Life, Pets

Friday 5 and Happy Birthday Murphy

January 15, 2021

Today this noble knob turns 4.

murphy on the bed with piles of folded laundry
I used to have a no dogs on the bed rule.

In his 4th year, Murphy learned compassion. If one of us is sick or blue, Murphy is RIGHT THERE. Lying on top of our chests when we’re burning with fever. Licking our faces as we sit on the bathroom floor in the middle of the night. Snorfling close if we’re sad.

Murphy loves: Ollie, us, fresh tomatoes, tiny animals, chicken nuggets, my mother, cold coffee, clean laundry, and the TV program Vikings.
Murphy hates: His own farts, strangers, noises, not being with us, hot coffee, dirty laundry, and when we stand with our hands on our hips.

He has very big feelings about everything and is extremely active and ON. And as Ollie sleeps longer and deeper every day, maybe year 4 is also when Murphy will learn to be a big brother to another dog who can match his energy level.

(remembers Murphy as a puppy)

Or maybe not.

Friday 5 time! This week’s theme is Groovy, rad, lit.

the word JAWN, styled like the Wawa convenience store logo
A teeshirt design by
  1. Which slang term from your youth, no longer in common use, do you remember fondly?
    Grody! It’s such a great substitute for disgusting because it has elements of “gross” and “odor” in it. I also fondly remember the word dope, which was another word for cool.
  2. What slang do you still use, ‘though it’s no longer in common use?
    I still say cool beans, even though I don’t hear it anymore, and “cool” is such a tepid word on its own.
  3. Which current (or sorta recent) slang terms do you particularly like?
    I love the word yeet which can either mean ‘to throw’ or just be an expression of joy. Yeet!
  4. Which slang terms, past or present, do you especially dislike?
    Tribe when it’s not being used in the traditional way. I read a lot of “I found my tribe!” online when really, they found some people with the same interests. Tribe means a lot more than just “my girls!”
  5. What slang terms are specific to your geographical region?
    Jawn, which here in the Philadelphia region can be a replacement for any noun. I blog up in this jawn a few times a week. Check out this jawn!

This weekend we’re taking Christmas down FOR REAL. And planning the garden FOR REAL. (last week I was vaguely overwhelmed) I’m planning on making a King Cake and sinking deeper into Children of Blood and Bone. I guess we’re at the point now where any book featuring young people is YA?

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Covid-19 Journal: January 2021

January 14, 2021

As predicted, US cases are surging because people continue to put their own personal freedoms ahead of public health. We’re at 393,000, which is more than the current population of New Orleans. This, which was unfathomable 8 months ago, is now, ‘oh, ok.’ Vacations are still happening, pro sports continues to push forward, and the celebrities who were ‘in it together’ with us when things were tough in April have all gone back to their own lives.

screenshot of coronavirus stats - 393,624 deaths.

And the news is screaming about more contagious variants and mutations. Hooray.

TNP is closed until at least April. I feel like we won’t go back until September, and even then we’ll likely all never be in the office at the same time again.

WM’s district was going to start hybrid schooling in February, but the county health commission shot down their plan. Now they’re remote until May. At that point, why bother?

But I’m in a much better way than I was 3, 6, and definitely 9 months ago. Why?

Doritos. And hope.

We have FDA Emergency Use Clearance of 2 vaccines, and 2 other ones look like they’ll be cleared in the next month or two. The first frontline healthcare providers are receiving their second doses, and it’s nice to see the photos flit by social media. Two more vaccines are in their Phase 3 trials, and should also earn their emergency clearances in the next few months.

New Jersey opened up registration for vaccines. Even though I won’t be called for a long time (even my asthma doesn’t bump me that far ahead) it felt good to just put my name down. And to know that many of my loved ones will be vaccinated first due to jobs and risk factors. Many people don’t want to take the vaccine, and in most cases I don’t understand. I’m not going to wear my mask forever to protect those who get their medical advice from MLMers on Instagram.

screenshot of a vaccine registration confirmation

And in a matter of days we’re going to have a new administration, one that sides with science. With people who have experience rolling out initiatives and programs.

Apropos of nothing and everything, the president was impeached AGAIN yesterday. Half of all impeachments belong to Donald Trump.

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Show Us Your Books January 2021

January 12, 2021

It feels so nice to write 2021. Even if things are … more of the same. I’m starting to say, “hey self, stop doomscrolling on your phone at nights and maybe read some of these books? Hm?”

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

I read four books since I last recapped. Two were part of my 2020 total.

Here for It; Or, How to Save Your Soul in America: Essays – R. Eric Thomas.
Thomas wrote a fantastic and hilarious collection of essays about being an outsider. Working-class Black sent to an affluent mostly-white school and ultimately an Ivy League University; a gay man growing up in a conservative church and family. It may seem like a tough read, and there are portions that are little gutpunches, but it’s a really funny collection. Thomas bounces from Baltimore to New York to Philadelphia and back again, growing and changing in spite of himself.

Four stars and I loved the Philadelphia references.

It smelled like biting into that perfect peach you get on that first truly warm day after a long, hard winter. The peach that reminds you, as juices run down your hand, that being alive is generally a good and pleasant thing and you should keep doing it.

R. Eric Thomas – Here For It

Beard Science (Winston Brothers #3) – Penny Reid
Lord help me I keep coming back to this series. This is Cletus’s story of how he falls for the Banana Cake Queen, Jennifer. The romance is hot and there’s the HEA (Happily Ever After), but whatever, can we talk about the drama going on in this little town in Tennessee? Everybody has a metric ton of emotional baggage! And by the time this series wraps up the local biker gang is going to end up heads of an international crime syndicate and the Winstons are going to be multimillionaire philanthropists group-living on a compound with their wives.

Two and a half stars rounded up to three. I’ll probably keep trucking along to see how much the next book’s damsel is in distress

In a Holidaze – Christina Lauren
I put this book on my work Secret Santa wish list and received it just in time for Sloth Week. Mae is 26, working at a job she hates, and living with her mother and brother. For her entire life, her family (even her father) spends Christmas in a cabin in Utah with her parents’ friends from college and their families. It’s Groundhog Day (movie) meets Hallmark Christmas movie as Mae struggles to make the RIGHT decisions to finally make it through the week at the cabin without having to start over. I had to suspend my disbelief at not just the time travel, but the fact that multi-family friendships like this even still exist.

Three and a half stars rounded up to four. There were too many people in the cabin (skip Aaron, Kyle, and the twins, they are inconsequential) and I think there should have been one more reboot but I’m not complaining. I cried at the end because I am a sap. Read this next Sloth Week.

The Book of Delights – Ross Gay
I just finished this one! On his birthday, poet Ross Gay decides to keep a daily journal of delights. Hand written (with a Le Pen, if you’re a pen person) in a notebook. Many of his delights revolve around nature and humans caring for each other. But also: espressos in tiny cups without saucers. Each essay is tiny and he doesn’t include all 365 days so don’t worry about that. It’s also nothing like The Happiness Project or any of the other rich white lady fulfillment authors.

Four stars. It’s a sweet pick-me-up for a tumultuous time.

This caretaking is our default mode and it’s always a lie that convinces us to act or believe otherwise. Always.

RoSS Gay, The Book of Delights

I’m glad I had some solid books to start off the year with.

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:
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

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