Sunday Lowdown #159


Sometimes I don’t leave my apartment for many days because I don’t have to. You’ll know when I am coming out of one of these cave-dwelling sessions because I look like a creature that someone stood up, put pants on, and whispered, “act normal.”

Anyway, three classes of interpreting were cancelled because my professor’s sibling is reaching final days. Thus, I’ve been home not know what to do with those two hours I would normally be commuting each MWF. Talking to the cat. Not doing interpreting class. Wondering if I wore these sweatpants yesterday or if I only think I wore them yesterday. Doing ASL class online. Bouncing around to this video. Trying convince myself I need to learn two hours’ worth of different ways English-speaking people use the word “run.” <<<<why did we do this to ourselves???

I got an email that the Zora Neale Hurston book club was meeting this weekend, which I did not know because I was following the wrong website, so I gobbled up Tell My Horse in two days so I could join via Zoom on Saturday. There was no one to stop me. It was Nick’s weekend to work in Chicago, so other than helping Biscuit pick out an outfit for a party via video and my cat throwing up on the carpet (okay, let’s be honest, I held her over a trash can, she panicked and started windmilling her dumb cat arms, and that means she threw up everywhere), I had lots of time to read.

Although Biscuit and I strategized an outfit for her, she definitely changed shirts again after we hung up, lol.

More wisely, I should have worked on some content for videos in ASL. I just learned I have to make eight of them for my new website that I shared with you guys last weekend. I was so proud I did the one! LOL! I’m already making a list of what to sign about, like maybe how to play a board game or what I looked like at my wedding, maybe describe the layout of my new house, etc..

We have decided Kitty is not coming to the new house with us. Like, not fully. She’s taken to throwing up several times per week, and last time we went to the vet she held the entire staff hostage at knife point for a few hours. They couldn’t even weigh her, she was so vicious. Although barfing actually isn’t normal for a cat, she doesn’t appear to be suffering. She eats and drinks and bombs in her litter box, she’s affectionate and looks out the windows and stomps on my stomach right after I’ve eaten. But, the new house has plush carpet, and I’m 95% sure I’m allergic to cats, a fact I realized a solid ten years into owning her. The new house has a rather large entry room with four windows, industrial carpet, and it’s heated. So, what I’m saying is “Congrats, Kitty! You’re Getting Your Own Apartment!” We’re going to have a comfy chair, table, and lamp out there, too, so in the morning when Nick’s wake-up battery is only 5% charged he can sit with her, and I can read out there, etc.


Two books, each a different kind of scary. In The Invited by Jennifer McMahon, a woman collects materials to include in the house she’s building with her husband, neglecting to tell him all the materials (some bricks, a beam, a mantle) were “witnesses” to grisly deaths. Not really horror, McMahon sticks you in that sweet spot of spooky historical fiction with an element of solving a mystery.

My first YA book of the year was scary in that way that makes you fearful. If We Were Snowflakes by Barbara D’Souza imagines an alternate future in which government overreach becomes the stuff of nightmares both past and future. I was reminded of conversations around taxing soft drinks (a Google search yields results from the NIH, WHO, Harvard, Berkeley, etc.) and forced operations on “undesirable” people when euthanasia was explored as an actual solution to society’s problems.


Tuesday I’ll post my review of the last Betty MacDonald memoir, Onions in the Stew. While Nick and I truly enjoyed it while I read it aloud, the sections I highlighted brought a number of problems to the forefront!

Thanks to that speedy read for Zora book club, I’ll have her anthropology essays in Tell My Horse, which is about the Caribbean, up on Thursday. Ghosts, zombies, possessions — and this is non-fiction.


Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 202
Owned Books on TBR Last Week: 195
Owned Books on TBR Today: 193


  1. MP- I love your Sunday Lowdowns! ♥️ I’m bummed I missed the Zora book club but there is no way I could’ve read the book in time. Next time!! Thanks for your help with choosing my attire. My changing is no reflection on your fabulous abilities. This one is truly about me. Lol! ~B


  2. Biscuit is lovely! I love her hair.

    My late cat, Cleo, was also a holy terror at the vet. They had to wrap her in a towel and hold her with two hands (vet assistant) while the vet attempted to do stuff. It was so stressful. Some cats are like that. I’m glad Kitty is getting a nice space of her own to vomit in, ha ha. My former cats always chose to vomit on the carpet instead of the tiled kitchen or bathroom. EVERY. TIME. occasionally I would get to them in time, pick them up and race to the tile.


  3. I discovered towards the end of our last dog’s life that I was becoming allergic to her. She died 10 years ago, and now I cannot touch any dog without reacting with a few minutes. It just gradually came on me over many years from being rare to occasional to some breeds to all breeds all the time.

    Anyhow, I loved your post. You tell your life so well.

    As for the English language … what you are finding is the same sort of thing teachers of English as a second language find too I think. Is the English language that different from others? I did French at school but I don’t know it enough to know.


  4. Your description of yourself at the beginning made me laugh! I feel that way a lot! I’m glad you’ve been able to find a solution for Kitty in your new home. We are currently dog-sitting Bella and she’s been unwell so we’ve also made use of my in-laws’ carpet cleaner.


  5. Oh poor kitty. I’m glad she will still get to stay with you when you move and even get her own room. That will also help your allergy too most likely. Looking forward to hearing more about the Zora Neal Hurston book.


    • I’m particularly excited about the entry room having so many windows. She loves to look outside. Currently, there are a number of feral cats that live around our apartment because a neighbor cares for them all. I’ve heard that outside cats can upset indoor cats, so perhaps being in her own space with no feral cats will help Kitty be chill.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been a bit distracted – working, broken down, working, now I’m broken down (my truck is broken down) somewhere I can sit in airconditioned comfort. I’ve been listening to YA too, Hunger Games, have you heard of it over there, I understand it was really big on Australian televison. An interesting conceit that the post apocalyptic world is reduced to a few hundred thousand Americans. And bloodthirsty, but bearable. I’m starting on book 3. The author doesn’t seem very happy with the Revolution which is being described as you know, all those things Americans hate about Communism.


    • Hunger Game is a U.S. novel that was wildly popular and then made into several box office successes starring Jennifer Lawrence. We’re very, very aware of Hunger Games here 🙂

      I haven’t read the books, but the movies appear pro-people’s revolution and the only reason worth living is to fight the greedy who use the poor as entertainment.


  7. Your description at the start (and accompanying Pepe picture) made me laugh! I often feel like that, though most of all it was as we were emerging from the first lockdown and I felt like I’d completely forgotten how to be a person talking to other people.

    Looking forward to your review of the Zora Neale Hurston book – I have Their Eyes Were Watching God on my Classics Club list, but so far I’ve been too intimidated to pick it up.


    • I read Their Eyes Were Watching God by audio to help me bc it was intimidating. It worked! It’s now one of my most memorable books. I think if it often. 😊~B

      Liked by 2 people

    • I saw Johnson is lifting all COVID restrictions, and I was happy for you. I hope you meet friends and are able to go about life.

      Their Eyes Were Watching God can be intimidating because a lot of it is written in dialect. I’m a big advocate for listening to the audiobook and following along in the text book. Or, give the text a try and see how you feel. The issue might be the dialect reads like one I’m used to, and I’m not sure how that would work on British ears.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am literally meeting a friend for dinner this evening! (That has been legal for a while now, but I’m still happy). And I will probably stop wearing my mask at the end of the week, except in very crowded places, for which I am immensely grateful. Two years in and I still really, really hate it. That said, I wish the lifting of covid restrictions was not coming alongside scrapping free tests, the legal requirement to isolate, and most survaillance measures – it seems like a particularly silly decision to do both at once.


        • My brain is so confused about what to think of masks these days. I’ve been wearing one everywhere, but when can I stop doing that? I have no idea. Now that numbers are down, all the public schools are ditching mask mandates, so in my brain that just means we’ll have a huge resurgence soon.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s good you have a solution for Kitty. My cat before last, Dot, was a sicker, she just had a weak stomach. Any different food, upset or it was 5am on New Year’s Day. She was also a terror at the vet, they used to have to get the gauntlets out. Current incumbents rarely throw up but when Percy did last, he ran into the bathroom to use the vinyl flooring, even though there was a bathmat left down: what? Are you a real cat?


  9. The image of your cat windmilling its arms IS SO PERFECT. That is exactly what they do! I think your idea of a separate room is a good one. I’ve never actually tried to pick up a cat when they are about to puke, I just resign myself to cleaning it up afterwards – and they alwasy seems to crawl to the carpet to do it, they can never do it on the hardwood or tile it seems (sigh)


    • Usually, there is a wild toss during with the nearly-hurling cat goes flying into the kitchen or bathroom. After Kitty passes away, we’re done with pets. I remember you talking about loving your cats so much, but after they were both gone realizing just how much they would pee places or get into things. It sounds like a lot, plus you had two toddlers!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Honestly, Kitty’s room sounds amazing. I thought at first you were going to say that you had to get rid of her, so I was super relieved when you said she was getting her very own apartment. Lol.


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