Okay, I’m going to pontificate a bit on the High School Musical movie franchise and then reflect on the A to Z Challenge and then get into the books so scroll accordingly.
Okay, I don’t really care about the Zoom platform itself, but I’m sure everyone has been hearing about it since it has been the go-to video chat service, especially for meetings. I personally much prefer FaceTime, but maybe I just don’t have that many friends. Or I prefer a more intimate gathering of friends? I mean, whatever, you all know I just needed something for Z.
You, meaning all my friends and readers.
Listen, this pandemic sucks. The worst part is that people are actually dying, which is why we’re in self-isolation in the first place. It’s sometimes easy for me to lose sight of that when I’m sitting in my air-conditioned apartment, sad because I’m limited in my movements. (I mean, it goes deeper than that, of course, but you get what I’m saying here.)
But here’s the thing, and you know it’s coming:
I bought an Xbox 360.
When I bought it, my one friend said, “Oh, Lord. Now I know we’re not going back to work any time soon.”
My other friend said, “Why do YOU have an Xbox?”
There are two reasons:
I was going to write a post extolling the virtues of my white noise machine before the pandemic started. My best friend and her (now) ex-husband got it for me for Christmas. I wanted it to help me sleep on the nights the silence was too loud, and it is pretty good for that alone.
My daughter and I are in a one-bedroom apartment and having a white noise machine pre-pandemic was a godsend. For one thing, we’re on opposite schedules, which meant she and her friend would be hanging out here in the middle of the night when I was headed to bed. The white noise machine would drown out their late night TV and movie watching as well as their loud conversations about said TV and movie watching.
I have started accidentally watching Vampire Diaries.
I know. I KNOW. Believe me, I know.
I know this brings up a lot of questions.
First, how does one accidentally watch a show? Second, vampires? Third, seriously VAMPIRES??? I mean, honestly. I know it’s a pandemic and all, but whew.
The first question is easy. My daughter is the one actually watching Vampire Diaries and because there is just the one TV and the one living room/work area, I am often in the room while she’s watching it.
For people who know me well, the vampire thing is a real conundrum because I hate vampires. I mean, I *hate* them. I HATE THEM. SO MUCH. And yet, this stupid show has sucked me in. Do you know why? Because it’s a really, really good teen soap opera. My biggest love combined with my biggest hate.
It probably doesn’t hurt that the vampires are all very, very good looking.
Okay, so I actually 100% hate uncertainty. It is probably one of my least favorite things ever, and this stupid pandemic is full of uncertainty. We don’t know exactly when it’s going to end. We don’t know exactly how it’s spread. We don’t know exactly how long it incubates. We don’t know anything! It sucks!
Welp, I said in the O is for Obligations #AtoZChallenge post that teaching would get its own letter and here we are.
I am very grateful for my job. And not just because I’m still collecting a paycheck, which is definitely a part of it. No, I am grateful for my job because it gives me focus and purpose and helps to shape my days, much like I said about the obligations in that O post.
I am, thankfully, experienced with online teaching and recently completed another round of training in distance education. That made the transition to emergency remote instruction just a little bit smoother for me.
But, of course, it’s more than that.
Okay, so I already talked about how I have been using Instagram more, which…I’m still bad at posting but very good at lurking. So, you know, it’s fine.
But, you know, Facebook has been awesome for this time. I have at least one friend who had mostly given up the platform come back with a vengeance, and other people are posting more frequently. Twitter still is not quite the platform for me, but again, people are posting a ton and it’s super great. Also, we must not forget blogs, another place to post about what we care about and what’s important to us.
Social media was made for such a time as this. We are able to actually connect with each other and support each other. One friend posted she was lonely, so I texted her to set up a call. Another friend discovered which store had toilet paper and posted it for other local people to see. It’s a great way to see which causes we support to encourage those of us who can to donate to them.
That’s all amazing, right? But you know the real best part about social media?
I love giving recommendations (book or otherwise), and I have been asked more than once for suggestions of what to read during this time. So, this is the post with all the recs! I was going to attempt to separate them into categories, but I just labeled them instead. I put pictures if I had them handily available because it would have taken forever to find pictures for all of them. Also, these are only the books I’ve read in the past five years. I mean, this list could go on, but I had to stop myself somewhere.
If you’re interested in any of them, please support a book and mortar bookstore that serves your neighborhood. Most are still taking orders and doing delivery. Bookstore Link can point you in the right direction if you don’t already have a bookstore in mind.
And this will be mostly children’s lit because you know how I roll. So here we go.
Comfort/Fun Books to Read during the Pandemic
Black Canary: Ignite by Meg Cabot (middle grade, graphic novel)
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (YA)
Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot (mystery)
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (middle grade mystery)
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (YA fantasy)