This is the best time of the year. I am a day late and sunburned and tired af and I am really hoping for a peaceful month (unlikely for reasons we will get to in a minute), BUT it is finally September, and I am just so happy to shovel August out the door. Of course, having said that, I do have to admit that I’m currently looking at a solid week in the 90s, followed by a week in the low 80s because Maryland weather is arbitrary as shit. On the other hand, I’ve got a bunch of cute new fall earrings, so the hell with the weather.

I ordered the ghosts first, then immediately ordered three more pairs of earrings. These are all made of polymer clay, and are very lightweight and pleasant to wear. They’re so cute that they are actually motivating me to start changing out my earrings again, which I’ve been too lazy to do for years. I was so excited when I saw the pink ghost donut earrings: I had seen them earlier on Instagram but thought they were sold out when I couldn’t find them in the shop, but then I checked back one day and they were there. All earrings came from FSBennett on Etsy. I love her work, and I will be back.

And now for the reason my September is unlikely to be peaceful:

This is Archie. He arrived on the last day of August, and he will be staying with me while my brother is in Japan, which means I have a roommate for the next two weeks. (And he naturally has his own blog tag, because of course he does. All posts including Archie can be found under the tag archieneko.) As of this writing, Archie has been here for three days, and this is what he has learned thus far:

  1. If he presses the power button on the surge protector, the TV will turn off. I have seen him trying to figure out how exactly to work the button because I wasn’t paying him enough attention.
  2. If he starts scratching my couch, he can get me to pull out the laser pointer.
  3. If he starts bothering me while I’m sitting at my desk, I will give him pets.
  4. If he bothers me enough and I’m not too busy, I will stop what I’m doing and play with him.
  5. If he bothers me enough and I’m working, I will bring my laptop to the living room and sit with him on the couch.
  6. He likes taking naps on his tie-dye blanket, which I set up on the end of the chaise in the hopes that he would find it an agreeable spot for lounging.

As for me, I have learned that he’s learned all these things. (JK. I’ve learned that if I bring my laptop to the living room and sit with him on the couch, he will settle down and take a nap.)

The data support no conclusions as yet, but I am glad I decided to babysit Archie before I tried to adopt a cat of my own. I have been going back and forth on this question ever since he arrived: sometimes I think I could totally have a cat of my own, and other times I don’t. Right now I don’t think I could do this long-term, because I’m too much like a cat myself to really get along with one. To be clear, Archie is being diligently taken care of, in that he is regularly fed and his litterbox is cleaned every night, and I am usually here to keep him company. The trouble is that I don’t really know how to entertain him or interact with him because he is a baby and I am accustomed to adult animals who like to sit and chill. I long for Archie to curl up on my lap while we watch TV politely, without anybody walking over the surge protector. It’s only been three days, so no doubt I’ll figure it out as we go along, but I am glad I have this trial run because it’ll give me plenty of time to decide if I can learn to live with furry furniture and stray litter on every flat surface. (Not too optimistic on this count. I am neurotic as fuck, and the litter on my coffee table is not helping matters. Like, literally, this is my couch right now.)

One thing I’m learning – and which I already kind of knew, but it’s one thing to know it and another thing to do it – is that having a cat, even if temporarily, isn’t a minor adjustment so much as a lifestyle change. I am not a morning person, but I now get up more or less with my alarm because Archie eats his breakfast early. I’m hoping he’ll get me out of my habit of sleeping late: my sleeping schedule is fucked, and it’s been surprisingly nice to be more productive in the mornings. I have childproof locks on my cabinets, there is cat food on top of my fridge and a box of litter next to my hallway bookcase (specifically because I didn’t want it in a place where Archie could potentially push it over), and I have gotten into the habit of closing the door while I’m in the bathroom and keeping the toilet lid down.

With that said, I thought the magnetic childproof locks I installed on my cabinet doors would drive me crazy, but I have been doing well with them, and they certainly keep a nosy little creamsicle-colored somebody from opening all the cabinets and poking around where he doesn’t belong. I am also pleased that he has been using the scratching mats I hung over the arms of my blue couch, and that he at least is comfortable enough with me to climb up on my bed at night. I’m hoping that eventually he will sleep on my bed, so this is a step in the right direction.

August Reading Stats

Books Finished:

  1. The Legend of Luke – Brian Jacques
  2. Lord Brocktree – Brian Jacques
  3. Taggerung – Brian Jacques
  4. Chobits 1 – CLAMP
  5. The Ghost Bride – Yangsze Choo
  6. Chobits 2 – CLAMP
  7. Chobits 3 – CLAMP
  8. Triss – Brian Jacques
  9. Plain Bad Heroines – Emily M. Danforth

Total Pages Read: 3,012

I really dragged my feet on my Ghost Bride and Plain Bad Heroines rereads, and it took me way longer than it should have to read both books. My lack of motivation was not helped by a very arbitrary decision to reread the Chobits series. (On the other hand, the Redwall reread is still going strong. With any luck I’ll be able to post every Redwall review this year, without having to post any of them back to back. My publication schedule seems to support this at the moment.)

As for PBH: I have never been the kind of person who annotates their books, but it seems it’s been a month for surprises.

There literally was no other way for me to keep track of everything. I still don’t believe in writing in books, so I will be making an annotation document to go with all the tabs. This reread also finally got me to order the Mary MacLane book, which arrived with a warped cover. Somehow this seems creepily on-brand.

Currently Reading

Current rating: 3 stars. I mean, it’s okay. I remembered it being repetitive from the first time I read it in high school, and I can now confidently say that high school me was not wrong, though it is somehow even more repetitive than I remembered it being. Yumi is giving me a headache. If we could have slightly fewer shots of the women standing around being teary-eyed and impossibly sad, that would be appreciated.

Brian Jacques
Current rating: 5 stars. Not much to say right now, other than that I have positive memories of this book and it’s been holding up so far. Still waiting for a clue as to where it falls within the Redwall chronology, though I have a general assumption that it comes after Triss.

bookycnidaria Road Trip

I have been itching to visit a Half Price Books, which I first learned about from PeruseProject’s vlogs, but I thought they were only in Dallas. Fortunately, I eventually thought to look on their website, and it turns out they actually have a few locations in Pennsylvania, within driving distance of me – farther than I’d like, but still close enough for me to get home on the same day. I’ve been building up my unhaul box for a while and it was time to offload it, so I thought I’d give HPB a visit and see if I could get more from them than I typically do from Wonder Books. And, even though I wasn’t particularly excited about the drive, it was a lot shorter than I thought it would be, and the Pennsylvania tolls weren’t as obnoxious as I remembered them being.

Final verdict: I will be back, next time with more books and probably some CDs and DVDs. The staff were super nice, and I ended up getting $29 for my box of books, which is a damn sight better than the $5 store credit Wonder Books generally offers me for a box of books in perfect condition. I then blew $28 on three new books, which is why I need to bring more books next time. I can’t begrudge myself too much, because I finally found a copy of Purple Hibiscus (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) in the edition I’ve been wanting for years but have never been able to find. I also picked up Legends & Lattes (Travis Baldree), which seems like a good cozy fall read, and Moby Dick (Herman Melville). Given that I have a notoriously poor record with the classics, I will be pleased if I am able to follow Moby Dick at all.

Bonus: I stopped by an Italian pastry shop on the way back. Their cakes are just the kind of texture that I like, and I will also be visiting them the next time I go to HPB.