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November 2007
Next month:
January 2008

Books, Mostly

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

I think he won't even be able to tell.

In case you find yourself watching P.S. I Love You, (Hillary Swank, Gerard Butler) yes, it's just as horrible as you feared, you will undoubtedly sob off and on throughout the movie (for various reasons) but at least the cast is both pretty and talented. But honestly, that's what they came up with? When the writers strike is over, is there any chance they'll let the writers write and not the directors/producers/backers?

Some highlights of the books read in Nov and Dec:

The Jennifer Morgues by Charles Stross. Thoroughly enjoyed this spy sci fi genre flipping book. I even have quotes:

  • **What's with all the zombies? Is Billington killing his optioned employees as a tax dodge or something?"
  • IPO = Interplanetary Overlord.
  • "Well, I can't say it was a bad idea -" Nobody ever accuses HR of having a bad idea; they're subtle and quick to anger, and their revenge is terrible to behold.

Reading Matters by Catherine Sheldrick-Ross, Lynne McKechnie and Paulette M Rothbauer: This is a great look at the state of libraries and readers today and recent-historically.

She by H Ryder Haggard - oh, I really liked this one! Dated and basically about an immortal with a crush and too much time on her hands but just the peek into the mores of the day was entertaining. The constant hunting was a bit off putting.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters - DON'T SKIP AHEAD in the book! I couldn't take the musings or allusions but if I'd only waited for the roughly 200 pages it took her to set up it would have been well worth it. Not that it ruined the book in the slightest. Pretty twisty Victorian female version of Oliver Twist.

Flavor of the Month: Why Smart People Fall For Fads by Joel Best.

Mmip_530_edited Mmip_531_edited The ReadUpon. Blurry, I know. It's the only way I can photograph. Click to enbiggen, if that helps.

A nice short book theme meme stolen from Tara at Books & Cooks called Whatcha Reading?

1. Whatcha reading? Books on Fire
2. How much of it have you read so far? Almost two-thirds of it.
3. What’s it about? The destruction of libraries throughout the ages.
4. What does the title refer to? Oddly enough, books on fire.
5. Would you recommend it? Weeeelll, maybe. It's a fascinating subject and sadly well represented by every culture and time, but at one point he very offhandedly mentions the Celtic islands being populated by pagans, druids and Atlantis refugees.

Welcome Dewey to the Dark Side. I mean the knitting/reading fold. Darn, that's what happens when you draft posts. I thought this went up ages ago. Mmip_526

Hez sez: "I am not looking. Not looking. And when I do....."

Lots of knitting, not much progress. Lots of not much in this post either. But you have reading statistics to look forward to next!

Is there anything on TV? ANYTHING?

Mittens! We have Selbuvotter Mittens

Blog_pix_757_edited As in a whole pair. Two. More or less matching even, more or less knitted as charted. They're still not quite dry from the soak & block the other night and they fit on the big side, but considering it's a man's medium or a woman's large, hardly surprising. And now I can't decide which pair to knit next. Latvian? Another Selbuvotter? Convertible mittens? Gloves?

I used not quite one skein of the yellow and a little more than a skein of the (and it's dark) blue of Jamieson's Shetland Sprindrift (25 grams/105 meters), size 2 dpn's. The pattern is from Terri Shea's Selbuvotter, Annemor #13. I changed the cuff pattern because I wasn't crazy about the original one.

Between deciding which mitten to cast on next (or which WIP to work on) I cast on another Ribbon Scarf from Handknit Holidays, partly to use some yarn, partly to have something to knit in continuing ed tomorrow and partly to practice this: Copy_3_of_blog_pix_754

Is this bookstand not completely awesome? Chris sent it to me. And it actually works! It works with a large print hardback book (Children of Men, in case you're wondering) and endless stockinette best so far, but then there's that pesky learning curve. Oh, she sent me more goodies - two special CD's mixes - Coffee and Cat themed (it's enriching my iTunes - and Apple immensely, the ones I can find on it, mind you), a sheepie pez dispenser you have to see...which you can't yet, because naturally I don't the picture of it. I had a better picture of the stand too - I thought. It's not as precariously perched there as it looks.

Actually, with my fabulous photographic skills, it looks like the book is suspended in mid air. Can you even see what's holding the book up? Under the yarn. Okay, better pix of it coming. But thank you, Chris! I love it. I'm pretty sure the yarn I'm knitting the scarf with, mrspao sent me on one of our unsanctioned coffee swaps.

Speaking of better pix, is this not a fabulous picture? Library_bar_3  Snapped by Teofilo (and posted with permission from him), this is absolutely the bar I would have had, if I ever had one.

End of the year book and knitting update coming up. Remind me. NO CHALLENGES OR KALS OF ANY KIND, NO MATTER HOW TEMPTING. It's just the kiss of death for any projects and/or books I name. Why is that?

The Unending Mitten & the iPod Meme

After you read this meme, you have to do it, too. (So, not stolen. Tagged. By A Fistful of Stitches)

If your life were a soundtrack, what would the music be?

Here’s how it works:
1. open your library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod)
2. put it on shuffle
3. press play
4. for every section, type the song that’s playing
5. next section — press the next button
6. don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool

opening credits:

Should've Been a Cowboy by Toby Keith (when this song came out I hated it. Hated it! They were make believe movie cowboys! But you know, I should've been.)

waking up:

I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers

first day at school:

Beer For My Horses Toby Keith and Willie Nelson (No way. Beer? Yuck.)

falling in love:

I Still haven't Found What I'm looking For - U-2. (I did NOT cheat! So cool).

breaking up:

Rockstar by Nickleback.


Superman (It's Not Easy) Five For Fighting (?? I didn't even go to the prom. Bad shuffle)

life’s okay:

I Love A Rainy Night Eddie Rabbit. (I do and it is)

mental breakdown:

Feeling Good by Michael Buble. (Oh, that figures.)


Shop Around by Captain & Tenille (Driving? Wouldn't this have been better for Prom? And quit snickering. You all have Captain & Tenille on your iPod's too. Don't you? Doesn't everyone? )


Walking After Midnight -by Patsy Cline (that'sthe perfect song to blast after a big fight)

getting back together:

You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine - Lou Rawls


You'll Accompany Me  by Cornbread Red's Bluegrass Tribute to Bob Seger

birth of child:

One For My Baby - Frank Sinatra. Seems fairly appropriate (other than my childless state) until you realize the other half of the song is "and one more for the road")

final battle:

In The Air Tonight - Genesis (I think I like Theme music)

death scene:

Holiday Music??? a lecture by Prof Robert Greenberg (Bah. humbug)

end credits:

Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley. Oh, I could not have picked a song I'd like better.

Blog_pix_737_edited The Second Mitten! Huzzah! Doesn't it look innocent lying there? The deceptive thing. I had to redo it four mittens over. First, my normal inability to count messed up the chart set up pattern and now I'm working on my fourth try finishing it off. Blog_pix_738_edited_2

  I think. I know I tried to do that "Loop The Live Stitches Through With A Crochet Hook" trick when I had something like.....fourteen live stitches left. Uh, too many. Rip back.

Then I completely disregarded the pattern because at that point, easy! Who needs to look at a pattern? Yeah, easy to get the pattern completely wrong. Rip.

Next I bound it off, in pattern, right amount of stitches.......except for those two stitches a few rows down gaily hanging out waving at each other. I have no idea how I can drop stitches and NOT NOTICE for rows and rows. No picture, darn it. I ripped it back (somewhat savagely) before I thought of taking one.

I'm trying not to think about how much I like the rounded mitten top better. And see? Whole, unharmed dpn's! So far. [darkly].

Not to mention, I was a wee bit worried about running out of yarn - I still have to knit the thumbs you know. Who WHO is following me around stealing my skeins? I don't buy single skeins. Ever. EVER.

Blog_pix_736_edited Hez sez: "I'm guarding this skein with my life. See? [zzzzzz]Don't be such a worrywart. There's more than enough here to finish the mitten and knit the two thumbs! [aside] If you have cat thumbs like me."

The By-Product of Tight Knitting.....A Christmas Meme! Well, not Exactly....

Blog_pix_725 Tragic, no?  That's three out of five in the set! (I have more than one set, thankfully. Or there might be more carnage.) But I'm filing down the ends and sealing them off with nail polish and they'll be starting their new lives in the witness protection program (well, did you SEE that abuse?) as glove needles. One of these days.

Another tragedy - which needle do you think was the right one to pull out? Where were you when I needed you? Blog_pix_728 (No biggie, honest. Wool stitches just sit there and wait for you.) Wow, that color is really off.

On a jollier note........more or less shamelessly stolen from Knit Think...... The Christmas Meme!

  • 1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift bags. I've been known on occasion to use paper bags. From the store of origin.
  • 2. Real or artificial tree? Tree? Geez.
  • 3. When do you put up the tree? When someone brings it over.
  • 4. When do you take the tree down? When it catches on fire?
    5. Do you like eggnog?  Yes! Yum.
    6. Favorite gift received as a child? A pony? (No pony.) Wow. I was either an ungrateful little thing or I never got what I wanted.
  • 7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, the one my grandparents had.
    8. Hardest person to buy for? My dad, except for the last couple of years, oddly enough.
    9. Easiest person to buy for? Me.
    10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Maybe it's my memory. I don't remember worst either. Oh! I know! The year my first husband bought me four hubcabs. So. Whelmed.
  • 11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Christmas cards??
    12. Favorite Christmas Movie? "Christmas in Connecticut" or "White Christmas"
    13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? All the time. Early. Possibly Christmas Day.
    14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Probably.
    15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Egg nog. Oh, eat? Pfefferneuse.
  • 16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?. Lights?
    17. Favorite Christmas song? Silver Bells.
    18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home. Home! Home. Hopefully.
    19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?! Yes. Can you?
    20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Trees have tops? Wouldn't a nice sweater be better?
    21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? Historically? Whenever my dad got called in to work, 4am one memorable Christmas morning. Nowadays? Christmas morning.
    22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Shopping malls. Although it's kind of a year round thing.
  • 23. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color? Are you kidding?
    24. What do/did you leave for Santa? Cookies and milk. If he's quick.


Hez sez: "Thanks for the great idea, Chaos & Mayhem! I love my horizontal scratcher. I don't see what it has to do with the couch though. Do you?"

Benford's Law of Controversy

....doesn't cover the blog posting as I'm typing out a title for it. What the heck? (Note: A title that doesn't even make sense in the context of the text, I might add. Next post. Maybe.)

Anyway. I did this! Blog_pix_716_edited Well, I did more than that, all but the thumb, but I didn't take a picture. I haven't cast on the mate yet either, but I'm really happy with it. (Don't click on it and count my errors. At least, don't tell me if you do. I noticed a huge glaring error looking at the picture. Not, mind you, while knitting the actual mitten).

I did this for my darling BFF's birthday. Blog_pix_718 I almost forgot to take a picture - I finished them awhile ago - luckily it was wrapped with my usual elan (tied up tissue paper).

Fetchings made out of Touch Me yarn by Muench. I was going to get a model shot, but in between the talking and the lunching and the shopping, it slipped my mind.

We went here Blog_pix_724 (Walnut Creek. I'm on top of the parking lot on Locust and Botelho. Recognize it at all? )

How about this angle? Blog_pix_723 And see? We do too have fall.

Go look at  Marina's finished and MODIFIED Mary Tudor while I sob weakly in the corner. For that matter, check out the Elizabethan Jacket WIP Insanity finished. Blog_pix_720

Hez sez: Don't block the TV. (She's watching Shay Pendray's Needlearts). Good thing she slept through Heroes last night or she'd give up TV entirely. At least one hero that went down I was happy about. Sadly, that hero didn't stay dead. I can't believe they killed off who they killed off. Argh.

In good TV news, Jericho returns Feb 12th! Everyone buy the Season One DVD and set your TiVo/whatever up to watch it. Just. Do. It.