Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vegas, baby!

back from Sister's birthday/bachelorette party in Las Vegas. Details I will reveal:

best meals:
Todai restaurant, sushi buffet. Several locations in the US, but not Atlanta, yet.
Beijing Noodle No. 9 in Caesar's Palace. Hand pulled noodles (not a euphemism).

And for the rest, like they say "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.)

All in all, a great time.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Caprica returns in 2 weeks. Very much looking forward to it. Here's a snarky, 2 minute recap, done by Syfy channel themselves.

Even with all the steampunk reading, I am still making it through the last season of Battlestar Galactica. Got to the point when they've just found Earth.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Steampunking on and Bachelorette Parties

I am currently reading Throne of Jade, book 2 in the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. Think the movie "Master and Commander" with dragons that talk and fight with aerial crews. I read book 1, In His Majesty's Service in about 3 days.

After a weekend of feeling under the weather, I've returned to staying up until 2am reading. Novik is a really good writer. Book 1 is set in the UK. In Book 2, they leave for China by sailing around Africa. She does a good job of showing different cultures and she touches on the issue of slavery in a way that's informative and pushes the story forward.

I really recommend the series. Actually, I've recommended the series to Husband's boss. The week before Dragon*Con, Husband's boss and I were talking about the Song of Ice and Fire. The rest of the dinner party had no idea what we were talking about. Previously he had lent me the Diana Gabaldon and True Blood books, which I returned without reading. I also lent him my Firefly set.

So I e-mailed him to recommend the Temeraire series. He e-mailed back to say he and his wife were really enjoying Firefly, being up to episode 8 (Out of Gas, one of my favorites) and was there a season two? Alas, I had to break the news that there was only the one season, but I could loan him the follow up movie Serenity.

I may have converted another 2 Browncoats and broken their hearts too, just like I was.

Knitting continues apace, a pic will come eventually. However the big thing coming up for me is Sister's bachelorette party coming in Las Vegas. Probably no blogging until I get back. I'm taking Boneshaker in paperback with me (again steampunk) for inflight reading.

But in the meantime, here's an really interesting link. http://kck.st/b8GOoq

Virtuoso is a comic set in steampunk Africa. And it's got a page at Kickstarter to raise funds for it. $10 gets you a copy of the 24 page prologue and supports future issues. When I have time I'll explore Kickstarter more fully. Talk about grassroots fundraising for creative works.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Steampunk + Girl Power + Genetic Engineering + WWI = Leviathan

Just finished the book Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, illustrated by Keith Thompson. It's a young adult novel that I really want to see as a movie. The illustrations really bring the steampunk alive.

It makes me think of the Golden Compass, which I didn't realize until now was steampunk. I'm tempted to borrow the movie again.

So in the world of Leviathan is set at the beginning of WWI, a period of time I'm not too familiar with. Germany and its allies are Clankers, building machines that have multiple legs instead of treads like tanks. Lots of spider imagery and I love the scouts that look like big dogs that seat one person. The main boy character is the heir to the Austrian empire and a Clanker.

The main girl character is British and the UK and its allies are Darwinists, that is they use genetic engineering to develop new animals, including an airship that's based on a whale but really is an ecosystem of many different animals. Pretty cool.

I devoured the book in one day and really want to see this as a movie. And can't wait for the sequel, to be set in the Ottoman Empire.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

City Quilts

So I went to Dragon*Con and was very intrigued by steam punk and alternate history. Specifically the session on race and gender in steampunk. The Victorian or Edwardian age was when women in the US got the vote so it was more progressive than we generally think of it. On of the speakers was Ay-Leen the Peacemaker, an Asian American steampunker who also lives here in Georgia. She talked about how there's a really long history of Asians in the US. Afterall, the Chinese worked on the railroads.

That made me think of the miniseries "Into the West" that explored the US expansion westward, focusing on a white family and a Native American family. I've seen bits and pieces of it and I know that one character, played by Christian Kane, works on the railroad and becomes friends with a Chinese worker. So I bought on Amazon and to tie it back to steampunk, I bought "Boneshaker" a book that was widely recommended as a good steampunk book.

While on Amazon, I cruised the quilting books and came across City Quilts by Cherri House. After looking inside (love that Amazon feature), I bought it too.

Husband loved the cover quilt, City Lights, and asked me to make it. He very rarely asks me to make anything for him so I bought the yarn on line right away, worsted wool from Webs. But I wanted to start right away. So I also bought some Galway yarn from a local store and got a bit done. I'm holding the yarn doubled and using a size 10 US 6mm needle.

So I have the crochet Babette blanket going, a knit shawl project going, and now Husband's knit City Lights blanket. I'm happy.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I survived Dragon*Con 2010

This year was the first time I went to Dragon*Con. Last year we went to the parade, and Husband said "We should go to the con next year." So I bought us passes for the whole weekend and Husband actually took both Saturday and Sunday off to go with me.

Both days too, we hung out with friends, watching the costumes. The Marriott Marquis hotel was the best place to do it.

Went to good sessions and bad. The line for the Firefly panel with River, Simon, Kaylee, and Inara (okay, the actors) stretched around the block, outside the hotel an hour before the session was going to start. As much as I love the show, I passed on that panel.

Not a coherent post today, but will say all in all I'm glad I went and plan to go again next year.

After it was over, Husband finally read the program and said "hey, what's this? why didn't we go to that session?" etc. My answer: because you refused to read the program beforehand and kept saying you were following my lead. I didn't know you were interested in X, so I didn't take us to that session.

On the otherhand, I think it's a good sign that he's still interested. One of these days I'll get him to watch Firefly yet.

It may be while, though, for the memory of Browncoats: Redemption to fade. It was kind of disappointing in terms of production quality, and very confusing for Husband who has never seen Firefly or Serenity.