The first time I got a book that shouldn’t have made it past inspections at the end of the assembly line, it came from a big chain bookstore. I drove back to the store and swapped it. Easy peasy.

Now, I have one from Amazon. It’s a pita to package it up, send it back and wait for a replacement that may or may not have the exact same problem. The text is at an angle and the page numbers, book title and author are printed on a conveyor belt somewhere instead of on the paper pages, but technically I could still read it.

If I send it back, am I being unnecessarily picky? Am I the kind of monster who dumps flawed toys for Rudolph to rescue?

Virtual Bookshelf

For absolutely no reason other than to amuse myself, I created a page listing my favorite series and stand alone books. My virtual bookshelf is extremely basic and I may or may not someday clean it up into something easier to navigate.

The books on that page range from YA to erotica with everything in between. I’m not going to post reviews for any of them. This IS the list of books I’ve enjoyed. Notice that Dovekeepers isn’t on there anywhere. I don’t enjoy books that make me cry for several days.

If you are interested in something specific on the list or secretly want to go directly to the erotica, leave a comment and I’ll talk more specifically about your book preferences. If you want to discuss your love for something on the list, you’ll make my day.

Arguing with bookstores

All readers know that Tuesday is the most likely day for new releases to hit the bookstores. This week, I made the husband pause at the big chain bookstore so I could grab an eagerly anticipated book when he really wanted to go directly to his juggling event.

I zipped around every display in the front of the store like an eighties cokehead. Frustrated at the amount of time I was delaying the husband, I asked for the book at the help desk. I kid you not, the employee moved in slow motion to avoid my obvious state of frantic, like parents of tantruming children whispering to create false calm. “Could you spell the title?” “Is it by <- mispronounces the author’s name three times in three different ways ->?” “It’s shelved in the fantasy section.”

This is the point where I should have run back to the section where the employees see me searching every weekend. Instead, my brain popped and I became irrational woman. I proceeded to campaign for the book to be moved to the front of the store with an employee who has zero control over the placement of anything in that building. “But it was just reased today.” “It has ten years of loyal fans looking for it.” “You could fill an entire table with this one author’s books.”

They treated me like the crazy person that I was and walked me back to the section I know so well that I immediately reached for the book, snatched it up and raced to the front registers. The waiting husband sensed my mental state and made no complaints about my errand taking too long. I should have ordered the book from Amazon. If bookstores won’t give new releases extra love and refuse to carry authors with massive Internet followings, they deserve the thrashing that online sellers are giving them.

The Unkindest Tide by Seanan McGuire

Happy Birthday, Annie

Antimony’s first birthday

Antimony is one. Maturity and self control are right around the corner. Any day now, she’ll respond to a “sit” command without giving side eye first. Socks in our house are going to have longer lifespans. Visitors will soon be able to enter the house without fear of being knocked over and coated in saliva.

Yeah, right.

Fantasy aside, I keep forgetting that I need to add soap to the shopping list. Annie stole the last bar from the tub, chewed on it just enough to leave white flakes all over the living room floor and couch, then buried the remains between couch cushions. You’d think soap would be super easy to clean since it’s a cleaning product, but you’d be wrong. Every swipe with a rag produces enough bubbles to give skinned knee and peroxide flashbacks.

I love this goofy dog. She’s exactly where she belongs and just what we needed.

Book shamers: The sequel

As I am a reader and not a writer, I lurk in the background of my favorite authors’ social media chatter. Learning that the author who created a feline fae character is a devoted Maine Coon parent only adds to the enjoyment of that character. There’s one writer who occasionally tweets a line from her day’s work and it is sheer joy to recognize what she is doing with the next book in her series. Most of the time, it’s authors interacting with each other like they are teammates. They share reference sites, swoon over historical clothing photos, post advice for other writers and discuss good and bad fan behavior.

Yesterday, the conversation was singularity focused on an article written by someone who applied for and won a scholarship intended to support and encourage new romance writers. The winner reciprocated by writing a snarky article bad mouthing the entire genre. She sandwiches her article with a line about the burning rain forest as if that makes it ok to attack something other people enjoy. The ice caps are melting, how dare you continue to live life and find happiness. People don’t have clean water to drink, but I’m gonna sit in this coffee shop and mock other writers.

Her weekend of condescension took away a scholarship that could have helped a writer. The author she deceived has an entire series themed around the consequences of separating head from heart. It’s optimism in the face of bleakness and if you *censored out the sex, you’d still have a clever and fun set of books. Lying to and stealing from a writer who believes in hope is not something you brag about in an article.

*Why would you want to eliminate the sexy stuff? Sex is great. You know what might help with your eye rolling snobbery when other people are talking about sex at a romance writers gathering? Reading more romance books.

Tap one domino and they all fall down

Immediately after replacing the car window that some dimwit shot, everything in the car broke. Maybe not everything, but it feels like it. Various ‘door not closed’ alarms keep beeping and if the car goes over a bump, the back hatch actually unlatches and relatches. All that whirring and clicking isn’t the worst problem with the car. The front passenger door’s seatbelt has stopped working. I’m sure it would still latch in the buckle if anyone could get it to release from it’s spool in the car frame, but that strap of fabric refuses to be pulled across any lap. The husband is adamant that the problem is the car warranty expired last month. I’m equally dedicated to the idea that it’s a husband cooties problem.

When the girl teen turned 17 last June, she claimed the husband’s little blue sedan because she neeeeded it for school, dual enrollment classes, color guard and her part-time jobs. It does make more sense for her to have a car when her schedule is so packed. The husband promptly took over the Rogue that I used for child transportation, the big red bullseye store, quiet coffee shops and twice weekly visits to the bookstore. The husband has work, juggling practices/performances, hot yoga and scouting meetings/activities. I whine about not being able to leave the house during the week (and most Saturdays), but the girl teen will be heading to college in a year and cars will get shuffled again then.

In the meantime, the car with haywire electrical problems is the husband’s car. As long as I get a trip to the used books store every weekend, I can ignore the husband’s cootie damage.

City Primary results

Something like 19% of eligible voters participated in yesterday’s primary. It’s legitimate to complain that there is no ‘jury of peers’ when the hallway of potential jurors is almost entirely older white people. Whining that your elected officials don’t represent you when a fifth of the voting pool bothers to show up on election day or any of the many, many early voting options? You’re bringing that shit upon yourselves.

Before the election, I pointed out that only three of the mayoral candidates stood a chance unless the non-voters decided to care. They didn’t, so it’s down to two of the three. One of two candidates is going to get all the votes from the ‘I only vote R’ voters. That same candidate is going to get all the votes from teachers and locals still angry about the destruction that happened under Dr. McIntyre’s reign as Superintendent. The other candidate will get all the progressive votes except the aforementioned teachers. Since the stats on city voters run more D than R, this election will come down to the numbers of people who show up to vote. It is both that simple and that impossible to predict.

Again I ask you to look at the two candidates and think about the budget they will sign off on during their tenure. It is the real difference between the candidates.

As a side note, one of the Mayoral candidates who wasn’t in that three needs to run for office again. Aside from my personal fascination with children of politicians who don’t resemble their parents’ politics, a candidate who authentically speaks about real needs in their community is a voice that should be amplified.

Anniversary post mortem

Didn’t get a self esteem enhancing tattoo. Didn’t get to admire the Tattoo Con artists like a live art museum. No surprise tickets to a book convention.

The entirety of our anniversary celebration was me reading a book while the husband juggled with scary clowns. A guy dressed like a 13-y-o going trick or treating in ripped clothes covered with safety pins, peeked at my book cover and said, “Ew.” A four star costumed spooky priest whispered in my ear that he’s been under my bed. When I told him he’s on the wrong side of it, he ran away. Literally.

The only attempt at conversation was the man who said my eyebrows were drawn perfectly. I truly believe this was spoken with good intentions. What my brain heard was that my eyebrows look like they were done in crayon.

Celebrating anniversaries is not in our skill set. We’ve been together twenty years and haven’t killed each other. From now on we’ll fist bump when passing each other on the staircase and leave it at that. No expectations means no disappointment.