Friday, August 31, 2007

Oh, joy!

I wasn't planning on watching the new show Big Shots this fall, but then I saw that Michael Vartan has a lead role! Who could pass up a chance to watch him every week? Not me. Oh, sweet Alias, why did you have to go away?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Pity Party: Check

It's very nearly too hot to blog again. I'm practicing the ancient Yoga tradition of stilling one's entire body save the typing fingers.

Pity parties = wild amounts of fun. I'm thinking of making this an annual or semiannual event. So cleansing! Getting all that anger and frustration off of one's chest, defacing inflatable men, burning things, torturing the Homer Simpson voodoo doll...



Give the people a sharpie and a wall to write on, and look at the wonderful gems they produce:






Hopefully my SIL will email me the rest of the pictures from the party soon, so I can show you all the lovely play doh figurines T and I sculpted for the center-pieces, and so you can see the all of the yummy chocolate desserts we enjoyed.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Internet roundup

Just a few neat-o articles/websites to tickle your fancy on this Thursday night:
  1. Great/poignant comic/social commentary
  2. Extra emptiness in space
  3. Diamonds nearly as old as the earth
  4. More new creatures discovered in the ocean
And I have a new blogging idea. It has recently come to my attention that I take the stories a friend of mine tells me of her life and consistently embellish them wildly in my mind, only to regurgitate them to her later in some sort of uncrecognizable form. I'm thinking of actually writing out a biography of her life as I have remembered it (ok, and possibly with the addition of some blatant and vastly-more-conscious-embellishments) as a serial. Let me know what you guys think. I can already tell you what the first line of the biography would be, if it helps sway you in either direction:

"X was born on March 11th, the 15th child of a 15th child, already an aunt and already a grandmother."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Pity Party check list

Black balloons? CHECK!
Black streamers? CHECK!
Dried out gummy heart? CHECK!
Little Homer Simpson voodoo doll? CHECK!
Pins for said voodoo doll? CHECK!
Play Doh? CHECK!
Massive amounts of chocolate desserts? CHECK!
Booze? CHECK!
Nifty door prize? CHECK!

We are all systems go, people! Two days until the Wall of Woe is covered in angry graffiti and we can lose ourselves in mood enhancing chocolate and alcohol. And even some chocolate alcohol. Repeat after me: BOYS ARE STUPID, THROW ROCKS AT THEM.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

First (and last?) peach pie of the season

This is the glory that awaits me after dinner tonight. Behold, the before:

Peach pie before baking

Notice how lovingly the lattice crust has been woven together, full of tasty potential! And the after picture:

Peach pie close up

I can't wait! And now you know how it will be eaten.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Reasons to love the new USA show Burn Notice:
  1. It's MacGyver sans the ookie mullet.
  2. The main character's an ex-spy. I love TV shows about spies. And movies about spies. And books about spies.
  3. You get to see Miami without having to experience the pesky weather (*shudder*).
  4. Jeffrey Donovan's cute little grins really grow on you.
  5. Reminders of Gabrielle Anwar's prior career ("Sonora, you have to face reality!").
  6. All the main and recurring characters have great comedic timing.
  7. Fun improvised gadgets.
  8. It's already been renewed for a second season, so there's no reason not to get attached!
I'm sure I'm missing some reasons, but you'll hear about them as the season goes on!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I need a hobby

It make shock you to learn that I have a great deal of time on my hands. This will shock you because, as J so kindly pointed out to me today, I've been pretty bad about posting lately. I blame the llamas.

For those of you "out of the know," llamas are those pesky little dramas that creep up on you from time to time. Or more frequently, depending on how "lucky" you are. I am currently very "lucky." I'm officially one Book short of a full bookcase. And so I've found myself....well, vacuuming the ceilings, really.

Don't worry, I've already staged an intervention with myself.

"Self!" I said. "Look here! Stop vacuuming. PUT THE DUSTER DOWN. Your place is already spotless, and scientists have proven that children who live in dirtier homes are healthier overall. Yes, yes, I know you're not a child. Yes, I know they were talking about pets, but--I! SAID! STOP! Ahem. Now that I've gotten your attention...don't you think it's time to find something else to do with your time? Something new and exciting?"

You see, I can be very stern with myself when it's warranted.

But what will I do with my time? What new obsession awaits me? What is there for me to discover? I have some thoughts. I can:
  1. read the encyclopedia
  2. become a correspondent on the Daily Show
  3. learn how to become a trapeze artist
  4. volunteer at the local library and pretend I'm a librarian
  5. take up ballroom dancing
  6. finally take one of those ITT Tech courses that have been advertised on TV since I was a Wee Bibliophile
  7. make the state's largest tin foil ball
  8. create my own new book award
  9. become an Top 25 reviewer
And...And....I need suggestions, but please stay away from things like "knitting" or "running." And anything you suggest should be a relatively inexpensive activity. If you actually suggest something that I take up, you'll have done a very good deed.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Just a quick post on two cookbooks that focus on making sound, ethical choices when you're standing in line to buy meat and fish wherever it is you buy them:
Happy eating!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Sweet Far Thing outtakes!

Check out Libba Bray's most recent livejournal entry with outtakes from her upcoming book! It should be in stores this December. I! Can't! Wait!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

TTTB (too tired to blog)

Had another insanely early morning at work today, so I think I'll just leave you guys with some interesting news items:
  • I blogged a little while ago about a new "species" of chimp that was found deep in the forests of the Congo. Well, it seems the scientists have had a chance to do a little more exploring (I'm only guessing it's in the same area), and look at all the exciting things they've found!
  • There's ground-breaking news from the anthropology community about our ancestry. Little known fact about the Bibliophile: I almost became an Anthropologist instead of a Chemist! Who knew?!
  • And on a sadder note, more news in line with what I blogged about yesterday on L.O.N.T.E.D.
Hopefully you'll get a more coherent post from me tomorrow. I'll leave you with what I'm reading now:

Monday, August 6, 2007

Food for thought

The New York Times has an eye-opening Op-Ed today about "food miles," or the distance a piece of food travels to reach your plate, be it beef, avocados or zucchini. With eating locally becoming all the rage for environmentally conscious folk, it's important to keep in mind that the energy cost of a given food is more than the sum of it's plane rides; one must consider the energy that goes into producing the food as well. How much fertilizer did that plant need to grow? Did the tomato need to be kept in a greenhouse, or did it grow outside?

I'm loving how much people have started thinking about their food, but clearly there's more work to be done. Is there some way to label fruits, vegetables and meats to give an indication of the amount of energy required to produce the food, taking all of these factors into account? Some mass database that will spit the number out for each food item at a given grocery store? Such a database would certainly require the cooperation of the farmers, but maybe these farmers will be more and more willing to participate as people's awareness continues to grow.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

100 books!

I knew the milestone was creeping up on me, I just didn't realize that, as I stayed up to finish the mediocre Children of the Lamp: The Akhenaten Adventure by P. B. Kerr, it was the hundredth book I've read since January 1 of this year. Holy guacamole! If I had realized maybe I would have read Soon I Will Be Invincible, American Born Chinese, Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch, or The Lightening Thief instead, all happily awaiting me in my To Read pile. I guess it doesn't *really* matter what my hundredth book is, just that I have one.

Today is the 215th day of 2007, which means I've been averaging 0.47 books per day. If I can sustain this level of productivity (which I'm skeptical that I can, but you never know), I should be able to read another 70 or 71 books by the start of 2008. Holy crap.

In any case, I wasn't so impressed with Children of the Lamp. Ex-Book once asked me how I find new books to read and I told him from a number of places: book reviews of various newspapers and magazines, blogs, Amazon, ALA websites, etc. I wish for the life of me I could remember who/what recommended CotL, though, so I could take future recommendations with a grain of salt. Or at least be a bit more careful. Maybe in my nifty Books I Want to Read journal I should indicate who/what recommended the book in parenthesis so that I can track which sources I can trust. For example:

Amazon has a nifty feature called "Grown Up School: Expert recommendations from your favorite authors." Where is the bad in this, I ask you? Well, as I've come to realize, just because you absolutely LOVE something a particular author has written, it doesn't mean you necessarily like their taste in books. I love Neil Gaiman, so I took his recommended Shadow and Claw with me on my vacation last month. He describes the book as "The best SF novel of the last century." I mean, wow, that's quite the endorsement! Too bad I really, really didn't like it. Or maybe I would have liked it if it didn't seem way over my head, or if I felt like there was a plot. On the other hand, I've tried a few of the recommendations Justine Larbalestier has given out on her blog, and have liked them all so far. Like I said, we must track, track, track! Reading is a serious business, people, and not for the faint of heart.

I'm curious about where you all find recommendations for new books to read, so if you don't mind, will you respond to the poll I've posted on the right hand side of this page?

UPDATE: As the nifty new "poll" feature on blogger isn't working right now, why don't you guys tell me in the comments how you find new books to read, and where you get your recommendations from.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

From the mouths of fortune cookies

"When the moment comes, take the first one from the right."

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

"I am the poodle," she said.

Some writers are gifted in their ability to create the most delightful fluff. It's light, it's easy, it slips down past your brain without requiring any thought. It's funny. Tonight, Maureen Johnson has proven to me that she does brain candy like no one else. If a meteor crashed through my roof and destroyed all my worldly possessions, I might find myself walking to the library to re-read her book Devilish *just* for a laugh from lines like:
  • "A cat had jumped on his back once and ridden him like a camel, digging its claws in for support."
  • "I don't normally like to collect other people's vomit, but this seemed like a good time to make an exception to that rule."
Is it Great Literature? No. Did it take less than three hours to read through? Yes. But it was oh-so entertaining, and exactly what I needed to read tonight.