Archive for the 'lists' category

May 9th, 2011

» ways not to get my number


There are many, many ways to not get my phone number. Here are a few of them:

  • Stand very, very close and breathe boozily in my face.
  • Step in front of the guy I’m chatting with. Assure me you have no idea who that dude is.
  • Explain, apologetically and very seriously, that your friend is very drunk and you’re just out to make sure he gets in a cab okay. For the third time.
  • Introduce yourself by putting your hand on my ass.
  • Tell me about the two minor league baseball teams you own, and how much better they are than the one I like. Also, explain how you’re touchy about the subject of Hooters, and how it is really just a chicken wing joint.
  • “I have an MBA. And a PhD. And a nice penis.”
  • Sidle up behind me and start sneakily dancing with me. Do not smile or speak; do grab at me.

By now you might be thinking It’s tough to be a dude out there — what can we do?! I can’t speak for all the ladies, but I advise politeness, confidence, and sincerity. It’s all in the delivery — which is why “You have awesome boobs” doesn’t appear in the list above. Still won’t get you my number, but everyone appreciates a little nicely-delivered flattery. I also appreciate it when guys buy me drinks (who doesn’t like that?), but it doesn’t obligate me to anything, and not doing it doesn’t lose you any points.

When in doubt, choose politeness. If you have a sister or close female friend, maybe try thinking how you’d like to see guys treat her, and do that. And save practicing your more advanced techniques for later in the evening.

December 31st, 2010

» 2010 Review

At the start of 2010, I made 5 goals. Report card time!

  • Post more than last year. Success! This is post #37, and I only had 16 in 2009. It’s not super-fantabulous, but honestly it’s better than I expected I’d do.
  • Read more; keep track of it. Win! The goal was 24 books, and I ended at 29, AND I at least mentioned everything I (remembered I) read. I want to do this again in 2011.
  • Take more pictures. I — did take pictures. I don’t know that I took more pictures. I definitely didn’t go out specifically on picture-taking missions, and I still feel shy about toting my camera places. Still a lot of room for improvement here. I’ll give myself half on this one.
  • Travel. Check! (Hi past self!)
  • Start cooking again. FAIL. Utter fail. This goes back on the list for next year.

And, to be thorough, the list of stuff-I’d-like-to-do-but-probably-won’t:

  • Website facelift. Yep, didn’t do this! I also bought a domain for the Poe-face that I’ve done jack all with.
  • Write about Peru. Also didn’t do this! I have started writing about Bali, though. I feel like I should get half credit here…
  • Write fiction. Decidedly not done, not a bit.

Final score: 4/5. I’m pretty happy with that. My last hope for 2010 was that it would be better than the last part of 2009. I’ve been struggling a lot in the last month or two, feeling pretty bad about some things, but there’s no question that 2010 was overall a big improvement. And I’m going into 2011 positive: I’m doing what I can about the unhappy stuff, and trying to cultivate a better attitude toward the things out of my control. I used to be really good at that, at taking deep breaths and side-stepping fear, and I think I can be again.

Happy New Year, everyone.

December 31st, 2010

» 24 Books: December & 2010

I bought three books for my Bali trip, imagining myself lounging glamorously beachside, in little coffee shops, maybe on rooftop verandas; I was definitely going to read a lot on the plane rides. On the way over I ended up watching a lot of movies and doing cross-stitch, my head too much of a whirl to settle into any book; there, I spent the whole trip working through The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

On the flight back, though, I finally cracked Kushiel’s Dart, by Jacqueline Carey. I don’t know that it was the best choice for my sleep-addled, wandering frame of mind; it’s a fantasy book crammed with strange, vaguely French names and lots of court intrigue & politicking. Very early on I sort of gave up on trying to keep track of the names and the politics, and just let the story carry me along, hoping that it would all come clear in the end. It did, more or less, and I enjoyed it. The world is Terre d’Ange, a place where everyone is breathtakingly gorgeous, and the people are all about art, refinement, and beauty. The central character is Phèdre nó Delaunay (see?), who is marked from birth as a masochist, and raised as a courtesan and spy. There was basically no trashy romance novel to the book, despite the premise and cover art, and she ends up being a pretty kick-ass, strong lead character. I’m not sure I’m up to sorting through another 900 pages of political intrigue and French names so I may forgo the sequel — and definitely won’t try it again in the middle of two days without sleep — but overall I enjoyed it.

There’s a good chance you’ve already heard of the newest rage in YA fiction: The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. I loved it, and devoured it in the course of a couple days. If you like YA fiction, particularly dystopic, you should like this one. The second and third books on the series are at the top of my to-read list.

The last of the bunch was my run-away favorite: The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss. This one kept me up past midnight on a work night, and when I discovered yesterday that the second book in the trilogy isn’t out until March, there was much wailing & gnashing of teeth. Particularly since that means it’s likely another three years or more before the third book… I’ve gone on and on about how I like to go into books knowing as little about them as possible, and I’m sure you’ve noticed that when I have no complaints about a book I pretty much say “I liked it; you should try it” — and that’s what I’m doing now. If you’re a synopsis reader, Amazon has lots for you!

2010 Book Count: 29 (+4 fluff)
January: 2 (+3 fluff)
February: 4
March: 3
April: 2 (+1)
May: 1
June: 5
July: 1
August: 1
Sep-Nov: 7
Dec: 3

And, for fun (or my own record-keeping enjoyment, I guess), the complete 2010 list:

  • The Innocent, by Harlan Coben, read by Scott Brick
  • Watership Down, by Richard Adams
  • 4 romance novels
  • Odd & the Frost Giants, by Neil Gaiman, read by Neil Gaiman
  • various Buffy Season 8 comics
  • Angel: After the Fall comics
  • Sign of the Labrys, by Margaret St. Clair
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society; by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows; read by Paul Boehmer, Susan Duerden, Rosalyn Landon, John Lee, & Juliet Mills
  • The Foundling, Georgette Heyer
  • SuperFreakonomics, by Steven D Levitt & Stephen J Dubner
  • A Study in Scarlet and The Adventure of the Speckled Band, by Arthur Conan Doyle, read by Simon Prebble
  • The Pru-Bache Murder: The Fast Life and Grisly Death of a Millionaire Stockbroker, by Jeffrey Taylor
  • The Fox Woman, by Kij Johnson
  • Dead in the Family, by Charlaine Harris
  • Dragon Keeper, by Robin Hobb, read by Anne Flosnick
  • Dragon Haven, by Robin Hobb
  • A Single Man, by Christopher Isherwood, read by Simon Prebble
  • When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead, read by Cynthia Holloway
  • Lone Survivor, by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson
  • The Warrior Elite: The Forging of Seal Class 228, by Dick Couch
  • Tongues of Serpents, by Naomi Novik
  • Let the Right One In (or Let Me In), by John Ajvide Lindqvist
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling, read by Jim Dale
  • Fool, by Christopher Moore, read by Euan Morton
  • The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, by Christopher Moore, read by Oliver Wyman
  • Island of the Sequined Love Nun, by Christopher Moore, read by Oliver Wyman
  • Room; by Emma Donoghue; read by Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Suzanne Toren & Robert Petkoff
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami
  • Kushiel’s Dart, by Jacqueline Carey
  • The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
  • The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss

I feel like I need a new book-related goal for 2011, but I’m not sure what it should be. Maybe to read more Literature?

March 29th, 2010

» 1Q Review

In January, I made a few goals for the year. Now that we’re nearly three months in, I thought I’d do a little review:

  • Post more than last year. I’m doing pretty well with this one! I wouldn’t say I’m kicking its ass, but this here’s my eleventh post of the year, and in 2009 I only had 16 total. So, yay for me.
  • Read more; keep track of it. My goal is two a month, and I’m right on track. I’m also mostly remembering to write about them right after I finish reading (SO much easier than trying to remember details later) — sometimes I save the post ’til the end of the month, but I’m jotting as I go.
  • Take more pictures. I DID just take pictures for a friend’s wedding last weekend (it was actually kind of a terrifying experience; So. Much. Pressure.), but — I’ve been kind of failing at this one. Well. Sort of, I guess. I don’t know — I’ve done a few rounds of pictures of the pony, at least! Anyway, I’d like to do better in the next three months.
  • Travel. I didn’t expect to’ve gone anywhere this soon — but I did kind of expect to know where I’m going this year. Planning fail. I’ve had a zillion books out of the library and Joe & I have talked about it a bunch, but I don’t feel like we’re any closer to making a decision.
  • Start cooking again. FAIL. I have eaten a lot of salads this week, from my very own fridge, but I haven’t been planning and shopping enough. I did do a little cooking when Steph was here, and had left-overs for a while after that, but mostly I’ve been sucking at this.

So, I’m going to give myself a 2.5/5. Well — that seems a little harsh. 3/5. Room for improvement; I confidently predict I will be at 5/5 when December rolls around. Also! I haven’t done any of the things I said I probably wouldn’t; can I count that as a victory too?

January 14th, 2010

» resolved

I’m not one for big New Years Resolutions. Let’s face it: I’m going to do what I want, regardless of having (or not having) a defined goal. Even I can’t make myself do something I really don’t want to (so, those of you who know me, rest assured: it’s not just you).

Anyhow, I feel like I can have a few modest goals for the year. Not Resolutions; just goals.

  • Post more than last year. This one should be pretty easy; apparently I only had 16 posts in 2009. Shame on me.
  • Read more; keep track of it. Can’t compare this one to 2009 since I have NO idea how much reading I did. So, this year, let’s say: 24 books. Two a month. That seems do-able. I won’t even cheat and count the one I finished at the very end of 2009. (Though it was really really good! The Year of the Flood, by Margaret Atwood. You should all run out and get it and Oryx & Crake and read them — Oryx & Crake first.)
  • Take more pictures. I have a nice camera and like using it. So I guess this is more a reminder than a real goal.
  • Travel. This is a little bit of a cheat, I guess, because I already know I’m going to be traveling this year. But I like checking things off lists (hi future self!), so I’m putting it here anyway. I really need to get started figuring out where I’m going to go — doing masses of research to prepare is a big part of the fun for me.
  • Start cooking again. I’ve totally fallen off the cooking-at-home bandwagon in the last year or so, and that’s sad. I love to cook, and it’s tastier and cheaper than eating out. I just need to balance it with riding, and I know exactly how to do that: PLAN. I need to start making weekly menu plans again.

So, there we go. That seems like enough to be going on for now. Well — that and this, which is the list of stuff-I’d-like-to-do-but-probably-won’t:

  • Website facelift. I like coding, I do, but the thought of updating WordPress and re-learning their whole system (and anything new) just makes me want to go lie down for a nice little nap.
  • Write about Peru. I have this sort of fantasy (tied in with the WordPress upgrade above) about making a travel subdomain, or just one for Peru, separate from this main part of the site. And I would lift stuff from the journal I kept, and spiff up some of my pictures, and finally have a nice online recap for your viewing pleasure.
  • Write fiction. DO NOT GET EXCITED. There’s a reason this is in this category and not the one above. Or, rather, many reasons; lack of time and discipline chief among them.

Okay, there we go for real this time. Happy 2010, y’all. My real hope for my own is that it’ll be better than the last third of 2009; shouldn’t be hard.