Friday, August 31, 2007


Yay! The Friday Fiver is back! Woo hoo!

Friday Fiver: Why do you build me up?

1. Who never returns your phone calls?
~ No one. I don't place many calls to people who wouldn't call back.

2. What was your favorite childhood toy?
~ Um. No idea. I have a childhood blankie (still around, somewhere) and a favorite stuffed dog. But toy*? Dunno.

3. Who is the last person you greeted at your door?
~ Probably M. It's been a while since I opened the door (my door, as opposed to work's door) and so I forget.

4. Who do you need?
~ Don't be silly. M. Family, too.

5. Do you break hearts or do you have your heart broken?
~ A little bit of both, I'm afraid.

Pretty Flowers

Also finally, M is back! I hate extended business trips. Especially 24-hour-notice "by the way someone quit so you have to fly out tomorrow to cover the workload" business trips.

And, my Friday Snippet is now here permanently. Go. Read. Join the Linky.

* Side note: instead of writing "toy" I put in "boy." I know that one. My favorite childhood boy was Zach. I told his older sister that we were going to get married when we grew up. I was three.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Week 35 ~ Staying Dead

Week 35 ~ Aug 27-Sept 2, 2007

Staying Dead
(Retrievers #1)
by Laura Anne Gilman

(urban fantasy)

This is an amusing book, though for a while I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to get into it. There are (IMO) problems with the grammar that annoyed me, and while it might be intentional to show character voice or it might be a different stylebook than I am used to (or I might be wrong, which in this case I doubt) it still came between me and the story... until I got to know the characters. Once I learned enough about the characters to get interested in them, I was hooked.

I like the way there is romantic tension from the start, and yet the characters neither jump into bed together at first opportunity (actually, not at all in this book, though there what happens in the sequels is anybody's guess - unless you've already read them, in which case you don't have to guess) nor even acknowledge any attraction until quite a ways into the story. I like the fact that the tension stays tension. That works for me.

Also, it is nice to see a realistic approach to a world with magic and different species. I like how the creatures called demons are not fully demonic, nor are angels complete saints. Overall, I liked it. Nicely done.



The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory.
- Paul Fix


(My Thursday Thirteen is over here...)

So, it seems that I have joind a cult. This greatly amuses me. I would tell you more about it, but since the (two) founders have dubbed it the “Ambiguities,” I doubt there is much I can say to explain it. :)


In more a definable line of thought, Paperback Writer (aka Lynn Viehl, aka S.L. Viehl, et al) has written up a post on Cast Balancing. More good ideas from PBW. My thoughts, as posted in the comments, are:

Very good ideas, all, and since I’m plotting out a new story this will be very helpful. (Of course, a large number of the cast will die in the first chapter or three, but they might as well be a balanced cast before they die, eh?)

So, more work for me to do for CP. Not that I didn’t already plan on doing more work - but this is at least work with a purpose.

Suzy Distracted

I have been working on the Mystery Stole (which is no longer a mystery, but is the Swan Lake stole) and have finally finished Clue #2. I still love the pattern, and love the yarn, and the beading, and will be knitting on it more. But hopefully I will be writing a lot more too, and so the stole won’t get finished as quickly as it otherwise might.

At the moment, I only have two knitting projects on the needles (which is odd given that I have had more than that going for a long time now). (Oh - and not counting the project or so that I have abandoned. Like the worsted-weight socks. Not a smart idea in coastal California. Maybe if I lived in the Sierras, or something, but… no. They will probably be ripped back eventually. Maybe the yarn will be made into a hat.)


I’m not sure what other randomness I can get into at the moment. So I’ll leave you with some cuteness:


… a picture of some of the front-yard kittens. These aren’t the bittiest ones, but they’re still young. And adorable! And in need of spaying/neutering so that we don’t find ourselves up to our ears in kitties.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Writing Weds ~ 8.29.07

Well, it's that time of month again. The time where I look at my writing goals, and determine where I have fallen short. This month - though I haven't finished quite everything on my list - is the first in a long time when I actually feel a sense of accomplishment.

Let's see: the list had three things on it.

  1. Do 2 (+2 added mid-month, for a total of 4) OWG crits.
  2. Crit up to page 100 of AD for Phoenix.
  3. Work up a line-for-scene set of plot cards for SS.

I have done the first two. I did not do the third - and I am not going to for a while.

I have been rather lacking in enthusiasm for SS for some time now, and so have been putting it off. I had been thinking of that as a lack of enthusiasm for writing in general. However, when it was mentioned in my online crit group that there was a new line that was holding a contest which could result in publication, I was interested. I looked at the requirements, and realized (slowly and happily and excitedly) that one of the ideas which has been bounding around in my head for years now would fit the contest much better than SS. In fact, they seem almost made for each other.

So, I have committed to that project. It is code-named CP, and will only be referred to as that until something resembling an actual title appears. (This particular code, unlike SS, has no bearing on titles. This code is there only because I needed something to identify the project, preferably something that would have a meaning for me.)

Last night I worked up around 10 pages of notes and scene ideas in around 2-3 hours. I haven't done anything like that in a long time.

It is good to be writing again. And this time, my writing isn't an escape from a bad relationship. It is merely having a story to tell and a desire to tell it. (That was a part of it before, but the drive to write came not from the desire the way it does now. Anyway, all of that is a long story, and yes, I am emotionally over it, but no, I don't want to talk about it. Not here, anyway, and not now.)

Hope all is well with you!


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Turn Around, Bright Eyes

And I need you now tonight
And I need you more than ever
And if you only hold me tight
We’ll be holding on forever


Okay, okay, so it wasn’t a total eclipse of the heart. (Those that don’t get the reference, go here.)

Eclipse 4

It was a total eclipse of the moon. Last night, around 2:30 PDT, I looked out my window and saw that the previously incandescent moon was half eaten. (Yes, I got up at 2:30 in the morning on a work night so that I could see the moon vanish into the Earth’s shadow. So I’m an astronomy geek at heart. So sue me.)

Anyway, it’s not often that you are in a good spot to see a total eclipse. So, I wanted to see this one. And it was worth it. My whole family got up (or stayed up) and went outside to watch. Earlier that evening, you could have read a book by the light of the moon; after the moon was fully eclipsed, we practically needed a flashlight to find our way in off the porch.

Eclipse 5

I just wish we had a telescope set up. It was really cool to see as it was, but that would have been neater. Though, it was also fun watching the eclipse reflected in the pool. The slight ripples along the surface of the water mixed with the slowly creeping shadow… very nice.

The biggest problem was our back porch cat was so very friendly, and we were so very preoccupied, that he started nipping at my toes to get attention.

Speaking of cats… My Suzy has been taking lessons from Mayhem. She has determined that Addis (circular sock needles, for the uninitiated) taste very good.

Suzy with Addis
‘Mmmm… yummy.’


Monday, August 27, 2007

New Projects and Lots of Pics

Okay… there are two new projects that will debut today. The first is socks, and you won’t have to wait very long for them. The second is a thought for the blog I had yesterday, and it will appear on my Wordpress blog after lunch.

But… socks!

Cabletini 04

These are Wendy’s Cabletini socks, and I’m knitting them in the lovely Spunky Eclectic yarn that I was gifted by Barbara of Romancing the Yarn. Due to the color, I’m dubbing them my Mangotini socks. Now I just need to find a martini glass, and I’ll have the perfect photo op for them.

Also, I’ve been told that it’s been too long since I had hedgie in a photo. So, here he is! He’s been bored and lonely, and is very glad to be back in a photo.

Cabletini 03

Cabletini 02

Cabletini 01

But Mom, these don’t taste at all like mango…


Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday Snippet Moved...

Today's Friday Snippet has been moved to WordPress. If you'd like to read it, go here.

I will be moving (more or less gradually) everything over there, so readjust your bookmarks accordingly.


FO: Mini Monkey Socks

(FYI: My Friday Snippet is still planned for today, but will be postponed while I do some running around for work. Once I have a chance to catch my breath, I’ll post something.)

I finished my monkeys!

Aren’t they fun? I really like the way they turned out.

Mini Monkeys 16

Cast on: first day of the Summer of Socks
Cast off: 23 August 07

Knit on bamboo DPNs, size 2.75mm (US 2), out of SWTC’s TOFUtsies yarn (”Foot The Bill” colorway.)

I’ll post more details on the FO page (under completed crafts) once I get the chance to write that page. (See note at the top about not having time for more at the moment.)

Mini Monkeys 18


Thursday, August 23, 2007

FO: Icarus Shawl

(FYI: my Thursday Thirteen post is over here. I am going to be moving my blog back to WordPress.)

Icarus Shawl 29

Icarus is done! And it's lovely. Anyone who has wanted to try a Miriam Felton pattern but hasn't should seriously consider it. Not only is the pattern (and the resulting shawl) beautiful, but she's very helpful and offers support every step of the way. But I doubt you want to hear me talking... you'd probably rather see the pictures.

Icarus Shawl 25

Icarus Shawl 22

Icarus Shawl 26

Cast on: January 2007.
Cast off: 21 August 2007.

Knit in KnitPicks Shadow, in the Oregon Coast colorway. Edges beaded with jade chips. I used a 3.25 mm circular bamboo needle (metric knitting needle sizes make more sense, so I'm trying to switch... but that's a US 3) of whatever length Miriam suggested in the pattern... I forget. (Note to self: use a pointier needle for lace next time.)

Icarus Shawl 28

Icarus Shawl 24

I love this pattern. And the way it worked with the yarn and the beads. Love love love.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Week 34 ~ Knitting Rules!

Week 34 ~ Aug 20-26, 2007

Knitting Rules!
by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
(non-fiction, knitting humor)

This is a highly amusing book. In it, Stephanie (aka the Yarn Harlot) tells stories and anecdotes about knitting, and life in general. I laughed a lot. It was very funny.

However, I suspect you will find it less funny than I unless you are also a knitter, or live with a knitter. Stash enhancement, for example, means a lot less to those who neither have nor desire a stash. And jokes about garter stitch scarves are only funny (or tortuous) if you have ever tried to knit something 4 feet long in garter stitch.

In addition to the humor, Stephanie includes some basic pattern "recipes" for hats, socks, shawls and scarves. She gives a break-down of the gauge rule, and why you should follow it. And she explains the Evil Sweater Curse.

I really think I need to buy this book. But to pass on the recommendation? I can only suggest it to you if you already understand at least a little bit of the knitting lingo. It even begins with a disclaimer:

If you picked up this book, I probably don't need to convince you that knitting is great. ...


Writing Weds ~ 8.22.07

Nothing much to say, writing-wise. I know: this is bad of me. I should have progress. I should have updates.

Well, I have done things. I have been working on the AD crit for Phoenix. I have been ... um. Yeah. Not so much in the writing department.

To distract you, here is a Suzy picture! Yay for cute cats!

Silly Suzy

Also, I cast off my Icarus shawl last night! I'm very excited about that, even though it took me well over an hour to do so. (Non-pointy bamboo needles aren't the best for knitting lace. Especially the bind off. Just so you know.) I expect to block it tonight, since I am so excited and long to have it done, and I will have pictures once I have blocked it. Not until then. Sorry. You'll just have to wait.

That's all for now. Happy hump day!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Beading Knits 101

Well, let's see. I was actually asked to show pictures of how, exactly, I beaded my Icarus shawl. Well, since I'm not one to let a challenge go by, I pulled out the beads and the shawl last night and tried to take pictures of how I did it. (This was made slightly more difficult by trying to take the pictures and hold the knitting all by my lonesome, because I was too silly or stubborn to ask for help. And the cat didn't help. She hindered.)

But, silliness and stubbornness aside, here is a pictorial view of how I beaded the outside edge of Icarus...

(Click on the pictures to make them bigger. I don't want to take up too much space with huge photos.)

Icarus Shawl 16 - beads

First, thread the bead onto a small crochet hook. (I used a size 12 steel hook.) If you don't have a teeny enough hook, you can use a small piece of wire, such as a twist-tie that has the paper removed, or a piece of fishing line folded in half instead. I am going to go with the assumption that you are using a crochet hook; for the fishing line idea, you can read the instructions Miriam herself posted on how to bead Icarus.

Knit up to the stitch to be beaded. Hook the stitch to be beaded with the crochet hook. (You put the bead on the stitch before you knit it.)

Icarus Shawl 17 - beads

Gently pull the stitch off of the needle with the crochet hook. I tend to keep the stitch between the thumb and index fingers of my left hand so that I know I will not drop the stitch and lose it in the lace pattern, causing me to cry bitterly. (I am not doing that in this picture because I had to hold the camera. I was nervous, but the stitch behaved very nicely for me in this case.)

Pull the yarn through the bead. This can be either very easy or very hard, depending on the stickiness of your yarn and the size of the hole in your beads. I would recommend using beads that fit nicely. Not too loose, but not too snug either.

Icarus Shawl 18 - beads

Put the stitch back onto the left-hand needle. Try to put it on the needle facing the same direction it came off. If you don't, you will likely end up with a twisted stitch. (In some cases, this doesn't matter much. The beads I used in my shawl, for instance, are big enough that it is very unlikely that anyone will be able to tell if I twisted a stitch. I still try not to, however.)

Icarus Shawl 19 - beads

Knit the stitch, as directed by the pattern. (I do not recommend trying to put a bead in a pattern where you do anything except knit the newly-beaded stitch. Maybe you can purl it. But do not try to bead a k2tog, for instance. That just gets messy.)

Icarus Shawl 20 - beads

The bead will now sit nicely below the row of stitches you just made. Depending on the size of your bead, knitting the next row is sometimes a little tighter (because the bead is pushing the stitches around) than usual, but blocking should sort the slight difference out.

Now, I am not (by far) the first knitter to have up a beading tutorial. I doubt I am the best, either. For some other examples, you can either look at Miriam's link above, or try the following.

I think that's probably enough links to get you started. Hope that helps, and happy (beaded) knitting!



Wow! I feel very special. L^2 at Dog's Eye View has given me a Nice Blogger Award.

"This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you've been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award."

What can I say? She said that it's because I (we - counting the others she gave the award to as well) leave nice comments. Well, gee... thanks. :)

And who should I pass it on to? Hmmm.

All of these ladies (and guinea pigs) have a variety of things going for them. They are nice, say nice things, have nice looking sites, etc. Go, visit and spread the love.

And happy Tuesday.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday, Monday

It's Monday. And I was almost late to work because I almost missed my light rail train. That was because I was having troubles with my car. My - NEW - car. Which is a manual (aka stick-shift, aka type-of-car-I've -never-owned-in-my-life) and so I was driving more cautiously. And slower. And with more unexpected stops at stop signs. But OH MY GOSH IS IT FUN! I love that car. (Which car? This car:

New Car

Anyway, that's one thing I did over the weekend. Bought a new car.

Another thing I did over the weekend was go to a wedding. And I brought my sock. (No, not to the ceremony, but that will be addressed on Thursday.) And I knit a bit in the car, and took a traveling sock photo while waiting for the bridal party to arrive at the reception. (Only to find out later that we'd been expected to stay for the wedding photos, even though we figured that we were distant enough family that we thought we shouldn't.)

Mini Monkey - Sock @ SF Bay

But the sock had fun. It got to lounge on the rocks by the San Francisco Bay, looking out from the Berkeley shore to the City. Lovely view, too. No fog to speak of (except far out), nice cool breeze... in short, California showing off. I love it here. (Until I look at my budget. But that's another story.)

Anyway, within a few days I expect to have finished Icarus photos to show you. Or at least beaded Icarus photos. (I'm putting beads on the edging. Mim mentioned how somewhere on her blog, for those of you who - like me - purchased the pattern by way of Interweave Knits, and so don't have the beading instructions. I had a link here somewhere. Either look through my 'Icarus' category, or do a search on Mim's site.) It will almost certainly not be a BLOCKED Icarus until this weekend. At the earliest.

Have a good week!


Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday Snippet ~ 8.17.07

This week's snippet comes immediately following last week's. I'm not sure if it will stay in or not (because I'm not sure if Cynthia's actually going to go home or not) in the next draft, but since I like the scene I thought I'd post it.

Reminder: This material is copyrighted by me, and is still in draft form. It may be altered or even cut before the final, hopefully published, version. Please do not reproduce it anywhere, in any form.

Today, Rich was working on the set of one of the big comic-book superhero movies. I forgot which one; he’d done most of them, so I supposed it didn’t matter any more. He got to see many of the big stars, even if they never noticed him. It would have made me jealous, except he made a point of getting me show t-shirts or souvenirs from the sets as presents.

This package didn’t feel like a movie souvenir.

It felt like a book. And a book was even better than a souvenir.

I ripped the paper off, not even bothering to read the card. Mom reached down and picked the paper off the floor where I’d thrown it. She got out her penknife and slit the tape attaching the card to the wrapping paper; she even opened the envelope for me before starting to smooth out the paper.

It was indeed a book: a large, coffee table book about Yosemite National Park. Tingles ran up my spine as I looked at it—not because I love Yosemite, though I do, but because I had a feeling. It just felt special.

I opened the front cover to see that Rich had personalized it. “Happy birthday, Cyn! I know how important books are to you, and this one seemed appropriate. Let me know what it does! -R.” I stared at the inscription, and then scrutinized the back cover. There had to be some clue, some hint...

My dad cleared his throat, drawing attention back to the rest of the gifts awaiting my attention. With a self-conscious smile, I took Rich’s card from my mom and read it quickly before tucking it inside the book and taking a small box from the top of the pile.

Rich’s book was first in the stack of unwrapped gifts that began taking over the coffee table. A pair of earrings, three CDs, and a blouse had joined it when the phone rang.

“Delaney household.” I glanced up at my dad and saw a smile spread over his face at the response on the other end of the line. “Just a moment please,” he said mock-seriously before handing me the phone.


“Cyn! Happy birthday!”

“Rich, I wish you wouldn’t call me that.”

“Why not? You work in ‘Sin City’, and it—”

“It rhymes. Yes, I know.” I could practically hear the grin spreading across his face at his old joke.

“If you know, why do you bother to ask?”

“It’s nice to talk to you too, Rich.”

My parents just smiled indulgently as we traded sibling banter, though a frown developed on Dad’s face as he watched Mom smoothing out the wrapping paper I had torn off of the packages. He waited until I hung up the phone before exploding.

“Must you do that, Barb?”

“Reusing the wrapping paper saves trees, Carl. I’m not asking you to do it for me. But—” she held up her hand to forestall the comment we both knew was coming “—we can discuss that later. Today is Cynthia’s day.”

They exchanged a long look, then turned to me with nearly identical smiles. If they didn’t have this “discussion” every time presents were unwrapped, I’d have been worried. As it was, however, I just reached for the next box.

Want to join Friday Snippets?


FO: Baby P's Blanket


Baby P Blanket 13 - complete

Baby P's blanket is done! And, as far as I know, Baby P hasn't arrived yet, either. So I'm very happy. The blanket isn't as long as I had intended, but it's done. Maybe I'll use some of the extra yarn to make socks or a hat or something.

Baby P Blanket 14

I had meant to knit this longer, but I finally decided to do a marathon movie-knitting night (knitting while watching The Mummy... very amusing night) and just GET IT DONE. So, when the movie was over, I cast off. And I am very pleased. I think it turned out lovely.

Baby P Blanket 15

And just to show how far I got before throwing it into the sink to wet-block it... Just over 2 feet, all pinned to shape. (I'm not measuring it after taking it off the blocking pads. As far as I'm concerned it's over 2 feet. So there.)

Baby P Blanket 16


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Week 33 ~ Mage Winds Trilogy

Week 33 ~ Aug 13-19, 2007

The Mage Winds Trilogy (Winds of Fate, Winds of Change, Winds of Fury)
by Mercedes Lackey

This trilogy is one that I have read many times, and so has become a comfort-read. It's a book that I can read when I don't want surprises. When I feel that the rest of life is doing strange things and I need some stability. Now, don't take this to mean that there are no surprises and twists in the series. There are plenty. But I am familiar enough with them that they are not surprising any more.

This series is set in Lackey's world of Valdemar, and I would highly recommend starting with Arrows of the Queen and finishing that trilogy before reading this one. They can be read out of order, but they are all closely related enough that doing so will cause spoilers - in some cases, major ones. (In fact, if you do start with the Arrows trilogy and get super-hooked on it, you may want to go and read the Vows & Honor set and By The Sword before starting the Mage Winds trilogy, as those are all directly related as well.)

The Mage Winds trilogy follows Heir & Herald Elspeth as she goes in search of magical assistance for Valdemar. The first book in the series is split between her point-of-view and Darkwind's - a Hawkbrother scout and former mage who, we are allowed to guess, is going to become an integral part of Elspeth's quest by the time the trilogy is over. To go into much more detail would ruin things, but I will say that this trilogy manages to be a part of a (much) larger world without losing the ability to stand alone, should you choose. (I recommend against it, but it is possible to read this as your introduction to the world of Valdemar.)


Thursday Thirteen ~ 8.16.07 (#5)

Thirteen Things About Cats

  1. They can be the sweetest things in the world.
  2. They can also be pains in the rears.
  3. Small enclosed spaces are preferred cat resting places.
    Peek In A Bag
  4. When they purr (especially while lying on your stomach) it is easy to forgive them for anything.
  5. Except kneading you in tender places with sharp claws.
  6. Cats always want to be the center of attention, and have mastered the fine art of coming between you and your book.
  7. Or the computer screen.
  8. Or your knitting.
    With Baby Yarn 3
  9. Plus, they tend to play with your knitting while you are trying to get them out of the way.
  10. Cats or kittens at rest can always bring a smile to my face.
    Kittens 8-14-07
  11. They can be incredibly affectionate to other animals, including both other cats, and dogs.
  12. And sometimes horses.
  13. Though they tend to run away from overly curious rabbits.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun!


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Testing, One, Two, Three

FYI, I am messing with my WordPress blog again. I am sick of some things on Blogger, and yet also sick of some things on WP. Both have their ups and downs, so now it's just a matter of me determining which one bugs me more...


Writing Weds 8.15.07

So, I had planned to assess my writing goals today, and set goals for the rest of the month. Here is the status of what I had originally planned to get done by today:

  • Edit up to page 100 of AD for Phoenix.
Well, I didn't. I got through page 70, though, which is more work on it than I did all last month (and maybe the month before). And that's not half bad.

  • Work up a line-for-scene for the entirety of SS (preparatory to doing the Major Edit I've been procrastinating).
I didn't get this done, either. But I have thought up some new scenes and some scene modifications, so my brain is at least working on the story fixes.
  • Do two (2) critiques on the OWG.
Yay! I did this one!
  • Post my own chapter on the OWG.
Yay! I did this one, too!

Okay, and so my goals for the next two weeks (aka the rest of the month):
  1. Do two (2) more OWG critiques.
  2. NOW get through pave 100 of AD edited for Phoenix.
  3. And get the line-for-scene for SS done.
Based on the amount of work SS is going to need, I think that's enough of a goal for two weeks. Especially since my personal preference is not to to 2 critiques, but as many as are posted in my group plus a critique for anyone else who critiques my chapter. That could be a small number, or a big one... usually it's fairly big. We have a nice, active OWG group.

Happy hump day!


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

You Oughta Be In Pictures

Here's how it works:
1) Go to
2) Click on Google images
3) Type in your name and search
4) Repost the picture of the oddest, craziest, strangest, coolest, oldest, etc. person that shares your name. Post multiples if you find a few you like.
5) Pass it on to at least 5 other people.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

(I tried using my real name, but got almost exclusively images of celebrities in various stages of (un)dress, and so decided on the username instead.)

Hee hee! Those are fun. The first one is actually where I got this username, so it's appropriate that it was one of the first images to come up on the search.

And since I wasn't actually tagged to do this MEME, I'm not tagging anyone. It's fun to do, so play along if you want! (And may you have better luck than I did with family friendly images...)


Monday, August 13, 2007

Weekend Warriors

The sock went traveling over the weekend. (The sock in question is the Mini Monkey from the TOFUtsies yarn.) (And yes, I went traveling with it.)

We went down from Northern California to So Cal, by way of the Grapevine.

Sock @ Grapevine

It was hot, but not nearly so hot as it could have been. And hey - it's California. Hot in the summertime is expected. We went visiting (M has family there) and playing (yay Downtown Disney!) and also went to the Rose Bowl. The whole purpose of the trip (besides visiting family) was to go see the DCI* finals. We got to spend around 4 hours sitting in warm California summer evening weather, watching colorful flags and costumes, listening to horns and the drumline. Ah, contentment.

And then, when all was said and done, the corps we were rooting for won. Yay! Go Blue Devils!

Sock @ Hollywood

I had a blast. (Heh. Pun intended.) And then on Sunday the sock and I went to Tommy Burger (where the sock did not take a picture in order to avoid getting chili all over) and then home by way of Hollywood. Very nice, mostly relaxing trip.

And that was my weekend. How was yours?

(*DCI = Drum Corps International. I am a marching band junkie, and proud of it.)


Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Snippet 8.10.07

(This is being posted early because I will not be near a computer on Friday itself. I am dating it Friday, though, for the sake of argument.)

This snippet is going up not because it's in order, but because many people are curious about how Watcher magic works. Also because I don't have a ton of time right now, and so am grabbing a snippet that looks cool so that you are all happy to even have a snippet. (If I were to search too much to try to find my place and make that a workable snip, you might not get one at all this week.)

Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Reminder: This material is copyrighted by me, and is still in draft form. It may be altered or even cut before the final, hopefully published, version. Please do not reproduce it anywhere, in any form.

I had first been to Vegas to attend an annual Watcher convention with my Uncle and brother. Everyone who could make it out came to discuss issues that our regional boards couldn’t handle, meet the newly initiated, and just socialize. Being around only Watchers and Watcher-kin seemed a relief to some of our older members.

It was also a good way for us to monitor which of our number needed to retire before they got overwhelmed by the alarms in their heads calling them to duty. Most Watchers are normal, ordinary people who can do a few extraordinary things. On occasion some of us, like poor Sarah Winchester, go a bit...well, crazy. Usually those who can do more than a few extraordinary things. The more power we have, the more likely we are to go crazy.

Hence Vegas.

Someone, long before I was a Watcher and before Vegas had quite the reputation for craziness it had today, decided that the best place to hide our most eccentric members was in plain sight. Two obvious locations came to mind, both of which were also among the areas that needed the most Watching: Las Vegas and Hollywood.

While normal, Mundane kids were planning their careers at school, Rich and I spent the time trying to figure out what jobs we could do that would allow us enough free time to do our Watcher duties. No corporate careers for us. I ended up getting a basic liberal arts degree from San Jose State and playing around with various temp jobs before moving to Vegas—where I put my degree to immeasurable use as a cocktail waitress.

Rich moved to Hollywood, got a theater arts degree, and never looked back. He worked there now, on two counts: officially, he was a Fight Choreographer and Action Consultant. On a magical level, he Watched for trouble on location. He brought home some horror stories every holiday about near-accidents that he managed to prevent. Somehow he had a knack for getting himself assigned to the movies with large action scenes or dangerous stunts. A couple of important people on the various stunt teams called him their lucky charm, saying that they wouldn’t work on a movie if he didn’t. They claimed he was a kind of guardian angel keeping them from harm.

They didn’t know the half of it.

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Thursday 13 ~ 8.9.07 (#4)

Thirteen Things I Love About the Coast

  1. It's Nature's air conditioning.
  2. The sound of the ocean.
  3. Watching the waves break on the cliffs.
  4. The smell of sea-spray.
  5. The ocean looks like it goes on forever.
  6. Seals, sea-lions, sea otters and dolphins.
  7. Walking on the beach at sunset with a loved one.
  8. I haven't found many places as peaceful, nor as inspiring.
  9. Horseback rides along the beach are quite fun.
  10. People watching.
  11. Coastal fog on a summer morning, before it burns off in the afternoon.
  12. Anyone can feel rich and lazy - at least for an afternoon - when spending time on the beach.
  13. Though I am incredibly sick of the "Footprints" poem/parable, while standing alone at the coast I do feel very close to God.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun!


Week 32 ~ Dungeon Crawlin' Fools

Week 32 ~ Aug 6-12, 2007

Dungeon Crawlin' Fools

by Rich Burlew
(graphic novel, fantasy)

(also an online comic, found here)

So, Dungeon Crawlin' Fools is the first print book of "The Order of the Stick," a web comic that's basically a spoof on Dungeons & Dragons. It's absolutely hysterical - at least for gamers - and even though the art is simplistic, it is well executed. To be honest, the semi-stick-figures used for the illustrations work better than intricate portraits would. The way it's drawn is in keeping with the whole role-playing theme.

The storyline is also quite amusing. Even though at first it doesn't seem that there is a story, the early strips work well as an introduction to the characters, their world, etc. It's not really any different than a regular novel: you can't always determine where the plot is going at first there, either.

Anyway, I've said before that I really have problems reviewing graphic novels, but I will say that this is one that's worth buying if you're into that kind of thing. And if you want to see if you're into it before you buy it, the link above will take you to the website where the comics can be found for free. There are a few new strips, some commentaries, and a few other goodies in the print version, but you can essentially get the whole story online free. (Why buy it if you can get it for free? Well, for me, it's important to support people who entertain. I buy CDs or individual songs - yay iTunes! - and I buy books when I can get them out of the library. Same thing here.)


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Rock This!

If you can't find a reason to dislike me that's more pointed than my skin tone--or my entire phenotype, I suppose--you're suffering from a huge lack of imagination.
For some reason, I totally forgot to mention that Jess nominated me for a Rockin' Girl Blogger award. I have no idea why I neglected to thank her, or to share the news. But I did. And I will do it now instead.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And in keeping with tradition, I will also nominate some of my favorite bloggers for the award as well. It seems that there is a set of MEME-like rules for it as well:

The Rockin’ Girl Blogger idea came from Roberta Ferguson. And the deal is that you; 1) give her credit, 2) put up the badge and 3) add 5 other rockin girl bloggers to the list.
So, here are my five nominees for the Rockin' Girl Blogger Award (in no particular order):

  1. avangyline, aka[info]annatheunknown, who writes cool things;
  2. LesleyW, who jumped into blogging with an awesome book review site;
  3. Hannah, who posts super neat things, especially on Fridays;
  4. Amanda, who gets great photos of her knitting to share; and
  5. Melanie, who is my new knitting designer hero.
If you have the time, go visit their sites and say hi! (Though I can't say for sure if avangyline's LiveJournal will let you in if you're not her friend already. But as you can tell from the quote at the top of this post, it's well worth finding out if she has her site friends-locked.)

So now those of you who are astute will be wondering, "where is the writing content? It's Wednesday; there's supposed to be writing stuff!"

Well, I don't have anything yet. I'm working on my list of things to do, but I don't have any progress worth mentioning. (Except I bought a new pen... there's nothing like stationary products as a gift for a writer!) So, there will be a writing post next Weds - progress or not. But there isn't one today. Sorry! I hope you guys are having a great hump day!


Tuesday, August 7, 2007


The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with a good deal of rubbish.
- Robert Jackson

Mini Sock 01 - Lana Grossa

Isn't is cute! It's a little mini sock on a mini sock-blocker that I got from Felt Up Designs. It's using leftovers of the Lana Grossa that I made the Blood Diamond socks with. I actually used US1 needles instead of the US0's that were called for, mainly because I don't have US0's. And the sock could be a little bulkier, so I might use US2's next time I knit one. I also knit a shorter leg than was called for, because I thought that - using larger needles - I might have too long a sock. Next time I won't worry about that.

Mini Sock 02 - Lana Grossa

And in case you want perspective, here's the sock with Suzy. So you can see just how mini it is. (She also thinks it's yummy. But she likes the metal keychain part better than the sock itself.)

That's what I did last night. I didn't knit the Baby P Blanket at all. Nor did I touch either the MS3 or Icarus. And my Mini Monkeys are patiently waiting until this weekend when they will get to come out and play.

Stitch Markers 06

Over the weekend I also made those stitch markers. They were fun. I think I'm going to swap the ones I've been using on the MS3 for one of the sets of red ones... the ones currently in use are for a size 7-ish needle, while the red set is for the needle I am actually using for the MS3. The other set of red markers and the set of blue markers are slated as gifts, so I won't be using those. But they were still fun to make.

Hope your Tuesday is going well!


Monday, August 6, 2007

Sunshine and Mondays

So, it's Monday! Yay! (Only yay because I have plans for this weekend. Not because I am particularly fond of Mondays.) I actually got a fair bit of knitting on Baby P's Blanket done over the weekend. Look!

Baby P Blanket 12

18.5 inches, or thereabouts. Plus I'm on to the second skein of yarn. So hopefully that means that I will actually get this thing completed near the time that I want to give it to Mama P. *sigh* But it also means that I haven't touched my other knitting, like the Mystery Stole, or the Monkey socks, or my poor neglected Icarus. (I'm thinking of finishing Icarus before I finish the MS3, merely because it's been on the needles the longest and I feel sorry for it. Also because I want to use the bag that Icarus is in for the MS3, but I'm not kicking Icarus out before it's done.)

And hey! Look what arrived over the weekend!

Stash 26

Stash 29

Presents from Barbara of Romancing the Yarn. Remember the Yarnapalooza drawing I won? Well, this is what arrived in the mail for it. Yummy Spunky Eclectic yarn, which is handpainted sunny goodness. And some fun Trekking XXL, which is yarn I've been wanting to try and yet haven't ever actually bought. So yay! Someone else bought it for me!

I'm looking forward to knitting that into something nice for me for the summer of socks. But I don't know that I will even finish the Monkey socks before the summer of socks is actually over, so that's sadness.

Yet I can't end my post on a sad note. So... one last picture of sunny yarn to make you (and me) happy!

Stash 28