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Archive for February, 2007

My Deadly Sins

Greed: Very Low
Gluttony: Low
Wrath: Low
Sloth: Low
Envy: Very Low
Lust: Very Low
Pride: Very Low

The Seven Deadly Sins Quiz on 4degreez.com

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Ow!

Okay. Well, I didn’t really like the look with the funky colors. And I wasn’t so sure I liked the black crap going down my face. And after waking up this morning with puffy and extremely tender skin beneath my eyes, after wearing that black crap for what, half an hour?, it’s obvious that I’m not going to be going with that look.

So—-back to the drawing board.

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Playing with Makeup

I look absolutely ghastly in these photos, and that honestly wasn’t the intention. I should’ve smiled. Maybe that would have helped. And my hair wasn’t styled until near the end of my playtime, so having normalish hair with seriously abnormal makeup probably didn’t help matters either.

The ones with that show my full face are too ghastly to post. I’ve got to play some more with the make-up and hair. But I’ll finish you off with a fine shot of the back of my hair after M-A and V finished playing with it.

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No, I won’t. On second thought, that photo looks pretty awful as well. I’m way better-looking than you can tell from my photographs. (Or else I’m extremely delusional!) But I look at these pictures and I look so damned ugly in them that it makes me want to kick something. Do I really look that awful?

I know. You’re going to say that there’s no way to tell unless I post the photos. Well, ain’t happening. But maybe when I get new batteries for my camera, and I’m dressed and made-up normally (no stage makeup), I’ll get S. or L. or someone to take my picture. And I’ll smile. But if that picture makes me look as–I was going to say homely, but downright ugly is closer to what I feel about them–unappealing as the pictures I took tonight, trust me–no one’s going to see them!

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100 Books

I stole this from Amanda. But she seems really nice, so I highly doubt she’ll mind. Yes, I have done a few memes lately. It’s because I’m a little hyper right now, and my mind’s doing 50 things at once. Somehow this seems to help it slow down, at least for a moment or two. Yes, I have ADD; you’ve asked me that before.

OFFICIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you want to read, make the ones you wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole tiny, put a + in front of the ones on your bookshelf, and put an * by the ones you’ve never heard of. (Note that the instructions I saw were to make the ones you wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole red, but I don’t know how to do that. So I made them tiny. Because I don’t want to read them anyway, I crush them beneath my feet. Much like the fear demon in the Buffy Season 4 Halloween episode.)

And, because it’s me and I can’t resist, there will be comments. Be prepared.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown). The book was better than the movie. That’s not saying much.
2. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown). I actually thought this one was better than Da Vinci Code.
3. +Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen). What’s not to love about this one? I’ve read it many times.
4. +To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee). Another one I’ve read many times. I wanted to be Scout when I was younger. I think I wanted Atticus for my father, but I’m happy with my own dads.
5. +Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell). I’ll never forget the first time I read this book. I think I was 11 or 12, and was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office when I finally finished it. I closed the book and said something to the effect that there would never be another book that good. Hey! I was young then, okay? Gimme a break! It is a good book, but I loathe most of the characters in it, so I don’t read it very often anymore.
6. +The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien)
7. +The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (J.R.R. Tolkien). This is where I decided I didn’t want to read LOTR anymore. And frankly, had it not been for Peter Jackson, I’m not sure I’d have managed to wade my way through the first two LOTR books!
8. +The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (J.R.R. Tolkien)
9. +The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (J.R.R. Tolkien)
10. +Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery). Another person I wanted to be while I was growing up. I never had any doubt as to her existence.
11. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
12. *A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
13. + Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (J.K. Rowling). I’ve read these books more than any other book on this list save one. Keep reading if you want to know which!
14. + Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J.K. Rowling)
15. + Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (J.K. Rowling)
16. + Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (J.K. Rowling)
17. + Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J.K. Rowling)
18. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
19. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
20. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
21. The Stand (Stephen King)
22. +Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte). This is the one. I could not even begin to tell you how many times I’ve read this book. It’s the book that I may go months without reading, but if I wake up at 2:30 a.m. and want it, I have to have it right then. I love this book.
23. +The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
24. +Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
25. +The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
26. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
27. +The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
28. +Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte). Not nearly as good as Jane Eyre. But good.
29. +The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
30. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
31. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
32. Dune (Frank Herbert) Did you see that awful feature film they made, seems like it was in the 80s or early 90s? Yecch.
33. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
34. +1984 (James Orwell). Magnus Frater Te Spectat!
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. * The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. Ulysses (James Joyce). I tried to read this once or twice, but got bored.
41. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
42. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
43. *The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
44. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
45. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
46. + Bible
47. +Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy). I read a few pages, but again, got bored.
48. +The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
49. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
50. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
51. *She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
52. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
53. +A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
54. +Great Expectations (Charles Dickens) I prefer Dickens’ shorter novels.
55. +Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
56. +The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald) When I was in 10th grade, I fell in love with F. Scott Fitzgerald. I read everything he wrote. I even had a pair of statues I named Scott and Zelda. I hung on to them long after my passion for Fitzgerald had waned, but eventually gave them to a roommate who really liked them. I really liked her, and by then it caused me no pain to give them up.
57. * The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. +Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. +Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
63. +The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
64. War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy). I think I read about two pages of this one. Got bored. I’m sure it’s a masterful book, but I’m no longer in university and no longer feel the need to read a book just because I “should,” even if I did major in English!
65. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
66. * Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
67. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
68. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brasheares)
69. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
70. +Les Miserables (Victor Hugo). I still can’t believe I read the unabridged version of this when I was 12! It’s a fantastic story, but yikes, the man blathered on for pages and pages and pages and pages and pages about things that didn’t progress the story. And people complain about J.K. Rowling needing to tighten things up. Puh-leeze!
71. +The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery). I’ve read this in English and French. This is a fantastic book.
72. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Helen Fielding). One of my few forays into the field of chick-lit. I’m not a huge fan of the genre.
73. Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
74. Shogun (James Clavell)
75. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
76. + The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett). I’ve read this one many, many times. I wanted to be Mary and help the garden wake up.
77. *The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
78. +A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith). Another one I’ve read many times. It has such beauty and pathos and strong, strong women.
79. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
80. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
81. +Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
82. * Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
83. Of Mice And Men (John Steinbeck)
84. +Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier). My nomination for the best opening sentence ever: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”
85. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
86. +Emma (Jane Austen). I love Emma. Love it, love it, love it.
87. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
88. +Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
89. *The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
90. * Blindness (Jose Saramago)
91. *Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
92. *In The Skin Of A Lion (Michael Ondaatje)
93. +Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
94. +The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
95. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
96. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
97. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
98. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
99. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
100. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)

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A Voice

jDo any of these names sound familiar to you?

Gloria Rivas . . . Juana Sandoval Reyna . . . Esmeralda Juarez Alarcon . . . Violeta Barrios . . . Alma Chavira Farel . . . Elizabeth Castro Garcia . . . Rosario Garcia Leal . . . Rocio Barrazza Gallegos . . . Rosalina Veloz Vasquez . . . Maria Acosta . . . Claudia Gonzales . . . Esmerelda Herrera . . . Guadalupe Luna . . . Barbara Martinez . . . Laura Ramos Monarrez . . . Mayra Reyes Solis . . . Veronica Martinez . . . Silvia Arce . . . Griselda Mares . . . Elizabeth Gomez . . . Laura Inere . . . Lilia Garcia

Twenty-two women. Girls, some of them, barely into young womanhood.

Twenty-two lives cut short in a horrifyingly brutal way.

Twenty-two voices silenced.

Twenty-two people out of the hundreds murdered. Twenty-two people out of a vastly larger number of missing people.

I found those twenty-two names in mere minutes of searching. What will I have found after I have spent hours searching? More names. More faces. More sorrow. More heartbreak.

First come the tears. Then the anger. Then determination.

I am determined to give a voice to some of these women. I appreciate MoMentuM for letting me be a part of its Women of Juarez project.

If you want to learn more about the femicides that have been taking place in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua City, you can start by exploring some of the links I’ve posted to the left.

Whatever you do, don’t just look away.

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Character Meme

I stole this from Erin. She didn’t tag me or anything, because our meeting was done through comments in Sarah’s blog. But I like her Character Meme. I will state categorically, however, that trying to pick just one is almost impossible. I will do my best. But if I have to pick two, that’s just the way it is. Okey-dokey? Now that we’ve got that established, on to the meme:

Character you’d most like to have over for tea? Jane Rochester, nee Eyre, I think. I’d love to have a nice long tete-a-tete with her, see if Mr. Rochester is really as pompous as he comes across at times (“Young lady, I am disposed to be gregarious and communicative tonight.”). I’d like to see if she’s still happy with the choices and decisions she made in life. And, while most definitely NOT at the same tea, I’d also like to have tea with Bertha Mason one day. Preferably before she went completely off the deep end. It would be interesting to compare notes, you know?

Character you’d most like to have as a sibling? Mr. Darcy. I think it would be nice to have an intelligent, protective older brother to look out for me. And if he were my brother, then I would have Elizabeth Bennett for a sister. See? “Though this be madness, yet there is method in it.”

Character you’d most like to be friends with? You won’t know her, because I think only one or two people have bought the book. But her name is Celia Pryce, and she’s a major character in The Treehouse, a book my sister and I wrote together. Celia was originally supposed to be a not-very-nice girl. But she actually is extremely nice, and extremely cool, and just exactly the sort of person you’d want to be friends with if you’re into books and drama, and into not fitting in. Not fitting in has been my theme through much of my life, so it was really fun to help create this person who, on the surface, fits in beautifully, but who really feels as much a misfit in her life as the rest of us tend to do. I know it may seem a little vain to pick one of my own characters, but I don’t care. One of the best bits of writing I’ve ever done was for Celia, and she’s very dear to my heart.

Character you’d most like to have as a cousin? Fred and George Weasley. It’s been fascinating to watch them grow and develop. They started off wise-cracking funny guys, with a tinge of mean-spiritedness. They are still wise-cracking funny guys, but they’ve carved out a really respectable niche in the jokes industry, as well as providing a very valuable array of support equipment for the good guys. They’d be fun to hang around with from time to time, most definitely.

Character you’d most like to have an adventure with? Charles Wallace Murry. He has good adventures. And he is another character who just gets more and more interesting as he grows up. I particularly enjoyed him in A Swiftly Tilting Planet.

Favorite quirky character? I’m with Erin. Luna Lovegood. She is either wholly unaware or serenely indifferent to what everyone around her thinks of her. I personally think it’s the latter, and admire her indifference. It’s something I could never have done as a teenager, and am only now beginning to learn. She has shown herself to be exceptionally quick-witted and a true friend. I was very touched at the end of Half-Blood Prince to learn that she and Neville were the only members of the DADA to show up when called, because they were the ones presumably to whom it had meant the most, and were therefore the ones who would have been paying attention to their fake galleon that Hermione charmed. And now that I’ve mentioned Neville Longbottom, I have to add that he is one of my very favorite characters in the Potterverse. I’ve been delighted to see him bloom so beautifully, and continue to look to greatness from him. I’m firmly convinced he will one day be head of Gryffindor House!

Favorite love-to-hate character? Y’know, I think I’m going to have to go with Erin on this one as well, and select the former Hogwarts High Inquisitor, Dolores Jane Umbridge.

Favorite bad guy? Right now it’s Reason’s grandfather, whatever his real name may be, from Justine Larbalestier’s Magic or Madness series. He seems to be thoroughly Iago-like, in that I have not yet seen any reedeming features in him. I assume that, at one point, he must have had some. But his greed for magic and survival has at least hidden those thoroughly beneath the surface, if indeed they are still there at all.

And I’ll add one more category of my own:

Character to whom you’ve most often been compared? And this, my friends, is Hermione Granger. My husband, when Hermione groaned at the announcement that end-of-year exams were canceled at the end of the second movie, said, “That’d be you.” Huh! Shows how well he knows me! I’ve been known to carelessly walk into the crosswalk at the university and with a defiant eye just dare someone to run over me, when it was time for finals. Okay, this teeny little part of me loves taking exams. So I guess the comparison is somewhat justifiable.

TAGGING TIME: I tag Izzybella and Chicory. And, of course, anyone else who feels like doing it. (And you should, because it’s fun!)

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(Before I write this, please note that I feel like a kid in school being asked to write an essay on what she did over the weekend. But I haven’t been asked. I’m thrusting this on anyone who happens to be here reading. And I want to write it. But still. My Weekend?)

Friday night was pretty lame. It involved a quick trip to Subway for a tuna sandwich, the remote control, and my bed. Once the sandwich was disposed of, I turned on a movie I’d never seen before (and how have I gone this long without watching A Nightmare Before Christmas?). I fell asleep right after it was over, but woke up a little while later with a toothache. (Reminder to self: Call dentist, make appointment.) So I sleepily watched an hour of Pop-Up Video before putting in a Harry Potter movie and going back to sleep. For good that time, fortunately, because I was really really tired.

Saturday morning at weigh-in went pretty much as I’d figured. I was up .6 pound. I was NOT happy about it. But I went ahead with my plan to switch back to the flex plan on Sunday. Logically I can tell myself all I want to that I know that could be due to muscle gain or water retention, but I still want to lose pounds as well. If I were 60-70 pounds less than I am now, I could deal better, I think, with the scale not changing while my body still is. But when I’m still a good 80 pounds over my optimum weight, no matter how much my body is changing, I still have a fixed belief that the scale should change as well.

Joe and I went grocery shopping, and then he took me to brunch. But before we went to brunch, I had to change clothes. You see, my rocker husband wanted me to match him. So instead of my cute bright lime Tommy tee-shirt and my sneakers, I put on my New York tee shirt, a black jacket, plenty of black and silver jewelry, and my new black pinstripe sneakers. I admit I looked great. (Oh, yes, it’s hard to be humble….)

And we stopped at Borders afterwards, and I bought a new book. Making Faces, by Kevyn Aucoin. I have to just stop right here and say, I heart Kevyn Aucoin. I’ve been wearing my makeup the same way for 15 years or more, with only slight variations, because I didn’t know what to do differently. M-A has this book, and I was looking through it at rehearsal last week trying to get some ideas for makeup for the play. Well, I read it cover to cover this weekend, tried a few things out, and I look great today! I intend to go buy the rest of his books. It is just incredible what he can do for a face, with just a few items of makeup.

And S. and Izzybella and I had our girls’ afternoon out. It was somewhat abbreviated for Izzybella, poor kid–she works box office part-time for a theatre in Arlington. The play was sold out; the show started late; and there were, as there always are, computer problems. So she couldn’t join us until about 4. S. and I went to Ross and got lucky there–I found a fantastic red shirt with a huge black dragon on front. It’s great, and may end up getting worn in the play instead of the New York tee. Our late lunch was fun, and, according to Princess S., calorie free.

That evening I went out and dropped some money on makeup and got Joe’s birthday present (finally). And then went back home and read.

Sunday was spent mostly doing housework and some reading. I reread Wide Sargasso Sea. It’s a good book–not quite the earth-shattering novel I considered it to be when I first discovered it 14 years ago, but it’s good.

And, natch, I watched the Oscars. I like Ellen, and thought she did a nice job.

And that, friends, was my glorious weekend! It probably sounds really tame and boring, but I enjoyed it.

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