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

Quit Gnawing on My Hand, Darcy

Remember my post awhile back about writing zombies into classic works of literature? Click on the image below to be taken to the publisher’s website.

Cover for the zombie-packed Regency-era adventure. Available April 15th!
Cover for the zombie-packed Regency era romance. Available April 15th!

“Complete with 20 illustrations in the style of C. E. Brock (the original illustrator of Pride and Prejudice).”

There isn’t a preview available in Google Books at time of posting but, good or bad (worse or better!), I am definitely pre-ordering this.

Still Alive

I’m past the whiny phase of being sick, so it’s probably safe to post again. The flu completely kicked my arse this week. I woke up Saturday feeling fine and by Sunday morning I couldn’t move or eat without being sick. The sinus pressure in my face was so bad that my teeth were throbbing. Now I’m up and about but my lungs feel like lead so I finally went to the walk-in clinic this morning and loaded up on drugs. I should be on the mend. Thanks to Plucky and the parent-creatures for not hanging up on me when I called Sunday practically in tears. Yeah, I’m a huge baby when I get the flu.

Over the past few days, I’ve been distracting myself by reading (New Moon and Eclipse in preparation for Breaking Dawn arriving on my doorstep within days) and discovering the wonders of Hulu. The later is a pretty big deal to a gal who has zero TV. Overall, I’m content without but I do miss catching the occasional episode of The Daily Show or The Office. I was, however, educated on the dangers of Hulu: it can be a huge time waster.

On a whim, I decided to watch Underworld: Evolution. Clearly, the fever had reached my brain. I vaguely remember not hating the first movie but the sequel felt… lost. But hey, I did get to see Kate Beckinsale nekkid. In fact, whenever she’s standing still for an extended period of time, she’s always posing, as if she were doing a centerfold shoot instead of exchanging important plot-moving dialogue. Bad. Director. Why does a heroine, who has an arsenal of cool superpowers and badass moves, need to resort to using her sex as a weapon? Oh right, because the lead looks hot in (and out of) a cat suit. Mea culpa. Sorry to question you, oh wise Hollywood filmmakers. I suppose my reaction also stems from my sense that the love scene felt so out of place. I didn’t see any romantic development between the leads in this dark, stifling film (even a purely carnal attraction I would have bought- although that wasn’t what the filmmakers were going for), so when the film gods cued the music and slowmo, I almost wondered if I had jumped to another movie entirely. Well, film gods, at least you got in that skin shot. I’ll leave the ranting about how vampire and especially werewolf mythology was mangled in this movie to my spouse-creature. I did just see on IMDB that Beckinsale was in a A&E adaptation of Emma. I’m curious to see her in a role that isn’t over-produced in typical Hollywood style.

In other news, my brain age is 33 according to this nifty thinger. Sigh. I don’t use my brain enough, at least not in the way that this tool measures. Hah. Clearly, more TV is the answer!

Aidan’s Darcy trilogy

I have finally finished reading Pamela Aidan’s Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy. I promised that I would post something here when I finished, so here are some thoughts.

NOTE: I’ve made an effort to minimize the number of spoilers but this IS a review (of sorts); there are bound to be a few extremely mild spoilers. Continue reading Aidan’s Darcy trilogy