Feb. 19th, 2009

One of the mildly creepy things about my life is that both times I've managed to read The Hot Zone I've been sick.

I'm coming down with snot. Mostly allergies due to the absolutely insane weather here. It is never a fun ride. So far I'm draining ok, but it's left me a bit more tired than usual (on top of the monthly fun coming up) and I just cannot wait for everything to start getting coughed up. I think I'll pick up a good cough thing when I go out for my usual weekly run for stuff I need.

I think I have a thing for reading Richard Preston when sick. Once I tried reading Richard Preston's fiction book, The Cobra Event, while sick. I couldn't finish it. Not because it wasn't good. But because it scared the pants off me. Now that I'm no longer in high school, though, I'm considering picking it up (The Cobra Event seems to have evaporated along with my original copy of The Hot Zone). Along with The Forever War and any manga that are out now. I think we're close to due for another installment of Petshop: Tokyo...

Feb. 17th, 2009

09 book list post 1 / cinema

One of my little projects last year was to try and read 50 books. I didn't actually get started until March, and I got done with fifty in October, and I didn't count a single one of the graphic novels and/or manga that I read, which would have bumped the total to fifty and then some during the same period.

This year, I decided to just keep track of the books I read, period, and see how many I can finish in a given year without trying particularly hard. I'm counting graphic novels and manga this time, since they do count as books and very nice ones at that. XD So far I've had a couple of re-reads, but for the most part this year's book selection has been all new material.

I figure once I break 20 books, I'll start putting the list behind an lj-cut.


1.  Zombies vs. Robots Complete by Chris Ryall and Ashley Wood
2.  Petshop of Horrors: Tokyo vol. 3 by Matsuri Akino
3.  The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (translated by Robin Buss)
4.  Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique by Michael S. Gazzaniga
5.  Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
6.  The First Protector by James White
7.  I'm Just Here for the Food ver 2.0 by Alton Brown
8.  The Compound by S. A. Bodeen
9.  The Cosmic Landscape by Leonard Susskind
10.  Old Man's War by John Scalzi
11.  The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
12.  The Last Colony by John Scalzi
13.  The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

I've burbled about both Monte Cristo and Human a few times already, so I'm not going to burble about them again.

I really enjoyed Stranger in a Strange Land so I'm looking to pick up Heinlein again. The last book I read was Red Planet during the time in the 90's when they were airing the little mini-series on Fox Kids in the morning. I suspect I was perhaps a little young to really appreciate it. Luckily, my brother has practically everything the man ever wrote (I got my copy thanks to my mother accidentally buying a duplicate copy.. Moose was lending his own copy to someone around Christmas) so I figure I can filch pretty liberally from that.

I finally got around to reading the OMW books, and I suppose it's a surprise I held out this long considering I've been reading Scalzi's blog for quite some time and I enjoyed The Android's Dream so much. I'm now itching for when Zoe's Tale is in paperback and wondering just what the hell Earth is going to decide to do! Naturally, I had to lend the OMW books to my mother and get her hooked, too.

The Right Stuff was actually work-related, since it was sitting around the book room and I thought it might be a good idea to throw at the juniors towards the end of the school year. I actually really loved it-- it tells the epic tale of the first days of spaceflight, from the rocket-planes they used to break the sound barrier through the Mercury missions. It actually inspired me to dig out my old copy of Apollo 13 for a bit, though I'm of two minds about finishing it since there a fairly long list of books I want to pick up.

The Forever War was just re-released in paperback and I kind of want it. Especially since I have an extra discount coupon with B&N!

I also have to say that after immersing myself in E:FC lately, I really crave some Star Trek: The Next Generation. I almost think I want my optimism back-- the OMW series was pretty depressing in terms of our ability to get along with other species as well (though it kicked some ass anyway). That and I found Mom's copy of the old technical manual, which I used to pore over as a kid, mostly to read the neat little behind-the-scenes footnotes. I actually managed to find the "medical insurance remaining" display that they talked about-- it's in the sample medical LCARS panel in the book itself. XD The only problem with this plan is that Star Trek, being an American Institution, is bloody expensive.

It probably goes without saying that I will be there for the movie, just to see what they do with the characters. A Kirk that isn't Shatner? OMG. (Shatner should be happy, though. His pet Mary-Sue is finally getting canon screen time after all those novels in which he valiantly tries to bring Kirk back to life. Thank Bob the ghostwriters always managed to find a way to kill him off again!)

I will also be seeing Watchmen since it'll either be completely brilliant like V for Vendetta was or suck horribly.

Jan. 5th, 2009

Been a not terrible return to work. Longish day, but not bad.

I just got done eating these pork chops and some broccoli and I suggest all do the same at some point. XD I have some left for lunch tomorrow, yum.

Might snow/rain/ice/whatever at some point this week. Could we finally be seeing some of Washington state's snow?

Also finished The Count of Monte Cristo today. In all its unabridged glory (it's over a thousand pages long). The Penguin Classic translation by Robin Buss was a nice one-- I would highly recommend it. I found it kind of interesting that Gankutsuou reversed a lot of things as far as the plot. The resolution for Maximillien and Valentine happens first in the anime and last in the novel, though I suppose it made sense for the anime since Franz is a seriously more prominent character and needed to play Captain Exposition somehow. (Franz is barely in the book, and you never see him again after the whole engagement-to-Valentine thing about midway through.) I also really liked the count and his flailing at the end trying to put right a few of the wrongs he committed due to collateral damage. I stand by my earlier assertion that Albert in the anime ended up with most of the book-Count's positive traits in his role as the protagonist. Kind of sad for the count.

Aside from reading old Earth: Final Conflict fanfic, haven't been up to much. Been working on downloading the first season-- it's never actually been released on DVD and apparently Universal has the distribution rights which is why we never saw it (or second season) when ADV released the rest of the series. Which is probably one reason why the show didn't really seem to do so well in DVD sales, since what's the point of starting with the third season of a show? You guys know my vid policy, tho... Should an actually licensed copy appear, I'll likely buy that even if I keep the bootleg for sentimental reasons. (I still have my bootlegged copy of Tekkaman Blade despite owning the professionally-subbed series. Just for the lolarious Engrish subs in the bootleg. Tho I'm glad the pro-copy subbed the specials in the set too, since I'd been desperate to know what the hell they were saying in that Missing Link short.)

Also been watching my old Megaman 90's cartoon. Gutsman and Cutman pwn, and it's a running gag between me and The Girl that Gutsman should be a motivational speaker a la Chris Farley.

Jan. 3rd, 2009

It's 2 AM and I feel the need to journal spam.

The part of me that is twelve and has ADD wants to RP Seimei (Onmiyoji canon with maybe a little folklore and possible PSOH thrown in because for some reason Sofu D and Seimei are ALWAYS SNARKING EACH OTHER) in journal RP.

The sensible part of me points out repeatedly that I want to get a damn dragon for Yats and that requires hours of running heroics. So I don't have any free time for journal RP since the free time I have is for WoW.

In other news, I hate heroic Halls of Stone with the burning passion of a million suns and I'm at the point where I don't want to do it without a pally tanking. Both times we've run it with prot warriors and while they were great all the rest of the time that damn Tribunal of Ages keeps kicking out asses because stuff is always breaking loose and killing us all. Not to mention the LAZERS.

I have also completed my first book of 2009: Zombies vs Robots Complete by Chris Ryall and Ashley Wood. It's a graphic novel and I'm mostly sure Wood at least did Tank Girl. I have to find my Tank Girl trade and check to be sure.

It's crack. A real review will come later today after I've had some sleep.

Dec. 8th, 2008

Just a quick note to note that I'm still alive.

I've started reading The Count of Monte Cristo for the first time in a few years.. first whack at the unabridged version to boot. I'm liking the translation I have-- my old translation is very dry and stuffy and this one chose to use more modern idiom. It's all the fault of Gankutsuou which the girl and I finally ended up getting around to watching. I am never watching that anime in multiple sitting again.. almost every episode is on a cliffhanger and you end up all obsessy wanting to know what happened next.

I don't know why people complain about the ending-- the ending was perfect for what the anime was about and just as importantly who it wasn't about. I'll be spoilery in the comments if you want, but nothing on the main page. It's too good to spoil. You know an anime is good when you're cheering on the characters or crying when bad stuff happens or someone says something profound and sad.

I made a batch of Dad's chili and some guacamole on Sunday. The guacamole is gone. It was interesting since I had tangerines but no lemon, so I squeezed half a tangerine in there to protect the color of the guac instead. Tasted gooooood. Had leftover chili for lunch today and I have a good half the pot left for later. But I'm eating pizza tomorrow because I'm too lazy to wash out the tupperware right now.. well, that and I'd rather muck with the microwave on a long lunch. And I'll be dining out tomorrow somehow, just haven't figured out the details.

Advising appointment is tomorrow in the evening. I'll probably fool around in town after the appointment since I'm not dumb enough to try and make the drive back in the teeth of rush hour. I think I might be able to afford a class on my own. Maybe. I'll have to get back on that one, since a class is $1200 with fees and tuition and not counting books, and with the nation's economy in the crapper I'd rather not run up credit card debt if I can help it, even if it's for a good cause.

Yes, I realize that I'm among the minority of American citizens in that I could pay off all my credit cards today and have a substantial amount of money left over. Doesn't mean I don't want a more stable savings. You know, retirement and all that jazz. I've had to blitz my savings account just about every time I've been close to having enough to a higher-interest account on some kind of important something. Bleck. I might be blessed with having a very stable job, but that doesn't erase the fact I don't get paid two months out of the year.

In other news, I'm almost finished with Christmas shopping. My tree is up and decorated. Nothing's wrapped yet. The girl and I did what's fast becoming tradition and traded a couple presents early. She got a DVD copy of Vision of Escaflowne since her VHS set is a collector's item and she's afraid to watch them anyway because of wear. Especially on tape six. (Operation Golden Rule of Love. LOL) I got a nice big T-Fal skillet with SCIENCE that's supposed to change color when it's heated. I have two more presents to get people and that's it. And I even made the annual Harry and David order for the extended family. Got this and this so there shouldn't be any complaining. XD

Have an angry Manfred von Santa. :D