I miss your chillas. Will you get any more, once your eyes are better and all that?
I miss my chillas, too. :( They were awesome pets, and adorable, and sweet, and really fun to watch and photograph, as well as snuggle. :) But when they passed, I wasn't ready to immediately get a new pet (or for awhile thereafter) and so decided to give the cage and other supplies to a friend who also has chillas, and to the pet shelter. I'm glad I did. However, if I did want to get chillas again, it'd cost quite a bit to set them up (the cage alone when first purchased was $100, and the actual pets, if you get them from the right places, can cost at least $100 each - it's at least $500 to set up) and I (obviously) don't have the outlay for that right now. Also after visiting with krazycat's guinea pigs, I've been thinking about maybe getting one of those. (So cute, and not as expensive or delicate.) I did love my babies, but it was hard to watch them go before their time even though I took really good care of them, due to things completely out of my control. Guinea pigs are more sturdy. So I might get chillas again down the line, but my next pet will probably be something else.
Also, if I ever move to a place with a backyard, I am definitely getting a dog. I've considered an apartment dog for here, but now's not the time to do all that. But - if there's ever a backyard in my future? - there will also be a Great Pyrenees sheepdog. I'm just sayin'. :)
Whatever happened to Dave?
Ah - ex-boyfriend Dave. Well, in brief, Dave and I broke up in November of 2008, and thus he is no longer featured herein. He was (is) a nice guy, but it just didn't work out. So: that's what happened to Dave.
I've dated a few guys since then, but have opted to keep them off the "pages" of this journal for the most part, just because it feels more natural to keep that part of my life to myself. It's not anything to do with all of you guys, my wonderful LJ friends; but we all grow and change, and one change I made was that.
But I promise if I ever get engaged or married, y'all will hear about it. Swear. :)
web design: If I have just a random godaddy website, and I had a subfolder on that website containing some random files, is there an easy way to monitor who (via IPs?) accesses those files?
My friend, I have no idea how one would do this. :D I have also gotten out of the web design game for the most part (OMG looooooong crazy story there) and so have not kept up on that stuff, either. However, I am almost 100% sure there *is* a way to do that, because one time a bunch of random people were downloading some stuff from a subfolder of my website, and my cousin (who hosts my site) was able to see the excess traffic, etc. I am sure he could also see the IPs. But he has done backend and security stuff professionally for years - I, sadly, have not. :)
1) What comics would you recommend for a toddler?
2) Favorite Discworld books and why?
3) Are you wearing pants?
4) Do you like cheese?
5) Have you ever gamed?
Oh boy! OK, here we go:
1) Off the top of my head: Umm...I would recommend anything that is fairly innocent in nature? Hee.
There's actually a lot of age-appropriate stuff out there for young comics fans. Certainly the work of my friends over at Blindwolf Studios would be at the top of the list. They write/draw Patrick the Wolf Boy, Tiny Titans (Eisner Award! New York Times Bestseller list!), Billy Batson and the Magic of SHAZAM, and more. All are cute and definitely age-appropriate. Also, one of their group, Jamie Cosley, does his own cute kid-friendly comics as well. (Check out his blog for some fun stuff; he's currently putting together a Cody book).
Other recommendations would include publishers like Campfire India who do classic novels as graphic novels - not all age appropriate (yet!) but you might find some things there.
Also there are the classic old-school ones like, for instance, Archie (I loved the older (and often more innocent) ones when I was a kid) and stuff like Richie Rich, which I haven't read in years, but remember as being fun and PG. Might not be quite time for those yet, but they would definitely work.
There are also some Marvel titles that would do well - I think they're doing Superhero Squad comics now, which feature the regular characters but as cute, cartoony versions of themselves, for kids. Slightly Daft Deadpool of Clan Deadpool (6th in from the left) is the Superhero Squad version of Deadpool. There's also a cartoon show to go with it. :) They also do or did an X-Babies comic.
And, of course, in the realm of cartoons, I have no idea what's the coolest thing now (outside of Superhero Squad) but I watched stuff like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the 80s X-Men, and the Animated Batman (a bit darker) as a kid, all based on comics, and loved them v v much. :) So those sorts of shows could be used to draw the child into reading the companion comics.
Aaaaand...I am sure there's a ton of other stuff out there. But maybe that helps? Heh.
P.S. Don't forget, there's an Illustrated Wee Free Men out there, too! :)
2) OMG DON'T MAKE ME CHOOOOOOOOSE. NO NO NO NO NO. Well ok. Maybe.
I'll disclaimer this by saying that there isn't actually a single Discworld book I don't like at least enough to re-read seven times (or more!), and that there are so many that it's really impossible to choose well. But. FOR YOU, I SHALL TRY. *dramatic hands*
Starting with Young Adult books, because there are fewer of them, my favorite Discworld one is Wintersmith. (But P.S. Let's not forget the non-Discworld books, like, for instance, the fantastic Nation, or the Johnny Maxwell series, which is awesome in its own right).
But. Wintersmith. Why?
Well, for one, I love the character of Tiffany, of course. She's strong-willed and clever, but still learning and growing, and she's got one of those minds that just keeps asking questions, which puts her a little apart from other people sometimes. I think a lot of us can identify with that. But she's in other books, so why this one?
It's really hard for me to sum it up, but it's a combination of the particular story Terry's chosen to tell, and the haunting tension and poetry with which he tells it. The story is dealing with very old and deep-rooted beliefs and fears about nature and the elements (and freezing to death, ack!!), and from the first scenes, in which Tiffany has to find her helpless little brother under a giant and sudden snowfall by using magic so difficult that it literally takes everything the villagers can burn to maintain the impetus of the spell, there's a grandeur and drama to the whole story. The scene in which her father has to be held back from the flames is particularly moving, and that's only the first chapter. And this tone continues throughout the book; even in dealing with the Wintersmith's journey to becoming a "man" (and particularly in what Tiffany eventually does to the Wintersmith), there's just something so big about it all, that Terry conveys so well, that it makes the story (while still firmly rooted in the characters and humor) epic. I love that. And also, there are a number of particularly memorable and poetic scenes within - things like the winter roses and the ice castle and the description of the desert. All around, it's both a great adventure and a jewel of a story. I am sure I could write a lot more on it, but I can't right this second, because then I wouldn't have time to write about...
Night Watch. Now we're in the realm of the adult Discworld novels. If I were forced, I mean FORCED to choose only one Discworld book to take along with me, I think I might have to go with this one (I WON'T COMMIT NOOO). To start with, it's a Vimes book, and Vimes is my bar-none favorite Discworld character (but followed closely by Granny and Death). He's complex, which I appreciate, but at the core, a *good* person, even if he thinks he's not. (And often these are the best people, because if you think you're good, you aren't ever going to try to be better, are you?) And he's tough, and he doesn't put up with any nonsense, and he's not egotistical, and he's essentially blue-collar, but very smart, in his own way, which isn't always book-smart but is very, very important with actually getting his job done and dealing with people and the way the world works. My grandfather was a lot like that. And I've always liked people who can hold their own in a tricky intellectual puzzle or situation (or out-clever other people before the other people know what's happening) and still, say, fix a car. Heh. So those are a few reasons why I love reading the Vimes-related books (which is why all the other Vimes books get an honorable mention in a minute).
As for why this book of all the Vimes ones, well, briefly 1) the character has gone through a lot of growth and development by this point, and Terry writes him very solidly; 2) the premise, with Vimes going back in time, meeting his younger self, revisiting events in his past that really shaped who he became, etc., is great, not to mention the added drama, of course, of Carcer being thrown into the past as well; 3) how Vimes deals with his predicament (and his inner thought process) is really, really great to watch; and 4) again, the story - revolution, upheaval, a (literal) changing of the guard), etc. - is epic. It's got a little of everything, and the pace is fantastic, and man, I really hate trying to explain these things, because I just won't be able to express it all in a few paragraphs, will I? But: those are a few reasons why I love Night Watch.
In other Vimes books, Thud! is my second favorite, because if there's something I like almost as much as reading about Vimes kicking ass and taking names, it's getting to watch his inner struggle - and that is a big part of what Thud! is all about. Vimes' triumph over his demons is magnificent, and Terry hits it out of the park with the scene in which Vimes is "reading" the bedtime story to his son while under the streets of Ankh-Morpork. Really moving stuff.
(And also, let's not forget that the booksigning for Thud! is where I ended up meeting Terry and accidentally volunteering to co-found a Discworld convention. So: aw.)
The other Vimes books we shouldn't forget are AWESOME are, in order of favorite-ness, The Fifth Elephant, Guards! Guards!, Feet of Clay, Men at Arms, and Jingo.
Now stepping along to the non-Vimes books, there are the witches books. I do love them all, but for me, the favorites are Carpe Jugulum and Lords and Ladies. Carpe Jugulum because it is in my opinion Granny's most magnificent appearance (of many, many magnificent appearances), what with her interactions and discussions with Mightily Oats, her handling of the phoenix, and what she does to the vampyres in the end (to name a few things). I love Granny's practicality, her iron-willed refusal to accept that she's not right, but at the same time her understanding of people and why she IS right - i.e. she doesn't think she's right because that's her dogma; she thinks she's right because she has listened, watched, observed, questioned, etc. before arriving at her conclusions - and her well-hidden compassion. She's a fantastic character, and she shines in this. And we can't forget the (underneath all the adventure and storytelling) truly important observations Terry is making on things like the nature of sin. This book, of all of them, contains my absolute favorite conversation, and it is between Granny and Mightily Oats regarding the nature of sin.
Lords and Ladies is fun both for the Granny elements (of course!), and for the twisting (or un-twisting, as it were) of the lore of elves. I love what Terry does with folklore here, and of course, we can't forget Magrat finally coming into her own. It's satisfying to see a wet blanket dry out.
And then we have the DEATH books. I love Death - to take a personification of something that most people fear, and give it a pathos and humanity that makes us feel affectionate towards it is no mean feat - and of course, the mostly unintentional (on his part) hilarity of Death's "humor" is much appreciated by one who has a (let's admit it) great appreciation for dark, dry, twisted, deadpan (yes I said it) or slightly off humor. (Heck - how many times has Deadpool's sense of humor been referred to as "gallows humor"? Yeah.) The three favorite Death books for me are Mort (actually in part because I like the character of Mort and his growth a lot, as much as because Death is in it), Reaper Man (the best one for taking a good look at Terry's take on Death), and Hogfather (because aw, Death and Susan are so awkwardly adorable as a "family"). Also, let's face it, Death is kind of a badass. Can I tell you how much I LOVE the scene wherein Teatime bites it? And that's only one of many cool Death scenes. But they almost pale in comparison to the scene wherein Death tries to give Susan a Hogswatch card. AWWWW.
And now, we come to the final category, the non-"group" books. (I.e. not City Watch, Wizards, Witches, etc.) Of those, my favorites are:
Small Gods - an excellent look at organized religion, the good, the bad, and the ugly - and it's very, very funny (of course) too.
Monstrous Regiment - this one seems to be an outlier for many Discworld fans, and I can't understand why. Yes, it's not a group book, and sure, the tone is a little different - but it contains a fully developed group of characters worth caring about, an insurmountable challenge that the characters have to tackle, some great twists, and a fantastic commentary on gender roles.
Going Postal - Moist is an endearing character, the story is fun, and the underlying ideas about the power of words are pretty fantastic.
The Truth - Again, a story about the power of words, with the added element of a discussion of what truth is, and its importance. Not to mention I love the journalism element, having studied and dabbled in it myself.
AAAAAAND even though it's not a Discworld book, let us never forget Good Omens, which I love and will gladly discuss another time, but WOW, I have written WAAAAY more than intended here and still barely scratched the surface of what I love about Discworld and Terry's books, or even the particular books I've mentioned. I think I'd best stop now, though, or we'll be here all week.
3) I am, in fact, wearing pants - both the UK and the US version. :) Today, I am wearing what Americans would refer to as lounge pants (maybe?) and my Trinidadian brother-in-law refers to as "house pants." They have little Scottie dogs and fleurs-de-lis on them. W00t!
4) YES I DO. I love cheese. *g* Particular favorites include Cojack (Colby + Monterey Jack - a staple of Indiana cheeses!) Havarti, Parrano, feta, goat cheese (on that one salad I make), Parmesan, ricotta...okay, we'll be here all day if I keep listing the cheeses I like. Suffice it to say I'm looking forward to visiting Madison next year and trying a couple of new kinds of cheese. ;P
5) Hrm...maybe? I mean, I like board games (actually I love board games, whee!) but I suspect you are talking about, you know, gaming - like D&D, and all of that. I've given some of those a try, and no occasion was memorable enough for me to write about here. However, I'm game (hahahahaha please don't kill me) to try again sometime, and I do LOVE video games (even the ones I am very bad at! Though I am very good at a select few. And my Kirby can kick your Kirby's ass, if kicking ass is done by means of inhaling you).
A Very Important Question: have you seen Deathly Hallows yet?????
I AM GOING TO SEE IT TONIGHT!!! P.S. Love your icon <3 <3 <3 HEEEE.
AND WE ARE GOING TO STOP NOW. Sorry that Viv's question caused me to write way, way more than intended. But I am glad to answer more questions if you want to ask them.
And now I need to go shower, as I am lazy (and have been CLEANING ALL THE THINGS) and thus have not yet.