Friday, December 15, 2017

Three Things - December

Three food items I always have around in December
Prima Donna Gouda from DiBruno Brothers
Summer sausage or some type of not good for you dried meat

Three things that make me love people
When they follow their path and don't give a fuck about naysayers
Mass mobilizing to help strangers in times of duress, like natural disasters
Cleverness: making up wickedly funny memes or twitter accounts like Roy Moore's Horse or taking things like covfefe and running with them

Three things that make me hate people
When they stand at the top or bottom of stairs or block doorways/escalators/any entrance/egress point
When they think they have a say over someone else's vagina and what she does with it

Three Christmas songs I listen to the most
Last Christmas by Wham
Fairytale of New York by The Pogues
What Christmas Means to Me by Stevie Wonder

Three most recent Amazon purchases
Chalkboard contact paper
Spigen iPhone 8 Plus Case
Five metal wire stands

Three most recent book purchases
Last Breath by Karin Slaughter
Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino
The Crush by Sandra Brown

Three most recent e-book purchases
Comfort & Joy by Kristin Hannah ($2.99)
Next of Kin (Detective Buddy Lock Mysteries) by James Tucker ($3.99)
Christmizvah and Other Stories of Holiday Angst by Damien Galeone ($2.99)

Three things I'll do before the end of 2017 because I want to
Catch the Wanamaker light show
Figure out what size prints I need to redo some of the photos in frames around the house
Make my ritual 12/31 donations to charity

Three things I'll do before the end of 2017 because I have to
Clear out the spare bedroom
Reorganize my electronic files at work
Put an end to my See Food diet

Three words of the year for 2018 if I was a person who chose words of the year

Now you go.

If you liked this, you might like these posts: Three Things the original, Three Things November, Three Things August, Three Things September

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thursday Thoughts - lord it's like a hard candy Christmas

1. Picture me today, driving around belting out Hard Candy Christmas like a less sparkly and much less musically talented Dolly Parton.
2. Merry Christmas, shore house. You're getting updated lighting on the main floor - removing a ceiling fan, moving and replacing another with this one, installing new light over dining room table, installing new mini pendants over long counter where the sink is, and a new light fixture in the kitchen all in hope of improving the light on that floor which is terrible right now. Everything has been ordered, 3/4 of it has arrived, and work is scheduled for January 15. Who's in for some ceiling painting in March? Don't all shout yes at once.

3. I ordered Brite Bite Brushing Sticks that I will gum up with tasty things in an effort to get them to brush their own teeth which I am aware sounds fucking nuts. My I Heart Dogs order got three dog toys for shelter dogs and fed 29 shelter dogs. I love that. I don't love when all dogs swarm my face, which happens daily.
4. Speaking of dogs, I came across this review on Saturday and I was fucking roaring. What the hell is wrong with people.
5. Tis the season to wait impatiently for my nephew's arrival. Not as impatiently as his parents, I'm quite sure. I can't wait!!

6. I'm with this OpEd in USA Today: "A president who'd all but call a senator a whore is unfit to clean toilets in Obama's presidential library or shine George W. Bush's shoes." Shame on this unfit to be POTUS garbage person tarnishing the office of the POTUS and those on the sidelines cheering it on in some fucked up version of anti-political correctness. Hey...go fuck yourselves. How's that for political correctness?
Exhibit A on the left: the indicator of his attitude towards women that everyone willfully ignored.
Exhibit B on the right: sexual harassment in the workplace.
7. You're goddamn right it is, Merriam Webster.
MFD was in DC again yesterday protesting the Tax Scam and of course he found Senator Warren. This is so MFD of him, to get the picture with the person people want to get the picture with. He went as part of an action, not a day to put himself on the line for arrest. Shocker, he got arrested anyway, for singing This Land is Your Land. The Capitol Police apparently do not like that song being sung in a building the taxpayers own that is inhabited by people who work for us. He was home in time for his Code Blue overnight and home in time this morning to clean off my car because it seems like it might actually be a winter? Anyhoo net neutrality today, people. Get on the phones and tell Congress to stop the FCC.

8. It's not enough to thank black women for keeping a racist, misogynistic, anti-semitic adult man who molested 14 year old girls out of the United States Senate. Amanda sent me the link to Black Women Kept Roy Moore Out of Office. Here's How to Actually Thank Them last night because she knows me so well and knew I'd have an item on this today. My personal donations (I make two on 12/31 every year to send the year out on a good note) will be going to Higher Heights for their #BlackWomenLead campaign and  Woke Vote, grassroots organizers in the south who are registering voters and canvassing neighborhoods. I already donated to Stacey Abrams for GA Governor. Some other ways to turn words of thanks into action that shows true solidarity from Austin Channing:
9. Reminder:
10. Ecard of the week:

Ho-ho-holy shit it's
almost Christmas.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Winter is coming.

The pendulum is swinging.

Double down on efforts. 

Keep showing up. 
Refuse to be silent about things that matter, such as racism, misogyny, xenophobia, LGBTQIA rights, the rule of law, democracy, integrity, respect, education, civil rights. 
Get out the vote, including in the primaries.
Hold government representatives accountable for representing citizens, not their donors or corporations. 
Call them, fax them, write them, tweet them, show up at their offices. 
Put their feet to the fire. They work for you. 
Let sitting Democrats know that if they listen to corporations and donors over constituents, they’re next after we deal with the imminent danger of Republican representatives voting against common decency and people’s lives every day. 
Participate because democracy requires it. If you don’t you’re living under a Lord of the Manor system thinking you have to take what they give you. 
Think critically. 
Do your research. 
Know your rights.
Exercise your rights.
Speak truth to power.
Point out abuse of power. 
Protect the free press.
Care for the poor, the sick, the elderly, the forgotten.
Stand up for people who cannot stand up for themselves. 
Help those in need.
Amplify the voices of marginalized groups. 
Thank black women but also support and fund their campaigns because we owe them more than thanks for voting in the best interest of communities nearly 100% of the time - they have by far earned leadership positions in those communities.
Believe women.
Work hard - practice self care and take breaks but don’t for one second think we’re coasting now and the work is done.
Recognize authoritarian overtures and plant yourself on the right side of history. 

2018: expect us.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Show Us Your Books: the gift of reading

How fortuitous that this falls on my Gamma's birthday - one of the people who fostered a love of reading in me early by taking me to the library constantly and not only reading to me, but having me see HER read and talking to me about how much she enjoyed it.

It is so important to kids that we show them that, no? When I spent a day off from work with my niece at the end of October, she handed me my book out of my bag, went to her bookshelf and got her book, and pointed to mine for me to read. Then she picked her book up and did the same. I nearly cried with happiness. She's two. They learn early.

Anyway, last typical SUYB of the year until the Best of/Favorite reads of the year edition, which is Tuesday, December 26. I love seeing what was the best of everyone's reads and have kicked off a few Januarys with a solid library haul based on those recommendations.

Happy Hanukkah to my friends celebrating! 

And can I just say please Lord don't let Alabama put Roy Moore, racist slavery lover, xenophobe, woman hater, and teenage girl predator in the Senate. Amen.

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next is a special Favorite Reads of 2016 Show Us Your Books on Tuesday, December 26. We pick up in 2018 with the January 9 link up.
1. Visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me
2. Display the button and/or link back to us on your blog post
2. Visit other blogs who've linked up and talk books as booknerds are wont to do

Here's what I've read since the last linkup.

Engrossing Reads

Two Girls Down by Louise Luna - I could not put this book down. I loved the characters and the quick pace. I’d read many more books with Cap or Vega in them. Free e-copy courtesy of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell - I liked this so much. It was sad and weird and lovely all at the same time. And since it's about stuff, it made me think about my stuff more than I usually do, and what I hold onto and why. Philly library hardback

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi - Sometimes when I love a book so much I have a hard time talking about it intelligently. Anyone else? I'm all just read it for yourself. I feel like that here, but should comment that it took me longer than normal to read this. Part of that was Thanksgiving weekend and being on the go and part of it was really needing to sit with each chapter in the beginning and think about it - not because it's hard to follow, but just because I found myself needing to. I also referred back to the family tree a zillion times. White people are all tracing lineage back to the freaking dark ages and black people...we've cut them off from that in so many instances. I have feelings for this book. The story itself and the telling are absolutely masterful as well. I've never read anything like it. Philly library hardback
Wonder by R. J. Palacio - I read it in a few hours on Saturday. Like Homegoing, it's one of those that I was like why did I wait so long to read this? I loved the alternating chapters, a few from characters I did not expect to hear from. Good lessons for people of all ages in here. Hardback, own

Passed the Time Just Fine

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green - My favorite John Green is Looking for Alaska, which I know is not a popular opinion but nonetheless it's mine. I liked this and it was good, a little bogged down in the way that YA can sometimes get bogged down. Hardcover, own, passed on via mail

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke - I liked the characters and the storyline. Race, crime, old hurts,
the south - the possibilities are endless. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Now You See Me (Lacey Flint #1) by Sharon Bolton - I will pursue this series. I love a flawed but essentially good main character with closets full of secrets. Philly library hardback, Bruce ate the cover so the memory of the fine will outlast the memory of the enjoyment

If Snow Hadn't Fallen (Lacey Flint 1.5) by Sharon Bolton - Damn these authors with their tiny novellas in between big ones in a series - looking at you, Linda Castillo. I must read them because I fear missing something if I don't, but they are really not satisfying. Kindle Amazon purchase

The Beloveds by Maureen Lindley - This is different for sure. The main character is quite obviously mad so it was interesting to read from her point of view. She devolved quickly after a big lead up in the first 3/4 of the book. Free e-copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review

In a Cottage in a Wood by Cass Green - I spent Sunday with this one. An easy read that kept me interested enough to start and finish it in one day and made me push off my hausfrauing. The author really threw a lot of shit into the conclusion of this one. Amazon kindle purchase

Not Worth It

Six Little Secrets by Katlyn Duncan - Quick, and mildly interesting, but the ending was nuts and not in the best way. I am not an overall YA lover because you get books like this as well as John Green books. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan - What an amazing WWII real life story I had not previously heard of buggered up by the telling of it in a book. Paperback, own, you want to read? I'll send it to you

Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy - Is it wrong to only look forward to the very few chapters here and there from the killer's point of view? I thought so. Unfortunately the book started on one, so I thought it would be delicious throughout and turned out stale. free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Did Not Finish

And you? What have you been reading? 

Monday, December 11, 2017

TWTW - the one with the snow

One of my favorite events of the year is the Army/Navy Pep Rally in Liberty Place right next to my office. The place is packed and there's a lot of good energy. Video here.
Friday night was a soup and grilled cheese, fall asleep on the couch before 10 kind of night.

I did some food prep, hung with the dogs, painted my nails (Zoya Pandora, ho hum neutral), and laughed at Bruce experiencing snow for the first time. He was mystified and also tearing ass all over the yard.
Debbie and I went on guided street art walking tour in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philly with Conrad from Streets Dept blog. Tours are over for the winter, but if you like public art, check back with him in the spring! I love street art, and we both really enjoyed it. It was a beautiful winter wonderland but walking around in wet snow for two hours was fucking cold. I shared some more of the art on Instagram in this post and this post.
The drive back to the northeast was mildly treacherous so I was happy to get home. MFD was Clark Griswolding it up, baking peanut butter cookies, listening to Christmas music, and photographing his outdoor Christmas shit in the snow. ho ho ho. I made stuffed pepper soup and we watched Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I read Wonder starting in the morning and finishing at night. 
After throwing beef stew in the crockpot, which involved searing the meat, I jetted over to get a himalayan pink salt massage, smelling of stew. Charming. Otherwise I read a book, ran the dishwasher and cleaned up the kitchen, did the laundry, and hung with the dogs. I'd like to tell you I cleaned out my health and beauty aids, cleaned up the shit from the shore that had taken residence on the spare room bed, and changed the bedding in there, which I've been meaning to do for 407 months now but alas I read a book from start to finish and did none of that shit. We did watch Superbad and I ordered the light fixtures for electrical work we're getting done at the shore in January. Merry Christmas, shore house!

Weekly food prep
Breakfast is kodiak waffles with syrup; snacks are hard boiled eggs and honey crisp apples; lunch is stuffed pepper soup; dinner is beef stew over egg noodles and turkey thighs with mashed sweet potatoes and snap peas. 

Happy birthday to my dear long-time friend Meem today!

Two weeks from today, it'll be Christmas. Tomorrow, it'll be Show Us Your Books.

See you back here for that! 

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