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Posted by Cyn | Posted in Geekery | Posted on 31-07-2008

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Review: New Moon by Stephanie Meyer

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Book Reviews, Reading | Posted on 30-07-2008

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I fin­ished read­ing New Moon, which was much, much more dra­matic (emo­tion­ally) than Twi­light. As in, Bella goes into a zom­bie state for months, and the book just has blank pages with the names of each month as place hold­ers – Octo­ber, Novem­ber, Decem­ber, Jan­u­ary, etc. I (and most every­one I know) have han­dled divorce bet­ter than this kid han­dles a teenage breakup! And her par­ents never put her in ther­apy why? (I think she should have been in-​​patient, myself.)

I couldn’t let go enough to read this book from the intended audience’s per­spec­tive. I kept think­ing that there’s no way I’d let a child of mine get involved with any­one so clingy. She wants to be with a guy 24/​7, and no, I am not exag­ger­at­ing at all. These books are a case study of depen­dent per­son­al­ity dis­or­der. The fact that they are so incred­i­bly pop­u­lar is wor­ri­some to me.

The Girl Is Back!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family | Posted on 29-07-2008

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It was only a few days, but I missed her. She had fun, saw both sets of grand­par­ents and var­i­ous other kin, got fig pre­serves made just for her, went shop­ping, and other stuff I can’t recall at the moment. I expect that she’ll be catch­ing up on sleep for the rest of the week.

Another Homegrown Terrorist, This Time in Tennessee

Posted by Cyn | Posted in News | Posted on 28-07-2008

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Police: Man Shot Church­go­ers Over Lib­eral Views

Knoxville, Ten­nessee — An unem­ployed man accused of open­ing fire with a shot­gun and killing two peo­ple at a Uni­tar­ian church appar­ently tar­geted the con­gre­ga­tion out of hatred for its sup­port of lib­eral social poli­cies, police said Monday.

That makes a lot of sense. This whack­job is unhappy because he lost his job, gets a let­ter say­ing he’s los­ing his food stamps too, and instead of blam­ing the Repub­li­cans who have been in charge of the coun­try for the past eight years, he trots off to the near­est UUA con­gre­ga­tion and opens fire dur­ing a children’s performance.

Two peo­ple are dead, one because he gave his life in an attempt to save oth­ers. Five more are injured – no chil­dren, at least.

What did those peo­ple do to upset the home­grown terrorist?

The Unitarian-​​Universalist church pro­motes pro­gres­sive social work, includ­ing advo­cacy of women and gay rights. The Knoxville con­gre­ga­tion also has pro­vided sanc­tu­ary for polit­i­cal refugees, fed the home­less and founded a chap­ter of the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union, accord­ing to its Web site.

Good­ness. How upset­ting. Obvi­ously, they caused him to lose his truck­ing job. Yep. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

Sam Har­ris’ views on reli­gion make more sense every day.

Sunday Night

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Critters, Family, Reading | Posted on 27-07-2008

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Yes, I’m bor­ing. I hate try­ing to think of titles for posts.

The girl is off vis­it­ing, hav­ing left yes­ter­day after­noon. Her cat is fran­tic. He is very much attached to HER, not US. So when­ever she leaves the house, he goes nuts, gets ter­ri­bly anx­ious, and is cer­tain that she’ll never, ever come back. He spends most of his time sit­ting in the front win­dows or sniff­ing under the front door, try­ing to detect her return.

Shel­ley never freaked like that, but then Katie vis­ited Atlanta once a week pretty much every week from the time she was a few weeks old ’til they moved here with me. She knew the girl would always come back. And Shel­ley was with me for a year before Katie was born, and attached to both of us. Kioshi is just a one-​​person cat. I should make that a one-​​girl cat, as he isn’t big on males at all.

I read the first of Laura Anne Gilman’s Retriever nov­els, Stay­ing Dead. Fun stuff, and I think many of you would enjoy it. Then I went on to Twi­light by Stephanie Meyer. Katie was so excited about it that I had to see what the big deal was. She fin­ished that huge sucker in a day or so. I took a lit­tle longer, but then I wasn’t the one check­ing the library’s hold queue sev­eral times a day.

I can see why the series is such a huge hit with some teenage girls, but I don’t think it will carry nearly as much pop­u­lar­ity with any other age group or males, period. There’s too much “oh, I’m bad for you” angst­ing from the vam­pire (male roman­tic lead). Seri­ously – he beats David Boreanz’s Angel all to pieces on the brood­ing, and that takes some doing.

The main char­ac­ter, Bella, is annoy­ing to me because she’s pretty damned use­less. She hon­estly can’t be trusted to walk down a hall­way with no obsta­cles with­out hurt­ing her­self. She’s not cre­ative or par­tic­u­larly intel­li­gent, shows no par­tic­u­lar tal­ents of any sort – a beige per­son, in my mind. What’s there to like?

I took a break and read Curse The Dark (sec­ond of the Retriever series) before start­ing New Moon, but I did start it. And damn, it’s even more emo­tion­ally dramatic.

I’m not sure I’ll read the other two books when­ever we get hold of them (I’m not sure the fourth is even out yet). I know that Katie will, though. The series isn’t writ­ten badly, but I’m way out of the tar­get audience.

Vampyres of Hollywood Review is Up

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Book Reviews, Reading | Posted on 27-07-2008

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The review is more detailed than what I posted here.

TCM is pretty cool, if you’re will­ing to read new books by unproven authors and review them. Hope, you’d prob­a­bly do really well with it – lots of them are eBooks, which I have trou­ble with read­ing on a screen. They have sep­a­rate mail­ing lists to find review­ers for “adult” and “gen­eral” pub­li­ca­tions, as well as sep­a­rate lists for the reviews them­selves. If you’re will­ing to review adult mate­r­ial, I’ve got­ten the feel­ing that they have a dif­fi­cult time find­ing enough peo­ple for that side.

This is the first book I’ve actu­ally reviewed for them. I started to review an adult novel, but couldn’t get past the first few pages for all the mechan­i­cal errors. They had no prob­lem with it, no fusses.

I think many of the review­ers are authors, because if you’re a reviewer, you can get your own work reviewed and fea­tured, free.

R.I.P. Randy Pausch

Posted by Cyn | Posted in News | Posted on 26-07-2008

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You remem­ber all that buzz about “The Last Lec­ture” last Sep­tem­ber?1 I do hope you watched it – it was well worth the time. It’s still avail­able, too.

Randy Pausch, the lec­turer, died yes­ter­day. He was just 47, and leaves a wife and 3 small chil­dren. I know that he did that par­tic­u­lar lec­ture because he knew that he had ter­mi­nal can­cer, but it’s still dis­ap­point­ing that such a won­der­ful man is gone far, far too soon.

A few quo­ta­tions from the lecture:

  • “…when you see your­self doing some­thing badly and nobody’s both­er­ing to tell you any­more, that’s a very bad place to be. Your crit­ics are the ones telling you they still love you and care.”
  • “Expe­ri­ence is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.”
  • “It’s not about how to achieve your dreams, it’s all about lead­ing your life. If you lead your life in a right way, karma will take care of itself. And dreams will come to you.”
  • [Quot­ing a CMU secretary]“This advice is good for the ladies: when it comes to men that are roman­ti­cally inter­ested in you, it’s really sim­ple: just don’t lis­ten to any­thing they have to say; pay atten­tion to what they do.” (Cynthia’s note: good advice for men and women!)
  • “If I only had three words of advice, they would be, Tell the Truth. If got three more words, I’d add, all the time.”

1 I found out today that the title of Randy’s lec­ture was actu­ally “Really Achiev­ing Your Child­hood Dreams.”

Are You Internet Famous?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Memes | Posted on 25-07-2008

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What’s your number?

Mine is 684, so I’m not a Webrity.

Yay! and Boo!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family | Posted on 24-07-2008

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The good news: we’re finally done with the water boil­ing! It’s a good thing, too. The stores are all out of bot­tled water.

The bad news: the girl has a nasty migraine :-( She was sup­posed to leave Fri­day after­noon for the week­end, and it looks like that may not hap­pen. I hope she doesn’t have to can­cel alto­gether. She’s been doing SO much bet­ter with the migraines after a course of Pred­nisone finally broke a near-​​constant cycle of them, so I guess I should be grate­ful that they’re rel­a­tively uncom­mon now.

Welcome, Gillian!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Announcement | Posted on 23-07-2008

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Christina & Steve’s newest baby finally came out to join us at 10:24pm tonight! I’m look­ing for­ward to photos.