sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

January 19, 2010

a productive monday
posted by soe 2:20 am

There’s nothing like a holiday weekend Monday that dawns sunny and warm to make one feel like making the most of the day. And, trust me, I did.

I got up this morning just as Rudi was leaving the house for a 50 mile bike ride. I was productive, but not crazy, so instead curled up on the couch with tea and a chocolate croissant.

I popped in It’s a Wonderful Life, turned the tree on for one last morning of colorful lights, and finished writing my Christmas cards to a happy ending for George Bailey. I am greatly relieved that no one will have to wait for Arbor Day for cards (although maybe a few of you will get one then anyway), but will definitely be making cards a higher priority next year.

After Rudi returned home, we headed out to soak up the unseasonably warm temperatures. We wandered the area seeking outdoor seating, but way too much of it has been pulled in for the winter. Eventually we found ourselves in Columbia Heights, where we grabbed a couple of slices at Pete’s (also lacking outdoor tables), ran into Target, discovered a new coffeehouse, bought milk, and picked up a parking pass at the police station. Although the skies were a brilliant blue when we left the house, we exhausted every last bit of it, not returning home until well into twilight, when a Cheshire Cat moon led us home to our own trio of felines.

Monday night is fondue night in the Burrow, so Rudi cooked up some cheese and cubed bread while I worked on shifting packages away from the tree and starting the ornament removal. We paused to eat dinner in front of Chuck and then went our separate ways for an hour (when Rudi likes to watch Heroes, which has gotten too dark for me to enjoy. I knit and listen to my iPod or read in the bedroom instead.) We reconvened for Castle (Monday night’s lineup is filled with one-word shows, I just noticed) and to pluck ornaments off the tree. I boxed them all up during Conan’s final Monday show on NBC and, during Craig Ferguson, we managed to get the tree out the door and the living room swept and vacuumed. Pine trees left up for more than six weeks tend to not make a clean exit. The living room seems so spacious!

I still have a few dishes to go before bed, but I’m ready to hit the hay. It seems like a nap might be a good thing before I head back to the office tomorrow.

How was your weekend? Did you get Martin Luther King Day off? Or was your Monday achievement getting up and returning to work (also a laudable accomplishment in my book)?

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January 18, 2010

knitting update
posted by soe 1:16 am

One of the fun things about a knitting community is that you can participate in knit-alongs, where you and a bunch of other people work on the same pattern (or sometimes on different patterns attached to the same theme) at the same time.

This month, the Sock Knitters Anonymous group on Ravelry is doing a knit-along of a mystery sock, where you knit a portion of the sock each week until the final clue is released at the end of January.

The designer of the sock, Debbie O’Neill, uses beads and texture to create what is, so far, a really fun sock.

Not surprisingly, the sock looks better on my foot than it does laid flat, but I just cast something new onto the circular needles I’d have to move this sock to in order to easily demonstrate that, so you’ll just have to wait for a finished sock to be modeled.

In the meantime, here’s the front:

SKA January Sock, Front View

And here’s the back

SKA January Sock, Back View

The yarn is ShibuiKnits Sock in the Sky colorway and I’ve enjoyed working with it quite a bit thus far (even if there are some weird pooling issues with this particular number of stitches in the round). The beads are Cobalt Matte (although they look purple) and were not as intimidating as I would have thought.

Check back in early February for a finished pair (I hope).

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January 17, 2010

into the stacks: 2010.2
posted by soe 2:14 am

I’m still working my way through Shades of Grey, so nothing new to report on the finishing front.

More tomorrow when I’m awake…

Category: books. There is/are 1 Comment.

January 15, 2010

grammar debate
posted by soe 11:32 am

Here’s a question for the grammar nerds out there to debate:

Let’s say a book is published. The powers-that-be have incorrectly capitalized some of the words in the title. When referring to the book in print, do you correctly capitalize the title or do you propagate the error?

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January 14, 2010

carried away, first-class, and good neighbours
posted by soe 11:23 pm

We’re coming up on a three-day weekend and I am ready for it. Here are three beautiful things from the past seven days:

1. A girl in a cloche gets a piggyback ride from a man in a loosely looped scarf.

2. A belated Christmas note elicits a chatty card from an elderly former neighbor.

3. A mom about my age helps her small daughter with mittens. From across the street a large, fuzzy Irish Wolfhound (or a similar dog) stands on his hind legs, drapes his front ones over the front gate, and watches with a smile on his face. I imagine if I hadn’t happened by, he would have asked the woman how her week had been.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world this week?

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winter words reading challenge
posted by soe 12:44 am

Winter Words Reading Challenge

I know I haven’t finished telling you about the books I read in 2009, but I’ve started joining reading challenges for 2010. Some are very specific, while others are more free-form. The Winter Words Reading Challenge falls into the latter category.

The idea behind it:

  1. Decide on the number of books (between 3 and 9) you’d like to read during the winter season.
  2. See what winter word corresponds to your choice on the challenge post.
  3. Assign books to match your selected word:

The word you pick above is an acronym & the books that you read during this challenge will have to coordinate with the letters in the acronym. You can use either of the following ways to select your books: (1) A word in the title of your books must start with a letter from your chosen word. or… (2) The author’s first or last name has to begin with 1 of the letters in your acronym. “

I have faith that I’ll get nine books read before the start of spring on March 19, so my word is “snowflake.” Here’s what I think I’ll read to correspond:

SMarcelo in the Real World, Francisco Stork
NThe Anthologist, by Nicholson Baker
OAstrid & Veronika, Linda Olsson
WWhen You Reach Me, Rebecca Stead*
FShades of Grey, Jasper Fforde
LThe Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver
AAustenland, Shannon Hale
KThe Help, Kathryn Stockett
EThe Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery

Since the challenge doesn’t forbid it, I do reserve the right to substitute for books that I can’t get from the library or that fail to keep my interest.

*Given that the challenge began on Dec. 21, I’m counting this novel I read last week toward my nine novels.

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