About a year ago, my Very Favorite Restaurant made a Horrible Decision. Rotolos, a pizza chain in Louisiana, dropped their 8-inch personal pizzas from the menu in favor of either 13-inch pizzas or pizza-by-the-slice, which only included cheese, pepperoni, and a daily specialty pizza. The last thing we would want is two pizzas because mine, at least, would never be eaten because of Our Friend the Beetus. Palmer likes meaty pizzas with marinara sauce, and I like vegetarian pizzas with alfredo sauce, so you can see how a problem might arise.
After this Terrible Decision, we didn’t go back for several months, until their sign miraculously said “Personal pizzas are back!” We went in for dinner, only to be told that those pizzas were only served at lunch, and possibly only during football season.
In the meantime, I discovered that their buffalo wings are very tasty (and they don’t make me feel like Death afterward like Buffalo Wild Wings’ do), so we went back every few weeks. Welllll, last week we were talking to the manager about a ridiculous Detroit Style pizza that looks like dessert, and he said they’d brought back personal pizzas all day and for good! Hence the photo above.
I’m glad they saw the errors of their ways. Here’s a double rainbow.
I’ve read so few books this year that this should, at least be easy. My current count on Goodreads is 28, which will hopefully be 29 before January 1 if I finish Lord of the Rings in time. I’m currently around 45%, so we’ll see how that turns out. I should also probably note that a few of these were children’s books, so that count should probably be smaller.
I was about to link to all the others, but then I realized that all of those posts are in an unlinkable nether region somewhere in Palmer’s domain. Maybe I should dig them up, but I’m not going to because I’ve Moved On from the book blog. Except that I’m currently writing a post about books.
As in the past, I’ll list the books and rate them. Bold means I really liked them, italics means I didn’t like them, and no emphasis means they were good enough.
God – Reza Aslan
Senlin Ascends – Josiah Bancroft
Cooking up a Storm – Staff of the Times Picayune
The Black Tides of Heaven – Jy Yang
Adulthood is a Myth – Sarah Andersen
Syllabus – Lynda Barry
Winter – Ali Smith
Every Heart a Doorway – Seanan McGuire
Wildlife – Richard Ford
It Devours! – Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
Last Look – Charles Burns
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents – Terry Pratchett
A Piece of the World – Christina Baker Kline
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami
Found Audio – N.J. Campbell
Sing, Unburied, Sing – Jesmyn Ward
Artemis – Andy Weir
The Bird King – G. Willow Wilson
Honor Girl – Maggie Thrash
My Father’s Dragon – Ruth Stiles Gannett
Christmas in Camelot – Mary Pope Osborne
Monet Paints a Day – Lucy Danneberg
Claude Monet – Catherine Nichols
Linnea in Monet’s Garden – Christina Bjork
The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree – Stan Berenstain
The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien
The Two Towers – J.R.R. Tolkien
The Return of the King – J.R.R. Tolkien (assuming I finish it in time)
That’s definitely more wins than losses, which is good since there were so few.
And the winner, you ask? Probably Sing, Unburied, Sing. I’m disqualifying Lord of the Rings because I’ve read it before, or those three novels together might have won.
My least favorite, by far, was Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor by Lynda Barry. The format is awesome, and it’s colorful and super nice to look at, but it’s infuriatingly dumb.
Next year, I’m hoping to hit 50 again. 2018 has been busy, and I’ve been finding lots of stuff to do that doesn’t involve reading. I’ve pretty much stopped using Facebook, so hopefully I can invest my reclaimed time on reading – or at least something more worthwhile than staring at my feed.
Where have I been you ask? BUSY. Until today, anyway. Here’s a pictorial review of my December so far:
Aren’t photos without descriptions the best? Here are some clues: a wedding, the dentist, the gym, the doggos, high nerdery, and lots of librarying. A good time was had by all, but I desperately need my week-and-a-half break. I’ll be back at work, hopefully rested, on January 2.
I know I’m behind on every sort of post possible (for instance: a 3d printer lives in my office now!), but here I am with a new phone and lots of enthusiasm.
I had an iPhone 8 for about a year, and while it worked perfectly well, I’d been growing increasingly unhappy with the camera as compared to newer phones on the market. The obvious Cho was the new iPhone Xs, but according to every review I’ve seen, the Google Pixel 3 has a better camera.
I haven’t tried the iPhone XS, but I’m SUPER satisfied with this brand spankin’ new Pixel 3 I got today. Palmer was nice enough to pose for a couple photos while I still had both phones:
Im definitely a fan of the Pixel photo on the right. Palmer says he looks washed out on the iPhone. The dog photos taken in portrait mode do a better job of showing off the Pixel camera’s superiority.
Of course, there is also food. This first one is from lunch at Habanero’s a local restaurant:
And this second one is from my barely successful attempt at peeling and cubing a kobucha squash (don’t do it!):
So far, I’m super happy with this phone. My last Android experience was far from ideal, so we’ll see.
Yes, this counts. Sharpie markers on plastic cut to kite dimensions. One of my favorite things about my job is that I get to go to programs like this. This one was at Broadmoor, a branch I rarely visit. There’s a kite enthusiast conference of sorts in town this weekend, and really nice man from Pennsylvania volunteered to lead this program at the library. Other volunteers led programs at other branches.
Everyone I talked to had an awesome time. People of all ages made kites to fly. Here are some photos I took while I was there:
I’m so glad this organization presented these programs. I hope they spark the imaginations of patrons of all ages across the parish. I certainly had a good experience.
One of my favorite parts of my job is that I get to paint on the clock. Today, I went on a little voyage to do it, to a town called Mooringsport in the northwest tip of Caddo Parish, about 30 miles from Shreveport. I’d seen the exterior of this library, but I’d never been in. It looks and smells like an old schoolhouse.
I went up there because a local artist, Eric Francis, is doing a series of painting programs for the library based on Jesmyn Ward’s novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing, this year’s One Book One Parish selection. Today, we painted the crow on the front cover. Unlike my painting programs, Eric starts with a very helpful pencil sketch, which is way less intimidating for first-time painters than an entirely blank canvas is.
The turnout was amazing and far more than I was expecting. Everyone was enthusiastic and proud of their work. Some people made amaaaaaazing paintings.
I was super impressed by the whole program. Since the turnout was so high, I’m planning on bringing my art and tech programs for kids and teens. Too bad the branch is closed on Saturdays, or I’d schedule a Paint Studio program there.
I have an impending out-of-any-sort-of-studio Arting to do on the 29th, so I’ve been trying to figure out exactly how to do it. It’s a library outreach program, so it would be ideal to showcase one of my monthly painting classes, but acrylics dry too fast for plein air. Watercolor our gouache would be fine, but they require a flat surface, which doesn’t show off what I’m doing well, so oil seems the best medium to use in this case.
Enter this semi-homemade pochade box. I got an art storage box at Michaels for $30 with a coupon, and Palmer added a wooden board with a tripod screw hole and little hardware bits (plus some foam) to hold the panel or canvas in.
It had two levels of divided areas, so I removed the dividers from the top portion and masking taped in an 8×10 palette (aka the glass from an 8×10 picture frame).
This work should result in a pretty ideal setup for up to 8×10 plein air oil paintings, and I definitely prefer this smaller format.
I should also note that I had to get a new fancy tripod for this setup. I ordered this Manfrotto Compact Advanced tripod, which should arrive at my house on Tuesday. It’ll be nice to have a good quality tripod for this and for photos, as my old cheap one is busted.
Here’s another work project (so many excuses to paint!): my own version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night for a series of children’s programs I’ll be doing in February! The idea came from a lesson plan by Misty Poe. The sky is painted with acrylics. The mountains, town, and willow tree are all construction paper painted with nupastels. I used spray sealant on the construction paper, then modpodged the whole shebang together.
It turned out super cute! Of course I couldn’t help myself and made mine more complicated than Poe’s example. I might end up making a much simpler one before the actual program.
It sucks that due to the cheap construction paper I used, this one probably won’t last very long, though until then I think I’ll frame it and hang it in my office.