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broodings from the burrow

January 20, 2018


mid-january weekend to-do list
posted by soe 1:37 am

After a long weekend, two days just doesn’t feel like enough time, y’know? But I’m hoping to fill it up, so it doesn’t feel too short. Here’s some of what I’d like it to include:

  • Spend some time outside, possibly attending a protest rally on the Mall.
  • Go to the library. (Because it doesn’t del like a weekend, if I don’t get to at least one.)
  • Send some mail.
  • Try out my new cookbook.
  • Stop by a frame shop. I got a new piece of art this Christmas that needs a frame.
  • Put the Christmas ornaments in their boxes so Rudi and I can put the boxes away.
  • Do laundry. There’s lots to do because it was harder when the Christmas tree was up.
  • Head to some stores. I have a couple returns to make and the cats are out of litter and down to their last can of wet food.
  • Turn the heel on my Posey sock. I did it once, but didn’t like how the stripes lined up afterwards, so need to try again or find a solid color for it.
  • Paint my nails. The Christmas polish is down to a small dot on most of my fingers and I’m ready for a new color.

How about you? What are you hoping to do this weekend?

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January 19, 2018


lighter, musical, and snow
posted by soe 1:26 am

Treeless

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. It is obvious how much later the sun is setting than it was a month ago.

2. Monday we had date night and went to see The Greatest Showman, which did not disappoint. The story is a highly fictionalized retelling of portions of P.T. Barnum’s life set to song and dance. The soundtrack is remarkably catchy, and is one part Hamilton and one part La La Land. I have listened to it several times on YouTube this week because it’s stuck in my head and we haven’t had a chance to buy it yet. Sure, as the daughter of a Bridgeport native, I would have liked to have seen Barnum’s hometown (he was even mayor for a while!) mentioned, and it felt weird to learn afterwards (as I researched fact from fiction) that the actress playing opera singer Jenny Lind didn’t do her own singing), but those are relatively small quibbles. This big top show is meant for the big screen, so be sure to catch it in the theater if you can.

A Dusting

3. D.C. received a dusting of snow Wednesday morning, just enough to give the world a very pretty facade in the overnight hours when I went to salt our steps.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately? (You can see more Three on Thursday lists at Carole’s.)

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January 18, 2018


mid-january unraveling
posted by soe 1:59 am

Current Reading and Next Knitting

I did a lot of reading and cleaning last weekend, which meant that I did not do a lot of knitting. However, I have been thinking about knitting, which meant I went hunting for the yarn I pulled out LAST February intending to make a Valentine’s Day-themed colorwork hat. I even bought a fancy pom pom for it, so I really do have to make it this year.

I finished John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down in print and Tricia Levenseller’s Pirate King’s Daughter on audio this past week, which means I’m on to some new things, including Stephanie Burgis’ The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart, which is a Cybils finalist in the middle grade fantasy novels category. I also need to get back to Saints and Misfits, which is due back to the library early next week. Next up on audio: I desperately need to finish listening to Lincoln in the Bardo (I think I’ve got about 3 hours left, which I can hopefully get done before it’s due back) & starting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus & Tom Hanks’ short story collection, Uncommon Type.

What are you working your way through these days? Head over to Kat’s to see what others have going on right now.

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January 17, 2018


top ten tuesday: bookish goals/resolutions
posted by soe 1:23 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (now hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us about our bookish resolutions. As I mentioned last week, I do have some aspirations for this year’s reading:

  1. Continue to read books by diverse authors representing different backgrounds. I did better with this plan last year, in part because I started actively keeping track and holding myself accountable.
  2. Read more books that I already own. I own a lot of books. Like A LOT a lot. But I’d say that my reading is probably 90% library books. I’d like to scale it back to 75% if possible.
  3. Choose more nonfiction, more poetry, and more classics. I read a lot of current fiction with a smattering of celebrity memoir on audio. I’d like to get back to reading more broadly, so I’d like at least 10% of my reading to fall outside my comfort zone.
  4. Read more books in translation or, at least, more books by authors from more countries. The past couple years I managed two books in translation each year. I’d like to up this category to five, which doesn’t seem unreasonable.
  5. Hit up older titles. This has been a problem since I did the Cybils, when I decided that if I were going to participate again that I ought to stay on top of current publications so it was less overwhelming. I don’t plan on throwing my name into the judging ring again at this time, so it’s okay to pause and take a look behind me.
  6. Cook out of my cookbooks and knit out of my knitting books. I have a weakness for pretty pictures of finished objects, be they sweets or hats, paired with instructions on how to make my own version. (I even got a new cookbook for Christmas!) But I own a lot of cookbooks and knitting books I’ve never even made one recipe or handknit from, and I shouldn’t keep them if I’m not going to use them.
  7. Keep track of how many pages I read in books I abandon. If I make it far enough into a book, it usually ends up in Goodreads, but if I abandon a book in its first 50 pages, that’s less of a certainty. But I have a suspicion of approximately how many pages I read in books I don’t finish and I’d like to know if I’m right or not.
  8. Attend more author events. I wasn’t great about this last year, only making it to the National Book Festival. What’s the point of having some many literary venues if I don’t do a better job of taking advantage of them?
  9. Purge books from my house that don’t bring me joy for one reason or another. (That joy might be being reminded of the person who gave it to me or the memory of the class I read the book in, not just that I loved the book itself. I’m not Marie Kondo; I get to make my own rules!) Just before our Christmas party, I pulled a whole bag from one of my shelves. I need to repeat that with the others and take them all to Little Free Libraries or Goodwill or a library book sale.
  10. Review the damn books I read on my blog in a timely fashion!

How about you? Any reading goals for 2018?

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January 16, 2018


west end branch library
posted by soe 1:38 am

Rudi at West End Branch Library

Early last month, on a snowy Saturday morning, Rudi and I awoke early and hustled the eight blocks to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony that marked the re-opening of the renovated West End Branch Library.

West End Branch Library

(more…)

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January 15, 2018


corey and me
posted by soe 1:44 am

I took a break from cleaning and Corey came over to sit on me and quickly dozed off.

Corey and Me

I told him he should open his eyes and look at the camera, so he did.

Corey and Me, with Eyes Open

And then he got down and I went back to cleaning.

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