31 May 2011

The Thin Red Line

So...if you managed to wade your way through the entirety of Down The Rabbit Hole then you have probably worked out that I am the teeniest bit...obsessed sounds like such a harsh word, so something a bit less than that...with Jared Leto and 30 Seconds To Mars. In the best possible way of course *grin* And as you do when you...fall down the rabbit hole, you Google! And in doing so it struck me as to just how much information is actually out 'there'...

When I was a teenager - OK, so I was not a normal teenager and didn't have the walls of my bedroom covered with posters of Duran Duran for example (like my cousin) [and by walls I mean walls, as in all of them] - there were posters and cassette tapes (remember those, or am I just showing my age?) and...that was about it. Oh, and the odd music video show (here it was Ready to Roll). Now though, there is the Internet, which means the music videos and interviews are online and readily available. And then there is Facebook and Twitter and Blogger and LiveJournal and WordPress etc. and...it's like a stalker's paradise! And yes a celebrity, such as a rock star, will court his or her public. In a way, it is part of the...job description - to be available to the adoring masses. But the problem is that somewhere along the way we have become an 'I want more and I want it now' society. It's like (please forgive me Charles Dickens) Oliver Twist on LSD. We're voracious. And with so much information online where do we draw a line? The line where a person's (celebrity or other)...public face ends and their privacy starts? And how can one enforce that when they are surrounded by people who want to know more and by others who want to share more because it will enhance the bottom line?

I guess what I'm trying to say is...I feel slightly uncomfortable with what is available at my fingertips. Yes I want to know more, whether it be about a particular celebrity - be still my beating heart - or someone who I have grown to know online, but...I don't want to ever forget that the person I am interested in learning more about is just that...a person. And just like I have days when all the endless pressure and constant requests becomes too much and I just want some space, I figure so do they. I just hope that in all of my correspondence I remember where that line is.

Thoughts?

27 May 2011

Down The Rabbit Hole

My brain works in kind of a weird way. I...flit (for want of a better word) from one subject to another, the links often tenuous (but making complete sense to me). So, while I may start talking about subject A, my brain will then flit from B through D and then I'll start talking about E. Now, I know the links between A and E, and those people who have got used to my way of thinking can follow the pattern (thank you all), but occasionally even I end up in weird places. For example...

Last night I was blog hopping (as you do). One blog I visited (I'm not sure if they would like to be linked to me or not...or if they care either way, but for the interim I'll leave them their anonymity) had posted YouTube videos of the US band 30 Seconds To Mars. 'That name rings a bell' I thought, so I scanned down the list of videos until I reached the last, entitled 'From Yesterday'. And that also rang a bell, as did the frozen video image. So, I watched it. And the reason why it rang a bell is because I had caught part of the shortened music video last year on TV and thought 'Ohhhhh!' (because this song so gives me goose bumps!) So, for your viewing pleasure...and please make a note of checking out the video at 7.45 minutes for some 'extra' eye candy *grin*



Oh, and I've requested the CD the above song was released on from the library (for research purposes - I'm thorough :)

From Yesterday reminds me of a song by another band, Finnish this time, that I discovered while living in the UK. Called The Rasmus. And this is that song:



And yes, those are feathers in the lead singer's hair.

Anyway, back to 30 Seconds From Mars...and the lead singer. Wikipedia is deadly dangerous when one falls down the rabbit hole of...teenage (because I can't really apply anything adult to this :) obsession. Jared Leto isn't just a singer/songwriter. He's also an actor. So I went looking to see what he had been in...I did mention I was thorough *grin* And, it turns out he's been in quite a bit, including Alexander. (Yes, that movie with the Irish-sounding Macedonians and Angelina Jolie [sorry Starfire, still not a fan]). And he plays Hephaestion, who according to Wikipedia was beloved of Alexander. And if you can remember the image from 7.45 minutes into the music video, my first thought was...I could so see him in a m/m romance. And then Alexander fell into my lap...well, not exactly. It *blushes* has been requested from the library...along with A Beautiful Lie (so I can listen to From Yesterday and all the other songs and decide whether to purchase it).

And then I realized. I started in Ancient China and (via...Victorian England?) ended up in Ancient Greece. Quite a trip down the rabbit hole if you ask me *grin* And all of this has reminded me that I never started posting my travel posts. So I will be rectifying that next month. You have been warned *grin*

So, where has following things led you of late?

25 May 2011

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm....

And when I say 'hmmmm' I am referring to both the good and...the not so good *grin*

In the good column:

* Jazz (apple). A combination between Braeburn and Royal Gala apples. YUM!

* The cover of Cast in Ruin (Michelle Sagara). (I was going to upload the cover, but attempting to do so kept crashing this post so I gave up.) Is it late September yet?

In the not so good column:

* PMT. Need I say more?

* Incomplete bank call centre training. Honestly, if the forms that have been linked to my account for the last 3 1/2 years are still linked to my account (according to my local branch manager), then perhaps the reason why you can't seen them is because you do not know how to look for them...so perhaps you should be trained how to do so rather than just saying that you can't do what I ask, even though I know you can because your colleague (who could see said forms) had no problem doing so LAST WEEK! (Of note, I am frustrated about the lack of training, not about said call centre staff member...well, three of them to be precise.)

* People who drive in the fog with no lights on. Ditto those who do not indicate. I mean...seriously? I must have missed the pre-birth queue that gave me psychic powers to know exactly where your car is at any given moment and exactly what you are planning to do with it!

So, what has made you go 'hmmmm' lately?

Oh, and I couldn't resist!

20 May 2011

Trumpeting

I don't really know how else to describe it. I'm currently reading The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (NK Jemisin) and it has...completely blown me away (to put it mildly). I just want to keep raving to all and sundry (you're the all BTW, not the sundry *grin*) about how brilliant it is. As to why it is so brilliant...I'm not quite sure *blushes* I love the fact that it is written in the first person, but it's more like the narrator is sitting in front of me chatting. And then there is the scheming and politics. It both does and it doesn't remind me of Sarah Monette's Doctrine of Labyrinth. (Has anyone else read both series? Would you agree/disagree?)

And all of this trumpeting has me thinking about other books that have just swept me off my feet. (Yes, it would be nice if a male did that, but I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth *grin*) The aforementioned Sarah Monette's Doctrine of Labyrinths is one. Carol Berg's Flesh & Spirit and Breath & Bone (The Lighthouse Duology) is another. And before you start thinking that they all have one thing in common (genre), I would like to throw (with love) Amy Lane's Keeping Promise Rock into the mix!

And while part of me wants to include in my raving 'Read it, read it, read it!', the rest of me is cognizant that people's tastes...differ, and what works for one may not work for another. But...I still want to pull out the trumpet *grin*

So, what was the last book you felt like trumpeting to the world?

16 May 2011

From The Middle

The middle of where I'm not exactly sure...

So, the healthy eating plan hasn't been that...healthy of late. And when I say 'of late' I mean the last 12 months. I saw the nutritionist today and I'm ~7.5 kg (~17 lb) off my target goal weight of 57.5 kg (126.5 lb). Yes, that is a backwards step of ~7.5 kg from this time last year :( In an effort to be proactive, I attempted to go back on the healthy eating plan today (before seeing the nutritionist). And this lasted all of a few hours. Oh, I stuck to the food side (mostly). But it's my nemesis - Coca Cola - that dragged me off into the woods and...ravished me. As I mentioned in One Day At A Time, Coca Cola is the highlight of my day. *shakes head* It's not good when the highlight of one's day is a soft drink. So, I have some homework - to discover what makes me feel good and do more of that. And I have no idea where to start. So, if you don't mind me asking...what makes you feel good? (FYI - the nutritionist and I agreed on one can of Coca Cola a day, starting tomorrow, and lots of walking. *crossing fingers*)

ATM I'm currently plodding along reading Radiant Shadows (Melissa Marr). And plodding is how it feels. (It's so a me thing.) Unlike Ink Exchange (the second book in the series) and even Wicked Lovely (the first book), I'm just not very engaged with most of the characters. I just keep wanting to flick until my favourite characters come back on the page. Am I the only person who wants to follow certain characters exclusively?

I'm about to start working my way through my grandmothers' (maternal and paternal) and my mother's recipe books, selecting those recipes I would like to keep before handing the books over to a family member. One recipe I will definitely make sure to copy is my paternal grandmother's liqueur ice-cream. I'm not sure if one can be drunk in charge of a bowl of ice-cream, but I wouldn't put anything past this ice-cream *grin* So, I'm curious, do you have/use any family members' recipes?

14 May 2011

The Great Race

Do you ever feel like you have been mysteriously entered into a race when you pick up a book? Where the object is to read the book as fast as possible and then move on to the next without stopping to...savour the moment? I realized this week that I may have bought into this concept without realizing it.

I think it harks back to reading The War of Light and Shadow (Janny Wurts), the fantasy series I have been reading (three chapters per week) for the last few months. I was so focused on keeping up that I felt into a pattern, a pattern where keeping up was the most important thing. And how did I realise this? Whenever I pick a book up I always check how many pages there are...and when I reach a certain page I calculate how many more pages I have to read. And then there is the continually revising estimate of how many pages I can read in one day. Me? OCD? What gave you that idea? It doesn't help that I put myself under pressure with my library hold list. Note the I in that sentence, because all this is on me. I'm not sure quite how to fix it, so any suggestions welcome *grin*

And because 'The Great Race' reminds me of the movie of the same name I give you the pie scene! (Mainly because I couldn't find the 'I am an emancipated woman' scene.)

10 May 2011

Upstairs Downstairs

I'm currently watching the first episode of Downton Abbey. I love period dramas! My work colleagues and I were discussing our love of period dramas last week...and what we learnt from them. For example, one colleague has recently watched North & South with the rather attractive Richard Armitage.

*attempts not to get distracted*

And all of this led us to ponder over where linen came from.

And it got me to thinking about why I like period dramas. I like the scheming for one. Manners and societal standing were everything, so while everyone was unfailingly polite on the outside, underneath the surface schemes and manoeuvring were afoot! I like the idea of going to a ball...as long as one could dance and wasn't a wallflower. Which leads me to Nine Rule To Break When Romancing A Rake, because IIRC one of the things on Lady Calpurnia's list was to dance every dance at a ball. I like that idea (but then I love to dance). And I quite like the idea of dressing up for a ball (although the jury is still out on stays). And...the romance!

So, I'm curious - regardless of whether you read m/f or m/m (or both), what is it that you like (or don't like) about period dramas?

Edited to add: Great minds obviously think alike! At the lovely and very talented KatieBab's Babbling About Books, and More is a guest post by Vanessa Kelly on why we love historical romances.

08 May 2011

Blank

Do you ever have days when you avoid going online? When you just can't face all the....(for want of a better word) noise? When you just want to shut out everything and curl up with a good book (or an old [or new] favourite TV series or movie) and just...vegetate?

That's what I've felt like this weekend. I guess I could call it apathy, but I just feel...blank. So, I curled up with Cold Magic and I've been watching Friday Night Lights - Taylor Kitsch is just....well, you be the judge.

So, apologies for me for...not being around, for not visiting. Hopefully I'll be back 'bright-eyed and bushy tailed' from tomorrow.

04 May 2011

C Is For...

Cake!

Why am I thinking about cake? Well...I should lay blame squarely where it is due - at the feet of Chris and Kris! (And what lovely feet they are *grin*) If they hadn't shamelessly displayed photos of said pictured monstrosity (and yes Kris I know you haven't done it recently, but I can still picture those photos from your trip last year) I wouldn't be so obsessed with trying it!

C is also for challenge! OK, please bear with me. (Famous last words - you so know I'm taking you all on a mad-dash hike through the weird connections in my brain, right?) See, last night I was watching Undercover Boss (yes, it screens here and I like to have the TV on while I'm wandering around the Internet, which is how I ended up watching it), specifically, the Mack trucks episode. And watching all those trucks got me to thinking about trucks (as you do)...which led me to Heidi Cullinan's Special Delivery, which I read at the end of last year.

Earlier this year I used the word (un)comfortable to describe how Special Delivery left me feeling. What I realized last night was that I also should have used the word challenged. Because that's exactly what it did. It challenged me - challenged my convictions, challenged how I view relationships and...expanded my view. I'm not saying what works for Sam works for me, but...I never would have believed a few years ago that I would ever read (and enjoy...definitely enjoy *evil grin*) m/m romance, so...who knows? And now more than ever I want to read Double-Blind and challenge myself anew...

I don't think one can read such books all the time, but...I'm curious - what book has challenged you recently?

01 May 2011

Books 2011: April Update

Total to date: 40 books (10 books this month: fantasy [two books]; m/m [seven books]; paranormal romance [one book])

The 2011 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge total to date: seven books (three books this month)

The M/M Romance Challenge 2011 total to date: 32 books (seven books this month) [Yes, I've been on a m/m blitz the last month...and I've loved every minute!]

A list of all the books I've read to date (from 01 January 2010) can be found at GoodReads.

Favourite books of the month?

* Finding Zach (Rowan Speedwell)

* Shades of Gray (Brooke McKinley)

Currently reading:

* Snowball in Hell (Josh Lanyon)

And the books I'm most looking forward to reading this month:

* Cold Magic (Kate Elliot)

* Black Blades (Ginn Hale) [The Rifter Part III]

So, what did you read last month?