New Year, New Attempt At Doing This Blog Thing

Happy New Year to any Northern Hemisphere Pagans who stumble upon this! In keeping with the spirit of Samhain and the new turning of the Wheel, I’m going to try dropping bad habits and picking up new (hopefully better) ones. Most likely, just picking up new habits. A new habit? Yeah, I don’t want to overdo it. Part of that is going to be getting better at this blogging thing. I plan on doing an entry once a week on the ups and downs of living with chronic daily headaches and chronic migraines. And depression and anxiety. And whatever other medical/mental health issues my body tries to throw my way. Because most of my hobbies are ways I cope, there will be more posts (separately or combined) scattered throughout the week. And, please forgive the numerous book reviews this week. I have to make good on my agreement to review books for free DRCs, and I have a bit (a teenie tiny bit) of a backlog. Besides, reading reviews might help You decide whether or not something is worth your time. So many books, so little time. 

Alright, then… on the sticks is a pair of sock for my mom. The pattern is called “Crossfade” and can be found in New Directions in Sock Knitting by Ann Budd (Interweave, Feb 2016). You can find more info on Ravelry. This is the second pattern I’ve used from the book. If you decide to make it, I would suggest reading the instructions once or twice before beginning, making a copy of the charts so you can write on them to keep track of where you are, and definitely using a lifeline or three. The toe itself took me 12 tries to complete it correctly due to missed increases, dropped stitches, missed rows, etc. I can only partly blame my neurological disorders for these errors.  

Sleeping the Day Away

Yesterday, I literally slept the day away. Yes, I’m using “literally” correctly.

About 13 years ago, I worked the night shift (11:30-7:30) at a hotel in my hometown. My grandparents also live in the same town, but my grandpa never seemed to grasp that because I worked nights, I had to sleep during a large chunk of the day. He would frequently come by at 10-11 AM and, when neither my mother (who also worked nights) nor I would answer the door, he would pound on our bedroom windows until someone got up. Inevitably, he would also castigate us with “you’re sleeping the day away!” Eventually, we threatened to go over to his house at 3 AM and pound on his window until he woke up, then tell him he’s “sleeping the night away.” We all knew that because he was going deaf, it would wake my grandma up before he noticed; however, we must’ve sounded serious enough because he stopped. Mom and I still tell this story and, now that I’m a “day person” most of the time, I use “You’re sleeping the day away!” as the name for my alarm.

As a person who has both physical and mental illnesses, there are days that I can barely get out of bed. It happens. Sometimes, I am in either too much pain or just simply lack the motivation. Especially now that I am not working and on Disability. I’ve had to learn to be kinder to myself. I’ve had to learn to count small tasks like getting up, feeding the pets, feeding myself, and brushing my hair as major accomplishments. I’ve learned that, sometimes, sleeping the day away is exactly what I need so that I can do more the next day.

Review: Dexter Is Dead by Jeff Lindsay

Dexter Is DeadGoodreads description:

Dexter Morgan has burned the candle at both ends for many years. Blood spatter analyst . . . husband . . . father . . . serial killer. And now, for the first time, his world has truly collapsed. Dexter is arrested on charges of murder. He has lost everything—including his wife, his kids, and the loyalty of his sister. Now completely alone, Dexter faces a murder charge (for a crime . . . ironically . . . he did not actually commit). His only chance for freedom lies with his brother, Brian, who has a dark plan to prove Dexter’s innocence. But the stakes are deadly, and the epic showdown that lies in Dexter’s path may lead, once and for all, to his demise. 
     Jeff Lindsay’s trademark devilish wit and cutting satire have never been sharper. Dexter Is Dead marks the end of a beloved series, but is also Dexter’s most satisfying and suspenseful outing yet.

First, I should say I received a digital copy of this book through Edelweiss for an honest review.

I was actually pretty disappointed in this book. It seems as if it, and the previous book, Dexter’s Final Cut, could really have been just one book. They both seemed disappointing on their own, yet I have a feeling that they would have both benefited from some cutting (heh, heh) and merging.

The book starts with Dexter being almost as obtuse as he had been in Dexter’s Final Cut. He had clearly lost his clever wits by this time and it took a few weeks in jail for them to start coming back. Even then, he was ignoring the instinctive warnings from his inner demon, aka his Dark Passenger; forgetting to keep track of little bits here and there; and pretty much dependent on his brother, Brian, to look after keeping him from going back to jail and helping get him out of trouble. The witty, devious Dexter that we were first introduced to in Darkly Dreaming Dexter was no more. In his place was a mostly pathetic man. He even describes himself as such.

Dexter said it himself, he expected to go out in a blaze of glory or manage to be able to sail off into the sunset. He didn’t expect to just kind of fizzle out. Sadly, that’s what happened to him.

I suggest reading this if you’ve read the other books. I wouldn’t suggest it if you haven’t read any of the others, even if you’ve watched the show. Speaking of, if the ending of the TV series made you throw a shoe at your TV (or at least want to), then I can at least put to rest your fears that this is as bad as that. Comparatively, it is a much better end for Dexter than the TV show gave us.

…keep a job

As of last week (actually, two weeks ago, but I had a week to appeal), I lost my job. I had been working at a library, but had run out of FMLA time and was still having to take days off sick. Unpaid, unapproved days off sick. So, I was fired. That said, since I’m not there, I have to find another way to begin earning free advanced reader copies (ARCs) of books. Upcoming posts will feature reviews of various ARCs and new books that catch my eye and I want someone (anyone?) to consider reading or running the other way from. I’ll also be experimenting in other revenue sources and posting about that, hopefully. No, don’t get concerned. I mean starting making soaps and lotions again- stuff like this. Nothing untoward because I’d probably screw up and get caught anyway 😉

Too wide, too short

So, this may look like a nice-ish leg warmer. It was supposed to be the aforementioned baby blanket. The 1 Year Late blanket. Well, it is close to 5 feet wide, 1 foot long. Oops. This is a…. table runner? Dresser cover? Big Craft Fail that has to be frogged (taken apart) and started over again? Yep. That last. I’ve taken it apart and am now trying to figure out what to do (other than what my smarmy no-longer supervisor suggested, which is “just crochet it, it’s quicker!”)…

Not a Baby Blanket
Not a Baby Blanket

…knit a baby blanket

Just a small taste of what joy anyone who knows me is in for: I have difficulty finishing projects. Not only do they get left partially completed for years, they may be restarted eleventy billion times. Case in point: a baby blanket for my friend. Her most recent bundle of poop joy was born last November. I’m currently knitting it for the 6th (7th?) time. This time last time, I had run out of yarn about 20 rows from “done.” Twenty. Fragging. Rows.

Back to stitch one.