And the kitty mom will say, “It’s that ‘orrible cat!”

And also, the back of my right hand looks even worse than the back of my left hand because I have a bad habit of reaching down bare-handed and grabbing Circe by the leg every time she attacks the couch, and, well, girl’s got claws and a horrible temper. She’s just like her mother. :’D

And also also I dropped a curry seasoning box out of my pantry and it landed on my favorite spoon rest and broke it in two, and if that’s not the most Asian fucking kitchen problem I’ve ever heard of I genuinely do not know what is. I keep meaning to try to gorilla glue the spoon rest back together, but right now he’s living on my table indefinitely because I keep forgetting.

Biggest surprise of the month: I never thought I’d say any of these words in this order, but I am seriously impressed with Walmart’s ramen selection. It is rare that I find any kind of ramen I haven’t heard of, but they surprised me with the Shin chicken ramen which of course I had to try. The ramen is fine, though IMO it smells like a spicy cup o’ noodles. I don’t need to buy this again in the future, but I like having the option.

And I got myself a new phone case, which took eleventy-one years to arrive but was totally worth it. I recently noticed it has a little cutout on the bottom right corner, which excites me greatly because I definitely got some phone charms lying around that I want to be able to use again.

In more bittersweet news, Zuri is now guarding my desk. Circe has not yet shown any interest in knocking her off the monitor stand, for which I am duly grateful.

March Reading Stats

Books Finished:

  1. Phantom Pond: A Shady Hollow Halloween Story – Juneau Black
  2. These Violent Delights – Chloe Gong
  3. The Fox Wife – Yangsze Choo
  4. Cat + Gamer 1 – Wataru Nadatani
  5. Cat + Gamer 2 – Wataru Nadatani
  6. Cat + Gamer 3 – Wataru Nadatani
  7. Cat + Gamer 4 – Wataru Nadatani
  8. The Girl in the Tower – Katherine Arden
  9. Spy x Family 11 – Tatsuya Endo

Books Abandoned:

  1. The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Total Pages Read: 2,009

This was a big-time manga month, because I got sucked into Cat + Gamer and I haven’t looked back. I love this series so much that I am now subscribed to it on Amazon, which means I’ll automatically get each new volume on my Kindle as it is released. There are currently four volumes available in English, and I’m expecting four more before the series is done. And that’s absolutely great, because I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH. It’s cute and sweet and refreshingly low-drama, low-stakes. I love the art and the character designs, particularly for the cats. Even if I didn’t know that the artist does indeed have a tuxedo cat, the progression of the relationship between Kozakura and Musubi would be more than enough to convince me that Nadatani is 100% a cat parent.

To back it up a bit, Cat + Gamer follows 29-year-old Riko Kozakura as she is chosen by the cat distribution system, completely to her own surprise, during a routine day at work. By day she works in an office, but at night she goes home and plays video games like it’s her job. Her hobby takes a fairly big hit when she brings home a tuxedo kitten who got lost in her office parking lot – in one heartstopping chapter he accidentally deletes her game progress before she can save – but she affectionately names him Musubi and becomes the biggest cat mom overnight. As of volume 4, she has befriended a local pet store employee (who thinks she’s totally nuts, but, hey, it’s great when people can see each other for who they are) and adopted a little calico munchkin, whom she named Soboro. In conclusion, 10/10, Cat + Gamer is the perfect manga series and I will recommend it to absolutely anybody, if you don’t like it bite me.

Soboro is the reason I stayed up late devouring volumes 2-4, because she is on the cover of volume 4 and I had to meet the calico. I regret NOTHING. I love little Soboro so much that I finally named my Kindle after her, following a long and fruitless search for the perfect name. Ideally I would’ve chosen a female East Asian character who loves to read, but the only one who came to mind was Song Leiyin, and I refuse to name my Kindle after an idiot. I also wasn’t really feeling Xingyin or Spring Moon for whatever reason, and, while I did toy with the idea of naming her Snow for a while, I had to drop that idea because I didn’t want any confusion between my Snow and Coriolanus Snow. Technically I could’ve named her Xue’er or Yuki, which are both mentioned in The Fox Wife, but, since the character is referred to as “Snow” throughout, I wasn’t into it. Soboro she is, and Soboro she remains.

As regards the actual reading experience, I was a little wary of manga-reading on a Kindle, mostly because of the lack of color and because some spreads split over two pages. I should not have been. Cat + Gamer was an excellent trial for transitioning my manga collection to my Kindle, because it has dawned on me that I simply do not have the shelf space for several physical manga collections. Right now I’m 99% sure that I’m going to start buying Spy x Family exclusively on Kindle: (1) this will give me the option to subscribe to the series on Amazon, (2) I have no idea how many volumes there are going to be in this series, and (3) the digital mangas are a fuck of a lot cheaper than their printed counterparts. At the same time, a part of me wants to continue to collect the hard copies of the series in which I am fully invested, which does include Spy x Family, which is why I am still 1% undecided.

All the same, I have come to love my Kindle (four years after buying her, yes, yes), and I want to start transitioning not just my mangas, but more of my library in general. I had to be super tough in the unhaul I just did, and there were a number of books that ended up going into the boxes because I figured if I really wanted to read them again I could pick them up on Kindle. I am hoping this will help me adjust my book-buying habits, because I’ve been on a roll with my book-buying ban this year. I haven’t been 100% perfect, but my book spending is way down from what it used to be, and I really want that to continue because I do have a cat to support and I would like at some point to be able to buy a house.

As far as that one DNF goes: I ordered an absolutely gorgeous Holmes anthology back in January but realized fairly quickly that a book that size is absolutely not a joy to read in hard copy, which is why I went and bought a separate copy for my Kindle.

Yes, that seems like a waste of money to me too. On the bright side, that Kindle pouch I ordered last month is now here and I just suckered out and signed up for Kindle Unlimited again. I hadn’t planned to, but I found out I could get the free 30-day trial again and am entirely happy with my decision because I found Martha Wells’s murderbot series on KU, in addition to The Serpent and the Wings of Night (Carissa Broadbent). Like, I’m curious about Serpent, but I’m not convinced it’ll be my cup of tea and I don’t actually want to buy it.

Anyway, I have not actually given up on Holmes. I finished off A Study in Scarlet while I was getting my hair highlighted mid-March and loved it. My only annoyance is that I’d low-key forgotten not every eBook has page numbers. Some rely on location numbers instead, and, like, what the fuck am I supposed to do with this?

In conclusion, PLEASE go back to page numbers. I don’t track my progress by location numbers, and I can’t think of anyone who does.

Currently Reading

Sherlock Holmes Complete Collection
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Current rating: 4 stars. I’ve been having fun finding the spots where the book and the show intersect, particularly the rache/Rachel debate. I really need to marathon the show, even if there are no angry Mormons in it.

I Am a Cat
Natsume Sōseki
Current rating: Unclear. I’ve had this book on my shelf for years, but have never read it. I will say it’s a lot more depressing than I thought it was going to be and the introduction spoiled the ending, and I kinda hate whoever wrote that intro. That’s the kind of thing you put in an afterword.

Our Violent Ends
Chloe Gong
Current rating: 4ish stars? idk, I’ve been liking the 120 pages I’ve read so far, but the Marshall thing still seems like arrant nonsense because Juliette keeps saying she wants to protect people from Tyler but Scarlets are dying anyway because the White Flowers keep killing them out of revenge??? Like, make it make sense, because it doesn’t. I stand by my statement that Marshall’s survival has not yet been revealed solely for the purposes of drama. I don’t see any reason she can’t transfer Marshall to the White Flowers’ custody and tell Roma that he has to tell everyone he and Benedikt or whoever went back for Marshall after the confrontation with Tyler. (But also, Juliette telling her father “I crave violence” briefly unalived me. I love her.)

Mega Unhaul + McKay Used Books

Let no one claim that unhauling is a tidy process.

This does have a happy ending, because I cleared three boxes’ worth of books from my shelves in order to fit in all the new books I’d bought. (And after all that, it still was only just barely enough to integrate both the new books and a shelf’s worth of short story fiction with the rest of the fiction books. Unfuckingbelievable.) This included the very difficult decision to unhaul the bone shard books, which I’d been hanging onto because they are literally so beautiful. But the thing is, I’m never going to read these books again, and I know it. Even if they eventually come out with a TV show, which seems unlikely, I’m not going to get the urge to reread the series. The ossalen are not enough. The books are too long and too aggravating, and I did not find this series a rewarding experience.

On a more general note, it is ridiculous how many books I had and still have. Literally who let me buy this many books and never read them.

I won’t pretend it was fun hauling three boxes of books down three flights of stairs to get to the car, but there was a reward at the end of it: after a solid two months of saying I was going to go any day now, I finally made it to McKay Used Books! They’re in Manassas, which is a lot farther than I thought from Towson, but this was the best book-selling experience I’ve ever had, including that one time I drove up to Pittsburgh just to sell books. McKay provides little wagons, which I appreciate, but their true genius is in the little red shopping trolley I happily wheeled around the store while they were pricing my books.

Look, I don’t care if I’d just got rid of three boxes of books. That copy of The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge was $2.24, and I’ve been wanting to read it for years. On top of that, they offered me $114 store credit or a $66 check with some store credit, and I’ve never gotten such a good offer at any of the used bookstores I’ve been to. I went with the check because I won’t be driving down to Manassas often enough to justify the store credit, but this was a great little day trip, and I will be back. (And then of course I stuck the check into a book I was giving to a friend and forgot it was there, and now I’m working on getting it back. Go fucking figure.)

March Favorites

Apparently we’re doing monthly favorites now. In no particular order, these have been a few of my favorite things this month:

  1. The Traitors (U.S. edition)
  2. Pilates (expensive af, but fuck it, I can’t just work out by myself, I need somebody telling me what to do)
  3. Shop Titans

Recently I’ve been watching this horrible reality show called The Traitors, and it’s awful (because the people in it are that special kind of reality TV awful, not because the show is bad) but it’s SO ADDICTING because I always want to know who dies next and who’s getting voted out the next day. I never used to be able to watch shows like this, but it helps that the people aren’t as bad as they are in far trashier shows. This is the level of drama I can tolerate, and I’m even kinda into it now. I’m three episodes into season 2 of the U.S. Traitors now (had to restart because I forgot to watch it for a while and therefore forgot everything that had happened this season), and I will be watching season 3. I’m also toying with the idea of watching the U.K. and Australian series when I run out of episodes to binge. There is something so deeply cozy about watching junk TV and playing Animal Crossing on a lazy evening after work yes okay I am basically IRL Kozakura.

Funnily enough, I actually haven’t been playing Animal Crossing this week because I got sucked into Shop Titans by my brother yES THE SAME BROTHER WHO GOT ME SUCKED INTO ANIMAL CROSSING THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I can’t believe how addicting this stupid game is when it’s basically a very stripped-down Animal Crossing, I mean, you’re just running a shop and creating little characters to send off on material-gathering quests so you can make MOAR monetizable goods and swindle even moar people, oh god I love the surcharge feature. (The discount feature, on the other hand, hurts my heart.) I’m so hooked that I made a second account this week and I’ve been running it on the side while I’m working, and in case you were wondering yes it really is possible for one of your personalities to judge your other personality’s housekeeping.

I’m sorry, but the coughing is really judgy and unnecessary.

Circe’s Corner

Guess who has four legs and crawled under the side table to sulk on Thursday afternoon because the flea/tick med package did not contain a tasty kitty treat? That’s right, this girl. And guess who got her back dripped anyway and then indignantly lay in my bedroom doorway refusing to speak to me? Also this girl. =_=

And then later that same afternoon she tried to jump onto the bedroom windowsill from the floor but miscalculated the distance and rammed herself into the wall instead, because apparently my cat sucks at math. Also I bought her a unicorn crinkle sack and she has no idea what to do with it, lol.

And here she is all tuckered out after a very long day of hissing at/bapping Uncle Christopher who had the nerve to walk into the house last weekend smelling like Archie rolled all over him, lord this girl’s been testing me this week.

But on the other hand, how can I get mad at a little creature who looks like this?

Earlier this week I ascended to a new level of catmomhood when I went to BN for one thing and came out with that thing and also this thing that I happened to randomly spot while I was waiting for the bookseller to come back. I don’t know if it’s actually going to tell me anything, but I’m very excited to read it. :’)