Thursday, March 30, 2006

Tame compared to Chris's subversive cross stitch, but the first one I ever attempted, for my mom, for the office. Also? Accurate.

In a note of epic tragedy: My watch stopped. My beloved Fossil watch that I can actually read the time all the time. For a practically blind person, that's very, very important. I can't buy a new one, Lent isn't over. I suppose I could get a battery for it, but I have the feeling it would cost more than the watch did. Grrrr. (No, I can't go without a watch! You might as well ask me to not carry a book around.) Good grief, is my wrist fat? My wrist???

No farther on any knitting - still half a row done on the shawl, still haven't done a gauge for twinset, still haven't done much but come home from work, crawl into bed, watch something on TV and sleep. Story of 1 last night was pretty entertaining and educational. I love stuff like that. No idea what's on TV tonight. Without A Trace, I hope. Next week? Martin's drug addiction catches up to him. ZZZZZZZ

Moll Flanders is the April Book of the Month for Knit the Classics and in April I would really like to both read the book and FINISH a project for it. Any suggestions? Can anyone come up with a way I can make the Dr Who scarf? Moll Flanders/Dr Who. It seems like a natural juxtaposition to me.

At least I'll only be working like a maniac until the 17th. I hope. I've got both the book and a book called Moll Flanders: An authoritative Text ready to be picked up at the library.

Yeah, along with Temple Grandin's Animals in Translation, Bart Ehrman's Lost Christianities: The Battle For Scriptures and Maocyr Scliar's Centaur in the Garden. Maocyr Scliar wrote the book Yann Martel interpreted Life of Pi from, but this isn't that book. Never mind that I'm still lugging around The Dante Club (page 45! I can't get into it) and my own TBR shelf is more like a bookcase. Oh, and did I mention the part where I basically go home to sleep? And work the rest of the time? (occasionally, mind you, just occasionally cracking the net...)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A Solar Eclipse! March 29th 2am

Cool! Tomorrow, but mostly in Turkey, evidently. Those of us landlocked in North America (and chained to our desks) (who are up and around at 2am in San Francisco or 5am back East) can watch it live on the Exploratorium's website or the feed later.

Click the link just to check out the eclipse's progress on the map.

And, just to help out:

You Are an Espresso

At your best, you are: straight shooting, ambitious, and energetic

At your worst, you are: anxious and high strung

You drink coffee when: anytime you're not sleeping

Your caffeine addiction level: high

Yeah, like that's news.

Oh, remind me. I want this.

Tuesday Post

Because it sure ain't Saturday. It's a Tuesday, through and through. The last weekend a distant memory, the next weekend too far away to count.

And on a more upbeat note, here's my haul from Jenni! Isn't that yarn gorgeous?

Here it is, balanced precariously in my lap (minus the chocolate). Oh, you can't really see the burgundy color in either pic. Bummer. I'll try the Ott lite at home, later.

And this is what I cast on last night because......because....because I hadn't started anything new in ages and was compelled to. You can't tell it's I-cord w/picked up stitches, partly because the yarn is dark and partly because I think I should've done a mini one to figure out the configuration first. And the gauge. Yeah. Because I'm all about gauge.

Kitty pic! Escaping. She likes to get under the covers until......I don't know, heat prostration hits? And then she dives out for the open window.

Medium pre-empted last night for stupid Heist. Grrrr. Note to NBC: I am NEVER going to watch Heist, particularly since you took one of my favorite shows spot to air it in. Phhhht.

Caught The Queer Case of the Irish Crown Jewels on KQED last night. (The link isn't to the PBS website because I couldn't find any info on it there). I'd never even known that Ireland had Crown Jewels, much less stolen. Turns out the deed was just as likely to have been committed by Francis Shackleton (brother of Ernest Shackleton, the explorer played by Kenneth Branagh) but Sir Arthur Vicars took the fall as Francis Shackleton had an alibi and was married to King Edward's favorite sister, and if that wasn't enough, was the lover of.......some bigwig. Big cover-up! Possible scandal! Fun stuff.

Tonight - House returns! Yay!

Wednesday looks particularly good for TV too. At 8pm, The Story of 1 narrated by Terry Jones, tells how the Hindu Zero and the Arabic numerals liberated us from Rome amoung other accomplishments, Lost at 9pm (hopefully with much more Sayid this episode), and then CSI-NY.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Pirates! They're the new.......

uh, thing? They're everywhere. This is thanks to Ann of Sheep ShotsIron Anne Kidd

My pirate name is:

Mad Prudentilla Rackham

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I Got My Mystery Swap Stuff!

From Jenni, the sly minx. My camera battery died as I took the first pic (and I forgot to get the batteries when I was at home, bad me) so I can't load the pic or take another, but she got me an awesome haul. Skeins of burgundy Misti Alpaca that I've already knit up into about eight different projects in my head, Bellagio chocolate (gone, mysteriously), Tony Hillerman's The Blessing Way (I love his books. Peter Bowen writes series about Gabriel Du Pre, a Metis Indian in Montana that I like too), a Southwest bookmark, Starbuck's Italian Roast Coffee..... just. Awesome.

Now that is what I consider using your vacation time wisely. Thanks, Jenni!

In more prosaic news, watched Dr Who last night -I liked it. Once Rose snarked that the 'last human on earth' was nothing more than a "bitchy trampoline" I was hooked. Good news! I can pre-order the first season DVD before its June release! Ye gads. I'm still Not Buying Things (when is Easter? When? When? Forty days is a really long time).

Yay for Swaps. I got to shop! It really is as much fun to give as to receive. I'm not even a shopping kind of gal, but evidently I'm a buying kind of one. When the cash register rang up the total and I handed over the money, it just felt so. damme. good. (See? Damme! Rhett Butler would say that. I'm all about Rhett Butler).

I bet EZ Rawlins would say that too. Watched Devil In A Blue Dress this morning and now I'm all stoked for a Blues or Jazz club outing. It's been so long since I've read the book, I really liked the movie. (Usually I read the book, hate the movie. I try to see the movie first).

Got a few more rows done on the Adamas Shawl, leafed through the Tudor Rose book (Elizabeth I or Catherine Howard?), picked up the tweed wool for the twinset, studiously ignored the Norwegian Sock (that doesn't seem to be knitting itself), (the pink cable isn't either) and now what am I doing? I'm Not Working, that's what I'm doing.

Must. Work.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Yap, yap, yap

This cake is strictly for knitting content: Can you believe that? Colette's Cakes.

Howevah! This is the cake I want for my birthday. Or tonight. Whenever.

I took yesterday off because I was struck down suddenly by the I Can't Go To Work One More Day virus - it would've only been my 10th day in a row. I worked on the shawl - (realizing late last night that there are 14 repeats and not the ten I was thinking, which is good, because it may've been a wee on the small side, but is bad in that I thought I was halfway done. Two repeats ago. Nope, now I'm halfway done). The rows go without a hitch and then inexplicably, after counting obsessively and backtracking over the pattern, I drop a stitch or add one (or two, or three.....). At least now I can kind of fool with it in pattern but still.

So I wandered into the sewing room since I used to be fairly proficient at sewing and have approximately the same (if not more) UFO's, thinking to soothe my shattered nerves by doing something right.

Uh. No.

For one thing, I took the bobbin casing to clean (polarfleece sheds like a long haired cat in July) and couldn't figure out how to put the freaking thing back together. Mind you, it's two pieces, one of which will only fit one way and I've had that machine for ages. I should be able to do it blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back.

It took me *cough*forty minutes*cough* to figure out I was putting the ...whatmacallit in backwards.

After that self esteem destroying incident, I proceeded to sew the princess seam fronts to the back of the garment. After that, I picked up a book. I can't get into The Dante Club for some reason. Anyone read it? I'm barely 20 pages in, so it's not like I've actually given it a fair shake so far.

After that? TV. Lost. Is that really a miracle or is Sun messing with Jin's head? (Yes. All that took me all day. I got up at 6:30am too. Oh! I made Mexican Souffles too, but that was an hour out of my day. Of course those came out well. They're fattening. But scrumptious. And yeah, I picked up the blouse again and managed to get a big chunk of it done. Right. I hope.).

Hezekiah and I killed a couple of menacing yarn balls too. She's so funny. She gets mad if I'm too helpful but bored if the yarn just lays there.

The sidecar in my earlier post has a......beagle? Snoopy dog in it. He's kind of facing the rider so you can see his head in the lower right corner of the sidecar windshield and some of his body is in the rest of the lower windshield. I know it's a crappy picture but I snapped it while sitting at a light craning around with the zoom on. If I had better photo skills (or photo software) I could've blown it up, but there you go. I don't and I didn't. But it was cute. He looked soooooo darn happy. Road Trip!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tuesday? Is that All? Is it Summer yet?

Gratuitous kitty pic.

Now this one you'll have to probably click on for the big picture, but look v-e-r-y closely at the chap riding in the sidecar.

I'd post knitting progress but I managed to knit about a quarter of a row before I gave up, watched Medium and fell asleep. Still no House tonight. I think only one more week of House-lessness.

Monday, March 20, 2006

A Little Progress & Flowers

Sheri brought me flowers to the the office yesterday because I was in an intensely weepy mood but mostly because she's The Best Friend Ever. Straight out of her garden. Frost must be good for some flowers. See? All year 'round.

And in knitting news, with a little help from Mim, I'm halfway through the repeats on the shawl! (Please don't remind me that each repeat gets progressively longer. I'm trying to think of it as compound interest instead of EIGHTY BILLION STITCHES.)

And that's it. It's all work a lot, knit a little, sleep later.

by Boris Pasternak

Like a beast in a pen, I'm cut off
From my friends, freedom, the sun,
But the hunters are gaining ground.
I've nowhere else to run.
Dark wood and the bank of a pond,
Trunk of a fallen tree.
There's no way forward, no way back.
It's all up with me.

Am I a gangster or murderer?
Of what crime do I stand
Condemned? I made the whole world weep
At the beauty of my land.

Even so, one step from my grave,
I believe that cruelty, spite,
The powers of darkness will in time
Be crushed by the spirit of light.

The beaters in a ring close in
With the wrong prey in view,
I've nobody at my right hand,
Nobody faithful and true.

And with such a noose on my throat
I should like for one second
My tears to be wiped away
By someone at my right hand.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The only knitting I've done the last few days was wind an extremely skewed skein of yarn into a ball at a meeting Wednesday night. Thoughtfully it took as long as the meeting lasted. There might be a reason it was such a great deal. Also? I need a ball winder. In fact, there are MANY, MANY things I need.

Next year, when I want to give up something for Lent, remind me to do something easy, like giving up breathing. It's not as if I set difficult to reach standards either. Netflix is an ongoing bill, so I can get all the DVD's I want (not that I've watched any since December).

Colors of InfinitColors of InfinitAnyone else catch y last night? Good grief. I know I've got a cold that's dropping my IQ to my shoe size, but I did not type that. PBS special Colors of Infinity, hosted by Arthur C Clarke about the Mandelbrot set. Check out the Mandelbrot Set Generator.

Dr Who, the latest incarceration incarnation on the Sci Fi channel tonight at 9pm. I hope I'm asleep.

And, in the spirit of Lolly's Project Spectrum (I don't have to belong to play, do I?) here's a nifty little psych quiz:

Well, nifty if it stops whiting out my blog.At least I think it's its fault. And yes, that makes perfect sense to me.

No, I've decided it's Blogger. WTH?

Wasabi is awesome for a stuffed up nose. Sadly it doesn't last long.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Not So Much Knitting Content

Ambuguity blows. Hated The Lady and The Tiger right along with you. I did enjoy Life of Pi even though I can't decide which was the "real" story. I picked up Max and the Cats by Moacyr Sclair to see how differently Yann Martel wrote from his inspiration.

I'm going to have to read that Tom Robbins book. I thought I had, since I've read most of his books, but I can't for the life of me place it.

Jenni, GET OFF THE NET AND STARE AT THE SCENERY. Sheesh. Zion is beautiful. (And "Hi!" ;) (Picture not Zion, just in case you couldn't tell by the incredible amount of telephone wires. And houses. It's actually the best pic I got of all the snow on Mt Diablo and that was after pulling over a few times to snap a shot. I wanted to get both peaks with the snow but the only place I could see it really well was in the middle of the intersection.)

This is what Hezekiah is hissing at:

Or more clearly, this:

My aunt and uncle's newest child, Riley. Hezekiah was NOT amused that that dog was in the house, even for a couple of hours Monday night and breakfast Tuesday morning and she's not allowed to be at all. . (although.....wait. who reads this? Never mind) She punished me last night by running away all night (she showed up at 6am.) (I checked all night long).

After, of course, I went to the neighbors on one side and queried (nicely, mind you) if their (sweet natured) pit bull ate her (they claimed no, but would they tell me, I ask you? Okay, it turns out that their (sweet tempered) pit bull didn't but she could have), and then to the other neighbors who weren't even home.

Not much knitting - Mim! I can't believe you even came close to recognizing the pattern after all that marking and blowing up. I know you wouldn't recognize it by the knitting. I'm torn on whether I should just frog the whole thing and chalk this up to a swatch (which it should be) or whether I should just power ahead and run a lifeline in it every other row and just Do It Right From Here On Out and pray to the Blocking Gods. Thanks for all the kind words on it, guys! The color and the yarn, if not the knitting, lol.

Of course I did manage to watch some TV last night (How William Shatner Changed the World should be on again, Zee. I think it Aven mentioned it was a repeat Sunday night). On NCIS, DeNozzo was actually competent. Still hate The Director. Even the happy ending was ruined for me because she engineered it. (This is possibly a little too much hate for a fictional character.) Scrubs next, but I barely registered it before flipping the channel. It was the 3 month anniversary of Sheba's death, Hez was missing, I was not in the mood to be amused. Couldn't read anything new either, so I re-read parts of Life of Pi. I still can't decide which is the better story. I tend to believe the bulk of the novel and yet.....but they're both fantastic.

Dammit, if my aunt gave me whatever hideous cold she has, I'm going to throttle her. I can't be sick right now. At least I can't lay around the house on my death bed. I have to work. She has to visit during the busiest time of my year and get me sick???? (And not harboring any ill will at all by her bringing her adorable puppy and annoying my cat). Not at all.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Actual Knitting Content!

Notice that there are row and rows of lace! Not necessarily Mim's pattern, I should probably say "as interpreted by" because what's up with all the dropping and adding of stitches that I do? It's not just the mohair either which is evil (but pretty) in it's own right.

I'm thinking that I can make this my Life of Pi project. Mohair, as Imbrium pointed out is from a goat (I think)and goats figure prominently in the book. More like scapegoat, and there you are! My knitting and the allegorical aspect of the book.

Jennifer made some of the stitcmarkers out of cats-eye and tiger eye, there are some aquatic looking colors, and voila. More reasons. The diamonds can represent the hardness of Pi's plight, or the worth of what he finds during it.

Did I mention I read Life of Pi? I really liked it, although I'm not a fan of the ending. Hate when authors, directors, etc do that. Make a choice. After declaration Pi makes about agnostics, atheists and believers, his author made the choice he despises most.

Yeah, woke up with a migraine yesterday and didn't have any Maxalt for it, so I took an old, old Fiornal. It worked, amazingly, and it also made me not want to operate heavy machinery, so lounged around and read and knitted all day. Lovely, lovely day.

Currently reading The Dante Club. Currently listening to the CD's on the History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts.

Anyone catch How William Shatner Changed the World on the History Channel last night? (Not you, Chris.) Boy, William Shatner has come a long way from the days of telling Trekkies to get a life. It was fun. I want to see the Computer Museum in the barn in Boulder Creek now. Madly.

More snow on Mt. Diablo. I think this is a record.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Season Finale For Sci-Fi Friday

Stargate SG1 wraps up its 9th season tonight. With any luck, they'll find the weapon that can kill ascended beings and use it on every Ori in all universes because the Ori? Are a boring enemy. They sound good on paper but have been dull. as. dirt. Say what you will about the Goa'uld, but they were, for the most part, a good looking bunch. The Ori? Creepy looking. Why is every religious nutcase alien culture dressed in medieval garb? Just once I'd like to see them dressed like the Jetsons or Star Trek: The Next Generation. Claudia Black joins the cast next season. Here's hoping it's not a Vala's Baby arc.

Stargate Atlantis brings back Tripp from the Enterprise Michael the Wraith (Conner Trineer) for their season finale. I'm enjoying Atlantis more than SG1 lately. Maybe because the Wraith, while equally ugly are more entertaining? Maybe because I have an uncharacteristic crush on Rodney McKay? I like Ronin and Dr Beckett and I love the humor in the show. Maybe it's just more fun. I think that SG1 suffered from losing so many characters all at once. Janet Frazier, Hammond of Texas, Jack, Jacob. Not even my love of Ben Browder makes up for their loss. (Not that I'm skipping the show or anything).

And last, but certainly not least, Battlestar Galactica. I follow this one more hit or miss and I don't know why because every time I watch it, even if I've missed episodes, it's always gripping.

Yes, clearly this is What To Watch tonight. I'd post knitting content but all I've done is rip back the row on the shawl, do a couple more repeats on the turquoise scarf and contemplate ripping it all out. It's gonna be scratchy. I can't stand scratchy and Rachel doesn't like it much either. Unless I can turn it into a purse or a cell phone holder (not that she has a cellphone. Not that she doesn't want one) there really doesn't seem much point to keep knitting it. Something about getting home roughly 40 minutes before I crash makes knitting hard.

Oh! I had the weirdest dream the other night. I was teaching someone to count change. I hate that they take your $20 bill for a $12.87 purchase, enter it into the register and count back $7.13 in change which ends up with the dime and 3 pennies on top of the dollar bills. The *right way to do it is to count three cents to equal 90 cents, a dime to bring it to $13, two one dollar bills to $15 and then a $5 to total the $20 the customer gave you.

*and by right, I mean My Way.

Look what a client made me. Isn't that the cutest bookmark ever?

Snow again on Mt Diablo this morning. I might be able to wear my wool stuff after all. I can't remember the last time it snowed on Mt Diablo (but yeah, I know that it's happened) but more than once in the year? Amazing. You might have to click on the picture to see it. I snapped it pulling out of the library parking lot.

Lily Chin teaching in Walnut Creek March 11, 2006

FYI: Lily Chin is giving a class on Tips & Tricks for Knitters 9- noon, and Tips & Tricks for Crocheters 1:30-4:30 at the Contra Costa Jewish Community Center 2701 Tice Valley Blvd, Walnut Creek, CA on Saturday, March 11. The Yarn Boutique in Lafayette is sponsoring it.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Cute puppy pictures from The Woolen Rabbit.

FYI: Lily Chin is giving a class on Tips & Tricks for Knitters 9- noon, and Tips & Tricks for Crocheters 1:30-4:30 at the Contra Costa Jewish Community Center 2701 Tice Valley Blvd, Walnut Creek, CA on Saturday, March 11. The Yarn Boutique in Lafayette is sponsoring it.

That rust yarn is to make this:

The DVD is from The Teaching Company at my brother's recommendation. I was forced to pick up a couple more (CD version) because they were having a killer sale.

Howard Heseman was the guest star on House last night! I had such a crush on him when he was Dr. Johnny Fever on WKRP. Another crush was David Carradine in Kung Fu, and there he was on Medium Monday night. Repeat of Lost tonight, the idiotic discovery of Kate's obsession over a stupid toy airplane. Modern Marvels is on the History Channel, but since it's butchers, taxidermists and the history of leather, I think I'll pass. Cities of the Underworld, at 11pm looks interesting though. Archaeologists search beneath modern buildings in Istanbul, Turkey for ruins from the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. I think I'll tape it.

CSI:NY is new. No word on whether another crush from my youth is on.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Dear Doctor, I Have Read Your Play, published 1830
Dear Doctor, I have read your play,
Which is a good one in its way,
Purges the eyes, and moves the bowels,
And drenches handkerchiefs like towels
With tears that, in a flux of grief,
Afford hysterical relief
To shatter'd nerves and quicken'd pulses,
Which your catastrophe convulses.
I like your moral and machinery;
Your plot, too, has such scope for scenery!
Your dialogue is apt and smart;
The play's concoction full of art;
Your hero raves, your heroine cries,
All stab, and everybody dies;
In short, your tragedy would be
The very thing to hear and see;
And for a piece of publication,
If I decline on this occasion,
It is not that I am not sensible
To merits in themselves ostensible,
But--and I grieve to speak it--plays
Are drugs--mere drugs, Sir, nowadays.
I had a heavy loss by Manuel --
Too lucky if it prove not annual--
And Sotheby, with his damn'd Orestes
(Which, by the way, the old bore's best is),
Has lain so very long on hand
That I despair of all demand;
I've advertis'd--but see my books,
Or only watch my shopman's looks;
Still Ivan , Ina and such lumber
My back-shop glut, my shelves encumber.
There's Byron too, who once did better,
Has sent me--folded in a letter--
A sort of--it's no more a drama
Than Darnley , Ivan or Kehama :
So alter'd since last year his pen is,
I think he's lost his wits at Venice,
Or drain'd his brains away as stallion
To some dark-eyed and warm Italian;
In short, Sir, what with one and t'other,
I dare not venture on another.
I write in haste; excuse each blunder;
The coaches through the street so thunder!
My room's so full; we've Gifford here
Reading MSS with Hookham Frere,
Pronouncing on the nouns and particles
Of some of our forthcoming articles,
The Quarterly --ah, Sir, if you
Had but the genius to review!
A smart critique upon St. Helena,
Or if you only would but tell in a
Short compass what--but, to resume;
As I was saying, Sir, the room--
The room's so full of wits and bards,
Crabbes, Campbells, Crokers, Freres and Wards,
And others, neither bards nor wits--
My humble tenement admits
All persons in the dress of Gent.,
From Mr. Hammond to Dog Dent.
A party dines with me today,
All clever men who make their way:
Crabbe, Malcolm, Hamilton and Chantrey
Are all partakers of my pantry.
They're at this moment in discussion
On poor De Sta{:e}l's late dissolution.
Her book, they say, was in advance--
Pray Heaven she tell the truth of France!
'Tis said she certainly was married
To Rocca, and had twice miscarried,
No--not miscarried, I opine--
But brought to bed at forty nine.
Some say she died a Papist; some
Are of opinion that's a hum;
I don't know that--the fellow, Schlegel,
Was very likely to inveigle
A dying person in compunction
To try the extremity of unction.
But peace be with her! for a woman
Her talents surely were uncommon.
Her publisher (and public too)
The hour of her demise may rue,
For never more within his shop he--
Pray--was she not interr'd at Coppet?
Thus run our time and tongues away;
But, to return, Sir, to your play;
Sorry, Sir, but I cannot deal,
Unless 'twere acted by O'Neill.
My hands are full--my head so busy,
I'm almost dead--and always dizzy;
And so, with endless truth and hurry,
Dear Doctor, I am yours,


John Murray? It's Lord Byron, who I think was really Gordon George, but don't quote me. No particular reason why that poem caught my eye today, but I like it. Now I want to see a play.

In Knitting News: Worked a bit on the turquoise scarf which went much faster when I just eyeballed where the drop-four-rows-and-pick-up-the-5th-row-down-yarn stitch went instead of counting. I continue to add and subtract stitches with wild abandon, but I don't care as long as it's not unraveling, which it doesn't seem to be doing, so maybe it's another case of I can't count stitches.

Did I mention I gave up spending money for Lent? Not bills mind you (although I would love to have that conversation with say, PG&E and Cable) so of course, the very first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, I see this. I want it. Not to mention, I spend money like water. Not lots of it, but a fairly steady trickle. Coffee in the morning, lunch, books, yarn, the vending machine down the hall.....lots of little things here and there. I had no idea.

There was a suggestion on KFOG (local radio station) that we give up something random, like, say, punctuation, which appeals to me, but I don't think I could do it, as even text messages make me want to pull out a red pen and fix 'em.

House is on tonight! Scubs looks sad. That Risk Takers/History Makers show on The History Channel followed a 19th century exploration of the Grand Canyon last week, but it was a little too Amazing Race/Survivor for me.

What's up with all the concerts on the PBS stations? Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have a venue for them, but all the time? I'd like a little educational content occasionally. Newsflash for The History Channel. There's more to history than World War II.

I'm getting ready to cancel my subscription to the TV Guide. I can figure out that "various programs" are on during the day without having to verify that with their increasingly useless rag. They're not doing the local stations, their online magazine won't look up movies and programs by the actor, director or name of the movie and tell you all the showings anymore, the SF Chronicle thinks that there' nothing on TV between midnight and 6am (which, possibly, no, but I'd like to see for myself). Thank goodness for the Contra Costa Times TV Guide.

Now if TCM would just fold. AMC doesn't show movies much that I consider classic and you hardly ever see any movies made before 1980 on any of the basic channels. Bah.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I wanted to show off my progress on The Adamas Shawl but I'd forgotten that mohair is pretty but evil. Evil, evil, evil.

(Warning. The following story was written late at night in a fit of rage and despair. It also illustrates beautifully why I did not grow up to be a famous novelist.)

What REALLY Happened in the Garden of Eden:

I don't think it was an apple or a tomato or anything from a tree. It was a sheep. (Tree/Sheep. Works for me)I think the Devil grabbed a skein of mohair (because who else would think of shearing an annoyed sheep, cleaning it, spinning it and then using it to knit stuff?) and told Eve "Look! How beautiful! Soft. Fuzzy......... Pet can make gorgeous garments from this."

Eve looked puzzled and asked "What are garments?"

The Serpent (looking suspiciously like Jean Paul Gaultier, c'mon, tell me that this is not the work of the Devil)) replied, astonished "You don't wear garments? But cherie! they can show off your beautifully small waist! Those hips! Those thighs! And you'd look stunning in this......diaper culotte fashion disaster Straight From the Runway Creation." (Granted, not knitted but perfect for Devilish representation.)

Eve, seduced, takes the skein of mohair to show Adam. He remains unconvinced until she tells him she'll knit him a sweater and manly matching scarf. And that, my friends, is how we were expelled from the Garden of Eden. By mohair and its evil seductiveness.

So. Short story? (On the shawl. Stay with me.) No progress. But I think I could tell you the first 10 rows in my sleep. How I keep getting off count is beyond me. Other than, well, I blame mohair ( and the inability to count in........evidently, numerical order) I zealously worked on it last night with earplugs in my ears in a small silent space and made it to the 17th row! Before I lost track. It was late though. This is strictly the fault of the yarn (hairy freaking string) and the operator. I've seen it knit up beautifully. But look! Actual knitting.

Book Swap Info: (for Knit the Classics)


1. What is your favorite type of yarn/fibers?
Well, it's not mohair at the moment. Wool really, but I'm in the wrong region.

2. Any yarns/fibers you absolutely hate?
Yucky feeling stuff. I don't care if it's natural or forged in a chem lab, if it feels good, I like it.

3. Any type that you would love to try but haven't yet?
Cascade 220 (I think that's the go-to felting yarn.) I want to felt something. (Isn't that a song?)

4. Any yarn allergies or sensitivities?
Itchy yucky stuff.

5. Favorite colors?
Orange. Red. Brown. At least that's what I seem to wear.

6. Favorite type of thing to knit: socks, lace, fair isle etc.
I like to knit everything. I manage to finish shawls, socks, the odd sweater (and I do mean odd)

7. Any knitting tools you would love to have?

That I don't have? More cool measuring tapes? Stitchmarkers.

8. Favorite tools you already have?
Crochet hooks. Freakin' indispensable. Stitchmarkers.

9. Favorite knitting designer?
Kathy Zimmerman, Nicky Epstein, Lily Chin, Deborah New.........uh, no. I like a lot of designers.

10. Favorite knitting book?
Stitch pattern books.

11. Any knitting books you would like?
The Pam Allen Scarf book. Out of Africa.


1. Favorite foods/flavors?

Peanut butter.

2. Foods/flavors you dislike?
Chuck roast. (I am now picturing someone mailing a chuck roast).

3. Any food allergies?

4. Do you like tea or coffee?
I love coffee, but pretty much just plain old (high end) coffee. No flavorings.


1. Favorite genre?

Black plague. History (mostly Queen Elizabeth era, or England). Mysteries. Time Travel.

2. Favorite authors?
Connie Willis. Alison Weir. Jack Higgins. Sharyn McCrumb, Alice Hoffman. Kage Baker. Charles de Lint.....

3. Top three favorite books?

Subject to change by mood

4. Anything you dislike to read?

5. Do you like to listen to audiobooks? Cassette, cd or mp3 format?
I do. CD and cassette.


1. Other hobbies besides knitting?

Reading, whining and complaining.

2. Do you collect anything?
Yarn and books. Stitchmarkers.

3. Favorite scent?
None. Migraines and allergies have made me a fan of scent free products.

4. Any scent you dislike or are allergic to?
Lavender. Rose. Perfumes.

5. Music that you like or dislike?
I like the Big Band era, Swing and Jazz most consistently. I listen to pretty much everything, but my taste is all over the map.

And now for pictoral knitting progress. This was done........four-fiveish years ago.

Isn't that a pretty border stitch? From Nicky Epstein's Knitted Embellishments. I loved it and "designed" a sweater around it.

Said "designed" sweater:

Notice anything, ah, peculiar about the neckline? Shoulders? Yeah. Back to the Frog Pond. At least down to the sleeve join. I think I'm going to knit them separately this time.

And this little number I did between rows 1-17 eleventy million times just to prove to myself that I could knit something. Notice anything odd about it? None of the ends or joins are weaved in. I finished it, washed it, blocked it and then thought.......hmmmm. Idiot.

Medium is on tonight! I didn't watch the Oscars last night (just to show how engrossed I was in the Adamas Shawl, I didn't even think of it until they announced the winners this morning - hey, actually accomplishing almost the whole upper body chart is way more important than dumb movies awards. But I did want to see how Jon Stewart did. I bet he was great.) Knit & Plenty had a hysterical post about the Oscars too.

I noticed when I was alpabetizing my.......whatchacallit list for blogs that I don't have even a fraction of the sites I have bookmarked and visit. Not even close. Bookmarking is sooooo much easier.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

All About Books

Lifted shamelessly from The Costco Connection March 2006 Vol 21 #3

And a Book Meme......that I can't remember where I first saw it because I was tracking it backwards. Here's where I last was; 50 books. And sadly, I was not officially tagged for it, so I'm not officially tagging anyone else but I'd love to see Chittas'vrtti, Chris, Imbrium, Teabird, Stephanie, Jenni, & Aven do one. Among everyone else IN THE WORLD.

1) Name five of your favourite books.

a. Loose Change by Sara Davidson
b. Centennial by James Michener
c. Gospel by Wilton Barnhardt (this is what the DaVinci Code wanted to be)
d. Any Jack Higgins thriller
e. Probable Future by Alice Hoffman

2) What was the last book you bought?

That would be three of them at Long's Drug Store Monday morning when I went in for Ibuprofen.

Ex Libris by Ross King
Catastrophes, Chaos and DisastersConvolutions by.....a science fiction author whose name begins with a J but I can't remember and it's clearly not the right title....will get back to this. James Hogan
And........something Captain Alatriste by Arturo Perez-Reverte

Ha. Here's a pic of them in my car, along with the Books of the Month I picked up at the library while renewing Bleak House. Guess there's not a big demand for it, more's the pity.

3) What was the last book you read finished?

The Yarn Harlot by Stephanie Peal-McPhee

I'm currently reading Bleak House by Charles Dickens. Which reminds me. Rats! I think it's overdue at the library and I'm not done. (It was. $2.75. Whoops) Stupid plague. Couldn't read, couldn't watch the PBS series, tried to wait it out.

4) List five books that have been particularly meaningful to you (in no particular order).

Oh geez. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett. The Odd One (? I read this in elementary school which was a long, long time ago. Loose Change (Sara Davidson). Second Nature (Alice Hoffman),The Last Place God Made (Jack Higgins)

5) Name three books you've been dying to read but just haven't gotten around to it?

Pull any three on my TBR shelf. They are all calling to me. Who Murdered Chaucer? Terry Jones. The Perfect Prince Anne Wroe. The Ice Queen. Alice Hoffman. There! Three is easy. Five? Not so much.

Anyone catch Six Degrees of Francis Bacon last night on the History Channel? I taped it because it came on at 11pm but it looks fun. The father of Science? Lost was actually good. Nothing but Without A Trace tonight, and of course, the 6pm showing of Stargate SG1. Not that I'm obsessed or anything. Not that I'm home by then either. What do I care? I've got the DVD's now.

I'd post knitting content, but I'm casting on and doing the first few rows of the Adamas Shawl
and lace really does look horrid. Especially when the yarn is essentially hairy string. Pretty color though. Oh, I'll probably take a pic of it tonight, but it's pathetic. Oh, check out this Olympic effort! Susoolu's Amazing Shawl.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Last Hallelujah

I love this song. No more (h)allelujah's until Easter.



Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I've got the version Leonard Cohen(the author), Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan, Rufus Wainwright and K.D. Lang. Really, I like Jeff Buckley's version on Grace the best. He altered the lyrics at the end which I like better:

Jeff Buckley's version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah:

i heard there was a secret chord
that david played and it pleased the lord
but you don't really care for music, do you
well it goes like this the fourth, the fifth
the minor fall and the major lift
the baffled king composing hallelujah


well your faith was strong but you needed proof
you saw her bathing on the roof
her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
she tied you to her kitchen chair
she broke your throne and she cut your hair
and from your lips she drew the hallelujah


baby i've been here before
i've seen this room and i've walked this floor
i used to live alone before i knew you
i've seen your flag on the marble arch
but love is not a victory march
it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah


well there was a time when you let me know
what's really going on below
but now you never show that to me do you
but remember when i moved in you
and the holy dove was moving too
and every breath we drew was hallelujah

well, maybe there's a god above
but all i've ever learned from love
was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
it's not a cry that you hear at night
it's not somebody who's seen the light
it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah