Sunday Lowdown #161


I’m concluding spring break, which is weird to write because I have not been on campus in almost three weeks. However, Nick had planned ahead to take the time off with me. We booked the recording studio at the library again and filmed two new videos for my website. You can see them (with translation) on my videos page. I also changed my home page photo so the person on the computer screen is me, not a stranger in a free photo. Thank you to Biscuit for being my model. Thank you to Bill for the encouragement and support! Thanks to Nick for all the help with lighting and other tech issues.

We’re still in the process of buying the house because the county needed to approve the parcel split. We were told the meeting was Wednesday at 1:30 on the 4th floor, but after pestering everyone, we could not find it. I was reading each office sign looking for clues, including, “Let’s see… The cor-o-ner’s office. Ope, wait, that’s dead people.” Which the coroner found quite hilarious (I did not realize she was sitting at her desk and could hear me reading signs aloud). We discovered the meeting was Thursday morning and could join via Zoom. It literally took 5 seconds.

Earlier in the week I got a calendar reminder that my youngest niece’s birthday was approaching. There’s something about the first week of March that makes me forgetful… so I’ve missed a few of her birthdays. This year, we got in the car and headed for central Michigan to see the birthday girl. We haven’t seen my family since Christmas, so it was a nice visit. I even convinced Nick, my brother, and my sister-in-law that we should head to the theater and watch Studio 666, the new horror-comedy starring the Foo Fighters. It was quite fun though a little confusing at the end (demon possessions, a book made our of skin, etc.).


Due to traveling, this week also felt timeless and weird. Biscuit said it feels like Twilight Zone time right now. I know there were many, many comments about my review of Sounds Like Home by Mary Herring Wright, and I realized my responses all basically say, “Perhaps Herring Wright’s memoir should be read more as a historical artifact than a memoir.” I’ll be checking out some new books by and about D/deaf people and their families soon.

My second review, Crip Kinship by Shayda Kafai, was hard to write because I wasn’t sure how to describe a book about a movement made up of people in the San Francisco area who are disabled and LGBTQ and not white. And yet the author embraces a world in which everyone’s contributions and dreams are valued and supported, and when things feel scary and judgmental, isn’t a book about supporting people where they are a gift?


I have a bunch of books that are just over 100 pages. I bought them from Press 52, which focuses on short story collections and novellas. I truly enjoy the work they put out! On Tuesday I’ll share a post about Strange Weather, a collection by Becky Hagenston. Instead of writing a review, I’m doing another “reading experience” post to see how it goes. Sue @ Whispering Gums has been giving me encouragement in this direction, and I want to see how it plays out.

Thursday I’ll share a mini review of the audiobook What Diantha Did by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I’ve already read a couple of Perkins Gilman’s books just recently, and I’ve realized that for as much hype as “The Yellow Wallpaper” received, I never internalized it. Instead, it seems the novella is where this writer shines, and she’s quickly becoming a favorite.


Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 202
Owned Books on TBR Last Week: 193
Owned Books on TBR Today: 190

Thank you, Sue @ Whispering Gums, for her recommendation.


  1. Oohhh I see the Wade Davis book has made it on your list! I love how you actually follow people’s recommendations, it’s so exciting to see what you think of them (or in my case, do the work for me LOL)

    That coroner’s story is hilarious – but aren’t zoom meetings wonderful? I’m hoping we can have a healthy mix of in-person and virtual meetings, b/c god it saves so much time!


    • I’d love for Zoom meetings to continue to exist. Even for someone like my spouse, who works on a campus. If he’s there in person and the in-person meeting takes place in another building, on a car-free campus (there are parking lots but no driving on the actual campus), it can take 30 minutes to walk to a meeting and 30 minutes back. That’s an hour of wasted productivity if you’re thinking about it from a strictly capitalist point of view.

      Liked by 2 people

      • yes so true – and some meetings just don’t require that much time, so there’s no point in taking 20 mins to get somewhere if you only need to meet for 10 mins. And I don’t know about down there, but the price of gas is SUPER high right now, so zoom meetings should still be frequently used…


        • It’s just over $4 here, but I don’t live in a major metropolitan area. I know it’s around $6 in California, but everything is more expensive there. I have no clue why someone would choose to live in Cali unless they work in Silicon Valley, and even then many of those people are now working from home.

          Liked by 1 person

    • It was great, but the opening scene is super violent. Most of the movie has you laughing, but knowing your feelings about scary stuff and emotional stuff, I don’t think you’d come out a happy camper.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I look forward to your next “reading experience” Melanie. And I love that “Shy love smiles and acid drops” has interested you. Thanks for the link.

    I have never read any other Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and would like to. Love the cover of the one you’ve included here. What do you exactly mean by not ”internalising” “The yellow wallpaper”?

    I will go check your videos now.


    • “The Yellow Wallpaper” is one of those stories you’re often taught in college, and even though I understood on the surface that the story was about a woman who was mentally bored and oppressed, I didn’t get behind it in a passionate way. Instead, I’m sure I thought something like, “Yes, women were oppressed back then” (and didn’t even think about which century “back then” was).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I bookmarked your ASL website (on my desktop) so I wouldn’t have to look it up again. So when I got home this week I had a quick look and thought I’d check if Comments are working. They are! Glad it got through.

    During the week I read Nalo Hopkinson’s Midnight Robber, review due end of March. It will definitely be a recommendation.


    • Ha, I did get the email comment that you were happy to see my face! You’re a treat. You were right that it was weird to get on and see a nice photo of people signing, but to not have one of those people be me. If I had permission, I would have asked one of my online ASL meetup groups to be in my picture, but staging it would have been disruptive to the social hour.

      Isn’t it just wonderful to read a book you totally enjoy? I can’t wait to see what you have to say!


  4. I really enjoyed your last reading experience post and I’m interested to see your next one! It’s interesting to hear about people’s reactions to books in a non-review format.


    • I think the first person I saw to write an experience post was Laila, who was reading The Count of Monte Cristo. She had several posts by the time she was done, and I felt like we had completed a reading adventure together. Perhaps something like several posts would work for you if you read another huge book like the Trollope?


  5. I’m sad about the Foo Fighters film as I love them so much (and I’ve transcribed them and they’re all as lovely as one would hope) but just too violent for me. You’re doing so well with everything AND you’ve got the TBR down: impressive!


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