Saturday, May 16, 2015

Written in Red by Anne Bishop

When I bought this book in the closeout section of my grocery store for 50 cents, I wasn't expecting much more than a quick read of some brain candy.  Written in Red sat on my to read pile for a couple of weeks until I was between library books and decided to read it.  

Between Charles deLint, Jim Butcher and Seanan Maguire, I have a high bar set for new urban fantasy series.  I read lots of them and enjoy most of them, but I haven't fallen for a book like this in a while.  I devoured Written in Red in under 24 hours and made a point to stop at the library on the way to an oil change this morning to get the next book in the series.

The world-building is excellent, the characters are three-dimensional, the action is gripping and I'm halfway through Murder of Crows and annoyed that I'm going to have to wait for Vision in Silver.

Basically, if you're looking for an impressive urban fantasy series with characters that are real people and is a reminder that vampires and werewolves are not respectively cuddly and sparkly would-be lovers of humans, this is the series to try.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

An early and wonderful Mother's Day

Mom was going to be at the lake this weekend with her sister, but my aunt didn't feel well, so Mom went up for the day on Thursday.  That meant she was free today, so we spent most of the morning working on law office stuff, and then headed out around 11.

First we went to the bank, then we went to pick up the map.  I have to give a huge hand to the framing shop at the Hudson Joann Fabrics.  Keri did an amazing job of helping me pick out the frame and then getting the map framed and ready to go, and it looks even better than I thought it would.  While Mom was pulling the car around, I grabbed a fake lavender arrangement she wanted but put back and bought it as a spur-of-the-moment Mother's Day gift.

After the map, we grabbed some lunch at a local Thai place (yum!).  Dad has been working diligently all week to get electronic bits and bobs that he'll never use out of the basement, and he filled six banker's boxes.  I took those and a stray remote and a non-working laptop to the city electronics recycling today, and then Mom and I went plant shopping.

To my dismay, Cochran's was completely sold out of basil, and man, I suck at growing it from seed.  I may have to see if Marc's has a couple plants tomorrow when I do my grocery shopping.  I ordinarily don't do that because I've learned that the chain stores, even local chains, don't treat their suppliers very well and do not stand behind the products at all.  However, for basil and homemade pesto, I will set aside my scruples.

After Mom had picked out two verbena, a sweet potato vine and two Roma tomato seedlings and I had picked out lamium, verbena, petunias, licorice plant, heliotrope and two cherry tomato seedlings, we had our annual argument over who was buying Mom's plants.  This year, she won, because she said the fake plant counted.  No problem, I'll win next year. :-)

Then we headed over to Casa de Jammies and unloaded the map from Mom's car and put it in the living room.  No pictures yet, as it's going to stay wrapped up until Dad comes over to hang it.  Then Little Miss Piggie Pie and I had a nap, and then dinner, and then I watched RuPaul's Drag Race while emptying four boxes of books.

I hugged Mom today, twice, and I will think of that every time I help someone handle their mom's estate.  I am lucky as hell to have such a lovely mother and to still have her here with me.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Thoughts whilst driving home from work

Buick, I don't care how many mini shark fins you put on your cars, they'll still be staid and stodgy.


Wow, I hate the Akron Art Museum's building.

Okay, when did I become such a priss about driving through puddles and getting my car dirty?

Why do traffic people talk about surface streets?  All streets are on a surface.  Are traffic people too stupid to say secondary roads or are they pandering to a stupid audience?

Gah, why did I agree to bifocals progressive lenses?  Am I going to be able to use them?  Why did the eye doctor make such a big deal about how hard it's going to be?

Ooooh, very dramatic stand of forsythia there.  Hey, why did the city have to take out all those pear trees?  The side of the road is horrible, all weedy and junky where it used to be pretty.

Ten plus years of working in Akron and it still pisses me off that they take 2.25% in income tax for me and only give the city where I actually live 2%.  Dog knows the extra money isn't paying for road repairs.

Pretty cherry tree!  Oh, hey, that's mine and I'm home.  Long week.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Two more days

(hopefully) until the kitchen floor is finished.  One more day (hopefully) until the appliances are back in place and I don't have to have yet another bowl of granola for dinner.  I like granola, I'm just tired after a week of it for dinner.

After my trip to Cleveland last week, I missed two more days of work thanks to a nasty case of bronchitis, something I haven't had for a decade.  I haven't missed it at all!  Then, just to put the grey icing on the cupcake of doom that was last week, in addition to the floor being sanded, I developed a sinus infection.  I am now recovering from both illnesses, but it's been a week I don't want to live through again any time soon.

Also, I decided that I am going to bring the map home from Cleveland and just plain have it framed at Joann or Michael's or Pat Catan's.  I don't need to spend $2,000 for museum-quality framing for something I just want to hang in my living room and enjoy.

Oh, and Little Miss Piggie Pie continues to have the staff at Valley Animal Hospital snowed--they tell me every day how sweet she is.  However, in her favor, she was a snuggly little girl last weekend when I needed a nap partner, and she didn't even huff much when my coughing shook her off the bed.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Nice day for a drive to Cleveland

It was warm and sunny this morning, so Mimi's map and I took a confusing drive to ICA Art Conservation on Detroit Ave.  Between heavy traffic even though it was technically after rush hour, it's a good thing I left 25 minutes early.  I arrived with time to spare, and a (or possibly the) paper restorer spread the map on the table and was kind enough to say it was in really amazing shape.  Apparently a missing bottom dowel and some small tears are minimal damaged--the restorer said that most maps they see are absolutely trashed and that my grandmother must have taken good care of her things.  The copyright date on the map is 1895, and Dad was right, it was made by Rand-McNally.

Although I had joked about paying anything under 5 figures, it turns out that to have the map cleaned, restored and custom-framed would in fact cost about $10,000.00.  When I said that was not in my budget, they said for about $2,000 they can repair the small tears and encase it in Mylar, which can then be attached to the old case.  So I left the map with them for a full exam and quote, and got to drive along the Shoreway on a sunny day, looking a blue skies and a lake still almost completely iced up.

Then I took Mucinex for the chest cold which is trying to develop and took a nap.

Oh, and of course I now have a picture of the map:


Saturday, March 14, 2015

It takes more than blue skies

...to make a happy Jammies.  I hate DST.  Just when I was getting used to it being light when I got up, now it's back to pitch black and the alarm clock.

The weather's been warm and springlike all week, with two days of blue skies mid-week.  Unfortunately, this week was also Call Day, and it was a big one this month.  I hadn't gotten my Lexapro refilled, so I missed one dose on that day, which didn't help.  Granted, it didn't hurt all that much since it's a cumulative medication, I just felt a little dizzy and foggy-headed.

The good news is that I'm getting the mechanics of Call Day to a point where they're pretty smooth, and the judge really likes being able to send folks straight to the help desk.  That will be even smoother when the renovations are finished and the help desk is directly across the hall from the courtroom.  I did say one stupid thing in court, which led to a resolution to keep my mouth shut (hard for me to do, as those who know me well would say).  The judge was nice about it, and didn't say anything when we were on the record, but she did discuss it with me the next day.

AT&T is providing miserable customer service, including offering a "payment arrangement" that is actually a demand, then cutting off my phone four days before the agreed-upon date, then saying I'll have to pay $30 to have my service re-connected.  The flooring people I agreed to allow to start my floor with less than a day's notice so their workers would have something to do have left me for a week with an unsanded, unstained floor and no word on when it will be finished.

So the blue skies are nice, but I'd like more, please.