mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Always Summer)
Sorry about the feelings-vomit in the previous post. I will try to be more upbeat about things, as much as I can.

I was out and about a bit today, for the first time during my vacation (other than the jaunt to Montreal to see Captain America). I got up at a relatively decent hour, but then kind of procrastinated during the morning on getting anything done. Still, I saw that my basil plants were threatening to bolt again, so this time I went at them viciously with a pair of scissors. I'm hoping I was fast enough, but a few of the stems have turned woody, which tells me I may not get more leaves from them. I took some cuttings the other day in order to try to propagate the basil, but they are looking pretty wilted, so I'm not optimistic. I seem to have the darnedest time getting basil to keep growing. I don't suppose any of my gardening people have tips or tricks for me?
More gardening stuff )

Books, and a review of Marie Kondo's Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up )
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Bookshop)
I've been racking my brain for things to say about Brideshead Revisited, and I'm sort of coming up blank. I hadn't given the book much thought until last year, when there was a book-themed party for [livejournal.com profile] luvenditti. Guests were encouraged to dress up as a character from a book, and if they stumped the birthday girl, they got a little prize. [livejournal.com profile] miseri came in dressed as Sebastian Flyte, and I may have gotten a little excited and screeched "Aloysius!" Because of the bear, you understand.

I read Brideshead Revisited about twenty-five years ago, as a young teenager, right after the BBC mini-series had aired on public television. I had very much enjoyed the miniseries (if memory serves, it might have been on Masterpiece Theatre), and I remember loving the book. My mother loved both as well, and much like me, her takeaway from all of that was "Aloysius!"

At the time, though, most of the book's themes went right over my head. I enjoyed the story but ignored the exploration of what it meant to be born catholic or to convert to catholicism. I missed all the implications of a possible relationship between Sebastian and Charles, which someone else asked me about years later.

In short, this has been a terribly disappointing entry, because I have little to nothing to say, except maybe "Aloysius!" Which, you know, is not exactly the most insightful commentary I've ever come up with. ;)

So, [livejournal.com profile] miseri, I feel I must apologise for the paltry content here. Maybe next time I'll have more success with my posts.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Bookshop)
It's June 10th, and I have a few minutes before I have to go to work here in Moncton, where I am replacing the operators who normally work here so they can attend the funeral of our fallen officers and get some much-needed time off to recover from last week.

[livejournal.com profile] hells_half_acre has asked me to talk about fantasy novels I have enjoyed, and I am almost at a loss where to start. While my reading habits have taken a major hit in the last few years, before that I used to read a lot. Like, hundreds of books a year. At my peak I was reading three to five books a week. I'm also a big fan of genre fiction, with a particular penchant for sci fi, fantasy, and mystery series. So to say that I have read a fair bit of good fantasy in my day would be putting it mildly.

Books! )

GIP!

Dec. 1st, 2009 04:40 pm
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Paranoid)
Found some fun Dresden Files icons. Am using one because it amuses me.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Bookshop)
I just got pointed in the direction of Neil Gaiman's personal library.

*makes sad mewling sounds*

I think he might just have more books than my father. Maybe. It doesn't give a number. Certainly he must have more books that suit my taste than my father does, though.

*siiigh*

WOOHOOHOO!

Aug. 26th, 2009 09:51 pm
mousme: Two open books, one lying on top of the other at an angle (Books)
[livejournal.com profile] mangafairy sent me a copy of The River Cottage Cookbook as a thank-you present for having her and G stay over for WorldCon.

Eeeeek!

(She also gave me the first three seasons on DVD, which I have watched avidly. Double-eeek!)
mousme: Two open books, one lying on top of the other at an angle (Books)
Okay, I realized at WorldCon that I am Teh Ignorant. So much good stuff out there. Novels and such I can find on my own, I'm pretty sure. Short fiction? Not so much.

What's out there in terms of good magazines and good anthologies? Offhand I can think of two: OnSpec and Azimove.

Tell me what else I should be reading/subscribing to in terms of good S.F. PLEASE.

(Also, I miss the Nebula Book Club. One of my regrets concerning my current job. No time for book clubs anymore. *sigh*)

Nooooo!

Jul. 12th, 2009 10:52 am
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Bookshop)
I was ecstatic at finally getting The Shadow Isle by Katharine Kerr. I was really looking forward to reading the end of the Deverry epic, and finally getting to tie up most if not all of the loose ends... and now I discover that it's not the last book. It got too big and unwieldy and she split it into two, and now the last book won't be coming out until October 27th, and in hardcover to boot, so I'm going to have to wait a really long time before I can get the conclusion.

WAAAAAAH!

Life is woe, and darkness, and teh sad.

Mail joy!

Jul. 7th, 2009 11:40 am
mousme: Two open books, one lying on top of the other at an angle (Books)
I'm taking Sharon Astyk's fall gardening class, since I figure learning how to extend my growing season can only be good for me. As a result, I ordered the books she recommended from Amazon, as well as a couple of others to make it all worthwhile. Because it was for a class, I even shelled out the extra cash for shipping rather than getting the "super-saver" shipping rates.

The result? One business day later and the books are in my hot little hands. The books I ordered ten days ago haven't even shipped yet. Maybe from now on I'll bite the bullet and pay for shipping, if it means I don't have to wait over a month each time for my books. Yes, I know, I'm not good when it comes to waiting.

Swag is as follows:

The Four Season Harvest (Eliot Coleman)
The Winter Harvest Handbook (Eliot Coleman)
Carrots Love Tomatoes (Louise Riotte)
The Self-Sufficient Life and How To Live It (John Seymour)

I've been hemming and hawing about that last one for something like three years now, because it was always stupidly expensive (upwards of $40 everywhere I looked), but this time it was on sale for pretty much half of that, so I pounced.

Wheeeeeeeee!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Lock The Universe)
I feel like roadkill. I didn't even drink yesterday: how is this fair?

My coworker, let's call her Lanky!Woman, has gone to Tim Horton's for a coffee run, which is the best news I've had all day.

I'm going to have to do an online CPIC course today. I'd rather have a nap.

In other news, I've been reading Michael Slade, and I think that in spite of his reputation for good research, he is officially Making Shit Up in order to make his novel more compelling. Nothing wrong with that, mind, but there is no section in the RCMP called Special X, and never has been according to my colleagues. Heh. Goes to show: when I read these books a few years back, I just assumed it was true.

Okay, back to work.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Bookshop)
So once I had the hang of the first bookcase, I was able to put together the next one lickety=split, without assembling any of the bits backward, to boot.

I forgot that the BILLY bookcases are a few shelves short, though, so I guess I'll have to go back to IKEA and pick up a couple of extra shelves. I still have one left over from my previous shelf-buying spree, but it's not enough. Soon, soon I will have room enough for all my books. Actually, I have some spare room right now, but I foresee it won't last long.

After this, I'll have to start expanding my library into different rooms, because I've officially run out of wall space in this room. The room feels smaller, but much cozier now. There is something very reassuring about being surrounded by books.

I am very pleased, all in all, backward bookshelf notwithstanding. Having assembled all my furniture now means that I'll have plenty of time to do other, more important things next week.

In book news, I just finished Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and dear God above is it depressing. Unrelentingly bleak. It makes Wuthering Heights seem cheerful. It starts bleak, and it ends bleak, and it's bleak in the middle. Bleak bleak bleak. I think I need to watch Anne of Green Gables or something, now, just to cleanse my palate. Read some Pratchett, or some P.G. Wodehouse.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Bookshop)
Snagged from [livejournal.com profile] grrscary:

Book List! )

Personally, I'm dubious about these lists. Some of these titles haven't undergone the test of time yet, and they seem awfully, uh, old white male. ;) Still, I like lists, so I filled it out anyway.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Bookshop)
Dear Self,

If you are overtired, it is NOT a good idea to read Bridge to Terabithia at work. Now you have to explain to your co-worker why you are tearing up over a book at your desk. :P

Think about this next time, okay?

Love,

Me
mousme: A text icon, dark green text on pale green, that reads There is no normal life. There's just life. (No Normal Life)
It's Monday. I have to go to work this afternoon, and before that I am heading out to... *gasp* the gym! Yes, Phnee is working on getting herself into shape. Note that I did not say "back into shape." There is no "back," here, as I don't think I've ever been in what one could qualify as "good shape." Still, no time like the present, right? Right.

After that I'm heading to work, and thence homeward once more. Ain't my life thrilling? :)

I've been reading some novels, a bunch of YA stuff ("Inkheart," "The Tale of Despereaux"), and generally being quiet. Work is going to be interesting this week, but at least Piñata!Supervisor isn't going to be there, as I believe he's on vacation (again) for two weeks. Maybe it'll prevent me from beating him to death with a keyboard.

I'm off to have breakfast, do my dishes, and get my day started. The nice part about working evening shift is that I can sleep in a bit in the mornings. Today I got up at eight, puttered for a bit, and then went back to bed.

Had some pretty anxiety-filled dreams, sadly, most of which I can't remember. I remember that I was on a trip out of town, and that I was staying with a large family who played water polo (no, don't ask). The cats were with me for some reason, and on the day I was meant to come home I awoke to find that George had vomited all over the bed and all over me, which meant I would have tons of laundry to do (it was dream-vomit, which meant it really was everywhere, in giant puddles, but didn't actually look like cat vomit, so again, I entreat you not to ask, it was just weird). Then when I was out —avoiding the laundry, most likely— the place where I was staying suffered from some sort of attack. It was something like a bomb, or a suicide bomber, or something. No real casualties, but a lot of property damage, and I remember realizing that I was going to miss my flight home, which is when I awoke.

Water polo, cat vomit, and suicide bombs. Not too shabby, Subconscious. :P
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Dreaming (Ratatouille))
My sleep schedule is definitely wonky. I had this whole plan for getting up early, and that totally didn't work out.

My ASL test didn't go as well as I would have liked, but I'm pretty sure I passed. I have a LOT of trouble keeping track of what she's saying when she goes fast, and especially with finger spelling. Individual letters are fine, but spelling in my head to put them together into a word is hella tricky.

I started reading some Marion Zimmer Bradley, and realized that I am missing the middle book in the series. Bah! I am not one to be thwarted, so I ordered the middle book.

In the meantime, I am watching BSG 4.0, which arrived at my FLVS a while back (or so I assume), and so far it's interesting. Mostly I've watched Razor, which wasn't as awesome as I expected, but it's nice not to be a whole year behind in my viewing. No spoilers, folks! I'm not caught up yet. ;)

Everything is a bit disjointed in my head today. I think I may leave this entry alone before it comes apart at the seams. ;)

Have a nice day, all!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Bookshop)
I read Twilight last night, because I figured if I was going to openly mock the sparkly vampires, then I should at least do so with some knowledge of the material.

Yeah.

I'd promise to avoid spoilers in my review, but since there WAS NO PLOT EVER I don't think it's really necessary. Okay, onward.

1- The book won no points with me by being full of typos. Do the editors just not care?

2- The writing is okay. Nothing exceptional, but not terrible either, and the author has a good feel for sentence structure and rhythm. The tone is appropriate for a first-person teenage narrator (although a bit on the young side for a girl who's supposedly seventeen: I'd have pegged her at closer to thirteen or fourteen at most). I have nothing against the writing style for the most part, although it becomes very very purple (especially in the notorious "sparkling" scene) and kind of lurid and overblown at times. It's not egregious for the most part.

Herein I discuss the characters and plot —or lack thereof: spoilers ahoy! )

In short, I'm very glad that this was a quick and easy read. I lost patience with it very quickly, so if it had taken me any longer than a couple of hours to read I probably wouldn't have bothered finishing it.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Bookshop)
I'm trying to find a list of classic novels to give me a bit of inspiration about what to read next year on top of my list of usual suspects. I have no trouble finding s.f. and mysteries and such to read, but I have the keen suspicion that I haven't read as many classics as I think I have. Allow me to add that I know that many s.f. books and mysteries are considered classics, but I'm talking non-genre fiction, specifically.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not doing this out of some weird masochistic sense of elitist obligation. I usually enjoy classics when I read them, but these days they're not really on my radar, as it were. I've read very little by way of the "big" classics (Tolstoy, Hardy, Balzac, what have you), and as such I miss a lot of cultural references along the way. I'd like to correct this, and perhaps discover some treasures along the way.

The plan is to participate in [livejournal.com profile] 50bookchallenge again, starting January 1st. I am going to challenge myself to read 50 books of my own choosing (minimum) and 50 "classics" as well. Two books per week is eminently doable for me. :)

So, dear flist, help out a girl with weak Google Fu. Are there any really long lists out there with the Big Classics One Can't Avoid And Is Usually Made To Read In School?

I'm open to non-fiction, and I would LOVE suggestions in French, too. I haven't done nearly enough reading in my mother tongue lately.

Also: new icon love! I am slowly filling my shiny new icon slots, mostly with icons I snagged from [livejournal.com profile] iconsbycurtana. :)
mousme: Two open books, one lying on top of the other at an angle (Books)
I'm starting to make a habit of these. Weird.

Anyway, I'm just curious about what makes people think "classic" when we start talking books. So, without further ado, what is the FIRST book that springs to mind when someone says "classic?"

Have at it!

[Poll #1310256]
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (I Place All Heaven)
[livejournal.com profile] iconsbycurtana is at it again. I love Madeleine L'Engle with much love, and so I snagged it. I appear to have misplaced my copy of Many Waters, and it turns out there's a fifth book in the series (featuring Meg's daughter, I believe), which means I may have to pick them up. Unfortunately, they have once again changed the look of the books, which means my shelves won't match. Again.

Have I mentioned how much I hate it when publishing houses change the look of their books? Especially when they do it mid-series (not the case this time, but still). There is a special place in hell, too, for the publishing houses that not only change the look of their books, but also change the size by a few millimetres (sometimes up to half a centimetre), because then the books no longer fit on the same shelf, damn them!

*pant pant*

So yes. Special hell.

In random news, I appear to have done something weird to my finger. The middle joint is stiff, and feels tight when I try to bend it too far. It doesn't hurt or anything, but it's uncomfortable.

The weekend was lovely, if far too short. Slept a bit on Saturday, got to see [livejournal.com profile] ashforestwalker briefly, and watched Persepolis with BorderCrossing. It's a really interesting film, about a girl growing up in Iran during the war, and the effect it had on her and her family. Interesting graphics, all hand-drawn animation ([livejournal.com profile] shenlo, [livejournal.com profile] rowen26 and [livejournal.com profile] karine, you might find it interesting, technique-wise), and a profoundly moving storyline. It's autobiographical, but the animation (based on the graphic novel) gives it a dreamlike quality which is quite mesmerizing.

In the evening I went to see [livejournal.com profile] owldaughter's concert, and sat with [livejournal.com profile] pasley and Devon, [livejournal.com profile] ashforestwalker and Liam, and had a very nice time indeed. The LCO has gained a lot in quality of sound with their new conductor, so all in all it was quite enjoyable.

On Sunday there was some mad scrambling to get out the door in time for Meeting, and I ended up being too late to attend, which sucked. I got some other stuff done, but not all my errands got run, and thus the morning was hectic and felt a bit wasted.

I was supposed to spend the afternoon cooking with [livejournal.com profile] luvenditti and [livejournal.com profile] toughlovemuse, but the latter was felled by a migraine right before, and had to cancel at the last minute, much to everyone's disappointment (including hers, I'm thinking). So [livejournal.com profile] luvenditti and I made soup, and cabbage rolls, and spaghetti sauce, and meatballs, and sausages, and homemade pasta.

I am SO psyched about the homemade pasta! I have my own pasta maker now (courtesy of one of my coworkers, who very generously gave me his old one when he got a new electronic one), and I can hardly wait to start making my own! The recipe for pasta we used was not a difficult one, so it should be pretty easy to remember.

I got to bed really late, and as a result I am a bit twitchy this morning.

It also turns out that the Alouettes lost. Boo.
mousme: Two open books, one lying on top of the other at an angle (Books)
Turns out that poking around Amazon at 03:00 is a dangerous thing. I've created two new wish lists, and keep refreshing the "recommendations" page.

I'll just note for the record that I use my amazon.ca wish lists as a kind of log for myself of the books I should look out for and eventually pick up, and not for anything else, really. Most of the time I prefer to pick up a book physically before I buy it, especially if it's one with which I'm not familiar. I like to leaf through it, and check it over to see if it really is what I'm looking for.

I've managed, just tonight, to create about three or four new wish lists. Some of it is for research on novels that I will likely never write.

*sigh*

I guess it helps pass the time.

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