mstrust#3-piece of cake!

Dette er en fortsættelse af tråden mstrust#2- the golden thread.

Denne tråd er fortsat i mstrust#4- Happy Summerween!.

Snak75 Books Challenge for 2021

Bliv bruger af LibraryThing, hvis du vil skrive et indlæg

mstrust#3-piece of cake!

1mstrust
Redigeret: apr 8, 3:09pm



Hi! I'm Jennifer. I live in Phoenix with my husband Mike and our boxer, Coral. I like baking, avoiding the sun, scary stuff, and a good shipwreck.

I read 100 books a year, minimum, which is amazing considering I'm the slowest reader.

Each of my threads this year will be inspired by a book or genre. This month is inspired by The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. Nope, haven't read it yet but it's gonna happen with this thread. And we get two themes with this thread- delicious lemony stuff and delicious cakey stuff.

Goals for 2021:
1. Don't die.

2. My "Doorstop of the Year" goal is to finish last year's Moby Dick, then go on to A Confederacy of Dunces.

3. I'm hanging out with several groups this year: The MysteryKit, HistoryCat, and I'm hosting two months of the ScaredyKit, in April & September. April's "Possession" theme is happening right now!
https://www.librarything.com/topic/330597#unread

4. I'll be ROOTing for the third year and I'm shooting for 50% of my reads to be from my own shelves. https://www.librarything.com/topic/327905#unread

5. In this challenge, I'll do my best to come up with One New Thing each week. A cool website, a new recipe or just a bit of info, this will be an expanded version of "Friday's Whaaat?" that I've done for a few years.

6. (Oh, I love a list!) Come visit me at my Category Challenge.
https://www.librarything.com/topic/327230#unread

As always, my threads are politics-free, but this one both sweet and tart. Now who's going to wash all these cake pans?

2mstrust
Redigeret: jun 16, 4:07pm


2021 Reads

1. Lady Windermere's Fan- 4 stars
2. The Riddle of the Third Mile- 4 stars
3. California Hotel and Casino- 3 stars
4. Ultimate Veg- 4 stars
5. Bowie's Bookshelf- 4 stars
6. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie- 5 stars
7. Britten and Brulightly- 4.2 stars
8. A Walk Around the Block- 4 stars
9. The Little Paris Kitchen- 4 stars
10. Action Park- 5 stars
11. Trick Yourself to Sleep- 2.5 stars
12. Come Home, Indio- 2.5 stars
13. Mystery, Inc.- 4 stars
14. Almost Sleighed- 4 stars
15. Vegas Tabloid- 2.5 stars
16. Essential Herbs- 4 stars
17. The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag- 4.5 stars
18. My Life with Sherlock Holmes- 2.5 stars
19. Rez Metal- 3 stars
20. Hoodoo Harry- 5 stars
21. Bibliotheca Classica- 4.5 stars
22. Selected Poems of W.H. Auden- 3.5 stars
23. Confess- 4.5 stars
24. The Murder of Dr. Chapman- 4 stars
25. The Pretty Little Box- 4 stars
26. Fairytale Baking- 5 stars
27. Seven Years- 4 stars
28. The Golden Gate- 4.5 stars
29. Oh, The Places You'll Go!- 5 stars
30. A Likely Story- 2.5 stars
31. Animal Behavior: A Very Short Introduction- 4 stars
32. Grateful American- 3.5 stars
33. Haunted Nights- 4.5 stars
34. Miao Doa- 4 stars
35. Welcome to the United States of Anxiety- 3.5 stars
36. Skinwalkers- 4 stars
37. Miss Marple's Final Cases- 3 stars
38. The Factory Witches of Lowell- 2.8 stars
39. The Eyre Affair- 5 stars
40. And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks- 3.5 stars
41. Redshirts- 4.5 stars
42. Tiki Surf Witches Want Blood- 4 stars
43. Survivor Song- 2.8 stars
44. Not Taco Bell Material- 3 stars
45. Maigret Goes to School- 3.5 stars
46. Moby Dick- 4.5 stars
47. Stay Sexy and Don't Get Murdered- 4 stars
48. The Beginner's Guide to Mushrooms- 4.5 stars
49. Elizabeth- 4 stars
50. High Tech and Hot Pot- 4 stars
51. The House on Mango Street- 3 stars
52. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake- 3.5 stars
53. Night of the Mannequins- 3 stars
54. Face It- 4.5 stars
55. England As You Like It- 3 stars
56. Middle Men: Stories- 4.2 stars
57. Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont- 4.5 stars

3mstrust
Redigeret: apr 8, 5:33pm



Summer is already happening her in Phoenix. We've reached temps of 99F. I've sorted out my Summer reads, books that include hot weather, vacations and travel, the sea...stuff like that.

4drneutron
apr 8, 4:07pm

Happy new thread!

5quondame
apr 8, 4:16pm

Happy new thread!

What delicious and interesting pastries you post.

6curioussquared
apr 8, 4:53pm

Happy new thread! The succulent cake is gorgeous.

7Carmenere
apr 8, 5:20pm

Happy tasty new thread!

8mstrust
apr 8, 5:36pm

>4 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!
>5 quondame: Thank you, Susan! I've made myself hungry...
>6 curioussquared: Thanks, Natalie! I love the succulent cakes, they take such skill to get the variety of colors.
>7 Carmenere: Thank you, Lynda! I wonder how many cakes I can squeeze into a single thread.

9mstrust
Redigeret: apr 8, 5:46pm



37. Miss Marple's Final Cases by Agatha Christie. A collection of short stories, some of which don't feature Miss Marple at all. There are some good ones though, like "The Case of the Caretaker", in which a local bad boy who had to leave the village due to his behavior returns years later with a new, wealthy bride. The couple is relentlessly harassed by an old woman but no one can figure out why.
My least favorite was "Strange Jest", which features one of Christie's rich old uncles who enjoys playing games with his will. There are two stories in the collection that involve the supernatural rather than criminals, and one story in which Miss Marple is the narrator, which I don't remember her doing elsewhere. I was worried by the title of this book that she'd be killed off here but it didn't happen. I read this for the MysteryKit. 3 stars

10PaulCranswick
apr 8, 7:22pm

That is a smashing looking lemon cake, Jennifer.

Happy new thread. x

11SirThomas
apr 9, 7:39am

Happy new thread, Jennifer.
What a great combination - books and cake!

12FAMeulstee
apr 9, 8:05am

Happy new thread, Jennifer!

The topper cake looks tasty. I look forward to your review of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.

13PaperbackPirate
apr 9, 10:14am

I will gladly wash cake pans in exchange for a slice of lemon cake!

14mstrust
apr 9, 11:05am

>10 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! Good to see you, go ahead and help yourself to a slice.
>11 SirThomas: Thank you, Thomas! Books and cake cover a lot of bases :-D
>12 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita! I actually made a little lemon mug cake last night, ha.
>13 PaperbackPirate: Hooray! Nicole has arrived and she's brought her dish gloves! I think you'll have a whole lot of work around here, cause there's gonna be cake.

The daffodils are in the stores now and I bought a few bunches, and put them on the dining room table, where they opened up right away.
And the forget-me-not seeds that I planted about two months ago? A plant came up and the more leaves it grew the more I suspected it wasn't what I planted. Yesterday I downloaded a plant identification app and it turns out I've nurtured houndstongue, a weed that is poisonous to animals and that the state of Washington is trying to eradicate. I'm glad I'd grown it in a pot, it was easy to rip it up. This is the second time I've planted seeds that have turned out to be weed seeds, the first was about two years ago when "lavender" seeds grew something stalky and ugly.


I picked The Last Book on the Left up at the library the other day, as this is from the guys of the very popular comedy true crime podcast.
I'm glad I got to just borrow it because I'm abandoning it exactly halfway through. The little quips throughout don't make it easier to read the very graphic brutality. It's too violent for me even though I listen to crime podcasts, but I admit I've never listened to this theirs. And though this was published just last year, the many political jokes already date the book.

15rabbitprincess
apr 9, 6:29pm

Mmmmm lemon cake! I have cheesecake in the house today so will be enjoying a slice with a cup of tea. I know how to live it up on a Friday night ;)

16mstrust
apr 10, 10:23am

Don't add strawberries to that cheesecake, that's a crazy Saturday night thing.
I like cheesecake a lot, but it's the only situation where I like cream cheese.

17mstrust
Redigeret: apr 10, 10:27am

You can attend the Elmira Maple Syrup Fest today as it's gone virtual this year. Elmira, Ontario has the oldest maple syrup festival in Canada and today is the last day. Visit elmiramaplesyrupfest on Facebook or Instagram.


Look, I snuck in a maple pecan cake.

18figsfromthistle
apr 10, 7:19pm

Happy new one!

>17 mstrust: That cake looks delicious!

19rabbitprincess
apr 10, 9:11pm

>17 mstrust: Oh that cake looks yummy too! I do love maple and pecans.

>16 mstrust: It was chocolate cheesecake, which is my favourite kind :D

20mstrust
apr 11, 11:48am

>18 figsfromthistle: Good to see you! The cake looks delicious to me too, but so does the bottle of maple syrup.
>19 rabbitprincess: I love maple and pecans too. And maple and walnuts.
Have you ever had turtle cheesecake? That's my favorite one. But clearly I'm not picky.

21mstrust
apr 11, 11:55am

So I've been working on maple recipes. Yesterday I perfected maple ice cream, and I did check in with the maple festival a couple of times. Here's a simple one I came up with, and if you've ever had an original egg cream with chocolate syrup, you'll like this.

Maple Egg Cream

In a soda glass, add 2 tbs maple syrup and 1/3 c cold milk. Stir well.
Add one cup of cold plain seltzer water and stir well.

22mstrust
apr 12, 11:49am

Acquired Rat Pack Confidential yesterday.

23mstrust
Redigeret: apr 12, 5:55pm



38. The Factory Witches of Lowell by C.S. Malerich. Set in the 19th Century, this is the story of a group of teenage girls, all cotton mill workers living at a mill boardinghouse. All the girls living in Mrs. Hanson's house agree to take part in witchcraft to protest their low wages and unsafe conditions. The leaders, Judith and Hannah, who possesses the gift of being a Seer, are in charge of making sure each girl is loyal, and they do this by braiding a lock of the girl's hair into wristbands. Their goal is to control the capitalists who run the corporation.
Meh. Started off promising, then it seemed like all our current social issues were thrown in, stirred around and dressed in ringlets. 2.8 stars

24SomeGuyInVirginia
Redigeret: apr 13, 10:23am

I'm in!

25mstrust
Redigeret: apr 13, 2:13pm

Hi, Larry!
***
The Sugar Season arrived.

26mstrust
apr 13, 4:35pm

An LT ER win arrived today, Don't Applaud. Either Laugh Or Don't.

27mstrust
apr 15, 12:15pm



39. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Thursday Next is a war veteran who came back while her brother didn't. Her father, whose work with the mysterious ChronoGuard outfit made it necessary for him to leave his family and go skipping through time, occasionally appears for a minute or two. She also lost the love of her life ten years ago and hasn't gotten over it.
After a chance at a huge promotion goes very wrong, Thursday chooses to transfer to a smaller office in her hometown of Swindon, a move that has everyone in SpecOps confused. Thursday's choice is proven to be a good one when Acheron Hades, the worst villain in the U.K., begins kidnapping characters out of famous novels and holding them for ransom. Making things worse, the Goliath Corporation, the largest and most influential company in the world, has bought itself control over SpecOps, so is there to figure out a way to make money off the whole situation.
The plot is about espionage but along the way we meet Rochester and Jane, Pickwick the Dodo, Spike, the SpecOps agent who hunts vampires, and Thursday tries to sort her love life. I haven't read this in 20 years (this year is it's anniversary) but I loved it as much as I did then. 5 stars

28curioussquared
apr 15, 12:47pm

>27 mstrust: Ooh, you're making me want to reread this one. My tracking document tells me I haven't read it since 2009, so not quite 20 years but long enough!

29mstrust
apr 15, 3:16pm

I'm glad I returned to it. It's stuffed with so many great ideas, including the Will-Speak machines and the Rocky Horror-like performance of Richard III. And how funny to think that a corporation could be so huge that it could try and dictate the laws? Ha, what nonsense!

30curioussquared
apr 15, 4:00pm

>29 mstrust: Lol! Have you read Fforde's other books? I enjoyed the rest of the Eyre Affair series though none were as good as the first, and all of his others have been worthwhile too.

31mstrust
apr 15, 6:18pm

I remember being so excited when the follow-up, Lost in a Good Book came out, and being disappointed by it. Maybe I wasn't being fair because I was that excited to have it, but I remember thinking that not enough care went into it. I'm very willing to read it again and hopefully it will be better second time round, twenty years later.

32mstrust
Redigeret: apr 16, 10:05am


One site has dared to rank 25 cakes in order of worst to last. The controversy! Coconut lovers unite!
https://www.therecipe.com/have-cake-eat-too-ranking-cake-flavors-best/

33PaperbackPirate
apr 17, 11:23am

What a fun list! I disagree with the bundt cake though, because it's a shape, not a flavor.

34mstrust
Redigeret: apr 18, 11:46am

True. I wasn't sure if the lister was going by the shape or the true bundt cake, which has a funnel of filling going halfway through it. I've never filled my bundt cakes and I've won many fair ribbons for them, so poo to the lister.
See, controversy! I would also put the raspberry chocolate and the spice cake higher, certainly higher than pound cake. And I really like plain angel food. So fluffy.

If you're in need of coffee, Black Rifle Coffee is doing a clearance right now. I've bought a couple bags, a shirt for Mike and bag and cup for nephew Wade.

35figsfromthistle
apr 17, 9:11pm

>32 mstrust: Personally I quite love coconut and banana cake. For me it would be in the top 8. Ah well.

36PaperbackPirate
apr 18, 10:38am

>34 mstrust: Ooh I've never had it with filling. That would move it up even higher for me! Lol.

37mstrust
Redigeret: apr 18, 11:45am

>35 figsfromthistle: I've had those two cakes separately, not together, but it sounds great. Is it called a Pina Colada Cake? And what flavor frosting?
>36 PaperbackPirate: I'm sorry to say that I know a little of the bundt cake history. I believe it became popular in the 60's after a bundt cake recipe placed in the Pillsbury Award. It was called The Tunnel of Fudge and its popularity created a huge demand for the bundt pans.
I know, you're sorry you mentioned it now.


Tunnel of Fudge

38PaperbackPirate
apr 18, 10:56pm

>37 mstrust: I'm not sorry! I think Tunnel of Fudge is how I would like to die now. Lol!

39mstrust
Redigeret: apr 19, 9:44am

:-D There are worse ways to go.

***
Yesterday was fun. Other than going through a car wash with Coral in the car. We didn't even think about how she'd react to all the windows being slapped with the rollers and the soap spraying.
Mike and I went to a Mexican restaurant down the street and even squeezed in sopapillas after everything else.

I bought The Family Fang.

40SirThomas
apr 19, 12:09pm

>37 mstrust: Yummy!

>39 mstrust: I hope she is well again - and you too, after all that food ;-)

41mstrust
apr 19, 6:45pm



40. And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks by Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs. Written in 1945 but unpublished until 2008, this story is set in NYC and has two narrators. Kerouac wrote the chapters told from the view of Mike Ryko, a sometimes merchant marine who has lived on and off with Janie for a year. She wants to marry while Mike seems to be indifferent to the idea and runs out the door with his friends whenever given the chance.
Burroughs writes the chapters labeled "Will Dennison". Will is from Reno, has some family money and a wife he visits once a year. He is unflappable whether being hit up for money or listening to a murder confession. He helpfully gives a detailed tutorial on how to prepare morphine for shooting up. Dennison is the only person who seeks out the company of Al, an older creepy stalker who is obsessed with good-looking teen Phillip, who is himself the most horrible of the bunch.
They move as a group; Mike, Will, Al, Phillip, Janie and Barbara, always asking each other for money, cigarettes or dinner, and though they're broke they manage to always be guzzling liquor. Aside from Mike and Phillip repeatedly sleeping too late to get chosen for a freighter, not much happens until near the end when Phillip snaps. This is still a worthwhile read if only to experience a very early Beat novel. 3.5 stars

42mstrust
apr 19, 6:55pm


Yeah, this is cake.

43drneutron
apr 20, 7:40am

That’s a pretty incredible cake!

44mstrust
apr 20, 12:26pm

Don't you wonder what the whiskers are made out of?
***
My MIL is having cataract surgery this morning, Mike is driving her back and forth. My mom is having the same thing in two weeks.

For fans of the Goosebumps series, there's a comedy podcast called Goosebuds. Three adults discussing both the books and the tv series and pointing out the holes in the logic.

45rabbitprincess
apr 22, 4:32pm

>37 mstrust: Ohhhh that cake looks amazing.

>44 mstrust: Hope your MIL's surgery went well and that your mom's goes well too!

46mstrust
Redigeret: apr 22, 6:09pm

>40 SirThomas: Sorry I somehow missed you up there!
Yes, Coral was much happier once we left the car wash and now we all know better! What were we thinking?

>45 rabbitprincess: My MIL's surgery, the first eye, went really well and she reports that it was painless. Her other eye will be done in a few weeks. right about the time my mom will have her first eye done. And I'll be having a root canal a few days before that. We're all having a great time.

Our new mattresses were finally delivered this morning, after just a few days short of a month since we bought them. This store really made us work to get them. Calls and voicemails didn't work, they just ignored me, but one star reviews got their attention.



The Tiki Oasis is tomorrow! Hooray!

47Carmenere
Redigeret: apr 25, 7:52am

Hey Jennifer, I thought of you when I watched this YouTube from Pompsie and Norma. Head on over to 17:05 I think it will look familiar to you. Looks very cool.

edited: Secret Squirrel Stuff

48mstrust
apr 24, 5:06pm

We've spent two mornings at the Tiki Oasis and had a good time and bought more tiki. On Friday morning we attended a seminar called "The Golden Age of Fashion in Transportation", then had lunch at the Valley Ho restaurant (mine included a cocktail called the Mango Tango). Then we attended another seminar called "You Can't Spell Beachcomber without M-O-B".
We were back first thing this morning for the marketplace. One of my purchases was Tiki Surf Witches Want Blood, which is a graphic novel with cocktail recipes.
https://www.amazon.com/Tiki-Surf-Witches-Want-Blood/dp/099734931X/ref=sr_1_1?dch...

49mstrust
apr 24, 5:13pm

>47 Carmenere: Dang it! Everybody knows about Frankie's now! The guy leading the second seminar, who lives in Vegas, asked for a show of hands from the audience of anyone who had been to Frankie's and more than half the audience raised their hands.
:-D Thanks for the link, Lynda. Whenever I find a place I love I tend to keep quiet about it because I don't want it overrun, hee!

50mstrust
Redigeret: apr 24, 5:36pm



41. Redshirts by John Scalzi. When Dahl is assigned to The Intrepid, he joins the spaceship crew along with a handful of new recruits, who quickly form a tight bond. They realize that each of them is replacing a crew member who was recently killed in some horrible and weird way, like ice sharks, and that it can't be just bad luck that makes the lower level crew members pretty much guaranteed death while a small core of long-time crew are guaranteed to survive anything. Dahl and his friends know they each have an expiration date unless they figure out what's going on.
What would happen if the expendable redshirt crew members of Star Trek knew they were slated to die just to show that crew members could die, and what if they very much wanted to live. I really liked this sci-fi comedy. 4.5 stars

51SirThomas
apr 25, 2:58am

>50 mstrust: How did you know I was planning to read more SF?
Thank you for the BB.
Have a wonderful Sunday, Jennifer.

52Carmenere
apr 25, 7:51am

Ok, mum's the word. I even removed my link.

53mstrust
apr 25, 11:30am

>51 SirThomas: I just knew you'd need to hear about this one. I hope you like it too! Have a great Sunday, Thomas! We're about to go grocery shopping.
>52 Carmenere: Oh no! You didn't need to remove it, it was a good video. Sorry if it was hard to know that I wasn't genuinely mad. My "dang it"s are closer to a "dagnabbit". I'm a short redhead so just picture this:

I made peace with "our" Frankie's becoming everybody's Frankie's years ago. I'd totally take you there!

54mstrust
Redigeret: apr 25, 5:08pm



42. Tiki Surf Witches Want Blood by Will Penny and Nik Poliwko.
Surfers Marty and Dennis have heard about the great waves around the Isle of Diablo, so they fly a small plane and land on the beach. They expect the rumors about the island being haunted to be a joke, but when they immediately discover a forest of talking shrunken heads they're somewhat worried. The locals turn out to be a tribe of beautiful female cannibals but the guys don't want to leave and instead have a surfing competition with a god to be able to stay. Probably something to do with the women all looking like topless Hedy Lamarrs.
A 1940's style graphic novel that includes ten cocktail recipes with a couple being created just for this book. 4 stars

55mstrust
apr 25, 5:33pm

We planted two more aloes in the front yard today. I have a third new one to plant but I've run out of cactus soil so it'll have to wait a day or two.
Since I've spent so much time nursing flower seeds that turned out to be weeds, I dried my own yellow bell pepper seeds and planted them two weeks ago. Already have about five little plants.

56drneutron
apr 26, 9:45am

Probably something to do with the women all looking like topless Hedy Lamarrs.

Ok, this one I *have* to find... 😀

57mstrust
apr 26, 12:30pm

Ha! I don't think you'll be disappointed.

58Carmenere
apr 26, 3:15pm

>53 mstrust: hahaha nah not Yosemite Sam! But I get the picture.

59mstrust
apr 26, 6:29pm

Once my mustache grows in it will be like looking in a mirror.

60ebeeb
apr 28, 12:33am

>54 mstrust: ...I mean, I was already sold on this book when I looked at the cover art and the title, but then I read the synopsis. Is there such a thing as a perfect book? Is it possible that you've found it??

61mstrust
apr 28, 11:12am

Maybe I did! Sounds like it's what some LTers have been waiting for, ha.
And I'm glad I could introduce it on LT. So far I'm the only member who has this. I filled in a lot of the publication info hoping that would make the touchstone work but no luck.

62mstrust
apr 28, 11:18am

Here's your cake-

Toasted coconut.

63mstrust
Redigeret: apr 28, 6:27pm



43. Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay. A virus has spread and people are buying any food and necessities they can. It's here, on the edge of society's collapse, that Natalie and her husband have an infected man enter their home and destroy their lives. Natalie is left to beg her old roommate, Ramola, for help, as she is near her due date and was bitten. Rams is a pediatrician with connections at the local hospital. She knows that getting Natalie vaccinated is a race against time and it may already be too late, but she does everything she can to get Natalie medical care.

I do like zombie tales, but this one annoyed me. Natalie is a truly aggravating character, one that I'd have drive away from and left on the roadside. She's foul-mouthed, argumentative and angry even before her husband is killed, and the reader isn't given a good enough explanation for why Ramola is so attached to her. The author also brings in a political slant and gets pretty heavy-handed with it, which really took me out of the story. There's also a lot of very long and confusing descriptions of fights that go into minute detail that I couldn't follow.
I'd really liked A Headful of Ghosts but this one was pretty much a miss for me. 2.8 stars

64mstrust
apr 28, 10:23pm

Not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I've become my sister's librarian. I saw her in February and loaned her The Sex Lives of Cannibals, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, The Elegance of the Hedgehog and Double Indemnity. She's read those and was ready for more, so today I sent a box that had Black Rifle coffee for Wade and for Julie:
My Sister, the Serial Killer
Getting Stoned with Savages, since she really liked the first book
Breathers- she also really liked Station Eleven, which I'd sent to Wade
The Devil's Cup: A History of the World According to Coffee
Beautiful Ruins
Cold Comfort Farm

65Carmenere
apr 29, 9:19am

oooo, good choices! What a nice sister and SIL!

66mstrust
apr 29, 11:00am

Thanks! It's kinda fun to curate for her and she'll tell me when she doesn't like something. I thought The Elegance of the Hedgehog would be a sure thing but she told me it was boring. I was going to put in A Walk in the Woods but I'll send it next time, I put in Beautiful Ruins instead.
Wade is actually Julie's twenty-seven year old son who lives there. His Grandma likes to say that if the house had a basement we'd never see Wade again. He and I both enjoy coffee and mixing cocktails so I send him bags of coffee and unusual cocktail recipes.

67curioussquared
apr 29, 12:17pm

>64 mstrust: This is me for my best friend :) It's fun to be someone's personal librarian!

68mstrust
apr 29, 3:19pm

Nice that we can find a way to live the dream :-D

***
I've actually had an aggravating morning. My root canal is Monday, and because my dentist's office had suggested that I get a single Xanax for when I have bigger procedures, I called the specialist's office to have that prescription filled. Ended up being a two hour ordeal, getting both offices and my dentist involved, just to get a single pill so that I'm not sweating bullets in the chair.

We planted another aloe in the yard this morning and I moved a mammoth to a bigger pot because it's been doing so well on the porch.

69SomeGuyInVirginia
apr 30, 10:31am

Root canals are scary but usually, I've found, they aren't painful during or after.

How is Coral? Please forgive if you've already said, but I've been on a double top secret government mission and I wasn't allowed access to the interwebs.

Have you ever read Island of the Sequined Love Nuns? (I'm still not able to get touchstones to work on my phone.) It isn't Tiki but it is a lot of fun.

70mstrust
apr 30, 1:03pm

That's good to hear. Mike has had one and said his wasn't bad either. I was never afraid of the dentist until I met with one who was truly a sadist. My new dentist is very nice though.
Coral is doing great. Still on meds but I haven't heard her cough in about two weeks. She loves the Cheez Whiz I hide her pills in.
No, I haven't heard of that title! Thanks for letting me know, ha!

71SirThomas
maj 1, 3:38am

Thank you again vor the BB, Jenniver, I loved Redshirts!
I wish you a wonderful weekend and best wishes for Monday.

72mstrust
maj 1, 5:10pm

I'm so glad you liked it! And when you say you want to read a book, you really get on it!
Thank you for your kind wishes, same to you.

73mstrust
maj 1, 5:12pm

Happy official Halfoween. We're halfway to Halloween, and as it's Saturday night, it's a perfect night for a scary movie. Or a bowl of candy, your choice.

74Carmenere
maj 1, 7:54pm

Hey Jennifer! AMC is running halfway Halloween movies today. I watched The Shining earlier today. Have a good weekend!

75mstrust
maj 2, 9:31am

I caught some of The Shining yesterday! I usually get mesmerized by that movie so I had to turn it off and get my chores done, ha.
You have a good weekend!

76mstrust
Redigeret: maj 2, 9:46am


44. Not Taco Bell Material by Adam Carolla. Carolla's look at his life of growing up in North Hollywood in the 70's and 80's, and his years of manual labor before getting into radio at L.A.'s KROQ.
The chapters are headed by pics of each of his living spaces throughout his life, whether his childhood home, a garage or the homes he was able to buy when he became successful. A too large part of the book is given over to his group of gross high school friends, then to how gross he and Jimmy Kimmel were when they were working together. The whole book is fast paced and the most interesting parts to me were when Carolla's discussing his family, his tangents about general bad behavior, and the random people who pop into the story, like Grandpa Munster slapping elementary school-aged Carolla across the face for getting mouthy. 3 stars

77mstrust
Redigeret: maj 5, 7:28pm


45. Maigret Goes to School by Georges Simenon. The Inspector is visited by a schoolmaster who believes he's about to be formally accused of murdering his village postmistress, who was found in her home with a bullet through the eye. He's right.
It seems that the only reason the schoolmaster is arrested is because one of his pupils placed him in a location to have committed the crime, while the man says he's been accused because he's a hated newcomer to the village. Maigret doesn't know what to think about the crime, but a little excursion to the country for oysters and wine sounds good, and he might look into the murder. 3.5 stars
I read this for this month's "Senior Citizen Detective" theme in the MysteryCat.

78mstrust
Redigeret: maj 7, 10:32am

We're already hitting 100F, so summer is here. The transformer at the corner blew with a loud pop at nine last night, so we had an hour with candles and no a/c. My Kindle was charged though so I dipped back into Moby Dick.
I'd already gathered my piles of summer reads, which are books set in hot climates, or travel, exotic locations, stuff like that.
Here's my One New Thing for Friday. Try one of these pineapple cocktails and tell me it doesn't make the weekend nicer.

https://www.thespruceeats.com/pineapple-cocktail-recipes-4145027

79mstrust
maj 9, 5:45pm



46. Moby Dick by Herman Melville. The epic story of life on a whaling ship. The narrator, Ishmael, tells of his friends and crew, the weird, one-legged captain, and how they find and kill whales while keeping a lookout for one whale in particular. There are chases and fights with the whales and between rival ships. Most of the story is expository and some of these topics are really interesting, such as a discussion of the family dynamics of whales, the mythology of whales, the varieties of whales and even English law regarding whales. He is a highly intelligent guide with many areas of expertise, while in lots of other chapters he's a dull gas bag, discussing the merits of different types of rope or complaining about how he'd have a harpooner do the job if he were in charge. The scenes of the whale killings are so disturbing, even 170 years later, and the chapters of the parceling out of the whale body is revolting. Yet the writing is eloquent and can be fast-paced.
I've spent a year and a half dipping in and out of this book, reading it for a day or two, then not touching it for two weeks. It was my Doorstop of the Year for 2020 that became my Doorstop for 2021. I'm glad I read it, it deserves to be considered a Great American Novel. 4.5 stars

80mstrust
Redigeret: maj 12, 12:20pm


47. Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. The creators and hosts of the "My Favorite Murders" true crime podcast discuss how they met and started the podcast, and through interchanging chapters they pretty much write their autobiographies. The chapter by Karen of what it was like to be a latchkey kid in the 80's is hilarious. The majority of the book is about their emotional problems and substance abuse and what they've learned through years of therapy. They do go into their problems at length, with Georgia even providing direct quotes from her therapy sessions and providing a list of her diagnosed issues.
This is a lot of self help for a reader who thought that the book would be about putting together a true crime podcast. Not sorry I read it because it was entertaining, informative and sometimes funny, just a completely difference book from what I was expecting. 4 stars

81mstrust
Redigeret: maj 13, 2:42pm



48. The Beginner's Guide to Mushrooms by Britt A. Bunyard and Tavis Lynch. Just published, this is a large paperback of mushroom and fungi identification. Nearly every mushroom includes color photos of that mushroom as it is found in the wild, and some photos show the root or the sliced mushroom, as identifying it correctly often includes seeing what happens when the mushroom is damaged. Information includes the most likely place to find each variety and best circumstances for their growth, whether or not it is edible, and its particular characteristics.
There is a detailed section about home cultivation, with photos, and a recipe section.
I know, it's difficult to choose between all your mushroom and fungi books, but I think if you need just one, it's this one. The only thing that keeps it from 5 stars is the large size that would make it difficult for a backpack. 4.5 stars


Clathrus ruber


Clavaria zollingeri

82mstrust
maj 15, 1:40pm

The Martian Chronicles arrived this morning.

83mstrust
Redigeret: maj 16, 9:56am



49. Elizabeth by Ken Greenhall. The story of the depraved, wealthy family of Cuttners, as told by their most twisted member, fourteen year-old Elizabeth, who instigates most of the craziness. In the first chapter she tells the reader that she's living at her grandmother's because she's killed her parents. In the second chapter she tells the reader that her uncle is her lover. There's a long list of personality disorders with Elizabeth and Uncle James, but it's impossible to guess what's going to happen next as Elizabeth is getting instructions from Frances, the 400 year old witch in the mirror.
Take The Bad Seed and mix it with Lolita, then add in the urban legend of Bloody Mary. This book is called a "forgotten classic". It should be as well-known as The Bad Seed as the writing is just as good and the story as scary. The bizarre atmosphere the Cuttners live in shadows everything they do, even when we first meet James, who comes knocking on the locked cabin screen door when Elizabeth's parents are at the lake.
I stepped back from the door and waited to see what James would do. I suppose you think I was being childish, but it was more than that. James liked to perform little desperate acts. The circumstances of his life were purposely odd and messy, and they forced him to behave desperately. That pleased him and I liked to add to his pleasure.

I would guess this will be the craziest story I read all year. 4 stars
I read this for this month's ScaredyKit.

84scaifea
maj 20, 7:54am

I saw this article this morning and thought of you - if you're ever in my neck of the woods, we have excellent meetup venue options!

https://www.columbusnavigator.com/tiki-bars-columbus/

85mstrust
maj 20, 1:34pm

Thanks for that link! Yes, if I ever get to Columbus we'll have to hang out at one of these tiki bars.
I'd love to visit every state, but having been to just thirteen so far, I'm not doing well.

86mstrust
Redigeret: maj 20, 3:00pm



50. High Tech and Hot Pot: Encounters and Escapades Inside China by Stephan Orth. Orth is a German travel writer. For this book he used the Couchsurfing app to meet most of the people who became his travel guides, logging in and looking for people who would give him a bed for a couple of nights and show him their neighborhoods. The variety of people he bunked with varied, from a female artist whose newly built studio was razed by the government in what she believed to be a plot to silence her controversial work, to a car dealership trainee whose apartment was so small that he and the author had to share the one bed. He stayed in a rural village with a family and was horrified to learn that they had cooked a dog to give him an honorable dinner, and he stayed in a city of nearly 10 million with a young man who was addicted to the internet and video games.

Orth had to lie in order to take this trip across the country, telling the Chinese Consulate that he had no intention of writing a book about China, that he was just visiting a friend and would see just two cities. He knew that if he admitted to his plans for a book, to meeting strangers all across the country and to informing the official about an app that allowed foreigners to sleep in Chinese homes and see ways of life the government hid from the outside world, he would be denied entry.
His journey was one of constant juxtapositions, going from modern metropolises to villages that seemed unchanged for a century. One of his app hosts turned out to be a tv host who drove Orth to a poor village in order to exploit him for her show, another turned out to be fascinated by Nazis, and another was a married policewoman who had a brief fling with the author. He also secretly interviewed probably the last person the Chinese government would want a foreign writer to meet, a government official who is also a Uyghur, the ethnic group who is currently enslaved in reeducation camps. Along the way he met many regular people who just wanted to meet a tall European.
The "tech" part of the title figures prominently in his travels as he was shocked by the level of surveillance the citizens live under, with pretty much their every move being monitored through street cameras and online monitoring of their phones and computers. One of his hosts pays for their dinner with a phone app called Sesame Credit, which is connected to Alibaba. Orth explains that the app holds all her financial records, which is translated into a point system that follows the customer throughout her life and that the government has access to it. Having high points can get you a line jump when seeing a doctor or a better response in online dating. Orth's friend knows her every move online is being watched, she's had proof and it creeps her out.

The development of Sesame Credit, and other such apps, will soon enable an almost complete surveillance of the population...
Here you can lose points by failing to pay you debts on time, for example, or driving through red traffic lights of visiting online porn sites. Conversely, those who pay rent punctually, save a child or report a crime are rewarded with points. It is almost as if somebody is sitting somewhere judging every living moment, then rating it with: good, medium or bad...A number of cities are already running pilot schemes where even political opinions are incorporated into the ratings. "It's all about what you have posted online and how your friends respond," says Simone. "...if a friend of mine criticizes the government on Weibo, it will also affect my points in the future. It's crazy that such plans haven't caused an international outcry, isn't it?"


It gives an extensive look at the wide variety of people living across China, and while some of the people he met had remained in their hometown, many he met had lived abroad and returned, out of a sense of duty to their family or the hope they could improve lives, but what they had in common was a knowledge that their government had too much control of their lives. This was an LT ER. 4 stars

87mstrust
Redigeret: maj 21, 12:45pm

Ooh, it's a sighting of the very rare orange cake.

Why isn't it as abundant as lemon cake?

88mstrust
maj 21, 12:57pm



51. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. Told by young Esperanza in short, deceptively simple chapters. Her family lives in a rundown section of Chicago and one of the first things she tells the reader is about a nun from her school making Esperanza feel ashamed of her family's rental. When her family moves to a better home she has to make new friends in the neighborhood, meeting domineering sisters Lucy and Rachel, and pretty but doomed Sally. Esperanza takes the reader around her neighborhood to introduce the residents and witness flashes of their lives. The reader begins to see, through her narration of the goings-on, that Esperanza isn't as mature as the kids her own age, and while she doesn't get through her childhood unscathed, she may ultimately be better off. 3 stars

89mstrust
maj 21, 1:06pm

Yeah, duh, should have given you mango cake.

90quondame
maj 21, 3:05pm

>89 mstrust: I think I'll go for the orange cake and save the mangoes for sticky rice.

91mstrust
maj 21, 6:48pm

I'm with you on both counts. I love mango sticky rice, but as far as cake goes, fluffy orange cake is awesome. Especially in spring and summer.

92scaifea
maj 22, 8:30am

I *love* orange cake (but I also love lemon cake (well, honestly, cake in general.))

93mstrust
Redigeret: maj 22, 12:25pm

I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've come across orange cake for sale at a bakery. I don't know why, it's so good. The first time I ever had it was as an adult at the buffet at The Palms in Vegas. But most cake is good cake.
Until yesterday I actually had forgotten that my cake theme was inspired by The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, so I started that.
And we're planning on hitting a u-pick peach orchard tomorrow. It's an hour away and hopefully there will still be some on the trees after today.

94scaifea
Redigeret: maj 23, 8:29am

>93 mstrust: One of my favorite desserts of all time was one the menu at The Kahiki, a restaurant that used to be here in Columbus until a few years ago when they tore it down and put in a Walgreens. We're still fuming about that. It (the dessert) was orange cake with orange sherbet, and I think there was some sort of sauce involved, too. All served in a giant cocktail glass. It was so, so good.

The Kahiki in all its glory (you would have loved it, I suspect):





95mstrust
Redigeret: maj 23, 9:57am

I know of the Kahiki though I never got there, unfortunately. It looks like an awesome place. The council who approve tearing it down are monsters. Nobody builds such fabulousness anymore.
Maybe you can find the recipe for the orange cake online?
We had a stink here about a dozen years ago. Walgreen's wanted the corner lot that a bar sat on. It was authentic 60's Sinatra cool, so people fought for it. Walgreen's got the corner, the bar was picked up and moved.

***
Our peach picking day was cancelled. I checked their website at 8:30 last night and sure enough, their trees had been picked clean of ripe fruit yesterday.
But I had lemons so I made lemon cookies for the freezer yesterday, and a big bowl of pickled radishes and carrots.

96scaifea
maj 23, 10:42am

>95 mstrust: Oh there was a HUGE uproar here about the Kahiki, too. Walgreens always wins, though, I think.

97mstrust
maj 23, 4:34pm

I get the feeling they do get what they want. I shop there too but we really don't need one every three blocks.

98mstrust
maj 26, 2:33pm



52. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. Just before her ninth birthday, Rose discovers a terrible talent, that she can taste the feelings of whoever made the food she's eating. That she learns this while trying to eat her own mother's cooking teaches Rose that her family isn't what she thought. Her parents are kind and loving to her and her older brother, but this weird ability with food is unbearable and it extends to food she eats in school or restaurants.
But just as Rose learns to cope with her own problem, her brother, who has always kept people at a distance, begins to exhibit even stranger behavior.
A story of what goes on underneath the surface. With each chapter I thought this would be the one where the parents quietly split up. 3.5 stars
This book was the cake in my cake thread.

99mstrust
maj 26, 2:44pm


The only chocolate/lemon cake pics I found were taken for the book cover. Not a common combination. So here's an all lemony cake.
I made banana walnut bread yesterday, one of Mike's favorites.

100PaperbackPirate
maj 27, 10:10am

>98 mstrust: I read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake a few years ago, guessing by the title and cover that it would be more chick lit, and instead I realized that the title was actually a warning that it was particularly sad. Bummer. I gave it 3.5 stars too.

101mstrust
maj 27, 11:12am

It is a bummer of a story, with each member of the family being sad in their own, isolated way. I came away feeling that the food/feeling thing was the hook and the real story was about a family that didn't connect even though they interacted.

102mstrust
maj 28, 12:21pm

I was at the dentist's again this week, for the temp cap on the tooth I had the root canal on a few weeks back.
I have a new keyboard for the computer arriving today and we're also going to replace the rug in the computer room tonight.
Yesterday I did a little photo shoot of some cocktails for the maple book. I know, I've said for years what a bad photographer I am, but these came out pretty good.
We've been watching both Travel Man and Con Man on Prime, both very funny.
And I made chocolate cinnamon ice cream last night. So good. I'll give you the cake version 'cause the ice cream would melt.

103mstrust
maj 28, 3:53pm



53. Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones. A few summers ago, Sawyer and his group of friends discovered a discarded mannequin in a creek. Naming it Manny, they dressed it up and pranked each other all summer. When they outgrew Manny he was left in Sawyer's garage. Now that they're in high school a couple of them decide to use Manny again to prank Shanna at her new job at the movie theater. What was supposed to be harmless fun turns into something else when Manny gets up at the end of the movie and walks out on his own. Making things worse, Sawyer decides that Manny must be angry and vengeful, and Sawyer doesn't blame him.
A short book that begins looking like it will be one type of horror, then changes to another kind. Because it's written in the voice of a high schooler sometimes the cadence can seem confusing or backwards. 3 stars

104scaifea
maj 29, 9:01am

Chocolate cinnamon ice cream sounds *so* good!

105mstrust
maj 29, 1:45pm

It really is, not too sweet and I use a heavy dose of cinnamon. I'm going to post my recipe on The Kitchen thread.

Success! We went to the peach orchard in Wickenburg this morning and picked eleven pounds, plus a handful of blackberries. So I'm blanching and freezing some and I'll grill some with pork chops tonight. Mike shoved down eight of them already. They aren't the big Georgia sized peaches, most of them are about the size of a Persian lime up to the size of a Eureka lemon.

106SomeGuyInVirginia
Redigeret: maj 29, 2:21pm

Is that the size of a Persian lime grown in Persia, or a Persian lime grown in Secaucus?

WASSAP?! My brother's recovery continues to be astounding. A month ago he was in a coma and sometime next week he should be able to walk on his own.

It's raining here in Lynchburg, pouring rain. Virginia has been so dry for so long it is very welcome. I was listening to the podcast Backlisted and they mentioned Celia Dale, an English author who wrote what they described as domestic car back in the '60s. I ordered the two books of her that are currently in print and should be able to get through them pretty quickly since they're both very short. If they're any good I'll send them over to you.

Much love.

107mstrust
maj 29, 4:41pm

It's great to see you again, and to hear how well Eric is doing! What an amazing recovery! I won't even say anything annoying, like "I told you so,"! Not gonna do it! I'm so glad he's doing well.

We're continuing with our drought. Monsoon season starts in a few weeks, so we'll get rain over the summer, along with our power knocked out.
I've never heard of Celia Dale and look forward to your reviews. I have started prepping for Autumn by purchasing Dawn of the Dreadfuls.
And Persian limes are your typical grocery store lime, as appose to key limes, which are much smaller. Smarty-pants.

108mstrust
Redigeret: jun 4, 4:11pm



54.Face It by Debbie Harry. The autobiography by Harry and rock journalist Sylvie Simmons. If you're a Blondie fan, as I have been since elementary school, you'll love this. Harry's childhood, discussions about her adoption, and growing up in the 50's and then the hippie era. She talks about spending years trying out this and that, looking for something that made her happy while knowing she didn't want to get married and be normal. Harry's natural weirdness comes through even when she isn't talking about music, something that I find endearing.
She discusses meeting Chris Stein, her Blondie co-founder, co-writer and longtime boyfriend, Blondie bandmates, the infamous Hall of Fame induction and the managers who ripped them off, along with discussing the tours and meeting lots of famous people, and the start of punk at CBGB's. She is candid about drug use and rape, and her looks and aging.
This is a heavy book, both because Harry has a lot to say and because it's made with heavy cardstock. It's really heavy. There are photos, of course, but not an excessive amount, and probably even more drawings of Harry from fans that she's saved over the years. I would have given this 5 stars if not for the still unanswered questions about the band's fracturing. 4.5 stars

109SirThomas
jun 5, 6:41am

>102 mstrust: Yummy - Thank you.
Have a wonderful weekend, Jennifer.

110PaulCranswick
jun 5, 7:12am

>108 mstrust: Oooh I must go and look for that one, Jennifer.

Favourite Blondie track?

I'll pick "Picture This"

111mstrust
Redigeret: jun 5, 12:24pm

>109 SirThomas: Glad you liked it! Thanks, and you have a great weekend too. We bought primer and painting supplies yesterday to start re-doing my bathroom tomorrow. I have some work in my future.

>110 PaulCranswick: It's a must for a Blondie fan, you'll love it but your hands will be sore from holding such a thick book open. I don't know if a paperback edition was released.
"Picture This" is a great one. From that album, my favorite would be "11:59" and "Pretty Baby". Overall, maybe "Living in the Real World", "(I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence" "Dreaming" and "X Offender" and "Rip Her To Shreds". I've always preferred their earlier, stranger stuff to the hits. The 70's version of the band is very New York underground.

"X Offender": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjvpLiS2gKA

112Carmenere
jun 6, 6:49am

Hey Jennifer, how ya doing? Surviving the desert heat?
A re-do of my half bathroom is in the cards for July but I've hired a contractor because there's plumbing and electricity involved so better give it to professionals.
I'm also trying to select paint for the living/dining room. It's more difficult than I thought.
I was hoodwinked into reading Picture This thinking it was the book by Debbie Harry. Still, I gave it 4 stars but it was my intention to read Face It.
ha, way back in '78 Parallel Lines was constantly playing at my house. I wanted to be as bad ass as Debbie, still trying.

113PaulCranswick
jun 6, 6:59am

>111 mstrust: You have the same difficulty picking one that I always do!

"Pretty Baby" is infectious isn't it?

114mstrust
jun 6, 10:05am

>112 Carmenere: Surviving the desert heat? I'm doing my best. We're in a block of 106F days right now, so we, as in Coral and I, are done going for walks until October. Mike has still gone hiking the preserve a couple of times a week but he gets up at 5am to do it. I stay home and ride my bike. And I'll get some exercise with the painting projects I have planned. I'm going to tackle the den and a wall in the kitchen too.
I haven't read Picture This but I see it's by Mick Rock, who was an excellent photographer so maybe I'll come across it. I've had Blondie by Lester Bangs for years, which I believe was his last book. I've read a bio of Harry that came out maybe 15 years ago but the writing was bad.
I played Parallel Lines to death, and Eat to the Beat, when I was a kid. Still great albums.

>113 PaulCranswick: They have so many great songs! I could list a bunch more as Honorable Mentions. "Pretty Baby" is great and I wonder why it so rarely made it into their live shows.
I've never gotten to see the original band live, but after they'd broken up and Harry was solo, I got to see her at a small club called The Coach House. This would have been around 1990, and her band included Chris Stein and Clem Burke, so a close-to-Blondie performance.

115mstrust
jun 6, 10:18am

Today is my sister Julie's birthday, which means peaches. She's in California so I won't see her, but she had lunch with Mom and David yesterday and she's saved her presents to open today. I'll give her a call soon. The box of gifts I sent her includes a jar of local peach jam, another of local prickly pear syrup (she likes margaritas), and a jar of English apricot preserves.
Have some birthday cake:


(Mike has already ordered my birthday cake because he found a specialty shop. I told him my exact specifications: chocolate cake with pastry cream and cherry compote, white buttercream. Basically a Black Forest but with some vanilla and thicker icing.)

116SomeGuyInVirginia
jun 6, 2:29pm

Are you being affected by the big fire at all?

I finished A Helping Hand by Celia Dale yesterday, about elder abuse for financial gain. I wouldn't describe it as a horror book, maybe more suspense? I also found it to be incredibly depressing and the ending was abrupt and the sudden introduction of a comeuppance to the antagonists didn't fit the narrative style. For me, it was 2.5 stars.

Another thing, this was a print on demand book put out by Faber Finds, part of the Faber and Faber publishing house. There were so many typographical errors, often several per page, that I thought it was part of the narrative style and that the reasoning would be transparent at the end. Turns out it was just an incredibly crummy scan job on Faber's part. I was so ticked off that they would release such an inferior product that I'm returning it to Amazon for a refund. I've never returned a book in my life, unless I ordered it and it showed up damaged.

117mstrust
Redigeret: jun 6, 6:48pm

Our neighborhood isn't affected by the fire as we're about ten miles away from it, but it could be seen from our area. Mike has a friend who is a firefighter, he'll get the lowdown soon. But we'll have to pay for such an enormous fire, and we're already in a drought, so we'll hear how much water it took.
Wow, that must be some really lousy copy editing to have let something that bad get published. You're doing them a favor by getting them to actually read it themselves.

I'm doing my best not to buy books until I'm in Vegas in a few weeks. Dawn of the Dreadfuls finally showed up but I'd bought that two weeks ago.

118mstrust
jun 7, 10:44am



55. England As You Like It by Susan Allen Toth. Toth has written several books about traveling around England, part travel guide, part memoir, they are books of slow, calming travel with lots of manor houses and gardens, usually with her husband James.
This book is geared towards the first-time traveler to England, and as it was published in 1995, much of the travel advice can be skipped as the internet has made things like writing to a historical society for pamphlets obsolete. But these first few chapters can also be read to remember how much effort had to be made back then.
Toth travels by her "thumbprint theory" which is trying to spend a week at a time in an area that covers no more than the size of her thumb on the map. While this is a good way to get to know a place better than moving around, it works best for someone who knows they will be returning often.
My favorite chapter was one about Daphne Du Maurier's area of Cornwall, seeing Menabilly, Du Maurier's home and the inspiration for Manderlay, and exploring her neighborhood. But there is also a fun chapter about shopping for biscuits and sweets at Sainsbury's and another chapter explaining why she and her husband prefer packing their own food rather than eating in restaurants. 3 stars

119mstrust
jun 7, 11:50am

English Battenberg cake. Never had it myself but it's always pretty.

120SomeGuyInVirginia
jun 8, 8:04am

Caaaakke!

My TBR pile has grown to be so big but there's an actual emotional benefit from my avoiding it. I did spend all of Saturday afternoon reading on my deck, and that was nice.

121mstrust
jun 8, 10:34am

Please do let me in on what can be gained by avoiding books, ;-)
How are you enjoying your new home? All moved in and decorated?
And most of all, how is Eric?

122Carmenere
jun 8, 10:42am

Morning! I'm going out of my mind choosing color scheme for my living room/dining room/foyer and kitchen. What colors have you chosen?

123mstrust
jun 8, 11:17am

For the bathroom, a pale gray with cool undertones. For the den, I'm leaning towards a medium sand color. I think it will look good with all our tiki/tropical artwork. We're also looking at flooring, the ceramic tiles that look like distressed wood.
I know, with the ability to create any color you could want, now there are so many options that it can take a long time to decide. The DIY store also has some free booklets in their paint dept. that shows colors put together in the latest trends. There are so many grays now.

124SomeGuyInVirginia
jun 8, 6:43pm

It's not fifty shades of gray it's more like 5,500 shades of gray. I drove myself to distraction trying to figure on paint colors. I was first going to paint my living room and hallway in a dark charcoal gray, and I still think that would look nice, but eventually settled on Polo blue by Benjamin Moore. I also found that it was totally worth the money to buy the most expensive iteration of any color, even if it was double. You're going to be living with that color for a long time.

And hell yes a sandy color would look great with Tiki paraphernalia. I want pictures!

125VivienneR
jun 9, 12:45am

>119 mstrust: Battenberg cake is my favourite and so difficult to find. I worked in a bakery in the UK as a teenager which is when I discovered it. My mother never had it in the house because she hated marzipan.

You have me listening to Blondie as I catch up on threads. My favourite is Dragonfly.

126mstrust
jun 9, 12:34pm

>124 SomeGuyInVirginia: It's not fifty shades of gray it's more like 5,500 shades of gray.
Yeah it is. Gray has been re-discovered like it's a superfood. I like some of the stronger shades of gray but my bathroom is small, so a shade too dark could enclose it. Or look like a cinderblock stall of a roadside public restroom.

When we get the den done I'll put up pics for sure. Try and stop me. I'll be dancing with glee.
We were talking this morning about our next steps for the bathroom, since the flooring will likely have to be done at the same time as the hallway and library. It seems like everything that needs to be done is connected to bigger projects, like ripping up all the carpeting on the whole level. We'll need a plumber to pull out the vanity but we can pull off the medicine chest ourselves.

>125 VivienneR: I've seen many color variations of Battenberg and they're pretty much all very pretty. They look like a cake that Alice would eat in Wonderland. But I don't like marzipan either. I was hoping the coating sometimes came in vanilla or chocolate. Maybe a nice raspberry.

"Dragonfly" is a deep cut, and a good one. The lyrics about a drag race between creatures of the universe exemplify the band's ability to get really weird and imaginative.

127mstrust
jun 9, 12:49pm

Dang it, it's seven years ago today that we lost amazing Rik Mayall.

128mstrust
Redigeret: jun 10, 12:59pm

Anybody know antique china?




I received two big boxes yesterday from Mike's Aunt Kath in Vermont. She's given me her mother's china collection for my birthday, pretty things that are bits from three or four sets. Mike believes these things belonged to his great-grandmother originally. Some are marked "Bavaria" and "Nippon", so I assume pre-war. Others are marked "Germany" and "Japan", and have a very post-war look. The prettiest are the five or six pieces marked "Hand Painted Nippon" with a maple leaf. The raised design seems to be real gold.
I'm asking if anyone knows about antique china because I've shown this Japanese container with the manufacturer's hole to a couple of people who have had some involvement in antiques, but not in china, and nobody knows what it's for. I worked in an antique store as a teen and have never seen this.


I'll ask Kath as a last resort because I don't want her to think I'm questioning why she sent them to me.

129mstrust
jun 11, 10:00am

Disregard. I very smart lady on my category thread had the answer.

130SomeGuyInVirginia
jun 11, 10:09am

What did she say it's for? I have no idea.

Double plus good swag!

131mstrust
jun 11, 10:10am

Here's my Friday One New Thing. It's an episode from the Proof podcast, which is put out by America's Test Kitchen, so all food related backstories. Here's the story of a woman in Scotland who found a snail in her ginger beer, and that ended up changing the law and food handling regulations. This is really an unsung hero story.

https://narratively.com/the-woman-who-found-a-snail-in-her-soda-and-launched-a-m...

132mstrust
jun 11, 10:15am

>130 SomeGuyInVirginia: Never would I have guessed that it's a condensed milk jug. You put the whole can of milk in the jug, cover it, then use the hole in the bottom to pop it out when done. The article she provided was about a library exhibit from a few years ago, just of condensed milk jugs. They are very pretty, or even beautiful, because poor folks didn't need to hide an ugly can. They began being made in Victorian times.

133SomeGuyInVirginia
jun 11, 8:25pm

What are you going to do with all that pretty porcelain? I've always liked it, and have a couple of pieces here, but they are profoundly girly. I'm a complete fool for delftware though. Anything blue and white.

134mstrust
jun 12, 12:36pm

I have some china and porcelain pieces, like post-war Japanese statuettes and trinket plates, and I happen to have French cheese plates on my kitchen wall. I may hang the pretty gold plate from this collection. But I don't have any use for many of the plates, or the room to display them. So, unfortunately, they'll likely go into my old hope chest.
Delfteware is very striking and makes a great display.
By the way, back in >116 SomeGuyInVirginia: when you asked me about the fire? I assumed you were talking about the recycling plant that was on fire at that time, that had 200 firefighters on it, but were you asking about one of our several wildfires that are still ongoing? So much of the state is on fire, and with our temps expected to reach 117 in a few days, it might seem Arizona is one of the circles of hell.

135mstrust
jun 12, 1:12pm



56. Middle Men: Stories by Jim Gavin. A collection of short stories about young men who are struggling to achieve but find themselves coming up short. That might sound like a depressing premise but Gavin gives each story a little dose of oddity mixed in with the reality of underachieving. The stories take the reader all over California, from San Francisco, Hollywood, Riverside, and on the freeways.
In "Play The Man" a highschooler gets kicked off his basketball team because he's an average player on a team of future greats, which leads to him transferring to a mediocre school with a mediocre team where he can be the star player.
In "Elephant Doors", Adam finally gets a good job in show biz as an assistant on a long-running quiz show with a legendary host. He's been pursuing stand-up for years and getting nowhere, so he's happy to finally have a paycheck, a cool new friend and some tiny status, but he is always taken aback by the famous host's weird conversations.
The title story was what I was hoping for. Gavin was the creator of one of the best shows ever, Lodge 49, and in this story there's a lot of the surreal quality and unique personalities that ended up in the show a few years after this book was published. It's about Matt, who was adrift and depressed after his mom's death until his father pulled strings and got Matt a sales position in the plumbing supply industry. After a year in this job he has no interest in or talent for, Matt meets old-timer Larry, who pulls back the curtain to show Matt the movers and shakers in the toilet racket and explains how deals get done in such a cutthroat trade.
4.2 stars

136Berly
jun 13, 2:01am

Hello Stranger! Let's see what we've got here: china and books and CAKE! Lots of cake. Now I am hungry and it's 11:00 at night. LOL

137mstrust
Redigeret: jun 13, 10:45am

Hey Kim! Sorry to make you hungry, but when there's cake you manage even if you've just had a big meal. I wish I had cake now.

***
So I hear there's a store in Kansas City called Old Time Pottery that has their Halloween stuff up already.

138Berly
jun 13, 3:18pm

>137 mstrust: Ah, you know me so well. Halloween! *Grins* I am so excited for this year because my daughter has a new house and hopefully COVID will be under control -- she throws the best parties.

139mstrust
Redigeret: jun 13, 4:28pm

Oh fun! I hope the party is on this year, what a great theme for a housewarming too!
My sister throws some good Halloween parties too, but had to cancel last year's. My niece had to cancel her engagement party around that time too. Let's hope things go well this year.
We've been out all morning, but now we're home and it's hit 111F, so of course I want to talk Halloween :-D I have a Halloween grapevine (pumpkin vine?) that keeps me informed of the first spottings.

Hands up, who wants pumpkin cake even though the a/c is running?

140SomeGuyInVirginia
jun 14, 12:52pm

Pumpkins! We're coming up on the forth so it's not that long away.

>134 mstrust: That was the fire at the recycling plant, it made the DC news.

141mstrust
Redigeret: jun 14, 1:11pm

I happened to be running in with a bit of news, and here I bump into you!
O.k., and now we've had a second recycling plant catch fire a few days ago. They need to put some money into getting a better sprinkler system in our recycling plants.


... it's not that long away.
Believe me, I'm counting the days! Any little noise about Autumn is making my head whip round, like the news that Rob Zombie just announced that he'll be directing a movie of "The Munsters". And Netflix is releasing a movie version of R.L. Stine's Fear Street in a few days, plus the second season of "Black Summer". That's the one I've been waiting for for two years.
I know, it seems weird that this Halloween stuff is announced in the summer, but summertime is the run-up to fall. That's why Summerween is catching on.

142drneutron
jun 15, 7:19am

Yeah, saw The Munsters news. Gonna be interesting to see where that goes… 😀

143SomeGuyInVirginia
jun 15, 8:01am

Black Summer is really scary, I'm glad it's coming out with another season, too.

144mstrust
jun 15, 10:17am

>142 drneutron: I know, Zombie does really disturbing movies, and then for some reason, he's directed several stand-up specials for the comedian Tom Papa. Really funny shows, but strange to see him involved. So I'm guessing "The Munsters" will have some realistic scary stuff mixed in.

>143 SomeGuyInVirginia: The second season was supposed to come out in April of last year, I believe, but they couldn't film. I've seen the trailer and most of the characters from the last season are in it. The ones who survived.

I'm having a new crown put on this morning, hopefully it will be quick. And I'm starting to pack for Vegas, where the temps are especially high there too. Why can't anyone in the family live in a cool, wooded area?

145SomeGuyInVirginia
jun 15, 6:22pm

I live in a cool, wooded area (ish). Come and stay with me! We'll binge Black Summer, put together the perfect day drinking mix tape, and make a fortune as social media influencers. Win/win!

146drneutron
jun 15, 9:02pm

>145 SomeGuyInVirginia: I wouldn’t mind a piece of that action about now…

147mstrust
Redigeret: jun 16, 10:50am

>145 SomeGuyInVirginia: I'm not someone to tease with an invitation of day drinking, snobbery and a free room, cause I'll show up with three suitcases and a wineglass.

>146 drneutron: Me first! Me first!

It's my birthday and I got all my presents over the course of the past week. Mike brought me a gorgeous cake from Velvet Buttercream Bakery last night, and a bottle of Champagne De Margerie, which we guzzled with salmon last night.
Tonight we'll go to our Japanese/Korean place for sushi and bulgogi.


It looks huge but it's a 6 inch cake, three layers. Chocolate cake, pastry cream and a tart cherry compote. The macrons on top were so fresh and delicious.

148SirThomas
jun 16, 10:57am

Happy Birthday, Jennifer!
I wish you and yours a wonderful day.
Wirth this georgeous cake it will certainly be so.

149PaperbackPirate
jun 16, 11:10am

Beautiful cake! Happy Birthday!
I hope your new crown went well!

150FAMeulstee
jun 16, 2:10pm

Happy birthday, Jennifer!

>147 mstrust: That cake looks super tasty :-)

151quondame
jun 16, 3:11pm

>147 mstrust: Happy Birthday! What a scrumptious cake!

152curioussquared
jun 16, 3:37pm

Happy birthday, Jennifer! Gorgeous cake :D

153mstrust
jun 16, 3:50pm

>148 SirThomas: Thank you, Thomas!

>149 PaperbackPirate: Thanks, Nicole!
The dentist fit my crown so well that I pretty much forgot about it. He did start talking about the next procedure as soon as it was in though. :-c

>150 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! The cake is delicious, and I can say without doubt that it is the smoothest, silkiest buttercream I've ever had.

>151 quondame: Thank you, Susan!

>152 curioussquared: Thank you, Natalie! And those macrons on top were so good. Maybe a sweet butter flavor?

154mstrust
jun 16, 4:06pm



57. Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor. Published in 1971, this is the story of the residents at the Claremont Hotel in London, a long-term residence for elderly people who, for one reason or another, find themselves in the hotel's shabby elegance until it's time to go to a nursing home. Mrs Palfrey is widowed with one daughter living in Scotland who has never invited her mother to live with her because, as they both know but don't say, they don't really like each other. Mrs Palfrey's grandson lives in London and works at the British Museum, but can't be bothered to visit. These hotel residents have sharp eyes, and some have sharp tongues. The constant badgering of Mrs Palfrey to explain why her grandson hasn't visited is recognized as a humiliation to the elderly group of regulars, and leads her to a small deceit to save face.
While the story rests mostly with Mrs Palfrey, each resident is dealing with their loneliness and exclusion from families that find their age an inconvenience. 4.5 stars

155rabbitprincess
jun 16, 7:12pm

156scaifea
jun 17, 8:23am

Happy birthday!! That cake looks amazing!

157drneutron
jun 17, 10:42am

Happy birthday!

158mstrust
jun 17, 11:21am

>155 rabbitprincess: Ha! That cat's face! Thanks for the link, and just watch what I do with my next thread. duh-duh- DUH!

>156 scaifea: Thank you! It was almost too pretty to cut, but I managed.

>157 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

I had one more present to open last night, from MIL, and dinner out. The sushi restaurant had no sushi. As the waitress was having to explain to every customer, the sushi chef had quit.

159curioussquared
jun 17, 12:44pm

>158 mstrust: I am dying a little at the sushi-less sushi restaurant. Hilarious.

160mstrust
jun 17, 3:46pm

I know, it's dumb, and disappointing. A friend told us about a month ago that the sushi chef was on vacation or something, that he hadn't been in to work for many days. We just thought they would certainly be back to normal by now. The bulgogi and tempura sauce tasted bland too, so I suspect they lost their regular cook too.

161Carmenere
jun 17, 5:11pm

Hi Jennifer! Happy belated birthday!! I think if you were anticipating sushi from the sushi place anything they would have given you in its place would seem subpar.
Of course, you know you can celebrate your b-day all month so keep celebrating and looking for another sushi place.
Mike knows how to pick a cake! Yaoza!

I've been busy working outside so I've just seen what colors you have chosen for your rooms. Gray is definitely not an option for me. Cleveland is gray from October through March so I don't need to add to that. I'm actually thinking of colors of the southwest. Canyon dusk is my choice for the living room and a dark navy for the dining room. The painters offer some guidance so I'll see what they think. Still not sure about the foyer/hallway. Choosing is difficult. I want it to be the color that's going to be the color of the year in beyond 2021. :/

162mstrust
jun 17, 11:13pm

Thanks, Lynda!
Mike sent me over a lunch from the dim sum place, so I can't complain. And we'll likely have Korean or Japanese again in a few days. I manage to get some good meals.
I wasn't big on the grays but Mike sold me on it because he's an incessant Zillow scroller and says that's still the big thing right now. We're picking colors that will sell, someday. Don't know when, as the surge of Californians moving here have priced locals out of the market, so looks like we're staying put for another couple of years.

163mstrust
jun 18, 11:36am

I remembered One New Thing today.



The highest recorded temperature on earth was 134F, July 10th, 1913, at Furnace Creek Ranch, Death Valley, Ca. The exact same place also holds the record for the second highest temp ever recorded, 129F, on August 16, 2020.

164SomeGuyInVirginia
jun 18, 5:23pm

Snappy birfdee! Anyone who would buy you a cake like that, it's quite simply true love. Many years of happiness and health to you both!

165mstrust
jun 18, 6:18pm

Thank you, Larry! How sweet!
While I do give myself credit for being lovable, I also have a sneaky suspicion that Mike went crazy with the cake because everything he eats is low carb and low sugar, and he said to himself, "If I'm eating cake, it's gonna be an amazing cake."

166Carmenere
jun 19, 5:59am

>162 mstrust: Yeah, I get Mike's strategy and I considered going neutral but I figured I'm going to paint it how I like it and take my chances. A new owner can paint easily and not be saddled with wallpaper like we've lived with for 20 years. Why are the Californians surging?
I like talk of autumn too, my favorite time of year. If only the days wouldn't get shorter.
Yikes! the temps out west are crazy!

167mstrust
jun 19, 9:41am

I won't tell you how crazy we went on this house when we bought it. Up to that point we'd been in apartments where we couldn't paint or even put up pictures because we had landlords that told us to leave the walls bare. So when we moved in here we went nuts with color, some of which we regretted later, but it was fun to do :-D
Arizona has had a huge influx of Californians, as Texas and Idaho have too. They're leaving the high taxes, high crime and lack of affordable housing there. They have come here because we had affordable housing, and they changed that because they came with California incomes. Mike's realtor friend said they are offering way over asking price, and while up until recently he would have a nice house on market for an average of twelve days, now it's four. They are snapping up anything available, from mansions to shacks, pricing locals out of the market. The house next door to us sold in 2015 for $169,000. Californians bought it in October for $405,000.

Yesterday hit 117. And our air conditioning unit for the two bottom floors died. We were supposed to drive to Vegas to see Mom early this morning, but that's been put off. Mike spent a couple of hours last night trying to revive the unit but it's gone, so now we're waiting to see if his A/C buddy can come through with a unit, as we have industrial ones. Mike and a friend may have to drive up north to pick one up. For now, we've sectioned off the upstairs floor because the unit up there still works.

168rabbitprincess
jun 19, 9:52am

Oh noooo! RIP air conditioning unit! I hope Mike's friend can get you set up with something new soon.

169mstrust
jun 19, 10:01am

I know, what a pain. We're really, really hoping this unit comes through for us. It's a really big unit, and besides finding one, we'll likely need a small crane to move it.

170mstrust
jun 19, 12:28pm

Noting this but not counting as it's a short story.



If You Are Lonely And You Know It by Yiyun Li. Gordon lives in a back house on Iris' property. At sixty-two years old, retired and twice divorced with no children, Gordon finds himself looking after his former stepdaughter's pitbull, who turns out to have some aggression towards other dogs. The situation makes Gordon contemplate his isolation. 4 stars
This is a Prime read on Kindle.

171SomeGuyInVirginia
jun 20, 8:41am

Ack! Sending you a/c vibes!

I knew when I chose the super dark colors for my house that it would probably have to be painted before it was ever sold. Mike's right, gray walls are super popular right now. I was considering painting the living room a charcoal gray, but finally decided on Polo blue. One good thing about having dark walls is that furniture and artwork can really pop. My only regret was painting the study a black forest green, which reads as black in everything except direct sunlight.

172Ameise1
jun 20, 11:37am

Happy Sunday, Jennifer.

173mstrust
jun 20, 1:11pm

Happy Father's Day!

174mstrust
jun 20, 1:21pm

>171 SomeGuyInVirginia: Your good wishes worked, the a/c guy and Mike are in our backyard right now hooking the new unit up! Mike and two friends drove 90 minutes north yesterday and picked up the unit from a cabin. We should have a cool house soon, which will be so great.
I like dark walls. It can look like a Victorian house, or a dark cave, both very cool.
I remember you didn't like the green paint as much as expected, but it's probably really cool with the windows up.

>172 Ameise1: Happy Sunday! Good to see you!

I have this new keyboard that sometimes has a long delay between typing and seeing it on the screen, and it's doing it right now.

I hope everyone is having a good Father's Day. I'm gonna make a new thread tomorrow.

175SomeGuyInVirginia
jun 20, 2:47pm

Yes ma'am! I promised my Yogi that I would only use my powers for good. You're welcome.

I've decided that the only thing to do is to do a few days of day drinking, so I especially appreciate the sentiment in >173 mstrust:. He looks like a hell of a good guy to me.

176mstrust
jun 21, 12:44pm

It's such a relief to have the a/c running again. And Coral prefers to have free run of a cool house too.
I loaded the a/c guy up with a couple of bottles of rum and I'll be making him cookies either today or tomorrow. I made Steve, one of the guy who helped Mike get the unit, a pan of mocha brownies that he'll get today. He also has two bottles of tequila in his thank you bag.
Yep, that dad looks like he throws back a few and gets out the cha cha records. Maybe tells the kids about army days in Korea.

177mstrust
jun 21, 1:18pm

I've put up my new thread and hope you'll come over. Go 'head.
Denne tråd er fortsat i mstrust#4- Happy Summerween!.