Monday, August 23, 2010

My dad is a fanboy.

Me: *placidly quilting and watching Buffy*
Dad: *comes in from work* What are you watching?
Me: Buffy. Spike's come back and Buffy's about to kick his ass.
Dad: Ah.

Few minutes later:

Dad: Is he trying to bite Willow?
Me: O.o? Do who with the what now? Whaaaaa? Willow?
Dad: What? I can't know my pop culture?
Me: *facepalm*

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Well, this has been fun.

On the whole, last week sucked ass.

Start with TA orientation. Orientations, like meetings, while important, are not typically fun, but things were going okay. This was until they decided to test the fire alarms in the building on Tuesday. After ten minutes of strobe lights, I had a migraine that lasted three days and kept setting off low-level panic attacks.

My mother went to her emergency neurologist appointment Wednesday. The neurological degradation continues to worsen, and he scheduled her for an MRI the next day and another appointment immediately afterward. The MRI did not show anything in particular that would explain things, so he's scheduled her to have an EEG and a spinal tap on Tuesday.

After a couple go arounds with the new rental company, I finally have an apartment and began to move some of my stuff over. A good bit is over--everything that I can fit in my tiny car--and SW loaned her truck to the cause and helped, as did Fitz's Person. Moving is always stressful, and this was compounded by the fact that I knew that I was going to be here in KY until probably Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. My dad had originally been going to go to Houston for work, but given the spinal tap, he's not going. I'm sticking around anyway until after the procedure at least.

In moving things Friday morning, however, I stepped wrong off the sidewalk. It didn't hurt too much until later that afternoon. But there was no swelling, so whatever, right? I got back to KY in time for family dinner for Mom's birthday, put some ice on it. Stayed off it Saturday for most of the day until the Boy came and took me out on a date. By the time the night was over, it was time for more ice. Fast forward to today, and thirty minutes after getting out of the bed, and my limp was pronounced. Still no swelling, though. Had to go find one of the crutches to get around today as Starving4Scotch and CatieStorm and I went to pick out their bridesmaid's dresses for my wedding!

That's not to say that there were not high points to my week. The aforementioned date the Boy took me out on--a trip to Old Chicago Pizza, Half Price Books and Comedy off Broadway to see Kevin Pollak. The trip to David's Bridal and the mall today (incidentally, should one find one's self with a busted up ankle and require one of the provided wheelchairs in order to get around the mall without a ridiculous amount of pain, one should not let S4S drive. No matter how much she asks). Packing Friday morning with SW and FP was also enjoyable, because things that suck can always be made better by the presence of awesome friends.

Am kind of worried about my ankle at the moment, as it seems to be getting worse rather than better. If it's not better by the time I get back down to Tennessee, I'll be making a trip over to Student Health.


Oh, hey, books! The trip to Half Price netted me 24 dollars, and I managed to buy copies of Jude the Obscure, and Oroonoko for my preliminary exam list and S.M. Stirling's Island in the Sea of Time, which had been recommended to me over at Rebel Tales (and still came away with 9 dollars). I did read Jude the Obscure this afternoon, and was pleasantly surprised. I understand why it garnered so many objections at the time, because I imagine it was quite shocking--tales of unhappy marriages, divorce, adultery, lost faith, child death, suicide, remarriage. In my world, though, we call that dealing with very real adult issues. And who in graduate school hasn't felt some of Jude's frustrations when it comes to trying to get the education you want?

I really liked it. I've liked Hardy ever since I read Tess of the D'urbervilles. Bad things happen, and Hardy was one of the first to deal with some of the hard decisions that result from these things. And the character development was so spot on with Jude and Sue. Jude became depressed and bitter; Sue lost it after the death of her children and repressed herself and everything she was afterward because she blamed everything that happened on her actions.


I also bought a book that surveys the history of astronomical discoveries, including some translations and excerpts of primary documents, especially in the early years. I left it in the other room, so I don't have the title off hand, and I'm not getting up to get it. I'm comfy, my foot is elevated. May start on that one tomorrow.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wraiths in the Night....

Aaron Allston is writing a new Wraith Squadron book, set for 2012.

Consider this me flailing about in joy. When I sold almost all my Star Wars books to Half-Price, the only ones I kept were the new Fate of the Jedi ones (because I may need to go back and read all of them again to figure out what's happening in the new one), the ones by Tim Zahn, and the X-wing books, by Allston and Mike Stackpole. Of course, Allston's books from the NJO and Fate of the Jedi have really been the saving grace of a series that includes Troy Denning (I shake my fist at you, Denning, and your absolute lack of respect for established canon. This is the man who came up with the abhorrent idea of Jedi bug sex. I never made it through the first four chapters of the last Swarm War book because I THREW IT ACROSS THE ROOM).

ANYWAY. Allston joy!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Road to Hell...

Suffice it to say my good intentions this weekend went awry. Of all the things I planned to do out of the list of things I wrote in my last entry, I baked a cake, boxed up some books, and played WoW (but my game time has run out so I'm back to actually, you know, doing productive things).

I did, however, read Through the Looking Glass, and continued to be boggled by it. Several of my friends love Lewis Carroll, but I've never been that big a fan. It's part of the reason that I don't often some postmodern works as well--I don't do well with nonsensical. That said, there are some definite gems: "The Walrus and the Carpenter," and Alice's conversation about words with Humpty Dumpty are two.

I also read a chapter or two of Bleak House. I'm about two-thirds of the way through it (which means I still have probably 300 pages to go) and have been since May. The Boy always maintains that Dickens was a hack, and I usually argue that while yes, Dickens was a hack, so am I, and besides Dickens was at least a good hack. I don't particularly enjoy Great Expectations or Hard Times, but I love A Christmas Carol (who doesn't?) and A Tale of Two Cities has some of the most brilliant lines in English literature.

Bleak House? Well, okay, dear. I admit it. Dickens is a hack, and not always a good one.

I also started rereading Jim Butcher's Storm Front this weekend, partly because The Boy has read them all more recently than I have and keeps bringing up stuff that I forget. Very much struck by the difference between the writing of Storm Front, the first Dresden book, and Changes, the twelfth and most recent. Since the Dresden Files are written in first person, the changes are all in Harry's voice--and over twelve books, he's gotten a lot wiser, a little bit darker, little wearier, and a whole lot more determined to do what it takes to protect the people he loves.

Plans for today include:
  • Finish Comp/Rhet paper. This is non-negotiable, as it's due tomorrow at noon.
  • Write paragraph for the college of graduate studies outlining my summer research. Also non-negotiable, as it's $*@&#
  • Go to library and return carrel key. Also non-negotiable, as they will blister my ass if I don't get it back.
  • Office Depot. Need printer cartridge, necessary for finishing paper, as I need to print it out to proof it.
  • Publix. I need food. Also non-negotiable, because I am sick and tired of eating pasta.
Well. That's certainly enough.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I wanna know...have you ever seen the rain?

I always think of the last episode of Stargate SG-1 when I hear that song now, oddly enough.

No, the rain is holding off for the moment, but I think everyone in the greater Nashville area is thanking God that it is on its way. The heat index was 118F yesterday, which is beyond ridiculous, and we have been in desperate need of something to cool the area down. Severe thunderstorms? Bring it on. I have no serious plans for the day that require getting out (not that I'd have been out in this heat anyway). My plans include baking a cake for a get-together at a friend's house tomorrow night, testing out grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner with some of the homemade bread I made this week, and perhaps boxing up some books for a trip to Half Price.

My plans for this weekend include using the last four days I have on my game subscription to WoW, writing up a short paragraph about what research I've done this summer towards studying for prelims (um...I read Villette?), finishing the save the date cards and addressing them for the wedding, and possibly taking a good hard look at my closet and maybe even doing something about it.

The book packing up for Half Price is always a little emotional. I've pretty much made peace with giving up most of my Sherrilyn Kenyon books (Snarky Writer, if you want to read them, speak before I head back north again or forever hold your peace), but I'm still debating giving up my Stephanie Laurens books, as I really, really love the Cynster novels and yes, perhaps, I do read them over again every once in a while.

I do always hate giving up books or selling them back. One good thing about selling them to Half Price (other than the money, which is sometimes not much) is that I know they will go on to good homes, either by being resold or by being donated to non-profit organizations, or if they aren't in a condition for either of those destinations, are recycled. Still, sometimes it feels as if I'm giving up a favorite pet or something. I still have all of my Nancy Drews and most of my Anne of Green Gables books--they simply aren't something I can give up. After all, it was only recently that I was able to finally part with (most of) my Star Wars books, which were a great source of entertainment (and in some cases, comfort) during my teenage years.

(I feel like I should point out that at this point in my blog posting, which admittedly has been punctuated by lunch, lolcats and facebook, the sky has grown quite dark and is hence promising impending doom. Still, the heat index has gone down in the last twenty minutes from 105F to 88F, so not too bad.)

Anyway, back to books, which is what this blog is really about anyway (or supposed to be). I finally finished Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison, and might have wanted to tear up in sections, but I'm glad to see that Rachel is finally starting to get herself OUT of some of the trouble she's in. She's by no means in the clear, but she's better off than she was. (Oh, hey, rain!)

I also read River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters. It's the newest book in her Amelia Peabody series, but it's set between The Ape Who Guards the Balance and The Falcon at the Portal, but has very little interaction between Ramses and Nefret, which made me sad, but the majority of that tale has already been told in other books--very well, I might add. I really want to go check out the books that involve Ramses and Nefret as principal characters in their own right again, because I really did enjoy them. But I also enjoy Peters' knowledge. She is an Egyptologist herself (a profession I did aspire to one summer), and her expertise shows. I also think that I may have to check out the Vicky Bliss series, which is somehow connected to this one, though I'm not sure how. In fact, I'll add it to the wish list (which gets ever longer).

Speaking of wish lists, Amazon's newest generation of Kindle is on mine now, specifically the cheaper $139 version, which comes without 3G. I don't particularly see the point of having 3G, unless you wanted to look something up, but since it comes with WiFi, all you have to do is find a Starbucks or McDonalds and use their connection. Technology continues to amaze me.

The storm begins in earnest. Perhaps I'll take this opportunity to sit back with a glass of iced tea and read. Hmm...what shall I pull off the bookshelf next?