Monday, August 22, 2011

Things in the mail.

My Kindle arrived today.  I've been collecting books for quite some time, so... goodbye interwebs!  I have a feeling I'll be stopping by only long enough to comment on books I've been reading. :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

About a book...

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1)So, I just remembered that I forgot to write about a book.  I feel a little weird writing about a book that isn't completely fresh in my mind, but hey - I liked the book quite a bit :)  It was Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare - book 1 of The Infernal Devices.  I read all the books from the author's previous series, The Mortal Instruments, and liked them.  The series isn't done, but it's decent.  This book, though, promises a series better than the first.  The characters are the ancestors of those in TMI, so in a sense, this is a prequel series.  It's set in the 1800s in London - which I like.  The descriptive writing is great... but I had a love-hate thing with the characters.  I loved them a lot more than those in TMI.  Yet, for a while I was having trouble liking any of them, or the way in which they seemed to be created.  They are all basically the same as those in TMI.  The good-ish girl who doesn't know what she really is but proves herself stronger than anyone suspects, the bad boy she loves who fights off his love for her, and the other boy who has feelings for someone, but we don't know if it's the guy or the girl this time.  Even their personalities were beyond familiar.  I do understand that they're related to characters I already know, but sort of think that it was a bit of a cop-out to make them so much the same.  By the end, though, I loved them.  More than I expected to... but in a more refined way.  The story itself was every bit the urban fantasy I love, but the twist of it also being historical made it even better.  The historical aspect made the love story more complex, too.  While it is YA, and anything terribly sexual is unlikely anyway, the tension of an old-fashioned courtship was pretty great.  They're still teenagers, with raging hormones...but so reserved... so careful.  The book left quite a bit open at the end, though.  I was really angry when it was over, because it's not until December 6th that the next book comes out.  I really wish the publication process were faster.  BUT!  It's really great to have a book I'm looking forward to again!  :)  I really wish I was still awake enough to go into detail about how good this is... but with my state of sleepiness, I'd probably just give everything away.  Then again, it's not like the author gave that much away.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Forget world peace...visualize using your turn signal.

There are some days when all I want to do is drive around with no destination in mind... drive around and listen to music.  I was up and as cute as is humanly possible quite early this morning.  I had a rather short job interview, and a rather long list of things I needed to get done.  Immediately following the interview, I changed into clothes that'd allow me to survive 96 degrees plus high humidity.  We desert dwellers don't function well with ANY humidity... Anyway, I decided to head to Starbucks.  As I was leaving, some old lady who was going way too fast in the parking lot almost hit me.  Head on, even.  On my way home from Walmart, an old guy pulled out of a driveway right in front of me.  He looked RIGHT AT ME while driving toward me in the wrong lane.  He continued to look at me as I stopped...and waited for him to figure out which lane he was supposed to be in, and then get there. By the time I got home, I was pretty tired of people.  Sadly, I had more stuff to do... so off I went.  I took the long way, through a school zone, because I figured the idiots would be avoiding that area. Not so.  An old lady who was busy watching some people didn't bother to look AT ALL when pulling out at a stop sign.  She wasn't looking forward.  She never looked anywhere except out the driver's side window.  I did have to speed in a school zone to avoid being hit by her...but oh well.  I managed to go a couple blocks without incident and return one of my library books.  Two blocks later some idiot on a motorcycle...who was going the opposite direction...decided to cut into my lane (driving right toward me) and then into a parking lot.  Had I been further away from him I would have been okay with this.  Had he used a turn signal AND been further away, it would have been great.  Bleh.  What a day for driving.  Also - just for the record - if you're already half way into my lane, it's a bit late for the turn signal.  Nice thought, though.

I ended up sitting in the car beside my mailboxes, listening to Silversun Pickups - Kissing Families as loudly as I could stand it.  I have road rage.  I swear.  I've flipped old people off.  Today I managed to go through all that without flipping anyone off...and only swore a few times.  I'll admit that I'm not a great driver.  The thing is, I know the basics.  I know which lane is mine.  I know that it's generally a good idea to look before pulling out of driveways and before pulling away from a stop sign.

Sometimes I wonder if this SUV is invisible.  Like, there's some kind of magic cloaking the Weasley's flying car.  It's just one that I'm not aware of...

Guess it's time to stop avoiding all the toys on the floor...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

This is not a Book.

Initially, I planned to come here to write about the book I finished earlier...and I will write about it, probably tomorrow, but... my brain is mushy due to emotional exhaustion.  Thanks, internet, for giving me glimpses into the grieving processes of children.  I also think I could go the rest of my life without anyone else I know being terrified and sorrowful when their newborn is seriously ill.  It's been a rough week for many of my acquaintances.  It's been a week that's made me increasingly grateful for all that I have.  People put it all out there, now...all that raw emotion... it really is amazing.  It'd all be so much easier to deal with if I weren't such an emotional sponge.  Suppose this is why I'm useless in situations with high levels of emotion - it's not that I can't deal with the emotions of others, I just absorb them.  Even if I hardly know the people.  In a sense, I'm okay with this...affliction... yet I don't feel that I'm good at *being there* for others in times of need when I've completely shut down.

Despite all the things that've done me in emotionally, the only thing that's made me cry has been So You Think You Can Dance!  I called it from auditions - Melanie just had something special about her.'s the the only dance from the entire season that actually made me cry...all happy tears :)

Well, I guess that's not entirely true.  There was one death in the book I finished that got to me... and not so much the death, but the way it was dealt with...a hero's send-off for a peasant.  There's something about that sort of thing that gets to me... in a good way.  :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I read another book.  Big surprise, right?  I almost liked it.  I really want to say that I liked it.  The truth is, though, that I only liked the ideas that were hinted at - the stuff that lay under the surface of a really dull story about really annoying kids.  It was called FEED, and was written by M.T. Anderson.  How is going to the moon for spring break dull, you may wonder?  Well...when the whole thing is described by shallow idiots, it never comes across as something interesting.  All the shallow idiots have feeds: devices in their brains that are primarily for consumer activities.  They tell them what they want to buy, what's on sale, what's cool... They also serve as search engines, getting them any information want want immediately.  Feeds also keep people in contact - like instant messaging in their head.  And of course all their favorite TV shows are broadcast right into their heads as well.  That's probably why all the characters were shallow idiots.

Everything going on in the background is interesting, though.  The lesions are interesting - why are people getting lesions?  Why are they cool?  The questions aren't actually answered, but there are lots of possibilities.  Why are the clouds(tm) artificial?   The things that I found most interesting were the political commentary and the views on consumerism.  Schools had been bought out by corporations when the government stopped funding them... and School(tm) taught really useful things, like what to buy and how to decorate your room.  I was pretty disgusted while reading that, yet can't help but wonder if that's a direction we're going in now...  The disintegration of language was done very well...and was another of those things that hit me with a little wave of nausea because I can see that we're on our way there already.  There is a LOT of swearing, but the words mean almost nothing in context; the characters aren't aware of alternatives.

There's only one thing that actually happens in the entire book - and this is going to be a big spoiler, because I just have to comment on it in detail.  One of the characters is sick.  Her feed is failing, and she's poor.  Because the feed is linked in with all of her bodily functions, she deteriorates physically as well as mentally.  Before realizing the severity of her situation, she starts playing games with her feed - trying to trick it.  She tries to see if there is a way to make it have no idea what sorts of products to recommend, so she starts looking at and requesting information about all kinds of random things.  When they realize that she needs serious help to keep her functional, she and her father make pleas to the feedware company for free repairs.  They figure that since it's life or death, they'll help.  Of course they don't...but the reasoning is depressing.  They didn't find her valuable.  They couldn't figure out what sorts of things she wanted to buy, and she hardly ever made any purchases, so saving her would not be profitable.

In the book, nothing was ever as good or as satisfying as anyone wanted... Nothing was very important.  No one focused on much of anything because there was just so much going on - and all their decisions were being made for them.  Overall, the book gets a B-.  I'm knocking off an entire letter-grade because reading it was intellectually painful.  Being trapped in all that idiot-speak may have killed some brain cells.  Part of me really wants to give it a C, because all the background stuff might be lost on a younger reader... but I have to hope that we're not that far gone as a society.  Yet.