sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

March 29, 2008

turn it off
posted by soe 10:27 am

Tonight, from 8 to 9 in your own time zone, turn off your lights. And your tv. And your video games.

Go dark for an hour.

For the second year in a row, individuals, businesses, and governments around the globe are cutting back on their power usage to demonstrate the effectiveness of group conservation efforts.

From the Earth Hour website:

The aim of the campaign is to express that individual action on a mass scale can help change our planet for the better.

The event itself will clearly demonstrate in participating cities, the connection between energy usage and climate change, showing that we as broader community can address the biggest threat our planet has ever faced.

Not sure what to do for that hour? Here are some suggestions:

  • Take a walk around your neighborhood
  • Talk to your neighbors
  • Tell ghost stories
  • Eat dinner by candlelight
  • Cuddle with your kids or with your significant other
  • Knit or crochet or do some other handicraft that you can do by touch

And, of course, try to take the power of the lesson — that we easily can make a difference — and try to be more energy efficient in the hours and days that follow.

Category: politics. There is/are 1 Comment.

March 28, 2008

my dc: kite festival
posted by soe 11:27 pm

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the National Kite Festival down on the Mall. It officially runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (although I’m sure there will be plenty of overflow on either side of that time frame), and the weekend weather looks to be perfect — mid-50s with a decent breeze.

These shots cheat just a bit, since they’re from last year’s festival, but I didn’t want folks to miss out on it. This Flickr badge is randomly pulling about a third of my kite images at a time, so feel free to refresh the page to get a different selection.You can see other photos of winners from last year’s festival by clicking here.

While the entire festival is great, if you can catch the Rokkaku Challenge at 3 p.m., it might be the most fun of the afternoon. Rokkaku is a kite fighting contest in which teams work to cut other kites’ strings and eliminate them from competition. You really do get into it, and the kites themselves are not damaged, although it can be funny to watch a group of people streak off down the Mall in pursuit of their free-flying entry.

But if you’re anywhere near D.C. tomorrow, make sure you check the festival out.

Bring a kite to take part; as you can see, anything attached to a string pretty much works. There are also vendors on the Mall who would be happy to trade you a kite for some cash.

Or just bring a a sense of wonder …

… like in Mary Poppins.

“Let’s go fly a kite
Up to the highest height
Let’s go fly a kite
And send it soaring
Up to the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear.
Oh, let’s go fly a kite!”
    ~Robert B. Sherman

Category: dc life. There is/are 1 Comment.

March 27, 2008

goldilocks, waft, and new wardrobe
posted by soe 11:54 pm

Three beautiful things from this past (allergy-laden) week:

1. I’ve had issue with the button bands on my sweater. On the first one, I picked up too few stitches, which made the band contract. (Rudi mistook it for the neckband when I was knitting it.) So on the second one, I got smart and doubled all the stitches on the second row. Unfortunately, this gave me an undulating effect that, while pretty, is not what I was hoping for. I’m thinking that if I increase every other stitch this next try, I ought to get the perfect number of stitches. (No wonder Goldilocks needed a nap!)

2. As Rudi and I walked home from the Metro last night, the scent of hyacinths perfumed the moonlit air.

3. Rudi’s mom always wanted a daughter and delights now in buying clothes for me. I’m a jeans and tshirt kind of gal, so we often disagree about what I ought to wear. But in the last six months, she did a pretty good job of accumulating clothes that I not only liked, but also looked pretty good in. We only had one item that was hideous — an orange orange knit tank top. (Me: The orange tank was the only thing that was too small. … And it’s a pretty hideous color on me. Her: I know! But it was only a dollar, so how could I pass it up?) Some items — a long turquoise linen skirt, a red cashmere sleeveless top, a black sparkly tank — will actually get a lot of wear.

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 1 Comment.

March 25, 2008

reading fantasy
posted by soe 6:47 pm

Since I’m a bit stalled on the classics readalong that Karen and I are supposed to be working on (I just don’t feel like reading Walden right now), I thought I’d join some other readalongs, reserving the right to change my mind as I go along. The first one started last week:

Once Upon a Time II (hosted by Carl)

Once Upon a Time…

For me these four words conjure images of four classifications of story: Fantasy, Folklore, Fairy Tales, and Mythology. These four classifications, or genres, or subgenres of story can exist separately or in various combinations but their one common factor in my mind is that they can all very easily begin:

Once Upon a Time

Carl offers a number of options, but I think I’m going to pursue Quest the Third:

Fulfill the requirements for … Quest the Second* AND top it off with a June reading of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The challenge runs from the first day of spring through the last.

*Quest the Second: Read at least one book from each of the four categories. In this quest you will be reading 4 books total: one fantasy, one folklore, one fairy tale, and one mythology.

The books I’m hoping to read are:

  • Fantasy: The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
  • Folklore: Mules and Men by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Fairy Tale: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
  • Mythology: The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

Don’t those sound like interesting choices? Any other takers? Karen? Grey Kitten? Jenn?

Category: books. There is/are 5 Comments.

next on my to buy list: reading about reading
posted by soe 5:21 pm

This book review, which The Morning Times pointed me to, has me intrigued.

Maryanne Wolf’s Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain sounds fascinating and I can’t wait to add it to my list of books to read in 2008.

(Speaking of which, my Into the Shelves feature will return on April 1 with what I’ve been reading since the beginning of the year.)

Category: books. There is/are Comments Off on next on my to buy list: reading about reading.

March 23, 2008

plane broken
posted by soe 9:52 pm

Still in SLC. Typing on iPhone too hard to share more; will write after we get home tomorrow afternoon.

Category: life -- uncategorized. There is/are Comments Off on plane broken.