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October 31, 2006


Happy Halloween, to those who celebrate it! I'm headed over to the home of a friend who lives in a neighborhood that's more... neighborhood-like. Because I love trick-or-treaters, but I live in probably the worst spot possible for them. My road is busy with lots of blind curves, and my apartment is rather well-hidden.

So I'm off to eat give out candy, watch addictive TV, and work frantically on magazine stuff. Then at midnight we start our novels. Wheee!

Posted by Kat at 06:17 PM | Comments (2)

October 30, 2006

Monday Happy Things - Prizes!!!

I know summer is totally way over, but I found some more SRP prizes! And hey, who doesn't like prizes? So, drawn randomly among the winners, I have prizes for:

E-liz W.
Kate B.
Kristy H.
Sara B.

Send me your addresses, ladies!

Posted by Kat at 08:39 PM | Comments (5)

October 29, 2006

Sundays are for Stitching

I mentioned a few days ago that I've started cross stitching again. I used to be quite into it, but my craft-related pursuits have been centered on knitting for the past few years. I've realized that one of the main reasons for this is that it's way easier to knit while multitasking than it is to follow a counted cross stitch chart. (Of course, this isn't true for all knitting, and I think this is where my one-at-a-time resolution will soon break down - I'm going to want to start something with complicated cables or lace, and I'll concurrently have to start something simple for homework/conversation knitting.) Therefore, when I started the two-jobs-and-grad-school thing, I basically stopped stitching.

So why now? Well, basically for the same reason. Right now, with NaNoWriMo and ML duties and Yarn Life and D&D and more friends and the two-jobs-and-grad-school thing, I'm probably busier and more scattered than I've ever been. So the idea of doing something that would prevent me from super-multitasking, at least for a little while, seemed like it could be very good for me. Plus I missed stitching, and the people I knew from the online stitching community. So here I am.

For now, at least I'm using this rotation system, except that I'm starting with two projects instead of four. I'm going to try to stitch at least a few times a week, but I'm planning to take time out on Sundays to make sure I do so. (Hence the name of this post, with a nod to Tuesdays are for Spinning.) Because Sundays are the right sort of day for making a nice mug of Earl Grey, curling up on the couch, watching Masterpiece Theatre, and stitching.

So anyway. I'll also try to post updated pictures on Sundays of whatever project(s) I was working on that week. I'll post here, but I've also started a simple stitching section of the site where you'll be able to see all my projects and all their work in progress pictures, and eventually pictures of my finishes by year. (Yeah, I'm thinking ahead.)

Okay. Without further ado, here's my stitching accomplished this week:


It's this teacup quilt kit, about 2.5 hours of work. At this rate, in about three weeks I'll get to work on something else. Whee!

Posted by Kat at 06:34 PM | Comments (0)

Falling back

I've always hated the springing forward part of daylight savings. I mean, losing time? What's with that? Plus, it always makes me feel jet-lagged, even though it's only an hour. The falling back part, though, that I can get behind. I mean, who wouldn't want an extra hour? It always seemed so magical when I was a kid. I would wake up, read for an hour, go downstairs, and find that it was the same time as it had been when I woke up. (Well, at least as far as I was concerned.) And yes, finding extra time to read has been one of my main objectives for at least 20 years.

Since I had no time-sensitive commitments this morning, I decided last night that I would try to recapture that "extra hour" magic. I didn't change my clock before bed last night, and it worked wonderfully. I woke up naturally around 7:20, stayed cuddled up in bed to finish the book I was reading, got up at 9:30, and found that Teddy TiVo told me it was 8:30. Brilliant.

There's also, of course, the literal dark side of the whole "extra time" issue. The sun is setting awfully early. Honestly, though, that doesn't bother me too much. It just seems right. All this week, it's been feeling like it was time. I've decided that there are two parts of autumn in New England. The first has the hints of cooler air, the crispness, the apples and leaves, the gorgeous light. We're mostly past that now. Now we're on to the cool days and bitter nights, the driving rain, the wind, the darkness. It's deeper, more complex, more difficult, but I still love it. For the past several days it's felt like it's time to settle in, to circle the wagons, to get ready for the long winter. Get out the tea and the candles and the Dickens and the wool.

Posted by Kat at 10:35 AM | Comments (4)

October 27, 2006

Your Doctor Who news update

(Did that get your attention, Cate?)

Here at knit-bloggers' Doctor Who headquarters, we have received word that a new spin-off, aimed at children, will be airing in 2007. It's called The Sarah Jane Adventures and features Sarah Jane Smith, a companion of doctors three and four. Yes, she's the one who guest starred in the school episode. News story here.

We're also hearing that Torchwood is doing pretty well in Britain, but no news yet on a stateside showing.

Posted by Kat at 02:31 PM | Comments (4)

October 26, 2006

How meta of me.

I sort of feel bad for basically pimping my other blog on my blog, but I thought you might like to know that Yarn Life Blog is up and running, and has a Today in Blogland post up about Rhinebeck Reports.

(Also, the remaining SRP stuff is going in the mail on Monday. I promise. You can come take away my wool if I don't manage to get to the post office.)

Posted by Kat at 02:03 PM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2006

Oh, hi! Wednesday randoms!

Hello out there! I'm back from my trip, but still trying to get back into my normal routines, and feeling all discombobulated. But hey, it's Wednesday. Let's do some randoms.

1. Trip was good. No need to discuss how much chocolate we ate or how much we drank or how much money we spent at the Hershey's gift shops and nearby outlets. We will need to discuss the bag of yarn I bought at WEBS on the way home - I'll try to take pictures and get that up tomorrow.

2. Have you seen Fantasy Congress? Anyone playing? I'm tempted...

3. Have you all signed up for NaNoWriMo? Yes? Good. NH kick-off party on Sunday. Be there. (Leave a comment if you need details.)

4. I've started cross stitching again. Because, say it with me here, I clearly don't have enough to do.

5. Hee! I just heard something really funny and exciting. But I can't tell yet. I will later, I promise. But hah! And also hee! Really, I'm sitting here in my cube laughing.

6. Yarn Life now has a blog. (And I think I'm in love with WordPress.) Not much there yet, but there will be lots more coming this week, so you should all subscribe to the blog so you see the updates.

Posted by Kat at 01:54 PM | Comments (4)

October 19, 2006

Travel reading

(Note: I was going to link to an earlier post I wrote on the subject, but I guess it was at my old blog. Oops.)

As I mentioned, I'm going away this weekend: leaving tonight, coming back Monday. Among other things, this means that about a week ago I started worrying about what I was going to bring to read. I used to have a whole system worked out for trips, involving a book for each day, different genres, and strict mass-market-only format rules. My new One at a Time principle, however, means all that had to change. One book. For the whole long weekend. It was sort of a scary thought, but I knew that I wouldn't exactly have tons of time to read, anyway.

So. One book. My criteria had to be a bit different. Firstly, format wouldn't matter so much. I'd still prefer paperback, but since I'd only be carrying one, I wasn't too worried about weight or suitcase space. The "must belong to me" rule held, though; I've learned, finally, from the time I took a friend's book camping and got it rather damp, and the time I left a book borrowed from the store at my parents' house in Connecticut. Since I was only bringing one, it had to be engaging and fairly long.

The content criteria were a bit more nebulous. Whether we like to admit it or not, it's hard not to consider how the book we're carrying around will make us look to others. And I'm spending the weekend with a bunch of book people, so I felt like my best bet was something very new or obscure or both. (And yes, in case any of you are reading this, I'm aware that no one in this particular group will be judging me based on my reading material. I just think about things too much.) I'm going to be sharing a room with a friend, and spending most of my time with a group, so I needed something that I could pick up and put down and not worry too much about getting interrupted, but that would also hold my attention. Narrative nonfiction seemed to be the way to go.

But what? History? Biography? I flitted from book to book, but nothing seemed quite right. I even bought Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, which I've been wanting to read for a while, with the idea that it would work in a pinch. But it seemed so two years ago. (This is one of the hazards of working at a bookstore. I see everything as soon as it comes out - or before - but since I see everything, my reading list is hundreds of books long and I generally seem to be at least a few years behind.)

Then, finally, salvation. Last Saturday, I walked in to the back room at work and found an advance copy of Erik Larson's new book, Thunderstruck. Perfect: non-fiction that would read like a novel. Almost 500 pages. I haven't actually managed to read Larson's previous hit yet (see the above about being a few years behind), but I've heard enough good reviews of it to give him a try. And the new one isn't being released until the 24th, so it can't possibly be passe yet. Right?

Posted by Kat at 12:21 PM | Comments (2)

October 18, 2006

Let's just call her "Young Billie Piper"

I was just perusing IMDb (yes, yes, I should be in bed, I know), and I noticed that Julia Joyce, the girl who played the young version of Rose on the "Father's Day" Ninth Doctor episode is playing Young Sally Lockhart in The Ruby in the Smoke and Young Fanny Price in Mansfield Park. Guess who's playing both Sally Lockhart and Fanny Price? Yup, Billie Piper, aka Rose. Hee!

It also just occurred to me that you can monitor upcoming Austen adaptations through Austen's page at IMDb. Several coming up soon. Wheee. Also, what is this?? They made a P&P modernization in 2003 that I never heard about? Anyone seen it? Thoughts?

Posted by Kat at 11:51 PM | Comments (1)

Super Bonus Randoms!

I'm in the mood, so really, why not?

1. The presentation went well; I got a 98. Yay. And the professor, wonderful man that he is, heard that I wasn't feeling well and sent me home almost two hours early. Which means that I got home at a reasonable time and have now sort of started packing for my trip.

2. Since no one else has stepped forward, I'm claiming Femiknit Mafia's brother. Would any of our mutual friends who have actually met me in person (ahem, Cate, I'm looking at you) like to provide me with a reference?

3. Watching the Project Runway finale. Eeek.

4. Speaking of which, other TV thoughts: I am adoring Studio 60 and continue to be underwhelmed by Heroes. Gilmore Girls has totally won me back with the past few episodes. Veronica Mars is still my favorite. I am starting to forgive the Tenth Doctor for being different. Starting.

5. Yay, I am happy with the Project Runway results.

6. What else was I going to say? I swear there was other stuff. Oh well.

Posted by Kat at 09:47 PM | Comments (2)

Wednesday Randoms

1. I'm home sick. Typical, seeing as how I have to give a presentation in class tonight and I'm leaving for a trip tomorrow. Blah. I slept for an extra four hours after e-mailing my boss this morning, so I'm hoping that that + caffeine + Advil gets me through.

2. Aforementioned trip? I haven't actually started packing. Oops.

3. We're supposed to dress "professionally" for this presentation, and I was going to wear a blouse and skirt, I swear. But I'm sick and there's just no way I'm shaving my legs and wearing stockings, etc. So corduroys and a sweater is as professional as I'm getting today. At least I'm wearing nice shoes instead of my regular hiking boots or clogs. That should count for something, right? (Since my presentation is on information organization from the Renaissance to the French Revolution, I am very tempted to wear Kristy's spare Ren Faire outfit, which I happen to have right here. But I'm resisting.)

4. Since a few of you asked: The scarf is a Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf in Knit One, Crochet Too's Paint Box. Mr. Coffee is more formally known as Mr. Coffee TFX23 12 Cup Programmable Coffee Maker - Black. Actually, no, that doesn't seem to be his exact model number, but it's very very close.

5. Fewer than I thought, actually:

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

6. Okay, must go present. Ack. I hate presentations. In six hours, it'll be over...

Posted by Kat at 02:57 PM | Comments (3)

October 16, 2006

Monday Night Happy Things

1. Meet Mr. Coffee.

Mr. Coffee

I know, I know, the name is totally unimaginative. But it was so perfect that I couldn't bear to change it. Besides, he feels like he is somehow in the same tradition as the great Mr. Washie, and I can't take that point of pride away from him. Defulct used to make us coffee most mornings, but he's been gone for a few months now, and it was time to deal with my coffeelessness. I was debating whether to spent the extra $10 for the programmable version - yeah, it sounded nifty, but did I really need that? - when I realized that only the programmable ones had auto shut off. Without auto shut off, I spend all day convinced that the house is burning down. (Not that I've ever actually forgotten to turn off the coffee pot. I just worry.) That peace of mind was totally worth the $10.

And you know what? Like Teddy TiVo and Aurelia iPod before him, Mr. Coffee with all his programmability is one of those things that I wasn't entirely convinced I needed - but the instant I used him I started wondering how I lived without him for so long. I cannot express my joy at finding coffee waiting for me when I got up this morning. So darn cool. (You know what else he did? He cleverly came with a bunch of filters, because he knew that I wouldn't remember to buy any.)

Pictured with Mr. Coffee is his friend the orange cat mug, which Erica brought me yesterday. They make quite a nice pair.

2. My scarf is also making me happy:

Paint Box Scarf

It's a little over half done now. I'm still adoring it. And still only knitting one thing. Yeah, I'm shocked too.

3. I've been convinced to leave my heat at 55. It's practically balmy in here.

4. I just signed up for Internet access on my cell phone. As with Mr. Coffee and Teddy TiVo and all my other anthropomorphized gadgets mentioned above, I fully expect that by, oh, Wednesday night at the latest, I'll be incapable of imagining life without it. (The phone's name is Pluto, for those playing along at home.)

5. I'm not going to Rhinebeck (this isn't the happy thing), but I am going to Hershey this coming weekend. I hear they have chocolate. Can't be bad.

6. Hey, remember that magazine I promised I was starting? Well! We're not officially launching until November 1, but we have the beginnings of a site! Very happy.

Posted by Kat at 10:09 PM | Comments (4)

October 15, 2006

I'm such a wuss.

My apartment was 46 degrees when I woke up this morning. I started worrying about pipes freezing, since the thermostat is in the room I spend the most time in, and sort of near the stove, so it's possible that other parts of the house are a lot colder. And my hands were too cold to type. So I nudged the heat up to 50. It came on for about five minutes, got things up to 52 or so, and shut off.

And then I checked, and last year, we didn't turn it on until November 23. So I'm feeling guilty. Why such a dramatic change? Is it just the lack of the insane freezing-ourselves-to-death version of chicken that Defulct and I were playing last year? Or maybe it's just colder this year. Hmm.

Posted by Kat at 08:54 AM | Comments (6)

October 14, 2006

Nick Hornby, will you marry me?

(This one-book-at-a-time thing? Totally going well. I started this book last Saturday, was totally into it, and finished yesterday. Not bad, considering the amount of homework/D&D work/TV/etc. I have going on. Also, I'm hoping that the one-at-a-time thing will make me more likely to actually review all the books I read here.)

If you didn't guess it from the subject line, let me just tell you that it's official: Nick Hornby is my new celebrity crush. If only he didn't smoke. And wasn't already, you know, married. But hey, no one's perfect.

I came to this book in an odd manner. It was on the "New Paperbacks" table at the bookstore where I work, and I was neurotically straightening the stacks of books, as is my wont. What attracted me first, actually, was the title: Housekeeping vs. the DIrt, which is really one of life's ongoing crises, plus also rather funny. And then I noticed that it was a book about reading. And then I noticed that it was by Nick Hornby. Now, either of those latter two elements would have been enough to make me pick up the book, but it was the title that originally grabbed me. Huh.

(I feel compelled to mention that I've never actually read one of Hornby's novels. I adored his book about music, Songbook, and I have enjoyed a few moives based on his books. But yeah, I realize I should actually read his books at some point. Seeing as how I'm apparently proposing marriage and all.)

Housekeeping vs. the Dirt is a collection of Hornby's "Stuff I've Been Reading" columns from Believer magazine. Each represents a month; Hornby lists the books he bought and the ones he actually read, and then talks about why he read what he read and what he thought about it. The concept is simple, but the execution is compelling and touching and hilarious.

There are many reasons to love this book. First and foremost is Hornby's down-to-earth and self-deprecating sense of humor. Then, of course, are all the books he talked about that I now want to read. And there's the window into his daily life that the column provides. And his reflections on the differences between Britain and the US. (Hornby is British; the Believer's audience is predominantly American.) But this line, in the introduction, was what really got me:

"And please, please stop patronizing those who are reading a book - The Da Vinci Code, maybe - because they are enjoying it." (17)

I've been trying to say that, to lots of people, for years. And a bit later:

"Read anything, as long as you can't wait to pick it up again." (18)

He gets it.

Posted by Kat at 10:00 PM | Comments (4)

October 11, 2006

This is why I need to get married.

I came home from class at 11pm tonight to find a badly-leaking roof and a dead mouse (in a trap) in my silverware drawer.

(Or maybe I just need Defulct back.)

UPDATE: The mouse has been disposed of (along with the trap, I must admit). Aren't you proud of me?

Posted by Kat at 11:28 PM | Comments (6)

October 09, 2006

Wool Arts Tour

Captions later.

Posted by Kat at 08:17 PM | Comments (5)

October 07, 2006

One at a time.

Hey, look! A knitting picture! I bet you thought you'd never see one of those here again!

This is all I've been knitting for... oh, two weeks or so? I go through the cycle like clockwork: school, work, everything starts feeling overwhelming, so I make a wild stab at getting back in control. Or at least feeling like it. So I resolve that I'm going to be less scattered, more focused, get things done. Knitting seems like an easy way tto do this. Pick one project, stick with it, get it done, feel accomplished. Easy, right? (Hah. Who's taking bets on how long it will last?)

Anyway, the above is a Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf in Knit One, Crochet Too's Paint Box. The label says it's color 8, Painted Desert, but I swear mine is more brown and less blue than that picture looks. I got it in Texas in February, and realized a few weeks ago that it would look great with my new fall jacket. And since it's October, I should, you know, get going on it before I have to put away the jacket and take out the parka. So. I am knitting. One thing. For now.

The other place where the "one at a time" rule applies, of course, is books. I'm trying. We'll see. Expect a "Why I love Nick Hornby" post soon.

Posted by Kat at 05:37 PM | Comments (3)

October 06, 2006

The world must be ending.

This weekend is the Milford Pumpkin Festival. And the Wool Arts Tour. (And honestly? Aren't those two of the worst Web sites ever? What are people thinking?)

And look at the weather forecast.

Yeah. They're saying it's not going to rain. As I said, clearly the world is ending, because this can't be right.

No really, I'm rather freaked out about it.

(Yes, going to both. Pumpkin Fest tonight and maybe Sunday afternoon; Wool Arts Tour Sunday early.)

Posted by Kat at 05:14 PM | Comments (2)

October 05, 2006

No longer Wednesday randoms

WHAT is going on recently? It seems that everyone I know is having some sort of drama this week.

You know that "Going to Carolina" song? The James Taylor one? Apparently it now makes me cry. Every freaking time I hear it.

I have very mixed feelings about Gilmore Girls so far this season.

It's October, which means you should all go sign up for NaNoWriMo.

School school school work work school school. Stress stress stress.

Apparently Joanna Trollope was exactly what I needed this evening.

I should probably go try to get some sleep.

Posted by Kat at 12:39 AM | Comments (4)

October 04, 2006

Let it snow!

No, it's not actually snowing. But this is the next best thing.

Posted by Kat at 01:22 PM | Comments (4)

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