senoritafish: (fisheries observer by ray troll)
Looking for depictions of Native Americans swordfishing for a presentation for work and came upon this story, which is based on the Chumash legend, namely that the swordfish speared whales and threw them on the beach, thus providing people with food.

Swordfish Story

Swordfish seem to be a bit cruel, but then so do a lot of large predators.

Speaking of predators, I see there's a new Pirates of the Caribbean movie coming out - the mouse people just sent me an email alerting me to the fact, but a day or too ago while looking for something else, I stumbled across a year-old blog entry saying that it may or may not be based on one of my favorite Tim Powers books, On Stranger Tides - which is also the subtitle of the movie. Apparently he sold the movie rights to the book to Disney back in the 80's. While this is one of their franchises I've been pretty pleased with, I hope they've adapted the story adequately. While it has none of the same characters, I can see a lot of parallels between them.

Also, I know getting up and walking away too fast can give you a head rush. I just wish it would occur a little closer to my office chair rather than when I'm halfway down the hall to the bathroom...
senoritafish: (Currently reading)
Happy Groundhog Day! If we had groundhogs here, they'd fershure be seeing their shadows, as it's sunny but blowing gusty Santa Ana winds (do gophers work instead?). And by the way, Groundhog Day is one of my favorite movies.

Dad update... )

He's also finally expressed a bit more interest in reading - so far, he hasn't wanted to, but did like it when Doug and I read short stories to him. My brothers and I had talked about going in together on a Kindle for him since he's been complaining that books, especially hardbacks, just start getting too heavy to hold up and start hurting his hands. I decided to go with a Kindle rather than a Nook because of its text-to-speech feature. If he gets tired of holding it, it can read to him. We got our tax refund recently, so I went to Staples at lunch yesterday and grabbed one for him. This is actually a really nifty gadget! Does all kinds of things besides e books! If he decides he doesn't like it, I'll keep it myself. Man, the accessories are where they get ya, though. It doesn't have a backlight, so if you want to read where it's dim, you need a light for it and also a cover to keep it from getting wrecked. It was about the same price for all of them separately or a nice leather cover with an integrated light that actually runs off the Kindle battery ($60). And I suckered for the extended warranty, too. John always tells me they're not worth it, but we're hard on batteries and we're hard on gadgets.

I played around last night, looking for some free James Fenimore Cooper to put on it for him, and also found I could forward Word and PDF documents to it, so I tested that out with the thresher sampling plan proposal I need to make comments on. Pretty cool!

Apropos maybe: Seven Ways Electronic Books Can Make Us Better Readers. by the CEO of Levenger (I like to drool over their pens). I seem to be what he calls a preservationist - but I don't write in my books so much because I can't bear them being marked up, but more because when I'm reading, I'm in an absorbent mode. I might think of questions or notes later, but not usually during.
senoritafish: (vendetta's slug)
No pics for this one but a couple of other things I almost forgot...

  • I was surprised to come across Peter S. Beagle in a booth in the (absolutely huge, so big we only it made it down two aisles) Vendor's room, selling books; I guess a new edition of The Last Unicorn is coming out soon and they were taking pre-orders for it. He looked dead tired and kind of out of it. I did tell his assistant (who was doing most of the talking) that I'd loved his writing since my high-school English teacher gave me a copy of the aforementioned book. A Fine and Private Place was a joy too, although I haven't read either in a long time. Both men seemed a little surprised when I chose The Rhinoceros Who Quoted Neitchze, a book of short stories, instead of TLU, which everyone else was signing up for. He signed it for me, and I thanked him for all the happy reads. I hope he's doing better now; I remember reading awhile ago he had a lot of financial difficulties because he got ripped off as far as any movie profits (bad contract). Looks like he sells most of his books through his website now.

  • I didn't discover that the Artist's Alley was at the opposite end of the Vendor's room until 15 minutes before it closed. Damn - because the art is another favorite part.

  • We missed seeing the new Trigun movie, because I thought they were just showing episodes. Duh, why would so many people have been lined up to get in? There's a trailer here, if anyone's interested.

  • Not long after we got there, we thought maybe lunch was in order - I'd brought lots of snacks in my backpack, but something more substantial was in order. The food court at the convention Center wanted $9 for a burger; oh, no way. So we walked out and west on on Olympic Blvd, looking for something less pricy. After about a half a mile, we finally happened upon Pollo Camparo, which seems to be a Latin American KFC. I wasn't familiar with them (there are a bunch in L.A. but not so much Orange County), but we were getting hot and tired of walking. The place was jammed with families, and suddenly I wished I'd taken Spanish in high school instead of German. One does pick up a smidgen just living here in CA, and I was hoping I'd recognize when they called my number- one lady was calling a single digit at time, which I could have handled, but the other lady must have called "trescientos cuarenta y cinco" and I didn't recognize it. Then she looked at me and said, "Is this yours?" John would've grabbed it, but he'd stayed home. Anyhow, it was really good. And while we were sitting there, I saw a couple of people walk down the other side of the street in costumes, so I didn't feel quite so out of place. ;p

    When we got back to the convention center, we were walking down one of hallways, and I looked out the window in the opposite direction we'd gone. And there was an entire vacant lot full of mobile eateries - I'd call them taco trucks, but LA has gotten a reputation lately for all kinds of really good ethnic food vendors. Have to keep those in mind for next time we're up there - although Angus was probably happiest with chicken fingers anyway.

  • We did watch a few episodes of Casshern Sins (looks very dark and futuristic, animation a bit retro-looking, but pretty) and an entire sub-titled live action movie, Happily Ever After, which I'm shocked and proud all three kids sat through in its entirety. Not only that they sat still and weren't bored for that long, but were able to follow the subtitles enough to know what was going on.

    The movie itself, based on a manga and apparently a big hit in Japan, was a bit strange; it seemed to start out as a comedy of a long-suffering woman whose guy overturns the dinner table every time she does the slightest thing that upsets or offends him. He doesn't work, takes all of her money and spends the day in bars and panchinko parlors, where he swipes his friend's winnings too. She goes off to her job in a noodle restaurant where the owner is in love with her and keeps giving her extra money and offers her a place to stay should she ever get kicked out (he's so desperate it's a bit creepy, too), and her father is just recently got out of jail for bank robbery and wants to leech off her as well. Then it turns into almost soap opera drama, when an accident triggers a flashback of her school days where she was one of the the poorest girls in her class, and her best friend nearly kills her for wanting to hang out with the more popular kids (although they finally make up). She leaves school and spends a stint as prostitute,where she meets the boyfriend, who after some rather stalkerish following her around, rescues her from a suicide attempt and quits the yakuza in order to be with her. He treats her quite nicely in the beginning, making me wonder what happened. The whole thing really made me shake my head, not only about why the main character put up with so much crap from the men in her life, but also about how women are viewed in Japanese society.

senoritafish: (One true pairing...)
The kids don't have summer school this year because of budget cuts, so we're trying to make an effort to go over to John's mom's place; it's a senior mobile home park, but kids are allowed to use the pool between 9am and 1pm. Given that the city pool here costs $5 for free swim, which is pretty much prohibitive for 3 kids, not to mention adults, it's just about worth it to go over to Long Beach. Getting myself a new swimsuit though, that was traumatic. Yeesh. I've got to start eating better - and less. I really wanted some women's board shorts like I remembered seeing a couple of years ago but I guess they only make them for skinny people. So back to Target, and since I wanted something a little bit longer, I'm stuck with the ones with skirts for now. Maybe I'll look for something online later.

It's been a while since I've really been swimming. We were only in the pool for maybe an hour and half, not really doing anything more strenuous than towing the kids around on those floaty, noodley things, yet afterward my limbs felt pretty noodley themselves. Home to dry and rest a bit and then thought we'd check out the final book sale at Acres of Books in Long Beach (thank you Mike).

Truth is, I thought it had already closed long ago. Unfortunately I didn't have $25 for a crate, so couldn't go inside, but I took some pictures around the outside to remember the place by. I hadn't been in there for ages since before it closed, but I remember being overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of books up to the ceiling, faint smells of dust and cat pee in some places, as well. I wasn't in there much, but it's sad to think it'll be completely gone soon.
senoritafish: (Do the Aquaman Butt-Dance!)
14 items-1 photo!

March scavenger hunt (item list here) - I decided to just look around my desk at work and see how many items I had at hand. Turns out, quite a few!

14 things! )

Yay, that's almost half the list! If you click through to Flickr, there are notes on the pic - move cursor over pic to see more detail.

I did have a small bottle too, but somehow it didn't wind up in the picture. Actually, it wound up in another picture of the same arrangement, but meh, I'll just save it for later.
senoritafish: (jet midol)
I'm sorry but the subtitle for the Monitor's review of New Moon, just made me laugh.

"The latest in the 'Twilight' series, 'New Moon' follows a moping Bella who continues to have poor choice in men."

As much as I used to be a big fan of vampires (is Fred Saberhagen's The Dracula Tapes still in print?), the more I hear of the Twilight series, the less I think I would like it. I know I'm totally NOT the demographic this is aimed at, and I've never been a huge fan of the romance genre anyway, but teenage romance stories have been grating on me lately. For cripes sake, how many people are with the same person they dated in high school - and I qualify that with the fact that, yes, I do know of a few personally, but as a whole it's pretty rare. My own high school love life was, if not a disaster, fairly bleak. That continued until I was in college - mostly due to my own social ineptness, I'm now seeing.

And I'm probably missing a major plot point here because I haven't read the books or seen the movie, but - whatinhell's a more than a century old vampire doing cruising the local high school for underage chicks anyway? Makes the typical Hollywood age difference pairing thing (i.e. Catherine Zeta-Jones/Sean Connery) seem positively appropriate.


Oh, that's right. They all became moms, or priestesses, or nuns or something. Not that those aren't worthy worthwhile things, but not the stuff that sells a lot of books or summerblockbuster movies, unless they've become the aging revenge-driven head of an evil corporation/religion/empire that has to be destroyed before the epilogue.

*Grumps *

senoritafish: (perfect TV mom)
On the way home from my book group at Barnes & Marmoset, Avalon announced:

"Mom, when I get big, I'm gonna make a book. And it's going to be called:

Get Out of the Tub! You're Pruning!

...and it's going to have chapters."
senoritafish: (vendetta's slug)
Well, I don't know why I allowed myself to get sucked into Code Geass: Lalouche of the Rebellion,as I try to avoid series based on political intrigue and masked antiheroes. Not to mention mecha, although I don't mind them. It finally finished last night. I think you could tell how it had to end, as it was leading inevitably in that direction. God, how depressing. Spoiler )

I also finished Watchmen earlier this week; someone in my book group had warned me it was not a fast read despite being a graphic novel, and he was certainly right. Most of the chapters have several pages of regular text in the form of news articles, describing character backgrounds. It's a pretty intense story, and it didn't really have a happy ending either.

And the first disk of Six Feet Under. I had caught a few episodes of this when cable let us have the channel for free a while ago and had been intrigued. Not quite happy either, plenty dark, but a lot of black humor too. And I'm slightly amused that I'm familiar with a lot of the outdoor locations - the intersection where Dad gets hit by the bus is on the street where we often went out to lunch at our old office in downtown Long Beach. I'm having difficulty finding the time to watch it, as it's definitely not for the kids, but John doesn't want to watch it either. I have to wait until he's out in the garage for a few hours. Anyway...

Something cheery, now, please?
senoritafish: (perfect TV mom)

Angus's school had a "Dr. Seuss" night - kids and teachers wore pajamas. It began in the cafetorium with a couple of skits (teachers doing atrocious hip-hop Cat in the Hat), and then the kids went from room to room listening to teachers read stories. Above, a prop from a familiar story (yes, it was edible). The event was to call attention to the book fair and raise a few bucks for the school library. I'm not sure what the Popeye look is for; he's been doing that whe I ask to take his picture lately.

Green Eggs and Ham
Huntington Beach CA
Casio EX-Z80A
4 March 2009

getting comfortable... )
senoritafish: (Currently reading)
At my SF/Fantasy book group last night:

Angus: (Coming back from the kid's section during a pause in the conversation, walking halfway around the circle of folding chairs till he was opposite me and announcing rather loudly) "They didn't have ANYTHING I liked; but I have these. Mom, where are you?"

This caused everyone to crack up - he had observed where I sat before going, but apparently walked around the group most of the way before he bothered to look up. He forgets sometimes that he needs to listen to see if other people are talking before he just announces whatever's on his mind, and he needs to lower the volume a bit. However, I am glad he's venturing off to do things on his own, although if he wants to do it himself it's much easier. He still gets a little freaked when I need to leave him for a minute, as in a half an hour later, when I needed to use the restroom and asked him to stay and read for a few minutes where he was (even though Gareth was there too).

Anyway, his latest book to peruse everytime we visit the bookstore is the D&D Monster Manual, and since one of the other members was an old school D&D player, he kept bringing it over to him to ask questions about various monsters. I don't think Aaron minded, but I always worry he's bugging people. At the same time, I've never liked the adage about children being seen and not heard, and I don't like just squelching him.

Meanwhile, Gareth was paging through a copy of Weird California (a book I'd like to pick up sometime, but it's an expensive coffee table book - and I don't have a coffee table I'd like to put it on at this point). Instead of just blurting things out, every so often I would feel an soft but insistent poke in the back because he wanted to show me something. And of course, he wanted to show the group the pictures of the Fry's Electronics store in Burbank, since we had been talking about cephalopods and the store has a theme of 50's/60's SciFi movies. He asked me later when he could actually join the group, and I told him as soon as he was up to reading the sort of book we pick out every month. He reads juvenile chapter books now; at present he's reading a book about the Navajo Code Talkers of WWII.

The book for January was Making Money by Terry Pratchett (a Discworld book), which I am only starting, having only been able to pick it up on Saturday. February's will be The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon, and for March, Nova Swing by M. John Harrison (although I may have to read Light first), all of which look interesting.

Before deciding on the March book, Deb turned aside to me and said, "You know, I'm finding I like my science fiction to be more homey; all these galaxy expansive stories make me tired."
senoritafish: (Al runs)

After my book group meeting. Gareth is wracking his brain picking out a book. Lovely, lovely phone camera. I think it has a focal distance of about two feet. I keep forgetting that. >:p

Barnes & Marmoset
Huntington Beach CA
Kyocera Switchback phone
06 January 2009
senoritafish: (Sesshomaru and Inuyasha)
And because I have managed to see the animated "Grinch Who Stole Xmas" about four times in the last few days on various channels, I am reminded of this; it's been in my sadly neglected favorites gallery at DA for awhile.

The Grinch Who Got a Black Eye...

Although she says that's actually the Jim-Carey-in-a-suit Grinch, because she loves the animated one.

Funny, I always couldn't wait to see that one every year as well, and even taped it one year in case I missed it. Now it seems to be on a half dozen different channels, several different times.
senoritafish: (Default)
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Well, fer the first part, it be Talk Like a Pirate Day, not Speak. Me first mate be [ profile] runsamuck, as ye should very well know b' now. Now, now, what would I be walkin' the plank fer? Ifn I did that, I couldna very enjoy my booty now, could I?

Curses. I be terrible at talkin' like a pirate and looking like one... )

Other piratey stuff? Gareth's been playing Pirates of the Caribbean Online, and a few weeks ago they had a free sample of the paid version. He decided to get his character a tattoo, but then the trial ran out before he got his shirt back on (I think that's kind of a rip-off that you can't put something back on that's already in your inventory). He's self conscious enough that it was really bugging him to have Edward Squidmorrigan running around shirtless. Disney finally had a sale and offered half-price for the first month, so he did a few extra chores to earn the $5, so he could at least get his shirt back. He's got a month of a little extra fun before it expires, after homework is done with and it's his turn on the 'puter. I'm thinking we might save it for birthday presents and such.

I have a character too, but I haven't played her much.

Book rec: On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers - I read this one awhile ago, but thought it would be a good time to re-read it. Between pirates and Halloween coming up, this is a spooky good fit.

And I miss the Pirate translator button that used to on the Pharyngula blog.
senoritafish: (Default)
Hmmm, my daemon is a spider named Albus... )The first time I did this I got a moth, but the characteristics were about the same (feel free to check and see if you think this matches me. Or don't. It's hard to tell from written words, I know).

I've been looking forward to this movie, because I loved the books; however, from some reviews, it sounds like it may be suffering from the same problem Dune did - in trying to jam as much from the book into a two-hour movie as possible, it gets confused. Ah well, I will reserve judgement until I see it. I liked Dune better than I expected to.

The Monitor has an interesting Opinion piece, although really more on the books than the movie.

"In short, Pullman doesn't tell his readers what to think, but how to think. And to think, period. This, I suspect, is what Pullman's critics really find unnerving."

Is 'The Golden Compass' really anti-Christian? )
senoritafish: (That's Ms. señoritafish to you!)
Roomie's Teacher@Sea log:

After steaming all night (I could tell by the motion of the ship while in my bunk) we arrived this morning at Tanner Bank, about 60 miles southwest of Catalina Island. Up early and this time I got to snap the gangions with their baited hooks onto the line as it went out. When pulled it had the most sharks yet; mostly blues, although some were huge, more than 2 meters. It was pretty cloudy in the morning and I was thinking it wouldn't clear, but it finally did. Chilly and windy, and good-sized swell running.

Before the afternoon set, the crew took some time to catch rockfish - someone at the SWFSC is doing a rockfish genetic study. Apparently, they believe they've found a new species of vermilion rockfish; it looks almost identical to the coastal vermilion that lives in kelpbeds, however, this one is located offshore in much deeper water. They're tentatively calling it a "sunset rockfish" because its coloring is slightly more red-orange-yellow. While the second longline set for the day was being made, I helped measure all the fish before DNA samples were taken and then they were frozen.




I unsnapped for the second set, which again beat the record for the most sharks caught. Most of these were little baby blues; they looked like they had just been pupped.

Measuring and tagging a small blue shark.

The news has been full of ComiCon, opening today - I never realized it's such a big deal to the city of San Diego. VT emailed that she's indoctrinating her 1-year-old early - she and her husband are going Friday, and my boss told me awhile ago he was taking his son. Several people asked if I'd been yet - but no, I'd like to, but something always seems to come up. There's also some major youth soccer tournament with attendees from all over the world, and horse racing is happening at Del Mar, so traffic downtown is apparently horrible, and there isn't a hotel room to be had - I heard someone mention people were staying as far away as Riverside and commuting. Oh, and American Idol's only West Coast auditions are being held here this weekend, too. Locals are apparently not happy.

Chief Scientist enters data after dinner...

After dinner, I was reading Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell on the mess deck while simultaneously getting sucked into Gray's Anatomy (the Jordan has Dish Network), which I didn't plan to watch but it sucked me in. I don't usually watch it, but the main character was having some sort of near death/afterlife experience, which always fascinates me. Apparently, everyone else went to the crew lounge and watched Borat, but I guess I'll catch it later. I also must have been tireder than I thought, because before Gray's came on, I thought I was reading, but then I would open my eyes and find my nose about an inch from the book. I hope I wasn't snoring.

As for the book, I swore I would finish it before reading Harry Potter - it's been a little slow-moving and the author writes in the style of the time that the story takes place in - early 19th century. It takes a bit of getting used to, especially if putting it down and reading something else for awhile. This last volume of it is speeding up a bit, so maybe it'll be exciting yet. It turns out I wasn't the only one who brought HP, though. One of the NMFS biologists did as well; finished it within the first couple of days and loaned it to the biologist from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They're both saying they both like it the best so far out of all seven. No, must be good and finish the other first, since it's my book groups pick for after I get back. Interestingly enough, I've had a couple of people inquire as to how it was, and they had been thinking of reading it too. I hadn't heard of it until my book group picked it, but I guess it was on the NYT bestseller list for awhile.

Finally gave up and went to sleep; oh, whatever possessed me to pick the top bunk? It's fine while I'm in bed, but getting in and out, I feel rather creaky. Especially when I wake up and have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night...


 DFG Block





 Pelagic Stingray

 Morning set *:







 Afternoon set :







*Blue and Mako satellite tagged
senoritafish: (Currently reading)
Cripes. I've read more in the last few months than in the previous year. Books recently for the list:

(these are mostly science fiction and fantasy, so if that's not your speed, just skip....)

The Amber Spyglass )

Holes )

American Gods )

The Other Wind )

The Eyre Affair )

Wicked )

The Rover )

Idoru )


In progress:

Angelica )

Exile's Honor )

I must have started this two months ago, and kept finishing the books before I finished the stupid post.
senoritafish: (dreams on a 'chovie can)
Well, last Friday afternoon at the Fred Hall Show was interesting if only for people watching. Unfortunately, I am more familiar with commercial fishing regulations than sport, so often I am looking stuff up in the book as much as the people themselves are - I often deferred to Ed or Michelle or the warden at the booth with us when it came to something I didn't know the particulars of; Ed, especially, has the book just about memorized. In one instance, a guy came up to Ed and loudly complained about how limited rockfishing is getting - he was getting a little heated, but finally ran out of steam and wandered off to buy his fishing license anyway. After he moved away, Ed turned to me and breathed, "My god, could you smell the fumes coming off that guy? I was getting a contact high!" One nice thing was that we had a laptop with a large monitor attached, so we could check for updates on the website, which we recommended people do the night before they go fishing. This is especially important for rockfish and other groundfish, since season and depth closures can change from month to month. We also had a rockfish poster that everyone wanted a copy of; we had to tell them it was available for purchase at (Ed had a big hand in the making of that one - a beautiful poster that I'd show you, but unfortunately the website isn't active yet).

VT arrived a half hour before my shift was over, exclaiming, "Man, I had to be total bitch to get in here - they wanted to charge me to park and for admission!" I guess at both parking lot and the door she had to wait until the right person came along and said, yes, the Department had a booth here and she could come in. Regular exhibitors have a badge, but since we change people every few hours, they don't give them to us. "Don't piss off the pregnant lady," I laughed. Since visitors to the booth were slow, we stood around chatting for a bit until I looked at the clock, and told Michelle, "Hey, we were supposed to be out of here half an hour ago!" I had meant to look around the show more, but since I was already late going home, I figured I'd better get going. Since I had to use the state truck the next day, I just took it home.

Saturday morning, we had another meeting about the flower show - mostly how to set up the room and how to get more people to help with it. Seems like many of the people who would normally be helping the most are either going to be out of town that day or in the case of one of our members, recently moved to a nursing home. As soon as I returned home from that, I went with John to help remove a pair of broken-down laundry room doors, that he is reskinning for the grandfather of one of Gareth's classmates (he's getting a bit of a reputation as a handyman to folks at school).

After that, I took off for USC for the career panel. I was almost late - I constantly forget that the 110 freeway in that area is jammed almost 24 hours a day. Most of the questions I got were about enforcement. I guess they found the other careers more interesting; on the surface, fisheries management seemed a little dry. However, I did encourage them to try and get experience in anything at all even slightly related to what they want go into - for instance, I spent a summer working for the Forest Service, reconstructing stream beds for endangered trout species. I didn't really see a whole lot of the fish I was working for, and a lot of the job consisted of finding big rocks and throwing them into the back of a truck and building electric fences, but I did learn a lot about their habitat requirements and got to spend a summer working outdoors in a Sierra Mountain wilderness, something I won't ever forget. I got to spend a night helping fight a forest fire, too, something that made me decide that was a field I didn't want to go into.

I did get to talk to the scientific illustrator, who also works part-time in education at the Cabrillo Aquarium. She told the students one of her dreams had really come true when a publisher paid her to go to Alaska to paint seabirds for an ID manual. She got to kayak around to take her reference pictures and then stay in a cabin in the forest to do her paintings. Afterward, I asked her what kind of training she had had, since she said she got her degree in Biology before she ever did did any artwork. She told me she had been though the extension program at UC Santa Cruz, which had started out as a Master's program, but because of budget cuts and such, has been reduced to a year-long certificate program. It's no less grueling for all that - they only accept 15 students a year, and she hadn't been accepted her first two tries because she didn't have enough in her portfolio. They cram three years worth of work into one, and she said she had spent sometimes 16 hours a day, drawing. Whew!

That's a little disappointing because not only do I not have enough for a portfolio, Santa Cruz for a year is kind of out the question - I don't think I'd have a chance of dragging John up there. It's very expensive to live up in that area, not to mention the tuition. She did tell me, however, that a few books have come out recently that cover just about everything covered in the coursework, so it wouldn't be impossible to learn it myself. Food for thought...

There was a beautiful organpipe-type cactus opposite the building the panel took place in - it must have been 30 feet tall, nearly as big as the jacaranda tree growing right behind it. And btw, I have never seen so many beach cruiser bicycles in one place as on that campus(Had to stop and take pictures of both). I called my brother to see if he wanted to go get a cuppa somewhere before I headed home, but he had just gotten off work and was wiped out. Ah well, another time.
senoritafish: (pensive)
The Last Unicorn remains one of my best-loved books, since a favorite English teacher in high school gave me a copy. By turns, touching, tragic and humorous (how could it not be, with a clumsy wizard named Schmendrick), I loved the language and all the little cultural references for the time it was written the author tossed in - which I wonder if younger readers today even catch. I don't think I've seen the movie since it was in the theaters; it stuck to the book's plot pretty well. However, I had a different picture in my head for the characters, it took itself far more seriously than the book, and the animation of the unicorn's movement seemed awkward (I remember thinking, hadn't the animators gone and watched some horses, deer, or goats, even?), so I wasn't quite satisfied with it. I wasn't quite as forgiving of differences between movie and book then as I am now.

I'm on a mailing list for Brobdingnagian Bards, a Celtic music group that plays primarily in Texas. Never actually seen/heard them in person, but they give out free bumper stickers that say Real Men Wear Kilts and mp3s of their work with their newsletters, so I'm on their list. I swear I will actually by some of their CDs at some point, I promise. However, I was kind of surprised to see something about one of my favorite authors in their newsletter.

About Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn... )
senoritafish: (One true pairing...)
I've never actually kept track of this, but now that I've started taking the bus I have a bit more time for reading, and I'd like to get an idea of how many I read in a year. Possibly I can get caught up on Mount TBR (doubtful, as one or two new additions appear before I'm done with one, but hey, we can hope)! I'm going to try and get caught up on some of my book group's books that I missed, as well as the current one. This should be good for both the used bookstore and :D I'll just refer back and continue to update this...

1. Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince - J.K. Rowling. Technically 2005 since I read it while I was off after Christmas, but since it's in my current spate of reading I'll include it here. review... )

2. Blind Lake - Robert Charles Wilson. Loaned to me by Deb, our book group's fearless leader. review... )

3. Red Thunder - John Varley Book group selection for September, which I only just now got to. review... )

4. The Amber Spyglass - Phillip Pullman. Final book of the His Dark Materials trilogy. In progress. I think when I finish this one I may have to update what I wrote about this triology concerning angels awhile ago.
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My kids finally got Lego Bionicles for Xmas, as they finally fit the age bracket, so now they are all consumed with learning Bionicle lore. I have to admit, when Bionicles first debuted, I was kind of intrigued by the story created for them. They look like robots, understandable since they are put together with Lego Technics parts, but live in an island paradise and all seem to have pseudo-Polynesian names. The island they live on is called Mata Nui, which should sound familiar if you know the real name of Easter Island - Rapa Nui. The inhabitants are all allied with one of the classical elements; air (green), fire (red), stone (brown), earth (black), and water (blue), each of which have a major village associated with them. The great heroes who appear to save the day against the various evils that show up are called Toa, and show the same elemental alignment.

What really intrigues me are the water Bionicles, who live in the village of Ga-Koro. All of them seem to be female (much like my project here at work - haha!). And of course, the water Toa, now named Nokama (there have been several incarnations of Toa, apparently), is the only female Toa. Somebody's got to keep the boys on track, hey?

I started playing the online game at the Bionicle website along with the boys (they aren't so good at reading the dialog yet), and I love the little water village, which seems to be made mostly of giant lily pads and bamboo, floating on the surface of the water. It's very frustrating to find out, though, that since it's been online for a few years, several updates have caused files to be lost, without which the game can't be finished. Consulting a few forums revealed that Lego has no interest in fixing the problems, presumably because it's going to be replaced with something else fairly soon. Bummer. Figures - I discover something just before it disappears.

Another thing that bothers me is that of what I've seen of the story, which is admittedly, very little, is that in the past year or two it has shifted from island paradise/small villages to a more urban storyline of the city of Metru Nui. A new storyline is coming out with a completely new "floating island" where the new villains, called Piraka, are actually being introduced with rap music, and what I've seen so far has a very inner city feel to it.

Anyway, I had to look around DA for some Bionicle fanart (partially because Angus would climb on the arm of my chair and demand, "Look up Toa Iruini!" and partially because I was curious) and of course, I was gratified to find a few artists who put their own spin on the characters...

The upshot of all this; I had to purchase my own Rahaga Gaaki, so I can put her on my desk at work with all my other toys; I can imagine her swimming around her water village. Maybe she can help King Triton fight off Ursala the Sea Witch, or I can send her off to collect some spawning sardines for us...(I put her together at lunch today, and everyone had to take a turn firing off her Rhotuka spinner, which once bounced off the ceiling and landed in ML's salad.

(edit: everything you could ever want to know about Bionicle mythology at Wikipedia -, including How Lego got in trouble with the Maori )

And I finally got a copy of the latest Harry Potter book (Barnes & Marmoset member discount + coupon for 15% off + sale 30% off = more than half off!) and am now free to devour all the debates/spoilers I've been so scrupulously avoiding....


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August 2011

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