alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up? Bold the ones you've read. Italicize the ones you've partially read. Strikethrough the ones you've never heard of.

all them books )

Take that, BBC!  I'm a bit embarrassed by how many I haven't heard of, but hey, at least you can't say I'm not well versed in the classics...
.

SYTYCD

Jul. 8th, 2010 12:04 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
I am currently reading China Miéville's The City & The City--to the writer of the cover blurb that says the book is the lost love child of Philip K. Dick and Raymond Chandler raised by Franz Kafka, I say yes, that's exactly it, and oh yes, I am loving it.  About a third of the way in so far.

Oh, and last night was SYTYCD.  SYTYCD spoilers )

It made it all the way down to 82 in the house this morning, so the ferrets got to come out and do their own dancing for a bit.  Happy weasels!
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alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
After picking up an album by the Syrian-Lebanese-popular in Egypt singer Asmahan (Amal Al Atrache, a Druze princess) and completely falling in love with her voice, I had to read Asmahan's Secrets:  Woman, War, and Song by Sherifa Zuhur.  It is astonishing how much history, both cultural and political, was packed into one woman's all too short life.  review )

All in all, strongly recommended for those interested in Arabic music, Middle Eastern political history and/or women's sociocultural history in the 20th century Arab world.  I know I listen to her music differently now, hearing the very real woman behind the voice, and for that alone, the book was well worth the read.

Asmahan:
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
I suppose it is a bad sign that it is not quite noon and I am already researching what sort of tasty cocktail beverage I might make for myself when I get home this evening...

Two doses of increased medication later, Ianto is like a new ferret again.  There's definitely a honeymoon period after an increase in pred so his current high energy and steady legs might not last, but it's nice to see while we've got it.  He gave me lots of kisses when I picked him up last night.  I didn't even mind his kibble breath at all.

At some point I plan to write a review of a fantastic book about Umm Kulthoum I just finished this week but I need more brain to do it with than I currently have.  It was a combination of biography and ethnomusicology and anthropology and 20th century history.  She led an amazing life, not just for her talent but for what she lived through and represented.  I have a much deeper understanding of why she is so important--and why more recent generations of Egyptians and other Arabs might be ambivalent about her.

Am currently reading Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, which I did purchase before it won the Newberry, honest.  I am totally loving it and think it's one of the best things he's ever written.  Silas is so totally Bagheera.

Wikipedia has a category for "fictional panthers."  There are four.  One of my favorite books when I was a kid was about a puma, but it is not listed among the fictional panthers.  I wish I could remember the name.  I can so clearly remember the cover...
 

 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Sometimes you pick up a book that turns out to be not what you thought it was at all, but rather something better.  I am reading such a book now, The Old Way by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas.  I spotted the book on the remainder shelf at the Harvard Book Store, and knowing that Elizabeth Marshall Thomas had written books about animal behavior (The Hidden Life of Dogs and The Tribe of the Tiger, most famously), I picked it up.  It turned out to be about the Bushmen* of the Kalahari, and I was quite surprised to realize that she was one of *the* Marshalls who packed up their family and headed for the Kalahari in the 1950s.  Despite the fact that none of them (at that time, at least) were professional anthropologists, they ended up having a profound impact on both the anthropology of the area and the field of anthropology in general.  Lorna Marshall's book Nisa:  The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman is a classic introductory text to ethnography--I taught that book as a TA, and even then had no idea Lorna wasn't an anthropologist herself but rather a retired English teacher/housewife/community organizer (fascinating obit about her).  Then-teenage son John Marshall became a pioneer of ethnographic film, and his films about !Kung hunting have also become intro to anthro course staples (if you've ever seen a film in which a group of hunters hit a giraffe with a poisoned arrow and then track it for days until it dies, then you've seen one of his films).  The father of the family, Lawrence Marshall, did not as far as I know go on to write anything, but he helped the !Kung groups that they worked with maintain their economic independence as much as possible, and became a legal champion of their rights.  When they first arrived, it was still quasi-legal for white farmers to kidnap and enslave groups of !Kung and force them to work on their farms, on the rationale that it was civilizing them, and his protests and political connections helped put an emphatic stop to that.

If you've read this far, you probably are willing to read the rest )

Holiday party today, woohoo!
 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Interesting article in Salon about being a young, hip Muslim today.  It's a review of two books, one titled Muhajababes that focuses more on ordinary people's lives and how they navigate/negotiate sex, relationships, haram things like booze and smoking, dress style and a new trendy sort of piety, and the other titled Heavy Metal Islam:  Rock, Resistance and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam, which focuses more on the producers of heavy metal, the musicians themselves.  Buried within the reviews is another story begging to be told about the charismatic Egyptian preacher/social leader Amr Khaled.  Anyway, if you're interested in this stuff, go read it.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Women in the City of the Dead, by Helen Watson, is a collection of life stories and creative stories told by the very poor women who live in the City of the Dead, a giant graveyard over four centuries old just outside Cairo.  Initially it was inhabited only by gravediggers and groundskeepers and their families, but as more and more rural people moved to Cairo to seek their fortunes, the already overpopulated city could not contain them all and so many people moved into the City of the Dead, which has become a community onto itself.

lengthy book reveiw )
 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
This is an excellent article on death metal and the meaning(s) of nose rings in India.  One of the most interesting things I've read in a while.

Though, I did get Dr. Trout's veterinary surgeon memoir book and am loving it, though parts where he had to give owners bad news had me nearly crying on the train last night.  It's not much easier for them to say it than it is for us to hear it.  The book is structured around a hypothetical 24-hour period in his life.  Not all of the episodes actually happened on the same day, but they all provide him with a jumping off point to talk about some facet of veterinary medicine.  I particularly enjoy that it's set at Angell Memorial, since I can perfectly picture all the settings (though see first sentence, about crying).  Book makes me really want ferrets all the more, though.

Just applied online for a low APR credit card and was accepted, transferring all my credit card balance over to the new one.  The low APR is good through July 09--I want to have this monster slain by August 08, so that gives me plenty of time to work with.  I've told myself no ferrets until I get a big chunk of debt paid off, so there's incentive to be aggressive on my payment plan!

I have occasional moments where I can put my foot down a few times in a row and not notice anything much about it.  Then I put it down just slightly wrong and it hurts, but all in all things are improving.  I can feel that I had dance class last night, but it hurts less than it did say three weeks ago, even after abusing it with all the walking (and a night in high heels, bad me!) in Vegas.  If I didn't have a show on Saturday I would try walking to Alewife on Thursday or Friday.  Well, there's always next week.  Chiropractor appointment tonight, which will be nice after last week's travel.

Speaking of Saturday's show, while I was on the T last night I heard a trio of young women talking excitedly about "Amira's recital" and wondering if any of the professional students would be dancing, because they love to get inspired by seeing the advanced dancers.  They were far enough away from me that I didn't want to leap over and say something, but it was a bit heartwarming.  I'll dance extra well for them :)

Oh, details about the show, you say?  OK:  Saturday, May 3, 1pm, George Sherman Student Union Building, 775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, I believe it's $5 admission.  The entire show will probably be about three hours long, with an intermission in the middle, and will consist of Amira Jamal's students of all levels, as well as kinadancer's students (I guess they'd be AJ's grand-students :).  This is generally a fun show, with performances ranging from the scared newbie mustering up all her courage to get on stage to seasoned pros--but everybody will be dancing from their heart and will be happy to be there!

Miscellany

Apr. 29th, 2008 11:12 am
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
Upton Tea's Heirloom Tea Flowers tea is delicious--light and floral as you'd expect and somewhat sweet, with little of the astringency you expect from a green tea.

Kind of a funny article about the horse War Admiral no not him he's long dead War Emblem in yesterday's New York Times.  Apparently he is a very picky breeder and only a few mares are up to his standards.  It's not that he's not interested in mares at all, but he only likes a very few of them.  His connections are tearing their hair out over this because apparently his few offspring are all doing quite well, so his stud fees would be quite lucrative if only he were less discriminating and could be relied upon to mate with any mare.  But if all his offspring are doing well in training and on the track, shouldn't they just accept that the horse knows what he's doing and let him pick the mares as he's been doing all along?  Of course I know it can't work that way, but still, kind of funny, as I said.

Went to the dress rehearsal for Amira Jamal's recital last night, only I didn't do the dress part as I did not want to lug a costume around all day with me.  My first runthrough was eh and I stubbed the most painful of my toes (I tripped on the floor, doh).  Strangely, however, that seemed to release some of the tension in my foot and my second runthrough was much better and I'd be happy with that on Saturday for the show.

I really want to read "Tell Me Where it Hurts:  A Day of Humor, Healing and Hope in My Life as an Animal Surgeon" by Dr. Nick Trout, a veterinary surgeon at Angell Memorial.  I know he operated on at least one of my ferrets, I think he did Ronan's intestinal biopsy.  It's not a name you forget.  Hopefully the campus Barnes and Noble has it, if not I'll be ordering it.

Philip Pullman has a new book out too, Once Upon a Time in the North, about Lee Scoresby as a young man.  Yay!

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