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24 September 2016 @ 01:00 am
Wow, almost a week now...  
I drove back home from San Diego last Sunday, which took a mere 7 1/2 hours as opposed to the 10 hours it took to get there. Whew. Not as emotionally hard as last year, but still not easy either. This time, at least, our daughter has friends there (one of whom will be a roommate again this year), and was excited to be going back, so it was pretty nice for her. Not so much the parents. ;)

I've finished a few books since the last update. Today, Noah's Compass (Ann Tyler), which was not anywhere near as good as her A Spool Of Blue Thread (I read that one a couple of weeks ago). While I was up in Oregon, I went to St. Vincent's with my Mom (she likes to prowl the used books there), and recommended Tyler's Back When We Were Grownups, as I thought she'd like it. She was up until 2 am, finishing it that same day, so that was a "yes." Rich characters, not always quite what you might expect, and they can both surprise and frustrate you in ways that feel real and true. "Noah's Compass" was far less substantial.

I also read Joe Hill's The Fireman. I enjoyed it for the most part—neat premise, interesting characters, hard to put down. I was a little puzzled as to the book's title, since the Fireman is not the book's main character (or even the center of its story). Most of all, I was a little jarred that the main female character underwent a personality shift about 3/4 of the way through the story. She started bantering wittily and talking like "one of the guys," which didn't smoothly evolve from who she was before. It was as if the character grew too far too fast—and I didn't buy it. Too bad, as I like Hill overall and this was a good book. Not NOS4ATU good, but few things will be!

In other news, our daughter's car got rear-ended on the freeway shortly before she left. The driver of the car behind her was probably texting, and hadn't noticed that the traffic ahead had slowed. Mercifully, our daughter is fine, but I think her car is going to be totaled as a result, and that is SUCH a pain. You have a perfectly good, working vehicle, and then someone runs into it, and the money you get for it is never enough to truly replace the vehicle you lost. Ugh.

Also featured in the HalfshellHousehold right now: skittering. And gnawing. Some of that is those squirrels on the roof, but I think we have mice or rats in between the floors again. Yuuuuck. Last time, the exterminator was useless and our problem was solved when we put The Whale out at night to earn his keep. Our current kitty, though, is worthless as a mouser. I think all of that is in the realm of "Huh?" for her. So now what?

Say, did anyone check out that frog vine from a few weeks ago? Do eet! And take a crack at The Akinator too, who has correctly guessed some things that truly impressed me. Sometimes, it even rubs in the fact that it has beaten you, with questions like, "Does your character advertise for insurance?" followed by "Does your character have a surprisingly deep, velvety voice?" when you have Dennis Haysbert's Allstate Insurance guy in mind. It got Patrocles in about 11-13 questions, and Ulysses S. Grant even faster. OTOH, I stumped it with Dylan Thomas and a camel. Not at the same time.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on September 24th, 2016 08:27 am (UTC)
Oh, my lord I just played the Akinator game and I was a little freaked out that he guessed the first one correctly. Stumped him on the next two, though!
(Max Headroom and Amy, from Little Women)

Sorry to hear about your daughter's car! My uncle's car was totalled when he was rear-ended by a woman who was texting. I'm always amazed at people's stupidity.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 24th, 2016 06:07 pm (UTC)
The Akinator is addictive! I'm surprised at what he gets in < 20 questions (Mary from "The Secret Garden," Thursday Next, Dean Winchester, and Mayhem), and my son says there are a lot of obscure TV/meme characters in there too. As in, he has NEVER stumped it on a Futurama character, even Blind Joe (and The Crushinator was easy for it, concluding with the final rubbing-it-in query of "Does your character live on a farm with its father?"). It got the hyperactive squirrel in "Hoodwinked" (whose name I did not even know), and went out to almost 30 questions but also picked up the singing goat from the same movie (surprisingly named "Japeth," of all things).

Texting drivers just appall me. HOW can you think that's safe, especially on the freeway? A guy at work says his son was also rear-ended on the freeway, by someone who felt 65-70mph was not fast enough and just plowed into him. :(