In which I become a young adult for a week

little_brother.jpgcathys_key.jpgSo I picked up Little Brother and Cathy’s Key last week. I guess this is where I get to be a Young Adult for a little while. I have to admit to being a little sheepish at shopping in the Young Adult section of the store. I started reading Little Brother, and even at my glacially slow reading rate, am about halfway through.

The book itself is quite scary in a psychological what-if way. If I had to use one word to describe it so far, it would be “claustrophobic.” It starts with some teenage friends living in San Francisco when a terrorist attack occurs. The Department of Fatherland Homeland Security swoops in and pretty much turns the city into a military state indefinitely, constantly chiseling away at people’s liberties–and not in an exaggerated way, either, but in a realistic step-by-step frog-in-boiling-water fashion. The teen and friends start doing things to subvert the system. The most scary thing about the book is that it is all quite possible. The DHS stuff is totally believable. The stuff the kids do is perfectly accurate given current technology (heck, the character even has an Instructables account with the projects.) Well, technically accurate (from what I’ve read so far), except for the remote writing of RFID chips. The fictitious version of Linux described in the book is becoming reality (ParanoidLinux.) The whole thing just solidifies more and more in my mind how much of a genius and luminary Cory Doctorow is.

Today was a lovely day. In fact, the wonderful weather stretched well into the evening. I pulled out a camp chair, and made myself a not-mint-julip [more information further down], and finished off another few chapters in the front lawn. I have to say that I have a love/hate relationship with the neighbor Siamese cat. He’s cute and friendly and lovable. He’s chatty. He’s also pushy and prissy and selfish. He thinks he owns you. He’s actually scared off some of the other neighborhood cats, in an attempt to horde the attention. (Fortunately, they’re starting to take a stand and fight back.) He jumped up on my lap and constantly fought the book for attention.

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Oh, the not-a-mint-julip? I invented it over the weekend when I wanted a mint julip, but did not want the hammered-ness that comes with the four shots that typically comprise one. I swapped out three of the shots for about an equal amount of filler:

* Put 8-10 mint leaves in the bottom of a lowball/old-fashioned glass
* Add 1 tsp simple syrup[1] (or 2-3 tsp, if you’re Kim)
* Muddle it
* Add 3-4 ice cubes
* Add 1oz Maker’s Mark
* Add ~3oz of club soda
* Garnish with a mint sprig
* Enjoy

[1] Simple syrup, in case you do not already know: boil 1 cup water, remove from heat, add 2 cups sugar, stir until dissolved, let cool completely. Can be refrigerated in a clean glass jar.

Posted in: Books Dear Diary Portland

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