Jason and Greta in the dry canoe.
What I Just Finished Reading
Fair Game by Patricia Briggs. It actually managed to keep my attention through the whole thing, but god, I am sick of the heroine of the book being captured/kidnapped/tortured somehow and for there to be male rescue and manpain. So, engaging plot for the most part and I do enjoy the world building, but fuuuuuck, I am sick of that plot point. Next.
Turns out I’m horrible at predicting what I’ll read next. The last time I did this, I thought I’d read Beyond Shame after I finished Fair Game. But what I ended up picking up was Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane. It was honestly the first of his I had truly enjoyed in a while. If you liked his Coraline, I think you’re going to like this one. It has the same sort of kid’s fable feel, although this POV character is much younger and befuddled. Thankfully all of the rest of the characters seem to be very capable people (mostly women, which is really nice) and it worked well for me.
The Seduction Hypothesis by Delphine Dryden. DNF. Totally creepy hero completely turned me off. So the premise is that the couple in this book broke up but ended up still going to a comic convention that had had planned as a group trip before the break up. The break up was because basically the hero discovered the heroine’s burgeoning interest in BDSM and mansplained all over her how it was unfeminist and gross. Because there’s nothing that’s great for a relationship like telling your partner that their sexual interests are wrong and bad when they’re between consenting adults! There was also a jealousy problem on the part of the hero over nothing which causes him to dump her. Ugh. So on the trip to and at the convention, the heroine starts to explore her sexuality. She discovers that the BDSM comic she loves and started her down this path has a booth and that she would be a perfect substitute for their missing character. She even has a costume already! But while discussing with the booth crew her involvement, hero shows up and starts inserting himself in their negotiations like he has any goddamn standing. This is the point where I metaphorically threw the book at the wall. Go away creepy failbot. You should go sit in the corner and think about how wrong you are until you can apologize and interact with women like a goddamn grownup who respects boundaries.
The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart. I got this from an event I went to at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and have been slowly devouring it during meals. It’s a book that’s mostly a list of all the things that are used to make and flavor booze, so it’s a bit much for one sitting. But in bite-sized chunks, it’s a delicious mix of biology and history. You find out about how tequila worms are basically just marketing to sell shitty tequila and further evidence of just how shitty colonizing Europe treated, well, everyone. There’s also a lot of great cocktail and infusion recipes and tips for how to grow your drink ingredients. I’ve got a batch of aronia-infused vodka steeping right now for a cocktail event I’m planning for the fall.
Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch. This latest installment in the Rivers of London series follows the formula of the others with a bunch of seemingly unrelated incidents all pulling together at the end in a surprising way, but I am totally okay with that. I loved the focus on architecture and came away from the book wanting to learn more. Talk about something that doesn’t usually happen in a supernatural history. This one’s also got a betrayal in that was totally foreshadowed yet completely unexpected. Wow, well done. I hate to be the person going “Write faster!” but I can’t wait for the next one.
What I’m Reading Now
Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha. Totally reading this one finally. Wonderfully porny and starting to get some plot going. Really looking forward to getting some more information on the larger world of Eden and the surrounding sections.
What I’m Reading Next (best guess)
I’ve got Brown River Queen by Frank Tuttle finally on the ereader. This is the 7th in the The Markhat Files series. It’s another of those supernatural mysteries I like, ala the Dresden Files but without all of the failboating that the Dresden Files does. A+ for that alone. Plus a lot of fun characters and while the world building’s not completely original, it’s done in a fun way and honestly I just like these books a lot.
Magic Rises has also made its way onto the reader, but while I’ve enjoyed this series in the past, they’ve sort of fallen off my radar and I’m not in a huge rush to read it. I should probably reread the last few because I honestly can’t remember what all happened in them. Shapeshifters and vampires and stuff. It all blurs together after a while.
It’s a beautiful day in Virginia. The temps are in the low 80s F, lots of blue sky, and a lovely breeze. We’ve got a pass to the state parks so we this morning headed once again to Mason Neck State Park to rent a canoe. It’s a wonderful way to see bald eagles, osprey, and all kinds of other wildlife. We also get a discount with having the park pass.
We showed up about 10 am and rented a canoe. Got ourselves set with life jackets, including the one we own for Greta, and set out. We decided to head across Belmont Bay to visit some shore we hadn’t yet visited. It was definitely a ways away from our starting point, but we were taking it slow. The chop was just enough that I was getting seasick in the canoe. That sucked.
We got to the far shore and got out for a bit. Greta did a bit of swimming and so did I. I thought that part of the reason I was feeling nauseated was the bug spray I had put on so a dip in the water would help.
After a bit of playing around, we got back in the canoe and headed for an inlet that I remembered being a great spot to see birds. Instead of hugging the shore, we set out across the bay some more. Spotted some eagles and some vultures. Very idyllic.
Then, we get caught in a boat wake and due to the shifting of boaters, managed to capsize the fucking canoe.
Jason can’t swim. Jason thankfully has his life jacket on. The dog, however, is under the fucking canoe. Fuck fuck fuck, right? But she also has a life jacket and thank fuck there was air trapped under it because it took me way too long to get her out from under it. She’s panicked. Jason’s panicked. I am not panicked, surprisingly, once I got Greta out of the boat, but now I was completely flummoxed with what to do. I couldn’t get the boat turned back over without filling it with water and all Greta wanted to do is climb it or me. Jason, because he can’t swim, wasn’t a whole lot of help. I also realized that our backpacks hadn’t sunk to the bottom yet and as they had both my license and keys, I was determined to keep hold of them too.
Are we having fun yet? Oh fuck no.
I managed to grab Greta’s leash which was attached to her life jacket. I attached Jason to the boat and told him to kick his feet as I tried to point us towards shore. This worked somewhat. My biggest problems were trying to swim with the life jacket on, keeping Jason from completely losing his shit, and the dog trying to climb me or the boat. After not making a lot of progress, we finally caught the attention of some folks on the dock we were heading towards and let them know that no, we weren’t fucking around in the water and actually needed a rescue. A guy came out to help Jason to the dock while I pulled Greta in. Got her on the dock, which wasn’t easy. Sixty pound dogs are heavy, it turns out. Got Jason on the dock, which was somewhat easier. Swam back out to the fucking canoe and with the help of our rescuer, got that to the dock. Then we finally dragged my fat ass out of the water because the dock didn’t have a ladder. That was not fun. I am pretty sure half of my bruises are from that part of things because even at high tide, the dock was still a good 3 ft above the water. Yeah, that sucked too.
All safely on land, now I had to figure out what the fuck to do with the fucking canoe. We lost an oar and I’m pretty sure none of us wanted to get back in it. I borrowed our rescuer’s cellphone to try and call the park, but didn’t get an answer. Finally had to leave a message that we were leaving the boat at the dock. Our rescuer’s father ended up driving us back to Mason Neck so we could fill them in on what happened, dripping slowly all over his BMW. I need to send them a giant thank you.
Back at the park, I filled in the ranger at the visitor center desk, and figured I’d end up owing some decent cash for them having to go pick up the boat. Instead, they utterly stunned me by not charging for a single thing. Mason Neck rangers, you are fucking amazing.
Jason and I are both fine, if a bit battered and sore. Greta I was worried about because she had been under the boat for some time, so we took a trip to the emergency vet just to get her lungs checked. She checked out A-Okay so we’re all home now. Only things lost besides our dignity and calm were the oars and my favorite hat from Fishtown in Leland, Michigan. :(
Lessons learned: Wear your fucking life jacket. No really, I mean it. Also, fold-over sandwich bags do fuckall to keep your phone dry. Both of our hiking packs float surprisingly well. Jason will be getting swimming lessons.
Now I’m going to sit around on the deck and drink something alcoholic because frankly, I think I deserve it today.