Movable Type 3.2
August 29, 2008
First thoughts on Sarah Palin
It's official: McCain has selected Palin. I don't know a lot about her, but I'm trying to do some reading now. My first impression is that I disagree with her on a lot of issues, but kinda like her as a person. My main worry is that I have not yet found any previous statements from her on foreign policy, and at this point it will be difficult to tell what she actually thinks vs. what McCain is telling her to say. And that makes me nervous.
I'm very conflicted about one thing: I can't help but have a gut feeling that it's just WRONG to ask the mother of a special needs infant to take on such a demanding and time-consuming job. (Sure, she could have said no, but what would that do to her future career opportunities?) But at the same time, I would never ever want a woman disqualified from consideration for a job because she's a mother. So. I don't know.
Anyone have opinions on Palin, pro or con?
The text of Obama's speech...
Just in case anyone missed it or wanted to check anything, here it is.
McCain VP pick?
Update: CNN and other major news sources have it now too.
What did you think of the speech last night? I liked it a lot, but don't really have all that much to say about it at the moment - mostly because I'm exhausted. Olympics + Conventions back to back = very little sleep for us news junkies.
August 28, 2008
Booking Through Thursday: Stories
If you're anything like me, one of your favorite reasons to read is for the story. Not for the character development and interaction. Not because of the descriptive, emotive powers of the writer. Not because of deep, literary meaning hidden beneath layers of metaphor. (Even though those are all good things.) No ... it's because you want to know what happens next?
Or, um, is it just me?
Hmm. Yeah, really not, actually. I wouldn't say that I don't care at all about the story, but characters and character development and interactions are really what I read for. Honestly, I sometimes don't really notice the plot. For example, when I saw the new Indiana Jones movie, I assumed that the whole Indy/Marion/son thing was the main plot, and the crystal skull whatever was the subplot. (I was later told that this was incorrect.)
Now, this isn't to say that I never get caught up in a page-turner of a plot - I certainly do - but it's not really the main thing I look for in a book.
I'm in a poetry sort of mood. Any recommendations? Bonus points if your suggestions are in my local library system.
What I want to know most about the DNC...
WHO decided that "Addicted to Love" should be Bill Clinton's exit music? Seriously! A lot of the musical choices over the week have been bizarre, to say the least, but that was completely ridiculous.
Chappy's Mom has started a new site, Knitting Scholar. Its goal is to be a comprehensive archive of knitting book reviews. There's not much up there yet, as she's just getting going, but go add it to your RSS reader! It looks like it's going to be great.
August 27, 2008
An historic moment
Obama is nominated by acclamation. Clinton made the motion. I'm sort of in shock. I really didn't quite believe this would happen. Amazing.
Daily Reading (8/27/08)
An analysis of Maya Soetoro-Ng's name. (That's Obama's sister, if anyone missed her speech last night.)
One assassination plot foiled. Let's hope and pray that that was the only one.
A new cat fashion blog: The Catorialist
A great essay by Arthur Krystal on the literary essay. I'd never heard of Krystal before, but I'll definitely be reading more of him.
An interview with Molly Friedrich about being a literary agent.
August 26, 2008
Happy Anne Day!
Yay, it's Anne Day! Every year on the first day when it starts to feel like autumn, I start my reread of the Anne of Green Gables series. (I've written about it before here.) Because I'm an obsessive freak, I'd been watching the 10-day weather forecast and hoping that today would be the day, because the high was only supposed to be 72, and it never goes above 80 in the rest of the forecast. But it's not just about temperature. There needs to be a certain sharpness and brilliance to the light, a certain slight bite to the breeze, and a certain indefinable smell in the air that says not-summer. So I couldn't decide that today was actually the day until I went outside this morning. I'm so excited that it is.
Ready? Here we go...
"Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place..."
A big day...
My baby brother is starting college today. My parents are moving him in to Colby right now. I can't believe it. Isn't he still twelve? What's going on? But I'm so proud of him.
But man, I feel old. This means that ten years ago this week, I was at my own college orientation. Ten years? Seriously? Impossible. And that means that as of September 1, in just a few days, I will have known my best friend for ten years - we met in my very first college class. Wow.
August 25, 2008
Good news for British mystery fans! It seems that Foyle's War is being reincarnated as Foyle's Peace. Can't wait!
Does anyone know of good free clip art sites for things like flyers? I was just asked to make a flyer for my parish's upcoming Ice Cream Social. (If anyone local is interested in coming, comment and I'll e-mail you the details.)
Just a procedural note...
Recently, I've noticed several people submitting comments more than once. Now, this doesn't bother me or anything, but I just wanted to make sure everyone knows that I have to approve all comments before they are posted. So, unfortunately, you will not see your comment show up immediately. I do this because I get hundreds of spam comments a day. I try to get all comments approved within a day, but it occasionally takes longer when I'm particularly busy or away from the computer for some reason. Thanks for understanding!
August 23, 2008
Eeek, The CNN ticker just told me that there are 130 days left in the year. That means, what, about 123 knitting days left before Christmas? How did that happen??
I cannot even tell you how excited I am about the selection of Joe Biden. Wheeeeeee.
August 22, 2008
Is anyone else going absolutely crazy waiting for their Obama text? At this point, I know it will probably be tomorrow (although there were rumors that it would be between 8 and 10 tonight), but still...
Daily Reading (8/22/08)
Compelling and thought-provoking essay: Pinched: The Day I Took My Family to a Soup Kitchen
And on a lighter note, pretend IMs from VP hopefuls.
A new study shows that fewer Americans want to mix religion and politics. That makes me happy, not least because my political views don't line up very well with those of most members of my Church.
Fascinating: realtime emergency and disaster map.
Anne Enright on naming characters.
A new-to-me blog, Jane Austen's World, has an interesting exploration of hot chocolate in the 18th and 19th centuries. Mmm, hot chocolate...
An interesting profile of Persephone, a publishing house dedicated to "forgotten" women writers. I wonder if they're available Stateside? Must look into that...
Apparently Penguin (the publisher) is starting some sort of dating site for reader. Huh. I might actually try that... Oh, and here it is. But maybe UK-only? Hm.
A new book review site: LitMob.
Booking Through Thursday: Libraries
Oops! I started this yesterday but didn't manage to finish/post.
What is your earliest memory of a library? Who took you? Do you have you any funny/odd memories of the library?
Oh my. I don't have a single first memory... my parents took me to the library frequently from when I was very young, so it was just one of those things that was always there. I think my mom took me most often, but I definitely have memories of being there with both parents. Particular memories... hmm. The children's librarians were great. They somehow got me hooked on the Flicka, Ricka, Dicka books (and, I think, ended up going to the basement or somewhere to get them for me out of storage... man, I should order those books), and later introduced me to everything American Girl. (I'm sure my parents were thrilled with that, as it led into them spending hundreds of dollars on dolls and accessories over the years. But I still love those dolls! And books!) They also had some sort of computer program that let you set certain parameters (reading level and genre mainly, I think) and then print out a list of recommended books, and I just thought that was the coolest thing ever.
August 20, 2008
We're not really surprised...
A guy I went to college with, Brian Conley, was nicknamed "Disaster Boy." So it's not really surprising that he has been detained in Beijing. (More surprising that he has avoided serious trouble before this, really, as he was previously in Baghdad.) But still, you know, concerning. More here. I know I keep asking you for good thoughts today, but it sounds like he could certainly use some. I'll update if I hear more.
(And the other thing I was asking for good thoughts for is... over for now, still waiting for results. I'll let you know if anything comes of it. Thanks.)
This has been going around the food blogs, but I first saw it at And She Knits Too. Rules: Take the Omnivore's Hundred list from Andrew Wheeler. Bold the things you've tried, cross out the ones you wouldn't try.
Note: Since I'm a vegetarian, I'm crossing out all the meat that I didn't try before becoming vegetarian. And in general, you can assume that these answers are for relatively normal circumstances... if I were literally starving and all there was to eat was meat, I'd eat it.
Good thoughts, please!
I can't really say why right now, but if you have any spare prayers or good thoughts lying around, I would appreciate them at about 1:30 this afternoon. (No, nothing's wrong, and it has nothing to do with health or anything. If you want to know, leave a comment and I'll e-mail tonight and tell you, unless you're one of the, oh, three people I actually don't want to know. And I'm sure you're not.)
August 19, 2008
Daily Reading (8/19/08)
Interesting article on lace-making in Massachusetts. I have the novel it talks about out from the library, but haven't started it yet.
An interesting look at Broadway orchestration.
It's His Party tells us about Obama's focus on building the Democratic Party.
August 17, 2008
If you've been reading for a while, you may (or may not) remember that I knit Birch back in 2005-2006. And then never mentioned it again. That's because it's been sitting in a Ziploc bag in my underwear drawer since then, waiting to have the ends woven in and to be blocked. I finally decided that this was ridiculous, and that I had to get over my blocking phobia. (I'd only blocked smaller items in the past.) I set the Fiber Revival as my deadline, so I could show it off, and ordered blocking wires from Knitpicks. I don't think it's the best blocking job ever, but it's done!
I love it. Wheeee.
August 15, 2008
Daily Reading (8/15/08)
Andrew Sullivan, of all people, notifies us of an iPhone (and iPod Touch) app for knitting! I downloaded it but haven't used it much yet - looks like it has potential.
Time Warp Wives - women trying to live in the past. With the benefit of the Internet. Fascinating. Hmm... none of them seem to have kids. I wonder if that's just a coincidence or what?
Heeee! The secret Obama e-mails.
Jackson Browne is suing McCain for using his song without permission.
Oh good. The Left Behind authors have decided that Obama is not the antichrist. Just in case you were worried about that.
A fun Slate piece about weird name-change legal cases.
Yarn Diet (ish)
Okay. I have all this yarn. And all these projects for myself that I've started but not gotten very far on. So. For this rest of this calendar year, the only yarn I buy will be for gifts. Hopefully, that will make me finish up some things, and also make me get a larger percentage of my holiday gifts actually done than I usually do, as well. I am Determined.
(Yes, I'm making my holiday crafting spreadsheet right now.)
August 14, 2008
Booking Through Thursday: Gold Medal Reading
Do you or have you ever read books about the Olympics? About sports in general?
I don't think I've read anything Olympics-specific, but I've read a few books about sports over the years. I really liked a few series as a kid - The Gymnasts and The Saddle Club were both sports-related. Oh, and I read an interesting book about figure skating and gymnastics called Little Girls in Pretty Boxes or something like that. And I'm slowly making my way through Football for Dummies so I can better understand my brother's games.
Do you consider yourself a sports fan?
Not really, although there are a few sports I sort of follow (figure skating, IRL), and I'll watch pretty much anything if it's the Olympics.
August 13, 2008
Rainy Wednesday Randoms
Note: As I realized after posting this, it was not in fact raining today. I started this post on Tuesday, and just assumed that it would rain on Wednesday, because it has been raining ALL. THE. TIME. But Wednesday was the one day when it didn't. Figures.
1. I am concerned for the fate of my fall Interweave issue. I forgot to change my address with them until after it had theoretically shipped, and I think it should be forwarded, but it hasn't found its way here yet. I'm trying to decide how long to give it before I go buy one at a store.
2. My Google Reader seems to be having some sort of issue. Things are disappearing from the "unread" counts when they are less than a month old. Any ideas, anyone?
3. Ooooh: want! I especially like Natalia, Sophie, Hillary, and Margo.
4. Does anyone know of any good resources to learn that mythical "knitting backwards" concept? I started my entrelac shawl (mentioned a few posts ago) tonight, and I can tell that this "turn work every 3 stitches" thing might get old quickly.
4b. Entrelac still scares me. I'm trying to do that thing where you just knit and trust the pattern adn don't think about it too much, because I'm having trouble seeing how it will all come together. But it will, right?
5. I've been watching lots of Olympics, and really, the TiVo makes it SO much nicer. I can record practically everything and fast forward through to the things I want to watch. (For reasons I can't quite pin down, I seem to be thoroughly uninterested in beach volleyball, and they seem to show lots and lots of it.)
6. Review coming soon, but I have to ask - did anyone else like Breaking Dawn? Because I completely loved it, and I'm feeling very alone.
Fiber Revival, anyone?
So, who's headed to the Fiber Revival this weekend? I had a great time last year, so I'm definitely looking forward to it!
August 12, 2008
Daily Reading (8/12/08)
Is there a secret presidential succession plan? Scary stuff.
Australia is getting its first saint: Mother Mary MacKillop
The Atlantic has a interesting look into the meltdown of the Clinton campaign.
An amazing duck story. I must admit that it almost made me cry. Awww.
That cute little girl singing in the opening ceremonies? Lip-synching. Just like Singin' in the Rain, or something.
August 11, 2008
Daily Reading (8/11/08)
Opus Dei in Australia brings in a kitten to keep the Pope company while he visits. Awww.
Finally, someone who agrees with me and liked Breaking Dawn! In defense of Breaking Dawn. Warning - lots of spoilers.
Knitting for Fall
It's pretty much mid-August now, so it finally occurred to me that if I want some new knitted items to wear this fall, I should probably get on that. There are three things I really want to get done...
One already started is A Cardigan for Arwen. You can see my Ravelry page for it here. (If you're not on Ravelry, you can see the pattern picture here.) I have the back done, and I'm almost to the sleeve of the first side. My goal is to have it done by this year's Wool Arts Tour. (Of course, if I finish, that means it will be unseasonably warm that day and I won't be able to wear it, but whatever. Goals are good.)
As I mentioned last week, I've also become obsessed with the Big Ivy Scarf. (Non-Ravelry link here. I bought Cotton Fleece for it, and I'm thinking it will be very cuddly and perfect for wearing over a shirt or light jacket when it's getting cool out but not yet coat-weather. Which, of course, means I need to finish it. Which means I need to start it. Soon.
And the third item I'd like to wear this fall is JoJoLand's Autumn shawl. (Non-Ravelry here.) I bought this yarn and pattern as my reward for finishing my move. I got color M24 - good for Autumn, both the season and the pattern. So, again, must get going on this. It will actually be my first entrelac, I think. Any tips before I get started?
What are you making for fall?
August 10, 2008
August 08, 2008
It is raining. I have seen a few sightings of the fall Interweave Knits around the blogs today. I hope this does not mean that my copy is currently in my faulty mailbox being rained upon.
Daily Reading (8/8/08)
Emily Bazelon on class vs. race integration in schools: The Next Kind of Integration
Here's a fascinating article about the history of children's libraries and the publication of Stuart Little. Which I must admit I've never actually read. But now I really want to.
There's a new Little House musical! I hope it comes somewhere closer.
Salon's take on the Twilight series. (Spoilers for the first three books, but not the new one.)
Booking Through Thursday: Other Worlds
Coming in late on this because I was home sick yesterday...
Are there any particular worlds in books where you'd like to live?
Of course! Isn't that the point of reading? :) Oh, so many... I guess Avonlea would top my list. But really, I read for characters and setting, not plot. Most of my favorite books are favorites at least partly because I want to live in them. Let's see. Also on the list would be Hogwarts (but preferably at a happy, peaceful time), Jane Haddam's Cavanaugh Street, St. Mary Mead, the Chalet School, various of Louisa May Alcott's and Jane Austen's settings... it goes on and on.
Or where you certainly would NOT want to live?
Well, any of the ones with wars and such. Or the one in Feed. I'm sure there are others, but I tend not to like those books so much, so I'm not thinking of them.
What about authors? If you were a character, who would you trust to write your life?
I have a "piece of flair" on my Facebook saying "Sarah Dessen, will you write the rest of my life?" So yeah, she'd probably be my first choice. Madeleine L'Engle, too. Jane Austen. L.M. Montgomery. (Anne's adulthood was a little boring for readers, sure, but she was happy.) Much as I love Alcott, I would not trust her to write the rest of my life, because I have not forgiven her for the whole Jo/Laurie/Amy debacle. Maybe Stephenie Meyer, although I'm only halfway through Breaking Dawn, so I reserve the right to take that back. Maybe Marisa de los Santos.
I really didn't want this to be true.
Edwards admits it. Well, some of it.
August 06, 2008
1. It's cool (in the 60s) and rainy out, just as I'd hoped. Of course, everyone else is upset about it, but I'm thrilled.
2. On the other hand, I seem to have come down with some sort of cold/sore throat thing. Bleh. This morning, I couldn't tell whether I was sick or just tired, so I came to work, but if I still feel like this tomorrow, I'm staying home.
3. Am I the only one obsessed with the Big Ivy Scarf from Knitscene? (Here's the Ravelry page.) But the yarn used is a) not available locally and b) rather expensive. I really don't want to spend $100 on a scarf. I think I see a trip to the LYS in my future...
4. I've been trying to figure out how to fit more reading time into my life, because I keep taking way more books out from the library than I can actually read. Next week, my usual lunch companion at work will be moving away, so that will give me my lunch hours to read... hmm. Must keep thinking about this.
5. I'm still loving my iPod Touch. Anyone have any app suggestions? I've found several good ones, but I'm sure there are some I'm missing!
August 05, 2008
Oh my goodness!
Tomorrow's expected high is 67. I am beside myself with glee.
Commitment to Loveliness, August 3
Jumping in a bit late this week: Joining the fun at Charming the Birds from the Trees...
1. Finish writing my birthday thank you notes.
Straight from camera to Internet?
A company called Eye-Fi has come out with what they're calling "wireless memory cards." Now, I object to the name, because when's the last time you saw a memory card with a wire, anyway? But the basic idea seems to be that these cards connect directly to the Internet and let you immediately upload photos, without being near your computer. Nifty. Although, I have to say, I pretty much never want my photos to be online before I've cropped them, so... it's an interesting concept, but I'm not convinced that I'd actually find it useful. Thoughts?
Apparently I'm a fork.
Grabbed this from My Middle Name is Patience:
I do try to be honest, and I guess I'm somewhat driven, but wildly ambitious? Really? I don't think so.
August 03, 2008
My wonderful parents gave me an iPod Touch for my birthday. This is something of a test post, to see how blogging from the new toy works. Loving it so far!
Solzhenistyn dead at 89.
Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenistyn has died. I must admit that my first reaction was "Oh, he was still alive?" and my second was "I really should read him sometime..." It seems like a lot of major writers have passed away recently, doesn't it?
August 01, 2008
Do the Twist!
The Twist Collective is up! I'm about to head to CT so don't have time to really look right now, but it looks like there are some amazing patterns in there.
Chaos on House Floor
The Democrats have adjourned and turned off the lights and microphones, but the Republicans are still talking, trying to force a vote on oil drilling. Follow on Twitter: Hoekstra and Culberson. And some video... from Culberson's phone, maybe? Wow.
Daily Reading (8/1/08)
Ever wonder where they get those little plastic numbers for gas station signs? Apparently there are companies dedicated to gasoline advertising - and everyone's ordering more 4s and 5s.
In Russia, bears are an important traditional symbol - so what to do when they start eating people?
A new solution for local food in cities: vertical farms. Fascinating.
Interesting profile of E.O. Wilson.
Sesame Street is coming out with a new Web site. It sounds pretty nifty.
Grocery Store - 7/26/08
(I've been trying to use local honey and maple syrup instead of sugar whenever possible, but this was for my first jam-making experience, so I figured I should stick with the basic recipe to figure out what I'm doing before I try changing things.)