Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Some Whine, Some Books, and Some Bunnies

I have been trying to avoid turning this blog into a whine-fest, but I am tired. Sick and tired of everything. A lot of changes are happening here, and I should be excited, but mostly I’m just tired. I don’t know if I’m overwhelmed at too many changes at once, or if I’ve just been overwhelmed for so long that nothing breaks through.

Next week I’m transferring to a new position in the agency. It’s a legal secretary type position that has the potential to turn into full-blown paralegal status (where they pay for school!). I’ve been spending the last month wrapping up all my projects, streamlining my files, and trying to train my replacement, who’s been trying to wrap up all her projects. I think I will be excited again at the end of next week, after the move.

And speaking of moves, in the next few months, we will be moving the House at Two Palms lock, stock, and barrel across the street into a new house. The new house, while still a rental, is cheaper, closer to the beach, and has a back yard that the monsters can play in. It’s fabulous the way it’s all worked out, but, sheesh, moving! And we have a lot of stuff to move… It’ll be rummage sale and freecycle time!

And last, but not least, I just dumped an ungodly amount of cash into plane tickets back to North Dakota. I’m dragging the monsters back home to see the family and meet their new cousin (due May 29th). I can’t wait to take a real vacation, but OMG! I could have used that money as a down payment on a house in God’s Armpit, ND!

Okay, okay, enough whining. Heather tagged me with a book meme; here goes!

1. What book are you currently reading?

Magic Bites, by Ilona Andrews – I love dark urban fantasy, but the genre can be very hit or miss. This one is definitely a hit. I just ordered the sequel and pulled this one off the shelf to re-read while I wait. It has a nice urban noire feel to it, with a tough, sarcastic heroine who is still likable. I’ve walked away from many books that have made their women protagonists full-blown bitches; I want to be able to like the heroine. This book has many interesting twists on the genre: magic is taking over tech, with the world hanging in the balance, and vampires are mindless undead controlled by Masters of the Dead. Enter Kate Daniels, a mercenary investigating the death of her guardian and trying to prevent a war between the Pack (shapeshifters) and the People (necromancers). The book isn’t amazing, but it’s interesting and quite a good read.

2. When you think of a good story, what are the first 3 books that come to mind?

Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card - This was a life-changing book for me the first time I read it at the grand old age of twelve. I’ve carried the lessons I learned from this book my entire life, especially those on empathy and what it means to be human or alien. I have probably read this book hundreds of times, and each time it brings something new to my life.

The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley – When I think of epic I think of this book. Robin McKinley is a masterful author, and this book is a prime example.

Anything by Patricia A. McKillip, although if forced to narrow it down I’d have to say The Cygnet and the Firebird. Patricia McKillip’s prose is magic, each sentence crafted like a Faberge egg.

Looking back on these I’ve noticed that the common theme is the misfit. Hmmm, does that say anything about me?

3. Which 3 books would you recommend for summer 2008 beach reading?

Since I live (almost) on the beach, all my reading is beach reading, so I’m going to steal this as three more books I wish everyone would read.

Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimen – absolutely fabulous take on the Apocalypse. Makes me laugh out loud every time.

The Shape-Changer’s Wife, by Sharon Shinn – this is her first novel, and really my favorite. It’s an enchanting story with twists and turns and a bittersweet ending.

Winter’s Tale, by Mark Helprin – a beautiful, lyrical story about good and evil, love and loss, and life and death. It can be a tough read, but it is so worth it.

4. Any knitting books you would care to share?

The Twisted Sisters Knit Sweaters: A Knit-to-Fit Workshop, by Lynne Vogel – I am using this book to knit a cabled raglan sweater for my husband that I’ve designed myself. Following the Twisted Sisters guidelines, I mapped out the sweater and the stitch pattern, did the simple math, and now I am halfway through a sweater that is turning out perfectly.

5. What is next on your reading list?

6. Tag three other knitters for this meme:

I would love to see what everyone’s reading. If you find yourself inspired by this post, consider yourself tagged!

Last but not least – baby bunnies! Here they are on their one month birthday.

And for comparison, here's Mom on the same stool (her wool's still growing back in, so she's looking a little rough):