Happy AAPI Heritage Month. I am much more prepared than I was last year, though in fairness I do have to admit that I will only be posting two reviews this month because I am taking a week-long hiatus during my LA trip at the end of May. It’s hard to believe there are so few weeks in May and I don’t know why, though this may be a carryover from last year, when I got used to posting twice a week. It now seems strange to be posting only once a week.

Things I was supposed to be doing this month:

  1. Work on my first novel please for the love of god I am begging myself
  2. Clean my apartment and keep it clean
  3. Switch my winter clothes/bedding for summer clothes/bedding

Things I did instead:

1. Turned my cat and my brothers’ cats into giant floating heads on popsicle sticks LOOK IT WAS OUR MOM’S IDEA OKAY

2. Played 10000000000 hours of Shop Titans
Starting my Locked Tomb character collection with, of course, Gideon. Harrow is next. I have the character slot open but I have to wait till level 32 so I can set her up as a sorcerer which is annoying >_< BUT I am SO CLOSE to hitting 32, so Gideon and Harrow will be annoying the shit out of each other soon enough.

3. Resurrected my old panda phone charm!
I’m pleased as punch with this one. I recently noticed that my new phone case has a little cutout for a charm string, so I took full advantage because I have really been sad that I couldn’t attach any cute charms to my phone heretofore. I thought the case took its sweet time arriving, but now that I’ve found the charm slot I will be ordering exclusively from this company moving forward.

On the phone: Shop Titans. Obviously. The one annoying thing about the game is that the NPCs keep swinging by the shop to ask for (real) money and I have been so so SO good about not funneling money into this game except for one pack of gems which I really needed. I do not have a good track record when it comes to addiction and mobile games, and I am so very proud of myself for not caving. Of course, the game itself makes it easy with its sheer volume of available in-app purchases. There are so many packs that my undiagnosed ADHD ass would not be able to pick one, even supposing I did want to spend real money.

4. Went to dinner, like, once
I do not have any lighthearted kitchen injury-related stories this month, so here’s a few pics from my last dinner with Michaella because I had a birthday coupon, GDI, and I was going to use it.

5. Cooked a lot
On the menu this past week: Thai curry, because this pot produced enough leftovers for the week. This is the reason I’ve been able to keep myself from ordering out. This is a very good thing.

6. But also I actually did do the spring switcharoo thing and I am proud
Lightweight sheets are on the bed, the comforter is back in the closet till late fall, and my long-sleeve drawer now holds tank tops. I’d call that a good day’s work.

In other news, the cat has scoped herself a new favorite hidey-hole, and, yes, she thinks she’s very clever. I’d be in there with her, but I got stuff to do.

April Reading Stats

Books Finished:

  1. The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich – Deya Muniz
  2. Our Violent Ends – Chloe Gong
  3. How to Argue with a Cat: A Human’s Guide to the Art of Persuasion – Jay Heinrichs
  4. The Winter of the Witch – Katherine Arden
  5. Tales of the Celestial Kingdom – Sue Lynn Tan
  6. The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman

Total Pages Read: 1,990

Despite all my lagging and slumping, it’s actually been a pretty good reading month. I finished the Violent Delights duology and liked it enough to continue with the Secret Shanghai series, starting with Foul Lady Fortune; I also finished the Winternight trilogy and drafted reviews for the second and third books, and I’ve gotta say, that is an awesome feeling. I’ve been having significant difficulties drafting reviews this year and I’m not sure why, other than that I’m so out of practice. Last year the reviews could be difficult at times, but by and large I didn’t have too many issues because I was cranking them out several times a month. I’m hoping I’ll get back into blogging shape the more reviews I write, though I suppose this would defeat the purpose of trying to blog less so I can write more.

Speaking of series binges, I reread The Thursday Murder Club in preparation for reading the other three books, and holy shit I’d forgotten how much I love that book but also how much it pisses me off that Osman does not know his present from his past. Normalize knowing the difference between past and present tense. It’s not exactly rocket science.

Best find of the month: The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich, an ADORABLE graphic novel that features wonderful characters, lovely clothes, a queer romance, a little dog, and, of course, lots of drawings of grilled cheese sandwiches. This was a Lori rec, and I cannot thank her enough. I’m so glad I ordered the full-color hard copy instead of settling for the B&W Kindle version. This is going to be a comfort read for sure.

And this is hands down the greatest comic panel ever drawn, I will not be taking feedback on this subject, anyone who disagrees can perish.

As for my blossoming relationship with my Kindle: It’s going great. I found out that dust plugs are a thing, and now little Soboro is all dressed up. I do wish the cat were a calico, but, well, can’t have everything. As a bonus, the plug came with a free sticker, which promptly got stuck into my blog planner. (Yes, I somehow ended up with three planners this year. Don’t ask me how. The story is embarrassing, and it just goes to show that I will truly twist myself into a pretzel to justify having three planners for one year.)

Currently Reading

Sherlock Holmes Complete Collection
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Current rating: 4 stars. I finally started The Sign of the Four, about a month and a half after finishing A Study in Scarlet. I have started highlighting the passages that the show used, and now I need to go back through Scarlet again and make my highlights there before I proceed through the rest of the book. My notes and highlights are here.

I Am a Cat
Natsume Sōseki
Current rating: 4 stars. I thought it would be more about the adventures of the cat and less about the cat dissecting his twitty owner and the owner’s twitty friends, but this book is SO FUNNY. The scene with the terracotta badger killed me. IYKYK. This one also bounces freely between past and present tense, only worse than Thursday Murder Club, and I never thought I’d say that. I don’t know if that’s deliberate, but I don’t see how it could be, or what purpose it would serve.

Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy
Current rating: Too soon. I’m not even on page 100 and I’m only three chapters into the story, which so far has revolved around Stepan Arkadyevitch wondering why his wife just has to be mad that he had an affair with their children’s governess. (Women, AMIRITE?) I am, surprisingly, enjoying the book and having no trouble following the prose. Tolstoy is a fuck of a lot easier to read than Nabokov, which I appreciate more than I can say because reading Nabokov is a real mindfuck.

I have been so neglectful of my reading, which I suppose was kind of the goal this year, but apparently I thought I could fix that with a 1,000-page book. My judgment, as always, is flawless. On the other hand, she does have real page numbers, for which I am duly grateful.

One decision I do not regret: reading Anna Karenina on Kindle. I am tired of holding up 1,000-page books and trying to keep them from dropping onto my face, and I love the Kindle’s annotating abilities so much. My notes and highlights are here.

Foul Lady Fortune
Chloe Gong
This is embarrassing. I’ve had to restart Foul Lady Fortune. I got 14 pages in and then I slumped, which is not at all a reflection on the book. Long story short, I have neither a projected rating nor any sort of grasp of the plot, but I’m excited to get back into it now that I’m not distracted with finishing up the Winternight books. This is also a Kindle read; my notes and highlights are here.

Ridiculous Things I Didn’t Need But Bought Anyway

Because what is an end-of-month summary without a bit of a haul?

This is maybe a bad admission, but online ads work on me because I wasn’t in the market for wraparound earbuds but then Bose started dangling their open earbuds all over my screen and now here we are. And for what it’s worth, these things are SWEET. They are coming to LA with me (which honestly was part of the purpose in ordering them in the first place).

Unexpected but sorely needed: a wildflower loaf pan I happened to see at Wegmans and desperately wanted. Look, I had an out-of-towner coming to visit. I was baking her a cake. I wanted it to be pretty. You get the idea.

Every time I say I’m not going to buy another bag, I go and buy another bag. I really need to start selling the bags I don’t use. But every time I start trying to go through my bag collection, I end up keeping 90% of it because I love all my bags so much. u_u

Maybe NEXT month will be the month I don’t buy a new bag.