Monday, August 17, 2009


Create a Meebo Chat Room

Monday, May 05, 2008

I wish I could throw sheep at people irl...

Sunday, May 04, 2008

I laughed 'till I tearbended

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Eight Belles and the Failure of Horse Breeders

I'll keep this short. Horse racing is a tough, sometimes really nasty sport, but so are all animal sports. But what is truly horrible about the death of Eight Belles is that any horse person worth their salt should have seen that Eight Belles was too big for her bones. Kim Eisler, author, journalist and horse owner states, "This is an act of folly by the owners that borders on the criminal, as nothing good will come of racing this filly at this distance against colts, with no predicate having been laid for it."

All of the horses that ran tonight are descendants of Native Dancer, a winning horse known for delicate bones and big muscles. The fatally thin bones continue to be allowed to pass down the line, forcing us to witness animals dying on the race course again and again.

With the unequivocally criminal death of Eight Belles, perhaps greater scrutiny will fall on breeders and owners to make sure animals are bred to be sound first, fast second.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Sharing Knife: Passage by Lois McMaster Bujold

Back.. with a Vengeance!

Summary: I loved this book. If you enjoy fantastic romance, this is your book.

I was lucky enough to be given the ARC of the third Sharing Knife novel, and I'm happy to report that I found it every bit as engaging at the first two, and there will definitely be a fourth novel in the series. (It really would have sucked if I had hated the book, because I had to post a review of it either way) If you have been hoping for an in-depth exploration of the farmer-Lakewalker universe, I think you will find the novel every bit as satisfying as I did.

For the folks screaming "where's the epic fantasy?!" I think you should know that the first two novels are romantic fiction first, fantasy second. I've given these novels to romance readers who are overjoyed by the rich relationship between Dag and Fawn that seems to keep its romantic vigor going strong through both novels (which were originally written as a single novel I believe) and on into Passage.

To folks appalled by the age difference between the main characters: I'm sorry, Dag doesn't magically younger or vice versa, though the author notes that the age difference in remarkable in-universe, not just for the reader.

Passage departs from the first two books' focus on the families of Dag and Fawn, allowing the reader to get a better view of the wider world in which the two live. The first two books in many ways feel consciously small, mimicking the narrow fields of experience of the two main characters. Now Dag has decided to go on a new world tour, anxious and uncertain about the future, but buoyed by his wife's unceasing enthusiasm for life.

Dag has been around the known continent as a respected malice hunter, but now he is isolated, unwelcome in Lakewalker society. Fawn has hardly been anywhere, but her youthful enthusiasm and common farmer appearance make it easier for her to negotiate her new status, even though her husband is treated with suspicion and hostility. Farmer-Lakewalker relations are at the forefront of Passage, and Dag fumbles his way from relative obscurity to celebrity/pariah status. Hoping to explore his new-found abilities in a way that will benefit everyone, his best efforts end up infuriating his brethren and confounding (and bequiling) the farmers, boatmen and townspeople he and Fawn meet along their journey.

Bujold takes a lot of inspiration from early American history, which I find very appealing. Flat boats, window glass, even iron stoves pop up in the story and create a believable world that is on the brink of new technologies and the eruption of old evils, and not just malices.

I tried not to give too much away, but the book is coming out soon, so enjoy!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Monique and the Mango Rains by Kris Holloway

I don't usually do book recommendations for adults, but this time I will make an exception.

I read Monique and the Mango Rains for a book club, quite by accident really. I got an email from my local alumni begging for a place to hold the meeting, so I offered. This meant I had to read the book. It was really serendipitous that it wasn't something like the Mermaid Chair, which I have no interest in. The story of a midwife in Mali and the young peace corps volunteer who became her friend and confidant appealed to my anthropological interests.

What makes this book special, compared with popular pseudo anthropological titles like The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, is that this is a story of a friendship as much as it is a ethnological account of a small Malian town and the local Bambara culture.

If you liked No.1 Ladies Detective Agency because you liked reading about the African world the characters inhabited, this is the book for you.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Contemplating a Pyramid Scheme for a good cause

I really want to get a free Wii, or an X-box 360 for the library. Why, you may ask, do I need this? Simple: for programming that gets teens excited. I know the library won't buy one, because we barely have enough money to pay for the simple things: I had to clean up vomit the other night because we don't have custodial staff available during work hours.

So when I hear the ads for these pyramid schemes on the radio, I think: gosh, if I could just get ten friends to buy some crap and then cancel after a month, I could get a console that would really spice up the Teen Advisory board meetings I'm planning this spring.

I can't shake the feeling that this is akin to selling my soul to the devil... but its nice to dream.