Nerd project!

Yesterday, I had too many dice.

Today, I have too many dice and they are displayed on my wall in what is technically two nail polish racks, but who’s counting? Not me.

There is room for more, which is good, because I still have about seven or eight sets of dice that need to be displayed.

It is difficult to put into words just how happy this stupid little project has made me. My office is so much nerdier now.

A review of an actual book

I’m a hundred percent certain I’ve talked about this before: my wife and I both love to read. I read a lot faster than she does, but we have fairly similar tastes in reading material for the most part, so she only very rarely actually buys books. Generally once she finishes something she’ll ask me what I’ve read recently that she’ll want to read, or just go looking through the bookshelves that are slowly taking over our entire house until something strikes her fancy, and then she’ll read that.

There is a critical difference between the two of us here, because while we are both readers, I am also a book collector and my wife very much is not. She has very gently suggested to me a couple of times that we might possibly have too many books. I do not recognize that as a legitimate state of existence. “Too many books” is, for me, quite simply not a thing.

Which brings me to a little dilemma I’m having with James Islington’s The Shadow of What Was Lost.

I don’t like the story. I am not enjoying reading this book. The reasons aren’t especially interesting and fall into my Don’t Shit on Books Unnecessarily policy; I’m just not enjoying it very much, 200 or so pages into its 700 or so page length, with two more volumes already concluding the trilogy that are available but I haven’t bought.

The problem is the actual book— not the story, not the part you’re supposed to, like, look at, but the actual physical object itself that you hold in your hands– is amazing, at least in the paperback edition. The pages and especially the cover just feel great, and the book is exactly the right size, and it even smells good, and I know from seeing them in bookstores that the entire trilogy looks great on a shelf. So much so, as a matter of fact, that I’m considering going ahead and ordering the rest of the series just so that I can touch them and so that they can be on my bookshelves together, effectively as art pieces and not as things that convey a story. I mean, would I ever read them? Will I even finish this one, or will I DNF it and move on to something I’ll enjoy reading more? Or will I just keep reading it so I can hold it for longer, because it’s so pleasant to have in the hand?

This is … not a thing my wife understands. As marital incompatibilities go, I’ll take it, believe me, but if I end up ordering the next couple of books I might have to find a way to put them somewhere she won’t find them. Not quite sure how that’s gonna work, but we’ll see what I can come up with.

Meet Gideon

She’s been seen by a vet and more or less given a clean bill of health; she’s had an upset tummy for basically the whole time we’ve had her, so she’s got an antibiotic and they gave her a dewormer just for safety’s sake, but she’s negative for All the Scary Things and otherwise seems to be doing fine, so we’ve been slowly and carefully introducing her to the other cats this weekend. Jonesy appears to be fine with her so long as she’s not trying to eat his tail, which is about 60% of the time, and Sushi … well, Sushi is going to take a little bit longer to adjust, I think. ūüôā

Why Gideon? It was my wife’s idea, providing a pleasing symmetry since I named Jonesy and the boy named Sushi; she’s named after the Gideon in Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth. The name is perhaps a bit overly grand at this point in her life (although “Giddykitty” and “Giddygirl” both roll off the tongue quite nicely) but I think she’ll grow into it. Reasons it works:

  • I feel like her Halloween colors insist on a spooky name. Gideon is a necromancer. Check.
  • Gideon is also a redhead. Check.
  • Gideon spends the entirety of her book wearing skull face paint. That prominent blaze on her face doesn’t really resemble a skull at all, but I feel like connecting a cat with prominent facial markings and a character who wears face paint works. Check.

In other news, my memory is clearly going and I’ll be a shell of a man in a couple of years. I have nearly a thousand books on my Goodreads “read” shelf, which I’ve only been maintaining since 2016, so estimating that I own in the neighborhood of 2500-3000 or so books is probably not an exaggeration. I need you to understand that I’m also not exaggerating when I tell you I can find most of them in no time at all. Like, I know what books I have and I know where they are. This is not something I screw up.

It was pointed out to me recently that Brandon Sanderson is from Utah, which is a state that I don’t have an author from yet. I used to be a big fan of Sanderson’s, but at some point I grew weary of him, and I haven’t read any of his books in forever, but I figured since the guy writes 20 books a year finding something new wouldn’t be that hard. The boy wanted to go to Barnes and Noble today, so I figured I’d just grab something. I even had a book in mind; he wrote a sequel trilogy to his Mistborn series some time ago and I never read it just because it came out after I’d entered my Over Sanderson period.

(To be clear, I don’t have anything really negative to say about the guy; I don’t have any evidence that he’s, like, a bad person or anything, but his books started getting really samey after a while and I bailed on him after noticing the serious problem with white savior complex that his Stormlight Archives series had. It’s not like a personal vendetta or anything.)

Anyway, I found the first book of the second Mistborn series, called The Alloy of Law, and grabbed a Jorge Luis Borges book (Argentina!) along with it for shits and giggles.

On the way out of the store, my wife says “Don’t you have that one already?” to me.

“No,” I said, “I never picked up the second series.” And then I proceeded to torture myself about it the entire way home. Whereupon I found out that I did have the damn thing already, and not even in a different edition that would have given me an excuse. I hadn’t finished the series, but I had started it. And, y’all, I don’t make that mistake, and I’m vastly irritated with myself.

I mean, I know it’s a solvable problem, because I just go back and swap it for another book, but … shit.

In which The Great Rearranging may be upon us

It is not outside the realm of possibility that I have too many books. I know, it’s unlikely, and I’m not 100% sure that “too many books” is actually a thing, but it’s possible. What is definitely true is that I don’t have enough room to arrange the books that I have properly.

I am currently faced with a week off from work, and because I am an American I am viewing this less as an opportunity to relax and more as an opportunity to “get things done,” because the possibility of going a week without working or “accomplishing things” is just beyond my ability to comprehend. And I find myself casting an eye upon these bookshelves, and their current state of overpopulation, and thinking about opportunities to give myself a job that I can complete half of and then ignore for a year.

If you look at the top shelf of the middle bookshelf there (the top shelf, not the books stacked on top of the bookshelf) you will get an idea of what I’m thinking, because I rearranged that one as a test. I’m wondering what I can do if I shift to mostly vertical stacking on the bookshelves, especially the books that are currently perched on top of the shelves themselves. In theory, so long as the shelves themselves hold up, I can stack those clear to the ceiling– and if I use only completed series for them, which I’m also thinking about, I can put things up there that aren’t going to be rearranged all that much.

Understand that that is only the top half of less than half of just the bookshelves that are against that one wall alone, if you want to understand the magnitude of this job I’m contemplating.

I dunno. If I think about it long enough, I can switch over to stressing about how I had a whole week to get it done and didn’t do it. That won’t be especially mentally healthy, but it would certainly be less work.

In which I get rid of my childhood, and my teenage years, and my adulthood, and my middle age, and then almost die

unnamed.jpgI’ve been collecting comic books since I was nine, and with the exception of a couple of years when I was living in Chicago without a car and no real access to a comic shop I’ve never really stopped. ¬†It’s probably safe to say that at 40 I’m spending more money on comics than I ever have, actually, due to a combination of disposable income, comics being generally¬†really good right now, and the effect of inflation on the prices of the books themselves.

Hogwarts is having what amounts to a building-wide garage sale next weekend. ¬†I just donated about 3500 comics– somewhere around half of my collection, pictured there to the right. ¬†This is, I’m pretty sure, the first time I’ve divested myself of any substantial portion of my collection. ¬†I spent most of this morning going through those boxes and pulling out anything that I thought might damage tiny little private-school brains, or at least anything that the wealthy parents of those tiny little private-school brains might¬†think would damage them.

I really like comic books, but they’re really heavy and they take up a ton of room. ¬†I figure I’ve bought myself another decade before I have to purge the collection again. ¬†I did warn the nice lady who came by to pick them up to not expect to make a mint from them and that selling them for a dime or a quarter apiece might be a good idea just to ensure they move; we’ll see what happens. ¬†I may go to the sale just to see what happens or I may not; I feel like both seeing my comics get sold off to other people¬†or¬†seeing them sit there alone and unacknowledged might be depressing, so I probably won’t go.

But hey. ¬†There’s a lot of space cleared out in the office now. ¬†That’s good, right?

In other news, knowing a stranger was coming to my house to help me load up the boxes, I tried to attack the patch of vines near my front door that has overgrown our steps and walkway. ¬†We’ve neglected it lately because the mosquitoes are so bad, and it’s gone from “unattractive” to “genuinely sort of embarrassing” lately, but I figured that we’ve had some cool mornings recently¬†and I can go outside in general without feeling like I’m under attack and so it would probably be safe to take the, oh, fifteen minutes it would take to trim the things back, rake them up, and toss the remnants into a garbage can.

Ha.

shannon-sweet-among-mosquitos-.jpg

In general I’m not frightened of bugs. ¬†I avoid bees and wasps, of course, because they’re assholes, but I’ve never been stung. ¬†Spiders squick me a bit from time to time, I admit it, but I try not to let it affect my behavior. ¬†So when I tell you I had to¬†run away from the patch of greenery in front of my house, flailing my arms around and swatting at my body like– hell, like a guy fucking¬†covered in a swarm of mutant mosquitoes, I suppose, the situation kind of defeats simile– you need to understand that it is¬†not¬†a typical reaction to bugs. ¬†And the fucking things¬†chased me. ¬†They followed me to the foot of the driveway and then stood guard outside my goddamned garage door and I had to fight through another cloud of them to get back inside.

That patch of vines can go to hell, is what I’m saying. ¬†It can take over the whole front of the house for all I care. ¬†I come in through the damn garage anyway.