lady_kishiria: (music)
I finally own a copy of "Star Wars: A New Hope". Or, speaking as a senior citizen, just plain "Star Wars".

We had $40 in credit from Bookman's, the Arizona used-media chain. You get in-store credit for trading in books, music, musical instruments, art, etc. I went to the big one on Speedway Blvd hoping to find a copy, since there were none at the other two locations in town.

They had one copy of the DVD, so I snagged it. It's not the two-disc "limited edition" that contains the CGI-desecrated version as well as the original as it was shown in theaters in 1977. But even the CGI-desecrated version is better than no copy at all. It restores one of the scenes with Luke's friend Biggs, at least.

Such a wonderful movie. People may argue with me, but I do think "The Force Awakens" was a worthy sequel to "Episodes 4-6", and seeing this reminded me of why. Both films definitely have the same "gosh-wow" spirit and theme of the accidental hero. (I prefer to pretend the prequels don't exist.)

I also got something else I'd been wanting forever, namely a hardcover one-volume Lord of the Rings. It's not the edition I most covet, which is the red faux leather edition, but it was $8, so it has pride of place on my nightstand.

Today things were a bit tense at home, so I took off again for Bookmans with a huge bag of DVDs to trade in. Bookmans took everything and gave me about $30 of credit, $7.50 of which I used to buy two more volumes in the Kevin Hearnes "Iron Druid" series. Since I'm going to Huachuca for two weeks starting next Sunday, I figured it'd be a good time to read them, although I'm bringing my Kindle with me too, of course. Then I went next door to Beyond Bread and wrote fanfic and had a scone and tea until it was time for my conversion group meeting over at the synagogue.

I came home and put Chug on his harness and seatbelt so I could drive around a little bit to see how he dealt with it. He complained of course, but not very loudly once we were off the dirt roads. He's coming with me to Ft. Huachuca since Candlewood Suites allows pets in the rooms. This is probably my last Army Reserve Annual Training, so I'm making it as comfortable as possible.

Oh, I got my application to the Veteran's Administration in for a Disability rating. I filed through Disabled American Veterans, who said if I get denied or given an insultingly low rating to come right back to them and file the appeal. We'll see what happens.
lady_kishiria: (God Emperor)
Recently there was a controversy about SF conventions and if they were doomed because so many younger fans are brought in by gasp! MEDIA. This trend probably got it start when Star Trek's original series made its debut. But in true "Get out of my yard, you damn kids!" fashion, some elder literary fans have been predicting the death of SF conventions because oh noes, no one is reading classic SF anymore!

My question is, since it was getting stale and offensive when I myself was a teenager, why would we? I know someone wrote a really good column about that, so moving on....

I don't think it's fair that some purists place literature on a higher pedestal than TV or film. I mean, Babylon 5 anyone? Recently there has been a huge bounty of intelligent SF/Fantasy/Horror on TV. Sense8 on Netflix really made me want to growl at the "literary classics or you are not an SF/Fantasy fan" crowd.

Aside from the wealth of superhero shows on basic cable and Netflix, there is now a lot of short films on YouTube and Vimeo. I watched one on YouTube this morning, called "6th World", made by a Navajo producer and director, with Navajo actors.

Because of digital books, authors can now present their work in very professional formats without the hassle of agents and publishing companies. I've read some really good novels that way. (Also some really bad ones, but that's the risk you take.)

SF and fantasy still needs conventions. Perhaps it needs them even more, because we have more to choose from than ever.
lady_kishiria: (astrology)
Yesterday, the weather took a fast turn and rain moved in. My nose was running in sympathy. Despite that, I got a couple of job applications turned in. One of them is at Raytheon and involves checking documents for proper security classification. It sounds really interesting and I hope to get an interview.

I sat with the cats in the bedroom watching more of the first season of "Supernatural" in the afternoon. That show manages to get quite scary at times. I'm on the last season of "Fringe", and once I'm done with that show I'll resume with "Supernatural".

Steve and I have also started "Sense8" on Netflix. That's a show where we only watch one episode at a time; there is a lot to digest.

Current reads are "Fool Moon", which is book 2 in the Harry Dresden series and "Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe" by H. Ellis Davidson.
lady_kishiria: (Arizona)
Battle Assembly (what in the days of sanity they called "drill weekend") is this coming weekend. There's no budged for lodging-in-kind, so I have to submit receipts for reimbursement through Defense Travel Services. Plus, the weekend is in Los Al, so the San Diego team is only spending Saturday night there, so they can take the APFT (PT test) on Sunday morning and go home.

Lodging is cheaper in SD than in Los Al, so I'll be staying in SD on Friday and on post on Saturday. They're putting us in the billeting, so it's going to SUCK. There's a bar downstairs in the billeting and it's noisy. So my plan is that if we're not released from Los Al until late, I'll just stay there Sunday night to get a full night's sleep on which to drive home.

I'm confident about passing the APFT and subsequent taping. Weight lost is staying lost.

The Pima County Public Library has the Kinfolk Magazine's cookbook, so I'm checking it out. I'm a fan of Socality Barbie (Barbie has left Malibu and gone to Portland in order to Live Authentic) and being a closeted hipster myself, seeing Kinfolk in her feed piqued my interest.

I'm going to try to grind up a masala spice mixture today since Steve got us a coffee grinder. I know I need a second one if I'm going to grind coffee, but I am way too lazy to do that in the morning.
lady_kishiria: (Books)
How does it work? You pay $10/month and have unlimited access to the Kindle library? How long can you keep a book? How many can you have out at a time? Since we ditched satellite TV, lowering my Kindle expenses seems like the logical next step.
lady_kishiria: (astrology)
I ended up being far less sedentary than I had previously planned. I got up late yesterday and read for a while, (I'm reading the first Harry Dresden novel, in addition to starting Dion Fortune's book on the Qabalah, as she spells it), then worked on my Warhammer 40k miniatures. I actually have enough for a decent-sized army of Brothers Hematic. I finished one completely today (Sunday), so I feel accomplished about that.

We've really been delaying on taking Bucky to the vet. Since our chosen vet hospital is open 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, we took him in for a 7:40 pm checkup. And he's nice and healthy; I had been worried about FeLV but they can do tests on-site and his came back clean. He got his rabies and respiratory shots, which meant that he spent the next 12 hours sleeping between me and Steve. We discovered that he doesn't like sitting in his carrier on my lap, but having his carrier beside me in the back seat, turned so he can see me, is just fine. He was quiet as they gave him his shots and still loved the vet and assistant even after they took blood from him. We get him a follow-up shot in three weeks, and then we'll be ready to have him neutered.

The vet suggested getting another set of food dishes and another litter box so three cats aren't competing for the same resources. I now have a small pink litter box in my office for Lalat.

Booklust

Mar. 22nd, 2015 05:56 pm
lady_kishiria: (Santa Muerte)
Woot! Caitlyn Doughty's Smoke Gets In Your Eyes is waiting for me at the local library branch. Caitlyn's the founder of the Order of the Good Death, and runs the Ask a Mortician video series on YouTube. Really looking forward to reading this.
lady_kishiria: (astrology)
I think it might have been food poisoning, or it might have been flu. Both have the same symptoms. I woke up last night at about 11 pm with my stomach cramping and my legs in excruciating pain. This started a night full of trying to find a comfortable position in which to sleep and lurching on my pain-stiffened legs to the toilet. Obviously going to work was out of the question. I slept most of the day, drank water and Powerade (which is disgusting), and the neighbours brought over oxygenated water that they said would be therapeutic. I do feel better, and my insides aren't trying to become my outsides, so perhaps it was.

So I've been reading two books, one Raven Grimassi's Book of the Holy Strega and the other Dee Williams' The Big Tiny. I bought three Grimassi books after he and his wife Stephanie had a car accident and needed a little help. I figured buying directly from them would support them, especially since they self-publish.

My only problem is that what I don't know about Tuscan folk magic would fill a whole encyclopedia's worth of large books. His reinterpretation of the Charles Leland book Aradia is very interesting, and fits into European fairy and witch lore that I already know a little about. More research is necessary before drawing conclusions, but I'm enjoying the read at any rate.

The same, alas, can't be said for The Big Tiny. I don't know if I'll finish it. I read Tammy Strobel's You Can Buy Happiness (and it's cheap) and Dee Williams is the person who inspired Tammy. Tammy Strobel said things in her book that Steve and I have both said in our lives, so maybe I just connect with her better? Dee Williams also seems to live with a lot of unrealistic expectations in life, so perhaps that's it. At any rate, it's another book about downsizing and true to her pattern, Dee Williams went to the extreme with her tiny house (toilet but no bathing facilities, forgetting about how a small wooden house is a fire hazard and having to retrofit heating). She seems to spend a lot of time complaining of how disappointed she was when her high expectations weren't met.
lady_kishiria: (Books)
[livejournal.com profile] desert_vixen, you have got to read this one. I gave it four stars instead of five for the very eighth-grade writing style. This is the harrowing autobiography of a woman who grew up in the Colorado City, AZ FLDS cult that Warren Jeffs later had moved down to Texas. Carolyn was a rare and gifted exception to the FLDS rule in that while she was married to a man 32 years her senior as a fourth wife, she was allowed to go to college to become a schoolteacher. This enabled her to have enough knowledge of the world to round up her eight children and flee into the night. Most of this is the story of her life as a plural wife, which was filled with emotional and mental abuse. (Her husband, who is now head of the Yearning for Zion cult, took a holier than thou attitude about never having hit her.) Both depressing and fascinating, this is a window into a world that is incredible to think actually exists.
lady_kishiria: (Virgin of Ocotlan)
I'm about halfway through Nadia Bolz-Weber's book Pastrix and I can't stop reading. She's a 44 year old Lutheran pastor, married to another Lutheran pastor, with two kids. She is also foul-mouthed, a punk, a recovering alcoholic, and heavily tattooed. She's far from self-congratulatory about her church, The House For All Sinners and Saints and talks about humiliating failures. I reeeeeally want to talk about this book with people, so if you are interested, check it out.

Oh, I should also say that she is ELCA, the most liberal branch of the Lutheran family tree. Her church is a welcoming community, although when she converted to Lutheranism, ELCA had still not given the green light to queer pastors. The minister who converted her, or as she put it, the vampire who brought her over, is a gay man in a very longtime relationship who was sticking to the church despite its disapproval. His side won. This aspect of the ELCA Lutheran churches will no doubt interest many of you.
lady_kishiria: (harp)
Okay. I'm going to attempt this. I've started on the first volume of Robert Jordan's enormous "The Wheel of Time" series. Wish me luck. [livejournal.com profile] paedraggaidin, any protips? I know you've finished it.

"Dracula"

Jul. 24th, 2014 08:33 pm
lady_kishiria: (Yellow Sign)
I received "The Annotated Dracula" that [livejournal.com profile] cinchntouch recommended. I've spent a little bit of time flipping through it, and gelling what I thought while reading.

I read the Gutenberg Project edition that came on my little Aluratek e-reader, so it was a bare bones read. There's no question that it's Victorian; all the tropes are there. There's Good Knightly Christian Men and Saintly and Childlike Christian Women. All upper class, of course, and rich. I was, however, very surprised to find that Mina was technologically savvy for the time, knowing how to use both a phonograph and a typewriter.

I found my favourite part of the book was actually the parts when the characters are not in England. The travelogue-like narrative and their sense of wonder as they go to eastern Europe and are confronted by people very unlike (and thus exotic to) them felt very real.

Dracula himself doesn't appear all that much, but he's much more frightening than he's usually portrayed. For instance, he can go out during the day; he's just weak when he does. He can become a bat or a wolf. He can read minds of those who have drunk his blood. He's smart and yet Van Helsing points out that he still has the potential to grow much smarter, and stronger, and that his plans include world domination...

It's a book that invites a lot of contemplation. I imagine this is what makes it such a classic.
lady_kishiria: (Mjollnir (Thor's Hammer))
Last weekend was drill and the two weekends before that were trips to Arizona. Here comes Pagan Pride on Saturday, for which I'm setting up the booth early in the A.M. I'm also giving a lecture and would like to hear [livejournal.com profile] ebenbrooks when he performs and our friend Dreya when she lectures on Women in the Celtic Tradition.

Weekend after next, we have a wedding in the kindred, and I'm supplying ten rotisseried chickens from Pancho Villa and I've been asked to play harp.

Fortunately, I do have Sundays off. The last weekend in September is Viking Fest, but Steve won't be here which removes 75% of the fun, so I may have a quiet weekend here in S.D.

I sproinged my back, which led to the interesting experience of using a chiropractor. I just wanted my back adjusted. I am not interested in getting spinal adjustments for the purpose of eliminating my allergies because the human body doesn't work that way, really it doesn't. I found the experience useful enough that I want to keep going, but not once a week! That bites into my already scarce free time AND my yoga budget--and yoga means a lot to me. Steve suggested me doing the DDP Yoga, but going to the studio and the spiritual woo is part of the experience that I enjoy.

I've crossed off all the things I needed to accomplish at home today, so after the dishwasher finishes, I'm off to shower and keep reading "Hero With A Thousand Faces" which I'm enjoying a lot. I've also got SO MUCH piled up in my Kindle.
lady_kishiria: (Books)
I'm reading "Evolutionary Witchcraft" by T. Thorn Coyle. So far I'm only about to chapter 3 but in that short period of time she's really impressed me. Thorn practices Feri tradition, a witchcraft that is not in the Wiccan line. It is oriented towards increasing one's inner strength and emphasizes a disciplined daily practice. It's already inspired me to write a post in my own pagan blog (http://northernheimsocal.blogspot.com), and much of what she recommends is or has been my practice for a long time. I'm liking this a great deal and I may just have to buy some books about Feri.
lady_kishiria: (Books)
This review is from: Strange Spirits (Volume 1) (Paperback)by H. Jeremiah Lewis, aka Sannion. Sannion is a priest of Dionysus. Strange Spirits is a volume of his poetry and some of his prose about the Greek god of wine, sex, ecstasy and poetry.

First you drink a quart of wine, then take a trip to Sannion's mind.
Just come on in, there is no line, and who knows what gems you'll find?
There's Harlequin, and minotaurs too,
Arachne and the Holy Fool.
Dionysus leads the maenad throng,
Who'll dance in ecstasy, all night long.
Look there! It's John the Baptist's head!
And Jim Morrison--he ISN'T dead!
It'll all make sense, you'll see, you'll see,
I read it and it does to me!
Oh dear, I've put on this ivy crown,
The room is spinning--I must sit down.

plop.
lady_kishiria: (Books)
I finished volume 10 today, "The Crippled God". It's taken me two years to read this series.

Overall, I have to give it three stars. Several of the books, particularly "Midnight Tides" and "Memories of Ice", were really marvelous. "Dust of Dreams", on the other hand, was horrible and the only reason I pushed on through it was because it was volume 9.

Once I had closed "Crippled God", all I could think was, "Could someone explain to me what just happened?" I was really shaky on it, and reading reviews I see I'm not the only one. A lot of threads were left hanging. Others were tied up in a paragraph or two for major characters not seen in at least four books.

Thing is, I really do like the world, and I have two volumes by Steven Erickson's writing partner, Ian Esslemont, which I intend to read.

I don't feel cheated or that the two years of reading were a waste. I'm just confused, but interested enough to try to find out what just went on.

ReamDe

Aug. 12th, 2012 06:39 pm
lady_kishiria: (Books)
Neal Stephenson. I've liked him since "Snowcrash". He lost me on "Cryptonomicon", which I just could NOT get into. ReamDe is entry-level Stephenson; not too esoteric, with lots of action and exotic locales to keep a new reader's interest. I enjoyed it as being fiction that I could read at the end of the day to unwind. It started with a thieving troll in an online MMORPG and takes a left turn into jihadists. Decent non-white female characters are a welcome find; arguably the main character is an Eritrean-American woman. Not life changing, but an enjoyable read.
lady_kishiria: (Books)
..."Beer, Blood and Cornmeal: Seven Years of Incredibly Strange Wrestling" by Bob Calhoun.

This was one of two books borrowed from Steve Mandel when we were out there earlier this year (I think).

Incredibly Strange Wrestling (ISW) was a fixture of San Francisco before the dot.com scene happened. The dot.com scene is what killed it. Bob Calhoun, under the name "Count Dante" was a performer/announcer for this local promotion that didn't specialize in wrestling so much as performance art, backed up by punk rockers. This was when San Francisco was still cheap to live in and alternative lifestyles were the norm.

ISW moved from a club called The Transmission to the Warped Tour to the Fillmore. The Transmission is gone now, having closed and turned into a yuppie office space before whatever company took it over went kablooie. Before that, it hosted wrestlers who were more interested in their bizarre and tasteless characters than sports entertainment. With characters like El Homo Loco, Macho Sasquatcho, El Pollo Diablo, Oi Boy, the Poontangler and Uncle NAMBLA, backed up by punk bands before and after, the wrestlers were paid in beer and suffered the indignity of tortillas being thrown at them every Friday night. Not pita, lavash or any Middle Eastern baked goods, corn tortillas only.

It's a crazy, crazy story and it's true. This tome is put out by the ECW press, so if you find it, read it. It'll be your most unique read all year.
lady_kishiria: (Books)
But that's what I've been reading. I've read all the way through "Dead in the Family", which I think is Sookie Stackhouse #11. I'm enjoying the books much more than season 5, which is painfully awful. I like how the series emphasizes the town and community of Bon Temps, LA which has a Wal-Mart, but no other restaurants except Merlotte's. Someone open a pizza place there, please.

I finished reading "A Thousand Sons" which is a Warhammer 40k novel about the legion that was blasted to near-nothingness by Leman Russ & Co. Lots of hermetical references and sneaky cameos by the HP Lovecraft mythos.

"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". It was fun and it worked pretty well as "flipside of history", but not done as beautifully as Tim Powers can.

The non-junk was the Hunger Games trilogy. Once you start reading these, it's impossible to stop. The second one was very much a second act and the third one is just a tornado. I like Katniss, a lot. She really does come across as a teenaged girl forced into too much responsibility too early, and when her happy ending comes, it's a long time in doing so, just like real life.

I started Neal Stephenson's "Reamde" last night. After being absolutely unable to get into "Cryptonomicon" and giving up 200 pages in, I am delighted to report that I have a hard time putting this one down, too. I loved "Snow Crash" (read it in one sitting on a bus from Ottawa to Pembroke, Ontario) and "The Diamond Age" so "Cryptonomicon" seems to have been an anomaly.

I'm reading "Reamde" as a hardcover I picked up at a book swap. As for the rest, I love my Kindle.
lady_kishiria: (Books)
The book lived up to its hype. Even after hearing everything about it from [profile] azelmaroark it kept me on the edge of my seat. I'm almost halfway into "Catching Fire".

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