The Devil You Know – 1/14 in 14

I am happy to report that I have finished reading my first book of 2014!

The book in question is The Devil You Know by Mike Carey. It is the first novel in his Felix Castor series. Click here to view it on Amazon.

I decided to read this novel because my husband, DJ, read the first two in the series over the holidays and he’s currently reading the third (I believe there are four in total). He raved about it and felt very strongly that I would enjoy the series as well.

I was a little nervous about reading one of these sci-fi type series books because the quality of writing is so hit-or-miss out there in the great wide world… I’m afraid I’ve always been a bit of an English snob and quality of writing is very important to me. A good plot will not make up for shitty writing.

I quite enjoyed this novel, though, and found Mike Carey’s writing style to be very satisfactory! Simply put, I was not disappointed. I enjoyed the plot and the way paranormal elements were worked into Felix Castor’s world wasn’t jarring in the slightest. Each new creature or paranormal concept was introduced in such a way to be taken in stride with the story. There was no need to linger on a long, drawn out discussion of what “zombies” are in this world. It was all handled through context and I appreciated that greatly.


14 in 14

We construct our lives around fabricated chunks of time, happily buying into the illusion of a “change” between December 31st and January 1st. A fresh start. A clean slate. A new beginning. Everybody knows that its bullshit. But we need it. We benefit! Striving to be better people, though we usually fail, we have reached further than we may have otherwise.

So, this year I am establishing a legitimate New Year’s resolution. I would like to read 14 books in 2014. If your first instinct is to think “wow, Rachel, that’s not very many books,” then I cordially invite you down from your high horse to join me in my reality for a moment.

I categorize my tasks at work in two ways: monotonous or thoughtful. When working on monotonous tasks like basic development or data entry I can switch myself into auto-drive. I listen to audio books or podcasts or the Moulin Rouge soundtrack without missing a beat of the content, all while efficiently completing my work.

However, when working on thoughtful tasks like user experience diagrams or programming logic, I’m only capable of focusing on the task at hand. If I listen to music with lyrics, I cannot even hear the lyrics. I’ll often listen to classical music or nature sounds (think: thunderstorms and whale songs). Most of my days are filled with these challenging, thoughtful tasks. They are rewarding, but I come home from work brain dead. Doing anything that requires comprehension? I wouldn’t dream of it. I might have only read 2 books in 2013, if even.

This is why 14 books is a big deal for me.


Be Who You Want to Work With

Tomorrow, an AP art class from a nearby high school is coming to the office for a visit. They will take a tour of the office (which is chock full of mismatched art pieces) and then meet with each department to learn about agency life, different member’s roles within our process, and how we got into this industry. Four people from the creative department will talk to the kids: our VP, an art director, a copywriter, and me!

I’m totally nervous but really looking forward to it. I would love to do some kind of teaching in the future and I have taken my own twisted path to get where I am so I feel like I actually have something to say to them. Here’s hoping I don’t screw it up.

It should be a fairly informal conversation but we were given a few things to think about before we meet with the kids; stuff like who we are, what kinds of education helped us, and the technical applications we use.

But the most interesting thing we were asked to ponder before our discussion tomorrow, in my opinion, is What Kind of People You Like to Work With. Considering the type of people we like to work with is the perfect way to reflect on the type of person we should strive to be in the workplace, or just in general!


You have no idea just how lazy I am.

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? Truth is, work is my priority and sometimes when I finally finish it, the last thing I want to do is look at a computer. But I’m having a good week; a damn good week. It’s Tuesday and I’ve gone out to lunch twice. Hey. HEY! That’s a big deal.

This wedding is consuming my life. Not in a good way! I’m fantasizing about all the hobbies I can pursue once it has come and gone. Reading. Writing. Rithmatic. All that shit.

Though I haven’t done much blogging lately, I’ve certainly gotten enough spam comments on my site. 169 to be exact. I could enable Akismet but I’m too lazy. TOO LAZY! Too lazy to even delete the comments.

Let’s see, let’s see. What have I done lately?

We went to a Sci-fi Expo. Billy Boyd AKA Pippin from the Lord of the Rings movies was there. FYI we love those movies and those books and those audiobooks and generally we just love those stories. I could have gotten a photo with him. I could have gotten his autograph. But we were too lazy. TOO. DAMN. LAZY. But come on, it’s just a damn picture. What’s worth more, the picture or my dignity? I wouldn’t have known what to say to the guy. Who am I kidding; I care about the photo more than my dignity, but that’s just how lazy I am! Are you starting to understand the magnitude of this?

What else? The Downton Abbey season finale was pretty earth-shattering.


A blogging kind of Monday

Tonight is a blogging kind of night.

It is Monday. I had a half-day at work because I woke up with a righteous headache and didn’t want to drive. I slept until 10:30 but laid in bed, snuggling with Bruce, until 11:40. Got up, dressed like a slob, and went into work at noon. Only had one meeting, at 3:30. Felt pretty productive, considering. Left early, around 5. Two gin & tonics; DJ made a chicken and brown rice casserole. Le Sueur pees, mushrooms, and jalapenos… mmmm. We watched last night’s episode of Downton Abbey, and I didn’t want it to end.

Now we are cocooned in bed, watching a movie we recorded called Stonehenge Apocolypse. Syfy, duh. Bruce is snoring. The ‘sugar-coated’, large bulbed string lights we stocked up on at Christmas are tinting the darkness.

I have work to do and lots of it. I almost feel as if I have two jobs right now. I have a notebook full of to-dos for our wedding but of course agency work is my priority. I try to finish all of my work as fast as possible to have time for wedding stuff at the end of the day, but it doesn’t seem to happen as easily as that.

I’m tired and useless at the end of the day. Pull an all-nighter? Never in my life have I pulled an all-nighter and never will I. This is on a different tangent but, seriously, all-nighters are completely unnecessary. Work on proper time management & planning and you’ll get 8 hours of sleep every night, baby! Just sayin’. If you’re interested in that sort of this, I mean.

My point is, I should be working on wedding stuff. But tonight is a blogging kind of night.