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Some incoherent thoughts from vacation, plus my out-of-control Reading Update

So the best thing about being the last person reporting in on a vacation trip is that so much has already been written about it by others. :) Please note that some of the links below will have NSFW components!

For some reason we took our group photo after Tracy left – from the left, me, Jen, Tam, and Kris:

And here’s Tracy at Yaoi-Con, with some yaoi clutched in her hand and a mysterious pink-haired person sitting next to her:

Does anyone know what the heck this gelatinous blob, found amongst the washed up seaweed on the beach at Carmel, could be?

Look at the tasty gf beer in a frosted glass I had at Allegro Gourmet Pizza in Carmel! (Alas, no photos exist of the delicious gf bacon cheeseburger pizza I devoured there.) (And yes, that is CarrieK‘s arm across the table – I had the chance to hang out with her for a few days, too. I think we knitted together for maybe 20 seconds or so.)

Check out the yummy gf veggie panini and gf red velvet cupcake I ate at Cafe Mariposa!

Meeting blog friends is always wonderful. I would go on vacation with them again, should I ever have the chance.

The best part about Yaoi-Con was meeting all the authors! I’m pretty sure I’ll miss someone, so please forgive me in advance. I met Clare London, Felicitas Ivey, Marie Sexton, Lynn Flewelling, Andrew Grey, Mary Calmes, Amy Lane, TC Blue, ZA Maxfield, Belinda McBride, EM Lynley, Astrid Amara, Ginn Hale, Nicole Kimberling, Rowan McBride, and… *mind goes blank*

The chocolate-covered macaroons from Hot Cookie were the best I’ve ever had… and they’re even available in less graphic shapes than the video might suggest. :)

San Francisco is really, really hilly. You can’t properly appreciate that until you’ve been on a death march with Kris or Tracy.

It’s hard to resist the HRC Store – such a great cause, amazing staff, and cool stuff.

I barely get motion sick at all on electric buses. Damn diesel fumes on regular buses!

NaNoBloMo may kill me, compulsive commenter that I am. Alas, NaNoBloMo peeps, I’m not going to be able to comment on all your posts, no matter how much I’d like to. In part, that’s because work is going to get progressively more crazy throughout the month.

My beloved car experienced brain death while I was on vacation. It is currently awaiting a brain transplant. Please think happy healthy car thoughts for me, ‘k? Also, why the heck would you put a woman who begged for a junker loaner into a 2011 BMW?! *takes deep breaths*

Reading Update
Bedtime Story for a Stolen Child by Anna Mayle. ebook. Excellent m/m dark fantasy about a man, stolen by the Fae when he was a child, who returns to the human world to confront the Changeling who took his place. Recommended.
The Trap by Indigo Wren. ebook. Very good m/m romance about two college roommates, best friends, who planned to start a technology company together… until one of them basically flees into the night without a word. And that’s all I’m going to say about it, because part of what really drew me into this story was having events unfold for me, without really knowing what was going to happen.
Blacque/Bleu by Belinda McBride. ebook. Very good paranormal m/m romance about a deeply closeted werewolf (because there supposedly aren’t any gay werewolves) who gets involved with a vampire… and then his pack responsibilities become more pressing.
The Strength of a Gamma (Pack Discipline, Book 2) by Kim Dare. ebook. Very good kinky paranormal m/m romance about two gamma wolves who are best friends with deeper feelings for each other, but one of them doesn’t believe that he’s good enough to be the other’s mate.
Almost Heaven by Kimberly Gardner. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a guy who’s training for the priesthood and teaching at a parochial high school until his reaction to the much older brother of one of his students has him doubting his chosen path. I had a small niggle about this one, which could’ve been handled with one sentence about how the Ryan situation was resolved. :)
Trust Me by Jeff Erno. ebook. This m/m romance was a very mixed read for me. I really liked the base story, about two boys, one extremely religious, growing up in the 80s and trying to come to terms with their attraction to other boys. But I kept feeling as if I were being drawn into the story, only to be shoved out again, perhaps because there was too much telling and not enough showing? Additionally, the story had these odd, very meta-feeling lecturey interludes that did not work for me at all.
Manfred’s Curse by Shawn Lane. ebook short. Cute short paranormal m/m romance about a guy getting freaked out by the weird storm he’s weathering alone, with only his black cat Manfred to keep him company…
Eat Me by Mia Watts. ebook short. Good short paranormal m/m romance about a man who was cursed 400 years ago to live as domestic lynx belonging to a family of witches. All that remains of the family is a single male descendant, who doesn’t seem to have any curse-breaking magic… I wish this story had been just a bit longer, because the ending happened way too fast.
Oliver and Angus (Shifting Perspectives, Book 1) by Nerine Petros. ebook short. Short paranormal m/m romance with lots of potential that wasn’t quite realized, primarily because too much story was crammed into too few pages, giving the story a very choppy feel. Hopefully the next story about the dingo shifters who’ve sought asylum in a wolf shifter-controlled town in the Australian Outback will be longer, or at least have more transitions and exposition.
Unbound (Bonded II) by Jay Lygon. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance continuing the story of Viking vampire and romance novelist, Brandr, and his vampiric go-go boy housemates. Read the other books first, because in this one, questions are answered and it will make more sense if you know the questions before you get the answers. :)
Faerie Bound by Jenna Castille. ebook. Good kinky paranormal m/m romance about an Alpha wolf shifter and pack leader who’s been hiding his need to be mastered because other shifters would think him weak and challenge him. How will he balance his needs and those of his pack as he seeks his mate? I’m pretty sure there are additional books planned, based on where part of the storyline was left at the HFN end of the book.
The Horror in Dunwich Hall by Johnny Murdoc. ebook short. Good steamy short Lovecraftian m/m story. I absolutely love the first two lines: “There was a naked jock on my bed and a thing with tentacles coming out of my toilet. One of these things did not belong, and if you tell me that it was the naked jock, you shouldn’t be reading this story.” You can read it for free online.
I Take Thee by Zoe Nichols. ebook short. Good short m/m romance about a guy, addicted to E and pot, whose boyfriend has just returned from treatment and is dedicated to staying clean.
Chainbreaker by Kate Roman. ebook short. Very good short m/m romance about a San Francisco bike messenger and his boyfriend.
Someplace in This World, edited by Lee Benoit. ebook collection. Good m/m romance collection about finding the place (or person) where you belong and feel safe and happy.
What You Can’t Live Without by Eden Winters. ebook short. Doctors Without Borders Charity Sip Blitz. Sweet m/m romance about a rich doctor who can’t understand why the doctor he desires has chosen to return home to El Salvador to help his family, rather than staying to become rich in the US.
Where a Hand Is Always Needed by Kara Larson. ebook short. Doctors Without Borders Charity Sip Blitz. Good short m/m story about a teenager visiting family in the Outback, trying to sort out whether he’s gay.
Marked by Sean Michael. ebook. Ok paranormal m/m romance about two werewolves who are mates, but who have been separated for ten years, living half lives, because one can’t shift and was cast out from the pack. If the word “mate” had been used half as many times, it would still have been excessive. Unpleasant as this cover image is, it’s an actual, unmodified stock photo. Ewww!
A Real Boy by J.L. Merrow. free ebook short. Enjoyable (and free) twisted m/m retelling of Pinnochio, with a few other stray fairy tales thrown in around the edges.
Pricks and Pragmatism by J.L. Merrow. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a guy who’s almost done with his university degree. He has no money, so he’s been staying with various guys, basically exchanging sex for food and lodging. But what’s up with the nerdy engineer he’s just moved in with, who doesn’t seem interested in him in that way?
Corruption by Jack Greene. ebook short. Steamy short m/m romance about a straight guy who finds himself unaccountably drawn to a woman dancing in the club Corruption… even after he realizes the woman is actually a twinky boy.
My Girl by Stormy Glenn. ebook. Why do I torture myself so?!? Meh m/m romance about a guy hiding as a woman in witness protection. The weird references to GA Hauser and her books were annoying (rather like a GA Hauser commercial) and the plot holes were classic Stormy Glenn.
Needing Harte (1-800-DOM-help, Book 1) by Marilu Mann. ebook. So-so kinky m/m romance about a closeted cop who’s intensely attracted to a submissive stripper during an investigation and is subsequently given the 1-800-DOM-help number to help him learn about bdsm. This would’ve been much better without the insta-love and an odd bit of woo-woo related to the 800 number.
At Piper’s Point by Ethan Day. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a guy who finally returns to the island where he spent his childhood summers with his unorthodox grandmother. He’s planning to quietly spread her ashes and set her house in order before he leaves in the fall, but things don’t quite go as he’d hoped. I would’ve enjoyed this book more if it had been a bit shorter and more focused.
Blood Heat (Dangerous Ground, Book 3) by Josh Lanyon. ebook. Good romantic suspense in which our agents try to bring in a suspected terrorist and everything that can go wrong does.
River of Need (Tennessee Cops, Book 4) by Shayla Kersten. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a cop who bails out his ex, who’s been picked up for prostitution. I wanted a bit more from this story – a bit more length, a bit more depth.


…..zzzzzzzz….. -Mayhem

Apparently May’s plan to stake out my suitcase and prevent me from leaving again was more exhausting than she anticipated…

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An Epic Episode of Linkity

Contests

  • Jackie of Literary Escapism is holding a baby pool – two lucky winners will receive $15 gift certificates to the online bookstore of their choice.
  • Ms Moonlight is giving away five print m/m romance books (Tri-Omega Mates by Stormy Glenn; Switch by Claire Thompson; Frost Fair by Erastes; Male of the Species by Kate Steele; Polar Reaction by Claire Thompson) to a follower of her blog. Contest closes noon EDT, May 7. You must live in the US or Canada to win.

Free Reads

  • Check out the Free Gay Ebooks page at the GLBT Bookshelf, which has free stories from Josh Lanyon, Mary Calmes, Victor J. Banis (the first Stanley and Tom Deadly mystery! I love that series.), Eden Winters, P.D. Singer, P.A. Brown, Claire Thompson, and more. (Thanks to Mary Calmes for the link!)
  • My Reading Update (below) has links to some of the books above, plus links to additional free m/m romance ebooks. Apparently it was freebie week!

Reading & Book Miscellania

  • Beware this nasty and elaborate scam in which victims are pressured to accept a “‘pre-trial settlement’ for copyright violations.”
  • Hmm. This bookcase seems like it’d be a bit hard on books – but what great exercise!

Ebook News & Views

  • Some articles on how public libraries are dealing with ebooks.

Covers

  • Thanks to SciFiGuy for the link to the amusing Good Show, Sir blog, which features the very worst of scifi and fantasy covers, complete with snarky commentary.

Reviewing

Learn, Make, Do, Think

  • Lay’s has restructured salt to help it dissolve faster and reduce the amount of salt needed for taste.
  • If you’re into genealogy, check out the new FamilySearch.

Huh

  • A sculpture made from cords and cables – love the quote from Gizmodo: “I do, though, wish I could stop myself from thinking how annoying it’d be to untangle all of those cords.”

Gluten-Free

LOL

The Cute

Reading Update
All or Nothing (Taking the Odds, Book 3) by James Buchanan. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense, being the continuing adventures of Nicky and Brandon. With a beloved series, I always worry that a new release won’t live up to the previous books, but I should’ve known better. So go. Go get the first book, Cheating Chance, and read it. I’ll wait. :)
Only for Him (Only, Book 2) by Shawn Lane. ebook. Sweet m/m romance about a slightly outrageous administrative assistant at a law firm who’s really attracted to a cutely nerdy guy (one of the firm’s partners).
Cow Pie Bingo by Addison Albright. ebook short. reread. A guy who’s recently realized that he’s gay but has no idea what to do next discovers a very cute guy in line at his kissing booth…
The Wish by Eden Winters. ebook. Very good m/m paranormal romance about two guys who have never met, but dislike each other based on reputation and circumstance. (Hmm. Possibly my most vague summary ever!) I don’t want to tell you too much about the story, because part of what I enjoyed about it was reading and putting the pieces together. How about I just say I highly recommend it? :)
The Boy Under the Bridge by Eden Winters. ebook short. This is about a character who makes a brief appearance in The Wish and isn’t treated particularly well or shown in the best light – it’s surprisingly satisfying to find out what happens to him. You should definitely read The Wish first!
The Telling by Eden Winters. free ebook. Good m/m romance about a soldier who returns from Iraq suffering from PTSD and crippling guilt.
The French Have a Word for It by Josh Lanyon. free ebook short. Very good short m/m romance about a young man painting in France who runs into the bodyguard who rescued him from kidnappers when he was a teen.
Pinky Swear by Lynn Lorenz. ebook. Good m/m romance about two guys who grew up next door to each other in New Orleans and were best friends until a misunderstanding drove them apart and they lost touch… and then Hurricane Katrina arrives.
Upwardly Mobile by Clare London. ebook short. Steamy m/m romance about a couple talking to each other on the phone, one from his parked car, the other from the train…
Home Sweet Home by Clare London. ebook short. Ok m/m romance about a couple who have been taking a break from each other, not sure that their differences are surmountable.
Swap Meet by Lolita Lopez. ebook. This m/m romance is terribly misnamed. It should be The Straight French Billionaire and the Gay Firefighter, especially since it reads like a smokin’ hot category romance, complete with the slightly awkward writing. The straight French billionaire is accompanying a female coworker to a partner swapping event – he’s just there because she needs to appear to be part of a couple to get in. A mysterious, magnetically handsome man gives the billionaire a card with just a name and a room number and the billionaire cannot resist going to the room… (Issue: If this is a couple’s event, who the heck did said magnetically handsome man arrive with? That’s never mentioned.)
Last One Standing (The Five of Swords) by Andy Slayde & Ali Wilde. ebook. Decent m/m romance about a prostitute who tries to blackmail a customer and instead ends up off the streets, working as a dishwasher. I liked this a lot more before the ending – it felt like the story simply stopped. If this kicks off one of those Torquere serials, I’ll be mightily annoyed. (Also, if they managed to tie the Tarot into this Arcana, I completely missed it.)
Angelfish by M. King. ebook. Very good m/m story about a guy, back in New Zealand after attending college in England, who isn’t settling comfortably into parental expectations as he’s haunted by the mocking image of a tattoo.
The Ice Shack by M. King. ebook short. Good m/m short about a couple getting away from their families over the holidays.
First Day of Forever by Mary Calmes. free ebook short. Sweet m/m romance about two guys who were best friends growing up. Did one wait too long to figure out what he wanted? (Needs a few more commas…)
If by Rowena Sudbury. free ebook short. Meh m/m story about two martial artists who train and live together, until one realizes the other has been lying to him. I didn’t really care about either of them by the end of the story, so… *sigh*
Waiting by P.D. Singer. free ebook short. Good m/m romance about a spring break that gets off to a really rocky start when Daniel’s boyfriend shows up at the airport with a girl clinging to him.
More Than Just a Good Book by Sloan Parker. free ebook short. Very good m/m short story about two guys who meet in the college library. *fans self*
Gregori’s Ghost by Sarah Black. free ebook. Very good m/m romance about a neurologist whose dying grandfather charges him with looking after the son of a man befriended by his grandfather during WWII. I’m definitely going to be reading more Sarah Black.
Some Place Only We Know by Christiane France. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a rather innocent bookstore owner who volunteers at a hospice, where he meets a writer who’s visiting his brother. Beware! Instalove alert!
The Five of Wands by Sara Bell. ebook. Decent m/m romance about a resident suspended after being accused of a careless medication error who finds help from an unexpected source.
Only Human by Glyn Soitino. ebook short. Good paranormal m/m romance about a man, created by a wizard with all the knowledge he needs to survive, who falls for a closeted cop. I didn’t realize until I was well into this story that it was the sequel to Out of the Blue. Oh well.
Hoosier Werewolf: Howl and Prowl by Kate Steele. ebook collection. Very good paranormal m/m romance collection of three stories about werewolves finding their mates. The cover’s the usual Changeling Press horror and the title’s kind of weird, but this was one well-done and scorching read.
BDSFerret by Celia Kyle. holiday ebook short. While this m/m paranormal romance about a ferret shifter going to a prairie dog shifter bar is billed as being a satire, it only managed that once or twice.
Passion’s Victory by K.C. Kendricks. ebook. So-so m/m romance about a guy who owns part of an architectural firm and can’t resist the newly contracted, older architect. Does Kendricks always write in first person point-of-view? Seems like it, from what I’ve read. Not my favorite, especially when the characters don’t seem particularly guy-like.
A Hard Habit To Break by K.C. Kendricks. ebook. Another so-so romance about two guys who’ve been in love with each other since high school, but allowed massive miscommunication and misunderstandings to come between them. Another story told in first person… Also, I think the blurb for this one is a bit misleading, so beware.


*happy sleepy stretchy clawy purry* -Chaos

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Today’s forecast is for sunshine and linkity

Contest Update

  • JessaLu’s celebrating her blogiversary with a big contest – she’ll have five knitting related prizes, one for each year that she’s been blogging. The prizes are wonderful – some of her gorgeous box bags, socks knit for you on her sock knitting machine, or gorgeous sock yarn dyed by Scout. Contest closes midnight EST, February 19… and tell her I sent ya. :)

Reading & Beyond

  • What are your reading neuroses? A major one of mine is getting extremely anxious about what’s going to happen to characters in books, to the point that I need to put the book down and have a bit of a lie down.

Yay, Minnesota!

Get Your Geek On

Eh, Canada

  • Music blog Star Maker Machine is focusing on Canadian songs this week in honor of the Olympics.

Yum

Fun & Kitties & Goats, Oh My

  • Aww! How come my kitties have never slept in such a configuration?!

Reading Update
Thanks to jmc of Shuffling through a book-less desert, where I won a copy of the historical m/m romance, Seducing Stephen!

Love Ahead by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux. ebook collection. These two m/m romances were decent, but you can definitely tell that they were older stories from Urban and Roux. And, as Tam pointed out when she read them a week or two ago, how names are used in each story was definitely odd. In the first, both guys mostly used each others’ last names. That was ok, since they knew each other through their work at a construction site. Then, later in the story, when they started to use each others’ first names, it was obviously supposed to indicate their growing closeness and intimacy. I get that. But why the hell did they both have first and last names that could be first or last names?! It was so confusing. So very confusing. And in the next story? The name thing? Really? You never exchanged actual names after talking to each other on the phone for months? *headdesk*
Snow Plowed (Bay City Paranormal Investigations) by Ally Blue. free holiday short. This was a cute’n’steamy m/m Valentine’s short with the characters from Love, Like Ghosts. And if you haven’t read the Bay City Paranormal Investigations series, what are you waiting for?! It’s one of the series that sucked me into reading m/m romance. Hmm… Ok, maybe that’s why you haven’t. ;)
Petit Morts 1-5: Hue, Tint and Shade; Slings and Arrows; Moolah and Moonshine; Other People’s Weddings; Spanish Fly Guy (1, 3, 5 by Jordan Castillo Price; 2, 4 by Josh Lanyon). ebook shorts. These delightful little m/m romances are all loosely based around a mysterious chocolate shop and Chance, its equally mysterious proprietor. Although I enjoyed each and every one, I think that #4 (Other People’s Weddings by Josh Lanyon) was my favorite, with #1 (Hue, Tint and Shade by Jordan Castillo Price) following closely behind. Recommended. (Val at Obsidian Bookshelf has much more detailed reviews of the Petit Morts, as does Jenre of Well Read.)
Holiday Outing by Astrid Amara. ebook. Another delightful Hannukah m/m romance from Astrid Amara! A successful author of gay fiction, still closeted to his family, gets snowed in with his family (and a high school nemesis) for Hannukah.
Fantasies: Thanksgiving by Cassandra Gold. ebook. Enjoyable m/m romance about two guys, one gay, one straight, who have been friends for many years… and then something changes in their friendship. (We’ll be revisiting this cover image at some point in the future, too.)
True North (Lost Boys & Love Letters, Book 1) by Bethany Brown & Ashlyn Kane. ebook. Darn good m/m romance about a deeply closeted petroleum engineer and the new doctor in town, and about how limiting it can be to let your fears control you.
Picture Perfect (Lost Boys & Love Letters, Book 2) by Bethany Brown & Ashlyn Kane. ebook. Ok m/m romance that started out feeling like a freestanding story, but seemed as if, partway through, it suddenly needed to become part of a series (the few paragraphs that were apparently supposed to tie it to True North didn’t seem, to me, to fit)… probably right about the time it detoured into m/m/m for a bit. Very ambivalent about reading the third book.
Hero by Heidi Cullinan. ebook. This was another read for Kris’ m/m rut challenge. This was a fantasy (I guess sort of an urban fantasy, actually) based on the Japanese myth of the kitsune. Intellectually, I could tell it was a pretty good story, but I was fighting against the fantastical elements of the story the entire time. So, basically, I don’t think I can fairly rate this one.
Heart and Soul (The Assignment, Book 2) by Evangeline Anderson. ebook. Ah, this poor m/m romantic suspense got a bit caught in my expectations for it (sequel to The Assignment!) and my discomfort with parts of the story itself. Don’t get me wrong – it was a decent read and definitely worth reading if you enjoyed the previous book (and subsequent shorts) – but I had trouble reading around all the plot holes. *sigh*
Coach, In Bear’s Bed, Office Advances, and A Biker’s Vow (Campus Cravings, Books 1, 7, 8, & 9) by Carol Lynne. ebooks. Reading Carol Lynne is like eating potato chips – not very filling and you know they’re probably not good for you, but you just can’t stop. O_o As you might guess from the name of this series, it’s set on a college campus. (And yes, that is Candy Cane Guy In Bear’s Bed! That naughty boy…) Oddly, at the end of A Biker’s Vow, this series appears to be intersecting with Lynne’s Cattle Valley series.
Sonny’s Salvation (Good-Time Boys, Book 1) by Carol Lynne. ebook. See my comment on reading Carol Lynne books above. :) Sonny quit the FBI to run the family ranch in Nebraska after his dad died. Too bad there aren’t many gay men in rural Nebraska… (And I already know I won’t be reading past the third book in this series, based on the subject matter of the fourth book.)
Rules Were Made To Be Broken by Lenore Black. ebook. Pretty good m/m romance about a guy who recently took over running the family sporting goods store and his (straight) best friend who’s feeling a bit jealous of the store and all the time it takes up. Very nice review of this and Lenore Black’s other works over at Dear Author.
Dead Men Get No Tail by Misty Malone. ebook short. Ok m/m romance about two college roommates, one of whom decides to have a fake funeral for himself. This one left me sort of “Huh?”
Fool for Love by Cassandra Gold. ebook. I’m not a big fan of May-December romances, but Cassandra Gold does a nice job with this m/m romance between a professor and his college student neighbor.


“Sheesh, May, you totally missed this spot by your elbow when you were bathing. What a slob.” -Chaos

*strikes kitty yoga pose #742* -Mayhem

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It came from the phone…

Congrats to Dana, who won the copy of My Everything by Julia Rachel Barrett… and congrats to Julia on the release of My Everything today!


Today’s little series of photos has no theme other than that all the pictures were taken with my phone. You’d never guess that I actually have a real camera that has a bunch more megapixels, based on how many pictures I take with my phone and its crappy 2.0 megapixel camera. :)

We have indeed gone to Winter Parking Restrictions. See the ticket shoved into the snow on the windshield of the car below? Always a lot of ticketing and towing during Snow Emergencies and Winter Parking Restrictions. (If you’ve recently found yourself shoveling a lot of snow, you might want to check to make sure you’re doing it properly.)

Pizza is one of my favorite foods and I make it nearly every week. I start with Rustic Crust Gluten Free Pizza Crust and top it with pizza or spaghetti sauce, Hormel Turkey Pepperoni (which says gluten free right on the label), sliced mushrooms, and low fat mozzarella. Yum! (No, you’re right, I’m not going to quit my day job to become a food photographer any time soon.)

My beloved mp3 player, looking stealthy and mysterious in its black silicone skin.

And for the knitters, especially poor Nicole, who reads “Misadventures in Stock Photography” as “Sock Photography” every time, the Eternal Socks of Eternity!

“Hey, Mayhem, you missed the socks and needles on the floor.” -Chaos

“Big kitty! I think I saw a bird fly by the window. Bird! Bird! Bird!” -Mayhem

“That girl is bird crazy. Let’s see if I can irrevocably tangle this ball of yarn before Mom can rescue it…” -Chaos

*Neither yarn nor birds were harmed during the production of this post.

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Bullet Post: The Auto and Home Repair Edition, with Some GF Bullets, Too

  • You might’ve heard that we had some snow (5-8″) last Wednesday.
  • Followed by some cold – it was -5F/-20.6C when I got in my car Thursday morning.
  • Brrr!
  • My drive was particularly exciting Thursday morning, since I had to drive to the car dealer to get the ASC repaired.
  • What’s ASC? Automatic Stabilization Control – the thing that kicks in when your car starts to slide on slippery roads.
  • Yup, roads are pretty slippery after a bunch of snow.
  • The drive was… memorable, in a white-knuckled sort of way.
  • Sure is nice to have ASC again.
  • Friday afternoon, my car got stuck while I was trying to get into the parking lot behind my building.
  • Many thanks to the two neighbors who helped push and got the car unstuck!
  • Sunday morning we woke up to no heat in the condo – turns out one of the pumps on the boiler went out.
  • Fortunately, it only took a few hours for a repair guy to get the heat going again.
  • Good thing, since the cats were holding me personally responsible for how cold it was: “If you loved us, Mom, it wouldn’t be cold like this.”
  • Do you wish you lived in Minneapolis yet? ;)
  • Sunday afternoon I learned how to use a drain auger and spent a nasty hour or so cleaning out a massive clog under the kitchen sink.
  • Said clog seemed to have been formed by the unholy union of cat hair (note to self – try to keep Mayhem from sleeping in the kitchen sink), coffee grounds from rinsing off the espresso maker, and primordial ooze.
  • Ewww.
  • I am actually knitting!
  • However, it’s for a present, so I’m not sure I’ll post about it until after Christmas.
  • One of the things that’s been sad for me since going gluten-free is not having good bread for sandwiches.
  • Most gf bread has an unfortunate texture or crumbles into bits when used for sandwiches unless it’s toasted.
  • Only eating sandwiches on toast gets old really fast.
  • If you require a gluten-free diet (or know someone who does), I highly recommend the magazine Gluten-Free Living, which I’ve been reading since it was a newsletter.
  • Are you confused by the conflicting gluten-free diet information provided by various organizations? Gluten-Free Living examines such information scientifically to support or debunk it.
  • The current issue is especially good, as it’s a “best of” issue.
  • Make sure you stop back tomorrow, when I’ll kick off an ebook (by a Twin Cities author) giveaway to celebrate its release!

Can you figure out this picture? (Nope, you are right, she’s not in the kitchen sink… at the moment.)

“…..zzzzzzzzzzzz…..” -Mayhem

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