My vacation time so far has been spent doing a bunch of different things:

I read Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Roz Chast Memoir

I picked up this book with a mixture of interest and trepidation.  Interest because I’ve been a fan of Chast’s cartoons for years, but trepidation because I wasn’t sure how soon after my own mother’s death I’d be able to emotionally handle the story of her parents dying.  It was an emotional story, and while I did cry a couple of times I actually found the story more funny than sad.  FWIW, it actually reminded me more of my grandparents’ old age and deaths (in their 80’s in nursing homes) than my mother’s (in her 70’s at home).  There were a number of times that Chast’s stories hit very close to home for me, but I think I could handle reading it in part because I already DID handle this situation in my own life and I know that it’s over.

I read Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz.

Welcome to the Dark House

It’s a new YA novel that started off with an intriguing premise and an exciting story about nightmares, an essay contest, and an abandoned amusement park.  But then as the story wore on, it got progressively more frustrating.  I don’t know if the author plans to explain what the hell was going on in the sequel, but I’m not going to stick around to find out.

I started another YA novel: Hungry by H.A. Swain.  I can’t tell you much about it yet, but I can share an example of my awesome visual humor skills:

Hungry

[This picture features several things that make me happy -- a "Kronie" from Jolie's Sweet Creations and sandwiches from Num Pang]

Other than that, I’ve spent most of my time moving into my new (old) apartment.  I’ve been spending a lot of time dealing with the kitchen, since we have lots of cabinet space there so I can start putting stuff away:

Lined Kitchen Drawers

[lined kitchen drawers]

Filling Up the Kitchen Cabinets

[filling up the kitchen cabinets]

Washing the Rocks Glasses in My New Kitchen

[washing my mother's "rocks glasses" in my new kitchen]

We also did a LOT of shopping — at local hardware stores for window screens, at Bed Bath and Beyond for lots of things we NEEDED, at The Container Store for … well, you can probably figure that part out.  We also went to Bob’s Discount Furniture to get a bedroom set, which was a very entertaining experience not just for the novelty of lying down and testing mattresses in front of a stranger (aka a friendly salesperson) but for the packaging on the bedcovers that came with that mattress:

Dust Mite Protection Barrier

[AAAAAH!  Look at the dust mite!  He's shaking his little fist in frustration!]

Another positive aspect of moving is finding stuff that I knew was in the apartment SOMEWHERE:

Night Vale Bumper Stickers

[These Welcome to Night Vale bumper stickers were originally supposed to be part of a Christmas present.  Now they're going to be Summer Reading Club prizes, instead!]

Overall, it’s been a positive and cathartic experience, albeit a tiring one.  I’m still off work for the next several days, so my boyfriend and I will get some more moving done this weekend and then I’ll have a couple of days to do some more setting up at the new place.

Check out the famous and not-so-famous people participating in the #ireadeverywhere campaign!

The State of Children’s Literary Blogs Today

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories From the Stacks

Moving Boxes

This is going to be a busy week.  I’ll keep you posted!

My boyfriend picked up the keys to our new apartment yesterday and took a look around and got some pictures for me.  Everything is great except the child-safety bars are still in the windows and we wanted them removed, so that still needs to be sorted out.

We tried to go there together this afternoon, but a bunch of streets in the neighborhood were closed off so there was no place to park and we ended up coming back home instead.  My boyfriend has next week off, so he’s going to get some painting done (they already did a basic whitewash of everything, but he wants to do a cool two-toned look like we have at our current place).  Then we both have off the next week after that, so we’re going to be doing most of our moving at that time.  And then we’ll be hiring movers for the heaviest stuff at the end.

My plan is to go and take lots of pictures of the empty apartment and document how we fill it up, but for now I’ve got the pictures my boyfriend took to tide me over.

New Place 1Kitchen

New Place 2Bedroom

New Place 3Bathroom, featuring the claw-foot bathtub!

New Place 4The second bedroom, which we’ll use as … an office?  A den?  A party room?  A library?  Okay, we haven’t quite figured that out yet.

Since it’s been over a week since I’ve posted any food pictures, here are some mouth-watering photos for you to enjoy. They’re from my recent visits to Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen, Baked by Melissa, and Mel’s Burger Bar, plus a home-cooked meal that spoke to my heart. (more…)

I know, I know.  I’m usually better about posting here semi-regularly, at least.  I’m not sure if I’ve been more busy, or tired, or distracted, or all of the above.  But in any case, while I’m here waiting for the Excedrin Migraine to kick in and washing it down with coffee, I can fill you in on some of the things that have been going on lately. (more…)

After a day that was filled with unexpected agita at work, I’m ready for a pick-me-up and I’m ready to put my brain on autopilot for a while.

That’s why I will be watching Sharknado 2: The Second One on the SyFy channel at 9pm EST tonight.

And you should, too.

Sharknado 2

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