Nonfiction November

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I’m running behind on bookish posts, but I did want to take the time to do an official sign-up post for Nonfiction November. Doing Dewey and some other great book bloggers are hosting a month of nonfiction reading. I’m not planning on participating in the questions each week, but my TBR is filled to bursting with nonfiction titles.

On my Nonfiction November TBR list:

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

On Writing by Stephen King

The Sisters by Mary Lovell

Are you participating in Nonfiction November? Let me know and we’ll chat!

Scribbles: 6 November 2016

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*Deep Breath*

Let’s try a return to normal.

Weather: 54, cloudy

Location: At work and taking a quick coffee break. I really shouldn’t drink coffee this late, but the time change has me all mixed up. The kids woke at 5:30 this morning and didn’t quite understand the concept of sleeping in an extra hour.

Reading: I’m a third of the way through Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive. To be honest, words are difficult to retain in my sieve like brain at the moment, but I’m taking notes and should have a review up soon.

Writing: What’s that?

Listening: I’ve started listening to my classic Christmas tunes and Sufjan Stevens holiday albums. Tomorrow I may break out the Johnny Mathis.

Watching: Y’all I am watching an episode or two of Murder She Wrote every night before bed. I AM ADDICTED. I have a post brewing in my brain about Jessica Fletcher being a bad ass feminist. The great thing about this show is that it settles me before bed. Mystery and murder, no gore, and LORD there are so many windbreakers and taffeta curtains!

Cooking: I really need to do a full blog post, but thank heavens for once a month cooking! Not having to worry about dinner and tons of dishes has been a god send. Dinner aside, I’ve eaten far too much junk (hello, stress eating) and gained a good 15 pounds. I’m about to do my next round of cooking and I’ll be focusing on more whole foods and vegetarian cuisine. I’m also trying to plan snacks with a bit more care.

Blogging: I’m going to try. We’ll see.

Plans for tonight: Finish a few work tasks and close up the library. Go home and shower. Read a bit. Sleep. Wake up and do it all again tomorrow.

Keep Her Safe: A Fund for my Daughter

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Hi all.

I’ve been gone for longer than expected. My family is living a nightmare right now and I just didn’t know how to write.

My teenaged daughter is being stalked and has been hurt by a young man. I cannot divulge the particulars of her case, but we have filed a police report and obtained a Temporary Protection Order. I’m not more forthcoming with details to protect her privacy and to not hinder the investigation.

We’ve started a GoFundMe account for her to help with attorney fees and other expenses. Why attorney fees? Because I know how women are treated in these types of cases and there is a chance that during the hearing to extend the Temporary Protection Order the perp could be there and she would have to testify in front of him and the entire courtroom. I want someone there with legal expertise. We have a kick-ass feminist attorney recommended to us and we’re meeting with her today.

Here is the link to the GoFundMe. If you cannot give, please consider sharing.

Readerly Rambles: a post-Readathon wrap-up!

girlreadingI took a break from readathon volunteering this past weekend. Typically I help co-host, manage Twitter in spots, and run a mini-challenge. After the busyness of a conference, work pressure, and moving house, I decided to take a more relaxed approach. I woke at 7:30, stumbled downstairs in my pjs and read. I drank coffee. I stayed away from social media for the most part. I took a break for several hours in the evening and then read until midnight. On Sunday I didn’t read at all. I slept and set up my bullet journal for the week.

My goal with this readathon was to get back into reading. The last book I finished prior to readathon was back in September. Mischief managed! I finished two books and got my reading mojo back. Below are two very brief mini-reviews of my reads.

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

A vintage mystery that centers around detective Alan Grant puzzling out the mystery of Richard III and the princes in the tower while he is on the mend from a leg injury. Predictable, but fascinating. My librarian brain is thinking that excerpts of this novel would be great in a library instruction class to illustrate evaluating sources, uncovering bias, and the importance of primary resources.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

What a page turner! You guys were right, I loved this one. There is really no way to write about the story without giving it away, but there is an element I want to talk about so SPOILER WARNING!!!!

The Girl on the Train deserves a trigger warning for domestic violence. You should know that every man in this book is an absolute dickhead. If you are one of the folks who “cannot understand why a woman stays” in an abusive relationship, then this one is for you. Gaslighting. Isolation. Slowly chipping away at self-esteem. Charming behaviors and romance during the “good” times. All of this is here and all of it is intergral to the story. Of course, if does tie up neatly at the end, but that’s expected in thrillers. I recommend this one as I was so enthralled I forgot my coffee and my ice cream!

In April I’ll be back to full volunteering and social media hovering, but this readathon was good for my bookish soul. I’m back to reading and about to dig into some short stories.

Happy Reading!

 

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon

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Whelp, we’re all moved in to our new home. A few more pictures and lights up and there will be a full post on the new place. I’ve been so productive these past few weeks, but at the expense of my reading. I have read a damn thing in two weeks. I finally accepted that Germinal needed to go back on the shelf, because I’m in a new place and want to start a different book (I’m so fickle).

In fact, I’m so scattered I don’t even know if I signed up for this weekend’s readathon yet. So, here we are. This year I’m stepping back from helping. I need this chance for some down time. I’m eager to spend the day chugging coffee and reading. I’ll be sending Sam and the kids to a family fall festival at the school (although I have some guilt about not going with them).

On to readathon plans! First up, I did a bullet journal spread for readathon this year:

 

Shout out to Andi’s sweet sticker shop for the bitchin stickers. I never thought I’d be a planner sticker gal, but I am HOOKED.

I’ve assembled a book pile with the hope of completing at least three of the six books:

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Let me know if and where you’ll be readathoning and I’ll make sure to stop in and say hello! Happy Reading!

I had an urge to blog…

… so I decided to jump on it.

There’s been very little poetry writing, reading of any sort, crocheting, or – obviously – blogging for me this month. I’m actually not too worried about it because I’ve had an amazingly productive October thus far.

First of all I have been professional AF. I attended our state library association’s annual conference last week. The sessions were great, but honestly hanging out with my good friends Erin, Catherine, Kim, and the rest of the rad librarian gang was the best. At the conference I co-presented on a student-employee management system I developed with our research and instruction team. I was elected vice-chair of the paraprofessional division. In addition, I slayed at a major marketing campaign back at the library and I was asked by a BIG academic publisher to review a book proposal. Oh yeah, and I applied to library school. I’m slightly paranoid that all my materials won’t be in by the admission deadline of Saturday. I priority 2-day shipped my transcript and now the tracking number isn’t working. Oh well. The worst thing that could happen is that I apply for the fall of 2017 instead of the spring of 2017 as originally planned.

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A colleague snapped a picture of me presenting (aka terrified and faking my way through the entire thing).

Second big thing in October: MOVING. On Saturday we’re moving from our apartment to a town home in the same complex. We’ve liked our apartment until about eight months ago. We got some new upstairs neighbors and they are stomping and slamming and rowdy from 8pm until 6am every damn day. We’ve also kind of outgrown out apartment. There isn’t a safe place to play outdoors, the entry way to the building is disgusting, and I’m pretty sure someone in this building is selling dope given there are so many people coming and going at all hours.

The town home will give us an increase of about 300 square feet. It has two and a half baths, a gas fireplace, big windows, a lovely view, carport and storage, and space for the kids to play indoors and outdoors. Some quick pics of the new place:

That space by the fireplace is part of a long room that has the dining room on one end near the kitchen . That little fireplace area will be my writing spot. Tomorrow is a full day with packing and a trip to the vet for Beau. Sam is taking his GACE exam and is presenting a state art educators conference. We’re busy, y’all.

I can already feel a big swell of calm from settling things down. I go back to work on Monday and will be working on my normal work load (one last marketing push, but no more presentations and projects for a bit). I’ve planned some fallish, fun things for later in the month. There’s readathon approaching (I’m just reading this year). I did my first Once a Month Cooking blitz since 2010 (when I was nesting with Atticus) and I’m planning on blogging about it.

Blogging. Yes. I’m back at it again with the blog plans. Expect more posts!

Product Review: Cottonelle Mega Roll

I signed up for Influenster to get rad, free stuff and I decided to properly review each item received for a bit of writing practice. Then I learned that this month’s box is toilet paper. Toilet. Paper. I don’t have much brand loyalty for products in general except for when it comes to toilet paper. I’ve been a consistent Scott toilet paper buyer the entirety of my adult life. Perhaps it is time to branch out? Maybe I’ll switch ass allegiance and become a rabid Cottonelle fan?

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Influenster provided me with this product for free in exchange for an HONEST review.

 

When my Cottonelle Mega Roll pack arrived I immediately noted the soft squishy largeness of each roll. “A dab will do you,” I thought with penny-pincher glee.

Sadly, Cottonelle was a mega disappointment. I feared I was alone in my dislike of Cottonelle and spent some time after dinner last night casually discussing toilet paper with my husband, teenager, and little kids and learned I’m not alone in my dislike.

First of all Cottonelle swiped through my delicate lady region with the ferocity of a thousand sands. All those absorbing little ripples irritated my vajayjay. I actually questioned my ability to wipe myself. Was I too rough? I tried to daintily wipe and that lessened the vag rage, but I seriously did not feel like the clean fresh daisy I know I am. I actually spent time talking with my teen daughter about this and she said she learned to “just keep dabbing and do not wipe” so she didn’t feel like she was using sandpaper.

And can we talk about the lint Cottonelle leaves behind in my behind? I felt like my rear was part of the cotton mill scene in the BBC production of North and South. Richard Armitage wasn’t there so I was not jiving with the feeling of CottonMILL in my butt. (call me, Richard!)

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My husband and teen also echoed that Cottonelle was “very linty,” but what about the little kids?

Imagine you have a sweet preschool daughter who shits bricks like a grown man. Imagine after a very messy poop-explosion she asks for some help wiping. Imagine wiping her wee bum with Cottonelle and the horror – HORROR – when half the toilet paper stays in your hand and the other half is in shitty shreds hanging out of her bum like some sort of a DIY birthday party streamer nightmare. Imagine having to locate baby wipes to clean her up while she screams at you that you’re basically a crap mom for treating her like a baby and using wipes. IMAGINE.

Even yuckier than the scraping and lint is Cottonelle’s completely asinine cultural appropriation of yoga. Yes, YOGA. Now I enjoy a nice relaxing yoga session as much as the next anxiety riddled gal, but I’m mindful with my practice. When the British began colonizing India over 300 years ago they stripped yoga of spirituality and vilified those who practiced yoga. Through the years elements of yoga was used for health and exercise with no spirituality and for the last 50 years yoga has enjoyed a resurgence of practice with spirituality. It is difficult to sift through and discern a respectful and culturally sensitive practice from the appropriating practices. In addition some contemporary yoga practices have appropriated spiritual and cultural symbols from yoga and commercialized them to cash in on health conscious modern moms. To approach yoga with reverence and recognition of the deep spirituality and history of yoga is fine, but don’t use it to sell me green tea, expensive “yoga” pants, or TOILET PAPER.

Yes, folks, Cottonelle went there by partnering with some culturally appropriating shit storm of a “yoga” festival called Wanderlust (I don’t know jack about this festival, but the Cottonelle ads are so bad I’m assuming someone at Wanderlust is clueless). Behold:

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Transform your mind, body, and bum? Namast’ay clean? REALLY?! You’re going to take a deeply spiritual concept and word and have a bunch of white American women take selfies with toilet paper or “dare to go commando at Wanderlust?” I cannot even with how offensive this is. I identify as Christian and I sure as hell wouldn’t want someone to take the hymn “Washed in the Blood of the Lamb” and make it cute to sell me tampons.

 

No, Cottonelle. I will not wipe my ass with you, but you can sure as hell kiss my ass.