Sunday, February 27, 2011

Author Talk

Pato and I went downtown on Friday to hear T.C.Boyle talk. I happen to think his book The Tortilla Curtain is an American masterpiece. I also liked Riven Rock. I bought The Women to have it signed along with my curly copy* of The Tortilla Curtain. (He liked the fact Tortilla Curtain was curly). Boyle not only spoke, he also read a short story that was fantastic. I do believe his was the best author talk I've ever been to.

I'm sure Girl-child will appreciate his footwear:
We also saw the most ridiculous pair of pants, ever, while walking downtown:

*Many years ago, I loaned The Tortilla Curtain to a coworker. She was originally from Los Angeles and I told her she absolutely had to read the book. When she returned it to me it was a brand new copy so I asked her what happened? She confessed she'd dropped my book in the tub while reading. While it was drying she checked a copy out of the library because she couldn't wait to continue reading. Then she decided the original copy was too curly to return to me so she bought a new copy. Meanwhile, she was late returning the library book and had to pay fines. I felt terrible it'd cost her so much to read the book so I asked her, "Did you like it?"

She didn't. I think the ending kind of did her in.

When I retired from The Evil Airline That No Longer Exists, she gave me the tub copy along with Green With Envy bath confetti. Classy, don't you think?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Doing Good for a Do-Gooder

The Kat has done good by nominating a winner of the "Making a Difference" award with WCCO:

The full article is available here.

I'm afraid I am too busy making hats for Boy-child, his friends, and his friends' friends for me to participate. I'm also not sure I am big enough to give a hat to Michelle Bachmann.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Celebrity Crush

I was going to protest when my children referred to my obsession with Cee Lo Green's song as a celebrity crush, but I decided to give in to it.

I bought the album.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Knitting and Musing

You've probably heard that the bookstore where I worked for the holidays has filed for bankruptcy; they're closing 1/3 of their stores. Sad, sad, sad. Boy-child pointed out that I sure do know how to pick 'em when it comes to working for business that go under or are bought out by others.

Sadness did not stop us, however, from going to find a few deals before the two stores closest to us are gone. While standing in line waiting to make my purchases, I saw this treasure, which made me giggle:
I don't get the whole zombie thing, but the thought of a zombie private eye struck me as delightfully ridiculous. I did not, however, find it clever enough to purchase the book, even on sale.

On the home front, Girl-child is turning into quite the knitter. This octopus was made from leftover sock yarn. I thought the striping turned out really cool:
She also cast on her first pair of socks recently. I'm curious to see if she likes making socks.

Speaking of socks, I have had none on the needles for quite a while, so I cast on a pair on Friday at Knit Night:
They are for a friend's September birthday - I'm on top of it this year. Yarn: Claudia's Handpaints in limeade. The yarn is deliciously sproingy and soft.

I also have a sweater started which is looking like a blob (so far so good):
Yarn: Inca Marl from stash. I purchased it on sale ages ago and then was terrified of sweaters for a long time. It's a super-soft alpaca. I'm using a raglan pattern from Knitting Pure and Simple.

And this hat was finished ages ago. Mary Lou Eagan's Knotted Cables Hat in Malabrigo Twist, color: Ravelry Red:
It's a great pattern and I love the crown:

Made for the girlfriend of a friend of Boy-child, who seems to be taking orders for knitted things to pass around amongst his friends and aquaintances. I told him I'm going to start charging. He maybe thought I was joking, but I think I was not.

Monday, February 14, 2011

What I've Been Up To

I've been fairly obsessed with the Palisander, which I finished last night. It's currently drying (I'm hoping it will be dry by the time it cools down on Friday:

Before I start a new knitting project I'm trying to finish a hat and booties - the same as what I made for Blinker - in time for a baby shower at work the 28th of this month.

I finished two books, Mountain of Crumbs and The Blind Contessa's New Machine. I loved, loved, loved Mountain of Crumbs. It's a memoir of a woman born in the Soviet Union in 1955. Since I was born here in 1960 I found her perspective fascinating; it was a glimpse of what was going on for a girl/young woman on the other side of the Cold War. It is a very well written glimpse into a world I knew nothing of, but speculated on a lot (I also studied the Russian language briefly in high school). The Blind Contessa's New Machine was good, but I'm not sure if I liked the ending.

I saw a very good movie, Bomber. It was a Little Miss Sunshine type of a road trip, except it was a British couple and their adult son going to Germany. There was also a short on the same disc, Edgar which was great.

Since I am once again a Lady of Leisure - the bookstore is not only done with Christmas sales, but perhaps headed toward bankruptcy - I've started volunteering. The new "job" is sorting books at ARC's Value Village in Richfield. I figure since I used to work with books and volunteer as a tutor I would, now that I'm teaching, volunteer with books. It is very enjoyable. This morning there was a lot of folks talking about the Grammys.

Boy-child recently brought up the Chicago Boys which reminded me that we sat with a Chicago Boy at a wedding reception some years ago. Phone calls were made and he's hoping to be able to make contact with said "boy" (who was born and raised in Ireland, became a Chicago Boy and thus spent time in Chile. Funny how that works).

And for fun photos I have these two shots from the 46th street station. This is across Hiawatha, at a fountain place. Note that the water is still spilling out of the top of the ice. At night it is lit up different colors.
And what's not to love with this sticker, which someone put on the heat button box at the station.
What's new with you?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Souvenirs and a Hangout

Fibre Space was my main destination on Groundhog Day.
I found something delicious. The color is, as always, very difficult to capture. We'll just say it's neutral.
I also found this book at Books-a-Million. I wouldn't call myself an armchair traveler, but I am an armchair adventure traveler. For me, the Holiday Inn is roughing it. I'm sure I'll enjoy this very much:

I've also started walking the Mall of America a few times a week. I'm a lady of leisure again, and since I'm not taking the bus it seemed a good idea to walk a bit. Of course, when I'm done I have a seat and get a little knitting done.
It's a regular tropical paradise.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Where to Spend Groundhog Day

Well, the original forecast for my preferred destination was for an ice storm on Wednesday, but then they changed their minds.
It looked as though the mega-storm that went south of St Paul was going to hit Chicago and Maine, so I was safe to go East.

I had LA as a backup, but let's face it, LA has really bad public transportation and I had this yarn shop and book store on my mind so I didn't really want to go to LA.
At least not this week.

The East Coast can be so charming. And they have public transportation that's easy to use.

So I went to Alexandria and then up to Dupont Circle.

The last time I was in Dupont Circle was when Pato and I were in DC and he was being crippled by the walking so we bought him a very fancy, very expensive pair of shoes.

I had a little extra time so I went down to the mall and popped in to the American History Museum, a.k.a. America's Attic, which is where I saw Julia Child's kitchen and some very cool old currency.
Tomorrow I'll try to post the yarn and book acquisitions.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Groundhog Day

Off I went for a little getaway yesterday. The weather tried to foil me but I threw caution to the wind and went to the airport.
Sometimes a little trip can be like a light at the end of the tunnel. This winter has been a long tunnel.
These people should take down the wreaths. It's pretty, but it's February.

I like old houses.
And grandiose architectural accoutrement

But then it's back to the tunnel.
At least maybe it can be an interesting tunnel. It was forty to fifty degrees warmer than St. Paul and sunny. I visited a new yarn shop and a book shop that was recommended to me. I saw a museum exhibit on Julia Child's kitchen and one on money.