Sentence of the Day: Evan Thomas

The Lazy B got about ten inches a year, barely enough, and in some years not that.

— p. 9, First: Sandra Day O’Connor

The first female justice on the US Supreme Court grew up on a cattle ranch called the Lazy B in Arizona, and the ranch hands (most from Mexico) named their horses Hysterectomy, Hemorrhoid, Idiot, and in one case, Swastika (in jest, self is sure)

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

my guilty pleasures: Bicycles

Self was supposed to watch a Curtis Choy movie on eventbrite, which started at 5 p.m., but was having difficulty because she couldn’t remember the password to the email account linked to the event, and she didn’t feel like thinking up a new password because she’s had that same password pre-populated on all her different accounts for about 10 years, and if she changes one, it means she’ll have to change everything, and that would suck. Can’cha just tell self is such a whiz at all these different on-line events she signs up for? Also, she doesn’t feel like creating a new account for just one event, as that’s how she ends up with a gazillion new accounts all over the place, that she continually forgets the password for, and that is how things get out of hand.

Instead, self will reminisce about a crazy adventure she had in 2012, when she agreed to meet an old friend and her two daughters in Amsterdam.

The trip down memory lane was triggered by viveka’s blog, my guilty pleasures, one of self’s absolute faves. Her most recent post is on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: BICYCLES. viveka starts off her post by citing some statistics about bikes in the Netherlands.

In 2012, self was wrapping up a residency at a writer’s retreat in Scotland. Her friend was renting a house in Amsterdam for a few weeks and invited self to join them. Self didn’t know until she arrived that she’d be expected to bike all over, and she hadn’t gotten on a bike in 30 years (because California suburbs are bike deserts). So the first thing that happened to self was: she pretended like she had no problem biking, and immediately fell down. And she kept falling down. The last straw was when she crashed into a car at a traffic light. The man got out of his car and self wanted to die of shame. Have you ever seen a Dutch person angry? Neither had self, until that moment.

After that wonderful experience, the rest of the day continued, but self was “out of it.” That is, she was on automatic pilot, falling in between cars, falling on the sidewalk, etc. The worst part was, it was only her first time in Amsterdam in 40 years. So she didn’t recognize anything. Come to think of it, she didn’t even know why she agreed to bike in the first place. She would have gotten anywhere she wanted to go, much faster, if she had just walked. But her friend had gone to all this trouble of renting a bike for her (before self arrived). So it would have seemed really mean and petty if self didn’t at least try to show her appreciation. By biking and falling down. Biking and falling down.

Then we boarded a ferry to a distant island, and it was expected that the whole group would bike the circumference of the island. Self wondered why no one asked themselves: is this woman capable of biking the circumference of an island, after that display she gave of falling down 20 times on her way to the ferry? Apparently that was not a question that occurred to anyone. End of story.

Self has no memory of the island at all, even what it was called, and she has no memories of Amsterdam except a wee canal, and afterwards encountering a young man who was blissfully enjoying the sun, and who offered her a joint. NICE! The time to have enjoyed that joint was before she got on a bike, but let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth!

Self will post pictures with bicycles, shortly.

In the meantime, stay safe, all!

Currently Listening To

The New Abnormal, podcast launched by The Daily Beast in April.

Hosts: Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson

Money Quote: “. . . between Mary Trump, Demon Sperm, and the world still in chaos . . . ”

Yes. Yes. We are in the Last Days of the Trump Presidency, and it is a wild and crazy time, involving  bad hydrochloroquine sell jobs, threats to end TikTok and the US Post Office (and even the elections), and the U.S. Secretary of Education telling America their kids are “natural stoppers” for corona virus hence they should do their patriotic duty by GETTING OUT THERE, ATTENDING SCHOOL, and SAVING THEIR COUNTRY.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Quote of the Day: The Snakes, p. 87

  • Griff: “I can’t stand rented cars. They’re always completely disgusting, and collecting them is a nightmare.”

Well hello there, Father of Bea.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Novel As An Address to Self

“Black sheep of the family doesn’t begin to cover what I am . . . “

— Alex, brother of Bea, one of the main characters in The Snakes, who runs a terrible hotel in France

The Snakes, p. 38

This novel is hilarious!

My God, scrabbling noises overhead just as our young couple are about to kiss and make up after the dispiriting experience of arriving at a hotel owned by the wife’s brother which turns out to be decrepit, a shade above fixer-upper (Husband to wife referring to wife’s brother: “He’s a fucking mess.”)

The husband falls asleep despite the SCRATCH SCRATCH SCRATCH from the ceiling (How could he??? Is this a clue that he’s not going to make it to the end? Mebbe he deserves it!) and the wife, very carefully, so as not to wake her sleeping other, goes to investigate.

Oh no, wait, she doesn’t go to investigate, she gets up merely to put her T-shirt on, and then she goes back to the bed and falls asleep, too.

It’s the next morning that’s important, because the wife wakes up “alone in the bed. She checked her phone. Ten-thirty.”

STAY TUNED!

 

The Snakes, p. 30

It is truly unbelievable, how self can focus on anything when so much is going on in the world. Nevertheless, here she is!

She’s still enjoying The Snakes, by Sadie Jones. We meet Alex, the wife’s brother, who owns a hotel. The couple decide to drop by for a visit.

Beyond the narrow terrace a stone path led down through tangled grass, studded with dandelions. At the bottom of the garden was the barn and log pile. The heavy buds of roses lolled over cracked flower beds.

“What do you think of my garden furniture? It was dead cheap,” said Alex.

Several tables and chairs were scattered about, they were brand new, with brash, brown matching sunbeds dotted chaotically between.

“Is he taking the piss?” whispered Dan.

Between the strange brother, the moody husband (Yes, the husband, Dan, is moody), and the decrepit hotel, the stage is set for . . .  well, who knows what the stage is set for. Goodreads reviewers have expressed disappointment at the ending, but self is determined to carry on!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Also, the Wisdom of Amos Burton

James Holden is our bleeding heart hero. Fortunately, Amos goes with him to Ilus. Although nothing happens (sorry, fan fiction shippers), there is priceless priceless dialogue.

Cibola Burn, p. 291:

James Holden: “There will be people who think I’m very selfish.”

Amos: “True. But also, fuck ’em. They’re not us.”

the-expanse-amos-syfy-season-3-premiere-date

Wes Chatham as Amos Burton on The Expanse

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Amos and Holden, CIBOLA BURN

There is an ease between these two characters that makes Naomi almost superfluous.

There is so much good fan fiction about these two. Honestly.

It’s not self’s main ship, but the Amos/Holden fan fiction is mostly better than the Nolden fan fiction (Also, BTW, Naomi/Drummer fan fiction is pretty good)

pp. 144 – 145:

“So,” Amos said when Holden exited the town meeting that night. “How’d it go?”

“I must have done it right,” Holden replied. “Everyone’s pissed.”

They walked along the dusty street together in companionable silence for a while. Amos finally said, “Weird planet. Walking in open air at night with no moon is breaking my head.”

“I hear you. My brain keeps trying to find Orion and the Big Dipper. What’s weirder is that I keep finding them.”

“That ain’t them,” Amos said.

“Oh, I know. But it’s like my eyes are forcing those patterns on stars that aren’t really lined up the right way to make them.”

The scene continues. It’s such a charming conversation, not forced in any way. Love it.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

Her Protector’s Pleasure, p. 3: Male Brothel, Regency England

Reading Cibola Burn and this book concurrently. One is set on a new planet, the other in Regency England. She likes balance in her reading list, obv.

It gives self great pleasure to discover that the MC in Her Protector’s Pleasure is named Marianne, which is a beautiful name, the best. Just sayin’

Marianne, having looked over the — er — merchandise, is asked by her tour guide, the brothel madam:

  • So you’ll take Ernesto?

Boom! #medead

Stay safe, dear blog reades. Stay tuned.

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