fenchurch: (Spike Reading)
I think I've mentioned a few times that I had never realized reading books was a habit until I got out if it. Seriously, reading couldn't be a habit... it's just something you do! Like breathing! But after the car accident I was physically incapable of holding a book for about six months... and then I just never really started up again. I mean, I've read books, I just haven't devoured them the way I used to and I've found that I have to actually make myself pick one up to start (although it's not like I haven't been reading... it's just mostly been in electronic form). So, this year I'm working on kickstarting the old habit -- finish a book, immediately pick up the next one. And if a book isn't holding my attention, ditch it (I used to try to stick it out unless the book was really bad... but where I'm already having to work at remembering to pick up a book in the first place, I don't have room in my life for dull books).

So, here's the list of books I finished in January, still paltry compared to what I used to read, but much more than I've been managing in the past few years! I tried to keep spoilers to a minimum, but I do mention some plot points below.

Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich )

Small Favor by Jim Butcher -- definitely spoilery )

The Game by Diana Wynne Jones )

Four to Score by Janet Evanovich )

And one I read most of but didn't quite finish:

The Tribe of Tiger by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas )

Big thanks to [livejournal.com profile] moscow_watcher for sharing this icon earlier this week... just in time for my first book post of the year!!
fenchurch: (Death Star)
So, here's my paltry little list. Behind each cut, I've written a little about each one (obviously not going into terribly great detail). I'm actually thinking I may have posted about some of these already (simply because bits of what I wrote sounded VERY familiar), or perhaps I started writing it up and never got around to putting it on my LJ (because it's not like I've never done that before *cough*). So, if any of it is a repeat, well, it's my own fault for apparently forgetting to tag my previous entries.

1. The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett )

2. Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett )

3. The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex )

4. Eat Britain! 101 Great British Tastes by Andrew Wheeler )

5. Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher )

6. White Night by Jim Butcher )

7. Peace War by Vernor Vinge )

As for #8, well, take a look at my previous entry!

Now I just need to remember to grab a book off my Teetering Pile from time to time... and not just when I want something to keep my mind busy while I'm exercising!
fenchurch: (Doors Within Doors)
You know, I should probably sit down and do an entry about all the books I've read this year. Sadly, it wouldn't be a very lengthy post... because as of this evening, I've finished reading exactly eight books (although the good news is that's already more than I was able to finish in 2007). I'm slowly regaining the habit of reading... something I lost after the car accident, when it became almost impossible for me to hold books to read them, at least for any decent length of time.

Tonight, I finally finished Ill Wind by Rachel Caine, which is part of her Weather Warden series. I've mostly been reading it while riding the Lifecycle at the YMCA and it's been a good way to pass the time there... Cut for spoilers about the book. )
fenchurch: (Spring Tulips)
I decided to try the 50 book challenge ([livejournal.com profile] 50bookchallenge) this year, since I've noticed a definite drop in the number of books I read these days. In part, I blame the internet and fanfic... the former taking up the spare time I used to use for reading and the latter filling the mental niche that books used to solely own. But the thing that caused my bookreading to take a major hit last year was the car accident. I had a few months where holding a book to read was very difficult (and, in the beginning, pretty much impossible) and I plain and simply got out of the habit.

I'm not off to a particularly fiery start this year, either... but I got a bit stuck on one book and kept thinking I should finish it before seriously moving on to another. I finally got smart, put it down, and picked up one of the other numerous books that I had on my Teetering Pile (several of which I'd already started reading previously).

So, without further ado, the first six books of the year. )
fenchurch: (Looking Up)
Did the voting thing at the local elementary school... I was the 25th person in my district to vote there today, which is actually pretty decent turnout. We've got a fairly small district, it's still relatively early in the day, and so many people just vote by absentee nowadays. Of course, they get to miss out on one of the best parts of voting: the Bake Sale!!! And they had 7-layer bars for sale, those bastards (or maybe I should use that to refer to the people in the PTA, but those stupid bars are way too tempting).

Now I'm sitting in my favorite Thai restaurant (and wi-fi hotspot), Racha, in Woodinville, listening to what I can only describe as Thai-Pop playing over the music system. I love this place. I had a bit of a shock though, since I really only eat here about once a month or so... the waitress brought out the soup and soft rolls that everyone gets with the lunch menu here, smiled at me and said "Crying Tiger with brown rice, right?" Color me surprised and impressed!

Next I'm off to Barnes & Ignoble in the hopes that they'll still have an extra copy or two of A Feast For Crows, since I rather stupidly never got around to reserving one. D'oh!
fenchurch: (Huntsman)
My mom and step-dad were in town over the weekend (my step-dad, a physical therapist, was attending a training seminar in the Seattle area). My mom and I ended up spending most of the weekend making trips to Trader Joe's (a prime shopping spot for my mom when she's in town) and watching episodes of the new Doctor Who... it was just like old times! (She's the one who got me hooked on the original series when I was 10.) Sadly, we didn't make it up to where we'd experience the hotness that is Jack, but that just means we've got a lot to look forward to the next time she comes to visit.

My folks wound up having to leave about four hours earlier than they'd planned (step-dad even left the seminar early), due to the rockslide over Snoqualmie Pass... meaning they had to first drive down to Portland and then over to the other side of the state. Right now *the* main East/West route in the state of Washington is still completely closed down and has been since early Sunday morning... last I heard, they thought they might have one lane in each direction open late tomorrow... and they're hoping to have more lanes open by Thanksgiving (this may seriously curtail our plans for that weekend, because I'm not keen on the idea of getting stranded on the other side of the Pass). All the other passes are getting seriously overloaded with traffic, and some are closing down due to snow. It's going to be a nasty year for holiday travel.

(Note to our Governor: BTW, some people don't respond too well to blackmail. Just thought you should know.)

In other news, I will be so incredibly happy when this election is finally over... no more stupid campaign ads! There's one in particular that sets my teeth on edge every time I hear it... and makes me want to hunt down the people responsible and hurt them. The reason is completely separate of the campaign item, and has everything to do with the structure of the ad's "plot."

Behind a cut because it's stupid and it's just me rambling on about an annoying commercial )

Sunday night, I ended up tuning into "Category 7: The End of the World" a bit late... missing about the first 40 minutes, where I'm guessing we probably got one or two extreme weather effects and a whole lot of interpersonal relationship backstory (if it followed the disaster movie formula at all). I often find that the best way to watch these sorts of movies is with a DVR and a pause button... then you can fast forward through the boring bits and just watch the parts where things get torn apart or it starts to hail fireballs or whatever. But maybe that's just me. :-p

Anyway, it's shaping up to be a lovely cheesy disaster movie: mostly mediocre acting, some bad dialogue, fairly bad special effects, bad science and bad plotting. What's not to love? Oh, and on the even more hugely plus side, there's Schanke from Forever Knight and Krycek from The X-Files!!! I hadn't seen either John Kapelos or Nicholas Lea in anything for quite awhile. Oh, and can someone please tell me when Randy Quaid, a man who used to be a fairly decent actor, suddenly became the king of the B-grade disaster movie?

I did have to wonder, just a bit, about the wisdom of airing this mini-series now... right after so many people have gone through some fairly horrific and very REAL natural disasters. I know that there's almost always something going on in the world that would fit that description, but it still seems like they might have been better off waiting at least until the next sweeps period to give it a teensy bit more of a time buffer. I dunno, it just seems a tad bit tacky.

We made our first ever batch of croutons yesterday, a la Alton Brown. They were particularly good in Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup.

Tomorrow is A Feast For Crows Day!! Fan-girlish Squee!!! And I get it before [livejournal.com profile] rackham because he's still uselessly plodding through reading the latest Robert Jordan book.

And finally, I've recently discovered the yumminess that is Trader Joe's Chocolate Soymilk. That stuff is the best thing since sliced Great Harvest Dakota Bread!
fenchurch: (Looking Up)
We had a fantastic time down in Oregon... )

We got home a bit after midnight last night, and I completely crashed (you know, after I checked my email) and failed my perceptiveness roll or something... because this morning my "alarm clock" (the full spectrum light I have hooked up to a lamp timer) came on at the same OLD time. Yuck. (It's definitely been reset now!)

It's been dark all day, making me even happier that I have that full spectrum light around (even if it did come on too early this morning). This is the time of year when the weathermen say things like "Well, it'll be sunny this morning, but then the clouds will move in... they should clear up again sometime in February." (Actually said by a local weatherman last week.) Technically, while we're likely to have a day or two of occasional sun, in all likelihood we won't have sunshine consistently again until July sometime... probably about a week after Independence Day. I love it here. (No sarcasm intended!)

I was looking up some stuff about Boonie Peppers this morning and ended up following a link to a place I assumed sold the dried peppers (for family recipes, I use the Chili Piquins that are sold at Penzys, though they aren't exactly the same). Nope. It's a nursery in New Jersey that sells live Boonie Pepper plants and will even ship them nationwide!!! Guess what I'll be trying to raise next spring!

Friday fun

Oct. 28th, 2005 11:59 pm
fenchurch: (Glee)
List Five Weird Habits You Have )

Today was the Halloween Party for [livejournal.com profile] rackham's division at work. They had goodies in the lobby areas (popcorn, goldfish, and pretzels this year) as well as activities for the young kids... and then there's trick-or-treating from office to office. This is just about the best part of the holiday for me, because there are usually some great costumes, and it gives us a chance to hand out a ton of candy (I believe in giving out HANDFULS, not just a scant one piece per child), since we rarely get trick-or-treaters by our house (we're stuck back in a difficult to find cul-de-sac). It felt a little weird though, since I wound up not having a costume this year... I should have just tossed on one of my old ones, but couldn't work up the energy to do the make-up that would have been involved.

I did do something rather momentous today. I bought boots. To fully understand why this is so unusual, take another look at #2 in the list above. I own a few pairs of sandals, several pairs of slippers that look like shoes, and some old combat boots for tromping through blackberry brambles or snow, but that's it. These new ones are really nifty looking boots, that also happen to fit my criteria of having very flat soles with no internal molding for the foot. Now, of course, I've got to find something equally cool to wear them with or they'll end up sitting in my closet for the next five years collecting dust.

Tomorrow morning we're heading out for Eugene to visit [livejournal.com profile] tomte and [livejournal.com profile] gidgiddoni, with a quick stopover in Portland at the brand new Penzeys Spices store!! I've been ordering their spices for years out of the catalogue... it'll just be really neat to be able to walk around and look at all the lovely spices before we buy them.

We're definitely going to be taking our new copy of the boardgame Minion Hunter down with us... since we haven't had a chance to play it since it arrived. Unfortunately, I realized, a few hours after separating all the cards and putting on all the stickers and getting the game all set up for play, that I should have scanned all the various things into image files first, just in case we ever lose cards or playing pieces. D'oh! I still can't believe the game had never been played, I hadn't been expecting that when I bought it on eBay.

Finished Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman the other day... and I have to say, while I liked American Gods, I found this book to be much more enjoyable. I'm taking it along on the trip to read aloud to Rackham... the book just begs to be read out loud and it'll be a nice change from the fanfic I usually read him.

And now, time to pumpkin.

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