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Posts Tagged ‘ipod’

Friday Fun! (Kindle Cover, TRX, Karaoke)

August 12, 2011 6 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  There’s not too terribly much to report this week.  Last weekend Boston suffered a torrential downpour that destroyed my ipod.  Sad day.  I’m a bit poor right now, so I ended up bidding for a used one on ebay and winning.  Here’s hoping it actually works when it gets here.  *knocks on wood*

My kindle cover also broke this week.  The doohickey that holds the kindle in place got bent out of shape (no, I have no idea how).  I called Amazon, and they overnight shipped me a new one for free! Awesome. Sauce.  I will say, I think my kindle cover got a lot more use in its six months of life than the designers perhaps anticipated, lol.

Last weekend I tried out a new recipe–walnut-encrusted baked tofu with spinach l’orange.  It was….a bit more time-consuming than I was anticipating, but also delicious and filling.  I got three meals out of it (one dinner and two lunches).  Not too shabby for the relative cheapness of the ingredients.

My trainer had me try out TRX this week.  There are these straps hanging from the ceiling that you use to help you work out your muscles using your own weight and gravity as resistance.  It was super-duper fun to do push-ups and such in the air, I have to say.  I really loved it.  I’m half-tempted to join one of the gym’s TRX teams now.

I also went out to karaoke with my friend Jill this week.  It was tons of fun, as karaoke generally is.  Although this single lady did not see a single guy she was interested in, the crowd was a good karaoke crowd.  Everyone was good-natured, supportive, and well, tipsy.  Plus there were plenty of people buying drinks for us, which is always a plus. 😉

Happy weekends all!

Announcement: I Am Published!!

Hello my lovely readers!  So, the super-secret project that I’ve been working on is to finally get my own writing out where people can read it!  I’ve been writing since…..well, since I could put pencil to paper.  I am completely passionate about story-telling, and this is where I truly feel my talent lies.  Since I finished grad school in January, I’ve been cracking down and getting serious about my writing.

Well, I can finally announce that I have published the first entry in a new series to the Amazon Kindle store!  I started with my idea to reclaim the old format of serial books.  Every entry in the series is 99 cents and short enough to read in one sitting, such as on your commute, a plane ride, a bath, etc….  The storyline is complete in and of itself, but it will be continued in another entry in a few months.  Join Tova Gallagher in her paranormal world with the few moments you have to spare in your busy day!  It is ideal for the busy, modern, paranormal romance lover.

The first entry is entitled Ecstatic Evil.

Tova Gallagher isn’t just your average tough as nails, intelligent Bostonian. She also just so happens to be half-demon, and halvesies have an important role to play in the supe world. Whether they choose to go with the instincts of their demon or human half is supposed to predict the outcome of the endtimes, and now Tova has a deadline to choose sides. But all of that is hard to care about when she’s just met a sexy stranger on the edge of the Charles River.

Please do check it out!  I write because I have stories to tell and want to entertain.  At only 99 cents, it’s worth the shot, right?

Also, I started with the novella series so I could practice with the ebook publishing software before my first serious novel, which I plan to release in October for Halloween.  I am very excited about it and can’t wait to let you guys know more details!  In the meantime, be sure to keep an eye on my new Publications page on this blog.  ❤

Check Out Ecstatic Evil

Friday Fun! (Thoughts on Community and Environment)

January 14, 2011 4 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  Boston got hit with yet another blizzard, although the real record-breaker was that 49 of the 50 states had snow on the same day (including Hawaii).  The one without?  Florida.  I spent my Wednesday morning shoveling about a foot and a half of snow off of my building’s steps and sidewalk.  Another member of the building did the afternoon shoveling.  It was actually really lovely getting a workout in outside in the snow while listening to an audiobook on my iPod.  🙂  Of course, the afternoon was spent alternating between reading and craft projects.

My friends Nina and E and I have been spending a lot of time lately discussing big questions.  Maybe it’s because we all went to Brandeis where you were more likely to find huge groups of people discussing existential questions than playing Beirut.  Maybe it’s just the kind of people we are.  Anyway.  Nina is currently on a kibbutz in Israel, and she emailed me asking me what I think makes a community.  I know a lot of people believe it’s your family or your religion or nationality or who lives in proximity to you, but that’s not how I make my community.  I think the ideal community is a group of people who happen to meet in whatever way and who love and support each other unconditionally.  You should be able to trust your community to support you and be there for you no matter how you fuck up or what choices you make.  I’m incredibly grateful to have found that with my current groups of friends.  It’s not an easy thing to find, but I think it’s what works.  I’m a big proponent of creating your own family and often talk with various friends about how awesome it would be to one day all live together on a big plot of land.  A gal can dream, can’t she?

Meanwhile, E and I have been discussing the environment a lot.  I’ve always considered myself a bit of an environmentalist, but I’m continually moving even further in that direction.  To put it bluntly, the earth doesn’t belong to humans.  The earth is its own thing, and if we don’t straighten up, we’re gonna kill ourselves off.  You think the earth cares if we die?  Nope.  The earth will keep on doing its thing and other creatures will take over.  Kind of like how we took over from the dinosaurs.  Still though.  The earth isn’t our.  It belongs to all creatures, and it honestly disgusts me the way humans have been ruining it, not only for future generations, but for current creatures of other species.  So what is a gal to do?  How can I function within modern society and make the least impact?  As I become increasingly aware, I strive every day to make less impact to the best of my abilities.  I keep my heat turned down incredibly low not just for my electric bill, but to make less of an impact on earth.  I’m a vegetarian and am striving to slowly cut down and maybe eventually eliminate dairy from my diet.  I’ve already decided that I’d rather adopt than have children of my own.  Yet every week when I bring out my recycling, I’m shocked that one person has created so much waste.  It’s mind-boggling.

I guess being out of grad school has given me more time to contemplate these core values.  Community.  Environmentalism.  Maybe I’m still a bit more idealistic than I thought I was.  I thought I’d entirely reverted to pessimism and giving up on idealism, but that may not be the case after all.

My Tentative Journey With eBooks

August 26, 2010 8 comments

A while back, I told you guys that I’m continuing my tentative steps into eBooks, but it hadn’t been very successful yet.  I admit this is partly because I’m a broke-ass graduate student, and so I don’t exactly have the cash to shell out for what I see as an extravagance.  Why get an eReader when I can get used books for under $5 a pop?  (For why I don’t have time to use the local library, see this post).  I’ve tried downloading eBooks that are available as pdf’s onto my computer, but I always made it only about as far through as a blog’s archives before losing focus.  Or I’d have to leave it and come back the next day and be incapable of finding where I left off.  I just can’t read a book on a computer.  Nuh-uh.  A computer is for article-length pieces.  I just can’t get past the part where I’m looking at a computer to get lost in the story.

When I got my iTouch, I decided to venture in yet again.  But I repeat that I’m a cheapskate, so I downloaded a couple of the various apps available for 99 cents that provide huge selections of out of copyright classics to read.  Although I was able to focus on the screen, it reminded me a lot of my speed-reading classes in middle school, because the screen automatically fades at a certain point (I’m not sure how long), so I’d either have to keep tapping the screen to keep it from doing that or read insanely fast.  The speed might not have been an issue if I wasn’t attempting to read classics, but I always read classics kind of slowly.  I get wrapped up in the language and the world-building.  Classics are about slow reading versus the fast reading of genre fiction for me.  I got about 3 chapters into two different classics before giving up and stopping.

Well then people started talking about the iBook app, and since I love everything Mac, I decided to download it, but upon trying I found out that my iTouch is too old to support it, at which point I started browsing the eReader section of the app store and saw the Kindle app.  For some reason, it had previously escaped my attention that the Kindle even had an app for Mac products.  I vaguely remembered some book blogs mentioning that you can get some books for free in the Kindle store, and the app was free, and….do I really need to repeat what a cheapskate I am?  Lol.

So I figured where am I most likely to read on my iTouch?  That’s easy.  On the bus when I can’t sit, need to hold on with one hand, and getting a book out of my bag is difficult.  What would I like to read on the bus but am embarrassed to?  Romance novels.  So I found a free romance novel and downloaded it.  The nice thing about the Kindle app, the main thing that made me start to relax into reading with it, is that the backlighting never fades.  I’m not so caught up in beating the fading light that I’m incapable of getting lost in the story.  So that was going fairly well, although I was still choosing to read my print book over the eBook whenever it was possible.

Then a certain book was released.  A book in a trilogy that is honestly a guilty pleasure for me.  (I’ll leave the reasonings for that for when I review the book next week).  I had decided I wasn’t going to buy the book; I’d just read spoilers and be happy with that.  But then the day of the release, I was getting frustrated at the complete lack of spoilers on the internet and while watching tv browsed to the Amazon store on my iTouch, and before I knew it, I’d bought the book.  I didn’t feel bad about the price, because it was less than the price of a movie ticket, and I view guilty pleasure reads a lot like going to the movies.  It’s brief entertainment, and I don’t need to hold onto it.  Let it entertain me for a bit, and in most cases, I won’t ever come back to it (my dvd collection is very, very small).

I was still skeptical about my desire to read on the small electronic screen of my iTouch, but I figured worst case scenario I’d skim for the spoilers and read it in print when the hoopla settles down.  I started reading it when standing on the bus in the morning, got a seat, and found myself wanting to keep reading on my iTouch over my print book.  And then on lunch break I decided I’d rather see what happened in that story than in the one I’m reading in print and discovered how much easier it is to eat and read when you can just set the book down and the pages don’t close on you.  Whoa.  Then I found myself sitting on my couch reading the iTouch.  Then last night in bed I suddenly realized I could turn out all the lights and still see to read because my book was lighting itself up. Whoa.

You guys….I have to admit….I like it.  Now that’s not to say I don’t have my issues with it.  For instance, nice as it is to read in the dark, sunny locations fade the screen so much that it’s sometimes nearly impossible to read.  I also don’t like the thought of the battery maybe running out.  (I may have obsessively recharged my iTouch yesterday.  *looks askance*)  I also don’t like how very small the iTouch screen is.  I also would never ever want an electronic device just for reading.  Part of the convenience on transit is having my music, videogames, and book all in one item.  Having something like a Kindle or a Nook seems rather pointless to me.  It’s one more device to carry.  So what has a larger screen but does all that?  The iPad.  I think the iPad still has issues.  Like I personally think it’s too big and too thick, (that’s what she said) but I think the next generation is going to solve those problems.  So…yeah, I see myself doing some electronic reading in the future.  But never on a device meant just for reading.  I also only see the value in it for guilty pleasure reads.  It works for me because of the way I read guilty pleasures.  I read quickly, sometimes skimming, because the story is all about the excitement or the hilarity.  It’s not about the deep thought.  I can’t see me reading a book that changes my life on an electronic device.  That just rings false to me.  But reading a story that’s about consuming it once kind of like buying movie popcorn for the pure pleasure of chowing down the greasy, salty deliciousness?  That makes sense to me.  So that’s the role I see eBooks taking in my life.  The reading equivalent of movie popcorn, and who doesn’t like movie popcorn every once in a while?

The Electronic vs. Print Books Debate

December 16, 2009 8 comments

The eBook debate has been fairly consistently humming in my virtual world of librarians–twitter, GoogleReader, listserves, etc…  Frankly I’m starting to wonder at the vitriol being spewed by both sides of the debate.

We have the print people who are absolutely certain that the electronic people are out to kill any and all print books leading to some sort of Big Brother society where The Man can delete our censor our books whenever he sees fit.

Then we have the electronic people who firmly believe print books are horrible for the environment and anyone who wants to still read them is a backwards, ancient person trying to hold society back.

Um, people, what planet are you living on?

I really believe the eBook vs. print book situation, if allowed to naturally play out, will lead to a world where print and electronic books coexist gracefully.  A world where some people will still prefer print books in most cases but electronic books in others, and other people will prefer electronic books in some cases but print books in others.  Consumers as a group are actually far more flexible than anyone is giving them credit for.  Sure, there’ll be the die-hard hold-outs who will refuse to read anything not in print, and there will be the obsessive electronic fans who will refuse to read anything not on a screen, but in between these two extremes are everybody else.  From what I have seen, people choose which option is best for the situation.  Most people I know have a few books in each format, depending on what they need them for.  Consumers aren’t busy spewing vitriol at each other.  They’re busy saying “Well, I want this genre book on my iTouch for my commute, and this nonfiction book in print so I can write my thoughts in it as I go reading it in the evening.”

The reason for all the angry commentary is plain and simple: fear.  People are afraid of change.  Booksellers are afraid their stores will become obsolete or at least  not profitable anymore if people are downloading their books.  Electronic vendors are afraid the print folks will shout them down before they ever even get a chance.  Then there’s the snobs who think their way is always the best way and are afraid of anything else.

Well, you know what?  I doubt either scenario will happen.  I see a future where booksellers have print books and stations where people can download new electronic books to their reader, and possibly even charge their reader for a small fee.  I see a future where people still have a bookshelf of beloved print books, but also a charging station for their eReader.  I see a future (hell, I’m already living this) where morning commutes feature people reading on eReaders and reading print books they own and reading library books and listening to audiobooks.

So, really, people, calm down and just let the change happen.  It’s not going to kill anyone or anything.