My relatives from San Deigo and my family were traveling someplace in the countryside sometime after Christmas. We had spent Christmas with our families and decided to have a little celebration together someplace out away from any big cities. We drove down endless highways flanked in tall pines that gave way to small meadows of grass and birch. After what seemed like hours, we pulled into a parking lot for this old building that looked like the San Francisco Ferry Building crossed with a church and a one-room school house. Our parents declared we would celebrate there, though we children felt uncomfortable. There was something that just felt weird. Just felt… off. The building was an orphanage, and young children played all around in the meadow the building sat in. Well, less… played, more just sat in semi-circles and poked at the ground with their fingers and sticks.
We all went inside and started passing around gifts. I said something like, "I wish we knew what those kids out there wanted for Christmas," and then my cousin Sierra came up to me, looked me straight in the eye and said, "Oh, but we do." Out of nowhere she produced this box. It looked like a display box for a thick photo album, maybe the dimensions of a regular sheet of paper, but four inches thick. The top had a big window on it, so I could easily see the contents inside; a scroll of paper covered in neat typed words, but ever so often there was a word or two covered by a thick yellowing paper with words that looked like the came from a typewriter on it. On the side of the box there was a crank, so I could rotate the scrolls and read the story. She looked at me with a smile and asked, "will you read it?" So I complied.
It was a story about lonely children. It talked about their drab lives and ever so often, where the yellowing paper was stuck, the story would include the names of the children and their deepest desires. I turned the crank, counter-clockwise, and the words travelled up so I could read more. Child after child was included as I kept read and turning the crank. Sierra sat down at one point and took off a shoe. "There's so much sand in here. So much sand." The sand poured out of her shoe like salt.
I continued to read. The stories had started off sad and gotten more and more depressing as I read on. Soon, the tears were freely flowing down my face, though my voice didn't waver. I thought that was pretty odd. After what felt like the hundredth turn of the crank, I got to a section completely covered in yellowed paper. Instead of the usual typewriter words, this one was written in pen. "Sorry, too sad. Skip this part. =)" It was jarring, like this shouldn't be part of the book, but I was happy to comply.
I glanced over at Sierra. "Will it ever stop?" She asked no one in particular. The sand continued to pour out of her shoe. There was already a pile probably foot tall in front of her. Then she answered her own question. "No, it will never stop."
AND THEN I WOKE UP.
I was sitting in this abandoned high school. It was mostly concrete inside, and I was sitting on a step getting really nervous. Nur burst in and I jumped off the step and tossed him an XBox360 controller. "The Reapers are attacking! Go get them!" Yeah, somehow the Reapers from Mass Effect were attacking. But like… just from inside their ships? After a pause, I follow Nur outside (was he supposed to attack them with the controller????) and start attacking the Reaper ships myself by jumping on them and clawing madly at them. I guess I had big ol' claws because I was really tearing them up. Eventually, the Reapers were all defeated and everyone cheered.
There was a big building nearby (the White House?) and Mitt Romney comes out with his wife and announces, "Sorry, Ann let them in." She apologies with a giggle and everyone boos. She, her sister, and one of her kids leaves the area by going through a big gate. I follow, just because I needed to go that way too.
As soon as I'm through the gate, I'm in a town in the Legend of Zelda universe. I'm Link, though I look pretty much like how I do and I've got the grey cat ears and tail I always draw myself with, but I'm dressed like Link and in my head I know... I'm Link. I look at my equipment and am pleased with my shield, but my sword is pretty crappy and I want to replace it. I go into a nearby shop and… Ann Romney, her sister, and one of her kids is running it. Well, more like, "running" it. Ann Romney could not figure out how to run a freaking Zelda game shop. She was totally lost. IT'S NOT HARD. THEY SELL LIKE… FOUR ITEMS PER SHOP. HOW COULD YOU MESS THIS UP? I teach her the ins and outs of running a Zelda shop (which takes like 30 seconds because it's SO FREAKING EASY), and then leave. I don't have a new sword, but I'm so frustrated, I just need to go out and kill stuff.
Then I woke up. ANNN ROMNEEEEYYYY!!!! *shakes fist* Okay, I don't really know much about her, so I feel a little bad she was so stupid in my dreams, but ARGH. ARRRRGGHHHH.
Work is pleasantly busy again, I have a very comfortable amount of work to do, I'm busy from sun up to sun down, but not so busy that I couldn't take time off if I wanted. It's nice.
I started setting "Super Fun-Fun Day" goals again because I was really missing taking half of each Friday off if I met my goals and biking to the movie theater. I hadn't gone since Rise of the Guardians left the theater, but I hit my goals last week and treated myself to seeing Warm Bodies. I actually really hate zombies. It's this weird, seething hate that I can't really explain, but I really enjoyed Warm Bodies. It was really cute and I laughed out loud a lot while watching it. I'll probably even buy it when it comes out. It (along with ParaNorman) is helping me get over my absolute hate for zombies. Thanks, movies!
I enjoyed Warm Bodies so much, I ordered the novel (after checking the library and two used bookstores for it) and started on it this afternoon (thanks for being so quick, Amazon Prime). Word of advice: if you order the book from Amazon, the searches I did only turned up a recently reprinted paperback version with a movie-based cover, but if you click on that and see the "formats" section, there is a ~$2 cheaper paperback version with the original(?) cover. I have a thing against movie-based book covers, so I was really happy to be able to get the other version. And it being cheaper was definitely a plus!
I'm in the middle of a bunch of books right now, actually. I should probably finish some before starting new ones, but it's nice to be able to choose what I want to continue reading based on how I feel right then. I'm about halfway through Flyte (second Septimus Heap book), and skimmed the entirety of Magyk (first Septimus book) yesterday. I've read both of these books probably three times before, so it's a cakewalk getting through them fast. I own but have not read the fifth of sixth books of the series yet, so I want to reread books 1-4 before tackling those two. I'm also maybe 60% done with the ParaNorman novel, though I haven't read any in a couple weeks. I had to upload some huge files that would keep me up late at night and ParaNorman was my go-to book for entertainment during those times. I haven't had any late night uploading sessions for a while, so the poor book just sits next to my laptop in hopes that I'll get to it soon. I will book, I swear! I was enjoying you! I'm maybe 30% through the fourth Ranger's Apprentice book, and I'm still having a lot of fun with the series. I picked up the fifth book at one of the used bookstores I was at over the weekend, so I'm all ready when I finish the fourth. I just wish people would stop getting captured. It seems to be an important plot point in the last three books and glancing at the back of the fifth it might be a big deal in that one too? Bleh. More awesome Ranger times, please! More Halt being a badass! I wanna be a Ranger!!
I have the last Artemis Fowl book sitting on my shelf for it's time to shine, but I've been putting it off because I thought the last book was SO terrible and I'm afraid this one will be the same. I WILL read it, but.. later. I have enough Ranger's Apprentice and Septimus to last me a while, plus the other couple books… I'm trying to get my grubby paws on the second and third Guardians of Childhood books, but people keeping getting the local library copies before me. SOON! SOOOOOON. Hm. Yes. 90% of the books I read are Young Adult books. I just can't get into most "adult" fiction. It doesn't grab me, though maybe I'm not trying hard enough.
Oh, somehow that reminds me, I need to read more Dresden books too...
This weekend, while I was at the bookstores looking for a handful of books, I realized that I suck at finding books. Book genres are sort of like music genres to me. I don't get them. Sure, I can get what jazz is, but sometimes blues is not jazz and sometimes it is? When it is light rock instead of rock? Is baroque music classical? I just don't get it. So I was looking for Warm Bodies at the bookstores. Let's see, according to the movie, it's a funny, romantic, action, zombie movie. I guess that would put it in… horror? Romance? Sci-fi? Fantasy? Is it a Young Adult book? I had no idea. I checked all of them and all of them, except romance, had books that seemed similar to the sort of book I assumed Warm Bodies was. So confusing. When I ordered the book from Amazon, I checked out what category it was listed under because I really needed to know if I was looking in all the wrong places or what. Amazon lists it as "Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense > Thrillers > Spy Stories & Tales of Intrigue." Well, okay, I don't know if either of the stores had a spy/intrigue section, but I know I didn't look in them if they did.