Monday, June 21, 2021

Summer Weather

It does feel like summer now, but even more so last week when it was nearing 100-degree weather. This week weather is expected to be in the 70s, with 80s or 90s expected next week. The solstice was yesterday, but it was definitely hotter last week. I only wonder how this summer will be compared to last summer. 

The fires are already burning in parts of California. I'm scared of seeing any near me, resulting in ashy and hazy skies. This happened last year in late summer. The year was already dismal enough because of the coronavirus. We cannot rely on summer weather to curb the virus. 

I'm  afraid to go into public places without a mask, even after the mandate was lifted nearly a week ago. Since where I work is considered a health-care facility, we still have to wear masks for now. Have seen only a few people in public without masks in the last week. 

Even before Covid hit, it had ben years since I had done anything big during the summer. This year isn't looking any different.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Haven't Done a Puzzle in Years

One thing that was said to have surged during the pandemic is playing puzzles. Now people are
wondering if people will still want to do puzzles after the pandemic. And they seemed to have sold out

All this time and that idea never occurred to me. I didn't already have at any at home that I know of. And then it occurred to me how it has been years since I attempted to do a puzzle. I cannot recall when I last did one. Somehow all the boredom I faced when cooped up at home for most of the year never made me think of this idea. Not once did I look up puzzles on Amazon, nor did I glance at puzzles on the rare trips to Target or Dollar Tree. It just didn't occur to me, even with all the time I had to pass.

Now I'm wondering if I will ever do a puzzle now. Not too certain, but it's not something that will worry me if I don't make a decision. I might be thinking I don't remember how to do a puzzle, but it seems to be one of those things that even if you stop doing it for a while, you never forget how to do it. Though I can honestly say that doing puzzles was ever something I did enthusiastically.  I'm pretty sure I enjoyed doing it whenever I did so, though. 

And just like with Christmas ornaments last year, people just had to make puzzles to commemorate the events of 2020. If I ever decided to do a puzzle again, it will not be one of these ones. I've already had enough reminders of the past year.

Sunday, June 13, 2021



Yes, I can say this is true of me. How many of you can say the same? 

This past Wednesday, I went to a used bookstore on Gilroy, California, next to where I live. It's a huge one, with lots to find. Many shelves and many piles of books on the floor. Went in, not looking for anything in particular, but did end up with some, namely:

The World According to Garp, John Irving (I recently read the library copy of The Cider House Rules by the same author).

Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York, Gail Parent (I remembered looking for this one years ago and just had to get it now).

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, Joanne Greenberg (Another I have wanted to read but haven't been able to find).

Castlerock and The Absentee, Maria Edgeworth (I'd never heard of this book from the 1800s, but it sounded good.)

And recent orders from Amazon include two new releases:

I haven't read either yet (The one on top was just released and I received it yesterday). As soon as I heard the Holderness Family put out a book, I just had to get it, despite the subject not having any meaning to me. I love their Youtube videos, so why not check out their book as well?

I'm still hoping and praying my book collection won't get to look like this:

Should it start to do so, I'll have to think about what books to donate, or at least box them up to put in the garage, our personal storage unit. 

Also, while I was at the bookstore, I looked for a copy of Dune, which my mom has been wanting to get. She read it years ago. But it has been hard to find, no doubt because of the upcoming film. The bookseller even said she'd sold a copy the other day. 

And another thing: One reading prompt I had this year was book by Barbara Cartland. I'd looked in the county library database and found one listed called Elizabethan Lover. But the library was unable to locate this book. It seemingly was lost. They then said they could get it through Zip Books, so I went with this option. It was the first book of hers I have ever read. Out of curiosity, while at the used bookstore, I went looking for other books of hers, but did not seem to see any. I now wonder if her books are still read. I have never seen any of her books in thrift stores that I can recall. Before getting the book from Zip books, I looked in several local thrift stores to see if I could find any of her books, but no luck. So the Zip book it was.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Two Things I Chose Not to Get From Amazon

Two things I pondered doing last summer while stuck at home: buying a car cover and a lounge chair from Amazon. But I never got around to either one and as the warm weather this year approached, I thought harder about doing so this year. 

Well, now I have gotten one of each, but opted to get both in store. There were just too many options on Amazon. Looking at one option would lead me to look at another and so on and so on. it was just too hard to narrow choices down.

The car cover I eventually got from O'Reilly's Auto Parts was more than the ones on Amazon, but I did not have a lot of other options in store. And I was tired of seeing my car get hit with bird droppings, so I decided to get the one at the store so I would not have to wait days for it to arrive. I put it on the car, not knowing it needed a rope to tie the sides together under the car. I went weeks before I resolved this part. Now I'm using the cover regularly and have had fewer droppings and the cover has kept the inside of the car cool, another good reason to have the cover. The weather will be getting hotter now that summer is nearly here.

And as for a lounge chair, the cost in store vs. on Amazon was just the opposite of that of the car cover. Again, there were far too many choices online and looking at one option would lead to looking at another and then another, on and on. A Dollar General opened in our home town this past January. I have gone several time since the opening, and one day I saw a lounge chair. It was the only one there, so no need to decide which to get. I got it at the end of May and have used to several time since. All last summer while going outside to read, I sat on a wooden folding chair we already had in the driveway, but yearned to one able to lie down to read sometimes. Now I have that option.

On theater hand, when I needed to get magenta printer ink recently, I chose to get that form Amazon. Though I can get the ink at Target, I only needed that one right then, and Target only sells the colored inks in packs, not individual colors (they do sell the individual black ink cartridges, though). It only took about three days to arrive. I haven't ruled out getting ink cartridges in the store, though Target is my only option locally. I have to go out of town to Best Buy or Walmart if I can't find the ink at Target.

And if you're wondering, I did look for car covers at Target at one point, but the one they could find to ft my car was out of stock. But I did not bother to look for lounge chairs at Target, as the idea completely slipped my mind, and I know there would be too many choices. 

Thursday, June 3, 2021

June Bookish Bingo

 Here is the card for June.

My Books:
  1. Fortune and Glory--Janet Evanovich (7 squares): Library Book, Physical Book, In a Series, Dangerous Character, Secrets, Set in Current Times, Meant to Read for a While Now
  2. Elizabethan Lover--Barbara Cartland (3 squares): Free Book, Bride, Rekindled Romance
  3. Isaac's Storm--Erik Larson (3 squares): Water on the Cover, Not in a Series, Book Club Read
  4. Check, Please!:Hockey--Ngozi Ukazu (2 squares): Sports, Set in a University
  5. Olive Kitteridge--Elizabeth Strout (2 squares): Shelf Love, Set in a Small Town
  6. An American Sunrise--Joy Harjo (1 square): E-Book
  7. Forget Me Not--Ellie Terry (1 square): Audiobook 
  8. Chamomile Mourning--Laura Childs (2 squares): Flowers on the Cover, Free Space
  9. Kissed--Cameron Dokey (4 squares): Retelling, Dress on the Cover, Shapeshifter, YA/NA
25 squares competed on June 17

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

2021 Summer Reading Challenge @ Early Bird Books

 Running from June 1 to September 3, with six categories.

summer reading challenge 2021

  1. Crime Book Written by a Woman: Fortune and Glory--Janet Evanovich 
  2. Historical Fiction Book: Elizabethan Lover--Barbara Cartland
  3. Literary Fiction Novel: The Secret Garden--Frances Hodgson Burnett
  4. New Science Fiction or Fantasy Book:
  5. An Addictive Beach Read: Hello, Summer--Mary Kay Andrews
  6. Thriller Written by a Woman:

Monday, May 31, 2021

2021 Summer Reading Challenge @ Hayley by the Book

 Here is a new one at Hayley by the Book

Summer Reading Challenge 2021

The Prompts

  1. New-to-you author: Elizabethan Lover--Barbara Cartland
  2. A mystery released in 2021
  3. Main character’s name starts with J
  4. Summery cover
  5. 4 word title
  6. Middle grade (8-12) or young adult (12+) book: The Secret Garden--Frances Hodgson Burnett
  7. Christmas in July
  8. Hyped book
  9. A book you meant to read last year: Fortune and Glory--Janet Evanovich
  10. Sci-fi or fantasy book: Kissed--Cameron Dokey
  11. Non-fiction by a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and other people of color) author: Disability Visibility--Alice Wong (ed.)
  12. First book in a series: Olive Kitteridge--Elizabeth Strout
  13. LGBTQIA+: Beyond Magenta--Susan Kuklin
  14. Main character takes a trip or goes on holiday
  15. Goodreads Choice Awards 2020 winner or nominee
  16. Water on cover: Hello, Summer--Mary Kay Andrews

Book Challenge by Erin 15.0

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Book Challenge by Erin 15.0 – Categories

• 5 points: Freebie – Read a book that is at least 200 pages

• 10 points: Read a book that’s first word starts with the letter A (but not the articles A or An)

• 10 points: Read a debut book

• 15 points: Read a book with the word to, too, or two in the title

• 20 points: Read a book by an author who is a person of color

• 20 points: Read a book 500+ pages; when listing your choice, please list the number of pages in your edition that you intend to read.
• 25 points: (selected by Carly) – Read a book about a famous woman; can be someone in real life or a fictional famous woman (an actor, a princess, a politician, etc.)

• 30 points: (selected by Darlene McN) – Read a book that has a color of the rainbow in the title (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) o Examples: Violets are Blue by James Patterson, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

• 30 points: (selected by Debdatta) – Read a book with a song title or song lyrics in the title; when listing your choice, please note the song & artist that influenced your book choice. o Examples: Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi (Helter Skelter by The Beatles), Adrian’s McKinty’s Sean Duffy series (all of the titles are Tom Waits lyrics), No Sunshine When She’s Gone by Kate Angell (Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers)

• 35 points: (selected by Vinay) – in honor of October hosting an “International Day of the Girl Child”, read a book where the protagonist (leading character) is a girl younger than 15 years old OR a book written by a girl author younger than 15 years old.

• If you are stuck on any of these categories, ask for help or recommendations! Also, a great place to look is at the photo album in this group of the previously selected books. GOOD LUCK

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Not Quite Ready...

Even after getting the vaccine and with restrictions gradually being uplifted, I'm not quite ready to get out very much. Just enough to follow social-distancing protocols for as long as it remans necessary. Yes, I've been looking forward to the day when we can be out and about as we did before COVID. But I'm going to be careful about it all, as everyone should be. And I'm not alone.

I was happy to be able to go inside the library once again, though the allotted time is only half an hour, which passes too quickly! And it's only three days a week. But it's a start, and I have missed not being inside the library.

I've always been one to avoid massive crowds, so that made it easy to stay at home. But even so, I just needed some time away from home, and missed being able to do that while under quarantine. Thus, I am taking it all slowly with the hope of being out again soon.

And staying home for Memorial Day Weekend is something I have always done. I've never been all the eager to head off somewhere on such a holiday, out of fear of traffic and crowds. A quiet day at home is all right by me. Memorial Day in 2020 was the first legal holiday to occur once the pandemic was declared and quarantine was ordered. Legal holidays always feel like an extra Sunday, but the quarantine made each day feel like a year of Sundays. I attempted to pick up a prescription at the Safeway pharmacy that day, nearly forgetting it was a holiday. I don't have any to pick up right now (I get auto refills), so I won't be making that mistake this coming Memorial Day 😌

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Quiz: What Does Your Favorite Summer Activity Say About You?

 Click here for the quiz.

You Are Brilliant

You are easily inspired to think colorful, interesting thoughts. Your ideas are never dull.
You tend to think up the most innovative things. You mind knows no limits.

You are intellectually open-minded. You like your beliefs and ideas being challenged.
You value autonomy and independence. You strongly believe in being free.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Now Getting to Go Inside the Library

I was excited to learn this would be happening. It started yesterday. It's only for three days a week, with curbside pickup and drop-off on other days. The downside is that you only get half an hour to browse. Also, some shelves are closed off, and patrons must ask a worker to find books located in those shelves. 

Even without a lot of time to browse, I was glad to hear this would be happening. The last day I got to set foot in the library was the Friday after the pandemic was declared in March 2020. It strangely was a Friday the 13th. The library closed down the following Monday, with curbside pickup starting in June. Books to go will still be happening on other days. 

I do miss getting to stay as long as I want, as half an hour goes by too fast! One day we will be able to do this again. How many of you have been allowed back into your public library and how much time do you get?

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Summer Reading Challenge 2021 @Messy Middle

 I'll be doing this one again, getting as many books as I can. 

It will start on June 1  and run through August 13, 2021. To enter, read seven books from 25 categories.

What is different?

  • A few new categories
  • No COVID focus this year 
  • A nod to the Olympics

What is the same?

  • Many categories will be similar because reading is reading. But you will notice a few new gems
  • Counting a book of more than 700 pages as two books.
  • Choosing a penalty book within the first week of the challenge. A penalty book or category is one you declare to yourself I will read or be penalized. The last three summers I have selected a penalty book and it worked! 
  • Like previous years, if you do not read your “penalty” book, you will subtract two books from your total.

What’s in it for you?

  • All who comment between August 12-15th with the names of the books they read will be entered to win one of ten $10 Amazon gift cards.

Drumroll . . . here are the categories!

  1. A Biography
  2. A book I already own: Chamomile Mourning--Laura Childs
  3. A book a friend recommended
  4. A Young Adult book (YA): Kissed--Cameron Dokey
  5. A book with a great cover
  6. A book of poetry: An American Sunrise--Joy Harjo
  7. A memoir or autobiography
  8. A graphic novel: Check, Please!: Hockey--Ngozi Ukazu
  9. A book for professional development (loosely defined)
  10. A book longer than 700 pages (counts as two books)
  11. A book with a verb in the title
  12. A play: Medea and Other Plays--Euripides (reread)
  13. A book about a country or culture you have never visited: Elizabethan Lover--Barbara Cartland
  14. A book about history: Isaac's Storm--Erik Larson
  15. A book that won an award: Olive Kitteridge--Elizabeth Strout
  16. A book by someone with a different view point than you
  17. A mystery: Fortune and Glory--Janet Evanovich
  18. A classic: The Secret Garden--Frances Hodgson Burnett
  19. A novel: The Cider House Rules--John Irving
  20. An audiobook: Forget Me Not--Ellie Terry
  21. A book with an animal
  22. A book less than 100 pages: The Corona Chronicles--Terrance T. Toth
  23. A book you want to discuss with others
  24. A book you read as a child

In honor of the Olympics and because my first “sports injury” was inspired by the Olympics:

  • A book involving the Olympics, sports, or Japan

My Penalty Book: The History of Emily Montague--Frances Brooke

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Mental Health Month

Once again with the pandemic still happening, we aren't doing any events for Mental Health Month at the center, but we are still celebrating and acknowledging the fact.  And it's not just our center that is celebrating. A recent curbside library pickup included a card and wristband celebrating Mental Health Month, the very same ones we have given out at the center. 

Mental Health Awareness Month has been going on since 1949 and its purpose is to  raise awareness and educate the public about: mental illnesses, such as  depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder; the realities of living with these conditions; and strategies for attaining mental health and wellness. It also aims to draw attention to suicide, which can be precipitated by some mental illnesses. Mental Health Awareness Month also strives to reduce the stigma (negative attitudes and misconceptions) that surrounds mental illnesses. 

And each year during this month, I try to read at least one book focused on mental health. This year it is Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

TV Commercials

What do you find most annoying about commercials on TV? This came to me when a friend posted a rant about commercials on Facebook yesterday. Specifically he mentioned the ads for Liberty Mutual Insurance, the one with the wet teddy bears. That one is pretty silly, in my opinion. But I find all the commercials for Liberty Mutual a bit annoying. 

Various comments appeared on his post, including one from me about the Salonpas commercials with the "Hisamitsu" line at the end. When I first saw those commercials, I was reminded of a series of 80's commercials for Nabisco products that ended with a voiceover and chimes reciting, "Nabisco." Here is one such commercial:

My friend let on how he hates commercials with taglines at the end, like the Liberty Mutual ones and the Salonpas, as well as others for Safelight, Wayfair, and Farmers Insurance. If you're not familiar with any of these, check Youtube! I don't want to have to flood this post with links and videos of these!

I was also reminded of the use of songs in commercials. Such songs were often altered in the ads, and there were some I did not know were an actual song, having first heard them in the commercials. For many years, I did not know the the song in the Clairol Loving Care commercials was a spoof of a song from South Pacific. And I still remember the ketchup commercials that used Carly's Simon's hit "Anticipation" and those for Kmart Photo that used the song "Personality" by Lloyd Price, who recently passed. I can't seem to find any of these ads on Youtube. And Wikipedia made absolutely no mention of the song's use in the Kmart commercials. And when watching the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding in 2002, I had flashbacks to this commercial:


 After the main character in the movie sang the real song:


Do anyone of you find any particular commercials annoying? There are more that were mentioned in the Facebook post than I care to mention. And what are some other sings you can recall used in commercials?

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Recent Art Projects

Finally got around to the art project I had hoped to do at the center in March of 2020, before the shutdown occurred. It was a whole in year in the gaming. Here is the one I had done at the center the Friday prior to the shutdown. I had left it at the center before the shutdown was announced:

And while cooped up at home, I worked on some then. Click here to see more and to see the origin of the idea.

And the ones I did in class:

I was only able to get a few pictures of those done by others. One person did several (with some not pictured):

The artist who had done this idea originally hand-drawn his models, but I'm not that great at drawing figures, so I used magazine pictures or pictures from the Internet as models. The other who did this did the same. The artist used many different material for his works, including food! I knew that would not be allowed in class, except for uncooked pasta (which hardly anyone used). Remember using uncooked pasta for grade-school art?

I wasn't sure what to call this project, but at least those who participated got the idea. 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Blogging A to Z: Reflection Post


Reflections 2021 #atozchallenge

This week, participants in last month's Blogging A to Z are doing reflections posts. 

This was my first-ever participation in the A to Z Blogging and I thoroughly enjoyed it. In the past, I had seen others doing A to Z and wondered if I could handle doing it myself. Most of the time, I thought not, would I be able to do a post every day for every letter of the alphabet? Especially, considering how some letters can be tricky, like Q, X, and Z. And trying to find a theme, though themes are not necessary. I had been planning to write posts reflecting on the pandemic a year later, then decided this was perfect for the A to Z. I was hesitant at first, but kept envisioning a post idea for each letter, then jotting down the ideas in a  notebook. Unable to narrow each letter down to a single topic, I chose to do several under topics each one. It was amazing how topics many I could find for each alphabetical post. This was a big decision for me, as I said in my theme reveal post in March. 

I was glad to have Sundays off, as this gave me more time to prepare for the following Monday's posts. Each post I drafted a day (or two, in the case of Mondays) ahead of time. It did not take as long to make my posts as I may have thought years ago when watching others doing the A to Z. I still think it was funny how someone one year actually thought I was doing the A to Z, since my post one day in April 2018 coincidentally started with F on the day that letter's posts went up. Also in 2016, I wrote that I had A to Z envy. Not thinking I'd have the time or the energy is what kept me from trying in the past. Yet, look at what happened this year. I'm not certain about returning next year, but will be thinking about it.

Visiting other blogs and leaving comments was part of the A to Z. A few other blogs used the same theme as I did. I also saw some crafting themes, which made me want to try some of the stuff presented.  And some themes were eon writing, something I was glad to see. I was glad for the comments others left on my blog posts. And I left plenty of comments on others' blogs as well. There were so many blogs participating that it was hard to just choose some to visit.  I was also glad for the comments made by those who regularly read my blog. I even commented on A to Z posts in years past.

All in all, a fun and different experience.

Chapter Break Bingo – May 2021

 Here is the card for May.

May Bookish Bingo

My Books:

  1. The Tradition--Jericho Brown (2 squares): Audiobook, Flower on the Cover
  2. The Lowland--Jhumpa Lahiri (6 squares): E-Book, Book Club Read, Not in a Series, Set in a Foreign Country, Shady Character, Multiple POV
  3. Caddie Woodlawn--Carol Ryrie Brink (4 squares): Shelf Love, Physical Book, In a Series, Not Set in Current Times
  4. Junior High Drama--Louise Simonson (3 squares): Library Book, Free Space, Star on Cover
  5. The Alice Network--Kate Quinn (3 squares): Spy, Action/Adventure, Woman on the Cover
  6. Code Girls--Liza Mundy (3 squares): Squad/Team, Armor on Cover, Emergency
  7. Monster High--Lisi Harrison (2 squares): Skull on the Cover, Special Abilities
  8. This Mournable Body--Tsitsi Dangarembga (2 squares): Free Book, Independent Publisher
25 squares completed on May 18

Sunday, May 2, 2021

First Days of May

It was quite a month in April, with the A to Z blogging thing. It was a new and different experience for me, and looking at other participants' blogs was fun. We just had an after survey. An A to Z reflections post will be coming this week. And then a Post A to Z Roadtrip (more on that to come). Until then, I'll be back to regular blogging.

I can't believe it's getting close to summer. The weather around here has been summer-like the last few days. Time to start thinking about summer reading. And possibly some summer crafts. I've already begun to plant my sunflower seeds. Will let you all know when they bloom. 

Friday, April 30, 2021

Z: Zip Books, Zoom, Zombies, Z Titles

I can't believe that we have now reached...

Zip Books, Zoom, Zombies, Z Titles

I was hesitant to download Zoom, even though our writers lab began meeting that way once Covid hit. I miss the group, but Zoom just wasn't cutting it for me. I still have it on my computer just in case, but am not sure if I will ever be using it again, since I don't have to worry about school or work over Zoom. This video and cartoon are pretty much how I felt about Zoom:

And there was the lawyer with the cat filter on a Zoom meeting.

I found it funny how people likened Zoom to The Brady Bunch:

And someone on Facebook posted a meme about Zoom the PBS series from the 1970s (later remade in 1999): 

I have already said many times how when the library shut down for two months (before beginning curbside pickup). During that time, the Zip Books program was still operating, and I was glad for that. The Zip Books program allows patrons to request books not currently available through the library. The book is ordered through Amazon, then sent to the customer, who then has three weeks to return the book to the library. It will then be added to the library's catalog. While the library was shut down, people receiving books via Zip were instructed to return them when the library reopens. I accumulated about six books this way before curbside pickup was started. On the day I first requested books to go, I was able to return the Zip books. I'm still getting them this way, for titles I can't already find. I now return Zip Books along with other books borrowed from the library in the drop boxes (Those were also closed before curbside pickup).

One day in January or February 2020, pre-quarantine, while at the library, I spotted this book, Ziggy, Stardust, and Me. I was tempted to borrow it then, but didn't, thinking I'd do it another day. But the lockdown began and before curbside pickup, I was s tuck on finding a Z title for last year's A to Z Reading.  During the closure I searched Overdrive for a Z title, punching in the word "zombie" and came across this title: Zombie. I put it on hold, but thankfully it wasn't a long wait. The A toZ reading doesn't have to be done alphabetically, but Z was the last letter I had left by mid-May. For the A to Z reading this year, I finally checked out Ziggy, Stardust, and Me. 

And speaking of zombies:

With kids home for a year, worrying about the "smartphone zombies" (kids on their phones while walking to and from school) was not an issue. Once the kids started going back to in-person classes, I knew I was going to have to watch out for the "phone zombies" on their way home from school.  I have seen some kids walking to and from school, but not as many as before the virus. It's likely because they are only going to classes a few days a week, and still doing the online thing--hybrid learning. (I am so glad I don't have to deal with this stuff!) 

I kind of felt zombie-like each day, with little to do and getting tired almost all day long. And the repetitive days made me feel a bit like a zombie as well. I'm sure this happened to a lot of people. In a way, we did get zombies!


And that's a wrap! An A to Z reflection post will come next week. Meanwhile, I'll be back to regular blogging. Hope you have enjoyed my A to Z posts.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Y: YouTube, Yacht Rock, "You" Titles, Yard Sales


#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter Y

YouTube, Yacht Rock, "You" Titles, Yard Sales

As I have already said, I watched a lot of YouTube videos while cooped up this past year. This included finding some 80's songs I had forgotten about, watching old commercials and discovering the many parody videos I have shown in previous A-Z posts. Two music videos from the 80's I watched a lot were these:

A term I saw on Facebook sometime last year was "Yacht Rock." I had never heard any such thing until then. Most likely since I have never gone sailing (just not an interest of mine; not an outdoor person). One of the Holderness Family's quarantine videos was yacht rock song parodies:

I then searched YouTube for yacht rock songs and among them was this one from the 80s that I had not heard in years (and here is a link to the YouTube search results for yacht rock):

Once we got back to meeting at the center, we began playing (and still do) videos from Youtube. I introduced the others to the Holderness Family's channel and have played the videos above many times now. And others have had favorites to play as well--too many to list or even think of!

When it came to finding book titles starting with Y, I was in luck that I already had a copy of this book. I read in in April while I was still unable to get books from the library. And one day while at Target, I saw a copy of this book, which I wanted to get, but didn't. I did later order it from Amazon, which was cheaper. Note that both being with the word "you." And the second one is written in second person. On a side note, I've also been doing a Color Coded Reading Challenge for years now and yellow is one of the colors I have had trouble finding in titles lately. I've had to settle for using titles with "gold" for this requirement (shades and variants of the different colors are acceptable). 

One thing I was surprised to see a lot this year was signs for yard sales. I also passed by some yard sales while driving through town. It seemed a little risky to be having such a thing at a time like this, but it should be all right as long as  the customers follow social distancing rules at the yard sale. I must admit that this is not something am into, but my mom and I stopped at one that some old friends of hers were having this past August. We went mainly to see them, and when we arrived only about two other customers arrived thereafter. Meaning the yard sale wasn't busy. Our friends mentioned two others who had come earlier in the day, before Mom and I arrived. Whenever my mom has a yard sale (it's been years since her last one), people can come in droves or very few at a time. It obviously varies with different yard sales.  And contrary to what people have said on the Internet, I have not seen signs for yard sales misspelled like in these photos:


End for today. Yay! Only one day left now!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

X: X Titles, eXhausted, Drawing an X


#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter X

X Titles, eXhausted, Drawing an X

I knew there would not be a lot to put under this letter. Some of what I'm about to say hardly seems pandemic-related, but it occurred while I was cooped up, so  I feel that is good enough.

One was something that occurred on Facebook sometime last year. It was a personality quiz based on how you draw an X. For me, it's #5. I had never given much thought to how I tended to draw an X until I saw this. 

Titles beginning with "X" are hard to find, and last year before the pandemic forced the library shutdown for two months (before curbside pickup began), I had managed to find one. This was for my A to Z Reading Challenge. I took it out on the first day of March and returned it within that same week. It was The XYZ Factor, not something I was eager to read, but just happened to find in the library's online catalog by punching in "XYZ." I had a self-help book prompt last year, so this fit that as well. I was done with this book in only one night. I did not really need to know what was in this book! I was happy to have found an X title, but was stuck on Q (see here) and Z (more when we hit that letter, of course), once the shutdown of the library occurred and was able to find titles for both on the Overdrive digital library.

When trying to find an X title for the A to Z Reading thing this year, I mentioned this on my blog at the end of March, and someone pointed out the title Xingu by Edith Wharton. I checked the physical library catalog and both Overdrive and Cloud Library for this one, but to no avail. I'd almost forgotten about Project Gutenberg, and when I tried them, it was there! I just had to download it to my Books on Apple. It's very short and I was done in less than a day. Coincidentally, one day, during a curbside pickup at the library in March, I saw some books on display in the font window of the library (near the glass doors). One had a title beginning with X, The XX Brain. Again, a book I was not eager to read. I was considering getting this one, until someone pointed out the Xingu tile. But now I'll have this title for later. 

FYI, since Q, X, and Z can be tricky, the letters may be found anywhere in the title, meaning a title beginning with "eXhausted", for example, would count. 

I used "eXhausted" as an eXample because that was how I felt most days during the pandemic. No matter how much or how little I did each day, I was sure to be tired before I chose to go to bed. Boredom and depression were sure to cause eXhaustion as well. I just cannot eXpress how eXhausted I'd be day by day!


End of today's post. Only two left now! 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

W: Writing, Waking Up Anytime, What to Do Today?, What Day Is It?, Water, Work, Welcome Back


#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter W

Writing, Waking Up Anytime, What to Do Today?, What Day Is It?, Water, Work, Welcome Back

One thing I had hoped to do more of when cooped up at home last year was writing. Unfortunately, I did not do as much as I had hoped, but did get one piece done. So far, no one has been able to read it. I miss our writers lab meeting and the virtual ones just weren't doing it for me. Now I don't know if they're still doing it. I tried emailing my piece to the leader, but did not heard anything. Once we got back to meeting at the center where I work, my creative writing class resumed every other week. Now that's some practicing. One of the reasons I chose to do the A to Z was as a way to practice writing. 

When the center was closed in March through May, I stopped setting my alarm, since I did not have to be anywhere at any time. I would then wake up whenever I wanted. Even then, however, I could not stay in bed all day and not get dressed. There were times I did not get dressed until 10AM or later, but that changed once I had to return to work at the center. Though only once at week at first, then twice, I had to get used to setting the alarm again. There  are still some days when I get up and am dressed between 9 and 10AM.

before work started again, I not only had to decide when I wanted to get up but what I was going to do each day. I stuck mostly to reading, Internet surfing and doing laundry every other week, and going to the stores or post office when needed. Often I wanted to write or do art, I could not come up with any ideas. I was getting drained of creativity, likely from depression and exhaustion brought on the coronavirus.

Did any of you forget what day it was? I tried hard to not to. And I usually got it right. I had to remember when it was Thursday, since Friday is our garbage pickup day. And to remember when my favorite networks shows were on. Even so, I did get confused at times. I nearly forgot it was Memorial Day, as I tried to get my prescription at the Safeway pharmacy that day, then saw it was closed. A sign at the pharmacy said it would be closed for Memorial Day reminded me that it was that holiday then. Each month felt like a month of Sundays or like one long holiday.

Bottled water was one of the items people were said to be hoarding at the start of March. But unlike toilet paper and hand sanitizer, I cannot recall not being able to find 24-packs of water at the stores. Apparently, water-hoarding wasn't necessaryBut thankfully we have a water jug holder at home, and even though the store was closed, the outside water vending machines were still open. We had to save quarters and nickels for the water machines.

In the middle of May, one day after I got out from a run to the bank, I found a voice mail from my boss about meeting at the center to discuss our gradual reopening. Our first meeting was on the last Wednesday in May for one hour. Then the fist week of June, we began our one-day-a week, two-hour work days. We then expanded to to days in September. We had to sit six feet part, of course, but it was great to be back. A welcome back message appeared on one of our walls, and is still there.

And over the past two weeks, kids began going back to school, though only for so many days and hours a week. I began seeing signs at the various school yards in town, which had been empty for a whole year.  Even though I have no kids, I live nearby some of the schools so I am used to seeing them walking to and from school. It was weird not to see this for a whole year. Signs welcoming the students back to campus have been appearing. 
But we still have to distance, and I await the day when that is over....


Ending for today. Only three days left now.