Monday, October 23, 2017

Monday Musings

tantalus square
Since it was a pretty quiet week here, I thought I'd share another picture from my family's visit. My brother snapped this family photo for us on Round Top Drive, which has several pretty overlooks. That's Honolulu, Waikiki and Diamond Head in the background.

My week: It was an ok week here. My mom and brother headed home last Monday night, and Tuesday I was definitely still on vacation brain when I started back to work! We had some ever-so-slightly fall-like weather here and it was a nice treat. It was super windy, a little rainy and a couple degrees cooler than usual.

Reading: I finished "Rabbit Cake" and ultimately was underwhelmed by it. The cover and title are a pretty dead giveaway that this is a quirky book, but it was just a little too out-there for me, and it also felt more like a middle-grade novel than an adult one.

Then I finally finished "One Summer," Bill Bryson's portrait of the 1920s. I realized last week just how appallingly overdue it was and finally got my butt in gear to finish the last 250 pages, which I blazed through in three days. If you like the '20s, read this! It was so interesting and I learned so much, and Bryson's writing style keeps 450 pages of history from feeling dry.

After that I read "Setting Free the Kites" by Alex George. It's not something I'd pick up on my own -- I've learned coming-of-age YA stories are not usually my thing -- but a good friend with similar reading tastes gave it 5 stars earlier this year and I decided to give it a try. I liked that it was set in Maine in the '70s, but it was just a little boring and kind of grim.

Now I'm reading something that should be the opposite of boring -- people say it's terrifying -- "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski. I'm not far yet, and this is a whopper of a book, and an odd and uniquely constructed one at that, but so far I'm very intrigued.

Watching: "Grey's Anatomy." Jarrod had to work until midnight on Friday so I took the opportunity to watch the entire season of "Grey's" so far. It's a show that I've been wishing would just be over already -- but I'll most likely see it through to the end. This season, though, hooked me in right away and I'm actually excited to watch the next episode, something I haven't really felt about "Grey's" in a while. (P.S. Did you know they're making a spin-off of "Grey's" about the Seattle Fire Department? Ben is going to move over to become fireman. I think I'll pass!)

We also watched "The Circle" on DVD. I never got around to reading the book, and I heard mixed reviews about both the book and the adaptation. But I actually liked it well enough. It had a good satirical message about our over-reliance on technology and social media.

Eating: Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler. It's reminiscent of a chocolate pudding cake and super-yummy. I discovered the recipe last fall and have been waiting for a good time to make it again this year!

Making: These adorable ghost lights for Halloween! They're made out of ping pong balls, cheesecloth, Mod Podge and Christmas lights. (Here's the tutorial I worked off of.) They were super-easy -- I threw them together in about an hour late Saturday night. I wanted to take a better picture but I didn't have a chance to hang them up yesterday (I'm hoping to put them on the front porch), but you can get the idea. Does your neighborhood go all-out for Halloween? Mine does, more so than anywhere else we've lived, and I totally feel like we're lacking in outside decor compared to my neighbors with their giant spiders and blow-up pirate ships and scary window decals!

ghost lights

Missing: Drive-thru Starbucks! I met up with two other boxer moms and a co-worker with her two dogs at the dog park after work Friday and on the way home all I wanted in the world -- to accompany my sleepy puppy and peaceful house with a book waiting for me -- was an iced caramel macchiato! But I was not about to leave Alohi in the car by herself, and the only drive-thru Starbucks here is across the island. So... no iced coffee for this dog mama. Please enjoy your drive-thru Starbucks for me. And your pumpkin scones, too. The Starbucks here never have them in stock!

Monday Musings
Half-and-Half: 5 Books About Food and 5 Books That Made Me Hungry
Book Review: Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett
Non-Fiction Review: One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson

Looking forward to: My birthday is this Friday! And "Stranger Things" starts back that day! I'm also expecting a package that day from Amazon UK with the British version of the illustrated "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," plus the sequel to "The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet." (The British cover is so much better!) Birthday + good show + book mail = happy day!

*I'm linking up with Kathryn of Book Date for It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


  1. I loved Rabbit Cake, but read it right after a lot of really deep books, so it was a refreshing change of pace. The pumpkin pecan cobbler sounds amazing!

  2. I have enjoyed the books by Bill Bryson that I have read but know I have a lot more of them to discover. Not being a coffee drinker, I can't quite feel your pain about the lack of a drive-through at Starbucks but sympathize anyway. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  3. Hope you have a great birthday. Sounds like you have some wonderful gifts planned already. Alohi is getting so big. I'd never leave our pups in the car either and I get angry when I see people who do. Of course, knowing my boxers, if I'd ever try it they would find a way to hotwire the car and drive away. Glad you had a nice visit with your family and some lovely fall-like weather to enjoy.

  4. I hadn't read anything about the Grey's spin-off so thanks for mentioning it because now Ben suddenly wanting to be a fireman makes sense!


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