Wednesday, May 24, 2006

More on the book front

I liked the book. But I don't think I love it. Not yet anyway. I'll think about it for awhile and see if my opinion of it changes over time. I'm certainly glad I read it though.

Now that I've taken up the last 2 months reading the same book, its time to move on. Its taken me awhile to get my hands on these books from the library. Then of course, I suddenly got both at once when I was at the libary last week. 100 Years of Solitude was shelved incorrectly (with the M's instead of the G's) - my good deed for that day was taking the rest of the incorrectly shelved Garcia Marquez books and putting them with the G's. And that's how I found the copy that had eluded me online for so long. I was on a waiting list for Memoirs of a Geisha. But now I have a tough choice. I fear that I will only have time to read one before the due date. But they're both in such high demand, that I probably won't be able to renew the one I choose to read second. I'll have to return it unread. What to do...
Memoirs of a Geisha
100 Years of Solitude

The back story is that I was a Spanish major and have read several of Garcia Marquez' short pieces. This book escaped my reading lists and now I find that a lot of random people I know LOVE it. My original goal was to read it in Spanish. But I can't take another 2 months of the same book which is surely what will happen if I attempt Cien Años de Soledad.
Memoirs of a Geisha simply got on my book list because I wanted to read it before seeing the movie. The movie has come and gone in the theaters and I couldn´t get a copy from the library in time. Also I think I lost interest. But there's a Crafty Geisha I know who has reminded me about it :)

Care to weigh in?
In an upcoming post, I'll unveil the rest of the books on my list. Can you handle all this excitement?

Friday, May 19, 2006

Don't read so good

Notice the book that's been in my sidebar for awhile? It's still there - not because I've been lazy about updating it. But because its actually taken me SO long to read it. I feel like a slow 4th grader. I've had to renew it twice! I was shocked to see that I first checked it out on March 28th. What the hell!? Anyway, it's still a very good book. I'm hoping the reason its taking me so long is that I've been über-productive for the last 2 months and haven't made time for reading. That sounds respectable, right?

Monday, May 15, 2006


My weekend was loosely defined by movies and knitting. Yeah I know, my life is tough. E* started the weekend with a saturday morning exam and spent the next 2 days studying for the rest of his final exams. It's during periods like these that I try to rent movies that he wouldn't ever feel like watching. Lately, that's meant foreign films for me! A month ago I rented Nowhere in Africa. I actually meant to devote a whole post to this movie because I enjoyed it so much. Its in German, English and Kiswahili. I'll leave it to IMDB to provide you w/ the synopsis. I LOVED it.

I went to the video store on Friday thinking I'd rent Pride & Prejudice or Monsoon Wedding. I ended up with the latter, though I almost got North Country. Monsoon Wedding didn't disappoint. It's along the lines of My Big Fat Greek Wedding but its not a comedy. I was planning on sewing zippers into my new pillow covers while watching the movie (cuz you all know that I can't just sit with my hands still while watching the tube) but I ran into such troubles before I even turned the sewing machine on. I really need to befriend someone in the building who knows her/his way around a sewing machine. I tried online tutorials for inserting zippers, but the language they all used was too advanced for me. Besides not having a special zipper foot or the interfacing they recommended, I couldn't see a way to sew the zipper in AFTER the 3 other seams have been sewn. I had to admit defeat and ended up working on sock #2. Still, not a bad night.

Saturday included a field trip to Trader Joes and Target where I bought heat-bonding velcro. Why? To conquer those pillow covers once and for all. They now have a velcro seam - far classier than anything I could have produced with the sewing machine I'm sure. And this project was accompanied by Shop Girl. E and I were disappointed by the ending - it was so lame. Maybe it was because it tried to follow the book but didn't have enough time to do so properly. Ugh, whatever the reason, the ending was enough to leave a very bad taste in my mouth even though I enjoyed most of the rest of the movie (but since it has Claire Danes and Steve Martin I can overlook most of bad flavor). I also finished sock #2 (sorry, no pics yet) and my feet rejoiced.

And finally Sunday - CLAPOTIS! I cast on for it Sunday morning and it kept me glued to my seat all day. That, and the afternoon downpours and Kicking & Screaming. I'm just about finished with the increasing section. I can't wait to start dropping the stitches. Thanks to Passionknitly and I got through the first steps including PFB (purl into front and back loops). So I would warn Team M2 that Team Beta-Reconstruction has eaked ahead. Oh wait. Was this not a competition? Sorry. My bad. Apparently I was bluffing at Sheep & Wool when I said I was going to have to finish a couple of other projects (seaming, fringe, etc) before starting Clapotis.

Ooh - and I'm tacking today onto my extremely long narration of the weekend. While walking to work this morning, Warren Brown (of Cake Love and Sugar Rush) walked right by me. I smiled, but only a casual good-morning smile, not a I-just-saw-you-on-TV!-smile. The rest of the day at work was a blur of technical difficulties while the internet went down for 3 hours among other things. But it ended with a great round of frisbee with E and Dom. It seemed like a much better alternative to my scheduled gym session.

Wait. Did you hear that? Shhh... There it is again...
I think the nascent Clapotis is calling to me from the living room. It is saying, "hou hou! Come to moi - I am zoft and ze colours sont tres belle."
I surrender.

(Note the other pillow cover which was supposed to be a joke/trial-run but is now probably going to be a permanent fixture. I got the fabric in a $1 bin at a cheesy fabric store on Columbia Rd. The more we make fun of it, the more we like it where it is - fitting that it matches the "dump chair".)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Surveying the damage

Actually, I behaved myself.
The peanut gallery has asked what I bought on Sunday at the infamous Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.
I've got just 2 words:
Brooks Farm
The 3 ladies and I went back to this lovely vendor from Texas about 2 or 3 times. Each time it was because we couldn't find anything better after looping around the whole festival and trying to hit all the barns and stalls.
I ended up getting 2 skeins of Four Play: 50/50 wool and silk in Bandanna - destined for Clapotis. As well as 1 skein of Riata: 36% mohair, 48% wool, 16% silk in Deep Blue Sea (no purpose as of yet). I'm pretty proud of myself for not going overboard as some people warned me I would. I had sort of told myself that I wouldn't ever knit Clapotis even though I LOVE how it looks and feels. I think I just thought it was such a popular pattern that I wouldn't feel special knitting it. But when the 3 people you're with force you to join their Clapotis-cult and knit along with them, well what choice did I have? T* and I will join forces against Team SealDaze in a battle to the finish with our respective dueling colorways.

Firsts for me:
I pet my first alpaca and llama (and angora bunny I believe)
Ate my first funnel cake (is this or is this not the same thing as a dough boy but in a different shape?)
Bought my first skeins from Texas
Met Ubu for the first time. (Your devotion is understandable M*)

Peeking out from behind the top photo is the fabric I found at G St. last week which has since been sewn into 2 pillow covers for the living room. Yes, it's been a pretty domestic week for me. Not so much knitting but enough fiber was inhaled on Sunday to provide hairballs throughout the week (gross, sorry for that).

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Sheep & Wool Festival tomorrow!!!!!

That's all. :)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Boox are phun

From here
1. Copy & paste.
2. Bold the ones you’ve read.
3. Add four recent reads to the end. - I'm doing 2 recent and 2 old favs.
4. Tag! - nah.

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 (Harry Potter 6) - 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 (Book 3) - J.K. Rowling
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) - J.K. Rowling
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter 5) - J.K. Rowling
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Book 1) - J.K. Rowling
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) - J.K. Rowling
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Ender’s Game (The Ender Saga) - Orson Scott Card
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
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
The Unberable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera - I was given a copy in German and after 4 years, I STILL can't get through it. But I'm bolding it anyway.
Hey Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland
The Nature of Blood - Caryl Phillips
Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules -Ed. David Sedaris
I Know This Much is True - Wally Lamb
Empire Falls - Richard Russo
American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley - Adam Cohen & Elizabeth Taylor
Devil in the White City - Erik Larson
Seeing - Jose Saramango
White Teeth - Zadie Smith
Sophie's World - Jostein Gaardner
Ursula Under - ingrid Hill
Mountains Beyond Mountains - Tracy Kidder
In the Time of the Butterflies - Julia Alvarez
God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy

The World According to Garp - John Irving