You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2009.

Whoaho, I got a new layout for the first time in, oh, 3.5 years? Poor neglected LJ.

There’s a fox in our neighborhood, and it keeps hanging about our yard. It’s very bold, just wanders around the yard and comes and goes as he (she?) pleases. The other day it ran through with a kit following it, very unconcernedly. They’re beautiful animals, but Mom’s convinced we’re all going to get rabies by osmosis or something and die horrible twitching deaths. I had a dream where she made friends with it and was petting it while we all watched dubiously. “What about rabies?” “Oh nonsense, it’s fine.” Then again, there were also giant worms the size of anacondas in that dream, so reality’s hold was pretty tenuous. I find I dream about giant worms when I’m stressed sometimes. What in the world does that mean? Wait, don’t tell me.

At first I thought I’d love to live here, but on further consideration, I think I might go a little insane after a while. I do love the woodwork, though.
My Milk Toof, or Some People Have Too Much Time. Then again, I’m not one to talk.
English has one million words! Exciting stuff, guys.
Speaking of words, it turns out that pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanocon is not a real word after all. You may all mourn for a moment.
Cocaine frozen in sharks. I guess you have to admire their creativity, at least.
“Stoned wallabies are responsible for crop circles” is one of those headlines that makes you question your sanity, just for a minute.
Happy Birthday, Alex! I have absolutely no idea who Alex is, but I find this very amusing.
The Hero Proposition. If done well, this could be one of the most important societal movements that I’ve heard of lately. It’s worth watching each section.

I think maybe I should have a separate section for music links. There always seem to be rather a lot of them. So, look! Or rather, listen, or rather both.
I love Regina Spektor. And so should you. Check out “Eet”.
Soul Sloshing by Venus Hum. Am unsure as to the purpose of the folks in underwear, but otherwise a fabulous video.
Soy tu aire. Lovely!
Sunlight by Reilly. Not usually a fan of Christian music, but this pretty great.

Books! I have been reading them. I finished War and Peace in about 2.5 weeks, which is a hugely long time for me, but…it’s War and Peace. Even once I got a feel for it (took around 300 or 400 pages for that), it was pretty rambling at times. The thing is, it’s not really a novel, or a history text, or a biography, but it’s all three (which is probably why it’s so massive). You can tell that Tolstoy was trying to make sense of all of these huge historical events in which he participated. He switches from the third person when he’s describing battles he himself fought in; suddenly it’s “the enemy attacked our left flank around noon”. I think he was almost too close to his subject matter. At the same time, it reads like a history textbook at times. I found a lot of Tolstoy’s concepts thought-provoking, but I had to wade through hundreds of pages to get to them. Overall, I’m glad I read it and I enjoyed parts of it, but I wouldn’t read it again, I don’t think.

I had meant to read something light after that, but a friend gave me a copy of Night by Elie Wiesel, so I read that instead (which is very certainly not light). It’s the story of Wiesel’s time in the concentration camps during WWII, and it’s not easy to read, but a book that I think everyone should read. Then I read Quicker than the Eye by Ray Bradbury, which was every bit as exquisite as every other Bradbury book I’ve read. I also read Grendel by John Gardner, which is supposed to be Beowulf from Grendel’s point of view, but which is mainly just a frame for nihilistic angst. Interesting, though. I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it. Then I read Empire by Orson Scott Card, which I had picked up not knowing anything about it other than that it was by Card, so I figured it would be good. The premise was rather fascinating: another civil war, this time divided more or less along party lines, exploring the animosities between the two political parties and how easily these differences could explode into open conflict if we’re not careful. Interesting take on things, at any rate.

Lot of frustrating things happening around here the past day or two. The internet is such a wonderful little escapist realm, I must say…

Life without school, or at the very least the expectation of shortly heading back to school, is WEIRD. I am undecided about how I feel about the feeling. Still no job (aside from the country club), but I have a phone interview on Monday, so we shall see how that goes. SOMEONE. HIRE ME.

The other day after Pentecost service, we all went to a woods near here to walk, which was kind of funny because we were all in dresses and heels (the girls, anyway). We walked on the trails anyway, and we were sitting talking at a picnic table near the parking lot when I saw a woman come up and sort of hover near our group. She finally came over to us, and was carrying a pickle jar. She explained (in a very thick German accent) that she had seen something fall onto her porch. At first she thought it was a leaf, and then she realized it was a tiny baby bat! She was going to take it to the ranger who works at this particular woods, only he wasn’t there that day. She didn’t know what to do with it, and she saw all of us, and I guess she thought, I dunno, we would like a baby bat? Anyway, she gave us the pickle jar with the baby bat squeaking away inside. Poor thing, he was probably nearly asphyxiated by the pickle fumes. Anyway, we have a neighbor who’s into wildlife rehabitation, so we thought we’d take it to her, only it turns out she doesn’t do bats (??). So, I googled around and ended up making a little nest for it in a box and feeding it warm milk from an eye dropper every few hours. He was kind of a cute little thing; he was so tiny, his eyes weren’t even open yet, and he still had part of the umbilical cord attached to him. I couldn’t even tell if he was drinking, he was so small, but if I didn’t sploosh milk in his face he’d get all antsy, so I figured he was getting at least some of it down the hatch. A good bit definitely went in his nose, because then he’d be blowing little milk bubbles and sneezing. We eventually worked out a decent system. I worked pretty hard to keep him alive, but sadly he didn’t make it through the night. Goodbye, little bat.

A funny/weird thing: Mom and I were in Bed, Bath, and Beyond (ugh, what a name for a store) yesterday, and we were milling around trying to find a cabinet thingy (hey, I dunno, I was just there with Mom) when I heard some guy behind me exclaiming over my hair. I turned around, and it was this VERY Southern-sounding family. The guy was like, “That is amazing! Hey, can I take your picture?” “Um. Sure,” I said. His wife looked embarrassed and his kids were rolling their eyes. Then he fiddled with his cell phone and couldn’t figure out how to take a picture until his kids helped him. At the time it was mostly sweet, but in hindsight I guess that was kind of odd. Mom warned me sternly, “Don’t let it go to your head!”

I’m digging the music of Damien Jurado, Chris Bathgate, and Iron and Wine lately. There should be a word for that type of music, other than “indie” which can be rather nondescript. Is there?

Some cool things:
I’ve been saying it for years.
An interesting little short story called “Imposter.”
All the Great Operas in 10 Minutes, even better because it’s done by a Canadian!
“Laughing With,” a new music video by Regina Spektor. At first I wasn’t sure if I loved it or hated it, but I think I love it.
I have no idea what this is trying to convey, but it’s pretty interesting anyway. Also, I love the song, and Zachary Quinto makes funny snarly faces.
This one takes a little bit of explaining. Katy Perry, who did the idiotic song “I Kissed a Girl,” did a song called “Hot n Cold” which is also really dumb, but disconcertingly catchy. THIS is cover of that song by a Ukrainian polka band, comprised of all men. I could not make this stuff up if I tried. I laughed so hard, I may have broken something.

Books books books! I’ve been reading more like myself lately. I read Raney by Clyde Edgerton, who used to teach at Campbell back in the day. Supposedly Raney was what got him fired because…I’m not sure exactly. They thought he made fun of Southern Baptists or something. The book was just ok, but it certainly wasn’t worth firing someone over. If someone was offended by his portrayal of Southern culture, I think it says more about the person than it does about him. I’ll have to get more on the story of that whole kerfuffle. Apparently it was a huge scandal at CU when the book came out.

I finally read The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. I don’t know why, but somehow I always manage to forget what a wonderful writer she is. She just talks about things like plowing the rice fields in China, and you’d think it’d be boring, but instead it’s beautiful and makes modern life seem very shallow. She’s a quiet author that sneaks up on you, and before you know it you’re in love with the scenes she paints and you can’t figure out why you never hunted down every book she ever wrote and read them all. I think maybe the magic fades when you’re not inside the book anymore: it’s to peaceful to stay at the front of your mind when everything else is too chaotic. All the more reason to read her.

I scarfed down The Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart in about two hours one day. Mmm, candy books. Not actually as great as some of hers, actually, this one really did feel like hard candy, one of those flavors you like but really aren’t thrilled about, instead of homemade fudge or something. I like food analogies for books!

I am currently reading War and Peace by, of course, Leo Tolstoy. If Mary Stewart is candy, War and Peace is more like a gigantic side of beef, which you better eat in small chunks or you’ll get sick to your stomach and never want to eat meat again. I’m 330 pages in, and I’ve barely made a dent. I’m not really sure yet what I think of it. It sort of feels like we’re still warming up. I definitely like some thoughts in it, but it’s too soon to tell if the massiveness of it is worth munching through to get to them. Will keep you updated as to my progress!

You seem to have stumbled upon a storytelling of ravens. Watch for falling collective nouns; you may find a wing of dragons or a charm of hummingbirds caught in your hair. Hardhats are recommended.

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Stephanie Ricker's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

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