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Sweet Valley spirit!
I know that some years back, tartanshell came up with the very cool idea of posting your Chrismukwanzaakah wish list on your LJ and your friends, if possible, could fulfill your wishes. You're supposed to put the list behind an LJ-cut, but I only want one thing so I'm not going to bother.

All I want is for anyone that has a spare dollar, or five dollars, or ten or whatever, to send it to the Homeless Animal Adoption League of Bloomfield, New Jersey. Their mailing address is HAAL, 56 Dodd St., Bloomfield NJ 07003-4618. It's a cats-only shelter that does a lot of really good work, and this year they're especially stressed because so many cats have been dumped there.

Happy holidays to all, whether you have two feet or four.
1 overdue - Check it out
A company named Masik is launching college fragrances (via ShoppingBlog).

So if my bachelor's is from a school in an area of the country known for paper mills and my master's is from a school in a city known for producing steel...


The only thing that cheers me up even a little is that I turned down the University of Illinois. I'd almost rather smell paper mills than cow poop.

126: nerdy nerdy

6 overdue - Check it out
written for hp_darkfest. Under 17 not admitted without parent or guardian. Contains onscreen murder.

In Windows, His StainsCollapse )


1 overdue - Check it out
I've been on vacation this week and doing absolutely nothing. It's so awesome, but I can feel myself getting depressed and squirrelly so it's time to go back to work on Monday. Highlights of the week:

1. Staying home for Thanksgiving. Me, Mr. Cedar, turkey breast, and his amazing mashed potatoes. No travel, no stress. Except for when Henry ate more than his fair share of the plain turkey we gave the kids and barfed on the living room floor. He had the decency to do that while we were out seeing Quantum of Solace which...what WAS that??

2. Not reading. Well, I read one book, but I have to review it so it's sort of required. Going to finish the other review books I owe over the weekend.

2a. Also, um, not reading LiveJournal or Bloglines or my work email. I had such ambition for this week, and then I spent most of it recovering from a sinus infection when I wasn't cleaning.

3. My apartment shines like the Chrysler Building. Soooo clean, and I'm decluttering, too.

4. Twitter told me that the DVD of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is available for preorder on Amazon. It comes out December 19. W00t!

5. Not braving the mall crowds today. I love me a good Black Friday deal like everyone else, but I also spent a good amount of money fixing the Westermobile this week so alas, no shopping.

Tonight is leftover turkey, reading, a bath, and the Numb3rs repeat. All in all, a nice end to a nice week of vacation.
2 overdue - Check it out
...is the Buffy 7-season collector's set, which I've seen retail for anywhere from $120 to $200, for $69.99. Plus you can get free shipping.

You know you want it. Click here.
8 overdue - Check it out
things that are disappointing me right now, with ANTM 11 spoilersCollapse )

On the bright side, I have tickets to see Shinedown in the very near future and Ma Cedar records all the shows I miss and sends me the DVDs.
16 overdue - Check it out
I haven't updated in a while, but yesterday was also my eleventh straight day of working, so I had a few other things to think about.

Thanks to the sysadmin, I'm sitting at home with the office plague. Fever, sore throat, etc. Thanks to lauriegilbert, I also have real Sudafed, so I'm getting through.

1. The YALSA YA Lit Symposium was lots of fun. Saw old friends, met new ones, learned a lot. In a time when I think I'm an old fart for becoming a librarian because I love books and connecting readers and books, it was nice to see six hundred people who care about reading as much as I do.

2. In November and December, I am producing more fanfic than I have the rest of the year. w00t!

3. Still loving Supernatural. I think this is the best season of the four so far. Kripke seems to be going balls-out with plot and character development. I think what the show is doing especially well this season is pacing and layering the plots while still providing viewers with the laughs and thrills they're used to. I can see how they're building to several big explosions, both between Sam-Dean-Ruby-Lilith and just Sam and Dean, regarding family and secrets.

3a. A few weeks ago, I was flipping channels and ended up watching the second half of Saw II on Sci-Fi. While I watched, I kept thinking to myself, "That girl with the long brown hair looks so familiar. Where have I seen her before?" Drove me absolutely nuts until I IMDBed the movie and found out she was in an episode of SPN ("Heart," for those who are paying attention.) Fail on my actress recognition but +1 for my research skills.

3b. I'm also loving Numb3rs. I've had a theory for some time that Don was going to explore his religion more, and finally, I had a theory that's correct! I also like the little bits of strife we see between Charlie and Amita. It's not that I necessarily want them to break up, but it's nice to see that their relationship isn't the mushy perfection we saw in S4.

Weekend plans include sitting on my couch and reading Nation by Terry Pratchett. And finishing some fic. Mr. Cedar is traveling this week, so I guess I'll have to figure out what to cook, too.

(All work and no play makes my blog entries dull. Sorry.)

126: sick sick

4 overdue - Check it out

And yes, I contributed. I'll link when the fic goes live.

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780: Now if she does it like this will you do it like that

1 overdue - Check it out
In the Entertainment Weekly Popwatch blog: Why "The Ex List" was doomed. The comments suggest that the show failed for reasons from the annoying lead to the bad time slot. That last suggestion was close, but I know the real reason.

It's not just the time slot, it's THAT time slot. It's cursed. The Friday 9-10 p.m. Eastern time slot on CBS is the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor of television. In the past few years it's been through at least five shows: Moonlight, Robbery Homicide Division, Close to Home, The Ex List, and that Price is Right big prize game, though I'm not sure that was meant to be anything long-term. For CBS, it's not Friday night all around, it's just that time slot. The shows on either side of it, Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs, are fairly successful, all things considered. Given the success of those two shows (Numb3rs was a midseason replacement that's now in its fifth year), I can only conclude that if you're on a show in CBS's 9-10 p.m. Friday time slot, you'd better be polishing your resume. See, even Wikipedia agrees with me! Sort of.

(Seriously, I'm joking about the time slot being hexed, but I don't have a better explanation.)
Check it out
at least, I think it is.

I check my Amazon Deals RSS feed today and it says "Deal of the Day: "Saw" over Half Off."

1 overdue - Check it out
In Entertainment Weekly's Popwatch blog: Fan fiction: Do you write it?

Tons of comments, and somewhat interesting poll results. Worth a read.

780: we'll make great pets

1 overdue - Check it out
I am remarkably far behind on the friendspage because I haven't had internet at home. Moving and all that. But all is well with the new apartment save for no internet. Hooray for work access to LJ. And boo, I forgot my laptop and needed to bring it to work.


If you're the person who sent me the autographed SPN S1 DVDs, oh my lord, you have no idea how much squee you've brought me. I love you forever. Thank you so much.

Speaking of SPN DVDs, here is an email exchange between myself and a librarian at one of our other county libraries who also loves the show:

Me: Hey, S, do you want a set of SPN S3 DVDs? Amazon price, no shipping charges? I have two of them.

S: You have two sets of DVDs because you preordered one from Amazon and then you went to Best Buy the day it was released and bought the set with the tiny Metallicar, didn't you?

Transparent is a good color on me.


I've been following some results of that "what books didn't your parents let you have when you were a teen" poll and this response is the most ignorant one I've read so far. If you're willing to disparage an entire genre because of two or three books, I'm going to have a hard time treating you as the intellectual you seem to market yourself as. I've certainly read some crap YA in my time and I'll be the first to say that yes, some YA sucks (and not in a vampire way, although most of you know how I feel about that series with the sparkly vampires). Some adult fiction sucks, too. But a lot of it is also really, really good.


purpleink, don't forget the new AC/DC album is out today. UGH, FOOEY ON WAL-MART.


I'm quite pleased to see that my two favorite TV shows, SPN and Numb3rs, are, well, bringing it this season. One of my big complaints about S4 of Numb3rs was that it looked like the writers forgot why the show existed in the first place. At its heart, Numb3rs is about Don and Charlie's relationship. Last season, I think we got about 3 episodes where that was the focus (Graphic, Breaking Point, When Worlds Collide) and we got 2 episodes that I thought were, um, kind of complete failures (Chinese Box, Black Swan). Either that, or SPN has really spoiled me. In any event, this season Numb3rs is really showing the audience how Don and Charlie affect each other even when they're not working on the same cases, and I like that. Because it's all about me.


I'll be very interested to see which book wins the National Book Award for Young People's Literature this year. Of the five nominees, I've read two (The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, which was extremely impressive and What I Saw and How I Lied, which...how did this make the final list of nominees when Kendra, Paper Towns, The Hunger Games, Impossible, Madapple, and The Adoration of Jenna Fox didn't?), know quite a bit about two but haven't read them yet (The Underneath, which is a favorite to win this year's Newbery, and Chains), and one I hadn't heard of (The Spectacular Now).


Enough procrastination. A pile of books awaits!

780: runaway train running right off the tracks

1 overdue - Check it out
I've been asked by some people to talk about my personal miracle of finding not one, but TWO brands of jeans that fit me well.

Disclaimer: I am not now, nor have I ever been, in the fashion industry. I cannot sew. I cannot even hem a pair of pants. I just think clothes are interesting and I shop a lot. I'm also pretty good at seeing what does and does not look good on other people. It is very possible, even likely, that all of you reading this post know a lot more than I do about clothing and fit, so I'm sorry if I give you advice that doesn't work.

Personal experiences that color my postCollapse )

Part I: The way jeans fit is all about the proportionsCollapse )

Part II: The fitCollapse )

Part III: Where to buyCollapse )

Okay, now I'm tired and have laundry to put in the dryer. Hope this helps all you frustrated jean shoppers out there. Feel free to share your favorite jean places to buy/brands/fit tips in the comments.
16 overdue - Check it out
One of my reviewing gigs paid me on Friday, so I said, "I want to go shopping and buy girly things." Because I'm on somewhat of a shopping restriction, I cashed the check and only brought cash to the mall. First accomplishment: Jeans that fit! And were $30 off! It's nice to see that at least two clothing retailers are realizing that not all women want to wear low-rise or skinny jeans. Boot cut, mid-rise because I'm short yet curvy and long-waisted, dark wash, thank you. Then a sweater I'd been lusting after was not only still available in my size, but it was 50% off. Finally, I wanted a new perfume for the winter. Off to Sephora.

I give up.

I love perfume, I really do, but more and more I am just hating big-name commercial perfumes. The only one I've found in recent years that I really love that hasn't been discontinued (I HATE YOU, M.A.C.; SOME OF US LOVED GREENIFY) is Lolita Lempicka. It's truly luscious, warm and sweet, and it lasts all day. Using Sephora's fragrance recommendation tool and asking for some advice, I tried Thierry Mugler Innocent, Ralph Lauren Notorious, and Michael Kors. In the recent past I've tried Miss Dior Cherie and Marc Jacobs Daisy.

And they were all freakin' TERRIBLE.

Perfume stinks!Collapse )

At Bigelow (you remember it, lauriegilbert!), I had a woman helping me who went to get her coworker, who had more knowledge of the perfumes the store carried. She showed me the Annick Goutal line. None of them had descriptions, so I did what every teen does in a bookstore:

I judged the book by its cover and picked up the perfume with the cool-looking bottle.

The girl helping me got VERY excited, because apparently I'd just picked up her favorite, and there was just enough left in the tester to dilute and try on. I sniffed: Ginger, woods, a mildly oily citrus. No chemical aftertaste.


The best is yet to comeCollapse )

And now I'm going to go put some on the rest of me and drive to meet Mr. Cedar so we can go to a party tonight. Yay, Guitar Hero!
21 overdue - Check it out
Insult is having to sleep on an air mattress in your living room because you haven't been able to move into your new apartment yet and injury is said air mattress springing a leak. At least the husband and cats are still cute.

I think the theme of this past week has been indecisiveness, and also sticking my head in the sand. I'm in the process of making some career decisions and not sure where I want to go with it, but I'll leave it at that for now.

Yesterday, I had to explain the word "fandom" to a group of Muggles. They are nice, smart, cool Muggles, but Muggles nonetheless. I had about 15 seconds to talk and in the end I ended up saying that fandom is what happens when a group of people enjoy a book/movie/tv show/what have you so much that they form a community around it. I said that fandom goes beyond simple discussions (though that's certainly an important part) and turns into canon-centric events, fanfiction, and other things that give more depth to the author/creator's world. I mentioned book release parties and the lights went on for the Muggles, as they are all quite familiar with those. Overall, I think I did okay.

Reading. I have been reading! The book all the YA lit listservs are talking about is Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott. I know luminousmarble, you were none too enamored of this book, and I have to say I didn't love it until I went back and read it a second time. Upon the second reading, I really admired the minimalism and I "got" what happened at the end. It's an absolutely terrifying, horrifying book, told from the perspective of Alice, a girl who was kidnapped five years before the book begins and lives every day hoping that finally, today, she might die and be rid of her misery. Her kidnapper is a pedophile who's reasonably good at keeping a public profile as that of a normal, upstanding citizen. The reader doesn't see much of the abuse in detail, but we hear enough about it to draw our own conclusions. Scott really gets into the reasons of why Alice never tries to run away and why getting away from an abuser is not as easy as it looks on paper.

Next on the list of books I'm not being paid to read is Skinned by Robin Wasserman. Just the cover art makes me want to read it. The concept also reminds me of The Adoration of Jenna Fox, which is one of my favorites of 2008.

I guess now's the time to make the Big Book Announcement: Next year, there will be no reviews of 2009 YA books in this blog. I may write about books from years past, adult books, maybe some middle grade or picture books, but no YA. I'll be back with a YA vengeance in 2010.

And once again, Rush is snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of fame. I'm glad to see Metallica and Jeff Beck in the list of nominees, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I wonder what they're thinking. Run-D.M.C. gets a nomination before Alice Cooper? No Bon Jovi?

Time to wake up Mr. Cedar and get pumpkin spice lattes. Forget Chrismukkah; October is the most wonderful time of the year.

780: you carry on like a holy man pushing redemption

3 overdue - Check it out
Regarding Supernatural, is it just me or...Collapse )

So now, you know what I'm craving (but I like cherry best).

126: geeky geeky
780: making Christmas, making Christmas

9 overdue - Check it out
To say in the least, life has completely sucked this week. it's been one bad thing after another. No one's died, but it's not been anything good, either.

I was slightly cheered when I learned that AC/DC tickets were going on sale this morning. They're playing FOUR gigs I can get to easily, so I was kind of excited. I do love me some AC/DC. Then I saw that tickets for the Madison Square Garden shows were $94 each. They were $92 each for the Izod Center and $89.50 each for whatever the Corporately Named Stadium is in Wilkes-Barre, PA. I don't get it. My Metallica tickets were way cheaper and they came with a CD and a live download of the show. So because I'm not in the greatest financial state right now, no AC/DC tickets for me. Boo.

Then I was coming back from the grocery store this morning and thinking, "I'm depressed. Shopping will make me feel better! I want one of those new iPod nanos." Only I want a 16GB, which are $200, and by then I might as well have bought the AC/DC tickets. Yeah. Such is the state of my mind.

If any of you are XJournal users, is it just me or has it stopped generating links to iTunes in the "Music" field? What is UP with that?

As I told iolsai, I always write my best fic when RL is sucky. If this is the case, I should have no problem turning out my very-close-to-due fics! Hey, I gotta cheer about something.

780: Metallica - Until It Sleeps

8 overdue - Check it out
Because sometimes we just need adorable pictures of adorable cats.

Adorable, but image-heavyCollapse )

Are we all happier now? I am.

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780: this is ground control to Major Tom

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I meant to do memes. I meant to work out. I meant to work on my fics with all their looming deadlines.

And then I walked into my bedroom at 6:30 p.m. last Saturday.

Rewind: A week ago Saturday, my day started off great. Tropical Storm Hanna was on its way and the weather here was completely disgusting, about 85 degrees and so humid I sweated walking from my car to the post office. I ran the usual litany of Saturday errands: post office, latte, gas, grocery store, etc. Then I learned that an author friend was doing a reading at a local bookstore and figured it was only a mile and a half from where I live; even in rain it wouldn't be a bad drive home. I showered, dressed, did a little writing and went to the reading. While I was at the reading it started pouring. I drove home, played Guitar Hero for a little while, and said, "Okay, time for a workout."

I went into my bedroom to change into my workout clothes and found water dripping from my light fixture. Water was pouring in through the window. The plaster around and underneath the windows had melted away. A crack widened in the center of the ceiling. I could see water stains spreading, like when you put a paper towel over a spill. Plaster began to melt and curl away from the ceiling. There were puddles on the floor. Water began to damage the ceiling in parts I'd never seen it do damage before. Spots appeared on the bedroom walls. The crack in our living room ceiling began to open and water dripped onto the couch.

So I did what any other human being in my situation would do: I freaked out, then sprang into action. I called the emergency services number for my complex but of course they couldn't send anyone out. I grabbed our shop vac and sucked up what water I could. I emptied buckets and put down pots to catch the water dripping in front of my dresser. I stripped the soaked bedding off the mattress and found the mattress and box spring had already been absorbing water for three hours.

More on the water damageCollapse )

Now, I'm from the Midwest and I've seen my share of foul weather. I've seen floods and tornadoes and snowstorms. I've never been through a tropical storm in a building with windows that desperately needed replacing, though. Of course, I'm most glad that Beezus and Henry are okay and no one was hurt. It's just a giant pain in the ass though, all this.

126: exhausted exhausted
780: The Killers - When You Were Young

13 overdue - Check it out
I blame heidi8 for this. Thank you, loff.

I've been meaning to write a decent-length SPN fic for some time, and I love writing gen, so I was really happy when Heidi told me about signups for spn_summergen. The big reveal is now live, so I can be all public and say that I wrote Fire of Known Origin for missyjack, who, um, doesn't know I exist. dettiot did the beta and hand-holding. Can I also be proud that I wrote the only first-person fic in the fest? I'm proud that wrote the only first-person fic in the fest. It was easier than it should have been, which is either totally great or totally frightening.

Fire of Known Origin. Supernatural gen, Dean-centric, rated R for violence and language, ignores the information and events from "No Rest for the Wicked" and "Malleus Maleficarum" but is otherwise canon-compliant. missyjack's prompt was "Dean in hell (crack or horror)."

Before I sold my soul, I had been convinced that Hell looked like Disneyland.Collapse )

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126: thirsty thirsty

7 overdue - Check it out
This morning, I was coming out of one of the toll plazas I have to go through on my way to work and there was a little congestion around the exits. That's par for the course in New Jersey, so I kept my usual eye out for the crazies that populate my morning (and afternoon, and weekend) commute.

A car length or so in front of me was an old Honda with a bumper sticker that said "Mystery Spot" in large letters. So I cut off some guy in an SUV to get closer to the Honda to see if the letters underneath it said "Broward County, Florida."

They said "Santa Cruz, California."

Good thing the guy in the SUV wasn't going very fast. I wouldn't even have had a good excuse if I'd caused an accident.


6 overdue - Check it out
A certain librarian just bought her husband Metallica tickets for Christmakwanzakkah. She has lower-level seating, about 7 o'clock (maybe 7:30) if the stage is at 12 o'clock. AND a free copy of Death Magnetic is included.

Now, if I could just rent a black 1967 Impala to drive to the concert venue with, life would be perfect.

In YA lit news, the 2009 books are starting to come in, so I'm starting a backlist of YA books to post about here. I'm also going to try to get some adult stuff read. It's been too long and I'm starting to feel a little burned out on YA. Right now I'm actually going backwards in time and age a little bit and reading Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath, which I think is very much the sort of book that my quirky childhood self would have enjoyed. I'm only about 15 pages in but I'm totally entranced by Primrose's voice.

Is it just me, or is everyone in entertainment news talking about fanfic these days? It's been a subject of two NY Times articles, plus there was a mention in yesterday's BuzzSugar, and fan issues have turned up lately in the Wall Street Journal and all kinds of book and library blogs. Fellow fans, are we becoming more visible, or is fanfic becoming an accepted form of entertainment, or...

In my own fic life, I'm enjoying spn_summergen immensely but not commenting enough. I am also sketching out my hp_darkfest fic, because it's going to be somewhat labor-intensive. When I first saw the prompt they gave me, my reflex was to send it back because I thought it was terrible. Then I did the very smart thing of talking to dettiot about it because she is very wise in the ways of fandom. She helped me figure out a way to make it work and I think it should turn out cool. I'm also working more on a Numb3rs fic cycle and I have a few short SPN fics and...yeah, sleep is for other people.

Did anyone else watch 90210 last night? I think I was supposed to love it and I didn't. I guess I'm not much for soaps. I'm more the police procedural sort. I watched the original when I was in junior high and it was THE show my friend Jen and I discussed at school the night after it aired, so I'm definitely part of the nostalgia audience The CW wants to reach. Maybe part of my problem with the new 90210 is that it seems to take itself way too seriously and it's much too self-aware. Or maybe I'm just not that into watching other people's fake drama. Maybe both. I always thought part of the appeal of the first one was Brandon and Brenda's fish-out-of-Minnesota-water honesty. It was clear that they had strong ties to their hometown. In the remake, Kansas might as well be Ohio might as well be Illinois might as well be Wisconsin. Like all Midwestern states are interchangeable. Yes, yes, I know, as a Supernatural fan I should know that all Midwestern states are interchangeable with Vancouver, but that's not quite what I meant. I'll give 90210 4 episodes and if it's as boring as Gossip Girl I'll find a new police procedural to watch.

Oooh, oooh, and am I the last person to know that The Nighmare Before Christmas is coming back to theaters in 3D this October? I'm so excited! I need a Nightmare Before Christmas icon!

126: tired trying not to faceplant

7 overdue - Check it out
Dear Spill.com,

Been there. Done that.

If you really want to impress the Harry Potter slash writers, try enlisting the Giant Squid. But maybe not even then.

Your efforts are greatly appreciated. They're just a little late if you plan to faze anyone in this fandom. We've seen it all. Some of us have written it all.



780: what you need my son is a holiday in Cambodia

3 overdue - Check it out
A galley of siobhan_says_so's latest book just came in the newest Scholastic Box O' Love. I think I will skip watching TV tonight (except for SPN, of course) and read it.

Also included was a book called The School For Dangerous Girls. I must read at least the first hundred pages of that one.

780: she had become like they are, come on baby

4 overdue - Check it out
I usually love the Beloit College Mindset List, but this year it made me cross my eyes.

The first item on the list is "Harry Potter could be a classmate, playing on their Quidditch team."


Any fan worth his/her salt knows that Harry Potter was born in 1980, not 1990 as the Mindset List sets most of the births for the Beloit College Class of 2012. Yes, yes, we all know J.K. Rowling can't add and subtract but the books are pretty clear on this one. I'm wondering how they arrived at the Harry Potter Could Be a Classmate conclusion. My only theory is that they counted Harry as being 11 years old at the time of the US publication of SS, which would mean Harry was born in 1987 and could be a classmate of theirs if Beloit had a Quidditch team. They don't, though. I don't think Quidditch is popular in Division III schools.

126: nerdy mathematical
780: too bad she only thinks about the Lord above

12 overdue - Check it out