Sunday, May 18, 2014

Korean Calligraphy

Arirang Culture had a short series on Korean Calligraphy. I've always enjoyed how calligraphy looks, and I was able to learn some of the techniques of brush calligraphy during some of my painting classes. I am no expert, and I would like to go back and learn more. Please forgive the broadcast station for repeatedly using "oriental" when the mean East Asian.











Currently watching: Wonderful Days 참 좋은 시절 . So far it is a great drama, but only 16 episodes are out, it is supposed to be 50 episodes, so I don't know how it'll end up.

Currently reading:

Glimpse by Stacey Wallace Benefiel
Eh... I'll give this free Kindel book a few more chapters, but I may have to quit reading it.


Swagbucks it is how I make money for amazon gift cards!
So far I've made $5 in amazon gift cards with Swagbucks and it is only the 18th of May. I've been busy with work and school, so not as much time to collect Swagbucks.

Monday, May 5, 2014

5 May wants

It is May already! If we were still living in Carson City, NV (USA), I would hopefully have my garden started.

1.

Every year in either May, June or July, it would either snow, hail or sleet on the garden. The only thing that ever really survived were either yellow onions or green onions. I don't know where we are going to move to after Leeds, but I think I'd really like to have on of these little green houses, then maybe something besides onions would survive (okay, some sesame plants did grow also, until an early frost killed them off.)

2.

These are some times called Japanese eggplants. I like to make 가지나물 (gaji namul) an eggplant side dish similar to this one.

3.

A rainbow of carrots might be fun to have, not sure how delicious they would taste, but I think they would be interesting to stir-fry with some parsnips.

4.

I have no idea why this is labelled Spinchoy, because it is spinach seeds. There is a Korean side dish, called 시금치나물 (Sigeumchi-namul) spinach side dish, that Jasmine really likes. I use a recipe similar to this one.

5.

One of the few things to grow in our failed garden. I probably won't buy any seeds since I can get them from my mother's garden. 깻잎 (Kkaennip)are great fresh, wrapped around rice with 쌈장 (ssamjang a spicy dipping sauce) and a bit of meat.


Currently watching: Wonderful Days 참 좋은 시절 . So far it is a great drama, but only 16 episodes are out, it is supposed to be 50 episodes, so I don't know how it'll end up.

Currently reading:

Cloak by James Gough

I'm only on the first chapter, so I can't really say much about the book, but so far it is good. I got it as a free kindle, but it is currently $5.99

Swagbucks it is how I make money for amazon gift cards!
So far I've made $10 in amazon gift cards with Swagbucks and it is only the 23rd of April. I've been busy with work and school, so not as much time to collect Swagbucks.



Friday, May 2, 2014

Books I read in April


Neverdark by C.S. Einfeld

Quite honestly I don't see how this book has 4 1/2 stars on amazon.com. It is horrible. For a princess that is supposed to be escaping and hiding Fiera sure likes to announce her name and title to every creature she meets on her adventure. The story is very crude and childish. I can't honestly believe that anyone would pay $2.99 for the book. Luckily I got it for free.


Photographs & Phantoms by Cindy Spencer Pape

This is the first book in the Gaslight Chronicles by Cindy Spencer Pape is a free Kindle. I would actually call this more romance than steampunk. It is romance, steampunk lite with a hint of magic on the side. It is a good series if you just want a hint of steampunk and magic, or if you need something to read and introduce steampunk to yourself. Most of the books in the series are novellas, 20,000-50,000 words, but I think two or three of them are novel length, the longest is 76,000 words. The main characters change in each book. Even though these are primarily romance novels I think they are well done, the romance isn't garish. The story flowed well for me, and I will be buying the next book in the series.


Forbidden Quest by Alaina Stanford

The basic plot idea of this story is an interesting idea, but that aside this is a horrible free Kindle book. Nicole is such a horrible, unsympathetic character that it is impossible to believe that she can suddenly change her personality halfway into the story. There are more books in this series, but I won't be buying any more.


Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

I actually started a different book before reading this one, but I needed a bit of a break from horrible books. This is a reread for me, I have enjoyed the series very much, but I have to admit that sometimes the othering of the character Soap aka Phineas B. Crow. I believe there are supposed to be four books total, the third book Waistcoats & Weaponry comes out November 4, 2014.


Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Well, Lord Mercer calls Soap a racial slur in this book and nobody rebukes him for it, that is a bit disappointing. I couldn't find the exact spot, but this website backs me up. Still an enjoyable series overall.


The Parasol Protectorate Boxed Set by Gail Carriger

I don't normally buy boxed sets, especially not kindle ones, but I got this after selling all of my physical books when I knew we were moving to England.

Soulless by Gail Carriger
Now, don't get me wrong, I love this author and I love this series, but the amount of self-deprecating the main character, Alexia, goes through is nauseating. I know that this is supposed to be the character's flaw, but I wonder what effect it might have on young girls who have read Ms. Carriger's young adult series, Finishing School, especially ones that may have the same physical traits as the ones that Alexia self-deprecates over; big nose, tan, busty and over-weight.

Changeless by Gail Carriger
Unfortunately at the beginning of chapter nine Lord Maccon describes Alexia, his wife, as "some exotic gypsy." Why is this a problem? Exotic is often used to describe East Asian women, it others them, meaning that it normalizes white people. I believe that this webpage can explain why gypsy is a slur better than I can.

Blameless by Gail Carriger
Blameless honestly this book just makes me want to eat pesto, but I can't, 'cause Jasmine is allergic to pine nuts, maybe while she is at school

If you want to read better reviews than my own about Ms. Carriger's books I think Fangs for the Fantasy have some very good ones, they delve into LGBQT problems with the books, which I do not understand enough to be able to speak out about them. Here are the links:

Parasol Protectorate
Soulless
Changeless
Blameless
Heartless
Timeless

Finishing School
Etiquette & Espionage
Curtsies & Conspiracies

I think the reviewer of the books agrees with me that these issues aside, the books are delightful, I just wish that Ms. Carriger would take the issues into consideration when she writes. I would also suggest that she look at the tumblr pages of Medieval POC. Why? Because European history has been white-washed. POC (people of color) have always been in Europe, and the idea that meeting someone who is POC or a POC descendant is rare actually alters history. Because steampunk is already alternate history I think that out of seven books only having one person of color, Soap, is disappointing.

I would go ahead and recommend these books, especially if you already like and enjoy steampunk as cosplay or reading steampunk as fiction.


Books read so far: 9 1/2 January plus 11 1/4 February plus 8 March plus 8 in April equals 36 3/4 books so far this year. Work and school has slowed me down a little bit.

Currently watching:참 좋은 시절 (Wonderful Days)

Currently reading:

Heartless by Gail Carriger
I will continue to reread and finish the series again before moving back to reading more free Kindle books.

Swagbucks it is how I make money for amazon gift cards!
I made $5 in Amazon.com gift cards for the month of April. I've been busy with school and work.
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