May’s biggest lesson: if you think you felt something snap off your purse, it’s probably because it did. Thus I came very very close to losing my Control Bear, my little black bear who has been with me since grad school and was the basis for one of my grad school projects, in a Wegmans parking lot. (This was 100% because I was not paying attention. The bear got caught on the edge of the shopping cart while I was loading my car, but I was in a hurry and didn’t think to investigate the little snap when I moved away from the cart.) It took me a couple of hours to realize the bear was gone and go back, but by that time of course the shopping cart had already been collected and taken back into the store, and the bear was not under any of the cars around the spot where I’d parked. I am so glad nobody was there to film me while I was lying on the pavement to look under all the cars, because I’m pretty sure I looked like I was plotting to steal their catalytic converters.

This was the biggest event on the Friday evening preceding Memorial Day weekend, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that I really thought it was going to ruin my whole weekend. While the bear is not particularly valuable, he is irreplaceable. I spent Friday night trying to find another one, figuring that the bear would naturally turn up once I’d ordered a replacement, but he doesn’t seem to be for sale anywhere, and I have no idea where I originally bought him. I did not have high hopes that the bear would turn up anywhere around Wegmans – my greatest fear was that somebody either walked off with him or threw him away – but I left my name and number with Wegmans customer service anyway, just in case.

And then they found him.

I don’t know if it was the cart attendant I talked to on my way out of the store or if it was some random customer who just happened to find the bear in their shopping cart, but whoever you are, thank you. I am so grateful to whoever found my bear and turned him in, and I am grateful for the kind Wegmans employees who listened without judgment while I raved about a self-decapitating bear (yes, really) and then actually found that bear within 24 hours. I have always been a Wegmans stan, and this is just one more reason why. And, yes, I will be keeping a better eye on my bear in the future, particularly now that I know I can’t replace him. Should’ve trusted my instincts and gone looking for anything that might’ve dropped when I felt him snap off his clip.

May Reading Stats

Books Finished:

  1. The Part About the Dragon Was (Mostly) True – Sean Gibson
  2. Mariel of Redwall – Brian Jacques
  3. Salamandastron – Brian Jacques
  4. The Bone Shard Daughter – Andrea Stewart
  5. Martin the Warrior – Brian Jacques
  6. Daughter of the Moon Goddess – Sue Lynn Tan
  7. A Thousand Ships – Natalie Haynes
  8. Heart of the Sun Warrior – Sue Lynn Tan

Total Pages Read: 3,276

I haven’t been in the mood for heavy reads this month, so I started with my brand-new hardcover edition of The Part About the Dragon Was (Mostly) True, which was, as always, pretty much the silliest read I could think of. The need for lighter reads is also the reason I read so much Redwall this month.

I didn’t read as much as I did in April, but I think I did manage to strike a better balance between reading and the myriad of other things I want to do in the evenings after work. I am also pleased that I managed – completely to my own surprise – to squeeze Heart of the Sun Warrior into the very last few days of May. I literally finished it the night of the 31st, and, per usual, I have a lot of thoughts because I really got sucker-punched by that ending. I was very much Not Prepared, and now I am le sad and I also have Wenzhi hangover omg help. According to goodreads, there is going to be another installment in the Celestial Kingdom series, and it cannot get here fast enough. (And if it turns out that this third installment is about Chang’e and Houyi instead of Xingyin and Wenzhi, I am going to scream. And also a teeny tiny part of me also wants Liwei to be a part of it, because I’m not done with him yet. IYKYK. Either way, I now have the audio books for both of the existing Celestial Kingdom books, and I am waiting till I get busy at work again so I can start listening to them.)

In blogging news, I am happy to have learned that I actually can keep up with a twice-a-week schedule. Posting on Wednesdays has given me something to look forward to during the work week, and it has also alleviated my earlier concerns that posting once a week was going to push my publication schedule into next year. I am particularly excited about the official beginning of the Redwall project, which was launched this past Wednesday with the very first of my planned Redwall review series. This is the reason my publication schedule was such a mess for a while: between scrambling to post appropriate content for AAPI heritage month and being in agonies that I could not start publishing my Redwall reviews sooner, I have found myself completely rearranging my posts multiple times. The schedule is currently set in an order I can live with, though quite a number of my upcoming reviews will not be published in the order in which I read the books. But I wanted to get the Redwall project started earlier than mid-June or July, which I think is when they were originally scheduled to begin, and I can live with the reviews being out of order with my actual reading list, so we will proceed as-is.

Currently Reading

Six of Crows
Leigh Bardugo
I have gone on record saying I would never read Leigh Bardugo, which is why I am now reading her. (jk. The real reason is that Michaella lent me Six of Crows, so I thought I’d at least give it a try.) And maybe it’s my own innate bias because I am so disinterested in her work, but I’m probably going to DNF and I can’t put my finger on why. The writing is good. The characters are interesting. I am disappointed that Anya died in such a shitty way because I wanted to learn more about her, but that’s not the reason I’m leaning towards the DNF button. Maybe it’s because I’m not completely into Kaz…? I really do not know. I’ll give it till page 100, but if it doesn’t grab me it’s going home unread.

Bookish Haul

lol I ordered these gorgeous bookmarks in April and have only just now got around to taking them out of their plastic bag because I keep forgetting I have them, even though they would have been reaaaaaaaally nice when I was reading Heart of the Sun Warrior. Regardless, I love Saiyre’s work – I also have her embroidered rabbit hoodie, because I have been out of control with the rabbit merch this year – and I can’t wait to put these to work. Maybe I’ll even remember to use them when I start The Bone Shard Emperor, because the antlers on the dragon bookmark are making me think of Mephi.

I also finally caved and bought a headboard pillow, as seen on one of those listicles about Amazon products to buy before you die. This particular pillow has a pocket on the side (the wrong side – I’m going to have to flip the pillow around so the pocket is by the table instead of the opposite wall) and I am just sliiiiiiiightly put out because the pocket is smaller than it looks in the pictures and I really thought the pillow had pockets on both sides, but otherwise, what a find. I have tried to prop my regular pillows against my headboard, but they always slip through the gaps and drive me crazy. This headboard pillow is exactly what I want when I’m reading or watching TV in bed. I did have some doubts when it first arrived because it was packed into a tight little square that looked like a rice bag and it was definitely not the size it is in the picture, but it turned out the pillow had merely been vacuum-sealed, and it expanded quickly enough. As a bonus, the blue cover comes off and is machine-washable, and you’d better believe it got bathed upon first acquaintance because my Japanese ass will not stand for an unbathed pillow sitting on my clean bed.

That being said, disassembling and then reassembling the pillow was not as easy as the Amazon listing made it sound, and, based on the battle that took place between me and the pillow when I was buttoning it back into its cover, this is an event that will occur once a decade. I really did not expect to get a full-body workout while dressing the pillow.

I might have to find another home for the pillow, which has drastically shortened the amount of leg room I have in the bed, but for now at least it’s okay where it is.

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