Saturday, June 25, 2011

hello my little pigeons.
i have returned.
sadly, i bear no exciting news, and lack any kind of rejuvenated reviewing urges.

instead, i come to write some more of my personally handcrafted, mostly flippant and entirely irrelevant paragraphs (many of which are dotted liberally with unnecessary commas and the use of words that most probably don't fit the sentence i have rudely shoved them into, because i skipped the paying attention bit of school were they taught us about, like, grammar 'n shiz (as well as where switzerland is on a map- turns out it is NOT up there next to norway. my total bad)(and while i did purchase a teach yourself grammar for dummies type book last year, i got bored of it very quickly and returned quite happily to my frequently cretinous treatment of the english language)(and in particular the unfortunate use of brackets)(okay, who am i kidding? my mutilation of brackets was probably never going to end no matter how much dumbed down grammar i tried to absorb))(have i closed all these brackets off successfully? meh.)))))).

i was most disappointed the other day to discover that the word blowsy does not in fact mean that sort of floaty windy pretty like when the bees are boppin' happily over the bushes and the leaves are rustling and the air smells nice like summer even though it might not be summer. turns out it doesn't mean anything like that at all!* various dictionaries have bandied about terms like...


i feel quite affronted that these nasty dictionary creators have taken MY word and given such an unfortunate meaning to it. however, i am one to make the best of a ridiculous situation, so my new affectionate term for those close to me shall no longer be ratlady or wizardbeard but you blowsy skink.

actually, i have begun to suspect i should use a dictionary more often. my understanding of word meanings has long been influenced fairly heavily (and this is going to sound even stupider than the rest of this post) by the vibes of the word. hence what i think words mean and what other people and dictionaries think words mean often varies by a surprisingly large amount.
i think this stems from when i was younger. if i didn't understand the meaning of a word, i would continue reading and try and sort of pick up on what the author meant. as i spent a fair bit of time reading whatever i could lay my hands on (many a breakfast was spent learning about the nutritional content of my cereal) i imagine that maybe i read stuff that i didn't understand most of, and so made up my own meanings? and perhaps they stuck? who knows. who cares really. i'm off. laterz

Saturday, December 18, 2010

i have been on a bit of a hiatus lately. i recognise this.
i don't actually have much to say about my absence (brought to you by some sulking, performance anxiety and mostly, sheer laziness...) other than that i read....

the keepers- lian tanner
oh broo.
i do love you.
thoroughly enjoyed it.

3 quarters of before i fall- lauren oliver
i was extremely overtired when i read this. i didn't mean to read it, just picked it up to get a sense of it, and then ooooops i read most of it. then i had to stop cos i felt a bout of hysterical, unstoppable crying coming on. and also i knew what was going to happen (although then when i skimmed a bit before the end to double check, i realised i didn't know exactly hooow it was going to happen, and props for the curly jigsaw twist, although it had nothin' on when you reach me-rebecca stead) and didn't really want to hear it. it was pretty good, but there is only so much of this type (depressing, heartwrenching, depressing, depressing) of book that i can read.

also i read the tall man- chloe hooper
oh god. i don't really want to talk about. tears. fury. more tears.

what else?

the last dragonslayer
- jasper fforde.
i thoroughly enjoy the crustacean references. i quite enjoyed the book also. i then read the eyre affair and enjoyed that too. (although i did sometimes stop and think (very quietly) to myself; douglas adams does it better)(although just what it is adams does better i'm not entirely sure of... i suspect i just prefer douglas adams in general for when i want that sort of mad, clever, skewed reality type book, but what fforde does is also rawther excellent and so to you, brain, i say, 'do not compare! just read!' and to that my brain says 'silence wench! don't you speak to me until you stop using brackets so stupidly!begone!')
and to you, brain i say ((((((**** you!!!)))))((((())))) bahbahahaha.

sorry. that was uncalled for.

mostly, though, there has been lots of enjoyment, all around!

and i am also perusing the latest lonely planet tasmania guide. yes, that's right. dugong lady may soon be cycling around tasmania. on a bicycle. cycling. and looking at tasmanian things. hurrah!

and now i think we can all be glad that this is my last post for the year, and that this is the end of it.

ps. the post date is wrong. it is currently the LAST DAY OF 2010. i hope everyone has a truly delaightful next year.

Monday, November 22, 2010

another review: gosh, i'm on a roll

the body finder
kimberly derting

so our heroine, violet ambrose, has this creepy ability to sense the echoes of the dead. well, the murdered, if we are going to get specific.

she found her first dead (human) body when she was eight; this dead girls particular echo began as a vibration, and as violet got closer, it opened into a voice, calling out. (violet then began to dig in the earth, found the dead girl, and had nightmares for a while afterwards-violet, i hear ya)

when violet hears, smells or sees these echoes she is compelled to answer them, and these echoes can come from anything that died in a brutal or unnatural way. so the tiny woodland creatures that were victims of surprise attacks from bigger woodland creatures leave echoes. the bigger woodland creatures themselves carry offensive imprints (as does violet's cat, carl), and as do police officers (occupational hazard), some nurses, and of course, serial killers like the one terrorising violet's neighbourhood.

this was creepy! i finished it late at night (stupid, stupid dugong lady) and then sat up in bed wondering if there was a serial killer in the backyard.
i even messaged my long suffering boyfriend for some reassurance that the serial killer i had decided was in my backyard wasn't going to attack me. reassurance came in the form of a reminder; my dog was in the backyard (oh no! what if the serial killer killed my dog?!) my teddy would protect me, and, it was JUST A BOOK.
i thought that was fairly dodgy reassurance (particularly cos as far as i know teddy has had no form of combat training), but i went to sleep anyway (and then was rudely awoken by some very stupid plasterers, but that's another story*).

errr. so anyway. again, it was creepy! great concept. the writing was a bit stilted at times, and the way violet and jay's (the token hottie) love interest played out was pretty generic. having said this though, i read it in a day, and it got under my skin enough for me to imagine serial killers in the backyard. sort of an odd mix of a law and order episode and a young adult romance novel. i reckon it will appeal to the fans of supernatural YA, but also to people that like more realism with their escapism.
apparently it is going to be a series, and the second body finder novel desires of the dead will be published at some point.

blogger is refusing to upload a cover photo, so you will just have to imagine it (or ask monsieur googleeee).

*the rest of the story goes like this: the plasterers woke me up at 6.30am (bastards!!!). i glared at them, got ma and went and sulked in bed cos my sleep was ruined. ma reckons that the plaster wasn't ours (apparently it was enough for about five, very large, houses), that they had already woken up next door to ask if it was theirs, and they then proceded to doorknock their way down the street. plaster, anyone? grrrrr.

Friday, November 19, 2010

a review! hurrah!

fruitloops and dipsticks
ulf stark- gecko press

things start going wrong for 12 year old simone when her mother decides they are to sell their apartment, and move to the country with the 'hat-idiot' aka ingvar, mother's boyfriend with a receding hairline and a complex about such hairline.

things get worse when, after the farewell party (practical because it meant you could get rid of a whole lot of things you didn't want to take with you), they move to the new house and discover they forgot the dog.

things get even worse after that. on the hunt for kilroy (the dog), mother finds kilroy and viciously harangues the nasty man that stole him. a battle ensues, and it is on their hasty (but victorious) exit to the car that simone (now out of earshot of the nasty dog stealer) must point out to mother that it the dog isn't infact kilroy, and another hasty getaway is necessary.

apparently mother is not much good at recognizing dogs. or people either, for that matter.

then things begin to go totally and completely avocado shaped when the new teacher leaves the 'e' off simone, and simone becomes a boy, simon (of course, it would be far to embarrassing to clear up, straight away, the gender mishap).

simon then gets into a bunch of mad adventures involving ducks, late night lake swimming, scalped beehives and carefully arranged cotton wool.

i really, really loved this book. i particularly loved grandpa, who rocks up at the new house wearing long johns, purloined high heels, hospital nightshirt flapping stylishly, snorting happily through the strands of hair in his nostrils.

actually, all the characters are really great, mostly eccentric (fruitloops), but even the non eccentric ones (dipsticks) are beautifully created, with curious little details that bring them to life very vividly.

it'll make you laugh, make you cry. it'll change your life! *

it really did make me laugh. and i cried, but it was the good type of crying.

i loved it. hurrah!
*say it in a drunk, irish accent. or just go watch black books. bernard! bahahah.

Monday, November 15, 2010

lizzie mcguire, you disappoint me

i was really excited when this arrived today. yeah, i know that she is getting published because she is famous*, a (reasonably) good singer (ok, i admit i love her music and know nearly all the words to her songs (well, first two albums anyway)) and cos she has really pretty hair.

but i was more than willing to overlook that fact, and was looking foward to reading about Clea, the photojournalist with famous parents who hides behind her camera lens to escape the spotlight.

this excitement lasted until i opened the book and saw the title page. quite an aesthetically pleasing title page, it has the title (as you would expect), black and white versions of the cover flower, and then the author: hilary duff (this bit is fine) WITH elise allen (this bit is the bit that pisses me off).

ok hil, you want to write a book. fine. i don't have a problem with that. i also dont have a problem with the fact that you got published solely on your fame. i do have a problem with you putting your name on a pretty cover in big letters, doing all the signings, making all the money and generally getting people like me who have adored you since the beginning of time (or the beginning of lizzie mcguire) all excited, only to CRUSH OUR HOPES WITH YOUR SHITTY**, BASICALLY GHOST WRITTEN BOOK.

there is nothing left between us now. it's over***.

*hil, i say this because any chance at getting published on your own writing merit is gone when you need someone to help you write your book.

***although at least you credited elise allen for the work she did. i guess you aren't totally heartless (erhmm. cough cough. james frey you are a wanker.) ill probably always love you.

**it may in fact be fantastic, i haven't read it yet cos i am feeling so traumatised and let down. although, really, what did i expect? shame on me and my optimism.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

an outdoor chandelier

hello! i'm back.

here is a review:

oh fuck. i think i just have a reviewing block. so here is a picture of some renovation madness:

oh dear

so i know that when i got my (shiny) laptop, i made a big hullabaloo about how i was now going to be a blogging dynamo.
i'm sorry, i lied.

it's just that i have all these fab ideas (well, i think they are fab) and want to share them, but then when i'm sitting in front of the computer they never seem to come at me, they always come while i am on my way to the dentist, or in the middle of the park watching my chien chase birds and roll in dead things (bad, smelly dog!) or whenever i am anywhere but in front of my computer.

consequently i end up with scraps of paper everywhere which i then instantly loose, or pink moleskines filled with vague notes on books i always plan to review RIGHT AWAY but then forget about, or when i do finally sit down to do to them, i get discouraged. i suspect that i get discouraged because even though i tell myself to just spit it out, i then get wrapped up thinking about all the hours and years that the author took to write the book, and i begin to feel guilty for not spending as much time on my review. so then i generally just don't review at all because i think to myself, well, how could i do justice to all that time and work with a few (often hastily constructed) thoughts and sentences? and then i start thinking, well, is this even what i think at all? and i get all confused and stop.

a vicious cycle indeed.

so today i have decided
fuck it

i will just spit it all out and not think about it and if i regret it later, oh well at least i didn't sleep with the neighbours cat
(this is not something i, or anyone i know, has done, but i imagine whoever did it would certainly regret it. at least, i hope they would)
(not that anyone did sleep with the neighbours cat. they don't even have a cat, a lady in a yellow car ran over it) (actually that's not true, it didn't die and it didn't belong to the neighbour either. i think) (it is true a lady in a yellow car ran over it though. i witnessed it and it was extremely traumatic) (for me, not the cat as the cat jumped up and ran away) (possibly to die) (this is entirely ridiculous) (i will stop now)

and now, see, i have written such a long and stupid post i no longer have the energy to review a book. oh dear.