Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore review

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour BookstoreMr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think I may have done this book a disservice by reading it after the Goldfinch, but you know what? It’s a darn charming little book. It’s a little SciFi/Fantasy and a little YA and a little tech, but I enjoyed the crap out of it. I nerded out at the typography parts and the epilogue warmed me to the bottom of my sappy sappy heart.

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There’s a great future in plastics

Inspired by the Instagrammers who photoshop/picmonkey the life out of themselves, I downloaded an app called Perfect 365 to see how I could improve my online presence. Here is my before and after.

Hello, Danny. Come and play with us. Come and play with us, Danny.

Hello, Danny. Come and play with us. Come and play with us, Danny.

On the left, I’m made up as usual for work. Some foundation to cover up spots. Some lipstick. Trademark terrifying smile. On the right it completely got rid of the area under my eyes. Concealer aside, I don’t know if that’s possible without latex additions and the makeup artists from Face Off. It lightened my teeth (that’s fine), it smoothed out my face (a bit much), it let me add some makeup. I chose the “dainty” option.

And if someone could find where my upper lip is going, let me know. It’s started to flee and soon I’m going to have to start using lipliner to draw the cupid’s bow back in.

The app’s free on Apple’s App Store and the Android Store, and there are in-app purchases you can make too. I was not compensated for this review, because I am not that awesome.

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Stupid beading tricks: Orange flower

I bought this enameled pendant from Jade Scott back in 2012, and of course all of the ideas I had for it disappeared as soon as I received it. So I saved it. And waited. And waited.

One night, the little orange seed beads in one of my bead boxes grabbed my attention. I used some antique brass half-hard wire to create a chain, and then I added the pendant. But it didn’t look right.

I let it sit some more, and realized I had teal round beads (probably dyed glass) that matched the flower petals. And this necklace was born.

necklace with Jade Scott enameled flower pendant

Necklace with Jade Scott enameled pendant

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Friday Five (on Sunday): Veggie Thing

Yeah. It’s Sunday. But it’s been a very packed (for me, the introvert) week.

Michael Bublé

Not the new car. Instead, a teeny, tiny Michael Bublé.


Starting with Thursday night – when we bought a NEW (to us) CAR! After almost 12 years and over 140,000 miles, I said goodbye to my devoted 2003 Saturn. I might have cried a bit leaving it there in the lot, sans tags. It was much different than when I left my old Dodge Neon. That night I could have tossed a lit match behind me and set it on fire while I slow-walked away, action-movie-style. But the Saturn was a champ.

The new car is a Jeep Patriot. We’ve named her Molly Pitcher, after another great NJ Patriot. Molly is FUN and has modern accoutrements, such as seatwarmers, auto-starter and Bluetooth. The Saturn still had a cassette tape deck, so I feel like I have truly arrived to the modern world.

That activity was so much smoother than I thought it would be thanks to two things:

1) WM’s dogged research of what car we needed to get, and where to get that exact car.
2) The fine people at Burns Honda (not sponsored, never sponsored, blah blah sponsors hate me blah blah) who were low-pressure, friendly, and speedy.

Naturally, on Friday night I drove over to Mom’s to show her the car.

Last night we went to Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall to see Michael Buble, who put on another tremendous show. I’m a sucker for standards and schmoopy lyrics. He delivers every time. My favorite part is when he unplugs for the last song and sings it without a microphone or band. He filled the auditorium. I have to keep reminding myself that he’s even younger than NKOTB. (WM: So am I! Me: [sigh])

Other than that, I’ve been watching Coursera videos (I’m on the second class of the Data Science Specialization track) and sleeping. Here is the Friday Five I should have done on Friday night, instead of joyriding. The theme is Veggie Thing. (Not the same thing as a Jimi Thing — shouldn’t care bereeeeeeeeeeaved as I’m FEEL-ing.)

1. What’s your favorite tomato thing?

Spaghetti gravy, also known as tomato sauce, dumped over a bowl of pasta.

2. What’s your favorite celery thing?

Celery is the devil. The strings stick in the back of my throat and choke me. The flavor is nauseating, and even the smallest celery seed in a dish overwhelms everything else. How cilantro is for some of you? Celery is for me.

3. What’s your favorite broccoli thing?

I’m realizing I hate vegetables. I like broccoli when it’s minutely chopped up and mixed in with a hearty creamy fatty alfredo sauce, dumped over a bowl of pasta.

4. What’s your favorite eggplant thing?

Not a fan of eggplant either. I find it slippery. The only time I liked it was part of an Eggplant Parmesan, covered with gravy and dumped over a bowl of pasta.

5. What’s your favorite spinach thing?

Spinach artichoke dip, as a precursor to a bowl of pasta.

(wanders off in search of a bowl of pasta)

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