Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Flat Broke and With two Goats

Warning: this book may make you angry and/or frustrated.  It's like the reverse The Glass Castle. Someone who lived the upper middle class lifestyle but really screwed up. Royally.

This book was a "Big Library Read" so tons of people all over the country read this at the same time. The range of reviews was all over the place--most people were like you are an idiot and whiny and overall lame. People got out the angry eyebrows.

You see, Jennifer's husband was an accountant and during the great recession of 2008 it was revealed that they were in a boatload of debt. Not just credit card debt, but a foreclosed house and six figures to the IRS.  If there is anything I've learned is that the Feds always get paid. She has this weird mix of blame for him but acknowledgement that she was willfully blind. It seems like she lacks any agency over her own life.  She's like a piece of Styrofoam floating in a creek. It would remind you of like someone from the olden times that let "the man" provide for you.  She's not that much older than me and it's like talking to some hippy grandma.  Get your stuff together! Just when you think she is properly contrite you learn that she is now raising goats, she took out a student loan to get her MFA and...has not learned her lesson. There are some interstitial stories in this book about her dead grandparents and her love of Appalachia but honestly, I could have done without that.  She even admits that she might be romanticizing the past and they would think she is an idiot (she's right).

Now, in case you think you are going to milk your money troubles away, the goats are probably not worth it when you do a basic accounting.  Of course, I'm not an accountant--but I'm also not in debt to the IRS so....  Still, goats are still terribly cute. This is a baby goat. Not that I've never looked up the price of the breeding pair of Alpacas....(cough) but it's a whole lot of money.  Plus apparently they can get llama rot or something like that.

Jennifer drinks a lot of craft beer and people online have given her a really hard time. A part of me is like, you know, if that's your only indulgence then go for it.  Asheville has tons of fantastic beer.  One of my favorites is Asheville Brewing Company's Shiva. (It's a light IPA)  It's really hard to get here. While a different flavor and equally yummy Seattle's Elysian Dayglow IPA is super delicious. Plus it has such a cool design on the package.  Now I need a T-shirt. Shoot I'm going to go broke myself.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Circe is not just the evil queen from Game of Thrones. I chase Dave around the house sometimes saying Shame! (rings bell) Shame! No, this is the Greek goddess who was a witch! Yeees, queen.

First, this book rocks. I was genuinely worried that I was like, why do all these books stink? I was worried it was me. But I just read a few meh books in a row. Second, you don't need to know Greek mythology to read this book as I'm not exactly a fountain of knowledge on it myself.  Everything I know is from Ray Harryhausen's stop-action animation movies like Clash of the Titans. I also gathered some tips from a MST3K Hercules episode. You could do worse.

Madeline Miller really knows her Greek mythology but she really makes it....well, more like a Game of Thrones episode. She fills in a lot of blanks, embellishes the story and makes her very human which seems weird to say. I read this in like 4 days.

While gods are supposed to be immortal I think they just live a really long time on that Mediterranean Diet. Circe turns some men into pigs which totally makes sense in context, does some one arm push-ups, tricks some monsters, tames lions, eats cheese, dances with spiders and performs some C-sections. Ok, I made some of these up but you can't tell the difference--so it's pretty wild. Also, it turns out that Hermes is like Social Media 1.0 but also might be fake news. Not much has changed really. I wonder if he can hook me up with one of those Birkin bags.  Man, that'd be sweet.  Knowing him, it would be some cheap knockoff. Hermes, go back to posing for statues in weird hats with no pants.

I'm not going to suggest an Ouzo cocktail because well, ugh.  Let's be inspired by the witchy-herbs of Circe's spells and potions instead: Pineapple Basil Cocktail: Make a chiffonade of three basil leaves and muddle with a quarter of a lime at the bottom of a tumbler.  Add a 1/4 cup pineapple juice, 1 and 1/2 ounces of gin, some ice cubes and top with club soda. You can say with words of power if you choose.