athenaltena: (Rider)
I've mentioned that my roommate’s a pretty quiet guy, and occasionally I won’t hear more than two words out of him in a day. But yesterday when I was watching Game of Thrones On Demand he came out of his room and asked me about it and how much I’d seen/had I read it/stuff like that, and he lit up like a Christmas tree as we talked about stuff like who we think Jon Snow’s mom is and how much we hate Littlefinger because he’s a creepy douchebag.

Bonding through geekdom. I love it.
athenaltena: (relaxed)
Right now we're reading Paradise Lost in my English class, and I am again reminded of how many problems I have with the Adam and Eve story.

Even when I was a little kid (and admittedly a little smartass) certain parts of that story always just bothered me. For one thing, the "God made Eve out of Adam's rib" thing made no sense to me since women are the ones who create life and give birth, and when I mentioned that to my professor he said that it could be read as men being jealous of women for being able to do that when they can't, so for this story they appropriated it.

Also the whole bit with the woman being the one responsible for the Fall didn't make sense to me either. No offense to men, but considering that over 90% of Darwin Award winners are men and that a man is far more likely to die in an accident caused by a lapse of judgment I think you can make a pretty good case that men tend to be more impulsive. Not to mention how the entire story, especially Milton's version, is extremely misogynistic and basically has the message that women should never be left alone to make any decisions without a man nearby (hah), and a couple passages actually have early feminist ideas coming out of Eve's mouth with the express intent of mocking those thinkers. I should also add that being raised Unitarian means that the whole idea of Original Sin is something that I've never accepted either (if you want to use D&D terms I think that everyone starts as True Neutral and has the potential to go either way on the alignment scale).

I also have a bias against Adam and Eve because when I first came out multiple kids in my grade would cleverly (or so they thought) point out that it was "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" as part of their homophobic douchebaggery. I wish I had read enough at that point to counter that Adam and Eve didn't do such a great job since in the story they get humanity thrown out of heaven! Or there's always the retort I've unfortunately never had occasion to actually use, which is "If God had wanted us to be naked we would have been born that way."

But mostly the problem I have with this story is how it's been used to keep half ot he population down and justify treating them like crap. There are some other creation stories from different parts of the world that have a similar theme about the first two humans, but most of those don't make women out to be the villains as much as this one does.
athenaltena: (writing)
When I went to Dennis Lehane's talk last week he mentioned that he finds that he can only write really early in the morning, and that whenever he tries to do it during the day (or as he put it, 12-5) the results suck. He thinks it's that you still have to be in a semi-dream state for the creativity to work, and he doesn't know anyone who can write from 12-5 and have it be good. He said that he usually wakes up at six in the morning, writes for a bit, then plays with his daughter when she wakes up.

I believe it. I'm currently somewhat half asleep, and I'm bad in the sense that I sometimes jot down stuff in early morning classes. I got three pages of notes in my last class that I'll convert later.
athenaltena: (Rider)
Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

I have a shiny. And I can't stop clutching it.

The talk he gave was awesome, and he's funny as hell and really interesting. I think the biggest laugh was when he talked about how he had found out that Martin Scorsese was directing Shutter Island and it got leaked a little while later, and he got an email from an author friend with the subject line "Scorsese" and the text of the email was "Fuck You."

I got to ask a question about the moment he seems to have in every one of his books that's the major "Oh shit!" that completely takes you by surprise, and his response was that while some authors can get a lot out of really subtle moments he has to do the equivalent of drop an atomic bomb, and he brought up Shakespeare and the moment at the end of Othello when Othello realizes what he just did. When I was getting the autograph he also thanked me for asking that question.

So if you excuse me I'm gonna be in a puddle of fangirly goo for the next few hours.
athenaltena: (chie)
Today at work we got our annual mailing from CHAPA with their information on our projects, so my job was to go and update our database with that info and then add the letters themselves to our database. I lost count after a while but I did approximately 100 of them, and my wrist was so sore by the end that it sounded like a cement mixer. But now it's done and I just have to make up the scan sheets and get them into the database for tomorrow.

I did get to take a break for an hour for an appointment with the counselor I've been seeing at the school, and at one point the joint in my wrist popped so loud that he could hear it. It didn't hurt, but the expression on his face was pretty funny. I told him what I've been thinking about trying to get on an antidepressant and he agrees with my reasoning. He sounded surprised when I brought it up, and I can understand why since I haven't been acting like I am depressed, but I am feeling the effects of it and I still want to do something about it if I can, if only because I owe it to myself.

He also agreed that it sounds like while the rational part of my mind is for the most part fine and that the sort of stuff we've been doing does work it sounds like there's a chemical imbalance based on the symptoms I've been having and the fact that they occur without any obvious reason, so he gave me some resources to start looking for someone who I can consult with about a prescription. He also brought up something I'd thought about, mainly that I might just get told that it's not worth putting me onto something, but he agreed that it's at least worth checking out. He also commented that I'm looking pretty good (I think I've lost some weight recently) and that I should definitely keep taking care of myself by doing stuff like going to the gym since it's been fighting off the worst of it.

Now I'm going to a talk by Denis Lehane (the guy who wrote Mystic River and Shutter Island) about his books. Hopefully I can get in because the tickets are first-come first-serve, and I'm bringing my copy of one of his books to see if I can get an autograph.

Book meme!

Nov. 3rd, 2010 10:50 pm
athenaltena: (Books)
The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

Bold the ones you’ve read! Italicize the ones you’ve partially read!

01 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
02 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
03 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
04 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
05 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
06 The Bible
Read more... )
athenaltena: (Books)
I've started the process of packing my stuff up so I'm not doing it at the last minute, and today I bought four cardboard boxes made of recycled material and filled three. And I'd say about 75% of that space has been taken up by my DVDs and books, though the books outnumber the DVDs about 3:1.

Yup, I have priorities. I will also not be surprised at all if I own more books than clothes.
athenaltena: (thoughtful)
I wasn't disappointed by the film version of Shutter Island, and I gotta say that watching that movie after reading the book is very interesting. I'm not gonna spoil it, but a lot starts to make sense once you know what's really going on.

One thing I noticed was a lot of odd choices for how it was filmed including violating some rules for how you frame and edit a series of shots, but tying into the above it was all done for a reason. When the book finally drops the bomb I remember putting it down for a second to clear my head, since that is how you do a twist.

I also looked up the director and found it was none other than Martin Scorsese, aka the guy who did Taxi Driver, so he knows a thing or two about mindfuckery. I do love movies that do that, which might be why I liked Inception, which come to think of it also had Leonard DiCaprio, and in fact that movie has a few similarities to this one in terms of a spectral wife appearing and generally screwing with your head.

I do like movies and books that make me think, and I honestly did not see that twist coming.
athenaltena: (Bored)

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!




(I put the text from yesterday's entry about the North End through)

Well, we are both from the same geographical area and probably use similar regional slang.

I think the only book of his I've read is Carrie, and generally speaking I don't read that much horror.
athenaltena: (Juri)
I had a glass with a little bit of hydrogen peroxide mixed with water at my desk so I could treat a cut on my hand, and I forgot it was there. I'd stupidly placed the glass right where I tend to put my drinks, so naturally at some point I reached over and took a sip.

Big mistake. Luckily I figured it out almost instantly and spit it out, and that stuff was so diluted in the first place that I doubt it'll do anything to me. Still, that was a dumb one.

Since I had a day off due to "Bunker Hill Day" (a bullshit holiday invented by the state leg to appease the unions because they're aren't any other holidays in June) but still had class I went over to Cambridge once my class got out. I mostly just looked around until I got tired, but I stopped into the MIT bookstore and bought Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett in his Discworld series. It's a series I've always wanted to get into but haven't known where to start, and in a podcast I was listening to recently they said that one's a good intro if you know nothing about the universe. I'm only a few pages in but I'm already laughing.

And someone's smoke alarm is going off. Seriously, this seems to happen about once a day around here. I can't tell if it's the same people each time or if there are just a lot of really stupid people living in this apartment building. For the record I've set ours off twice, and the first time was due to the catastrophic failure of the original oven and not really my fault. I don't remember what happened with the second one except it involved chicken, but I haven't done it since and those were both right after I moved in.

Jesus Christ even as I'm typing this one is going off again! I'm going with the stupid people theory.
athenaltena: (relaxed)
So the weather today was a bit wild. By which I mean the thunder last night kept me up for a while since just as I was falling asleep it would start again, and since it sounded like it was going on right above us it was loud.

Later when I was at work we could actually see the storm front coming in from Cambridge and the lightning strikes. Yikes. At one point there was thunder right next to the building that caused nearly everybody to hit the floor since it honestly sounded like a bomb going off. It was impressive.

Also, I now have to read a book about how a bunch of upper class white football jocks in New Jersey raped a developmentally disabled girl and how basically the entire community was complicit in the attempt to cover it up. I'm uncomfortably reminded of the Phoebe Prince story that happened not long ago and it fills me with the same incoherent rage.

*sigh* One downside to my chosen major is that our reading material isn't exactly light reading and tends to punch you in the gut emotionally. We actually have to read it twice, first just to get the story and second to analyze it. On top of that I'm reading a John LeCarre novel so at some point I'll probably need to switch to something brainless at some point before my head explodes.
athenaltena: (Rider)

I do love myself a good mystery novel, and I found a good one that my dad leant me a while ago that I only just go around to reading.

Last night I was up far too late finishing Ross Macdonald’s The Chill, and though I’d been reading it for a few days I had to get to the end of this story because it was just so damn twisty and I needed to find out how it would end. I won’t give it away, but if I were to draw up a chart of how people were connected and it would probably end up looking like it came out of Tsubasa. Really. That’s how convoluted it ends up getting.

I also like how he put you in the mind of the detective, especially how at various points I’d pause and think “Could it be X?” when new information was revealed. And let me tell you, the last twist I did not see coming, and once that dropped my reaction was “Damn! That’s dark for the 1960s!” I actually had briefly wondered if it was that partciular person, but dismissed the idea because of something about them that seemed obvious. Then it turns out it was more complicated than that. Far more. I more or less had to reattach my jaw.

There was also a brief mention of lesbians that raised my eyebrows, since even though it was a mystery novel that’s still not something you’d expect of something published in 1963. I was also amused by a mention of Heraclitus since I just took a class on that.


athenaltena: (Clow/Yuuko)
I've been re-reading one of the Halo books I had from a few years ago, and I forgot how well it was written. I know that tie in material to games can be of dubious quality, but this one, Ghosts of Onyx, is quite well written, and the others by the same guy have been quite good.

One thing I like about it is that it brings to the forefront some of the more uncomfortable questions in that universe that they can't really touch on in the games, such as the origins of the Spartans and how unethical the way they came about was. It sort of reminds me of Gunslinger Girl in the way that the characters in the story acknowledge how screwed up it is but keep doing it anyway since they see it as being for the greater good, and there's one character in particular who tries to set things right since she was there at the beginning.

I also think that the opening scene of the book has a hell of a gut-punch right at the end, since right after reading about a huge battle where only two people survive out of about 200 you learn right at the end that they're both 12 years old. Ouch. Well written, but damn that stings when it hits you.
athenaltena: (-_-)
Well, the final cost of my textbooks this semester is around $200. To put it in perspective, that's a full week's pay for me at my internship, down the drain in the few minutes it took me to order them.

*twitch*

And that was after I combed the internet for the lowest prices available and fished around for codes to take a few dollars off. But I have all of them ordered now (no way I'm going through the campus bookstore due to the vast difference in price, shipping price and time be damned) so I don't have to think about it anymore until they show up.

I know pretty much anyone who has gone through higher education has probably said some variation of this string of curse words when it comes to textbook costs, but really, really, what in the Sam Hill goddamn freaking fucked up shit is with it?! I love books and education is important, blah blah blah, but it's just ridiculous.

Feels like I just got mugged, and at the end of the semester I'll just get screwed again when they'll rip me off on the buyback price. *headdesk*

;_;

Jan. 19th, 2010 12:24 pm
athenaltena: (sad)
I just read that Robert B. Parker, one of my favorite Bostonian authors, died last night, and in an eerie coincidence I just finished reading one of his novels last night. I was half unable to sleep and half wanting to really know how it ended, so I read it through to the end.

I'm going to miss his books, and I'd always hoped that I'd run into him while walking around Boston. Now I'll never get the chance.
athenaltena: (Umbrella)
Besides NaNo, I've also been reading The Killer Angels for part of my Civil War class. That book actually inspired me to change one character in my story from an infantry officer to cavalry, and though my concept of the character has pretty much stayed the same besides that there are now elements of John Buford in there.

The Killer Angels is, by the way, an excellent book, and I can see why it's been praised as one of the best pieces of Civil War literature period. It has that quality of just scanning really well, and I've read over a hundred pages of it in one day without feeling like I've been forcing it. That's what I call good writing.

On Fables

Sep. 7th, 2009 10:38 pm
athenaltena: (Reading)
Oh yeah, now I remember. Jen got me addicted to Fables, a comic where Snow White and the Big Bad Wolf and so on live in modern New York and try to pass for human. I binged on volumes 1-4 last night and will probably start on 5 tonight if I stay up long enough (and I might just crash early).

It's probably a sign that I'm a real mythology/story geek that I get most of the references. A few didn't quite sink in until later, but at other points the little background gags made me laugh my ass of. It's clearly a very well written story. I've told Jen and Nadia to not tell me who the real bad guy is, since it's supposed to a surprise, and it sounds like it's a big twist. Hopefully it won't take too long to find, since those volumes take a while to read through.
athenaltena: (Nia)
Michael Cunningham, one of my favorite authors, is working on a new book. He's best known for The Hours, but I personally think his best work is a book called Specimen Days, since it showed how well he can develop different periods since it had parts in three different time periods.

They interviewed him here about it. It also turns out that he lives in Provincetown, so he's a local boy, relatively speaking.
athenaltena: (Ritsuka)
Whoa. I disappeared for a bit, didn't I? Despite this not much has been happening, but here are the highlights.

Finally got my hair cut by our friend April yesterday, and it turns out that I last got my hair cut in May. Wow. No wonder I was approaching mullet territory. I also bought some frames for some artwork I bought in Cape Cod that were $3 a piece, which in my book is a steal.

Mom and I went back to that place The Trading Post, where I got the headboard, and managed to find a set of drawers. They need a bit of TLC, but they should work pretty well, and it turns out that when you take the drawers out it's pretty light, which is good since we have to take it up 3 flights of stairs, and as far as I know this building does not have an elevator.

Also had a weird dream last night that involved a chibi-Hannibal (the conqueror, not the cannibal). It was... quite strange. There was also an elephant running around. I'm half tempted to find the author of the book I'm reading about Hannibal, who happens to live in our town, and telling him "What did you do done to my subconscious?!"

Oh, and I made a silly drawing based off of something that happened in that roleplaying game. It was also my first attempt to do some skin shading, and it sort of failed. Oh well. Practice makes perfect.
athenaltena: (Rider)
Right now I'm reading a book about Hannibal (the general, not the cannibal) called Pride of Carthage which, while historical fiction, does offer some insight into how Carthage worked.

And after reading about them in comparison to the Romans I can't help but find myself thinking "Screw Rome! I'm rooting for the Carthaginians!" And yeah, I know how it turned out, but overall Carthage seemed less dickish than the Romans. Neither empire was particularly nice since that was how it worked back then, but the Carthaginians didn't rub it in your face as much when they won. I admit I don't particularly like Rome in general, there's even a line in this book about how they took the Greek gods, renamed them and hoped no one would notice, which pretty much sums them up to me.

It does beg an interesting question about what might have happened if the Romans hadn't won and if instead of a great Italian state there'd been a great African state. I think the modern world would look quite a bit different. I'm sort of playing with that idea in something I'm writing since the Africa/Middle East analog never got conquered and pretty much stayed independent. That's one thing I like about history, it gives you ideas.

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