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Variations on a Theme
People watching, writ singular
Well. I was thinking of waiting 2 whole years before I'd update this again. But I really felt like writing a rant. So, I did. But then I realized that, not having posted anything in such a long time, I really should put up a general post, and attach the rant to that. So, I did. Here!

So, my last entry was promising 11 more on the attempt to read 100 books in a year. A recap: it was doing spectacularly well until I got promoted to full time at the bookstore halfway through the year, at which point my free time went down, my disposable money went up and my free time started to get used up elsewhere now that I could pay for things. So I wound up only reading 96 books last year. Alas! And my project for this year has similarly failed. It went in completely the opposite direction: 12 huge books that I've been meaning to read for a while now. I did do In Search of Lost Time, Vol. 1, Grapes of Wrath, Great Expectations, and Moby Dick. I would have finished Don Quixote, but it just felt like I was reading the same story every 20 pages for a 900 page book. I've halted Ulysses with the intent of picking it up again soon. I'm working my way through Crime and Punishment now. But I've also read a few new shorter and just as amazing authors. Italo Calvino and Milan Kundera are probably both in my top five favorite authors, now.

Alas, the bookstore took a turn for the sour, and just about a month ago they decided they were going to close and I was in the first round to go. I'm not sure where to go from here, but the panic of it all has been considerably eased by havva.

This may or may not lead to a general resumption of blogging. We'll see. With that said, on with the show:

A Predictable RantCollapse )
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As part of my new year's resolution last year, I kept track of all the books I read, to gauge how fast I go through them. This year I kept that resolution, and expanded on it. I'm going to try to write at least one journal entry a month, reviewing all the books I've finished that month. So, theoretically, I'll have at least 12 posts this year. (well, 11, if the December post is a couple days late... and it very well might be, given how late this one was.) So, with no further ado hear are all of the books I finished reading in January (though, to be fair 2 or 3 of them I started in December)

Vol. 1, Iss. 1Collapse )

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Current Location: Library
Current Mood: productive productive

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In the midst of finals, I've found a large slice of happiness, in the form of LibraryThing. I don't have time now to really put in a decent percentage of my collection, but when I do... mmm... 'twill be fun, I say.
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I think that (with 3ng1i5hn3rd) I've coined a neologism. (Though, I wouldn't be surprised if others have coined it first).

Phallicious: Being both wrong and a dick about it.
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Blatantly ripped off from vvvexation (who stole it herself, so it's no big deal. Or something.):

Give me one reason why I'm going to Hell.

As per all memes, feel free to take and share. Enjoy!
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A number of thingsCollapse )
Oh, and the Tigers are in the playoffs for the first time since I was 4. Wow, does it feel good to say that... :)
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So, I was in a comment with a friend earlier tonight, when she used a (relative) neologism in a way that I really wouldn't have. So, I'm going to go ahead and use my new-fangled plus account to create a poll and see what you all have to say. (This started out as just one question. Then I realized I wanted to see the statistics behind it. Sorry. :) )

A poll is bornCollapse )
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Well. After a year of getting out of school to clear my head, I've decided that it's time to go back. For those of you that are interested, classesCollapse )

And things are picking up on the job front, as the other B. Dalton in Chicagoland is having a bunch of people on vacation overlapping, so, instead of hiring a temp, I'll just be working there for a month or two, effectively doubling my work schedule.

I guess that's it for now. see you again in a couple months. ;P
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Heralding the triumphant return of science to Kansas?

It's from the New York Times, so you might need login or Bug Me Not.

Anyhoo, there's not much in the way of news. I'm probably going back to school in the fall. I'm currently crashing at a friends apartment in her spare room. (Crashing meaning here, in my third month there.) It doesn't have internet or tv, so I'm getting a lot of reading done in my spare time, and more importantly getting out a lot more. Speaking of which, for those that care, it looks like I will definitely be going back to Detroit from Saturday to Tuesday, with the express purpose of completing some forms, voting on Tuesday, and generally hanging out. There's a barbeque on Saturday I'd like to go to, but other than that, I'm pretty open. I'd really like to go to Greenfield Village to see the old time baseball be played, either Saturday or Sunday, so if anyone's interested in that, let me know.

One of my new years resolutions was to keep track of all of the books I read this year. Not only am I impressed by the quantity (I'm at around book 40 by now), it's forced me to be more diligent at finishing the books I start, and choosing better books to read. I've recently had a string of some of the best fiction I've read in a long time, discovering in succession Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, A Long Way Down, and How to be Good [Also About a Boy but I haven't read that].), Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume and Still Life With Woodpecker) and P.G. Wodehouse (Leave It To Psmith, Something Fresh, Carry on, Jeeves and No Nudes is Good Nudes.

It's been a good summer. Maybe next time I come to the Library, I'll remember to write about my Great Western Adventure, but I don't have the time right now.
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Meant to be posted a couple weeks ago:Collapse )

But I'm mostly posting now mostly for this article on blasphemy, generally how it's a good thing for democracies and specifically why the Muhammed cartoons were healthy:

The Righteousness of Blasphemy

It's simply not acceptable for a participant to enter public debate, have such a powerful effect upon it, and then claim immunity from the sort of treatment to which other participants are subject. As distasteful as it may be to those invested in religious belief, mocking Mohammed, or Moses, or Jesus, is therefore no more improper than mocking Karl Marx or Adam Smith or Rush Limbaugh or Hilary Clinton. The religious can't have it both ways.

Indeed, critical silence entails a kind of improper deference and even subjugation of political opinion. Flemming Rose, the culture editor of Jyllands-Posten , the Danish newspaper that originally published the cartoons, put it succinctly when he wrote: “if a believer demands that I, as a non-believer, observe his taboos in the public domain, he is not asking for my respect, but for my submission. And that is incompatible with a secular democracy.”

In fact—and here's something many will find particularly hard to swallow—it's important not only that people be free to criticize and mock religion. It's important that they actually do so, from time to time.
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A pleasant evening out with a new friend, gentlest_sin and her boyfriend Ian. We went out to Too Much Light, which I haven't been to since the Best of the Year show in December. It was a good show, but seriously hampered by the fact that there were only five cast members present. The only play worth mentioning here was Would You Interrupt Your Bologna Sandwich For This?, during which they burned Bush in effigy, to great applause. Then we came back and played Ticket to Ride, which was basically Railroad Tycoon on a board, but different. Very enjoyable, though I shot myself in the foot at then end, and could have finished second. All in all, I'm pleased with the fact that I've finally found groups of people (them, and others) that Play Games.

And since I'm posting, a happy 5th birthday to my journal. It's growing a beard already, I tell ya.
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"Nothing better illustrates the curiously bipolar nature of the American reader than the appearance on the [bestsellers of 1956] list of Grace Metalious and Simone de Beauvior at the same time. One could argue that they were probably read by different people, but I'm not even sure of that, frankly. The answer may be that Americans craved culture--and the feeling that they were cultured themselves--almost as much as they did a big tearjerker with a lot of sex."
-Michael Korda. Making the List: A Cultural History of the American Bestseller 1900-1999.

Yeah, that sounds just about right to me.

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: The Streets of Dublin- A Man of No Importance

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Bet you thought you'd heard the last of me for a few months, eh?

So, here's to friends who give me free tickets to really cool things! I already mentioned the folk concert Andie took me to, and then last night 3ng1i5hn3rd invited me to the Canasta show, because she knows the band. I'd heard of them before, but not heard anything by them (except the songs on the website that she had me download). They were excellent. I'm seriously thinking about paying to get back in next Monday just to hear their possibly-one-time-only cover of The Only Living Boy in New York. For those of you that don't know, that would probably make the list of my top 10 songs. And hey, isn't any band that has a lead singer/trombonist just automatically cool? If you're the music downloading sort, and like upbeat rock, I'd say check out their website, and look up Slow Down Chicago, Major Tom Coming Home, and Shadowcat.



But the really big news, and the real reason for this post is that suzzwuzz won a Fulbright scholarship! She'll be going to Morocco next fall to work with one of the only (or maybe the only?) abused women and children hospice in Morocco. How cool is that? (At least, that's what I remember of her proposal. It's been a few months now.) Anyway, serious congratulations to you Suzy. It's fitting that the Fuzzy Coconut's going back to Morocco...

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Current Mood: creative creative
Current Music: The Only Living Boy In New York - Simon and Garfunkel

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I feel all cultured now, it's been a great weekend.

Yesterday Devin, a good friend of mine from high school, came into town with his girlfriend Kaht and a friend of theirs, Charity. We had lunch, went to see RentCollapse ) (which was why they were in town) and then had dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant. They had to get back to school shortly afterward, but Devin and Kaht'll be coming back next weekend, to see another friend (Austria) whose choir is playing at Loyola.

Then, later that night Andie called me and invited me to a concert tonight. It was three folk artists that I'd never heard of before, Harvey Reid & Joyce AndersenCollapse ) and Dan CraryCollapse ) at the Old Town School. I'll have to pay more attention to that place, it's great. Andie took banjo lessons there last year, and she's doing African dance lessons there this year.

Now, I'm just going to be silly. Many of you know that yes/no only meme that's still going around but has mostly died out by now. I'm gonna do that, but not as myself. That would be too simple. A few years ago I did a similar meme as Agamemnon. Now I'm going to do this one as Venus/Aphrodite, a high school cheerleader of the gods.

Without explanationsCollapse ) as per the rules.

With explanationsCollapse ) because it's much more fun.


two hour long pun conversation with Devin.Collapse )

Oh, and one last thing to share: Abbey Road, Side 2, in juggling. [Video, work-safe, but needs sound]

Well, I think that should make up for a month or so of not posting. I don't know when I'll make up the rest of the time I've missed, though. ;p

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So this'll be a hit and run entry.Collapse )

And finally, to allow 3ng1i5hn3rd her retaliation, a meme.Collapse )

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Current Music: Tuesday Morning - Melissa Etheridge

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'cause I just have to be different, don't I?Collapse )

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Current Music: Celtic Ray- Van Morrison and the Chieftans

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Five Fictional Character's I'd love to punch in the face.Collapse )

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Fashion memeCollapse )
[Found from joedecker]

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My membership in vocaball is really fun. 'Ensilumi' is the Finnish word for "first snow". My day is going to be a notch or two better, just for knowing that. :)

Also, just because this is too cool not to pass along: Compromising National security through Google Earth. (It starts to get really good at page 4 or so, IMO) [from hitchhiker]

And I'm going to take this as a good thing for American cricket, even if it's mixed news.

jobstuffCollapse )

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Frazz is quickly becoming my favorite (non-web)comic. Today's isn't particularly hilarious or anything, but it made me realize why. It's got a mix of childishness and social commentary that's very reminiscent of Calvin and Hobbes, without being derivative. I think a lot of that is a focus on a child-like, but smart, adult, surrounded by kids, instead of an adult-like, but playful, kid. Anyway, it's the second time in a week that I'm cutting out (or printing) Frazz, and I just thought I'd share. :) (This was the other one.)

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As hitchhiker would say "You can't make this stuff up!

Yes, there are really 16 kids.
Yes, they're really from Arkansas.
Yes, the father's name is really Jim Bob.

[from 3ng1i5hn3rd]

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sports stuffCollapse )


Other (good) news, I've finally got a job with B. Dalton's Booksellers. I'll start Thursday or Friday, I'm not sure. It's crappy, low pay, part-time sales clerk type stuff, and only until the end of January, most likely. But it's work, and in the mean time I'll keep looking for better stuff.

I've just read through the entirety of hitchhiker's journal. Half of it I didn't understand, and the rest was fairly thoroughly entertaining, so it went by pretty quickly. As a result I've been bitten by the poetry bug. Mostly the double-dactyl and limerick/double-haiku forms, but with some standard stuff thrown in. When I've finished editing them (and submitting them for critique), I might post a few here. And I might do the same thing with mactavish, if, ya know, I ever get a year or two free...

For my birthday my mother got me The Cambirdge Encyclopedia of Language. Can anyone say Geekout? (I'm still working my way through the Linguistics textbook I'm borrowing from wildpersimmons. I've reached the discussion on dialects, which, especially when they only use examples from the US, is rather boring, mostly because I'm familiar with it already. But I don't want to skip anything, in case I miss a hidden geekgem.)

links and a meme or twoCollapse )

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So, American TV has "Dancing with the Stars" where celebrities try to learn how to dance.

British TV (the BBC) totally just one-upped them with The Big Welsh Challenge. Man I wish I lived in England right now... reality tv that might actually be interesting, who would've thunk it?

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"No one ever attained greatness by repeating cliches."
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So hey, my birthday's coming up in a week... anyone want to get me this? pleeeeeeaaaase? ;p

(I'm kidding... kinda)
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