Friday, December 31, 2010

The Beginning in the End

Kudos to you if you got the Bones reference. Have a tiny granola bar.

I've been absent blogging the past few weeks because my fingers have been otherwise occupied with yarn. The tablecloth, as you saw, is finished. The afghan still isn't but that's okay. We can still use it while I'm working on it.

I've given up the resolution thing, because I never keep them anyway, so why bother? We're staying in and watching movies, eating food and drinking in the spirit of a tradition that I actually like and intend to keep. I feel no need to be out in the cold with all the drunks- that just doesn't sound fun.

Tomorrow is The Mummer's Parade in Philadelphia, which we will attend. There will be pictures to kick off the next segment of the blog that I am officially and uncreatively titling The Philly Chronicles.

In the interest of the books part of the books and yarn thing, I just finished last book in the Hunger Games trilogy.
Overall, they are great. A really interesting concept, good characters for the most part, engaging and different. Think post-apocalypse reality tv. Go get yourself a copy.

The things that I take issue with though, which I think might have played out better if they'd been marketed toward adults are plot and character development. Characters were developed as much as they needed to be, but no further. Also, plot was always rushed at the end. I feel like more complicated subplots could have been introduced to develop secondary, but very interesting, characters if the books were longer and the language a little more adult. Collins writes some very beautiful lines at times, but for the most part the language is basic, and I don't believe that it was done in an intentional Cormac McCarthy kind of way.

The other thing that I would have changed is I would have added a second narrator. Katniss is a great character, but she's not as on the ball as the reader would sometimes like. Personally, I got frustrated with her being the last to figure things out, and I think there might have been more insight if she had traded off the narration with another character.

Negative things aside, The Hunger Games are a refreshingly different angle on adolescence, and if you're into the post-apocalypse thing (which I kind of am. Yeah, morbid, I know) they're excellent. So go forth and read.

Oh yeah, and it's New Year's Eve. Eat, drink, drink, eat, watch the ball drop, drink.
Have a Happy New Year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Last Week

This is what I've been doing for the last week.
Seriously, the whole thing. Even while I was at work.
But now it's finished. Hallelujah.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Two Towels: A Grandma-ism

I love my grandma dearly, but she's crazy. Really.
Someday, I will compile a hilarious collection of all the grandma-isms. But for now, here's one.

Grandma: [coming out of the bathroom after her shower] I used the last two towels in there.
Mom: Two towels?
Grandma: Yeah, the last two on the rack, you know, behind the door.
Mom: Why two towels?
Grandma: Because they were the last two.
Mom: Yeah, but why two?

Me: LOL!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Today's Life Lesson:

Surround yourself with people who care about you.

I know this might sound like an obvious thing, but today has made me interested in how many people will think they know about a problem you have, and not say anything.

Example: I have a bit of a black eye, from the stye that is currently making me crazy, and at work today I've noticed several people noticing it, but not one of them has said anything. Now, my boyfriend would never in a million years lay a hand on me, but I think if I was getting battered, I'd want someone to say something.
Even to simply ask, "are you okay?"

I think the world would be a lot better off if we all cared just a little bit more. And while this might seem a little hypocritical, because I'm often the first person to say "I don't care" I think it needs to be taken in context. I'm not saying I want every person's life story, because truly, I don't, but I do smile and say hello to random people and I have asked people who looked upset if they were all right.
That's all I mean. We've evolved enough that most of us are capable of recognizing emotions in others.

So that's today's lesson. Surround yourself with people who WILL say something, and ask someone who looks upset if they're all right.

Now, to write that final paper...and I mean FINAL paper :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mame + Glee = Awesome

I'm almost ready to start singing Christmas Carols. Here's a preview from last night's episode of Glee.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I should be writing a paper on The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. But instead, it's time for another round of "What Should I Do With My Life?"

I came across an organization today called Words Without Borders, and its mission is to bring international literature into, primarily American, classrooms. They're all about translating and sharing, and I think that American classrooms are the worst at exposing kids to international literature, so that seems to be who they're targeting.

But it got me thinking. That maybe I should still be considering a Doctorate so I can teach Mediterranean Lit in translation, after I've translated it. Or maybe teach it not in translation, but there are probably more job opportunities for English classes in English.

I could also teach my class in the literary merit of bumper stickers and commercial jingles with a Doctorate. But, where would I get a Doctorate? Penn?

University of Phoenix?

Just kidding. I'm pretty sure that place doesn't even exist. It's like Professor Emilius Browne's College of Witchcraft.

Okay, readers, I put it to all two or three of you.
What should I do with my life?

a) Doctorate and teach
b) Master's and publishing
c) hit the lotto, start up a publishing company/writer's retreat in Middle-of-Nowhere-New York. (the Middle of No Where bit is, amazingly, on the Pro side of Pros and Cons of a writer's retreat. What else is there to do but write? You guessed it...nothing.)
d) all of the above
e) hit the lotto, buy a house in Italy, be a hermit.

Cast your vote.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Best Picture Books. Ever.

All right, let's see if I can come up with ten. I have the tendency to sit down to do something like this with about half the list in my head, and then I get a huge mental block and can't come up with the rest of the list until I've published the post and walked away from the computer.

My second class of four was cancelled today though, because the Professor has the plague. Which is nice for us, not for him, and not as nice as it would be if the last class was cancelled.

On to the books! The Guardian has come up with their top ten, which can be found here. Don't get scared by the creepy doll book. Actually, there are a couple of creepy doll books.

My list looks like this:

1. The Cat in the Hat- Dr. Seuss - This HAD to be number one. It's genius. Not only does it contain 236 of the 250 core words, it's FUN.

2. Madeleine- Ludwig Bemelmens - I don't have a particular Madeleine in mind, I like all of them.

3. Where the Wild Things Are- Maurice Sendak

4. The Stinky Cheese Man - Jon Scieszka

5. The Tale of Peter Rabbit - Beatrix Potter

6. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day- Judith Viorst - I love the ink drawings, AND the story.

7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar- Eric Carle

8. Harold and the Purple Crayon- Crockett Johnson

9. The Polar Express - Chris Van Allsburg

10. Strega Nona - Tomie De Paola

11. Swimmy - Leo Lionni

12. Curious George - H. A. Rey

13. Corduroy -Don Freeman

14. Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type - Doreen Cronin

15. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault

16. Goodnight Moon -Margaret Brown

Ha! You get 16...I found a list that made me remember all my favorites.
And I still have time to kill before my next class. Perhaps I will print more patterns.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Don't Call Me Shirley

We'll miss you, Leslie Nielsen. You were the best. Thanks for the laughs :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday or Bust!

Our store went the "bust" route today, although honestly I can't really even tell you what that means. No astronomical sales figures, though. There were so few shoppers that I can't even give you an amusing "Don't do this to your friendly neighborhood retail worker" list.

Here's a general "don't do" item:

When it's ten to nine, and I've just finished mopping the floor and am getting ready to shut the gate DO NOT come in, wander through my clean floor and wander out without buying anything. It happens, without fail. People are rude.

I can give you a short list of things to not do on Black Friday, in a small locally owned business however.

1) Ask for deals that are not there.

When there are signs clearly marking the items that are on sale, don't pick up something completely different, and clearly NOT on sale and ask "What kind of deal can you give me on this?"

That price tag? That's the deal.
We are not Wal Mart. Not EVERYTHING is on sale, mmkay?

2) Ask questions that can be answered by opening your eyes.

Lisa reported this exchange that happened between her a woman this morning.

Woman: Do you have those puzzles that make noise?
Lisa: Yes, we do.
Woman: Well, where are they?
Lisa: Right there. [literally. the rack RIGHT in front of this woman]
Woman: Are they on sale?
Lisa: No, just the chunky puzzles are.
Woman: Where are they?
Lisa: Right there. They say chunky puzzle.
Woman: Do they make noise?
Lisa: No, just the sound puzzles make noise.
Woman: But are they on sale?
Lisa: The chunky puzzles are on sale.
Woman: Well, what's the difference?
Lisa: The chunky puzzles are...chunky. The sound puzzles make noise.

I can't remember, because I was laughing too much, but I'm pretty sure the woman didn't buy anything, because the noise making puzzles still weren't on sale.

And there you have it. Happy Shopping.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Books of the Year, Already?

It seems a little bit early, considering November isn't even over yet, to be listing the books of the year, but Quill and Quire has done it. Head on over to their site because Google is being a little bitch today and not linking things properly.

While I am wasting time in the Science Library before my last class before Thanksgiving Break (can I get a hallelujah?) I thought that I would blog my own list and I've also decided to go print a whole bunch of crochet patterns on their printers. Because you know what? The university gives you printing money every semester, and I never use it. This being my last semester, I could probably print three hundred patterns. I won't, but I'm going to use some of their money for sure, because they have no problems taking it from me.

RANTing aside...

Le List.
(Side note- I'm pulling these from the strictly book blog and my facebook page, so if the reviews sound canned...they are.)
(Side side note- No particular order. I'm not that organized.)


I LOVE this movie. It is my absolute favorite.
How does a story about a prostitute become one of the most beloved movies of all time?

1- Genius writing

2-Genius adaptation.

The novel is short- just about 100 pages, which I suppose would make it a novella. The writing is wonderful, though. Many of the scenes are the same, but with slight twists given to them in the movie to fit the overall romance plot that is non-existent in the book. Holly is a thoroughly lovable character, the same character really, that she is in the movie. The book however, is tragic. I cried.
Yes, people who know me are saying "you cry every time you watch the movie"

It's a different kind of cry. The book is tragic. But beautiful. Capote is great, read it.


This book came to me with high recommendations, and having read The Historian, I had high expectations. That said, this book didn't disappoint that much, but a little bit. It was as good as The Historian, but it was by no means a bad book, just different. It was much slower paced, more cerebral, but still engaging, with interesting character arcs involving people that I got to know and like. It could be a little bit shorter, which was really the only problem that I had with it. It was a little dry at times, but overall, I definitely recommend it- it's quite good.


Horrifying. So horrifying, in fact, that you just can't put it down. Great characters, great story, I can't wait to read the rest of them. And this is coming from someone who doesn't like Young Adult as a general rule. Definitely find the time for this book.

4. THE MALTESE FALCON -- DASHIELL HAMMETT (he has one of the greatest names, ever)

Having seen the movie first, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Hollywood had done an excellent job in adapting the novel to the screen. Sam Spade may be one of the most likeable scoundrels ever created. Hammett's dialogue is flawless, and the novel as a whole is a completely enjoyable experience. Highly recommended to those who are fans of the genre


I really liked this book. I'm a sucker for anything Spain, especially the Spanish Civil War, and this book explores Franco's rise to power in the subplot of an epic novel about the life of a cellist. What really resonated with me was a point made at the end: Mussolini was overthrown, Hitler killed himself, Franco ruled destructively until his death in 1975. How did the world let that happen?
Overall, this was a really engaging read, likeable characters, easy to read style, I recommend it.


This book was a little dense at times, and a little bit confusing, with all of the characters and the shifting back and forth in time. I was incredibly impressed with the author's ability to work in almost every historical figure from the French Revolution somehow, and the mystery of The Montglane Service was a good one. Also, it was fun to try to play the Chess Game along with the characters. overall, I recommend it; it's a good, intelligent mystery with a little mysticism thrown in too.


For about 200 pages of this, I didn't think I was going to like it at all- it started slow, and I thought it was just another love story. I was completely wrong. The second half of the book flew by and it was amazing how all of the stories from the past were tied together and tied to Inferno. Brilliant, and not just another sappy love story!

Okay, that's it. You get seven. And, as I'm sure you've figured out, this list differs in that it is not books of the year PUBLISHED this year, it is books of the year that I read this year.
Also, it is my goal to read a whole bunch more between the end of the semester and the beginning of the new year, so you will probably get a further list at the actual end of the year.

And now, to print patterns with university resources. Epic win :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I Am Haunted By Humans

This is the last line of Markus Zusak's novel, The Book Thief. Telling you the last line doesn't make it any less powerful when you get there, though.

Narrated by Death, who is not who we think he is, the book tells the story of a girl who steals books in Nazi Germany, from book burning piles, from the snow, from the mayor's library. There are other stories woven in, belonging to other people that Liesel comes in contact with, and of course, World War II is the backdrop of the whole thing.

The characters are fantastic- people that you'll care about, and miss when the book is over. And Death is the perfect narrator for something like this. World War II has been done so many times, but this offers such a unique perspective.

What I liked the best, though, is how beautifully it's written. It's easy to read, and not overly dark, especially considering the setting. Maybe it's morgue humor, but Death does a really good job adding just a little bit of light and humor to the thing so it's never depressingly heavy. In addition, there are so many little one line gems through the whole thing. The title is one, but there are a ton. And they're wonderful.

The Book Thief.
Markus Zusak.

Go forth and read.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Eat 'Em Up, Yum!

I'm sick, so this blog post will be short, because my sinus-infected head can't take much until it has some medicine in it. And soup. And more tea.

Next Christmas: Fish Hats all around.

Seriously. Start thinking about what color you want.

Ohhhh I almost forgot the "it's not my pattern" part. It can be found here.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Read. A. Book.

This article from the Telegraph is today's topic of discussion.

Reader's Digest claims that 1 in 20 "youngsters" have never read a book. EVER.
The fact that is a poorly constructed survey with much too small of a sample size is irrelevant; I think the findings ARE relevant. It is no secret that literacy is rapidly in declining, and if this is even a little bit accurate, it's terrible.

For the record, parents are NOT blaming themselves unnecessarily. It is absolutely their responsibility to get their children interested in reading. When the child gets to school it is still their responsibility, but it is also the teacher's as well. We need teachers that can pick good books, and teach them well so the kids enjoy reading, and don't get forever turned off it by something like The Scarlet Letter.

Finally, this article states that the biggest influence on these kids (what age, I don't know, because they label them with a generic colloquialism) is their peers. I think the answer to this conundrum is quite simple- if every parent and teacher focuses on getting kids excited about reading, they will likely see other kids excited about reading, and then we can exponentially increase the excited-about-readingness in general.

So, people, let's stop making reading something that we just do, and start making reading something that we do for fun.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Perks of Being a Pack Rat

We all hear horror stories about level 5 hoarders, right? Those people that are psychologically incapable of letting go of anything, and therefore save everything?

I'm not saying that this is something you should aspire to. It's a real disorder, and so not funny. However, I have learned the hard way that one should never delete anything. Especially if one plans to continue their education.

My unnamed, expensive, rather stuffy, but top notch Grad School wants a 20 page writing sample for the application. I believe something stops being a sample at 10-15 pages, but that's just my opinion. What do I know?

Now, I have never had to write anything this long, so I wrote something new- 12 solid pages (because I would rather have a good 12 page paper than a rambling, bullshitted 20 page paper) but I needed the other 8 pages. So I said to myself, "oh, that mythology paper was good, and I think it was nine pages, that will work."

And I went on a hunt for said Mythology paper, and guess what? In the interest of a clean computer, I had deleted it. And the midterm paper. And the final paper from the fairy tale class the semester before that was also pretty good. Actually, I had deleted everything right up until this past summer session.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

By the Grace of the Little Russian Lady, who has officially become my hero/patron saint of Grad School Applications, I will be able to get my fairy tale final back. She saves things for a year.

I have now learned my lesson the hard way, so I pass on this lesson to you. The easy way.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Let's Play a Game


Let's call it the "Move to Philadelphia Game."

Here's the backstory: You're moving to Philadelphia.

Here's the object: You need to bring as little as possible for various reasons including
-moving sucks
-moving in winter sucks worse
-you don't want to clutter the apartment

The challenge: You want to have everything you'll need.

What do you bring?

Monday, November 8, 2010


I need to feel like I CAN get everything done.

Things that I accomplished today:

-Returned, renewed and paid for late library books
-changed the cat litter
-covered for Lisa for two hours at work
-washed, dried and even put away laundry
-dug the pumpkins in the garden out of three inches of snow
-cooked above pumpkins and made 11 cups of goo to cook with
-got the shovels out because it's now winter
-made a few more motifs for Laura's tablecloth

I think that's it. I started a paper, but then decided that I'm just not going to write it. I can do the next three and still have an extra grade. Woot.
Five weeks til graduation.

Now, I'm going to read a little bit of The Book Thief and then go to sleep because I have to get up and dig myself out before I go to class.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sacre Bleu! Invaders!

Or not. But it's always fun to work in a Jerry Orbach/Beauty and the Beast Quote.

Today's topic, isn't really a topic, more like sharing and gushing.

This article is about Toni Morrison being presented the French Legion of Honor. Because she's awesome.

I can't think of another contemporary female writer that even compares. Actually, I can't think of another female writer period who compares. She's just the best.
I know that some people take issue with her because she knows that she's the best, and she's not afraid to tell you that, but I think there are far more positive aspects of this than negative.
She IS the best, so why try to hide it?
Also, every little girl needs a strong female role model, and she's a fantastic one. Little girls need to know that they CAN be strong, independent, confident in their own abilities, and they can rise about their working class background to win every literary award known to man and teach at Princeton.

I have not yet read all of her books (I'm working on it) but of those I've read...well, I've loved them all, that's why I've just spent a blog post gushing about how wonderful she is...but I think Song of Solomon and A Mercy are my favorites.
But go forth, and read as much of her as you can.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Eveline's blanket is finally finished. I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out.

And here's a song for you to listen to. She's bizarre, quirky, but I like her voice for some reason, and I'm really into the music.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vote, Vote!

I know everyone's been overwhelmed with the "get out and vote" messages. But really, you should. Exercise your rights before you lose them.

I just encountered someone, who is a middle aged man, who has NEVER voted. For anything. In his LIFE. Why? Because "he never really thought about it."

WHO doesn't think about the people that govern their lives?

So my message today is simple, and three part-ed.

1. Go Vote
2. If you didn't vote, shut your mouth.
3. If you did vote, you have every right to complain. There is a complete lack of good candidates this election.

Next time, let's all write in Mickey Mouse okay? Disneyworld doesn't have a multi-billion dollar deficit last time I checked. Way to go, Walt!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Get Thee To the Mutter Museum!

A place where one could do many productions of Hamlet because there are LOADS of skulls.
There could be interesting variations of Hamlet too, because there are human skulls, animal skulls, shrunken heads....and tons of other body parts including full bodies (of siamese twins) in jars.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, Ben and I went to the Mutter Museum which is part of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia for Halloween.

We were not allowed to take pictures of the abundance of medical oddities, but you can take their virtual tour here and you can see the sliced sections of a man's face, Fibrodysplasia (curvature of the spine) and a set of conjoined twins. In a jar.

There was a display of weird medical contraptions such as the Iron Lung, the Pedoscope, and a birthing chair (shudder.)

Possibly the coolest part was the exhibit on the assassination of Lincoln and Garfield. We can now say we've seen both John Wilkes Booth and President Garfield in person, in the form of little preserved pieces of them from their respective autopsies.

In addition we saw, which you can't on the virtual tour I don't think, the gigantic skeleton (7 feet 9 inches, I think?) and the...dun dun DUN... MEGA-colon! 25 inches wide...gross!

It's a little gross, for example, I had a hard time looking at babies in jars and the 70 pound ovarian cyst, but I really liked the bones of the fetus exhibit from...when they develop bones to 9 months. They're pretty much a little blob of goo for the first tri-mester.

So, yeah. If you're in the Philly neighborhood, get to the Mutter Museum. It's worth it.
...And there's an umlaut over the u. So it's pronounced Mooter Museum. They're apparently a little touchy about that.

Stay tuned for more Philly News (since I'll be there to stay in roughly 8 weeks) and of course, NaNo rants.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Oh, the Horror!!

Let's talk about horror. And by that, I mean the genre, not whatever other kind of horror you could think of.
I've posted on facebook the link to Kate Mosse's top ten ghost stories, or something...I've forgotten already. (Side note: I'm hungry, I want to get this midterm over with so I can get on the road to Philly, and I'm blogging to waste time until I can take it. Got talking to my Brit Lit professor and didn't make it to the next class on time so I decided not to go at all.)

But anyway.

Poe, of course, comes to mind. He basically created the genre. Along with the detective story. Stay tuned for my Master's Thesis on the evolution of the detective.

Kate Mosse specifically mentions the Tell Tale Heart in her post. I would also recommend The Mask of The Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Raven, naturally, and my favorite:
The Fall of the House of Usher.

The Murders at Rue Morgue (you know, the uber famous story) is bizarre, but not particularly horrifying. It's also not a great mystery. It is interesting, and will be explored in above-mentioned thesis, how detective story evolved into mystery. Because really, Poe's and Conan Doyle's (who blatantly thefted Poe) are not good mysteries. The reader doesn't get to play along because there is a decided lack of necessary information, until all is revealed by the detective in the last few paragraphs.

Other horror writers I've read and liked-

Dean Koontz. He's kind of horror/sci-fi/sometimes mystery
John Saul. He's mostly horror/mystery

For the younger set:
Betty Ren Wright. The Dollhouse Murders. I LOVED this book when I was younger. I haven't read it in years, but I'm sure that I would still love it, because it was wonderfully creepy, and a good mystery.

Of course, I have to mention The Picture of Dorian Gray because I love, love, love it and Oscar Wilde. Horrible, hilariously satiric, and beautifully written. Win, win, win.
Oscar Wilde pretty much wins at everything, except maybe his court case.

I'm not really sure how I've avoided mentioning Stephen King until this point. Funnily, he hadn't even crossed my mind until right now, and he's one of the greatest, and definitely most prolific horror writers ever.
Misery- I've read the first was so, well, horrible...that I couldn't continue. The movie ain't got nothing shock-factor-wise on the book.
Pet Sematary- I actually didn't finish this either, because I was much younger, and very creeped out. This was also around the time my neighbor and I discovered just where her cows went when they died.

Off the top of my head, that's all I can come up with. That's a good start, though. It will take you a lifetime to read Stephen King alone (have you SEEN the SIZE of his new book? I think he's competing with the OED...the thing could be a fucking weapon.)
Now, I shall mosey along and take my midterm (on Poe, Twain, Tennessee Williams and some 19th c. Americans you've never heard of) and then I will have a wonderful weekend in Philadelphia with my wonderful boyfriend.

Everyone have a fantastic Halloween!!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gleek Out!

I love Glee. It's a feel good show. You can't watch it and not smile.

I need to go to bed now, because I have to be up at 6 to go to class, but then....I get to go to Philly for the weekend! So excited, you have no idea.

So today's blog post is...

Glee + Rocky Horror = Fabulousness

I leave you with the original Time Warp...which is also fabulousness.

I hope that works. I'm terrible at embedding things. And it's so simple....idk.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chocolate Covered Pretzels are Heaven

It's boring at work. My sales are around $7. Laura's at about $12.
Chocolate covered pretzels are delicious. Especially when you don't have to pay for them. I believe that's called a perk.

I should continue with my homework, but my brain is a little fried after several hours of reading Spenser's The Faerie Queen, so I'm taking a break to bombard you with my rambling.

I meant to blog yesterday about Malloween (Halloween at the mall) but my head hurt, so I didn't do much of anything.

May I present, some General Guidelines for Malloween:

1. No Costume, No Candy.
If you can't put the effort in, why should you be rewarded with sugar? Halloween is not about free candy.

2. The costume contests go from newborn to 12...if you're over 12 and ESPECIALLY if you have no costume, do NOT steal candy from little kids. It's rude.

3. If you're a PARENT do not go around with your teenager and pretend to be collecting for their sister. You're an adult, stealing candy from little kids. Classy.

4. If the hours of the event are 12-3, don't come in at 10 demanding candy. Also- don't come in at 3:05 and be annoyed that I have no candy left. There were about 250 kids ahead of you.

5. If your kid doesn't win the costume contest, don't bring him crying to the judges demanding a consolation prize. Everybody loses, sometimes. All you're doing is teaching your kid to be a whiner, and nobody likes a whiner.
Nobody likes obnoxious parents either, FYI.
Everybody thinks their kid is the greatest kid ever, but odds are pretty good he's not, okay? And if you want him to win the costume contest next year, help him come up with something creative and original.

Despite my griping, and list of suggested guidelines, Malloween was pretty fun. Jamie came closest to guessing what I was when she asked if I was a peacock. I was, as you know, a Phoenix. About half the people I told that to appreciated the costume and the other half stared blankly at me. Classic mythology, with perhaps the exception of christian mythology (although that didn't come out of the classic period really, so it doesn't count anyway), is a dying genre. Along with fairy tales, which is sad.

Also, at Malloween, we saw some really fun costumes. The girl under the big plastic umbrella dressed as a jellyfish was my favorite. And she won a costume contest because it was both creative and original :) I wish I'd had my camera on hand, it was a really well done costume.

And that's Malloween. Now, back to homework.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fair Weather Fans

Very briefly, because I'm tired, and I don't even like baseball.

(I'm rather pleased the Yankees are out of Series though- too many people on Facebook care, and I've had enough Yankee-whining to last a lifetime. Thought! Facebook should invent a way to hide statuses by keywords. For example: Hide all statuses that contain the words, "yankee" and "coors light")

By my mother brought up a good question that I shall repeat here, because it's not just about the World Series, but sports in general.

You follow a team, in this example. Let's use the Phillies, because they're still in the running for the Series.
You follow the Phillies, and when they're winning you say "this is great, we're awesome, we're in the series, woot."
And if they lose, you're like "they suck, they're the worst team ever, they lost, I'm done with them."

Why, are we so shallow that when someone is winning, we're a part of that, but when someone is losing, we have nothing to do with it?
We...They. Us...Them.
People are like that with people, too. Hence the term fair weather friends.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lastly, Laundry

I have a whiteboard FULL of things to do this weekend. And tonight, I don't plan to do any of them. Why, you may ask?

Two reasons- 1. Because procrastination really IS my friend.
2. There are little screamy girls in the house blasting music that is alternately country (which I'd expect, from farm girls) and hip-hop, (pairing Black Eyed Peas and Rascal Flatts is pretty funny)

ohhhh and they've thrown in some Gaga. :D I love me some Gaga.

I will however, recommend a book because...books are kinda my thing.
And I just finished reading a good book for my Adolescent Lit class.

So I present for your consideration:

The Virgin Suicides- Jeffrey Eugenides
He is also the author of Middlesex which I know nothing about except that it's popular enough that I know of it, and it won a Pulitzer, which Google just told me. The Almighty Google also just shared with me via a super cool logo that it is Dizzy Gillespie's birthday. Megan's dad used to call me Dizzy Lizzy. Happy Birthday, from one Diz to another.

Back to The Virgin Suicides.

What makes this novel so good is the perspective from which it's told. It's about the year when the five Lisbon girls commit suicide, which I'm sure you gathered from the title, so I'm not spoiling anything. But it's not told from their perspective. In fact, we know next to nothing about them. It's told by the boys in the neighborhood who are obsessed with these mysterious girls and try to put the pieces together. They never completely succeed. Normally, I don't like a book that leaves gaping holes in the end like this, but I liked this book, because you don't really need to know. That says a lot, because I generally don't like YA- at least, the vast majority of it that sucks and is all the same story- this is different.

It's a refreshingly unique look at that period in our lives, and it's really beautifully written. I never felt like I was reading IN-YOUR-FACE-TEEN-ANGST like I feel reading other things (HP, and Twilight, por ejemplo. Or even something like A Separate Peace. "Finny's so wonderful, and I suck, I wonder if I secretly hate him and want to kill him so I can feel better about myself, or I secretly love him and my repressed homosexuality drives me to kill him because in my post-war society that's frowned on". There you go, you've now read A Separate Peace).

Even the movie version is well done, getting back to Virgin Suicides again. Sorry for the tangents. It's kind of dream-like, in the way the reader is never really sure who the narrator is, and also never really sure who the Lisbon girls are, but it's very real at the same time. I was engaged, and interested.

I'm now going to work on some editing for bit, and then watch Bones and crochet when the little girls go home. And laundry, if you care.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Remember, Remember

Memories are a funny thing.

I was looking for books in the psych section of the college library today and there were shelves and shelves devoted to books on human memory. I wish I had time to read them all. Or even a few of them. I love psych- the human mind is so fascinating.

What really brought up the subject of memory though, was the fact that I walked into my first elementary school for the first time in 13 years this morning. The reason I was there is a long story, let's just say, I was there.

And it was WEIRD.

Because I walk in, and the office is in the same place but the woman sitting behind the desk is about 30 years younger than the woman I remember sitting behind the desk. The funny thing about memory is that I can still SEE that older woman sitting there.

Just like I can see the gym where we'd play the parachute game, even though the doors are closed.

And I know the cafeteria is at the other end of the hall, and that's where the Spoonie Club met at lunch with our dressed up like people plastic utensils.

And finally, especially, the library, which is now called the "Media Center" (it always had a computer lab. It wasn't always the focus. The story corner used to be the place to be- the closer to the front of the semi-circle, the better). Mrs. Rees has been retired for at least ten years, but I could picture her perfectly sitting behind the desk, playing Cat's Cradle with me while I waited for my mom to pick me up, or recruiting me to help with Inventory because it's so much easier for a left-handed person to do.
I loved Inventory time. These are the roots of my book dorkiness.

What's immortalized in your memory?

Monday, October 18, 2010


Why is it that the only way I can feel like I'm accomplishing anything is to make lists and physically cross things off? It's weird. Just finishing things isn't enough. Apparently I'm a very visual person. Which, I knew, but I rarely contemplate the full extent of my visual-ness.

So are you ready for this? This post will be the list of the lists that I need to make (whoa, list-mania!)

I need to make a list of:

-things that I need to do in the next two weeks
-crochet projects that need to be accomplished before Christmas
-non-handmade Christmas presents
-things that need to be done before I go to Philly (this is a possible list. This list will probably be reflected on all the other lists)
-things that I need to bring with me to Philly.

zomg. Can I just admit, to you three that read this (and two of you I already have) ... I'm freaking. out. about all the things that I need to do before this move.
Don't misunderstand. I am SO looking forward to it. I'm just overwhelmed and....I hate change. So it's extra overwhelming for me because it scares me.

All right- I'm getting up off the leather couch now.
Off to making lists!

Friday, October 15, 2010

I Love New York

Really, I do.
Perhaps not all of it, all the time, because we get things like snow and snow and...snow, but the city I adore unconditionally.

I found this article in the New York Times today, and maybe it's the rain, or the weird mood that I was in, but I just think it's absolutely beautiful. Especially the last line.

You will never need a me to be you. You are yourself, always.

Love it. It really touched a nerve, and I feel like that's one of the things that makes the city so special. It just IS New York, and when you're there you can be anything, and you can always be yourself.

Other things that I love about the city-

The energy: I have never felt anything like the energy of New York. It's the ten languages you can hear on a block, it's the constant light and hum of activity, it's the rhythm of the horns and screeching around corners and the yelling. Ever seen the movie Tap? The city has a rhythm.

The abundance of things to do: Upstate, there are about three options. Dinner, dinner and movie, movie. There is also a definite lack of places to eat. You can have fried, Italian, or fried Italian.

The anonymity: This is something that really bugs me about living upstate. It's too small. I mean, I wouldn't mind being a successful enough writer that people know my name. That's cool. But when my neighbors are like "you left for work early today, where'd you go?" That's too damn small. I do not like people all up in my business.
Therefore, I think it's incredibly refreshing to walk down the street and nobody even looks at you. People say New Yorkers are unfriendly. I think we're just honest. 95% of the time, I DON'T give a shit what's happening in your life, why should I pretend like I do?
I'm also kind of a misanthrope. I'm a huge fan of Johnathan Swift's philosophy. I can't seem to find the exact quote but the sentiment is that the individual, he likes, but man as a race, he can't stand. Which is pretty much how I feel. If you're in that small group of people that I care about, then I care, and if you're not, I don't.

And the city has Broadway, because I'm a theater dork as well. Nobody doesn't love Sondheim!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Resolution 540

I don't think I've ever kept a New Year's Resolution. I'm aware that it's not January (and I'm torn between wanting very badly for it to be January, and not wanting it, because of the million things that I have to do between now and then) but, I'm going to attempt a resolution anyway. I ran a mile today, and felt pretty good after a did it, so I'm going to try to remember that good feeling in order to inspire me to run a mile every couple of days. Or, as often as I can. I know that I won't have time every day.

Which brings me to the List of Things I Would Like to Accomplish Today.
I'm posting it here, so the three of you that read this can ask me later how many things I accomplished today, and the idea is that I will do enough to not be embarrassed when you ask.

-finish The Virgin Suicides
-come up with a topic, if not start writing the paper for White Oleander/Virgin Suicides
-Read crappy 16th century poetry for Brit Lit
-order the next two YA books from the library
-assemble Eveline's blanket
-be crafty
-go to Open House at the elm school
-find some Jung essays on archetypes/shadows and start thinking about the Holmes paper that I hope to complete half of this weekend

I think that's a good list. I have all day at work tomorrow to work on the next list.
And now, I'm off to begin.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Where's mah [50 things] bukkit [list]??

As per Lizzie's instructions. 50 things I'd like to do before I die.

1. Own a house in Italy
2. See the world
3. Sell a few books
4. Open a writer's retreat in the Hartwick school (and possible branches in all the other schools that stand empty in this area)
5. Run my publishing company out of above school.
6. Take over Purple Mountain Press when Wray retires and make in an imprint.
7. Open a Montessori school in the Kellogg building.
8. Stay happy.
9. Read all the books I own
10. Read all the books on my enormous list
11. Sell a screenplay
12. Act in a movie
13. redecorate a whole house
14. Graduate with my Master's from the oldest school in the country
15. Learn to play guitar
16. Become more proficient at cello
17. Learn as many languages as I can
18. have a German Shepherd
19. rent a house on Fire Island for a summer vacation
20. Go treasure hunting
21. Go cliff jumping
22. Take fencing lessons
23. Take dance classes
24. Continue with Karate to become a black belt
25. Get published in Glimmertrain
26. get the heck out of Bing
27. Successfully grow tomatoes
28. keep blogging
29. try something sushi-wise that really grosses me out
30. Take my mom to the Oscars
31. donate to Breast Cancer research
32. go surfing
33. go hang gliding
34. take another death defying hike around St. Thomas
35. visit most, if not all, the national parks
36. road trip around the U.S
37. pet a Big Cat- no preference which kind
38. throw a kick ass Halloween party
39. come up with a new, awesome costume every year
40. win NaNo again
41. Make something publishable of a NaNo novel
42. teach a class on Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome
43. Go to the top of the Empire State Building
44. grow roses
45. have a sailboat
46. keep journals to other people
47. train a cat to use the toilet
48. open my chain of bookswap stores with Ashley
49. sell mine and Ashley's co-authored top secret project so we can be millionaires and work on what we really want to do
50. participate in a dig somewhere (Egypt would be cool, as would Mexico)

Some of these are similar....50 things is hard when you're thinking about it. If I wasn't thinking about it, I could come up with 50,000 things I want to do.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Artsy Fartsy

So I was absent because I had a wonderful weekend with my wonderful boyfriend. We did artsy fartsy things in Philly.

Art Museum- pretty cool. We did NOT participate in the touristy taking of Rocky pictures at the top of the stairs. We DID giggle at other people doing that. We also giggled our way through the museum with all the other stuffy people, entertaining ourselves by captioning pictures. It's quite fun. People have the tendency, I think, to take this stuff WAY too seriously. Just because it's in a museum does not mean that it isn't rubbish or that European people hundreds of years ago didn't look like trolls.

Untangle that mass of negatives.

It's a good museum, overall. I was very disappointed that there was only one Chagall in the whole place and that it wasn't even one that I particularly liked.

Second, we went to see a production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest that was sooooo well done! This little theater is fantastic!! They have a really, really solid company (we've seen two things there now, and both were great) and they have a great student discount.

And that was my weekend. Reading Terminal Market was a zoo, as always. The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing and not doing much of anything, which was pretty glorious.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I missed a blog yesterday. Depending on what I get done today, you might get two. But don't get your hopes up. I've been tagged in a 50 things bucket list, so look for that in the next few days.

Today though, as Google brought to my attention (thank you, Almighty Google) John Lennon would have been 70.

Your task for the day: Practice Peace. And believe in your imagination.

Here's some Lennon quotes to inspire you.

I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?

I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It's just that the translations have gone wrong.

If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace.

And finally, even though I'm sure you all know them, here are the lyrics to Imagine, which is one of my all time favorite Lennon songs.

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

All You Need is Love (Everybody!)

I could talk about Glee, which I'm sure I will at some point.
I could talk about afghans, which I probably will at some point.

But both those things require too much effort.

So my blog for today is simply this:

Tell someone you love them.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Practically Perfect

Today, let's talk about perfection.

Why? Because I screwed up a pair of earrings, and was inspired. Also, I had no other ideas for today's blog. I feel like I should blog every day until I get in the habit of doing it, and then I can cut back to two or three times a week, or less, if I have nothing to say. So bear with me for the first few weeks of this when it seems like I have nothing to talk about. It's probably because I don't.

Back to perfection.
It's defined, by because I'm too lazy to go get the Webster from the next room as:

a quality, trait, or feature of the highest degree of excellence.

Now we all know that nobody's perfect, not even Mary Poppins. So why do we strive to be?
It would be horrendously boring to be perfect, wouldn't it? There would be no funny mistakes like typos or Spoonerisms (which, I'm told, were named after a Professor Spooner of Oxford who did that ALL the time).
And also, there would be no reason to do anything, because you'd already be able to do it (let's say play the guitar for the sake of example) the best you ever could. I wouldn't know what to do with my time if I wasn't trying new patterns or doing homework to learn new things. It'd be awful.

Because I am a book dork I have to bring this around to literature as well. I'm just gonna come out and say it, so sit down if you have to:

Beowulf is boring.

Why? Because he's too perfect a character.
þæt wæs god cyning!
That's basically the story in that one repeated line.
He was a good king.

*le snore*'s um...lesson? In conclusion.
Don't try to be perfect. You won't succeed, and you'll be uninteresting if you do.
and Beowulf was a good king. You may now advance to the next section of Brit Lit.

Monday, October 4, 2010

October = Halloween Amigurumi

That's it for today, really. In my quest for something to talk about in addition to the pictures, I consulted my preferred periodical, and found nothing that I really wanted to elaborate on.

Can I just ask: these Tea Party meetings? Do you have to bring your own teabag?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mmmm, Fiber!

I was just gifted a shit-ton of yarn. Really, that is the best quantity that I can come up with. It's much. I'm in heaven.

So I'm trying to find the perfect amigurumi pattern to start with. Yes, I guess I started with the Frog King, but I'm a little bit addicted to them, even though they're completely useless. Look for them on my Etsy in the future, because I'm not going to want to clutter up my house with them. I do have to share though- the best place to get amigurumi patterns are Ravelry and this blog. It's soooo great! Ravelry you have to join to see anything though- do it; it's free!

Also, I was supposed to talk about two more banned books for the last day of Banned Book Week, but Friday was a busy day- lots of flooding going on here, and then a dress rehearsal for the reading of play that I did on Saturday.

Very quickly, before I commence crocheting-

A Wrinkle in Time- Madeleine L'Engel

I love this book. And all the others in the quintet. Just read them.

Another book that I love love love is Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. She's great- she hasn't written anything that I've read that I've hated. Or ever disliked. She's just a really good writer, so read that one too.

I could go on and on and on about banned books, and books in general but you've all got the linkage to the other blog where I do that, so I'll try to talk about other things for awhile on here. Be prepared for much discussion of yarn.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hey, Boo.

On today's episode of "Books You Should Read"

The Color Purple - Alice Walker

Celie's dialect is a challenge, at times. But don't let that stop you from reading this book. I can honestly say that I got more insight into spirituality, religion and the enormous differences between them from this book than something designed to be "inspirational" like The Shack. Alice Walker is a fantastic writer, and she made me think about things that I had never considered before, that make absolute, perfect sense. For example: Jesus was black. That had never occurred to me because we are so bombarded by this ridiculous image of Jesus the Surfer Dude. But of course, this white man with flowing brown locks out of a shampoo commercial is completely inaccurate. This book really made me think hard about spirituality, and I think I could deal with that. It's religion that I think the world could do without.

To Kill and Mockingbird- Harper Lee

I LOVE this book. I read it in 8th grade and loved it, and I just recently read it again, and got SO MUCH more out of it. It's one of the best books ever written, hands down. It's a heartbreakingly beautiful portrait of the injustice of racial prejudice and prejudice in general- how we fear that which we don't understand- in the pre-Civil Rights time period. And it's told through the eyes of the totally innocent, which just makes it that much more profound.
If you don't read any other the books I'm suggesting, read this one.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode, in which we'll talk banned children's lit.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Banned Books Part Two

Today I'm going to give you a couple of short reviews of banned books because I'm suddenly very tired, and I need to catch that wave of tired now or I will be up all night.

1) Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging - Louise Rennison
I started with this book, the first in the series, when I was probably fifteen. Yes, they're YA. As a general rule, I don't like YA unless it does something radically different to the genre, because in my opinion every YA book ever written (except the small handful of good ones) is exactly the same. Boooooring.
These have the BEST narrator ever, and the fact that they are British is another stack of brownie points for them- funny as hell. read them, for serious. You will laugh. I just recently bought the seventh book in the series and laughed my butt off.

2) Slaughterhouse-Five- Kurt Vonnegut
I had to read this last semester for a Lit of War war book, ever. Read it. In fact, read as much Vonnegut as you can get your hands on, the man was a crazy genius and also funny as hell. I HIGHLY recommend God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian.

Finally, there are several Toni Morrison books on that list, and I'm not going to talk about them individually, I'm just going to tell you to read Toni Morrison. She is absolutely brilliant. Brilliant.

Go forth and read.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wilson! Wiiiillsooooonnn!

I promise this blog will not be about how you should watch Castaway. You shouldn't; it's mad boring.

You ought to, however, read the first in my Banned Book Series: coming in at number 8 on the American Library Association's list of the top 100 Banned Classics of the 20th Century...

William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

This is the most recent banned book that I've read, and one that I always said "Oh, I should read that."
Finally did. And now I'm saying YOU should read that.

I must have really thought that it was going to be like Castaway, and that's why I never got around to it until now. I figured it was something that I would like better if I was a boy, because there's not a single female character in the whole thing...unless you count the Sow, and she didn't really come to a great end.

Ultimately, I was very pleasantly surprised. The book was incredibly engaging, and Golding writes in a very reader-friendly style, which is not something that can be said of all contemporary classics.
The most interesting part of it is, of course, how very quickly a group of "civilized" human beings, can return to their savage roots. We're not so very different from those apes that we evolved from, and this book does a beautiful job of showing that.

MUCH better than Castaway. Much better than Survivor.
So, read the book. I'm not going to give you plot summary, that would ruin it. Find yourself a copy and find out what happens to a group of boys stranded on an island who give in to their true animal nature.

Believe me, it's not pretty.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I Don't Wanna Work

...I want to play with my yarn all day.

In the interest of getting more than six hours of sleep before I sit in class all day tomorrow, this post will be short.

I finished a new project today! My first pair of crocheted earrings- obviously the actual piece that hangs from your ear wasn't crocheted, that would be kind of yucky. But the flower that's attached is. Check out the picture to the left- that's them.

This is also the motif that I'm going to use for my next commissioned project- a tablecloth! Woot! It's something that I've never done before; I hope it comes out all right.

One last small rant before I sign off for today. Why is it apparently impossible for a pharmacy to fill a prescription as it's written? Something has to go wrong with the generic brand in order for them to give you the stuff that was prescribed for you in the first place. I'm not going to go into the whole story again, but doesn't that seem silly? Or is it just me? Right. It's silly.

Coming up! This week is banned book week! I hope, for the rest of the week to blog about a different banned book each day, and bombard you with reasons why you should read banned books or, well, any books really.

But that will have to wait until tomorrow as I need to sleep now.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Very Good Place to Start the beginning, yes? Well, Julie Andrews said so, so it must be true.

I already have a blog. I'll add some linkage to that if I can figure out how. It's a blog devoted to my primary passion- books. Books are basically what I want to do with my life. I want to write them, I want to edit them, I want to create them. Actual, physical books. None of that e-book nonsense, but that is another story, and really, the point of that other blog. Also, reviews, of the books that I read.

This blog, because I've been inspired to blog by a friend's blog is a blog for everyday blogging. (Yes, by the end of that ridiculous sentence I was trying to use the b-word as many times as possible). As the sub-title states, it is viewpoints from the land of books and yarn. Which, I'm sure you've guessed, is my land. I've already established the book thing- I'm also addicted to crocheting.

For example! My latest project is an amigurumi Frog King. This is my first attempt at amigurumi, and also my first attempt at adding a picture, so we'll see how this goes.
Oh, look! It worked! That's him, up there. The pattern can be found on the Michael's website, although it may be under the title of "Frog Prince." Which is inaccurate. In the original German story, he was a Frog King.

And now, for the drumroll...when I click the "publish" button and see if I've actually managed to make this work. The next task will be managing to write regularly, which is the long term goal. I've always thought that it would be fun to write a column for a newspaper, but then I realized that it would probably be incredibly hard. Anyway, wish me luck and we'll see how long I can keep this up.