Monday, October 29th, 2012

winter_solise: (rooockett shiiip)
 This is a restaurant that's within walking distance of where I live. It's a Chinese place, and I've got to say it's probably the best Chinese I've ever had. I had a bottle of Chinese beer, which was really good, a very mild, smooth beer, sesame chicken, egg rolls, egg drop soup, and shrimp toast. Yeah, we got a ton of food, but we'd just done a six mile hike, XD.

Anyway, the sesame chicken was kind of crispy, but it was still very tasty, as was everything else we had. The service was fast, but it was slow when we got there. Not that I think the service wouldn't have been excellent if it had been busy. Asian restaurants always tend to have very good service. I also tried some of my SO's lo mein and my brother's General Tsao's chicken, and all of the food was excellent. It was so good, in fact, that I really stuffed myself silly. I didn't even have leftovers like I usually do when I get Chinese.

All in all, it was a great experience. Nice atmosphere, good food, and excellent service. I'd definitely go again, especially with the added bonus of it being so close to where I live.

Once again, I forgot pictures until it was almost too late, so I grabbed a picture of the girlfriend's lo mein and my beer. XD

winter_solise: (aeryn in the rain)
For the longest time, I swore I wouldn't read this book. 'It's dumb,' I thought. Just as dumb as Seth Grahme-Smith's other book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. But I happened across a free copy and while it sat in my Calibre library for a while, I happened across it the other day and thought, 'Well, maybe Halloween wouldn't be a bad time to read about our sixteenth president being a vampire hunter.'

The premise is that Abraham Lincoln kept a series of secret diaries from the time he was a boy, shortly after his mother died, killed by a vampire. These diaries were to chronicle Abe's ventures hunting and killing vampires.

Young Abraham swore that he would kill every vampire in America. A very lofty goal. The book is very much a biography of the life of Abraham Lincoln, with vampires scattered in for good measure. Grahme-Smith does a very good job with his facts, and making it seem plausible that one of the most popular presidents of the United States was indeed, a vampire hunter.

Grahme-Smith's vampires are also very convincing as well, appearing as normal people until such a time as they drop the facade and attack. I actually wish there had been a little more detail about Lincoln's vampire hunts. He's lauded as one of the greatest vampire hunters of America, and yet you only get to "witness" a few of his hunts. Although this is likely because Grahame-Smith uses Lincoln's diary entries as a major part of the narrative.

The book follows Abe's life from birth until his untimely death at the hands of John Wilkes Booth. One review I read on Goodreads said they didn't like how they used slaves and the Civil War as a plot point for vampires, but I thought this made complete sense. The vampires of America would very much like an almost unlimited food supply in the form of slaves, and for Lincoln, what better way to drive off the vampires than cutting off their food source? It was also quite clear that Lincoln still despised the idea of slavery, of a group of men being superior to another solely because of the color of their skin.

I found the book very interesting, and indeed, as with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I thought having Abe be a vampire hunter was a clever ploy to get people to actually read about one of America's greatest presidents and to learn about his life. It's amazing that Lincoln had such a humble birth, grew up on the American frontier, had very little formal education, and still became one of the most revered presidents through sheer tenacity and self-education.

Lincoln's life serves as a reminder that you don't have to be born to great means to become a great man.
winter_solise: (nice person)
 I happened upon this listopia list on Goodreads yesterday. 'Books I will never read.' The list is of popular books that your friends insist you simply must read, and included books like the Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings, and a lot of what most people consider great "classics." In fact, I was surprised I didn't find Game of Thrones on there, especially because it's become a hit T.V. series, just like Charlane Harris's Sookie Stackhouse books, which were on the list. Maybe I just didn't get far enough.

There were quite a few books on there that I can very comfortably say I'll never read. Like biographies about Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber and a lot of those political books that bash people just because they don't agree. I'm far beyond the age of caring about them. There was also Pride and Prejudice. I've tried several times, unsuccessfully, to read that book and I just can't bring myself to care about it. The first time I tried reading it, I was a teenager. I thought maybe I was just too young. The last time I tried reading it was last year. I don't know, maybe I'm still too young, XD Maybe I didn't give it enough of a chance. Who knows?

But the thing that bothered me was that there were so many great books on that list. I read Harry Potter at least once a year, even though I've read some of them at least ten times. (The first three XD) Even so, I still find a lot to enjoy in them, and I think I'll be reading them once a year until I die. They're really a modern classic. I don't know if that list was meant to be a personal list, to say the author will never read any of those books just because they're popular, or if it's there just to get people to vote on the books they never plan to read, but I say never is a long time and refusing to read a book just because it's popular isn't a good reason not to read it.

I actually refused to read Harry Potter when it first came out because it was so popular, and once I read it, I discovered something. Maybe some things are popular because they're really that good.

I've resolved that I won't refuse to try something just because it's popular. Someday, I might even read Twilight. I hear they get better around the third book, and I do think Stephanie Meyer has some decent ideas. Although why the vampires sparkle is still beyond me.

Anyway, I guess the TLDR version of this post is, if you refuse to even try something because it's popular, you're limiting yourself and having a very closed-minded attitude.
winter_solise: (Jean Grey)

Here's my first real Mission 101 update.

In Progress:

1. Read 101 books I've never read before (1/101)
    Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter

40. Complete 200 Sudoku puzzles (22/200)

47. Take 100 pictures (10/100)
      (Haven't done the processing or final tally yet)

49. Go on 100 Hikes (2/100)

54. Go to 10 restaurants I've never gone to before and write a review for each (2/10)

75. Make 101 LJ icons (6/101)

80. Write a review for every book in the challenge (1/101)

87. Make or get each of the 4 Harry Potter House scarfs (1/4)

90. Listen to the 50 albums that changed music (1/50)


11. Learn my blood type (A- Completed 10/07/2012)

41. Join the bone marrow registry (Completed 10/16/2012)

I like little progress reports. It puts into perspective how much you've actually done when you can see it all together like that. :) I think I've got a pretty nice start. I've got to be a little more vigilant in keeping up with it, though. I haven't really been doing much lately, and I don't have an excuse, since I don't even have a job yet.

November 2012

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