celebrating 45 years of "meh"

Currently, pain-in-the-arms lawn version
Friday 5: Aloon Again, Naturally
Show us your books: April 2018

Currently, pain-in-the-arms lawn version

Watching: Recorded episodes of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Don’t judge. Earlier I was watching birds at my new bird feeder that we put up in front of the house. (Alas, I really don’t want Murphy snatching birds out of the air in the back yard.)

Aching: in my arms and legs. I removed 74 dandelions from the front lawn yesterday (down from the year before) and woof I feel it. We raked up the dead crap and planted more seeds. If the lawn doesn’t take THIS year, NEXT year I’m putting in a ball pit.

Reading: I went to the library today to drop off and check out some more books. I picked up The Violet Hour, American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land, The Sunshine Sisters, and a book of poetry by Mary Oliver. I’m not a poem person, but it is National Poetry Month so why not?

Psyching: myself up to get back to work tomorrow after a stint in Austin. Luckily, I’m working from home tomorrow so the transition won’t be so bad.

Friday 5: Aloon Again, Naturally

Happy Friday, happy Friday the 13th and happy birthday to my sister-in-law!

I returned from Austin yesterday with a brain full of knowledge, a belly full of BBQ, and a phone full of photos. It was a FANTASTIC trip and I’d definitely go back. I’ll resize the photos this weekend and see if I can get something online Monday.

This dude had a double-ear infection AND a mouth infection AND broke a nail. He’s better now.

This conference happened at the same time as TNP’s Annual Conference. The office is closed today so people can travel back to Philadelphia and recover. I spent most of my upright hours cleaning the yard of dog poop and broken branches from the umpty-dozen winter storms we had. I can’t believe I still have frigging trees yet. I also unearthed a birdbath underneath the ivy in the back of the yard. (Murphy is trampling the ivy to death. Good dog!) I can’t even lift the bowl part to put on the pedestal. No idea what to do with it.

Time for the Friday 5. This week’s theme is “Aloon Again, Naturally.”

On with the show this is it!

1. With which Looney Tunes character do you have the most in common?
I feel like Granny, but I’m going with Slowpoke Rodriguez, the slowest mouse in all of Mexico. “Despite his seeming physical deficiency, Slowpoke proves himself to be very cunning and virtually smart as Speedy is fast. ”

2. Who or what are your metaphorical Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote?
Erm, I’m not sure, but I’m going to declare right here that Road Runner is by far my favorite Looney Tune character. I was amazed to find out that so many adults hate him, just because he always wins. Nobody seems to remember that he’s running for his life, because that batty self-declared genius is trying to eat him. Let’s hear it for my boy.

meep meep, bitches

3. What’s up, doc?

The World’s Blackest Paint is called Vantablack 2.0, and if I ever get my mitts on it, I’m going to use it to paint a fake tunnel entrance on every brick wall I see. If you want to fall into a d-bag rabbit hole, go searching for news stories on the blackest black, the pinkest pink, and the glitteriest glitter.

4. When did you last hear some opera music?
Probably the last time I was in the car with WM. His Sirius stations of choice veer toward classical. Mine is Margaritaville. Relatedly, our first ‘date’ was in October 2006 when we went to see Bugs Bunny on Broadway. This Friday 5 is making me smile.

5. What’s a good life lesson you learned from Looney Tunes?
Me: Being a genius doesn’t automatically mean you’re bright.
WM: Never look down.

Show us your books: April 2018

Oh crap you guys. I’m attending a software user conference in Austin, TX this week and I completely neglected the blog. And now it’s Show Us Your Books day and I can’t NOT do it. I have a streak going. It’s 10:43pm Austin time which means I have 17 minutes to make the EST deadline.

From The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.

Tonight was the client appreciation party, and it was in an outdoor area in the warm (finally) Austin weather, with food trucks and strings of lights and an 80s cover band. Basically, if you were to climb into my head and plan a massive party for me, this would be it.

(I’m a little tipsy. Tito’s is based in Austin.)

My reading goal this year is 50 books and I’m at 21!

As always, I use the Goodreads scale, 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

Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams — Louisa Thomas

Louisa Adams was the wife of John Quincy Adams, the less popular Adams president and that’s saying a crapton, because nobody liked his dad very much at all. Louisa was the product of an American father and a faux-Aristocratic English mother. She was brought up to be the model wife. This biography traces her life and how she managed to adapt to crazy circumstance after crazy circumstance. Rich, pampered daughter in Europe? Check. Ambassador’s wife in Prussia? Check. Hardscrabble farm wife? Check. Widow? Check. Her life was simultaneously amazing and a sack of shit, yet she persevered and found her voice. Three stars, because it was a bit repetitive.

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk — Kathleen Rooney

This is a story about Lillian Boxfish, an 84 year old woman who lived an amazing life. She takes a walk around New York City on New Year’s Eve, 1984, and the places she visits causes her to reminisce about the people who crossed into and out of her life. She is based loosely on the real-life Margaret Fishback), an advertising copywriter for Macy’s. It was charming, and even though she is old she doesn’t die at the end, so read without dread. Four stars, and I hope I’m that spry at 84.

Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal – Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Because I continue to break my own effing heart, I decided to read another AKR book, which sucks because she’s dead. It’s a memoir that’s written like a textbook with chapters that evoke subjects like English, Mathematics, Poetry, etc. There is an interactive portion where, if you send a text to a certain number, you get responses from Amy.

Except it doesn’t always work. And she’s dead, which makes it that much more poignant. Four stars, because I still thinks she could have been one of my best friends, and I wish she was still around to send out pies.

Britt-Marie was Here — Fredrik Backman

Backman hates me and wants nothing more for me to cry all the time. Even after the lesson of “My Grandmother Told Me To Tell You She’s Sorry” I still picked up this book, a loose sequel about Britt-Marie, the nag-bag that lived in Elsa’s building. She leaves her philandering husband, Kent, and ends up on her own. I have a soft spot for curmudgeonly childless women who grow and make a difference. Britt-Marie, you are my sunny story as well. Four stars and a box of Kleenex.

Highlight: The winter requires whoever is doing the watering to have a bit of faith, in order to believe that what looks empty has every potential.

Naked in Death (In Death #1) — J.D. Robb

J.D. Robb is really Nora Roberts. This is the first in a 1,000-book series (or so it seems) about Eve Dallas, a New York City Detective in the year 2058. She solves a case of a grisly serial killer. Are there books with female cops who aren’t complete sartorial disasters? I’m not looking for a cop dressed in Kate Spade, but it would be nice to read about a female cop who is neither a model nor practically a hobo. This is a well-written book and many people love it, but it was not for me. The crime was dark, with sexual violence triggers galore. Two stars, because somewhere in the middle it went full-on romance novel and our hard-boiled protagonist turned out being someone who needed to be taken care of.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry — Gabrielle Zevin

A fiction book about A.J. Fikry, a widowed bookstore owner whose life and business change for the better when a baby is left in his store. There is a strong theme of “babies make everything better” but this was so charming and creative that I didn’t care. It’s a book about the love of books, which is different than a book about books where if you haven’t read every classical work (like me!) you feel left out. Five Stars and two puffy eyes! I used the rest of the box of Kleenex left over from Britt-Marie Was Here.

Currently reading: Option B by Sheryl Sandburg and Adam Grant

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


Time for bed. Sessions start at 7:30am.

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