After not posting for a month, I announce that I’ll be heading out of town soon.  *SIGH*

My apologies, Dear Readers.  I’ve been juggling too many tasks lately, so more and more stuff has been pushed to the back burner.  Including these blog updates.  My bad.

So, I’ve been keeping very busy reading books and writing reviews.  My latest review book is over 800 pages long!  Okay, it’s in a graphic novel format, but STILL … In addition to my usual reviews — for the magazine and for the library — I’ve had a few “we thought you might like to do this extra thing” commissions.  All of which are coming just as I’m trying to tie up loose ends before we head up to Quebec for a week.  Yikes!  So on the plus side, my name will be out there more, and that will … I dunno, exactly.  Improve my Q rating?  On the minus side, I’m not getting paid for any of this, and my brain is starting to smoke.

I’m also keeping busy playing Pokemon GO (and doing so much walking that I’m getting shin splints) as well as Fallen London on my iPhone.  They are keeping different parts of my brain very busy — the text-based adventure with so much text that it’s like reading (yet another) book, and the game in which I catch bizarre and adorable monsters.

Fallen London

Pokemon GO

My boyfriend just retired, so we’re both adjusting to his new schedule.  Nine times out of ten, if I ask him if he needs me to set an alarm for him in the morning, he just gives me a look.  The great thing, of course, is that he has time to DO stuff.  Like take the car to the shop to make sure everything is in working order before the great drive north.  Like go out to dinner with his friends and colleagues (he didn’t want one big retirement party, but that means he’s having a dozen little parties instead!)  Like make me breakfast before I head out to work, fueling my walking-and-Pokemon-hunting time as well as the rest of my day.

Other stuff is … other stuff.  My brother has more ice cream and Italian ices in his freezer than before, which I DID NOT THINK WAS POSSIBLE.  But then again, it *is* ice cream season.

Freezer

He also had more cans of Axe Body Spray in his bathroom than … well, how many cans of Axe Body Spray do you think would be in the average frat house?  So, just take that number and round up.

Axe Body Spray

Seriously, though.  SERIOUSLY.  I mean, is it also Axe Body Spray season?

On the plus side, though, he sometimes exceeds my expectations.  We had a death in the family recently, and while I was afraid he wouldn’t call our cousin to offer his condolences, he actually did it.  Which, for him, is a major achievement since he usually won’t pick up the phone and make a call unless the world is ending (or the microwave is broken).

In other news, I’m keeping busy reading, writing, taking pictures, playing games, watching the Olympics, and listening to podcasts (most recently added: My Dad Wrote a Porno, which you should totally listen to … but NOT at work!)

In not-keeping-busy news, I’ve been utterly failing at updating this blog and updating my website.  Which sucks.  And which I need to improve ASAP, or whenever I’ve finished tying up all the other loose ends.

So, Dear Readers, does anyone have any Quebec-themed suggestions?  We’ll be staying for several days in Quebec City and several days in Montreal.  I’ll take historical suggestions, fun suggestions, poutine suggestions, and anything in between!

 

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Hello?  Hello?  Is this thing still on?

Oof, it’s been a busy month.  Or two.  So, most of the last two months looked kind of like this:

Review CopiesJust piles and piles of review books, first for one committee and then for another one, which ended up being about five times as hard as the first one.  I volunteered for both tasks, which makes me an idiot.  Or at least a well-read idiot.

I had piles of books on and above my desk at work, by my computer at home, and in our “library” at home.  Truth be told, we haven’t gotten our books out of the storage unit yet, so most of the books in our home library were my book committee review titles.  On the plus side, I am now WAY more up-to-date on YA literature than I’ve been for the last several years.  Still, though, my brain kinda hurts.

When I wasn’t reviewing books I would take breaks and let my brain untangle (or re-wire itself) by playing computer games.  First I played through season 1 of a game I’d heard about through an episode of the Idle Thumbs Podcast called The Last Door.  It’s a point-and-click adventure game that’s very low tech in terms of graphics but weird and awesome in terms of storytelling.  The story is very very … um … I guess “weird” IS the best word for it …

The Last Door gameIt’s definitely worth playing, if just to try to wrap your mind around the story!

I’ve also spent (way too much) time playing a game on my iPod called Trivia Crack (I’m linking to their twitter account because that’s in English but their main website is in Spanish) (which might explain all the translated questions)  It’s a little like Trivial Pursuit, only cuter.  And more addictive.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Let’s see … what else?  Oh, when I went to pick up a prescription at Rite Aid recently, I discovered that while there are many products they carry that can help save my life, they might secretly be trying to kill me …

Salty SnacksREALLY, Rite Aid?  You have to have an entire “salty snacks” section???  Argh!!!

Other than that, I occasionally managed to go somewhere that wasn’t work or home.  I made several trips to the Columbus Circle holiday market to go Christmas shopping and food shopping, and today we walked around Fort Tryon Park before going to the New Leaf Restaurant for brunch.  Even though it was a gray morning we still got some very scenic views:

Scenic View From Linden TerraceAnd we got a kick out of watching all the frisky squirrels running around:

Fort Tryon Park SquirrelSo my plan for today was to go back through my iPod which, as I mentioned recently, was filled to bursting with photos of all kinds of stuff.  Well, I discovered today that when my iPod crashed just last night and I had to restore its original settings and then reinstall all my old stuff … I lost all of my pictures that had been saved on my iPod.  Which really really REALLY sucks.

So what I did was go back through my email and look through my sent folder to try to track down copies of at least SOME of my pictures.  And I was able to get copies of many pictures that I’d forwarded to my friends over the last month.  Some of them are in this post, and some will be appearing in my next two posts I’ll be working on today — one about the process of getting our apartment “company ready” and one of food pictures I’d taken recently.

Stay tuned for those posts, and then I’ll be getting back to my semi-regular blogging schedule for a while, at least until my book committee work starts back up again …

Here are a bunch of video games that have been keeping my brain occupied over the last few months.  I first heard about Device 6 and The Stanley Parable through several mentions on the Idle Thumbs and Video Games Hot Dog podcasts, and The Room Two through a link my boyfriend sent me (probably because I couldn’t shut up about how cool the first game was). (more…)

Guess what?  According to a friend who lives in Australia, they’re getting to enjoy the Dr. Who-themed Google homepage that the rest of us won’t get to see until tomorrow.

Ah …. but it turns out that we CAN see the page (and play the game!) if we go to Australia’s version of Google: https://www.google.com.au/

And, hey, now we know for future reference how we can see into the future!

Many thanks to Rusalka for the heads-up!!!

I’m trying to remember the first game that I ever got for my iPod Touch.  It might have been Angry Birds, or it might have been Plants vs. Zombies, both of which I still enjoy to this day.  Those games, as well as the Angry Birds spinoffs I’ve purchased (Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Star Wars), were very sound investments for me.  But I’m guessing that you’ve already heard about those games, so I’m going to tell you about a few more.  I’ll start with games that I’ve played on my iPod Touch and my iPad (but which may also be available on other platforms, as well), and finish up with some online games that I have bookmarked on my computer at home. (more…)

I’ve been hearing about the development of the Word Realms game for a while now, but this is the first time I’ve seen what the gameplay will actually look like.  Let’s see — it’s a role-playing game in which you have to create words to defeat your enemies?  Created by the suuuuuuuper geniuses who created Kingdom of Loathing?  Sign me up for that!

By which I mean they’ve got a Kickstarter campaign going.  Chip in to get a copy of the game when it’s finished, or get to start playing the game several months earlier as a beta tester … NICE!!!