31 December 2008

Bests and Totals

so everyone lists their bests this time of year. I'm following the crowd but hope i've managed to pick some different sorts of things. I am going to pick what was the best of what i read and watched all year, not just what came out this year. Strangely, i ended up with 8 for each category.

Movies
  • Yojimbo
  • Let the Right One In
  • Juno
  • Wall-E
  • The Dark Knight
  • Girl's Rock
  • Son Of Rambow
  • Hard Candy
Books
  • The Lover by Marguerite Duras
  • Night by Elie Wiesel
  • Whose Freedom by George Lakoff
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • After Dark by Haruki Murakami
  • His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman
And now my total! i read 102 books this year, 35 were nonfiction and 80 were library books. Not bad if i say so myself!

29 December 2008

Post Christmas

I hope everyone had a great holiday. I actually still have 1 more gifting get together before i'm finished for this year. So far i've gotten

  • Knee Socks.
  • A lovely picture book from my sister-in-law of my niece and nephew. How can two kids be both so adorable and so smart?
  • Paperback copy of A Feast for Crows.
  • 2 Copies of The Dark Knight. One will be swapped for Iron Man i think.
  • tons of candy, a few ornaments, some lottery scratch offs (no winnings)
  • a $25 gift card to JCPenny
  • a $5 card for Logan's Roadhouse
  • an LSU Koozie
  • cash!
In other news, I've joined Postcrossing. It's interesting as you send postcards to other people across the world and then get some back. I got my first one in the mail today. Here's a pic. It traveled all the way from Germany. Thanks Dorj!

23 December 2008

Update

Too much stuff going on. Must speak in telegramese. And bullet points!

  • Finished up Harry Potter 7 on audiobook the other day. Loved it again! 7!
  • Am going home for Christmas!
  • no more shopping. Am super glad to be finished.
  • trying to clean out my email and google reader feeds tonight.
  • watched Wanted-liked it, a 5, and WallE-loved it, a 7.
  • have a wonderful Christmas!
Love to all!

17 December 2008

Essential Green

Yesterday i finished up Van Jones' The Green Collar Economy. It's an overview of a plan to solve both our (the USA'S) economic issues and the environmental issues affecting the planet. It also stresses that the environmental movement really needs to embrace the social justice movement; that together each will be that much stronger. The poor, the marginalized, the undereducated of the US are the ones affected first and affected worst by both sets of problems.

Jones gives plenty of examples of what's wrong. He gives credit to the previous generations of civil rights organizers and environmental protectors and also outlines how just a few little tweaks could have put us in such a better position now. Mostly he outlines different programs and systems that can provide solutions. How improving mass transit will provide jobs building/maintaining rail lines, operating buses and trains, in factories making the parts, and also that better mass transit will help others simply get to work, opening up job opportunities. I especially like the "Hoopties for Hybrids" idea, yeah, because of the name. Because so many poor people have to drive old, inefficient, really polluting cars, the idea is that government can grant special low interest loans for them to trade the old car for a energy efficient model or a hybrid. so, the people save money on gas and repairs while the world has less CO2. yay!

So, my only complaint, which really isn't a complaint, is that because i've been reading up and following a lot of green issues for the last couple years i've heard a lot of the things in the book already! I've seen Van Jones on Colbert and the Daily Show and read his articles in The Nation and on Alternet. So if you feel you're really up on the green scene i might skip this book. If you wonder what the hell Obama's talking about when he says "green economy" you'll find this book really informative. I give it a 6.

The Green for All site.

Other: Great tees, but THIS ONE IS THE BEST!

Also, I finally finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on cd. I had only read this book once, right when it came out. It also came out in the middle of last summer when my entire life was crap so it was a difficult read for me then. I followed it better on audio i think. Loved it. a 7.

12 December 2008

Gifts for those that REALLY need them!

so, what do you buy adults in your life that don't really "need" anything? I always have this issue with my parents especially. So my dad gets a motorcycle/aircraft themed tee shirt or possibly books while my mom gets gift cards and candles/lotion, etc. They aren't normally much help either, as they always say "aw, nothing" when you ask what they want.

So i did find a tee shirt for my dad. While i was thinking about what my mom would want, i came across Oxfam Unwrapped. I've donated to Oxfam before and participated in some of their petitions and letter writing campaigns. They've got gifts from $18 which gives blankets, mosquito nets or water jugs to those in need to $10,000 which builds a house on stilts. Very cool. Check out the goat.

Another site is Changing the Present. It is amazing, with gifts from tons of organizations and prices starting at just a dollar! That gets a child a day's worth of anti-retrovirus meds! have 5? you can give a 80 lb bag of concrete for a playground or two books to a child. Gotta spend $500? That pays the transport costs for hospital equipment in Africa. Pretty cool. You can search by price, by cause or by the gift recipient (like for Dads, Moms, Weddings).

I know Oxfam has a pretty good rating for charities. As Changing the Present is basically an aggregator of lots of charities, you may want to pull up a search site like Charity Navigator to see about the individual organizations if you feel iffy about a place.

Happy giving! I'm actually excited about my mom getting the card saying she's given school uniforms for kids overseas.

11 December 2008

Snow! and BTT for 12/11

Here's the snow we got!!

about 3 inches that stuck on the grass and cars.


on some bushes. The flash really made for some bad pics!

as for BTT

1. Do you get to read as much as you WANT to read?

2. If you had (magically) more time to read–what would you read? Something educational? Classic? Comfort Reading? Escapism? Magazines?

So I feel kinda bad saying i wish i could read more. I mean, I'm single, no kids, normal 40 hour a week job. So it isn't so much that i don't have time to read really. I have some stretches where i just don't feel like it or i feel like it but am too tired, etc. So i guess i'd definitely read more if i had more time but i'd also probably exercise more and call my mom more. I know for sure i'd try to read more classics. That's where i get sidetracked now. I keep getting new books or non-fiction from the library so i put off reading Dickens or Fitzgerald or Faulkner or Wolff or Austen. I'd make more progress on that 1K1 list!

10 December 2008

Next Year's Challenges

So i'm wandering through A Novel Challenge and trying to pick a few for next year. I don't want to be too overwhelmed; I think now that i've done the challenge bit for just over a year now i'll do better not to overschedule myself. I seem to do best when i either have an open ended one where whatever i pick will count (YA, Science Book) or when i can pick just a few books to read in a short period (RIP, OUaT) than when i have to pick a bunch of books in advance (What's in a Name, TBR). So here we go!

I may add a few more.

09 December 2008

The Bell Jar

So i've been randomly picking up The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, reading a few pages, then firmly putting in down thinking "i really need to read my library books first!". Today i gave up and took it to work. I'm stunned. I knew it was a book about a young woman's depression. I just didn't figure i'd connect so so much with it. How she describes what she's feeling, especially right before and after her suicide attempt, are almost exactly like i've felt so often. The blankness, numbness, tiredness. The fact that nothing will ever be any better, and you know it. That you fake being fine and are glad that no one can tell you're not fine but weirdly sad that no one notices. And when they do notice they expect you to just fix it. They don't really hospitalize people anymore, right? I mean, my understanding is that sanitariums don't really exist. Thank Darwin I've never gotten shock treatments. I think i'd pass out long before they'd get me all hooked up. It was a bit weird reading about the 50's and how women were supposed to be then. that part i really couldn't relate to but that's more because of who i am, not the fault of this great little book. very much a 7.

I just realized this counts for 1k1 as well as the TBR and 1% challenges. also, here's another recent review from PoMo Golightly.

Currently: watching Dirty Jobs to indulge my crush on Mike Rowe, as well as being weirdly creeped out by Malcolm McDowell doing jewelry commercial voiceovers. Really, shouldn't he be at the Korova milk bar with his drooges?

08 December 2008

Let the Right One In

Want to see a movie about a vampire? Want to see a love story? Want to see an action movie, a dark comedy, a thriller? Want to see character development?

Go see Let the Right One In. It is really, really good.



It is a bit strange to see this movie about preteen vampire love just after seeing a movie about teen vampire love. But really, though Oskar isn't as hot as Edward, Let the Right One In is better than Twilight. It is much quieter in a way, as a movie it is stark blacks/whites as opposed to Twilight's rich wet greens. But because of the stark colors, when the red show up it looks even more...deadly. Eli is scarier than James was. The special effects are solid. I give this movie a hearty 7! Run and see it!

07 December 2008

Living Dead Girl

Yes, it is a Rob Zombie song and sounds like a line of goth dolls. It is a YA (?) novel by Elizabeth Scott. It is really dark, and sad and chilling. And i read it fast and didn't like it much. It is written as a stream-of-consciousness of Alice, a 15 year old who was kidnapped by a stranger when whe was 9. She's raped, starved, beaten, and secluded by Ray, her tormentor. Now that she's not a child Ray wants her help to kidnap another little girl. I guess my biggest beef is the deus-ex-machina ending. I wanted a happy, as possible at least, ending but felt like the author kind of copped out. oh well. a 4. I know others liked it much more so i've linked them below. I wouldn't give this to any younger kids definitely. it's pretty graphic. But it does let me say i've finished the YA challenge! WOO HOO!

other reviews by Becky, Jocelyn, and The Story Siren (love the name!).

Another Recipe

Since i devoted a previous post to all the lovely chocolates you can order, i figured i'd include a recipe for my favorite chocolate chili pepper cookies. One really good thing, you CAN'T overeat these. They are spicy; i usually max out a two cookies and they end up pretty small. This recipe is all over the web, i'm pulling it specifically from Bakingbites.com.

Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp cayenne

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

12 tbsp butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

Sift together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in vanilla extract and egg. Gradually add flour mixture until dough is uniform in color and no unmixed flour remains. Best way is by hand, messy but fun.

Shape in two 9" long logs and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Make sure your wrapping is airtight.

Freeze overnight or up to 6 weeks.

When ready to use, preheat your oven to 375F. Slice cookie dough and bake for 8-10 minutes. Cookies should feel a bit firm at the edges. Store in an airtight container when cool.

Makes 4 dozen

06 December 2008

Secret Santa and Other Stuff

Last night i got my package from my secret santa. THANKS Caroline. She sent me: a cool string bookmark, a notebook and notepad (did you know i write stuff constantly?), the book Plenty and a cookbook called Red Chile Bible. Yum! spicy stuff is great and i've seen at least a dozen things i want to try just flipping through it. You are awesome!

I've sent out my package to my recipient as well. Hope you like it.

As I'm mentioning the Christmas Swap exchange, I must mention Dewey's passing and that my heart goes out to her family. You get to know people through this great invention, the internet, sharing in their lives and interests even though you never meet in person. Dewey was a great community builder, forging connections between people through Weekly Geeks, the Read-a-thon, and her blog. Others have written wonderful tributes to her and the whole book blog community is going to really miss her.

Lastly, Xerox is sending postcards to the troops stationed overseas. It's free! Click on over and send a word of thanks to a soldier.

04 December 2008

Want to buy me something?

Or do you need ideas for a chocolate lover? Do you think it's weird that under my "food and recipes" bookmark folder i have a separate subfolder labeled "chocolate"? I love chocolate, especially a nice dark chocolate. I've also become more and more enamored of weird combos, like ginger, hot spices, rosehips and apricots.

Here's a company from Canada called Wild Sweets. They've got some incredible boxed sets of chocolates. also, some really cool cocoa flavors. Pistachio/Chipotle anyone?

Lake Champlain Chocolates is a company in Vermont. Go for the organic truffles. Dark chocolate with coffee and lemon? Milk chocolate with honey and figs? Divine!

Just out of beta testing...Tcho Chocolate is straight, 70% dark chocolate. I sooooo wish i'd gotten to beta test their concoctions. They go with varietals, like "Nutty" or "Citrus".

Scharffen Berger...big chocolate company. I'd love the History of Chocolate basket as it comes with a book and chocolate covered currants. mmmm.

The Chocolate Fetish is practically local! They're in Asheville, NC. check out their Ecstasy truffles. Who doesn't want to eat things called Dragon's Kiss, Velvet Sin, or Ancient Pleasures? I've personally tried several of the truffles and they've all been lovely. One warning, these definitely don't keep very long. The frogs are also great.

so that's it; a sampling of some of the interesting ways to have yummy scrumptious chocolate.

UPDATE: Richard reminded me i've also had bacon/chocolate. While Vosges makes some great stuff, particularly the Red Fire bar and their Creole bar, Mo's Bacon bar is less than cool. It's kinda like eating chocolate jerky. No mixing meat and chocolate. Bacon and maple syrup though, now that's good! I may have to try Magic Mushroom chocolate though! I don't think Richard's been good enough this year to deserve this.


30 November 2008

Final post of November

Damn it!

Booyah! Fred Phelps gets smacked down. Article from the Oregonian here, Alternet article with pictures here. Gotta warn you, if you haven't seen the Phelps bullshit it's a touch disturbing. Here in Nashville we hear a bit about them as the cult seems to protest the funerals a Ft. Campbell frequently. A local Oregon blogger talks about his experience here.

And lastly, a reverse of the normal things to do before YOU die: 10 Things to Eat Before THEY die. NO, it isn't polar bears, Fosberg's Love Grass, the Hook-Billed Hermit Hummingbird, the Pygmy Fringe Tree and the Wyoming Toad. The items are real heritage food items that people have grown, raised or collected for centuries that people just aren't eating anymore.

And really really lastly, Dumbledore breakdances (at about 5:05)





29 November 2008

Sliding in

Weird that after a month of this i almost forgot to post tonight! Of course, i did just finish a 10 hour road trip, my second in 3 days. A quick book post will do.

So, the last time i went to Louisiana waaaay back in February i fell for audiobooks pretty hard. This trip i picked up Harry Potter 6 and 7 and finished up Half Blood Prince on the way back this afternoon. I'd only read it once, when it first came out. I hadn't forgotten too much but did have a few things misplaced in my mind. It is weird; I've read the first four books over and over, several times each, but i only read 5 twice, and until today 6 and 7 once each. I so wonder why. Maybe because the last three were so so sad? not sure. still, i figure Half Blood Prince is a 6.

28 November 2008

BTT for 11/27

So i'm supposed to come up with 7 things i'm thankful for. I'm extremely low. so i think i'm going to give non serious answers
  1. Starbucks Chrismas Blend
  2. My Gryffindor Hoodie
  3. Knee Socks
  4. Sweet tea
  5. AC
  6. My G1
  7. Spoons
Best i can do right now.

Also, this bit just proves how awful people are.

27 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I think i may post several times today!



Turkey, in it's less delicious state!

26 November 2008

A bit of Southern Charm

And about 1000 calories. So lots of people i've talked to recently in the internet world have no idea what chess pie is. while i must admit before i moved to TN i also was ignorant of this masterpiece, it has become my favorite dessert at any potluck or party i'm at. It is so tooth-jaringly sweet that just thinking about it makes me want a glass of milk. recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.)
  2. In a large bowl, combine sugar and flour. Beat in the eggs and buttermilk until blended. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla. Pour filling into the pie crust.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until filling is set.
Only 4 more days to go until i can take a day off from blogging!

25 November 2008

No? Really?

NY Times article about how the US isn't a great place to be sick.

Part that jumped out at me "Americans also were most likely to report wasting time because their care was so poorly organized. About a third reported that medical records and test results were not available when needed or that tests were duplicated unnecessarily". I can attest to that. When i had my gall bladder out i had to go in for the pre-surgery work up and sign papers, etc. They said that since i was a sexually active female part of the blood work was a pregnancy test. ok, no problem. Then the week later when i'm in my little gown waiting for surgery the nurse comes in to go over my chart and says "oh, you didn't have the pregnancy test done" in front of my mom and little brother and sister. So there goes patient privacy and they had to make me wait for surgery while they took more blood to test. Fun!

24 November 2008

New Geek Friends!

For Weekly Geeks we're to pick 5 bloggers we don't normally read and find some things we have in common. I've had a bit of a problem finding people i haven't seen before.

1) Softdrink at FizzyThoughts. We both are sarcastic. And we both are amazed that anyone else reads/comments on our blogs!

2)Terri from Reading, Writing, Retirement. She lives in Portland, OR, which is where i 'm going to move if i ever get my shit together :) I loved the city when i visited a couple years ago now. She's also anti-Bush and pro-Obama (prObama?) whoopee!

3)The Dads from Book Dads: This is an awesome site. Not that my site is awesome, so we don't have that in common. But they have a great site anyway. Just trying to give more props to the male book bloggers out there since there are so few. Honestly the only thing i see that we are the same is that i have a Dad that was great and likes to read, liked to read to us as kids, and taught me to read. These Book Dads also seem like they are great dads too!

4) Lynda from Lynda's Book Blog: She loves libraries. w00t! She's digging into the 09 challenges already, which i've promised myself i won't touch until December at which point i am diving in. And she's signed up for the Book Bloggers Secret Santa, as have i!

5)Megan from Leafing through Life: our names both start with M. seriously, we both seem to have both bookie stuff and life stuff on our blogs, as opposed to some which are just restricted to reading only.

23 November 2008

Trader Joe's Dinner

It's actually a big dinner and a lunch. it's really just fried chicken bits with a nice sauce. Made my own rice mmmmmm.


22 November 2008

Twilight Movie

So i really liked it. We had some crappy people in the front of the theater making noises and giggling and wandering about which really sucked. The movie itself was good. I went with a friend and she liked it as well. Her exact words: that was hot. It was an intense chemistry the main characters had. Or have, i suppose. It's a 6.


21 November 2008

btt for 11/21

Do you think reviewers are obligated to put up a good review of a book, even if they don’t like it? Have we come to a point where reviewers *need* to put up disclaimers to (hopefully) save themselves from being harassed by unhappy authors who get negative reviews?

Well, i've not gotten an ERC direct from an author yet so i haven't confronted this exact situation. I have received a few from LibraryThing and the 2 i've read i've given good reviews to. I don't know how I'd do with a book that i really hated that i got free. There's two possibilities. I could not like it just because it isn't what i like, like chick lit, or "action movie" books, in which case i'd try to be fair to say the writing/dialogue/whatever was fine, just not what i like to read about. If it is really a poorly written one, i might just try to suggest the author refine their technique more. Not sure exactly.

I'm going to see Twilight tonight with a friend. Yay.

Also, unplug your cel chargers when you aren't actually charging a phone!

Thanks for visiting!

20 November 2008

My Red Hair


Ok, i must look younger because of all my clean livin'! :) what i really don't get is why my eyebrows now look red when i didn't touch them with the color?!?


19 November 2008

Tuesday Thingers 11/18

I've not done this before but i need to fill days!!!

Popular this month on LibraryThing: Do you look at this list? Do you get ideas on what to read from it?

Have you read any of the books on the list right now? Feel free to link to any reviews you've done as well.

This is the list.

1.The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

2.Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron

3.Nation by Terry Pratchett

4.Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

5.Anathem by Neal Stephenson

6.American Wife: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld

7.The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

8.The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel by David Wroblewski

9.Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3) by Stephenie Meyer

10.Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer



I didn't even know this list existed! so i guess that answers the first part. I've read The Graveyard Book and have Eclipse and Breaking Dawn but haven't started them yet. so that's quick.

18 November 2008

I am so glad i don't have to do what they tell me

this is pretty bizarre. Admittedly, I'm not completely up on what churches can or can't do when it comes to politics but i thought that a church couldn't endorse a candidate. So all other ways in which Obama aligns with the Catholic church don't matter. As long as the one abortion thing is off that's bad and you shouldn't vote for him. And it doesn't matter how off McCain was on all the other issues, you were supposed to vote for him because he was the anti-abortion candidate. Ridiculous.


17 November 2008

I'm going Red

Possibly. well, definitely, but if it looks awful there will only be a 24 hour period or so until i can lighten it back up during which i will be wearing a ballcap. darkish red brown actually. we'll see.

I'm definitely buying some organic toothpaste
.

I'm probably going to see Twilight on Friday night.

Want a cool shirt? Check out Threadless. i love their designs.

That's all i got. and i really am 32. :)

16 November 2008

James Bond, etc

So i liked it. It isn't the best movie i've ever seen, and i'll need to talk to my dad about whether the plane chase is even vaguely possible, but i liked it. It was really fast paced, especially the first 3rd. i'd give it a 5.

so here i am


So i'm 32, the oldest of 5 kids. I say I'm from Louisiana because i finished high school and went to college there. My parents and siblings live in south louisiana, scattered between the little town of Breaux Bridge and the city of Lafayette. i miss them.

I'm a big fan of LOST, of football, of indie rock, of fall, of spicy chocolate. I read tons. I love coffee and tea. I'm trying to get better at yoga. I'm also trying to exercise otherwise. I'm single and have no kids. I'm an atheist, very left politically, and an easygoing skeptic. I'm really empathic, not in the supernatural sense of course. i'm a dog person. I'm a dancer not a singer. I'm depressed, which i take pills for, and heartbroken, which i don't think they make pills for yet. I'm constantly curious and occasionally appalled by what i learn. I'm becoming a fan of japanese culture, like anime, movies and books.

I'm not: judgemental, manic, musically inclined, a drama queen, trendy, as green as i want to be, a reality tv fan, happy in my job, a UT fan, sure i even want kids.

15 November 2008

Welcome!

I'm the first stop on a blog train! Woo! Come on in, have a seat. I've got semi-organic munchies, like cookies or banana bread, chips and salsa or hummus with broccoli. I'm a bit short on beverages so i hope everyone likes nice southern sweet tea.

Katie, from Don't Call Me Kathleen (i won't!), picked my blog to start off with. The idea is that she's going to select a different blog to visit each week and bring along friends too. *waves*

So I'll do my best to be entertaining this week. As soon as i can put up the cool button i will as well; it's currently frustrating me due to my lack of sleep. I feel like i should post a "getting to know me" type blurb. Maybe tomorrow. I'm way tired. But i posted!

Currently: wishing i could fall asleep while someone brushed my hair.

14 November 2008

Man This Is Hard

It is hard to come up with something to talk about every day. I figured this NaBloPoMo thing would be easy if i just could remember to do it. But i feel dumb just posting "umm, i woke up, ate some cream of wheat for breakfast, drank coffee, went to my therapy appointment, went to trader joe's, came home and took a nap". that's not a post!

So i did decide to go ahead and join up with the Book Bloggers Christmas Exchange. I didn't know about it last year but i liked reading everyone's posts about what they sent and what they got. hopefully i'll come up with something suitable for my person.

I'm going to see the new James Bond tonight. I may post about that tomorrow.

13 November 2008

Btt for 11/13

Even if you are a die-hard fan of the public library system, I’m betting you have at least ONE permanent resident of your bookshelves in your house. I’m betting that no real book-lover can go through life without owning at least one book. So … why that one? What made you buy the books that you actually own, even though your usual preference is to borrow and return them?

If you usually buy your books, tell me why. Why buy instead of borrow? Why shell out your hard-earned dollars for something you could get for free?


I read lots and lots of library books. so far this year, at last count anyway, i'd read 71 library books (though now i'm sad they're only letting people put up to 10 on hold....i normally have anywhere from that on up) I've also got about 225 listed on librarything. So why buy? lots of reasons.

  • The wait is interminable at the library for a book i really really want to read.
  • I am pretty sure i'll want to read it again.
  • the library doesn't have it
  • it's pretty
  • it's cheap
  • It'll make me look smart (ok yeah i mean it)
  • no one believes you read tons of books if you don't have a bunch lying around
  • I like to have a variety of choices
  • impulse
  • it's some kind of workbook (i've got some for depression) so you need to mark it up
  • it's a reference book
On a slightly different topic, i finished The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman today. a complete 7. super highly recommended! I'm just gonna link to everyone's awesome reviews: Carl's, Chris', Nymeth's. I'm sure there are a bunch more out there; let me know i'll link to you too!

11 November 2008

I'm Still Reading

I meant to "just read a chapter or two" of Dreams Made Flesh by Anne Bishop last night. I felt really low and just wanted to get the stupid day over with but it wasn't late enough for me to fall asleep. So i started reading this book to kill a little time. But i ended up reading 3 of the 4 stories in it and went to bed about 11:30. I shouldn't have bothered going to bed as i was still up another hour but oh well.

I finished this one up today. I really liked it. There's an old myth type, a story of revenge, of falling in love, and of rediscovering your lover. The men of the Black Jewels are the protagonists in three stories. We see Saetan truly unleash his fury. We find out how Lucivar and Marian met and fell in love. We see Daemon love Jaenelle as she recovers from the events in Queen of the Darkness. This last story is the most satisfying as i felt it resolved a good bit of the whole story arc. The Lucivar story is also quite good but i kinda thought the whole "excuse" that made them have sex the first time felt a bit fan fictiony. Other than that, these are really fun. I give the book a 6.

10 November 2008

2 Graphic Novels

Finished up two today. The one i like less goes first! The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill (aside: Is anyone else fiending for the Watchmen like me?) is the third in what is apparently going to be a much longer series. The problem is, this book was kinda blah. The basic story is that Mina Murray and Allan Quartermaine, who've become immortal (not a spoiler, you find this out at the very beginning), break into MI:5 headquarters (courtesy of a womanizing Jimmy Bond) to steal The Black Dossier. This dossier is essentially a grouping of articles, pictures, journals, etc that detail what happened to the League after book 2 as well as info about the previous Leagues we've seen hints of. They get away, read the dossier, escape a single ambush, then get away again to real safety. There isn't really much plot or character development.

Maybe my problem is that i'm far far less familiar with English language literature after the turn of the 20th century. I caught the Bond, 1984 and Lovecraft references. I've read Orlando and know the story of Fanny Hill. I couldn't force myself to read the Kerouac run on sentences, and i know that i missed out on who was who in big sections detailing the French and German leagues. Weirdly, i almost think this book would have been better had the frame been left out and we were just presented with the dossier info. I either wanted to read about Mina and Allen having adventures, or a "found document" of league info. Just not both. This one is a 3.

As for the second, Birth of a Nation by Aaron Macgruder, Reginald Hudlin and Kyle Baker, it is much better. I"ve always enjoyed Boondocks, the show and the comic (which i guess isn't coming back) and Nation delivers some of the Boondocks attitude. Essentially, Bush wins re-election when all the people of East St. Louis, including the mayor, grandmothers, etc, are denied the vote because they are on a felons list. Bush wins Illinois by 300 (or so) votes, which wins him the election. So may Fred Fredericks and friends in East St. Louis seceed from the USA. It's a fun read, political and upbeat. a 5.

10 days down, 20 to go!

09 November 2008

I can't think up a cute title

I finished reading The Wrecking Crew by Thomas Frank last night.

This book is a 5. It isn't so much anything specifically that i hadn't read before but it is a good summary of why Republicans do what they do. They claim they want fiscal responsibility then run up deficits to force liberals to curtail social spending. They put incompetent people in positions to reward them as well as to make regular folk feel all government workers are incompetent. They cry "free market" but then subsidize their buddies' businesses so they'll get kickbacks and election funds. It has a good bit pulled from Naomi Klien's book The Shock Doctrine and i would highly recommend reading Frank's first. it is shorter and less dense and a decent read.

currently: still amazed Obama's been elected.

08 November 2008

BTT for 11/6

A question of presents.

What, if any, memorable or special book have you ever gotten as a present? Birthday or otherwise. What made it so notable? The person who gave it? The book itself? The “gift aura?”

So i've gotten plenty of books as presents. Most recently, after my birthday in July R bought me The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality. It isn't so much the book itself but that he got me a birthday present at all. It made me feel so nice. So that's a person answer.

A few years ago my mom bought me the first 3 Harry Potter books for Christmas. This was before Goblet of Fire had come out. That was nice because my mom pegged me perfectly; I loved them immediately.

I'm actually scrolling through my librarything list and recognizing which were gifts. But as for meaningful gifts, the ones i've listed are tops.

07 November 2008

Gotta Post...

So i am posting. I feel like i need to do something more substantial than just a placeholder but unless inspiration strikes in the next 4 hours i'll just do this.

Here's what i've got from my library right now.
  • The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox- I've got the second book in the series as an ERC so i'm trying to get this one done.
  • The End of Food by Paul Roberts- I'll get to this for the Science Book challenge.
  • Birth of a Nation by Aaron McGruder and Reginald Hudlin- Graphic novel.
  • The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule by Thomas Frank- A very sad book i'll probably finish up tonight. A bunch of things i hope Obama's administration can help correct.
  • Dreams Made Flesh by Anne Bishop- A continuation of the Dark Jewels Trilogy
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill-Graphic Novel, i'm about finished with it as well.
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman- not sure what this is about....;)
I've got another 12 books working their way to me through the hold maze. Four are actually about conservatives or Bush and i don't know if i can take them. Two, The Age of American Unreason and Nixonland are a bit more general but the Scott McClellan book and Dark side : the inside story of how the war on terror turned into a war on American ideals by Jane Mayer are directly about Bush so i don't know if i'll even get them. In a way I'm so hopeful for the future i don't want to bring myself down. But on the other hand i feel like i should read them to understand more about what, well, happened. Maybe I'll split the difference and just pick up 2 of them.

06 November 2008

Ugh.

I would so not be posting tonight if i didn't have to. I can't bail on a challenge this early in the month!

I had a crappy day. I'm sick, in that i have a cold. work was blah. I'm tired of it and i'm tired of dealing with R. I'm tired of struggling.

so that's kinda that.

Currently: watching The Daily Show from last night.

05 November 2008

04 November 2008

So It Begins

I've already nibbled off most of my nails. just to do something, i'm submitting myself to the DMV to reregister my car. I'll probably post another few times as well.

On another note...I completely agree with Rachel Maddow.



I was pretty lucky: my schedule allows me to have Fridays off so I went to early vote at about 10 am at the local library a couple weeks ago. I waited about 10 minutes though i was prepared to wait much longer. Some friends in Rutherford County waited about 45 minutes. But what about Memphis? what about today? I figure an hour wait is about the limit of what people consider tolerable but that should be at it's LONGEST point. It is ridiculous.

03 November 2008

Pre-Election Day Begging!

Let's all be Steeler fans tonight!

Go read Andi's post for Obama. She's way more eloquent than i'll ever be.


Cross your fingers!

Should i go buy some champagne or not? I don't want to jinx anything.

I'm not sure i'm going to have any fingernails left either. I'm so nervous, i feel like i did in high school before a play. I'm so glad i've taken tomorrow off; i'm going to be useless.

go vote. vote Obama. Vote Democrat. please!




02 November 2008

Quick Update

So i'm posting a fast update on the ongoing challenges and total books for the year.

Total: 92 books, 33 were non-fiction and 71 were library books.

TBR Challenge: Read 7/12, remaining 5 have to be done before 12/31/08
Russian Reading Challenge: 3 and a half done out of 4, due 12/31/08
YA Challenge: 11/12, also 12/31/08
Science Book Challenge: 2/3 done, 12/31/08
What's in a Name Challenge: ugh, still 2/6 and i don't think i'll make another 4 for this too!
1% Well Read Challenge: 4/10 read, but i have through 2/28/09.

so i've got 11 and a half books to read before the end of the year if i want to finish all these. I think i may just concentrate on TBR and let the Name challenge go. I've got 6 library books out now too, though i can use one as part of the Science challenge. and then there are 2 other ERCs i haven't read yet. ACK!

*breathes*

Is it awful that last night instead of doing some reading i was browsing A Novel Challenge to see what's up for next year?

And thanks thanks thanks! sometime between posting yesterday and today i've gone over 9k total hits! you guys are awesome.

01 November 2008

As if I don't have enough going on...

I decided to join NaBloPoMo this month. It's Chris's (from Stuff as Dreams) fault. He mentioned it, so i looked it up, then i joined up. *sigh* hey, though, this post counts as 1!

I'm going to talk about college football. First off, i understand why Texas is ranked #1 right now; they beat another #1 team and haven't lost to anyone else. I fully admit that they are fun to watch, that they're quarterback has a great name, that they've come through in some close-ish games.

But i also know that if they played Florida, Alabama, or LSU they'd get their ass kicked.

Yes, i'm pro-SEC football. We have this little thing called DEFENSE in our conference. You don't normally get 80, 90 total point games. Sure, Georgia managed to do little to stop Florida this afternoon. Sure, we cannibalize ourselves and make some solid teams look poor due to the record. Yeah, Vandy could probably do great in the Big East or Conference USA and the only reason they aren't over there is to boost graduation rates and GPAs. But you can pick any SEC game, any weekend and you're probably going to see a game, a real competition, not a Heisman candidate highlight reel or 2nd stringers in the game the entire second half. We've done incredibly well in the bowls the last several years (7-2 last year) and we've won 4 of the National Championships since that started.

not bad huh.


31 October 2008

Happy Halloween!

Tonight, i shall imbibe warm witches brew and consume raw, dead fishes. After which i will see a revival showing of The Shining.

I finished up the RIP challenge! YAY me! I definitely liked Rises the Night by Colleen Gleason more than The Rest Falls Away. I liked the bit more adult Victoria. I liked the story and really liked seeing more of Sebastian and his motivations. I didn't like Max in the first novel so the fact that he was barely in this was also rewarding. I know that the reader is supposed to feel Victoria is torn between Sebastian and Max but i really don't see it. Torn between Sebastian and her duty maybe. I've got book three in my TBR stack so i may go ahead and read that soon. A 5. Also, i wonder how many of the reviews/ratings at Amazon are from the book blogging world!

The last book i read for RIP was Gothic! edited by Deborah Noyes. This book is a series of YA short stories. This is really a lot like stuff i read as a kid. I tore through those Scary Stories books which were combos of ghost stories, urban legends, and killer stories. I think Gothic was pretty uneven as some stories were much better than others. There were a few sort of normal, goofy "spooky" ones, like "Have No Fear, Crumpot is Here" and "Morgan Roemar's Boys". A couple that i thought kinda sucked: "Watch and Wait", "Writing on the Wall" and "The Prank". But I really liked "The Dead and the Moonstruck" and "Endings". I was a tad disappointed that the Gaiman story was one from Fragile Things but it is a very good little story with a really great title "Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Nameless House of the Night of Dread Desires". Whew! The book as a whole is a 4.

30 October 2008

BTT for 10/30

Happy Thursday!

Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earer? Do you expect to keep your books in pristine condition even after you have read them? Does watching other readers bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain?

I'm not a prisine book person. I don't crack spines because that makes the pages fall out. I treat library books well and would never turn corners on those or on any book i've borrowed from someone. For ones i own though i'll dog-ear corners and lay them open face down. With trade paperbacks, at least thin ones, i will roll the cover back sometimes but since i read so quickly it doesn't stay that way very long!

On a different note, I hate to admit i may not finish RIP! ACK! I intend to though. I am halfway through Rises the Night which I'll definitely finish but then i've got to tear through another by tomorrow midnight! hmmm. I'm off tomorrow but have to run to 2 dr's appts and also go get new tags for my car. and i'm going to a play tonight, a spooky Bell Witch based one.

29 October 2008

Vote Obama part I can't remember.

From Seed Magazine, on supporting Obama:

Far more important is this: Science is a way of governing, not just something to
be governed. Science offers a methodology and philosophy rooted in evidence,
kept in check by persistent inquiry, and bounded by the constraints of a
self-critical and rigorous method. Science is a lens through which we can and
should visualize and solve complex problems, organize government and
multilateral bodies, establish international alliances, inspire national pride,
restore positive feelings about America around the globe, embolden democracy,
and ultimately, lead the world. More than anything, what this lens offers the
next administration is a limitless capacity to handle all that comes its way, no
matter how complex or unanticipated.

see! Full article here.

27 October 2008

Persepolis

On a bit of a graphic novel kick I suppose. i read Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi in a couple hours today. I so want to pick up the second one now so that's always a good indication of a great story.

Persepolis is the story of an Iranian girl from the age of 9 to 14. It takes place during the Iranian revolution. The graphic novel chronicles the many shocks she and her family receive. One day she goes to school to discover all of the boys are now in a different school. Friends and family members die and flee Iran. Marjane herself is a free spirit, like her parents. They all even go to a demonstration together. But as Marjane grows up, the Iranian restrictions chafe more and more so her parents send her to boarding school in France. The second book apparently shows Marjane grow to adulthood. This one was a 6.

I liked the artwork better than Maus, though it is starker. I'm glad she gets out but worry about the people remaining. I can't imagine a society closing in on everything i value. Perhaps it's something to do with being liberal but i don't understand fundamentalism in any way. Not religious or capitalist or communist fundamentalism.

Still no cable or internet. :(

26 October 2008

Mauses and Night

I tore through Maus 1 and 2 by Art Spiegelman as well as Night by Elie Wiesel last night and this afternoon. These books are all amazing. Shocking and sickening but amazing. I don't know if I've read any Holocaust lit at all; i've never read Anne Frank, though I've seen the play.

Maus 1 and 2 cover the story of the author's father, Vladek, as he struggles to keep himself, his wife, and others alive. We are told the story piecemeal, as the author was, as Spiegelman visits his father. This is also the story of a son trying to understand his father. We see Spiegalman and his father fighting and fussing. There seems to be a huge disconnection between father and son and even between the father's young personality and older personality. The younger Vladek seems resourceful and bright but the older Vladek just seems anal and OCD and very sad. Though he's survived and made a good life for himself and his family, he's living in the shadow of his past. He can't let go of the habits he formed during the war and can't simply enjoy the life he has now. There also seems to be a lot of guilt, from father and son, about the death of the wife/mother in the story. She commits suicide when the author was 20 and leaves no note or explanation. Maus is a slice of a story, the much longer story of the Spiegelman family and Jewish and American history, and as such has no real ending. These are a 6.

Night is so different. i am sure much of the difference is the first person perspective instead of the second-hand story in Maus. Also, Wiesel first published Night in 1958, Spiegelman released the first part of Maus in the 70's. Night is darker, bitterer, heavier, and deeply philosophical. We see many of the same events as in Maus: the German takeover, the marginalizing of Jews in general, then specifically living in ghettos, and finally the descent into the camps. Wiesel is 14 when he is sent with his family to Birkenau; he and his father lie about their ages (Wiesel says he is 18, his father says he's only 40) and avoid the gas chambers. They end up in the work camp, from which only Wiesel himself survives. The spiritual or philosophical part is where we view Wiesel going from a very pious, religious youngster to the haunted, angry survivor he becomes. This is a 7.

I wonder what i would have done if i'd really not liked one. Can you not like books like these and still be a good person? i mean, i could see racist skinhead deniers not liking these books. So i can see that But these aren't just straight lit. They are moving portrayals of survival in horrible circumstances. You can't really say you enjoy them; i was moved, challenged and shocked. I felt terrible for the protagonists and ashamed of humanity. i wouldn't say i enjoyed the books and i highly recommend them.

so apparently if i stop with all the internet and cable my reading will increase.

25 October 2008

Video Blogging

So i'm giving this a try. sorry if boring.

21 October 2008

Courtesy of MoveOn.org

TOP 5 REASONS OBAMA SUPPORTERS SHOULDN'T REST EASY

1. The polls may be wrong. This is an unprecedented election. No one knows how racism may affect what voters tell pollsters—or what they do in the voting booth. And the polls are narrowing anyway. In the last few days, John McCain has gained ground in most national polls, as his campaign has gone even more negative.

2. Dirty tricks. Republicans are already illegally purging voters from the rolls in some states. They're whipping up hysteria over ACORN to justify more challenges to new voters. Misleading flyers about the voting process have started appearing in black neighborhoods. And of course, many counties still use unsecure voting machines.

3. October surprise. In politics, 15 days is a long time. The next McCain smear could dominate the news for a week. There could be a crisis with Iran, or Bin Laden could release another tape, or worse.

4. Those who forget history... In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote after trailing by seven points in the final days of the race. In 1980, Reagan was eight points down in the polls in late October and came back to win. Races can shift—fast!

5. Landslide. Even with Barack Obama in the White House, passing universal health care and a new clean-energy policy is going to be hard. Insurance, drug and oil companies will fight us every step of the way. We need the kind of landslide that will give Barack a huge mandate.

If you agree that we shouldn't rest easy, please sign up to volunteer at your local Obama office by clicking here.

It May Be Easy Being Green

but the book isn't so great. I mean, I skimmed It's Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living by Crissy Trask because it isn't really a book you read. I suppose I'd have to say it is useful for someone who has never ever thought about trying to be environmentally aware. There's a bunch of tips but they are all the same stuff you can find on any green website: turn a/c up and heat down, recycle, CFL's, carpool. It has big lists of links as well to get more info on line. But you could get everything in the book online, so why not be a bit more green and save the paper! Amazon has it for 4.99 right now in their bargain bin if you're interested. It's just a 3 from me though. Glad I didn't buy it; i borrowed it from the library (another tip the book suggests).


17 October 2008

Healthy Dinner, Kinda


So I had something really different for dinner: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese and Voga Pinot Grigio. yummy!

So the mac and cheese was pretty healthy. The squash, milk and butter were local and the cheese and noodles were organic. I used a little more noodles as my squash was only about 1.8 lbs. also, i didn't realize you needed to take the seeds out before you roast the squash. it worked out ok though! Not as a sweet as i was expecting and i did have to add regular old salt and pepper to eat. The sauce, without the nutmeg at least, is something that would work great on other noodle/veggie combos too, or maybe tuna/noodles!

As for wine, i'm a Reisling lover but have learned recently that Pinot Grigio is pretty good too and something i can have when outvoted on my sweet Reislings.

I've been having a bit of a hard time recently. It's lead to almost no reading and a lot of staring at the tv without actually seeing what was going on. I had my dog for a week but rather than helping me she seemed to annoy me. Not her fault as other than eating one of my plants (and puking it back up outside) she did great.

I did do something that is kinda RIPy; I watched the 70's BBC production of Count Dracula. Isn't Netflix great? I thought it was solid, although they decided to combine Quincy and Holmwood into one character and make Lucy and Mina sisters. Also, the interiors were video and exteriors were film which kept throwing me off. The vampire-girls-eating-the-baby scene was really creepy. I couldn't figure out why Mina looked familiar so i looked her up on IMDB: she played Andromeda in Clash of the Titans. Hooray for random connections.

Currently: trying to decide if 7:30 is too early to go to bed.

11 October 2008

I don't wear Nike's

But i absolutely love their football commercials.



Serious Lit and Goofy Fantasy

I finished two books yesterday that really couldn't have been more different.

I listened to After Dark by Haruki Murakami in the car. I got the audiobook from the library (of course) and now want the actual copy. There were at least a dozen quotes i want to write down. I haven't read any Murakami before and was so amazed at how beautiful the writing is. Truly, this novel has such a feel of a movie that i can't wait for someone to hand the book to Quentin Tarantino. No, there's no sword or gun fighting, or even much cursing, but Tarantino has an amazing ability to film conversations. Really, 80% of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are just people talking. Hell, the first time i watched Sin City i knew exactly which scene Tarantino guest directed! But back to the book. We follow the adventures of Mari, a nineteen year old girl in Japan. She is staying out all night, just to get away from her home. She runs into an old acquaintance of her sister. The events flow from there and there are some pretty metaphysical bits. One thing i thought was weird is that one of the sisters is always referred to by her whole name, Eri Asai. Whether it is other characters talking about her or the narrator, we hear her whole name and it is just a bit strange. It also took me a whole CD to realize that the book is in present tense and most of a second CD to figure out that the narrator portions are first person plural. a weird book but one i loved. a 7!

Carl V. reviewed this too and his is much much better!

The other i finished was The Invisible Ring by Anne Bishop. I really enjoyed her Black Jewels Trilogy and this novel takes place before those events. We see bits of Daemon Sadi as he drops in on the story and a few parts underlining how evil Dorothea SaDiablo is. The main story is that Jared (bad name choice, i kept thinking of the subway diet guy) is a pleasure slave who killed the last queen who owned him. At a slave auction, the Gray Lady, queen of a territory Dorothea wants, purchases him as well as several other slaves. No one but Jared is what they seem. One of the slaves is a spy for Dorothea. Lots of magic, guys facing their feelings, a little love and sex, and fighting. I give it a 5.

09 October 2008

BTT for 10/9

I haven't done this in a few weeks, but this week's BTT is a pretty easy meme.

What was the last book you bought?
Batman and Philosophy.
Name a book you have read MORE than once.
umm, any? Gone with the Wind
Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
Sure. last one would be Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
all of the above? basically, no matter what the cover or summary, I'd have bought the Batman book because i like the subject. But i just read Never Let Me Go which first interested me purely from it's amazing cover. I read The Book of Lost Things earlier this year because of reccs and reviews.
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

They are about even for me. Maybe slight advantage to fiction.
What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
plot, no wait characters.

Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
Most is hard! most recent that i've really liked are Jacob from New Moon and Lyra from His Dark Materials.
Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
I don't read in bed so how about a few i've got from the library? The Way Station by Clifford Simak, Coming Home to Eat by Gary Paul Nabhan, The Invisible Ring by Anne Bishop, and The Black Tower by Louis Bayard
What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
The last one i finished was Go Green, Live Rich.
Have you ever given up on a book half way in?

yeah definitely. Most recently i stopped reading The Master and Margarita. I'd had it from the library for about 3 months and just couldn't finish it. I'll pick up a cheap copy from McKay's and finish it up soon.

01 October 2008

Banned Books

I haven't seen this article on any other blogs yet so here it is.

Philip Pullman on censorship.


I've got to read more by him. The His Dark Materials books were so so good.

30 September 2008

2 Green Books

The first I finished is Go Green, Live Rich by David Bach. It is definitely a beginners book but good for that. It is one to hand to your rich, Republican friends to convince them to make changes. He gives plenty of the regular tips, like changing your light bulbs, improving your car efficiency, drinking tap water instead of bottled, turning off your monitor (not even the whole computer) overnight, stuff like that. But he give you a dollar value for each little change so you can see exactly what's in it for you! Because he also writes financial books, the last part is about green investing, turning the few grand your tips save you each year into hundreds of thousands. In the introduction, he lays out how just 4 tips save you about 3700 a year, which invested turns into 678,000 after 30 years. He also gives tons and tons of websites to visit for further research. I give this one a 6 and i may buy it for 2 of my brothers at Christmas.

The other I finished is called Fight Global Warming Now by Bill McKibben. It is actually about organizing. As such, it was ok but not really my point of interest. There is a lot of information about how to get an event set up, get media coverage, even having politicians speak. Anyone interested in learning about basic community organizing would probably get a lot out of it. A 4 from me though.

28 September 2008

WG 19

So this week's topic is to come up with a best books released in 2008 list. so far i've read 82 books, 26 were nonfiction and 64 were from the library. Of those though, only perhaps a dozen (maybe less) were from this year. Here are the 5 best, with the score I gave them at the time. I had another couple of 6's but didn't feel they were as good as the three 6's here.

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan-7
, non-fic
Duma Key by Stephen King-7
The Dracula Dossier by James Reese-6, though i don't know if it counts as it isn't out yet!
Bonk by Mary Roach-6, nonfic
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith-6

So there!

25 September 2008

Dinner!

I don't know i've posted any food pics recently. Here's the Pad Thai i made tonight.




The sauce was a box but i did the whole stir fry thing myself. extra yummy, not quite as saucy as i like it though. Next time i'm trying chicken.

Currently: waiting for USC-Oregon ST

24 September 2008

The Weirdest Sci-Fi I've Ever Read

This post is going to contain a spoilery look at Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. so to add some space for those really not interested in being spoiled, i'm going to post some pics first!

One of Chloe.


Close up me!


R looking cute.


So the book! It is a 1001 list book, it counts for both the 1% challenge and my TBR challenge. So i am glad i read it. The basic story, i think, is being told by Kathy. She, Tommy, and Ruth are all clones that grew up together at what seems to be a boarding school named Hailsham. Kathy begins as Ruth's friend, then becomes close to Tommy. As they grow up, Tommy and Ruth become a couple. After they leave school they stay together, with other clones, in a place called the Cottages. They drift apart after Kathy leaves to become a carer, which sort of seems like combination nurse, psychologist, and physical therapist. But not so professional, as she mainly seems to be talking to her patients and driving them around. The patients are the clones, who are vaguely ill after they make their "donations". Kathy eventually becomes Ruth's carer, who tells her that Kathy and Tommy were always meant to be together. Ruth dies after her second donation (which is an aberration), Kathy and Tommy do get together for a while. But after a fourth donation the clone dies. so they only spend a little time together before they are separated by death. The story ends as Kathy is about to leave being a carer and begin her own donations and she seems to welcome the idea of joining Tommy.

I have vague problems with this book. I think I liked it; the writing was beautiful and the scenes haunting. I also think i didn't like it; we never get enough information on what was going on outside. There seems to be nothing distinguishing clones from regular people, so why doesn't anyone just run away? And what exactly do these medical procedures do? Why do people only undergo at most 4 before dying? If they are removing anything but things like blood, bone marrow, a kidney, or parts of a liver it shouldn't kill them. If they are removing whole organs, then why wait for 4? And why leave the clone in pain (Ruth's death seems awful)? If they are just taking cells, then why even wait for the kids to grow up? Why do they have to stay in these bizarre nursing homes? What the hell does the damn carer do actually? Why does it feel like it could be any goofy love story if the sci-fi bits were taken out? Is it about true love, or class divisions, or oppression, or cannibalism, or what? How can this all even go on without being outrageously expensive?

So, i've decided it's a 4. Not bad, but it left me with way too many questions. maybe i'm just missing something so feel free to tell me how wrong i am.

22 September 2008

ok, i splurged

So i wrote that I finished Twilight late Friday night and picked up New Moon on Saturday.

I finished New Moon today and will be getting the final two from amazon tomorrow.

So yeah, i splurged on books, spending $45 in the last few days. I'm a grown up, dammit! I can do what i want!

I liked New Moon, not quite as much as Twilight. Bits, like Bella's depression, were far too familiar for comfort. I'm personally still deep in the whole "nothing seems real" phase to be able to read about it in others really. But I really liked Jacob. I am not sure how Meyer can try to set anyone up as a rival for Edward. Jacob is a sweet, young guy though and, setting aside the age thing, exactly my type. I hope things turn out well for him. One thing I don't understand is why Bella wants to be a vampire RIGHT NOW. She's seen how difficult things are for the Cullens, having to move from place to place and pretend to be in high school or college over and over again. Why not wait until 21? or 25? I certainly would've chosen to stay at 25 forever, but NOT 18. ugh. She also needs to learn that harping on something constantly is not the way to get what you want. Ah well, perhaps in Eclipse. Another 5.

So i am using this for the Chunkster Challenge, but not any of the others. I only have 2 left for RIP and 1 for YA! The end is in sight!

Currently: waiting for Heroes!