Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Books Books Books! First Half of 2019 Edition

Uhhh, y'all.. I haven't written a book post since DECEMBER.
I guess this just shows how much my life is no longer under my control.

I've definitely been reading, but my reading time has significantly decreased mostly due to school reasons.  ONE MORE YEAR of that shit though, Gentle Readers.. one.more.fucking.year. and hopefully my life will resume the previous state of laziness and boredom that I never properly appreciated.


Ultimate TLDR**
Definitely Read:  
Maybe Read:  
Hard Pass:  

Rating scale*:

1/5 - Hated it, DNF (did not 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.
PS. Possible spoilers included in reviews.



Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels #3) by Ilona Andrews, Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4) by Ilona AndrewsMagic Slays (Kate Daniels #5) by Ilona AndrewsMagic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) by Ilona AndrewsMagic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7) by Ilona Andrews   3.5ish/5 (library, ebook)

(I read these books over the last 6 months, but grouped them all together to write this review.)

I read this series to pass the time.  They weren't the worst, they weren't the best.  I wasn't really devoted to Kate in the same way I was devoted to Nevada (another, similar character series by the same author).  I found the relationship between Curran and Kate trying.  Kate is a badass mercenary who cleans up monster/demon/other sci-fi/fantasy type of characters when unfortunate accidents occur and she has a secret that is hinted at for several books, but you don't actually find out what the secret is until like book 4 or 5 or something way too far into the series for me to not be annoyed by it.  

The series focuses on Kate's work, then on Kate's relationship with Curran, then the final books (I have to assume) are about the impending Daddy battle. 



Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels #8) by Ilona Andrews   1/5 (library, ebook)

DNF.  Honestly, I lost interest.  Kate and Curran annoyed me with their they-ness.  Is that even a thing?  Because they annoyed me.  They always wanted the same thing, but never communicated about these goals so they could actually work together towards a goal.   IDK.  Didn't not like, finally quit.



After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid   3.5/5 (library, ebook)

I had to look up the ending of this book when Brittany posted that she read it so I could make a comment, so I guess that represents kinda how I feel about this book.  On Goodreads I gave this 4 stars, but I remember feeling that the dealing with the emailing reading was unrealistic, but I think after the end of the semester (when I read this book), I needed a happy ending.  

I read a review on Goodreads when I was looking up the ending that essentially said how I felt:
-the characters were completely immature, despite being married for so many years.
-the ending is unrealistic because things will fall apart again unless things are actually discussed and resolved.  That's how marriages work.

And my biggest issue was the trust violation that took place.  Holy fuck, so much rage.  When is that ever ok?


Home Front by Kristin Hannah   3.75/5 (library, audiobook)

Military themed book with 2 main female best friends who deploy together.  One comes home broken and one doesn't come home at all.  This book needed an editor or a better editor SO BAD.  So many continuation type flaws.  It was a bright, sun-shiny morning, no clouds in the sky.. then 45 minutes later it was pouring rain.  Also, it needed a military-savvy editor.  I've never met a Warrant Officer that was called "Chief" ever.  In the Navy or in the Army or any other branch.  I asked some Army folks about this and they confirmed my knowledge.  I get it, it's fiction, but you're portraying a VERY real topic that is probably a "too soon" or a lot of veterans, get it right and up your credibility.  It's super simple.

Betsy almost ruined this book for me.  The kid's behaviors were the thing that stuck out in this book.  I can't understand how such a disciplined person would allow their kids to behave in that way.  But what do I know, I don't have kids.

This book discussed a very relevant topic in the US, so in that regard, I enjoyed this book, but it had many things that irked me.


The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead  3/5 (library, ebook)

A millionty years late on reading this book.  Slavery books are important.  We should never forget what we came from so we can keep moving forward.  But, this book was like reading a Jeff Shaara book.  Lots of research into the time to create believable situations and a very close retelling of history, but you don't feel an emotional investment in the characters.

Also.. I really hope that people don't believe that the Underground Railroad from history had an actual train.


Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata   2/5 (Audible, audiobook)

Letters to a solider type of story that develops into an actual story.  A story with the most annoying female lead character ever.  I listen to audiobooks when I run and drive.  I listened to the airport scene while I was running and it lasted for.fucking.ever.  It was painful.  Like... YOU HAVE A CELL PHONE JUST FUCKING CALL.  It's that not that fucking difficult.  I thought that I had definitely went at least 2 miles during that scene.  Nope, less than half a mile.  That's how long the scene lasted.  FML.

In the end, as you suspect, they end up together.  But the story felt contrived and it was painful in too many places to be enjoyable.  So many times I almost gave this up, but because I purchased it, I wanted to finish it.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3) by J.K. Rowling   4/5 (library, audiobook)

It's HP.  It's a reread.  YAY Harry has a relative!  The reveal scene feels like it takes half my life, but maybe that's the time changer also working in my Muggle life?  IDK.  Also, they were so mean to Hermoine and that always pisses me off.


Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate   4/5 (Audible, audiobook)

Dual story line.  Tennessee orphans during the 1940s.  South Carolina political family in present time.  I used a credit on this one, so I was glad that it turned out to be a good listen.  The accents helped.  So what happens is, the children are stolen from their home since they were poor and then brought to an orphanage where they are abused and neglected and sold to the highest bidder by a shady orphanage director.  I wouldn't be surprised if some of this is based on a kernel of truth.

Present day characters are obviously involved and by the end you figure out how.  It's not as a shocking as it could be.


Educated by Tara Westover   4.5/5 (library, audiobook)

This was like watching a train wreck.  You can't stop.  You just need to know what other crazy shit is going to happen.  Assuming the story isn't embellished, it's crazy to think there are actually people who are this way (Doomsday preppers to the extreme).  I was disappointed with how the story ended, but I assume that if she stuck to the facts, once she left the family, the drama in her life significantly decreased, which is why the ending was uneventful.


Written in My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander #8) by Diana Gabaldon   2.5/5 (Audible, audiobook)

A "short" 45 hour Outlander book... and with this book, I might just be done.  Technically, there are no more books right now in this series, but book 9 is forthcoming at some point in the future.  It was the fistula that finally made me realize that these books are just endless babbling between Claire's random medical cases that sometimes really stretch the bounds of what is believable for the time period.  The fistula was described in all the detail that I knew I didn't need.  And I almost just stopped at that point, but there were so few hours left, compared to what I had endured, so I had to carry out.

When Roger went back, I tried to remember if there had been stories of a strange visitor from the other books, but it wasn't worth my time and probably didn't even matter.  As always, the Bree/Roger storyline was completely stupid... not what was happening but the fact that Roger just went back in time with no way to communicate with Bree and then what?  How fucking stupid.  I had predicted it would resolve itself exactly the way it did.

I was more relieved than Claire to finally get back to the Ridge because it meant the end of the book... and also the Revolutionary War stories were very confusing for me because I couldn't keep up with what side we were on at any given time.

Why do I insist on hate-reading things?  Ugh.


Becoming by Michelle Obama   3.5/5 (library, audiobook)

I almost put this book down about halfway through because I was tired of hearing about Barak's life.  If I wanted to read about Barak's life, I'd read a book he wrote.  Thankfully, gears switched and we finally got back to Michelle's life.  Honestly, it wasn't all that interesting.  She's a kid who was properly supported as a child, didn't come from a life of struggle or extreme poverty (as someone who thinks in stereotypes might assume because she is black and from Chicago). She went to Ivy League schools and was a successful lawyer.  Obviously, none of that is worth scoffing at, especially considering the time and that she is a black woman.. But she was the First Lady and she was good at it, and the discussion of that time was interesting to me.  If you're very anti-Obamas, don't read this, but if you're interested in what life is like in the White House, maybe start reading from about halfway.


The Mental Load: A Feminist Comic by Emma   5/5 (own, book)

This is actually a graphic novel by a French comic that I found through a friend via Facebook.  The friend shared an article about Emotional Labor (the term for all that planning and shit that people (mostly women) do that goes unacknowledged) and one thing led to another and I bought the book for myself for my birthday.  #SorryNotSorry.  It was totally worth it.  There were several gems in the book, to include reproduction, an anatomy lesson of the vagina to point out the clitoris, work place harassment, and the emotional labor comic.  1000% would recommend.


Damals war es Friedrich by Hans Peter Richter   3/5 (own, hard copy)

This was required reading for my German class.  We read the book over the entire semester, so if you watch my updates on Goodreads and saw me update 2 pages at a time.. that's because the book is written in German.  Kthx.  I tried to read the book, and then would transcribe sections into Google Translate to help myself out so I could complete my homework.  Let's just say, I'll be sticking to English books, no matter how badly I want to be super awesome at German.


We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter   3.5/5 (Audible, audiobook)

A rare book about a Jewish family during WW2 that was separated and actually survived.  Part of me was like, this isn't a good WW2 book because people aren't dying and I realized just how fucked up that was and started to appreciate the struggles the family did face.


A Mind of Her Own by Paula McLain   3/5 (Audible, audiobook)

A story about Marie Curie.  This was an Audible freebie and it was only a few hours long, so I figured, why not?  I'm not sure if it was true or not, but it was entertaining enough for a few hours.


Wishes and Wellingtons by Julie Berry   4/5 (Audible, audiobook)

This was another Audible freebie and I was almost put off by the childish/ya theme, but figured why not, since it was free.  This ended up being a super adorable book that I really enjoyed.  A rebellious girl at a boarding school finds a genie and adventures abound.  Heartwarming finish, even through the tribulations.


A Beautiful Work In Progress by Mirna Valerio   3/5 (Amazon Prime, ebook)

Meh to this book.  Mirna is an Ultra distance runner.. or whatever they call those crazy people who run distances over a marathon.. and I thought the book was going to be about running.  It was mostly a book about her life with some running stories sprinkled in.  The story really only left me with more questions.. Specifically.. Who in the fuck was watching her son while she trained for all these runs?  Like, I know how long it takes to train for a HALF marathon and that's only 13 miles.  To train for 26+ is obviously longer and requires a LOT of dedication.


You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero   2/5 (library, ebook)

I wanted to like this book, but I really didn't.  Conceptually, I like the idea of believing what you think you deserve will get you what you want.. but realistically?  Not so much.  Also, I feel like it's 100% shit advice to tell someone to go out and buy the car of your dreams without the means to pay for it, rather than a car within your means.  That's just one example she used, but I hope she enjoys her Audi.  I'll be driving my Subaru that was within my means.


Verity by Colleen Hoover   4/5 (own, ebook)

I had a credit from Amazon for a book, so I was like.. I'm gonna take a risk.  I read a millionty reviews before I clicked place order on this book.  The reviews were all over the place.  You either loved it or hated it.. and the biggest warning was that this book is not Hoover's standard fare.  So I took a risk.. and I was 100% hooked by the first chapter and loved it.

I did have some annoyance with the main character's lack of confidence, but that's not unusual for me.  It only took me a week-ish to read this book, and considering the happenings at the time (end of semester, Germany, etc), that's a record.


Sweet Tea Tuesdays by Ashley Farley   2.5/5 (library, ebook)

I found this book or it was recommended to me when I was searching for Southern themed books.  In fact, this book is set in Charleston and I felt that it was ultimately a frivolous setting.  I think it was supposed to show that these were classy women, but instead all I could see was the vanity of the women who live right off the Battery.

I mean, there are probably nice people who live by the Battery, but most of them that I've come across are rich, snobs.  It is what it is.

This book was like a match between the characters over who could be more stubborn.  Farley seemed to have some good topics to cover, but it was all such a mess that nothing felt explored in any solid way (sick parent, homosexuality, coming of age, marriage, dating, being older).  And also, the ending felt contrived.  Southern women are not forgetters.  They will hold a grudge till they die.  Sweet tea or no.


Before the Broken Star (The Evermore Chronicles #1) by Emily R. King   3/5 (Amazon Prime freebie, ebook)

This is probably the first Amazon First book I've ever read.  I usually download a book per month (because who turns down free books?), but never get around to reading it.  Ooops.  This was a YA book with some sci-fi/fantasy stuff going on.  I didn't full comprehend the clockwork heart thing, but the main character literally had clockwork to make her heart run.  She was supposed to be full of mystery, but seemed mostly just filled with angst about people finding out she wasn't normal.

This is obviously a series (based on what I found in Goodreads) based on the ending.  I really struggled with how she treated Callahan.  The mythology story made zero sense to me because it was told in sections as stories and I couldn't keep it all together.  Oh well.



Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) by J.K. Rowling   DNF/5 (library, audiobook)

Teh PT Kid complained that this book was chugging and dragging and he wasn't wrong.  I was listening to it on audiobook and I got annoyed with it before the Quiddich World Cup ended.  I think it was a matter of bad timing, but I let this book go back to the library at least twice and I've finally given up the fight for now.  Maybe at another time, I'll pick this back up or if Teh PT Kid asks me about it, but I was hoping we'd read Harry Potter together and get to nerd out together... But he's way too cool for me and he's also a preteen male, so talking to a female is so uncool.

PS.  This was a reread (or whatever the term is when you've already read a book, but decide to listen to the audiobooks for the "reread").



And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman   3.5/5 (library, audiobook)

A novella by Backman, who I love-hate.  This is a novella about Alzheimer's and I read in the reviews that it would shatter me.  Every Backman book that I've been able to read has shattered me.  At only one-ish hour long and available on audio from the library, I had nothing to lose.  It wasn't a bad story, but it was told in a very confusing way, that maybe would have made more sense on paper rather than via audio.  I wasn't as shattered as I expected to be.



The Very Worst Missionary: A Memoir or Whatever by Jamie Wright   5/5 (library, audiobook)

Exactly what I needed when I knew I needed it.  I've been hunting this book from the library for a while because the audio version is under 10 hours.  I've followed Jamie for many, many years, like when she was still in Costa Rica, that many years.  I'm not even sure how I found her blog all those years ago, but she is authentic and that's something I also strive to be, so I felt like we were kindred spirits.

This book talks about her struggles with her faith and with missionary work and how the system might be broken and there's cussing that people didn't like.... but for real, I almost started crying while driving down the interstate with Teh PT Kid in the car when she was talking about how little struggles add up when you're living in an unfamiliar place, attempting to speak an unfamiliar language.. it was like she was living my life, but in a more Jesus-centric way.






**TLDR: To long, didn't read.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Weekend Review {06/24}

FRIDAY

Work was work, I left at 2:30 to pick up Teh PT Kid from his final day of STEAM camp and then we went home.  I was productive and did some laundry and finally hung up the signs in the laundry room.


I also finally stitched the ice cream cone stuffie back to it's playable state.  Pax really like to sling this toy, so I wasn't surprise when it finally got a few holes in it.  Some dental floss later, Pax was back in business.  Not that he didn't have other toys to play with, but the one Mom had is obviously the one he NEEDED...  Meri was beside me as moral support/overseer of productivity.


The 6 Stages of "Toy Repair" via Pax:
1. Mahm, why you haz my toy?  Gibs me dat.
2.  Pax, I'm actually fixing it for you.  Just be patient.
3.  Dat looks gud to me.  Gibs me dat.
4.  YYYYAAAASSSSSS
5.  Dis mah faborites.
6.  No, Mahm, get your own ice cream cone!

After being productive, it was puzzle time until Teh German came home.  We had agreed to go out to dinner, so we hit up Sesame since it'd been a while.  Of course, no regrets.  Since it was too late for sweet tea, I substituted an adult milkshake.  #NotSorry


When we got home, we watched an episode of The Americans, then it was my bedtime.  Teh German stayed up later, but I knew I had an early start on Saturday, so I left him on the couch.



SATURDAY

I was awake by 0500 with anxiety, which annoyed me.  I tried to go back to sleep, but was mostly unsuccessful.  My alarm was set for 0745 and I gave up on trying to sleep before that.  I got up and showered and got ready and kissed Teh German and left for Mooresville, NC to start my, anxiously awaited, tattoo.  While I drove, I passed the time by talking to Teh Dad.

Unless you live under a rock or not in America, you were probably aware that Krispy Kreme was releasing a new doughnut on Saturday.  I had mapped out Krispy Kreme's that were near the interstate so I could stop in and get my free sample.  Actually, I didn't get my free sample because I bought an entire dozen of the new doughnuts to share with the tattoo shop.  6 chocolate kreme filled and 6 vanilla kreme filled.  I did sample half of each flavor and I prefer the vanilla to the chocolate creme, but I missed the chocolate icing from my normal chocolate covered kreme filled order.  The good thing about the new doughnuts is that the kreme is all the way throughout the doughnut and not just in one corner, waiting to explode/drip on you.


Before heading to the shop, I picked up snacks at Food Lion, then picked up McDonald's for lunch because I needed something simple, then headed to the shop.  While I was parked, eating my lunch, I realized I'd forgotten 2 very important things: pain medication and earbuds.  FML.

Since Walmart was less than 5 minutes away, I headed there since I still had about 15 minutes before I was supposed to be at the shop.  I picked up some advil and then went to the electronics section to scope out some noise cancelling headphones. 

I don't know if you remember last week when I complained about Teh German spending wayyyyy too much money on a set of Bose noise cancelling headphones, but that happened.  So I was looking for a set of cheap(er) noise cancelling headphones and there was a pair of Sony headphones that toted noise cancelling abilities, but there were none on the hook.  So I asked someone if they were in stock and she said no.  I was ready to give up the fight and just carry on without them, since they weren't absolutely necessary, when I turned the corner and there were the Bose headphones...

Now, all along, I had planned to return whatever noise cancelling headphones I purchased if they were over $100 because I have earbuds at home or I could borrow Teh German's headphones for the next appointments, so I was like.. eh fuck it, I'll just buy the Bose and then return them and it's like I'm not really spending $369 on a set of headphones.

I got to the shop shortly after 12:30 and chatted with Noel about the plans and he started drawing.  Around 4:15 he finally started inking.  Fun facts: the foot still remains the most painful place to get tattooed, but the back of my arm/near my arm pit made me question my life choices.  From 4:15 to 7:45, I did my own guided breathing exercises.  I paid and my appointments for 4 more sessions and then drove the 3 hours to get back to Charleston.


By the time my session was complete, I had fallen in love with the headphones.  I'M SO PISSED OFF ABOUT IT TOO.  I did NOT want to love $369 headphones.  I wanted to be like, eh these are not $369 worth of impressive.. but fuck, they really are worth $369.  Not only did they block out the sound of the tattoo gun, but also the BLARING rockabilly-ish music that was playing in the shop.  Unfortunately, Noel's chair is directly in front of the speaker, which is SUPER loud so it can be heard throughout the whole shop.  FML.  With noise cancelling on and my music playing, I couldn't hear anything besides what I wanted to hear.  IT WAS FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC.  So now, I'm not sure if I want to return the $369 headphones.  Like, I know I should because I do not NEED $369 headphones.. but they are such a delight.  Even the pads on the earmuffs are SUPER soft and I love them.  But $369 for headphones.... Ugh.

After writing the statement about 10 times, I picked my favorites and Noel pieced it together and voila!

When I got home, Teh German was watching one of the Avengers movies.  Loki was in it, so I wasn't sure which one it was and I don't want to watch them out of order, when I do finally decide to watch them, so I took my tired ass upstairs to bed to scroll until Teh German came to bed.



SUNDAY

Sunday was a true lazy day.  Teh German got up with the dogs and when he came back upstairs, we agreed to go to brunch at Millers All Day on the bikes.  We got up and got ready and headed out.  When we arrived at Millers, there was a millionty people waiting outside and Teh German and I agreed the wait would probably be at least an hour.  I said I wasn't waiting that long and we went to Rutledge Cab Company instead.  Oh well.  I didn't remember that it's summer tourist season, so it was on me.  I was still kinda surprised since it was a little after 1000 when we arrived.  I need to find out if they take reservations, and that could solve some problems.. OOORRRR when I'm in NC next time for my tattoo, I just pick up some livermush and put it in a cooler bag for the ride home.  Problem solved.

After breakfast, we rode back home and the garage door automatically opened when we arrived because I bought a new garage door thing that has an app so you can open/close the garage with your phone AND it opens when you're within the geofenced area.  GENTLE READERS, THIS DEVICE IS LIFE CHANGING.  I cannot wait until I'm off my data diet and it works for me! I do not know why we didn't buy one of these things sooner.  Actually, I do know why.. because when I researched before, the reviews of everything were bad and the tech was more expensive and other reasons, probably.  But this was the best $100 I spent for the house in the last year.  Each person gets a profile and there are notifications sent out when the door is opened and closed (which I promptly turned the fuck off).  The only downside is that to have the door automatically open when you pull up, requires the app to always be running, which SLAYS my phone's battery AND the notification is always there, which I hate.  I'm pretty sure the door doesn't automatically close when you leave the specified area for opening, but you can close the door from the app, which means no more debate over if the garage door is closed or not.

After we got home, Teh German left again to meet someone for something fish tank related.  He kept calling it cheeto and it's supposed to kill the bacteria in the tank and then we can put live things in it.. but every time he said "cheeto," I'd immediately think of Trump and I couldn't figure it out without actually putting in mental effort.  #MeganProblems

While he was doing that, I puzzled and audiobooked and then I went over to Teh PT House to deliver wine and hangout for a little bit.  I came back home and laid on the couch and napped since Teh German was done with his tank things and making noise.  Teh German had screen time while I napped for too long. 

When I woke up, I went with Teh PT Wife and Teh PT Kid to get shaved ice and when I got back home, Teh German made dinner while I made the menu for the week.  After we ate dinner, it was time for The Americans.  After 3 episodes, it was bedtime and the weekend was over.  :(

______________________________________________

A fantastic weekend.  My tattoo hurt, but looks awesome.  I'm excited and anxious about the next 4 appointments.  It's gonna hurt, but it's gonna be awesome when it's completely done.  I don't have a good picture of my arm piece right now, so just imagine the stencil photo from above, but black instead of purple.  I think it looks awesome (apparently I'm out of adjectives today) and I keep looking at my "I am enough" and I'm sooo happy with it.  Like, I just want to stare at it for always.

This week includes:
-visiting the Chiro.. fucking finally.  He better be there.  I NEEDS HIM.
-hairs did.. fucking finally.  I'm lookin' like more of a hot mess than I can handle.
-appreciating evening laziness.
-getting into a workout routine.  #JesusTakeTheWheel
-lots of washing and lotion applying of the new tattoos
-puzzle and audiobook
-trying not to go outside when it's the temperature of the sun.

Happy end of June!
And for the East Coasters, we're one month through hurricane season!!  5 more months to go!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Five on Friday #199

EINS - Random Shit

I have a lot of random thoughts I didn't share from our vacation, so these might be #LaterGrams or whatever the cool kids call them, but I just need to get this shit off my chest.

_________________________________________

First things first...  My European adventures.
While I am 10000000% grateful for the opportunity and the scholarship and the experience.. for almost the entire trip, I wasn't comfortable.  I was uncomfortable?  Maybe that's not the best word to describe it, I'm not really sure how to describe it.. Maybe more like, I couldn't settle.  I described the situation to Teh German like perpetually having a rock in my shoe or wearing incredibly itchy, uncomfortable clothes.. for probably 5 out of the 6 weeks I was in Europe.

That really wears a person down.
Eventually, minor inconveniences and small problems build up and there were a LOT of minor inconveniences (all my shit being unplugged, some of my clothes being turned pink) and small problems (public transportation).  I'm hoping that with time, I can look back fondly on my study abroad experience, but right now.. I'm still just so tired.

I made a friend and I got to hang out with our German family and friends and I ate ice cream regularly and discovered boba tea and ate delicious food and tried beers and finally traveled to a place all by myself and learned better German, which was the entire point of going, and I have ZERO regrets.

But, right now, all I can focus on is how tired in my soul I was.

I wasn't sleeping well because Europe experiences a millionty hours of daylight in the summer.  I am NOT shitting you when I say that it wasn't truly dark until after 10:30 at night and the daylight started before 0500.  And also, in DΓΌsseldorf, there was a street light right outside my room and the mask I brought 1- had velcro on the strap that pulled my hair, 2- was uncomfortable on my ears (the strap, not the mask, duh).  Also, sleeping on the floor must be an feeling that Germans enjoy for their beds because almost every bed I slept in was so hard, my hips ached in the morning and if I didn't sleep with a pillow between my legs for some propping, I wasn't able to get comfortable because I was having to hold myself upright.. whatever it's complicated for a side/stomach sleeper with big boobs to sleep on a hard bed, ok?  OK.  Moving on.

Oh yeah, and I was sick the first week.
And then I coughed for a week and a half later, much to the annoyance of my host (which still makes me giggle).
The third week was definitely the best week, when my host lady was away and I nothing had to be unplugged, I was confident in my ability to use public transportation, I was in a groove.
The 4th week was chaos because my class ended, Teh German arrived, and I had to take that stupid exam that counts for literally nothing and I had been stressed about it for a MONTH.

Oh yeah, and the internet was slow as fuck which was like a spike being rammed into my brain every time I tried to do something like upload photos or upload a video for my Citadel German class or use the internet in a browsing type of way.  I can't imagine if I would have wanted to play some type of internet game.  Video chat was also painful, but I tried to just endure it since the time duration was set.

But this, what feels like, never ending list of shit that was mildly irritating grew and grew and grew and ultimately overshadowed my good experiences.

It was cold and rainy, which was actually enjoyable for me, but that meant it was cold in my room and my host lady didn't want me to turn on the heat and I was cold for so much of the time.

Oh yeah.. and there was no shower head holder and I had to hold the shower head while I showered and WTF?

And the tiny, tiny showers.  I hate touching cold wet things when I'm naked.. even if it's a place like the shower, especially in the shower because it's extra cold and it's always my nip or something (big boob problems) and that just makes me so fucking irrationally angry.  Then I've got like one hard nipple and it hurts because it's cold and I just don't like it.  #KeepingItRealUpInHere

There was no microwave at the flat where I stayed so I cooked one time because reheating food in a pan was not within the limits of my patience.  The one time I cooked was before I realize there was no microwave.

The hand soap at the flat was NOT pleasant smelling.  This doesn't seem like a big deal, because it really isn't, but it IS for me.  Smells matter since I'm super sensitive to smells and unpleasant smells are extremely distracting to me.  Eventually, I started using a body wash to wash my hands with in the bathroom because the smell of the hand soap was no longer tolerable.  Since I was sick, I was washing my hands all the time, so smells definitely mattered.

While I could communicate with people who knew me, it was very difficult for restaurant staff or shop workers to understand my German.  Often, I'd have to ask them to repeat what they said and they'd immediately just switch to English.  This is frustrating because I was trying to communicate in German.  I know that people were trying to just make it easier for both of us, but it was disappointing.

There, grievances aired.  Moving the fuck on.

_________________________________________


I need to figure out a new gym situation.  Decisions need to be made.  Do I sign up for our local gym for $60 a year or find a gym with classes included.  Work pays $25 per month as a benefit, so it cuts a chunk out of a membership fee, which opens up my options some.  I'm a little sad I won't be going back to 9 Round, but that bridge has been burned.  All he had to do was tell me I would have had to pay for the month of May anyways when I tried to cancel and I'd still be a member.  FUCK YOU, BRO.

_________________________________________


We finished watching the available episodes of Vikings, so we started watching The Americans (again).  Teh German and I watched one or two episodes back in 2015 when we first started dating and the rape scene in episode one was an unexpected trigger and I couldn't watch it after that.  I think we tried, but I couldn't do it.  This time, I was prepared.  And I also realized that she got her retribution, which helped me move past it.

I've heard such good things about the show, I'm excited to actually watch it.

_________________________________________


I am having angst about my tattoo appointment tomorrow.  Not in like a regret type of way, but in a "fuck this is going to hurt and it's a serious commitment that will require multiple appointments and lots of money" type of way.  I did send the ideas email on Wednesday, so hopefully that goes through.  I'll be in Charlotte at 12 on Saturday.. if anyone wants to come provide moral support while I go through all the stages of shock.  Hopefully, this time won't be as bad as my foot....

_________________________________________


Wednesday, I went on a book spree.  This is what happens when I have unused Audible credits.  I'm thinking I may have to relax my strict rules about using Audible credits.. or maybe I'm just being weak, lol.  I've put a few books on hold at the library and I'm pumped.

I won't lie, bringing Teh PT Kid to camp this week has been interfering with my audiobook time.  He likes to chat in the mornings and by chat I mean, verbalize all of his thoughts and wonderings out loud.  Mostly, I just nod and smile and give an appropriate answer when a question is asked.

But after my book spree, I decided to listen to an audiobook with him in the car, as a test to see what happens. So now, Teh PT Kid is listening to The Very Worst Missionary (by Jamie Wright) with me, and he seems to be suffering less (as am I, thanks for asking).  I actually think he's kinda interested in the book, but I'm super lame-o, so he would never admit it to me.  Although, Thursday morning when he got in the car, I told him that I hadn't listened to my audiobook without him so we could listen to it together and he kinda perked up.

_________________________________________


I finally visited the bookshop that opened near my office.  The owners of the bookstore are the same people who own the mobile book store (aka book trailer) that used to park at the coffee shop across the street.  In fact, one of the cadets in my Networking class is the brother of one of the owners.  #SmallWorld.  I successfully went in and came out without buying anything, although there were many temptations.

_________________________________________


Our luggage arrived a day earlier than expected (ya know, if you don't consider that whole, was late by a week, thing).  πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ

Nothing was stolen and nothing was broken.   πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ


_________________________________________


Teh Running Bestie had collars made for the beasts.. I'm worried about the whiteness and how short of a time that will last, but I do really love these.

It's hard to see, but it's the SC palmetto tree in a pastel/rainbow-tie-dye color pattern.
Originally, this print was only for Meri, but we couldn't find a more masculine color for Pax, so he got a matching one.
#YOLO bitches

_________________________________________


The exterminator came this week to treat for spiders and bugs and shit... and when I went outside and noticed the MASSIVE spider web/nest still in the patio furniture, I almost called to complain.  I didn't because I've been extra bitchy and this might be PMS.  But also because, maybe patio furniture isn't covered?  IDK.  I'm still annoyed.

It's kinda hard to see, but if you click it to enlarge, you'll definitely see the hole between the chair and the cushion.
This beast goes from the screen to the chair and through the tree.. and well... it's outside, so I'm not gonna kill whatever it is.
But that's a big fucking web and I'm not really interested in finding out exactly WHAT lives in this.
I'm kinda hoping that Teh German will vacuum the patio furniture this week and this issue will resolve itself (for me).

_________________________________________


I ran a 5k last weekend and the photos of me are remarkably terrible.  Just wanted to share these gems because they are so unappealing and made me laugh. 


I ran the last 1/2 mile with the lady in the photo.
She is a marine who struggles with endometrosis, which is why she was running so slowly.
We bonded over endo agony and she kicked my ass for the last 1/2 mile when I wanted to slow down, but keeping up with her meant going faster than my normal pace.

_________________________________________


It's PMS/shark week and I cannot get enough quiet.  Like in a general way, but also in a "be still and know" way.  But it also feels scary because this quiet is dark and twisty and maybe not so healthy.  There was a long time that I was bright and sunshiney and, when I look back on the time now, full of life.  But now.. IDK.  Something has shifted and life doesn't feel bright right now. 

Life feels heavy and subdued. 
I woke up one morning before the alarm this week and an incessant stream of only things that has pissed me off or things that DO piss me off coursed through my brain and I was helpless to stop it.  There was zero reason for it.  The fact that every time I tried to redirect my thoughts I was unsuccessful, only served to piss me off more. 

I know it's probably a season, but it's dark here and I'm not really enjoying it.
I know that I'm anxious about the remaining year of school I have to endure/struggle through.
I have some suspicious that Teh German is dealing with something that he hasn't really shared with me.  Not in a bad way, just in a strange behaviors type of way..  specifically the spending of money on items with high price tags.  Based on my own behavior, I tend to shop when I'm stressed out or when I need to deal with something difficult.  I'm not saying that his spending is the same as when I spend, but we often deal with things in similar ways, so I'm moderately suspicious.  I think it's time for a heart-to-heart, but that conversation is always difficult to initiate when you live with someone who would (also) rather just ignore the problems until they go away (and they never do). 

Additionally, Teh German has been in a stellar mood since we got back home.  Like, SUPER happy, and I don't want to potentially kill that vibe with his angst after I tell him I have some potentially awkward shit to talk to him about (aka, "We need to talk." but in different words so man-brain doesn't meltdown).

For real, the last time we had a heart-to-heart, he told me next time maybe we could have these discussions at a different time, as I often chose when we are laying in bed about to go to sleep to bring these hefty issues up.  When I asked when a better time was, his only suggestion was, "Not before bed?".. and I had to explain to him that there wasn't a better time because he didn't like having the conversations at all so there was never a more convenient time for him. 

During dinner after we've already had stressful days?  No thanks.  While we're getting ready in the morning and time is short?  No thanks.  In the evening when I'm fighting the homework monster?  Nope.  While we're out to dinner?  I don't like having these conversations in public because these are often private matters.  On the weekend during the slow start that is supposed to be relax time?  These conversations are not relaxing for either of us, so that defeats the purpose of the slow start and sometimes these conversations piss one or both of us off (to have to have them (me)/to have to participate (him)), so that's not really the way I want to start a weekend...

Lawd, why is marriage/are relationships so hard?  Ugh.
But for real.. if anyone has wisdom or a secret to make it easier.. I'm all ears.


_________________________________________


I'm 100% planning on stopping by Krispy Kreme tomorrow on my way to Charlotte to try this new doughnut they are releasing.  In fact, I've already checked the locations map to find the ones off the interstate for my convenience.  #NotSorry #FatKid #PMSwoes



ZWEI - Money Shit

-Groceries, duh.
-Screen protectors for my watch
-New harness for Meri, that will be returned because it's too big around the neck and almost too small around her chest.  #SighthoundProblems
-Power strip and outlet extender with USB ports since apparently including the electrical plug for charging cables isn't a thing anymore....
-New fun watch band
-Boba tea straws
-Utility bills
-Gas
-City gym membership
-Dentist bill
-Bojangles for breakfast on Wednesday
-Impromptu groceries




DREI - From My Phone Shit

Thanks Waze for capturing that MPH speed on the Autobahn.
If you can't read it, it says 113 MPH.

Duolingo understands my European internet plight...

Tits McGee needed to be shared again because she makes me cackle.
Thanks Vatican Museum for this gem.

No ad has ever spoken to me directly as much as this one, good job European Charmin.
The only way to buy super sized rolls like this in America is from stores who sell to businesses and that's always crappy TP (toilet paper).
I actually buy 2 different types of TP because of the size.  The smaller rolls go in the downstairs bathroom because 4 rolls will fit in the drawers and the guest bathroom because the large rolls are only for our bathroom.  #TPsnob

I don't like 3 Musketeers in general, but this is the special Easter version.
Thanks to Teh NY Chef for this Easter gift that I discovered when I got back!

Set up my mini-figs from Teh Running Bestie and Teh Chief Smartass.
L to R: Edna Mode, Hunkules, Hades.

The return of the white board jokes, back by request.
I walked down the street and the houses were number 64K, 128K, 256K, 512K, and 1MB.
That was a trip down memory lane.

Bought a new travel soap dish.
Maybe since this one is green and not clear I won't lose it?
Fingers crossed.

I tried to make my own boba tea at work.
Lesson: Do not add regular creamer to boba tea to make it milk tea.
That's not how it works.

IDK why he doesn't appreciate my afternoon radio sing-along.  I listened to him chatter away each morning.
Although, once he falls asleep, I turn on my audiobook... I mean, I'm benefiting here.

I made salmon patties for the first time ever.
Super simple, if you don't include the part where I had to debone the canned salmon.

Lawd, I missed snuggles with my Monkey-Doodle.

Literal street art.
By Patch Whisky, based on a general assessment of other works around town.

When your mexican street corn sauce becomes HOLY FUCK CILANTRO mexican street corn...
Oops, #SorryNotSorry

After a week's worth of experiments and adjustments and purchases (no bend straws)..
HOMEMADE BOBA TEA HAS BEEN PERFECTED!


VIER - From the Internet Shit








And here you are,
after everything you endured for far too long.
You did not know you could be this strong.
You did not know after all that went wrong,
you had the courage and strength all along.
-MHN

And as for as the mountains up ahead?
I cannot tell you where they will lead you but I can tell you,
grace will meet you,
and give you the strength to make it through.
-MHN

For all of the things that were never said and all of the places you would rather be instead,
there is a reason you are here and why you made it another year.
Through all your weary wonders,
and things you did not know,
Light is shining on this path and there is still more road to go.
MHN


FÜNF - Things that made me happy this week

  1. My routine.  Well kinda.  I've been toting Teh PT Kid to and from summer camp at The Citadel this week, but that's not really be a disturbance to my regular operations.
  2. Bojangles gravy biscuit for breakfast after Teh German forgot to go by Sam's to pick up my breakfast sammiches.  AND they have Tap-To-Pay and I didn't have to fetch my wallet from the backseat.  #GameChanger
  3. Signing up for the city gym.  I can pay more for classes if I want to commit to going at specific times or not.  
  4. Having to leave work by 2:45 to pick up Teh PT Kid.  Shorter days don't hurt my heart.
  5. A coworker letting me borrow a Security+ study guide.  I don't have to have this certificate yet, but I will need this certificate eventually.  Also, I no longer have the ability to NOT do things when I'm not swamped with doing EVERYTHING.  
  6. Sitting outside at work.  Despite the swamp ass.  Getting to chat with my lady coworkers.  We're not super close, but we're close enough to be able to share things, which is always nice.
  7. The Very Worst Missionary: A Memoir or Whatever by Jamie Wright.  This is the book I needed RIGHT.NOW.  It's got Jesus and cussing and struggles... and I'm not crying, you're crying... because we're not alone when small things add up to be too much to handle.
  8. Boba tea.  Simple things.
  9. REUNITING WITH OUR LUGGAGE.  Look, I was playing it cool, but on Thursday night, I realized my engagement ring was in Teh German's suitcase, in my bathroom bag, in a tiny little container.. and I 100% refused to tell Teh German that it was in the lost luggage until the luggage was returned or it was officially missing.  He was already stressing me out stressed out enough about the liquid shit in the suitcases being broken.. I couldn't handle more of his angst with that additional kernel of knowledge, so I kept it to myself until the situation was resolved.  Thanks to Teh Running Bestie for keeping my secret... and also to Royal Air Maroc for getting our shit back to us...
  10. It being Friday.  Fuck this has been a long ass week.  Almost as long as the final week of class/first week of exams.. and that was a LOOOOOONG week.


Happy Friday, Gentle Readers.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Shit Teh German Said #31



Teh Megan (tM): I'm like something out of Hansel and Gretel.
Teh German (tG): We Germans love that shit.  Tell those mean stories to kids.



tM: I made the cabbage too small.
tG: I guess size does matter.



tM, after the Capitals beat the Hurricanes: I love you, even if you cheer for the wrong team sometimes.
tG: Yeah, the winning team.
tM: ooo, sweet burn!




tM: I love this photo of my Monkey Doodle.. with the exception of the 5 gallon buckets in the background.
tG: 7 gallons.

Said photo


A song about "Whiskey Drowns the Memory" was playing on the radio.
tG: Whiskey might drown the memory, but it makes everything you've eaten come back up later...



Teh PT Wife: Max was super drooly last night.  So much so, that he had to be let out of the bedroom this morning to get water.
tG: It's like Max's version of a wet dream.



tG: How should you know how sex works when you're so close to Jesus?



We returned from a walk with the dogs and Teh German farted while taking off his shoes.
tG: There's the turbo!  TOO LATE!



tM: Krispy Kreme is coming out with a new doughnut to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
tG: Does that mean you need one?
tM: It's probably out of this world.
tG: People probably love it to the moon and back.





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Monday, June 17, 2019

Weekend Review {06/17}

FRIDAY

Friday was THE day.  The end of the count down.  The official end of vacation day.  THE GO HOME DAY.  We started off slow, since we woke up early.

With dogs, of course.

By 0900, we were on the road.

Asshole dogs thwarted a good family selfie.

Unfortunately, we sat in traffic for over 45 minutes near Quantico, which had no alternative way around.  Of course.. and I would have went down the toll road had it been open for our direction when I passed the last exit, but of course, it wasn't.. and I didn't know that this situation was a thing at the time.

Thanks to Twitter for keeping me abreast of the situation.. That was much appreciated.


We picked up lunch at the dog park stop in NC.  Then we had to make another bathroom break for me.. and I requested we stop at a McDonalds so I could get an ice cream.  I did at least share with the dogs.  So, trade offs.


When we got home, since we didn't have luggage, there wasn't anything to do after we fed the dogs.  So, we went to Teh PT House to hang out for a bit and have pizza.  When we came home, we brought all our mail that Teh PT Wife had picked up for us and it was like Christmas in June.


YAY smartwatch!

We're HOME Selfie!

It was nice to be home with all my preferred smells and things.. but the best part of being home?  My toilet closet, aka favorite room in the house.  Especially after my struggles the last 2 weeks...



After getting all the packages open, sorting through the mail, and putting away all the stuff in the box we had shipped from Germany... it was bedtime.


SATURDAY

I woke up with the dogs on Saturday by 0730, thanks Meri.  I sat on the couch and uploaded photos to my computer from my camera and set up my new watch (Fossil Sport gen 4).  I had signed up for my local police department's first annual 5k and I wasn't sure if I wanted to go or not.  But, I ultimately decided to go, despite getting there too late to pick up my race bib, so I could test my new watch.  #SorryNotSorry

The run was quick, but it was a 5 minute drive from home, so it wasn't that big of a deal.  After, I went through the car wash to attempt to get some of the baked bugs and spider webs off of Willow.  I can't really tell that it helped, but I tried.


When I got home, Teh German was opening up his new Apple watch (which I still holds he got because he was jealous that now I had a smart watch and he didn't).  So ya know, we had to take a cool kids pic of our new toys...


Since he couldn't do anything with his uncharged watch, he finally gave up and put it on the charger and went outside to mow down the jungle in the backyard.  I stayed inside and made the menu for the week and grocery list since THIS was the situation of our fridge:


Teh German had asked me to weed the flower beds since they really looked like ass, and even thought I didn't want to, I did.  He also made some idea contributions to the weekly menu, so that helped.  We also agreed that we'd take care of outside things, come in, shower, and slowly get ready, then we'd go out to dinner, then take care of the shopping we needed to accomplish. 

We headed out to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner and then to Sam's then Walmart for the items on the list.  While we were out, I called the airline and was informed that our luggage had arrived in DC on Friday evening's flight and they would be shipping the luggage via FedEx on Monday, since they aren't open on the weekend.  This means that our luggage should arrive to us by Thursday.  Does our luggage contain ALL of our shit?  No one knows.. but hopefully on Friday, I'll have good news to report.

Saw this gem in the Walmart parking lot.
This person is a real American hero.

After we got home, we put everything away and then it was screen time for the rest of the evening.  I worked on photos and Teh German played with his new tech.

Finally, it was bedtime.

Also, due to lost luggage and lost brain cells, I now have THREE packs of face cloths open (granted, one of those isn't currently in my possession), because I opened a new pack before checking to see if there was already an open pack in the cabinet.  🀦  When did this become my life?  Ugh.



SUNDAY

Sunday was a semi-lazy day.  We had taken care of almost all the adulty things on Saturday, purposefully. 

This fucking goof.
I missed him.

I told Teh German he was getting up with the dogs, since I got up with them on Saturday.  Happy father's day!  looool.

When I finally got up, I started the laundry, which was bittersweet.  On the one hand, I was super excited to get to use MY washer AND dryer and all MY laundry detergent with smells of my preference.  Butttt, laundry is also a drag and it's not my most favorite chore (yes, I have a favorite chore, it's vacuuming, thanks for asking).

I call this piece:
The Return of the Laundry Fairy.

When I came downstairs, we had coffee and breakfast and I got to try out my new smores creamer.  Everything I never knew I needed.


After breakfast, Teh German installed his new exhaust on Suzi (the white motorcycle) and I finally got Puzzle and Audiobook time.  It.was.glorious!  12/10, do recommend!


Around 12:30, I finally went upstairs to shower and make myself presentable to the world.  I was committed to cooking mac and cheese at Teh PT House for the father's day/birthday gathering since I wanted to coordinate cooking time with grilled items.  It worked like a charm and the mac and cheese was delicious.

We spent the evening at Teh PT House socializing with our SC parents until it was finally go home time.  Teh German suggested we walk the dogs, so we did that when we got home, then we had couch time and watched an episode of Vikings.. and then, the weekend was over... and vacation was over...

______________________________________________

EXACTLY the weekend I needed before returning to the grind.  Well, half my grind.  I don't currently have school, so it's just work for me for the next 2.5 weeks.  Chem 2 (Lawd, halp me) starts on July 5th.  We were able to get all of the chores out of the way on Saturday and had a super enjoyable Sunday.

Inshallah that our luggage arrives on Thursday (or sooner is ok with me).  Preferably with everything inside (specifically, bottles of wine) intact and nothing stolen.

This week will be an interesting week of catching up.  I also have a millionty packages that need to go out (Amazon returns, shirt for a friend, wedding RSVP) and more errands to run (to Walmart to pick up another soap dish... siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh).  I will also be bringing Teh PT Kid to my school for his summer camp thing and picking him up in the afternoon. 

But by far, my most important Monday task?
GOING TO THE CHIROPRACTOR.
πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ

The other big event for the week will be dropping off my laptop at Best Buy for repairs.  I have to ensure that everything is set up on my work laptop beforehand though, so hopefully by Wednesday, my precious will finally get the doctor visit it needs.

Also, I will not be having ice cream every day anymore, so please keep me in your thoughts.  I know the struggle is going to be real.