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Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

There's no such thing as a good day to lose a friend

In the summer of 2010, I'd hit a strange place in my life. I was revolted with my job, and had just become aware of this neat little community of folks who were producing independent web-based shows, reviewing all sorts of stuff on this website called That Guy With The Glasses. These were just people who had picked up cameras and started running with their own ideas, and they were successful, they had big audiences and they were doing really creative things. These were people who had the same interests I did, were into the same things, doing something I really wanted to do. So, with all the huberis and foolhardiness of youth, and with a few thousand dollars to my name and no bills to pay, I quit my job and started playing around with ideas for my own show.

As far as producing went, I did everything wrong, but I will never regret the time I spent trying to do it. I'd set up the bar in my parents' basement as a sort of all-purpose set and studio and spent just about all day, every day down there, ostensibly working on development, scripting, filming, redecorating... and trying to integrate myself into the community. A number of producers were doing a lot of livestreaming back then, but one in particular who was on during the day was Justin "JewWario" Carmical. I never missed one of his streams, and as a regular, eventually he started recognizing my name and saying hi to me when I showed up in the chat.

One day, he started talking about wanting title cards for his old episodes, and was looking for artists who might want to claim an episode to illustrate. He couldn't pay for the art, but we'd get a link under the video...

Title card art wasn't what I wanted to do, but the fact is I've always been a pretty good artist. Although I'd almost never do free artwork NOW, at the time, I was completely unknown as an artist. I had no audience and had never thought to charge money for my art. Doing a title card seemed like a decent foot in the door to me. So I volunteered.

It was the first time I had ever used a tablet to do art. I found it incredibly difficult to control the pen while looking at a screen. The result was wretched (I mean really, REALLY wretched -- http://fav.me/d31j8a9 ), but he didn't complain. Rather, after sending him a link to my gallery, he liked the rest of my art so much, he pimped my gallery on his stream on several occasions. So I did more art fan art. I stuck around the streams. And slowly, people came to know me. I made friends. A few months later, I went to my first con -- MAGFest. I met someone who became my partner in podcasting for a long time. Together, we interviewed about half the producers on TGWTG. I did his title cards (doing the art by hand, because I had no faith in tablets). Both of us were aiming for some coveted spot on the site. My partner found one as a podcaster with another producer.

Tony and I kept working together until I started noticing a name showing up regularly on my "recent visitors" box on my DeviantArt gallery. It was a vaguely familiar name -- Oancitizen. I went to my friend and brother-from-another-mother Smarty (also someone I knew through Justin, still one of my closest friends who I consider a brother). Smarty confirmed that he was one of the newbies recruited to the site and thought maybe he was looking for a title card artist. He immediately dragged us both into a call together, and sure enough, that's what this guy was up to. He asked me to do some example sketches for him while he was in the process of moving. I learned only after he decided to take me on as his artist that he had just moved 4 blocks from me.

And that's how I met my best friend. And how I got onto the site, first as an artist, then as an occasional cameo character. That's how I began to be accepted as a member of this funky, quirky, crazy, entrepreneurial, opinionated community.

It was on Justin's recommendation and advice that I moved to Charleston, SC in September 2013, in a housing arrangement with producer and host of Radio Dead Air, Nash Bozard -- a close friend of Justin's. That arrangement didn't work out, but the failing was mine, not Nash's or the advice I got from Justin. It was a worthwhile experiment and a necessary step forward in my life, even if it was followed by a step back.

There is more to our friendship. There are more friends I know only because of him. But this story is long enough. And some of it isn't the kind of thing you tell to strangers on the internet. Since that day I gave him my art and he gave me more support and encouragement than I could have dreamed of getting, we became close friends, and in a way, he was part of my family. He was more or less singlehandedly responsible for the shape of the past 4 years of my life.

Two days ago, on Thursday, January 23rd, Justin committed suicide. He shot himself in the bathroom of his home in Colorado Springs.

My last memory of him was from this year's MAGFest. He spent the last night of the con with me and m'lady in our room at the Aloft hotel. There are things that make sense, in retrospect... 20/20 hindsights that pick at my brain, trying to make me think I could have done something if I had only paid closer attention, been wiser, judged better... but I know there's no way I could have guessed it would come to this, even though I could see that he was depressed in a way I'd not seen him before. I've also known suicidal people before. It's a sad truth that I've known enough of them to know that one person's depression is not another's, and no experience could have prepared me to read his state of mind that clearly.

He spoke with my girl the day he died. They talked about dresses and he sent her a picture of how bright the moonlight was, shining on the snow at 3:00 in the morning. "As bright as day."

That was him, to me. As bright as day in the darkest, coldest times. He was there for people when they needed someone like that. He was always willing to be strong, supportive, infinitely generous with his time and his love. He changed lives, and he saved lives.

No words can express how deeply his loss is felt in our community. No words can describe how precious and how IMPORTANT his life was. No one can measure how much he gave to the world, because it was more than himself. He was a man who gave other people to the world, by saving their lives, by finding their strengths, by showing off their virtues, by keeping them as friends. That is his legacy -- *WE* are his legacy, the people whose lives were changed for the better because he was in them. He was a good producer, an entertaining and creative man, and one of the best friends anyone could ever hope to have.

This entry was crossposted from http://gethenian.dreamwidth.org/20054.html by means of a complex system of gears and levers run by a squirrel-powered perpetual motion machine and operated by volunteer Buddhist robots. The establishment thanks you for leaving all lolcat-themed items with the attendant dressed as a mince pie in the lobby before commenting. Ovaltine. Burma-Shave.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

I can haz dog.

October 9th, 2013 (12:23 am)
current mood: DOG!



I figured I should probably mention that I finally got something I've wanted since I was a kid:

A dog.

That handsome boy is Jackson. He's a purebred shelter mutt. We don't really know what his pedigree is at all. The shelter called him a "rottweiler mix," which he may well be because he does these funny dances and silly walks, but he's half the size of a rottie. I was guessing he might have some beagle in him, maybe some pointer because he DOES tend to stand in a pointer pose when he's looking intently at something. But mostly... I have no idea.

He has no training, which is a challenge right now, but easily solved. He is a really good dog, generally, he just has a bad habit of jumping and mouthing at people. He doesn't know any basic commands and REALLY needs to be taught "NO" and "DOWN." But the great thing about dogs is... they totally learn that shit if you know how to teach them. I just... don't. So he'll be going to an obedience class ASAP.

He's quite a character and the most loving little boy... he really wants nothing more than to be with me all the time. He's SO happy and I swear, I have never seen a dog with so little aggression in them. I have never heard him bark or growl. He's met now about 10 dogs in our neighborhood... some, he's content just to sniff and give otherwise very little attention to... some of them have been very territorial with him... There's some kind of tiny terrier thing across the street, and a lady with a papillion and a dachshund who ran down the driveway and circled him barking their faces off, and the scraggly mutt next door named Rinka will tolerate him being around but she barks and if he shows too much interest she jumps and snarls at him...

His reaction to all of them has been exactly the same: "Oh hey. Cool. So what's up?" Totally laid back, totally non-reactive. When he meets really NICE dogs, he just wants to play with them. That's also all he wants to do with children -- though he's big enough that I don't let him try to play with the REALLY little kids in the neighborhood, but the 7+ year olds just LOVE him. He gives basically NEGATIVE fucks about cats we've seen on our walks. And curiously, a lot of my neighbors here have RABBITS who they allow to just run around in the yard most of the time. Jackson's only response to THEM has been... enthusiastic-enough curiosity that the rabbits won't let him near and I don't necessarily trust him not to hurt one if he were allowed to run after one off the leash. I don't think he would MEAN to hurt one, but I do think he might do it by accident just due to not knowing how delicate a bunny is if he tried to play with it or pick it up.

So... I have a slightly dumb dog whose manners need work but whose temperament is just SO wonderful. It was worth the hours I spent on PetFinder.com and the 3 trips I took to the shelter before I found him. He charms the socks off of everyone he meets. I took him for his first vet visit 2 days ago and he never whined or resisted a single thing they did to him. He just kinda stood there and took it. Which absolutely THRILLED the vet and vet techs. And having an animal whose major motivation in life is just being with me is... kind of beautiful. :)

I am so happy to have found this dog. He's going to be my buddy and my partner-in-crime for as long as he lives, which hopefully will be another decade or more.

This entry was crossposted from http://gethenian.dreamwidth.org/19907.html by means of a complex system of gears and levers run by a squirrel-powered perpetual motion machine and operated by volunteer Buddhist robots. The establishment thanks you for leaving all lolcat-themed items with the attendant dressed as a mince pie in the lobby before commenting. Ovaltine. Burma-Shave.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

GUESS WHAT GUYS

July 26th, 2013 (02:48 pm)

I'M IN CANADA!

I'M IN FUCKING CANADA!

FUCK YEAH!

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

Ven sings some karaoke, for your earz.

July 6th, 2013 (03:30 am)



Some of our audience asked me to record a full version of the Candle in the Wind gag from the Mister Lonely review.

So I did.

I don't claim to have done it WELL, but I don't think it's too terrible for someone whose audio/video editing abilities can be described as "open programs included on computer at purchase, smash buttons until a song comes out."

This entry was crossposted from http://gethenian.dreamwidth.org/19213.html by means of a complex system of gears and levers run by a squirrel-powered perpetual motion machine and operated by volunteer Buddhist robots. The establishment thanks you for leaving all lolcat-themed items with the attendant dressed as a mince pie in the lobby before commenting. Ovaltine. Burma-Shave.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

"The Sciences Sing a Lullabye" by Albert Goldbarth

June 12th, 2013 (04:00 pm)

Physics says: go to sleep. Of course
you’re tired. Every atom in you
has been dancing the shimmy in silver shoes
nonstop from mitosis to now.
Quit tapping your feet. They’ll dance
inside themselves without you. Go to sleep.

Geology says: it will be all right. Slow inch
by inch America is giving itself
to the ocean. Go to sleep. Let darkness
lap at your sides. Give darkness an inch.
You aren’t alone. All of the continents used to be
one body. You aren’t alone. Go to sleep.

Astronomy says: the sun will rise tomorrow,
Zoology says: on rainbow-fish and lithe gazelle,
Psychology says: but first it has to be night, so
Biology says: the body-clocks are stopped all over town
and
History says: here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down.

This entry was crossposted from http://gethenian.dreamwidth.org/18461.html by means of a complex system of gears and levers run by a squirrel-powered perpetual motion machine and operated by volunteer Buddhist robots. The establishment thanks you for leaving all lolcat-themed items with the attendant dressed as a mince pie in the lobby before commenting. Ovaltine. Burma-Shave.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

Book Review: Songmaster

May 17th, 2013 (02:12 am)
geeky

current mood: geeky

Songmaster by Orson Scott Card

I recently re-read this book because, for many years from maybe age 11 or so until I guess 15 or 16, I considered it my favourite book. I hadn't read it since my copy was confiscated when I tried to read it during "Enrichment" period in 9th grade (that being when anyone who didn't want to go to daily Mass was allowed to sit in a classroom and read anything from a list of approved books that were supposed to be good for our souls or something I guess). I was inspired to give this book another read after seeing yet MORE bashing of Orson Scott Card. Apparently it's not cool to read or like his writing anymore because he's a horrible person or something.

And yeah, I know, he IS kind of a douchewad. I don't argue that point. He's not a nice person. He's seemingly not a GOOD person. He gives every impression of being a person who needs to be kicked in the teeth. With a penis. Perhaps his own.

But here's the thing about authors: They don't matter. If an author is a raging piece of shit, that's not a reason to boycott their works. In some cases, it may well be a reason to seek them out. In any event, the content of an author's soul does not determine the content of their works, and all writing should be studied with NO knowledge of the author as well as with the context of knowledge about the author's beliefs and life circumstances. If the writing holds up on its own, then the author's identity shouldn't matter.

Anyway, Songmaster.

Unsurprisingly, it's not as good as I remember it being. That wasn't unexpected -- I was smart when I was 11 but I wasn't an adult when I was 11. Or when I was 15 or 16 or whenever I last read this book... either way, more than 10 years ago. If you know anything about the book, it will amaze you to hear that I had no memory whatsoever of there being even so much as a MENTION of homosexuality in it. If you DON'T know anything about the book, allow me to explain that SPOILERS!Collapse )

So, part of the reason I re-read this book was also to see whether it showed any evidence of homophobic attitudes. I didn't REMEMBER any, but that meant nothing. The spoiler-cut incident is... pretty strongly homophobic, I suppose, if you choose to look at it that way and assume that the author made the choice to have Ansset's first sexual partner be male instead of female and thus have consequences so graphically dire as a punishment for gay sex. It's mildly damning, but at the same time, the narrative does explain that the consequences of near-fatal pain would have been the same regardless of who Ansset's partner had been, and Josif is actually BISEXUAL and in fact in a happy marriage with a year-old child at this point...

...which I would be happy to argue until the cows came home if it wasn't also for the fact that the book's universe is written as primarily homophobic. Guards and government workers at the highest level short of EMPEROR OF THE UNIVERSE display shockingly homophobic attitudes and totally get away with it, are surprised when they are called on it, as if it never occurred to them that there might be anything wrong with thinking like that.

This is in a distant future after the colonization, by humanity, of countless planets, after those planets have turned warlike and then been reunited under a single government, THOUSANDS of years in the future... I think the book actually says it's something like 3000 years in the future...

And in 3000 years, humanity has somehow not become enlightened enough that the guards and highest ranking government appointees, answerable only to the Emperor himself, have attained those positions without ever having had to sit through a workshop on political correctness and tolerance.... the government seemingly has no laws enforcing equality or punishing hate crimes... the man who brought peace to humanity doesn't screen for Westboro Baptists or pedophiles in his personal guard and assistants...

I don't buy it. I just... really don't. This is supposed to be an enlightened society, technologically advanced, artistically evolved, economically stable, inhabiting hundreds of planets with no war, minimal crime, prosperity on a scale un-dreamed-of in our time... and they still thing Teh Gays are gross nasty freaky fucks who deserve to be bullied, tortured, mutilated, and ultimately either murdered or driven to suicide?

I see why Mr. Card has drawn certain criticisms towards his character of late.

BUT HEY GUESS WHAT.

That isn't the whole book. That's not even the main plot or theme of the book. And there's another thing: The straight characters don't fare any better, really. If anything, while the narrative does seem to reflect an attitude of homophobia on the author's part, one could argue that he just hates sex -- ALL sex. Love is a major theme of the book, but whenever it becomes sexual love, it becomes tragic. It's like the author thinks sex pollutes love somehow. I understand celebrating platonic forms of love -- I understand it DEEPLY -- but this just goes into kind of a... weird place. In this book, all lovers are punished -- not just the gays. The only forms of love that are ultimately rewarded are kinds of love that exist between friends, between parents and children, between teachers and students, between citizens and their leaders, between performers and their audience, between oneself and one's home... between oneself and one's heroes. And these are all wonderful, exquisite, praiseworthy forms of love that SHOULD be celebrated, but never at the expense of other kinds of love, and certainly not by excluding any other kind of love as invalid and impure. Sex isn't something that can or should be experienced by a child or used by children to relate to people -- and for most of the book, the main character is a child, physically if not mentally -- but that doesn't mean it's inherently WRONG.

I'm digressing. A lot.

So this book... the story goes like this:

SPOILERS!Collapse )


So that's the story.

What made me love it was the language. Most of it is about communication through song -- everything from casual conversation to manipulation of people's deepest selves happens through music. It's satisfying on a very deep level to me, as a singer. I used to love to imagine that I might be able to do that. I sort of still love to imagine that. And maybe, on some level, it's true.

Homophobia aside, while this book is... unpolished, sort of juvenile... I think a better writer could have turned it into something twice, even three times as long, maybe more... I think this is still a damn good book. I think it would be a good book no matter who its author was...

BOTTOM LINE: ...and I think anyone who loves music should read it. I think it's better than Ender's Game. I think this is a book that does more good for the world than anything its author could ever accomplish in his attempts to be a dickhead.

This entry was crossposted from http://gethenian.dreamwidth.org/17697.html by means of a complex system of gears and levers run by a squirrel-powered perpetual motion machine and operated by volunteer Buddhist robots. The establishment thanks you for leaving all lolcat-themed items with the attendant dressed as a mince pie in the lobby before commenting. Ovaltine. Burma-Shave.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars

May 8th, 2013 (07:55 pm)
contemplative

current mood: contemplative

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Basically, John Green is an incredible human.

For those unacquainted with his astonishing awesome, he has a metric fuckton of online videos, the only ones with which I am actually familiar being the Crash Course series, which are all educational and fantastically funny.

As spoiler free as this can get:

The Fault In Our Stars is a YA book about two older teens with cancer who meet at a support group, bond over a book they both decide is perfect, travel to Amsterdam to track down its reclusive author, and fall in love with each other. Other stuff happens which I will not give away. This isn't really exactly a "love story" book. The love story happens, it's central to the plot, but this isn't a YA Romance Novel. It's a for-all-ages-over-12-or-so straightforward Good Book.

Despite the whole Cancer Thing, it is not depressing. It is staggeringly beautiful, triumphantly well-written, honest without being maudlin, tragic without being hopeless, and real without being cruel.

It is also, at around 300 pages, very short. It is possible to finish in one day. I did it in three, because I was reading at work and reading slowly. It's the kind of book you want to read slowly. It's worth taking the time to take it in like that.

Bottom Line: It is a book I think is Important to read. Highly recommended. 5 stars.

This entry was crossposted from http://gethenian.dreamwidth.org/17524.html by means of a complex system of gears and levers run by a squirrel-powered perpetual motion machine and operated by volunteer Buddhist robots. The establishment thanks you for leaving all lolcat-themed items with the attendant dressed as a mince pie in the lobby before commenting. Ovaltine. Burma-Shave.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

Catching up on book reviews...

May 2nd, 2013 (04:37 pm)
busy

current mood: busy

SOME OF THE REVIEWS BELOW CONTAIN MINOR SPOILERS. But they are minor. Usually. You have been duly warned.

This post contains 14 book reviews. They are as follows:

1. The Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons (4 books in all)
2. The Terror by Dan Simmons
3. Bonnie Before the Brain Implants by Keith Blenman
4. The Cloud Atlas by Liam Callanan
5. Cloud Atlas: A Novel by David Mitchell
6. Phases of Gravity by Dan Simmons
7. Drood by Dan Simmons
8 & 9. Ilium and Olympos by Dan Simmons
10. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
11. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Let's do this thing.




1. The Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons
This series includes 4 books. I will address each one individually then sum them up at the end.


~Hyperion
I have made note of this in a previous entry, and I hold to what I said in that review. This is the first book to have genuinely FRIGHTENED me since I was maybe 8 years old. That's 20 years of devouring books and not one of them has scared me like this. It's the good kind of scary -- the horror movie kind where you start jumping at every little noise because something is just so vivid, so perfectly terrifying, you have no choice but to start believing it's right… behind… that door…

This book is a compilation of 7 tales from 7 very different characters, all told in the framework of a quest. The stories are all as different as their tellers -- they contain themes of religion, poetry, war and violence, family and honoring one's parents, sex and honoring one's king…

Even if you don't want to read an entire series, you should read this book. Let it stand alone just for those stories, and decide at the end if you want to go on. It's a hell of a journey from here in more ways than one…


~~The Fall of Hyperion
This book branches out from the Pilgrims in the previous book and explores their world… or rather worlds. 150 linked planets throughout the solar system are preparing to go to war against an alien force of evolved humans, while humanity's ascended artificial intelligences try to both guide and hinder them. This story is told mainly from the point of view of Joseph Severn -- the clone of a clone of poet John Keats, who was a character in one of the 7 pilgrims' stories in the previous book -- as he observes how the leader of all 150 worlds, Meina Gladstone, comes to terms with the fact that in order to save humanity, she may have to orchestrate the greatest holocaust in human history.

This is a gear-shifting book that is completely unlike the first book, but for all the right reasons. It's a political thriller IN SPACE.


~~~Endymion
FAST FORWARD! Almost 300 years after the events in book 2, an anonymous dude from an out-of-the-way planet is sentenced to death for being a douchebag to some rich duck hunters, rescued from death by a character from the previous books, and sent on an impossible quest -- first to the Time Tombs (the goal of the original 7 pilgrims), and then to a world that may no longer exist, to topple the empire of the Catholic Church and keep safe the girl who will become the savior of all mankind. Pursued by a warrior-priest and his few loyal holy soldiers, Raoul, the young Aenea, and their cyborg friend A. Bettik flee the Church as they search for an impossible place -- Earth.

Once again, this book represents a major shift in setting a POV from the previous two, but for all the best reasons and with all the best results. This lays the groundwork for the final tale that will answer all questions and determine the fate of the human race…


~~~~The Rise of Endymion
This book describes the final struggle between all previously established groups -- the 150 worlds of the Hegemony, the Ousters, the Shrike, the pilgrims of the Time Tombs, the ascended AIs, Aenea and Raoul -- and determines the fate of mankind.

I will say nothing more.


BOTTOM LINE: This is the best book series I have ever read. This is better than Lord of the Rings. This is better than Discworld. This is better than EVERYTHING. This series speaks to my lit-loving soul. This has everything -- poetry, time travel, religion and the debunking thereof, death and rebirth, artificial intelligences, quantum theory, gods, monsters, epic space battles, Dick Tracey detectives, astonishing settings, adventure, love, technology, politics… If you like science-fiction, it's almost impossible not to LOVE this series. This is the new required reading of sci-fi, in my mind. It is… a perfect series. Perfectly structured, perfectly told, and perfect in the spirit of classic science fiction -- a vision of humanity's hardships that ends in hope and the timelessness of all that we understand to be important now and forever.

Read it. If you do nothing else I ever tell you to do, read these books.


----------


MORE BOOKS!Collapse )


THAT'S ALL FOLKS!

14 books in 5 months. Wow.

You may have noticed I have a sort of a… thing… for Dan Simmons.

I have realized that he is easily by this point my favourite author. I cannot get enough of his writing. I have, now, read over 6,000 pages of it, and I still want more. I've almost read more of his writing than all of my other favourite authors COMBINED.

I actually managed to hunt down his mailing address and sent him actual fan mail. That is massively dorky but for me, it's quite a novelty to have a favourite author who didn't die 100+ years before I was born. And who is still alive. Yeah.

Anyway, here are the coming attractions:

Currently Reading:
1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
2. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
3. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig


COMING SOON: (In no particular order)

1. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
2. Long Time Passing by Thomas Watson
3. The First Four Notes: Beethoven's Fifth and the Human Imagination by Matthew Guerrieri
4. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
5. Songmaster by Orson Scott Card
6. Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire
7. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This entry was crossposted from http://gethenian.dreamwidth.org/17176.html by means of a complex system of gears and levers run by a squirrel-powered perpetual motion machine and operated by volunteer Buddhist robots. The establishment thanks you for leaving all lolcat-themed items with the attendant dressed as a mince pie in the lobby before commenting. Ovaltine. Burma-Shave.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

Coming soon to Ven's book reviews...

April 10th, 2013 (06:07 am)
awake

current mood: awake

I just realized I haven't posted reviews of anything I've read since Hyperion. I will fix that tomorrow. Right now, a list of things I need to review, and the next items on the reading list:

To Review:
~The Fall of Hyperion
~~Endymion
~~~The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons
~The Terror by Dan Simmons
~Bonnie Before the Brain Implants by Keith Blenman
~The Cloud Atlas by Liam Callanan, not to be confused with
~Cloud Atlas, A Novel by David Mitchell (This is the one the movie was based on)
~Phases of Gravity by Dan Simmons
~Drood by Dan Simmons
~Ilium by Dan Simmons
~Olympos by Dan Simmons

I um... I kind of love Dan Simmons. Not only do I love him in a way I haven't loved an author since I was a teenager, I have, by this point, read FAR, FAR more of his writing than I have ever read of any other author (not counting re-readings). And oh yes, I fully intend to read more. As much more as I can get.

BUT! I have made a promise to myself to try to keep my reading at least SLIGHTLY varied. So here is my list of books to be read, all of which are on my Kindle now (but may not necessarily be read in the order they are listed):
[*Books in smaller font are re-reads of books I either loved but haven't been back to in over a decade, or hated that long ago and want to give them another chance.]

1. Song of Kali by Dan Simmons (I CAN STOP WHENEVER I WANT TO, OKAY??!)
2. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
3. Long Time Passing by Thomas Watson
4. The First Four Notes: Beethoven's Fifth and the Human Imagination by Matthew Guerrieri
5. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
6. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
7. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
8. Songmaster by Orson Scott Card
9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
10. Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire
11. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This entry was crossposted from http://gethenian.dreamwidth.org/17130.html by means of a complex system of gears and levers run by a squirrel-powered perpetual motion machine and operated by volunteer Buddhist robots. The establishment thanks you for leaving all lolcat-themed items with the attendant dressed as a mince pie in the lobby before commenting. Ovaltine. Burma-Shave.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

"500" by r.i.d.

April 9th, 2013 (08:58 pm)

(reposted from [personal profile] ashen_key)

"500" by r.i.d.


it took me so long
to wrap my fingers
around another girl’s
that by the time i had done so,
i’d been told real gays
came out early, what was i
even hiding from – well, okay
but when people think you’re straight
they say the things they
wouldn’t otherwise, their
tongues touch upon secrets like
why can’t bi people just choose a side
as if sexuality is as simple as
football teams – and on that note
society spends more reverence on sports
than it does on the education of
such individuals as all
sixty-seven (and counting) people
who have asked me “a gay-person question”
Read more...Collapse )

This entry was crossposted from http://gethenian.dreamwidth.org/16892.html by means of a complex system of gears and levers run by a squirrel-powered perpetual motion machine and operated by volunteer Buddhist robots. The establishment thanks you for leaving all lolcat-themed items with the attendant dressed as a mince pie in the lobby before commenting. Ovaltine. Burma-Shave.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

"Desire" by George Bilgere

April 6th, 2013 (04:44 pm)

Desire
by George Bilgere

The slim, suntanned legs
of the woman in front of me in the checkout line
fill me with yearning
to provide her with health insurance
and a sporty little car with personalized plates.

The way her dark hair
falls straight to her slender waist
makes me ache
to pay for a washer/dryer combo
and yearly ski trips to Aspen, not to mention
her weekly visits to the spa
and nail salon.

And the delicate rise of her breasts
under her thin blouse
kindles my desire
to purchase a blue minivan with a car seat,
and soon another car seat, and eventually
piano lessons and braces
for two teenage girls who will hate me.

Finally, her full, pouting lips
make me long to take out a second mortgage
in order to put both kids through college
at first- or second-tier institutions,
then cover their wedding expenses
and help out financially with the grandchildren
as generously as possible before I die
and leave them everything.

But now the cashier rings her up
and she walks out of my life forever,
leaving me alone
with my beer and toilet paper and frozen pizzas.

-----

I find this poem very... interesting. I am not sure whether to think of it as sweet or as a reflection of some kind of objectification... the way he thinks of the woman in terms of providing for her, in terms of wealth, in terms of her status as a maker of babies, but never as an independent person. But then... the way he imagines a future through the lenses of how much money he will spend on it may also be more of a reflection of his own attitudes towards money and wealth being the key to happiness, which may have nothing whatsoever to do with objectifying the woman. It's almost somehow also objectifying HIMSELF. The poem never mentions love... love has nothing to do with his desires.

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EGO DOMINUS TUUS by W B Yeats

March 31st, 2013 (10:44 pm)

ON the grey sand beside the shallow stream
Under your old wind-beaten tower, where still
A lamp burns on beside the open book
That Michael Robartes left, you walk in the moon
And though you have passed the best of life still trace
Enthralled by the unconquerable delusion
Magical shapes.

By the help of an image
I call to my own opposite, summon all
That I have handled least, least looked upon.

And I would find myself and not an image.

MORECollapse )

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"Queer 101"

QUEER 101

Dear Everyone on the entire internet: Please read this immediately and repost it everywhere so we can all stop being confused or offended any time someone shows up using words for themselves that you don't understand or claiming to be something you don't believe exists.

And remember the two cardinal rules of basic human rationality and decency with regards to the above issue:

1. If something confuses you, politely ask for clarification.

1b. If you are the person using words someone doesn't understand and if they ask for an explanation, GIVE IT TO THEM. Is it annoying to constantly have to answer the same questions over and over? Yup. Should you trust random strangers on the internet to magically know the right terms to google to "educate themselves" and then to pick the resulting links that offer the most thorough, unbiased, accurate explanations of those terms? GOOD GOD NO. YOU SHOULD NEVER, EVER, EVER DO THAT. Google isn't a person, but more importantly, Google isn't YOU. By expecting people to learn, you automatically accept the responsibility of teaching them. Feel free to whine about this until you get it out of your system -- at the end of the day, the sky is still blue, the earth is still round, and you are still the only person who knows who and what you are and what that means. You NEED to be the teacher. And you NEED to understand that it is impossible for people to "educate themselves" about anything pertaining to your identity because absolutely nothing else in creation is you and therefor absolutely nothing else in creation can DEFINE you without your instruction.

2. You do not ever get to judge whether or not someone's identity "exists," or whether they are sincere, or whether they are "going through a phase."
A) All identities exist.
B) Sincerity is irrelevant unless someone is lying about their identity in order to manipulate or harm other people.
C) "Going through phases" is an important part of maturing, getting to know oneself, and developing a deeper sense of connection with and empathy for others.
D) And as the linked comic illustrates, identity is not simple. Not everyone is born simply knowing exactly who they are and what they want, physically or emotionally. And while we as a species are learning more and more that there are more people in the world than we have ever imagined who fall outside the simple labels of "man," "woman," "straight," and "gay," the people who fall outside those identities are learning at the same rate as everyone else. They don't have a magical Queer Knowings Advantage -- sometimes people simply have never had an opportunity to learn that there are words for what they feel, words that give them an identity and therefor give them power. Words change how people think -- this is proven science. It takes time for people to adjust to new words that give form and function and reality to things about themselves that they have never before had any solid way to interact with or to communicate. It takes time for people to learn to do both of those things effectively, and to be comfortable doing so.

2b. Therefor our job -- all of you -- is to set your brains to "just go with it" mode. Accept how people define themselves and respect their wishes regarding how they want to be treated or referred to. Correct people who are using the wrong words or denying anyone's right to their own identity, however different it is from your own. Educate anyone who is willing to learn. And listen when others try to educate or communicate themselves to you.

Got that? I hope you were taking notes. No matter, this is all written down, it's not going anywhere.

...hey, I didn't say they were SIMPLE rules. And I PROMISE they are not easy rules to follow. But they are necessary rules. Children can get away with breaking rules due to ignorance and lack of judgment or forethought. Adults cannot. It's time for the world to grow up now.

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Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

This is my Election Speech. This is the State of the Division.

February 21st, 2013 (07:23 am)
Tags:

Sometimes I wonder where my mind goes when I let it wander. It always comes back smelling of portmanteaux, infrared smears on its collar... This can only end in unlikely coincidences and comedies of errors. And THEN where will we be? :\

(The answer to the previous rhetorical question, by the way, is "St. Johannesburg." Shh, shh, don't question it... just let it come to you.)

Also, for the last time, NO, I cannot help that my wayward cumulonimbus is a straight-up pimp, yo. We haven't spoken in years. He never calls. :( Anyway they told me that incident with the spaniel is perfectly natural. Everyone goes through phases sometime in their lives. Don't blame him.

I guess all I really want to say is... thank you, Toucan Sam. The debt we all owe you can never be paid.

My fellow neuron clusters... I beseech you, never, never forget the gift you were given when you were born into this century. They can make iguanas now, out of cheddar cheese. There's a tofu farm in southern North Dakota, just East of Weston, about 90 degrees from both the boiling point and everything in the known universe, where they actually breed bread box bottlers whose skills are unequaled in any other nation on this latitude. Just last week, I personally walked the hallowed ground once walked by Maude, and Maude before her, and previously by Maude, who came after Maude, and first and finally by Maude. What astonishing treasures are these specks of light we don't generally call cave bats. What magnificent riches we have, the ransom of exactly pi kings is held in this precious compendium of ones and zeros which is some really weird graffiti, hastily but passionately scrawled by an artist who will never be known... at least not for having produced works that match the rest of the furniture in here.

But I digress. We are all no more than lonely meat, but in the right sack, that meat can be a sausage, and that sausage, a kielbasa, and that kielbasa can be spread with mustard and placed lovingly onto a bit of crusty bread. Yes.... I can see in your eyes that you understand me. And it's so deeply, DESPERATELY important that you do. The fates of worlds will someday depend on your understanding. Every one of you is a rocket ship. Burn, baby, burn. Burn until you've set the whole of this too damn silent universe on fire with everything you are. Then burn the ashes. Then mix those ashes with some salt and milk and a little horseradish, bake at 450 degrees until golden brown, allow to cool for half an hour or so, and feed it to some ducks. Ducks appreciate that sort of gesture.

That's what the world needs to be to us. We need to fall in love like a duck with a beak full of dead stars, pluck out all our feathers, lie down in the sand as the winter creeps in, and even as the cold void begins to nibble at our extremities, giving itself a teasing taste before it devours us into unknown forevers, let us all close our eyes and give ourselves to the fishbowl with one last word lingering like an echo on our lips and throughout all time. You know it, my fellow sapiens. "Whitney..." Say it with me. "Whitney. Desolute. Effervescent. Burma Shave."

Believe in that, my brothers and sisters in quantum probability and denials thereof.

Believe in that.

-----

(...the smell of portmanteaux, infrared smears on a crisp white collar...

God has promised us cucumbreeze and Orionnaise sandwiches. To the moon, Alice. To the moon...)

This entry was crossposted from http://gethenian.dreamwidth.org/14452.html by means of a complex system of gears and levers run by a squirrel-powered perpetual motion machine and operated by volunteer Buddhist robots. The establishment thanks you for leaving all lolcat-themed items with the attendant dressed as a mince pie in the lobby before commenting. Ovaltine. Burma-Shave.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

SO. MANY. BOOKS.

January 31st, 2013 (05:01 am)

So... I got a $50 Amazon gift card for Christmas. Officially, it took me less than a month to get through that, and yes, I mean even by ONLY buying one, possibly two books at a time and then acquiring more only when I finished those. (There is a LITTLE exaggeration here in that I did use some of the balance on that card to get one of the books for an RP I'm starting, but still... point is, I have READ all but the last 1/4 of the last book I got from that card.)

And then my paycheck went through. For some reason, our last pay period was closer to 3 weeks than 2. Which means I have a little cash to burn.

And that was when I realized my deeply-rooted need to read every book Dan Simmons has ever written.

Sooooo I might have kinda acquired 4 more of those, which will sit happily on my Kindle like the most easily manageable and accessible "to be read" stack in the world.

I'll get back to them as soon as I read "Cloud Atlas" (Kyle made it sound really good, so it gets to go first) which, upon purchasing, made me realize something about how my rate of devouring books has increased since I got this nifty little device for my last birthday, only 11 months ago...

Glancing over the details of "Cloud Atlas," I noticed the page count, which is 374 or so. The first thought I had was one of mild disappointment in the fact that the book was so SHORT.

...

...I think I may have been a little spoiled by reading so many truly magnificent series books (The Hunger Games, A Song of Ice and Fire, How to Succeed in Evil, Wool, John Dies At The End/This Book is Full of Spiders, the Hyperion Cantos), I'm no longer used to books that stand alone and are under 800 pages long.

I need to go through my kindle list and add up how many pages I've read in the past year. It's one of those things I know will unquestionably blow my mind, and since I don't do drugs, sometimes I need to figure out ways to do that to myself in somewhat unconventional ways....




EDIT: Okay, I went through all the books I've put on my Kindle and read since I got it 11 months ago.

Combined page count to date: 14,684.

It won't take me a whole month to read Cloud Atlas, but when I finish that, it'll be just over an even 15,000. At the rate I read stuff, depending on which book I decide to read after Cloud Atlas, it's likely to be VERY close to 16,000 by my birthday, which is when I got this thing last year.

Also... this page count doesn't include physical books I have read (300 pages just this week), magazine articles, comic books, or online articles (in the past few months I've also gone through the entire archive of cracked.com back to 2004 and read every single article that attracted my interest.... so, most of them. I have no idea how to even START calculating that number).

Oh and um... I also... sort of... misplaced my Kindle for about 2 months this summer... and didn't do much reading during that time, if any... so technically the 16,000 pages plus probably several thousand more in things not read from my kindle is applicable to more like 10 months... So if I were to assign a random number of pages covering the entire Cracked archive, non-digital books, comics, articles, etc, I think I could easily put a very, very conservative estimate of 25,000 pages if not 30,000 or 35,000, which averages out to around 100-120 pages per day.



The sad thing is... that number still feels low to me. I really do read THAT MUCH.

Books are friggin' awesome, guys.

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Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

"Song of Childhood" by Peter Handke

January 26th, 2013 (07:12 pm)
curious

current mood: curious

GermanCollapse )




EnglishCollapse )




And this is the poem spoken aloud in its original language by a native speaker. It means nothing to look at the words if one does not know how to read or pronounce German, but to hear them -- even if you do not know what they mean -- you can understand that the words are placed the way they are with the intention to create something beautiful.

German, to me, is a very naturally beautiful language. I can actually remember the first time I ever heard it spoken by people who had come from Germany. Oddly, it was at a rummage sale where my sister and I had reserved a space on the lot and were sitting there on a blanket with boxes of old books and toys we were selling. A man came by with his two sons and spoke to them in a language I did not recognize but thought was just LOVELY to listen to. Mopreover, I couldn't guess by their appearance what nationality they were, though in retrospect this is a bit ironic because the man and his sons all looked as if they had been genetically engineered to be examples of a perfect Aryan -- pale skin, blonde hair so bright it almost glowed, blue eyes, all of them looking fit and well-dressed... Mythical beings, really. I have only ever come across those traits before or since in Russians, only they all still had a distinctly Russian appearance somehow. There is a kind of appearance I associate with Germans, but it's less distinct, not all Germans seem to have it, and it's so vaguely-defined as to be close to impossible for me to identify it in women. At any rate, these three boys did not have it. I found it shocking when I asked if the gentleman would please tell me what language he and his sons had been speaking and he said they were from Germany. I had always thought that German was supposed to be a very harsh, guttural language -- something that is snarled more than spoken. It is so very much the opposite of that.

I urge you to listen to just a little of that video, just to get a sense of what this poem sounds like. Because that is as important as what the words mean sometimes. "Als das Kind Kind war" is a beautiful phrase. I get it stuck in my head the same way I get songs playing over and over. It's simply gorgeous.

This entry was crossposted from http://gethenian.dreamwidth.org/14053.html by means of a complex system of gears and levers run by a squirrel-powered perpetual motion machine and operated by volunteer Buddhist robots. The establishment thanks you for leaving all lolcat-themed items with the attendant dressed as a mince pie in the lobby before commenting. Ovaltine. Burma-Shave.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

Mmmmm books

December 7th, 2012 (09:50 pm)

Moar book reviews anyone?


The Woodcutter by Kate Danley - See previous book review post. I have nothing to add to that review that would not be spoilery. It's simply a wonderful book for anyone who likes retellings of classic fairy tales.
Bottom line: Same as before. Buy it. Right now.


Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson - This book has been recommended to me by SO MANY PEOPLE over the years and is, as I have learned, one of my father's favourite books. When I began reading it, this baffled me, because this book is TERRIBLY slow to get started. CRIPPLINGLY slow. This is not a book that grabs you in the first sentence, or paragraph or chapter, or... well, anywhere in the first 20% or so. It's world-building, which I don't generally mind, but there's just something about it that is too subtle. It DRAGS. It drags and drags and then it suddenly hits the "Become Awesome" button. So I get it. I GET why so many people I know have named this as one of their favourite books. It is absolutely FASCINATING ow this book creates a near-future world based on internet concepts that so identically resemble things that really do exist today... that's fucking amazing. And the main characters.... I like them, all of them, but I don't ~LOVE~ them, any more than I ~LOVE~ most of this book. It's fascinating in how the author so clearly envisioned many elements of a future inconceivable by that time's web standards. It's a pretty good story, it's told... okay... but to me, it's not as world-changingly incredible as its reputation would have had me believe it was.
Bottom line: Recommended reading, but not until you have a lot of free time on your hands. This book probably won't show you anything new, but it's a fun ride if you can get past the initial slow opening.


Hyperion by Dan Simmons - Another review I'm giving before I've finished the book. I fucking love this. Unlike with Snow Crash, I loved it from the first paragraph in. This is very heavily character-driven sci-fi, and the author's style makes me purr like a kitten. His writing is an utter delight, and the story is just as good. So far, there's not a ton of action, exactly -- 7 characters have to get to a place, and they all decide to spend their time getting there by telling their stories of why they figure they were chosen to be part of this mission... pilgrimage... thing. Because presumably knowing that information may give them a snowball's chance in Hell of surviving it. Maybe. So the majority of the book is the characters' individual stories, punctuated by them going from a spaceship to another spaceship, to a boat thing, to some other mode of transport presumably... Those parts are good, but the stories the characters tell of themselves are SPECTACULAR. This is some powerful-ass writing, made even better by the fact that every character has a very distinctly different outlook on the world, different philosophies and strengths and weaknesses that define them, and the writing reflects all of that SPECTACULARLY. And I've only just started on the 3rd story. But man... the first was so chilling I was getting goosebumps reading it in the dim back room at my shop, and the second is SEXY AS HELL, OH MY GOD, and the third now is about a poet so OF COURSE I love it... And this book features a monster that is one of the most goddamn awesome motherfucking literary monsters I have read about in a LONG time.
Bottom line: ACQUIRE THIS BOOK RIGHT THE FUCK NOW.

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Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

Deleting The Author

November 17th, 2012 (06:54 am)
curious

current mood: curious

The following paragraphs are a thought experiment. They do not describe a situation I believe ever *could* realistically come to pass. Whether or not it SHOULD is something I hold my own opinion on, which is explained below. I hope you will patiently weight my points, and invite you to form your own opinion and share it with me.

Shall we begin? Good...

Deleting The AuthorCollapse )



So.... for all.... probably TWO of you actually reading this... if I were to want to publish this somewhere.... maybe even potentially for money.... how would I go about looking for somewhere to submit it to? I write so fucking many randomass essays it's almost stupid for me not to at least TRY to publish SOME of them. I have plenty of others, but this one I like in particular. What do you think? Is it even worth publishing?

This entry was crossposted from http://gethenian.dreamwidth.org/12269.html by means of a complex system of gears and levers run by a squirrel-powered perpetual motion machine and operated by volunteer Buddhist robots. The establishment thanks you for leaving all lolcat-themed items with the attendant dressed as a mince pie in the lobby before commenting. Ovaltine. Burma-Shave.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

What Ven has been reading lately: A whole bunch of book reviews!

November 12th, 2012 (10:59 pm)
busy

current mood: busy

About 5 months ago, I got a job working at a store that sells bird stuff. Bird feeders, birdseed, bird baths, bird books, bird puzzles, Birdopoly, bird-themed greeting cards and towel sets and ornaments, birding binoculars and telescopes... you get the idea. People MOSTLY come in to buy seed and feeders, only every so often does anyone buy the other stuff. As odd as this probably sounds, backyard birding is an INCREDIBLY popular hobby, and very profitable. The 3 locations I have worked at (out of 5 owned by my bosses, it's a nationwide franchise) all do good business.

BUT. I was hired because we extended our hours and are now open 12 hours a day every day except Sunday. I mostly work the night shift, which is a lot less busy, which leaves me A LOT of time to spend doing.... what-the-fuck-ever. For me, that means... I read. I read A LOT.

So here are some reviews of some of the books I've gone through recently:

A Song of Ice and Fire series, by George R.R. Martin -- These books are every bit as awesome as the HBO show and more. Parts of the 4th and 5th books suffer from Too Many Characters Syndrome... I feel like far too much of those books is dedicated to introducing new characters I have no reason to give two shits about when I'd much rather be reading about what happens to Cercei and Arya and Sansa and the Reeds... Tyrion gets a lot of attention but he loses some of his charm by being constantly grouped with more "I give no shits" characters or being stuck in situations where his wit and scheming nature really can't shine. Also, the Ironborn are ALWAYS FUCKING BORING until book 5.
Bottom Line: Highly recommended if you enjoy high fantasy and don't mind the fact that the author enjoys fucking with you by randomly killing, zombifying, brainwashing, exiling, and crippling main characters with no warning.


How to Succeed in Evil series, by Patrick E. McLean -- The series thus far consists of two full novels, one novella, and a series of podcasts which I have not listened to yet. I LOVE the books and short story. It's a "deconstruction" of the superhero genre, starring a businessman who makes a living as a consultant for VILLAINS, and his BFF and lawyer, who is essentially Tyrion Lannister if he lived in modern times.
Bottom Line: Highly recommended. Hilarious, sometimes poignant, excellently-written, creative satire and yet also its own original thing.


This Book Is Full Of Spiders, Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It by David Wong -- The sequel to John Dies At The End, which I LOVED, Spiders seems somewhat tamer... dialed back from the rampant surreal horror-insanity of the first book, but still a well-told story and a real page-turner.
Bottom line: Not for the squeamish, but otherwise highly recommended. The last quarter or so of the book makes the shortcomings of the first 3/4 worth it.


Rx by Robert Brockway -- On Amazon, this is sold as 3 (very cheap) short books which, when you read them, are really one single novel about 300 pages long and I'm not entirely sure why it's split up into 3 parts... I think there IS a digital version of all three together but it's no cheaper than buying all three parts separately. ANYWAY, I got these because I needed my dystopia fix. This is not the most well-written book, but the premise is pretty cool (an entire city contained in some kind of massively immense highrise building in which everyone is addicted to drugs). The whole thing could have used an editor to deal with things like sentences that use the same word twice and misplaced commas, and I REALLY wish the author had EVER given a clear explanation of exactly ow this place is set up and who is in charge of it and how the rest of the world operates outside of it... and I'll be honest: the ending is pretty disappointingly vague and nonsensical. BUT... this is a short, very readable series that never really gets BORING, as much as it often doesn't make much sense, and I have a great deal of affection for two of the characters... a scrawny rich kid addict whose drug of choice allows him to re-live the life of Lord Byron, and a "factory girl" (which I think is manual labor that collects scrapped robot stuff or something) who has bizarre powers that come from pirated nanotech and is probably the most creatively foul-mouthed character I have read in a long time.
Bottom Line: Cheap and short.... recommended if you like some dystopian future-tech shit with a side of drugs and interesting settings, but the ending will leave you going "....huh?" (Side note: I have discovered that this series has a website with a discussion specifically about the ending. Will look into this later.)


Currently Reading:
The Woodcutter by Kate Danley -- I don't usually review a book before I've finished it... and I'm only 40% through this one... but sometimes, a book is good enough to warrant a special notice. This is one of those books. If you like retold fairytales, you will like this book. If you like Into the Woods, you will like this book. The writing is delicately poetic but not in a cloying "purple prose" kind of way. It's reminiscent of Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire, especially his interpretation of the Huntsman. This story isn't a historical fiction interpretation, though, it very much takes place in its own world where magic and myth are real, tangible things. I love the main character, I love the premise (the Woodcutter, who guards the peace between the realm of mortals and the realm of Faerie, must find a creature who has breached the boundary and threatens the peace of the 12 kingdoms and the lives of all who enter the Woods... and perhaps those outside of it as well). I love the idea of memes interwoven here... how the Woods draw characters in with wild magic and cause fairy tale scenarios to play out over and over again, and the idea of "wild magic" that causes the madness of wicked witches and wolves and whatnot can be tamed and transformed into elemental natural magic with the power of true love.... whch sounds a bit sappy and sentimental but it is SO well done.
Bottom Line: Buy this book. Right now. Do it.





Coming Soon to future book reviews:

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson -- This book has been so highly recommended to me by so many people, I had to put it on my list.

Hyperion by Dan Simmons -- A book that was recommended to me when I went fishing to book recommendations from my Twitter followers... and apparently my BFF's brother loves it too, I've just found out... I just thought the premise sounded badass, so this goes on the list after Snow Crash, since if I like it enough to get into the rest of the books in the series, it'll be a while before I get to anything else. XD

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Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

Welcome to FUCK.

October 24th, 2012 (10:11 pm)

This is an article about my high school written by a former classmate of mine.

Read the article if you want to get angry.

Read the comments if you want to get homicidal.

Come for the legions of alumni showing up to defend their precious institution of brainwashed sadists.

Stay for the other alumni commenting with more horror stories of horrors inflicted on students by this place.

Grab your popcorn for the crowning jewel of unimaginable wrongness that is the story of the girl who suffered years of abuse and rape and was told by the school administration to go tell the resident priest, who told her that it was God's will and that she must endure it as punishment for her sins and never try to escape or tell anyone what was happening to her.

Then grab your torches and your pitchforks. Because the scariest people you'll ever hear about this Halloween aren't the witches or the zombies or the vampires or the werewolves... they're worse than Twilight... they're Opus Dei. And this ONE SCHOOL has done actual, demonstrable harm to more people than Stephanie Meyer could ever DREAM of doing, however popular her misguided fictional bullshit gets to be.

This entry was crossposted from http://gethenian.dreamwidth.org/11360.html by means of a complex system of gears and levers run by a squirrel-powered perpetual motion machine and operated by volunteer Buddhist robots. The establishment thanks you for leaving all lolcat-themed items with the attendant dressed as a mince pie in the lobby before commenting. Ovaltine. Burma-Shave.

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