Sunday Lowdown #140


I’m trying to think what stood out this week, but to be honest, I had horrible brain fog on Tuesday and tried to stay out of it the rest of the week. Brain fog can develop when you have anxiety, even anxiety over nothing (like I do frequently), and it makes it hard to focus, process, or get onto the next task. I found a BBC article about what to do, which is basically acknowledge it’s happening and stop trying to push through. This is how I ended up watch a documentary about African Americans in horror films on Shudder.

I guess I could add that I’ve been reading old arguments and articles about Deaf Culture, and I would yammer on about that forever if allowed because it’s so interesting. We’re getting more into spatial imagining (that’s what I call it, not sure of the term) in ASL. Almost like drawing a map in the air, rather than “this sign means x.”

Nick headed to Chicago early Friday morning for work and didn’t return until Sunday evening, so I started Midnight Mass on Netflix instead of picking a movie. See, now we’re combining religion with horror instead of putting them side-by-side in my book reviews (see below). Huzzah! This limited series is seven episodes, each around an hour. I just finished #4.

Oh, I also tore it up at the Goodwill on Saturday.


Reviewing The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon was an opportunity for readers to discuss their scare tolerance. Are you more into spooky than stabby? More ghostly than gore? I understand why it’s hard to explain scare tolerance. I stammer when I sketch the line between lengthy violence and speedy murder. I give examples of movies I’ll happily watch (Halloween, Child’s Play, Terrifier) and those I refuse (mostly prolonged torture in remakes like Halloween, The Hills Have Eyes, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). McMahon’s novel is more spooky, haunting, a heavy dose of mystery, and a bit of will-it-won’t-it edge of your seat. I think all of my readers would enjoy The Drowning Kind.

If you scare yourself too much and need some church, turn to Spider in a Tree by Susan Stinson. I knew those would be interested (Karissa, Lou) and those with a hearty “nay” (Bill, C&M), so I purposely reviewed this novel to connect it with certain readers.


I’m getting nervous because my backlog of book reviews is gone! I’ll have to hurry up a bit so I get You’ll Be Fine by Jen Michalski up on Tuesday. You get a grumpy lead who genuinely made me believe she was a bad person who could mend, several Queer characters, and the mantra “you’ll be fine” — even if you won’t.

And then we get haunted again! Sing Your Sadness Deep by Laura Mauro is a collection of award-winning horror stories that approach from different angles and sub-genres, and is sure to suck you in. Review Thursday.


Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 242
Owned Books on TBR Today: 206


  1. Hmm … the cover of “you’ll be fine” makes me think I will! Are you saying that the cover is tricking me?

    Anyhow, I’m really sorry you started off the week with anxiety, but it sounds like you are good at working out what to do. I hope this week starts out better. I’m sorry that I can’t comment on any of these books though.


  2. Do you still have a VCR?! That shit is antique now lol. I’ve had lots of brain fog this past week as well and it’s been a mix of being sick and anxiety. Makes it almost impossible to study for school.


    • A couple of people sent me this article, but I had not yet looked at it. I just watched the video and noticed almost everyone in it is use ASL signs. At first I thought, oh, maybe they’re quite similar. But then I read that about 80% of the signs are different. In terms of grammar, syntax, etc. I don’t know the differences, as those were not discussed in the video. It seems people like to see one sign at a time, which is not how signed conversations work so much. What do you think about preserving HSL? I think it’s an important cultural effort, but if a young Hawaiian learns HSL and has no one to use it with, it’s not going to stick. They would need ASL, or another country’s signed language.


  3. Sounds like you had a pretty rough week. I get brain fog from gluten (I have celiacs disease, so gluten is not my friend). It can definitely be a struggle, especially when you are used to your brain being on it and suddenly it’s like the neurons aren’t firing right. I hope this week is better. You definitely have some intriguing reads to enjoy. ❤️


    • This week certainly will be different. My ASL teacher emailed us to say her daughter’s day care shut down because a teacher has COVID and that means they don’t have enough staff. Thus, my prof. made us videos of the lessons she was going to do all week. Even though I don’t need to commute, I’d better plan on doing some things out of the house or I will go bonkers. I hope your school is doing okay with COVID.

      Liked by 1 person

    • When I was working at the library, I usually had two weeks planned out ahead, with the exception of my Sunday Lowdown. I know some folks post whenever they finish writing a review, but I find that as a reader I get overwhelmed when someone posts too much and then curious when I don’t hear from them in ages.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry to hear that you’ve had a difficult week with brain fog – I hope this week is starting out better.

    I thought of you on Saturday, because I was over at a friend’s watching Strictly Come Dancing and they have a Deaf contestant this year who uses BSL! I really enjoyed listening to her explaining how she is able to dance (really well, she’s definitely one of the best contestants) by counting and hearing the beat of the music through her hearing aid. The hosts and judges have learnt some signs, and there’s an interpreter for her. There’s an article about her here if you’re curious!


    • Thank you! I read through the article and was interested in the ways she uses the music. I’ll bet it sounds a bit muffled, but it’s present enough that she can use the music if she has a good partner who is not afraid to lead. I know Nyle DiMarco was a fan favorite in the U.S. when he was on Dancing with the Stars! His twin brother, Nico is a DJ.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oi brain fog does not sound fun, although I like the advice to just accept and acknowledge what your body is doing – seems reasonable, although very hard to do in practice!

    What did you get at the Goodwill – just books?


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