Thursday, August 31, 2023

July and August Movie Ratings

When I did these last, for June, I was thinking that once a month would be a good frequency to do them, but of course at the end of July, Mom was in the hospital and everything kind of went kerflooey. 

But the rules are my own and can be modified with no penalties, so here we have the humorous movie ratings from the Boston Globe that caught my eye in July and August.

My goodness! 
But it's Irish--that's culture, right?
We all did that, right?
More wordplay, I love to see it. I noticed more detail about it in the body of the review, too:
I don't want to know, I don't want to know.
But only most of them.
Again with the good plays on words.
Alliteration for the win. Well, not a win at one and a half star, but winning wordplay.
Again, it's a learning experience.
She smoked, it's a fact, and they show her smoking, but let's not, what, encourage smoking? Funny.

Have you seen any of these? Do the ratings make you want to see them?

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Book Review (in Advance): The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles

If I did not actually squeal upon being approved for an advance copy of The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles, the sequel to The Mimicking of Known Successes (my review here), I probably came pretty close! One of my favorite parts of working at Barnes & Noble, all those years ago, was getting to read books before they came out, and clearly I still feel that way.

This one comes out in February (when I will repost this review)(hurries off to make note on calendar), so if you don't want to know anything more about it yet than that it's good, feel free to opt out of the rest of this for now (though I am trying to avoid spoilers).

Like the first book, this is a mystery in a science fiction setting; the issues of where they are (Jupiter), and why (humans utterly destroyed life on Earth and there are many disagreements on what to do next, and/or how best to start it over), definitely play into the mystery, but at the heart of it, "what happened to this person who seems to be missing" is the mystery. 

Mossa and Pleiti are working out their own relationship as well, what they mean to each other and who is willing to say what, but they work together well, playing to the strengths of each in researching what happened.

Side note, I do appreciate how many words I had to look up, as they turn out to be from a variety of languages; of course, not all words should be derived from English, I had never thought about it but why would they?

Who knew that the mystery/sci-fi mashup could be so appealing? Malka Older is firmly on my check-this-author-out list from now on.

(I don't usually post twice in one day, but I put up my review of Thornhedge earlier, don't miss that!)

Book Review: Thornhedge

Ursula Vernon, aka T. Kingfisher, recently had a novella come out, called Thornhedge, which is a twist on the tale of Sleeping Beauty. Well, not just a twist: she took the fairy tale, inverted it like origami, turned it upside down, pleated the edges, and viewed it through a prism. Bringing up, and looking at possible answers to, so many questions:

  • Who is the hero?
  • What is a hero?
  • Who and what are the villain?
  • Why does each do what they do?
  • Who pays the price when things go wrong, even if they go wrong for the right reasons?
  • What is family, really?

So much going on in such a short piece. Really fun.

I loved this little book. I got it from the library, but I may need to buy my own copy. 

Monday, August 21, 2023

Two Successful "Just One Thing" Moments

As usual, the weekend went by so quickly and my to-do list is still full of things I meant to/hoped to get to but did not.

However! I wanted to share two small successes that made me feel a little better about it.

I was meeting friends for lunch yesterday, and had calculated when I needed to leave by to get there in time (in my family, "in time" means 5 minutes early, or maybe 10, we try not to be earlier than that but sometimes, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, you know). When it was 5 minutes before that time, I was sitting there telling myself that there was no need to leave so early, and my eye fell on my to-do list and I saw that one item there actually would take 5 minutes or less, if I left the dishes to do later, which I have no problem doing.

So I did it! Got something done and crossed off the list, then left for the lunch and was there at just the right time.

The lunch was fun, with both good food and catching up. Plus I also had this, which was so, so delicious:

(I drove away thinking, why didn't I get another one to go?)

So, the second thing. I was getting ready for bed last night, having told myself that it was really kind of too early to go to bed, since I didn't want to wake up at 4 and not be able to get back to sleep, but I was just so tired*. But after I finished my ablutions (wash face, take out contacts, brush teeth), I impulsively opened the disaster of a drawer at the sink, which was so full of random crap that I can't find anything without five minutes of digging around, and did a really good first sweep of things that could be thrown out. 

*I've never been a high-energy person, but these days, wow. By 6 or 7 PM, I'm asking myself if it's too soon to go to bed. Wiped out. (Which I wrote about before, and to update that, we have a "care meeting" tomorrow, so maybe something will come of that.

You know the kind of sweep I mean: "This expired when? Out. How does that smell? Ooh, out." The drawer isn't perfect now, but it's so much better, and sets me up for the next sweep, when everything is taken out of the drawer and assessed before being ranked worthy to return.

Speaking of to-do lists, by the way, I just bought myself a new pad (I find the long ones work really well for me), and it's just too perfect.

Have you had any small successes recently? Share them! Brag on yourself! No success too small.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Reprogramming in the Moment

I knocked something over today, and it made a mess--a small mess, but still a mess--and my first response was to say, "Oh, jeez, you are incapable of not knocking things over!" 

And while it is true that I am a klutz, and that frequently results in things I have to clean up, my second response was, "Stop it. If your friend had done this, would you say that to them? No. So don't say it to yourself."

And I cleaned it up, which seriously took less than a minute and was not a big deal.

Am I still a little annoyed with myself? Honestly, yes I am. But I'm also trying to let it go. We are all works in progress.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

In the Middle of Everything Else

Today something got done that we've been talking about for a couple of years, in a low-key, sometime kind of way: getting a shower door put in to my bathroom. No more shower curtain blowing in and sticking to my leg! Yay! Yes, the timing ended up being less than perfect, but hey. It's done.



I'm looking forward to using it, but they said to not do that for 24 hours, so tomorrow I'll shower in Mom's.

Or I'll wait until lunchtime and shower in mine. Maybe. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

No News Is Exhausting

I suppose it's not groundbreaking news if I say that stress is exhausting, but wow, these days I'm going to bed about an hour earlier than I used to, because I am so wiped out by the end of the day. And it's not like my days are physically strenuous! But I have more to do than I used to, than I am used to, and between that and the worrying about all the uncertainty, boom! Out like a light. I'm sleeping better than I used to, too. At least there's that.

Mom is still in rehab. She was supposed to have a doctor's appointment on Monday--a "follow-up" with a doctor she said she'd never seen--but they first switched it to Tuesday (because the Monday appointment was with the PA, who apparently said, no, wait, she should see the doctor) and then they came back and said wait, you haven't seen this doctor before! You need to follow up with the doctor you saw in the hospital! He can see you on Friday! 

I was so hoping we would learn more about what might come next--I mean, and I still am, but having to wait four more days is not doing me much good. Swimming in a sea of uncertainty.

So for now, I'm deeply into the Just One Thing method of coping. When I get overwhelmed by how much needs doing, I take a deep breath and pick one thing to do. Just one. Doesn't have to be the most important thing, just that it's one thing I can do. Then on to one more thing, at least until it's time for a break, or bed. Just one thing. I can do one more thing.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

A Kermit Moment

I don't remember how it came up, ironically, but just recently, I was telling my mother about this Muppet gag I remembered from, no joke, 1986, and then it showed up on Twitter! Turn your sound on and give it a minute, it's worth it!

(I hope that link works, I can't find the clip anywhere else.)

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Maggie Encounters My Feet

Last night, I was getting ready for bed and talking to Maggie about whether she was going to join me there--sometimes she does and sometimes she doesn't. I went to lie down, and turned my head to see that she had jumped up at the same time, and found herself practically running into my feet. She looked so offended! The funny thing is, she loves to rub against my feet all the time. 

But I guess that's different.

Monday, August 07, 2023

Book Review: The Mimicking of Known Successes

Mary Ellen has been telling me for a while that I needed to read Malka Older's The Mimicking of Known Successes, and guess what, I finally did! 

It's an interesting mix of genres: it's clearly a mystery in that they're trying to figure out what happened to someone who vanished, but at the same time, being set on Jupiter, where humans have set up shop to try to figure out how they can fix the Earth (basically, undo all the destruction humanity caused) and get a planetary do-over, there's definitely something sci-fi going on. 

I don't read a ton of mysteries these days, but this combo definitely caught my attention. I enjoyed the writing style and the world-building, and I'm looking forward to the next one (which very much isn't out yet) already.

Sunday, August 06, 2023

A No-Fun Saturday Morning

Maggie would tell you that it was less fun for her, but honestly, forcing her to go to the vet is hard on me, too. She hates the carrier and the car and all the funny smells and the strangers holding her, and it's just a lot. (For both of us, Maggie.) The end result is she seems to be in good shape for her age, but we do have to clean her teeth, which will freak me out (due to a previous experience, not because it's rationally something to be that afraid of) but we'll get through it.

Meanwhile, here is her highness, suffering in silence for one moment. I stopped at a red light and my heart melted when I saw the paws.

Oh, baby.
Off topic, but do you see how high up the Exit sign is? Good luck seeing that in an emergency. Unless it was after dark, anyway.
Waiting for the room.
"What's out there?"

"You know I hate this, right?"
"Mom? I hate this place."
The tail looks casual, but that's misleading.

"I want out of here. Now."
After we got home, she napped on the lap. At least she doesn't hold a grudge.
This is where I want to say that at least that's over for another year, but the teeth. Sigh.

Thursday, August 03, 2023

Two Ways I Was Unknowingly Prescient

Isn't "prescient" a nice word? If you haven't run across it, it means "having or showing knowledge of events before they take place." 

Here's why it is on my mind:

  • Last week, I ordered some yarn, no reason, just a nice sale. ("Fun" fact: I tried to insert the photo here, and first it put it after the next bullet, then it put it at the end of the text. I had to cut and paste it to get it where the damned cursor was.) It arrived yesterday, two similar but not identical colorways, two different bases, both lovely.
  • Then on Sunday afternoon, I ran into the grocery store for a few things, and I picked up a couple of slices of cheesecake, and a pint of ice cream, as well as a bag of Heath Bar bits to sprinkle on both, none of which are things I regularly buy.

On Sunday night, my mother fell, and she is currently in the hospital waiting for a rehab bed, so she can regain her mobility from the hairline fracture in her hip, which is on top of the compression fractures in her back that were diagnosed last week. (Turns out that no, she didn't have a kidney infection that was causing the terrible pain in her back.) I'm so glad to have these treats in the house during these stressful times!

The fall was unrelated to the back issues, by the way, and wasn't an age-related fall, either. The elevator was acting up on her, and when the door finally opened she went to step out, and didn't notice that it stopped a good six inches below the level. Of course she fell: so would I have, so would anyone. Just awful luck.

At least she's not in pain unless she moves. But she needs to be able to move, i.e. walk, in order to be allowed to come home, so. Rehab it is.