June 01, 2022

Offbeat Offline: May 2022 (+ Blog Hiatus)

Welcome to Offbeat Offline, where I bring you up-to-date with what went on in my life during the month just gone, give you a sneak peek of my next shenanigans, and share my favourite posts of late!

What happened last month to yours truly? Basically - unemployment benefits application, useless job searches, Covid, perm issues (again) ๐Ÿ˜ญ. I know, I'm such a drag. But I can't seem to take a breath - it's been an endless string of misadventures and annoyances (at best) since Dec. 31st 2020...I'm so tired and angry and frustrated and I feel like crying. The only good thing in my life is my blog and all the stuff that revolves around it. Which is nice and everything, but it's not enough to make a life worth living...

๐Ÿ“š SURPRISES, SURPRISES. I read less than usual in May because I was busy with housework and studies and job applications and unemployment-related bureaucracy...
I read and reviewed Last Exit by Max Gladstone (a Titan Books approval via NetGalley), and as you already know, I loved it.
I reread Reverie by Ryan la Sala just for the hell of it.
I was approved for The Sacrifice by Rin Chupeco on NetGalley (a Sourcebook Fire novel, like Reverie above, which was another NG approval back in 2019). I didn't expect it, especially after being rejected on Edelweiss. I still have to start it because, as I said, this month has been hectic, plus the book will only be out in October. I haven't read Chupeco since her Girl from the Well duology, because her following books were in the fantasy genre, but this one sounds very much in the same vein as TGFTW...
I read the very much anticipated Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire (sidequel to Middlegame, which I ADORED), and I was disappointed. Not a bad book by any means, but the amount of exposition was staggering. Review to come in July.

Ordinarily at this point, I would list all the reviews and the other posts you can expect later in the month, except...I've got nothing. I decided to take a month-long hiatus in order to concentrate on my housework, studies and job search (more of that below). I also hope to read a few books with no (full) reviews attached. My next post will be the June Offbeat Offline installment on July 3rd. Fair warning...I will be scarce this month. That is, I'll try to comment and everything, but the truth is, I'm awfully tired and life is kicking my ass, so I might disappear on you. Fear not, though, because it's only temporary! And I'll do my best to keep up with your shenanigans via Twitter.

๐ŸคฌA LIST OF RAGES. Where do I even begin?...
  • On May 1st, my throat started to hurt. At first I dismissed it as my usual laryngitis, except it was unseasonable...so I ended up taking a swab, and of course it was Covid. Thankfully, I was in the clear after a week, but the hoarseness and stuffy nose went on for a long while (I still have the first, but what's new?). I can't say I've had any other symptoms, if not for my feeling a little sleepy for exactly one day and a little achey for two or three (like one would with a normal flu though). I guess I can deem myself lucky...For the record, my husband remained Covid-free. And I had to postpone my perm appointment by two weeks...
  • I finally went to the hairdresser's on the 21st, and I had the usual perm difficulties - as in, locks that don't curl the first time around and do it poorly even the second one sometimes. I had part of my right side redone TWICE, for goodness' sake. I'll have to see if I can find someone else, because it's frustrating as hell - not to mention, I tire of the endless arguments and touch-ups, and the HD is starting to get nervous as well. I understand professional pride and whatnot, but you must do something wrong if one's hair always turns out this way (while it used to be perfect with your predecessors). My bet is on an uneven distribution of the perming chemical (a hunch that one of my former HDs confirmed, because they used a routine that the current ones don't...they massaged the chemical into every lock, as opposed to pouring it on the head as one would with syrup on a cake ๐Ÿ˜–), plus the type the current HDs use is arguably too weak for my hair...BUT THEY DON'T LISTEN ๐Ÿคฌ.
  • Remember Around the World in 80 Days with David Tennant? The mini series that should have aired on Jan. 2nd here? It had originally been moved to May 29th...then, a week before that day, I read that it got postponed to December!!! A one-year delay?!? are you f**king kidding me?!?
  • (In other news, David will reprise his role of the Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who for the show's 60th year celebration in 2023, but it's unclear if it will be for a story set in a different universe, timeline or what...anyhow, Catherine Tate-Donna will be with him, and I'm so happy, because I adored those two together! Only good piece of news of the month LOL).
  • My unemployment benefits application was accepted, but I found out that it will last for 480 days only, not the standard two years...because I used to work 15 hours a week and generated sub-average social security contributions. Also, I'll only get 75% of my former monthly income, and the sum will decrease by another 3% each month starting from the eight...๐Ÿ˜ก ๐Ÿ˜ญ 

๐Ÿ˜ซDIRTY JOB. In the meantime, since getting unemployment benefits requires that you make yourself actually available for jobs (and build a profile in order for the job facilitators to find your best matches), I have an appointment with my local job center for June 13th, so that I can tell them all about the jobs I can't do because I have no experience/qualifications/driving license ๐Ÿ˜–.
Speaking of qualifications, I'm still studying the main programs in the Office suite (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), since I only knew the basics of the first two and I never got the chance to use the third so far. I can't afford to pay for a legitimate certification, so I'm schooling myself via a series of YouTube videos...I even applied for an internship that requires the candidates to know the gist of all three programs, so it's crucial that I learn all I can. (Usually, internships are geared to people up to 29 years of age, but if you're unemployed you can apply nevertheless, at least for some...now, their taking you into consideration at 55 is another matter...). The problem is, I do like databases, but Excel is a thought one (also because it relies on math a lot, and I can't wrap my head around math)...definitely not something you can learn in two weeks ๐Ÿ˜“.

๐ŸฅตMAY I GET SOME SPRING? My dears, I kid you not: May was BRUTAL. The temps were already higher than average, but the last week of the month felt like July. I don't recall ever turning the fan on before mid-June, but here we are - I had to start days ago. (And of course, the earlier you turn your AC or even fans on, the worse global warming is going to get...). Also, my usual summer-related health problems are already kicking in, and I can't even imagine having to suffer both from the heat and its effects on my body until...October maybe? I'm so DONE already ๐Ÿ˜ฅ. 





That's it for now! As I said, my next post will be up on July 3rd, and it will be my June recap. Long gone are the months were I would have posts scheduled to cover for my hiatus...๐Ÿ‘‹

So, what were your highs/lows in the past month?


  1. I'm sorry that you had covid. I'm glad it wasn't a severe case. And I hope you're doing better now.

    I heard about David Tennent reprising his role as the doctor, and that's exciting. He was the first person I saw play the doctor, so I would be cool to see him play the role again. :D

    And I've always wondered about that, free speech through blogging or through commenting. There have been people I've seen purposely not delete comments they disagree with because they believe in freedom of speech....It's an interesting topic to think about for sure.

    And thank you again for giving a shout out to my post. :) It means a lot to me.


    P.S. I hope you have a nice break. And I look forward to reading your posts again in July. :)

    1. A fellow Tennant-Ten fan! ๐Ÿค

      I'm glad you found some topics of your interest in my monthly recap...as for your post, it was a pleasure to include it ๐Ÿ™‚.

      Thank you!

  2. I am sorry life has been tough lately. I know that's a pretty understatement way of expressing it!

    Last Exit... I'm still thinking about that review.

    I'm not a fan of the hot temps either... especially when they come EARLY. Hold on there summer, slow it down.

    So... I hope you have a nice hiatus! They're needed sometimes. I'm sorry about everything going on- sometimes I think life is a series of problems punctuated occasionally by good things lol- but I'm hoping and wishing you a better June. :)

    1. "sometimes I think life is a series of problems punctuated occasionally by good things lol"
      Oh, mine sure is ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ญ. But I know I'm not alone...

      I'm glad my review of Last Exit resonated with you! And yay, another member of the "Cruel Summer" club ๐Ÿ˜‚ (remember the song?).

      Thank you for your unwavering support and for listening to my rants!

    2. Anytime! And I DO remember Cruel Summer! I'm going to listen to that now.

    3. It was 1983...๐Ÿคฏ

    4. I know your next post isn't up for a while but I hope your days are RIFE with good things lol

    5. ๐Ÿ˜‚
      Actually, they're not...I'm catching up with a few books, that's all...but thank you for checking on me! ๐Ÿ’š

    6. Thanks! ❤️ To you as well.

  3. I'm sorry you got Covid in the first place, but I'm so glad it was a mild case and that your husband at least didn't get it.

    I hate how some professionals just will not listen even when you tell them what you need in order for something to turn out right. Sure, they know their job, but every person's body (including hair) is different, and sometimes we know what works best for ours!

    Yay for one small bit of good news! Sorry all the struggles continue though :-/

    1. "I hate how some professionals just will not listen even when you tell them what you need in order for something to turn out right."
      I guess you know a lot about it beforehand for different reasons...but yes, every person and every body is different, and they should keep a more receptive attitude...

      Thank you for listening and not getting sick of my rants ๐Ÿ’š.

  4. Well, I hope the month off will result in some good news. I am crossing fingers and toes for you. Good luck with your studies. There really are some great tutorials online. Some free classes too. [thanks for the mention XOXO]

    1. Thank you! I hope those tutorials will pay somehow, even if it's not like being certified.

      The mention was well-deserved! You always write interesting discussion posts.

  5. Good luck to you Roberta. I hope June is productive and peaceful. You've had enough for two lifetimes and deserve a break.

    How often do you get your hair permed? It's a bit crazy that the current HD can't seem to make it work for you. Although a pain, it sounds like getting someone new is the best way to go.

    We ended up with covid in my home, as well. Both my daughter and I had "moderate head cold" type symptoms. She missed a week of school. I work from home, and took one day off. Now we are both on the mend, with a bit of stuffiness lingering.

    Happy June, I look forward to hearing from you in July!

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ’š.

      "How often do you get your hair permed? It's a bit crazy that the current HD can't seem to make it work for you."
      Once a year, but I re-perm the top halfway through. I get it that the thing I want (an afro) is challenging in some ways, but my old HDs were able to do it just fine, no sweat...The most frustrating thing is, I KNOW why it doesn't work, but the new one refuses to acknowledge my previous experience with MY OWN hair...

      It sounds like Covid in your household was, more or less, similar to the type I got. I'm glad to hear it didn't impact much on you and your daughter (and the rest of the family didn't even get it, lucky them ๐Ÿ˜…).

  6. Soo excited to see what you think of The Sacrifice! I'm so happy she's gone back to horror for this book.

    I hope you enjoy your hiatus, and I'll look forward to seeing your reviews again soon! ๐Ÿ’›

    1. I've been wanting to read more Chupeco for years now, but you know how I feel about fantasy LOL.

      Thank you!

  7. I'm happy you're taking some time for yourself and get your ducks in a row! The job search is not fun. I got covid a few weeks ago, May was unkind to us all!

    I read Middlegame and determined I wasn't smart enough for it. Lol.

    1. Thanks - I hope it will do me good somehow! I also hope Covid didn't kick your ass...and Aria stayed out of it!

      Middlegame is an ambitious book. Then again, there are lots of feeling to be had amidst its cleverness. Roger and Dodger broke my heart and repaired it...

  8. I don't think anybody will be celebrating 2023 coming around more than you, Roberta. But in all seriousness, good for you for teaching yourself the Office suite. I've learned that Youtube is a wealth of information, and it's good to know that there are free options available.

    1. Ha! I hoped to celebrate 2022 after the 2021 I had, and here we are. Maybe I should always wait for the other shoe to drop instead...that might attract good fortune! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I don't know how useful it can be to be self-taught as opposed to being certified, but if I manage to get my foot in the door, at least I stand a chance!

  9. Life sure seems to be throwing a lot at you right now. Hopefully things will get better somehow. The whole unemployment thing seems crazy. Good luck learning what you need to in order to get that job you applied for.

    1. I can't believe I only saw this comment now...after a month! I don't understand why my blog refuses to notify me of your comments via email. Thank you anyway LOL.

  10. Oooooo I didn't know Rin Chupeco had a book coming out soon! I think someone else mentioned it to me since I really liked her Bone Witch trilogy, but I'm curious about your thoughts on this one - hopefully you'll enjoy it!

    I hope you'll find something and life will stop kicking your ass during your time away. At the very least if it's going to keep kicking your ass, at least dial it down like 7 notches? Pretty much almost everyone I know has gotten COVID with the current variant, all around May as well. ๐Ÿ˜ญ I'm glad you've recovered, and I hope you don't have long COVID. Mostly I'm happy you're taking time for yourself because self-care is important.


    1. I decided to start The Sacrifice, though it's a review book (but I still plan on reading for fun afterwards), and...um. It almost reads like a first book compared with TGFTW. Anyhow, I'm only 50 pages in, so maybe it will get scarier and more interesting?

      "At the very least if it's going to keep kicking your ass, at least dial it down like 7 notches?"
      Haha, that would be nice...๐Ÿ˜ญ At least I don't seem to have long Covid (I say "seem", because I've learned to be cautious ๐Ÿ‘€).

      Thank you, and keep those "good mornings" coming ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿงก.

  11. I guess I'm lucky since I've never been to a hairdresser in all my life. It sounds frustrating not to be listened to.

    It's too bad about Around the World in 80 Days mini series.

    People here are already turning on their air conditioner even though it's not necessary but who knows. I'm not looking forward to the summer heat.

    You sound like you had a tough May. Not sure I can handle all that you're going through but I think you're tougher than me. I hope you have a relaxing June.

    Have a lovely day.

    1. "I guess I'm lucky since I've never been to a hairdresser in all my life."
      You haven't? So you do your hair yourself?

      Ah, it's not a matter of being tough...what other choice do we have when life deals us a bad hand? We're forced to be tough. Or we can break down and cry, except that doesn't solve our problems and no one lifts our burdens...(not that I never cry).



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