twincityhacker: hands in an overcoat's pockets (Default)
Writer Catherynne M. Valente ( [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna ) is currently stranded in a tight spot. More specifically, she's strandaded in Frankfort, Germany after receving some very, very bad advice from Expedia. When she booked her flight online, she was told she didn't need a visa to fly into Russia. She even called the agency, and was told that they did not need visas to fly into Russia.

You need a visa to fly into Russia.

So, she and her brand new husband ( did I mention that they are on their honeymoon? ) have managed to secure visas, and can pick them up tomorrow. Only they still won't get to St. Petersburg until Thursday night, which leaves them only three days to enjoy the city.

Expedia has been extremely unhelpful in this matter. They wouldn't send a note to the Russian consulate to get Valente an exception to the visa rules, forcing her to spend more time trying to find a company that would. Expedia also booked them into a wildly overpriced hotel, and then only paid a third of the price. Nor did Expedia cough up the cash for the re-scheduling penalty.

Currently, Valente is writing an online novel called The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. The table of contents is here. It's a book with-in a book from her novel Palimpsest ( which has a rec from Warren Ellis btw ). She posts a chapter every Monday, even doing so while in Airport Hell. It's price structure is that you donate what you think the novel is worth. The author has also been posting audiobook versions of each chapter.

She also a has another project called The Omikuji Project. This is a short story subscription service. You can sign up for each month's story individually, or a year's membership. But the interesting part is that you can either receive that month's story as an emailed .pdf, or as a small book printed on archival-quality paper, autographed, and stamped with a wax seal.
twincityhacker: hands in an overcoat's pockets (Default)
Papa came home yesterday. The visiting nurse came today. He's okay, and doing better than he was at the rehab center. For one thing, he's getting all of his medications and the correct dosages of those medications.

Mama about threw a fit when she realized that the reason why Papa had plateaued was that he wasn't getting enough meds for his anemia. Getting half as much as needed would probably do that.

I'm hovering around the house trying to find a cool spot. I started "Twilight", and "Technogenisis." I was reading "Waking Up Screaming", which is a Lovecraft anthology, but the short story "Cool Air" put me off, and since the this particular book had all the body horror stories in it, I didn't want to continue. Though I did read "Shadow over Innsmouth."

I've been starting things, putting them down, then starting again, because I'm hot and my brain doesn't want to work hard. One of the other things was to put "Bred in the Bone" all in one document, and tweak a whole bunch of banners. Most of them are either Torchwood, Eve Myles, or Cardiff. Occasionally all three.

I'll be going back to Missouri on Tuesday. Along with my books. Somehow.
twincityhacker: hands in an overcoat's pockets (Default)
I've finished re-reading Stealing Harry and Laocoon's Children, or at least the bits of Laocoon's Children [Poll #1435018]
twincityhacker: hands in an overcoat's pockets (Keep the Magic Going)
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

From Anglo-Saxon Magic by Dr. G. Storms. "Dr. G. Storms" is what's on the title-page!

There is nothing in the whole passage that looks like Christian influence, it is absolutely pagan. Grimm* thought it was Germanic, but it occurs almost word for word in the Latin Herbaium Apulei, of which the Anglo-Saxon text is a free version. The title of the work should have warned Grim that the chances were great this this particular passage was a borrowing, but otherwise his mistake is natural. If we did not posses the Latin original it might be regarded as a typical instance of Anglo-Saxon herb-gathering, for the above way of gathering medicinal herbs,with all the accompanying prescriptions and prohibitions, had also to be observed by the Anglo-Saxons. Hoops** was of opinion that if a herb was imported into Northern Europe by the Romans the superstition attached to it was also imported.


*Jacob Grimm, in this instance.
**Johannes Hoops. Studied similar things as Grimm, only way less famous.

Technically, The Dragon's Tongue by Gerald Morgan was a little closer but were of statistics for the amount of money fronted by patrons of the early Welsh press.

Right. Back to drawing for an art project for "Girls Like Us." It was fine untill I realized that I'd have to draw the title page for the comic, and I don't know what half the figures look like. *facepalm*
twincityhacker: hands in an overcoat's pockets (Ice Fishing)
From Wordle.net:

I put some of my favorite stories though Wordle. Books are from ProjectGutenberg.com, Fairy Tales are from LiteraturePage.com

War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells )The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum )The Twelve Dancing Princesses as told to The Brothers Grim )The United States Declaration of Independence )
twincityhacker: hands in an overcoat's pockets (Who would want to be such a control frea)
"Teach Yourself Eastern Philosophy"

I've gotten all the way though ten whole pages so far. Not because it's hard to slog though, but every page or two I pause and look out the window and think about what I've read. Or combining what I'm reading with what I already know.

In this case, it was about how it's kind of silly to put down religion because of science, or science because of religion, because they both spring from the same base - philosophy - and that one is just a diffrent way of looking at things.

From my viewpoint, it's like science is short grain rice and religion is long grain rice. They are grown for diffrent things, and it's hard to make sushi with shortgrain and kouskous with longrain, but at the end of the day, they're both rice. ( And taste delicious! )

And no matter how bad the rice comparison is, trust me, it's way better than my original Windows Vs Mac Vs Linux comparison.
twincityhacker: hands in an overcoat's pockets (Coffee)
I have two lesbian mysteries, and a a lesbian historical fiction. ( Is it obvious I went to the GLBT library today? ) Hopefully they'll be better than some of the other books I've tried reading lately.

"The International Penguin book of Gay Writing": most of the selections were boring, full of woman!hate, or just plain ICK like the gender-reversed version of Lolita. The good parts where an excerpt from the Symposium, a journal extract detailing a party of Michelangelo's, and an essay on Greek myth.

Stella Duffy's "The Wavewalker" problem is that it's told non-linearly. So you know who did it, how they did it, and what's the probable outcome of the novel within the first few chapters. And while the details are somewhat interesting on how they get to the end, not interesting enough not to just flip to the back, see if you're right about the ending, and put down the book.

"Eight Spanish Play's" issue was really, really bad translations. One of the defining features of Spanish drama of the Golden Age was that it was all metered - and the translation didn't bother trying to get at that.

I've already mentioned my problems with "Only Human."
twincityhacker: hands in an overcoat's pockets (John Barrowman - I am What I am)
I'm not sure how many of the memebers of this group is also memebers of Barrowmanfans on Yahoo!, but I want to talk about it here as well. There's two diffrent clips of the book at The Audiobook Page. One's a .mp3 and the other is a video clip, both telling different segments.

While they weren't new stories - to me at least - they're awesome. Much better than the audiobook version of "Another Life." *flails*
twincityhacker: hands in an overcoat's pockets (Angst)
My brain. I don't really have anything to say, except I just had to stop reading the cog
sci paper for a bit. It's good, it's interesting, it's just really fucking long.

One of the authors well remembers a personal experience at a modest restaurant with three friends some years ago. One of our group was not too hungry, and he asked the waiter just for a plate to share some of our spaghetti. The waiter said this would cost $.25 ( a princely sum in those days). and we considered this an unreasonable pretension for such a humble place. Indignant, we decided to cancel our orders and leave. However, the waiter maintained that since the cook was already making the food, we were responsible for paying the bill. Now we were really mad, and we refused to pay. Thereupon he telephoned the police and we were led a lock away to the station house and held on a $200 bail.. We ere charged with failure to pay our obligation of $5.50, and were threatened with a night in jail. This sobered us, but we still did not want to surrender meekly to the rest manager who was standing by awaiting action. Did we return to the restaurant?... Well, yes and no. We solved our problem by asking if we could have the food as a take-out order. That was agreed, and we went happily home with no extra plate and no extra charge.


A travling salesman found himself spending the night at home with his wife when one of his trips was unexpectedly canceled. The two of them were sound asleep, when in the middle of the night there was a loud knock at the front door. The wife woke up with a start and cried out, 'Oh, my God! It's my husband!' Whereupon the husband lept from the bed, ran across the room and rumped out the window.


And it's making my brain hurt, but I think that's because the photocopy is a bit fuzzy.
twincityhacker: hands in an overcoat's pockets (Similar)
Praise then darkness and Creation unfinished. - Estraven


So! Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Basic idea is that Main Charecter A, Genly Ai ( or called Genry Ai thoughout the book as he's the only one that can differentiate the l and r. ) is a bit of a secular missionary for the Ekumenican Confedertion, which is a loose association of different planets for the purposes of the trading of material goods and information. Genry is from Earth - and by this time most people have learned telepathy as well. ( I say this because I though Genry was from another alien planet until almost the end of the book, until he says something about his ancestors on Earth. )

So Mr. Ai is trying to get Genthen to accept that they are not alone, with the sorta kinda help of Main Character B. Who is mostly called Estraven, but it's like calling Rodrick Spode 'Sidcup.' I say "kinda sorta" as they both have different agendas for having Genthen join the confederation.

The plot - that I could follow, at least. )

But what really makes it sci-fi - other than it being an alien planet - is that the people of Genthen are... trigendered? They have a monthly sexual cycle ( kemmer ) where they go from neuter ( sommer ) to either male or female. The exact sex they shift into depends on if there's a male or female about. About half the time Genly doesn't know how to describe the people he meets. ( Neither, actually, does Le Guin, as she admits in the afterword. )

This would be the book the line "The King was pregnant." came from.

It's world building is excellent - and even though the plot was all political theater, when it got too bogged down in backstabbing of factions that were just introduced two paragraphs earlier, it breaks for a myth. It's a good book.

And, also cool? There is not a single white person in the entire book.
twincityhacker: hands in an overcoat's pockets (Eve Myles - I *heart* Cardiff)
I don't know why I keep going to Borders when I know they don't have OUT in. Maybe in another week or two - but it's better than Barnes and Nobles, which didn't have the magazine series at all.

Though I did pick up A Brief History of Time and The Universe in a Nutshell for $15. They're good! Really! Don't let nattering about as Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem and P-branes throw you off - it only contains one equation, and it's E = mc^2.

And I got a whole bunch of research on Pterosaurs done. ( And learned how to spell Pterosaurs! ) The world needs more Myfwany fic, and I don't think I can write things about her without knowing some background information about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pteranodon>Pteradons</a>. Now, off to "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry." I heard it's terrible, but I want to see it anyways.
twincityhacker: hands in an overcoat's pockets (Shoot first & translate later)
A few years ago I read a book that was an "update" to the Arthurian legend where the Once and Future King actually becomes king again. Avalon: The Return of King Arthur by Stephen R. Lawhead.

I found the book an interesting read. Then again, I don't really have that discriminating of a taste, so a several hundred page romp about the British political process and efforts to change from a constitutional monarchy to a republic with flashbacks to pre-Saxon England was good, you're mileage may vary.

It's also the book that made me finally begin to understand a parliamentary system, but that just my own weirdness. = )
twincityhacker: hands in an overcoat's pockets (Cheesemaking)
Have finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I liked it!

I may say more when my head is not a block of congealed brain matter from reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
twincityhacker: hands in an overcoat's pockets (Pearl'n'Mike)
I just got my Torchwood books! And they're a lot thicker than I imagined. I'm going to start with "Another Life" first - but does "Slow Decay" or "Border Princess" come next?
twincityhacker: hands in an overcoat's pockets (Pearl'n'Mike)
I am waffling on whether or not to get the Torchwood books.

On one hand: I'm paying for fanfic!

On the other: Torchwood! Yay!

Any opinions?
twincityhacker: hands in an overcoat's pockets (Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner)
Okay, adding on to my last post: anyone know good books on history of science in the 20th century? Because I have one more class and we're still in the mid 19th century and the wild goose chase that is aether. And I really, really hate aether.

Right now I have a book on the British codebreaking operations with Japanese code, and on Project Orion and the early projects dealing with nuclear powered spacecraft, and maybe a book on ENIAC if I break down and by the firesale copy at the bookstore. ( That contuinus firesale is the bane of my montary existance. I think I've spent over $60 there over this year. )

Seriously, one day I'm going to take a history class that actually finishes the damm syllabus and gets beyond World War II.
twincityhacker: hands in an overcoat's pockets (Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner)
The most significant SF/F novels from 1953-2006 according to "Time." Bold the ones you have read, strike-through the ones you read and hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put a star next to the ones you love.

I apparently lose at awesome sci-fi as well )

What? No The Moon is a Harsh Mistress? WTF, "Time"? Though I've thought about finding Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, but have not gotten around to it yet.

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