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Ok, so I got really terrible at reading LJ or writing new entries. I can't promise that will change at all, but I did want to mention that I will no longer be going to LJ at all. You all know why, I'm sure, and I'm also sure I'm not alone. I'm relieved that I moved all of my journal entries to DW a few years ago and I hope you were all so lucky.

Crack

Mar. 22nd, 2016 09:32 am
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Sometimes I get curious about weird things. Like the time I tried to see if there were real recipes for crack on Pinterest. Nope.
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I set a goal to read 30 books last year. I only read 20. But I think that’s slightly misleading because in February, I started reading Labyrinth fanfic. And then I read ALL the Labyrinth fanfic. Well, that’s not entirely true. I read all the Labyrinth fanfic that was on AO3, crossed over with other universes I was already familiar with (and a few I wasn’t), and actually readable. That knocked a few out of the running. And then I also read all of the fics on any of the rec lists that come up when you search “Labyrinth fanfic recs” on Google. Taking all of that into account, I feel decent about the amount of reading I did last year.

My favorite books that I read last year were:

“A Short Stay in Hell” by Steven L. Peck

“High-Rise” by J.G. Ballard

“The Martian” by Andy Weir
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Fandom: Labyrinth
Characters: Jareth/Sarah Williams, Toby
Rating: Teen
Summary: Once in a while, Jareth tries to convince Sarah to take her rightful place as Queen of the Labyrinth. This time, he might succeed.
Read it at AO3: He Who Trespassed Against Us
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Here is the promised list of Labyrinth fanfic recommendations. Those of you familiar with the fandom probably won't be surprised by anything here, but to the best of my knowledge, only one of you is already active in that fandom.

I feel as if I need to explain why I enjoyed these fics so much, so I'd like to do that by starting by discussing what I took from the movie. I'm 30 years late to this fandom, so I'm likely not introducing anything new, but I lectured my brothers on this subject when I was in Spokane last month and it would be fun to share those thoughts again. ;)

I always thought that Sarah's mother had died at some point before the story began because that always seems to be the way of fairy tales. The mother dies and the heroine gets an evil stepmother who forces the heroine out into the big, bad world. It took me a while before I accepted that Sarah's mother had simply split from Sarah's father. I also had never noticed that the man in the pictures on Sarah’s mirror is David Bowie as Sarah’s mother’s boyfriend, Jeremy, which lends an even weirder twist to the Goblin King’s persona in the movie.

Going back to mothers, I always thought that it was a nice twist that Irene, Sarah's stepmother, isn't actually evil. She wants Sarah to go out with boys and friends and be a teenager. She even mentions that Sarah treats her like an evil stepmother no matter what she does, which both hangs a lampshade on and subverts the evil stepmother trope. In fic, Irene is frequently portrayed as the evil stepmother, likely because she is irritated in the one scene in which she appears. However, I don’t buy that she’s awful because her irritation makes sense. She was going out and Sarah was over an hour late getting home. She seems more exasperated than angry to me.

At the beginning of the movie, Sarah is stuck in this state of arrested development. She's bratty, self-centered, and seems to resent Toby for usurping her place as the child of the family. At one point, she takes Toby's striped hat and puts it on her head, and, surprisingly, it fits. Justin and I, whenever we watch it, always comment on how odd she is at the beginning. Justin and I tend to be fairly odd ourselves, but even we would be wary around a girl like Sarah reciting a book in the park with her dog.

Labyrinth is, no surprise, a coming of age story. As Sarah travels through the labyrinth, she gains adult traits such as friendship (represented by Hoggle), courage (Sir Didymus), and mercy (Ludo). Hoggle is, in my opinion, the most interesting of these three. He represents friendship, but he betrays Sarah. This is even foreshadowed by the face sewn into the back of his vest when we first see him. He is literally two-faced. However, he also redeems himself by helping Sarah get through the Goblin City. I think this was especially interesting because I remember doing mean things to "friends" (and having mean things done to me by those same people) when I was between the ages of 10 and 13, before I truly learned what it was to be a friend. I think this makes Hoggle an especially apt character to represent friendship because it also includes learning how to be loyal to your friends. Sir Didymus is willing to do anything for Sarah. He is courageous to a fault. He's the kind of friend who would offer to go beat up your ex because he upset you, though it should be noted that he's scattered enough that he'd never actually go through with it. Ludo is, in my opinion, the most difficult one to pin down, but I think he represents mercy because he is intimidating and Sarah had no real way to know he wouldn't turn on her when she helped him. However, by helping him, she gains a powerful ally.

There is a simple and obvious reason why Jareth is the only character in the movie not portrayed by a muppet. He represents eros. One of the things I really appreciate about the movie is Jareth is done up like a female sex fantasy rather than a male power fantasy, like we typically see in movies. Let me explain a moment: I read a comic ages and ages ago about the differences between a female sex fantasy and a male power fantasy. You can read it here. Basically, it shows a comic drawing Batman as a female sex fantasy. He's lean with large eyes and full lips. I see this in the way David Bowie is costumed for the role of Jareth. He's already a lean dude and his eye makeup is done to make his eyes appear larger and the gloss on his lips makes them appear fuller. The hair is pure 80s rock star, and I read somewhere that it was chosen because whoever made that decision thought that's what a teenage girl would think a rock star's hair would look like.

At the end of the movie, Sarah returns to her home with the newly rescued Toby. She has grown and is now willing to surrender the role of child and move into adulthood. This is illustrated when Sarah willingly gives Toby her beloved stuffed teddy, Lancelot, and puts away many of the toys and photos that she's been keeping in her room. However, Sarah retains her belief in magic and her love of fantasy. Because of her journey through the labyrinth, Sarah has earned the right to call on the adult personality traits that she has gained. She calls to them immediately and says she needs them all the time. They come to her and they all party down because being an adult is fun. However, one of them stays outside. Jareth watches from the window.

I've read some people rail against this as a rejection of female sexuality, but I completely disagree. Sarah hasn't rejected sexuality, she has rejected being controlled by it. She retains the right and the ability to call on him and, someday, she will... when she's ready. Because for everything she's learned in the labyrinth, she also knows that sex is not a cure for childishness.

I find when I read fic, I tend to go for stories that stray pretty far from my own interpretation of the movie. I like my Jareth evil, and if he’s not evil, I like for him to at least have some teeth. I think that's one of the beautiful things about this fandom. Jareth is an intriguing character, but there's not actually a lot of character there to deal with. We’re told he’s king of the Goblins, he’s got a filthy castle, he doesn’t seem particularly happy to be there, and he may or may not be in love with Sarah. Things are mostly hinted at, which gives an author a ton of leeway to play.

Below I've listed my recommendations. These are not stories that are "ok," or ones where I finished and thought, "That was pretty good." These are stories that, when I finished, made me sigh and feel sad that I was done or affected me so deeply that I thought of them for weeks after. At least one of them haunted me. I'll explain below. There is one WIP listed, but I will not recommend an abandoned fic, no matter how good it is.

The links go to either fanfiction.net or AO3 and all are het. Most contain explicit sex. Beware the warnings (like I said, I like my Jareth evil).

The Lady and the Knight by Jack Hawksmoor

Sarah's made a great life for herself, but Jareth has a problem. Will Sarah help him? What will it cost her if she does?"

I absolutely adore the characterization of Sarah in this fic. She’s strong, smart, and resourceful and the story is pretty damn epic.


A Forfeit of Dreams by KL Morgan

"How much do you know about legends?" the man asked abruptly.

Brian shrugged. "There's lots. They involve magic."

"No, they involve fear."

This may have been the first Labyrinth fic I read. It's certainly one that appears on most rec lists. I think I liked it so well because when I read any parts that contained Jareth, I could picture him clearly. As someone who is fairly faceblind, I rarely experience this. Usually, characters (and friends and family, etc) are blobby placeholders with either fair or dark hair. The characterization is so well done that I could picture him down to the easy, almost lazy mannerisms. Guys, at the risk of sounding like Stefon, this fic has everything: old friends, wonderful new OCs, an interesting plot, romance and misunderstanding, a kick-ass villain, and a dream sequence set in 18th Century Venice.

Her Kingdom as Great by Marblegrove

What's said is said, and Sarah said, “My Will is as Strong as Yours and my Kingdom as Great.” And then, of course, she lied.

Sarah was kind of a pain in the ass in the movie, but I love her because she grows. This fic builds on that growth and we get to see Sarah come into her own. The creation and growth of her kingdom are wonderful.

Ten Thousand Cuts by Nagia

Sarah stands quietly at his side, skin cold as his, her breath as slow as his, and yet he senses the tension that thrums through her. She's strung herself tight. She is, Jareth realizes with a sort of dim horror, listening. And she's listening closely.

Like Her Kingdom as Great, this is about Sarah coming into her power, but this has a delightful dark twist to it that stayed with me for weeks after I read it.

Say Your Right Words by Scattered Logic

When dealing with Jareth, you should never take anything for granted...

At first, this seemed like kind of a fun, silly fic with a meta twist, but it quickly becomes fairly dark and then at the very end becomes extremely dark. If I caught what the author did at the end the first time I read through, I didn’t remember it until I read it a second time.

A Carnival of Dreams by PaintedGlass

He's held control of her dreams for so long; it can only be a matter of time before he comes to claim her.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have started reading Labyrinth fanfic at roughly the same time PaintedGlass started posting stories to the fandom. It has been incredibly fun to get the updates for her fics as they've been posted. This was still a WIP when I composed this entry and I had to go back and edit my comments on it. All three of this author's stories are exercises in smut, but they're incredibly well-written, and even the “PWP” has a decent plot. This fic is fun and sexy with a bit of angst thrown in for good measure.

I Wish You Would by PaintedGlass

She wished her brother away, once, but now the wishes are only for her.

This is one of the most fun fics I've read. The situation is ridiculous, and yet, for this fandom, easily believable. I read the second chapter during a particularly dull accounting presentation at a departmental retreat a couple months ago and I nearly jumped out of my chair and shouted, "HOLY HOT DIGGITY DAMN!" when I got to the end. I left a review that said pretty much the same thing. I particularly like how the first chapter sets up the scenario. Sarah is older and the Goblin King has maintained a non-romantic relationship with her. But a careless wish on Sarah's parts puts them in a tricky situation. This fic is currently a WIP and comments from PaintedGlass lead me to believe there are still a few chapters to go, but she updates fairly regularly (usually once every week or two).

Beltane Night by Tara1189

The eve of Sarah’s twenty-first birthday falls on the night of Beltane… a night when the borders between the physical and magical world become blurred, and a certain Goblin King reappears with an offer to renew, and won’t be taking no for an answer…

I’ll be going pretty dark for the rest of these recommendations. This fic is the reason it’s taken me so long to put this post up. I suck at bookmarking stories I like and it’s taken me weeks of retracing my steps to find this. In the end, I found it by getting out of bed at 11:30 last night and doing the most ridiculous Google search in history, putting everything I could remember about this fic into the search bar. It was the first link in the results, so I didn’t do too badly, eh?

Eulogy by JRGodwin

Ghosts aren't movie monsters. They're the holes in our lives where people used to be. – Toby

This fic, and its prequel, Elegy are correctly categorized as horror, but the tag “nightmare fuel” also applies. At the end of the movie, when Sarah declares that Jareth has no power over her, she catches the crystal and it bursts in her hand. In this story told solely from Toby's point of view, JRGodwin asks what would have happened if the act of catching the crystal was Sarah forfeiting her win. I love what JRGodwin has done with the character of Toby. He's realistically drawn and fully fleshed out. You want him to be happy, which makes the ending all the more unsettling.

Elegy by JRGodwin

Sarah lost to the Goblin King and disappeared. A prequel to Eulogy.

Though this is a prequel, it is best to read this after Eulogy. I recommend this fic with reservations because it is both non-con and underage. However, I still recommend it because it is not intended to be titillating; it's intended as a plea to change the way we view these abusive relationships. They’re not romantic, they’re horrifying and frequently end in tragedy. This fic haunted me for weeks. JRGodwin states this fic is not for the faint of heart and she ain’t kidding.

Erlkönig by Subtillior

Sarah takes Toby to a concert of art song. It is the darkest evening of the year. Words have power. Songs can be magic. And undying love can be more terrible than beautiful.

I saved the best for last. This is easily my favorite fic. Again, this is rightly classified as horror, not romance, and if you’re willing to let it, it will fuck with your head. The writing is evocative and beautiful. I heard someone describe it as "poetry," and they're right. I'm not a good enough writer to describe why I love this so much, so I won't. This link goes to fanfiction.net because the version on AO3 is missing the epilogue.

And there we have it, my Labyrinth recommendations. Let me know if you read any and what you think of them.
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I love a good friending meme. There are too many interesting people out there and not enough time to meet them all!

earlgreytea68 is hosting a friending meme right now. If that's something you might enjoy, check it out!
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Things have gone topsy turvy in my household. Justin wants a cat and I want a dog. This is not the natural order of things.

Justin has his heart set on a Russian Blue kitten because he loves the movie "Cats and Dogs" and is especially amused by the little Russian Blue with the big, deep voice. "I think not, baby puppy," he says over and over in a thick Russian accent. These kittens are not easy to find, but there's a breeder in our city, thankfully, and we're on her waiting list.

As for me, I have my heart set on an Old English Sheepdog. However, I seem to have developed a dog allergy over the past 2 or 3 years. It started small with just itchy eyes after spending the day at the inlaws' house and has progressed to full-blown cold symptoms with hives if the dog drools on me. We've scheduled an appointment with a breeder in the next town to play with her dogs and see if I have a reaction. I don't react to every dog, so *fingers crossed*.

But I mean, c'mon. Look at these friggin' dogs.

Giggles

Mar. 24th, 2015 02:26 pm
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Dealing with a serious case of the giggles today. Between the Bowie-esque stickers gement sent to me last night and rediscovering "Silver Bullet" by timelord1, I can't stop. The reviews! They're killing me!
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Hi guys!

I didn't realize how long I'd been away until I received a "nudge" from a friend. Thank you for that!

I finished last semester with a 4.0 and then I took two weeks off both school and work. During that time, I spent quantity time with Justin and Dominic and leveled my brand-new Final Fantasy XIV character from 1 - 43. My goal was 50, but I couldn't quite make it. C'est la vie.

I'm back to work and school now, but I feel less panicked about this semester than last. I'm taking Sociology 101, Jewish History, Southeastern Asian History, and US Women's History. There are familiar faces in all my classes except Sociology, so that's nice.

My main reason for posting though, is to share this thread. You'll need to read through twice. You'll see why by the end. Background: I have 5 siblings. We text each other little stories about our day and then send selfies in response. It's silly, but we all seem to enjoy it. Also, my sister, Afton, eloped yesterday. (I typed this exactly as it appears on my phone)

Dec. 14, 4:58 PM
Amanda: (image of the tape section of Walmart. It's completely empty.) No tape on Christmas Eve!!!! What shall we do???

Aaron: Go to the office.

Tony: Ask a friend for their tape

Aaron: St Glue

Amanda: (image of a full tape display in another part of the store) You just have to know where to look. :) AND...I really wasn't out. Hahaha. I was just thinking of you guys.

Annissa: I always think of the Christmas Eve mom and dad ran all around town looking for tape and Aaron suggesting they just go to the office. Every Christmas.

Amanda: Actually, it was Aaron who was forced to run around town for yours.

Annissa: Oh no! Hahaha! I never knew that (Not Delivered)

Annissa: Mom forced me to get my drivers license. It's stuff like that that reminds me why I was avoiding it!

Amanda: He came home crying because there was no tape to be found everywhere. Aaron the said...why can't we just go to the office and get tape from there???? Please!

Amanda: Anywhere... not everywhere. Haha

Amanda: LOL

Tony: Hahaha

Aaron: And I got in trouble for not trying hard enough to fit d tape while you guys were using g elders glue

Amanda: So true

Aaron: (image of a child-size trampoline assembly manual) 36 pages

December 25, 3:18 am
Amanda: Woot!!! That's awesome!

Aaron: (image of assembled trampoline) Baby's first mma ring

Amanda: Hahaha! I love it and I know Gabe will too!

Annissa: Cool! Dominic desperately wants a trampoline, but it would be a matter of hours before some neighborhood kid would be suing me, m sure.

Annissa: (Image of Dominic playing with a building set he got for Christmas) Playing with the Christmas gifts

Yesterday 9:12 PM

Annissa: (Thumbs-up selfie) Congrats Affy!

Aaron: Congrats too. I thought the wedding was in may

Afton: The May ceremony is still on. Josh didn't want to wait that long to make it official.

Amanda: I'm soo excited for you guys!!! :)

Aaron: (Broken link)

Aaron: Oops

Aaron: (Thumbs-up selfie)

Alex: (Thumbs-up selfie)

Amanda: I think this deserves a duckface selfie (Amanda making an expression that isn't duck-face [totally an in-joke])

Amanda: I approve of this marriage

Afton: (image of her giving the thumbs-up while snuggling with her new husband)

Alex: I approve of both the marriage and Josh's sweet outfit.

Amanda: Show pics of the outfits

Aaron: Wtf Amanda. Where's the thumb?

Amanda: I tried. I really tried. This was the best I could do, lol

Amanda: (Thumbs-up selfie) Okay, here we go. But...no duckface attempt.

Today, 12:10 a.m.
Tony: Can u take me off this group message? I don't know who you are!!

Aaron: Whut evah sellout

Alex: Nope, sorry dude. You're family now.

Aaron: Was there a vote?

Afton: I was thinking that random number was a mystery Tony number. Who set this message board up?!

Aaron: Wait. That's not tiny?

Aaron: Tony

Afton: Tony has a 360 area code

Aaron: So who is that?

Afton: Our new mystery friend? HEY! New mystery friend!!! HEY!!! Yeah! You! ......hi.

Alex: What a jerk

Amanda: Mom says she likes you guys. You make her laugh.

Afton: So...where is Tony?

Amanda: Okay, Tony lost that number... hahaha Sorry strange person, we will start a new thread without you. Buh bye. :)

Afton: Lots of laughs, stranger. Keep in touch!

[end message]

I read most of that this morning, but re-reading the whole thread, I realized that the stranger had been responding to us! It was when we started posting pictures of ourselves that they realized that they had no idea who we are. We started a new thread with the real Tony, but Amanda is mortified that she sent out the picture of her making a dumb face to a total stranger.
annissamazing: Carson does not approve (Carson does not approve)
I had tickets to see The Day of the Doctor yesterday and the theater MESSED IT UP! Like messed it up hard core!

Read )
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You know what I miss? I miss reading Doctor Who fic for hours on end!

This semester continues to be crazy and I am smack-dab in the midst of it. On the plus side, the event that I'm researching the most would make an excellent backdrop to a DW story. Well, maybe more of a Torchwood story. It's a true crime that was never solved and has a lot of very strange aspects to it. It's gruesome, so I won't get into details. But look up The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run if you're interested. There's only one decapitated head pic on that site, but it's so poor in quality that you wouldn't know it was bodiless unless I told you. Which I just did. Sorry.
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See? Perfectly calm. Perfectly calm ignoring the nagging sense of dread in my gut. Because I'm stupid and signed up for a class not realizing what it was or what I would be expected to do.

What happened is this: I arranged my schedule around my "writing intensive" course. A writing intensive is a course that teaches you how to write in your chosen discipline. In my case, my writing intensive is "The Historian's Craft." Everyone I've talked to has said it's not difficult at all. You'll discuss how to find sources and how to cite in Turabian. But I went ahead and signed up for a notoriously tough teacher. He handed us packets at the beginning of the course. Not syllabi. Packets. Thick ones that detailed all of the projects we will be expected to complete this semester. Well, it's a writing intensive, and I can handle that, I suppose.

I also signed up for a Selected Topics history course. ST courses are whatever the available professors feel like (and are qualified) to teach that semester. In this case, I'm learning about National Parks. (As an aside, my local PBS station is airing the documentary that is my main source for this class, "National Parks: America's Best Idea." They're decent and you might be interested in watching them if your local PBS affiliate is also showing them.) This course requires me to turn in class notes, a personal journal, and write a presentation on the park of my choice (I requested Mammoth Cave with Hawaii Volcanoes and Petrified Forest as my second and third choices). I feel comfortable with this course. I enjoy it. It is my safe, quiet spot.

I enrolled in Ohio State history online through a regional campus. Going through a regional campus saved me a *ton* of money and the teacher has excellent reviews. The downside is that the regional campuses have smaller classes and require more work. I have weekly discussion posts to write, five papers, and a research project. Plus midterm and final, as per usual. Luckily, I can work ahead in this class because everything opened on Day 1. I've spent every spare moment researching and writing my papers to get them out of the way so I can focus on other projects.

I also stupidly enrolled in "Intro to Communications" thinking that it would not be very work-intensive. I thought it would be like my other online classes where you watch a lecture and then take a quiz, but I was wrong. I've never been wronger, not even on the wrongest day of my life. It didn't occur to me for one second that "Communications" is speech class. So the one class I was counting on to not be research and writing-intensive has turned into one of my most research and writing-intensive with the added bonus of having to give five speeches. And that's when I started to freak out a little.

Because I have roughly 15 papers to research and write this semester when I have in the past only had 3 or 4 papers, and I'm not quite sure how I'm going to do it. I'd drop a class, but if I do that, I will have to put off graduation for an additional six months and I desperately want to graduate on time.

But I'm not panicking.

In other news, Justin interviewed for and got a new job with his current company. He is now a corporate trainer and will fly around the country teaching the stores how to use the new Point of Sale system. There are a lot of upsides to this: increased pay and increased opportunities for advancement being two. The downside is, he will be gone for 7-10 days at a time, which leaves just me to handle everything at home in addition to my stupid school schedule.

But I think I have everything in-hand and I'm not panicking. I drop Dominic off in the morning and go to work. Go to class in the afternoon and head back to work. The in-laws will pick up Dominic from school and I will pick up Dominic from them. Then he will practice his piano lessons, eat his dinner, and take a bath, and then we will spend time together doing his homework or reading together. Then, I can use my last 90 minutes of the day to do my reading/writing.

I've already completed one of my papers and I'm working on the second for Ohio history. None of the other classes have given me enough info to work with, so I'm a month ahead in just the one class and I'm hoping to get a bit further ahead because the other classes will soon need some writing done.

But I'm not panicking.

Books!

Aug. 7th, 2013 08:17 am
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I've read a run of really great books lately, and I thought I'd post the list here in case any of you might be interested.

"The Testament of Jessie Lamb" by Jane Rogers - Set in the near future, terrorists have released a virus that kills pregnant women. Everyone is infected and becoming pregnant is a death sentence. This story is told from the point of view of a teenage girl, and I found it really interesting to see how society changes around her while she's dealing with normal teenage stuff (and not-so-normal teenage stuff). A lot of really great questions about sexuality, parenthood, and consent are brought up, but they're not answered, and that left me a little unsatisfied. I was also not satisfied by the ending for reasons I can't state without spoiling the story. I'd still recommend this book, though, because it left me thinking about it for several days afterward.

"The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman - Told from the point of view of a 7 year old boy, this is a bedtime story for adults, not for children. Magic.

"Never Let Me Go" by Katsuo Ishiguro - I think Ishiguro may actually be one of my all-time favorite authors. His stories are so subtle and beautiful and they never fail to pull me in, even though they tend to be very sad. I didn't find this story as heart-wrenching as I'd expected, maybe because the "secret" of the Hailsham students' purpose isn't so secret and they're all consigned to it. Even the one glimmering hope just delays the inevitable, but maybe that's also what's so tragic about it.

"I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson - I put off reading this for far too long. I love post-apocalyptic horror and the twist in this one is absolutely, delightfully horrible.

"Sunshine" by Robin McKinley - Before you get the idea that I'm really into vampire fiction, let me tell you that that's not the case. I like Buffy and the aforementioned "I Am Legend", but that's pretty much the extent of it. This book came highly recommended by mirandawave, and I trust her judgment completely. I have mixed emotions about this book, though. See, I didn't read it; I listened to the audiobook, and, unfortunately, the narrator was terrible. She made the main character, Sunshine, sound very young, very petty, and very self-centered (and, I'm sorry, but Sunshine's real name sounds like it came straight from Tara Gillesbie's "My Immortal"). I started imagining the words the narrator was reading with different inflections and Sunshine immediately became more reasonable, relatable, and likable. She also has an unusual voice which I would have found interesting and pleasant under normal circumstances, but that I found ridiculous when she was reading just about any male character, especially the ancient vampire Constantine. Narrator aside, I think this is a solid story if you like vampire fiction.

"The Cuckoo's Calling" by Robert Galbraith - I think everyone by now is aware that Galbraith is a nom de plume of J. K. Rowling, and having read the book now, I understand completely why she chose to write this under a different name. This isn't Harry Potter. Not even close. This is a gritty detective novel full of very un-Harry Potter-ish language. It has quite a bit less murder, though, so when I read reviews from people upset at how much more adult this book is than Harry Potter, it strikes me as a bit funny. Detective stories are not my favorite, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found the characters to be well-developed and surprising, and I had no idea who the killer was until the reveal. In fact, I even went "Nuh-uh!!!" when I got to that part because I'd completely ruled that character out.

So how 'bout you? Read any good books lately?
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I just got back to work from my Modern Latin America class and when I shrugged off my backpack, I heard a sound like separating Velcro, so I turned my head and pulled on my shirt to see if I had something stuck to it and noticed that a large tear had opened up over my left shoulder blade. Reeeally hoping that's brand new or I'm totally humiliated.
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I’ve been trying to keep careful notes of my days so I can journal them later, but lately I’ve been failing miserably in this regard. So today I’m going to try to remember any/all of the interesting things that have happened since I last wrote. I’ll start with this dream that I wrote down a while back. I have no idea when I wrote it.
Read more... )
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Me: I smell something burning. Do you smell that?

T: Yeah, I think it's my baseboard heater. I think it just kicked on.

Me: That's not good. I hope we don't die.

T: We're not going to die.

Me: Pretty sure you're wrong about that. We've all got to go sometime.

T: Not me. I'm going to live forever.

Me: That would be boring.

T: You think?

Me: Yeah. Like Highlander. "Who wants to live forever?"

T: I would never have guessed you knew that movie.

Me: Yeah, well, you'll quickly discover just how big a nerd I am.
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I liked it.

In other news, I should update about life and stuff. I'll do that later! :D
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Wednesdays have become odd at my school. The past few weeks, the parking lots have been full on Wednesdays. Usually, there's some sort of sign letting me know what's happening, but not anymore. They're just full and I end up parking even further from the building where I need to be for my class. That's what I was thinking when I pulled into the auxiliary lot and parked in one of the back spaces.

I noticed as I pulled into the spot that the car next to me was parked at an odd angle and was surprised when there was a person in the car looking straight at me. She looked me in the eye, glanced at the space between our cars and then went back to whatever she had been doing before I pulled into the space. So I was thinking about the oddly full lots and the look this girl gave me as I parked when I unplugged my phone from the car's speaker system and plugged in my headphones for my walk. I put on the headphones, turned on the music, climbed out of the car, pulled my backpack out of the back seat, and started to walk for class. As I crossed behind my car, I thought, "Oh... maybe I did park too close. Wouldn't hurt me to move over a little." So I threw my backpack back into the back seat and realized that I didn't have my car key. I panicked for a moment thinking I'd just locked myself out of my car, but quickly dismissed the idea since I'd just opened the back door. I opened the front door and realized my keys were still in the ignition. And that I'd never turned off the vehicle.

So, basically, because things were slightly weird today, I nearly walked away from my unlocked car while it was running. Thank goodness I decided to move my car for that girl who was still in hers!

My foot is still bothering me a little bit. I'm due for new shoes, so I used the remainder of the Amazon gift certificate my co-workers gave me to purchase a pair of Merrell barefoot shoes. My hope is that the shoes will strengthen my foot and leg muscles enough that the pain will stop. I should also see a doctor because I don't know what the hell happened that made it hurt so much. I do know the boots I was wearing when I hurt my foot were terrible. I threw them away.

I'm so out of shape that it's almost a joke. When I started the semester, I would get winded just walking on level ground. The fact that I have to climb a hill both ways was torture. I've noticed lately that even though the walk up the steep side of the hill* still winds me a bit, I walk much faster and without nearly as much panting. I feel pretty good about that. Also, a rather form-fitted jacket I've got fits slightly better than it did a few weeks ago. I'm not losing weight, but apparently I'm becoming more fit. Nice.

*I took a picture of the steep side of the hill shortly after a winter storm came through. The whole thing was a sheet of ice that was nearly impossible to navigate. I had to walk in the salted street to get down the hill on my way to class.
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
What can I say? I love this band!

The show opened with "The Second Law: Unsustainable" and closed with "The Second Law: Isolated System," neither of which I thought were particularly good before I saw the concert. They've really grown on me since Tuesday, though, and I really like how they sandwiched the show between them. What got my attention during the show was the video they showed while playing "Isolated System." I don't know the details of what's going on, but I find it highly emotional and vaguely terrifying. I'd hoped to find it on Youtube because I haven't been able to stop thinking about it, and here it is! In my opinion, the live show was better because they synced the climax of the music and the climax of the video and it just worked better. But I still love it in sort of the same way that I love Doomsday or The Body.

Having said that last sentence, you'll probably never watch it... :)

annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
I loaded the music for my music class on my iPod and have been "studying" the pieces in my car as I go to and from school. The other night, I also turned it on while I was driving home with Dominic. The "Tonight Ensemble" from West Side Story came on while we were driving. When it ended, I was at a stoplight, so I turned around and asked Dominic what he thought of it. His eyes were huge and he says, "That is my most favorite song EVER!" and then begged to hear it again. He even analyzed it a bit saying he didn't like the beginning with the boys, but he really liked the "girl part."

Netflix doesn't have West Side Story on their streaming service, so I turned on Into the Woods instead. We watched the first act on Wednesday night and the second act last night. I adore that show. The second act never fails to choke me up. The song "No More," with its exploration of the father/son relationship between the Baker and the Mysterious Man (especially as it's a much kinder and thorough exploration of "like father, like son" that the Witch brings up earlier in the play), is one of my all-time favorites. You can hear it here if you're interested. It's audio only. I couldn't find the video with Chip Zien and Tom Aldredge.

In other news, Jonathan Coulton just tweeted that Glee ripped off his arrangement of Sir Mix-a-Lot's Baby Got Back. Didn't even contact him. Now he's trying to figure out if they stole the actual music.
Click to hear the two versions )

Seems pretty cut and dry to me. They stole it.

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Annissa

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