Tuesday, February 7, 2012

30 Before Thirty: update

It's been awhile since I've visited this blog and updated my 30 Before Thirty list. It's also been ages since I've finished a book, and yet, I'm a couple behind on my updates. Time to remedy that, eh?

Here's the updated list:

O1. The End of America
O8. thrift
1O. Money Girl's Smart Moves to Deal With Your Debt
14. Ghostly Awakening (This link was taken down for some reason. Not sure why it's gone.)

Fiction books. Two of them. Unusual choices for me, as can be seen by the rest of my list.

21. Loki's Daughters is a junk food read that I downloaded for free on my Kindle. It has serious flaws in the plot, isn't the best written, and it's a bodice ripper (Which really aren't my thing. I will not be started on my mother's collection of about 10,000 of said books). And yet, I enjoyed it enough to read it 3 times before being done with it. Despite its flaws, it was funny and quirky. The characters, even if not developed as well as could be, were endearing. Really, the only annoying and too flat character was the main one, strangely enough. I think with as stressful as my life has been, I needed something silly and not serious to ingest. What may intrigue me most is that this piece was the author's first book, and she's stated that she intends to revisit it and polish it at a later date. I like when an author can admit that she didn't do the best job when writing something and she wants to fix it. When she does, I would gladly read it again.

22. The Dead Travel Fast was a book I tried on a whim after seeing Felicia Day blog about Ms. Raybourn's other work, the Lady Julia Grey series. This book was a bit of a gamble based on the Amazon reviews: most people who are a fan of the Julia Grey books did not have much kind to say about this book. Most called it her weakest piece and didn't like that she had dabbled in a different genre, apparently. I wasn't looking to start a series at the time and this was the only stand alone book Ms. Raybourn has written, so I gave it a go. It was surprisingly enjoyable. It involved elements of the horror vampire genre, mystery, and a little light romance. It had some plot twists I didn't see coming, which was nice... but I was a bit miffed that it was due to the information's not being given earlier in the book. It's really easy to surprise your audience if you hold back character information.

I'm in the middle of another book right now and based on what I've read so far, I'm not going to have much nice to say about it. Thank goodness I managed to download it for free instead of paying. :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Giving this a try, kittens

A quick hello for Contradictive Tendencies from SewKnitpicky on Vimeo.

This was made at 11:00pm last night, so please forgive the lighting and flightiness. Though, in the middle of the day, I'm not much better. I also have a tendency to talk fast; sorry about that. :P

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Kittens, I've been playing with the idea of doing some video log entries. Are there any topics you'd like to see or questions you'd like to ask me?

Monday, July 4, 2011

30 Before Thirty: update

I'm slowly getting closer to my reading goal for my 30 before Thirty list. With a little over a year left on the clock, I have 10 books left to go!

So here's the updated list:

O1. The End of America
O8. thrift
1O. Money Girl's Smart Moves to Deal With Your Debt
14. Ghostly Awakening (This link was taken down for some reason. Not sure why it's gone.)

18-20 were read pretty quickly thanks to the illness that took me down for 2 full weeks. I didn't have time to craft, but I had time to read.

STUFF was fascinating (and borrowed from the library). Those who know me well enough know how I feel about our culture's current point-and-stare obsession with hoarding: I find it distasteful, to say the least. Reading a book about the most current information on the affliction was enlightening and updated my own store of information. Being an information geek, I like being current when going on my Know It All streaks. It also confirmed what I already intuited: these clean-out shows are traumatic to the hoarder involved and ultimately, pointless. I hope our obsession with hoarding soon fades and the TV shows devoted to it get cancelled. (Seeing my counterparts talk about how watching these shows to motivate themselves to clean makes me want to projectile vomit on them.)

The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking is one that I bought. I'm on the fence about how I feel about this; I'm apparently a bit higher up on the homemaking pecking order than I originally thought. Meaning, quite a bit of the information in it was not really meant for me, but for those who are truly being introduced to the idea of eating at home and making one's own food, doing laundry, mending, cleaning without toxic cleaners, etc. It did have a few nifty tips in it that I hadn't encountered before, but I'm not sure it's worth keeping. I was expecting a few recipes or a bit more in-depth information. This book was more of a super basic overview to what goes into making a home. I've peeked at the author's blog before and found it more informative, so I guess I assumed the book would be as well.

Food Rules took me less than 2 hours to read and is another book I own. I really enjoyed The Omnivore's Dilemma, but this book of Pollan's left me going, "really?" As in, I really spent money to buy this when most of it is common sense? (To anyone who has already started unplugging from the industrial food system, anyway.) And I really spent the money to have to read more wank about the obesity "epidemic"? Again, maybe if someone is less acquainted with the topic, it might be revolutionary. For me, it was a waste of time and money. Pity.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

30 Before Thirty: update

Lately, I've been reading again, so I thought I'd update my books read to date list.

To date I have read:

O8. thrift
1O. Money Girl's Smart Moves to Deal With Your Debt
14. Ghostly Awakening (This link was taken down for some reason. Not sure why it's gone.)

I've been debating if I want to review any of these books or not. From the current batch, I have mostly negative things to say about them with the exception of one. (The New Frugality, if anyone is curious. I was pretty neutral about Money Girl... and The Cheapskate Next Door.) It's in my nature to point out fault, but I'm not sure this is always helpful. I suppose I could try being more vague and general rather than nitpicking.

If you are like me and dislike reading books that are written by preachy people or tell you a bunch of things you already know and think it's new because it was new to them, avoid Green with Envy and No Impact Man. Both books also leaned really heavily on the, "WE MUST BE SPIRITUAL, WHAT DO THE RELIGIONS SAY...?" angle. As an atheist, this should not surprise anyone that it bothered me. A couple of mentions are fine, but when it starts becoming several times a chapter, you better believe my eyes are rolling, and I'm debating if I want to finish.

If I had to be honest, No Impact Man annoyed me the most. I had watched the documentary based on this project awhile back and it turns out that the author is equally annoying in print, even at the end when he's supposed to have learned so much about himself and made changes. I had been expecting a book with some practical information about the project, instead, it was filled with his obsessions and speshul problems. And seriously, dude: explain what the hell you did when you gave up toilet paper rather than throwing a hissy about how everyone wants to know about it. We do not live in the land of bidets here, and believe it or not, some of use would like to find ways to decrease our TP consumption. I made it through this book by sheer will power. It was not what I was expecting it to be.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, The New Frugality was well worth the time spent reading it, and I'm considering purchasing it for my collection at home. It was chock full of useful information and it struck a nice balance between Your Money or Your Life which was about spending as little money as possible, retiring NOW, and sustaining this sparsity for life, and Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which read like a bad GET RICH QUICK! scheme with all the talk about expensive cars and million dollar homes and how sparsity is for suckers. Not only that, it's a more recent publication and went into changes that we'll see in our lifetime regarding retirement and the effects of the recession. I learned more from this book than any of the others I've read to date. The only thing that raised my hackles about this book was the author's insistence that we must pay for our children's college education. On this subject, I actually agree with The Cheapskate Next Door and what was described as "oxygen mask parenting."

Anywho. I'm starting to fall into the desire to critique and nitpick these books to death.

I'm so excited that I'm just over halfway to 30 read, and I have just over a year to read the last 13! I'm thinking I may be more selective for these last ones. Truth be told, I've read a lot of duds recently because they were free Kindle downloads or library books.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 15: Family Picture

Today, we took family portraits. Imagine my surprise when I realized that it was also the theme of today's art challenge. Yay for photo days! I love how goofy my kids are in this one.

(The camera was at an awful angle for me but not everyone else, so I let it go. No need to be vain. :P

Next time, we'll have it sitting up just a bit higher. )

Day 14: Fave Fairy Tale

I'm not a fan of fairy tales, especially not the modern, cleaned up Disney versions of them. Princesses make me gag, and I want to kick most Princes in the taint. They're filled with women who are either evil witches, twits, or seductive enchantresses. It's hard to find a solid, sensible female character in the lot of them. (In all fairness, it's hard to find a good character in them, period.)

I am however, a fan of modern fairy tales, particularly those written by Neil Gaiman. In my definition, a fairy tale is a story that is over the top and filled with fantasy, but has a lesson hidden at the core. It's usually obtained through a test or trial. Of his fantastical stories, Coraline and Star Dust are my favorites, but I chose Coraline for this challenge. I was disappointed that the movie version was softened and weakened a bit to put in a male filler character. The book version will always be first in my heart.