Monday, September 29, 2014

A Tale of Two Books

I just finished reading a wonderful book, so, so good, and I got it out of the library so I can't lend it to even one person, let alone to everyone. I may have to buy it for myself, though I'll probably wait until it's in paperback, as I usually do. It will be May before I know it, after all.
But anyway! If you are looking for a wholehearted I-loved-it recommendation, the title is Small Blessings, the author is Martha Woodroof, and I know I read about it somewhere, but like so many books, by the time it comes in to the library I don't remember where I read about it. Or much about what it said. I'm so glad I did read about it, though, because my goodness it was good. The kind of good that had me worried about if it could end well enough. Whew.

That's one book in the title of this post, and it's the other I'm giving away (how perverse of me). I happened upon another copy of Soulless* by Gail Carriger, hers are such fun books if you don't mind a little vampire and werewolf with your silliness, and I decided it would be fun to share it with someone who'd like to read it.
*Let me note, as the author often does, that if you haven't read the first book, the descriptions on Amazon and the like for the following books contain MAJOR SPOILERS for the first one, and so on. You have been warned.

Throw a comment down if you'd like to be in the running (and if you want to comment without being interested in the giveaway, that's fine, just say so). Do you have a book to recommend? A comment on the weather? A knitting pattern? Let yourself go. Talk to me.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Not Just End of Weekend. End of Month?

September was supposed to be my quiet, get-ready-for-October month, and now suddenly it's the end of September and it doesn't feel like it's been that quiet at all. I have gotten a few things done, and the craziness doesn't start on October first, but still. I went to buy my Rhinebeck tickets last night and the website had a ticker and it's 20 days away? That's all? (And 19 now, and 18 tomorrow...)


To add to my confusion, although mostly the weather has been suitably autumnal, this weekend was actually in the low 80s and glorious, if disconcerting when the leaves are changing and one is seeing houses already decorated for Halloween. Right now I'm sweating, and how can it be October on Wednesday?

Also disconcerting is how I just went to use the iPad, as I had done on and off all day, and it was a brick: wouldn't turn on, or respond to the charger being plugged in, or even to a 30-second push of the serious-button (the rarely used one that makes it turn all the way off). What happened? I was kind of stumped (it was just working...), so I threw the question on Facebook, and my most tech-savvy friend suggested hitting both buttons at once, which woke it up and it's all "hey, la la la, nothing weird here" which is almost more weird than there being something wrong. Perhaps its nose is just out of joint because I spend some time with the little tablet? I'm sure technology can get jealous, too. (It's reasoning like this that means I really need those tech-savvy friends, you know?)

Let's look at something happier, eh? Like a first picture of the finished not-quite-rainbow socks:
I know, that doesn't prove that there are two. I'll get to that sometime. Meanwhile, I started another pair:
But, since it's a thicker yarn, I don't think I'll get a pair out of a skein after all, so I think I'll have to try something else. Excuse me while I go get the swift and ball-winder out. Here, have a cute cat picture:
Or two!
Tune in tomorrow for (maybe) some content of more substance. Or maybe not. No promises

Friday, September 26, 2014


The new one is in the driveway:
Driving away from the old one wasn't hard; my only regret is the bumper stickers.
I already have another of the Keep Calm and Bergeron, so that can go right on. I'll be looking for more knitting ones at Rhinebeck. Otherwise? Hello, Etsy, what do you have for me? Some definite possibilities.
What else do you suggest?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

This and That, Here and There

So, everything's going pretty well, overall, but man, haven't I been saying for months now that I'm so tired? Stretched? A little crazy? Yeah, that. Still. Winter. Get new cat. Job searching. Return cat. New job! Another new cat! And now a car.

And, since I finished the sock-in-progress at the dealership while waiting last night, I have GOT to go start another one. I had a dentist appointment after work tonight, and I was at a loss waiting without knitting. (Not that I had to wait long. And I could have picked up a magazine. But knitting-while-waiting is what I do!)

Also, the Bruins are kindly streaming tonight's preseason game, so I can cast on to the sounds of hockey (oddly, it's the radio sounds, but the video goes along with. Better than just having the radio, anyway). Happy sigh.

But I won't leave you without anything! Have you seen this sweet Budweiser commercial?

I don't like beer, so trust me when I say that I am unprejudiced by that. But honestly, Bud does some nice commercials.

There's also the change of the seasons, nicely done by Sandra Boynton on her Facebook page.
I'm glad not to be hemispherically insensitive in my seasonal wishes, you know? And this is tidier than wishing someone a "happy whatever your current season is".

Also, happy Rosh Hashanah, if that's your holiday. It isn't one I celebrate myself, though I was tempted by the recipe in the Globe this morning for noodle pudding. Go on, look; doesn't that sound like it might be yummy?

Man, I have to go eat dinner. My teeth were a little tender after the cleaning, so I put it off, but I am starving all of a sudden. Later!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Did I or Didn't I?

Yes, and no.

I did go to the dealership tonight, and kind of did, kind of didn't agree to buy a used Kia Soul. There was a paperwork glitch that delayed things past my bedtime, so to speak, but it looks like it will happen. This week? Probably? Further updates as things unfold.

Damn, I'm tired. Again. Still. I'm listening to the Bruins preseason game in Montreal on the radio, and it's time to get ready for bed. Coherence ... loss ... in three, two, one...

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Few Words, Plus 5000

I expected today to be a crazy day at work, since we're in a push to finish up a big project (kind of an all-hands-on-deck situation, editorially). The bad news is that I dreamed about work last night (I hate work dreams). But the good news is that in the dream, the day went pretty well, which I hoped was a sign.

And in truth, the day was not so bad, but I did still have the edges of a headache most of the day, so instead of going to stitch and bitch tonight, I came straight home to make an early night of it.

After all,

Although the grass is always greener

I can say with some certainty that for today, I am done balancing

 And now, I go here:

Good night!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Too Much and Not Enough

Too much headache (because anything above "none" is too much).

Not enough weekend (just one more day? if I ask nicely?).

Too much left undone (because of the first two items).

Not enough time. Period.

Too much humidity today, oh boy. Sticky. Mostly we're firmly into fall weather now, cool days and cooler nights, but today was warmer again and way way sticky.

Not enough time to make Carlos happy (if that is, in fact, achievable).

Too much meows from Belmont. Girl is loud. When my head hurts, I want to mute her. Particularly when I'm already getting her food, just not (apparently) fast enough. And I found myself thinking that if it's the sight of Carlos that bothers her, perhaps I could fashion a little blindfold for her...

Not enough sleep, I'm thinking that's a sign of. Because that would never work.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Of Cat, and Ballet Shoes (Separately)

Carlos does not think he is being unreasonable. He doesn't want much, just me at his beck and call 24-7. That's not much! It's just one thing!

Well, it's not the only thing he wants, but it would solve his other problems, like if I was at his beck and call that would mean I couldn't be in the office, which he doesn't want me to be because he associates it with miss hissypants, even when she's in the living room.

And if I would just be at his beck and call, he's sure that the can opener would always bring him tuna (he only gets the water from the can, but he loves that). The other night, I opened a can of mandarin oranges, and he was unconvinced by my assurances that he didn't want it, so I held out the can for him to sniff. His face! I must admit I laughed. It was just like the classic strip in Calvin and Hobbes:

And ... I think that's all I can come up with tonight. My body and brain are both busy (I have cramps, and I'm thinking I might want to get a new[er] car before my trips next month), and it isn't leaving me with much bandwidth. I tell you what, though, if you're looking to fill a little time and I'm leaving you hanging, I found this video about how ballet shoes are made to be strangely compelling.

Obviously I was interested enough to look at it in the first place, but when I saw that it's 26 minutes long, I immediately thought, "Oh, I'm not watching that much. But maybe a minute or two..." And then I watched it all. Fascinating. I had no idea they lasted for such a short amount of time. And when you consider how much work goes into them, I'm impressed with how sanguine the maker is about that. I wonder how much they cost?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blogger Ate My Words

I already wrote this.

I wrote about how I'm tired and it's cold, but that I would tell you a couple of quick cat stories and leave you with this video. And then something went sideways and poof, I don't know where it went, and fuck it.

I mean, there wasn't that much. But I already wrote it!

I can't do it again. I'm too pissed at Blogger. The video's here, for some reason, so you still get that. I'm off before I start hitting the computer. Stupid Blogger.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

San Francisco, Part Five: Golden Gate Park

And so we come to the last day in SF. As always, I was looking at the sights above, as well as at eye level.

Sign in the Muni station for the Exploratorium (which we didn't do this time, but I remember it from the past as being very cool)
We enjoyed the details of the sign.
As well as this, which was on the wall farther down. Meant to look like a bank vault? Overhead view of city hall? Who knows.
Golden Gate Park has this extremely odd tower thing.
You can kind of see that it has stairs inside, to climb and see the view. (Not that we did.)
Be sure to click on this photo and make it bigger, so you can see what they're doing. He has his phone on an extension, to get a better selfie. As one does. Arms just aren't long enough. (Ye gods...)
What we actually went for, other than people-watching (and judging, ahem), was a band concert. They have them on Sundays, but were having one on Monday because it was Labor Day.It was really nice!
A lovely half-shell band shell.
And I was pleased to see kids so into the music that they wanted to sit closer and watch.
(Parents were mostly off to the right, in the shade, partly because it was quite warm! This is when I cemented my sunglass-line tan, which is still visible, since we sat down in the shade but by the end of the concert, we were in full sun.)
The shell from the back.
I suppose she was going to have some photography done?
Quite the costume, anyway.
Side view of the wing of the shell. ("This is Uncle Ted at the side of the house...")

"This is Uncle Ted at the side of the house, but you can see the front of the house..."
Waiting for a bus, amused by the sign. The little roaster that could!
I can't believe it was the last day before I saw a cat hanging around the guest house!

He ignored us at first, cat-like, then came over to be admired.
"Why, yes, I am handsome. I acknowledge you. You may go now."
Bike parked on the sidewalk, basket on the front, name tag on the basket. Bug girl?
Dressing up a chain-link fence takes imagination!
And I have no idea what this signifies.
Wondering what this was, back in the day when it clearly was something.
_ G A _ _ _ _ _ _?
No photos from dinner on Monday, since the restaurant was too dark even for me to knit! It's an Argentinian steakhouse called Lalinda, and they do have photos on their website if you're curious. The food was really good, too. Then it was back to the room to get organized for an early morning and a day of traveling.

And that makes it Tuesday. CR guided us from transit to transit to airport without a hitch; the funniest part was when we had just left the guest house, and we passed a man on the street who was speaking, not exactly TO us, but as he passed us, about the porn he had for sale. Well then!

Photographically, Tuesday started back at the airport; I learned that I hadn't just been overtired when, upon our arrival, I had looked at the ceiling in the terminal, and thought it looked like the underside of boats.
I've flown plenty of times in the last ten years, but not so much over mountains. Look at that!
The last photo isn't one I want to put up, but if you imagine me, slumped on the couch, with a cat on either side, you get the idea. Home again.

And that, finally, is All About The Trip. Whew! Back to everyday life: fall weather, hockey season starts, and looking ahead to trip in October. Still plenty to talk about.

If you missed an installment:
San Francisco, Part Four: Oakland, Cats
An Interlude of Dahlias
San Francisco, Part Three: Flowers, Ocean, Very Good Food
San Francisco, Part Two: Alcatraz
Let's Get To It: San Francisco, Part One 
My Yarn Tour of the Bay Area

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Non-Trip-Summary Interlude

Much as I'm enjoying writing about the SF trip, there's stuff going on now, too, and I kind of want to acknowledge that. For instance, yesterday I went raspberry picking! It was fun. I went here:
And got started. Before you know it, you've got a layer at the bottom of the bucket.
And you keep going, pausing to have a conversation with a man who saw the Bruins t-shirt and wondered when the season was starting, until you have this many to take home:
Well, plus the four I ate before I picked up the camera. Since the cost was $8 per pound, and I was charged $5, I calculate that I had five-eighths of a pound (I haz mad math skillz, yo). They were delicious.

The farm has chickens, including a few that were taking care of bugs along the edge of the field.
The farm people encourage you to take a smaller bucket along with you, for the berries you pick that turn out to be too far gone, and give those to the chickens. Who didn't pay that much attention to me when I walked up.
But when it turnout out I had foods?
I felt bad that I didn't have a lot more. They were practically fighting over those mushy berries.

The sheep did not get berries, and did they ever have something to say about that.
Really? You walk past here with nothing?
Sorry, sheeples. My bad.

What else have I taken pictures of recently? Well, proof that I've gotten onto a new mailing list somehow: not one, but two catalogs that I've never even heard of.
And an illustration of why I get so annoyed by banana bread recipes that give amounts by the banana, as though that is a unit of measure.
One of these things is not like the other...

And, in the rear-view mirror the other day, this shot:
I would caption this, "How come he always gets the front seat?" What do you think?