A blog about life - the good, the bad, the people, the books, the games, coffee, and food.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Five for Wednesday

  1. In case you missed it, I have a part time job :) I had training yesterday, and it went well enough. Now just not to spend the money I'll earn on books 0_o
  2. It is one of the best things to see extended family again - well not really extended, more like my other immediate family, my aunt, uncle and cousins I lived with during my high school years. It is also a great thing to just be around more people who love me for me, even if they don't get all of my quirks. The easy affection and hugs = awesome :)
  3. The Hope Street Market is fun, and has very tasty food.
  4. I've got to get my license sorted, to stop having tales about my taxi adventures - a post for another time.
  5. I'm having fun at kung fu :) It's still hard, but it's getting to be fun. And I even got a good from shifu :D
Did I miss any of your updates? Fill me in please.


The Five for... idea comes from this lady.

Day 13- Favorite childhood book


I can't really think of one. Even though I started reading from a young age, it only became something I loved and wanted to do with almost all of my free time once I started going to school and hit my second or third one. The characters in books where always around, I didn't need to try and become friends with them. Just because I can't think of one from my childhood, it doesn't mean that there isn't a children's book I love - and keep on stopping myself from buying for some unknown reason. It's Guess How Much I Love You, I just love the big one and little one interactions.

Image from here.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Day 12- A book so emotionally draining you couldn’t complete it or had to set aside for a bit

There are two books for this one, A Child Called It and My Sister's Keeper. The first is because, child abuse is horrid and the descriptions would have me wincing and thinking of the pain - my imagination was a big negative while reading that novel :-/

The second one was because I got so upset at the mother's behaviour. Yes, she wanted to help her sick child, but it was at the cost of her other children. Anna was just this spare parts factory, and Jesse was the healthy kid they didn't need parts from, so they could ignore him. Honestly, I thought the mom's behaviour was child abuse, her kids didn't get the emotional support they needed from her, not even Kate. Her sole focus was beating a disease, not dealing with the people that made up her family. Yes, I'm not a parent so I don't know what it's like having a sick child and wanting to do all you can for your child, but I do know that no parent should ever only focus on the one child when they have other children that need them too.

I don't see myself ever getting to a point where I can understand and not get angry at the - yes, fictional - behaviour of the mom in My Sister's Keeper. That, for me, is a sign of a great story and writing. Is there a novel where the characters get under your skin?

Monday, 29 August 2011

Day 11- The book that made you fall in love with reading

I can't think of one in particular, but I think the books by Judy Blume and Paula Danziger can be credited with having me love reading. Both of those authors works helped me empathise with people and what they were going through. They were both also good at injecting humour into their work. To this day, I still love those books that have me laughing out loud :)


Sunday, 28 August 2011

Day 10- The first novel you remember reading

The only thing that comes to mind is Nancy Drew. I'm not sure which one, but I remember devouring them quickly. I kept on taking out as many books as the school library would let me, and begging the librarian to let me take out more. After that I moved onto The Hardy Boys, because at some stage I read one where Nancy worked with them.

What was the first book you remember reading?

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Day 09- A book you’ve read more than once

I suppose naming my favourites from day one is taking the easy way out, right? ;) I'm going to name a few, a classic, something from my childhood and something recent-ish. Classic, Little Women and Good Wives I keep on trying to find something redeeming in Amy, and hoping that Beth doesn't die :-/ From my childhood Anne of Green Gables, I read the entire series, but. it was the first one that I reread :) Recently it's The Black Magician trilogy by Trudi Canavan.

Day 08- An unpopular book you believe should be a best-seller

I can't think of an answer for this one. What I read doesn't always appeal to everyone I know, but I've found that there's always at least one or two people who I can chat to about a book. Given that this isn't really an answer I'll post day nine today as well.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Thank the flying spaghetti monster

News, I have a part time job. It's at a bookstore, it's four shifts a week, but it's something. Boy, do I need this something. There is something about being rejected over, and over, and over that just seems to kill you slowly, and painfully for everyone to watch. It turned me into this person, that would get angry just chatting with friends over gchat. So I'd then avoid that for a few days, and get more upset, stupid cycle that. It'd even make me not feel like reading, or have an ugly cry over something stupid like my character in the play by post not being special enough. And try talking to someone about how useless you feel for not finding a job, and you'd get platitudes like "I wish I could look for a new job" or "You're lucky, you don't need to settle for something." Lucky, yes, I'm seriously lucky that I can't find a job and feel guilty when buying something I need because my husband had to pay for it, yes lucky that.

So yip, thank the flying spaghetti monster I have a job.

Day 07- A book that’s hard to read

This one is tough, but I'm taking the easy way out. I'm going hard to read in that I needed to reread paragraphs to be sure I really understood what the author was saying. So my answer is Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity by Judith Butler. Judith Butler was my go to theorist during my third year, honours and my brief bout with a masters. Yes, it took work to be sure I was on the right track with understanding her work, but nothing changed the way I saw gender as much as her work. I suppose you can tell that gender and identity were the focus points of my academic career ;)

If you want to read this, I suggest pick a chapter, and a section from that chapter and go from there. It's hard going, but worth it. :)

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Day 06- A book that makes you cry

There are a lot of books I've read that have made me cry, but none have stayed with me as much as A Child Called It. I can sort of cope with the dregs of humanity in fiction, but when it's true...it just kills me to be the same species as some people. This book is not for the faint hearted, how Dave was treated, and what was done to him is not an easy read at all. It was reading this novel that convinced me to not go into social work; I knew I wouldn't cope with seeing that story over and over and not snap or beat the crap out of someone.

What book has made you cry?

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Day 05- A non-fiction book that you actually enjoyed

Maus. I guess you can tell that I don't read a lot of nonfiction. I had to go digging around my books to see if we owned any nonfiction that wasn't either a cook book or related to either of our studies. Anyway do yourself a favour and read Maus. I think it's awesome, and it makes history more than what we got taught and read in textbooks.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Monday, 22 August 2011

Day 03-A book that completely surprised you

This is where I admit to reading romance novels, although you should have figured it out by my reading Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb ;) The novel that surprised me was Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn. Not only does it have those awww moments, but it is one of the funniest things I've read. The puns, the insults, the witty remarks...it makes my romantic comedy heart all kinds of happy :)

Friday, 19 August 2011

Friday Fun: Dominion


Today's post is about one of my favourite board games, Dominion. Dominion is a card game, where you compete against those you're playing with to get the most victory points. What makes the game great, is the fact that although there are some cards that remain the same in each game - the cards representing money and the victory point cards - all the other cards change from game to game. It means that you need to adapt your strategy every time you play because each game is different.

The game consists of treasure cards, victory point cards, curses and action cards. Action cards, do many things including give you extra actions, the chance to draw more cards, gain additional buys or even extra money. Each player starts with 7 coppers - 7 treasure cards - and three victory points - represented by three 1 point estate cards - in their deck, and using those cards to purchase other cards on their turn. The other cards I refer to are the action cards, 10 piles are randomly selected from a possible 25. Those are the cards you'd buy to build your deck and eventually win.

In your turn, you do the following in order: play action cards - if you have any - and resolve the text of that card. You buy cards from the communal pool of cards - limited by the number of buys you have and naturally the money you have too; then place all cards played, those in your hand and those you bought into your discard pile, and draw five cards from your deck.

All this talk abut the mechanics can get a bit boring, but it's the theme that helps make the game awesome, not to forget the great expansions :) You're a monarch, trying to expand your kingdom, sadly other monarchs have the same idea and you need to beat them to being the best and biggest ;) The game is great for 2 - 4 players, and some of the expansions make it work for 6 as well. It works as a family game, provided everyone can read and if you take out some of the meaner action cards.

Image from here.

Day 02-Least favorite book

It's not that this book is terrible, it just didn't grab me and the circumstances around why I read it just left a general negative impression of it. My least favourite is Down Second Avenue by Es'kia Mphahlele. I only read this because I had to teach it to my first year tut classes . It was my job to get them open to reading different things, and explore the facets in this novel that had lead to it being chosen for the Fact and Fiction stream, and it just didn't take. I think part of the problem was that it was set during Apartheid and my kids were just done with learning about it. Those classes were hard to get through.

What's your least favourite, and was it the book or the circumstances that put it on the least list?

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Day 01-Your favourite book

This one is mostly hard, there's no easy about picking out a favourite anything. I have a lot of favourites, but I'll be nice and limit myself to just naming two. The first is Pride and Prejudice, I think I was somewhere between 11 and 12 when I read it for the first time. I wanted to be just as cutting to others as Elizabeth, and I hated and loved Mr Darcy with as much energy as one can at that age. Mostly it stays with me as a favourite because it's about how we love those that seem wrong for us, but end up being right for us. :)

My second favourite is Wide Sargasso Sea, it's a favourite because it was one of the first novels I read that really brought home the way women were/are othered. It also showed me that I wasn't the only one who thought that the way Bertha was dealt with in Jane Eyre was wrong on so many levels.

What are your favourites?

30 day book challenge

I found this challenge on Syllable and Megan's blogs. It should be fun :)

Day 01-Your favorite bookLinkDay 02-Least favorite book
Day 03-A book that completely surprised you (bad/good)
Day 04- A book that reminds you of home
Day 05- A non-fiction book that you actually enjoyed
Day 06- A book that makes you cry
Day 07- A book that’s hard to read
Day 08- An unpopular book you believe should be a best-seller
Day 09- A book you’ve read more than once
Day 10- The first novel you remember reading
Day 11- The book that made you fall in love with reading
Day 12- A book so emotionally draining you couldn’t complete it or had to set aside for a bit
Day 13- Favorite childhood book
Day 14- Book that should be on hs/college required reading list
Day 15- Favorite book dealing with foreign culture
Day 16- Favorite book turned movie
Day 17- Book turned movie and completely desecrated
Day 18- A book you can’t find on shelves anymore that you love
Day 19- A book that changed your mind about a particular subject (non-fiction)
Day 20-A book you would recommend to an ignorant/racist/closed minded person
Day 21-A guilty pleasure book
Day 22-Favorite series
Day 23- Favorite romance novel
Day 24 – A book you later found out the author lied about
Day 25-Favorite autobiographical/biographical book
Day 26-A Book you wish would be written
Day 27- A book you would write if you had all the resources
Day 28- A book you wish you never read
Day 29- An author that you completely avoid/hate wont read
Day 30 – An author that you will read whatever they put out

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Word Wednesday

Cynosure
  • the northern constellation Ursa Minor, which contains in its tail the Pole-star; also applied to the Pole-star itself
  • something that serves for guidance or direction; a guiding star
  • something that attracts attention by its brilliancy or beauty; a centre of attraction, interest or admiration
*Hertnon, S. 2008. From afterwit to zemblanity. Auckland:New Holland Publishers

Monday, 15 August 2011

Five for Monday

  1. I got a good from shifu during Wednesday's kung fu class :)
  2. Jade Regent is lots of fun. I enjoyed the relationship aspects, and it's interesting that the NPCs are more important than the PCs.
  3. I don't need to take my travel meds for trips to Stellenbosch :D Granted it helps that we got there during the morning and left in the evening, so the trip there and back wasn't on top of each other.
  4. I have to either drink more coffee more often or just only use it when I need a caffeine kick. I had some coffee Friday evening and could only fall asleep after 03h00 :-/ Then I had to have more coffee on Saturday because I had just over four hours sleep; which in turn kept me up late and made the early Sunday morning rough :-/ Basically it's drink more coffee more often so my system gets used to it, or only have coffee every now and then 0_o
  5. An entire weekend of gaming makes for a very happy me :)
How was your weekend?

The Five for... idea comes from this lady.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Friday Fun

While trying to think of something to blog about I realised two things. One, I work better with set themes for days, and two I don't really blog about gaming. At first I left gaming blogging for tenletter, but I've been lax on that front as well. It also seems silly to not blog about gaming here, giving that I spend a lot of time gaming - it wasn't as good a weekend as it could have been if there was no gaming; or rather "What no gaming this weekend? :(" So from now on Friday's will be talk about gaming day, covering all the forms I take part in and any fun off shots of gaming and geek culture.

For the first Friday Fun post I'm giving a shout out to Nevermet Press, and the Stories in the Ether project. Check it out if you write fantasy/scifi/steam punk short stories.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

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Me in a nutshell: I game, read, tweet, enjoy good food, have bouts of red pen rage and I'm a coffee snob.

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