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Books 1-10.
Books 11-20.
Books 21-30.
Books 31-40.
Books 41-50.
Books 51-60.
Books 61-70.
Books 71-80.
Books 81-90.
Books 91-100.
101. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman.
102. Brown Harvest by Jay Russell.
103. Dab Neeg Hmoob: Myths, Legends and Folk Tales from the Hmong of Laos, Charles Johnson, editor and Se Yang, associate editor.

104. Summer of '49 by David Halberstam. Another loan from [ profile] janradder. This one covers the rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees during (you guessed it) the 1949 season, a season in which the American League pennant came down to a one-game playoff between the two teams. Some great profiles here of players, sportswriters, owners, and fans, although at times--since I'm not that familiar with the rosters of these teams during that period--I got a bit lost with all the names. As usual, the sportswriters come across as some of the most colorful characters; they make all the best wisecracks. But there are also tall tales of players like Ellis Kinder, the Red Sox pitcher and notorious party hound, Dom Dimaggio and his little-known brother Joe, and Teddy Ballgame himself, the greatest hitter who ever lived. Halberstam has an engaging style and an eye for colorful details. Recommended for any baseball fan, but SPOILER ALERT: it ain't a happy ending, because the Yankees win, again.
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1. There used to be a plant in my cubicle. This morning it is gone, and everything is harsh and not-green. WHERE IS MY PLANT?!?

2. I have finally started writing the next novel. I have decided that my characters need to take a trip to the Ax-Man. This may be because I have been thinking about taking a trip to the Ax-Man for a while myself. FOR RESEARCH. This is probably [ profile] jocelina's fault.

3. Tonight is the Writer's Night Out/Yeti's Birthday Party, 7:30 at Merlin's Rest, 3601 Lake Street. Last time there was unexpected loud music, so if you get there and you don't see us and there's a wailing guitar, we've moved down Lake to the Dunn Bros beside the Marshall Street bridge.

4. May Freya forgive me, but I have been Twittering again. Same name there as here.

5. It is the time of the season when I am contractually obligated to state that I hate the Yankees. Which I have now done. Thank you for your time.
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The Twins are in Seattle, playing until midnight and losing in the late innings.

This morning I got up at 6:30 to watch the U.S. Women's Soccer Team give up two goals to Norway in the first four minutes of play.

Someone better start winning 'cause right now it's not worth the sleep deprivation.
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Things I have not posted about on account of being busy and scatterbrained:

Yes, that is me in the latest issue of Writer's Digest. Jordan Rosenfeld interviewed me for the "First Impressions" column, which features first-time novelists. I sure make it sound easy. And, thanks to the lies of photography, I look good doing it.

Comics: Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction are leaving Immortal Iron Fist. Wah! For serious, their run has been incredible; retro-pulp updated for the modern day, with the glorious feel of grainy, badly-dubbed kung fu flicks. This, combined with John Rogers leaving the sadly underselling Blue Beetle (Seriously, do people not want their superhero comics to be good?), is going to cut down my comics reading considerably.

DVDs: I gave up on The L Word, finally, because I can't stand Mia Kirschner or her character or the way that the writers apparently view writing on that show. So. Grating. Like, Baltar-and-Six grating. (Them being the reason I can't watch BSG.) I started on Weeds, which is pretty great so far. Also started on Season 1 of the new Doctor Who, which is . . . cute? I can appreciate that it's all about the fun, and they're aiming at kids, but man is the plotting preposterous. Yes, Rose is wonderful, and the show is funny ("Harriet Jones, MP Flydale North"), but I'm not sure I'm going to last with it. I finally saw "Network," and I'm sorry I waited so long. Genius. Also saw "A Streetcar Named Desire." (Yes, I have many gaps.) Brando was amazing, as usual, but it took a long time for Vivien Leigh's performance to work for me. There's a particular definition of "feminine" in Streetcar that I find extremely off-putting in fiction as well as in life. Which may actually be part of the point of the play, and may be why it works in the end. Obviously I haven't decided.

Books: Am reading Liberty: The Lives and Times of Six Women In Revolutionary France, by Lucy Moore. This was recommended to me by [ profile] stephanieburgis, and man am I grateful. Really evocative, and sad, and inspiring. Also reading Lost White Tribes: The End of Privilege and the Last Colonials in Sri Lanka, Jamaica, Brazil, Haiti, Namibia, and Guadeloupe by Riccardo Orizio, which sounds a lot more awesome than it is. It's more a travelogue than anything, neither historical nor anthropological in focus; a disappointingly shallow look at a potentially rich subject.

Baseball: Bit of a rocky start for the Twins, not unexpectedly. Liriano's shaky, and the offense is unreliable; but Hernandez is a rock, and Bonser seems to have matured nicely. Not to mention that Carlos Gomez is as much fun to watch as Torii ever was. Dropping two to the Tigers = not cool, but it's early yet. (If you catch me saying that in August, I give you permission to smack me upside the head.)
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I've just finished typing in the first draft of a story I've been working on steadily for months. It's 12,000 words long, and I'm thinking about calling it "Escape to Bird Island" (never underestimate the inspirational power of a road trip). Hopefully I can knock out 2-3k of thinking-on-paper without putting back the same amount of making-it-make-sense.

It occurs to me that the reason writers all wish they were rock stars is that rock stars can get pretty much instant feedback. No one in my favorite cafe stood up and applauded when I finished typing. WHAT THE HELL PEOPLE.

I gotta say, while it's less terrifying to have a road map--or at least a destination--for a story before I ever start it, it's damned satisfying to just stumble into the jungle that is my brain and see what's there. Having to ask myself at every turn, "Wait, what's this story about?", and having to change my answer every time, is maddening and confusing and rewarding and a helluva lot of fun. Hopefully the end product doesn't suck.

Tonight: Twins home opener. Despite the blizzard outside right now, baseball reassures me that it is spring.
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Liriano has arrived at Twins camp.
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It's no fun being sick if you can't call up the boss-man and say "Nope not today. Suckah!"

One reason it's easy to love the Twins: they have great commercials. Pirahnas, and Carpool. (Via Twinkie Town.)

The book has a working title now: Five Kingdoms. I'm pretty sure it won't stick forever, because it's kind of un-sexy. Also it's a little misleading because it's not actually literally about five different kingdoms. Look, don't get all in my face about it. It's like, you know, calling your friend Hank because of that noise he made that one time when he fell over trying to uncork a bottle of Cabernet. A nickname. I like it for now because it has a bunch of different meanings relevant to what's actually going on in the book, even though they are the sort of meanings that I would have to explain using words like "metaphorically." Also it's nice to not have to say "The book I'm working on right now which is about succession and revolution and stuff."

Crap, I can't even get this stupid tube of Advil open. When I was in Austin David Moles had to open one of these for me. Dave, mind getting on a plane?

For, well, everyone: an alarm clock with wake-up messages from Stephen Fry. (Via Warren Ellis.)

Mo Rocca has a blog.

Oh, and another Secret City excerpt was posted late last night, so you may have missed it. It's about Winter's End. Enjoy.

I am now going back to bed.
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Jed discusses the (somewhat murky and suspect) etymology of the term "can of corn." I must admit, I thought everyone knew this term. But then, I am rather myopic when it comes to baseball stuff. Man, do I miss going to games.

Chance sent me a picture of a baby elephant eating a Christmas tree. Chance is my favorite now.

Something I keep meaning to point people at is the Blue Sky Studios blog, where the thing that is done is that a challenge is posted, such as "draw a superhero" or "draw an evil robot" and several amazing artists rise to the occasion with pieces like this or this or this or, well, just go check it out. Blue Sky is an animation company, BTW. Like, the animation company that did "Ice Age"--so the artists are a bit higher caliber than the web at large.

Cat and Girl address the problem of elephant alcoholism.

I'd never have the guts to go so far, but this guy's tattoo is kind of awesome. (NSFW.)

Also, because I have the power of BitTorrent (Bwah-hah-hah-hah!) I have already seen the first two episodes of the new season of "24," and I just want to reiterate what I think we all already knew; Alexander Siddig is a sexy, sexy man.
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I think I've figured out why my pens sometimes explode on planes. If I'm using the pen when we take off, this never happens. If I uncap the pen to write something while we are at 30,000 feet, I almost always end up with ink all over my hands, my manuscript, my flotation device. (Does that sound dirty to anyone else?) It's the cabin pressure, stupid. Probably I could switch to some other sort of pen and solve the problem (I use a Pilot Precise Rolling Ball, Fine Point and I hope that news will make your day complete), but I have no plans to do so.

A good weekend. Walked the dogs with my brother on Thursday morning, saw the deer who've been hanging out behind my parents' house, mashed and mixed the potatoes and then loudly took credit for them. (Mom doesn't mind. Really.) Dinner--I don't remember what we talked about, really, but it was good food and my uncle's girlfriend and her sister were there, which I think was good for all of us. Talked to the Lexington posse despite bad reception. Had lunch Friday at Haddayr's, where Arie and Éiden demonstrated a new game called "Fall down!" which was just about what you would expect, and Haddayr was patient while Jan and I talked comics. Rode the light rail for the first time, down to the fancy new Minneapolis library where I was able to hang with Haddayr, Alan, Kristin, and Lena. Saw "For Your Consideration" (dark, but good) and the "Baseball as America" exhibit at the History Center with my folks. Talked a lot about the book and all the stuff happening with that until I started to feel very boring, but what the hell; I'll never have another first novel, and I'm going to stay excited about it. Ate well, as did the dogs, who scored a tupperware container of leftover lefse while everyone was gone on Saturday afternoon. Movies (re-)watched on decadent expanded basic cable: "Love, Actually" and "Bring It On." I make no apologies.

I ended up taking yesterday off, and last night finished up Chapter Twelve, which is crappy. I know it's crappy, but it's just going to have to be crappy for the time being. Before it can get better I'll need to a) visit some actual salt mines (hopefully during my European visit with Mr. Moles) and b) figure out exactly what I'm foreshadowing. If there's one thing I've figured out about writing, at least the way that I do it, it's that sometimes I just need to get something on the page. It doesn't have to be perfect; in fact it never will be. But it can be made better later, once I've figured out what the hell I'm doing. (This is what I tell myself.)

Things to see: Sex Advice from a D&D Player. A DISTURBING promo for the Philips Bodygroom. Eddie Campbell has a blog! (Via Comics Worth Reading.) Rupert Gee bothers people; a classic Letterman bit. (Dude. Last night Kate Winslet and Tom Waits were on Dave. Greatest talk show lineup EVER. Best lines, unattributed: "Cameron Diaz can eat me under the table." "They basically have a choice between throwing up or getting hit by a car.") And finally, for feminists of all genders: a big heaping helping of What. The. Fuck. Roger Miller is scratching his head in his grave, still.
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Firstly, it must be noted that Justin Morneau is now the AL MVP. WOO-HOO! In your face, every person at ESPN! There is justice in the world. Sorry, Jeter, maybe next year. OR MAYBE NOT.

Secondly, my long-ish short story "Oma Dortchen and the Pillar of Story," a fairy-tale about ethnographers, swans, ash-lads, trolls, men in top hats, a crone with a leak* and, um, fairy-tales, will be part of the 2007 exhibition over at Farrago's Wainscot. I'm very proud of this story, and I'm glad to see it at a good home; Farrago's has a classy look, and they've got a helluva lineup shaping up over there. So far they've collected pieces from, well, too many people to list. Here's the list. They've also got a livejournal for keeping track of what they're up to. Details as they develop.

*Not like that.
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Jane Austen omnibus edition
Originally uploaded by Snurri.
1. As promised, the cover to the Jane Austen omnibus that I'm reading. Created for the Prissy Aunt Book Club.

2. The Twins in the playoffs. Wow, that didn't take long, did it? Ouch. I think, if it hadn't been for the epic struggle of the season, with the Bang of the first-place payoff coming right at the end, the sweep might not have been such a stunner. It doesn't take a thing away from the season they had, though. And let's not lose sight of what's really important; the fucking Yankees have been eliminated. Go Detroit!
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It's a Friday, no one is on the Internet, and I'm posting like a rabid chipmunk looking for a bass player. Savor the madness.

1. Jane Austen. Somewhere, out there, is a video from 1998 or so of me on a drunken rampage, threatening squirrels (not real ones) and screaming invectives at Jane Austen, whom I had never read. This is my official retraction of that evening (which, to be fair to myself, I have little memory of in the first place). I'm lugging around a big, ugly (seriously; later I'll post the slipcover to this monstrosity) collected edition of Austen's novels plus the unpublished Lady Susan. So far I've read Sense and Sensibility (I quite liked Colonel Brandon) and this morning I finished Pride and Prejudice (Mr. Bennett was my fave. I mean, yes, he's a bit cruel to his wife at times, but she really does ask for it). I enjoyed both much more than I would have believed back then. Ah, youth. I must admit that at times I find it a bit irksome that, for narratives so concerned with money as it affects marriage, there's almost no mention of anyone actually working; but these are romances, I suppose, so I'm willing to overlook it. Next up: Mansfield Park.

2. Jackie Chan. This is the only proof I need.

3. Michel Gondry, and "The Science of Sleep." For more on this keep an eye on the Strange Horizons reviews page. Good stuff.

4. Torii Hunter. Yeah, so he missed that catch. How many Gold Gloves do YOU have? I'm just sayin', it ain't over.
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Am home feeling icky today, but luckily there is baseball on. This will either cheer me up or send me spiralling into a deep depression. Will keep y'all updated.

Speaking of things that are on, I humbly request that EVERYONE watch "Veronica Mars" tonight. You'll like her. She solves crimes! While making many witty remarks. She's a kid (now a college kid) and all the kids she knows are a little messed up. So is V., when you get right down to it, but she hides it better. And if you are thinking DAVE I HAVEN'T SEEN THE FIRST TWO SEASONS OF THIS SHOW AND I DON'T WANT TO BE OVERWHELMED WITH CONTINUITY, then I am here to tell you that I have seen the first episode once already and Rob Thomas is being very gentle with you new viewers. He's not going to hand out a book-length previously and tell you to study it quick before the opening credits are over. NO PREVIOUSLIES, in fact. You'll pick up the stuff you need to know. So please, please, watch, and tell your friends and parents and pets to watch.

Ugh. My head is hurting and the A's are ahead. This bodes ill.
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Didja ever notice how, when there's a lot going on, people don't blog as much? At least, I don't. If I were a news organization, I would be the worst in the world. "Sorry, folks, too much going on; can't stay and talk about it!"

Yeah. That's kind of how it is right now, for me.

ITEM: The Twins, finishing in first. I love these guys. They spent the early part of the season in the cellar, and since June they've been steadily climbing out. It didn't seem like they'd ever catch the Tigers, but in the last week they tied it up, then moved up into first on the last day of the season. Seriously, who's writing this stuff? It's totally implausible. I don't buy it. But every time I watch this video I get all weepy. I've watched it twenty times. It's pathological but I love it. Even if the team doesn't make it past the first round of the playoffs they'll be heroes in my book. But for the record, I think they've got a shot at the whole damn thing.

ITEM: Spent part of the weekend chez Meisner. I really love those people. Pär is such a cool guy, J. is the best little guy-in-training, and Karen is beyond cool. They're cool, is what I'm trying to say. If this were a review of their family, it would be an incoherent rave. J. and I played with his toys and Pär and I had mellow chats and Karen and I saw "Scoop" at the budget cinema and it was great--why didn't anyone tell us?!? Love Scarlett playing awkward and nerdy, and Woody not getting in the way of the story. Hugh Jackman had to play a cipher, but he was still good. I'm developing a man-crush on him. Seriously. A couple of months ago I stayed up until 3 AM watching "Kate and Leopold." God I hate Meg Ryan. Anyway, to sum up: bark tea good, drunken pool good, Playmobil knights and pirates good. Friends, good.


Just follow the link. Mr. Ford speaks for me.

ITEM: A video. Men's room etiquette. Live by it.

ITEM: Yeah, I can't tell you. But it's kind of making me a basket case. In a good way(?).


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