013/2024 – Books and Rants

I did not wake up around 5 this morning. Weird, but I’ll take it. Maybe it really is a weeknight thing. I slept in and then spent at least 30 minutes reading in bed as well, which I always consider a lovely start to the weekend. My current book is “Someone Else’s Love Story” by Joshilyn Jackson. I had enjoyed a previous novel from her and this sounded interesting enough. And it is, even though the main characters and the core of their backstories are introduced only bit by bit. Still early enough in the plot, but I felt myself getting impatient.

When I yesterday finished “The Last Thing He Told Me” by Laura Dave – my thoughts are here – I once again or more clearly than ever before noticed something about myself. No matter what kind of story I am reading, I very often hope for the happy-ending as in: girl finds her boy or finds her girl or boy finds his boy or whatever, just that the main character please ends up with a significant other of some kind. No matter the genre of the story! Because I don’t just do that with romance novels where a happy end is the simple end point of it all, but with thrillers or general fiction as well, unless the set of characters clearly isn’t meant to be romantically / emotionally involved in any kind. I don’t want to use armchair psychology to self-analyze that. I just thought it’s interesting. For instance in “The Last Thing He Told Me” I was half subconsciously wondering if Jake or even Charlie might be a potential ‘new guy’ for Hannah, depending how the story with Owen would play out. How 1950s of me is that? A woman – and neither a man – doesn’t need to have a partner to live a fulfilled and happy life. But my mind so often still goes there. So weird!

Talking about books: I’m still working my way through Clive James “Cultural Amnesia” one essay at a time a few times every other few days, whenever I’m in the mood. And I enjoy it for it’s informative and educational content and the prose as well. But some time ago I felt the need to counterbalance it with a light and entertaining book on female historical figures. Because about 80% of Clive James’ essays are on men. And while I can guess why that might be the case – history has always paid more attention to men and thus there is more evidence of them and men have played more vital roles in shaping the world because we have lived in a patriarchal world since the beginning of time – I still like to read about badass important female figures for a change as well!

Photo of two books stacked on one another: Clive James Cultural Amnesia and What would Boudicca do
My current non-fiction read

I should and need to do some proper IT admin this weekend and fix an old website I’m still hosting on my server for mostly sentimental reasons. I turned it into a WordPress blog a few years ago and then ignored it and didn’t update anything and now the site states there is a (WordPress) problem. It will need some fiddling I guess.

At least restoring my Nextcloud with all the files – sans the calendar sadly – worked fine, which was a relief all in all. Some more personal and political admin stuff needs to be done as well, but not today as it’s turned early evening once I’ve picked up the thread of thoughts on books and such I started putting down around noon.

When I decided to run a few errands at the shops this afternoon I took my camera, because I thought maybe I’d be in the mood for a wander around on the streets near by for some “urban photography”, anything creative with the camera, but the rain drizzle that came down stopped me from doing that.

The checkout queue at the ALDI was quite long so I put my mask on while I was waiting in line. A little girl (about 2-3 years, I’d guess) in the shopping cart in front of my looked at me with shy but inquiring eyes. I pulled down the mask and smiled to signal there’s no risk and because the one thing I definitely missed a lot during lockdown was the catch eyes and smile interaction with toddlers in the supermarket. I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a freak or worse, you know what I mean: The entertaining smile and wave and such with small children to pass the time in a queue? Anyway, the toddler’s mum listened to the girl say something in their native language and then smiled and said “she’s wondering why you wear a mask”. I was about to answer when the mum had already turned away, because she clearly wasn’t interested herself and that was fine by me. I’ve reached the point where I don’t care what other people think but to explain my reasons unfortunately too often still make me feel like I have to defend / justify myself and I wasn’t in the mood for that.

Over in the EDEKA (another supermarket) I managed to buy some of the last remaining bell peppers, which reminded me again, that I should have gone to the shops earlier, but I wasn’t in the mood for masses of people. The older I get the more I feel like I turn into a hermit and I’m not sure if I’m ok with that.

Memo to myself: Write about the outlier feeling of not being super into the traditions and community aspect of going out and of going to every local event here in the town I was born, raised and still reside in.

While I was in that checkout queue though I started (not for the first time) wondering about why on earth anyone would spend money on “Waterdrop”, which according to their website “is a small, sugar-free cube that adds an instant burst of fruity flavour to any water” (I purposefully don’t link to that page, just google it) You can get a bit of flavour for a much lower price by just adding a bit of tea or juice to your water. Which I do and I do at home anyway.

Photo of a boxes of micro drinks on a supermarket shelf

From what I gather on the photo there are 12 portions for 500ml in the box, so that’s 6 per / litre. One box costs 7,50 €, that’s 1,25 € per litre. You can even buy flavoured (mineral) water for so much less. I assume the selling point is that you can give flavour to the fresh tap water you fill in your reusable water bottle / pitcher at home. But still 1.25 € for a bit of flavour. The other selling point probably are the unique flavours like “SKY – Pineberry – Passion Fruit – Prickly Pear”.

For Fucks Sake! We are so lost! As a selling point they also use the variety of added vitamins and micronutrients and the fact that they don’t sell flavoured water in plastic bottles, but to me it’s all such a dupe. People obviously buy it though, because I’ve seen it on the shelves for a few years now.

The people behind the idea and the company are three white men. No surprise there, really.

Rant over!

I started listing my current read and what I’ve been listening to down here, but then realized it’s either already mentioned above or just super boring stuff, because I don’t feel like linking to much of the news pieces and such of what I’ve read today. I might need to think of another way to incorporate that into a (almost) daily post.

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