Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Confessions {6/29}

-Unpopped kernels of popcorn at the bottom of the bag unnerve me.  Y U NO POP KERNELS?!?!?! #Ijustwantmymoniesworth #whichisallofthekernels

-We have one guy who likes to take over one of our most used conference rooms (because it doesn't show out to the work space) all the day long for his conference calls.  Except, usually, he's the only one on the call from our office.  He likes to spread all of his stuff out on the table around him.  Dude, if you can't do this at your desk, clean off your desk.  Despite our open work area, he often takes calls at his desk anyways, so I'm not sure why he wouldn't make the call from his desk.  #somepeopleskid

-After telling Teh German since November (when I found out about this situation) that he should change insurance companies because they were money raping him (at the tune of ~$3500 a year compared to my ~$1500 a year), it finally happened.  By "it happened", I mean, I went online and did the estimates for him and set the levels and showed him just how much he was getting raped.  Yeah, that definitely lit the fire under his ass. And by lit the fire, I mean, I did absolutely everything for him except for put in his personal information and debit card number. 

Now, in his defense, the American insurance system is a racket confusing.  I can understand being overwhelmed at having to figure it out on your own, especially when you're used to your Dad's insurance person just taking care of your insurance needs for all your years of driving in Germany.   But when you could save $1500 a year?  I'd be tempted to figure it out on my own. 

Because he seemed to have no idea what I was talking about when I explained the limits to him, I broke down every single section of the insurance and explained it to him (with trusty Google by my side).  What $100/300/100k means, the difference between comprehensive and collision and how he was required to have both, why he didn't need rental or roadside coverage, etc.  I think he felt comfortable with the limits I'd set and raising his deductibles.  Also, saving a lot of money really helped.  I did tell him he was responsible for cancelling his Rape-surance, which he took care of the following day. 

He admitted that he didn't like dealing with these things and I "admitted" that I didn't like dealing with them for myself, much less someone else.  I did add that maybe once day we'll be on the same policy and I won't mind so much.  #adultinglikeaboss #carinsuranceisrape

-There are people that share their Timehop/On this Day memories every day on FB.  While I like seeing those things occasionally, every day is a little much for me.  #notthatanyoneaskedformyopinion

-I read a book written by someone I "know" and I didn't like it.  I feel guilty leaving a review because other people have written such good reviews about it.  Also, it contained very personal topics and I don't want to be the person that is heartless.  #tryingtobeobjective #butIcant

-I have high hopes for the oven tech that is coming on Friday to at least do something to my oven to make it work moderately better.  There is potential that it will get used this weekend, so yeah.. that's a concern.  #IhateWhirlpool

-Teh Mom and I made a game plan for noms for the party on Saturday.  I think she is very excited about cooking and having unlimited kitchen access.  I'm very excited for her to come and enjoy my kitchen and I'll be "helping."  #itsshakenbakeandIhelped

-AFTER Teh Mom and I made a food plan, Teh German and I went to Walmart to get the party stuffs.  We were headed to the checkout when Teh Dad messaged us with, "SURPRISE!  Guess who will be in [Charleston] this weekend after all!"  I immediately called Teh Dad and said, "You realize Mom is coming right?" 

Side note: My parents don't really get along.  They will awkwardly tolerate each other when they are together at events, but it is just that, awkwardddd.  That said, I'd probably be awkward if I was around my ex too.  Then again, I'm always awkward, so really it'd be no different than normal.

He said that he was aware of Mom's presence and when I told him he'd be sleeping on an air mattress, he only hesitated for a moment and said, "It's fine."  I texted her asking her if she'd still come if Dad was coming and she said yes.  I just don't want things to be weird and I am still excited for her to come take over my kitchen and make her mac and cheese (she uses velveeta, it will change your life).  #divorcedparentsdrama #stress

-I finally went to the pool in my community.  I really like it.  It doesn't go deeper than 5 feet and there's a huge 11 inch section which is nice for just cooling your feet off.  #lovemyhouse

-I've been listening to Deadpool's Baby Makin' Beats on Spotify.  It gives me the lolz, but I also really enjoy the music.  #eclectictastes

-Work has been super stressful and we've been trying to prep for this weekend, so I've not worked on my Germany posts or edited photos.  However, I DID download Game of Thrones for Teh Brother(-in-law) (formerly Teh Utah Specialist) since he'd been unable to watch for the last few months since he was away.  #bestsisterever

-I've finally figured out my decorating style!  "mid-90's Lisa Frank" best describes my sense of style.  I shared this on FB and my close friends and Mom definitely agreed.  #theyknowmesowell #adultingishard

-This is what it looks like when you are in Lowe's Hardware, wearing heels and a dress and you're waiting on Teh Dad to respond to your photo about which anchors to get (since he got the wrong ones the first time).  A lady with a kid in a shopping cart passed by and said, "Honey, I totally understand.  I've been there too!"  We had a good laugh.  Sometimes, people are awesome.  #womeninhardwarestores

-Saw this gem after a relatively irritating day and it definitely helped me feel a little better about the fact that they were going 10 under the speed limit:

I'm sure you probably can't tell what that is, buttttttttttttttt let me just explain.  It is the Pocahontas bed set pillow case.  The SAME pillowcase from the SAME bed set I had (and LURVED) as a kid.  I tailgated this person just to take this photo, ok and because they were going under the speed limit.  #notsorry #Pocahonatas #Disneylife #haveyoueverheardthewolfcrytothebluecornmoon

Linking up with:
Life with Lolo
Humpday Confessions with Nadine and Kathy

Monday, June 27, 2016

Weekend Review {6/27}


Work was spent trying to remove the computer STD that is plaguing me, dealing with documents that my leads don't want to tell the customer's we can't get to them in time, listening to the tech lead talk to himself about whatever it is he talks to himself about, and learning that a government organization is pretty much "adapting" one of their most commonly used templates to something I created for Company to submit a few months ago (I wasn't sure whether to be proud or annoyed).  I left work at 2 to get my hairs did.  It was time for the curls to return!  I considered doing it before Germany, but didn't want to have to deal with frizzy hair while we were there, so I waited.

Teh German actually got home early, but I didn't make it home until after 6.  I was at the salon from 2:30 until 6 and I was just over it.  I'm glad she did a super good job, but holy moly.  As always, I love the curls and they bring me great joy.

Earlier in the day, Teh German had suggested Willie Jewell's for dinner, so that was our evening plan after I got home.  After getting Teh German motivated (aka getting him to close down Instagram), we headed to Willie Jewell's.  Unfortunately, there was a baseball tournament nearby and the hotels were full of families for the tournament who also happened to be hungry.  Teh German and I discussed that if it would have been our first time, we probably would have never come back.  There was a pretty long line when we walked in the door, our food took 30 minutes, there was no ice in the machine, there was approximately 4 drops of sweet tea, and some of the sauces were out.  Additionally, the girl running the register was new and rang up my order wrong, thus charging us more.  We asked the guy about it who delivered our food (finally) but he doesn't work the register so he really didn't understand what I was saying about being overcharged.  Whatever.

After we finished, we headed home and started the process of mounting the tvs.  We own 1 TV and we had put it downstairs on the legs until we bought a larger TV for the living room.  I suggested that we mount that TV upstairs first, so then we'd have a clean working space to mount the new TV.  Teh German agreed so we got the party started.  Without too much difficulty, the mount got attached to the wall and the TV and sound bar got hooked up and setup.  Teh German was tired after that, so he watched youtube videos over the TV while I did a puzzle on my Kindle.

After a bit, it was bedtime.


Saturday was sleep in day.  It had been a long time since we'd been able to that at our house, so we took advantage of the situation.  Originally, we were going to go get pizza for lunch, but instead we ended up making a small breakfast and taking care of house things.  We got the living room TV mounted and setup.  I continued the process of cleaning up the office.  I emptied the upstairs closet that Teh German had been hoarding boxes in (boxes for the TV/sound bar/fans and a few boxes to be unpacked).  Teh German also set up the patio chairs.

We had agreed to do dinner at a new Korean BBQ place with some friends, so we headed that way around 6.  The Korean BBQ place that I've been to before was more like a buffet, but this place was you order one thing and they bring it.  We did all share, which was nice.  Someone ordered "octopus balls" which we tried.  They were good, but I was disappointed there wasn't more octopus.

After dinner, we came home and were lazy.  Teh German watched youtube videos on the new TV while I marveled at/worked on editing Germany photos.  Side note: I have mad flower photography skillz.  IMO, of course.


I had wanted to sleep in Sunday morning, and around 0740, Meri wasn't having that.  She did snuggle between us for a short bit, but Teh German started petting her and she started kicking me and I got pissed and got up to feed them after asking Teh German to do it.

I got a wild hair up my ass and made hummingbird food for the feeder and then piddled around on the internet until Teh German got up.  After a bit, I made the poor/good life choice to go on a run.  I mean, it was only "78°F" outside, so I needed to take advantage.  That 78° felt nice when you were stationary, but after 30 minutes of running/walking (I won't even pretend I ran all that), death was a strong preference to finishing out the 6 miles.

I did find a super cool secret that our main road has been connected to another development which could mean a serious short cut for me to work.  Technically, the short cut is closed and has an "authorized access only" sign, butttttttt the gate was open and I'm a rebel so I decided there was no harm in running that way on a Sunday morning.  I did noticed that there is the beginning of a housing development, so I'm hoping that my vehicle won't be noticed if I sneak the back way.

The "only halfway" face.

I seriously wanted to die.  I was hot and I wasn't properly hydrated and after sending Teh MD-AR some "I'm so miserable right now and want to die" texts, I almost considered calling Teh German to come pick me up because my head was throbbing so badly.  I was so hot that I even rolled my shirt up, exposing my jiggly belly and my sports bra (/gasp!).  #donotcurr.  If my shirt hadn't been so wet, I probably would have just taken it off and put it around my neck.  #babysteps  When I finally made it home, Teh German asked me how it was and I said, "Not right now."  After I caught my breath and had gulped down 2 Turvis's of water, I told him, "I want to die."

Instead of dying, I went upstairs and showered.  After getting dressed, I rolled because my IT band and I have been seriously arguing lately.  More in things that make me want to die: rolling on my sore pieces.  It actually made my stomach start to churn and I was afraid I was going to be sick.  More in stupid things Megan did on Sunday morning: not eating anything before I ran.  My stomach was 10 levels of torn up, my head was still throbbing, seriously though, death was preferable.  I considered laying down for a nap, but knew that food needed to be a priority.

After some discussion, Teh German and I decided to try a new wing place we hadn't been to and then after go to the Toyota dealership so he could discuss his options with them about getting a new truck.  While Teh German showered and got ready, I continued working on the office, mostly relocating boxes that aren't going to get unpacked (aka putting boxes in storage) and putting things away in new homes.  I also moved the photo decorations that we have to upstairs so we can eventually get them hung up.  I don't think that Teh German wants the stuff that I had up at Shitty House downstairs, so it's all going upstairs.  That means that I'll get some new photos printed to put downstairs, in particular, from our trip to Germany.  YAY for reasons to print out some of those Australia/Scotland panoramas!

Once Teh German was ready, we headed out.  I was doing pretty good controlling the hangar until we arrived to the wing place and they had a sign on the door that said "Now closed on Sunday."  I then suggested to do a mexican place on the way to the dealership, which Teh German was fine with.  There was a debacle about Teh German's tire pressure indicator light being on and me not paying $1.50 for air, then we ended up paying $1 and Teh German wasn't pleased where there was no way to tell how much pressure was in each tire AND the indicator didn't go off.  There was some manual reading and by this point, controlling my hangar wasn't possible.  I asked if we could please go eat and figure out the tire thing later.  Really, he just wanted the indicator turned off for if the dealership looked the car over.  #Germanprecision  While we made our way to the mexican place, I read the manual and realized there was a way to get the light off, so I explained it and he took care of it when we arrived at the mexican place.

We had the absolute worst experience at this mexican place.  I won't even say the name.  It was horrendous.  They were obviously short on staff and it was not a good situation.  We also learned that the night before the keg cooler had went out, which explained why Teh German's beer tasted funny and was kinda warm.  Our server actually forgot that he had put our order in.  disaster.  We definitely won't be going back and my review will not be kind.  But I couldn't even care because the chips were on the table finally and I needed my blood sugar level not to be negative.

After we paid, we headed to the dealership to do some research.  Teh German is looking at a new Tacoma, so he discussed what he wanted with the sales guy and got to drive one.  Once we said we were going to go home and discuss it, the salesman went to get the manager.  We sat there debating for another 30-45 minutes and going over options, but in the end, I think he's decided to wait a few months.  Neither of us planned for him to come home with a new truck today, so we weren't disappointed.  I think a part of Teh German is sad he has to wait a little longer, but he knows the information he has been wondering about for over 2 months (payments, lease situation, availability), so I think his mind is a little at ease.

Sorry no pics of the test drive.  #bloggerfail

After 2.5 hours at the dealership, we headed to the grocery store, then home.  Once home, I worked on blogs and photos while Teh German hung towel racks in the upstairs bathrooms (PRAISE JESUS!!! seriously, walking across the bathroom to dry your hands 3-5 times while you're getting ready is the ultimate pain in the ass).  He did notice, at one point, that I had placed some books in the downstairs bathroom, to include a German book of his.  He liked my consideration.

We were simple for dinner and had sandwiches while watching Home on our freshly mounted living room TV.  After, it was time for bed to prep for the week ahead.

Overall, a fantastic weekend.  We were able to accomplish a majority of the house projects that we wanted to get done before the house warming party next weekend.  I will be doing the cleaning over the next week so that way it's still moderately clean when people start arriving.  Teh Mom informed me that she'll be attending the party (yay!) and she'll be arriving late Friday night or Saturday.  Teh FL-Greyhound Neighbors will be arriving on Thursday evening.  My goal is to have everything done before then.

This week also begins the start of my afternoon runs.  I really struggle sitting at home waiting on Teh German to come home.  I could take it as quality Megan time, but I don't.  I like hanging out with Teh German when I'm home.  So I'm going to start running a few times a week on my way home from work.  I'm planning on running near base, which includes some serious hills.  I don't necessarily need to do hill training, but it will make level running much easier.  Hopefully, acclimating to the heat won't be a major problem, but I am planning on breaking the ever classy hydration belt back out, because runs like today cannot happen on the regular if I intend on: 1- staying alive, 2- not hurting myself.

YAY for being almost completely unpacked and being HOME.

Gratuitous cute dog photo.

Linking up with:
Biana @ BLovedBoston

Friday, June 24, 2016

Currently #1

I've never actually done one of the posts before, but due to procrastination and life and work and House.. blogging has hit the back burner.

To make up for my lack of substance, let me distract you with sexiness, to include my girl crush and 2 guy crushes.  #TheTudors


Outlander.. well on audiobook, instructions on how to disinfect my computer from whatever STD it has caught from the internet.


This post, chat messages, meeting notes, work documents


Spotify's New Music Friday playlist.  Yellowcard, Blink-182, Adele, and Teh Avett Brothers released new songs on Spotify today.  Yay ear happiness.


What are we going to do for dinner tonight?  Do I really want to go downtown on a Saturday night for delicious pizza?  What if we went tomorrow for lunch AND we'd get to hit up the farmer's market...  Choices are hard.

Why does it take so long to do computer scans? 

Ughhh, 0900 meeting, why do you have to happen today.

Why is it not 1:30 yet?

I'm hungry.

My hands are dry.

I really should edit photos so I can actually write blog posts worth a shit.


Work air?  Nothing really.  Maybe I should put on lotion so I'd smell Forever Red from Bath and Body Works.


For a good hair appointment this afternoon.
That it was already time to leave work.
That I had less to do in all my free time so I could get blog stuff done.


That the TV mounting that is planned for this evening goes smoothly.. both times.


Flippy-Floppies, jeans, a moderately dressy shirt for work (compared to a t-shirt).


That we have a quesadilla maker at work, which made my lunch tacos into quesadillas.  NOMS.
The progress on House that we have made this week.  By we, I mostly mean Teh German with his hanging of curtains and rods.  I've tried to stay out of the way and answer questions as necessary and fix marks on the walls.  I did accomplish some unpacking of the office.


To edit photos so we can get some printed out for house decorations.
A desk for the office, a sitting chair for the office, a sitting chair for the bedroom, shelves for the living room.
My hydrangea to stop dying from being in the sun.


To drink more water.
To pee.
To focus on work.
More sappy love.
To schedule my annual girl appointment, which was brought to my attention today.  Oops.
To edit photos.
To write blogs.
To continue listening to Outlander (I'm sucked in by that Scottish accent.. and I love that my inner voice speaks with a Scottish accent after I've been listening for a while).
It to be time for me to leave work.




Between a work ppt, this post, work Skype, FB, and Spotify.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Confessions {6/22}

-When companies have online chat options, I get a little excited.  #smarternotharder

-On Monday, I woke up hoping it was Friday.  On Tuesday, I woke up hoping it was Friday.  It's still not Friday, but we're getting closer.  #arewethereyet

-Getting back into our routine has brought me much joy.  Once we sort out the running/training schedule, we'll be set.  #regularlyscheduledprogramming

-My Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify was on point on Monday when I got back to work.  I listened to the playlist at least 4 times on Monday alone.  #jamsinmyearholes

-Apparently, my oven that isn't properly heating, needs to be calibrated.  WTF.  Why does new shit already need work?  How did it get UNcalibrated?  Rather than deal with Teh German's apprehension and inevitable tension/stress over dealing with something unfamiliar, I'll just take care of it myself.  #Icandoitmyself #newshitshouldjustwork

-I "calibrated" the oven.  It still doesn't work.  I'm 100% certain that it shouldn't be 375 degrees inside the oven when I set it to broil at 525 degrees.  Now I have to deal with customer service again.  #FML

-Teh German hung curtains on Monday night upstairs and I started to get concerned that he was going to either insist on doing all the curtains at once or punch a hole in the wall.  The first one WE actually hung, he drilled the holes for one side and I drilled the other side.  WE did it because his holes were crooked and he was very upset that the bracket looked like ass.  So he drilled 2 more holes beside the originals to try and get them straight.  Also crooked.  I kept trying to get him to understand that the hooks didn't really matter if they were straight or not, but he wouldn't accept that.  After the first curtain rod, he finally decided to use the level I had tried to give him before we started everything.  #germanprecision #curtains

-We bought about $1600 worth of stuff for the house on Sunday on a granola bar each.  This is a feat and there wasn't really any hangar, just an inability to decide.  We got: curtains, curtain rods, rugs, a TV for downstairs, and a TV mount.  #adultingisexpensive

-Then we went out last night and spent another $500 on patio furniture.  Anyone wanna come play handyman at my house?  #gladIdonthavetoputitalltogethermyself

-It amuses me how Americans think that their way is the only way.  Things that Europeans do that "average" American's don't: Use military time regularly, use the metric system, know more than one language.  #theworldisabigplace

-It is a strong effort to write my Germany recaps.  Mostly because the photos aren't edited yet and I'm feeling super lazy.  But I really want to write them so we have a record of our trip since I know I've already forgotten some of the awesome.  #memoryfailsme

-I really want pizza.  #thanksYelp

-I confess and hashtag even without linkup hosts.  #likeaboss.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Book Challenge #3

Erin's Book Challenge is about to go down again and I figured it was time to share my choices with you. You're welcome. Oh yeah, join us.

5 points: Freebie – Read a book that is at least 200 pages.

10 points: Read a book that starts with the letter “R”.

10 points: Read a book with five words in the title.

15 points: Read a book that has a (mostly) blue cover.

20 points: Read a book with twins as characters.

20 points: Read a book from this list of books made into movies:

25 points: Read a book set in a country you have always wanted to visit. (Italy)

30 points: Read a historical fiction book.

30 points: Read a music related book.

35 points: Read a book originally published over 100 years ago.

What will you be reading in the coming months?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Confessions {6/15}

-The last time I did confessions was 5/25.  It feels like a ridiculously long time since then.  #vacationtimelapse

-I may not have responded to any comments from my Never Have I Ever post.  Mostly because that same day was the start of vacation and I was busy doing things and I absolutely hate typing more than "K" on my phone.  #lazy #Ilovekeyboards #virtualkeyboardsarestupid

-I judge people with dirty glasses.  #howdoyousee

-I got obnoxiously excited to see vegetables on my plate after a week and a half in Germany.  The main food groups in Germany are: bread, pasta, potatoes, and meat.  You might be lucky to get a "salad" which is usually just iceberg lettuce.  But seriously, I'm old and I need fiber to keep things moving.  #ifyouknowwhatImean #activacommerical #poopstatus

-I had to buy a strapless bra in Germany since I forgot mine.  Nothing makes you feel larger than life than European sizes... #VictoriasSecretlies #80E #36DD #thesethingsarenotthesame

-The following picture was staged.  That is actually Teh German's Mom's glass.  That was definitely my brezel (or pretzel for my English readers).  #fakeittillyoumakeit

-This photo was not staged and I learned that I tolerate Radler beer the best:  #biermitlemonade

-Fanta was my beverage of choice at most places we went to.  American Fanta is not the same as Fanta everywhere else.  #Americanisnotalwaysbetter

-Germans prefer sparkling water.  I don't handle sparkling water well because it makes me burp and that's very unladylike and Teh German would NOT approve of my man-burps in front of his family.  I was completely willing to drink tap water the entire time, but many family members just bought me bottled water without gas.  #sillyAmerican #sillyGermans #culturedifferences #firstworldproblems

-After reading in All the Light You Cannot See how the Germany army categorized recruits on their "Aryan-ness," I continually looked for those Aryan traits while I was in Germany.  #blondehairandblueeyes #Ifoundsome

-Despite doing German lessons since October, I was unable to communicate in Deutsch or understand most of the time.  Teh German and I had several conversations about how I was being too hard on myself for my expecting to be able to talk and understand (which I had barely been able to do at home before we left) while we were here.  Truthfully, there were a lot of times I felt completely alone because I was surrounded by people who weren't speaking English, thus rendering me completely unable to communicate unless someone translated for me, I was able to catch a word that I understood and assume the topic, or I knew what the subject was (House, flights, things we'd done, etc).  #languagebarrier #Germglish #lonely

-One of the most embarrassing situations for me while in Germany was when Teh German kept annoucing when people tried to speak to me in German, that I don't understand German... especially in front of his ex-gf.  I know, it's stupid, but dammit, I can understand somethings and I'm a pro at body-language and when a server is asking me what I want to drink, Fanta is universal.  #languagebarrier #dontspeakforme

-I totally walked into the men's bathroom because it said "Herren" and I say "her" and automatically thought female.  The urinals on the wall and the dude using one of the urinals when I walked in indicated maybe I thought wrong.  #theresagirlintheboysbathroom

-I had an absolute blast in Germany overall.  I met Teh German's family and friends, we got to see and do fun touristy things (remember a mabillionty years ago when I was afraid of no touristy things?), we ate ALL THE NOMS (by noms I mean meat, bread, and potatoes).  #vacation #success #tourist #allthecastles

-There will be at least 1 post discussing our vacation (duh), which will probably include some photos.  As of writing this, I am up to 1,326 photos.  That doesn't include the photos that haven't been uploaded from the camera. #ALLthephotos

Bonus non-Germany/vacation related confession:

Before we left for vacation, Teh German told me we needed a toilet brush for the guest bathroom upstairs.  I told him we had 2 clorox magic wands, one downstairs and one in the toilet closet and that was enough for cleaning the toilets.  It wasn't until a few days later that I realized WHY he was saying we needed a toilet brush.

I confess:
At 30 years old, I realized that a toilet brush is for cleaning skid marks after you go business.

Honestly, skid marks were never really a problem for me growing up... and if they were, I just left them.  Skid marks meant that it was time to clean the entire bathroom.  Also, growing up, skid marks could be left and they would soak and then the next time, they'd flush away like magic.

I didn't know that toilet brushes were for cleaning AND skid marks.  I thought that the sole purpose of the toilet brush was for cleaning the toilet.. like with cleaner.. when you cleaned the rest of the bathroom.  #itshardtobeme #learnsomethingeveryday


Linking up with:
Life with Lolo
Humpday Confessions with Nadine and Kathy

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What I read in March and April and May

House/moving/unpacking/visitors really kicked reading to the curb... and Goodreads is judging the shit out of me saying I'm 4 books behind on my goal for the year.. Well, Goodreads, YOU DON'T KNOW MY LIFE.  #DONTJUDGEME

Fortunately, airports/flights/vacation/long drives = sleep and reading time. 

Life According to Steph

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 like it a lot, but not sure I'd read it again.
5/5 - I LURVED it and I'd read it again.

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

This Is Where I Leave You – Jonathan Tropper    5/5 (hard copy)
This book felt real and that was awesome for me.  It was real life, but funny, and truthful, and painful, and perfect.  Judd's life is falling to pieces and his family is super familiar and awkward and probably like someone you may know.  Despite the shitty circumstances, he doesn't do anything crazy.  The only weird thing was the situation with Judd and Alice in the basement and it was awkward and weird and WTF?  That was the only part that didn't feel like it was resolved in anything more than, "Let's not talk about this ever."  Which was the exact opposite point of the entire book.  If you leave things unspoken, there are misunderstandings and incorrect assumptions.  Just talk about it!  Unless you're the mother and it's your sex life, then please stop. 

TL;DR: This book felt real and like it might be a friend telling me the story.  More please.

James Herriot’s Dog Stories – James Herriot    3/5 (hard copy)   
I wanted this book to be stories like Marley and Me or The Art of Racing in the Rain.  It wasn't.  It was stories from a vet that lived somewhere in the UK (I won't even pretend to know British geography).  Some of the stories were heart warming, but most of them were kinda like an update I'd give to Teh MD-AR about Meri or Phil.  Just a run-of-the-mill day, nothing particularly special, IMO.  I read this as my birth year (1986) book for Erin's challenge.  My favorite part was the Scottish-y accent the author wrote in.

TL;DR: If you want a good dog story, check out The Art of Racing in the Rain or Marley and Me.  If you like short stories about dogs and can handle an English an accent, read this book.

The Bonesetter’s Daughter – Amy Tan  2/5 (ebook)  
I just don't think I'm an Amy Tan fan.  I wanted to be, but it's just not working out.  I tried to read Saving Fish from Drowning eons ago and never finished it.  I read this for Erin's Challenge and it was very trying at times.  I hated the main characters.  I hated the daughter, I hated the mom.  Everyone was selfish and whiny.  I semi-enjoyed the part of the story set in China, except that I didn't feel like it transitioned back to the story very well.  It was like she forgot she was telling a story in a story.  I'm glad that Daughter and Husband ended up working things out, but for me nothing was resolved with the mother.  I just don't feel like a mother telling her daughter about how shitty her life was resolves her of making her daughter's life shitty.  It didn't absolve the mother of her responsibility to raise her child properly.  Additionally, if there were "mystical" things at play here, they weren't fully explained or I just didn't understand them.

I couldn't tell if Tan was trying to say the cloud over the daughter's head was Nanny's dead spirit or Mom's bad attitude.  I just couldn't figure it out, if there was something to be figured out.  Maybe I wanted more and this was lacking.  I don't even know.  Overall, it was too whiny for me to even moderately enjoy.

TL;DR: If you enjoy a Chinese setting, maybe this book is for you.  If you can't handle whiny bitches, don't read this book. 

All the Bright Places - Jennifer Niven    4/5 (audiobook)
This book broke my heart in so many ways... although I'm still not over the irritation of what was wrong with Finch (bipolar disorder).  The fact that it took so long to find out what he was "awake" from irritated me to no end.  I had forgotten what the summary said so I couldn't remember if this was a book where the kid had magical powers or something and went dormant for a period of time (don't judge Megan brain, it's a weird place).

Also, why did we call him by his last name when everyone else went by their first name?  I liked that most of the teenage love story line seemed believable and less like teenagers who do whatever the fuck they want whenever the fuck they want.  I struggled with Violet's inability to make decisions on her own but was glad when she finally came around. 

The end of the book is pretty morbid with Violet's discovery.  By the end of the book I was missing Finch's narration, which I think was the point.  Do NOT read this book if you are already depressed.  Sadly, I must agree with many Goodreads reviewers that the characters become their mental illness and it felt like the adults didn't really notice.

TL;DR: A solid read about mental illness (not magical powers) that will ultimately lead to devastation because it wasn't treated.  Characters might come off a little cliche, but as a YA book, that doesn't seem to stray from the norm.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal – Christopher Moore  4.5/5 (ebook)I really enjoyed this book.  You have to have a bit of bible knowledge to really get most of the jokes, but a lack of knowledge didn't stop Teh German from enjoying some of the parts that I read aloud to him.  The gist of the book is that Biff, Jesus's (or known as Joshua) best friend, has been raised from the dead to fill in the story of the 33 years of Jesus's life that the bible is missing.  If you're acquainted with the story of Jesus, you know the progression of the story, which only made it better for me.  It was fun to see events from the bible being fleshed out, even if there were obvious creative liberties taken.

TL;DR: This story implies that Jesus was an actual person who said "fuck" sometimes.  #seemslegit

All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr   */5 (audiobook)This started out as my commute audiobook and due to vacation, I was able to listen for longer periods of time, which was awesome.  I listened on the plane (to help dull the pain of the child behind us kicking our seats and yelling) and on long car rides (while Teh German listened to German news, yay for earbuds).  I didn't want to stop listening.  It was great how the author was able to intertwine the lives of the unrelated characters.  Summary: a blind girl in German occupied France (during WW2) is learning to live life after having relocated when her family evacuated from Paris.  A German orphan has some crazy radio fixin' skills and ends up in the German army.

TL;DR: This book about WW2 coincided perfectly with my visit to Germany, which made me want to listen to this book even more.  If you like stories with several characters who eventually cross paths, this book is for you.  If you like WW2 novels, this book is for you.  

Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin...Every Inch of It by Brittany Gibbons  4/5 (ebook) I still have no idea who Brittany Gibbons actually is.  Something about a plus-sized blogger gone famous who poses in her bikini?  The book started off pretty weird and seemed pretty irrelevant after actually getting into the actual topic of the book: accepting your self-image.  I felt like she had a really good message to send and does it very effectively.  Even I felt like I should walk around naked more after reading it.  I hadn't heard of this book until Kimmi reviewed it approximately ahmabillionty years ago and I thought, hrm, sounds funny, let's check it out.  

At 240 pages, it didn't take me long to power through this book.  I actually preferred reading this to starting Bossypants.  

TL;DR: Accept your body the way it is, is the moral of the story.  This book is for anyone who has ever thought, "Ugh, I hate the way I look."  Also, do your kids a favor and normalize bodies by walking around naked in front of them.

In Progress:

On Deck:

Erin's book challenge is starting again on July 1st, so expect my reading list this week.  My selections are my "on deck" books through Oct 31st and whatever I didn't finish from the last challenge (specifically the WW2 intel book and Did You Ever Have a Family).

*TL;DR = too long, don't read

Friday, June 10, 2016

Rape is rape.

Unless you're social media free (which I doubt if you're here) or you live under a rock, you may have heard the name Brock Turner recently.  If you haven't let me catch you up real quick like.

Brock Turner raped "Emily Doe*"

You won't read any headlines that say that.  But if you read any news ever, you should be able to translate headlines into facts.

My Facebook feed started up about a rape victim whose rapist was given 6 months of jail time due to his "white privilege."  The first day it was a lone post, someone who regularly keeps up with the innate details of the world.  I wasn't sure if I should read the post, I'm on vacation after all, I want to relax and not be in my "dark and twisty" place (you're welcome for that reference).  I read it.  I was ENRAGED... and then I actually thought to myself, but what can I do?

That made me even angrier.

But I was on vacation, so I tried to let it go.  Then my Facebook feed blew up with articles about this situation.  It was unavoidable.  Truthfully, it's been on my mind since I first read the article a few days ago.  I'm glad that rape stories are not a guaranteed trigger for me.  That is possibly because my own situation differs so much from what you see/hear in the news.  Then I finally decided to do some research.  I read the wikipedia page (I know, subjective, but I needed a generalized story) on Brock Turner and found the link to Emily Doe's letter to her attacker that she read during the trial (linked).  I seriously didn't want to read through 12 pages, but I did.  I didn't want to find similarities between what happened to me and what happened to her.

This girl was found behind a dumpster with pine needles in her hair and dirt in her vagina because he'd penetrated her with a "foreign object."  I came to on my own, because I'd touched his hair, which was unfamiliar, and I realized that this person, who I knew, was having sex with me and I never remembered asking him to come to bed with me or even insinuating that we should have sex.  I never even remembered actually going to bed, only being told earlier after I'd started drinking where I would be sleeping since I had said I wouldn't be driving home.  He stopped when I started voicing my confusion, but he should have never been there to begin with.

The similarity between the stories is that alcohol was involved.  Yet, that shouldn't matter.  I had went to bed.  Later, I started having flashes of memory of my assault happening.  My mumbles and inability to communicate when he was taking off my shorts and underwear, in addition to being unable to stand on my own.  My confusion when I "woke up" because I was cold because I wasn't wearing any pants or underwear and wasn't under a blanket.  Something feeling good.  Then, the sobering feel of the texture of his hair and how I felt like I was under a waterfall when I realized what was happening.  How I instantly pulled away and repeatedly mumbled no when I realized what was happening and started crying hysterically, unable to figure out what was happening and why I was so upset.  How the people there talked me into going back to bed (the same bed by the way) since no one was sober enough to drive me home.  I can't remember if I slept.  But I know at some point, he came into the room to talk to me and I just nodded at whatever it was that he said.  I remember something about "continuing what we started later" and just nodding.  I remember eating breakfast and everyone avoiding my eyes the next morning.  I remember trying not scream as everyone sat around watching Cartoon Network.  I remember trying to act normal as I drove my rapist and someone that I had considered a friend home since we had taken my car.

Our assaults weren't similar.
Our reactions were eerily similar.

I withdrew.  I was angry with everyone.  I lashed out at individuals who didn't even know what had happened (because I didn't tell anyone at first).  I was angry at me.  I put my energy into distractions (diving) so I wouldn't have to think.  I tried therapy (which was a disaster of it's own accord).  I felt isolated.  I became afraid.  I would change my ways of doing things if my rapist was around (which was unavoidable at times).  I didn't like being alone.  I didn't like being in a crowd.  I didn't like being.

Then one day I realized that despite the fact that he stopped, he should have never been in that room to begin with.  The first time I called what happened to me "rape," I felt a weight lift from my shoulders.

It took writing this entire post and revealing details that I've not even told some of my closest friends that I CAN do something.

I am a victim and I will tell my story.  

Rape doesn't look the same every time.  Rape isn't ok if you're a thug on the streets or the leader of a country.  Position doesn't make you less responsible for your actions.

Oh yeah, and while we're talking about it, women aren't the only ones getting raped.

YOU are responsible for YOUR actions.  Not the liquor you drink, not the parents who raised you, not the job you have..  YOU are or are not a rapist, it's that easy.  Most people choose NOT to be rapists, which seems pretty simple to me.  Is the person you're trying to do sexual things to completely aware of what is happening and are the completely sober or able to consent without doubt?  No?  Leave that person alone.  Yes?  Make reasonable, adult choices.

*I have turned off comments on this post because this post isn't about trying to garner your sympathy for what happened to me.  This is about speaking out against rape and bringing awareness to victim blaming and privilege.  Finally, this is about me being able to put down my thoughts regarding this situation.  I didn't feel like sharing an article on FB was enough to resolve my thoughts about the situation.  I needed to put more words to it.  I needed to work it out in my head for myself.

*Emily Doe is the name the female used as to protect her identity.  I also have a feeling that this is why I've seen more about Brock Turner in the news than Emily Doe.

*"I am a victim" vs "I was a victim", because to this day I continue to deal with fallout from my assault.  I am suspicious of people who I have no reason to be suspicious of.  I struggle with trust until I know someone very well.