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Taking a break on committing until I can figure out how to deal with Bugsy overwhelming #dw.

It's a lazy, rainy Saturday, and I've spent most of the afternoon curled up in bed, reading Wicked. I've seen the musical (a short version live in Japanese. <333 Universal Studios Japan, and the full length musical as well). It's taken me about a month to finish, I haven't been making time to read lately.

The musical and the book are very different. Not going into too much detail, though if you have the chance to watch/read, do; they're both good, in very different ways. Short version: the musical is like high school; the book like college beyond. Slightly longer version: the musical is brighter and happier, but not shallow. The book is darker and grittier, but leaves me hanging at the end.

(I think I would not like Glinda in the musical if it weren't for Kristin Chenoweth. Hmm or maybe, well I liked young!book!Glinda better than grownup!book!Glinda; I liked old!musical!Glinda better than young!musical!Glinda).

So I've closed Wicked, put it aside, and now going through the books in my drawer, I've settled (with some trepidation) on The Lost German Slave Girl. I'm not sure it's the right book for my mood, as I feel somewhat pensive, and this promises to be complicated and emotionally troubling, but none of the lighter-hearted books appeal to my mood right now, for the same reason.
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I am excited. My mom is going to the US to visit my grandmother and see some of her sisters, and this means that I can order technical books and have her take them home. I thought about it a bit, and I really want these three books:

* Programming Perl
* Mastering Perl
* Perl Best Practices

I would have been happy with one, but O'Reilly has a promo where you can buy two and get one free, and my resolve cracked (THREE IS MY HAPPY NUMBER). I also briefly considered switching one out to get the Perl Cookbook but the cookbook is of the more expensive variety, and also, I could not decide which of the first three I could bear to switch out. [info] - personaldenny assures me that the knowledge I have absorbed of Perl from poking around means that I can skip Learning Perl, which is good -- one less book to need to buy. I am sweating at the thought of the price, as it is. It's... urgh. It's a lot of money.

But guys, guys, I just bought books. Eeeeh. I hit the buy button and everything and they're now on their way!

(I've been tempted to buy these books before, and have them shipped to my country, but the price of world-wide shipping for three books is $39.48, almost as much as another book! "Almost", here, being a difference of 50 cents)

Anyway, anyway, I'm just so happy and excited. It's the first time that I've tried to order a book from overseas. I have a few technical books which I scavenged from a sale (also my textbooks that I bought for my university courses *grin* I should go look at the Unix Network Programming one again, for kicks), but on the whole I have too few books related to my field. This is the first time I'm buying a technical book that I actively hunted for/want/need, instead of just stumbled upon.

My face right now: ^_________^

Vacation!

May. 2nd, 2009 10:23 pm
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So, I'm going out of town the next four days, to spend half a week at Fort Ilocandia, which apparently is very pretty and luxurious and has stuff like jet-skiing and parasailing and archery and other stuff you can't get here (wind and sand and sea and nature and stuff).

I am terrible at taking vacations, by the way. I just spent today stressing over finishing code for work, because I hadn't finished enough to justify to myself skipping Monday through Wednesday of next week relaxing ("relaxing"). Though it's better to stress before the vacation, than during or after? I'm about to resume coding for work after this, but took a quick break to pack my bag.

Packing two books: Dragonfire by Charles Ashton, and Snare by Katherine Kerr. Should I swap one of them out for Ellen Kushner's Thomas the Rhymer, or Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar, or DWJ's Unexpected Magic? Or maybe I should bring Wicked instead, since it's already tattered, from the time I lent it to my brother's friend. I'm gone four days; two books had better be enough! (Maybe I should bring three?)

I'm actually in the middle of the first book of Abarat, but I don't want to bring it because first book is glossy (and therefore heavy). Second book is hardbound (and therefore heavier).

Oh hmm what else do I need? Clothes, probably. Must not forget that. Ummm, money, too. Not bringing the laptop, but am bringing the iPhone. Also going to try to bring a bit of self-discipline so I don't end up spending the next four days hunched over my phone, trying to connect to the internet.

Place looks good enough to have assorted toiletries in the room? I'm bringing a towel anyway, for the beach.

Hm. Hm. Hm.

I hope I didn't forget anything.

ETA Oh yes, need to turn off changenotify, otherwise I'll be spammed with emails for things I can't help out with anyway.
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Just finished reading DUST by Elizabeth Bear. Damn brilliant.

(And now is a good time to have picked it up, because another book should be coming within the year).
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[livejournal.com profile] habeo just gave me an amazing Christmas present: a 10% discount card for Fully Booked! It's even better than actually giving me a book, because I get to pick out the book(s) myself, and going through a bookstore is an experience all its own. Especially now that I have money. Mmm, money. Mmmmmm, books!

Got lost in the bookstore and ended up going through the generic fiction area first, where one book caught my eye: The Food Taster by Peter Elbing. Was intrigued by the title, the setting, and the description of it as "a sparkling tale of love, intrigue, and dodgy food". Sounds like it could potentially be delicious.

I next went through the YA section, which tends to have cheaper but very fun books, then went down to the sci-fi/fantasy section.

From the YA, I picked out a couple of books by Diana Wynne Jones (Castle in the Air, House of Many Ways, The Merlin Conspiracy) and Gaiman's M is for Magic -- both of them are authors I've read before and trust. I also picked up Charles de Lint's The Dreaming Place, because it caught my eye. I feel like I should know this author; name is vaguely familiar, but I cannot place him!

Initially had a few more books lined up from this section, but decided to go back for them another time (and there will be another time), after I got to the counter and realized I may not have enough to pay.

One of those I left behind was the Bartimaeus trilogy, because I remembered someone telling me something about it, but I forgot if it was good or bad, so I decided to go home and do my research first. Septimus Flynt series caught my eye, but they didn't have the first book, and I wasn't sure if it was good. I also almost bought Coraline. What stopped me was that there was a much cheaper edition in YA, and another edition in the non-YA fantasy section, which cost almost twice as much. I wasn't sure which one I should get. I wanted to get the cheaper one, but was worried it might have been simplified for younger readers; didn't want to risk it.

Ohh, and we found a parents' guide to Harry Potter, which (from the admittedly brief scanthrough I gave it) was full of itself explaining how to take away moral lessons from the series. The very existence of the book makes me sad.

I could have stayed in the YA section longer, but there was still the sci-fi/fantasy section and it was almost time to go home, so we headed to the first floor. I knew a few more authors in this section than I had in YA.

Got the fourth Temeraire book, by Naomi Novik (though, leafing through it now, I don't really remember what is going on. I may need to reread the first three). Two books by Ellen Kushner -- Thomas the Rhymer, The Privilege of the Sword, because I vaguely recall one of my friends recommending her. A book, Snare by Katharine Kerr, because I keep seeing her name/Deverry, but I wanted to try her first (standalone novel) before committing to buy what seems to be her three or so series set in the same world. Dragon Fire by Charlie Ashton, which I know nothing about, but it caught my eye and it's an omnibus edition (three-in-one), so I figured I'd try it.

Three books by Elizabeth Bear! Recognized her name from a friend's recs, and from Shadow Unit (which I haven't read yet but seems cool): Hell and Earth and Blood and Iron, both novels of the Promethean Age, and Dust which I think is a standalone. Windhaven by George R. R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle (saw while trying to see if there was a new book in the ASoIaF series -- no there isn't, which I knew since I would have heard from my friends otherwise, but...). And finally Lankhmar by Fritz Leiber, which I got because the summary caught my eye (swashbuckling! Giant barbarian warrior and master thief! Most of the stories I've seen involving thieves have been good) and it had a blurb by Gaiman on it. Normally, I hate blurbs*, but this seemed to be an unusually sincere blurb from an author I respect.

* Tell me what the book is about, not who read it. How hard is that?

I'm wondering if I should have picked up some Tanya Huff. Her name sounds familiar, but I can't remember if I have ever read anything by her. Meant to get the Kushiel series, but I forgot which book (singular) I already have. May go back for it at some other time, but I had no money for another book. Literally had only forty pesos in my pocket after everything.

I bought 16 books in total, about 5.5k pesos. Bye money, mmmmmmm books!

You know, I just realized I was so busy in 2008, I did not finish a single book, at least not in dead-tree form, though I did manage to go through a few books on my computer That... is a very sad realization. This year I am definitely going to change that.

My loot )

PS. I would kill for a public library in the Philippines with a decent selection of books. Or at least, severely MAIM.
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[Poll #1155065]

(This comes from a discussion that aveleh and I are having, because I haven't seen/read The Princess Bride, but I have both the movie and the book on hand, but started reading the book first).
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Went out with friends to Shangri-La Plaza today, and watched National Treasure. It was pretty good. What I liked most about it is... (cut for spoiler) )

I liked it; it was interesting.

Speaking of things that I like because they're interesting, check out this gorgeous take on the Cinderella story (not a fairy tale; not for kids. Warning, contains sex. I would babble on about it, but I don't want to spoil it for you. Also, words fail me). I've linked to part ten, as it links back to parts one through nine, so do take care not to scroll down that page until you've read the first parts. Originally found via the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] keilexandra.


--

I was late to the movie because I accidentally left my wallet at the office last night and had to drop by there first to search for it. Found it in my jacket pocket, untouched. After the movie, I handed out boxes of chocolate truffles (my pasalubong from Hong Kong!). Some milk, some dark, some white, some hazelnut. I hope you guys enjoy them ^_^

Discovered an easter egg for the mall -- a set of out of the way restrooms. No lines! Woohoo!

I felt ravenous after the movie, so I suggested dinner (Pho Hoa; Vietnamese noodle place. Never eaten there before. Flank+brisket+tendon noodle soup is quite good.) Kinarir ni [livejournal.com profile] habeo ang hoisin sauce ;) Kinarir ko naman ang bean sprouts at basil. Wanted to have some mango crepe, which apparently was infused with pandan, but I was too full after the noodles.

Dinner conversation revolved around various languages, including English in the Philippines, PHP, Java, Lisp, Erlang. A few quick dips into load balancing (which sadly I know little about), and the rules governing domain names and valid email addresses rounded out the small talk nicely.

[livejournal.com profile] jan247 had to leave early! Sad! But okay, we understand. Some things are more important than friends ;p And then it was just me, [livejournal.com profile] habeo and [livejournal.com profile] iruka11. Headed to PowerBooks, right next door to the restaurant. There was a sale! Everything was at least 20% off, so I bought four books: silly book about being a Filipino (You know you're a Filipino if...), The King of Attolia and The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (I've read The Thief, set in the same universe, and liked it, so this seemed a good gamble), and then bought Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley.

I just remembered that someone may have recommended that last book to me last year (before it was published), though that wasn't in my mind when I picked it up from the shelf. Hmm. Aha, found it.

I love the smell of books, the feeling of covers under my fingertips (matte, glossy, smooth, rough, everything), the fonts and colors as they sit there on the shelf. I have a hard time keeping my fingers and my eyes away from them. I tend to get dizzy when walking past shelves of books, especially long ones, because I'll be trying to walk forward to get to the next set while my eyes (and occasionally fingers) are still trying to read everything behind me.

I'm still revelling in the feeling of having money in my pocket. This is the first major thing I've bought for myself since I started earning*. I mean I've bought books before, but I didn't have to pay for them or anything.... It feels good to own my books completely utterly entirely.

*lunch and treating my family to dinner do not count!

Had on a blouse that was cut lower than I usually wear. The deep V has an amazing slimming effect, but it meant that I had to take care that I didn't accidentally flash anyone when I crouched down to get at the books on the lower shelves. I also had on my sister's sandals so I could walk tall (the things I will do for more height ;-)), and I keep forgetting how much I like the crisp click-clacking of hard heels against tiles. So nice. Tried not to be too obvious that I was enjoying walking so much, but so nice.

Old books

Dec. 30th, 2007 04:09 pm
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We're cleaning up the library downstairs, throwing out the trash, and going through the big plastic boxes of old books trying to figure out which ones are donatable. The books on the shelves are mostly fiction and reference. Children's books, old magazines, and textbooks were packed into plastic bins a couple of years back -- these are the ones we're going through now.

We're planning to donate them to AHON, which is trying to raise a million books to donate to public schools throughout the country. It makes me a bit sad to have to part with them, as many of these books were part of my childhood, and I read and reread them endlessly, but I don't read them these days. Hopefully the kids who end up getting these books will enjoy them as much as I used to!

Lots of Bobbsey Twins, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Choose Your Own Adventure books, Sweet Valley Twins/High/University (I wasn't an obsessive fan: something about them being episodic made me feel as though they were disposable. I could skip a book without having to worry about it affecting my experience of the next one, so there wasn't any motivation for me to go out and buy them. However, I gladly read whatever was given to me. The Sweet Valley High and University ones were passed down to me by a cousin who outgrew them. The detective and CYA ones were bought by my brother).

Sweet Valley Twins were my sisters', and I read those as a kid. Got bored quickly because seriously, grrr. But okay. The one thing I really remember from those was that there was someone named Aaron. Two A's! I couldn't pronounce it, and it bugged me.

Sweet Valley High books I read quite late, some time in my early teens. I remember that I felt so guilty about reading them because theey sucked so much, but I couldn't stay away because they were there, in the home library, an entire box of books I had never read. So I'd grab a few at a time, zoom through each, and sneak them back in. I knew they would suck, and they did, but it took so little time to read each book (less than an hour), that I ended up using that to justify myself ;)

Other than the Sweet Valley books, I think my cousin also passed down something about Pee Wee Scouts, and Birthday Girls and, umm, a couple of kiddy books (New Kids in School? something like that) about kids which were... nice, but too kiddy for me, even back when I first got them. I do remember that one of them mentioned candy corn, which is where I learned about that treat (though I don't remember ever eating it *g*).

I hated CYA books. I always felt the need to know each and every branch, and it was annoying to have to backtrack after finishing one branch in order to go down the other branch. Things got worse when there were three choices. (CYA makes me think of recursive function calls. Or maybe recursive function calls make me think of CYA?)

By the way, does Ellen Kushner sound familiar? She wrote an Outlaws of Sherwood CYA, and the author name sounds very familiar, but I can't quite place her.

Other old favorites, individual books or short series that probably no one has heard of: Jacob Two-two and the Dinosaur, Richard and the Vratch, The Pink Pig, some Encyclopedia Brown (I want to reread these to be honest!), Space Brat (by Bruce Coville), The Janice Project, someone something at Follyfoot. A bunch of the other covers and titles sparked memories, but I didn't remember reading them until now.

I remember always planning to read A Fine White Dust, which we had two copies of for no reason that I can remember, but I always put it off because the illustration spooked me a bit. Really pale kid, and the blurb talked about a Preacher (yes, capitalized) and it just freaked me out.

There are also some children's books that were my younger brother's for school -- and I used to be sooo envious of him because they actually read entire books at his school, not just short stories or summaries. Never had that in my school (not even when we took up Shakespeare; now that was a bit of a joke >_>).

Anyway, I am pretty sure that we have at least a couple of hundred ready to be donated. Mostly fiction, but there are a couple of textbooks in the mix as well :)
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Saw it recced here, and I'm excited! It's coming out in September, by which time I'll be in China. I hope I'll still be able to find it there (or at least manage to find it when I get home around Christmas :))

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