Category Archives: Books

Counter Intelligence – the map

Just a quick note. I finally got sick of flipping through the book (Counter Intelligence) looking for a listing that is in the area I am visiting. You would think in the index, there would be a listing by area…nope. A ton of places waiting for foodies to explore listed alphabetically and by cuisine. (sigh) I mean, if you were already familiar with the places (and thus can remember their names and locations) you wouldn’t really need the book…right?

Basta! I stopped griping about it and decided to make a google map. It’s still a work in progress…and I am only up to the C’s. But in case you want to help out or enjoy the A-B listings, please feel free. The markers are color coded by large groupings of cuisine.

My Counter Intelligence map.


Prioritization – the secret key

The latest book I have been reading is ‘The 4 Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferris. As with all books, I find that if you can dig out that one piece of advise that applies to you and enables you to improve your life, then the book wasn’t a complete waste of time and money. I have read a lot of management, self-help, financial advise and work improvement type books. There seems to be one central theme that every book eventually pulls out. PRIORITIZATION.

Usually it involves figuring out your goals… and then you prioritize accordingly. As a career project manager, this is my main task. I prioritize and then I re prioritize (for myself, for the project and sometimes for other people who obviously do not understand the concept and have not read the many books that I have)

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Los Angeles Central Library – Worth a visit

chandeliers in tom bradley wing
Originally uploaded by jimw.

As it turns out, I had 5 hours to kill while waiting for my Canadian visa approval. I decided to visit the LA Central Library … if nothing else it provides me with a place to sit, browse some books, plug-in my laptop and get some work done. I was in for a very pleasant surprise.

Working in the web industry, I have not physically visited a library since my school days (when you HAD to) or even thought of going to the library. As it turns out, the library is a great showcase of architecture, local art and has this tremendous sense of place and history that I didn’t know I missed. There is something sacred about walking into a place with so much history, symbolism and scale that simply cannot be compared to sitting in your underwear browsing wikipedia.

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A night of Harry Potter

Harry Potter releaseAt last the long awaited date of the final Harry Potter installment is here! How will it end? Will harry die? Is Snape a traitor? Did Dumbledore really die? WHO WILL DIE? (Someone always dies) What better way to celebrate the arrival of all the answers that have been tormenting us (ok…well me) than with a late night installment of the latest movie followed by a leisurely stroll to watch the midnight festivities at the latest Barnes and Nobles.

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Poop Culture

invite_meth_art_for_web.jpgTuesday was the release party of the book “Poop Culture: How America is Shaped By Its Grossest National Product” by Dave Praeger at the Galapagos Art Space in Williamsburg. The night was filled with all things poop including a poop inspired installation by Joe Fattorini who has always amazed me with the sheer amounts and wierdness of the ‘stuff’ he collects(scavenges) in his various homes and work spaces. I am glad that his unbridled creativity finally found an appreciative outlet and audience that is a perfect match.

One thing I have to say about a night of poop stories. When the comedians are funny, you can’t stop laughing….and when they are not, you just keep wishing it would end and the night seems indeed extremely long (no matter the amount of beers you have in you)

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Taking a break from my Darkover novels

After a month of reading nothing but the fantasy Darkover novels, I decided to put them down and take a break. I am sure I will eventually track down the ones that I am still missing (WorldWreckers, Darkover Landfall, The Heirs of Hammerfeld ….) but I realized that the names were starting to blend into each other and I was just flipping the pages and skimming them just so I can get to the end.

links_book01.jpgSo I picked up “A Million Little Pieces” by James Frey which has been sitting on the bookshelf for quite some while. Its been 4 or 5 days and I just can’t put the book down. It often has me on the verge of tears (which looks rather strange when you are sitting on a subway) and once again I find myself skimming pages so I can get to the end and find out what happens next.

I am aware of the controversy around the book. He lied , its all lies (well not all of it but perhaps alot of it) But despite all that, I find it to be a great book. I have wondered about what goes on in an addict’s mind. Why do they do the things they do regardless of all that they have to lose. Logically I understand that they can’t help themselves and its a ‘disease’ that drives them…but truthfully? I don’t understand it at all. I can’t even come close to understanding how someone can lose everything…lose absolutely everything and everyone to chase ‘that ultimate high.’ This book comes as close as i have been to understanding how and why. And I think that is an accomplishment that is no small thng. To communicate so clearly what it must feel like to be a recovering addict is an admirable feat in itself.

So even if James frey is not a Criminal, so even if he is not as big an Addict as he makes himself out to be, I’m glad he wrote that book. I wonder how addicts or recovering addicts respond to his book? (Not the ‘REAL’ authors who call the book  drivel and sh#t) I wonder if they feel that they have found a friend or perhaps they feel like he said he did when a big rockstar got on stage at Hazeldon and lied about how much drugs he did?

I suppose I shall have to hunt down his other two books and figure out if he just got lucky, is a one book wonder and if there really is anything to James Frey. Perhaps I am just a sentimental woman and should go back to reading feminist fantasy/sci-fi novels.