Category Archives: Viewing

More evidence of that sink kitty thing

Damn, I didn’t realize that Friday was Singles’ Awareness Day. For a good read on the subject of singleness, check out “Exploring Relationships with the Single Weirdo” over at lifehack.org.

The new issue of Yarnival, as edited by Miss T, is now available!

Reading Update
The Three Incestuous Sisters and The Adventuress by Audrey Niffenegger. If you’re looking for something in the vein of Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, you won’t find it in these visual “novels.” Niffenegger writes that when she tries to explain The Three Incestuous Sisters, she tells people “to imagine a silent film made from Japanese prints, a melodrama of sibling rivalry, a silent opera that features women with very long hair and a flying green boy.” Of the second non-visual novel she’s working on, the biographical blurb in the back of The Adventuress notes that “she’s a very slow writer, easily distracted by her cats and the lure of libraries and airplanes.”
Howling Moon: A Tale of the Sazi by C. T. Adams and Cathy Clamp. I started out getting very involved in this tale of a werejaguar and a pack of werewolves, but I think the story was drawn out too much for the amount of story there was to tell.
Relative Magic by Tanya Huff. I admit to not reading all of the stories in this collection of Tanya Huff’s short fiction. Frankly, her “high fantasy” works don’t interest me (no one’s “high fantasy” or “sword & sorcery” seems to interest me anymore – I’m all about contemporary fantasy now), so I stuck to the more contemporary tales.

Viewing Update
Into the Wild. I own the Eddie Vedder soundtrack, so when a friend I haven’t seen in a while suggested catching the film at the Riverview Theater ($3.00) Friday night (after catching up over a glass of hard cider at the Riverview Cafe and Wine Bar), I decided I should do so. The movie is gorgeous, the story thought-provoking and ultimately, to me, very tragic.

Mayhem Update
Can you see the cat in this picture? (Um, yeah, I might have a few books and cds…)

Need some help?

This time, she’s lying on about 10 pairs of wet wool socks…

In which Mayhem is revealed to be a sink kitty, part 1

Deb’s celebrating her second blogiversary with a contest! Leave her a comment by February 15 and you could win some goodies – she promises it won’t be anything that’s been in the secret kitty lair.

Kmkat has a photo that sums up the weekend experience in our part of the Upper Midwest. Is it any wonder that I stayed in and hibernated yesterday?!

Remember my experiment with responding to comments in the comments, triggered by Chappysmom’s post? One of the authors of the article that inspired Chappysmom has written about his experience participating in our conversations.

Over the weekend, I had a lot of trouble with the email address that my comments are sent to – no idea if things will be better today. I will respond to comment emails when they arrive… whenever that may be. Don’t worry if it isn’t in as timely a fashion as usual. Thanks!

Reading Update
The Royal Treatment, The Royal Pain, and The Royal Mess by Mary Janice Davidson. The premise is that the US never purchased Alaska; instead, it’s an independent monarchy. The result is more trashy fun from Minneapolis author Davidson.
The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby. (“A hilarious and true account of one man’s struggle with the monthly tide of the books he’s bought and the books he’s been meaning to read.”) This line from one of Hornby’s essays about his reading really summarizes an important aspect of my own reading: “A couple of months ago, I became depressed by the realization that I’d forgotten pretty much everything I’ve ever read. I have, however, bounced back: I am now cheered by the realization that if I’ve forgotten everything I’ve ever read, then I can read some of my favorite books again as if for the first time.” Exactly my strategy!
Songbook by Nick Hornby (with included 11-song cd). The short essays in this book all revolve around songs that have been important to Hornby, ranging from Led Zeppelin to Rufus Wainwright.

Viewing Update
24-Hour Party People. This film is about the Manchester music scene from the mid-1970s through the late 1990s, focusing on Tony Wilson and Factory Records and featuring Joy Division/New Order, the Happy Mondays, and more.


“What? Lots of kitties like to hang out in sinks.” -Mayhem

“The wet sweater that I found draining in here just makes the sink extra comfy!” -Mayhem

“…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…” -Mayhem

In which I ‘fess up to not spending all of Sunday in my PJs

Sarah-Hope is celebrating her blogiversary by holding the First Annual What If Knits Save-the-Cats (and Other Animals) Blogiversary Raffle – by donating to any one of an assortment of animal rescue organizations by February 14, you’ll be entered in a prize raffle. First prize is a gorgeous Swallowtail Shawl!

Reading Update
My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon edited by P.N. Elrod. I didn’t enjoy this collection as much as My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding, but there is nice Harry Dresden story by Jim Butcher.
Long Hot Summoning (The Keeper’s Chronicles #3) by Tanya Huff. Much better than the second book, plus it has a completely fabulous fifth line on page 161.
The Book of Old Houses by Sarah Graves. The latest in the Home Repair is Homicide series, this book continues a thread started in the previous book (Trap Door). I’ve loved the rest of the series, but the last two books have only been “meh.”

Viewing Update
Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. Whoa. Talk about breakneck speed – if you haven’t read/listened to the books, you won’t have any clue what’s going on!
Grosse Pointe Blank. Black comedy starring John Cusack as hitman Marty Blank, back in town for his high school reunion. I can’t believe I don’t already own the soundtrack for this one.
High Fidelity. What can I say? I was in a John Cusack mood this weekend. πŸ™‚ Another good soundtrack, although very different than that of Grosse Pointe Blank.


‘Tis true, ’tis true… although I spent all day Saturday in my PJs, I actually got dressed and left the house on Super International Pajama Day! What can I say? It was sunny and warmer than it’s been and I just needed to get out and go for a walk. I did get back into PJs as soon as I got home.

“For shame, Mom! I spent all day in my pajamas. What, you’ve never heard of the cat’s pajamas?” – Mayhem

Twitterpated Tuesday

Cheryl’s decided to plan out her gift knitting for the year in order to both use stash yarn and not drive herself crazy with deadline knitting, so she’s starting Project Sanity. She’s looking for a cool button for Project Sanity – if you create one and email it to her by midnight EST, January 25, your button could win you a yarny prize.

Hey, things weren’t so bad for Chaos in his bib yesterday – Jeanne’s cats got stuck wearing preemie hats… (Hmm, come to think of it, it was Jeanne’s inspiration that led to Chaos’s modeling a strawberry hat nearly two years ago.)

Woo-hoo! I won a Golden Spork Award (Crafting/Creative category) for the second year in a row! Thanks, Tink! I am honored indeed.

Reading Update
Holidays Are Hell by Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Marjorie M. Liu, and Vicki Pettersson. If you’re a fan of Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series, this collection contains a story about Rachel as a teenager. If you’re a fan of Pettersson’s Zodiac series, this collection contains a story about the mysterious Zoe Archer, mother of Joanna Archer.
Creation in Death by J.D. Robb. The latest Eve Dallas and Roarke mystery – same dependable stuff. Mmm… Roarke…
Key of Knowledge and Key of Valor by Nora Roberts. Books two and three in the Key Trilogy were enjoyable, if rather predictable.
Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft by Mindy Klasky. What’s not to like about a chick lit novel with this opening line: “They don’t teach witchcraft in library school.”
Spring Break and Wedding Bell Blues by Charlotte Douglas. I’m continuing to read and enjoy this low-key series about Florida ex-cop and PI Maggie Skerritt.
Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs. I much enjoyed the newest Mercy Thompson novel – and not a vampire to be found, CarrieK! Briggs is a skilled writer of paranormal fiction, and I’m already looking forward to the next book. Now, if only the cover illustrator would read the books and realize that Mercy only has one tattoo…

Viewing Update
The Importance of Being Earnest This exceedingly silly movie based on Oscar Wilde’s play has an exceptional cast, including Colin Firth, Judi Dench, and Rupert Everett.

Neener neener, big kitty! Do I look dumb enough to stick around when the bibs come out?!” -Mayhem

Have you been gnawty or gnice?

Happy birthday to my “little” brother today! πŸ™‚

Well, I’ve apparently been gnawty as I’ve experimented with a WordPress plugin to stick a copyright notice at the beginning of my feeds in bloglines. Any change to the pesky thing would send a bunch of updates to bloglines, plus my feed kept getting scraped anyway. So that’s one plugin I’m not using anymore! Sorry for any annoyance all those fake updates might have caused anyone.

But MrsPao and Pao must not have thought me too gnawty, since they sent a holiday package! (Shhhh… I might’ve opened it early.) (But I had a really good excuse reason. The box contained gifts for Jeanne, too, and since she and her husband Michael were over Sunday night, it made sense for us to open our gifts together, right?) (Why were they over? Sheesh! Full of questions, aren’t you? We were on our way out for some tasty Thai at Chiang Mai. Then we walked over to the Lagoon Cinema to see Blade Runner: The Final Cut. I found some parts of that Vangelis score a bit distracting due to their obvious 1980s electronica sound – in previous cuts, the narration covers a lot of the overdone parts of the score. I think I like the 1992 Director’s Cut best.) (Bit of me trivia – I saw Blade Runner in the theater during its original 1982 release.)

Anyway! The Paos sent some P.D. James mysteries, my beloved dark chocolate-covered rice cakes (mmmmmm), a chocolate bunny, some divine purple angora/cashmere/wool yarn, a Furry Feathery Wand Toy (FFWT) for Mayhem, and Sparkly Red Fabric Mice (SRFM) for Chaos! Thank you!

*sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff* -Chaos & Mayhem

Chaos seemed to enjoy the SRFMs.

“I’ll get you, my pretty!” -Chaos

And I think Mayhem might like the FFWT… What do you think?! (None of her paws are touching the ground in this picture, as Chaos lurks in the background…)

*mwmph* -Mayhem

Look! Over there!

Maybe you can tell that I’m attempting to distract you from the whole lotta nothin’ goin’ on ’round here? πŸ˜‰ My Crazy Boo Monkey Socks have been about five rounds away from being done since Saturday. I’ve worked on my cardi a bit, but back and forth stockinette is not my favorite thing in the world.

Instead of knitting and reading, I’ve been goofing around on my laptop a lot, working on some mixes and chattin’ with the Fraro (did you see her gorgeous yarn over at the Loopy Ewe?!). And I’ve been cleaning a bit for a special houseguest who will be here Thursday and Friday night. πŸ™‚

Oh, and I actually watched a movie the other night – Matrix Reloaded. I was thinking “mmm, good sex scene!” and “butt kicking bestest car chase ever!” and forgot all the flying. Way too much flying. On the plus side, not as bad as Matrix Revolutions *runs brainbleach cycle*.

Talk about discouraging – from the June 2007 issue of Minnesota Monthly (I tried to wade through some stacks of magazines over the weekend):

Minnesota Dating Is Not-So-Nice – Still don’t have a date for that dinner party? You’re not alone (well, only literally): In 2004, the Twin Cities made the list of 10 worst cities to hook up in, as determined by Sperling’s BestPlaces. Recently, the online dating service OkCupid.com determined that Minnesota has the nation’s loneliest women and shyest men. The knock has always been low turnover: Fewer people (in search of companionship) move into and out of here than such larger cities as Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.

Well. See, Van, my plot to knock hot bicycling boys off their bikes isn’t unreasonable – takes care of that shyness thing straight off.

Here’s another shot of Mayhem in midair capturing that mouse. I’m not sure if leaving the picture uncropped helps with the perspective or not… That black smudge at the top is my ghostly thumb after the mouse has been snatched from my hand. πŸ™‚

“I triumph!” -Mayhem

Break out the brain bleach…

Something I actually saw in a store yesterday: an anatomically correct gummi heart. Ewwwww!

Does this lolcats picture look like anyone you know?! πŸ˜‰

Guess how many emails Heather will have in her work inbox when she returns to work after more than a month of vacation and you could win one year subscriptions to One Story Magazine and Kaleidotrope. Leave your guesses by the morning of November 6 to participate.

Chappysmom is having her second annual “Show me your November calendar pages” contest! Leave a comment on the contest post by November 15 and include a link to your calendar post to possibly win a Chappysmom Knitting/Fiber calendar. Here’s the calendar that’s hanging in my kitchen:

And the calendar that’s on my desk:

And while we’re talking about calendars – why the heck don’t we just stay in Daylight Savings Time all year?! The kitties love springing ahead (“Woo-hoo! Mom fed us early!”), but they sure hate falling back (“Boo! Hisssss! Mom is starving us!”).

Reading Update
A Cat in the Manger: An Alice Nestleton Mystery by Lydia Adamson. I read this short mystery about an NYC actress and catsitter and liked it ok, but I only got partway through another Alice Nestleton mystery (A Cat on a Beach Blanket) before deciding I didn’t want to bother finishing it.
Nerds Like It Hot by Vicki Lewis Thompson. Another trashy nerds mystery – this one was better than the last one I read, but the library copy was saturated in men’s cologne (that seemed a bit odd to me, personally), so this wasn’t a pleasant read.
Duplicity Dogged the Dachsund by Blaize Clement. This is the second mystery featuring Sarasoata pet sitter Dixie Hemingway. These are very well-written and I’ll definitely continue reading this series. My one complaint about this book was heavy-handed foreshadowing – so much so that I became vaguely obsessed (thus distracted from the rest of the story) waiting for the followup.
Serenity: Those Left Behind by Joss Whedon, Brett Matthews, and Will Conrad. This short graphic novel is set between the tv series Firefly and the movie Serenity and although it’s only so-so, it does answer a question I had during the movie.
Devil May Cry by Sherrilyn Kenyon. This is the most recent Dark-Hunter novel. Mmmm…. Dark Hunters….
Divine Evil by Nora Roberts. This was the first non-J.D. Robb Nora Roberts’ book I’ve read. She can definitely write, but I do like the the J.D. Robb books a lot better (mmmm…. Roarke….). I’ll probably try reading some of her other stuff, however, since the extreme evilness portrayed in the book predisposed me to not like it.

Viewing Update
Once you get over the shock of me turning on the tv to watch anything… πŸ˜‰
Firefly – I can’t believe I hadn’t seen this before! What an amazing show – really sad that there were only 14 episodes. πŸ™
Serenity – But I’m definitely glad they resolved a number of open questions from Firefly in this film… even though I spent the last 10 or 15 minutes of the film crying. “I am a leaf on the wind…“*sniff*
Sweetland – Jeanne brought this over Wednesday night for our “Hiding from Trick-or-Treaters” gathering. The movie was based on Will Weaver’s short story “A Gravestone Made of Wheat,” which I read about 15 years ago and don’t remember at all. Anyway, the movie was set primarily in rural Minnesota in the 1920s, when Olaf, a Norwegian bachelor farmer, receives a German mail-order bride at a time when anti-German sentiment is high.

Chaotic Update
Lindy wanted to see more pictures of Chaos, since apparently last week was somewhat Mayhemish. Sorry, Lindy! Here Chaos enjoys a lovely felted catnip mouse from Paper Tiger, who also sent a mouse for May, tasty dark chocolate for me, and even gooey gluten-free brownies! Thanks, PT!

*bite bite bite bite bite* -Chaos

The Baleful Glare of the Cat Chaotic

Mrs Pao and Pao are back in the UK, if you’re curious to see and read more of their adventures in the US. Can you believe they lost weight on vacation?!

Becky’s looking for ideas on how to use some Rowan 4-ply yarn. Leave a comment with your suggestion by September 16 and you could be randomly selected to win a prize.

Reading Update
Aunt Dimity: Detective, Aunt Dimity Takes a Holiday, Aunt Dimity: Snowbound, Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin, Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea, and Aunt Dimity Goes West by Nancy Atherton. Have I mentioned how much I like this cozy series? πŸ˜‰ The only thing that could make it better was adding a black cat – oh, wait, that happened. And the most recent book takes place in Colorado, Kristi!
Thursday Next: First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde. It always takes me a few chapters to get back into Fforde’s rollicking Thursday Next novels, but it is definitely worth it.

Viewing Update
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Colin Firth in a fountain instead of a pond – I know that must whip you ardent fans into an utter froth! πŸ˜‰
Flatliners. I haven’t seen this movie for many years (probably since it came out in 1990), but it was still enjoyable – the hairstyles were only slightly distracting. And maybe it’s just me, but some of the scenes out in the city reminded me of The Lost Boys and of another film I can’t quite nail down… Maybe Blade Runner?! Something darkly atmospheric and rainy like that.

“Oh, how you will pay for this, Mom. This is much worse than that guy sitting on my cat tree.” -Chaos

Trying to catch up

I took a bit of a computer break over the holiday weekend and am frightfully behind in bloglines. Please let me know if you’re having a contest you’d like me to mention, as I’ll probably read about it on your blog long after the deadline has passed… Thanks!

Check out Frarochvia’s new etsy shop!

Reading Update
The Harlequin: An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novel by Laurell K. Hamilton. Wow, there was actually a wee bit of a plot mixed in with all of the sex. I was pleasantly surprised by that, but disappointed that the entire book only covered maybe 24 hours – it could take years to get to next week at this rate! At least Edward was in the book – he’s one of my favorite characters.
Aunt Dimity’s Death, Aunt Dimity and the Duke, Aunt Dimity’s Good Deed, and Aunt Dimity Digs In by Nancy Atherton. Apologies to whoever recommended these to me – I am obviously much enjoying these lovely British mysteries about the amazing Aunt Dimity, ghost.
Tilt-A-Whirl by Chris Grabenstein. This mystery is set in a seaside New Jersey town, told from the perspective of a part-time summer cop. This was a well-written and engrossing read and I’ll be interested in seeing where this series goes next (the next books are already in my library list).
Damsels in Distress by Joan Hess. I’ve never really gotten into Hess’ Maggody mystery series, but I do enjoy the Claire Malloy mysteries. The latest features shenanigans amongst the members of ARSE (Association for Renaissance Scholarship and Enlightenment) at a RenFest.
Knit Two Together by Connie Lane. When Libby inherits a rundown yarn shop from her estranged mother, it changes her life. Definitely formulaic, but since it’s a Harlequin, I was fully prepared for that.
Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception by Lois Winston. Another formulaic romance, but I enjoyed it anyway. Come on, it has a picture of coffee on the cover (and it was $0.70 at the thrift shop).

Viewing Update
Bridget Jones’s Diary. Of course I had to watch this after watching Pride and Prejudice recently! My favorite P&P allusion was when Bridget was listing Mark Darcy’s faults and one of them was the length of his sideburns. Hee hee.
Love Actually. A very sweet film and another chance to see Colin Firth sans crazy P&P sideburns. πŸ˜‰

Knitting Update
I actually am working on a non-sock project, which I’ll talk about it a few days. First, I need to get some input on this sock I’ve started. I can’t decide whether using the 9 to 5 pattern on this yarn is a good thing, or whether I should rip back and just knit the sock in stockinette. What do you think?

“I just can’t decide, Mom – I like them both! Maybe if I ate one of those Addis while I was thinking…” -Mayhem