wahlee: (Bad eggs)
2015-01-18 10:20 pm

Two Book Reviews. . . and Life (and a question)

I'm already behind on reviewing my Reading Challenge books, but I plead sickness-- last Saturday night I was on my way to bed when I slipped and fell down the last couple of stairs and twisted my ankle. It's doing much better than I would have expected that first night-- I felt like I was going to faint in the immediate aftermath, and my ankle was swollen and throbbing and really, really, hurting-- but it's made life a lot more difficult than I was hoping for this week. Getting to and from work, and not sleeping well at night, has been exhausting, leaving me without much mental capacity for writing. And then, on Friday night, I realized I was coming down with a cold, which hit me full force today especially. So I've done a good bit of reading, both Challenge books and otherwise. After all, I'm trying only to read what I haven't read before for the Challenge, and it's really hard for me to read new books at night when I'm trying to get to bed because I get interested and stay up all night. So I read the Challenge books during the day, and switch to something I've already read at night. Unless I have a cold and the Challenge book I'm currently reading is kind of depressing, and then I switch to Georgette Heyer and Robin McKinley during the day, too. Anyway.

So the first book I read for the Reading Challenge was a book over 500 pages. I chose:

The Well of Ascension )

For the second book, I realized that I had been approved for an eArc on NetGalley for a book that'd work great for the mystery/thriller category, so I skipped ahead on the list:

Dreaming Spies )

The next category on the Challenge is a classic romance-- which puts me in a bit of a pickle. As I said above, I want to read books I haven't read before for this challenge. I also want to read a nice, happy, story. But most of the lists of "classic romance" I've found while googling for ideas are populated with Jane Austen novels (all of which, of course, I have read multiple times), various Brontes (which I've either read or refuse to read *coughwutheringheightscough*), or are the star-crossed-lovers or depressing types (like Gone With the Wind). I actually started reading The Age of Innocence with the intention of using it for this category, but it's obvious it's going to be one of the depressing kinds-- so I'm using it for the Pulitzer Prize category instead. Which leaves me a dilemma.

Do I change my definition of "classic romance" to include books in the classic romance mode, but more modern? Do I decide to apply it to the Gothic Romance category instead (although they do usually have a love story)? Do I find a Fanny Burney or Sir Walter Scott or Maria Edgeworth that no one reads anymore and call it "classic"? Do I just decide to read Pride and Prejudice for the 287th time and call it good?

Or I could ask my flist for suggestions for a good, happy, classic romance that I might not have read yet. Help?
wahlee: (Lizzy)
2015-01-04 05:23 pm

A new post! (And a new resolve)

So I say this every year, but this time I mean it: I'm going to post more. I'm still reading, but just got out of the habit of posting. But now I've got a good reason to post, which will hopefully keep me at it.

Lots of stuff going on since my last post, which if you're following me on Twitter and/or Facebook, you probably already know. My last unmarried sibling (besides me) got married last August, and in May we welcomed her son, Joseph, to the family. He's now 7 months old and freaking adorable. Then in October, my brother's wife finally had a boy after 3 girls, Jack William. He's now 2 months old, and also freaking adorable. With two such cute babies in the family, life is never boring. I'm still working at the State Office of Education in Special Ed, and will be at least until August, when my pension is vested. Then we'll see. My dad was scheduled to have a kidney transplant last October, with my brother donating, but at the last minute they discovered that my brother has a normal sized-kidney and a very small kidney, and since he'd be left with the small one, they called the surgery off. So since I can't donate because I'm overweight (although I have lost 20 lbs this last year!) and no other viable candidate has been idenified, dad's still on the waiting list for a cadaver donor. Luckily his health has stayed about the same in the year since the transplant-that-wasn't, and he hasn't had to start dialysis. We expect at least another year and a half before he reaches the top of the list (because of his age and blood type). In November I tried to do NaNoWriMo and miserably failed, but I'm still trying to write the novel I started. And that's the more exciting things that have been happening lately.

This year, I decided to take the Popsugar Reading Challenge, as well as the Goodreads challenge (trying to read 100 books this year), and one I thought of all on my own-- read all the books Matilda Wormwood is mentioned as having read in Roald Dahl's Matildathat I haven't already read. So I've got a lot of reading to do. For the Popsugar challenge, I'm determined to read only books I haven't read before (except for the "book from your childhood" one), and to read a different book for each of the 50 categories (which means 52 books, since one of the categories is a trilogy) even when a book may count for more than one category. While I'm of course using Goodreads to document my progress, I thought I'd write reviews for the various books here (crossposted to the book blog I started and never did much with, but for which domain I've been paying for for several years). So you can expect at least 52 entries from me this year. What fun, eh? :)

The first book I'm reading is the "book over 500 pages." I chose to read The Well of Ascensionby Brandon Sanderson, which is the second in the Mistborntrilogy. I read the first book ages ago, but got distracted and never finished the trilogy. Since Sanderson's books are LOOOOONG, I figured this is a good excuse.

Hmm. I might have to do a paid account again. Not enough userpics. :P[

wahlee: (Default)
2014-02-15 02:48 pm
Entry tags:

Popping in for a quick question

I have a catching-up post in draft, but I thought I'd just pop in for a second to ask a couple of quick questions.

1) Are any of you thinking of going to LeakyCon this summer (you totally should if your aren't; it's a blast)?

2) If you are, would you like to be on a "I Survived the Harry Potter Shipping Wars" panel with me and [livejournal.com profile] connielane?

Let me know so I can add you to our programming proposal. :)
wahlee: (Default)
2013-06-27 08:51 pm

Full circle, kind of.

A little less than ten years ago, I got on an airplane all by myself and flew to a place full of people I'd never actually met before, but who I felt like I knew better than many in my real life. It was, barring meeting up with one local fan on a book release night, my first experience meeting people in real life that I had only known on the internet. Some I had interacted with for years, through a tiny little message board thread for a fifth-year fic full of the usual fifth-year-fic cliches--new DADA teacher who turns out to be a Weasley cousin, Voldemort fathers a child as part of his evil plan, "I'm serious, Black," etc.--but where some of the best and brightest of fandom gathered. Others I had admired from afar until thrown together by a momentary impulse which launched me into the bloody morass of the shipping wars. Some were only vaguely present to me-- a semi-familiar screen name from a fanfic archive forum. And then there were some that I had never encountered at all before I shook hands with or hugged them that night.

I discovered that weekend, and in the years since, that the line between internet friends and real friends is extremely nebulous, if it exists at all. As I greeted each new-old friend, finally putting faces and voices to screen names, it felt like I was greeting someone who I had seen weeks, if not days before, and we were just catching up. I never would have guessed, though, that ten years later, some of those people would have disappeared from my life, while some I see on a yearly (or more!) basis. Or that I'd be getting on a plane, all by myself, on my way to a place full of people I'd never actually met before. Again.

I'm missing the friends I met ten years ago, and the ones I met in the amazing gatherings that have happened since then. I'm marveling that the friend who slept on a roll-away bed in my hotel room ten years ago is now standing in front of 4,000 people, welcoming them to a convention celebrating all things geeky. I hope I'll be able to talk to her, once, this weekend. I look forward to Saturday when I'll see another friend I haven't been able to have actual face-time with for entirely too many years. But I also hope that this might be the beginning of friendships that will last as long as the ones I forged all those years ago. Because no one can ever tell me that true friendship can't start online.

I have ten years of memories to prove it.

(Yes, this post means I'm at LeakyCon. It's awesome so far, if a tiny bit lonely).

wahlee: (Lizzy)
2013-02-19 08:57 pm
Entry tags:

So I guess this is actually happening. . .

[profile] melissa_tlc has been posting recaps and theories on the Lizzie Bennet Diaries over at Leaky News. I have been posting comments. But she's going out of town on Thursday, and will be boarding an airplane at about the time the new video will be going up.

So. . . I guess I'm guest blogging at Leaky News on Thursday. Watch that space! :D
wahlee: (Love Teh CRAX)
2013-01-16 06:19 pm

If it turns out that the nanny did it, I'll never recover. . .

So, this is happening:

The dead girlfriend of Manti Te'o never actually existed.

Having lived through the Ms. Scribe Saga, both in real-time as my friends were getting accused of vile things and security at Nimbus was being discussed, and when the true story was told on Bad Penny, I can actually believe that he was the victim of an elaborate hoax, perhaps by a well-meaning friend who then got over his head.

I can also believe he was in on it the whole time.

More evidence is needed. Text messages on Manti's phone, for instance. A confession from Tuiasosopo.

Where's our favorite Plucky Girl Detective when we need her, eh?
wahlee: (Disagreeable)
2012-11-07 08:29 pm
Entry tags:

I'd like to thank my nose spray and decongestant for making this post possible.

Ugh, my friends. UGH. So two weeks ago I kept getting headaches every day. Weird headaches. As in, all the symptoms of a migraine except for minimal pain. I ended up going home from work early nearly every day. Then last Tuesday (I think. It might have been Wednesday? Hmmm. I'd better make sure, because I have to enter hours on Friday. Bleh) I started feeling horrible and went home early. Still felt horrible the next day. Bad cold. I worked half days the next couple of days, putting out various fires-- once my meds had a chance to work, mostly-- and hoped that the weekend would clear up the worst of the symptoms. And it seemed to. Until Sunday night, when I started feeling horrible again, like I was getting another cold. Which I think I did. Pretty sure I had two colds at the same time-- I was still congested from the first cold, and had the lovely hacking cough that tends to linger, but then started with the post-nasal drip and general crumminess of the early days of a cold. Then I developed a fever. Stayed home from work again yesterday. Still felt like crap today, but I made it through the whole day. Luckily, I have a goodly number of sick hours, but there was still work to be done that wasn't getting done. I can't afford to miss any more work.

I do get Monday off, though, for Veterans Day. There are perks to working for the government, sometimes.
wahlee: (Abuse Everybody)
2012-11-01 08:46 pm
Entry tags:

So. It's been a year. Umm. Sorry?

I was looking at my flist the other day and glanced over at the calendar and went-- oops. It says November 2011. It's not like I hadn't planned on posting more often-- I can even remember starting several entries-- but somehow, it just got away from me. I can't pretend that the less time-intensive mediums of Twitter and Facebook haven't been a big part of why I haven't posted, though. So if you follow me on either of those, at least you know I'm not dead.

Anyway, here I am, turning over a new leaf. I'm going to try my modified NaNoWriMo again-- 50,000 words, somewhere, somehow. Including on my LJ. Well, almost my LJ.

You see, while I was perusing my flist those few days ago, I read about the new friends' page which is soon to be thrust upon an unwilling LJ userbase. I took a look at it, and it is a whole world of DO. NOT. WANT. I mean, if I wanted a tumblr, I'd start one, right? So I, like so many of you, am switching to Dreamwidth. I'll still read my flist on LJ as long as people are posting on it, but I'm going to be writing my posts on DW and crossposting to LJ.

So since I have a year to catch up on, I think I'll spread out my updates on work and family and concerts and plays and all that jazz over several posts. For now-- HI, MY FRIENDS! I MISS YOU! :D
wahlee: (Kronk)
2011-11-15 09:38 pm
Entry tags:

November is a BAD month for NaNoWriMo

Work has been KICKING MY BUTT, PEOPLE. Super duper busy. And then I get home and have tons to do, and the end result of it is that it's now November 15 and I've written approximately 500 words. (Although if I counted all the emails I've sent at work, the last couple of weeks, I'd be at at least 15,000!) Luckily, though, the crunch time is mostly behind me. And next week is Thanksgiving, and I don't have to go in on Friday, so hooray for a 3 day work week! But then the week after that, I'm going to Disneyland with my brother and sister-in-law to visit my sister, who is working there for the Disney College Program this semester. So I basically have two weeks to write 49,500 words. Yeah, that's doable. :P I do have all sorts of posts planned.

Tonight I'm going to brag about my cute nieces and nephew, especially since it's been a while since I did any Proud Auntie Picspam.

Get ready to die from the cute )

Aren't I the luckiest aunt in the world? :D

(Notice, none of the kids could pronounce my name at first, but they all chose a different mispronunciation, and none of them emulated my brother with his Eh-wah-lee. I wonder what Jane will call me?)
wahlee: (Kronk)
2011-11-15 09:38 pm
Entry tags:

November is a BAD month for NaNoWriMo

Work has been KICKING MY BUTT, PEOPLE. Super duper busy. And then I get home and have tons to do, and the end result of it is that it's now November 15 and I've written approximately 500 words. (Although if I counted all the emails I've sent at work, the last couple of weeks, I'd be at at least 15,000!) Luckily, though, the crunch time is mostly behind me. And next week is Thanksgiving, and I don't have to go in on Friday, so hooray for a 3 day work week! But then the week after that, I'm going to Disneyland with my brother and sister-in-law to visit my sister, who is working there for the Disney College Program this semester. So I basically have two weeks to write 49,500 words. Yeah, that's doable. :P I do have all sorts of posts planned.

Tonight I'm going to brag about my cute nieces and nephew, especially since it's been a while since I did any Proud Auntie Picspam.

Get ready to die from the cute )

Aren't I the luckiest aunt in the world? :D

(Notice, none of the kids could pronounce my name at first, but they all chose a different mispronunciation, and none of them emulated my brother with his Eh-wah-lee. I wonder what Jane will call me?)
wahlee: (Unintelligible)
2011-11-03 10:32 pm
Entry tags:

Turning over a new leaf

I thought about doing NaNoWriMo. Not for a novel, because my only ideas for novels are still incredibly nebulous. Rather, I wanted to work on that non-fiction book I've been wanting to write. But unfortunately, the amount of research I'd have to do would preclude me from being able to write 50,000 words. Then [livejournal.com profile] hymnia came up with a great idea-- write 50,000 words in November. Anywhere. Great idea.

So some of those words will be here on my LJ. Others will be on my other blog (which I haven't mentioned here yet, but will). Even more will be on that nonfiction book (I can at least write about books I'm familiar with). Heck, I might even finish and/or write some of the fanfic I've had plot bunnies for. But hopefully, the effort will get me back into the habit of writing again. Because I really do miss it.

And in the meantime, I owe some major updates.

Guys, I can't tell you how wonderful my job is. The work itself is interesting, not least because I have so many different things I'm in charge of. My job title is Program Specialist, which is code for a high-level administrative assistant. I support 4 positions within the Special Education department at the state office of education (I figure there's no point hiding it, since, as a public employee, everything from my position to my salary is public information; besides, my name is posted on the USOE website anyway :P). The people I support are the Education Specialists in charge of Data (gathering, analyzing, and disseminating student information, from demographics to test scores), Finance (pretty much all aspects of funding, from allocating money to districts and charter schools to making sure they spend it legally, or at all), Assessment (involving both creating assessments and accommodations for students with disabilities), and Monitoring (making sure everyone is following the law and providing the best special education services possible). I am awash in a sea of acronyms (LEAs, FAPE in the LRE, OSEP, MOE, CEIS, etc., etc.) and government rules and regulations; I spend an awful lot of time with data and spreadsheets and numbers for an English major; I've become the defacto editor for my department; and I'm learning the nuances of administrating a custom-built website. After four months, I feel like I'm finally finding my feet. Mostly.

But the best part is that they like me. Hardly a week goes by when I don't get some kind of a compliment on my work or my intelligence or my skills. Just yesterday a guy who isn't even in our department was singing my praises to one of my bosses (who passed it on to me), then another boss said that taking notes is a waste of my skills and I'm too good to be working here. None of them seem to expect that I'll be there long-term because I'll be moving on to bigger and better things. I just can't tell you how nice it is to be appreciated.

And they bought me an iPad! I didn't even have to ask for it-- the IT gal in our department requested it for me, because part of my job description is to "provide high-level technical support" and so many people I work with use iPads. So she ordered me a white 64GB WiFi only one. And then told me once it got approved. (Even my boss only got a 32 GB!) I got it on Halloween, and between the pumpkin cooking contest (I entered pumpkin cupcakes and got an honorable mention) and costume contest (I wore my Jane Austen dress) and playing around with it, I admit I didn't get a whole lot done. It's fun so far, although I haven't really decided how much day-to-day use it will get. But it's nice to know I'm valuable enough to them for them to invest in an iPad for me. :)

More to come. :)
wahlee: (Unintelligible)
2011-11-03 10:32 pm
Entry tags:

Turning over a new leaf

I thought about doing NaNoWriMo. Not for a novel, because my only ideas for novels are still incredibly nebulous. Rather, I wanted to work on that non-fiction book I've been wanting to write. But unfortunately, the amount of research I'd have to do would preclude me from being able to write 50,000 words. Then [livejournal.com profile] hymnia came up with a great idea-- write 50,000 words in November. Anywhere. Great idea.

So some of those words will be here on my LJ. Others will be on my other blog (which I haven't mentioned here yet, but will). Even more will be on that nonfiction book (I can at least write about books I'm familiar with). Heck, I might even finish and/or write some of the fanfic I've had plot bunnies for. But hopefully, the effort will get me back into the habit of writing again. Because I really do miss it.

And in the meantime, I owe some major updates.

Guys, I can't tell you how wonderful my job is. The work itself is interesting, not least because I have so many different things I'm in charge of. My job title is Program Specialist, which is code for a high-level administrative assistant. I support 4 positions within the Special Education department at the state office of education (I figure there's no point hiding it, since, as a public employee, everything from my position to my salary is public information; besides, my name is posted on the USOE website anyway :P). The people I support are the Education Specialists in charge of Data (gathering, analyzing, and disseminating student information, from demographics to test scores), Finance (pretty much all aspects of funding, from allocating money to districts and charter schools to making sure they spend it legally, or at all), Assessment (involving both creating assessments and accommodations for students with disabilities), and Monitoring (making sure everyone is following the law and providing the best special education services possible). I am awash in a sea of acronyms (LEAs, FAPE in the LRE, OSEP, MOE, CEIS, etc., etc.) and government rules and regulations; I spend an awful lot of time with data and spreadsheets and numbers for an English major; I've become the defacto editor for my department; and I'm learning the nuances of administrating a custom-built website. After four months, I feel like I'm finally finding my feet. Mostly.

But the best part is that they like me. Hardly a week goes by when I don't get some kind of a compliment on my work or my intelligence or my skills. Just yesterday a guy who isn't even in our department was singing my praises to one of my bosses (who passed it on to me), then another boss said that taking notes is a waste of my skills and I'm too good to be working here. None of them seem to expect that I'll be there long-term because I'll be moving on to bigger and better things. I just can't tell you how nice it is to be appreciated.

And they bought me an iPad! I didn't even have to ask for it-- the IT gal in our department requested it for me, because part of my job description is to "provide high-level technical support" and so many people I work with use iPads. So she ordered me a white 64GB WiFi only one. And then told me once it got approved. (Even my boss only got a 32 GB!) I got it on Halloween, and between the pumpkin cooking contest (I entered pumpkin cupcakes and got an honorable mention) and costume contest (I wore my Jane Austen dress) and playing around with it, I admit I didn't get a whole lot done. It's fun so far, although I haven't really decided how much day-to-day use it will get. But it's nice to know I'm valuable enough to them for them to invest in an iPad for me. :)

More to come. :)
wahlee: (Go me!)
2011-08-05 12:54 pm
Entry tags:

I got it!!

I officially start on Monday! It's still sinking in. I have a job.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

wahlee: (Go me!)
2011-08-05 12:54 pm
Entry tags:

I got it!!

I officially start on Monday! It's still sinking in. I have a job.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

wahlee: (The Best Treatment)
2011-08-04 11:55 am
Entry tags:

The interview


It went well. Hard to know if I'll get it or not, but overall I think I did a good job of making a case for myself. Should hear in the next few days if I got it. So keep those fingers crossed!

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

wahlee: (The Best Treatment)
2011-08-04 11:55 am
Entry tags:

The interview


It went well. Hard to know if I'll get it or not, but overall I think I did a good job of making a case for myself. Should hear in the next few days if I got it. So keep those fingers crossed!

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

wahlee: (Salt Lake Skyline)
2011-08-03 07:44 pm
Entry tags:

So. The job.

It's been going really, really, well, which is-- well, not a surprise really, but much more than I hoped. My last job beat me down, my best efforts bringing nothing but criticism. So it feels really, really good to get "thank you" and "you do great work" and "I'm definitely on your team" from people who could potentially be my boss. Everyone is very friendly and supportive, which is great, and the work is interesting, although of course I'm only doing very low-level stuff at the moment.

But I'm still not getting my hopes up too high. As you've seen the last few months, I have just had too many "sure things" turn out to be anything but. I'm just grateful to be making a little money, gaining a little more experience (I learned how to create a fillable self-calculating PDF form the other day, complete with javascript, and am getting used to Windows 7 and Office 2010, both of which I haven't been able to use because I can't afford them) and a little bit of a boost to my self-esteem, and doing something productive for the first time in months. And if I get it, well, all the better. I can think of much worse places to land.

So tomorrow at 8:30 am MST I'm interviewing to go permanent. Think of me then, will you?
wahlee: (Salt Lake Skyline)
2011-08-03 07:44 pm
Entry tags:

So. The job.

It's been going really, really, well, which is-- well, not a surprise really, but much more than I hoped. My last job beat me down, my best efforts bringing nothing but criticism. So it feels really, really good to get "thank you" and "you do great work" and "I'm definitely on your team" from people who could potentially be my boss. Everyone is very friendly and supportive, which is great, and the work is interesting, although of course I'm only doing very low-level stuff at the moment.

But I'm still not getting my hopes up too high. As you've seen the last few months, I have just had too many "sure things" turn out to be anything but. I'm just grateful to be making a little money, gaining a little more experience (I learned how to create a fillable self-calculating PDF form the other day, complete with javascript, and am getting used to Windows 7 and Office 2010, both of which I haven't been able to use because I can't afford them) and a little bit of a boost to my self-esteem, and doing something productive for the first time in months. And if I get it, well, all the better. I can think of much worse places to land.

So tomorrow at 8:30 am MST I'm interviewing to go permanent. Think of me then, will you?
wahlee: (Default)
2011-08-01 03:38 am

MagicDust29


Pottermore screengrab
Originally uploaded by wahlee_98.

Huzzah!

wahlee: (Default)
2011-08-01 03:38 am

MagicDust29


Pottermore screengrab
Originally uploaded by wahlee_98.

Huzzah!