jakebe: (Default)
This is a link stolen shamelessly from [livejournal.com profile] ladyperegrine's journal, but it's too awesome not to share.

The Legend of Stupid Bunny. It's also too awesome not to do. Anyone have children that need a buttload of weird presents sent to them next Easter? I'm your rabbit.

Today has gone well, all things considered. :) I've been reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, which posits that every fad or 'sudden' craze that sweeps among a community owes its life to three basic rules: a certain type of person who can be counted on to pass along the message; the message itself being presented in a way that people remember and act upon; and how seemingly little things in an environment can make someone more receptive to the message. It's a fascinating thing to think that the difference between actually being listened to or dismissed comes down to something as inconsequential as an inflection of tone, a gesture, a smile. It really makes you want to take pause over the way you communicate.

It's almost never so much what you say as how you say it. And it goes to show you that every little thing you do matters; we're a lot more receptive than we'd ever know to give ourselves credit for. People know when other people are upset, or bored, or hiding something, in pain or angry. Maybe not consciously, but there are always dozens -- perhaps hundreds -- of cues that make up a nebulous 'vibe' that we give off or receive but can never explain in tangible words. The power of non-verbal communication is tremendous, untapped and rarely talked about. What's so great about Gladwell's books is he presents this idea in a fairly logical, easily identifiable way. It's fascinating stuff. :)

In other news, Fiona Apple's "Paper Bag" is stuck in my head. It's a wonder I don't own this song, so I could play it over and over until it's out of my head once and for all. :)
jakebe: (Default)
I've just finished reading Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, the debut collection of short stories from ZZ Packer. It's a really excellent set of fiction, with mostly young black folks, poor and naive, traveling to some other place and having these enormous, conflicting experiences that changes something fundamental in them. Then, somehow, they must take their realizations back and not integrate them in themselves, but very probably into the community around them.

What's great about these stories is while there's a strong connective thread of race and class, that's not the focus. The background of these characters remains just that, and while it informs what they say, how they think (how could it not?), it doesn't necessarily feel like you're just reading a bunch of stories about po' Negroes and their Earthly troubles. Alienation, familial obligation, the dissonance between thought and reality, all of it is in there, living and breathing, under the trappings of Pentecostal churches and blasted neighborhoods with boarded-up homes.

Packer has a tremendous grasp on language and dialogue that makes me envious. Her characters speak and I'm immediately transported back to my childhood in the heart of Baltimore City, hearing ten year old girls using words they've yet to grow into and doing all the things I've always thought of as distinctly black: rolling their eyes, sucking their teeth, frying their hair until it can be plastered to their skulls in crispy, wavy strips. She knows this world intimately, and while she's certainly in a different place these days (she lives in Pacifica, CA of all places) her memories are firmly rooted to her formative experiences. From her writing it seems that she wasn't the most comfortable with her childhood environment but she's learned to love it, because it's hers. There's a lesson in there for me, I know.

As soon as I finished with the last story in the set, "Doris Is Coming," I immediately started doing a bit of research on her. Drinking Coffee Elsewhere has made a lot of noise in the literary world, becoming a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, being personally selected by John Updike for the Today Book Club, earning rapturous reviews in O Magazine and from Zadie Smith, whom she's frequently compared to. I can totally see why. :) (Note to self: Read White Teeth.)

The greatest find, though, is this essay on America and religion, which I couldn't agree more with. While there's been an understandable uptick in adherents to aggressive atheism ("It's not OK to just disagree with religion any more, it must be purged from society if we expect to survive."), I'm not sure the current tack of the liberal movement in America is one that's destined to work. Like it or not, religion isn't something that people will wake up one day and realize they don't need. It's been here since we've learned to think in abstractions and it'll continue to endure to the last man. A sense of mysticism has been hard-wired into our brains, and while it's true that it can be expressed through science, reason and logic, it's simply not something everyone will flock to. If we're really going to be effective in tackling the religious and moral quantities that have popped up in politics, we're going to need to speak the language of the people who really view them as important, even if we don't believe them.

I'm really excited that she's coming to San Jose State sometime next year. :)
jakebe: (Default)
I'm reading The Road by Cormac MCarthy. The story so far:

Two people, a father and his son, wander south for weeks trying to escape the cold. The entire world has been blasted into a wasteland for years; all the useful supplies and food scavenged and picked over long ago. The boy has had to endure watching his father shoot a man for touching him, seeing a man struck by lightning, burned beyond recognition, die in front of his eyes, running away from a small band of people that have resorted to cannibalism, with amputated, withered people locked away in a basement. Hunger, freezing, exhaustion. Thieves and violence. The boy understands little; the father is haunted by illness and memories of the old world the boy has never known.

Finally they come to a ruined house. Something makes the father stop in the backyard. He starts digging. The boy is terrified; he's seen enough of locked doors and underground rooms, an endless parade of corpses and other horrors even worse. The father is persistent. We're starving, he says. There's nowhere else to go.

The door is exposed, then opened. Down inside, a fully stocked shelter the owners never had the chance to use. A cornucopia of canned fruits, meats, supplies, gas and power. The father is delirious with relief. The boy only vaguely understands this is a good thing. My relief, like the father's, washes over in an overwhelming wave.

I step off the bus, nearly brought to tears again. The sun is shining. The leaves are so green. The world is a beautiful place.
jakebe: (Default)
Today's workout. )

We watched Jane Eyre yesterday, and most of the time I was watching it I couldn't help thinking it's probably a better book. The movie was pretty well-done, actually, but I think I would have been able to get into Jane's headspace a little better if there were some kind of running internal monologue established.

I have come to the decision that I miss reading. :) I'm going to have to make sure I have time for it, at least a little bit. [livejournal.com profile] toob was talking about The Sound and the Fury yesterday, and it sounded like an enormously fun read. I've never read any Faulkner, but he sounds like a great writer, if not up to everyone's tastes. Ah, well.

Today, sending off two University applications, reading up on how to ace an interview, writing and (hopefully) sending the last of my postcards, cleaning the kitchen just a wee bit and a few other things I can't remember just now.

The Fluff

May. 26th, 2006 05:12 pm
jakebe: (Zen)
There are a lot of things I really need to get my head on straight about.

Haven't been the very best about controlling money flow, and with the move being as dangerously close as it is that straight up needs to end. I think that even if I play it mildly smart I'll be just fine...I think the main expense is going to be the move itself and I'm almost positive I'll have *some* kind of job within 30 days of being on the Left Coast, but I would still like to keep at least $500 in the bank even after I'm all settled in and managing to pay any and all bills in a timely fashion.

I had the realization sometime last week that I was actually pushing friends away before I moved to make the eventual disconnection easier, and since then I've been taking steps to...you know, reverse that. Despite all of the problems and differences we might have, folks here are the family I've never had up until this point, and as such my family has been responsible, directly and indirectly, for my development up to this point. I wouldn't be where I am today without them, and I aim to make sure they know I appreciate it by the time I'm packing up the U-Haul and waving goodbye until I can't see them any more.

Life has been pretty much a blur these past several weeks. Lots of work stuff going down; I keep waffling between determination to make sure my sections and duplicates are in functioning order so I can hand off the baton to my replacement as smoothly as possible and hopless resignation that such an idealized goal is nothing short of impossible. We've entered the busy season, where departing college students and vacationing townies want to unload all of their books for some extra spending cash, so the aisle that houses Poetry and Local Interest and Bindings (guess what? all my sections!) are so cluttered with boxes that I can barely shelve anything, much less straighten the sections. Afternoons especially are hopelessly busy, and almost everyone working has to drop what they're doing to manage the flow of books coming in (lots) and going out (little). It's not a bad life, especially on the good days when you take it all in stride, but these days I have to be powered mostly on caffeine just to make it through. :)

I haven't been meditating, exercising, or yoga-ing. Most days I roll out of bed, freshen up a bit, check mail and LJ, make lunch and head on out. I have taken to reciting the Sutra on Loving Kindness before I leave, though, and...man, it does wonders, let me tell you. :) I'm a lot less angry and disappointed with people in general, and it feels good to be able to let go of a lot of that.

I haven't been writing, either, which means there's this ball of guilt that's been sitting in the bottom of my stomach all the time and making it difficult to eat a whole lot (seriously). I really want to, but I don't have the time; between social engagements and RPGs and fleshing out the world for a limited-run campaign I'm eyeing there hasn't even been much time for sleep, much less stories and poetry. I wish I had a bit more time to slow down and be contemplative, but that would mean shutting people out at some point and there's no way to do that without feelings being hurt. I'll just have to take time as I can get it.

Oh! Went up to KC and hung out with a bunch of very cool people last weekend, and that helped tons. :D Re-acquainted myself with Roxikat, who is insanely cool (and an actor?! my heart flutters!), caught up with Seph and Geemo and Kamber and Gideon and Sylvan and Rozberk, fell in love with Hammy the Squirrel (though only one squirrel *really* has my heart), and hurt myself pretending to be Muhammed Ali at Dave and Buster's. Oh! And I had buffalo for the first time. Not bad meat. :9 Thanks guys for being awesome, and especially to Aubrin for letting me carpool with him.

Finished Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, and it made me think about how...unfashionable it is to really, properly grieve, and how most people find unabashed sadness and mourning very uncomfortable. She talks about the trend towards burying grief and how that's supported by society at large these days just a little bit, but now I'm wondering if anyone's written about grieving from a purely sociological/anthropological/mythological standpoint. Any suggestions out there?

Anyway, it's a really great book, and Didion does a really great job of laying bare her mental process for the year after her husband's death. What grief is, what it *does* to you, how it changes and diminishes you, changes you forever. Somehow she manages to make the whole experience...clinical, though. It's messy and loopy and weird, but it's not personal, at least as she's written it. That's a very curious thing to me. Maybe it's just her treatment of her experience, the way she addresses her thoughts...are they 'too intellectual' for me to connect with on an emotional basis? Mmm, quite possibly.

Next up, I'm going to revisit Godel, Escher, Bach and try to balance it out with some Terry Pratchett in between chapters. :)

Oh! There's an actually really-real local theatre company in Fayetteville finally. :D I'm going to see if anyone wants to go support them in their first production.

And finally...now that there's only a little over two months (maybe more) between me and The Big Move, I thought now might be a good time to establish the itinerary. [livejournal.com profile] arlekin and I will be travelling together from Fayetteville, Arkansas to Sunnyvale, California, and we were wondering if a few kind furs wouldn't mind putting us up for a night or two along the way. I definitely want to swing in to Austin at least, and maybe hit Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Southern California and other places along the way. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Now, time to shut things down. Almost time for dinner with Odis, and then Cy's game.
jakebe: (Default)
So here are the books I got this week. It's a nice little haul, actually, but I got quite a few of them for only a buck or two and one I even got for free!

Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence by Nick Bantock. This artist begins to receive really odd postcards from a woman he's never met, describing artwork that he's never shown to anyone. What follows is an interesting story told in letters, but more impressive than that the 'book' is really a collection of envelopes and postcards that you can open and flip to read. It's ultimately voyeurist and gives the whole story a rooted, private feel that's really awesome. First in a trilogy, apparently.

Frankie! by Wilanne Schneider Belden. If it were anything over a buck, I would not pay for a book that has an exclamation point in its title; this is just an advertisement of its unspeakable lameness. Even still, the cover features a pink girl in a neon pink dress riding a gryphon wearing a baseball cap. It promised whimsy to the point of surreality, so I picked it up and gave it a go. What it *delivered* was...whimsy, gryphons who grow whenever they feel like it and a story that was essentially Harry Potter-lite. Not bad for $1.00.

How to Read and Why by Harold Bloom. I came for the section on how to read poetry (I really need to figure out how 'academic' poets say whatever it is they try to say), I stayed for, you know, everything else. Bloom puts forth that readers should read for the express purpose of 'discovering and augmenting the self,' and I agree emphatically. So, if this book helps with that, why not?

The Survivors by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Paul Edwin Zimmer. Way back when I was in middle school, I read this little pulp sci-fi novel called Hunters of the Red Moon, which featured all the sci-fi/fantasy action a little black kid could ever hope for...and a ten-foot reptilian monk named Aratak who could kick unspeakable amounts of ass but was more interested in contemplating the secrets of the Divine Egg. As such, he was one of my very first significant macrophile heroes and I've been looking for the book ever since...to no avail, strangely. Ah well, this is the sequel I never knew existed, so I'll have to make do. :)

A Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain. This guy has been called the Hemingway or Hunter S. Thompson of high cuisine, and his writing is often described by giddy reviewers as "snappy" and "open-throated." I didn't like him for the longest time because, you know...hype. Then I read the introduction and was *thoroughly* engaged. He writes with joy and passion, and I'm particularly impressed with the fact that he can talk about Vietnamese moonshine and the development of French cuisine in one page without missing a beat. Oh, and any fellow who has a disclaimer about the nature of 'selling out' is OK in my book.

Kindred by Octavia Butler. I really don't know how I could have missed a gay black sci-fi writer who was highly reguarded by her peers, but somehow I did until she died. In penance, I went to find any books we might have by her. This one looks like a great starting point. Dana, a modern black woman, is sucked back in time repeatedly by a fellow named Rufus, a plantation owner who is a key figure to Dana's ancestry line. Only the trips grow longer and more dangerous with each one, until Dana's not sure she'll be alive to see her ancestors being born. The premise could be ludicrous in less capable hands, but judging by the foreword and commentary, Butler just nails it. I'm really excited to read this one.

The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and Religion and Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor by Joseph Campbell. Joseph. Campbell. That's all I need to say. :)

Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho. This guy wrote The Alchemist which is just...an excellent, cleanly written parable. While seeing if we had that book for another customer, I ran across this. Basically, Veronika decides to kill herself one day after deciding that there's something missing in her otherwise successful life. So she takes sleeping pills, and wakes up in a mental institution where she is told she has days to live. There seems to be this new brand of modern fiction, where improbable, amost whimsical events are catalysts for intense soul-searching and personal growth. It's like someone read a bunch of Hesse, turned a poet's eye to him, and threw in a particularly intriguing dream-story. I like the trend, personally.

Lasker's Manual of Chess by Emanuel Lasker. A mutual friend of mine and [livejournal.com profile] stickypawz came in and recommended this as *the* chess book to own, so now I do. :) When I finally get serious about getting better at chess, I'll have this ready.

Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chogyam Trungpa. It seems like a bunch of factors have lead up to this book; renewed interest in totemic duties and shamanic beliefs, exploring the idea and nature of 'fearless living', and a desire to get away from, for lack of a better term, 'capitalist American Buddhism'. You know, books full of advice on how to let go of anger and but nothing on how to live passionately and well. This book takes a lot of Buddhist principles (and American ones) and turns them on their head to present a...secular spirituality, if you will. Which means that it can creep its influence into any gaps there might be in a paradigm or two. Just more ingredients for the mystical soup, as it were.

Anywhere, there you have it. Good, good books. Mmm, how I love thee. :9
jakebe: (Default)
Hop to It: A Guide to Training Your Pet Rabbit by Samantha Hunter. I figure this'll be invaluable for when I'm settled in to my future CA home and the time has come for me to claim a little bunny for my very own. :) What's interesting is the book is written by just some woman who owns a rabbit (I think she knows an editor over at Barron's), so there's very little in the way of scientific research but chock-full of her personal experience owning a rabbit. Obviously I'll want to get another book on the subject (she recommends a few, which is really good of her), but this is a very nice 'field' supplement.

The Bookstore Mouse by Peggy Christian. Spied this while on the phone with [livejournal.com profile] lazarusrat at work; I don't *quite* know what it's about, but it's a children's book with the most adorable art ever. Also, it's about a mouse(!) who lives in a bookstore(!!) and uses words to get himself out of all manner of sticky situations(!!!). For instance, he writes down impenetrable and foreboding words to build a WALL to keep himself safe. Oh my God, it's so cute I might die. :D Chances are I'll have to mail it to Master Ratty when I'm done with it, because literary diabetes is the kind of thing you share. :)

And finally...

Reflections on the Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion, edited by Diane K. Osbon. This was a surprise present from [livejournal.com profile] invisiblewolf that I just got minutes ago!! Oh wow. :D :D I apologize in advance if I flood my journal with a plethora of Campbell quotes over the next few weeks. :)

I've resolved to limit/goad myself into buying three books a week. My quota for this week is filled, so I don't get the pleasure of splurging on payday (I buy books with the money I budget for 'food'), but I came out with a really, *really* good haul anyway. Thanks so much, [livejournal.com profile] invisiblewolf, this rocks. :D

Now, on to eating, cleaning, and writing...hopefully in that order.

Well Honey

Feb. 9th, 2006 07:41 am
jakebe: (Default)
Ooof, it's been a slightly hectic two days.

Tuesday, I threw my D+D game for a bunch of people...and I thought it was one of my best ever(tm). The pacing was good, the story was nice and self-contained (for the most part) and there are a lot of things starting to come together for the players. Though no one's really said anything about it, I think it feels like a lot of those little clues and happenstances that seemed isolated before are finally starting to come together and a...picture is developing. Though I could be wrong. :) My biggest worry is...getting the party to operate at more of an even keel. Even during the fight there was quite a disparity in participation. And Odis is getting a pretty big head about his mage, so there's the impulse to just throw stuff at him, but that might just get the rest of the party killed. :) I'm faced with the challenge of finding a way to keep the game interesting to a wide confluence of personalities and someone with a not-insubstantial ego. ;) So that's the biggest challenge; the game changes immediately once the plot is revealed and while I don't mind that, I wonder if the way things have developed has been...just right. Well, I mean, of course it hasn't, but...what could I have done to make it...more mysterious yet interesting, without sputtering between too much information and too little? I really should have kept better notes after the games; hell, in general. :) That's one of the best lessons I've taken home from all of this...keep *extensive* notes about player reactions, and be as specific as possible. Also, I could have arced the transition from commoner to hero classes a little better. Ah well, c'est la vie.

Yesterday, work was fairly insane. In addition to having piles and piles of books to shelve there was an *enormous* order to take care of. Some outfit in New York that specializes in rare and special photography books suddenly pounced on our selection, to the tune of $1300 for 3 books. I can't even imagine paying that much for a book...unless, you know, there was a first edition signed Hesse or something. :) And even then, I would have to learn German to *really* enjoy it. ;) By the way, did you know that the craze over first editions is really a holdover from Victorian-age England? According to the way I hear it, first editions were really tiny printings of anywhere from 200 - 1000 printings to see how the public would react to the book. Based on the feedback and/or buzz (and the ridiculously easy British libel laws), the publishing house would edit the book and print a much larger second edition would be published or...not. In many cases, the first edition of a book would be drastically different from the final version that we've come to know and love. Since we have focus groups and advance review copies and all that stuff now, there's no need for the small first printing any more...but people still go crazy over it anyway. We have...maybe four or five first editions of "The DaVinci Code," and they're selling for upwards of $75.00. Which isn't *quite* so big a markup as other books, but that's a significant pop in the four or five years it's been out.

Tangent! The three books were really expensive, and the customer is keenly interested in buying more from us. Which is just awesome. Even with the bookseller discount, the sale ends up being near $1200, which makes Charles giddy with happiness...which makes everyone *else* giddy with relief. If ever there were a moment I understood intimately the Anya-ian joys of niche capitalism, it'd be right now. :)

Anyway, juggling that internet order along with the monstrous stacks of books was a real...challenge. I tend to get rather tight-lipped and easily flustered when I'm overwhelmed with stuff, and part of it's just a show to Charles and Don that I *am* working hard at this, and this *is* a lot of work for me to do day in and day out. It's not a 16-hour day or quite as involved as anything having to do with computers, perhaps, but it's decent, hard work...and compared to a lot of my coworkers, my workload is substantial. I worked quickly all afternoon, making sure that not only the books were organized on the brick-and-mortar shelves, but that this order and the others that came through were filled to spec. (Some online book buyers can get really finicky about merchandise.) So I do all that, get ready to run the credit card through...and one digit in the credit card number for the photography order is missing. Unf. I call the customer's workplace; he's gone home for the day, so I'll have to wait until...well, today to fulfill the order. Write a note for Charles about it, and stew about it for much of the day. Well, at least until [livejournal.com profile] dakimov called me to keep me company for a couple of hours. Thanks Dad. :)

I've been trying yoga about three times a day for the last little bit, and it's been helping my back *immensely*. There's a lot less tension there, though I can feel the knot against my right shoulder blade people have been talking about now. Oof. It doesn't feel like it's ever going to go away!

Also spent a good bit of the last few days checking other dentists about the tooth situation; it turns out that $100+ is standard for fillings these days, and *no one* uses metal any more. Which, hey, probably great, but...damnit, no one's going to see the bottom of my upper molars anyway. ;) Anyway, I have a tentative date scheduled for Feb. 20 with Dr. Beavers. Since his prices are comparable and everything, loyalty wins out over convenience, I suppose.

Anyway, it's time to get ready for work, officially.
jakebe: (Skunk!)
New trailer for the Darren Aronofsky film. While there's not a shot of an elderly woman undergoing EZT or a math genius giving himself a home lobotomy with a power drill, the visuals *do* look stunning. Where Aronofsky goes, I will follow.

Went to see Billy Collins give a reading yesterday. He was the Poet Laureate for the United States from 2001 - 2003 if that means anaything to anyone; one of his books, "Nine Horses," was selected for Today's Book Club (is that even still around?). He's been a pretty big deal for quite some time, though most people, I suspect, still have never heard of him.

Anyway, the reading was to celebrate the U of A Press' 25th anniversary (which I didn't know) and reprinting of Collins' first book of poems, "The Apple That Astonished Paris." Isn't that a great title? It was published by the U of A and edited by Miller Williams, father of Lucinda Williams and local Big Poet. :) There, now that I'm done with all the name-dropping...

Ever since [livejournal.com profile] toob turned me on to him, the most impressive thing about Collins is his remarkable simplicity. The language and the concepts of his poems are funny and relatable, but they point to such complex themes. He name-checks people like Laurence Ferlinghetti and William Carlos Williams and Cezanne but they're absolutely inconsequential for enjoying the poem. However, if you want to do a little digging to find out about the way that very specific allusion affects the mood of the poem, you can. He works on so many levels, which is cliched praise I know, but absolutely true. People who don't like poetry can really get into him because he's so funny and engaging.

The reading was quite awesome. He picked a subject -- dogs was his fist -- and read two or three poems along the theme. So many of his poems open inconspicuously enough, and while amusing they're...easy-going. Somewhere along the way, though, the metaphor turns surprisingly sharp or sexual or fantastic (which is one of my favorite words), plucking you from the comfort of easy, amusing ideas into a much more exciting tangle of "what the fuck were you on when you wrote this?" His delivery of his poems, it turns out, are a key of understanding them; if you read them with his droning, Steinian voice in your head, the humor itself just opens up. All the stresses are in the right places, so something hilarious turns pointed, then resigned, then...dryly witty.

Billy Collins is the poet I want to be when I grow up. :)

In my own writing, one of the things I think is missing is...well, humor. I'm not a terribly funny writer, even when I'm dealing with stuff that isn't...family-oriented, which tends to bring with it a matching luggage set of pathos. (His influence is working on me already.) I feel like M. Night Shyamalan on his way to making "Signs," that moment where he realizes that everything would be much more engaging, that his characters would be so much more human if there was humor. And everything falls into place right then and there. I hope my next rash of poems is flawed but funny enough that they're given the benefit of the doubt , and the willful suspension of disbelief is stretched a little further. People are always the most charitable to things that amuse them.

I felt really bad for Billy at the signing. He didn't even have time to drink his water and take a few breaths, or to talk to Miller Williams before he was ushered out to a lonely table with this crushing throng of hopeful and smiling faces all shoving books in front of him. That must be the weirdest part of these public appearances; all these people, pressing in on each other, subconsciously elbowing each other to get to him first before he decides that his arm is too tired to sign another piece of paper. And they're all going crazy and dropping their dignity all over his feet just because he's there. He doesn't seem like he's a particularly vain guy (his hair was vastly uncombed when he walked onto the stage, which, for some reason, just made me instantly like him), so...it just had to be weird for him. As bad as I felt, though, I was one of those jostling people, my head swimming with all kinds of witty things to say that might improve his mood just a little, to help him through the rest of the evening. When I got there, I just said "To so and so" and he signed, and I said "Thank you very much." He said "You're welcome" while taking someone else's book.

That was the extent of our conversation, and while I didn't quite do that thing, you know how it is...get around someone you admire and you're so very likely to choke. The way around this is to admire no one. And that's easier said than done.

[livejournal.com profile] daroneasa, my poetry buddy, and I ate dinner at A Taste of Thai before the reading. I had yellow chicken curry which was amazing, and we talked about my D+D game, and rice, and K.A. Applegate. It turns out Daro was the biggest Animorphs fan growing up, and I turned her on to Remnants, which is a fantastic series that most parents would absolutely lose their shit over if they actually read anything between the pages. There's death and manipulation and weirdness and a Marine with a mutated baby fused to her abdomen. It's easily one of the best children's books I've read in quite some time. I've spazzed about it before, I'm sure, but...it bears repeating. Remnants is awesome, and it would make a killer show on the Sci-Fi Channel. You could pair it with Battlestar Galactica even!

I'll be picking up "Cooking for Dummies" today, since [livejournal.com profile] chipotle recommended it and we happened to have it. Rice is also on my list of things to come to know intimately; there are so many different kinds that you can use for so many different things, and the textures can get damned specific. There's white rice and brown rice and wild rice, all with their different flavors and uses. When you get right down to it, rice is almost as versatile and essential as herbs are for good cooking. I really like little things that you can twist and use to completely change something. One of the reasons 'fantastic' is such a great word.

Tonight, my game; I have an idea of what's wrong with it and how to fix it. I've always shied away from combat because, really, it's the most system-heavy part of the game and the one thing that requires the most preparation. And, to be honest, it's my least favorite part of game prep. But, my players are clamoring to rip something apart with their bare hands, so it's the least I could do. Mwahah. Mwahahahah.

Really, I wish I could be scratching Tube's itchy back and rubbing calamine lotion to all of the places he can't reach.

*sigh* Now, work.

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