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04 September 2007 @ 09:06 pm
It is too hot to do anything. I hate feeling trapped.
14 August 2007 @ 02:13 pm
I just saw an albino squirrel run past my window, chased by a brown one. Now the brown squirrel is sitting on a branch grooming itself--

.. there are two albino squirrels now! And two brown ones.

We used to have a whole family of them, but then they disappeared or got eaten or something. Their attempts at blending in with tree bark are so futile. XD

Yes, this is what I do instead of summer homework.
12 August 2007 @ 01:46 pm
My Harry Potter Spoiler of Doom is:
Draco Malfoy discovers true love with the help of a small zombie cat
Get your Harry Potter Spoiler of Doom

I wish this had really happened.

His Name Is Lancelot was even better than I had been led to believe.

Stardust is priceless.

If I want to write anything else before school starts, I'd better hurry up and start writing it, but my ideas keep wriggling away like little fish and I'm not sure that any of them were even any good in the first place.

Things I am looking forward to: NaNoWriMo, getting my license, the Nightwish concert, being awesome. I am not really looking forward to the State Fair this year because I have to work there, which is slowly beginning to seem like a bad idea. It'll probably turn out all right though.

edit to say, via Neil Gaiman's blog I have discovered there is to be a meteor shower tonight. (oooh, aah!) Now I want to go out into the wilds somewhere and lie down in a field and watch the stars with people I like. Hnngh. I wish I could get away from the city, even if just for a little while.
Current Music: First Kiss - TMBG
07 August 2007 @ 06:00 pm
Guess who got their drivers' permit yesterday...!

...um. That's basically all my news.

Except that it turns out my mom WILL let me drive her car, because we coasted very slowly around a parking lot yesterday afternoon. It was still a little frightening. I don't know if I really want to learn how to drive. But I think I have to, unless I want to just bike everywhere. (Anyway, I don't want to bike everywhere, because bicycling throws off my balance for unicycling.)

Also, I was wearing this year's MITY shirt yesterday, and they took my picture for the picture permit ID thing. I don't know if you'll be able to see that that's what it is from the picture... but it is.

My mom, additionally, seems to be in favor of me getting a ball python. (Eeee!) My sister does not seem quite so sure.
"Five feet? That's about as long as I am tall, so..."
I will have to reassure her that it will not eat her.
I have started thinking of names. They are all from books.
So far my favorite is Angharad. I would have to make sure the python I got was female, but I like the name. (And her nickname would be Harry, so I could call her that for short, and when people asked "Harry, like Potter? So he's a boy right?" I could laugh at them.)
Current Music: I See Dead People In Boats - Hans Zimmer
My sister got me a promise to take me high heels shopping for my birthday. She tells me if I do not learn to walk in high heels now, I never will. I am not quite sure if I want to or not, but I will go along with it. I think I might be a little bit scary in high heels.

I also got to walk to Uptown and use the money my relatives sent me, i.e., I bought the new TMBG CD, The Else. I have one favorite song off each disc, The Mesopotamians from The Else and I'm Your Boyfriend Now from Cast Your Pod to the Wind.

"I read your book, but then it took
a year to find your house
I was nervous at first, and then it got worse
There was no turning 'round
If you don't know by now just look
I'm right outside
You've got to admit that I'm your boyfriend now."

Which I have to say makes me a little nervous if I got a book published, but maybe if I am lucky I will find someone to protect me from scary stalker types.

Also in Uptown, I found a children's illustrated and abridged edition of an Oscar Wilde book, which made me giggle. Oscar Wilde is probably sort of inappropriate for children. (Which is probably why it was abridged.) It made me realize, though, that I have never read any of his writing. Hmmm.

I bought Le Morte d'Arthur, anyway, translated into English and prose-ified (wasn't the original a great big poem thing?). It's one of those books that you don't really want to read, but it's nice to own it. It's old and used and smells like old books and was a bargain at three dollars.

What else is there to say? I had a lovely birthday. Erin and Laura and I went up and down the stairs at the Walker and looked at all the art, my father made me a delicious cake, and for the past two days I have sat at my computer trying to write something. It is working, kind of. I will probably never show it to anyone, but it is fun to write when it is not annoying me.
Current Location: being sixteen
Current Music: Battlefield - Cirque du Soleil
18 July 2007 @ 06:13 pm
An abridged list of vocabulary:

Garnituren - robes
Umhang - coat, cloak
Zauber - wizard
Hexe - witch
Verwandlungen - Transfiguration
Zauberstab - wand
Zauberkunst - Charms
Narbe - scar
Lichtung - clearing, like the ones in a forest
Zentaur - centaur
Schloss - castle
Quidditch - Quidditch

and a phrase:

"mit ihr nicht gut Kirschen essen" - she is not a good person to cross. Semi-literally "you shouldn't eat cherries with her".

Oh, those silly Germans.
Note: Not book reviews, just vague reactions.

Mis-marketed: it looks like a fantasy book and is not. Fantasy readers will pick it up and be disappointed, lovers of family dramas (?) will not pick it up and therefore never read it. Unless someone tells them about it, I suppose.

Despite the fact that glint is the title of the book, synonyms do exist. How about "glimmered" or "shone"? "Sparkled", even. "Shimmer" if you're really desperate. But not "glint" fifteen times in the same scene, please. (An estimate. I didn't count. I doubt it's that many.)

The writing in the fantastical parts of this book is satisfactory, however. If this author (and I don't remember his/her name, and am too lazy to go look for it) writes a fantasy novel, which is actually fantasy, I will probably read it.

Mis-marketed as a young adult book, or maybe not. Translated from the French, put forth as YA Fantasy. The main characters are middle-aged--I think--but act a heck of a lot like YAs. Why? It is not quite apparent. They wear girdles.

Also: telepathic hedgehogs. In the middles of fake historical cities (which turn into boats?). With high-tech equipment. Oh, and The Beatles. (Some of these are probably minor spoilers. Sorry.)

Another stumbling point: this is, apparently, the second book in a trilogy. This is more a publisher's error than an authorial one, however one would expect more care from the publisher. Nowhere on the book (except for the Library of Congress listing) can one discover that it's part of a series, unless you start reading it, in which case in the first seventy-five pages there are three different footnotes directing you to the previous (first) book.

And, unfortunately, it seems to be one of those books that depend--for knowledge of the world, anyway--on having read the previous book. Maybe. I don't know.

However, I now have gotten the previous book, DANCE OF THE ASSASSINS, from the library. Oddly enough it says inside "Also by this author: The Devil's Tango". What? --I haven't read enough of it to decide if the series is worth it or not.

But on its own, I would not recommend The Devil's Tango.

IRONSIDE (Holly Black)

Okay, I have not read Tithe for years. So I had no idea what was going on for the first few chapters. Which is maybe a bad thing... but I figured it out eventually, and I thought it was interesting that she wove in some threads from wossname, her other book--Valiant.

Holly Black is still not my favorite urban fantasy writer. But this was still a pretty good book. Enjoyable. The ending... ehh. A little bit of a copout, in my opinion, but then again endings are tough.

I will note this: "an old Emma Bull novel" (psst, War for the Oaks! Great urban fantasy) and "his dog-eared copy of Swordspoint" (psst, Kushner! Everyone in the world should read this!) are both mentioned. This has made me very happy, because while Holly Black deserves, probably, a great deal of the popularity she has, Emma Bull and Ellen Kushner deserve their fair share of said publicity too. (It also fits the character to own a copy of Swordspoint, which makes me even happier.)

Speaking of the devil...


Yay. Yay yay yay. I will now have to reread The Privilege of the Sword, just to make the connections with characters from Swordspoint.

I have noticed this: Kushner (and maybe Sherman) use similar names for characters in Swordspoint and Fall of the Kings. I am not sure if this is intentional or not.

I will mention again that these are by no means conventional reviews, just things that I noticed or that stuck out to me while reading. Other people may not have the same reactions, in fact probably will not. But, you know. Stuff.

Now I am going to bed.
13 July 2007 @ 11:31 pm
Instead of blather about The Dark Is Rising, awe-inspiring as the books may be and awful as the movie looks like it's going to.

It looks like I will be working at the State Fair this year--taking tickets at an entrance. If the background check goes through. (Thankfully, I think I hid my life of crime pretty well, so all should be okay.)

Other things I am doing: learning to speak with retainers, reading books. Swordspoint, The Fall of the Kings, The Privilege of the Sword. Ellen Kushner. Amazing. (There are even extra short stories in the back of Swordspoint! Eee!) Yes, these are books "illiterate Erin" should read.

I might put a couple of short book reviews here from time to time just because I read things and want to type out my responses. Regardless of whether anyone reads them or not, I guess.

Also: I have vague plans for Birthday (July 28th). When are you (two people who are still reading this, or your friends/relations if you know their schedules) in/out of town? Just so I know who I'm insulting by scheduling it Whenever.

Like Pooh, I seem to be in the habit of Capilizing Random Words.
11 July 2007 @ 11:21 pm
They are making a movie out of The Dark Is Rising and I am so excited I can hardly type this. (Well, maybe that's an exaggeration but oh well. It's almost true. Sort of. Kind of. In a way.)

But. Still. The Dark Is Rising! It looks like they're modernizing and urbanizing it (which was probably inevitable) but when I realized what it was I started squealing and jumping around in my seat. No one told me to shut up, probably because they didn't care what I did during the trailers as long as I stayed quiet during the movie.

The point of realization: "From the award-winning series" and the beginning of fantasy elements in the trailer.

Alena's mind: Award-winning, then I know it. What could it be? I can't think of... OH MY GOD YES. *dies*

... oh, by the way I saw the fifth Harry Potter movie tonight. But that's immaterial. THE DARK IS RISING! A movie! They cannot possibly ruin it completely. If they do I will kill them.

I also am minus a set of braces and plus a set of retainers. And, possibly, a slight lisp.

Okay, here comes the edit. I have looked at IMDB and read an interview with the guy playing Merriweather and it looks... bad.

Which makes me incredibly sad. Because The Dark Is Rising is such a GOOD BOOK.

...Anyone up for an indie film project?