readingredhead: (Fear for Courage)
Can't tell if I am prematurely freaking out about the amount of work I have to do in the next six weeks, or if I really ought to be terrified of the MA essay, two seminar papers, short paper, and final exam I have to write between now and my birthday. Probably a little terror is healthy at this point.

It's good because I've given myself some time to relax, both over spring break and over this past week. I went to the midnight showing of The Hunger Games last night with a group of awesome friends, and it was so nice to chill and to talk about books with people who are not going to ask where your argument situates you within the critical tradition. (Though because we were near the front of the line for our 12:07 showing, and the earlier showing's lines were all inside, we actually got asked fairly intelligent questions by a Good Morning America camerawoman and I may have gone off on a bit of a spiel about dystopian fiction and the politics of visibility in an age where mass media /advertising is predominantly visual...and may also have mentioned the relevance of Jeremy Bentham's panopticon to the construction of the Hunger Games arena. Though that was in a different conversation.)

The film was also really good. I can't tell yet if it was good as a film in its own right (though I suspect it is), but it is without a doubt one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I've ever seen. I suspect part of this has to do with the fact that my attachment to the book is more to do with concept than execution -- I have some stylistic issues with Suzanne Collins' writing -- but the things that irked me (ex. the way she handled point of view, big info-dump at the beginning of the first novel, occasionally clunky exposition in general) are things that movies can actually do better than print. Or if not better than at least easier. 

My younger sister and her friend are going to be in town on their spring break and staying with me for the next four days -- their flight lands at 5:30am tomorrow! -- so although they can get along without me, I miss my sister and might not get to see her again until August so I want to spend as much time with her as I can, certainly to the detriment of my homework. And then right after she leaves, [ profile] alexandria_skye is going to be in town and we are going to celebrate our mutual geekery with a night out at The Way Station! (For non-NY geeks, that's the steampunk bar with the TARDIS.) So I'm looking forward to all of this but also wary of how quickly my work will pile up and attempt to eat me. 

Speaking of which, I should probably get back to that whole "reading old books" thing, since it's plausible that I can make my way through more of Clarissa and also some early modern scientific writing before I go to sleep.
readingredhead: (Reading)
From [ profile] lazyclaire

Pick 15 of your favorite books or series. [Since I don't have all my books with me in one place, I only have 12.]
Post the first two to three sentences of each book.
Let everyone try to guess the titles and authors of your books. (comments screened)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. )
readingredhead: (Default)

Dear Internet:

I do hope you have been comporting yourself well in my absence, as I have disappeared beneath scholarly tomes of various levels of interest and engagement. Things seem to be going fine but one can never tell, thus, the occasional check-in.

My purpose in writing is to inform you of a series of novels that may pique your interest, and that you should go out and acquire RIGHT NOW because they are SO AWESOME that they are causing me to break the fabulously formal tone I had going for all of two sentences. But seriously - if you are interested in cheeky cross-dressing Scottish girls, aeronautical (and other) escapades, alternate history, political shenanigans, introspective princes of the royal line of Austria-Hungary, and/or something like steampunk but actually more awesome - you NEED to read Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. And then you need to read Behemoth and then you need to read Goliath and then you need to tell me all about it so that we can fangirl over HOW BARKING AWESOME they are.

I read the first two books in August, having had Leviathan on my list for a long time but never gotten around to it (don't ask me how not!) and when the third book in the trilogy was released I got it delivered the day it came out and read it in six hours, basically only breaking to deal with bodily imperatives. I spent most of that reading making incoherent noises of commingled anguish and glee. It is so worth it, as a series and as an imaginative universe in which to play.

Deryn Sharp - aforementioned cross-dressing Scottish girl - grew up flying in hot air balloons with her dad, and even his death in a freak ballooning accident can't keep her from wanting to get back into the sky. At fifteen, she takes the last of her inheritance and heads from Glasgow to London, where "Dylan Sharp" is born and gets a job as a midshipman on board His Majesty's Airship, the Leviathan. The prince of Austria-Hungary would be Aleksander, (fictional) son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who is forced to run away when his parents are assassinated. Through a series of complicated events, Alek and his men wind up as passengers on the Leviathan, and the story develops onwards and upwards from there.

Westerfeld has reimagined the Allied/Central powers divide along technological lines: the Allies are known as the "Darwinists" because of their advanced biological sciences and genetic manipulation, which they use to create living ships and weapons systems (ex. the Leviathan is basically a massive hydrogen-breathing whale-like creature, with a whole ecosystem of other genetically manipulated animals living on and in it); the Central powers are called "Clankers" because they tend towards machine-based technology, but even their machines are more animal-like than our modern ones...think "walkers" and things that move on legs more often than on wheels. The alternative histories and technologies are fascinatingly intricate, but they never intrude upon the centrality of the story at the heart of the trilogy, in which two kids from different backgrounds leading totally different lives become fast friends and change the course of human history in the process.

Maybe I like it so much because that whole "two kids who become fast friends and change the world in the process" bit is also applicable to a lot of Young Wizards, but I don't think that's all of it. The writing is very honest about Deryn and Alek's struggles as fifteen-year-olds in the midst of a completely shifting world order - they are awkward and uncomfortable and unpredictable and energetic and hilarious - but it also never signals them out as somehow less deserving of anything due to their age. Part of this is accomplished by the fact that "there's a war on" and thus all people are expected to chip in, but no one ever tells Deryn and Alek that, since they're "just kids," what they're doing somehow "doesn't count." They are brave, and their bravery is recognized.

Of course, also, Deryn just smashes gender binaries left and right and is SO AWESOME doing it. Reading the books I came to the conclusion that I may have more in common personally with Alek, or at least that I don't know if I could or would do all that Deryn does, but damn, I wish I had it in me. I hope my daughter(s) do(es) - and/or my son(s)!

I actually just reactivated my Audible account for the sole purpose of downloading the Leviathan audiobook (of course I did this right before my iPod decided to die on me, but hey, that's life), and although it lacks the pictures that made reading the physical books so pleasurable (did I mention there are pictures??), I cannot complain about it at all because it is delivered WITH ACCENTS and I am in love. Again. Still.

Moral of the story: Read these books, because goodness knows that I will still be reading them and talking about them and what happens after them for a good time to come.

readingredhead: (In the Book)
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I might not believe in reincarnation as such, but I do believe that all writers live on past death in the things that they've written.

"For Books are not absoltely dead things, but doe contain a potencie of life in them to be as active as that soule whose progeny they are." --John Milton, Areopagitica
readingredhead: (Reading)
I'd forgotten, a little, what it means to spend so much of one's day absorbed in reading. Not that I haven't had a few days of lengthy reading over the summer, because I have, but there is a sizeable gap between what "reading" means in a summer context and in a school context. (As always, I will reference my English department graduation address as a measure of what "reading like an English major" means.)

The reading I'm doing now is different from (though by no means lesser than!) the reading I did over the summer. I'm reading things now because I "have" to, not entirely because I want to -- though of course I did sign up for the classes, so of course I did have some say in the matter. And I'm reading things with deadlines imposed. Over the summer, if I started a book and it wasn't doing it for me, I'd put it down. I'd go do something else for a while. Then I'd come back. If it still wasn't doing it, I'd leave it a little longer. But that's no longer really an option. Only three of my four English classes have met so far, and I already have about 800 pages of which, thus far, the most engaging bits have been modern critical writing, not the 19th-century novel or the 18th-century Arabian tales I've also been reading.

I feel like my brain is very, very tired. And yet, there are miles to go before I sleep! I'm sure I'll get back into the habit of this kind of intense reading, with enough practice, but for now it's just a little more difficult than I remembered...
readingredhead: (Reading)
Prepare reading material: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel in paperback (200 pages in, I have just met Jonathan Strange) and Gail Carriger's Changeless on my iPad, courtesy of New York Public Library's ebook rental system.

Download incredibly relevant fanfiction to iPad: two long-ish Young Wizards fics, one in which our favorite wizards deal with an earthquake, another in which they tackle a hurricane. (For the curious, the hurricane story is also a Regency AU and thus required reading.)

Download "A Good Man Goes to War." Watch in preparation for "Let's Kill Hitler." Cross fingers that power will be up and running long enough to download "Let's Kill Hitler" once it's aired. Consider livestreaming.

Put finishing touches to reading nook, which did not exist this time yesterday but now consists of rug, lamp, comfy chair, and pillow. Place flashlight, candles, and lighter nearby, just in case.

Turn AC on lower than usual so that in case of power outage my death from excessive heat and humidity will be postponed. Close all windows.

Fill most cup-like things with water. Refrain from filling up bathtub in hopes of being allowed one last shower before water is in danger of being shut off. But fill mixing bowls just in case.

Go out and spend $20 on a seriously massive brunch, as it may be the last delicious food to be had in a while. (For those interested, it included challah bread french toast with citrus butter, bacon, and homefries.) Take home half of it because it was too big to eat in one sitting, even while reading leisurely.

Look forward to the possibility of cooking with gas stove during a blackout. Be content to have saved some of the dessert crepe batter that was prepared last night. Nothing says "safe and sound" like sugar crepes in a blackout...especially if chocolate and peanut butter are also involved. Which they very well could be.

Charge extra computer battery. Charge phone and iPad. Calculate how much online time can be achieved without power between these three devices, provided the phone lines aren't down. Determine that 20 hours between laptop & iPad should be more than enough for stormbound entertainment, not to mention the 600 pages of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel which have yet to be read.

Call parents and grandmother. Assure them that yes, I will live, no, I won't go outside, and yes, I will call them whenever possible, but no, they should not worry if I don't, because New Yorkers are silly and crashed the phone lines over the (totally minor) earthquake last week, so this hurricane might take them down for a while.

Keep calm and carry on.

(This might be the point to say, I am seriously not fazed by this, and though I would possibly prefer not to be spending the next two days alone, I don't actually know anyone in this city who I would particularly want to spend them with, and do not mind a chance to catch up on my reading.)
readingredhead: (Reading)
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I don't know what books I'll read to them, but I know very well the books that I hope they will discover for themselves, and that we'll talk about later on down the road.

First and foremost, I hope they find Diane Duane and the Young Wizards books, because those books, more than any others, have changed the way I live my life -- and, I would say, changed it for the better. I hope that my children read novels that show them that parents and children don't need to be at odds, that kids can have mature and trusting relationships with adults in their lives, and most importantly, that magic is everywhere you look for it.

I used to think it would be inevitable that they would run into Harry Potter, but my sister (who just spent the summer teaching English to fourteen-year-olds) says that of the thirty-odd kids in her classes, only one of them had actually read the books, and only half of them had even seen the movies. Harry Potter will always play second string to Young Wizards in the Canon According to Candace, but these novels are also magical, and I don't know what my own childhood would have been like without it.

Whether I have girls or boys, I hope they'll find Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre, and read them with open and respectful minds. Not because they are "classics" (the Canon According to Candace does not really take this label into account), but because they are good, and because they were important parts of my journey -- and they continue to be. 

Most of all, I hope that my kids will someday start suggesting things for me to read, instead of the other way around. That's when I'll know that I've done my job right.
readingredhead: (Reading)
A (sort of) comprehensive list of the books I am hoping to read before I move to New York. Broken into categories and listed alphabetically by author (and then by series) for convenience. If an author is not listed, the author is the same as the previous one.

Suggestions for additions to the list are welcome in the comments, but I'm trying to keep this thing manageable so don't be offended if your suggestion doesn't make it.

The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett
White Cat by Holly Black
Red Glove
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (re-read)
A Clash of Kings (re-read)
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
A Dance With Dragons
The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers
The Wizard Hunters by Martha Wells
Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen
Heart's Blood
A Sending of Dragons
Dragon's Heart

Science Fiction
Archangel by Sharon Shinn, et seq.
Blackout by Connie Willis
All Clear

Historical Fiction
The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett
Queens' Play
The Disorderly Knights
Pawn in Frankincense
The Ringed Castle

Nineteenth-Century Novels
Middlemarch by George Eliot (currently reading)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Mansfield Park

Twentieth-Century Novels (yes, I'm kind of surprised his heading even exists on this list)
The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles

Books With Pictures
Sandman vols. 1-9 by Neil Gaiman
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method by Gerard Genette
Theory of the Novel
by Georg Lukacs
The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft by Claire Tomalin

Books for Review
Sebastian Drake: Prince of Pirates by Philip Caveney
Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits by Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson
The Midnight Charter by David Whitley
Children of the Lost


Jun. 22nd, 2011 09:36 am
readingredhead: (Reading)
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I'm a re-reader by nature, so if I like a book, chances are I have read it a LOT. It's also a habit I've picked up as a student of English literature -- you can't create a valid analysis out of a single reading.

The books I have read and/or heard the most are definitely Diane Duane's Young Wizards series, but this is because I own all of them as audiobooks in addition to having hard copies that I read every so often. For whatever reason, Jane Eyre is another book I find myself reading a whole hell of a lot (and Pride and Prejudice, though I like it better than Jane Eyre, is not something I find myself re-reading).
readingredhead: (Adventure)
Today is a beautiful day. I was going to stay mostly inside and mostly get work done but my bucket list is not getting any shorter and I only have a little less than a month left in this city, so I figured I would go adventuring. About 3 miles of walking later, I have had lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, found a place that makes delicious gelato, finally seen the Berkeley Rose Garden, and started reading Invisible Things, a young adult alternate history novel set in 1930s Europe and written by one of my future Columbia professors -- the same one who fed me cookies when I visited over spring break.

I still have things to do, like write a paper and revise a short story and study for French, but it's a beautiful day, and that makes everything better.
readingredhead: (Reading)
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As usual, this is a question that demands multiple answers, because it's me we're talking about, and I rarely read one good book per year. But this past year, I've done a lot of re-reading (both in school and out), so my new books intake has severely dropped. Thankfully, that's what next year is for...?

I feel that in order to appropriately answer this question, I have to give three answers. Maybe four. So stick with me.

When I first saw this question, the answer that immediately sprang to mind was Possession by A. S. Byatt, in which two modern academics discover the lost letters of two (fictional) Victorian poets, and follow the literary clues therein on a detective hunt through Great Britain and parts of France. Oh, and did I mention that they may or may not have something like a love story of their own throughout? I purchased Possession from a small used-and-new independent bookstore down the street from the hotel my grandmother stayed at in London this spring (right by the British Museum, where one of the characters actually works). I began reading it on the Eurostar train from London to Paris, and finished it in a small hotel room overlooking a tiny street between the Louvre and the Opera Garnier; I read with the kind of energy that a book hadn't evoked from me in far too long. Possession felt a little bit like the story of my life-as-it-could-be told back to me as a fiction: a collection of various texts (the novel includes third-person omniscient narration, snippets of poetry and academic prose, the discovered love letters, and various other ephemera) meandering over a wider ground than entirely necessary (it's been compared to a Victorian novel), questioning and testing but ultimately affirming the relationship between literature and love.

The other important books of this year (for very different reasons!) are ones I've talked about elsewhere: Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg and A Wizard of Mars by Diane Duane.

The rest of the texts I'm going to mention are very, very literary. But they're also very important. I think that Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, and Persuasion all belong on this list because the time I've spent with them, starting this summer with my SURF research, has really launched me into the thesis of a lifetime. Although Northanger Abbey is the only one out of these that I actually read for the first time this year, I've become increasingly close with the others, to the point where I have a bordering-on-brilliant fifteen-page Pride and Prejudice paper ready to be sent out to various graduate schools as we speak. My experience as a reader of Austen has changed so much since I was a freshman in high school disdainful of Emma, and I couldn't be happier about it. More and more, I feel like I've chosen (or been chosen by) the topic and the time period that are just right for me.
readingredhead: (Professor)
After a good deal of thinking, and the combination of just the right encouragement and motivation, I've decided to set up a separate blog where I can write in a moderately professional, moderately serious matter about the (often irreverent or "non-literary") topics that I find interesting as a student of English literature.

So, if you're as interested as I am in the intersection of classroom literature and popular literature, follow me over at Austen and Aliens. The blog's inaugural post -- about what I learned about Jane Eyre by reading a modern science-fiction adaptation of Bronte's famous novel -- is probably a decent indicator of the tone and subject matter I plan to take up in the following posts. I'm already making long lists of future topics to tackle (answering questions such as "What do Austen's Persuasion and Beyonce's 'Single Ladies' have in common?" and "Why is it academically acceptable for me to read 18th-century pornographic literature in the classroom, but not modern romance novels outside of the classroom?") and will likely use it as a fertile outlet for intelligent discussion and wild procrastination as I pursue the course of my thesis in following months.

Ultimately, though, I expect it'll help me develop a confident and conversational though still professional and analytical voice in which to discuss literature -- and who knows, maybe it'll actually help me win those arguments about the significance of genre fiction that I've been having with my father for all these years.
readingredhead: (Default)
All I really want out of life is for a real-life romance to coincide with an academic one. Preferably we discover Austen's lost letters together, a la A. S. Byatt's Possession. Or maybe a surviving draft of First Impressions, I'm not really picky. I just want something that makes me feel love as much as I think it, and think it as much as I feel it. And I want it sooner than I'm ever likely to get it.

(Perhaps the things the conduct books have to say about imaginative engagement, romance novels, and women's delicate sensibilities are truer than I give them credit for -- it is dangerous to read them and expect them to come true.)
readingredhead: (Professor)
I should be doing important things, like reading up on the history of conduct books for my essay on Evelina but instead I'm getting ready to go to the Globe and watch a fabulous production of Midsummer Night's Dream.

I'm also thinking a lot about the fact that I'm going to spend Friday and Saturday turning a piece of fiction that I (co-)wrote into an actual (experimental) film (though when I say I'm going to be doing this, it really means I'm going to do what my film major and co-writer friend tells me to do). It should be completely awesome; we're filming on location throughout London, but the actual acting parts are small-scale enough that Oren and I are actually just playing the characters that we wrote, which for me will be all kinds of amazing. I'm starting to think about how my character would dress, and do her make-up, and wear her hair, and all kinds of stuff (and the best part is that none of these answer are hard for me to figure out...I just know her, y'know?). So while it is distracting me from the essay(s), at least it's doing so in a good way.

Also, I have tickets for two events on May 30 at the Hay Festival of Books but no idea as of yet how I am going to get there and back, since Hay is really small and doesn't have its own train station. There are buses and shuttles and the like but it doesn't seem feasible to go up in the morning and back that night; if I'm going to be spending the money on train fare anyway, I might as well see some of the surrounding countryside. Also it would be a lot easier to get back to, oh, say, Cardiff after the last event finishes at 9PM than it would be to try to get back to London (which would probably be impossible). But this means I need to find accommodation in Cardiff (or wherever), and I have yet to broach this subject to my mom, who would freak if I told her I was considering staying in a hostel on my own. She's already worried that no one wants to go to the Hay Festival with me...silly mother, they speak my language in this country!

Now, I shall file all of this under "things to sort out later" and get ready to go see some Shakespeare.
readingredhead: (Library)
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5. Procrastination/angst at procrastination. As in, "Jeez Candace, you're already stressed out about that presentation you have to give tomorrow, but instead of getting your ass in gear you're posting a stupid LJ entry? Not cool, self. Not cool."

4. My future. This is a broad heading, including career, place of residence, love life, economic standing, graduate school applications, ability to become a published writer, etc.

3. Writing. Technically this is part of both #4 and #1 but I think it deserves its own category since it's something I do so frequently.

2. My friends and family. I spend a lot of time hanging out with them, talking to them, worrying for them, hearing their drama, etc. and so they're a pretty loud and rowdy set of voice in my head.

1. Books. I suppose this counts as cheating because I'm including both books as read for school and books as read for fun under one heading, but considering that I spend most of my time (free or otherwise) with stories, it makes sense that they'd be high up there on the list.
readingredhead: (Talk)
Well, I suppose I cheated: I bought a new computer. His name is Touchstone, after a main character in Garth Nix's Sabriel, which I fell back in love with recently after listening to the audiobook. It's a really great fantasy read and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Touchstone, in case you care, is an HP Pavilion dm3t, and sort of looks like the mixed-race offspring of a silver macbook and HP's current line of larger laptops. He is slightly larger than I had intended him to be (13.3" display), but still much more portable than Fitzwilliam. He is thinner and lighter, partly because he does not have an internal optical drive; I got a deal on an external CD/DVD RW which works just fine. He runs Windows 7 and although I've only been toying with the interface for two days, I think I like it well enough. Also he's supposed to get very good battery life but I haven't really tested these claims yet. I'm just hoping that he'll last me as long as Fitzwilliam. Fitz is technically still alive, if ailing, and now that I've wiped him bare of all unnecessary everythings (including all my documents, pictures, music, etc.), he'll go to my dad.

I haven't really been doing much, except complaining about the fact that I have to read Bleak House and occasionally actually doing some of the reading. Corinne gave me a Dickens action figure for Christmas and I'm considering bringing him back with me to London so I can put him on my desk and glare at him whenever I am frustrated. Ideally, I should also read Aphra Behn's Oroonoko and Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year before I return to Queen Mary, not to mention that I have a paper to write still. Not looking forward to that part.

On the bright side, functioning computer + reliable internet = finally posting pictures from the last two months! Expect notifications to flood your facebook.

Now, I am torn between attempting a return to Bleak House (unlikely) and wasting an hour or so on the internet...yay for Christmas break?
readingredhead: (Pants)
If my Representing London walking journal (also known as my mock-mock-Georgic, written entirely in heroic couplets) could contain all of the things that I have discovered while getting pleasantly lost on Wikipedia and related sites, it would have to include:

--Norse mythology, particularly the "World Serpent"
--popular art created in response to the London Underground map
--discussion of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's book Good Omens
--discussion of Neil Gaiman's book Neverwhere
--G. K. Chesterton
--the ouroborous
--Mornington Crescent
--Circle Line parties
--chocolate-covered almonds from Trader Joe's (I'm eating one right now!)
--the dangers of copyright infringement

And that's before I throw in the French theorists who are actually relevant to what I'm writing about! (Note to self: Try understanding French critical theory next time I have been drinking. Perhaps it will make more sense.)

In the meantime, I still don't have 1000 words done out of the 2000 words that I need, AND I HAVE SPENT ALL DAY ON THIS, with only slight diversions for shopping for (and consuming) foodstuffs, and watching the newest episode of Bones. And writing about this project self-reflexively on this journal.

I just need to get this done now.

ETA: Jormungandr (aforementioned World-Serpent) has been footnoted! Gaiman and Pratchett to follow. :)


Aug. 20th, 2009 09:57 pm
readingredhead: (Milo)
I'll be back up in my second hometown from tomorrow through Tuesday, hanging out with friends and getting my last glimpse of the Bay Area for just under a year. Wow, that's a depressing thought. But you know what's not depressing? I definitely just got my visa in the mail today...for LONDON! It's pretty awesome, they put this special stamp thingy in your passport, and it takes up an entire page.

My awesome Katherine friend from Indiana/St. Louis (depending on the season) just left today, and was not here long enough, but we still managed to cause some serious fictional damage. I don't know about you, but I fight monsters in the wastes.

Anywho...the real point of this was supposed to be that I'm not taking my laptop with me to Berkeley (mostly because it will keep me from reading George R. R. Martin's A Clash of Kings -- yes, so sue me, I'm hooked!) and won't be online until I get back Tuesday night. From there, everything starts happening too too fast -- the packing, the unpacking, the re-packing, the emotional moments, the arguments over why I can't possibly fit two pairs of rainboots into my suitcase...and then before I know it, I'll be gone.

*shakes head*

BUT ANYWAY. Now, to sleep. I have an early morning tomorrow...
readingredhead: (Stranger)
Stolen from Katherine. List your guilty pleasures!

- Pasta. No matter that it's really just carbohydrates, which turn into sugar, which turn into fat -- set me down in front of a bowl of pretty much any kind of noodle slathered in some variation of tomato sauce and I'm happy. My favorite pasta dish is spaghetti and grilled chicken in a tomato-garlic sauce made by my daddy, though I'm also a big fan of tortellini and ravioli.

- Romance novels. Okay, so sue me, I'm a girl and I like to make squeeing sounds when the right characters finally end up together, even though I knew from page one that they would. This category also includes novels that are not marketed as romance but contain more than a sliver of romance in them.

- The TV show True Blood. I've only watched half of the first season and I think I'm hooked. I tell myself that I'm watching it the way you watch a car crash, but that's not true. Oh HBO, you and your vampire porn...

- The X-Files. The best worst TV show EVER. Mostly I watch it for Mulder and Scully's fantastic interactions and romantic tension.

- The Internet. What would I do without wireless?

- Fanfiction. Enough said.

- Julie E. Czerneda. Although some of her stuff falls under the "romance novel" category, she's good enough (and at times guilty enough) to get a category of her own. I suppose most of the guilt comes from the fact that I obsess over her writing a lot more than everyone else I know. I am perfectly capable of recognizing flaws in her works -- at times large ones! -- but somehow this does not affect my love for them in the least.

- Sexual innuendo. Anything from Shakespeare to "that's what she said" is endlessly entertaining if I'm in the right mood for it. (Yes, I am still a teenager on the inside.)

- Dressing up pretty. Yes, I am a girl.

- Boots and overcoats. I have more of these than I need -- and often the ones I buy are rather expensive -- but I use them so lovingly that it (almost) makes up for how much I spend. Maybe?

- Joss Whedon shows. Mostly Buffy, Firefly, and Dr. Horrible (I haven't seen enough of Angel or Dollhouse). Sometimes they're so bad (especially early episodes of Buffy) and then they turn around and give you a big life lesson wrapped up in an entertaining (and occasionally musical!) format.

- Milton's Paradise Lost. Can I tell you why I love Milton? I'm not sure I have a clue. Do I like to admit to it in the company of normal human beings? Not so much. Does this make my love any less real? Of course not.

- "Love Story" by Taylor Swift. How can I allow myself to like a song that contains the lyrics "This love is difficult, but it's real"? And yet how can I not love it?

- The name "Andromeda." Secretly, I have always wanted to have a daughter named Andromeda. She could go by Andy!
readingredhead: (Stranger)
Oh man, I feel like someone just massacred my fictional children. Or like I just came home, only no one in my family or my hometown recognized me. THAT is how sledgehammer-y the ending of Julie E. Czerneda's Stratification trilogy is. I'm sitting here dazed and confused and with an odd aching emptiness that's all the more strange for the way that it's not supposed to be there. She's not supposed to leave me empty -- she's supposed to fill me. It's what I depend upon her fiction for. But this time, it didn't work. Maybe it wasn't supposed to work? I don't know. But I've never left one of her books feeling this low before.


*exhales deep sigh*

*shakes self out of it*

Hm, probably I'll go on a run. It seems like the only viable solution.


readingredhead: (Default)

March 2013

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