Currently I am reading (and in some cases rereading) Diane Duane's excellent Young Wizards series. I read the first three or four when they first came out, then lost track of them. She's been offering up a fabulous deal on them in ebook format through her personal site, so I bought them and have started them over again.
I've forgotten just how much I love these books, and how easily I am transported into Kit & Nita's lives. If you've not read them, I strongly recommend them.
The 2012 Long List - ordered by number of votes:
1 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
2 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
3 The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
4 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
5 The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
6 The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
7 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
8 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
9 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
10 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
11 American Gods - Neil Gaiman
12 A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
13 Harry Potter Adult Hardback Boxed Set - J. K. Rowling I’ve read most, does that count?
14 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
15 The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
16 One Day - David Nicholls
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 The Help - Kathryn Stockett
19 Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell
20 Good Omens - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
21 The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks
22 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
23 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood <--------interesting premise and scary look at the future, boring as shit (IMO).
24 The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
25 Little Women - Louisa M. Alcott
26 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
27 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
28 Atonement - Ian McEwan
29 Room - Emma Donoghue
30 Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
31 We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver
32 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
33 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
34 The Island - Victoria Hislop
35 Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
36 The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
37 The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger
38 Chocolat - Joanne Harris
39 Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
40 The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
41 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
42 Animal Farm - George Orwell
43 The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett
44 The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde
45 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
46 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
47 I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
48 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
49 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
50 The Road - Cormac McCarthy
51 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
52 Dracula - Bram Stoker
53 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
54 Small Island - Andrea Levy
55 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
56 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
57 Persuasion - Jane Austen
58 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
59 Notes from a Small Island - Bill Bryson
60 Watership Down - Richard Adams
61 Night Watch - Terry Pratchett
62 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
63 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
64 Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke <----have the book, have not read yet.
65 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
66 My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
67 The Stand - Stephen King
68 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
69 The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov
70 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
71 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
72 Frankenstein - Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
73 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer
74 The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
75 Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell <---well, I tried to read it. But just couldn’t get into it.
76 The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
77 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
78 The Princess Bride - William Goldman
79 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
80 Perfume - Patrick Suskind
81 The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
82 The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
83 Middlemarch - George Eliot ß--have, have not read yet.
84 Dune - Frank Herbert
85 Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
86 Stardust - Neil Gaiman
87 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
88 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
89 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J. K. Rowling ß-why is this on here twice?
90 Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts
91 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
92 Possession: A Romance - A. S. Byatt
93 Tales of the City - Armistead Maupin
94 Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami
95 The Magus - John Fowles
96 The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - John Boyne
97 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
98 Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood
99 Norwegian Wood - Haruki Murakami
100 The Wind-up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami
|More school babbling
So, final school round-up before the Monday start:
- Shots done and verification in my hot little hands (Hep B, Tet booster, TB test)
- Awaiting letter letting me know the scholarship funds are available
- Awaiting letter to let me know student loan funds are available
so, all I need to do today is laundry, pack the school bag, figure out lunch stuff & sew together my costume that I'm wearing at the Haunted Cornmaze I'll be working at in October. We're having the kickoff meeting today and I need to bring my costume. They provided it, but it was too small (no real surprise) so I bought more fabric and will gusset up the sides to make it fit over my larger frame. I'm adding ties so if the next person to wear it is smaller they can easily cinch it in.
*breathes deeply* I can get everything done by this evening. I can. Really.
Been terribly stressed about finances, so I go shopping. Not the smartest but it was to the Dollar Tree and I spent a whopping $35 for 5 bags of decorating stuff!!!!!
School will start back in a week (ARRRGH! I'm Not READY!) and I've not gotten everything done that I need to. I cannot get hold of the financial aid office to see how to pick up the scholarship check that I was awarded - I burst into tears when I get the letter yesterday. It was such a relief to know that I was going to be able to get my shots that I need for class (hey, I'll be working with dead bodies, I need to be protected), my PPEs (personal protective equipment) and what books I am missing (Chem, I am looking at you!) for this quarter. But I need them to answer the phones!!!!!
I did get the photo shoot appt. scheduled and I still have to write my thank you letter to the board for awarding the scholarship to me.
I am still seeking donations to help defray costs of this quarter so if you can help with donating, signal boosting, whatever you will have my deepest thanks, blessings for being wonderful and big squishy hugs.
Grades - I did well this past quarter: I got a 3.9 in Embalming, a 4.0 in Biology & physiology and a 3.6 in Quantitative Reasoning. Since we had to self grade in the last one I felt weird about asking for anything higher, though I could justify it easily enough. Still, I am shocked, amazed and thrilled about the grades from the summer quarter, especially as we were on a compressed schedule.
|50 days now
For those who want interesting ideas, or just love Halloween there is a wonderful blog on Tumblr:
|51 days to Halloween
And yes, I am terribly excited about it.
Both households are sponsoring parties (here in NW Washington and down in SE Washington), hopefully something can be done so no one feels terribly slighted.
We hit up the Dollar Tree and Ben Franklins yesterday to get some decorations - had to go back today as we'd forgot to get the willow wreath for decorating though we got everything else for it :D We picked up a bunch of apothecary/candy type jars to fill with candy/ashes/weird stuff along with skulls to be painted, etc. I'll try to post pics later this month as we get things done and set up for decorating.
Still, it will be interesting. I will be working temporarily during the month of October at a Haunted Corn Maze which should be a lot of fun, if not freezing cold some nights and raining. Still, it should be fun. I'll be working Friday & Saturday nights the first three weeks of the month, then the last weekend will be Friday - Monday.
Should be a blast - as a teen I volunteered at the March of Dimes for 3 years doing set up and helping out with various fundraising events. One of those events was a Haunted House, which I helped out with for three years running - it was a load of fun but looking back on it all its amazing that we were able to do the things we did. I'm looking forward to re-experiencing my teen years (at least in some part) for this Halloween.
Are you getting excited?
This is quite probably one of the most enlightening things I've read about Muslims in quite a while. I applaud Nahida for standing up and speaking aloud on this subject.
Unfortunately those who need to hear this message and understand what is being said are the ones least likely to read or listen to this message.
Interesting article - it brings up some very valid points for and against organized religion.
Speaking as a non-Christian in what many would like to believe is a very Christian nation, it appalls and offends me on many levels that basic freedoms are not equally granted across the board. My experience has been that if something is perceived as being normally "Christian" that any attempts to allow another religion to have those same basic courtesies is met with anger, distrust and an overwhelming sense of oppression from the Christian Right.
Christians who feel persecuted because they are not allowed to lead a prayer before a sporting event, civic duty, board meeting, etc, are attempting to make you feel guilty because you don't want to share in their religious rites. Its a passive aggressive bullshit maneuver - 'oh, how can it hurt if we offer a prayer...it's just a prayer, we aren't really stepping on another person's religion just because we want to share a prayer....but later there is the whole 'John didn't participate in the prayer, he must not be a Christian. We should watch him carefully.'
So, this is my challenge to you on my list who follow the Christian faith - challenge those of your faith to accept that not everyone is Christian and to grant those who are not the same rights and privileges that you have when it comes to practicing your faith. Don't sit back and say that the Christian Right doesn't speak for you, shout it out and spread the word in a way that Jesus would have wanted. That is the actions that the Jesus the I was taught about and read about in the Bible would have wanted, not the wholesale oppression of those who were different.
School is almost out for the summer (thank the Gods!) and I am totally looking forward to having a mini-break before classes start back up in mid-September.
Monday is my Embalming I final, and a quiz in biology. The final in biology is actually a take home that is due next week - it's worth very little in comparison to the tests of which the final one will be on Wednesday (50 pts vs 80 pts).
Math has no final so I'm down with that :D
The goats did a pretty good job - there was a lot there for them to eat so it's not as bare as I might have expected. Still, if we have the money in the fall I'll see about getting them back again for another section of the yard.
The Spousal Unit is visiting with the Middle Spawn and the Spawnette for the month while the SiL is out for war games, which leaves me alone with the Eldest and Youngest Spawn. We've been gorging on craptastic horror movies ... okay, not all of them were too dreadful but most have been terrible! Example from tonight where we watched 'Neowolf'.... it was like someone watched Lost Boys and thought that it'd be cool to make a werewolf movie that was sorta kinda like it. But instead of actually writing a decent script they instead used some crappy twaddle from Fanfiction.net as the script and filled in the spaces with slo-mo views of the pretty cast, stripping, sex, and colored lens filming for "atmosphere".
Sad, very very sad.
There's a local family that rents out their goats for yard clearing. So I hired them and we have a temp fence in place with 30ish goats in it eating up my overly tall grass, berry vines and assorted other growing stuff.
They've done an amazing job since last evening. I am amazed.
In other news I've nearly finished with the youngest Spawn's quilt (edging is finished) and all I have to do is finish with the ties.
School will be out in @ 3 weeks and I really need the break.
How are you doing?
Lammas approaches and I have no harvest to bring in. No bread to bake for friends and family, no rabbit to roast nor corn maiden to dress my altar.
For the first time in many many years we have closed down the coven and pulled inwards to get our lives on track once again.
It’s been in motion for a couple of years so it’s nothing that we haven’t seen coming. It started with me being laid off from work. I spent 6 to 8 months in a depression over the job loss and fear of what we were going to do to survive. I couldn’t focus on anyone else’s issues, not marriage, health, or finances.
Once I pulled myself out of the depression I looked at what we as a coven were doing and was unhappy.
We met, maybe once a month and rather than celebrate the season/moon and maybe do a little work for others all we did was bitch. Bitch bitch bitch. About how terrible the world was, how terrible our lives were, how terrible our health was, how constricted our money was.
That right there signaled the end to that iteration of the coven. I take some of the blame, as the priestess it was my job to lead, but I couldn’t. It was worse than herding cats. Cats at least occasionally listen to what you have to say.
We’d grown apart in our fellowship, more than distance from one town to another, but in ideology and needs. I needed a coven that stepped up and acted like the Elders that they were and shared and shouldered the running of the coven and instead what we were was a group of cranky toddlers whining forever about finances, health and the world. Instead of working to improve any of the issues we faced as individuals and a group we turned into disorganized chaos. We all have to accept our share of the blame.
School starts back tomorrow - luckily it's only for 8 weeks and then I'll have 3-4 weeks off for a break before fall quarter starts.
Stress levels around the house have hit critical with the Youngest Spawn wigging out about her upcoming Social Security hearing, school starting and travel.
Its hard on her with the bipolar and anxiety (there's only so much Valium that one can take to help with the stress before becoming a zombie) and it's a little like walking on eggshells here. It's amazing to see how some react to another persons suffering, especially when it's a mental illness issue. Too many out there, including those who have mental issues of their own seem to think only their issues are real and others just need to get over it. Sigh.
We really need for this appeal to go through but I have my doubts it will. Pretty soon I'll want my own anxiety drugs to help me to deal with the stress at this point.
Around here the booms are starting to cycle up for the evening - last night it was like being in a intercity urban gang war all over again. While I enjoy celebrating the 4th I hate the noise that accompanies it.
How are you all today?
Grades came out yesterday - 4.0 in Mortuary Law, Funeral Directing and Ethics of Funeral Services, 3.2 on Intermediate Algebra* and 2.8 on Business Law.
*I had a bit of an issue early on in the quarter where I just was not being able to understand the math. I started taking ginko and relaxing about it all and finished up about where I expected as I failed one test and scored D's on two others. I will take that 3.2 as a sign that eventually I was understanding it all and that math was not as evil as I remembered.
The 2.8 in Business Law - yeah. Not happy but thrilled I passed. That's what really mattered on this and it's what I am taking out of this course. We went through less than a third of the book, for 8 out of the ten weeks the teacher just wrote verbatim on the whiteboard what was in the text book and it was nothing more than rote memorization for the class. Did I get anything out of it? Very little because very little was passed on in a way that meant anything to 90% of the class. The lone 10% who was going for a paralegal career? Yeah, even she was less than thrilled with the grades and how the class was handled. If I had failed I would have just signed up for the online version over the summer - luckily I don't have to do that now.
Summer quarter will be short (8 weeks) and will consist of my last math class, embalming I and biology & physiology.
Then I'll have an entire month off maybe until fall quarter starts~ whoo hoo!
So, interested in helping fund a poor college student? You know what they say, friends help friends move, real friends help buy bodies for embalming courses. Here's the skinny on it all - embalming II & III are the actual hands on labs for my degree. Lab fees for each course are $500 (that's the cost of 1/2 a body; yes we share one between two students). So for the fall semester my tuition and lab fees brings my cost up to $2100 for 10 weeks of classes, to be repeated for the winter quarter which will be another $2100 for 10 weeks.
Also - because I've had to cash out the 401K to pay for school (which is now all gone) I am ineligible for grants. Loans are on the horizon, and I've got in the paperwork for one already. However...
If you want to help, the spouse set up a paypal donation box - any little bit helps.
So this is finals week here at LWTC which means that Monday I had my Mortuary Law final and today was the Funeral Directing, Funeral Services Ethics & Funeral Services Sociology.
Saturday will be the intermediate Algebra final.
Monday is my last final and that will be for Business Law.
I am thinking of fermenting a revolt for Business Law if I fail for some reason. I am passing all the funeral services classes with a 3.9/4.0 and will pass math with a B most likely, on the other hand there is a very good chance that I along with the majority of students in the class face failure in Business Law.
The 3 quizzes and the final (which is nothing more than a quiz) count for 80% of the grade. 80 freaking percent of the grade. I am suggesting that if the majority of us fail we lodge a complaint with the Dean. There is no way to have the grade I do and to fail this one stupid class, especially when I come, participate, turn in homework and take the tests.
Also, this was a terribly bittersweet day as it was the last day with one of the program instructors. He's headed down to San Diego to take a position there. We will miss him and his sly wit terribly.
I've survived midterms; I came out of all of them with at least a B on them. *whew*
We've had koshi700 here for the week. We've been running pretty non-stop since she got here in between school and doing the tourist stuff *grin*
We went over the mountain to Leavenworth (small German tourist town in Eastern Washington) and spent a day there doing the tourist thing! She came into school with me one day (lucky girl) and got to hang out in class while we did our tests. We spent a fun filled day in Seattle doing the big tourist thing such as Archie McPhee's, The Space Needle, The Underground Tour and a couple of other shops *waggling eyebrows*
She goes home tomorrow so today we did a trip over to Ellensburg to meet up with abeilledeverte and the amazing babe! for a visit and the dropping off of belated birthday gifties.
On the way home we swung into Tweeds for some damn fine cherry pie *grin*
Tomorrow is the evol maths class, and back to radical expressions...
And how are you all doing?
|So bin Ladin is dead
The rest of the world will continue to rotate.
I've been a little ashamed and appalled at some of the commentary that folks have posted in social sites, but more so with comments that I heard in classes today.
As a Funeral Services student, one of the first things we learned and continue to learn is respect for the dead. It is not our place to 'do' unethical things to a body of someone who we considered bad. That's not our place and I find it horrendously offensive.
Let me be clear and frank - my husband served, my brother in law served, my uncles served, my grandfather served, my son in law serves today, many friends who I love and respect all serve in the military. I am not upset with the military - they did their job.
What I am upset with are those who choose to criticize the military for taking out Osama bin Ladin, some feel cheated that he wasn't brought into to American and placed in prison where he could be abused and tortured. Really people? Really!??!!!!?!? Others bitch about the fact he was quickly buried at sea, after all why should he get a fast burial?
Again I say, Really?!?!!?
I can give you several reasons why:
- It keeps his grave site from becoming a place to gather, to make him a martyr.
- He was Islamic - it is required that they be buried within two days of death.
- Who actually thinks bringing the body of this man to America would be a good idea? It would just be another reason to attack this nation.
We aren't showing any preference by allowing his burial according to Islamic custom, instead we are showing that we can be a compassionate and kind. It costs us nothing but could gain us much.
As for the naysayers who claim that he's not really dead, and for those doofuses at Fox News who reported "Obama" bin Ladin dead this morning - please stop being so stupid and insulting and polluting the intelligence of the rest of us. Buy a clue and become real journalists.
In the real of other things that piss me off - I apologize in advance if you are offended by my post, I am not doing it o offend, but rather to vent and get it out of my system.
I am not "Pro-Life" I never have been. Our world is heavily overpopulated with unwanted and disposable children and I find that horribly offensive. Rather than trying to restrict my access to safe and sane birth control and adequate health care, why don't you do something for these children? Is it because they are of mixed heritages? Poor, born disadvantaged? Not white enough for you?
What is the governments obsession with looking into our bedrooms?
I am Pro Choice and I am not ashamed of my beliefs - I got a phone call this afternoon from a Pro-Life Advocate asking me for money. I wasn't rude but I was clear that I would not give them money nor did I wish to be contacted by them again.
I have no idea of how they got my name and number, but it offends me... a lot. Just in case you missed that.
Enough ranting for the moment.
I hope you had a good day and tomorrow will be better.
|Rage of Poseidon by Apocalyptica|
To a Cat
Stately, kindly, lordly friend,
Here to sit by me, and turn
Glorious eyes that smile and burn,
Golden eyes, love's lustrous meed,
On the golden page I read.
All your wondrous wealth of hair,
Dark and fair,
Silken-shaggy, soft and bright
As the clouds and beams of night,
Pays my reverent hand's caress
Back with friendlier gentleness.
Dogs may fawn on all and some
As they come;
You, a friend of loftier mind,
Answer friends alone in kind.
Just your foot upon my hand
Softly bids it understand.
Morning round this silent sweet
Sheds its wealth of gathering light,
Thrills the gradual clouds with might,
Changes woodland, orchard, heath,
Lawn, and garden there beneath.
Fair and dim they gleamed below:
Now they glow
Deep as even your sunbright eyes,
Fair as even the wakening skies.
Can it not or can it be
Now that you give thanks to see?
May not you rejoice as I,
Seeing the sky
Change to heaven revealed, and bid
Earth reveal the heaven it hid
All night long from stars and moon,
Now the sun sets all in tune?
What within you wakes with day
Who can say?
All too little may we tell,
Friends who like each other well,
What might haply, if we might,
Bid us read our lives aright.
Wild on woodland ways your sires
Flashed like fires:
Fair as flame and fierce and fleet
As with wings on wingless feet
Shone and sprang your mother, free,
Bright and brave as wind or sea.
Free and proud and glad as they,
Rests or roams their radiant child,
Vanquished not, but reconciled,
Free from curb of aught above
Save the lovely curb of love.
Love through dreams of souls divine
Fain would shine
Round a dawn whose light and song
Then should right our mutual wrong —
Speak, and seal the love-lit law
Sweet Assisi's seer foresaw.
Dreams were theirs; yet haply may
Dawn a day
When such friends and fellows born,
Seeing our earth as fair at morn,
May for wiser love's sake see
More of heaven's deep heart than we.
Spring here means floods, road closures, and trouble in the mountain passes. Just in time for classes to resume on Monday *grin*
The roads to and from our neck of the woods here are now limited to one across the valley and the N/S 2-lane county highway. The weather gods have promised that the rain will slow/stop and that the river will start to drop during the weekend. Having spent the past two evenings stuck waiting for an hour to go 2 or so miles in the back ups I'm hoping that the river recedes by Monday big time!
I am looking forward to school starting back - it's been a nice break for the past week but I need to get back out of the house.
Got my grades - scored a high B in History of Funeral Directing; now that I know the teachers' style I can do better in future classes with him. Since there are only 2 teachers in the program I'll have many more classes with him I'll be able to do better.
Got a high B in Algebra as well, yay me! I am very happy about that.
Got an A in sociology which is what I was expecting - all in all I am pretty happy with the last semester and the grades from it. One more quarter of math - intermediate Algebra here I come.
Starting Monday I'll be carrying a load of 20 credits:
Funeral Services Ethics
Funeral Services Sociology
Small Business Managment
And finally, we did our taxes and made the discovery that some info needed (mortgage 1099 anyone?) was missing - so after getting it from the bank and finding a couple of other pieces needed we'll be back at the tax place to drop off and sign paperwork. *whew*
How's your week been?
|Life and Death and all that flows between
It's been a hard couple of months for mothers in my extended family. Two have lost their mothers in the past couple of weeks (one just last night) and others have been hospitalized.
Its the last week of school and I took my algebra final yesterday.
Won't actually know the results until the 29th (wah!) but unless I blew it big time I should come out of the class with a high B or low A. Not too shabby for a girl that went back into school with a burning hatred of math.
It amuses me what it is that is getting me through these math classes;
- I don't want to be the 'typical' girl afraid of or destroyed by math
- I want to possibly do more school after my degree (what?!? am I insane? maybe...)
- I think of Rodney McKay's reaction and continue on
- I refuse to let math beat me
I'll have a week off between quarters then right back into math again - this time it'll be Intermediate Algebra. Still not sure if I'll need to take anything past that or not for the degree; I need to check with the advisers to see what is the deal with it all.
I know I need the math 99 (intermediate algebra) for chemistry, I am just not sure if I need any more past that for embalming chemistry.
Monday is review day for soc and History of Funeral Services then finals on Wednesday.
And how is your week looking out there? Any good stories I've missed that you recommend?
Currently reading these fandoms:H5O
- Danny/Steve; what can I say they are pretty.Sherlock
- Love me some good Sherlock/John, BAMF!John preferred Or Lestrade/John (yeah I know his first name is Greg, it just doesn't sound right!Losers
- anyone with anyone....that movie was filled with the pretty and awesomeRed
- is anyone writing Red fiction? If so, why am I not seeing it?
The sun is shining... I wanna go out and play, not do homework!