Sep. 15th, 2008

Catchup!

Sep. 15th, 2008 07:10 pm
annathepiper: (Loving You Grin)
So yeah, when WAS the last time I posted? The 10th? Let's see, what all I have I done then...

Read the fourth and fifth Vicky Bliss novels, Trojan Gold and Night Train to Memphis. Reviews are forthcoming! Have also commenced reading The Laughter of Dead Kings, and I fear that all this Vicky Bliss in general is distracting me from The Furies of Calderon. Sorry Jim. *^_^*;;

My team at work went out for an (aheh) "offsite team meeting" on Friday afternoon. Read, we went and saw Burn After Reading, the new Coen Brothers movie. Which was, like Coen Brothers movies generally are, quite funny. The highlights of the movie are definitely Brad Pitt and George Clooney.

Preparations are pretty much done for surgery on Thursday. Leave has been applied for, conversations have been had with Evergreen to confirm all my data, and such. And apparently my team at work is taking me out to lunch on Wednesday. To wit: yay!

I've been working to listen to the last of the music that [livejournal.com profile] sksouth gave me to listen to during my last recovery period, too. Which means that I now have a pretty damned good set of people added to the list of people whose albums I really need to be buying: The Bill Hilly Band (or at least, the one album of theirs Sarah had), Angelique Kidjo, Habib Koite, Cherish the Ladies, and of highest interest to [livejournal.com profile] seimaisin, Gaelic Storm. The album Sarah had was Tree, which I liked quite a bit more than the self-titled first album. More Gaelic Storm WILL be purchased. Just a question of when.

Speaking of music... for those of you who might like the Young Dubliners, apparently recently they got robbed. Some absolute jackass made off with the van that contained all their instruments and gear; more information is here. I've liked these guys ever since they performed with GBS in 2002, and I'm just bummed in general about this. So I made a point of getting their last remaining I didn't have yet off of iTunes. Go buy one of their albums! It'll help get them through this, and plus, they're just awesome anyway.

I have fallen down on the food log thing, I fear--mostly because it has taught me that my eating habits are very, very set. I am not really grooving either on the rough way I've been doing it. I will resume food logging after the surgery, I think. But I need a better way to do it. Possibly in Excel, like I'm doing my exercise logging.

Most importantly, Dara and I made a commando-fast road trip up to Vancouver, BC to visit [livejournal.com profile] cow. [livejournal.com profile] gerimaple and other Vancouver-based folks, apologies for not giving you the heads up! *^_^*;; We were only up there for part of Saturday and part of Sunday and were pretty heavily occupied the whole time; next time we come up for a longer trip, though, believe me, this will be announced more in advance. A post on the general awesomeness of the weekend is forthcoming, too!

Miles since August 10th: 92.9
Miles out of Hobbiton: 3104.1
Miles out of Minas Tirith: 267.1
Miles to Hobbiton: 1357.9
annathepiper: (Starbuck)
So yeah! [livejournal.com profile] solarbird and I took a super-quick road trip up to Vancouver BC this weekend, to visit [livejournal.com profile] cow, hang out, check out the city, and just in general get out of the house. It was a delightful trip in general. We had beautiful weather, a beautiful city to hang out in, extremely tasty bagels and other food, and a chance to greet [livejournal.com profile] vixyish and [livejournal.com profile] gfish.

And, best of all, we had a Surprise Jam Session!

Saturday... )

Sunday... )

We must do this again ASAP, hopefully not too long after my surgery recovery period. I want to see more of Vancouver in general, hang out with other folks up there--and maybe bring Rags up so Dara and I can jam again with Michael at SFU!
annathepiper: (Page Turner)
Trojan Gold, Book 4 of the Vicky Bliss series, fights very, very hard with Book 5 for my favorite book of the entire lot, and it's one of my favorites by Elizabeth Peters in general. It boasts some of her strongest writing, a fairly decent and substantial plot, and some nifty upping of the romantic ante between Vicky and her paramour John.

The setting du jour is a Bavarian ski lodge where Vicky and five others once stayed together, and where Vicky befriended the old proprietor of the place. Now the old man is dead, and with his death, he's drawn Vicky and her old acquaintances back together. John Smythe is not far behind, for the catalyst of this gathering is a picture of the gentleman's wife--wearing golden jewelry from the famed archaeological site of Troy, which would be worth a fortune if it could be found.

I had forgotten that Vicky's old flame Tony from Borrower of the Night actually shows up again in this one, providing an unexpected romantic challenge to John; seeing him again as I re-read the book was a pleasant surprise. But really, he's no real competition for our gentleman thief. Especially not when this book features John finally declaring his feelings for Vicky, in a bit that's one of the most effective declarations of love I've ever had the pleasure to read. Specifically because it's not flowery or even particularly sentimental. In fact, it gets pretty much dragged out of John, much to Vicky's glee. ;)

Dive into this one with both feet, folks (though get the other three out of the way first). Four stars.
annathepiper: (Page Turner)
And now, the apex of the Vicky Bliss books to date (barring Book 6 blowing me away): Night Train to Memphis.

This is the first of the Vicky Blisses that crosses over into Amelia Peabody territory, as the adventure this time heads down into Egypt. Anything Ms. Peters writes set in Egypt is just going to shine, on the grounds that Egyptology is her expertise outside of writing, and this rolls out into any fiction she sets there. Plus, this is the first one that explicitly ties into the Amelia Peabodies as well: Vicky mentions "Amelia P. Emerson" by name, and John drops a passing reference to a great-grandfather of his, even more infamous than he is. Amelia Peabody fans will know who I'm talking about. ;)

There's a great deal to enjoy in this plot. Vicky is asked to insert herself into a tour under the guise of an Islamic art expert taking the place of a colleague who had to bail at the last minute, and the cast of characters she encounters is suitably colorful. There are suspects galore, lots of atmosphere and scenery, and some fabulous interaction with John--for much to her shock, Vicky finds John on this cruise with a wife. And, most giggle-inducing of all, Schmidt is absolutely ebullient as a supporting character, in the grip of his newly-discovered passion for American country music. I still laugh myself silly at the image of him belting out "Frankie and Johnny", in German.

In conclusion, The Laughter of Dead Kings has a lot to live up to follow this book. Four very well-deserved stars.

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