Sunday Lowdown #86


As the week progressed, I felt unsure that I would be able to put anything in my gratitude list. More and more, life felt like sandpaper rubbing on my literal nerves. Then I saw this image, labeled “Surprise MFs!!!”:

If only 2020 were half as fun as this guy.

And I laughed and laughed and laughed. It’s important to keep track of what makes you happy, because you’ll forget in a heartbeat. It’s the little things. Like, why did Kitty decide this week that she has to have her foot on my leg?? I took pictures because it’s weird for her (and me, lol).

Best of all, though, Bingo the Dingo has kept up with Bill @ The Australian Legend! 😍😍😍 What a treat! After work one day I wrote a Bingo flash fiction piece and sent it off to a journal, and wouldn’t that be a hoot if this became a dingo with a written record?

Bill’s newest Bingo the Dingo pic. D’awwwww. No way would she ever bite or stab someone.

And then last night, twelve hours behind Australia, I received an e-mail from a very busy Bill, saying he didn’t have time to write but that Bingo came back again! Originally, I had imagined Bingo the Thelma to my Louise, but it turns out the position is filled. Check it out: Bingo the Dingo and Louise!!! As soon as I got Bill’s email, I went racing to the living room, shouting, “Nick! Bingo’s back and she brought someone!” I’m half ready to mail a cow to Australia if it means they’ll keep visiting (sorry, vegetarian and vegan friends).

I also started reading a new book Nick, one I found while checking out free online readings. We were sad to say goodbye to The Honk and Holler Opening Soon by Billie Letts, but happy to bid welcome to The Vampire Gideon’s Suicide Hotline and Halfway House for Orphaned Girls. Author Andrew Katz writes that he “enjoys puppers and doggos, black coffee, hiking, and writing bios that read like poorly made dating profiles.” I mean, I’ll support that with my money dollars, and I did.


What a bummer; two duds. Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman was a weird, motherly-petting sort of book that did not jive with my firm believe in consent and respecting people at all stages in life. Based on your comments, it sounds like you are on board with me.

Sabrina and Corina, by Kali Fajardo-Anstine, was a repetitive collection of short stories about women incessantly suffering, but with little to distinguish each woman. The whole thing left a sour taste in my mouth, especially the way the synopsis provided by the publisher doesn’t match the contents. Sounds like I helped a number of you take this collection off your TBR.


Selling the Farm by Debra Di Blasi is a creative non-fiction work, meaning it’s not a straightforward memoir. Broken into seasons, she describes the ebb and flow of a primitive farm, one with no indoor plumbing, occupied by a family too large for its means. Review Tuesday.

Shame is An Ocean I Swim Across by Mary Lambert is a collection of poetry moving through the traumas experienced by the poet, from child abuse to the music industry attempting to sell her as an object instead of an artist. Woven in are moments of fight and heart. Review Thursday.


Although Goodreads has tons of lists, I find them hard to locate when I’m on the site. Googling something else, I came upon a list that led me to add a lot of books to my TBR. I also want to thank Dave Newman for his recommendation of Catullus’s poems and Bill @ The Australian Legend for the Zane Grey audio book, which I started listening to this week.


  1. I’m glad you got Zane Grey’s Captives of the Desert. As I wrote, I found it very ‘liberal’. I hope you give me a link to your Goodreads review so I can see where we agree/disagree. Two very scrappy photos I’m afraid. I just stopped for a few minutes at Nullarbor Station and Bingo came up to the window and then when I jumped down, all of a sudden there were two! I’m still not feeding them and there’s very few tourists due to covid restrictions so they might be suffering lean times.


    • And here I thought for sure Australia would be overrun by American tourists who assume nothing, not even a plague, can stop their dang vacation.

      I looked up Nullarbor Station images, and I have to say, it looks like the beginning of things going wrong in a horror movie. Like, four teens fill up their Jeep and get warned by some crazy old guy behind the register they kids often disappear in these parts. You stay safe, my friend. In fact, you might need two guard dingoes.


  2. That chipper alligator is hilarious! I wish 2020 were half as fun as him too. Also, when I scrolled to your “books added to the TBR,” I was expecting the usual few…only to find a WALL OF BOOKS!!! It was so fun and surprising! I hope you enjoy them, and I’ll look into some of the titles too! Always down to read more body-positive/fat-positive works.


  3. Lots of great-sounding books added to your TBR! I’m particularly interested in the book about exercising as a fat woman and might have a read of that myself as it’s an important (and tricky) topic.


    • I can’t wait to read that one. Every time I tell my doctor that yes, I have been exercising, she asks what I do, I tell her, and she tells me it’s not enough, so I quit doing whatever it was I was doing and try something else. Repeat one year later.


  4. That alligator (crocodile? I can never tell) photo was just what I needed! And how cute is Kitty always touching you! I’ve never read Zane Grey but I can tell you that his real first name was Pearl.


    • I think it’s an alligator. Crocodile’s have narrow, sharp-looking noses, whereas alligators have a rounded, softer look — though I understand that calling an alligator’s mouth “soft” seems silly!

      I wasn’t sure what was up with Kitty this week! Just the last two nights, she’s started this irritating habit of kicking both my tablet and cell phone off my night stand (in the middle of the night, no less) into the TRASH CAN next to my bed. *sigh*

      Before I started this western, I’d never read a Zane Grey, either. I read that he would write so fast, about 3 novels per year, but his publisher would only put out one per year. Thus, Grey died in 1939, but he had new novels coming out until 1977.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. OMG Bingo is so cute! And glad he has a friend now LOL That’s very cool that you and Bill have that connection, getting to know people in different countries (basically pen pals) brings such a richness to our lives.

    Also Kitty, why you do? LOLOLOLOL cute pics there too


  6. Bingo the Dingo and her Louise is obviously something to be grateful for during this pandemic! Let me know if you want help crowdsourcing that cow. I definitely want the future adventures of Bingo the Dingo and Friends. And I reaaaaaaalllllllly hope that flash fiction is published. I totally want to read it. Amazing!

    I started keeping a gratitude journal lately. That’s been helping me differentiate the days and stay positive. I have to remind myself to do it daily because otherwise, I’ll forget; the habit isn’t built yet. But I feel noticeably better on the days I take the time to do that work.

    Wowza! You added SO MANY books to your TBR! How on earth do you keep track? I feel like my TBR is just a black hole on Goodreads. #SorrtNotSorry


    • Nick said Bingo the Dingo sounds like the foundation for an entire picture book series, lol.

      I thought you’d been keeping your gratitude journal for quite some time? I remember us texting about it.

      I stumbled upon a Goodreads list when I was doing a Google search, so I added everything on the list. I have a few categories that help remind me why I added a book, and if I add a book based on someone’s rec, I put the URL to their review in the notes on Goodreads.


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