I was cleaning off my desk (I’m not the only one who lets boring mail accumulate, right?) and found a little statement about my retirement benefits.  In recognition of my 5 years of part-time employment, my corporate job will, many years in the future, give me $14.30 a month in retirement pay.  Wow.

Every once in a while, I find myself obsessing over attempting to rate things with a star system.  Sometimes it helps clarify my thoughts, and I like to see average ratings.  Other times, it seems so ridiculous, especially when there’s no standard for what each star represents.  I tend to go by the little labels on Goodreads, because that’s where I do my ratings and I like standards.  But then the tiny math part of my brain gets annoyed, because if 5 stars = 100%, then 3 stars = 60%.  That’s not really a passing grade.  That’s a grade where your teachers send home nasty notes and say you’re not living up to your potential.  That’s me taking calculus.  60% and “I liked it” aren’t comparable, in my mind.

But 3 stars = “I liked it,” so on we go.  I just keep reminding myself that the whole star system is on a curve and it’s very hard to fail (kind of like how I managed to pass calculus, thanks to the McKeon Curve).  1 star = I hated it, 2 stars = it was okay.  That’s a huge jump right there.  Then 3 stars  = I liked it, another substantial jump.  Then, to my way of thinking, there’s a more subtle jump to 4 stars = I really liked it.  3 stars means maybe I would recommend it, 4 is a stronger recommendation.  For 5 stars (I loved it), that book had better sing and tap dance and present me with a dish of chocolate mousse.  4 stars is general appeal and quality, but 5 stars doesn’t necessarily equal a stronger recommendation, unless your tastes are mostly similar to mine.  I am in awe of 5 star books, and I want to sit and admire them and then read them again.

Hmm, I’d better go look and see which books I’ve given 5 stars…

On a completely unrelated topic, I wonder how long I can subsist on various kinds of curry before I get sick of it?  Ditto rice.  First I made rice and vegetables with a Thai red curry (from a jar – I’m not that resourceful), then a more Indian-style curry with rice and lentils, which is very satisfying.  It makes a nice change from peanut butter, and the lentils in particular make good leftovers.

The sun has been out for a few days but it’s still freezing cold.  I’m ready for spring.  Past ready.  It SNOWED the other day.  Crazy winter.

I’m starting Jonathan Stroud’s new book, Heroes of the Valley.  So far I like it, but I miss Bartimaeus’ voice.  Also, I’m enjoying listening to The Shadow of the Wind in the car, due to both the Gothic atmosphere and the pronunciation of Spanish names, which I’d never be able to ‘hear’ in my head if I were reading the book.  A few years back, I realized that I was reading a lot of historical fiction during March, and now I think of March as Historical Fiction Month (although I certainly don’t limit myself).