Where did November go?

December 1, 2020

I mean, seriously, where? I ended my last post by saying I hoped to update more often and then somehow did not. I guess I just got in the weeds at work and busy re-acclimating to being back home and then just wound up not posting. I also hate starting posts by talking about how I meant to post but dropped the ball, but I really did keep meaning to post and somehow…didn’t.

Anyway, so here we are. A list to catch up (sort of):

1. I do have a voting story, which I plan to share one day. The short of it is “do not forward your mail if you leave town in the month before an election.” The long of it is a blog post I hope to write someday. I hope I can remember all the details.

2. So, yeah, how about that election, huh? Whew.

3. Also, as mentioned in my previous post, my daughter’s friend is staying with us now and will probably be doing so at least through the new year. My daughter is thrilled because she has always wanted a sibling and now the house isn’t so lonely during the pandemic. I affectionately refer to both of them as “The Twins” since they’re the same age (e.g., The twins went to the boba shop or The twins are watching a movie).

4. There are only two weeks left in this semester, and I for one am THRILLED. I will not be working the winter session and am very much looking forward to the break. This semester has been a bear for many reasons, so I’m happy to put it to rest.

5. I went to the dentist today because I needed to get two fillings (one on each side of the bottom of my mouth, of course) and had to get two shots of Novocain on my left side, and the whole bottom of my mouth was numb for HOURS and I had to meet with two students and attend a work meeting. I thought getting the fillings in the morning was smart, but I was wrong. I could not feel the entire bottom part of my mouth for most of the afternoon and had to have a blended ice drink from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for lunch. The drink was tasty (if hard to drink) but also, you know I was mad when the dental assistant told me to have a smoothie for lunch. (I hate smoothies.)

6. Oh, also, the red velvet hot cocoa is out at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf now, and it is truly like drinking a hug.

That is literally all I have to say about November (except for what I watched and read, which is next). So, seriously, where did the month go? I do not know. I feel like I must have been doing something, and the most exciting note I can end on is hot cocoa. Oh well.

7. Oh wait! Thanksgiving happened. It was very chill. We ate food, played Clue & Uno, and watched Last Christmas (which I had seen before but my daughter’s friend had not).

8. Oh, and my daughter started a YouTube channel. That’s not something I did, but she has forced me to watch each of her videos even though I’m not a video person, and she would be pretty disappointed if I didn’t share it here with you all. I think she’s done a pretty good job :D.

I read some books & watched a movie:

A Tangle of Gold (The Colours of Madeleine, #3)A Tangle of Gold by Jaclyn Moriarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is really, really, REALLY hard for books or movies or TV shows to surprise me, and this book did. Also, Princess Ko is the absolute best. I 100% love her, and she has entered the pantheon of my favorite female characters, the likes of which include Ella from Ella Enchanted.

Overall, I give the entire series five stars, and The Cracks in the Kingdom is my favorite in the trilogy.

11/11/20 — Welp, if I could go back in time I would give this book five stars, but I’m a purist, so I’m sticking with my first rating.

This was my first time re-reading this book (and the trilogy in its entirety), and I have to say it is much better the second time around. Things that didn’t quite make sense to me then (WHY–WHY are we following Keira in Bonfire?) are authorial master choices now (We would never see The Farms from an outside point of view and therefore see what it’s like if not for following Keira in Bonfire, duh). So things like that.

I continue to love Ko with my whole heart. I love how much this story/trilogy is about the power of friendship and writing and storytelling. I like the way Moriarty deals with racism. I love the way she deals with alcoholism and its effects, with the danger in underestimating teenage girls who are smarter than you, and with all the ways grown-ups are disappointing but also fully human.

I love this series. As a friend of mine said, I could start over again right now and not be sorry.

It is the Mary Poppins of book trilogies (practically perfect in every way) and was the perfect comfort read to get me through the beginning of this pandemic.

View all my reviews

Mr. Chickee's Messy MissionMr. Chickee’s Messy Mission by Christopher Paul Curtis

This book is just as ridiculous as the first one (and that’s a good thing!). I made it to 48% before the library snatched the audio back from Libby. I plan to finish, though, once the book becomes available again.

View all my reviews

Hearts UnbrokenHearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I should have liked this book because it is (a) basically told in vignettes and (b) is about a girl on the school newspaper. I mean, come on.

There were a couple of things that didn’t work for me:
– the writing style is pretty dry, so I didn’t fully engage
– the beginning is very much about BOYS in a way that made me roll my eyes. I do not, in general, mind books about BOYS and this book is about more but, my god, the beginning did not make it out that way
– the most interesting part was the stuff with the musical so it wound up pulling focus from whatever was going on with Louise
– there were a lot of dropped storylines in terms of the things Louise reported on (e.g., sexual bullying)
– I’m sorry, but why did we not go to this huge nerd journalism competition??? (This was not an active disappointment but one that hit me after I finished the book)

This should have been a fast read but instead I just kept looking at it in disbelief as I was reading because it wasn’t yet over. I honestly could not figure out why it took me so long to read and why I was still reading it and, anyway, I was happy to be done.

Hmm, that is all negative. Here’s what I liked about the book:
– Hughie
– that it wasn’t a depressing book about oppression and hopelessness and making me hate the world
– the book ends on Thanksgiving and I finished it the day after. I know that has nothing to do with the writing or anything, but I thought it was a nice touch.

View all my reviews

Booksmart (Hulu)


I watched this movie over two nights because the first night I got kind of bored with it, so I decided to just go to bed and try again another day. I finished it, but I still wasn’t charmed, and I honestly can’t tell why since it technically has a lot of things I like it. (The two day thing excludes it being my mood.)

Here’s what I liked:
– both main actresses
– Gigi
– the friendship love story OBVIOUSLY (my favorite part of the movie was the fight we all knew was coming but somehow were still surprised by in its viciousness) (oh and also, the way Amy and Molly lavish each other with compliments when they are looking fly)
– the inciting incident
– the bulk of the story being told in one day

What I didn’t like:
– I dunno, man, I just wasn’t feeling it
– also, my favorite part shouldn’t be the saddest part! you know, in general

So yeah. I can’t explain it. Sometimes these things happen. I could feel myself wanting to love it, I could feel all the reasons I should love it, and yet I didn’t love it.

Just a reminder that if you’re on Letterboxd, I’d love to connect!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Have a great (and safe) week, everyone.

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  1. Jinjer

    Great post. LOL’d at some of the comments in your book and movie reviews. I miss Coffee Bean. Wahhhhh.

    I am now following you on Letterboxd but please know that I’m really bad at keeping up with mine.

    • Akilah

      Ha, thanks.

      And that’s fine! I kept forgetting I have it, which is why I’m trying to connect with more people on there.


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