Sunday, August 1, 2021

Syllabus #116

The other day I had to go to Walgreens and there was a Party Barge taking up half the parking lot.  Upon entering the store, I encountered a gaggle of sunburned bachelorettes wearing matching screen-printed tank tops and cheap cowboy hats.  One of their tribe, in addition to the sunburn, was poking at a constellation of angry red welts on her chest and arms while the others helpfully proffered various rash creams.  #LastFlingBeforeTheRingworm

Also, there's been a proliferation of bachelorettes rolling into town with the most entitled, ignorant twattery written on their car windows - "Last Fling Before the Ring - Buy the Bride a Drink! Venmo @ImAnEntitledWhore" or whatever cutesy name they've concocted for their 72-hour blackout.  There's an AirBnB on the next block over where there were no fewer than 4 such cars parked on the street this weekend.  There's thirsty and then there's thirsty.  Does that EVER work?  Do you ever get anything other than surly locals sending you a request for funds?  

I'm gonna start driving around with my back window painted to say, "Not a bachelorette, just tryna get drunk, Venmo @SadAlcoholic"


Just as peach season is winding down, you have to show me another thing I want to do with my haul?  

And can I make this with peaches instead?  Also, doesn't the term Brown Betty just sound like a cute euphemism for when ladies be pewpin'?

Where was this when I was trudging through Medieval Seminar in college?  

There's a theme here, and it's I'M HUNGRY.  This sandwich looks fire, but the question is, is it spicy enough for me?

I want to do the right thing to keep myself and others safe, but like, I'm so OVER sniffing my own face and breath all day.

Well the first photo on this page almost had me bawling but the rest of them are so adorbs I'm sharing it anyway.  Kitties!  I just love kitties so much my heart could explode.  

One of each, please.

Analog Reading:

Read all of Casey Wilson's The Wreckage of My Presence.    It was a funny, fast read, but also heartfelt.

Started chipping away at Bill Bryson's The Body again.  We inhabit such strange and fascinating flesh sacks, and our flawed and incomplete understanding of them over the centuries has led to some rather perplexing medical treatments.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Syllabus #115

I'm becoming the Bubba of peach concoctions.  

Things I have made with peaches this summer:

Peach bars

Peach cobbler

Peach icebox cake (pictured above)

Peach Pie

Peach crisp

Peach and peanut butter sandwich

Peach baked oatmeal

Peach butter

Peach caprese salad

Peach avocado salad

Other than peaches, here's what we've been consuming lately:

I believe the phrase we are using here is 'womp womp'.  Get vaccinated and deprogram yourself from the exceptionalist mindset that bad things only happen to other people.

Bald Knob Pricks Edge of Space 

We aren't ready to re-do our kitchen, but this is the exact cabinet color I have been imagining.  

There are some brilliant items on here.  With a couple of trips coming up this year (hopefully!) I gotta get me some of these.

Analog Reading:

Finally!  I finished The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.  I am aware this book won the Pulitzer in 2016, and Andy highly recommended it, BUT it wasn't my favorite book I've read this year.  The story was incredibly compelling but there was something about the narrative tone that felt like it was deliberately distancing me from the narrator - like he was being guarded and not giving me the full story (which, if you read the book, makes COMPLETE sense by the end) but I found myself disengaging after reading just a few pages at a time.  I'm that way with people, too.  If you give me closed off, leave-me-alone vibes, I will do exactly that.  But now there's a sequel or a continuation of the story that I feel obligated to read, so it's like, are we doing this again?  

About to finish Somebody's Daughter by Ashley C. Ford.  It's SO good.  It's a memoir by a woman just a bit younger than me, who was raised by a single mother with the help of her grandmother, while her father was in prison.  Growing up, Ashley never knew why her dad was incarcerated, but the book leads up to her learning the nature of his crime, coming to grips with that reality, and then dealing with the complicated emotions she feels when he is finally released from prison 30 years later.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Syllabus #114

How's your hot vax summer going so far?  I'm Julying so hard, shoving peaches down my gullet like I'm trying to get the skitters.  We went to a baseball game AND an outdoor concert in the same weekend, and interacted with other humans like we are real people and not just slovenly misanthropes capable only of 1-sided conversations with our cats.  It's the big time over here.

Mega-rich man puts own life, other lives at risk for frivolous vanity project.  Some people have way too much goddamn money, enough to pull entire nations out of poverty, yet they spend it on fulfilling their own childhood dreams.  To be fair, if I had the resources, I would make my aviation-related childhood dream of eating chocolate meat ice cream on an airplane a reality, but I've never been one to dream big and also that sounds fully disgusting to my adult sensibilities.

Make your dreams a reality - this woman gets it.  I am positive we could train Lola to ride on a saddle on Charlie's back.

What say you about WFH vs. working in a designated workplace outside the home?  As an educator, once school was back to in-person status, it wasn't really a matter of choice for me.  I did not miss the commute, but if I had the option of passive transit where I could read on a train or something, I would actually enjoy that.  It was super nice to sleep in a little and have more flexible workflows, and just be done for the day when I did everything I needed to do, instead of being required to stay until a certain time to fulfill other duties that don't apply when children aren't physically present.  That being said, having to handle teachers' and students' tech problems was a never-ending job so I was never truly done for the day if somebody had a problem that needed my attention.


Tennessee's state motto:  Can't Fix Stupid (and don't you dare try to vaccinate me fer it, neither).  Sometimes I mercifully forget that Nashville is, in fact, in Tennessee and that the rest of the state is responsible for some Very Dumb Shit.

Please watch this show:  I Think You Should Leave

Analog Reading:

Okay I swear I'm going to finish The Sympathizer and The Body, but I got my library hold of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw and I totally gulped it down.  I read more than half of it the first day, and like don't be impressed by that because it is both short and highly snackable, but do be impressed by the book itself and get your hands on a copy right now.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Syllabus #113

What do you do for yourself when you really want to give yourself a treat?  Do you book a spa day?  Buy a bunch of new makeup?  A purse?  Shoes?  Serious question.  How do you live?  Asking for

I went out and got two extra jobs this summer, and decided to treat myself with...wait for it...3 bras and a fancy vacuum.  And I felt really guilty about it.  Even though all of said items were on sale AND I used a cash-back app.  Even though I fully reserve the right to return any of the above.  Even though I'm way overdue for some properly fitting, not-decomposing bras.  And this new vacuum is cordless and quiet!  And it will not smell like burning cat barf from the one time I used it to suck up cat barf that was apparently not all the way dry.  Rookie mistake.  Will not be using my precious cordless, lightweight, quiet, air-filtering stick vacuum to clean up cat barf.  

I'm not anticipating Vacuum Delivery Day with the stomach-clenching glee of a child who fully believes they are getting a pony for Christmas.  I mean, truthfully, I am, but let's not speak of it, lest the hype be more than this cleaning apparatus can deliver.  I want it to suck, but not suck.

I shed so much my mom had to spend an outrageous sum of money on a new quiet vacuum that won't scare the shit out of me while she uses it to clean up my dog hair tumbleweeds.

If there was ever a time for the good people of Philadelphia to throw batteries at something big and white, this woulda been it, guys.

There's no shame in my expired food game.  Unless food or medication is actively growing fur, emitting sulphuric fumes, or glowing in the dark, I will consume it.  Will the expired food make me ill?  Probably not.  Will the expired medicine have any effect?  Also probably not.

Say what you will about American school systems' various responses to the panini, but at least we weren't asking parents to donate money or time to clean and repair the schools before we re-opened them.  I mean, I didn't have working heat for a couple of weeks in the dead of winter, but ya know, could have been worse?

David Sedaris, National Treasure.  Can't wait to see what he wears when we go to seem him at TPAC this September.  "I used to be so intimidated going into stores. I think really smart stores should have plain-looking staff members. Because when you go into a store, and you think, "Well, I'd never look as good as that person," then chances are you're not going to buy it. If I had a clothing store, I'd hire hunchbacks. I really would make sure that the customer always looked better than the staff."

Analog Reading:

Finished Leaving Isn't the Hardest Thing by Lauren Hough, an essay collection about her storied life after escaping a childhood in the Children of God cult.  Her writing style is humorous enough to turn child abuse and getting kicked out of the military as a lesbian during DADT and working a series of low-wage jobs on the precipice of homelessness into a rollicking good time.

Making my way through The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen and still plodding through The Body by Bill Bryson.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Syllabus #112

I don't have a lot this week.  Consider this a partial hiatus.  We have started feeding two stray cats we are calling Seamus and Lana.  I wanted to name them Sammy and Tammy but I don't always get what I want and that's fine.  It's fine.  They seem to be friends and they are very cute.  Our relationship feels like Andy and I are patrons at a strip club and they are the strippers.  They'll gladly take whatever we throw at them and put on a nice little show for us, but we are not allowed to touch them.  Yet.


Can we just make R-rated movie versions of every bit of tween fiction I read in the 90s?  Fear Street is a good start, next up, maybe a Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #69 - Logan Loves Mary Anne but Mary Anne Loves Ecstasy and a Manic Pixie Dream Girl named Willow Who She Met at a Rave

A noir heist film about the nefarious role the automotive industry played in redlining and other aspects of systemic racism?  Sounds just improbably enough to be compelling, and the cast sounds aces.  

On what planet in our vast solar system is marijuana a performance enhancer for athletic events?  Unless the event in question is Olympic-level Joy of Painting, this smells like the pile of racist doodoo that it actually is. 

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Syllabus #111

Holy crap.  This is some real life Hatchet type of stuff.  You had me at 'fell two miles to earth and landed in a tree and was basically fine' but you LOST me at 'workers poured gasoline on her open wounds to flush out the maggots.'  Has this been made into a movie?  Apparently it was made into a terrible Italian movie in the 70s, and a Werner Herzog documentary in the late 90s, but this has indie film starring Saoirse Ronan all over it.

Hold. up. WHATI HAVE QUESTIONS, I DEMAND ANSWERS AND I SIMPLY CANNOT WAIT UNTIL JULY 21.  Why have you done this to us, Netflix?

Oof, the travel industry right now 

Putting this here as a gift to future me - the best wines at Trade Joes, according to a TikTok Sommelier (which is not a sentence I ever expected to type).

I technically have 3 jobs right now, and I like them all well enough.  Some days are better than others, but I've never had a job so bad (and I've had a few take legal action-level-terrible jobs) that I've considered putting my body in or near a Taco Bell sink.  I hope gaming for Twitch offers him fabulous insurance because I suspect he will need it to recover from whatever flesh-eating microbes went straight up his anus after that cannonball.  Although, also, like the main point of the article, "We’d be a healthier, happier country in the coming years if public policy makes sure more people can make like Steve and cannonball toward their bliss."

Analog Reading:

Finished The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai.  I never wanted it to end, even though by the end many of the characters were dead.  What a beautiful and, dare I say, moving story.  Not that I wanted to keep reading about wonderful people dying horrible deaths on an AIDS ward, but like, I wanted the story to continue, with these people hanging on, until better medicine came along and they could have another shot at life.  It's a crime that after all these years there still isn't a cure.

Plodding along through Bill Bryson's The Body.  It's very interesting but I find that I only enjoy reading small chunks at a time and then I'm ready to switch to reading something else.

Just started The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.  It's a big adjustment in tone compared to the previous two books I've read, so I'm easing into it and haven't formed an opinion yet.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Syllabus #110

My editor is a real micromanager

The Mare of Easttown writers really put in the work.  When Jean Smart called someone a 'smacked ass' twice in one episode I wondered if that could really be a Philly-specific phrase.  Doesn't everyone say that?  Apparently not.

I love this!  Also, re:  the Secret Service - the 'casual guy' incognito outfits might have been more effective here if they had sprung for some leather.  

Making this peach icebox cake today!  I have to send Andy back to the store to replace the bottle of Andre I bought specifically for this recipe, which he promptly consumed like some kind of sorority girl.  Like, bruh, don't you know that's the cheapest, grossest prosecco there is?  Maybe he just thought it had his name on it so it was for him?  I have no idea.  Those ΔΔΔ are so entitled.

Are you burned out?  Are you feeling like the human equivalent of a cigarette butt tossed in the gutter?  

I am fully on team No Scales In Gyms.  Like, why would you step on a scale, fully clothed and in view of others?  I don't weigh myself every day, but when I do, it's first thing in the morning, fully naked, and only after a really good poop, and never the week before my period because I'm always constipated and bloated.  So basically only on special occasions.  

I'm sorry, what metrics did you consult?  Did y'all just throw numbered darts at a map to make this list?  Could this be that traffic violations just aren't enforced, and lots of accidents don't get submitted to insurance because it's either a hit-and-run situation or both parties don't want to report it?  If I didn't wait fully 5 seconds to go when the light turns green and I'm the first in line at an intersection, I would have been t-boned so many times on these streets.  

Analog Reading:

Still plugging away at The Body by Bill Bryson and The Great Believers by Rebekka Makkai.  Something about having two jobs even though it's summer break is really cramping my reading style.