Friday, April 29, 2016

Highlights of the week

This week it was my turn to host Yahtzee. My theme, if you can call it that, was "shit I found on the internet." I was running around like a crazy person trying to get everything done at the last minute but it all turned out great and it was lovely having time with my girls.

Left: Brownie Batter Dip (yes, those are Lorna Doone cookies on that tray and they were fantastic with this dip)
Right: Tasty's Meatball Sub Bake - next time I might use more sauce but this was super easy!
Not pictured: Warm Bacon Blue Cheese Dip - take a tip from me and double this recipe, Black Bean Hummus with veggies and pita chips, Shrimp Cocktail, beer and wine.

A couple weeks ago Aaron and I joined a different gym. I haven't worked out in well over two years, due to surgeries and whatnot and then just plain laziness. Gwensday morning I got up early and did a proper weights workout at the gym before work. I'm feeling it but it's a good feeling. Of course there's still always this obstacle:

All week I've been thinking about this whole bathroom law bullshit and I knew I wanted to address it here but had a really hard time putting the words together. Fortunately my real-life and blog friend Steph hit it hard in her post yesterday. Some of my favorite parts from the post include:

  • "We've all been going to the bathroom with transgender people for years, we just didn't know it because no one is required to flash their private parts to go to the bathroom in a public restroom." This is what blows my mind. If I'm in the restroom with a trans woman, guess what? I'm not going to actually see her genitals.
  • "Women and children get attacked and raped all across this country every day and no one gives a fuck until now, when people want to pee with people they look like instead of where the genitals they were born with say they should pee." 

The only thing a bathroom law does is allow more hatred and bigotry toward not only transgender people, but also anyone who looks androgynous or just doesn't look like what someone thinks they should (remember SNL's "It's Pat?"). If only the Target protesters would focus their anger and energy on real sexual predators instead of people who just want to pee, now THAT would be productive.


Speaking of Steph, she and Jana not only host the monthly Show Us Your Books link up, but they've also started a podcast about books called The Armchair Librarians. There are now 8 episodes and I totally binge-listened to all of them yesterday. My personal favorite is the one with Jana's 9-year-old daughter, who chastises Jana because she "only" reads violent books. Plus I couldn't help wondering how hard it was for them to not curse in that particular episode.

Happy Weekend!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Weekend of the arts

It's been a while since we've had a weekend full of (fun) plans. Last weekend was full of cultural events!

Friday night we saw The Full Monty at the Garden Theater, presented by Short North Stage. Eight of us from the neighborhood walked the few blocks to the theater. It was fantastic! The sets, the cast, the music... so well done! It's just amazing to be able to walk to see such great entertainment. I also ran into a sorority sister there (her sister was in the show). I haven't seen her since college, but we we're Facebook friends and she recognized me while we were in line for the restroom.

After the show we went back to our house for a Prince dance party. Sorry to any neighbors who may have heard the blaring music until the wee hours...

Saturday we recovered with brunch at The Market and naps (we did make it to the gym for a brief cardio workout). Then we took the free bus to The Ohio Theatre to see The Book of Mormon. Lots of our friends saw it two years ago when it came to town but we missed out. Hilarious! Irreverent! So much fun!

Sunday we did our usual singing at two church services. I got in another nap (Saturday was a late night by the time we had after-show drinks, not that I really need a reason for a weekend nap). Then we went back to the church for a vocal recital. A woman in our choir who had a long nursing career and then fulfilled a life-long dream of going back to school for a vocal performance degree gave her senior recital. Some of our choir members backed her up on a couple songs. It was a lovely event, and here we are in our concert attire.

We ended the weekend at our local bar, Little Rock, to say good-bye to one of the bartenders who is moving away. Sundays are "Mix Tape" nights in which all of the music is from one year. Last night was 1983, so that was fun. Of course, that was the year chosen because it's the year the bartender was born which makes me feel old. Sort of.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Showin' My Books - April '16

OK peeps, it's that time again!

Life According to Steph

Interestingly (to me) most of my selections are audio books this time around.

She Can Run by Melinda Leigh - I chose this as my "freebie book" for Erin's challenge. In this case, freebie had multiple meanings. The challenge category was "any book at least 200 pages." I got the Kindle version for free through Kindle Unlimited and little did I know that included an audio version as well! I had a day in February in which I was in the car for 8 hours and sat in a waiting room for 2 hours so I knocked this book out in one day since I was able to listen and read. ANYWAY, the book was predictable in many ways but still entertaining for me. This is the first of a series, but it looks like with each succeeding book the main character was a peripheral from the book before. I like that idea.

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari - This was for my IRL book club. It's not a memoir, but an actual study of what it's like to date in the age of technology. As someone who's been in a monogamous relationship for going-on-29 years, I couldn't relate to a lot of this but it was fun listening to Aziz read it himself (even though he constantly teased the audio book listeners for being too "lazy" to actually read the book).

Driving with the Top Down by Beth Harbison - This was my one non-audio book. It's about a woman, her niece, and her college best friend who are all going through difficult times but end up on a road trip together and discover that it's OK to rely on others for support (and that people will actually be there for you). Also, I love the cover. (This was my "starts with the letter D" choice for Erin's challenge.)


Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner - Rachel and Andy meet as kids and even though they live hundreds of miles apart, their paths continue to cross over the years. There were times when I wanted to throttle these two, but I also understood them in different ways. I wish there had been an epilogue. I felt the ending was a bit abrupt, but overall I enjoyed this one.

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon - I'm pretty impressed that this is a debut novel. I was pretty sure I knew whodunit but I was still intrigued by the story. Teenage Amy disappeared 15 years ago and was found a few days later beaten and unconscious and has never woken up.  Alex is a journalist with a lot of baggage who becomes obsessed with Amy's story and is determined to find justice for her. I loved this as an audio book; the narrator was very good and although the story is told from different points of view, only Amy's side was read by a different person. For some reason I felt that was important.

What's on your bookshelf?