Jan. 8th, 2014

starlady: Orihime in Hueco Mundo: "damned to be one of us, girl" (damned)
Today we tried to send my sister on her way to Austria. I say tried because she's not leaving until Friday. More on that later.

We'd had grand plans of hitting the mall for a few last things before we left, but what with one thing and another we didn't leave the house until 26 minutes before we were supposed to meet our dad at his work so he and my sister could say goodbye. But Dad works in Satan country, aka Pennsylvania, and it turns out that there are TWO DIFFERENT OFFICE BUILDINGS WITH THE SAME ADDRESS there. So we were in the bumblefuck nowhere of the Tinicum wildlife refuge and then we had to burn rubber back in the opposite direction, so we didn't get there until about eight minutes before his meeting. He did that on the phone on the way to Rite-Aid so we could get tape for my sister. Then we went back to his work and then drove to a Wawa so we could get gas because the gas light was on and also food because we had no lunch. I had to pump my own gas in the freezing cold because PENNSYLVANIA, and then when I tried to turn the car on after we got a sandwich and a pretzel…nothing.

By this point it was ten minutes to three and my sister's flight was at 4:30, so I called my dad to come back and get her and take her to the airport. While we were waiting we inhaled our food, and I got bright yellow mustard on my blue coat. I was planning to get it dry-cleaned anyway, but. So my dad showed up and we transferred my sister and her stuff to his car and I sat in the car at the Wawa and called AmEx roadside assistance, who very helpfully showed up 25 minutes later. It was not in fact the battery, but rather the starter, which was solved after two firm taps with a metal mallet, for which I paid $45. I was driving back to the highway when I got a call from my sister, whose flight had been cancelled because of the cold weather and who was standing in the rebooking line. It took me three times around the airport to finally find the entrance to the short-term parking, and then when I finally got there, the ticket machine was broken, so I had to go to another one. My sister wound up in the line for almost two hours--apparently in Toronto, where she was supposed to transfer, it's too cold for the aircraft people to work outside, and the rumor was that the fuel was freezing in Philadelphia. We left the airport at ten after five with my sister on the first flight out, on Friday evening. Then we got to the Toyota dealership after the technicians had gone home and had to wait in the dealership lounge for our dad to come get us, since he wanted us to leave the car to get it serviced asap. And we didn't eat dinner until an hour later.

My flight, scheduled for 09:00 tomorrow, is still saying it's on time. We shall see.
starlady: a circular well of books (well of books)
What I'm reading
Gregory Pflugfelder, Cartographies of Desire. I started this on the plane today--it's a history of male/male sexuality in Japan from 1650-1950, and it's very, very good. If this sounds like something you're interested in, you should totally read this book.

What I've just read
I finished Lost Burgundy, the final volume of Ash: A Secret History, by Mary Gentle on the plane this morning. It's really, really good. I knew it would be, but she totally stuck the landing, and sold me completely on the frankly weird premise by the end. I was even reminded, a very little bit, of Anathem. Highly recommended. (Sidenote: it says a lot that the only one of the contemporary academics I liked was Vaughn Davies.)

I also read Malinda Lo's Natural Selection on the plane--it was in my Kobo app, and I'd forgotten about it. It was short, but I liked it; it's a story about Amber that's a prequel to the Adaptation duology (though it won't make any sense without having read the first book), and it expanded on Amber's background in a way that I really enjoyed. Write more books, Malinda!

What I'll read next
I'm on the cusp of a really intense three months of reading, so I can't make any promises, but I did get the first volume of Revival at the Strand in New York last weekend, and I have a lot of other comics stockpiled. We'll see.

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