Friday, July 21, 2017

Five on Friday #116


I'm trying to decide what we're going to watch after we finish Parks and Recreation.. yes, already.  I'm torn between starting Teh German on Mad Men (because I need to watch the last season) or Game of Thrones.  The problem is, both of these options have episodes that are at least 40+ minutes long.  23 minute episodes are perfect.  Also, I've been GOT sober for 2 years now and I need to be strong.  Yes, I've read the books, but it's finnnneeeee.. #meganproblems

Also, the trailer came out for Outlander and it's more and more tempting to watch Outlander just to get in a few doses of Scottish accent.  Maybe I just need to jump on book 5 for some Davina Porter narration.

That would be approximately 5 year worth of Outlander books I have already purchased to listen to...

Maybe I should just focus on reading and finishing up my challenge so I can get spend a mabillionty hours listening to Davina Porter's voice?


Hi, my name is Megan and I have a spending problem... and I neeeeeeeed to stop.

I've noticed recently that when I look at my cart when I'm checking out (online of course, because going to the store makes me stabby) and ask myself, "Do I need this or want this?"  A lot of the time I'm coming back with "want" and then telling myself, "well, ok, but we're not going to do this regularly."  Annnnnnddd it's become regular.  I've bought a lot of shit this summer that has been wants.  Granted, I've found most of the items on sale, but spending money on wants isn't saving money for things like... wedding.

I think my real problem is that my dollars are not currently allocated to anything in particular so I give them a home by buying shit I don't necessary need.

Things I've bought over the last few months that are complete wants, not needs:
-Disney movies
-Woot shirts
-Fancy shampoo/conditioner.  This was kind of a need, but I probably could have found something else for cheaper.
-Wallflowers from Bath and Body Works
-Stickers for my computer
-Pillows for the entry bench
-New purse
-Sooo many food/beverage purchases (beer, coffee, milkshakes, lunch out, etc)
-Puzzles (which have brought me much joy)
-Stuff to make my own cleaning solution (complete waste)
-Unnecessary dog toys
-Dog treats (cheese sticks and bully sticks), these were kind of a need when I was disabled and unable to take the dogs on walks and they needed something to burn the energy off.
-A month of car washes/detailing (which I will greatly miss after I'm no longer doing PT)
-Extra stamps because they were Disney Villains
-Date night splurge (which technically falls under want, but was an exception I was willing to make since we rarely do special date nights)
-Race entry fees

This is all in addition to my regular monthly spending for wants:
-Eating out

There are things I could definitely be saving for, but I haven't made them a priority like I need to:
-All things wedding...
-Honeymoon things
-Redecorating the guest bathroom.  I'm finally willing to give up the Monsters.  #adultingsucks
-Back splash in the kitchen
-Some type of furniture piece for the dining room
-Some type of plant for the living room
-A chair for the master bedroom
-Decorating Guest Room and First Child Room
-My I 💓Me wall in the office.  I want to get a GTMO flag framed and make a shadow box for my ribbons/uniform patches.


From my phone:

So Teh Dad left Teh German and I a note on the counter when we were in NC.  I'll just transcribe this for you.

The original note said:
"I will call you after church about lunch"

When I got up, I responded to his "text"...
"Good, I'm starving."

Then added the rest of it.  Full transcription:
Texting, 1990s style:
Teh Dad: I will call you after church about lunch
Teh Megan: Good, I'm starving.

Later in 2017:
M: Why didn't you answer my text?
D: What text?
M: The text on the counter.

Apparently, my very literal sense of humor doesn't come from Teh Dad because he didn't get my "text" joke.  Or I'm just too much of a reading geek for everyone else.  Either of those options are highly probable.


This reporter's reaction to Trump, Jr.'s announcement gave me the lolz.

Oldie but goodie.  Women's Aren't Crazy.


10 things that made me happy this week:
  1. Friday being extra short after an extremely long week.
  2. Nothing at our house being damaged from the crazy storms on Wednesday evening.
  3. Needing a new hole in my belt.. on the "too skinny" side.
  4. Teh German telling me that his lunch of leftovers was on point.
  5. Finally rehanging my cork boards with my Disney pins in my cube at work.
  6. Managing to come up with a BAB blog, even if it wasn't great.
  7. Teh German giving Pax an impromptu bath since Pax was flaky.
  8. Rob Lowe in my living room making me laugh.
  9. Shaving my legs.
  10. Getting my new laptop back!

Happy Friday, Gentle Readers.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It's OK #1

I'm switching gears on my Gentle Readers..

For years and years, I've done Confessions on Wednesday, but recently, I've found I don't really have as many things to confess.  And let's just be honest, mostly it was just a catch all post with me bitching about/telling you things that have happened in the last week.

More and more recently I've realized that I need to let myself off the hook for things I do.. or don't do.  I need to let things just be ok, so that's what these posts will be about... and maybe with some confessions.  #myblogmyrules

So this week... It is OK that:

...Sometimes I forget that I PayPal-ed money to myself and it just sits in a PayPal account.  This sucks because I'm not earning interest on my money... BUUUTTT it means that there's a very nice surprise waiting on me when I discover it.  This is applicable because I had Teh Sister order my new laptop so she could get the Best Buy reward points (since she has let us use her rewards several times) and I sent her the money through PayPal.  When I signed in to one of my accounts (I have 3 for the 3 different checking accounts I have, yes I'm ridiculous), there was $1000 just chillin' there.  It was like I had been saving that money for a new computer all along and I didn't even know about it.  So I bought my new computer and it didn't affect my account balances and I feel like a winner.

...that I let Sweet Tea on the couch.  It wasn't a fight I was willing to have and she already mostly hated me.

...that I also let Edie on the couch.  Even if it meant I had to spot clean the couch because her mouth was bleeding from treats I gave her...

...I bought 2 Kindles.  It means Teh PT Kid might get a new Kindle... and Teh German doesn't have to deliver a package to the UPS store.

...I haven't read a WW2 themed book in months.  I think.  It's nice to get out of "my" genre every now and then.  It also means I'm plowing through my challenge books. is an "off" day.  We went to sleep late last night and I woke up late this morning.  I opted to wear a cute dress that I don't normally wear (hooray surgery diet).  As I was walking out the door, I dropped my full cup of tea and it spilled all over me and the floor and the runner.  Also since I was late, I had to deal with extra stupidos in morning traffic.  I'm afraid to even say out loud that it can't get worse, because it always can.

...that I was ready to give up on Parks and Rec.  We finally finished Modern Family and now we're back to watching Parks and Rec and after a miserable slog through seasons 1 and the first half of season 2, I'm finally catching myself LOLing ANNNNNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDDDD Rob Lowe has finally made his appearance and holy shit is he hot. 

...that it took 2 seconds of Rob Lowe being on the tv for me to admit to Teh German that Rob Lowe is my old man crush.  That said, do NOT read Rob Lowe's books.  They aren't that good.  #Illsaveyou

...that we've been thinking of Phil a lot this week.  Teh SC Greyhound Neighbor took Edie to the vet on Monday and Edie has now journeyed to the Bridge (aka her mom let her go/eased her pain/had her put to sleep).  My heart hurts for Teh SC Greyhound Neighbor because she was extremely close with Edie and because our own grief is still fairly fresh.  We cried for Edie and her Mom and Phil and then we hugged Pax and Meri extra tight.  As I told Teh German, we choose to love knowing we are entering into eventual heart break but that will never stop me from opening my heart to loving a pet. 

...that I didn't change my dress after I spilled tea all over myself this morning.  I just wiped myself down and cleaned up the mess and carried the fuck on. 

...that I wore Minnie leggings to work.  #Imanadultdammit

...that I ordered 3 sheets of Villains stamps.  #worthit

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Shit Teh German Said #11

T: Dammit, why are you turning without a signal light?
M: I think they are stopping for a goose.
T: Ah. No, that's not a goose...
M: I meant heron.
T: I want to honk, but I can't because that car will think I'm honking at them.  You lucky bird!  You're a lucky bird because I can't honk at you.  BUT I WOULD!

While reading a news headline
T: "Shooter opened fire at a sports bar... But he forgot he was in Texas.." That probably backfired.

M: If you don't follow the rules, you die!
T: That's something a German would say.

Teh German's belly growled as we sat down to eat dinner.
T: It's coming!  Wait!

M: I know it's not as funny when I tell you as when Phil does. (Phil from Modern Family)
T: Oh, that Phil Humpfy.

I showed Teh German a photo of one of my senior pics with some obviously 90s chunky/platform shoes and continue showing him other photos of me when I was younger.
T: I'm marrying that one.
I pull up a photo of me in Target wearing a pizza costume.
M: Yeah, but you're also marrying this one too.

Often, Teh German and I will receive the same spam mail.  While I was ripping up an envelope from Geico, he says:
T: You don't know what scam you have!

M: You can do it, babe.
T:  I know I can.  I just don't want to.

T: Oh bathrobes!  I need a bathrobe!  I used to love bathrobes as a kid!

Shit Teh German Said Edition 123456, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Monday, July 17, 2017

Weekend Review {7/17}


After my Ortho appointment (where I learned that I could have been hip brace free 2 weeks ago), I went home and worked on my Friday post and did a little work.  I stalked the UPS site for when my laptop would be delivered and despite the 0945-1:45 estimate, it arrived after I left at 4:50... of course.

I headed to Moncks Corner with Teh PT Family to photograph their Mom's wedding.  After a simple ceremony, we took some photos on the train tracks and we set up for the reception.  The reception was a blast and we made it home around midnight.  Teh German and Teh Dental Hygienist came for the reception. 

Teh Dental Hygienist drove since she was test driving a new car.  This is only relevant because we were 90% of the way home when Teh German questioned if the vehicle's lights were on, which would cause the problem of there being no interior light.  Turns out, they were not.  Oops.  She's fully aware she'll never live it down.

We came home to bloody vomit on the rug downstairs.  Carpet cleaner use since Friday morning at 0515: 4.  It was at this point, I admitted defeat and agree with Teh German, no more dog sitting.


The weekend goals were slim, which was nice.  I got up and fed the beasts, not wanting to deal with another session with the carpet cleaner.  I had intended on going back to bed, but the lure of a new computer was just too much for me.  I spent about 2 hours downloading programs and setting up the computer.  I put my new stickers on it.  I was pumped.  I uploaded the wedding photos and subscribed (ugh) to Lightroom and Photoshop (PS) to start working on photo editing.  I was going through the setting in Photoshop and noticed that PS was using the integrated graphics card instead of the Nvidia video card.  This is a problem because I specifically upgraded the video card in the computer for exactly this purpose.  After some troubleshooting, I couldn't fix the problem so I admitted defeat and decided to bring the laptop to Best Buy after my hair appointment.


I headed back to bed to take a nap.  I got up with Teh German around 10 and we had a slow start.  I tried to troubleshoot again with no success.  Teh German and I agreed that I would clean the toilets and he would clean the sinks so we could accomplish my lone weekend goal: to clean the bathrooms.

Around 1, I finally started getting ready for my appointment at 2.  We were super unmotivated.  I think I found a hair person in Charleston.  I'm sure several people will have outbursts of joy when they read that.  She was very nice and explained everything she was doing to my hair.  I explained that I was trying to grow it for the wedding.  I was pleased to see there was not a lot of hair on the floor after I got up.  I got several compliments on my blow out. 

I headed to Best Buy, trying to be optimistic.  Naive.  There was only 1 Geek at the Geek Squad desk since the other person was dispatched out on calls, strike 1.  The Geek at the desk seemed like he might be moderately proficient so I explained the problem and what I had done to troubleshoot the issue.  He suggested downloading the drivers directly from the Nvidia website, which we started the 7 minute download for.  And at 1 minute left, he needed the serial number and closed the laptop to get it...  Then when he came to check on the download a few minutes later I got to inform him that it had cancelled... when he had shut the laptopm strike 2.  He then said to me, "Oh, I thought it would download in the background."  Uhhhhhhhhh, what?  So we have to restart the download and at this point, I'm getting frustrated and he's already checking in my computer for drop-off, which should have been my indication that he wasn't going to be able to help me fix the problem, but again.. naive.

We could have been friends.. but noooooooo.

While all this was going on, I spoke to Teh SC Greyhound neighbor (who we were dog sitting for) to explain some of the issues we were having.  We agreed that she shouldn't come home right away, but that I needed her to be aware of the issues. 

I ended up leaving my brand new laptop at Best Buy with no idea of when I'd get it back.  Depressed, I headed home.  Teh German was outside (where it was no less than 98°F outside) washing Baloo.  The soap was drying and I helped him by rinsing since he refused to wash then rinse sections.  Have I mentioned lately how stubborn he is?  Anyways...  He said he had already cleaned the sinks, so I went inside and called Teh Running Bestie to chat while I cleaned the toilets.  After the toilets were cleaned, I started working on the puzzle while we chatted.  Eventually Teh German came inside and showered. 

Teh German puzzles vs Teh Megan puzzles....

After I got off the phone, we tried to make a dinner plan but I wasn't feeling it.  My motivation level was at the bottom of the scale.  I had planned to make chicken enchiladas and the chicken was cooked (yay crockpot), but needed to be shredded and then the enchiladas stuffed and baked and that was just too much effort for me.  I ended up mostly skipping out on dinner and I don't even remember what Teh German ate. 

Dinner of champions.  I didn't eat the entire cup.
So yah know, moderation.

Teh German has this habit of constantly perusing the Facebook Marketplace for "things" and he actually found some runner steps for Baloo for a super low price.  The only hitch was that they were located in GA and he'd have to drive down there to fetch them.  I told him to go for it and he made plans for a drive to GA on Sunday.  It ended up working out super since the seller was even willing to help Teh German install them when he picked them up. 

Later, we went over to Teh PT House for celebratory smoking hour since they had upgraded their vehicle situation. 

Carpet cleaner use since Friday at 0515: 5


Sunday morning, Teh German got up with the beasts.  He ended up coming back to bed until his alarm went off, at which point he got up and got ready and I checked my phone since I wasn't able to go back to sleep.  I had a massage scheduled at 2 (a neighbor is an LMT and she was coming to the house), but since Teh German was already out (which wasn't planned when I made the appointment), I messaged her and told her if she wanted to bump up the appointment time, that worked for me.  We agreed on doing it at 1 and I took the time to social media, write up the weekly menu, make a store list, and hit up Walmart (ugh) and Bilo.  I still didn't find everything I needed, so I'll be making a trip to Publix at some point, but that's fine. 

I didn't realize when I had Yurtle cleaned that they had folded the blankets and put them in the back.
SUUUPPPPPEEERRRR impressed with Tidal Wave.  I wish they were closer.

I made it home by 1215 and Roux's Humom, Teh PT Family, and Teh Dental Hygienist came over to meet Sweet Tea.  Everyone left when the masseuse arrived.  We set up right in the living room, which was fine with me.  Amazingly, the dogs were angels and other than the power flashing due to some crazy storms, there were no disturbances. 

Tired dogs are the best dogs.

She was awesome and I happily recommended her to several people.  Teh PT Wife had brought in a box when she came in and it was my new, correct color, Kindle. 

Side story: I accidentally ordered a black Kindle on Prime Day and didn't realize until it was too late to cancel it.  So I ordered a 2nd Kindle in the color that I wanted.  Because it was so late in the day, it wouldn't arrive till later.  Boooo, hiss. 

I happily added my stickers to my Kindle, put the case on and I was messing around on it when Teh German arrived home.  The 7 makes me sooo much happier than the 10.  It's not as heavy in my hands and I can tap to turn the pages!  I'm trying to figure out what to do with the Kindle 10 now and I seriously have no idea.  There is currently no trade-in option for it either.  :(

After checking out his new steps (which would have made getting in and out of Baloo much easier 6 weeks ago), I showered and got ready for a birthday dinner at Swig and Swine.  We got to ride in Teh PT Husband's Hummer-limo sized truck (a Toyota Tundra).  When we got home, we were locked out of the house!  We couldn't figure out what was going on.  Teh German asked me if I locked the door (from the garage to the house) and I laughed at him and said, "I never lock any doors!" 

Luckily, I have a house key on Yurtle's fob and I was able to let us in.  Teh German was almost afraid to come in after I walked in and said, "Oh shit."  I walked into the house and the downstairs was littered with dog collars and various items that were in a container in the closet.  A closet that I had, apparently, not closed the door to after I put something away before we left.  #lessonlearned

The dogs had a blast while we were gone.  Phil's muzzle had been chewed up, Pax's racing muzzle had been chewed up, the buckle was eaten off the paracord collar Teh Sister made for Phil.  Toys that I had been hoarding were strewn about the house.  It was like they had a party without us.  It was so exciting that they locked the deadbolt on the door!  Fortunately, only a collar was destroyed in the party, so that's a positive. 

After we got everything cleaned up, Teh SC Greyhound Neighbor arrived to pick up Edie and Sweet Tea.  We chatted about Edie and my concern over her lack of eating and her not greeting anyone when they came in.  Edie really wasn't interested in getting off our couch, so Teh SC Greyhound Neighbor had to pick her up.  When she put her on the floor, Edie was knuckling and Teh German and I saw it and exchanged a look that Teh SC Greyhound Neighbor didn't miss.  On our way to the car, she asked me to tell it to her straight and I said that knuckling is a neurological issue... or it could just be that Edie was laying funny and her foot was asleep.  Time would tell.  Edie was supposed to go to the vet today, so I have my fingers crossed.

After our house was settled again, Teh German and I headed over to Teh PT House for a little bit.  Shortly after 9, I decided it was bedtime and we ran home in the ran.  Yep, I ran.  Not like a sprint.. but more effort than I'm used to.  Once home, we did our pre-bed chores and passed out.  Pretty sure I didn't move all night I was so tired.

Final carpet cleaner use count for the weekend: 7
This means that we're going to have to fully clean the runner downstairs again and pull it outside to dry, as well as the rubber mats underneath.  Kind of a pain in the ass, especially on a week where it's going to rain.  Le siiiiiigh.


Teh German said it was a productive weekend and I guess it was.  Truthfully, I didn't feel all that productive and I kinda felt lazy, but there was an undercurrent of frustration the entire weekend at all the vomit, shit, and piss in our house.  The party the dogs had last night made them soooo tired that no one budged this morning until it was actually breakfast time.  Generally, the dogs will move around in the mornings while we get ready, but not this morning.  I anticipate many naps throughout the day for them today and hopefully tomorrow too since it's scheduled to rain all week long.

This week is kinda busy.  PT Mon/Thurs.  The builder will be coming on Weds to make repairs (hopefully) and Yurtle has an oil change that day.  Friday we have dance lessons and then a birthday bar-hop to attend.  Next weekend will be kinda hectic since our Saturday is already full.

Tomorrow is everyone's favorite post, Shit Teh German Said!

Gratuitous dog photos:

Oh yeah and I just want to share this kick in the pants with you: 107 days till wedding day.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. 
Additionally, 14 days until Teh German no longer has a choice about what he wears.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Five on Friday #115


Another no-Wednesday post week.  #notsorry.  Truthfully, I just didn't have enough to "confess".  I think instead of confessions I just need to change my prompt to "It's Ok..."  I give self-guilt myself about a lot of things and I just need to let myself off the hook.  I am my own worst enemy.

For instance...

It's ok..

...that I ripped the sheets with my brace on Monday night.  #shithappens and I can do nothing about it.  It just sucks that those are some of my favorite sheets because they are so soft.  BUTTT, this does give me a reason to finally replace the sheets (as if we really need replacements) since I also may or may not have bleached the pillow cases with some benzoyl peroxide cream after Teh German moved in...

...that I just (re)discovered that my keyboard has function keys to control Spotify.

...that I've planned a Nerd day on Saturday (after we clean the bathrooms and take the dogs for a nail trim) since my new Kindle arrived on Thursday and my new laptop arrives today. wait after new toys arrive to tinker with them since I'll be busy all day today with work/Ortho appt/shooting a wedding. wear jeans to work, especially when wearing dresses means wearing another outfit under my dress so I can wear my brace.. and well, that's just too many layers for Charleston summer. put off work because it's not high priority right now to compose this post.  The formatting is a nightmare that will require some serious dedication and it just seems like too much effort my first week back at work. work half days at the office as I "ease" myself back into being at the office.

...that I didn't get this post done before my doctor's appointment on Friday...  Which leads us tooooooo.....


The Hip Update:
Ortho informed me earlier that I could have been out of my hip brace 2 weeks ago/the 1 month/4 week mark.  I tried to set him on fire with my eyes but failed.  That would have saved me a set of sheets and a lot of shitty sleeps. 

Good sides to this:
-No more brace.
-I can actually work on things at PT.
-I'm mostly healed.
-No more driving restrictions.
-No more ripped sheets.
-Better sleeps.
-Less guilt over not wearing my brace.

Bad sides:
-No more external lap band/sweat band, which was certainly helping with the wedding diet.
-What the fuck do I do with a $1000+ hip brace and $(how ever much I paid for) crutches?


From my phone:

That car is same color as Teh Mom's favorite color of nail polish when I was a kid.
The car even turned iridescent in certain light.

The start of the idea for my wedding band design.
Actually this band, but swap the rose and white gold.

We're dog sitting this weekend.
Edie is the fawn, Sweet Tea is a pocket pit (back against the fence) and you know who Meri and Pax are.

Meri stood in that position for a solid 2 minutes until Sweet Tea finally decided to play.

She likes 'em big... and fluffy..

Edie likes to marinade her brain and get smarter.

There is a car wash place beside the PT office and I splurged and bought a month's membership.
This means Yurtle will be getting a bath every time I go to PT.  The initial job they did was worth the month's membership fee!  It's crazy how shiny and pretty she is!

New ID.  Yaaarrrr matey.


From my brain:

-I still need to buy sudafed.  Having to purchase it from a pharmacy annoys me.

-It bothers me that there is no orientation for The Citadel for veteran day students.  It would be nice to have someone take me around and actually introduce me to the school rather than go to a webpage and download a map and hope for the best.  Also, maybe I've been ruined by NCSU, but when the shit can I finally pay for parking? 

-I need to go backpack shopping.  I love my backpack, but the beverage holder on the side is too small and ripped and it makes me sad.  I need to find a backpack with extra padded straps like this one, but at least moderately cute.

-I was honest about why I was returning a Kindle that I ordered on Prime Day.  I accidentally ordered a black one and the order couldn't be cancelled so I had to accept it and just purchase another one.  To get the color that I wanted, yellow, I had to make another order.  Which means now I have to return the black one and I'll be paying $3 to return it since it was my own mistake.  I probably could have lied and said it was wrong, but I'm going for some good karma.

-I have no idea what I'm wearing to the wedding I'm shooting in 2 hours.  I should work on that.

-When you ask someone to dog sit for you, here's a few tips:
1. Do not bring your dogs to the beach to wear them out and let them guzzle down salt water if you know it gives them ass pee. 
2. Do not start your dog on a new food the day you drop them off with the dog sitter.  Again, ass pee.
3. Breakdown your dog's daily life for the sitter so they can know what to expect from your dog(s).  When the dogs expect to be fed helps the sitter understand why your dog is acting so weird at a particular time.  What time the dog wakes up tells the sitter when they can expect to need to let the dog out.

You can ask our dog sitter, I leave an obnoxiously detailed note when we leave the dogs.  This is to help my dog sitter help me.  We keep Meri and Pax on a consistent schedule because our life works better when they are on a schedule.  Everyone knows what to expect.  Dogs thrive on consistency.

-I've ran the carpet cleaner 2x in less than 12 hours and it makes for an unpleasant day.

-I will be working normal work days next week and I'm kinda dreading it.  Additionally, we have customers visiting and I'm considering wearing my hip brace so they will stay out of my way.

-I have high hopes my ring won't be super expensive.  We're planning on buying 2 sets of rings.  A real ring and a silicone ring for each of us.

-I really feel like I need a brain dump, but I've noticed I've started to censor here and it makes me sad.


10 things that made me happy this week:
  2. I remembered our anniversary (8/2) last night and I thought of the perfect gift for Teh German.. oh and I already bought it.  #likeaboss
  3. Ridiculous ID pictures.
  4. New technology (my new laptop arrives today at some point and the new Kindle should be here on Monday).
  5. Clean Yurtle.
  6. New stickers
  7. Dog sitting (I should caveat this with the fact that doesn't include the stress that the dogs wouldn't eat, one was afraid of me, and I've already had to use my carpet cleaner 2x in the last 24 hours).
  8. Being back at work and having a routine.
  9. Watching some Grey's Anatomy.
  10. Making appointments to take care of shit that needs to get handled that I've put off and put off...  (dermatologist, Yurtle doc appointment, hair cut, massage, Dan Ryan repairs, dance lesson, etc).

Happy Friday, Gentle Readers.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

SYUB: June 2017

Life According to Steph

Anyways, on to this past month and what I've devoured.

Rating scale*:

1/5 - Hated it, didn't finish.
2/5 - Tolerated it on principle to finish, didn't like it.
3/5 - Eh, didn't love it, didn't hate it. Had some good parts/kept me interested/finished it on principle.
3.5/5 - I liked parts of it.
4/5 - I liked the whole thing.
4.5/5 - I liked it a lot, but not sure I'd read it again.
5/5 - I LURVED it and I'd read it again.

*Subject to change based on my mood, the phase of the moon, or other unpredictable variables.

Skimmers, stick with the bold text (TL;DR* parts).
PS. Possible spoilers included in reviews.

The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood  2/5 (paperback)

A group of women find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere in Australia with some abusive, fucked up overseers.  The common theme of why the women are there is that they were very sexual in the real world.  The 3 individuals who are in control eventually stop giving a fuck after they realize that the people who own the camp aren't coming.  Things become very.. feral.  People end up dying, one of the women becomes a trapper who keeps everyone alive with her rabbit prey and then she wears their pelts.  The two main characters form a bond that I don't really understand because I didn't understand much of this book.  In the end, someone from civilization comes to visit and the two main characters choose not to go back to society. 

TL;DR: I still have no idea what I read.  Actually, I do know, but it was so fucked up that I prefer not to think about it. 

Red Rising by Pierce Brown   3.5/5 (audiobook) 

Darrow is a lowly Red who becomes a Gold to start a revolution.  Darrow's transformation isn't as gruesome as it could be, thankfully.  Part of me wanted more about the transformation, but most of me was glad it was over quick enough.  Then Darrow goes on to the Institute where there are no rules (because it's supposed to mirror society?) and people (kids really, since they are all 16ish) die and all I could think of was Animal Farm.  i was over the killing quickly and I was glad when we finally got to the part where Darrow starts being a leader.

The only downside to reading a series after it is established is that you know the main character isn't going to get killed.  Yet, the last 25% I finally got pulled in and wasn't bitter about starting book #2.

TL;DR: A commentary on power in society.  I was 75% through the book when I finally got hooked.

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie   5/5 (library ebook)

I've talked about this book several times already on Teh Blog, but finally, the actual review!

I remember seeing this book on Goodreads a few months ago with good reviews, but I was afraid because of the African name and I thought it was going to be difficult for me to identify with and I didn't want to stumble through the names.. blah blah excuse excuse excuse.  I'm a fucking moron.  Everybody needs to read this book, right noawwwww.  Seriously.  The text is only 50 pages long.  You have the time.

Meaningful quotes:

Teach her that the idea of 'gender roles' is absolute nonsense.
Do not ever tell her that she should or should not do something because she is a girl.
'Because you are a girl' is never reason for anything.

Your feminist premise should be:
I matter.
I matter equally.
Not "if only."
Not "as long as."
I matter equally.
Full stop.

The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina.

Adichie is a Nigerian that studied in the US and stayed.  Most of her works have to do with feminism or dealing with abuse.  After this book, I added most of her other works to my TBR list.

TL;DR: A letter to her friend's daughter about becoming a woman.  GO READ IT RIGHT NOW.


We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie  5/5 (library ebook)

This book is based off of the TED Talk that Adichie gave on Feminism.  It's shorter than the TED Talk, which I haven't watched.  The topics discussed in this book are the foundation of her beliefs for the letter she wrote to her friends daughter.  This was another short book (49 pages total), so another quick read.  Worth it.

"We teach girls shame. 'Close your legs. Cover yourself.' We make them feel as though being born female they’re already guilty of something."
 “Masculinity is a hard, small cage, and we put boys inside this cage.”

TL;DR: This book explains what feminism means to her and why she is a feminist.  Just because you're a feminist doesn't mean you hate men and makeup, it just means that you recognize that gender roles are prescribed behavior guidelines that need to be broken.

Golden Son by Pierce Brown   3.5/5 (audiobook)  

"Break the chains" is what I'd like to do with this book, but I won't.  I already bought the 3rd book because I want to know what happens to Darrow and how will this battle end.  Will he die?  In the 2nd book, it's a constant battle of "whose side are we on now?"  I seriously couldn't keep up with it.  Also, a character map might have helped me.  As if there weren't enough characters in book 1, book 2 gets even more characters and I had no idea really who was who other than the main characters.

Darrow has a falling out with the dude he impressed when the 1st book ended.  So he goes to the other side.  But they piss him off.  Along the way he's making alliances with sketchy characters.  In the end, we finally find out who Aries really is and there's a huge battle where most of Darrow's "howlers" and soldiers, if you will, almost drown.  Betrayal right and left and I was over it.  There's only so much drama I can handle.

TL;DR: Please don't let this just be a trilogy.  I think I should blame Red Queen for ruining me for trilogies and their enjoyment.

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie  4.25/5 (library ebook)

My final Adichie book for the month.  This was actually fiction, which was a nice switch.  This story is about a super Catholic family with an abusive father.  Their "heathen" cousins show the children what it is like to laugh and not have super strict rules imposed on you all the time.  I even got annoyed at reading how often the cousins laughed.  I got it.  They are really joyful all the time and the Catholic family isn't.  That didn't stop me from enjoying the book.

TL;DR: A Nigerian coup disrupts the life of an Igbo man who is the "saint" of the neighborhood.  He allows his children to go visit with their aunt and cousins for a week and their heathen ways rub off.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher  3.75/5 (library audiobook)

I thought this was a book about teenage suicide and that was it.  Unfortunately, I don't live under a rock so I've heard people talking about watching Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix for a hot minute.  And by people I mean pretty much everyone but me.  So yeah, I was kinda intrigued, but I knew that I'd probably get around to watching it on Netflix around never.  BUT then I learned it was a book, game on.

There was no shortage of discussion that he was listening to cassette tapes, such antiquated technology (does it irritate anyone else that millennials forget that to get their MP3 players and smart phones we had to come from somewhere?  I never knocked records or the phonograph that came before the cassettes and CDs that I listened to), so that got old quickly.  Additionally, why was this kid so paranoid?  Is that a teenager thing?

Moving on to Hannah.. Yeah, I'm grateful for Teh PT Wife telling me there might be some Megan triggers in the book.  Overall though, I'm disappointed in the way her story went.  I'm disappointed that she used sex as an excuse to kill herself.  To me, this book would have been absolutely mind blowing had Hannah's character been raped.  "Allowing" someone to get raped wasn't enough for me.

I think my struggle was that for a book that focused on teenagers, sometimes they acted like teenagers and sometimes they didn't and that was complicated for me.  Also, what parent allows their kid to lie to them about working on a project and staying out doing who the fuck knows what?  A shitty parent in my opinion.  If your kid obviously has something going on, talk to them.  In fact, that applies to people in general, not just children... Which brings us full circle on the purpose of this book.

TL;DR: Realizing this book was about more than just a teenage suicide made me more interested in the story.  At the end of the day, people who are going to hurt themselves are probably reaching out in ways that are obvious if people take the time to watch/listen.  Also, girls/women are not play things for beings that own a penis.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter #8) by John Tiffany (Adaptation), Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling   4.5/5 (library ebook)

I didn't realize I needed this book.  It got such bad reviews when it came out from all the die-hard fans and I just don't understand why.  The reality is, this book wasn't written by JK Rowling, so of course it doesn't have her same depth.  Nonetheless, this book took some of our favorite characters and breathed life into them again.  Additionally, it's written as a screenplay, of course there is going to be a lack of depth to the characters.  It's written to be acted out in a certain length of time, not read for hours and hours.  Let's just be realistic here people.

I enjoyed seeing how the different realities if time was changed and how Albus proved he was Harry's son by being clever. 

TL;DR: A screenplay that brings the world of Harry Potter back to life.  Haters gonna hate, but this book wasn't so bad if you accept it for what it is.


In Progress:

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid   */5 (audiobook)
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson   */5 (library ebook)

On Deck:

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach  
Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh 
South of Broad by Pat Conroy 
A Dog's Journey (A Dog's Purpose #2) by W. Bruce Cameron 
Cinder by Marissa Meyer    
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Morning Star by Pierce Brown  
Outlander 4+, including the novellas (most of which happen to be contained in one handy dandy book).

YAY for books!
*TL;DR = too long, don't read

Monday, July 10, 2017

Weekend Review {7/10}


I made sure to do some work on Tuesday so Friday could be a short day.  I got shit accomplished ASAP for work.  Before Teh German came home at lunch, I headed out to the piercing place to get my ear jewelry changed.  FINALLY, my rook and daith are connected.  I was waiting until both were fully healed before going to get it changed out.  Of course, the roughest guy that works at the place was there and he was the one who changed my jewelry.  I did not leave a tip.  #notsorry

When Teh German got home, we packed and everything was loaded into Baloo when worked summoned me and I had to take care of some last minute things before we headed to NC.  I wanted to leave early because arriving super late at night is exhausting.  It also gave us the option for evening entertainment.

Teh Stepmom had already made dinner when we arrived, so after we settled for a bit, we finally ate dinner.  After dinner, we headed outside for 2 games of Organ Attack.  It was getting dark, so we were having to use our phones to read our cards and we figured that was enough. 

After Organ Attack, we headed to the fire pit.  Much to my dismay, it was storming in the distance.  I have this irrational fear of storms and sitting outside in them, so while the lightning looked cool, I was pretty sure we were going to get struck by lightning and die at anytime.  We didn't.

After some smores and a shower of embers on my sunburnt chest, it was finally time to call it a night.


Our goal in going to NC was to attend the Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain.  I'd never been to the games in all my years of living 1 hour away.  We made the decision to actually go on Saturday morning.  There was a 50-60% chance of rain while we were there, but Teh German pointed out that it might not rain and then we'd miss out and we had come up specifically for the Games. 

We got out of bed and headed up the mountain, making a stop at Bojangles for breakfast.  We were supposed to meet Teh WJL before we caught the shuttle to the Games, but I wasn't sure where we was and traffic funneled us straight to where we needed to go.

I couldn't figure out why my hands were torn up, then Teh German pointed out it was from my crutches.
This is why I'm keeping him!

We caught the shuttle to the Games and walked around for a bit.  Mostly, we just felt out of place.  Teh German is obviously NOT Scottish and neither am I, so it's not like we could "find our clan" and go hang out and learn about our history.  So instead, we just walked around, kinda lost.

Malt Whiskey gave me the lolz.

Greyhound?  Sighthound?  You decide.

Parade of the Kilts.

At 0730, runners started a marathon from somewhere.  It ended on the track at the Games.  The Bear is known by runners to be one of the hardest marathons.  Let's just say, I wouldn't do it for the medal, even if it was only a 5k.  The worst part, imo, was that the runners came up on one corner of the track and then had to run around the track to the finish line.  Buuutttttt, the entire time they are running the track, people were clapping and cheering them on.  It was kinda like the wave, but in clap form.

We got tired of sitting in the hot, despite the umbrella I had open to try to shade us some, so we went to scavenge for some food.  I got the absolute worst Scottish eggs I've ever tried to eat and then we got some overly-cinnamon-ed bread pudding.  Teh German got some sort of pastie and it seemed ok enough, but like a LOT of breading.

We were hot and I was extremely sweaty (with the hip brace on) and we finally took shelter in a shady grove to listen to some bands play.


I took the opportunity to take some selfies.

Listening to bands.

While we were sitting there, the guy beside us had on an NC State hat so I struck up a conversation with him and explained that we lived in Charleston but I went to NC State and we always get excited to see Wolfpack fans.  He agreed and informed us that he owns a house on Folly Beach and I kinda just wanted to beg to be his friend.  Not selfish at all.

After a while, we were tired of sitting and Teh German and I headed to the shuttle area so we could head back to Baloo and find Teh WJL.

As we were headed back to Baloo, the shuttle passed where Teh WJL was and I texted her to stay put because I was in stalk-mode.  We disembarked from the shuttle and jumped in Baloo to meet up with her.  While she was packing up Luluroe things, I shopped at the fruit/veggie market that was close by.  We ended up with a few delicious things.  Life skills to add to my list: Picking out the perfect melons.

Food shopping complete, we headed to Rite Aid so I could pick up some sudafed, which was unsuccessful because something was going on with the pharmacy register.  Dejected, we left and headed to the Mexican restaurant next door for dinner.  Our food seemed to take forever to arrive, probably because I was starving since I couldn't really eat those garbage eggs.

Eventually, our dinner arrived, we ate, and we decided to head back to the meadow where the Games were held for the evening concert.  We were able to park right outside of the gates, which was perfect.

The Saturday night concert is the Celtic Jam, which is music that is more traditional.  There is also a Friday night concert called Celtic Rock, which is probably more modern music with Scottish instruments.  I like the more traditional music, until it all starts sounding the same.  The bands from the Celtic Jam were all very good.  Towards the end, the final act called all the other artists up on the stage and they were all singing and playing together.  It was good fun until it started to sound like the same tune for 10 minutes.  We were also cold so we finally just decided to head home.

We dropped of Teh WJL at her car and then Teh German slung Baloo and I down the mountain.  He was enjoying a drive with curves a wee bit.  It was bedtime when we got down the mountain.


Sunday was a lazy day.  Teh German and I slept in, then after Teh Dad and Teh Stepmom got back from church, we headed out to get Japanese for lunch.  I ate wayyyyy too much and I was irritable, so when we got home, I took a nap.  I was supposed to meet up with Teh BFF, but it didn't end up working out.  When I got up, I read for a little while.  I got some serious reading accomplished this weekend.  Take that, Reading Challenge!  I found Teh German outside on the porch scrolling through endless social media feeds and smoking a cigar.  We didn't really chat much and I sat there reading until I got frustrated with my Kindle and started window shopping for a new, smaller, Kindle.  The Fire 10 is really just too big.  Prime Day (ugh, /rolleyes) is coming, so I'm on the look out for a good deal.  While shopping, I discovered free books for Prime subscribers (me, me!) and I might have downloaded a few books I've been intending to read. 

Teh Dad and Teh Stepmom came home from church right before we left to head to Teh Granny's.  We agreed on pizza for dinner and I told them we'd be back before 9:30.  We were back at 8:30 since Teh Granny forgot she was supposed to meet us at her house.  Teh Dad and Teh Stepmom went out to pick up pizza.  After we ate, we played 2 more rounds of Organ Attack and then it was bedtime.


Overall, a very excellent weekend.  Another first time for Teh German and I! 

This week, I'm going to head back to the office and work 1/2 days to ease myself back into the game.  We'll see what the doc says on Friday, but my goal is to be back at work next Monday, like normal.  #lifegoals #imgoingtomissteleworking

Happy July, Gentle Readers!