Angora Cats or Lap Poodles?

I was reviewing a peer’s text encoding work for the Indiana Authors and Their Books digitization project (site not yet public) and found this gem from a medical text, Worry and Nervousness, or, the Science of Self-Mastery, by William S. Sadler, M.D. (Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., 1914). All emphasis below is my own.


The nerve hygiene of single people, childless married people, old maids, bachelors, widows, and widowers, deserves special attention. As a class these people are given to a great deal of thinking about themselves, while they are usually quite without a definite aim and purpose in life. There is a great tendency for this class to become selfish, self-centered, while the tender emotions of natural affection and love are so little exercised that the unselfish social instincts become stunted. There is a great tendency to develop a peculiar temperament and an eccentric disposition. Continue reading Angora Cats or Lap Poodles?

Life, a Miscellany

These last two weeks, I’ve lacked inspiration and I’ve had little time to do much besides getting the new Starrynight website ready to go live. You can take a peek at the test site here. I still have a lot of content to move but I don’t anticipate the style and navigation to change drastically. Unless of course, some tells me that hate so-and-so and that I need to change it or else they won’t love me anymore (Tim, I tweaked the orange color–hopefully, it’s less painful now). I’ve had fun with this redesign. I even got brave and played with a little php. I have no idea what I’m doing but my changes didn’t seem to break anything. So, success?

I’ve listened to about three-quarters of Northanger Abbey. It’s… different. I feel absolutely nothing for any of the characters. I know Austen is writing satirically but I’m not a big fan of the genre that is being mocked to begin with. Austen is not being nearly as ruthless as I’d like. I want horrible things to happen to Catherine Morland. I’m probably not meant to feel that way about the heroine. She’s just so damn clueless and she keeps making the same mistake over and over. Every character in this book could die and I’d clap and cheer. They’re all too two-dimensional–even for satire. All of you. Die.

In other news, The Cavaliers just announced their 2010 program, or parts of it, at any rate. Interesting concept. I immediately thought of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World but that film has nutty, vaguely carnivalesque theme music, which judging from the show logo is probably not what The Cavies are going for. In any case, I look forward to June!

In OTHER other news, my microwave may not be malfunctioning after all. Russ has used it a few times with absolutely no problems. He is convinced that there were small bits of metal in the green beans I was reheating. Oh, I feel much better now that I know the microwave won’t EXPLODE; however, there was METAL in my GREEN BEANS. Russell could not understand why I would not be consoled on this matter.

Review: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

Back in November, I reviewed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahme-Smith. I am happy to be able to give a spoiler-free glimpse of the prequel, which will be released on March 23rd.

Special note: Quirk Books is giving away 50 Quirks Classics Prize Packs, which include advanced copies, audio books and much more. See here for details.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls
by Steve Hockensmith.
Philadelphia: Quirk Books, c2010.
320 p. : ill. ; 21 cm. $12.95
to Publisher.

“A world with zombies in it had no tolerance for softness or sentiment. The dreadfuls infected everything just by virtue of existing. To live in their world, one had to become like them. Dead inside.

So be it.”

Continue reading Review: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

Upcoming ‘Dreadful’ Reading

An advanced review copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls arrived yesterday!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith. Quirk Books c2010

I’ll be posting a review on March 3rd. PP&Z:DOD, the prequel to the NY Times bestseller written by Seth Grahme-Smith, will be in stores on March 23rd.

Publisher link.

So We Came to February

I closed out January with five stitches in my thumb (first time getting stitches– first visit to the emergency room). Surely, I can do better in February.


Sharp object encounters aside, January was a pretty good month. I managed to read quite a bit more1. Listening to the audiobook versions of S&S and MP during commute and workout time helped me take in a little Austen on the days I didn’t have sit-down-and-read time. I’m determined to finish all of Jane Austen’s major novels by the end of this month (I will likely put off reading Northanger Abbey and Lady Susan until a later date). I will keep reading the Pern series (I’m about a quarter of the way into Dragonquest now). I currently have Fables checked out from the library and will start that once I’ve finished Emma. I’ve been poking around for some staple sci-fi titles and have compiled two or three recommendations, which I will probably start in March. Right now I’m reading The Woman in White (via DailyLit RSS, which I just reactivated after a week hiatus), Emma, and Dragonquest. I have good reading variety this month, each title enjoyable in different ways.

And Writing

I hardly blogged in January and I don’t have any creative or academic writing to show for my time off. I was at first excited to see that Laurie Halse Anderson is urging everyone to have a Blog-Free February but then figured that it’s less daunting for me to pop on and ramble a bit here instead of sitting down and composing something formally. So I’m going to take a pass on BFF this year (although BFF would be an awesome pairing with BEDA, if Blog Every Day in April becomes an annual phenomenon). Better to keep all writing channels open. I’m intrigued by the call from LISNews for essays relating to libraries or librarianship. I’ve been recording ideas, links and news items regarding a number of library topics for months but haven’t had the kick in the butt to make something material of it. I don’t have to submit something but writing up a few pieces on different topics might be a good exercise.

And Life

Reassessing finances prompted me taking more part-time work. I rearranged my IU schedule to accommodate additional hours at Avers. Last week was an adjustment period. I was far more worn out after my workout sessions last week but I felt more like myself after yesterday’s session. And, as it was much easier getting up at 5:30 this morning than it was last week, I think my body is finally realizing that I’m not shorting it on sleep (I started going to bed earlier but, for whatever reason, I still felt exhausted when the alarm went off). This week (and possibly next) will be the test: getting up a 5:30, working at the library, working an additional 20 some hours at Avers, and maintaining my current workout and diet routine. We’ll see how it goes.

Once I’m sure that I’m in possession of the proper quantities of sleep, calories, and sanity, I will start focusing on weight loss again. I plateaued in January, in spite of continued diet and exercise. I’m honestly not discouraged that I haven’t kept losing. If nothing else, this proves that I can maintain a goal weight if I stick to the habits I’ve relearned.

Right. Now that I’ve gotten that housekeeping post of out my system, on to more interesting thngs.

1. Books read in January:

  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • Those Left Behind (Serenity ; v. 1) by Joss Whedon

And So It Was

I feel somewhat obliged to make a New Year’s Day post to welcome in 2010. To me, New Year’s is a scammy, half-assed sort of holiday, on the order of Groundhog Day. My new year is on May 10th, so  reflection, introspection and hopes for a new year generally fall on the day in which I am a year older. But the world didn’t ask me, they asked the Gregorian calendar, so the Twitter trending topics aren’t #moreofsame or #anotherday, they are #in2010 and #10yearsago. Incidentally, I couldn’t for the life of me remember what I was doing in December 31st, 1999. I would have just completed my first semester at Rutgers and I was working two jobs (Domino’s and at Honors College courtesy of the FWSP). I probably spent New Year’s Eve with friends and family but I have no recollection of the details. Much of my life is like that. Stupid memory! Well, if nothing else, in 10 years time, when Twitter and Facebook have merged, and Facetwitbook is acquired by Google, and Googfacetwitbook sends a query directly to my brain asking what I did in 2009, I will have THIS blog post to reference.

I’ve already written a quasi-year in review post in the beginning of November. At the end of November, Tim and I started going to the gym in place of walking three times a week. I’ve managed to work in a fourth day for all but one of the weeks since we started. Exercising regularly combined with tracking and limiting calories has equated to me losing about two pounds a week (this last week being a wash because I wanted to moderately enjoy Christmas goodies and not obsess about what the scale says). I have a lot more energy AND I’ve only had 20 ounces of soda in the last five weeks. I truly wasn’t sure I could do without caffeine completely. Bananas are now my brain food for the morning.

By way of summary, here is what else happened in 2009:

  • Loss. Tigger, Russ’s Uncle Dennis, Mrs. Simon; all are missed.
  • I read some stuff. I’m not sure that I could even approximate the stats regarding what I’ve read this year but I do know that I made more time for reading than I did in 2008. My three favorites were: Cheating at Canasta by William Trevor, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey.
  • I wrote a little. I blogged every day in April (and I just may be crazy enough to do it again in 2010); tried a writing experiment in November.
  • I worked. And got a promotion!
  • Got around a bit. I traveled farther West than ever before! St. Louis is one cool town. Another cool town I visited for the first time in 2009: Columbus.
  • Saw some shows. Theatre, music and in between: Spring Awakening, Wicked, Fantastics, An Ideal Husband, Inherit the Wind, A Night of Lewis Carroll, Cirque du Solei, Duck Soup, Nevermore, Selections from the Spoon River Anthology (Starrynight Productions), Dracula, DCI, Great Big Sea w/Scythian, Joshua Bell w/Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, more that I’m probably forgetting…
  • Saw some family. But never enough! Miss them.

I will save predictions and goals for 2010 for another post. I notice that I didn’t do a prospective post until Jan 2nd of 2009. Better keep to tradition.

Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Today’s WrAnyMo offering (if you haven’t read my post on WrAnyMo, it is here) is my take on the much talked of– on this blog anyway– Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Some spoilers to follow. I tried to keep them as few and mild as possible; nonetheless, you are warned.

The happy couple.
The happy couple.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: the Classic Regency Romance, Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem
by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.
Philadelphia: Quirk Books, c2009.
319 p. : ill. ; 21 cm. $12.95
to Publisher.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

Continue reading Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Posts that Might Have Been

I didn’t leave enough time to blog today. I was busy dancing among TEI elements and figuring out how the XML editor, <oXygen />, works. Also: eating strawberries, cataloging one or two books, learning about dinosaurs (via cataloging) and doing more research on bird watching iPhone apps.

Things you may have been lucky enough to read, had I made time for it:

  • Parenthood, culture and the media, specifically, not being a parent, since that is the only side of the spectrum I understand (inspired by Qnarf and Star’s recent posts).
  • MORE about my new job including, but not limited to: furniture scrounging in dark corners of the library, window real estate, and the spurning of all things print and print-centered paraphernalia: pencil sharpeners, bookshelves and filing cabinets.
  • How I desperately hope my new plants hang in there!
  • Plans for writing.
  • Plans for reading.
  • Plans for eating.
  • Plans for movie watching tonight (or lack thereof!)
  • How the YouTube video I wanted to include for last week’s interlude was taken down by CartoonNetwork (Henchmen 21 & 24 going active again to the tune of Holst’s “Mars” in Venture Brothers)

Maybe I’ll actually get around to blogging about one of these items before April is out. Today, is blog fail but you’re over it.