Sharing is caring, unless it’s a girly book

For some reason, I decided the husband needed to read one of the books I love. Maybe I thought it would alleviate the guilt I feel about my paperback hobby. I definitely thought it would be fun to finally have someone to talk to about books and authors. I contemplated which book he would be least likely to find overly focused on feelings, yet full of action movie things like helicopters and military. He can’t resist a movie with a submarines, but the only book I have with a sub is steampunk vampire focused and definitely not one he’d enjoy.

Eventually I decided on the first Ghostwalker book. I adore everything Christine Feehan writes, but she gleefully tortures the heroes of her stories so I knew I might be pushing it with all the psychological drama. It was still the option that best checks all the husband’s preferences.

What I didn’t count on was the damage that spending 60 hours a week writing code has done to his ability to focus. Unsurprisingly, all that staring at screens while listening to audiobooks in the background rewires your brain to be unable to focus on just one thing. He needs a three ring circus of stimuli. He read in such teeny tiny amounts before falling asleep or switching to other activities that it took him a year to finish that book.

“What did you think of the book?”
“It was okay.”

Since I read a three digit number of books in that timeframe, we are not going to be having our own book club anytime soon.

Kindle Unlimited

After one month of the three month free trial of Kindle Unlimited, I already know I’m going to cancel it instead of keeping it. While I’m sure there are some authors on there who deserve to be picked up by publishers, most of it feels like long-form Tumblr fanfiction. Reading Kindle Unlimited versus real books is like chewing sugarless gum when you are hungry for a loaded baked potato. It satisfies the immediate need, but your body/brain doesn’t get any benefits.

Friday Night Lights halftime show

I can’t post pics or videos from today’s parent performance of this season’s High School marching band show because my phone overheated as soon as I sat down on the cement bleachers. I will hint that the show theme is all over my bookshelves and even though the guard girl in our family is completely over my lectures about historical and literary accuracy, she still says I can dress in character for the football games. This promises to raise eyebrows since the band director used multiple euphemisms to avoid saying the one word that could summarize the entire show.

In lieu of a performance video, here’s a song featured in the show:

Book shamers

“Bodice ripper books should be read in the privacy of one’s bedroom and never in public.” The nice older woman who whispered that to me would probably be equally shocked that I don’t wear a girdle. I’m not sorry to disappoint her about either.

The main difference between paranormal romance and urban fantasy is the quantity and quality of the sexual content. Both categories are violent. If sex and violence is all they were, they would only be read by teenagers. Their aisles of the used book warehouse prove a much more diverse fan base.

These genres are overwhelmingly populated by characters whose lives were Grimm instead of Disney. They are flawed and scarred, but they are survivors who live and love boldly. The characters are thinly veiled metaphors for every diagnosis in the DSM and the plots are flat out finger pointing about prejudices. The sexual content isn’t the best part of the books. It’s sometimes absurd with womb clenching and the lie of simultaneous orgasms. The characters and world building are what draws in readers.

Reading isn’t performance art. It doesn’t impress anyone when you claim to “only read the classics.” I don’t care what you’re reading. You shouldn’t care what I’m reading. Well, unless our fandoms overlap. Then, we can talk each other’s ears off with book and author recommendations. The “I’m too busy to read” people need to keep all of their criticism to themselves.

Read what makes you happy. Read what speaks to your soul. Read the funny stuff. Read the books that bookstores like to shelve in young adult sections. Read in bed, on the couch, in the car, on the bleachers, in a waiting room and anywhere you go. Just read.

Same as it ever was

My mother: “Your music is much too loud.”
My father: “You are a leadfoot.”

Decades later:
My youngest child: “Your music is too loud.” “You drive really *fast.”

*I drive the speed of the traffic around me when the children are in the car. It’s only when I have a car to myself that I feed my need for speed.

Knoxville’s 2019 Primary

I live in the county. If I walk my neighborhood, which I won’t during mosquito season, I would weave in and out of the city. Someday, developers will intervene and my tiny, working class neighborhood will be gobbled up by the city. Until then, I vote only for county offices. There are six candidates on the ballot for City Mayor. If you’ve paid attention to Knoxville politics for more than five minutes, you know that only three of those candidates will be considered by the group of people who actually vote in this town. It would take non-voters showing up at the polls for the other candidates to have a real chance. If something that riles people up like Recode were on the ballot, more people would vote. It isn’t, so they won’t.

Of those three recognizable candidates, one consistently has body language that says they believe the race is theirs to win. Another has done the most door knocking and they’ve proven it with heavy social media promotion. The third is oddly calm and confident in their name recognition being enough. All three are going to have very different budgets. How the Mayor distributes funds will set the tone for the communities where you live, work and play. Ignore their personalities. Pay attention to what they have said.

At the Mayoral candidate forum that I attended, an audience member asked about cybersecurity of the City. None of the candidates work in IT, so they all politely talked about other things or said the city needs a good IT person. Any candidate whose campaign website is solely a facebook page has already failed the cybersecurity question. Local R and D parties need to make sure their candidates have websites owned by the campaign or the party.

All six candidates are enthusiastic about Knoxville and I hope that the ones who aren’t elected Mayor will show up on future ballots for other races. I don’t feel the same about the City Council candidates. Some of those people do not belong in public service.

Crying in the popcorn bucket

As the lights dimmed in our completely full auditorium on opening night, the audience applauded. The instant the applause faded, sniffles could be heard. There was a palpable tension as everyone waited to see the conclusion of twenty something movies and a couple of TV shows.

At an emotional point on the screen, I wiped the tears threatening to escape for the umpteenth time just as another woman in the audience came completely unglued. She sobbed and wailed so loudly that I knew the rest of the audience was going to join her. I nudged my husband.

“You have to kill her or I’m going to start ugly crying.”

The man condescendingly patted my hand and kept staring at the screen. He didn’t even ask if anyone in the audience had chloroform.

The wailing woman eventually went silent, so I’m guessing someone else killed her. Maybe she went to the lobby to find a cold cloth for her head. All I know is my husband wouldn’t kill her for me. I guess the magic is gone. We might as well buy twin beds for our room.

Now I need to figure out who will save me from the threat of mass weeping during Rise of Skywalker.

*Posted elsewhere during blog hiatus