dragojustine: (Going mad feels like)
This stuff is SO FUNNY. I am dying of laughter over here. )
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I just watched 8 episodes straight of Dexter. )
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[livejournal.com profile] fleshflutter's Mini-nano has me on the edge of my seat. I am TERRIFIED for both of the boys right now. This is the most gripping WIP I've ever read, and I just can't stop thinking about it. Is it tomorrow yet?
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Prisoners in Camp Kim in the American Conservative. First-hand accounts of North Korea utterly fascinate me. It's just... a truly, inconceivably bizarre situation, one of those things that it's almost impossible to conceive of as existing in the same world as yourself, you know?
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Don't forget to let me send you a card.
dragojustine: (Smug face)
In the last two days, I have
- Written up two resumes from scratch
- Applied at three temp companies
- Advertised for tutoring
- Put out traps to kill all the ants in my apartment
- Done my laundry and cleaned the kitchen
- Set up my now-working desktop and caught up on all my record-keeping from the last three months
- Finished a book and started another
- Gone grocery shopping and made really good Mexican food
- Ran several errands
- Gone swing dancing
and STILL had time to watch massive amounts of TV, read fic, play BioShock and Portal, pass some more songs on Guitar Hero, go shopping, have a fun board-game party night, and sleep.

I win at life. Take that, Unproductive-Funk-I-Have-Been-In!

On the downside, I have just inputted "(my current address), WA, 90094" into three different online forms. Why is it so easy to mentally change my address and zip code, but IMPOSSIBLE to enter "CA"?

Also, I have promised several people pictures of various things, and there are more people who I wanted to give pictures but haven't yet.

So, first is the Turkey trip gallery. Mom and Constance, you have seen most but not all of these.

Then comes the apartment gallery.

Enjoy!

The Penelopiad, Margaret Atwood )

The big day

Sep. 6th, 2007 06:44 pm
dragojustine: (Greek warriors)
Today was the big highlight day: Troy then Gallipoli. First, the hostel is awful, the shower is awful, the breakfast was weird and skimpy (except, apparently, if you order vegemite. Apparently that's quite good here). This whole town is so Aussie focused it's hilarious.

Troy )

So I am soft-headed, just in a slightly different way.
Gallipoli )
dragojustine: (Turkey)
Half day travel to Selcuk, which is a lovely town utterly swarming with Kiwis and Aussies.  I find it funny how the tourists segregate themselves.  The town has a lot to see- the Ephesus museum, Selcuk mosque (one of the only major non-Ottoman style mosques around, I understand, and strikingly different looking) and some lovely small towns nearby.  We settled in at the hotel and then went to Ephesus, again late in the day for the heat.  Good guide, if a little dry, spent about two hours with him.  We missed the newly excavated terrace houses, though, which is too bad (and might be worth braving a little more heat and crowds for).  It looks like the city is being pretty constantly excavated and restored, and I would quite like to go back in a few years.  The theater made me all mushy and romantic (of course!) especially so because you can look out past the stage to the huge, broad, paved Harbor road that led through the heart of the city down to the docks.  How am I supposed to resist that?  

Headed back and had a birthday dinner for Joy.  Melinda bought a highly-suspicious cake, and Nina arranged for the restaurant to put up this huge banner.  There was another huge table, an older tour group of Kiwis, and they insisted on singing to her quite heartily.  

That restaurant had a kitten, absolutely tiny thing with its eyes barely open, and we got to cuddle it and syringe-feed it.  It was quite possible the most ovary-melting cute thing I've seen sine the very first time we visited Roxy.

Ephesus really is fantastic, and you time it right you can have the whole city practically to yourself.  The facade of the library is spectacular.  And that harbor road, just stretching out like an arrow, lit by led to the ghost of the bustling docks... My god I am creepy and gushy and sentimental.  
dragojustine: (Greek poet)
Greek language kills me
So many verb forms to know!
Greek class kicks my ass.


That is all. Oh yes, also starting work in the Kaplan office. More on that later.
dragojustine: (Turkey)
Beowulf

One of those things that I should have read a long time ago, and have read, and don't think I got as much out of as I should have.  In any case, it does indeed have that particular feel of oral heroic epic, which appeals, and I'm going to read more and try to get into what I know I missed, and I'm glad I did.  There's obviously some incredible play of language in the original, and I think the translation I read was good.  The history is fascinating and the linguistics certainly would be if I had a clue, and the glimpses of heroic culture are both very familiar and in some ways quite foreign to a classical mindset. 


Tales from the Expat Harem (Foreign Women in Modern Turkey) edited by Anastasia Ashman and Jennifer Gokmen

This was charming and wonderful and sweet and made me desperately, desperately long to see Turkey.  More than that, it made me long to be a braver person than I am- to be the sort of person who travels the middle east alone and learns Turkish and lives in a stone house in the Cappadocian mountains and...  a braver person than I am.  Maybe someday. 


Game of Thrones, George R R Martin

Ah, what delightful fluff.  I re-read this one on a whim, and had forgotten how enjoyable door-stop fantasy can be, if it has any tinge
of originality.  Martin's refusal to fall into the traps of an utterly black and white world with strangely invincible characters is
refreshing.  This series might have more truly memorable characters per pound than any doorstop fantasy I've read.

What really makes it good, though, is the strange amalgamation of sources.  The political struggle in the South is two-thirds War of the
Roses and one-third Hundred Years War.  Daeny's struggle across the sea comes half Ghengis Khan and half Anne McCaffrey.  And the Wall and the north is part Hadrian's wall but mostly Germanic myth.  You never could have convinced me that these elements could come together for an enjoyable whole (in fact, they don't really come together, and I am still withholding judgment on whether Martin will be able to pull that off), but they sure do work here.


Clash of Kings, George R R Martin

Yea verily, more of the same.  Martin can be brutal- he tears hard at your emotions, challenging you constantly to face what he gives you
without shutting it out.  Many people think he is just too unpleasant to read- I think it's about damn time one of these high-fantasy
mideaval authors took a hard look at the historical setting they've chosen and face it.


The Crucible, Arthur Miller

Oh my.  What an incredible and tear-jerking thing about honesty and integrity and hypocrisy and goodness.  More than that, about community and hysteria and vengeance and repression and.. oh my.  Quite something.
dragojustine: (Book stack)
The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins.

This book makes me squirm. It's very similar to Farenheit 911, in that one half of you wants to cheer wildly in desperate joy that someone finally has the courage to come out and SAY IT, but the other half of you cringes, realizing how many fence-sitters and moderates are alienated, not by the argument, but simply by the tone. That said, the guy is hugely influential, and he is rational, witty, charming, well spoken, and brilliant. It is good to finally read something of his, and it is good to not feel terribly alone in ones views, you know?

The Crossing, Cormac McCarthy

This book makes me feel stupid, in a big way. There's an immense amount going on here, emotionally, psychologically, and thematically, and I don't understand any of it well enough to articulate. It is, perhaps, a manifesto of existential nihilism, but the mail character, Billy, has too much love and pathos in him for it to be at all coldly clinical. It's a chillingly depressing book, with, at first glance, no overall shape or pattern or anything to give it any meaning whatsoever- and then, another level down, more and more functional structure emerges. I feel like a complete idiot, groping in the dark.

Christians as the Romans Saw Them, Robert Louis Wilken

I really like the basic premise of this book- an attempt to analyze early Christianity through the prism of pagan criticisms and analysis, as reconstructed through later Christian apologists responding to those criticisms. The conclusions revolve around Christians' retreat from civic, public religion (which I expected) and their apostasy from the more ancient and therefore more respected Judaism (which I didn't). He deals a lot with Porphyry and Julian, both fascinating. Overall, there's a focus on the sheer amount of communication and intellectual engagement shown between pagans and Christians in those centuries, quite the opposite of the normal picture. Quite good.

Mossflower (Redwall), Brian Jacques

This was a blast of nostalgia. I devoured Redwall books when I was.. 10? The writing style is, of course, more juvenile than I remember, with a few very annoying quirks, and the characterization is shallow at best, a bit over the top. But how fun! How sweet! It is really an accomplishment of world building on a very small and cozy scale, and the young age he aims for should diminish that, I think. A better job with interwoven legends and backstories than most other series. How fun!

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