The Advent fast is always tricky, because you get a week or two into it and then you get this nice break for Thanksgiving.  Which, combined with the sudden influx of Christmas treats in the rest of the world, makes it really hard to get back to your rice and beans and cream-less coffee.  Which reminds me, I had this incredibly bittersweet moment this morning when I put vanilla soy milk in my coffee (I’ve been drinking it black, with a bit of sugar) and thought “hey, this tastes good!”  I shouldn’t think things like that.  It shows declining standards.  Anyway, it’s a pretty cushy fast, because we get fish every weekend.  Hello, sushi!  But then your mom makes beef stew and you sit, crying, into your incredibly dull tuna sandwich.

Food turns out to be the hardest part of living with one’s parents.  As in, the beef stew situation.  Also as in, Thanksgiving.  I always make a dessert or two – that’s my role in this family.  In the past, I’ve gotten up and, in the comfort of my own turkey-less kitchen, done my baking before heading over for the big dinner.  This year, though, I am the kitchen underdog.  I’m fighting for space.  Negotiations have begun.  Who wants to eat a cold, baked two days before chocolate bundt cake?  Not me.  I’ve been granted this incredibly tiny and inconvenient period of time in which to put a cake in the oven.  It’s not yet clear where I’ll be prepping this cake.  I might be found, around midnight the night before, in the kitchen baking.  So I can get the hell out of the way before the turkey invades.  It’s rough, I tell you.

I’ve read an awful lot of books this month.  Nineteen.  Not counting the one-sitting stuff I’ve read for class.  The fact that it’s taking me a few days to get through the very delicious Pretty Monsters is reassuring.  But my bookshelf overfloweth with things that I may or may not have a chance to read before I have to return them to the library – I’ve got:

  • Evan Ibbotson’s latest, Dragonfly Pool
  • The Time Thief, lent to me by Kitri ages ago
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • Hoot and Journey to the RIver Sea – I was going to use these for class, but didn’t
  • Tender Morsals by Margo Lanagan – not sure if it’s my cup of tea
  • Bat 6 by Virginia Euwer Wolff – one of the 2009 Oregon Reads titles
  • The Missing Girl by Norma Fox Mazer and Black Box by Julie Schumacher, both for the Mock Printz
  • Judy Moody – for class
  • The Diamond of Drury Lane by Julia Golding, which looks super fun
  • Our White House, which I’m browsing through
  • Russell Banks’ The Reserve
  • Elizabeth McCracken’s An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination – which reminds me that I have a funny story to tell Lis
  • a book of Auden’s poetry
  • The Off Season and Mansfield Park on audio
  • Not to mention the books I’ve started and haven’t finished yet.  We won’t go there.

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