Saturday, December 31, 2011

I can trace all my books [December 2011]

Here's this.

187. Unnatural Issue by Mercedes Lackey
188. Bad Guys in the Book of Mormon by Dennis Gaunt
189. Kat Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgie
190. Genesis by Bernard Beckett
191. Flint Heart by Katharine and John Paterson
192. Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver
193. Dragon's Tooth by N.D. Wilson
194. Variant by Robison Wells
195. The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson
196. Dragon Castle by Joseph Bruchac
197. Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
198. Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemmon
199. Bumped by Megan McCafferty
200. Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
201. States of Wonder by Ann Patchett
202. The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell
203. Possession by Elana Johnson
204. Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly
205. The Education of Hailey Kendrick by Eileen Cook

Friday, December 30, 2011

Bible in the nightstand drawer saying "Go on, open up"

Well, that was typical.

Back in October, we had a RS training meeting where we each got a new Book of Mormon and the recommendation to read it, looking for certain phrases.  I thought, "Why not read the whole thing by the end of the year? I'll be all ready for us to start it again for Sunday School." We'd been given a 90-day schedule and I figured in order to finish in time I started reading two or three days at a time (I only had like 72 days, which is tons harder than 90).

And then I stopped being in the habit of finding this new Book of Mormon and reading from it. It wasn't in a convenient place. I had other things to do during the day, and at night I wasn't going to leave my bed and go find the special book to read from (I had a different one by my bed that I would choose a chapter or so to read instead, on those days that I hadn't read already...which became more and more frequent).  It got to the point where I was halfway through December and only halfway through Mosiah.

Kind of like last time we read the Book of Mormon on a schedule.  I was still valiantly skimming in the evening on Dec 31, wishing that I'd kept to my goals better.  I did perform slightly more admirably this year; I totally could've finished yesterday, but there's been something else going on at my house.

Appropriately, it's a Book of Mormon readathon.  It's really distracting to try and read in Mormon when people in the other room are reading in Mosiah. So I gave up and joined them.  I've had to find some quiet minutes the past two days to do my own reading.

And I finished; that's what matters.  Actually, what matters is I need better self-discipline. If I treat my final projects like this I'm going to be in a sorry state.

But I am glad I finished. I like that book a lot. I hope that I can remember to open it up and read it every day.

"Homecoming (Walter's Song)"

Thursday, December 8, 2011

want me you never will

So, once upon a time I accidentally started something by posting the following video to my Facebook:

Maybe you've seen it; if you haven't, it's not long--feel free to watch it.  If you have, you're wondering what I accidentally started since there have been no flaming discussions in my comments.  No one has a strong opinion about whether this is right or wrong.

Well, I started a couple things.  A bunch of my Facebook friends (I think I've seen like 6 or 7 now) also posted the video, after me.  It's possible they got it from one of their other friends, but it could've been me, right?  It's been interesting to follow those conversations (not very interesting, but more interesting than my post).

Also I started myself thinking about this situation in my life.  Part of my ponderings have been about how the video can't be accurate.  There was definitely some editing involved, and the editing could've excluded some less savory responses.  ("Savory" meaning, I guess, "What the filmmaker intended to portray.")  There's certainly some guys out there that count girls as their friends.

What does "friend" even mean?  What would "hook up" imply in my case (or in the case of most of the people interviewed)?  How do these girls know that these guys secretly like them?

So the definitions aren't clear.

Now, as far as my life goes.  Off the top of my head I can think of two guys I would unequivocally consider my friends, currently.  If I called them in dire straits, they wouldn't hesitate to do everything they could to help.  And they'd probably do the same for any other girl they know; they're pretty solid.  Awesome friends to have.

(I do know more than two guys, I promise.  The others are either fellows I'm "actively" pursuing, or fellows that I get along with just fine in our business-related interactions but have no real interest in seeing socially, or fellows that I'm not getting along with very well.  Does that about cover it?Oh, there's also the fellows that aren't my friends anymore because we don't go in the same circles.  Makes it harder for me to call them in dire straits, especially if they're in the subgroup of "married". Edit: I also forgot the generic acquaintances. I know them too.)

Anyway, these two guys I'm thinking of.  I'm pretty sure they have no interest in dating me, and here's why:

Neither have asked me on a date.

Here's where people can start complaining, "But maybe they want to!  Maybe they've been secretly pining for you all these months, Leslie, just waiting for your word.  And don't forget that them asking you out doesn't indicate any more than just a basic amount of interest, anyway, so why are you making a big deal out of it?"

(Okay, that last part is my own personal soapbox.  I doubt that my naysayers would bring it up at this juncture.)

The only answer I have to these complaints is: They don't want to.  *shrug* Is there anything else I can say?

Also, I know lots of girls with married or otherwise-engaged (oh, I'm funny) guys as friends, and there's no reason to look for anything more than friendship.  It's no good to say that "under no circumstances" it can happen.  It happens in my life, it happens in other girls' lives.
I still laughed at the movie!  It was interesting to see a guy's perspective and for girls to admit that they're often suspicious of their guy friends' motives (is that not what they said? Trust me, that's what they were implying).  I guess it's just the sweeping generalization that bugged me.

Let's be friends!

("Unwritten Letter #1" -- full of applicable lyrics)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I can trace all my books [November 2011]

Happy December!  I think it is, anyway.  The class that I've been way concerned I couldn't get into because "it's complicated" looks like it will finally go through!  I'm wearing a "new" sweater (it's Jennie's; I took the tag off though).  I get to hear an Apostle speak tonight.  And I didn't read very much in November; at least it felt that way.  I've been going days at a time without reading any new books, with flurries of "productivity" between.

174. Sammy Keyes and the Night of Skulls by Wendelin van Draanen
175. Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
176. Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
177. Michael Vey: Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans
178. City of Lies by Lian Tanner
179. Secrets at Sea by Robert F. Peck
180. Conspiracies by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill
181. Beauty and the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey
182. Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby
183. Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
184. Pumpkin Roll by Josi S. Kilpack
185. Wisdom's Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
186. Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

If I can keep up this "not reading" thing maybe I will keep to within 200!  But probably not, because there are already like 4 books from the library I haven't read yet.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

1:30 am

Here are some of the songs, in alphabetical order, that played on repeat in my head last night (some, because I'm pretty sure I've forgotten a couple):

1.Green Island Serenade by Vienna Teng
2.Not Over You by Gavin DeGraw
3.Oh My Stars by Andrew Belle
4.Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People
5.Rolling in the Deep by Adele
6.We Ever Pray for Thee by Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Hooray!  I kept looking for the off-switch for the music player in my head but I could. not. find it.  It was nice to eventually have #1 in my head because that's actually part of my "Quiet" playlist that I play when I can't sleep.  Not that it helped.  #6 was there only briefly, after I desperately tried to find a nice quiet Conference hymn to relax me and send me to sleep. Didn't work. #5 got in my head because my sister, ignorant of my tragic insomnia, turned on music to do her hair by, and that was the first song, and it was loud.

I was in bed with my lights out by 10:30, and the closest I ever got to sleep was probably within half an hour, when my "Quiet" playlist was playing and I was concentrating on breathing, then on reciting Articles of Faith/counting sheep/counting potatoes/counting bananas/picturing the Creation in a detached way that let my mind wander (clearly). But I was still awake when the Christmas lights turned off at midnight.  I was still awake an hour and a half later, when I decided to turn on my light and my computer and engage my mind in something besides annoying songs on repeat and imagining scenarios for the next day.  I was still awake an hour later when I turned on my light again and opened my scriptures and stared at the page.  But then I must've eventually fallen asleep because I think my alarm at 5:10 actually woke me up, providing me a lovely 2 hours' slumber.

Not sure if I was asleep when my sister turned on her music, but sobbing and raging at her apparently didn't wear me out enough to fall back asleep (I accused her of not waking up for scriptures like a NORMAL person, because everyone knows it's more natural to awaken early and read scriptures than it is to lie in bed until you have to get ready for school), and around that time it started getting light anyway, so I gave this whole sleep thing up as a bad job and constructed my night-time playlist.

So today will be interesting.

"Transcontinental, 1:30 am"

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

don't give up on this yet

I've been getting complaints lately that I don't post to my blog often enough.  People don't really care about my booklist if that's all they're getting.  Well, this month I planned to remedy that; I thought maybe I'd resurrect my "If I were that kind of grateful" November segment, but then I was in a bad mood and forgot to be grateful for anything the first week of November.  Or most of the month.  So that went out the window.

A week or so ago I started an open letter to about half the guys in my acquaintance letting them know I'd accept a date from them even if I'm not interested, but it's not like most (or any) of them read the blog, and if they do I don't think my letter would necessarily have spurred them to action. So I let that fall by the wayside too. No one wants to hear me pontificate on how dating should be, and specifically, how dating me should be.

And the only other thing that's been on my mind lately is some reminiscences of my hospital experiences.  I tell people I don't really remember it, and that's true.  But sometimes little things will remind me; like we heard about deep-vein thrombosis on the radio in the car sometime and I remembered the little foot-squeezers they had me wear after my surgeries to prevent the clots from happening.  And also they made me promise to take my blood thinners.  Often when I see a can of Sprite I'll remember how that would be all I consumed during most of my hospital stays (except for the one time they let me eat breakfast and there was a belgian waffle with strawberries and bacon and my surgeon came and talked politics with my mom and as soon as he left I threw everything up).  And there was that one time a nurse gave me a unicorn because they asked me if I wanted anything and I asked for a baby unicorn, if they could manage it. (They did their best.)  I was able to tell my sister that she would have time to make patients happy as a nurse.

If I think about it, I pretty much do remember most everything. So when I say "Oh, I don't really remember it" I guess I'm lying.  But that's still what I'm going to say when asked.

So, you see, there hasn't been a whole lot for me to post about.

Also I should be better about putting pictures on my posts so people read them, but I don't.  Maybe that can be a goal for next year.  If I end up having things to post about then.

"Transcontinental, 1:30 am"

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I can trace all my books [October 2011]

Hello!  Interesting month, kinda.  One of these books I accidentally read twice in one day.  One of these books isn't even officially published yet.  And none of these books are the book I waited all month to read, but I promised myself not to complain about that any more.

At this rate, I'm going to be hard-pressed to stay under 200 books, so I'm not going to artificially impose that limit.  If it happens (and believe me, I can imagine a future where I don't read 18 books in a month) that'll be great, but in the meantime all I hope for is a nice round number.

155. Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
156. I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
157. The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
158. What Your Doctor Can't Tell You by Kevin B. Jones
159. Across the Great Barrier by Patricia C. Wrede
160. Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier
161. The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
162. City of Orphans by Avi
163.Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
164. A Plague Year by Edward Bloor
165. Adventure at Simba Hill by Susan Runholt
166.Troublemaker by Andrew Clements
167. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
168. Seeking Persephone by Sarah M. Eden
169. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
170. As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott
171. Changes by Mercedes Lackey
172. Snuff by Terry Pratchett
173. 13 Gifts by Wendy Mass

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I can trace all my books [September 2011]

I did a horrible, horrible job keeping track of my books this month.  I simply wasn't writing them down.  Not a huge deal, except it made it hard to remember what I had read.  I looked at my mom's booklist (she's actually read more than me now, since I read so little in September) and pieced together things from there.  I did forget that I read two Harry Potter books.  They were fun.  So, here's what I think is approximately my list, a good third of which was read this week alone:

141. Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton
142. Leave it to Psmith by P.G. Wodehouse
143. Red Blazer Girls: The Mistaken Masterpiece by Michael Beil
144. Any Which Wall by Laurel Snyder
145. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
146. Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright
147. Geek Fantasy Novel by E. Archer
148. Small Acts of Amazing Courage by Gloria Whelan
149. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
150. Deadly by Julie Chibbaro
151. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
152. The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan
153. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
154. Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

And can you believe it?  It's stats time again already!  I'm not sure I'm very pleased with what we're going to see...

Total number of books: 154
Number of First-time Reads: 134
Number of Rereads: 20
Average number of books per month: 17.1
Number of nonfiction books: 3
Number of fiction books: 151

Yep, my rereads shot up, and my nonfiction reads stayed the same.  I'll work on that.

Friday, September 16, 2011

how much longer dear angels

So this one time my hair started growing back.  And it was two years ago this month.  To celebrate two years of being cancer-free (tests this week came back clear), I thought I'd take a little picture journey with you, an indulgent and sometimes disturbing journey, but one that may be fun.

Our story starts in early March 2009, when I got portraits of my long hair taken.  Ah, it was lovely, long, and straight.  I loved my long hair, to the point that when the time came for chemo to start, I still hadn't cut it -- because I wanted to be beautiful for the dance.
I ended up going to the hospital instead of to the dance, and the next week my lovely long hair started to fall out.

So I cut it in late March.
This isn't a cute picture, but it does show the length of my chopped hair (my roommate Allison did it for me, because I didn't feel up to going to a salon and paying for something that was going to fall out anyway).  At this point my hair hadn't really started the deluge, so I could go out in public without a hat.
In fact, it was in trying on wigs that I began to have to wear hats, because a little patch right at the front of my head had come over all bald.  Happy birthday to me.
Unfortunately I can't find the pictures of me appearing progressively more alien as my part widened (I can see the picture in my head, but I can't find it; must've deleted it for sheer weirdness).  Suffice to say, I lost about 98% of my hair.

But not all of it.
Two months later (May 2009) and that last 1-2% of my hair held out strong.  In this picture you can almost see that I've got most of it back in a ponytail, so it almost looks normal (well, normal for a bald head, yeah).  Usually I let it hang down and it looked...weird.
For some reason (and I think I'd still make the same choice again, for reasons I still don't know) I didn't want to get rid of the rest of it.  I was proud of my little hairs for sticking through it.  No one got to see it, anyway.  (Except for my family, and I guess my roommates.  I was very diligent about hats during this time.)
My mother eventually prevailed (she was tired of me scaring my siblings' friends) and got me in contact with a razor and voila:

The worst picture ever!  I wish I could remember the context of it.  June 5 was my big ol' surgery, and this was a couple weeks after.  I must not have been feeling too good...

Since I had surgery in June, they skipped one of my rounds of chemo.  That meant that my hair (with high hopes, I should think) decided to start growing back in July.  I'd forgotten about this event, and this picture, until I ran across both.  As you see, there's starting to be a little fuzz:

This picture taken in July 2009 can double as the late September picture too, because I looked about the same.

September 2009, the light from the window illuminating the slightest specks of fluff covering my scalp.  The long wait was over; my hair had finally stopped falling out.  Now it had begun the journey of regrowth, one that is still continuing...

I still didn't let anybody see my hair yet.  I wore a lot of wig and some hat while in public (and I was a missionary, so public happened), and by November
I looked totally gangster.
But I still couldn't imagine the idea of letting people see me with my hair super short.  I mean, I was a girl (am a girl) and had certain ideas of femininity that I actually wanted to uphold, because I'm oppressed like that.  But finally the day came.
January 1, 2010.  I gritted my teeth and actually went on a date with no wig, and no hat.  The guy didn't know anything about anything, which may have been a downside because then maybe he thought I wanted my hair to be so punishingly short.  And that time when I was like, "I don't know how to do it when it's this short!" and he asked when I got my haircut...awkward...
January 2010, what a pretty boy.  And what straight hair, too!  It did not stay straight like that.
February 2010.  I look at pictures like this now and think "Surely my hair didn't look like that!" But it did, and it did actually look nice, in a "my date's hair was longer than mine" kind of way.  And he said I looked nice, so that's all that counts, right?
Still gangsta in March.
Aha!  It's been bugging me for a while because I couldn't figure out what I was wearing or what was going on, but then I figured out it was one of my cancer blankets (I collected them).  I was wearing a blanket.  Gangsta-ly.

My hair continued growing, slowly but surely, which was awesome since my self-esteem seems inextricably tied to the length of my hair.  By Kyra's wedding in April 2010, I was starting to be okay with it (as long as I didn't look at it from the back!).

Some weird things seemed to happen sometimes though.  Can you believe I went out with it looking like that?  This was in May.

I don't have too many pictures of my hair looking normal during the summer.  Here's what happened when my sisters decided to straighten it.  Never again.  (The worst part was when a client stopped by to drop off music and this was the first time she saw me.)

See, this is cute!  Maybe I should go back to having bangs, as illustrated in this October 2010 picture.  My hair was finally long enough to do something with, which was super exciting.

February 2011 was the next time I had much of a picture taken of me.  And obviously I took it of myself, in the mirror.  I must've thought I looked classy in that outfit and my glasses and my hair so curly and getting long!

Long enough to put in a ponytail even!  As long as I use two (one for the top, one for the bottom).  This is how I did my hair for all of spring break, April 2011.

In June I discovered that I could actually put my hair in  a side ponytail and it would stay!  I was way excited and took tons of pictures of the event.  I still have this thing where I think of my hair as really short, compared to everyone else's. It was about this time when I realized that it was actually getting long.  I couldn't even call it short anymore!
This was taken two weeks ago.  I've been pestered and pressured to get my hair cut for months now, but just look at those curls!  How can you say no to those tiny ringlets?  (Completely natural, by the way.)  Something else I love about this picture (and other pictures from this evening) is how normal I look.  This is a hairstyle I employed all through high school and college, and I think that feeling normal is one of the best parts of my lengthening hair.

Sometimes (okay, about every other day) I just have to embrace the uniqueness of my curly locks.   It's so exciting to see the way my hair evolves as it gets longer, and a major reason for not getting a haircut is my worry that suddenly my hair won't be curly anymore.  Or half of it will curl half won't, or it'll be completely unmanageable and I'll have to start actually doing it.  No way.  Not while I can still get it to do that ^ without even using a hair dryer.

Well, I hope you had fun indulging me and my nostalgia.  Here's to many more months and years of hair growth!

Title text: "Drought" by Vienna Teng

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I can trace all my books [August 2011]

Good morning!  It's September!  I didn't read too much in August.  I just didn't have the heart for it.  (Is that what I said about July too?)  I enjoyed some of them though.  If only there had been any princessy romance ones; I'm definitely noticing a trend in my favorite reads.  But I'm still reading other things...Behold...

127. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
128. Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen
129. Warped by Maurissa Guibord
130. Foggy with a Chance of Murder by G.G. Vandergrieff
131. Knightley Academy by Violet Haberdasher
132. The Secret Prince by Violet Haberdasher
133. Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster
134. FitzOsbornes in Exile by Michelle Cooper
135. Jane by April Lindner
136. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
137. A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper
138. Queen of Hearts by Martha Brooks
139. You'll Like It Here (Everyone Does) by Ruth White
140. Visconti House by Elsbeth Edgar

Title Text: "Nothing Without You"

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

my brief efforts engraved

I made a birthday card earlier this week. Looking at the finished product I just had to shake my head. It's like all my crafts: I made the effort, but it's so obviously Leslie that no one could mistake it for someone else's, especially not someone's with talent.

I didn't want to take the time to find a real card or real cardstock (or real paper, even), so I pulled open the scratch paper drawer and found two yellow cardstock cards inviting everyone to New Beginnings on February 24. I thought they were perfect for my purposes, so I taped the two written sides together. After I had them secured, I noticed that the cards weren't even the same size. Oops. I wrote Happy Birthday on one side, then worried that nothing on the other side would make it even more obvious that I'd taped two pieces together, so I hurriedly drew some balloons on the other side. Oh, and streamers. That's about the extent of my artistic ability. It was at about this point that I shook my head (and I hadn't even stained my fingers with the markers yet).

This is just so very typical. I'm not a very ... decorative person (my spartan office makes that clear), so whenever I try to make things cute the results are...really nice.

There was this one time I made my friend a social activities chart for his hand...I haven't asked but I bet he's thrown it away (it was to encourage him to date, and he probably didn't want the reminder hanging around). I might throw it away too, mostly because it's ugly.

Ooh, and all my "cute" little amino acid notes to people! And this one time that I illustrated my letter to my missionary friend with pictures of me and other people doing various things (I took a picture of that one, but it actually contains sensitive information, so feast your eyes on my lovely valentine, which is the only one I have electronic record of).

Crafts and other such artistic endeavors are on my mind tonight because I'm trying to think of what I can do for a friend's birthday tomorrow. I'm a little bit tempted to just make a gift certificate for something she'll probably not appreciate. Thing is, while everything I touch is hopelessly tacky I have this hope that people can tell that I'm actually trying. That they think "Oh, sweet," instead of "Oh, ew."

Of course I'm sure it's all my latent sloppiness in other areas in my life coming to light in this very visual way. If I cared more, maybe I'd do better. (But that sounds depressing, and I'm sure it's not true.)

Let's leave on a happy note. Here's a Cyberman, Slitheen, and Dalek!

Title Text: "Passage" ~ Vienna Teng

Monday, August 1, 2011

I can trace all my books [July 2011]

Hello! Here's what I read last month. I'll give you an interesting tidbit, too: The last book on the list is a book I actually read in June, but I skipped a hundred pages and read the last chapter because I had to leave it in the car and not take it on the airplane. So we checked it out from the library and I read those last 100 pages to count it as a read.

111. Chronicles of the Red King: The Secret Kingdom by Jenny Nimmo
112. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
113. Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor
114. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
115. Blackberry Crumble by Josi S. Kilpack
116. The Forgotten Locket by Lisa Mangum
117. Come Fall by A.C.E. Bauer
118. Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
119. A Glory of Unicorns edited by Bruce Coville
120. Heartless by Gail Carriger
121. The Absolute Value of Mike by Kathryn Erskine
122. Changeless by Gail Carriger
123. Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith
124. Sidekicks by Jack D. Ferraiolo
125. Gilda Joyce Psychic Investigator: The Bones of the Holy by Jennifer Allison
126. The Evolution of Thomas Hall by Kieth Merrill

Sunday, July 31, 2011

your runaway imagination

There's a real whopper of a thunderstorm out there. Nature's pyrotechnics always evoke some sort of emotion in me, but tonight my thoughts turned to a certain young boy, in a similar storm, in a hut on a rock, in the sea.

It's Harry James Potter's golden birthday today, turning 31 on the 31st of July, and my thoughts have been with him quite often lately. I know he's a fictional character; I know all of his friends are fiction; and I never had any doubt that the world in which they live, with magic and Hogwarts and mystical creatures, is fiction. But I still consider Harry and his compatriots some of my good friends.

(On a sidenote, I always thought it strange that those kids who grew up reading Harry Potter would be really excited for their eleventh birthday just in case they got a letter from Hogwarts. Letters don't come on birthdays. They come in July. Sheesh, and they call themselves fans!)

It's also author J.K. Rowling's birthday today, which is cool I guess. She created the world and I certainly do love it. The complexity of the characters prompted me to ask my own questions about what their lives would be like, what thoughts we could imagine going through their heads because of the way they act, the kind of people they are "off-page." And I guess it's no secret that I've tried to answer those questions myself. I've been pretty involved in Harry Potter fanfiction in my day. (And whatever. Back when I first started I didn't know there was such a thing and I don't care that it's dumb, lazy, or whatever other pejorative people use to malign the art. I call it practice, and proof of my abiding love. Or something.) Being involved with that also got me some pretty cool friends that I still keep in touch with to this day. Love of the books, of the characters, carries across a broad spectrum.

With the advent of the final movie, and this upcoming birthday, I've spent a little time wondering just why I feel so strongly about these kids. It's not like these are the only great books and great characters I've met lately. (Be sure to come back tomorrow to see what books I read in July.) And you know what? I don't have an answer. Maybe I met them at the right point for them to live in my brain (I was in 7th grade, for what it's worth). Maybe I identify with the characters more than I do others (I, like many other girls in similar situations, was convinced I was Hermione for a long time. Until Hermione became her own character in my mind, which is much more pleasant!). Or maybe I have to obsess over something, and this world has the complexity to keep my interest.

All I know is, after having maybe watched Half Blood Prince and skipping the first half of Deathly Hallows, I cried shamelessly through much of DH pt. 2. Not because the movie was so awesome (I dunno, it was fine) but because seeing it on screen helped me play it out in my mind again, with my characters (I've always been ambivalent about the casting in the movies), feeling the way they must have felt, remembering that these were real fictional people. I knew what was to come, and my heart went out to them. I was surprised at my reaction -- I don't know if you can tell, but I don't even like the movies -- but didn't try to hide it.

Point being, Harry Potter is awesome. The books are better than the movies, and I think I need to read them again, if only for gems like these:
Harry suddenly turned to Ron.

"Charlie," he said.

"You're losing it, too," said Ron. "I'm Ron, remember?"

(Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Chapter 14, "Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback")
Ah yes, so much to make rereading worthwhile.

Title Text: "Radio"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

sometimes she believes it

Oh, I noticed that my blog got hacked. I noticed days ago. But every time I went to make another post to cover it, I didn't have anything to say. And maybe I like people thinking I'm an awesome jumper! And that I am willing to play with people!

Neither of which are necessarily true.

I have been playing softball with my ward lately. People that aren't good at sports understand the slightly pitiful feeling you get when your athletic teammates compliment you on "good" plays. Or nice running. Or hey, way to hit the ball! There was a lot of that, but I brushed it off with my best self-deprecating smile and said, "Thanks," or "Yeah, it was definitely the game-maker." I got that from the opposing team, too, which was worse. Because you always worry that they're secretly making fun of you, right?

Before my first game I surreptitiously looked up the symptoms for retinal detachment, in case I ever get hit in the head with the ball. I'm hoping that if such a thing ever happens to me, I'll be able to calmly say, "Someone needs to take me to the emergency room now, please." (And if I'm lucky, it'll be the truly hunky boy on the other team, impressed with my stiff upper lip, and he'll stay with me the whole time, holding my hand as the doctors prepare me for emergency surgery.)

Ah. See, this is why I try not to write blog posts too often. It gets too stream-of-consciousness and I reveal my secret self. So much for being impressive.

The blog post I was going to try to write had to do with the dozens of books I've read so far this year. I was going to make a little rec list. But looking through my accomplishments, it's a tough job. I like a lot of the books I read. And it depends on the kind of person you are and the kind of book you're looking for. I can usually say which books not to read, but that's kind of a downer list. Hence this post, marginally about softball.

Just don't expect me to do any jumping anytime soon.

"The Tower"

Saturday, July 2, 2011


We think you are awesome! And you are such an awesome jumper! Thanks for playing! Have a lovely day!

Friday, July 1, 2011

I can trace all my books [June 2011]

I've had a lot of blog posts in the wings lately, but I haven't ever gotten around to posting them, or even writing them. Maybe later! It's a new month, and that means it's time for my book roundup!

89. Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn
90.How to Take the Ex- out of Ex-Boyfriend by Janette Rallison
91.The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall
92. Horton Halfpott by Tom Angelberger
93. Crystal Bones by C. Aubrey Hall
94. Sammy Keyes and the Dead Giveaway by Wendelin van Draanen
95. House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones
96. Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen by Wendelin van Draanen
97. Sammy Keyes and the Wedding Crasher by Wendelin van Draanen
98. Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
99. It's a Mall World After All by Janette Rallison
100. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
101. Soulless by Gail Carrigan
102. House of the Star by Caitlin Brennan
103. The Changeling Sea by Patricia McKillip
104. The Moon and the Face by Patricia McKillip
105. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
106. To the Rescue by Heidi S. Swinton
107. The Girl in Blue by P.G. Wodehouse
108. The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch
109. Just One Wish by Janette Rallison
110. A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

Not only that, but we're halfway through the year! And that's stats time!

Total number of books: 110
Number of First-time Reads: 98
Number of Rereads: 12
Average number of books per month: 18.3
Number of nonfiction books: 3
Number of fiction books: 107

I'm almost 3 books ahead of my average at this point last year. But I'm also rereading proportionally fewer books. So that's good. (We needn't mention nonfiction. I'm doing way better this year and that's all I have to say about that.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

the moment always vanishing

I didn't do much in the way of milestone-noting this year. The most I did was think about how it's June and go, I'm sure glad I'm not doing any of that!

Maybe next year I'll try horseback riding or water-skiing.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I can trace all my books [May 2011]

Reading's been really hit-and-miss for me, lately. I don't really like it. It's about time, I think, that I feel this way, considering I read quite a bit more than normal people should. For most of the month I wasn't reading much at all (to the point that, come the middle of the month, I was yet in the midst of my fourth book). But then I ... kind of read more. We got some silly books at the library and I ended up reading three of them in one day, then two more the next. So, that brought my numbers right up! Take a look:

70. Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
71. Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve
72. My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison
73. The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
74. The Trouble with May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm
75. Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales by Tamora Pierce
76. Illusions by Aprilynne Pike
77. Till Death Do Us Bark by Kate and M. Sarah Klise
78. Dying to Meet You by Kate and M. Sarah Klise
79. The Midnight Tunnel: A Suzanna Snow Mystery by Angie Frazier
80. Pegasus by Robin McKinley
81. My Double Life by Janette Rallison
82. Wrong Number by Rachelle J. Christensen
83. Cross My Heart by Julie Wright
84. The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones
85. The Lost Queen by Frewin Jones
86. A Stranger to Command by Sherwood Smith
87. Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
88. Murder By Design by Betsy Brannon Green


Sunday, May 29, 2011

oh call my name; you know my name (and in your love everything will change)

Today during church I came up with a new calling just perfect for singles wards. I was surveying some of the gentlemen in my ward who just have trouble dating. I think it was the talks during sacrament meeting that brought the idea to mind, then during Sunday School I wrote it down.

(During combined RS/EQ we had an Institute teacher come give a lesson on marriage, which would've been an awesome coincidence if I hadn't known for a while that would be the topic, since I'm all in-the-know now and everything.)

Here it is.

Suggested Calling:

Relationship Status Coordinator(s)
  • Keep tabs on ward members and their romances.
  • Organize and update lists of single sisters (and brethren?) for the EQ (and RS?) to use in their dating endeavors.
  • Suggest girls for each brother to ask out (not setting up or matchmaking, necessarily, just making names available). Again, if girls want to know what brethren are available, their names can also be suggested.
  • Encourage regular, casual dating
*Note: A Stake Coordinator may be useful in those areas where most YSAs know people outside the ward and want to branch out, or if dating within the ward has lost its luster.

Please let this be a real calling somewhere. If not, maybe I'll bring this up to the bishop in ward council next week. Maybe I can supplement my current calling with this. It's all about loving and caring for the girls, right?

Title text: "Nothing Without You" ~ Vienna Teng

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I can trace all my books [April 2011]

I read hardly anything this month. It's not that I was particularly busy (though I might have been), it's that it was a really slow library month. Also there was that book that I spent a couple days reading, but didn't have the heart to finish when, halfway through, I figured out the twist. (Actually that happened more than once this month, but at least one of the times I kept reading to make sure I was right.)

So, 12 books. Here's the rundown:

58. Entwined by Heather Dixon
59. Peasant Queen by Cheri Chelsey
60. Crunch Time by Diane Mott Davidson
61. Treason at Lisson Grove by Anne Perry
62. Red Glove by Holly Black
63. Murder Afloat by Jane Leslie Conley
64. Virals by Kathy Reichs
65. No Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko
66. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
67. Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke
68. My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison
69. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

I finally read less! This is the absolute least number of books I've read in over a year. Yay me?

half-smiles as if to say

I'll get to the booklist in a bit, but first I have a joke to tell. I hope the set-up required doesn't make it not funny any more.

So Kyra and Kevin had been at a party where they played the ever-popular game, "In the manner of the Adverb."
Kyra: I'd never seen Kevin wash his hair suavely before.
Leslie: I prefer Equate.*
Everyone else: *silence*
Leslie: Sorry, that was kind of an off-brand joke.
Everyone else: *still silence*
Leslie: Well, I think it's hilarious.

*I didn't actually say that, but it was close. Last night, as I was still considering the joke hilarious, I thought of so many better lines I could say (that don't make much sense, but jokes in our family often don't). "I'd Equate that with shampooing his hair." "Wouldn't you rather he Equate that than Suave it?" Oh goodness. Such fun.

Title text: "Whatever You Want"

Saturday, April 16, 2011

marveling at the bounty our days contain

Last night I was lying in bed, moving toward sleep, and thought about how I can better get to know some of my friends. I thought it might help me understand their personalities to ask, "What would your ideal day be?" If it would mostly include reading, or skiing, or catching up on all their TV, that would help me get to know them.

And then I started thinking, "What would my ideal day be?" And as I started thinking about it, I realized that I was imagining what my ideal day would be like tomorrow. (Well, today. And, actually, yesterday, since I'm back-dating this.)

So, here's what my ideal day today would've been:
I awaken early, without an alarm, refreshed and ready to start the day. I check my email and have a message from an old friend, indicating a desire to catch up -- in word, in conversation, and in person. I think it would be fun to go see a movie (I have one in mind), and then get ice cream or something. We make plans. I eat a delicious breakfast, with a brand-new book that I've been wanting to read for a long time, but that I can easily put down so I am motivated to do an excellent job cleaning, perhaps even getting some things done that have been on my to-do list for months, like cleaning out my closet or organizing books. I don't waste an excessive amount of time on the computer. I have an awesome time catching up with my friend. I look really cute and comfortable and fashionable, and my hair falls perfectly without my trying. When I get home, I play with my siblings, who all adore me and don't have an unkind word to say. Dinner is also excellent. When I'm settling in to read that great book, the doorbell rings for me. It's the boy I like, surprising me with flowers! Awww! (I'm so grateful my hair looks nice!) I have an excellent evening, probably with him or maybe with some more friends, and I go to bed -- not too late, and fall gently asleep.

That just seems like a nice day for yesterday to have been. There are some obvious flaws (I'm not looking forward to any books, and the "boy I like" is currently in flux) but other than that, awesome day.

Here's how my day actually went!
+No emails from any friends, but I checked up on them anyway. Thanks, Facebook!
+Breakfast was delicious. So was lunch and dinner. I decided to pick up a book I got for Christmas a few years ago and fought against reading...until now. It's pretty good, except for I figured out the twist and I almost don't want to finish it now.
+I did an awesome job cleaning. I was about to vacuum my room when my mom came in and took away all my dishes, so there was actually room in my closet for me to put the corner of doom! And we cleaned off my desk. And it just looks pretty nice. Yay for deep-cleaning! (Not yay so much for losing my dishes, but I wasn't using them and Kaylie will.)
+I wasted slightly more time on the computer than I'd hoped to. I often vacillate between reading my book and spending time on the computer, so I don't feel like I'm overloading on either of them.
+I did have a chat with an old friend, which was enjoyable. Even if I did let my sarcasm get the best of me (not that anyone can tell, with text).
+I was able to help my sister Jennie get the drawstring out of her dress slip. I tried many things and finally succeeded with an unbent paper clip with tape on the end. I am indeed pleased with my accomplishment.
+The boy I like didn't come to the door and bring me flowers, but the boy Jennie likes (or, the boy that asked Jennie to prom, at least) came to the door and brought her flowers! Then whisked her away in a limo. (Can't win 'em all.)
+I played with Spencer a bit, which was nice. And none of my siblings really had any unkind words for me, which was a really great thing.
+I didn't stay up too late, and was able to fall quite gently asleep (whatever that means).

All in all, not necessarily ideal, but really good. I was impressed with how much difference my attitude made. I woke up saying, "I'll make this day as good as I can," and it ended up being almost close to my ideal! (Which, looking over it, is kind of a low-key ideal, but I'm not into "And then I win the lottery.")


"In Another Life"

Friday, April 8, 2011

in sand and thorns I'm walking forth

So there I was, sitting on a rock. Something whooshed over my head. I peered across the canyon; it was a crow. I looked down. A caterpillar!

It didn't take long to decide that this was a secret agent killer caterpillar, making its wiggly way toward me to sink its teeth into my flesh and poison me, laughing maniacally as I writhed and died. When the caterpillar got to my rock I scooted down to another rock and turned away. If I was going to be assassinated, I didn't want to see it coming. After a few seconds, I checked on it. It had lost interest in its assignment and wandered the other direction. Telling myself it was lulling me into a sense of false security, I pretended to ignore the caterpillar until it wriggled out of sight.

Then I got bored, climbed up the rocks, and made myself a sandwich.

Yep, I got to do some quiet thinking by myself while my family did hikes I couldn't do. I found I was usually good to just sit for about half an hour, then I had to move around, take off my shoes, look at caterpillars, drink water...but I was grateful enough that I wasn't trying to do things I can't do. Even though it seemed long to wait in the middle of the desert with no one around.

And I did do some hikes! I was able to squeeze through in Spooky Gulch, and the 6-mile round trip Calf Creek trail was survivable. The main problem with the latter is that I made friends with a cactus. On accident I let one of the big spines get me (it didn't hurt, really) and that caused a bunch of little spines to fall down my sock. Picking spines out of my foot slowed us down a lot, but better out than in!

As usual, it wasn't a real family road trip until I tossed my cookies (Chips Deluxe Soft 'n' Chewy), but at least I waited until we got to the hotel. Also we saw the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Talk about exciting!

I'm sure I'll be able to get the sand out of my shoes someday.


Friday, April 1, 2011

I can trace all my books [March 2011]

Here is the list of books I read this month. As we are now a quarter through the year (hooray!) it is also stats time! See below.

40. Cast in Silence by Michelle Sagara
41. Courting Miss Lancaster by Eden Smith
42. Cast in Chaos by Michelle Sagara
43. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
44. Key Lime Pie by Josi S. Kilpack
45. I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison
46. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
47. Close to Famous by Joan Bauer
48. All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot
49. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Book 1: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
50. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Book 2: The Hidden Gallery by MaryRose Wood
51. Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
52. Around the World in 100 Days by Gary Blackwood
53. A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
54. Trickster's Girl by Hilari Bell
55. A Time to Die by Jeffrey S. Savage
56. The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley
57. Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs

For the first quarter of the year (Jan-Mar), the results:
Total number of books: 57
Number of First-time Reads: 55
Number of Rereads: 2
Average number of books per month: 19
Number of nonfiction books: 2
Number of fiction books: 55

Something most impressive about these numbers is the small number of rereads. In fact, it's only been in the last week that I have reread any books at all, and they were books that I have only read once in the past. I picked up A Conspiracy of Kings on my birthday, because I got it last year for my birthday and hadn't read it since. Then my mom got Outlaws of Sherwood from the library, and I don't remember reading that since like eighth grade (or maybe sixth) so I picked it up again too! I really enjoyed my trend of only reading new books all the way through. Enjoyed it thoroughly indeed.

Also, with having read 2 nonfiction books already this year, I've smashed last year's record of 1. Go me!

title text: "Nothing Without You"

Monday, March 21, 2011

she carries the act so convincingly

A few weeks ago I got a text from my friend, saying that he had a friend in my Institute class. "He says you're really outspoken," he said.

"What??!" I thought. "I've never even made a comment in that class!"

But then I figured it out. I sit next to a girl with short hair, who is tall and slim, and she's always saying stuff. I couldn't believe I was mistaken for her, but I suppose that is the impression this guy was under.

I really like this girl; I'd say we're seat friends. But I'm still embarrassed when she opens her mouth, not because her comments are inappropriate (usually she has good insights) but that this mysterious person in my class might think that was me. I don't have that much to say, and if I did, I would raise my hand first.

All in all, my reaction is strange. What does it matter if someone I've never met, and probably won't, thinks that I'm outspoken and have that kind of good fashion sense? If anything, I should be mildly pleased at this case of mistaken identity. I'm not. I suppose I'd rather make my own impression, even though in that class the impression wouldn't really be there, considering how quietly I sit.

Today the other girl was asked to give the closing prayer. I hope that guy took note of her name and figures it out soon, so I don't have to feel embarrassed anymore.

"The Tower"

(Oh, guys. I've tried all month to write a new post, but I always forgot what I wanted to say, or it didn't come out right, or I never had time. So this is what you get.)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I can trace all my books [February 2011]

I forgot to post yesterday. My sincere apologies. I even changed my calendar yesterday (which, if you were aware of my calendar-using habits, would be impressive) and forgot that the first of a month meant I make a post. But give me a break. It's only the thirteenth time I've done this.

Here's the list:

25. Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
26. Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier
27. The Rise of Renegade X by C.M. Campbell
28. Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner
29. The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman
30. Once by Morris Gleitzman
31. Alcatraz versus the Shattered Lens by Brandon Sanderson
32. The Running Dream by Wendelin van Draanen
33. Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry
34. Drive by Daniel H. Pink
35. Cast in Courtlight by Michelle Sagara
36. Cast in Secret by Michelle Sagara
37. Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree by Nancy Atherton
38. Cast in Fury by Michelle Sagara
39. Death of a Chimney Sweep by M.C. Beaton

It got kind of hard near the end of the month to figure out where I was on book-reading. I ended up picking up a couple of old favorites for a comfort re-read, but didn't read them all the way through, but since I did that for a couple days it was all confusing. Still, 15 books ain't too shabby! Not as many as last month, but I did have other things to do this month. (And by "this month" I mean February.)

"Nothing Without You"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

in the wild, wild wailing of wind

Yesterday I had the opportunity to drive down to Layton for a Sterling Scholar thing. As I left the wind was just picking up and driving along the highway my little car was quite buffeted.*

When I wasn't busy thinking about how careful I needed to be, or checking to see if my knuckles were white (they were, even though I make a point to never ~grip the steering wheel), I was reminded of the last time I drove through high winds.

It was on the freeway, heading north from Provo. I'm fairly certain the date was March 30, 2009. I remember what I was wearing -- my red shirt from the Gap** and my new red hat -- and the sun so bright on the white roads and the snow that was blowing everywhere. It was my first day of radiation, and the first day I drove to the hospital by myself. It took a lot less time than I thought it would, even with the wind freaking me out. My perception of how long it took to get to the hospital was skewed, because either I'd always come from the north or because my grandparents had driven me previously, and they were slow and took circuitous routes.

They were really nice at the radiation place (I seem to remember they complimented me on how cute I was, something they did every day [unless I was in the middle of chemo]).

I also seem to remember that the trip back down to my apartment took even less time than the trip up; the wind had lessened, and I knew exactly where I was going.

So you see, I do have some memories of that time. And especially as it was my first day, there's nothing unpleasant about it!

This morning as I was driving to work I was reminded of another time I drove in high winds, down to Bountiful for my friend Sarah's reception. I had planned to stay at my friend Marie's house for the night and head down to BYU the next morning, but my parents wanted to take me or something, so I drove back up. Then we were snowed in for the next day and a half. Kind of like the high winds heralded a snowstorm last night.***

I'm just glad I always drove safely.

"Blue Caravan" ~ Vienna Teng

*That means it browsed a lot of tables laden with food.
**This is the shirt that I was so fond of that when I picked it up the next year I'd left half my hair on it because I wore it so often/on the days when I was losing a lot of hair.
***It took me so long to scrape my car this morning I had to take off my gloves! (Because my hands were that cold.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I can trace all my books [January 2011]

[I've decided that instead of using increasingly convoluted adaptations of lyrics, I'll just use brackets. It works.]

I resolved this year to read a little less. 200 books is impressive, but it also points to a lot of time I could be spending doing something else.

Well, in the month of January I read an unprecedented number of books -- quite beyond my high last year. Impressively, they were all first-time reads. Here's the list:

1. The Snow Queen by Mercedes Lackey
2. Heir to Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
3. Seer of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
4. Intrigues by Mercedes Lackey
5. Palace Beautiful by Sarah Deford Williams
6. The Healing Spell by Kimberley Griffiths Little
7. Schooled by Gordan Korman
8. The Coming of the Dragon by Rebecca Barnhouse
9. Lemon Tart by Josi S. Kilpack
10. Clockwork 3 by Matthew J. Kirby
11. Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland
12. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
13. The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry
14. Forbidden Sea by Sheila A. Neilson
15. Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier
16. The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball
17. English Trifle by Josi S. Kilpack
18. The Mage's Daughter by Lynn Kurland
19. Princess of the Sword by Lynn Kurland
20. Coronets and Steel by Sherwood Smith
21. The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
22. Pillage by Obert Skye
23. Matched by Ally Condie
24. Choke by Obert Skye

So maybe next month I'll read less. ;)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

his fingers slipping from her hand

The longer I'm out of school, the fewer things I remember about the material I learned. I do remember one lecture from Biology 420, Evolutionary Biology, and since I don't have much else to do I will share it with you now.

We were talking about random mating. The professor asked if we could think of any examples of when humans participate in random mating. The first answer alluded to picking someone up at a bar, but depending on one's inebriation even that isn't completely random.

But guess what? Everyone that gets married is doing some random mating of some kind or other. Some may care but most don't look at toe length when considering a prospective spouse. As far as I've heard, none of my married friends tested each other for PTC tasting prior to getting hitched.

(I should call it random gene interaction? I don't know. That's a lot harder to quantify. Sticking with the awkward one.)

My personal favorite, though, is hairy knuckles. Or, rather, hair on the knuckle. Here's how you test your own (pictures may be added later, if I'm motivated enough):

1. Place your hands palms together, in the "praying" position.
2. Curl your fingers down until the fingernails of each hand are touching each other. This should put your second knuckle flat across the top.
3. Peer at these second knuckles. You may see some fine hairs (or not so fine, depending on your hairiness). Or you may not. Even if you only have one, that's enough for you to have the trait.

As soon as we learned that, I determined that this would not be an instance of random mating for me! As soon as I get engaged (perhaps even before) I will check my fiance's hand for hairs. This is important for our unborn children!

Turns out I'm heterozygous. (I called my parents after the lecture and had them check themselves, and my siblings.) Having hair on the knuckles is a dominant allele; not having them is recessive. One of my parents has them, one does not. That makes me heterozygous (one allele of each), and I have hair on my knuckles.

If my husband loves me enough, he might ask his parents and siblings whether they have hair on their second knuckle. We might find out from the beginning what his genotype is, and we can draw Punnett squares to predict our children. Or we might have to wait for kids to start showing up with their second knuckles intact to find out his genotype.

And the presence or absence of hair on the knuckles of my children will no longer be due to random mating, but ... carefully controlled experimenting? That's what I'll tell them. That's sure to be reassuring!

Well, the above is about the extent of my interest in genetics. Tiem for diffrunt career nao?

"St Stephen's Cross"

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I can trace all my books [2010]

Hello, and welcome to the list of books I read last year! I am willing to answer questions about any on this list. I am trying to decide if I should bold or star the ones I particularly enjoyed, but I reread enough that there seems no fair way to do it. So if you see something on this list that looks interesting, you might want to ask me first to make sure it's worth reading. Some ... aren't.

1. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
2. Austenland by Shannon Hale
3. Betraying Season by Marissa Doyle
4. First Light by Rebecca Stead
5. The Extra-Ordinary Princess by Carolyn Q. Ebbitt
6. The School of Fear by Gitty Daneshviri
7. Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith
8. The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith
9. Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith
10. Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith
11. 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith
12. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling*
13. The Rules by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider
14. Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith

*A note about this one: I didn't actually read it all the way through in order. It was in the bathroom for a few days and I ended up reading the whole thing.

15. Wings by Aprilynne Pike
16. The Last Knight by Hilari Bell
17. Rogue's Home by Hilari Bell
18. Player's Ruse by Hilari Bell
19. The Ever Breath by Julianna Baggott
20. Paper Towns by John Green
21. The Continuous Atonement by Brad Wilcox
22. Love Over Scotland by Alexander McCall Smith
23. Jovah's Angel by Sharon Shinn
24. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
25. Crown of Earth by Hilari Bell
26. War Games by Audrey and Akila Coloumbis
27. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
28. Geektastic edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
29. Aunt Dimity Down Under by Nancy Atherton

30. The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had by Kristin Levine
31. The Death-Defying Pepper Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean
32. Sword of Waters by Hilari Bell
33. The Genie Scheme by Kimberly K. Jones
34. Shield of Stars by Hilari Bell
35. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
36. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart
37. The World According to Bertie by Alexander McCall Smith
38. Green by Laura Peyton Roberts
39. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
40. The Lost Children by Carolyn Cohagan
41. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
42. A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
43. Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
44. My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvath

45. Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
46. Stuck on Earth by David Klass
47. The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr
48. All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot
49. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
50. Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
51. Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce
52. Soul Music by Terry Pratchett
53. Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin by Nancy Atherton
54. Aunt Dimity: Vampire-Hunter by Nancy Atherton
55. Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett
56. Maskerade by Terry Pratchett
57. The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
58. Northward to the Moon by Polly Horvath
59. Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce
60. Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce
61. The Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce

62. Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies by Erin Dionne
63. Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett
64. Mort by Terry Pratchett
65. The Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones
66. Pyramids by Terry Pratchett
67. Alchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen Cushman
68. Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett
69. The Goblin Wood by Hilari Bell
70. The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne
71. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
72. Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits by Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson
73. Drizzle by Kathleen van Cleve
74. The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
75. Archangel by Sharon Shinn
76. The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith
77. Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder
78. The Elusive Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

79. The Magician of Hoad by Margaret Mahy
80. Mairelon the Magician by Patricia C. Wrede
81. The Magician's Ward by Patricia C. Wrede
82. The Princess and the Snowbird by Mette Ivie Harrison
83. The Sheen on the Silk by Anne Perry
84. Twice a Prince by Sherwood Smith
85. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
86. Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
87. The Giant-Slayer by Iain Lawrence
88. The God of the Hive by Laurie R. King
89. The Water Seeker by Kimberly Willis Holt
90. The Ring of Five by Eoin McGamee
91. Word after Word after Word by Patricia McLachlan [not sure this one should count. It was seriously only 100 pages long.]
92. Raider's Ransom by Emily Diamand
93. Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception by Wendelin Van Draanen
94. The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
95. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

96. Ever by Gail Carson Levine
97. Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman
98. Forest Born by Shannon Hale
99. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
100. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
101. Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt
102. Emma by Jane Austen
103. Griff Carver, Hallway Patrol by Jim Krieg
104. The Cardturner by Louis Sachar
105. White Cat by Holly Black
106. Spells by Aprilynne Pike
107. The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
108. 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison
109. Once a Witch by Carolyn McCullough
110. The World Above by Cameron Dokey
111. Never Blame the Umpire by Gene Fehler
112. Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
113. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
114. The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear

115. Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
116. Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
117. Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear
118. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
119. Magic Belowstairs by Caroline Stevermeyer
120. The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers
121. In the Teeth of the Evidence and Other Stories by Dorothy L. Sayers
122. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
123. Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
124. Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier
125. The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler
126. The Wide-Awake Princess by E.D. Baker
127. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

128. Legacies by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edgehill
129. Flecks of Gold by Alicia Buck
130. Death of a Valentine by M.C. Beaton
131. The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry
132. The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King
133. The Light of the Oracle by Victoria Hanley
134. Persuasion by Jane Austen
135. The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
136. Imaginalis by J. M. Dematteis
137. Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
138. The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival: Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone by Dene Low
139. Chalice by Robin McKinley
140. The Red Blazer Girls: The Vanishing Violin by Michael D. Beil
141. Savvy by Ingrid Law
142. Scumble by Ingrid Law
143. Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones*
144. Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
145. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
146. Powerless by Matthew Cody

147. The Ghost at the Takaido Inn by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler
148. A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
149. Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle
150. Living Hell by Catherine Jinks
151. I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett
152. The Lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne Jones
153. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
154. Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards
155. Relative Chaos by Kay Finch
156. The Squire's Quest by Gerald Morris
157. The Legend of the King by Gerald Morris
158. Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner
159. The Goblin Gate by Hilari Bell
160. The Fabled Fourth-Graders of Aesop Elementary by Candace Fleming
161. The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn
162. No Such Thing As Dragons by Philip Reeve
163. The Oracles of Delphi Keep by Victoria Laurie
164. The Curse of Deadman's Forest by Victoria Laurie
165. A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

166. Emily the Strange: Stranger and Stranger by Rob Reger and Jessica Grunner
167. The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester by Barbara O'Connor
168. The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith
169. Sammy Keyes and the Wedding Crasher by Wendelin van Draanen
170. Walls Within Walls by Maureen Sherry
171. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
172. The Magicians of Caprona by Diana Wynne Jones
173. The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh
174. On the Blue Comet by Rosemary Wells
175. The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
176. Grounded by Kate Klise
177. Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash by Wendelin van Draanen
178. Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith
179. The Fool's Girl by Celia Rees
180. Faith, Hope, and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
181. Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley

182. Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes by Wendelin van Draanen
183. Year of the Griffin by Diana Wynne Jones
184. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
185. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
186. The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum
187. The Golden Spiral by Lisa Mangum
188. The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey
189. Thief Eyes by Janni Lee Simner
190. Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale
191. Calamity Jack by Shannon Hale
192. The Charming Quirks of Others by Alexander McCall Smith
193. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
194. The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall
195. Season of Gifts by Richard C. Peck
196. Academy 7 by Anne Osterland
197. Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn
198. Quatrain by Sharon Shinn
199. The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey
200. One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey

Total number of books: 200
Number of First-time Reads: 150
Number of Rereads: 50
Average number of books per month: 16.67
Number of nonfiction books: 1
Number of fiction books: 199

Any other stats you're interested in seeing?