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[personal profile] hamsterwoman
45. Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows -- so I've been vaguely aware of this book and sort of avoiding it, until [personal profile] isis/[livejournal.com profile] isiscolo started reading them, and I found myself intrigued by the description of a layering of backstories and caper plot, gritty and complex characters, and a writing style with a lot of tagless dialogue, sparse on adverbs and adjectives but still strong on flavor. All of this sounded fairly Vlad Taltos-y to me, so waiting for Vallista to drop seemed like the perfect time to try it. Ultimately, it ended up reminding me more of a different book (more on which below), but I ended up enjoying it anyway -- and it was gripping enough in the reading that I missed my return commute stop once, and nearly missed it a few more times, and then lay in bed until I finished the book, which doesn't happen to me very often. (Damn cliffhangerish ending, though!)

I've been aware of Bardugo's Grisha trilogy books for a while, and assiduously avoiding them since I checked out some very basic Goodreads reviews and discovered the fake-Russian was going to be AWFUL for me (pro tip: If you're going to play with Russian last names, the -ov ending is masculine, and the -ova ending is feminine. "Alina Starkov" and especially "Aleksander Morozova" (or "Ilya Morozova") is INCREDIBLY grating, and also REALLY EASY to avoid with a quick beta check. I mean, seriously, Russian speakers are not extinct and do use the internet -- imagine! And don't pick names randomly off the census lists, maybe? At least not in gendered languages. Like, maybe there's even an in-universe reason for this? but I'm never going to read it, because you've lost me at the blurb.) BUT ANYWAY, once I was reassured that Six of Crows (which is a kickass title btw) was set not in !Russia but in !Amsterdam, I felt much more confident giving it a shot. There is a major !Russian character in this book, and some more minor ones, but fortunately she had a decently plausible name, and was also a pretty great character, although not noticeably Russian in any ways that were discernible to me (the way, say, Varvara Sidorovna in RoL is). There is still some fake-Russian mumbo-jumbo built into the fabric of the worldbuilding, but I could mostly ignore that. More, with spoilers )

44. Steven Brust, Tiassa (reread) -- part of my semi-accidental reread to lead up to the Vallista release. I ended up liking the first part (early Vlad), which was my favorite the first time around, less, and the ambigious-POV part 2 more, and still rather ground to a halt on the Paarfi section. I keep forgetting how little I actually enjoy reading Paarfi-prose, because I do enjoy a lot of the things that happen in the Paarfi books, but, gah, it was such a relief to go back to Vlad narration in the epilogue. Also, when I first heard about it, I didn't subscribe to the theory that spoilers )

46. Steven Brust, Vallista -- par for the course, I finished it in less than 24 hours (and what am I going to do now, until Taslmoth comes out?) Once I learned that Vallista was going to be a gothic, that both felt very fitting (duh, of course the Vallista book would have a building-as-character at its center!) and also made me apprehensive, because I just don't care for gothics as such. I needn't have worried, because it's Vlad, and it was both very gothicy and not overwrought in the way that turns me off actual gothics. I liked it! And it's a really clever book, thematically, and there are probably also construction bits I'll notice on rereads. It didn't leave me wanting to know what happens next (because what happens next is Hawk), and it didn't leave me wanting more of the same, which also happens a lot with Vlad books for me. It just felt... complete, which also seems fitting for the Vallista book. But I keep thinking about it and coming to new realizations as I do, which is really neat. I want to write my initial impressions down before I go looking to see what mailing list or chat people are saying (assuming anyone is saying anything anywhere :P), but I'm sure bits of this one will be dropping into place for me for a long time. SPOILERS from here! )

And a Vlad link: SKZB on Vlad reading order. The interesting thing to me is the idea that, once complete, reading in Cycle order will be another possibility. Presumably starting with Dragon (after Taltos) rather than Phoenix, but it would go Dragon, [Lyorn], Tiassa, Hawk, Dzur, Issola, [Tsalmoth], Vallista, Jhereg, Iorich, [Chreotha], Yendi, Orca, Teckla, Jhegaala, Athyra, Phoenix. This is an interesting idea. I can see how some successions would work -- Tiassa-Hawk is publication order, Hawk-Dzur could be fun, Vallista-Jhereg is a bit backwards but both have the reincarnation thing, Jhereg-Iorich is a very nice order, Yendi-Orca I can see, and Teckla-Jhegaala-Athyra makes for a super-depressing triad but actually make a fair bit of sense. The only thing I can't really wrap my brain around is reading Dzur and THEN Issola.

*

And two fic recs from Crossovering:

- Winterfell Tales (Vorkosigan Saga/Game of Thrones crossover, 2.6k, T), Miles and Ekaterin find themselves in Westeros and meet Sansa and Tyrion. This is a crossover I've wanted to see for ages, and it was a lovely take on it.

- The Start of a Long Summer (AtLA/Narnia, 1.7k, gen), a young Azula steps through the wardrobe. And this is a crossover I had no idea I wanted to see, but marvelously done!

GOT MY TICKETS!!!!!!!!

Oct. 18th, 2017 10:10 am
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[personal profile] orangerful


It is not until March BUT OMG SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!! This venue is really nice and cozy and it should be a real treat to see Weird Al in this kind of setting. They gave me a presale code since I was a member of the online fan club (i.e. I get the newsletters) so I was able to log in today.

Tim was like "That's a Tuesday, it is a school night for Sylvia" and I was like "It is Weird Al and it is so worth it."
orangerful: (Default)
[personal profile] orangerful
This has not been a good month for my wallet and it is all my own fault.

I mean, I thought it was a good idea to take my Mom to Torrid to buy her something as a birthday gift and ended up buying myself $100 worth of stuff. Then we walked next door to the shoe store and I had mentioned I was looking for flats and we ended up browsing and it was BOGO %50 so then she picked out two pairs she wanted and I figured those would be a good birthday present too. And, of course, I found some shoes too (I cannot resist Beatle boots and they had boots that were Beatle-shaped). Plus I took her out to lunch.

THEN because I shopped at Torrid they gave me MORE coupons which were expiring this week so...yeah bought some MORE stuff there.

AND THEN Library Comic had a Kickstarter for an enamel pin set and at first I was like "eh okay" but then I saw they had a shirt that said "I'd Rather Be Weeding" and I am the WEEDING QUEEN at my library so I NEEDED THAT SHIRT! So I pledged the $30 for that.

Somehow I also stumbled upon a Last Unicorn Tarot Deck Kickstarter and I wasn't interested in the deck but when I looked at the rewards they had a set of enamel pins, which I have really started collecting because 1) I can wear them at work on my lanyard and 2) they don't take up as much collecting space as action figures or t-shirts. So, yeah, just pledged to that to get the 10 pin set because how could I just pick 3??

And now I'm sitting here with my fingers crossed that I can get a fan code for the Weird Al concert tickets that go on sale tomorrow, which I'm sure will not be inexpensive.

OH and for some reason, like, three games on my STEAM wishlist when on sale and I was craving something new to play so I bought them all - which was really just 4 games and they were all at least %50 off, so not as much damage as it could have been but...yeah

Retail therapy, I guess? Maybe this is how I prepare for fall. Squirrels store nuts, I stock up on video games and pin.

On the flip side, I have been cleaning downstairs and working on getting rid of some things and reorganizing my displays. Here are some pictures of how I amused myself the past few nights:



for sale by owner

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:30 pm
orangerful: (fotc - favorite box)
[personal profile] orangerful
Is anyone interested in Sims 2 + several expansions? They have been collecting dust in my closet for a few years now. It's PC/DVD. I make you SUCH a deal!

Doing a bit of Fall cleaning and finding things I haven't touched in ages and playing the "keep it/sell it/toss it" game.

This has also led to me being distracted by old toys and rearranging my collections a bit...expect pictures soon (if you follow me on Instagram, sorry for the spam! I was having too much fun!)

Also, I'm clearly not into body sprays as I have three bottles of the stuff, still mostly full, and I think they are ~5 years old?

Okay, after all that cleaning and organizing, I've earned some game time!
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
My very own own Senator Ed Markey, along with California Congressman Ted Lieu, has created a bill that would require authorization from Congress (either as a declaration of war or the more-common- of-late authorization of force) before a nuclear strike.

This is a wonderful bill, as it both addresses certain Trumpian problems, /and also/ reinforces that Congress is, actually, the branch that was given the power to declare war in the Constitution. This is a thing that has been taken out of their hands for a long time, which is a problem, separation of powers-wise. (The last declared war? 1942, against some Axis allies.)

I mean, also, I really truly don't think that our current president is the best person to have that kind of unalloyed power in the hands of, but that's only one reason for being so glad about this bill. (It is probably many other people's reason.)

Anyway, it's HR 699/S 200. (House/Senate version. House text.)

If you are so inclined, call your Senators and Congressfolk to urge them to pass it. (202) 224-3121, or use Resistbot. (Text the word "resist" to 50409 to begin.)

Rachelmanijia (who is spearheading this) has more info, a script, and other ideas here, and the campaign is hashtagging it up at #PullTheFootball, if you're Twitter-inclined.

If you're not American, feel free to share the info around anyway; the more folks who get this info, the better.
hamsterwoman: (Default)
[personal profile] hamsterwoman
Continuing on with the memes:

Kairos 30 Days Meme: Four favorite comic books

4. Nimona )
3. Saga )
2. Sandman )
1. Watchmen )

Honorable mentions: Maus, The Wicked + the Divine, Pride of Baghdad, Gunnerkrigg Court )

**

The rest of the Character Roulette meme (for now):

1. Cordelia Chase (BtVS)
2. Morrolan e'Drien (Dragaera)
3. Sherlock Holmes (BBC's Sherlock)
4. Azula (AtLA)
5. Elliot Schafer (In Othe Lands)
6. Vlad Taltos (Dragaera)
7. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
8. James Hathaway (Inspector Lewis)
9. Ivan Vorpatril (Vorkosigan Saga)
10. Susan Ivanova (Babylon 5)
11. Thomas Raith (Dresden Files)
12. Peter Grant (Rivers of London)
13. James T. Kirk (AOS)
14. Shuos Mikodez (Hexarchate/Machineries of Empire)
15. Zoe Washburne (Firefly)

Questions and answers: 46 - 88 )

more Inktober fun!

Oct. 8th, 2017 09:10 pm
orangerful: (force awakens)
[personal profile] orangerful
Day 4 - Underwater


Day 5 - long


Day 7 - shy


Day 6 - sword

Return of the memes

Oct. 7th, 2017 10:14 pm
hamsterwoman: (Default)
[personal profile] hamsterwoman
I was meaning to post this along with a write up of Wonder Woman, but, honestly, we stopped at the halfway mark over a week ago and haven't picked it up since, so I'm not sure when/if such a write-up will happen. (I'm enjoying it more than all the OTHER DC movies! Just... not enough to actually finish watching it, apparently. :P)

*

Remember the Kairos 30 Days Meme (stolen from its creator, [livejournal.com profile] perpetual), which I started a million years ago? Well, I am now up to day 3, woo! (At this rate, I should finish it in something like five years :P)

Three actresses

I actually don't have very strong feelings about actresses or actors. With actors (coming up in a few days - well, meme-days, anybody's guess as to what it will be in calendar days) there hae been a couple I've been mildless obsessed with, but actresses I just tend to admire for their work without any sort of personal obsession. With these two categories, I went with people who would, single-handedly, make me more likely to watch a movie (or check out a TV show) regardless of plot or co-stars. And there are three actresses like that:

3. Sandra Bullock )
2. Jennifer Aniston )
1. Helen Mirren )




*

It's the cycle of meme -- [livejournal.com profile] sysann> harvested and interspersed with original questions the 15-characters memes I'd been doing over the years, nd now I'm filling out a subset of them myself :) (It's been a year and a half since I've done a meme like this, and it would appear that I have three new this-meme-worthy fandoms, or at least characters :)

1. Cordelia Chase (BtVS)
2. Morrolan e'Drien (Dragaera)
3. Sherlock Holmes (BBC's Sherlock)
4. Azula (AtLA)
5. Elliot Schafer (In Othe Lands)
6. Vlad Taltos (Dragaera)
7. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
8. James Hathaway (Inspector Lewis)
9. Ivan Vorpatril (Vorkosigan Saga)
10. Susan Ivanova (Babylon 5)
11. Thomas Raith (Dresden Files)
12. Peter Grant (Rivers of London)
13. James T. Kirk (AOS)
14. Shuos Mikodez (Hexarchate/Machineries of Empire)
15. Zoe Washburne (Firefly)

Questions and answers )

This is about 2/3 of the full meme, but anything more would max out the LJ comment limit, so cutting it off here. The rest will be in the next post.

a meme of questions

Oct. 6th, 2017 11:10 pm
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
Gotten from a few different people, because why not?

Actually, it's less questions and more statements that you respond to, but the point is, words.

Cut for length. )

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