June 18, 2008

More on internet traditions

Posted in Memes at 9:58 pm by The Lizard Queen

Evil Bender made me do it.  (We’ve both been rather tickled by this meme, and we were repeating “I am familiar with all internet traditions” in different voices, and I thought of the following — I quite doubt I’m the first to do so at this point — and, well, here we are…)

(More.)

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Internet traditions… I knows them.

Posted in Memes at 6:13 pm by The Lizard Queen

I’m not always one to pounce on a meme, but I just knew this picture of the Professor would be too perfect for it.  More here.  🙂

May 2, 2008

106 Books (pretension optional)

Posted in Books, Literature, Memes at 5:38 pm by The Lizard Queen

Snagged this from Evil Bender:

Via Stranger Fruit, I learn about an interesting book meme: “106 Books of Pretension,” which is really “the top 106 books most often marked as ‘unread’ by LibraryThing’s users.” I don’t think these books, as a group, are particularly pretentious.  There is a surprisingly wide range represented . . .

So, here we go — books I’ve read are in italics, books I began and never finished are struck through, and books in standard type I haven’t (yet) bothered with:

* Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
* Anna Karenina
* Crime and Punishment (I really enjoyed this book.  In other news, I’m a huge book nerd.)
* Catch-22
* One Hundred Years of Solitude (very much want to read this)
* Wuthering Heights
* The Silmarillion
* Life of Pi : a novel
* The Name of the Rose (another to-read)
* Don Quixote
* Moby Dick (I also enjoyed this one more than I expected to.)
* Ulysses (someday…)
* Madame Bovary (I was supposed to read this the summer before 12th grade.  Not so much.)
* The Odyssey
* Pride and Prejudice
* Jane Eyre
* The Tale of Two Cities
* The Brothers Karamazov (I made it through the first 300 pages.  That’s only a third of the book.)
* Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
* War and Peace
* Vanity Fair
* The Time Traveler’s Wife
* The Iliad
* Emma
* The Blind Assassin
* The Kite Runner
* Mrs. Dalloway
* Great Expectations
* American Gods (I loves me some Neil Gaiman)
* A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
* Atlas Shrugged
* Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
* Memoirs of a Geisha
* Middlesex
* Quicksilver
* Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West (I want to read this, or at least I like the idea, but on more than one occasion I’ve picked it up at the bookstore, then put it down again…)
* The Canterbury tales (I can’t quite remember if I’ve definitely read all of the Tales, but I’m counting it anyway.)
* The Historian : a novel
* A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
* Love in the Time of Cholera
* Brave New World
* The Fountainhead
* Foucault’s Pendulum
* Middlemarch (I’d like to read this)
* Frankenstein
* The Count of Monte Cristo
* Dracula
* A Clockwork Orange
* Anansi Boys
* The Once and Future King
* The Grapes of Wrath (Had to read this in high school and found it dreadfully dull; had to read it in grad school and loved it.)
* The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
* 1984
* Angels & Demons
* The Inferno
* The Satanic Verses (would very much like to read this)
* Sense and Sensibility
* The Picture of Dorian Gray (ditto)
* Mansfield Park (dude, what’s with all the Jane Austen on this list?)
* One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
* To the Lighthouse (the trouble with stream-of-consciousness prose, for me, is that it’s so easy to put down and forget to pick up again…)
* Tess of the D’Urbervilles
* Oliver Twist
* Gulliver’s Travels
* Les Misérables (I’d like to get around to this someday.  I’ve poked at the beginning a few times, but never really started in on it.)
* The Corrections (on my shelf, just waiting for me!)
* The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
* The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
* Dune
* The Prince
* The Sound and the Fury (Yeah, another nerdy love of mine…)
* Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
* The God of Small Things
* A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present (currently reading — okay, maybe I’ve paused for a little while.  But I’ll finish it!)
* Cryptonomicon
* Neverwhere
* A Confederacy of Dunces
* A Short History of Nearly Everything
* Dubliners
* The Unbearable Lightness of Being
* Beloved
* Slaughterhouse-five
* The Scarlet Letter
* Eats, Shoots & Leaves
* The Mists of Avalon
* Oryx and Crake : a novel (also want to read)
* Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
* Cloud Atlas
* The Confusion
* Lolita (seriously, Nabokov’s prose is amazing)
* Persuasion
* Northanger Abbey
* The Catcher in the Rye
* On the Road
* The Hunchback of Notre Dame
* Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
* Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values (kinda curious about this one)
* The Aeneid
* Watership Down (I seem to recall reading something in high school from the point of view of rabbits, which points to Watership Down, but… I just really don’t remember.)
* Gravity’s Rainbow
* The Hobbit
* In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences (on the shelf!)
* White Teeth
* Treasure Island
* David Copperfield
* The Three Musketeers

Good grief, I think my total is 34.  Maybe I’m not as much of a book nerd as I claim to be…

November 1, 2007

The Pharyngula Mutating Genre* Meme

Posted in Memes at 2:17 pm by The Lizard Queen

I have seriously been fretting over this meme, designed to demonstrate evolution over the internet, for over two weeks now. Liss tagged me, which put me in a dilemma: I feel the need to respond, lest she never tag me or link to me ever again, but I feel pressured to sound smart. Finally I realized I was just going to need to make a decision on the three questions that were troubling me, though, lest I never get around to posting the meme at all. So, here it is, with the rules up front:

There are a set of questions below that are all of the form, “The best [subgenre] in [genre] is…”. Copy the questions, and before answering them, you may modify them in a limited way, carrying out no more than two of these operations:

— You can leave them exactly as is.

— You can delete any one question.

— You can mutate either the genre, medium, or subgenre of any one question. For instance, you could change “The best time travel novel in SF/Fantasy is…” to “The best time travel novel in Westerns is…”, or “The best time travel movie in SF/Fantasy is…”, or “The best romance novel in SF/Fantasy is…”.

— You can add a completely new question of your choice to the end of the list, as long as it is still in the form “The best [subgenre] in [genre] is…”.

You must have at least one question in your set, or you’ve gone extinct, and you must be able to answer it yourself, or you’re not viable.

Then answer your possibly mutant set of questions. Please do include a link back to the blog you got them from, to simplify tracing the ancestry, and include these instructions.

Finally, pass it along to any number of your fellow bloggers. Remember, though, your success as a Darwinian replicator is going to be measured by the propagation of your variants, which is going to be a function of both the interest your well-honed questions generate and the number of successful attempts at reproducing them.

My great-great-great-grandparent is Pharyngula.
My great-great-grandparent is Metamagician and the Hellfire Club.
My great-grandparent is Flying Trilobite.
My grandparent is A Blog Around the Clock.
My parent is Shakesville.

1. The best time travel novel in SF/Fantasy is: Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus, by Orson Scott Card. (Problematic in a lot of ways, from the author’s philosophies to some of the racial issues inherent in the subjects at hand, but I found the concept so fascinating — what if we could go back and change major events in the past as part of a social engineering project?)

2. The best scary movie in scientific dystopias is: Dark City (again, perhaps not always the best realized film, but a great concept, if nothing else.)

3. The best sexy song in rock is: “May This Be Love” by Jimi Hendrix.

4. The best cult novel in absurdist postmodern fiction is: Invisible Cities, by Italo Calvino (definitely achieved cult status among my creative writing colleagues, anyway.)

5. The best stand-up comedian in American comedy is: George Carlin (can’t argue with that!)

6. The best Canadian band in Celtic rock is: Great Big Sea (one of my great big loves.)

And now for the tagging:

Go be fruitful and multiply!

*I initially mistyped the title, and Evil Bender carried on the meme before I caught the typo, so it looks like it might well be the “mutating gene meme” in my descendants through him.  Mutation at work!

October 2, 2007

Animal meme

Posted in Animals, Memes at 1:32 pm by The Lizard Queen

I got tagged for this meme by PZ Myers… not being a biologist myself, my answers aren’t nearly as interesting, but given the traffic coming my way from his blog, I guess I’ll give it a shot.

An interesting animal I had

An interesting animal I ate

An interesting animal in the Museum

An interesting thing I did with or to an animal

An interesting animal in its natural habitat

Read the rest of this entry »

June 15, 2007

A meme reinforces my distaste for mainstream pop radio

Posted in Memes, Music at 10:05 pm by The Lizard Queen

[Is “mainstream pop” redundant?]

Blue Gal picked up the following meme, and curiosity got the best of me. I followed the instructions, found the proper year, and cringed. Over and over and over. So, first, here’s the meme:

The thing:
1. Go to http://www.popculturemadness.com/Music/
2. Down the left column pick the year you turned 18
3. Get yourself nostalgic/enraged over the songs of the year
4. Write something about how the songs affected you
5. Pass it on to 5 more friends

And next, the cringing: the Spice Girls appear on the list for my year no fewer than four times. As much as I appreciate Aqua for their kitsch value, the fact that “Barbie Girl” is #1 totally made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Hanson’s on there twice, which had me whimpering. And then there’s Celine Dion. Please don’t make me go there.

Then there are the Billboard #1s… here’s a brief rundown:

  • #1 while I was finishing up high school: May 24 – June 13: MMMBop – Hanson (“In an mmmbop they’re gone / in an mmbop they’re not there” — yak)
  • #1 while I was beginning college: June 14 – August 30: I’ll Be Missing You – Puff Daddy/Faith Evans/112 (don’t get me wrong, I miss Biggie too, but as far as tributes go, this one leaves something to be desired)
  • #1 when I turned 18: October 11 – January 16, 1998: Candle In The Wind 1997 – Elton John (Diana’s death was tragic, too, but come on, just reworking the lyrics to an old song? Kinda lame…)

On the other hand, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones are on the list twice, as is Sublime. And there’s Fiona Apple and Sarah McLachlan. Good stuff, even if it is overplayed at this point.

And then, of course, there’s The Freshmen… I was totally the right age (and experienced the right amount of angst) to adore that song. Mmm, nostalgia…

There’s my story. Anyone interested in sharing theirs?

September 28, 2006

Book meme 2

Posted in Censorship, Literature, Memes, Personal at 8:01 pm by The Lizard Queen

In honor of Banned Books Week, which ends on Saturday, I put together this little meme… if you like it, feel free to use it!

What I did: I winnowed the following list from the American Library Association’s Top 100 Most Challenged Books of 1990-2000. I removed picture books and other books aimed at the under-8 crowd (Where’s Waldo; Bumps in the Night), along with Sex Ed books (What’s Happening to My Body?; Asking About Sex and Growing Up — no answers for you, you naughty puberty-stricken heathen!).

What you’ll do: highlight in bold the books you’ve read; comment as desired; look into reading more banned books!

Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz (read the first one, anyway…)
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
Forever by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Sex by Madonna
Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry (Again, read the first one, at least…)
The Goats by Brock Cole
Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
Blubber by Judy Blume
Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying by Derek Humphry
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Deenie by Judy Blume
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice) (Huh–are we seeing a pattern here? I read the first one…)
Cujo by Stephen King
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
Fade by Robert Cormier
The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Native Son by Richard Wright
Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Jack by A.M. Homes
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
Carrie by Stephen King
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
Family Secrets by Norma Klein
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
Private Parts by Howard Stern
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
Sex Education [a novel] by Jenny Davis
The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Book meme 1

Posted in Literature, Memes, Personal at 7:37 pm by The Lizard Queen

I was tagged by Evil Bender… I’m not all that into the whole tagging thing; I would love to see the answers of anyone who’s interested.

A book that changed my life: The Fifth Life of the Catwoman (Kathleen Dexter) was the book that made me decide for certain that I would apply to grad school.

A book I’ve read more than once: Ditto what Evil Bender said: Lots of books. I’m currently rereading Bill Bryson’s travel books in my free time (which pretty much means when I’m in the bathroom).

A book I would take with me if I were stuck on a desert island: Echoing EB again: I’d like to have a nice, annotated edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses. That ought to keep me occupied for a good long while…

A book that made me laugh: I just re-read Bill Bryson’s I’m A Stranger Here Myself. I first read it while working at Borders, and I would sit in the cafe and read it on my breaks, and people would stare at me because I was laughing so hard.

A book that made me cry: It’s interesting: movies make me cry relatively often; books much less frequently. Still, there were two that got me over the summer: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (I knew someone was going to die, and I even had suspicions that were ultimately confirmed as to who it was, but I was still devastated) and The Sandman trade #9, The Kindly Ones (which caught me entirely off guard–they’re the Endless, fer crissakes!).

A book that I wish had been written: This is a bit of an odd question, since if it doesn’t exist, how would I know I want it to be written? I can think of several books I’d like to be published, though: An Atlas of Desire, What the Dead Want, Gifts from (er, for?) the Dying, etc….

A book that I wish had never been written: Hmm… generally I wouldn’t wish for books to be unwritten, but if James Ellroy hadn’t written The Black Dahlia, then Hollywood wouldn’t have made a movie out of it, and thus I wouldn’t have lost my will to live after seeing said movie (so, so terrible!) nearly two weeks ago…

A book I’ve been meaning to read: Heh–there are so many… James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room is one.

I’m currently reading: Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies; Robert Coover, A Night at the Movies

June 19, 2006

Meme Monday, part two: the good

Posted in Memes, Music, Personal at 5:14 pm by The Lizard Queen

First, the usual ten-song meme, which I’m sure I don’t need to repost the rules for at this point. Set your mp3 player on shuffle, blah di blah di blah. Lately Christie Keith has been including commentary in hers, so I thought I’d try that out…

1. Natural Blues – Moby
A nice up-tempo piece from his 1999 album Play, which I think might be my favorite…

2. It’s Not Unusual (Live) – Five Iron Frenzy
I heard this on the radio and then downloaded it as soon as I got home. Tweak Tom Jones’s version just a bit and it becomes ska, and much improved (in my opinion) at that–or at least more entertaining for me. 😉

3. Feeling This – Blink 182
I love this song, and am fond of Blink 182 in general (quiet, you). I particularly like the moment at which Tom shouts the lyrics of the chorus from a point several feet (at least, I’m guessing) away from the microphone–dunno why, maybe because it’s just kind of silly and fun.

4. Fun Fun Fun – The Beach Boys
What can I say about The Beach Boys? I won’t generally go out of my way to listen to them, but neither will I go out of my way to avoid them, and there’s something to be said for music this… cheerful…

5. The Christians and the Pagans (Live) – Dar Williams
I adore Dar, and this song promotes religious tolerance. Woot! 🙂

6. I’m Not Worried At All – Moby
Mellow Moby for my Monday meme. Good stuff.

7. You Spin Me – Dead or Alive
Awesome dance song.

8. La Wally – Sarah Brightman
Yeep, abrupt downshift! This is from her album Classics, which is gorgeous. I definitely like her neo-classical stuff better than some of her other stuff, which at Borders we called Pop Vocal… If anyone doesn’t know who Sarah Brightman is, she originated the role of Christine in Phantom of the Opera.

9. The Babysitter’s Here – Dar Williams
Peace, man, cool, yeah.

10. Giuliano’s Tune, Something, Eleanor Day’s #2 – The Duhks
Discovered the Duhks when we went to see Béla Fleck and the Flecktones nearly two years ago now–the sound tech was using the Duhks’ CD for house music, and I sought him out before the concert started to find out what was playing. Celtic-y Canadians, which anyone who talks to me about my favorite band will discover I have a weakness for. 😀

Next, a meme I’m stealing from PoMo Golightly: please leave a one-word comment that you think best describes me — it can only be one word long. Then copy and paste this into your blog so that I may leave a word about you.

There. Now I’m done with memes for a while. Do with those what you will. 🙂

Meme Monday, part one: the bad

Posted in Memes, Musings, Personal, Politics at 11:20 am by The Lizard Queen

Evil Bender posted one of these a few weeks back, and I had considered who I might put in mine, but an experience last night (namely getting stiffed by a party of six at my table-waiting job–I also currently have a beer-serving job and a tutoring job) made me irritated enough to actually put one together. So, here is the Dante-style hell I put together:

 

People who drive under the speed limit in the fast lane
Circle I Limbo

General asshats
Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind

Scientologists
Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow

Rush Limbaugh
Circle IV Rolling Weights

Ann Coulter
Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled

River Styx

People who don’t tip their servers at restaurants or bars
Circle VI Buried for Eternity

River Phlegyas

Bill O’Reilly
Circle VII Burning Sands

Osama bin Laden, Fred Phelps
Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement

Stalin, Hitler
Circle IX Frozen in Ice

Design your own hell

Ooh, I forgot: the person who came up with easy listening music has to be in there somewhere. Oh well. Boy, this playing god thing is tougher than you’d think… 😉

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