December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I'm a day late for wishing you Merry Christmas, but I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday (if you celebrate) or a nice day off (if you don't)! I hope 2009 is a much better year for all of us.

One of my resolutions is to actually pay attention to this blog again. I miss writing about reading, and I have a pile of books I'm excited about reading.

And I keep forgetting to tell you guys this: I'm going to Gallifrey One in February (Yes, a Doctor Who Convention. No, I couldn't be more of a geek.) But the best part is: David Gerrold is one of the guests! So I can ask him in person where Book 5 of the Chtorr series is!

December 8, 2008

Online Friends

I was very sad to learn last week that Dewey of The Hidden Side of a Leaf passed away. I only knew her through her blog and mine, but I did consider her a friend, and the news hit me much harder than I expected.

And being me, I started thinking. I only found out because her husband posted the news on her blog. If anything were to happen to me, my family doesn't even know I have a blog. So I guess I should include some instructions about online accounts, etc., along with my will (which I haven't written yet either). I know it's not what anyone wants to think about, but there it is.

Sorry I don't have a more cheerful post, but I hope all of you are well.

October 15, 2008

Did you miss me?

Wow, I've really been neglecting this poor blog. Work has been keeping me busy, but that's not a very good excuse. I have been catching up on DVDs, and writing (fiction) and reading, but not anything particularly good. I went to the bookstore today, so my TBR pile now includes the following:

Dies the Fire - SM Stirling
Interred with the Bones - Jennifer Lee Carrell
Three Bags Full - Leonie Swann
The Demon in the Freezer - Richard Preston

Hopefully I'll have an actual review in the next few days! What have you been up to?

August 29, 2008

Book purge

I took the day off work today, and decided to finally go through my bookshelves and get rid of some so that I could finally shelve the ones sitting in piles on my floor. I'm glad to say I got rid of a lot, and managed to fit everything onto the bookshelves, but there still isn't room for much more! It feels good to get rid of some old books though, the ones that have been sitting in the giant TBR pile forever. To just say, "You know what, I'm never going to read that," and pass it on to someone who will. Of course, in the process I uncovered some books I forgot I had, that now I want to read/reread. Funny how that happens.

August 12, 2008

The Unthinkable - Amanda Ripley

The subtitle is "Who Survives when Disaster Strikes and Why." I loved this - devoured it over the weekend, in fact. My minor was sociology, and my major was psychology, so I am always fascinated to figure out why people do the things they do. This researcher interviewed hundreds of disaster survivors, trying to figure out why we react the way we do in emergencies, and why some people survive when others just freeze. The style is not at all dry and academic, and she makes the people she interviewed very vivid. I am one of those who reads the emergency information card on the plane, and I often think what I might do in a particular situation. As a bailiff, we get some training in emergency response in the courtroom, but you still don't know what you would do if something really happened. Highly recommended.

Daughters of the North - Sarah Hall

The description from Amazon.com says it is set in a "dystopian, near-future UK." So you know why I had to buy it! I enjoyed this a lot. I liked watching the main character evolve and change over the course of the book. The book is written as if it were reconstructed from tapes, so parts of it are "missing" - forcing us to fill in the blanks. I liked that. It makes you think about what you might do in a similar situation - what does it take to become a freedom fighter?

August 8, 2008

Meme

I saw this at Everyday Reads, and thought it looked fun:

Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?

I've read for as long as I can remember. I can clearly recall losing myself in books in elementary school. My teacher talked the school librarian into letting me into the "big kids" section while I was still in 1st or 2nd grade.

What are some books you read as a child?

Well, I read everything I could get my hands on. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, Cherry Ames, Five Little Peppers, fairy tales, the Boxcar Children. My sister and I would re-enact scenes from the books, and even come up with our own scenarios. I guess it was fanfiction, although we didn't know it at the time.

What is your favorite genre?

You guys know the answer to this - Science Fiction. Not fantasy (Harry Potter is the exception).

Do you have a favorite novel?

I re-read a lot of books. The Handmaid's Tale, the Chtorr series (David Gerrold), Pride and Prejudice, 1984, Jane Eyre.




Where and when do you usually read?

At work during lunch, in the evening while watching TV, and before bed. Anytime I know I'll be waiting. Lately I've been taking a book down to the courtroom to read between hearings.



Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?

Yes. In fact I would say almost always.

Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?

Only in that I might skip around with the chapters, if the book is set up in a way to make that possible.

Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?

I buy most of them, or get them from Paperbackswap, or at the used bookstore. I do try to get them from the library first, but our library is very slow about getting some books, and their sci-fi selection is abysmal.

Do you keep most of the books you buy? If not, what do you do with them?

I keep the ones I like, and either swap them on Paperbackswap or sell them at the used bookstore. Some I pass on to friends.

If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them? Were they some of the same ones you read as a child?

I don't have children, but my nephew has inherited our childhood book collection, and loves them as much as we did.

What are you reading now?

The Godmother - by Carrie Adams
On Writing - Stephen King


Do you keep a TBR (to be read) list?

No, but I have a pile - well, actually two piles right now - of books to read next.

What’s next?

I have one coming from Amazon - "Watching the English." And my sister has one that she'll be passing on to me, but the title escapes me right now. I have a towering pile to be read, but those are the likely next suspects.

What books would you like to reread?

I keep thinking I should pick up Dune again.


Who are your favorite authors?


Connis Willis, David Gerrold, Nancy Kress, Jane Austen.

BTT: Other Worlds

Are there any particular worlds in books where you’d like to live?

Or where you certainly would NOT want to live?

What about authors? If you were a character, who would you trust to write your life



I think I'd like to at least visit Harry Potter's world. Maybe Jane Austen's, but only if I got to be friends with Elizabeth Bennet or Emma Woodhouse. My real answer is Star Trek, but that didn't start out in books, so that's cheating a bit.

I certainly wouldn't want to live in 1984, or the Handmaid's Tale, or most any other dystopia. I like to read them, but I wouldn't want to stay there for long.

I would trust Connie Willis or Nancy Kress to write my life, though. It would be interesting, yet real.

July 24, 2008

July 13, 2008

Weekly Geeks #10

I'm a day late on this, but I thought it would be fun to answer anyway. Last week's Weekly Geeks was about magazines. I LOVE magazines. I used to blow my whole allowance as a teenager on magazines: music, fashion, movies, and especially Starlog. I currently subscribe to a lot of magazines, but the ones I truly love and look forward too each issue are:
Entertainment Weekly (my sister and I split this, and have for years)
Wired (I especially love the "Artifact from the Future" on the back page each month)
Harper's
The Atlantic
The Progressive

My guilty pleasures are: Glamour, Allure, and a bunch of travel magazines
I also get Newsweek (my sister gets Time, and we swap each week), and the state bar association magazine, plus the ABA magazine.

My mom gets Real Simple and Good Housekeeping
My sister also gets Consumer Reports

We spend a lot of time trading magazines.

I love reading them while watching television, or eating lunch at work, or between hearings at work.

July 7, 2008

Checking in

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. I've been enjoying my little break from blogging. I've been reading, catching up on TV, and watching Doctor Who. (Seriously, I think I need an intervention.) We've had lovely, spectacular thunderstorms every night for the past few nights, so the weather is actually bearable. And the three day weekend didn't hurt, either! How was your 4th?

June 30, 2008

Blog 180

Remember Blog 365? Well, I made it through 6 months, and today I'm throwing in the towel. I'm sure you've noticed the filler: quizzes, one-liners. So I'm abandoning the post-every-darn-day directive, and will now only post when I have something to say. I do hope that will be often! So, my faithful few readers, thanks for sticking with me through the experiment. I hope to be much more entertaining in the future!

Currently reading: Worldwired - Elizabeth Bear, and as many sci-fi magazines as I can get my hands on.
Currently watching: As much Doctor Who as possible
Currently listening to - Alanis Morrisette - Flavours of Entanglement

June 29, 2008

Readathon

I did not participate in the 24-hour readathon, but congrats to those who did:
pages turned
dewey
3M (also the hostess!)
and all the others I don't know! Get some sleep!

June 28, 2008

I always come out as INTJ

INTJ - "Mastermind". Introverted intellectual with a preference for finding certainty. A builder of systems and the applier of theoretical models. 2.1% of total population.
Free Jung Personality Test (similar to Myers-Briggs/MBTI)

June 27, 2008

Friday's Feast 195

Friday's Feast time again:

Appetizer

What is the weather like today where you live?


Hot and sunny, although there is a chance of a thunderstorm this afternoon. We had one yesterday, which made this morning nice and cool.

Soup

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how career-minded are you?


8? I'm still trying to figure out what I want my legal career to look like, so I'm pretty focused right now.

Salad

What type of window coverings do you have in your home? Blinds, curtains, shutters, etc.?


Curtains in my room and the living room, blinds everywhere else.

Main Course

Name something that instantly cheers you up.


My nephew!

Dessert

How many times do you hit the snooze button on a typical morning?


Two or three times. It's a terrible habit - I should just set the alarm later, but I'm always optimistic I'll actually get up early for a change. Plus I like just lying in bed, thinking of what the day might bring.

June 26, 2008

BTT: Definition

Booking Through Thursday comes through to help my writer's block:


What, in your opinion, is the definition of a “reader.” A person who indiscriminately reads everything in sight? A person who reads BOOKS? A person who reads, period, no matter what it is? … Or, more specific? Like the specific person who’s reading something you wrote?


Well, even those of us who read "anything" do discriminate somewhat. I don't like westerns or mysteries, but will make an occaisional exception based on a friend's recommendation. I do think the definition is broad enough to include lots of things: websites, comic books, manga, etc. Of course, when an authors says "Faithful reader" in the text, they mean you - the person reading it. So in that sense it can be specific. But I think of it as broader - any text counts.

June 25, 2008

Unmotivated

I don't know what it is about this week, but I just can't get motivated to do anything! I guess I can blame it on the heat. It looks like the rainy season/monsoon will start this week, though, so that should help. It'll be hot and muggy, but at least it might rain a bit to cool things off. I look at my TBR pile and don't feel like starting anything, or finishing anything I've started. I'd rather play around on the internet or watch TV or sleep or eat ice cream or fruit or anything else, I guess. I know it's just a phase, and it will pass soon enough. Maybe I'm trying too hard, making reading a chore instead of an escape.

June 23, 2008

Monday Monday

Today was a long, hectic day, so I'm going to unwind by watching the last two episodes of the first season of Doctor Who. And then wait not-so-patiently for the first discs of Season 2 to arrive from Netflix!

June 22, 2008

Doctor Who

My latest TV obsession is Doctor Who - the new incarnation. I've been watching the latest season, mostly because it was on right before Battlestar Galactica, and now am obsessed with catching up. So you can imagine my delight at finding the first season on Netflix's "Watch it now." I watched four episodes yesterday, and that is again my plan for this afternoon. It's 107 outside, so a day inside watching TV on my laptop and sipping lemonade sounds pretty darn good! Enjoy your day!

June 21, 2008

Low Maintenance




What the House Test Says About You



You are happy with who you are, and you don't have an inflated sense of self importance. You do your own thing quietly. You don't take up a lot of space.



You aren't against being community oriented, but it's not really your thing. You tend to prefer to focus on your family and not the neighborhood around you.



You are a calm, contemplative, and smart person. You take ideas very seriously.



You look good in a low maintenance sort of way. You do the minimum required to be attractive.



You are moved by romance and love. You are optimistic about people, and you love hearing about happy endings.

June 20, 2008

Friday's Feast 194

From Friday's Feast:

Appetizer

If you could live on another continent for 1 year, which one would you choose?


Australia - it would be different enough to be a bit exotic, yet everyone speaks English.

Soup

Which browser do you use to surf the Internet?

Firefox at home. IT has us locked into IE at work, though - and not even the new version!

Salad

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how much do you know about the history of your country?


I guess 8? History was always one of my favorite subjects.


Main Course

Finish this sentence: Love is…


Any ending I could come up with is hopelessly cheesy.

Dessert

Have you ever been in or near a tornado?


No - we occasionally get a "funnel cloud" during our summer thunderstorms, but never anything real. And we don't have basements here, so I don't know what we would do if we did have a freak tornado.

June 19, 2008

BTT: Flavor

Booking Through Thursday time again:

Think about your favorite authors, your favorite books . . . what is it about them that makes you love them above all the other authors you’ve read? The stories? The characters? The way they appear to relish the taste of words on the tongue? The way they’re unafraid to show the nitty-gritty of life? How they sweep you off to a new, distant place? What is it about those books and authors that makes them resonate with you in ways that other, perfectly good books and authors do not?


I have a lot of "favorite" authors, but I'll choose one for this purpose: David Gerrold, author of (among other things) The War Against the Chtorr series. I love that he creates real, flawed characters. Yes, sometimes they are just mouthpieces for some philosophy, but generally they are real people, with their own motivations and problems, just trying to survive. I love that he created a future earth, under attack from *somewhere* - and how he describes how the ecosystem changes, bit by bit. I love that he's also funny - real humor, but also puns and limericks and jokes. I love that he created a world that I still go back to to re-read, and still wait in hope for the next book (he's been promising it to us for ten years or so).

June 18, 2008

Training

All of the judges are out this week for the judicial conference, so the courts offer training to all of us during this time. We are required to do 16 hours per year, so it's pretty easy to get done over these three days. I took four classes yesterday, which seemed like a really long day. Today I only had one, and with the training I've done earlier in the year, I'm now finished! Thankfully none of these were the "break into small groups" type, which I hate hate hate. The best one yesterday was one on birth order, and how that can affect your personality. At one point, my friend (a fellow first-born) turned to me and said "Tell her to stop talking about me!" Some of the descriptions were spot on. One that particularly stood out was that us firstborns like to sit at the "grown-up" table, even if there is a "kid's" table. The only way to get us to sit willingly at the kid's table is to put us in charge. That is so true. I hated the kid's table - all of the interesting conversation was with the adults! But if you let me boss around the other little kids, then I was happier.

June 17, 2008

ARC challenge

I saw this over at Musings of a Bookish Kitty, took a look at my ARC pile, and decided this was the motivation I needed to actually get some of them reviewed. The rules:

The challenge will run from June 21, 2008-September 21, 2008.

The rules:

1. Make a list of all of the ARC’s that you currently have and/or are on their way to you.

2. If you have:

* 1-3 ARC’s then pick at least one to read and review for this challenge.
* 4-6 ARC’s then pick at least two to read and review for this challenge.
* 7-9 ARC’s then pick at least three to read and review for this challenge.
* 10 or more ARC’s then pick at least 4 to read and review for this challenge.

3. Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.

4. List the books that you plan to read for this challenge (you can change it at any time, as long as the books you change are also ARC's). You can read the books on your list in any order.

5. Read the books and review them on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, you can post your review on sites like Amazon. Leave a comment on the post about the challenge with a link to each of your reviews.



My ARC list:

Strangers in Death - J.D. Robb
Enlightenment for Idiots - Anne Cushman
A Prisoner of Birth - Jeffrey Archer
Ask Again Later - Jill A. Davis
Marie Therese: Child of Terror (The Fate of Marie Antoinette's Daughter) - Susan Nagel
Mercy Street - Mariah Stewart
The First Thirty Days - Ariane De Bonvoisin
Loose Girl - Kerry Cohen


I have bolded the two I plan to read first; I'll decide on the third later. I'm actually hoping to get through all of them, but we'll see how that goes.

To join the challenge, go here.

June 16, 2008

A rose by any other name...

Borrowed from The Watcher's Counsel:




You Like Names That Are Popular and Modern



You prefer names you've heard quite a bit and know well.

It's possible that you like the idea of naming someone after a friend.



You taste in names is very mainstream. You don't like odd names at all.

You rather share a name with someone you know than be stuck with a weird name.



Some female names you might like: Amber, Erica, Kristen, Lauren, Megan, Tara, and Vanessa



Some male names you might like: Brett, Christian, Jason, Kyle, Logan, Scott, and Trevor

June 15, 2008

Fathers' Day

Happy Fathers' Day to all the Dads out there!

June 14, 2008

Saturday Quiz




Your Ice Cream Personality:



You like to think of yourself as a fairly modest person. And it's true that you don't talk yourself up... but you're also pretty happy with who you are.



You have a wild reputation, but you're not as wild as you seem. You take risks, but only measured risks.



You are a fairly open minded person with a wide range of tastes. You are quite accepting of unusual ideas and people.



You are a natural multitasker. You feel alive when you're doing more than one thing at a time.



You can be a big dramatic and over the top sometimes. You are bold in every way

June 13, 2008

Friday's Feast 193

Friday's Feast:
Appetizer

Do you consider yourself to be an optimist or a pessimist?


I consider myself a realist - hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Soup

What is your favorite color of ink to write with?


Black. It's bold and straightforward. When I was in law school I did have to keep my inner child entertained by using various colored highliters for my schoolbooks, though. I preferred green and orange for that.



Salad

How often do you get a manicure or pedicure? Do you do them yourself or go to a salon and pay for them?


I do my own nails - manicure once a week, and a pedicure every three weeks or so in the summer. I love buying nail polish - my sister says I have a hundred versions of the same shade of pink. That is not entirely accurate.

Main Course

Have you ever won anything online? If so, what was it?


I "won" a few advance reader books from LibraryThing.

Dessert

In which room in your house do you keep your home computer?

My computer is in my bedroom, and my mom's is in the living room.

June 12, 2008

BTT: Clubbing

From Booking Through Thursday:

A combo of two suggestions by: Heidi and by litlove

Have you ever been a member of a book club? How did your group choose (ot, if you haven’t been, what do you think is the best way to choose) the next book and who would lead discussion?

Do you feel more or less likely to appreciate books if you are obliged to read them for book groups rather than choosing them of your own free will? Does knowing they are going to be read as part of a group affect the reading experience?


I have never been a member of a book club. One of my friends is a member, and she lets me in on her list of books to read, but even if she asked, I don't think I would join. It would be too much pressure to read and process the book, and I don't really like group settings like that anyway. Maybe if I was already friends with all of the members, but certainly not with people I don't already know. I do talk about books with that friend, and with others, but not in such a structured setting.

On a related note, I hate when a blurb for a book says "perfect for book clubs" or something like that. It sounds too much like an "Oprah" book (some of which have been good, but still) and it just makes my defenses go up. It translates to me as "this book is full of contrived situations or fake big ideas that you must talk about with all of your friends."

June 11, 2008

Happy Birthday!


Happy Birthday to me!  One of my coworkers made me a yummy birthday cake, so it's been a pretty good day so far.  Tonight is dinner with my sister, nephew, brother-in-law and mom, then more cake, so it should be pretty fun.  I think my nephew made me a card, so I'm looking forward to that.  He's able to take dictation to write what he wants, but he's a little loose with the word placement.  My mom's birthday card read "Happy Grammy Birthday."  Naturally, she'll be keeping that forever.

June 10, 2008

Movie - Cloverfield


"What the hell was that?"

"I don't know.  Something else.  Also terrible."

 

    I'm a J.J. Abrams fan, despite my abandonment of Lost after season 1.  I enjoyed this, althought it is not his best work.  I liked the "found documentary evidence" gimmick, although there were times I wanted to yell at the guy with the camera.  I mean, if you are pinned down in the street, don't film your friends, film the giant destructive thing in front of you!  And I think he revealed the monster a little too soon.  It didn't hurt that one of the actors looks like a younger Michael Vartan, either.  He is a hottie.  But overall, I thought it was a pretty good summer movie, with lots of destruction.  And the special effects were very seamless; I'm pretty picky about that.

June 9, 2008

100 channels...

We had digital cable installed today, so naturally that means I can't decide what to watch. After the outage last week, my mom was so mad at Cox that she decided to...order more services from them. Hey, if I benefit on the side, who am I to complain?

So I will entertain you today with this link, via Wil Wheaton. Enjoy!

June 8, 2008

Movie: Ever Since the World Ended

I love post-apocalyptic stories, and I love fake documentaries, so I enjoyed this movie. It was one Netflix put on my list of recommendations, and it was worth the time. It is set in San Francisco, after a plague has wiped out almost everyone. There are 186 survivors in the Bay Area, and two filmmakers decide to try to tell the story of the survivors. I would have liked it better if it had told more about the other people; some of the characters are not well-defined. It was good for a Sunday afternoon, and it's only an hour and 15 minutes long, so not much of a commitment.

June 7, 2008

I really thought this would be higher...




You Scored 65% Correct



You are a solid child of the 80s

You'd never confuse Tiffany from Debbie

And while you may not know Prince's first #1 hit

You know every word to Little Red Corvette

June 6, 2008

Friday's Feast 192

Friday's Feast time again...

Appetizer

When you drink soda/pop/coke, do you prefer to drink it from the bottle, a can, or after pouring it into a cup?


I prefer it in a cup with ice, but after that from a can with a straw.

Soup

What television show are you willing to stay up late to watch?


Battlestar Galactica! It's on at 10 p.m. our time, which is late for me.

Salad

Name one person, place, or thing you think of as brilliant.


J.J. Abrams - the man behind Lost and Alias, and the new Star Trek!

Main Course

Would you be willing to work 4 10-hour days instead of 5 8-hour days in order to save gas?


Yes, absolutely - unfortunately the courthouse does not yet run on that schedule. Then again, 10 hours at the court would be a pretty long day.

Dessert

If you were a superhero, what would you call yourself?


Wonder Woman! So I could have an invisible jet, and a golden lasso of truth!

June 5, 2008

BTT: Trends

From Booking Through Thursday:

Have your book-tastes changed over the years? More fiction? Less? Books that are darker and more serious? Lighter and more frivolous? Challenging? Easy? How-to books over novels? Mysteries over Romance?


I've written before that I tend to go on binges - reading everything about a particular topic, for example, then moving on to the next one. I don't think my overall taste has changed, though. I like an absorbing story, in an interesting setting, with real characters. That is a broad generalization, of course, because I also like informative nonfiction, and enjoy a good travel book now and again. My taste has probably matured some: I used to devour romance books in my youth, but now find them too simplistic. But give me a good sci-fi any day, and that has been true since I picked up I Robot in 5th grade.

June 3, 2008

Baby Birds

It's been a good year for baby birds near our house. We had a pair of ravens nest in the front yard, and they have three babies now flying about. Of course, they make a lot of noise, and a big mess, but they are still fun to see. We also had two baby hummingbirds in the backyard. My mom got to see them take their first flight. They were very cute, and nice and quiet! Plus there is a pair of hawks in the back alley, and we think they have one baby. A couple of years ago they nested in the tree that now has the ravens, so they often sit in that tree, much to the ravens dismay. My sister has a nest of baby sparrows - we can't see them yet, but we can hear them!

June 2, 2008

Currently reading...

I'm currently in the midst of three books:

Governess: The Lives and Times of the Real Jane Eyres - Ruth Brandon
Worldwired - Elizabeth Bear
Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse - Ed. by John Joseph Adams (short stories)

I'm enjoying all of them, but haven't yet finished any!

June 1, 2008

Broken English - movie

So our cable is back. Turns out, when they were "upgrading" the service in our neighborhood on Thursday, they didn't so much "upgrade" us as "disconnect" us. Took the tech all of five minutes to fix. Why they couldn't have sent someone out on Friday, I don't know. Anyway, I took advantage of the outage and read and watched DVDs, including "Broken English." This one hit a little too close to home: single thirty-something who is beginning to despair of ever getting married. I don't think I'm as desperate as she was, but I could relate to the loneliness. Of course, she meets a handsome young Frenchman, and ends up going to Paris, so it all turns out okay for her. I wouldn't mind meeting a handsome young Frenchman! The movie was well done - good script, believable characters.

I also rewatched the new BBC version of Sense and Sensibility, which stands up to rewatching quite well.

Okay...




Your 80s Theme Song Is:



Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams


May 30, 2008

the dead and the gone - Susan Beth Pfeffer

Since our cable was out, I had nothing better to do than read! I got this in the mail yesterday, and finished it already. This is the sequel/companion to Life As We Knew It, and I was not disappointed. This recounts the same events as they unfolded in New York City: an asteroid has knocked the moon out of its normal orbit, with disastrous consequences. This one again made me hungry, because of the fixation on food, and it made me want to go out and start stockpiling in case of emergency. The characters were just as interesting, and I thought even more realistic. There's a rumor that a third book is in the works, and I do hope that is true!

Our cable is still out, and they won't send a technician until Sunday, so I'll be scheduling a few posts (I came in early to post from work today.)

May 29, 2008

Technology

Our cable has been out all day - no TV and no internet has made me very cranky. I've resorted to my old Juno dial up. Now I remember why we spend so much on the cable internet!

May 27, 2008

Pictures

I promised some pictures from the wedding and trip. I went to law school with the groom; he was the first person I talked to at orientation. There were a few others from law school there, as well as his friends from university, high school, and even one from 3rd grade! His bride is Indian, and her whole family was there. He is not Indian, but the celebrant made us all feel very welcome, and explained all of the parts of the elaborate and beautiful ceremony. We had some great Indian food, and danced the night away! Here are some pictures from the wedding:


May 26, 2008

Home again

I'm home from my whirlwind vacation, and I'm exhausted! It was fun, but not relaxing. The wedding was beautiful, the reception was fun, Disney was fun, and the trip home was uneventful. The trip there was a bit of an ordeal...but all of the stories will have to wait until tomorrow. I'll try to put up some pictures this week, too.

May 25, 2008

I should be in Disney World when you read this...




Your Inner Child Is Happy



You see life as simple, and simple is a very good thing.

You're cheerful and upbeat, taking everything as it comes.

And you decide not to worry, even when things look bad.

You figure there's just so many great things to look forward to.

May 24, 2008

Mmmm, pie...




You Are Mud Pie



You're the perfect combo of flavor and depth.

You are overpowering and dominant - and that's what people like about you.

You bring energy and a new direction to most interactions.

People crave you in a serious way. You're that important to them.



Those who like you give into their impulses.

You don't represent reason. You represent pure temptation.

People get addicted to you rather easily.

You offer people a dark side that is very hard to resist.

May 23, 2008

Friday travelling




Your Travel Personality Is: Easygoing



When you travel, you're looking for a lot of downtime. Vacations are your chance to recoup.

All you need is a scenic spot and plenty of time on your hands. You'll figure out the rest.

You're not one to make lots of plans when you travel. You just follow whatever path seems right.

May 22, 2008

BTT: Books vs. Movies

Books and films both tell stories, but what we want from a book can be different from what we want from a movie. Is this true for you? If so, what’s the difference between a book and a movie?


I love movies. I love what can be done in a visual medium in seconds what can take pages of print to do. I want movies to entertain, to transport me to another time or place, and sometimes to be thought-provoking. I do like action movies: I like to see things blow up or crash into each other. I do prefer a plot to go along with it.

I do like seeing movies that have been adapted from books, as long as they have tried to stay faithful to the original. I do like to see "based on the book..." at the beginning of a movie, because it makes it more likely there will be a coherent plot. Books adapted from movies, on the other hand, are generally unreadable. I think "Star Wars" and the first Star Trek movie are the exceptions to this. What works on screen can seem wooden or fake on the page.

May 21, 2008

Travel blogging

Because I made the mistake of signing up for Blog 365, I'm faced with a dilemma of what to do over my vacation. I'm not taking my laptop with me, and I don't have a blackberry (yet), so I'll be keeping a paper-and-pen travel journal which I'll post when I get back. I'll also try Blogger's new "future post" feature. If I manage to log on at the hotel (they advertise a "cybercafe" then I will post on the fly. I guess I really should pack...

May 20, 2008

Hammered- Elizabeth Bear

I don't remember where I read about this series (there are two more books following this one, and one can only hope for more after that), but I'm very glad I picked it up. The first book is really a set-up for what will come next, but it was an enjoyable read. The character of Jenny Casey is one of the most interesting I've encountered lately, so I look forward to reading more of her adventures. This is set in the near future Earth, where things have gone pretty wrong. Canada is a superpower, racing with China to build the first starship. Jenny Casey is just a soldier, but one who has already been "enhanced" with implants. This makes her special, and entangles her in the Canadian government plans. There are a few side plots that all converge at the end, and a few other interesting characters. I'm planning to take the next two in the series along on my trip. (They are mass market paperbacks, so fit my traveling criteria!)

May 19, 2008

It's 100 degrees, and San Diego is looking good right now..




You Should Spend Your Summer at the Beach



You're a free spirit who is always thinking of new ways to have fun.

And you don't just love summer... you live for it.

So, you really should blow off your responsibilities and head to the beach!

May 18, 2008

Not-so-lazy Sunday

I had hoped to have some time to sit and read today, but I've spent the day running around getting last-minute stuff for my trip, and cleaning. And trying to decide what reading material to take with me, of course. And debating the merits of various combinations of suitcases and carryons. And which slip to wear with the dress, and whether the shoes are too noisy (they are!), etc. Plus, I think it hit 100 for the first time today. If not today, then tomorrow for sure. That means ice cream!

May 17, 2008

Saturday Quiz




Your Personality at 35,000 Says...



Deep down, you vastly prefer being with others to being alone. You love to engage people in conversation.



You are finding your place in the world, but you still feel overwhelmed. There's a lot of choices out there!



Your gift is having a way with words. You know how to express yourself well.



You are inspired by freedom. Whenever you are able to do what you want, good things happen.



You are happy as long as you are given some personal space. It's important for you to have your own private life.



This one is not very close to the mark, but I thought it was appropriate because I'm spending this weekend getting ready for my trip next weekend! This time next week I'll be in Orlando!

May 16, 2008

Friday's Feast

It's Friday again:

Appetizer

What is the nearest big city to your home?


Phoenix, I guess.

Soup

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how well do you keep secrets?


I think an 8 or 9 - If I tell anyone, it's my sister. I'm pretty good not telling anyone, though.

Salad

Describe your hair (color, texture, length).


I have chin-length, brown-with-highlights, bobbed hair. It's stick straight and very fine, so I spend a lot of time trying to put some volume in it. I like the cut and color I have right now, though.

Main Course

What kind of driver are you? Courteous? Aggressive? Slow?


I'm a cautious driver, although I can get impatient with other drivers. I hate driving in traffic.

Dessert

When was the last time you had a really bad week?


I guess the week before the bar exam. I was so stressed and tired, and it just seemed like it would never end.

May 15, 2008

BTT: Manual Labor Redux

From Booking through Thursday:

Scenario: You’ve just bought some complicated gadget home . . . do you read the accompanying documentation? Or not?

Do you ever read manuals?

How-to books?

Self-help guides?

Anything at all?


Some things I read the manual first, but usually I only resort to reading the manual if I can't figure it out by trial and error. Or if something stops working. As for how-to books, I don't often read those. I went through a cookbook phase for a while, but that didn't last long. I rarely read self-help books, except for career-improvement ones (another phase a while ago).

May 14, 2008

I'm surprised this number isn't higher, actually.




You Are 68% Nerdy



You are a pretty big nerd, and you're getting nerdier every day.

Don't worry if you don't have friends... there's always robots.

May 13, 2008

Weekly Geeks #3

The theme for this week is fond memories of childhood books. I have said before that I don't remember not being able to read. My childhood was full of books, both at home and from regular trips to the library. My favorites are so numerous that I am sure to omit something important: Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Cherry Ames, The Boxcar Children, The Five Little Peppers, the Happy Hollisters, Hardy Boys. My sister and I would read these, then would re-enact key scenes, or invent new stories (I guess it was fan fiction!). We often had to invent new characters because there was only one girl character in the book, but we managed. We also loved to play library: we catalogued our books, made library cards, and "checked out" books to each other, with due dates. My dad was a librarian, so we had the old date stamps and sometimes the real catalog cards to work with. Books were our escape from our small town, and a window to the world. They were our entertainment, and also provided our common ground.

May 12, 2008

Snakes on a Plane?

Well, at work anyway. One of the other bailiffs (a few cubicles from me) found a baby snake under his desk today. At first we thought it was one of these, but it was actually one of these. Naturally, every conversation for the rest of the day started out with "Did you see the snake?" And we are on the lookout for any siblings. And the most common question was, "How did it get upstairs?" (My theory: elevator.)

May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day! I baked a cake and made homemade frosting for my mom and sister - with help from my nephew. He tried to help crack the eggs, and ended up with the whole shell in the bowl, and the egg all over the counter. We laughed!

Mom and I went out for lunch, and then shopping at Target - a pretty good day!

May 10, 2008

Lazy Saturday Quiz




Your Power Level is: 72%



You're a very powerful person, and you know that all of your power comes from within.

Keep on doing what you're doing, and you'll reach your goals.

May 9, 2008

Fridays Feast


Appetizer

When someone smiles at you, do you smile back?

 

Generally yes, unless I think they are trying to manipulate me with the smile.  I tend to smile a lot anyway, whether or not someone else smiles first.

 

Soup

Describe the flooring in your home.  Do you have carpet, hardwood, vinyl, a mix?

 

We have carpet in the bedrooms and living room, ceramic tile in the bathrooms, but wood laminate everywhere else. 

 

Salad

Write a sentence with only 5 words, but all of the words have to start with the first letter of your first name.

 

Jingling jellybeans just jump joyfully.  (You didn't say it had to make sense!)

 

Main Course

Do you know anyone whose life has been touched by adoption?

 

My high school boyfriend was adopted.  It was never a big deal.

 

Dessert

Name 2 blue things.

 

The sky and cornflowers.

 

 

May 8, 2008

BTT: Manual Labor

From Booking through Thursday:

Writing guides, grammar books, punctuation how-tos . . . do you read them? Not read them? How many writing books, grammar books, dictionaries–if any–do you have in your library?


I have a couple of dictionaries, and I think I have a thesaurus around here somewhere. I very rarely use those. If I need to look up a word I'm more likely to use dictionary.com or something. I do have a Black's Law Dictionary, which I do use because legal terms do need to be more specific. I have a Bluebook for citations, of course, and two versions of the ALWD citation book (Association of Legal Writing Directors) which is trying to replace the Bluebook. I hate both of them. I had to use the ALWD for my legal writing class, and then had to switch to the Bluebook for Law Review. They are mostly the same, but arranged differently. I also have The Redbook, which is a handbook of legal style. This was also required for my legal writing class, but I hardly opened it. I used to have a Strunk and White, but I can't find it right now. I also have a couple of Spanish/English dictionaries, and I think I have a Latin/English dictionary around here somewhere.

May 7, 2008

Weekly Geeks Status Update

This week's Weekly Geeks is all about linking our reviews of books to others who have reviewed the same books. I have had one comment from someone who reviewed one of my books. I haven't had much time to look through other blogs to see if I have reviewed any of the same books, and I haven't seen any overlap in the blogs I have looked at. I still think it's a great idea, and I'm still hoping people will post links to their reviews if I review a book they've read.

I still need to add a button, too...

May 6, 2008

Flat Broke with Children - Sharon Hays

The subtitle is: Women in the Age of Welfare Reform.

I enjoyed this, because I haven't been reading as much non-fiction as I would like. I found this very thought-provoking. Those who advocate welfare reform say they are doing it to promote the family, but the reality is that the work requirements force single mothers to put their children in daycare. One thing the author also points out is that it creates a pool of desperate workers: they must get a job, and the employers know they can get away with paying minimum wage because there are always more workers. And the workers don't dare complain or they'll get fired.

This is definitely a sociology book, which I liked. The author really got to know both the welfare workers and the welfare recipients, to try to understand how the reforms were really working or not. I though it was well-researched, yet quite easy to read.

May 5, 2008

I guess I do remember some Spanish




You Passed 8th Grade Spanish



Congratulations, you got 7/8 correct!




Happy Cinco de Mayo!

May 4, 2008

Weekly Geeks #2

It's Weekly Geeks time again. This week, the theme is community linking of reviews. So I am adopting Darla's policy: If I review a book that you have reviewed, just put the link to your review in the comments! I'll try to then link it in the post, but I can't promise that will always happen.

May 3, 2008

Yum, chocolate!




What Your Taste in Chocolate Says About You



You are sophisticated, modern, and high class.

Your taste is refined, but you are not picky.

You are often the first to try something new.



You are energetic and quick to act.

You are open minded, and you easily adopt new social causes.

While your heart is in the right place, you often can't follow through with your dreams.



You love the feeling of accomplishment. You enjoy doing what's important.

You feel lost when you have to do frivolous tasks or hang out with shallow people.

May 2, 2008

Friday's Feast 189


Friday's Feast:


Appetizer

What was your favorite cartoon when you were a child?


Superfriends! Except for the Wondertwins. I hated them. But I totally wanted an invisible jet like Wonder Woman's.

Soup

Pretend you are about to get a new pet. Which animal would you pick, and what would you name it?


I would get a cat and name it Marcus Aurelius.

Salad

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy getting all dressed up for a special occasion?


This depends some on the occasion. I like getting dressed up for weddings, if I can find a dress. I don't like getting dressed up just to go out to dinner or something, though. So I guess that averages out to a 7.

Main Course

What kind of music do you listen to while you drive?


Lately I've been listening to a lot of showtunes: Evita, Chess, Phantom, Little Mermaid. When I listen to the radio it's mostly pop, although my favorite station is no longer on the air. I'd love an 80's station, but we don't have one yet. I do love to sing along, so I probably look a little crazy when I'm driving.


Dessert

When was the last time you bought a clock? And in which room did you put it?


I bought a little desk clock for my desk at work, back in August. I don't trust the computer clock, and there isn't a wall clock I can see from my cubicle. It's just a little digital alarm clock, but very cute.

May 1, 2008

BTT: Mayday

From Booking Through Thursday:

Quick! It’s an emergency! You just got an urgent call about a family emergency and had to rush to the airport with barely time to grab your wallet and your passport. But now, you’re stuck at the airport with nothing to read. What do you do??

And, no, you did NOT have time to grab your bookbag, or the book next to your bed. You were . . . grocery shopping when you got the call and have nothing with you but your wallet and your passport (which you fortuitously brought with you in case they asked for ID in the ethnic food aisle). This is hypothetical, remember….


When I had my old, unreliable car, I actually kept a book in the car in case of a sudden car repair emergency. I did not transfer the book (Tom Clancy's Clear and Present Danger) when I bought my new car, so I wouldn't have one in the car with me as I headed to the airport. Naturally, I would buy one at the shop in the airport; even our little airport has a shop with a few books. Or I might opt for a newspaper or magazines, because those are my usual choices if I'm under stress. I tend to want only bite-sized morsels to read, but I still want to read!

April 30, 2008

Recovery Man - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

This took me forever to finish, because it bogs down a bit in the middle. I think it suffers the usual problem of a book that is later in a series: too little editing. Still, it was a worthwhile read, and I still look forward to more in the series. Her descriptions of the domes on the Moon and Callisto are so vivid that I can picture people actually living there. It actually makes me a little sad to think we might not ever get our act together enough to do that, or at least not in my lifetime. This one focuses less on her usual protagonist Miles Flint, and more on his ex-wife and her/their daughter, but I found all of the characters interesting enough. I wouldn't recommend starting her series with this book, however.

April 29, 2008

Only a little




You've Been a Little Ruined by American Culture



Whether you live in the US or not, deep down you're a little American.

And there's nothing wrong with loving American culture, but it may have negative effects on your life.

Slow down and enjoy what you have. Reconnect with life's simple pleasures.

You don't need to be in a consumerist rat race. Life's too short to overwork yourself!

April 28, 2008

Mystery

I've been spending (too much) time on various message forums, and I have encountered a mystery. I understand some people can't be bothered with capitalization, so they write like e.e. cummings: "i have a question about..." And of course there are the usual shouters who have never been online before "I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT..." but the ones I find most mysterious are the all initial caps: "I Have A Question About How We Add Signatures To Our Posts..." I mean, that takes effort to do (unless there's a shortcut I don't know about), and it just looks...weird.

April 27, 2008

Weekly Geeks

Dewey at Hidden Side of a Leaf is sponsoring Weekly Geeks - a chance to discover new blogs. This week the challenge is to find 5 new blogs and comment on them. I found:

Ravenous Reader - whose description of a short story collection makes me want to run out to the bookstore!

Bibliolatry - who has a terrible book joke.

Everyday reads - who seems to share my love of nonfiction, and shoe shopping, and has excellent taste in books.

She Reads Books - She stayed up all night to read a new book!

Park Avenue Princess - who is raffling off some books.

April 26, 2008

A+




Your Vocabulary Score: A+



Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!

You must be quite an erudite person.

April 25, 2008

Friday linkage

Becky at Becky's Book Reviews is hosting a book club in May for "Life As We Knew It." I read it already, but I think I'll try to participate. I loved that book and I can't wait for the follow-up.

Wil Wheaton has a custom Lego Wesley. So funny.

April 24, 2008

BTT: Springing

From Booking Through Thursday:

Do your reading habits change in the Spring? Do you read gardening books? Even if you don’t have a garden? More light fiction than during the Winter? Less? Travel books? Light paperbacks you can stick in a knapsack?

Or do you pretty much read the same kinds of things in the Spring as you do the rest of the year?


I don't think my reading habits change much. I might read more in the Summer when there are fewer new television shows on, but otherwise I think my pace is pretty steady. Maybe I read more travel books if I am planning a trip, and I do start choosing what books I will take on said trip far ahead. (Needs to be long enough to last for a plane ride, but light enough to carry in my bag.)

April 22, 2008

Movie: Juno

I was prepared to be disappointed in this, after all of the hype around this movie, but I found it enjoyable. I think they tried too hard in parts to be "real," but overall it was refreshingly unsentimental and mostly natural. Ellen Page was excellent in the title role, and I'm always glad to see Allison Janney (as the stepmother) working. She was so great on The West Wing!

April 21, 2008

How profound...

As seen at The Watcher's Counsel:




You Are Disturbingly Profound



You're contemplative, thoughtful, and very intense.

Taking time to figure out the meaning of life is a priority for you.

Because you're so introspective, you often react in ways that surprise people.

No one can really understand how you are on the inside... and that disturbs them.

April 20, 2008

TBR mountain


Here's a picture of my next-to-be-read books. I had to move it from my bedside table for fear it would topple and smother me in the night. I don't know when I think I'll get to all of these, but you might notice one of the books is "Getting Things Done." If I ever get around to reading that one, maybe then I'll find more time in my day. I'm halfway through "Recovery Man" and "Flat Broke," and about a third of the way through "Nudge", so maybe I'll get some reviews up this week. Hope you all are enjoying your day!

April 18, 2008

Retirement


Not mine!  I'm off to a retirement reception for a favorite professor.  He was one of my first year law school professors, and he was tough!  It's a shame that more first years won't be scared to death by him as I was.  He later hired me as a research assistant, which was a valuable experience.  I just hope there's good food at this thing!

April 17, 2008

BTT: Vocabulary

From Booking Through Thursday:

I’ve always wondered what other people do when they come across a word/phrase that they’ve never heard before. I mean, do they jot it down on paper so they can look it up later, or do they stop reading to look it up on the dictionary/google it or do they just continue reading and forget about the word?


I can remember being in about 6th grade and first encountering the word "bourgeoisie." I had no idea how to say it, much less what it meant, so I looked it up. But then, as now I usually just tried to figure out an unfamiliar word based on the context. If I can't do that, and it seems like an important word, or I am curious, then I will look it up. Naturally, if it were a school book or something then I would just look it up right away. This issue seldom comes up in other books, though.

April 16, 2008

Why do we read?

This is a non-meme that I saw first at The Hidden Side of a Leaf:

Like Dewey, I can't remember not reading. The family story is that I taught myself to read by being read to: mostly Dr. Seuss. My grandparents subscribed me to a book of the month club for kids, and my mother thought I was just memorizing the books. Until we got the new book one month, and I proceeded to read it to my little sister without having it read to me first.

But why do I continue to read? Why do I read every chance I can get, and feel "wrong" if I haven't read something in a while? Lots of reasons, of course, but three main ones:

1. I love words. I love playing with words, and seeing what other people do with them. I love how the change of one word in a phrase can completely alter the meaning.

2. I want to escape. I want to travel to other places and times and lives and see them from the inside. I want to explore worlds that we can never see: travel through space and time and encounter other people and see our life reflected in theirs. I think this is the main reason I loved reading as a child. I grew up in a small town, and reading allowed me to experience the outer world from a safe place.

3. I want to know things. I want to know everything! Before the internet, books were the only source of information. I used to (and still do) just browse in the nonfiction section of the library or bookstore and just pick up whatever catches my fancy, then read everything I can get my hands on about the topic until I feel I know "enough" to move on to the next thing. The internet has helped to fill this need for me, but books still are vital to me for this.

So what about you? Why do you read?

April 15, 2008

Useful information?

I was looking for something else, and stumbled upon this:

How long could you survive in the vacuum of space?
Created by OnePlusYou


Also, a tax day joke I heard on the radio:

What is the difference between death and taxes?
Congress doesn't meet every year to make death worse.

April 14, 2008

Unofficial Blogger Appreciation Day

In honor of the (unofficial) Blogger Appreciation Day, I want to thank Literary Feline over at Musings of a Bookish Kitty for being one of my inspirations for book blogging. Hop over to her blog, because she's giving away books!

April 13, 2008

Reading...

...and enjoying our nice weather. Back tomorrow!

April 12, 2008

Deep Thoughts




Your Thinking is Abstract and Sequential



You like to do research and collect lots of information.

The more facts you have, the easier it is for you to learn.



You need to figure things out for yourself and consider all possibilities.

You tend to become an expert in the subjects that you study.



It's difficult for you to work with people who know less than you do.

You aren't a very patient teacher, and you don't like convincing people that you're right.

April 11, 2008

Just how my mind works I guess

When I saw the picture of Dick Cheney's glasses - the one that many people think looks like a naked woman - I thought it looked like an alien. Like an X-files alien. But that's just me, I guess.

April 10, 2008

BTT: Writing Challenge

Booking Through Thursday time again:

#
Pick up the nearest book. (I’m sure you must have one nearby.)
#
Turn to page 123.
#
What is the first sentence on the page?
#
The last sentence on the page?
#
Now . . . connect them together….
(And no, you may not transcribe the entire page of the book–that’s cheating!)



Okay, my book is "Recovery Man" - by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (the latest in the Retrieval Artist series).

This part of the ship was dark and filthy. He must have turned off onto one of the side corridors, which all had shimmery barriers like the ones on the airlock doors.

See what I did there? I didn't connect them, because I think they connect pretty well by themselves. Which makes me wonder if the book isn't a bit long winded, but that's another story for another day.

April 9, 2008

As seen at...

the Watcher's Counsel (what a great name for a blog)




What Your City Walk Means



You are thoughtful and contemplative. You enjoy spending time alone with your thoughts.



You are quite introverted and maybe even a little shy. You prefer to interact one on one with people.



Money is important to you in as far as you'd like to have enough to survive.



You are curious about ideas. If you had the means, you'd like to explore the whole world.

April 8, 2008

Sense and Sensibility - Masterpiece [Theatre]

I enjoyed this version, and I think it only suffers in my opinion by coming after the Emma Thompson version (which I loved). If this had been done first, it would probably be my favorite. I thought the casting was great (even though there was no Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon in this one). It was very faithful to the book (at least as far as my memory serves me), and I'm very glad they chose to do it in two parts rather than trying to cram it all into a couple of hours. As the eldest sister myself I identify with Elinor more than Marianne, and I will admit I always cry at the part when Marianne is so sick that Elinor fears for her life. It gets me every time, even though I know it's coming.

April 7, 2008

For some reason, this made me laugh




The Movie Of Your Life Is Film Noir



So what if you're a little nihilistic at times?

Life with meaning is highly over-rated.



Your best movie matches: Sin City, L. A. Confidential, Blade Runner

April 6, 2008

Random Sunday

My nephew put on his own little train show this morning - he set up all of his train sets around the house, and took me and his grandparents around on a "tour." He even made tickets for us, and put up a sign that read "Trains Show." Too cute. I think we all had fun. He even had refreshments for us! (Juice and donuts.) Then we all went out to lunch, and now I'm back home doing laundry and planning to pop in a movie. Overall, a pretty good day!

April 5, 2008

New Additions to the TBR pile

(the pile that threatens to take over my room!)

"Ask Again Later" - Jill A. Davis
"Strangers in Death" = J.D.Robb
"A Prisoner of Birth" - Jeffrey Archer
"Stalking the Wild Dik-dik - One Woman's Solo Misadventures Across Africa" - Marie Javins
"Flat Broke with Children - Women in the Age of Welfare Reform" - Sharon Hays
"American Dream - Three Women, Ten Kids and a Nation's Drive to End Welfare" - Jason DeParle

April 4, 2008

Battlestar Galactica

The season premiere is tonight! Yay!

April 3, 2008

BTT: Lit-Ra-Chur

From Booking through Thursday:

*
When somebody mentions “literature,” what’s the first thing you think of? (Dickens? Tolstoy? Shakespeare?)


The first thing I think of is the "boring" stuff they make you read in school. Of course, I never personally though all of it was boring (just some - I'm looking at you, Mr. Faulkner), but I think of literature as the "important" books - the ones you are supposed to find symbolism and deep meaning in, and not necessarily enjoy.

Of course, I read Jane Eyre after I stumbled upon it in the local library, and read it and loved it without knowing it was a "great" book. And I tore through Les Miserables when it was assigned in 11th grade English, because the assigned reading was too slow paced for me - I had to know what happened next!


*
Do you read “literature” (however you define it) for pleasure? Or is it something that you read only when you must?


I read. Anything. For fun.

April 2, 2008

Trekkie test

via Wil Wheaton:

A three question quiz to determine if you are a trekkie. I only answered yes to 1 and 3, so I guess I'm only a partial geek.

April 1, 2008

March 31, 2008

Movie - Dan in Real Life

Loved this. Steve Carrell is brilliant as the advice columnist who is watching his own life fall apart - not in a dramatic way, but in small increments. He is a widower, still grieving his wife, and living according to the rules. He meets someone who, while not perfect, is pretty close, and she turns out to be his brother's girlfriend. Of course, he is a moral person, so he wouldn't think of stealing his brother's girlfriend, and there is the tension and the drama. Add in that he doesn't understand his daughters, and it's a great story. Overall a great depiction of a "life of quiet desperation."

March 30, 2008

Movie - Enchanted

What a cute little movie. This was perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Fluffy and romantic, and so cute. Did I say that already?

March 29, 2008

Some free online books

Here's a link to a post with links to some free online SF/fantasy books:
Fantasy Book Critic

March 28, 2008

Friday's Feast 185

Appetizer

What does the color dark green make you think of?


It makes me think of the carpet I would like to have in my own personal library.

Soup

How many cousins do you have?


I have two first cousins on my dad's side. Lots of second cousins, though.

Salad

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how honest are you?


Wasn't this a question before? I think I said 8 before. I do fib to save people's feelings.

Main Course

Name something that is truly free.


Imagination.

Dessert

Using the letters in the word SPRING, write a sentence.


Some
People
Really
Intend
No
Good

Not really about spring, though.

March 27, 2008

BTT: Cover Up

This week's Booking Through Thursday:

While acknowledging that we can’t judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. softcover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.?



If I'm in a bookstore, the cover might entice me to pick up the book and at least read the synopsis on the back. Now that I shop for most of my books online, the cover is less likely to be a factor. I generally prefer trade paperbacks, because mass market ones seem to feel "cheap" - flimsy covers, stiff pages that fall out when you open the book too far.

March 26, 2008




Your Mind is Orange



Of all the mind types, yours is the quickest.

You are usually thinking a mile a minute, and you could be thinking about anything at all.

Your thoughts are often scattered and random - but they're also a lot of fun!



You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about esoteric subjects, the meaning of life, and pop culture.

March 25, 2008

Movie - I Am Legend

I had lowered my expectations for this after reading too many other reviews, but I did enjoy this. Will Smith is great, and I thought the suspense was quite good (especially at the beginning). I thought some of the special effects were pretty fakey, though. CGI people/creatures just do not move the way normal people move - they are too bendy/bouncy or something. It bugs me and forces me out of the experience every time. (I'm thinking especially of Spiderman here.) I thought the shots of a totally empty New York were great, though - very haunting.

March 24, 2008

Life As We Knew It - Susan Beth Pfeffer

This is shelved in the "teen" section, but I heard about it on another blog and thought it sounded interesting. I was not disappointed! This is told as a diary of a teenage girl as she describes her experiences after an asteroid knocks the moon out of its usual orbit. The result is floods, volcanoes, and a kind of nuclear winter from all of the ash from the volcanoes. The style is very clean and the characters are interesting. I was happy to read on Amazon that there is a sequel of sorts coming out in June - not really a sequel, but a sort of parallel story about what happened in New York City during the same period. I think that is an interesting idea; one of the few flaws in this book is that the family is totally cut off from outside news, so we know very little of what is happening elsewhere.

Also, they spend a lot of the time hungry - food supplies are cut off. This made me hungry reading it, so be prepared with snacks. (I had the same problem with We the Living by Ayn Rand.)

March 23, 2008

Easter

Happy Easter to everyone celebrating it! I'm off to my sister's for brunch and to watch my nephew open 4 Easter baskets. No, he's not spoiled! (One from the Easter bunny, one from each set of grandparents, and one from me). He's getting mostly toys, not candy. Enjoy the day!

March 22, 2008

Easter quiz




What Your Easter Egg Says About You



You are truly optimistic, open, and hopeful.

And your optimism gives you the courage to live life adventurously.

You love new experiences, ideas, and challenges.

You see life as a fluid, growing process.

March 21, 2008

Friday's Feast 184

Friday's Feast:

Appetizer

Given the choice, would you prefer to live in the country or in the city?


Well, where I currently live has the best of both worlds: I'm in the city, but the country (well, desert) is only a 15 minute drive (at most). So we have all of the cultural benefits of the city, and the good shopping, but can get out into nature quickly.

Soup

Who is the cutest kid you know?


My nephew, of course!

Salad

Fill in the blank: I couldn’t believe it when I heard ___________.


...Caprica had been greenlit! This is the prequel to Battlestar Galactica, and it seems the writer's strike helped with getting it approved, as the idea had already been tossed around.

Main Course

If you could star in a commercial for one of your favorite products, which one would you want to advertise?


Netflix!

Dessert

What type(s) of vitamins and/or supplements do you take on a regular basis?


I take a generic multivitamin. I don't like taking a lot of pills, but I like the extra vitamin C and the iron.

March 20, 2008

BTT: The End

From Booking Through Thursday:

You’ve just reached the end of a book . . . what do you do now? Savor and muse over the book? Dive right into the next one? Go take the dog for a walk, the kids to the park, before even thinking about the next book you’re going to read? What?

(Obviously, there can be more than one answer, here–a book with a cliff-hanger is going to engender different reactions than a serene, stand-alone, but you get the idea!)



It does depend on the book to some extent. If it was a "heavy" book, I might wait until the next day to start something new. Of course, I usually have more than one book going at once, so it would be unusual for me to finish everything all at once. I do tend to take a break before reading more of the same genre, unless it is a series that I am anxious to find out what happens next.

March 19, 2008

Battlestar Galactica

The BSG cast will be on Letterman tonight. Here's a link to the top 10 list they'll be doing. I can't wait for the premiere of the new season!

March 18, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke

Clarke and Asimov were the writers who got me interested in science fiction. I'm sad to read that Mr. Clarke has passed away. Story here.

March 17, 2008

Movie: Michael Clayton

I think my expectations were too high for this movie. I thought it was good, but not great. I loved George Clooney, and the plot was interesting enough, but I thought the pace was too slow. Maybe I'm just impatient, though.

March 16, 2008

Movie - Right At Your Door

I posted back in August that I was looking forward to this movie, and I finally got it from Netflix. I was not disappointed. The characters and dialogue are sharp, the people are interesting, and it keeps you guessing right to the end. I love movies with unexpected endings, and this one did not disappoint.

March 15, 2008

A Pooh Quiz


Your Score: Rabbit


You scored 17 Ego, 15 Anxiety, and 17 Agency!




IT was going to be one of Rabbit's busy days. As soon as he
woke up he felt important, as if everything depended upon him.
It was just the day for Organizing Something, or for Writing a
Notice Signed Rabbit, or for Seeing What Everybody Else Thought
About It. It was a perfect morning for hurrying round to Pooh,
and saying, "Very well, then, I'll tell Piglet," and then going
to Piglet, and saying, "Pooh thinks--but perhaps I'd better see
Owl first." It was a Captainish sort of day, when everybody
said, "Yes, Rabbit " and "No, Rabbit," and waited until he had
told them.


You scored as Rabbit!

ABOUT RABBIT: Rabbit is generally considered Clever by his many friends and relations. He is actually a much better reader and writer than Owl, but he doesn't consider it worth mentioning. Instead, Rabbit's real talent lies in Organizing Plans. He organizes rescue parties, makes schemes to reduce Tigger's bounciness, and goes on missions to find out what Christopher Robin does when he's not at the Hundred Acre Woods. Sometimes, however, his Plans do not always go as Planned.

WHAT THIS SAYS ABOUT YOU: You are smart, practical and you plan ahead. People sometimes think that you don't stress or worry, but this is not the case. You are the kind of person who worries in a practical way. You think a) What are my anxieties about and b)what can be done about them? No useless fretting for you. You don't see the point in sitting around and waiting for things to work out, when you could actually work them out today and save yourself a lot of time and worry. Your friends tend to rely on you, because they know that they can trust you help them work things out.

You sometimes tend to be impatient with people who are less practical in their ways. You don't have much patience for idiots who moan about things but never actually DO anything about them. You have high expectations of everyone, including yourself. When you don't succeed at something, or when something goes wrong despite your best efforts to prevent it, you can get quite hard on yourself. You need to cut yourself some slack and accept that everyone has their faults, even you, and THAT IS OKAY. Let yourself be faulty, every now and then, for the sake of your own sanity.




Link: The Deep and Meaningful Winnie-The-Pooh Character Test

March 14, 2008

Negativity Meme

From Dewey:


1. When you dislike a book, do you say so in your blog? Why or why not?


Those of you who have been reading my blog know the answer is yes. I try to explain why I disliked something, but I try to be honest.


2. Do you temper your feelings about books you didn’t like, so as not to completely slam them? Why or why not?


I try to be fair and explain what it was I didn't like. And if there is anything I did like about the book, I try to mention that as well.

3. What do you think is the best way to respond when you see a negative review about a book you enjoyed?

I try to recognize that different people like different things. I might try to explain what I did like and why, but it's hard to change someone's opinion (including my own!).


4. What is your own most common reaction when you see a negative review of a book you loved or a positive review of a book you hated?

I might wonder if they read the same book, but I don't often feel I need to comment. Different people like different things, and expect different things from what they read.

5. What is your own most common reaction when you get a comment that disagrees with your opinion of a book?

Unless the comment is offensive or abusive, I leave it. Sometimes I'll respond, especially if I think they make a good point. I enjoy the dialogue, though, and I'm usually glad my opinion at least encouraged someone to respond!

6. What if you don’t like a book that was a free review copy? What then?

This is a tough one. I never promise to review a book I get as a free copy. If I finish the book, I'll probably review it, and I'll be honest.

7. What do you do if you don’t finish a book? Do you review it or not? If you review it, do you mention that you didn’t finish it?

I give up on a lot of books. If I've mentioned the book previously, I might mention that I've abandoned it. If there's something I think is really awful about the book I might spend more time explaining why I abandoned it.

March 13, 2008

BTT: Playing Editor

Booking Through Thursday time again:

How about a chance to play editor-in-chief? Fill in the blanks:

__________ would have been a much better book if ______________________.


"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" would have been a much better book if it had not had the epilogue at the end. I know this is sacrelige to say that there is anything wrong with the HP books. However, I think the final book would have been better without the little peek into the future offered at the end. I would have preferred if JK Rowling had left it to us to imagine what might happen to all of our beloved friends, rather than wrapping it all up for us quite so neatly. The cynic in me thinks she was trying to control the fan fiction versions of the future, but I suspect really she didn't want to let them all go yet, and wanted to put us at ease that everything turns out right in the end. I can understand that; I want an easy life for our Harry as well. Life isn't really like that, and his personality and talent for finding trouble would suggest his adult life would be as interesting as his childhood was, Voldemort or no.