timeripple: (fyeah curly redheaded heroines)
I suppose it would be accurate to sum up 2013 as "the year I moved to Berkeley and had a lot of feelings." I also read a lot of books (no surprise) and watched a lot of American television and only three Asian dramas (yes surprise) and, to judge by my diary, had a lot of feelings about those. I took a semester of Korean (excruciating but also entertaining), expanded my cooking repertoire, and went apartment-hunting twice.

It's so weird to see myself as an adult. I think it's helped me begin to think about the future, though. And I'm afraid, but also--for a change--hopeful.

Happy New Year.
timeripple: (fyeah curly redheaded heroines)
Not very creative, perhaps, but seasonally appropriate, and anyway it’s freezing in here. It may be mid-sixties autumn outside, warm light and drifting golden leaves, but I keep waking up expecting snow and red-brick towers and black lamp-posts.

Also I’ve finally begun reading A Game of Thrones and am enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. I’m impressed with the HBS team’s ability to recommend things: I must say we chose better than we knew when we featured the re-jacketed Young Miles in Other Games, Other Thrones. (Better than we knew because none of us had actually read GoT. Nobody told me about Tyrion Lannister! And Arya Stark would be right at home in a Tamora Pierce novel.)

Speaking of books I’m enjoying a lot more than I thought I would, Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (pub 1/28/14) is excellent! Beauty and the Beast meets Greco-Roman mythology meets Tam Lin with unexpected shades of Diana Wynne Jones! I was only disappointed that *spoiler* wasn’t an anagram for *spoiler* because that would have been awesome, though possibly too much. And then, hilariously, I saw [livejournal.com profile] idiosyncreant listed as a beta-reader in the acknowledgements. YAY!

Things have been crazy at work and I’ve been super grumpy and had to give myself the “these people interrupting your frantic shelving are the people who keep you in business, so SMILE AND BE NICE TO THEM” talk. In between going up to full time at the store and running all the social media, though, I’ve finally been making progress on my re-read of The Daisy Chain, so that’s immensely satisfying.

I went to a friend’s Thanksgiving dinner and brought molasses spice cookies from the Flour recipe book. They were universally praised—supremely gratifying! I hope you all had an excellent Thanksgiving and happy Hanukkah and are staying sane going into the Christmas season. I am myself, against all probability, warming to the holiday spirit. And I am endlessly thankful: for health, employment, a roof over my head and good food and books and music, for family and most of all for my friends. You are precious to me.
timeripple: (fake texting (it's super important))
I am aware of the fact that I failed to post a single entry during May. In my defense, I was apartment-hunting (again) and generally being stressed with work stuff. And stuff.

But! The good news is that I have started a semi-professional book review blog, Clarissa's Bookshelf. It ties into my day job, so it definitely won't replace LJ, but a lot of my book-blogging energies are going in that direction at the moment. I'll still flail about dramas and life and books here, of course! As if anything could stop me from doing that (aside from LJ's apparent trajectory of rendering itself unusable, that is)!

Love you, miss you. Hope to post more once I've moved into my new place. It's in the Gourmet Ghetto, so... be prepared for a lot of flailing about food. Nom nom!
timeripple: (nodame nom nom)
Happy Valentine’s Day! Or Happy Pan-Universal Be Who You Are Day (thanks, Kristin Cashore!). I don’t have particularly strong feelings about Valentine’s Day one way or another, except that it is inevitably followed by the Second-Greatest Candy Sale Day of the Year (the Greatest Candy Sale Day of the Year being Nov. 1), about which I do have strong feelings. I compromised by wearing black and eyeliner to work, but also wearing pink tights and inexpertly painting my fingernails sparkly pink with black and silver details.

Speaking of work, I’m settling in pretty well, though it’s very different from my last job. But nice too. Clearly I still have a lot to learn about bookselling, though, and should remember not to say “awesomesauce” to little old ladies. I found the world’s best-organized comics store last week and bought Fionna & Cake #1.

FIONA: I was going to ask if you had this, but clearly… you do!
COMICSELLER: Yep!
FIONA: I don’t read nearly enough comics, but I have friends who work for Comic Book Resources, and they said I should read it.
COMICSELLER: Your friends are totally right!
FIONA & COMICSELLER: *mutual approval*

So there you have it. The comics store is right next to a sff/mystery bookstore that has nearly every single Diana Wynne Jones book, and pretty much everything else. *cries from happiness*

In other news, I’m getting used to my housemates and mustering the discipline to work on my paper and taking Korean. I’m eating far too much sourdough bread, which is probably why I haven’t noticeably lost any weight, despite the fact that I walk everywhere and desperately need new shoes. The other day, I got partway up one of the trails behind the house before I got nauseated and decided to turn around and come back down. But I got pretty far, especially for being as out of shape as I am. And the views are spectacular from pretty much anywhere on the trail I picked, as it zigzags up the western face of the hill. (I’m pretty sure that hill counts as a mountain in New England.) Next time I’ll get further. I could see downtown Oakland and San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County, and the bay shining silver, and a little haze creeping in.

I miss you all, and not everything is perfect, but I haven’t felt this good in a long time. Some days I can’t believe this place is real.

Some days I can.
timeripple: (nodame nom nom)
Well, and here we are on 12/12/12. We have just finished setting up the small tree that I tramped down the hillside out back to saw down with my own hands. It is unusually seasonal around here and no mistake. I think it will snow tonight.

Last week I took a very nice business-and-pleasure trip to San Francisco. It was totally unproductive on the job-getting front, it turns out, but I did see old friends and meet wonderful new people. I ate French toast in a sparkly, sparkly diner and had some really fantastic green curry and a really terrible cream puff. (Not all at the same time.) Half the UC Berkeley population randomly smiled at me in a not-particularly-creepy way. There was chai.

I had just enough time to visit The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. AMAZING. I cannot recommend it enough. The Snowy Day was a landmark picturebook, and the original art pieces are stunning—so rich and vivid. The exhibit had art from many of Keats’s other books as well, and also a little room dedicated to his friendship with a Japanese puppet theatre troupe. Their letters show a mutual artistic appreciation and frank, honest affection that I found very touching.

Then it was time to wait for the Amtrak bus home, and I stood on a footbridge looking across at a conference center with a carousel on top. Oh, SF. ♥
timeripple: (nodame nom nom)
I've been trying to make my posts more thematically linked and less random, but I don't really feel like sorting through all the thoughts I've had since my last post, so you're going to get an old-fashioned rambly epistolary sort of thing like I used to write back when I had adventures and no job. Here you will find detailed descriptions of food, some talky bits about books, and the long-awaited return of that anchor of adventures, the staple of swashbuckling, the don of drinks--BUBBLE TEA!

First proper snow of the season. On March 1. )


Life: it's happening.
timeripple: (anenome)
Maybe it’s the California-like weather, but these days I feel better. Instead of looking up at the snowless blue sky and cursing it and going to hide like a troll in my cave, I feel good.

This probably has more to do with the fact that we have all survived the holidays and now maybe there will be time to get things done. I’m starting to think about things I put away last fall. Maybe this will be a good year.

I’ve created a dreamwidth account, in case things with LJ get too ridiculous (seriously, why is EVERYBODY trying to make the internet uglier? I never knew how much I loved Verdana until it was gone) and maybe I’ll have the energy to do something with it.

I hope to post more, too, about books and dramas and things I’m thinking.
timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
Seems Autumn has barely started and now it’s almost over. We had a few beautiful days, but mostly wacky weather. Sixty-degree winter is no fun, let me tell you.

So tired. Feel like I spend all day at work going around like this: D: D: D: We’re all getting Thursday off, right? No big deal. Five days in a row is nothing. Regular 9-to-5 people do that all the time!

Urgh. *facepalm*

Holidays. I liked them better before, when I actually had time to spend making things holiday-pretty. Now I'm just struggling to keep up with day-to-day things.

I also suspect I have not been making an effort to eat properly. Thinking of what I’ve eaten this past week, all that comes to mind is bagels and chai. No, I made spaghetti and pasta sauce last night. That had vegetables in it. Well, carrots.

On plus side, I have been having a literature-induced fashion revolution. I believe it was Cherie Priest who said “Steampunk is what happens when Goths discover brown.” I’m no Goth (though some of my friends would argue that I own a lot of black clothing). But I have been embracing brown lately. With the advent of autumn came a relentless craving for brown boots. A few years ago in Sephora the sales rep mentioned that I should be using brown mascara rather than black, and she was right: it gives me a softer, less severe look, makes my skin less red. (Curiously enough, red hair also solved that problem. *sigh* One of these years I really will invest in henna.)

But the fashion revolution! Yes. Brown. I have also purchased a flowy floral-patterned purple knee-length dress that I wear over gray skinny jeans with the boots. I realize the dress-over-jeans look was so 2005, and also considered questionable by some even at the time, but I sort of liked it, and I figure stretchy skinny jeans are really halfway to leggings anyway. (Also: Leggings. Are. Not. Pants. Unless you’re going horseback riding, in which case they’re breeches anyway.)

So: maybe it’s the birthday, my progress into the other half of twentysomething and the ensuing thoughts about Life, the Universe, and Everything (Including Fashion); maybe it’s Boston and not New York affecting my palette; maybe it’s steampunk. Probably it is all those things.

But I’m gonna say it’s mostly steampunk, because that sounds better. And implies dirigibles.

What influences your fashion?
timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
Seems Autumn has barely started and now it’s almost over. We had a few beautiful days, but mostly wacky weather. Sixty-degree winter is no fun, let me tell you.

So tired. Feel like I spend all day at work going around like this: D: D: D: We’re all getting Thursday off, right? No big deal. Five days in a row is nothing. Regular 9-to-5 people do that all the time!

Urgh. *facepalm*

Holidays. I liked them better before, when I actually had time to spend making things holiday-pretty. Now I'm just struggling to keep up with day-to-day things.

I also suspect I have not been making an effort to eat properly. Thinking of what I’ve eaten this past week, all that comes to mind is bagels and chai. No, I made spaghetti and pasta sauce last night. That had vegetables in it. Well, carrots.

On plus side, I have been having a literature-induced fashion revolution. I believe it was Cherie Priest who said “Steampunk is what happens when Goths discover brown.” I’m no Goth (though some of my friends would argue that I own a lot of black clothing). But I have been embracing brown lately. With the advent of autumn came a relentless craving for brown boots. A few years ago in Sephora the sales rep mentioned that I should be using brown mascara rather than black, and she was right: it gives me a softer, less severe look, makes my skin less red. (Curiously enough, red hair also solved that problem. *sigh* One of these years I really will invest in henna.)

But the fashion revolution! Yes. Brown. I have also purchased a flowy floral-patterned purple knee-length dress that I wear over gray skinny jeans with the boots. I realize the dress-over-jeans look was so 2005, and also considered questionable by some even at the time, but I sort of liked it, and I figure stretchy skinny jeans are really halfway to leggings anyway. (Also: Leggings. Are. Not. Pants. Unless you’re going horseback riding, in which case they’re breeches anyway.)

So: maybe it’s the birthday, my progress into the other half of twentysomething and the ensuing thoughts about Life, the Universe, and Everything (Including Fashion); maybe it’s Boston and not New York affecting my palette; maybe it’s steampunk. Probably it is all those things.

But I’m gonna say it’s mostly steampunk, because that sounds better. And implies dirigibles.

What influences your fashion?
timeripple: (moribito: guardian of the badass)
Autumn is here at last! Tis the season for leaves and apple cider and also, apparently, for single young gentlemen to attempt to score dates at bookstores. I don’t know what it is about the season but there must be something in the water. Other, better socialized people may find getting hit on at work more amusing than I do, or even productive, but my patience is wearing thin. Normally I cultivate an aura of STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM ME, but for obvious reasons I have to discard it while at my retail job.

Also, as we all know, my heart belongs to a long-dead young scholar named Phanokrates. Are you named Phanokrates? Or Zai Zai? No? Then go away; I have work to do.

Things to Consider before Asking Cute Bookseller Girl on a Date While She's Working )
timeripple: (moribito: guardian of the badass)
Autumn is here at last! Tis the season for leaves and apple cider and also, apparently, for single young gentlemen to attempt to score dates at bookstores. I don’t know what it is about the season but there must be something in the water. Other, better socialized people may find getting hit on at work more amusing than I do, or even productive, but my patience is wearing thin. Normally I cultivate an aura of STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM ME, but for obvious reasons I have to discard it while at my retail job.

Also, as we all know, my heart belongs to a long-dead young scholar named Phanokrates. Are you named Phanokrates? Or Zai Zai? No? Then go away; I have work to do.

Things to Consider before Asking Cute Bookseller Girl on a Date While She's Working )
timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
LJ! ♥ I did not abandon you. I was promoted. With great responsibility comes great stress and great distraction and great lack of time for orderly thoughts.

Also a bunch of new keys. I now walk about jingling like a whole sleigh ride.

But I've somehow found time to finish season 1 of Slings & Arrows, and to corrupt co-workers with kdramas. Well, okay, one. I am a bad influence, it is true. Look, it's not my fault everybody loves cross-dressing, plucky heroines, and sageuk fashion.

...

Lately I've been having a giant '90s nostalgia blast. This mostly takes the form of late '90s-early-'00s music cravings (I spent the first half of the decade being under a virtual rock, and also in elementary school) gleaned from 10 Things I Hate about You and Clueless. I think I'm burned out on boybands (thanks Japan), but early Avril Lavigne, No Doubt, and Alanis Morrisette are on repeat at the moment. What's your favorite music from that era?

Maybe this is some kind of birthday-incipient crisis. Maybe it's the influence of watching Midnight in Paris twice.

Maybe I just want to actually recognize something next time I get dragged to live-band karaoke. XD
timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
LJ! ♥ I did not abandon you. I was promoted. With great responsibility comes great stress and great distraction and great lack of time for orderly thoughts.

Also a bunch of new keys. I now walk about jingling like a whole sleigh ride.

But I've somehow found time to finish season 1 of Slings & Arrows, and to corrupt co-workers with kdramas. Well, okay, one. I am a bad influence, it is true. Look, it's not my fault everybody loves cross-dressing, plucky heroines, and sageuk fashion.

...

Lately I've been having a giant '90s nostalgia blast. This mostly takes the form of late '90s-early-'00s music cravings (I spent the first half of the decade being under a virtual rock, and also in elementary school) gleaned from 10 Things I Hate about You and Clueless. I think I'm burned out on boybands (thanks Japan), but early Avril Lavigne, No Doubt, and Alanis Morrisette are on repeat at the moment. What's your favorite music from that era?

Maybe this is some kind of birthday-incipient crisis. Maybe it's the influence of watching Midnight in Paris twice.

Maybe I just want to actually recognize something next time I get dragged to live-band karaoke. XD
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
No really, it's a Saga. But this installment is over, and I am so excited to be actually getting a few hours of sleep tonight before my opening shift. Oh my God, I really am a sleep-deprived twentysomething working a low-paying job many hours a week to support my literary aspirations. How did this happen?!?!?! MY LIFE, YOU GUYS.

My life is basically a cross between orz and XD, with a lot of facepalm thrown in.
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
No really, it's a Saga. But this installment is over, and I am so excited to be actually getting a few hours of sleep tonight before my opening shift. Oh my God, I really am a sleep-deprived twentysomething working a low-paying job many hours a week to support my literary aspirations. How did this happen?!?!?! MY LIFE, YOU GUYS.

My life is basically a cross between orz and XD, with a lot of facepalm thrown in.
timeripple: (i said nothing)
A: A puppy that tries to leap into your zipped hoodie, while you're wearing it, in a frantic joyful search for more cuddles. While you're already petting said puppy.

One of our office-types at work brought her new puppy down to the sales floor for a few minutes, where it happily snuffled around and was petted and cooed at and cuddled. So soft! So tiny and wet-nosed and perfect! It made me so, so happy.

Which was good, because sales for my co-written staff rec Young Miles (The Warrior's Apprentice, The Mountains of Mourning, and The Vor Game) continue to be sad, despite Vericon and several helpful suggestions aimed at customers of the target demographic. I have decided that I shall henceforth describe the Vorkosigan books as “Robert Heinlein and Georgette Heyer walk into a bar...”

Speaking of Vericon and Vorkosigans, I talked to Holly Black for about 15 minutes while she ate her pre-signing sandwich. I had on my Hat of Vaguely European Mystery and was lounging in the break room with a copy of Cryoburn and hopefully I did not terrify her too much with the awkward and the crazy. She was wonderful, at any rate, and said many smart and interesting things about books we both like very much.

Later in the day, this happened:

BOOKSTORE MUSIC: *is some slow, kind of rock-y wistful song about spring and feelings and sadness, with whistling*
ME: Huh, nice song.
ME: Wait, why is this song in Japanese?

XD

It was snowing as I walked to the library and Trader Joe’s the other day. There were some crocuses out, as there are this time of year long before the trees realize it’s spring. The snow wasn’t really sticking, but a few patches in the shade of walls and bushes were frosted over, the white snow stark and cold against the yellow and purple of the flowers. Poor, brave little things.

And now I must take another look at my taxes.
timeripple: (i said nothing)
A: A puppy that tries to leap into your zipped hoodie, while you're wearing it, in a frantic joyful search for more cuddles. While you're already petting said puppy.

One of our office-types at work brought her new puppy down to the sales floor for a few minutes, where it happily snuffled around and was petted and cooed at and cuddled. So soft! So tiny and wet-nosed and perfect! It made me so, so happy.

Which was good, because sales for my co-written staff rec Young Miles (The Warrior's Apprentice, The Mountains of Mourning, and The Vor Game) continue to be sad, despite Vericon and several helpful suggestions aimed at customers of the target demographic. I have decided that I shall henceforth describe the Vorkosigan books as “Robert Heinlein and Georgette Heyer walk into a bar...”

Speaking of Vericon and Vorkosigans, I talked to Holly Black for about 15 minutes while she ate her pre-signing sandwich. I had on my Hat of Vaguely European Mystery and was lounging in the break room with a copy of Cryoburn and hopefully I did not terrify her too much with the awkward and the crazy. She was wonderful, at any rate, and said many smart and interesting things about books we both like very much.

Later in the day, this happened:

BOOKSTORE MUSIC: *is some slow, kind of rock-y wistful song about spring and feelings and sadness, with whistling*
ME: Huh, nice song.
ME: Wait, why is this song in Japanese?

XD

It was snowing as I walked to the library and Trader Joe’s the other day. There were some crocuses out, as there are this time of year long before the trees realize it’s spring. The snow wasn’t really sticking, but a few patches in the shade of walls and bushes were frosted over, the white snow stark and cold against the yellow and purple of the flowers. Poor, brave little things.

And now I must take another look at my taxes.

no tea

Nov. 1st, 2010 10:55 pm
timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
Tomorrow I will be voting in person for the first time! I've always voted by absentee ballot, so this will be a new experience. I'm excited.

Democracy's pretty awesome, really.

It doesn't hurt that my polling place is sort of near the supermarket. POST-HALLOWEEN CANDY SALES Y/Y?

Meanwhile, I think I will check out the Gormenghast DVD I got from the library, because I think I did that the day after Halloween a few years back and it was pretty great.

I will also be re-watching the TJ & the Revo music video [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl linked to a while back, because that is pretty great too.

no tea

Nov. 1st, 2010 10:55 pm
timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
Tomorrow I will be voting in person for the first time! I've always voted by absentee ballot, so this will be a new experience. I'm excited.

Democracy's pretty awesome, really.

It doesn't hurt that my polling place is sort of near the supermarket. POST-HALLOWEEN CANDY SALES Y/Y?

Meanwhile, I think I will check out the Gormenghast DVD I got from the library, because I think I did that the day after Halloween a few years back and it was pretty great.

I will also be re-watching the TJ & the Revo music video [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl linked to a while back, because that is pretty great too.
timeripple: (anenome)
Is it almost Halloween already? Good grief. I had a lovely birthday a few weeks back, complete with the traditional pizza and then dark hot chocolate from Burdick’s (two years in a row makes it a tradition, okay). Turning twenty-five feels like a big deal, somehow; by our arbitrary human calculations, it’s a fairly significant number. Twenty-five is time to be a grown-up: a young grown-up, but a grown-up nonetheless. There’s this one part in one of the Mary Poppins books, when they’re having the tea party on the ceiling with Uncle Albert(?), and they have to think of something sad in order to get back down. Somebody suggests that growing up is sad, and Jane pictures herself, all grown up and carrying a handbag, and finds it exciting rather than sad. At the time, I couldn’t even imagine being twenty-five. I was sure it would never happen to me.

Hah. But “grown-up” is kind of a sad word, though. Having grown up. Growing as a finished action. Well, screw that. It’s okay to let go of some parts of childhood, to be finished with them. Certain other parts, I’ve decided, it’s okay to keep. And I don’t have to stop growing. Especially not when I love so many things, and have so much still to learn and to do.

Especially not right before Halloween, which (as all should know) is a time of old magics, and new ones.

The big question is, will wearing my atrocious homemade plaid trousers on Halloween make me more recognizable as Professor McGonnagall, or less?

***

I know I promised a post on evolutionary biology in some new children’s books, and that will happen, but it’s been put on the back burner for now. (Especially since Robin McKinley’s Pegasus comes out in a few days, and some of you will probably want to read it first.) But mostly this is because I’ve finally gotten some (not very helpful) feedback on a Thing, which if it’s going to actually be a Thing, needs some serious work.

I really, really don’t want to work on it any more. But I think I have to.

If only people were a little clearer on what “in a timely fashion” means. XD

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