Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I suspect I’m in the minority here but I liked Harry Pottery and the Cursed Child. I did. I really did.

It’s not a perfect book. There are a lot of things that left me shaking my head. But, all things considered, I wasn’t really disappointed. I do suspect it’s better as a play than it is a book but either way. I’m not sorry I read it. I’d read another.

Four Graphic Novels

Lion of Rora was the graphic novel that I expected to like the least. Turns out, it was pretty darn good. Well drawn and well written.

I also really enjoyed Secret Coders #1 but was so annoyed when it ended. I understand cliffhangers but geez, really? You couldn’t give us just a tiny bit more??? Oy. (Also, those birds are kind of creepy.)

Ms Marvel was excellent, as expected.

And, the big winner for me was The Marvels. This was really well done. All graphic novel in the beginning and then text at the end. Beautiful. Also, sad.

Cuckoo Song

I’ve read some pretty weird books because of the Cybils Shortlist but this might have been one of the weirdest.

Cuckoo Song is dark, complex, deeply troubling in places and downright weird in others. TW didn’t finish it because it weirded her out. And, it’s middle grade. I would love to find some middle grade kids who have read this so that I can hear their take.

The Useful Book: 201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop

The Useful Book is a pretty useful book, especially if you’re a younger person or someone who just never learned much about cooking and homemaking. That section was pretty detailed. The section that covers “Shop” was not quite as robust but was still pretty useful for things like “How to Clean Your Gutters” and “How to Replace a Light Fixture.”

It feels like an excellent book for a college student or a young person getting her/his first house/apartment.

That 70’s House: Hurricane Prep

Hurricanes are stupid. All of my birthday weekend plans have been shot to hell because of this stupid storm. WHATEVER. Happy birthday to ME and all that stuff. Poop.

Then there’s all of the rush, rush, rush to get things from the yard brought into the house or secured in some way that might hopefully prevent them from becoming projectiles that break your sliders or injure your car or knock down the stupid crepe myrtles or something.

Whatever. I took care of moving all of the things and tying down all of the other things and it’s done. Except for Mr C’s American flag that I CANNOT GET OUT OF THE HOLDER NO MATTER HOW HARD I PULL ON IT. That flag will be the death of me. Take note. In case people ask later.

We went to the dump, thank GOD it was still open. (And, I should thank the hurricane because it forced me to deal with the outdoor trash can that is full of last month’s party trash and has been growing maggots and flies for weeks. ewww.)

We went to the Post Office and finally mailed packages to Michelle, my nephews, and Sassymonkey. I chatted with the postal clerk and an old dude who came in just to tell the postal folks that he wouldn’t be in tomorrow to pick up his mail. Lol. LOL. lol. Don’t worry, though. He has his tins of sardines and crackers and bread and some tins of cat food for the kitty. He might decide to just drive north for a bit, since he has so many trees in his yard and even around his part of the lake. But he might not because he might not be able to convince the cat to come out from under the bed. Whatever. He’ll be fine. He just won’t be coming for his mail. LOL. LOL. LOL.

We went to the Ace hardware and good god it was busy. All the people buying all the candles and the flashlights and I don’t even know what else. (We got a new battery for the car’s fob, more dog food, and some bungee cords to further tie down the frame to the swing.)

We drove around for some Pokeballs (and we added our mons to TWO gyms. TWO. That never happens in this little town full of #teammystic and #teamvalor trainers.) It would be bad to run out of balls in the middle of the storm, right?

We went to the Hitchcock’s for bread and butter. They didn’t have any Kerrygold and we got the last loaf of whole wheat bread, the last bag of sub rolls, and the last bag of bagels. We also grabbed some more cream cheese because BAGELS. There were many, many people there — buying I don’t even know what since the shelves were bare. Water. Diapers. Sausage. Yea, I don’t know about the sausages, either. Maybe for a grill, if they lose power? I dunno. Country folk, man.

And the TRAFFIC! The main road, 100, looks like Archer Rd traffic or University (in Gainesville) on game day or Waukegan Rd (in Chicagoland) – except with more pick ups and RVs and less horn honking. I suspect much of the traffic is folks moving inland from St Augustine and Palatka and such.

We have TW’s mom’s special hurricane kit, which she received from the senior center for last month’s dud hurricane — full of snacky stuff we can eat if we get really, really desperate. (I can’t imagine being that desperate.)

We have plenty of water and will fill the tubs and the dog bowls and the prairie dog bottles and various pitchers and bottles we have laying around.

We have some cash and an almost full tank of gas.

All of the things are charging that need to be charging, including the hotspot and the iPhone battery back ups.

I think we probably have batteries for the lanterns. Well at least for one of them. Probably.

TW is worried that she doesn’t have enough library books. (She does.)

The dogs are worried that all of the outside things are inside and the rain isn’t stopping like it normally does.

Neighbor Frank (and his wife) were planning to come home this weekend. Now they aren’t. Smart call, though we’ll be happy to have them home again.

Hurricanes are absolutely, totally, and completely STUPID. I’m going to take a nap.

That 70’s House: The Dump

In February, when were at That 70s House for HOURS during the home inspection, we chatted a little with neighbor Frank and he spoke enthusiastically about “The Dump.” It’s so close! Just a mile up the road!

TW and I smiled and nodded and later we said things like, “Country folk are so adorable!” and “The Dump! How cute that neighbor Frank told us all about “The Dump!”

Flash forward a month and we chatted with the original owners who were over at neighbor Frank’s, killing time before the big signing. Mr. C went on and on about “The Dump.” He said things like, “It’s so convenient and it’s free.” and “It would cost me more to pay someone to haul the trash away than it does for me to just take it to the dump every few days.”

TW and I smiled and nodded and later we said things like, “I love country folk who love their dump!” and “LOL at Mr C being all thrifty and stuff.”

A couple of days later, I happily filled out the form to start curbside trash pick up via the form on the website that clearly said they handle residential trash in Bradford AND Clay counties. And, nothing happened. They didn’t reply to my form request. They didn’t call me.

We went back to Chicagoland to get things ready to move and one of the first things I did was to call the trash company to set up home pick up. The nice woman asked for my address and looked it up and said, “Oh, it looks like your pick up will be free!”

And I laughed, remembering Mr. C and his “it would cost me more to pay someone to haul it away…” comment. I was all patting myself on the back and giggling a few hours later when the nice woman from the trash company called me back and said, “Oh, I’m so sorry. You’re just over the county line in Bradford County and we can’t provide you with free service.”

I laughed again and said, “that’s ok — how much will it cost for the service?” and she said, “oh, I wasn’t clear — we can’t service your area at all.”

Hahahahahahahahahahaha. At that point, I was still laughing but laughing at MYSELF and at TW and our amusement with the old country folk who love their dump so much that they can talk about it for minutes and minutes. Hahahaha.

Once we moved in, neighbor Frank mentioned THE DUMP and the woman who manages the dump. He suggested he might go along with us to the dump the first time we visited because the woman who manages it can be a little… persnickety. Having someone vouch for us would probably make things easier. TW and I smiled nervously at each other. Hoo boy. What had we gotten ourselves into?

A couple of days later, we had so much trash… I couldn’t put it off any more so I loaded everything into my car and headed down to THE DUMP, (without neighbor Frank.) I introduced myself to the woman who runs the dump. I showed her my proof of residency. She put a little white dot sticker on our windshield and then told us her life story. (OK not her life story but some personal stuff about her health.) And that was that. It was pretty painless.

Except, every time I load the trash into my car, I feel queasy over just how much trash we use. What’s worse is we can only recycle paper, cardboard and aluminum cans. NO GLASS. NO PLASTIC. It’s… upsetting.

And, that’s why I ended up paying to repair the stupid beeping microwave instead of buying a new one. Every time I toss something into those dumpsters, I cringe. EVERY darn time. MUST CUT BACK ON WASTE. MUST.


Welcome to country living… I love THE DUMP! (sort of)

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

Again, we were in need of an audiobook and I had to just pick one from the shelf. The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B was an excellent choice.

POOR Adam! Also, what a great kid. All of the characters were well written but Adam especially so. I’m not sure whether the author has written anything else but you can bet I’ll be checking. I really enjoyed this story.

Reading in September

No complaints from me, this month, on the reading front. It’s pretty much what I expected it to be and I’m good with that. I am pretty sure this will be the first year that I don’t actually complete the Cybils Shortlist Challenge… ugh. But, let’s not think of that right now. Let’s look at the numbers for the month.

Total: 20

Audio: 1
YA: 6
Children’s: 8
Cybils: 12
Graphic Novels: 3 (quit one)
Queer: 1
Non-Fiction: 2 (quit one)

The quits, man. Those were rough… October will be questionable due to all of the travel on my calendar. I’ll be lucky to finish 10. (Forget the Cybils challenge, my EOY numbers are going to be pathetic, lol.)

That 70s House: All the *#*$()#*@)$(!*! Beeping

Backstory: I hate appliances that make noise. I don’t even really like the beeping my car makes when I unlock the doors with the fob. And I very much dislike the beeping it makes when I’m backing up. Beeping is stupid. I particularly hate appliances that don’t let you MUTE the noise they make. When we replaced our microwave a few years ago our only criteria was that we be able to mute the damn sound. When TW’s mom replaced our almost dead toaster oven and bought one that BEEPS non-stop (and cannot be muted) TW suggested we trash it before we moved and purchased a proper toaster oven that does not make noise. Being thrifty and a little stressed over home buying/moving costs, I said no. So we still have that damn horrendously loud toaster oven (more on that later…)

So… we bought a house, you might have heard about that. And after all of the papers were signed and the keys were handed over to us, we happily drove directly to our new home with lots of ideas about how we might spend our first few moments in OUR new 70s HOUSE. I unlocked the door and went directly to the alarm system where I dutifully typed in the code that was provided to us by the previous owner, Mr. C…. and the damn alarm started blaring.

What? I know I typed it correctly. I typed it again. TW typed it. We pressed all the buttons and still the BLARING. OMG, the blaring. I had no phone battery so TW stepped outside to call our fabulous real estate agent and ask for help. She didn’t have the code. She called the seller’s agent and they said they didn’t have the code, (this makes no sense. You’re telling me less than 15 minutes after closing they had thrown away the seller’s entire packet which obviously included the code? Whatever.) They said they’d try to reach the previous owner and TW and I frantically pressed buttons while the alarm BLARED NON-STOP.

I had almost reached the point where I was willing to take a hammer to the thing to shut it up when it stopped. And, ten seconds later Mr. C comes ambling through the yard … he’d been at neighbor Frank’s house the whole time and had just gotten a call from the real estate agent about the issue.

Mr. C shuffles over to the alarm system and types the code into the system and umm, that wasn’t the code he had given us. LOL. He sheepishly said, “oh, I’m sorry.” and then meandered back to neighbor Frank’s house while TW and I stood there and stared at each other, waiting for the ringing in our ears to stop.

The first 30 minutes in our new house did not go as expected. And, that was just the beginning. It turns out we bought a very loud beepy house. WTF, right?

Later that same day, I used the microwave for the first time only to discover that it beeps like a SOB and there’s no way to mute the damn thing. Whatever. It’s old. Microwaves are cheap. We’ll replace it later. (Though when it broke in May, I chose to repair rather than replace but more on that in another post.) So, yea. MORE damn beeping.

Let’s move forward a month, we’re actually moved into the house and one of the first things we did was buy a new washer and dryer. I researched for a full month before purchase and ended up buying the brand, if not the exact model I’d originally intended to buy. I knew it made noise but also knew I could turn it off. But I didn’t realize the damn thing SINGS. It sounds like a high class ice cream truck. Weird… but I can turn it off, though I haven’t because it’s out in the Florida room and the brick walls block most of the noise. So far, it’s not annoying.

What was annoying was hearing a weird beeping noise when I was in the bedroom, some time in June, and not knowing what in the hell it was. Maybe it was a truck outside, backing up? It sort of sounded like that but not really. It also sounded like it was in the house or really close to the house but there was no truck outside. I investigated and never did figure out what it was. Maybe the old AC making a weird noise, as old ACs do? Whatever, the noise stopped. Until it did it again a few days later. TW and I investigated together and finally realized it was coming from… the MFing refrigerator!

Sure enough, the refrigerator was warning us that it was too warm. Why was it too warm? Was it broken? It didn’t SEEM broken? After much research, I decided it was because I’d put food that was hot in there after I cleaned up the kitchen after dinner. Sheesh. MORE freaking beeping appliances. What the ever loving fresh hell?

I figured that was it, nothing else could beep. Right? Wrong.

The dishwasher went haywire and started beeping like crazy. I couldn’t make it stop. Well I could, finally, after opening and closing and pushing all the buttons finally noticing a CLEAR/RESET button and that made it stop. I have no idea why the dishwasher went crazysauce. It seemed fine. I ran it again and it was fine. Until it did it again a couple of weeks later. Same thing. No idea why it did it. The dishes were clean. It continues to wash just fine and it hasn’t beeped since then. (Though I’m sure it will beep again one of these days because of course it will.)

To top it all off, the damn toaster oven that we hate because the MFing thing beeps for five minutes after you use it, has started setting off the SMOKE DETECTOR. I keep cleaning the toaster and for a day or so, it’s fine, and then it’s back to setting off the smoke detector again. I’ve given up and just resigned myself to the fact that it’s going to beep and the smoke detector is going to blare every time someone uses the damn thing.

All the freaking beeping.

Miss Cayley’s Adventures

I couldn’t resist checking out Miss Cayley’s Adventures when I saw it on the library shelf last week (or was it the week before?) Written in the late 1800s and features one of the first female detectives. This is right up my alley, right?

And, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Lois was smart and daring and (gasp!) and adventuress!