Sunday Lowdown #101


There’s a phrase my brain keeps using this week: “Well, [insert name] really shit the bed.” I applied it both to politicians and L.M. Montgomery, so I’m not being terribly discriminate. Yes, things have been wild in the States. Yes, on Wednesday I felt exactly as I did when I watched the Twin Towers crash to the ground in 2001. However, I was proud of every politician who stayed up past 3:00AM to certify the election. Democracy is trying to carry on.

Closer to home: I had a virtual coffee date with my mom come Saturday morning, which is always something nice to do on the weekend. However, I never wake up early enough to see her actually drink coffee. For that, I would need to raise my weary head at 5:30AM.

There was this fun moment in the Costco when Nick and I got separated, but while I was waiting for him to return I was checking out the other customers and thought one was pretty attractive. Upon a closer look, it was Nick, so color me lucky. Fun fact: this is not the only time this has happened.

My friend Charles came in first place for a poetry contest and sent me a lovely email thanking me for guiding him with his work. He said I’m the best teacher he’s ever had, which is high praise indeed from a dude who has several degrees.

I’ve been jumping on Twitter almost solely to check out the Twitter account for all things Midwestern. This one made me laugh hard enough that it woke Nick up from his kitty cat power nap:

I’m still watching episodes of Tales from the Crypt, and they’re getting gorier. One story had a guy with a conjoined baby twin attached to his arm that gets cut off, and Bobcat Goldthwait tries to kill the baby twin in a meat grinder. It’s all bloody and new born-looking, which is exactly when I realized I couldn’t eat my chicken and snow peas take-out anymore. If a twin baby head Muppet thing has any consistency, it’s take-out chicken.

Season 2, Episode 10 “The Ventriloquist’s Dummy”


Although she doesn’t have any lessons for her readers, Stephanie Klein gives an honest portrayal of her time at fat camp and what her food obsessions, exacerbated further over the summer when she’s given minimal food and learns what bulimia is, do to her mindset as an adult in the memoir Moose.

It’s the last year, so we want to end strong. Three bookworms are on board with #ReadingValdemar 2021, and we hope that if you’re interested in fantasy or looking for a lighter read in history-in-the-making chaos, you’ll join us. The books are all newer and more likely to be at your public library. #LibraryLife


What do you do when you live in the Midwest, but you tend toward Goth? When you’re a on the LGBTQ spectrum but live surrounded by corn? Chavisa Woods tackles the topic in unexpected ways in her short story collection Things To Do When You’re Goth in the Country. Review on Tuesday.

We took on a classic in Biscuit Book Club, and the results were a lot of “Oh, …hmmm.” So, to try and put it into words, I wrote a review of our most recent read, Beloved by Toni Morrison. Review on Thursday.


Some of these are Pearlsong Press books, which I’ve mentioned before. 100 Fathoms Below I picked up solely because of a Tweet:


  1. I think I must be a Mid-Westerner. I was 3 out 3 halfway through, but fell off a bit after that.
    Been glued to the NYT all week. Trump is not only a bad man, but stupid with it. Just as well probably, think of the damage he might have done if he actually knew how stuff worked.
    I’m actually going to be able to comment intelligently (I hope!) on one of your reviews. I read Beloved last year.


    • Awwww, Charles is my friend, but I do give him writing advice. Sometimes it aggravates me to pieces that I KNOW I give excellent writing advice and can break down craft and how it will affect a readers so, so carefully, and yet I just don’t feel like writing myself. My blood pressure goes up. I think I’m going to try some writing exercises soon, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Now Iโ€™m dying to know what L.M. Montgomery did this week to warrant your comment!

    I hadnโ€™t made the comparison myself but youโ€™re right that Wednesday felt a bit like 9/11. Like watching history unfold.


    • With 9/11 we didn’t know what was going on, so it felt like chaos. It ended with “how could someone do this to us?!” With the riot, we knew what was going on. The people said online for weeks they were going to do this. However, we still come away with the feeling, “how could someone do this to us?!”

      Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t realize it had been planned in advance so it was truly shocking when I thought I’d casually check the news over lunch on Wednesday. I was looking at photos later in the day and Pearl caught sight of one of the outside of the Capitol building and said she knew that building. She told me it was in her book and it turned out she was right. (A National Geographic book about rocks and the Capitol was an example of building materials.) It really struck me how iconic that building is, even outside of the US.


          • I know…Iโ€™m not sure I would have listed it if previously asked to name symbols of Western democracy so it surprised me that I felt impacted so much to see it overrun that way. Or that even my kindergartener recognized it as an important building. Itโ€™s a more powerful symbol than I realized before this week.


  3. LOL that tweet about vampires on submarines! I’m pretty sure I ‘liked’ it when I came across it online too

    That moment about thinking your own partner is an attractive stranger in Costco makes me swoon, I just love when that happens. it happened to my husband when we were in the UK a few years ago-he told me about it after we left the store, and I just thought it was so sweet. I think it’s happened to me (about him) too, but I can’t remember that exact store/moment anymore. Anyway, it’s so lovely when that happens!


  4. Lol, not every point on the Midwestern list is accurate for me, but definitely the spirit of ‘let’s do all of the things and make the most of this vacation’ is correct. I never get enough sleep on vacations and have to go through a recovery period once I’m back home, haha.

    Also, I love that you were unintentionally checking out Nick, and that that’s happened before. Adorable! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Looking forward to your review of Beloved, which is on my TBR.


    • My dad definitely walks 30 feet behind everyone, so that’s familiar. We’re not big gas station food people, though. I mean….I haven’t been on a road trip vacation with family in about 20 years, but when I road trip on my own (also hasn’t happened in about 6 years), I try to eat something that isn’t a chair restaurant.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I thought it was 30 feet ahead, like hurrying to see everything at top speed, haha. I’m not really big on gas station food either, but even if I’m going to sit down at a proper restaurant while on vacation it’s going to be one I can get in and out of in a hurry to get back to sightseeing. Midwesterners (including me) definitely could use some lessons on the value of taking a few minutes to relax, imo!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. That story about spotting your husband and thinking he’s an attractive stranger is very sweet!

    When I’m on holiday I make *myself* feel bad if I sleep in and don’t make the most of the day. And I can’t drive but I do get up early and take very long train journeys rather than flying if possible. So apparently I have a few things in common with midwesterners!


    • America is too young to have lengthy history (as we discussed in House on the Strand), but we do have a history of being car people. It is crazy to think you can live without a car. No one in the U.S. does it unless they live in a city where there is no place to keep cars, like New York City or Chicago. We tie independence and freedom to having a vehicle at the ready to take us wherever we want. Thus, a lot of vacation driving happens.


  6. I’m curious about your LMM comment, as well! Which of her books are you reading now? I’ve been thinking it’s time for another!
    What a nice comment from your friend. And a sweet one from you about your husband! You know you got it right when… ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. So I do agree with what everyone’s said about how sweet it is that you are lucky to be married to the attractive stranger you spotted at the big-box store. But what IS quarantine like where you are? Of all the times to NOT recognize your significant other, when presumably you’ve had a billion times more practice staring at one another?! ๐Ÿ˜€


    • Oh, Marcie! LOL! This thing with Nick has happened so many times, even before COVID. I don’t know. I guess my brain is always looking for cute men, and most of the time it ends up being Nick. When I was two, I told my pediatrician he was a cutie, to the horror of my mother, who was accused of telling me to tell the doctor he was cute so she could flirt with him (with a two-year-old as the middle man??).

      So, we don’t have quarantine in the U.S.. We’re not even on the same page with masks. Arizona, which has no mask mandate, is the hot spot of the globe right now. So, joy. At least in my state, which is conservative so I’m surprised, we’ve had a mask mandate for a while. I don’t really go in anywhere, we haven’t seen friends or family in ten months…..we just go to work.


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