Six Months Later…

Well, I’ve finally finished the Amelia Peabody series. It’s all I’ve been reading for the last six months. I started re-reading all of the tales of the intrepid Amelia Peabody, a crime-solving Egyptologist, just after I finished Team of Rivals at the beginning of February. I snuck in Atonement at some point, but that was a pretty quick read.

And while it will feel weird to move on to something else, I’m glad I’m finished. The books have changed a lot since the first one was written in 1975. The first few were fairly light mysteries, with a ton of engaging characters. As the series progressed, the plot lines became more complex and much darker. Frankly, there wasn’t a lot of humor in the last few books, which I think was lacking.

On the whole, though, a great read and kudos to Elizabeth Peters for keeping the saga going. I can’t find any evidence of the next book, but I’m sure Amelia isn’t done with solving crimes yet.

Now the big question — What to read next?

Budding Photographer

My sister just posted some new photos to our family’s photo gallery. They included a bunch of shots taken by my 10-year-old niece. A recent photo shoot was entitled “Where’s Pikachu?” He manages to get all over the house.

What I love about this photo is the absolutely perfect lighting, color composition and staging. Seriously — I never take pictures this good! And she’s only 10 years old!

Just saw There Will Be Blood. Fabulous movie. Daniel Day-Lewis is just unbelievable, as he always is. An amazing actor to watch. Run to your video store or add this to your Netflix queue immediately. It’s that good.

The soundtrack is not at all what you expect, but it fits perfectly with the film. It was created by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead. But there was also a piece of classical music played during part of the film and during the end credits. It was beautiful and I wanted to know what it was. So, quickly Googling the movie’s title brought me to the IMDB page. And wouldn’t you know the first FAQ about the film is about this piece of music. And the kind soul who answered the question not only identified the piece — third movement of the Violin Concerto in D Major, Opus 77 [1878] by Johannes Brahms — but included a link to the exact recording used in the movie. One PayPayl screen later and now the CD is on its way to me.

I love the Internet.

The Easy Way Out

So I haven’t posted in weeks and I’m in a bad mood to boot. But every time I look at this I just crack up:

humorous pictures
see more crazy cat pics“>

Woo Hoo!

As a rule, I strenuously avoid meetings on Monday mornings or Friday afternoons. If I’m doing the set-up, I don’t even consider those times. But I don’t always get to pick. I’ve been dreading my 3:00 p.m. meeting all day — and it just got canceled! My brain cells are just not working this afternoon, even though I have work I should be doing. Can’t wait until the end of the day.

My New Toy

blackberry-curve.jpgI’ve been debating buying a new cell phone for months. I’ve had a T-Mobile SDA for a year; it has several PDA features, including web browsing and Windows Mobile, but it doesn’t have a QWERTY keyboard. And there’s really no point in having all the PDA features if it takes that long to type stuff.

I figured a recent pay bump for my new duties was a good sign. And then yesterday I realized my cell phone battery doesn’t seem to be holding a charge anymore. I figured the universe had aligned and was telling me to buy a new phone.

So, here its. The Blackberry Curve. Very pretty, but lots of features. I can’t wait until it arrives.

Reading Update

It’s been months since I posted about reading. And while I spent a lot of time on one book, I’ve read a bunch since then.

Team of Rivals was a wonderful book. Doris Kearns Goodwin writes about Abraham Lincoln and the cabinet he created, including several men who were ostensibly his enemies. Lincoln had a rare gift that politicians today don’t seem to have: He didn’t take things personally and he really didn’t hold any grudges. He looked at the ability of someone to do the job he wanted — not whether the person liked him or would be useful at some point. Salmon Chase was a perfect example. After years of trying (not very successfully) to undermine Lincoln in a variety of ways, Chase finally decided to leave his position in the White House (he threatened quitting a number of times to get what he wanted and Lincoln always took him back). By this time, Lincoln was done with Chase and agreed with him that leaving was best. But despite everything Chase had done over the years, Lincoln felt Chase was the best man to lead the Supreme Court and quite cheerfully nominated him for the position. I think that’s why I’m so apathetic about politics today; we don’t have people of that caliber running for the White House.

My interest in the Civil War having been renewed with this book, I had plans to read Shelby Foote’s well-regarded three-volume history of the Civil War. But Team of Rivals took me a month to read, and I found I really needed a break after all that death and destruction. So I started re-reading the Amelia Peabody series of mysteries. The books, by Elizabeth Peters, follow Amelia Peabody, her archaeologist husband Emerson and their rambunctious son Ramses; the stories begin in the late 19th century. There are now 18 books in the series, and I happily discovered I’m three books behind. A great excuse to buy more books! They are easy reads; it’s like comfort food for my brain.

It’s going to take me awhile to get through all those and I may take some quick breaks for other things. I snuck in Atonement a couple of weeks ago, which I really enjoyed. And I’m glad I read the book; the movie can’t possibly be as good.

So — what are you reading?