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27 August 2017 @ 11:39 pm
Why must you die?  
Woke up Saturday to a washing machine that had mutinied, at least from the rinse cycle onward. This is after an expensive pipe break under the back yard deck, a random belt issue on one car, and our son's discovering what can happen when you drive barefoot and your foot slips off the brake onto the accelerator. No one was hurt, but in a contest of car vs.brick wall, the bricks won. :(

Our son's birthday on Monday was pretty low-key, mainly because we were all exhausted and jet-lagged. Then Tuesday I drove in to work, and back into the mayhem. My skin had cleared up over our vacation, but it started to break out again late afternoon on the first day back. /o\

Apparently, there was a minor cooling spell while we were gone (i.e., the daytime highs went below 90-degrees). That ended the day after our vacation was over. Now we're back up in that 107-degree range for a couple of days, and the expected mildest day this coming week has a high of 97. UGGGGGHHH!!! As for DC, I have a friend who grew up in the Midwest and its humidity. His theory is that people acclimate to that climate to the point where they sweat less, because their bodies have learned that it doesn't do any good. This could explain how people wear suits in that weather.

I got voted out of Idol last week, which was sad, but it was a good run and I appreciate those of you who supported me throughout! Thanks to my office stress, I wrote a lot of crack, which was actually kind of therapeutic. :)

I've read a lot of books over the last several months, including:
  • The Dead House, a sort of paranormal drama. Through journal entries, interview transcripts, and other media, it tells the story of a girl who may be succumbing to possession. Or her experiences might be a side-effect of her disassociative identity disorder. Or both. A very good YA novel, complete and well-balanced.
  • We Never Talk About My Brother, a collection of short stories by Peter S. Beagle. I tried for years to like The Last Unicorn, but just couldn't. These stories, though? The first one had terrific voices and such a neat idea, and the second (the title story) blew my socks off. Definitely worth reading.
  • Expecting Someone Taller, by Tom Holt. Replete with dry British humor and absurdity, this is the story of a man who accidentally runs over a badger and gets passed down magic Norse artifacts that provide him with enormous power. I nearly bailed on it when one of Odin's ravens used the phrase Bugger all. *Gag* British slang (or any slang) in a story with historical characters is just so clunky. I made myself persist, though, and enjoyed the book overall. And then checked out
  • The Outsorceror's Apprentice, also by Tom Holt. This builds on ideas from his When It's A Jar, and mainly features a fairytale world in which there are too many wolves threatening girls, too many dragons terrorizing villages, and far too much demand for chopped wood and milled wooden planks. And some of the characters are growing suspicious...

  • I've also started a Pascoe and Dalziel novel, always a pleasure. I restrained myself from going to the library this weekend, as I have another week on the few books HalfshellHusband and my son are reading, and I have a ridiculous backlog of Read and Return stuff. But next week? Oh, I can only be so strong...

    And now I need to make tomorrow's lunch and get to bed for another week of the Sisyphean exercise that is my work life...

    adoptedwriteradoptedwriter on August 28th, 2017 12:25 pm (UTC)
    Glad no one got hurt. Yeah...lesson learned. I don't even like to drive in flip flops.
    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 28th, 2017 04:37 pm (UTC)
    We have had the "no driving in flip-flops" rule forever, which our daughter regularly violates. :(

    For barefoot driving, we've never specifically banned it (the state does, I think), but I would think you'd get more traction. Here, our son went out to move the car from in front of the house to the driveway, and as he was doing the last part of parking, his foot slipped. He wasn't going very fast before then, but he managed to catch a brick corner on the garage, and trashed the front bumper. $1000+ to fix one of those. :(
    asher63asher63 on August 28th, 2017 12:28 pm (UTC)
    Wow, I did not know about that collection of Peter S. Beagle stories!
    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 28th, 2017 04:40 pm (UTC)
    I hadn't heard of it either-- I checked it out for my son, because it was in Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and the title really grabbed me. It seems to be a collection of stories he wrote at various times.

    The stories are really varied, and Beagle knows how to deal with a smaller arc, so the stories build thematically and they come to a complete end.

    I think you'd really like the first one, "Uncle Chaim, Aunt Rifka, and the Angel." The characters, the voices, the unexpected direction. And the second one? Wow.
    asher63: Koreasher63 on September 1st, 2017 01:09 pm (UTC)
    Awesome, I will have to check it out.
    Murielle: Scrunchedmurielle on August 28th, 2017 04:05 pm (UTC)
    I was really sad to see you go. :-(

    What is "crack"? You've used that word before, but I don't know what it means.

    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 28th, 2017 04:48 pm (UTC)
    Crack is usually for a story/movie/etc. where the characters or setting, or combination of various things, are highly improbable and somewhat crazy.

    Some people think of it as being weirder, like almost requiring author insertion or breaking the fourth wall or out-of-character behavior.

    For me, it has to actually be funny on top of everything else. One person said my interpretation of it was more like "extreme humor." BUT... gangs of bad street trolleys? The trial of Peter Rabbit? Support groups for salty foods (the ACTUAL foods) or personified campfires? There's a level of weirdness that goes beyond regular humor for me, and into the realm of "You must be on crack to have come up with this stuff."

    Actually, I see Urban Dictionary has a definition for crackfic in the fanfiction genre, which is "intentionally unbelievable and insane; often humorous."

    That says it pretty well, except that for me, there's no point in writing or reading it unless it's humorous!

    Murielle: Scrunchedmurielle on August 28th, 2017 06:08 pm (UTC)
    Ah! So crack is what I call extremely creative. Thank you. :-)
    passing_throughpassing_through on August 29th, 2017 01:19 am (UTC)
    That is a run of bad luck. Once you catch your breath, something else happens :(

    His theory is that people acclimate to that climate to the point where they sweat less, because their bodies have learned that it doesn't do any good.

    I wish someone would send that memo to my body because I've lived in Texas for almost two-thirds of my life and I can break a sweat in the summer while I'm standing still. And it's not a delicate sweat that makes me glisten, lol. It's looking like I literally got out of the shower and put my clothes on without bothering to dry myself off. It's gross and unladylike :D

    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 29th, 2017 05:20 am (UTC)
    That's what DC was like-- trickling sweat running down your back, sweat on the arms and the backs of the hands (a sure sign of overheating). I hate to be that hot!
    cindytsuki_no_bara on August 29th, 2017 02:30 am (UTC)
    the mechanical things in your life are out to get you! yikes. also, what kind of world do you live in that a "cooling spell" just means temps below 90º?

    i read tom holt's in your dreams a bunch of years ago and i remember it as being really fun. i take it his other books are fun too?
    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 29th, 2017 05:22 am (UTC)
    Apparently, Sacramento got relocated into Arizona while we weren't looking! This is hellish. :(

    Though I'd say that the world we live in is one affected by global warming, which is making everything more extreme.

    Tom Holt's other books ARE fun. There are a few I've avoided, because they appear to be "middle" books in a potential sequential universe. But I just asked our library system to order one I've wanted to read for years: "You Don't Have To Be Evil To Work Here, But It Helps." My kind of guy!
    Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on September 1st, 2017 04:21 am (UTC)
    It's even starting to get hot here in the Bay Area. Our summer has officially begun.

    That sounds like a terrible run of bad luck and I hope it is over!
    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 1st, 2017 06:20 am (UTC)
    I heard people saying earlier this week that their plans to escape the heat by going to the Bay Area had been torpedoed. 95+ in that area.

    I wish our luck had turned around, but it wasn't fast enough. My husband had a fall on Tuesday, and broke another bone... :(
    riverotter1951riverotter1951 on September 2nd, 2017 07:37 pm (UTC)
    Hopefully, this weekend will be better since Monday is a holiday with fewer people running around.
    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 5th, 2017 07:42 pm (UTC)
    It wasn't, as it turned out-- because you've seen the next post. I did spend Saturday & Sunday doing about 8 loads of laundry to catch up on 2 1/2 weeks of pre-vacation and dead-washing-machine stuff, and then pre-washing a lot of my son's new clothes/towels/bedding for college. Mainly because it's all dark colors, so you have to try to trigger any potential color leaking in separate loads while you can.