• Culture and Entertainment

    The Rake gets the Virgin and the Harpy gets the Angel Boy

    “You could live a thousand lifetimes and not deserve him.”

    I LOVE the film Catching Fire, and I always think Peeta is an angel. But thinking that and with all the Georgette Heyer books in my mind . . .

    Georgette Heyer novels represent an/the old type of common thinking, the men do what they want and get the best girl and act all self-righteous if she is even slightly less than perfect even though they are horrid. This led to why rake, libertine, playboy, etc. not having the same connotation as whore even though they are literally the male/female correspondents (like Fez calling Kelso a whore when calling him out on his double-standards, it felt more “right” because he was, rather than cheering him on as a player, you know?). I mean to get the same connotation you have to say man-whore, um, I don’t think this circular, I think it started with the men!

    This started when most stories were written by men and later some women (ahem, Heyer) who liked the save-the-bad boy trope. Also, don’t blame this all on the patriarchy, tons of women upheld (and uphold) this in fact and fiction, glorifying the bad boy. The stories might be dying out or at least certain aspects, but the reality doesn’t feel like it is (although, perhaps the mores were never quite as extreme as fiction seems to imply?).

    Naturally that perspective makes my blood boil. Guess what, “feminism” didn’t fix it; we know have other problems including the exact opposite (although not sexual mores this time, but more in overall character). We have an overarching storyline (watching Hunger Games, Hallmark, and listening to women at work) where the woman can be as shrewish, manipulative, and hateful as possible and blame all men for everything without at all examining themselves. And not merely not understanding equivalency (you are both awful) or even normalcy (he’s the average to your awful, so normal is better than you), but expecting an angel boy.

    Yes, it can happen, but that doesn’t mean it should, you shouldn’t get a good boy, the good girl should get the good boy. The bad man shouldn’t expect a angelic princess. The good people should expect the other good people. Why is this so hard to grasp? I know everyone is some extent blind to themselves, but to be so blind?!!!! To hear most people talk about relationships, you’d think he/she is the saintliest of people who always so incomprehensibly ends up with the devil. Did you ever perhaps wonder just once if you just might possibly have contributed one smidge to the problem?!

    Here are the actual possibilities for a relationship. For simplicity’s sake I’ll assume three states of being although in reality they represent the absolute ends and middle of the spectrum of humanity.

    1. Good
    2. Average
    3. Toxic

    Person A is good and  Person B is good
    Person A is good and Person B is average
    Person A is good and Person B is toxic
    Person A is average and Person B is good
    Person A is average and Person B is average
    Person A is average and Person B is toxic
    Person A is toxic and Person B is good
    Person A is toxic and Person B is average
    Person A is toxic and Person B is toxic

    Even in this highly simplified situation, there are very few saints and demon matches, and since most people are someone in the middle in the average realm, the likelihood that one is of average decency dating someone of average decency is quite high. If you aren’t an angel, why is your significant other supposed to be? If you want an angel, try being one.

    The long version of one reason why I’m single, I’ve not achieved angelic status. Or is it I’ve not even achieved average goodness ?!

     

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Accents and Language

    How to tell accents apart

    4 Amazing Things About Languages

    I feel like I’ve linked all the Wired videos this guy has done. I wish he had his own channel with videos on all the different accents. It’s just so fascinating and lovely listening to an expert, everything I’d heard/read before was from the perspective of casual observer.

    Anyone notice in older tv shows and maybe also movies, actors were allowed to keep their regional accent? I just noticed that last year when watching Monk and listening to Sharona’s strong Boston accent. And later hearing the accents in Clueless. You can tell when accents are real vs. oh, I don’t know maybe Daniel Craig’s awful accent in Knives Out.

    I feel like now, everyone’s accent is “polished” out (Well, not Tommy Lee Jones, but then he is of the older generation of actors wait, those Texas actors in Supernatural still sound Texan too, I guess you can’t streamline Texans), actually everyone’s enunciated is polished out too, maybe because they don’t really hire people from the areas they are portraying. Are we all going to eventually sound Standard American, whatever that is? I hope not. How boring.

    Midwest Translation. I found this on Fernway’s Call blog. This is very specific to the upper Midwest, and I didn’t even know this accent existed until the last few years (and it really can be that strong although he’s obviously exaggerating his own personally; I, um, thought someone at one of my jobs was from the Northeast, don’t kill me, turns out he was from Minnesota, both are super nasally).

    By midwest, I was usually thinking Ohio Valley-Missouri and the flyover states. Needless, to say any Midwesterner I hear sounds NOTHING like that, it’s going to be “neutral,” country, or southern. I think the real American “neutral” (what newscasters are/were trained in) is the Salt Lake city/Utah area accent (per my favorite Albion’s Seed).

    Canadian accents can have a slight resemblance to the upper Midwest accent. Also, I felt like more of this type of thing could’ve showed through on That 70’s Show! That would have made it much more authentic, so would’ve hiring people from that area. I mean a few people had a performed accent, but I mean, I wanted more regional stuff, just day to day differences. I feel like they thought adding in beer all the time was Wisconsin enough.

    This pdf from the census bureau is the actual geographic regions of the U.S.

     

  • Learning and Exploring

    Masculinity and Sweetness

    I’ve heard lots of people throwing around the term “toxic masculinity.” I don’t think that is helpful, because the discussions seems to often contain, the if some, then all fallacy both in terms of men and masculinity. All masculinity is not toxic. There is this idea that all manly men are awful, that is inherit to their manliness to be a brute. Some of these people are the feminists and the others are the neanderthal men, they have totally opposite viewpoints on this subject, but they espouse the same fallacy.

    Manly men can be sweet. Mild men can be awful. Being brash and swaggering doesn’t equal being a manly man, but it does mean you are a lout! Not being brash doesn’t mean you are a good person! Guys can pride themselves on not being the loud sporty ones assuming they have some sort of virtue when they are exhibiting the lack thereof in their spitefulness. Sweetness doesn’t make you less manly, that comes from other traits. Lack of a certain trait doesn’t mean having a positive virtue.

    I thought first of this in terms of Lord of the Rings movies, when a male mentioned how manly Gimli was (ugh) in contrast to the rather effeminate elves (we will leave off discussions of the books and accuracy for this discussion and focus on the movies). As if those were the only options, neanderthal or dainty princeling (I’m exaggerating, the actions of the elves weren’t effeminate their looks and styling were). I think this is what the discussion often is, this false dichotomy. In this dichotomy, the men, Aragorn (or my favorite) Eomer are ignored. Masculine in physical appearance, in action yet courteous. Real manly men.

    We were talking about my Mom’s extended family (and this applies to my brother also), no one would look at them and think of them as anything other than manly men, yet they are very sweet, much sweeter than the women of the family often (some of us are a domineering group!).

    Back to LotR, I came across this on (I’m embarrased to admit) twitter the other day, Are You an An Aragorn Girl or a Legolas Girl. I’m an Eomer woman thank-you very much!

     

     

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Nonsense Words and Speech And Is Your Native Tongue Sarcasm?

    Do you ever do intentional nonsense words and names and intentionally misused phrases in your family, just for the heck of it? Or does that not boat your float? I should keep a list of our nonsense words and nicknames. Rubicon instead of Becky, Balibbalubalah instead of Lizzie. My brother was Buddy boy, Sonny Boy, and Bunny Soy.

    I think it goes along with our need to rhyme every baby talk name, thus far for our pets (which I wrote about at the end of this post, we have more now, Luna is usually Loony or Loony-tunes or Luners and Holly is also Hollikins), but since pets and kiddos get the same voice. . .

    I can’t do this for my niece’s name, nothing works right. All my kids must have sing-song Southern names of the Sally May, Billy Bob variety (okay, more high-falutin, than that) so I can rhyme them sillier. Anywho.

    Speaking of baby-talk voices for pets. So not everyone gets a high cartoony voice instantly upon seeing some delightful fuzzball?

    And what about “polite” voices?

    I was on some internet video about how Europeans think of Americans, and one comment mentioned how high American girls’ voices get when greeting someone, and another hilarious commenter said something, like,

    ‘ “Oh, hiiiiiii!!!” Glass breaks.’

    So, it’s not just me that gets a Barbie doll voice on the phone when I “have to be polite”?

    And we used goofy, made up swear and names-calling words, like “what the Hufflepuff” and “you dingbat.”

    And when people are pretending to be subtle and rude in a way that they also want you to know they are not being subtle, we call it suBtle, pronouncing the “b.” Although, quite frankly, that is the only “subtlety” I usually come across.

    Transitioning suBtlety into snark, last Christmas some of our extended family were roasting some of my siblings (giving out “burns” is another family trait), and they were talking about how this is how we roll, you gotta be able to take it, we prepare you for the real world.

    I did struggle with sarcasm and being too literal as a teenager, actually, compared to most of my family I probably still do, but between family, our social circle, and British lit, I had to learn to survive, hence, I’ve never understood, the “Americans don’t understand sarcasm.”

    Oh, we understand it all right, it is just usually a different dialect, the dripping-with-sarcasm rather than dead-pan (we are way to0 expressive for that ) or axe rather than rapier sarcasm.

  • Learning and Exploring

    Those Tom Boy, Strong Girl, Alpha Female Stereotypes

    I tend to relate to a lot of them tomboys in books like Jo and her counterpart Skye Penderwick in terms of temperament. But I’m not a tomboy, I relate to the Megs in terms of domesticity and to the Amys and Annes in terms of taste. It gets kind of irritating to read about all the sweet domestic and/or traditional girls. Sorry, I wasn’t born sweet and mild, the best you will get is somewhat toned down. I’ve been told to tone down, be quiet, stop expressing so much frequently by family members. I think I scare people outside my family.

    Another similar stereotype is that of the loud (often tomboy) women being brave and courageous. Brassy, sassy, rebellious, and loud doesn’t equal strong or brave. Some of us are just programmed to be brassy, sassy, rebellious, and loud. And I’m not programmed brave, like at. all. K, maybe if you are usually a meek, people-pleaser, it IS brave to stand up and firmly say, “please, respect me.” But um, I have have to tone down, calm down to say that. And loudness can come from fear as well as just innate personality.

    Often either explicit or implicitly, these characters and/or their authors state that domesticity equals a level of anti-intellectualism or lack of intelligence. Again, NO. I can love both and do, thank-you-very-much. How one earth does liking homemaking have anything to do with the intelligence and interests I was born with?

    I was raised in a homeschooling sphere that emphasized domesticity, crafts, etc. for girls. I never understood why so many rebelled against them, I took it personally, until I found more people with different backgrounds who like creating things. I learned of them term “maker.” These people like me just LOVE handicrafts, historical fashion, fiber, making things, its part of our DNA.

    Another fallacy involves being girly and sporty or interested in physical activity (climbing trees, fencing, hunting, you name it). You can love to get completely dolled up and also love to play sports and get sweaty. I think this one is older and maybe it has mostly been killed by now? Or maybe it is because I’m more in the volleyball world because of my sisters and volleyball girls don’t follow this stereotype.

    I think in books this is still in force with the heroine who disdains all “frivolous” dress and fuss and goes gallivanting off with her horse and sword. She can like both. Disliking or like frills doesn’t mean you are physically weak or strong.

    Here is to the loud, brassy, girly, domestic shrews. Oh, wait, what?!

     

  • Learning and Exploring

    Sports and Snobbery and My New Sort of Series.

    So, I have some stereotype opinions sort of series I want to do. I’m not going to dive super deep, just have some commentary on things that grind my gears. Starting with some false dichotomies, a lot involving gender stereotypes.

    Have you heard any comments or conversations about this.

    “I don’t like sports, I’m intellectual.”

    “I read books, I’m a special/smart/fill in the blank.”

    “I don’t cook, I’m a career woman.”

    “I’m not a jock, so I’m a good person.”

    People making it seem like you have two either or choices, you can be sporty or intellectual but not both.

    There are all fallacies, actually possibly combinations of fallacies. A person’s interests in neutral subjects do not dictate their morality. A person’s interests also do not dictate their skill either for said interest or another interest. A person’s interest does not dictate all of their other interests

    Believe or not, some people can be more than one thing and interested in more than one thing, those are INTERESTING people.

    In addition to being extremely lazy fallacious comments, they are (ironically) snobby.

    Some I’m going to start with sports. I think that this particular false dichotomy of sporty vs. intelligent is usually for guys, for girls its more combined with the tomboy vs. traditional or girly girl false dichotomy. There is also a sports vs. diligence (i.e. sports are a waste of time).

    I’m from a sports oriented family (I’m one of the least interested, but it’s still in my blood) even with 5 girls and only one boy. We are in a college-sports dominated area for basketball and football, we have our university team. I grew watching major league baseball with my family on tv. Dad often had golf playing. All the college games playing and March Madness. All of us play or played pick up sports in the back yard or at picnics. Both parents played sports in highschool and after highschool in rec leagues. I played one sport in a rec league for one season, but most of my siblings played multiple sports for multiple seasons, most of them had one or two sports a year for much of their lives in middle school and up.

    I feel like there has been a stereotype of the cool, stupid, mean kid jock (or mean girl v-ball player, although like I said I don’t feel like stupid is usually as emphasized with the girl stereotype, more of shallowness is). Sure there are some people like that.

    But

    Sometimes the jocks are smart, sometimes the jocks are both better at sports AND smarter than geeky or nerdier people, sometimes a jock is a geek. My dad was a stereotypically geeky looking (and acting) person, but he loved and played sports. My brother didn’t look or act so geeky, but he was/is a sports guy and a chemical engineer, and a genuinely good person.

    Sometimes the volleyball girls are the nice girls. My sisters played volleyball in highschool and rec leagues. They don’t fit the mean, shallow, “cool” girl type.

    People can play sports and keep up with their ap and/or college level courses, my siblings and parents did. They can like sports and video games and sports and reading, etc. One interest doesn’t exclude another. One ability doesn’t exclude another, believe or not a person can have both brawn and brains. We do (that sounds like all of us sisters are built like men, we aren’t were are built like sporty women, well, when we are fit, I’m more of a whale woman at the moment).

    As far as the waste of time. There are people who ONLY watch and don’t play sports. I can get how hours and hours of watching televised sports can be. But some fun entertainment is allowed. What hours and hours of things do you do? Moderation. Look closer at your own time wasters.

    Playing sports is always great exercise and can be great inter-personally as well depending on the person and circumstances.

    It just often seems that those who criticize sports lovers are always those who can’t play them, you know?

  • Daily Life

    Liebster Award

    Catherine at Based on the Book tagged me with the Liebster Award. I always love any sort of tag, it means someone else did part of the brainwork for a blog post, lol. And continuing with my laziness, I’m not going to think of questions or tag people, but if you want to answer her questions, she included anyone who wanted in her tag.

    1. Which book have you re-read the most and why?

    I wish I’d kept better track of my rereads. I know I’ve read Pride and Prejudice at least 3 times I think. And HP too. But I’ve also read North and South three times, at least. And that is definitely more of an accomplishment I think. I want to read that one again, it is just so rich and ripe for analysis (I’ve written pages of my impressions of it). Plus its alway interesting to compare books with period drama adaptations (the reward of watching North and South was the catalyst of my first reading and rewatching inspired at least one if not both rereads).

    2. Which Hogwarts house would you put yourself in?

    Ravenclaw all the way. I’d be wishing for Ravenclaw like Harry wished against Slytherin. But I’d also have to wish against Slytherin as well. I’m not sneaky, but I’m not . . . well nice, good, whatever. I consider it a great accomplishment if I ever attain a neutral, bare minimum level of civility that would probably only be considered so in another unfriendly country.

    3. What is your favourite fictional friendship?

    I’m sure I have more but Sarah Jane and Mabel from Grandma’s Attic popped into mind, since their friendship was the main focus of those stories. Childhood best friends who get into scrapes together from tiny children to adults is always a fun plot.

    4. If you could bring back one TV show/series what would it be?

    Well, I think most shows need to end well before they do. And I don’t mean just are long US shows, Sherlock crashed and burned after two seasons, imho. So I’d prefer to go back in time and redo That 70’s Show, putting Jackie and Hyde together sooner. Cutting out lazy shock plotlines. Keeping Eric and Donna as good characters and sucking all the creepyness out of Fez and working in the truly good bits from the older seasons (there were some good burns). And fitting everything in 4 or 5 seasons.

    5. Which historical figure would you like to read a book about?

    I’m FAR more interested in time periods than individual people. Probably someone who had a mysterious end, I’d want to know what actually happened?

    6. Who was the last fictional character you fell in love with?

    I was in a little in love with the leading men in my some of my favorite Mary Stewart and M.M. Kaye books, but I think Max from This Rough Magic was my favorite.

    7. What’s your go-to karaoke song?

    Can’t sing and have never done karaoke.

    8. Which Disney princess/character was your childhood favourite?

    I watched Lion King, Pocahontes, Jungle Book, and Cinderella, were I think major features in my childhood. I know we owned Beauty and the Beast, at least I think we did. But for some reason, I don’t remember that one being watched as much. Maybe it was. But I think the first three made a bigger impression, which is funny, since I was already afraid of my own shadow as a child, perhaps that was the fascination.

    9. Listening to any good podcasts lately?

    Yes, sort of, I’m picky and moody. I have a podcast post in the works.

    10. Have you read any Charles Dickens and do you have any recommendations? (I feel like it’s time I read one.)

    I’ve read most of them. They do feel like a lot of work because they were serials and you definitely feel it. They are also very glum in setting, tone, etc. And well, it’s hard to like/relate to a lot of the heroines (usually the love interests of the heroes), namby-pamby or goody-goody Victorian as portrayed by a Victorian man.

    I also feel like everyone is very opinionated about their individual favorites, I mean it’s highly individual. You could always start with the more famous. Tale of Two Cities is a fav for many (I haven’t read it in years) and it’s short. But I personally think Nicholas Nickleby is a more fun one plus it has at least two recent adaptations one of which features a baby Hiddleston as a minor character. I think that Little Dorrit is also a good one with a wonderful adaptation, and less stereotyped, more full whole person characters including the heroine.

    I feel like I’m due a reread. I’m more of a Trollope person myself since starting the Barchester chronicles. I wonder why he’s not as famous? He is definitely more, refined I guess? More dry sarcasm, more realism in the gentry and nobility in the country rather than lowerclasses in London Less caricature and more foible based.

    11. Any fun websites you like to waste time on?

    Besides Youtube (probably could make a favorite youtubes page and post) which is a weak substitute for good old-fashioned blogs and my few favorite blogs (I need to update my list), and Instagram which is an excellent substitute for facebook, Pinterest, and ah, the WHO and CDC for obvious reasons . . . I resorted to my history which gave me shopping sites (from crafts and historical fashion to shoes and Amazon), banking and cc sites, and following my random interests/trains of thoughts on Google, apparently nothing very interesting. Oh, wait, Spotify (for podcasts mostly at the moment) and Audible (I should do a post on that soon too), have saved my sanity at work for most of my time there although I can’t focus on much at the moment).

    I should (I get to, I was listening to a podcast that said to reframe in grateful terms, I get to work, I get to learn, etc., especially apropos now) use:

    Seterra (that excellent geography site I keep forgetting about even though I have it bookmarked)

    Bluprint (formerly Craftsy, I have tons of purchased classes)

    Creativebug (I have few purchased glasses)

    Duolingo (I’m currently making Duo very sad)

    CodeAcademy (no time like the present to learn to new tech skills).

    Any suggestions? I know lots of services/sites/apps are offering free trials during this social distancing/quarantine period (and oh, it WILL be much longer, my sister keeps saying, “when I graduate” and “when I go back to school” her senior year is ruined). I’d like to make a list of those too.

  • Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday: Unpopular Bookish Opinions

    I don’t know if all of these are unpopular, they are just opinions/arguments (not the same thing) I rarely see expressed or are expressed and then scorned. But I have a limited exposure.

    A lot of these are my ideals. I’m SUCH a mood reader. I feel like I need some escapist reading. I don’t read near enough deep books. But I do think that I should, I just have to have a lot of easy (but still quality) reading on hand, plus ways of planning and motivating myself.

    1. Show, don’t tell. If I feel like the author is telling me something, forcing something, rather than displaying it, then they’ve failed to convince me (ahem, Jo and Laurie). Books aren’t mere explanations, they are story, art (perfection, okay, maybe an exaggeration). A reason, I think for my avoidance of contemporary fiction.
    2. Prose, description, characterization, interpersonal relationships, wit, etc. are more important than plot to me, and, (I think) in terms of literary merit at least equal to plot. I feel that this is also why I dislike so much of contemporary writing.
    3. I dislike the didactic in all forms, and obvious preaching isn’t art, even though some obviously gifted people squeeze it into their books. This goes back to showing, not telling. Y’all, I could find a preacher for anything, but I don’t want preaching, thanks, there is far too much of it already. And I’ve had far too much of it already (and probably done too much of it . . . like now, lol). Again, another reason I tend to avoid contemporary fiction.
    4. I like my realism idealized (I’m wanting to explore this more later). Basically, when I’m reading a “real” life setting, I’d like it to be idealized, not perfect, just not sordid or mundane or petty.
    5. Gritty “true to life” isn’t an asset (and isn’t necessarily true to life). Dark doesn’t equal deep. “Realism” can be vicarious reading or voyeurism. I want to escape reality and/or have my mind, ideals, etc. uplifted.
    6. I like my fantasy realistic. I don’t even know how to describe what I mean about that, but maybe I just mean well-written? I guess I want believable circumstances in a fantasy world, exciting, fanciful, yes, but still “human” I guess? Actually, now that I’m thinking of it, I generally prefer, low fantasy, and this is probably part of why.
    7. Quality over quality. All books are NOT equally good, well-written, etc. Taste and comprehension are two different things. You can like different genres from other people. But sometimes one genre may be notorious for being shallow and silly.
    8. Reading is not a hobby. Everyone who can read is a reader. People who don’t regularly read are still readers. Everyone should read as a form of mental exercise, to learn, to be inspired, I think reading for entertainment is good, but that is not the sole purpose of reading, rather an additional purpose.
    9. Interpretation isn’t up to the readers. Reading comprehension matters, like listening matters.  The author chose specific words, for specific reasons. Obviously, we are going to disagree, not understand, view things through our own lenses. But we should try to understand what the author is saying. And then form opinions on what is said, described, etc. Not the actual meanings.
    10. Reading well matters. Our brains are muscles, reading well is important to our personal development, to our knowledge, to our comprehension, to our families, to our culture, to society, to life. And I don’t mean “current” event copy+paste type reading. I mean read just a tad beyond your comprehension, and then when you get comfortable, a tad more beyond that.
  • Daily Life

    5 Things Tag

    Mother's Day Card

    Eva and Olivia did this tag recently, and I thought it would be fun to steal it.

    5 Things You’ll Find in My Purse

    I don’t think I have anything unusual in my purse, also, I have a smallish, crossbody since that seems to work best for my current situation, so not much will fit in, although I’ve managed to squeeze in a paperback before.

    1. Timecard for my temp job
    2. Various papers, cards, etc. related to my (will remain unnamed) side gig
    3. New sunglasses
    4. Pens
    5. Tiny notepad

    5 Things You’ll Find in My Bedroom

    1. A hoarder’s supply of yarn
    2. A hoarder’s supply of fabric
    3. A hoarder’s supply of toiletries
    4. Books including some of the 52 (the two interlibrary loans were allowed past the 50 limit) library books I have out. The rest are with me at my grandparents
    5. A budding collector’s supply of pens and markers (this is what happens when you watch bullet journal videos)

    5 Things I’ve Always Wanted to Do

    1. Make a full regency outfit for the Jane Austen festival (I’m hoping I will manage that for this year)
    2. Go to England and Ireland (at least, I theoretically want to travel, but I can’t seem to make myself drive out of my city, or even really into it)
    3. Be fit
    4. Sew a considerable portion of my wardrobe (part of the hang-up here relates to 3)
    5. Be proficient in a multitude of art mediums and handicrafts (I’m learning to streamline this)

    5 Things That Make Me Feel Happy

    1. Watching tv with my grandparents
    2. Holding my precious, baby niece
    3. Cuddling my sister’s precious mini cat (she looks like a kitten, courtesy of being a runt, but she’s grown)
    4. I have to steal Olivia’s because this is especially true for me this year, finishing a book and updating my Goodreads to reflect that. I then look at how I’m (currently) crushing my reading goals
    5. Similarly, using my mildliners to fill out the squares of my habit chart

    5 Things I’m Currently/Was Recently Into (I feel like I’m in between things)

    1. Mary Stewart romantic suspense novels. I know I’ve not ranked some of them high, but that is because I didn’t like the romance part of these particular ones. When thinking over this, I realized I kind of have three separate rating systems/points: morality, quality, and likeability. I usually focus on the first two and usually the first two are what affects my liking or finishing the book or not. But occasionally I find book that meet these standards but not the last.
    2. M.M. Kaye mysteries (she only wrote a few, and I think I’ve exhausted all of them except the one I skipped and one our library doesn’t have). I was reading these few with the Mary Stewart novels and kind of got them mixed up although they are different genres. They both often have such exotic (to me) settings (Cyprus, Crete, Corfu).
    3. Watching Monk with my grandparents. Well, I was until Sharona was replaced. Everything changed. I would’ve been okay if no one was substituted in or a totally different side character (this woman is a caricature of Sharona’s role), but now I’m done. I want to watch the later ones (that round up the show) when she returns.
    4. Taylor Swift songs again. I don’t know how to explain how little of a music person I am. Everyone seems to have Spotify or Pandora, but to me it’s huge that I installed Spotify on my phone. And I really don’t like much music, and what I do like I really have to in the mood for. Taylor Swift seems to have a song for everything or that fits any period of life? I was trying to figure out why I liked her stuff overall while with other pop singers I only like a song or two. I think it’s because the music is important, I mean the instrumentals. It’s not just a stripped background accompaniment. And her vocals go well with the music, they fit in but don’t drown (as opposed to the songs that ARE the vocals, I don’t like those). I think the lack of this is part of why I tend to prefer instrumentals (I love the Piano Guys versions of everything), soundtracks, and more tradition/folk music (and Peter Hollen’s covers!). I just think pop is not really good, and now I think I’ve indentified (for a non-musical person), why I really don’t care for it. I prefer not to HAVE to focus on the lyrics. Her lyrics are less inane too. They are also quite . . . psychologically interesting? I can’t agree with much of the overall tendency, but yet it’s all sort of hilarious?
    5. Backing up my TBR list. I can place any orders I want directly from the library lists, so I’ve tried to clear up any other collections of books. I’ve never found the Goodreads TBR list particularly useful for me. I use it occasionally, but I’m trying to immediately add any books I read about straight to my library lists, so I’ve cleared out most of my Goodreads list (a couple times over the years). I also had a bad habit of just bookmarking blog posts and such instead of directly adding them to shelves. I cleared out that folder. I previously had a list on Amazon for interlibrary loans but transferred that a while back to an Excel workbook. I then realized that if anything happened to the library site or if I moved, I’d lose years worth of TBR collecting. So, I’ve been backing that up on a separate sheet of the Excel workbook. I will have to put items on both the library lists and the Excel one from now on, but I think it is worth it. I just need to brush up my lists (make the formatting match, clear out any duplicates, etc.). I’ve included all reference books, cookbooks, etc. on the list as well, anything I want to look at. The total of the interlibrary loan possibilities plus the regular list currently stands at 1960. I know I do have a few duplicates to clear out. Possibly also books I’ve read and haven’t removed or kept on the list to reread (not usual). Bear in mind that TBR to me means that to-possibly-read. So TPR, I guess.

    5 Things on My To-Do List

    1. Find second job or a different one entirely
    2. Finish my second associate’s degree in about a year (possibly two)
    3. Get fit
    4. Complete my Regency/Federal outfit for Jane Austen festival
    5. Complete the art project I have in mind for a (very) late Mother’s Day present. In the interim I made her a smeared (as much as I’d love to blame being a leftie, I’m sure most of the blame is my impatience and carelessness) doodled calligraphy card. I used AmandaRachLee’s doodling tutorials for lavender and for butterflies (the tutorial starts at about 4:36).
  • Daily Life

    Blog Update: All My Old Posts Are Available Now

    I couldn’t figure out or did something wrong when trying to transfer my blogger blog posts over the first time. But for some reason, I only had to try one thing this time (pretty sure it was redoing what I did before), and it worked. So all the posts that I left on my old blog are available here now. I’ve also updated my template and added tags, so I’m pretty pleased with myself. I’ve also updated some of my pages as well.

    I rejoined the Classics Club, so I will be writing more individual reviews, and I feel like I’m getting more motivation back to write more opinion posts. For awhile I was burned out and just burned on opinions (still don’t love rants and opinions-presented-as-sermons-or-facts . . . for obvious reasons). I think I’m better able to think through things and to write in a way that is perhaps less antagonizing? I want to try to utilize my book journal more (that makes it easier to write more thoughtful reviews and opinion posts) and just put more thought into things. I think I’ve been reading too passively and quickly recently.

  • Daily Life

    Link Love: Character

    Advice from a mom. I have a hard enough time responding sometimes.

    How to deal with nightmare guests one and two. And perhaps how to see if you are one. One of the
    most aggravating things about rude people is when hosts don’t deal with them.

    The comment in section six of this blog post. Um, that should be a caution/stop sign for us!!! I’m really good at dredging things up that I’ve done, I’ve got a good memory, I’m sensitive to reactions, but what if I didn’t know/wasn’t thinking about the reaction, didn’t see the reaction?

    Honesty online. Ranting, raving,  and complaining ties in here. People do that too much with friends, and it’s never a good idea at work, why would it be online? It is not fake to be “reserved.” To be careful. The Internet isn’t your diary, oversharing (over-familiarity) repels, oversharing creates a false sense of knowing people. Online you are missing a relationship, you are missing body language and tone and context (hello, why all emotional and subjective issues are dangerous online).

    Gratefulness list. This isn’t new, but sometimes hearing an idea in a different way makes it seem more appealing.