Dinner/Bakery/Books/Decrepit Mental Health Update

Dinner Update

Dinner 1: chicken schnitzel type thingies, quinoa/brown rice from Costco (and a nice microwaveable bag), spinach sauteed with bacon and mushrooms. Everyone ate the chicken, no one ate the quinoa/rice except for me, grown ups ate the spinach while the children choked down one bit after considerable wailing and rending of garments. 

Dinner 2: I made a soup with shredded chicken and wild rice. I put heavy cream in it to increase the chances of people under the age of 30 giving it a chance. Nobody wanted to eat it, but I stopped caring since Family Dinner was preempted by my BIL surprise in town for business and stealing Phillip for dinner out. Pretty sure kids ate saltines for dinner. I ate the soup for lunch today, though, and *I* liked it, so there. 

Dinner 3 (tonight): cheese and spinach tortellini with a creamy tomato sauce (basically diced tomatoes, onion, herbs, and cream cooked down and immersion blended into Tasty Sauce of Indeterminate Origin) and sauteed grean beans. Big kids had fourteen servings of pasta, little kid kept shouting, "MORE BEANS! MORE BEANS!" We ate together, we took turns sharing the Good Thing about our day and the Bad Thing, and I felt like I won a peace prize. 

I've spent some time looking at my old recipe book, adding recipes from Pinterest, and planning out meals for the rest of the week. (I know. It's Wednesday. We are starting small.) I am feeling good, but I tend to feel good at the beginning stages of Attempting Success At Something, and we shall have to see how long I am motivated to, you know, keep planning ahead. 

Also, I've read a few responses to Virginia Heffernan's article which 1) take things ENTIRLEY too seriously and 2) do NOT get the "not big on cooking" point of view. But whatever. *I* have a sense of humor even if I am seriously lacking in the ability to roast a chicken department. 


Bakery Update

We have a thing or two going on, including a whole big discussion about an Actual Wedding in June, complete with cake and favors ETCETERA. Most of our orders lately have been from (gasp) strangers! And I would like to say that we are getting these orders without me having done a single stupid marketing thing. That said, we would like MORE orders which means I should probably DO some marketing things. So while Katie was doing the wedding discussing and pricing out, I was doing some, shall we say, Market Research. And looking for opportunities to get our stuff out there and after about 20 minutes I just got SUPER intimdated. I was super intimidated by the wedding industry when I was GETTING married, and now it is just as intimidating (if not more so) now that I'm thinking of possibly joining it. I keep telling myself that the four or five dessert vendors that pop up on all the sites are not the only people in the world doing cakes or desserts and there IS a place for us. I keep telling myself that not everyone WANTS a to-scale model of the Eiffel Tower for a party cake and there is a place for our very simple, very clean, very delicious cakes. I also keep telling myself that everyone loves a teeny tiny sister act when it comes to small business and we're nice and fun and cute and willing to do whatever and WE CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN. But sheesh, there's stuff out there that really makes you feel like we'll never belong and shouldn't bother trying. 

The idea of opening a shop, at this point, and with everything we've learned so far, is pretty pie in the sky. It would take a lot of money, we'd go into a lot of debt, and even if we were willing to do that, we have NO EXTRA TIME. Our husbands have jobs that make actual money so those come first, and we take care of kids and do everything on the side. From what I know now, there's just NO WAY we could open a shop on our own. That sounds kind of defeatist or down on women or whatever, but it's just truth. But I think... not necessarily the shop itself, but what we would SELL in a shop is what we'd still like to do. We still both really love the idea of having a case of little cookies that people could pick and choose, we'd arrange them on a platter, wrap it in our logo-printed wrapping paper, and they'd take it to the family gathering. Do people do this in the states? I don't know. And God knows if that's an idea that would ever make any money! That's why I feel like we need to explore this wedding and catering stuff. Maybe I need to just make a date with the chamber of commerce folks and let them give me the terrible news so we know once and for all. 

Dudes, who ever thought I'd be all entrepreneuring on my BLOG. 

Book Update

Finished The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes. Loved it. World War 1, love stories, art, mystery, England, intrigue, did I mention WAR? 

Now I'm reading Zoo Station by somebody Downing... David? Anyway. Just before WWII begins in Berlin. English/American reporter with a German ex-wife and a son. Contacted by the NKVD, the Germans, AND the Brits about spying. It feels a little slow, but I expect greatness. And it's a SERIES. I LOVE SERIES.

Anxiety Update

I am nearing the end of my three-month "your meds should start to work within this timeframe" trial period and I'm feeling a little nervous because I don't feel ALL better. I feel MUCH better, but I feel enough bad for it to be noticeable and something I probably have to talk about with the brain doctor, even though I don't have another appointment scheduled until January. (Because, me, at the last appointment: I'm doing so well! I'm sure I'm on the upswing! I don't need to come back any time soon! HA HA HAAAAsob) That said I've been trying VERY HARD to change my general outlook on Having Anxiety. Like... instead of viewing it as Me Vs. Anxiety, I'm trying to think of it more as Regular Me Attempting To Better Tolerate And/Or Have More Compassion For The Anxious Me, which I'm hoping will create less of the anxiety about anxiety. Which sounds crazy, I know, but sometimes I think the having anxiety about having anxiety is the absolute worst part. 





On the nightstand

What I'm reading, eh? (We'll get to those happiness questions later. Those require effort. Am lazy. AHEM.)

Okay so right now I am reading a thousand-page door stop of a book called Churchill: A Biography, by Roy Jenkins. This is because I was over at my parents' house telling my dad about the Potato Peel Pie book (we'll get to that one) and my father, the history buff, was appalled - APPALLED - to find out that I had never HEARD of the Channel Islands. But you know, I never claimed to be EDUCATED. Anyway. I then asked the history buff for some history book recommendations and he turned to his bookshelf and muttered about giving away most of his books when they moved back to the states blah blah blah and boom: handed me the door stop. I am on page 30 so far and I am weighing the consequences of asking my dad if I can just skip to the WWII years. 

Before I started reading the Churchill tome I read, in lightning fast fashion because that's how much I love them, two Inspector Montalbano mysteries, by Andrea Camilleri. I am always wary of recommending these, because the situations are always icky and shuddery, but Inspector Montalbano is one of my very favorite characters EVER and I LOVE reading all the hidden commentary on the Mafia and the glorious descriptions of food and the beach and Sicily itself. So I love these, but be forewarned: the murders are almost always Twisted. 

Before those I read the Potato Peel Pie book, which I think is actually called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. (Note: YOU CAN GOOGLE THESE YOURSELVES, SEE ABOVE RE: LAZY.) I had HEARD of this book, and actually put it on my Kindle wishlist, but it cost more than I try to spend on Kindle books and never got around to reading it. Then I scored it in a Christmas Secret Santa thingy and only wound up reading it last week when I ran out of everything else. And then I found out it was a bunch of LETTERS. Katie informs me that this is called an EPISTOLARY which, yes, I agree that's a fun word, but BAH. How tedious. I was about to toss the book when Twitter was all, "No! It's good! Press on!" So I did. And I liked it! I didn't like the letters. (SO. TEDIOUS.) And I would often skim through the letters of the characters I didn't like so much. (LAZY.) But I loved loved loved the chunks of "what happened during the Occupation". If I were going to be a history buff I would be a WWII history buff, so this was all very fascinating to me. I always find it hard to believe that these things (and other atrocities, obvs) happened not so very long ago and then I get all... PARANOID, I suppose, thinking about what *I* would do if *I* was occupied by the Germans (or worse). Let's not go there. I recommend with the caveat: expect a bit of tediousness. Also a hokey love story. But worth it overall. 

Before THAT I was reading the Bartimaeus Trilogy. These are books about a young boy in modern day London who becomes a magician - it turns out the government is made up of magicians whose magic really comes from their ability to summon demons. Now, I started reading the first book and only a few pages in I started to wonder where the Harry Potter people were with THIS book. Because COME ON. SUMMONING YOU KNOW WHAT! But I kept reading (because Bartimaeus is a hoot, even if he is a demon) and I ended up liking them. Not TONS, but enough to read all three books in a weekend. I like fantasy if the fantastic parts are set in reality. Like how Harry Potter is all happening within Muggle World, you know? I do not like fantasy if the worlds are made up or in outer space. BORING. Anyway, these weren't happy fun books, but neither were they dark and creepy and obsessed with good and evil (a 'la the Golden Compass etc.) By the third book, the demons are really the only ones making sense. And when Bartimaeus is the narrator, they're great.

Before THAT I got completely and utterly sunk in Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series. Liz recommended the first book, Soulless, and it is pure fluff, but SUPER FUN FLUFF. Oh the first book is also a touch (okay, a TON) "Harlequinny" (that's the word Liz used and it is genius) but for some reason the second and third books are not. Perhaps she realized she didn't need it to sell? I don't know. They're silly and hilarious and I have preordered the fourth. SO THERE. 

Oh, and I read Room. Have I not told you all this already. I feel like I'm repeating myself. I read this in one sitting, you guys, and did not have nightmares. I think those are the two things I can say that will most highly recommend it. Afterwards I read some reviews on GoodReads which I didn't quite get - people being all annoyed about having to read how a five-year-old talks/thinks, but that was the part I thought was most amazing. Oh, one reviewer was all pissy about having to read three pages of description of a Dora episode, but for me, it was like YEAH! That Swiper guy! TOTALLY! Anyway, there were a few parts I thought were a little off, but on the whole I was way impressed, fascinated, stunned, terrified and amazed. I think I might need to read it again, since I was zooming through the whole thing to find out what HAPPENS. Now that I know what happens I could go back and take in a little more detail. 

And now you will give ME recommendations, otherwise I am stuck with Churchill for the next, oh, four years. 

My nightstand

Give a girl a Kindle and she reads nine thousand percent more books. Theories?

In no particular order...

The London Eye Mystery. I bought this one because it was "recommended for me" by Amazon and was in the "cheap enough to buy" Kindle zone and, luckily enough, I loved it. It's your typical middle grades kids-saving-the-world-as-they-know-it book, except the narrator has Asperger's and the characters were SO well written and it was about so much more than the initial mystery. I like middle grades almost more than I like YA, though I hardly read it anymore since my dad is retired and no longer recommending them to me, which: LAME. I'm not sure what this says about ME, a 31-year-old grown up who prefers books about 11-year-olds, but whatever. Oh, and I thought this blog post about knowing the difference, as writers, between middle grades and YA was super awesome. 

How I Live Now. I read this one for the same reasons I read The London Eye Mystery and YAY AMAZON. I loved this one too. Definitely in the YA camp where (if you read the blog post) you know that the character is saving a much narrower, tightly-defined world. The main character, who I adored, lives sometime in the future where some crazy next-generation war is going on, but the war is mainly a setting and the plot is a thin wire hanger for character development and I really really liked this character. 

The Loser Letters. EH. I really wanted to love this, as the reviews were rave and I thought the premise - a newly 'converted' atheist writes a series of letters to established atheists (like Dawkins and Hitchens) recommending they drop/pursue certain strategies in their own recruitment efforts - was interesting. But it totally fell flat. For me. Other people really liked this, but I just didn't get it. For one thing, you're reading letter after letter about how the Christians do one thing or another better than the atheists, and the whole time you're all THEN WHY ARE YOU AN ATHEIST? You find out, eventually, and that's where I finally got interested, but that's the very end. I seem to recall that this book actually started out in essay form and was eventually collected into a book? I think? And maybe that's why I take issue with it, because as a narrative it bombed. FOR ME. Also, I am totally the choir for this book and I have no idea what an Actual Atheist would think (although I don't have my hopes up about that either.) Sorry team!

Mockingjay. This one has been good and kicked around in the blogosphere so I'll be quick. I wasn't a huge fan of the Hunger Games series, I just wanted to know what happened. Aaaand, hmm. It was a realistic and believable ending, I didn't mind the Message, I didn't mind how dark and gloomy it was, but when you spend three books setting your main character up to make A Choice, do not cop out on the choice. Boo to that. (Also, can I just say: what is up with the competing love interests discussing their chances with each other? I'm looking at YOU Edward/Gale and Jacob/Peeta!)

I read another big handful of Italian murder mysteries. I decided that Uniform Justice is my favorite Donna Leon/Commissario Brunetti mystery. 

The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass. I just finished the last book today, and then seriously contemplated the liquor cabinet at two in the afternoon. I have to say that I really loved the first book. After wanting to put Bella and Katniss in permanent Time Outs and bemoaning the Strong Yet LIKABLE Female Character, I loved - LOVED - Lyra. (Also, she is eleven. Coincidence?) It was also the first book I've read in a long time where I wanted to underline sentences because they were so pretty. It was exciting and fast and fascinating and full of interesting people. So were the second and third books, but the second and third books were exponentially darker and drearier. I had to force myself through certain sections of the third book, not because they were dull or slow, but because they were SO HOPELESS. Also, in case you didn't know, the Bad Guy is the Church (specifically Catholic, though most of that doesn't become apparent until the second book) and I was a little nervous about what I'd be expected to swallow. However! I found it incredibly easy to separate Philip Pullman's view of religion with my view of religion because his is so unbelievably... FALSE. (It's my blog! I get to make the rules!) I mean, some of the stuff he put out there was just ridiculous, although he was a little bit Dan Brownish about it and using real names and on more than one occasion I had to google something to see what the real story was. Anyway, I worried I would find all of that irritating, but mostly I found it curious and/or without any basis or reference to MY views. I could say a million more things about this one facet of three truly creative stories, but this is supposed to be one paragraph so...

Oh, I almost forgot I Am The Messenger. I was dying to read another book by the guy who wrote The Book Thief (which I've seen criticized here and there, and my dad couldn't even get through the beginning, but I don't care, I LOVED IT) and EH. Talk about messagey. Again, I loved the characters, you can always get me with some good characters, but the only word I have for the ending is "arrogant". Shrug. 

What do I read next?

They are taking away the English degree as I type

If I had a Full Length Snapshot to post, I would post it. But our camera wouldn't work that night because (HAR HAR!) we left the battery charging in the car. So we used BIL's camera and BIL does not appear to understand things like, "You do know I'll have to post that when I get home, right?"

I just spent the entire day (THE ENTIRE DAY) at the outlet mall with SIL. Dudes, no one can shop like SIL. She has a nose for the $5.97 Gap jeans, is what I'm saying. And at one point I had to leave the store, find a bench and haul out my book just like all the MEN. Interestingly enough I had about twice as many bags as she did, but 99% of my loot was preschool clothes for Jack. And by "preschool clothes" I mean "elastic waist pants so he can pull them up and down by his own self." I am not the daughter and sister of kindergarten teachers for nothing, folks. 

And you might have noted I pulled out a BOOK and not a KINDLE. This is because I was gifted a Kindle the day after I launched into my fourth Inspector Montalbano mystery and I do not cheat on my books. There are rules. But I did spend a lot of time punching buttons on my Kindle (I did not know there were so many BUTTONS!) and after a while I realized I look just like Phillip when he gets a new gadget. I can finally relate! And I did buy a book, but only after hours of hunting around for a cheap one. I bought one of the few Commissario Brunetti mysteries I haven't read and that's on tap for when I'm done with Inspector Montalbano. It occurs to me that probably none of you know who Commissario Brunetti and Inspector Montalbano are, as probably none of you have delved into the genre of fiction that is Italian Murder Mysteries, but I recommend them both. Brunetti for the Deep Thinking, Montalbano for the Laugh Out Loud Humor, both for the writing. 

AND I finally updated my Goodreads account the other day, which is sort of embarrassing since the last time I updated it was LAST SUMMER. And I realized that some of you had friended me, or whatever it's called on Goodreads, and the friend requests dated from LAST YEAR. For shame. My bad, people who attempted to friend me. But I'm back! I think I might actually use that account now, if only as a place to store the titles I want to read in the future. 

Which makes me think - another reason I was sort of loathe to use Goodreads is because then people would know what I was reading! And you guys, I read a lot of... well, let's say I can't remember the last time I read something Popular and/or Recommended by Oprah. I tend to read mostly kid books, YA to middle grades, and murder mysteries. SORRY GOODREADS FRIENDS! You'll show up at my account looking for something Literary and Important and I'll give you, um, Inspector Montalbano. 

Not that Inspector Montalbano ISN'T fabulous. HE IS. It's just, well, no one's making a movie about HIM, right? (Although I do hear the Italians made a miniseries. Must investigate.) Like this dragon tattoo book. I keep talking to people who think it is All That, but then I also understand that there are many, ah, Graphic and Violent Descriptions and, well, I will not be joining this particular bandwagon. (That goes for my murder mysteries too. Too much about the murder? That book goes in the freezer.) 

Perhaps that makes me sound a bit snobbish, but you guys, I LOVE BANDWAGONS. I read ALL FOUR Twilight books. I'm going to see the next movie! The fact that I cannot discuss whether Veronica Mars would make a good Lisbeth Whatshername is really sort of disappointing. 

So yes, everything I've read lately is an Italian murder mystery, except for this book I read on the airplane coming back from Hawaii. I can't remember the name of it, but it was so bad (SO BAD) that it's for the best. I have spent Actual Time trying to figure out why it was popular enough to have a reading discussion guide in the back. 

Then again, those are the books that give me hope that one day I might be a published author too. So that some snotty girl looking for a quick airplane read can burn through my novel on her flight home and trash it on her blog the next day. 

Books on my to-read list include: 

Will Grayson, Will Grayson because Elizabeth told me she loved it and that's good enough for me. Also I like John Green. I follow him on Twitter. Although I secretly suspect his ego is the size of my house. 

The next Mysterious Benedict Society, whatever it's called. I could look it up, but one of the bylaws of this blog is that I'm allowed to be incredibly lazy. 

The Lonely Polygamist. I've heard this is excellent. And there's polygamy! That's always a fascinating topic, right? 

What else can I hunt for on my brand new toy? P.S. I do not like anything Gory or Violent or containing a Strong Ick Factor. GO.

(I have a feeling Phillip is seriously going to regret this. You see, he bought it on Woot. The man cannot resist the call of Woot! It whispers in his ear! "Buy me, Phillip Cheung! You must have me! I am wireless and shiny and full of buttons AND I AM ON WOOT FOR ONLY TWO MORE HOURS!")

Seven Quick Things I Am Loving

I'm not big into the review blog thing, but if I WAS, this is what I'd be saying*: 

1. Kabocha squash, otherwise known as Japanese pumpkin, otherwise known as UGLY.

Roast this thing, peel off the skin and EAT. It already tastes like pumpkin pie, only better, because I don't LIKE pumpkin pie and I LOVE this squash. Of course, I mashed it with butter AND maple syrup and my kids still wouldn't touch it, but that's okay, I turned it into a soup and now I am orange. YUM.

2. Hungry Monkey, by Matthew Amster-Burton. I don't know if it's because it's written by a man, or because he is SO chill about feeding kids, or because it's hilarious, or because he's local, or because he's a FOOD CRITIC and his kid doesn't eat her vegetables either, but I cried Actual Tears Of Relief while reading. Perhaps you have met me and my Spirals of How-To-Feed-My-Kids Shame? But really, even if you aren't in charge of a two-year-old who subsists on cheese, I think this is a fun read, just stories about a stay-at-home dad and his daughter, recipes included. 

3. Danonino yogurts. 

Jack and Molly enjoying their chicken fries (thx Amanda!), frozen peas and Danonino!

When we lived here, we got to take two free space available flights a year. Something like that. I forget what the official term for that was, but it roughly translates to "We, the United States Government, are very sorry for sticking you out in the Middlest of All Nowheres, so here, take these free flights back to Civilization." Anyway. So we would fly to a navy base in Spain where we had some friends from the last place we lived. I have all these chunks of memories from our trips to Spain and one of them is what I call "little yogurts". I LOVED my little yogurts. Our friend in Spain had them for her kids and we'd just squeeze the yogurt out and lick it up. When we moved to the next base I was beyond excited to find the little yogurts in the one grocery store in town and even when I came home from college I would make my mother buy me the little yogurts. Which are for BABIES. 

And now? They sell the little yogurts in the Safeway up the street. AND? My kids EAT THEM. (Because they taste like dessert. But they aren't dessert. They are YOGURT. Yogurt = health food!)

4. Orville Redenbacher Kettle Corn 100 calorie packs. Um, when I started this it wasn't all about food. Promise. Ummm, anyway, I am in love with these because they are just the RIGHT amount of popcorn. And even though they are disgustingly fat-free, the "kettle" part of the corn makes it taste like something. AND it takes me a while to eat it all, so I'm not sitting there watching Glee and being all, "Dude, that snack went by too fast and now I need ANOTHER one." You know what I mean? 

5. Nordstrom shoe department sales people. (See? Not ALL about food!) You would laugh, then roll your eyes, then snort, then gape at me all, "Are you SERIOUS?" if I told you about the DRAMA my sister and I have been enduring re: what shoes to wear with our bridesmaid dresses. Attempting to find a shoe that is 1) not ugly 2) silver 3) closed toe-ish 4) available in both our sizes and 5) not in a Paris Hilton price range is IMPOSSIBLE. However! At Nordstrom this weekend I found a pair of shoes that fit four out of the five requirements. I then had a Nordstrom sales girl call every Nordstrom in the Western United States to try and find a pair in my sister's size. No luck! But I was impressed (especially after an interaction with a saleslady in DSW today, HARRUMPH.) I am usually crazy intimidated by Nordstrom employees on account of the fact that they all look like runway models, and also I can't AFFORD anything in Nordstrom, but it was the SALE RACK and they didn't make me feel like an idiot for calling all over to find SALE RACK SHOES. Too bad for my sister, though. Guess she'll be barefoot. 

6. The easy toffee bars I told you guys about long long ago, where you pour melted brown sugar and butter over graham crackers, and then let a bag of chocolate chips melt on top. I made some as an egg-free treat for our get together this Saturday, and passed them around yesterday morning for some mom friends to eat. I am now eating them as I type. Thank goodness I cut them tiny, huh? PLENTY FOR EVERYONE! These are the only cookies I've made for winter celebrating, and they aren't even CHRISTMAS cookies. I am going to be SO out of practice for next year's party. And see how I brought it back to food? MMM FOOD.

7. Potty training. I KNOW. Weird, right? But potty training is turning out to be the one and only parenting trauma that I can endure with an honest-to-God smile. I am not pushing it, worrying about it, stressing, feeling guilty, feeling judged, researching, comparing, ANY of that crap. I am simply putting my kid on the potty and giving him high five after high five. Jack is a Champion Potty User at this point (and never forgets that he is owed a treat) although he is also, still, a champion DIAPER user, and I'm not entirely sure when things are going to switch over. In the meantime, as long as I suggest it, he goes. I can't tell you how awesome it is to have this THING that isn't stressing me out or making me angry in the Jack department. I still can't figure out how to feed him or discipline him or make him pick up his frillion Legos, but potty training is a frustration-free zone. I reserve the right to change this, of course, if he is still potty training NEXT year, but for now? It's really kinda fun. (Don't want to talk about food NOW, do you!)

*I was not compensated in any way by any vegetable, book, processed food product, Nordstrom salesperson, cookie recipe or potty training ideas recommended in this post. The opinions in this post are mine alone, and they are actual factual.

More quick takes here

In which I actually follow up!

I thought I'd try out this new idea where if I don't have anything to write about on my blog I just... don't write anything. But I've decided that's no fun. I mean, I might be waiting FOREVER.

Phillip is working. I think he is rebooting a server? That's what he's usually doing when he has to "do work" at 9:45 at night. But that's okay, I'm frantically trying to finish a photo book on Shutterfly before my coupon expires in the next two hours and 15 minutes. I love this photo book thing. I know it's not the cheapest route, but DUDE is it easy. And, you know, much nicer than my scrapbooking abilities would produce. I just captioned one of the photos: "Viva Las Vegas!" So you know in 15 years my kids are going to pull it out and look at the pictures and go, "GAAAAAWD Mom, you are SO LAME." Except there will be another word for lame, and I don't know what it will be and I'm SURE I won't know then. 

So you are probably wondering why I'm over here dorking around if I'm supposedly finishing this photo book thing, and the reason is: the photo uploader. I'm doing the Picasa to Shutterfly trick and it's only slightly faster than the regular uploader, which is about the speed of me running lines. Which is SLOW. Sigh. I think all this photo stuff would be fun if I didn't have to sit around waiting for things to scan and upload and resize. Oh wait. It's finished. Back later.

It is now later. Don't you love it when people are all "JUST A SEC!" in the middle of a post, and then they come back and write some more, but it's not like YOU went anywhere and you wonder why they even bothered to SAY anything. Yeah, I hate that.

Oh, I know what I can tell you about. Those books I checked out of the library. Ahem.

1. In The Woods by Tana French. MOST EXCELLENT. Until the last chapter or so when you realize you're not going to get what you want and you entertain dark and gruesome fantasies of what you might do should you encounter Tana French in the woods. 

2. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen. LOVE. You kinda have to be into YA lit or teenage romance or Gossip Girl, but since I am all of those things this book was a very quick, very fun, very crushworthy read. And now I'm on the second book and after that I'll probably read the third book and then I don't know what I'll do because I don't believe there is a fourth book. HORRORS.

3. The Miracle Detective by Randall Sullivan. PEOPLE. This book. Gah. Super fascinating. I love reporters who go into a project thinking one thing and finish in a completely different place. 90% of this book is about Medjugorje so if you're not into that, go ahead and skip. But I learned a lot of history, a lot of science, a lot about the church and, most interestingly for me, a lot about the social aftermath of "miracles". My brain was twisted in all different directions, which is always fun, don't you think? And pretty much the entire time I'm reading I'm also thinking, "Holy CRAP, I had NO IDEA THIS WAS HAPPENING." Not the apparitions so much as the details of the war in Bosnia. I mean, that IS the reason my family got to move back to Italy in 1995, so my parents could teach the frillion new kids living on the base where the planes bombing Bosnia lived. It's horrifying. This book puts you in a bit of an apocalyptic mindset, I think. Don't you want to just rush out and devour it?!

The only book I'm reading now is Rumors, the book that comes after Luxe. But I discovered something: I like reading. Well, I've always liked reading. What I mean is: when I have good books lying around I choose to hang out with them over 1) exercising 2) eating 3) sleeping 4) taking care of my children and, most shockingly, 5) the internet. SRSLY. And I was staying up waaaaay too late. Yay, Library! Now that I've figured out how to actually use you, think of all things I am never going to accomplish!

Aaaand this concludes the millionth entry in the Pointless Post series. I'm going to bed. Sort of. I do, after all, have a book to read. 

P.S. I took your cake comments into consideration. Also the email from Nessa in which she seemed rather concerned for my mental health should I undertake the cake pop project. Believe me, I AM ALSO CONCERNED. But I have scheduled it out, acquired an assistant and am working on the Flexible and Just Having Fun! Frame of Mind. It will be a stretch, but I have a few days to get there. And never fear- I shall report back!

The nightstand

If this post is short and boring it's the fault of the three fat books I picked up at the library today. They are stacked in front of me on the bed and they look so tempting and delicious. It's been a while since I read a Real Book, you know? Unless a string of murder mysteries counts. (I LOVE MURDER MYSTERIES.) And because I know you people and I know you want to know, my books are 

In the Woods, by Tana French, recommended by Liz, who got her recommendation from some other bloggy person but I forget who;

The Luxe, by Anna Godbersen, recommended by Elizabeth;

and The Miracle Detective by Randall Sullivan, about investigating Medjugorje. I was reading some stuff about Medjgorje on some Catholic blogs and someone recommended reading this book. Did I tell you I read a book called The Rite? About exorcism? Which I think was reviewed in Time or something like that, where I read about it and immediately put it on hold at the library? If you are at all interested in the Weirder Side Of Church (like me!) that book is a FASCINATING READ. 

(And now you are all unsubscribing from this blog. I know. I'm sorry. I DIG THAT STUFF. If it qualifies for a segment on Unsolved Mysteries I am IN, and the churchier the better.)

Oh, and all of this reminds me that I got a few chapters into The Time Traveler's Wife on our trip and WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH THAT BOOK? A friend of mine loaned it to me a year or so ago and I tried reading it then. I know I didn't get very far because I didn't remember a single thing. It's just... I don't know. It's kind of like how you keep thinking Twilight is going to get better, but it doesn't, the writing is as lame at the end as it is at the beginning. Except with The Time Traveler's Wife you have no desire to keep reading. (I am still stymied by the Twilight series. Why was I compelled to give up four days of my life to read all four books when I hated EVERY CHARACTER?) Anyway. Was not impressed. Will probably go see the movie anyway because I've had a crush on Rachel McAdams since Mean Girls. Also, Eric Bana was ten kinds of awesome in Funny People. 

Except, The Notebook? With Rachel McAdams? BAAAAARRRRRF.

(Now the REST of you are unsubscribing from my website.)

You know, I actually had things to say, but I can't remember now because I got all upset about The Time Traveler's Wife

Oh, and ANOTHER book I thought I would read because I wanted to see the movie and I always want to read the book before I see the movie: Atonement. Elizabeth sent me this book and I thought it would be good. BUT IT WASN'T. Not because the writing was bad, it was just LONG and PRETENTIOUS and I could skip 40 pages at a time and NOT MISS A THING. And I never saw the movie.

Anyway, I think I'm going to read The Luxe first because I happened to catch an NYC Prep marathon on Bravo and I'm already in that teen queen Gossip Girl frame of mind.