MickyFine Attends the Assembly Rooms in 2021, First Cotillion

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MickyFine Attends the Assembly Rooms in 2021, First Cotillion

1MickyFine
Editado: Ene 31, 3:47pm


My first ever Austen (in print or on film) was Emma and I will always have a soft spot for it.

I'm Micky, 34 years old, librarian, and generally bookish nerd. I usually have a good mix of reads going on every year with strong doses of romance, sff, historicals, and a dash of non-fiction. My only reading project this year is a re-read of Jane Austen's six major novels - the ultimate comfort reads for me. I'm trying to be a bit more chatty on my own thread and others and in addition to my reading, I'll also discuss what I'm watching, and general life goings on often featuring my husband, Mr. Fine, and our two cats, Ash and Smee. Posters and lurkers alike are welcome.

January
1. Paper and Fire - Rachel Caine
2. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
3. Fangs - Sarah Andersen
4. I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are - Rachel Bloom
5. Not Quite the Classics - Colin Mochrie
6. Giant Days Volume 11 - John Allison & Max Sarin
7. Ash and Quill - Rachel Caine
8. Emma - Jane Austen (re-read)
9. Giant Days Volume 12 - John Allison & Max Sarin
10. Read It and Weep - Jenn McKinlay
Favourite(s):


February
Favourite(s):

March
Favourite(s):

2MickyFine
Dic 26, 2020, 11:50pm

My rating system:

/ = Ran screaming in the other direction (aka did not finish)
* = Suffered through it for reasons I'm still not sure of
** = Had far more flaws than virtues
*** = A read I don't regret but could use some improvement
**** = A good, solid read that I might revisit
***** = Loved it beyond reason and will probably re-read in short order

3MickyFine
Editado: Dic 26, 2020, 11:53pm

Just staking out space so I can dive in smoothly on January 1. I won't be posting or responding over here until 2021 but feel free to chatter away prior to my arrival.

4PaulCranswick
Dic 27, 2020, 12:10am

Welcome back, Micky.

5justchris
Dic 27, 2020, 1:44am

Austen is one of my comfort reads too, though Emma is probably my least favorite. Sounds like we have similar reading habits. I look forward to following your adventures on pages.

6quondame
Dic 27, 2020, 2:43am

Happy new thread!

I am yet another Austen fan. I'm looking forward to what you have to say.

7BBGirl55
Dic 27, 2020, 5:42am

Well Hello!

8cbl_tn
Dic 27, 2020, 8:25am

Happy New Year! You have at least 6 great reads to look forward to with Austen. Emma is my favorite. It was my first Austen, too.

9ChelleBearss
Dic 27, 2020, 8:53am

Happy new thread!

10drneutron
Dic 27, 2020, 9:54am

Welcome back!

11richardderus
Dic 27, 2020, 11:04am

So...Bridgertoned yet? It certainly is lush...

*smooch*

12thornton37814
Dic 27, 2020, 9:54pm

Hope you enjoy your reading this year! Welcome back.

13kac522
Dic 28, 2020, 1:46am

Good luck with your 2021 reading.

I needed that Austen comfort reading in 2020, so I re-read all of the novels (except Emma!), plus I re-read Sanditon and Lady Susan. Most were on audiobook, with 2 physical books. Guess it gives me Emma to look forward to in 2021 ;)

14jennyifer24
Dic 28, 2020, 1:25pm

Emma is my favorite Austen, although I haven't read it in a while. A few friends are reading/re-reading all of her novels this year so we'll see if I change my mind this time around. Happy reading in 2021!

15Crazymamie
Dic 28, 2020, 1:37pm

Hello, Micky. Delurking to drop a star. I also love Austen - Pride and Prejudice is my favorite.

16AMQS
Dic 28, 2020, 6:45pm

Oh, I love Emma. It is my favorite Austen. I'm probably due for a reread this year. Did you watch the new movie? I thought they did a nice job, though my favorite is the Jonny Lee Miller/Romola Garai version.

Happy reading in 2021!

17SandDune
Dic 29, 2020, 11:32am

Re-reading Jane Austen is always a good idea. On my thread this year I posted my 5 star reads from the last 10 years and there were three Jane Austen’s in the list! Not Emma though, sorry.

18London_StJ
Dic 29, 2020, 12:07pm

>1 MickyFine: Signing up for 2021 book bullets...

19swynn
Dic 30, 2020, 2:51am

Dropping a star and hoping for a happy 2021.

20DianaNL
Dic 31, 2020, 6:19am

Best wishes for a better 2021!

21CDVicarage
Dic 31, 2020, 10:58am

Happy New Year.

I have put off reading the 2021 threads until today. Jane Austen is a very good idea.

22lauralkeet
Dic 31, 2020, 12:36pm

Hi Mickey, I'm just going visiting today and leaving my calling card, Austen style. I like your idea of re-reading her novels. I recently re-read Mansfield Park, which I thought was my least favorite, and I liked it more than I expected to. I'd like to re-read Persuasion in 2021. It was my favorite the last time around.

23BBGirl55
Dic 31, 2020, 5:30pm

Happy New Year

24FAMeulstee
Dic 31, 2020, 6:49pm

Happy reading in 2021, Mickey!

25PaulCranswick
Editado: Ene 5, 11:48am



And keep up with my friends here, Micky. Have a great 2021.

26quondame
Ene 1, 2:15am

Happy new year!

27archerygirl
Ene 1, 7:14am

Running through and leaving a star. Happy new year!

28MickyFine
Ene 1, 10:47am

Thank you to Paul, Chris, Susan, Bryony, Carrie, Chelle, Jim, Richard, Lori, Kathy, Jenny, Mamie, Anne, Rhian, London, Steve, Diana, Kerry, Laura, Anita, and Lori for warming up my thread.

>11 richardderus: Not yet. Want to finish up season 2 of Virgin River before I indulge.

>16 AMQS: Hi Anne, I did see the newest film Emma and enjoyed it. I'm pretty sure it was the last film I saw in a movie theatre before the pandemic truly hit. I think the Gwyneth version will always take top spot for me just because of the nostalgia wrapped up in it.

29MickyFine
Ene 1, 11:00am

Happy New Year, friends!

Just barely made it to midnight last night although there was no toasting as I was in bed getting ready to drift off. Got my new year's kiss though so the year's off to a good start already.

What's on the agenda: Still in vacation mode today so reading, cross-stitch, video games, and board games are all possibilities. We did half of our MarioKart tournament yesterday - we're competing to see who wins the most cups and it's pretty neck and neck right now - so we'll likely finish that today.

What I'm reading: Excited to start Paper and Fire today.

What we're watching: Marathoned all of the Star Trek: The Next Generation films yesterday for our New Year's celebrations. I think Insurrection is probably my favourite just because I owned it on VHS when I was a pre-teen and it's so familiar. Riker and Troi are my original OTP and I was writing fanfic for them as a kid before I'd truly discovered fanfic so that film fed many of my tween feels for them.

30ChelleBearss
Ene 1, 12:09pm

Enjoy your vacation mode!
Nate and I were asleep by 10. Being an adult is lame sometimes :)

31_Zoe_
Ene 1, 12:26pm

Happy New Year! I'll try to keep up with your thread this time, though I can't help feeling that I'm behind already....

32The_Hibernator
Ene 1, 12:29pm

Hi Micky! Sounds like you had a great new year's eve, even if you only just made it to midnight. I, too, went to bed at midnight. My favorite Austen book is Sense and Sensibility. I love Colonel Brandon. Is your favorite Emma then?

33MickyFine
Ene 1, 4:38pm

>30 ChelleBearss: Oh I know all about adulthood being lame. Mr. Fine goes back to work next week and I get to go back to getting up at 5 to drive him to the bus station. While still on vacation. :P

>31 _Zoe_: Happy to see you Zoe!

>32 The_Hibernator: Nope, P&P is my favourite Austen. But Henry Tilney of Northanger Abbey is my favourite of her men.

34lkernagh
Ene 1, 6:29pm

Happy New Year, Micky! Dropping a star so I can find my way back. Wishing you a year of wonderful reading!

35MickyFine
Ene 2, 10:17am

>34 lkernagh: Thanks, Lori.

36MickyFine
Ene 2, 10:25am

What's on the agenda: Virtual church this morning. Probably a walk afterwards. Some reading and cross-stitch. I'm trying the 30-day challenge from Yoga with Adriene and the first proper day is today so I'll be spending some time on the mat today too.

What I'm reading: Made a good dent in Paper and Fire yesterday and it's off to an excellent start. Also love any book that includes librarians in its dedication. :)

What we're watching: Didn't watch TV or movies yesterday but we did finish our MarioKart tournament (Mr. Fine won with two more cups than me) and we played some Mario Party too. We also started assembling our Lego #4 Privet Drive yesterday.

37norabelle414
Ene 2, 1:13pm

Happy New Year Micky!

38MickyFine
Ene 2, 4:02pm

>37 norabelle414: Thanks, Nora!

39leahbird
Ene 3, 3:07am

Happy New Year Micky!

40BLBera
Ene 3, 8:09am

Happy New Year, Micky. Reading Austen again is a good project. I keep thinking that it's been a while. Persuasion is my favorite.

41MickyFine
Ene 3, 10:28am

>39 leahbird: Thanks, Leah, you too!

>40 BLBera: I hope you get a chance for a revisit this year too, Beth.

42MickyFine
Ene 3, 10:34am

What's on the agenda: Back to our normal routine today as Mr. Fine goes back to work tomorrow. We'll be taking down the Christmas decorations and doing our usual cleaning around the house. I've got day 2 of my yoga challenge and then we'll see what fun things we squeeze into the rest of the day.

What I'm reading: Paper and Fire is still in progress. May power through the last of it today, but it depends on how long other things take.

What we're watching: Last night Mr. Fine picked Live Free or Die Hard and I opted for a few episodes of As Time Goes By.

43The_Hibernator
Ene 3, 10:35am

I've been wanting to read the Ink & Bone Series. I've had it sitting on the shelf for a while.

44AMQS
Ene 3, 3:33pm

I'm going back to work tomorrow, too (*grumble*) and we de-Christmased and cleaned yesterday. It's a big task but satisfying. Happy Sunday!

45ChelleBearss
Ene 4, 12:05am

>36 MickyFine: I love Adriene! I started her December calendar and got quite a few in before I got too busy/overwhelmed with Christmas to keep going

46curioussquared
Ene 4, 12:27am

I thought I had already commented here but apparently not! Happy new year, and enjoy the Austen reread :)

47MickyFine
Ene 4, 9:28am

>43 The_Hibernator: I'm enjoying it so far, Rachel. Of course, I tend to enjoy most books that have a library angle in there somewhere. ;)

>44 AMQS: Thanks, Anne. Hope your first day back goes smoothly. Are you in school or doing things remotely right now?

>45 ChelleBearss: I'm getting used to her style still but the stretches have been really good. Having a calendar is really handy, I'll admit.

>46 curioussquared: Thanks, Natalie. I'll be starting my first re-read next month.

48MickyFine
Ene 4, 9:40am

What's on the agenda: Mr. Fine is back to work which meant 5 a.m. wake up today so I can drop him off at the bus station. So far this morning I've rotated the mattress, prepped bedding for laundry day, and done day 3 of my yoga challenge. In between changing laundry loads today there will be video gaming (I'm playing Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 on our PS4), cross-stitch, reading, and maybe some TV until I go pick up Mr. Fine at the end of his day. Virtual craft circle tonight.

What I'm reading: I finished Paper and Fire last night. Starting Oliver Twist today. I think I'm going to try alternating reading library books and my own books this year (whether they're new reads or re-reads) but we'll see how long that lasts.

What we're watching: With holiday viewing over, I've returned to my project of watching all the Disney animated feature films in release date order on Sunday nights (only counting films with theatrical release - none of the hideous straight to video releases of the late 90s and early 00s). Last night was The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Then Mr. Fine finished his rewatch of Parks and Rec and watched the last few episodes of season 7. While I don't always love the show, the finale is wonderful.

49MickyFine
Ene 4, 9:49am

Book 1



Paper and Fire - Rachel Caine

In the second book of the Great Library series, Jess is at a loss to determine what his next move should be. While he loves the concept of the Library, its reality chills his bones, particularly when he learns that one of his friends whom he believed was killed is actually imprisoned. As he works with several other members of his original training group to rescue his friend, they'll come up against the seemingly unstoppable power of the Library forcing them to make choices they never could have imagined.

Plenty of action, political machinations, and world development here. There's also growth for Jess as he discovers that a found family may be stronger than the one he was born into and at the same time figures out how he wants to fight against the Library. I continue to love the idea of the Great Library of Alexandria being a power unto itself and the corruption of its ideals from protecting knowledge to controlling it. Highly recommended to fans of the first book but be warned there's a pretty significant cliffhanger at the end of this volume.

Rating: ****

50CDVicarage
Ene 4, 10:33am

I'm just about to start book 4 in The Great Library and I'm currently listening to Oliver Twist as an audiobook!

51AnneDC
Ene 4, 10:44am

I'm visiting some threads and dropping stars today to procrastinate doing actual work my first day back at remote work and saw the Jane Austen discussion. Emma was my first Austen and also my most recent reread--I listened to an audio version before I saw the movie last year, which was the very last thing I did before the city shut down in March. (I enjoyed both the reread and the movie). My favorites are Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.

I'm also doing Yoga With Adriene--I did a few of her 30 day journeys last year but am excited to be doing the new one in real time.

52dk_phoenix
Ene 4, 10:52am

Happy New Year! Dropping my star. I'm also doing the January challenge with Adriene! I did last year's challenge and then followed her daily calendars for the rest of the year (didn't manage every day, but close). It made such a world of difference to just... regularly slow down and breathe and hear loving affirmations from someone. I don't otherwise slow down very well. It's very humbling to realize that just sitting still with yourself is... so hard sometimes!!

53humouress
Editado: Ene 4, 11:00am

Happy New Year and happy new thread Micky!

My first Austen was Pride and Prejudice and I enjoyed the story but I got more out of it - understanding the period details and so on - when we studied it at school. I must admit that Emma used to make me cringe because of her manners but I liked it better on re-reading it. I think Mansfield Park is currently my least favourite Austen; I would have gone for the other ending.

ETA: I must look up the yoga - maybe even give it a go.

54MickyFine
Ene 4, 11:08am

>50 CDVicarage: We're almost book twins, Kerry. ;)

>51 AnneDC: Excellent choices for Austen faves, Anne (although I'd say that about any of them really). A few of my co-workers were chatting about doing the 30-day challenge so I decided to join in. Feeling some of the stretches in a few spots after the last three days but it is good.

>52 dk_phoenix: Faith! So lovely to see you! Must track down your thread. I have to admit, I'm in the yoga for the physical side of it and some of the affirmations make me roll my eyes but I know everyone brings different things to their practice. Glad they work for you. :)

>53 humouress: I love both reading and thinking seriously about Austen. In undergrad, I took a course just on Austen and adored it, of course. I think Emma is sparkling in so many ways. She's a terrible snob but watching her grow beyond it is part of the delight of the novel.

55curioussquared
Ene 4, 12:35pm

>54 MickyFine: I would have taken an Austen course so hard in college. We didn't have one, unfortunately, but I got to study Emma in a course on the English novel and loved it.

56lauralkeet
Ene 4, 5:09pm

Tell me about your virtual craft circle! What sort of crafts? I'm in a knitting group that used to meet in a cafe but fortunately we're still getting together over Zoom.

57richardderus
Ene 4, 6:07pm

>50 CDVicarage: Book three all queued up? I'm agog!

58MickyFine
Ene 5, 11:33am

>55 curioussquared: It's always delightful when you get to read novels you already love for class and the experience makes you love it more.

>56 lauralkeet: It's a program run by my home library so we've got a lot of different crafts going on. I'm currently doing cross-stitch and a couple other regulars do it as well, the library staff member who leads the program does beading, some paper crafters, and we've usually got some knitters and crocheters. On the more unusual end we've got a stained glass artist, someone who does soapstone sculpture kits, and a couple who have been drawing on a wall of their house. And of course people switch crafts all the time. It's a lovely group and one of the highlights of my week.

59MickyFine
Ene 5, 11:46am

What's on the agenda: I slept super well last tonight, which apparently made my body realize how tired I actually am so I'm still feeling groggy after being awake for over four hours. So far I've watched some TV and played video games. After I catch up on LT there will be some cross-stitching and reading. Saving yoga for after Mr. Fine gets back from work so we can exercise at the same time. Take out tonight and it's Mr. Fine's pick but as of last night he had no clue. If someone told me as a child how much of my adult life I'd spend trying to figure out what to eat, I wouldn't have believed them.

What I'm reading: Started Oliver Twist yesterday. So far not the most sparkling of Dickens' novels that I've read but Oliver has just left for London so I assume the good stuff is on the horizon.

What we're watching: Binged the last three episodes of season 2 of Virgin River while Mr. Fine was at work yesterday. I have thoughts The Charmaine pregnancy storyline took up major space for WAY too long. I desperately want Mel to have one female friend with whom she can pass the Bechdel test - at least in season one she had regular phone calls with her sister (although they were still mostly about men) but those disappeared this season. Part of the appeal of small town dramas is the cozy factor and there was barely any of that this season. I really hope Preach isn't about disappear from the show - one major character of colour and his arc was disappointingly predictable. Despite those complaints, I do enjoy the show and will watch season 3. Since we're back to our regular weekday TV nights, we started season 5 of Once Upon a Time last night. I barely made it through seasons 5 and 6 when they aired originally and was mostly just in it for Emma and Hook so may just skip through to episodes I liked and wrap up the show quickly if it starts dragging too badly.

60bell7
Editado: Ene 5, 5:32pm

Glad to see you enjoyed Paper and Fire. Good luck with the own reading / library reading this year!

Edited to add - I meant to also comment that I love the project of an Austen reread and will look forward to your thoughts on them all.

61msf59
Ene 5, 2:39pm

Happy New Thread, Micky! Happy New Year. Looking forward to a brighter and healthier 2021.

62scaifea
Ene 5, 2:59pm

I think I remember liking Oliver Twist pretty well when I read it, oh, years ago. I hope you do, too!

63justchris
Ene 5, 5:31pm

>58 MickyFine: Sounds great! I participate in a twice-monthly Sunday craftalong, but it's me and a couple friends mostly, with occasional others stopping in. And half the time one or more of us isn't even crafting during the time. I just got a lead on another zoom craftalong, but it conflicts with my daily checkin, so I've participated only once.

>59 MickyFine: I've toyed with those set menu packaged meal arrangements just because I've had so much executive dysfunction the last few years that eliminating the daily deciding what to eat would be a huge relief. But I couldn't make myself sign up given how highly processed such programs are, not to mention the cost.

I am looking forward to trying out a 30-day diet program based on Ayurveda principles from The Hot Belly Diet that will have a limited set of options and thus simplify the deciding and cooking and eating process, plus it's about incredibly healthy stuff that I am excited about. Planning to start February 1.

>59 MickyFine: I barely remember Oliver Twist from school days. I am hoping to finally try Bleak House, which I've heard so much about over the years. But not this month. Later this year. I hope you enjoy the rest of the story.

64lauralkeet
Ene 5, 7:26pm

Thanks for sharing the details of your craft circle, Micky. I like the variety of things people are doing, and it sounds like a nice bunch of folks.

65AMQS
Ene 5, 8:34pm

>47 MickyFine: So far the plan is to start the first two week remotely. If all goes well and COVID cases are within an acceptable range then elementary students will go back to in person learning on January 19 and middle and high school students I think in February.

66ChelleBearss
Ene 6, 8:40am

>59 MickyFine: Truly the bane of my existence. I hate nothing more about being an adult than trying to feed my family three meals a day, every day. (Well, the grey hairs would make the list, but like, below the food issues)

67MickyFine
Ene 6, 9:32am

>60 bell7: Thanks, Mary. I think I'll tweak the library/own reading to add graphic novels/comics into the mix. So library read, own read, graphic read. Win! :)

>61 msf59: Thanks, Mark. Wishing you the same!

>62 scaifea: It's definitely growing on me, Amber. I'm a quarter of the way through so we'll see how it goes from here.

>63 justchris: Did you do in-person crafting groups in the before times, Chris? I have to admit I don't know if I would when things go back to normal. It's nice to not have to haul all my craft stuff somewhere but still get some social time in via video chat.

>64 lauralkeet: They're really lovely, Laura.

>65 AMQS: Crossing my fingers for you, Anne.

>66 ChelleBearss: Mr. Fine and I usually team up for meal planning partly to have two brains devoted to the problem and partly because he does most of the cooking. We use one of those meal planning notepads though so it's written out in advance, which helps prevent the coming home hungry and having no clue what to eat (most of the time).

68MickyFine
Editado: Ene 6, 10:18am

What's on the agenda: Dropped off Mr. Fine at the bus and completed day 5 of my yoga challenge already this morning. After catching up on LT, I'm going to take the car for an oil change and pop by the bank quickly. Then my usual vacation mix of gaming, watching, reading, and cross-stitching until Mr. Fine gets back to the 'burbs. After I pick him up we'll do grocery shopping. Probably going to end up getting a chicken pot pie from Costco for supper.

What I'm reading: Plugging away at Oliver Twist and at the quarter way through mark. Things have definitely picked up now that Oliver's in London although at this point every other character but Oliver is interesting - poor lad.

What I'm watching: Watched the first episode of Bridgerton yesterday morning - so pretty in all the ways (A question mostly for Katie: Marina Thompson is new right? I don't remember her from the books). In the evening it was DC TV night and we got in an episode each of Supergirl, Flash, Legends, and Arrow.

69jnwelch
Ene 6, 9:43am

Happy New Year, Micky. That Great Library series sounds intriguing.

I haven't read the Bridgerton books, but Madame MBH and I sure got a kick out of that tv series.

70MickyFine
Ene 6, 10:18am

>69 jnwelch: I think you'd enjoy the series, Joe. Give the first one a try and that should be a good barometer. :)

71katiekrug
Ene 6, 11:35am

>68 MickyFine: - I'll put this in a spoiler just to be safe: Marina was Philip Crane's deceased wife in To Sir Philip with Love - the mother of the twins. I think it's very clever how they included her and set up that story, assuming it follows basically along the book outline...

72Crazymamie
Ene 6, 11:48am

>59 MickyFine: I agree with your thoughts on season two of Virgin River.

>71 katiekrug: Oh, thanks for that, Katie! I kept trying to think where she came into the books - it has been too long since I read the later ones.

73MickyFine
Editado: Ene 6, 12:06pm

>71 katiekrug: Ah! Thank you! I was completely at a loss for who she might be and wasn't sure why they'd introduce a new character when the cast is already pretty huge.

>72 Crazymamie: Glad I'm not alone on Virgin River, Mamie.

74aktakukac
Ene 6, 2:34pm

Happy New Year! I like your idea of alternating between library books and your own books. I should try that, as my own books sit unread at home while I constantly check out books from work.

75vikzen
Ene 6, 3:40pm

Hey there Micky! Passing through to drop a star, thanks for checking out my thread! Best of luck for getting through with your reading this year! I find that I use the online library and so end up reading those books more than my physical copies which is quite distressing!

76justchris
Ene 6, 3:57pm

>67 MickyFine: Yup. We used to meet every week at a local coffee shop. But participation had declined so much over the years that just 3 of us were regulars. So the weekly coffeeshop hangout was replaced with a twice a month hangout at a dance club pre-opening hours with an invite to a larger crafting community.

That was moderately successful, then pandemic and zoom and back to us 3 regulars. Then return to dance club with minimum 15 foot spacing between tables, one per person, masks, etc, with participation picking up slightly. And now back to zoom again with a little more participation.

One of the 3 regulars is co-owner of the dance club that has been shut down for the duration. It was a new business that was just starting to go into the black after a year of operations when the shutdown happened. Not sure they'll be able to survive until the end of the pandemic.

77MickyFine
Ene 7, 8:26am

>74 aktakukac: Right? Plight of the library worker, I think. I also have to remind myself that even if library books have a due date, it doesn't mean I can't renew them or check them out later if I don't get to them and they shouldn't get so much priority over my own books.

>75 vikzen: Balancing physical and digital and library and personal books is a constant struggle for me too, Vik.

>76 justchris: Crossing my fingers your friend's business makes it through this.

78MickyFine
Ene 7, 8:33am

What's on the agenda: More of the same in staycation mode. Working up the motivation for my yoga challenge this morning. It's completely core focused and the workout is called Burn so I'm sure it's going to be a tough one, especially since my core has been in less than ideal shape since I had surgery in that zone last summer. Lamb chops for dinner tonight.

What I'm reading: Going to try and spend a few hours with Oliver Twist today as I have yet to reach the halfway mark and I'm starting to get the equivalent of itchy feet for a new book (anyone have a term for that?). May have to borrow an audiobook edition as well to alternate with the print so I can make progress while doing cross-stitch.

What we're watching: Started season 1 of Dollhouse last night. Rewatch for me and first viewing for Mr. Fine. It's been a long time since I watched it so while I remember some of the big plot points, there's still a lot of stuff that was still a surprise to me.

79scaifea
Ene 7, 8:37am

>78 MickyFine: Itchy Spine, maybe?

And ooooh, Dollhouse! I haven't seen that one in a long time, but I loved it!

80MickyFine
Ene 7, 9:05am

>79 scaifea: Itchy spine does have a decent ring to this although I also kind of picture this:



Mr. Fine and I were laughing because Mark Sheppard showed up in one of the episodes of Dollhouse - the man is everywhere.

81The_Hibernator
Ene 7, 11:57am

Good luck with all your to-dos today!

82scaifea
Ene 7, 2:55pm

>80 MickyFine: Oooh, Mark Sheppard! I don't remember him being in Dollhouse! Now I *really* need a rewatch!

83leahbird
Ene 8, 2:25am

>78 MickyFine: For me it's itchy brain when I'm unsettled about anything. Needing a new book definitely falls under that.

84MickyFine
Ene 8, 8:54am

>81 The_Hibernator: Thanks, Rachel!

>82 scaifea: It wasn't a big part and I honestly can't remember if the character ever shows up again. For me, I know him best for a two part episode of Doctor Who and for Mr. Fine it's Supernatural, of course.

>83 leahbird: Ooh, I like itchy brain.

85MickyFine
Ene 8, 9:04am

What's on the agenda: Friday staycation mode. Yoga is already done so just chilling doing leisure activities again. Not sure why the layoff/forced vacation includes next Monday but it does so a little longer before I go back to the grind.

What I'm reading: I did end up borrowing an audiobook edition of Oliver Twist yesterday (published by Blackstone and narrated by Wanda McCaddon who does a great job of all the voices and accents). Alternated with the print so I made good progress yesterday and am likely to finish it today.

What we're watching: Mr. Fine's turn last night so we're back to Supernatural. Finished season 4, including the gag reel, and watched the first episode of season 5.

86curioussquared
Ene 8, 4:43pm

>48 MickyFine: You've inspired me with your Disney movie watching, Micky! They're perfect for having on in the background while I'm doing the less interesting parts of my job. So far I'm through Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Dumbo, and I'm finishing up Bambi now -- I think it's actually the first time I've seen it.

87MickyFine
Editado: Ene 8, 5:04pm

>86 curioussquared: Oh nice! The films from the 40s-60s are often pretty experimental and sometimes downright trippy. I had fun watching some that I'd never seen as a kid (Sword in the Stone and Black Cauldron - both of which are not good so I wasn't missing much). The watching project had me put The Queens of Animation on The List but I haven't picked it up yet. Maybe this year.

88MickyFine
Editado: Ene 8, 5:31pm

Book 2



Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

A note on my edition first: I bought this copy to include in our centre piece for our wedding reception a couple years ago (we had a handful of books between bookends that were our initials). Finally got around to reading it.

Oliver lives the inevitably difficult life of an orphan born in a Victorian-era rural poorhouse and after escaping to London encounters a variety of fascinating personalities in what most would consider the dregs of the city before discovering kindred and kind spirits elsewhere.

I went into this novel knowing mostly just, "Please sir I want some more" and the names of Fagin and the Artful Dodger. Beyond that I hadn't really been exposed to the plot of the novel before so had little expectations except those built in from my other experiences with Dickens. I did enjoy the read but of this cast of characters Oliver is the least interesting part. Instead its the other people he encounters along the way who are the true draw here, whether it's conflicted Nancy, the hypocritical Bumbles, or the kind and clever Brownlow and Rose. There's glimpses of the humour and observations I've loved in other Dickens novels but they're lighter on the ground here. There's also a whole heaping pile of anti-Semitism in the character of Fagin (and at least one notable dig at the Irish); not unusual for the period but still not cool. Glad to have experienced for all the many cultural references that come from this one but not destined to make it into my list of top Dickens' novels.

Rating: ***

89MickyFine
Ene 8, 6:09pm

Book 3



Fangs - Sarah Andersen

A collection of comics about the relationship between Ellie (a vampire) and Jimmy (a werewolf) from the artist behind Sarah's Scribbles.

Really sweet and cute collection of relationship comics with a ton of vampire and werewolf jokes mixed in. The art here is gorgeous and a very different style from Andersen's scribbles comics. A super quick, feel-good read.

Rating: ****

90MickyFine
Ene 9, 12:06pm

What's on the agenda: Virtual church, a walk, some Lego assembly, a board game, and we'll see what else we get up to.

What I'm reading: Finished two books yesterday and made it halfway through I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are, which is as funny as I'd expected.

What we're watching: I watched the second episode of Bridgerton while I had lunch yesterday.

91richardderus
Ene 9, 4:54pm

>2 MickyFine: Three whole stars! You're so much kinder than I am.

92MickyFine
Ene 9, 5:25pm

>91 richardderus: Well I'm surprised you finish any Dickens nevermind gave them any stars. ;)

93norabelle414
Ene 9, 7:50pm

>88 MickyFine: You've never seen the musical??

94MickyFine
Ene 10, 11:08am

>93 norabelle414: No, I've missed that one so far in my life. As part of my Disney project I did watch Oliver and Company for the first time last year but it has very little connection to the plot of the book. Should I be tracking down the musical?

95MickyFine
Ene 10, 11:20am

What's on the agenda: Cleaning and bills day here. I've also got a video chat scheduled with some of my friends. Continuing to keep up with my yoga challenge. Then whatever Mr. Fine and I feel like getting up to for the rest of the day.

What I'm reading: Stayed up a bit late last night and finished I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are (review later today hopefully). Starting Not QUITE the Classics today.

What we're watching: Movie pick for each of us last night. I went for Bringing Up Baby and Mr. Fine picked Real Steel. We're nothing if not eclectic in our movie tastes.

96katiekrug
Ene 10, 1:11pm

OH, I LOVE Bringing Up Baby!

97dk_phoenix
Ene 10, 2:09pm

Hope your Sunday is relaxing so far! I did the daily YWA video last night right before bed and told my husband "come find me if I'm not in bed by midnight, it means I've fallen asleep during yoga"... needless to say, I zonked right out before the end of it. I probably slept on the floor for a solid half hour before he found me! I had a feeling, when she had us grab a pillow and blanket. LOL. Today's practice looks more active, thank goodness... haha.

98ChelleBearss
Ene 10, 7:00pm

Does your lockdown end soon? Ours is until the 23rd but I'm pretty sure we are going to get more restrictions Tuesday and an extension

99MickyFine
Ene 10, 10:35pm

>96 katiekrug: Me too, Katie. One of the few things I miss about having cable was being able to turn on TCM and find delightful old movies I'd never discover otherwise. Mr. Fine isn't always a fan of some of my classic movie picks but he liked Bringing Up Baby and said he'd watch it again. :)

>97 dk_phoenix: I do yoga in our big rec room space in the basement and it was particularly chilly down there yesterday so no conking out for me. Did have a cat lying on my feet when I lay down for the final section though. Hope you made it through all the standing today, I had to shake out some foot cramps for some of the single foot stuff.

>98 ChelleBearss: They've extended our lockdown for at least another two weeks but kids are going back to in-person school tomorrow so it's weird. Our case numbers are down below 1000 per day although we're about to hit two weeks from Christmas so we'll see what happens then. Miss the days back in the summer when more than 100 cases a day was a lot. Sigh.

100Familyhistorian
Ene 11, 12:42am

Hi Micky, I hope the lockdown is helping your numbers come down. We've been limited to only gathering with household members since November 23rd and it's been extended until February 5. People who live alone are allowed to gather with two other singles.

You deserve a pat on the back for tackling and finishing Oliver Twist! I hope the rest of your reads this year are more rewarding.

101scaifea
Ene 11, 7:48am

Aw, YES to Bringing Up Baby! Love it.

102msf59
Ene 11, 8:08am

>80 MickyFine: Love it!

>89 MickyFine: I like a good GN. I wonder if I would like Fangs.

I hope you had a nice weekend, Micky!

103MickyFine
Ene 11, 8:36am

>100 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. Lockdown definitely seems to be slowing things down but our case numbers are still very high and the number of people in hospital and ICU are still pushing the limits of what hospitals can handle. So we're not going to be out of it for a while. Also thanks for the good reading wishes. Things are looking pretty good right now.

>101 scaifea: It's so delightful isn't it, Amber?

>102 msf59: You might like Fangs, Mark, but it's more loosely connected comic strips than a formal graphic novel with a plot. It's a quick 100 pages so worth a look if your local library carries it.

104MickyFine
Ene 11, 8:54am

What's on the agenda: Last day of vacation so other than a bit of laundry I'm doing all the fun things today. I plan to watch at least one episode of Bridgerton and play some Lego Marvel Superheroes 2. I also might power through the last bit of my cross-stitch project since I'm very close to finishing it and then start a crochet blanket during virtual craft circle tonight. Maybe squeeze in a bath but we'll see. Mr. Fine is in theory working later this week so I'm head chef. Tonight is turkey meatloaf with mashed potatoes and veggies. Did I load the meal plan with my comfort foods since I'm going back to work this week? Absolutely.

What I'm reading: Did two of the stories in Not QUITE the Classics yesterday and laughed throughout both.

What we're watching: For my Disney project it was Hercules last night, one of my faves (although my brain did wonder how Amber feels about Disney mucking around with Greek myths). Then followed it up with a couple episodes of Castle, which is Mr. Fine's Sunday night show right now. I may have used it as an excuse to make references to a recent Twitter exchange between a local radio personality and an Edmonton city councilor about the proposal for a Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavilion.

105katiekrug
Ene 11, 10:44am

"Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavilion"

Love it! Is this an actual proposed thing?

106MickyFine
Ene 11, 11:19am

>105 katiekrug: There was a petition for it a while back. In the Twitter exchange about it recently the city councilor joked it should also mark the population growth landmark and be the Nathan Fillion Million Civilian Pavilion.

107aktakukac
Ene 11, 11:47am

Enjoy your last day of vacation :) I made meatloaf for supper last night as it was quick to mix up and warm and comforting. A coworker and I were just talking about virtual craft circle as we had a patron inquire about our in-person craft circle. We don't have a virtual one set up at the moment, but now that we are open on Fridays again, maybe we will start one.

108MickyFine
Ene 11, 12:18pm

>107 aktakukac: It's pretty simple (at least from the customer side) to do it virtually and allows for crafters who aren't as mobile (we have a woman who makes handbags, which requires her sewing machine and also one who does stained glass occasionally) to still join in.

109MickyFine
Ene 11, 12:22pm

Book 4



I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are - Rachel Bloom

A collection of mostly memoir-ish essays (as well as one musical and one amusement park map) from Bloom recounting her childhood being bullied, her love for musical theatre, her experiences with mental illness, and her time working in Hollywood. Fans of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend will get exactly the kind of humour they'd expect from the creator of the show and it's exactly as delightful as you'd expect.

Rating: ****

110katiekrug
Ene 11, 12:51pm

I love that cover design - very 80s pre-teen/teen angsty!

111lkernagh
Ene 11, 5:54pm

Hi Micky, getting caught up.

>59 MickyFine: - If someone told me as a child how much of my adult life I'd spend trying to figure out what to eat, I wouldn't have believed them. Yup. There are days when I feel as though I am in a rut when it comes to meal planning, while my other half has complained that I seem to always have food on the brain, because I am always asking him for suggestions (I am both food shopper and cook in our household). ;-)

112quondame
Ene 11, 6:14pm

>104 MickyFine: >105 katiekrug: NFCP is a real thing! Or maybe! Cool!

113kac522
Ene 11, 6:15pm

>59 MickyFine:, >111 lkernagh: Amen. I guess for me it's because I can't do the weekly meet-ups with friends for lunch or dinner, which means there are that many more meals to "plan."

114MickyFine
Ene 11, 7:00pm

>110 katiekrug: Right? It screams Baby-Sitters Club to me as a child of the 90s (and I'm a couple years older than Rachel Bloom so our cultural touchpoints would be pretty similar).

>111 lkernagh: I know. Even figuring out weekend breakfasts seems like a chore some days. On weekdays I'm happy with just a bowl of Cheerios but Mr. Fine likes big breakfasts on the weekends so we'll do eggs, turkey bacon, and toast usually on Saturdays but then coming up with something that isn't cereal on Sundays is occasionally painful. Thank goodness for Costco bagels stashed in the freezer. :P

>112 quondame: We can all dream, Susan. We can all dream.

>113 kac522: Yup, part of our weekly take out nights is to support local business and part of it is to not have to plan a meal. But then there's the question of: where do you want to order from... Thankfully it's my pick this week and I've got a craving for Indian food so that's set. :)

115BBGirl55
Ene 11, 7:26pm

Oliver Twisted is by far my least favourite Dickens I have read, I was 15 when we were made to read it a school. I am a fan of the musical though make of that what you will.

116scaifea
Ene 12, 8:38am

>104 MickyFine: As long as a retelling stays true to the spirit of the original myths, I'm good. So yeah, it's a watered-down version for the kiddos (straight-up Zeus is essentially porn), but I liked it. I'll spare you my "when myths stop changing they die" speech, but I'm generally okay with different versions (except Percy Jackson. Just NOPE.)

My favorite bit in the Disney movie is when Phil says something like, "Two Words: I. Am. Retired." and Hercules counts on his fingers all confused. In Greek, that phrase would in fact be two words. I'm not sure that Disney is that clever or if it's an accident, but I love it all the same.

117MickyFine
Ene 12, 10:02am

>115 BBGirl55: Good to know, Bryony.

>116 scaifea: That is funny. I noticed that at one point Meg says to Hades, "Nice shooting, Rex." and I caught the Latin joke. Go me!

118MickyFine
Ene 12, 10:08am

What's on the agenda: First day back to work. As of when I logged in, I've got 450ish email, over 400 customer suggestions through our catalogue and I'm sure at least that many in our OverDrive portal also. Yay? Happily there's tomato soup and grilled cheese on the meal plan for tonight.

What I'm reading: Still working on Not QUITE the Classics.

What we're watching: I got in one episode of Bridgerton yesterday and a couple of episodes of As Time Goes By.

119katiekrug
Ene 12, 10:23am

OOF to the email.

120London_StJ
Ene 12, 1:12pm

I'm several days behind, which makes me appreciate your journal updates even more. Sorry to hear of the work overload today. :-/

And thanks for the Fangs review - that's totally my style.

121foggidawn
Ene 12, 4:36pm

Happy thread -- I can hardly call it "new" at this point, though it's new to me! Sorry about the email overload. I started back to work yesterday, in my new role. Ugh.

122MickyFine
Ene 12, 9:56pm

>119 katiekrug: Honestly the email isn't that bad. I'm on a lot of mailing lists for book news that I can ignore when I'm away for longer stretches. It's responding to the customer suggestions that's going to take forever.

>120 London_StJ: It's a fun collection, London. I hope you like it.

>121 foggidawn: Sympathies on the new position. Hopefully it gets better.

123lauralkeet
Ene 13, 7:27am

>122 MickyFine: "Welcome back" to the salt mine, Micky. The email avalanche did sound awful at first until you qualified it by describing the mailing lists. It's liberating and even a little bit fun to delete huge tranches of email at all at once.

124MickyFine
Ene 13, 9:33am

>123 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. It is enjoyable to watch the number of unread messages in my inbox get more manageable.

125MickyFine
Ene 13, 9:41am

What's on the agenda: Work again. Likely spending the whole day wading through customer suggestions. Going to try doing yoga on my afternoon break today. While I've done my best to make my work from home set up as ergonomic as possible, it's not perfect and I could already feel my usual shoulder and back tension returning after one day so hopefully yoga will help a bit. We're currently getting rain that is supposed to turn to freezing rain and then snow so a post-work walk like yesterday isn't in the cards. Take out from an Indian restaurant tonight.

What I'm reading: Finished Not QUITE the Classics last night. I've got volume 11 of Giant Days lined up and as that won't take long I'll likely be on to Ash and Quill later today.

What we're watching: DC TV last night so an episode each of Supergirl, Flash, and Legends. Felicity from Arrow crossed over to Flash, which is always one of my fave things. Flash season 4 also drunk Barry at his bachelor party cracked me up. Squeezed in episode 4 of Bridgerton this morning before work.

126MickyFine
Ene 13, 12:25pm

Book 5



Not QUITE the Classics - Colin Mochrie

Colin Mochrie, probably best known as one of the regulars on Whose Line Is It Anyway, pens a collection of short stories. Using his roots in improv he uses the first and last lines of classic works and crafts a story for in between them. Largely humourous, the tales aren't earth-shatteringly original but they are entertaining. This book was a gift (based on publication date, probably from back in 2012) that I finally got around to. While not what I'd pick for myself, it wasn't a terrible read. Notes on individual stories below with the classic novel that inspired it in parentheses.

"A Study in Ha Ha" (A Study in Scarlet) - Sherlock Holmes tries his hand at inventing and performing stand up comedy.

"Moby: Toupee or Not Toupee" (Moby-Dick) - Ishmael is a mediocre, middle-aged actor who encounters a possibly sentient toupee that changes his career.

"Casey at the Bar" (Casey at the Bat) - Casey is a former goalie for the Maple Leafs who makes the rounds of the ladies at the bar (in verse).

"The Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Fourth" (1984) - A fantasy tale in which the owner of a magic shop is recruited by a rebel army as he's been foretold to be the one who will help them to take down the evil king.

"A Tale of Two Critters" (A Tale of Two Cities) - While never named, it's the narrative of Wile E. Coyote on his neverending quest to catch that dang Roadrunner.

"The Cat and My Dad" (The Cat in the Hat) - A boy, his Mom, and their cat attempt to survive the zombie apocalypse until his father comes home (in verse).

"Franken's Time" (Frankenstein) - A Swiss chicken farmer shares the tragic tale of his highly intelligent rooster pal, Franken.

"Waterhouse Five" (Slaughterhouse-Five) - A middle-aged man goes for his annual medical exam only to have his perpetual bad luck strike at the worst moment possible.

"'Twas Not Right Before Christmas" ('Twas the Night Before Christmas) - A bunch of characters from classic Christmas tales (print and film) all appear in a single living room and chaos ensues (in verse).

"The Grateful Gatsby" (The Great Gatsby) - A rich English lord attempts to save his family estate by marrying his daughter off but her prospective suitor is not what anyone would expect.

"Re: Becker" (Rebecca) - A man is named the sole inheritor of his friend's substantial estate but also tasked with a rather strange, and vengeful, request for how to dispose of his friend's ashes.

"Fahren Heights Bin 451" (Fahrenheit 451) - A noir title in which a private dick is hired by a gorgeous, rich dame to find her lost car keys.

127leahbird
Ene 13, 1:08pm

Mickey, have you and Mr Fine watched Doom Patrol? It's on HBO Max here. It's definitely NOT the family friendly kind like Supergirl et al but it's delightfully weird and has been making my week since I discovered it the other day.

128MickyFine
Ene 13, 1:17pm

>127 leahbird: Mr. Fine has it on disc but we haven't got to it yet. We have watched both seasons of Titans though and enjoyed the episode where Doom Patrol made an appearance so we're looking forward to it when we eventually get there.

129richardderus
Ene 13, 3:10pm

Hi!

Happy back-to-working, email-taming, and cheese-sammy-grilling.

May all the work be engrossing and fun, like the Colin Mochrie book, only paying not paid-for.

130MickyFine
Ene 13, 4:01pm

>129 richardderus: Happy to see you roving, RDear. *smooch* Wrapped in a thick sweater and a comforter and clicking away at my book ordering for work so it's par for the course around here. :)

131ChelleBearss
Ene 13, 6:30pm

Glad to hear that your back to work is still working from home! Do you have a way to stand during the work day at all? Laptop on the kitchen counter? I find standing at work helps with my tension sometimes

132scaifea
Ene 14, 8:37am

Aw, I love Colin Mochrie, but I really don't like short story collections, so I'll probably pass on that one.

Isn't Mark Sheppard in Doom Patrol...?

133MickyFine
Ene 14, 9:45am

>131 ChelleBearss: I suppose I could try it. But hauling all the equipment (I use my work laptop and personal laptop to replace my dual monitor setup at work) from the basement to the kitchen is a pain.

>132 scaifea: That's fair, Amber. And IMDb informs me that Mark Sheppard is indeed in Doom Patrol. If it's sff, I feel like he's first in line at the casting door.

134MickyFine
Ene 14, 9:53am

What's on the agenda: Still slogging through customer suggestions at work. Yesterday one of the platforms I use for checking up on titles (what's it about, who wrote it, any reviews, print status, etc) had a server outage so I didn't really tackle any requests for print books, just requests for other formats. I likely won't catch up until end of next week at the earliest. I'm supposed to do a pre- recorded radio interview tomorrow on our most popular 2020 titles so hopefully getting questions today so I can prep. Yoga in the afternoon yesterday did help so I'll be doing that again today. Chicken stir fry for supper tonight.

What I'm reading: Didn't get as much book time yesterday as I thought so just got through volume 11 of Giant Days. On to Ash and Quill today.

What we're watching: More Dollhouse for my TV night. Discovered that the actor who plays Jimmy Olsen on Supergirl shows up for an episode.

135MickyFine
Editado: Ene 15, 10:13am

What's on the agenda: Work will include slogging through yet more customer requests and doing the radio interview. Afterwards I'll go pick up Mr. Fine's daughter who's spending the weekend with us. Tacos for supper tonight.

What I'm reading: I'm about 60 pages into Ash and Quill, which is off to an action-packed start.

What we're watching: A few episodes of Supernatural last night. It's been a pretty serious stretch so far and I'm hoping for one of their lighter episodes soon. Watched episode 5 of Bridgerton this morning before work. *fans self*

136scaifea
Ene 15, 9:42am

Woot for tacos! That sounds amazing.

Where are you in SPN? (I'll look as see when the next silly episode will be for you.)

137katiekrug
Ene 15, 9:46am

>135 MickyFine: - Just wait for episode 6!

138MickyFine
Ene 15, 10:17am

>136 scaifea: Question is Amber: are you a hard taco or soft taco person? Personally I'm soft taco. As for SPN, we just finished episode 5 of season 5 (which admittedly had its entertaining moments with Paris Hilton beating up Dean) but it's been pretty dark so far this season.

>137 katiekrug: I'll prepare my fainting couch!

139ChelleBearss
Ene 15, 11:22am

Enjoy your taco night and your weekend visit with Mr Fine's daughter. We are having the same either tonight or tomorrow at Chloe's request (tacos, not a visitor ;p). We do a combo soft and cheesy hard shells. I will probably make a large taco salad for myself.

140katiekrug
Ene 15, 11:24am

I'm a hard shell girl myself, but I'll eat tacos in any form :)

Happy weekend, Micky!

141scaifea
Editado: Ene 15, 11:26am

>138 MickyFine: Ooof, yeah, season 5 is a doozie. Well, in three more episodes you'll get to one of my very favorites and it is hilarious and WILD. You will LOVE it. (5.8: Changing Channels)

I'm a crunchy taco gal, in generally, but chalupas are my real jam, which are sort of in between hard and soft?

142aktakukac
Ene 15, 11:40am

I'm fine with either soft or hard shells, though if I had to pick one I'd go with soft. Lately my husband has been eating more soft tacos at home, but whenever we go to his favorite Mexican restaurant (well, I should say when we used to go there) he always, ALWAYS orders six hard shell beef tacos.

143MickyFine
Ene 15, 12:41pm

>139 ChelleBearss: Isn't nice when the kiddos request something for dinner and save you from meal planning? ;) Enjoy your taco night!

>140 katiekrug: It's just the mess of hard shells I can't deal with, Katie. I still end up with salsa running down my wrist with soft tacos but at least the filling doesn't fall out in the process of eating it. Happy weekend to you too!

>141 scaifea: I'm really in the show mostly for the silly episodes, I'm not going to lie.

>142 aktakukac: That's funny, Rachel. When we go out for anything approximating Mexican, I'll usually go for quesadillas.

144katiekrug
Ene 15, 12:42pm

I like hard shells precisely because they fall apart and make a mini taco salad on my plate, so it's like two dinners in one ;-)

145MickyFine
Ene 15, 12:50pm

>143 MickyFine: Lol. That's a silver lining for sure.

146MickyFine
Ene 15, 12:55pm

Book 6



Giant Days Volume 11 - John Allison & Max Sarin

The girls attend a Halloween party where Daisy encounters her ex, Ingrid. Esther continues to flounder in her love life. Susan and McGraw continue to grow in their relationship. In a non-numbered issue included in this volume, Ed goes to Australia to meet his girlfriend's family over the Christmas holidays.

I swear every volume of this series could just have a chef's kiss as it's review.

Rating: ****

147foggidawn
Ene 15, 1:14pm

Just chiming in to say that I prefer soft shell tacos. :-)

148MickyFine
Ene 15, 1:20pm

>147 foggidawn: Go team soft taco!

149justchris
Ene 15, 1:26pm

>143 MickyFine: You eat tacos without making a mess? What is this super power? Soft or hard shell, it's all down my hand, wrist, chin, regardless. I like both styles in the appropriate venue. When I eat crappy Taco Bell takeout, it must be the hard shells of my childhood. When I grab tacos from the taco truck down the block from my dad's place, it must be the soft corn tortilla shells.

150richardderus
Ene 15, 1:31pm

>146 MickyFine: i'm not liiiiistennnnninnnnnnnggggggggggg

151MickyFine
Ene 15, 1:41pm

>149 justchris: Bahahaha! My husband is the wizard who can often eat a taco sans mess. While I can wrap soft taco so the filling stays in (most of the time) there's still salsa or juice from tomatoes running down my wrist by the end. And don't even get me started on why hamburgers are so dang messy...

>150 richardderus: *whispers* They're in Hoopla (which has the very convenient frame by frame reading feature that's awesome for phone reading) and a single volume is ~30 minutes of reading time... why not dip a toe?

152scaifea
Ene 15, 1:47pm

Taco Hip Tip That Has Changed My Life: Put an empty taco shell on your plate and eat your current taco *over* that empty shell. All the extra stuff drops right onto/into it, and bam: another taco. NB: This is a slightly dangerous practice that may lead to The Endless Taco Loop, but there are worse ways to die.

153MickyFine
Ene 15, 1:54pm

>152 scaifea: Endless Taco Loop sounds like a plot for TNG Season 8 (a part of Twitter I am always grateful exists).

154richardderus
Ene 15, 2:07pm

>151 MickyFine: This is you:

155MickyFine
Ene 15, 2:54pm

>154 richardderus: I do have a good cackle...

156quondame
Ene 15, 3:17pm

>138 MickyFine: What I miss are the deep fried shredded beef taco's with a bit of cheese inserted once they're out of the fryer. It's harder to find hard shell tacos in West LA - the fashion as moved onto soft at the better places. Of course there is always Taco Bell, etc, so harder shouldn't be confused with hard.

157MickyFine
Ene 15, 3:28pm

>156 quondame: That's a new one for me, Susan, but it's hard to get anything approaching authentic Mexican food this far north.

158MickyFine
Ene 16, 11:44am

What's on the agenda: Virtual church, a walk, I'll probably work on my crochet blanket, and I'm not sure what else. Mr. Fine already has spaghetti sauce in the slow cooker for tonight.

What I'm reading: Ash and Quill continues.

What we're watching: Three of us played some MarioKart and Mario Party last night. Successfully made it down a complete river route in Mario Party, which was fun.

159MickyFine
Editado: Ene 17, 9:01am

What's on the agenda: Cleaning day chez nous. Also bill and finance stuff. At some point taking Mr. Fine's daughter back to her Mom's with a detour to my Mom's house to pick up my stocking (I finished the cross-stitch Monday and she did final sewing assembly). Hopefully get some relaxation time in today too.

What I'm reading: Only managed a chapter in Ash and Quill yesterday but I'm near the halfway mark at least.

What we're watching: The first two episodes of WandaVision on Disney+. Really enjoying it so far and curious to see where it goes. No one had strong opinions on a movie afterward so I opted for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle for some action and laughs.

160scaifea
Ene 17, 9:37am

It's cleaning day here, too. Ugh.

I'm hesitant about WandaVision because they're two of my least favorite Marvel characters and the show looks...weird. But I'm sure we'll end up watching it because Tomma and Charlie are huge Marvel movie fans (as am I, except, well, I just don't like Scarlet Witch much).

161richardderus
Ene 17, 9:45am

Cleaning days are blecchhy things. I'm grateful the cleaning staff here come daily for trash and bathroom scrubs, as well as leaving the vacuuming for less-frequent intervals. (After I had a few words...dail vacuuming for crippled people?! nonsense.)

With deepest sympathy,
Not cleaning.

162MickyFine
Ene 17, 10:30am

>160 scaifea: It's weird in all the ways I love so far. So far they've been great homage episodes to I Love Lucy and Bewitched with a subtle underlying sense that something is wrong. But only hints what the something is. I don't think you need to be a Wanda or Vision fan to enjoy it.

>161 richardderus: I tried to convince Mr. Fine we could stay in bed and the house would clean itself but no dice. Enjoy your not cleaning day, Rdear. *smooch*

163richardderus
Ene 17, 10:34am

>162 MickyFine: Well, at least you had the sense to try...although once the Plague is handled, hiring a weekly cleaning service is a concept to be explored. Life-changing things, cleaning services.

164leahbird
Ene 18, 3:42am

>160 scaifea: >162 MickyFine: I really enjoyed the first episodes of WandaVision. They are one of my favorite couples in the MCU but I think it's more because I ADORE Paul Bettany and watching him be loving and tender makes my heart pitter patter. ;) I ended up rewatching their entire arch through the movies this weekend because I couldn't remember how it wrapped up and thought that might be important to the show at some point.

I'm looking forward to seeing where the weird goes. I love the Twilight Zone flavor with the Bewitched feel.

165MickyFine
Ene 18, 9:58am

>163 richardderus: I don't know about weekly but I am seriously considering bringing one in for a spring cleaning kind of thing (even if that ends up being in the fall).

>164 leahbird: I share your love for Paul Bettany, Leah. I've adored him since he played Chaucer in A Knight's Tale. Twilight Zone is the perfect way to describe the weird element of the show!

166MickyFine
Ene 18, 10:03am

What's on the agenda: Back to work where I'll continue to try to get out from under the massive number of customer suggestions. Maybe by the end of this week? Mr. Fine's end of shift is going to be unpredictable for the next few weeks so I'm in charge of the kitchen. Tonight is turkey soup from Christmas that we froze and biscuits (from scratch). Virtual craft circle for me tonight.

What I'm reading: Down to the last 100ish pages of Ash and Quill so hopefully I'll knock that out today.

What we're watching: Last night was the animated Mulan followed by a couple episodes of Castle.

167richardderus
Ene 18, 12:22pm

Yay for scratch biscuits! I've failed as often as I've succeeded with biscuit-baking. Love 'em though.

I hope you're savoring Rachel Caine with extra sharpness. It makes me so sad she's gone for good.

168MickyFine
Ene 18, 12:27pm

>167 richardderus: My go to recipe for biscuits is in The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook and they always come out delicious.

I had missed the announcement of Caine's death. That is sad and I'll make sure to savour the rest of the series all the more.

169justchris
Ene 19, 2:00am

>167 richardderus: I had not heard of Rachel Caine's passing either. I tried a couple of her Weather Warden books. They weren't to my taste, but I could certainly see why they are popular. I might like the Great Library books better. Who knows.

>168 MickyFine: Thanks for the recipe rec. I too am a lover of biscuits, yet they are not something I have mastered. Very hit or miss. Confession: my guilty nostalgic pleasure at rare intervals is the occasional Pillsbury flaky biscuit cannister. But I really do prefer lovely fluffy, flaky scratch biscuits. And still seeking the perfect biscuits and gravy.

170quondame
Ene 19, 2:23am

>169 justchris: Let me know if you find them - other than at Uncle Tom's Cafe in Bloomington IL. Those were so good.

171justchris
Ene 19, 4:12am

>170 quondame: Yeah, the last biscuits and gravy I had that blew me away was at the Delta Cafe in Portland OR. Back in the 1990s. Also, once on a fire in southern California--that was tasty too.

172MickyFine
Ene 19, 10:08am

>169 justchris: I'm still working to perfect the recipe included there. Living where I do (it can be pretty dry), I still haven't quite found the perfect milk amount so that they hold together a little bit more. They taste delicious though - Julia Child would heartily approve of all the butter. ;)

173MickyFine
Editado: Ene 19, 1:53pm

What's on the agenda: Work is still all customer requests. Also have my first solo meeting with my manager since layoff so that should be an interesting conversation. Today's yoga challenge is 40 minutes so trying to figure out when to squeeze it in. Take out tonight and it's Mr. Fine's turn to pick. Not sure what he's going to opt for yet.

What I'm reading: I've got about 30 pages left in Ash and Quill and then I'll start my re-read of Emma.

What we're watching: Dollhouse last night to ensure we get through the last chunk of episodes before I return the season to the library later this week.

174MickyFine
Ene 19, 1:53pm

Mr. Fine has decided on the mac n cheese place. Yippee!

175katiekrug
Ene 19, 2:16pm

176richardderus
Ene 19, 3:08pm

>168 MickyFine:, >169 justchris: Oh dear, and here's me blurting it out, sorry y'all.

>174 MickyFine: Ooh! Yes indeedy do, good choice Sir Fine!

177MickyFine
Ene 19, 3:21pm

>175 katiekrug:


>176 richardderus: I picked a good one. He keeps me fed with tasty things. :)

178MickyFine
Editado: Ene 20, 8:43pm

Book 7



Ash and Quill - Rachel Caine

Book 3 in The Great Library series finds our protagonists in the Burner capital of Philadelphia. As they attempt to figure out how to get out alive from this city under siege, they must also determine how to take on the Library and its all-powerful Archivist.

The action in this entry of the series is pretty constant and the characters' sense of being trapped in a terrible situation is pervasive throughout, which made this a slower read for me, I think. There is some exploration of Morgan's powers and her relationship with Jess and hints of the mental and emotional ramifications of everything that's happened thus far for all the characters so it's not all flash and bang. The build up to the denouement of this novel is pretty easy to see coming but I am very curious to see the ramifications in the next book. Fans of the series will be pleased with this book as well.

Rating: ****

179curioussquared
Ene 19, 3:44pm

>174 MickyFine: "the mac n cheese place" -- I feel like this is a category of restaurant I am missing in my life. Do they only serve varieties of mac n cheese?

180MickyFine
Ene 19, 3:46pm

>179 curioussquared: You've got it, Natalie. Just mac n cheese with a wide range of topping options - although they recently added hot pretzels to their appetizer menu, which are also amazing. *drools*

181curioussquared
Ene 19, 4:44pm

>180 MickyFine: OK yes this is definitely missing in my life... just gonna go daydream about carbs and cheese....

182foggidawn
Ene 19, 4:46pm

Now I'm hungry for mac & cheese.

183quondame
Ene 19, 4:49pm

If I grate the cheese, it will be mine! Now, do I feel like grating the cheese... Maybe later.

184MickyFine
Ene 19, 5:29pm

>181 curioussquared: Two of my favourite food groups!

>182 foggidawn: You're welcome?

>183 quondame: Mmm, cheese.

185aktakukac
Ene 19, 5:45pm

I wish my toddler liked mac and cheese. On the other hand, it's probably a good thing he doesn't, because we'd have it too often. Sounds like Mr. Fine made an excellent choice for your supper tonight!

186MickyFine
Ene 19, 5:56pm

>185 aktakukac: It's definitely what I need after work today. It's been a day.

187richardderus
Ene 19, 7:31pm

Since macaroni with b&eactue;chamel and cheese is what we're talking about, permaybehaps you'd enjoy this *squeaky*white gayboy's history of the Mother Sauce, dropped today: Tasting History with Max Miller.

188ChelleBearss
Ene 19, 8:38pm

>168 MickyFine: What?! I missed her passing as well. I really loved the books of hers that I have read.

189katiekrug
Ene 20, 8:00am

So what kind of mac and cheese did you end up ordering, Micky? Inquiring minds and all that.....

190MickyFine
Editado: Ene 20, 10:22am

>187 richardderus: Thanks, Richard.

>188 ChelleBearss: Always sad when you realize there will never be more books from an awesome author.

>189 katiekrug: I went with their plain Jane mac n cheese and it was delicious. Mr. Fine went for his favourite with Montreal smoked meat on top. The portions are large enough I'll be having leftovers for lunch today. :)

191MickyFine
Ene 20, 10:36am

What's on the agenda: Work continues to be mostly customer suggestions. I have two virtual meetings today too so those will break up the day a bit. Perogies, turkey sausage, and some form of vegetable for supper tonight. Grocery shopping trip after dinner.

What I'm reading: Finished the first five chapters of Emma yesterday and am enjoying it as much as ever.

What we're watching: Episode each of Arrow, Supergirl, Flash, and Brooklyn 99.

192richardderus
Ene 20, 10:56am

Dilled roasted swiss chard? My favorite with pierogies and sausage.

Happy less-stress-from-the-South day.

193MickyFine
Ene 20, 1:54pm

>192 richardderus: I don't think I've ever had swiss chard in my life.

And thank goodness for less stress from across the border. So happy for y'all today.

194justchris
Ene 20, 2:00pm

>192 richardderus: Mmmmm. Swiss chard. One of my favorite greens, along with spinach and lacinato kale.

195MickyFine
Ene 20, 3:22pm

Reading Emma today and had the passing thought that Harriet Smith is a bit of a peek of what Mrs. Bennet may have been like when she was young. Pretty, not that bright, and highly influenced by those around her.

196katiekrug
Ene 20, 4:04pm

Veg suggestion: cabbage cooked in pan used for the sausage, so you get the yummy brown bits at the bottom.

Plain Jane mac-and-cheese is my FAVE!

197MickyFine
Ene 20, 4:24pm

>196 katiekrug: Huh. I don't think I've bought cabbage since we got married but that does sound pretty tasty. Because it's grocery day (and we go every other week) we're pretty low on fresh veg. It'll likely be frozen peas, which I love anyway.

Plain is very delicious - this place does the panko topping, which I'm not always wild about but theirs is good.

198richardderus
Ene 20, 8:05pm

Like >194 justchris: said...a deeply favorite-able veggie. And >196 katiekrug: has the right idea!

199bell7
Ene 20, 8:34pm

Glad to see you're continuing to enjoy the Great Library series. One quibble... wasn't it set in Philadelphia? I could be misremembering, it's been a long week already, though I didn't have 400+ emails to come back to.

I like your thought of Harriet Smith/Mrs. Bennet.

200MickyFine
Ene 20, 8:44pm

>199 bell7: Yup, you're right. I've corrected my review.

201justchris
Ene 21, 12:23am

>195 MickyFine: Excellent observation! Who knew the books could be understood as before/after character studies?

202BekkaJo
Ene 21, 2:58am

It's been so long since I read Emma - and the rest of Austen tbh, you are tempting me with a re-read...

203MickyFine
Ene 21, 10:28am

>201 justchris: The copies I'm reading were the ones I used for a course on Austen during my undergrad so I've got marginalia in them and it puts my brain in that more analytical space sometimes.

>202 BekkaJo: Do it! Time with Austen is always time well spent, IMO.

204MickyFine
Ene 21, 10:38am

What's on the agenda: Work is still all customer suggestions all the time. I'm almost through suggestions made in December. The numbers haven't dropped significantly (I've gone from 420ish to 350) but there's always new requests being submitted while I work on the backlog so it takes a while. Maybe next week I might be back on top of them. I've got a couple hours this afternoon blocked off for a virtual meeting with a student from my library school. They do an event twice a year where alumni sign up to meet with a student to discuss their job - gives students a better sense of the day to day and an idea of if a position is for them and how to try and get into that part of the field. It's usually pretty fun. Picking up some holds for Mr. Fine after work as well as part of a gift I opted to get him for Valentine's Day (flannel pj pants). I've got plots on turning them into a bouquet with chocolate peanut fingers in the centre, we'll see if I can execute it. Pre-made manicotti from Costco plus salad for dinner tonight.

What I'm reading: Emma is still on the go. Also going to put in a plug for the rebooted Witch, Please podcast. This week's episode using the lens of disability studies while reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was fascinating stuff, at least for this former English major.

What we're watching: Finished season one of Dollhouse including the unaired episode, Epitaph One, which Mr. Fine found just as strange an experience as I did when I watched it on Netflix the first time. Waiting on my hold for season 2 so we'll be on to other things for next week at least.

205justchris
Ene 22, 12:45am

>204 MickyFine: That podcast sounds amazing! Will def lookitup.

206MickyFine
Ene 22, 1:23pm

>205 justchris: Excellent. Always happy to introduce new people to it.

207MickyFine
Editado: Ene 22, 1:27pm

What's on the agenda: Dove straight into work this morning so update is a little late. Had to deal with spreadsheet for our print vendor and then back to customer suggestions. Meeting this afternoon will break up the day a bit. Butter chicken on the meal plan tonight.

What I'm reading: Still enjoying Emma (she's about to inform Harriet about their mistake with Mr. Elton). It's been a while since I've done a bunch of re-reading and I forgot how enjoyable it is.

What we're watching: Few episodes of Supernatural including the source of some of my favourite gifs from the show. As a former Grey's Anatomy fan, the satire of that genre was particularly on point.




208leahbird
Ene 22, 4:50pm

>190 MickyFine: I have had Montreal smoked meat exactly twice when I was in Montreal years ago and I still dream about it. God it was the best sandwich I've ever had...

209MickyFine
Ene 22, 6:01pm

>208 leahbird: It's good stuff. Even being halfway across the country from the source, we can get it out here - you can buy a box of 6 or 8 vacuum packed pouches of it at Costco. :)

210leahbird
Ene 23, 4:30am

>209 MickyFine: Trying to remain reasonable and not ask you to pop some in the mail to me. 🤣

211scaifea
Ene 23, 9:53am

>207 MickyFine: WOOT! I knew you'd love that episode!! So, so good.

212MickyFine
Ene 23, 1:05pm

>210 leahbird: Snort.

>211 scaifea: The episode before that where Dean was 50 years older was also pretty fun.

213MickyFine
Ene 23, 1:09pm

What's on the agenda: Virtual church this morning. Probably clear the driveway from the bit of snow we got over night and since it's -20C (-4F) that might be for outdoor time today rather than going for a walk. There will also be some crochet and reading time today. Roast chicken with all the fixings tonight.

What I'm reading: Into volume 2 of Emma and Jane Fairfax has just arrived.

What we're watching: Last night was the newest episode of WandaVision. Spent the rest of the evening assembling Lego.

214humouress
Ene 24, 3:37am

>66 ChelleBearss: I'm not sure I qualify as an adult because I still haven't got a handle on the meal planning thing.

I think I'm going to come to this thread for menu ideas ...

215MickyFine
Ene 24, 9:23am

>214 humouress: Aww thanks. Amber also talks about some tasty meal plans on her thread if you need more inspiration, Nina.

216MickyFine
Ene 24, 9:29am

What's on the agenda: Cleaning day and bill stuff before we get to do anything fun. Have to peek outside to see whether the forecasted flurries were substantial enough to require more shoveling. Then maybe some board or video game time with Mr. Fine. Plan is to put turkey chili in the slow cooker this morning for supper tonight. Planning to make cornmeal muffins to go with it.

What I'm reading: Savouring Emma continues. Hopefully I'll get a good chunk of it read today.

What we're watching: My pick was the 1996 Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow and Mr. Fine chose Jumanji: The Next Level. Highly enjoyed both.

217scaifea
Ene 24, 9:38am

>215 MickyFine: And Mamie, too. I spend most of my LT time wishing I were going to Mamie's for dinner.

>216 MickyFine: Wait, scratch that. Now I want to go to the Fines' house for dinner...

218humouress
Ene 24, 9:56am

>215 MickyFine: >217 scaifea: And Richard comes up with some good ones occasionally though his are a bit cheffy for my talents. I'll try to check them all out, though they're all fast-moving threads. Probably because of the dinner menu ...

219MickyFine
Ene 25, 9:52am

>217 scaifea: It was very tasty, Amber. I don't blame you. The muffins were perfect, if I say so myself.

>218 humouress: I am a spectacularly lazy cook, so I hear you, Nina.

220MickyFine
Ene 25, 9:57am

What's on the agenda: Back to the work week grind. Hoping that I will (finally) catch up on customer suggestions this week but we'll see how it goes. I take my "coffee breaks" in a half hour chunk in the afternoons and for today I need to pop out to the pet supply place to pick up some food for the kitties. Quiche for dinner for the humans tonight (and I'm excited about it).

What I'm reading: Still meandering through Emma and nearly at the end of volume two.

What we're watching: With the drop in temperature this weekend, we spent more time cocooned on the couch so we watched the animated Tarzan, the live-action Mulan (pretty but otherwise meh), and the last two episodes of series two of As Time Goes By.

221curioussquared
Ene 25, 12:52pm

>219 MickyFine: "Spectacularly lazy cook" -- hey, that's me! I love my crockpot and instant pot and mostly select recipes that have an optimal ratio of deliciousness to effort :)

222MickyFine
Ene 25, 3:10pm

>221 curioussquared: Thankfully Mr. Fine enjoys cooking and usually takes the lead in the kitchen so my laziness isn't a hindrance to tastiness around here.

223richardderus
Ene 25, 3:19pm

Quiche! Oh my yes, quiche is always welcome. Perfect with a bitter-greens salad to cut the richness, for all of me.

Good luck with the catch-up plan! I hope it goes even faster than you hope it will.

224lkernagh
Ene 25, 10:44pm

>125 MickyFine: - "While I've done my best to make my work from home set up as ergonomic as possible, it's not perfect" I hear you! I am just thankful that I have a bookshelf at just the right height to use as my "stand up ledge" when I need to give myself a break from sitting.

Technology has been both a blessing and a curse for my work from home. I see you have been having your own server challenges.

We have not had tacos in like, forever! Perfect 'new' meal option! Thanks Micky! (and before I forget, I am a hard shell girl).

I was going to ask how the weather was, but I saw your mention of -20'C on Saturday. Brrrr!!!!

Good luck with your continued work on the customer suggestions. I now have a whole new appreciation for the volume of requests that libraries receive and the work to process them.

Quiche is my go-to meal plan when I have veggies I need to use up in the fridge. It is amazing what can be made into a quiche. ;-0

225justchris
Ene 26, 1:26am

>221 curioussquared: I keep collecting InstantPot cookbooks. Though today at the grocery store I succumbed to America's Test Kitchen special issue of cast iron skillet recipes. I hear you on make the cooking easy. But then, I sometimes love the large production specials. It's like a whole Broadway musical in my kitchen.

>224 lkernagh: I kinda dread getting a job because I *don't* have anything remotely ergonomic at home. I just had a second interview last week and a request for my references today, so it's looking really promising.

This is a job that can easily be done remotely, and the employer has made it clear that nonessential positions like this will be WAH until at least July 1. So I may need to figure out something soon in my limited space.

I live in a 1-bedroom condo, and my home office consists of a desk armoire that is already quite crowded with my laser printer and tray stack and document holder and desk light. Barely room to squeeze my laptop in there. No second monitor. And no ergonomic chair. But hey, good problem to maybe have, after a year of unemployment.

>222 MickyFine: Glad you got someone to cook for you. Definitely a perk! Good cooks appreciate appreciative audiences.

226MickyFine
Ene 26, 10:37am

>223 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. Unfortunately I got a couple requests for assistance from other departments/branches yesterday morning that pushed back working on customer suggestions. So we'll see how the rest of the week goes.

>224 lkernagh: Thanks for popping by, Lori. And happy to give you menu inspiration.

>225 justchris: Hope if WFH life becomes your reality you're able to carve out a space that's comfortable for you, Chris.

227MickyFine
Ene 26, 11:05am

What's on the agenda: Dealing with two short turnaround requests from other departments/branches. Both are time consuming so we'll see if I put any dent in customer requests today at all. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and peas on the meal plan tonight.

What I'm reading: The end of Emma is in sight. They've just completed the outing to Box Hill.

What we're watching: Decided to start Fringe last night and watched the pilot (a double-length episode). This will be a rewatch for me and mostly new for Mr. Fine who's only seen a handful of episodes.

228katiekrug
Ene 26, 11:36am

229richardderus
Ene 26, 11:41am

>227 MickyFine: Enjoy re-viewing Fringe, you two, and the meatloaf meal sounds perfect for a winter's night.

230SandyAMcPherson
Ene 26, 11:53am

Hi Micky
>2 MickyFine: Just cruising some threads to get caught up. I like your rating descriptions!

I like the look of Paper and Fire, (Rachel Caine). That's a new author to me.

231MickyFine
Ene 26, 12:11pm

>228 katiekrug: I love that scene so much. Jeremy Northam in the 1996 version does such a great job of being disappointed and still in love at the same time.

>229 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. We're nerds with a TV schedule so we've got a handful of shows going on at the same time. :)

>230 SandyAMcPherson: As Richard informed me, she passed away towards the end of 2020 so she's one whose bibliography will grow no longer. The Great Library series begins with Ink and Bone and if you're in the mood for fantasy with a very bookish angle, I think you'll like it.

232katiekrug
Ene 26, 12:36pm

>231 MickyFine: - I haven't actually seen the version with Jonny Lee Miller that I posted, it was just the first gif that came up when I searched. I do love it with Northam. I found the most recent adaptation didn't make that scene as striking to me, but my BFF, with whom I saw it, had an interesting theory about it which now I can't remember :-/ Time for a re-watch!

233MickyFine
Ene 26, 12:46pm

>232 katiekrug: I own both the Gwyneth and Romola versions and love them in different ways. The latter, as a miniseries, has more space to give all the characters so you get more of Mr. Woodhouse's hypochondria (played to perfection by Michael Gambon) and better glimpses at Frank and Jane. They also pay more attention to the parallels between Emma, Frank, and Jane and the implications of losing their mothers young had on all their lives.

I liked but didn't love the newest version. I don't regret seeing it in theatre and it has some nice unique moments (the realities of living with servants cropped up way more) but the Mr. Knightley wasn't to my tastes.

234katiekrug
Ene 26, 12:58pm

I started the Romola series and got side-tracked. I'm sure I'll get through it at some point. I do love the Gwyneth version, too. The most recent one was good for talking about, I think, but I agree, I wasn't crazy about Knightley in that one, though he did grow on me a bit as the film went on.

235MickyFine
Ene 26, 1:02pm

>234 katiekrug: I do love this gif of him though:

236SandyAMcPherson
Ene 26, 1:11pm

>231 MickyFine: Thanks for pointing me to Ink and Bone. I added this series to my TBR list!

237scaifea
Ene 26, 1:12pm

Oooh, meatloaf, potatoes, and peas sounds so good!

>235 MickyFine: Oh, hello.

238quondame
Ene 26, 1:25pm

>231 MickyFine: >236 SandyAMcPherson: Ink and Bone keeps going on and off my Library hold lists as I try to get through books that are due in

239MickyFine
Editado: Ene 26, 1:26pm

>236 SandyAMcPherson: Happy to help.

>237 scaifea: Definitely comfort food for me. Sharing Johnny Flynn's IMDb page if you want to follow up that hello. ;)

>238 quondame: I know the feeling, Susan.

240PaulCranswick
Ene 26, 8:33pm

Your thread is buzzing this year, Micky and great to see.

>227 MickyFine: Meatloaf, mash and peas does sound like hearty fayre. Belle, my youngest won't eat peas for love nor money. Really don't understand it.

241MickyFine
Ene 27, 10:32am

>240 PaulCranswick: I love peas - fresh or cooked from frozen. Maybe her tastes will change as she gets older? I used to hate avocado and while it's still not a favourite with me, I don't mind it as a garnish.

242richardderus
Ene 27, 10:48am

>241 MickyFine: If I give you all my peas for the rest of my life, will you give me all your avocadoes? I adore them and couldn't care less if I never eat another pea.

243foggidawn
Ene 27, 10:51am

My housemate doesn't like peas. He also doesn't care much for most kinds of fruit. This baffles me, as he is a vegetarian, and it seems like he is limiting his options considerably.

I, on the other hand, like most things, though you can all have my okra and lima beans.

244curioussquared
Ene 27, 10:55am

I like peas but don't consider them a favorite or anything, but I'm surprised at how divisive they are! They seem so inoffensive to me.

I didn't like broccoli, tomatoes, or brussels sprouts as a kid but love all of them now. I think the only thing I've consistently disliked is bananas.

245MickyFine
Ene 27, 10:58am

What's on the agenda: Touch wood that other than a meeting with my immediate work group I'll spend the whole day focusing on what I want to do today (mostly customer suggestions, unsurprisingly). Thinking I might finally take my watch in for a battery replacement and crystal repair because I think checking the time on my phone is one of the culprits of me not sticking to my no screen time for an hour before bed rule. Take out for tonight is my choice and I have no clue yet.

What I'm reading: Finished Emma last night and sped through a volume of Giant Days this morning (Mr. Fine was on early shift so I had two hours before work). I'll be on to the cozy mystery Read It and Weep later today.

What we're watching: An episode each of Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow, and Brooklyn 99. The last was the episode with Jake and Amy's honeymoon and I love that one so much, particularly all the ridiculous shirts Holt wears.

246MickyFine
Ene 27, 11:10am

>242 richardderus: See but I like the occasional avocado now, Richard, so I can't take that deal. ;)

>243 foggidawn: Mr. Fine also hates almost all fruit, which baffles me because I'll take fruit over veg nine times out of ten. As for your veggie dislikes, I don't think I've ever had okra and lima beans are fine but not a staple in my kitchen.

>244 curioussquared: Right? I'm surprised by it too, Natalie. My ultimate hated food is mushroom. Doesn't matter whether they're fresh or cooked, they make me literally gag in dislike.

247MickyFine
Editado: Ene 27, 11:27am

Book 8



Emma - Jane Austen (re-read)

Providing any kind of review Austen's novels is basically beyond me now, I've been reading and loving them so long. I know Emma is often the heroine that rubs readers the wrong way as she is a spectacular snob and an obvious product of the insanely strict class structures of England in the Regency era. But I still love her for all her foibles and her complete inability to read the people around her and the rewarding experience of watching her grow and know herself better. Mr. Knightley is also pretty darn swoony although the older I get the more the age gap bothers me (I say as someone 8 years younger than her husband), especially towards the end when he says he must have loved her unconsciously since she was 13 - ick! On the other hand, I find greater delight every time I get to one of Miss Bates' winding passages of near stream of consciousness blather - comedy gold I tell you. Always and forever a favourite.

Rating: *****

A note on the cover: I hate the cover of the edition I have. I bought it for a course on Austen in undergrad as I only had the omnibus edition with all six novels in it at the time and didn't want to haul that around for a whole term. I really need to invest in some prettier editions of these novels seeing as Austen is my favourite author.

248MickyFine
Ene 27, 11:41am

Book 9

.

Giant Days Volume 12 - John Allison & Max Sarin

Ed struggles with the ending of the honeymoon phase of his relationship with Nina. The girls team up to track down a shop lifter at the comics shop where Esther works. Daisy learns to drive. The girls attend McGraw's brother's wedding.

Cozy and lovely to dive into as always.

Rating: ****

249katiekrug
Ene 27, 12:12pm

I also love that episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and for the exact same reason :)

I will eat most veg, though I try to avoid okra. I do love lima beans, though! The Wayne is pickier than I am about vegetables - when we first met, he'd only eat carrots or green beans. He's since become a bit more flexible. And his pickiness only extends to cooked vegetables, he'll eat almost anything raw. He's also not a big fruit-eater. Weird, I tell you.

250curioussquared
Ene 27, 1:47pm

>247 MickyFine: Re: Austen covers, Tim bought me this set a few years ago for my birthday, and I love them and they are on display in our living room. I remember them being a little cheaper when we purchased: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/529573/jane-austen-the-complete-works-7...

251MickyFine
Ene 27, 3:23pm

>249 katiekrug: Which shirt is your favourite?

>250 curioussquared: Those are pretty. Not sure if I want hardcover or paperback but I'll keep those in mind.

252katiekrug
Editado: Ene 27, 4:37pm

>251 MickyFine: - Hands-down, the pineapple in a thong with "Slut" printed on it.

253MickyFine
Ene 27, 4:29pm

>252 katiekrug: I love that one too! My second favourite (and shirt I'd actually wear) is "What's up, beaches?"

254katiekrug
Ene 27, 4:37pm

>253 MickyFine: - That one is probably tied with 1 Tequila, 1 Tequila, 3 Tequila FLOOR for me :)

255MickyFine
Editado: Ene 28, 11:12am

What's on the agenda: Work is still the same. Fish, rice, and veggies for dinner.

What I'm reading: Made a good dent in Read It and Weep after only an hour-ish of reading time yesterday so might power through that today.

What we're watching: First two episodes of Outlander last night.

256katiekrug
Ene 28, 11:10am

I wish The Wayne liked fish. I used to just get it when we went out to scratch my itch for it, but since we're not going out... And I can't imagine delivery fish is all that good :-P

257MickyFine
Ene 28, 11:14am

>256 katiekrug: Bummer he's not a fan.

Mr. Fine being from Newfoundland means he's more of a fish snob - most of what we get here has been frozen at some point. We got some frozen cod filets from Costco and he doesn't mind how I cook them but even I'll admit it's not as good as the fresh stuff you can get on the coast. Or Hawaii... *drools at memory of fish dinners in Maui*

258scaifea
Ene 28, 11:17am

*HUGS*

That is all.

259MickyFine
Editado: Ene 28, 11:21am

>258 scaifea: Aww. Hugs for you too! (Also the second Thief book is still on my Want to Read list so I'm not a lost cause ;) ).

260katiekrug
Ene 28, 11:22am

>257 MickyFine: - I was a fish snob when I lived in Texas. Yes, there's a coast there, but I wouldn't eat anything pulled out of the Gulf near there :)

Very happy to be back on a real coast!

261MickyFine
Ene 28, 11:29am

>260 katiekrug: Living in a landlocked province fish snobbery isn't a thing for me but I do feel like I have to eat lots of it when I'm in places where it's caught fresh that day.

262scaifea
Ene 28, 11:30am

>260 katiekrug: >261 MickyFine: I, too, am a fish snob: If it's not in stick or square form, I'm not interested.

263katiekrug
Ene 28, 11:35am

>261 MickyFine: - Yep, totally get that. While in Texas, I looked forward to summer visits to Cape Cod where I would stuff myself, as if I could save it up for the year...

>262 scaifea: - Snork. I do like me some crunchy fish products, too, not gonna lie...

264aktakukac
Ene 28, 11:39am

I wish I liked fish, but I got sick from it when I was very young and haven't been able to eat it since. I have tried different types of fish cooked in a variety of ways, and I just can't do it. My husband, one of the pickiest eaters on the planet, LOVES it. I refuse to buy or cook it, so he used to get it on Fridays during Lent and would go to a fish fry occasionally. Thankfully, my son seems to like it so far too.

265richardderus
Ene 28, 11:40am

I used to go to the Fulton Fish Market when I lived in Manhattan to pick up the unsolds for cheap. (Under the table, too.) But the way the industry's gone, I think everything one can get is iced to a fare-thee-well so as to pass regulatory muster.

And now my system, poor overloaded thing, has decided fish does NOT agree with me! It's a genuine loss. No more cod cheeks...*sob*

266MickyFine
Ene 28, 11:45am

And since I'm watching Outlander again how about a Jamie Fraser gif for every episode I watch? ;)

Season 1 Episode 1


Season 1 Episode 2

267katiekrug
Ene 28, 11:48am

He's no Simon Hastings, but I wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating crackers.

268richardderus
Ene 28, 12:12pm

>267 katiekrug: I'll supply the crackers if he'll get into the bed.

269jnwelch
Editado: Ene 28, 1:21pm

I liked the Jonnie Lee Miller Emma, but I liked the newer Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen's Gambit) one even more.



Emma is not one of my regular re-reads because it's hard for me to patiently get through her overconfident learning period. P &P and Persuasion are my top two for that.

270MickyFine
Editado: Ene 28, 1:27pm

>262 scaifea: Lol. I hear you, Amber. During undergrad my part-time job was a cashier in a grocery store. Every spring/summer there would be a week where we'd have a special on BC salmon that had been gutted but were otherwise whole and in a plastic bag. It was not a fun week at work and heaven help you if the metal of the scanner snagged the bag and you got fish juice on your till. The smell was highly unpleasant. So I too don't like my fish if it still looks like a fish. :P

>263 katiekrug: *fist bump*

>264 aktakukac: Ah yes, bad food experiences can be a major factor in dislikes.

>265 richardderus: Sorry your system hates something you love, Rdear. I feel like you would have got delight out of my husband trying to explain to me what part of a fish was it's cheeks and why people eat them.

>267 katiekrug: Ha!

>268 richardderus: This delights me no end.

>269 jnwelch: P&P sits alone at the top of my Austen pyramid but all the books are really beloved.

271foggidawn
Ene 28, 1:58pm

Fish is okay, but I'm generally not confident in my ability to cook it correctly (I've lived lots of places, most of them landlocked) -- unless it's in Amber's preferred form of sticks or planks! :-D Mom has a really good salmon recipe that I would like to try, but my vegetarian roommate is not a pescatarian, so opportunities to practice cooking fish are limited.

272katiekrug
Editado: Ene 28, 2:01pm



Saw this on Twitter today and it made me think of this thread convo :)

273MickyFine
Ene 28, 2:07pm

>271 foggidawn: Here's what I do with unbreaded frozen fish (usually cod or halibut but works well for most white fish):

Coat frozen filets with salt, garlic powder, and dried dill on both sides. Melt a tbsp or so of butter in a pan. Add the filets, set stove to medium heat, and cover, checking on them occasionally and flipping them at least once. Serve when most of the water has been reduced. A word to the wise, use a medium sized pan if you're only cooking 1-2 pieces as otherwise the water will disappear before your fish has cooked completely.

>272 katiekrug: Snort.

274norabelle414
Ene 28, 2:41pm

I like to do the "tin foil pouch" method for cooking fish. Put a fat slice of onion and a fat slice of lemon on a piece of tin foil, put the fish on top, put an ungodly amount of butter on top of that, sprinkle some seasoning, wrap it up and put it in the oven.

275richardderus
Ene 28, 2:47pm

Alone among humanity, I've always cooked frozen-when-it-gets-home fresh fish in the washdisher. Take the tupperware out the freezer. Put in the condiments. Seal the lid, shove it on the top rack when the dry cycle starts.

Never fails.

276MickyFine
Ene 28, 3:45pm

>274 norabelle414: Sounds pretty foolproof, Foggi. :)

>275 richardderus: The mind boggles. When and how did you discover this method?

277richardderus
Ene 28, 4:23pm

I lived with someone who *hated* the smell of fish and it occurred to me that this wouldn't stink the place up when, one bright day, he whined about burning his itty finny-winnys on the glasses from the washdisher.

Not the longest of my relationships.

278MickyFine
Ene 28, 5:14pm

>277 richardderus: Well at least something cool came of the relationship.

279MickyFine
Ene 29, 9:35am

What's on the agenda: Hoping this morning isn't a sign of how the rest of the day is going to go. Mr. Fine is on early shift so after dropping him off at the bus, I came home, dropped my stuff inside, pulled on my snow pants, and went out to shovel our driveway. It's a little after 6 AM. Finish shoveling and suddenly the keypad for our garage door refuses to work (possibly because of cold as it's -20C this morning). And I'd left both my phone and my keys inside *facepalm*. It's super early so now I'm left waiting and watching for lights to go on at either of the neighbours' houses so I feel slightly less terrible for ringing their doorbell so early. Finally lights go on, I ring, neighbor's teenage daughter looks super sleepy, I feel terrible but manage to borrow phone to call my parents who have a spare and live super close. Dad comes to the rescue! Back inside a little after 7 and glad that I put those snow pants on because things could have been far worse. Also have learned never to leave house without keys or phone when home alone. After all that I still have to work (wah!). Picking up Mr. Fine's daughter after work for the weekend. Chicken stir fry for supper.

What I'm reading: Still into Read It and Weep and at nearly the halfway mark we're finally seeing some peril for a character but no murder yet.

What we're watching: Couple episodes of Supernatural and one of Brooklyn 99 last might.

280BekkaJo
Ene 29, 9:48am

Oh no! Glad you got in reasonably quickly - that sounds cold, embarrassing and unpleasant.

Though it does remind me of the phone call I got when on a bus to my hen do in the UK (i.e on a completely different island), to learn that hubby had chased after the postman to return a wrongly delivered parcel. And the door closed behind him and locked. Apart from the landlord I had the only other key.

And he was only wearing a short-ish dressing gown and no pants...

281scaifea
Ene 29, 9:53am

Ooof. I've been in the opposite situation before: power out with car in garage and no way to open garage door without powered opener. Yoicks.

282curioussquared
Ene 29, 10:29am

>279 MickyFine: oh no!! Glad you got inside. I've been locked out a few times by forgetting to bring my keys to work when I commuted by bus -- didn't need them to drive and our door locks from the inside without them, so came home to the unpleasant realization that I didn't have them. But never in such cold weather!

283foggidawn
Ene 29, 11:40am

>279 MickyFine: Oh no! Locking myself out of my house is a worry of mine. There's only one way I could possibly do it (most of the locks are deadbolts that have to be turned with a key), but the fact that I know exactly how it *could* happen is a sign of how much time I've spent thinking about the issue. Glad you were able to get help relatively quickly.

284katiekrug
Ene 29, 12:06pm

>279 MickyFine: - Oh, yikes!

When I was interning in DC in college, one of my bosses asked me to house-sit while he and his wife went to Paris for their anniversary. I was happy to do it - a whole house to myself! I was living in a 2-bedroom apartment with three other girls for the semester... My first day there, I managed to lock myself out. So embarrassing. Luckily, it was springtime, so no cold to worry about but I had to wait for their neighbor to get home. The neighbor had a spare key, but my boss hadn't mentioned to her that I'd be house-sitting, so there was a flurry of phone calls trying to get in touch with him, despite me explaining that they were probably in the air... Anyway, she finally let me in, and I showed her my ID and work badge to prove that I worked at the same place as he did, and the printed out instructions addressed to me about watering plants, etc.

Sorry, long boring story :) TL:DR - I sympathize!

285lauralkeet
Ene 29, 2:11pm

Sorry to hear about your morning misadventure.

Several years ago a work colleague managed to drive to work without her car keys. She started the car, which had a keyless ignition. She then got out of the car for some reason (maybe she'd forgotten something), returned to the car without her keys, and drove non-stop to the office. Only later did she realize she couldn't get home without help. Ack!

The keyless ignition was a new thing at the time and there apparently was no warning of her mistake. Now they're more common and my car screams at me if the keys aren't inside.

So that's my long, boring story.

286scaifea
Ene 29, 2:14pm

>285 lauralkeet: Oh, wow. I am now glad that they've added warnings against that because it would probably eventually have happened to me. My favorite feature on my Civic is that it refuses to lock if I've left the keys in the car. I used to do that *so* many times.

287richardderus
Ene 29, 3:05pm

Oh my gosh, Micky! You poor thing!!

*evil-souled snicker*

I hope that never happens again.

288MickyFine
Ene 29, 3:36pm

>280 BekkaJo: Thanks, Bekka! Sounds like your husband had a far worse experience!

>281 scaifea: That would also suck, Amber. We're a single car family so it would be a particular pain. Although at least we have a handle on the inside of the garage door - it might be possible to manually open it?

>282 curioussquared: Forgetting your keys is the worst feeling. I still remember when I visited London years ago I had forgotten my key in my automatically locking room when I'd gone out and was in such a panic that no one would be working the hotel desk when I got back (it was a smaller B&B where you were supposed to turn in your key every time you went out and there was not a 24/7 concierge). Thankfully one of the staff was still there when I got in.

>283 foggidawn: Hoping it never happens to you, Foggi.

>284 katiekrug: Not boring at all, Katie. Locked out on your first day housesitting would be so stressful!

>285 lauralkeet: I also have a keyless ignition but like yours, mine beeps three times every time you open or close any door while the keys aren't inside.

>286 scaifea: My Prius is the same. So no getting locked out of my car ever.

>287 richardderus: Your schadenfreude is noted and will be punished with BBs when you least expect it. :P

289scaifea
Ene 29, 4:00pm

>288 MickyFine: Yeah, generally there's a failsafe trigger to unhitch the garage door from the opener, but our was broken (this was when we were in WI), plus Tomm was out of town on a business trip, so I only had the one car at the time.

290MickyFine
Ene 29, 4:02pm

>289 scaifea: Oh no! That would be so awful. Hopefully the Ohio garage is much kinder to you.

291MickyFine
Ene 29, 4:03pm

I know this thread is getting long in the tooth but I'm going to string it out until the end of the month. So hang in there friends!

292quondame
Ene 29, 4:05pm

There is just no way to avoid feeling stupid and frustrated when you lock yourself out. As I know well. I have had some pretty hairy experiences of the sort. Glad you got sorted out without getting too chilled.

293MickyFine
Ene 29, 4:16pm

>292 quondame: Thanks for the empathy, Susan.

294MickyFine
Ene 30, 9:14am

What's on the agenda: Virtual church this morning. Might bundle up for a walk this afternoon. Definitely some crochet and reading time. Mr. Fine's head chef tonight and he's making Gringo Star Pasta from the Looneyspoons cookbook. It's a favourite around here.

What I'm reading: After my adventures yesterday, I took a long hot bath and finished Read It and Weep. I'll be starting my re-read of How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse today.

What we're watching: Last night we played half a game of Mario Party until accidental button pushing exited us from the game and a couple rounds of Mario Kart.

295scaifea
Ene 30, 9:20am

>294 MickyFine: We bundled up for a walk last night for the first time in a few days (because it's been super cold and icy) and it was still cold, but *so* nice to get out of the house!

And yay, as always, for Mario Kart!

296MickyFine
Ene 30, 9:34am

>295 scaifea: Living where we do the constant refrain is that enjoying winter is possible as long as you've got the right gear. Glad you made it out for some fresh air.

297katiekrug
Ene 30, 10:54am

We might do some Mario Wii-ing tonight. We hadn't played in forever but hooked it up last weekend (weekend before?) and had fun reaquainting ourselves...

298MickyFine
Ene 30, 11:37am

I do enjoy Mario-ing. If Mr. Fine's too tired for a board game I can usually convince him to Mario Party or Kart instead.

299MickyFine
Editado: Ene 31, 9:38am

What's on the agenda: It's cleaning day around here and I'll also be doing bill things. Plus I need to review my last read and do my month-end summary here since I don't think I'll squeeze in another book this month. After the adult things are done not sure what we'll get up to. Likely a game in some form and probably some TV. I think it's stew on the meal plan tonight but Mr. Fine's in charge again so I don't have to worry about it much.

What I'm reading: My re-read of How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is so, so enjoyable. I'd forgotten just how good it was.

What we're watching: Last night we started the evening with the new episode of WandaVision (so good!), followed that with Palm Springs on Prime (not my jam but Mr. Fine liked it), and then I rewatched To All the Boys I Loved Before in prep for the release of the third film in a couple weeks.

300norabelle414
Ene 31, 10:36am

Oh nooo I'm sorry you didn't like Palm Springs. I love a good time loop movie/show.

301MickyFine
Ene 31, 12:45pm

>300 norabelle414: I also love time loops but the tone of a lot of the humour wasn't for me. And I really didn't need to see Andy Samberg jerk off.

302MickyFine
Ene 31, 3:30pm

Book 10



Read It and Weep - Jenn McKinlay

The theatre bug has bitten the town of Briar Creek hard when the local community theatre prepares to stage its production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. It doesn't hurt that the director has brought in her old friend from Broadway, Robbie Vine, a handsome and charming actor. But when a member of the cast is poisoned, library director Lindsey can't help but stick her nose into the investigation.

As the fourth in this series, there's not a ton of surprises here. The complicated relationship between Lindsey and the handsome boat captain, Sully, continues to be complicated. The mystery is there and even I managed to pick out the whodunnit less than a quarter of the way through the novel. The real draw here, as with most cozies, is our cast of small town folk. And for this librarian the spot on library work details make me so dang happy that I'll be back for more.

Rating: ***

303MickyFine
Ene 31, 3:45pm

January Summary





Numbers in parentheses are for year to date.

Books read: 10 (10)
Books ditched: 0 (0)

Fiction: 9 (9)
Non-fiction: 1 (1)

Adult: 6 (6)
YA: 4 (4)
Children's: 0 (0)

Library: 7 (7)
Mine: 3 (3)
Borrowed elsewhere: 0 (0)

Re-reads: 1 (1)

Female authors: 6 (6)
Male authors: 4 (4)
Non-binary authors: 0 (0)

Pages:2,621 (2,621)
Hours: 0 minutes

Average rating: 3.8

Average time to read book: 3.3 days

Favourite book(s): Since I'm planning more re-reads this year, I'm going to allow myself to mark one re-read as a favourite (obvs, otherwise why would I re-read?) and then pick one new to me book as a favourite. This month the re-read fave is Emma and the new fave read is Fangs for being such an adorable collection of comics.

304MickyFine
Ene 31, 3:58pm

All right friends, stats are done and it's time for a new thread for a new month. Follow me on to our next dance!

305scaifea
Feb 1, 8:27am

>302 MickyFine: I'm really enjoying this series, too, and for those same reasons.