Feb. 11th, 2007

alobear: (Default)
I thought today's riding lesson was really good, because we all struggled but we all achieved what we were aiming for (more or less) in the end.

I rode Abbey, a gorgeous rangy bay mare, who I thought was going to be like Madison but turned out not to be. Or rather, she was a bit like Madison, but her incredible willingness to try and do as I asked made all the difference between satisfaction and frustration. She's in no way a difficult horse - it was more as if I felt I wasn't doing her justice as a rider. Dominic said it's difficult to "get the measure of her" and he said he thought I did really well, but there's certainly room for improvement. It felt as if I was slightly out of sync with her but that, if I tried that bit harder, everything would fall into place and be wonderful. I also felt as if the school was too small for her and she didn't have enough space to be comfortable. Dominic confirmed this at the end when he suggested I take her out into the woods one time as she moves a lot better outside.

Still, I got two heavenly canters from her, and an extended session of sitting trot which didn't leave me out of breath at all. I think Abbey could teach me a lot and I'd definitely like to ride her again.
alobear: (Default)
My love affair with Sharon Shinn's books continues with the Samaria series, the first of which is Archangel.

As with the other books of hers that I've read, it has a wonderfully detailed world people by interested and well-drawn characters. The mystery of the god who watches over Samaria is incredibly obvious once you see it, but it wasn't until I'd described the premise to Dave that the answer clicked.

The villain was a little disappointing in being rather too cliched in his approach, but he met a nasty end during the climax so hopefully he'll be replaced by more interesting adversaries in the rest of the series.

I'm assuming that the god mystery is going to play a larger part in later books, as it wasn't really addressed in this first one, which will add an extra dimension to an already fascinating and very engaging story.

Plus, any book that has a black-haired, blue-eyed angel as its hero is bound to be my kind of book!
alobear: (Default)
This is a documentary about the MPAA, it's unnecessarily secretive dealings and its apparently arbitrary ratings system, which seems to have more to do with studio power games than actual film content. Obviously, since it was made by people who are very suspicious of the MPAA, its couched in fairly biased terms, but its entertaining and raises a lot of questions about censorship, the artistic merits of sex and violence, as well as the ins and outs of how and why films are rated in America. Overall, pretty good.

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