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Jul. 15th, 2012

So, obviously having a child is time-consuming. I am living proof of that. Look at the date of my last entry.

But look, I might be blogging again! The reason is that the baby (or is she now a toddler?) now goes to bed at 8 after her bath, and I therefore can do wild things like sit on the couch with a book, post inane stuff on Twitter, and read blogs. Wild, I tell you!

Here are the things that happened:
- got a job full-time working at an awesome indie bookstore -- very busy, but... books!
- got a haircut (really important, I swear, I had longish hair for a year or so and it was starting to drive me mad)
- child turned 1, which still feels unreal
- started posting short reviews on my Wordpress blog, http://spacetalkers.wordpress.com/

Any other news (I mean, other than Neil Gaiman writing a prequel to Sandman)?

Jan. 3rd, 2012

Dear LiveJournal,
am not dead. I realize it's 2012 now and I at least owe you a yearly book post. I've just been busy with 40 hours a week of work and baby.

Aug. 12th, 2011

You know what I think of as the height of luxury nowadays? Brush my teeth, lie down in bed, read a book, and then go to sleep. I haven't had any kind of nighttime routine in like a month and a half. There was one night like that, I think, and that's about it. So I am requesting this for my birthday. Boy, my standards really dropped.

Some nights are better than others. Sometimes Butterbean would eat, then go to sleep, I'd put her in the crib and we both sleep until she wakes up again. I figured since I have to wait for her to go to sleep before I leave her in the crib, I might as well use that time wisely. So I did quite a bit of reading in the past week, haha. Finished A Feast For Crows, Bill Bryson's Made In America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States (Bryson's good as always), and Daniel Abraham's The Dragon's Path (I think I expected too much of this book. It wasn't bad, but I seriously could not bring myself to care about any of the people or their political intrigue). A Dance With Dragons is on the way to me at the library, so that's next.

This weekend we might go to the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair to look at piglets and such. Funnel cakes and other assorted bad-for-you food, here I come.

Jul. 16th, 2011

So, Butterbean and I have been rereading The Song of Ice and Fire during our feeding sessions in preparation for Dance With Dragons (me doing the reading, Butterbean doing the eating and, presumably, listening). As one of my friends said, if she gets used to 'Books of Pain' early, it will make trauma from something like Bambi easier to bear. :)

I also read Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle. It was part of a collection of novels in the Library of America edition. I have to say, it is rather odd to read a sci-fi novel with ENDNOTES. I was also somewhat underwhelmed by it. I had to go and do some background reading on it, and I have to say there is a reason writers don't use divination tools to decide the plot.

My sleep and the overall rhythm of life are entirely screwed up. Well, duh, obviously. One of the reasons I'm rereading ASOIF is to stay sane, to feel like I can still do some stuff I used to do before I had a baby -- read lots, watch stuff, go out to eat (been out twice with Butterbean in tow -- dropped bacon and bits of fried oyster po-boy on her head). We are now watching True Blood season 3. Languages are on hiatus -- they require a bit more mental concentration than I can muster right now. So here I am, wide awake at 2 am because the last nap I took was at 8. Right now I basically feel like the only reason I exist is to feed this creature. I am a walking dairy farm. My entire schedule is built around 'baby feeding -- baby not feeding'  times. Sometimes she insists that feeding needs to happen every hour. She grew an inch in a week, no wonder she was hungry (that growth spurt thing -- they won't kidding about that).

My other problem is that I forget to eat. Or find myself unable to find time to make anything to eat. This is pretty bad, since I'm supposed to be putting away food like it's going out of style, and because my digestive system was somewhat screwed up by the pain meds and the surgery. My mom's cooking didn't really help, I think. Ugh.


Jun. 13th, 2011

I'm still alive. Well, as alive as one can be at 37 weeks. There are days when I need three naps, for example (true story). I seem to have doubled in size (at least that's what it feels like) in the past week. I have trouble breathing, all that jazz.

I've done exciting things like laundry, meeting the pediatrician, ordering diaper service, and having car seat inspected. I've also reading a lot of sci-fi, some of it pretty old. I should perhaps post some reading update. After I do some more laundry, maybe.


May. 3rd, 2011

Annoying pregnancy insomnia strikes again. Basically, half the time if I wake up at 5 am for some reason, I can't go back to sleep till about 7. Today it was mostly because the baby was squirming no matter what position I was in. Honestly, she is not even outside yet, and she's already keeping me awake.

In other news, started learning Swedish for no sensible reason. I'm still doing Spanish, but it, while being useful, is somehow not as fun. If you've ever learned languages, you know that 'useful' does not come into it. I'm afraid that next time I can't sleep, I am going to start on Icelandic or something.

Watching: hockey playoffs, Dexter, Castle, True Blood. Watched the first episode of Game of Thrones and, while I think it's as good an adaptation as it can be, I am not all that psyched about it anymore. I'll probably watch it later in one long marathon. I started rereading the books though, since the new one finally comes out in July.

In other book news, Jo Walton's Among Others. Wow. What a great book. Probably the best one I've read this year so far (though right now I am plowing through Pat Rothfuss's Wise Man's Fear, which is also great). It has inspired me to read some old sci-fi -- we own quite a bit, and what we don't own, you can get on Abebooks or Amazon marketplace for like 3 bucks (not that I have money, but 3 bucks now and then is not going to leave me starving). I started with Larry Niven's Ringworld, mostly because I was passing by the bookshelf and saw it. Odd book. I can see why people liked it, there are some great ideas in it, but the only plot it has is the one I had in my 7th grade sci-fi novel, namely, 'let's go explore this weird alien artifact and tell you all about it'. People also griped that all women in the book are just there to sleep with men. Which is quite true, but it didn't quite piss me off as much in this book as in some other, more recent, stuff I've read (I'm looking at you, Peter V. Brett). To be honest, I try to stay away from discussions about 'male authors writing awful and flat female characters'. Those always degenerate into hardcore feminist rants and aren't useful. Let's have some equality -- I'm pretty sure there is a whole bunch of one-dimensional male characters written by female writers floating around.

Mar. 7th, 2011

Spent some time writing in my awful Spanish and French on Lang-8. It's a pretty cool site, I registered there a long time ago with grand visions of writing philosophical essays in Japanese. Or one-paragraph stories about what I ate for breakfast, don't remember which now.  You post your atrocious pieces of writing and get corrections from native speakers. In return, you try not to be an ass and correct other people's writing. It's quite amazing how good some people are at Russian. The only problem is that their servers are run by drunken hamsters, so it's sometimes hard to access, especially in the morning. Their user base seems to be 70% Korean and Japanese, so I guess those people crash the servers at that time.

We lucked out and came upon some huge baby yard sale on Saturday. Lots of good stuff, some of it not even used or worn. Brought home a mountain of stuff.

This was just part of the baby stuff deluge. We suddenly have a playard and a crib. The crib was obviously designed by aliens, since the assembly required at least two people, both of them with three hands. Not to mention the instructions were likely written by some grandma in a remote Chinese village. Although there was also an element of stupidity there, since for some reason we did not notice there were two types of bolts, which led to much grumbling, throwing of screwdrivers, and partial disassembly halfway through. Well, it's up now, if somewhat scratched in places (if you look carefully). It's kind of big, even though we did not get the monumental Louis XIV-style crib that seems to be the style right now. It also discombobulated me last night quite a bit, since for me it's a sign that baby is real. And it's a piece of furniture I never thought I'd see in my room. Or maybe it's because it won't be used for another four months, and the caveman parts of my brain are screaming that it's somehow bad luck.

Books read in February 2011

After the crazy 20+ book January, this list seems really short. I blame it on Spanish.

1. Nick Reding, Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town
2. Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio
3. Jim Butcher, Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files
4. Sean McMullen, Souls in the Great Machine
5. Isaac Bashevis Singer, Shosha
6. Emma Bull, Bone Dance
7. Amélie Nothomb, Stupeur et Tremblements
8. Gennady Gorelik w/ Antonina Bouis, The World of Andrei Sakharov

Kind of an eclectic assortment, I must say. We have two non-fiction books, one book in French, two what I would say are 20th century classics, plus sci-fi/fantasy/urban fantasy. Notice there aren't any bold titles. I honestly thought none of those were particularly amazing. There were good ones, just not bold type-worthy.

Feb. 22nd, 2011

Funny how your world-view changes in pregnancy. You become like some tigress, who is on constant alert for stuff that might hurt her cubs. For one thing, your sense of smell becomes out of this world. Someone sprayed some bleach on the other floor of the house-- you can smell it. Someone burnt their barbecue two houses away -- you smell it.

The second thing is that you begin to read labels. Your drugs get categorized into categories. You can no longer roll out of bed with a headache, go blindly to the medicine cabinet and attempt to shoot some Excedrin into your eyeballs. Anything of medicinal value that you put in your mouth has to be identified and checked to see if it's okay to ingest (and in a lot of cases, the answer is actually no -- bye bye Excedrin). At parties you have to tell people that you don't drink. Thankfully, my friends are awesome and not stupid, so I was even thoughtfully offered a 'mocktail' at the last party.

You start paying more attention to what you put in your mouth in general. You try to remember to drink all those glasses of water (which was seriously hard for me, as I was a camel and could go without water for days). You think you probably shouldn't eat those chips because there's more salt in them than in the Dead Sea. Words like 'calcium' and 'iron' flash in big neon letters in your brain. You become this crazed healthy person they show you in the commercials, who gets full servings of vegetables and daily fiber and tries to exercise every day. And all that because it's not really for you. Your body has been hijacked by this alien spawn, and the spawn is demanding bone-building material and blood and vitamins and maybe something sweet now and then, so she can get hyper and start punching you in the bladder.


Feb. 14th, 2011

So, for those of you who are wondering whether I´ll end up reading 20 books in February, the answer is no. The reason is because a couple of weeks ago I had decided: I have what, about 4.5 months before the bundle of joy arrives? Why not spend this time learning Spanish! For real. And so I started doing this, and it's going quite well. In the middle of it, I decided 'well, while I am learning Spanish, why not bring my French back from the dead?' And the amazing thing is that not only French is coming back at an alarming rate, but it's actually helping my Spanish in some mysterious way. My original thought was that they were both going to mix up hopelessly in my head. And for the first few days I did say awesome things like 'je pense qu'elle tiene frío', but that pretty much stopped. I think mostly because my French is so obviously better than my Spanish, just very rusty.

And so today I was sitting on the couch surfing YouTubes (always a dangerous activity), when a thought came into my head: 'My roommate is going to Korea in a couple of days. You know what would be fun? To learn how to read Korean!'. Yes, I know, when thoughts like that come into their heads and seem like fun, most people check themselves into a nice mental institution far in the country. So I learned to read Hangul. Mostly. I'm sure half of it is gone from my head already, but that's not the point.

In any case, I'll be glad if I finish 10 books this month.

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