So, Andrew and I are currently slogging through The Lost Symbol. It is a terrible book for a multitude of reasons (the main one being that Dan Brown desperately DESPERATELY needs an editor), but I just have to share this quote with you all, because OMG. Before you ask, the entire book is like this, where Brown writes things that he clearly thinks are clever or scary or suspenseful or whatever, and they are usually the exact opposite of what he's going for.

To set the scene: The villain in this book is a dude who has tattooed every inch of his skin. The characters all react to this like it makes him some kind of monster/animal, just by virtue of the fact that he's covered in tattoos, which is probably offensive to tattooed people and tattoo artists, but Brown doesn't care. Anyway, said villain has just laid a SUPER OBVIOUS trap that the characters walked right into, because everyone in this book is unbearably stupid, and this is from the point of view of the 'heroine' who he's captured.

"With the exception of a small circle on top of his head, every inch of his body appeared to be decorated. A massive double-headed phoenix on his chest glared at her through nipple eyes like some kind of ravenous vulture, patiently waiting for her death." Glared at her through nipple eyes. NIPPLE EYES. Is there any universe in which that is frightening, and not hilarious? Andrew and I both burst out laughing, breaking whatever miniscule tension Brown had managed to create. How can nipples glare? How is a phoenix with a nipple for an eye anything but ridiculous? Why are we still reading this book?

Bonus: Here's my favorite line from the book though: " '
Google' is not a synonym for 'research'.” Yes, well, you clearly didn't do either when writing this book, so. I see through your transparent attempt to dissuade readers from calling you on your complete, utter, bullshit, Dan.
So, Andrew and I FINALLY finished Angels and Demons the other day, and I have some things to say.

Cut for length, spoilers, and stupidity. )
This post should be a review of last night's Face Off, but it's not because I haven't seen that episode yet. Our satellite was being wonky (which NEVER happened in NC, and happens all the damn time up here in MA) so we DVRed a later showing of it, which hopefully is there for me to watch tonight. So, you know, look for that post tomorrow.

In the meantime, Andrew and I finished The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern last night, so please enjoy my brief review of it.

Spoilers Under Here )
Finally, like a week or more after I finished reading it, here is my review of Jaws. I may be using the term 'review' lightly, but here at least are my thoughts on Jaws, my book club assignment for January. Spoilers under the cut for both the book and the movie.

In my usual semi-scattered form )

Bottom line: I hesitate to say that either the book or the movie is better, because they're very different, but I personally prefer the movie. Possibly because it's what I saw first.

Here's one of my favorite scenes from Jaws, for your enjoyment:

Answer to last Tuesday's song: My Hometown, by Bowling for Soup. No one guessed this, probably because it's relatively obscure, but I had to quote it because it mentions The Grammys, lol.
Updated 7/26/16

  • Career of Evil - Robert Galbraith

  • The Table of Less Valued Knights - Marie Phillips

  • The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists - Gideon Defoe

  • Sleepy Hollow - Dax Varley

  • Yes!: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania - Daniel Bryan

  • Golden - Cameron Dokey

  • Wildwood Dancing - Juliet Marillier

  • Raging Heat - Richard Castle

  • Where the Heart Is - Billie Letts

  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne

  • The Fourth Bear - Jasper Fforde

  • Cinder - Marissa Meyer

  • The Girl Who Played With Fire - Stieg Larsson

  • While Beauty Slept - Elizabeth Blackwell

  • A Midsummer Tights Dream - Louise Rennison

  • The Cat Who Sniffed Glue - Lillian Jackson Braun

  • Good Omens (re-read) - Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

  • Little Women (re-read for me, new for Andrew) - Louisa May Alcott

  • The Hobbit (re-read) - JRR Tolkien

  • To Kill A Mockingbird (re-read for me, new for Andrew) - Harper Lee

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot apparently Andrew isn't into non-fiction

  • Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen Couldn't bring myself to read this, going to 'shelve' it for a while

  • Jaws - Peter Benchley read, January 2014

  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson read, February 2014

  • Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne read, March 2014

  • Deadly Heat - Richard Castle read, June 2014

  • Withering Tights - Louise Rennison read, June 2014

  • The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern read, July 2014

  • Angels & Demons - Dan Brown read, August 2014

  • The Glass Demon - Helen Grant read, September, 2014

  • American Gods - Neil Gaiman read, October and November, 2014

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon read, January, 2015

  • Owl in Love - Patrice Kindl read, February, 2015

  • The Cat Who Played Brahms - Lillian Jackson Braun read, March, 2015

  • The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown read, April, May & June, 2015

  • The Outlaws of Sherwood - Robin McKinley read, July, 2015

  • The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) read, August & September, 2015

  • The Cat Who Played Post Office - Lillian Jackson Braun read, September, 2015

  • Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn read, October, November, & December 2015

  • The Cat who Knew Shakespeare - Lillian Jackson Braun read, December, 2015

  • The Princess Bride - William Goldman read, January, 2016

  • The Big Over Easy (re-read for me, new for Andrew) - Jasper Fforde read, February, 2016

  • The Silkworm - Robert Galbraith read, March, 2016

  • Beauty - Robin McKinley read June, 2016

My dream job? I want a job where I feel like I'm making a difference, no matter how small, and helping people in some way. And it would be nice to teach/work with kids... but not as a full-time part of the job. I would like to make a little more money than I do now, and also benefits would be sweet. A job that has something to do with my degrees would obviously be a bonus as well. :)


And finally, this:
Me: Poor Smaug. He just wanted to sleep in his cave and be left alone, and then those stupid dwarves came and killed him.
Andrew: Yeah, the cave which he killed thousands of dwarves to get.
Me: Well, dragons have to have caves! Do you expect him to live on the street?
Andrew: He could have found another cave, that wasn't populated by dwarves!
Me: How do you know they didn't take that cave from a dragon in the first place?

It's been... somewhere around fifteen years since I read The Hobbit, but the part that stuck with me the most was that I was annoyed as FUCK by those stupid dwarves, and I really liked the dragon and just wanted him to barbeque and eat them all.

Answer to last Wednesday's song: My Unfortunate Erection, from 25th Annual Spelling Bee. No one guessed this, which is really a shame. How could I resist quoting a song about erections when we were discussing 50 Shades?

Sooooooooo, I signed up to participate in this festival:

And I'm super excited about it! I looked at the list from last year, and even though this year is bigger, there are still plenty of gentlemen waiting for you to love them! In other words, you should come play with me and [ profile] letsgokomets!

P.S. I chose Gen from The Thief, which I'm re-reading in preparation, so prepare for a post about that soon.

Answer to last Wednesday's song: Say My Name, by Destiny's Child. No one guessed this. :(
Book meme, lovingly stolen from [ profile] letsgokomets.

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?
Whatever, man. I have some series that I have some of the books in paperback, and some in hardcover. I don't even know if I would be able to tell the difference between a regular and mass market paperback.

Amazon or brick and mortar? Both. Honestly, Amazon only if I know specifically what I want.

Barnes & Noble or Borders? I MISS BORDERS. *sobs* B&N can suck it, they are so pretentious in there.

Bookmark or dog-ear? Bookmark. I have a collection! I don't understand dog-earring, to be perfectly honest with you; how do you know which dog ear you're on? They just keep folding back over, and it seems like it would get confusing.

Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random? I have my books organized by size and type (hardcover vs. paperback) and then kind of by genre. Makes more room on the shelves that way.

Keep, throw away, or sell? Keep, and then sell or donate. Who throws away books? Unless they're moldy or something.

Keep dust jacket or toss it? Keep! So much keep that I used to bring home dust jackets from the library when I worked there to display as 'art' on our walls.

Read with dust jacket or remove it? Depends on the book. Sometimes I end up using them as bookmarks (if the book is slim enough) but sometimes they just get in the way.

Short story or novel? Mostly novels, though when I was a teenager I read sci-fi/fantasy short story collections like it was my JOB.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? Harry Potter!

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? Depends how interesting the book is, but mostly at chapter breaks.

"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"? Once upon a time. I love fairy tales.

Buy or borrow? Buy. I can never seem to remember to give back books I've borrowed, and then I keep them for years, never read them, and feel bad. The exception to this being Abby; I've devoured anything I ever borrowed from her.

New or used? Mainly used, heh. Andrew and I had to buy another bookshelf because we bought so many books at the library and church book sales.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendations, or browse? Reviews and recommendations. I can never tell what I'm getting into just by browsing.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger? TIDY, OMFG. I abhor cliffhanger endings, and even endings that I feel are too open. This is possibly why I love the infamous HP Epilogue so much. I always want to know what happened next!

Morning reading, afternoon reading, or nighttime reading? Nighttime, though right now the answer is 'not nearly as much reading as I should be doing'.

Stand-alone or series? Both!

Favorite series? Ooh, well, I like a lot of series. Harry Potter (JK Rowling), Georgia Nicolson (Louise Rennison), and The Thief (Megan Whalen Turner) being the top three.

Favorite children's book? The Mouse who Didn't Believe in Santa Claus, by Eugene Field (though I guess this is technically a short story. I still read it every Christmas.)

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? The Fairy Godmother, by Mercedes Lackey.

Favorite books read last year? Sherlock Holmes collection (Arthur Conan Doyle)

Favorite books of all time? How can I possibly answer that? Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Thief, and Holes (Louis Sachar).

Least favorite book you finished last year? Does Frankenstein count if I didn't actually finish it?

What are you reading right now? Dark Whispers (Bruce Coville)

What are you reading next? Either Frozen Heat (Richard Castle) or The Last Hunt (Bruce Coville)

Favorite book to recommend to an eleven-year-old? Can I say The Thief again? And Harry Potter? And also anything by EL Konigsburg.

Favorite book to reread? Everything. I love re-reading books.

Do you ever smell books? Yes, I mean, not generally on purpose, but it has happened. And I can tell you, there are many books in the library that smell like ASS. Most of them are super old and the (usually leather) binding is starting to disintegrate.

Answer to last Wednesday's song: My Life, by Billy Joel. [ profile] becofoz got this one right!
Hi everyone! Sorry I didn't do a post last night, I just didn't have anything to say. But we might be losing our internet tonight (we're trying to switch away from Time Warner, and God knows they screwed up our start of service badly enough that I don't have confidence in them not screwing up the end of it too) so I'm going to try to get a post up now.

Although, since I still have nothing to say, it's just going to be a meme )

Answer to last Wednesday's song: Ireland, from Legally Blonde. Abby got this one right, which is as it should be given that she introduced me to that musical in the first place.

I actually didn't do a post last Tuesday either, so there's no answer for yesterday to catch up on. :)

I basically got a million DVD's for Christmas, and The Casual Vacancy. Can't want to start reading that as we drive back down to NC!
Sometimes, I get really discouraged with my fic writing. I still, for instance, haven't thought of some better way to lead up to the ending of the Rapunzel story, and the politics of part two are dragging me down. I just want to make everything work, to make it all make sense, to fill in all the holes and answer all the questions that I always have when I read stories. I want it to be good, so very good, which is why it's been nowhere but on my hard drive for the last several years while I tweak it in my brain.

And then I read things that have clearly not even been proofread, much less edited, that have very little time or care put into them, and I come across plot holes and typos in published fiction (seriously, Mercedes Lackey needs a MUCH BETTER EDITOR) and I think, "you know, maybe I don't have to work so hard or worry so much."

The question, I guess, is: if there's so much crap out there, and my story is already of a pretty decent quality, should I just post it and the minor quibbles that remain be damned?
So, yesterday I did a (loooooong overdue) update of my LJ profile. You should check it out, I hadn't edited it since some time in high school (maybe Freshman year of college) and it needed it. ANYWAY.

Part of this was updating my interests section. One of the things I tried to add was a book title: Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging. However, when I hit "Save Changes" I got this error message "Sorry, you have listed an interest with 6 words. Each interest has a limit of 4 words."

WTF LiveJournal? We can only be interested in things with four word titles? So, in addition to not being able to list ATaFFS (or probably any of the other Georgia Nicholson books) you also cannot be interested in:

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (not even if you drop the PotC part)
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (which EVERYONE should see, because Wesley Snipes in drag)
Harold and Kumar go to White Castle
How I Met Your Mother

And that's just a small sample. These things are not obscure, LJ, what the hell were you thinking with the four word limit? I'm sure you had a reason for this nonsense, but really. You're leaving out a good chunk of things people might be fans of. You might want to reconsider.
Hey Hollywood?

The next time you think to yourself, "let's update a classic children's book, and by update I mean strip it of everything that made children love it in the first place and instead insert sap and slapstick, and make it into a movie with Jim Carrey!" Do me a favor, and don't.
So, Andrew and I have been slowly working our way through all the Sherlock Holmes stuff ever written, and we are almost finished. Thus, dear people of livejournal, I would like to ask you what other "classics" you have read and enjoyed, that you would recommend we start next. I was pleasantly surprised by how good Sherlock Holmes is, but you never can tell with "classic" things everyone likes. Like Pride and Prejudice.

Anyway, thoughts? And don't anybody say Dickens.


And they are, of course, only my opinions. And you are, of course, free to disagree.

This is what I decided to do today rather than getting dressed. :)
In a complete departure from my post of last night/this morning, I bring you a completely random meme skanked from [personal profile] schmoo999.

a. List seven habits/quirks/facts about yourself.
b. Tag seven people to do the same.

1. I love super heroes, but I cannot read comic books. There is something about the formatting of comic books that I just can't handle, and all the alternate universes drive me crazy. But I love the backstories, and the cartoons I used to watch, and I own a bunch of random episodes of Batman Beyond and X-Men Evolution that I watch when I'm feeling down. And I love all the cheesy awful movies based off them too. Especially The Fantastic Four (1 and 2).

2. I have trouble throwing things away. I still own almost every single toy and book I've ever had, as well as clothes that I haven't worn since I was five. They certainly don't fit, but I can't bear to get rid of them. I form deep sentimental attachments to things, and then they stay around forever. Sometimes I even think of things I've thrown out, and get really sad.

3. I've never been stung by a bee, and I don't actually know if I'm allergic to them. I only think I might be because I'm allergic to lots of other things. Though I did get stung by a wasp once, picking up a fun noodle, so I don't think I am. I don't know quite how bee allergies work.

4. I've always wanted to be a drummer.

5. I read the ends of books before I read the beginnings, almost always. And I'm not ashamed of it. It's what do, it's how I like to read, and none of the people who've told me I'm awful have changed my behavior.

6. I want to be successful in life for many reasons, one of which is so I can lord it over the people who were nasty to me in middle school. When I'm rich and possibly famous, I want them all to see me, and feel bad about how awful they were to me, and look at their own dull uneducated lives and wish they were me.

7. I know next to nothing about British history, and I really want to.

I tag... Janeea, Erin, Matt, Carmen, Andrew, Abby, and Jess, but anyone's free to take or leave this.

It's always a fear of mine that I'll return to something, a book or a movie, that I loved when I was younger, and haven't read or watched in a long time, and find that it's actually awful. 

It's what happened when I watched The Neverending Story, which I used to watch roughly once a day as a kid, not that long ago. It was so depressing and awful and I was like, "Why the hell did I like this?"

It happened again with The Swan Princess, which I used to love, and recently discovered is cheesy and terrible. It's not even good terrible. It's just a bad movie.

However, I also just watched Quest for Camelot for the first time in years and years, and I still really like it. It's cheesy too, but it's also legitimately funny and Garet is still hot.

But the point of all this is that I started reading The Theif, by Megan Whalen Turner last night. It's a book that I've read about a billion times, but not in about six years, so I was worried that this book I loved would actully be awful. 

It's not, and I'm so excited. It's very well written, even though it's written for "young adults," and it's funny and intriguing and believable, and not at all historically accurate, but that's ok because it says in the author's note that it's not meant to be.

There's really no point to all this, I'm just saying that I love this book and I'm glad that it stands the test of time.

Please don't ask why, at 1:30am, I am 1. Awake and 2. Reading lists of banned books, but I am.

Books get banned from schools because they "promote" something (sex, violence, drugs, drinking, profanity, homosexuality, murder, suicide, rape, racism, withcraft, the occult, political dissent, evolution, disobedience, religion contrary to the predominant religion of the area, etc.) that some parent/group of parents doesn't wan their precious child to read. As if keeping it away from them in literary form is going to make it go away in real life.

And this goes back to what I was saying last post about Disney movies: kids are not stupid. Let me say that again: kids are not stupid. It's ok to challenge them with big words and concepts. They're going to learn this stuff, and probably sooner than you expect. You can't shelter your child from everything, forever. To a certain extent, yes. I'm not advocating letting 3rd graders read 1984 or anything (though I doubt they'd understand it. I read it in 12th grade and didn't fully understand it. Mostly because of what I know about Russian history and politics. Which is nothing.) but some of the things that have been banned are just ridiculous. They were on the case of Shel Silverstein and James and the Giant Peach. Come on. It's ludicrous.

Anyways, my point at the end of this rambling is that when they present me with a list of books that have been banned, I want to read every single one of them. Both to defy the stupid people, and to find out what makes them so bad. Maybe it's just me, but I doubt it. I bet that feeling happens a lot. And it's ironic and makes me happy.

P.S. Where were these people when I was in middle and high school? The Outsiders, Flowers for Algernon, Animal Farm, Great Expectations, Romeo and Juliet, The Iliad, the Odyssey, Lord of the Flies, Antigone, Julius Ceasar, A Farewell to Arms, A  Tale of Two Cities, A Separate Peace, The Scarlet Letter, The Crucible, The Great Gatsby, Othello, Macbeth, The Canterbury Tales, Brave New World, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, Their Eyes Were Watching God, every single one of those books/plays has at least on of the objectionable things in it. Most have several. (And couldn't someone PLEASE object to Great Expectations so we can stop forcing kids to suffer through that book?) If I hadn't read any of them, I'd never have had an English class. Oh no, I tell a lie. I could still have read Pride and Prejudice. Oh joy.

The following is really just for my future reference, and is in no way a request for the items listed below. I decided to put it in my LJ because this way I won't lose it.

What Megan Wants for Christmas:
-The Inuyasha and/or FMA calendars I saw in Borders today
-Chocolate Frogs
-The rest of the FMA DVD's that I don't own
-Music and Lyrics (movie and/or soundtrack)
-Maroon 5's new cd
-Hannah Montana Soundtrack
-Little Mermaid Sweatshirt
-The Scorpion King
-Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer
-Georgia Nicholson book #6
-Two tickets to see TLM on Broadway. Seriously, I'm thinking of just asking mom to have all the relatives contribute money to this instead of buying me Christmas presents. Because I REALLY want to go, and it's too expensive for just my mom to do. 



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