Category - Hobbies

Musings on reading, beading, gaming, cooking, baking, blogging and other INGs.

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Old Lady Russell is confused
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Show us your books: July 2018
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Mickey Mouse Chia Pet

Old Lady Russell is confused

Dave Matthews BandNow called Dad Rock released their new album last month! Hooray! And I like it! Hooray! I previewed it extensively by streaming it through Amazon Music and said, “Hey, Kim. BUY THAT ALBUM.” The iTunes store has the album for $11.99.

Here’s Amazon’s price listing:

  • $0 if I continue to stream it on my computer, or phone, or Amazon device via Amazon Music. I can take this music anywhere I want for free.
  • $11.99 for the MP3s, which is right on par with iTunes.
  • $9.35 for the actual CD, which has to be manufactured, plucked out of a warehouse, put in a package, put in someone’s car or truck and driven to my house. But the shipping is free.
  • $4.69+ if I buy it from some other GenX Old, who bought it just to rip it onto their player of choice and is smartly trying to recoup some money. But I’ll have to pay shipping, which brings it above Amazon’s price.
  • $18.96 if I buy it on vinyl, where I can only listen to it in the room that has the turntable, while praying that a dog doesn’t slam into the bookcase and cause it to scratch/skip because while vinyl sounds great, it is neither portable nor durable. I know this because I grew up with vinyl. Ask me about my scratched-up Make it Big album because when they sang “Jitterbug” on Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, they should have said “but not while listening to vinyl because your jumping will TEAR IT UP.

But DMB put the whole album on Youtube, so even if I didn’t have the Amazon Music subscription, I could listen to it for free.

(breaks out the TABLE tags)



Best options for:
The environment:My wallet:If I cared about literally owning the music:If it was still 1978:
Listen for free
Buy the MP3s
Listen for free
Buy a CD
Buy a CDBuy vinyl

Sooo… I’ll continue to listen for free until the music disappears from there and then if I still love the album, I’ll buy a CD.

I don’t understand commerce anymore. Feel free to commerce-splain to me below.

Show us your books: July 2018

My goal is to read 50 books this year. I’m at 40. I’ll be glad once I hit 50 because maybe then I’ll pick up some longer books. This month I made a conscious decision to stick with happier books, because some of the ones I read this year were emotional doozies (I’m looking at you, Idaho), and I need a bit of light for a while. To that end, I cancelled my hold on “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson when it came up. I’ll get to it this year, but I can’t do a death penalty/unjust incarceration book right now. I don’t want to be known as the woman who cries on the PATCO line every day.

Onto the books!

I use the Goodreads system to rate books, 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

Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine — Gail Honeyman

Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too!” —Reese Witherspoon

What Reese doesn’t tell you is that you have to work through a lot of bad shit before you get to the “beautifully unfolding life” part. Eleanor had a childhood full of trauma and awfulness. But now she’s an adult and she’s fine. She has a job, an apartment, a routine. And that’s all someone needs, right?

Four stars, because things eventually beautifully unfold for Eleanor. She has a lot to straighten out first, though. Huge-ass triggers for child abuse, domestic abuse, and an “offscreen” suicide attempt. Triggers the size of tractor-trailers. And lots of cringe-worthy awkward social moments.

The Wedding Date — Jasmine Guillory

Alexa and Drew are on an elevator in a San Francisco hotel when the car gets stuck. Thankfully, they’re not stuck for the entire book, just long enough for sparks to fly. Drew needs a plus-one for a wedding he’s in town for, and he impulsively asks Alexa. She says yes, and pretends to be his new girlfriend for the rehearsal dinner and the wedding.

Alexa is black, and is the chief of staff for the mayor of Berkeley. Drew is white, and is a pediatric surgeon in LA. Can they make it work? To do that, they have to deal with a long distance relationship, their two very demanding jobs, and racism and privilege.

Five stars for a fresh, modern, HOT romance that made me smile!

Fitness Junkie — Lucy Sikes and Jo Piazza

Janey Sweet is the CEO of a wedding dress design house. She’s also overweight, or so we’re told. There is never a weight assigned to her. Her business partner Beau puts her on leave until she loses weight so she can not be seen as an embarrassment to the brand, which specializes in dresses for tiny women. Mmmmm. Okay. So Janey goes on a quest to lose weight with the help of her best friend CJ and some truly wacky people she meets along the way.

Here is my beef. Janey immediately jumps into the weirdest, most extreme exercise classes I have ever heard of. And she complains about being tired, but … she shouldn’t even be finishing these classes. She’s doing spin and climbing ropes and this is not entry-level, fat-girl, gets-winded-while-walking fitness. The plot about the company gets lost amidst the (completely over-the-top) drama with the fitness gurus.

Three stars. I liked The Knockoff better.

Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers Book 1) – Penny Reid

If you can imagine a rednecky romance book with educated characters and men-who-know-boundaries, this would be it. Our heroine, Jessica, is a math teacher who returned to her home of Green Valley, Tennessee to pay off her student loans. Once that’s done, she is OUT OF THERE, because she wants adventure in the great wide somewhere. She wants it more than she can tell. But she hooked up with our beefcake, Duane. He’s one of six bearded brothers with a no-good biker daddy and a dead librarian momma, and thus this book is first in a series. The plot points are eyerollingly nonsensical. I still don’t understand how one of them wrapped up, but the dialogue was good and the action was steamy and it’ll do to raise the spirits

Three stars, have moved on to the second book. I probably won’t make it through all six.

Young Jane Young — Gabrielle Zevin
Aviva Grossman is a college student interning in the office of the congressman from her hometown. She’s smitten by his charm and power. He initiates a relationship. She accepts and writes an anonymous blog. Oh, Aviva. Things blow up. The congressman recovers from it just fine thankyouverymuch. Aviva becomes a punchline, is unable to find a job after graduation, and her life seems to be in tatters.

This book is narrated by its women characters and I appreciated the differing points of view because each one filled in blanks in the others’ stories.

Four stars, because I do love a redemption story. By the way, you should follow Monica Lewinsky on Twitter. She’s doing just fine.

Currently reading: Beard Science, Winston Brothers Book 2, which was only $5.99 on the Amazon Kindle store.

Philadelphia Library eBook Hold list:

  • Pyramids — Position: 1 of 2
  • The Queen of Hearts — Position: 17 of 32
  • The Widows of Malabar Hill — Position: 20 of 41
  • The Female Persuasion — Position 138 of 242
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet — Position: 46 of 49
  • You are a Badass — Position: 92 of 100
  • Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup — Position: 100 of 100

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

Previously:
January
February
March
April
May
June

Mickey Mouse Chia Pet

Two years ago, Coworker D bought me a Mickey Mouse Chia pet for Christmas. I tried twice to get it to grow and failed. And then work got REALLY busy (the Big!Work!Project! that I will never stop mentioning!) and I put it away for a while.

Now that things settled down, it was now or never.


Finally, we had success! Here are some chia pet tips that I learned the hard way.

> These suckers are THIRSTY. The pots are hollow and you keep them watered by keeping them filled up. Anything more than a 3 day weekend without water dries them out, especially before they sprout. That is what killed our first round of seeds.

> BTW, WM wants you to know that he is awesome. This has nothing to do with the post, but hey. Content is content.

> The instructions suggest to keep a plastic bag over top of the plant to keep the moisture in. Great! I used a gallon-size Ziploc bag with the sides slit a bit so I can easily lower it over the plant after watering.


> But don’t bag it more than 4 nights, because when the sprouts grow their baby leaves will cling to the plastic bag. And when you take the bag off the water the planter, you’ll tear off all of the plants. Think of a Brazilian Wax. That is what killed our second rounds of seeds.

> Some of the water will seep out of the bottom of the pot, so it’s advisable to put the pot in a bowl. NOT a paper plate. And drain the bowl once in a while or you’ll attract gnats/fruit flies. Sorry, coworkers.

I’m not sure how much more it can grow.

I don’t know what the lifespan is for a chia pet, but I think I’ll buy more chia seeds.

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