Monday, January 30, 2006

Abe - alive or dead?

Hello? Are you out there?

Apparently the cookies and chocolate worked. We have a working server! For now. I've been informed that the server's computer is very very old and that we should limit our expectations. Humpf. It's had a good life. I may have to actually start paying for this shit? Can you believe that?

I am blogging to you live from my couch. Do you realize how amazing, unbelievable, and extraordinary an event this is? Do you know what this means for Bookish Girl central? It means that a laptop has been purchased. It means that a laptop has found its way into my greedy needy hands. I have dreamed of a laptop to call my very own for years. A year anniversary at my work (!) brought the unexpected benefit of a computer reimbursement. Any of you small business/large business employerers out there? You can totally seduce your employees with benefits such as these.

I have downloaded my Firefox Abe Vigado status bar. Now, all I have to do is name this puppy. Bookish Baby? Hmmm, the Silver Fox?

The possibilities are endless.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend

I'm uber-busy at work right now (deadlines.) This does not stop me from checking out the fun over at Team Boston Knits. I posted a bunch of kick butt buttons (or pins, if you rather) last night. Robby the great fixed us up. He rocks.

I'm still debating the skill/pace thing. Wondering what my entry should be.

More on that later.

For now a fun site for you. Okay, maybe not all of you - just those of you named Wendy.

World Wide Wendy

This is a site I found way back when I was searching for the all of the Knitting Wendys out there.

My favorite is the song lyric page. I did know that a lot of these existed. However, some where a complete surprise! If I was in highschool I would make a mix tape for myself. Alas, I am not and I don't even own a tape deck. Phooy.

Now, the coolest thing evah (I'm kicking the Boston accent lately) - You can customize U.S. Postal Stamps!!!! I have to do a bit more research on this. How cool would it be to have Bookish Girl Stamps?!

ps - Clearly the cookies didn't work, my server is still down. I'm pulling out the big guns - chocolate. Dad has a, secret but everyone knows about it, stash of chocolate. I may have to hold it hostage.
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Monday, January 23, 2006

The brain fart heard round the world....

***My server is down and therefore there are no banner or sidebar images. I have contacted the server administrator (my dad) and bribed him with cookies. In the meantime, picture me in my's not as scary as you think***

This weekend was a blur. I spent some quality time with the Usual Suspects (the T.G.K.W.B at Claudia'son Sunday. Dang! Did you know that knitter are not only fabulous people, filled with grace, humor and kindness...but that they can cook too?! Whew, I returned home after six hours of chatting it up, laughing my arse off, discussing the finer points of sweater design and EATING. I swear it was midnight when I returned home (disguised as 6 p.m.)

Thank you Claudia for opening your home to us, 'twas fabulous time. It made me so anxious for SPA

"What's up with the title of this Post dear Bookish?"

I am so glad you asked! Stitchy and I were discussing the madness over at Harlot's place. It seems that both of us were resisting for the same reason - we didn't think we could do that to our marriages. Now, Rob is a supportive and loving knitting widower. Insanity disguised as competition? Now this might push him toward the court house.

While discussing my competitive edge with the hubbers we decided that you could go one of two ways with this - skill or pace. You could do something technically challenging or you could try to set a land speed record. Me, I think I would do better with an entry that challenges me to knit something quickly. Cause, I'm slow...and while I love finishing, I usually stall before I get there. I haven't figured out where I'm going with my entry. But, I do know that I'm entering.

Back to the Stitchster and our conversation. Somewhere, somehow a brain farted between us and an idea was born. Kellee joined into the fun and offered to host this effort to build community and spread insanity.

My friends we have - Team Boston. Live in Boston? Crazy is as crazy does - Please, read this lovely invite engraved on the finest parchment for your tactile pleasure.

As you all know, The Yarn Harlot. Not only is she challenging our knitting bravado, she is asking us to put our collective sanity on the line for her amusement (sure, she'll say it's so we can feel some sense of accomplishment, but really, she wants to see us squirm). And against every instinct I possess, I have decided to take up this challenge.

But I can't do it alone.

Obsession Kellee, Stitchy McYarnpants and I have decided to co-sponsor Team Boston in the first annual Knitting Olympics.

What does it take to join Team Boston? Got yarn? Got a wicked pissah accent? You're in. If you live within, let's say, an hour of Boston, you are hereby a Boston Knitter. We've set up a team blog so participants can upload photos and update whenever they want! Share your progress or disappointing lack thereof. Delight in the thrill of your teammates victories or relish in the agony of their defeat (and in the case of sock knitters, de feet). But mostly, improve your odds of actually finishing something using the tried and true method of mob rule.

If you’ve joined the Harlot’s Olympics and want to participate in our little support group, send an email to teambostonknitters at Yahoo dot com (you’ll have to turn that into an actual email address. Consider it your first test as a team member).

-your first name (or however you'd like to appear in the sidebar)

-blog name and address if you have one, though it's not necessary
-what you're knitting, if you've decided (if you've already posted a photo of what you're making, include that link).

We’ll reply with info that will allow you to become a Guest Poster. Since humans are actually dispensing the invitations manually, you probably won’t get an immediate response, but rest assured, we'll get to you as soon as possible.

We've also created an email address for any questions you may have for us. It's teambostonknitters at Yahoo dot com (hey! that's the same address as above, we're geniuses).

Don't wanna knit but would like to cheer? There is a place for you too...

Click the button below to go to the Team Boston Blog!

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

You are the light of my life...

Getting back into writing after such a long break is difficult. I love this outlet. But, for some reason it takes a bit to bring me to the keyboard.

Moving on...

Many thanks for the comments recommendations and "hell yah's" in the comments from my last post. I cannot even begin to tell you how cool it is to know that there are other bookish types out there. I suppose it is no secret to you that these types were the kids in grade school that were "different" or "strange" or, according to my perception, "evolutionary higher beings who preferred reading books to flicking boogers at the teacher." (Btw, I have no pinky toenail (okay, almost no pinky toenail), no wisedom teeth and no eye teeth. Someone once told me that these were all signs that I had evolved further than the average human being. While I have nothing to substantiate this (google-fu brought me nothing but freeks) I have heard this is a legitimate sign from more than one person. Which means it must be true.)

All I have to say is, you are safe here my friends. We welcome all bookish types and those that love them.

And on to a completely unrelated topic:

Tools are the love of my life (sorry honey). I love tools and gadgets and things. Good design makes my body hum with pleasure (really sorry honey). I am a sick, sick person in need of a hobby to fully express my love of all gadgetry. Oh! Knitting! The gadgets are unbelievable. The bent darning needle? Genius! The row counter? Love of my life! Stitch markers? Hold my heart together.

Some people hoard yarn. Me? I hoard gadgets. Shall I give you a tour of my favorites? No? Bore you to tears, huh? Well, I'll spare you.

For now I'll just share my most favorite tool/gadget acquisition of 2005. A Christmas gift from my parents:

A head lamp.

I love you head lamp. You keep me happy while I knit at night and my "30 years old in 41 days" eyes love you the mostest. My dear sweet husband who likes to watch movies in the dark loves you too. Oh, and the baby sweater you helped me knit? She loves you too. The only thing I don't love? Your lack of protective oil soaking padding. I had to improvise with a tissue.
Dork. Dork. Dork.

Here is the sweater I was working on in that photo, now finished and wrapped waiting for my next foray to the post office of doom:

Picture taken with Robby's new tool/toy - a wide-angle macro lens.

Yarn: Rowen Soft Baby and man, is it soft, baby. (Yarn gifted to me by my P.O.C. Elisa)
Pattern: Child's Placket-neck Pullover from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson(make sure to check the errata out for this book!
Overall loved knitting this. The yarn is fabulous. Soft. Strong. This is just one of the reasons why I have had a recent love affair with Rowan (all I have to say is, THIS is why people spend my annual salary to knit a sweater out of this yarn! I. get. it.) It does stretch a whole bunch with blocking. One compliant, the pattern does not come with button holes as an option. I had to do some maths (excel spreadsheets are so damn fun) to place them and viola.... pretty little buttons for a babe to be.

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

If I was truly Bookish, I'd have figured out the number of pages per day!

Inspired by Cathi and her new Pen and Pink endeavor, I am going to start posting more in depth posts about my reading. While knitting may be my buoy, reading is my anchor. I love to read, absolutely love it. I cannot take books out of the library (eh, hem...I STILL have the Knitters Guide to finishing techniques and two Plum books out. We get DAILY phone calls from the Boston Public Library. They have a scary recorded system. "This - is --- the --- Boston ---- Public --- Library. ---- Wen--day---Blah blah blah." I swear, it is almost enough to scare me in to returning them!) because I must own them. I prefer used to new. In my opinion used books have more of a soul and I almost always find a relic of the book's former life in its pages. A picture, airline stub, a grocery list. Finding these pieces of life left in a book makes the whole experience of finding and reading a used book so romantic. I love to give books as gifts and have yet to determine if it is tacky to give a used book. My gut tells me yes, only because others do not necessarily feel as I do. However, if I know you like them you will most certainly get one from me!

Reading is a very organic process for me. I used to have a section on my sidebar - "On the bookshelf" - a list of books that I was going to read next. Try as I may I cannot prescribe to this mode. My desire for a book changes with the wind. As I get into a book I become consumed and rarely stray from book monogamy (this past year has been one huge frustrating exception to this rule.) When I finish a book the taste in my mouth, the smell in the air, or the feeling in my body makes me choose a book. I cannot stick to a list. The one time this rule does not apply is to my book club books. I belong to a local book club and I love that these talented woman tell me what to read when.

What can I say? I am a picture of contradictions.

In 2005 I read quite a bit. Here is the short list, as far as I can remember it:

  • Shop Girl by Steve Martin

  • A Million Little Pieces by James Frey**

  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole**

  • Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich

  • Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich

  • Devil in the White City by Eric Larson

  • The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell

  • To The Nines by Janet Evanovich

  • Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich

  • Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich

  • Seven Up by Janet Evanovich

  • Hot Six by Janet Evanovich

  • High Five by Janet Evanovich

  • Four to Score by Janet Evanovich

  • Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich

  • Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich

  • The Human Stain by Phillip Roth**

  • One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

  • The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

  • She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan

  • So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading by Sara Nelson

  • Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett

  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

  • Something Rising (Light and Swift) by Haven Kimmel

  • Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Book #6) by J.K. Rowling

  • Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama**

  • Jeeves in the Morning by P.G. Wodehouse

  • Atonement by Ian McEwan**

  • House of Mirth by Edith Wharton**

  • The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger**

  • The Good Earth by Pearl Buck**

  • ** - Books read for my real-life Book Club.

    I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting some there. There are about 32 titles there or 2.5 books a month. Wow. That is quite a bit more than I had thought. However, the Janet Evanovich Books don't count in my book (ha! puns are fun!) so, in reality, I read 20 books or about 1.5 books per month. What a good little Bookish Girl I am.

    My favorite of the bunch? Hmmm, cannot pick one. They are like my babies each with their own personalities and quirks. I would say that reading Murder on the Orient Express brought me to a new place in my reading. It started me off on a quest for mystery type novels with quirky characters. The Plum novels totally brought that thirst to a very serious disease. I enjoyed reading these but the last one brought a lot of eye rolling in its general direction. Not because it was any worse than the others, or less interesting. It just finally got old, and predictable, and irritating. I will still seek out another series of book-candy but will try to steer clear of the "I have a template that I'm using for every book and you'll like it dammit" authors.

    As far as book-candy goes. This is the first year in my reading career that I have sought out such a thing. It is a strange beast and I need to process it more before I can define or understand the appeal. For now, it is defined as a book I know will leave me feeling light, a sure bet, something that won't throw a punch or leave me aching (A Million Little Pieces is the opposite of book-candy. The book is blatant in its gut hitting angst, it doesn't hid from it and will leave you groggy.) As I get older I find more of a need for these sure-bets. I am not entirely sure why. It has happened with my movie watching as well.

    On to the first finished book of 2006 (the bulk of this was read in 2005):

    The first book that I finished in 2006 was Devil in the White City (borrowed from the lovely Elisa.) I listened to the first half of this courtesy of my ipod and (love that site.) I like listening to books, but have discovered that only the book-candy books are really good this way (another reason why book-candy needs to find a way into my reading list, I love to listen to books during my commute.) Devil in the White City is non-fiction written like fiction. It was meticulous in its facts and scenes set during the Chicago World's Fair in the late 19th century. I found it interesting and would recommend it to someone who enjoys history or who has lived in or around Chicago. However, I did not love it and would not read it again (in the book's defense, there are only about a dozen books that I would ever read again. I'm not a big re-reader.) It was a bit dull in places and repetitive. It did present a wonderful sense of place (one of the qualities I love to see in my books) and made me wish that our world still had the wonder of discovery. Such as the wonder found in riding, or seeing, the first Ferris Wheel. It also made me thankful that although our world may be a bit heavy on the communication (phones, newspapers, Internet) at least it's easy for us to figure out if someone is "missing", "dead", or "on vacation in Europe."

    The book that I'm finishing right now is Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. As I mentioned above, 2005 was also the first year that I fell prey to the multiple book on the night stand syndrome. I guess that I thought if it worked with my knitting maybe it would work with my books. Not. so. much. Jonanthan Strange was a victim in this arrangement. He kept getting pushed aside. Only 75 pages left!

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