seldnei: (converse who white)

Last night, we:


  • Went to the beach

  • Watched old episodes of The West Wing until 1am

Today we have:


  • Slept in (I slept until 10, what the hell?!)

  • Cleaned the house

  • Bought new underwear/t-shirts

    • Scott got a shirt with the Periodic Table on it, captioned “I wear this shirt periodically” under it.


  • Gone to two libraries, where we got …

    • a bunch of books for the boy (who isn’t even with us this weekend; we win parents of the year), including Hamster Princess by Ursula Vernon, which all three of us have been anxiously awaiting

    • some graphic novels and a book on steampunk jewelry making for Scott

    • two books from the library sale cart for me–one is Cinders, which my dash seems to recommend, and for $2, why not?


  • Napped

  • Finished cleaning while listening to Invisiblia and This American Life like a couple of intellectuals

  • Downloaded all the Neil Gaiman Humble Bundle books I bought onto the iPad

Plan for the rest of the evening:


  • Ordering books through Interlibrary loan

  • Reading on the couch while listening to random-ass 80s and 90s music on iTunes radio

    • (I have a new chapter of BYL in my inbox, awaiting a first read, so …)




So last week we all took the Pottermore sorting quiz that was floating around the internet.  Our results were:

Me: Slytherin
Scott: Slytherin
Z: Hufflepuff
Mom: Ravenclaw
The Younger Niece: Gryffindor

Today, I had a brilliant idea for a t-shirt:

I want a shirt that says “Proud Parent of a Hufflepuff,” in Slytherin colors. Maybe a cute Ursula Vernon-style cartoon of a snake snuggling a baby badger.

Think of it! T-shirts in each House color, with “Proud Parent of a [insert house name here]. Because Harry Potter is as multigenerational as Disney, y'all.

Gilgamesh?

Aug. 30th, 2014 11:42 am
seldnei: (converse who white)
My husband apparently wants to read Gilgamesh. "Do we have a copy?” he asks.

Our house is basically made of books. It’s not big enough for all the books we have. I still have books from when I was five. I have books that I love, books that I think the kid might like to read eventually, I have books I’m keeping just because I hated them and ended up having to read them, like, two or three times, so at this point it’s like keeping the mummified head of my enemy on a pike.

Honestly? I don’t remember if we have a copy of Gilgamesh. I mean, the odds are pretty good, but who knows.

Anyway, now he’s critiquing the book shelves and complaining about our lack of organization. (Three or four years ago, we put everything together by series and author, but didn’t have time to alphabetize, so our ultimate organization is something like check where I have all the Eddas or I’d probably put that near the Neil Gaiman, go look on that shelf.)

(Did I mention the entire closet dedicated to comics boxes? Because that’s on him.)
seldnei: (converse who white)
I wrote a long post about why I love To Kill a Mockingbird. I don't think it's what you think.

(There are footnotes. At some point I'll mess around with the html and see if it all works over here, but for now, linkage.)
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Lots of possible stuff going on right now, and none of it is anything I feel comfortable writing about on the internet. However, I will say that none of it is bad, per se. Aside from my usual feeling that change is always bad (thank you, Peter Straub's Ghost Story), which is not even remotely true. Change is just change (or, you know, possibly God; thank you, Octavia Butler's Earthseed books).

So what else is going on? Not a lot. I'm half-planning a little container vegetable garden for the concrete pad outside the back door (or maybe on the front porch?) if we can decide on what vegetables we want to grow. I'd like to do it. I'm definitely making a birdbath tonight out of a flower pot and a plastic container. It's really dry right now, and the birds could use another water source. Probably the possums could, too. And we all like seeing the birds.

I also need to give my wedding-ninja dress a wash and a press before putting it and my shoes on and figuring out what sort of accessories I need.

My Unread Stack of Shame is down to one book; two if I count a book I was loaned but don't really care if I read or not.

Saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1 last night, and Scott had the same issues with the movie as I had with the book. are there any spoilers left, though? ) Though I realized last night, as I thought about how Scott has been very sad ever since the 2nd movie that the flying car doesn't return, that the best ending ever for this series would have been Harry running over Voldemort in the flying car.

I'm still watching Farscape. Chiana has finally arrived.

And that is my life, such as it is, and elided.
seldnei: (Default)
I love to read. It's one of the things everyone has known about me my entire life--people I barely knew in school knew I loved to read. And recently, whenever I'm somewhere and I whip out an actual paper book, I get The Question.

So here are my answers to "Why don't you have a Kindle/Nook/iPad?"

1. Price tag. I'm broke, people, and I have other stuff I need to spend my money on.

2. I like e-readers, particularly iPads, but I really don't need another gadget. I have at least two devices that allow me to read stuff electronically, and both of them also surf the net, play music and movies, hold pictures, and do e-mail. Yeah, an iPad would be more convenient for some of this stuff in terms of size, but when size is the only reason I can come up with to buy something, well, it's not enough.

3. I'm klutzy. I live in fear of dropping my laptop and my phone. If I drop a book, the worst thing that happens is my foot gets bruised.

4. Based on my experiences with my smartphone and my DS, if the Zweeble saw me reading on an iPad, he'd want to play with it. If I'm reading a book, he dismisses it as a grown-up thing and I don't have to share. (I think the same would go for a Nook. Probably not a Kindle.)

None of this is to disparage e-readers--I think those things are probably a godsend for students (or soon will be), and if I were in college right now I'd be all over one; plus, I have friends who love theirs and that's cool. Anything that gets people reading is teh awesome. And in another four or five years, I'll probably get one, too. But at the moment, I'm doing fine without it.
seldnei: (Default)
Well, it's not getting any smaller, I can tell you that much. Having discovered the new library that opened in December, I am swimming in books.

So here's what I've read recently:

Quatrain by Sharon Shinn

Four novellas set in the worlds of her books. Not bad, overall. The one from her Samarra books was the best, I thought, and one of the others made me hunt down the next book ...

Heart of Gold

Okay, the awesome thing about Sharon Shinn? You may be reading about people in one country--or a couple of countries on one continent--but in all of her books that I've read, she has mentioned the existence of other countries/continents/people. Her worlds are entire worlds, not the Star trek thing of whatever piece of ground they land on being the whole world.

Anyway, here we have a continent with three races--Indigo, Gulden, and Albino--who live in a lot of racial, and societal, disharmony. You don't learn much about the Albino, but the Indigo are extremely matriarchal and more agrarian based, while the Gulden are patriarchal and technology oriented. It's a bit talky, and the love story didn't feel completely organic to me, but the worldbuilding and society building was really good, I thought. The story in Quatrain ("Gold"? I think?) was really interesting with regard to all of that, plus the sort of a love story worked better.

Speaks the Nightbird

Good lord that book was long! It's actually, from what I gather, one book that was split in two for publication, then collected together as one volume here. And while it was long, I'm glad I read it like this, because I found volume 2 at the library and looked to see where they broke it in half, and that would have sucked.

Anyway, I liked it. Not all of it: I seriously hate reading about people who are sick, because then I feel sick; it's a personal thing, but blech. Also, while impressive in its evocation of a dying town in 18th century America, it was pretty damn depressing and claustrophobic. What I liked, though, was the main character, Matthew. He's the smartest guy in the room most of the time, and he knows it, and he's young enough to not know when to shut up and bide his time. He blew a lot of chaces because he wouldn't keep quiet, and I thought that this was annoying and also endearing. And realistic. The book sort of treads the line of realism and outsized reality, overall. I got the next one from the library.

The God Engines - John Scalzi

Really, really interesting. People power space ships by imprisoning gods and literally using them as engines. I didn't like the ending. By that, I mean I liked the inevitable conclusion of the book, but I just didn't like how the author, literally, ended it. Still, pretty cool. Scott would like it, I think.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - N.K. Jemsin

The mythology of this book is awesome. I'd tell everyone to read it just for that alone. Three gods who had a war, demigods enslaved to humans, a heroine who can kick ass but can't figure out politics, yowza. I have a feeling [livejournal.com profile] sugarcoatedlie and [livejournal.com profile] jenifoto would dig this. It's got a few issues (do we really need another sadistic-because-I'm-bored-and-rich-and-powerful female character in the world? Could we find another villainous kink, maybe?), but it's still a really good, rich book.

Margeaux With an X - Ron Koertege

Seriously one of the best books deealing with teenaged survivors of abuse I have ever read. And while there is never any doubt, if you've ever read anything in this vein (which, frankly, I think everyone my age and gender probably has, at some point), as to what the characters' problem is, the author twists it a bit--for one thing, Margeaux's parents, while completely dysfunctional and just horrible at parenting, are married and together. And her father is a gambler, but for the most part he's pretty good at it. So a familiar story, but also unique.




I'm currently working on Mister Monday by Garth Nix. I didn't have the wherewithal to start Rebels and Traitors, another doorstop of a book, after Nightbird. And I got Life as We Knew It and The Dead and the Gone, which sounded interesting. And let's not forget Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.
seldnei: (Default)
The Zweeble and I hit the library yesterday, and I checked out 13 books: 5 for me, 8 for him. He got a couple of Max and Ruby books (his friend Miss A. loves the Max and Ruby cartoon, so we decided to take a look at the books), a couple of Spot books (we got a big collection last time, and this time we wound up with a book that has part of that collection reprinted in it. Z. doesn't care, though), and a bunch of "Goslings" books--Gossie, Peedie, Ollie the Stomper, and BooBoo. We have Ollie, and apparently I was unaware how much the Zweeble loves that book, because he saw these and had to have them. I forsee a very gosling Xmas. The library is missing Gossie and Gertie, though.

I got By the Mountain Bound by Elizabeth Bear, Powers by Ursula K. LeGuin, a couple of Alice books (but not the one I needed to read first), and The Joys of Love, which is a posthumous Madeleince L'Engle novel.

Then I found out that Audible.com is having a free audiobook giveaway to new customers, no credit card required, so I got METAtropolis, which is 9 hours long and I have no clue when, exactly, I will be listening to it, but what the heck, it's free and was originally an audiobook anyway.

This on top of what's left of my stack of unread shame: Under the Dome, From the Dust Returned, Zot!, Zoe's Tale, Evil Genius and the Dean Koontz Frankenstein books, which I may or may not read. I recently pared down the stack by growing a pair and just admitting there was no way I was going to read some of these books. Plus there were one or two (cough!Daniel X!Cough!) that I just put down in disgust.

I have recently read Fire, the new Robin McKinley/Peter Dickenson collaboration, which was good. I liked Water better, but fire is not my favorite element. I think it's due to growing up in hell. :)

And Scott read The Raw Shark Texts, which I would not have expected because it seems like a mash-up of House of Leaves and Memento, both of which he did not enjoy ... but he liked it. And said I ought to read it. So I did. It was cool. Not what I was expecting.

I dunno, I keep expecting something out of these books--House of Leaves, The Red Tree, Raw Shark Texts--that isn't there. It isn't the books' faults; the latter two are solid and really good, and accomplish what they set out to do, and while I think House of Leaves has its faults, it has some really great moments in it. I'm not sure what it is I'm looking for and not finding.

And now I have to go and get milk, and clean my house for tomorrow.
seldnei: (Default)
The problem with boredom is how it builds on itself. I mean, I could get ahead on the work front, but I just don't want to do any more of it ... but there's nothing else I really want to do, either. Reading? Nah. Internet? Nah. Video games? Nah. TV? Nah.

Bleah.

In other news, I read Catching Fire last week, and this is probably why I haven't been wanting to read lately, because it was a very good read and nothing else is quite going to measure up. This book, and the one before it, The Hunger Games, hit pretty much every story kink I have: post-apocalyptic setting, romance angst, chicks doing stuff and doing it well without being perfect this may get spoilery ) ... and I got caught up into the pace and the world-building and the characters this IS spoilery ). ETA: spoilers in the comments, if you're concerned.

And we streamed Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist last night from NetFlix, and I liked that, too. It's cute. Though Nick could have been ... I dunno, more. Norah seemed pretty fleshed out, but Nick, while sweet and all, was not so much. This might be Michael Cera, I have no idea. I did enjoy how the guy had the gay friends, as opposed to the girl. And good grief, does every teenage girl have a friend like Caroline? Because I sure did, and, as Scott said, I'd have stuck her gum on her forehead and let her sleep like that. Not in her hair, though, because I loved her. :) Really, I loved the supporting cast a lot. They all seemed to take the goofy-friends-and-exes thing and make it better than the usual.

Oh, and the 2008 Doctor Who Xmas special is out on DVD. Want. Want. Tiffany, when you get to Seasons 2 and 4, let me know because there are some extras you'll want to see (they're not on the extras disk, though).
seldnei: (Default)
So I'm re-reading It for the forty or fiftieth time since seventh grade (when I got sick for a day and then faked sick for three more so I could stay home and finish the book), and I swear to god: they crawled through the little door, looked up, saw It--

--and from the corner of my eye I see movement, look, and there's a brown housekeeper spider scurrying across my floor.

Only the knowledge that I would have to look David in the eye tomorrow kept that thing from being squished. Well, that and they don't squish well. You have to smack them and then kind of grind them into submission.

Could be worse. At least I don't have to crush its beating heart with my hands.
seldnei: (Default)
I had this constant headache today. I kept forgetting to take anything for it, and then around 4 I remembered I could take some Advil, and I needed to shower ... and then this little voice said you know, you could be dehydrated, you spent 9 hours traveling yesterday.

One giant Busch Gardens souvenir cup of water and a shower later, and the headache is gone, no Advil needed. Yay water!



I also have an enormous stack of unread books now, thanks to Half-Price Books in Dayton. I couldn't find anything in Barnes and Noble or Borders, but I literally had to use my book-filled hands as blinders in order to leave Half-Priced Books.

So my reading stack is behind the cut )

And I'm at least a month behind on comics.

I'm currently reading The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne Valente, which is probably the perfect book for me right now--absorbing when I pick it up, but with some natural pauses where I can put it down and actually sleep or do things that need doing. Page turners are over-rated, I think. People always say "I couldn't put it down!" and, yeah, that's cool. But I have a toddler, and what I really want, quite often, is a book that I can put down, somewhere, and then pick back up and be drawn into again.

And for a book with such an intricate, nested structure, I never feel lost when I start reading again. It's a really elegant piece of writing, and the author's imagination is gorgeous. I think [livejournal.com profile] sugarcoatedlie would like it. And [livejournal.com profile] jkason, possibly.
seldnei: (Default)
I know some of y'all like Caitlin R. Kiernan (I don't know how to do accents yet), and I know a bunch of you like House of Leaves, and I know some of you are into creepy quiet horror stuff.

Well, Caitlin R. Kiernan's new book, The Red Tree, is out now, and I am awaiting my copy's arrival. I'm really looking forward to this book. Judging by the website, there seems to be at least an echo of House of Leaves (the meta, the artifacts, that sort of thing more than plot): go to "Evidence," and then go to Plate XV, and then click on the Gable Film link. But I'm not actually talking about the film (which is interesting and, if you keep clicking on stuff, gets creepier and creepier). No, what made me want to put my back against the wall was the description of Sarah Crowe's dream.

I can see it. And it makes me shudder.
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First I didn't know the new Falco book had come out, today I find out that the season 3 Venture Bros. is out on DVD. What next? I find out they've already started showing Lost?

Our dish company has added Cartoon Network for the west coast to our roster, so if I were a really bad mother, I could watch Venture Bros. at 8am certain weekdays. But I get a little antsy about the Zweeble watching Johnny Test, so ... yeah.

Off to Netflix ... I've currently got Angels in America, which I'm sure is the perfect lead-in for Brock Samson and company.

Oh, and did I mention we watched Repo! The Genetic Opera? Put Sweeney Todd, Les Miz, and Moulin Rouge in a blender, add some extra guts, and there you have it. There were some really great moments in it, but also some not great at all moments. I thought Paris Hilton was surprisingly good in it, though her dancing was a bit weak. And the little girl from the Spy Kids movies was the lead!
seldnei: (Default)
For my friends who read Twilight and Anne Rice.
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We got our tax return back, and divided it into the practical stuff we need to do ... and then Scott and I each got a little to play with. And I just bought a whole bunch of books! And one CD.

I'm also using some of it for the Zweeble's 2-year pictures, because he's so damn photogenic, and I always end up spending more money than I really need to on them. So this year I can splurge--though I'm going to try and not end up with a dozen 8x10s this year. Just wait, this will be the year that he has a total meltdown and we get two decent shots. :)

I'm still fighting the cold. I feel like utter hell in the morning, and then perk up toward bedtime. (And no, it's not anything remotely like morning sickness, so hush.) I'm trying to take it easy.
seldnei: (Default)
I started House of Leaves yesterday.

I got creeped out within the first three pages. I'm talking find-a-wall-and-put-your-back-to-it-so-the-EVIL-can't-sneak-up-on-you kind of creeped out. I haven't actually done that--put my back against a wall to read--since ... oh, the 7th grade.

As I continue, this feeling of creeping dread has not abated.

So thus far, I am impressed.
seldnei: (Default)
Okay, last week's Lost ... wait, what was last week's Lost? Oh, that's right ... lotsa fill-in story ) Not bad. This week we apparently get more of the creepy shack and the return of the dude who used to be on Guiding Light that I always only half-recognize and have to go and look up on IMDb. Still awaiting the return of Bat Manuel, though.

Doctor Who ... well, I officially like Donna. "What happens if I actually speak Latin to someone?" Plus, all the arguing. Though I kept thinking the episode would be SO SUPER AWESOME if only somehow Falco from the Lindsey Davis books could be in it. Sigh.
seldnei: (Default)
1st character on TV: I don't know why we can't just read Runaways.

2nd character on TV: That's 'cause it's a comic book.

1st character: It's a graphic novel.

Laura: Dude, it's a comic book.

Zweeble: Boook.

Laura: (delighted) Yes, book!

Zweeble: (points to our giant bookshelf)

Laura: Yes, books!

Zweeble: Book! (points some more at bookshelf)




He keeps saying "book" and pointing to the bookshelf. And this isn't the, "sure, that sound could be 'up,'" sort of thing we usually do, either.

We will see if it lasts.
seldnei: (Default)
Apparently the LibraryThing meme is out of date!

But when I went and looked, the books are mostly the same.
seldnei: (Default)
Just because I thought wow, a lot of books I love are on this list, so now I'm curious. I think I did this meme a while back, also. Lame Laura.

What we have here is the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you've read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish. Here's the twist: add (*) beside the ones you liked and would (or did) read again or recommend. Even if you read 'em for school in the first place.

my list ... with my notes, as always )
seldnei: (Default)
The Zweeble is having a good time wandering around with a bottle of water (his, not mine), and I am just thanking the Chaos gods that my in-laws get in day after tomorrow, because we're trying to figure out how this child wants to eat (does he want our food? self-feedable baby food? regular baby food? milk? teh heck** is the deal, here???) and I am just feeling very done. Yup, done. And in need of extra brains to infuse me with ideas, 'cause I'm out.

I currently have some dried fruit and baby ravioli on a tray on the floor, to see if this piques his interest. I feel rather like I'm trying to draw in a feral cat.

He does look adorable in his little green-striped body suit. Kind of like a leprechaun who just broke out of cartoon prison.

The Sarah Jane Adventures premieres tonight! Next week is Doctor Who!!!!!!! And if I feel like it, I can catch last week's premiere of Battlestar Galactica, but I'm feeling rather iffy on that one. Anyway, just bring backj Lost and I'm set.

I'm also reading Middlesex, and I think I may give it up. It's a good book, but I'm kind of burned out on the multi-generational outsized reality literary thingummy. Maybe I'll put it away for a while. Of course, that leaves the question of what I'm going to read, now ... my shelf of unread shame is getting smaller ...

**since I'm trying to be patient and also not swear as much or as badly, "teh" is my new word for when I'm, well, wanting to swear and losing what little religion I've got. I like it, it makes me smile.

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Laura E. Price

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