Archive for November, 2008

Mythbusters Morning

MythbustersWe’re having a lazy morning on the couch watching Mythbusters, which is a show I watch only irregularly but love. One of their pithier taglines is, “I reject your reality and substitute my own.”

Where else would you hear the terms:

“He’s gonna die… but it’s gonna look great.”
“They’ve got themselves a rocket kind of thing.”
“Well, hopefully that’s our job, to strap rockets onto everything!”
“When in doubt, lubricate.”
“See, science is fun!”
“I think that was one of the most destructive things I’ve ever done. That was cool!”
“It’s not a myth. We’re just idiots.”
“Remember, don’t try this at home. We’re what you call ‘experts’.”

This morning they were:

  • Pancaking a car between two semi-trucks.
  • Testing the hygiene properties of vodka.
  • Launching a person into the air on compressed-air bottle rockets.
  • Smashing toes inside steel-toed boots.

They’re having way too much fun. I wonder if they’re taking applications for a logistics manager?

Posted on Saturday, November 29th, 2008 by Jeri
Under: entertainment | 2 Comments »

Giving Thanks

We’ve had a great Thanksgiving this year. We’ve eaten turkey and pie, spent wonderful time with family and enjoyed the time off from our everyday cares.

This year, and every year, I’m thankful for:

  • My husband, who supports me through everything
  • Our two smart, talented boys
  • Our wonderful families, who are always there if ever we need them
  • My friends, both here and in Anchorage, who are the best
  • My community of online friends – and really, there’s no distinction except the ability to deliver an actual hug
  • Our smug puppies, whose love is unconditional and enthusiasm is endless
  • My health and the ability to enjoy life every day
  • Our comfortable, beautiful house that is both a peaceful retreat and a gathering place
  • My job, for all that it drives me nuts at times, keeps me challenged and pays me well
  • The opportunities I have to write, create beautiful things, travel, use the Internet to connect to the much larger world
  • The freedom we have in this country, to speak openly, to access information without restriction, to live as we choose and to hold free and democratic elections

    We are truly blessed.

Posted on Thursday, November 27th, 2008 by Jeri
Under: holidays | Comments Off

Poulsbo Photos

Last weekend, I took some photos while wandering around downtown Poulsbo. It’s a super-cute, Norwegian-themed small town, but it’s hard to capture by camera because it’s so flat and spread out – and so busy!

Waterfront Trail
Waterfront trail west of the park.

Sluys' Bakery
Regionally famous Sluys’ Bakery has been dishing up Danish pastry for over 40 years.

Senior Center
If I were retired I’d want to hang out here!

Liberty Bay Bookstore
Yeah for independent booksellers!

Kvellstad Pavilion
This is the same pavilion as in the sunset picture a couple days ago – and the site of many summer concerts and gatherings.

Posted on Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 by Jeri
Under: photography, Poulsbo | 5 Comments »

Keeping me Sane

Keeping me sane is a full time job, as my husband and family can attest.

My job is challenging and deadline-intensive, I travel far too much and sleep too little. Even when I do things for fun – write, metalwork, paint, cook, redecorate – I do them full tilt, with no half measures, and turn them into a goal oriented, stressful endeavor. Add to that a tendency toward depression, crankiness, perfectionism and slightly OCD behavior, and those near and dear to me have their work cut out for them.

Still, I couldn’t make it without my family and friends. This week – and this Manic Monday – are a good time to say thank you to the folks above, and more. Without them, I might well be locked in a small white room drooling upon my simple craft projects.

(Although strangely enough, aside from the whole overmedicated, institutionalized part of the deal, that sounds rather appealing right now.)

To all those who help me – daily, weekly, whenever I need a hand or a shoulder – thanks. And if I inadvertently left your name out of the word art, my apologies, it was not intentional.

Posted on Monday, November 24th, 2008 by Jeri
Under: family, friends, inspiration | 6 Comments »

On Books

What was the last book you bought?
My last books bought were Ghosts of Vesuvius, The Great Deluge and Disaster Archaeology.

Name a book you have read MORE than once
I re-read many, many books, given my voracious reading speed! Here are some of the more frequently re-read: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Dune, The Clowns of God, Ender’s Game, Lucifer’s Hammer, anything by Lois McMaster Bujold, CJ Cherryh, Neil Gaiman, Robin McKinley, Robert Heinlein, Greg Bear, Connie Willis, Elizabeth Moon or Dick Francis.

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
There are a few. The Clowns of God and Anne Lamott’s books have given me a fresh perspective on faith, Memory is an incredible tale of resilience and Heinlein’s books have influenced my political beliefs.

How do you choose a book? (E.g. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews?)
Primarily, I choose books by authors I enjoy or recommendation, secondarily by the jacket summary, and finally by cover design and reading random pages. Good cover art won’t sell a book to me, because I realize how little it sometimes has to do with content, but bad cover art will veto a choice for me because I’d be embarrassed to read it in public.

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Fiction – reading is my mental vacation. When I read non-fiction it’s very focused, either based upon a recommendation or a specific professional or personal line of research.

What’s more important in a novel, beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
Both – if either is lacking, the book falls flat. I’m having a tough time finishing Perdido Street Station because the writing is amazing but the plot and pacing take a backseat to style.

Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
Cordelia Vorkosigan. Jani Kilian. Heris Serrano. Aragorn. Eowyn. Paul Dekker. Nicholas Seafort.

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
Ghosts of Vesuvius. Expanded Universe. Perdido Street Station.

What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
The last book I finished, before NaNoWriMo started, was Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys.

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
Occasionally. But I’m more likely to keep reading, hoping it will improve at some point throughout the book – and then, at the end, flip it into the “trade” stack in disgust.

Thanks to Ilya for the meme!

Posted on Monday, November 24th, 2008 by Jeri
Under: reading | 1 Comment »