if one only remembers to turn on the light

June 28, 2017

book challenge by erin

five points: freebie – read a book that is at least two hundred pages. refuge for masterminds by kathleen baldwin.
ten points: read a book that starts with the letter b. the beginning of everything by robyn schneider.
ten points: read a book that has a yellow cover. the help by kathryn stockett.
fifteen points: read a book that has an animal on the cover. splintered by a.g. howard.
twenty points: read a book that was published this year. caraval by stephanie garber.
twenty points: read a book with a compass or cardinal direction in the title. north of happy by adi alsaid.
twenty-five points: read a book from this list of banned books in america. gone with the wind by margaret mitchell. 
thirty points: read a fictional book about mental illness. all the bright places by jennifer niven.
thirty points: read a book with a non-human main character. the book thief by markus zusak.
thirty-five points: read a book tied to disney movie. belle by cameron dokey.

add it to my list

June 27, 2017

so i know we're a third of the way through summer already, and many of yall have your travel plans firmly cemented or have already concluded them, as i have done. we spent a week in colorado, and it was gorgeous but hot. i'm glad to be home, but i miss the mountains already.

the past couple of times i've participated in this linkup, i've recommended books, movies and music. since picky's been heavy on the book posts lately (yall can thank erin for that), i thought i'd share photos of some of my favorite travel destinations, beginning with the one i'd most like yall to see...

abbey of our lady of the holy trinity - huntsville, utah
the abbey where my great uncle resides will close in september, and the near two thousand acres which i've always thought of as heaven could fall prey to developers. please, if you can, go see it before it loses its majesty. 

en route to the abbey, crossing over mount green - northwestern utah 

pacific park - santa monica, california

the fountains at chatham parkway - savannah, georgia

coligny beach - hilton head, south carolina

charleston, south carolina

woodfin valley - blue ridge mountains, north carolina

basilica i temple expiatori de la sagrada familia - barcelona, spain
antonio gaudi designed this church. construction began one hundred thirty-five years ago and is expected to be completed nine years from now, one hundred years after gaudi's death.

carcassonne, france

notre-dame de paris - paris, france

notre-dame de reims - reims, france
joan of arc met with a king and coronations took place here. also marc chagall designed the windows, and they are glorious. 

schloss neuschwanstein - hohenschwangau, bavaria, germany

neues rathaus - munich, germany

konzentrationslager dachau - dachau, bavaria, germany

the view from a hike to hay's bluff - hay-on-wye, wales
there's also a castle filled with books in hay. yall should probably see that, too.

other recommendations: the churchill war rooms in london and the vincent van gogh museum in amsterdam. i must insist on the audio tours for both. they are wonderful.

where should i go next? what are some of your favorite places?

check out lists by lauren and bre!

also... tuesday topics will resume july eleventh. what kinds of things would yall like to talk about?

the princess bride

June 26, 2017

why i wanted to read it: because my sister-in-law, niece and nephew had not seen the movie. we watched it while in colorado. when i'd mentioned to my nephew that it was based on a book and asked if he wanted to read it, he said yes, so i bought it. curious to know how it differed from the film, i read it. the boy's interest in the story, of course, has vacillated since having purchased it. i suggested on a number of occasions that we could read some of it, and he balked every time. my niece said today that she wanted to read it. they're eight. i'm sure they'll change their minds again. whatever.

what i liked: "if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches" (page 63). (yes, it's corny as shit, but i'm a romantic. i liked the analogy. shut it.)

or worse, what if he got to america and worked his jobs and built their farm and made their bed and sent for her and when she got there he would look at her and say,"i'm sending you back, the moping has destroyed your eyes, the self-pity has taken your skin; you're a slobby-looking creature, i'm marrying an indian girl who lives in a teepee nearby and is always in the peak of condition" (page 65).

the woman who emerged was a trifle thinner, a great deal wiser, an ocean sadder. this one understood the nature of pain, and beneath the glory of her features, there was character and a sure knowledge of suffering (page 69).

he was fevered always now, but he forced his frail shell on, because this had to be the finest since excalibur. domingo was battling a legend, and it was destroying him (page 130).

consider: a little over three years ago, you were a milkmaid and i was a farm boy. now you are almost a queen and i rule uncontested on the water. surely, such individuals were never intended to die in a fire swamp (pages 212-213).

"i've heard before of creatures like this, the heartless ones, and as they grow bigger they get more and more beautiful and behind them is nothing but broken bodies and shattered souls" (page 241).

"he sails the seven seas with the dread pirate roberts."

"why would he do a thing like that?"

"because he is a sailor for the dread pirate roberts."

"a sailor? a common sailor? a common ordinary seaman bests the great inigo montoya with the sword? in-con-ceiv-a-ble. he must be the dread pirate roberts. otherwise it makes no sense" (page 275).

"there is a god; i know that. and there is love; i know that too; so westley will save me."

"you're a silly girl, now go to your room."

"yes, i am a silly girl and, yes again, i will go to my room, and you are a coward with a heart filled with nothing but fear."

the prince had to laugh. "the greatest hunter in the world and you say i am a coward?"

"i do... i say you are a coward and you are; i think you hunt only to reassure yourself that you are not what you are: the weakest thing to ever walk the earth. he will come for me and then we will be gone, and you will be helpless for all your hunting, because westley and i are joined by the bond of love and you cannot track that, not with a thousand bloodhounds, and you cannot break it, not with a thousand swords" (page 280).

"your ears you keep, so that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness will be yours to cherish -- every babe that weeps in fear at your approach, every woman that cries 'dear god, what is that thing?' will reverberate forever with your perfect ears. that is what 'to the pain' means. it means that i leave you in freakish misery until you can stand it no more; so there you have it, pig, there you know, you miserable vomitous mass, and i say this now, live or die, it's up to you: drop your sword" (pages 351-352).

i LOVED reading about inigo and fezzik's histories. i loved that it delved into the nightmares buttercup has about what would happen were she to marry humperdinck. there're a couple of other small differences, but essentially (because goldman also wrote the screenplay), the film follows the text.

what sucked: there are TWO introductions to the novel, both by the author. WHY??? why must you waste my time and the world's paper? just get to the good stuff! thirty-nine pages of bullshit, and THEN the story begins. because it's a story within a story, and i don't give a rat's ass about the exterior. i only want to read the GOOD STUFF, goddammit. and then there's some thirty more pages of bullshit before you get to a sort of epilogue (i HATE epilogues because usually they're stupid and CHEESY). i'll probably read it. eventually. but for the sake of this post, i'm sticking a fork in the thing.

having said all that: i enjoyed reading this. it's fast and engaging... once you find the true beginning.

show us your books

June 25, 2017

one. a man called ove by fredrik backman. both my parents read this about a year or so ago and were unsuccessful in their efforts to encourage me to read it. and then one of the gals in the book club i'm in selected it. it's about a cranky old man and his neighbors attempts to befriend him. it starts slow but picks up quickly and there's some beautiful passages and a great story once you get past ove's crusty exterior. five.

two. wait for me by caroline leech. i'd briefly considered this for one of the categories in erin's book challenge but decided against it, and then i met the author the following sunday at a writer's brunch and liked her so i went back and got it and read it as a bonus selection in the challenge. it's set in scotland at the conclusion of the second world war, and german prisoners are forced to work on farms. a girl falls in love with one of the prisoners. it's a neat idea for a story, and i liked the german character and his history well enough, but overall, i found it tedious. two.

three. the bookshop on the corner by jenny colgan. i'd seen this book before and thought i might like it, and so for a christmas gift exchange hosted by mattie and olya, i put it on my wish list and another blogger was kind enough to send it to me. and then i chose it as a bonus selection for erin's challenge. an english librarian loses her job and decides to open a bookshop in scotland. it's a neat idea for a story. i liked the main characters well enough. i do not like the way colgan writes, mostly because the way she tells the story is boring. there's like three dozen chapters in this thing, and only the last six were any good. two.

four. little beach street bakery by jenny colgan. i picked this up at the bookstore, off one of the front-of-store tables, i think, and quite some time ago. before i'd received the other colgan book. it'd been sitting on my shelves untouched ever since. i decided to read it for the challenge. i liked the premise of the story, although it's rather similar to the other: the business an english woman and her boyfriend founded goes bankrupt, and her relationship with the boy goes bust, so she decides to move to a small town in cornwall and open a bakery. she falls for a beekeeper, but neither are much good at communicating, so her life kind of goes awry again. i liked more of the characters in this one. i would've said i liked it better than the bookshop story, but then i got to the ending. the last few chapters are so much shittier than the rest of the book that they killed any appreciation i may have had for the thing. plus it's godawful long. one. 

five. the duff by kody keplinger. read it because i like the movie. but the book's a lot different. that bothered me at first, which was why i'd put it back on the bookstore's shelves on a number of occasions. and then one day, i said fuck it and read it, and i'm glad i did. i like the movie well enough, but at times it's pretty ridiculous. the book's better. an ordinary high school girl engages in a casual, sexual relationship with a guy she considers a manwhore to distract herself from a miserable home life and the crush she has on another boy. it's cheesy but cute and reads quick. four.

six. the romantics by leah konen. a friend lent me this love story as told by cupid. i liked the idea and the characters well enough, and there's some good subplot that keeps things interesting, but i didn't care for the author's writing style, and the ending's ridiculous. one.

ones i've started: furiously happy by jenny lawson and the princess bride by william goldman.

tally: sixty-nine. i'd neglected to include what light by jay asher (a novel i'd read last fall) in the count.

check out what jana and steph have read.

the romantics

why i wanted to read it: a friend recommended it.

what i liked: it's a love story told from cupid's perspective. neat idea.

what sucked: but i have an issue with cupid's so-called inability to intervene in some instances and the lengths to which he goes in others. and the ending's too unbelievable.

having said that: i liked the characters, there's some good subplots in it and it reads fast. but i didn't mark a single page. overall, it's mediocre at best.

the duff

why i wanted to read it: because i liked the movie well enough.

what i liked: "spanish, huh?" he said, glancing down at the scattered papers as he grabbed them. "can you say anything interesting?"

"el tono de tu voz hace que quiera estrangularme." i stood up and waited for him to hand over my papers.

"that sounds sexy," he said, getting to his feet and handing me the stack of spanish work he'd swept together. "what's it mean?"

"the sound of your voice makes me want to strangle myself."

"kinky" (pages 17-18).

"what you are is an intelligent, sassy, sarcastic, cynical, neurotic, loyal, compassionate girl" (page 175).

"i haven't been avoiding you."

"don't lie," wesley said. "you've been doing everything you can to stay away from me. you won't even look at me in class, and you practically sprint down the hallway if you see me coming. even when you hated me, you didn't act like that. you might threaten to stab me, but you never --"

"i still hate you," i snarled up at him. "you're infuriating. you act like i owe you an apology. i'm sorry i made you worry, wesley, but i just can't be around you anymore. you helped me escape from my problems for a while, and i appreciate that, but i have to face reality. i can't keep running away."

"but that is exactly what you're doing right now," wesley hissed. "you're running away."

"excuse me?"

"don't pretend, bianca," he said. "you're smarter than that, and so am i. i finally figured out what you meant when you left. you said you were like hester. i get it now. the first time you came to my house, when we wrote that paper, you said hester was trying to escape. but everything caught up with hester in the end, didn't it? well, something finally caught up with you, but you're just running away again..."

"i didn't mean anything to you," i told him.

"then why am i here... why the hell am i here, bianca?" (pages 229-231).

i discovered wuthering heights doesn't have a happy ending. because of stupid, spoiled, selfish cathy (yeah, i have no room to talk, but still), everyone winds up miserable. her choice ruins the lives of the people she cares most about. because she picked propriety over passion. head over heart. linton over heathcliff (page 252).

what sucked: i don't think i can say anything sucked.

having said that: it's pretty typical teen fiction and differs quite a bit from the movie, but i actually liked the book more. having seen the film first, i was hearing mae whitman and robbie amell voice the characters. it's heavy on wish fulfillment, just like the movie, but then, most love stories are, so... i liked it. it's cheesy but cute and reads fast.

little beach street bakery

why i wanted to read it: because i liked the title.

what i liked: "this is how it is," came the voice from beside her. mrs. manse didn't sound her usual snappy, angry self. she sounded resigned, sad, serious. "this is how it is. we stand and we wait. we women. this is what we do."

polly looked at her.

"does it help?"

mrs. manse shrugged. "it doesn't bring them back."

polly nodded. "but you think it might?"

mrs. manse was silent for a long time. the lighthouse beam swung around again. finally she spoke. 

"i don't know what else to do," she said.

polly bit her lip. 

"i always thought," said mrs. manse quietly, "that if i don't come one night, that will be the night he comes home... with the very last of his strength, only just enough to climb the harbor wall... and if i'm not here to help him, he won't make it."

polly understood that completely.

mrs. manse turned suddenly, her large body stoic and unmoving in the wind. 

"please," she said, in more urgent tones. "please go home. don't get like me."

"but i need to wait for them," said polly.

mrs. manse shook her head. "not like this", she said with desperation in her voice. "please. not like this. don't do this to yourself."

polly pulled the blanket more tightly around her.

"i can't think of anything else."

"but wishing doesn't do it," said mrs. manse crossly. "don't you see? wishing doesn't do it." she looked polly straight in the face. "please," she said, imploring her now. "please go home... don't. don't be like me... go. while you still can."

"i can't leave you out here."

"you have to," said mrs. manse (pages 288-289).

"i have invited all his sexy rich friends. there must be someone who won't move to another continent if you kiss them" (page 385).

what sucked: the names kerensa and huckle. seriously. what the fuck is up with this broad and her inability to name characters well? also, why in god's name must she take four hundred twenty-one pages to tell a story? and why does she have to have such weak subplots? and why must the majority of her pages be so badly written? GAH.

having said that: she has neat ideas for stories but the execution is so totally lame. i felt the complete opposite about this one than i did the bookshop tale. that one, the majority of it bored the hell out of me but the ending was pretty good. this one didn't bore me as much (but please understand i was still bored), and the ending was ridiculous shit.

skinny bitch

why i wanted to read it: because once upon a time i worked at a bookstore and all the girls were buying this book, and years later when i'd crossed over the one-fifty mark, i was thinking to myself: fat pig, you should read that book.

what i liked: of course it's easier to socialize after you've had a few drinks. but being a fat pig will hinder you, sober or drunk. and habitual drinking equals fat-pig syndrome. beer is for frat boys... it makes you fat, bloated, and farty. why do you think when kids go away to college they gain the "freshmen fifteen"? beer, duh. alcohol isn't any better. it raises the level of hydrochloric acid in your stomach, wreaking havoc on the digestive process. if you suffer from poor digestion, then food will not process through your body properly. hence, bloated fat-pig syndrome. to make matters worse, some alcohol (and non-organic wines) still contain urethane, a cancer-causing chemical. to boot, both beer and alcohol jack up your blood-sugar levels, which is bad for you bod. and don't kid yourself; when you have a hangover, you're bound to eat shit all day long (page 12).

aspartame (an ingredient commonly found in diet sodas and other sugar-free foods) has been blamed for a slew of scary maladies, like arthritis, birth defects, fibromyalgia, alzheimer's, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. when methyl alcohol, a component of aspartame, enters your body, it turns into formaldehyde. formaldehyde is toxic and carcinogenic (cancer-causing). laboratory scientists use formaldehyde as a disinfectant or preservative. they don't fucking drink it. perhaps you have a lumpy ass because you are preserving your fat cells with diet soda... when aspartame is paired with carbs, it causes your brain to slow down its production of serotonin. a heathy level of serotonin is needed to be happy and well-balanced. so drinking soda can make you fat, sick and unhappy (page 14).

think about how widely accepted it has become that people need coffee to wake up. you should not need anything to wake up. if you can't wake up without it, it's because you're either addicted to caffeine, sleep-deprived, or a generally unhealthy slob... caffeine can cause headaches, digestive problems, irritation of the stomach and bladder, peptic ulcers, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. it affects every organ system, from the nervous system to the skin. caffeine raises stress hormone levels, inhibits important enzyme systems that are responsible for cleaning the body, and sensitizes nerve reception sites... coffee, whether regular or decaf, is highly acidic. acidic foods cause your body to produce fat cells, in order to keep the acid away from your organs... it also makes your breath smell like ass. furthermore, coffee beans, like other crops, are grown with chemical pesticides... so every single morning you're starting your day with poison. add sugar or other artificial sweeteners, top it off with milk or cream, and you'll be fat forever (pages 15-16).

the food you put into your body works its way into your organs and blood stream and is actually part of who you are. so every time you put crap in your body, you are crap (page 65).

think of how you feel when you are angry, afraid, and grief-stricken... these emotions -- fear, grief and rage -- produce chemical changes in our bodies. they do the same to animals. their blood pressure rises. adrenaline courses through their bodies. you are eating high blood pressure, stress, and adrenaline... you cannot be thin and beautiful with a glowing complexion when you eat fear, grief, and rage (page 76).

what sucked: i read this so many years ago, but i can't remember anything i didn't like, unless you count the authors urging that the reader go vegan.

having said that: sure i could stand to overhaul my diet, but i don't know that i could be as strict as they suggest. i could appreciate the way they wrote the book though, because they seemed informed, confident of their opinions and crass. and i do like the snark.

random quarter

June 24, 2017

one. i have been unemployed now for about eleven months -- the longest streak since graduating college. i keep telling myself god's got a plan. if that's the case, i'd really like to know what it is.

two. i firmly believe that seasonal depression doesn't just happen in winter. anyone who tells you that shit's limited to the shortest, darkest days of the year, and in some cases also the coldest (although it's usually still in the eighties in texas in december, so we don't see nasty until the month before winter relinquishes her evil hold on the northern hemisphere, also called february)... that person's a fucking moron. i'm convinced if a person can be prone to (greater) bouts of depression when the days are short (and cold) and the nights are long (and colder), then that person can also be affected when the days are long (and hot) and the nights are short (and as equally as hot, as is the case in texas right about now... though interestingly enough it was eighty-two degrees this afternoon in east texas, just as it was eighty-two degrees in west colorado... i know this because my cousin's wife told me so when i'd texted her, smugly, thinking that it was colder in texas than in colorado because yesterday i was in colorado and it was fucking hot.

three. the true reason why i allow myself to call these posts random isn't because it's twenty-five random things. it's because it gives me license, in my mind, to be okay with the fact that i'm rambling, and often like a lunatic. i've been in a car for two days with my parents. who wouldn't be a lunatic after that?

four. i'm also convinced that i could do a better job of driving through the mountains in the summer than my father. winter? not a chance in hell. he's the champion of the world and the nations, as he would say, then. but right now? i'd win. easily.

five. i missed the show us your books post for this month. but guess what? i'm going to do one anyway. better late than never, right? right after i post about the four books i read weeks ago (or in one case years ago but i'd forgotten to blog it... but that's a good thing, because i need the refresher... you'll see which one that would be shortly... as in the next post).

six. i need new pillows and duvets, new books... new teeth. SO embarrassing to be missing two. QUIT FUCKING SMOKING, PEOPLE. YOU CAN'T AFFORD THE DENTAL WORK THAT HIDEOUS VICE WILL CAUSE. i think maybe six of my teeth are still wholly mine. the remaining ones have been crowned and, in some cases, canalled. i just made that last word up, by the way. i'm keeping it. the more i gawk at that chasm between a bicuspid and rear molar on the lower right, where two molars once existed but had to be extracted because i'm an idiot who guzzles too many dark, cold, carbonated, caffeinated beverages and smoked, sometimes, three packs a day (FUCKING KNOCK THAT SHIT OFF, yall! i swear, it's a bitch to quit, and i've spent thousands on dental work, and i'm confident i'll be spending thousands more because i'm pretty sure that bicuspid and molar are going to be on the chopping block soon because i've not had a job and therefore don't have the funds to go to the dentist, and my mouth is turning into a dentist's dream, really, because look at all the money i could be giving him!) new teeth. seriously. who wishes for that shit? idiots. like me. also, when i smoked i was spending two bucks and eleven cents on a pack of marlboros. i'm pretty sure it's at least triple that now. you could buy lunch at whataburger or twenty cancer sticks. take your pick.

seven. whataburger, by the way, is the second best fast food burger joint in the country. up until a few days ago i would've said it's the best. my cousins reminded me of the awesomesauce of vicco's charcoalburger drive-in in glenwood springs, colorado. apparently, i'd eaten there before? or maybe they're remembering that i'd tagged along with them when in reality i hadn't (my cousins like to do things like skydiving and camping, and that's generally not my thing). anyway. i want vicco to relocate to the woodlands and open up a charcoalburger by my house. or i want to relocate to glenwood springs. chances are good that neither of these things will be happening anytime soon, but if i'm wishing for new teeth, then a girl can dream of something like this, too, yeah?

eight. i climbed a rock!! there's a mica mine trail outside of grand junction, colorado called bangs canyon trailhead. i did go hiking with one of those cousins and his son, my brother and his wife and children. and not only did i hike, i made myself climb up one of those rocks. before yall get too gobsmacked, it wasn't a huge rock or anything. but climbing scares me because of my vision issues and more because things in my body break really easily. i fucking rock-climbed. have never done that in my life. my kabuki would've been proud. i wish to god he could've seen me do it. the twins left a piece of mica on his gravestone yesterday. i was supremely touched that they had done so.

nine. i went zip-lining!!! this should shock yall more than the rock-climbing because it shocked the hell out of me. and you know what? the zipping didn't scare me. not really. the first time, i was a little fearful, true, and i was maybe a little distracted because i'd put my hand in front of me to brake rather than behind me (idiot, remember?). the second time i went i did much, much better. you know what scared the crap out of me? the damned suspension bridge. i about had a damned panic attack on that thing. had to have that cousin we'd gone hiking with a day or two earlier help me across. the cousin's practically half my age, but whatever. okay, that's an exaggeration. he's like fifteen years younger. but that's basically the same thing.

ten. last weekend, on the night we arrived in grand junction (the town from which my mother's family hails) i snuck into not one but two showings of guardians of the galaxy two. two days of riding in the car with my parents. my brother and his family were going camping (house with no electricity, heat, running water... really small house that could maybe fit five people that would be housing three times that many? i'll pass, thanks.) i stayed the night in the house we were renting for the week. my parents stayed in their apartment. my father and i are much, too much alike. we got into it. i decided i was very much in need of some space. i decided the best thing would be a solitary, two-mile walk to a movie theater at eight p.m. on a friday night, even in a town that small (a hundred thousand's small when you're from a metropolis that's like seven million or something). i figured hell with it, if i can walk down sixth street at night dressed in an aggies sweatshirt, i can walk to the movie theater in grand junction. so i finally get there (an hour later), and instead of getting my ticket and snacks, i head for the women's room, which is right next to the usher stand. i come out, and the usher's not there. i look to my right, and there are two theaters for guardians. it's nine p.m. one show had started forty minutes ago. the other would start in a half hour. all i really wanted to see was baby groot dancing to the opening credits (i needed happy and figured that was the best way i was going to get it), but since i had a thirty minute wait... so i watched thirty minutes of the first, snuck into the second to watch the credits, snuck back into the first to watch the rest. and then i walked back to the house. i said a LOT of hail marys. only instead of now and at the hour of death, i said now and in the hour of our need. i safely made it to the house. the only injuries i'd sustained were blisters on my feet because i'd opted not to change out of my flip-flops into my sneakers. IDIOT. 

eleven.  the family had dinner at the winery one night. super expensive. SUPER AMAZING. smoked salmon and broccoli alfredo. i wanted to inhale the whole damned plate. i was supremely bummed that my stomach could hold only so much. i'm supremely bummed that the good lord could not bless me with the culinary gene so i could make it myself.

twelve. i happened to spot an aston martin vantage after we'd eaten that night. i don't normally stop to gawk at cars, but damned if i couldn't help myself on this occasion. everything about that car looked amazing, even in its celery green coat. generally as a rule i am not a fan of celery green, and maybe such vehicles shouldn't be painted in such a color, but i was practically drooling... the girl who can't afford to buy new pillows is obsessing over a ridiculously, horribly overpriced method of transportation that she'd most likely wreck within six months of owning it... idiot.

thirteen. in the past week or so, i've gotten both a manicure and a pedicure. i had the pedi before we left for colorado. hadn't had the mani in about six months. i figured i was due. i clip my nails short, and when i'd told the lady that i wanted a manicure, she looked at me and said, pedicure? i shook my head, pointed to my feet and the bandaids on them and insisted on the manicure. my hands feel so much better.

fourteen. am reading goldman's the princess bride. the twins, their stepmother and i watched that the other day. they hadn't seen it. my nephew called out on more than a few occasions that a scene was fake, but i'd thought he liked it and when asked him if he wanted to read the book he said yes. so i bought him one. and i've not been able to get him to read since. after i'd gotten past the two introductions and the forty pages of what-the-fuck-is-this-shit to where the movie begins, i found myself enjoying it quite a bit. it's one of the better film adaptations i've seen actually.

fifteen. my throat hurts all the time. i'm more than a little concerned that the cause for all the dental work isn't just the smoking but a more serious issue. but then i'm a worrywart. and even if it were a more serious issue, i don't know that i'd do much about it, so worrying about this is pretty idiotic.

sixteen. i got maybe an hour's worth of sleep last night. i'm very glad to be back in my bed.

seventeen. there's a great deal more country music in my collection than there used to be. i'm a little concerned with that, as well.

eighteen. the new year's resolutions i'd set in january... those have all gone to hell. i plan on resuming my efforts in july. one more week of bad behavior and then i'll practice being good again. hopefully it'll last longer.

nineteen. i was looking through my facebook on this day posts just now. the top of the list: i've never stood someone up in my life, but that's happening in seventeen minutes. this was just last year. i can recall pretty much every douchebag with whom i've interacted, but this one escapes me. so much so that i'd forgotten that i'd stood the dude up.

twenty. also on that day, i'd woken up to discover that my bony elbows and restless nature had caused me to shred my pottery barn kids' empire strikes back sheets. that i do remember, and it still makes me sad.

twenty-one. six years ago it must've been unbelievably hot here. ridiculously so. why? because i'd posted that i was moving to alaska. i'll go skydiving before that were to happen, yall.

twenty-two. seven years ago i was touring europe with three of another cousin's children. this other cousin is older than me, so her daughters were a college-graduate, college student and high school senior at the time. seven years ago today we were walking around dachau.

twenty-three. today marks the tenth anniversary of my having smoked my final cigarette. it took more time (another four months or so of lozenges and patches before i could kick the habit in its entirety). a decade, yall. i am amazing. so what if i'm an idiot about all the other stuff. i'm always wishing i could go back and redo. i've heard that it takes about fifteen years for the body to fully recover from the damage smoking causes. five more... i'll be standing much too close for fifty for that, but... that's a pretty good birthday present, don't you think?

twenty-four. my niece put michael jackson's thriller in my head earlier today. fantastic.

twenty-five. i taught a cousin and a friend how to play splendor. they both whipped me. soundly. on several occasions. and i taught them. you'd think if i taught them, then i could beat them, but nah. that's not how it works.

fourteen things celebrated in may

June 3, 2017

number one.
one. may third. two different-colored shoes day. wear shoes that don't match for the entirety of your day.

number two.
two. may fourth. star wars day. may the fourth be with you. wear a star wars shirt if you've got one. share four of your favorite lines from the films.

i'd just as soon kiss a wookie (leia, empire strikes back).

i can arrange that. you could use a good kiss (han, empire strikes back).

laugh it up, fuzzball (han, empire strikes back).

we would be honored if you would join us (vader, empire strikes back).

three. may fifth. national cartoonists day. share a favored comic.

number four.
four. also may fifth. totally chipotle day. treat yourself to a burrito. (and yeah, it's cinco de mayo, too. i know. so if you wanna have a margarita with that, go right ahead.)

five. may tenth. clean up your room day. seriously. CLEAN IT. get rid of all the shit. donate the things you don't need, if you can, and trash the rest. that place should be a haven not a dump (like mine usually is).

so yeah. this didn't happen.

six. may twelfth. national spouse military appreciation day. send notes to those who have husbands and wives serving in our military, whether those serving are active or not, home or abroad. thank them for what they do, too. 

i sent one. better than nothing, i suppose. 

seven. also may twelfth. national limerick day. write one. YES, that's what i said. haikus are a hell of lot easier, now, right? you're wishing you'd done that one last month. limerick. write it, and then share one you love.

so i paired this one with...

twelve. also may twenty-fourth. brothers day. if you've got one, do something nice for the idiot.

... and wrote him a poem:

this here's a limerick for my brother, joe
mom tells me be nice; if only that could be so
sometimes it is such an impossible task
he can be a ginormous pain in my ass
but oh, how i do love that silly boy, though

i can't say it's a favorite, but here's one i like well enough. damned if i can say who wrote it:

the limerick packs laughs anatomical
into space that is quite economical
but the good ones i've seen
so seldom are clean
and the clean ones so seldom are comical

number eight.
eight. may fifteenth. national chocolate chip cookie day. bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies from scratch...

nine. may twenty-first. national waitstaff day. ...and take the cookies to the servers at your favorite restaurant. since these things don't have to be done on their specific day, can i recommend this be done on mother's day? that is the WORST day of the year for them. if you wanna be extra awesome, give them handwritten notes to let them know how awesome and how loved they are.

i did take them cookies, but on the last day of the month.

i'd gone by deaux's on mother's day after having brunch with mine to leave them love.

number ten.
ten. may twenty-third. national lucky penny day. get a roll of pennies. throughout your day, leave one here and there and everywhere, face up for others to find. give them some good luck.

i didn't do this the way i'd planned. i ended up cramming half these things on the last day of the month again, and so this one backfired on me. i thought i'd leave a penny on random tables and all the vacant barstools at pappadeaux's for guests to take... my mom's always saying find a penny, pick it up, and all day long you'll have good luck, so i thought i'd give the guests some luck. only the guests weren't so happy to find the pennies, i guess, and questioned the hostesses and bartenders, and one of the hostesses went around the restaurant collecting them. i overheard her complaining to one of the bartenders, asking who'd left the pennies on the table. i'd confessed that i'd done so, took the pennies from her, rounded up the rest, and gave them to one of the servers. it would've worked out better had i done it the way i'd intended. i would've felt better had i done it that way. lately, i'd been feeling like nothing i do is right, so this incident quickly sunk my spirits. i'd thought of leaving them on the fountain at the neighboring pappasito's, but then i suppose people would've been questioning the hostesses there, so... bad idea.

eleven. may twenty-fourth. national scavenger hunt day. i tried to get my niece and nephew to play along with me. they weren't too keen on the idea.

thirteen. may twenty-fifth. red nose day. get you one. i saw a passel of'm at walgreen's. wear that thing all day line and with much pride.

i'd meant to do this one on the actual day but forgot, so i did it the next day.

fourteen. also may twenty-fifth. national wine day. get a group of friends together. share a bottle.

this didn't happen, either. on the last day, after the penny debacle, i bought myself a glass. it should've helped me relax. it didn't.