Sunday, April 27, 2008

Books not read

Apparently these are the books most frequently listed as "Not Read" on librarything. Italicized is read but not finished. Bold is finished. Bold and asterisked is read for school.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote

Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales

The Historian: a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath*
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest*
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye*
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity's Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Hmm. There's a lot of books there on my "intend to read but haven't quite gotten there yet" list. I'd better get cracking! Also more books then I expected that I started and didn't finish. Not finishing a book I begin is pretty darned rare for me. I suspect it's because many of these books I started to read because they were "great books" and I thought I should read them - and then discovered they didn't interest me in the slightest. The first few times that happened, I slogged through because they were "great books", and wound up having wasted my time reading a book I loathed (Madame Bovary is a classic example here). So since then, I'll give a book a solid try (at least three chapters) if it's on the great book list, but if I still can't get anywhere with it, I'll stop. Though there are some books that I petered out on that I do intend to come back to. Such as Beloved, where I suspect my ability to read outside my own experience simply wasn't well enough developed yet when I attempted it the first time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Invisible Girl

Becky tagged me for a meme - showing my senior picture. Hah - little did she know she'd get a post and no picture!

You see, I have no senior picture. None whatsoever. There's not a picture of me to be found in my high school year book - not in any photo at all, let alone the portrait. I was absent the day they photographed the choir. I was technically present in the senior class picture, but not actually visible (When the photo was fresh, I could see a hand that I thought might be mine. I doubt I could find it now.) None of the candid photos have me in them. With the exception of one mention (under "Seniors not pictured"), you could never have told I existed by my senior yearbook.

I'm not sure why I was so averse to being photographed. I know I didn't like any pictures of myself until they were at least 2-3 years old, generally more (still don't). I generally didn't appear much in yearbooks even from younger years - but I did have the group photos and the standard school photos. It was just the individual portrait for senior year that I skipped.

Despite still being averse to recent photos though, I will attempt to post photos from the Weapons' Camp weekend, which I was just given a DVD of today. It'll be later, because I need to steal Rob's computer (mine doesn't have an appropriate reader), but I'll stick them up anyway.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Weapons Camp

I am bushed. I spent Friday to Sunday up in Michigan at a Weapons' Society camp. We (Sensei, Sensei D, T and I) drove up together. We arrived about 5:30 Friday night. Orientation, dinner, class. Bed at 10:30. Morning line-up at 8am. Class until breakfast. Class until lunch. Class until 30 min. before dinner (the first time I had a chance to call Rob). Class until 10:30 again. Sunday was class until 11:30am except for breakfast.

My brain is fried. If I retain 1/10th of what flew by me this weekend, I will consider it a triumph of major proportions. We went through bo basics, Tonfa basics 1 & 2, Matsuhiga (basic tonfa kata), some hand play, which morphed into baton play. Some baton work. Some open hand basics - supposed to be good for figuring out kata bunkai, though we never really did much towards figuring out how that worked. Sensei (who has been a black belt for 16 years, last I checked), seemed to be feeling every bit as overwhelmed as I was, which was somewhat reassuring.

The sheer amount of experience in that room (we literally never left the dojo, we ate and slept in there), was amazing. As near as I could figure, the average experience level in the room was around 25 years. At home, I'm the senior student, spending almost as much time helping other students as being instructed myself (no complaints, I do like teaching). Here I was the merest novice, third or fourth up from the bottom in total experience. I had forgotten what it was to be deluged in knowledge coming from people with stores so vast that I can't even get a handle on it.

If you can't tell, I had a blast. My brain is stuffed, and I'm falling over exhausted, but really, really happy. It wasn't the perfect camp (the showers were non-functional, bo was not listed as an available weapon, but then was taught - and I hadn't brought mine, several of the under-instructors kept disagreeing about fairly basic things and kept having to call in Carbone Sensei to check what he wanted), but it was very good. I met a lot of great people, as well as getting to see some I already knew. Rob couldn't have given me a better birthday present.

And now I will spend this week recovering from the sore muscles and liberal bruises. Tonfas leave a mark when you whack yourself!