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Monday, January 9th, 2017 07:57 pm
Ian has an early chapter book, the Magic Schoolbus and bones. (Inside a skeleton costume factory, not inside an actual skeleton.) He loves it. I am rather tired of reading it to him - I'm not yet in danger of memorizing it word for word, but I have read it a lot. It's been the main - often the only - bedtime book for...well, almost since he got it. (Almost because there were a few other books and they got read for the first time before this one did.)

I am so so SO glad he got it for Christmas. He adores it.

But I'm still a little tired of it. :)
kyrielle: (text butterfly)
Friday, October 14th, 2016 04:00 pm
So, yesterday my coworker was less-than-thrilled with the forecast, because he needed to go grocery shopping because they were almost out of staples, and he was going to have to compete with people frantically stocking up for a storm described as 'huge' but that will be worst at the coast (we're a two-hour drive and a mountain range from the coast, here, for context).

I think he ended up doing most of it mid-day to avoid the mess, but I'm not really sure.

I was, however, laughing a lot because he was mocking people who were panicked about the storm. Why was that making me laugh? Because I was ABSOLUTELY planning to run a frantic pre-storm errand after I left work yesterday (which I DID), in case the weather hit early and bad and I couldn't run it today.

...I was dashing to the library to pick up my holds, a larger-than-normal number of books for the boys among them, in case power was lost and the library had to close early at any point.

Which says, I think, a lot about priorities. (Also about the fact that I'd done a fairly large staples run the weekend before, which was pure random luck. But still...I didn't even think about a frantic grocery run. I went to the library.)

I _did_ go to the grocery this afternoon, on the grounds that I normally do my shop-ahead on Saturday and I really would rather shop mid-afternoon today than during a panicked Saturday morning rush or out in the thick of the weather later in the day if it does get bad. I didn't buy the full week's supply - if we come out of the storm in good shape, I can get it Sunday afternoon. If we don't, I don't need to have a week's worth of perishables going off after we lose power. :P I'm out about $8 if the perishables from this trip get lost because of power outage, so. That's not too bad.

But we'd have been fine if I didn't, too, I'd just have had more limited options for myself. But the books--! Gotta have the books, I'm telling you.
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Saturday, October 8th, 2016 05:38 pm
So, I've been reading this series. I wasn't actually too impressed with the first book, and yet I enjoyed it so much that I needed to read the second, and now I definitely need the third. This is VERY typical of my experience of Lackey, whose tropes are some of my own favorite mind-candy.

That said, these books are not so awesome in terms of continuity. Friends who know me: I spotted continuity issues on the first read-through.... Yeah. Not good. I cannot really explain them without spoilering things to heck and back, but there are blatant continuity errors. Largely unnecessary - you could achieve the story without them.

But the underlying story - assuming you like Lackey's favorite trope of a young person who is All That And More - is pretty fun and the world is fascinating.

What I really do NOT understand is all the complaints about Joy - Joy is our main character - and how she figures things out and how come no one else is.

I don't think there are spoilers here, but my generalizations might let someone who then read the series figure things out ahead of time here and there )
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kyrielle: (text butterfly)
Saturday, July 2nd, 2016 03:53 pm
I love that book. I didn't find out it existed until after she passed away, so it was a nice surprise to get to read something "new" (to me) by her. Although I'm still sad, because apparently she had a sequel plot in mind, but the publisher didn't want a particular character to reappear and she did, so she never wrote it since she couldn't write it her way. I wish I could have read that book.

If there are books or the dreams of books in the afterlife, maybe it will be waiting for me one day, but otherwise - this is the book I have, in that world, and that's it.

But re-reading it raised one of my original confusions, and at the same time, another "hey wait a minute" hit me.

So first: this is a very good book, and if you enjoy first-contact stories, or sci-fi "anthropology" type things, or quirks of human interaction, you might like it quite a lot. I would suggest not reading my further comments before reading the book if you're at all tempted to read it...although I won't be spoilering, or even mentioning, the two "official" mysteries in the book. I will, on the other hand, be thoroughly spoilering one of the character development threads, because in no way can I talk about the "hey wait a minute" without doing so.

Herein lie spoilers. )
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Friday, March 13th, 2015 06:52 pm
I heard about The Martian a while back. I finally got around to getting a copy. Oh my word. Why did I not listen to others and read this book sooner???

The one wise thing I did was start reading as soon as I got it, while the couch was being professionally cleaned this afternoon.

Because if I'd picked it up about now, I'd have been up half the night finishing it. There's no WAY I'd have put it down in the middle.
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Sunday, August 3rd, 2014 05:49 pm
The boys are now registered for swim lessons next session - going in person as soon as registration opened worked nicely, I got exactly the slots I most wanted so that my schedule won't be insanity. :) And they had fun at swim lessons and open swim.

My new prescription swim goggles are in and I'm very pleased with them - they do what I'd hoped for and they do it well. And the frames we wanted to try for my new glasses came in, I tried them on, and I love them. Lenses are now ordered, so I wait again, for those as well as a backup pair I ordered at one of the cheap online sites. I think the latter will be acceptable for a backup pair, but I distinctly went cheap on the options and they wouldn't be my first choice for anything else. That's not the point for them. :)

Laundry, kitchen cleaning, dishes, care for the vegetables - all done. I picked all the carrots; they aren't doing well in these containers, and the other things in with them will do better with them out.

Yesterday was Fun in the Park also, and we did have fun. Drew got a balloon sword, Ian got a balloon cat, both got cotton candy. Ian tried chicken teriyaki and liked it, which was kind of neat. I would have preferred to spend more time on things I instead went right by, but in all honesty, not much time all the same.

Today, the boys went with Scott to the zoo while I got stuff done around the house (at my request!). Then we went to the library, where they turned in their summer reading program and got to pick free books and science experiment kits, and got (rather nice, really) packets of coupons/freebies. Being small and indulged is apparently good for your ability to snag treats.

And I almost finished reading a book! _Cast In Flame_. I will finish it tonight, I swear I will. :) And then I will sulk because the sequel isn't out yet, if history is any judge.
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Friday, April 6th, 2012 07:47 pm
Not for me. For Drew. I have some criteria, though.

First, he's three, but he likes longer books - Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day is about the length (word and page count both) I'm targeting right now.

Second, it has to be a good story.

Third, it'd be nice if it included diverse characters (racial, gender, romance/relationships), and/or broader cultural exposure than white cis straight American. He gets *plenty* of exposure to that, and there's a shortage of exposure to other things for discussion.

Fourth, it would also be nice if they showed handling negative emotions well as far as actions. Not just handling badly and then censuring it, but actually handling it well. Acknowledged or not by the book/characters, as long as it's there.

Third and fourth are "it would be nice". I am still interested in good books that don't, or only slightly, meet those!

(There are limits. The book I encountered in the grocery store while browsing recently, the one about kids playing at being grownup, in which "mommy" was a little girl who cooked and cleaned and cared for the dolly-kids and every "professional" was a boy? Gag. Then again, that also wasn't a good story! Heh.)

Thanks.

[Edited to add point #4.]
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kyrielle: (text butterfly)
Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 07:18 pm
I haven't posted about books I've been reading, in general, for a long time. In part because I lacked energy - it came down to "read the books, or read fewer and post about them" - and in part because I don't generally do book reviews anyway.

But I've read several in the past year (or more) that I have wanted to say something about, and now appears to be when I've found the energy. So....

  • Feed and Deadline by Mira Grant. The first two books in a trilogy. It's a zombie horror trilogy, and those of you who know me well are looking at me oddly now, because I don't do horror. If it's actually horrific I can't stand it and if it's merely gory I don't care. And I don't do zombies. But these are more than just zombie books. I read them because I know the author's writing (it's an open pen name for Seanan McGuire) from other books (which I'll mention in just a moment) and I really love her stories. Also because a couple people who do know me well raved about them and said I'd like them.

    I began reading Feed with a great deal of trepidation, because I didn't expect to like it. May I just say that in some cases, I love being wrong? Because this book was wonderful, and knocked my socks off. It was Hugo-nominated, and let me just say it deserved it utterly. I haven't read the Hugo winner - so I can't say they didn't deserve it - but Feed deserved it too, I can say that for sure. Feed is not a "zombies rise and eat your brains, raar" book. It is the world, a couple decades after the zombies rose. They've never gone away. And everyone lives with the risk of becoming them. But Feed is also a political thriller. With zombies.

    If the first book is a political thriller, the second one is a medical thriller, with more of a focus on the CDC and the nature of the disease. And some real, eye-blinking, stare-at-it moments.

    I'm not saying these aren't horror books. They are. But they're not gore-horror or traditional horror. They're much more subtle, and much nastier, in that the worst of the horror is not the zombies, but what else is happening around, about, and because of the existence of the zombies. They also have a couple of the best emotional sucker-punches I have ever been delivered by a book.

    One word of warning: this is a trilogy where the middle book ends on a cliff-hanger. Book three is due out next May, I believe. If you don't like cliff-hangers, Feed can be read reasonably well standalone, but I'd leave Deadline to wait until you can also get Blackout, as while it wraps up its individual story, in the overall arc it does leave you hanging. If you like cliffhangers, though, read on; this is a good one. :)

  • The Toby Daye series, by Seanan McGuire. (Remember, I mentioned her above, as the alter-ego of Mira Grant?) These are definitely lighter than Grant's books - urban fantasy, and mostly reasonable for teens (maybe even some pre-teens, I'd have read them happily at 10 or 11).

    Current books are (in order) Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, An Artificial Night, Late Eclipses, and One Salt Sea (just out this fall). October "Toby" Daye is a private detective, and a changeling. I can't rave about half the things I love in this series without spoilering something (most things, in fact), but I can say this: I love the characters. I love how they are fully realized, and I also love how they grow and change. I love that not every change is for the better, and not every new thing they learn/gain comes without a price (in fact, very little comes without some price), and I love that nonetheless they do grow and it does feel like an evolution in the characters.

    I love the common threads that weave through the stories; I love that each book is a story of its own - part of a larger tapestry, yes, but no cliff-hangers here (well, at the ends of books; I promise nothing about the ends of chapters :). I love that the stories have some common threads, but also their own tones.

    That said...Rosemary and Rue is good. I'm not so sure about A Local Habitation - it felt weak to me, as if it required too many mistakes from the characters. That one, I thought was "okay" rather than "good". However, ALH is also a locked-door murder mystery and I've never enjoyed those as much, so there's bias on my part. And others have enjoyed it very much, based on their reviews. And after that one, I just felt the series got stronger and stronger - I cannot properly express how much I adore the rest of the series to date. I do. A lot. "Excellent" would be the word I'd apply to the most recent three.

    But if you're going to read the series, I'd recommend you read them in order. While each can stand alone, they do have spoilers for the ones before.

  • Unnatural Issue, the latest in Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series. Some of you may remember my (unhappy, unfriendly, mocking) review of About the Cat, the prior installment in this series. I still feel that way about that book. It just didn't hang together for me, and I was rather afraid that the series was going to keep sliding that way.

    It didn't. There was one plot resolution (near the end, so I shan't say more) that felt too easy and pat to me, but if there were plot holes, repetitions, or major screw-ups, I managed to miss them. I enjoyed this book very much, and felt like the series was coming back a bit to what I loved in earlier installments.

  • Cast In Chaos, Michelle Sagara. I just finished this tonight. I adore this series, I adore Kaylin, I adore the horrible world-spanning situations that Sagara dumps poor Kaylin into. Enough so that I actually bought a Kindle copy rather than wait for my library (which has an enormous hold list for this one) to get it to me. Or make time to get to a bookstore. I don't regret it. I'll have to buy it again in paperback as I really want it in that format, but being able to read it on my phone had certain advantages this weekend (like being able to finish it), and once again she's delivered a very solid story with all sorts of interesting repercussions. I'm...VERY curious to see where the next one goes, given where this one ended.

    This is another series where, if you haven't read it, you really want to start from the beginning. Not only do later books spoil earlier books, but in this case there's a lot of accumulated knowledge from those earlier books that's useful in understanding the later ones.


I think that's all the books I presently have in me to babble about. I'm very much looking forward to Pierce's Mastiff also, but will hopefully wait for it from the library. We'll see. It's not out yet. It's coming out in hardcover, though, which is not a format I love. I'll wait for paperback to get the dead tree edition, at least.
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kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Monday, April 11th, 2011 07:48 pm
Poor Drew. Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus does not work well when your toddler says "Yes!" to the pigeon the first time he asks to drive the bus. The whole book expects repeated "No" answers and the pigeon begs, pleads, wheedles, and finally throws a tantrum. Even if you adjust the words while reading and flip past the tantrum, it really doesn't work. Drew looked baffled and hurt that the pigeon's expressions weren't happy and that he wasn't driving the bus.

At the end the bus driver asks if you let the pigeon drive the bus, and you say no (hopefully), and he says "Great! Thanks a lot!" Drew instead of "No" said "pleeeease?" very winningly. I read the driver's line with a bit of gentle sarcasm, and we went on to watch the pigeon dream of driving a semi truck next.

I explained the pigeon was so used to hearing "no" that he didn't even realize that Drew had said yes, but that didn't really satisfy him.

The book really does not work if the toddler says yes.
kyrielle: (text butterfly)
Friday, June 26th, 2009 05:31 pm
This review comes with two disclaimers and a warning. The warning is that I got to read a copy, but the book I'm writing about isn't due out until September first. The first disclaimer is that I know the author, [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire, and consider her a friend. And the second is that I can only try to produce a coherent review; I normally don't post about the books I read, or if I do, just short 'enjoyed X' or 'just finished X' or 'reading X' things; nothing useful. The exception is a rare book so thoroughly, horribly awful that I can take a perverse joy in shredding it.

I can't fall back on that skill here, because Rosemary and Rue is not only not horrible, it's incredibly good. It's a modern urban fantasy, or perhaps urban myth; Toby Daye is a changeling, belonging neither entirely to the human world nor to the faerie world. It's a murder mystery, one that Toby would rather not have had to work on. And if you want a better description of it, the writeup on Seanan's website has the back cover writeup, which is ever so much more coherent than I am.

I enjoyed this book a lot. Toby - for want of a better way to put it, Toby strikes me as very, very real. (Yes, I appreciate the irony of saying that about a changeling. It is nonetheless very true.) She's strong, she's capable, but she's not superman. And she's in a deep pile of you-know-what and trying to somehow get through it. Watching her struggle with everything she faces is fascinating.

The other characters - I'll let them introduce themselves to you - are just as well drawn and believable. The world of faerie, and those who occupy it, is intricate and fascinating. And seeing it through Toby's rather disaffected eyes is both informative and entertaining.

Some authors manage character or plot. In this case, we've got both; the plot is just as well-handled as the characters are, and it's amazing what I spot on a re-read once I know what was really going on.

If you like urban fantasy, if you like the fae, if anything I've said intrigues you - check with your favorite bookstore (either in advance, or come September). This one's worth stalking. (Note: stalk the book. I am not suggesting the book merits stalking people. Please do not creep out your friendly neighborhood bookstore. :)
kyrielle: (text butterfly)
Friday, June 26th, 2009 05:31 pm
This review comes with two disclaimers and a warning. The warning is that I got to read a copy, but the book I'm writing about isn't due out until September first. The first disclaimer is that I know the author, [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire, and consider her a friend. And the second is that I can only try to produce a coherent review; I normally don't post about the books I read, or if I do, just short 'enjoyed X' or 'just finished X' or 'reading X' things; nothing useful. The exception is a rare book so thoroughly, horribly awful that I can take a perverse joy in shredding it.

I can't fall back on that skill here, because Rosemary and Rue is not only not horrible, it's incredibly good. It's a modern urban fantasy, or perhaps urban myth; Toby Daye is a changeling, belonging neither entirely to the human world nor to the faerie world. It's a murder mystery, one that Toby would rather not have had to work on. And if you want a better description of it, the writeup on Seanan's website has the back cover writeup, which is ever so much more coherent than I am.

I enjoyed this book a lot. Toby - for want of a better way to put it, Toby strikes me as very, very real. (Yes, I appreciate the irony of saying that about a changeling. It is nonetheless very true.) She's strong, she's capable, but she's not superman. And she's in a deep pile of you-know-what and trying to somehow get through it. Watching her struggle with everything she faces is fascinating.

The other characters - I'll let them introduce themselves to you - are just as well drawn and believable. The world of faerie, and those who occupy it, is intricate and fascinating. And seeing it through Toby's rather disaffected eyes is both informative and entertaining.

Some authors manage character or plot. In this case, we've got both; the plot is just as well-handled as the characters are, and it's amazing what I spot on a re-read once I know what was really going on.

If you like urban fantasy, if you like the fae, if anything I've said intrigues you - check with your favorite bookstore (either in advance, or come September). This one's worth stalking. (Note: stalk the book. I am not suggesting the book merits stalking people. Please do not creep out your friendly neighborhood bookstore. :)
kyrielle: (Rosemary & Rue)
Thursday, February 26th, 2009 11:31 am
I'm going to do something I seldom do in this LJ: I am going to tell you that you (may, since I don't know your tastes in genres) want to go read a book that isn't even out yet. (I sometimes wait impatiently for books here, but I don't often recommend them pre-release...in fact, I'm not sure I ever have!)

That book is Rosemary and Rue by [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire, and it's due out from Daw books, September 1, 2009. It's listed at Amazon, but you won't find many details there yet since it's still so far out. (The page I linked to with the title is on the author's web site. The web site is still under construction, so some of the other pages may lead to 'coming soon', but that one has content!)

Modern fairy tale noir? Urban fairy tale mystery? I'm not so good with the labels. What it is, is wonderful, and it's faeries and changelings in modern day San Francisco. And wonderful. It's the first of a series, of which the first three books are contracted by Daw, but please don't let that put you off - IMO it stands alone nicely, so you shouldn't expect to hit the end of it and realize you're hanging in mid-air waiting for next year (a phenomenon I know some people object to).

I'm not pre-ordering from Amazon, but that's because I'll be pre-ordering through Powell's. I like supporting my local bookstore-chain (and encouraging them to notice this book and series).
kyrielle: (text butterfly)
Thursday, January 1st, 2009 04:43 pm
Finished the first read of Jim Butcher's Princeps' Fury, so now I can pass that one to Scott. I may reread, depending on when he finishes and what my life is like then. Very, very good book. I have to say that where it left off this time was vicious. A year to the next book, and it seems far, far too long, as always. But oh it was good to get to read this book.

Next on the list is rereading Michelle West's Cast In Fury, which is also an excellent book (and also part of a series). Although this series tends to be a little more standalone - it's a good idea to read them in order, but the end of one book is unlikely to leave you wailing for the next to find out how things turn out. There's a little more resolution.

Either way, both excellent books.

I also read Lackey's One Good Knight recently. I didn't really expect to like it (Lackey's tropes and tendencies, combined with the premise of the setting, wasn't promising). I was impressed by how trite and pathetic it was, though. It had a couple good moments, but trust me, it's not worth the bother to get to them. (I read that one during the snowstorm. I think the only reason I finished it was that I'd had too many rereads and needed something new, even if it was annoying.)
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Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 03:12 pm
It's New Year's Eve. I had to go out to run an unexpected errand (a piece of paper that really had to be signed this year), bu that got done. Meanwhile, both libraries had sent me notices that I had a hold in (I think this is especially rude of the library where I picked a hold up just yesterday; can't they get them all in BEFORE I go? *grins*), so I went ahead and picked those up (one is the same title I just returned to the other library - I'd have canceled the hold except I wanted to reread the sucker so I let it hang out there - I am so bad!). And I stopped at Babies R Us, where we had a gift card to use, and picked up a bunch of the little miscellany that we hadn't gotten yet (and could have bought as-needed, but I'm happier having it all now). Didn't go over the gift card amount, either, and didn't have to skip anything I wanted to get to avoid doing so.

Since I was already out, I swung by the grocery store again, both to pick up a couple items I wanted for my health and because I had a sudden craving for shrimp. I now have shrimp. I'm sure Scott's thrilled. Actually, Scott will not care in the least as long as I do not attempt to feed him any of the shrimp. That works for me....

Home again, where I'm chewing through my miscellaneous things-I'd-like-to-get-done list slowly but surely. (In between bouts of browsing the web just for the heck of it, and positioning my WoW character in Stormwind, where I'll be able to watch the virtual New Year's Eve fireworks, well before midnight. I intend to be in bed when the new year arrives.) Scott came home briefly on the lunch hour to grab his cell phone (he'd forgotten it charging in the kitchen this morning), and also to drop off another gift from one of his coworkers. I swear, people have been so kind to us.

My side is definitely doing better. Leans and position shifts still require a little care but not much - I think I'm back to where I was before the stupidity of Saturday, for the most part. I can once again pick up and carry all my purchases at once without straining it. (Yes, I was careful. Yes, I was prepared to back off. I just didn't need to.) Phew. I did indeed switch to 'take it easy, baby it' mode quickly enough on Saturday. Not that I'm planning to run marathons or anything, but it is so nice to be able to run all the errands I did today (checking in with myself frequently, I promise!) and feel fine at the end of them. I'm not planning to run marathons or exhaust myself, promise, but it's still so nice that that (rather than whatever-the-heck I pulled) is the limiting factor.

All the same, it's about time for a break - and I have these lovely books to go curl up with anyway.... (The reread is Michelle Sagara's Cast in Fury; the new one is Jim Butcher's Princeps' Fury, which finally finally came in. I am filled with GLEE. And reading the Butcher book first, as I only get two weeks with it.)
kyrielle: (text butterfly)
Sunday, December 21st, 2008 06:01 pm
So, I got Michelle Sagara's Cast In Fury from the library on Friday. I didn't start reading it until yesterday, and finished it either then or this morning, I forget which. Much, much glee. I love this series. I want the next book. And wow. Lots and lots of wow.

I handed it off to Scott. He's more than halfway through it already. The only reason we may need the 14 days that this book can be out is if the weather prevents its return. But wow is it good.
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kyrielle: (Joy)
Friday, November 28th, 2008 03:11 pm
Thanksgiving dinner was lovely - proof enough it wasn't at our house, I'd probably have prepared a microwave dinner and Scott might have added some stuffing from a box. I have to say the homemade stuffing they served was way, way beyond that. (I ate too much of it. Oof. But it was so good.) The company and conversation was also lovely, more importantly. We played a couple games of "You've Been Sentenced" which was fun, and did a turkey shoot (silly nerf guns, and paper-plate turkeys). Mostly, we chatted, ate, and chatted some more. Scott and I left about five - my stamina was starting to drop fairly substantially, unfortunately - and got sent home with leftovers. Yum! I was surprised to realize how worn out I was (owing partially to having eaten a bit more than I should, and maybe some to the constant sitting/standing I was doing) on the way home. I fell asleep and napped almost the whole hour's drive back. Good thing Scott was driving. (I wouldn't've fallen asleep driving, but I suspect I would have been less alert than I'd have liked.)

So, when I got home, I took the tape off (for my ribs), puttered around, and then should have gone to bed. Instead, I started reading Jane Lindskold's Thirteen Orphans...and could not put it down. On the other hand, at least I was lying down/resting as I read, but still...got to bed way late. Very good book; I wish the next book in the series were not so far off, now!

I slept in this morning, which helped quite a bit. Today is going to be a slow, lazy day anyway. I am not fond of Black Friday sales for some reason...oh yeah. They're not worth the early hours, long lines, or insane pushy people. (Not everyone involved is insane or pushy, but there are far too many who are.) I did check out a few online Black Friday sales. The worst that happens there is a failure to get the item. :)

There is a stray cat (no collar, anyway) on our back deck right now. It and Ray are having a little cold war through the glass. Ray is unwilling to be convinced the cat can't get in. At least it keeps him from picking on Apple. (Okay, just being silly there. I opened the door and used a squirt bottle of water to get rid of the interloper. Maybe now Ray will at least go back to his normal levels of insanity.) Speaking of cats, Scott put up a hook between the two windows in the living room, where we can now wind the window blind cords...so that should stop Ray from playing with them. Nothing else has, that's for sure. (Water, yelling, trying to place them out of reach on the ledge where the window latches - he figured that out and pulled them down - etc....)
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Sunday, November 23rd, 2008 07:37 pm
Drove to the grocery store this morning to get cat food for our two bottomless pits, er, beloved pets. Also picked stuff up for us, though there wasn't much we needed, and all of it could have waited. It was quite foggy today, hung on all day, but this was early in the morning and visibility of oncoming traffic was about 1/3 mile ... when they had their headlights on. So why were about 75% of them driving without headlights? I especially liked the white and off-white cars doing this. Not that the dark cars were really much more visible. (Fortunately, they were all in their lane and no problems, but c'mon folks, headlights!)

I have read The Hero of Ages, book three of the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. And unlike most of my other recent reads, I enjoyed it greatly and think it was well-done. I had trouble getting into it at first - I think that owed more to my mood and physical comfort levels than the book, but I'm not sure - but once I did it was excellent. I keep wanting to say the ending was too pat, except that I do not see how it could be, considering that it completely blew me over in shock.

The radio station I listen to for music and traffic reports has been playing Christmas music for the past two weeks already. It's a LITTLE early folks. And we've already hit the moronic Christmas Shoes song at least once. Ugh. I can tune to their HD2 station and get regular music, but then I don't get the traffic reports. And that's only in the car: the home stereo can't handle HD. (Need to do something about replacing it, at some point.)
kyrielle: (kyrielle-sketch)
Sunday, November 16th, 2008 09:03 pm
Before the week catches up with me and I fail to post for days again at a time.

First, a note for those not aware of it: LJ is moving Tuesday, November 18 (that's this Tuesday) and will be out for 4 hours. That's the plan. I hope they achieve it, rather than being out longer. Check [livejournal.com profile] lj_maintenance for info. They plan to make another announcement in [livejournal.com profile] news tomorrow, but that just seems like waiting a bit long to remind/warn people who don't read the maintenance comm.

Speaking of Tuesday, Tuesday is Scott's and my anniversary. We celebrated it today instead, since Tuesday night we'll be in a childbirth class. I'm not sure if the fact that he made me waffles when I asked for them this morning really counts as part of that, but I'm counting it anyway. Tonight he made dinner (hmmm, our anniversary means he does the work? LOL - I just realized this) - spaghetti and garlic bread. And we had a white cake with raspberry frosting. Very tasty. (Okay, actually we split a large piece of such a cake. A whole cake for the two of us would be ... overwhelming.)

Other than that, a laid-back day, a normal day. We played WoW some - our mains are less than 1/4 bubble off of 71, but still not quite there. One more quest would have done it but one more quest also would have done in my ribs, and frankly, a level ain't worth that.

Also this weekend got some paperwork done that needed doing, and updated the wish list again (I keep adding or adjusting as we think of things or learn of them; I believe there's now at least one shower coming up that's referencing the list, and our relatives likely are as well. But I'm not, in case anyone is worrying about that, removing items.)

Recent (past month) reads:
  • Tamora Pierce's Melting Stones. Um. First Pierce book I can actually say I don't like. First, I'm tired of getting bits of the tale of what happened in Yanjing in other books, but no book about it. I assume we'll never see a separate book about it, given the sheer spoileriness of what's been in what's been published. And second, too many things that matter from that tale are too "splat, here's a plot device" in this book without the lead-in of seeing them happen and evolve. And thirdly I don't find the story all that compelling or believable in places. And I don't really sympathize with the main character. And the evolution of the main character over time is wrapped up in a twee little bow at the end. C'mon, Pierce usually writes good books. What is this?
  • Mercedes Lackey's Foundation. Now, I am careful about how I comment on Lackey books here normally because I like Lackey, but I also recognize that she's...not the best quality writer. She's prone to continuity glitches, she's prone to repeating herself and her tropes. I don't mind the latter - she's cotton candy reading - but I know many people do. In this case, I don't think I need to be cautious about giving too rosy a view of the book, however. Because it stank. This is a Valdemar book, set about a year after the founding of the Herald's Collegium, about 50 years after Vanyel's time if I remember right. The main character is an orphan who has worked as an abused mine slave until he is Chosen. It could have been very, very interesting and potentially something I enjoyed a lot. Instead it was trite, badly written, introduced technology and games and foods that are stolen from our world (in most cases not named as such, but still), introduced things that don't make sense with existing continuity and timeline, had the boy's Companion doing things that didn't mesh with how Companions act, had the boy display "a knack" or "a talent" for whatever-the-frick he needed to do (not one or two things, but whatever was needed to move the plot along, with maybe one exception) and develop in ways and degrees that just were not believable even WITH some of the other crap that was going on.... And, oh yeah, it had a lot of subplots but no main plot, unless you count the thing that was sorted out at the end, but it actually didn't really take center stage except at that point and, oh yeah, never really made sense. Kinda like the book....
  • Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory, The Phoenix Endangered. Book two of The Enduring Flame. This is the second book in a trilogy. The trilogy is the second in this world. Mallory has co-written every one of them. And I can recommend them with a much better heart than other Lackey-isms because they seem to be well-written and hold their continuity together. I assume the credit goes to the co-author on that regard. That said, this is just a decent book; it's not as spectacular as its premise and setting should make it, but it's a fun read and it's coherent, and there is much to be said for that...especially in contrast to the book I just listed above.


I also read another modern-supernatural-urban-fantasy-thing. But I forget the author and title. It was pretty weak anyway.

I actually got grocery shopping done today! Like, went out and did something. And I wasn't taped, then. I didn't hurt at the end of it, though I admit I was leaning (lightly) on the cart at times because it let me assume a more comfortable posture. It used some energy up to do it, but it was nice to do something useful and normal and get through it after the sluggishness of Friday in particular, and yesterday as well.

I am now taped again as of this evening (now there's a romantic way to spend part of the evening on which you celebrate your anniversary, even if slightly prematurely: taping your wife's back and belly!). Hopefully it will help more now that the tape configuration has changed, and this week will be better than last week.

It's interesting to me, though. For all that the ribs have been a major nuisance, otherwise I think this has been a very easy pregnancy. Yes, I was low-energy in the second trimester when they say you normally gain energy, but that was minor, and my other complaints have likewise been minor. Only now am I starting to really notice the shortness of breath effect and even then, only seldom. (Most common time: going to bed. Why?Because I take the stairs briskly, forgetting that I should slow down more. And even that's not bad, I just end up breathing hard for a little bit.) My sense of balance is still as fine as it ever was (which is to say it's not perfect, but it doesn't seem any worse now that I'm pregnant). Drew kicks a lot, but so far he hasn't kicked anywhere that really hurt except one single time early on. My legs and feet aren't swelling. (I have gotten stretch marks, but enh, whatever.) I am very thankful for this gift.

And on that note, I say g'night. 'Cause part of not overdoing is getting enough sleep.
kyrielle: (text butterfly)
Friday, August 29th, 2008 10:16 pm
It's not perfect (the lack of a stylus produced by Apple is a serious aggravation, though I understand there's a third-party-created option I may be able to get - seriously, guys, "fingers-only" is great except your keyboard is smaller than the fingers of most people over the age of maybe eight!).

But it is wonderful (the keyboard mostly works in spite of that). Today I used it to, among other things:
1) Remind me to take my antihistamine (as it always does, and in fact this morning I forgot until it chimed for that!)
2) As a phone, allowing me to coordinate a schedule change with the realtor (signing more disclosure papers, nothing exciting) for my parents' house.
3) As a map device, showing me traffic levels as traffic ground to a halt in front of me. And then, after it showed red into the far distance, calling Scott to get details on the web. I could have done that on the iPhone but NOT WHILE DRIVING. I only dared the map because I was, at the time, literally stopped - the web stuff would've taken longer and I was worried we'd start moving again. Net result of these two steps: knew I was facing an accident, left lane, several miles south of me at Nyberg. Was able to get into the exit lane, skip down the exits (considered switching to surface streets: even worse back-up for the only good route there hastily convinced me otherwise) to Tualatin, get back on. Took probably half the time sitting in the backup would have, but would have been futile if the accident had been a half-mile further south, as it would have made getting back on at Tualatin a sure route to being on 205 then - merging NOT trivial in that backup. (I'd have taken the Tualatin exit for real, and cut across 65th in that case - but not my preferred route when not needed.)
4) This evening, when my back and rib cage started screaming at once to protest that between standing, walking, sitting in one place for too long at a time, getting the ultrasound done and its attendant physical stresses, and emotional stressors today, I was going to give them a break, now, or pay for it in major discomfort...yeah. I went and settled in bed. And after finding a comfy position, I read and read and read. I could not have dealt with a laptop (both hauling it upstairs, and having anywhere reasonable to set it down that would work for any of the comfy positions), but the iPhone was very doable.

Also? I have read David Palmer's Tracking (sequel story to Emergence which is an excellent book; Tracking was in the July/August, September, and October copies of Analog) to the end now. I am...mostly pleased. And that is all I will say, because there are people who read this LJ who liked Emergence and are probably going to read Tracking, and I don't know if they have yet. Plus some of you might go read both, but I am told that finding Emergence (what is out of print) for as little as $25 is an impressive feat these days, so...mostly, I'm trying not to aggravate those as have already read the one and might read the other. ;)

And now it's time for me to go to bed, but I had to come downstairs first. For some reason, I seem to need the charger for this phone now.... :P