Archive - November 2017

Friday 5: Makin’ it
Show us your books: November 2017
Currently, still exhausted homeowner edition

Friday 5: Makin’ it

From Tuesday’s post: …, but it’s Franken’s passion for doing what (he believes) is right that shines the brightest. Five stars, and I hope Franken serves Minnesota and the rest of us for as long as he wants.

It’s Christmastime in the City!

I can certainly pick’em! Can we agree that it’s wrong to pretend to honk-honk a sleeping woman’s breasts? It’s not the same level as hitting on 14-year-olds, but it’s still pretty shitty for a grown-ass man to do.

On a much more positive note, I think it’s safe to announce now that we have another niece/nephew arriving on the scene in March! Well *I* know what the gender is, but ’tis not my story to tell. I’ve been calling my nephew my “favorite kid” for his entire life so I’ve painted myself into a bit of a semantic corner.

Onto the Friday 5! This week’s theme is Makin’ it
Let’s get to it!

1. What skill seems like it would be really fun to learn?

Furniture making. I can’t saw on a straight line, but wouldn’t it be cool to just … make a chair?

2. Which of the winter Olympic sports would you love to compete in?

I think curling looks like a LOT of fun. Plus it’s indoors. I hate the cold. It’s been in the 40s for the last few days and I’ve been keening like a banshee. A month ago I was in the warm Caribbean waters. But yeah, curling.

3. What fun craft did you make when you were a kid, in school or at camp or somewhere else?

Eh…I really can’t think of any craft that was fun. We did stupid woven potholders and some plaster of paris stuff, but nothing truly fun.

4. If everyone in the world is the best in the world at some very specific thing, what are you most likely the best at?

I am an amazing sofa camper. Given nothing to do, I can take a stack of reading material, a bottle of water, and my Surface to the sofa and spend the entire day there. I don’t even need the TV on.

Murphy is learning to love snuggling.. Ollie approves from the way-back of the bed.

5. What’s something you own that was handmade by someone you know?

My mother-in-law makes amazing quilts. We have them all over the house (see above), and I’ve been snuggling under 2 of them every night on the sofa for years now. I should ask her for a special edition extra-heavy flannel quilt that can I can wrap up in while I keen and wail about the cold.

I am off from work all next week, so other than entertaining a good friend from out of town for a few days and dinner at my cousin’s on T-Day, I plan on maximizing my sofa time.

Show us your books: November 2017

I’ve now read 37 books in 2017, tracking 6 books behind where I should be. Boo! Hiss! Do pamphlets count? If I had to fish for an excuse it’s this: I’m 15 months into a 16 month project at work and a lot of my spare time is being diverted toward learning the new reporting software. It took me an hour to build a report last night that usually takes me 5 minutes to build in the old software. But you know what? I built the report. And it’s, like, 80% accurate. Old dog, new tricks. Again. Forever.

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

What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky – Lesley Nneka Arimah

This is a collection of original and really distinctive short stories featuring women and what it means to be a wife, a mother, a daughter, a healer. There is happiness and sadness, violence and love, brutal reality and magical reality. All of them are either set in Nigeria or feature Nigerians living in other countries. Four stars.

Sourdough — Robin Sloan

I enjoyed Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, so I was very excited for this book — a tale of a young woman and self-discovery featuring a magic sourdough starter, two brothers with a mysterious background, a robotic arm, an underground farmer’s market, some weird biotech, and a group of women named Lois. If it sounds weird and fantastical that’s because it is. But it’s rooted firmly enough in the real world (or as real as the San Francisco tech scene ever could be) to separated it from tales of dragons and swords. This was a warm and kind read with no villains. I really want to learn to bake bread. Five stars!

Goodbye, Vitamin — Rachel Khong

It only took me 2 days’ commute to finish this beautiful and gut-punchy book about a young woman named Ruth. Ruth is about 30 and moves home for a year to help her mother take care of her father who has early-stage Alzheimer’s. Complicating matters is that Ruth’s fiance just broke up with her in a very cruel way. Watching Ruth and her family members heal even as her father declines … I can only describe it as feel-good even though the sadness was palpable. As Ruth promised, this book ends a year into her stay, which makes it a little difficult for people like me who enjoy tidy endings. Five stars!

A Study in Scarlet Women — Sherry Thomas

Why do I continue to think that I enjoy the Sherlock Holmes world? I don’t. I don’t! Not any of the TV shows, not the books, not the Mary Russell books, and not this one. I REALLY wanted to like his version where Sherlock Holmes is actually Charlotte Holmes, a disgraced young spinster. But despite how behind I am on my reading goal, I abandoned it halfway through because it focused too much on Inspector Treadles, a male investigator. No star rating – DNF.

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate — Al Franken

Is it mean to say that I was never really a fan of Al Franken the comedian? Okay then, I’m mean. But I was very interested in his desire to go from the world of entertainment to the comedy that is US Politics. This was a fantastic book — the first quarter or so was about Franken’s life before politics, which yeah yeah, you were super smart and precocious and a nerd before nerds were cool, Harvard, SNL, so edgy, I’ve heard this a million times. And then the book really takes off once he decides to run for the Minnesota Senate seat. The political process is not easy to read and some of the topics covered are throw-the-book frustrating. However, this is the book I needed to read right now. There were several laugh-out-loud moments, but it’s Franken’s passion for doing what (he believes) is right that shines the brightest. Five stars, and I hope Franken serves Minnesota and the rest of us for as long as he wants.

Gulp — Mary Roach

This is a typical Mary Roach book covering the digestive system from chewing to pooping. I laughed, I learned some things, I made a conscious decision not to snack while reading. There are references to human and animal testing, so some might find that upsetting. Four stars.

Currently reading:

Naked Statistics — Charles Wheelan. I am involved in a lot of spreadsheety reporting at my job, but I’ve always hated statistics. I’m slowly (I’m on my last renewal) working through chapter by chapter.

Console Wars – Blake J. Harris. Still. This is the book I pick up when I have nothing else available.

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

Currently, still exhausted homeowner edition

Reading: Gulp by Mary Roach. I’m at 86% and should be finishing up tomorrow. I’m at the gripping fecal transplant chapter. I’ll post this month’s batch of books on Tuesday.

Watching: Hallmark Christmas movies!

DIY-ing: Remember that IKEA table I had waaaayyy back in 2006 when I moved into my Dee-Luxe Apartment in the sky? I want a wood table for the craft room but the ones I want are hundreds of dollars. So during my weekly trip to Home Depot, I bought a roll of wood print shelf paper and wrapped the red legs.

Not so shabby.

WM did a fabulous job painting our office. We chose the color that was in our second Dee-luxe apartment in the sky – Whispering Wheat. It looks nice and cozy!

Snuggling: With this dooshbag (sic), who was professionally groomed for the first time yesterday and was WORN OUT.


He earned an A+ from the groomer, and when she told me I replied, “My dog, right? Murphy?”

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