Friday, December 14, 2007

Socking It

I couldn’t come up with what to write today. Totally stuck. So Jessica’s sock MEME was a perfect savior…

1. What’s your favorite sock yarn? (please note that the word ‘yarn’ is singular. Just pick one. I know it’s hard.)
Since I haven’t gotten to play with too many sock yarns yet, I’ve got to pick the Spunky Eclectic sock yarn I’m using for the Mangotinis. It’s just a lot of fun, and the color is great. Plus, it feels like it will be really soft to wear (which is a bit thing for me).

Cabletini 11

2. What’s your favorite type and brand of sock needle?
I used to be an Addi circs girl. Then I got some Harmony double points. I have a very hard time going back… the Harmony’s (how do you make a brand name a plural? Harmonys? Harmonies?) are hands down my favorite. They even give you an extra needle because “accidents happen” to wood needles.

3. Do you knit your socks toe up, cuff down, or sideways?
Usually toe-up, but some of the best patterns I’ve found lately are cuff-down, and I don’t mind it as much as I used to.

4. Do you knit both socks at once or just one at a time?
One at a time. Never tried it any other way.

5. What’s your favorite toe and why?
I like the Turkish cast on. It just seems to work best for me. Though, I will admit to being easily amused by grafted toes. They’re a lot of fun.

6. Favorite heel?
Flap heel with slipped stitches. I like the cushiness. Next heel I do is going to be an eye of partridge heel, because it looks neat. We’ll see if I like that one.

7. Do you prefer plain or patterned socks?
Patterned. Plain stockinette is too boring.

Cabletini 04

8. Who do you knit the most socks for?
I’ve not knit many pairs yet, but most of them have been/will be for me. I think Mom is the next closest, though, because I know how much she appreciates them.

9. Do you darn your socks? If not, what do you do with them?
Haven’t had to yet… and it will eventually depend on the sock. Some I don’t think I will bother with, while others I will save as long as knitterly possible.

10. Do you only wear handknit socks?
Nope. I don’t knit fast enough for that.

Bonus question: What pattern, if any, is your basic “I-just-need-a-pair-of-socks” sock pattern based on? Do you keep it written down or memorized?
Don’t have one. I would rather just jot down notes on a 3×5 card and slip that in with the sock. I have no problem referring to a pattern for knitting - keeps it interesting.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

One Trumpeter Trumpeting

Or... at least, the start of one Dashing Mitt so that the trumpeter can trumpet without freezing his fingers.

Dashing 01

This is the WIP for today, the mitts I started yesterday for my Bro-in-Law. I'm using Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Denim, and the yarn is softer than I remember from last time I knit with it. (That was for M's scarf last Christmas.) I hope the yarn will stay nice for mitts. Mitts get different wear than scarves do.

Anyway, I am surprised at how quickly this is knitting up. Probably because last time I knit fingerless gloves I used sock yarn, and they seemed to take forever. Worsted weight yarn is much quicker to knit.

Dashing 02

So, I guess I'm doing Christmas knits this year (in addition to the crocheted snowflakes) after all. I wish I'd decided that with more than two weeks to go before Christmas...

(Sorry about the blurry photos. The camera phone decided to focus on the tree and not the mitt. Oh - and this is the tree at work. We've been too busy with theatre to decorate our house just yet. *sigh*)


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Two Front Teeth

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery


So today I’m off to the LYS at lunchtime to get a set of size US7 dpns so I can make some Dashing mitts for the Bro-in-Law. I have no idea what to get for Christmas gifts this year - so I’m going to see how much I can knit between now and then. Well, really between now and Christmas Eve or so, because I will need to leave myself a little bit of emergency shopping time.

Another problem is answering the question of what I want for Christmas. My sister has asked (luckily it was when I didn’t have the ability to answer anyway, due to being busy with something else) and I had no idea what to tell her. Maybe I’ll write up a list of knitting books that people could buy me. Or of paperbacks I want to eventually own. I’m not going to point people at yarn stores, though, because I’d rather be surprised by any yarn purchases.

Life was easier when all I wanted for Christmas was the butterfly She-Ra doll.


Suzy in bed

All Suzy wants for Christmas is a cozy warm spot to sleep, either near me or on me. But if I can swing it, she’ll get a knitted mouse toy, too.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Snow on my Pillow

Just a quick post today, but here are three more completed snowflakes to show off!

2007 Snowflakes 12

These were starched over the weekend, and are now in the pile waiting for me to figure out who gets which one. (It will likely all be fairly random. But bead color will play into it a little. They are all beaded, though it is a little hard to tell in the photos.)

I have mailed out the snowflakes to Jess and Brigitte, who won my contest, and so hopefully those will arrive soon and unharmed. (There’s cardboard in the envelopes to help protect them, but you never know what stupid people will decide to do… Cross your fingers.)

2007 Snowflakes 13

2007 Snowflakes 14

2007 Snowflakes 15


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Weeks 48-49 ~ Runesword series

Week 48-49 ~ Nov 26-Dec 9, 2007

Runesword series

by various authors

(First of all, I am combining 2 weeks because I'm reviewing a 6 book series. They are short books, but still. That's a lot of books for one week.)

1. Outcasts by Clayton Emery
2. Skryling's Blade by Rose Estes & Tom Wham
3. The Dreamstone by J.F. Rivkin
4. Horrible Humes by Stephen Billias
5. Dark Divide by Mark Acres
6. The Stone of Time by Rose Estes & Tom Wham

This is a series that I read for the first time in the early '90's. I was quite amused by them, but my reading expectations were quite different then than they are now. So, I decided to pick them back up again and see what I thought now. (This involved a good deal of hunting, but long story short, I now own them all again.)

And I discovered that they are enjoyable, as I remembered them being, but the stories do have some significant gaps. These are not "great fiction" by any stretch. However, they are fun reads. They seem styled for teens, and since that's what I was when I first read them, I guess my enjoyment level makes sense for the timing.

Best of the series (IMO): #5. It had the best motivation for the characters, and the most development. The plot was solid, too. (Others had decent plots, but this had more of the development part.)

Worst of the series (IMO, again): #4. This one felt like it was written without the author having read the rest of the series, just a summary of the previous plots. It had a totally different (and, to my mind, incompatible) style of writing, and the feel was just awkward in comparison. My main curiosity is how I would have felt if this one had been the first book with the character introductions - would I have liked it any better?


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Blooming Lotus

If absolute power corrupts absolutely, does absolute powerlessness make you pure?
- Harry Shearer


So today’s WIP Wednesday is focusing on the Lotus Blossom tank. (I had hoped to show off snowflakes, but no such luck. I guess it really doesn’t snow much in California.) (Please excuse the bad cell phone pics. One of the problems with a still broken computer is that I can’t get the photos off of my regular digital camera and onto my computer…)

Tank 1

I have been working on the tank a lot lately, partly because I got spoiled by the speed with which the Unoriginal Hat knit up - chunky yarn can be a WONDERFUL thing. Sport-weight (for the tank) isn’t quite as fast, but it beats fingering or lace weights!

Another reason for working on the tank is because it’s cute. I like it. I want to wear it. So I must finish it.

Tank 2

I’m nearly - and hopefully - a third of the way done with it. Hopefully, because I just finished ball #2, and I have 7 in this dye lot. I really hope I don’t have to go scrounging for more of my same dye lot. Cross your fingers that this will be enough yarn! Other people have used this many skeins of this type of yarn for this tank, so we’ll just hope.

And just as a quick “how I’m doing” update, one thing I told M last night (via IM) is that I’m frustrated knowing that I’ll get over him, because I don’t want to have to. That’s about where I stand. I know I’ll move on. I know it will be good for me. And I know that I don’t like the prospect of life without him. Well. Yesterday was a hard day (I was all excited over the weekend about Little Shop and my promotion, and it hit me yesterday that I can’t share it with him the way I want to) and today seems hard-ish but better. We shall see how it goes.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Snow in the Mail

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Thomas A. Edison


So… today, as promised, I have the winners of the snowflakes!

(Oops… did I say winners? I guess I did.)

I decided to draw names for two snowflakes, because - well, because it’s Christmas. And I feel good this morning. So there. I don’t think you’ll complain.

The two lucky recipients are:

Brigitte & Jess

Yay! Congrats! And I don’t have a picture of the snowflakes yet because I have been really busy with Little Shop and they aren’t starched yet. I’ll get there, I promise.

Brigitte and Jess, e-mail me (at: ca [dot] bookwyrm [at] gmail [dot] com) with your address and I will get the snowflakes in the mail to you!


Monday, December 3, 2007

Random Monday

So, I read the radio programs over at StarDate Online. And one of the recent programs was about warp drive and how to make it possible. As a sci-fi/fantasy writer who needs help getting motivated to do the research she knows she needs to do, I find this incredibly valuable. The info from the program is here if anyone else wants to read it...

Also, I got promoted! Yay! No more reception desk work for me (once we find my replacement). I'll be in HR now. Should be fun, and will definitely be different than I've done before. Gotta love a challenge...

Little Shop auditions went well. Perhaps too well. We had 52 auditioners (as our vocal director says, a full deck) and the script calls for 8 actors... Yikes. We're going to pad out the cast as much as we can, but that brings us to 13-15, max. So we have a tough job of casting cuts to make now.

My personal computer is dark. Poor laptop decided to not turn on over the weekend. So, I wiped the drive and now need to find the time to reinstall Windows XP. With everything else going on in my life (side note: why does everything seem to happen at once?) "finding time" is more difficult than it seems it should be.

And... that's all for now. Must go figure out job stuff.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Make The Check Out To...

An interesting tidbit:

My blog is worth $9,597.18.
How much is your blog worth?


So, my life is back to more or less on track - even if not the track it was on before. M and I have taken the first, hesitant steps toward a friendship rather than a couple-hood, and I think that (given where he is in his life and mindset right now) he made the right choice for both of us. It was a very wise decision on his part, and one that I would have been unable/unwilling to make had it been left to me. I respect him like crazy. (Still love him too, but one is allowed to love friends.)

(Since I have not been posting many details on this here, it may be confusing to those of you who read this blog and not the WordPress version. It has been harder than I had hoped, and the main part of the difficulty did not hit me until the Thanksgiving holiday also hit me. I am better now. For details, go here.)

If you pray and feel like sending them this way, prayers are appreciated. Especially for strength and healing, for both of us. I think this break-up was nearly as hard for him as it was for me.


2007 Snowflakes 05

And, in the knit-blogger tradition of thanks (for the support during this difficult time) and the holiday season, I am having a contest. Leave me a comment this week with the name of your favorite Christmas carol (or other holiday song, if you don’t celebrate) and I will enter your name into a drawing for a snowflake hand-crocheted by me! I’m not sure which one, as I haven’t finished making all the ones I will need for presents, but since I like them all, I don’t see where that matters. :p I will collect the names next Monday (12/3) before I leave work at 5pm PST, and will try to post the winner and a picture of the snowflake to be sent on Tuesday, the 4th.

2007 Snowflakes 04

Let’s all get into the holiday spirit together, shall we?


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

WIP-it Wednesday ~ 11.21.07

So, this will be a picture-heavy post because I am trying to save my words for NaNo. (Plus there’s lots to do today at work before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.)

2007 Snowflakes 10
Snowflake #5 for this year gets started…


Mangotini #2 at the gusset increases, and posing where I do the majority of my sock knitting these days…

And these aren’t WIPs, but they are fun pictures anyway…

Doom Bugy
A Haunted Mansion (at Disneyland) vanity plate! Yay, how fun!

From the Car
Prettiness from the car…

Have a happy Thanksgiving tomorrow, everyone! (or at least you US folks… everyone else, um, happy Thursday?)


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Little Naughty

(Side note - I wonder what my Google searches will look like with that post title?)

My father is sad. He says he has been “replaced by something naughty” - this:

Pencil Roving Skeined 1

My new niddy noddy. (It’s got some of the pencil roving I’ve been spinning ever so slowly on it right now.) It came with was ordered at the same time as a new ball winder from the Woolery because I was sick of winding yarn by hand. The yarn for the Cabletini socks he was good enough to hold for me while I wound it off into two (relatively) equal balls, one for each sock. He said that he used to act as a swift for his mom, too, and so didn’t mind helping me out also.

But, I guess I wanted the process to move faster (or to have my arms ache less afterwards) and so I bought tools for the job. Yay!

Pencil Roving Skeined 2


Monday, November 19, 2007

and life goes on

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what's for lunch.
- Orson Welles


There will not be much of a post today. But here is a short update.

M and I did break up over the weekend. I hadn't wanted to, but I begin to think that it's for the best. I have settled for being satisfied in previous relationships, and have decided that isn't worth it. So, I was thrilled to be finally happy in a relationship, and wanted to make it work. Now, the problem is, I didn't want him to settle, either. And he doesn't feel we have enough in common to really "fit" together. (My dad phrased it well - he said that M has a lot in common with me, but that I don't have as much in common with him.) So, if we were to stay together, I think he would be settling. Which I don't want.

Anyway, this is hard but not as hard as it could be. We are still friends, and we are going to work at a friendship in a while. Need a little time to adjust first, though. (That is a good thing, as I really didn't want to lose him from my life entirely. It is also a strange thing, as I have never had a "good" breakup like this before.) And I did find out (in words for the first time) that he loves me in his fashion but that he doesn't think he can give me as much as I need. So that is bittersweet.

I think what hurts most is that it doesn't hurt enough. For the beginning of the weekend (during the "silent" phase that some of you mentioned, while he was making sure this was what he wanted to do) it felt like my world was ending. But now, it's just a change. A hard change, but one that was perhaps the right one. It was certainly a very brave thing that he did, and I respect him for it.


And now it's time to catch up on NaNo. I (obviously) didn't get any writing done over the weekend, and while I have a lot of writing to go, I think I can do it.

Thanks, all for the support. And I guess this ended up being longer than I anticipated. Here is a LOLcat picture to end the post on a smile...


Funny Pictures

moar funny pictures


Friday, November 16, 2007


Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t the fine line between sanity and madness gotten finer?
- George Price


Today will be a hard day for me. Last night was an incredibly emotionally charged night, and while many things were discussed, nothing was resolved. Only, we did at least acknowledge that there were issues to be resolved. (Oh - this is relationship issues, if you wondered or didn’t want to assume.) That’s a start. But when the issues are mainly that he needs to figure out what he wants out of “us” then there’s not much that I can do about it. I know what I want. And I hate the fear that comes of not knowing if he will decide he wants the same thing.

But. Moving on.

There was no writing last night. Nor knitting. And no new pictures. But since I feel sorry for you having to wade through posts with no pictures, here is an old-ish picture of Suzy.

Sofa Cat 04


There’s so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?
- Dick Cavett


Normally today I would do a Friday Fiver, but it looks like it would be too emotionally charged for me to do while I need to keep my focus up for work. It has questions like “what’s the last thing you threw away?” and “I could have been _____.” So I’m passing on that today.

As a last note on the blog before the weekend, however, I will say that everyone sure seems to take a lot of showers when they have writer’s block! I guess it would be easy to tell whose writing is going well - the people with dirty hair have been typing away while the people who are squeaky clean have been blocked! Heh, at least that made me laugh yesterday. I have a very good group of blog readers.

Thanks, guys.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Week 46 ~ Darwin's Radio

Week 46 ~ Nov 12-18, 2007

Darwin's Radio

by Greg Bear
(science fiction)

This is a straight sci-fi, something that I haven't read in a while. Even the Stardoc series, while being sci-fi rather than fantasy, had the romance element in it as well to make it more along the lines of "my usual reads." But Darwin's Radio is a sci-fi, and a plot-driven one. If you like character-driven fiction, you will quite possibly find yourself getting very bogged down somewhere in the middle.

The plot itself is interesting, don't get me wrong. It is well thought-out, and though there are some elements of it that I think are implausible, that is one of the hazards of sci-fi. There will always be someone who disagrees on what is likely to happen in the future. I don't have a problem with the parts I found implausible - they were a part of the story, and for the author's vision, they worked. The problem I have is that I felt no connection to the characters. None. There are plenty of places to, as well. One of the main characters nearly dies on the ice, another loses her husband in a rather icky way. The third is caught in a terrorist's bomb, and nearly killed. And I didn't care. About any of it. Not my type of fiction.

I did finish the book, in part to see what happens in the storyline. But I didn't finish it because I cared what happened to the characters. For those who don't care if their fiction is character-driven or not, this is a good book to pick up. But if you want a connection to the characters in order to get caught up in a book, I'd give this one a pass.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Now On Paper

So I spent Saturday in San Francisco doing a combination of having fun and being in pain due to a PMS headache. (Hate them!) We wandered around, window shopped, and peeked at the beaches. No sign of the oil spill except for closed beaches and caution tape.

Sunday was more productive, and actually saw writing. I got some good stuff in, and yet it seems that all of the good words lately must be written on paper first, the old-fashioned way, before they can be put into the computer.

Read last week:

  • The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Darwin’s Radio - Greg Bear

And other stuff that I got done… I starched my snowflakes. (Sounds silly, yes I know.) They were still drying when I checked them last night, so I will try to take pictures of them again today. (For one reason or another I don’t want to take more pictures of them until they are finished.) Of the 4 I made, one is from a free online pattern and the other three are from a book. I’ll post the details with the pictures.

I think that’s all for today. Hope you had a good weekend!


Friday, November 9, 2007

Week 45 ~ The Little Prince

Week 45 ~ Nov 5-11, 2007

The Little Prince

by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
(fiction, classic)

This book is a classic for me. I loved it when I first read it in high school, and I love it as much now. It makes me cry. It makes me laugh. It makes me think.

This is a book that everyone should read. And it's labeled as a children's book, though children and adults will get different things out of it. It is short, so there should be no problem finishing it.

I cannot say enough good about this book. I just - can not. It is hard to find the words to describe it...


Plots and Plans and Pompoms

We’ll take the title from the end, and work our way forward. Why not?

Here is a little bit of encouragement for all my fellow NaNo-ers out there:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

You can do it! I know you can! (I’m cheering myself on while I’m at it, by the way.)


So I found out earlier this week that the wedding I had been frantically knitting the Swan Lake Stole for is an uber-casual wedding. As in, I won’t be wearing the dress that I had planned to wear the stole with. And so no need to knit like the wind.

I am still in love with the stole and the way the beads work on it, but if I am not going to be wearing it to a wedding anytime soon I need to focus on making Christmas gifts. So, the stole is not my only knitted object that will be getting some love and attention now. Yesterday I picked up the Hot Cocoa Socks, and am loving the way they are turning out. I just hope they fit M. (Or wait… should I be hoping they fit me instead?)


And in the NaNoWriMo department, I have been plugging away at my story (as the daily updates will prove). The best part about this is that I have been discovering things about the plot and characters that I didn’t know before. This is always much fun.

Now, I am not one of the writers whose writing method goes something like “and then the characters told me the story and I wrote it down.” I believe that the story is my work, and that I have control over it, in the end. However, I am not opposed to letting my subconscious (otherwise known in writing circles as the Muse) tell me things that it has worked out without my direction. I am quite happy when my brain takes a running head-start on a story, because that means I can be working on both the writing and the knitting (or crocheting, card making, spinning, etc.) and not feel guilty.

So, the end result is that things happen without my having to plan every little detail, and I can be surprised by some of the twists and turns just as the reader is. (If I don’t like said twists and turns, however - and for a writerly reason, not because the reader in me wants a different outcome - I reserve full right to change the ending. (The way some authors claim that they have no control is a rant for another day.))

And, the reason that all of this came up in the first place is that I had one of those twists last night. I was plugging away, trying to get words on my computer and I got nothing. So I pulled out lined paper and made a cup of tea, and ended up giving my hero premonition dreams that he had blocked away for years until he met the heroine and now they’re out of his control again, and…

Well. Yeah. The words kept coming. The only problem was I got tired, and so typed everything in and went to bed. Still - you gotta love when the writing is good. (When the writing is bad is also a topic best left for another day.)


11.9.07 Friday Fiver:

1. Who do you owe? My parents. I’m not talking money, here - I owe too many people money.

2. What do you wait for? (cue Disney music) … my prince will come … (Sorry, couldn’t resist. That was my first impulse.)

3. What do you disguise? Mushrooms. Otherwise I won’t usually eat them. Sometimes avocado too.

4. Tell us a lie: No thanks.

5. Friday fill-in: can’t get enough of you, baby…. (I’m in a song mood today, I guess.)


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Around The Blog ~ 11.8.07

Here's something I haven't done in a while - a trip around the blog!

  1. Paperback Writer is back! And she has a very amusing story about vampire portrayals.
    1. and Joely has dedicated her TT to PBW.
  2. Naomi is posting her NaNo progress, and amuses me no end with her “reeking of awesomeness” and “reeking of suckitude” comments.
  3. I Can Has Cheezburger has some very funny pictures, as always.
  4. Miriam has pictures of a new pattern up, and it’s very lovely. (Go to her site for info on the pattern - I don’t want to deny her the site traffic by linking directly.)
  5. L-Squared has a sock inspector.
  6. Chris is making her kitties pose in bibs.
  7. Ann has up some lovely pictures for her Thursday Thirteen.
  8. Jessica is home sick instead of knitting.
  9. Sian is an Animal!
  10. Melanie is spinning.
  11. Nancy (at Romancing the Yarn) did the twist - or at least, her ankle did.
  12. Bellamoden crocheted her gramma a lovely scarf.
  13. … and to round out the 13, the Yarn Harlot has an unoriginal hat. (Complete with pattern.)

Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

WIP it Good

Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane.
- Philip K. Dick


So… since my “Writing Wednesdays” have turned into “Writing Everydays” for NaNoWriMo, I will do something different this month. (Well, the NaNo posts are really over here. And actually, I’m thinking of changing this for good, but we’ll have to see how it works in November.) This month is a WIP Wednesday! And the title is stolen shamelessly from Turtlegirl, who did an awesome parody of Devo’s song “Whip It.”

(WIP = work in progress, for the acronym-challenged.) I have not been knitting anything except the Swan Lake Stole for a few weeks now, but I haven’t shown updated pictures of the other knits, either. So…. we have a WIP Parade today! With not many words to accompany them - I’m trying to get the NaNo word count increased, not the “babble on the blog” word count. :)

First, the MS3 aka Mystery Stole 3 aka Swan Lake Stole:

MS3 11-7-07

And then the Lotus Blossom tank:

Lotus Blossom 11-7-07

Next up, the Cabletini socks (one is finished already; this is the second sock):

Cabletini Socks 11-7-07

And then, the Hot Cocoa socks for M (first sock, third incarnation):

Hot Cocoa Socks 11-7-07

Oh, wait -

2007 Snowflakes 01

What’s this?

2007 Snowflakes 11-7-07


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Happy MEMEday!

When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not.
- Mark Twain


Since I have no real content for you today, have a random picture and a MEME.

Early November 07 Sky
This was taken out my window the other day at sunset.


Fill this out about your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be.

1. Who was your best friend?
Susie, I think. I didn't have a "best" friend, really, more a few close friends. But of my close friends, she was the closest.

2.What sports did you play?
Sport? Me? Uh, yeah - NONE.

3. What kind of car did you drive?
I didn't.

4. It's Friday night, where were you?
Home - probably reading, maybe at a Girl Scout event or out at a movie.

5. Were you a party animal?

6. Were you considered a flirt?
No. Didn't know how to flirt.

7. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?
No. (Wish I had been, but no.)

8. Were you a nerd?
Yeah, I suppose so.

9. Did you get suspended/expelled?

10. Can you sing the fight song?
Did we have a fight song?

11. Who was your favorite teacher?
Probably my humanities teacher. I can't remember names, though.

13. School mascot?
The Seventy-Sixers. Like patriots, only not.

14. Did you go to Prom?

5. If you could go back and do it over, would you?

6. What do you remember most about graduation?
It was hot. California in June, in the middle of the football field. HOT.

17. Where were you on senior skip day?
I don't even remember if we had one. I didn't cut, if we did.

18. Did you have a job your senior year?

19. Where did you go most often for lunch?
We hung out in our Humanities classroom at lunch. Or in the D-quad (my school had 4 quads). Though I brought my lunch a lot.

21. What did you do after graduation?
Went away to college.

22. When did you graduate?

23. Who was your Senior prom date?
Didn't go, so nobody.

24. Are you going to your 10 year reunion?
Uh... Make that "did you go," and no. Wasn't aware that we had one until after the fact - that's the problem with attending a huge (aka 4000 students) school.

25. Who was your home room teacher?
Don't think we had a home room. Announcements came during second period, I think.


Monday, November 5, 2007

For the Sheriff

Lorraine, this is for you:

Suz on Laundry 1
"Suzy, get off my laundry." - me

And for those who aren't insane, NaNo (aka NaNoWriMo aka National Novel Writing Month) is where a bunch of people who "wanted to write a novel someday" sit down and actually do it. The goal is to write 50,000 words in one month - namely, this one. November.

I have done this twice already, once successfully and once less so. It's actually quite amusing.

So, many apologies, but the majority of my posts this month will be about NaNo. I will try to keep the kitty pictures flowing. And the knitting pictures, too. (Speaking of knitting, I am into Chart #2 on the second half of the Swan Lake/Mystery Stole. I do not know why I decided to finish this stole in the same month that I decided to write a huge amount of words, but there you go. Both must be done this month. Pictures to come.)

Suz on Laundry 2
"Laundry? I don't see any laundry, Mom. Just a nice kitty bed." - Suzy


Friday, November 2, 2007

For PBW Again

Since PBW (aka Lynn Viehl aka SL Viehl, aka Paperback Writer, and so on and so forth) still hasn’t returned to the blog-o-sphere, here is another Shakespearean knock-off in her honor. It goes with the Romeo & Juliet one I posted at Joely’s urging not long ago…

(ETA: Yes, I have heard that she is probably just really busy and doesn't have time to blog. These are still fun to do.)


If we mortals have offended,
Think but this and all is mended,
That we have but lurk-ed here
While your blog posts did appear.
And the trolls and spammers seem
But amusing, as a dream.
Lady, do not stay away:
We would cheer you, if we may.
And, as I’m an honest Joe,
If you have unearned woe
Now to hear again your song,
Our prayers will make you well ere long;
Else the Blog abandoned call -
Then, goodbye unto us all.
Give us a word, if you be well,
And all our foreboding dispel.


Happy Friday, everyone!

In the meantime, here’s a Halloween-themed Friday Fiver:

1. Did you celebrate Halloween? Sort-of.

2. Do you like to dress in costume? Yes. But only if I have time to plan it out.

3. Favorite chocolate? Resees Peanut Butter Cups or York Peppermint Patties.

4. Best scary movie? None. They’re all icky. (Though the original movie The Haunting - based off the book The Haunting of Hill House - is downright creepy.)

5. Friday fill-in: The pain of dying (but not death itself) scares me.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Shake, Rattle & Roll

Well, I was going to write a post on NaNo prep and all that, but I got distracted. By an earthquake.

Not today, but last night, there was an earthquake which is the biggest one the San Jose bay area has seen since our major 1989 quake. This particular one was a 5.6 magnitude, centered somewhere in Alum Rock.

Anyway, no injuries here, and the thing that made me write about this instead of NaNo (which I am sure you will get sick of by this time next month anyway) is that when the quake hit, I was in a building with lots of other people of varying ages. The quake was big enough in our area to be quite obviously an earthquake.

And how did we react? It was something along the lines of, “oh, hey, this is an earthquake, isn’t it?” There was some discussion among the younger kids as to whether it really was an earthquake, or whether it might instead have been the teens outside playing a practical joke by banging on the metal roll-up door. (Uh, no. Sorry kids. Earthquake.)

It’s like during the big 1989 quake. (That one was a 6.9 / 7.1 quake. And the “6″ part isn’t bigger than the “5″ part of the recent one by a small amount, but by a large amount. If you want more details on earthquake magnitudes, check here or here. They should be able to give you more science-type data. Remind me to find and scan and post a funny comic about earthquake magnitudes.)

Anyway. The 1989 quake. We still were like, “oh, hey, this is an earthquake. It’s still going on. I guess we should go get in a doorway, or something, huh?” And this was during an earthquake strong enough to knock down a section of the Bay Bridge, to collapse a double-decker freeway, and to send the water in our swimming pool sloshing all the way up to the middle of our kitchen window - which itself was already half a floor above ground level. And yet, “oh hey, it’s an earthquake.”

Californians are a weird breed.


Update: we just (3:54) had a magnitude 3.7 aftershock. And did I duck and cover like a good Girl Scout? No. I sat at my desk looking around and thinking, "Huh, nothing seems to be in danger. But the plastic decorative weird stuff they have on the wall sure makes some neat squeaking sound. I wonder how big this one is?" I maintain: Californians are weird.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Blog Soup

Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good.
- Samuel Johnson

Eeep! Not a good quote to have as the quote of the day this close to NaNoWriMo. Ah well. We slog along anyway.


Randomness today. Hence the title, which is supposed to remind you of Stone Soup. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and lo and behold! A blog post!


Remember a while ago when I was spinning up singles from some lovely heather green pencil roving I have, and Peekaboo was super interested? Well, a little while later I started plying those singles. And guess who was interested in that?

Peek With Spinning 04

Yup. Peekaboo again. Only - Suzy was interested, too.

Suz With Spinning 02


Today is my repeat visit to the doctor to get my finger looked at. The munch-marks look a lot better today than they did yesterday, but the knuckle is still a bit sore and swollen. It doesn’t look nearly as infected as it had before, though, so that’s a very good sign. Yay antibiotics!


I have 20 scenes worked up for my NaNo piece, and while that’s not nearly the number I was hoping for it is at least more than it could be. I also have a good base for the characters, and - again - while I don’t have as much as I wanted, what I do have is a good start. Plus, I do still have a day and a half or so left. There is something to be said for procrastinating…


Work is good. Cats are cute. I am happy. M is stressed, but at least he’s not so stressed that he’s ignoring me. Even if I sometimes have to remind him. :)

Happy nearly Halloween, everyone! Here’s hoping for lots of treats and very few tricks.

Suz With Spinning 03

Mom… there’s something moving down here! -Suzy


Monday, October 29, 2007

Without Leave

Sorry for being AWOL last Friday. I was tending to a hurt finger.

Now, there are all kinds of neat reasons why one could have a hurt finger. It could have been used to plug the hole in the dike that kept the water from flooding the town. It could have been injured from knitting or writing too quickly. It could even have been strained from flipping the bird to too many annoying drivers.

But no, mine was hurt because it was munched on by a cat.

A kitten, really. The furball in question is some few months old, and ready to go in for spay/neuter time*. But instead of pulling out the carriers and trying to trap them in those - and accidentally getting any one of the 10+ other cats out front - we thought, “oh, hey! They are all so excited about food, and so used to us by now, that we can just reach down and grab them!”

And so I did.

And so it bit me.

It scratched a fair amount, too, but the bite is the bad part. (I didn’t take pictures, because you really don’t need to be grossed out by it.) Suffice it to say that the first knuckle of my left index finger is still swollen and probably has a minor infection. The nail of same finger was punctured in two places, and there are several other puncture marks and two nice gashes on the ball of the finger. Kitten or not, it has a very efficient mouth for tearing up muscle.

(Right, so we’ll post a pretty picture to distract you from icky injuries.)

MS3 20

Now, the point of this long ramble about me being cat-injured is this: Many of my blog-readers are cat fans. Some of you may have been in situations where you could have been bitten. BUT I don’t know if any of you know just how important it is to SEE A DOCTOR if when you do get bitten by a cat.

Even if this is your indoor cat and so you don’t have to worry about rabies, there is also Cat Scratch disease to worry about. (It’s not only through scratches, though.) Plus, there is just regular infections. Because cats have such sharp teeth, they often leave puncture wounds, which are hard to clean and can easily get infected. Go see a doctor. Get antibiotics.

This site here has some good information on what to do if you are bitten by a cat or a dog. Seriously, people. If this happens to you, take it seriously. We don’t want to hurt the hands that knit, or those that write.

This has been a public service announcement. Thank you for listening. And now… on to the knitting!

There has been much work done on the Swan Lake Stole. I have now finished the first half, and started the second half. This is very exciting news. I also tweaked the pattern to add beads to the eyelet row before the center panel, as shown in the picture below. To do this, I knit the eyelet row as charted, and then on the WS row I placed a bead on every stitch to either side of the YOs. It looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. I had seen someone else on Ravelry do this, and liked it so much that I worked out a mod for it.

MS3 19

And for proof, so that you know I really did start the second half:

MS3 21

*See, Lorraine? I am trying not to turn into the crazy cat lady.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Week 43 ~ Moongazer

Week 43 ~ Oct 22-28, 2007


by Marianne Mancusi
(futuristic romance)

I really liked this book. Just - really. Liked. It. It wasn't technically the best written book I've come across, but you know what? That doesn't always make for a good read. Sometimes the technical aspects get in the way of the enjoyment.

I picked this one up because I was told that I should consider submitting some of my own work to the SHOMI line, and after reading this one (and Driven [week 42] and Wired [week 44, yet to come]) I seriously think I will. I like the way Moongazer's main character, Skye, has her reality twist all around her in ways that she sometimes recognizes right away, and sometimes doesn't. I like the way that it's written from a first-person POV, and yet there are things that Sky sees but doesn't recognize for what they truly are... yet the astute reader will pick up on them.

This is a romance, in addition to being a science fantasy novel. (Or speculative fiction, whatever you prefer.) It has a few steamy sections, yet nothing that detracts from the story. The romance is a part of the story, instead of the plot being a thinly disguised bridge meant only to get the characters into bed.

I really like some of the twists, but since I would rather encourage others to read this without knowing said twists, I will refrain from mentioning them. Go read it. Then message me, and we can discuss the twists I liked best.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Swanning Along

I promised pictures today, so let’s jump right into the Swan Lake Stole update!

MS3 15

This is the current progress of the stole. I’m approximately 35% done, and I have a month in which to finish it. Do you think I’ll be able to make it? I’m certainly going to try. This is now my everywhere knitting. It came to work with me for the first time today, and I’m going to knit it on my lunch break. And when I visit M after work (assuming I do, that is) if there is TV knitting time, that’s what I’ll be working on there, too. I had been leaving the MS3 at home because the beads and lace make for a touchy travel knit, but since I’m to the part with the least difficulty and the fewest beads, I figure I can take it places.

MS3 16

(That’s where I am - the long section of cat’s paw lace, for those of you who know the pattern. There are still beads along the edges, but none in the interior of the pattern at this point.)

Also, I am still planning to knit the symmetrical version, because while I love the wings and the idea of a flighted stole, I don’t really want an asymmetrical shape on a stole I plan to keep. I like symmetry in shape - the design inside the shape doesn’t matter as much, but the shape itself I want to match. (Yes, this does mean I plan to knit the two-winged version as well.)

MS3 17

(A close-up with a colored background so that you can actually see the stitch pattern… for all that unblocked lace tends to be a scrunchy and not-very-pretty thing, I think this knit doesn’t look too bad unblocked.)

Anyway, the pattern is now available to the masses here, if you want to buy it. It’s a lovely knit, and so much fun to knit with beads! If nothing else, Melanie (the designer) has gorgeous pictures of her finished shawls up on the site. Go check them out!


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Week 42 ~ Driven

Week 42 ~ Oct 15-21, 2007


by Eve Kenin
(paranormal romance)

I picked this book up to research the line and see if it was one I could write for. (Side note: yes, I do believe it is. Must get cracking.) I'm not sure that I would have picked it up based on the cover alone, which looks like anime-grown-up. Since I'm not a huge anime fan in itself (nothing against it, though) I am not the target audience for the book's cover. So, I'm glad that I had a recommendation from someone I trust to prompt me to look for this book, because I really enjoyed it.

Driven takes place in the future, in something similar to a nuclear winter. The main character is a trucker, driving shipments to and fro in the frozen northern wastes and saving money in the hopes of moving to the still-warm tropics. There are, of course, plot twists which include a shipment that isn't what it seems, a group of ice-pirates on her trail, and an intense attraction to a man she barely knows.

The attraction is the romance-book sort, for those who shy away from sex scenes. It does get quite steamy in places. However, the romance isn't entirely contrived. There are more emotions at work than just lust between the hero and the heroine. There is even a little peek into the villain's thoughts, and though he is not as fully fleshed out as the bad guy in a longer book would likely be, it is still fun to get a glimpse.

Anyway, this was a fully engaging book. I really enjoyed reading it, and - while the line doesn't automatically imply a sequel - I am curious to read more about the characters. Will I get to? Maybe. Maybe not. But to leave your readers wanting more without feeling cheated is a very good thing.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

On Clinics and Tangents

So, I decided a short while ago that I was having issues finishing my outline because I wasn’t firm enough on my characters. So, the next step was to create better developed characters. The only problem there, was I was having trouble knowing where to start.

Solution: Holly again. I nabbed her “Create a Character Clinic” from her e-store and last night I started working with it. Now, I have barely scratched the surface with the tools that are in this book. (I know, because I’m on chapter 3 or something early.) And yet I have already found some good advice and good character building tools to work with. And that’s a very good thing.

If you have problems with your characters, go check it out. Very good resource.

In more of an update blog post part, I haven’t been working on much lately. I’ve been so tired that it’s hard to focus on much. And oh, it was so hard to get up this morning. I guess I probably stayed up too late. And then of course I’ve been having to get up for work in the mornings. So no sleeping in. But it’s really hard to have to deal with work, and sleep, and food, and visiting with the boyfriend, and the commute. Those of you who are married (or co-habitating) and don’t have to commute to visit with your significant other, feel very lucky. And give said SO a big hug. Because that’s probably the thing that I miss most about having been married before and not being married now. Yes, I like the rest of it, too, but the thing that is the most taken for granted, from what I’ve seen, is the physical presence of just having someone there.

To wake up at night from a bad dream and hear someone breathing softly next to you.

To feel safe when you hop in the shower because there’s another person in the house who can handle emergencies (in theory).

To look up over the morning paper and receive a smile that lets you know you’re loved.

Just to not be alone.

Now - I like my alone time. Don’t get me wrong. But I like to have alone time because I have something to do or am relaxing rather than to have alone time because M is at his home and I am at mine. I don’t like being physically apart when we have our phone conversations at night that run on until one of us is out of battery.

Anyway. That’s totally not where I started this post. But the mind will wander where it will.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ye Olde Faire

So, a little over a week ago now is when we went to the Renaissance Faire. It was a lot of fun, and we ended up hanging out with some good friends. That was cool. Plus, we got to see MooNiE and BrooN, which is always a highlight of Faire.

Aaaaand, as you know if you have been following the blog, I made M’s costume last-minute the three nights prior. I think it doesn’t look half bad, if I do say so myself.

early Oct.2007 015

I also made my costume, but that one was made over a much more sedate period of time. I’ve had it for a couple of years now, periodically adding bits as I decide they are needed. (The headpiece came later, for example, and the skirt ruffle was added after I decided that the skirt as written in the pattern was too short for me. I think it was meant to be a gypsy skirt, and therefore is supposed to be calf-length rather than ankle-length, but still.)

early Oct.2007 020

So, I promised about a week ago that I would provide pictures, and there they are. Us all decked out for Faire. Unfortunately, I only took a very small handful of shots actually AT Faire, and none of the large group of friends I met up with while there. (Ooops.) But maybe that’s because I was having too much fun to remember pictures? Yeah. That must be it.

Faire Crowd