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broodings from the burrow

August 29, 2022

posted by soe 1:50 am

We’re nearing the end of our trip to Salt Lake.

The celebration of life we held for Rudi’s mom on her 87th birthday was lovely. About 20 friends and colleagues were able to join us at a park pavilion for drinks, snacks, and reminiscences.

We scattered some of her ashes on Friday and we’ll do some tomorrow in areas where she used to forage mushrooms. It was clear that she approved of the first location, because we found two types without much effort.

While I’ve enjoyed swimming in the hotel pool and eating out, I’ll be glad to get home to Corey and volleyball, even if I will have to do some cleaning so a friend can come over this weekend.

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August 26, 2022

better together, pot of tea, and a show
posted by soe 1:44 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. The volleyball team has worked on leveling up together, meaning nearly all of us are better than we were at the start of the season. We chased down balls we would have let drop, we blocked shots, and we made smart hits to beat a really solid team this week, moving us up into third in our league to end the regular season and making for a very merry gathering afterwards.

2. We arrived in Salt Lake this morning and while Rudi was getting his hair cut, I checked out a new-to-me tea house. The single-estate Assam tea from Kenya I tried was wonderful.

3. We saw A Strange Loop, a musical about a gay Black playwright struggling with his inner critics and his familial expectations, in New York City last weekend and found it deserving of every award it has won. The acting was outstanding, the lyrics moving and cheeky by turn, and the mostly minimal staging effective. I will need to read the libretto at some point, because there are seven people on stage nearly all the time and some of them singing over each other, which means I definitely didn’t catch everything that was going on.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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August 24, 2022

top ten completed series i wish had more books
posted by soe 1:56 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl asks us to share finished series that we wish had more books. Here are mine:


  1. The Rajes by Sonali Dev
  2. (I was so crushed when I learned there’d only be four books.)

  3. Nursery Crime by Jasper Fforde
  4. Tillerman Cycle by Cynthia Voigt
  5. (I loved this series as a kid and would have read dozens more stories about the Tillerman family.)

  6. The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott
  7. (I believe there is now a collection of short stories about the other immortals that Scott originally published in an e-format.)

  8. The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  9. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  10. Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
  11. Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu
  12. The Brown Sisters by Talia Hibbert
  13. (I know they’d have to change the title of the series, but I want a book about their grandmother.)

  14. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

How about you? Are there book series that you’d love for the author to write just one more story for?

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August 19, 2022

three, victory, and invitation
posted by soe 1:06 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. My friend Neal suggests that rather than do the sane thing, which is to pick up three additional players from the earlier round of volleyball games, we take on our opponents (who have ten players — enough for a full roster, plus four people ready to rotate in) with just the three of us who were able to make our match. I have my misgivings, but his confidence is contagious, and he, our teammate Chris, and I pull off a 2-0 victory.

2. Monday is a beautiful night for a ballgame and the Nationals must agree, because they decide to win the game.

3. Neal came over for supper and Ted Lasso, marking the first time we’ve had non-party company over in … five years. We agree that we’ll do it again, and I’ve already told my friend Anna and her partner that they should come sometime next month. And I just told Sarah to come for supper. How did I not notice this?

What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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August 18, 2022

bout of books 35: day 3 update
posted by soe 1:20 am

Bout of Books

My camera app has stopped working, and while this is annoying, it’s fine, as long as I find another app that does work before heading to New York on Friday. And I suppose even then it’ll be okay as long as Rudi or Eri take photos and share them with me.

In the meantime, let me share what I’ve been reading. I made some more progress with S.J. Bennett’s All the Queen’s Men on audio. I’d love to finish it tomorrow before we leave, so I can move onto my next audio option, but if I don’t, I’ll probably finish it on the train.

I did finish the first volume of Hikaru Nakamura’s Saint Young Men, a manga in which Jesus Christ and Buddha decide to take a year off after all the work at the millennium and spend a year living in a small apartment in Tokyo. It’s a thoughtful, but funny take on two divine immortals who also form a comedy act, have a blog, and have to live on a budget and not piss off their landlady. They have to deal with animals that want to sacrifice themselves when their cupboards are bare, celestial beings that would really like them to return home to heaven already, and inadvertently performing miracles, like Jesus accidentally turning the water at the bath house into wine because he found a pun funny. To help with in-jokes that aren’t obvious to an English-speaking audience, each of the 15 chapters is followed by an afterword with translations, context, and additional documentation.

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August 16, 2022

bout of books 35 signup and day 1 plus top ten books from before 2012
posted by soe 1:33 am

Bout of Books has rolled around again. This is the final version of 2022 and the 35th iteration of the readalong.

Bout of Books
The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It’s a weeklong readathon that begins 12:01 a.m. Monday, August 15, and runs through Sunday, August 21, in YOUR time zone. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are reading sprints, Twitter chats, and exclusive Instagram challenges, but they’re all completely optional. For all Bout of Books 35 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

During the readathon, I’d like to finish a couple books I have on the go so I can return them to the library. Today I read several chapters in Miss Moriarty, I Presume? by Sherry Thomas and listened to a chapter in All the Queen’s Men by S.J. Bennett.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl asks us to share ten books we love that are more than a decade old. No problem! Here are mine, in no particular order:

  1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (1962)
  2. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg (1985)
  3. A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle (1989)
  4. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild (1936)
  5. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (2001)
  6. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (1908)
  7. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (2011)
  8. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (2008)
  9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2007)
  10. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver (1998)

On a side note, looking at this in Goodreads, I discovered the only years during the 20th century are:

1901, 1907, 1910 (although I may have read Kilmeny of the Orchard as a tween), 1914, 1916, 1924, and 1942 (although I think I read all the Moffats books as a kid). Just seven books could make the century complete, and included in those years are Baum, Wodehouse, and Christie publications. Hmmm…

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