Monday, July 06, 2015

It's Monday! Back to Books

Since my last update, I've managed to clear my head a bit, mostly by reading great books and coloring. Not to mention some time in the pool and some great food. But right now...just the books.

I rarely re-read, but for some reason The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman was calling to me last week. I took three evenings to read it which is fairly slow since this is one of those gobble-up-the-goodness type books. I originally read it in one sitting when it first came out, but it was so nice to revisit this favorite with a little more eye toward the detail. It was just as good, if not better, upon re-reading. Just as magical and tearful as the first time. 

Next up was The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips. Try typing Beautiful Bureaucrat a couple of times, and tell me how difficult that is. My fingers want no part of it. I'm glad to report that it was much easier to read than it is to type. This mysterious, haunting, experimental novella was a fun one. Another book that could've been enjoyed in one gulp. 

Finally, an instantaneous favorite. Pretty Deadly Volume 1: The Shrike by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios was simply glorious. I've heard plenty of people say that this is one of the finest comics around, and I'm just sorry I waited this long to read it. Part western, part myth, part folktale, it's pitch perfect. I'll have to write a full review if I'm going to get this gushing out of my system, but just to give you a little's about death's vengeful daughter. Hell yeah!

What are your favorite reads lately? 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Turning Point: The State of Things in Andiland

Time marches on. I'm sitting here, middle of the night. My anti-anxiety meds wore off early, it seems. That's a recent step to combat insomnia and general anxiety-induced illness. I had my first panic attack last week. Middle of the night. That was super.

It seems our office's current leadership hasn't had the best effect on me. Besides the casual sexism that rears its head into blatant sexism in our office. In addition to the overflow of work and no steps to control or corral it. On top of all that, I'm being told that I'm not doing my job very well without the person speaking down to me making any attempt to understand our workload outside of his limited scope. What priorities I may have been given before he landed in our office. What priorities will persist when he is gone in a couple of months. While we make a handful of friends on one project, we anger legion besides. I'm tired of playing on a losing team, being set up to fail, and I sure as hell won't stand idle while someone tells me I made this mess. The ship was sinking before I came onboard, and despite every effort to help strengthen the place, the mismanagement and lack of communication is insurmountable.

Way to lead. Way to support.

Way to push me out the door.

All of this stress-induced misery has pushed me to finally, finally make a serious play for the job market. It's long overdo, I realize. One can only sit around and bitch for so long. There was a large part of me that wanted to hang in there at the university. Do my bit for the greater good. Give back to the place that gave me so much. However, that dream is over.

Two or three possibilities lay in front of me right this second, but it's too early to know if any of them will pan out. I'm playing it balls to the wall by writing any of this for public consumption, but I choose to live honestly. This is my steam valve, and I'm letting off some of the pressure by sharing this professional journey. This fork in the road.

I know we've all been there from time to time, I just wish the time to make this move hadn't come so soon. I know many of you may be in the same boat now.

Cheers to finding our way.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday Reading: #FlashReadathon Recap

Ahhh, there's nothing quite like a readathon, a #flashreadathon, to get the ole reading mojo workin'. I'm sooooo glad we did this because I finished two books and some comics that were huge winners. 

The first book out of the box was The Shore by Sara Taylor. This is labeled a novel, but it's made up of short story-like chapters each dealing with a different character. Like many of my favorite novels/connected short story collections, this one is wonderfully written, and I eat up the challenge of keeping up with who shows up in one story and later pops up in another and how they're all connected. 

I went into the #flashreadathon only about 1/3 of the way into this one, but I read the majority of it on Friday night and finished it up on Saturday morning.

I intend to write a review of this one in the coming week, but if you've already read it, you might want to check out the Socratic Salon discussion.

On Saturday I started The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. This one has been on my e-reader for a good long time. I've read a few pages here and there, but until this weekend it never stuck. I had my doubts about the narrator's voice at the beginning, but I quickly fell into the story and really enjoyed it. Review coming soon!

My brain was fairly mushy in the latter hours of Saturday, so I turned to comics. Two of my favorites were waiting for me: 

Alex + Ada #15 by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn broke my heart a little because this is the final issue in the series. I won't say much because I don't want to spoil, but this one felt a leeeetle rushed in light of earlier issues. That said, I still enjoyed it, and it left me very sad to see the characters go. I'll miss them. 

Gotham Academy #7 by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher was so fun! It's always so fun, but this one was extra fun. One of my favorite quirky characters, Maps, does a little unintentional magic and gets stuck to Damian Wayne...yep, Bruce Wayne's son. Cuteness and adventure ensue. 

Sunday was a bit of a wash (pardon the pun) with lots of rain and flooding in our part of Texas. I spent some quality time with David for father's day before he skipped town for work. Then I had to figure out a dry, passable way to get to Greyson to bring him home. Ack! These are not our normal Texas Summer Problems. All is well, but I was not much into the reading mood as you can imagine. 

I think I'm going to read  Adé: A Love Story by Rebecca Walker next. I've said this several times, but somehow, I think it's going to stick this time!

What are you reading? Did you take part in the #flashreadathon? Did it help your reading mojo?

Images by Freepik