This Friday Five popped up at just the right time!
1. Do you enjoy receiving books as holiday or birthday gifts?
Yes, very much! Even if it’s a miss, a book gift illuminates what someone thought would interest me. And they’re easy to keep and easy to pass along.
2. What book are you reading (or, what is the last book you read)?
3. Are you enjoying (or, did you enjoy) that book? Why or why not?
It’s so good. A YA novel called Darius the Great Is Not Okay, by Adib Khorram. Darius is a teenager who loves tea and lives in Portland– his mom is Persian, his dad is white, he has an adorable younger sister, and the whole family goes to visit Iran because his grandfather there is ill. The writing is SO smooth and funny and true. The author is great at introducing bits of Farsi and Persian cultural notes and character notes, and using them thereafter effortlessly with zero didacticism. Darius and his dad both have depression, for example; it manifests differently in each of them, they take different meds for it, and this is all just how it is– it never feels like “and now this story (or even this page) is About Depression.” I’m on page 78 of 312 and so far it’s exceeded all my expectations.
4. About how many books do you read in an average year?
100-120, somewhere in there.
5. What are some of the books on your to-read pile (or list)?
I want to finish my reread of Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis series before the end of the year, so Imago is next on my list. I also have some fun SF that’s not gonna renew for me at the library– Martha Wells’ Rogue Protocol and Becky Chambers’ Record of a Spaceborn Few.
I did the first few days of Inktober, on 4×6 index cards with non-photo blue pencil and Sharpie.
I didn’t have access to Friday Five prompts when I felt like answering them today, so I started my own set: What (if anything) have you had on your walls, as a kid and now? But then I wrote until I had five parts of an answer to this one question, so I’m doing it wrong, oh well!
In my head, Girl With a Hoop’s name was Louisa and she wasn’t that nice– a bit stuck-up when we talked. I never spoke to Girl With a Watering Can.
Would you rather shop or sunbathe?
Sunbathe, but there must be short duration or ample shade, because I burn easily.
I am surprisingly fond of shopping online, and do it for Sanguinity sometimes. Most recently, workout capris from SparkleSkirts— love their stuff.
Would you rather dance or sing?
Sing, probably. You can do other stuff while singing. And in public I’m probably less self-conscious singing than dancing. And I like the vibrations of singing.
Would you rather watch college football or watch NFL?
Um. Is it like basketball where college ball has more evident defense? I don’t watch much football, just study up on the Broncos a bit if I’m going to be visiting my folks, so I can follow the chitchat among my relatives. The moneyed interests and policies in both the NCAA and NFL may be incompatible with my values.
Would you rather write or read?
Oh, read. Hundred to one, reading.
Would you rather chat online with friends or hang out with friends?
Hang out with friends. I don’t like chat at all and very rarely do it. I just can’t get the hang of it, I always end up waiting around for the other person to say something or feeling very rude for going away mid-chat. That said, I do love seeing my friends’ blogs and social media go by and interacting asynchrously as the spirit moves me.
1. What was your favorite pastime in high school?
Reading books, same as now. I wish I had booklists for those years; lots of Madeleine L’Engle, lots of rereading.
I was also playing the piano and clarinet a lot, though clarinet especially was more a well-rewarded chore than a pastime.
I listened to more music and watched more music videos than I do now. MTV at shellynoir’s house and Channel 12’s Teletunes at Jenny’s.
2. What is your all time favorite board game/card game?
My most ardent love for board games was probably around age 5, so Candyland and Wildlife Lotto. But that aside, my longest-lasting favorite is Pictionary. It’s so fun! Come play Pictionary with me without keeping score.
3. What is the last movie you saw at the theatre and what did you think of it?
The Arrival. I liked the visuals a lot, and I liked the concept and storyline except that in the end it all came down to being about love interest and kid, like it couldn’t possibly suffice for it to be about a female scientist’s unprecedented discoveries and, you know, alien contact.
A few months later I read the novella it was based on, Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life.” I got a lot of pleasure out of noting the differences, where the novella had more nuance and where the film had pumped up the drama. (And I’m not knocking that– the pumped-up drama is where a lot of those visuals I liked came from.) Like, in the novella, there is no drive out to the huge alien monolith and suiting up and all that– they just step in front of an alien video screen in a canvas tent. I’ll say it: the book is better. But the movie is good and has charms that the book doesn’t.
4. What is something (no matter what kind of mood you’re in) that makes you happy the moment you do it, see it, or hear it?
Seeing a happy dog go by. Especially if I get to meet the happy dog!
5.Do you believe that crop circles are made by human or alien?
I don’t have specific beliefs about crop circles because I know almost nothing about them. In general, I believe our understanding of natural phenomena and of ancient history is incomplete, and I look to that before ascribing alien agency.