sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

August 16, 2018


mid-august unraveling
posted by soe 1:47 am

Mid-August Unraveling

I started reading Spinning Silver this week. It’s a reimagining of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale, set in Russia and featuring a young Jewish money lender, Miryem; her hired girl, Wanda; and deadly, otherworldly beings, who set her the impossible task of turning silver into gold. I loved author Naomi Novik’s earlier novel, Uprooted, and am finding the start to this novel has the same feeling as the beginning of that one. I’m hoping for good things.

On my phone I’m listening to a middle grade contemporary novel, See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng, and Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon for White America by local professor and minister Michael Eric Dyson. The latter is shaped as a church service and deals with being Black in contemporary America and what white people repeatedly fail to understand about that experience and need to learn.

The former is about a rocket-crazy young boy and his dog, Carl Sagan, who are recording sounds of the world on a Golden iPod in preparation for launching it into space to travel on the heels of Voyager’s Golden Record, put together by human astronomer Carl Sagan in 1977. In the process, he’ll learn what it means and takes to pursue the truth, both personal and universal.

I am still working on my shawl (I had a two-hour conference call to knit through today), but progress is slow and the color changes are slower and I’m impatient for it to be done. So of course, I put it down and picked up my Posey socks. As I was picking up a stitch that had dropped off the edge of the needle while stored in the bag, I noticed some loose stitches earlier in the toe. Since the toe is not one of those places where you can just let that go, I ripped back most of the way to where I’d started the grey yarn and will finish the toe in the morning. Self-striping sock yarn changes colors much more quickly than two gradient shawl balls, so I hope that keeps me moving forward much more quickly.

Should I finish my Posey socks, I’ll have to look at my other sock UFOs from Sock Madness to see which pair is furthest along and/or will take the least effort to finish. This year’s pair, Fee Dragée, may be a contender, since that’s halfway done. Or Slip Stripe Spiral, the pair I went out on two years ago, is already into the leg of the second sock, although I think I messed it up someplace and it’s waiting for me to figure out how to fix it. Or Rainbow Pipes, which was a Sock Madness pair from 4(!) years ago, which are complete except for i-cord that needs to be created for the cuffs and buttons that have to be (found and) sewn on. My oldest unfinished pair of socks is from nine years ago and is color work. One sock is completely done, but I’m betting my tension will be different than it was nearly a decade ago and that a needle adjustment will be necessary.

If you’d like to see what other folks are knitting and reading, head over to As Kat Knits for the weekly roundup.

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August 15, 2018


christopher robin
posted by soe 1:49 am


Rudi and I went to see Christopher Robin this evening. If you’re unfamiliar with the film’s premise, it’s about what happens to the human friend of Winnie the Pooh and the other residents of the Hundred Acre Wood after he leaves his childhood playing grounds for the final time.

In this live-action version, he puts aside his “childish” things, goes to boarding school, grows up, gets married, fights in the war, and has a child. When we zoom back into his life, Christopher, now played by Ewan McGregor, is the responsible and somewhat sorrowful head of efficiency for a struggling London luggage company. He’s been tasked with saving his colleagues’ jobs, which means he’ll need to skip the weekend holiday to the country with his wife, played by Hayley Atwell of Agent Carter fame, and seven-year-old daughter that the audience can see is just as necessary to save his family.

Cue Winnie the Pooh, who in seeking his old friend’s assistance, instead may be the only one who can help him reconnect with the boy he’d been and find a path through the lonely forest of adulthood he’d gotten lost in and companions to make the journey worth taking.

This was truly a joyful film to watch — a balm for the soul — although your heart will break several times along the way. The human characters were portrayed sympathetically (with the exception of Mark Gatiss’ character, who was just over the top jerky rich guy boss), the tone felt true to the literary source material, and the animation of the stuffed animals was excellent. The technology has come a long way in the past 20 years, to such a degree that it really didn’t feel animated in any way. You’ll find yourself staring at your own stuffed animals much more closely when you return home to see if they’ve actually been staring at you all this time, waiting for you to notice.

If Christopher Robin is playing anywhere near you, don’t act like a bear of very little brains, but get yourself to the theater immediately. You will not regret it.

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August 11, 2018


book bingo progress, aug. 1
posted by soe 1:06 am

2018 Book Bingo August 1

July was a good reading month, but not a good month for checking books off my book bingo card. The latest additions are in red.

I’m working through several books that qualify as we speak, so hopefully I’ll finish the month strong and with at least one bingo. But if not, we’ll chalk it up to my contrary nature and still consider a summer’s worth of reading a success.

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August 9, 2018


heatwave unraveling
posted by soe 12:15 am

I took my shawl with me to knit during the concert last night, but after volleyball tonight I dug out the two pairs of socks I’d like to finish this month and carried the Into the Wild Wood pair with me to the coffeehouse for some late evening outdoor time. (Because, you know, a volleyball game in the park isn’t enough…)

Heatwave Unraveling

After my adventure with Joe Biden and Barack Obama, I’m back hanging out with plucky orphan Audacity Jones in 1910 D.C. She’s about to embark upon the mission she was brought here for, but it’s not what she’s been told. Luckily, she has a local boy and his grandfather and her stowaway cat to help her out of any scrapes…

I’m still listening to Murder Games. We’ve finally met Julian, whom I was worried would turn out to be a concoction of the tv show. He has lost his beard for Hollywood, and I’m not convinced certain characters on paper are going to hook up like they have on the small screen, but we’ll see… Either way, it’s been entertaining and I’d listen to another one.

You can see more reading/crafting combos at As Kat Knits.

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August 8, 2018


ten books further down my currently reading pile
posted by soe 1:48 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic didn’t particularly interest me, so I decided to come up with my own.

Here are ten of the books I have listed as currently reading in Goodreads that aren’t the books I’m actually dipping into this week:

  1. Meet Cute, edited by Jennifer Amentrout (short stories; spreading them out)
  2. There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, by Morgan Parker (poetry; ditto)
  3. A Dash of Trouble, by Anna Meriano (not sure why)
  4. Kidnapped! Abductions in Time, Space, and Fantasy, by Danny Atwood et al (more short stories; stuck at one I don’t want to read)
  5. Down and Across, by Arvin Ahmadi (annoyed me with a local description I felt was inaccurate (but which maybe isn’t technically wrong))
  6. A Conspiracy in Belgravia, by Sherry Thomas (Overdrive expired; on wait list to continue)
  7. We Were Eight Years in Power, by Ta-Nehisi Coates (essays; spreading them out)
  8. The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear, by Walter Moers (reads like short stories; spreading them out)
  9. The Room, by Jonas Karlsson (main character is a jerk; waiting to decide if I’ll bother continuing to see if he grows out of it)
  10. A Tyranny of Petticoats, edited by Jessica Spotswood (short stories; spacing them out)

As you can see, things that aren’t novels — poetry/essay/short story collections — tend to get put aside in favor for books that are, although those also aren’t immune from being put down temporarily for one reason or another. (Occasionally it seems like bad things are about to happen in a novel and I don’t want them to, so I put the book down — sometimes forever.)

How about you? Do put down books mid-read and come back to them later?

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August 7, 2018


music on monday: ‘once in a lifetime’
posted by soe 1:44 am

Earlier this year, Beninese superstar and Grammy Award-winner Angélique Kidjo released a re-envisioned cover of the Talking Heads’ 1980 album, Remain in Light. Even if you don’t know the new wave group’s music off the top of your head, you know “Once in a Lifetime.” If you haven’t heard her masterful take on the album, I highly recommend it and then urge you to check out her own music as well.

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