celebrating 45 years of "meh"

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Friday 5: The Road to H. E. Double Hockeysticks
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Murphy’s 3 ring circus
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Show us your books: July 2018

Friday 5: The Road to H. E. Double Hockeysticks

Happy Saturday! I had this lined up to do last night, but a few weeks ago I saw 3 NYT Crossword puzzle books that weren’t even touched so I’m forcing myself to do a page a day so I can get them off of my shelves. I’m considering it necessary mental exercise. Too bad I can’t close a fitness ring on my Apple watch by doing that.

We set up a new fish tank at work. Fingers crossed they make it through the weekend.

Tonight I’m meeting up with some family to eat and catch up, 2 of my favorite things. 🙂

Time for the Friday 5! This week’s theme is The Road to H. E. Double Hockeysticks which is a four-letter word meaning underworld. Let’s get to it!

1. What are some titles in your to-read stack?

There are 222 books in my Goodreads to-read list. The one that’s been there the longest has been there for almost 10 years. It’s called “The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries” by Marilyn Johnson. I added it back when I worked at the C-P and obits were a big part of life. For more bookish talk, see Tuesday’s Show Us Your Books post. I love those linkups even though it takes me a week to get to everyone who shared.

2. What are the highlights of this weekend’s to-do list?
I’m taking a trip soon and I’m going to attempt to go with only a carryon suitcase and a backpack. I’m already panicking so on my list for this weekend is to to a trial packing run. I’ll also try to do a capsule wardrobe, which I always fail miserably at because by day 3 I’m “OMG I’m so tired of gray, black, and blue!”

3. Which current or upcoming movies are you looking forward to?
Not a movie person.

4. What’s something you meant to do this past week that will have to wait until next week?
I have to make a well-person physical appointment with my primary care physician, but they close early on Fridays so I’ll call on Monday. I put this off every year but my rescue inhaler is woefully expired.

And since I kind of overshare here, I got my period on Thursday night, only 2 weeks after the previous cycle. I know this is likely a symptom of starting menopause but yesterday morning I called my GYN, connected to the nurse line, and left a message like a good rule-following Do-bee. The outgoing message said the calls would be returned in the order of importance. Which, I get.

(deep breath)

But you know, it’s been over 24 hours and I haven’t received a call back. And even though I know it’s a common symptom of menopause and I’m 45 and this is kind of low on the importance scale but maybe someone could have called back by now?

(heartrate increasing)

Because I don’t have a history of calling them for emergencies. And unexpected uterine bleeding is likely a symptom of menopause, but sometimes it’s a symptom of OTHER THINGS. Should have said that I was pregnant to get a same-day call back?

(full-on rage)

Because between this, and my ER visit for food poisoning last year where despite repeating that I was in gastrointestinal distress and having elevated white blood cell counts, I was given a vaginal ultrasound and ultimately diagnosed as having fibroids (which I already knew, but they cause me no pain) and discharged with no medicine other than a “oh, hun, if you still have a stomachache just have some Milk of Mag!” …

This is why women walk around with 20-lb uterine tumors when told they’re only having a stomachache, and why women with GI problems are told it’s just period cramps and THIS IS WHY WOMEN DIE because we are told to contact our doctors when something happens outside the range of our “normal,” and then our symptoms are ignored and/or minimized.

Like I said, I’m sure it’s just a quirk of my age, but a return call would have been lovely.

(shoves cookies in mouth)

5. What’s an unfinished project (unrelated to media consumption) you haven’t touched in at least a year?
I have not made any jewelry since we moved to this house. I know eventually I’ll get back into it (I’ve been poking around Pinterest for inspiration and my earring supply is lacking) so all of my supplies remain neatly organized and ready to go.
***

I’m currently chilling in the shade in my yard, with the new DMB album playing (I like) on the Amazon Tap, acting like I don’t have a care in the world, or clothing to test-pack or a pasta salad to make before dinner…

I love summer!

Show us your books: July 2018

My goal is to read 50 books this year. I’m at 40. I’ll be glad once I hit 50 because maybe then I’ll pick up some longer books. This month I made a conscious decision to stick with happier books, because some of the ones I read this year were emotional doozies (I’m looking at you, Idaho), and I need a bit of light for a while. To that end, I cancelled my hold on “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson when it came up. I’ll get to it this year, but I can’t do a death penalty/unjust incarceration book right now. I don’t want to be known as the woman who cries on the PATCO line every day.

Onto the books!

I use the Goodreads system to rate books, which is:

  • One star: did not like it
  • Two stars: it was ok
  • Three stars: liked it
  • Four stars: really liked it
  • Five stars: it was amazing

Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine — Gail Honeyman

Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too!” —Reese Witherspoon

What Reese doesn’t tell you is that you have to work through a lot of bad shit before you get to the “beautifully unfolding life” part. Eleanor had a childhood full of trauma and awfulness. But now she’s an adult and she’s fine. She has a job, an apartment, a routine. And that’s all someone needs, right?

Four stars, because things eventually beautifully unfold for Eleanor. She has a lot to straighten out first, though. Huge-ass triggers for child abuse, domestic abuse, and an “offscreen” suicide attempt. Triggers the size of tractor-trailers. And lots of cringe-worthy awkward social moments.

The Wedding Date — Jasmine Guillory

Alexa and Drew are on an elevator in a San Francisco hotel when the car gets stuck. Thankfully, they’re not stuck for the entire book, just long enough for sparks to fly. Drew needs a plus-one for a wedding he’s in town for, and he impulsively asks Alexa. She says yes, and pretends to be his new girlfriend for the rehearsal dinner and the wedding.

Alexa is black, and is the chief of staff for the mayor of Berkeley. Drew is white, and is a pediatric surgeon in LA. Can they make it work? To do that, they have to deal with a long distance relationship, their two very demanding jobs, and racism and privilege.

Five stars for a fresh, modern, HOT romance that made me smile!

Fitness Junkie — Lucy Sikes and Jo Piazza

Janey Sweet is the CEO of a wedding dress design house. She’s also overweight, or so we’re told. There is never a weight assigned to her. Her business partner Beau puts her on leave until she loses weight so she can not be seen as an embarrassment to the brand, which specializes in dresses for tiny women. Mmmmm. Okay. So Janey goes on a quest to lose weight with the help of her best friend CJ and some truly wacky people she meets along the way.

Here is my beef. Janey immediately jumps into the weirdest, most extreme exercise classes I have ever heard of. And she complains about being tired, but … she shouldn’t even be finishing these classes. She’s doing spin and climbing ropes and this is not entry-level, fat-girl, gets-winded-while-walking fitness. The plot about the company gets lost amidst the (completely over-the-top) drama with the fitness gurus.

Three stars. I liked The Knockoff better.

Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers Book 1) – Penny Reid

If you can imagine a rednecky romance book with educated characters and men-who-know-boundaries, this would be it. Our heroine, Jessica, is a math teacher who returned to her home of Green Valley, Tennessee to pay off her student loans. Once that’s done, she is OUT OF THERE, because she wants adventure in the great wide somewhere. She wants it more than she can tell. But she hooked up with our beefcake, Duane. He’s one of six bearded brothers with a no-good biker daddy and a dead librarian momma, and thus this book is first in a series. The plot points are eyerollingly nonsensical. I still don’t understand how one of them wrapped up, but the dialogue was good and the action was steamy and it’ll do to raise the spirits

Three stars, have moved on to the second book. I probably won’t make it through all six.

Young Jane Young — Gabrielle Zevin
Aviva Grossman is a college student interning in the office of the congressman from her hometown. She’s smitten by his charm and power. He initiates a relationship. She accepts and writes an anonymous blog. Oh, Aviva. Things blow up. The congressman recovers from it just fine thankyouverymuch. Aviva becomes a punchline, is unable to find a job after graduation, and her life seems to be in tatters.

This book is narrated by its women characters and I appreciated the differing points of view because each one filled in blanks in the others’ stories.

Four stars, because I do love a redemption story. By the way, you should follow Monica Lewinsky on Twitter. She’s doing just fine.

Currently reading: Beard Science, Winston Brothers Book 2, which was only $5.99 on the Amazon Kindle store.

Philadelphia Library eBook Hold list:

  • Pyramids — Position: 1 of 2
  • The Queen of Hearts — Position: 17 of 32
  • The Widows of Malabar Hill — Position: 20 of 41
  • The Female Persuasion — Position 138 of 242
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet — Position: 46 of 49
  • You are a Badass — Position: 92 of 100
  • Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup — Position: 100 of 100

All of my book lists and reviews are on Goodreads.

This a part of the Show us Your Books linkup from Jana Says and Life According to Steph. If you want to read more bloggers gush about the books they’ve read this month, click the button below and have fun!

Life According to Steph

Previously:
January
February
March
April
May
June

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