foreverlasting: (Jasmine Sultry)

Saturday night I went blues dancing for the last time until I'm guessing October, and Sunday I went with friends down to Deception Pass, where we had a picnic by the bay. We curled up in blankets and read in the sun. Perfect.

I've been leaving all the windows in the apartment open because of the heat wave recently. This morning when I woke up and padded across the creaky floor in shorts and a tank top, I was greeted by several blasts of cold air. I took a hot shower for once and even put on a sweater. At Haggens today I was contemplating how I could justify buying hot chocolate. Despite how much I love summer, I'm looking forward to the fall.

I'm mere pages away from finishing Nora Roberts' Blood Brothers, the first in her Sign of Seven trilogy. Tomorrow I'm going to amble down to the used bookstore and buy the next two. I bought this one because I was craving a romance whose characters didn't actively piss me off, and the typical NR romance usually leaves me fluffy and happy. Granted, damn near every romance uses gender roles to a certain extent, and Roberts' books aren't the exception, but her female characters aren't whiny and pathetic, and her male characters aren't complete assholes. It's a start.

Also: her male characters in Blood Brothers are not only against rape, but also seem to understand what that entails. I can appreciate that.

I used an ex-boyfriend's mother's recipe the other day and made peanut butter spaghetti. Not as good as I remember it, but still wonderful.
 

foreverlasting: (Rory/Logan)
I ended up with three more books before leaving for the 'Ham yesterday;

-Hawkspar by Holly Lisle
-My Forbidden Desire by Carolyn Jewel
-Beyond Heaving Bosoms by Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan

The last was even a signed stock-copy. According to one of the booksellers, she had been in town recently and was wickedly funny. I stayed up late reading it last night. I've been following Smart Bitches, Trashy Books for a couple years, but I still wasn't expecting the level of critical analysis and feminist scrutiny Sarah and Candy have packed into their book. My former roommate Kiki took an English course on romance novels last quarter and groaned the entire time. The list of books they read leaned heavily on the literary side rather than romances published AS romances. This is also ignoring the fact that they included Twilight as an assigned read.

Thus spawned this Facebook message. Consider it my review.

"So I'm currently reading a book that I swear should have been the ONLY book necessary to teach in your romance novel class. It's a snarky, sarcastic critical analysis of romance novels across the decades through a feminist lens that passes even my BS-detector (as in, the authors didn’t skip corners or sugarcoat the bad shit, which is what tends to happen when you’re trying to prove something isn’t awful and instead is totally feminist, which it is, and yet it isn’t, but I digress). They call the genre on its many (I typed ‘huge’ and then realized what a pun that would be) flaws but explain why not all romances are as stupid as their stereotype portrays them to be. AND THEY COMBINE SWEAR WORDS WITH FOOD ITEMS. NO, REALLY.

"I think you would appreciate its epicness, and I fully intend on bothering you, Harry Potter Puppet Pals-style, into reading it come fall. Just so you know."
 

Yes, Kiki and I have an affinity for combining random swear words with food items. Deal with it.

Books aside, I moved into my summer apartment yesterday, and it is glorious. I currently have Sara Bareilles blasting out of the speakers in the dining room, and I'm living off Ramen and bread. Class starts Tuesday. Woooo.
foreverlasting: (Dangerous)
As I type this I'm munching on a homemade blueberry muffin and drinking milk out of a coffee mug as a late breakfast. I think, once classes start up again and I'm settled into my summer apartment, I'm going to make a small batch and have one for breakfast alongside iced coffee straight from my french press. (I'm going to need both. My first class Mon-Thur is at 8AM. On the bright side, I'll get to talk about romantic relationships all morning. How cool is that?) 

Yesterday Marjorie M. Liu celebrated  the fifth anniversary of selling her first book. Happy anniversary, Marjorie!

Last night I went to hang with a friend I haven't seen in several months (she goes to university on the East Coast). We made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, which were delicious and made the room smell of yumminess.

I recently finished reading Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce. Enjoyable, particularly since I've taken a rather thorough geology course in the past year, but no where near her best. I haven't kept up with her books since Trickster's Queen for some reason. I'm not sure if I'm feeling the age gap or if her writing is just going in a direction that simply isn't my cup of tea. 

Speaking of Tamora Pierce, I ran into this at the Tamora Pierce LOLcats Association:



Even after all these years, I instantly recognized the joke (see: Protector of the Small quartet). It made me giggle. 
foreverlasting: (Psych Major)
My first final was at the grudgingly early time of 8AM. Not a fan, but I think I passed. Afterwards I crashed in bed to the sound of Kiki packing and dreamed of faeries and curses. When I came to, we had the following conversation:

Kayla: "You're so weird."
Kiki: "Like you're not? You're a psych major."
Kayla: "I'm justified. You're not."
Kiki: "Who're you to judge me?!?!"
Kayla: "...a psych major."


On an unrelated note, I've been the victim of hiccups off and on all day. The record is currently at 5 separate sets.

I'd also like to note the significance of the 5 typed as a number, rather than spelled out. This, ladies, gentlemen, and gender-benders, is the direct result of becoming a slave to the psych department. I used to be well-versed in MLA. Now, I practically breathe APA. I know, I know; it's saddening.


I was browsing Carolyn Jewel's site this afternoon, and ran across this pretty:

"By and large, Romances are written for women by women and historically and presently, the efforts and contributions of woman are culturally denigrated across the entire social spectrum. Professions once traditionally male often see a decline in prestige and wages when women enter the profession. If men were to read and/or admit they read, romances, the reputation of the genre would soar. Romances exist in a ghetto and a lot of readers simply never take notice of them because they're not mainstream fiction. Romances need to leave the ghetto."
 
From a feminist standpoint, it makes a lot of sense. I more than agree that romance as a genre is a powerful, pro-woman industry. Unfortunately, every time I read a romance and I find myself mocking the characters for their trite and over-played gender roles, I have to wonder whether romance novels leaving the ghetto will honestly do any good. It's may be a female-run industry, but is it truly feminist?

More on that when I have my thoughts in order. Back to studying for Stats.
foreverlasting: (Dance)
All my classes were cancelled today due to PsychFest, and so I'm officially done with classes for the year. All I have left are finals.

Helix's 21st birthday is on Sunday. I'm giving him a giftcard to The Woods coffee and The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway. Now, I pride myself on my ability to match people with books. Rarely has someone come back to me and said they didn't like it. Just recently I converted a friend to Anne Bishop's Daughter of the Blood, which is not a recommendation I make to many people. Turns out she loved it and wants to borrow the rest of the series.

Thing is, I'm not a lit fiction reader. Not really. The overarching themes of literary fiction may be beautiful, but in general the writing is far too dry for me. (I also picked up for myself Christine Feehan's Shadow Game, a romantic suspense, and Brenda Joyce's Dark Embrace, a paranormal romance, if that gives any indication of my reading preferences.) In contrast, Helix loves lit fiction. Catch 22 is one of his favorites. I gave him Catcher in the Rye for Christmas, which he appreciated, albeit I don't know if the recommendation was spot-on. (Catcher is a rather odd book, though.) I'm hoping that the writing style and story of The Cellist will match his tastes better.


I'll be carpooling down to Century Ballroom in Seattle tonight with a couple of salsa friends. We've been doing this monthly for almost 2 years now. Every first Friday night of the month... Century! Tomorrow I'll be staying in town for blues dancing. It's going to be a good weekend.
foreverlasting: (Dangerous)
Kayla: "OH MY GOD. Obama just declared June the national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month!"
Kiki: "...All of them? They only get one month?"

May I present my roommate, Kiki.

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June 2012

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