proustbot: (the best hill driven by black wine)
I went home for a little while and finished a "evil/pragmatic playthrough" on Dragon Age: Origins. Because I was playing without a walkthrough, I managed to alienate Wynne and had to kill Shale, and then I obviously lost Alistair when I recruited Loghain. My final party: so small, so dour. (Also, Bioware did...very little to make Loghain an appealing companion.) My Dwarf Prince Dude romanced Morrigan (after sleeping with Leliana and Zevran) and happily participated in her Dark Rite. Also, because I was merrily ignoring side quests, it only took ~25 hours.

I also played Catherine, which I loved. I played without a walkthrough and managed to get the "Katherine True" ending, if that tells you anything about me. (I am all about Order! And block puzzles!)

Soy Sauce for Beginners, The Drowned World, Gaudy Night, and Starship Grifters )
proustbot: (clint eastwood)
Within 24 hours of arriving home, as I was unpacking and reeling from jetlag, my former roommate Memo called me up. He had an emergency! He needed me to come with him and help him buy khaki pants right away!

Reader, I went to the Gap with him.

The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club and Lord of Chaos )
proustbot: (Default)
In the midst of salt mines and sleep deprivation, I read Elizabeth Wurtzel's recent NYMag piece. A lot of it is problematic -- Wurtzel tends to universalize her particular experiences in a way that is sure to enrage a majority of readers -- but I found that parts of it were (unexpectedly) resonant:

"Women who have it all should try having nothing: I have no husband, no children, no real estate, no stocks, no bonds, no investments, no 401(k), no CDs, no IRAs, no emergency fund -- I don’t even have a savings account. It’s not that I have not planned for the future; I have not planned for the present. [...] I had the great and unexpected success of Prozac Nation in 1994, and that bought me freedom. And I have spent that freedom carelessly, and with great gratitude. Why would I do anything else? I did not expect, not ever, to be scared to death.

I was born with a mind that is compromised by preternatural unhappiness, and I might have died very young or done very little. Instead, I made a career out of my emotions. And now I am just quarreling with normal. I believe in true love and artistic integrity -- the kinds of things that should be mentioned between quotation marks -- as absolutely now as I did in ninth grade. But even I know that functional love includes a fair amount of falsity, or no one would get through morning coffee, and integrity is mostly a heroic excuse to avoid the negotiating table. But I can’t let go. I live in the chaos of adolescence, even wearing the same pair of 501s."


Unnatural Death, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, NOT The Secret History of Moscow, and The Fires of Heaven )
proustbot: (Mendou Shutaro)
In preparation for tomorrow's hurricane, my roommates and I have stocked up on the essentials: cookies and vodka.

(I've been through a lot of hurricanes in Florida. I find that I have a difficult time partaking in the hysteria that attends hurricanes in this frozen North.)

Clouds of Witness, Mystic and Rider, Epic, and The Wizard Hunters )
proustbot: (Default)


[SCENE: TDR and I are watching Spaced in the living room; Wellington and his girlfriend are making dinner in the kitchen, but Wellington keeps coming out to peer at the TV over my shoulder.]

WELLINGTON: "So, [livejournal.com profile] mutantkoala. Bet Brian is your favorite character, eh?"

ME: "Yes, he is... How did you know that?"

WELLINGTON: [shifty-eyed] "Just a lucky guess."


The Gate of Angels, Whose Body?, and The Dragon Reborn )
proustbot: (clint eastwood)
My cat spent an hour this morning stalking a wild rabbit across our backyard. (The bunny, who was twice as big as the cat, got away.)

Dark Force Rising, Thrones, Dominations, and His Last Bow )
proustbot: (liz)
BROTHER: "I have a brilliant idea for a musical comedy based on Immanuel Kant! At one point, someone will say, 'Are you an Immanuel Kant...or an Immanuel Can?'"

ME: "Which is the right answer?"

BROTHER: "...I don't know."

Busman's Honeymoon, Diplomatic Immunity, and A Book of Wizards )

Gnarls Barkley, "Surprise"
"Papa was in the Rolling Stones" (mash-up)
proustbot: (clint eastwood)
"This is a nice paper, Bun--," Charles said cautiously.

"Thanks, thanks."

"But don't you think you ought to mention John Donne more often? Wasn't that your assignment?"

"Oh, Donne," Bunny had said scoffingly. "I don't want to drag him into this."


--Donna Tartt, The Secret History, p. 98.

Bodas de sangre, Komarr, and In the Teeth of the Evidence )
proustbot: (Mendou Shutaro)
According to a review I read last week, every sentence of a certain South American novel resounded with "Latin rhythm." (The novel, which I've read, has nothing to do with music and does not have rumba beats issuing from its pages.) I can't help thinking that arbitrary cultural stereotypes are an enormously lazy choice of critical rhetoric. Do people ever talk about the maple-syrup qualities of Mordecai Richler or the geisha-like grace of Haruki Murakami? No? Trite and meaningless, you say?

Teckla, Gaudy Night, and The Amulet of Samarkand )
proustbot: (but hearts are earned)
[livejournal.com profile] simpleparadox asked for book recommendations, which reminded me how much I enjoy forcing other people to recommend books for me. I like hearing about new books, and I like discovering that my friends have interests and passions of which I was previously unaware. (Book lists are terribly suggestive.)

So: please recommend five books to me. They can be books you just read, or books you love, or books sitting next to you, or books organized along a theme.

I'll start. Here are five books that people have commanded me to read:
1. Richard Adams, Watership Down
2. Joseph Conrad, Nostromo
3. P. D. James, The Skull Beneath the Skin
4. Kenneth Oppel, Silverwing
5. Franny Billingsley, The Folk Keeper

Also, here are five books I read recently:
Have His Carcase, Wolf Wing, Cetaganda, Murder Must Advertise, and Johnny and the Dead )
proustbot: (liz)
My body had apparently decided to have low blood pressure this month. I have yet to start blacking out, but it does take me about two hours after waking up before I start feeling semi-human. Thanks, self! As always, you are a peach.

Lord Peter, I, Rigoberta Menchu, Wolf Queen, The Merlin Conspiracy, and Sorcery and Cecelia )
proustbot: (liz)
El Salvador


I had a lot of noble intentions for the very serious and important things I would be doing this week. On the other hand, I'm on page 459 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Can I read the necessary book and a half before Friday? Well, probably...but at the expense of very serious and important things.

Strong Poison, The Jane Austen Book Club, and Pat of Silver Bush )
proustbot: (Default)
El Gato, El Salvador


Still sifting. Going through 500 images is a grinding process.

I'm on page 25 of Mario Vargas Llosa's La Ciudad y Los Perros. In the prologue, the author mentions his undying adoration for William Faulkner. Two thoughts:
  • It is unexpectedly eerie to be struggling through a foreign language and think, "Oh, yeah, this is Faulkner's style, isn't it? Look at all that rising and sourceless anxiety!"
  • Quentin Compson is the literary love-child of Prince Hamlet and J. Alfred Prufrock, Y/N?

    Black Sheep, The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, and The Massacre at El Mozote )
  • proustbot: (clint eastwood)
    I made an executive decision not to do something, and suddenly I am feeling far more sanguine about life.

    I watched Twentieth Century with my sister today. It was surprisingly cynical: you keep waiting for some softer emotion to emerge from the flinty surface, for the male protagonist to reveal some redeeming feature, for the heroine to betray some willing complicity in her subjugation. But no! John Barrymore is exquisitely awful, but he's somewhat hard to stomach in the movie's first half, when Carole Lombard is still playing a trembling innocent. (Things go down easier in the second half, which reveals her to be just as theatrical and egomaniacal as he.) Given Howard Hawks' other screwball features -- Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, and Ball of Fire -- Twentieth Century is unusually unflinching. On a second viewing, I may find it refreshing.

    Regency Buck, Whose Body?, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets )

    The Dread

    Jun. 11th, 2007 02:32 pm
    proustbot: (clint eastwood)
    Oh, man! The sweet feeling of an undone responsibility, the mounting stress, the corresponding anxiety, and the dimly perceived crest of something that feels suspiciously like depression! It's like the summer of 2005 all over again!

    a cousin of the Scottish witches )
    swaggers debonairly through a comedy of puppets )
    that he didn't recall with any clarity. )
    life is full of disappointments. )

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