sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

September 15, 2009

tuesday is one of my favorite days
posted by soe 11:13 am

As you all know, I really like music. I grew up in a household where music played constantly. We listened to the radio. We listened to records, tapes, and cds. I even had a stereo in my bedroom that played 8-tracks. And now we play them on our computers and with our iPods.

So Tuesdays are always exciting for us because it’s new release day. Whom might we discover? Whose sophomore effort equals their first album? Which favorites are releasing box sets or something new?

And thanks to the music-and-book-blogging Largehearted Boy, I now know of two sites where I can check albums out for free before committing my hard-earned cash for them:

    AOL Music


Some albums appear on both, but there are unique choices to each. AOL tends to run target a younger audience, but, again, it’s not a hard and fast rule.

This week I’ll be checking out a bunch of new-to-me artists. Can Scarlett Johansson sing? Will I like The Elms, who perform blues-rock? Will I recognize Big Star once I hear them? Does indie signify a genre of music that I want to hear? I’ll listen to .moneen., Cotton Jones, and Stars of Track & Field and find out.

Let me know in the comments if you have other favorite sites that share music in a legal fashion, as well as if you sample anything in this week’s assortment that catches your fancy.

Category: arts. There is/are 4 Comments.

September 14, 2009

my d.c.: free books
posted by soe 10:28 pm

City dwellers know that one of the perks of urban living is the freebie sidewalk find. A lot of what you pass by is junk, but sometimes you come across real gems. For instance, I inherited my breadmaker after it didn’t sell at a tag sale and was left on the curb.

People move with frequency in the city, and inevitably there are things that just won’t fit into the moving van or that you decide you can live without. And dragging them to the sidewalk is a whole lot easier than taking them out to the Goodwill in the surburbs.

Sometimes what they leave behind are books. Yes, books.

Free book pile

Book piles in a city, reflect its character. Usually what you find abandoned on the sidewalk in D.C. are policy wonk books. Want to know how Jimmy Carter dealt with Thailand in 1977? You’re probably in luck; you’ll find such a tome on many a sidewalk around town.

But I am a book nut and have to check, regardless of how many times I’ve been disappointed in what people think I might want to pick up.

However, Sunday my luck changed. As we wandered to Adams Morgan Day, we took a far less direct route than we normally would have. The fates must have guided our feet because a row of books suddenly materialized in front of us.

Rudi and I glanced down — and realized we’d hit a jackpot.

The person who’d discarded their books?

A knitter.

We found so many books we had to run them back home before resuming our trip:

Our bookish haul

[Confidential to Sarah: Want the bottom book? I picked it up with you in mind…]

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

September 10, 2009

a pair, opposites attract, and balance
posted by soe 9:18 pm

Thursday already — time for three beautiful things from my past week:

1. At Sunday afternoon’s Nationals game, we trail into the bottom of the eighth, when Mike Morse ties the game before a stupid baserunning error derails the inning. The Marlins come back to take a two-run lead in the top of the ninth, at which point half the stadium gets up to leave. But the Nats aren’t done yet. Willie Harris hits a solo homer into center field, and Cristian Guzman singles to put the tying run aboard. And then Ryan Zimmerman, the franchise’s star third baseman, strides to the plate and swats a ball into the seats in left center. The stadium erupts with cheers from teammates and fans alike as the Nats rush the field to celebrate our victory.

2. A shiny pated man and a woman with a halo of hair that reaches to her waist stand together to snap a self-portrait.

3. Three teen boys ride past us. Two are on unicycles, one of whom has been riding on the wooden guardrail along the sidewalk. When he gets to a break in the rail, he effortlessly and without stopping hops his unicycle to the street and keeps riding.

What beautiful things have you noticed this week?

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 2 Comments.

September 9, 2009

a new bag
posted by soe 10:35 pm

JessaLu Package

A few weeks ago, JessaLu had a contest which offered the winner their choice of any of her homemade project bags. I was the lucky person selected and, after much hemming and hawing (how to choose amongst all the loveliness?), this is what I picked:

My Prize

Isn’t it fantastic?! The zipper runs the length of the bag, which allows you access to everything inside at once.

Speaking of the inside, check it out:


Yep. It’s fully lined with a contrasting fabric. There are no loose threads that might catch the zipper (with its adorable bee charm). It feels structured and solid. This is not a bag that will be punctured easily by the odd needle poking through.

And it’s a nice size. In the shots, the bag was empty, but it’s not anymore. I have three skeins of DK weight yarn, a set of 7-inch needles, and a work-in-progress, plus some odds and ends. Yet it still fits in my purse or my big knitting bag. Or I can just toss my wallet and cell phone inside and hang the bag from my wrist for the run over for an evening at the coffeeshop.

Jess’ bags can be bought at her Etsy shop. She’s taken her stock down for the next few weeks, while her bags visit a few fiber festivals in person, but you can sign up to hear when her shop re-opens. If you like knitting bags and are looking for one that will delight you with its style and craftmanship, I suggest you do.

Category: knitting. There is/are 4 Comments.

September 3, 2009

moon, sun, and star
posted by soe 11:17 pm

Soooo tired! Must type Three Beautiful Things and then fall into deep sleep:

1. Tonight, Rudi, Julia, and I joined 150 or so other bike riders for the monthly full moon ride sponsored by the local bicycling association. September has the Corn Moon, and it starred in a beautifully clear night sky — perfect for riding along the Potomac and up to Chevy Chase, Maryland, where we stopped for a barbecue before retracing our steps. Julia and I saw a buck just off the path on our way up, and Rudi pointed out a small herd of does as we chatted and pedaled toward home. It was a really nice way to spend an evening, even if we were among the slowest riders there.

2. The office roof deck gets morning and early afternoon sun. At this time of the year, one corner stays sunny until almost 3, giving me just enough time for a few chapters of my novel and a sandwich during my late lunches.

3. As I was heading to the Metro yesterday evening, I passed Helen Thomas. I just refrained from stopping to thank her for her terrier-like qualities in the White House Press Room (particularly during the recent Bush years). Sometimes life just reminds you that you live in a pretty cool place.

What’s been worth noting in your world recently?

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 3 Comments.

ten on wednesday
posted by soe 1:33 am

It’s been a while since we’ve spun up the iPod. Let’s see what it has to play:

List the next ten songs your iPod, iTunes, MP3 player, or cd changer plays. No fair fast forwarding.

  1. “Homecoming (Walter’s Song)” — Vienna Teng (I love her voice)
  2. “Accidentally in Love” — Counting Crows (I refrained from hitting repeat on this song)
  3. “Go Now” — Moody Blues (off Dad’s Musical Crayolas 1965 mix cd) (More tolerable than “Knights in White Satin,” possibly because it’s less than half the length)
  4. “I Want to Tell You” — The Beatles (A George tune off Revolver)
  5. “Oh My Soul” — Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians (I’ll admit it; I thought this was The Cranberries when I heard it)
  6. “Dharma Cafe” — The Kennedys (I would have guessed The Nields)
  7. “When I’m Sixty-Four” — The Beatles (A favorite off a favorite album)
  8. “The Peppermint Twist” — Joey Dee (off Dad’s Billboard 1962 mix cd) (Mum, how does this dance differ from the regular Twist?)
  9. “All the Young Dudes” (live) — Alejandro Escovedo (I’m not familiar with the original David Bowie tune to say how this was as a tribute, but I think the electric guitar solo at the start is the highlight of the song)
  10. “New Railroad” — Crooked Still (Aoife O’Donovan has such a great voice)
Category: arts. There is/are 10 Comments.