Assorted readings

I’ve been bad about not posting about books I’ve read. Not that I’m under any obligation or anything. That’s just the attention-whore in me talking.

His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik: I really liked this and will probably read more. I just loved the bond of deep friendship and affection between Temaraire and Laurence. I really enjoyed Laurence’s transition from reluctant Navy officer to more freethinking Corpsman. And Temaraire himself is insanely lovable.

The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon: Lou Arrendale is a high functioning autistic with a gift for pattern recognition. He is compassionate and very, very bright and insightful. I don’t know much at all about autism, but Lou and his high functioning autistic coworker-friends (they work in a special division of a pharmaceutical company in the future) were convincing and interesting. One of my favorite themes was the pattern recognition; Everywhere Lou looks he instinctively looks for patterns. He sees the differences between himself and the “normals” but doesn’t quite understand why. Highly recommend.

Pegasus, Robin McKinley: I’m a loyal reader of Robin McKinley’s books. The bond between Sylvi and Ebon in their unusual friendship felt almost heartbreaking to me in it’s intensity. The writing is very dreamlike and the pacing is rather leisurely. I especially loved the story at the end told by Fthoom. There was just something very powerful about it.

Abominable sunday night art project

 So I’m not going to support myself as an artist any time soon. I started out wanting to create a christmas card of sorts and since I love drawing trees, I thought I’d do another one.

@#$%$@#$%^%$$^

It just wasn’t my day. I thought I’d experiment with colored pencil. Now I want to break every last pencil in two. So, what did I learn from this little  exercise?

1. To be wary of using colored pencil on heavily textured paper, especially when I’ve gotten used to using paint, and I’m obviously a novice at this new medium.

2. Not to expect my art to be top notch when I’ve been out of practice and wound up about various parts of life gone wonky.

3. I should probably try adding more detail and work a lot more saturated color in to the background, but I’m really lazy. From now on, I’m sticking with paint.

The lady doth protest too much

It’s been a month and I’m still bitter about the Wedding of the Century, where only about 60% of those who RSVP’d showed up to the reception dinner, judging from the numbers of empty tables.  The head table, on the other hand, was crowded and overflowing. Just a little insane, if you ask me. Oh, and there was a 3 hour photo shoot after the ceremony, 2 hours of which was spent freezing outdoors.

I still hate traditional weddings. My friend turned into Bridezilla. I thought the fact that she is a schoolteacher by trade meant that she would handle the planning better. She developed a martyr complex that really made me want to slap her. Having a wedding is a totally voluntary project. I do not understand the need to blindly follow tradition at the expense of your mental and financial health. When you have to borrow money from your 401k to fund what is essentially a big party, I think you’ve crossed the line to insanity.

I used to love her. Now, not so much.

Seething (Not Just Mildly Disgruntled)

D is delusional and generally incompetent at planning. On Tuesday, 4 days before her wedding she decided on the colors for her reception. Last Friday was the meeting with the florist to decide on flowers. Because the invitations were so complicated, they went out late. I recieved my invitation about 30 days before the wedding date. Yesterday she sent out an email requesting delivery of Mac and Cheese and Trash Bags because they are holed up with “work” on the wedding. She’s still looking for wedding shoes. She has to have her waxing, facials, and nails done. She’s still in the process of finalizing reception details. Errr.. Shouldn’t she have had the details finalized a month ago? All she should have to do now is confirm.

There is a “head table.” I am baffled and sickened by the existence of said table both because I object to the exclusionary principle and because it has precluded me from dining with my significant other in peace and happiness. I requested to exchange my seat with someone else in order to be with E, who, by the way, would not know anyone there but me, but was sternly reprimanded by the bride that it was my solemn duty as a bridesmaid to eat at the “head table” with her, and that “just Saturday you will have to work as a fulltime bridesmaid… then you can go back to loving E.” Work? Ummm, last time I checked I was not being compensated for the role. Furthermore, I’m coming out worse with the associated costs. And I find it not a little ironic that on a day that’s supposed to be a celebration of a relationship, she’s inflexible about letting two people in another relationship just sit together. Head Table, Bah…like you’re fucking royalty.

My opinion of D’s sanity and sense has dropped to abysmal levels.

Mildly Disgruntled

When D first asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, I felt happy and honored. Ten months later I just want the dratted thing to be over. I, in my naivete, had underestimated the costs associated with being a bridesmaid: dress, dress adjustment, shoes, gift for bridal shower/bachelorette party, wedding gift, makeup/hair products, not to mention to the time invested in helping to pick out shoes, bridesmaid dresses, and assembling rather convoluted wedding invitations that require an assembly line of four people and two shifts. Gah. There are TWO maids of honor. I can see wanting to honor certain people but, cripey, that’s one too many. The original idea was to have a casual bbq reception at a park. I’m not sure what happened. Maybe D was seduced into purchasing a reception package. Maybe she was pressured into having The Wedding by her close family.

Things That Could Be Dispensed With:

-Bridal Shower/Bachelorette Gifts: Do you really need 15 sets of lingerie? And bath and body products out the wazoo?

-Design Your Own Wedding Gown: If you don’t have a clear idea of what you want, this is an exercise in futility, especially if you are trying to combine 2 different dresses in 1.

-Scads of Bridesmaids, Maids of Honor, and Groomsmen: The more people you have in your wedding party, the harder it is to coordinate everyone’s schedules. I understand wanting to be inclusive, but do you really need a damn entourage? Why not just rename the bridesmaids ladies in waiting?

-Complicated Wedding Invitations: The more complicated your stationery, the more likely it is that your supplier will get something wrong. And glue dots are EVIL, I tell you. EEEEVVIILLL.

-Wedding Registry: Great. More shit to fill your house with. I much prefer the Chinese tradition of giving money.

Blues

Soooo tired… I don’t know where this achiness is coming from. Having Monday off was lovely, but I got so very bored. I thought I’d do some sketching, but everything that came out was crap. Sigh. I don’t think I’d ever be able to become a full time artist ‘cuz I need something to rebel from, if that makes any sense.

I have all these ideas in my head, but trying to get them down on paper is the most tortuous experience, particularly when my skills have atrophied.