Does it seem like winter has been going on forever?
While the South can definitely get cold, usually you can depend on it being very temporary and quickly turning back to moderate temperatures. This winters's cold seems ongoing
. Between the gray and the cold, I'm beginning to feel very cooped up. The dog doesn't even like to walk when it's gray and cold. She starts dragging me back towards the house once we reach the end of the block.
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Briefly went shopping on Saturday. Despite the cold, I thought it might be a good time to coat shop, as this time of year is when they go on sale. I was looking at a fitted insulated North Face jacket and seriously considered buying, but looking at the website, the complaint about it was that it wasn't as warm as you would think. I have enough light jackets and was looking for a warm one, so I'm not sure I'm willing to pay for one that looks good but isn't considered to be particularly warm.
I also bought yet another pair of Sketcher 'Go Walks'. I already own two pair, but I wear those walking shoes to death. The blue ones are practically mesh, open air, and summer weight, so I'm not wearing those these days (and I had already done a LOT of wear on them). I have black ones that I'm wearing these days. I've also worn those to death over the winter. They are beginning to suffer from the wear, so when I saw that 'Go Walks' were on sale the other day I bought some gray ones. They're just walking shoes, but they are truly the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned... which is why I now have three pairs (though of different summer/winter weights).
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Most constructive thing I did this weekend was make chili. With the cold and the gray, it seemed apropos for the weather. Turned out pretty good.
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Nothing has been on TV.
was on TV. Okay episode but nothing earth shattering. Don't care how Anna's story has turned into her husband's story. Did enjoy Branson mentioning his discomfort in how he's gone from 'uppity chauffeur' and socialist to something not too far removed from the Grantham's pet (he didn't phrase it like that. I did. But... yeah) And I liked Lord Grantham's petulant announcement that he didn't want Branson to go and his dreams of Branson's daughter growing up as the almost-sister of Lady Mary's son. Lord Grantham may be a twat and an idiot with finances, but he isn't all bad. :)
Other than Downton
, TV is pretty thin right now (Once Upon a Time
, I want you back from hiatus. And GOT
, start airing already!)
Finally got around to seeing Iron Man 3
. Liked it better than Iron Man 2
, which I found to be boring and a complete waste of time. Iron Man 3
was enjoyable. RDJ looked good and was quite funny. And I liked the switcheroo with Pepper Potts (which was totally obvious, but I liked it anyway), so all in all not bad... for a superhero movie (of which I'm not the worlds biggest fan).
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Other than that, I'm still in the fluff book territory. I seem to have swum to the edge of the angst pool, as the last two weren't particularly angsty(and I'm A-okay with that.)shadowkat67
mentioned having Zoe Archer's Sweet Revenge
on her to-read list and the kindle blurb for it interested me. I've read about 70%+/- of it now.
It's a Victorian era story about an escaped convict seeking revenge on the titled Lord who murdered his sister. The convict runs into a group of covert 'agents' for Nemesis
, a Robin Hood-esque organization seeking justice for those who can't get justice in a rigged class system that favors the titled and the wealthy. Like Jack (the hero), Nemesis
is also after the titled Lord. And there is a particular female Nemesis agent that Jack finds incredibly attractive.
While packaged as a romance novel, it really isn't all that romance novel-y. It's more of an action adventure caper with a romantic subplot. Sort of "Leverage" meets "Ripper Street" (with perhaps a tiny pinch of "Inglorious Basterds"), and should probably be approached with that attitude because it's rather implausbile that in the Dickens era a Whitechapel street thug/convict such as Jack would turn out to be as...well... as nice
as Jack turns out to be. Probably not as literate either. They don't play him as educated or anything, but an orphaned guttersnipe son of a prostitute from Whitechapel during the age of Ripper would most likely be unable to read. Jack can. And he's canny too. His 'roughness' seems primarily to be his boxing and his vulgar language. Everything else about him is surprisingly civilized. At any rate, the hero (who is the primary POV character) is quite likable. Though they go overboard mentioning how HUGE he is. It's like he's The Hulk or something.
The primary weakness in the novel (to me at any rate) has been a failure to explain (at least to the point that I've read) some unelaborated aspects of the heroine. Like I said, the primary POV is Jack, and Jack finds Nemesis agent Eva to be mysterious (and with her cultured speech and clothing, exotic for the likes of him), meaning that he and the reader aren't always privy to everything that makes Eva tick. (Although it strikes me on thought as a bit of a gender reversal in that Eva is written in a way that heroes are sometimes written. In traditional formats, heroes are often elusive in the heroine's POV. This sort of flips that equation). For instance, what turned Eva, the daughter of missionaries, into such a sexually liberated Victorian? I got the explanation for how she went from frustrated missionary into the Robin Hood-esque aspects of Nemesis, but she is anachronistically liberated where sex is concerned (which, there are worse flaws for a story to have, so it's not much of a complaint. More of a curiosity.) At any rate, Eva is likable, smart, and kicks ass (and is anachronistically modern.)
Because of the missing bits of Eva's psychology (at least to the point where I've read, it hasn't yet been explained) I don't quite grasp her romantic obstacle with Jack. They seem perfect as Nemesis
spy-partners with benefits. Plus, Jack seems a made to order Nemesis
recruit. AND (though it's still unsaid) it's pretty clear that they both fell ass over teakettle for one another... so why can't they just stay together once the 'mission' is done? (It's a romance novel, so I assume that in the end they will, but Eva in particular behaves as though there's no possibility for that to happen, and I'm still unclear as to WHY
she continues to think so.)
At any rate, it's action-filled and caperesque. Likable leads. Fun, not too angsty, and explicit.
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I also read Sherry Thomas' "His at Night". Like the reviewer at Smart Bitches
I had a thing for the Scarlet Pimpernel
when I was growing up. (They seek him here. They seek him there. Those Frenchies seek him everywhere. Is he in heaven or is he in hell, that demmed elusive Pimpernel...) So, yeah, I'm a prime audience for a rif on this sort of story motif. In this case it's the very late Victorian era (in fact it seemed like the late 1890s. I never look at the dates, but it felt like it was pushing 1900), so no French Revolution. Just an 'agent for the crown' who seemed to be covertly Sherlock Holmes while pretending to be... well, they talk about him as having suffered a brain injury in a fall from a horse (which was his cover story for having become 'less' than when he was a teen) but honestly, his covert identity seemed rather Big Bang Theory
Sheldon Cooper-like. He's on a case and in his Sheldon-like identity when he runs into the heroine.
The heroine is trapped in an abusive household. Her uncle, the villain the hero is investigating, is coldly menacing. And, while the heroine wants to escape, and even ran away once, she's unwilling to leave her Aunt, a laudenum addict, behind in her uncle's clutches, so she's trying to formulate a plan when the hero falls into her lap. She decides that if she can somehow trap/force him into marrying her, that not only can she escape from her uncle but she can get her aunt out as well. Of course the 'addled' hero she wants to manipulate isn't really
addled, so it becomes a duel of scheming...such that the heroine catches onto the fact that the hero is not what he pretends to be.
Less angsty than some of Thomas' work (not totally without angst, but not overly burdened). Fun hero and heroine. (Though the hero is mystifyingly self-destructive a couple of times) but overall enjoyable.