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Wordless if Typepad Has Anything to Say About it.

Blog pix 855_edited These little fellows were at the petting zoo at the San Ramon Kite Festival on Monday.

(Could this [Typepad] be any slower? I hope not. It's going to make blogging impossible. Ravelry is almost as slow for me. )

Escape!  Blog pix 857_edited (The pig rooting under the fence. Oh, this is HORRIBLE. The spacing is all off, there's a lag in typing and backspacing, this is ridiculous.)

Unfortunately the Festival was a bit of a bust (too) because the music was so horribly loud that even The Teenager couldn't take it and we were out of there a little more than an hour.

Oh well. More time to sit in The Chair (Hezekiah loves being a lapcat) and knit while re-watching season one of MI-5. I knew that A&E had cut out about 15-20 minutes, but wow, what a difference in characterization that made. The knitting wasn't the V-Pointed Cardigan although if I'd known it was going to be winter again after four days of 104 degree weather, it would've been. But then again I'm so close to finishing it, I can't possibly knit on it. What if I did finish? The world would end.

This is where Hezekiah would rather be than inside. Skulking in the bushes, spying on the neighbors. Blog pix 862_edited

Anyone  hear about Poetry Out Loud while it was going on? I caught the finals for our area on the community channel last night (from Feb 23rd) and it was pretty impressive,  junior and senior high school students recitations.  For the first time EVER I think I got an e e cummings poem.

Memes and Crabbing

Brigitte tagged me:
1. What was I doing 10 years ago? Geez. Pretty much what I'm doing right now. I can't decide if that's depressing or progress.
2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today - in no particular order? To Do list?
3. Snacks I enjoy - spoonfuls of peanut butter, almonds, insanely complicated Martha Stewart recipes (I made the pineapple mousse yesterday  last week. If I'd just READ the recipe first, I'd've never attempted it. But it was pretty yummy.) (Not that it's gone yet). Corn chips.
Note:  I hate Typepad's "improvements". It's so SLOW.
4. Places I've lived - Wow. All mostly within a 30 mile radius. Oakland, Concord, Lafayette, Walnut Creek.
5. Things I would do if I were a billionaire - buy more books and yarn. Travel. Squander my money shamelessly. Put air conditioning in the local High School's multi use room. (The hottest day of the year, I was at a concert at the HS. It hovered around 104 for four days and not a lot cooler at night. (That's 40 degrees celcius.) Thankfully the heat wave broke but now I'm cold. I know, whine, whine. ) Make one of my charities happy. Although a billion dollars isn't going to go that far for that long in CA. Check out the gas prices from May 2nd. IMG_0077_edited I tried to get an updated picture last night, but evidently gas signs require posing and special lighting and possibly a sacrifice to photograph well.
Gas is $3.99 for the cheap grade as of last night. 
6. Peeps I want to know more about (by blogname) mumblings, Red Shirt Knitting (click just for the puppy videos), Twig's (mis)Adventures in Knitting, Knitting By The Sea, WIP Insanity, and Wound Too Tight.
Along the lines of LOLCats, check out LOL Manuscripts.
See the Kiity_edited Cute kitty! The darling snuggling cat in the previous post is Portia, the brother & SiL's new kitten and this is......either another picture of Portia or her new sibling, Halo. Cutie pie, eh?
Hez sez: Wake me when summer gets here.Blog_pix_852_edited
See her? Snuggling under the covers? Good thing I don't tuck my sheets in. 
I was dragged to the Peddler's Fair in Martinez on Saturday, where it was a much cooler 101 degrees. The fair itself wasn't that impressive but I FOUND A CHAIR! Finally. Great price, super comfortable, fits in my bedroom. IMG_0085_edited
Yes, Hezekiah loves it too.
Crabbing about TV: So far, all the shows have ended with death, teams disbanded or a cast members dying or being carted off in chains (metaphorically speaking, hopefully). This is an annoying trend and if EVERYONE is doing it, it's NOT pushing the envelope, dear Network Executives/Writers. It's a cliche. My only hope is that they kill Jack off tonight on Lost, proving that there really is teeth in network decisions and karmic justice.
Crabbing about Typepad: If it takes me AN HOUR to edit a simple post, I'm not going to be able to blog EVER. This is ridiculous. I've switched to HTML to type, let's see how it shows up when I switch back to "rich text". No, that is not a misuse of quotation marks.
Crabbing about Knitting: I want the lace edged top, the cable cardigan, the Jaywalkers I started last summer to all be DONE. Preferably without any further effort from me, because like Don Juan, the thrill is gone and I'm fascinated by another.
Crabbing about Reading: I'm on a non fiction kick but took a fiction break to read Labyrinth by Kate Mosse, as it's roughly in the current time period of obsession. While I did like it, I was annoyed by the Grail plotline and the fact that every character in the story acted like a spoilt, silly git in order to further the plot.
Worrying about California: Keep a good thought for the folks in Santa Cruz and the firefighters - there is a pretty raging fire going on down there right now.

Two and A Half Memes

Not exactly two and a half, but I liked the writers swap of Two and A Half Men and CSI (The Original) last week. It's not as if either were groundbreaking or fabulous, I just enjoyed the writers having fun. Hopefully they had fun. I loved the CSI quote Grissom had "Death is easy. Comedy is hard."

Marji tagged me.  The meme?

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Turn to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people and acknowledge who tagged you.

Oh, the nearest book? And not the one I'm reading? Okey doke.

In 1962 he purchased a large home in California. Thereafter he spent a considerable amount of time and developed substantial connections in California. Although he maintained important connections in Nevada throughout the years involved, the SBE held that he was a California resident in 1962 and in subsequent years. 2008 Guidebook to California Taxes.

Bookfool tagged me with the Six Random Things About Me. Random is my middle name. You think I make no sense blogging? You ought to talk to me. All over the map.

  1. I hate endnotes in books. Footnotes, people! Footnotes.
  2. Cable reruns. I live for them. Currently: CSI.
  3. There are books and knitting projects in my Earthquake Preparedness kit
  4. I overuse exclamation points, ellipses and the word/letter I. You should read this before I edit it.
  5. I can't wait for all the pretty flowers to die this year. Yes, yes, all very beautiful but they're trying to kill me.
  6. It generally takes me three or four or five tries to get those verify your comment codes right.

Tagging (by blog names): Knitting & Television, Bron's Blog, Jenny's Corner, CJ Knits On, Educating PetuniaBlog_pix_853

I finally finished Queen Isabella! She really did lead a fascinating life, although she and her husband both let their lovers ransack their kingdom and their good sense. I was wildly amused to discover that Roger Mortimer, Isabella's lover, was also the first Earl of March - the Marches being the family of Lady Julia Gray in the Silent in the... series by Deanna Raybourn that I read during Queen Isabella.

Well, not read, was read to. I had Silent in the Grave on my iPhone and while I was flat on my back with that stupid vertiginous migraine, I listened to Ellen Archer reading it.  I have to admit, I was deeply prejudiced by Harlequin being attached to the book and almost didn't listen to it at all but I couldn't understand a word Christopher HItchens was saying. There were a few confusing passages in the book where I'm convinced she contradicted herself in a matter of paragraphs, but I'm not sure if it's because being read to is so vastly different than reading a book.

I enjoyed the book enough to run out and pick up the second in the series, Silent in the Sanctuary. England in the 1880's isn't my area of historical expertise (not that I have a historical area of expertise but there are some periods I know better than others) so I couldn't tell you how historically accurate the books are, but they certainly were a fun romp. I just hope the romance doesn't get dragged out ad nauseum.

Books read in March:

  • The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez. Deft but not groundbreaking.
  • Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane. Twisty. Dennis Lehane knows how to write a thriller.
  • Flashforward by Robert Sawyer. Interesting take on time travel.
  • End of the World Blues by Jon Courtenary Grimwood. Reminded me a bit of the best of William Gibson.
  • The Coma by Alex Garland. A little hallucinatory, is he in the coma imagining it all?
  • In Big Trouble by Laura Lippman. Not the first Tess Monaghan mystery but my first introduction to her. Now to read the rest of the series.
  • Next by Michael Crichton.
  • Science Friction by Michael Shermer. Science vs all sorts of things. Michael Shermer has a knack for explaining complex theories.
  • Babel 17 by Samuel R Delaney. The power of language was never better expressed in a novel.
  • Killing Time by Caleb Carr. I wasn't too impressed. The female character was so one dimensional that it took me completely out of the story which was a bit ludicrous anyway. The dangers of the internet, gene splicing and time travel.
  • Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman. I really enjoyed her essays on reading.
  • April:

    • The Man Who Never Missed by Steve Perry. Kind of a combination James Bond/dystopian future book.
    • Temptation by Jude Deveraux. One of the few romance writers I unabashedly enjoy.
    • The Year of the Quiet Sun by Wilson Tucker. 1970 dystopian novel. I could see the '60's influences on the book, the turn the future (2000) took wasn't one that I'd run across in other dystopian books.
    • Black Order by James Rollins. A Sigma Force novel. I was forced to go out and buy more in the series. A thriller along the lines of Robert Ludlum without the exclamation points.
    • The Know It All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the Room by A J Jacobs. Not so humble but engaging.
    • Four Queens: The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe by Nancy Gladstone
    • Queen Isabella: Treachery Adultery and Murder in Medieval England by Alison Weir

    Currently (re)reading: A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W Tuchman. I'm reading these in chronological order! Completely by accident, I assure you. A Distant Mirror follows Enguerrand de Coucy VII, a French noble married to the daughter of Edward III (Isabella's son) also named Isabella. She was quite the pet of her father too, so it's hard to believe the historical tales that Isabella of France was the She-Wolf of legend. It's a nice change of pace to be in France this outing.

    Television - is continuing to annoy me. WARNING! PROBABLY SPOILERS!! Booth's life is hanging in the balance on Bones, done in by a mere stalker? They'd better not kill him off. I hate that kind of cliffhanger. Cheap tricks. I still love Dr Sweets though.

    Brothers and Sisters is back on Sunday nights but I was too annoyed at having whatshername turn out not to be the bastard child of the patriarch to watch.

    House spends an entire episode entertained by strippers only to realize at the end that it's Amber whose life he's trying to save? What's with all the strippers anyway? Bryan_kitty_edited

    On NCIS, Ziva thrown by killing a serial killer that very nearly killed her. Really? She made some statement about how the Mossad were not all assassins but considering how pragmatic her character has always been about death and dying, it didn't track.

    Ed Green gone on Law & Order. [sob]. I love Linus Roache and Jeremy Sisto though. I'm getting used to the new guy.

    Lost. Geez, Lost leaves me lost most of the time. As long as Locke, Sayid and Sawyer are on it, I'll probably watch but I have no idea what the heck is going on anymore and really? I don't care. The plan all along was to kill off Rousseau? Huh. The real question is why won't they kill off Jack? Why? That would be pushing the envelope.

    Starbuck is the Angel of Death? Tyrol's haircut. Hate it. WHO IS THE LAST CYLON? I want to know.

    Knitting? What knitting?

    Walnut Creek

    Mmip_565_edited Bonana St Books, Out of Business. Walnut Creek officially has no more independent bookstores, to my knowledge. Mmip_564_edited

    Other, more random Walnut Creek pictures,

    Mmip_561 driving up Main St crossing Ygnacio.

    The Motor Lodge has been there forever but there used to be little restaurants across the street where the multi story office buildings are now.  Farther up Main by California Mmip_563 St

    Recognize the French Restaurant? Mmip_563_edited Le Virage, home of countless anniversaries, prom dates and celebrations.

    Random vehicle I couldn't resist taking a picture of on.....Broadway, maybe? Mmip_559 As if it matters.

    TV News: (What? I couldn't stay mad at TV for long.) Bones has moved to Monday at 8pm followed by House which is a much better time slot for me, so expect it to change.

    I tried to watch Cranford last night but found it a little slow going (I'm still slogging through Queen Isabella, thankyouverymuch) and there's some glitch in the show.  A man's voice appears to be narrating the story in an undertone. It's maddening because you can't quite hear him distinctly.

    Mmip_579_edited This is what I'm currently knitting. It's the Lacy Prairie Shawl from Folk Shawls turned into a stole. Hopefully to be finished by Mother's Day.

    Mmip_578_edited This is what I'm knitting in my head. The skein from La's surprise package.  100 % silk and 1000 yards (or meters or whatever, I think) and wouldn't it be cute as the Bridesmaid Wrap from Suss Cousins Wedding Knits?

    Sad news last Saturday. My brother & sil's beloved cat, Charity passed away.  She'd been rescued by them a few years back, abandoned at a ski resort and just a big sweetie. Charity_edited_2 This was only two months after they lost their kitty cat of 16 years.

    Boxies and pictures of boxies

    Mmip_569 Boxies? Anything like doxies? Probably not. Hmmm. Promising, a box full of newspaper and tissue wrap.......containing.....

    Mmip_572 Mmip_570 Mmip_574 Mmip_575

    I'd edit that picture down but then you couldn't see the Minneapolis favorite Chocolate Passion Mousse mix or my coffee cup or the chocolate chip cookies I'd baked or half the vital paperwork parking on the kitchen island and there where would you be? Mmip_573

    Knit rad, baby. Knit rad.

    And from La, look at all those goodies: handpainted yarn by Claudia, tea, some yummy soap (well, not edibly yummy), notepad, circular needle (ASIDE: Do you know that if you have 80 kabillion unfinished projects, ten to one, that's where one hundred and fifty kabillion needles have disappeared to? It's true. I thought I had a million dpn's. I do. They're stuck in a million projects. But I'm planning on finishing them. Eventually). Mmip_576

    So spoiled! It's good to be me.

    I'd show a Hezekiah pic but as I spent yesterday stuck in bed having the worst combination of vertigo and migraine and was completely ABANDONED by her, phhhhffffffft on her.

    She did deign to join me last night and snuggle under the covers.