Hello, my lovelies.
This is one of those weeks where I feel like I have so much to say that I don’t know where to start. So this may be even more stream-of-consciousness than usual.
Spent five hours on the phone yesterday with my bestie. I know…five hours? Seems like torture for most folks, but we have been friends for thirty years, and we have not ever, not for one minute, run out of things to say. She’s a reader—natch—so we spent a fair amount of that time talking about books, like we do, and I now have something ELSE to read.
We used to talk more often…pre-pandemic, we talked two or three times a week, for an hour or so each time…but now that our calls are less frequent, it’s like we have to make up for the time between calls with straight-up marathon length. However, as I said, it feels on the call like no time is passing, so it’s not like it’s a chore. And, honestly, I could probably spend five hours with her again today and enjoy it just as much.
People talk about blessings all the time, but think about what a gift it is to have someone in your life that you could literally talk to for thousands of hours without ever feeling bored, or like you can’t wait to get off the phone, or like there is ever even a momentary lag in the conversation. Everyone should have a Serena.
Which brings us straight into Thanksgiving. Dinner was lovely. We did a tiny Friendsgiving this year, with my friend Philip visiting with his mom and his girlfriend, Jasmine. Everyone cooked something. I was on the hook for the turkey, and mashed potatoes and gravy (which I made differently this year, and the reviews were smashing). The lovely roomie contributed the stuffing, and her homemade corn pudding, which was to die for. Jasmine baked some Brie with cinnamon and pecans that was so good that we almost didn’t get to dinner. And then she fully over-achieved with homemade mac and cheese. And Philip contributed some pumpkin cheesecake.
I’m sitting here wishing for a time machine so I could go back and eat it all again.
One of the things that I am most thankful for, though, is the decision to start a book blog. I whined and complained quite loudly for the first month because wow—book blogging is a TON of work. My friend over at Blogferatu, who is the one who pushed me into doing it, took the brunt of the complaining (“Why did you make me do this? I hate you so much right now.”) but, in the end, he was right. I told Serena that it feels like I finally found the right Sorority—and they let me pledge.
So, yeah…I’m thankful for you, my lovely, lovely book friends.
Having said that, we should really look into getting jackets. Jackets would be cool.
Because the lovely roomie had a few days off over the holiday, I also got to indulge in my other passion, which is board games. We had our friend Lowell over last Sunday and played some Wingspan (which is every bit as good as all the hype), and then we stayed up till 1 am on Thanksgiving playing a new-to-me game, Alien: Fate of the Nostromo, which was surprisingly awesome. And then we played more Wingspan. And then last night, we jumped in a Zoom call with four other people and played…wait for it…WINGSPAN. And after that, we hopped on Board Game Arena for several favorites, including Welcome to…, The Crew, and 7 Wonders.
Imma take just a second to pimp Board Game Arena, y’all. It costs $30/year and you get access to almost 400 games. Full disclosure that you can play MOST of those games for free, without subscribing. But, you know, two things. 1) The best games are part of the premium tier; 2) These people are doing crazy-good work, and supporting them is the right thing to do. Also, only one person needs to buy a subscription for everyone playing to play a premium game. So, if your group is OBSESSED with Downforce (and why wouldn’t you be?), you only need one license for all of you to play.
Current premium games include Azul, Carcassonne, Splendor, 7 Wonders Duel, Agricola, King of Tokyo, Hanabi, Kingdomino, Can’t Stop, 7 Wonders, Potion Explosion, Patchwork, Terra Mystica, Res Arcana, Welcome To, Pandemic, Lost Cities, Viticulture, Railroad Ink, Takenoko, Jaipur, LLAMA, Sushi Go!, Love Letter, PARKS, Roll for the Galaxy, Carcassonne: Hunters & Gatherers, Similo, Dice Hospital, Downforce, Beyond the Sun, Clans of Caledonia, Nidavellir, Can’t Stop Express, Abyss, Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan, Incan Gold, Codex Naturalis, New Frontiers, Trek 12, For Sale, Via Magica, Forbidden Island, Draftosaurus, Dragonwood, Conspiracy, Railways of the World, Sobek: 2 Players, The Builders: Middle Ages, Coup, Mr. Jack, Onitama, Pingimus, The Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow, Samarkand, BuyWord, I’m The Boss, Iwari, Fleet, Medina, Stir Fry Eighteen, Turn the tide, The Builders: Antiquity, Mercado de Lisboa, Pyramid Poker, Rest In Peace, Con Sonar!, Race for the Galaxy (expansions), Puerto Rico (expansions), Chakra (expansions), The Crew: Mission Deep Sea (expansions), Imhotep (expansions), The Crew (expansions), Krosmaster Arena (expansions), Krosmaster Blast (expansions), Dungeon Twister (expansions).
Again, I get nothing out of this. I just really, really, really love these people.
Coming up next week is a ton of holiday shopping, and a real, in-person visit from a friend that I haven’t seen in almost 10 years. So excited about both of those things.
Also, this happened. Guess we are still a ways from the future we were promised.
I read two books last week, which seems like an impossibly light week, but…two books a week still winds up being 104 books a year, so I think that maybe I should give myself a break.
Both of the books earned their own review, so I won’t be discussing them here. The Last Thing He Told Me was last Wednesday’s review, and Beach Read will forthcome this week.
I did finally start Never, and at 846 dense pages, it may be the only thing that I read next week, so I am proactively extending grace to myself on that one, too.
OK, that’s all from the 52 dog-grooming room, where we are doing pawdicures this week.
Till next week, stay safe, wear your masks and be extra-kind to yourself as we enter the most
stressful wonderful time of the year.
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