In the Woods by Tana French. I started The Kite Runner a couple weeks ago, and it’s good… but it’s just not the genre I’m in the mood for right now. I have a feeling it’s going to be a better winter read. Being fall, I’m still in the mood for mystery. And In the Woods hit the spot perfectly. I’d highly recommend it, but it does frequently use a certain word beginning with an f. So it’s a recommendation equipped with a warning asterisk. My mind is pretty good at skimming over curse words when I read, so it didn’t really bother me. It doesn’t stick in my brain the same way it does when I hear it. Also, I’ve been told that word is used a lot more casually over there (Ireland), and that it doesn’t carry quite the same offense it does in the US. So maybe that context helped too. However, it is worth mentioning that the author definitely had the opportunity to add some risqué details about a relationship, and didn’t. So major props for that.
Anyway, I did really like this book. It’s a mystery, but it’s more than just that and makes you think a little about how limited (and often incorrect) our perceptions of the world around us are. It’s mainly about a detective working on solving the murder of a young girl, but intertwined is a mystery from his own childhood–he and two friends went missing as children and he was the only one found, but with no memory of what happened to his friends. Both incidents took place in the same woods, and there appears to be a possibility that this recent murder is linked with his own cold case. Most mysteries have an unexpected ending, but this one is unexpected in a unique way.
Scream Queens on Fox. This one is a little bit of a guilty pleasure, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. It’s a comedy horror and I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. It’s like tongue-in-cheek Sydney White, meets the overly fake gore of Monty Python, meets Clue mystery. It mocks horror movies and sororities in all the best ways. That being said, it’s from Fox so it’s got some sexual references that make me squirm. Nothing terribly explicit, but still uncomfortable. I cringe every time the boyfriend, Chad, talks because it’s usually dirty. His character is probably supposed to mock the stereotypical hyper-sexual frat boy, but it’s still gross. If it gets any worse I’ll stop watching, which is a shame because the rest of the show is really very clever and funny.
In contrast, classic Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood episodes are on Amazon Prime now and my little boy loves him. He even loves the really old black and white episodes, which surprised me. I like that it’s a lot slower-paced than a lot of kids shows, which I think is good for building attention span. The early puppets are a little creepy looking (it was the late 60’s), but it didn’t bother my son at all.
Getting rid of that awful faux-weathered trim I mentioned last time. Still. It’s been a much bigger, and much worse project than I originally guessed. Never ever use that crackle stuff!
Cheap soap. Confession: back when we were newlyweds without full time jobs and when I first discovered Pinterest I found a recipe for cheap homemade-ish handsoap. It involved grating a bar of soap, dissolving it in some water on the stove top, waiting a day for it to set up, then giving it a good stir to smooth it out. The result was a soap-like substance, somewhat snotty in texture and reluctant to sud up in your hands. It really wasn’t great, but it did the job. For four years. But it was freaking cheap. One bar of soap makes 15 cups of liquid soap, so I’ve literally spent about $10 on handsoap over the past 4 years. And that includes when I caved and bought a refill of normal soap when the little boy was born. It’s crazy cheap.
But I had an epiphany recently. I love to save money, but we’re not poor newlyweds anymore. Enough with the weird soap! But I still like to save money. I suspected that I could use diluted dish soap in those foam soap dispensers, and a search on Pinterest confirmed this. So we transitioned to foam soap. I’ve been using a lavender scented Kroger dish soap and guessed on the water to soap ratio and it’s basically indistinguishable from the real soap that came in the pumps. I’ve refilled 3 times already and it’s hardly made a dent in my dish soap bottle, so it actually might be as cheap as the previous weird soap. And it’s much easier and faster. Why, oh why did I wait so long?