These are not reviews, just explanations of why certain things make me happy. Everything has flaws, and sometimes I might point them out, but let me have enthusiasm for the things I like. If you find something I like particularly problematic, please feel free to politely comment here or send me a message. I am always willing to learn. Also, if you wonder why something you love isn't here, I'd love to start a conversation on what's making you happy. I've found so many things I love via recommendations.
TV & Movies
Avengers: Endgame – Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers!
The movie was a very satisfying end to a long arc in the MCU. It held my attention for all three hours, entertained me and my family, and closed the loop on many of the original characters. I loved how I thought I was going to see one type of movie but ended up seeing an amalgam of many kinds of movies. I laughed, and I cried.
The very odd thing was, we kinda knew or could guess at some of the major plot points. It was even odds on whether Tony Stark or Steve Rogers was going to die, but one of them had to. We all knew that those who'd been snapped out of existence were coming back. And yet, the Russos still managed to surprise us with how exactly these things happened and hit the right emotional beats so it meant something. Wow.
The one disappointing event for me was Black Widow's death. As soon as I realized where she and Hawkeye were heading, I knew how it was going to end. I kinda liked how they fought over who got to sacrifice themselves and kept us in minor suspense, but it ended how all they all seem to end. Letting Natasha live would have been a more interesting choice.
Good Omens (no spoilers)
Based on the book by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman that I read twenty years ago. Or more. It's been a long time, and I'm starting to feel old. If you like Monty Python, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and/or Neil Gaiman, you'll like this. I did, a lot. It was funny and sweet and wicked, all wrapped up in a dry British humor bow.
I can't compare it to the book because I read that before kids. I don't remember much other than the basic plot outline and that I liked it.
Lock In by John Scalzi. Described this to my husband as "Traditional murder mystery with Sci Fi elements". Not as funny as Redshirts, but a good read. I liked the world he built and some of the existential questions he raised.
The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman. Highly recommend this for anyone interested in becoming a writer. It really is about the business side, not the art side, and covers commercial fiction, literary fiction, and non-fiction. Very thorough, surprisingly readable.
My oldest son got me to listen to the Into the Spiderverse soundtrack. I love it. Not my usual choice in music, but I love this. That is all.
Kasey Musgraves The Golden Hour
I like her wordplay and her beautiful voice. Her songs make me smile.
The British History Podcast (BHP) and Pop Culture Happy Hour (PCHH). These two will always be up. I'm always listening to them and love when they release new episodes.
Linda Holmes from PCHH inspired me to finish my first book, and they have a weekly segment called, drumroll please, "What's Making Us Happy". See? See what I did there? It's a roundtable discussion of pop culture, including TV shows, movies, music, books, comics, and theater.
The BHP is an in-depth history of Britain, starting from the very beginning. It's been going for eight years and he's almost to William the Conqueror. It's not just a recitation of what the kings were doing but also giving social context to why things happened the way they did. He tries, as best he can given the sources available, to tell the stories of the common people and women. And, weird compliment, when I have trouble sleeping, I'll listen to old episodes. Jamie's voice is very soothing.
The Allusionist is a great podcast if you like language and the history of language and words. And it's funny and punny.
Budget Bytes is my go-to whenever I need cheap, easy recipes. I haven't had a bad recipe from her yet.
Since I've had kids in school, May has become a complete blur. Between my birthday, Mother's Day, and end of school year activities, May passes by like a Porsche on the freeway. This year we added a trip up to Phoenix to visit the mommies and Phoenix Fan Fusion. And extra work with the PTAs of both kids' schools.
I think, when they are grown and gone, I will miss how May passes. It will be too quiet.
We don't have much planned this summer. Thing 1 has an online Health class that's required for graduation and a one-week class at the local community college on car repair. Thing 2 will be headed to Scout Camp. Me, I'll be publishing Book 2, Devil's Claw & Moonflower, in mid-June and working on Book 3. I hope to have a draft by the end of the month, so I can publish in the fall (preferably October).
I will be focusing some effort on figuring out the business end of this author's life. I have some books on the subject I've been meaning to read but haven't had the time. Should I find one or two to recommend, check out the Making Me Happy section of the page.
Hope you enjoy your summer. I know we're planning on plenty of drinks by the pool.