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Hi, guys. Did you know that it's August? It was incredibly hot for a while, and although it's now more comfortable I'm still finding my way through the leftover custom of lethargy.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again (reread)
C.J. Cherryh, Merchanter's Luck
BAM.
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Reborn, with fresh determination!
Nella Larsen, Passing
Lois McMaster Bujold, Komarr (reread)
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign (reread)
Lois McMaster Bujold, Diplomatic Immunity (reread)
Sarah Monette, Corambis
Ursula K. LeGuin, Gifts
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This is what happens when I slip about being prompt with these posts; eventually my embarrassment over being late becomes a reason for further procrastination, and then it's the end of the month and it's still not up. I'll fight entropy with the next one, which means you should expect it, uh, tomorrow.
M.T. Anderson, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume 2: The Kingdom on the Waves
Lois McMaster Bujold, The Sharing Knife: Horizon
Lois McMaster Bujold, The Warrior's Apprentice (reread)
Lois McMaster Bujold, The Vor Game (reread)
Lois McMaster Bujold, Cetaganda (reread)
Lois McMaster Bujold, Brothers In Arms (reread)
Lois McMaster Bujold, Mirror Dance (reread)
Lois McMaster Bujold, Memory (reread)
Perhaps because I've spent less time treating them as comfort books, I was more impressed with the early Miles books relative to the later ones than I expected this time through. Memory and A Civil Campaign, traditionally my favourites, were too familiar to have as much of an impact, but Mirror Dance, which I've historically paid less attention to, knocked me right over.

Also in April I went to visit Rachel, which was awesome; I've meant to write more about that but right now I'm too tired. Time in Rachel's physical company always reminds me how important time in Rachel's physical company is, and what an absence it is in my usual daily life. Why hasn't living in the future solved this yet?
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Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely
Ursula K. LeGuin, A Wizard of Earthsea (reread)
Term is over! I thought at the beginning of September that this year would be my last one in school, but I'd underestimated the language requirement, so I'll be coming back next year to take two more courses in Japanese and (since I'm here anyway) the majority of a minor in Women's Studies. I kept putting it off a year when it was time to leave Windsor House, too; at least this time it has more of a plan about it than just cleaving to inertia, an excitement about where I'm at more operative than the fear of where I'm going next.

Term is not over! I still have finals and papers, and I'm going to go visit Rachel for a week starting the 18th -- that's nothing to do with the term but there's a huge gap between my finals so it's going in there. I'll leave an hour after the end of my Japanese final and come back a couple of days before writing my Metaphysics (which fortunately I'm not at all worried about).
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Today on the bus I was sitting between two people who, on noticing one another, started a conversation over my head. The topic of discussion made its way around to a mutual friend who had recently had a wild birthday party, and the difficulties she'd had functioning the next day, and one of them was reminded of a thing that had troubled him. He said something like, "Yeah, I was thinking about that the other day. Like, the day after [our friend's] birthday is really the first day she's 22... And there's the day after New Year's... Every time you start a new year, you're hung over. It almost doesn't make sense!"

It was that 'almost' that made me want to write it down. He was trying so hard to question his paradigm, but he just couldn't quite get removed enough to manage it! So it is so often with us all.

In February I read:
Cory Doctorow, Little Brother
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Whoooops. Okay, hi.
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
Elizabeth Bear, Ink and Steel
Elizabeth Bear, Hell and Earth

My starting this particular Elizabeth Bear series last month is just an embarrassing coincidence.
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A couple of days ago I was eating Chinese food, and I became aware that I like the taste of onions. I used to find it unpleasant, and for some years now I've considered it inoffensive-but-boring, but now I am to the point where eating a bite with an onion in it was an unexpected pleasure; the sort of thing I might seek out, rather than just tolerating. The strangest thing about this is that I remember and recognise this taste I now enjoy from back when I didn't like it, and it's exactly the same taste. I always subconsciously assumed that there was something inherent that determined whether something tasted good or not -- I mean, not that the quality of 'tasting bad' was an integral part of any given food (despising cheese, which everybody else in the world is delighted by, made it impossible ever to make this mistake), but that the subjective sensory experience of it included a sense of its being either pleasant or not-so, so that 'badness' was part of the taste I experienced. I guess I kind of supposed that other people eating cheese were tasting something different. But no; there is nothing changed about the taste of onions now, except how I react to it. So the thing that caused me to find onions objectionable wasn't in my sensory perception of them at all, even though that's the thing I clearly didn't like.

It strikes me how much of the work of interpreting inherently neutral stimuli my brain is doing outside of (or rather, presumably underlying) my conscious mind. I've been thinking for a long time about the role of completely chemical-contingent (even by human standards) involuntary affective reactions in my experience of the features of people that I find physically attractive (that's what this poem is about), but clearly I still have some adjusting to do toward applying this sort of understanding more generally.

I keep feeling like I read a book that I forgot to write down, but if so I've since forgotten more than that, since I can't call it to mind. I might be getting a false positive from the Iain M. Banks book that some of you saw me with, which I put down not far in because I didn't feel like I was in a space to want to read about the protagonist's making stupidly self-destructive decisions. I'm sure I'll get into the Culture books eventually.
Madeleine Robins, Point of Honour
Steven Brust, Jhegaala
Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind
Madeleine Robins, Petty Treason
Ekaterina Sedia, Alchemy of Stone
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Yeah, my book metabolism is weird.
Lois McMaster Bujold, The Sharing Knife: Passage
C.J. Cherryh, Downbelow Station
Steven Brust, Jhereg (reread)
Steven Brust, Yendi (reread)
Steven Brust, Teckla (reread)
Steven Brust, Taltos (reread)
Steven Brust, Phoenix (reread)
Steven Brust, Athyra (reread)
Steven Brust, Orca (reread)
Steven Brust, Dragon (reread)
Steven Brust, Issola (reread)
Steven Brust, Dzur (reread)
Diana Wynne Jones, House of Many Ways
Maureen F. McHugh, China Mountain Zhang
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I think I'm willing to say that Hoko's is the weirdest venue in Vancouver, but that might be naive of me.

That was the second-to-last La La Boom Boom show. At the one this past Friday, at the much less surreal Cafe Deux Soleils, they were preceded by a pretty good band in a similar genre, all five of whom were men with full beards. As we were joking about this, I realized that all of the males at my table had prominent facial hair as well. Then I looked over at the next table, and the one past that... When I first let grow my beard, I had the impression that I was bucking convention slightly, doing something quaint and out of fashion. It may be that the fashion has changed, or that my view was skewed then by the fact that most of the people I knew were teenagers, or that my view is skewed now from going among mad people bohemians and philosophy students. But I do seem to encounter a lot more of us than I subconsciously expect to, culminating here with turning out to be hugely in the majority (I think there may have been more people with beards than without at that concert).

Months go quickly, don't they? I'll be twenty five in a couple of days. I am cautiously failing to have any sort of quarter-life crisis, though other sorts of crises might be lurking. But what I'm getting at is that we're nearly halfway through November, so here are my October books.
Peter Watts, Blindsight
Jo Walton, Half a Crown
I'm rereading Vlad Taltos, so next month's accounting will be at least five times as long.

A little while ago I was reminded of that article about the mythology of Miami street kids, so I went and found it again. I remembered it being fascinating, and it is, but I hadn't remembered how patronizing it was. The stories would make a wonderful background for a fantasy novel (and probably have, by now), but it's clear that those telling them take them seriously -- or at least with the quasi-serious willingness to entertain possibility that I remember feeling when friends told me elaborate ghost stories. There is a real and solemn religious potency here, which the narrative voice, earnestly pitying and blithely psychoanalytical, tries, and fails uneasily, to confine to the cutely make-believe. And the writer is clearly revealing Mysteries, granted her in confidence; one girl is described as happy and relieved to have shared what she knows, but it seems unlikely that another, who is quoted as saying, "Every girl in the shelters knows if you tell this story to a boy, your best friend will die!", understood at the time that her words were going to be transcribed and put out where thousands of boys, including this one, might encounter them. Did they get her permission for that at any point? It seems like they maybe didn't think they had to; elsewhere, we're told that, "The first names of ... children in this article have been used with the consent of their parents or guardians."

(This is all assuming that the reporter didn't make the whole thing up, of course; I haven't done much research outside the article itself.)

Since I suspect that this article constitutes a desecration, I'm kind of conflicted about whether I ought to be linking to it. But I wanted to complain about it, and my academic scruples rebel at criticizing something without letting people go see what I'm talking about. As well, I'm actually glad that I got to read it -- that the information was gathered and put where I could access and learn it, for all that I'm uncomfortable with the manner in which that was done and presented -- so it would feel a little hypocritical to decide to keep it out of the epistemic reach of others.
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All I read in September was
Ursula K. LeGuin, The Dispossessed (reread)
I've been kind of embarrassed at how little I've been reading lately, but I think I probably gave myself unrealistic expectations by first starting to keep track during the peak of an unusually heavy period. (It was also a much more innocent time in terms of academic stress.) That tends to happen in waves, so it will be back eventually, and really it only bothers me when I'm considering my reading habits in isolation; when I consider what I've been spending my attention on instead, I don't regret it at all.

Anyway, here's the bookkeeping bookkeeping for my second year of noting these things in my weblog: I read 58 novels, 11 of them rereads. (Also, two of them at different times were Pamela Dean's Tam Lin, so maybe that should count as 57 and 10.) This is a little under thirty fewer new books than I read in my first year, which actually isn't as bad as I thought it might be.

Leaves are starting to change en masse, and it's noticably chilly even when the sun is out; before either of these signs of autumn, before even the equinox formalized it, the days were already getting radically shorter. This feels heavy with narrative significance, because, like a proper existentialist, I am casting out portentious meaning onto everything around me. (You should see my recent relationship with fortune cookies.) I had an excellent summer, charmed and optimistic in a way that was thematically in keeping with and maybe enabled by the daylight still lingering when I got out of my classes at 9 PM. It's not that the sky's recent indifference has me pessimistic instead; it does seem an important difference of tone, though, to be moving into the seasons during which humans really need to work to make their own light.

(One place where I was not actually so good at projecting meaning onto things was in my Japanese course, where on the third day of class or so I had the literally nightmarish experience of having a piece of paper put in front of me and having no idea what to do with it. So I dropped that course and replaced the course I was going to take next term with the equivalent of the last course I took at Langara, which will hopefully catch me back up but which means that I won't be graduating from UBC in April. The need to make up the credits I've thus abandoned did give me an excuse to sign up for the awesome-looking "Feminist Pedagogies in the Classroom and Community" course that Isabel is going to be in, though, which I hadn't thought that I was going to be able to justify.)

Later: something about the election, probably.
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I wanted to write a big post about IDEC, but apparently I didn't get around to it before school started so who knows whether I'm going to. It was awesome, though! I met and hung out with a bunch of the current generation of WH teenagers, who turn out to be pretty cool, and went to several workshops that challenged me usefully, and stayed up late vocally jamming with musicians from around the world (!), was made to cry by Yaacov Hecht and got very grumpy at Dr. Gabor Mate. Helen is starting a new school, and I am seriously considering trying to be on its staff once my fourth year of university is done.

This past month's fiction:
Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
Charles Stross, Halting State
This concludes my second year of keeping track of novels read; I'll figure out the stats later. I definitely read fewer things than I did during the first one.

Rachel wanted my school schedule, so here it comes, from memory because the UBC website doesn't want to let me log in to look at my timetable for some reason. It's kind of a ridiculous schedule.

On Monday Tuesday Thursday Friday I have Japanese 102 at 9 AM, which means I have to be up before 7 to get to school on time. Also I haven't really practised Japanese since the last course I took in late 2006, so basically I am insane. Today is the first day of school and I got here on time to find that it was cancelled. Well, nevermind.

On Thursdays I have Philosophy of Law at 11:00 (it is a three hour class). The textbooks include a book co-edited by John Russell, whom I used to take classes from at Langara. Then I get a half-hour break and at 2:30 I have Philosophy of Language, which has a very good reputation here.

On Fridays there is the Honours Seminar at 10. They alternate each year between focussing on ethics and focussing on metaphysics; this is an ethics year, which I'm rather looking forward to because last year was pretty metaphysics-heavy, except that it's being taught by the other Dr. Russell so we'll probably be spending a certain amount of time on the metaphysics of free will.

And I'll be working MWF, 12-6, 12-6, and 2-6, respectively, unless I get a better job.

Some other pretty awesome things have been going on, but they're probably not suitable for talking about in a public livejournal entry. Sorry, public.
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I have been extremely distracted. There are plural emotional upheavals going on in my social vicinity and I can't pay as much attention as I'd like to any of them, because I'm about to go to IDEC and be mostly incommunicado for a week. I've had a ton of things I've been wanting to write about and this is very few of them (I haven't even written on the book Brendan asked me about at the start of last month yet), but my weblog-conscience won't allow me to head off to the conference without at least getting around to my belated monthly book-keeping.
Elizabeth Bear, Dust
Pamela Dean, Tam Lin (reread)
Barry Hughart, Bridge of Birds (reread)
Surprising nobody, Tam Lin is the first book I've read twice since I started keeping track.
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Tuesday was Canada Day (Canada!), and Monday was the 100th anniversary of the Tunguska Event. Friday is my mother's birthday (also, America Day). Today is the day on which I tell you guys what I've been reading.
Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle (reread)
Sean Stewart, Firecracker (American Title: Perfect Circle)
M. T. Anderson, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume 1: The Pox Party
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This would be even scantier if I hadn't decided a while ago to include short story collections on occasions where I read them straight through, keeping them in that same "book I'm reading" conceptual space that novels go in. I'll probably start letting in narrative nonfiction on the same provisions, too, if I haven't already without noticing it.

Elizabeth Bear, New Amsterdam
Diana Wynne Jones, Fire and Hemlock (reread)*
Nancy Lee, Dead Girls
(* I almost understood it this time.)

The short fiction we're reading for Women in Literature (represented here despite my predictions due to the above) is mostly good but predominantly very bleak; it's wearing me down a little. (I don't think the somewhat wonder-minimizing genre conventions of "mainstream literary" fiction are helping.) Working to counteract this are the in-class discussion, which is awesome; the new group of friends I've acquired from it, one of those tight-knit and ephemeral sudden pockets of intimacy that college sometimes fosters among people taking a course together, which I don't dare expect to be durable very long in its present form (though I do hope to keep hold of at least some of the individuals), but which I'm rather pleased and amazed by while it's here; and the nonfiction we're assigned, which tends to be much more invigorating. Today I was reading a translated copy of Luisa Valenzuela's "Writing with the Body", and I read,

"...I don't believe in the ineffable. The struggle of every person who writes, of every true writer, is primarily against the demon of that which resists being put into words. It is a struggle which spreads like an oil stain. Often, to surrender to the difficulty is to triumph, because the best text can sometimes be the one that allows words to have their own liberty."

And then I read it again, three or four times. "It is a struggle which spreads like an oil stain." Writing it out here, it becomes a quotation, and it is the sort of thing one says in quotations, at least in form, so one is ready for something like it and I don't think I've captured what it was like in that moment. To come upon these words, not set apart but flowing from and in the context of other words before and after, for me was like unexpectedly being kissed.
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Today I told somebody I had a livejournal, and then I felt slightly guilty for the usual reasons. Here's what I've been reading, at least.
Emma Bull, Bone Dance
Diana Wynne Jones, Eight Days of Luke (reread)
Liz Williams, Banner of Souls
Maureen Johnson, The Bermudez Triangle
Charles Stross, Glasshouse
I'd thought that I was going to have at least a two week break between the end of my spring courses and the advent of the summer, but that is an example of a time that I was wrong, and so today, the Monday after the Monday after the Friday I took my last final, I was already back. Do you want to hear about the courses I am taking? Internet, I will tell you.

On Mondays and Wednesdays from six until nine o'clock I'm taking WMST 224C: Women in Literature, so that was what I was at today. The professor has tattoos on her arms, and a demeanor that is slightly nervous but sensible, and a British accent -- not BBC received English, but some regional variant such that that rather than simply getting rid of the 'r's she leaves out of words like 'are' and 'certain' she recycles them to the end of other words like 'idea'. I am pretty excited about my sense of her and of the general atmosphere of the course. (That I've already had two separate nerdy and stimulating conversations with various of my classmates also seems to bode pretty well.)

Unlike my last summer's literature course, this one probably won't be reflected in my novel-reading entries, since the syllabus seems to comprise entirely short stories. But we are reading selections from Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber (which I've heard of), Nancy Lee's Dead Girls (which I haven't), and an anthology and a reading packet neither of which have morbidly evocative names. There will apparently be at least one session where we watch and talk about scenes from Buffy, for which I feel a little overqualified.

Secondly, I'm in PHIL 435: Environmental Ethics on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 'til 4. This was the philosophy course I haven't taken that fit in with my schedule (the other candidates were in the second summer term, and might have had finals that conflicted with IDEC), and so the fact that this is such an activist summer is pretty coincidental. I don't know much about how it will go yet; I've actually been hanging on to the possibility of dropping it, in case the two intensive summer courses are too much for me, but having learned that the women's studies course extends into July, and not merely to mid-June like I thought, I feel cautiously hopeful that that won't be necessary.

(And I'm working 16 hours a week as before, Monday and Wednesdays before school and Friday afternoons.)

P.S. to cola: I got three A minuses and an A+ last term, so I guess you "already got" those "books", too!
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Look out! It's April. I always forget which trees are cherry blossom trees, and then when each of them bloom I am surprised.

Through March, apace:
Liz Williams, Snake Agent
Diana Wynne Jones, The Game
Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist
C.J. Cherryh, The Paladin
I liked them.

In Charles Stross' Accelerando (which I read the very first month I kept track), there's a scene where one of the protagonists is walking through an airport that's been decorated with an unsettling motif of Santa Claus-es hung in effigy. The artificially intelligent corporations, the reader is told, are doing their best to appeal to human consumers; they understand that we like Christmas and that we're obsessed with our mortality, but they haven't quite figured out how those preoccupations behave in practise.I think of this throwaway paragraph probably more often than anything else in that book, because a lot of advertising makes me feel like this sort of thing is, on some less dramatic scale, already happening: whomever is writing these things has cobbled together a syntax -- mostly from pop culture catchphrases, and recognizable deliveries for jokes, and, especially, other advertisements -- but they don't have a semantics.

I suppose what's actually going on is that they're not trying to use language to communicate meaning. Some advertising (mostly on the amateur small business end of the scale) is trying to do that, to make a persuasive argument to a skeptical audience, and some (mostly on the more professional and corporate) is using language, if it uses it at all, in service of some less direct or more visceral appeal, some attempted colonization of the backbrain, but executes it well enough that it still sounds smooth. In the middle are these confused AI ads, which are trying to accomplish something like what the latter group does, but aren't deft enough to get the surface to make sense, and end up coming across as a complete and distracting misunderstanding of what sort of things it is that real people say when they talk.

My favourite example of this, because it's such a specialized case, is the Telus ad on the wall near Granville and Georgia, about the fish who is friends with a sea horse. It's written in rhyming couplets, but they rhyme badly, have no consistent line-length or metre, and provide information that is not anywhere near charming enough to make up for this. Telus, or whomever is comprised by its human-populated advertising department, wanted to get people's attention with poetry, without having to really care about poetry; but because they had no understanding of what sort of thing a rhyming poem actually is, and how it functions when it does, the ad doesn't work.
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1: Okay, here's an entry.
A. S. Byatt, Possession
Steven Brust, The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars
Laurie J. Marks, Water Logic
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
(Steven Brust actually has two middle initials. He just chooses not to use them.)

So I managed to be kind of responsible, though not as much as this list might imply, because a bunch of that time not spent reading was spent doing stuff like visiting Rachel and watching television. (Surprisingly impressive shows that I am currently in the middle of watching for the first time: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Princess Tutu, and Farscape.)

2: I wonder whether word is starting to get around, yet, among people who weren't at either of the shows so far, that La La Boom Boom is good? Because they're really good. I mean, not just by the standards of people one happens to know.

At their show on Friday the band invited me to stand next to them while they played and shake an egg-shaped shaking instrument. I was really nervously ambivalent about this (which probably didn't look at all like a big deal to anybody else in the room), but I'm glad that I did it, because it was a lot of fun.

3: Am I the only Canadian who likes having elections?
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First, last minute book report: Ancestral Hamster ([livejournal.com profile] vegetius) asked me about my mystery-reading habits in the context of the Sayers books, and I only just remembered to answer him.

Short books help me be prolific:
Dorothy L. Sayers, Five Red Herrings
Jo Walton, Ha'penny
Dorothy L. Sayers, Have His Carcase
Dorothy L. Sayers, Murder Must Advertise
Susan Palwick, Shelter
Dorothy L. Sayers, The Nine Tailors
Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night
Robin McKinley, Dragonhaven
Diana Wynne Jones, Witch Week (reread)
Dorothy L. Sayers, Busman's Honeymoon
Plus I did some of the other kind of short fiction reading. Can anybody point me to a good analytical discussion of Kelly Link by people who like her? (Especially "The Girl Detective", or to a lesser extent "Magic For Beginners".)

Anyway, I have a job, now (working in the warehouse for a clothing store, and the weirdest thing about it is that I'm spending all these hours each week doing something with no connection whatsoever to the rest of my life. I suppose I'm supposed to have got more used to that by this stage), so presumably this month I'm going to have to either cut down on the reading for pleasure or be tremendously irresponsible. I'll let you know which one. It does mean that I can afford to go down to Oregon during my spring break, though, so I am doing that!

Things on the internet:

Is anybody else following Shadow Unit? Here's the on-site explanation, in case you, like me, are likely to be overwhelmed by an in media res website unless you get some out-of-character grounding. Some of the peripheral aspects, like the fictional livejournals, are a little too (simultaneously) twee and disorienting for me, but I have high hopes for this combination of authors.

Rachel found this striking picture, and this one:
...the widow of René de Chalon, prince of Orange, who died in battle in 1544, aged 25, has asked the sculptor Ligier Richier to represent him offering his heart to God, in the condition he now is in, a few years after his death, set against the painted splendour of his former worldly estate.
Also, from a while ago, here is the amazing Bob Dylan interview that made me get his music.

P.S. Sometimes I put in the 'music' field the song that happens to be playing when I'm just about to post, and sometimes I put the song that I've been listening to over and over, more often than every other song combined over the past couple of days. Today is one of the latter cases.
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Do any fictional apocalypses take place in 2008? I have lost track.

Look, books:
Elizabeth Bear, Carnival
Dorothy L. Sayers, Whose Body?
Laurie J. Marks, Earth Logic
Dorothy L. Sayers, Clouds of Witness
Dorothy L. Sayers, Unnatural Death
Sarah Monette, The Bone Key
Dorothy L. Sayers, The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (reread)
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear, A Companion to Wolves
Emma Bull, War for the Oaks
I did actually finish all my papers in time, by the way; sorry I forgot to provide you with closure, livejournal. Assuming that my professors are not each embroiled in a darkly-intentioned conspiracy toward my academic complacency, a possibility which I assure you that I have considered, apparently they (the papers) were all better than it felt like they were at the time. All of the books you see here were completed after I turned the last in on the 14th, in a kind of a delirious state, as I picked up every piece of entertainment that tempted me and cackled at not feeling guilty about it.

Now, or on Monday, school comes back; I'll post an exegesis of my new class schedule shortly. Meanwhile, I have two days to reorient my sleeping schedule so that I can catch that 9 AM bus. Um.

Neko Case has a song called 'Andy', which I think is actually a cover. I like it (musically, I mean), but -- maybe because she says my name separately and with emphasis -- it triggers a false positive in my sense of being addressed in a way that other songs that include it, like the one by the Killers or the one by REM, don't; it is a very peculiar feeling. I wonder if this is how people named Michelle or Cecilia feel all the time? (I dare not contemplate too long the complications of being a Roxanne.)
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I've been seeing some people do that thing where one reposts the first sentences from the first entry of each month. It occurs to me that if I did that, every single one would be a variation on 'here are some books I've read'; there is something kind of heartening in that. I didn't know if I was going to stick to this book-tracking thing, when I started. (Of course, there has been that paucity of other content to moderate my sense of achievement.)

Which reminds me, somewhat belatedly: Brendan asked me about Bull's Territory and Vernor Vinge in general. I spoke in carefully vague terms about the former, but the first paragraph of my response does contain a spoiler about the general direction of the plot in A Deepness in the Sky.

As many Bobs already know, IDEC is going to be in Vancouver this summer. David, who is (surprising no one) one of the major people taking charge of the organization, has asked me to write a short page for the rather inchoate website, explaining the notion of a democratic school; I'm having some trouble working out the phrasing. The effort has me thinking about my tendency to habitually underestimate just how radical a notion this actually is.

It's been a long time since I talked about Windsor House in my weblog. )

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Andy H.

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