March 2019 Reading Piles

Books & Mags

I got quite an awesome haul from the library:

Library Pile March 2019

In fiction I found The Afterwards by EK Johnston, The Song of All by Tina LeCount Myers, Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo and Ann Leckie’s The Raven Tower. On the non-fiction side, there’s Jane Austen’s Transatlantic Sister by Sheila Johnson Kindred.

I’m apparently really hungry for reading, for that’s not my only pile this month:

Reading Pile March 2019

From top to bottom: Little Men by Louisa May Alcott, Mem by Bethany C. Morrow, Home Fires by Julie Summers and the non-fiction title Silence: A Social History of One of the Least Understood Elements of Our Lives by Jane Brox. Finally, there’s the not-quite-brand-new-anymore Terminal Uprising by Jim C. Hines.

In addition, I’m slogging my way through all of Agatha Christie’s Hercules Poirot books, slowly but surely. The latest I’ve gotten to is Mrs. McGinty’s Dead – a fascinating case hinging (in part) by the first name Evelyn, which can apparently be both male or female. I love the fact that despite a Master’s degree and 20+ years of daily use I still learn new things about English!

Anything special you’d recommend?

Loved on Screen: The Theory of Everything

Movies & TV

We recently saw the movie The Theory of Everything, a biopic of physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking focussing on the relationship between him and Jane, his first wife.

The Theory of Everything

I picked the movie basically because I really like the female lead, Felicity Jones; she also rocks in Northanger Abbey and Rogue One, plus visits as a society burglar in the Doctor Who episode “The Unicorn and the Wasp”. Every performance in Everything, however, was excellent, as was the writing and directing.

The stunning, gripping soundtrack is by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, who was nominated for a Grammy, BAFTA and the Academy Award and won a Golden Globe for it. I really loved his work on Arrival, too. Jóhannsson sadly passed away in 2018, about a month before Hawking.

Here’s the end credits music: “Arrival of the Birds” & “Transformation” performed by The Cinematic Orchestra.

The Theory of Everything – Soundtrack ending scene (The Cinematic Orchestra – Arrival of the birds) via sintomopersistente on YouTube

I don’t think these two pieces are Jóhannsson’s, but they’re nevertheless so, so beautiful.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Hopefully Last Snowfall

My Spaces

This winter hasn’t been at all bad, weather- and snow-wise. Nevertheless, I notice myself yearning for warmer temperatures and especially AN END TO THE BLASTED SNOW:

Hopefully Last Snowfall

The view above is from yesterday. It started snowing in the morning and continued through afternoon. Bleah. Ohwell; I dare say it’ll end soon enough. In fact, don’t you say in English that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb?

Celebrating International Women’s Day with a Captain Marvel Viewing

Geek out!, Movies & TV

March 08 is International Women’s Day. Very appropriately, we are celebrating by going to see Captain Marvel!

IMDB Captain Marvel Eyes Horizontal

Marvel Studios via IMDB.

I’m hoping it’ll be as awesome as the trailers look!

To the people complaining that this version of Marvel is too political and therefore massively off-putting, I have only one thing to say.

(Long post warning.)

Faux Fireplace with Tablecloth “Tile” Surround

Fabrics & Materials, Inspiration, Stunt Double

I’m always on the lookout for unusual solutions to decorating problems. The fireplace below certainly applies: despite it’s traditional looks, the reality is very non-traditional.

DSponge Schroors Netherlands Fireplace Sm

It’s from the Drachten, Netherlands, home of Mindy and Theo Schroor. From their description (the mantel is “purely decorative”) it sounds like the fireplace is a faux one built around an electric stove. The tile surround is actually a tablecloth mounted to the wall.

I’ve seen clever faux fireplaces before. In this one, it’s the tablecloth surround that really makes the whole, however: the print displays copies of Dutch artists’ work and details from Delftware ceramics, repeated tile-style, as a lovely nod to the local history. The history nerd in me definitely appreciates the choice!

Found via design*sponge.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

February 2019 Recap

Newsletters

This February had loads of paperwork, as usual. Fortunately for me, Valentine’s Day came right after I finished my taxes. Time for yummy loot!

Discounted Valentines Chocolates

We usually buy Valentine’s Day candy only after it has gone on sale, so, perfect timing.

What differs from previous years is that I got my tax stuff figured out by mid-month. I’m very pleased by the achievement and have made copious notes to make the process as fast in the future. (I hope!)

Weatherwise, this February was oddly low-snow. We did get a number snowfalls, but they were relatively few and far between. In the very beginning of the month, we had a load of light, fluffy snow, with sun and high winds the following day. The powdery snow fell off the trees in huge, gorgeous, transparent curtains, almost like mist.

Powder Snow Falling off Trees

My photo doesn’t do it justice at all; it was magnificent!

Towards the mid-month, we had another layer. Afterwards, in the wee hours of the morning, the neighborhood turkeys apparently had places to be:

Turkey Track Central

So many different paths all over! There’s also at least one set of fox tracks there. And speaking of foxes, one Saturday, a bright and glorious morning, one came round to check around the bird feeder in our neighbor’s back yard.

Fox at Bird Feeder

It seems that spring is early this year – and you get no complaints from me. Although I could do with less pollen this early in the year…

Sadly, the latter half of February brought two deaths in Husband’s extended family, which cast a pall on otherwise sunny days.

I hope your year is still off to a good start.

Congrats: Black Panther Wins Three Oscars!

Geek out!, Movies & TV, Thumbs Up

Black Panther won three Oscars at the 91st Academy Awards on Sunday!

Ruth Carter – so, so deservedly! – won the Achievement in Costume Design, Sweden’s Ludwig Göransson won the Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score), and the Achievement in Production Design went to Hannah Beachler (Production Design) and Jay Hart (Set Decoration).

Instagram The Academy Ruth Carter w Oscar 2019

Ruth Carter with her Oscar. The Academy on Instagram.

My warmest congratulations to all the BP winners! Keep on busting down that glass ceiling!

A Turkey Visit

My Spaces

One recent morning when I was preparing to go upstairs to my workroom, I heard a rustling, scraping sound that was quite loud and really close. I lifted my head to see a young male turkey standing on our back deck rail:

Turkey on Deck Railing

He stood there for a few minutes and then re-joined the little flock down on the ground. We’ve been seeing the three of them around quite a bit this winter.

My guess is he was looking for birdseed. Our next-door neighbor has a birdfeeder that the wild turkeys often visit. He doesn’t have any on his deck, though; perhaps this young fella was just overly curious.

Some February 2019 Reads

Books & Mags

My February reading has been all over the place. Just look at this representative selection:

Reading Pile February 2019

From left to right: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, A Study in Honor by Claire O’Dell, Rogue Protocol plus Exit Strategy – the latest two in the Murderbot Diaries series – by Martha Wells and, finally, Vigilance by Robert Jackson Bennett.

In my youth, I read a lot of what was then called girl lit (or tyttökirja in my native Finnish). I’ve never read some of the classics in their original English, though, so I gave Little Women a shot. I have to say the young me missed so many of the nuances!

A Study in Honor, however, was the most refreshing take on the Sherlock Holmes & Doctor Watson duo I’ve come across. It was at times hard (and at times boring) to read about Watson’s PTSD, but once I started thinking of that part as formation of personality (like coming-of-age stories) it made more sense to me. Also, I LOVED how many women were present both in the fore- and background! It took me a while to get to book 1, but I liked it so much that the sequel, The Hound of Justice, will go directly to the top of my to-be-read pile.

And I just adore Murderbot! (Don’t let the name fool you!)

Anything you’ve especially liked recently? Do share!