bunrab: (saxophone)
Did you know that? If you weren't sure it was true, I'd be happy to send you some of the rabbit fur collecting in corners, as proof - yes, our dust bunnies are made out of real bunnies!!

I did some repairs to wooden toys this afternoon, with mending plates and angle brackets. An internet seller of rabbit play tunnels and such was going out of business, so I ordered some of the last of their stuff (half price!), and, as in previous orders, one piece arrived broken - which may explain part of why they went out of business. Well, no refunds or returns, so I put the tunnel aside for a few weeks. But finally decided that I needed a clearer living room floor, so it and a previous "play station" that had a leg broken off got fixed. We had previously tried gluing the broken leg, but it didn't hold up for long. Metal mending plates should be able to withstand a four-pound rabbit. I traded around who has what kind of tunnels and toys - now Chippy chin has the smaller play station, since the Funnybunnies didn't like it so much; the Funnybunnies have a second litter box to chew on and scatter around; Fern has the refurbished large play station, instead of a tunnel where she can hide herself too much; and the repaired tunnels are now what's between cages - one between Fern and Funnybunnies, one between FBs and Gizmo, and one between Gizmo and the big plastic bin that keeps the hay and Carefresh more or less safe from rabbits. Fern actually seems to like the new setup - she jumped up and down and up again from the new tunnel, and perched on it for a while, which she hadn't when it was in her cage; she had only ever gone under it.

Wednesday MVCB had just a library work session, not a rehearsal, so I didn't have to bring my bari sax. So I emailed my teacher that I was gonna bring my soprano sax for my lesson instead, and then bungeed said soprano onto the back of the bike and rode over there, instead of using the cage. Great weather for it. A big accident on I-95 diverted me onto an exit I wasn't familiar with, so I even got in a little wandering around on strange roads. And after lesson, most of the staff of the music store where I take my lessons had to come out and admire the bike; I am not sure they previously believed me when I said I rode, as they've only ever seen me when I've had to be carrying 30-something pounds of nearly 4-feet-long assymetrical bari sax, which does NOT work on bike. (I have calculated that if I were 6 foot 2 inches or taller, and weighed at least 200 lbs, then I could carry the bari back-pack style and it would not significantly screw up my balance, center of gravity, or wind resistance. But as I am 5'4"...) My Evolve fish carrying a wrench was their favorite of all my assorted stickers and stuff. Then I ran a bunch of errands, since I had a couple hours before the band session. Had to carry the sax in to various places, since I couldn't just leave it bungeed to the bike; it's not a super-expensive sax, but I still don't want it stolen. Luckily, a straight soprano in a grey plastic case looks pretty innocuous. Silver Diner at LakeForest Mall (avoided rest of mall). Gaithersburg Library. CVS. Then Stedwick Community Center. I wasn't expecting Steve - but he decided why should I have all the fun, and rode his bike out to join us, so then we could ride home together - which we did entirely on back roads, no highways at all, during the very long dusk at this time of year. Lots of lightning bugs everywhere; it's so neat to ride through a whole flock (?) of them on a bike! We stopped at the Double T in Ellicott City, on Route 40, for supper. I was pleased to get an overall 60 mpg on this most recent tank, including as it did the stop-and-creep caused by the traffic accident, and the slow riding behind what seemed like every cement truck in Montgomery County.

I told Perry, if rain will kindly hold off on Wednesdays, he can expect me to bring the soprano to lessons for the rest of the summer. Gonna work on some Baroque oboe concerti!
bunrab: (alien reading)
First, some "real books" -
Living With the Dead by Kelley Armstrong. Her Women of the Otherworld series features various types of supernaturals living hidden in plain sight among humans. In this volume, several of the threads that have each been the subject of a separate book previously - the tabloid reporter, the rogue werewolf, the wizards' corporations, all get pulled together around a commune of clairvoyants and a completely ordinary human personal-assistant-to-a-celebrity whose celebrity gets murdered. If you like the series, you will like this one; if you haven't read any of the others, this is definitely NOT the place to start, since much depends on the reader already knowing about half-demons' powers, werewolf pack structure, etc.

Sojourn by Jana Oliver. Subtitled "Time Rovers, Book 1." Time travel agents of a private corporation have to sometimes drag the paying customers back from the eras they've gone to. Cynda has to retrieve someone from Victorian London during Jack the Ripper's spree - while also battling the fact that the company she works for is going bankrupt and trying to strand her away from her own time, to save money. And then there's the factor even Cynda didn't know about: the mysterious Transitives, who can change their appearance at will, though they have no other special powers. This serves as an OK murder mystery (one of the Time Rovers; although we're given some insight into the Ripper murders, the novel doesn't take on the issue of who did them or what his real motivations were) and a bit of Victorian romance. I started the sequel, Virtual Evil, but haven't finished it yet - it seems less interesting (for one thing, we're still in 1888 - no new time period, new characters not as interesting.)

And then there's a bunch of
Graphic novels/comics
Those of you who think you're not interested in graphic novels can skip this bunch of books - though you should think again; some of the best new science fiction and fantasy is coming out as graphic novels rather than plain-text novels. And other stuff.

Cryptozoo Crew, Vol. 1 by Allan Gross and Jerry Carr. Very funny - Tork and Tara Darwyn search for everything from cave monkeys to the abominable snowman, in a collection of several episodes of this comic book. No particular continuity from episode to episode - this is not a graphic novel - though once found, the cave monkeys do show up again as background characters in subsequent episodes. A lot of puns. An awful lot of very bad puns. The last episode features space aliens, with a funny epilog.

Serenity: Those Left Behind by Joss Whedon et al. A complete waste of the time it took to read it. Only worth looking at if you are a fanatic who must have every single Firefly item ever marketed. As a graphic book, it's a complete failure; the characters go unexplained, the plot is patchy to nonexistent, no background is provided, so we have no idea of what the pretty people in the drawings are about. The brief text introduction provides no useful information in that regard. Impossible to follow what might be the plot unless you've seen the movie, and difficult even then.

Bram Stoker's Dracula works quite well as a graphic novel. Stoker's original words are used; this isn't simplified. The drawing style is rather manga, with big heads and huge round eyes, but surprisingly, I didn't find that offputting. Catching Renfield, burying Lucy, and the death of Quincy Morris are all quite nicely done. In short, this is an arrangement of the original that carried most of the proper characterization and plot elements, and could indeed serve to draw younger readers in to the idea of reading the book. (Unlike, say, a recent graphic version of Merchant of Venice that I read, where the language was simplified, often right into totally inappropriate 21st century idiom, and where the contrast between the modern dress of the characters and the ships that were at risk rendered the plot less comprehensible, rather than more.) Heh - a first-rate estate agent is always prepared.

American Born Chinese - Gene Yuen Lang. Very nicely done semi-autobiographical graphic novel, mixing portions of everyday Chinese-American schoolchild with the WASP schoolchild he wishes he had and episodes of fantasy drawn from traditional Chinese myths and legends, to illustrate the problems of coming to terms with being a minority. All of which makes it sound terribly serious and sententious, and it isn't. It's a nice story, plot moves right along, neat characters, and I love the Monkey King stories. Not only is this a good story, it's one I don't think would work as a plain-text novel; it really does show the advantages of the graphic novel form to certain kinds of stories.

Ice Haven by Daniel Clowes. Subtitled "a comic-strip novel" rather than a graphic novel, each chapter of this book is a separate little two or four page episode, some of which don't seem to be connected at first. The different stories eventually twine together. As in a real mystery, a few threads are left unresolved. The characters include the comic book critic, the pompous would-be poet, the schoolchildren, the visiting niece, Leopold & Loeb - yes, Leopold & Loeb. You'll recognize the little kid David - if you've ever seen any of Clowes' work at all, even just illustrations in weekly free papers, you've seen the fuzzy-sweatered kid with no expression.

Firefly

Sep. 29th, 2005 02:12 am
bunrab: (bathtub warning)
borrowed from [livejournal.com profile] avanta7:
Tzipped from tzurriz
When you see this meme, post a quote from Firefly in your journal:


"Coming from you, Mal, that means... almost nothing."

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