Saturday, December 20, 2008

hunting homes

In the past week and a half I've very bizarrely found myself in the position of a first time prospective home buyer. My arbitrarily/incredibly generous and supportive parents have suggested that now that it's time for me to move out of the camping trailer, it's better that I don't go back to paying rent. Sometimes I think I either am a rich spoiled brat or it's a miracle that I'm not. Also, this sort of behavior from my folks is part of what often makes my life so incredibly surreal. I am not complaining.

Anyway, the short story is, I have offers in on two places. Either one would be fine, and each has a complicated process going on such that I won't hear back for days or weeks.

I daydream of fruit trees and vegetable gardens. The public room shall be the library. . . the kitchen shall have running water. . . I will own a hot water heater, my own hot water heater, and my bedroom will have a barre (not bar, barre.).

And any of ya'll people who've been invited to visit me from far and wide can sleep on my couch. :)

I am satisfied. Lying. Thrilled.

I'm thrilled. :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

books I've read this year

that I can think of off the top of my head (read through, in no particular order):

Rape, by Joanna Bourke
Five stars, the best I've read on the topic--and I've read several.

The Lucifer Effect, by Phillip Zimbardo
Annoying as hell, but lots of useful and interesting information

The Communist Manifesto
Surprisingly excellent.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
Brilliant. I cried. It's also a fast/short read.

Introducing Shakespeare
Moderately terrible. Pet peeve; even more antifeminist than Shakespeare.

Introducing Existentialism

Didn't understand it, but now I know what to read.

Introducing Philosophy

Very useful, put lots of tidbits I knew in place and helped me develop a plan for further study.

Introducing Ethics
About the same as Introducing Philosophy

Introducing Derrida
Massively helpful. Plan to read it through again before I go back to actually reading Derrida.

Mixed feelings. The craftsmanship is amazing, and I have a deep fondness for Rorschach. It turns my stomach, but it's supposed to. Also, the source of my favorite Alan Moore quote.

The Rules of Survival
Excellent, highly recommended YA novel about the some of the subtleties of abusive situations and how to solve them.

Manipulating Parents
TERRIBLE. Prize moment? The discussion of how a teenage girl whose stepfather had "unwisely expressed a biological urge" with her was "manipulating" him by threatening to tell her mother if he didn't grant her special privileges. . . and this clearly had to be put to a stop. . .

How to Win Friends and Influence People
eh. See blog.

The last Twilight book
I cried, but for different reasons. . . ok, metaphorically. I do wish I could get my kids to stop reading these, and read something better.

The last Harry Potter book


The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm
A good read-aloud book for the kids


Excellent. This is an accessible and well documented description of the history and present state of the petrol industry in Africa.

The Speed of Dark

Another novel about autism, not as good but still interesting; deals explicitly in autism rights issues without getting incredibly pedantic. . . though to be fair, it is kinda pedantic.

Manga versions of Othello, Julius Caesar, and the Tempest
Very helpful--incredibly readable. I have mixed feelings about the art and presentation, but this may be my favorite format for Shakespeare--I wish someone would put out full text versions. After reading these through two or three times, I'm sure I'd get much more out of reading the full text real-time or watching the plays--and they read very quickly.

Rules for Radicals
Some useful ideas, I would like to see this more practically developed. It's kinda funny how anti-socialist he is.

How to Lie With Statistics
A good book on interpreting statistics for beginners who haven't had a ton of math.

The Mythic Imagination
Post-Jungean exploration of mythology as psychology for modern life. Some useful insights, also a very annoying book (writing style and pre-suppositions of author.)

The first book in "Y, the last man"
First installment of a story about what happens when a plague kills almost everything with a Y chromosome. Funny, well drawn, and insightful.

Help at any cost

A bit of an expose on the teen reform industry; has proven to be incredibly relevant in my life since I picked it up last spring. Not a bad read, either.

Notice how closely it all matches up with what I was planning to read. . .