piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
tried to drive to town today to go to the post office, but a wave of dizziness fuzzed out my vision at the bottom of the driveway, and i took the hint and went right back up. *sigh*.

intestinal tract is still unsettled, and keeps sending me waves of (relatively mild) nausea, but is keeping mild and inoffensive foods down.

mind is still unsettled and not happy with mild and inoffensive foods. more mindfood should be offended!
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
thanks for all the good wishes; much appreciated.

no more fever. still weak, but managed to actually walk the dog for 15 min instead of a quick in-out. poor dog. they picked a bad weekend to be gone. also, it's monday evening and they're not back; is today a holiday? i keep telling myself that if they were here, the dog would probably not actually get walked any more. but at least she wouldn't be this much alone; i can't take her in here because it would result in all the cats fleeing, and damn, but they're all so comfortable, and it's enough of an effort to get them to all get along. the dog has a swelling the size of an egg on her right foreleg. i will have to guilt them into taking her to the vet again. fuck. sometimes i really hate these people.

since no fever anymore, can actually mostly string together whole sentences and read other people's LJ entries. and maybe even a book, if i can find one that wants reading. darwinia i think, everything else seems just too hard.

also, food now stays down. i was going to participate in the incendiary food thing, but didn't think a log of "2 large mugs of warm ginger drink" was going to be helpful to anyone. today's food intake is a bit better (2 mugs of ginger drink, 3 hardboiled eggs, chunk of gouda), but far from normal, so i'm gonna continue to wait with that. also, thought about how making lists of food is diet behaviour, and the way some people list theirs is making me uncomfortable (is it really empowering to read about somebody's 15ml of yogurt?).

there is lots of snow up in the mountains one can see from the landlord's doorstep.

piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
less outflow, more fever and headache. v. weak. timid, surprisingly, is all over me, walking into the bathroom w/me, sleeping on top of me in bed. cats are weird.

sick.

Nov. 11th, 2006 19:04
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
intestinal bug. crampy, liquifying, and constantly on the verge of emitting fluids from both ends. staying in bed with bucket, no IMs today.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
still sick. still reading like there's no tomorrow.

the moon's shadow by catherine asaro. so sad, very bad. and i was looking forward to this one, being as it deals with jaibriol III's rule as emperor of the eubian concord. this could have been something, being as he's hiding being a telepath in a society where those are the lowest of the low, slaves. but it's all a waste. i didn't buy him getting away with it for a minute. he stumbles from one crisis to the next, he doesn't adapt whatsoever, and it's completely unrealistic that he's not caught out on the many occasions where he loses it due to telepathic pressure. i am peeved, because this was a great setup that totally tanked due to bad characterization.

booklist says "Asaro's vast, splendid Skolian Empire saga continues to successfully combine space opera, hard science, and romance." say what? space opera, yes. hard science? there is no hard science. oh wait, were they talking about the appendix in which asaro talks about the sizes of the moons? none of that has any bearing on the book. and the romance is of that asinine kind, the "strange attraction at first glance, impossible to resist" kind. *blech*. parts of the book read like it's cobbled together from notes of the other 7 books, and there are still rip marks at the edges where other books continue. no, all the nubile submissive slave girls with silver nipple rings couldn't save this one for me.

one small saving grace is tarquine iqhar, the finance minister who becomes jaibriol's empress, and who at least presents some interesting character choices -- tough, smart, duplicitous, ruthless with just a touch of compassion. i don't buy their romance just like i don't buy jai getting away with conning all of aristo society, but it could have worked. and no, i am not against it because she's 100-something years old and he's 17, though i admit that's stretching things, and i would have needed some extra intellectual interaction between the two to get over it. but not only am i not getting that, there is really nothing here about why those people would fall in love. just that irresistable attraction -- *feh*.

it's good that i don't rate books. this would probably go negative.

skyfall by catherine asaro. ok, so i had this already, otherwise i wouldn't have bought it, because the above mess turned me off permanently; i'm not buying another skolian empire book. the saga started out strong, but has been going downhill steadily. after the previous disaster i am probably viewing this as better than it deserves, but it was something of a relief.

this is the 9th book in the series, but on the timeline it's the first (so far). it fills out some backstory, on how roca and eldrin met. i think asaro has settled pretty firmly in the category of "romance with futuristic elements" instead of "science fiction with romance elements" now. which is a pity, because me, i'm tired of romance tropes. this novel uses a particularly egregious one -- woman gets abducted and falls in love with her kidnapper. of course she can't help it because she's a rhon, and he's a rhon and their pheromones make it nearly impossible to resist (asaro has never thought that one through, or we'd have a lot more incest in these books). nevermind that she was headed towards an assembly meeting to cast her vote for avoiding a war in which millions will die, which she will now miss -- eldrin is just a wonderful guy underneath his audacious behaviour, and so we frolic with the lavender ponies (with crystalline hooves and horns!) in the bubble grass.

i guess i am glad i found out the backstory, but i am really not happy about the execution. there's so much here that i could have done without, and the amazing dysfunction of the ruby dynasty people just boggles my mind -- they act worse than normal people without any telepathic powers. one might think they could act a little better, what with those amazing mindmelds and all.

so skyfall is better than the moon's shadow, but i don't think i'd be recommending it to anyone.

one thing that stands out about both is the prose, the purple prose! the attention to the amazing physique, the cascading hip-length hair, shimmering black with diamond glitter, or burgundy-wine with golden metallic highlights (actual metal, but oh-so-soft to the touch)! the golden skin! the striking green eyes! or red ones (colour-coordinated with the shimmering black hair, dont'cha know). or lavender. nobody who's anybody in these books has ordinary eyes or hair. i was laughing my ass off at imagining her and laurell k. hamilton co-writing something. it'd have to come wrapped in long, silken locks.

because these two books were so *bleh*, i decided to reward myself with spin, being as robert charles wilson is one of my "pick up on sight" authors. OMG -- wonderful. but review later; headache wants me to go back to bed.

also

Jul. 11th, 2006 17:34
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
sick. i know who gave it to me -- the woman in the store who was coughing and sneezing left and right without so much as a hand in front of her mouth. i gave her a wide berth, but she insisted on walking up to me and yakking. i was this close to handing her a handkerchief -- except i didn't have one. wear a face mask, you damn disease vector, you!

so, sore throat, fever, sinus headache, runny nose. joy. the only good thing is that i bought a lot of books that i can now plow through. finished both jumper and his majesty's dragon within the last day.

nano reviews:

jumper (by steven gould) -- wonderful escape/revenge coming of age fantasy. not a single stupid teenager in sight either. i like it when a book doesn't make me roll my eyes at the idiocy of the people involved. davy discovers he can teleport when his abusive father hits him once too often. it helps that davy is precocious because that way the plentiful angst didn't overwhelm this reader. it also helps that i was abused and somewhat precocious, and sought escape in books, like davy -- instant identification. and yes, i fantasized that i could teleport. it's such an old trope, but i thought it was well used here, bringing up a lot of the ethical questions that come with such power.

his majesty's dragon (by naomi novik) -- dragons! excellent dragons, as a matter of fact. i want a dragon just like temeraire, *sigh*. i have a big, soft spot for dragons. unfortunately i do not have a soft spot for the napoleonic wars or military SFF in general, and therefore the last part of the book was distasteful for me to plow through; i skipped the gruesome details of battle (not particularly gruesome really, just that i don't want to read about creatures i like getting sliced open; i have a squick about humans using animals for war). but the earlier parts were fun, and she's got the "master and commander" style lingo down pat. russ, are the next two volumes full of military battle stuff? if so, i'll pass, if not i might give them a try. not sure.

this is one of those books that has great seeds but didn't develop as i wanted it -- i would have liked a lot more "precocious dragon grows up intellectually" instead of "precocious dragon grows up physically and practices aerial maneuvres". i can definitely see why some fanficcers say "to hell with canon"; i've immediately wanted to take the world and the dragons and do my own thing with them, which doesn't happen often.

and now back to bed and catherine asaro.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
i am a loafer. i'm still not over the bloody flu-thing, though it's definitely on its way out now. but it's taken a toll; i am exhausted, and just slump around between sleeping away many hours. and when i am awake, i don't really feel awake. the freezer is almost entirely empty; once i consume the brussels sprouts and last veggie burgers, i shall be forced to go grocery shopping. *bleh*.

also, i'm cold. and if i want to light the stove, i have to first remove all the stuff that has accumulated around it during the summer. nevermind that the firewood i've ordered isn't here yet. *bleh*.

i wish i could just get a pizza with everything, but nobody delivers out here. *bleh*.

maybe i should force myself to drive into town to get some food. but that would require taking a shower. *bleh*.

but i have a cat (timid) lying on my left arm, so all is not *bleh*.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
no fever right now, though it feels like it might start up again towards evening. much less gunk in the lungs and sinuses, and i can actually move without coughing every time. though now of course every muscle in my torso hurts from all the contractions, *rolls eyes*. mostly feel exhausted; went outside to check out the garden, and harvesting a few tomatoes left me wanting to fall right back into bed. might move to the couch to watch the first season of alias which came from zip.ca. but first must wash hair, because it hurts.

or maybe first eat some grapes straight off the vine. i am so proud of these grapes!

harvest picture )

oh, and tom delay was indicted. finally. and he resigned as house majority leader. here's hoping this will be the death blow to his corrupt political career.

and it seriously looks like rain outside. yay, rain.

what pleasant things to wake up to while sick!
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
is to break out into paroxysms of coughing that make me feel i might not be able to draw another breath, everytime i move.

Must Not Move.

and yes, i am feeling sorry for myself, why do you ask? :)

bacchus and the little black cat are "standing" "watch" over me. (they're lying down on my bed, and they're dozing). cuteness is bound to have a healing effect, eh.

the paramour left some cough medicine in the bathroom. buckley's. their advertisements say "it tastes awful. and it works". i can definitely attest to the first part (and the second part seems also true, as far as it goes -- i am not coughing less, but the cough works to expel stuff from the lungs instead of just making my throat raw). truth in advertising, what a concept. i use the horrid stuff with a chaser of creamed honey.

i wish i had the energy to make a chest rub. maybe if i go about it in stages...
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
+ fever, + emission of what feels like entire water content of body through nasal passages.

i'll never be social again. life is so much better as a hermit who doesn't get exposed to communicable diseases.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
i have a worsening cough, but with none of the accompanying symptoms of a cold or anything similar. no fever either. just this crap sitting in my bronchial tubes. weird. maybe jill gave me something exotic!

went into the garden to harvest some horehound (evil-tasting, must be good for me), hyssop, fennel, and lemon thyme and gonna make an oxymel (honey and cider vinegar boiled into a syrup to cover up nasty-tasting herbs). i don't really feel like going to bed again, but the cough has given me a headache, so it's probably best.

books in progress

steve saylor, a mist of prophecies

books finished

ghod, so many since i last wrote about what i was reading. basically the entire lymond and niccolò series by dorothy dunnett; the latter first, except for the very last book, which i read after lymond. it had a major twist at the end, which i didn't see coming until fairly late. wow. (i am writing this mostly to tease the paramour.) then, because i didn't want to stop the dunnett streak, i read moroccan traffic which inspired me to get ahold of all her other mysteries -- it's not as complex as the two large series, but it is written from a very interesting viewpoint, and got enough complexity to allow me to slowly wean myself. which is probably best, since she's dead. :/

*urk*

Aug. 25th, 2005 10:57
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
instead of getting better, yesterday the GI bug allowed me a brief preview of the bowels of hell. and i am not using the term "bowels" lightly!

this might be more detail than you'd care to hear )

and now i go lie back down.

*urk*

Aug. 18th, 2005 15:53
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
having a GI bug of sorts. nothing terribly bad, just that it seems advisable not to remove myself from the vicinity of the porcelain god's shrine.

am logging a couple of things here that i commented on elsewhere, and want to loosely keep track of.
pope asks bush for diplomatic immunity )
cross-border travel )


books in progress:

dorothy dunnett spring of the ram -- 2nd in her "house of niccolò" series. extremely complex historical fiction. reread. *love*.

mandy aftel, essence and alchemy: a natural history of perfume -- i am reading a page here and there; it doesn't really suck me in.

rita gilbert, living with art -- art appreciation. this is just excellent so far; the text is clear and uncluttered, and most of the accompanying art is actually right there on the same page so one doesn't need to page back and forth constantly. amusing bit: there's a picture of jan van eyck's Arnolfini Marriage, and i came across that on the same day i encountered giovanni arnolfini in dorothy dunnett's niccolò rising.

finished:

ralph mcinerny, the book of kills -- this is an academic mystery, which is a sub-genre i usually like, but this instance of it mostly bored me, and it seemed contrived to boot.

mary stewart, thunder on the right -- uninspired gothic, with too much of its plot having the "heroine" rely on male help in the form of -- *gasp*, who would have guessed -- the man she loves without actually realising it. the best part, as so often with stewart's gothics, is her sense of place; in this case the novel takes place in a remote area of the pyrenées, and i could really feel myself there (and i don't think that's so because i've actually been there; i've had similar feelings about others of her books that take place in locations í've not been to).

dorothy dunnett niccolò rising -- i can't do a review of this right now; it rocks too hard. :)

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