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Saturday and Sunday were typical days, so I won't detail those here.

Monday was different, obviously, as it was a holiday and I didn't have to work. I originally thought about getting a Zipcar, but the weather forecast looked dicey, so I chose not to.

Instead, I napped a little in the morning, then went to see Love & Friendship at The Kendall. I really enjoyed the movie. It was funny and subtle at the same time. I've never read the Lady Susan letters that the movie is based upon, but I will have to correct that.

One warning: the movie has lots of characters, and while there are some introductions, it can be difficult to remember who is who.

After the movie ended I went to the post office at South Station (open, even on a holiday!) to mail a book to my mother (we had each bought a book that the other was interested in, so we did a book exchange, across the miles. She bought Emma, and I bought Eligible). After that, I went home, got in bed, and slept for a while (again).
hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)
Columbus Day weekend meant no work on Monday (woo!).

Got home Friday in time for a nap. Had a quiet Friday night.

Saturday was at the pool for 7am, then ran some errands, including picking up a bunch of books at the library. It's feast or famine as far as inter-library loan is considered. Either all of the books come in at once, or none come in! Later on Saturday I watched some English television and slept. One of the books I picked up was Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival. I've started in on it and have found it enjoyable (if one can consider the loss of that many lives enjoyable!).

Sunday I took a long walk through Back Bay and Beacon Hill, talked to my parents, slept some more. Caught up on Downton Abbey (season 5, episode 3). I also watched "This Old House" and saw one of my friends on the "Ask This Old House" segment. Cool!

Monday I swam early, went to the New Balance store. I then caught the 86 bus to Cleveland Circle and the D line inbound (was lucky enough to land a seat on the Type 8 because it was a long ride!) to Auditorium. My destination was l'Occitane. I'm out of shea butter body cream and it's coming up for the season, so I wanted to stock up. Well I got over there to find the store closed for remodeling. Dammit. The only other store in the Boston area is at Logan, and I wasn't about to go there, so I went home and mail ordered a supply instead. After lunch I had yet another nap. Four days, four naps. What a life!

Judy Blume

Jul. 11th, 2014 08:43 pm
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
I read Judy Blume when I was younger. Perhaps you did as well. Here's a terrific article in the Guardian about her.
hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)

Lately I've been rereading Terry Pratchett (some reading, some listening via audiobook). I started with City Watch, moved onto the Witches. Death is next.

I always knew Discworld books were funny, but this is like reading them for the first time. Hilarious.

Nigel Planer does most of the narration (no matter how much I like Tony Robinson, I am listening to the unabridged books) and does an excellent job.

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hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)

The problem with requesting books online is that I can't always remember where the recommendation came from. I picked up a book at the library this past weekend that I requested ages ago, and I honestly can't remember where I heard about it.

Oh well. I'm enjoying it at least!

("Suzanne Davis gets a life" by Paula Marantz Cohen. It's a very New York book, so perhaps I read about it in the Times or WSJ).

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hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)
I'm already pining for Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch. I read the first four Rivers of London books and enjoyed them, and can't wait for the next one. July. I have to wait 'til July!
hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)
a number of years back on a trip to England I watched a lovely television programme called Interview Day, about a number of kids going on a university interview at Cambridge.

I always thought fondly of the show, but had never been able to remember the title of the programme. Just today I was perusing Wikipedia, and looked at the section on Cambridge in popular culture, and came upon the title of the show. I looked it up on Amazon US, and it is not available, but it is available from Amazon UK. I have an order already in (waiting for Ben Aaronovitch's fourth book Broken Homes to ship later in July), and will add that to the list. Even better, there is apparently a sequel as part of the same box set that I have never seen, in addition to three other plays. Can't wait!
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
Friday: out of work early, had a snooze, quiet evening.

Saturday: swim at 7, library, then over to Newbury Street to do a bit of shopping. Round through Beacon Hill, then MBTA back to Cambridge. Another nap.

Sunday: swim at 9, went to work for a bit, lunch out (is it lunch when it's an egg sandwich?), nice walk, stopped at Target, home. Third nap!

Monday: Swim in the morning. Later, I was on Memorial Drive watching the streams of people leave Boston.

Still reading Ben Aaronovitch's books. Also picked up the latest in the Maisie Dobbs series from Jacqueline Winspear from the library, along with Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality by Jacob Tomsky. The last Winspear book was depressing so I haven't started it yet. The Tomsky book, on the other hand, was a riot.

new reads

Jan. 20th, 2013 02:36 pm
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One of my favourite authors, Lois McMaster Bujold posted something on Facebook recently (well, one of her elves did; she doesn't use Facebook) recommending a new series by Ben Aaronovitch, a dark crime/fantasy series. I picked up the first book (UK title Rivers of London) a week ago and I love it.

Since then I've torn through the subsequent two books in the series. Well, okay, I'm working on the third book. A great deal of action takes place on/around the Tube (aka London Underground).

The writing is gripping, London so real. I feel like I'm there as I'm wading through the pages. I love the characters (Peter Grant, Lesley May, DCI Thomas Nightingale, Molly, Dr Walid, just to name a few).

The next book in the series doesn't come out until June. I'll have to re-read the first three books between now and then. Several times.
hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)

Wednesday through Friday last week I operated at half staff. This isn't a joke about naval flags, merely a reflection of half of the people who work for me being out. One had the flu and one had a migraine. This meant for three very frantic days (and no afternoon nap for me on Friday). Still, I bore it as best one could.

I started watching Season 3 of Downton Abbey (thanks to Amazon UK!), and made it through two episodes on Friday night.

Saturday: swim, attempted to visit the library. Well, I DID visit, but none of the books I had requested had arrived, so after a quick browse, I went on my way. Errands, home.

Later in the day I got a call from a buddy who was geographically mislaid, so I acted as GPS unit. ("No, turn left on Nott, then right on Rosa"). More Downton (finished it! Christmas Special should arrive this week!). Afternoon nap. Ate fantastic apple streusel scone procured from Petsi Pies.

My sister bought me a book (Isa and May) that I both started and finished this weekend. It's about relationships between grandchildren and their grandmothers. Given that my Grandma died 14 years ago last week, the topic was very apt.

Sunday: swim, long walk, visit to the 24 hour (or effectively so) post office at south station. Back to the library for the books that had actually arrived. Another nap.

On the horizon: 40 new iMac units arriving at work this week. Lucky me. I hope there's space to store them until the Mountain Lion image is ready. I might have to get creative with storage. It doesn't help that our server room has been flooded recently and thus I am reluctant to put iMac units on the back wall where the water came in.

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hr_macgirl: (splash)
One of my swimming buddies recommended I read Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton. It has a number of vignettes from various people about their swimming experiences, from training for competitive swimming when young, to the daily grind when older.

my swimming history )

Future posts: swimming when I got to Boston, swimming now
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
on a recent cross-country flight I watched the movie Control, a biopic about Joy Division's lead singer Ian Curtis. I had picked it up some weeks ago at the library, ripped it, and copied it to my iPad.

I don't remember hearing Joy Division before I saw this film, although I have spent my time listening to Joy Division's "child band" New Order. After Curtis departed Joy Division, the rest of the band went on, but chose to change their name. I liked New Order's Blue Monday, and later True Faith ('87 mix).

But back to Control. The director, Anton Corbijn, is primarily known for producing music videos, not films. In fact, he only recently had his first motion picture release that had nothing to do with music. Control is beautifully shot, completely in black & white. I'm not familiar with Macclesfield (where the film takes place), but I didn't have to know anything, the director did it all for me. The music scene, family lives, the claustrophobia, you name it.

I enjoyed the music in the film as well, so I'll now have to go and see what I can find. New Order did re-record some of the older Joy Division tracks, but I'd like to get the originals.

nb: the original recommendation for Control came from the great god Mark Kermode, of course (whose autobiography I also read on my recent trip).


Jun. 8th, 2010 04:19 pm
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I love my Library. Of all the taxes I pay every year, library is one of the best investments, right there along with trash pickup and pedestrian advocacy. Not in that order. :-)

I was at the library this past weekend and happened upon FDR's Funeral Train: A Betrayed Widow, a Soviet Spy, and a Presidency in the Balance by Robert Klara. Ignore the long title, I certainly did. The book covers the period from FDR's death (well, slightly before) to his burial, and almost all of the "action" (as it were) takes place on the train: three long days from Warm Springs, Georgia to Hyde Park, New York.

I'll be the first to admit I'm an anorak ("foamer" in Ameri-speak), but the combination of train geekery and history have really captivated me. I'm reading through the book as fast as I can, only because I can't bear to put it down.

Okay, I doubt anyone out there who reads my LJ will go and get this, but at least I've recorded for posterity how much I enjoyed reading Robert Klara's book.
hr_macgirl: (Default)
after arriving at Logan early (and clearing security behind entitled guy, I went out to the satellite terminal and scoped out my gate (A18). Gate areas in A18 have "powered seats" where you can sit and plug in your laptop, so I did just that. Why drain power when I don't have to? Google is also sponsoring free WiFi at the airport through mid-January, so I used that rather than my USB broadband device.

I was originally seated in 18D but during online checkin I switched to 9C. This turned out to be a mistake. Not row 9 in general, but I chose that section because there was nobody else in it. I should have taken 9D, which had someone else in 9F but nobody in 9E. Yes, you guessed it, a party of two came and sat in 9A&B. Even worse for me, the emetophobe, the woman in the party (it was a couple) sat hunched with her head on her husband's lap during takeoff and climbout and had both hands clutching the air sickness bag. Why me???

I slept through most of climbout & takeoff (yay), then whiled away the flight with a combination of naps, TV show (First Among Equals), book (Now & Then by Jacqueline Sheehan) and puzzles (both in the in-flight mag and the GWOP I brought along).

The captain was mega annoying: whenever the plane even bumped slightly he put on the seatbelt sign, and every time he came on the PA to announce said bump (and seatbelts), he also told us how many miles we had to go before arriving at Seattle. I guess the latter wasn't so bad when we were past the halfway mark, but before then it was just depressing!

The flight arrived ~30m early and I was quickly out on the curb waiting for the hotel shuttle bus. As usual I pricelined into the Doubletree SeaTac ($41 plus taxes). Third visit, like the hotel. The only minus is that this time they stuck me in a room the equivalent of gate D36 in ATL. If you've been to that gate, you know what I mean...

Parents arrive in about 5 hours. Killing time until then. Going to go for a swim because, well, why not? Then we drive and pick up the nephew. CUTE NEPHEW!
hr_macgirl: (splash)
Once again, I trekked to work in the pouring rain. Rain jacket, rain hat, umbrella. Dropped off most things in my office, and went back to the pool, still in the rain. On my commute I saw several joggers out there. Not long ago, that would have been me. Pouring, but with headphones on. Jacket or no jacket? It wouldn't make a difference. I'd arrive at my destination thoroughly soaked.

sploosh )

Back at the office, time to dry off. And ponder the week. Off to Ohio on Thursday.
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
Last weekend I (finally) got American Wife from the library. I requested it ages ago, when I heard author Curtis Sittenfeld on NPR's Book Tour podcast.

The book is a "thinly veiled fictionalized account of Laura Bush", but that's not why I liked it. The characters were all so real, and the experiences so well described. I never doubted the plot or considered it contrived in any way. Nor did the book end with a prototypical happy ending (not that I mind happy endings, of course!); Sittenfeld did not take any "easy way" out of plot twists.

After reading American Wife in just one week (a challenge, given that I'm lucky to get 20 minutes of reading in before bed on most nights), I wanted to dig into Sittenfeld's other works. Before yoga on Saturday I picked up The Man of My Dreams from the library, and today I got Prep from a local used bookstore.

That I purchased a book more expensive than $2 says something about how much I like the author (me, cheap? No, frugal :-). Prep is packed away waiting for me to take it to the left coast next week, and I'm sure I can finish The Man of My Dreams by Friday.

Icing on the cake: in a 2004 article in Salon, Sittenfeld admits to shopping at Kramerbooks, an independent bookstore in Washington DC that I adore (not just because it's open 24 hours a day on weekends, nor due to the scrumptious weekend brunch). I love it when authors have good taste in bookstores and don't just think of Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
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I've had a pretty rough few days for a number of reasons that I don't plan to detail here. Yesterday and today, however, my life was made just a little bit brighter by my iPhone. I've downloaded lots of things from the App Store, but the best (so far) is eReader, an electronic book reader. [ profile] ckd has a huge online library, so I'm taking advantage of it. I must have 50 books loaded, with loads of room for more (and that's with my old 8gig model!).

(Note that most of [ profile] ckd's books are eReader/Fictionwise, but he does have some in Mobipocket, the latter which I can peruse using the new app stanza (unlocked Mobipocket, at least)).

So I've been reading Lois McMaster Bujold's Memory (Amazon paperback, first three chapters). Bujold's hero Miles Vorkosigan has been dealt a bad hand in the form of recurring seizures. All at once he's lost his identity (or alter identity, in the form of Admiral Naismith) and purpose, and feels stuffed into and constrained by his home life.

The book is an incredible tale of self rediscovery, and is beautifully written to boot. It details Miles' journey from a lying, cheating (mostly ethically) mercenary soldier to an upstanding community-focused man who cares deeply for the cast around him who supported him while he grew up. At 30, he's still not grown up, or perhaps I should say, is just growing up.

It had been quite some time since I last read Memory, but I'm enjoying every single (electronic) page. Usually it takes music to lift my mood, but this time all it took was the written word.
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
Move date: June 10-12, with servers going on May 31 (Saturday). Space still not finished. Lots of details still to iron out. I'm arguing with departmental higher ups over the need for fax machines (my thoughts: the fewer the better; most people who swap faxes will be sending to those in the building!!)

I have spent some time over the past few weeks cleaning up my office in preparation for the move. iPhone has built-in speakers, so when it's quiet (in the mornings!) I can put on music and not have to wear my headphones and/or worry about annoying the guy in the next office over.

books: just finished The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perotta. Have nine items on my library "wish list" (including two videos), none of which are en route.

my hip/groin injury continues to improve. I'm doing all sorts of exercises (some strengthening, some stretching). The current focus is to stabilize my right side; the theory is the left side overcompensates (hence why I have pain on the left).

In the meantime, I'm just rolling along.
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three days away )

Home now. Laundry. Note to self: avoid Marathon on Monday. Safest to just avoid Boston altogether, I think.

I am very very glad I went on the trip. I actually allowed myself to relax. That doesn't happen very often, and didn't even happen the past few times I visited my parents. It was an unexpected surprise.
hr_macgirl: (Default)
I could be doing my hip exercises right now (rather than remaining curled up as a pretzel, something that my physical therapist discourages), but instead, I'm filling up my library "hold list".

Currently ready for me to pick up:
  • This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor. For such a critically important (yet decisive) issue as a woman's right to choose, the author (as a provider of abortions) must have a very unique perspective.
  • Big Boned: A Heather Wells Mystery. I picked up the second of this "chick lit" series at a thrift store last year (and got the first from the library later). For someone who struggles with body image, the title grabbed me ("Size 14 is not fat either"). The series is more about chick lit than profound musings on womens' weight, but that doesn't make it not a fun read.

    Pending, neither arrived nor in transit:
  • The English American, about a woman raised in Britain who later discovers that her birth parents are from the deep south of the USA.

    Still on hold:
  • The Abstinence Teacher. I heard a reading and discussion about it on NPR. I don't think I'd want to buy it, but for $free, why not?
  • The Geography of Biss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World. Also discovered via NPR
  • In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. I read the author's other book (The Omnivore's Dilemma) last year and enjoyed it (except the gory descriptions of animal dismemberment). I heard him interviewed on NPR several times this year, where he espouses his theory of how to eat: eat food, not too much, mostly plants. And so I now have an "excuse" to eat mostly salads (as if I needed one) and avoid hyper-processed "food" (such as "go-gurt", not that I would have eaten it anyways). The author comes up with a good way of defining what "food" is: if your grandmother wouldn't recognize it as food, it's not. And so now I'm searching for something to replace my luna bars as a (relatively) shelf-stable, portable snack.
  • The Thing About Life is That One Day You'll Be Dead. Catchy title, flipped through it at a bookstore. Willing to spend $0 to see what it's really like.

    Current television choice: Five Days, purportedly an HBO/BBC co-production. Lots of English face aches (Hugh Bonneville, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Janet McTeer), which only makes me like it even more. I'm part way through the second episode, and I am riveted.
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