Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What I am into this month: February

The same view from my office window that I usually post.
We didn't get much winter weather this year,
but on Valentine's Day we did get fog.
On My Nightstand: I read Death Comes to Pemberley finally was not as good as anticipated. I should institute actual Book Review Posts or something. The problem, I suspect, is that it was neither fish nor fowl, neither Jane Austen novel nor thrilling detective story. Meh.

Strangely, the Orson Scott Card novel was also rather disappointing. I mean, it read quickly and smoothly and that world will always be Real to me the way the best stories are, but...perhaps I am too old and not yet old enough to be charmed by the antics of precocious children. And sometimes you just never can cotton on to new characters in a series where the old ones are like dear friends. Y'know?

The Help. Lord, The Help. It's such a troublesome book. The period it discusses is troublesome. The balance of current race and gender relations is troublesome. That it's written by a white woman is troublesome--and yet, it's as much a book about gender as about race. In some ways, I don't know what to think about it because inevitably, I will offend someone with my opinion and that is a problem, as well as a whole 'nother topic.

But. In the end, it's just a good story. A good story about people who seem real--they're not all good and they're not all bad and some people are awful but even then they are people, as real people are. I enjoyed the pacing and the writing style, for the most part, the distinctive voices for each narrator. Read it for yourself, and I, for one, will not be offended by your opinion.

Either The Help or this next book was my favorite read of the month: How the Irish Saved Civilization. I am a sucker for a beautifully written, pedantic, scholarly sort of book when the author is just. so. excited. about his subject matter. It's why I loved my professor's books on Faulkner better than Faulkner's books themselves. It's why I will just as happily read Tolkein's scholarly articles as his fantasy novels. And it's why I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I've started The Omnivore's Dilemma. I read Pollan's In Defense of Food several years ago, and found in it a fellow food-spirit. He gave words to much of my own wordless food philosophy. And though I could do without the tossed off lectures on global warming and obesity and a few other screeds, those are refreshingly few and far between. Moreover, you don't get the sense that Pollan, like so many other green/food/environment/organic writers, dislikes man. So. Good times.

Want to Read: Introverts in the Church has been floating around the blogosphere book rec list lately, and Anne convinced me I should read it. Well, the library doesn't have it, so that's put a stop to that temporarily, until I can convince myself to spend Real Money on a book (am I a sucker for impulse-buying the entire stock of used book stores? Yes. Can I very often convince myself to part with money for a brand-new book? No) and order it from Amazon. I also have a couple biographies of Luther on my list (which, of course, the library doesn't have!), and I need to add in a few Fun Books or I don't know what will happen to me. Suggestions?

TV Show Worth Watching: Let's see. We finished United States of Tara and are now pretty much back to our regularly scheduled programs: Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Castle, Bones, Royal Pains. Oh! Community returns next month! *happy dance*

Movies I've Seen (in or out of a theater): I don't think I've watched a single movie this month, and that's okay. It may or may not also be a lie, but if I can't remember it, it obviously didn't make enough of an impression on me to be worth mentioning.

In My Ears: I am currently obsessed with this. A Pandora station seeded with Gotye and Kimbra has proven to be bliss, at the moment. I was glad to see a singer who can actually sing clean up at the Grammys this year. I'm tempted to steal Adele's voice box and have it surgically implanted in my own throat. Would that work?

What I'm looking forward to next month: The day for the men that God made mad! I mean, of course, St. Patrick's Day. I am precisely half Irish and half German, so St. Patrick's Day and Oktoberfest are practically religious holidays in my family. Corned beef and cabbage, Guiness, green things, my Irish punk rock Pandora station...happy (green) panda. I'm sure there's other stuff going on, but it can't possibly be as important. Oh! Except that it will be my parents' thirtieth wedding anniversary in March! So that's something.

Goal Progress: I posted some goals for the new year, and I figured these monthly wrap-up posts would be a good chance to check my progress throughout 2012.

The Budget: Yeah...well, we're continuing to meet our budget for paying off debts, and I've managed to save a good bit. But. Our sewage line backed up to the tune of one hundred thirty-five unexpected dollars. The DDH took a trip to visit his sick brother in Houston and bring him a bunch of food and cooking supplies (he was just diagnosed with Celiac's and of course the dorm meal plan contains nothing gluten free except plain lettuce). Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. It could definitely be worse, though.

The Garden: I daringly planted out a bunch of seeds the last weekend in February. I know! I'm really living life on the edge here. Post to come soon.

Food: I'm not sure if my renewed Reality Chef blogging habit is feeding (ha) my resolution to cook at least three times a week, or if my resolution is feeding (ha. ha.) the blogging habit. Either way, tis tasty.
The Craft Room: Post to come on this.
How are you doing on your 2012 goals? What are you looking forward to in February?

Sunny Leap Day, with the willows starting to leaf out and the
redbuds beginning to bloom!


  1. I <3 Castle, Nathan Fillion FTW! :-p

    1. Did you see The Morning After mashup of Mal and Castle competing for Beckett?


  2. Yep, that's a good description of Death Comes to Pemberley. Meh.

    Three cheers for Introverts in the Church! Although until your bank account fattens, you could go read Adam's blog ( The book is definitely a 1000x expansion of the blog--he began the blog to promote the book, and not the other way around (which happens a lot these days!) but still, it's an interesting (and free!) way to begin.

    Celiac disease in the dorm? Yowzers. Glad your husband is helping with that one!

    1. Pretty much. Which is a shame, because James can write a darn good mystery novel.

      I've been following the blog for awhile, which is what interested me in the book in the first place. But like I said on your review, my impression from the other people who read the book was that it focused more on the megachurch audience, while the blog has a nice variety.

      Yeah, can you imagine? That kid can't catch a break.

      Oops, meant to link to MMD when I mentioned you in the post. I'll go fix that now. ^_^