winter_solise: (vala-daniel farscape lol)

 I usually stay far away from Bill O'Reilly. I can't really stand those Fox News right-wing extremists,but as this is a biography of sorts, and on a rather fascinating topic, I thought I'd give it a try. That, and I had just finished reading Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, so I was in the mood to read more about President Lincoln.

The beginning deals a lot with the end of the Civil War, which I found interesting, but not entirely relevant. It helps you to understand the US' position at the time, and the fact that the South could very much have won if things had turned out just a little differently, but I didn't think it was really entirely relevant to the end of Lincoln's life.

There's quite a bit of speculation going on, but it's a well-known fact that Lincoln's assassination is shrouded in mystery in some places. It's well-known that John Wilkes Booth hated the late President and that he was an ardent supporter of the Confederacy, but the book goes into what Booth was thinking at the time, which no one can really know.

Killing Lincoln is written in the style of a thriller, so it doesn't sound like a history book or even a real biography, which I think makes it more interesting.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, as someone who was interested in knowing more about Lincoln's assassination and not having read much else about Lincoln, aside from a fictional biography of his life.
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.
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: (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: (Jean Grey)
 Yeah, I knew that would be the hardest part. Though I think I'm doing pretty well with my goals.

On Friday, I went on hike #2, and it was a doozy! 6.6 miles. I went to West Fork Trail in Oak Creek Canyon with my roommates. The trees were all starting to change, and I had really wanted to do this particular trail because it's supposed to be beautiful in the fall, and it was! I took well over 200 pictures on my iPod, which I'm still working on processing. So far, I've only Instagrammed six out of the 200 some-odd. Not all of them are going to stay. Some of them came out really blurry because I was moving at the time I took them. Unfortunate, but most of the pictures are of the beautiful fall foliage. There were so many trees in yellow, orange, and red. We also got a really good picture of the three of us.

So I'm gonna work on putting all the pics through Instagram and post them as I do them, that way, I won't have a huge photo dump of 100+ pics. I'm not going to consider that particular goal complete until I've actually got all the pictures processed and posted, just in case by some miracle, it turns out to be less than 100.

I'm also working on the icons. I'm really pleased with this Jean Grey icon I made. I'm thinking about making a set with Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Iceman, Beast, and Kitty Pride. Then I might even go and make X-Men: First Class icons. XD I'm going to rework my McGonagall icon, too. I'm thinking about starting a separate icon journal, even though I plan on posting them all on this one. >___>

On the job front, I sent a resume to Ace Hardware in West Sedona for their Lawn & Garden position. I've got three 'years' of garden center experience, having done a season each at Lowe's, Walmart, and ShopKo. Lawn & Garden is hands-down one of my favorite departments to work in, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for my interview tomorrow. I really need a job, at least until I can try for Pink Jeep Tours in late November/early December.

I'm feeling too lazy to upload my pictures to Photobucket, so I'll post them later. XD

Oh yeah, and I also went to another new restaurant. Pics and review later!


Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 05:35 pm
winter_solise: (Maester Seymour)
Okay, so today I joined the bone marrow donor registry. I'll be getting a kit for a cheek swab tissue test in about two weeks to finalize the thing, but for all intents and purposes, that goal is complete. Part of me hopes I'm never called, and part of me hopes I will be someday. It's kind of like jury duty like that. Although it seems that only 1 of every 200 people are ever called to be a donor. We shall see. I've made the commitment at any rate, and if they call me to be a donor, I won't say no. I think the most valuable donations are ones where you're directly helping another human being; where you know exactly what your donation is doing and where it's going.

Also, I got two new pictures the other day,  one going for a walk at Bell Rock, the other at Trader Joe's in Prescott

Bell Rock trail

A little daring

Saturday, October 13th, 2012 03:44 pm
winter_solise: (Default)
I was cruising around Cragslist today for my job hunt and decided to check out the personals for platonic relationships. I thought it was pretty nifty, but I didn't e-mail anybody and kind of went about my business online until I was doing a little editing on my Mission 101 list and saw the goal I had to make a new friend.

So I went back to Craigslist and posted an ad for a friend. To my surprise, someone e-mailed me. Let's see where this goes. XD

I'm also working on my goat to listen to the 50 albums that changed music. I'm listening to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band," which I actually sang in middle school choir, lol.

The Craigslist thing is working much better than I anticipated. I'm getting so many responses that I can hardly keep up, lol

November 2012

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