luciab: (Default)
So. I went to the library yesterday to look up answers for a class. No, that isn't cheating, it's what we're supposed to be learning to do. Unfortunately, most of the questions she asks are extremely easy to answer via Google, so I have to go out of my way to find other ways to answer these siliy things, or at least document the answers I find on Google. One of yesterday's questions was "What is Elton John's real name?" The amusing part is that I kept thinking... "Reginald Dwight.... Reginald Dwight... Reginald Dwight WHAT?? What is his last name?" and then found that Dwight IS his last name. Or was, anyway, since it's "John" now.

Anyway, while in the library of course I had to scan the new book shelves to see if there was anything there I wanted to read that I hadn't already read, because I'm a junkie that way. And behold, there was a book called "The Perfect Fake." No mystery genre sticker on it but my instincts were right and the blurb sounded good. Brought it home. Finished my homework like a good girl and sent it in before The Sopranos came on. Watched two hours of quality TV entertainment. Went to bed. Found new book on bed. Started reading. And kept reading. Until I finished the book, in fact, at 3 AM. Made me very happy I didn't have to go to work today.

The name of this book that I stayed up reading is The Perfect Fake by Barbara Parker. I'd never read her stuff before but she's apparently a NY Times bestseller. Of course, I think James Patterson is, too, and I absolutely can't read him. Anyway, it's about a man who is hired to replicate a Renaissance map and it's excellently done. It's a caper, of course, and I'd say I could imagine a movie of it, but Hollywood would have to change it to something more glamorous than a map, fergodssake, and then it'd get really weird as they tried to adapt everything to fit. One of the things I appreciated most about it was that as Parker introduces the characters, she presents almost all of them sympathetically and it isn't till later that the reader (at least this one) realizes what a nest of vipers it is. I'm used to authors signaling early on which are the good guys and which are the bad; even if you're supposed to like the bad guys you know from the first time you "meet" them what they are. Not here, baby. After watching The Shield on Tuesday night, The Sopranos last night and then reading this, I feel like I'm drowning in moral ambiguity and maybe I need several hot showers and a scrub brush to be fit to go out in polite society again.

Ah, well. Back to reality, I guess. I need to get started on the next paper, this one for the good teacher who is really hard. This is a research proposal on graphic novels and I'm dreading it for reasons entirely different than the reasons I dreaded the last paper.

I'm also meeting a couple of friends tonight. One's husband is in ICU; [livejournal.com profile] nikulai and I are taking her out for dinner. Talk about reality, that's gonna be plenty of reality right there. In that context, doing a paper for grad school is merely a pale imitation of reality. Still, it's my reality and I'd better get to it.

wow

Apr. 4th, 2007 10:45 am
luciab: (Default)
I just got a surprise.... a book I read was much better than I expected. I remembered liking Guy Gavriel Kay's work in the past but the last one of his I tried to read was.... well, awful, at least given the mood I was in at the time. I'm never sure how much of "great" or "awful" is my mood and how much is their skill. Anyway, I saw his new book Ysabel on the new book shelf at CAM and picked it up on the basis of pleasant memories of his earlier work and skimming the blurb. Started out well enough that I stayed up till 2 last night reading it. That's not as late as it sounds since I was up till midnight watching The Shield and doing homework during the ads. This morning I finished it and was nearly in tears. And really, that's a lot. What makes my eyes prickle would be a two-box-of-Kleenex event for some people who aren't as butch as me about crying. The main character is a teenage boy, and Kay did a good job of making him seem real. The main plotline is... beautiful in a terrible, epic sort of way. Really caught me off guard; I've been reading pretty run-of-the-mill mysteries. Good but nothing to make my head spin around. Part of this was leaving the mundane world for the fantastic for a bit.

I got the latest incarnation of That Damn Paper submitted. I got as much as I could done and finally realized that I was bone dry, no ideas left. Hadn't done everything she suggested or even as much as I had hoped but just didn't care any more. I wound up sending a note along with the paper saying that I knew it wasn't my best work but was the best I could manage, what with migraines and concern over Eogan's illness.

Today I need to get to the nearest university library... or, wait, this set of questions is all about pop music and such so I'd be willing to bet it's all available at CAM. Yay!! Much more doable AND pleasant.

I'm having trouble juggling even the few things that I'm trying to multitask right now. Like washing dishes, paying bills, and doing homework. In addition to the migraines I told Mother that I've got a bad case of "short-timer's disease" and I am totally not kidding. Concentration is right out the window. Sped along, I might add, by the contractors putting in new light fixtures in the hall outside my door. The studio is along that wall so I hear everything. Sigh.

Back to one of those tasks.
luciab: (Default)
Unpleasant day. I had a list of things I needed to do, including several phone calls. It can be hard to get myself organized enough to make phone calls, so that in itself was no small feat. Then I woke up with a migraine. Not a killer one; just enough to make me put a little extra caffeine in my usual mix of caffeinated and decaf coffee. A couple of hours later it was edging up on feeling like I had an icepick in my eye, so I took my Imitrex. By then I was totally devoid of ambition..... and had learned that my microwave has died AND my Mac will only exhibit the blue screeno of death. Took me a bit to be sure that's what it was; it has cute little icons, unlike the Windows blue screen of death. Thank god for conspicuous consumption and one person having two computers. Heh. I'd forgotten how bloody convenient having a microwave is, though. Heat up a single serving of soup-- no problem. Heat it up on the stove-- get out a pan and stand and stir so you don't burn the damn thing, and keep checking to see if it's hot enough. Tedious. Can you say spoiled? I knew you could.

I did get myself together to call and make an appointment to get the stitches out of Molly's neck. Sadly, I was so disorganized I said yes to the first time they mentioned, which is smack in the middle of the afternoon and makes it extremely difficult to do any of the other things I'd like to try to do. Aw, who am I trying to kid? I have no ambition to do anything today anyway. All I want to do is sleep. Too bad about the microwave and the Mac and the laundry and the fact that I have no jeans to wear tomorrow.... sigh. Maybe I can get myself over to the secondhand store that is two blocks away and buy some jeans. Heh. Although that may be beyond me too.

While waiting for the Imitrex to kick in, I read this morning. Blessed books. What would I do without reading? The author in whom I am presently engrossed is Charles deLint, who writes what is known as "urban fantasy." It's magic/faerie stuff in a modern setting, sometimes urban, sometimes not. The books of de Lint's that I like best so far are "Seven Wild Sisters" and "Medicine Road." These are both about the same family; in the first one they live in the mountains, and the second one is about two of the sisters who play music professionally and are travelling. I'm starting "Forests of the Heart" right now and am really liking it.
luciab: (Default)
Interests Collage! )
Create your own! Originally Written By [livejournal.com profile] ga_woo, Hosted and ReWritten by [livejournal.com profile] darkman424


I had a nice weekend, mostly scribal. I actually didn't do any scribing, but Livia and Sunneva came over on Sat to work, and I consulted. I'm excited about the work they're doing-- very nice. Livia came back on Sun because she's got a hot project and is really working on some new techniques while still trying to make a deadline. In looking for materials to help her, I realized what a sad shape my scribal shelves were in, so spent a few hours straightening. I still don't have everything in tip-top shape like Sunneva does, but there's a huge improvement. Still stuff I can't find anywhere, though. Sigh.

I woke up yesterday with a migraine and was afraid for a while it was going to be bad, but some caffeine and sitting up for a couple of hours helped. I even got some studying done. Woot! By the time Livia got here I was in good shape. We went shopping to replace some of the things I couldn't find here; I'm glad the weather wasn't as bad as predicted. At least not in my part of the world. It may have gotten ugly a few miles from here. Weird weather patterns around here.

I find that I am frequently bemused by the relative skills of authors. I haven't learned how to analyze writing the way I was taught to analyze art and architecture (though, lord knows, I've forgotten most of that.) I used to sort of think that if a book didn't actually suck but I still didn't particularly like it, the insufficiency was mine. Now I am more likely to believe that the author lacks some spark, even if I can't articulate what the problem is. It is true, though, that sometimes I'm just not in the mood for a particular author, so maybe it's a shared problem. Or maybe they're B+ or A- books instead of A+ books that I couldn't put down if I tried. I read a couple of books this weekend that were decent, and in at least one of them the characters seemed to be reasonably complex, intelligent people, but the book didn't leave me craving more. Then sometimes there's a character that is totally unlike me, shares few if any of my values, but the book leaves me literally hungry for more. Then there is the author I've read lately whose words and sentences are put together well, and the dialogue is reasonable, but his MESSAGE is so damn heavy handed. Maybe it's not message, exactly, but all his books are about personality integration, for want of a better description. People are always losing parts of themselves and having to get the parts back together. What makes a book really good is one of life's imponderables, I guess. Maybe I should just hope that's the most serious problem I have to deal with for the next few years.

I actually finally have some homework reading to do. I've been making notes and collecting scraps of materials to include in a notebook for the Practicum. I'm going to try to remember to take my camera tomorrow, too. Document the hell out of stuff from here on out. I hope. If I don't pull the spacey routine I did this weekend and forget every damn thing. Oops.

Wow.

Jan. 5th, 2007 12:21 pm
luciab: (Default)
This article has a ton of information about migraines. Yep, it's Wikipedia, about which I have expressed doubts in the past. I still would not use it as a source for serious research, but I see that it can be very helpful. Way down at the bottom of this article, it not only lists herbal and alternative treatments, but in many cases gives statistics on efficacy rates. I have noted three different possibilities that I want to try. The thing I found most impressive in this article is the info about the costs of migraine-- how many people have it, how much time is lost, etc. Helps quell the suspicion that I'm just a wuss. (Insert sheepish grin here.)

In book-related news, a couple of weeks back I happened across a link to a journal by Scott Lynch ("The Dork Lord, on his Dork Throne.") The journal was interesting enough that I bookmarked it, even though I'd never heard of him. I Googled him, of course, but didn't recognize any titles. But lo! When I was at the library yesterday, I saw one of his books on the new bookshelf-- The Lies of Locke Lamora. (I hate the title-- it sounds like either an old Western or something set in Scotland. Weird.) I scanned a few paragraphs, enough to see that it didn't suck, and checked it out. I'm about a quarter of the way through it now, and am really enjoying it. It's about a boy who is orphaned and becomes a member of a thieves guild; the setting is medieval-ish, with discreet touches of "alchemical" this and that-- not really as cop-outs, but just there. I'm having a hard time not just curling up with it and saying "To hell with what I'm supposed to be doing today!"

I'm doing a tiny little scribal workshop tomorrow, and one of the things I need to be doing today is prepping for that. I've put together a list of pangrams, aka abecedarian sentences-- those that have every letter of the alphabet in them. For afficiandos of the form, the ideal would be a sentence with each letter used only once, but this seems to be difficult if not impossible if you use only real, standard words. Since I'm doing this in an SCA sort of context, I tried not to use obviously modern ones that included words like "jazz." I was going to stick to the shorter sentences, but some of my favorites are longish.... "The dark risque gown makes a very brazen exposure of juicy flesh." "Justly vexed, the queen exiled the calligrapher who spattered black sumi ink on her fuzzy dog." And my own addition to the list: "Crazy buxom wenches in black velvet gowns poured liquor in a jiffy." I know, I know, it isn't PC. Life's a bitch.

Okay, time to get back to work. Ta.
luciab: (Default)
Well, I made my Pot-au-feu and am now reminded why a friend calls it "pot o' food." My god, even with the vastly reduced quantities I used, I still have huge amounts of food. I got smart, though, and packed up a bunch of single servings and stuck them in the freezer. I think the variety of all the meats and veggies is what makes it so good; I don't think the original version as posted online with just beef sounds interesting at all. Julia's description said the name means "pot on the fire"; the pot was put on the fire and whatever was handy was thrown in and was left to cook slowly all day. I have no idea why I got such a strong urge to make this, unless the relatively simple holiday meals left me feeling atavistic. Weird, but I am now well supped. VERY well supped.

I am also enjoying the music site that [livejournal.com profile] nomadicmedic posted a few days ago. It doesn't have "alternative" setting, but has certainly provided a suitable variety of music tonight. It shows what's going to play next, which is handy, especially since it doesn't have a setting for "for god's sake, NO BOB DYLAN!!" Ahem.

I read an interesting mystery yesterday and am still trying to figure out how I feel about it. I mean, I liked it well enough to seek out the next book in the series, but it's damned strange. The book is Eight of Swords and the protagonist is a '60s radical who's been hiding for 30 years because of something he did back in the day. The author is playing coy about exactly what it is, but there's no statute of limitations, so I'm assuming somebody died, probably in the explosion that supposedly killed our protagonist. I liked the character. At the end of the book, though, he goes to a meet with the knowledge that he's going to kill a man, and he does. The guy has a gun and was going to kill HIM, but our man gets the drop on him. He does think "I'm going to have to live with this the rest of my life" and in the interest of fair play, speaks to give the hit man a chance to surrender. Then when he swings around with his gun, bam. I think it bothers me that I identified with him, a lot, at least till we got to the shooting-in-semi-cold-blood part. All the killing in Pulp Fiction didn't bother me as much as this did; that whole thing was so far removed from any reality I know that I didn't identify with anybody.

My cat, however, brings me back to my reality-- my purpose in life is not to kill bad guys, or even worry about the ethics or morals thereof, but to provide her a lap to flomp in, and scratch her belly when it's presented to me. Which it is. She's most undignified, and I love it.

miscellany

Dec. 28th, 2006 04:22 pm
luciab: (Default)
I spent yesterday in bed, I suspect recovering from the Kentucky marathon. I had the worst migraine I've had in forever-- right up there with, and maybe worse than, the one I had Christmas day. I would get up to check email, eat, and use the facilities, and that's about it. As long as I didn't have to move my head I could distract myself from the pain and wooziness. Lots of non-head-moving yesterday. I didn't even feel well enough to go to the library, even though I was out of fresh stuff to read. Fortunately, I have begun to collect books that I like well enough to re-read, and yesterday I binged on Tony Hillerman-- I read 7 books. I'd already read them, so I didn't have to pay a lot of attention to details. It had been a long time since I read the early ones, though, and it was interesting to note things like how many books there were before he mentioned Leaphorn's wife, or before Leaphorn and Chee worked together. As you might expect, the cats were thrilled to have me back where I belong- in bed, petting them.

Today I'm doing much better. I've been shopping and to the library. I've been reading the Sandman series, and I'm up to book 9 now. I don't recall the title, but I think book 4 was far and away the best. I also went to the grocery-- for several days I've had a dish called Pot au feu on my mind. K used to make Julia Child's recipe for it. It serves over a dozen people if you make her recipe, so needless to say, I'm not doing that. It calls for a beef roast, pork roast (or was it ham?) a whole chicken, and kielbasa, boiled together with lots of vegetables and served with several sauces; he usually made a mustard sauce, a tomato-cream sauce, and maybe a white sauce. I have absolutely no idea why I've been drooling over this recently, but I have, so I got a tiny round steak, a thick pork chop and a pound of kielbasa, and I'm thawing a couple of chicken breasts. I got onions, potatoes, carrots, parsnips and a turnip, and I'm going to throw it all in a pot tomorrow with some stock, and let it cook all day. Oh, man, I can't wait. I just finished eating dinner and I'm already hungry for it. I see from this article that Julia's recipe varies noticeably by adding the other meats, and I had forgotten that K put in a bone, chopped in half so the marrow is accessible. I'm gonna skip the bone. In fact, I can't find the recipe he used, so I'm kinda winging it altogether.

On a more serious note, I was concerned when Molly Ivins' column wasn't updated after Nov 23-- I'd check every Thursday when it normally appeared. Today I googled her name and read what Wikipedia had to say, never dreaming they'd have anything as recent as this in her bio. I was wrong, though; the article notes that she was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer in 1999, and had recurrences in 2003 and 2005. She is taking off the month of December for another session of chemo. Send prayers, or white light, or whatever goodness you believe in, her way, please.

well done!

Nov. 21st, 2006 10:43 am
luciab: (Default)
Ah, the luxury of a week with no classes, and a week and a half before the next project is due, though it is a big one, and you WILL be hearing more about it. I also had the luxury of finishing my paper yesterday without a migraine, which was bliss.

This morning, however, I woke up with a migraine again. My mother, back in the days when she was doing stuff like having guests for meals, or people to stay for a couple of days, would always do fine while she was getting stuff ready. As soon as it was done, though, (the meal prepared, the house cleaned) she got a migraine. I think it started about the time the guests were to arrive; I just remember that it wasn't the pressure of preparing that caused the migraine, but it was almost like she couldn't allow herself to relax and enjoy. Or maybe the stress for her was the entertaining and not the preparation? Me, I get 'em when I'm trying to work on stuff, like the four major projects that were due within the last four days. I was therefore kinda surprised when it let up the last day before I was done, and dismayed when it hit this morning. If I start getting migraines while I'm under pressure AND when it lets up, we're going back to the bad old days in a big hurry. And I say "back to the bad old days" because things really have been better the last three months or so: I've had 4 or 5 pills left at the end of each prescription-month, which means at least 8-10 days without a migraine that month. Yay, me! And yes, I say that with both irony and bitterness. But still, 8-10 days is way better than none. So, yay, indeed.

I was also thinking about how I used to be a Type A personality-- always lots going on, doing several different things at once-- and how much I've eased up. Still, when I do stuff I tend to get extremely... shall we say invested? So, if I still have that obsessive sort of tendency but it's about fewer things at once, am I a Type A- personality?

Since the migraine this AM wouldn't let me lie flat, which is all I wanted to do, and I certainly wasn't ready to face a glowing computer monitor, which, after all, is light, I sat in bed and started reading (after taking my meds and making coffee, of course.) I've been enjoying Patricia McKillip's fantasy novels, and I suggest (probably again) that if you like fantasy at all and haven't read her, you should definitely hie your ass out to the nearest library or book store (depending on the state of your wallet) and get some. The ones I've read are stand alone; she has a series but I haven't read it yet. I'm trying not to overdose. The two I've liked best are Ombria in Shadow and Od Magic. This morning, though, I wasn't up to dealing with alternate realities. (No idea why I went off on that tangent, but the recommendations still stand.)

Instead, I picked up Hardscrabble Road, a mystery by Jane Haddam, (here is a good interview with her) and was immediately hooked. (I do like the books she's written as Orania Papazoglou, too; they take off on romance-writers. Heh.) I've read her work before, and upon starting this one, I wondered why I haven't read everything she's ever written. I think I have gone on Haddam-sprees in the past and read several of her books, but for some reason the name just doesn't spring to mind when I'm looking for something to read. Odd. Anyway, what struck me this morning is how lively and intelligent her work is.

She starts this book with a prologue that's 50 pages long, in which she introduces the people who will be the major players in the case the detective will be dealing with; he is an Armenian ex-FBI agent named Gregor Demarkian. Each character has a very distinctive view point; even the ones on the "same side" in the legal battle are all there for different reasons. Some of them are very witty and make interesting word plays, some are intelligent, cynical, and/or bitter. The ones who aren't so bright are very clear about what they want, how they analyse the world and the goings-on, and how they act dumber than they think they really are to manipulate those around them. There are lovely little details, like one woman who, in her internal dialog, says she has "noun disease" because she forgets the names of things. It's very interesting, then, to meet the characters anew through Demarkian and see them through his eyes instead of seeing what they think they are. It's very well done.

All of which makes me very glad that I can afford to take today and enjoy this book. Never mind that I was planning to do things like dishes, laundry, and color my hair, which is looking distinctly two-toned these days. (At least I had the self-control not to take time for such frivolity before this set of projects was in.) And hell, at the rate I'm zipping through this delight, I'll have time to do at least some of that, anyway.

So. Now you have your assignments: McKillip and/or Haddam, depending on whether you're in the mood for fantasy or mystery. Now go.

random bits

Nov. 7th, 2006 01:21 pm
luciab: (Default)
I voted this morning, so I've done my civic duty, albeit probably at the lowest possible level. I am now waiting to see how the Dems manage to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory this time. Will the polls have been wrong? Or will we/they actually win and then sit and do nothing, allowing the Reps to continue doing whatever crap they've been doing for the last six years? Or will scumbag Dems get elected and then get caught with their pants down and/or their fingers in the till? Not that I'm cynical or anything.

I'm finally reading an author who has been recommended to me for years, but who I feared wrote "LIT-ra-chure" instead of something enjoyable like, oh, say fantasy or mystery. The author is Lee Smith, and I was convinced to read her because of a NoveList recommendation. The book I'm reading is not the specific one that was recommended-- I think that one may have had some elements of magical realism in it. Anyway, this one looked good when I was at the library so I picked it up. I started reading it last night and the first few pages had me wondering, but I told myself to give it a few more pages, and suddenly it was one in the morning. Damn. I'm reading The Devil's Dream which is set in the Tennessee mountains, and I swear, she can do the accent perfectly. I haven't heard some of these expressions for years-- people "rare back" and do something, and "plumb" is a synonym for "completely," and people "don't hold with" dancing or other evils of the flesh. What I find even more impressive is that I've read eight chapters, and each is narrated by a different member of the family, and written in a clearly different voice. I guess we can count this as another of my "discoveries" of something that I should have known long ago.

I also had a bright idea for another way to search for articles for my paper about parchment, so I've found a few more hints and clues. I think I"ll have to shift the focus of the paper just a touch but it'll work fine.

I got an email last night with the subject line "is it too late to drop 5180?" and at first almost didn't open it. I'm glad I did though; it was from one of the better students in the Public Libraries class who had just read the final exam questions. Heh. He'd addressed it to a half dozen of us, and I wrote back with the reassuring math about the relative (un)-importance of each question-- only 4 percent each of our final grade. That calmed us all. It was an entertaining thread.

Now I"m off to the neurologist's office for my semi-annual check up.
luciab: (Default)
I've gotten so much done today! I started getting the edge of a migraine this morning but it didn't feel serious, so I put some caffeine in my coffee, went for a walk, ran a bunch of errands, and finished up the bed table-- in other words, did not just sit down at the computer for the day, which is my usual inclination, especially with This Damned Paper hanging over my head.

The bed table looks really pretty from the top, but the underside is quite amusing. Daddy had a brief lapse of attention when he was putting the legs on; he wanted them to fold, so attached them with hinges. All well and good when it's lying upside down, but when it was turned right side up, the legs just flopped and had absolutely nothing to hold them at right angles to the surface. Oops! I was nearly ready to leave when he showed ti to me, so I brought it on home and dragooned Dunstan into looking at it. I understand that it caused some amusement in woodworking circles, and for perfectly good reason-- it looked ridiculous. Dunstan, however, is a very inventive gentleman and figured out how add some more wood and hinges to make it work. I put several coats of finish on it and by last night, I could actually use it. It can either be flat if/when I want dinner in bed, or tilted for writing, reading, or using the laptop. Today, one of my errands was picking up self-adhering velcro patches to help hold everything in place more securely, and they are now attached so it is completely DONE. Yay, us!

Ya know that part about not sitting down at the computer all day? And the part about the paper? I finally sat dow to work on it about 4 o'clock or so. I have written a whole paragraph, all of it completlely, blatantly obvious. I keep thinking of information I'd like to have but don't know how to get. I would be such a sucky reference librarian. I'd better stick to Reader's Advisory stuff! Go ahead and ask me about mysteries; I'll talk your leg off. And I'm catching up on fantasy, too, and even some "literary" fiction. Haven't gotten back into the SF yet.

The only thing I haven't done today to put off writing the paper is housecleaning and dishes. That's probably next. Ha.

oh, goody

Oct. 31st, 2006 09:34 am
luciab: (Default)
You know it's not going to be the most enjoyable day you've ever spent when the question is: Do
I work on That Damned Paper to put off housework, or do I clean house to delay working on That Damned Paper? Could be mighty productive, though, since I have long since bored myself to tears with the few online games I play, and have no books of any real interest. I finished Garth Nix's Abhorsen trilogy night before last; that's a pretty hard act to follow. I'm re-reading some classic stuff now; it's good enough I don't want to fling it down but not so good that it'll keep me up nights reading it.

In between housework and putting off That Damned Paper, I am putting the finish on the bed-table my dad made. It does exactly what I hoped it would, and is a perfect size. The cats are intrigued by it and keep trying to crawl under it, which is pretty funny since there's no room for both my legs and any cat in the house. At one time or another, each has wound up with her head and shoulders crammed under the table and the rest of her body sticking out.

Miranda is in two-year-old mode (which is pretty apropos since she IS two years old) and keeps jumping in my lap, wiggling and squirming and not sitting down, while purring loudly. I really DO know that cats don't understand either human language or logic, but I can't stop myself from telling her to Sit down!! As if a cat is going to listen to commands. Ha.

I went back and looked at some of my LJ entries over the last year and a half or so. I hadn't really put together how stressful the last year has been, with going back to school, Aunt Susan being in the hospital and dying, and Daddy breaking his hip. The entries before Aunt Susan fell and broke HER hip were a pleasant surprise; maybe not a laugh a minute, but entertaining to read. And now, one year later, I am one semester shy of a Master's degree-- and job hunting. Sigh.

When I was volunteering at the library yesterday I made the mistake of picking up a book on resume's and looking at the section on what to do/say when there's a gap in employment. You know, like the year I was out of work with disability due to migraines? Oh, yeah. That's gonna be fun in interviews. I plan to look for a part time job in one of the local public libraries next semseter. Much easier to find a job when you have a job. Kinda like it's easier to borrow money from a bank when you have lots of money already. Not real logical to me, but true nonetheless.

Okay, back to the dishes. Or finishing the table. Sometime today, though, it's gonna have to be The Damned Paper.
luciab: (susan 3rd grade)
The good thing about writing papers is that you always learn something. I know! Who would have thought of such a thing?

I'm starting to look for information about library systems with a "strong central library" as opposed to having all regional and branch libraries. Damn, there are some fine central libraries out there. Reminds me why I thought this was a good idea to begin with. Unfortunately (sorta) I have NO desire to live in Minneapolis. I mean, Kentucky is too cold for this little hothouse flower. I'd freeze my petals off in Minneapolis. Of course, Portland looks like a good one, too. And Seattle. And dozens more, I'm sure.

And I did one bit of homework already but I admit it was the entertaining one-- I had to look at NoveList to find 5 or 6 books I want to read. Boy howdy, now there is a challenge. I did go for some variety, though, putting in Sabriel by Garth Nix, Sharyn McCrumb's Ballad series, and The Time Traveler's Wife, among others, as books that I liked. I did turn up some new possibilities, including Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire. I liked his Wicked and its companion book, whose name I can't recall this minute. I'm also kinda looking forward to trying "Skulls of Sedona" which I described in my notes as "New Age meets Bimbos of the Death Sun." Heh.

I have a meeting with my advisor at 5 to talk about the possibility of a practicum in book repair at UNC. That'd be fun. I hope he doesn't tell me it has to be related to my major track or something. Which I could do, and it would be more obviously helpful, but this... this just sounds like fun.

For some reason, Tuneless Boy has been drawn to the realm of falsetto singing lately. Not sure what that's about. Whatever. It's most unfortunate.
luciab: (Default)
So. Let me just say this about the mid-term. BIG GREEN DONKEY DICKS. There. That helped a little.

I think I did okay on the definitions part-- maybe not perfect, but satisfactory. And I did okay on the 30 point essay, I think. On the 40 point essay, though... not so much. I didn't realize how much I didn't know about the topic until I tried to write 40 points worth of information.

I did go to the NCSU library afterwards and copy some articles for my paper that's due on Monday. Surely I can find something in one or two of them to cite.

I was still bummed when I got done at the library though, and realized that I wanted to do something terribly sinful, like..... oh, eat something chocolate and gooey. Hey, there were other things that would have taken my mind off the damn test a LOT better than chocolate, despite the results of Syaldia's chocolate-or-sex poll, but at least chocolate was accessible. There was a really good ice cream store about a block away, too, but I exerted all my will power and came home and made a smallish sundae with dark chocolate and walnuts. As soon as I sat down to eat it, Mother called wanting to know how the test went. She's gotten spoiled by the grades I've been getting and so was terribly surprised when I said I didn't think it went well. At least I didn't tell her the donkey dicks part; I was pretty sure that was Not A Good Idea.

I did also stop at the public library, too, to pick up a couple of books that were on hold, and found out that Janet Evanovich has a new one out. I was right about Metro Girl being the start of a new series; this one is called Motor Mouth. Heh. I put my name on that list, too.... I'm number 564. They have 193 copies, though, so it won't be too long. Whee!

answers

Sep. 28th, 2006 08:26 pm
luciab: (Default)
I've posted the answers to the first lines quiz I had up yesterday. I didn't really expect anyone to get the Marcia Muller, though I think she's one of the best mystery writers around, and I wasn't too suprised no one got the Hillerman, either. I am, however, astonished that no one recognized Janet Evanovich. Geesh, people! You need some light reading!

I think I'm going to get a whole day with my peeps at the beach. Woohoo! I haven't been for too long... I'm thinking it might have been two years, which is just criminal. So much to see, so little time. And tomorrow I get to have lunch with [livejournal.com profile] nikulai before I go to Health Science Resources class. Guess which one of those two things I'm looking forward to most. Heh.

Gotta go do the reading for class. Yeep.

good book

Sep. 19th, 2006 02:59 pm
luciab: (Default)
I have just somehow found a book called "Inkheart." It's YA, written by Cornelia Funke, and I'm thinking it would be of particular interest to people who really, really, like books.Not just the reading but the feel, the paper, the heft.... the whole package. Lovely.

Except I'm supposed to be reading about Archives. Not so interesting. Why did I ever think it would be?
luciab: (Default)
So, I was reading along in a Leo Waterman series book (by G. M. Ford) last night and he mentioned playing some music by Ike Quebec, and said the music evoked late nights, rainy streets, and silky lingerie, or something like that. Those things together suggested film noir to me, so I checked it out this AM. Some of the music I found is too much jazz for me, but there are several that are more bluesy, film noir-y. And of course, once you have aname to start with, there are often links to "You may also like..." so now I have more to work with. I love it when I learn something unexpected from a mystery novel. Now that I think of it, this series would make fantastic film noir. It's set in Seattle, and the protagonist uses street people to do some of his watching for him. There's usually a body count, but it doesn't number in the dozens. Good enough for me!

Getting some stuff done this AM. Busy, busy. I may have to go shopping or to the library to cool off later. Pity there isn't a damn thing at the cheap movie place I'm even willing to sit through, and certainly nothing I'm willing to pay $1.50 to see. Never know when I might decide I need something I can buy with a buck fifty.
luciab: (Default)
Last night we had a planning meeting (gosh, doesn't that sound so formal!) to work on the apprenticing ceremony coming up at Midsummer's Twilight Tourney. I don't know how much actually got done, but it was great fun. I fixed breakfast for dinner, and it was quite a hit. I swear we hit that food like we hadn't been fed in weeks. We devoured a pound of sausage (Neese's-- it fries up so crispy!) 3/4 pound of bacon, 2 eggs each, and uncounted pancakes with syrup made from 2 quarts of strawberries, and banana boats for dessert, all in about 10 minutes. Well, okay, it wasn't QUITE that bad, but it was still pretty funny.

Owen was kind enough to carry out the old TV that's been dead for a year or two, but was too heavy for me to get to the dumpster. Yay!

I pulled stuff out of one of my closets yesterday AM, getting ready to give it away. Anyone need khakis or jeans? I have a kitchen garbage bag full. All in good condition, mostly size 16 but a few 18's thrown in. Believe me, the pounds between those and the 10's and 12's didn't go easy.

I've got just enough of a migraine today to wipe out whatever energy I was going to devote to making garb. I just feel drained. Much, much better than being in severe pain, but I'm still not getting anything done. Sigh.

I'm currently reading an Edna Buchanan, which is about all I'm good for. It takes me a while, usually, but sometimes I become aware of the author as being very good or not-so-good. Poor Edna. I would never have noticed this if she hadn't gotten more ambitious; the books she writes with Britt Montero as the protagonist are pleasant and lightweight. Not usually either particularly challenging or so cute that I want to hit her. The one I'm reading now, though, has branched out. She's writing about a group of the people that Britt usually works with, which can be a really cool concept. Lisa Scottoline, for example, has a series about an all-woman legal office in Philly, and different books feature different members of the firm. Each woman has a distinct voice and personality. Edna hasn't quite managed to pull that off; all the characters in this book sound pretty much like Britt. Sigh.

I've also (when sans headache, anyway) started reading the text for one of my classes this summer. It is dry as the Sahara, but I'm hoping that an early start on the reading will give me time to at least figure it out.

Okay, that's it for me. Later, taters.

goings on

May. 4th, 2006 09:40 pm
luciab: (Default)
Still no word on the Cataloging class grade. Grrrr. Oh, well, for a few more hours at least, I'll have a 4.0 GPA. Heh.

I talked to the Dean today about a scheduling conflict I have with some classes I want to take. See, UNC offers this one Preservation class this fall, and I want to take it. Except Central also has this rule about having to take at least 6 hours at Central (my school) during the semester I take classes at another school. Which is okay, except I have already enrolled at State for their Archiving class this fall, and Central tells me that 9 hours is a full load in Grad school. I was sort of hoping the Dean could get the 6 hours on campus thing waived, but no such luck. Instead, she'll be happy to let me take 12 hours. Whee! I mean, I am the one that suggested it, and I laughed and said "And I don't offer that lightly!" But you know what, in some ways it'll be easier, because I'll just have a higher proportion of my time allocated to school, and I think it'll help me focus. Part of the trouble I had this semester was keeping my mind on school, because there wasn't really enough to keep me busy until a paper came due or something like that. Sounds ridiculous, I guess. Anyway, I'm glad I can take the class at UNC-- and the J half of [livejournal.com profile] zihuatanejo will be in that class, too! Now that will be fun. Me and my 'prentice in school together! Yeay!

I'm heading to KY tomorrow (Friday) and will be driving back next Wed. That is the best balance I could come up with between enough time to make the 'rents feel like I was there a good long time and not so long I am ready to kill, or scream, or both at once. I'm taking my laptop and wireless so I can go to the local coffeeshop to check email and get a good cuppa, and feel connected to the world. I've also got my class notes for both classes I'm teaching at Heralds and Scribes on there, so I can work on the handouts while I'm there, too. We'll also be going to Barbourville to work on Aunt Susan's house at least one day. Joy, oh, joy. Every time I talk to Mother she tells me how much work it's been and it does sound like it's been really rough on them. I mean, they're 85 and 86, and B'ville is 100 miles away, and they drive down for the day about once a week. Even the drive alone alone is hard on them, but then when they are there they are working on sorting a house full of stuff. It's maybe 2,000 SF, and it is Full of Stuff. Mother keeps asking me do I want them to keep this or that for me, and this week I finally told her that my apartment is starting to look like Aunt Susan's house. She laughed, but I guarandamntee you that she'll have LOTS of stuff that I'll have to say, no, I don't need it. An awful lot of it is brand new stuff that Aunt S barely used; she was apparently a serial shopaholic of the take-no-prisoners variety.

I was at Livia's tonight and was looking at some of her work, and it made me downright homesick--to do calligraphy, of all things. That damn stuff has snuck up on me, and I've gotten to like it when I wasn't looking. Me, the illuminator. Hooked on calligraphy.

Oh, and on the drive to Durham tonight I started listening to Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, which I checked out of the library for the trip to KY. I got several books on the theory that when I get in the car I never know what I'll be in the mood to listen to, so I just get lots of stuff. Anyway, I'm liking it a lot. I think we're just getting to the Neil Gaiman part, if you know what I mean. The weird thing is that the reader has a pronounced British accent, which is quite lovely, except when he's supposed to be sounding like a southern lady. At least I thought that's what she was supposed to be, living in Florida and all, but I'm starting to think maybe she's really supposed to be West Indian instead of the actor just not being able to do a southern accent at all. It's a bit distracting.

Well, I'm outta here for the night. Gotta lotta packing and stuff to do tomorrow. I hate doing that stuff at night; I just get all wound up and can't go to sleep till late, and I'm tired and can't make the simplest decision about what to pack, even. So, off to bed now, and I'll pack tomorrow.

Ta.
luciab: (Default)
I think a migraine must come with an attitude attached to it. I've been without a migraine for the last several days, (and a couple of those days I felt actively GOOD) but yesterday had sort of a pre-migraine (weird.... even I am not entirely sure what I mean by that) and today I got the real thing. The imitrex has made it not hurt, but damn, I feel like crap. Cranky, sleepy, just downright mean.

I've been reading more William Gibson-- I re-read Mona Lisa Overdrive and it made TONS more sense in sequence. All the details worked together to make it much richer. I just started Virtual Light and keep expecting it to tie into the Neuromancer series. I'm finally getting far enough into it that it's standing alone and I don't have that feeling as much.

Maybe a nap would help. Even the caf coffee isn't holding off the feeling.

wow

Apr. 28th, 2006 08:30 pm
luciab: (Default)
I think maybe Tuneless Boy has found his true metier (now if I only knew how to put the little accent thingy on there....) He's upstair wailing away on electric blues guitar and NOT SINGING. And he ain't doin' bad with the whole blues thing. I suppose it'd embarrass him if I applauded or something. Heh.

In other news of astonishment, I finally finished That Damn Cataloging Test. When I talked to other class members lost night, they all said they took like 12-15 hours to finish, too, so I don't feel so bad.

I went to hear Michael Gorman, current president of the American Library Association, speak on campus last night. He was a pretty good speaker. A little slick, maybe, but entertaining. It was unfortunate that his talk was in competition with a Special Libraries conference, and another of the local Library schools had a death on their faculty which pulled away another good sized chunk of potential attendees. (Yes, there are three library schools within about a one-hour driving radius of each other. Yes, I know that means the local library market is saturated. Sigh. Too bad I don't want to move out of the area. I hear there's going to be a great shortage of librarians soon, but apparently not here. La.)

I just finished re-reading William Gibson's Neuromancer. I really liked it this time, too. In fact, I liked it well enough to check out several other books of his, including Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive, the second and third books in the Neuromancer trilogy. It was [livejournal.com profile] madlori recommending Pattern Recognition recently that made me start reading him again, and then I read Mona Lisa Overdrive, not knowing it was part of a trilogy. I'm looking forward to re-reading it in sequence. I was kind of afraid that Neuromancer would seem dated, or give me that "Oh, I've seen this SO many times" feeling that you get sometimes when something has been imitated, but it didn't happen. I did have Matrix flashbacks a few times, but nothing serious. The man's just good, is all. Thank you, madlori!

Well, Tunless Boy has gone out for the evening now, and I think I'll take Count Zero and go read awhile.

Profile

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Susan Arthur

February 2011

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