Sunday, February 27, 2011


I'm a little irritated.

More than a little, really. It snowed today. I like the snow. It's peaceful, beautiful and everything seems to be quieter when it snows. I put it this way in one of my French classes: "Quand il neige, le monde se couvre de silence."

Utah drivers in snow, on the other, drive me nuts. My little sister, who lives in Denver, put it this way: "When it snows in Denver, people stay home unless they absolutely need to go somewhere. In Utah, people think, 'Oh! It's so pretty, let's go drive in it!'"

Traffic gets heavier than normal when it's snowing. If I can avoid driving at all, I do. Unfortunately, I do need to drive to work.

AND, the person working the shift just before mine didn't see the need to sweep all the staircases. She did two of them. It took me an hour to sweep all the staircases. It usually takes 20 minutes or so when they've been swept at all during the previous shift.

So I'm irritated.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What I Like...

...about Braun Books are two main things. One, that it's a local bookstore. I like local stores. Two, that it deals in used books as well as recent releases.

For example, today I walked out of the store with six (SIX!) new to me books and I didn't pay a penny out of pocket for them. How did I manage this? I previously traded in lots of books I was never going to read again. This gave me store credit to use towards used books. Now I have six books I'm excited to read and I still have $5.50 in credit left over.

It's a good thing.

Oh yeah. The books I purchased today? The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. I've never heard of this before, but it looked interesting. I also got the five books in the Riverworld series by Phillip José Farmer. This really looks like a fun series. What grabbed my interest was the idea that Mark Twain is one of the principle characters in the series. I was looking for A Barnstormer in Oz, Farmer's science fiction take on the land of Oz. And I love books about Oz. Didn't find that particular book, but I'm happy with what I did pick up.

A good day.

And I dig my reading hole a little deeper. It's a good hole to be in.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Just Finished...

...the Millenium trilogy by Stieg Larsson. This includes The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

I really enjoyed all three books. The protagonist, Lisbeth Salander, is a very interesting character. There are some very, very intense moments.

The original title of the books, collectively, was Men Who Hate Women. That makes a lot of sense. There are a lot of crimes and injustices committed against women in this series. It was rough reading, but what helped is the fact that the author made it clear that these acts were NOT anything to be tolerated. Acts like rape are NOT ok.

It was an interesting line to walk and I think he pulled it off.

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Book Reading Project... progressing, though a little slower than I anticipated. Of course, it doesn't help that I keep buying new books. As soon as I do I want to read the new ones. And the reading list keeps growing and growing.

I wish I could finish by the time I anticipate going to Korea, but that doesn't seem all that likely to happen.

Oh well. I'm still reading at a rather surprising rate. I figured, since at this point I've read about 140 books, that I would start my series of blog posts about the books I've read. I think I'll do it in chunks of 25. Seems manageable. Especially since a lot of the books I've read are graphic novels in a series. I can include all those in one, I don't want to say review...but I think that's the best word that applies.

Here goes:

  1. PS 238 Volumes 1 through 7, by Aaron Williams. In a nutshell, this is a series about a school for kids with superpowers. It's an idea so good that Disney has stolen it twice (Sky High and Zoom). Aaron Williams has a great take on classic superhero ideas. Great, great series.
  2. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen volumes 1 and 2 and Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. The first two volumes are amazing. I don't enjoy Black Dossier all that much. Basic premise: characters from classic literary works (Mina Murray, Captain Nemo, Alan Quartermain, Jekyll/Hyde, and the Invisible Man) work together to protect Great Britain. It's better, much better than it sounds.
  3. Dragon Song, Dragonsinger, Dragon Drums, Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon by Anne McCafferey. These are books in the Pern series. I love these books, especially Dragonsinger and Dragon Song, as they deal more particularly with music. The author portrays the idea of having a powerful talent for music very well. I cry a lot while reading these two books. Can't help it. Fun, fun books.
  4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Georges Jeanty. The second collection of the Buffy comic series. I love me some Buffy and thus love this series. The art and writing are excellent.
  5. Y: The Last Man volumes 1 through 10 by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. A masterpiece of comic book literature. This is a series that deals with a world where every mammal with a y chromosome has mysteriously died, with the exception of Yorick and his monkey, Ampersand. An adventure series that deals with gender issues and international relations. A great series well worth reading.
That's actually 27 books, but I didn't want to break up the Y: The Last Man into two different blog posts. Especially since they are all done by the same writer. Most of them are by the same artists, with the occasional fill in by other artists.

Anyway, in a day or two I'll be back with the next 25 (more or less) books.

Have a great day!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Good Things...

So here's the thing. I have two friends, Denny and Lloyd. I met them at the local university. Great guys. They always make me laugh. And they go almost everywhere together. Seriously. They take all the same classes. They carpool to campus. They remind me of a line from Mallrats, the Kevin Smith movie. One of the peripheral characters introduces himself and his friend in this way: "I'm Jay and this is my hetero life-mate, Silent Bob." It's always Jay and Silent Bob. And it's always Denny and Lloyd.

But that's not the point.

I met Denny and Lloyd at the local IHOP last week. We had a very good time. Talked about comic books and our own writing projects. We brainstormed ideas. Almost a workshop.

And I'm working on making it a regular occurrence. For as long as I'm here in Cedar City. I think it would be very fun to get together at least every other week. Good conversation. Talking about what we're writing. I think it will be a very good thing.

When I listen to music, I tend towards monomania. I listen to the same song over and over and over. Until I get sick of it or find a new song. My current monomania? "You and Me and the Bottle Makes Three/All the Single Ladies" by Straight No Chaser. It's mostly the drinking song, with a bit of Beyoncé's tossed into the middle. The group is an A Capella group. I love the song. Not entirely sure why, but it makes me smile. And that's enough.

Friday, February 4, 2011

More Random Thoughts...

I forgot how much I enjoyed the first season of Dollhouse. I just watched a recap of the first season preparatory to beginning the second. I just bought the second on DVD. Found it at Target for a great price.

Getting ready to submit a resume to go teach English in South Korea. It's something I've wanted to do for a while, but never knew which programs were legitimate. The one I'm applying for is run through the South Korean government and Southern Utah University. Gives me a lot more confidence. Also, Chelsea is applying. Hopefully we both get hired as teachers. It would be fun.

I've been reading Transmetropolitan. It's a series of graphic novels by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson. Funny, angry, political science fiction. It makes me wonder if Warren Ellis is prophetic in any way. He always seems to be ahead of the curve as far as writing trends go in the comic book business. The world of Transmetropolitan seems to be a fairly accurate representation of the current political and social climate. Rather frightening.

That is all. For now.

Behave yourselves.