Friday, July 30, 2010
I do have a minor recommendation for your weekend: go see the movie "MICMACS" if you can find it in your area. If you enjoyed Amelie (which I totally adored), it is by the same director and has the same wild and crazy feel, mixed in with some steam-punk. Trust me, I totally adored it. Yeah, yeah, it's got subtitles and all, but it's worth it. After so many crappy movies coming out this summer (with the one exception in Inception), this one really stood out. Go see it!
Oh holy crap, I might even get a chance to get some writing done. Imagine the possibilities!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
This is not what I thought I'd be thinking ten years ago. I remember sitting in the blazing hot sun of my graduation, attempting not to fall asleep (I'd been one of those nerds who had studied for their finals, though I'm not sure why I did now...). Anyhow, I remember frying in my bright orange robes and thinking, "oh, it'll be cool to see where everyone is in ten years! Dang, that seems like forever from now." Um, it's not. And I can pretty much see where everyone is. A whole lot of us got stuck in and around Woodland. I am officially 11 miles away from where I graduated from. Fun, eh? A few of us escaped Cali, most of us have kids (with the few stragglers like myself), are married, many already divorced, and just living our lives. Do I really want to drop $100 to spend an evening with people I didn't particularly care for ten years ago? Ummm, no. My thinking has very much changed.
I worry, though, that maybe, just maybe, there's a good reason for me to go? I mean, other than to flout the fact that I am STILL in school, as yet unpublished, and living in the dreaded burb of Davis? Am I going to miss out on some incredibly awesome party that I might enjoy? Anyone got a good story about their reunion that might convince me to go? :)
Monday, July 26, 2010
So, now I'm wondering, is this just me? Is the fact that our apartment is smaller than most in NYC, and my office chair can't even go back all the way without hitting his chair a factor? Probably. But what can I do about it? I don't want to be an inattentive wife, and I do like spending time together, but if he's here, how to do I get other work done, nicely? I mean, one would think that being married for going on eight years would have solved this, but nope, I'm seriously curious :)
Anyone have this problem? Found some kind of solution?
Sunday, July 25, 2010
This is the story of a boy who used to be a wolf and a girl who was becoming one.
Just a few months ago, it was Sam who was the mythical creature. His was the disease we couldn't cure. His was the good-bye that meant the most. He had the body that was a mystery, too strange and wonderful and terrifying to comprehend.
But now it is spring. With the heat, the remaining wolves will soon be falling out of their wolf pelts and back into their human bodies. Sam stays Sam, and Cole stays Cole, and it's only me who's not firmly in my own skin.
Really, honestly, I don't have words for how awesome this book was. I really enjoyed the first one, but this book took things to a whole new level (which is impressive, considering the second book in a series always seems to lag--this one didn't, at ALL). Anyhow, the story was great, the characters were so real, and the writing was superb. There have been few books that I really just had to savor, set down for a bit while I mull over a turn-of-phrase, or just think about what happened (the only other book that comes to mind is The Book Theif, which also knocked my socks off). Anyhow, it was an awesome read. For other science types out there, don't think too hard about the ending--I'm hoping things are explained more in book #3--but do read it. Totally worth it. I really should have made the trek to San Fran to see the author this past weekend, but it just wasn't in the cards. Still very much kicking myself for that!
Saturday, July 24, 2010
The other thing I've been pondering quite a bit is the multi-cultural aspect of the story. The male lead is Mexican, and the ghost story revolves around La Llorona (which scared the piss out of me as a child). Anyhow, despite speaking Spanish and having spent the better part of my youth with the almost entirely Hispanic population in my hometown, I always worry I'm going to miss-represent something. It's tricky. For now, I think it's just write the story as it comes, but it is in the back of my mind, and I know I'll have to seriously go through the scenes later, checking for any kind of inconsistencies. Always fun....
And now, back to reading LINGER. Seriously, one of the best books I've read is ages. I'm forcing myself to savor it and not just sit down and read it in one sitting, which is killing me!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead… Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life.
I'm not generally someone who likes to post negative reviews. If I don't like a book, I may say so, but I'm not going to really say a whole lot about why. This book, on the other hand, really annoyed me. Like, I really hated it. My husband kept asking why I was bothering to finish it because I kept grumbling about the plot holes, painful writing, and dragging pace. And honestly, the only reason I did was because I wanted to hear a little more about WHY this book was considered a paranormal and what on earth was going on. I had figured out the twist during the first meeting between Abbey and Caspian, and then it just dragged and dragged on forever. Finally at the end I figured I'd get SOME answers, but it dropped off in a cliffhanger for the next book. Honestly, I don't care now. I'll be leaving the next two books well enough alone, as I can't slog through the everyday workings of a rather childish teenager who pretty much annoyed me for 500 pages. Eesh, I'm not meaning to rant, but seriously, there was a lot o fluff in here and a lot that didn't have anything to do with the plot, and honestly, the book could have been a hundred pages long and might, might then have caught my interest. Seriously, I'm recommending to leave this one well enough alone.
Friday, July 16, 2010
- It's hot. Like, melt the pavement hot. I don't mind this, so long as I can stay in the one room in my apartment that has air-conditioning. Too bad that room is not my office. So, I'll be spending a loooong day at work, attempting to not melt. This doesn't go so well with being bundled into a lab coat and other fun protective gear. Some days should just be vacation.
- Did I mention only two more weeks of summer school? Well, I'm saying it again. If I can somehow pound out four more lectures and the final exam, I'm home free! And by free I mean I'll be working my a$$ off on my dissertation for the next five months. Ahhh, gotta love it. Not.
- In keeping with #2, I'm really sick of school. I am going to be completely unemployable, and once I'm done my most qualifying skill will be my mad skills with a hairnet. Why have I spent the last 10 years of my life doing this???
- Oh, yeah, because I love teaching. I mean, it's mind suckingling exhausting and takes YEARS of time, but it's fun. Even when I fall asleep in my own lecture. Yep, did that masterful work yesterday. In my defence, we were watching a movie I have seen exactly 8 times now, and it's dull. BUT, it's a good one for the students, and it's a day I don't have to prep 65 slides. So, I slept in the back of the class like a good little freshman :)
- I'm currently reading a really lousy book. It's making me feel SO much better about my own writing. Lame, I know, but some days it's the little things that count...
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she'd made her peace with it. But she can't handle dragging Cabel down with her.
She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He's amazing. And she's a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves--she has to disappear. And it's going to kill them both.
Then a stranger enters her life--and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she'd ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out...
He reaches toward her, his fingers black and bloody, his eyes deranged, unblinking. Janie is paralyzed. His cold hands reach around her neck, squeezing tight, tighter, until Janie has no breath left. She's unable to move, unable to think. As his grasp tightens further around Janie's neck, his face turns sickly alabaster. He strains harder and begins to shake.
Janie is dying.
She has no fight left in her.
So, this was probably not the best choice of books for me this past day or so, as I've been really down, but I really wanted to finish the series and was happy to finally grab this book from the library this past week. So, I read it. And loved it. And really wanted to cry when it was over. The series has been incredible and I've loved Janie--she's a very real, very vivid character and I just couldn't get enough. This last book was very emotional for her, and very internal. (Also, I should note, she's not in high school, either, which for *some* agents means it's not YA, and yet it's been sold as such. I'm just saying... :) There were a few problems I had, mainly that I didn't realized Janie hadn't figured everything out while making her decision already. I mean, I kind of understood what had happened to her father from the start and assumed Janie had also, so I was shocked to find at the end she still hadn't fit all the pieces together. That kind of bothered me, because it was SO obvious. Also, her swings back and forth in terms of her decision were kind of abrupt, especially at the end. I think it could have used some more time and thought. But, overall, this has been a great series. High recommended!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
The enthralling international bestseller. We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renée, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge: fat, cantankerous, addicted to television. Yet, unbeknownst to her employers, Renée is a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With humor and intelligence she scrutinizes the lives of the buildings tenants, who for their part are barely aware of her existence. Then there's Paloma, a twelve-year-old genius. She is the daughter of a tedious parliamentarian, a talented and startlingly lucid child who has decided to end her life on the sixteenth of June, her thirteenth birthday. Until then she will continue behaving as everyone expects her to behave: a mediocre pre-teen high on adolescent subculture, a good but not an outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter. Paloma and Renée hide both their true talents and their finest qualities from a world they suspect cannot or will not appreciate them. They discover their kindred souls when a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building. Only he is able to gain Palomas trust and to see through Renées timeworn disguise to the secret that haunts her. This is a moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.
Honestly, this book was incredibly slow. It wasn't until the second half that I felt like continuing at all, and even then, not much happened. It is decidedly a character-driven novel, and even then, it's much more philosophy oriented, with long stretches of prose about topics, apparently of interest, though I may not actually find them such. The characters themselves, "closet intellectuals" actually kind of bothered me, at least until the end. They were decidedly snobby about their position in life, their view of everyone else as inferior. To be perfectly honest, I'm around a lot of very intelligent people every day--I work and study at a university, for pete's sake, and well, the smartest people I know aren't the ones who think they're smart. It's the humble ones who think they're still in the process of learning that are the truly intelligent ones, in my opinion at least. Therefore, I kind of was annoyed with the characters here, who were portrayed as being so full of their own minds. UGH. Anyhow, it was an interesting read, in places, and I rather liked the Japanese man who moves into the building--if anything, he's the kind of intelligent individual that intellectuals should aspire to be like. But, overall, quite a slog of a read.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
At any rate, I realize that I'm like totally attracted to the brainy nerdy (and, yes, older, which is not always necessarily true, just in these cases. I'm making excuses) type. It's kinda wigging me out. Of course, it's easily explainable if one looks at my husband--cute, brainy, and somewhat geeky (but don't tell him that, as he likes to think he's not. But he totally is), and yes, older (four years). So what is it about this archetype nerd? I'm sitting there, drooling over Angel with no shirt (Taylor Lautner, sorry, you don't even compare), but cracking up over Giles. I think I need help.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Anyhow, I hope everyone has a lovely holiday, takes a moment to reflect on our nation (for better or worse) and enjoys some fun fireworks tonight!