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Curried Goat in a paper cup
17 August 2018 @ 07:51 am
34) "Now That You Mention It" - Kristan Higgins

This is a from nowhere surprise favorite. I happened to pick it up while I was waiting for some people at one of our satellite offices to finish a test, started reading and didn't want to put it down. It's a chic book, not my usual thing, but it kept me involved and going forward from start to finish. The theme was returning home to a small town after a variety of hard knocks in life and finding that you can fit back in to a place you never thought you fit, before. She managed to do racial and sexual orientation, body type, disability and age inclusivity, and yes it is somewhat glaringly obvious at a point about halfway through the book, but the reasons why the main character has these friends makes sense. She was an outcast because of her weight in high school and it's modern day, she's well educated and has spent a great deal of time in Boston.

I was also most impressed with how well she nailed a lot of Maine mannerisms as well as dialect. Most often forgotten is the inverted nod - kind of a chin-jerk of acknowledgment, "I see you" - which stands in place of a wave or actually saying hello. She didn't mention that it's often done with the mouth opening, kind of like a fish grabbing a fly. I wasn't sure it made perfect sense on a small island so close to both Boston and Portland, but fiction gets some passes. :) She undoubtedly reads a lot of Stephen King, and I don't, so that's probably mentioned by him.

There was some horrific traumatic stuff in her past which I wasn't sure was necessary, but it drives some of the plot.

Gotta run, getting Matt's car inspected today. Which makes three days not quite in a row I'm sitting in the Fiat dealership in Portland - I almost feel like I live there.

ETA: Car inspected, but had to have new shock bushings and have been told it will need another appointment soon for a variety of 'scheduled maintenance' and an oil change. Can I get a cot there? I get a lot of reading done, though.

It occurred to me I should get one of my friends (ElvenGirl) who reads a lot of Stephen King to let me know if this Connecticut author, Higgins, got all her Mainerisms from his books.

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Curried Goat in a paper cup
12 August 2018 @ 08:51 pm
33) "Ozma of Oz" - Baum

In which a chicken is smarter than Dorothy.Collapse )

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Curried Goat in a paper cup
10 August 2018 @ 09:59 am
32) "The Land of Oz" - Baum

In which we learn that the self-described "good" man, the Wizard, who forced a child to kill someone in the first book, also 'stole' the throne of Oz and had the child who should inherit, Ozma, hidden by a witch. And yet he'll come back in later books and still be called 'good'.

some other quite random thoughts belowCollapse )

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Curried Goat in a paper cup
09 August 2018 @ 07:38 am
What do you think? Can I wear this jacket over my navy blue fatigue trousers that are clownishly too large on me? Um. Probably not...?
https://goodgoth.com/in-the-evening-trenchcoat/

ETA because I haven't written enough posts lately... and those I've written were short.

I mused in an evil social platform that I'll be 52 in two days and my attraction to the above goth trenchcoat jacket points to me being twelve years old inside. Have I ever grown up or am I already entering my second childhood? Should I think about buying clothes that will allow me to go to job interviews, or give up all daydreams of self improvement through job change in favor of facing the reality that, if I am allowed to do so, I will probably stay in this job for four more years and then take the earliest possible retirement? Eor's doing okay with his job and has plans about redoing the house which have included daydreams about having a tea shop and/or bookstore. I'm pretty on board with that idea, especially if we can have board game nights and music nights.

Huh, weird how when I sit down to type I don't put down any of the things I wrote in my journal. I'll try to come back later and get some of that stuff down. :) I have a ridiculous list of things I ought to be doing and have thus far been reading (Miss Manner's Guide to Rearing Perfect Children) and dabbling around online a bit (though not so bad as some days.)

The things I've read online today...
A case against open floor plan designs and some philosophizings.

I also wrote in my journal for 2 hours, and have continued to debate when I shall get started on my long day's list of things to do.

ETA yet again: Somehow I managed to forget that I also read a couple of chapters of The Comfortable Courtesan's latest offering, "The Ironmaster's Tale." It's a retelling of the events of The Comfortable Courtesan from the POV of Josiah, the m of the m/f she gets into an open triad with.

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Curried Goat in a paper cup
08 August 2018 @ 08:55 pm
30) "Lords and Ladies" - Pratchett

31) "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" - Baum

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Curried Goat in a paper cup
18 July 2018 @ 07:13 pm
Why do we love the songs we heard when we were teenagers? I was driving to work the other day and a Led Zeppelin song came on the radio, and my mood just turned right around, remembering playing that album when getting ready for work. I was staying with my grandparent's for the summer so I could work at the playhouse across the road, owned by their cousin, and my grandmother didn't ever seem to mind me playing whatever music I wanted in the morning, so my few Led Zeppelin records were in heavy rotation. It was a lovely point in time, for me. Not yet on my own, really, still cradled in the bosom of family, but having a job, getting myself out to it every day, made me feel like I had potential. Hope. And hearing the songs from that time makes me feel hopeful, again.

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Curried Goat in a paper cup
08 July 2018 @ 03:46 am
29) "The Bonesetter's Daughter" - Amy Tan

Personally hard for me to read, with the high rate of Alzheimer's in my family. I may add to this at some point when it's not ridiculously early in the morning.

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Curried Goat in a paper cup
05 July 2018 @ 07:30 am
Due to some kind of scheduling snafu, the class I was supposed to give yesterday (Wednesday) was canceled and I got to spend 8 hours at my desk with my coworker, hashing over issues, writing documentation, getting data entry done, and actually LOOKING at the materials for the next class before GIVING IT - wonders never cease. I'm so used to winging it with classes that this threw me off. Of course HQ would rather keep trainers off balance, I expect, because when we get to look at materials ahead of time we do inconvenient things like write emails pointing out that the materials are WRONG. Not completely wrong, but enough to cause the participants to doubt the credibility of the source.

The class I gave Sunday, it was the first time giving that one, winging it along and talking blithely about stuff I'd had a brief exposure to the week before, and I was an hour into the class before I realized the pages were in the book backward. I had punched the holes in the wrong edge. But the participants in the class would never have known the difference if I hadn't just about choked laughing.

I guess I recovered okay from that. Then I used my own wallet as a prop while explaining things, and, well... I didn't realize until I stopped at the grocery store on the way home... yup, you got it, I had left it mixed in with my other props. Sunday was a day. After that, of course, it's like eating a toad for breakfast. The rest of the week went fine by comparison.

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Curried Goat in a paper cup
03 July 2018 @ 09:48 pm
Yes, I'm in a rut. Comfort reading.

27) "Dragons at Crumbling Castle," Terry Pratchett

28) "The Carpet People," Terry Pratchett

"Dragons" includes at least some of the original story that "The Carpet People" was based on, which was serialized in a newspaper in 1965. (The excerpt in the back of "The Carpet People" is probably more like it originally appeared. The version in "Dragons" had added footnotes and who knows what-all other mucking about.) I'm pretty well impressed by the 17 year old Pratchett's story, though of course when it was rebooted with the 40-something Pratchett brain it got MUCH better. Very cool to get to see the evolution through original, somewhat mucked with and totally rewritten. :) There may have been a fourth version as well, when it was released as a book the first time. I love seeing progressions. In the class I had to teach today one of the things we talked about was working from the general to the specific in writing up observations on what people do. It's all very nice to say someone is a team player. How do you support that and make people believe it's true? Specific details. Similarly, "Carpet People" became a much more rich story when people had a backstory, and we discovered more details about them as the story progressed.

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Curried Goat in a paper cup
29 June 2018 @ 10:25 am
(ETA: I should have said, I'm only just now getting around to writing about it, but we actually were camping last week, left the 20th, returned the 23rd. It's our Solstice hike.)

This year I'm happy to say I actually climbed the mountain, AND my knees were fine after. :) Eor and I did not go all the way to the highest peak (Baxter Peak), but stopped a mile short at Thoreau Springs (dry this year), on the plateau. I wonder if I'll regret that in years to come, because who knows if I'll make it again. One mile, and most of that across the plateau. We could have. But I had seen all I needed to see, and at that moment (and now) feel completely happy with this accomplishment. Now I have to remember to keep doing PT knee exercises. Making it up does not mean I'm all better!

I also managed to get through most of the bits that verge on 'technical' with a little grace - did some oppositional friction footwork on one set of boulders that pleased me. And then banged my head on an overhang two minutes later. So glad there's padding in the top of my hat. Wide brimmed hats are absolutely essential, but make sure you look up often, because they do block your view.

E.B. turned back when it started getting bouldery. She's daunted by the prospect of getting over big rocks, because that's where she always scrapes and bruises herself up. And I think she feels that's because her legs are short. She's not a lot shorter than me, but I have more leg than I deserve for my height. (On the way down he was spotting footholds for me and it went something like "you're going to want to put your right foot over ... never mind, you're touching the ground. I didn't know you could reach that far.") But I don't think that's my real advantage. I was never "a climber", but Eor and I used to climb on ropes back in the day; I do retain a few tricks. I wonder if some practice doing technical boulder climbing with ropes would be helpful to making her feel a little more confident about ways to attack the problems.

Crossposted from 'derien' on DreamWidth. Comment either place.