My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was our July cozy at Cozy Mystery Once a Month Book Club(facebook) and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, especially the special little twist at the end. Scarlett Parker moves to England to help her cousin run a hat shop they inherited from their grandmother, and murder and mayhem ensues. Viv, her cousin, is missing, she doesn't know how to make hats and a posh Lady is murdered wearing only a hat that Viv designed!
The characters are likable, and the story has a nice pace. I will actually read more of this series.
View all my reviews
I decided to go to my Happy beach today even though the shut off the trains and the substitute buses have a route the feels like punishment. They take giant Greyhound bites and run them through the inner city instead of the expressway. Takes twice as long to travel even with no traffic... with traffic three times as long. MAKES NO SENSE. The good think is that the bus is super comfortable, has wifi, electrical outlets, and even a bathroom. While the route was infuriating I would do it again now that I know where I am.
The beach was lovely. It did not get as hot as they said it would so I did not feel the heat. I walked the entire 3.5 miles (7 back and forth) and boy are my feet hating me at the moment.
I am happiest at the wrack line with the Piping plover and other shore birds. Found many more Sand dollars... each a slightly different color. I found a black one too. I wonder if that means anything? Started working on a poem ...need to work one some imagery....
The oddest thing I was was a small live clam. It must have read my thought about a splash of hot sauce and slurp... and it stuck out a tiny white foot and buried itself in the sand. I have never seen that before...and it was fast. I wish I thought about taking out my phone and videoing it as it "ran" away from me.
I really needed the walk and to be there today. I walked off the work week and house woes.
Dad met me up there and we ate at the pub so I did not have to cook dinner. Had a lobster roll...yummy.
Right now I would sell my soul to have someone rub peppermint lotion on my feet ;-)
Long time, no rl update. The reason is that my life is rather quiet, for the most part.
It's hot here... very hot, mid-90s and so humid that the air drips.
I spend my days playing games on Facebook, which I would leave but for my game addiction.
I also do quite a few things in the Babylon 5 fandom - an update every two weeks of fandom things like fics, art and newsishness, I mod and post at a rewatch group as well. we are over halfway through Season 4. If you're a fan, join us at either Lj or Dw. Our name is B5_revisited. Once a year, I mod a B5 fan celebration called Babylon 5 Love and we post B5 fics, art , metas... anything every day for a month, usually Feb because well, you know, love!
I am doing Sins this year (Or is it still Ardor in August?). I have the story in my head but not typed yet. Starting this week.
Signups for the Oeam Big bang close at the end of the month as well. We have several. I wish we'd get a big bunch but OEAM apparently doesn't reach far and I'm just not a Tumblr person... NO clue what one does there.
OEAM is still up and running - the self upload site that EVERYONE swore they wanted so they could post to... um, I post there and maybe one more person now and again. It's a lovely archive and I monitor it nearly every day. It doesn't show up right on Google and I can't fix it. After Tallulah, Elfscribe and Marius (and others as well) worked and worked and worked, my webhost sent me a note telling us that we were using too much band width and if we didn't cut it down, they were going to shut us down. We - well Tallulah - worked tirelessly to do all the things they suggested to no avail. SOOOO I got us a new webhost and we were never able to get the site uploaded there. We realized that we were not using what they said anyway. They were doing this in an attempt to get me to change to a $40+ a month site, which I refused to do. So as one of the fixes, we sort of got off the search engines. We are at www.ofelvesandmen.com - nothing more. That is us.
I'm still old and still mobility impaired. I work on gaming, fanning and I've taken up reading cozy mysteries and belong to a group at FB that discusses one a month. It's fun. I am trying to spend more time reading than I have in past years. I also have a new overlock sewing machine... brand new - not even out of the box yet. I have to learn how to use it now. There are lots of nice videos at Youtube (you can learn to do almost anything there). I ma making some little craftish sewing projects and hope to make a few clothes as well when I get the hang of this thing.
Larry works at home and is working lots of long hours so I'm on my own most of the time. Sometimes I think it would be nice if he had an office off the premises... but then again, he is here all the time and I kinda like that, too.
That's all I can think of... gotta grab a shower and then it'll be time for Chinese takeout and British mysteries on PBS - our Saturday night excitement. I do love my Midsomer Murders!
So what are all y'all up to this summer? (Really! I want to know!)
A very thought provoking exhibit...one that many people need to see.
I never really understood street photography just for the sake of it, but this is what many of these photos were and they are important.
I did ask about the systems conversion for my work that I thought was to happen in October. I am concerned as my knowledge is in a niche system that I think could go away. She told me that the project has been pushed back and may not make it until 2019.
They also moved my desk 2 weeks ago. I hate where I sit. I get in at 5:15 AM (an hour early) and the dinosaur is all over me. I reminded her that I don't start working for another hour... but she is passive aggressive and starts with it as soon as I sit down... sigh....
Personally I think she moved me because I was getting too friendly with the manager since he asked me to help find a dog and now that he has a dog...
she says she wants me to me the team leader for the dinosaur and my trainee. Sigh. I am not cut out to lead. I an good as a 32 or #3. I am responsible and know what to do... but wrangle people is not my thing. I was told that I should keep the dinosaur busy but don't let her do anything that can be seen... WHAT? Franky she should be laid off. Then there is my trainee who should have her phone dumped in the toilet. She takes 7 hours to do what I did in 1.5. I like her as a person, but as a worker I would also let her GO. I. DO. NOT. TRUST. HER. TO. COMPLETE. ANYTHING. Today I received 100 cases to work. I turned to the dinosaur to get her to help and she says she can't as her one lung is bothering her and her arthritis is making it hard to type. I turn to the trainee and she leaves for the day as her eyes are bothering her. The boss says that I should not be afraid to ask for help... UMMM...just who can help. My team is lame....
The only thing I can make of this is that she trusts me with a niche thing and to wrangle people ... but she just isn't interested in my as a human.
I do think I irked her whenI went over to the manager to show him a big white dog we had at the shelter and I asked about his pup. And it irked her that he had a conversation with me.
We where supposed to go to the beach but because of the weather we went to the movies and saw Wonder Woman. I really liked it. Gal Godot's performance was great. A combination of brain, beauty, strength, courage, and innocence.
We also stopped at Kmart as she said she saw something with my name written all over it... and yes, I bought it. I was an orange Versace pocketbook. I was just lamenting the sad bag I was carrying when I needed more than my wallet clutch.
She cooked me dinner. Rarely does anyone cook my dinner for ME since Ma stopped cooking. It was nice. A lovely salmon recipe that I may have to share with my 88 yr old aunt (no one in her household eats salmon).
The Saturday we went out for breakfast and then attended an American Independence festival in Exeter NH. It was a great day to roam around a cute town, visit with re enactors and have fun.
It was really nice to spend time with her and have someone to talk to.
That is not how you give a review. That tells the worker that if you can't bother to pull up a chair that they are not worth the time.
She also said she noticed the favoritism. Yeah. She also doesn't know why they hired the new guy when the 2 of us want to learn different things.
Hopefully tomorrow will see the end of the monthly audit reports. Next Month will be easier...even if I have to do 50 reports instead of 25.
Looking forwardard to Friday... I am off to see a New Hampshire friend
What I've Read:
City of Oranges: an Intimate History of Arabs and Jews in Jaffa – Adam LeBor. I actually read about two thirds of this a few months ago during Spring Break, then put it down until this week, so my memory of the first parts may not be perfect. But, this is basically a somewhat informal history of relations between Jewish and Arab residents of the city of Jaffa, and the city itself, from the last part of the Ottoman era into the twenty-first century when the book was published (I think in 2007, but I don't have it with me, so consider that an estimate). The author used a combination of letters, memoirs written in that time, public records, and interviews with current residents and members of (mostly Palestinian) families that came from Jaffa in that period and now live elsewhere.
This impressed me in part because it struck me as really evenly handed, in a way that's difficult to do dealing with subjects that cause a lot of conflict; LeBor talks willingly about the difficulties of Palestinian refugee families after 1948, and of Jewish refugees struggling to come to Palestine under British rule; about both the difficult emotional experiences of Palestinians who were able to come back to Jaffa and see their houses owned by other people or the Israeli state, and the experiences of Israelis moving into houses in Jaffa after themselves experiencing great loss elsewhere. It was interesting to see also the way the book exposes the lie that Jews and Arabs had always been enemies while still being willing to discuss pogroms and riots in British era Palestine, and confiscations and military police action against Arabs, etc, in Israel.
So, all in all I think this is a very good book, although as usual I don't agree with all of LeBor's conclusions.
CW: Following review involves discussion of infanticide and euthanasia.
Always Coming Home – Ursula Le Guin. This is what Le Guin describes as “archaeology of the future,” a very world building focused work set in northern California an unspecified hundreds or thousands of years in the future, among the matrilineal and matrilocal farming society of the Kesh.
I don't know what to say about this one. Much of it is fantastically kind, a novel set in everyday life in a way that's rare, and valuing the work and life of all of its people in a way that I have almost never seen before in fantasy; where the business of food, and weaving, and production of pottery and all kinds of things is more valuable than war; where people who want to engage in war and power games are socially disruptive and ultimately defeated without violence. It also is not anywhere as Luddite as much post apocalyptic literature is; the Kesh are not industrial, but they have small scale electricity based off of solar power, they have access to something similar to but not entirely like the internet, they have a lot of modern medicine.
I think it's that kindness that made the part where Le Guin felt the need to explain that the Kesh practice infanticide against infants with certain disabilities and euthanasia consensually* feel so cruel. It wasn't relevant to the narrative portions, it was just there, apparently because she felt it was something the reader needed to know. And combined with the moralistic slant I had already felt was irritating – the Kesh consider people of our time sick, and the idea of becoming like us horrifying; the Kesh have no concept for “accidentally” poisoning the earth and thus assume we must have done it because of that sickness; the Kesh solve things by discussion, not via hierarchy and violence (as opposed to the Condors or Dayao, another society in the book); she explicitly at one point floats the idea of the Kesh being Utopian – it came off to me as someone who I had liked and been impressed by kindly, gently explaining that the ideal society is one in which we don't go “too far” in allowing all disabled people to live, only the sufficiently useful ones.
So, I don't know what to say here. I loved most of the rest of the novel, I was prepared to recommend it entirely wholeheartedly as an example of fantastic worldbuilding and a vision of the future striking in its kindness and plausibility up until that point, despite its occasional annoying drifts into moralism and somewhat simplistic portrayal of the Dayao, who are the opposite of the Kesh in everything and irritatingly lacking in true nuance, for all she drops in a few suggestions that they aren't entirely miserable. But that page felt like being slapped in the face, like going to my inbox excited to receive a message and finding a message calling me the R word and telling me to kill myself. I don't know that I can recommend it, because of that.
*I thought about putting “consensual” in quotation marks, but decided it was better to have a note explaining why I consider even consensual euthanasia horrifying. The thing about euthanasia is that enabled, it carries the implications that disabled lives are worth less than others; other suicidal people receive attempts at help, no matter how destructive, while we are killed. And the existence of supposedly consensual euthanasia always carries murder with it; how free is a choice for medical care when medical care costs money? When medical care imposes difficulties on those around you? When you are perhaps isolated, only having contact with family members who resent you and having to care for you? And when it's considered acceptable to end a disabled life under some circumstances, how much easier is it to cover up murder of disabled lives by faking consent? These aren't hypothetical questions; you can already easily find news stories about people whose insurance covered euthanasia but not cancer treatment in Washington, and the nonconsensual murders of mentally ill patients in Belgium under the cover of “euthanasia.”
In the specific case of Kesh, it is explicit that shunning and social shame applied to people considered to have acted inappropriately is sufficient to drive some people to suicide, and that people are mostly dependent on their families for care when they aren't able to care for themselves, both of which only make the general problems worse.
What I'm Reading Now
Theoretically still Ninefox Gambit, but I haven't picked it up again since my last entry.
The Goblin and the Jinni – Helene Wecker. I love this so far – the atmosphere and the magic and the setting in New York City of the period, but also the way almost all of the characters are essentially well meaning, the wholeness of the communities Chava and Ahmad are adopted into. Will write more when I've read more.
Comment Note: I don't have the energy to defend my views on euthanasia right now. If you want to ask me questions about it, go ahead, but if you feel the need to defend legal euthanasia, you can do it on your own time in your own blog. I will delete any comments in violation of this policy and block their writers.
Watched her die again... and then in another dream she was here and disappeared screaming. I woke up calling her name.
I worked so hard yesterday I just thought I could sleep. 11.5 at work, them spent 4 hours cooking...last night's dinner, tonights dinner, and spaghetti sauce for Thursday. Sleep would have been nice.
Hope I get the templates from my boss today.