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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Quote Wednesday – Lowell

Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in. — Amy Lowell

While I can’t draw to save my life, I have learned that art is much more than painting and drawing.  When we create, it is art.  And every creation is an expression of our self.  We show the world a bit of our soul through our art.  It is a courageous thing to put into the public sphere, and yet it is almost like breathing.  We need to do it to live.   So today share a bit of our soul with another.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Quote Wednesday

 

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Title: Snow Crash

Author: Neal Stephenson

Publisher: Bantam 1992

Genre: Science Fiction (Cyberpunk)

Pages: 440

Rating:   5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Science Fiction; Mount TBR; Fall into Reading

How I Got It: J owns it!

One of Timemagazine’s 100 all-time best English-language novels.Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison—a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age.

In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately.
This is one of those books that took me awhile to get into.  The universe building is a bit extensive.  I was confused about how all the pieces of the puzzles and all the characters would eventually come together.  But I shouldn’t have worried.  I was satisfied.  What really got me latched me onto the book was the connections between religion, culture, and technology.  The way the author talks of technology, it is a complete society.  It has a language, it has creation stories and myths, it has characters, it has an evolution.  I loved the scenes between Hiro and the Librarian when they were discussing Sumeria and viruses and the connections to Snow Crash.  Sounds confusing until you read the book and then make all the connections. I went into the book turned off by cyber punk fiction, but I found this great symmetry between it and history and anthropology.  This review has turned into babbling (ha ha Babel!), but I truly did enjoy the novel.  For a better explanation, check out the Wikipedia page.
P.S. A movie version is supposedly in the works, directed by the same director as Attack the Block!

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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Top Ten Tuesday — Kick Ass Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers’ answers. Everyone is welcome to join.  If you can’t come up with ten, don’t worry about it—post as many as you can!

Just in time for Halloween I present some Kick Ass Heroines.  Dress up as one of these awesome ladies!

1. Katnis Everdeen from The Hunger Games — She’s just awesome.  I think we can all agree that she did the best she could with the lot given.  I love her battle moments and the quiet moments.

2. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter –  I think if these books had come out when I was young, I would have dressed as Hermione for every Halloween.  Even at the beginning of the series, you know she will eventually kick some serious ass.

3. Alexia Tarabotti from Parasol Protectorate – You wouldn’t immediately think proper Victorian lady for this list, but Alexia can kick ass when she needs to.  I love her “proper” fighting!

4. Madame Lefoux from Parasol Protectorate series —  Her inventions are killer (sometimes literally) and she has style.  Even when she betrayed Alexia, she did it for love and family.  I love her character throughout the series.

5. The Female from The Boys series —  Her story is tragic.  She never speaks.  And yet, she’s the deadliest weapon The Boys possess.

6. Death from Sandman series — Come on, she’s Death!  How bad ass is that?  Plus, she’s a great counterpoint to her brother Dream.  And she still has a kick ass wardrobe.

7. Annabeth from Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series —  The ultimate daughter of Athena (always my favorite of the Greek goddesses).  She is smart, gorgeous, and dangerous.  The perfect woman.

8. Thalia from Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series —  She sacrifices everything first to guard Camp Half-Blood and then becomes a Hunter of Artemis.  She is a bad ass!

9. Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — Not an obvious choice.  But she does navigate Wonderland and defeat the Queen of Hearts in a way.  I love her…

10. Cinderella from Fables series — The ultimate spy posing as a fairy tale princess.  I loved the glimpses of her in the main series.  And she even gets her own spinoff.  From Fabletown with Love.

And for your viewing pleasure, check out the BAMF Girls. Hilarious!

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Books

 

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Music Monday — Duncan Sheik “It’s Better to Be Dead”

Not a real happy song, but I love the moody atmosphere of this entire album.  (Whisper House)  The album is a bit of a concept album with interlocking stories throughout.  Give it a listen if you get a chance.

Lyrics (my favorite lines in bold):

I present to you a story
Set upon a northern shore
The denizens of lighthouse
During times of war

The foolish things they did
The foolish things they said
I’m sure you will agree
They would be better off dead

Lily keeps the lighthouse
She’s afraid of the unknown
She’s no ray of sunshine
So mostly she’s alone

And no one cares about her longing
Or the dreams on which she’s fed
And though I’m sad to say it
She would be better off dead

Next we have a sheriff
Charles is his name
He’s something of a sideshow
Every sheriff is the same

Will he stand for justice
Or something else instead?
Either way it hardly matters
‘Cause he’s better off dead

When everything is done
And everything is said
Life is naught but pain
It’s better to be dead

Release your heavy heart
Rest your weary head
When all the world’s at war
It’s better, it’s better

Witness Yasujiro
He hails from old Japan
He searches for redemption
In this strange and foreign land

And now he works for Lily
To earn his daily bread
But the most that one can say
Is that he’s better off dead

Please, welcome young Christopher
He’s come here on a train
His father flew to heaven
In a fiery aeroplane

He’s come to live with Lily
He’s got visions in his head
He may be our main attraction
But he’s better off dead

When everything is done
And everything is said
Life is naught but pain
It’s better to be dead

Release your heavy heart
Rest your weary head
When all the world’s at war
It’s better to be dead

Everything is done
All things have been said
It’s good to be a ghost
It’s better, it’s better to be dead

It’s good to be a ghost
It’s better to be dead

Audio track from the album

A live version with pretty crappy audio, but visuals

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Music Monday

 

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The Sunday Salon #32

The Sunday Salon.com

Listening To: I’ve made it to the Js in my review all the music we own.  Who knew there were so many J’s in our account?  Slowly slowly.  I did rediscover my love of Jimmy Eat World, especially Bleed American.

Book finishedBlackout, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Princess and the Hound, The Princess and the Bear

Reading: Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

On the Nightstand: Girl from Junchow and Jewel of St. Petersburg by Kate Furnivall

Making Lists: Crafting projects.  I have tried to make a list of great crafting projects that I want to complete in the next few months.  Lots of great ideas!

On the Web: More and more GoogleReader posts.  I’ve found some great new non-book blogs to follow.  Too many cute project ideas and recipes!

Crafting: I continued with scrapbooking Spring Break.  It’s the project that never seems to end.  I still have at least 6 spreads for each kid’s scrapbook.  Eventually I will finish this.

Last Tuesday’s class: Fall Holiday projects.  If I still had a classroom, I would love to make these turkeys for students.  A perfect inexpensive but creative gift.  I like the tags, but won’t be buying them this year.  But my favorite has to be the Halloween card.  I love the idea of four different patterned papares as a background.  Too cute!

Sunday’s class: Stationary set.  This is such an easy and cute gift idea.  After whipping this out in no time, I decided that I needed to make more of these with some of my own supplies.

Wednesday’s meet and greet: Individual projects.  I made a set of Thanksgiving cards and started on some stationary sets.

Watching: We completely finished Sanctuary after watching the series off and on for years.  On the old show front, I watched The West Wing S2-S3 and Gossip Girl S5.  J got me hooked on Reaper, love it!  Plus we caught up on a ton of currently airing shows and started a few newer ones (Up All Night, Arrow, Comic Book Men)

From Nature: It’s been two weeks of up and down temperatures.  Rain has come and gone.  Sun has come and gone.  The weather reminds me a bit of the midwest.  Although the falling leaves contrast greatly with 80 degree temperatures.  Weird feeling.

Shopping Scores: I went a little shop crazy these past two weeks.  After trolling the local outlet mall, I only ended up buying five pieces.  The first two are from Banana Republic.  I must say that I’m really coming to love Banana Republic.  While I don’t have many places to wear BR clothing, they do have more causal pieces available than I thought they did.  The second piece is a great blue color (can’t tell from the picture).  The other three pieces are from Target, my store for everything.  The last one is a dress that I had been eyeing for awhile.  But I just didn’t want to pay full price.  It happened to be on clearance and I had to snap up the last large.  The dress is really flattering and cute.  I can’t wait to wear it.

I went shopping in Palo Alto with a friend on Thursday.  I didn’t pick anything up for myself, but I did get the boys four long sleeved shirts from the Gap.  Four shirts for $18, so exciting!  I also grabbed four cupcakes from Sprinkles: mocha, dark chocolate, smore, and lemon.  Yummy yummy!

Project: I started three large projects these past two weeks.  I kept going with my US History note consolidation.  I finished Chapter 5 this week and started trying to organize the Civil War chapters.  Unfortunately the Civil War folders are just out of control.  Slowly. slowly I’m getting through them.  I also continued my crazy apartment wide reduction.  I’m working on the office right now.  Getting there…  Finally I tried to reorganize my craft supplies.  I think it is a bit out of control.

Picture: Fun day out with Max and Melissa.  Here’s Max fascinated by the fountains.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2012 in Sunday Salon

 

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Day Zero Project Update: Week 55-58

Instead of daily posts, I thought it would be a lot easier for me and you if I did weekly update posts.  These will track my progress each week.  I will highlight what I’ve done, what I want to do, and any interesting tidbits.  Sometimes I’ll add pictures and/or links.  Hopefully these posts will keep me accountable to me list…

What I Did

5. Make a playlist of my favorite 101 songs — Slowly working through the songs to narrow the list down.  I hope to have Music Monday posts highlighting these starting in January.

9. See 101 new movies (75/101)

  • The Expendables — Thank goodness it was free on Netflix.  A movie that takes itself way too seriously.
  • Battleship — Just a crazy action film.  No substance, but still pretty fun.
  • Iron Sky — Nazis from the ark side of the moon…  hee hee.  Loved it!
  • Snow White and the Huntsman — So much better than Mirror, Mirror.  Loved the supporting cast, especially Charlize Theron.
  • Chronicle — Awesome movie.  We like to think of it was what Episodes 1-3 should have been.
  • Rock of Ages — Cheesy, but Tom Cruise was awesome!
  • Tucker and Dale vs. Evil — Way too funny!  Laughed my ass off.

12. See all of IMDB’s Top 250 movies  (24/250) — I forgot to notate these for the last few months, so I’m doing it now.  These are all movies I rewatched.

  • 132. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two
  • 181. How to Train Your Dragon
  • 131. The Wizard of Oz
  • 194. The Princess Bride
  • 108. Die Hard
  • 75. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • 101. Up
  • 57. Lawrence of Arabia
  • 124. Snatch

20. Reread all of Jane Austen’s novels (2/6)

24. Keep a journal for this project

27. Make a list of 101 inspirational quotes (61/101)

28. Blog 1001 times  – 38 for this period (620/1001)

32. Finish 30 reading challenges (16/30)

  • Zombie Reading Challenge — Another 24 books read for this year!

35.Join or create a book club — Randomly a crafter friend asked if I wanted to be in a new book club with some fellow crafters.  Of course I said yes!  Which gave me three days to get and read our first book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  We are going to meet every month.  Books choices will be presented by the month’s “Host” and voted on by the group.  For December we’re reading The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott.  I’m really excited to read and discuss some new books!

71. Donate 100,000 grains of rice on freerice.com  (2040/100,000)

What I Plan to Do Next Week.

19. Complete The Artist’s Way – The local library has a copy.  I plan to pick it up this week and make my preliminary plan.

Overall Progress

25/101

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2012 in Day Zero Project

 

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Video Sharing

Here’s a few great videos that I’ve been enjoying in the past week:

Ellen and the Bic for Her nonsense

I really want my Community back on…  When will it be October 19th?  Let Troy and Abed explain.

A serious plea from The Nerdist.

God I really love Amy Acker.

Quick go buy some bacon!

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2012 in Life

 

Movie Quotes — 1990s Edition

Back in high school, I kept a quote notebook.  Anytime I ran across an interesting or funny quote I would put it in the book.  I eventually filled that notebook and started another.  I recently unearthed those notebooks to use for ideas for my Quote Wednesday posts.  While perusing the notebook, I ran across a huge section of movie quotes from the 1990s.  These were the movies that I watched over and over again in high school.  For today’s fun, I thought I would share those quotes.  But you have to guess what movie they are from…  (don’t worry, answers will be at the bottom of the post)

1. What’s with you today, Lucas?  Yesterday you were normal, today you’re like the Chinese guy from the Karate Kid.

What’s with today, today?

2. Slappy, Swammy, Swans, Swanson?  Maybe it’s on the briefcase.  Ah, Samonsite, I was way off!

3. If I saw myself dressed like that, I’d have to kick my own ass.

4. Yeah, but when the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates down eat the tourists.

5. Men should be like Kleenex: soft, strong, and disposable.

6. I figure we demand some weird stuff so that later we can plead insanity.

7. Go, go Buffalo!

8. I’d like to quit thinking of the present as some minor insignificant preamble to something else.

9. What, you think just cause a guy reads comics he can’t start shit?

10. Have I stepped over some line in the sands of coolness with you?

11. What was that?  You’re trailing off… and did I catch a “niner” in there?  Were you calling from a walkie talkie?

12. A gun rack?  A gun rack. I don’t even own ahh gun, let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack!

13. I guess in the end I’m just a trendy ass poser.

14. Are you asking me out?  That’s so cute; what’s your name again?

15. I think most Scottish cuisine is based on a dare.

Make your guesses now…

Go on… you know you quote some of these at any given opportunity…

And now for the answers…

Answers:

1. Empire Records (1994)

2. Dumb and Dumber (1994)

3. Happy Gilmore (1996)

4. Jurassic Park (1993)

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Clueless (1995)

6. Airheads (1994)

7. Idle Hands (1999)

8. Dazed and Confused (1993)

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Mallrats (1993)

10. Reality Bites (1994)

11. Tommy Boy (1995)

12. Wayne’s World (1992)

 

 

 

 

 

 

13.  SLC Punk (1998) — love Heroin Bob!

14. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

15. So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Movies

 

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Stitch Fix Number 4

StitchFixLogo

I came across Stitch Fix on Loop Looks (check her out!).  For $20 a shipment, you get a personalized style pack of five items.  Then, you try everything on and decide to keep 1, 2, 3, 4, or all 5 items.  The $20 stylist fee is credited to your purchase.  And if you buy all five items, you get an extra 25% off.  The company is currently in beta, but I was lucky enough to get an invite.

My last Stitch Fix didn’t go so well.  I didn’t like anything and sent the entire box back.  I decided to try again after my health debacles.  I had butterflies in my stomach in anticipation of what goodies I would find after opening. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Here’s what I got this time… (Ignore the horrid quality iPhone photos)

Item #1: Striped scarf

Pros: So soft!  Beautiful design.

Cons: I live in California (and not the cold part).  If I bought this, I would have limited chances to wear it.

Item #2: Navy pintuck blouse

Pros: Loved the fit.  Loved the color.  Easy to dress up or dress down.

Cons: Just a bit short.

Item #3: Purple silk blouse

Pros: The color!!!!  Beautiful color for a shirt.

Cons: Silk is hard to care for.  Overall it’s a bit short.

Item #4: Cream tank top

Pros: Nothing, hated it.

Cons: Short, tight in weird places, don’t like the look.

Item #5: Cream ruched cardigan

Pros: Very soft.  Very comfortable.  Easy to layer for cooler nights and warmer days.

Cons: The side ruching is a bit weird (but I could get used to this).  The price is a bit much.

So, what did I keep?

..

..

..

..

..

Item #2 Navy pintuck blouse.  I figure that I can add this into multiple outfits.  And the cut is very flattering.  Ignore the bad picture, it is beautiful. 

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Life

 

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The Princess and the Bear by Mette Ivie Harrison

Title: The Princess and the Bear (Princess #2)

Author: Mette Ivie Harrison

Publisher: HarperTeen 2009

Genre: Fairy Tales

Pages: 327

Rating:   3/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Telling Tales; Fall into Reading

How I Got It: Library Loan

He was once a king, turned into a bear as punishment for his cruel and selfish deeds.

She was a once a princess, now living in the form of a hound.

Wary companions, they are sent—in human form—back to a time when magic went terribly astray. Together they must right the wrongs caused by this devastating power—if only they can find a way to trust each other.

But even as each becomes aware of an ever-growing attraction, the stakes are rising and they must find a way to eliminate this evil force—or risk losing each other forever.

Meh…  It wasn’t great, it wasn’t bad.  It was just meh.  I think I might have liked this book more if I read it back in middle school.  I wasn’t a big fan of either main character.  I didn’t necessarily like the back-and-forth points of view.  I wasn’t that emotionally invested with anyone.  I just didn’t love the book.  I think I will be stopping with the series now.  On to better reads…

Princess

  1. The Princess and the Hound
  2. The Princess and the Bear
  3. The Princess and the Snowbird
  4. The Princess and the Horse

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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