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Looks like I've got more book titles to add to the list...

Previous Books )

13. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides [audiobook] -- The story revolves around an individual who was raised as a girl and, when she turned sixteen, discovered that she was a hermaphrodite. This is a very good book, especially if you are interested in topics revolving around gender and gender identity.

14. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley -- This one took me all damn summer to read because I was crazy busy with work. Overall, it's a good story, but I found it a bit un-even. Some times, the story hooked me and I couldn't put the book down. Other times, especially towards the end, I couldn't care less about what the characters were doing. I think it would have been better if it were a shorter novel...around 600 pages or so instead of 800.

15. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein -- Now this is an awesome book! And I'm sure the second half of the novel scandalized some readers when it came out in the early 1960s with all the "free love" and such. Two big thumbs up.

And...the next book I plan to pick up is House of Leaves. A bunch of people on [ profile] ontdcreepy are reading it. I hear that it is weird, but good.
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Last night's dream was fueled by the 60 or so pages of Stranger in a Strange Land, which I made the mistake of reading before bedtime. It was populated by a whole cast of characters that included [ profile] doomsey, random people I know from LJ, and some neighbors and their two children. We were pretty much racing across the United States trying to save this poor (and very strange) sod, who our government was trying to kill. Let's just say that this wasn't a very organized rescue attempt and most of our efforts were focused on a) staying anonymous and b) once our identities were learned, not getting caught. Let's say that this rescue attempt more closely resembled something out of It's a Mad, Mad World, only we were all working together, although you would hardly know it seeing all the antics that went on.

Here are a few helpful tips should you ever find yourself in this situation:

1) When impersonating someone's twenty-year old daughter (this particular individual was friends with the father but had never met the daughter before), it's not a good idea to pour yourself a glass a wine, especially when the person you're dealing with is a cop. Yeah, that took some really fancy footwork to get out of that one. By the way, the correct response is, "my daddy always lets me have a glass of wine with dinner. Sorry, force of habit."

2) When impersonating a twenty-year old who doesn't like the great outdoors, don't tell them that you got a particularly nasty cut on your leg while gardening. Oh...and the way out of that one was, "my mom made me do it. It lame."

3) Never ever ever entrust the care of a person from another planet to my neighbors living two doors down. That'll never end well. Oh...and if you do entrust this person to their care, whatever you do, don't let them get more than a few miles ahead of you, let alone the next frigging state. Geez.

4) When choosing someone to protect / take care of a person from another planet who is not all too familiar with Earth customs, stick with the science fiction geeks because they're better equipped to handle it. Also, you know a lot of science fiction geeks, and hey! you're sort of one yourself.

5) Don't ever let [ profile] doomsey give away your location in a text message. Better yet, throw all the goddamn cell phones out the car window. They make it easier to trace you.

I guess we didn't do too bad of a job because we all ended up together in some remote cabin up in New England. Said cabin was donated by someone sympathetic to the cause, although we were looking into relocating because there was some concern that the government had located where we were.
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* Hey everybody! Happy Lammas to those who celebrate it.

* This morning, I slept in until noon, then sat around for most the afternoon reading. I'm 70 pages from the end of the book I'm reading now. I'm reading a 900 page book, and with all the work I had this summer, it's taken me for-freaking-ever to read it. At least the library let my husband check it out for me after I used up all my renewals. Tee hee!

* Today, I discovered that what we thought was a melon plant growing in our backyard is actually a Hmong cucumber plant. I think somebody at the seed factory may have made a little mistake. Oh well, [ profile] doomsey and I eat a lot of salad, so this shouldn't be too big of a deal. But dang...I was really curious about how that melon plant would have turned out.

Yay! Link Dump!

* Why mini cows could save the planet -- The short answer? They require less food and produce more beef. (Via [ profile] ginmar)

* Lastly, These macros on the icanhascheezburger site amuse me greatly.
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I have to say that it's great not having anything planned this weekend. No weddings, no birthday parties, nowhere we have to be. Why am I saying this? Because in June we had three weddings in a row, with a ton of other parties and events sandwiched in between them. I'm very much looking forward spending the day being lazy. I think either I'm going to spend it on my computer and/or curled up with a book. I might also try to con [ profile] doomsey into watching the next episode of "Torchwood: Children of Earth." We *finally* got around to watching the first episode last night. Whoa...creepy!

Other miscellaneous things:

* I hopped on the scale yesterday and saw that I lost another couple of pounds. Those three to four mile walks have really be paying off. And I feel so much better.

* Oh yeah...I went for another four mile walk last night. It's been hot during the day so I've been doing them after dark. It's so much more pleasant. Well, except for that one time there was a skunk behind a bush and it almost, well, skunked me. Thank God I had the flashlight and saw him in time to start backpedalling.

* Author, Owl Goingback, has been denied a Facebook page for a long time now. The powers that be over at Facebook seem to think that Owl Goingback is not a real name. Well, the guy's Native American and that is his real name. If you're on Facebook, I encourage you to join the community.
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It's been a while since I've done one of these posts....

Previous books )

8. Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft by Denise Zimmerman -- Hey! I had to get started somewhere, right? I think this book was a good overview and it gave some useful information, but there was also a bit of fluff mixed in. *cough cough* Crystals. *cough*

9. Wild Child by T.C. Boyle -- I picked this one up at the library thinking it was a novel about the wild boy of Aveyron, a feral child who was reputed to have been raised by wolves. Once I got the book home, I discovered that it was a collection of short stories. "The Lie" and "Sin Dolor" were enjoyable yet disturbing. I also liked "Wild Child" because I thought it was a good portrayal of what happens to children when they're exposed to languages too late.

10. Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler -- I'm surprised that I managed to find this at my local library. I've had to request many of these books through inter-library loan. Anyhow, what I liked about this book was that the opening chapters did a good job describing the history and evolution of both Wicca and other Neo-Pagan movements. (Also, I had no idea that there was a link between sci-fi and paganism, but it kind of makes sense now that I think about it. And at the time the book was published, there were three well-known sci-fi authors who were also pagan. One Adler named because she was "out" but she didn't want to out the other two).

10. The Spiral Dance by Starhawk -- [ profile] fuzzyscribble recommended that I read this book when I expressed an interest in Paganism. Good choice. I got it from the library using inter-library loan (I've been doing that for a ton of books lately). After reading it, I decided that this would be a nice book to own since I wanted to try some of the exercises in it so I purchased both this and and Scott Cunningham's Guide for the Solitary Practitioner from Amazon.

11. From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris -- This is the eighth book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. Honestly, I was kind of luke-warm on this book. The plot seemed all over the place to me and I got the impression that she was setting things up for the next book in the series, Dead and Gone. Oh...and while I'm on the topic, I bought Dead and Gone in paperback while I was shopping yesterday. I plan to read it on the plane to and from San Francisco.
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* I got a crappy night's sleep last night. Today is going to be interesting....

* Last night, [ profile] doomsey and I were pulling out of our house to go to a birthday party at a friend's house when I saw a dead bird-- it looked like a robin-- lying in the street not far from our house. I couldn't get a very good look at it and I feared that it might have been the juvenile robin that's been hopping around our front yard. This morning, I looked out the window, anxious to see any sign of him. When I saw both him and the adult robin, I did a small cheer.

* [ profile] doomsey and I have a lot of trees on our property, which make for great bird homes. This season, I've seen one baby sparrow, one baby robin, and two baby black birds in our front and back yards.

* Not long ago, a friend of mine suggested I should get a field guide to identify what kinds of birds are coming into our backyard. Hmmm...might not be a bad idea. I've had one little guy who used to visit our bird feeder in the fall and I have no idea what kind of bird it was. He was a dark blue on top and a lighter gray on the bottom.

* I'm such an animal lover. When I was a kid, I used to sit and watch the birds and other critters in our backyard. It got the point where I was able to not only identify birds, but also recognize their songs to some extent. To this day, it amazes me that [ profile] doomsey can't distinguish between a cardinal or a robin based on its song. Maybe I should start teaching him?

* Last year, the rosebush in our garden wasn't looking very good because it had black spot, a fungus caused by too much humidity. This year, [ profile] doomsey and I have been spraying it like mad. In the early spring, I picked off all the old leaves to try to keep it from getting re-infected this year. It looks like it worked because it's currently blooming like mad. [ profile] doomsey took some pictures yesterday and posted them to his journal today. By the way, anybody know what kind of rosebush that is?
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* Yay! Finals are over! I have a little bit of grading to do, but it shouldn't be too bad.

* This afternoon, I took advantage of the break in the rain to walk to the library-- about a three-and-a-half mile trip in all-- to drop off some books and check out Mists of Avalon and The Gravedigger's Daughter. I also got Precursor (a book in C.J. Cherryh's Foreigner series) for [ profile] doomsey and a book of folk shawls. The latter book has many good patterns, but I'm particularly enamored of the Irish shawl. Must buy yarn and make!

* After catching two neighborhood children attempting to climb the big maple tree in my front yard, I poked my head up and told them told them to get down from there before they fell down and got hurt. I'm not turning into one of those old fogies telling kids to keep off their lawn, am I?

* Google is awesome! Did you guys know that you could play Pac-Man on their webpage today? Yeah...I might have spent a little too much time playing around with that today. (makes an innocent-looking face)

Yay! Links!

* These are pictures of an abandoned medieval stone city in rural Spain. *drool* Now I want to go visit it. I've been meaning to drag [ profile] doomsey to central and southern Spain for years now.... (Link courtesy of [ profile] ginmar)

* This next one is for the Doctor Who fans and knitting geeks on my friends list. Knit Picks has a sock yarn that goes by the name "Time Traveler." Go read the description! Now I'm half tempted to get both the "Time Traveler" and the "Abracadabra" yarns. (Swiped from a Doctor Who knitting community)

Oh Cu-rap!

May. 8th, 2010 01:08 am
nekosensei: (Default)
We're supposed to get a frost tonight in some areas. I've pulled in my rosemary and my cilantro, but I'm not able to do very much for the seedlings I planted out in the garden earlier this week. I hope they're going to be okay. *crosses fingers*

My email must have been broken today. I am just now getting the voice mail-- we have Vonage and I get voice mail messages via email-- that somebody left me earlier in the day. Whoopsie!

Tonight, [ profile] emygination told me that I sound like a space case when I talk on the phone because I started my phone conversation with "'s me." She probably has a point. I hate talking on phones. :P

And in other news, Cosette is being very needy. She has been poking me all evening.

Wow...I stayed up way too late reading...again. Time to sleep.
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Previous books )

6. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly -- Both a fairy tale and a coming of age story. A boy's mother dies, and he enters a strange land thinking that he can save her. The beginning of the story was very dark, and I had a hard time deciding whether I liked it or not. The further along I went, the more it grew on me though.

7. Weird Illinois -- I borrowed it from a friend because, well, I'm kind of weird, but you all knew that already. Most of the stories were kind of out there, but some were amusing. It does give me a few ideas of abandoned places I can go to when I feel like getting back into photography.
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* Made fudge today for the dinner we're hosting on Sunday. It turned out phenomenally well. Nice and creamy! I think I'm going to go over here *ahem* and perform some more quality control *cough cough* experiments on it. Hey dooms! Be prepared to defend the fudge on Sunday!

* Aside from making fudge, I did laundry and gave both the kitchen and the living room a thorough cleaning. My ankle is killing me. Anybody who tells me to do the cat litter "because they keep dropping things" or anything else that I haven't already planned on doing-- aka finish the laundry-- is going to get shot at dawn.

* Also had the plumber out to do his yearly inspection thingy. (It was part of the package we got when we hired this particular company to do the sewer lining last spring. We're canceling it after this spring because we don't want to pay the extra $60 a year). He fixed some leaks under the kitchen sink and one of the bathroom sinks. He also pointed out that the fill-valve on our upstairs toilet was wonky and our fifteen year old water heater is on its last legs. We already knew both of those things actually. [ profile] doomsey has been able to fix the fill-valve by himself. He might eventually replace the part, but he doesn't want to do it right now. The water heater is not broken in any way that's going to make it explode. When it does break, we plan on having our home warranty replace it.

* Texan accused of disabling 100 cars over Internet -- Yeah...I make you a bet he thinks his little prank is not so funny anymore... (Link swiped from [ profile] ginmar)

* Steve Jobs Cheese Head (Swiped from [ profile] doomsey)

* Kindle for Mac -- I'm going to have to give this a try.
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Previous books )

5. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger -- I'd been looking forward to reading this book for a while now as it was done by the same author of The Time Traveler's Wife. I was half tempted to buy a copy of this book instead of checking it out from the library because it was a new release and every copy the library had was on hold. I would have put a hold on it myself, and wait my turn, but I was concerned that, between work, classes, and other activities, I wouldn't be able to read the book in the time allotted me by the library. And it was extremely likely I wouldn't be able to renew it because someone else would have placed a hold on it too (this has happened to me repeatedly there). Well, I shuffled my feet a couple of months because I was being cheap and didn't want to spend money. Then, I went to the library's website on a lark and found that they had copies of it sitting on the in I went. Anyhow, the book itself was a real page turner. The only criticism I had was that, towards the end, they had a few of the characters doing something that I considered out of character. I can understand Valentina doing what she did because she's young, but Elspeth and Robert especially seemed older and maturer enough to know better. (But now that I think about was later revealed in back story that Elspeth had pulled weird shit before). Really? What made these people think that this was a good idea? I also thought the ending was somewhat abrupt. Why did Robert wait that long to do what he did? But...other than that...very good. In particular, I enjoy Niffenegger's descriptions of people and scenery.

Anybody else out there who's read the novel want to chime in?
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* I don't know why Passive Aggressive Notes is making fun of these people. If I spent three hours shoveling out a space for my car, I'd be pretty pissed too.

* The story about the school spycam is getting weirder and weirder. The kid was busted for eating candy.

* And the internet went down, taking some work that I had done with it. Lovely...

* [ profile] doomsey poked and prodded the wireless router and all that jazz when he came home from work this afternoon. Turns out that the problem isn't coming from out end; Comcast's signal is crappy. [ profile] doomsey thinks that we need to call Comcast and ask them to replace something in the cable box outside the house. He thinks a component got damaged in one of the snow storms.

* Dick Cheney hospitalized with chest pains.

* Whoa...the book I've been reading just got majorly fucked up. Didn't see that one coming in a million years...
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* Nice. I'm already in a bad mood this morning because people were being obnoxious in my dream last night. I was in the store, and my sister was being a little shit, just like she could sometimes be when we were kids. Then, the sales lady gave me attitude because my sister was being a shit, which I had no control over. So...I put the item I was going to buy down, took my money, and went elsewhere. I also left my sister there, telling her that, just for that, she could find her own way home. See? You make trouble for me, I can make trouble for you. about waking up on the wrong side of the bed...

* Went to the dentist this morning. He didn't see anything major on the X-ray. He also thinks the nerves in my tooth are working properly. He thinks that problem with my tooth was caused by me grinding my teeth while I was sleeping, especially considering the fact that it was bad on Saturday morning, but got a bit better as the weekend went on. It should be back to normal in a couple of days. In the meantime, I bought myself some Sensodyne and I'm going to see if that helps. I might also lay off the mechanical toothbrush for awhile.

Anyhow, that's good news. Whatever's pissing it off will go away in a few days and, better yet, no drilling involved! You have no idea how happy I am about that.

* Had a bad headache this morning. Ended up doing my grocery shopping after I was finished at the dentist's office, popping some ibruprofen, and taking a nap. My head is still sore, but not as bad as what it was earlier. Still feeling grumpy too...

* This looks interesting. And if I were to find out that my mom's side of the family does have Jewish ancestry after all, I would *so* throw it in my parents' face for giving me a hard time for marrying a Jewish man. (Swiped from [ profile] rm)

* This comment was the first one I read on this article about the Kevin Smith / Southwest Airlines debacle:

"I don't normally fly southwest, but if they are the ones taking a stand against obese air travelers I think they needed to be supported. Not only will there be less obese people on the flight bothering us, the average intelligence of Southwest passengers will go up!"

What the fuck? So...all fat people are dumb now? My brain hurts. I'm going to go report this as abuse just to be obnoxious.

* The author of the book I'm reading is a Doctor Who fan, apparently...

* I spent this evening studying for German. And no...I did NOT just make a flashcard with a guy sitting next to a bottle of Ritalin to help me remember the word for quiet/calm in German. And for crazy, I did not draw a grinning guy holding a meat cleaver. :)

* Okay...time to hit post now...
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Previous books )

4. Invader by C.J. Cherryh -- The second book of C.J. Cherryh's Foreigner series. While Cherryh's writing style continues to annoy me, the story she tells is simply amazing. I also enjoy how she makes the aliens so...well...alien. Yep...definitely planning on reading more books from this series. Also, [ profile] doomsey, [ profile] almeda, and I had a conversation about the Foreigner series last Friday. [ profile] almeda, who has read most of the books, says that she purposely makes her writing somewhat difficult to parse at times in order to highlight the difficulties of translating between atevi (a language spoken by an alien race) and Mosphei' (a human language). Not all of the concepts can be easily translated from one language to the other because the psychological and biological wiring of the two species is so different. She also mentioned that her writing style tends to vary from series to series. Interesting...
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* Bwahahahahaha! (Swiped from [ profile] pisica)

* Awww....poor kitty!

* Finally! I just managed to accomplish one of the Special Missions on Ghost Trappers, which is a Facebook game for those of you who are curious. It's taken me for-freaking-ever to finish one of those!

* Tigers becoming extinct in the wild. So sad. (Link swiped from [ profile] rm)

* I want one! *snerk*

* Dropped off my "emergency crutches" at my in-laws' house. My father-in-law slipped on black ice at work and twisted his knee. Now, I hope I won't need them in mean time. (And yes, I have emergency crutches because I am a klutz).

* Picked up two books I've been meaning to read from the library today: Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger and The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly.

* Remember how I used to say that Cosette was a seat thief? In other words, whenever I got up to get something, I'd come back to see that she was sitting in the place I'd currently vacated? Well, now when I walk back into the room and say, "You stole my seat," she gets up and gives it back to me. Such a strange cat....
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* One of the snails in my fish tank died yesterday. Poor little guy. Also, my fish isn't looking too hot. I wonder what's going on in that tank. Maybe something is making them all sick? The other snail seems to be doing fine though.

* So, Amazon and MacMillan got into a tiff, and Amazon decided to pull all MacMillan books. Man...if I were an author affected by this, I would be pissed. Then again, that's probably why Amazon did it, to get the authors to put pressure on MacMillan.

* The city council of my town is debating opening city council sessions with prayer. Time for another strongly worded letter. I'm thinking something along the lines of we didn't elect you to pray in office and do that on your own time. Also, my block as been trying to get sidewalks for years because cars often take the corner too fast and come barreling down our street. One of my neighbor's kids narrowly avoided being hit last summer. Once again, we petitioned the city for sidewalks, and once again, they turned it down saying that they have no money. I guess we'll have better luck praying for 'em...

* Important: A personal friend of mine is about to lose her health insurance if she can't make her COBRA payment. She goes by [ profile] ordinary on LJ and gookygox on Twitter. This would be disastrous because, several years ago, she developed a lung condition-- growths on the lining of her lungs-- that is so rare that even the Mayo Clinic couldn't figure out what was going on. She has to have nerve blocks done on a regular basis in order to be able to function. (I took her to the hospital to have one of these nerve blocks done last January). She is taking donations right now in the hopes that she will be able to raise enough money to cover the cost of her COBRA. You can donate here. If you don't have any money to donate, re-posting this in your journals to boost the signal would also be helpful.
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1. Foreigner by C.J. Cherryh -- I remember my parents checking this book out from the library when I was in high school or college. I opened it and tried reading the first chapter, but couldn't get into it. Many years later, I came across an LJ post of someone reviewing the series and decided to give the book another shot. I'm glad I did. While the author's prose annoys me a little bit, the story is good. I particularly like how she made the atevi very psychologically different from the humans who crash landed on the planet. They have no concept of friendship, and when the protagonist-- a human-- tries to explain it to his atevi bodyguards, they are completely flummoxed. One of them thinks that the protagonist-- Bren Cameron-- is comparing him to salad because they only word he can find in their language to express liking someone is usually used with food. I'm definitely planning on reading more books from the series. I currently have the sequel, Invader checked out of the library.

2. The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman -- A true story. Most of the Warsaw zoo is destroyed during the Nazi invasion of Poland. The animals that weren't killed by the bombing were shot by for sport by German soldiers. After their zoo is destroyed, the former zookeepers hide Jewish refugees in their home and animal habitats that are still standing...right in sight of a Nazi military post. Very gutsy.

3. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult -- The Fitzgerald's daughter is diagnosed with leukemia when she is two years old. The family decides to have another baby girl that will be able to donate cord blood to her, a treatment that will hopefully put the sick girl into remission. Thirteen years later, the older girl goes into kidney failure and needs her sister to donate a kidney. Her younger sister-- who had spent her life being a donor to her sick sibling-- balks about donating her kidney. What follows is a royal mess with no right answers. This is a very sad book; some chapters had me in tears.
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Click here for pictures )

And that's it! I'm done! I might drag out the camera and take pictures every couple of weeks or so and post the better ones to [ profile] naturesbeauty or [ profile] lj_photophile, but I'm not taking a picture every day anymore. I need a break from my camera!
nekosensei: (Default)
Previous books )

26. Under the Dome by Stephen King -- I didn't think I'd finish this one before New Year's Day since it was over a thousand pages, but I did. I had a hard time putting this book down because I wanted to find out what was going to happen next. Oh...and breaking into the police station wearing a Dick Cheney mask? Priceless!


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