Tuesday Trio (published on Thursday…whatever)

I’m trying something new here so hang on tight. I always like getting recs for books or movies especially if there are little threads like ‘hey, you’d like this because this character reminds me of such in such’ or ‘this feels like a progenitor to that.’

So if you like Susana Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell it feels like the grandchild of George MacDonald’s Lilith and a cousin to G.K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday. If you like Lilith you should check out Jonathan Strange. The connection then to Thursday is a bit more tenuous, but both involve men of a pre-1910 time period thrust into confusing, new reality. Both are very foundational in philosophical speculation and MacDonald a direct influence on Chesterton.

The Man Who Was Thursday, G.K. Chesterton (Amazon/B&N)
Set in a phantasmagoric London where policemen are poets and anarchists camouflage themselves as, well, anarchists, his 1907 novel offers up one highly colored enigma after another. If that weren’t enough, the author also throws in an elephant chase and a hot-air-balloon pursuit in which the pursuers suffer from “the persistent refusal of the balloon to follow the roads, and the still more persistent refusal of the cabmen to follow the balloon. via Amazon | more at wikipedia

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke (Amazon/B&N)
At the dawn of the nineteenth century, two very different magicians emerge to change England’s history. In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging on land and sea, most people believe magic to be long dead in England–until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight. Soon, another practicing magician comes forth: the young, handsome, and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell’s student, and they join forces in the war against France. But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic, straining his partnership with Norrell, and putting at risk everything else he holds dear. via Amazonmore at wikipedia

Lilith, George MacDonald (Amazon/B&N)
Mr. Vane, the protagonist of Lilith, owns a library that seems to be haunted by the former librarian, who looks much like a raven from the brief glimpses he catches of the wraith. After finally encountering the supposed ghost, the mysterious Mr. Raven, Vane learns that Raven had known his father; indeed, Vane’s father had visited the strange parallel universe from which Raven comes and goes and now resides therein. Vane follows Raven into the world through a mirror. Inside the world, Vane learns of a house of beds where the dreamers sleep until the end of the world in death: a good death, in which life is found. Vane’s grandfather refused to sleep there and is, instead, forced to do battle with skeletons in a haunted wood. After a treacherous journey through a valley , Mr. Vane meets the Little Ones, children who never grow up, remaining pure children or becoming selfish and getting bigger and dumber, turning into “bags” or bad giants. After conversing with Lona, the eldest of the children, Mr. Vane decides to help them, and sets off to gather more information, although the Raven has warned Mr. Vane that he needs to sleep along with the dreamers before he can really help them… via wikipedia | more at wikipedia

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State of the Union

I’ve enjoyed my Austin “non-winter” so far. Besides that spell where my sister’s heater went out in the apartment and it was south of 50F inside while I was trying to shiver through a phone interview. Needless to say those people never called back. A few weeks later and I’m in shorts again though. I guess I have to enjoy this as much as possible because in a month it will be 90F.

On the gluten free/celiac front, I’ve done the whole rice spaghetti thing without much success. I swear I’m overdosing on rice and it will be the next thing my body decides is a foreign agent. Recognizing the signs I might be pushing it with rice, I bought a spaghetti squash yesterday and baked it up. Success! It tastes ok, magically scrapes out in the shape of spaghetti,  and I don’t feel terrible after eating it. That covers most of my requirements. It’s also better for you in general than the alternatives. I’ve eaten some weird things the last year, but this one is a success. I would have taken a picture of it only I got too excited and ate quickly. If I ever own a patch of outside space and a garden I’d definitely plant some.

Women’s soccer is revving up in the States again. If you have any interest in following what’s going on check out Equalizer Soccer, NWSL News, Seattle Reign, and Chicago Red Stars. I’ve stupidly moved away from a city that has a team into the underserved part of the country so I’ll probably not get to see a game in person unless it lines up during a visit to my parents. I don’t plan well.

For a bit of fun my sister and I are going back roading around Texas looking for a disbanded town that a wayward family member founded in the late 1870s and had started to disappear by the 1930s. Not a lot of my family went this direction, but the one who did was a big shot I guess. Named the town after himself and everything. We know where he is buried and there were rumors from the 1980s that some of the building foundations are visible. We are going to get our maps and picnic together and do this next weekend I think. I’m excited!

NWSL Infographic

There is a new women’s pro soccer league starting in America in 2013. Since this wasn’t the first attempt at a league I became interested in looking back at the two previous attempts and comparing the three. Along with a brief comparison I noted what each league saw was important in their success strategy (corporate support, social media, etc) and touched on what their fatal flaw ultimately was.

While researching I maybe did multiple #facepalms at all that money squandered in the first incarnation. There is not enough #sideeye in the world to take even the edge off that mess. Way to scare off investors for the next fifty years. #likeakickballtotheface

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