Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas and Books (and The Spirit)

There's two presents this year that might make the Best Present Ever list. I've had some good runs of Christmas presents in the past; like the time Dad got me a first edition The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, or the boxes of Lovecraft another year, or the Stellarscope that Mom got me that I've still got the box and all the parts for. I mean, like, ten years later, how likely are you to have the actual thing, all it's bits, and keep them in the box? And you've used it hundreds of times?

Well, maybe there's three presents. Gina did crotchet me a sweet hat. I don't think I've ever gotten a real home made present before.

The other two are a Sony PRS-505 with a two gig card and the All About Me book my Mom won in a gift exchange. I mean, that is if she fills it out. If she fills it out it'll be the best present ever.

As for the Sony PRS... If you love books it's like a whole new level of awesome. The battery lasts forever, the screen is so excellent- Kevin and I went to Lenox Mall for his Mother's Christmas present and they've got a Sony Style store which had the PRS on display, and it's screen looked like it was a picture pasted on which made us a little disappointed since we wanted to see it in action... Until the screen changed and we realized the screen looks so good for pictures it might as well be a pasted on image- the screen looks great in every light at every angle. And half the time when I'm looking at it some part of me is screaming "THE FUTURE IS NOW!" and remembering the panel tv screens in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Granted, the Sony Connect software that comes with it looks like iTunes and acts like it's got all the functionality of a dismembered Barbie head. It just doesn't work. Thankfully there's Calibre which does work. But other than the Connect software it's about a million times more awesome than I dreamed it might be.

I can finally read the unabridged Count of Monte Cristo! Finding an unabridged copy is nigh impossible- I've got one but it was two years looking and it's in a collected edition with some other Dumas books and about the size of all the Harry Potters put together. And the $200 worth of classics Sony gives you includes all of Shakespeare's plays, The Modest Proposal, and a bunch of George MacDonalds I haven't seen since I was in elementary school plus a hundred something other books...

As for the Count... I'm about 700 pages in of 3100 and it's an incredible read. I have this little tiny bible print copy that I nearly finished before deciding if it'd been cut down so much (to about 700 pages) that I really wanted to read the whole thing. I got to the part this afternoon where M. Morrel is nearly ruined and his daughter has to go alone to get the silk bag and I nearly wound up crying for the misery of him and his family and how the Count did him a good turn. And the writing is so old fashioned and yet completely fresh- It's one of best books I've ever read.

The other one I keep looking at, picking up, reading a few pages, and putting back down and going back to the Count (while still casting eyes back at the book) is Crystal Soldier by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. It's the first space opera type thing I've read in a long time that I've really loved. And Jela is one of those characters who just sticks with you.

Which just goes to show digital books don't replace paper ones.

(I saw The Spirit this afternoon. It was the worst. movie. ever.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

An odd little Christmas moment

There's this house on Bells Ferry, right before you turn onto my street, that decorates for anything at all. Easter, St. Patrick's Day, Christmas, Halloween- All of them get a full string of lights in the bushes decorating job. Only it's not just the bushes. It's the trees and the edge of the roof and light up hearts for Valentine's Day and there's a light up blow up alien they put on the roof for Halloween.

And I see it every time I come home, unless I'm coming home off 575 so it's pretty much every night. And every time I see their cheerful light up exuberance no matter how hard my day has been or what I've had to deal with it brings a smile to my face.

So I sent them a Christmas card.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cookies and a Cut

Ok, so I'm probably not going to delete my blog. I was just in a bad mood the other night, and I'm glad I have readers. I just sometimes worry that since I'm not base jumping or setting things on fire this isn't very interesting for everyone and you've all gone away.

I mean, I can't even get my YO and K2TOG to look like it's supposed to, so it's not like I can post pics of this shawl I'm trying to work on. And size 35 is a beast to cast on.

However, I have pics of food:

CHRISTMAS COOKIES!!1! Seriously tasty, too. I made enough to fill a bread bag and about three days later that bread bag is empty. I have no idea how that happened. *innocent face*

And... Drumroll please... Remember my friend Kayla from Italy? She's a photography major and we did a photoshot that involved a make over...


How to Air Fold a Shirt the Aeropostale way


Ok. Step One: Pick up the tshirt and face it towards you, holding onto the shoulders.

Step Two: Press the shirt against your front as if you're trying it on.

Step Three: Fold the sleeves, by holding onto the shoulders, back against the body of the shirt so the shirt is only as wide as the space between the sleeve hems. The shirt pressing against your shirt should keep it attached to you/upright while you do this, but you have to do it sort of quick. The shirt should be about six inches wide at this point.

Step Four: Using your chin to hold the collar/shoulders in place let go of the shoulders (this is the tricky part- I drop the shoulders a lot at this part) and reach down to the bottom hem and fold it up vertically about two inches.

Step Five: Using the new folded hem, lift the hem up to your chin and grab the collar/shoulders of the shirt.

It should now look like a square. Now you put it on the table with the rest of the shirts arranged by style and size and watch helplessly as someone picks it up and throws it in the middle of the table. ^_^

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Rick Warren: "For 5,000 years, marriage has been defined by every single culture and every single religion - this is not a Christian issue. Buddhist, Muslims, Jews - historically, marriage is a man and a woman."

Walking Marriages, China Japan and Rome, the Catholic Church, Midieval France...

I'm sure there's about ten million more things I could site, but seriously.

song chart memes

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


it's been hard to blog since i got the new job. there's not much to say about the right way to hang up jeans or how to air fold shirts. and it's just repetitive enough, with just enough interruptions, to keep you from really getting to muscle memory and losing yourself in something else. haven't gotten much done with Rome in a few weeks. i got hung up on "what wine would the romans have served with this meal" and haven't been able to go back and face that part of the story until tonight.

most of the shifts i'm trying to compose this epic blog entry in my head about why people need to throw all the sweaters they're not buying into the center of the table even as they see us folding for hours on end, but then i recall kitten's post on being a good restaurant customer and decide not to write anything since it won't be as hard hitting or to the point.

right now i'm trying to decide if i'm going to cancel my blog or not. honestly, it's my third or fourth (or maybe fifth?) that i've ever run and they've all eventually gone away. i think the longest (besides this, i'm not checking the date right now) ran for about two years, and as far as i recall no one i knew read that and it never got a single comment. with a private journal you can say more things, be more honest, and cover all the events in your life. with a blog there's a certain "is this even interesting to anyone else?" factor and when i posted about did anyone want souveniers and got no reply i had a pretty good answer to that question. i'm not asking for everyone to reply to this, or start commenting on everything, i'm just in a mood where this seems a bit silly. if this isn't interesting then there's no point in it.

spring semester please hurry up.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Almost Perfect

Almost Perfect was incredible. Had a very disjointed and awesome writing style, great story, great moments for all the characters (poor, poor Ianto) (Jack tries to save the world his favorite way) (Gwen and Rhys in the line of duty).

and then there was gossip...

came into work this morning at four am. no, you're reading that right. we got a complete change of clothes for the floor and had to swap things out... far easier to do when there aren't customers looking for the things you're putting away, or asking for stuff, or throwing all the sweaters into the middle of the table while looking for *one* size.

everyone is like 'hi. it's early. good to see you. how'd you sleep?'

i reply 'alright. woke up with nikki curled up next to me.'

at which point my manager, theresa, jerks around so hard and fast there might as well have been a car accident involving her desk and in the most scandalized, gossip hungry tone of voice she demands 'WHO'S NIKKI?'

Monday, December 1, 2008

Recap Stats

Currently I'm at 200,036 words, and 409 pages. Which means for November I wrote about 52k and just under a hundred pages. Which is pretty compact for me; I usually hit the 50k mark once I've written more than a hundred pages. There's been a lot of good parts, a lot of parts where the characters have felt awkward or been lazy and I had to force the words onto the pages. But on the whole I'm really proud of it.

And still not done. This November also marks the novel's third birthday. Which makes it the longest I've ever worked on something, and the longest document I've ever written on a computer (I've got something longer handwritten, isn't that scary?). But now that I've looked at it and about how long all the sections are, if the section length holds out I think there's about another 90k.

I don't have Hyena Moon in front of me (my first Nano project) but I'm thinking it was shorter than the wordcount I have left. I think, once this is over, that I'll go back to working on the sequel to that. Or one of the 500 million new ideas that came to me over the last month, begging to be written.

Also, this year's winner's certificate has a Viking longship on it. Because writing is hardcore like that.