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Wednesday reading meme

...a day early, because I'm traveling tomorrow but don't want to get out of the habit of it.

What I'm currently reading

A reread of Martha Wells' The Cloud Roads, which is on the one hand comfort reading for me, because the series is one of my favorites, and on the other hand Wells' prose is similar enough to mine that it helps reset me when I'm feeling scattered, which I am at the moment.

What I've just finished reading

Star Wars (Legends): Knight Errant by John Jackson Miller -- a reread, but I think I've only read it once or twice before. JJM is one of my favorite Star Wars authors, but I don't like the Knight Errant book + comics as much as I like some of his other works. Kerra Holt is a little abrasive for me, though in a way that makes me second guess my feelings and go "is it the character herself or my expectations for what makes a female character likable?"

Also The Silent Tower by Barbara Hambly, which I've been rereading on and off for a while but finally buckled down to finish the other day.

What I'm reading next

I'm in my usual pre-travel "oh god I need to get ALL the books I will read ALL the books" even though I know that I will not, in fact, read all the books. I pulled out Star Wars: Wraith Squadron to put in my handbag as hardcopy reading, and I've got my Kindle as well. We'll see.

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5 things make a post

1. I've been in a weird, grumpy mood lately -- I'm traveling this week so I'm stressed out about that (I hate traveling), I had my period, it's end of season stress, it's March, I've had a weird on-and-off writing....year, really, last year was a nightmare and I'm not over it yet. Trying to decide about SWCO. Trying to decide about grad schools. Not focusing well on whatever books I'm reading. My dad being back. I'm not really talking to anyone online; I'm not talking to anyone other than my parents in RL. I don't leave the house except to go to Fred Meyer. I don't exercise. The weather is...getting better, but it's that end of winter/beginning of spring slush.

2. I'm going to Atlanta on Wednesday to visit Emory, which I've got mixed feelings about -- I mean, god, I need to get out of this town, I need to interact with actual human beings who aren't my parents, but I don't like traveling (it's a full day in transit either way), I've never been to Atlanta before, and it's going to be several days of interacting with complete strangers who I need to impress. Well, I don't know how much I actually need to impress them, since they already made me the offer, but I don't want to be a complete disaster up front, you know? (They can't...take away the offer, can they? I assume I would have to fuck up real bad to accomplish that and I'm not sure there's anything I can do that's that bad unless I like. Trip and murder a professor.)

2a. I hate traveling and will start freaking out about the most minute details literally months in advance, which means I get crazier and crazier as the day approaches. (Also, checking weather reports, it's not actually, like, warm in Atlanta this week? It's basically the same as Ellensburg, looks like.)

3. I was going to visit the University of Kentucky, but there's like...a very slim chance I'm going to say yes to Kentucky, because the Emory offer is just so much better and the program is basically tailor-made for me. So I told them I couldn't visit, but now I feel bad about it. (But hey, that means I'm not going to be in transit again in March -- oh, I need to tell my friend in Lexington I'm not going and won't be staying with her.)

3a. I guess if Emory rescinds the offer for accidentally tripping and murdering a professor I can always go to Kentucky.

4. I am trying to sort out my feelings about SWCO because I told S (who I'd be rooming with) I'd get back to her by Monday. It's really, really hard for me to separate my feelings about SWCO from my feelings about X, and I'm not sure I can; if I go I'll be nervous about her the entire time, if I don't go I'll be angry at her for taking that from me for the next two years. The only two things that are making me hesitate are the money (which I have) and X (will have to avoid all Hera cosplayers just in case it's her).

4a. My mother thinks that I shouldn't go because it's expensive (true) and she thinks it's childish, but she thinks everything I do except the grad school thing is childish so there's that.

4b. The most recent family drama is that my cousin A, her (semi-estranged? no one seems to be sure?) husband, her two tiny children showed up unannounced at the family home in Japan last week and will be staying for the next month, so like, between A doing that and my father, Mr. "I found some cheap tickets so I'm going to Thailand and Laos for the next four months, I'm leaving the day after tomorrow, can you book the airport shuttle for me?" (true story), I don't really think my travel choices are the ones in this family that ought to be criticized.

5. I am at this point pretty determined to do the runDisney Star Wars Half-Marathon next year -- well, the 10K -- to the extent that I told all my college friends about it in the hopes of scheduling a girls' weekend at Disney World next April. (The Dark Side one -- the Light Side one at Disneyland is my birthday weekend, which, I don't want to do that on my birthday, and I feel like January will be harder to schedule around anyway. Though they haven't announced the dates for next year yet, probably because this year's hasn't happened yet.) Signs are looking positive on the friends' front, anyway, and Alaska said that she's also interested in running the 10K. Chicago said very firmly that she will not be running but she's up for the Disney vacation part.

5a. I have not run since high school ten years ago, but it's more than a year off so that's plenty of time to get in shape, right? And their minimum mile time is sixteen minutes and that's still over my walking time for a mile, so that should be...fine...anyway I have already planned my running costume.

5b. I am also trying to work on my massive commitment issues (the whole debacle with SWCO has not helped), so planning something with multiple people a year in advance should...help...?

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human emotions are hard

Wait, I might be able to go to SWCO after all, which means I have to decide whether to go or not.

I really want to go, but it's a lot of money, and I know my ex is going to be there. However -- I don't want to give my ex the satisfaction of knowing that she got to go and I didn't, which isn't really, like...logical? The problem is that while I do really want to go because STAR WARS a lot of it is tied up with my ex -- which my memories of SWCE are too, and I want to separate "Celebration" from "X." So it's really hard for me to untangle "I want to do this for its own sake" and "I have issues with my ex."

(I do have the money. It is not, perhaps, the best use of my money, but my grandmother gave me a lot of money for graduating + getting into graduate school, and even before then I was planning to go, you know, I bought these tickets last July.

Admittedly: I am going to Atlanta this week (the university is paying) and then I have to go to New Orleans in May, and then I have to move cross-country in July or August. And I'm not making any money at the moment, but I am going to be making money once school starts in August, since I'll be TAing. And I'm trying to plan to go to Orlando next April with friends, but that's a year off.)

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Things that are really not going to help my commitment issues: the fact that I have my 4-day pass for SWCO in my hand and I'm not going.

I had two separate plans fall through -- the first one was because I was planning to go with my ex, the second I'm assuming fell through because I haven't heard anything from her in about two months. And -- I know my ex is going to be there and I am literally terrified of running into her, so going probably wouldn't be a good idea anyway. They livestream the panels and most of the merch will be on Ebay the next week any day, and even at a markup will be cheaper than the thousand bucks it would cost to get a plane ticket and a hotel room (if there are still hotel rooms available).

I am still going to be furious and sulking for the next month, because I really do want to go. (Especially since there's not going to be a Celebration in 2018.)

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Wednesday reading meme

As an aside: I'm traveling next Wednesday (I'm going to Atlanta to visit a potential grad school), so there may or may not be one of these next week.

What I'm currently reading

Shadows by Robin McKinley, which I read once when it first came out but haven't reread since -- I'm a little uncomfortable with how she incorporated the Japanese stuff, but I think this is more of my own issues than what's actually on the page. (Except I guess that while she made up several Eastern European countries, Japan's just...Japan. But England gets namechecked too, so...I don't know, like I said, it's my issues and I don't see too clearly where those are concerned. Also, Takahiro has the same name as my cousin Takahiro, so that's a little disconcerting for me.)

That's in hardback, in ebook I'm kind of flipping through various books without really feeling compelled to commit to any of them, which is mildly irritating to me since I'd like to focus on something for more than half a page -- The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells and Star Wars: Knight Errant by John Jackson Miller (both rereads) are the two current culprits.

What I've just finished reading

Rereads of A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin, White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India by William Dalrymple, and Emilie and the Hollow World by Martha Wells were all rereads I finished this week, along with Magic for Nothing, the new Seanan McGuire Incryptid novel, which came out on Tuesday and which I read pretty much immediately.

What I'm reading next

Gods, at this point it's a wild guess, since I almost never read whatever I said I was going to read next the week before unless I'm in the midst of a series reread, and even then...

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Wednesday reading meme

I'm going to do another graphic of daily reads for February, but not tonight.

What I'm currently reading

Rereads of A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin, the first Matthew Swift book, and White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India by William Dalrymple, which I read a few years ago before I finalized my academic subfield (Roman imperialism and cultural identity), so it's really interesting to read something that's the same general topic but at a two thousand year remove. (And of course a lot of the academic talk is the same; both my field and Dalrymple's studies come out of the paradigm shift in post-colonial academia.)

I've also got Barbara Hambly's The Silent Tower on a slow reread, but I'm not really in the mood for it so I keep putting it down.

What I've just finished reading

The Minority Council and The Glass God by Kate Griffin -- I did my Matthew Swift + Magicals Anonymous out of order, whoops. (I tend to do series rereads out of order for various reasons.) And, huh, looking at my spreadsheet that actually seems to be it. Weird, I thought I read more this week.

What I'm reading next

I've got a bunch of William Dalrymple books either checked out from the library (In Xanadu and Nine Lives) or that I've just bought (Return of a King and The Last Mughal), so there's a high chance it's going to be Dalrymple for non-fiction. I also want to try and read (or reread) more Star Wars this month than I did last month. (Still haven't done that A New Dawn reread I've been wanting to do for ages.)

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ugh, I'm so annoyed

Reasons I am in a bad mood today:

My dad came back, drank all the wine in the house on the grounds of "there wasn't much left, so I drank it," to be met with my mom going, "that's because we use it for cooking!" and me going, "IT WAS MINE!" (The red my mom bought, but the chardonnay and the pink moscato were both mine.) So I went to Fred Meyer in a rage this morning to get another bottle of chardonnay, since I use it for making risotto at 11 at night because that's when I get hungry, and now I've got a bottle of wine in my closet along with my remaining half-bottle of election night rum. (Which I hid before my dad got back, since I knew he'd drink it otherwise; before he left he drank the other bottle of rum, which my mom bought for making some kind of fruit in rum, my mother's cooking sake, and the plum vodka my mother made that wasn't even done yet.) I am not happy about having alcohol stocked away in my bedroom closet, but at least I know my dad won't look for it there.

I am kind of astonished he drank the moscato, because the last time I bought a bottle (it's what I drink), he wrote it off as "too girly" due to being pink and sweet. So I thought at least the moscato would be safe, but NOPE.

Oh, another reason I'm in a bad mood -- yesterday I found a book I'd been looking for for months at a price under three figures and happily clicked "buy," only to get the order cancelled half an hour later because apparently I'd gotten the last copy and the cover was ripped. I'M SO ANNOYED! (Star Wars: Lords of the Sith is out of print in hardback, and nearly impossible to find -- I'm furious with myself that I didn't get it in hardback when it first came out, just ebook.)

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Wednesday reading meme

Actually on Wednesday this week!

What I'm currently reading

The Minority Council by Kate Griffin and The Silent Tower by Barbara Hambly, both rereads, though I've only read The Silent Tower once. (I've read others of the Windrose books multiple times, but the first one, only once -- this is another series I originally read in a weird order for some reason.) I also started Star Wars: Knight Errant by John Jackson Miller yesterday (another reread), but was still in a Matthew Swift headspace so I went to The Minority Council instead.

What I've just finished reading

I finished up the Sun Wolf and Starhawk series with The Witches of Wenshar and The Dark Hand of Magic (Barbara Hambly), and then went through the middle two Matthew Swift books, The Midnight Mayor and The Neon Court (Kate Griffin). I also finished reading Star Wars: Catalyst by James Luceno, which I hadn't expected to like or finish and which surprised me by the fact that I actually did like it. I bounce off so many Star Wars novels (a good 90% of the time they're the weakest part of the canon) that it's always a shock when I actually like one.

What I'm reading next

I really want to do a Star Wars: A New Dawn reread -- I've been meaning to since last year, and just haven't gotten around to it because for some reason I keep thinking I have to finish all my other books in progress first.

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5 things make a post

1. I've gotten offers from not one, but TWO graduate schools (Emory University and the University of Kentucky), which means that I'm going to have to face my nemesis, making decisions. I didn't actually expect to get into multiple schools. I'm still waiting to hear from two others, though I had to present myself as more interested in the Late Antique period for them and my entire record is classical, so those two are longer shots on that point alone. And Emory was my first choice (aside from Tulane, which said no), so...

1a. I have to tell them by Monday whether or not I'm going to the department's admitted students weekend and I am freaking out, because I know I should go, but the idea is terrifying. Not least because I can't interpret the instructions on the freaking e-mail about booking flights.

can someone please tell me what I'm supposed to do here?Collapse )

1b. I hate traveling so much that my kneejerk response is NO I DON'T WANT TO, but I guess I...should. But I don't want to and I'm dreading it. Alternately I just tell them no, I'm busy that weekend. Or something. (There's a 99% chance I'm going to say yes, so I don't need to be wooed.)

2. My father was supposed to come back from Thailand two weeks ago, but he got the date of his return flight wrong and missed it, so he's coming back this Wednesday instead. My mother keeps going "I don't understand how anyone could get that wrong," and I have to keep telling her, "I've done that with deadlines and exam dates," because I...take after my father in a lot of ways, apparently including in our crappy memories.

3. The weather's gone up above freezing here, which on the one hand is great, but on the other hand everything is melting...including the snow piled up on the woodshed roof, which we've now discovered is leaking heavily. You know what's in the woodshed? OUR FIREWOOD.

3a. My mother and I are basically like "well, we'll let Dad deal with it when he comes back" at this point, but I'm not sure there's anything that can be done before spring. I'm pretty certain we're going to have to get the roof replaced, so at least we already know what this year's home improvement project is going to be. (Last year we redid the deck. A few years ago my father decided to dig an impromptu sewage ditch. Living in the country is fucking weird.)

4. I am pretty good baker -- I've done biscuits, cookies, scones, layer cakes, eclairs and cream puffs, bread, cinnamon rolls, pies, crisps, and crumbles -- but the one thing I've never been able to make successfully has been chocolate chip cookies. I've tried so many times, every recipe you can think of -- yes, even that one. yes, that one too. yes, I've tried Alton Brown -- but I've never been able to do them successfully UNTIL NOW. I FINALLY MASTERED THE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE. (I know, right, who can't make chocolate chip cookies? Everyone can make chocolate chip cookies.) I made perfect, delightful chewy in the center and crispy on the edges chocolate chip cookies, and I'm genuinely stunned because I've fucked it up so many times, AND YET. PRAISE THE TOLL HOUSE GODS. (The only thing I changed was using half milk chocolate and half semi-sweet chocolate chips, but that's only because I had both.)

4a. I still haven't made king cake this year. QUICK, MARDI GRAS SEASON IS COMING TO AN END, THERE'S NOT MUCH TIME LEFT.

5. So -- I don't think I've mentioned this on DW, but I started knitting again in December. For those that don't remember, or weren't around, I stopped knitting in February 2013 when I got tendinitis in both wrists, and I was too afraid of injuring myself again to pick it up again at any point in the intervening four years. When I stopped I still had stuff on the needles (a 3x1 ribbed sock, a lace stole, a cabled cowl), and I just packed it up when I moved from England back to Washington. At some point in December I pulled out my half-finished sock and started doing a round or two in the ten minutes between finishing doing my hair and finishing an episode of Rebels or TCW (everything in my life gets timed by those 22-minute eps; the 44-minute ones can really throw me off). And then I started working on it more, and finished that sock -- and cast on for a second sock (which involved me trying to figure out which cast-on I'd used, since I didn't have notes or anything, and which heel I'd used), and finished it a few days ago -- my first finished knitting in four years. I'm still sort of wary of the stole and the cowl (for one, I either put aside or threw out the patterns when I was decluttering this summer, and have no idea where they are, though I do know which patterns they are -- the stole is Juno Regina and the cowl is Nennir), but I pulled out my untouched stash, wound up a skein of Tanis Fiber Arts pebble sock, and cast on for another pair of socks.

5a. I'm still incredibly paranoid that I'll re-injure my wrists; I'm probably more afraid of that than I am of anything else, and I'm afraid of everything. Mostly I'm afraid of it when it comes to typing, but I can't stop typing, so...we persevere. (I wear wrist braces when I type and when I sleep, but I think they actually make my wrists worse if I wear them while knitting.)

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slightly belated Wednesday reads

What I'm currently reading

The Witches of Wenshar, the second Sun Wolf and Starhawk book, by Barbara Hambly. I'm sort of inching through James Luceno's Star Wars: Catalyst -- I suspect it's going to be another DNF, as Luceno's one of my least favorite SW writers and I have a low tolerance for ~genius men and the women who take care of them, which is pretty much what the beginning of the book reads as. (And from what I've heard, I don't think that's going to improve; I don't particularly care about Galen Erso and Orson Krennic's relationship, either.)

What I've just finished reading

I'm going through books a little more slowly in February than I did in January, which has its highs and lows. I finished rereading The Siren Depths, and went through The Ladies of Mandrigyn (the first Sun Wolf and Starhawk book) and The Midnight Mayor (the second Matthew Swift) book, all of which were rereads.

I also moved The Fifth Season to my Did Not Finish list, and got through one chapter of The House of the Four Winds this morning before it went to the DNF list too. Blah. I suspected it would hit the DNF list as soon as it said as an aside "oh, yeah, these seventeen countries all share one ambassador for convenience." That's not...how international politics...works... (Sort of an alternate fantasy Earth, which I tend to find dull when they're just making up fancy names for England and France so that they can slot in their tee-tiny fictional country but not have to think about it too hard. Like, either do something interesting with it and do it fast, or go full fantasy, dude.) Also, the MC was...painfully boring.

What I'm reading next

I keep meaning to reread the Rivers of London books so I can read The Hanging Tree, since I can't remember what happened, but...I like the Matthew Swift books better which is why I reread The Midnight Mayor instead WHOOPS.

I've been meaning to reread the Enduring Flame trilogy as well, but we'll see. In all likelihood...more Barbara Hambly.

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first times (earth_mage)
bedlamsbard
she makes her own dystopia as she goes

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