Well, autumn was as much of a sh@#%*show as predicted, but the two big work projects have been turned in, and with luck, December will bring some relaxation.
Things wot have been up:Reading
The local friend group's inaugural fall reading challenge comes to a close today. I blacked out my bingo card, which was all I wanted in the world. Not sure what will fill the void now that it's over.
The challenge definitely motivated me to choose reading over other activities, to plan ahead so there was always a book or five waiting next and to finish books that I might otherwise have set aside or let drag on. Whereas the last few years I averaged a book a week, during the challenge I averaged a book almost every two days; instead of 50-55 books total, 2018 is on track to top 75. Snow days, long flights and library due dates also helped.
- Strange Practice: A Dr. Greta Helsing novel by Vivian Shaw (thanks, rachelmanija)
- Two Mates for the Dragon by Zoe Chant et al, esp. the one by Juno Blake (thanks, rachelmanija & sholio)
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
- Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee
- My Teacher Is an Alien series by Bruce Coville (reread)
- The Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith (reread)
The bingo card also pushed me to finally crack open 6 of the unread books I've owned for many years, which was nice.Readings
I went to several book readings in September/October. Fully intended to write them up, then did not. For the record:
Dessa @ Brattle Theater
DeRay Mckesson with Ayanna Pressley @ Old South Church
Heid Erdrich, Tacey Atsitty & Eric Gansworth @ Harvard Peabody Museum (related post
George Saunders @ Boston University
All excellent, with the possible exception of Mckesson/Pressley—the acoustics were so awful where we sat that we couldn't make out half of what they said; we gave up when they started the Q&A. Reading DeRay's book afterwards helped clarify what we'd semi-heard.Vidding
No matter how many vids you make, there will always be new technical challenges. I can't even talk about this one because it's for a treat I want to make for Festivids. Suffice it to say that solution #1 involved math; the math that should have worked did not work because reasons; so I devised solution #2 over the weekend. Now for the "easy" part of, you know, making the vid and seeing if it turns out well enough to submit.
Meanwhile, I have no idea what to do for my actual assignment. That will sound funny later when you find out what the source is. So far, I've come up with a concept that would take too long to make, a song that wasn't about what I thought it was about, and a spoof where a spoof wouldn't be appreciated. Now that life is quieting, I'll sit down and figure it out. Because otherwise I'm looking at defaulting and making only the treat, which would be weird in addition to breaking my streak of making at least two Festivids each year.
(Well, there's this other
Having given up on postponing travel for work reasons because work never lets up these days, I went to Tucson to visit childhood friend A. More strip malls than expected in the city itself, but gorgeous desert and mountains close by, and the low humidity means you don't turn into a sweaty mess while hiking. For Thanksgiving I spent ~36 hours in NY seeing family and then ~48 hours at home alternating social time with domesticity, a hybrid experiment that turned out pretty well.
In a couple of weeks I will visit synn
, yay, and over winter break I will meet the new house my mom and her boyfriend acquired in rural Tennessee to retire to. Re: the above, I'll have to decide whether it's ridiculous to drag down my desktop computer for vidding or simply bring a book—Moby Dick
's time may have arrived at last—and some writing materials. Still have those three unfinished Zahn-related fics.Cooking
Since there were no Thanksgiving leftovers on account of we didn't host, yesterday I made turkey meatballs, green beans and stuffing for this week's lunches, topped with slices of that classic cranberry sauce that comes out of the can with a slurp in a single jiggly cylinder. While I was at it, I rescued a few pounds of apples we picked 6 weeks ago by turning them into applesauce with cinnamon and a pinch of brown sugar. Mm. That will accompany the week's dinners of sautéed kale, gigante beans and sausage. It felt good to put in the time in the kitchen; I hadn't cooked properly in a while.Chilling
Only in the literal sense: Our boiler broke. It's being fixed. Meanwhile, space heaters.
...Which may or may not explain why there's a tickle in my throat today. Sigh.