So You Want to Be a Wizard

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:18 am
lunabee34: (reading by thelastgoodname)
[personal profile] lunabee34
So You Want to Be a Wizard (Young Wizards, #1)So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was wonderful! It's YA, and on the younger side of YA, but such a fun read. It follows Nita and Kit who both find books about becoming wizards and choose to take the oath. They meet a white hole and senior level wizards and become responsible for the fate of the whole universe along the way.

The magic is really cool here--based on the Speech, on knowing something truly by saying it truly. It also features sentient trees and mechanical objects and some really cool magic involving time.

I don't want to spoil the ending, so I won't say what happens to make me cry, but I was surprised how moved I was by the ending. Full on sniffling. :)

Definitely recommend this one; I think it's the start of a series as well.



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Plans

Jul. 21st, 2017 10:05 pm
aximili: The Rachel Maddow Show (Political: Rachel Maddow Show Sign)
[personal profile] aximili
I'm planning on getting a CostCo surfboard to practice. The people there say those surfboards are fine for beginners.

I noticed from the photos of me surfing that I have gained a lot of my old weight back (not so surprising - I've had a lot of sugars lately, and I've been eating a lot of fast food again.)

So Since I'm free Saturday mornings again I'm going to try to do the 5k runs regularly and then the 10k runs. I'll have to figure out the rest of the week.

the sequel

Jul. 21st, 2017 08:24 pm
kore: (Prozac nation)
[personal profile] kore
DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOUR THERAPY WORKBOOK: //arrives

MOI: //stares at it with mixture of fear, wariness and resistance

//eyes copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn instead

In my shoes, a walking sleep

Jul. 21st, 2017 04:55 pm
kore: (Brain fail)
[personal profile] kore
My memory has been even more blitzed since the news of Bennington's suicide (sorry, everyone I was commenting with) so today, I apparently double-dosed every single med I take. There are quite a few. (Two antidepressants, one mood stabilizer, two acid reducers, baby aspirin, an NSAID, blah, fucking blah....)

A WINNER IS ME.

I guess in a couple of hours, I'll be hypomanic/super-stable, all chronic pain will be totally gone and my sinuses will be extra SUPER clean! XDDDDDDD

(if brains are so fucking important you'd think they'd work right)

Skydive SCUBA dive

Jul. 21st, 2017 04:35 pm
aximili: (Default)
[personal profile] aximili
I am literally taking the SCUBA refresher WHILE waiting to be suited up to skydive. #multitasking
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
[personal profile] havocthecat
For anyone who might be interested, Pixar has Pixar in a Box on Khan Academy.

It's primarily directed at film writing, but I think it can be used for all types of narrative storytelling. I've been listening to The Art of Storytelling video series.

It starts out with "We are all storytellers," (I'm there still) which I think is an admirable point and has a number of their creators talking about their amateur efforts and how they got started, like Betty and Veronica fashion fanart. :)

It leads to characterization and story structure, and while I don't know that visual language is going to be terribly helpful to us print writers, it might give good ideas for descriptions of scenery to go around dialogue. There are also lessons and activities that you can do, should you choose.

(I can't find closed captions on Khan Academy, though. That's my one quibble thus far.)

One of my favorite pieces of writing advice is still this graphic: Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling.

No, I'm not saying they have to be YOUR rules too. I'm just saying I find the list as a useful set of way to help me go through one of my stories and figure out what's not working and what I need to do to make it work. Or sometimes, for me to just let go and stopy worrying at something, and maybe come back to it later.

Poor Baby

Jul. 20th, 2017 08:40 pm
aximili: A loris. (Nature: Loris)
[personal profile] aximili
This one character really hurts my heart in Strain. I mean, I know it's fiction, but he confronts his turned mother. Then he goes to an Indian restaurant where there's this woman he likes. Then her parents and this other character give him a shitty time til he leaves. Then his childhood hero (works in the Indian restaurant) treats him like a shitstain.

Like damn guys, you don't know what he just went through tonight! And all he did was tell your daughter to respect her mother because she'll miss her when she's gone!




I wish I had friends that were more into the outdoors/adventurous stuff. Jessica and Nick are more museum buddies.

I know, I know. I promised I wouldn't complain unless I didn't make friends while doing said things, instead of wishing they'd just like, randomly appear out of the ground. I'm working on it.

I also have Groupons for dance classes, so that gives me a few weeks of activity and something I'm interested in trying out without fleeing the country.

Uhm. I decided against the Himalaya trip in October (I'll use the credit to do it at another date.) It's too long a trip given what I'm trying to do this year. I really want to focus on the vocational things - e.g., the CNA course. Some of them have absolutely no leeway for taking up missed classes, so a two-week trip would be a bad idea. I may see about a shorter trip at some point, though.

I'll do local things I wanted to do this year, then use the credit to go next year. If I'm really lucky, by then I'll know someone I can invite so I'm not spending extra money to travel solo (though traveling solo sounds fun.)

... I hope I can learn paragliding this year.

On a Roll

Jul. 20th, 2017 07:17 pm
aximili: (Avatar TLA: Toph/Mysterious Smile)
[personal profile] aximili
So, I signed up for the skydive in Oceanside. I want to try to do a group outing too, but I also decided this year I'm going to stop waiting for people to be available and do things I want to do, when I want to do them.

I'm excited because the last time I went skydiving I didn't video. Paid for it. But they forgot to turn the camera on. (I still got photos, though.)

Also, this time I can wear whatever I want, since I'm not on vacation. At the very least, I can not be wearing black socks on my bare legs.

Anyway, I thought, "I have the whole DAY off tomorrow (and Saturday I work in the afternoon) why don't I try something else as well?"

So... What else is on my list of things I've wanted to do?

I was trying to think about what I... Like I want to do. Really specifically me, nothing to do with what other people want to do.

I think I want to avoid rock-climbing for now. I want to climb, but mostly I want to climb for fitness reasons. I don't feel the urge to scale mountains the way my sister does. That's not my thing.

SCUBA takes too much time. I really want to do it, but I need to plan out trips, take other classes (I want to learn cave/wreck diving.) I'd like to get a case for my phone so I can take photos. (What a day. I don't need a waterproof camera. There are houses for iPhones.)

I want to do bungee jumping, but fitting that all into one weekend might be too difficult and/or expensive. (Also, it's something I'd like to do for the purpose of being certified.)

I'm thinking surfing or wind-surfing. I really want to do both (especially wind-surfing.)

But surfing might be easier because there are local lessons offered. I can't seem to find wind-surfing lessons. Plus, surfing I can do here any time. You have to find places/conditions for wind-surfing.




I'm not going to avoid co-workers, but I am going to do things on my own a while too, meet people in relation to the activity instead of work environment. I think that if I do the things I'm talking about, people will be more likely to take those plans seriously because they'll want to do them. (Well, maybe not for the hiking.)

Since I'm not working Saturday mornings now, I may also start trying to regularly do 5ks. I've really wanted to do that. And now I have Saturday mornings.




Okay so:

1. Surfing tomorrow morning.
2. Skydiving tomorrow afternoon.
3. 5k Saturday morning.
4. Photography Sunday.

BOOM. Plans set. I want to do wind-surfing really badly. But I think I want to learn something I can do just any old day ASAP.

Skydiving!!!

Jul. 20th, 2017 04:49 pm
aximili: (Avatar TLA: Toph Escatic)
[personal profile] aximili
I booked a skydiving trip for tomorrow!!

I'd been waiting to go in Monterey (world's highest tandem dive) but I'll try later in the year.

I'm also thinking about surfing lessons. I'd been wanting to a while. But I have two days off this week.

Then I'm also trying to figure out where I want to take photos this weekend.
kore: (Orpheus & Eurydice)
[personal profile] kore
MOI: Hey I feel less soul-crushingly depressed, let's see if I can make it from the bed to the sofa.

INTERNET: GUESS WHAT ANOTHER ADDICTED ARTIST WITH A MOOD DISORDER IN YOUR GENERATION DIED, WANNA GUESS HOW, GO ON, JUST GUESS

MOI: //would set shit on fire if not glued to couch


Everybody's sharing that "Hunger Strike" duet but I can't fucking listen to that right now, although they both look so joyful, it just breaks my heart. Been listening to this on repeat instead.



One promise you made
One promise that always remains
No matter the price
A promise to survive
Persevere and thrive
And dare to rise once more



and this one made me feel a little less crap.

havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
[personal profile] havocthecat
ETA: Logged out and gone to sleep. Good night, all!

I'm going to be trying to figure out what city I should be setting my urban fantasy in. (Or at least, what it should be an analogue to, geography-wise.)

I'll be on Discord for a couple of hours, if anyone wants to join me:

https://discord.gg/w9PK3Yg

(This time I'll remember to edit the post to say when I log off Discord!)

Ethan Frome

Jul. 19th, 2017 02:20 pm
lunabee34: (Default)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Ethan FromeEthan Frome by Edith Wharton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I last read this book in 8th grade about 26 years ago. I remembered liking it and the general plot but not much else. Recently, a bunch of people on FFA were talking about how much they hated the book, so I thought I'd revisit it and see if my opinion had changed.

I still like it. :) I am a huge sucker for stories in which much of the narrative is ambiguous or imagined or a deliberate fantasy (see the Haunting of Hill House, which also shares a climax with this novel, or "The Last Man" episode of SGA). We don't actually know if the backstory the narrator of Ethan Frome has invented is true; he imagines the bulk of the story in the second before he crosses the threshold to Ethan's home. Conversations he has with Ethan and with other townspeople corroborate parts of his fantasy, but our unnamed narrator could be misreading the clues as badly as Lockwood does in the beginning of Wuthering Heights (although probably not; there's no textual evidence he's doing so).

The language here is so beautiful. It isn't spare though the scenes Wharton describes are often spare and stark. Here's an example: "A mournful peace hung on the fields, as though they felt the relaxing grasp of the cold and stretched themselves in their long winter sleep."

Overall, an enjoyable and quick read. If you're looking for a happy ending, this is not the novella for you. Everyone in this story is trapped and has very few choices if they have any at all. Poverty is a vise around Ethan and Mattie and Zeena that they can't dislodge. It's beautifully written, though, and a good look at the shape despair sometimes takes.



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lunabee34: (btvs: buffy gun by eyeconic)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Let's do a silly meme.

Tell me about the episode (or book chapter) that never appeared in one of your fandoms but should have.

Here's mine.

Buffy: I always wished that Buffy's dad had showed up again after Joyce's death. I found his complete disregard of his children horrific, and while I didn't want him to be redeemed at all, I wanted him to show up at least once again so Buffy could tell him off for abandoning her.

Firefly: I would have liked a trip home for one of the crew, maybe to meet Kaylee's parents or Jayne's siblings or Mal's extensive network of female cousins.

Star Trek TNG: I really wanted more episodes with Beverly and Deanna being besties. I would have especially loved an episode where they were trapped on a planet and in survival mode or spent the episode with only each other to rely on.

What about you?

Game of Thrones: Season 7 Premiere

Jul. 18th, 2017 07:49 am
lunabee34: (got: sansa by bluelantern)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Man, I love this show. Last season was so strong, especially the finale, and this opener promises another really strong season.

SPOILERS )

Reading

Jul. 18th, 2017 07:07 am
lunabee34: (reading by tabaqui)
[personal profile] lunabee34
The Liberation (The Alchemy Wars, #3)The Liberation by Ian Tregillis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This book is the best of the series. So many times, an otherwise excellent series ends on a faltering note; endings are really, really hard, and making the final installment worthy of what comes before is a difficult task. Tregillis hits it out of the park.

Many, many aspects of the situation are left unresolved. Years, decades, maybe even centuries of work are left to be done to figure out how the three empires will coexist, share or withhold resources and territory, and police themselves.

But the character arcs are resolved quite satisfactorily. I do not want to spoil even a mote of this wonderful conclusion, so I will just urge you all to read it. If you like artificial intelligence, steampunk, female characters (strong, flawed, stubborn, sometimes bordering on evil), tight plotting, and beautiful language, then this is the series for you!



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The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook: Revolutionary Techniques. Groundbreaking RecipesThe How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook: Revolutionary Techniques. Groundbreaking Recipes by America's Test Kitchen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is an excellent cookbook--meticulously researched with a great introductory chapter that explains what gluten is and how it functions in the foods we eat as well as going through all the different types of gf flours and grains. There are even some product reviews like in the magazine (best already-made sandwich bread, etc.).

I like that this isn't just about desserts. Baked goods get more than half the cookbook and rightly so, but there's all sorts of savory dishes and salads with grains that look amazing.

This would be an excellent addition to the kitchen shelf for anyone who's eating gf.



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(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 04:05 pm
kore: (Prozac nation)
[personal profile] kore
MOI: Life is a confusing huge chaotic system, the internet is undermining everyone's attention span and especially mine, global politics is a horrible Roman circus, global warming will kill us all, I can't think coherently in sentences anymore

T: ....did you remember to take your sertraline and oxcarbazepine before 3 PM?

MOI: -- MOTHERFUCKEDY


(I should really take one of each in the morning and again in the late afternoon, but LOL I can barely remember to take ALL my pills once a day in a huge bolus, good fucking luck to my continued existence if my body ever depends on taking different medication at different times during the same day)

Book 2: The Alchemy Wars

Jul. 17th, 2017 12:09 pm
lunabee34: (reading by sallymn)
[personal profile] lunabee34
The Rising (The Alchemy Wars, #2)The Rising by Ian Tregillis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This series is so good. Tregillis's writing is beautiful; his descriptions of the natural world are a delight to read.

Without giving too much away, this middle installment sees the hopes of both Jax and Berenice fundamentally altered. Jax in particular discovers that sometimes a myth is just that.

I especially enjoyed the sections from Longchamp's POV. His stoicism and crudity and perseverance make him such a interesting and colorful character.

I am very interested to see what happens in the concluding book. I hope all my favorite characters make it to the end, but I suspect that's a naive hope.



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Doctor Who (and St. Trinian's)

Jul. 17th, 2017 10:59 am
havocthecat: polly (red-haired geek with glasses) and celia (blonde loner) of st. trinian's (st trinians polly/celia)
[personal profile] havocthecat
The best part of the Doctor Who casting announcement is that it opens up EVEN MORE amazing possibilities for horrifyingly beautiful St. Trinian's crossovers.

"Oh, Beverly!" called Miss Fritton from her office, leaning over and waving one hand. Beverly could see one her out of the corner of one eye.

"Yeah, miss!"

"What's that little knobbly thingummy you're pointing at the door?"

"It's a sonic screwdriver, miss!"

"What's it for?"

"Nothing, miss!" There was Dalek invasion and the First Years were busy lobbing explosives from the tower while Beverly - the Doctor, really, but she'd been undercover for years and thought of herself as Beverly still - remodulated the alarm system to broadcast a frequency that would short-circuit their disruptor beams. The Daleks, not the First Years.

Though Beverly privately thought the First Years infinitely more dangerous to let loose upon the human race than the Daleks, but she did have standards after all, and centuries of enmity with the Daleks to uphold.

"So what you're saying," said Miss Fritton, appearing in her doorway with an empty bottle of vodka in one hand, "is that we're out of vodka and you forgot to stock up, is that it?"

"Get the gin, miss," said Beverly, holding back a sigh.