An Etymologist's View of the World features a series of maps that appear to be just regular maps, but look a little closer and you'll see that more familiar place names have been replaced with what they translate as. Totally awesome, and if you were looking for ideas on how to name places in your fantasy/sci-fi worlds, this might give you some inspiration.

[ profile] elfwreck brings us the Pagan Bingo card, for when you're really sick and tired of all the "witty" responses that come from mentioning that you're pagan/a witch/et cetera. (I haven't had this problem much, myself, since I don't really talk about spirituality all that much, even in my tight group of friends who respect me and accept me. My parents have leveled a few of these at me when I first admitted I'd turned away from Catholicism, though.)

[ profile] kaigou has a series of interesting posts here and here regarding various aspects of Japanese culture with regards to the anime Mo No No Ke.

The Turkey City Lexicon gives names to various recurring patterns in genre fiction, particularly science fiction and fantasy. Man, I wish I'd known the term "countersinking" a year or two back - I was MSTing a fic that was absolutely riddled with the problem.

This gives a whole new meaning to the term "fundies." Bzuh?!

A rather concisely humorous overview of the political clusterfuck going up in Canuckistan.

Holy crap! It's NaNoWriMo wank that has nothing to do with NaNoWriMo being the death of Real True Writing!


I finished reading Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters by Peter Vronsky, which I borrowed from [ profile] lysis_to_kill a couple of months back. It's a brief, accessible overview to the history and psychology of female killers, and if you're interested in the subject and don't know much of anything about it (unlike [ profile] lysis_to_kill, who knows a shitload), I'd recommend it. (It would be nice to see a book on this subject done by a woman, however.)

One thing I found jarring, however, were the major shifts in Vronsky's tone that popped up every now and again in the first half of the book, but became really pronounced during the second half, especially towards the end when he begins talking about the "Nazi bitches" Irma Grese and Ilse Koch and the Manson Girls. He keeps a casually academic tone for the most part, but then you run into things like a footnote on LaVeyan Satanism on page 415 with regards to one of the Manson Girls that reads:

*LaVey was the founder of the San Francisco-based Church of Satan - a pseudosatanic cult for wankers with fat wallets and small brains.

And then earlier on, on page 19, as an editorial comment on a quote from a radical feminist:

Perhaps this will yet represent a frightening future wave of feminism that will insist, as Morissey's publisher describes her book's argument, "that by denying the possibility of female agency in the crimes of torture, rape, and murder, feminist theorists are, with the best of intentions, actually denying women the full freedom to be human."

Please, a little less freedom and humanity for all of us then!

Whether you find his comments to be spot-on or not (I actually do think he has his points in his scathing comments regarding the ridiculous ways in which feminists of a certain stripe hold up female serial killers as martyrs and victims of a phallocentric patriarchy), they also seem ridiculously out of place in this layman's academic text, and it had me going "Just shut up and get on with the facts!" every so often. Seriously, man, what are you writing, a post for a snark community or an informational book?


Making progress on learning "Those Who Fight", although there's no way I'd be able to perform it in time for Borders on 12/5. Not that that particularly worries me, since it's not like that'll be the only time I'll perform there (...I hope). I am proud of being able to hit difficult notes with some relative measure of cleanness without completely killing my wrists or fingers, and I can roughly play the first three pages from memory now. I'm working on memorizing the next three pages (though I have a random part from them sort of memorized), and I'm learning the last three pages (which I didn't even touch the first time I had this sheet music). I can play through up to page 7 with some degree of competency now, though.

we're here where the daylight begins
reileen: (Default)
I have this bad habit of starting books (getting less than 1/4th or 1/5th of the way through) and never finishing them.

Current list includes:

The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Balthasar Gracian
The Complete Plays of Aristophanes
Ada by Vladimir Nabokov
Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism by Michelle Goldberg
Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart D. Ehrman
The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
A History of Japan by R.H.P. Mason and J.G. Caiger

To be fair to Plath, those unabridged journals are dense and lengthy - I've had the book for at least two years now, and I can never get farther than a few pages at a time because there's just so much in them. And Plath tends to linger on minutiae. I adore her prose and the clarity of her observations, but it doesn't make for light reading.

Oddly enough, I seem to have a fair amount of nonfiction on this list. Too bad I'm in a fiction-reading mood, having blown through nearly all of my library novels even though I'd just gotten them a few days ago. That leaves Ada and The Blind Assassin, and if I had to pick one I'd pick The Blind Assassin because Ada made me want to throw the book against the wall in frustration and disgust by the first chapter. I hate to leave a book unfinished, especially since I left off only on page 36 in a 440+ page book, but Ada doesn't seem to be for me. No, not even the incestuous love affair between Van and Ada is enough to keep me from thinking of seriously giving up on this book.

Take the glitz back, I want the soul instead
reileen: (Default)
Check out the concept of fractal wrongness:

The state of being wrong at every conceivable scale of resolution. That is, from a distance, a fractally wrong person's worldview is incorrect; and furthermore, if you zoom in on any small part of that person's worldview, that part is just as wrong as the whole worldview.

Debating with a person who is fractally wrong leads to infinite regress, as every refutation you make of that person's opinions will lead to a rejoinder, full of half-truths, leaps of logic, and outright lies, that requires just as much refutation to debunk as the first one. It is as impossible to convince a fractally wrong person of anything as it is to walk around the edge of the Mandelbrot set in finite time.

If you ever get embroiled in a discussion with a fractally wrong person on the Internet--in mailing lists, newsgroups, or website forums--your best bet is to say your piece once and ignore any replies, thus saving yourself time.


I finished reading Mommy Millionaire by Kim Lavine and I'm about halfway through How to Start a Home-Based Craft Business by Kenn Oberrecht. I, um. Wow. It's a good thing I'm at least starting to read about these things somewhat early, because about 75% of the things I was reading about (the paperwork, the people you have to deal with, the money you need to get) sort of made me want to curl up in a corner and die. I'll have to take notes later, but not this week because I've got to help out with cleaning and such for my brother's high school graduation party.

it ain't my fault, it ain't my call
reileen: (Default)
Found in a .txt document of random notes I'd saved on my desktop:

The Liars' Club - "Where the only truth is that everything here is a lie."

There's an establishment in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood that I used to pass by all the time whenever I drove up to DePaul, and it was, indeed, called "The Liar's Club." For a while now, I've had the seeds of a short story set in a fictional Liars' Club (note the subtle change from singular to plural here) told from the POV of a Mostly-Innocent Bystander (perhaps a bartender at the bar, or related to a bartender, or maybe a fly on the wall who gets swatted at the end of the story) who barely bats an eyelash at the well-groomed businessman talking about his exploits as the most-expensive whore this side of the city one night and then boasting about his religious belief in chastity the next. This Liars' Club is a place where you can bullshit all you want and no one will call you on it - and if they do, it's seen as a challenge to be even more mendacious and outrageous.


Venus of Dreams by Pamela Sargent is an intriguing novel, first in a trilogy, set in a future where Earth is actively trying to terraform Venus. There's a lot to chew on here, ranging from the fact that the dominant ruling ideology has shifted from Christianity to Islam (o noes how unpatriotic!), to how Sargent handles changes in Earth's society and how these changes have affected the cultural attitudes of her characters, to the fact that, hey, the Earth is actually trying to terraform motherfucking Venus.

I've got a fast connection, so I don't have to wait
reileen: (Default)
I read this book a while back, but I just found my scribbled thoughts on it again today while clearing out some papers, so I figured I'd type them up in more detail here.

Back cover summary:

Artemesia spent her childhood on a pirate ship, and she's sick of practicing deportment at the Angels Academy for Young Maidens. So she escapes, and sets out to find her mother's crew and breezily commands them out to sea. Soon, the young captain - now called Art - shapes her men into the cleverest pirate band afloat. And then they meet the dread ship Enemy and her beautiful, treacherous captain, Goldie Girl. The Seven Seas aren't large enough for two pirate queens. Art will have to wage the battle of her life to win her mother's title - and the race for the greatest treasure in pirate lore!

Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking - total setup for an original Mary Sue, right? You've got the "spunky" teenage girl with tomboyish tendencies who:

1) Completely says "FUCK YOU" to the societal conventions of her time (in this case, it's an alternate universe Earth in the year 1802)
2) Has a distinctive beauty feature (it's a streak of orange in her hair that was supposedly the result of the accidental cannon explosion that resulted in her amnesia about her past)
3) Knows how to rig/sail a ship and fight with a sword, even though the closest she ever came to it was years ago as a young child...on a freakin' theatre stage
4) Seems to know exactly how to stun naysayers into silence, or if she doesn't do that, she still manages to somehow remain cool and unruffled through it all
5) Is a 16-year-old girl who has somehow managed to convince grown men to be her subordinates
6) Has managed to completely plunder a number of ships as Piratica without killing a single person or maiming them (the piratical Robin Hood, anyone?)

It'd be a recipe for disaster...and only the overall thespian conceit for this novel saves it from being so.

You find out early on that Art's mother, who held the title of "Piratica" prior to Art taking it for herself, wasn't actually a real pirate queen - she just played one on TV stage. And the entirety of Art's pirate crew is composed of the actors who accompanied Art's mother onstage. And I think that, by framing this as a significant part of the story and as part of Art's character, Lee is successful in convincing readers to understand and enjoy Art's adventures not as any representation of reality, but as a feel-good, celebratory, almost mythological story. It's utterly fantastic and theatric. Art herself is larger than life. So while we might not be able to empathize with Art, necessarily, you definitely want to cheer for her. As long as you can put aside the logistics that allow a young girl trained only in stage fighting to hold her own in a real fight, among other inconsistencies, this is a thoroughly enjoyable novel, and it's one of my all-time favorites. Art is Piratica, and not just within the context of her own world as a famous piratess: to us as readers, she's the theatric, magnificent character that her mother once played on stage.


On a tangential note, I also recommend checking out the four-book series of the Claidi Journals (Wolf Tower, Wolf Star, Wolf Queen, and Wolf Wing) by this same author. They were the first things I read by Lee, and I remember enjoying them greatly. Of course, this was years ago, when I was in junior high, and I haven't re-read them since (though I plan to do so!), so you may want to take this with a grain of salt.

On another note, I've also read the sequel, Piratica II, and found it immensely lacking. I'll still read the third book in the series when I can find it, though, since I'm fond of Art's character, as impossible and Sue-ish as she is.

you think this torment is romantic
reileen: (Default)
Nick Mamatas ([ profile] nihilistic_kid) writes about the trend of "fantatwee" in recent fantasy stories:

There are two major families of fantatwee, the first being the retold unreconstructed fairy tale. These stories recite a fairy tale, generally something from Grimm and very very often a retelling of Snow White (and sometimes Snow White with vampires). The second type of fantatwee are stories about how awesome fantasy stories are.

At the risk of engaging in a little biocrit, many young people find solace in fantasy stories. It's escapism, which isn't all that dirty a word. Plenty of realist literature is escapist as well — one simply escapes into the world of aspirational middle-class problems in which one's relations drink and then sit on a sofa to weep as opposed to drinking and then balling up their fists to smash your head in because the rice was burnt. There was escapism in the Gulags too. Escapism is not, by itself, an evil. It is no surprise that these young readers, when they grow up, attempt to recreate the joyous bits of their childhoods by writing stories with this same escapist quality.

Unfortunately, fantatwee is all about second-order escapism. Many great stories have elements of escapism, but also a twist of a thematic screw that lets the reader know that not everything is strawberries and cream. Hard choices get made. Misery abides. In the film version of Return of the King, Frodo may have had a big pillow fight with his friends and then moped about the house for a bit. In the book, he was a shattered man, utterly alienated from his communitarian society. That's what you get for saving the world from doom.

On that note, I've received Mamatas' novels Under My Roof and Move Under Ground, which were being sold as a set for about $7 directly from his publisher's website. I'm...not sure why I thought this was a good idea, since I probably could have gotten two manga volumes off Amazon for that price that I could have added to add to some of my still-incomplete series, but hey, I like Mamatas' blog, so why not support him, and anyway, books!

passion turns pain into ecstasy
reileen: (writing - pen and notebook)
[ profile] reileen: Doing NaNo is like finding really crap source material that you can then write really awesome neurotically fleshed-out fanfiction about.
[ profile] reileen: ...or at least that's one way I'm viewing this process of actually writing original shit. XD
[ profile] reileen: You can take the fan out of the fandom, but you can never take the fandom out of the fan!

...yeah. For some reason, I can't seem to make the transition to original fiction all that easily, even though some of the stuff I write for my usual fandoms are only a couple of name changes away from being original fiction. So I have to make some sort of connection to writing fanfic in order for me to write original fic. This most likely defeats the purpose of me writing original fic in the first place, but hey, whatever gets the job done, right? :D

Anyway, I finished doing the outline notecards for Glass Houses. I'm not sure what I want to do from here with this thing. I might try to pull together what I've learned about the main characters into a single comprehensive character file, and/or work on a rough map of the relevant areas that would just establish things like "Neliam is north of Thorlith" and stuff like that. Or I could just go back to my fanfiction for a while. *can never seem to concentrate on one project at a time, which is no doubt going to drive her even more crazy in the future*

I'm also working through All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald S. Passman. [ profile] mugging_hipster lent it to me after we had a talk about our dream careers. I'm not even halfway through the book yet, but already I know I'm getting a copy of the latest edition for myself once I get some money. I probably won't even break into the bottom of the muzak biz until my 30's, but I might as well start laying the groundwork now, yeah?

I wore the time like a dress that year
reileen: (Default)
I've only ever seen the ending of the first Carrie movie. I think I started with Carrie burning down the high school at the dance and then watched through to the end. My mom had it on the TV today, right when you get a shot of that FUCKING CREEPY AS HELL Jesus statue, with the overly bright cartoon eyes that was probably done in post-production. And that one shot at the end with the grave? Still scared the fucking shit out of me.

As for the book? Didn't do much for me. Similarly, I'm stuck on page 72 of The Shining 'cause I've been bored thus far with the writing and the characters. Hmm.

And I now have a book-related icon! Not entirely happy with it, but it'll do for now.

I'm haunted by the lives that I have loved, connections I have hated
reileen: (Default)
Today from the thrift store, I got my hands on:

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
Current Issues and Enduring Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking and Argument, with Readings edited by Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau, 4th edition
What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East by Bernard Lewis
Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life In Your Twenties by Alexandra Robbins and Abby Wilner
Down to Earth Sociology: Introductory Readings edited by James M. Henslin, 13th edition
The Theology of Evangelism by C.E. Autrey
God Is a Verb by Rabbi David A. Cooper
The New Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Democratic Society by Amitai Etzioni
Society and the Individual: Readings in Political and Social Philosophy edited by Richard T. Garner and Andrew Oldenquist

All for the grand price of $3.82.* That's right - three dollars and eighty-two cents. For nine books. I'm totally addicted.

And with that, I think I also have to stop visiting the library so much, because I already have so many books at home I have to get through and ponder about. I'd single them all out and put them on an easy-to-see pile in my room to remind myself...but then I'd probably clear out half of my bookshelves. (Hey, there's an idea for getting shelf space!)

Dammit, I also need a book icon for this LJ.

she's just the flavor of the weak

*I, uh, kinda think the lady might've rung up the price wrong, but like hell I was going to argue.
reileen: (general - strawberry)
Finished reading Midnight Predator by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. Technically it's a re-read, which is an oddity for me because I'm a book glutton who rarely re-reads books under the pretense that there's just so much new stuff waiting to be discovered by moi that I can't spare a lot of time to re-read something. But the last time I read this was back in high school, so there's been a fair amount of time for it to seem mostly new and novel to me. I actually owned a copy as well, but I think Mommykins confiscated it along with all of my pagan/Neo-Wiccan books (and she also took my Daughters of the Moon series by Lynn Ewings). The last time I asked her what happened to those books, a few years ago, she said she'd lost them. I suspect that means that she trashed them. But I digress.

I usually don't go for vampire stories. The vampire mythos doesn't do anything for me except make me go, "Hey, I wonder how I can fuck that up in a story?" (For the record, I do indeed have a bit of a mocktastic vampire tale planned, involving a girl who rudely told a snarky vampire-in-disguise to bite her - which the vampire promptly did - but it's only in the prehistoric stages of planning.) But I like this book - even after all the time since I last read it as a stupid little teenager, it holds up as a competent example of storytelling. Turquoise Draka, the main character, is a very likable and sympathetic protagonist. She's badass without being superpowered, and she has weaknesses that she works through without being emo about it and without pages upon pages of navel-gazing - which she really can't afford to do, considering that she's a vampire hunter on a mission. The story starts out as just another mission for Turquoise, and ultimately becomes a cathartic journey for her. The open ending both fascinates and frustrates me, which I suppose is the mark of a well-told story.

If you haven't read anything by Atwater-Rhodes before, I'd recommend checking out her Kiesha'ra series, which revolves around different societies of shapeshifters. In order, the books are Hawksong, Snakecharm, Falcondance, Wolfcry, and Wyvernhail. I'm really fascinated by the worldbuilding. Oh, and the writing is good too, of course. I haven't yet read Wyvernhail, though, which is making me antsy 'cause it's from the POV of one of my favorite characters. But in due time.


YouTube, what?

Enough to Go By - Cover of Vienna Teng's "Enough to Go By," transcribed when [ profile] vyctori was kind enough a few weeks ago to send me the chords she had worked out from the song for a school project.

Serenade - That famous one by Schubert.

Old English Court Dance - From Gavotte in B-flat by Handel.

Triskaidekaphobia - An original, which I've blathered about on here a couple of times in the past. Simple chords; repetitive melody; nonsensical, gimmicky lyrics; lazy half-assed soloing in the middle; and passable singing. But it's fun to play. If I were to do a theoretical studio arrangement, I'd probably bring in some strings for the main riff - violin and/or guitar.

and there's a glance in time suspended
reileen: (general - strawberry)
Okay, that's it, self. You are not charging anything else to your credit card unless it's an absolute emergency. Seriously. True facts.

Possessed by the-Gods-only-know-what, I yanked these items off Amazon:

Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin
Greek Folk Religion by Martin P. Nilsson
Gunsmith Cats 1 by Kenichi Sonoda
Pagan Meditations: The Worlds of Aphrodite, Artemis, and Hestia by Ginette Paris
To Write Like a Woman: Essays in Feminism and Science Fiction by Joanna Russ
New Moon: Book One of the Oran Trilogy by Midori Snyder
Not Flesh Nor Feathers by Cherie Priest

And my order on Phoophie Kawaii Shop will have to wait as well, since it's mostly just miscellany. Yeah, okay, the name is rather silly (I mean, seriously, "Phoophie"?!), but holy shit this site is so full of cute that it's almost painful, like gorging yourself on your favorite foods. I can't remember the last time I've seen so much fucking kawaii in a single place.

/goes into all-out girly girl mode

Speaking of all-out girly girl mode, I've been feeling girlier than usual lately and it's scaring me. D:

1) Getting into romance stuff? Check. (Though I blame this on this stupid hormone patch the fact that the vast majority of the kickass reader/writer blogs I follow happen to be romance-oriented. I think the sole exceptions are John Scalzi's "Whatever" and Ann Crispin and Victoria Strauss' "Writer Beware".)

2. Craving chocolates and sweets? Check. (I have re-discovered my love for Le Petit Ecolier dark chocolate cookies. omgggggg I need to go out tomorrow and re-stock.)

3. Squeeing harder than usual over cute things? Check. (PHOOOOOOOOPHIIIIIEEEEEE!)

4. Wearing skirts more often (at least around the house)? Check. (I can't wait until spring, because then that means I can wear my skirts out without worrying about freezing my legs off. I'm currently wearing my long black crushed velvet skirt right now, but I have to wear my black velour track pants underneath 'cause otherwise, uh, it would be a bit nippy down there, get what I'm saying?)


I need to change my default icon and re-do my profile page not that anyone pays attention to either of those.

I also need to watch my Firefly complete boxed set that I got for Christmas. Hmmm.


EDIT: Forgot to add that I raided the thrift store again today! I ended up with:

-a really cute white sheer scarf with cherries on it
-Criminology (4th ed.) by Donald R. Taft and Ralph W. England, Jr.
-The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer edited by Daniel Cook
-Politics by Adam Thirwell
-A pair of Hot Topic brand black boots

All for the grand total of $6.97! And the boots alone were just $5. FIVE GREENBACKS, BITCHES! That would be, like, 1/6th of what you would probably pay in retail for these fuckers! Happy day for ze Reileen.

one day, you'll see I was the one
reileen: (writing - pen and notebook)
I'm sitting in my computer chair, reading The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourke*, bookmarking my place with a Pikachu bookmark and drinking Mountain Dew.

I amuse myself so easily, it's scary.

Also, free eBook: Ember by Bettie Sharpe! A darker, much more cynical take on the Cinderella tale. Not for kids though I doubt any actually read this LJ. I found the recommendation on Dear Author, and I really want to read Like a Thief in the Night because it sounds badass and sexy. Currently, I'm torn between reading Ember and Bourke's book. Never mind that I'm also in the midst of reading Pop! by Aury Wallington, Night Watch by Terry Pratchett, and Moral Minds by Marc D. Hauser.

Of course I don't have enough to do, what are you talking about?

when everything and everyone becomes my enemy

*In my defense, it was rec'd on the Smart Bitches Trashy Books website, and I was particularly interested in Sarah's claims that the novel was able to accurately render a number of languages (English, French, and German off the top of my head) without actually having to use a single word from any of those languages. How's that for awesome? I'm not very far in the book yet, but...
reileen: (Default)
I started the first chapter of Marc D. Hauser's Moral Minds last night in attempt to possibly lull myself to sleep with academia. (For the record, I just ended up giving myself a headache because I was mentally questioning every other claim Hauser made. Not to say that he has batshit claims, just that I'm trying to teach myself to approach everything with a critical, skeptical mind.)

To demonstrate that reason cannot be the sole guiding principle for how humans makes moral judgments, Hauser asks us to rate the following two scenarios on a scale of one to ten, with one being "not disgusting at all" and ten being "holy fugging gawd that's a blasphemy unto every deity that's ever existed":

1. You come home from work, and your daughter rushes up to you: "Dad! Just a few minutes ago I walked into the bathroom and found Mom crouched over the toilet bowl, licking ice cream off of the toilet seat. She looked up and said 'It's delicious,' and then asked if I wanted some.

[. . .]

2. A brother and a sister are on vacation together and decide that to enrich their wonderful relationship they should make love. Since he has been vasectomized and she is on the Pill, there is no risk of pregnancy. They make passionate love and it is a wonderful experience for both. They keep this as their secret, something they will always remember and cherish. (p.22)

Hauser personally rates the first scenario as a 6 for the first scenario and an 8 for the second scenario, saying that he can see an argument for how eating ice cream off a toilet seat wouldn't be disgusting (via an involved and wacky scenario of people coming up with sanitized toilet seats that were declared by the FDA or whatever to be perfectly good to eat from). He, however, has a harder time imagining an argument in favor of incest.

Me? I find the first scenario pretty gross (probably an 8 on the scale) and the second scenario to actually be on the sweet side (2 or 3).

It's not that I would have sex with my brother or sister, but somehow my brain has been rewired enough that I don't particularly care if other people do it and it's consensual. (For the sake of not bringing too much serious business, let us assume that "incest" here means simply sexual/romantic relations between a brother and a sister, and not an adult relative and a child, because the latter scenario involves things like power imbalances and whether the child can truly give consent, etc. and so forth.)

Also, this quote from philosopher James Rachels that Hauser cites on page 27 needs to be printed on posters and slapped all over fandom:

If someone says "I like coffee," he does not need to have a reason - he is merely stating a fact about himself, and nothing more. There is no such thing as "rationally defending" one's like or dislike of coffee, and so there is no argument about it. So long as he is accurately reporting his tastes, what he says must be true . . . On the other hand, if someone says that something is morally wrong, he does need reasons, and if his reasons are sound, other people must acknowledge their force. By the same logic, if he has no good reasons for what he says, he is just making noises and we need pay him no attention.

Except that I'm positive that someone somewhere (probably more than a few someones and more than a few somewheres) will argue/has argued that supporting a particular pairing/character/what have you is, in fact, a Crime Against Humanity.


Clearly I need to visit thrift stores more often. I dropped by the Salvation Army store near my house today and acquired:

The Tragic Muse by Henry James
John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography by the Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best by Michael Kranish, Brian C. Mooney, and Nina J. Easton
Mary, Called Magdalene by Margaret George
Blood: An Epic History of Medicine and Commerce by Douglass Starr
Sex on the Brain: The Biological Differences Between Men and Women by Deborah Blum
A pink, orange, and purple printed sheer scarf

All for the grand price of $2.61! I PAID FROM MY CHANGE PURSE, BITCHES! :D

And then I also borrowed more crap from the library. Besides Moral Minds and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, both of which I renewed, I now have:

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon (graphic novel)
Beka Cooper: Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice (STFU I wanted to see what all the batshit was about)
Pop! by Aury Wallington
Dead Beat by Jim Butcher
Fledgling by Octavia Butler
Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
Sabriel by Garth Nix
The Sharing Knife: Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Sharing Knife: Legacy by Lois McMaster Bujold

Shameless bookwhore, me? NEVAR.


Finally, I am hopelessly hooked on Nightwish's song "Amaranth."

you believe but what you see
reileen: (writing - pen and notebook)
Last year, for some reason, I started keeping track of the books I read in a notebook. I used to also jot down thoughts about the books, but then I got lazy. Maybe someday.

Anyway, here's the junk I read for 2007.

the things reileen read )

The grand total comes out to 73, which is surprisingly more than I read last year (62). Out of that, 57 books are fiction, which means that I read 16 non-fiction books.

If I don't read as many books in 2008, let's hope I can at least talk more in-depth about what I read!

burned down like a written sin
reileen: (general - strawberry)
I am amused that my final paper assignment for econ, boiled down into its bare parts and translated into fandomese, is essentially me writing a 7-page self-insert RPF fic featuring five of the economists we studied this quarter. lolz. Thank the Gods it's not due 'til next Thursday, so I've got time to BS something. (Meanwhile, I have to cram on this art history paper. Whups.)

While we're on the subject of economics...if you read no other economics-related book in your life, I highly, highly recommend Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus. I started the book, intending only to read the first three chapters for class that Monday...and ended up zipping through the entire book. It's readable, it's heartwarming, and it all actually makes sense.

Yunus is the founder of Grameen Bank, a bank that gives credit specifically to poor people (and primarily women, since according to Yunus they're the ones who suffer the most from poverty as well as the ones more likely to put extra funds towards care of the family) so that they can be self-employed and independent, able to live dignified lives. It was an idea started back in 1976, when as an impulse he loaned out $27 to forty-two stool makers in a rural village of Bangladesh. Whereas most economists seem to work from theory to practice, Yunus appears to take the opposite approach, first learning by doing, and then formulating theories based on his experiences. Both Yunus and the Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, and it's well-deserved in my opinion.

all the riches, baby, bring what your love can bring
reileen: (music - proofread score)
Three hours or so in the practice rooms today have yielded to me the secrets of Vienna Teng's "Whatever You Want" - I can now perform the entire piece, albeit a little haphazardly and wildly off-key. But the basis is there, and at least the beginning part is pretty much set for me, which was what I'd first figured out of the song anyway, last week. It's a ridiculously fun and addictive song to play...which is rather appropriate, considering it's a ridiculously fun and addictive song to listen to, even though the lyrics are about a marriage that's breaking up because the husband is a h0r to his work.

On the other hand, I've still got a couple more listening activities to do for Japanese, and boy oh boy am I behind like a mother-fucker on my animation project. Also, art history paper due next Tuesday that I totally haven't started yet even though I must've had at least three weeks. At least I now own the DVD for the movie that we're supposed to write about: three huzzahs for Amazon.

It's also really sad that I seriously have to consider taking up citizenship in Japan later in life because the state of our nation appears to have gotten frighteningly bad and I can't flee to Mexico or Canada 'cause Uncle Sam's got extradition agreements with them that prevent Americans from escaping American jurisdiction in either of those two countries.

But for now, I shall flounce off to take a shower before settling in with a Dew or ten and working at whatever it is I need to do.

As a final word: Sheridan Prasso's The Asian Mystique basically amounts to "NOMG AZNZ R PPL 2!!!111ichi!!!"

she's alone again
reileen: (general - strawberry)
I'm not even halfway through the introductory chapter of Levitt and Dubner's Freakanomics and I've already learned that the reason for the sharp drop in crime rates by 2000 is the result of legalized abortion killing off most of the children that, had they been born into the adverse conditions that most of their mothers weathered, would have grown up to become criminals.

Holy hell.

for I must die for what I've done
reileen: (Default)
I want a black cat. And I want to name her Tokiko. Assuming it's female, of course. If it's male...well, I haven't decided yet. Might name him Hiroki, though, after Mighty/Max's VA from Bomberman Jetters.


I've begun working on the preliminary sketches to an original animation for Vienna Teng's song "Now Three" as part of my ANI220 final project. The main character - a little girl - is looking remarkably reminiscent of Cossette from the anime series Le Portrait de Petit Cossette. Which is fine, in a way, since the atmosphere and ambiance of Petit Cossette was sort of what I was aiming for in this animation. I've kept my usual anime style, but it's started to lean heavily towards this strange mix of CLAMP and Petit Cosette.


Began reading Gertrude and Claudius by John Updike. Not sure how I feel about it. It's decent, I guess, and it's good to see that Gertrude has been given some redeeming characterization by Updike.

strangest beauty cries
reileen: (Default)
I actually got some reading done after this long-ass drought of not wanting to do much of anything, never mind read.

The Time-Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger = FUCKING AWESOME. It's not a book for everyone's tastes, but the way that Niffenegger deals with the consequences of involuntary time-traveling and the effects both on the time-traveler and those around him...just wow. Definitely going on my "favorite books" list. Plus, it's set in Chicago. Hel-lo!

Also, I need a reading icon for entries like this.

ETA: Aaaaaannnddd I just got the forms for me to file income tax returns. Le sigh.

if I could turn back time


reileen: (Default)
Reileen van Kaile

April 2010



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