Monday, April 28, 2008

And she reads, too!

When I started knitting, my reading was sharply curtailed. I'm not one of those folks who can read and knit at the same time. Maybe if I had four hands...

However, since my knitting mojo is taking a bit of a holiday, I've been reading a couple of classics from our friends across the pond.

1. The Canterbury Tales, unexpurgated, by Geoffrey Chaucer (translated by David Wright). I knew they were supposed to have their racy bits, but I almost dropped my tea the first time I saw the C word. I mean, this was in the 1300s. On the other hand, this was the 1300s, not that far removed from England's Anglo Saxon past. Now, every time I go to a book store, I check out the passage I just read to see how different translators handled it.

2. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming. I've been telling the Pikers for months that we need to commemorate Fleming's centenary in May, and since I've never read any of the books, I thought I should check out the source documents. I'll probably end up writing something for the Piker Press about this experience, but suffice it to say, the Hollywood James Bond is considerably different from the Bond of the books, in ways that surprise me, and ways that don't. They are also quick reads. They look to be about 50,000 words - same as a standard Harlequin romance, or a NaNoWriMo novel.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Kitty in the sunshine

Katie came to live with us five years ago today. She celebrated by finding a sunny spot, and reveling in it. I would have taken a video, but her idea of reveling is "lying down and blinking occasionally." And she does it quite well.

As I've mentioned in previous Aprils, we went to the Animal Rescue League that day so April 26 would be something to me other than the day we lost this dear man:

I took this picture of my parents in 1982. I was newly single and visiting friends in New England during leaf peeping season. They were visiting my cousin in Boston. I joined up with them there, and we drove back home together.

Six years on, I'm beginning to think I will never outgrow my need to ask my dad what to do when the car makes a funny noise, or to show my mom something I made with my own two hands. They managed to join one listserv and get an AOL Instant Messenger account, but they missed out on blogging. They would have loved it. Even now, I think my blog is largely stuff they would have enjoyed reading and seeing from my life.

Like this, for example. The weather is warming up and things are greening up nicely, including the lawn. I mowed last week, and as I was checking on the progress of the flowers, I saw this travesty in the day lilies.

The part on the right is fine, but something had a nice lunch on the left side. I suspect it was a deer, since this is a far afield from Chuckie's usual range, but it's hard to say. It doesn't seem to have hurt the plant. It's still growing, just with flattened-off tops.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Gah, knitting!

I've been wondering why I'm not making any progress on any of my knitting, so today I pulled everything out of the knitting bags and conducted an inventory. I have in progress:

6 socks
3 scarves
3 shawls
1 hat
1 bag
1 sweater

That's fifteen projects, people! Fifteen! Sheesh, how mortifying. There are some people, you know, who are project monogamous, only working on one project at a time, or maybe one big project and something like socks for mindless knitting.

So here's the plan for clearing up some of the backlog:

1) The hat will be quick to finish, so finish it first.

2) One of the socks has barely been started, and is not a special pattern, so rip it out.

3) One of the scarves is a pattern that is not showing the yarn to good advantage. Rip it out and find a better pattern for the yarn.

4) Two socks are right at the heel turn. Turn the heel and get them back to the easy part.

I'm off to the frog pond, and then outside to do some yard work. The sun finally came out, and I think the lawn needs more mowing that Chuckie is able to give it by himself.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Poem In My Other Pocket

Yesterday, I shared a poem that was brief and charming (and hott, as Sand noted in the comments.)

However, the poem I shared in my Piker Press article, linked yesterday, is one I have known longer and felt more deeply. I first read it when I was in college, on a greeting card, of all things. My life to that point had been mostly tragedy-free, but I understood that all of the trials mentioned in the poem would probably happen to me, and happen over and over, and that I could get through them with the help of friends.

Sadly, these words came to mind today when I heard of the sudden, unexplained death of a friend, and when I talked to other people who remembered her.

Sonnet XXX
William Shakespeare

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear times' waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unus'd to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restor'd and sorrows end.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Poem In My Pocket

In the US, April is National Poetry Month. This year's program to bring poetry to the masses is Poem In Your Pocket Day on April 17 (today!). I challenged folks at The Piker Press to share a poem with someone today, so I'd better come through with one myself. This one is small enough to write on the back of a business card, short enough to memorize in one sitting, and irresistibly romantic.

A Drinking Song
William Butler Yeats

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Last Friday, when we were knitting at the bookstore, Amy found that "More Big Girl Knits" was in stock. We all thumbed through it, and everyone immediately fell in love with the cabled cardigan hoodie. However, since Amy found the book, she had rights of first refusal - and she did not refuse.

So yesterday, I was pouting and stalking the book online, and found a contest on Cassknits blog that was giving away a copy. Hot dang! Full disclosure: You get more entries if you blog about the drawing. So here 'tis.

I'm shameless, but I want that sweater!