Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Book reviews, consolidated

The Time Traveller's Wife

The Plot: Henry has the ability to spontaneously travel through time. He travels to meet Claire from the time she is six until she her death in her 80s. The book describes the developing relationship and Claire's struggles as she continually waits for Henry to come back to her.

The Good: A clever application of the device of time traveling, with excellent address of the paradoxes created. The relationship between Claire and Henry is very real--initially I felt it was a little pediophiliac, but Henry and Claire's characters develop together. My favorite thing about the book is the sense of helpless omniscience that time traveling bestows upon Claire and to Henry. They struggle with how to handle knowing pieces of what will happen (because it has already happened to them) but being unable to change anything.

The Bad: The supporting characters don't have the same substance to them that Claire and Henry do. (A minor complaint, but I couldn't put nothing.)

Rating: 4 and a half out of 5 stars. I can see this book being perfect for discussion groups.

The Little Prince - How special it makes us when we're loved!

The Good: It reads like a childrens' book, but has the depth of a parable. I love the story of the little prince and the fox. It reminded me of all of the cliches about your partner not being perfect, but being perfect for you, but in a much less irritating way. Thankfully, there's precious little preachiness. I wonder if Shel Silverstein was influenced by this.

The Bad: Nada

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Bridget Jones's Diary

The Plot: A British chick calls herself pathetic a lot, then gets over it.

The Good: You actually start to like Bridget

The Bad: You don't really want to like Bridget. Especially since you lose all sympathy for her when she ends up marrying a hot millionaire.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5. Easy to read, but the movie is practically the book verbatim.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I am more upset about Billy Mays than I am about Michael Jackson.

(And I'm not upset about Billy Mays.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

HTML question

I want to extend the width of the blog entries. Is this where I do it?

#main-wrapper {
line-height: 1.4;
float: $startSide;
padding: 10px 12px;
border-top: solid 1px #fff;
width: 428px;
word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
overflow: hidden; /* fix for long non-text content breaking IE sidebar float */
/* Tantek hack - http://www.tantek.com/CSS/Examples/boxmodelhack.html */
voice-family: "\"}\"";
voice-family: inherit;
width: 404px;
}

Something other than books

I'm in the process of learning how to cook. As a reasonably intelligent person, I flatter myself that I am generally capable of reading a recipe and translating that into real world results. However, I've come across several challenges that nobody ever told me about.

1. All ovens do not cook at the temperature specified. If a recipe calls for ten minutes at 350, I need to bump it by 25 degrees or add an extra couple of minutes. This was discovered by trial and error and some very late desserts.

2. The most difficult part of cooking isn't cooking. It's having everything ready at approximately the same time. I'm sticking with meals that have an entree and a microwaveable vegetable. The last time I tried to make two food groups at a time, the eggs got cold and the waffles were undercooked.

3. Healthy food is only healthy if you pay attention to the number of servings. Two hundred calories a serving only counts if you can eat just one serving.

4. Complicated things are simple and simple things are bloody hard. I can make an incredible cobbler, but I delegated scrambled eggs to B.J. after an epic failure.

5. Make things you aren't sure about early in the marriage. Your loving husband will eat it all and proclaim it good. By the time he demands good food, you'll have had more practice.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Books, revisited

The previous list I was referencing is just too bulky. I've pared it down to just the books that I haven't read.

I've also decided on a couple of new rules for myself:
1. A book must get read within two weeks unless it is ungodly long.
2. A book can be checked out from the library a maximum of three tries.
3. If the book is unread after the third attempt, it will be replaced on the list with a book that I like.



9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman - N
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - N
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier - N
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk - N
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell - N
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald - N
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens - N
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy - N
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh - N
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky - O
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy - N
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens - N
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini - N
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres - N
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - O
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving - N
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins - N
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy - N
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons - N
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth - N
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon - N
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - N
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov - N
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt - N
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy - N
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding - N
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie - N
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville - N
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens - N
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker - N
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson - N
75 Ulysses - James Joyce - O
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome - N
78 Germinal - Emile Zola - N
80 Possession - AS Byatt - N
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell - N
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker - N
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro - N
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert - N
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry - N
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton - N
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery [in french counts double] - N
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks - N
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams - N
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole - N
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute - N
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo - N

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Recently, I've found myself wishing for a small digital camera. B.J. and I are making plans to go do some of the fun things that we've had stored up for a while, and I'd like to document some of this.

List:
-The Muny (we have tickets for Annie on the 27th)
-The Funny Bone (trying to decide whether or not to go to the one in Fairview Heights or the more popular one)
-The Zoo (I am going to pet a sting ray)
-Live Concerts in a Bar (check!--multiple times)
-An Actual Concert (curse you budget for not accommodating my wish for Coldplay tickets)
-Poetry Readings (done one, and another next weekend)

None of this is very exciting or out of the box, but it is a list of the things that we haven't been able to do individually. Having a built in partner makes everything easier to conquer.

Any suggestions for fun or cool things to do in St. Louis?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

Photos

Wedding photos are up at flickr. More to come in the next week or two.