Archive - October 2017

Friday 5: Dear Old Golden Rule Days

Happy Friday! This was my last day of work before a week off, so I’m suitably chill.

We are the only house on our street whose tree dropped all its leaves. Because of course.

I’m a bit tired tonight so I’m going to hop right to this week’s Friday 5. The theme is Dear Old Golden Rule Days which is from the old song called School Days that we used to play on the Victrola when I was a child.

  1. when did you last raise your hand to be called upon, to get someone’s attention, or in response to a “how many of you…” question? or heck, for any reason at all?
  2. Probably at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women last week, as part of a “how many of you” question. I don’t raise my hand in meetings anymore. We’re all adults — we know how to speak up when others have paused.

  3. when did you last have to do anything akin to homework?
  4. (curious about the lack of capital letters in the questions) We’ve been working on a project at work since last August. It launches in December and I’m starting to fly into panic mode. The reporting portion of it is web-based so sometimes at night I’ll log in and stare at it and lose all confidence in myself.

    It’s SAP Business Intelligence “Webi” dashboard, by the way. If you have some great tutorial that helped you with it, care to share? I need a few “eureka” moments to get my mojo back.

  5. when did you and your friends last go outside to play?
  6. Today we had a scavenger hunt at work. We divided into 4 teams and had to take photos of or bring back a bevy of items from places around the city. I’m cheating on this question because I had a conference call during that time. I’d have been more upset about if I wasn’t going to be out next week.

  7. how’s your penmanship nowadays?
  8. Awful, but it always has been, even in the school days. Penmanship was always my lowest mark, and it was a relief when I got to middle school and it no longer mattered. I’m tickled pink that the only person who has to read my notes now is me.

  9. among stuff you periodically eat, what reminds you most of your lunches in the school cafeteria?
  10. Every now and again I’ll heat up some Ellio’s Pizza. It reminds me of grade school cafeteria pizza, which used to be rectangular slices individually packed in foil boxes. We were also given “hot satellite” sandwiches which was some sort of ham and melted (American? Government?) cheese on a bun. They were so good but I’ve never been able to make my own. In high school I basically had a hot dog and french fries every day for 2 1/2 years – that’s easy to replicate.

Kimberussell.com reader questions

Sometimes your thoughtful blog comments get flagged as spam. I feel badly about that, so from time to time I take a few out and answer them personally. Here are three comments that really stood out.

The first is from “Lessydog” from somewhere in Germany. They write:

One of the 18 indicators of women empowerment, sex ratio stands out as the 1st and most significant indicator for social.

Thanks for the advice. Sex ratio? I have no idea what that is so here’s a picture of some boobs. This particular pair of boobs always gets a lot of Instagram likes, so I think I’m on track.

One droops more than the other, but they’re real and fabulous!


The next one is from “AdrianaX” all the way from Indonesia.

I see your page needs some fresh articles. Writing manually takes a lot of time, but there is tool for this boring task, search for: (redacted)

Thanks, AdrianaX, but I think 2 or 3 times a week is a good amount for me to post. Not trying to set the world on fire here. I redacted your link, because that blog hasn’t been updated since August, and it needs some fresh articles. I know writing manually takes a lot of time but …

Finally, we have “MichaelDak” from Montreal. Bonjour! I hope you don’t mind that I edited your comment, because it was weird and had to do with buying essays, which isn’t a cool thing to do. But you finished your question with…

In addition, whereas I was hunting for this short article, I discovered that most people obtain residence functions, compositions, papers and essays. I don’t understand how secure it is actually and what excellent could be obtained in the end. Who faced this difficulty, create, you create or invest in? Were you caught by a sensei for this?

I am SO flattered, but I wasn’t taught by a sensei. Just the desperation that comes from looking for material in a week that contains not much material. When in doubt, always go for cheap humor! Or your spam folder.

Happy creating!

Show us your books: October 2017

Up to 32/50 books read this year and now I’m only 6 books behind where I should be. This month’s drop in reading volume was due to the fact that I got a new PC and that messed with how Adobe Digital Editions interfaced with my Philadelphia Free Library account. I could download books when they became available, but not open them, likely because I didn’t deauthorize ADE off of my dead computer and had to create a new id, which didn’t work either. I ended up losing 2 of my available holds that way.

It’s so tiny and light!

My consumerist solution was to get a Kindle Paperwhite and I am tickled pink to be done with side loading books onto my Nook. I still have plenty of purchased books on the Nook (thanks to BookBub). AND it also interfaces with Goodreads. I think I have achieved corporeal assumption into the Amazon Universe. I AM KIM PRIME!

Onto the books! For reviews, 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

The Folded Clock: A Diary – Heidi Julavits

This is a journal covering about two years in the author’s life. What made it charming was that every entry started with “Today I,” which is how she started her diaries as a child. About 15% through the book I realized that the diary entries weren’t in chronological order, which I HATE and I WHINE and MOAN all of the time about how this stuff messes up my enjoyment of books. However, part of her reason for writing this was because at her age she was finding that her time isn’t measured anymore by mere days, but weeks, months, quarters, etc. Even I, without the multiple residences, children, jet-set writer’s lifestyle, hundreds of ex-boyfriends who adored me, etc, can relate. I tried to let the lack of chronology go and focused on the recurring themes and … it was a good read. Julavits herself seems a bit unhinged at times but you know what? So are we all. She carries a tap handle with her, I wear special earrings on the days I travel home. My diary is free online and remains mostly chronological. Three stars.

What is Not Yours is Not Yours – Helen Oyeyemi

Whenever I pick up a book of Helen Oyeyemi’s I know I’m in for a difficult, twisty read and I LOVE IT. This was the second ebook library loan I couldn’t fulfill on my nook and I was pissed enough to drive to my local library to borrow a hard copy. This is a collection of short stories with the theme of locks and keys. Like her other books, the characters here are wonderfully diverse and mostly human. Characters drift in and out of each other’s stories. My favorites of the stories were “A Brief History of the Homely Wench Society” and “Books and Roses.” Five stars and I’m going to start diving into her backlist.

I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual — Luvvie Ajayi

This is the book from AwesomelyLuvvie.com blogger Luvvie Ajayi. It sucks you in with funny observances about how crappy people can be in real life, and then hits you with essays on sexism and racism and homophobia before whip-lashing back into funny essays about poor behavior in social media. I didn’t mind the serious stuff — we all need to be reading that — but I’m an adult and I don’t need my vegetables pureed and hidden in my spaghetti sauce to trick me into eating them. And most of the blurbs were of the “LOL I CAN’T STOP LAUGHING!!!” type. The book was funny and well-written, but I’m about 20 years beyond the audience that would benefit most from the life lessons inside. Three stars.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear — Elizabeth Gilbert

Oh my gosh I was so disappointed in this book, probably because I lloOOOOOooooOOOoooooVVVVVeee Elizabeth Gilbert’s writings so much, even the books that aren’t Eat, Pray, Love. Even the fiction books. This was … nice … and all, but there was so much woo (and I like woo) and name-dropping of her famous friends, and casual reminders that she happened to write Eat, Pray, Love I wanted to check out after every single chapter. To save you time, here are my takeaways: We’re all creative, we don’t have to quit our day jobs to be so, and actually it’s best that we don’t quit our day jobs, and that if an idea pesters you and you dismiss it, it will find its way to someone else who will fulfill it.

Two stars. Watch her lovely TED talk instead. And if you want fiction, read Signature of All Things.

Lincoln in the Bardo — George Saunders

Bardo: (in Tibetan Buddhism) a state of existence between death and rebirth, varying in length according to a person’s conduct in life and manner of, or age at, death.

A super-strong showing from the only dude on the list this month. This book captivated me. It was confusing — ridiculously confusing — at first, but then once I got used to the format and the multiple narrators it gelled. It was beautiful, heartbreaking, and uplifting. Abraham Lincoln’s son, Willie, dies at the age of eleven. His body is placed in a crypt in Washington DC. His father is distraught. We learn about this both from the ghostly residents of the neighborhood (think of a very adult version of the graveyard of Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride) and through selected passages from a wealth of historical documents. It’s a marriage of fact and faith and I read 368 pages in a little over 24 hours. Trigger warnings for rape, violence, and death.

Five stars!

Currently reading:

Console Wars – Blake J. Harris. Still. This is the book I pick up when I have nothing else available.
What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky – Lesley Nneka Arimah. I just started last night and a woman was just shot in the back so we’ll see how far I continue. I might not have the heart right now for extended violence.

Missed due to stupid Adobe ID/Adobe Digital Editons/Overdrive/Nook issues:

Chemistry — Weike Wang
Idaho — Emily Ruskovich

The Holds list:

This is my current Philly Library holds list. I need to add a few.

To read:
I’m going on a (non-Disney) cruise next week and I’m looking for something upbeat and fun. Beachiness is preferred but optional. I may crack and buy Sourdough, because I adored Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. Maybe A Night to Remember? 😉

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

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