When in Rome, Howl

Night of the Wolf by Alice BorchardtNight of the Wolf

Alice Borchardt

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
While I recall the first of this series thrilling me with its Roman historicity and intrigue, I am left wondering if I enjoyed it so much because it was several years ago and my reading tastes were not nearly as refined, nor my sense of literary excellence so sharply honed. Borchardt really shares quite a lot with her sister Anne Rice in regards to style, meaning she tends toward the overwrought and over done. I wanted more from her characters, was rather bored with the usage of Caesar as a character and the plotting surrounding him, and felt like the historical detailing of food distracted from the flow of the novel – especially as I flipped through my unabridged Oxford dictionary to find out what piece of a pig’s lower intestine they were consuming.

The wolfish perspective provided by Maeniel, the dark gray eyes of innocence who transitions from wolf to man, was the most fascinating part of the novel, something I enjoyed because urban fantasy written now is almost entirely built upon humans becoming wolves and not the other way around, something I’ve always felt was lacking. The potential for using that perspective as a commentary on our world is vast, but unfortunately, Borchardt did so only shallowly.

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Summer Knight by Jim ButcherSummer Knight

Jim Butcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Faeries and politicking. Who knew it could be so much fun to watch Harry Dresden squirm! Oh wait, that is one of the reasons I keep coming back to this wonderful series. In this fourth installment of how-will-Harry-be-royally(literally)-screwed, he has the White Council with the Sword of Damocles (or Morgan with his axe to grind) on one side, Queen Mab of the icy britches Winter Court on another, and a gang load of hired thugs and nasty types elsewhere trying to off him. Oh, and his dead flame who tried to kill him is back too. What choice a poor wizard to make for his demise? Even with this doom and gloom storm cloud brewing with a little Faerie magic on a big stone table, Harry battles the good battle, plays the heroic man with a big staff, wears his spiffy coat, and keeps a snarky head above the insanity, even while said head is spinning none too slowly over his unlucky fate. I sort of really wanted to hug Mr. Butcher after finishing this novel. View all my verbose reviews >>

Fool Moon by Jim ButcherFool Moon

Jim Butcher

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
About four years ago, I was acquainted with a certain “Wizard for Hire” by the name of Harry Dresden. I recall being entertained but not compelled to continue the association. However, several trusted sources promised me Mr. Dresden is of pukka character, the real deal, not prone to charlatan-esque fripperies and obfuscations. Finally circumventing my innate resistance, the second meeting between Mr. Dresden and I was arranged, and an intriguing dynamic arose. I discovered that I actually like Mr. Dresden; his foibles and peccadillos make him less a figure of mystic adumbration and more of an associate with whom to take tea and discuss the recent spate of brummagem love potions flooding the magical marketplace. His expertise and interests are varied and vast, his moral certitude and chivalrous demeanor endearing, his honor and sense of duty admirable. But perhaps his best features: he carries a large staff and makes a leather duster look good.

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Utkatasana - Chair or Fierce PoseAfter at least five years of hearing the call to teach yoga, five years of making excuses and allowing other things to cull my time, five years of resisting what I craved, I started yoga teacher training with Shiva Rea at Exhale in Venice, CA.  Saying I chose to make this the time to engage this stage of growth would be to snare unlawful credit to myself – the Universe gave me an almighty push.  After being laid off and debating my next steps, Shiva’s impending training modules came before me…and I leapt.  I made the financial implications matter very little in comparison to the creativity and energy that choice brought to me – even before the first class began.  The credit card is rather unhappy, but it cannot account for the waves of joy and excitement that proffer fuel to this process.

The surge of energy within this very beginning stage of engaging with these guides and myself has been truly remarkable.  More responses and reflections to follow as I plummet with a massive grin flapping comically in the wind…

On the Fence

photo by Austin Zahn of AZahn Photography and Videography

photo by Austin Zahn of AZahn Photography and Videography

As I engage the start of my yoga teacher certification, I strive to recall the need for balance within my space, my work, my attention, and mayhap most demanding: myself.

May this balance resonate and permutate through the next two weeks and one day; may I be engaged in this performance of physical, social, mental, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual even-standing.

When I start to dwell on the not perfect falling short of ninety degree bend in my knee, may I balance that with joy that I can bend at all – atop a fence!



This Kangaroo Life

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My life is besotted with negativity and anti-climatic moments.

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My life is faltering in edification; I am stultifying.

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The ravages of this life weigh heavily upon my mind.

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The heavy mantle of responsibility smothers me.

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Somebody give me a cigarette.

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Just let me sleep, or put me out of my misery.


Sounds pretty stupid coming from a kangaroo, right?

How do you think he feels when we say stuff like this?

Take a leap.  Take a bounce.  LA Zoo May '09 (29)Take a cathartic yogi kangaroo squat.