liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
My very dear friend J is getting married this summer. And she's asked me to hold one of the poles of her chupah. This is just about the most flattering thing that's ever happened to me. Oh wow.
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
Author: EM Forster

Details: I was really stupid today and managed to take back to the library a whole pile of books I was intending to review. Well, not entirely stupid because they were a week overdue, but still, I'm going to have to guess a bit at the details.

It was written in 1910, but I don't quite understand why it's widely available online, as Forster only died in 1970, so it should still be in copyright. Anyway, since I can't remember which edition I read or easily find the ISBN, here is the Gutenberg text of it.

Verdict: Howard's End is amusing throughout and thought-provoking in places.

Reasons for reading it: I saw the film absolutely years ago, and was so distracted by the inappropriate juxtaposition of Helena Bonham-Carter with Emma Thompson that I failed to take in anything else about the story. EM mentioned it recently and reminded me of my old and rather vague intention to read it.

How it came into my hands: The library

detailed review )
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
The lovely AL (who doesn't have a livejournal account yet) sent me a link to an amusing collection of ultra-short parodies of various books. So I thought I'd share it.

No enlightenment at all on the subject of Bamidbar. So I'll just comment that I prepared stuff (ok, not the most brilliant or thorough preparation I've ever done, but still) and nobody turned up for synagogue to appreciate my efforts. At times like this I love my community less than other times.
liv: In English: My fandom is text obsessed / In Hebrew: These are the words (words)
Disclaimer: This is a fairly technical post. I'm working on the assumption that if you don't understand the terms, you're not likely to be interested in the content. I have a vague project to put a glossary or similar on my website, something along the lines of this absolutely gorgeous definitions set, which may in fact help to some extent with this post, as well as being extremely amusing.

English Bible reference: Leviticus 25:3-46

Torah study )

And yes, I should be preparing this week's sedra rather than blogging last week's. Or at least sleeping so that I can do so sensibly before shul tomorrow morning!
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
I'm trying to use the Livejournal to-do list function as a to read list. (Well, at the moment my to read list is partly on scraps of paper, partly most imperfectly in my memory, and... well, you get the picture.) Recommendations (and disrecommendations) and general discussion would be most welcome.

I've just spent the whole [expletive] day making a beautiful poster for a stupid hoop-jumping bonanza tomorrow that I don't want to go to (and calling it a symposium doesn't help; it's not fun, it's not intellectually stimulating, there's no food and no debauchery involved). I now discover there is no colour printer in the entire [expletive] department. So now I shall just have to present an ugly poster. *sigh*
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
Musicians: Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal conducted by Charles Dutoit. Dame Kiri te Kanawa (soprano) & Sherill Milnes (baritone).

Details: (c) 1988 The Decca Record Company; Opus 48; Orchestral version 1901

Reasons for listening to it: I've been completely obsessed with this Requiem since I was 12 so it seemed good to hear a new version.

How it came into my hands: It happened to be in the local library. (For some reason they shelved it under 'Easy Listening'; they seem to imagine that anything which doesn't have a dominant drum beat falls into this category...)

Verdict: Ummm. The balance of instruments is wrong. Obviously technically excellent with such big names, but when it's wrong it's wrong.

detailed review )
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
I've had complaints that my italic font is hard to read. So any suggestions what would be better?

The fashion these days seems to be for very small sans-serif, which I agree is attractive and readable, but it's not the look I want. I'm after something less Zeitgeist, more retro. (Not retro like the stunningly gorgeous [ profile] compilerbitch's page, however much I am deeply jealous of it; I'm thinking more late Victorian into Belle Epoque sort of concept.)

Now obviously I could find some authentic period font, but I'm trying to be good and stick to the standard set. Maybe my best bet is to get some period backgrounds and borders and not bother with the font; artwork from the period I'm after is mostly out of copyright so this should be relatively easy.

As an additional thought, how come some people's user-specified fonts show up on friends lists, whereas mine return to the default even on the same friends lists? Cos assuming I do find what I'm after I'd like to have a consistent style.


May. 25th, 2003 11:03 pm
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
Well, I was just complaining to [ profile] shreena that all the digital photos of me that exist are in fancy dress. She suggested I use this:
as the basis for my icon. What do people think? Would it be a good icon, and if so, what should I do with it to make it into a truly funky icon?

*I believe the correct term is 'gratuitous icon post'
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
One of the cool things about being a scientist is that I get lots of parcels. Considering that one of my vices is ordering random things on eBay in order to have parcels arrive for me in the post, you can imagine how much I enjoy it when someone turns up with a big trolley stacked high with boxes of about a cubic foot in volume, and they're all for me.

These exciting parcels are made even more cool by being covered in scary-looking hazard labels and warnings, and attain the ultimate in cool when they are full of dry ice. Now, as anyone who has ever been exposed to an attempt to convince them that science is fun will know, dry ice is very funky stuff.

Oh dear, I seem to have accidentally dropped a chunk of dry ice into that beaker of dye that happened to be standing there...
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
Well, since everyone's blogging it, and since this is supposed to be about books, here's my take on the BBC's Big Read list. Read more... )
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
Author: Marion Zimmer Bradley

Details: (c) Marion Zimmer Bradley 1982; Pub Ballantine Books 1984; ISBN1 0-345-31452-2

Verdict: The mists of Avalon has occasional flashes of brilliance, unfortunately rather diluted.

Reasons for reading it: [ profile] darcydodo recommended it. I hadn't read much fantasy before I met Darcy, and in some ways this book typifies the sort of things I find uncomfortable with the genre.

How it came into my hands: I bought it second-hand in the Berkeley flea-market when I was visiting [ profile] darcydodo in January. That was some book-shopping trip! (I also got two very useful items of clothing, one purple and one velvet for $6. I don't normally get excited about buying clothes, but that was something!)

1 I've included an ISBN number so that anyone who wants to look up the book can do so easily. I don't like the increasingly prevalent custom of linking all book titles to; why should I give them gratuitous advertising? Anyone who cares that much probably has their own favourite online book shop.

detailed review )

I was going to do some comparing of MoA with other versions of the Arthurian myth that I've read, but this is too long already, so I'll leave it at that.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
The purpose of this livejournal is primarily to facilitate my livejournal habit by making it easier for me to read and comment on my friends' journals.

Of course, that's what they all say, so I've set up the journal with a secondary purpose as well: I'm planning to use it mainly as a booklog. This is partly a matter of self-discipline; I'm only going to finish books so often, so hopefully it will keep me from posting obsessively. Apart from that I've been intending for a while to get back into booklogging and possibly doing a more general livre d'or. Putting it online will, I think, motivate me to keep up with it better than I would a paper version.

Before you object that you want to hear all about my life, not just what books I've been reading, don't worry, you will get plenty of background. Last time I kept a booklog (GCSE English, in fact) it turned into quite a personal diary. But much more interesting than my real diary, because the focus on books kept me from delving too far into adolescent navel-gazing. I'm hoping this will be the case again, with this electronic version.

ETA: This is a test edit from 9th Jan 2017.


Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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