Moments of Zen: Dec 17-23

My son is on his Winter Break and at daycare while I work for the last week of the year (ok will work next Monday too). We’re going to Alabama to visit my maternal grandfather and my brother and his family are going to be there as well. It will be a long drive from Arizona to Alabama, and I still need to find some things for my son to do. Overall, it was a good week. 

Sat: Got to see A Christmas Story: The Musical with my parents and son, and he managed to sit still and watch it for 3/4 of the show. I was very impressed with that, though probably helped that we were right next to the stage. Yay for free tickets!

Sun: Dinosaur battle, on my lap, between the good and bad dinosaurs (determined by whether or not they were smiling) that my son had gotten the previous night. Oh and a Tie-Fighter and the Millennium Falcon were also helping the fight. Also, getting to finally sit down after work and relax, whilst eating salmon and playing DA2. 

Mon: Working on a new DA story, and listening to more DA: Inquisition party banter and completely cracking up. 

Wed: Finally got to see Rogue One with my parents! I enjoyed it because it was definitely a Star Wars movie – good with a lot of personal sacrifices ultimately triumphs over evil, and had better storyline and aliens than Episode VII (my guess is because it wasn’t in the constraints of being in a trilogy and therefore they had more freedom to get creative but still stay in the SW universe). The ending was sad and I would’ve hoped for a smooch, but all they had time for was hand-holding before life ended as they knew it. Also got to have snuggle time with Boo to watch our new copy of Big Hero 6 together. Yay cheap movies at library book sales!

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Thurs: Work Christmas party and even though I was late, I still got enjoy it and see everyone (even my recently promoted friends). Finally finished the all-mages-all-the-time story line for DA 2, which I had never played before. I actually really enjoyed romancing Anders even though he totally betrays you and uses you to get his own way, but I stuck by him, didn’t kill him, and fought with him against evil templars (aka Knight Commander Meredith and the come-to-life statues). 

Fri: Reading volume 13 of Ouran High Host Club and loving the new storyline. The anime only went up to about Vol. 11 or 12, so everything past that is brand spanking new and the story has finally picked up. Currently our heroine is trying to figure out who she likes, while the guy she likes is clueless and the other one that likes her can’t decide what to do or how to behave. It is awkward cuteness at its fineness! I must say though that I like Hikaru better than Tamaki, even though I’m pretty sure she picks Tamaki. Ideally I would want her to pick Mori, as he’s my favorite, followed closely by Kyoya. Those are the two pairings I usually read fanfiction about the most. 

The Kaiser’s Last Kiss

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The Kaiser’s Last Kiss by Alan Judd

To be published: Jan 3, 2017

Kaiser Wilhelm has been exiled to the Netherlands since 1918. In 1940, the German Army (the Wehrmacht) have invaded Holland and are interested in him, or rather interested because of what he might do to support the Allies or the Third Reich. So they send a twenty-three year old SS officer named Martin Krebs to gather intelligence on the former emperor. His secondary mission is to find the British spy known to be in the area and trying to recruit the Kaiser. Despite deciding to use the SS as a way to further his career, he has become a bit disillusioned with the Nazis and what they are doing. Everything goes a little pear-shaped after Krebs falls in love with a young Jewish woman who is a servant at the Kaiser’s house. Will Krebbs be able to complete his missions? 3 stars. 

I really wanted to like this book, but I just felt like it fell flat for me. I liked the parts about the Kaiser, and I think he really stole the show away from Krebs and the Jewish maid. Apparently Christopher Plummer as the Kaiser in the movie adaption does the same thing. I always think of Wilhelm as the young man from the BBC series, Edward the Kingand Judd’s interpretation is pretty similar. I loved that he liked to talk in English and read out passages of Wodehouse to his guests. Krebb and the maid were just a kind of boring story. Yes, it was a forbidden love, especially because he was in the SS, but it didn’t do much for the story. I thought the visit from Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS and the Gestapo, to the Kaiser’s house was much more interesting and wondered if it was true. Apparently no, though he did get a visit from Goering at some point during the war. 

Moment of Zen: Dec 10-16

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Or at least the Arizona equivalent, i.e. 75 degrees F  (24C roughly) in December. I made a Christmas playlist last week to listen to, and we put up the Christmas tree. I am looking forward to the homemade mincemeat my mom and I made in October, and the German treats like Lebkuchen and Stollen. I still need to get Christmas presents, but am trying not to stress about that. 

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Sat: Listening to CD from Teen Central whilst working on updating Kids Cafe info. Made me feel super accomplished for only the third time this week. 

Sun: Listening/Moving to GoNoodle videos with my son and watching Legend of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, which was a little camp, but we enjoyed it (with snuggling of course). 

Mon: Snuggly Boo time this morning, whilst reading Penguin’s Christmas Wish by Salina Yoon (pic at top of page), The Vanishing Pumpkin by Tony Johnston, and Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea written and illustrated by Ben Clanton (pic below). Also a co-worker, who I had been talking to about the book, gave me a library copy of the just released The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan (his newest gods series) which he had just finished. I thought it was sweet that he thought of me 🙂 . 

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Tues: The look on my friend’s faces when I gave them my handmade Christmas presents, definitely a great thing. Started The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan on my lunch break and already got into it. It seems like Apollo is probably going to be one of those characters that is a complete ass-hat in the beginning but grows on you by the end of the series. 

Wed: Got our dog Poppet a bath, nail trim and haircut. It may not sound like much, but haven’t been able to afford it in ages, she feels better and everything I own isn’t covered in white pooch fur. 

Thurs: Playing Sorry! with my son and then eating dinner and singing along to Christmas music. 

Fri: Listening to DA: Inquisition Party Banter  and cracking up whilst working on my ongoing Collection Development project at work.

Moments of Zen: Dec 3 – 9

Last week was a bit of a wash-out, i.e. a pretty craptastic in my personal and professional life, hence why I didn’t post my weekly Moment of Zen. So I am trying to take a more positive spin on things to improve that, as I am tired of being so sad and angry all the time. 

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What I need to keep in mind this week and in the future

Sat: Going to the library with my son to pick up our books on hold, and coming home to read him Dog Man by Dav Pilkey. Also having him “read” me from his giant adult Dinosaur book – basically just telling me what he thinks each dinosaur did and what period they lived during. 

Sun: Working on my Christmas presents and got a fair amount done. Got to have coffee and breakfast with my dad after church and before I had to go to work. Started watching a hilariously awkward show on Netflix called Chewing Gum, but got tired of it after awhile. 

Mon: Finished the fifth volume of Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori and Horimiyu #3 by Hero (I am really enjoying this series, super adorable awkward characters). Rewatched episodes of Glee, which really crack me up and of course, sing along. Makes me wish I had a show like that in high school. 

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Miyamura at school and at home (can’t see the tattoos but they are there – so freaking cute!)

Tues: Got a fair amount of research done on my future 5-8 yr old literacy program for the library. Still trying to figure out how I want to structure it and make a proposal to get support from other organizations/supervisors. Also finished Ouran High School Host Club #6 (best one yet!). 

Wed: Got to see my counselor for the first time in two weeks and was definitely needed as last week was such a disaster. I always feel calmer after I’ve talked to him. Put up Christmas Tree with my son and he helped me decorate – I was rather proud of myself when we finished. 

Thurs: Hanging with Boo at Steele Indian Park after school. He played on the playground equipment, we went up and down the hill, playing with his bouncy ball, and hung out with the ducks. Also discovered Go Noodle again, and we sang and danced along to that. This is my favorite one

Fri: Listening to the Dragon Age score and trying to focus on my work – didn’t really work, but made me feel a bit better. Pinning the hell out of Dragon Age stuff today, can’t seem to stop. Getting to read Horimiya #5 during lunch and wishing the series was longer than 6 books because I love it so much. Seriously Miyamura is the best boyfriend ever! Eating a carrot cake cupcake and savoring it.