.
Reading update. Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami. Dang, I can't throw this book against the wall or feed it to my dogs. It's in mp3 format, on my e-reader which I love and would never throw against the wall.
So, I could tell you what this book is about, but instead, I'm going to give you my rant. What was Murakami thinking! He's a better writer than this. And I made it all the way to the end, expecting him to tie things together in a way that only a fantastic author can. Instead, well, let's say L Frank Baum might be able to get away with a book like this, but it doesn't become Murakami's works.
Read the first collection of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman. Good Graphic Novel pulp fiction style, but frankly I was a little disappointed. I thought it would part the waters like The Watchmen. There is no other Watchman. Or Blacksad. I love Blacksad. And as far as I can tell, that issue that was supposed to be released in the US this year hasn't been. Sigh.
Feeling a bit better. Went on a buying spree when nook put out a list of e-books for $2 or so each. So now i'm reading The Stately Home Murder by Catherine Aird. Got to say it's sheer brilliance to avoid the question "What's a belt of chastity?" with mild
Michael Fisher, you'll leave that suit of armor alone or else...
What the alternative was no one ever knew. At that moment Michael Fisher managed to lift the visor.
He stared inside.
A face stared back at him.
It was human and it was dead.
>91 cammykitty: Spending sprees will always do that for us, Katie.
Hope your Sunday is a good one. xx
Hi Paul! Got to agree there. Time for another spree perhaps!
Went to B&N today with a sick Samsung Galaxy that's new and got a hug from an old coworker from my Borders days. He's now a Bookseller for them. Manager there gave me the phone # for Samsung service. Can you see where this is going? And did I mention, I'd just gotten an allergy shot and I'm getting over the flu? So... I'll spare you the details, but feel I must make this public service announcement. Samsung customer service is appallingly bad! Not because the people are bad, some are but not all, but there are little hiccups like forms that don't work and links that send you back to links you've already investigated and endless repeating questions that tell you to give them this information but refuse to accept x information. Perhaps they need to spend some money on checking out that things work before they actually deploy them, all the way from ticket forms to ultrathin batteries.
So - finished The Stately Home Murder Not who I thought did it, but it was a satisfying escapist read, and as labeled on the tin, a traditional murder.
Dabbled with my comfort reads, which are Bunnicula and Hitchhikers series.
Also read a bit of horror. Louisa May Alcott's The Abbot's Ghost which is sort of a failed I don't know what. Not terribly Christmasy like it says. Kind of a romance. As for horror, maybe the ghost who points at the next person to die in the last chapter and the person dies... takes a long, coherent time dying from an injury that usually doesn't leave people coherent... doesn't work on today's audience. It is what it was. A potboiler, not great literature.
Also read JS Le Fanu's Mr Justice Harbottle and am still reading The Familiar. If you can take his gothic, faux medical style, he's great. Fingers point so much more convincingly in Le Fanu's world than in Alcott's.
Must chill and take inhaler. Spent too much energy yelling at Samsung. I haven't yelled like that for ... well, last time I remember was around 1994. At a boss. Who totally deserved it. Didn't work there for long after that. ;)
Happy holidays! I am thankful this holiday season for all the good friends I have made in this group. You are all so supportive. I don't know what I'd do without you!
It is that time of year again, between Solstice and Christmas, just after Hanukkah, when our thoughts turn to wishing each other well in whatever language or image is meaningful to the recipient. So, whether I wish you Happy Solstice or Merry Christmas, know that what I really wish you, and for you, is this:
Thanks for all the Xmas and Hannukah greetings. I hope all your stockings and wrapped boxes are filled with books.
I've finished Mistletoe and Murder by Carola Dunn and The Sea Wolves: A History of the Vikings by Lars Brownworth. Dunn was quite a cozy read compared to Sea Wolves, which at times reached gore-porn horror levels. I don't think many cultures in the 800s and 900s were even close to what we would consider civilized, but wow! They were so creative in their murder and destruction. And I had no idea that the Vikings were so heavily involved in the slave trade, but they were selling Celts and Gaels and Franks to the Muslims. Ha, and when I tried reading Lion's Blood by Steven Barnes, I thought he was trying to do a turnabout with history. Hadn't realized he was doing straight up historical fiction at that point of the book.
Finished several short stories in The Weird Compendium The Long Sheet by William Sansom, The Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges, A Child in the Bush of Ghosts by Olympe Bhely-Quenum
I was going to start reading my book from Bosnia, Ivo Andric, but it's been hanging about my bed and the kitchen table for half a year and now I have no clue where it is. Sigh. May have to read My Favorite thing is Monsters instead. I sooooo want to correct the grammar of that title.
Happy Holidays Katie. You've read some interesting books this year . Glad to read you are feeling better. Life is not always easy.
I collected stamps enthusiastically when I was younger - it seemed like a lot of kids did and it certainly expanded my awareness and knowledge of the world. I've had a thought of maybe restarting collecting before too long. I still have my old albums and I pull them out once in a while and have a look at the world that was.
Hi Ron, Rhonda & Kim! Happy New Year!!!!
Well, failed to reach 75, but I finished strong... ha ha... with three Goosebumps audio books The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, Return of the Mummy and The Ghost Next Door. The Mummy ones were pretty well closer to 1 star than 5, but The Ghost Next Door was actually good. Not really recommended to read so much Stine all in a row because after a while, you notice that he uses the same phrases to describe falls over and over again, and I'm sure someone falls in every book he writes.
I read several old science fiction short stories: The Nothing Equation by Tom Godwin, The Man who Evolved by Edmond Hamilton (which had an interesting concept, but oh boy, it didn't have a concept of how evolution really works at all) Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Kurt Vonnegut Jr, Blessed are the Meek by GC Edmondson and Control Group by Roger Dee.
And read My Favorite Thing is Monsters which was very Chicago, awesome but a rough read and it ended smack in the middle and the end won't be out until next August. Ugh!!!
Gotta love a strong finish to the year! Where is your 2018 thread going to be?
Hi Kim! I'm still a bit not up to my old speed yet, so I'm going to move over to a slower group. Later tonight or maybe tomorrow, I'm going to put up a new thread in the Category Group. Too many people there to keep up with too, but hopefully I won't feel like all the threads are leaving me behind at 100 messages per minute! I'll let you know the thread address when I have it. I'm reading my first Elmore Leonard right now, so that will probably be the first book. Comic book store was closed today so I couldn't find a graphic novel worthy of following on the heals of My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. I'll probably stop in there tomorrow and come home with far too many books. Happy New Year!!!
Okay, let me know when you've got it set up. Good luck coming home with too many books tomorrow! LOL
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