sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 22, 2018


ravellenic unraveling
posted by soe 1:37 am

Joining in today with Kat for Unraveled Wednesdays:

Ravellenic Unraveling

In my print reading, these are the two books I have going. The Stars Beneath Our Feet is a YA contemporary and The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly is a novella (akin to Animal Farm) translated from Korean. (I figured I’d read a South Korean writer during the Olympics, and this was one of the few I found recommended that seemed like it might be a good fit. Apparently, it’s been adapted for both a comic book series and an animated film. I need to read Strange the Dreamer soon; it was due back to the library almost 10 days ago.

Finally, audiobooks. Having finished listening to Magpie Murders today at work (while cutting and pasting text from one website to another), I’m about to begin a new audiobook, American Street, which I have to polish off before the end of the weekend, when its expiration date is on Overdrive.

With my Ravellenic Games sweater not working out, I’ve moved on to WIPs. This is a shawl I started two years ago, which just needs to have a final border knit. I have a couple other projects I plan to move on to after this.

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 0 Comments.

February 21, 2018


‘if it were up to me’
posted by soe 1:10 am

Cheryl Wheeler’s been singing this for decades now:

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February 7, 2018


early february unraveling
posted by soe 1:53 am

Reading and Knitting

I’m currently enthralled with three books: Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders, which I’m listening to on audio and which is a mystery set inside a mystery; Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer, about the ill effects of an encounter between our favorite Amazon and a descendent of Helen of Troy; and Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, about a young woman who survived a horrific event as a child and who is now looking for love. It took me a bit to get into, but it’s now occupying a good amount of my brain.

The knitting is the sock I cast on during the play on Saturday. It’s Marathon North Pole yarn, which I’ve knit from previously, and which is doing some interesting wavy things in the jacquard section of the sparkly self-striping yarn.

Visit As Kat Knits to see what other folks have been reading and knitting this Unraveled Wednesday.

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 3 Comments.

February 6, 2018


book stats from 2017
posted by soe 1:42 am

This is mostly just interesting to me, but I figured I’d record these stats here so I can find them later on:

Books read: 79
Pages read: 23,203
Paper vs. audio: 66/13
Library vs. owned: 65/14
Female author vs. male: 20/56/3 (male and female co-authors)
Translated works: 2
Re-reads: 1
New-to-me authors: 53
Genres:

    Fiction: 58
    Nonfiction: 9
    Poetry (or verse novel): 4
    Graphic novel/comic collection: 6
    Picture book: 2

Fiction genres:

    General fiction (including contemporary and historical fiction): 36
    Mystery/caper: 12
    Fantasy/sci fi: 10

Audience:

    Kids: 2
    Middle grades: 14
    YA: 34
    Adult: 29

#OwnVoices authors/illustrators: 37
5 star/4/3/2: 8/36/33/2

Category: books. There is/are 3 Comments.

February 5, 2018


first february weekending
posted by soe 1:31 am

It was a weird weekend. Friday night Rudi had to work, so I told him that morning that I’d make lasagna for supper. I did, in between watching Agents of SHIELD (I did not love the reveal in this week’s show, although it wasn’t anything I hadn’t been expecting).

I slept in both Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday I’d meant to get up a little earlier to take advantage of the morning sunshine and to get up to one of the other farmers markets where my favorite King Cake baker was going to be, but alas! I did get going early enough to take the soiled duvet to the dry cleaners and to stop by the bagel place (where in a true Saturday miracle there was not a single person in line when I was passing) and Starbucks for a cup of tea to take with me to the library. I had seen an advertisement for a free play reading, so thought I’d spend the afternoon watching live theater.

If you’ve never seen a staged reading (and I hadn’t until a couple years ago), it’s different from a play performance in that the cast is essentially just reading from the script at microphones at the front of the room and someone (in this case, the playwright) reads the stage directions so you can imagine the action. The play, You Should Run for Congress, by John Krizel, was a sweet story about a former Hillary Clinton field organizer in Wisconsin who, once back in D.C., convinces one of her best friends that he should move out to Fairfax, Virginia, where he teaches high school social studies, and run for the House of Representatives from that district.

It was a very D.C. play, where many of us spend a lot of time poking fun at the nearby ‘burbs and where many of us know people who’ve helped work, if not run, political campaigns around the country. I did not agree with the final takeaway of the play, which is that you need to have grown up in a place in order to know it well enough to represent it, but I definitely agree that you shouldn’t move someplace specifically to run for office. (In D.C., that should be interpreted as you shouldn’t drop out the Democratic Party in order to run for Council as an “Independent.”) But, the play was funny, had a lot of good lines (which I might have Tweeted out if I hadn’t been knitting while watching) and solid actors, and had the solid endorsement of being a very fast way to pass two hours on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

During the week, a coworker and I were discussing hot chocolate and she asked if I’d tried a shop near our office, which had opened back in the fall. I had not, so after the play ended and I’d checked out my books, I headed downtown and bought myself a cup.

Milk Chocolate Cocoa from Cafe Chocolat

That’s the milk chocolate version, which is accented with cardamom, I think, and homemade whipped cream. It was really good, some of the best I’ve had in D.C. I’m not sure they’ll beat out Baked & Wired, simply because of the difference in the cost/size value, but if you’re going simply on taste, Café Chocolat may, in fact, have the edge. Plus, you can buy other chocolates while you’re there.

Chocolates from Café Chocolat

Today, on the other hand, was filled with sloth. It was raining when my alarm went off, so I simply rolled over and went back to sleep. I did eventually get up, around noon, and head out to the farmers market. I bought a few things and then returned home through the chilly drizzle, put on lounge clothes and curled up under a blanket on the sofa where I’ve done things as varied as listen to an audiobook, play games on my phone, call my folks, take a nap, and eat supper. I did wash laundry and dishes are still on my to-do list, so I have taken care of a few of the things I should have.

I hope you had a nice weekend, regardless of whether it was more like Saturday or Sunday.

Category: arts,dc life,politics. There is/are 4 Comments.

February 3, 2018


bloggers’ silent poetry reading: sharon olds
posted by soe 1:08 am

The start of this month marks the 13th Bloggers’ (Silent) Poetry Reading in honor of St. Brigid, patron saint of poetry. I no longer know what day it’s supposed to be on, since we all started on Feb. 2. But St. Brigid’s Day is actually the 1st, and that is when the few who still participate seem to share their choices. However, I am a traditionalist on this issue and continue to participate on the 2nd (although it’ll be the 3rd by the time everyone reads this). This year, I decided to share a poem from the last collection I bought:

Wind Ode

I saw the water, ruffled like a duck,
as if its ruffles arose from within.
I saw clouds, scudding across
as if by their own will. I sat here,
over the pond, and saw its fierce
gooseflesh and its rough chop
as if it were shivering. I did not know you,
I looked right through you. And then, one summer
day, Wild Goose was in nine moods
at once, and I went down to it,
and into it up to my lower eyelids, and I
saw a row of fine lines
rushing toward me, then another row
crosshatching it, rushing, then a veil of dots swift
in, like a hat-veil-sized spirit, I saw you,
it was you, and there were many of you, I sank
underwater, and looked up,
and saw your strokes indent the surface.
Could we trace them back, these hachures and gravures,
to the Coriolis force caused by the
spinning of the earth? Who is the mother
of the wind, who is its father? O ancestor,
O child of heat and cold, wild
original scribbler!

   ~Sharon Olds

In previous years, I have shared poems by Emily Dickinson, Kyle Dargan, Barbara Crooker, William Stafford, Mary Oliver (twice), Wislawa Szymborska, Stuart Dischell, Jean Esteve, John Frederick Nims, Grace Paley, Heather McHugh, and Barbara Hamby, all of which are worth another read.

Category: arts. There is/are 2 Comments.