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December 2008
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February 2009

It's Not Easy Being Prey

Blog pix 1016_edited  Wow. What a difference a new computer makes! I went from a Pentium III microprocessor to a.... Quattro Duet?  Core 2? Whatever.  Faster. Better. Stronger. Able to load my work programs fully and  and still play on the side. My kind of computer. Even Typepad is faster. Much. Much. Faster.

Despite the total lack of reading updates, there's been reading! I'm more or less through the Nightside series so I have a feeling I'll be starting on Simon R Green's Daemon series soon.

Hell to Pay, Sharper Than a Serpents Tooth, Hex and the City, Something From the Nightside (the first 3 novels in one) by Simon R Green. John Taylor is my hero (one of them). I pretty much read most of the series in reverse order but it wasn't that hard to follow along. I do enjoy being The Omnipotent Reader. John Taylor searches for his mother, where is she and what is she? As he finds out and rights various wrongs, we get a ride on the wild side of a fantastical London.  My only question at this point is what happened to Cathy Barrett?

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. Well no wonder this is a classic. It took me a few to get into the book, I needed the right atmosphere but the backstabbing convoluted plot holds up well after all these years. 

Baby Sharks Beaumont Blues Robert Fate. Good book. I hadn't realized it was a series.

The Music of Pythagoras:How an Ancient Brotherhood Cracked the Code of the Universe and Lit the Path from Antiquity to Outer Space by Kitty Ferguson. Oh, that Pythagorus. If he only knew what he started. I enjoyed the way Kitty Ferguson built on what was probably more Pythagorus myth than fact through the centuries. An interesting read.

Blog pix 1021_edited The Fifth Child and the sequel, Ben in the World by Doris Lessing. The Fifth Child was quite, quite depressing. A nice middle class couple stubbornly defiantly conservative determined to have a large family despite the naysayers. There are cracks in their homelife before Ben, the fifth child appears but how Ben exposes their frailites is riveting. Ben is much more sympathetic in the sequel.

Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse, edited by John Joseph Adam. Short stories by Stephen King and others. I was reading this weekend before last and put it aside thinking, "Too depressing." Yes, because evidently my Apocalypse stories have nothing but Happy Bunnies populating them. Wrong book for the mood but I'll come back to it. I love a good dsytopian novel.

Shooting Gallery by Hailey Lind. This mystery series follows a Berkeley artist and the murders she falls into but has quite a lot of entertaining and educational info about the world of arts and artists (and is on my stomping grounds!) I'm really sorry to hear that the publisher has dropped the series. Boo. Hiss.

French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles. Much more provocative than I'd realized. Written in 1969 with more snark and social commentary than meets the eye. 

TELEVISION: Tonight The Closer returns. Great. Same time as 24. At least it's not on at 10pm. Why are all my shows on at 10pm lately?  Oh! Wednesday Life on Mars is back.


Happy Birthday, Mom!

Taking Tuesday off has completely thrown off my calendar. I missed a meeting last night and worst of all, I completely spaced my mother's birthday today until I saw the date on the calendar!! Argh! I'm a terrible daughter. Happy Birthday, Mom!
 
OTOH, we spent the day together on Tuesday watching the Inauguration. I approve of Michelle Obama's Inauguration Day dress. I'm sure she'll be so relieved. Not so fast, my First Lady! Your ballgown wasn't as beautiful, mostly because the lights made it impossible to really see it and she looks better in classic lines rather than frou-frou. Forget the adorable flubbing of the oath,the closing of Gitmo, what the Obamas really need to do is take a couple of dance classes. Her dress was a little too long.
 
I must have Aretha Franklin's hat.
 
Regardless of your political leanings, the Inauguration was amazing. The crowds at the Mall! The parade! I thought it was disrespectful of both the new President and the citizenry that most of those in the Presidential parade stand bailed quickly, but it did look like there were gale force winds ripping through it. It might have been a wee bit cold in the Mall too. I hope this truly does usher in an era where people "....are not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
 
As you might have guessed, I opted to watch from the comfort of my couch, thankfully. Flipping between all of the cable news stations and a couple of local ones to see how the locals were taking it, I think I managed to get a nice close up and detailed coverage. The parade did me in though it was Mom's favorite part. She loves a parade.  I could only handle watching four of the TEN Inaugural Balls. What an exhausting day. And yes, I'm talking about watching it.
 
I did manage to knit more on the Curve of Pursuit but didn't finish it or even the square I'm on. They went much faster in the beginning. Hmmm.  
 
Dad's cardigan? The sleeve gauge is way too tight so I had to rip it out and pick up some bigger circs (and who knew that saying "I need to buy some circs" would be so confusing to some people?) which is good news  because the yarn will go farther.
 
Your Word is "Think"
You see life as an amazing mix of possibilities, ideas, and fascinations.
And sometimes you feel like you don't have enough time to take it all in.

You love learning. Whether you're in school or not, you're probably immersed in several subjects right now.
When you're not learning, you're busy reflecting. You think a lot about the people you know and the things you've experienced.
 
Is that not a great word? And from Chris from Stumbling over Chaos
 
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Literate Good Citizen
Non-Reader
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

No fad reading at all? I read The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter. At least a couple of them. OTOH, I haven't read Twilight or The Historian or ..........I  can't even think of any other bestsellers.


Little of this, little of that

Blog winter0809 078 The following are links I ran across trying to track down a place (other than in front of my TV) to watch the Presidential Inauguration on Tuesday.  Not many in my neck of the woods, other than Walnut Creek, oddly enough but FYI for anyone else that might be interested in the area. Possibly the Sunday papers will have some more that aren't already sold out.

San Francisco: Inauguration West at the Metreon in SF Morris Day & The Time?  Cool.

San Francisco Public Library in the Koret Auditorium.

There's a special viewing in front of the Civic Center.

Barack Obama Presidential Inauguration Skaters' Ball San Francisco.

Burlingame Public Library

Inauguration Day at Lark Theater, Larkspur (although it's sold out)

Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek (sBlog winter0809 076_editedold out)

Oracle/McAfee/Whatsis/Oakland Coliseum, Oakland CA

Barack'n Roll Inauguration Party, Oakland CA (East Bay Young Democrats)

 This is Dad's cardigan. The bizarre patterning is a purl diamond pattern that I really wish I hadn't bothered with but no way am I redoing it now. I'm hoping it blocks out. I'm reasonably sure it's never been blocked. Just stuffed into a pillowcase.

The sleeves are plain stockinette and cross your fingers I have enough yarn because I think it's Pingouin, not that I have a ball band, and I know I got it on sale at Betsy's in Lafayette when she closed her doors. (After a woman who must have thought she was in reverse drove a few feet into the store, barely stopping at the counter at a bearing post)

If it is Pinguoin, it's scarcer than hen's teeth. So it's going to get stretched w/Cascade 220, if it comes to that. 

Don't even start on the bizarre shaping. There are ends to be woven in that make no sense to me at all. I'm trying to figure out when I did this. I'm pretty sure it's not the first year I learned to knit, but it might as well be. There's a lot of short rowing going on though, thankfully. Dad is, well, Santa Claus shaped.

Blog winter0809 077  Mary Tudor in her corrected (and heavenly lit) state. See? I did reknit some of it. I just haven't knit much more.  The shaping looks a little......more like shaping. Oh! Did you see the Virtual Yarns drawing?

Lisa at Knitting by the Sea came up with what I'm going to adopt as my slogan for the year (sshhh to all of you who are asking incredulously - year?)

TELEVISION: Did anyone catch Battlestar Galactica last night? Wowza. Poor Psychon USA.  I'll be watching you later.

Sunday night "Keys to the Castle - France" in on HGTV. I can't wait.

24 on Monday - I wasn't going to watch this season but I injudiciously flipped it on and was immediately sucked in. Just pray that Audrey doesn't show up this season, I'd like to be able to get through the whole season for a change. House is back Blog winter0809 079_editedon Mondays at 8pm, finally it's not up against NCIS on Tuesday (a repeat this week). I'm still enamoured w/Leverage at 10pm on Tuesdays, I just wish they'd tone the pairing up down a notch. Wednesday at 10pm the second season of Damages has started. Glenn Close is just mesmerizing. Thursdays: Bones at 8pm on its new day. Grey's Anatomy at 9pm although geez. Is it possible for this show to do ONE storyline that I don't feel like heaving shoes at my TV set?  Burn Notice starts its new season at 10pm. Finally! (Thursday, ( also my mom's birthday. Hmm. It may be too late to knit her anything.)

Hez sez: "mewp mewp mewp". But very, very quietly. (translated mostly means no way is she going to come back in the house *this morning, she was trapped! all day! in the house! when it was sunny out yesterday. The horror. 

*this morning being days ago. Yes, we've been suffering through 70-80 degree weather all week. I know you feel for us.


I Resolve to - - - - well. That was quick.

Blog winter0809 054

Inspiring resolutions! Intriguing justifications for not resolving! Good thing there isn't any governing body that will actually check up on us. Therefore:


1) I resolve to organize and catalog my stash. 


Great start for the new year, eh?  I pulled it all out (well, most of it. I stumbled across more during the day but cowardly left it in hiding).  The plan was to sort it by stitch gauge, all the heavy wool together, the finer gauges in one bin, the theory being I could pull something together and do a little stash busting BEFORE I bought more of what I've got a lot of. (Who is cringing in horror at that sentence structure? LOL).  

The plan devolved into separating the stash more or less by season, the summer stuff going up into the closet, the winter stuff close at hand so that when I had the urge to cast on something new, I don't have to ransack the house to find a suitable yarn. There's now a bin for Yarns I Cannot Conceive of What On Earth Can Be Made From Them but They're Pretty......

I even managed to get one bin (more or less) up on Ravelry. I had to take pictures, the blank squares were too reproachful. The Excel spreadsheet is awesome.

And oh yeah. I found some abandoned projects. The Keyhole striped summer tank. Several mittens. A ribbon tape pullover swatch. The vest I was making for my Dad when he started losing weight. Like the rest of the world, he's put it back on and since he's been on a futile quest for a cardigan, it's getting sleeves and pockets, hopefully by his birthday on Sunday (but doubtfully).

2) I resolve to eat more mindfully.

That second Snickers bar I ate at 9:30pm last night? I ate it thinking the entire time, I really don't need this. Mindful and in touch with my health!

3) I resolve to be less impatient with others.

This is going pretty well, although I've taken to holding my thumb and middle finger together in what I fondly presume is Zen style while driving through town and intoning things like "I am at peace that if you drive any closer to me, I'm getting half your estate in the divorce"  or "I am at peace that I am sharing the road with selfish moronic drivers who wouldn't recognize a turn signal if it was BEATING ON THEIR HEAD".  

4) I resolve to save a considerable portion of my income.

After I buy books and yarn. I'll just get used to going without food and shelter. After all, the Apocalypse is coming, at the very least the Next Great Depression. Stock up now! Hmm. I should look for sheep.

Okay, enough of the good intentions.

Mary Tudor's sleeve has been frogged and I'm at the beginning of the 2nd chart repeat instead of at the end of it, but now she's spending time in The Tower for treason because she did not knit up fast enough.

The Curve of Pursuit needs to be about two squares bigger to be as big as I want it to be. I need more  yarn.

My sil's scarf is going to be really gorgeous, if I ever finish the thing. I love the cable pattern but it's complicated! I've got a million stitchmarkers hanging off of it still.

Adding a sleeve to a vest where one more or less randomly decreased is a PITA. I'm going for the pick up and knit down version now, I hope it's loose enough. (It should be, but while math doesn't lie, gauge does).

TV is coming back! Damages started Wednesday nights at 10pm on FX. Leverage, my new favorite show is on at 10pm on TNT. Psych and Monk started their new season last Friday 9 & 10pm on USA. Burn Notice returns Jan 22nd (my mom's birthday. Uh oh. If I finish that cardigan for my Dad for his birthday will my mother expect one too? Yes. Yes, she will. Luckily the odds of me finishing the cardigan by Sunday are roughly the same as winning the Lottery and I don't buy tickets).

Reading: The Nightside novels by Simon R Green. I'm reading them pretty much in reverse order, which is kind of fun.
Blog winter0809 050_edited

It's so nice of Typead to be concerned about my gainful employment. It's so slow to load, it's impossible to do anything on it at work but I don't particularly want to jump on the computer all the time when I get home either. Not to mention, at home, I have a furry apendage hanging over one arm which means I'm typing one handed.

Hez sez, "You're not going to keep typing on that thing, are you? I want to sit in The Chaaaaaiiiiiiir."