Happy New Year! : Snow is cold

No resolutions, no goals, no WORD to ponder this new year. It feels wrong. I may need to remedy this soonish.

2012 threw me a few curve balls - a cyst in my spinal column? Srsly? But it also made me take what was apparently desperately needed downtime. And the anesthesia brain wore off. I think.

I also caved to the fact that my memory is no longer fabulous and started keeping a calendar and a list of things to do - it's amazingly fun to cross things off.

Plus a White Christmas with family! Four inches that stuck. Too cool. Kind of literally. Snow is cold.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! May all your dreams and wishes come true. Hez asks for less fireworks. Not a fan.

Happy New Year! : Snow is cold

Great Googly Moogly

  1. Exorcise ::demons
  2. Theory ::chaos
  3. Possible ::improbable
  4. 1600 ::1666 Great Fire of London *
  5. Feeling ::Groovy **
  6. Excuse :: Reason
  7. Mortality ::inevitable
  8. Trivial ::pursuit
  9. Pupil ::dilated
  10. Challenge ::confront

From LunaNiña but shamelessly copying Shut Up and Knit.

Blog pix 2379I live! I stand, I sit, I'm back on my feet, I still can't tie my own shoes but thank heaven for sneakers and boots. It's amazing how much bending, twisting and lifting we do without giving it a second thought. Well, how much I did and didn't.

Haven't knit a thing since my scarf sized Crown Prince Shawl (well, a top hat, but I still have to felt and probably shellac it). Anesthesia brain cleared up a bit so I was able to read Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Llosa Vargas for Aarti's A More Diverse Universe book challenge (although reading and actually participating was a little bit beyond me, when your surgeon says 6-8 weeks, they might know what they're talking about. 

Anyone have any thoughts on the Mirkarimi debacle?*** I'm not sure I'd care at all who San Francisco appointed Sheriff if the defense for him didn't keep running along the lines of former SF Mayer Art Agnos saying"....“Anyone who knows Eliana Lopez knows she is not a woman who could be or has been abused..."

Wha'?? Not a woman who could be or has been abused?  Because you can tell by looking? One caller to KGO radio this morning dismissed it because "it didn't require medical care." Pat Thurston rightly queried if it would still not be abuse if he'd socked her in the face or punched her in the stomach because those wouldn't require medical care either. (He demured.)

Maybe a bruise on the arm of a Latin American actress doesn't sound like abuse but why doesn't it? Because she's an actress? Latin American? Her husband is part of the Progressive party? Because it really is political hash? I'm not sure I want to know for sure. All those scenarios are too depressing. And smack in the middle of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

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* Although I should have thought of Pennsylvania Avenue.

** Fair Warning: YouTube.

***Notice how I don't care at all about Lance Armstrong?


Positively Subversive

Blog pix 2258...is what I think every time I look at my bookshelves now. I swapped rooms in the house and had to bring some books (out of both desire and simple physics) but it was such a hodge-podge with my categories and the length of the current bookshelves that I finally organized them by color.

Well, not completely. But randomly enough so that the juxtaposition of some of the books has led me to daydream about the fisticuffs that must be occurring when I'm not looking.

Other than anthropomorphosizing my books, what have I been up to? Beats me. Not much progress on the WIP's. Managed to finish reading The Perfect Prince and start about six other books, all of which are perfectly interesting but somehow eminently easy to put down and wander away from Catriona, Robert Louis Stevenson's sequel to Kidnapped....From the Renaissance to the Counter-Reformation: Essays in honor of Garrett Mattingly,... This Will Make You Smarter. I particularly like Jonah Lehrer's essay Control Your Spotlight so far - it's so much easier to distract oneself than deny oneself, something I'll need to work on as I'm going to have to drop some weight to deal with the spinal stenosis and the not-fitting-into-my-jeans.

I did finish something - another Untangled! Blog pix 2263Those earbuds really do tangle up annoyingly without them. Now I actually like to untangle things but not in the dead of night and now when I want someone quietly reading to me in bed. That said maybe TWiV is not the most restful of nighttime stories....

Oh rats, I've lost the picture of Hez looking so amusingly disapproving. My old bedroom is the library, the den is now my bedroom and the craft room is a disaster.

She's spent the last few weeks wandering about the house muttering "This doesn't go here. That doesn't belong there. WHERE IS MY - what, srsly? There? You put it there? Harumph grumble grumble."

Once she realized we weren't moving, that is. For a week or so there, she just look scared and stuck to me like glue.

Well. That was a Week That Was and Doesn't Have to Again.

Blog pix 035 Now THIS is a tree.

I'm bummed at mortality. Two good men are gone from the earth this last week and it's just so wrong.

C-Span is airing their Library of Congress special tonight at 8pm.

Elizabeth I is done to the neck shaping thanks to nine hours of continuing ed last week.

(That's a Ravelry link to the main pattern and not mine, as mine isn't even using the same yarn. You'll be shocked to learn I'd changed my mind, frogged her and started over). (The Ravelry link is to a Slate article about Ravelry. Rav rulz)

I finally slogged through Aldous Huxley's pretentious drug trip tome, The Doors of Perception. Other than inspiring a great band name, what a snooze. I suppose it was more exciting in 1956 but he's prattling on about vision quests and psychological breakthroughs and I'm picturing meth kids.



WIP Wednesday - wait, what?

It doesn't feel like a Wednesday. Possibly since it's Thursday. But it doesn't feel like Thursday either. It feels like next Monday. Why do short weeks seem so very, very long?

Blog pix 046 In the spirit of WIP Wednesday, and, to a lesser extent, rummaging for something I felt like knitting, I took a fearless and searching inventory of my WIPs.

Ahem. I started to. 

< - - - See that? There are at least three charts with highlights.

I do not want to "read" my knitting. I want to knit.

Maybe I should mark where I've STOPPED rather than where I STARTED.

Has anyone read any Alain De Botton? (Have I asked that already? He's my new litcrush). I'm rapidly aquiring all his books, the latest, How Proust Can Change Your Life. (That's a New York Times review that won't pop up in a link but can be Googled).   By george, I think Proust might. If, mind you, I actually read Proust.

(My other litcrush, Simon Von Booy has a new book out this week, Everything Beautiful Began After. He is the most lyrical writer.)

Uh oh.  Hez is inside.
I am out. 
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Clearly I'm going to have to take Aldous Huxley's pretentious drug trip saga inside and.....watch TV.
 Hurray for Summer! I wasn't even planning on watching Necessary Roughness, the new USA series. Football? Even peripherally? But
Callie Thorne is a likeable, believable, semi-bitchy competent psychiatrist who lands a pro football player as a client during a messy divorce.
Besides. Marc Blucas (Buffy's old flame). Scott Cohen. 'Nuff said.
Switched At Birth (Monday 9pm ABC Family) has an interesting premise.

Blog pix 019 The child that they raised IS their child. Just one that they, horrifyingly, somehow have to share, and the have just met their own child on the verge of adulthood. Just thinking about it makes me slighly teary.

It has the obligatory opposites, wrong side/right side of the tracks, married vs single, recovering alcoholic vs socialite, deaf vs hearing but it's all so seamlessly woven. Lea Thompson and Constance Marie play the mothers.

Rain on Tuesday /100 Degrees by Sunday. On the average, it's good weather.

 Hmm. Blog pix 2080  Not the best angle. Too late at night for a good light ....  but check out the shadow of the new tree by the window. Gnarly. I think the tree is going to get moved though - it looks way too close to the house.

At least it has branches that naturally point to the sky. The gardener has landscaped all our fruitless mulberries in the front yard into basically a cat's lion cut. Hate it. I like leafy overhanging branches, not trees that are manicured into a phallic symbol.

Cupcake Fiber KNITTING: After basking in the glow that was finishing Curve of Pursuit and I'm back to my bad old ways of finishing nothing, starting many and tweaking some sweaters that haven't really worked. Apparently this slows progress. Who knew?

Oh, and just to clarify, I begged the gorgeous picture of fibery goodness from The Cupcake Fiber Co  and was graciously granted the use of said photo by the Cupcake's Fairy Godknitter and it was spun up by Cookie.  One of these days I'm going to learn to spin, but I haven't yet. And I just wish I'll be that good.

BOOKS: Saturday I tore through Godmother: The Untold Cinderella Story by Carolyn Turgeon that Emily of Telecommuter Talk read and reviewed, not very favorably. I might have liked it more than she did.... but not by much.

I do love re-imagined/retold fairy tales but I was expecting more magical realism than realism. The book is told by Lil, Cinderella's Fairy Godmother, who for her sins, (she had fallen in love with the Prince herself) has been banished to human form. I suppose it could be a fable about dealing with loss of all kinds, youth, beauty, love, but in keeping Lil's secrets, her author has to keep the tale murky. More than likely I'll be reading Mermaid soon. She's got interesting ideas.

I was recently introduced to Alain de Botton via his lecture on Pessimism at The School of Life on Pessimism through Jodi of Caffeinated Yarn's link. (And not, say, at a tea, worse luck). I'll try not to quote too extensively from The Pleasures & Sorrows of Work, a photo-essay philosophical and physical exploration on various endeavors from biscuit manufacture Blog pix 004(English for cookies), cargo shipping to accountancy..... but it's going to be difficult. I was really enamoured of this book and Alain's dry wit.

Let's see..... "It seemed that one might squander one's life chances because of a high-handed disdain for books with titles such as The Will to Succeed, believing that one was above their shrill slogans of encouragement. One might be doomed not by a lack of talent, but by a species of pessimistic pride."

It does explain so much.

And my favorite: "Levels of commitment that in previous societies were devoted to military adventures and religious intoxication have been channelled into numerical needlework."

I'm reading his Architecture of Happiness.

Joy For Beginners was a quick cozy read. It was a bit simplistic - i was bristling by the end of it that Karen could come up with challenges for her friends that would change their lives - from learning to bake bread to traveling alone, but I suppose your friends really do know Blog pix 034 you better than you do yourself. She had survived cancer and her daughter wanted to take her on a white rafting trip. She agreed to go - if her friends would also meet a personal challenge. 

 Poor Hez. She was so annoyed at me for making her stay inside yesterday. I even stalked and trapped her at the neighbor's and carried her into the house - the indignity! the horror! She was NOT mollified by the all day rain. She probably thinks I made it rain on purpose to thwart her.


Cupcake Fiber The Cupcake Fiber Company. Soft. Drapey. Silken. I can't decide what to knit it into. Nupps? Cables? Lace? Any suggestions?

Also for some reason, I want some ice cream.

On the READING front, I finally managed to slog through Tim Weiner's "Legacy of Ashes: The HIstory of the CIA". Wow. While my conspiracy loving heart wants to believe that the CIA is populated by maverick whack-jobs (and the headlines occasionally bear witness to it), it seems impossible that they wouldn't have been dissolved and defunded if they were as befuddled and useless as he portrays. The book itself covers decades at just over 500 pages plus a hundred more give or take in endnotes. I'm left wishing that he'd covered just one of those decades in those pages. Five hundred wasn't enough, the narrative was confusing, other than the CIA sucks.

House on Durrow Street, the sequel to the Magicians and Mrs Quent. . Eh. At least this time I don't feel like he's rewriting Jane Eyre and Pride & Prejudice and mashing them in the most peculiar way.

Currently reading: Joy for Beginners.

Is this not the most fabulous map? It's typography, from axismaps. It's a poster so I need to take it somewhere and get it framed, preferably really, really cheaply. They've done Boston, Washington DC, New York and Chicago so far. 

Blog pix 2073It's back to being scaldingly hot. Summer. Why can't summer be cooler? Usually it cools off at night but it was 80 degrees last night and it's supposed to hit 3 digits today.  I think I woke up with heat stroke. I keep craving ice cream. I'd indulge that a bit more if I didn't need to swear off ice cream forever and the most exercise I get is walking from the garage door to my car door.


Maybe I'll treat myself if I finish this one. Again.

Blog pix 001 


Life is Just a Tree of Cherries

If only I was participating in Project Spectrum.

Blog pix 2067 Our fruitless cherry tree! may not be named correctly. Kind of like Hezekiah being a girl.

Too bad I don't like cherries. At all. Probably stemming from a sickly childhood. Who thought putting cherry flavoring in medicine made it better tasting? It just ruined cherries proper.

We had quail visiting us too. They used to wander our street all the time but as the houses have been built in the hills, they came by less and less. Do quail lay eggs and then leave? Hopefully not. Hopefully she was just resting and Daddy Quail was merely being a lookout because the blue jays live in the oleanders she was resting under. I went out and advised them it would be injudicious but they ignored me. Birdbrains.

Poor Hez went to the vet on Thursday and currently hates me. It looked like her left front paw "thumb" had the claw growing into it - luckily not quite and she did need her annual shots but....she remains unconvinced it was for her own good. The vet tried amusing her with laser chase but she just stared back implacably. Like this.

Blog pix 2069 

At last! The Longest Ten Weeks of the Year Are Done

  Yay! Yay! And whew. 

Blog pix 1979 Another view from Mt Diablo - I think I was only 2200 ft up. 

Blog pix 1955I'm on the final border of my Curve of Pursuit!! Woot!(That's not my CoP, that's Monika's.)

I'm partially frogging/redesigning my Lace Edged Elegance - if a pattern calls for cotton - there might be a good reason. Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool is beautiful and feels wonderful but it's not a warm weather sweater and short sleeves are, ah, dumb, in the cold weather we've been having. It's getting long sleeves as we speak and I'm trying to think of what to do with the inset square neckline. A ribbed split collar, maybe.

All My Children & One Life to Live - cancelled! I'm in shock. I don't actually watch them anymore - me and apparently hordes of other former fans - but I was glued to them for a.......hmm. Couple of decades. Yowza. I'll still spot a cast member on other shows and squeal like a cousin made a TV appearance. They were family.

I'm at peace with Detroit 187 most likely getting cancelled - I love the show but the numbers are abysmal - it's been pre-empted umpteen times and the replacements did better in the time slot - ouch. It was quirky but compelling. Now I'm really hoping that Chicago Code makes it. New favorite. (Warning: The site talks but it took a minute).

Chris Jericho should win Dancing With The Stars this season. Maybe Romeo. Maybe.....

The Sex Life of My Aunt by Mavis Cheek was.....eh. Dillys is having her adulterous dalliance and adulterers and mid life crises evidently bore me but Mavis Cheek's writing kept me going. There was just enough personality and truth to the book to keep it somewhat engaging.

Time Spike by Eric Flint & Marilyn Kosmatka was his typical fun romp with semi-serious overtones - his out-of-place worlds - this time, a maximum security prison, conquistadores, Cherokees walking the Trail of Tears with the soldiers on duty and the Mound people of Missouri all end up in the Cretaceous period. It's pretty simplistic but they do try to address the wrongs that have been taken for granted over the years.

Hez sez "Who are you again?"