Tuesday, January 18, 2022

So this girl walk into the shop this afternoon…


She’s probably in her 20s, dyed pink hair, baseball cap, coat way too big, chunky high heel booties and no socks (it’s 23F and blowing at around 14mph so me, I’d opt for socks on a day like this). She’s got a tattoo around her neck, and some stars by one eye. She’s high on something or maybe coming down, very soft-spoken, and weepy. She talks to herself a lot.

I am simultaneously repulsed and sorrowful. Repulsed because she’s so out of it, so not here, and who knows what she’ll do? Steal stuff? Freak out? Sorrowful because whatever road brought her to where she is has not been a happy one.

She has keys and a car she can’t drive because she doesn’t have a license. Her friends left her. One of her boyfriends beat her so bad she has brain damage. She has a son. She likes the fake gold snake belt and matching bracelet, the samurai sword with the leopard sheath, and a gold plate necklace. She trades a knife for the sword.

She was still there when I left, freaking out over the fact she was much further away from home than she thought (she didn’t even know what town she was in), and I wonder what will happen to her. Where will she go? There are no homeless shelters in rural Maine. How will she get home? What kind of friends leave someone under those conditions? Did they just ditch her because she’s a pain in the ass? I mean, I didn’t enjoy having her about so I can’t imagine anyone else would. But still, pretty shitty.

Then there’s the car. Who drove if she didn’t? Did they leave on foot? Because it wasn’t nice weather to be out in for any length of time unless you were dressed for it. She sure wasn’t. But I didn’t see who (if anyone) she came in with.

Now, why am I telling you this sad story?

Two reasons. One, something about her made me think about her and her story and how shitty it is right now and I needed to share it. Two, because maybe we can think of a happier ending for her. Does group positive thinking/prayer work? No idea, but it can’t hurt so that’s my challenge. Think of a happy ending for this girl. A way off that road and onto a better one.

In my perfect world, there would be someone to call to help, or at least offer help if she needs it, a ride home maybe. Sometimes it only takes a small act of kindness to make a change and it never hurt anyone to be kind. Anyway, I hope she can find her way out to a happier place, and I sure hope she finds some better friends.


 In other news, I’ve read three books this year so far:


The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu – winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel – hard scifi and over my head at times, no characters to care about, but I couldn’t put it down

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt – Horror. Imagine living in a town with a witch and a vow of secrecy.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune – fantasy starring a very unlikely hero who works for The Department of Magical Youth and the magical youth he’s sent to investigate. Among them, Lucy, aka Lucifer, a six-year old boy, a boy-creature whose dream is to become a bellhop, a gnome, and some locals who don’t particularly like have an island full of potentially dangerous magical youth next door.

Currently reading The Death of Jane Lawrence, watched The Witcher and am so bummed I have who knows how long before another season *sigh* also watching Star Trek: Discovery, Killing Eve, and The Great.


Finally, an amazing chalk drawing my sister did, preserved in digital form only since it was for school and every week or so she erases the old and puts up a new one.


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Books read in 2021

 I usually post this on the last day of the year, but...this year has been hard and sad. I did, however, read a fair number of books this past year. Not as many as the year before but a respectable number. Here is my list in the order I read them, with stars after those I loved the best.


2021 Books Read



1. The Warehouse by Rob Hart*

2. The Haunting of H. G. Wells by Robert Masello

3. Deacon King Kong by James McBride

4. The Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas*

5. Medusa’s Web by Tim Powers

6. Piranesi by Susanna Clark**

7. Prospero’s Children by Jan Siegel

8. Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd*

9. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro*

10. Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott*

11. City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab*

12. Girl A by Abigail Dean*

13. Wyntertide by Andrew Caldecott*

14. Lost Acre by Andrew Caldecott*

15. The Memory Theater by Karin Tidbeck

16. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

17. The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

18. Exit Strategy by Martha Wells**

19. Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander

20. 11/27/63 by Stephen King**

21. Girls of Brackenhill by Kate Moretti

22. The Magic of Found Objects by Maddie Dawson

23. The Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet

24. Constance by Matthew Fitzsimmons*

25. 14 by Peter Clines

26. The Man in My Basement by Walter Mosley

27. Network Effect by Martha Wells**

28. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

29. The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchet

30. The Orange Houses by Paul Griffin

31. The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward**

32. The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

33. The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by HG Parry*

34. The Stolen Child by Keith Donahue

35. A Day Like This by Kelly McNeil*

36. The Lesson by Cadwell Turnball

37. Gideon the Ninth by Tamsin Muir*


Also, if you haven't read the Murderbot novels, I can only suggest you rectify the fact immediately. Murderbot is awesome and yes, I know some of the books aren't 'full' books but I've spent that much on meals I didn't enjoy half as much. 

I'll leave you with the wish that this year is better than last, that no one you love dies, and all your books are good ones.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Sunday Pics - Happy Halloween

Bruno and Kitten in the background

Sven is looking out this window in the previous photo

Boat landing/park down the street

Pumpkins at Beth's from down the street the other way

Our pumpkins: The Instigator (center) planning mayhem. The egger-on (left) eager to watch. And the woe-is-me (right) we're all going to die.

Monday, October 4, 2021

I'm sorry to say that 2021 sucks way more than 2020

 There is no doubt that 2020 was a difficult year for many people. Probably most people. It was not that difficult for me. I stayed home for a while and collected unemployment, then went back to my same job at the pawn/antique shop. I didn't suffer because I'm not a social butterfly and fortunately live with three other people so was seldom alone. Not that I mind being alone. In fact, I like it. Which is why I didn't really suffer. For sure I missed stuff, and yes I hated wearing a mask (still hate wearing it), but I got vaccinated as did the people I work with along with most of my family. I feel fairly safe.

Then came the last quarter of 2020, in which one of my moms began to have health issues, and the election turned into...I don't even know what to call what happened. I am beyond dismayed at the turn our country has taken. I cannot believe how we've been divided by so many things, and I can barely stomach the glee some people exhibit at the pain of others. I may not go to church any more but it isn't Christian. Not one bit.

I will not discuss the events of January 6th except to say that it was a disgrace to our nation.

I will end with telling you why this year sucks so bad. My mom with the health issue took a bad turn in June, was life-flighted to Boston for emergency surgery and somehow made it through only to have a massive stroke at the end of August. It is only now I can tell you about it, mainly to explain my absence. I suppose it's a blessing she didn't live long after. She wouldn't have wanted to be dependent. really sucks not having her. I imagine some of you know how I feel, and some of you are lucky enough to still have your mom, or moms as the case may be.

I miss her every day.

This is the poem I wrote.

The Order of the Night


brain bleed


This is the order of the night.

but we have questions

who is going to make the lemon squares?

who is going to send the Hallmark cards on birthdays?

who is going to send Mother’s Day cards to their daughters and Valentine’s Day cards to everyone?

who is going to explain the Advent Candles?

(One for Hope, One for Peace, one for Joy, one for Love, and the last for Christ)

where is science when we need it?

where is magic? Miracles?

because we want our mother back.

we want more of her fudge brownies and lasagna

we want more visits, another girls’ night out, one more Christmas

because who’s going to sustain us with her righteous scorn?

who will we call when’re sick and need to know we’re not dying yet?

who’s going to love us no matter what?

And who is going to give you that look that says you already know the answer?