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Month: July 2008

Review: New Moon by Stephanie Meyer

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!

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

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

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

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

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.”

Yay! and Boo!

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.