Bookstores

Feb. 17th, 2015 12:09 am
sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
There is a magic in used bookstores, one that is not as easily found anywhere else. It can be the tiniest little shithole with the worst selection of romance novels and computer manuals from the early 1990s, but it will still be a place I want to wander and sit and look at the titles and just breathe, quietly, between the stacks.

The components combine to make the whole more than the parts. You have books (actual physical books, because for all that the part that matters is the words inside, and those can be made in so many new ways) combined with things that have already been owned, (and touched, and maybe used and loved by someone else), combined with a claustrophillic winding room, with aisles too close together and too tall. Sometimes you get an older person working the counter, who knows where everything is without looking it up. Sometimes you get cartoons pinned to the bookshelves, or postcards, or lists. Once, I was in a used bookshop that offered discounts, ten percent off for every foot of books you purchased.

Sometimes there are cats.

The used bookstore I was in today was a combination English and Japanese shop, with almost no non-fiction. Opposite the sff shelves were rows of little Japanese paperbacks (just proving that I can feel magic-safe-right inside a bookstore even if I don't speak the language, and that was a valuable thing to know). Poking around, I found a tiny back closet, barely wide enough for me to walk into and maybe only three feet long. It was probably storage, full of extra manga and Harlequins, but it was tight and dark and cool and I could breathe out everything that is hard about the world.

There is magic in used bookstores and magic in used books. I am glad.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
I read 284 books in 2013. Or at least, something really close to that number. How do I know? LibraryThing makes it really easy to log that sort of information.

Now, before you get excited and consider me some sort of wizard, do bear in mind that lots of those books are [childrens'] picture books and relatively quick reads. But lots of them aren't. There were some excellent [YA] series in there, and even some straight-up grown-up books. But still, even if you throw out two thirds of them for being under 32 pages, that's a truly remarkable stack of literature. How did I do it?

Three easy factors, all connected.

Factor One: I cannot stand being bored, not ever. Books are a good way to fix that.

Factor Two: Being a substitute teacher involves a surprising amount of downtime. Downtime is boring.

Factor Three: Every classroom I have ever been in over the last year and a half (and realistically the thirteen years of public education I underwent as well) has books in it.

Oh sure, there are other extenuating things, like the fact that I spent March through July of the year working in the building directly adjacent to the main branch of the Somerville Library, and there's always the boost that I read quickly, and let's be honest, I tend towards YA lit and escapism, these are hardly Grave And Serious Tomes I am consuming. But seriously, the big three: I get bored easily, being a substitute is boring, classrooms have books. It's a perfect trifecta.

I'm gonna give some spoiler free recommendations and reviews (and flailing) under this here cut! )

...whew.

One thing that makes me especially happy, looking back at this list? Just how many of the books I consumed featured kickass female main characters. Cishetwhitemen are _so_ pre-21st century.

Here's to 2014. Already I've read 8 books. Okay, four are board books (but Sandra Boynton is better even than Mo Willams!) but two are goddamn grown-up literature like you'd read for a book club8. Anyways, yay for tracking books and then writing two and a half thousand words about them.

~Sor
MOOP!

1: Ohman, so my OC is great, because she's just a Rioter, but she's _really_ good at it, and runs around in a mistcloak and people don't really ever bother to test or doubt her (because this is set pre-mistborn) and she just does some subtle fucking with their emotions whenever they start to doubt and just encourages everyone to think she's a full mistborn and also she knows a lot of parkour that kinda looks like pushing or pulling if you're not paying too much attention okay I'll shut up now.

2: For people who are always bad at that (like me), this is early 1800s. It edges into the Napoleonic war as the series continues.

3: Technically untrue, the one set in Spain I found mostly dull, except for the bits where she was actively doing arty things with Goya. And doing mushrooms. And running around as a spy. Okay, basically I found the boys in this one annoying and boring.

4: Meyer says he will write sequels and prequels and side books and the like for as long as he is able which I am A-OKAY WITH!

5: "This Machine Kills Demons". *SWOON!*

6: I should read more Newberys and Caldecotts, I do like kidlit a hella lot, and the whole point of them is to point out the best. That'd be a hella blog series or something.

7: Woo girl scout camp!

8: The teacher of the class I've been in loaned me The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and it is both the best book I've read all year and my favourite WWII novel ever. I found it really splendid and lovely, and have quotes written down and a whole passage to copy out sometime for being so chilling. It's post-war, and exceptional and I'll squee more a year from now perhaps.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
Today I wound up doing that thing where I went into the library. This is only a bad plan insomuch as I seem incapable of exiting the library with fewer books than when I entered. At least this one had a couple of quickies --an elfquest comic, a photo book, Old Possom's Book of Practical Cats-- in addition to the full length novels.

In light of my bibliophilia, it occurs to me that while I have mentioned The Pirate's Mixed Up Voyage to many readers of this journal, many times, I have never given a proper review or synopsis. This is a grave oversight, and I wish to rectify it now.

The Pirate's Mixed Up Voyage (hereafter abbreviated "tpmov") is my absolute favourite book. It's a children's chapter book aimed at the...oh, probably 8-12 range, but I am horribly biased and think it's quite silly enough for younger children, and quite awesome enough for much older. There are some beautiful pieces of prose within its confines, and vocabulary one must occasionally look up.

The story is of Lionel Wafer (as hairy as he is handsome, and as handsome as he is hairy!) who owns a tea-shop themed around pirates. Not content to having piracy be merely a theme, he and his three employees cast off, rechristian the ship (from Ye Olde Pirate Tea Shoppe to The Sinful Sausage), and become Actual Pirates! This is a decision predicated on wanting to live a life that is simple and free, without any of those pesky real-world nuisances like library cards and parking meters.

As you might imagine, things remain simple for about a chapter (and chapters in this book are very short, often no more than two or three pages) before they come up with the bright idea to become millionaires by stealing the diamond doorknob from the house of famed inventor Humbert Cash-Cash. They rapidly encounter witches, firedrakes, flamethrowers, stubborn orphans, puzzle pieces, detectives, encyclopedias, a hot air balloon, true love, and a genuine bone fide desserted island. Oddly, the romantic piratical life is a lot less simple than they thought.

My favourite character from the book (besides the tall, thin, nervous pirate named Brace-and-Bit, who recites in rhyme when he gets scared) is Mrs. Hatchett, a Doctor of Literature and schoolteacher who joins their crew through convoluted circumstance. She carries a saber and a gun, wears a spiked belt and the hood and cloak of a Doctor of Literature, and if the illustrations are to be believed (though it is not made explicit in text) she has long hair she wears in a bun and hair braids looped around her ears, and a polka-dotted dress.

I want to cosplay her so hard I may explode.

The prose is elegant and clever, with a few truly poetic turns of phrase. The end of the very first paragraph reads "He was tired of real life with all its rules and regulations, and in his heart he dreamed of being a pirate", a phrase which has adorned more than one piece of my clothing. The whole book is lighthearted and funny and occasionally quite intelligent (such as when Humbert Cash-Cash gives the scientific explanation for his diamond doorknob).

I will not be giving spoilers, but I do own three copies (one of which I believe is currently at Kent State...I should get that back from Ria someday) and I will happily loan them out at the drop of a hat, so long as I always possess at least one for myself. It is my security blanket in book form, I have been known to, after a truly crapflapnasti1 day, collapse in a puddle under my favourite grey blanket with one of my copies. "For in times of great stress a good book is often all the comfort you can reasonably expect to find."

I have met very few people who've heard of or read the book before I pressed it into their hands and warned them how special it is to me. All of those people are _the best people ever_. Most of them are from New Zealand, which I think is the homecountry of the book's author, Margaret Mahy.

She's written lots and lots of other books, but I've pretty much only read the ones that fit in the same canon as this one. The Great Piratical Rumbustification, for instance, and The Librarian and the Robbers. When I have a child, Mahy books will make up a not-inconsiderable part of their library.

So I guess all I'm really saying is that I really love this book, and if you ever see it for sale somewhere cheap, you should let me know or buy me another loaner copy or buy it for yourself or whatever. If you want to try reading it, you should definitely do that --I can get through it in about an hour and a half, I wouldn't expect it to take much more than five or six (from someone who reads slower2 and has not read it many times before.)

~Captain Katarina Sublime, of the good ship Sublimity
MOOP!

1: I have been reading the Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians books. They're excellent. I am very sad Branden Sanderson has not come out with a fifth yet.

2: I read faster than everyone I've ever cared to compare myself to except for my friend Rohan from high school, a fact we determined when the hour to read three chapters of Animal Farm3 got me to the end of chapter seven, and him to the end of chapter nine. Grr!

3: This is such an egregious waste of class time it makes me angry. One hour, for a classful of Gifted and Talented kids to read three chapters of Animal Farm, which is _not a difficult book_. Part of the charm of AF is the juxt

I just realized Animal Farm and Artemis Fowl have the same initials. I smell crossover!

Part of the charm is the juxtaposition between the relatively simple turn of phrase and cute animal content (making it seem like a book for juveniles) and the higher level parallels between the farm and Soviet Russia. Great book to study in school where you can really hyper-analyze the crap out of it. I still reread it for the cute animals.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
And now a mini-meme, sourced from Jazzfish. It's "What are you reading?" Wednesday!

What are you reading?

Technically I'm between books at the moment, since I haven't actually opened a new one since touching down in California. So, the usual answer to that question, which is "bits and pieces of the internet, but especially LettersFromTitan.tumblr because I don't care if it's about Glee, Racheline writes better than I ever will and I want her words like breathing".

Yes, the thing I most regularly check into online is Rach's tumblr. Fight me.

What did you recently finish reading?

Ah, a much more interesting question. Last Wednesday and Thursday, I was subbing at the high school which meant that it was trivial to get over to the library afterwards. On Wednesday I checked out eight books, and then on Thursday I returned the five of those I had finished, and checked out five more to replace them. See, I don't read anywhere near as often as I used to, and part of the reason is exactly this, because when I read? I do. Not. Stop. It takes significant effort (or an extremely dense book --Dune springs to mind) for me to not consume novels in their entirety, without pause for obligation, neither work nor social.

So, in the last week, I've read the first four volumes of Unshelved, "Gamer Girl" by Mari Mancusi1, and the first four novels in L.A. Meyer's "Bloody Jack" series, which is an excellent historical fiction romp with a fine female main character who I relate to immensely --her impulsive nature, her practicality, her crude language... She's far more of an adventuresome pirate than I, but oh, give me another time and place and I would've been Miss Lieutenant Jacky Faber, renowned in story and song.

I read the last one and a half of those on the plane(s) to California (it took me about three hours start to finish to devour the fourth. That's 528 pages to give you an idea of my reading speed. "Voracious" hardly covers it.), as well as A Taste for Death, the one Modesty Blaise paperback I own. I had thought I was somewhere in the middle of Taste for Death, but everything, even the ending, seemed vaguely familiar, so now I'm left wondering if I was in the middle of a different MB novel, or if I had finished this one and forgotten that fact. At any rate, they're damnably hard to get my hands on, so it's probably not going to be an issue until the next time I'm in Chicago for any length of time.

It's been a good week for books. Outside of the novel format, I've caught up on Homestuck, and been reading little bits and pieces of the internet --my limited livejournal friends' page and LFT as noted before.

What do you think you'll read next?

I have the fifth Bloody Jack book just waiting in my bag for the flight home. I mean, I might start it sooner than that, but there is a certain amount of my mind that finds it outrageous to be merely reading when I have a mek in my presence, what with the never getting to see him and all.

I was also gifted a copy of "Gun Machine", by Warren Ellis upon my arrival to the airport (it was wrapped in a fake flower, *wibbles*) and when mek learned I had never read any of John Green's stuff, he gave me his second copy of The Fault in Our Stars. So one of those things is what I will read, or all of those things, in that order. Once back home, I fully intend to grab the next two volumes of Unshelved and the next four Bloody Jack novels, and then I intend to maybe read the other books I checked out from the library, which includes an awesome-looking historfic novel called "Ladies in Waiting", and some nonfic, one about numbers and one about clothes. I do like me some clothes!

Dang, I guess this mini-meme was not so mini. I am not very good at not talking a lot about things I am excited by, which pretty much always includes books and fictional worlds.

~Sor
MOOP!

1: It's okay, nothing more. It felt very strongly of the groups I was a part of as a teenager, and I respected it for that, but of the three major plot twists, one was weak and one was stupid and frustrating. The third was just lovely though, and much of this book takes place in what are essentially Everquest chatlogs, and gawdamn does that feel like home.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
Today, a random link on Twitter led me to read a snippet of a story, a concept with dialogue, that serves as a heartbreaking completion to Peter Pan. It is called Never and it is by Ursula Vernon and is very dark and very beautiful.

In the comments, I see reference to another piece she did, rumours of a retelling of Red Riding Hood. So I go to look for it, and find it, and it too is heartbreaking and very dark and very beautiful. It is in two parts and called The Wolf and the Woodsman. I do not typically provide trigger warnings for fiction1 but it echos an abusive relationship, and you should know that if it's the sort of thing that hurts.

I am reminded that I deeply love Fairy Tales. And thinking of the compilation of Grimm's Tales I read when I was very young, I am reminded that I have a 6000 word post waiting to be published. See, I was given a meme, to write on twenty books that have influenced me. I am a writer, and before I was a writer, I was a reader. I am going to make this post in pieces, and it will probably be close to ten thousand words before I finish getting all the pieces posted.

So, twenty books that influenced me, part four2:

4) (age 8 to 17) Grimm Fairy Talesby the Brothers Grimm. I love fractured fairy tales more than many other types of stories, and it all starts with loving fairy tales. The collection we had contained about 200 of them, long and short, and I read every single one of them before I was very old at all. My favourite is Thousandfurs (though parts disturb me now) for I loved the idea of a dress as silver as the moon and one as golden as the sun and one as glittering as the stars --all which she would pack into a walnut shell.

I should try my hand at writing fairy tales more often. I have a two-thirds complete one from a couple years ago lying somewhere on my desktop, someone remind me to finish that one.


I feel I should mention too that I have read a vast number of fractures and retellings since then. Forget the sterilized Disney crap, I want a tale that is not afraid to be horrible, to tell me of wolves eating little girls, or a wicked witch being forced into red hot shoes and made to dance until her feet burned. In my version of Cinderella, the stepsisters cut chunks out their feet and little birds sing "Roocoo, roocoo, there's blood in the shoe".

My absolute favourite retelling of anything ever is Rapunzel's Revenge, but I also have much love in my heart for The Glass Slipper and Ella Enchanted (two very different retellings of Cinderella) and I will read The Ordinary Princess every time I come across it. (Don't you dare tell me it's not a fairy tale. It's not based on the original Grimm, but it is *absolutely* a fairy tale, in the purest sense of the term.)

I grew up with as many collections of fractured tales as I could get my hands on, and I still have my interest piqued when I see them in the stores.

This is incredibly long and meandery. That's okay, we're talking about books responsible for who I am as a person. Fairy magic is the kind I find most oft in the world, and I have always done my best to be polite to crones and animals, in case of meeting enchanted princes by accident, or fairies in disguise.

At any rate, read the Ursula Vernon stories linked. Or give me links to other good stories online, or books to look up in the library.

~Sor
MOOP!
(1/20)

1: I am not sure why this is. I can be triggered just as strongly by fiction as reality, because it's the _reminder_ that hurts me. But for some reason, I think less about needing them or looking for them when I am reading stories. Perhaps because there is some soft echo in my mind that they are "just stories"?

2: You did not miss parts 1-3. I am not doing these in order.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
I reread "Alvin's Secret Code" the other night, my favourite of the many excellent Alvin Fernald books.

That makes this link from Ria particularly apropos -- What your favourite childhood book says about you as an adult.

Of them, mine would have to be:

The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill
You are – or wish you were – an amateur guerrilla graffiti artist. Damn the man, man!


I pretty regularly shake my fist at trucks, _especially_ now that I'm riding my bike all over the place. Man do I ever love that book.

The above link also points at A collection of 50 books every child should read. I've read, urk, ten of them --nine, really, since they have the Moomin series twice (but I've read at least three, so it's okay).

I don't know what I'd put on such a list were I to rewrite it. The Number Devil, certainly. The whole series of Alvin Fernald --especially Alvin's Secret Code, despite how damn misogynistic the main character (though not particularly the author) is. The Great Brain. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and for slightly older (high school) audiences, Silent to the Bone1. Oh, Boy Meets Boy, for anyone who likes romance of any sort.

(The Pirate's Mixed Up Voyage, although there's a little part of me that wants to keep that mine.)

Basically everything Tamora Pierce has ever written, but probably Keladry's books most of all --First Test, Page, Squire, and Lady Knight. (Which is to say, not my favourite quartet (that would be Daine, iirc) but the one I think should most be read by all children.)

The Magic Moscow, and Atilla the Pun, and Wuggie Norple (you are the size of a small razorback hog) and THE BIG ORANGE SPLOT and man is Daniel Pinkwater fantastic. Oh! Ohgods, I could not honestly write this list without alotting half a dozen spots to Roald Dahl --The BFG was my favourite, but The Witches, and Matilda, and The Twits, and Esio Trot, and both Charlie books, and The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, and _yes_.

I kinda want to work on writing such a list. I'll keep you posting if I come up with anything.

~Sor
MOOP!

1: I can't say that Silent to the Bone is a better book than Mixed-Up Files, but I can certainly say that I've read it more. It's absolutely haunting. E.L.Konigsburg is a wonderful author.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
Don't have all that much to write about today2. Finished "The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest", meaning I'm officially done the trilogy3. Good books --trying to sift out who has and hasn't read them so I can gossip.

Before I start babbling about the books (and I invite you to add your own thoughts in the comments if you've read them), I do point out that one of the themes of the books is violence against women, especially sexual violence. So, trigger warning for rape, sexual and non-sexual violence, and pedophilia is in effect for this post and comments.

Some things I definitely love about the trilogy are spoilery )

I don't really have any other thoughts at the moment. Good read, all three of them, and now I'll have to find something else to read on the train. Recommended. Sometimes violent, though not super overly graphic, though like I said, lots of trigger-happy material. Your thoughts?

~Sor
MOOP!

1: Roughly, I would like to see more characters who are non-white, non-middle/upper class, non-straight, non-Christian, non-abled, non-monoamorous, non-vanilla, non-standard-body-types, non-cis, and/or non-male. Because that's what many real people are like, and it would be satisfying if there were more representations of us in the media.

(And as always, it's perfectly nice when there are relatable, well-written characters who are any or all of the above. None of these traits are inherently a bad thing. But it's also almost sickeningly common, and that disappoints me.)

2: This is in reference to my 750words account, and turned out to be a bitter lie, as I ended just under a thousand. Also, it's been 61 straight days since I missed. Holycrapwow. At any rate, I have many many things to post to LJ, and am probably going to start with a sundries post in a minute, so I can clear out some of the tabs I've got open.

3: By Steig Larsson: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.
sorcyress: A character from a comic about the maintenance workers of the universe, holding a thumbs up and saying "MOOP!" (Zonker-MOOP!)
I need very important advice, on two different concepts.

The first I will probably have people jumping to give --in Chicago, it has been declared that each of us kids will cook at least one dinner a week. I made some excellent pasta and cheese last week based on Magus's recipe, but I've slacked this week, and have no idea what to cook tomorrow night. Advice and recipes are needed!

specifics )

The second I will poss...

...dude, I totally just solved the second problem. I need a historical fiction book to read for the library reading challenge thing (which mom is totally kicking my ass on, mostly because I keep reading things like KoDT comics, which are awesome, but I'm not willing to call them some of the eight novels I have to read) and it occurs to me that "Napoleonic era" is totally historical fiction.

And therefore Napoleonic era with dragons is also totally historical fiction, right? Wevs, it follows the rules for histfic I was setting for myself namely not boring, and ideally Regency. Sweet!

(Unrelatedly, Scott Pilgrim is an awesome first book, and I am so pissed that the rest of the series isn't going to make it back to the library until after we've left. I may have to figure out the fastest (biking?) route to a local library to fix this.)

~Sor
MOOP!

ETA: When it comes to recipes, things without many spices are preferred, due to the aforementioned woefully understocked kitchen. So yeah, that. Also, thank you all. <3
sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
Author's Note: This post was written a few months ago, before I left Boston for the summer. I am only just now getting around to posting it as I clean up my desktop and put things away on my computer. Enjoy!

There are a multitude of tiny ways that make me think I'm faking it, loving too intensely, caring too much, altogether certain that there is a correct way to live ones life, and I am doing it decidedly Wrong. This is not an uncommon thought, I suspect, though also not a comfortable one. Why can we not accept that maybe this uncertainty is such a crucial part of humanity already?

Of course maybe the secret is not that the uncertainty itself is human, but that aspects of the uncertainty are universal. Little scraps of the world, when two people gasp at the idea that they share their strangeness. A spark of connection, where it is revealed that, reassuringly, we are not alone.

That being said.

"Everything has its place," her father had once said to her when she was young, showing her the long cedar drawers of the card catalogue in the great library where he worked, the brass brackets on its face shining like a policeman's buttons. "But more imoortant, everything's place is labeled. Order is transitive: order one precious thing and order the universe."

"Do I have a place in there?" November had asked, peering over the rim of one of the long boxes.

"Of course, baby," he had said, and with his big brown hand cuffed in plaid and smelling of lemon rinds from her mother's morning tea, riffled through a drawer and pulled a card from the stack.

006.332. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. H. F. Weckweet, 1923. Gleiss & Schafandre: New York.

She had taken it seriously. Even then she had not known another way of doing things. The book was on the seventh floor and she had walked the steps, every one, knowing that this was the only proper way to proceed to her place in the universe -an elevator is cheating. The book was small, in a brown leather cover embossed faintly with a little girl standing naked on a raft, straight as a mast, her stance determined, holding up her dress as a sail. It was, at the time, the oldest thing she had ever seen.

November had read it exactly two hundred and seventeen times, not counting unfinished perusals, since that day. It was, in fact, a long series of novels for children, but November did not care for the others: her father had not pulled them from the great catalogue and called them hers. She had not climbed seven flights of stairs for them. She had spent her birthday this year, her thirty-first, reading it cover to cover, dawn to dawn/ The girl in the book was named September, and she had known that this was meant for her, a message from Hortense Francis Weckweet and her father. Perhaps if the girl had not been called September, November would not have read it two hundred and seventeen times.

Pgs 124-5, Palimpsest by Catherynne Valente

Oh I see. That entry I made a few months ago, babling about the silly little book with the pirates?

I am not alone.

~Sor
MOOP!

ETA: Oh really? Blockquote won't do italics? That's curious. (and damn you society for ruining words I like --I would so rather be able to say "that's rather queer, isn't it?" but noooo.)

ETA2: No wait, I'm just an idiot who can't do HTML.
sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
In Indianapolis. Will make it to Chicago sometime this afternoon. Ambiguous when I get proper internet again, but then again, the advantage of being an adult is that I can take off and find a wifi enabled coffeeshop if I have to.

Really really really exhausted. Note to self, if ever mum suggests a road trip after two weeks of day camp without at least a day of rest, smack her around a bit.

Went to Young's Jersey Dairy, which is a memory from so far back I didn't even have a livejournal last time I passed through. Got "trash" as my ice cream which was vanilla died a *vivid* purple, with chocolate cups with assorted interesting fillings in it. The raspberry filled ones were my favourite. Also played on tractors and chased cats and admired goats. Was a good stop.

I have been reading in the car, which is one of those sentences that the majority of you probably looked at and went "so?". But let me emphisize my point here --I, for the very first time in my entire life, have been reading in the car. I have been reading, and not feeling queasy and puking. Oh frabjous day, the whole carsick thing that has plagued me my entire life has finally ebbed!

So pretty much as long as I had daylight yesterday, I was tearing through books --a couple of KoDT collections, "Autobiography of a One Year Old" (which I had read before and heartily enjoy) and a collection of Cory Doctorow's short stories called "Overclocked".

The Doctorow I had to put down halfway through --I was enjoying them, and from a relatively uninformed perspective, I seem to largely agree with his open-source ideals. But *man* is he militant about it. Sometimes I just want to read a stupid sci-fi story without any serious message about how OH NO THE WORLD IS GOING TO BE RUINED OH NOOOOOO!

(This may be why I read a lot more fantasy than sci-fi)

At any rate, I am currently reading "Alcatraz and the Evil Librarians", which is totally fun so far, and very silly. AND, might I add, mindless fantasy without any great message to it. Based on the first sixty pages, I recommend it, especially to [livejournal.com profile] currentlee, who is not a thing like any of the librarians in the book, and who I am now of course totally suspicious of, as all librarians seem to be evil.

And now I think I go drive us most of the way to Chicago (Chitown? Chi-town? Chee-towne?) so I'll catch you lot later. Bai!

~Sor
MOOP!
sorcyress: A character from a comic about the maintenance workers of the universe, holding a thumbs up and saying "MOOP!" (Zonker-MOOP!)
So, I apparently need to watch more Alton Brown, as it makes me feel quite clever and knowledgeable in the kitchen. I just made eggs that turned out brilliantly well and easy --quite a feat considering that it consisted of three eggs, some teriyaki sauce, and salt. It was just all the little things, like cracking the eggs on the flat counter rather than the edge of the bowl1 or mixing the ingredients in a spare bowl first, *then* cooking, or heating the pan and then dumping the mixture in --the eggs cooked in an absolute snap, and Nik and I agreed that they were quite delicious.

That being said, there is little to eat in this house right now besides cereal. I used the last of the eggs, there is almost *no* pasta (though an abundance of sauce), and my original lunch plan of nachos was struck down when I realized there was no meat, lettuce, or satisfactory cheese2.

(It should be noted as always that I do not cook, do not enjoy cooking, and indeed, have no concept of how food goes from its raw state in the kitchen to its delicious state in front of me. Any evidence to the contrary was faked, probably by the government, which quite wants me to stay at home and be a homemaker4

***

I am reading The Eyre Affair, after having it in my immediate possession for nigh on three years now --I think Keira recommended it, ages ago, before Marc and I were even dating maybe. It's quite good so far; I'm up to chapter seven.

Part of me feels I should read Jane Eyre to go with it, or at least find and watch the musical, but I honestly can't be arsed. Maybe later in the summer, if my general plan of actually reading real books goes well. It seems decent so far --yesterday and the day before I captured odd moments to reread "Spiderweb for Two", and Monday I tore through a copy of "The Vagina Monologues".

Allegations that I am just doing this because Book Club promised trinkets (like, say, gift cards to the local bookstore) are completely true. I do need to read more, however, and it entertains me to just work my way through all the books in my room. Perhaps I'll make a pile.

(Next up might be books 2-4 of the Enchanted Forest chronicles, but the knowledge that Patricia Wrede was part of the whole racefail '09 thing hampers my enjoyment a bit. We'll see. There's certainly other books scrambling for the queue first.)

***

I do not have any cavities. I do have wisdom teeth, but they only seem problematic on the bottom.

***

I can remember how to get to the mall once my memory is jogged --it involves driving to Blue's house, and then not turning to get onto his streets. Oh gods help me, I appear to have returned to Suburbia.

I have not yet walked out to the playground on the left, my playground, or the pool, or climbed my tree. I think this is all in part due to how *hot* it is.

***

I think it is time for me to play RockBand in a bit --Foreplay/Long Time was on in the car and it put me in the mood. Perhaps I'll force myself to get something done, first --cooking lunch5 and emptying the dishwasher just don't seem good enough, for whatever reason. Perhaps I should go put away luandry? Yes, that seems like quite the fair trade for being allowed to play DRUMS!. Ta!

~Sor
MOOP!

1: Apparently to prevent driving fragments of shell into the yolk. It did seem to work --usually I have to fish a small piece or two out with a larger bit of shell (it works!) but I did not have that problem this time. Whether a fluke or due to more careful cracking remains to be seen, but I like this way.

2: We have tiny wedges of spreadable laughing cow swiss, and (*shudder*) slices of American cheese. The first is quite good, and I've eaten two already since getting back on Monday, but the second is suitable only for grilled cheese, maybe3.

3: ...and we haven't any bread. Ai, I am forcing my mother to go shopping today if it kills me.

4: I am a brilliant homemaker for the first week coming back from college. I'm honestly pretty decent the rest of the time in the Empty City as well --I enjoy doing laundry (not the least because it gives me an opportunity to take my clothes back from Alys), I keep the catbox clean (It's in the laundry room and I don't like walking across spilt litter), I put dishes in the dishwasher, and handwash whatever else lies around, I straighten books (sometimes --it's a formidible prospect, really), and occasionally I go manic and alphabetize the DVDs or organize the games closet or something.

Would I make a good long-term housewife for someone? Maybe. I am quite good with children, and don't even mind vacuuming or scrubbing things down occasionally. The problem is that I, like my mother, run a bit on my own schedule, which means that I get said cleaning done at, um, odd hours sometimes.

Plus, it's exponentially more fun to clean someone else's mess than my own. Just saying.

5: And cleaning the dishes of course. That's part of cooking in my world --I clean dishes outside of cooking, but I can't cook without doing dishes unless I am being a terrible person. Plus, _so much easier_ to wash frying pans clean of eggs if I do it while the pan is still hot.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
I spent the weekend in New York City with [livejournal.com profile] thorog and his girl, Rose. Insert appropriate They Might Be Giants song here.

We...basically had a sinfully good time of things. Saturday, we arrived and went to Surreal Estate, which is the house/commune [livejournal.com profile] muzikmaker21 and roughly fifty other hippies live in. We got the grand tour, and learned far too many names --I think I picked up that prettyboy is Quin(t?), and I met an adorably charming girl called Meg, an aussie named Hannah, and a different adorably charming girl called Emma, who was totally flattered when I accidentally called her Meg. We also went and got really good pizza from the sustainable pizza place across the street from Surreal Estate, where Nathen works.

Eventually, we wandered off to Times Square, where we stood in an abysmally long TKTS line1 and spent much time debating what show to try and see2. We were this close to going and seeing ROCK OF AGES3, but there was not seats together, so we decided we'd rather sit in the same place, and see Avenue Q.

After TKTS, we hit up Toys R Us, where we acquired a Brenton/[livejournal.com profile] gyrik_224, and bunches of candy. We did not acquire a dinosaur, because it wouldn't fit in my purse, or a stick pony, even though I was tempted. Also, LEGO PIRATES ARE HAPPENING AGAIN! Just so you all know.

Dinner wound up being at a bar a couple blocks up from Times Square (Daltons? I think Daltons) which was good food, very nice to Rose and her pepper-allergy, and did not try to card us when we walked in, which would've resulted in me being kicked out5. So they get points! From there to AveQ, which was fairly enjoyable, and pretty much targeted exactly at the four of us --the girl halfway through her undergrad, the girl in the middle of her graduate degree, the boy just out of college and trying to make a living in the big city, and the boy trying to get a doctorate. Musicals written for twenty-somethings are fun!

Wandered for a while in search of ice cream, settled for Jamba Juice at the Port Authority, at least in part because they had bathrooms. Headed back to Surreal Estate, where we learned that drunk hippies really really like delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies6. Tho and Rose did their own thing for a bit, and I went out on one of the roofs with Nathen and Meg to chill. Oh, and in case I haven't made it clear enough yet, Surreal Estate is very *very* awesome. I may go ahead and take my ten day trial period sometime, were I a New York kind of girl. ((They give you ten days before they figure you've moved in, and should therefore pay rent or teach dancing or give backrubs or something. They are a very chill commune.))

We slept. [I am debating this sentence, someone remind me to ask Tho if I can post it.] Sunday morning we woke up, got dressed, and danced salsa and swing in the common room. Eventually, we managed to wander out for bagels, which were delicious, and thrift storing, which was really quite fun --Nathen managed to find a tie that said "viagra" on it repeatedly, and I got a gorgeous summery dress --doubly good, since it was a billion degrees out, and I had previously been wearing black jeans.

We left Surreal Estate and headed to The Strand, where we again met up with Brenton. I'm not entirely sure what happened between 1:30 and 4, but I think it involved a lot of books, and possibly Forbidden Planet. From there, we walked many many blocks to a tiny little macaroon shop Tho had found out about using the power of the INTERNET! and then a pasta shop for dinner, and a quick look around Macys while waiting for the bus home.

Ended out the trip by sitting on the sidewalk in a light rain, chatting and snuggling. Long, overly hot, ride home with some absolutely smashing conversation, and then to bed, to bed.

...or in my case, to Vera, in order to chat with people and make sure none of you has exploded while I was gone.

And that was my weekend! Origins in three days! Aiee, I've got to pack >.<

~Sor
MOOP!

1: Dear mom, you lied, it's not under the Marriot Marquee anymore. It is in fact, smack in the middle of Times Square
2: NTS: Write "Phantom of Chicago Q...OF AGES!"
3: \m/
4: Okay, yeah, there's a reason I couldn't remember your screenname, Dragon. It is a complicated name, that I'm not totally positive I can pronounce.
5: Not that we ordered any boozahol anyways. But they do sometimes card at the door, and being as I was the only under-21 in the group, it would've been annoying as all hell.
6: Brenton made 'em for us because he's a gentleman or somesuch. They were fekken' delicious, and did not last very long at all.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
Stollen for Active_Apathy, because I like books.

The worst reading experience that you have ever had?
Oof. I am so tempted to just agree with her and say the Catcher in the Rye. I absolutely *hated* Catcher, not the least because, when I read, I pick up the writing style in my internal monologue for a bit. That sucked *so bad*.

The worst actual experience...I don't really know. Nowait! Worst reading experience wasn't actually a reading experience, it was a learning experience. I hadn't bothered to start reading The Great Gatsby for my eleventh grade English class yet, and, ohno, pop quiz. I bluffed my way through, including specifically stating that the main character was the narrator, who's name I couldn't remember. I got a nine out of ten.

That was bad teaching. No student is so scatterbrained to forget Nick Carraway's name if they've actually read the book. Especially considering that I seem to remember it just fine now, three years later.

Also a bad experience? The fact that I really really liked the story of Tale of Two Cities (Doubles! True Love! Revolution!) but just couldn't get through the actual book. I feel really quite guilty about that --I am sorry, oh great and wonderful Sydney Carton!1

There are sixteen more questions under here )

~Sor
MOOP!

1I think I have such a crush on Sydney Carton. I remember writing an essay on how he was the true romantic hero of Tale of Two Cities. He's probably the second most awesome character I read about in tenth grade --Cyrano de Bergerac is, of course, cooler than the offspring of ZombieJesus and Chuck Norris. And that's pretty fucking cool.

2If you have to ask which one, you don't pay enough attention.

3This is intriguing, because trying to read the name on the spine has just shown that I am better at reading things that are upside down than things that are sideways. I am officially fascinated.

4I love The Dresden Files, and find them a lot of fun, but I can't read more than one at a time. They're just so gloriously intense or something like that.

5And there are apparently sequels out! Squee!
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
So yeah, like I said earlier, I have 41 new books. They are mostly individual tales, as opposed to collections, but man, are there a lot of them.

***

I have read two Clue books in a row, and now I'm desperately in the mood to write a parody story set in Snowtown1. This has led to quite a bit of assaulting people on IM and going all "YOU! Candlestick, revolver, knife, wrench, lead pipe, or rope?" or "Would you kill Swing if it got you something awesome?" or (in Swing's case) "Is it okay if I kill you for this story? It probably won't be fatal!"

Additonally, I find it alarming just how many Snowtown stories I've written that I am never going to put anywhere where anyone can see them. I don't know how well they fit into canon --I'm pretty sure that the bulk of them are decidedly non-canon, but then there are others that only affect me and my characters (Kinda like every story centering on Hyde besides his first one). Umyeah.

***

The real reason for this post is because, apparently, April 11th is everybody's birthday ever. A very happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] kirby1024 (who I need to send a thing to), [livejournal.com profile] emp42ress (who I haven't seen in a while due to not-Dieseling, which is sad), [livejournal.com profile] fishymander (Who I've not seen in ages) and the elljayless Dan (YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BE SO OLD) and Koob (*hugs, swings him in a circle*)

yeahthat'sall.

~Sor
MOOP!

1Snowtown is a fictional city that is ultimately a pretty shit place to live. The group of people I hang out with regularly on deviantArt and I regularly write stories set there -by this point, we each have an avatar and pretty much all of us have two or three (or more) regular other characters running around there, making it kindof a cross between an unmoderated roleplaying campaign and a collaborative novel. It's a lot of fun.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
Random cuddling? Check.
People snarking at movies? Check.
Way too many awesome scifi/fantasy books just lying around? Check.
Kitty!? Check.

Or in other words, nothing I've done in Boston has made me miss The Empty City as much as going to [livejournal.com profile] jere7my and [livejournal.com profile] adfamiliares's house last night for bad movies.

It turned out to be me and Jere7my and BDan (who may or may not have some sort of 'elljay') and we watched Plankton/Creatures from the Abyss (Notable lines: "how long have you been fucking fish, professor" "what, they were all of age!") and The Oozing Skull (which is the MST3KCinematic Titanic title for "Brain of Blood".)

Uhm...wow. Hokay, all I gotta say? They were *hi*larious. Creatures from the Abyss showed why ichthyophillia really never much caught on --apparently, having sex with fish is *bad*. Even though no one did. They just...ate...the perfectly normal looking fish from the fridge. And that turned them into mutant fish. Okay, look, it had a scene where someone's eye fell into someone elses throat. If that's not comedy, I don't know what is.

The Oozing Skull was a less instantly snarkable movie, which makes it extra nice that the CT people were there to do it for us. Also, as introductions to MST3K go, it was not at all bad. Yeah, I'd never actually seen any MST3K episode before...Sorcy is bad.

(For all of you who are giving me those aghast looks, I'm sorry, please don't beat me! Look at it this way --it'd be more fun to strap me to a chair and force me to watch multiple episodes of MST3K than to beat me, right? Right?)

Afterwards, I decided that I really didn't especially want to walk back to the T-stop, so Jere7my was sweet enough to offer up his guest room. Which meant that, instead of sleeping, we spent three hours watching previews for Something Weird videos (somewhat NSFW link)

I have no words for some of these movies. ((Also, Katters, we *have* to find a copy of "The Adult Version of Jekyll and Hide(sic)", if only because Hyde will quite plausibly kill us both if we watch it. C'mon, it can't *possibly* be worse than the animated version. Well. Okay, yeah it can. But at least it probably won't think Jekyll is trying to cure baldness, and damnit, that's something!))

In short, evening was totally awesome, and I ended it off at too damn early in the morning rereading the two stories I remembered from The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More (I would've read more, just because Roald Dahl is a god from my childhood, but it was getting on towards five in the morning.)

"The Swan" is significantly less creepy and depressing than I remember, which is good. I think rereading it gave me a little bit of closure from my childhood, which is a Very Good Thing. (It contains one of the pushbuttons that make me go all quiet and moral and depressed -wanton bullying, for no reason. Oddly, I *really* don't like bullying in any form --can't imagine why.)

"The Hitchhiker" is pretty good, though not necessarily as good as I remember it being. I had forgotten the term 'fingersmith' though, I think I have to remember that for some future role playing game. Hum, I should start one up or something, similar to hitchin_dnd.

So, to sum up:

*Jere7my's haus makes me miss The Empty City, because damn, it has the exact same feel. (with fewer1 people in it at any given point, but that's true of pretty much everybody's house, ever)
*Shlock movies are win
*I need to watch MST3K
*I really ought to go through and reread the entirety of Roald Dahl's works, because that man is made pretty much entierly of writing talent
*I'm adding "The Adult Version of Jekyll and Hide" to my 'Things to do with The Katters' list. (Other things on there include watching "Tron", "High School Musical", "UHF", and "Muppet Treasure Island", forcing her to tell me what it is that she knows that I don't, and, apparently, 'Hair Gel'. Oh, and to get her to teach me how to draw blood.)

***

Unrelatedly, I'm going to try again with the stalking-dan4th-in-order-to-play-games thing. MUAHAHAHA!

~Sor
MOOP!

1: Proud of me, Magus?
P.S: Veronica, I miss you. <3
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Tennant!Who!)
I must say, I like the common thread in fiction that Santa Claus is actually a fairy of some sort. It's mentioned in an offhand sort of manner in Artemis Fowl, and just now in Storm Front, Harry Dresden mentioned it in much the same offhand way.

Yeah, that's all.

~Sor
MOOP!
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
Hey, Happy Christmas and/or December 25th, everyone!

Lewt, and some old pictures of me. )

*runs around bouncing!* Oh! And Nik got an xbox 360, and he is going to be in school all day starting soon. MUAHAHAH! And Aly got Rent, from Nik, and let out a squeal of shockingly awesome proportions! And everyone liked the presents I got them, and the pictures I drew on the wrapping paper, and my baby sister got a Trip-brand Corset (Which I have declared she is never allowed to wear *ever*) AND YAY IT'S CHRISTMAS I LOVE EVERYONE!

*runs around with the hugs and the squee!*

~Sor
MOOP!
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
Hokay, so a bit ago, the standard "tell me # facts that no one knows about you and then tag other people to do this!" meme was circling around the adult portion* of my flist. No one was actually bothering to tag each other, so I arbitrarily decided that doing it was a cool thing, and did.

This time, the magic number is eight. (Cut because I am hella verbose) )

Yay, eight facts. And explanations of BtW's and stuff like that.

~Sor
MOOP!

*Adult portion. People who I am friends with in real life, and who were friends with my mom first, and are usually closer in age to her then to me. Different from people who are closer to mom's age then mine, but were my friends first. Those people are filtered as "iiral", along with anyone who didn't go to Long Reach that I know in real life.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
Terry Pratchett apparently has alzheimers. I got five different posts on my friends list telling me this, which makes me go all "damn." and kinda sad.

I do have a small advantage that there's still a *lot* of Pratchett that I haven't read yet, so I still have a lot of teh funny to look forward to. But still man! That's just not cool.

***

I've pretty much just completely adopted this as the format for my elljay, haven't I?

***

Pretty much annihilated my sociology final. And then I went back home and went to sleep, because waking up at eight o clock for a final I was done with by nine is not at all a fun thing to do.

***

Weekend: Hopefully WGA strike thing (ee, Whedon) with possibly Maddie and possibly Keira on Friday. Baking cookies and playing games with Keira and Magus and other people on Saturday. Holiday partying with Lauren, Emily, Kate Monster, Dominik, Ria, Maddie, Mando, and very plausibly other people on Sunday. Last final on Monday, then home again home again.

Next month or so: Sweeney Todd comes out on the 21st. Georgetown and Tree Decorating on the 23rd. Christmas Eve type stuff and bowling with Santa on the 24th. Christmas and All That on the 25th. Katters shows up on the 26th. New Years on the 31st (shit-need-costume-rar...007 verse wears tailcoats, right? (Still kinda want to show up as the evil villans cat in an attempt to get scritches)) More New Years on the first of January. Katters leaves on the sixth (I think). Come Home on the 17th and go straight to Arisia. Yarrcon until Monday, at which point I will hopefully drag mum around to meet all my friends. School for a week, and then Vericon on the 25th. Collapse in a tired heap of "who's idea was it to attend back to back cons again?" on the 28th. School!

***

Apparently, Rent is a lot of what my mood requires right now. It's very confusing when my mood doesn't tell me what kind of music it wants. Stupid brain.

***

So, what bits of pop culture am I missing like woah? Music, movies, books, games, etc, just tell me what you will force down my throat if you realize I haven't actually heard/seen/read/played it.

~Sor
MOOP!
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
Because I think actually asking this to the person I have in mind might get me in trouble, do you or do you not approve of me calling you my cuddlebitch. And no, Eric, you don't get a choice. *evilgrin*

***

I am way too frigging pragmatic for my own good. "Meh, whatever" =/= proper response to...certain...situations. Fucking crypticness. Also, did I say this already? Goddamnit, this is why I originally only wrote in BehindtheWalls when I was off livejournal! I didn't have to worry about remembering what I had and hadn't posted. :P

***

Keira is apparently an older sister, bringing my total up to three. (Keira, WyoMell, and Zaphod Groupie) I'm not entierly sure what the criteria is, but it appears to be something along the lines of "female, awesomer then me, and older then me by no more then fiveish years.

I have a handful of older brothers too, but mostly the criteria there is "I can steal their clothes". There's some additional complications involving flirtation levels and rassling with them (reminds me, it's been forever since me and Josh have gone at it. Le sigh.)

(Take that as you will. I only say this because my mind is all sorts of hella dirty. :D)

***

I have the cutest origami paper ever. It is designed to look like a little bookshelf with books (with the paper being the pages of the books) The whole thing is decorated with little Japanese chibi animals. Eeeee, cute! Photos may very well show up later.

***

Origami is a suprisingly fast way to mellow me out. Primarily, I think it's the fact that, when folding cranes, I can't be doing much else, which means that if I'm alone and folding cranes, I'm not doing anything else but thinking. In addition, it's a repetitive, relaxing thing to do with my hands that *doesn't* involve playing with chains.

That, and there's something *damn* satisfying about turning a piece of paper into a mini sculpture. Especially since I'm still good at making incredibly tiny cranes.

***

Fuck later. You get hella cute pictures of my new origami paper thing NOW! )

In other news, have I mentioned lately that I love having a camera attached to my computer? No longer do I have to go dig up my camera and connect the cord and things if I want to show something neat off to someone! Simply hold up, clicky button, post to flickr, ???, PROFIT!

...Erm. Encyclopedia Dramatica ate my brain?

***

Dude, Another Fine Myth. Comic book. Is there any wrong?

(Besides the forty dollar price tag. WHY MUST MY HOBBIES BE EXPENSIVE?)

Allfornow.

~Sor
MOOP!

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