Friday, February 7, 2020

January Favorites: Post Captains, Dragons, and Pyramid Schemes

Matt and I were actually watching Syd dance en pointe for us in our family room, but I turned to look at him and he was looking beautiful, too, so I snapped his photo. Only later did I notice the nonsensical number of books in the frame!

Girl Scout cookie season is upon us, you guys. As always, it's bonkers and ridiculous, organized by the skin of my teeth and the quiver of my chin, and it will take me until January next year to recover from it... just in time for it to start again.

There were many days in January when I didn't find time to sit down or eat actual food during the day, much less engage in happy pleasure reading, and yet I'm still a little embarrassed to tell you that I read only four books during the entire month.

Only four! There are so many adventures of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin ahead of me! So much interesting non-fiction on my library shelves! So many great recommendations from Will's last month's reading list!

Here's the best of what I read in January:

No amount of stress inherent in helping thirteen children run their own not-so-insignificant part of the world's largest girl-led business can distract me from my pleasure in reading about the many wild adventures of Aubrey and Maturin. I love them, you guys.


And their adventures are SO WEIRD! You can never tell what's going to happen on the next page, much less the next chapter. You can never tell if someone you've gotten deeply invested in is going to die in a couple of minutes, or how our beloved heroes are going to get out of this next pickle, or where they're going to sail to next.

I also spend a lot of time looking up nautical terms these days.

And this:

My Spanish instruction was long ago and far away, but isn't that ship named something like "hot shit?"

My other best book of January was an ethnography of dinosaurs:

The weirdest take-home from this is that there is a real sub-sub-sub-genre of literature entitled "dinosaur erotica." The second that I read this fact I had to announce it, and then Will and I spent waaaaay too long scrolling Amazon with our hands half-covering our eyes, giggling in horror at the titles.

Do you want to read Space Raptor Butt Invasion? Its reviews aren't that bad!

And yes, the rest of the family IS low-key helping me plot out some kind of super-weird erotica starring ever-more-unlikely pairings, because honestly, writing self-published megalodon erotica sounds WAY more fun than yet another novel that nobody but me is going to want to read.

Here's what else I managed to read in tiny snatches of time in January:

Even Will has been suffering from a dearth of free time; when she's not selling Girl Scout cookies or walking her dog or helping me out with all of my own scut work, she's busting her butt studying her AP subjects, poor kid.

Fortunately, she did still find some time to zone out with some good books!

Matt was excited to see this as one of Will's favorite books of January:

He's currently trying to get her to watch the Kevin Costner movie with him, but first she has to watch Watership Down with ME!

Here are Will's other favorite books from January:

Can you tell that Will took my advice to check out the sci-fi/fantasy shelves of the library? DOUBLE FIST PUMP!!!!!!!

More Will favorites:

Everyone in the family technically has this book on our January reading lists--

--because it was our latest family read-aloud, begun over winter break and finished just a couple of weeks ago. Will and Matt loved it, I liked it, and Syd loathed it so she gets to pick the next read-aloud.

Here's everything else Will read in January!

The good thing about doing a lot of tedious scut work, such as hauling cases of Girl Scout cookies here and anon, counting lots of dollar bills, calculating lots of percentages of sales and rate/time/distance formulas, and hauling around yet more Girl Scout cookies is that I've had plenty of time to listen to podcasts!

Mostly on the weekends, mostly while carrying cases of Girl Scout cookies from one end of my hall and back again, I listened to the entire first season of The Dream in January:

I don't have any skin in the pyramid scheme game, other than when I was a kid one of my second cousins once sent me a chain letter, AND when I was in college I was friendly with a guy in the fencing club who legit did Amway out of his dorm room.

But now I know ALL about pyramid schemes, and you guys, I don't think you should do those multi-level marketing business things. I mean, you can if you want, but you're not going to make any money from them, because you're not Betsy DeVos or Donald Trump.

And that 1970s trial that ruled that Amway is NOT a pyramid scheme was corrupt.

I am for sure going to listen to the second season of The Dream this month, because it's about the "wellness" industry, and I desperately need them to tell me all about Goop. Y'all remember about me and Goop, right?

Goop snark helps my sanity!

Want to know another AMAZING thing that I found?

Because not all heroes wear capes, there are people out there in the world, Friends, who make entire playlists of music that Aubrey (a violinist) and Maturin (a cellist) could have played onboard Aubrey's ship. And sometimes, they also include sea shanties!!!

These playlists are perfect for streaming while you read the series.

This one is my favorite:

It's an enchanting playlist even when you're not reading about the British Navy during the Napoleonic War, although if that's the case, the occasional sea shanty might be confusing.

The only time I've really had to watch YouTube this month is when I'm putting away laundry, but one morning while I was drinking coffee I randomly turned on the TV for a minute to distract myself from the anxiety ball already forming in the pit of my stomach (that day was a logistical nightmare of Girl Scout cookies needing to be picked up overlapping with Girl Scout cookies needing to be delivered to multiple parents at multiple overlapping times, Girl Scout cookie booths, also overlapping, to be prepped for and stocked, and a drive-thru cookie booth the next day that did not have anywhere NEAR enough signage made for it yet), and I found this completely off-the-hook video of a Carnivale parade in Rio.

It. Was. EPIC!!!

As soon as Will woke up, I made her come in and watch it with me, and then she was obsessed, too, so later we found another video and made Syd watch it with us, and when Matt got home that night and all my Girl Scout cookie nonsense was over we showed him another video, and then the next day he found yet another video, because obviously if you're not obsessed with the Carnivale parade in Rio then you don't even know what's good:

Seriously, there were a couple of guys flying around with honest-to-god rocket packs. And somebody got literally eaten by a giant dragon. And there was a guy on a boat, and a bunch of guys dancing around him dressed up like water, and they had hoses on their heads that SPRAYED WATER.

I've got to go there someday!

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