Monthly Archives: September, 2005

oh my GOD

Oh my GOODNESS.

Eggs

Oh my GOODNESS! I came home after Macbeth (sorry, The Scottish Play) tonight and looked at my fish and this is what I saw!! The Monster Angels were patrolling, so I can only think that they are the parents! Although I am positive that I saw the white one take a few nibbles of the clump, so they are both protecting and eating… EEK! How exciting. Again!

Cuban Pete

J has finally realised that the cloach’s name is Cuban Pete. Why? Because that’s the song that Jim Carrey sings in The Mask, and he thinks that the cloach looks like he’s dancing when he shimmies at the front of the tank. You can find the song on the net, but I’m not going to link to it… that’s, like, immoral and stuff.

It also reminds me that whenever I spell something ending with Y I want to say “Whhhyyyy? cos I gotta!” thanks to the same movie (P-A-R-T- Why…).

Revisiting old posts

How interesting. I was looking back over some old posts and realised that I hadn’t actually accounted for some fish that I had mentioned, way back in about April I think it was. Well… it said then that we bought three cloaches, and one of them died. The one that I moved to the main tank survived, and is now cruising about the tank very happily; the other one, that was already looking a bit sickly in the qt, died. So did the two new bristlenoses; I wonder whether they too ought to have straight to the main tank. Sigh. We moved some of the neons to the main tank, and the glowlights too. So the main tank now has:
2 Monster Angels
1 normal angel
1 cloach
7 or so Colombian tetras
8 or so widows
8 or so glowlight tetras
7 or so neon tetras
8 or so harlequin rasboras
1 bristlenose catfish (Fido)
2 Siamese Algae Eaters

And the qt has a few neons and the Last of the Babies (mollies, that is).

Archaeology

I bought this magazine while in Darwin; it’s from the US, so it’s quite expensive over here. It’s a fascinating magazine, covering digs and finds all over the world (ish; I’m sure there are lots of things that get left out, but maybe that’s just a fact of life and the magazine world). I bought the next issue when I got home, and then decided that I would like to keep doing so – so Mum has got me a subscription for my birthday; my first copy should arrive right around my birthday, actually. Very exciting. I love it because there are things in there I would never read about otherwise – like ceynotes, or sink holes, in South America and the evidence for ritual sacrifices near/in them. And of course it also includes the stuff that I would deliberately read, like about Egypt.

I tried the Australian magazine as well, but I just found it… too amateurish, maybe. It didn’t have as many articles about interesting things, and the writing left me a bit cold. Sad, really.

Hell Island

A Matthew Riley book; I got it for free when I bought a couple of books in the “Fifty Amazing Reads” or whatever it was promotion. It was very short, but quite entertaining. I’ve only read one other Riley, and I quite liked it too, but the same things annoyed me – too much gratuitous use of italics, mostly, and a few too many exclamation marks! Again, though – as with Cussler – I quite like the adventures, so I am willing to put up with a few annoyances. As long as I have breaks between reading them, so I can partially forget about it in the meantime.

Another Borders 3 for 2 deal – The Little Lady Agency, Almost French, Ewan McGregor

The Little Lady Agency, by Hester Browne
This is not the sort of book I would usually read – really, really not. However… I was looking for a third to round out my group, and this caught my eye. I read the first couple of pages (not, like a friend of mine, a few pages in the middle of the book, randomly chosen), and I thought it looked quite funny. So I bought it. And I read it, and I really quite enjoyed it. It’s that classic tale of someone pretending to be someone they are not – but in this case, being paid for it. The characters were amusing; I liked that it was from the first person, and I really liked that Melissa is very definitely not Bridget Jones (which I refuse to see or read), because she is generally fine with her appearance, only grousing about it as much as a ‘normal’ chick. It was terribly funny to see the portrayals of the upper-class girls and boys: I wonder if the author herself is from the upper echelons… I would be surprised if she didn’t at least have some real contact with it. It got a little bit wearisome in parts, with Melissa worrying about whether she loves someone and if he likes her or not, but the wearisomeness didn’t realistically last that long. I liked it, overall; I can see that this could potentially have a sequel, but I’m not convinced that I would read it.

And I haven’t read the other two yet, so I will post about them when I have.

Borders 3 for 2 – Eragon, Inkheart, Trojan Odyssey

Even though it is part of the Evil American Empire Taking Over the World, I really do like Borders; especially their 3 for 2 tables. I know all about impulse buying and luring people in to buy things they don’t really need, and I don’t really mind that it sometimes works on me.

Eragon, by Christopher Paolini
I didn’t realise, until I got to the author bit at the end, that this was written by a teenager… although I had guessed that it was a first novel, by some of the clunkier bits in it. But I really loved this book; it’s got some good ideas and some great characters, and it’s obvious that it can be developed, probably into a trilogy – I know the second one is out now. I like that there are a couple of secrets not revealed and questions not resolved, and that these haven’t been played up too heavily in the story; there hasn’t been a whole lot of griping about them, nor have there been many clues, so I at least am not positive about how they will be resolved. I am definitely going to read the rest. I like being back with dragons!

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
This book captured my heart. It’s fantastic. Whoever translated it was brilliant; I can’t even imagine how hard translation work like that must be. I love that there were quotes from different books, real books, at the start of each chapter; it’s such a nice touch, particularly when I knew and loved some of them – The Neverending Story (which of course was written in German originally), and The Princess Bride, to mention only two. It’s also given me some new books to find! But back to Inkheart… lots of people have thought about meeting the characters from books, but this is a whole new twist on the idea, and it was very well realised. The characters are wonderful, the intricacies of the plot are brilliant. It’s a kid’s book – teenagers maybe – which is partly obvious from the hints you get throughout that the heroine, at least, has a future after the adventure; my gosh, though, I would recommend this to adults with no hesitation. I’m also going to buy the author’s first book, Thief Lord, which I saw in the shop the other day.

Trojan Odyssey, by Clive Cussler
After Valhalla Rising, I swore that I would read no more Cussler books… it was all just getting way, way too tacky for me, and so formulaic I felt I could guess what Dirk and Al would say to each other. But then I saw this on the 3 for 2 table, and my itchings to keep following their adventures got the better of me. Even though I knew the writing would be a bit painful, I was willing to put up with it for the sake of the adventures. And I was as right as I knew I would be: the writing was a bit boring, some bits were excruciatingly average, but the adventure was a whole lot of fun. Given the ending, I am pretty sure this will be the last Dirk Pitt adventure. I really, really hope that Cussler doesn’t think he can continue the franchise with Dirk Jnr; that would be just wrong. I’m thinking now of going back to the old books and seeing for myself whether it was me or the writing that got old. But I don’t think I will read the other Cussler series; I just don’t have the emotional attachment to the characters to be willing to put myself through it.

Faking Literature

It’s been ages since I wrote about any of the books I’ve read, so I’m going back just a little way in time to comment on some of them.

This book, Faking Literature, I picked up at Readings from the cheapo academic table, partly because hoaxes/fakes fascinate me, but also because the author, Ken Ruthven, was the lecturer of a couple of subjects I did at uni. He was pretty hard to handle in first year – I really didn’t get it – but in second year I thought he was fantastic. I guess I’d grown up enough to understand him and his humour, not to mention lit crit.

This book is, of course, all about fakes and hoaxes in the literary world, and I learnt an awful lot about Great Scams in Literature. It was good to see that he included those few great Aussie ones, too – Helen “Demidenko” and Ern Malley; as well as Milli Vanilli, which was pretty funny. But given that he included that last, I was a bit surprised that he did not include Elizabeth Durack, a white female artist, and her great scam posing as Eddie Burrup, an Aboriginal male artist. The only reason I know about it, of course, is that it’s one of the family’s great stories. Anyway.

Aside from the historical pointof view, the book is also about the reactions of the ‘legit’ literary community to the deception – particularly when they have at first embraced the hoax/fake as itself being legit. His contention, I think, is that the legit vilifies the so-called illegit to stop people from questioning the legitimacy of the legit itself, and also becuase it is only legit by defining itself against the illegit. I love it… dichotomies only exist by defining what each side isn’t, which can only be done with reference to their opposite.

It was a great book. Quite easy to read, which was refreshing, and with some quite witty parts as well. And I’m sure Ken would be gratified to hear that I think so.

Flowers! And it’s the first day of Spring!

Hurrah for Spring.

I got my first viola yesterday! I am so excited; it is beautiful. And it reassures me that the other plants might also eventually flower, in their time. All of the plants at least look healthy, so that’s a good thing.

I also have a couple of daffs in the back yard, which is blissful. And the roses are taking off like weeds after I fertilised them. And… I have one helleborus with flowers on it… the other one that’s been in the ground a while hasn’t flowered and doesn’t look remarkably happy. The new one I planted (did I mention that?) does look healthy, so hopefully next year will reward me with some winter roses.

And I managed not to kill the daisy out the front; how remarkable.