Nerdy 30 Book 23

I wanted a book that takes place far away, at least 3000 miles to be exact. The Final Days of Jack Sparks takes place in England, Hong Kong, and L. A., all over 3000 miles away from the D. C. metro area.

I don’t recall where I first heard about this book but I believe it was BookTube. I requested my library carry and they said “OK.” We start the book knowing Jack dies researching the pararnormal and then get to follow his last days as he bounces around the world. Give Chuck Klosterman quadruple the ego and you kind of get the idea. The chapters alternate with Sparks’s working manuscript and accounts from the other characters in the book. It becomes clear Sparks isn’t a relatable narrator and it’s very entertaining to watch his take of events interspersed with the truth.

The horror aspect is a slow build and it definitely gets a bit gory toward the end. It’s on par with the gore from Cabin in the Woods so nothing too terrible. I really enjoyed it because it was humor and horror combined and I’m a twisted little monster inside. 4/5

Music Monday: Happy Halloween

Tomorrow is the big day! Today’s music are Halloween staples and some fun lesser known tunes.

Halloween by Aqua
Jerk-O-Lantern by The Vindictives
Halloween by The Misfits
The Time Warp by The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett
Disney Halloween Mashup by Jon Cozart feat. Voctaves
I Want to Die on Halloween by Two Steps from Hell
This Is Halloween by Marilyn Manson
Ghostbusters by Fall Out Boy
Thriller by Michael Jackson
Every Day Is Halloween by Ministry

Library Sale Book Haul

My local library had another big sale last month. Thursday was friends of the library only so we got first pick. How overboard did I go?

  1. Trailer Park Fae by Lillith Saintcrow
  2. Dogs by Dr. Bruce Fogle
  3. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
  4. A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab
  5. Esther the Wonder Pig by Steve Jenkins
  6. On Trails by Robert Moor
  7. What the Dog Did by Emily Yoffe
  8. Falling Uphill by Scott Stoll
  9. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (the way the pages were sticking together, I think this was brand new)
  10. How to Live with a Neurotic Dog by Stephen Baker
  11. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
  12. A Woman’s World edited by Marybeth Bond
  13. Tales from Nowhere edited by Don George
  14.  Mr g by Alan Lightman
  15. One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  16. The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
  17. After the People Lights Have Gone Off by Stephen Graham Jones
  18. Training for Both Ends of the Leash by Kate Perry
  19. Southern Gods by John Horner Jacobs
  20. Ivory, Apes & Peacocks by Alan Root
  21. Nat Geo Encyclopedia of Space
  22. Nat Geo Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet (It was $2!)
  23. The Museum of Purgatory by Nick Bantock
  24. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The most expensive book was $4. Some even have sold resale value if I find a place that will take them.

Music Mondays: Zombies

While the undead are cool all year, they’re especially cool this time of year. If you get the little trick I pulled with one of the songs, you deserve all the treats.

Zombie Killer by Leslie Hall
Heads Will Roll by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Zombie Prostitute by Voltaire
When Your Friends Just Won’t Stay Dead by Cadaver Club
Aim for the Head by Creature Feature
Zombies Ate My Neighbours by Vaudeville Smash
Zombie Stomp by Ozzy Osbourne
Zombies by Lacuna Coil
Zombie Delight by Buck 65
Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen

Surrounded

I recently had a falling out with several friends. I was going through a hard time and wasn’t handling it well. Rather than try to be supportive or interested in what was going on, most of my friends didn’t care. They knew things were bad but didn’t want to know any more. That meant I handled things even worse until they didn’t want to be around me since I ‘wasn’t fun anymore.’

This has really made me think about all of the things that lead up to this. There was a group chat with almost 20 people. It started as a core group of less than 10 but ballooned over time. It wound up including people that probably shouldn’t have been there and pushed together people who might not have chosen to be friends.

I routinely butted heads with a couple of other people in the group. Had we not had that chat forcing us into regular contact, we wouldn’t have talked to each other. We’d have drifted apart, been pleasant at parties and not had nearly as many problems.

It also showed me how well people can hide their true colors. I had one friend abandon ship and when I didn’t handle that well, she went to HR. We don’t sit near each other or work with each other so there was no reason to bring personal drama into the office. I’m a contractor and she’s a FTE so she knew full well she could have gotten me fired. She didn’t care. It was more important to have her petty revenge.

A former male friend she has gotten very close to took great offense to my recent meltdown. He tried to ghost me about a wedding invitation and when that (obviously) didn’t work, he yelled at me, demanded an apology, and blocked me on FB. I then found out he was going around to all our mutual friends telling/asking them not to come to my wedding.

This isn’t even the worst of what I’ve been through recently but it inspired me to take a really hard look at the people I was surrounding myself with. Maybe part of the problem wasn’t just the contrived situation but the quality of people. As bad as I was at my worst, I never tried to take something away from anyone that had nothing to do with me.

I’m reevaluating the friends I have left and taking some time for self-care. I need to focus on making myself better and surrounding myself with people who will further that goal. I don’t need more pain and selfishness in my life.

Now You See Me…

Podcasts are one of the more recent types of media to take hold of our society. For a long time we were held captive by radio broadcasts but those fell out of favor once TV happened upon the picture. In such an image driven culture, I’m glad to see people gravitating more toward content instead of what they see.

I don’t know about everyone else but once I hear someone’s voice, I start to paint a picture of what they look like. Once I got hooked on the Reading Glasses podcast, I started to get a mental picture of the hosts. It’s almost funny how wrong I was.

I pictured Mallory as a woman in her mid 30s with short-ish brown hair and glasses. Pretty but ordinary looking until you get to know her. I was way off base. Instead, Mallory has a lot of interesting tattoos, purple and blue/silver hair, and a funky/alternative sensibility I love. I got the glasses and white part right.

I have no idea why but I pictured Brea as a petite woman of east Asian descent with pale skin. I pictured her style like that of several manic pixie dream girls with fun prints and lots of movement. Instead she’s a pretty white woman with dyed platinum hair and a hear shaped face. Very typically pretty with eyes that draw you in. I think got the petite thing right.

Both women are striking in a way I didn’t predict. It further goes to show that readers come in all shapes, sizes, and appearances.

A Capsule for Next Year?

A lot of capsule wardrobes feel very extreme or very small. Going from a standard America closet to 33 items for a season is very drastic. I thought maybe going somewhere in the middle might be a better compromise. What about 150 items?

I did a thorough count and realized that was almost every item including coats that I owned. It’s strange to realize that I own less than 200 items of clothing excluding workout gear, PJs/lounge wear, and occasion wear. I saw this on Pinterest and thought it might be an interesting idea. Then I read through the actual list.

There is no circumstance where I need 15 pairs of shoes for regular use. 80% of my shoe usage rotates between 4 pairs of shoes: casual sandals, arch supporting sandals, sneakers, and black slip-ons. The last ones are like a flat Mary Jane. My other shoes are my dressy wedges, snow boots, Uggs, skele-toe shoes, and cowboy boots. I have a back up pair of wedges that haven’t been put to use yet because finding dressy shoes in my size is that difficult. Drag queens have an easier time than I do.

If I started counting all my costume only pieces, I might have a problem but I could stand to cut down on some of them. I think I want to start off 2018 by doing another closet purge. Dump everything on my bed and go through it all.

I’ve got some stuff set aside that doesn’t fit at my current size stored away. If my lifestyle changes as I’m hoping, I may fit into those again and don’t want to start from scratch on clothing in that size. I could definitely stand to downsize more so I’ll brainstorm a bit and see what I come up with.