(2) Thu Sep 01 2005 22:29 PST Oil and more oil:
Tonight was our second HP discussion group. It went pretty well--everyone who came last time showed up again, and they all seem pretty excited about it and dedicated. One kid is even anxious to move it up to every week, which actually would probably work (I'm making all my friends come and I'd probably be just hanging out with them anyway) but I don't want to get everyone burnt out at the beginning. They are a pretty hard group to keep on track, but I managed to steer everyone through the five first chapters of Sorcerer's Stone we were supposed to read for today. Next week will be really fun because we can talk about our impressions of all the characters. So far we have really only meet Hagrid.
In other news I got to the go The Petroleum Club, "the most swankified place in town," for pasta night. We got in because Chris' older brother Paul works there as a chef. It was one of his last nights since he is moving up north. And it was reeeeaallly good.
I finally finished reading Paris 1919, which is a great read & I highly recommend it. It's very well-written, although it can be a bit heavy (which is why it took me soo long to read it) being so intense with well-packed information, and also depressing in most parts. Macmillian does a great job of de-bunking several common myths about the Treat of Versailles especially, and explaining how the decisions made way back then helped to form the situations of today, especially in Iraq. I think we as a public tend to view a lot of historical figures in a purely black and white light, but they were, just like the rest of us, only human.
Also I am getting a little sick of all this tradgedy stuff. It's enough to make a girl realise how lucky she is *knocks on wood*. My heart goes out to everyone who is having such a horrible time with the hurricane and flooding, etc, and all those people who got stampeeded in Iraq, and you know, everything else that's going wrong in the world right now.
(9) Fri Sep 02 2005 11:16 PST Red Cross:
Seems like everywhere I turn I am reading about this or that Red Cross. American Red Cross. Belgian Red Cross. Serbian Red Cross.
Looking at the pictures in the paper this morning, I thought, "this must be what it felt like for the Serbian and Belgian refugees when they were fleeing the invading armies." And every other such incident in the history of mankind. Although the circumstances may change, I think the nature of human suffering remains the same. And I can't help wondering how I would react if I were in a similair situation. Would I keep my cool, and be resourceful enough to get myself and my family out? Would I be brave enough to try and help others? It's a terrifying thought.
(15) Fri Sep 02 2005 19:05 PST The Name Game:
(something more cheerful for you to read about)
Stacy and I had a long conversation about names this afternoon: names she wants to name her children, names I am trying to decide on for the characters in my novel, big names I want for the film version (Keira Knightly, Maggie Smith are two). I've agonised before about whether it's appropriate to name your children the same name as a character in your book. At long last (and after a lenghty discussion with Christina while we were in SF) I decided to err on the side of caution, and since Kate is my number 1 choice for a girl, I have to pick a new name for the number 1 sidekick. C & I spent ages on internet baby name sites looking up Scottish names and what they mean.
Sidenote: I'd really love a names book, first and last, that tells me, by nationality, good names and what they mean. I mean--I don't know any Serbian names! The last ones are pretty easy to make up, just throw together a few letters (vowels are optional) and add "itch" or "ovitch" to the end. But I don't know any first names! Anyway.
One of the ones I really liked that we came up with was Andra, which I really like, despite my strong adversion to the name Andrea. You know how some names are just ruined for you because of experiences with people? And it really sucks when it's a good name. But yes--Andra. It means "Strong and brave," which I thought was just perfect for my heroine, who name was previously Emma. It's a lot less common, too, which I likeee, and more Scottish sounding. But it means I have to get used to thinking of her as Andra, which is going to be difficult after over a year, but I think I can manage.
This still left the Kate problem, however. The other two names I came up that I liked for her were either Tara or Lara. I wanted something short that also implied loyal. But since their names are said together often, I though having them both end with an "ah" sound might make it awkward, but Stacy assured me it would be ok. I like Tara better, I think, but then her last name is Williams, S. pointed out the "ll"s will sound nice together. So yay, Lara. It means "mare." Now only one of the main girls is left with her original name, and I did change the spelling of her nickname.
Mostly I am lucky, though, because I don't have to make up names as I am using a lot of real people. This is great as I am terrible at stuff like coming up with names. I still don't have a title.
And yeah, along with the names book I wish I had, well, there are a lot of reference books I wish I could wish into existense. Serbian officers and their activities during WWI. The fate of the Austrian prisoners after the great retreat of 1915. A guide to Edwarian slang and speech styles. Not to mention medical details. I'm lucky, though--there's so much I *do* know bc of the research I've already done.
So yeah. Is there a point to all of this? Probably not.
(1) Mon Sep 05 2005 13:30 PST Something I'm good at:
I rescued a book from the returns at Russo's on Saturday. I have no idea why it was being returned, bc we were doing books approaching their two-year mark, and this one was only published in April, but it looks so intriguing I wanted to read it. I was just going to check it out and then return it, but I told Joesph, on of our best customer, about it, and he wanted to read it, too, so he bought it and lent it to me. It's called The Boy who Loved Anne Frank and is about what might have happened in Peter's life had he survived, and his reaction when The Diary of Anne Frank is published.
It was good enough to keep me up all night reading it (and it seems like I never do that anymore!) and I'm still thinking about it. It's pretty well-written, anyway the style suits, and I love how the history and fiction fit so well together, just as Peter's repressed memories intrude on his carefully collected present. I really love a well-resolved ending, and this was one of the most satisfying I've read in a while. (I guess I should say I'm not disinclined towards an un-resolved ending, as long as it's done properly, but those I find intriguing rather than satisfying.)
Anyway, I was done by three a.m. or so, which is a realtively quick read, but now it is past one and I am in my PJs still and have not even thought about Flanders and Other Fields so I guess that's why I don't read a lot of fiction.
(2) Tue Sep 06 2005 11:37 PST 'Cause everyone lived in castles...:
I BELONG IN
Famous Ruler: King Edward III
Living Quarters: Castles
Hardship: The Black Plague
Who wouldn't want to live in the "fairy
tale-like" days of knights and castles?
What Time Period Do You Belong In?
brought to you by Quizilla
(12) Tue Sep 06 2005 11:47 PST From Flanders and other Fields: Memoirs of the Baroness de T'Serclaes, M.M. :
To relieve the pressure, the King gave the order to open the sluice-gates at Nieuport and let in the sea so that it flooded the area--about two miles wide wnad thrity long--between the Yser and teh Mixmude-Nieuport railway embankment to which the troops now fell back. The water came in so slowly that men cursed in in their impatience, and the enemy at some points waded through the rising waters to take some of the villages along the line, but the sea won. It reached a maximum hieght of four feet, and saved a tiny sliver of Belgium from German occupation. The surface of this immense artifical lagoon was broken by trees and telegraph poles, and on it drifted the corpses of soldiers, fish, and animals, together with helmets, empty cartridge-cases, and food-tins.
(5) Tue Sep 06 2005 21:51 PST A silver lining:
The Leaky Caldron and Mugglenet are banding together to collect donations for the hurricane victims. At the end of two weeks they will give it all the Red Cross in the name of Harry Potter fans. I think this is cool beyond words. Linkie is here, in case you are interested.
Tonight mom & I went over to Pat's for a dinner to commemorate one year since Grandpa died. It was nice to see everyone and chat, and I got to play and cuddle with Leah, who is the sweetest thing ever.
Here is another quotie from the Baroness in case you are interested in that sort of thing:
“At all the big ‘holiday’ times of the year, such as Christmas or Easter, we would shout across greetings and friendly, facetious insults to the Germans, and they would reply in kind. To add to the fun, the Germans would sometimes hoist placards on long poles with such phrases as THE BELGIANS—(or it might be THE BRITISH or THE FRENCH or all three) ARE BLOODY FOOLS. This would be riddled with bullets. Next might appear ALL GERMANS ARE IDIOTS, and, of course, this sentiment would be heartily applauded. Next it would be LET’S ALL GO HOME, and this would cause great applause and laughter, and a feeling of mateyness. After such incidents the men would be restless and depressed. It made me think—about how we are all human beings together and can have no real quarrel to justify mass murder—and that is always bad for discipline.”
Psh. Someone tell me the HTML for a block quote? Thanks, Brendan.
(11) Wed Sep 07 2005 18:25 PST But I shall resist:
There is now a Harry Potter iPod!!! It's a good (?) thing it looks like it only comes in a bundle with the download of all 6 audio books, or I'd be tempted to buy it...
Anyway, it's not that special. It just has an engraving on the back, it't not cool colors like the U2 one... I don't want it, really...
Sun Sep 11 2005 21:43 PST Podcasting:
I really love listening to podcasts while I am doing semi-brainless stuff like cleaning, etc. I don't do so well when I am driving or exercising, because then I like to let my mind wander and think, but doing repetitive boring stuff that requires a little bit of thought I like to have something to fill the spaces in my brain. So today I went to office depot to photocopy some ILL books that are overdue and I was listening to the pottercast and mugglecast. Anyway, the point of all this is that I've developed a new celebrity crush on Chris Rankin (who plays Percy in the films). I really like the way he talks. So, yeah....
Anyway, I had a great weekend, seeing Susie and Leonard, and everything. My weekends are always so hectic and busy since Saturdays are shot with Russos and MLI, but I wouldn't change it, bc I like the spending money, and it's not like I wouldn't be sitting on my bum anyway. Anyway. I re-arranged my booksheleves too... I guess it's time to stop typing.
Sun Sep 11 2005 22:25 PST Wow:
Subject: Amazon.com recommends Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)
Mon Sep 12 2005 12:46 PST:
Sometimes I think I have a bumper sticker that says "I love for other cars to share my lane." You know, the one I'm in. Especially if the other cars are RIGHT NEXT to me.
(2) Mon Sep 12 2005 15:56 PST Rachel Recommends:
Lately, I had been feeling dissatisfied with the amount of reading, outside work, I was doing. The problem, as I have many times theorized, is that whenever I have a moment to read it, I either waste it on the internet, or feel guilty when I pick up that pleasure book, thinking I ought to be doing something “useful,” like reading for work (which pays) or writing (which will hopefully someday pay). The two combine to make a pitifully sad amount of reading time for me, and just looking at the shelves of unread books, or browsing in Russo’s and remembering my vow not to buy any more books until I had read the ones I already have (I’m terrible at this vow, in case you couldn’t tell), I would again, feel guilty. Well, sacrifices are sacrifices, and I’ve decided to make more time for my own reading needs, even if it comes at the little expense of “paying” (or prospectively paying) things. Last Sunday I read most of The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank, until it was finished. Yesterday I read most of Peter Mayle’s French Lessons, until it was finished. It actually made me want to eat frog legs & escargot… amazing, non?
Next on my list is The Historian. I hope I don’t try to read it all in one day. (It’s huge). I know, my life is so hard.
(6) Tue Sep 13 2005 23:48 PST "That's because you don't have a Prada backpack":
1. Said Bon Voyage to Christina & sent her off to London after retrieving The Historian.
2. Caught up with the ace gang over a classic movie.
3. Must stop online stalking Chris Rankin and Sean Biggerstaff...
(1) Wed Sep 14 2005 19:19 PST Europe's going to weep:
Also, I should not read The Historian when I am supposed to be one.
Earlier Stacy asked me which is my favorite Franz Ferdinand song, and I was torn between "Auf Achse" (which I can't pronounce) and "All For You, Sophia." But listening to it today, I decided it just wouldn't be proper for me not to pick the latter.
Bang bang, history's complete
Bang bang, shoot me Gavrilo
Bang bang, the first six are for you
Bang bang, the seventh is for me
Bang bang, Gavrilo Princip
Bang bang, shoot me Gavrilo
All for you, all for you, all for you, Sophia
The Black Hand holds the gun
The devil takes his run
Urban, take the Appel Quay
It's June the twenty-eighth
The seventh was for me
(7) Thu Sep 15 2005 14:16 PST Something new, for a change (just kidding):
From a dream, here's a thought: How long until Harry Potter: the musical?
The new trailer looks super cool, so I am very excited about the movie, even if a bit wary of the supposed love-triangle (according to a fan who got to go to one of those sneak-peeks and then talked about it on pottercast) that, you know, wasn't in the book. Whatever. Not to mention Durstrang and Beauxbatons appear to be boy and girl-only schools, respectively, when I know that at least Beauxbatons was co-ed. And what's with the maze that's the size of disneyland when its supposed to be on the quidditch pitch? Ok, seriously tho, other than eveything they got wrong... pretty nifty stuff.
Tonks has been the cuddle muffin-ness lately. He lay in my lap (and across my book) last night when I was trying to write and when I woke up this morning he was curled up next to me just like JB. I don't know what I have done to deserve such affection from a kitty who used to shun my bed altogether, but I am not complaining.
(16) Tue Sep 20 2005 12:02 PST Wishin':
I left my drawer for bags open a crack after I got out my plaid overnight, and Tonks used the opportunity to usurp the drawer as his new hang-out. I dunno why he likes caves so much, but he is either their or under the bed. I guess all my suitcases will have Tonksie fur on them now.
Anyway, the reason I got out the plaid overnight is so I could pack up & go to visit Susie & John with Chris and go to Disneyland! Whoooo! We got in for free bc John is super smart & sly like that. It was E&Y day at Disneyland (we saw shirts everywhere) and they were supposed to get in free, but they have season passes, so they just got the extra tix and gave them to us! Maybe it's only bc I haven't been in a while, but Disneyland seems so much cooler when you didn't pay for it. We soon became addicted to fastpasses and went on all the cool rides. The new Space Mountain is soo, soo cool. And we def. got our money's worth staying from 9 am till past 11 pm.
Soon, it became Harry Potterland. While waiting in line for Peter Pan (I told Susie that when I was little I was amazed at how they managed to make it night while it was still light outside... or maybe it was I was amazed and how we could fly so high above everythign when I got outside and looked and saw how not tall the building was) we watched while Merlin found the little boy to pull the sword from the stone. "Look," said John. "It's Dumbledore. He's not dead after all."
Indiana Jones is the most HPish ride of them all. Chris still had his decoder card from ten years ago, but we had a fast pass so we didn't have much time to decode (unlike the days of two and a half hour lines). He did get, of one wall inscribing, "Chamber of..." "Chamber of Secrets!" I finished! Later on the ride, "Ohh, it is Chamber of Secrets... giant spiders, basalisk..." And you know that statue idol thingy at the beginning that taunts "Foolish Mortals?" Well, that's not what I heard. "Did he just say foolish muggles?"
We also got to watch Fastasmic and the fireworks show. I really want the soundtrack.... but I was too tired by the end of the day to look for one in the shops.
My feet are still sore, but I think I might go for a walk bc it is all windy outside, and I love wind like this. Plus I have a new Pottercast to listen to, and that stuff is like my new crack. I wish I had an unlimited supply of pottercast and mugglecast. Sadly, I don't think Chris Rankin is on this one.
The last few days have been full of fun goodness as well. I have been working on a birthday present for a friend, making her a notebook, which is one of my favorite things to do. (So if any of you alls have used up your notebook and would like a new one, please let me know...) Last night we all went over to Chris' to watch the season premiere of Arrested Development. The only bad thing about that show is that sometimes we laugh so hard at one joke we miss part of the next. It was really hard to not have more episodes to watch, since I am used to seeing them on DVD. The second season comes out in about three weeks, so we'll be able to binge then. Also, one week till the new Corrs CD! Whooo!
(8) Tue Sep 27 2005 17:26 PST The bad and the good:
So it's been a while week since I posted. Slacking, for shame.
I'll start with the bad news. I think I am getting sickie, and I took a full dose of nyquil last night, to the result that I slept like a rock for ten hours, through my alarm and was much later than I wanted to be getting down to LA, and I've been feeling drugged all day. Also, to my great dismay, the Corrs CD has been pushed back to be released NEXT Tuesday, as I learned when I phoned Barnes and Noble on Sunday. Oh, the woe. Also, I had to take one of the strays that got into the trap to the pound, and it was a very depressing experience. People, FIX YOUR CATS!
The good news is, I get to hang out with Natalie tonight! Also, recently to my great pleasure I've had a few viewing experiences to satisfy my europhiliac cinematic tastes. First, I got to see Kontrol, one of Chris' films that he orginially saw in his Leonard Malten film class at The School That Must Not Be Named, which is set entirely in the Budapest subway and is sufficently weird and profound all at once. Second, I dragged the willing members of the ace gang to see A Very Long Engagement at FLICS at the Fox (there were a million people there! You wouldn't think a society like FLICS would be so popular in a place like Bakersfield but apparently it is, good for it). I'd seen it before but liked it even more the second time and it is probably one of my favorites. Good WWII movies are plentiful but it is hard to come by WWI films, let alone good ones.
Also, Christina, who is in London *jealousy* and I had this conversation in which she made me smile:
me: i have to finish this project first
me: and there are a million things i want to move on to
me: well two, three if you count this
Christina: that's close enough to a million
Isn't she fab?
(11) Wed Sep 28 2005 12:22 PST Azusa Adventures:
Last night I went over to Natalie's to distract her from work. She is taking seven classes (seven *real* classes) so I felt a bit guilty but someone has to do it. We stayed up forever and made all sorts of plans, and I forcibly signed her up for facebook. Also, I tried my best to convince her to return to Bako after her graduation in Dec. to open up the Country Rose Bistro in the southwest. That is something I feel Bakersfield really needs.
Either I'm feeling better or I'm so out of it I can't tell the difference. I had a dream about the corrs last night.
(5) Thu Sep 29 2005 13:53 PST 'Cause we're five:
Stacy told me to do this.
THE RULES: List five songs that you currently love. It doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words, or even if they're any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying right now.
Post these instructions, the artists, and the songs in your blog. Then tag five other friends to see what they're listening to.
Here are my songs:
All for you, Sophia by Franz Ferdinand
Defying Gravity from the Wicked soundtrack
Blinded by Third Eye Blind
For Good from the WIcked soundtrack
...aaand Palm Reader by Third Eye Blind
Yeah, I listen to the same three CDs over & over again. You don't? Once I get my new Corrs it will be on permenantly for a month. Anyway, I'm not going to tag anyone. Do it if you want. It is always interesting to see what everyone else is listening to.
Ho-hum. HP tonight. I'm working right now (well, not *now*, but... you know). I was getting rather frustrated for a while, but right now I feel like I'm in a good place. The whole of Belgium is complete (not too hard, as during the war it was like... 30 miles wide) so now I'm doing some organizational stuff & back to reading about Serbia. Yay!
Before leaving LA last night I went to Chinese with Stacy, which was really yum. My fortune said "Bravery and optimism are your best traits." I've gotten it before, so does that make it true? I know I'm an optimist ("You are, it's cute," Stacy said) but I dunno about bravery. Perhaps time will tell.
I need to remember not to down an entire Diet Coke right before leaving. The need to pee always presents itself just after leaving civilization, and I have to hold it, counting the miles all the way to Gorman. It's really pathetic how glad one can be to see that Carl's Jr.
Mom made shrimp pineapple kabobs for lunchie. Yummm. And I am feeling better but my head is still a bit fuzzy. Ok I think that's all.
(1) Fri Sep 30 2005 19:54 PST Egads:
I'm feeling so restless. Reading, a really good book, the kind that sucks me in a la Riddle's diary, always does this to me.
© 2002-2010 Rachel Richardson.