Posted in Life

Happy Birthday, D! (The Ninth)

Happy Birthday to my friend D! Her birthday was Friday, and to extend the celebration, here are some of her funny quotes from the past year.


Basically, I decided not to read a productivity book last night, because it looked like a long-winded waste of time, and decided to jumpstart my productivity without it.

If I ever send a GIF, know that I meant it with the depths of my soul and thought it was Deeply Important.

I’m involved in witchcraft because of my love for pandas, apparently.

I pray for him occasionally. I also pray for everyone who knows him just in case he has not repented.

In response to some disturbing Bible story coloring pages: Why do children need coloring pages about genuinely horrific things? Do we give them coloring pages about horrible events in the news to help them process them? XD

Look what just came up in my Amazon suggestions. “Game play is the same as the classic UNO game, but there’s a wild card rule unique to this deck. Look for the “Wild Power of Friendship Card”!” Uno is not about the power of friendship. It is not about cooperation. It is about cackling evilly while you make someone else draw four multiple times in a row.

What’s going to be really rough is when we reach the 2040s, and “the forties” will no longer obviously refer to the 1940s. I’m glad I realized this now so that I have twenty years to prepare myself.

Now you can no longer say, “Never have I ever spontaneously combusted.”

After using it on a Saturday: It is always Throwback Thursday when I want to be ironic while bringing up a random memory.

I had a full on fight or flight reaction to this book. And by fight or flight, I mean fight.

This novel seems like something the homeschool moms of my childhood would have adored, but I feel confident that a majority of their children would have liked it too.

I sorted through the sea of scrap paper one shots that have been accumulating on my desk, and I have SEVENTEEN stories I wrote at work that I still haven’t typed up and/or finished. So. When I get back from out of town, let’s have a writing night where I focus on typing up all of this. If I die, I don’t want someone going through THESE personal effects.

While we were in the hotel last week, I took a moment to reread a recent story and thought to myself afterwards, among other things, “The obscure C.S. Lewis quote was CHEF’S KISS!”
And then I was like, “But I am the chef. So that is an extremely vain thing to say.”
But, on the other hand, I do know my audience extremely well. XD I wrote this for myself alone, and myself thoroughly enjoys it.

Also, TBT to Dad thinking the rental van was going to break down when my sister and I were both typing about 90 wpm in different rhythms and he thought it was the car.

This has also been a fan favorite. With me being my own fandom here. XD

I accidentally pressed the panic button once at my job, and it worked! Complete panic immediately broke out!

If you have ever heard me say, “People faint FORWARD, not BACKWARD,” while watching a movie, a TV show, a skit, or playacting children, you may be eligible for compensation. You can direct your complaints to this book. [Encyclopedia Brown Solves Them All]

On special blankets in children’s entertainment and their usual horrible end: I don’t like that blanket-loving children having nothing but 1) Linus and 2) devastation.

Maybe just don’t sell your Cursed Objects for $25 or any other price?

I only just learned last year that Stitch is an alien. I was SHOCKED. I knew that ohana means family, and that family means no one gets left behind, because the Internet drilled that into me, but I had no CLUE that Stitch was an alien.

On a children’s historical fiction book: It’s fairly depressing, but in a historically accurate way.

Since I am already telling such a ridiculously lengthy tale, I’ll throw in the detail for free that I spent time admiring a cute guy’s nose for maybe fifteen minutes while we waited to get started.

Whenever I run out of creative ideas, I just start drawing. I let the muse take me into darkness and creepy faces.


For more, see:

Posted in Life

What I Did Today

Our copier at the library is very old (for a copier) and just barely functional. We’re all rooting for it to give up the ghost in hopes of making the replacement we’ve been told is coming actually arrive. Even the repairman wants it to die so he doesn’t have to deal with it anymore.

So when a coworker suggested we give it a tombstone as a Halloween decoration, I went for it. We were pretty amused with ourselves.

Posted in Life

Good Evening

I don’t have anything I feel like writing about. I’m mentally worn out from my work schedule being a complete mess – and thus making the rest of my life a mess – for approaching three weeks now. My bedroom is a disaster and I haven’t found the energy to fix it.

But I’ve been watching my friend’s very cute puppy! Her name is Rosie. So here are some cute puppy pictures.

Posted in Christianity, Life

Great Books I’ve Read in 2022 – Part 2

He Who Fights with Monsters by Shirtaloon
I mentioned this in a post about books a couple months ago. My brother recommended the series to me. So far I’ve listened to three of them. I’m still behind; the seventh comes out next week. But I’m enjoying them and I’m not in a hurry.
The main character is Jason, an ordinary human who wakes up in a world full of magic and monsters with his own personal video game interface. He learns things and accumulates lots of friends. They all have personality and great interactions. I love the group that has formed around him. Few of them would have become friends of their own initiative, but Jason has brought them together and they’ve become a great team who all care about each other deeply. Their interactions regularly make me chuckle, and there are plenty of deeper emotions along the way, too.
It’s also a rare case where I think I enjoy the audiobooks more than I would reading them. They’re very long, and I think I would find the length overwhelming, but the reader is excellent, and I’m happy to listen to just a little at a time.

Crochet One-Skein Wonders: 101 Projects from Crocheters around the World edited by Judith Durant
After many years of only knitting, I have been learning to crochet over the past several months. I’ve also been trying to use up my yarn stash, and this book was the perfect combination of those two things. The projects are sorted by yarn weight, and there’s so much variety. If you like things made out of yarn, you can most likely find some options in here. I checked this out from the library and made several projects. They came out well. I will probably borrow it again, or perhaps acquire a copy to keep.

Peanut Butter Dogs by Greg Murray
Exactly what it sounds like: photographs of dogs eating peanut butter.
I found this on display at a library and immediately took it home and looked through the whole thing.
Unless you’re afraid of dogs, you need to see this book.

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien selected and edited by Humphrey Carpenter
I had a moment last year when I went, “Wait, why haven’t I read this book yet???” and I bought myself a copy. Then, of course, it sat on my shelf untouched for a while. But I picked it up this spring when I was sick and ran out of library books. I ended up reading it in bits and pieces between other books, because it was very slow reading. But excellent. I learned many interesting things and found the sources of quotes I’ve seen often. I also came out of it very sad that Tolkien wasn’t able to get The Silmarillion published before he died.
If you’re interested in The Lord of the Rings, this is well worth the time.

You’re Only Human: How Your Limits Reflect God’s Design and Why That’s Good News by Kelly M. Kapic
In You’re Only Human, Kelly Kapic challenges the notion that we should always be doing more, reminding Christians that God made humans with limitations and those limitations aren’t sinful as we often think or imply, and properly honoring our limits also honors God. He discusses the theology of this concept, then considers what living it out might look like in different areas of life.
I think this is so needed and important, and I’m very glad I read it. I recommend it highly.

For more book recommendations, click here.

Posted in Life

If You Could Tell Your Younger Self One Thing…

What would it be?

I don’t always have answers for these sorts of questions, but I do for this one:

“Someday, your hair will curl.”

(I did nothing to my hair before this picture, other than wash it and let it dry.)

It’s nothing earth-shattering. But really, young me doesn’t need to worry about stressful things that haven’t happened yet, or get spoilers about good things that haven’t happened yet. But I know that at any point in my childhood, with stick-straight hair that I wished would at least be a little wavy, I would have been delighted to know for sure that my hair would develop curls as an adult.

What would you tell your younger self?

Posted in Life

Doctor Who Video Editing

I realized I didn’t share this here. I recently got in the mood to rewatch Doctor Who, and as I watched the Ninth Doctor’s season, I remembered this video I wished existed, so I decided to make it myself.

At one point in the process my computer did things and lost all my progress, so that was obnoxious. But I’m proud of the result.


Posted in Life

Started My New Job Yesterday

I’ve been trained for the day-to-day parts of reference for subbing purposes for a long time. So I just… walked in and did that. No one has given me any instructions on what my actual responsibilities are now. Guess I’ll have to ask for that (though it’s slightly tempting to wait and see how long it takes for someone to realize I need it). The website where we clock in and out hadn’t even been changed to schedule me as reference instead of circ.

It’s a good thing I’m responsible and competent.

Can’t say I’ve gotten myself excited yet, especially after the lack of any helpful acknowledgement or information, and I might have gotten teary walking past the teen section yesterday. But I did buy myself a pretty, refillable planner since I’ll have to actually keep track of program dates and the like now. Seeing it pleases me.

Posted in College, Life

10 Years of High School Reunions

If you’re not aware, I was homeschooled, which means I had a graduating class of one. Back in my first year of college, on a spring day when I needed a break, I decided to have a high school reunion. I’ve done it every year since. Generally they involve food and movies and just relaxing.

Last year was the tenth one, and I intended to put together this post then. You can see how that went. But I’m planning to have one this week, and that reminded me to collect these posts.


Posted in Christianity, Life

Life in Bible Times Projects

This summer at church, we have put all the kids together to learn some things about life in Bible times. I was put in charge of writing and language related topics and used this as an excuse to get around to some projects I’ve wanted to do for a while.

First, the failed project. Deep in a box in the shed was buried a kit for making papyrus I received as a gift probably more than a decade ago. How cool is that? Why did I wait so long to make use of it?

You soak the papyrus, and roll it flat, and soak the papyrus, and roll it flat, several times. Then layer the pieces and stack heavy things on them and let them dry.

It was really interesting to see it change texture during the process, but by the time it completely dried…


I can see how it would work. It’s very thin now, and in places the pieces do stick together. But obviously this is not right. Perhaps it was too old to work properly. Perhaps I did something wrong. Who knows. But I’m glad I finally tried it anyway.

Also while learning about writing, I smashed up some pottery to let the kids write on potsherds. It was more fun than you might expect.

And the project I’m very pleased with:

Is this completely historically accurate? Absolutely not. Do I still love it? Yes.

I made the prayer shawl, which was pretty simple, the main part is one big rectangle. Then embroidered the letters on the blue part. This was a little harder; I can’t write Hebrew. So I printed it out and pinned the paper to my fabric then embroidered right through it. The tedious part was getting the paper off. I recommend wetting it and letting it dry, then tearing it away gently. And having something with a small point like a seam ripper nearby to pull at the pieces that get stuck.

I purchased the tassels for the corners, as well as a leather strap and 3D printed tefillin/phylacteries. Watched some Youtube videos to figure out how to tie the straps and put them on. And then became a VERY HAPPY NERD.

We certainly could have looked at pictures of these things. But as I said, I’ve been wanting to do this for quite a while anyway, so the class gave me motivation to make it happen. I loved putting this on and getting an idea of how Jesus might have felt doing so.

For the kids, I gave them small foldable boxes and let them decorate them, then we put in slips of paper with one of the verses that go in tefillin printed on it (I used Deuteronomy 6:4-9). At Walmart I found a roll of two-sided velcro for organizing cables, and it worked great to cut a piece sized to each person’s arm, and cutting small slits for the velcro at the bottom of the boxes let everyone wear their phylacteries.

Resources I used:
Printable Hebrew phrase for the prayer shawl:
Long leather strip:
The 3D printed tefillin were also from Etsy, but unfortunately they are no longer available and neither is the shop. I guess I got them just in time.
Videos for tying tefillin knots:
Putting on tefillin:

Posted in Life

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag, 2022

I’m bringing this back from a couple years ago. It’s just time to talk about books. Again, I’m mostly limiting this to fiction.

1. Best book you’ve read so far this year and 2. Best sequel you’ve read so far this year
Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire is the sequel to Middlegame, one of my favorite books from last year. When I finished Middlegame, I didn’t want to read the sequel, because I liked where it ended and didn’t want to mess that up. But it turned out Seasonal Fears focused on different characters, so I changed my mind. It follows two teenagers who have been best friends/in love their whole lives, who get drawn into a competition to become the next incarnations of summer and winter. The characters from the first book are involved a little bit, but not so much it messed up the end of their story. I found some of the ending a bit anticlimactic, but there was plenty of great stuff along the way, so I didn’t mind too much.

3. New release you haven’t read yet but want to
56890307. sy475 New might be a strong word; David’s Crown: Sounding the Psalms by Malcolm Guite came out in 2021. But I haven’t read it yet. This is a collection of sonnets inspired by the psalms, with one sonnet for each psalm. Each one begins with the last line of the previous poem. I heard the author talking about it in an interview, and he said he had to start at the end of Psalms, because the last poem ends with the first line of the first poem. I think this is so cool, and I love Malcolm Guite’s work. A copy is sitting on my shelves at home, and I’m planning to read it soon.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of 2022
61156253To my knowledge, none of the authors I follow have anything coming out in the second half of 2022. But I went looking around, and I’m interested in Dream Small: The Secret Power of the Ordinary Christian Life by Seth Lewis. All I know about it is the publisher’s description, so here:
“We are all looking for significance and meaning in our lives. The world tells us that this comes from dreaming big, achieving personal success, and making a big impact. But the Bible says that self-worth is found in knowing our Creator, and contentment is found in discovering his purpose for our lives.
This book reminds us that when we know Jesus, we are free from the world’s definition of success. We can listen to God’s word and direct our dreams towards the things that he says matter most, even if they are small and unimpressive in the world’s eyes.
Celebrate the dreams God has for us: serving others, investing in individuals, and living faithfully. Although these things seem small, their impact will be bigger, and their rewards will be better, than anything we could dream for ourselves.”

5. Biggest disappointment
57184818. sy475 In the 1960s, an adoption agency in New York City purposely placed identical twins in separate homes without telling the families and then studied them. Which is, of course, horrible, no one should do that, but I think what they learned from it is probably fascinating. Unfortunately, Deliberately Divided: Inside the Controversial Study of Twins and Triplets Adopted Apart by Nancy Segal does not go inside the study at all. The people who conducted the study had the records sealed in a university library until 2065. Not at all indicative that they knew they were doing something sketchy and didn’t want to deal with the fallout… But this means there’s no inside information to be had. Most of this is interviews with the twins and families who were involved and how upset they are about it. Which, sure, that’s an important thing to do, and you can’t wait until the records are unsealed to do it because they’ll likely be dead by then, but I don’t think it’s what the book promised. It was also very repetitive. It was 400 slow pages and could have been much more concise and interesting.

6. Biggest surprise
51166217I talked about The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard in my post Great Books I’ve Read in 2022 – Part 1. I think I really needed something to read when I found it on Hoopla, and I didn’t anticipate how much I would like it. It’s a different sort of thriller, and I stayed up way too late finishing it because I needed to know what happened.

7. Favorite new author
Malcolm Guite, mentioned above.

8. Newest fictional crush and 9. Newest favorite character
57189884. sx318
My brother recommended the series He Who Fights With Monsters by Shirtaloon to me, and I’ve been listening to the audiobooks. The reader is fantastic. The main character, Jason, unexpectedly wakes up in a whole different world, one with magic and monsters and his own personal video game interface. Jason quickly becomes an official adventurer and picks up lots of friends. My favorite combination so far is:
– Jason, in his early 20s, New To This but getting quite competent with his odd and threatening abilities (keeps getting asked if he’s the guy with evil powers, insists they’re not evil), cheerful smart-aleck who makes friends with pretty much everyone and is excessively prepared.
– Humphry, teenager who just became an official adventurer, from an old and wealthy family, has trained for this his whole life but is kind of clueless about normal people, rather preppy.
– Clive, who I think is closer to middle age, worked in a civil servant-type job for quite a while and has been getting reluctantly dragged into actual adventuring by Jason, keeps revealing that he has surprisingly powerful abilities, very much a nerd who gets excited about learning weird things.
I love Clive. Clive can get the newest favorite character slot. If I were picking one for crushing, that can be Humphry. Clive has a girl I think is becoming his love interest, and I support them.

10. Book that made you cry
57593991The Untold Story by Genevieve Cogman is the last (at least for now) in The Invisible Library series, which I love and have been eagerly following for several years. Overall I didn’t think it was the best book in the series – there was a lot of information gathering and not a lot happening for most of the book – but I still enjoyed it, and the ending made me emotional.

11. Book that made you happy
54911057. sx318 I loved Fangs by Sarah Anderson, a tiny little collection of comics about a vampire and werewolf falling in love. It’s SO CUTE. There’s not really a storyline, just illustrated little moments, and I think it works well that way. It’s very short, and I read the whole thing in one sitting. Took it back to the library the next day and recommended it to my boss, and she also read the whole thing in one sitting. Occasional inappropriate humor, so fair warning, but overall this was a delight. I would be happy to get more.

12. Favorite book to movie adaptation you saw this year
The only one I can think of is Death on the Nile. I have not read the book, so I can’t compare, but I enjoyed the movie. It was very pretty. I loved the Egyptian scenery. To be honest, I thought the solution to the murder was a little obvious, but that’s all right.

13. Favorite review you’ve written this year
I don’t think I’ve written any particularly stunning reviews this year.

14. Most beautiful book you bought this year
57311791. sx318
Perhaps Every Moment Holy Volume II: Death, Grief, and Hope by Douglas McKelvey. It’s perhaps not stunningly beautiful, but I don’t actually buy many books (that’s what libraries are for), and in person it has a lovely texture and feel. And it has a ribbon bookmark! Always special.
Also, I highly recommend both this book and the first volume (simply titled Every Moment Holy). They are collections of prayers for both normal and difficult moments in everyday life, and they are excellent.

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
I am ever-so-slowly working my way through The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien when I hit lulls in library books. It’s excellent, I love it, but it’s very slow going. I certainly hope I finish it before the end of the year!
I want to read Waiting on the Word by Malcolm Guite during Advent.