life Reading

State Wake-Up Call

April 20, 2023

Literally . . .

Someone accidentally woke up our entire state (well, anyone with an iPhone and the emergency alert system activated) at 4:45 am with an emergency broadcast system notification (ie, that blaring sound you hear for a tornado or flash flood warning — of which we had several, just last week).

This notification was for . . . a test.

thx emergency broadcast system.

Guess who is awake at that hour about 80% of the time, BUT NOT TODAY because I had decided to allow myself the precious gift of sleeping in?

Yep. Ah well. I have since recovered from the insult. Josh and I speculated perhaps it was a disgruntled employee’s last hurrah? I suspect we will never know . . .

Will FL ever make the NYT for something good? Maybe don’t answer that.


My biggest project for the day got rescheduled, so I feel like I have been gifted some time. I will either:

  • do camp paperwork
  • work on some future BLPA-adjacent stuff
  • clean out email
  • a combo of all 3

You know what I won’t do? 2021 photobook. WHY? Because it’s done!

For the first time, I chose the free “shutterfly design it for you” option. The proofs came out fine and I placed my order. It wasn’t cheap but honestly – most painless photobook experience ever.

Now I guess I could motivate myself to start on 2022. Maybe I caught up, I could actually get into a rhythm where I put photos for each month in an album!!! And that could be it for having photobook project hanging over my head FOREVERMORE.


Book Parallels

I did not mean to read two books with very similar plots (‘normal’ woman has a romance with aging-but-still-hot famous celeb) in a row, but somehow it happened.

First, Elissa Sussman’s Funny You Should Ask RANDOMLY followed by Curtis Sittenfeld’s Romantic Comedy. I think Summer of ’69 might have been in the middle there, but still. This is just freaking me out. I just realized even the titles (“funny” and “comedy”) and covers (both red + pink) have parallels: WEIRD!



I read the first after it was recommended on a blog (maybe Sarah @ Harry Times?) and the second because it’s Curtis Sittenfeld and I have enjoyed everything she has put out.

(And neither were bad, but 80% of the way in I have to say I greatly prefer the Curtis Sittenfield version. Her writing just strikes a chord with me every time.)


  • Reply Chelsea April 20, 2023 at 3:34 pm

    OMG – I can’t believe it happened for the entire state. D and I were joking that someone needed to remind DeSantis that Disney is in Osceola County, not Orange County.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 20, 2023 at 3:49 pm

      whole state is probably grumpy and irritable today!!!!! so crazy.

  • Reply Sidra April 20, 2023 at 4:15 pm

    I haven’t read either of those books, but based on the descriptions you may like Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan

    • Reply Irene April 21, 2023 at 8:52 am

      I was super surprised that neither of the books was Nora goes off script (which I enjoyed but didn’t love love). Would not have thought this was such a popular plot line…

  • Reply Coree April 21, 2023 at 1:59 am

    Found time is the best… a student no showed on me, so I err… designed my son’s birthday invite in Canva. Which wasn’t massively productive but I wasn’t sure if he’d show up and it’s off the list

    I appreciated Funny You Should Ask as a quick, fun read, but thought Romantic Comedy was much deeper, while still being dry and witty.

    I just finished I have some questions for you by Rebecca Makkai and it was so, so good. All my library holds came in at once so I need to get cracking before I’m away for ages (I don’t travel with library books)

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 21, 2023 at 12:09 pm

      Yes I finished Romantic Comedy last night and it might be among my faves of the year!

  • Reply Eileen April 21, 2023 at 6:17 am

    Hi Sarah. I don’t comment often on blog posts since I’m often reading them delayed. Your update on the photo book goal is kind of funny (ironic?) to me considering your results on the Gretchen Rubin senses quiz. I haven’t taken the quiz yet but now feel more compelled to see my results

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 21, 2023 at 1:38 pm

      Hahahah very true! Though might explain why I am very non perfectionist about it!

  • Reply Cindy April 21, 2023 at 8:20 am

    I believe the state gets a huge + because of your fabulous Governor. Sorry about the disturbed sleep. Hope your weekend is a nice one.

  • Reply Jess April 21, 2023 at 10:40 am

    Hah, I just searched Florida on NY Times. There are a couple wedding and real estate stories amidst the many bad ones… Lol

    The most memorable good (or at least neutral) NY Times article I have read about FL was this one from a year ago, which was a good read!

  • Reply Sarah April 21, 2023 at 1:10 pm

    I wish FL would have a figurative wake up call politically, but the literal one is hilarious (to someone who was not woken up, that is). As Minnie would say oopsie kitty (Freaking Super Kitties). LOVED Romantic Comedy, but Sittenfeld can do no wrong for me,.

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