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September 2007
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November 2007

Earthquake!

5.6 last night at 8pm, epicenter in San Jose at Alum Rock. It did the rock and roll all the way up past my house - earthquakes travel the faultlines for miles, but it was still part of the Calaveras fault that rocked our office building early afternoon yesterday. Blowing off steam, hopefully, rather than gearing up for the Really Big One. I kept hearing it was "significant" on the news - I think the Richter Scale number and not so much anything else. Which is good, if dull. And dull is good. Even if it did pre-empt part of NCIS.

Too bad my aunt left Monday morning. Missed it by a mere day. Darn.

You know how you hear animals are supposed to sense these things? Hezekiah was grooming herself placidly on the bed before, during and after the quake. She didn't even lift her head. There's a California cat for you. Dscn1215

"Phht. I should look up for that? Where do you think I'm from? Michigan?"

The "rolling" you hear about in an earthquake feels kind of like your car does when the tire goes flat. Everything goes cattywampus for a moment and then it's all over.

I watched one earthquake expert get all excited about the possibility of the  Hayward fault meeting the San Andreas faultline. It would have to trigger off just right, but evidently THAT'S going to be the Big Mama quake, if it happens

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Happy Halloween!


Sightseeing & Housework

Very little knitting. Well, this.Dscn2625_edited_2 Impressive, no? No? Yeah, no. (It's a bolster cover and not, say, a sock for a cast, which is what my aunt guessed.) At least it was mindless and I actually need it.

Not that it's finished, I still have the other endpiece to knit, felt the whole thing (while crossing fingers) and then sew it on because there's no way I'm bothering with a zipper.

There's no progress on any other WIP's - this was about all I could manage during my aunt's visit. Oh! I did take a lovely picture of my house.........See? right there?

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Dscn2610 Dscn2615

Other than traipsing up Mt Diablo, we took the ferry over to the SF Ferry Building which turns out to be basically upscale grocery stores/food court. and had lunch.

Other than cleaning the house, amusing my aunt, driving a kabillion miles yesterday (San Jose airport, partway to Carmel until it was both dark and raining, then back home and crawling back into bed - the one good thing about a 6am flight is that there is very little traffic. The downside is it's hard to see in the pitch black dead of night), getting not much knitting done, not even touching a computer for a couple of days.

I did manage to listen to The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin and then I had to go buy the book. And he's coming out with a new one and is going to be at a couple of bookstores near me! I might go. Audiobooks are great and it was lovely having someone reading to me when my head was splitting but they just don't read fast enough. Who knew a book about a eunuch in 1830's Istanbul would be so darn fascinating? It's a mystery but the characters alone are worth reading the book for. Jason Goodwin also wrote A Time For Tea: Travels in China and India In Search of Tea.

Hey. Either that was an earthquake or a really big truck hit our office building. It was quick though. I'd bet maybe a 3.0. Dscn2621_edited Oh. Only a 2.9. A babybaby one.

Hezekiah says "Let's get crazy with yarn!"


Vacation?

If one takes four vacation days one would expect one of those days to not involve being at the office most of the day, another at the dentist, a few hours taking down an old dismantled couch from the garage "attic" that has evidently supported the mouse population for the last kabillion years, hauling stuff around, being relegated to the bedroom so that the carpets could dry and dropping what could have paid for a decent vacation package dollar amount on car maintenance and dentistry.

At least I didn't expect it. I expected to read, knit, run up to Portland and visit Powell's, the LYS and oh yeah, Susie Q. I don't know why I thought that would actually happen.

OTOH, the house is clean, there's a ton of useless stuff that's gone to a presumably better place (via GotJunk), I did knit more on the Hugs for Snicker's Scarf Mmip_523 - although I probably should have meaured it because I was pretty much going under the assumption that two skeins would be the first 36 inches and the other two would be the second half and so far I've used about a skein and a half and have 52 inches - gauge? What is this gauge you speak of? So mine isn't going to have kitty faces & pawprints facing up when it's worn, but I can live with that.

I also started this, Mmip_525 yes, it's blurry but since it's basically a tube of stockinette, it's almost better blurry. Boring. I "customized" my reader's pillow - the bolster was just way too high for comfort and it needed a new pillowcase. One day I'll finish the Curve of Pursuit so it won't be all alone.

And, for not apparent reason at all, did you know that there's 67 days until Christmas, counting today AND Christmas?

Oh, and drop by Dewey's blog The Hidden Side of The Leaf to cheer on the readers for the Read-a-Thon today. 


Deadline Monday

I finished the Endpaper Mitts! Once I weave in the ends, I'll post a pic. So pretty. I was a little panicked about having enough yarn, and if I'd made two medium sized ones, it would have been close, but enough. As it turns out, the small was really the right size for me. Mind you, I have one medium and one small but it's not that glaring a difference and definitely not enough to redo. They're so pretty!

Remind me. Use smaller needles when working ribbing. Why is that so impossible for me to get through my skull?

The Hugs for Snickers scarf is getting a wee bit longer, I've knit nothing on the Curve of Pursuit, Mary Tudor, or Lace Edged Elegance aka Golden Gate, but hey. Deadline today. It's been all about nothing, nothing nothing and then WORK! No pictures today either, it's all panic and then I'm out of here for the week.

I wish I'd gotten a picture of the sight I saw yesterday on the way home from work! I was sitting at a stoplight in a half commercial/half apartment area noticing your average semi gangster big pants long t-shirt looking guy crossing the street in front of me taking a long look at a nondescript down-at-the-heels looking guy walking on the sidewalk. The guy looked......well, nondescript. I'd say hard up, but that seems to be the fashion. (I'm not crazy about the big pants long T-shirt look either.) I mean, clearly nothing that Long T-shirt would register normally. So I take a long look at nondescript down-at-the-heels guy and think that maybe he's holding something. A puppy? Is the guy a creepy predator? A stack of letters? Is he a misunderstood soul?

It finally dawns on me that yeah, he's holding something and that something is wrapped around his neck too. Something like this. Boa_constrictor

And naturally, not only do I not have my camera with me, by the time I remember my iPhone has a camera, the light is green and the traffic is making me move and I miss my shot. Bummer, but hopefully I won't see that again. Yes. I admit it, I'm afraid of snakes. I'm afraid of small harmless garter snakes (suuuuure they are. This is rattlenake country), so imagine my fear of big huge ginormous maneating snakes.

TV TALK: I hope everyone is watching Brothers & Sisters Sunday nights. It's a little suspect that every single one of them is having relationship problems (well, not Kitty and Rob Lowe). Oh and (WARNING: SPOILER discussion of last night's show) what kind of plan is it to save your marriage to go home and live with your parents, particularly when your father clearly thinks your husband is not the best you can do? Taking your one brand new surviving twin with you. It did crack me up when Sloan offered to spot him three strokes if he wrapped the 9 Iron around his father in law's neck.

Tonight: Chuck, Heroes and Journeyman. Heroes didn't even get a "what's happpening" blurb in our "TV Guide". For the record, I hate the new TV "Guides". Five different grids for different time periods, most of the shows labeled "various" - like I need a "guide" to tell me there'll be various programs on TV - it's pretty much a given. Grrr.

On Journeyman, it looks like Dan gets braced by both Katie and Maybe Not Dead Fiancee tonight. (Have you noticed I'm having the worst time remembering names this season?) Funny, the one thing that almost put me off the show completely is what I'm finding the most compelling.

No Bones or House tomorrow night so it's all about NCIS, The Reaper and Damages. FX is running a marathon of Damages on Saturday- 12 episodes if anyone wants to catch up.

The Women's Murder Club last Friday night was a little disappointing. In fact, I watched Friday Night Lights which SHHHH! is not half bad. Naturally last week was the lowest ratings its ever had. Joy.

Thursday night I have got to watch Viva Laughlin (CBS). It's up against Law & Order Criminal Intent (USA) at 10pm, but I have a feeling it's not going to be a conflict for long but I'll probably love the dumb thing.

Knit Bits: I'm having massive desires to cast on the Spanish Knight and Medieval Tapestry (both out of Jade Starmore's A Collector's Item book.) Naturally I have nothing in my stash. Also? I have WIP's! WIP's that are reasonably close to being done if I'd work on them.


Books & Yarn & TV. The Usual Melange

Bold the titles you’ve read. Italicize the titles you own but haven’t read. Strike out the ones you couldn't finish/stand.  Put an * next to the books you've read more than once.

  1. The God of Small Things
  2. A People’s History of the United States: 1492-present
  3. Cryptonomicon
  4. Neverwhere
  5. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
  6. Anna Karenina
  7. Crime and Punishment
  8. Catch-22 (I think I might've read this. Honestly, I'm not sure.)
  9. One Hundred Years of Solitude
  10. Wuthering Heights*
  11. The Silmarillion
  12. Life of Pi
  13. The Name of the Rose
  14. Don Quixote
  15. Moby Dick (I read it all right, but I hated it. Hated, hated, hated. It's right up there with The Old Man and the Freaking Sea)
  16. Ulysses
  17. The Odyssey
  18. Pride and Prejudice* (read it originally in High School, hated it. Read it after the Colin Firth movie, loved it. Reread it after the Keira Knightly movie and by gum, they did follow it pretty closely.)
  19. Jane Eyre*
  20. A Tale of Two Cities
  21. The Brothers Karamazov
  22. Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
  23. War and Peace
  24. Vanity Fair
  25. The Time Traveler’s Wife
  26. The Iliad
  27. Emma
  28. The Blind Assassin
  29. The Kite Runner
  30. Mrs. Dalloway
  31. Great Expectations
  32. American Gods
  33. Atlas Shrugged
  34. Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
  35. Memoirs of a Geisha
  36. Middlesex
  37. Quicksilver
  38. Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West (Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister was better)
  39. The Canterbury Tales (I read it in the old English not realizing that it came in a translated version. Oh well.)
  40. The Historian
  41. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  42. Love in the Time of Cholera
  43. Brave New World
  44. The Fountainhead
  45. Foucault’s Pendulum
  46. Middlemarch
  47. Frankenstein
  48. The Count of Monte Cristo*
  49. Dracula
  50. A Clockwork Orange (I want to read this, I really do, but it's just so depressing. My paperback copy is even conveniently translated for me.)
  51. Anansi Boys
  52. The Once and Future King
  53. The Grapes of Wrath
  54. The Poisonwood Bible Didn't finish it, due back at library. Will one of these days. Not my favorite Barbara Kingsolver book though.
  55. 1984
  56. Angels & Demons
  57. The Inferno (I never have read the whole thing.)
  58. The Satanic Verses
  59. Sense and Sensibility
  60. The Picture of Dorian Gray
  61. Mansfield Park
  62. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  63. To the Lighthouse
  64. Tess of the D’Urbervilles (Tess was a tedious heroine).
  65. Oliver Twist
  66. Gulliver’s Travels
  67. Les Misérables
  68. The Corrections
  69. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
  70. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  71. Dune
  72. The Prince
  73. The Sound and the Fury
  74. Angela’s Ashes
  75. A Confederacy of Dunces (I've tried to read this book several times, it's been recommended to me by many people whose taste I trust, but I just can't get into it. Maybe I'm expecting too much?)
  76. A Short History of Nearly Everything (this isn't on my TBR shelves. Hmm. I wonder why not?)
  77. Dubliners
  78. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  79. Beloved
  80. Slaughterhouse-Five
  81. The Scarlet Letter
  82. Eats, Shoots & Leaves
  83. The Mists of Avalon
  84. Oryx and Crake
  85. Collapse : How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
  86. Cloud Atlas
  87. The Confusion
  88. Lolita
  89. Persuasion
  90. Northanger Abbey (I enjoyed this Austen particularly after reading Mysteries of Udolpho, since it's a spoof on that book/genre)
  91. The Catcher in the Rye (Holden Caulfield is a twerp. I might have been too old when I read it to appreciate him.)
  92. On the Road (Another twerp. Men.)
  93. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  94. Freakonomics: a Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything ( I STILL haven't read this!)
  95. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an Inquiry into Values
  96. The Aeneid
  97. Watership Down
  98. Gravity’s Rainbow (I've never even heard of this book)
  99. The Hobbit
  100. White Teeth
  101. Treasure Island
  102. David Copperfield
  103. The Three Musketeers*

Hmm. There were supposedly 106 on this list. I wonder which 3 were inadvertently dropped?

Knitting! Blog_pix_699_edited

This is my Hugs For Snickers scarf so far - I had to knit it in gray because of Sheba & Hezekiah but at least I didn't get the dark gray - the cable detailing wouldn't show up at all. Pretty, yes? The Cascade 220 is surprisingly soft too.

Look Marina! Blog_pix_695_edited

Jamiesons! What, you were thinking it might by Mary Tudor? ;) Maybe next week. The Yarn Boutique (one of my LYS) has started to stock it. These are earmarked for Latvian Mittens & scarves, mostly.

I've decided to knit willy-nilly on whatever I want when I want, which is not so surprisingly close to what I do anyway. Just stop me from joining any more KAL's in 2008 because that seems to be the kiss of death of a project- more so than the pattern sleeves taunting mocking, well, never mind. I'll sort out the blame later. (Yarn. Pattern. Designer. Cat. Possibly operator error.)

As for TV - watch Friday Night Light's tonight at 9pm on NBC if only to keep Chuck & Elspeth happy, although I'm going to be checking out The Women's Murder Club on ABC w/Angie Harmon. Stargate Atlantis is on at 10pm and they'll have to go a long way to lose me, but considering they've killed off Carson, brought back the Replicators and Sam is going to Atlantis and not Daniel, they might be working on it. As long as the O'ri don't show up, I can deal. I think.

So far my TV schedule includes: Brothers & Sisters on Sunday nights. Journeyman  on Mondays (I'm watching Heroes, but I'll be a lot happier when the set up is done and the action starts. Suspense has the opposite effect I think it's intended to have on me. It's supposed to pique interest but it makes me not care.) Tuesdays is Bones and NCIS and House and The Reaper (even if I have not technically watched a single episode of it. Yet.), Wednesday is The Bionic Woman (Katee Sackhoff really better be a regular) and CSI NY and Thursday is 30 Rock and Law & Order CI.

I wish Law & Order: The Original would come back on. It's not even scheduled to premiere until 2008.

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Hezekiah says; "I wanted to be a housecat? I did not. Let me out! I'm a wild creature of the night! Well, okay. Treats and three fourths of the bed? Sold."


Talky Tuesday

I was tagged for the Seven Weird Things by Mistress Stash Enhancer. Argh.

What Carnival Ride Are You? Shamelessly stolen from  - Knitting in the Shadows 

You Are a Roller Coaster
You live for excitement, adventure, and the most intense of thrills.
Nothing is better than feeling you're truly alive, and you're willing to take risks to feel this way.
In relationships, people often feel a bit nervous about what they're getting into...
But generally, everyone enjoys the wild ride you take them on. Unless they stay with you too long - then they're apt to feel a bit nauseous!

Your life has more low points and high points than most people's lives.
But that's okay - you love them. You figure that a smooth ride is boring!
Besides, you know that super high highs only come from knowing super low lows.
You cherish every emotion you feel and feel it fully. Why deny what life is truly about?

At your best, you are loving life and sharing your wild times with everyone you know.
You are able to open your friends up to a whole new world of experiences.
At your worst, you feel extremely disoriented and even a bit dizzy.
There's only so much intensity a human (even you!) can take.

Hey. There is nothing wrong with boredom. I desperately wanted to be bored at one point (or two or three in my life). But roller coasters are my favorite ride.

I'm still working on the Endpaper Mitts. I've got nine whole rows of patterning to go! Hopefully the black yarn will hold out, but I dunno. I'm just really sick of knitting them but they're coming out so prettily. I still want to knit a Hug For Snickers! And work on Mary Tudor and the Latvian mittens and Lace Edged Elegance aka Golden Gate and Mountain Stream Scarf and Mermaid (not until November) and...whoops, a couple of things that cannot be named. Not that they'll be done by Christmas, but I still have hope at this point in time.

Mostly I spent my weekend getting ready for my High School reunion (shopping, chopping my hair off, dithering and obsessing) only to ditch it at the last minute. I did go out for brunch the next day w/friends that came in for it. I went to the last reunion. It wasn't that exciting and blasting music you can't hear over isn't my idea of a great way to catch up with old friends which is ironic because the only reason I was toying with going in the first place is because I knew the band.

TV Talk: Is it me, or is Heroes really kind of dull? Even Sylar didn't spice it up much, and it's probably part of Clare's "disguise" but I hate her hair back like that. So far, my favorite new shows are Journeyman and The Bionic Woman. At least tonight I finally get to check out The Reaper.

On Thursday's Law & Order Criminal Intent, Mike Logan gets a new partner (while his old one is on maternity leave), Alicia Witt from Cybil. Now that looks like a fun pairing.


One Long Winded Post. Again.

Endpaper Mitts Bellamoden's hand dyed yarn (Eunny's Endpaper Mitts pattern). That's not really a ladder up the middle, it's actually the purled side seam. Weird angle.

Endpaper Mitts Here is weird lighting to offset the other picture. Gah.

Meme stolen from Book Chase, originated w/Kimbooktu.

  • 1. Hardcover or paperback, and why? Both. Hardback to keep, paperback to lug around.
  • 2. If I were to own a book shop, I would call it... Go Away, I'm Trying to Read. Own a bookshop? Then I'd have to do bookkeeping and ordering and keeping customers happy......although I have always wanted to own a combo bookstore, bar and yarn shop.
  • 3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is...tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day. To the last syllable of recorded time.... (looking up and lifting the full quote)
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death.  Out, out, brief candle!
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more; it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.
    MacBeth. I love MacBeth. Eminently quotable.
  • 4. The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be...Alice Starmore. No wait. Wrong author. Alison Weir.
  • 5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be...the biggest anthology I could find.
  • 6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that...would hold my book open, turn the page, keep the right amount of light on it - basically I need a robot slave.
  • 7. The smell of an old book reminds me of...Heaven. I mean used bookstores. Same thing.
  • 8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be...One book? So limiting. I'm the lead character in ALL of them. I think that's why reading is so addicting.
  • 9. The most overestimated book of all times is...The Da Vinci Code? Jonathan Livingston Seagull? Anything overhyped.
  • 10. I hate it when a book...is about serial killers targeting woman (a current favorite plotline it seems like) or gets really sappy or preachy.

I'm supposed to tag five other bloggers for this meme but it has really made the rounds, hasn't it? I tag Elspeth anyway, Alum Creek, hand eye crafts, Knitting in the North and On the Needles.

Shockingly, I managed to read 5 books in September, even if it did take me something like 3 weeks to finish Coyote Dreams. I do like CE Murphy's Joanne Walker series but that migraine made it hard to read and I mostly just wanted to shake her most of the book. Also read:

  • Little Ice Age by Brian Fagan. Interesting and informative. Oddly enough, data they didn't expect to be able to confirm for decades in 2000 (when the book was written) seems to be cold irrefutable fact nowadays. Not that I doubt the possibility of global warming or another ice age but the certainty it's being presented in.
  • Secondhand Smoke by Karin Olson - I liked Annie so much better the second time out. She's prickly but smart, that one. Not to mention a guy who looks like Frank Sinatra? Swoon. (reviewed by Musings of a Bookish Kitty)
  • Winter Moon, anthology by Mercedes Lackey, Tanith Lee and CE Murphy (great backstory on Joanne's mother. Book 1.5 of the series)
  • The Possiblity of an Island by Michel Houllebecq, a book that had a fascinating premise but I just couldn't take the female bashing under my current pathetic circumstances and the library wanted it back for the next hold, so it's a DNF for now, but one of these days. (reviewed on Dewey's site) Edited: Whoops, Dewey is right. Kookiejar reviewed it. Sorry Kookiejar!)
  • Thunderbird Falls and Coyote Dreams by CE Murphy. Books Two & Three of Joanne Walker aka Siobhan Walkingstick. (reviewed by Stumbling Over Chaos).

Equally shockingly, the Non Fiction Five Challenge that Joy hosted ended yesterday and I actually read more than the five the challenge......uh, challenged.

  1. A New World: An Epic of Colonial America From the Founding of Jamestown to the Fall of Quebec by Arthur Quinn. - fascinating look at often forgotten historical moments. The Acadians for one.
  2. Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell - quirky obsession with dead presidents. Great travel guide.
  3. The Unicorn's Secret: Murder in the Age of Aquarius by Steven Levy - the 60's had its share of charismatic wingnuts. The story of Ira Einhorn.
  4. Richard the Third by Paul Murral Kendall - the version of what I prefer the life of Richard III to have been.
  5. The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir - more likely.
  6. How to Read a Novel by John Sutherland - the man loves his novels. He made me appreciate them again, I'd been reading non fiction fairly steadily for some time.
  7. Little Ice Age by Brian Fagan - (see above review)
  • What was the best book you read in this challenge? The best? I enjoyed all of them, although Alison Weir's more up to date scholarship on Richard III dashed my Richard III high from PMK's book.
  • What book could you have done without? Which one do I regret reading? None of them. Which one did I need to go on? None of them.
  • Did you try out a new author? Yes. If so, which one, and will you be reading that author again? All but Alison Weir were new to me and sure, I'd read them again. Steven Levy has an interesting looking book out about hackers on my TBR shelves now.
  • If there were books you didn't finish, tell us why. Oh, I didn't even list these. Did you run out of time? Realize those books weren't worth it? Put them in the Some Day stack, most likely.
  • Did you come across a book or two on other participants' lists that you're planning to add to your own to-be-read pile? Which ones? Always. And no idea.
  • What did you learn -- about anything -- through this challenge?  I can finish! If only that applied to my knitting too.
  • What was the best part of the this challenge?

But, most importantly, what you should watch on TV.

Hopefully you caught Brothers & Sisters last night. (ABC Sunday at 10pm)

Monday:

  • Chuck at 8pm but mostly for Adam Baldwin, of the late lamented Firefly.
  • Heroes and/or Two And a Half Men/Rules of Engagement at 9pm
  • Journeyman at 10pm but it might be the last week.

Oh jeez, what's on the rest of the week? I'm still not up on the schedule.

In knitterly pursuits, I'm not quite done with the Endpaper Mitts, I'm ripping along on the Curve of Pursuit blanket - I love this pattern, I'm not sure why I waited a year to cast it on, the Mountain Stream scarf is coming along (although I did have a snafu at the border naturally) and possibly I cast on a pair of Latvian mittens.

Did I finish anything? Don't be absurd.

Oh! Oh! My bad. Susoolu's largesse:

Susoolu Largesse!

Very cool, no? I've been wanting to read Philip Pullman for awhile now, I keep hearing such good things about his books. And voila! In my library at my fingertips. And apparently it's some kind of reverse birthday gift - Happy Birthday, Susoolu!

Okay, now I know that there is suffering and anguish (too much) and there is no world peace and there are far, far more important things in this world, but everyone just wish "FINISH A FRAKKING KNIT PROJECT" thoughts at me anyway, willya? It's my only hope. Blog_pix_662_edited