2015 in Retrospect

Turning Calendar PagesDec 31, 2015

The last day of the year seems good a time as any to reflect on the year that was.

Some personal highlights include

Krystal finding a new job as Historic Interpreter

buying a relatively new car

Twitter interactions with Amanda Palmer, Niel Gaiman, & John Scalzi

 Neil Gaiman Retweeted MeAmanda Palmer Retweeted MeThe Scalzi InsultThe Scalzi Retweet

starting my seventh(!) year of teaching

making progress on my book

recording a podcast

surprising Krystal at Christmas

and of course

reaching reading and blogging goals

My Bookshelf, According to Goodreads

Leather Books with Ladder75 books completed

26,363 pages read

Shortest Book: The Visitor

Longest Book: The Silkworm

Average Rating: 3.8 stars

check out the complete Goodreads infographic

Around the Blogosphere

Views:

18,000 (approx)

equivalent to 7 sold-out performances @ Sydney Opera House

Pictures Added:

955

Busiest Day:

Sept 23 (152 views)

Most Popular Post:

Wicked Word Wednesday

Wicked Word Wednesday will return next week!

Longest Posting Streak:

45 Days (28 June – 11 August)

Top Commentators:

vivachange77

philosophermouseofthehedge

Petal and Mortar

shattenengel

Dr Meg Sorick

Why not help me return the favor to these kind folks and check out their blogs, too?

check out the complete WordPress infographic

So, tell me . . . how was your year?


 

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My Grandmother’s Grandchild

Almost a year and a half ago – has it really been that long? – I wrote about my grandmother’s house. Today, I found myself acting just like her.

Like all people, Grandma had her idiosyncrasies.

She described every good meal as “a bountiful buffet”.

When asked about get-togethers, she’d often proclaim “a good time was had by all.”

If there was a birth, she’d say the new baby went home with “little brother/sister [x]”, even though said sibling was now the big sibling.

We found this one strange for a newspaper columnist.

We didn’t call her during “her shows” (i.e. soap operas) unless someone was dying, and even then . . .

She never let you win at Scrabble; if you did, it was a rare occurrence and often by single digits.

And then there were her neighbors. Rather, her relationship with her neighbors.

I’m not one to spy or pry, but . . .

Their light was on til one in the morning.

His car was gone by seven.

She should wear more clothes when she mows the lawn.

And so on . . .

This morning, I found myself spying.

To be fair, it wasn’t on my neighbors.

However, I did get out my kitchen stool and watch certain proceedings through the blinds of my front door.

Also, I wouldn’t have done it if they hadn’t woken me up.

What happened? So glad you asked. This happened:

Yes, the city arrived at 7:00 with their equipment and yelling and beeping. Oh dear lord, please stop the beeping.

At least they were gone by the time Krystal had to go to work.

Otherwise, there’d have been words.

 


 

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Teaser Tuesday: Mouse Muse

I’m on my second day of the second week of Winter Break, and although my To-Do list is just about as long as it was when break began, I’m ready to start second semester.

As books have helped keep my sanity, it seems only fitting the Wheel of Time has turned to

Teaser Tuesday

Just in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather over at bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.

In terms of reading, this screenshot of Goodreads updates will suffice:

Currently Reading December 28 2015

Remember how I decided to read but not finish several books during the break, only finishing them after the 2016 Goodreads challenge starts? This is my progress.

Since I’m reading several books this week, let’s go with Mouse Muse: The Mouse in Art by Lorna Owen. The book is unique, with a different artist and work per spread with no artists repeated. She highlights paintings, sculpture, photography, and even modern art installations.

I’ve abandoned the Truly Random Number Generator for this week, choosing instead to highlight one of my favorite passages. From page 7:

Painters and stained-glass makers honored Saint 
Gertrude of Nivelles - who had expunged the rodents 
from seventh-century Francia, earning herself the 
awkward moniker Patron Saint of the Fear of Mice - 
with numerous portraits that included a mischief of 
penitent mice at her feet ("mischief" being a 
collective noun for mice.)

Mouse Muse Goodreads Cover

Those poor, poor mice; hopefully they will find redemption through humanity’s great artists.

In Retrospect

Although I’d intended The Relic Master to be the first book I finished in 2016, I didn’t realize the last few pages were acknowledgments. Thus, I finished it earlier than intended. However, Relic Master was such an engrossing tale I don’t mind the slight disappointment at all. Five stars and added to my “To Purchase” list.

Coming Soon

I’m reading quite a bit [see above] so it could be any one of those – – except Er Ist Wieder Da, with which I’m taking my time [it being in German and all].

 


 

What have you been reading?

 


 

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Don’t forget to follow me on:

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Twitter – where you can see my thoughts in 140 characters or less. Also, funny retweets.

Monday Morning Grievance: Holiday [Oxy]Morons

It’s Monday and I haven’t had my coffee.

Monday Morning Grievances Logo 1

Christmas Day behind us, New Years’ before us, crazies in full force.

One should stockpile all necessities by Dec 15 and only venture out when needed.

Drivers ignore speed limits, traffic signals, and signage.

Pedestrians refuse to look any direction.

Malls and Grocers descend into chaos.

I want to go home as soon as I reach the main road.

Home has its own problems.

Turn on the radio or TV, and a song, show, or movie will be proclaimed

an instant classic

a new tradition

That’s not how this works, people.

That’s not how any of this works.

I’d get you a dictionary for Christmas, but

(a) they’re expensive and

(b) I doubt you’d read it anyway.

And then there’s the family photographer, stealing a slice of our souls with every synthesized click of the button and telling us

ACT NATURAL!

Being natural, I make no apologies for

not smiling

not sitting up

not looking at the camera

not looking pleasant

not not blinking

If you wanted something else, you’re looking at the wrong person. But for you, I’ll do those things, knowing that the person in the photos is a pseudo-me, an impostor no better than Shopping Mall Santa.

Now I have a machine gun

ho ho ho

What’s Annoying You Today?


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Sunday Snapshots: Wonderful Christmastime

The most wonderful time of the year is also the busiest. Between birthdays, Christmas, and the irregularities of the United States Postal Service, celebrations in our family will often last five days or more.

Here’s some of what we did between December 22 and December 26:

 

And then there was this:

 How was your Holiday Season?


 

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It’s a Christmas Music Miracle!

Peanuts Christmas Carolers

Last Monday I complained about the awful songs that play on seemingly infinite repeat during the Christmas season.

Then, on Christmas Day, I woke up to discover two bands had attempted to rectify that situation.

Radiohead

Radiohead released their intended Spectre theme. Having listened to both Sam Smith’s official theme and Radiohead’s offering, I am of the opinion Radiohead nailed it.

The one person to vote in my Twitter poll agreed with me.

If you haven’t listened to Spectre yet, here it is:

Green Day

Move over, Mariah Carey; Green Day gave us a present that makes “All I Want for Christmas is You” sound like scales played on a toy piano. Feast your ears on this:

At they very least I think we can all agree it’s much better than anything Michael Bublé has done. Seriously, this should have dominated the airwaves this Christmas season. Oh well, there’s always next year.

Happy Christmas, Music Lovers!

 


 

Have a suggestion for a poem, photograph, or future post?

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Don’t forget to follow me on:

Facebook – where I share news stories, articles from other blogs, and various and sundry miscellany that happens to catch my eye. It’s stuff you won’t see here! Well, mostly.

Instagram – where I show you my Life in Motion and share quotes and such. The widget only shows my last three photographs – don’t you want to see them all?

Twitter – where you can see my thoughts in 140 characters or less. Also, funny retweets.

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