Friday, February 2, 2018

7ToF: Punxsutawney Phil, weather prophet extraordinaire, will have done his thing by the time you read this

1. I swear January lasted three months. I am so happy it's February. For one thing, February is the month that Dean has his birthday, and since he is five months older than I am, it marks the start of the annual give-Dean-sh!t-about-being-older-than-me-a-thon.

2. So now that it's February, the first month of my experiment with limiting social media and internet time is over.  I like this-- not reading the news until late in the day, limiting social media to weekends and occasional evenings, and not having games on my phone. Getting rid of my games has actually been the hardest part. They say it takes three weeks to form a new habit (or, presumably, break an old one), but after a month, I still really miss my games. For some perverse reason that is making me think I should keep going until I get over it. We'll see how long it takes.

3. Celeste Ng's new book, Little Fires Everywhere, has been in my queue at the library ebook website for months. It was Amazon's #1 fiction book of the year last year. It has blazingly high reviews. I really liked her last book, Everything I Never Told You. I've been looking forward to reading it for months, and when it finally became available, I was ready to clear out my schedule.

4. It starts out well-- a woman is standing in front of her McMansion in a wealthy suburb of Cleveland watching it burn down. Forty pages into it, I was completely hooked. But then it started to feel... predictable. And then the characters started to seem like types instead of individuals. And then it started to seem less like a novel and more like a lecture. About the time I hit 65%, I realized, I hate this book. I skimmed through to the end and gave it two stars on Goodreads. Extremely disappointing.

5. One of several strands of the story is the difficult relationship between a mom and her teenage daughter. We saw Lady Bird last weekend, and it made me realize how good that movie really was. We were impressed with it when we saw it in the theater, but reading Little Fires, which has a sort-of similar situation between two characters who are practically clich├ęs, made me realize how fully realized the complex characters were in Lady Bird. (apologies for the convoluted sentence but hopefully you figured it out.) Good movie. Not always easy to watch.

6. Did you know that it is now acceptable to use "hopefully" in the sense of "it is to be hoped"? For a long time that was one of those English teacher pet peeves--you were only supposed to use "hopefully" when you meant something was filled with hope, like the expression on your dog's face when he looks at you hopefully, expecting a treat. You were not supposed to use it the way I did in the previous paragraph. But the times, they change. I went looking for a source to back that up and discovered that the AP Style Guide changed its opinion on "hopefully" back in 2012, so I'm late. No surprise.

7. Super Bowl Schmuper Bowl. I was hoping that the Vikings would make it-- I don't care about the Vikings, but we have friends who do, and I could root vicariously for them. But two teams from the northeast-- just can't bring myself to care. However, we're having friends over to watch the commercials and the half-time show, plus eat lots of food, so maybe we will have fun anyway.

And that's more than enough from me. I may not be posting next week, so have a good one.

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