The city pool & polio…

Life

I find city pools, public pools, water parks, pretty much any artificially created body of water teeming with germs to be literally the most vile thing in existence. I cannot believe that I am reading reports about these facilities re-opening in some locales. Luckily, I’m allergic to chlorine and have had very few encounters with any pools. There are a handful of films set in the late 50’s-1970’s that so romanticized the city pool that I really felt like I was missing out on something. I’ve been to pools, mostly to lay out and read but I’ve never experienced the elation of diving into a packed pool on a 90 degree day. The city that I work for actually had 2 public pools that were filled in and turfed over back in the 40’s and I never knew why. Last night, I was watching a documentary on polio – I mean, who hasn’t watched every documentary on modern pandemics since this has all started? During the polio pandemic, pools and movie theaters were closed each summer for four decades. FORTY YEARS. So it makes sense that films and television shows depict going to the pool as peak childhood ecstasy. There probably wasn’t a lot to do as a kid back then and they were deprived of two main sources of entertainment for decades. Can you imagine the feeling of being able to safely sit in a movie theater in July post the discovery of a vaccine? It must have been mind blowing. Not only that, parents wouldn’t allow kids to play on playgrounds or go to birthday parties. FOR FORTY YEARS. Kids went from school to polio season, sounds like a fucking nightmare. And people just did it because they understood what they were doing was for the greater good. Fast forward 70’ish years later and people could not stay off the playgrounds for literally FOUR WEEKS.

Is COVID-19 the same as polio? No. Is there really any comparison when you consider the symptoms and long-term impacts in addition to the fatality of polio? Perhaps not but people are still dying. I think that’s reason enough for people complaining about not being able to get a haircut to shut up. What happened to people? When did we become these egocentric assholes who can’t even put on a mask to protect someone else? So a haircut or nail appointment is delayed, who cares. I don’t see a lot of people protesting and holding up signs saying that they need heart surgery or some other important service that has been tabled due to COVID (even though I know that they are out there). We are a society in which very few people have experienced real hardship and it shows. It’s truly unfortunate that instead of coming together for the long haul, we have people getting shot over face masks, purposely coughing on one another, protesting at hospitals. Elon Musk, talking out his ass. Like, come on – we are losing a war on germs over fucking haircuts.

I know that people are out there doing good too and all we can do is keep trying to take care of one another πŸ’™

β€œHard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.” G. Michael Hopf

It’s Monday

Life

I’m neither for or against Mondays on the whole, I don’t find them anymore more trying that any other day of the week but today was an exception. It started at 5 AM…

Scholastica Regular

It rained all weekend, last night I noticed that there was water coming through my spare room ceiling. I wouldn’t have noticed it had there not been a lovely pool of water on the carpet. I texted the building manager who said that the roofers were starting this week and he would take a look in the morning. At 5 AM, he texts me telling me to move my car because the workers were going to be using the parking lot. Had I been more alert, I would have realized that this made no sense because I park in the garage but I peeled out of there anyway less than half awake. I run into the building manager in the parking lot who told me he wanted me to move my car into the garage. That’s where it was. He had my car confused with another black car and told me to move my car back. Then he asks me if I’ve been smelling smoked meats in the building lately.Β What the fuck are you talking about. No, I hadn’t noticed but apparently someone complained that people have been grilling on their decks. I’ve never noticed but nothing would shock me at this point. I get the car parked, get back inside and decided to lay on the couch until I had to start work. 7 AM rolls around, the roof work commences, someone starts screaming at the roofers to shut up. Not just once, not like twice, like a dozen times. Yea, 7 AM is a tad early but we all knew this was happening and it’s only for the week anyway. People have really lost their minds. I’ll keep you posted on the smoked meats situation.Β 

Scholastica Regular

I work in the public sector & have been getting a lot of feedback from both sides of the spectrum on how the government is handling the corona situation. Today, my inbox was full of vandalism reports. For a state that’s supposed to have been on a Stay at Home Order, people sure stopped keeping an eye on their kids. I don’t care that they are bored, itΒ  would serve everyone right if we did have to stay inside all summer. Also, penises are such unimaginative ‘graffiti’ like, raise your kids better.Β 

Scholastica Regular

It was such a weird morning, I zoned out for half an hour and showed up late to a conference call. I’m not sure that anyone noticed but I felt like a moron. In the middle of this meeting I get a text asking if I’m still getting rid of my couch. Again, what the fuck are you talking about. I had posted my couch for free on Craigslist aΒ longΒ time ago but had since resolved to not get a new one. I must have not taken the posting down and after years of waffling back and forth on getting a new one, finally have the opportunity. It’s not a bad couch, it’s just old and clunky and has definitely seen better years. Do I keep it? Do I finally get rid of it especially now since I have someone interested in taking it?! Being a single female, I don’t even like owning a couch because they are such a pain to move. Maybe I’ll go really nuts, get rid of the couch and just cover the living room in floor pillows. Side note, how is it that I could comfortably take a nap on the floor as a kid and now it’s literally the worst thing ever?

Scholastica Regular

I’m only half-way through the day and am exhausted. I don’t think the roofers will knock off until sundown but they aren’tΒ that loud anyway. Once a flock of geese landed on the roof and they made considerably more racket. I’ve had a Pepsi and two pour-over coffees but I could lay down for 3-hour nap literally right now.Β 

How’s your Monday so far? Anything fun on the agenda for Memorial Day…oh, that’s right – summer is cancelled. I hope you’re doing the best you can wherever you are πŸ’›

Apprehension…

Life

The Minnesota Stay at Home Order was set to expire Monday and the Governor announced that he would in fact not be extending the order through May as originally predicted. Bars, salons and restaurants must remain closed until June 1 but most other retailers are allowed to reopen. This is it, right? What we’ve all been waiting for. But now that it’s here, I’m not so sure. I think the human race learned a hard lesson here, Mother Nature can bring us to our knees in a matter of weeks and she doesn’t give a fuck about the economy. Are we just supposed to go back to business as usual, pretend that the way we live our lives isn’t completely unsustainable? I think we figured out real quick that it’s not just average people living paycheck to paycheck – it’s landlords, corporations, small businesses, big businesses, universities and the government. The people who are supposed to have this all figured out and provide security to the common man have no ability to do so at all. I don’t believe we are in the clear, I think the future holds a lifetime of uncertainty. Not just about what will happen with the virus or the next pandemic but job security as well. Obviously, the days of retiring from a lifetime career with a cushy pension are long over, Hell, I think my grandparents were the last generation to retire comfortably. Now we see people working well into their 60’s and often taking part-time jobs to supplement their social security benefits. I have no delusions that I will ever retire and am planning on social security being bankrupt by the time I am eligible, the government can’t just keep printing money. I also don’t believe that UBI is a good idea either, citizens shouldn’t have to depend on government for our livelihoods – we should be able to make our own way and they seem to want to make that more impossible each and every day. Squeezing out small farmers with ridiculous regulations, squeezing out small businesses by mandating minimum wage and health benefits – they’ve made it very difficult for anyone who is not ultra-wealthy to be successful in their own enterprise and it’s scary. A society that is completely dependent on their government has no freedom.

I think this is a wake up call, it wouldn’t be wise to go back to how things were. We need to become self-sustainable, self-dependent and self-reliant. For me, Monday won’t be back to business as usual – it will be hoarding my assets now more than ever so that I can get out of this cycle of working for someone else so that I can have money to spend on stuff I don’t need only to the benefit of those who don’t need more money. I thought that I had learned this lesson after the 2008 Recession and yet, here I am. My only post-pandemic plan is freedom πŸ’›

The old normal wasn’t normal…

Life

Hearing that more businesses within the service industry are being given the green light to reopen elates me but also gives me pause. I’m glad that more folks can get back to work but also concerned about the risk they are being put at. If you’ve worked in the retail or service industry in America then you know that calling in sick for work is frowned upon. I’ve work(ed) for three major retailers and while I rarely called in sick or missed shifts, I know firsthand what it feels like to get guilt-tripped into going in for a shift while sick. It’s scary how normal this is, I waited tables for a restaurant in Minneapolis whose policy was if you didn’t have a fever or diarrhea then you should be at work. This culture runs deep within the service industry and I think we can all agree that this is not acceptable any longer (nor was it ever).

Unfortunately, for those of us who grew up working service jobs, this mentality stuck with us. At my former corporate office job, we wouldn’t take sick days but would work from home instead. It’s not unusual for people to be in the office coughing and sniffling at work during flu season, even at my current workplace. It’s bizarre to me that staying home when you aren’t feeling well has to be so stressed, this is what we should have all been doing in the first place. Employers should be required to offer sick time to all employees from their first date of employment. It took me 3-years to start accruing PTO while working for JCPenney and I think I started at .89 hours. That means it would have taken me 16 weeks to accrue ONE paid day off. One. After 3-years, I could request a day off while working for a huge corporation. Funny thing is, I graduated college shortly thereafter having never taken a day off and they had to cut me a check for 2 hours of PTO when I left that job πŸ˜€ Now, the obvious argument is that if you want a better benefits package then you should get a better job. I think that all of the people who live by that mantra have figured out how much they depend on these ‘low-skill’ workers and I hope that their mindset has changed.

I am thankful that I have a good job now with better than average paid time off and an awesome boss who would never make me feel guilty for being gone. Even now though, over 10 years into my career, I still feel guilty about taking a sick day. I often check my email and voicemail even if I am at home sick even though there isn’t any pressure from my boss to do so.

As someone who is trying to be a more conscientious consumer, it’s past time to start holding companies accountable for how they treat their employees. Minimum wage workers are an integral part of the huge profits these corporations make each year & should be treated as such. If a company can’t afford to pay their employees reasonable benefits then they should cease to exist (looking at you JCPenney). I’ve been watching very closely what corporations have been doing to safeguard their employees well-being through all of this and there are some that I will definitely not be giving my hard earned cash to any longer. I think it’s the least I can do to support those who are expected to do so much for so little 🀍

Damned if you do, double damned if you don’t

Life

Much to my surprise I found myself at the grocery store this weekend. Prior to this whole pandemic, I rarely went into grocery stores and almost totally depended on grocery pick-up because I just hate grocery shopping. Actually, I used to only do Coborn’s delivery but they stopped delivering to my area about a year ago so I switched to pick-up. Unfortunately, now that so many other consumers are also using pick-up, it’s become a complete nightmare. There’s a three-day wait time at Wal-Mart and Target in my area with some of the smaller chains experiencing even longer delays. I get it, their volume exploded and they are just trying to make it happen. I’ve been shopping for enough food to last me 3-weeks or longer if needed just in anticipation of this. I rolled up to get my order like you do on Saturday, there were 4 other cars waiting and two associates were talking to one guest. It seemed like there was some confusion as she was picking up multiple orders for Door Dash which wasn’t a good sign. I waited probably 20 minutes or so, not unusual, for an associate to come to my car. During that wait time, I received an email thanking me for picking up my order. Uh-oh. When the associate came to my window they said that my order had already been picked up, I explained that I had just arrived and hadn’t picked up my order. They went back inside to double check that my stuff wasn’t sitting somewhere and the notification had just been sent by mistake. No such luck, another associate came out and reiterated that my order had been picked up. I explained that I hadn’t picked up my order. To which her response was, well it’s been picked up. No apology, no explanation of what I was supposed to do now just – your order was picked up. My order in total was right under $300 and she wasn’t providing any explanation of how this happened, what I was supposed to do, etc. I ended up just calling the customer service number and was issued a refund that I should see in 5-7 days.

The whole thing just got me thinking though, it wasn’t a huge deal for me financially as I was able to just go into the store and purchase what I needed (what was in stock, that is) but what if I didn’t have the ability to do that? What if I had just spent all of my money on food and would have to wait for the refund? What if I was out of food? What if I had kids at home? It really irked me, maybe if I had made a fuss then I would have at least been given an apology but maybe not. From now on, I will be going into the store and doing my own shopping. I’ve been trying to avoid doing so but don’t really see another option given what happened this weekend. Maybe I won’t always have the money in my account to cover SIX WEEKS of grocery shopping since I was effectively out that amount of money. Which brings me to my next gripe, people not wearing face masks in public.

Why is this so hard, America? You couldn’t stay home when told and now that we are being allowed to get out more, you can’t just cover your fucking face? JUST DO IT. Nobody likes wearing them, they make your face sweat, rub on your ears and make it harder to breath but this is not an infringement on anyone’s civil liberties and I am tired of hearing that it is. If the government suddenly mandated that everyone wiped their ass would people just stop doing it?! That’s how stupid these people sound to me. Also, if you aren’t going to wear one then you don’t get to heckle people who are or harass store associates who tell you to wear one or walk around being a general asshole. This mentality of thinking it’s OK to infringe on someone else’s freedom as long as they don’t infringe on yours is such hypocritical bullshit and I’m sick of it.

Honestly, what a shit weekend and I am glad that it’s over even if that means today is Monday πŸ˜› Hope you are just doing the best you can wherever you are πŸ–€

Working From Home is Ruining My Home

Life & Style, Uncategorized

I will preface this by saying that I know that I am extremely lucky in that my employer has allowed me to work from home & that I have not my job because of all of this. A lot of this satirical and meant to be humorous, also though, I’m sick of working at home.

Outbreak Regular

The first day working at home was a struggle, my internet was just not equipped to handle all of the things that I was suddenly trying to do. My laptop (we do not have work issued equipment) was struggling too. I use some beefy software for my job and suddenly my zippy little laptop was hardly loading. I had to upgrade my internet to the fastest I can get in my area & I had to pay an additional $99 installation fee! I also purchased additional storage for my laptop just to get it in working order. All to the tune of a few hundred dollars. Now, I know that I’m saving money on gas but my new internet costs 3 times as much as I spend on gas monthly so it’s not a wash for me. I improvised a desk and pulled a sofa table into my bedroom but now am looking at needing a chair since we aren’t going back to the office any time soon. And then what will I do with said chair when we go back to the office? I don’t particularly need an office set up and will put my furniture back where it actually goes.

Outbreak Regular

Kids (not mine, we have quite a few who live in the building and they’re out in the hallway constantly), package deliveries, my neighbor’s doing yard work. I didn’t realize how quiet the office is and how loud my living space is. I don’t notice it when I’m home probably because I’m busy living and probably making more noise than I would at work anyway. I consider my building to be unusually quite for an apartment but it’s driving me nuts at the moment.

Outbreak Regular

Being in the office and working with a fairly flexible department, I can take a break whenever I want to/need to. Obviously, if I go to the restroom and my boss stops by my desk then he would just swing back knowing that I would be back shortly. Now however, I take my phone to the bathroom in case someone calls because I don’t want them to think I’m slacking off. It’s like I’m working all of the time when my workload hasn’t increased drastically.

Outbreak Regular

My ‘office’ is in my room, well it is now – before I set something up I was just sitting in random places. When I go to bed, it feels like I am sleeping at work. When I wake up, I’m immediately at work. It’s this really warped feeling that I hope goes away when we do get back in the office.

Working from home is definitely a personal preference as I am finding out. Some people love it and some people really struggle – I’m struggling. It’s just a chore at this point and I feel like I’m constantly at work. Unfortunately, I think that the attitude from some of these employers is that we should be so lucky even having the choice to work at home. I get that but I’ve never sought out a job that allows for work from home because it just doesn’t appeal to me. It’s like none of use should expect anything from our employers now because thank God they are still paying us. Kind of a shitty way to feel, honestly. Since this will be the routine for the foreseeable future, I will keep trying to make the best of it. It is nice to get chores done and out of the way during my lunch break so then I can enjoy the evening. I generally eat pretty well but having time to make a nice salad for lunch or time consuming dinner is a treat and I am sure that there will be things I miss when we are no longer at home.

I hope that you’re happy and healthy and just doing the best that you can, let me know what life changes you are working through at the moment.

🧑

How About a Ghost Story…

Random

I’ve had the most difficult time trying to stick to a sleep schedule. I’m going to be wrecked when we go back to work. Living alone & staying up well into the twilight hours gives me the creeps, I don’t know why I keep doing it. It’s especially creepy when you think you’re being haunted. I’ve mentioned my elderly neighbor who passed away before but things have still been weird & since I can’t sleep, I’ll creep you out too πŸ˜‰

Going on two years ago, my elderly neighbor passed away in her apartment & wasn’t found for awhile. Our kitchen & living rooms are on the same wall, I never heard her much anyway so sadly, I didn’t notice that she had died. I did run into her often, she was always pushing this metal cart filled with coloring books, children’s books & other goodies that any grandma would have on hand for her grandkids. She would always say that she was off to see her grandkids or that they were coming over – she was a genuinely sweet old lady. I did notice her absence but figured that she was on an extended visit with the grandkids. Then one day, my kitchen just started to feel off. I’ve shared photos of my kitchen before, it’s bright & cheery, filled with colorful decor but it started to get this dank feeling I couldn’t shake. It was late fall, I chalked it up to rain and started burning candles and baking to make it feel cozy again but nothing worked. Now, I had an acupuncturist tell me years ago that I was an empath. How he knew this, I have no idea. Do I believe it, no idea but a few days into my kitchen feeling weird, I got sick. I never sleep in my bed when I’m sick & prefer to lay on the couch. Typically, my cats sleep wherever I am but I noticed that they were sticking to the back rooms of my apartment which started to give me the willies. I was home sick for five days over a weekend, on two nights I woke to my stove’s overhead light being on. My couch faces my stove, it’s incredibly unlikely that I would have left it on then laid down but figured I was just out of it from being sick. This entire time, my neighbor was the last thing on my mind but had I been paying attention, I would have realized that her apartment had been dead silent for nearly two weeks.

Fast forward a few days later, I’m finally back at work feeling fatigued but otherwise well enough. I’m pulling into my apartment complex & the coroner is parked outside. I felt like everything was suddenly slow motion, my breath caught & I knew immediately my neighbor had died. I stopped by the office to check in with the building manager. She had been sitting in her rocker, in her living room for just under three weeks. I was sleeping in my living, basically right next to her for at least four nights. He said that he started to worry when she hadn’t been to the office to chat with him & was the one to discover her. It was all around just really tragic.

Eventually he started to clean & renovate her apartment as she had lived there for going on ten years. However, I noticed that the unit sat vacant for quite some time. When I asked the building manager if he was struggling to find a tenant, he said that he wasn’t able to locate any relatives so her stuff was still in the apartment. I was shocked, when I mentioned her grandkids he said that she didn’t have any family that he knew of. I’ve never figured out if she was lying or if she was struggling with dementia. I used to work in memory care & didn’t notice any signs that she wasn’t completely lucid. Maybe she just didn’t want people to feel sorry for her, I dunno. At any rate, weird things kept happening while the unit sat empty. My stove light would be on when I’d get home, the cats still wouldn’t hang out in the living room & had taken to staring at my front door at 3 am. I’d inexplicably be awake & find them all crowded near the front door night after night. Sometimes I stay in bed, refusing to look at the time because I know what time it is & where the cats are . The kitchen still feels off & I almost never sit out in the living room.

Finally, my building manager let me know that the unit was being rented but only as of this February. He said most of her stuff had been donated, no family ever responded to the public notices he had published. I was relieved, it would be nice to hear some movement in there, I thought it would help the atmosphere of my apartment as well. Sadly, it hasn’t & my kitchen still feels gloomy, the living room a bit sad & so completely silent. If it weren’t for running into the new gal a few times, I’d assume that there’s nobody over there.

I don’t think she’s malicious but maybe a bit bitter that nobody noticed her absence. I get a tingly sensation when I turn my back to the living room wall & scoot down the hall to my bedroom. I wholeheartedly believe that she’s still here, pushing her cart of children’s goodies up & down the hallway.

πŸ–€

Friday Thoughts…

Life

Fair warning, I will mostly be complaining in this post so if you are feeling down or particularly joyful – maybe skip this one πŸ™‚

Buttey Honey Regular

Not that I loved working for the weekend but Friday doesn’t feel like Friday anymore. Working from home makes almost everyday feel like Friday because pre-Corona, that would have been a Friday luxury. Since every day feels like Friday, the next day always feels like Monday. I’m in this weird Friday/Monday time warp where it’s Monday morning then Friday evening every monkey flying day. It’s exhausting.

snakes

Buttey Honey Regular

Unprecedented, novel, uncertain, tumultuous, new normal – these phrases and numerous others must be stricken from the lexicon. We get it, many of us have never experienced something like this in our lifetime, we don’t need a reminder. Also, new normal? Do we remember what the old normal was like? Aside from the pandemic, the world was pretty much a shambles. I mean, at least a plus side to the pandemic is that it’s so traumatic that it’s taking our minds off of the current events that were were current events pre-corona. I’m going to stop saying pre-corona now πŸ˜‰

Buttey Honey Regular

My place of work has started very preliminary discussions around what going back to work will look like, mostly because our shelter in place order expires on May 4 & the assumption is that some restrictions will be lifted. Plexiglass shields and temperature checkpoints are some of the precautions being discussed. All I can say is that I hope that the antibody testing becomes widely accessible because I think I already had corona.

Buttey Honey Regular

In mid-December I became extremely sick with a respiratory illness that I ended up being sent to the ER for (I needed additional testing, not admitted or anything). They didn’t know what I had, I was sent home with steroids, an inhaler, an antibiotic and saw a respiratory therapist for a month for nebulizer treatments. I was sick for weeks & had complications with lung inflammation for even longer. I have pleurisy in my right lung that causes pain when I’m running or working out still. It was chalked up to a case of pneumonia but now I’m wondering, if corona has been in the US for longer than experts knew then some of us have likely already been sick. Better believe I am getting that antibody test as soon as I can. It would be nice to know so that I can start my MS treatment again which has been stalled since mid-March and indefinitely since the medication I take is immunosuppressive.

Buttey Honey Regular

I do believe that each day that we get through is another day closer to this new normal and that makes me feel a little less anxious. I still have a job, I’m starting my urban garden and Amazon donated 250,000 euro (is that what it’s called still) to a bookstore charity. Some days I feel like everything is going to be alright & other days I feel like nothing will ever be the same. Perhaps it won’t, being a natural introvert who loves being at home, even I have felt a yearning to take a trip or wander through a mall window shopping. I cannot imagine what people who do these things on the regular are feeling. As soon as the travel bans are lifted, I’m getting my passport renewed and I’m going somewhere. I mean, maybe just to Idaho but I’m going.

I hope that you are making it through the days, stay safe wherever you are πŸ’›

Hello From the Inside

Life

Two months of zero posts, I was out living my life, hitting the gym, cooking meals, getting to bed on time and then BAM – mother nature intervened and I think I’m going to have a lot more time on my hands. So, welcome back to my blog πŸ˜‰ I have been at home for the past week, coffee intake is at an all time high, productivity at an all time low – I blame my cats. But I cannot express how grateful I am that my job is still intact.

I have to say that I am pretty pissed off about this whole coronavirus thing, just when the weather is good enough to get outside, we are told to stay in. Now, I think parks and trails are fine if you are still social distancing but I’m not a doctor. Also though, I work in Parks & Rec and our parks our open but be sure to bring your own sanitary wipes. Gas prices could not be any lower butΒ  who needs it to get anywhere since we’re all staying home? Actually, grocery stores outside of the metro are pretty well stocked and if people don’t stop panic buying everything in sight, I’m going to have to take a trip up north so good thing gas is cheap. Here’s what’s on my mind…

Wildest Grass

I’m lucky, I grocery shop on Wednesdays to just avoid crowds in general and I got my groceries well before things went nuts. That being said, when can I eat them exactly? Should I wait? Will there be more groceries in a couple of weeks when people settle into this new normal? Good thing I’m already fasting for Lent…Totally off topic but I saw a photo of the Pope walking the streets of Rome! Who let him outside?!

Wildest Grass

Here is something that I am struggling with, physical stores have been on the decline for the past decade in the US because of online shopping. Now we can’t seem to stay home? As a capricorn, I’m skeptical of everything but it really does make me wonder about the information we’re being fed – either everyone is out shopping or we aren’t…explain this to me. If everyone who could stay home would, that’d be great.

Wildest Grass

The social distancing strategy seems like a good idea but I would also like to volunteer to be infected so then I am immune and can go about my life knowing that I’m not putting anyone in danger. It’s hard to believe that we aren’t just prolonging the pandemic by not preemptively exposing the healthy population and getting them immune to protect the at risk. Is that totally nuts? It’s definitely going to get worse before it gets better, I think that’s to be expected but I wish we could speed it up.

I hope you’re doing well, hanging in there…let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments! If you want some light reading on pandemics throughout history, I found this one interesting and kinda comforting – the human race has survived some shit.

πŸ–€

One of Us Is Next: Bayview High Book II

Books, Entertainment

How’s that new blog schedule going? Terrible πŸ˜› I have just been incredibly lazy lately, I literally cannot sleep enough even though I’m in bed by 8 most nights. Well, aside from one night where I decided that I would check out the Star Wars saga and stayed up until 3 AM. I can now say that I have watched these movies at the ripe old age of 33. You heard me, I had never seen a single one but they were OK if a little light on plot. Anyway, this post was supposed to be my January To Be Read but it’s already mid-January and I’ve read most of my picks. Instead, I will share my thoughts on the wildly anticipated sequel to the YA novel One of Us Is Lying which I really enjoyed. Now, I’m almost middle-aged and don’t dabble too much into this genre because of the corny high school scenarios but the plot of both books is pretty shocking and twisted for a YA novel which I appreciate.

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This book picks up where the first left off, there’s drama at Bayview High again and this time, the stakes are deadly. The main characters from the first installment have gone off to college, started lives of their own but still share an unbreakable bond after the death of one of their schoolmates, Simon. He ran a gossip app that tormented and entertained the population of Bayview, in his absence some have tried to rekindle the popular gossip forum without much success. That is until an anonymous schemer kicks off a game of Truth or Dare exposing the darkest secrets of the students.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the author brought back some of the main characters from the first one but also fleshed out a few of the supporting characters that we didn’t know a lot about. The story is told from different points of view, the main characters this time are Phoebe, Maeve and Knox whose lives are somewhat already intertwined before they become the focus of the Truth or Dare game in one way or another. I like this narration style but it can be hard to follow each story line which is why I will most likely give this one a second read. As the story picks up towards the end, I found myself losing track of small details. The game kicks off with the anonymous texter exposing Phoebe for sleeping with her sister’s boyfriend which starts a rift between the sisters who are already under strain after the death of their father. Then Knox is exposed for an unfortunate performance during what was supposed to be he and Maeve’s first time. The game turns deadly though when a fellow classmate Brandon falls to his death after deciding to take the seemingly lesser high risk dare option. You’d think that everyone would tell their parents what was going on at this point but in true teenage fashion, they don’t. Problems only escalate when the anonymous texter tries to bomb a rehearsal dinner. Yeah, apparently high school students know how to build bombs and aren’t afraid to use them. Knox and Maeve save the day and we find out that the most unlikely student was involved with the anonymous bomb maker and Brandon’s death.

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It’s really a sad story all around, all of the kids involved have had their lives ruined by some family tragedy. There’s a weird feeling of revenge not being the answer but also thinking that some people deserved what they got. Then, when you find out who was really behind the whole ordeal, it just gets even sadder. After I read these types of books, it always makes me wonder if these things are really happening in schools or if it’s just the author embellishing the sometimes irrational actions of the American teenager. Not to get real dark here but in light of some of the violence that has happened in our schools, some of these events really wouldn’t even shock me. I enjoyed the pace of the writing, the characters are fun if a little moony at times and apparently none of these kids had any homework…or parents around to pay attention to what they are doing. Even if you aren’t into the whole YA genre (which I’m not) I would still recommend both Bayview books as pretty decent thrillers. I also like the writing style of the Author, Karen M. McManus and plan to check out her recent standalone novel.

Have you read either of these, let me know what you thought!

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