The Hopefuls

Awhile back, we needed a new audiobook and The Hopefuls caught my eye (mostly because I thought it said it was a Jennifer Crusie book, hahaha.)

It was a little slow for me and I didn’t really like the characters very much, so I never felt compelled to listen to it. I don’t think we listened to it at all during our drive to or from Orlando for BH17… that should tell you something. That’s a long ass drive, lol.

It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t great.

Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World

TW loves Disney World. The little kids love Disney World, (SS/RJ in particular is obsessed with Disney World.) I don’t love Disney World. Until last month, I’d only been to WDW twice and the last time was more than 30 years ago, when Jenn was still in diapers. Michelle Belle has never even been to WDW and Chris has only been once, with some friends.

When we moved back to Florida, TW was all about buying an annual pass and I was all about not buying an annual pass. We live 2 1/2 hours away from WDW. We have dogs that do not really want us to be gone for 18 hours every time we go to WDW (or to be boarded unless absolutely necessary.) It is EXPENSIVE, not just the annual passes but everything else about the trip is expensive.

And then we went to Epcot, after BH17, and while I wasn’t converted, I did have a good time. And since we have to go back to Orlando in October for GHC 17 and again later in October to see SS/RJ, it seemed like it might be worth considering an annual pass… so we did. And now we have them.

I’m still not a WDW fanatic and since I know very little about the worlds or the rides or anything else Disney, I decided to just see if there was a WDW book on the shelf at the library. I didn’t expect there to be one — I know those things are constantly checked out. Turns out, Birnbaum’s 2016 WDW was on the shelf. A year old but I figured there was enough in there that was still accurate that I’d get at least more knowledge than I have now. I was right. It was definitely worth picking up.

A week later, we have two separate WDW resorts booked and are planning a few more trips in the months ahead. SO EXPENSIVE, which is what will prevent me from ever really being a WDW fan. (Those magic bands, though. Man, I love those things. That’s wearable tech that makes sense!)

Two if by Sea

I liked Two if by Sea mostly.

I didn’t much like Frank but liked all of the other characters. I also didn’t really grok the “bad guys” all that much. I mean I got it but I think I expected a lot more from them than I got at the end. And the ending was completely predictable, so there’s that.

Clean My Space

TW stumbled into Melissa Maker through something at work and decided she needed to read Clean My Space — so she did.

And then she got all obsessive about cleaning, and told me that I wasn’t doing it right and that she was going to take over cleaning the house. Hah.

I shrugged and told her I’d be happy to sit out on the deck with a book while she cleaned the house. So I did and she did.


She also tried to make me squeegee the tub/shower. That didn’t go so well. I’m bad with a squeegee. Also, I tend to walk away from the tub before it’s done draining and by the time I come back, the tub is already dry. Whatever.

For the first week or two after she read the book, she was obsessively wiping things and vacuuming things and talking about cleaning products and basically driving me nuts. Thankfully, she’s eased up a bit, (though the house is kind of messy right now, lol), but she did order a Mopnado (eyeroll) on PRIME Day and that will arrive today. I’m looking forward to sitting out on the deck while she mops all the things.

Oh, about the book… I read it too. It was fine. But, I already knew how to clean my space. The S method and the W method and starting at 12:00 etc. Quick clean vs deep clean (or whatever it is she calls them, I can’t remember now.) Probably the only thing that I hadn’t really thought about was focusing on the areas of the house that really bug me (us?) when they’re cluttered or not clean — though upon reflecting on the idea, I decided I’d already been doing that. So. Anyway. The book, I read it. It was fine. TW was obsessed, in the way that TW gets obsessed with things. Ask me a month from now whether she’s still doing the cleaning…

It’s My Pokemon Goversary

One year ago, TW and I both broke down and installed the game, even though we swore for four days of hype that we wouldn’t. We sat on the deck, in the swing, and we caught our Squirtles and the rest is history.

It’s been fun. Really.

We’ve gone to so many parks and places in Florida that we (probably) would never have gone if we weren’t trying to catch ’em all. I can’t even count how many parks we’ve walked, certainly more than we walked in the years when we lived in Gainesville before. Definitely more than we visited in the entire eight years we were in Chicagoland.

I’ve caught Pokemon in eight states.

I’ve caught all of Gen 1 and Gen 2 (except the non-US regionals, the legendaries, AND that damn Unown.) I don’t have any shinies (wah!) I don’t have the Ash Hat Pichu (yet! There’s hope, I just got another 2K egg!)

I’ve caught 12,269 Pokemon.
I’ve “walked” 2,132.2 KM.
I’ve (only) hatched 807 eggs (it felt like more.)
I’ve spun 9,041 Pokestops.
I’m at Level 34 (105K XP away from 35… a week, if I’m lucky.)

I was never a big fan of gyms, so I’ve only won 362 battles and trained 201 times (in the original gym system.) I like the new system a lot more and have 80 hours defending gyms (with two Mon in gyms right now… I sure wish my Snorlax would come home though — he’s been in that damn gym for 3 days!) and won 8 raids. (We really need more local players to raid with us, darn it.)

A year of Pokemon Go. Hard to believe I still play, I’m still obsessed, really. MUST catch THEM all. Where are the damn Unowns, anyway????

Hiking x2

I impulse picked Hiking Central Florida when we were at the library last week. (Hiking is not a thin you really want to do in Florida in the summer, unless it’s a beach hike or a spring hike and you can swim as you go… but, I picked it up anyway.)

It’s an almost 10 year old book, so it’s somewhat outdated but a hike is a hike and a state park is a state park and I really enjoyed it. Enjoyed it enough that I reserved Hiking North Florida and the Panhandle and now I would like to go hiking please. Except summer, ugh.

Black Wave

I cannot even begin to describe Black Wave.

It’s Michelle Tea.

I wanted to throw it across the room, often. So it took me a long, long time to finish.

It’s Michelle Tea.

Fiction. Memoir. Fiction. Memoir. Fantasy. Memoir. Matt Dillon. Fiction. Dystopian Fiction. Memoir.


It’s Michelle Tea.

The Sweetest Sound

I have no idea why The Sweetest Sound was on my library cart. Maybe I impulse picked it up from some random display at the library? Or maybe I saw it on some book list and reserved it? Weird.

It’s a middle grade fiction about a very shy girl and her hidden talent (singing) and overcoming fears and growing up. It was … ok. Not great, not horrible.

The Lotterys Plus One

I’m not sure what I expected from a children’s book written by Emma Donoghue but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t The Lotterys Plus One. Oh sure, I expected an LGBTQ family but this family? Not so much, lol.

There are FOUR parents, a lesbian couple and a gay couple. They have quirky names like PopCorn and CardaMom. The kids are all named after trees, except for Briar… she changed her name to Brian, and while she is adamant about NOT being a GIRl, she’s also not saying she’s a BOY. Gender is hard, or really simple — take your pick, both are true.

Besides the fact that there are eight zillion people in this book, all with quirky names, and you have to try to keep track of who is who you also have to deal with the fact that the family has weird names for EVERYTHING. Family meetings are called “fleetings,” the back porch of the house is called the “derriere,” the extra bedroom is called “spare oom,” something isn’t excellent, it’s egg salad… this is all a little overwheling. It’s fun, but on top of the all of the weird family names, it’s messy.

In fact everything about this book is messy, which is why you should absolutely read it.

The family is super messy and quirky and I kind of love them, even if I could do without the weird/cutesy names. The children came to the family in a variety of ways and have a variety of ethnicity, personalities, (and some issues.) Some were biological to some of the parents. One has what’s probably ADHD, one is a shaken baby.

And then there’s the grandfather… the one who has messy problems of his own, the least of which is that he’s an old white conservative dude from a small town in Canada and he things families should be made up of one man, one woman, and hopefully the same race/ethnicity. He also thinks people should behave in more traditional ways. And, there’s more… he is the plus one in this story, and he is what drives the plot line.

Donoghue throws a lot into this one tiny book and in the end, I loved it. I could do with fewer odd names/language choices but I get it. The family is quirky. I’ll take them as they are (and TW says there are or will be more books, so I’ll read them.)

Reading in June

Gah, just seven. Here I thought I was doing so well, in June. Hah. (Sob.) Remember when I used to read like 250+ books a year? Yea, me either — it’s been so longgggg. Whatever.

1 was YA
1 was LGBTQish.

And… lol… that’s pretty much it for the categories of books I try to pay attention to.

What will happen in July? I don’t think we have any travel plans but the little girls are coming for a visit. And, work is probably going to start getting nutty and we have to do some work around the house to get ready for the foundation repair and… yea. HMPH. I need a #fakereadathon!