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July 30, 2006



Upon all of your recommendations, I forced myself to get up after about five hours of sleep. So... I'm upright. But not feeling particularly functional. Any plans of leaving the house today have been scrapped. I'm going to try to do a little housework and a load of laundry, and cook up some pasta for lunches for the week (since I'm clearly not making it to the grocery store today), but otherwise I'll just be knitting, watching TV, and hanging around online. Maybe I'll start playing with my new sock yarn. My goal is to go to sleep between nine and ten tonight.

Keep commenting on the Blogathon entries! Yay. It's making my day to see the comments trickling in. Also, it feels weird to suddenly NOT be blogging constantly, so there may be a few posts today.

Posted by Kat at 03:28 PM | Comments (2)


Yay! Made it! Thank you all so much for your support.

The Borders gift card goes to Ivy, for commenting or e-mailing me during NINETEEN different hours of the Blogthon. Sprite and Cynthia tie for second at 15 hours each, so they'll each be getting a little something too. Please send me your addresses, you three.

And now it's time to go see if I can get some sleep...

(Note: if you still want to sponsor, you can, for about two more days.)

Posted by Kat at 09:00 AM | Comments (6)

A bit more kidlit...

A few other favorites, with links since I don't have the energy to write about them...

Louisa May Alcott
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Beverly Cleary
Carolyn Haywood
The Mozart Season by Virginia Euwer Wolff

Posted by Kat at 08:30 AM | Comments (0)

Must... stay... awake...

One hour left! I can do it! I just have to make sure I don't let myself sit all the way back on the couch... Looking right at the TV isn't a very good idea, either.

All in all, I have to say that this has been easier than I expected. A lot of that is thanks to you all - there were very few intervals during which I felt like no one was awake and reading. And that made it much easier to keep going.

I've been debating how long to let myself sleep... I stopped drinking caffeine at about 5:30, so hopefully I'll be able to fall asleep right after I finish posting at nine. The problem is that I need to go to work Monday morning, so I don't want to sleep so much during the day today that I can't sleep tonight.

Posted by Kat at 08:00 AM | Comments (4)

Questions I Can't Seem to Answer

Sprite asks: What's the first book you remember buying for yourself?

You know, I have no idea. Absolutely none. I do remember the first CD I bought, though - Midori's Encore. Or was it Live at Carnegie Hall? Ack. Apparently I don't remember. Well, I know it was one of those two - it was on my twelfth birthday, when I saw her at Tanglewood.

Liz asks: Best movie simply based on FX?

Huh. I don't know. I do like sci fi and fantasy, but I really watch for characters, not effects. So I'm having a hard time separating that out in my brain. I think the only movie I'd list in my top ten or so favorites that has many effects is Serenity.

and What was your favorite item of clothing as a child?

Hmm. I have plenty of favorites now, but I can't think of anything in particular as a child. Right now, my absolute favorite "outfit" is a purple fleecy hoodie, flannel pants with a print of cakes and ice cream and stuff (both of the above from Costco), and handknit socks.

From Carrie K: Who is your favorite (comic book/tv) superhero and why?

I... don't know. I guess I haven't watched/read enough superhero stuff. Does Violet Incredible count?

and What was the first "grown up" book you read, at what age?

No idea. It was probably something in middle school, and I'd guess it was either a mystery or non-fiction, maybe a biography of an author or composer or historical figure.

Posted by Kat at 07:30 AM | Comments (4)

Knitting questions

Ginny asks: What kinds of knitting are your favourites - lace, cables, intarsia, stranded - socks!?

I love lace and cables - anything with texture. I haven't done as much with color work, but I'm planning to try my first fair isle soon. As far as which objects I like to knit, socks and shawls are my favorites.

Ivy asks: What attracts you to socks?

A lot of it's probably all the fun sock yarns. Also, they're small, but feel like more of an accomplishment than a hat or something. You can use all different sorts of stitch patterns. And they're FUN! I love double-pointed needles. And thin yarn.

and What characteristics do you like best and least in a yarn?

The texture/feel is the most important. I have to like handling it. Also important are color and stitch definition (depending on what I'm making). I prefer to use natural yarns rather than synthetic, when possible. I'm sure there are other things that I'm too tired to think of at the moment.

Posted by Kat at 07:00 AM | Comments (1)

And now a word from our sponsors...

I'd meant to do this much much earlier... oh well. I'd like to officially thank my sponsors, and link to the ones who have blogs:

Carrie K
Chris and Chaos

Blogless (or I'm not sure whether they want their blog associated with their name):
Mom, Dad, Loy, Flossie, Sue, Cynthia, and Anonymous!

Thanks everyone! We've hit $400! Yay!

Posted by Kat at 06:30 AM | Comments (2)

Charlie watching TV

Thanks Ali!

Posted by Kat at 06:00 AM | Comments (2)

Question 22: Endless Music

Another, because they're both so short...

Liz asks: One song on infinite repeat forever, what will it be?

Jeff Buckley's version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."

Posted by Kat at 05:34 AM | Comments (5)

Question 21: Crafty Things

From Cynthia: What other crafty things do you do?

Knitting is the only thing I do with much consistency. I have a spinning wheel that I'm hoping to use more soon, since I have more space now. I occasionally crochet, cross stitch, and stamp/scrapbook. I have dreams of quilting and sewing clothes, but haven't gotten there yet.

Posted by Kat at 05:30 AM | Comments (0)


I just noticed that it's getting light out.

Posted by Kat at 05:24 AM | Comments (1)

Question 20: All-Nighters

Sprite asks: What was the best all-nighter you ever pulled?

Quite possibly this one. But in the past... hmm. There actually haven't been that many. I've done a few at the bookstore, which are mostly fun, except for the part when you realize that you've been banging CDs into wood and metal dekeepering devices for several hours and therefore your hands probably won't stop throbbing for several days.

The most fun, though, was probably the one at the end of my sophomore year of college, when I stayed up all night proofreading the campus literary magazine. It was a mostly fun group of people, and I felt really useful, and like my incredibly nerdy copyediting skills were actually making me popular for once.

Oh, and incidentally, the editor of the magazine at that time was Eli Pariser, of MoveOn.org fame. I also proofread Eli's BA thesis that spring.

Posted by Kat at 05:01 AM | Comments (2)

Random between-post observations

There seems to be at least one person awake in the house next door. Interesting.

And my tea kettle just almost gave me a heart attack.

And I think if I'd realized that this episode of Decoding the Past (called "Strange Behavior") was largely about cannibalism and serial killers, I'm not sure I would have chosen to watch it alone in the middle of the night like this.

Posted by Kat at 04:43 AM | Comments (2)

Question 19: Blogathon TV

Amy W. asks: What have you watched on tv today to keep yourself entertained?

Ooh, I have to 'fess up to my guilty pleasure TV, huh?

Wife Swap (it's all Cate's fault)
A bunch of Alton Brown
David Starkey's Monarchy
A bunch of Samantha Brown (both Passport to Europe and Great Hotels)
Deep Sea Detectives
The Revolution (narrated by Richard Gilmore!)
Decoding the Past
Baking with Julia
Posted by Kat at 04:30 AM | Comments (3)

Kidlit 16: A Little Princess

(Hey look! Book posts are back! Maybe not every hour, though.)

Ohhh, such a great book. (I love the Shirley Temple movie too.) Another boarding school one. Another orphan book. It's a riches-to-rags-to-riches sort of fairy tale, with human kindness substituting for magic. It's charming, but takes a real look at social issues of its time. And it even teaches about the Boer War!

I like Burnett's The Secret Garden, too, but the lesser known A Little Princess is definitely my favorite.

Posted by Kat at 04:00 AM | Comments (4)

Pretty new yarn!

Speaking of yarn, take a look!

This arrived in the mail today, hot off the presses! Err, out of the dye vats, I guess. It's sport-weight hand dyed sock yarn from a new company called Dye-namics. They're so new that they don't have a Web site yet, but I'll post the link as soon as it's up. This yarn is absolutely gorgeous in person. Can't wait to start knitting with it. (By the way, it's designed to resemble the colors of a certain house in a certain book series we were discussing earlier...)

Posted by Kat at 03:30 AM | Comments (4)

Question 18: Favorite Yarn

Sprite asks: What's your favorite yarn?

Ohhhhh.... how to choose? Maybe KidSilk Haze. After all, I used it for Birch, and have now started ANOTHER Birch. (To give as a gift.) And I have more for several other projects. "Yarn crack" is certainly the right term for this yarn.

But ohhh... Trekking XXL. Also with the love. This is the yarn that decorates my living room. I can't decide. Those are probably my top two, though.

(And I've just had cause to discover that KidSilk Haze's stickiness is really useful when you accidentally pull your needle out of a bunch of stitches.)

Posted by Kat at 03:00 AM | Comments (4)

Question 17: Favorite Stuffed Animal

From Liz: What was your favorite stuffed animal as a kid?

Here he is!

Meet Daddy's Puppy. That's his name, because my mom gave him to my dad for Valentine's Day one year, before they were even married. She embroidered his ears - one says "To Dave" and the other says "I Love You." Awww.

When I was two or three, I think, I found him when my dad was going through boxes or something, and adopted him. I slept with him through at least some of college, until he got too fragile. As you can see, he's not in great shape, and he's had several "surgeries" over the years. He even has a scar on his chest that matches mine.

He's had lots of adventures, too, including a few times when he came perilously close to being LOST FOREVER. Let me tell you, those were NOT fun. For me or for my parents, I'm sure.

Posted by Kat at 02:30 AM | Comments (3)

Question 16: Netflix Follow-up

Liz asks: How many discs in all your Netflix queues?

Ummm... 898. 498 in my movie queue, 320 in my TV show queue, and 80 in my overflow queue.

I know. It would be better if I actually watched things instead of letting some sit for ever...

Posted by Kat at 02:00 AM | Comments (2)


Over 2/3 of the way there! Yay!

But my last visitors just left, and most of my chatting buddies are asleep. This is going to be the hard part...

Posted by Kat at 01:43 AM | Comments (0)

Question 15: Literary Heroes

From Liz: Pick one hero in literature to marry.

Oh, hard one. Hmmmmm. My first thought is Darcy, of course. Although I'm sort of fond of Will Laurence of His Majesty's Dragon at the moment. Barney Snaith. Pretty much any Meg Cabot hero. I feel like there are others I can't think of at the moment.

I'm not so good at picking one, eh?

Posted by Kat at 01:30 AM | Comments (3)

Hi Daisy!

Posted by Kat at 01:00 AM | Comments (6)

Question 14: Netflix

Vickie wants to know the top five movies in Netflix queue.

1. In Her Shoes
2. On the Town
3. The Governess
4. The Affair of the Necklace
5. How to Deal

And at the top of my TV on DVD queue is Veronica Mars.

Posted by Kat at 12:30 AM | Comments (5)


We had a small power cord incident, so my TiVo just did its starting up dance. I love that.

Posted by Kat at 12:04 AM | Comments (1)

Question 13: Animals

From Jessie: If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

Maybe a cat. Or a dolphin. Or... hmm. Cats are cute and cuddly. That's about my mental level at the moment.

And hey, now a word from Jessie's cats!

Meet Digory and Pawly. As you can see, they like to read. Which is good, because their mommy is a librarian.

Posted by Kat at 12:00 AM | Comments (4)

July 29, 2006

Kidlit 15: Tuesday

Another wordless picture book! Yay! Tuesday is magical and hilarious all at once.

Yes, my book posts are getting shorter as the night progresses. I have several visitors at the moment, so I'm a bit distracted.

Posted by Kat at 11:31 PM | Comments (3)


Posted by Kat at 11:00 PM | Comments (3)

Kidlit 14: American Girl Collection

I love the American Girl Collection. I collected the dolls for years, and read all the books. I think the Felicity books were my favorites, but I loved them all, at least through Addy. I got a bit old for them after that, I guess. Well, old enough that people stopped buying me the dolls. Not to old to like them.

Posted by Kat at 10:30 PM | Comments (4)

Questions 11 and 12

More questions from Liz: What's your favorite movie?

Favorite ever? That would have to be The Sound of Music. It's been my favorite for as long as I can remember - I am nothing if not loyal. Other favorites include Love, Actually, White Christmas, Pride and Prejudice (1995 and 2005), Anne of Green Gables, Serenity... oh, I could go on.

favorite tv show?

Current shows: Doctor Who, Gilmore Girls, Good Eats, Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown
Cancelled shows: Firefly, Avonlea, Deep Space 9

Posted by Kat at 10:00 PM | Comments (3)

Kidlit 13: Kate's Book

(Amazon had no picture of this one.)

Kate's Book is a novel about a girl and her family on the Oregon Trail in the 1840s. I read lots of books about that as a kid, but this one stands out in my mind, and not just because the heroine has my name. It's very realistic - people die, families are torn apart. But it's very engaging, and not depressing. There's a sequel, too, called Kate's House, which is almost as good.

Posted by Kat at 09:31 PM | Comments (3)

Question 10: Alcohol

From Liz: What's your favorite alcoholic drink?

Hmm. As most of you know, I don't drink much. (I didn't drink at all until I lived with Defulct, in fact.) I think overall, I'd say my favorite is Guinness. (But not out of a bottle, of course.) Good red wine is a close second, though. Cabernet sauvignon tends to be my default choice, for some reason, and Lost Horizons is a favorite. (They don't seem to have a Web site, but you can find them here.)

Posted by Kat at 09:01 PM | Comments (3)


Halfway there!

Posted by Kat at 09:00 PM | Comments (1)

Kidlit 12: Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen is another of my favorite current YA writers. She's written around seven books, and they have some similarities: a smart and slightly misfitty teen heroine, family/social/school issues, and lots of personal growth. They often involve summer jobs and cute mysterious boys as well. They deal with big "issues" but are generally good at not falling into the "issue book" trap. They're all good, but This Lullaby is my favorite. The language is beautiful, the character is likable, and, well, it has the best of the cute mysterious boys.

Posted by Kat at 08:30 PM | Comments (4)

Question 9: The Count

Question from Mom, inspired by today's bat adventures: What's the Count's full name?

Count von Count, of course!

And he even has his own Wikipedia entry! Go read it and learn about his romantic history and the ways in which he is "different from other vampires." Seriously. Also, apparently his trademark thunder and lightning have been discontinued. Sad.

Posted by Kat at 08:00 PM | Comments (1)

Kidlit 11: Good Dog, Carl

Hmm. Maybe I'm more fond of (mostly) wordless picture books than I thought I was. This is the first of a series of books about Carl and the baby in his family. The books generally start with the parents telling Carl to take good care of the baby, and then they go off to do whatever they're doing. Then there are many pages of beautiful wordless pictures of Carol and the baby causing all sorts of havoc in whatever setting they're in. (There's a store one, and a beach one, and a Christmas one, and a few others.) But by the end of the book, when the parents come back, everything looks hunky-dory, and they end with one of the parents saying "Good dog, Carl."

The illustrations are gorgeous, Carl and the baby are both lovable, and they have some fun subtle nose-thumbing at authority.

Posted by Kat at 07:30 PM | Comments (3)

Commercial break

I just went out to get the mail and met Tom the housepainter. He seems amused by the whole Blogathon concept. He says hello to everyone, and to tell you that he does good work and has very reasonable rates. The work certainly looks good to me, but I don't know what the rates are, since my landlord is paying.

Posted by Kat at 07:04 PM | Comments (1)

Blogathon food

I thought I had prepared pretty well - I got a bunch of snacky foods to eat during the event. Some of them were my normal snacks; some were treats I don't get much because of expense or lack of healthiness. Of course, now it seems that I don't actually want them much. I'm craving other things, because I don't have them.

Foods I Have Been Craving Today

Veggie pizza
A burrito
Creme brulee (maybe I should stop watching Alton Brown)
Tazo chai
Sugar cookie dough
Mom's baked ziti
Fruit salad
Mom's birthday cake
Mashed potatoes with herbs and garlic
Fried dough

Also, I've decided that Lauren's house would be the perfect Blogathoning location, because she has a wonderful 24-hour deli. And it's close enough to get there and back in half an hour.

And I've just determined that I really really need to clean out my fridge. Eesh. And I couldn't find the salad dressing I wanted to put on my baby carrots...

Posted by Kat at 07:00 PM | Comments (6)

Kidlit 10: Babysitter's Club

Ah, the Baby-sitter's Club. I know, I know. But I loved these books. Actually, this is a good example of what I was saying below about Harry Potter. I was reading these books at the same time as I was reading L.M. Montgomery, and I certainly don't think they harmed me. We don't know yet whether J.K. Rowling is in the same class as Montgomery or as the Baby-sitter's Club, but I'm not sure it matters. Anyway. A lot has been written about the pros and cons of series novels for kids. I tend to believe that they're good for getting children used to the structure of novels, and that their familiarity helps kids feel like they are in charge of something in their lives.

I read lots of series as a kid (more may be showing up here later), but Baby-sitter's Club was one of my favorites. I think one of the reasons they're good is that there are several different main characters, so there's someone for everyone to relate to. And, you know, I've reread a few in recent years, and they actually hold up pretty well.

Posted by Kat at 06:31 PM | Comments (2)

Question 8: More Knitting

Ivy asks: What are you knitting now?

Er, tons of stuff, like always. I think I'll post WIP pictures one at a time, in case I need them for padding later.

Here's what I've been knitting on and off the past few hours while blogging. It's a cotton baby blanket, almost half done!

Incidentally, the color is more true-to-life in this picture than in previous pictures I've posted of this project.

Posted by Kat at 06:00 PM | Comments (4)

Kidlit 9: Ballet Shoes

Another that makes me squeal with glee and scare any customers who happen to pick it up while I'm working at the bookstore. Noel Streatfeild was a British writer who wrote a whole series of "shoes" books. Each one featured a family of chidren who were involved in one of the performing arts: Dancing Shoes, Skating Shoes, Circus Shoes, Theatre Shoes, etc. They're all good, but Ballet Shoes are my favorite. It involves an eccentric rich British guy who collected orphaned babies along with other artifacts of his travels and sends them home to be raised by his niece and her household of eccentric boarders. (Yeah, there's a lot of eccentricity floating around in these books.) He goes missing, and therefore their source of funds is cut off, so the three girls go to a dancing-based school in hopes of being able to support themselves as child performers. The oldest has success as an actress, and the youngest is a dancing prodigy, but the middle girl actually wants to be a pilot or mechanic. It's a quirky book, but very, very good.

Posted by Kat at 05:31 PM | Comments (7)

Hello, Kitty!

How to Ruin a Ferrari

Thanks, Micaela! (And Ryan! via reddit)

Posted by Kat at 05:10 PM | Comments (3)

Question 7: Harry Potter

Maryellen asks: Do you like Harry Potter?

Short Answer: Yes! So much fun.

Long Answer: I suspect that anyone in the library world (or education world) has heard a lot about the various controversies associated with these books. My quick takes on the big two:

The magic/censorship issue: I totally respect a parent's right to determine what his child is or isn't allowed to read when. I do not, however, think a parent has a right to influence what someone else's child is allowed to access, and therefore what is in the library. End of story.

The "But now kids aren't reading good books!" issue: 1. Says who? I don't think we'll have any idea which current novels are "good" until at least a hundred years from now. Just because people like it doesn't mean it's bad. And 2. At least they're reading! I firmly believe that reading anything is better than reading nothing, and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with reading for entertainment.

Posted by Kat at 05:00 PM | Comments (7)

Kidlit 8: The Witch of Blackbird Pond

The Witch of Blackbird Pond is one of those books that makes me all incoherent with affection when I try to describe how wonderful it is. Briefly, it's the story of a British girl, raised in Barbados by her rich grandfather, who is sent to live with her uncle and his family in Puritan Connecticut after her grandfather's death. She's in for some culture shock, to say the least, and she and her new family have to work hard and learn a lot in order to get along. And then she gets mixed up in a witch hunt...

This book has it all: a historical setting, adventure, internal growth, a strong female lead character, romance... sigh. I think I need to reread it. Again.

Posted by Kat at 04:30 PM | Comments (3)

Question 6: Childhood Vacations

Maryellen asks: Where's your favorite childhood vacation spot?

I went on some cool vacations as a kid - to California a few times, to London when I was eight, to Nicaragua when I was thirteen. But when I hear "childhood vacation spot" I think of a place you've been many times, a place iconic of childhood vacations. And for me, that would be visiting my grandparents in Florida. When I was little, I think we went there every winter, more or less. My favorite memories of these trips:

The surprise bags of new toys and books my mom would pack for the plane
Reading We're Going on an Airplane Trip in preparation. (Alas, it seems to be out of print, but I promise you it is the BEST BOOK EVER.)
Stepping out of the airport into the brightness and heat
The blue room. My grandparents' guest room was painted blue with white wicker furniture, and I loved it.
The mirror room. The entry to the seldom-used front door had wall-to-wall mirrors, which just seemed magical.
Ribs at Tom's Place. It seems that they've moved from the location I was familiar with, and the original owners aren't there, but oh my goodness was it good. After they started bottling their barbeque sauce we would bring it home, or my grandparents would bring it up as Christmas gifts. And I still use a big t-shirt I got there as a night shirt.
The pool. One of my parents once made the mistake of telling me that swimming was acceptable as long as it was 72 degrees outside, so whenever it was that warm I would insist on going to the pool in my grandparents' development.
Cooking with my grandfather
Going to Borders at night with my dad
Playing Uno with the whole family
Posted by Kat at 04:00 PM | Comments (4)

Kidlit 7: L.M. Montgomery

If you held a gun to my head and made me pick, I'd have to say that L.M. Montgomery is my all-time favorite children's author. I don't know what it is about her, exactly - her language? Her vivid characters? The world she evokes? Probably all of the above. She's best known for the Anne of Green Gables series, but she wrote a few dozen novels and hundreds of short stories. The Emily series and The Blue Castle are other favorites of mine. Interestingly, even though I'm pretty sure I own all her novels, there are a few I haven't read yet. I think I like knowing that there are more to come. And I think I'm trying to wait for the perfect time to read them, which makes it kind of difficult.

LMM also holds a special place in my heart because the very first e-mail list I got involved in, almost ten years ago now, was devoted to her. That list has changed a lot over the years, but I'm still on it, even though I don't participate much. And I keep in touch with several friends made through that group.

I've been reading and rereading these books since I was eight or so, and it's hard to define the effect they've had on me, as they're so intertwined with my life. I know they have contributed to the value I place on things like family and home, as well as learning and pursuing dreams. And every time I read them, I find something new.

Posted by Kat at 03:30 PM | Comments (5)

Bat Update

Or, rather, lack of an update. It still has not been located. Anyone have any tips to pass along to my parents?

Posted by Kat at 03:03 PM | Comments (4)

Question 5: Knitting

Cynthia asks: When did you learn how to knit? Who taught you?

I first learned to knit when I was four: my babysitter, a wonderful grandmotherly Scottish woman named Katherine, taught me. I haven't been knitting consistently since then, though. I picked it up on and off over the years - I remember a knitting club at school in fourth grade, and a scarf I was working on in middle school or so. I relearned as a freshman in college, with the help of friends, and have been addicted ever since!

That's all the questions I've gotten so far. Keep asking!

Posted by Kat at 03:00 PM | Comments (2)

Oh dear.

I suddenly seem to be yawning, and I'm only 1/4 of the way through.

Time for some sort of distraction, I think...

Posted by Kat at 02:52 PM | Comments (2)

Kidlit 6: Madeline

In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines,/ lived twelve little girls in two straight lines...

I could go on, but I suppose there's no reason to torture you like that.

I have most of that book memorized. (My mom probably does too.) I loved the Madeline books when I was little. I had a Madeline doll, and I was Madeline for Halloween one year. I still have the hat somewhere. And this was in the '80s, before Madeline was all hip and had a TV show and all. I liked Madeline before it was cool.

What do we think of the Bad Hat, though? I can't be the only one who always found him oddly alluring. Is he an early childhood version of the whole attractive "bad boy" concept in literature and pop culture?

Posted by Kat at 02:31 PM | Comments (6)

Questions 2, 3, and 4

From Maryellen: "Have you read any good books lately?"

I have, in fact! There are several that I'm planning to blog about for the SRP later in the day, so for now I'll just give you a peek at a few good ones I'm currently reading:

From the same source: When you grow up what do you want to be?

Hey, good question! Let me know if you find out! No, seriously, let's see. Next May, I'll be qualified to be a librarian. But I'm also thinking of going back to school again for a Ph.D. in English literature and becoming an academic. So we'll see...

And Do you wear cool boots like Erica?

Sometimes! Like here. Also here, although those ones are more comfortable than cool.

Posted by Kat at 02:00 PM | Comments (4)

Kidlit 5: Bad Kitty

Bad Kitty is Michele Jaffe's first young adult novel. (She's written some adult books, but I haven't read them yet.) It's sort of a chick lit mystery, I guess. It's totally fluffy and far-fetched, but tons of fun. I love her writing style.

Even better, though, is Jaffe's advice blog. She's qualified - I think she's been a counselor and sex ed instructor, among other things. And she gives advice that is both hilarious and spot on. It's mostly aimed at teen girls, but she occasionally posts questions from older women as well. (None from men that I've seen, but I tend to attribute that to the audience her sparkly pink and black book attracts.)

Posted by Kat at 01:30 PM | Comments (1)

Batty batty bat

My mother just called and told me that she hasn't been commenting because there's a bat in the house! Eek! My dad and brother are trying to find it, but it's being elusive. So please think happy bat-free thoughts for my family!

Posted by Kat at 01:15 PM | Comments (5)

Kidlit 4: The Chalet School

The Chalet School is one of my favorite British children's series. It's sort of Heidi meets the traditional British school story. The series started in the 1920s; it's about a young British woman who starts a boarding school in... Austria? I think? Somewhere German-speaking. Anyway, they're tons of fun in that old-fashioned British way. Unfortunately, they're not very available in the States - I should just break down and start ordering them online. The School at the Chalet, pictured above, is the first of the series; there are almost sixty in all.

Posted by Kat at 12:30 PM | Comments (5)

Question 1: School

From Ivy: "What is your major and what was your paper on? I've been curious and figured this was a good time to ask."

(Maryellen asked something similar.)

I'm currently working on my MLS (Master of Library Science). This is the degree that qualifies you to be a professional librarian. I've been going part time since fall 2004 and will be graduating next May. Yay!

My class this semester is called Literature of the Humanities, and it's focused on learning how to help humanities scholars do their research. My term paper assignment was to pick a figure in the humanities, write a brief overview of their life, work, and importance, and compile several bibliographies - their works, the 15 most important things written about them, everything important written about them in the past five years, etc. It was a pretty huge and wide-ranging assignment, which made it stressful, but I ended up really enjoying it and I think I did a good job. Oh, and the person I wrote about was Mary Wollstonecraft. (Not Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.) Fascinating woman.

Posted by Kat at 12:00 PM | Comments (2)


I know some of the book entries are showing the wrong book sometimes. I have no idea why. If you click on the permalink to see the individual post, the right book should show up.

Posted by Kat at 11:32 AM | Comments (1)

Kidlit 3: Meg Cabot

Meg Cabot is one of my favorite authors writing today. She writes for both teens and adults (in addition to a great blog). I've loved every book of hers that I've read so far, although Avalon High, pictured above, is my favorite. It's about a teen girl, the daughter of medievalists, who starts attending a new high school and gets mixed up in a contemporary Arthurian saga. SO much fun!

Cabot is perhaps best known for her Princess Diaries series, and she has several other young adult series and standalones as well - I'm currently reading her new YA book, How to Be Popular. Her adult books are fun as well. She writes in many different genres, but has a very distinctive voice throughout. Her books are fluffy, but not TOO fluffy - there's definite substance there as well.

Posted by Kat at 11:30 AM | Comments (3)

Kidlit 2: Kitten's First Full Moon

Kitten's First Full Moon is another of my favorite recent picture books. It tells the story of a young kitten who sees a big bowl of milk! In the sky! So she goes to try to find it and has all sorts of adventures, but ends up back home with her family and her real bowl of milk.

I love cats, but I tend to not like a lot of cat portrayals in popular art - they're too cutesy or cartoony. But this one wasn't. The lines of the drawings are simple but effective. Very nicely done. One caution: those of you with impressionable young kittens might want to be aware that the kitten in this book participates in some questionable activities, such as going outside alone and drinking milk. So you might want to be prepared to discuss these controversial issues if you decide to read this book to your cat.

Posted by Kat at 10:30 AM | Comments (5)

Coffee Incompatibility

I've just realized that my new coffee-making device is seemingly not compatible with any of my coffee-drinking devices. When I read "compatible with any thermos or carafe" on the label, I somehow decided that it would have to work with at least one of my travel mugs, if not a regular mug. But no, they're all too wide. So... no coffee for me! Ack!

Thank goodness for my PG Tips...

There is suddenly a housepainter RIGHT outside my living room window. Boy, that was startling. He is also speaking with some sort of accent. I mean, not a real accent. A theatrical one, sort of similar to the ones people tend to use at Ren fairs. Huh.

Um, where was I?

Oh, clothes! I gave a lot of thought this morning to proper Blogathoning clothes. If I hadn't invited people over, I'd probably just wear pajamas - honestly, I tend to put on pajamas as soon as I get home from work. I love pajamas. But! There are people coming over, so that didn't seem quite right, at least for during the day. (Midnight visitors should totally be expecting pajamas.) But I didn't want to wear real clothes when I'm just going to be hanging around all day. Might as well be comfortable. So last night I picked up some "lounge pants" at Costco. So comfy! They're pajama-like but "real" enough to get away with. And I'm wearing a cotton tank top, no bra, because if I'm going to be awake for 24 hours in my own house I refuse to wear a bra. So there.

Posted by Kat at 10:00 AM | Comments (10)

Kidlit 1: The Flower Man

(General note on book posts - sorry about the "buy from Amazon" thing. It's just an easy way to get pictures of book covers.)

How about a simple but great picture book to get us started? The Flower Man is a beautiful wordless picture book that Vickie and I discovered at the store one morning. The Flower Man himself moves into a new village, in black and white, fixes up his house - now in color! - and begins selling flowers. Each person who buys a flower becomes colorized, and then their houses, and the people they give flowers to, etc. Eventually the whole village is in glorious color! And the Flower Man packs up and moves to a new black-and-white village to continue his work.

It's a neat concept, and the art is incredible. Everyone from toddlers to adults can get something out of it, and it's a great discussion prompter for any level.

Posted by Kat at 09:24 AM | Comments (0)

Getting started

So I managed to get up and showered and dressed before nine. Yay! I even feel like I slept well last night, which is not something that's been happening much recently.

So! Here we are. How can you participate, you ask?

1. Talk to me! Leave comments, e-mail, IM (e-mail for the screen name; I'll be on Trillian [and therefore AIM and Yahoo] and Gmail/Google Chat all day), call, stop by, whatever. As I mentioned, the person who contacts me during the most number of hours of the Blogathon gets a Borders gift card! (For those of you on e-mail lists with me, list posts only count toward this if you put my name in the subject line and say something like "To keep Kat amused during the Blogathon..." Otherwise I just wouldn't be able to keep up.)

2. Ask me questions! Personal questions! Opinion questions! Research questions! Whatever!

3. Send me cute pictures! E-mail me a picture of your pet/child/other cute item and permission to post, and I'll put it up to help keep us all interested.

4. Oh yeah, and you can still donate, of course, throughout the event and for a day or two after.

Okay, I'm off to make my special Blogathon breakfast of Green Mountain French Vanilla coffee and a Costco double chocolate muffin... mmm...

Posted by Kat at 09:03 AM | Comments (5)

Time for the Blogathon!


(Better post in a sec, I just wanted to post something exactly at nine.)

Posted by Kat at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2006

Blogathon Update!

The Blogathon is coming, the Blogathon is coming! It's going to be this coming Saturday to Sunday, starting July 29 at 9 am EST. Thanks to Carrie, Sara, Ali, Chris and Chaos, and several blogless friends and relatives, I've raised $200 for Reach Out and Read so far. (Yes, the sidebar needs to be updated, and no, the correct total isn't showing up on the Blogathon site, because I'll be doing a lump donation at the end of the cash and checks I've been given). Can we get to $250? It's not too late! Click here if you can help. If ten of you each gave $5, we'd be at $250!

So what will be happening during the Blogathon, you ask? Well! Let's see...

Things I Promise Will Happen
1. Lots of posts. (Duh.) At least 48 (one per half hour), to be exact.

2. To tie into the Reach Out and Read theme, once per hour I will post about a favorite children's book or author.

3. I will also finish my first sweater. Seriously. I've been knitting for a long time, and blogging about knitting for four years, and I've never actually finished a sweater. But I have the Mason-Dixon baby kimono almost done, and I'll be sewing it up, with lots of pictures and fanfare, during the Blogathon.

4. SRP progress update. I know I've been slacking on this. Sorry. The progress page will be fully updated.

5. Answering your questions! Is there something you want to know about me? Ask and I may well answer during the Blogathon! It can be trivial or fun or deep... whatever you want. Do you want to know my favorite type of ice cream or the song most likely to make me cry? Or do you wonder about my opinion on some vital issue of wool or politics? Ask away. I'm not promising to answer everything, since this is a very public site, but let's just say that the later it gets, the more likely I'll be to answer your questions.

6. Prizes and surprises! Make sure you stop by during the Blogathon to see what exciting stuff I've come up with to entertain you and myself. One thing I can tell you about now: whoever contacts me during the most number of hours during the Blogathon will get a $10 Borders gift card. This can be comments, IMs (e-mail for my screen name), e-mails, phone calls if you happen to have my number, whatever. (And yes, those of you planning to visit in person, that counts too.) To make this as fair as possible: comments count toward the hour when you commented, not the hour when the post was posted. So if you comment on nine posts from different hours all at once, it only counts once. But if you IM during nine different hours, it counts nine times. And only one point per hour, even if you comment and e-mail, say. The idea is that you're helping keep me awake and un-bored during the 24 hour span.

Things I Hope to Accomplish During the Blogathon (but eh, we'll see...)

1. Watch at least the two Netflix discs I've had sitting around for months (Crash and the third disc of Into the West)

2. Clear out a bunch of space on Teddy TiVo

3. Housework and laundry

4. Catch up on my SRP reviews

5. Finish reading a book or two

6. Read last Sunday's Times and make a decent dent in my stack of unread magazines

7. Finish a few knitting projects

Things That Are Not in the Plan (but will probably happen anyway)

1. Much less productivity than intended

2. Lots of mindless web surfing and ogling of Rowan patterns (my current obsession - more on that later)

3. Too much caffeine

4. Late-night maudlin ramblings

5. At least one freakout about living alone and/or my academic/professional future and/or my romantic life (or lack thereof) and/or my upcoming birthday

Posted by Kat at 02:32 PM | Comments (8)

July 06, 2006

Blogathon 2006: Blogging for Books!

I have now officially signed up for the Blogathon. This means that from July 29 at 9 am (Eastern time) to July 30 at 9 am, I will be blogging every half hour. Yes. Every half hour. All night. I've been meaning to do this for a few years, but this was the first year that I managed to a) request the day off from work, b) sign up on time, and c) feel like I had enough readers to make it worthwhile.

I will be blogging for Reach Out and Read. They're an organization that promotes literacy by giving books to children at regular pediatric appointments. I chose this particular literacy program because the clinic where my mom (a pediatrician) works has been participating in it for years. It really seems like a great program. Oh, and knitters, one of the founders of Reach Out and Read is none other than Perri Klass! So it's got a knitting connection, too.

Because I'm blogging for a children's literacy program, children's books will be my theme: at least one post each hour will be a tribute to one of my favorite children's books.

So. How can you help? Two ways:

1. Sponsor me! If you have the funds and inclination, I could certainly use your sponsorship. Every little bit helps - I'd be thrilled that you wanted to participate, regardless of the amount. You contribute directly to Reach Out and Read, so you know it's all on the up-and-up, but you have to click through this link so that it counts toward my blogathon total. (If you don't want to/can't contribute through the online process for whatever reason, let me know and we might be able to work something out.) You can choose whether to sponsor with a lump sum or an amount per hour.

2. Moral support! I have to stay awake and blogging for 24 hours, remember? Stop by the blog! Leave comments! IM me! If you're local, come visit! Bring cookies! You get the idea. If you can't contribute funds, I will definitely appreciate other kinds of support during the blogathon.

Thanks! I'm so excited! Now to think about which books I'll want to blog... (I'll get a link up on the sidebar soon, with a running total of how much money I've raised.)

Posted by Kat at 11:43 AM | Comments (7)

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