This Is How We Love Each Other
Books and Tea
by Christina
2w ago
So, fun news: I have Covid-19. It took nearly 3 years and a few lucky misses, but this time I finally got hit by the dodgeball. I first started feeling a sore, raspy throat on Monday. I took a test then: negative. Then, right after I woke up, I took another test on Tuesday: negative again. Despite the second negative test, I felt poorly enough to take a sick day off work, which I spent resting and napping. It was only Wednesday, yesterday morning, after 2 days of a sore throat and one day of major fatigue and body aches, that the test finally came back positive. The past day or so has been a m ..read more
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My Favourite Books of 2022
Books and Tea
by Christina
3w ago
Another year has started, and another shelf has been added to my Goodreads account to track my reading. However, in 2022, I did something a bit different: I consciously did not set a goal for the annual Goodreads reading challenge. I’ve learned by now that these sorts of things — reading X books per year, writing Y words per day, etc — is a source of stress for me. Goals like that assume some sort of consistent, linear progress, and my habits are much more jagged. I can go without finishing a book for 2 months, then read 5 in a month. The nice thing was that I still read 30 books in 2022! Some ..read more
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Guest Appearance on the Productivity Alchemy Podcast
Books and Tea
by Christina
2M ago
Happy December, everyone! I’m starting off the month with some fun news: a few months ago I was interviewed by Kevin Sonney for his podcast Productivity Alchemy, and it went live yesterday. You can listen to it here! Kevin is married to Ursula Vernon, whose fiction I have greatly enjoyed for the past few years. I reviewed her kids book Harriet the Invincible a few years back, but she’s also well known for writing the Hugo-award-winning webcomic Digger (of which I have a first-edition omnibus copy!), and for writing various novels and short stories under the pen name T. Kingfisher. Being a gues ..read more
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New Spaces, New Hobbies
Books and Tea
by Christina
2M ago
It’s a week into the new month. Let’s celebrate with some random brain vomit. Twitter and Alternatives So. That Guy now owns Twitter. I’m still using it for now, but I’m investigating other options in case things continue circling the drain. Currently, I’m experimenting with Mastodon — catch me through @cvasilevski@Wandering.Shop. Wandering.Shop is home to a lot of SF/F people and was founded by Annalee Flower-Horne, so I feel fairly confident about its code of conduct and moderation policies. Still, this whole thing sucks. Twitter was my most-used social network. I made friends through it. I ..read more
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Back from Can-Con 2022
Books and Tea
by Christina
3M ago
This year, Mr. BooksandTea and I went to Can-Con for the first time since before the pandemic. Like many things over the past few months since pandemic restrictions have dropped, doing this for real for the first time in a few years felt weird. This is not Can-Con’s fault. In fact, compared to many other in-person social and professional events that I’ve seen shared on social media, Can-Con had a fairly robust set of safety protocols: They offered both virtual and in-person sessions. The virtual panels were pre-recorded and available on YouTube; the live readings through Zoom. They capped the ..read more
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Summer Wanderings: Montreal
Books and Tea
by Christina
5M ago
This summer, I did what everyone else seems to be doing, and I went travelling. On multiple trips, even! And we didn’t catch Covid-19 or Monkeypox either time! The first one was to see my sister in Montreal for Canada Day. This was one of the first times she and brother-in-law have had guests over since moving to the city right when the pandemic started. Myself, I last visited Montreal over a decade ago, and, my memories of that trip having faded, I was struck with a sense of jealousy over its dedication to not making itself a sucky place to live. Multiple mixed-income neighbourhoods! An abund ..read more
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Growing Things and the Smell of Spring
Books and Tea
by Christina
8M ago
“That’s fresh air,” she said. “Lie on your back and draw in long breaths of it. That’s what Dickon does when he’s lying on the moor. He says he feels it in his veins and it makes him strong and he feels as if he could live forever and ever. Breathe it and breathe it.” She was only repeating what Dickon had told her, but she caught Colin’s fancy. “’Forever and ever’! Does it make him feel like that?” he said, and he did as she told him, drawing in long deep breaths over and over again until he felt that something quite new and delightful was happening to him. FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT, The Sec ..read more
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Steerswomen and Social Contracts
Books and Tea
by Christina
10M ago
Way back in 2016, I read The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein. I’d heard about it through word of mouth from a friend, and had no idea when I started that it was the first in a series of books. I also had no idea, musing over those first pages, that it would swiftly become one of the books I recommend most to my friends, along with The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. In my initial review, I was struck most by the book’s casual, unforced feminism, as well as its exploration of the value of knowledge: Some books pay lip service to the Bechdel Test. The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kir ..read more
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The Day After Pi Day
Books and Tea
by Christina
11M ago
Yesterday was Pi Day. In the Before Times, I celebrated it by bringing pies to the office for my coworkers to share. I’d send out emails to entire departments telling them that pies — pecan, apple, strawberry rhubarb, whatever I managed to find at the grocery store that morning or the night before — were free for the taking in the kitchen. This is the first time since the pandemic started where Pi Day wasn’t on a weekend, so the absence of that office ritual was particularly noticeable. Before, Pi Day was one of my weird, lovable quirks. Former coworkers used to message me on Facebook and say ..read more
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Living Under Physical Distancing
Books and Tea
by Christina
1y ago
It’s been about a month since my last post. Not a whole lot has changed about our situation since then. We’re still at home, and it looks like we’ll be staying that way for the conceivable future. Our saving grace right now is that I work for a company considered an essential service and that my job allows me to work from home. Job stability is a good thing! Plus, due to years of living with family and careful budgeting, I have a good emergency fund set up. Finally, since we don’t have any kids, we haven’t dealt with the burnout and mental gymnastics involved in trying to homeschool anyone. So ..read more
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