egwenna: (Default)
How Neurofeedback Can Successfully Treat Attention Deficit Disorder without Drugs

Other people read fun stuff, what little reading time I have is mostly related to helping the little man, though I did check out "Vampire Hunter D" which was okay and I adapted quickly to the fact that you read the book from right to left, back to front. Not sure though if I'll get the next Hunter D book, or not. Never did even manage to get the last Last Man installment.

but onto the neurofeedback book... )
egwenna: (MEEZ-justdoit)
I've been reading The New Rules of Lifting for Women and adopted their workout scheme for the days I lift weights. I modified today because I don't have an 'Olympic bar' at home (7', 45 lbs) or a way to do lat pull downs and there was just no easy way to make it to the gym. But hopefully, next week, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will be weights with yoga on the 'off' days.

workout details )

One of the things I like about the book is how down to earth the author is. He's been writing a while and admits to having written things we now know to be false. But it's the whole point of doing better when you know better. He debunks a lot of the jargon that women's fitness magazines use (the notion of 'long' muscles and whatnot) and really goes into the physiology of how things work, why things happen and how it all ties together. Like the so called 'Dowagers Hump' that so many elderly women have. It starts in the quads and has a lot to do with how strong those muscles are in women compared to any other muscle group in our bodies. Add in frail bones and you've got deformity and an inability to bend forward without risking that the simple action of standing back up will fracture your spine.

The fact that he gleefully knocks men for behaving like Neanderthals in the gym is also amusing. I have seen some of these men. I've left areas of the gym because laughing because they're being so completely preposterous. At the same time, he makes an acute observation about many women (and I know a lot of these, too):

A woman who's willing to work like a gally slave in Spinning class, twist herself into Gordian knots in the yoga studio, and build enough core strength with Pilates to prop up a skyscraper will walk into the weight room, pick up the pastel-colored Barbie weights, and do the exact opposite of what will give her the results she wants.

And they really are Barbie colored. There are BINS of them in the group fitness room, which has a predominately female clientele. I have one at home, but it's for the kids to use.

So, it was a good read and now I'm into the routines. Having them map it all out and explain -why- they've grouped them in the fashion they have makes a lot of the workouts I did with trainers in the past make more sense. Good stuff.
egwenna: (Default)
by Anita Shreve

I can't say it's a bad book, but I'm not recommending it.
my two cents )
egwenna: (Default)
Which shouldn't be an event, and once upon a time I could say that two or three times a week, but now it's more like two or three times a year. :-p

This is actually about the second book I've read this year (the first being the unreviewed The Sistine Secrets.)

What seems like oh so long ago, I wrote a short story set in the Great Depression (tidbit and journal entry on that) and for a while I did a bunch of reading and made a bunch of notes for a book outline.

Water for Elephants is the sort of book I'd want to write if I ever get around to turning those notes and ideas into an actual book.

The character who dictates the story hooks you pretty much imediately. The book is well paced, giving you both sides of the story in neat chunks that give you persepective and round out the character. The plot is believable. The characters are believable. There are a few things I'd likely have added if I'd written it, but then I'd likely have cluttered up the storyline and bogged it down. Being related to carney folk, knowing what I know of the Great Depression era, I could tell she did her research before I got to the end of the book and read the notes.

I've had the book for weeks, on loan from a high school friend who had it from her mother-in-law and they were raving about it. I brought it with me this weekend, just in case I had time to read, picked it up just after 8PM in the hotel room with Elly and finished it a little before midnight. Except for a break to grab a shower and get ready for bed, I don't think I even blinked. 331 pages devoured in about 3 1/2 hours.

The back of the book declares "Compelling...Vivid. Rich...Emotional." And I have to agree.

Two thumbs up and I'm looking to see what else she's got.

flashbacks

Feb. 2nd, 2008 09:57 am
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Thus far the trip to FL has gone smoothly. The kids, both healthy when we boarded the f@#$%!plane, are now running fevers. Isaac lost most of a night of sleep because he was roasting, but last night was better. Hopefully they will both bounce without getting truly sick, but as my mother joked, 'what would a trip to FL be without a trip to urgent care?'

*sigh*

BUT! Dad was cleaning out the attic, tossing old papers and whatnot and made a discovery: an old box of books. Mom dragged it out to show me because the kids are now the right age. Most of them I recognized right off and the flash flood of memories the old covers brought out was amazing. There's one or two I'm not sure are in print anymore, some with fantastical beasts, another with a little boy who learns to gather flowers for an elderly British painter. He reluctantly buys food and a warm blanket for his family and brother, but finally gets to buy what he really wants - a shiny, hardbound 'fancy' book. For the whole book he works in the shadow of a tiger, which men are hunting ... and that's the one detail I can't remember the resolution of. Other parts I could recite, but I know I only read the book once. Guess it struck a cord with me. My old dinosaur book was there, but I think the one that excited me most of the petshop book with all it's unusual creatures. I'll have to look later to see if it's available, but I know I've never seen it in a bookstore while buying stuff for the kids.

I think we'll draw from the box for bedtime tonight.
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Dad was looking at this site yesterday and we were cracking up. He sent me the link this morning, so I thought I would share:

http://www.theonion.com/content/video/poll_bullshit_is_most_important?utm_s

Still waiting for Brian to return (but at least he's called) and Isaac is napping so I've actually had time to read. I finished Vol. 3 of Y: The Last Man, which sees Yorik possibly having male company in a few months, the introduction of yet another faction (ninjas this time! going with the 'every story is better with ninjas, maybe?) and the return of Hero. Still wondering what the hell the Senator/mother was thinking.

Now I need a word with the librarian. My library system seems to be missing Vol 4. Though they have all the others after. Hopefully they can get it, or find where it's been misfiled.
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The celebratory weekend ended, the folks went home, the sun went away and the clouds rolled in with a vengeance. Mother Nature held the turn of seasons so the Princess could have her party, but boy-howdy, it's autumn weather now. I knew the good times were over when the rains came, the headache came, and the guys came to close the pool. One-Two-Three. I was out. And migraines last three days for me, so most of the week was lousy.

I am finally recovering and now I have to dig myself out from days of being dysfunctional. Nothing like a house with children that's been allowed to fall apart for days at a stretch. :-p

Some things just aren't getting caught up on. Others... hopefully tomorrow, or Monday. There's bills to pay, invites to RSVP, library books that need found and returned, an estimate to fix the porch that never materialized. When you own a house and have kids, the list never ends.

But, on the library score, while it rained and the children napped, when I was feeling better but still couldn't bear to look at a computer screen, I did actually get more reading done! I finished Y: The Last Man Vol. 2: Cycles and Kabuki: Circle of Blood.

I'm still sold on the Y series, though there were bits that seemed a little glib. Throw away bits that sort of annoyed me because they were just there to justify later scenes which were just there to be violent. I suppose they were there to move the plot, or explain Hero and her 'descent', but I thought the set up was fairly unrealistic. And the whole delirious, 'I want you' hospital scene? Please. Still, I liked it enough to request book three, which they don't have listed as a Y book, so I took a stab at the list and hopefully the right book will turn up. I need to ask if there is a way to get an account to tweak the listings, because they look random. As if they were done by a whole bunch of different people who didn't have rules to follow, or didn't have someone to enforce the rules of how things were done. It's a mess and mess is not a word that should apply to library listings.

The first Vol of Kabuki .... I think I'm going to go with Vol 2, but there are repetitive elements that started to grate. There is a limit to how many times I need to be told any particular detail. Some of it was stylistic and worked almost poetically, and than other times it didn't quite rise to the level of art. But I like the Electra-esque story line and the symbology of her name, that Kabuki is a drama performed by women, the main character is a woman named Kabuki... etc. How she recognizes how she's been dehumanized, going through the steps, remembering in the final scenes. The all important civility as a charade that leaves people powerless when they know it's absurd. Interesting. I'm hoping for color in the second book.

My husband protests that they're 'toy' books, but graphic novels are a quicker read and that's what I've got time for.
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Since they came up, I picked up the first of Steven Erikson's Malazan books. Given the time I have to read, I'm not sure I will be dedicating it to the next. Some of the bits with the gods was interesting. The Warren in the sword, the souls chained to the wagon. The dragons. The Soletaken. But the story went through so many places and so many characters so fast it made me dizzy. Every story has disposable people. Walk-ons that are only there for a second, but this book threw so much at me at once with places, people, etc that I kept having to go back to see if I'd missed something. Am I supposed to know this [place/person/god/whateverthehellthisis]?

I assume the collage of naming conventions was to indicate different cultures and peoples, but none of them were ever described in enough detail, or developed enough, for me to form a picture in my head and they all started feeling very generic. Characters were the same way. Tattersail was 'the fat lady with the spells'. Wiskeyjack was the 'old man with the beard'. Sorry had long dark hair. Faceless characters I'm supposed to care about.

For a long time, Sorry was a source of contention. I'm 'sorry' but in an army, do you really need years to find one of your own recruits? It's not like she was trying to hide. And they have her early on, tell a segment of the story from her pov, and then *blip* she's gone and we don't see her again until the second half (sorta). That annoyed me.

And when did we switch continents? I missed that until the very end of the book.

The plot was good and it hung together pretty well as I scrambled through, but still not a book with any wow factor for me. And it had dragons, so that's just wrong.

Ah well.

Next...
egwenna: (Default)
Finally got my hands on Vol 1 of Brian Vaughan's Y: The Last Man and actually managed to read the whole thing. Had to renew it twice to do so, but I finished.

For a graphic novel the art was okay. I'm a big fan of Michael Turner and Joseph Michael Linsner and a lot of the art I see isn't to my tastes, but this was okay. Didn't interfere with reading the story and nicely filled in all the bits that didn't get written.

And, if you can suspend all disbelief and just roll with the premise, the story was pretty good. But it is a serious suspension. All males, of all species, all over the world, die horrifically, instantaneously. Except two. For no apparent reason unless you're willing to add magic to the world. As a fantasy reader, I'm willing to go with that because science sure as hell can't support that. Not the instantaneous part, at least.

There was a write up of the science angle here: Evolution of a sex ratio observed (which is where I picked up the reading suggestion) and here: Y: The Last Man and Blue Moon Butterflies, which mostly references the first link.

I think the thing I liked most, if for no other reason that it satisfies my cynicism, is that the world berift of men, doesn't look much different than the world with men. Just now there's no one to victimize except ourselves. And victimize, we do. The same flaws so many attach to men are now glaringly apparent in the surviving women. They resort to violence. Bullying. Manipulation. In the aftermath things are a mess, there is chaos and plenty of people looking out only for themselves and their own agenda. There are, of course, also those people trying to restore order.

In other words, there are still good guys, still bad guys and nothing is simple. There's even a mysterious/covert group hailing from Gen. Washington's time and those are always good for a little adventure and intrigue. Especially when the last man and the woman charged with chaperoning him don't like each other very much.

I think the characters we get as focal points are sufficiently developed and having Yorick as an escape artist was a fun and useful choice for the writer. Of course, why that first chick had handcuffs mystifies me... but, regardless, the story is off to a good start and I should get vol 2 in a few days.
egwenna: (Default)
Ya know... there's a part of me that *really* wants Shelly to slug her. I want her to be fast enough to make the connection. And if Jin's a bit surprised by the power behind the impact, that would be nice, too.

http://wapsisquare.com/index.html
egwenna: (Default)
Found a new strip and some of it has totally cracked me up.

http://www.stripteasecomic.com/d/20000930.html
egwenna: (Default)
A disorderly mind eventually gets to the point.

I think I followed a link off [livejournal.com profile] kadath's journal, to .... some journal I've been to several times but now can't find a link to. Hmm. I hate when that happens. [livejournal.com profile] princejvstin might know what I'm talking about, I know he reads it too.

Anyway, on this link, or maybe I clicked through to the next entry (my memory is so shoddy these days) was a review for "The Last Man." There was some discussion of the science/biology regarding the premise. I think it's highly unlikely that any virus could systematically wipe out all males, especially since some lower mammals are already starting to breed without it (based off another half remembered article in ... I think the magazine from the Museum of Natural History).

Good grief. I should run away from the computer now. Clearly, one cup of coffee is not sufficient this morning.

AnyWAY..... I thought the book sounded interesting enough to promptly look it up on my library's site and drop it in my virtual bookbag. When I was getting ready to take the little man, I put in my request. They call me to tell me it's there, we run in, he gets a few things, I pick up my book and we're back out before there are incidents.

This morning, I had a moment where I could read. I was so excited. It's such a rare event! And I had my coffee and I sat down, and the baby was playing happily and...... it's the wrong book. They gave me Book 3 of the series instead of Book 1. *sigh*

Figures.
egwenna: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] princejvstin and [livejournal.com profile] tymen were just talking about books they've reread and there was an article I didn't read, but I was thinking about what books I've read more than once. There aren't very many. My recall is usually pretty good and I've got a tremendous stack of stuff to reach, so unless it was for a class, or there was something specific I'm looking for, most books get touched once. But there have been exceptions.

and they are: )
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I had wondered what Shelly saw that she spazzed over. Now we know.

And I'm wondering if he'd make a big illustration of Phix with the library behind her. I want to make a library in the house and I think that as a print would be an excellent addition.
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Wondering if this: http://www.wapsisquare.com/d/20060103.html and Shelly's expression when Monica turns have anything to do with each other.

That idle wonder is about all the brain power I have today (the rest is dedicated to herding the little man and fixing Elly's social security card as I go through the hoops to get them id so they can travel).
egwenna: (Default)
hehe...

http://wapsisquare.com/d/20061109.html

Be careful what you wish for. Or ask for... or even casually suggest....
egwenna: (me me me)
The Decay of the American Character, Charles J. Sykes
...a formula for social gridlock: the irresistible search for someone or something to blame colliding with the unmoving unwillingness to accept responsibility.



My reading time is limited, and at the moment, none of it is happy stuff. I shall have to change that in the near future, but at least it's all thinking stuff (otherwise the brain is going to turn into oatmeal).

musings

Mar. 4th, 2006 04:27 pm
egwenna: (Default)
Life could use a little improvement right now. From Isaac's behavior (though there has been a brief ray of hope today) to the fact that I am freezing f@#$* cold. I feel anxious and cranky so that I want to hide myself mindlessly playing computer games which only makes me feel worse in the end. :-p

But I managed to get a little reading done and a bit of John Dufresne's book made me think of something [[livejournal.com profile] meadowsweet9] said regarding the reader and how we perceive each other via the journals (back when we were doing the Johari Windows).
You sit in the room and create a reader, and you try to engage her imagination. Like you, the reader sits in a quiet room with your book in her lap, and she finishes the act of creation that you started. You furnish the vivid and significant image, and she furnishes the room. Writer and reader construct the story together, both are active, imaginative, generative. This is why no other art can move us like literature....
egwenna: (Default)
Bud's flashback, when Monica asked her, made you sort of wonder about Jin and not positively, but now that we're another layer deeper she's in a whole new light.

Gotta love good craft.

Though I'm still wondering about how that whole scene was initiated. Seems to have been a set up with the ashen forms in Monica's basement... but by who? Or did I miss the rhythm and rhyme of that?
egwenna: (Default)
The barista amuses me. Having been one, I know what it's like to have potentially odd conversations with a customer over the course of many days. Granted, none of mine were ever this interesting. Pity.

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