Some updates:

1. My mother aged x number of years yesterday (7/31) — I dare not give away her age, as she lied about it for nearly ten years. For ten years, she was 25 if not 30, and her real age became lost. Unless I do the math, I am unlikely to remember how old she is. Even she forgets how old she is. In any case, it’s customary in my family to keep our birthdays quiet and small, and she wanted to celebrate by eating at IHOP. I don’t think I’ve gone to IHOP since my mid-teens, but I strongly connect this particular restaurant to all things that are right and divine with breakfast. One bite of a blueberry pancake at IHOP means an explosion of ten-thousand heavenly realms inside my mouth. Yum.

Well, one bite of IHOP’s chicken fajita omelette means a sudden burst of culinary punishment. It represents almost — almost — all that can go wrong inside a kitchen. It was cold with chicken pieces hard as stone, and is that chocolate sauce mixed into the salsa? Yes, that is chocolate sauce mixed into the salsa. I felt sure that my grandmother’s queen-bee air succeeded in offending the waitress, and I became a victim by association. Convinced that the cook (or waitress) may as well have spit into the food, I would have felt safer eating my dinner off a 7-Eleven bathroom floor.

Nauseated, I refused to eat the remainder of this omelette grotesquery, and I have not fancied the thought of eating since that very moment of disgust. To be honest, I have refused to eat food entirely today and resorted to coffee as my primary energy source.

My head is on verge of exploding. I caved back into the necessity of eating for survival, but it will be a long while before I step foot inside another IHOP… or any food-serving place that I cannot refer to as “my kitchen,” for that matter.

2. Today is August 1st. Remember what that means? The Austen in August reading challenge has commenced! If you don’t follow Roof Beam Reader or missed my post last month, you can check out the master post now. My planned Austen schedule is as follows:

Given that I always have a huge stack of other books to read, I’m giving myself a week for each Austen novel.

3. I had hoped to review R.J. Palacio’s Wonder by Thursday (tomorrow for me, but today for most), but I had to return it lest my library fine grow even larger. There will be no book reviews from me this week, but next week I’d like to review Legend and/or Divergent.

4. I no longer trust my WP reader. I sporadically check blogs when I realize I haven’t seen any recent posts, but if you suspect I’m not receiving yours: please do inform me.

Now that I’m on the topic of blogs, thank you to Enchanted by Books, Nerdy Book Reviews, and PidginPea’s Book Nook for the award nominations! I appreciate the thought and recognition, and I will hopefully make the award posts this weekend. Until then, click over to see these lovely bloggers’ content!

5. I am rediscovering my Tumblr and trying not to feel jilted by the amount of lost followers. I guess that is what happens when one does not reblog cat photos and unpunctuated text posts for three months. Who wants to send me a number?


Reading Challenge: Austen in August

If, like me, you have always thought to read an Austen novel but never made time — or perhaps you’d simply like to read more Austen / Austen-related works — then join me next month. Take advantage of Austen in August (click to read sign-up post!) , a reading event hosted by Roof Beam Reader where we aim to read anything-Austen. This not only includes any and all novels by Jane Austen, but biographies and other Austen-based works (Austenland and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, for example).

Come August, I will dive into this challenge for the proper shove I need. For years, I told myself to read Pride & Prejudice, eyeing the rest of Austen’s work with equal amount of twinkle and fancy, but failed to take action. I always have a hefty load of books ready to read, all scattered and stacked across the floor and table tops, and I plan to make room for at least two Austen novels in August: Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion (or Northanger Abbey… my mind finds it difficult to choose, as usual).

If you wish to participate, visit the sign-up post and leave a comment. Happy reading!