Wednesday, December 7, 2011

tis been a while

Hello All!

Yeah, I know that I've been gone awhile again.  Remember that virus that laid me out?  Well, ya see, for some reason that crazy assed virus got to comfy living in me, and wouldnt move on.  For the most part, I've been sofa surfing and bed lounging.  Long dark days where I slept more than was awake.  Long nights of no sleep, my longest stretch was 28 hours and then only napped for 3 hours, and was up again for over 24.

Part of the issue is I have a compromised immune system which is worsened by the cold.  Yeah, lucky me huh?  It's been a bit warmer of late, and so I'm feeling a bit better, don't know how long it will last, but one must enjoy every morsel, yeah?

So, what occupied my waking hours?  Hmm, lets see......ok I watched way way to much tv.  I watched so much of Mythbusters, my all time favorite show, next to Star Trek, that I can tell in what order certain scenes were filmed.  How?  Well, some by the size of Kari's tummy the year she was preggers.  By the healing of scrapes and burns, and ultimately wardrobe.  No, really!  But one must watch episode after episode to see what order the clips were filmed.

I've read loads.  No, let me repeat that, I read LOADS AND LOADS.......there that's better!  I'm what most people would classify as an eclectic reader, and most of the books I read are e-books.  Why?  Well, many of the inks and glues burn my hands, however a more precise view honestly is, what bookstore is open at 2 am?  Exactly, none are, but Kindle and iBooks never close! Whoo-hoo!!  Books available 24 hours a day!  Now that is my idea of heaven on earth.

Here are just a few from my "hit" parade.
"the kids from nowhere" The Story Behind the Arctic Educational Miracle by George Guthridge
 Life in most of Alaska is vastly different from the "lower 48".  We seem to view things differently here, and for the most part it isnt what you wear, what you do for a living, what you drive or even what your home looks like, if indeed you have one that you're judged by, but its who you are, if your word is able to be trusted that matters.  But as different as the larger towns here are from y'all, the villages are a world apart from everyone.  To a great extent they are still tied, willingly mind you, to the tides and seasons of the year.  Honestly to me they lead a much more authentic lifestyle, than our acquisition centered lifestyle.  They live in the here and the now, not next week, month, year but now.

George drags his family to an extremely remote corner of Alaska, and yeah I hear what you're thinking, and yes they can see Russia from their house on a clear day.  Schools as a whole in Alaska are rather dismal, but schools in villages are the absolute dregs.  We get the teachers that no one else will take, the fresh faced kids right out of a large school from the 'states' who think teaching in Alaska will be.....sigh "romantic".  But every so often we capture a rare gem, and George is the rarest of the rare, he battled the other teachers to prove these kids were teachable.  Found ways to reach these kids who scholarship was just a waiting time until their real lives could start, where school honestly to them was a monumental waste of time.  These kids are all ESL (English as a second language) who had grave issues writing in English, as Yupik is arranged differently than English.  George was tossed into teaching a class on Future Problem Solving, without any resources or experience, and in two years took two groups to the nationals, and won fighting against enormous odds.  Before you have a chance to think,  "ahh, one of those pat myself on the back books", no no George is quite clear that while he pushed them forward, it was the kids who were motivated to win.  The first year they wanted to win because they knew they would be the only Eskimo team competing in Anchorage, and wanted the chance to prove they were more than whale hunters, the second year they wanted to score better to show that their last placement wasn't a fluke.

Dragon's path by Daniel Abraham
A solid book, there were several characters that really stole my breath with how well Daniel managed to "draw" them.  I'm not quite sure how to classify this book, I'd suppose fantasy as at one point in time there were dragons, but they aren't any left when the book takes place.  There isnt any magic, at the heart of the story is political intrigue and how the most far flung person can cause epic changes.  What I liked about this book the most was that their world is populated by many different types of people, think Star Trek with the mix of all the cultures/beings, and ya got it.  Some of these beings were created by dragons to be servants, and as in any society there is class distinction, and racism.  Daniel draws his people with a deft hand, and isnt shy about peeling away the thin veneer of society and showing the raw underbelly many people possess.  There is one character who did a deed so vile, so horrific I had to put the book down for awhile.  But then, y'all know my low threshold for violence.

Josh Lanyon

I adore Josh's writing, and haven't found anything he's written that I haven't loved.  What is it about his writing that draws me?  Hmm.....his word usage, his playfully smart dialog, and his everyman characters.  He is to use a rarely used term, witty.

My first introduction to his work was the Adrien English Series.  Adrien is a owner of a mystery bookstore who keeps getting drawn into murder investigations, the first of which because he was a "person of interest" to the police, and was afraid if he didnt investigate he would be railroaded straight to jail.  As the case unfolds a very unlikely romance develops between Adrien and Jake.  Jake is everything that Adrien hates, a closeted man, but something about Jake gets under Adrien's skin.  Adrien has a mom that worries about him non-stop as Adrien has a bum ticker, and is honestly not healthy.  As Adrien works his way through the murder of his high school best friend and more currently employee, he fights with his mom about moving back home, works to keep the store staffed, and tries to figure out what to do about Jake.  There be sex here, but unlike many m/m books tis a book that includes sex as a normal part of Adrien's life, not a word porn book with just enough plot to hang a story on.

Take The Lead by Johnny Diaz

Johnny's book is a loving portrayal of a son's love for his dad who is dealing with the debilitating effects of Parkinson's while he navigates through the dating world.  Gabriel is a college professor who has moved from Miami to Boston, leaving his family behind.  All is well with Gabriel's world until he realizes that his father needs help, and he begins to look for something, anything that will help his dad move better.  Then he finds an article on how dancing improves some of the issues Parkinson's patients have, and while exploring the dance class he begins to crush on the dance teacher, Adam. 

Ooku: The Inner Chambers by Fumi Yoshinaga
Manga about the Edo period in Japan where a strange new disease called "Red Pox" has begun to kill the country's men, and continues to do so until there is only a quarter of the men left.  This manga explores how society would change to accommodate this occurrence.  Men become too valuable to use for manual labor, war is a thing of the past as they cant be so easily thrown away.  The Shogun is now a woman who has an "inner court" ie concubines of over 800 men. An unbelievable wealth in a society where every man is cherished.  Men no longer work, but are cosseted and cared for, and women pick up the slack doing traditionally male centered jobs.  The main portion of the series takes place in the inner court and the repercussions it has on all of these men who have no outlet for their sexual needs, their needs to having something to strive for and against.  And so they plot and conspire against each other.  When one young handsome man comes in, the men who have been there longer take an instant dislike to him, and after dark rape him.  A very multi layered series.  It reads from the "back" of the book to the front right to left on each page.  If you only try one manga, this might be a good one to try.  Like 99% of manga available only in print form.

And if you were curious as to just how dark it is in the winter here during the day?  Well, we havent yet approached the darkest day yet, but it sure feels like it.

This was taken at 2:30 pm.  Yeah just a typical day here in the frozen north.  If I think about it, I'll do a picture tomorrow at noon, yeah?

See y'all soon!


  1. Glad you're feeling good enough to post! I know you've been sick a lot, and it's great that you're back amongst the living.

    I'll have to get the Guthbridge book. I like stories like that. And you turned me on the Lanyon, I think I have all the Adrien English books now, if I don't, I will next week on payday!

    Love the picture, but I think even I would get tired of all the darkness in the land of the Midnight Sun!

    Peace <3

  2. That last pic looks like 4:30 where I live, minus the snow.

  3. Glad you're feeling better.
    There's nothing I like more than curling up with a good book, except when i'm sick!

  4. Biki,
    Good to hear from you and glad you are feeling better.

    That Manga book does sound interesting.


  5. I knew something was up ...Sorry was gone too .... anyway you once told me you were doing better if you got sick body wise ... so I taking this that your doing somewhat better even if you feel like crap ... i hope you get way better though miss you .... Love and huggs and shit Love Lee