littlewashu: (shelley - reading)
So it wasn't until late 2013 that I learned how amazing Ursula K. Le Guin is, and how much I adore her. I have been slow in getting through her works, though. (There are just so many books out there I want to read!)

Next on my list is The Word for World is Forest. It's part of the Hainish Cycle (which doesn't have to be read in order I don't think, which I love; I like it when books are connected (like Banks's Culture series) but not necessarily chronological).

I can't get enough of that title. I don't even have to read the book, really, I just want to read the title over and over again and think about it. The word for world is forest. Since it's in the Hainish cycle, I feel confident that a researcher is going to discover a forested planet and meet its inhabitants and in their language, "forest" and "world" are the same word. I mean, if you think about it, on our planet, in English anyways, the word for world is dirt. Right? Earth. (Which I suppose is one reason why "Terra" is used in so many science fictions. We probably don't want all the universal translators having us say "ah yes, my home planet Dirt, how I miss her so.") The word for world is forest. Goddamn I love that. The word for world is forest. I could say it all day. I'd love to live on a planet where the word for world is forest.
littlewashu: (shelley - reading)

I'm listening to the audiobook of Game of Thrones again. Because I know these people so well now, the little moments are affecting me more this time around. I got misty when Jon and Arya said goodbye to each other; when Dany rides her silver for the first time ("tell him he has given me the wind"); other moments that I've forgotten, I took too long to write this.

spoilers ahead, through the end of the fifth book )
littlewashu: (shelley - reading)
I'm listening to the audiobook of Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry. He's a British dude.

In this last chapter, he said a word (a noun) that sounds like "haha." But it's not "haha," because I looked it up, and that's not a word. It describes an . . . area. Like, there's a lawn, and a slope, and then at the bottom of that there's a "haha." You can cross the "haha." I guess it's like a field or a moor or something. I think he's in Scotland at the time, if that helps any.

Does anyone know what this word is, and how it's spelled?

By the way, I'm loving the book so far. It's narrated by a cranky, whiskey-drinking poet, so if you happen to be a cranky, whiskey-drinking poet, you might like it too.

EDIT: Found! It is a ha-ha. I . . . sort of can't believe I didn't try to hyphenate it myself in the first place.


Feb. 2nd, 2006 05:24 pm
littlewashu: (wash smirking)
Man! It feels like Spring over here! I am bouncing around!

Oh man it is just enough to remind me that when Spring does come, I will want to make out something fierce. Oh no! Well that is some months away.

I am in a great mood because this stupid project is over finally! Well, again. Well, for now. But I am happy! And my boss is in Atlantic City at some surveyor's convention or some shit. And this project is out the door! Okay out to the printer's, but close enough. And my boyfriend picked up the plans! You remember, the guy that looks like Kub from Paker Lewis Can't Lose, a.k.a. the receptionist from ER that isn't Frank. I brought plans out to the van with him! He said it was a gorgeous day out! He gets to drive around in it all day! I called him a lucky bastard. A sleeve tattoo peeked out of his shirt today.

Last night I worked until 9:30 which was balls but I caught the second half of Project Runway, just in time to hear Tim Gunn calling out Santino on his Tim Gunn impression. Then he said the thing about Red Lobster and oh how I laughed, standing in the middle of my new living room with my coat and hat still on. Today I listened to Tim's podcast and he recapped the whole Red Lobster thing and OH was I laughing out loud here at work. I love that show. I love Tim Gunn! I also love Daniel, and in extra-special internet-only behind-the-scenes videos he revealed that he is only 80% gay! I have a chance!!

Last night I prepared beef braised with Guiness between one and two o'clock in the morning. Then I put it into the crock pot that I got from Neil and Kelly (they are moving to Portland soon, and therefore ridding themselves of extraneous possessions) and set it to go! In the morning, as expected, I awokened to the beautiful smell of Guinessy beer. I should crock pot EVERY night! I can't wait to eat it to night! It is going to be the bomb.

I love the book that I am reading.

I'm putting in attic stairs this weekend! I'm going to eat a lot of deep-fried turkey at the XL party!

I get to see Michelle all the time! Once a week, at least! We have not talked this often since college. That's a long time ago! That's as long as my cat is old! Michelle had a birthday party at the shore last weekend and I drove down the AC Expressway with my windows open and listening to ...And They Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead whom I didn't think I would like. But then I did. And also Elvis Costello! And then the party with pasta and records and Kimliss and everything everything.

I am almost done with Season Three of Deep Space Nine! The mission continues!

Kelly Bishop and Edward Herrmann were on point on Gilmore Girls this week! They are amazing!

I HAVE TO GO! I have to home! Which is why this entry is crappy and disjointed. Maybe I'll fix it tomorrow!


P.S. LEGO Suicides
littlewashu: (shelley - reading)
It was night by the time we left the drugstore. Teddy and I played motorboat and moved into the darkness. The gaily lit Rite Aid receded behind us like a lakeshore restaurant. We walked along the sidewalks and driveways, passing the apartments and parked cars, hearing the occasional helicopter. I held Teddy in one arm and the crackers in another. We came alongside a high hedge bearing waxy green leaves and extending the full length of a corner lot. It was a dewy night but not cold, and there was a silence that walked with us. Teddy held out one arm so that his hand could graze the hedge. He let the leaves brush his palm. He watched and listened, and would sometimes grab and hold a twig to feel it tugged out of his hand as I moved him forward. Soon he established a sequence of feeling, grabbing, and then losing the leaf. I reseated him on my arm so he could lean out farther, and then slowed my walk to accomodate his game and extend the rapture. I came to the end of the block and it was like coming out of a dream.

-Steve Martin, The Pleasure of My Company


Apr. 22nd, 2003 04:23 pm
littlewashu: (e.c.)
If you don't know what the Grease Trucks of Rutgers University are, then you should read this.

If you do, aren't they brilliant?

Okay, LJ didn't update right away so I'mo write some more.

You guys, I got business cards today! They have my name on them, and "EIT" after it! Holy cow! Also, my title is "Project Engineer", which I find hilarious, because I don't feel like one of those. But the people to whom I'm going to give my business card, they don't know that!

It seems that I've been making a habit of doing a weekend-updatey type post every week, which is sort of boring and lame. But on the other hand, it'll be nice to remember all the fun I used to have while I was young, when I'm old and weak and alone. I also realized that my posts are primarily a) I ate ____ and it was really good and b) I fell asleep. Man, food and sleep, that's the life right there. Each day I care less and less about how fat I am. Oh well! I didn't want to get married anyway. May as well keep the boys away in the first place, so that I don't have to break so many hearts. I'm doing it for the good of the country! I EAT TO SUPPORT THE TROOPS! You got me straight troop-supportin', Boo. Man.

So yesterday, due to Laws and/or Regulations and/or Ordinances, the maintenance people of my apartment complex installed a new switch in my bathroom. I used to have two, but now there's only one, which means that the fan is on ALL the time. I HATE when the fan is on all the time, I always have, I could never imagine living in a house where the bathroom was like that, and now I do! How awful! I already called, and there's nothing they can do about it. (And a lot of other irate apartmenters had called before me). I'll have to jerry-rig something in the bathroom, some alternate set of lights plugged into the socket. Because there's no way. There's no way. My home is my castle, and I'll be damned if I'm going to be sitting on my throne, trying to relax with a book, with a FAN blaring overhead. No way. Also I've grown accustomed to taking a shower with only a red light on. It's sexier that way.

Speaking of books, I recently finished two which were given to me by two of my favorite boys, my brother and the Ill Scientist. Ill gave me Less Than Zero by Brett Easton Ellis. [It has Elvis Costello symbolism in it!] I had not read anything by this author before. It was suitably disturbing. Except -- I dunno. It was so awful and so awful that I thought, why should I believe him? You know? Maybe he's making it all up, maybe it really doesn't get that bad. But it probably does/did. Who knows.

The other day I finished Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk. Sean loves the dude. And I liked the book, a lot. Both books I had to stop reading on purpose, otherwise I'd've finished them in a day or two, and what fun is that? So now I want to read more Brett Easton Ellis, and more Palahniuk. But only after I read Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 (I had assumed it was a 600-page tome: it's not! Rock on! Muted horn! Hooray!) and Hocus Pocus (Vonnegut), both of which I borrowed from my brother. Oh, and some HST letters, I need to read some of the good doctor as well.

Oh, and you know what I really love? But it happens very rarely? Reading a book, or -- even rarer -- seeing a movie, without having any idea what it's about. I read both of those books without reading the backs, and so everything was a surprise. But it's only recommendations you can do that with, and you have to trust the recommender. But man, when you can go into something with no preconceptions whatsoever -- that's hot.

Here comes summer, and reading on the balcony in the sunshine after work! Life is good when you forget about those eight hours a day.
littlewashu: (Default)
So in case anyone was wondering, I finished reading David Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. I have to finish the appendices still. I liked it a lot. I think he's pretentious and wants people to like him and think he's interesting, but a) I think a lot of worthy people are like that, myself included, and b) that doesn't mean that he's not likable and interesting, because he is.

The other day in the mall I walked past the B. Dalton. Mall bookstores are pretty useless, particularly for browsing, but I knew I was almost done with A.H.W.O.S.G. so I decided that I'd go in and see if they had anything by David Sedaris, and they did, so I got that. Whilst on line I saw The Dark Knight Returns on the Employee Recommendation rack, so I got that as well.

I saw David Sedaris read on the David Letterman show. He seems like my kind of guy.

There's something from A.H.W.O.S.G. that I keep meaning to excerpt here (can you use that word as a verb?) The book is an autobiography, of a man no more or less spectacular than you or I. So he discusses the owning of events, and privacy. How if something happens to him, then it's his, and he can discuss it, even if the other people involved aren't thrilled about it. LiveJournal causes problems between real-life friends a lot, and I felt the passages were very fitting. I'll remember to post it eventually.

I like the way Eggers writes. I recently read An Invisible Sign of My Own, by Aimee Bender, given to me by a friend who thinks the world of her. I like the way she writes, too. One thing she does is not use quotation marks. For me, this gives everything a very different feel. When quotation marks are used, I feel as though I am there at the scene, witnessing the unfolding of events. Even when the story is told in the first person. But when they're absent, I feel like I'm in the narrator's head, watching her memory of the events. Sometimes, during dialogue-heavy parts, I wished it were different; but most of the time I liked it.

I like reading, a lot. My brother is I'm pretty sure almost as bright as I am, and he now enjoys reading, which pleases me to no end. He didn't when he was younger, and it's totally my parents' fault. When I was a kid -- starting when I was like, very very little -- my dad read to me, every single night. Multiple Golden Books. As a result, I was reading at three. I pretended to be afraid of the dark indefinitely, so that my mom would leave the hall light on and I could read in bed. When one of my parents came to look in on me, I would hide the book under my pillow. I would get yelled at for reading. Who gets yelled at for reading? I would bring a book with me to restaurants, so that I had something to do while we waited for the food. But my poor brother, being born five years later than I, got the proverbial shaft, and didn't get read to every night. Man. We also have a LOT more photographs of me than him. I think that's the way it turns out in a lot of families.

So anyway, what? Oh yes, I enjoy reading. I don't read nearly as much as I'd like, nearly as often as I used to. I love how different writers write so differently, and it's all so enjoyable. I read a lot of Stephen King when I was in middle/high school, but then I sort of stopped. And then I thought I was too good for Stephen King, because he's popular and trashy and horrory and pumps out a book a year.

But one day I was at my grandparents', and looking at my grandfather's bookshelf. He said I could borrow something. He reads a lot too; he has to write down the titles he reads, otherwise he'll forget, and start reading the same book twice. I decided to borrow Bag of Bones. I had read a review of it that had said it was less supernatural-ly than most of his books.

Ten pages in, and I remembered why I used to adore him so much. He . . . he just describes everything! Every little detail of every room, all the important stuff. He's so good at setting a scene, and of course, of course, the inner dialogue. Stephen King, I will not speak ill of you again.

And then there's Frank Herbert. I would never admit that I have read the entire Dune series, but I have. Herbert's descriptive skills are okay. Not horrible or anything, but that's not where his talent lies. I also get bored at the long didactic stuff, the speeches of the God Emperor, the Bene Gesserit quotes before every chapter. I read them all dutifully, but if I didn't totally get it, I usually didn't bother to go back. But the world that man has created! Nay, the universe! The stories are interesting, but that universe -- to see how everything fits together, to follow themes over thousands of years, to actually understand and analyze -- and I'm talking about what the reader is doing, not what is spelled out in the text -- the motivations and connections between all these peoples and religions and planets -- it's really wonderful, it's really quite something.

And then there's Vonnegut, too, and also Catch-22, and William Gibson -- of course I could go on and on, but the point is that there are all these authors, all these different ways of writing, and they're each so beautiful and effective at getting the reader to feel what the author wants him to feel. I'm no Liberal Arts major, I haven't been trained since high school to analyze anything, I'm just a layperson, enjoying the hell out of man and language and the ability of the former to use the latter to affect his fellow formers. Man. Go read a book, dude.

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