quietprofanity: (Kagami - Books)
( Dec. 6th, 2008 09:52 am)
I DON'T UNDERSTAND!!!!

I really like a lot of what I read of Wilde, but his poems ... I can't figure out if they're too obscure or I'm not educated enough. And sometimes they make me feel guilty I'm not reading more Keats. I'm the worst Keats fan ever.

I like parts of it, though. Especially the beginning and the end. And the personifications of Sin and Greed and stuff.
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So, my little girl cousins like Twilight. This doesn't surprise me.

But, apparently one of my aunts gave Twilight to my Nana (step-grandmother) and said, "Can you read this and see if it's appropriate?"

And she read it, and then she gave it to Pop (paternal grandfather).

Pop and Nana LOVE TWILIGHT.

My grandfather LOVES Twilight.

My hardcore sci-fi-loving, Isaac-Asimov-is-the-greatest-writer-ever, Ursula-K.-LeGuin-isn't-real-sci-fi grandfather LOVES Twilight.

I didn't know how to react to this.

So I let him borrow my copies of Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton, Bitten by Kelley Armstrong and The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett. He seemed really glad to have them.

But ... just ... wow, dude.
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... and never write it letters."

So ... The Old Kingdom/Abhorsen Trilogy ... I finished it sometime ago. Or I finished the important parts. I can't be bothered to read that Nicholas Sayre short story. And I'm not waiting for the one ... or is it two ... new books that will turn it into a Quartet or a Quintet or whatever.

Reading these books was a colossal disappointment. When I was 11 or something I picked out Sabriel, the first book in the series back when it was only a stand-alone book, from the library. I really enjoyed it at the time. It was about a young girl going on a quest and fighting the forces of the dead with the power of magic bells and she had a little cat and I was like, "This is groovypants! Yay strong women! Yay fantasy!"

Flash forward years later, my grandmother gave Sabriel, now turned into a trilogy with Lirael and Abhorsen, to my dad. Why she did this, I do not know. He read the first book and declared it a waste of time because magic is stupid and blah blah blah. And I was like, "Nooo! My lost youth! I must rediscover it!" and I took them from him ready to re-enjoy them and show Dad how wrong he is.

Yeaaaah, that didn't work out. And I'm really afraid of when I try to track down Winter of Fire now ...

Read more... )
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Secret Life of Bees page 59:

I waited till she got to her feet, a long, unbelievable process of grunts and moans and limbs coming to life.

"What did you dream?" I asked when she was upright.

She gazed at the treetops, rubbing her elbows. "Well, let's see. I dreamed the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., knelt down and painted my toenails with the spit from his mouth, and every nail was red like he'd been sucking on red hots."


...

I MEAN COME ON!!!! Who the hell looked at MLK's magic Max Factor spit and went, "Yep! That is totally profound and not silly at all. You go for it, Kidd!"

I am so going to crack by page 150 ...
The main character is wonderful and virtuous and whimsical and her dad hates her so much he mocks her when she reads Shakespeare and WON'T LET HER HAVE BIRTHDAYS!!!!!!!

This is going to hurt, yo.
Step 1: Get out bad book you don't like but are determined to finish.

Step 2: Turn on Real Chance of Love

Step 3: Watch brain become so horrified that bad book looks like Shakespeare.

P.S. If horrified brain is too much of a distraction, an iPod can help, too. Not recommended if you are pregnant, in rehab or you can't watch Firefly without wanting to kill all the men in the world.
quietprofanity: (Batman - My Baby!)
( Nov. 1st, 2008 11:06 am)
- I finally finished Call of Cthulhu last night. It's gelatinous! EW!
- I faced off against a mouse at work yesterday. I may give the full scoop later. I just want to say that if animal cruelty is a sign of psychosis, I shouldn't be expected to bash in the head of a cute little thing that's afraid of me. Nevertheless, I did get it out of the workplace. I'll keep you posted if it follows me home.
- I started my NaNoWriMo book, and I really hope I finish it because I think I enjoy this scenario more than any other I tried in the past, even that weird psychosexual crime noir in 2006 that I liked but couldn't finish because I had to move. I'm sort of doing something bad in that I'm using an idea I've had for a long time and LIKED, and you're really supposed to be all blank slate for NaNo, but I don't think my idea has much commercial viability, so I'm going with what I got.
- I am so sick of Garth Nix and his bullshit. I'm more than 100 pages into Abhorsen but it already feels too long. I have a determination to finish it, though.
- I didn't so much dig Sarah Haskins' ... er, digs at Disney Princesses. (Well, it's funny, but I think she exaggerates the passivity of someone of them a little bit.) I DO, however, adore her Views on The View. Starring, of course, Goofy Mom, Serious Mom, Embarrassingly Liberal Mom, Hot Conservative Mom and Embarrassing Space Mom.
- Hoping to go to Zack & Miri, Edgar Allan Poe reading, AND Rocky Horror tonight. CAN I DO IT? We shall see!
From Househusband by Ad Hudler.

"My interest began months ago when I noticed the inequity of dust distribution in the house. Why did Violet's bedroom need dusting just once every three weeks when the master bedroom and living room developed a fuzzy coating in two day's time? Over weeks, I experimented, closing and opening different heating ducts, changing the cleaning agent from oil to a simple damp cloth. Did a room make its own dust or was it invaded by dust from another land? In the dustiest of rooms, I sealed with duct tape the cracks along the bottoms of the doors.

This past week, Violet and I spent an afternoon researching at the library, picking out both adult and children's books, then stopped by The Nature Company Store to buy a microscope. Our findings were fascinating. Thanks to constant air flow, every square mile of the planet contains at least one piece of dirt from every other square mile on the planet! The rooms with more fibers, from carpets and clothes, appear dustier because it is those fibers that act as the infrastructure, the framing, for the dust bunnies we see rolling across the floor like tumbleweeds. We discovered that the common dust ball has on average thirty-five different ingredients, mainly flakes of dead human skin and animal hair. Indeed, through a simple dust ball a family's identity can be revealed, its ethnicity and choice of food and clothing and pets."


Yeah, uh ... I'll just let that speak for itself. So far in this book there's been a lot of minutiae about cleaning a house, whining from the main character about his old job as a plant decorator because the rich people didn't UNDERSTAND how flowers really worked and one of his customers was pissed because he didn't do what she asked for and sneering at people who don't want to cook with "escarole and dried morel mushrooms, papayas, Stilton cheese and a naked baguette of sourdough bread." Also, I'm 30 pages in and there's been very little plot building or character building, his attempts at banter suck and there's been two recipes that involve me going to Asian markets.

I WILL NOT READ IT ANYMORE. NO. DON'T FLIP TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. BAD BECKY! PUT IT DOWN!
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quietprofanity: (Smeyer Can't Read)
( Oct. 11th, 2008 05:45 pm)
Hey guys! My wonderful vacation getting visited by [livejournal.com profile] cyberweasel, going to a haunted house, going to D.C., seeing one of my cousins from Kentucky, cleaning my room and atoning for my sins and MY BIRTHDAY OF NOT EATING is almost over. I would talk about that, but ... ah, maybe later. I'd rather spew some hate speech about books I don't understand.

Read more... )
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(Sorry, [livejournal.com profile] the_red_shoes, it was [livejournal.com profile] 47nite's idea.)

It's the first letter of MY name anyway, so I dig it. (I've never met a Rebecca in the media that I've really liked though, I think. It seems to be a popular name for villains and those bitchy girls who had nice nails and made fun of you in high school.)

1. Comment on this post.
2. I will give you a letter.
3. Think of 5 fictional characters whose name starts with that letter and post their names and your comments on these characters in your LJ.

See below ... I didn't expect this to be so comic-book heavy )

I ... hope all of this made some sense. I got super-loquacious, I guess.
Today, Fred Clark of Slacktivist finished his five-year analysis of the Left Behind series. Here's a quote from his conclusion:

Left Behind fails as a novel for many, many reasons, but all of its other faults -- the odious lack of empathy it holds up as a moral example, its blasphemous celebration of self-centeredness masquerading as Christianity, its perverse misogyny, its plodding pace, its wooden dialogue, it fetishistic obsession with telephones, its nonexistent characterization, its use and misuse of cliches, its irrelevant tangents, deplorable politics, confused theology, unintentional hilarities, hideous sentences, contempt for craft, factual mistakes, continuity errors ... its squandering of every interesting premise and its overwhelming, relentless and mind-numbing dullness -- all of these seem to be failures of the sort that one might encounter in any other Very, Very Bad book hastily foisted off onto the public without a second glance.**

Any one of those faults, on its own, would have been enough to earn Left Behind a place on the Worst Books of 1995 list. The presence of all of those faults -- in a single book and in such concentrated form -- is more than enough to secure its place on a list of the Worst Books of All Time.

Yet the book's signature failure is something far simpler. Left Behind disproves the very thing it sets out to prove. It presents an inadvertent but irrefutable case for the unreality and impossibility of all of the events that Tim LaHaye claims are prophesied to occur at any moment.

Those events are not about to occur. They never will occur. They never can occur. Don't believe me? Go read Left Behind and see for yourself.

That signature failure, Left Behind's forceful refutation of itself, is what earns this book my vote as the Worst Book of All Time.


There's five years worth of backlog on this book, but it's great stuff. I read all of it this year and loved it and I recommend it to you, too. Start here, it's easier that way
I don't have a whole lot to say about this book, but it was a request on LibraryThing, so I'm happy to oblige otherwise.

I basically found this book on a Borders Express super-discount rack. Despite my profession, I have trouble picking up newspapers/magazines for fun. (My obsessive personality makes it hard to switch gears and care about everything in a magazine all at once.) But I really dig news article collections. Gustav brought Katrina back to my consciousness, so I picked this up off my shelf (and finished it right when Ike was about to hit). Call it keeping a sort of a vigil.

The press, especially print media, gets a lot of scorn these days, especially from people upset with the current administration. The major news networks seemed to be doing better than normal from my vantage point during that that time, though, I think, but I've read of others feeling very differently.

But one thing I think is impossible to dispute is how The New Orleans Times-Picayune rose to the occasion. One of the reporters there was an alumni, and he came back to talk with us about what was going on. He told us stories about his time reporting in the Superdome. How he lost his car but would sometimes canoe through the flooded streets to get a story. In the book, Chris Rose talks about how they reported without an office, wiring the information to Baton Rouge.

And take Rose himself, for an example. He was the ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST. And overnight his column turned into a series on the trials, tribulations and the unique people, those who survived and those who didn't make it or couldn't take the aftermath, of the city. The columns range from portraits of a man who walks around taking magnets off discarded refrigerators and a piano store whose business becomes not only selling pianos but also hearing people's stories of their memories of their old pianos - a relic of a past time now lost in the storm to Chris Rose's earliest memories of first coming to New Orleans after RUNNING AWAY from a hurricane to humorous excoriations of Mayor Nagin's gaffes.

They're really, really great stuff. "They make you laugh AND cry" is such a cliche of reviewing, but it's true here. Rose's portraits of a large sign nearly destroyed by Katrina spinning in the air as Rita blows through or of a couple whose suicide pact was only half fulfilled meshes with a couple cheering when their house falls down (because flood insurance wouldn't have been enough to fix it, but home insurance would replace it now that the roof caved in) and Rose carrying a bag full of naked Barbies through the airport when he goes back to Maryland, where his children are staying. It sounds messy, but like life, this stuff works.

Two things become clear about the author as you read this book. One: You can see he's starting to lose it. It's hard to notice sometimes, as Rose downplays events which should give him greater cause for alarm, like when he flips out at a guy in a parking lot for littering or he falls on the ground and can't move for hours. I knew the ultimate ending, but I can't imagine if I didn't, one of his last columns in the book would have still been a shock. Two: He will go to bat, and often goes to bat HARD for the worth of New Orleans. "About Mardi Gras: We're having it," he says. When nine people write angry letters to USA Today saying rebuilding the Superdome was frivolous, he writes a whole column defending it as important not only for the economy, but also the spirit of the city because in 2006 they're STILL talking about the hurricane and not something like sports, which everyone everywhere else gets to talk about. I hate sports, but after that column I wasn't going to argue with him.

The one thing I really didn't like about this book, though, was that the columns were arranged by subject and not timeline. I get the idea of related columns following each other, but I'd rather have seen the progression of time as a whole. As it is, the hodgepodge left me feeling a bit unmoored. I also wasn't too impressed with his college commencement speech. The "I'm so old and uncool! Look at me be self-deprecating!" shtick went on far too long.

Still, I do recommend this book for those who like really good first person journalism and want a ground's eye view of what went on after Katrina. Scrounge your own Borders Express bin to see if they have it, because it deserves to be read.

Read here for more on Chris Rose.
So, after what's now turned into years of trying to get myself into this show, I finally sat down and watched R.O.D. the TV and now I am free of that long curse [livejournal.com profile] 47nite put on me ... at least until I get around to reading the e-manga he got me.

I know there are people out there who really love R.O.D. the OVA./R.O.D. the TV but to be honest, I haven't really been on board. I thought R.O.D. the OVA vacillated between boring and underwhelming. The one bright spot is the main character, Yomiko Readman, but while she DOES have a distinctive personality, sometimes I feel like I'm supposed to like her out of some generic relatability. "She likes books? *I* like books! And I can cosplay her without being ninety pounds! Sweet!"

R.O.D. the TV is kind of similar. I think it succeeds very well at its four main characters. You have Michelle, who acts like a bimbo but is the most capable of the team. You have Maggie the gentle giant. You have Anita, a brat who is compelling by the fact that she's strong and weak at the same time. And you have Nenene, who is basically the tie between the two series and the mouthpiece for the IMPORTANCE OF ART but has a pretty neat character arc. I like these guys. I really do. I hate to admit it, but I actually cried a little bit at the three sisters' reunion.

But ... here's the thing. R.O.D. the TV is a decent anime, and it can be quite good at the inter-relationships between its female characters. (I wasn't big on the Nancy/Junior subplot.) But one of its major themes is the importance of books, and that seems strange, because the makers of the show seem to have read barely any. But I guess I should have known that when they had one major character who is such a bibliomaniac that she buys out entire bookstores and can read large multiple books in a day say that her favorite book is the Harry Potter series.

Read more... )
KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE!

Watch how an AP English class summarized the plot to Twilight ... AP ENGLISH WUT????????

Do they possibly mean HIGH SCHOOL? Because when I hear that, I hear it as in preparation for COLLEGE ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH?

Wut? WUT?

We did Wuthering Heights in AP English. We did The Awakening. We did Hamlet. We did BOOKS FOR BIG PEOPLE. We did books for big people in SUMMER READING. Before we even GOT TO CLASS we were reading Heart of Darkness and The Great Gatsby and Mourning Becomes Electra. I am not that old. It was SEVEN YEARS AGO. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?
So by know you've all heard the ruling on the Harry Potter Lexicon and the ultimate ruling, i.e., RDR Books and Steve Vander Ark are plagiarists. J.K. Rowling and Warner Brothers bought the case to court saying just that and the judge ruled NOT only in their favor BUT also agreed that the issue was NOT with transformative works, but about plagiarism.

Nevertheless, some people keep characterizing this as BIG AUTHOR vs little fandom. At first, I thought this was just a lot of misinformed people but then I read this Slacktivist post and I realized ... no, they're not misinformed. People aren't repeating this lie of JKR vs. fanfiction out of lack of knowledge, or out of fear of their Harry Potter slash being suddenly verboten, or out of because they lack reading comprehension or anything like that. They're just believing this because they WANT to.

It's a sad thought, and hard to wrap one's head around. But it's the only thing that makes sense from just looking at the reactions of the anti-JKR crowd. You point to quotes about how it's not about money but copyright, they insist it's about money. You point them to [livejournal.com profile] cleolinda's posts, they say fandom_wank is pro-JKR and can't be trusted. You point them to the ACTUAL court documents, they come up with a bizarre conspiracy theory about how the judge really wanted to agree with RDR and SVA but couldn't because Rowling and WB are an evil giant that must be appeased and blah blah blah blah blah.

No, these people have just decided a long time ago that JKR is inherently wrong and therefore her lawsuit must be wrong and that's the end of the matter. Why? Could be any number of reasons. They never liked the books. They don't like the books anymore. They feel burned by Anne Rice/LKH/MZB whoever and assume JKR must be the same type of person. They're huge fans of Orson Scott Card. They have some grudge against SVA's ex-pals at Leaky or some other bullshit that doesn't matter outside of the ridiculous monster subculture that is the Harry Potter fandom. The reason doesn't matter except only in that, as Fred Clark says, they find the reason more compelling than the reality.

So if you're sitting there tearing your hair out wondering why they won't listen, that's why. They want to.

And to be honest, I don't actually hate them for it, because this shit is pretty small and useless in the long run, but it's just true and had to be said.
1.) Just because she may be really cool on messageboards does not mean that Nora Roberts is suddenly good. Maybe I'm cynical because my non-SBTB forays into the romance novel world have all ended with me sick from the passive-aggressive and I sent the one Jennifer Cruise book I read off to Canada with nary a tear. But ... yeah. All it really does is make me think that Nora Roberts just has the same sort of evil doppelganger a la John Mayer where they've got great personalities but make cheesy art.

2.) The Twilight movie isn't going to sweep or even win a Razzie and I'll be surprised if it even gets a nomination. As much as reading and eviscerating the books has become an Internet phenomenon, Internet phenomenons don't often translate to meatspace. Kind of like how Snakes on a Plane was a huge thing online but didn't end up raking in much at the box office. As much as we love to yell, "CAMP CLASSIC! WHOOOOO!!!" I have a feeling most critics are going to look at this movie, call it stupid, and then call it a day like they did with Underworld and Blood and Chocolate. Critics like to sharpen their teeth on big, bloated vanity projects -- that was one of the reasons why Gigli got such a trouncing. I don't really think RPattz and KStew's bland moon-eyes are going to trigger the shark reactions here.

(Somebody tried to tell me, "But what about RPattz sparkling?" Oh, come on. As corny as it is, you could line the aisles of your local blockbuster with movies featuring bad special effects. Uwe Boll makes three when he goes to the bathroom and while he's gotten some nominations, he still has yet to win the prize.)

The Razzies tend to go for seeing huge celebrities fall and making a point out of sticking it in their faces. Look at their choices from the last eight years: I Know Who Killed Me, Basic Instinct 2, Dirty Love, Catwoman, Gigli, Swept Away, Freddy Got Fingered, and Battlefield Earth. Pretty much all of those are an example of a huge star falling flat on their faces. The two with lesser-known stars (Jenny McCartney in Dirty Love and Tom Green in Freddy Got Fingered), the stars basically get their first big chance and blow it on unfunny gross-out comedies. A lot of them are also exploitative in some way, too.

Plus, consider this: The Hottie and the Nottie starring Paris Hilton came out this year. Do you really think anyone's going to pick KStew over her?

3-10.) Ah, forget it. I just wanted to say the other two.
YAY!

I actually was afraid it was going to be horribly cheesy, but I actually kind of liked it, and I feel like they didn't totally avoid the more uncool parts of his life.

Although his home for homeless women? They actually mean "whores." And "much speculation about this relationship" means "They were totally fucking and you are full of shit, Peter Ackroyd."

(Also, it's weird they pointed out the raven. Yeah, they had quite a few, but the family had a bunch of pets over the years.)

The BBC also have an edu-tainment game with mournful music. I couldn't figure out how to steer the boat on the Thames and I died of cholera the first time, but the next two times went well.
But now I have an icon of Sam Weller. Friendslist, meet Sam Weller. Sam Weller, meet friendslist. I also re-instated my "Zombie!Pip from South Park" icon ... kind of ... because I'm in that kind of mood.

Yeah, sorry for the filter, flocked, flail-ing freakout. I was depressed and probably will be depressed again, but Charles Dickens once existed on this earth, so I guess it can't be all crap.

I kind of had more to say, but ... eh, later.
Midori Days
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Touch Me, I'm Sick
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V for Vendetta
Read more... )

I also read Interfaith Families, which I still have to mull over, and Mini-Marvels: Rock, Paper, Scissors, which was very cute. ("Arrow Man not Bill Cosby.")
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The scary "We won't let feminism get in the way of our fantasy series!" crowd has been making me want to hide under the couch, but the comments led me to Target Women, which is made of awesome. Funny AND by a woman happy to call herself a feminist. YAY!

----

Read some Oscar Wilde after work today. I have a Complete Works collection, and weirdly enough even though I bought it for "De Profoundis" and wanted to pick it up recently to read "The Portrait of Mr. W.H." So far, I haven't read either, but I did read "Salome," "The Happy Prince," "The Nightingale and the Rose" (and damn, I unfortunately saw the ending coming), "The Selfish Giant" and a handful of poems which I think I would enjoy better if I knew what he was talking about. (I can READ them fine, I just don't know, for example, who the "second Peter" is in "Sonnet on Approaching Italy") I liked "Garden of Eros" though. Wilde was clearly getting his Keats on -- he even mentioned him! (As himself and "Adonais" [sigh!])

----

I like watching MST3K off YouTube, but I've had trouble going back and finishing them. So I've left Pumaman and The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies half-finished. I also tried to watch the Left Behind movie because while Fred Clark's commentaries are fun AND informative, I've been bummed out because now we've been in the room with the Anti-Christ and his masters of evil for what feels like months with little change. (I have to admit I prefer the Rayford Steele chapters to the Buck Williams chapters. Mostly because Jewish World Domination conspiracy stuff makes my eyes glaze over (I'm a BAD elder of Zion) and Rayford's sheer horribleness as a human being is just so much more fascinating.) So I was going through withdrawal and I started watching the movie but I have to confess I had to stop around when Nicolae Carpathia popped up and started talking and DUDE he sounds like Skwisgaar on Metalocalypse! THAT IS SO UNINTENTIONALLY AWESOME! I invoke Rule 34 in celebration. MAKE IT SO, UNIVERSE!

Anyway, it made me laugh so hard I couldn't watch it anymore. Then I started talking Nicolgaar when Chris called me, and he claimed I sounded like Wacko, so for the next minute or so I tried to mangle the Nicolgaar accent into a Liverpool one. I did OK in the end, I think.

---

Oy, 8:20 already? Where does the time go ...
.

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