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Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tales
My current book review policy is behind the LJ cut. Click to read it.Collapse )

(Art by hamburger.)

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Move all done! I'm really happy with my new (new-new) apartment. $100 and change more a month than my previous new one, but I have a lot more space (junior bedroom instead of studio), AC, an assigned parking spot (instead of first come, first serve with fewer parking spots than there are apartments), and spiders. Okay, maybe that last one isn't really a feature. I found the biggest one in the bathtub this morning though, and another outside of it. Luckily I don't mind spiders much. But I'm sure the spiders come from the fact that we have nature here. Grass, trees, shade, growing things. Previous-new apartment was nothing but pavement and concrete -- the property (four large apartment buildings) had a grand total of three palm trees growing. This place is right on the border of a river (a creek for those who know the area) and has stuff growing everywhere.

But why am I awake at 2:30 AM? The game I play has a big patch coming out today (due to drop at 3 AM my time) and I did intend to get up for it if I naturally woke up at that time, but my legs were hurting so much all night, I couldn't sleep at all. Dozens of trips up and down the stairs and hours of moving boxes was just too much for me, I guess. For some reason, laying down makes them really, really hurt, but sitting or standing isn't as bad. Seems wacky, but since the game has a big patch coming, I figured I might as well give up on sleeping tonight. zzz I do feel tired, but not sleepy, if that makes sense.

This move went better than the move three weeks ago. That move, moving the same amount of stuff basically the same distance, cost me $440 + $40 tip. It was killing me to pay that much again, but for some reason this move came to $230 + $40. Much much better!

My apartment is currently such a mess. To hopefully avoid bringing silverfish with me from the old apartment, I wanted to unpack and get rid of the boxes as fast as I could. So I unpacked everything and just put it anywhere -- stacks of stuff in random spots.

Unfortunately one box had so many silverfish in it, I threw it all out. It was a box of my drawings and photo albums, so... that was painful to lose. But silverfish lay their eggs in and on things, and there's just no way of cleaning them up. Maybe at some point in my life I'll be sad I lost them, but through my life thus far I haven't wanted physical photos and never looked at them, so... Hopefully I won't feel bad about it later. I would have liked to have kept my drawings (I could actually draw when I was younger!), but paper is the worst thing when it comes to silverfish.

Ugh. I hate silverfish so much. Horrible little bugs.

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Current Mood: tired tired

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I'd like to know how I pissed the weather gods off.

Two years I lived in an apartment with AC. In the last year, I did not need to use the AC even once for weather-related purposes.

Move to an apartment with no AC for THREE WEEKS, in the middle of FALL, and we have THREE heat waves! 95+ each time! Which means 100+ inside! When there was not even one hear wave all summer! I'm moving out on Monday, but Saturday is going to be 90+ and Sunday is going to be 95+. ARG.

Seriously, I must have pissed something off...

On Amazon Locker, it couldn't be easier. The most "challenging" part was spotting where it was located in the little store. Punch in a 5 digit code, door pops open, take box. I'd happily use it again, if needed!

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Current Mood: okay okay

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I'm working from home today, so I have a TV station running on my second monitor. Since I have to watch it online, I take what I can get -- a station from some other state, a station from Europe, whatever people have online today. In this case, I'm watching CBS out of Ohio.

More interesting than the TV shows are the commercials. (Seriously, I only see commercials maybe once a month. They're interesting and generally well made!) I'm especially interested in the political ones (which I never, ever would have said when I still had TV service). I've only seen Hillary ones so far, but this one especially caught my attention:

First off: Holy crap. If I hadn't already been certain about my decision, that would make it for me. Second, man is that sad. I know the 'respect women' comment from him is old, but... man. That someone would ever say that.

More than the political decision, the commercial is really well made. Sad, but well made.

I apologize to anyone who is sick of political ads! I've only seen a very small number of them so far this season.

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Current Mood: cold cold

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What a busy day. In the space of about four hours, I:
- Filled out the application for the new apartment
- Got it approved
- Filled out the 40 page lease
- Got it approved
- Got power turned on in the new place
- Got Comcast set up again
- Bought a Comcast-approved modem (rent from Comcast for $10 a month, minimum 12 months, or buy one outright for $70? I wish I had known buying was an option before I rented from them for TEN YEARS).
- Contacted the movers, though haven't heard back from them yet, which is a tad worrying. I'll contact them tomorrow if I don't hear from them by lunchtime.

Since I'm moving on Monday (movers permitted...), I was worried where the modem would be delivered, so I'm trying Amazon Locker for the first time. There are lockers in various placed (in my case, at a 7-11 up the road) and Amazon will deliver it there. Then you punch in a code, and one of the locker doors open for you. Hopefully that will go smoothly.

Saturday: Pick up keys to new place.
Monday: Movers.
Tuesday: Turn keys to current place in.

Hopefully by this time next week, I'll be settled into my new apartment FOR GOOD (or at least for a year...).

Current Mood: restless restless

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The Woman Who Loved the Moon: And Other Stories by Elizabeth A. Lynn
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

A collection of short stories by Lynn. I hadn't known at the time I picked up this book, but apparently she's known for being the first scifi/fantasy author to use openly gay/lesbian characters in her stories. A chain of LGBT bookstores took their name from her books. One of her books, published in 1978, featured a male-male couple. The Woman Who Loved the Moon, published in this book and previously elsewhere, was about a lesbian relationship.

If I was rating this book based only on the first two stories, I would have given it a LOVED instead of okay. The first story was my favorite, the second story I really liked a lot, and everything after that was pretty meh. Short story collections usually end on a high note, so I was holding hope for The Woman Who Loved the Moon, but it really didn't work for me at all.

Each story briefly reviewed back here.Collapse )

Since these were all originally published in the 70s-80s, it's possible writing styles have changed and that's why so many of the stories didn't work for me.

From now on, whenever I get a book of short stories, I'm going to read the first two and the last one, and skip the rest. Every single book of short stories I've read have been set up the same: The first two are the strongest ones, and the last one or two are usually good as well; it's very, very. very rare for me to like a story in the middle. They have to be setting these up that way on purpose.

Currently reading: The Cage by Megan Shepherd.

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Current Mood: stressed stressed

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So I decided to look for a new apartment. Because the current complex is breaking my lease (not having my leased unit ready), I can get out of it.

My goal in coming here was to save money, but with all the fees ($80 pet rent, $30 Internet/month, $30 trash valet/month), I'm not really saving all that much. Looking around, I could get a one bedroom (current one lease is a studio) in a better area, much much better complex, with a parking spot (current apartment has no assigned parking, more apartments than spots in the lot, and no street parking) for not that much more. Plus the place I'm looking at has a $25 pet rent -- so much better than $80. The complex I'm going to visit tomorrow has AC in some units, so that might not happen, we'll see how that changes the price.

I feel insane to think about moving again, but hell, all my stuff is still in boxes. I'd have to pay for this move ($400 at least), but it seems like the stress of moving again would be reduced.

I'd have to go back to a personal Comcast account, but checking their site, I could get it for $30 -- same as here. And I bet, unlike here, it won't go down every couple hours.

While I'd really rather not move again, I'd have to move soon anyway -- into the unit I leased, if nothing else. So if I'm going to move, I could at least try to improve my situation.

I'm going to see a place that looks reasonable tomorrow. The clock is ticking, I'll need to be out before the apartment I was supposed to move into is ready, and unfortunately I don't know when exactly that is.

I wish I wasn't so awful at looking for apartments. I hate doing it, so as soon as I find one that seems reasonable, I jump on it so I don't have to look for more.

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Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful

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The last apartment I was in, I had AC but never used it. A whole year, and I didn't need to use it once for weather-reasons. (I did run it once when I used the self-clean on my oven.)

I move to an apartment with no AC, and TWICE IN TWO WEEKS, in the middle of FALL, we have heatwaves! Arg.

It's currently 93 in my apartment, at 5 PM. It's been 90+ for hours now. I really just want to cry at the apartment choices I made.

Related to that, the complex sent out an email:

Now that we are getting closer to being able to release our last two buildings it would be great to get a "Yelp" from all of you. For everyone who post's a Yelp Review about how great it is to live at [complex] a Starbucks Gift Card will be presented to you when your review posts!

The last two buildings. Where I was supposed to move into. More than two weeks ago. Which they first promised to be done in a week. Then two weeks. Then "two weeks but no promises". Do you really, really want me to post a Yelp review right now, complex? I do not think you do.

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Current Mood: hot hot

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Yesterday was two years since I had gastric bypass surgery. By chance, my two year checkup with my surgeon happened to fall on that same day. For the first time ever he told me I was doing well and he was happy with the results. I actually thought he was going to hug me, he came in close, but he ended up shaking my hand instead. Fellow is a good surgeon, but has so few people skills. (Also, he's quite overweight, which boggles me. All he does is gastric bypass surgery, day in and day out, he works only with these patients. That just seems really odd to me.)

Also, I've lost 152 pounds so far. I must remember that, I keep saying 130 pounds. (That's my brain for you, crapping on my own accomplishments as much as it can.)

I have a referral to see the plastic surgeon to talk about skin removal, but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to go for it. If it's 100% covered by insurance and if he says it will be a safe, easy thing, then maybe... but I doubt those things will happen.

In other news, yay for me! I could have worked from home today, but I came into the office because I had things I really wanted to get done, and working from home tends to be less working and more fooling around online. 10 AM and I have them all done! Yay for being a responsible, productive adult!

And on apartment news, the "garbage valet" service is actually kind of nice. There is no way in the world I would pay for it if I had a choice, but we can't opt-out of it, so I'm using it. We pay $30 a month for it, and five days a week you can just put your garbage outside your door, and someone comes around and collects it (you leave it in a special garbage bin, a small one you bring back inside after, an upright kitchen trash bin sized one).

Also, my Internet issues are all cleared up, so I'm paying $30 to the apartment complex instead of $70 directly to Comcast. It's not 100% perfect, but probably 98%, and for that kind of savings I'm happy.

I know this will surprise no one, but Comcast sucks. I returned the equipment I rented from them (TV box months ago and modem two weeks ago), and they called me claiming I never returned either. Thankfully I sat around at the time so I could get a receipt (I had to wait TWO HOURS for the TV box one, but only 15 minutes for the modem one), so I was able to prove I did return them.

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Current Mood: hungry hungry

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Lionboy: The Chase by Zizou Corder
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

I read the first book in this trilogy back in 2014, and loved it so much that was saving this second one for when I really, really needed a good one to read. That time finally came, so I started in on this book. A few pages in, and I couldn't believe it was part of the same trilogy.

Everything I loved from the first book was gone. Instead of a semi-steampunk-y feel, it felt like our world. Gone was the magic mixed with the real world. In the first book we had lines like His mother was in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on her last batch of Breathe Easy potions while Charlie was in the living room watching The Simpsons. but nothing at all like that in this book. Worst of all, this book was boring. Also gone was one of the things I loved most about the first book. From my last review:

The author would do something that made it clear we weren't in this world, but without adding any confusion. Now and then multiple words would be made into one. Riverboatpolice (police who patrol the river on boats), lionchamber (big room with all the lion cages in it), lionboy (the boy who assists the lion tamer). It was enough to give it an exotic twist without it taking even a moment of thought to figure out what it meant (thus not knocking you out of the story). So perfect!

In the first third of the book, that happened ONCE.

In addition to those things that were lacking, the first third of the book took place in Italy, and so much of the dialogue sometimes whole pages of dialogue were in Italian! Seriously, what the hell? There's giving flavor to a story and then there's whole pages of stuff you can't read.

The plot was soooooo slow going. I finally went to Amazon to see what other reviews had said. One wrote:

A book that ends in mid-stream, with the words "To be continued"? This book contains a cardinal sin in publishing. I have absolutely no problem with continuing action across several volumes, but like the Harry Potter series, at least make each of the volumes capable of standing alone. There is absolutely no resolution at the end of this volume. Maddening.

Nail in the coffin. I didn't finish this book, I won't be picking up the last book in the trilogy.

Currently reading: The Woman Who Loved the Moon: And Other Stories by Elizabeth A. Lynn. It's a book of short stories, so I'm reviewing them as I read them so I won't forget how I feel about each one. After the first one I wrote "I might just have to move to a state where it's legal to marry a book." :D

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Current Mood: tired tired

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