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Sep. 3rd, 2014

What are you currently reading?

Unlike when I made my last post, I am allowed to read things on my Kindle this month. After a month of barely touching the thing, this is exciting! Here's what I'm reading on it:

The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers - I received the second book in this series, The Alchemaster's Apprentice, for Christmas a while back and really liked it, so I thought it was about time to pick this one up. A lot of the reviews complained that there's no overarching story, so I went into it prepared for that, and am thinking of it as more of a series of interconnected short stories. So far, it's a lot of fun. I love the imagination and how whimsical it is. It feels like a children's book in adult form, if that makes any sense.

Baba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka Ugresic - This is one of the award-winning fantasy/scifi books that I'm working on reading. I'm not really thrilled with it, to be honest. I think part of that is that I'm unfamiliar with the Baba Yaga legend, so I'm not picking up on the allusions that she's making. The other part is that this doesn't feel like a fantasy novel. It feels more like literary fiction, which is not what I expected. Oh, and it's just kind of boring. There's interesting thoughts and images, but a lot of it has been pretty lost on me.

Why Have Kids? by Jessica Valenti - This is part of a new initiative on my part to read more nonfiction. I'm finding it very interesting, as motherhood and our societal expectations in regard to motherhood are not something I've ever really thought about.

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished:

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes - I felt like the writing wasn't great, and so the story suffered a little. Still, it'll be worth it to read the rest of the series, and I have hopes that the writing may improve.

Pawnee by Leslie Knope - Anniversary gift. Lots of fun if you're a fan of Parks and Recreation, which I most certainly am. They did a great job with the character voices, and it was a fun way to pass the time.

On Writing by Stephen King - I really liked this. I thought there was a lot of interesting and good advice about writing, and it made me feel a little more hopeful about my own writing.

What will you read next?

Migration by Julie Czerneda is high on my list, along with Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal. I'm thinking Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg will be next for nonfiction.

What are you watching?

I have just one more episode in Life, which is exciting. I've also been watching Bleach.

J and I watched The Purge last night, which was good, but not quite as good as I'd hoped it would be. I got pretty mad at the main character. Still, decent flick.


Sep. 3rd, 2014

Had a job interview this morning for a medical billing position. It doesn't specifically require accounting education, but the boy convinced me to at least look at it, and I don't see that medical billing is that much different from any other accounts receivable position, in the long run. That said, I am now very torn on what I should do if I get a job offer.

See, the starting salary is only $11/hour. I was really looking more for $13 or $14/hour. More would be great. Even $12 is an improvement over what I'm making now. $11...that's going to leave me with the exact same salary I'm making right now. It's a salary that I'm able to get by on, but not be very happy about. :(

The job itself looks fine. I think I could be happy doing the job. Not forever, but for a while. That pay is really the problem. I guess the boy and I will be doing a lot of talking tonight about what I should do if I do get the offer. And maybe I won't, and it's probably a sign that I shouldn't take the job when the thought of not getting it is kind of a relief. Or just a sign that I don't like to make decisions, especially tough ones like this.

This one is going to take some thought.


Sep. 2nd, 2014

It's been almost a month since I posted! Oh no!

I had a mental breakdown last night that led to me barely sleeping last night, so I am exhausted! Oh no!

I am going to stop being obnoxious now! Oh no!

So, life progresses. I should be writing actual fiction right now, but as mentioned, am exhausted. Also, have the day off tomorrow, so I will endeavor to play catch-up then.

I have the day off because I have an interview at the local hospital for a billing position. Not sure I even want the job (that's part of what my breakdown was about last night), but at least it will be interview practice, and I can at least consider the job and make an informed decision about whether or not I think it's right for me.

It's such a weird feeling, considering turning down potential job offers. I interviewed for the supervisory position at my current job today, which I will definitely turn down if offered. Not only is it not what I want to do, but it also was presented as not being terribly secure. The state is actually going to be taking over a large portion of the duties of that job in about February, so no, not a risk I need to be taking. I had thought the billing might be ok, but I now suspect that it might be a lot of telephone work, and I really hate talking on the phone all the time. So. Might be holding out for something else to pop up.

Right now, the only accounting job posted is for an actual accountant at an accounting firm, but they want 3-5 years of experience on top of a Bachelor's degree, and their benefits are kind of shitty. Only one week of paid vacation a year for the first five years? Seriously? Would it kill you to make it an even two? Even if I had the experience they want, I think the answer to that would be a big fat no. So, it looks like a waiting game. I will hope and pray for an accounting position in one of the area factories to pop up, and deal with my current job until then. It just feels so weird not to jump at whatever's offered. Like I'm going to jinx myself and not end up with any job at all.

OK, I guess that's my update. I will try to mention the books I'm reading tomorrow, since I keep feeling the urge to talk about my reading. Until then!


Aug. 5th, 2014

I have a job interview tomorrow, for a local factory that is in need of a low-level accounting person. I am nervous and really want the job, so I've been practicing interview questions and brushing up on Excel and in general just obsessing, so I really hope I get it. I've basically given up on the supervisory position that I had applied for where I currently work. They're taking forever, and some aspects of the job are completely crappy and I hate them, so I think I'll be better off trying to get an actual accounting job. In addition to the one I interview for tomorrow, I am submitting an application for another one that is literally just down the street from my house. Should get that in tomorrow.

Anyway, I skipped out on my reading post last week, but am kind of feeling the urge to do one now, so I am going to, even though it's a day early.

What are you currently reading?

I am doing something different this month. I have forbidden myself my Kindle, and am instead focusing on just reading books that I have physical copies of. This was spurred by two Saturdays ago, when I came home with two new books, looked at all the books I had that I hadn't read, and realized that I'm never going to come even close to catching up. So, I'm going to be alternating months for a while, with August being a month for just physical books, and then September being a month where I'll be allowed my Kindle again.

Currently, I am reading:

Learning to Bow by Bruce Feiler - A memoir of his year spent teaching English in Japan. It's quite interesting, but I believe this experience took place in the late '80s, so a little dated. Still, I'm seeing a lot of insight into some of the behaviors that I also saw when I studied in Japan. I'm about halfway through, and enjoying it quite a bit.

Stormlord's Exile by Glenda Larke - This is the last book in this series. I'll be sad to see the series end. :( I really enjoy the characters and the setting. The first two books were five-star reads for me, and I expect nothing less of this one, which I am almost halfway through.

Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire - Seanan McGuire is always mentioned as one of the top authors of paranormal romance/urban fantasy, so when the first book of her Incryptids series showed up at the last Penguin warehouse booksale, I had to pick it up. So, definitely living up to expectations. I like the premise of a family of cryptozoologists, I'm digging the romance between Verity and Dominic, and the plot has been progressing at a nice clip. Seanan McGuire is definitely making me want to read more of her books.

What did you recently finish reading?

Stormlord Rising by Glenda Larke - I wasn't quite as into it as the first book in the series, but it was still a damn good read. Lots of things happened, and you certainly can't accuse this book of being filler.

Prodigy by Marie Lu - Awesome! I loved the first two books of this series, and am seriously hoping that I'll be able to pick up the final one at the next Penguin Warehouse booksale that's coming up in November. So excited to read it!

What will you read next?

Probably Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes and On Writing by Stephen King. Maybe Shadow Walker by Sandy Williams at work, since I'm feeling the paranormal romance/urban fantasy.

What are you watching?

For TV series, I still have been watching Psych and Life, with some Criminal Minds thrown in.

For movies, J and I watched The Heat, which was awesome and I want to own. We also watched the Evil Dead remake, which was fine as far horror movies go, but didn't seem to be the spiritual successor of the other Evil Dead movies. And we saw Lucy in theaters, which was fun, but not great.

Jul. 29th, 2014

Tuesdays. I hate them. So I must need a happy things post!

- got myself largely caught up on work again (other than the phone calls, which I am quite deliberately spacing out because I'm fed up with them), which is nice

- have embarked on a month of reading actual print books, which is interesting

- J has a couple of different job options, one of which could pay $25/hour to start, which we're both quite excited about (he is also quite nervous, but I suppose that is to be expected, especially since he had just applied for a different job, thinking that this job was taken, and now he's got an interview for the job he wants less, and is unsure what his course of action should be)

- we're having a night at home, which is really good. we've been on the run for the past several days, and i'm kind of tired out

- i'm hoping to hear something this week about one of the jobs i applied for. i am debating calling them on friday, but am not sure that's a good idea. monday might be better. :/

- tomorrow is wednesday and i'll be halfway through the week!

Jul. 24th, 2014

Had a good day! J had good news at work (that he is free to transfer out of his department whenever he finds something else), so he's been happy, which makes me happy. So, we went to town for some shoes for him, plus a wedding gift for tomorrow's wedding. And then Taco Bell for dinner.

I bought a couple hair things, but was disappointed to find that the thingie from Conair that's supposed to let you have an easy French twist is too little to contain all my hair, so you can't faster the barette. I tried fastening it at the end of my hair, but then it's really hard to roll up because my hair's down to the middle of my back, and midway through I just get so much hair going that everything slips out. So, guess I'll be returning that. :( The other clip I got worked ok, though, so at least that's something.

Anyway, reading post!

What are you currently reading?

Stormlord Rising by Glenda Larke - Second book in the Stormlord series. Still really enjoying this, but it's long and the one of my books that I read the least, so it's taking the longest.

The Sky Road by Ken MacLeod - There's just something about MacLeod's writing that makes it very hard for me to understand where he's going with things, and that's part of why I don't find it enjoyable. He's also not good with character relations, and since that's my big draw, I really don't enjoy his work. Probably another 100 pages in this, and I'll be happily finished.

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray - I'm liking this one better than the first. The friendship between the girls is more convincing in this one, and I'm more into Gemma's romantic options too. (Rooting for Kartik, though, if anyone. Simon gives me a creepy feeling.) I also really like the insights into the times and conditions for various peoples. I'm sure I'll continue right on to The Sweet Far Thing when I'm done with this one.

Legend by Marie Lu - Started this one at work the other day and am loving it. This is what I want from my young adult books! I like both the main characters, there's lots of action, and there's some serious stuff going on in the government that I am really looking forward to learning more about. I am hooked. :D

What did you recently finish reading?

Most recently, I finished Heaven is for Real, which my parents gave me to read. It was only 150 pages, so it took about two hours. I wasn't really convinced by all the views presented. I feel like they underestimated the things that a little kid could have picked up on, and I don't like that they used that as incontrovertible evidence. Still, it wasn't the most terrible book ever.

What will you read next?

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray. Prodigy by Marie Lu. Stormlord's Exile by Glenda Larke. And something random from my award-winners list. :)

What are you watching?

I've been watching Life a lot, the detective series from a few years ago. It only got two seasons, but I greatly enjoyed the first one, so I've rewatched that, and am now on the second season. It's good.


Jul. 16th, 2014

Holy crap, this is actually the right day for this, right? I am impressed with myself. :D

What are you currently reading?

Stormlord Rising by Glenda Larke - Second book in the Stormlord series. I loved the first book, and I'm pretty much loving the second as well. There is just something about the way that Glenda Larke writes a story that absolutely floats my boat. Part of it's the world-building, I think, and part of it's the characters, and then there's just this awesome synergy between the two that makes it totally work for me.

The Sky Road by Ken MacLeod - I have a spreadsheet with bunches of books that have won or been nominated for scifi and fantasy awards, and this is one of those. This is the final book of his Fall Revolution series, and I have enjoyed none of the others, but I am a completionist freak, so I'm reading it, and hoping that Ken MacLeod doesn't come up on my radar again for quite a while. I am several chapters in, and couldn't even really tell you what it's about - a quest for lost history, perhaps? - which I think says a lot.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray - This one is the result of a random number generator taken to my to-read list on Goodreads, and I am quite happy with it. It's quite good, although maybe not as amazing as I had heard? I am debating just breezing through the entire trilogy at a go, but am pretty captivated by the Stormlord books, but may put this one off a bit.

Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls - I gave this to my mom for her birthday, and she really liked it, which means I have to read it. Memoirs and whatnot are not my usual fare, but it's pretty good, and she certainly did live an interesting life. It's amazing to think that things were so desperate and uncivilized (is that the word I want?) even just a short hundred years ago.

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished The Westing Game a few days ago, which was OK, but a little too much of a children's book for me to thoroughly enjoy it. Also, I finally finished The Complete Robot, which was very good, but hard for me to focus on, as short stories are not my thing. Oh, and The New Moon's Arms, which was really good. Mermaids, but good mermaids! Very, very impressed with that one.

What will you read next?

Probably the next Stormlord book. Maybe the next book in the Gemma Doyle series.

What are you watching?

We've been watching Red vs Blue the past few nights, which is always good for a laugh. I also started Madoka Magica, which I quite like so far. Not at all what I expected, and probably the better for it. Other than that, some Psych, some Scrubs. Nothing with any great devotion. I've been in more of a reading mood.


Happy things!

Happy things for today:

- got enough sleep that I no longer feel sick

- got to spend the day with J

- got Panera Bread for lunch, which was pretty decent, if not great

- J made me dinner (and it was delicious)

- finished reading The Complete Robot finally, which was good, but dragged because I have quite a short attention span for short stories

- got to read quite a bit of Stormlord Rising by Glenda Larke and A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray today as well

- painted my nails without messing them up too badly

- in all, had a quite happy and relaxing day

Jun. 23rd, 2014

I need a happy things post, because today was stressful and I didn't like it a lot. So, these things made me happy today:

- I slept well, and was able to sleep later than I have been

- I still got up with enough time to get ready and then spend a half hour messing around online

- I have a supportive co-worker who lends her superior life experience to me when I am desperately in need of it

- I think I have mostly figured out how to handle the stressful bit of my job that I will be encountering tomorrow, although it will probably still be quite stressful

- tomorrow should be a quieter day, especially once that little bit of it is done

- I had Subway for dinner, and it was delicious

- it will also provide me with part of my lunch tomorrow

- I did yoga to help myself relax, and I feel less stressed now than I have in about a week, so it seems it was successful

- I now get to make the delightful choice of whether I am going to read more Needful Things or whether I am going to watch more Psych.

Apr. 29th, 2014

Wednesdays are not productive days for me, and I am pretty much out of concentration for studying, so updating my reading report. :) (Also, waiting for other people to move in Storium. Don't want to hog the story.)

What are you currently reading?

At work, The Heiress Bride by Catherine Coulter. I am on a quest to read some of my books that I don't think I'll be interested in keeping, so I can put them up for sale at the hypothetical lawn sale we will have this summer. It is pretty terrible, and I really should abandon it, but I'm more than halfway through, and it's short, so I'll finish. But seriously. The male love interest is an ass and a rapist, and I wouldn't mind seeing him die. Perhaps there will be a twist ending where the heroine kills him?

On the kindle, I have three books. The Complete Robot by Isaac Asimov is short stories, so I'm only occasionally poking at it. I am more focused on finishing Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, which is nonfiction narrative about life in a slum in Mumbai. It's terrible and enlightening and real, and I'm going to need to read something significantly less serious next to compensate for it. Also, The Soldier of the Mists by Gene Wolfe, which is an alternate history (?) about a soldier back in ancient Greece who gets a head wound and gains the ability to see gods, but loses the ability to remember pretty much anything. I was really into this at first, but I think I've hit a point where I'm ready for something more to happen, so I've slowed down on it.

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff last week. It was a fun romp, felt quite fanfic-y, which is one of the things I like about Tanya Huff's writing. I liked the way she just threw me into the story and didn't explain things and yet somehow still kept me from getting frustrated. I have the second book in the series, and am looking forward to reading it the next time I need a break from serious business.

What will you read next?

I had been thinking The Fault in our Stars by John Green, but I'm thinking that might be a little too depressing after Behind the Beautiful Forevers, so I think I'll just poke around in my Kindle for something that piques my interest.

What are you watching?

One Piece! I am only about 40 (?) episodes behind now, and closing fast! This is the closest to caught up I've ever been on this series, so I'm quite excited. Love these characters so much! <3


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