My landlady called me the day they got it and said that they'd checked the postmark and everything, and they'd put the $40 towards my January rent instead of charging me the late fee.
Color me startled, although very pleased. Maybe the landlords are just paranoid, not mean as I at one time assumed. Or perhaps they just needed proof. Thank God, anyway; and my dad, for talking me down out of a fine fit of temper.
I'm not going to talk forever about my vacation, because I could, but I imagine it would be rather boring for the rest of you. :-) I may make a post later about my cousin and her fiance, and the Anglican church they were married in, and the fact that the ceremony was the complete Anglican thing, with the Eucharist and all, and deeply awesome.
Also, I don't have pictures of me in my awesome dress yet, so that will have to be another post.
I barely recognized my 14-year-old brother and 11-year-old sister when I met them at the airport. The bro now has contacts and shorter hair (no more Harry Potter lookalike), plus he's grown and now tops me by about 1/2". Anna, my oldest female sibling, has turned from a plump (and embarrassed about it) preteen into a young woman, and has discovered fashion (her belt collection is way cooler than anything I have). The 8-year-old has glasses, and looks like the pictures of Ramona Quimby (if any of you recall those books)--her total spaziness has been moderate, and she is reading well now.
But it's Lucia, the little 3-year-old, who really got me. She ran up and hugged me around the knees. I stayed with her while the older people went to Baggage Claim and she talked to me in full, syntactically-correct sentences. And she's prone to storytelling: I said she had beautiful eyes (first girl in our family to get the long, dark lashes), and she immediately said, "Once I had no eyes. There was nothing. Then God gave me beautiful eyes, and then I had eyes." She added, as an aside, "But I really did have eyes."
There was a lot of fun to be had in dressing up with sisters who are old enough to care, now. I really enjoyed it, enjoyed having proper sisters for almost the first time--enjoyed seeing what it might have been like if they'd been nearer my age. Bless them, I am so jealous. They fight, but they're sisters. I had friends, but I didn't that.
My cousin who got married is my mom's niece, so there was some discomfort on my part--that whole side of the family are preachers, missionaries, etc, mostly Baptist. I'm Pentacoastal/charismatic, I work in Hollywood, and I want to write for TV. Hmmm. How diplomatic can I be? I must have succeeded, though, because there wasn't actually any "judging" going on that I could see. It really made me feel out of place, though. Caught between family stuff, old stuff that I have to some extent either outgrown or found impossible in my own life, and the toughness of living in Los Angeles and trying to live a Christ-like life. They don't mesh, so I'm having to try and figure out my own cross-pollination between the two. *sigh*
Love my dress, btw. Also love my shoes, but I forgot to get pics of those. Very cute 4" heels, open-toed.
And onto the book reviews. Hooray for long plane flights! (Oh. There will likely be some spoilers.)
I really feel that I'm coming at this whole fandom backwards. Not that I mind, really, but it seems just a little bit wrong that I should read Ace's last adventure with the Doctor before I ever properly met the character. :-)
Now, Benny Summerfield I have met before (ditto the Seventh Doctor, albeit only in the novels so far), so it was fun to run into her again.
I was very intrigued by the echoes that I kept catching between the different time frames where the Doctor, Ace, and Benny ended up. Well, okay, between the injuries they each manage to sustain. I admit that I read this book at pratically the speed of light, so I may have missed actual connecting exposition, but even if I didn't, I kind of basked in the underlying ripples. I do like it when a plot requires some thinking to follow and when it lets me play detective along with the characters. The double-crossing stuff was interesting, too, though again if I hadn't been reading so fast, I might have picked up on more than I did.
Best thing about this book, for me: Ace's arc. I think "daughter of Set" is going to be stuck in my head for a while as a metaphor for something I recognize even in myself, that inability to quite fit into the boxes presented to me.
Question for other readers of novels set in this era: is Benny in love with the Doctor? Because there seem to be hints...and there were a couple of comments from Ace that made me think she knew and was amused by said crush.
I'd been meaning to read this for a while, but never got around to it. Finally, a friend bought me a copy of it (and the sequel, Throne of Jade) for Christmas.
I like. I wasn't quite sure about the style for a bit; I'm not used to cadences (almost Austen-esque, though not to the extent that Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell is) that remind me more of old-fashioned books in my newfangled fantasy novels, but it suits Lawrence, and I got used it pretty quickly.
Much love for all the dragon-lore. Binding it up with historical events is inspired, and the battle sequences were dramatic, bloody, and intense. I can imagine this making an excellent film, with the sympathetic charaters, internal drama (the entire subplot with the French traitor was just painful; poor Harcourt), interesting dragon trivia, and fascinating aerial warfare. (The idea of boarding another dragon in midair was riviting to me. As were the airborne troop transports.)
I enjoyed Lawrence's fish-out-of-water state, especially as he grows accustomed to the Corps without losing himself entirely. And I am more than a little fond of Temeraire, of course. *pets his nose* I don't know if I'll reread this one a lot, but I may come back to it later, and I definitely want to see where the series goes.
This is the third book set in Bujold's Chalion universe (though if there's a better name for it--Quintarian universe, perhaps?), and I have liked them all quite a lot. This is the first one that didn't make me weep for joy at the end, though; I don't think it was any less interesting, but living through this particular story in Ingrey's mindset was exhausting to me.
There was a moment that left me utterly breathless, but for the life of me I can't recall exactly the quote that knocked the wind out. It was near the end, when Biast (sp? the prince-marshal, Boleso's brother) asks Ingrey what made the hallow kingship hallow. Ingrey answers, "Faith," and when that doesn't seem clear enough, adds, "Keeping it." Somehow that made utter sense of the madness that fills half of this book, and I had to pause and assimilate it before finishing the chapter.
After reading this one, I can see that nothing in the series is likely to top The Curse of Chalion in my mind, but I also have to give Bujold points for always finding new ways to approach this universe, keeping any of it from being boring. And for always creating interesting characters--I shan't soon forget Learned Hallana, nor Oswin; nor Fara, actually, and certainly not Wendel or Ijada. Or Prince Jokol and the ice bear! :-)
Actually, that's a point I found interesting. I bonded instantly with Lupe dy Cazaril in Curse; and though I didn't totally bond with Ista in Paladin of Souls, it's impossible not to be invested in her pain and her story. Ingrey is tougher to sympathize with, and I discovered near the end of the book that I was bonding much more with Lady Ijada--even as Ingrey is thinking to himself (correctly) that "the gods are not in this place," I was thinking to myself with utter certainty, "You idiot, of course not, that's why They sent you!" Which is, of course, Ijada's attitude when she shows up. Trust and faith, as opposed to Ingrey's very reluctant following of the gods.
Not my favorite of the three, but so much better than most stuff being published right now. Excellent read.
Whew. That's it for now. :-)