Beard Beanie

The title was inspired by my SO, who said it as I was struggling to come up with something to call this post. Supposedly something for someone who doesn’t have a beard. Interestingly, I was reading and ran across the word beard and was determined that it was a typo, because it didn’t make any sense whatsoever. I have, while looking up word definitions for Helena, found that some words have obscure meanings, so I looked it up. Sure enough:

Beard: to one’s face, in open defiance

Now everyone who hasn’t learned anything new today has. All courtesy of the fact I was reading a Jennifer Roberson novel that used a weird word.

I have, literally, been reading like a rabid weasel. If rabid weasels read. They might just froth all over the pages and then eat them. And most of these were library books. I don’t think the librarians would believe me. I have been vaccinated against rabies, although I haven’t had a booster lately, so whether or not I would be safe is a reasonable question.

I have to say, as I emerge from my reading haze (oh wait, I did go to work today, I was alright there) there were a couple that I thought were particularly, well, if not good, then engaging. “The Greyfriar,” the first book in the Vampire Empire series (the second, which is already out, is “The Rift Walker,” which I haven’t read yet) was more entertaining than I thought it would be, as I’m a little _______ (insert word of choice) for vampires right now. But the vampires were slightly different enough to be interesting. The library has ordered “The Rift Walker” and I had some credit so ended up buying it along with “The Greyfriar,” so I liked it enough to buy it, which says something, I suppose.

“Angels of Darkness” was an interesting (I am going to have to see how many times I use the word interesting in this) collection of four novellas–I like Sharon Shinn, and she’s the reason I checked it out of the library, but the other three weren’t bad either (I can’t remember the names–they’re known in the Paranormal Romance community). Sharon Shinn returned to one of her pre-existing worlds, Samaria, for her contribution. All four include either vampires or angels or both–the first included both and I thought that was an unusual idea. It may have been done before and I just haven’t read the books.

I finished reading the “Tiger and Del” series by Jennifer Roberson, consisting of six novels, not too horribly long. I liked them. Not jumping up and down and screaming liked them, but they were enjoyable. I liked the relationship between Tiger and Del and how it grew through the books. It was more obvious with Tiger than it was with Del, however (at least, that’s what I thought). They are both sword-dancers, who fight for a living. Tiger is Southron and Del is a Northern, and they both have secrets that are worked out through the course of the series. It’s interesting–Melanie Rawn just had a new book come out, “The Diviner.” The main reason I bring this up is because she and Jennifer Roberson and one other author worked collaboratively to write a novel called “The Golden Key,” which was really good, at least, I liked it a lot, along with Melanie Rawn’s books up to that point. I couldn’t get through “The Diviner,” despite the fact it wasn’t terribly long. I suppose I should read some of Roberson’s more recent work before I come to any conclusions. There are a lot of readers who are pretty upset that Melanie Rawn never finished one of the trilogies she started–she wrote the first two and then stopped and didn’t write anything for years. I’m sure she had her reasons. But the things she’s written since then just haven’t been as good as the Dragon trilogies (2) and the Exiles novels. Along with “The Golden Key.” I think it may have been Mercedes Lackey who was the third person involved in writing that.

“The Girl of Fire and Thorns” I liked quite a bit–the main character, a princess named Elisa, is being married away at the beginning of the book in a strictly political marriage. She is, as she states herself, fat. She also possesses a godstone in her navel, making her the chosen one for that century, and she doesn’t understand why she would be the chosen one since she’s never done anything great and doesn’t see how she ever will. She does. I’ll just leave it at that. She’s a much different girl at the end of the novel, who has been through heartbreak and betrayal, learned to survive, and learned more about herself. I said I wasn’t going to say anymore, didn’t I? Oh well. There is much mention of God in this one, but not much made of the religion itself, although a lot of weight is put on faith. That one’s by Rae Carson.

Maria V. Snyder’s latest is “Touch of Power,” and it’s vastly different than her Magic Study trilogy or the Glass trilogy (I don’t know what the official name of that one is). The main character, Avry, is a Healer, one of the few left after a great plague. Healers are believed to have been responsible for causing the plague, and she had spent three years on the run, moving from place to place because inevitably she gives in and heals someone, usually a child, and is then turned in by someone who finds out, thus the need to flee. It’s the first of, I imagine, a trilogy. There are a lot of subplots that intertwine pretty well, I think. Avry is a strong character from the start, but she learns more about defending herself physically with weapons and she has a quick mind. In this novel, there are three main forces vying for power, and as the reader learns more about them and their history it becomes even more interesting. The next one isn’t coming out until 2013, as this one just came out earlier this month. I probably should have just waited until they were all out, but couldn’t help myself.

So those are the ones I read over the weekend (three day weekend). I spent the first two days in pj’s and didn’t leave the house. I guess the first sort of leads one to expect the latter, doesn’t it? I have walked across the street to put mail in the mailbox in my pj’s and robe, but I think that’s as far as I’m going. There is an actual reason for staying in pj’s, though. I have had this ridiculous cold for three weeks now. I went back to work for four days, then was out for three (a friday before and the Tuesday and Wednesday after a three day weekend). I suppose I was sort of like Bubble Woman after being at home for a year and not having been around kids. My immune system wasn’t quite up to it. There are 500 or so kids attending the school I work at, so there are bound to be some things floating around, waiting for innocent victims to attack.

The only other thing of note that has happened is that Helena’s school’s talent show was Thursday evening. She was 34th out of 38th. At first, we thought it was because she’d signed up to go that far back, but I think they assigned people when they were going to go. At the beginning there would be some that were just ho-hum (but I have to give them credit–I never had the courage to sign up for a talent show) and then scattered around were these really good ones (and I do mean really good, bordering on amazing, in the case of a few of them), and then the last bunch were all good, sort of like a “we appreciate you sitting through the two+ hours you’ve been sitting here” and they put her in there. All the girls were doing these really strong, loud, powerful songs, and then there were these guys doing loud guitar things, and then Helena did “Feeling Groovy” on her acoustic guitar, singing and playing her accompaniment–I only wish they had put the mike a little closer because she was singing a little quietly, although we could hear her from the back, because, not meaning to sound like I’m boasting or anything, although I am biased, she did _so_well! She had said which song she was going to do, and I thought it was a little odd, but it was perfect, sort of like a little nice calm between all the loudness–her singing was spot-on, and she has such a sweet, true voice that is perfectly in tune, and she played beautifully. It was so nice. I think it made a lot of people feel happy, too, because that’s just sort of what she radiates, especially with a song like that. I am so proud of her. That took a lot of courage. She is always good at everything she does like that. I think it’s one of her special talents. She was in a play a while back, and she was definitely most people’s favorite part. I hope she always keeps that now that she’s officially a teenager.

Alright. I am either going to find something to eat or read. Neither of which involve rabid weasels. Or look up gyms. As in exercise and fitness. Things one does not normally associate with me. My PT says I really need to, though, because I only have a few PT visits left for the whole year (the _whole year_) and I need to work at keeping my strength up (along with hoping I don’t do anything else requiring PT). Of the two I have looked at so far, both recommended by people at work, one of them incorporates a lot about nutrition, so I don’t know how I’d explain that I don’t really eat much, and since I’ve been home after work, I’ve had toaster pastries (“healthy” pop tarts) and a cup of black tea with milk and creamer. I even use the nasty creamer now because it’s fat free. Because of my gallbladder. But how much fat is in toaster pastries? See what I mean? And the other gym has a class (you have to sign up for it, of course, but it scares me anyway) called “Boot Camp.” I just want to go in a few times a week, get on an elliptical, a bike (preferably a recumbent one), a UBE if they have one… I am leaning toward that place, though, and think I will try their 7 day trial coupon. They have separate gyms for men and women, which is what my co-worker really likes, and I think is pretty cool as well. I suppose that could be a post of it’s own right there. I don’t like it when they make you call for prices, though, even when they have a web page. I don’t like talking to people about that. I want to know up front without talking to anyone. What am I going to do, haggle with them? As for the YMCA, they are one of the most expensive places. I was a little surprised, actually. I’m digressing though.

But since I am, I just want to state for the record that while I like Greek yogurt, and I like figs, I do not like fig Greek yogurt. That was one of today’s discoveries. Some things just should not meet, and in my mind, figs and Greek yogurt are two of them. End of statement.

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