Monthly Archives: August 2013

Pollyanna returns!

Lyda here.

Sorry I was out of touch last week due to circumstances beyond my control. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

No updates to report. Still looking for an apartment. Still watching lots of TV. Still waiting for a mad man in a blue box to whisk me away from all this.

Coming up… knitting, zombies, and general debauchery.

Soon as I get some more sweet tea.


Pollyanna reads on Discworld, part 3

Lyda here.

I finally completed the seemingly-endless Reading on Discworld Challenge which was inspired by the books of Terry Pratchett. I wanted to read new books for the challenge, which is why it took me so long. Oh yeah, plus getting my masters. And life. I already reported here on the books I read for item #s 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, and 15, and here on the books I read for item #s 6, 8, 12 & 14.

These are the remaining parts of the challenge that I completed:

3. ‘Albert grunted. “Do you know what happens to lads who ask too many questions?” Mort thought for a moment. “No,” he said eventually, “what?” There was silence. Then Albert straightened up and said, “Damned if I know. Probably they get answers, and serve ‘em right.”’  Mort

Read a book about something you’ve always wondered about. What is string theory, really? Who was Deep Throat? And, now that we’re thinking about such things (y’all know you are)… How have attitudes and morals about sex varied and changed by country and era? (That book was my sister’s college graduation present to me – my first graduate course, she said.) Terry Pratchett book suggestions:  “Pyramids” (mathematics, philosophers, why camels look smug, and what really happens to mummies), “Monstrous Regiment” (why military intelligence isn’t always an oxymoron).

I read “The Walking Dead  – Compendium One” by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore, and Cliff Rathburn.

What? I’ve always wondered about graphic novels – I had never really read any before – and specifically, I wondered about these graphic novels.

I love “The Walking Dead” TV series, and I knew from watching “The Talking Dead” that the graphic novels (on which the show is based) were different. Some of the characters and their character development are different, important plot points are completely different, and reading the graphic novels is a totally different experience from watching the show. They are both excellent, too.

7. ‘The three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space are: 1) Silence; 2) Books must be returned no later than the date last shown; and 3) Do not interfere with the nature of causality.’  Guards! Guards!

Go to the library and wander into an aisle you do not usually frequent. Pick a book from the shelf  and read it. One way to do this is to look in the new books section, and pick something from a category you don’t usually read. Just don’t interfere with the nature of causality while you’re there. Terry Pratchett book suggestions:  “Good Omens”, “Nation”.

I read “The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size” by Julia Cameron. (I actually bought this book, so I can use it over and over like her other books.) Y’all, I never ever read diet books. But this one is different. For one thing, it is written by one of my favorite authors, who wrote “The Artist’s Way” and many other awesome books about which I

just (blog post link #1)

won’t (blog post link #2)

shut (blog post link #3)

up (blog post link #4).

This book is really about expanding one’s creativity and shrinking one’s use of food as a block to emotions and creativity. It does not contain a food plan or rules. Instead, it give tools to use to explore one’s relationship to food and get free of old patterns and unhealthy habits. Those familiar with Julia Cameron’s work will recognize some of the tools, like Morning Pages, and find new tools, like keeping a food journal.

I’ll let you know how it goes as I try out the program.

13. ‘It may, however, help to explain why Gandalf never got married and why Merlin was a man. Because this is also a story about sex, although probably not in the athletic, tumbling, count-the-legs-and-divide-by-two sense unless the characters get totally beyond the author’s control. They might.’  Equal Rites

Read a book about sex, sexuality, and/or sexual politics. I think y’all can find one of these on your own. Terry Pratchett book suggestion:  “Equal Rites”, “Sourcery”.

I read “Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide” by Maurine Dowd. I wasn’t crazy about this book. Some of the science is out of date, and I didn’t agree with a lot of her conclusions. For example, she quotes a survey that found that 86% of women would quit their jobs if they didn’t need the money. This supposedly shows that women are less invested in their jobs than men are. But I immediately wanted to know: what percentage of men in equivalent jobs would quit if they didn’t need the money? I’m guessing it would be neck-and-neck.

But agreeing with her is not the point. She made me think, and that is the point. Plus, she is a good and occasionally funny writer. While discussing the ‘war between the sexes’ she says, “Will there ever be peace? I doubt it. But there should always be laughter.” And I’ll drink to that.

16. ‘To Rincewind’s annoyance the Luggage barreled after her, cushioning its fall by dropping heavily onto a slaver, and adding to the sudden panic of the invaders because, while it was bad enough to be attacked with deadly and ferocious accuracy by a rather pretty girl in a white dress with flowers on it, it was even worse for the male ego to be tripped up and beaten by a travel accessory; it was pretty bad for all the rest of the male, too.’  Sourcery

Read a book with an inanimate object as a character and/or an important part of the plot. Terry Pratchett book suggestions: “Sourcery”, or any of the books with the Luggage in them.

I read “Wizard’s First Rule” by Terry Goodkind. There is a sword that is essential to the plot, and is practically alive. Plus, there is a talking magical doll in it. I realize as I’m typing this that “talking magical doll” sounds really creepy, but in this story it actually isn’t. No, really.

17. ‘ “It would seem you have no useful skill or talent whatsoever,” he said.
“Have you thought about going into teaching?” ‘  Mort

Read a book that teaches you something. Something that will not come in handy in your everyday life. Learn something completely impractical.  Terry Pratchett book suggestion: “The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents” (you will find out more about rats than you ever thought there was to know).

I read “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I feel as if I found my homeland – it is a land of truly weird stuff and wonderful off-kilter people, and Jenny is our leader. Also, I learned quite a lot of very bizarre and not-useful stuff, including things about taxidermy. See this post for my full review.

18. ‘… human beings, little bags of thinking water held up briefly by fragile accumulations of calcium…’  Pyramids


‘It’s not for nothing that advanced mathematics tends to be invented in hot countries. It’s because of the morphic resonance of all the camels, who have that disdainful expression and famous curled lip as a natural result of an ability to do quadratic equations.’  Pyramids


‘It is a popular fact that nine-tenths of the brain is not used and, like most popular facts, it is wrong… It is used. And one of its functions is to make the miraculous seem ordinary and turn the unusual into the usual.

‘Because if this was not the case, then human beings, faced with the daily wondrousness of everything, would go around wearing big stupid grins, similar to those worn by certain remote tribesmen who occasionally get raided by the authorities and have the contents of their plastic greenhouses very seriously inspected.’  Small Gods

Read something spiritual, mystical, mathematical, or amazing. Something that will remind you of how magic and unbelievable the universe and everything in it really is. Terry Pratchett book suggestions: “Small Gods”, “Good Omens”, “Wee Free Men”… really, any of his books.

I read “River Flow: New & Selected Poems” by David Whyte. I love his writing. It feeds my soul. I discovered his work at school, where several of his books are required reading. Which shows you how awesome my school is.

19. ‘He [Vimes] wasn’t strictly aware of it, but he treated even geography as if he was investigating a crime (Did you see who carved out the valley? Would you recognize that glacier if you saw it again?)’  The Fifth Elephant

Read a detective novel, a crime story, a mystery, or a thriller. Terry Pratchett book suggestions: “The Fifth Elephant”, “Thud!”.

I read “Warbreaker” by Brandon Sanderson. It’s not a traditional mystery, but it definitely fits the bill. The plot twists like a corkscrew, the characters are unique, the ending is surprising, and the world is fascinating.


I post about this so I can keep it straight in my own head. Which is a rather chaotic place sometimes. Witness the digressions…

Pollyanna will try to play nice

Lyda here.

So, I logged on to do a new post. And instead I got a message that my blog had been shut down for “inappropriate content”.

What?! I haven’t even mentioned p0rn in weeks…

Apparently, my last blog of counting my blessings was annoyed someone.

Or maybe it was because I keep linking to Jenny Lawson’s book “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” and they thought this was a commercial website.

I wrote the Powers That Be and told them I just link when I do reviews. And they restored our blog. What a relief!

But, just to be careful…

This is totally a review of Jenny’s book. It is awesome. Go buy it.


I for one feel better about it all.

Pollyanna is speechless

Lyda here.

I apologize for my last post. I don’t know what came over me.

Today, I will count my blessings for these things in my life:

  • My job and the people I work with – really, they are great, y’all, and I know I’m lucky
  • Bunnies on the drive to and from work each day
  • Bird sightings: Today a buzzard, yesterday a hawk, hummingbirds in the garden…
  • Horses – warms my Texas heart to see them on my drive
  • Fiber in all its shapes and forms… I feel more sane when I am running it through my fingers. For me, knitting is an excuse to play with the soft pretty yarn; whatever is completed is a bonus. Quilting is a way to make something beautiful and useful, and have fun doing it.
  • The dog greeting me with joy every time he sees me.
  • Laughing with my roommates.
  • Movies and books and TV
  • Friends and siblings who love me despite my weirdness, occasional crankiness, and frequent hermitness
  • and of course, my son the Sith Master…

That’s just 10 out of the zillions of blessings.

Pollyanna tries to stay calm, people

And by “tries to stay calm” I mean, “restrains herself from throwing herself bodily on people and pummeling them until the cops arrive.”

Lyda here.

Humans get on my nerves.

  • What they do: Allowing their personal cell phone to ring on and on and on… while having extremely loud annoying music, sounds, or whistling as the ring tone.
  • What I hear: “I want everyone to think I’m popular. But I’m really so. very. lonely.”
  • Having very long and very loud personal phone conversations.
  • “Discretion? Isn’t that somewhere in Lithuania?”

Discretion is not in Lithuania. Everyone knows it’s in Santa Cruz. But I digress…

  • Caller: “Can I speak to George?” (call is transferred to George)
  • Less than one minute later: “Can I speak to George?” (call is transferred to George again)
  • Another minute later: “Can I speak to George?”
  • I am uncomfortable with new-fangled technology like voice messages and tetanus shots. Perhaps I can have my manservant bring George an illuminated manuscript.”
  • Voice message: “Hey, this is Jeff. Call me back.”
  • Dude, I am so stoned I don’t even realize I’m calling an office. Righteous!
  • “Hi, I’m returning a call. I don’t know who called me.”
  • “I’m bored. Let’s play Twenty Questions.”
  • “Hi, I got a missed call from this number?”
  • My life is so empty…

My response to all this? HULK SMASH. But only in my mind.

And one thing that usually rolls right off my back but right now is “pound these people into the dirt for me, Hulk”-able:

  • Misspelling my name in an email reply. It’s a small company. I have worked here almost five years. Plus, you are replying to an email I sent you that has my name at the bottom.
  • Reading. It’s a job skill I do not have.

And yes, by new Pollyanna decree, any phrase can be turned into an adjective by adding “-able” to it. As in:

Today I feel all “set the Zombie Army on them”-able.

Also, the spell check refuses to believe that “new-fangled” is a word. I’ll have to send an illuminated manuscript to that company.

I’ll have the zombies deliver it now. (That link is for Zombieland. See Zombieland. They aren’t paying me to say that or anything.)

Obviously these people in the movie don’t know that the zombies are just trying to deliver the manuscript. Stop shooting my zombies, people!

Maybe they need some caffeine. I’ll have the zombies bring some coffee mugs too.

There I go, digressing again…