Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year!

I may not be posting here much, but I could hardly neglect to check in on the last day of the year, could I? I hope everyone out there has been having a warm and lovely holiday season, and I'd like to wish you the very best in 2019.

As far as my personal life goes, I don't know that 2018 seemed like an exceptionally eventful year. To be honest, I think it mostly passed in kind of a blur. Far and away the most significant thing is that I got my new fake tooth properly installed, and eventually even got to the point where I could confidently chew on it without thinking about the fact that it was fake and worrying about something going wrong with it. And very glad I am to have that whole dental saga behind me.

I did accomplish a few things, too. Like finally getting my aging sewer pipe replaced. And the skylights, once they started leaking. And I made it out to California to visit my mother, for the first time in a decade or so. (Not that I hadn't seen my mom plenty of times during that decade. But, well... Let's just say that I very much owed her a return visit.)

Yes, well, I never claimed to have the world's most exciting life.

One thing I do claim to do, though, is to read a lot of books, which brings us to the traditional end-of-the-year book roundup. You can see a list of all the books I read here. There were actually fewer of them this time than in other recent years. But, despite that, the one-in/two-out method of trying to tame my out-of-control TBR has been working quite well: I now have 34 fewer unread books on my shelves than I did at the start of 2018. Admittedly, at this rate it'd still take me about 27 years to get it down to zero, but I'm counting it as progress.

As is also traditional, here's a list of the best books I read in 2018, or at least which ones I gave at least 4.5 stars out of 5 on LibraryThing:


Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip bu George Saunders
Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor by Steven Moffat
The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller


The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
Science: Abridged Beyond the Point of Usefulness by Zach Weinersmith
Big Mushy Happy Lump and Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen
The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman
M.C. Escher: The Graphic Work by M.C. Escher
The Habit of Turning the World Upside Down by Howard Mansfield
But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman

Which I swear is an even more motley assortment of books than my usual.

Anyway. That's it for 2018, for me. I'll be back sometime in the next few days with the usual monthly thingamajig. I'm figuring on continuing to do that for the foreseeable future, if only because I'm far too lazy to think of anything else to do with this blog.

Until then, and once again: Happy New Year to you!

Saturday, December 01, 2018

December Currentlies

I suppose the most significant thing that happened to me in November is that I got my roof leak fixed. Again. Actually, this time it seems it wasn't the roof, but the skylight. I have two skylights, and they were both in very bad shape, so I had them replaced. I also had the water damage from the previous roof leak fixed, finally. I really, really should have taken care of that ages ago, but it's good to have it done now. Well, mostly done, anyway. The ceiling in that room will need to be repainted. But I figure I can do that myself. I mean, how hard can it be? Right? Right?

Current clothes: I just got out of the shower, so I'm wearing a bathrobe and bunny slippers. I may have gotten up earlier than I should have this morning -- see "current annoyance" -- but that doesn't mean I'm moving fast.

Current mood: A little tired. Also see "current annoyance."

Current music: Nothing in particular.

Current annoyance: Yes, it's my sleep/work schedule again. This past week I worked until midnight, which is fine, except that I had to keep getting up early for things like having my roof worked on. Which not only means that I haven't been getting an ideal amount of sleep, it also means that I haven't been able to start adjusting myself for the night shifts I'm working next week. Last night, I had plans for various things I could do to keep myself up later -- computer games! DVDs! vacuuming the house! -- but when I got home, the power was out, presumably due to the high winds we were having. I read by flashlight for a while, then gave up and went to sleep. And then woke up earlier than I should have, because my nose was stuffed, and the cat was yelling about being hungry, and I had to pee. So I gave up again and got out of bed. Sigh.

Current thing: Honestly, it's probably doing far too much stupid, time-wastey stuff, while neglecting all the actually useful and important things I should be doing.

Current desktop picture: Since it's December, I've changed it to my usual holiday image of a snow-dusted TARDIS with a wreath on the door.

Current book: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I picked this book up because I heard a lot of praise for it, but I left it sitting on the TBR shelves for a long while, mostly because I wasn't sure it would be my kind of thing. I find the Odyssey infinitely more interesting that the Iliad, personally. But now Miller's got a new one out that is based on the Odyssey, which I really want to read, but I figured I should get to this one first. And I'm so glad I did, because it's just terrific. Really well-written and absorbing.

Current song in head: It's been a weird medley of stuff this morning, but right now it seems to mostly be dominated by "Just What I Needed" by the Cars.

Current refreshment: Nothing. I should make some tea. Or maybe think about having lunch, after I get dressed.

Currently watching: Season 1 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Which... I dunno. It's cute, but it's still a little too, well, sitcommy for me. Which I'm aware is a silly thing to criticize when you're watching a sitcom, but still.

Current happy thing: It really is good to have that ceiling fixed! It had, if you'll excuse the pun, really been hanging over my head for quite a while.

Current thought: It bothers me that I am constantly so hung up on the rapid passage of time these days, but still: How the heck is it December already? How is it nearly the end of 2018? Where does it all go?!