The Week in Review: October 27th, 2013

Tattered Cover: Malinda Lo

My mysterious thing from last week? Oh, you know, just hosting Malinda Lo’s author event at the store. (I talked someone into letting me do it because Malinda Lo is awesome.) While the fact I was wearing my favorite Elementary-inspired outfit was dampened by being trapped in eight circles of traffic hell (who schedules a marathon that goes in a circle around my place of work?), it went quite smoothly and I met some very awesome people. I finished Let’s Talk About Love this week, and am powering through Mira Grant’s Parasite.

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The Sunday Salon: An Introduction to Star Trek: The Original Series

As you may have noticed, I like Star Trek. After Star Trek Into Darkness proved to me that J. J. Abrams is not interested in furthering Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a utopian future, I hurled myself into the original films. While I’d enjoyed the original series, I adored the movies, probably because I have a proven weakness when it comes to chosen families, people who should probably be retired, and bickering that is in fact love. This has led to me embarking on a project to watch the entire franchise (sans the Abrams-verse). This will, undoubtedly, take years. I’m at the beginning of Star Trek: The Next Generation at the moment. However, as I complete the various series, I will be posting introductions to each highlighting gateway episodes for the curious, those who want to brush up on their pop cultural literacy, and any other takers.

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The Sunday Salon: The End of Summer

Fall might officially start on September 22nd and it might be in the nineties in Denver (sidebar: dry heat is worse than humidity, I have been lied to), but once I sight the end of August on my chronological horizon, it’s the end of summer. It’s a side affect of Georgia’s academic schedule, which usually starts this week. (Weirdly, I start my new job tomorrow, keeping the tradition alive.)

I’ve always made summer and winter playlists (as spring and fall are laughable concepts in the South), but my summer playlist recently lost its ripeness for me. It was just… too July. I tried making a thematic “Summer Sunset” mix, but that fizzled out at three songs. I’m still going to work on it (when I’m not bawling over my Khan/McGivers fanmix), but I thought I’d share those three songs that scream “the dying embers of the summer sun!” before time got away from me and fall was already here. So imagine yourself on a beach at sunset, your shoulders still on fire from the sun that just dipped below the horizon, conscious that an autumn wind is blowing somewhere.

(“Get Lucky” is not included, because it should be assumed that, when the temperature is a certain degree, it is playing somewhere.)
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The Sunday Salon: A Trick for Online Handles and Usernames

As a disturbingly intense and pretentious preteen during the absolute thick of the Wombat Years, I took my online usernames very seriously. My Neopets username had to communicate how mature and serious I was to everyone who clapped eyes on it. All who enjoyed Flash games and feeding virtual pets would know of my deep, poetic soul! But it communicated only my failed Goth status. (So close and yet so far, young Clare, so close and yet…)

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The Sunday Salon: The Cover Art of Elizabeth Malczynski

So there I was, in the local Goodwill. There’s really no pressing reason for me to ever venture into the Denver suburbs again, so why not? My retail senses were blinking sluggishly off and on, so I went through the whole store in a more expedient version than my usual trawl. (Actual source: a luridly printed blazer that stayed where it was, as I could not figure out how to style it.) Picking through the books (which were wildly organized, which disoriented me completely), I found a copy of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonsinger in exactly the condition I like: a paperback from the seventies with gloriously yellow pages and a brightly illustrated cover. I glanced through the copyright page to find the artist, but only discovered who it was when I scrutinized the the upper right hand corner of the drawing: Elizabeth Malczynski.

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The Sunday Salon: The History of the Renaissance Festival

I attended my first Renaissance Festival in sixth grade. Earlier in the year, my fannish destiny had been revealed to me when I saw The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, but I hadn’t the remotest idea of where to look to pursue those passions. (I didn’t even know Dragon*Con happened every year, a mere hour away from my slice of suburbia, until my sophomore year of high school—the same year I discovered television shows came on weekly. Yeah, it was like that.) When the mother of a friend of mine invited me to join them on their yearly outing to the Georgia Renaissance Festival, my mind was absolutely blown.

Since then, I’ve been attending the Georgia Renaissance Festival regularly. Yesterday, however, I had the opportunity to attend the Colorado Renaissance Festival and compare notes. It was a blast, but it made me realize that I didn’t know how something I do my utmost to go to every year got started. Whoops. Well, the Internet raised me better than that, so let’s correct that gross oversight, shall we?

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The Sunday Salon: The Tattered Cover Book Store

Greetings from Denver, dear readers! I’ve just finished my first week of the Denver Publishing Institute, which has been enlightening, fun, and exhausting. Because the program is only a month, it’s very intense. The first day was the longest; on top of the usual eight hours of class, there was an opening breakfast and an evening visit to the landmark Tattered Cover Book Store. Being an East Coast kid what was raised by French wolves, I’d never heard of it, which is an absolute shame. Here’s a post so that others may not follow in my footsteps. (I mean, you should follow my footsteps to the store. Just not the footsteps where you don’t know about it.)

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The Sunday Salon: Tricolour Macarons

Happy Bastille Day, dear readers! Yes, it is glorious Marianne’s national holiday, commemorating that time we stormed the Bastille and started putting some heads on pikes. (I would have gone for that one time we shot the King of England in the eye, but there’s a reason Clan McBride is not in charge of France’s national holidays.) I’ll be celebrating by watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and bellowing “JEAN-LUC!” every time Picard gets patriotic, but that’s a difficult experience to share. Instead, I thought I’d share with you the most patriotic baked good I can think of: the tricolour macaron.

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The Sunday Salon: Last Call for Google Reader Alternatives

The blogging world has been different since March 14, when Google announced that they were going to retire Google Reader on July 1st. In that post, Google claims that usage has declined since the service was released in 2005. The general idea, apparently, is that people are using social media, Twitter and Facebook in particular, to track blogs instead, making RSS readers the equivalent of a last-generation console, thus the death of Google Reader.

As a blogger who relies heavily on RSS feeds to organize her information output, I was a bit blindsided by the announcement. My response? Ignore it until the last week of June. I jumped ship yesterday, but today’s the last day. With that in mind, I thought I’d share the system I’m now working with and highlight some other alternatives now that Google Reader is dead.

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