August 03, 2007
I've been tagged by the lovely Zeebah.
1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
1. My fingers are double-jointed which means I can bend them backward, but only slightly. This feature hasn't helped or hindered me in any particular regard.
2. I've joined a fiction workshop. Perhaps I can put my vivid imagination to better use than envisioning worst-case scenarios that never come to pass.
3. Once I was stung by a bee. A friend of mine broke open a cigarette, spit on some of the loose tobacco and applied it to my skin like a poultice. It seemed to work.
4. Being a better listener is one of my goals, but I think I may also be a little hard of hearing, especially when there's ambient noise. But then again maybe it's just too noisy at that moment and I just need to ask the person to repeat herself.
5. In kindergarten, a girl named Allison was my best friend. Then another girl joined our class for a while. Margaret had blonde braids, blue eyes, and a navy blue coat with toggle buttons and fuzzy woolen trim on the collar and cuffs. She didn't like me for some reason, and claimed Allison for her own. Now I know that people come and go, that you can't dictate the terms of a friendship, but at the time I didn't understand why Allison was no longer my friend.
6. "Whatever" is a regular expression for me. Usually though I just think it, rather than saying it aloud. When I get worked up about something over which I have no control, "whatever" puts it in perspective, in a valley-girl Zen sort of way.
7. When I'm reading a book or watching a movie, I can be pretty reactive. I will gasp, I startle easily, I get teary when something emotional happens. It's a little frustrating being so easily manipulated like that, but sometimes it's fun to really get into the story.
8. I have walked in a parade - smiling, waving, pulling an Eiffel tower balloon on casters. Now I can cross that off my list of things to do in life.
Have you got 8 random things you'd like to share? Write 'em up in the comments, or leave a link to your own post.
August 15, 2007
Goofy little things
So around this time last year, two days from now, actually, I heard the sad, terrible news about my friend Mike Simanoff. As we later found out, he had a long battle with depression and in the end it was too much for him. But Mike's life was so much more than that, and I'm really glad that he was my friend.
I met Mike in a web design class in library school. He sat in the row behind me and discovered I had a blog after catching me working on it during class. I wasn't supposed to, but I'm glad he found me out. Otherwise we might have remained mere classmates.
Before I really got to know Mike, there was a session where we all had to present on a web-related topic, and Mike gave a surprisingly brief presentation. He explained that we should add a forward slash (/) at the end of a URL when loading it into a browser, because it helps the page load more quickly. His presentation was five minutes tops, and it left an impression on me because it was so simple and effective. I wish I had done something like that instead of whatever overly complicated concept I discussed in my own presentation.
So now I do that all the time, and maybe it's a goofy little thing, but it's a way that I get to remember him.
August 26, 2007
Can't say I blame them
August 30, 2007
Lost in Austen : Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure
by Emma Campbell Webster, ISBN 1594482586 [Amazon]
When I think of a choose-your-own-adventure book, I see wizards, knights brandishing swords, brigands, a damsel in distress. In the case of Lost in Austen, the reader is her own heroine, whose "mission is to marry both prudently and for love" in the role of Elizabeth Bennet. Anyone who has imagined herself as Lizzy would find this interactive version of Pride and Prejudice deliciously diverting. Be forewarned - a bookmark comes in really handy.
There are no brigands, but there are gypsies. Characters and scenes from other Austen novels make their appearance and have their own allurements. There are points to be won and lost for intelligence, confidence, fortune, connections, and accomplishments. It's optional to keep track of the points, but I chose to tally my score along the way. (Apparently what I lack in accomplishments, I make up for in faults.) While I chose my path rather conservatively, I did wander onto other storylines. There are also trivia questions to test one's Regency knowledge as well as end notes that cover source material. This book may be for fun, but who says there can't be annotations as well? Also scattered throughout are wonderfully cracked graphic-novel-Gothic illustrations by Benjamin Gibson.
What makes the book work is its mix of Austen's words and Webster's witty, sometimes catty, spot-on commentary, which at times illustrates why these characters and stories remain so close to our modern-day hearts. It really isn't such a stretch to be in Elizabeth Bennet's corset - to be human, flawed and seeking to be true to ourselves. In the burgeoning cottage industry of Austen sequels and spinoffs, Lost in Austen is a fun, cheeky treat from a writer who clearly loves Jane as much as we do.