semperfiona: (Default)
Radio silence for quite a while, and only books postings for a while longer yet. I had so intended to be more consistent with posting. Hah.

Well. In the last several months, I have
  • Read a few books. Not many; for whatever reason reading just hasn't been a thing I wanted to do. But.
    1. Fluke, Christopher Moore (audio)
    2. The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination, John Joseph Adams, ed (anthology, audio)
    3. Six Wakes, Mur Lafferty
    4. Full Fathom Five, Max Gladstone
    5. The Brightest Fell, Seanan McGuire (audio)
    6. Medea, Kerri Greenwood

  • Made a thing: The Evil Devil Child and the Perfect Gift, recorded for HP Podfic Fest 2017

  • Signed up for HD Owl Post 2017.

  • Had my picture taken for The Awakenings Project, a photo essay/book about women's empowerment. Part of the process is choosing a word to embody/invoke. I chose DAUNTLESS.
    Here are my photos: Profile and Full face

  • Sang at St Louis Pride with my CHARIS sisters, and rejoined for the fall 2017-spring 2018 season.

  • Replaced my venerable MacBookPro Zoe (built late 2008) with a slightly newer one. The other morning, Tammie said to me, "Zoe's under the sofa!" I pulled her out and turned on the screen to find that it had been crushed. Before I actually made it to the mac store to get an estimate for screen replacement, Rosa pointed out that the whole case was crushed and the DVD drive now looked like this: )| Obviously, replacing the screen wasn't going to cut it, so we decided to use my (conveniently-timed, as it turned out) annual bonus to buy a newer, non-crushed MacBook built mid-2012. Chris performed surgery to transplant the hard drive from Zoe's old body into her new one, and she lives again. Faster and shinier, but also smaller. Old case was a 15" screen, new one is 13".

  • Played a lot of Pokemon GO.

  • Attended Beer Choir three times. Which is more or less exactly what it sounds like: a bunch of people get together and drink beer and sing (songs about beer, mostly). It's a lot of fun.

  • That'll do to be going on with, anyway.

July books

Jul. 31st, 2017 11:59 pm
semperfiona: Books on a table superimposed with "There is no frigate like a book" (books)
  1. A Study in Silks, Emma Jane Holloway

  2. A Study in Darkness, Emma Jane Holloway

  3. Three Parts Dead, Max Gladstone (audio)

  4. Raven Strategem, Yoon Ha Lee
    I hadn't planned to bother reading this, because the first book was so slow and difficult, but after reading a lot of commentary that said it starts right in with action and is much easier to follow, I put a hold on it at the library. Those commentators weren't wrong; I couldn't put this down and am dying to know what happens next.

June books

Jun. 30th, 2017 11:59 pm
semperfiona: Books on a table superimposed with "There is no frigate like a book" (books)
  1. Velveteen vs the Multiverse, Seanan McGuire (audio)

  2. The House of Binding Thorns, Aliette de Bodard

  3. Everfair, Nisi Shawl

  4. City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett

  5. How Jesus Became God, Bart D Ehrman

  6. Out of the Black Land, Kerry Greenwood

  7. City of Blades, Robert Jackson Bennett

  8. Slavery by Another Name, Douglas A. Blackmon

  9. Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty

  10. Not So Good a Gay Man, Frank M. Robinson

  11. The Card Catalog, Carla Hayden

  12. Hidden Figures, Margot Lee Shetterly

  13. The Other Einstein, Marie Benedict
    Abandoned after one chapter. Sounded so promising, but I didn't care for the voice given to the first-person narrator.

  14. The Refrigerator Monologues, Catherynne M. Valente

  15. City of Miracles, Robert Jackson Bennett

May books

May. 31st, 2017 11:59 pm
semperfiona: Books on a table superimposed with "There is no frigate like a book" (books)
  1. Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen

  2. Gateway, Sharon Shinn

  3. Welcome to Nightvale the Novel, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor (audio)

  4. The Cost of Lunch, Etc, Marge Piercy
    I got this expecting poetry, because I've heard of Piercy as a poet, but it turns out to be a short story collection. I read part of the first four stories, found all of them sordid and tawdry (detailed descriptions of unpleasant toilets, for example) and bailed on the book.

  5. Little, Big, John Crowley
    This book is famous, but I found it disappointing. Lush beautiful writing, but not much There there.

  6. Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman (audio)

  7. I Will Not Be Moved, Maya Angelou

  8. The Collapsing Empire, John Scalzi

  9. The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead

  10. The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman (audio)

  11. Miniatures, the Very Short Fiction of, John Scalzi

  12. Velveteen vs the Junior Super Patriots League, Seanan McGuire (audio)
    Started this months ago with Tammie while on a road trip to visit her mother in Alabama, but we didn't finish it. I was saving it to finish with her but finally gave up on waiting. Turns out we were in the middle of the last chapter. Just started the next book in the series.

  13. The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters

  14. Cocaine Blues, Kerry Greenwood

  15. Murder on the Ballarat Train, Kerry Greenwood

  16. John Dies at the End, David Wong
    That's some weird shit, yo. I finished it, but I didn't really get it or enjoy it, and I don't think I'll read the sequels.
semperfiona: (Default)
Interesting. Since I deleted all but one sticky post from my livejournal, I've received two spam comments on the one remaining post. I think I could have counted on my fingers all the spam comments I ever received before, in sixteen years of having the journal.

The Wall

May. 19th, 2017 12:08 pm
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Last week AJ invited me to a movie. "The Wall is playing at the Tivoli," he said. I said, "sure, why not," figuring it had been 25 years since I saw The Wall and I was pretty drunk at the time and barely remember it.

Last night we arrived at the theater, and the poster showed The Wall. Not quite the same thing at all. I was half glad I hadn't mentioned my thoughts out loud, for fear of sounding like an idiot, and half wished I had, so that we would have actually figured out we were talking about different movies.

We did watch it, though. It was a very bare-bones film, just one location and three characters, one of whom we never actually see. A psychological thriller viewed through the eyes of one man. My comment at the end was that despite the wide open desert of the set, it was oddly claustrophobic.

(Wow, there are some WEIRD reviews on that imdb listing.)

Last night was AJ's and my first ever actual sleepover--and all we did was sleep. Figures.

And now I need to locate my Pink Floyd CD's.
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Does anyone else have this? Cold drafts make me sneeze.
semperfiona: Picture of a gas cloud in space that looks like an upraised middle finger (fuck you universe)
I seem to be getting more and more sense-sensitive over the years. By which I mean that smells and sounds that didn't use to annoy me are doing so more and more. Some of it also appears to be a heightened startle reflex.

I am not actually allergic to fragrances, as far as I can tell, but I do seem to have a sensitivity. I have to hold my nose and dash if I need something from the laundry detergent aisle at the supermarket, and I hate going into the ladies' room at work after someone has put perfume on. Enough fragrance at one time will set off a headache. But I don't mind scented lotions or soaps, and I occasionally use BPAL or light sprays of eau de toilette. Back in the day (probably more than 20 years ago now) I used to wear Poison. There's no way I could do that now, and while Tammie sprays about six or eight times when she uses her eau de toilette, I might do three...and I stay out of the bathroom right after she uses it. It dissipates quickly, thank gods.

And sounds, oh my god. I spend all summer in a mild state of irritation because my house does not have central air, so we run room air conditioners and fans instead. I hate the noise. Hate it. If I'm alone, I'll turn them off and be hot to avoid having to listen to it. Sometimes I go to another room and do that even when people are home.

Whining dogs. Both of our dogs have the horrible habit of whining constantly. The bigger one will also burst out of complete silence with a loud sharp bark that nearly always startles the hell out of me. I end up twitchy for quite a while afterward.

Dog chewing and licking and slurping. Both of the dogs lick themselves ALL THE RUDDY TIME.

Leafblower man. Our neighbor across the street runs his leafblower for nearly all the hours of daylight from February to November.

Styrofoam. I've posted about that before, long ago, but the very thought of styrofoam makes the hairs on my arms stand up.

Most of my sound issues are with mechanical noises, but there's a whole set associated with the dogs. I think those may be less sound issues than dog issues, but I'm not sure. The noises irritate the everloving shit out of me, but I don't mind the dogs when they are not making those noises.
semperfiona: A pile of conversation hearts (love hearts)
Went bowling with AJ tonight. As expected, I did very badly. 36, 78, 46, 65 in four games.

But a funny thing happened. In the lane next to us, there was a kid bowling by himself. (The automatic scoring machine says he bowled a total of 130 frames. My arm was dying after three games, I can't imagine playing 13.) Anyway, his mom showed up after a while. At one point, after AJ hugged me when I made a strike and then stepped away to get a drink, the kid's mom asked me "Is that your son?"

"No, he's my boyfriend." Dangers of dating younger men. He's 31. I just turned 49.

"Oh. I was hoping my son would hug me like that when he grows up."
semperfiona: Books on a table superimposed with "There is no frigate like a book" (books)
  1. Gather Her Round, Alex Bledsoe (audio)

  2. Conspiracy of Ravens, Lila Bowen

  3. Art of the Pie, Kate McDermott
    This was the "Big Library Read" for March-April. I consider myself a pie aficionada and also something of an expert at pie baking, so I was interested to see if there would be anything to learn. And there was A LOT.
    I think I'm going to end up buying this one.

  4. The Highland Dragon's Lady, Isabel Cooper

  5. Night of the Highland Dragon, Isabel Cooper

  6. Swan Song, Robert R. McCammon
    Abandoned after like two pages. I really don't want to read a book about nuclear war with the Soviet Union given the current state of the world.

  7. When the Moon Was Ours, Anna-Marie McLemore

  8. The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Seth Dickinson

  9. Infomocracy, Malka Older

  10. Furiously Happy, Jenny Lawson

  11. Magic for Nothing, Seanan McGuire (audio)

  12. Hollow City, Ransom Riggs

  13. Library of Souls, Ransom Riggs
semperfiona: (Default)
Since I'm deleting the content of my LJ rather than just deleting the whole journal, I'm rereading all my old entries. There are a lot of memories from prior years written down in 2002 that I don't even remember 15 years later; it's interesting to have the reminders come along. Also, my life was quite a rollercoaster back then. Also also, I just learned exactly how long I've had my current cellphone number: since August 8, 2002.
semperfiona: (Default)
Hello neighbors, I'm moving in.

Friend requests and community recs welcome!
semperfiona: (how do they rise?)
The new LJ TOS has finally done it. I've imported my journal to dreamwidth, same username. Anyone on my LJ friends list has reading access via OpenID, or just let me know your dreamwidth username and I'll friend you over there.

This journal will stay here for the redirect, but I'm going to delete all its content. It'll take a while, 16 years is a long time and I used to be pretty prolific.

*sadly cuddles permanent account one last time*
semperfiona: (how do they rise?)
Lots of travel combined with jury duty this month means lots of reading time.

  1. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs

  2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (audio)

  3. My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante, abandoned 40%
    I got bored. Lovely writing about annoying people, and nothing much happening. I just read an interview with Ursula K. Leguin where she called Ferrante overrated, and I'm afraid I have to agree.

  4. The Burning Page, Genevieve Cogman

  5. Chapel of Ease, Alex Bledsoe (audio)

  6. Seven Surrenders, Ada Palmer

  7. Attachments, Rainbow Rowell

  8. Ready Player One, Ernest Cline

  9. Rasputin, Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs, Douglas Smith
    Abandoned 40%. Got lost on all the Russian names and went to something else and it expired. Didn't care enough to renew it.

  10. The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander

  11. The Core of the Sun, Johanna Sinisalo

  12. Borderline: The Arcadia Project, Mishell Baker

  13. An Accident of Stars, Foz Meadows

  14. The Natural Way of Things, Charlotte Wood

  15. No Proper Lady, Isabel Cooper

  16. Hunger Makes the Wolf, Alex Wells

  17. Wake of Vultures, Lila Bowen

  18. Legend of the Highland Dragon, Isabel Cooper


Mar. 9th, 2017 02:41 pm
semperfiona: (how do they rise?)
I finally joined Pottermore.

I sorted Gryffindor, my Patronus is a West Highland Terrier, and my wand is laurel and phoenix feather, 13 3/4", hard.

I am so not a West Highland Terrier it isn't even funny. I know, I know, Patronus doesn't necessarily express my personality.
semperfiona: (how do they rise?)
  1. The Magician King, Lev Grossman (audio)

  2. Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow

  3. The Masked City, Genevieve Cogman

  4. The Magician's Land, Lev Grossman (audio)

  5. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman

  6. The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch

  7. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates

  8. The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (audio)
semperfiona: Books on a table superimposed with "There is no frigate like a book" (books)
  1. Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher (audio)
    Raw and funny.

  2. A Closed and Common Orbit, Becky Chambers

  3. The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher

  4. Last Year, Robert Charles Wilson

  5. Digger, Ursula Vernon

  6. A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett

  7. The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman

  8. The Magicians, Lev Grossman (audio)
    Claudia described the TV series as "the characters are horrible people but it's oddly compelling". I can't really argue with or improve on her summary.

  9. Career of Evil, Robert Galbraith

semperfiona: (how do they rise?)
Everyone already knows what a shitty year 2016 was for the US. I feel no need to reiterate that. There are public lists of good things that happened for the world. Here are a couple:

It sucked in some personal ways, too, and I feel no need to reiterate those, either, so instead I'm going to list some good things that happened to me personally in 2016.

January and continuing:
I joined Charis (the St Louis Women's Chorus)

Charis concert

Family vacation at the Michigan cabin sans Internet and cell service

My sister got married
I reconnected with a very old friend
Rosa and I had a wonderful vacation (San Francisco!)
Christine spent a week with me

I started taking Zoloft and my mood improved almost immediately
I met a New Guy (and we're still dating)

Chris and Tammie and I got engaged!!!! (You heard it here first)
semperfiona: Books on a table superimposed with "There is no frigate like a book" (books)
I finally paid up all my debts at the library as well as paying for the book I lost, so I can borrow books again, yay! Continuing the break from Read the World, as it was making reading a chore. Some nice comfort reading (listening) and back to scifi/fantasy which make me happy.

  1. The Darkest Road, Guy Gavriel Kay (audio) (reread)

  2. Lucifer Book 1, Mike Carey et al

  3. Lucifer Book 2, Mike Carey et al

  4. Illuminae: The Illuminae Files 01, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
    This and its sequel, while fascinating books with page-turning plot and characters, are really not well suited to the ebook format. They consist almost entirely of image files, playing with layouts and fonts, and the text ends up almost illegibly small on my Kindle Fire. Not to mention the difficulty of reading sideways text when the tablet wants to reorient if you turn it. I have a crick in my neck now.

  5. Gemina: The Illuminae Files 02, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

  6. An Apprentice to Elves, Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette

  7. Dreams of Shreds and Tatters, Amanda Downum


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