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May 05, 2010

The Amazon Meme

I've seen this in a few places, most recently over at Alyssa's. The question: What was the first thing you purchased on Amazon.com? I was mildly surprised to find that mine was Baryshnikov's Nutcracker on VHS in December 2002, to replace the version my parents taped from PBS when I was little. (I still have the tape, but no way to play it. I'll have to buy the DVD this Christmas.) I don't think that's actually right, though; perhaps I had an older account under a different e-mail address? I think I remember buying a tape of A Wish for Wings That Work as a gift for someone for Christmas 2000, and I can't imagine where else I would have gotten it. Hmmm.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (2)

July 16, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: TBR

Today's question:

Do you keep all your unread books together, like books in a waiting room? Or are they scattered throughout your shelves, mingling like party-goers waiting for the host to come along?

Mine are mixed in, for the most part. When I made that list of 50 books last week, though, I put most of them in fairly easy-to-access spots so I would be able to find them again without ripping apart the house.

(Yes, I've started one from that list. Hoping to finish it this weekend.)

Posted by Kat at 07:01 AM | Comments (2)

July 08, 2009

Unread Books

Over at Toddled Dredge, there's a new meme (sort of) about the books we have sitting on our shelves, unread. Now, it would take me all day to list all my unread books (I love used book sales!), but I'm going to pick 50 to list here, and try to read them (or admit that I'll never read them and give them away) by not this coming birthday but the next one (7/31/10). To make things interesting, I grabbed only books that happened to be in my living room (where there are no bookcases but still seem to be books, always) and my dining room (where there are actually two bookcases). This has tilted the list toward non-fiction, and specifically history, but ah well. Are there any on my list that you particularly loved or hated? Let me know!

1. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
2. The Amateur Gourmet: How to Shop, Chop, and Table-Hop Like a Pro (Almost) by Adam D. Roberts
3. Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell
4. The Cook and the Gardener: A Year of Recipes and Writings from the French Countryside by Amanda Hesser
5. Persuasion by Jane Austen
6. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
7. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
8. Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce
9. The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women by Jessica Valenti
10. Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon - and the Journey of a Generation by Sheila Weller
11. Living Witness by Jane Haddam
12. The Language of Bees by Laurie R. King
13. Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books by Maureen Corrigan
14. Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak
15. "A Problem from Hell:" America and the Age of Genocide by Samantha Power
16. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson
17. The Weaker Vessel: Woman's Lot in Seventeenth-Century England by Antonia Fraser
18. A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman
19. The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions by Karen Armstrong
20. Mary, Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley by Alison Weir
21. An Elegant Madness: High Society in Regency England by Venetia Murray
22. A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage
23. Heads in the Sand: How the Republicans Screw Up Foreign Policy and Foreign Policy Screws Up the Democrats by Matthew Yglesias
24. In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692 by Mary Beth Norton
25. Daughters of Britannia: The Lives and Times of Diplomatic Wives by Katie Hickman
26. The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain by Maria Rosa Menocal
27. Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution by Simon Schama
28. Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science, and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe by Thomas Cahill
29. Bachelor Girl: The Secret History of Single Women in the Twentieth Century by Betsy Israel
30. Maids and Mistresses, Cousins and Queens: Women's Alliances in Early Modern Europe edited by Susan Frye and Karen Robertson
31. Deadlock: The Inside Story of America's Closest Election by the Political Staff of the Washington Post
32. John Adams by David McCullough
33. A New World: An Epic of Colonial America from the Founding of Jamestown to the Fall of Quebec by Arthur Quinn
34. Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David von Drehle
35. Kepler's Witch: An Astronomer's Discovery of Cosmic Order Amid Religious War, Political Intrigue, and the Heresy Trial of His Mother by James A. Connor
36. The Civilization of the Middle Ages by Norman F. Cantor
37. A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America by Ronald Takaki
38. A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
39. A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
40. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
41. Vindication: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft by Lyndall Gordon
42. Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves
43. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
44. Cheating at Solitaire by Jane Haddam
45. On Her Trail: My Mother, Nancy Dickerson: TV News' First Woman Star by John Dickerson
46. L.L. Bean: The Making of an American Icon by Leon Gorman
47. Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal about the Mind by George Lakoff
48. Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
49. The Making of Victorian Values: Decency and Dissent in Britain: 1789-1837 by Ben Wilson
50. American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work by Susan Cheever

Posted by Kat at 10:23 AM | Comments (8)

July 02, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Celebrities?

Today's Question:
Do you read celebrity memoirs? Which ones have you read or do you want to read? Which nonexistent celebrity memoirs would you like to see?

I don't make a point of reading them or anything, but I've read a few. Shirley Temple's was great, as was Kristin Chenoweth's. (Review of that one coming soon.) For years, I said "Patti Boyd should write a memoir!" because hey, she was married to George Harrison and Eric Clapton. And then she did write one, and I still haven't read it. Ah well.

Nonexistent memoirs I'd like to read (in alphabetical order): Christiane Amanpour, Nancy Pelosi (oh, wait, she does have one), Aaron Sorkin, Bradley Whitford... umm. That list was much shorter than I expected, but I can't think of anyone else off the top of my head, except for people who are known for being writers, and generally when a writer writes a memoir, I don't think of it as a "celebrity memoir." I'm sure there are others I'm just not thinking of.

Posted by Kat at 12:39 PM | Comments (5)

The 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge (Updated 7/2)

(I'm going to bump this to the top whenever I add to it.)

Hey, why not? Might as well jump in to the 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge. I'm going for the third level: 50 library books finished in 2009. I'll add to this post as I read. (Date in parentheses is the date I finished the book.)

1. Mia by Laurence Yep (1/11)
2. High Five by Janet Evanovich (1/11)
3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (1/18)
4. Bravo, Mia! by Laurence Yep (2/28)
5. The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White (3/25)
6. What I Know Now edited by Ellyn Spragins (4/3)
7. 3 Willows by Ann Brashares (4/24)
8. Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas (4/25)
9. A People's History of Christianity by Diana Butler Bass (5/3)
10. Love and Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson (5/3)
11. Catcher by Peter Morris (5/5)
12. Bookmarked for Death by Lorna Barrett (5/7)
13. Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs (5/10)
14. Wish You Were Here by Lani Diane Rich (5/12)
15. Unbuttoned edited by Dana Sullivan and Maureen Connolly (5/16)
16. The Terror Dream by Susan Faludi (5/17)
17. Chinatown Beat by Henry Chang (5/21)
18. Vengeance in Death by J.D. Robb (5/21)
19. A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth (5/25)
20. The Matters at Mansfield by Carrie Bebris (5/28)
21. Resilience by Elizabeth Edwards (5/30)
22. Bad Mother by Ayelet Waldman (5/31)
23. Vision in White by Nora Roberts (6/3)
24. In the World But Not of It by Brett Grainger (6/5)
25. March Violets by Philip Kerr (6/14)
26. Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs (6/27)
27. Masterpiece of Murder by Mary Kruger (6/28)
28. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (7/1)

Posted by Kat at 06:55 AM | Comments (3)

June 05, 2009

Infinite Summer

I've never read David Foster Wallace, except for maybe an essay or two, and have always meant to, so I figured I might as well join Infinite Summer, a group reading Infinite Jest over the course of the summer. Who's with me?

Posted by Kat at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2009

Quick Favor...

If you have about thirty seconds to spare, would you follow this link, click the big red "Click Here to Vote" button, go through the slideshow (only two slides! It's quick!) and then vote for couple number two? It's my mom's friend's son and his fiancee, and a free reception like that would help them out a bunch. Thanks!

Posted by Kat at 06:44 AM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Library Week

Today's question:

I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?

Okay, let's take these one by one . . .

1) I use my public library a few times a week. I tend to request lots of things online and then go in every few days to pick up the ones that have come in and return things that are due. I take out way, way too many books. Way. I only end up having time to read a fraction of them. It's a sickness, I tell you. I'm working on it. Seriously. Sort of.

2) I love coffeehouses and bookstores but they have in no way replaced the library. For one thing, you can find books in the library that are a) old and b) free. Both of which are very good things, at least in my book. (Book! Hah! I'm cracking myself up here.)

3) Yes. Often. My dad once told me that the first place they took me (other than, you know, the hospital and then home) was the library. I'm assuming this is because my mom needed things to read, not because they wanted to make me a library addict from day one, but hey, it worked.

4) Particular memories? Uh, yes. Too many to count. I'm having trouble coming up with any interesting enough (but not too personal) to share, though. But hey, I saw Bill Richardson speak in a library.

5) I love pretty much all libraries, but honestly, I do prefer the older ones.

Posted by Kat at 12:57 PM | Comments (3)

April 01, 2009

Blog Every Day April

I've been wanting to get back into blogging regularly, so I decided I'm going to give Maureen Johnson's Blog Every Day April a whirl. Who's with me?

Posted by Kat at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

January 01, 2009

Join the Dye-namics Sock Madness Knit Off!

Dye-namics Yarn is sponsoring a contest during March Madness. The rules are a little complicated for me to summarize, but basically, in each round participants are matched up against another knitter and have to race to knit socks. Whoever wins goes on to the next round. Go sign up now - only 64 knitters allowed!

Posted by Kat at 07:17 PM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Coupling

Today's question:

Name a favorite literary couple and tell me why they are a favorite. If you cannot choose just one, that is okay too. Name as many as you like - sometimes narrowing down a list can be extremely difficult and painful. Or maybe that's just me.

Hmm. I think I am coming up with two, although I'm sure as soon as I post this I will remember others. My absolute favorite is Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, since, well, pretty much everything in that book is about perfect. And a favorite modern literary couple is Gregor Demarkian and Bennis Hannaford from Jane Haddam's mysteries. Their relationship is complicated and sometimes fraught, but feels very real.

Posted by Kat at 02:30 PM | Comments (2)

October 09, 2008

Yes/No

(I got this from Carole. And man, is it hard for me to give yes/no answers and not explain. Sheesh.)

YES/NO GAME RULES ARE AS FOLLOWS:

You can only say yes or no. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone comments or e-mails and asks!

Over 18? Yes
Danced in front of your mirror naked? No
Ever told a lie? Yes
Been arrested? No
Kissed a picture? No
Fallen asleep at work/school? No
Held an actual snake? Yes
Have YOU Ever run a red light? Yes
Ever drink and drive? No
Been suspended from school? No
Ever been fired from a job? No
Totaled a car/motorbike in an accident? No
Sang karaoke? No
Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t? Yes
Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? No
Ever laughed until you wet yourself? No
Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yes
Kissed in the rain? Yes
Sang in the shower? Yes
Sat on a rooftop? Yes
Thought about your past with regret? Yes
Been pushed in the pool with your clothes on? No
Shaved your head? No
Blacked out from drinking? No
Had a gym membership? Yes
Been in a band? Yes
Shot a gun? No
Liked someone with nobody else knowing about it? Yes
Played strip poker? No
Been to a strip joint? No
Donated Blood? Yes
Liked someone you shouldn’t? Yes
Have a tattoo? No
Have or had any piercings besides ears? No
Made out with a complete stranger? No
Caught someone cheating on you? No
Skinny dipped? No
Regret any of your exes? No
Been to a rodeo? No
Been to a NASCAR race? No
Been in love? Yes

Posted by Kat at 09:41 AM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2008

Autumn Meme

I found this at Charming the Birds from the Trees...

When does fall begin for you? Usually in late August or early September, when the air gets a certain crispness.

What is your favorite aspect of fall? That's hard, as I love lots of things about fall, but I guess just the fact that the weather is getting colder, and everything that goes along with that - blankets, tea, etc.

What is your favorite fall memory? Hmmm. I suppose any of many first days of school, with the new books and classes and school supplies and schedules, before things got boring again. :)

What do you like to drink in the fall? Tea! Cocoa! Pumpkin spice lattes! Chai! Hot cider! Cold cider! Coffee! Yeah, I like cold-weather drinks.

What's your favorite fall food? Apples! Soup! Cider doughnuts! Orchard Harvest Salad at Panera! Apple crisp! Pie! Yeah, apparently I like fall food too.

What is fall weather like where you live? Cool weather, frost, brilliantly colored leaves, and the first few snows.

What color is fall? Red, orange, brown, gold.

What does fall smell like? Crisp air, apples, cinnamon.

Holiday shopping in fall: yes or no? I buy materials for gifts I want to make.

If you could go anywhere in the fall, where would you go? It's pretty great right here in New Hampshire.

What is your favorite fall sport? Football, since my brother plays!

Do you have a favorite fall chore? I kind of like raking, except it sets off my asthma. Does baking count as a chore?

What is your least favorite thing about fall? That sometimes it goes back to summer or ahead to winter without staying nice and autumnal for a while.

What is your favorite fall holiday? Thanksgiving.

What's your favorite kind of pie? For fall? Apple.

Which do you prefer, the Farm or the Fair? Fair!

Do you have a favorite fall book? I always read the Anne of Green Gables series in the fall.

How about a favorite fall poem or quote?

It was October again when Anne was ready to go back to school--a glorious October, all red and gold, with mellow mornings when the valleys were filled with delicate mists as if the spirit of autumn had poured them in for the sun to drain--amethyst, pearl, silver, rose, and smoke-blue. The dews were so heavy that the fields glistened like cloth of silver and there were such heaps of rustling leaves in the hollows of many-stemmed woods to run crisply through. The Birch Path was a canopy of yellow and the ferns were sear and brown all along it. There was a tang in the very air that inspired the hearts of small maidens tripping, unlike snails, swiftly and willingly to school; and it WAS jolly to be back again at the little brown desk beside Diana, with Ruby Gillis nodding across the aisle and Carrie Sloane sending up notes and Julia Bell passing a "chew" of gum down from the back seat. Anne drew a long breath of happiness as she sharpened her pencil and arranged her picture cards in her desk. Life was certainly very interesting.
(From Anne of Green Gables, of course!)

I'm not going to tag anyone, but come play along! Comment if you do this meme so I can come see your answers.

Posted by Kat at 09:28 AM | Comments (1)

September 02, 2008

Four Things Meme

Emma tagged everyone who read her post, so...

Four places I go over and over:
Work
Church
The library
Starbucks

Four people who e-mail me (regularly):
My dad
My boss
My cousin
A few friends

Four places I would rather be right now:
Bed
A bookstore or yarn store (with a bunch of unexpected money)
Relaxing somewhere with family or friends
The Republican National Convention (would have rather been at the DNC, of course, but it's over)

Four TV shows/programs that I watch over and over:
Like watching the same episodes over and over? Hmmm.
Avonlea
Bones
Veronica Mars
Gilmore Girls

Four things I have for breakfast:
cereal
bagels with cream cheese or peanut butter
tofu scramble
oatmeal

Four animals I like best:
cats
rabbits
llamas
sheep

Four beaches I've been to:
Nahant, MA
Coco Cay, Bahamas
Virginia Beach, VA
Long Island Sound, Stratford, CT

Posted by Kat at 11:29 AM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Stories

Today's question:

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.

Posted by Kat at 05:35 PM | Comments (2)

August 22, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Libraries

Oops! I started this yesterday but didn't manage to finish/post.

Yesterday's question:

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.

Posted by Kat at 09:20 AM | Comments (4)

August 14, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Gold Medal Reading

Today's question:

Do you or have you ever read books about the Olympics? About sports in general?
Fictional ones? Or non-fiction? Or both?

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.

Posted by Kat at 03:59 PM | Comments (1)

August 08, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Other Worlds

Coming in late on this because I was home sick yesterday...

This week's question:

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.

Posted by Kat at 05:22 PM | Comments (2)

August 05, 2008

Commitment to Loveliness, August 3

Commitment to Loveliness

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.
2. Finish making a going-away present for a friend.
3. Clean off my desk.
4. Bake something fun this weekend.
5. Make time for Bible reading every day.

Posted by Kat at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)

Apparently I'm a fork.

Grabbed this from My Middle Name is Patience:

You Are a Fork
You are truthful, direct, and straight forward.
People find your honesty to be a bit piercing at times.

You are driven and wildly ambitious.
You know what you want, and you take the most direct path to getting it.

I do try to be honest, and I guess I'm somewhat driven, but wildly ambitious? Really? I don't think so.

Posted by Kat at 09:51 AM | Comments (1)

July 31, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Endings

Today's question:

What are your favourite final sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its last sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn't like but still remember simply because of the last line?

L.M. Montgomery is really good with endings. Here's Anne of Green Gables:

"'God's in his heaven, all's right with the world,'" whispered Anne softly.

And it's not necessarily the last sentence, but the last seven paragraphs of Anne of Avonlea give me chills every time I read them. Last sentence:

And over the river in purple durance the echoes bided their time.

And again, the last chapter of Anne of the Island. My favorite line isn't quite the last:

"I don't want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want YOU."

SIGH.

The only non-LMM that stands out in my mind (at the moment, at least) is A Tale of Two Cities:

"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."

Posted by Kat at 11:36 AM | Comments (2)

July 27, 2008

Commitment to Loveliness, July 27

Commitment to Loveliness

Joining the fun at Charming the Birds from the Trees...

1. Actually iron my clothes for the week.
2. Wear skirts or dresses each day.
3. Write thank you notes for a few early birthday gifts I got.
4. Buy a new bathmat.
5. Go see what the Morning Prayer service at the church in my new town is like.

Posted by Kat at 06:52 PM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Beginnings

Today's question:

What are your favourite first sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its first sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the first line?

Well, of course, there's the classic from Pride and Prejudice:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

And I've always adored the (very long) first sentence of Anne of Green Gables:

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; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde's Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde's door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof.
Posted by Kat at 01:23 PM | Comments (4)

July 17, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Vacation Spots

Today's question:

Do you buy books while on vacation/holiday?
Do you have favorite bookstores that you only get to visit while away on a trip?
What/Where are they?

Yes! Of course I do. (I try not to buy too many books on vacation, because they are rather heavy in the suitcase.) I especially like to shop at used bookstores while away, because there are better odds there of finding something new and different - rather than a new bookstore with the same books as my local chains.

That said, my favorite vacation bookstore is the Borders near my grandparents' house in Florida. My dad and I have been going there each time we visit them for years. It's sort of our thing now. My other favorite is Half Price Books in Texas, when I visit Aishy. It's a magical, magical place, and I really want them to open one near me. And, of course, I have many fond memories of used bookstores in all sorts of places, including Lake George, NY, Williamsburg, VA, London, Ferrara...

Posted by Kat at 10:13 PM | Comments (1)

July 10, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Doomsday

Today's question:

What would you do if, all of a sudden, your favorite source of books was unavailable?
Whether it's a local book shop, your town library, or an internet shop... what would you do if, suddenly, they were out of business? Devastatingly, and with no warning? Where would you go for books instead? What would you do? If it was a local business you would try to help out the owners? Would you just calmly start buying from some other store? Visit the library in the next town instead? Would it be devastating? Or just a blip in your reading habit?

My main book source is my public library, and honestly, yeah, I'd just go to the library in the next town instead. Since I've been to my new town's library all of twice so far (third visit planned for tonight), it really wouldn't be very traumatic. The more traumatic thing would be if all the public libraries closed. That would be awful. I guess what I'd do in that case would be to either try to organize a lending library with my friends, or to start some sort of subscription library that I ran basically like a public library, but people paid a small fee to participate.

Posted by Kat at 01:39 PM | Comments (2)

July 03, 2008

Mosaic Meme

I grabbed this from Rachel. And with some of them, I couldn't really see how the search result had anything to do with what I entered, but I picked my favorite picture anyway.

Mosaic Meme

How it's done:

* Answer each of the questions below.
* Surf over to Flickr (set up an account if you don’t have one — it's quick and easy) and type your answers (one at a time) into the search bar.
* From the choice of pictures shown only on the front page, click on the one that moves you.
* Once the page with your picture opens, copy the URL.
* Surf over to the Mosaic Maker, set up your mosaic, and paste your URLs.
* Click "Create!"

Here are the questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you attend?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. Where would you go on your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. Choose one word to describe you.
12. Your Flickr name?

Photo Credits:

1. Katherine Cove
2. Homemade: Ciabatta with Pesto, Provolone, etc.
3. NY&NE 25
4. llibreria - bookstore - Amsterdam
5. The Santa in the Slush
6. vintage tea set with cupcake
7. Rathkieran Church
8. Homemade Berry Ice Cream
9. Lake @ the Lake District
10. The Avenue in mist and sun
11. Bookworm
12. cordoba

Posted by Kat at 04:21 PM | Comments (0)

June 02, 2008

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
2. Do a load of laundry
3. Tell the TiVo to record a few summer shows that are starting soon
4. Call my mother
5. Go to bed early

What are five snacks you enjoy?

1. Regenie's pita chips and hummus
2. Tortilla chips and guacamole
3. Baby carrots
4. Grapes
5. Pretzels

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.
2. Pay my brother's college tuition, and pay my parents back for mine.
3. Set my mom up with some sort of non-profit pediatric clinic that she can run exactly the way she wants. Donate to other good causes, too.
4. Travel lots, and take family members and friends on great vacations.
5. Buy a Prius.

What are five of your bad habits?

1. Procrastination
2. Accumulation of clutter
3. Tendency to start too many projects (of all types)
4. Picking at my cuticles
5. Staying up too late, even though I like to get up early

What are five places where you have lived?

1. Waterbury, CT
2. Middlebury, CT
3. Great Barrington, MA
4. Nashua, NH
5. Milford, NH

What are five jobs you've had?

1. Writing tutor
2. Bookseller
3. Library assistant
4. Amusement park worker
5. Resident Assistant in my dorm

Posted by Kat at 05:10 PM | Comments (1)

May 05, 2008

Twitter, anyone?

I've had a Twitter account for a while, but I've just recently started using it regularly. (I blame Rachel.) I'm "following" a few of you on there already, but I'm thinking there may be more of you with accounts. Anyone? My username there is katelinnea. Leave yours in the comments!

Posted by Kat at 09:56 AM | Comments (5)

March 09, 2008

Oh, I love semicolons.

You Are a Semi-Colon
You are elegant, understated, and subtle in your communication.
You're very smart (and you know it), but you don't often showcase your brilliance.

Instead, you carefully construct your arguments, ideas, and theories – until they are bulletproof.
You see your words as an expression of yourself, and you are careful not to waste them.

You friends see you as enlightened, logical, and shrewd.
(But what you're saying often goes right over their heads.)

You excel in: The Arts

You get along best with: The Colon
Posted by Kat at 07:19 PM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Hero

Today's question:

Who is your favorite Male lead character? And why?

I first looked at this question a few hours ago, and thought "Oh, I have no idea," but then I just looked at it again and the answer(s) seemed clear: Cadfael and Gregor Demarkian.

Cadfael is the main character in the series of the same name by Ellis Peters. The books are set in the 12th century, around the English/Welsh border. Cadfael is a former Crusader and adventurer who become a monk late in life. The books themselves are wonderful, and I could go on, but the question was about the hero. I like Cadfael because of his ability to blend all of the disparate parts of his life into a cohesive whole, and because of his devotion to both faith and intellect.

Gregor Demarkian is the main character in Jane Haddam's mystery series. He's a retired FBI agent who is now a somewhat famous consultant for various high-profile murder cases. I like him because of his incredible intellect (seeing a pattern?), as well as his basic human decency and loyalty to the Armenian-American neighborhood in which he grew up. And just as a character, he's very complex in a believable way.

Posted by Kat at 02:16 PM | Comments (3)

February 28, 2008

Booking through Thursday: Heroine

Today's question:

Who is your favorite female lead character? And why? (And yes, of course, you can name more than one . . . I always have trouble narrowing down these things to one name, why should I force you to?)

Oh, gosh, hard one. I'll have to say Elizabeth Bennet and Anne Shirley, for similar reasons, actually. They both have a strong sense of self that transcends their circumstances when necessary, but they are also willing to change and grow when they realize they are wrong or when their needs change.

Posted by Kat at 02:44 PM | Comments (1)

February 23, 2008

Tagged!

I love being tagged. Jocele over at Knitting on Call tagged me for this a while ago, and I finally have time to look through the archives and find things. Sorry for the delay, Jocele!

Rules:Go back through your archives and post the links to your five favorite blog posts that you’ve written. Link 1 must be about family. Link 2 must be about friends. Link 3 must be about yourself. Link 4 must be about something you love. Link 5 can be anything you choose. Post your five links and then tag five other people. At least TWO of the people you tag must be newer acquaintances so that you get to know each other better. (Readers - don’t forget to read the archive posts and leave comments.)

I'm not sure these are my five absolute favorite, but they're five I like that fit the categories, at least.

1. Family: Not a particularly good post, as such, but exciting news: my brother getting into college.

2. Friends: No, I said "boots."

3. Myself: 100 Things I Like

4. Something I love: This post features both Ben & Jerry's and sock knitting, so let's go with that.

5. Random: I couldn't do this and not include a post about Dewey!

Let's see... I'll tag Rachel, Courtney, YarnLibrarian, Raising WEG, and Barefoot Cobbler.

Posted by Kat at 03:29 PM | Comments (2)

February 21, 2008

KnitWars!

Lime & Violet have started a knitting quest on ChoreWars! I know this has been around for a bit but I just found out about it today, so I thought I'd link it just in case any of you hadn't heard and might be interested. My nickname there is "Kat with a K." I'm currently ranked 1049 amongst the knitters, but hope to move up soon!

Posted by Kat at 03:53 PM | Comments (1)

Booking through Thursday: Format

Today's question:

All other things (like price and storage space) being equal, given a choice in a perfect world, would you rather have paperbacks in your library? Or hardcovers? And why?

I had to think about this one. I think I'd rather have what we at Borders referred to as QP - quality paperbacks, the larger kind that most non-fiction books and some fiction come in. Mass market paperbacks are small and flimsy, and hardcovers can be cumbersome, so I think quality paperback is a nice compromise.

Posted by Kat at 01:53 PM | Comments (2)

February 07, 2008

(Not) Booking Through Thursday

Today's question:

What else do you do with your leisure to pass the time?

I like to...
knit
cook
bake
watch/listen to/read/talk about the news, especially politics (while knitting)
watch movies/TV (while knitting)
write
And other things, of course, but those are the first things that come to mind.

Posted by Kat at 03:51 PM | Comments (3)

February 01, 2008

Six Unimportant Things Meme

Courtney didn't tag anyone, so I decided to go ahead and take this, since it's Friday afternoon and I'm bored.

The rules for this meme are: (1) Link to the person that tagged you. (2) Post the rules on your blog. (3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. (4) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. (5) Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

1. I almost always change into pajamas as soon as I get home.
2. I put on Crabtree & Evelyn Lavender Hand Therapy Cream right before I get in bed every night.
3. When reading blogs in my Bloglines account, I sort by number of new posts and alternate - I read the blog with the most posts, then the five blogs with the fewest, then the one with the next most, etc.
4. I have to watch TV shows from the beginning. If necessary, I will wait until it comes out on DVD so I can make sure I go in order.
5. I am addicted to library books. I consistently take out more than I will be able to read, and I cannot seem to stop. I figure that as addictions go, this isn't so bad.
6. I don't like most lentil soups or most Wolfgang Puck soups, but Wolfgang Puck's lentil soup is the best thing ever.

I'm not going to tag anyone either, but feel free to play along if you'd like!

Posted by Kat at 03:35 PM | Comments (4)

January 03, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Anticipation

Today's question:

What new books are you looking forward to most in 2008? Something new being published this year? Something you got as a gift for the holidays? Anything in particular that you’re planning to read in 2008 that you’re looking forward to? A classic, or maybe a best-seller from 2007 that you’re waiting to appear in paperback?

As I mentioned, I'm looking forward to reading lots of Austen. I am also looking forward to a few books coming out by favorite authors, including Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (April 1), Jane Haddam (April 15), Stephenie Meyer (May 6), Meg Cabot (several). I got a few books for Christmas that I haven't started yet, including The Rest Is Noise and The Amateur Gourmet.

Posted by Kat at 11:54 AM | Comments (4)

November 29, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Rolling

This week's question:
Do you get on a roll when you read, so that one book leads to the next, which leads to the next, and so on and so on?

Sometimes. I will often do this by genre or subject - I'll get in the mood for a bunch of cozy mysteries, or classic children's lit, or things to do with a certain time period. But sometimes my reading seems pretty random, and I'm generally reading several things from different genres at once.

Posted by Kat at 10:02 AM | Comments (3)

November 26, 2007

Commitment to Loveliness, November 25

Commitment to Loveliness

1. Start writing my Christmas cards.
2. Get my Christmas decorations out of the attic and put them up.
3. Finish making an average of at least one gift per day.
4. Finally get my summer clothes packed away! (I know, I said that last time.)
5. Make sure the candles I just bought fit my Advent wreath, and find my Advent prayer book in time for Sunday.

Posted by Kat at 04:27 PM | Comments (1)

November 15, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Preservatives

Today's question:

I'm still relatively new to this meme so I'm not sure if this has been asked yet, but I'm curious how many of us write notes in our books. Are you a Footprint Leaver or a Preservationist?

I do not generally write in books. I was known to do so in college on occasion, but I'm generally a Preservationist. I usually take notes in a notebook and/or put in bunches of small pieces of paper to mark page I want to revisit.

Posted by Kat at 11:57 AM | Comments (3)

November 13, 2007

Commitment to Loveliness, November 11

Commitment to Loveliness

Coming in a little late again... ah well. Mine for the week mostly have to do with preparations for winter and the holidays:

1. Work out a new routine for weekly chores and laundry. I've been doing the bulk of it on weekends, but through the end of the year I'm away for most weekends so I have to start doing more during the week.
2. Put away my summer clothes and reorganize my closet and dresser.
3. Plan (and test as necessary) my contributions to the family Thanksgiving Dinner.
4. Make my Christmas card list and start looking for cards I like.
5. Finish at least ten Christmas gifts. (Don't worry, some are very small!)

Posted by Kat at 09:08 AM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Oh, Horror!

Booking Through Thursday:
What with yesterday being Halloween, and all . . . do you read horror? Stories of things that go bump in the night and keep you from sleeping?

I don't generally read horror, no. I do read lots of mysteries and some thrillers that thoroughly scare me, though. Since I live alone, this sometimes does mean that I have trouble sleeping. Or showering, or turning the lights off...

Posted by Kat at 08:24 PM | Comments (2)

September 30, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Friendship

This week's question:

What book would you choose to give to a friend and why?

This is a hard one, because it really depends on which friend we're talking about. I don't think there are any books that ALL my friends would like. Hm. How about a short list of books I've recently given or recommended to friends?

The Year of Magical Thinking, Didion
The Eight and The Magic Circle, Neville
Love Walked In, de los Santos
A Great Deliverance, George
Storm Front, Butcher
Posted by Kat at 02:37 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Sunshine and Roses

Chappysmom let me know that the book meme I posted earlier in the week was actually made up of questions from her Booking Through Thursday weekly meme. I hadn't realized that and therefore neglected to give credit. Sorry! Today's Booking Through Thursday:

Imagine that everything is going just swimmingly. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and all’s right with the world. You’re practically bouncing from health and have money in your pocket. The kids are playing and laughing, the puppy is chewing in the cutest possible manner on an officially-sanctioned chew toy, and in between moments of laughter for pure joy, you pick up a book to read . . .
What is it?

This was designed as the opposite of the previous question about what you'd read when everything was going wrong, but my answer is pretty similar. L.M. Montgomery and Jane Austen are my first impulses when I'd happy or sad, it seems. To this one, I'd add pretty much anything by Meg Cabot, or a really good mystery.

Posted by Kat at 09:36 AM | Comments (5)

September 18, 2007

Ooh, yay, a book meme!

I stole this from Rachel, although I'm not entirely sure why I bothered, as I agree with almost all of her answers anyway.

Okay . . . picture this (really) worst-case scenario: It’s cold and raining, your boyfriend/girlfriend has just dumped you, you’ve just been fired, the pile of unpaid bills is sky-high, your beloved pet has recently died, and you think you’re coming down with a cold. All you want to do (other than hiding under the covers) is to curl up with a good book, something warm and comforting that will make you feel better.
What do you read?

Anne of Green Gables. Or maybe Pride and Prejudice. They're probably my most comforting comfort reads. Or, on the other hand, a new mystery in one of my favorite series - it would have the comfort factor but also the absorbing unknown plot factor, to distract me.

(Of course, now I'm trying to remember what I did read last time I was dumped. I know I knit Birch, and my roommate and I watched Lady Jane [which is really not, you know, comforting in the slightest], but I can't come up with anything in particular I read. Okay, I just looked in my archives, and yeah, I didn't read much. Anyway.)

So, this is my question to you – are you a Goldilocks kind of reader?
Do you need the light just right, the background noise just so loud but not too loud, the chair just right, the distractions at a minimum?
Or can you open a book at any time and dip right in, whether it’s for twenty seconds, while waiting for the kettle to boil, or indefinitely, like while waiting interminably at the hospital–as long as the book is open in front of your nose, you’re happy to read?

Hah. The latter. This isn't to say that I don't have certain conditions I'd prefer for reading, but really, I'll read anywhere.

One book at a time? Or more than one? If more, are they different types/genres? Or similar?

I always have bookmarks in lots of books, but I'll often concentrate on one for a few days, either finish it or get distracted, and move on to something else for a while.

1. In your opinion, what is the best translation of a book to a movie?
2. The worst?
3. Had you read the book before seeing the movie, and did that make a difference?

1. I agree with Rachel about the Ehle/Firth Pride and Prejudice.
2. I am probably about as picky as Rachel here. Does Anne 3 even pretend to be based on a book? Because, if so, that would "win."
3. Yes, it matters. For one thing, if I see a movie first, I have trouble picturing the characters any other way. I often try to read books before seeing the movie, but sometimes I go in the other order. Regardless, I almost always like the book better. Sometimes with very complicated books, I will admit that seeing the movie first makes it easier to get into the book.

Posted by Kat at 08:46 AM | Comments (1)

September 10, 2007

Commitment to Loveliness, September 9

Commitment to Loveliness

1. Buy pumpkins for my porch and steps.
2. Finish clearing off my kitchen table.
3. Get a frame for the Grease poster I got when I saw it on Broadway.
4. Find nice, affordable brown flats or Mary Janes.
5. Finish making at least one Christmas gift. (Trying to do all homemade this year.)

Posted by Kat at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2007

Commitment to Loveliness, September 2

Commitment to Loveliness

I loved doing this last week. My poem (Shakespeare's Sonnet 73) is just about memorized - I found that memorizing while kneading bread this morning worked well. I'm working on my list of birthdays, but I haven't had time to find cards yet. The leaves are definitely starting to change, although it was all yucky and hot today. Bah. I did well with the earrings and necklace each day, and I have one more dishcloth done and two almost done. ANYWAY. New list for this week:

1. Actually fix my hair each morning, instead of just brushing it and letting it hang.
2. Get back in the habit of lighting pretty scented candles in the evenings, as long as the kitten-safe place I found remains kitten-safe.
3. Wear skirts or dresses to work at least twice.
4. Start knitting Christmas gifts (finally).
5. Read at least a few pages of Jane Eyre every day.

Posted by Kat at 07:41 PM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2007

Commitment to Loveliness, August 26

Commitment to Loveliness

I think this idea of Emma's is, well, lovely, so I'm jumping on the bandwagon here - a bit late, but oh well. My list for the week:

1. Memorize a poem.
2. Make a list of September birthdays and start shopping for cards.
3. Take time to notice the beauty of the trees as the leaves start to change.
4. Remember to put on earrings and a necklace each day.
5. Knit a few more pretty cotton dishcloths to add to my rotation.

Posted by Kat at 09:48 PM | Comments (4)

June 01, 2007

Summer Reading 2007!

Today is the beginning of the Summer Reading Program in which I am participating, so I thought I'd mention it again in case anyone wants to play along. My goal for the summer (June 1 to August 31) is 30 books, three of which were written before 1900. This should be challenging but not TOO hard, considering that I read 13 books in May. I'm excited!

Posted by Kat at 09:49 AM | Comments (4)

May 17, 2007

Random Meme

Arleta tagged me!

Here's how to play...
1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves
2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules
3. At the end of your blog you need to tag 8 people and post their names

1. I hate doing things out of order. I need to read series in order, and also to watch TV shows in order. This means that I watch the first few episodes of LOTS of shows, in case they end up being good, because I can't start in the middle.

2. I watch Alton Brown while eating breakfast. (Thank goodness for TiVo.)

3. Putting things in alphabetical order relaxes me. Sorting is good too.

4. I adore ice cream and eat it several times a week year round. It always startles me when people say they don't want ice cream because it's cold out.

5. I am good at remembering names and other details, but I have a horrible time recognizing people. (If I've ever not said hello to you at a festival or other event, that's why.)

6. I've been to at least eight foreign countries, but never the closest - Canada. Must do that one of these days...

7. I'm a vegetarian (as of fairly recently), and I hate mushrooms, which rules out most of the vegetarian-friendly dishes in many restaurants. It's annoying. But I keep trying mushrooms, and just don't like them.

8. I can't sleep if a closet door is open.

Okay, tagging: Chris, FemiKnitMafia, Rachel, Courtney, Kristy and/or Leander, Jennifer, Erica, and Cate. But this has been around and I've lost track of who has done it, so feel free to ignore if desired. :)

Posted by Kat at 10:55 AM | Comments (9)

February 04, 2007

International Pajama Day!

Hey, it's International Pajama Day! And. I love pajamas. I probably have more pajamas than actual clothes. I generally change into pajamas as soon as I get home.

Except - today is also the traditional Superbowl Sale at my yarn store. What to do, what to do? I've given this conundrum a serious amount of thought, and I have decided to wear pajamas for most of the day, but put on jeans (but leave on the fleece hoodie I'm wearing as pajamas) for my trip to the yarn store. Seems fair enough.

And yes, I'll try to post pictures of what I buy later today, if the kitten is calm enough to not attack the yarn while I'm trying to photograph it. I have some Dewey pictures coming for you too!

Posted by Kat at 09:04 AM | Comments (3)

February 02, 2007

St. Brigid's Day Poetry Reading

Roots Down is leading the Second Annual Brigid in Cyberspace Poetry Reading. Here's one of my favorite winter poems, by Emily Dickinson:

There's a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons--
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes--

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us--
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the meanings are--

None may teach it--Any--
'Tis the Seal Despair--
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air--

When it comes, the Landscape listens--
Shadows--hold their breath--
When it goes, 'tis like the Distance
On the look of Death--

(found here)

Posted by Kat at 03:24 PM | Comments (4)

January 27, 2007

No more Reading Challenges

I've been doing a lot of thinking recently (which you may have figured, since I certainly haven't been posting), and I've realized, with the help of some friends, that one of the reasons why I feel so tired and and run down all the time is because I schedule and plan and make lists for everything, including my so-called "free" time. As a result, I never actually have any downtime. The semester starts next week, and I'm already feeling stressed, so something has to go. So I'm pulling out of the various reading challenges I've signed up for. I'll keep the lists, since I really do want to read all those books. Just not right now. They all sounded very appealing on the day(s) I came up with the lists, but too much of the time, they're not what fits my reading mood, and so they just feel like homework. The especially frustrating thing is that recently, I've been just wanting to read read read - just not those books. (I've been wanting British police procedurals, contemporary literary fiction, and Latin American poetry, in fact.)

And yes, this theoretically means I'll have time to post more and keep up better with the UFO challenge administation stuff.

Posted by Kat at 07:37 AM | Comments (8)

January 16, 2007

Page 123 Meme

Tagged by The Barefoot Cobbler...

The Page 123 Meme
1. Grab the book closest to you.
2. Open to page 123, look down to the 5th sentence.
3. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog.
4. Include the title and the author's name.
5. Tag 3 People.

(Fifth sentence or fifth line? I guess I'll go with sentence...)

"'Let them watch if they want to.'
'But it startled mother badly the other night. I think I'll just ask them not to, if I can catch them.'"

The book is I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. And I have no idea what is going on in the above, as I am currently on page 83. Hmm.

Tagging: Newness of Life (although I feel like she's already done it...), Zuzu's Perch, and Stumbling Over Chaos.

Posted by Kat at 07:50 AM | Comments (8)

December 19, 2006

So apparently I'm weird.

First of all: I just announced the Yarn Life 2007 Crafting Challenge. Hope you'll join us.

I was tagged for the "six weird things about me" meme at both The Stitch Witch and The Barefoot Cobbler. So, of course, I feel like I need to come up with twelve weird things. Hmm. (What, you're thinking it shouldn't be that hard? Shush!) I'm trying to think of things I haven't posted before...

1. I listen to podcasts all day at work, but I am incapable of listening to audiobooks. I just can't process them.

2. Somewhat related: I find it much easier to read books than to watch movies.

3. I generally hate going to parties. I am convinced that I like hosting them, though. (Not sure whether this is actually true.)

4. The first time I ever had alcohol (except for wine at Mass), I was almost 23. Had Defulct not made it his goal to get me to like some sort of alcohol, I likely still would not have had any.

5. I find alphabetizing and sorting to be extremely relaxing. This can lead to amusing times at the bookstore.

6. I have a weirdly good memory. This leads to me remember things about my friends' lives that they themselves don't remember. From before I met them. Because they mentioned it once, and then forgot, but I remember. Of course, I can't remember what day of the week it is or anything useful like that, but I remember all the useless trivia.

7. Tuesday has pretty much always been my favorite day of the week. I don't know why.

8. Once I got past the Sesame Street stage, the only show I watched regularly as a child was Avonlea. (And now I watch way too much. Oh well.)

9. I dropped out of high school. Actually, I wasn't old enough, so my mother had to do it on my behalf.

10. I have been making progress on getting over my picky eating issues, but I still refuse to eat seafood in any way, shape, or form. Except that I just discovered that there are anchovies in Worcestershire sauce, and this is now bugging me.

11. I cannot sleep if there are any open closet doors in the room.

12. I'm pretty good with understanding knitting patterns, but I seem incapable of deciphering crochet patterns. I have no idea why. I'll think I understand, but it just... doesn't work.

Okay. Did it. I'm only going to tag six, though: FemiKnit Mafia, Mamacate, Zuzu's Perch, Border Episcopalian, Raising WEG, and San Diego Dispatches.

Posted by Kat at 01:20 PM | Comments (8)

December 14, 2006

Year end first sentence meme thing

I've seen this in a bunch of places, so I'm not sure where it's from or who to credit. Oh well. The idea: post the first sentence from each month of 2006.

January: Happy 2006, and happy birthday to this blog!

February: 1. New hair again, in its natural (i.e. not blow-dried straight) state:

March: I finally went to work today, after being out sick, so it felt like Monday, so I'm totally confused.

April: I've been knitting for several years, but somehow, I'd gotten away with not blocking anything.

May: I've been thrilled with the great response to Yarn Life so far.

June: Not to quibble, but wasn't it Miss Bingley who accused Elizabeth of being a voracious reader, and Elizabeth disputed it?

July: It is way too early in the morning to wrap my brain around this, but I had to share.

August: Happy first day of August, everyone!

September: I've been wanting a toaster oven for a few years now.

October: No, it's not actually snowing.

November: Happy November, everyone!

December: Warning: The following is pretty long and rambling, and doesn't really have an overarching point or theme.

I think the last is my favorite.

Posted by Kat at 05:41 PM | Comments (5)

December 06, 2006

Reading update and Book Challenges

So I gave up on The View from Castle Rock. I might try another of Munro's books at some point, because I liked her language and style, but the format of this one was just not working for me. Oh well. I'm now reading Size 14 is Not Fat Either by Meg Cabot (one of my favorite authors), and then I'll finally get started on my From the Stacks Challenge books. Finally. Since, you know, a whole month of the challenge is over and I haven't even started. Oops. And 2007 is looking busy, because I'm joining two more challenges. Yeah, I'm a sucker for these things.

The first is The 2007 Winter Classics Challenge at A Reader's Journal (five classics in January and February). My five books:

1. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
2. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
4. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
5. Middlemarch by George Eliot

And for Literary Cache's 2007 TBR Challenge (a book a month from your "To Be Read" list):

1. Queen Isabella by Alison Weir
2. When Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman
3. Pat of Silver Bush by L.M. Montgomery
4. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
5. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
6. Fear of Flying by Erica Jong
7. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
8. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
9. To Rule the Waves by Arthur Herman
10. Personal History by Katharine Graham
11. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
12. Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk

I think I'll be busy...

Posted by Kat at 11:20 AM | Comments (11)

November 09, 2006

Joining the Winter Reading Challenge

Yes, I'm joining the From the Stacks Winter Reading Challenge. Who am I to pass up a good challenge just because I already have too much to do? Don't tell me you're surprised.

Now, I probably have hundreds of unread books in my house, so choosing five threatened to become a monumental task. I considered some sort of rules, or a system. (Again, don't tell me you're surprised.) Maybe a theme (all classics? History?), or the opposite - five from different genres. Did they have to be a certain length? Did I have to have owned them for a certain amount of time? etc. Eventually, though, I convinced myself to chill out and just picked. These are five books I've been wanting to read for a while that are particularly calling to me at the moment, for whatever reason.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne - Seriously, I'm into colonial history, and witch trial stuff, and the history of religion, and I like Hawthorne, and why haven't I read this?? So I will. Also, my little brother has read it, because he's now in the part of school I never did (junior/senior years of high school), so it feels doubly ridiculous that I haven't.

The Weaker Vessel: Woman's Lot in 17th Century England by Antonia Fraser - I picked this up at a used bookstore a few years ago, but just haven't gotten to it yet. I like Fraser, and women's history, and I'm in the mood for 17th century England.

A Fountain Filled With Blood by Julia Spencer-Fleming - I adored Spencer-Fleming's debut, and I got this, the second book in the series, as an ARC before it was even released. Well. The fifth in the series was just released, and I still haven't read the second. It's about time.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith - Another classic I've been meaning to read forever. And I hate having to say "No, but I saw the movie..." when people ask me if I've read it.

Crowned in a Far Country: Portraits of Eight Royal Brides by HRH Princess Michael of Kent - When my aunt sold the home she had shared with my grandmother a few years ago, I wound up with lots of their books. This was one of the most exciting ones, but again, I just haven't managed to read it... but I guess that's the point of this challenge, huh?

I'm planning a sidebar overhaul over the weekend, so I'll get the button and the list of books over there then. I'm considering whether to rescind my one at a time rule for this challenge. Hmmm.

Posted by Kat at 05:46 PM | Comments (5)

September 24, 2006

License plate update!

I went away this weekend and saw some new plates, so I think it's time for an update...


Posted by Kat at 08:41 PM | Comments (5)

August 27, 2006

5 new states, and a province!

Today I saw Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Washington (State), and Quebec!


create your own personalized map of the USA
Posted by Kat at 10:48 PM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2006

19 States!

Posted by Kat at 10:03 AM | Comments (1)

August 04, 2006

Wants

From Erica...

I want summer to be over. NOW. Or air conditioning. That would work too.

I want my apartment to be magically rearranged just the way I want it.

I want an extra day this weekend: I basically have plans all weekend, and they're mostly fun plans, but I wouldn't mind a day to stay home and clean and read and knit, too.

I want an unlimited yarn and book budget.

I want organic and other healthy food to be less expensive than jusnk, instead of more expensive.

I want a boy to like me. (Yeah, a particular boy would be nice, but really, at this point interest from practically anyone1 would be a nice reassurance.)

I want all my faraway friends to live nearby, or at least the capability to magically transport ourselves to each others' locations to hang out.

I want my TiVo to have infinite capacity.

I want to get a full night of sleep and actually feel rested.

I want to be sure that I know what to do with my life.

Come on, be a little selfish... what do you want right now?

___
1 Excluding creepy customers. And creepy people in general, really.

Posted by Kat at 08:12 PM | Comments (5)

May 09, 2006

News, and memes

First, the exciting news: my paper is done done done! That means I just have to go to class tonight and turn it in and the semester will be over! Wheee! There will be celebrating this weekend. Who will be at NH S&W on Sunday (or in the area for dinner and/or drinks Saturday evening) to help me celebrate?

Second, because my brain is too mushy for anything else at this point, memes! I stole these from Rachel, which is quite appropriate as she is one of the few Internet friends I've known for ten years. Or at least almost ten years. I joined the listserv on which we met in the fall of 1996.

Ten years ago, it was 1996. Take this survey, post the results, and see how many things have changed since then.

1) How old were you?
THEN: 13
NOW: 23

2) Where did you go to school?
THEN: Memorial Middle School
NOW: Simmons Graduate School of Library & Information Science

3) Where did you work?
THEN: Just baby-sitting.
NOW: PC Connection. Borders.

4) Where did you live?
THEN: Middlebury, CT
NOW: Milford, NH

5) How was your hair style?
THEN: Long-ish, I think. I'm trying to picture my eighth grade graduation pictures and failing miserably.
NOW: About shoulder-length, layered.

6) Did you wear braces?
THEN: No.
NOW: No.

7) Did you wear contacts?
THEN: No.
NOW: No.

8) Did you wear glasses?
THEN: Yes.
NOW: Yes.

9) Who was your best friend?
THEN: Heather
NOW: I'm not sure I really have one best friend at the moment. Which is probably good. I have several close friends, though. (And others without much Web presence, of course.)

10) Which of your pets were still alive?
THEN: Emmy
NOW: Tessie

11) Who was your boyfriend/girlfriend?
THEN: Nope.
NOW: Again with the nope.

12) Who was your celebrity crush?
THEN: Don't remember one standing out.
NOW: Oh, there are so many...

13) Who was your regular-person crush?
THEN: Pat
NOW: Don't have one, exactly.

14) How many piercings did you have?
THEN: One in each ear.
NOW: One in each ear.

15) How many tattoos did you have?
THEN: 0
NOW: 0

16) What was your favorite band/singer?
THEN: Bach.
NOW: If I had to choose just one, I'd still say Bach. Although my musical tastes are more varied now.

17) Had you smoked a cigarette?
THEN: No.
NOW: No.

18) Had you gotten drunk?
THEN: No.
NOW: Never quite drunk, no.

19) Had you driven yet?
THEN: No.
NOW: Yes.

20) If so which car?
THEN: N/A
NOW: 1998 Honda Civic.

21) Looking back, are you where you thought you would be in 2006?
No, not at all.


And another meme:

I AM: drinking TaB and taking stupid HTML out of stupid lists of stupid things. Um, yeah, welcome to my job.
I WANT: to catch up on sleep.
I WISH: I had no obligations tonight and could go home and drink tea and finish Birch while watching guilty pleasure TV.
I HATE: how my house is always messy.
I MISS: my family, and decent bagels. And Texas Dr. Pepper. From a fountain. With vanilla.
I FEAR: never figuring out what I really "want to do." Also the dark, and moths.
I HEAR: background cube farm white noise.
I WONDER: why phone keypads and keyboard number pads are set up differently. Come one, people, how hard is it to make the numbers go the same way? I mean, they're numbers. They should be the easiest thing to put in order ever.
I REGRET: not having the guts to ask about it when none of my professors mentioned that I might want to consider going to grad school.
I AM NOT: concentrating very well today.
I DANCE: less frequently than I'd like, but I get self-conscious.
I SING: often. decently.
I CRY: less often now. Which is good.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: coherent. (I'll stay with Rachel's answer on this one.)
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: food, and knitted things.
I WRITE: too many product descriptions and not enough blog posts. (Although my employer might believe the opposite. Funny, that.)
I CONFUSE: directions - left and right. East and west, because they are tied to left and right in my head.
I NEED: some new summer shirts. (Rachel said this, but I do too.)
I SHOULD: clean my house. And just buy a filing cabinet, already.
I START: too many books. And knitting projects.
I FINISH: too few books. And knitting projects.
I TAG: my roommate, because he has finally started blogging!

Posted by Kat at 02:13 PM | Comments (6)

March 21, 2006

I spy with my little eye...

From JenLa:

1. A blog which you think people have not discovered: The Magpi
2. A blog whose author lives close to you physically. Just get as close as you can, its all relative: The Stitch Witch
3. An unusual or weird animal picture: Many of Chaos
4. An entry that made you laugh and got you strange looks from family or co-workers: Oh, so many. Recently: Peukalo is thumb. by Steph
5. An idea you wish youd thought of: Buy More Yarn. I mean, really. 'nough said.
6. Something youd like to knit: Rogue
7. A picture of something you consider beautiful: Juno's Highland Triangle
8. A blog whose author youd like to one day meet in person: FemiKnit Mafia
9. A blog of someone you have already met in person: mamacate

P.S. 10 Reasons Why Liberal Men are Better in Bed

Posted by Kat at 10:55 PM | Comments (3)

March 09, 2006

Books and TV and blogs, oh my!

I was all conflicted this morning: do I post about Black. White. or do I do a book meme? Decisions! Luckily, Cate made the decision for me by starting a new group blog: Reality TV Sociology. Come read or blog along with us if you're so inclined.

So the book meme! This is from Carole, even though she forgot me in the librarian list. ;-)

Meme instructions: Look at the list of books below. Bold the ones you've read, italicize the ones you might read, cross out the ones you won't, underline the ones on your book shelf, and place parentheses around the ones you've never even heard of.

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
1984 - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
The Secret History - Donna Tartt

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Dune - Frank Herbert

Hmm. There are some that might be on my bookshelf but I don't remember that they're there. (Someday I will complete my inventory...) Or that I've borrowed. Yeah. The Atwood is on my night table, actually, now that I think about it, but it's not mine so I didn't count it.

Also, apparently I do not decide that I won't read books. I mean, I'd read pretty much anything if you put it in front of me. (Vickie, this means you.) Also, yes, I've heard of all of them. Lit degree + enough time as a bookseller will do that.

Oh, and I forgot to tag people. How about Erica and Rachel and Kristen? (Sorry if any of you have already done it.)

Posted by Kat at 03:46 PM | Comments (5)

March 06, 2006

Why didn't I figure this out before?

My job isn't so big on the motivation to actually work bit, so this week I decided to try some internal motivation - or really just out-and-out self-bribery - to spice things up a bit. If I get to my self-imposed goal for the week, I can get the pattern for Rogue.

I was past Monday's portion of said goal by 1:00. Huh. This system just might work.

Let's back up a little and have a bit of an update on the sweater lust from last week. Lovely Salina is still coming along nicely, if slowly - I've been concentrating on the baby hat the past few days because I got something very exciting yesterday that I want to start. (More on that tomorrow.) And I'm still planning to order the yarn for Starsky when I finish a sweater. But. The whole hourglass-like sweater in some sort of cotton something issue? It's not going so well. I haven't been able to find a yarn I like in the right gauge at the right price. And then, well, I was flipping through the L.L. Bean catalog and saw this. Which is almost what I wanted. So I might just order that for now, and wait until the perfect yarn/pattern combination for the ideal spring sweater in my head jumps out at me.

So. I crossed that sweater off my "To be done very soon" mental list, and then Tracy came into the bookstore and we started talking knitting (I'm sure you're shocked! Shocked!) and she mentioned Rogue. And I had one of those "Oh, I meant to knit that three years ago. What happened?" moments. And I looked it up when I got home to refresh my memory and fell in love with it all over again. Yesterday I made my first trip up to the Elegant Ewe and got the yarn (as well as other exciting things you'll see tomorrow). I ended up with Cascade 220 in a lovely Celtic green with a bit of blue in it - color 9451, maybe?

And THEN I came home and saw that Cate is starting Rogue too, and Kristen just pulled hers out and Juno is talking about it and so is vm and then of course there's Tracy, who got me back into this mess in the first place and hey! We practically have a knitalong going here! Actually, I'll host if anyone wants to make it official. The Really Late Rogues. Let me know if you're interested.

Posted by Kat at 01:25 PM | Comments (10)

March 02, 2006

Meet Watson.

Remember Aloysius? This is his brother Watson.

He wanted a scarf too. And it's red(dish), so it's my first entry for Project Spectrum. I have two red scarves and a red shawl on my list right now - it's almost like I knew about this before today and didn't join at the last minute! Hah! The other color of the month is pink, which is one of my favorites. But, oddly, I don't have anything pink on the go, I don't think. Oh, yes I do! There's that sock I abandoned back in, oh, May or so. Hmm.

I don't think I want to add that to the list right now, though. (I get to add something because I finished the Teddy Bear Scarf!) Just not in the mood. I think I'm going to put Branching Out back into rotation instead. And that means I'll have to finish something else in the next, oh, ten days, because I want to start Danica during the first F1 race of the season. (Yes, I know Danica isn't in F1. It's going to be my general watching-races project.)

Oh, and Watson's scarf is my seventh finished item for 2006 so far! Woohoo!

Posted by Kat at 10:35 PM | Comments (2)

March 01, 2006

Oh hey, it's Wednesday!

I finally went to work today, after being out sick, so it felt like Monday, so I'm totally confused. Anyway, it's Wednesday, so that means randomness!

1. FIRST of all, do you like the new layout? It's March 1 (Happy March!) so I decided something bright and springlike was in order. It's a very slightly tweaked version of a template that the lovely and generous Becky made for us Pretty Posies members. Let me know if anything seems to be working incorrectly.

2. Based on the comments I got yesterday and what I've seen at other blogs, I think Post-Olympic Startitis should be declared an official disease. I've managed to stick to my ten, though. Aren't you proud of me? (Birch was added to the ten when I finished the Olympic socks. The first ten were in basically random order, but I'll be adding new items to the bottom as I finish things.)

3. I decided to add my LibraryThing widget to the sidebar even though only a fraction of my books have been entered so far. (All the cool kids are doing it.) I'm going to try to add a few each day.

4. I was on Morning Edition on NHPR yesterday, talking about the Knitting Olympics. Want to hear me?

5. It has been brought to my attention (thanks Chris!) that an all-cotton sweater, as I was discussing last entry, might not work so well. So that project is on the back burner for the moment, and I'm open to yarn suggestions for a DK cotton blend.

6. I am SO ready for spring. So why is it in the twenties out? Not fair.

7. I'm still sick. Sleeping plenty but exhausted all the time. What's with this?

8. Okay, enough complaining. Let's end with something positive. Umm... oh yeah! Have you seen The Daily Kitten? Say it with me... Awwwwww.

Posted by Kat at 08:05 PM | Comments (7)

February 19, 2006

Johari window

These have been going around, and it looks kind of interesting. Help fill mine out. Thanks!

Posted by Kat at 12:59 AM | Comments (1)

February 02, 2006

A Bloggers' (Silent) Poetry Reading

This midwinter poetry celebration is the brainchild of Grace's Poppies. This is probably my favorite winter poem, and it seems particularly apropos these days when I leave the house by eight and don't get home until midnight:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

It's Robert Frost, of course, via the Favorite Poem Project.

Posted by Kat at 01:53 PM | Comments (2)

December 07, 2005

Me me me me meme

I'm procrastinating, and Kat tagged everyone who read it, so...

10 Things you might not know about me:
1. I have broken my left arm and right leg.
2. I was born with congenital heart disease and have had a few open heart surgeries.
3. I am officially a high school dropout.
4. I like driving in snow, as long as there's not much of it.
5. I didn't try alcohol until I was almost 23. (Yes, that's how old I am now.)
6. I'm a virgin.
7. I started college as a physics major.
8. I used to play D&D and Magic: The Gathering.
9. I have several other blogs/online journals/etc.
10. I have recently become addicted to Tab.

9 Places I've visited:
1. Nicaragua
2. England
3. Italy
4. France
5. Vatican City
6. Malta
7. Monaco
8. Spain
9. Cornwall

8 Ways to win my heart:
1. Cook me dinner.
2. Let me cook for you.
3. Knit for me.
4. Ask me to knit for you.
5. Read me poetry.
6. Talk about literature.
7. Treat me like an intelligent adult.
8. Deal gracefully with my quirky family.

7 Things I want to do before I die:
1. Have a novel published.
2. Own a house.
3. Go to Ireland.
4. Get married.
5. Have children.
6. Finish a sweater.
7. Learn to speak another language fluently.

6 Things I am afraid of:
1. The dark
2. Falling
3. Loneliness
4. That no one really likes me
5. "Grown up" paperwork type stuff
6. People close to me disappearing

5 Things I don't like:
1. Fish (as a food. I like fish if they are swimming) <- I'll stay with Kat on this one.
2. Mean jokes or teasing
3. Bugs
4. Rude customers or coworkers
5. Ice on the roads

4 Ways to Turn me Off:
1. Refuse to take responsibility for your actions
2. Be rude (to me or anyone else)
3. Be totally self-centered
4. Make fun of people

3 Things I do every day:
1. Brush my teeth
2. Read
3. Talk to or e-mail my roommate

2 Things that make me happy:
1. Reading
2. Knitting

1 Thing on my mind right now:
1. My stupid paper

As Kat said, I'll tag whoever reads this, but especially Aisling, Erica, and Cate.

Posted by Kat at 03:01 PM | Comments (2)

November 04, 2005

What's in your purse?

Bitch Ph.D. asked about the contents of our purses or pockets. I have no pockets in my skirt today (what is WRONG with women's clothing designers?), so, the contents of my purse:

Wallet
Notebook
Sock in progress
Packet of tissues
Small bottle of hand sanitizer
Two pens (blue and purple)
Two Lip Smackers (Cookie Dough and Strawberry Kiwi Comet)
Cell phone
Planner
Hairbrush
Cough drops
Just-in-case pad
Ibuprofen
Asthma inhaler
Antibacterial wipes
Simmons ID
Checkbook
Paycheck to be deposited
Stamps
Knitted pouch holding some cards that don't fit in my wallet (library, insurance cards, etc.)

Hmm, I think that's it. Your turn!

Posted by Kat at 02:24 PM

November 03, 2005

Can we call it "opting otherwise" instead?

So everyone has been up in arms about Maureen Dowd this week, and who am I to let a perfectly good bandwagon roll on by? A lot has already been said, better than I could say it, so I'll give you some links on Dowd's elitism and the truth behind Dowd's examples of "backlash" and how Dowd's "data" is questionable at best. And, before I get into my main point here, I'd like to say that my first reaction upon reading the article was that dear Maureen needs to get over herself. Maybe she'd have more romantic success if she, you know, tried being nice to people, or didn't make it quite so abundantly clear that she feels she is superior to everyone around her. I was also a bit unclear as to how Dowd would actually like women (or, for that matter, anyone) to behave, as she seems to disapprove of, well, everything.

But anyway. The part that most bothered me was her take on the whole concept of "opting out." To her credit, Dowd does admit that "to the extent that young women are rejecting the old idea of copying men and reshaping the world around their desires, it's exhilarating progress. But..." And, of course, there's a "but." It's exhilarating progess, but she doesn't like it. She sees it as spoiled, pampered women turning their backs on long-sought education and opportunities in favor of dependence on rich husbands. This strikes me as a narrow view, to say the least.

A little background, although you probably all know all this: I am currently single and self-supporting1. I work for a reasonably large corporation as well as a very large retail chain. I'm in grad school, ostensibly to become qualified to be a professional in a particular field. And, given the chance, I would (I think) "opt out" in a second. But I don't think but reasons are horrible and unfeminist.

1. First of all, corporate life really isn't that great. Theoretically, some people like it, but I haven't met many of those people, either male or female. Other than for reasons of job security, I really couldn't care less whether the company I work for makes money. This isn't the greatest motivation for trying to climb the corporate ladder. I'd rather be doing something I thought actually mattered, somehow.
2. If I ever have children, I feel pretty strongly about staying home with them (and quite possibly homeschooling, but we'll leave that for another discussion) if circumstances allow. I don't think this is because I want to be a Stepford wife, though. It's more that I want to be with my children through their early development. I think that's reasonable (and really rather responsible) of me2.
3. I will admit that I have literary aspirations, and "opting out" of a nine to five schedule would give me more time to write. (Although not if/when there were small children around. I do realize that, don't worry.)
4. I also realize that there is certainly some amount of "the grass is always greener..." in this. Someone3 once posted about a sort of alternate universe fantasy they had: that somewhere there was another version of themselves, a single, childless version with a job and apartment and free time and freedom/money to travel. And I had to laugh, because it sounded like a romanticized version of my life, and I have a parallel alternate universe fantasy that was basically a romanticized version of that person's life.

So there are some of my reasons. Please note that "I want to be pampered and spoiled" was not among them.4 More importantly, though, I refuse to believe that corporate/business/career "success" is any more intrinsically valuable than raising children or knitting a sweater or baking fabulous cupcakes or, for that matter, fixing a car or playing a musical instrument. It's all a question of what you want to do and what makes you, not some ideal, happy and fulfilled. Dowd pays lip service to the idea that feminism is about having choices, but she clearly doesn't actually believe that any choice other than "the old idea of copying men" is a choice worth making.

___
1 Well, mostly self-supporting: my parents pay most of my tuition, and I don't want to leave that out or seem ungrateful.
2 Not to imply that working mothers are doing something wrong; I just think, for me, I'd rather be home.
3 I thought it was Cate or maybe Jody, but I can't find it in either of their archives. If anyone remembers, please speak up!
EDIT: It was Rachel! Sorry about that.
4 Not that I'd object to a little pampering occasionally. Everyone deserves that.

Posted by Kat at 12:16 PM | Comments (1)

October 31, 2005

On your mark, get set...

It's almost time for NaNoWriMo! Five minutes! Good luck to any of you who are writing. I'm planning to write a sentence or two at midnight, go take a shower, and then write for a little while longer if I feel like it. We'll see how it goes...

Posted by Kat at 11:56 PM

September 11, 2005

100 Things I Like

Got this from Rachel, and it seems like a nice day for some positivity. I tried not to copy too many of Rachel's, but what can I say? There are lots of things we both like.

1. the smell of autumn
2. new books
3. old books
4. big mugs of tea
5. dark chocolate
6. flannel sheets
7. long skirts
8. word games
9. fireplaces
10. winter sunshine
11. bright, soft yarn
12. the ocean
13. baking
14. NPR
15. chai
16. kittens
17. ice cream
18. long hair
19. lazy Sundays
20. spinning wheels
21. getting lost in a book
22. sweaters
23. traditional quilts
24. stuffed animals
25. sunrises
26. Bach
27. history
28. candles
29. cooking for others
30. windy country roads
31. L.L. Bean
32. weddings
33. cookie jars
34. taking pictures
35. making music
36. cutting coupons
37. Christmas carols
38. libraries
39. homework
40. blogs
41. Target
42. candy corn
43. artichokes
44. tiny wooden knitting needles
45. grocery shopping
46. getting e-mail
47. sorting things
48. espresso machines
49. cookbooks
50. writing
51. exploring new places
52. snow
53. dolls
54. jigsaw puzzles
55. musicals
56. roses
57. lighthouses
58. Victoriana
59. chick lit
60. mythology
61. roll-top desks
62. sidewalk chalk
63. seltzer
64. airports
65. coloring books
66. old trees
67. chamber music
68. mystery novels
69. algebra
70. memorizing poetry
71. babies
72. reconnecting with old friends
73. Cornwall
74. The Sims
75. knee socks
76. crossword puzzles
77. spare rooms
78. bookstores
79. real delis
80. long walks
81. old churches
82. logic problems
83. watching movies I've practically memorized
84. scones with clotted cream
85. discovering new favorites
86. pizza
87. Costco
88. library book sales
89. interesting salads
90. cross stitch
91. Tetris
92. historical fiction
93. knitting
94. Arthurian retellings
95. period movies
96. oldies
97. reading the Bible
98. gift certificates
99. notebooks
100. making lists

Posted by Kat at 09:46 PM

February 04, 2005

Music survey from Rachel

Rachel passed this to me. I feel honored. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic.

1. What are the total amount of music files on your computer?
I'm on my work computer right now, so none. At home... maybe 50?

2. The last CD you bought was?
Gosh. Umm. I got U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and Sesame Street Songs from the Street for Christmas (quite a combination, I know). Oh, so I guess the last one I actually physically bought was the U2 one, for my boyfriend to give my brother. Who gave it to me. Not the same copy, though.

3. What is the song you last listened to before this message?
Whatever was on in the car this morning? The last CD I listened to was Coldplay, but that was on Wednesday. Oh, wait, we listened to Keane on Wednesday too. I've listened to various radio stuff since then but I don't remember what.

4. Write down five songs you often listen to, or that mean a lot to you.
Oh, tons of songs mean a lot to me. We'll say Carole King's "Where You Lead," U2's "The First Time," Monkees' "Daydream Believer," Pachelbel's "Canon," and "Danny Boy."

5. Who are you gonna pass this stick to (three persons and why)?
Hmm. Who even reads here? Let's say Aisling, Lauren, and Amy.

Posted by Kat at 03:00 PM

January 23, 2005

I know I'm the last person on earth to realize this...

But oh my GOODNESS is The Sims addictive. I got it for Christmas but didn't play until today. And I ended up playing practically all day. (I also made bread and soup for the week and knit a bunch, so it wasn't a total waste.) My current people are named Matt and Jenny Dover. They have the same last name, but they aren't actually married yet. We're working on that. They talk a lot and they've reached the "friendly hug" level. This also means that they take turns sleeping on the couch, since they don't like each other enough to share the bed yet. But they'll get there. I'm determined. I want them to have a little Sim baby. The baby/kid part sounds fun. I also need to get the Unleashed expansion so they can have pets. Because, you know, if I can't make little Sim kittens, what's the point?

Posted by Kat at 10:19 PM

January 13, 2005

Let's see who's in my brain.

Got this from Rachel, among others, although I'm changing the rules slightly:

1. I pick one dozen movies that are ones that I have special feelings about.
2. I pick a quote from each and post them.
3. You e-mail me to identify as many as you can. Name characters, context, etc. if you can--I'll use that as a tiebreaker. (I am trusting you to go by things you know and not to look things up on Google or anything.)
4. If you get the most right, I'll send you a prize!

Ready? Here goes:

1. "My daddy has to go away, but he'll return most any day."
2. "Her tongue appears to be hinged in the middle, but she may turn out all right."
3. "Dearest, loveliest Elizabeth!"
4. "All my life, when I'm quite grown-up I will always remember my grandfather and how he smelled of tobacco and peppermint."
5. "We may be a small country but we're a great one, too. The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter. David Beckham's right foot. David Beckham's left foot, come to that."
6. "When what's left of you gets around to what's left to be gotten, what's left to be gotten won't be worth getting whatever it is you've got left."
7. "It's not normal for a woman to read! Soon she starts getting ideas, and thinking."
8. "He put snow on your ankle? With his own hands?"
9. "I haven't faced death. I've cheated death. I've tricked my way out of death and patted myself on the back for my ingenuity. I know nothing."
10. "My heart is, and always will be, yours."
11. "So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around?"
12. "If the Nazis take over Austria, I have no doubt, Herr Zeller, that you will be the entire trumpet section."

Let the games begin!

Posted by Kat at 09:51 PM | Comments (2)

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