I live in New Jersey, I love the Internet, Life

Friday 5: We learned more from a three-minute record, baby

October 15, 2021

Happy Friday, friends! I had a very good adulting week, including having an electrician in to upgrade some old outlets. That will likely be the beginning of a very beautiful and expensive friendship, because if there is any one thing in this house that needs work and probably an overhaul, it’s the wiring. I also received some fabric swatches to help us purchase a sofa to replace our beloved (yet very worn and saggy) red sofa.

I’m writing this while watching the NJ Devils home opener. It’s been an age since I watched hockey and I missed having a sport. If I may rant geriatrically: figuring out if I can watch a non-local sporting event is so difficult. The first website I visited told me that the game was supposed to be on ESPN+, which we have thanks to a Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ bundle. I logged into the channel, but there was no game. I went back to Google and tried again. The second website said the game would be on NBCSN. That sounded odd, and was odd, because all that’s on NBCSN tonight is car auctions, followed by Curling Night in America. Wrong ice-based sport. Finally, I found that it might be aired on the NHL Network, which somehow I have on my cable plan. My fingers were crossed until the last minute that it wouldn’t be blacked out.

More geriatric epiphanies. The captain of the NJ Devils is 22 years old and the youngest captain in the NHL. Oof.

Time for the Friday 5! This week’s theme is We Learned More From a Three-Minute Record, Baby, which is from a Bruce Springsteen song. Do you know I’m the only NJ native who doesn’t like Springsteen? It’s a fact.

  1. Who needs you?
    My alma mater, who keeps sending me fundraising requests. Probably because I keep donating. I attended on a scholarship, so I always wanted to be able to donate to my college, and I’m proud to be in a place where I can. I mean, I’m never going to have a building named after me, but I do what I can. (I thought this link was going to be to More Than Words Can Say)
  2. Who runs to you?
    My dog Murphy gives the absolute best greetings ever. He’s healing up from the ACL injury so if I’m out WM will let him upstairs so that he can greet me when I come in. Murphy has the biggest feelings of any dog I’ve shared my home with. (I guessed this link.)
  3. Who forgets you?
    It is my hope that anyone whom I’ve hurt through the years has forgotten about me and my transgression. (Guessed the song, not the version.)
  4. Who keeps you hangin’ on?
    The summery weather. I know it’s not fantastic, but it was 80 degrees today and I ended up at the beach. On October 15th! I know November will be here soon enough with its cold sheets of rain, so this summer weather is giving me life. (There is no other option to this song.)
  5. Who’s watching you?
    I’m not sure, and that’s the weird part of putting yourself out on The Internet. I have this blog, and accounts on Instagram, Twitter (don’t find me there, I’m mean), Facebook, LinkedIn, and TikTok. My stats are certainly not setting the world on fire, yet every day people watch me as I share words and pictures about the mundane little life that I live. This was a dithery non-answer.

    Alexa is listening to me though. Every. Word. (Guessed the song, but really, it’s a much better option than Sting’s Every Breath You Take.)

Weekend plans include: troubleshooting some windows. I was supposed to do that last week but forgot. Studying. Ordering a sofa. I’d love to go out and get some wings. Whatever your plans are, I hope they’re great!

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About this space travel thing…

October 14, 2021

Or: My complicated feelings about space. Not social distancing space… outer space.

I love space, I love astronauts, I love rockets. One of the coolest things I ever watched was a nighttime space shuttle launch when I was visiting with my Dad in Florida.

Space Shuttle Discovery's fiery trail across the night sky, March 2009
STS-119, Discovery, March 15, 2009.

For the last few years I’ve been watching SpaceX launch and land their rockets. Each landing (and explosion) was one step closer toward re-energizing our sluggish space exploration.

But this weird space tourism detour has really left a bad taste in my mouth. Do we really need to do this?

There was a point in time where I would have been super jazzed up about William Shatner going into space but today I’m … meh. I’m glad he had a good time and I’m glad he didn’t die. But it’s so stunty and I’m kind of repulsed by it.

Even my favorite astronaut, Chris Hadfield, is in on it. He sits on Virgin Galactic’s Space Advisory Board and — ugh! Dude, you studied and worked so hard to become an astronaut and accomplish all you have and now you’re promoting this?

It’s not that it’s not NASA. I don’t care that it’s not NASA. Even thought I think Musk is a twerp and Bezos is a d-list Bond villain, they (more Musk than Bezos) have really pushed space travel much more forward than we ever could with government funding in a country where people are willingly taking horse dewormer.

And if nobody in the capsule is flipping switches, isn’t it just a glorified ten-minute amusement park ride?

Am I being unreasonable and a stick in the mud? Convince me this is not just a weird bro-flex.

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Show Us Your Books, October 2021

October 12, 2021

Happy 7th anniversary to the Show Us Your Books linkup! Yeah, you’re all a bit heavy on the murder books but I couldn’t hope to find a better group of book lovers and a better group of blogs to read on a regular basis.

Light month for me, because I’m reading heavily for my December CAE exam and that has sucked up almost all of my pleasure reading time. I’m tired of “required” reading and can’t wait until I can get back into reading for pleasure.

show us your books

Onto the books! I use the Goodreads rating system, 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

Membership Essentials – Sheri Jacobs, Executive Editor
Yup, this is CAE reading, and I’m counting all of it. If I’m going to read a business book, I’d rather it be written by one person than have each chapter written by an individual author. Although this book is the latter format, it’s very well edited and is a solid read. If you’re in the field, you’ve likely read these ideas and concepts before, because you’ve heard of most of the chapter authors before as you’ve attended their webinars and read their work in other publications. But it is nice to have all of those bits of wisdom in one place. Three stars.

picture of sticky tabs in the membership book
It’s a useful book!

Practical Magic (#1) – Alice Hoffman
I’m pretty sure it was Steph who mentioned the newest book in the series coming out (she reviews it this month!), which prompted me to force myself to pleasure read one book this weekend. And it’s Halloween season and so many people love this series. More importantly, I have never seen the movie, so I wasn’t going into the book with any knowledge of canon or attachment to how characters looked in the movie. What a sweet and beautiful meandering tale of women, family, love, and magic. There is a plot, but it’s more about the characters. I cried (no shock) because the aunts reminded me of my older relatives who are no longer with us, especially my grandmother. She was born on Halloween and was witchy in her own Italian Catholic way. That is to say, she was a devout Catholic with a boatload of weird non-Catholic superstitions and rituals.

Four stars, beautiful read, ignore the haters. Content warning for a touch of animal abuse and implied murder of animals for spell components. You can’t buy jars of Mourning Dove hearts at Trader Joe’s.

Still reading: Feeling Good by David Burns – I read a little, sigh because I bought the Kindle version and the worksheets are tiny and I don’t have paper nearby, put the book down to find paper, get distracted.

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

Other SUYB posts:

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September
February | March | Spring/Summer | September | October | November | Year-end review
January | February | March |April | June | July | August | December
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

Good news! If you’re a regular reader but forget to check in, you can subscribe to a once-a-week email with links to that week’s posts! Click here to sign up!