October 2011

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October! It’s generally a good month. One of my favorites–beginning of Fall and all. Although it was kind of warmer weather than I like and it’s really now in November that we’re entering the weather *I* like.

Also October sucked because I spent the whole thing on the couch watching Stargate SG-1 and in pain. The Stargate part was totally fine. The pain thing got old over a month ago.

Fuck it. Whatever. Let’s talk about books. I read some in October. I also did some preliminary math and I’m pretty sure (keep in mind my math skills are poor) that I (only) need to read 18 more books in November and December (total–not each month) in order to reach my professed goal of 250 books for the year of 2011. Thus beating my total of 239 from last year. I didn’t really aim excessively over 2010’s victory upon the written word.

Books Read: 20

Books Partially Read: 6

Books Bought: 2

Money Spent: $8.50

Books Borrowed: 12

Books Given: 2

Books Re-read: 6

Money made (from selling books): $12 whole dollars! Of which I immediately spent $8.50 on more books! Damn my inveterate spending!

Books on To-Be-Read Shelf: 69. Seriously. I need to read more.

Favorite Books This Month: Pie by Sarah Weeks, Fly Trap by Frances Hardinge, and Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson.

Look how few that is! And I only added the last one on impulse. And ok maybe also I re-read my book–Book ‘Em–last month again too as I was editing for publication. It’s still pretty good. I mean, I laughed multiple times at funny bits. But I didn’t include that in favorites because I’ve done that before. No need to toot my own horn! Actually there’s every need. I suck at self-promotion. Creating a marketing strategy for e-publishing is hard, people.

You might think Pie is a cookbook, but it’s not. It’s…ok, wait, actually it does have recipes in it at the beginning of each chapter so I guess it’s kind of like a cookbook. But really it’s a kid’s chapter book. Or whatever you designate a chapter book for slightly older kids as. It’s a kid’s book. It’s about this girl who inherits a cat from her pie-making aunt and the mystery surrounding the famous pie crust recipe her aunt invented. And there’s a boy and it’s sort of old-fashioned and pretty much it’s adorable. I loved it. My mom got it for me from her Scholastic Book Club thing so I was supposed to give it to her class after I read it but I’m keeping it. I already made one of the pies. Lemon Chess Pie. It’s got corn meal in it and it kind of makes a crunchy crust. I want to try to Coconut Cream Pie next. I have all the ingredients for it already. Looking for an occasion.

Super Natural Every Day IS a cookbook. A crazy delicious hippie one. I’ve only made one thing from it so far–this blackberry, coconut, pistachio tart thing. It is amazing. But I am excited to make many many more things from it. And eat them all.

Fly Trap is the sequel to Fly by Night which I read a couple years back. Finally got around to reading the sequel (it’s only been out a couple months so it’s not like I was procrastinating that bad). It’s about a girl named Mosca Mye and her goose and her friends and the evil Locksmiths. I liked it. I was worried because Kris said she re-read Fly by Night and it wasn’t as good anymore. This wasn’t as good as my memory tells me Fly by Night was, but still pretty delightful. I like Mosca.

Least Favorite Books This Month: The Bride Wore Scarlet by Liz Carlyle, Waking Up With The Duke by Lorraine Heath, Vanish by Sophie Jordan, As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott, and Misfit by Jon Skovan.

The first 2 were bad romances. The Bride one…they had special powers but not really interesting ones. The Duke one, guh. The woman’s husband was impotent and asked the Duke to impregnate his wife. Soooo basically it was about adultery and I gave up pretty quickly. The last 3 were bad YA novels. Vanish was a sequel to this dragon one I read a while back…you know it’s not even worth telling you why they were bad. They were just not interesting. Not any of these. Didn’t finish them.

So this month I will read at least 9 books on my path to 250 total. Here I go. Just pick one of the 69 on the shelf and start.

Do you know how hard it is to pick just one from 69?! So hard. Especially when these include a new Terry Pratchett, a new Richelle Mead, a book about shipwrecks and so many more. So many. 69. Maybe I’ll just read one of my own novels again. (Shameless self-promotion.)


September 2011

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If you saw the previous post, you already know how many books I read last month–46. I had a lot of time to read. But since I was sick, I was mostly only willing to read thing I’d read before. Which Is why I read the Roswell series by Melinda Metz and a HUGE chunk of Meg Cabot’s books. When I’m sick I like things that are comfortable. Which apparently mostly means paranormal romantic YA. I also had to vary up reading locations. So I’d spend some days reading in my bed, some on my couch in my TV room, and some in the guest bed (which has this down-filled pillow top thing and is super comfortable if lying on your back and super painful–at least for me and my intestinal inflammation–if lying on your side. Fish Styx has been pretty thrilled by this month. He got to sleep on me in many different locations and the guest room was a new and apparently uber exciting one for him. It might have to do with how his scratching post was banished to that room so he wouldn’t eat bits of it and throw up. But I think he also just really loves the pillow top. Moggy would come in sometimes and glare at us. She also likes the pillow top but does not like sleeping with Fish and I.

Books Read: 46

Books Partially Read: 9

Books Bought: 2

Money Spent: $2

Books Borrowed: 14

Books Given: 51

Books Re-read: 29

Money made (from selling books): 0

Books on To-Be-Read Shelf: 73 (SHIT. FUCK. MONKEYS!)

So actually I spent $22 on books this month at the SFPL Big Book Sale but my mom gave me $20 so I counted those books as ones she gave me and the $2 I spent as 2 of the ones I got that day. The reason I got so many books this month is due to that $20 AND the fact that Kim was in town and her mom had box upon box of ARCs (advance reader copies) and I got a bunch of stuff from her (2 boxes). Plus my mom gave me 2 other ones from the Scholastic Book Order Club thing from her school–one of which is all about preserving things! I really need to try to break in to the farmer market scene with canned goods and cheesecakes one of these days. Katy, if you read this, let me know if you can sell jam. We could pretend it’s jam from your farm.

Much as I love all these new books I’ve gotten (and I do love them a lot). I am HORRIFIED by how much is on the To-Read shelf now. Most of them aren’t even on the shelf. There’s this huge box on the floor. Guh.

Whatever. Onwards!

Favorite Books this Month: Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead, Finnikin of the Rock by Melissa Marchetta, Henrietta Sees It Through by Joyce Dennys, Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore, and Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary. I also loved re-reading the Meg Cabot series: Missing and Mediator.

The final in the Succubus series had the conclusion I saw coming BOOKS ago. Still, enjoyed it for wrapping things up. The succubus is named Georgina and is set on her life working for Hell in Seattle. Also at a book store (not in this one. In this one she’s working as an elf at the mall with a drunk Santa). And her author boyfriend and various hellish co-workers. It’s adult paranormal romance.

Finnikin of the Rock was good, solid YA fantasy. A little darker than some YA (there was a lot of child abuse mentioned or alluded to throughout the book). The plot was easy to foresee though it did a good job trying to provide twists. Mostly I just liked the writing and characters. Also that it was a stand-alone novel with an interesting presentation of nationality/home-land/exodus/wandering schisms.

The Henrietta was the sequel to the other Henrietta. I borrowed it from Kris. I think I liked it even more than the first one. Maybe. I don’t know. The first one was awfully good too. I discovered that she wrote an autobiography which Amazon has and now I want that too. Anyway, it’s a series of letters written during WWII to her friend fighting at the front about the village where she lives in England.

Texas Gothic which alone was a fabulous title and the cover was pretty too, is about girls with magic power and ghosts and cowboy romance. I kind of loved it. YA paranormal but at least well-written and little bit atypical.

I read 5 Ramona books this month (all bought at the SFPL book sale) and I think Ramona and Her Father was my favorite. Maybe Ramona and Beezus. Whatever, I liked all of them. I’m sure I’ve read them all before when I was a kid but I didn’t remember them at all so it was fun to read. I am missing 2 of them still which I want to get. and then maybe the Henry ones too. And I kind of want to watch the Ramona and Beezus movie with Selena Gomez again.

Least Favorite Books this Month: The Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz, So Shelley by Ty Roth, Legacy by Cayla Kluver, Hourglass by Myra McEntire, and Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins.

These were all various YA books I got from the library and disliked and didn’t finish. Though some of them (Hourglass) have been getting rave reviews. And Legacy was the first book Amazon bought for publication. And So Shelley was about the Romantics and I love them. But still didn’t like any of these. Could have been just not in the right mood (Heh. Ie, not healthy and wanting comfort re-reads.)

Book Quote of the Month:

“We like women and we like religion, especially if they do not become too demanding. They are both ‘nicer’ when pliable, and perhaps just a little vague.”

–From Women in the World of Religion by Elsie Thomas Culver (she’s the one I’m working on the online exhibit about for the Graduate Theological Union internship I’m doing. And which I haven’t been to in weeks because sitting up is TOO hard.)


Sad, Sick Michele

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I’ve been sick and in moderate to severe amounts of pain for over a month now. I even went to the doctor–which, let me tell you is a big move for me. I hate the doctor. And I’ve now been to 3 different doctors 5 separate times and still have 1 more to go to next week. For a while I was convinced I had something fatal (as i have an over-active imagination and was really in a lot of pain). But the doctor now thinks I have diverticulitis (which, admittedly, CAN be fatal. But generally only if it ruptures. Which hasn’t happened.) And now I’m on two types of antibiotics and will then theoretically be better. Except I just read a website which says diverticulitis is recurring. Soooo, that’s upsetting.

The doctor is testing me for all sorts of things now too in order to find out what caused the diverticulitis. Since it can be caused by different things. Or really it can be caused by nothing other than stress and developed nation’s food. But some common causes are food allergies, intestinal parasites, and, apparently, gall stones (I’m not sure how that last one fits in).

Anyway, that’s where I’ve been the last month. Lying on my couch in pain with heating pads and taking up to 9 Advil a day. I read a lot of books (46) and watched a lot of TV in September (4 seasons of Psych, 3 seasons of Roswell). I skipped a lot of social gatherings (though I did make Katy’s wedding and my brother’s birthday. I was a severe lack of fun at both of these events. Particularly the birthday one since my period had started that day too and I was torn between crying and screaming the whole evening.) Fingers crossed this antibiotic regimen does the trick and I am back to Fun, Healthy Michele soon.


Yes, these are all children’s books.

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Today was the first day of the 2011 SF Public Library Big Book Sale. Only the first day and I only managed to buy 20 books (for $22).


I’ve already read two of them and am almost done with a third. I need to buy a lot more on Sunday (when everything is a dollar!) The ones I’ve read are all Ramona books by Beverley Cleary which I am super enjoying. They’re so pleasant and heart-warming. Which is about all I can deal with right now. G-rated things or things I’ve already read. I’ve re-read 16 books in the last week. And watched 4 seasons of Psych the week before that.

These are actually not all children’s books. A whole two are adult books, no joke. But one is a Diego book with a talking pen. I admit it. It’s for Evan.


Friends, old and new.

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At the last game night at Jacob and Lisa’s (10 days ago), I had this whole argument with Tami and Aaron beforehand in their bedroom. Where I was lying on the bed, Tami was bra-less and Aaron had man-stink. Let me explain because it’s not as dirty as you might think. Except for Aaron who was as dirty as you’re thinking.

After my internship ended for the day at 4pm, I was hanging out in Berkeley with nothing to do till 5:30 when I could go bug Lisa at pre-Game Night. But I got bored and so I went to Tami’s and knocked on the door till she opened it in pajamas and bullied my way in. Then we lay around on her bed chatting till Aaron got home (smelly) and he showered and then we went to play games. But first we argued about how I was competitive. With me saying I’m much less competitive now than I used to be and Aaron snorting with laughter at my protestations. Tami hid a smile and remained silent.

And they were proved right a few hours later when Tami thwarted me in the Blue Moon City game for the 3rd time in a row and I called her a “ho” with heat. Sigh. Competitive and truculent. I really need to work on these things.

Later, Tami got me back by calling me a ‘whore’ for no good reason. I mean, maybe there was a reason? I can’t even actually remember where we were when she called me that. It was either at Jon’s Burning Man party or at Fondue night. I do remember laughing very hard because it was kind of incongruous coming out of her mouth. Much like that time Kris and I were drunk on the back of Baby Albee yelling out “bird” to Adam on the second deck and she yelled out “bug!” Hilarious.

Also at the Burning Man party, showing off my whoredom (which I’m not), I pointed out all the people I knew to Christine who had demanded as “an old married lady” to know “all the gossip about us single people”. And I knew a surprising amount of people at this party really. And gossip about them. But then she got upset and claimed that it’s weird me knowing all these people she doesn’t know and she doesn’t like it. Not like she’s actually against it but she was more like, “When did this happen?” This came about because I was talking to Tim and Ally for a while and she came up to stand by me so I introduced them but then the whole conversation was about me complimenting Ally’s new haircut and Tim berating me for not noticing he shaved off his goatee and the last movie the three of us saw together and the movie Tim’s making. So we went back to our table and friends and Christine was all accusingly, “You’re friends with them!” And I don’t know if that’s really true especially since I don’t know if she spells it Ally or Allie but I guess maybe we’re friends? I think we are. And it is weird. I mean, this weekend, I kicked Rob in the thigh until he said ‘hi’ to Tim for me over the phone and then Ally said ‘hi’ to me thru Tim thru Rob. And then I chortled gleefully and possibly kicked Rob in the thigh again for fun. And you know what, that is weird. Or normal? I don’t know. I know I like it.

But just last night Jason too was like, “Where have all these new people come from? All of a sudden there’s these people. I don’t like it.” But it’s not like it happened overnight. It’s been a year since we started hanging out with all of them. But I guess it’s been 21, 14, and 10 years for most of the rest of us. Our last new person was possibly Lisa, right? In 2007. It’s probably time for some new friends. And they are fun. What with all the calling me a whore and letting me kick them. Good times.

Friends, old and new.

More pictures from the Burning Man party (and also Int’l Highland Games Fest) here.

Oh wow, it’s Ale. Which is totally different than both Ally and Allie. Maybe we’re not friends.


Fondue, I got this.


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At the first of the fabulous fondue fetes/Magic: The Gathering/Ladies Craft Night (we like combos), I propped the camera on top of my water glass and pushed the timer button. Tami walked in.

Tami: What are you doing?

Me: Taking my picture.

Tami: Do you want me to do that?

Me: I got it. See?

Tami: Yeaaaah.

Click click click.

Me: Aw, it’s fuzzy.

Lisa: (snort)

I set the camera up again. Tami walks back by the room and shakes her head in despair.

Lisa: I could take it?

Tami: I could call you ‘whore’ again?

Me: I got this!

Fondue/Magic/Crafts = a good night. All whore-calling aside.


More photos from fondue night here.


Shadowrun that is mostly about how funny Adam is

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In the final Shadowrun game that Gene hosted he tried to kill all of us and I got drunk and found pretty much everything Adam said to be hilarious. The next day, when I also got drunk, Adam was eying me askance and Rob called me blotto two days after that. Do I have a drinking problem? I haven’t drunk since then. Except, you know, water. And lemonade. Oh, and fascinating coconut water flavored with berries by my fave fruit bar manufacturer, SunRype. Gah, I love them. I love them a little too much lately though because that’s a lot of fiber. Drum cymbal noise. And on that note.

This final game was game day in the game. Game game game. The dogs were racing and a lot of stuff was happening.Mostly concession snack eating. Mostly.

Jacob tried to remind us that it wasn’t all about cotton candy.

Yacob: I do not want five years from now to be killed by a bookie. Now is the time for the serious time. One must make executive decision in this trying time, yes?

This is due to the fact that there’s an unconscious man in the back of his truck who has seen some of our faces and we’re trying to decide what to do about him. Yacob’s solution is clear. The method is unclear.

Emmy: Do you not have a silencer?

Yacob (winking outrageously): No. I make LOUD bang.

Ridge has a knife. Yacob has upholstery fears.

Yacob: Scott! We have knife but no bucket! You break neck.

Eventually the security guard is dead. It’s amazing how long it took to happen though. If I had been there…

End of that scene:

Yacob: I go, I suppose, loiter.

Smoky: Loiter….Murder….Eh.

Scott: We’re an all or nothing crew.

So then we’re still kind of waiting for shit to happen, right? Actually, I guess some of us are in a firefight at the bookie building. But Scott and Ridge are just hanging out.

Scott to Ridge: You wanna go get a hot dog or a fro-yo or something? I like that I’m in a tux and eating a corn dog.

Then Yacob and Alfred are both shot. But heaven forbid some mustard gets on the suit. Roll for stains.

I’m not sure how this was going to come in handy, but…

Scott: I have Matrix theory.

Emmy: Matrix fury?

Scott: That would be better. Matrix fury. In theory.

Emmy: (laughing hysterically. Hey. Drunk, here.)

Oh, it might have had to do with the computer hacking plan. Or the sniper on the roof circumnavigating the surveillance cameras plan. Anyway, in theory, he should have also known what eating eight corn dogs would do.

Scott: I am vomiting up corn dogs in the corner.

But in theory doesn’t apply to Scott’s relationship with food. I’m pretty sure I am narrowly escaping death at this point from a stupid magician who spelled me.

Scott: Every so often, I reach up and pick a piece of funnel cake and eat it. Brush off the powder sugar. Wouldn’t want to dirty my suit. It’s a hard life.

I’m unconscious. Gene is checking what the players are doing.

GM: You’re at serious (Emmy). You’re at medium (Alfred and Yacob). Everyone else is fine, right?

Scott: I feel a little bloated from the corn dogs.

GM: Roll for bloat.

This stupid magician falling from the sky (jumped out of a plane) is bugging everyone. Yacob has a plan to shoot him but is waiting for him to come into range while I’m unconscious and Ridge is on fire. Possibly Alfred is also unconscious.

Scott: You’re going to be so upset when he turns out to be Bob Hope.

Yes, we really are.

At the end, Yacob did shoot the magician. We all survived. We protected the one dog from the magician. And we fixed the race (in (matrix) theory. At least we got the hacker in and out). But we didn’t re-kidnap the pretty dog for the lady who hired us. And it was midnight. So we gave up.

Yacob: We can crush a woman’s hope and dreams.

The End.

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