Thursday, January 24, 2008

Humanity Sucks...

like a big, giant sucking thing that sucks. Really. Not that I'm bitter.

Also, what does one wear when one must go on a pawn shop crawl?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The problem with blogging

Is the reason that I finished with grad school after I completed my Master's degree. I hate writing. It's really very hard to be an English major pursuing a Ph.D. when one would much rather read than write.

That's been problem here. Blogging takes up time that I would generally rather be reading, and I've read rather a lot the last few years.

Have I mentioned how much I love my local library? They bring books right to my house, to my front door!

All I have to do is visit their website, request a book, and a week or two later, it's at my door. I read it (always making sure to renew it online if necessary) and return it to my local branch when I'm finsihed. It's wonderful. They have almost every book I would ever want to read, plus CDs and DVDs. I don't even go to the book store anymore. I make donations to my library instead of buying books. It's a great system.

Here's a list of all the books I've read from the library in the last few years, starting in February 2005. The list is in order checked out. (The library keeps a history of things I check out.)

The Briar King, J. Gregory Keyes
The Witch in the Well, Sharan Newman.
Plainsong: a Fable for the Millennium, Deborah Grabien.
Eyes in the Fire, Deborah Grabien.
The Subtle Knife, Philip Pullman
The Charnel Prince, J. Gregory Keyes
The Iron Tree, Cecilia Dart-Thornton
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Mark Haddon
The Amber Spyglass, Philip Pullman
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, Douglas Adams
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer
The Famous Flower of Serving Men, Deborah Grabien
The Hero and the Crown, Robin McKinley
Spindle's End, Robin McKinley
Rose Daughter, Robin McKinley
Assassin's Apprentice, Robin Hobb
Josie and Jack, Kelly Braffet
The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, Liz Jensen
Sir Apropos of Nothing, Peter David
A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin
The Curse of Chalion, Lois McMaster Bujold
Across the Nightingale Floor, Lian Hearn
A Clash of Kings, George R. R. Martin
The Nameless Day, Sara Douglass.
Married to the Mouse: Walt Disney World and Orlando, Richard E. Foglesong
The Legendary Mizners, Alva Johnston
Royal Assassin, Robin Hobb
The Dark Mirror, Juliet Marillier
Godslayer, Jacqueline Carey
Assassin's Quest, Robin Hobb
A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin
Son of a Witch, Gregory Maguire
Fool's Errand, Robin Hobb
Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman
Grass for His Pillow, Lian Hearn
A Feast for Crows, George R. R. Martin
Hades' Daughter, Sara Douglass
Matty Groves, Deborah Grabien
Golden Fool, Robin Hobb
Brilliance of the Moon, Lian Hearn
Gods' Concubine, Sara Douglass
Fool's Fate, Robin Hobb
Maus I: a Survivor's Tale, Art Spiegelman
Darkwitch Rising, Sara Douglass
Eragon, Christopher Paolini
Maus II: a Survivor's Tale, Art Spiegelman
Eldest, Christopher Paolini
His Majesty's Dragon, Naomi Novik
The Tattooed Map, Barbara Hodgson
The Orange Girl, Jostein Gaarder
Myrren's Gift, Fiona McIntosh
The Wayfarer Redemption, Sara Douglass
To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip José Farmer
Druid's Sword, Sara Douglass
Kushiel's Scion, Jacqueline Carey
Blood and Memory, Fiona McIntosh
Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay
The Confessions of Max Tivoli, Andrew Sean Greer
The Stolen Child, Keith Donohue
Bridge of Souls, Fiona McIntosh
The Gunslinger, Stephen King
Enchanter, Sara Douglass
The Fiery Cross, Diana Gabaldon
Starman, Sara Douglass
The Elder Gods, David Eddings
The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield
The Berlin Stories, The Last of Mr. Norris. Goodbye to Berlin, Christopher Isherwood
Sinner, Sara Douglass
Endymion Spring, Matthew Skelton
The Drawing of the Three, Stephen King
Sebastian, Anne Bishop
The Wolves in the Walls, Neil Gaiman
MirrorMask, Neil Gaiman
Once upon a Time (She Said), Jane Yolen
Pilgrim, Sara Douglass
Don't Panic: Douglas Adams & the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Neil Gaiman
The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm, Edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling
Black Heart,Ivory Bones, Edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling
Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders, Neil Gaiman
Cruel Sister, Deborah Grabien
The Neverending Story, Michael Ende
Rhapsody: Child of Blood, Elizabeth Haydon
The Waste Lands, Stephen King
Beyond the Hanging Wall, Sara Douglass
Prophecy: Child of Earth, Elizabeth Haydon
Destiny: Child of the Sky, Elizabeth Haydon
Wizard and Glass, Stephen King
Black Sun Rising, C. S.Friedman
Wildwood Dancing, Juliet Marillier
Gothic!: Ten Original Dark Tales, edited by Deborah Noyes
Requiem for the Sun, Elizabeth Haydon
Belladonna, Anne Bishop
A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Diana Gabaldon
Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
Elegy for a Lost Star, Elizabeth Haydon
Wolves of the Calla, Stephen King
The Damon Runyon Omnibus, Damon Runyon
The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Michael Chabon
The Serpent Bride, Sara Douglass
Odalisque, Fiona McIntosh
Rules of Ascension, David B. Coe
Kushiel's Justice, Jacqueline Carey
The War of the Flowers, Tad Williams
The Last Light of the Sun, Guy Gavriel Kay
Lord of Snow and Shadows, Sarah Ash
Song of Susannah, Stephen King
Seeds of Betrayal, David B. Coe
The Assassin King, Elizabeth Haydon
Prisoner of the Iron Tower, Sarah Ash
Children of the Serpent Gate, Sarah Ash
Bonds of Vengeance, David B. Coe
The Blood Knight, J. Gregory Keyes
Transformation, Carol Berg
Tales, H. P. Lovecraft
Shapers of Darkness, David B. Coe
Restoration, Carol Berg
Revelation, Carol Berg
Song of the Beast, Carol Berg
Son of Avonar, Carol Berg
Wolfblade, Jennifer Fallon
Poison Study, Maria V. Snyder
Beguilement, Lois McMaster Bujold
Empire of Ivory, Naomi Novik
Weavers of War, David B. Coe
Dreamsongs. Volume I, George R. R. Martin
Magic Study, Maria V. Snyder
Guardians of the Keep, Carol Berg
The Dark Tower, Stephen King
Warrior, Jennifer Fallon
Legacy, Lois McMaster Bujold
The Soul Weaver, Carol Berg
Warlord, Jennifer Fallon
The Sorcerers' Plague, David B. Coe
Medalon, Jennifer Fallon

I am apparently averaging a little more than a book a week.

In addition to this list, I've read several books that I own. This year, that list includes "The Fionavar Tapestry" trilogy by Guy Gavriel Kay; Harry Potter 7, Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazer, and Threshold by Sara Douglass, that I remember off the top of my head. I've also re-read the original "Kushiel's Legacy" trilogy and Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. (They're great comfort reads.)

I've just starting re-reading A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. It's such a big, sweeping series, and I feel the need to re-read the story thus far before the next book comes out, hopefully this fall.

I'm always looking for recommendations if anyone has any

Apologies & Finally, Disney Part 2

I owe my three readers (maybe that's an optimistic overstatement) for the non-blogging. I had every intention of finishing the DisneyLand post. I had a pretty good time. Of course, there are family issues, and the more I thought about the Disney trip, the more I thought about the time spent with family there, which was stressful and tense for many reasons, and I just couldn't make myself write any more about it.

I do want to mention the "new" "Finding Nemo" submarine ride. Seriously, they closed "20,000 Leagues" for this? The line was endless, but then it always was. It would have been fine if they had a canopy over the queue for shade, but they only has semi-strategically placed moveable umbrellas. Perhaps I’ve been to Disney World too many time, where they figured out how to protect the guests from overwhelming heat.

Once we got to the ride, it was a cross between the new “The Seas with Nemo and Friends” at Epcot and the old “20,000 Leagues” ride. As we rode through the water, images were projected onto the portal windows that made it appear as though Nemo and friends were swimming through the water. The plot of the ride followed the plot of the movie (Spoiler alert: They find Nemo!), and the water was filled with jellyfish swarms and current turbulence. Our sub was stalled toward the end. The crew cast said we should look for the sea monster and the old ruins, as an homage to the original ride, but I didn’t see anything. Since I have an unreasonable love of the sea monster I looked really hard. (He was crosseyed, and his tongue hung out like a puppy. My eight-year-old self fell in love!)

On the other hand, the clock tower which houses “it’s a small world” was back to the original white and gold color scheme I love. I do think it is one of the more beautiful architectural facades I’ve ever seen. It touches a deeply buried sentimental side in me that taps into the child in me. I always remember how beautiful I thought it was when I first saw it when I was about four. When I took Icepick out there during the summer of 1996, it had been painted in an assortment of pastels and wasn’t nearly as pretty as I remembered. I thought my memory was faulty until I saw it during my trip.

It also bears mentioning that the “small world” ride itself is significantly different enough from its Disney World to merit riding. It’s expanded and has more tableaus (including mermaids). Embrace the song. It’s hopeful and optimistic, and we can all use a little of that in our lives. (Note: I have been known to frighten people by singing all the verses. It’s a gift.)

One more note, if you want to avoid some of the crowds, you can have your ticket take at the monorail entrance at Downtown Disney. The monorail will drop you in Tomorrow Land, right in the middle of the Nemo submarine line. It turns out it is possible to spend the several hours at DisneyLand and never actually see the castle (which is still closed anyway. Stupid security measures.).

A good time was ultimately had by all. It was just so blasted hot, which made everybody cranky, no matter how much I insisted we go back to the hotel room and return in the evening. See, in Florida, we have the good sense to stay indoors until at least 5:00; it’s how we survive.

So that sums up the Disney trip. The other days were spent visiting family in the desert until I could make my escape to the loving arms of my husband and my cats. On the up side, I don’t think I will have to go back any time soon. Everyone seemed very excited about the prospect of us starting a family this year and understood the need to save money. We’ll see how it goes.