thejunipertree: (Default)
The awesome mirror that I briefly mentioned in one of my recent entries has been located, strangely enough.

The Engineer and I have been on mission to clear out all of my junk a large portion of my junk from my father's basement so that we may bring in his paintings and canvases which are currently residing in a storage space. When he moved out of his apartment and into mine, the art had no home here, so he decided to rent a space to keep them in. This money is far better served in other areas, so I offered up my space in my father's basement.

The majority of my stuff hasn't been touched since it was put down there, unless I was rummaging for books I wanted to bring home, and is therefore extraneous. Over the past several years, I have gotten rather mercenary about possessions in that if I haven't touched it or needed to touch it in over a year, then I most likely have no further need of it. Some things will always be kept out of sentiment: old journals, certain toys, things of that nature. But, I really do not need or desire to keep the rest of it.

Not only are those boxes a giant and looming reminder of my failings as a wife (the boxes, after all, would not reside in the basement had I not left my husband in 2001), but also of everything else I have started with good intentions and went on to fuck up. I don't need them, I don't want them, and the very thought of them gives me anxiety.

We had been putting off getting this job done all summer for one reason or another. Most of the time, we were both just too busy or frazzled to make any effort in planning. But I had recently promised a co-worker of mine all the Hello Kitty swag her young daughter could ever hope to own and I was starting to feel bad whenever I told her I hadn't made it to my father's yet. I also wanted to go through my books and bring home the reminder of what I wanted in my shelves in the apartment and sell the rest. Money's been extremely tight lately, so even if I only get ten dollars for them, it's ten dollars I do not currently have.

So, we girded our loins or whatever one girds before descending into a pit of despair, and drove to my father's house this past weekend to begin the preliminary excavations. My primary goal was retrieving the Hello Kitty swag and any books I could find that I wanted to keep. Any other books would be set aside for another weekend because I don't have any time soon to bring them to a used bookstore and they would be in the way in the apartment.

And even though I am still unable to locate the Best Box of Books Ever (tm), the one I'm convinced grew legs and walked out of there, I was able to find the Second Best Box (tm) and brought them home. So, I am once again in possession of M. Gira's The Consumer and my much loved copy of The Thief of Always, by Clive Barker. I also brought home my antique books because the damp was not being kind to them. The one from 1894 is in shameful condition, with the cover held on by threads, but it was largely woeful when it first came to me. My collected fairy tales printed in the 20s is still doing ok, though.

The Engineer found the mirror in the middle of my bitching to my father from the bottom of the steps, snarking up into the patch of day light he stood in from the kitchen doorway about kleptomaniacs and disrespect. He had walked over to the other side of the basement, glanced up at the top of a shelf, pointed, and said: "Is that it?"

Lo and behold, it was. Someone had put it way up there, above my head, and as everyone around me knows: if something is put above my head, it winks out of existence. Egg on my face, I would reckon. I don't rightly care; I'm just glad to have my mirror back.

As I've mentioned before, it was a wedding gift from a very dear friend who knows my tastes well enough to totally nail buying me this present. It's about three or four feet long, a wall mirror, and is in a silver painted, wooden, hourglass-shaped frame. It is completely me and I adored it from the moment it was handed to me. It fits in well with my bordello leopard print couch and the sweet ass red tile and wrought iron coffee table I bought from the dirt mall (for twenty dollars!) years and years ago.

And now it's mine again. It took me forever to clean it, my father's basement is dank after two hot water heaters implosions and just the sheer basementy-ness leaves everything covered in grossness if left down there too long. But, it's spotless once again and one can now see themselves clearly in the glass, instead of through a sepia-toned thick as linen haze.

I need to find a good place to hang it in the apartment. Wall space is at a premium here, considering our bookshelves and my framed prints and the Engineer's giant hung canvases. I wanted another mirror on the front of the hall closet's door, but the last one leapt to its death and shattered across the carpet. The idea of that happening again does fill me with joy and song.

When I get the rest of the apartment clean to my usual standards, I'll take a picture of it. I've been meaning to photograph the apartment to show everyone how the Engineer and I merged our lives together when he moved in, but I haven't had time for a true deep cleaning. Given that school starts in six days (SIX DAYS?!), I dread the idea that I won't get this time any time soon.
thejunipertree: (Default)
The 2007 list may be found here.
The 2008 list may be found here.

This entry is post-dated, so it will always show up as my first entry. If you are reading my journal directly, rather then through a friends list, you'll need to scroll down past this entry to see if I've written anything new.

Books marked with an asterik (*) are re-reads.
Books marked with a dollar sign ($) were bought.
Books marked with a lower-case G (g) were gifted.
Books marked with a tilde (~) were borrowed.

Oh, eff it. I bogged this up for 2009. Still reading, just started not keeping track like a dummy. hoom. Consider this current list to have been taken out back behind the shed and shot.

2010 will be better.

I see it as a distorting mirror; a book of danger and secrets, of romance and magic. )
thejunipertree: (Default)
My ongoing experiment of tracking the books I read has come to its year-end close. For the results, see the actual list of everything.

I didn't hit my goal of 100 books in one year, but I came close (was only 3 off). And, as always, this list does not include the textbooks I had to read for school. The breakdowns of my reading patterns for 2008 are as follows:

total books: 97
New books: 78
Re-reads: 19

78 new books in a year is pretty impressive, I think. Last year, it was 69. It kind of boggles my brain to think I took in that many new stories. It also boggles my brain to think of how much money I spend on books.

Trying to figure out what I bought, borrowed, and had gifted to me is more of a mental assault then I prefer to perform right now; it's been a long day. I think for 2009, I'm going to track that as I record each entry. It'll make things easier in the long run, I reckon.
thejunipertree: (Default)
This entry is post-dated, so it will always show up as my first entry. If you are reading my journal directly, rather then through a friends list, you'll need to scroll down past this entry to see if I've written anything new. This is my entry for 2008. The 2007 list may be found here and the 2009 list may be found here.

Books marked with an asterik (*) are re-reads.
I re-read books a lot, usually when I'm completely ass out of material to read.

Gonna learn me a book. )
thejunipertree: (Default)
My book collection has been getting out of control again lately. The rather large bookcase scavenged from Tower Books (RIP) was packed to the gills and I had several tall, swaying piles on the floor in front of it. I kept making noises about needing another bookcase and looking for one once, half-heartedly, but I haven't seriously gone into search-and-procure mode.

Today, I decided I was going to crate up the ones on the floor and pull the ones I'm not overly fond of from the shelves and put them away in the hallway closet. It's just moving mess from one place to another, but at least it's not out in the open.

After everything had been boxed up, there was a bit of shifting needing to be done and as I was doing that, I noticed that a number of my books on the bottom shelves were kind of manky looking, with their bottom edges covered in a fine, white dust. Some of them looked as if they had been strangely chewed and others had discolored pages.

My first thought was one of the cats hosed the shelf done, but they didn't reek of pee, or even remotely hold a whiff of it, and the cats who used to be the culprits of such acts have long been dead. The white dust was also spread across the shelf itself, towards the back. The only thing I can figure is that it's some kind of mold, but I have no idea how that could have happened.

Needless to say, quite a few of the books were damaged beyond clean-up and I am very put out by this. Particularly over the loss of two of my Graham Joyce books (Requiem and Smoking Poppy) and my copy of Bernd Heinrich's Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds, which was a first edition. Some of the others weren't nearly so damaged and I cleaned them up as best as I could, but I'm afraid of this bookplague returning.

All of that being said, ten or so books gone completely from my household, I've got more room on my shelves. Not quite what I had in mind, Universe. >:O

book meme

Jul. 4th, 2008 01:00 am
thejunipertree: (Default)
Late to the party, but I've been busy. I don't normally do memes, but this one is about books and I am a complete book junkie. That being said, I have severe issues with some of the books on this list being known as "the top 100 books". Specifically, the Harry Potter books. I love them and all, but top 100? Please.

I can comfort myself in the notion that Anne Rice is nowhere near this list, at least. Or Heinlein. ick.

According to The Big Read, the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books on their list. So let's see how many I've read.

1) Bold those you have read.
2) Italicise those you intend to read (or read again)
3) Underline the books you LOVE.

Now, behind a cut:

ok, you fuckers. It's ON. )
thejunipertree: (Default)
This entry is post-dated, so it will always show up as my first entry. If you are reading my journal directly, rather then through a friends list, you'll need to scroll down past this entry to see if I've written anything new. This is my entry for the books I've read in 2007. My list of 2008 books may be found here.

Books marked with an asterik (*) are re-reads.
I re-read books a lot, usually when I'm completely ass out of material to read.

Here there be books )
thejunipertree: (Default)
The track-everything-I-have-read-this-year experiment has gone rather well and I plan on doing it again for 2008.

Here are the breakdowns for my reading patterns in that year:

Total books: 94
New books: 69
Re-reads: 25
Bought: 47
Borrowed: 13
Gifted to me: 9

This does not, however, include my textbooks for class. I wembled over whether or not to add them until finally deciding to not.

Honestly, I'm surprised that my new books outnumbered my re-reads for the year. I also am in disbelief that I bought almost 50 books in one year. I'm going to need another book case if this keeps up, especially since the book case I have now (which used to be an actual book store book case) is completely full and it doesn't even hold close to all of the books I own.


Next year, I want to hit a total of 100. :D
thejunipertree: (Default)
Lots of people have addictions. Alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, World of Warcraft.

I read a lot, I read fast, and if I don't have anything to read, I get irritable and snappish.

My habit used to be fed on a normal basis. I worked for Tower Books and received a fat employee discount. Additionally, we were also allowed to take books out on loan (three at a time) and I had an employee account that was a form of credit. The jones uneasily slept with a steady fix.

But, since I've moved home and no longer work at a bookstore, I'm forced to actually pay for my books. Full price, even! Buying my own books has been difficult (finding home for all of them is even more trying, in my tiny apartment), but I have been getting by. God bless Amazon's "new and used" sellers, is all I have to say.

At any rate, I had an idea the other night as I was driving home from work. A catalog of all the books I read in 2007, to see what I've read and how many times I've read it.

This starts at December 2006, simply because I'm reading several books right now that I will still be reading when the year turns over in a handful of days. December will be mostly incomplete because I can't remember every book I read that month.
thejunipertree: (Default)
I am now the proud possessor of a signed copy of Graham Joyce's "The Tooth Fairy". Which is my favourite book ever.

This is also the fourth copy I've owned, since I seem to have a habit of losing it. The last time, I left it on top of a newspaper box I was sitting on at the corner of 8th and Market in Philadelphia while I was waiting for thee Pumpkin Girl. I set it down when she walked up to me and I climbed down off of the box, then just left it there without even realizing it until an hour later.

I seem to keep releasing this book into the wild. I hope that the people who find it love it as much as I do.

(This new copy, however, isn't fucking going ANYWHERE because it's signed.)
thejunipertree: (Default)
Except in the case of The Secret Life of Lobsters, have I ever found a book title that suited me more than Enslaved By Ducks.

Finished it in less than a day, with the ever-familiar feeling of 'crap, I read that entirely too quickly, now what do I do?' To stave off the nigh constant reader's remorse, I also bought Dominatrix: A Memoir and Death's Door: Modern Dying and the Ways We Grieve (the second book looks to be absolutely fucking awesome).

I had to spend the day at home today because the apartment's toliet decided to give up the ghost this weekend when I was down in Frederick, Maryland for the firing of some stealing-ass employees. I don't care for the maintenance man to be in my apartment without my supervision after he came in last year to replace my air conditioning unit and accidentially let one of the cats out (and didn't notice). Thankfully, someone else noticed the cat (it was Misty, he of the hyperthyroid) and brought him back in. So, I spent the day alternating between reading and finishing up the paint job on the bookshelf the Engineer built for me.

A mid-afternoon nap, which is strangely out of character for me, brought me odd dreams that have left me unsettled for the rest of the day and night. I dreamt it was discovered that my mother hadn't died and that she was going to be coming back home. In the dream, I was enormously upset by this turn of events because it meant I would have to vacate the back bedroom and would thusly have no where to sleep, since the closet I used to sleep in is now occupied by carpet cleaning machines and the four litter boxes.

This isn't the first time I've had this dream, though it is the first time I dreamt of her coming home. The first dream I had like this, I found out that she hadn't died and was joyous over this. However, shortly after finding out and before I could see her again, she died in a hospital. Overwhelmed by grief is putting it lightly, I would think.

It reminds me of something I read a while back, I don't remember the author, about dreaming that a loved one had died, slightly waking up and being hugely upset over the death in the dream, then thinking "My goodness! Thank God that was just a dream!", then waking up fully and having the realization that the loved one had been dead quite some time come crashing down. I think it might have been something Neil Gaiman wrote about, but I can't quite recall.

I frequently forget that my mother had died, usually when I'm just running on auto-pilot at work or when I'm driving. I'll be mindlessly going about my business, then have a sudden flash of anxiety over how I should be going to the nursing home (this usually happens when I'm driving home from work or when I'm just fucking about on the weekend). Then my brain pokes me with a sharp stick, reminding me that I'm not expected at the nursing home and that the reason I'm not expected there is because my mother is dead.

How could I forget something like that? It's astonishing.

I reckon that all of this is in the forefront of my mind right now because Mother's Day is coming up and I'm dreading it. Maybe I'll drive down to the ocean, the beach where I scattered some of her ashes, on that day and just spend some time there. It's over an hour away and it'll eat up my gas, but maybe it's something I should do.
thejunipertree: (the emperor nympho)
Is ten-thirty at night too late to embark on the making of a pumpkin cake?

I spent this evening alone in a bookstore, browsing books with my head half in the clouds. Picked up Spook, by Mary Roach, and a handful of others to quell my habit. You know how junkies are with heroin? That's me and books. I blow through them in short order, then spend months jonesing for another fix. I read, re-read, and re-read again. hoom.

My favourite shoes (black patent bump toe platform Mary Janes) came in the mail today while I was at work. I immediately tore apart the box, put them on and danced around the kitchen with a disgruntled cat in my arms.

For my next trick, I will tear this hangnail from my finger with my bare hands.


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January 2011

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