Friday, April 29, 2011

Pattern Love

Mostly, I just want to share with you how in love I am with this scarf I'm making.

The pattern is called Athenian, I think, and I'm working with Noro.

Love, love, LOVE IT!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

POST 100!

Whoa. It's the day for 100.

I made it to my 100th page for scriptfrenzy today as well. Win!

And I finished a book, the subject of today's post.

Girl With a Pearl Earring- Tracy Chevalier

This book came up several months ago at book club, so when I saw it on the sale table at the Book Corner, I bought it. Because it was a dollar. Even if it sucked, I wouldn't care.

It didn't suck. It wasn't fantastic, but it was good summery fluff, which I needed, because I was tired. Vonnegut was just too intense to read while it's been so hot.

Anyway, Girl With a Pearl Earring is the fictional story behind the Johannes Vermeer painting of the same name. Griet is a pretty teenage girl who goes to work as his maid because her father the tile painter had an accident and can no longer support the family. Once there, she unintentionally causes all kinds of trouble, mostly because of the sexual tension between her and Vermeer. Also, his wife and children are kind of crazy.

Throw in a lecherous patron (aren't they all?), the butcher's handsome son, and the black death and you've got an engaging story. One of the blurbs on the back says that the author paints a historically accurate portrait of Deleft, but I know nothing about Dutch history, so I can't confirm that for you.

Overall, I enjoyed it. It was a quick, easy read. Great for hot weather. What I liked the best though, was looking at the painting on the cover as I read, and being able to see the finished painting as each layer of it was being added in the story.

Now that it's finally rained...back to Vonnegut :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Finished Socks!

Ohhhh Blogger, you jerk.

I had a whole post about how this was my last pair of baby socks and my favorite pair thus far and how baby socks were good practice for the huge socks that I want to make Ben (but possibly not until we get some cooler weather, which might not be 'til like October because wool and 90 degrees don't mix) and Blogger LOST it.


Not you get a big run on sentence.
Blame the Almighty Google.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Water for Elephants

I've been absent. We went away for the weekend to the Grandma's birthday party (SOOO much fun!) and before that I was frantically trying to finish books and crochet projects that needed to be given to people this weekend.

To catch up:

1) I can finally show you the results of my first attempt at designing a pattern for my mother's birthday, since she now has the present.

2) My grandmother has not read the Odd Thomas books and was excited about them: "Look, Rena!! This will keep us busy for awhile!"

3) Spring has sprung officially in Phila, and there will be no going back *knock on wood*

4) Blogger is being a pain in the arse and not uploading pictures for some reason. (edit: finally got them to work!)

And finally, what you've been waiting for...
5) I finished Water for Elephants on the car ride to the Island.

For those of you who don't know, it's set during the Great Depression, in a traveling circus. Because the story is told as the memories of the main character as a very old man, you have a pretty good idea how it's going to end, from the very beginning. Also, Sara Gruen structures it with Faulkner-esque circumlocution, which I like. It hooks you immediately, and sucks you into what led up to that moment.

However, the fact that it is predictable doesn't matter. Her characters are WONDERFUL- she does such a good job of rounding out even the most minor characters, that you feel like you know them and are invested in what becomes of them.

Also, her writing style is great. I can't even say specifically what I liked about it, because I just got lost in the story. Maybe that's it- she pulls you into this whole other world with a great hook, and keeps you there, suspended in time very much like the old man who may or may not have Alzheimer's, until the end of the story.

Finishing it is like coming out of a very vivid dream.

So, go read it. If you feel the need to watch the movie, watch it first, because Robert Pattison's wooden face is going to KILL it, if you read the book first. I have no interest in seeing the movie now, for that reason. I'm pretty sure RPatz isn't even a real person...he's secretly Pinocchio.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Odd Review

I believe I promised you a review of the last two books in the Odd Thomas series.

I'm lumping them together, because as series generally go, they get worse as they progress. Not going to lie to you, I skimmed the last half of the fourth one.

Brother Odd, the third one, takes place in a monastery where something evil and bony is plotting to kill the orphaned and disabled children that live there. Obviously, Odd, and the mysterious Russian who is too stereotypically threatening to actually be a threat, have to do something about it. Like the first two, it is a very quick and easy read, engaging, but not really meaningful.

The only thing that stands out for me as something that I really liked was the description of the evil bony creature. There isn't a good one. At first, it annoyed me a bit, and then I realized that what he was doing was in fact quite clever. Whatever you imagine it to be based on his very vague descriptions is going to be far scarier for you than any detailed description he could give.
That was well done.

The fourth book, Odd Hours, I never really got into. Koontz's writing style is never fabulously prize worthy, but this one seemed much worse to me than the previous three. Perhaps it's because I read them all so fast, powering through them so I could wrap them up and give them away as I intended to do all along, but I just didn't care about Odd or his misadventures in this one. So I skimmed the last half and read the last few chapters.

It turned out the way I thought it would.

If you don't get around to the last one, I don't think your life will suffer at all because of it. The first three are decent. If you're looking for a fluffy beach read, give them a try.

In other news, I'm going to start Water for Elephants tonight, because it's our book club book this month, and then later I'm going to start a pair of baby socks (not for me).

Tomorrow: dog walking, scriptfrenzying (I'm at 40 pages as of right now) reading, crocheting.
You know, the usual.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week Two

As we enter the second full week of the Frenzy, I present you with some facts as proof that I am still alive.

-My page count as of right now is 35

-that is two pages more than I need to have today to be "on track"

-go me!

-today was a lovely day. tomorrow it's going to be lovely but 80.

-I need to go turn a ripped pair of jeans into cut off shorts

-I got some malabrigo for a hat today. Ashley's going to love it.

-if you need some spring cheer, go here to my etsy

-if that hat isn't your thing, tell your friends, it might be theirs.

Full day of dog walking tomorrow, so I'm going to go crochet and watch a movie now.
Oh, book review of the third and fourth Odd Thomas books when I finish the fourth one. Which should be soon.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dorkiness Reaches a New Level

So remember that murder I'm plotting? (For scriptfrenzy.)
Here's how I went about doing it.

Guinness: Get Away With Murder

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Arrrrrrrrgh, Grad School.

Welcome Back!
To another episode of: "Grad School Agony."

It's the companion show to "What Should I Do With My Life?"

I'm just going to lay out my thought process, and pretend that you care.
While I was doing dishes, I was thinking that I should go a different route than English, such as Comp Lit. If I could Master in Comp Lit while I was down here in Phila, then if I chose to pursue the PhD at some point in the future, like when we return to New York, then I could go back to Bing and do it with my favorite Little Russian Lady, because Comp Lit is technically her field.

However, no one in the area OFFERS just the master's, and I don't want to PhD right now.

I've been vaguely interested in Classics for awhile now, and I'm wondering if I should try for that.

Also- wondering if I should go back and get a couple more Bachelor's, specifically in psychology, or advertising, but likely if I do that it will be both. Do it right, not do the undergrad thing ever again.

Because once was enough, but not enough to get a decent job, apparently.

F- you, economy, f- you.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I so rarely feel productive these days. Perhaps because there is so much less that I HAVE to do, that I don't feel so bad if I don't get to do everything I WANT to do in a day.

Today was an exception.
I did the following things:

went grocery shopping (okay, I didn't want to do that, but it was necessary)
made some amazing blackberry muffins
wrote three pages for scriptfrenzy
finished the second book in the Odd Thomas series (review below) and started the third one

All that's left tonight is the crocheting that I have planned. I'd like to finish the pink set of mitts and headband that I'm making as an addition to my mom's now very late birthday present, because I have extra pink and I don't wear pink. After that I'd like to start the hat of the month, which will probably go up on etsy, because all I have handy to work with is yellow, and I don't wear yellow either. It will be a great stashbusting day if I can get all this accomplished.

And now, as promised, a review. And a picture of muffins (not THAT kind!)
FOREVER ODD by Dean Koontz

Like the first in the series, this one flew by, possibly because it's shorter, but most likely because Koontz writes horror, and even though this is, like the first one, less horror and more mystery it is still paced like horror. Thus, it flies.
Again, it's fluff. Pure and simple fluff, which also allows you to breeze through it, because the only really developed character is Odd. There is no need to analyze; it is only there to entertain.
However, (now that I've said that I'm going to go and contradict myself) I'm starting to notice the slight religious undertones of Odd's "I see dead people" life. Odd is a Catholic, though not necessarily a practicing one, but he certainly believes in Hell and Heaven. This was something that I didn't pay much attention to in the first book, but in this one, Odd talks more to the dead, and convinces them to move on to that other place, whether it is Heaven (something he never labels it) or another life (something else he never directly says). It very subtly pushes you in the direction that there is something greater than this life in store for us, but, thankfully, doesn't force it on you.
I wouldn't be nearly as entertained by these books if it was, but because there is no forcing of faith on the reader, I am very much entertained by these books. The plot is engaging, suspenseful and easy to read. Odd is a likeable and reliable narrator; you care about what happens to him.

Overall- 3 stars. They're perfectly average, fun, fluffy beach books. I recommend them, as we approach (we hope) warm weather and lazy afternoons.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Murder Most Foul

Remember how terrible I am at plotting murder mysteries?

Right, so why exactly am I writing one for scriptfrenzy this year? It's day two, I'm ten pages in, and I haven't even thought about clues and things. I know who gets killed, whodunit, and why, but I have NO IDEA how the detective goes about solving said murder.

I also know the moral decision that she's going to have to make at the end, but I haven't yet figured out what she'll choose to do.

This blog post is kind of pointless. It's mostly about how I don't know much of anything about my script. But that's the beauty of Scriptfrenzy, isn't it?

You don't need to. It can go anywhere, and be anything, and it won't be publishable or watchable, but it's a starting point.

I'll figure it out; I usually do. And now, I might start a hat for the hat of the month group that I joined on ravelry, because I'm ahead of my page count.

I'll leave you with some random parting advice from GaGa herself:

Don't be a drag, just be a queen.