THIS WEEK in reflection
It was midterms week! And Nick’s birthday! And my dad’s birthday! And the commencement of the college fall break! Hoo, that’s a lot of stuff. For my midterm in American Sign Language 3, I needed to record a few videos, and I only get one shot at these. One of the videos involved signing how to get from A to B on a city map we constructed. I got myself all turned around and had to contact the instructor. It’s funny because part of my confusion stems from how people in the Midwest give directions in English. For instance, in Michigan, it’s common to give directions by time instead of miles. You might say, “It’s twenty minutes up the road” instead of “It’s 16 miles.” It’s also common to give directions as if the person already knows the place intimately and just don’t know the exact spot of one place they need to get to. We begin with, “You know where the old Johnson farm used to be?” Hooboy. The videos always feel awful because I’m just staring at myself on screen, which takes me out of my head. I’ve still not received a grade on that first quiz that had me feeling so low, so I’m just waiting semi-patiently. As a soccer coach once told me, “It is what it is.”
My spouse and dad have birthdays three days apart, so for the fall break from college, which is weirdly three days off, not five, we headed to my home town to see everyone. Biscuit and I have been waiting to bake a rabbit cake together ever since we read Rabbit Cake by Annie Harnett. We tried it, and while it came out of the oven very rabbity and could stand up, frosting a 3-D edible structure proved more difficult:
THIS WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
This week was a lovely mix of relationship fiction and speculative stories. Jen Michalski’s novel You’ll Be Fine zooms in on those difficult days after the death of a parent who was often too little too late. The way harmful behavior toward us can make us turn and poke at others is another theme. I’d be stupid if I failed to point out that Michalski’s novel is often funny and has several Queer characters.
Laura Mauro does something in her collection Sing Your Sadness Deep that I don’t often see: she collected thirteen stories that are dissimilar yet all interesting and haunting. She plays with genre tropes but flips them on their heads, so what you expect is not always what you get.
NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
Although the novella The Woman in Black was published in 1983, it reads like something older, maybe late 1800s, which is indicative of the way author Susan Hill takes tales of terror from the Victorian era and uses them to embolden our more savvy, sturdy narrator as he heads alone to a house that you can’t get to — or leave — when the tide is in. Review Tuesday.
Lately, Biscuit and I have read a couple of chonky novels that take us several meetings to get through. The most recent is The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman, a post-apocalypse novel in which around age eighteen, the people of Massa (formerly Massachusetts), who look as black as night, die from some disease. But encountering a white man hidden in the rubble gives them hope; though he’s worse for the wear and a child murderer, he’s thirty — and has information about a cure. Review Thursday.
BOOKS ADDED TO THE TBR PILE
Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 242
Owned Books on TBR Today: 205