Sunday Lowdown #209


This week felt like a time warp because Nick headed out Thursday morning for work locally and then drove to downtown Chicago. It was his turn to mind the satellite campus there, meaning he was gone all day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I spent Friday running around. I had a lunch meeting to talk with a guy who grew up speaking both Swabian German and English. I have to analyze certain linguistic elements of a spoken language and compare it to English. My lunch, just for me, cost $19. That evening was a Deaf event at a restaurant, so I went there and had a lovely time. That meal (no drink) cost me $15. Good grief. Also, I felt very salty (not mad, but literally overloaded with sodium) from eating out, too. I woke up Saturday morning like the corpse of an Egyptian pharaoh. And when Nick’s not home, the cat gets weird, meaning when I tried to be nice to her, she promptly put her tail in my coffee.

I’m not sure if other students do this, too, or if it’s more that I am both a student and going through a challenging process in therapy, but I’m not paying attention outside of school. Sometimes it’s stupid stuff, like forgetting to close the closet door or leaving the lid on the toilet seat up. But this week I got an important document. Months ago we put in a petition to reassess the value of our home. We wanted the county to have it on record what our house cost after the sale. They had it valued higher, meaning our property taxes would be higher. We finally got a form stating that the records will match what we actually paid. All we had to do was sign and mail it back. So we signed, I filled out the envelope, and worrying about leaving such an important document in my mailbox by the road, I mailed it out in a post office box at a local store. Aaaaaand, a few days later I got the envelope back. I legit addressed it to myself. 🫠

I did watch a couple of good horror movies this week to even-steven my personality out a bit. Terrifier 2 is now on Hoopla, for anyone who loves horror and libraries. 2 hours and 20 minutes of Art the Clown. The movie had a bizarre, dream-like section in which people are singing, and now the lyrics “The food’s a little funny at the Clown Cafe” are stuck in my head. That night I had a dream that I was analyzing the morphemes in “slay” and “murder” with the help of Art the Clown, so that was a strange crossover. I also watched The Houses October Built on Tubi, which properly creeped me out but wasn’t gory.


My Shirley Jackson post about The Lottery was more about putting Jackson in context than simply evaluating her storytelling. I love Jackson’s work, though maybe it’s a controversial opinion that The Haunting of Hill House is one of my least favorite of her books. I was surprised that so few people read the titular story in high school. That seems to be the stereotype: everyone read “The Lottery” in English class and never forgot it. It makes me wonder if schools would do better to assign more short stories to give students a broader range of authors instead of a few books. I mean really, how much of a deep dive is a fourteen-year-old student doing with Romeo and Juliet or To Kill a Mockingbird?


Maybe it’s a demon possession story, maybe it’s the tale of an ancient goddess, or maybe it’s a novella about female liberation. V. Castro combines several horror tropes in Goddess of Filth all while remaining palatable to non-horror fans. So, is it even horror? Review Wednesday.


Books Bought Since January 2023: 0



  1. You’ve just reminded me I forgot to post a letter to do with my truck driver medical before I left on my last trip. And then I didn’t post it because I was interstate and interstate mail is slow, and now I’ve been home all weekend I’m not even sure where it is any more. And it’s a bit late for me to claim student brain.


    • Oh, Bill! Do try to find it. I’m sure you’re probably required to have medical papers when you drive a semi. I think my brother, Dad, and sister-in-law all have to have a yearly physical, etc.


  2. I laughed about the cat’s tail in your coffee, at least it wasn’t worse! I’ve never addressed outgoing mail to myself but I have forgotten to put postage on it and have gotten it back a couple days later. I would never watch any of the horror movies you like so much, but I did laugh at the Clown helping you analyze morphemes in your dream. Does that mean Art wasn’t very scary or that linguistics is? 😉


    • Kitty used to have this habit of running up to me and bonking the coffee cup in my hand with her head, thus splashing coffee everywhere.

      The clown is pretty gruesome, and linguistics is something on my mind, so I guess I could extrapolate and say that both are scary!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Goddess of Filth is definitely a title that gets my attention. I’m sorry but that’s really funny that you addressed the envelope to yourself. I’m sure it was super annoying but after it makes for a good story. The prices of food are crazy, both in the restaurant and in the grocery store. Usually I’m happy about putting food in my house but 9 times out of 10 now, I’m like, “That’s all I got for X amount of money??”


  4. The price of food really is going up, both in the shops and in cafes and restaurants! On Saturdays I go to Starbucks for a coffee and sandwich after my morning swim, and it feels like it’s going up every week at the moment.


    • Typically, Nick and I eat out once per week for a date night. Going out twice in one day is so far from the norm, so it didn’t upset me, but I was surprised that I’d spent that much on just me! Are there any other local coffee shops you like that are less expensive? Starbucks tends to be way up there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s the only coffee shop in my local area, or at least the only one near the pool. Also, I really like that it’s there – for a long time the only place to meet anyone was a dirty, violent pub that I’m not comfortable entering. I was so glad when Starbucks opened – there are people meeting families and friends in there all the time now, and I think it’s good for the community! So I am very happy to give it my custom, I’m just being more selective with what I order now 😊


  5. I LOL’d about the cat tail coffee.

    Congrats on not buying a book for over a month! I stopped by a bookstore yesterday after brunch with friends. We all went and it’s a new-to-us bookstore right next to the brunch place. I pretended for about 15 minutes like I wasn’t going to buy anything. And then of course I bought a book like I really knew I was going to do when they said, “Hey let’s go to the bookstore when we get done with brunch!” In my defense, I am also paring down my books at home. I’ve probably gotten rid of 12 -15 books the past two weeks.


  6. I don’t think I commented on The lottery post did I? I’ll go check. I was on the road last week to Melbourne, and this weekend it was birthday celebrations, which is why my commenting has been out of whack.

    Sounds like the food you eat when you you eat out is the salty type? Are there no low-salt options – like salads? Though, I suppose it’s not salad weather there at the moment, is it.

    I laughed at “I did watch a couple of good horror movies this week to even-steven my personality out a bit”. Watching horror movies would completely unbalance my personality! I was interested in the Swabian German, because my husband – before I met him – worked in that part of Germany for a year so got to know that dialect rather well.


    • I hope you had a wonderful time with family! My commenting has been more sporadic lately, too, following the waves of homework.

      Everything in the U.S. is salty. I hate to say that, but you have to seek out special groceries to not buy something that seems so simple, let’s say beans, that don’t have salt. Salad dressing here is incredibly salty.

      There tends to be a rhythm to almost every horror movie so that in the end I always feel better, partially because I knew how it would go and partially because we don’t always get a hopeless ending in horror.

      As for the Swabian German, basically, I got a bunch of notes so far, but nothing written down in a paper just yet.


      • Thanks Melanie … we are having a great time with family. Just waiting for Master 4 to be delivered to us, for a trip into the city for a “Tiny Tour” of Melbourne Museum for 3-5 year olds. Tomorrow is a picnic for Miss 1’s first birthday. It’s all go go go.

        Salt is a bit of an issue here too. I often check food labelling on processed foods and buy low-salt versions wherever possible. I tend, though, to make my own salad dressings – oil, vinegar or lemon juice, mustard, are my go to, with sometimes a dash of maple syrup if it’s too acidic.

        As for Horror, it takes all sorts!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Cheeky cat! I have been unwell today (a cold, flu or Covid, dunno yet, though have tested negative for the latter) and the one cat is very disturbed when we take to our bed in the day, so she stood in front of my face and yelled at me, then brought her favourite toy onto the bed and yelled at me, presumably about it, then she did settle behind my knees on top of the duvet.


    • Ha! Our Kitty loves those plastic rings that come on some milk jugs here in the U.S., so she has several in her room. She put one in Nick’s shoe last night. I hope you feel well soon, Liz.


  8. I laughed imagining your cat putting her tail in your beverage!

    I find myself doing mindless things all the time (like putting milk into a cupboard rather than back in the fridge) and I think it’s a byproduct of me trying to multi-task. I’m trying to ‘be in the moment’ more as a way to combat anxiety, so its up an uphill battle but definitely something I’m thinking about more.


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