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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

The Sunday Salon: Two months of long weekends starting now

The Sunday

I love these long weekends. If you're in the US, then you may have just had one, thanks to Independence Day. Luckily for me, July and August are the months of the long weekends, thanks to 10-hour workdays and getting Fridays off. My company has been doing these summer hours for four years and it has, by far, been their most popular decision.

Still, it's no joke working 10-hours for four days. I start the summer hours with a lot of excitement and thrill, already anticipating the soon-to-arrive weekend, planning what books I'll be reading, thinking about how much I'll be sleeping in. The first week generally goes well. But after that, it's a race to get into work early enough so that I won't have to stay in late. Barring a few days here and there, I rarely make it to work at the time I want to. Halfway through the summer, I'm already waiting for the regular hours. I even promise myself never to do this again. And what do you know, next year rolls around and I've signed up for the summer hours. Again.

It's always hilarious thinking about it. No matter how hard it is to work 10-hour days for four days in a row, the upcoming long weekend is the silver lining. One of my former colleagues liked to say that during the last hour just before heading home, nobody liked to work so they try to appear productive by "shuffling papers" on their desk. It's a phrase we still use at work when we are unproductive.

This past weekend was very refreshing, however. Thursday before the start of the weekend was my birthday. The husband outdid himself this time. Since I don't like icing on my cakes, he ordered a specially-made cake that was low on icing and heavy on cake. It was the yummiest cake I had had in a long time. Everyone was licking their fingers and going for seconds. Needless to say, the cake didn't last past another day. As for gifts, he got for my phone a Dot View Case, which I had been eyeing for a while but had not seen for sale in the color I wanted. He also booked me a massage for this week, and that's my silver lining for the upcoming weekend. When I was returning back from work on Thursday, I saw a telltale B&N bag hanging by the door knob, and there were volumes 17-20 of The Walking Dead in there. (I had just finished up to volume 16 last week). We wound up the day with a dinner at one of our favorite restaurants here, so all in all, it was a really wonderful birthday. (I just turned 30, and feel every bit as old as I imagined 30 to be like, but birthdays always bring out the kid in me, so thankfully, I'm not that old yet.)

The weekend was very low-key for us. We tried to go see the fireworks at Smith Mountain Lake on Friday. I say try because they started the fireworks 20 minutes before scheduled time, and we missed every minute of it, along with an insanely long line of cars. Everybody just turned back at that point - it was very disappointing. I spent a good chunk of Friday cataloging my books. And listed a good amount of them at PaperBackSwap. On the reading front, I finished the Walking Dead Compendium 2 last week (and cannot wait to read the next four books). I've also been reading David Benioff's (yes, that David Benioff) City of Thieves, which is surprising me on all counts.

It's such a beautiful weather here, so I am hoping to get the whole house outside to do something in the countryside. Maybe hike or spend some time at a lake, or just drive through some scenic places. Or I'll just camp in my backyard. It's a lovely 60 degree weather out there.


Nishita said…
That 10-hour workday + 3-day weekend sounds like such an awesome idea. Enjoy!
bermudaonion(Kathy) said…
Our nephew gets every other Friday off all year by working eight 9 hour days and one 8 day every two weeks and he loves it.

I can't believe they started the fireworks early - how disappointing!
I have a couple of three-day and four-day weekends coming...but not in a row like that. I'm jealous. It sounds like you'll be having a birthday month too like I did. Happy belated 30th...hope this year is a good one for you and yours.
Athira / Aths said…
Thank you! It's going to be a good summer!
Athira / Aths said…
I like that schedule better. I know one other person who does that, and it's a much relaxing option!
Athira / Aths said…
Thank you!

It's nice to have long weekends in the summer - so much more fun weekends!
Sam_TinyLibrary said…
Happy Birthday! It sounds like you had a great time and were suitably spoiled :) My husband is just getting into the Walking Dead graphic novels, he loves them.
Having Fridays off in the summer sounds great, even if it does mean longer days.
Athira / Aths said…
Oh the Walking Dead books are just good! Have you read them too?
Diane D said…
Sounds like you had an awesome 30th (made me feel older than dirt): LOL Many many more.
Happy birthday!! I think being in my 30's is the BEST. :)
JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing said…
You have such a thoughtful husband - happy birthday!!
Ti Reed said…
We used to do "summer hours" here at the university and I think some departments still do but my department dropped them some time ago. I can't do them anyway. I have to be home by a certain time but it was nice the few summers I could take advantage of it.
Care said…
Happy Belated Birthday! Bummer about the fireworks. We are lucky - you can always see great fireworks from so many angles when at a marina. And since it rained ALL day and night on the 4th, we got to see fireworks on Saturday and Sunday.
Helen Murdoch said…
Happy late Birthday! I think I would like a 3-day weekend every week, but not for the entire year :-)
Trish said…
Sounds like a wonderful birthday! Happy belated wishes. And too funny about the four day work week. I would have loved to have had this at my last job but I can see how working 10 hour days to make a 40 hour week would be very tiring. Now that I'm at home I look forward to the 3 day weekends just so that I can have an adult with me at home for one extra day a week. Ha! Of course that'll all change in the fall.

Have a wonderful week!! 60 degrees sounds absolutely blissful.