Blurt!Sben

Went to the game store for Magic with the dude and Greg and his son. We had a good time; one guy played against me and Greg and the dude in his three rounds.

Sun., Apr. 14, 2024, 1:22:36pm PDT

Mowed the lawn yesterday, first time this year.

Sun., Apr. 14, 2024, 1:21:19pm PDT

Finished reading The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett, another murder mystery, though not quite so noir-y as Cahokia Jazz. This one is set in an odd fantasy world, and we’re left with a clear path to more stories starring the protagonist and his brash boss.

Thinking back on it, the book feels somewhat similar to Bridge of Birds.

Fri., Apr. 12, 2024, 8:21:42am PDT

Took Mom to the airport with her sister and brother-in-law for their trip to the east coast.

Wed., Apr. 10, 2024, 10:48:28am PDT

Finished reading Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. This was a harrowing book, written in the early ’90s, about a teenager growing up as the United States is collapsing in 2024. It ended on a slightly hopeful note, and the book’s society is more collapsed than ours, so I guess there’s that.

Content warning: nothing on-screen, but there are plenty of references to rape.

Thu., Apr. 4, 2024, 10:32:04pm PDT

Today’s kitchen victories: crêpes with berry sauce, bœuf Bourguignon, bread, and crème brûlée.

Sun., Mar. 31, 2024, 9:12:13pm PDT

Went to the International District with the family, bringing Mom along and meeting Greg and Jocelyn and their kids. The bambina gave us a little tour, the dude peeled off and explored book stores along the light rail line, and all had a good time.

Sat., Mar. 30, 2024, 9:45:49pm PDT

Finished reading You Deserve a Tech Union by Ethan Marcotte. I’ve needed to pace myself with this, because I keep getting mad about my job and the industry as a whole. Even though the point of the book is to inspire and mobilize unionizing, I’ve ended up disheartened. (This will pass.)

Sun., Mar. 24, 2024, 10:41:05am PDT

Finished reading Cahokia Jazz by Francis Spufford, a noir set in the city of Cahokia in an alternate 1922. The story ends up being a bit like one of Le Guin’s (explicitly so), ending up asking whether a utopia is worth the price; in the meantime, it explores cultural identity, racism, and economics, with all the elements of noir (a corrupt establishment, dirty police, a femme fatale, etc.). I loved this, another candidate for book of the year.

Sat., Mar. 23, 2024, 3:22:06pm PDT

Did a little yardening with Meghan, and finally took Christmas things down to the cellar.

Sat., Mar. 16, 2024, 7:57:48pm PDT

Tonight’s kitchen victory: corned beef and roasted cabbage.

Sat., Mar. 16, 2024, 7:08:11pm PDT

Met up with Susannah and friends for an online birthday jigsaw puzzle.

Sat., Mar. 16, 2024, 2:39:16pm PDT

Finished reading The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler. This was a wild ride — I couldn’t put it down — about labor and sentience and connection. Very briefly: a woman and the only possibly-sentient android explore the possibility of an octopus civilization, while a man is enslaved on a fishing trawler run by an AI and a savant tries to hack into a more sophisticated AI. This will be sticking with me for a while, a candidate for book of the year.

Rhymes with Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Ruin and, unexpectedly, Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” which I’ve already been listening to quite a bit lately.

Mar. 14, 2024, 10:27pm

Mom came up for the kids’ band concert.

Mar. 13, 2024, 10:26am

Finished reading Witch King by Martha Wells, whose protagonist is the demon a bunch of fools tried to bind in the first chapter. Turns out he’s mostly a nice guy, or at least trying, as he tries to (in one arc of the story) overthrow an evil empire and (in the other) prevent a new empire from taking its place. Quite good.

Mar. 9, 2024, 8:28pm