Movable Type 3.2
June 30, 2008
There's a preview of the Fall Knitscene here. It's always hard to tell from such small pictures, but there are definitely a few things I like. Yay!
(Hi! I'm back! What happened while I was gone?)
My recent baby blanket finish is much cuter with baby included. You can see it here.
June 27, 2008
See you Monday!
My very very very nice friend is picking me up to drive me to the airport in four hours. (Yes, around 4 am.) Due to laundry mishaps and miscalculations, about half of my clothes are still damper than I'd really like to pack them. I moved the drying rack from the basement to upstairs - the warmest part of the house. This should help, right? So I think that I will go sleep for a few hours and hope that when I wake up, two miracles will have occurred: a) the clothes will be dry and b) the cats will not have damaged or hidden them, even though they're hanging there all temptingly. Wish me luck, eh?
Internet access on board the ship is ridiculously expensive, so I won't be posting while gone. See you Monday night!
June 26, 2008
I made an extensive packing list for this trip. Okay, so it's a spreadsheet. (Yes, I'm a dork.) So. I thought I was prepared. But last night, while packing my clothes, I encountered the word "sweater" on the list. Ah, right, a nice light sweater to put over my sleeveless dresses if the dining room is cool in the evenings. Makes perfect sense.
The problem: I own no such sweater.
I'm kind of baffled. Did I have a sweater in mind when I'd made the list that I'm now completely forgetting about? Did I have a plan for procuring such a sweater? Did I just think that if it was on the list, it would appear of its own accord? Huh.
So, yeah, time for a quick lunchtime shopping trip...
June 25, 2008
Wordle: Pride and Prejudice
Raising WEG linked to Wordle, a fun little tool for making a word cloud from any block of text. I didn't have any of my own writing handy, really, so here's a word cloud of the text of Pride and Prejudice:
My boss is on vacation, so I've been helping deal with some various issues that have cropped up. I just sent out an "Okay, I'm going to go ahead and cancel that meeting this afternoon, since the boss [who runs the meeting] isn't here" e-mail, and a coworker responded by pointing me to today's Dilbert:
Yeah, pretty much.
A few people suggested that I use last.fm to explore new music. I signed up last night, and I'm loving it! And it's not even blocked at work! (Knock on wood.) I've found a few people through their friend search, but I'm sure there are more of you on there. What's your username? Wanna be friends? (Mine is katelinnea.)
June 24, 2008
What are you listening to?
I realized while flipping stations in the car this morning that I've fallen into the trap of just listening to whatever's on the radio, rather than seeking out music I really like and find interesting. But I'm not sure where to proceed from here. So I guess my question for you has two parts...
1) What are you listening to recently?
2) More generally, how do you go about finding new music, beyond what's on the radio?
A perfect way to spend a rain Sunday afternoon:
My knitting group meets at my favorite local pub on Sunday afternoons, but it's kind of hit-or-miss in the summer, because everyone has family plans and cook-outs to attend and what have you. So I ended up being there alone this Sunday, but since I was there, I figured I'd stay for a while - I had my sock, the Sunday Times, a Magners, and delicious sweet potato fries with the pub's own homemade chunky ketchup. I got lots done - finished the first Seeley sock and started the second - and it was a lovely afternoon.
June 23, 2008
A few weeks ago, I got a shiny new phone. I immediately knit it a sock. You haven't seen this yet because I'm planning to write up the pattern and put it on Ravelry, and I just haven't gotten around to it yet. But this morning, I discovered that one of the cats (*cough* Penguin *cough*) seems to have made off with the phone sock. Sigh. I guess I'll write out the pattern and then test knit it by making myself a replacement...
June 21, 2008
Day one progress!
This morning, Caitlin and I had our own little Summer of Socks kick-off party. First, we had a celebratory breakfast at what immediately became my new favorite breakfast place. Then we got started on some socks! I started two:
This is Poseidon. It's my first toe-up, and I'm a bit nervous, but the directions are great. As you see, I didn't get very far today, because I also wanted to start this...
Mad Color Weave in Socks that Rock Chapman Springs. It's my first Socks that Rock, and I am completely besotted. Besotted. It's going to be hard to make myself finish the Socks for Seeley, and if something is distracting me from David Boreanaz... well, that's saying something.
Happy Summer of Socks!
Yay, the Summer of Socks is finally here! Unfortunately, I have a previously started pair that I have to finish in the next week or so (on a deadline), so I can't turn all my attention to SoS projects quite yet. But I will be starting a few new pairs today! I'll post pictures later.
June 20, 2008
Oh camera battery charger...
If you were my camera battery charger, in which box would you be hiding? It would be really useful to find that before my trip...
Review: The Joys of Love by Madeleine L'Engle
The Joys of Love by Madeleine L'Engle
This is actually one of L'Engle's first novels, set in the 1940s and written in the 1950s or so, but it was just published this year. It's a bit rough - perhaps because it was edited for publication after her death - and certainly not one of her best novels, but it was still very good, and it provides an interesting look at her early development as a writer. It's the story of Elizabeth Jerrold, a young woman who is trying to pursue acting while not completely disobeying her aunt/guardian, who disapproves of the theater for various reasons. She is an apprentice at a summer theater company, and learns a lot about acting and about herself while also falling in love for the first time. She falls for a flashy young director, but by the end of the novel has pretty much figured out that another apprentice is actually the right match for her. It's interesting to look at these men as prototypes for some of L'Engle's later male leads, such as Zachary Grey and Adam Eddington. And as always, L'Engle manages to create a romantic interest who is complex and realistic while simultaneously seeming pretty much perfect for her heroine. Joys of Love is somewhat dated at this point, but it's a must-read for any L'Engle fan.
June 18, 2008
Pet peeve of the morning: people who try to be "polite" in ways that really just make everything more difficult for everyone. This is especially applicable to traffic issues. If I am stopped at a STOP SIGN, there is really no reason for you to stop in the middle of the road when you have no stop sign in order to try to get me to go. Also: I won't. Partially because I'm just obnoxious that way, and partially because it's almost impossible to know that you won't actually just start up again and run into me, since, you know, you have no stop sign. I don't necessarily expect everyone to remember the intricacies of right of way law, but when the issue is "stop sign" vs. "no stop sign," isn't it pretty clear-cut? Aaaaaargh.
June 17, 2008
All good news, all the time
June 16, 2008
Yay Al Gore!
Not a surprise or anything, but still nice to see: Gore is finally endorsing.
So clearly the most important packing decisions for vacations are those regarding books and yarn, right? Figuring out the clothes and things are sort of annoying, but not as agonizing. The big issue with books and yarn, of course, is the fear of running out - of being far from home, and maybe having lots of free relaxation time, and having nothing to read, nothing to knit. That's terrifying!
Okay, first the knitting. It will be the Summer of Socks, so obviously I'll be bringing socks. I got some Noro sock yarn in bright islandy colors specifically for the cruise, so that will be my main project - I'll do something fairly mindless with it to make sure the colors shine through. I'm planning to start the Poseidon socks on the first day of Summer of Socks, and obviously won't be done by then, so I think they'll make quite appropriate cruise knitting, given the theme. That will probably be enough - it's only four days - but I'll probably throw in another skein of sock yarn just in case. You know, to be safe. For emergencies.
Now, on to books. Usually, a book per day on vacation is my absolute minimum, and I usually throw in an extra or two. It isn't even necessarily that I think I'll get that much reading done, but what if the books I bring aren't what I'm in the mood to read? I'm going to hold myself to four on this trip, though, because of the following factors:
1. The ship has a library.
So. I should be able to manage with four. (Plus a few magazines.) I've picked four fairly different titles, for a variety of moods: A Suitable Vengeance by Elizabeth George, The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion, Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire by Simon Winchester, and Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian. I think that will be a nice assortment.
What's everyone else reading and knitting on vacation this summer?
June 15, 2008
Here's what my first Sock for Seeley looked like yesterday morning:
It's bigger now. I'm hoping to finish these by Friday so I don't have to worry about them during the start of the Summer of Socks, but I sort of doubt I'll make it.
June 13, 2008
Tim Russert is dead.
Russert collapsed and died this afternoon of an apparent heart attack. Wow.
Seriously! It's June!
I often forget that I'm living with a Southern boy now... except when things like this happen: I got up this morning to discover that the heat was on. The heat! In June! When we've just gotten over an awful heat wave! It had dipped into the fifties outside overnight, and the house was, I don't know, 70? Hah. He must have it set at 75 or something. I think we can assume that I'm going to be a lot warmer next winter than I've been the past few...
June 12, 2008
Breaking News on the Cookie Front
The Oreo invades Britain. Read it, really. It's hilarious. Example:
I tell her that, according to the ads, it should be "dunked" before eaten.
June 11, 2008
Finally a little cooler Wednesday Randoms
1. I am listening to an NPR program about the "climate of distraction," and my attention keeps wandering. Hah.
2. It is finally a little cooler here. I like the change of seasons and all, but four days of high 90s temperatures was Too Much. I was so happy to wake up and find it in the 70s this morning.
3. Okay, this is kind of weird, but - several months ago, I know I read something, probably a blog post, that admitted to the writer's rather complex fantasy involving Bill Clinton. (I think there was a breakfast table involved, too.) I cannot for the life of me remember where I read this. Does it sound familiar to anyone?
4. It's amazing how quickly socks go when you actually, you know, knit them. I usually carry a sock around in my purse but have a bigger project I'm working on at home, so the socks take forever. But since I finished the baby blanket, I've been just working on my Socks for Seeley, and they're coming along nicely. I might actually finish them before the Summer of Socks starts.
5. Anyone have brilliant ideas for no-cook vegetarian suppers? Or even things that require a little cooking, but aren't hot to eat? I just don't want to cook, or eat, really, when it's hot out. And I'm getting a little sick of salad.
6. You know what else I hate about hot weather? That it makes it unpleasant to drink tea. Or knit anything bigger than a sock. Bah.
7. Is it fall yet?
New Summer Knitty!
The new Knitty is up! Frankly, I'm shocked by how much of it I like, because I've been somewhat lukewarm on Knitty recently and because I usually don't like summer knitting magazines anyway. On first look, I like Shetland Shorty, Inverness, Thira, Seascape, Helena, Muscari, Spring Forward, Ziggy, Couvercle, and BYOB. Which is most of it. And I haven't even looked at the articles yet.
June 10, 2008
June 09, 2008
The baby blanket is done!
I got really sick of it by the end, but I'm very happy with the finished result! This is the second of these blankets I have made, and I'm sure I will be making more in the future.
June 05, 2008
Political/musical discovery of the afternoon
So I'm sitting at my desk, blithely bopping along to the cast album of Annie, and suddenly FDR bellows "Harold Ickes, stand up and sing!" What?? Some quick Wikipedia-ing turned up the fact that, indeed, Harold L. Ickes, the father of Clintonite Harold M. Ickes, was FDR's Secretary of the Interior and has a big part in the Cabinet scene in Annie. Hee!
(Bonus discovery! While writing the above, I found that there's an actual mineral called Clintonite.)
Our long national nightmare is over...
I know it was widely reported last night that Clinton is finally bowing out, but I didn't let myself quite believe it until I got the actual e-mail from the Clinton campaign to supporters, stating that she will endorse Obama on Saturday. (It came in at about 3am.) Hooray!!!
June 04, 2008
Wednesday! Time for randoms!
1. I woke up on Monday really, really looking forward to the weekend. So I'm sort of astonished that it's still only Wednesday.
2. I only have 15 rows left in the baby blanket!
3. Wasn't last night awesome? Wow. I'm still sort of in shock. Even with the awesomeness, though, I still got really annoyed at Chris Matthews and Tim Russert.
4. Interesting: Slideshow of incredible art heists
5. Thanks for the reading tips. I read the prologue of the Nelson book last night, and I'm starting to feel better. I'll definitely be working my way through all your suggestions!
6. On Wednesdays, I go out to lunch with a few friends from work. Today we're going to the buffet at India Palace. I'm ridiculously excited.
7. What else was I going to say? I swear there were other things. Bah. I'll be back later if I think of them.
June 03, 2008
CNN projects Obama clinches nomination. Part of me can't believe it's actually happening!
(I had this all written and then the site went down for a few minutes and I lost it. Bah.)
I've been in an awful reading slump for the past few months. I guess it's been partially because of moving and other time-consuming activities, and partially because I'm just... not getting into things. I've only managed to finish a few books, and apparently couldn't be bothered to post about them for April or May. I was going to try to do a big catch-up post, but it's been hanging over my head for a while so I think I'm going to just let it go and move on, and try to keep up in June.
But really, I hate not reading. I don't feel like myself when I'm not reading. So I am taking the following steps to snap myself out of the slump:
1. I committed to a summer reading challenge with some friends. My goal is to read 20 books between June 5 and August 31. It's sounding kind of daunting at the moment, but it's only about 1.5 a week, which should be totally doable. (My other goal is to finally finish Jane Eyre. Yeah. Still.)
2. Tonight I'm going to start rereading So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading by Sara Nelson. It has gotten me over several slumps in the past, so I hope its magic will continue.
3. Ask you for advice. I think I need some new ideas. What have you read recently that you'd recommend? Or what favorites do you have that I might not have read? Thanks!
AP calls it!
What are your favorite knitting podcasts? I'd like to add a few to my listening routine.
June 02, 2008
Politics Links (6/2)
A hilarious take on Obama's VP options
Attention Malkin: Nazis wore pants.
Yes, Virginia, there will be more female candidates in the near future.
Obama shoes? Interesting.
Meme of Five
This has been going around, but I stole this particular version from Raising WEG:
What were you doing five years ago?
Let's see, that would be summer 2003... I was working at Borders, my first real full-time-with-benefits job. I turned 21 that July. I don't remember anything else particularly notable from just then.
What are five things on your to-do list for today?
1. Load and run the dishwasher
What are five snacks you enjoy?
1. Regenie's pita chips and hummus
What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?
Like Jody, I am assuming that this implies some sort of annual renewal of lots of money, not just a one-time thing.
1. Buy a house with lots of land and hire someone to help me grow my own organic food. Oh, and an apartment in New York for use by me and various family members and friends.
What are five of your bad habits?
What are five places where you have lived?
1. Waterbury, CT
What are five jobs you've had?
1. Writing tutor
Knew it would happen eventually...
For the first time ever, I just spent over $40 to fill up my little Civic. Sigh.