Randomly convalescing, with a whole lotta eepin’ goin’ on

My convalescence continues to go very well. Last week, Jeanne chauffered me around several times – on Tuesday, we went to Uncle Hugo’s/Uncle Edgar’s and Dreamhaven. On Friday, we went out to Deb’s for lunch, a wee bit of dyeing, knitting, and conversation. On Saturday, I drove for the first time in 3.5 weeks! I probably could’ve driven sooner, but I figured that someone who couldn’t wear jeans comfortably maybe shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a car… 🙂 Yesterday, the Procrastinatrix came over and we spent a pleasant afternoon knitting and chatting.

I’ve also been blessed with great weather for walking – sunny days, with temps in the low 50s to mid-60s and blue, blue autumn skies. Yesterday, as I walked around my neighborhood, I saw a black cat who looked a lot like Mayhem, except she had one shocking white whisker and no locket. She didn’t have a collar and she barely made it across a busy street – eep! Hope she’s ok – it’s a very hard time of year to be a black kitty outside. I also wandered down Bryant Avenue and realized that two consecutive blocks will lose a total of eight elm trees today. I’ll be able to hear the saws and chippers running all day…

Check out this bloglines screenshot from a week or so ago. I had maybe 40 unread posts and hit refresh… and this is what I suddenly saw. (You definitely want to click on this one to embiggen it.) Eeeeeeep! I’ll give you all a moment to recover. (It might’ve taken me more than a moment to gather myself and take the screenshot…) I refreshed again, and it was back to the “real” 40. Oh, bloglines, you sure have your issues!

“I don’t care about your bloglines woes, Mom. I just can’t believe that there are kitties who live outside where the big scary trucks are driving by all the time! Eeep!” -Mayhem

Now with even more Elegance

Maylin is having two contests. For the first, suggest a use for a particular set of needles, and you could win those needles and other goodies. For the second, guess the total weight of yarn in her sock yarn basket and you could win something from that basket. Both contests at midnight (midnight in France) on Halloween.

Did you see these kitty Halloween costumes at Cute Overload? Chaos and Mayhem have nothing to complain about. 🙂

Reading Update
Singer of Souls by Adam Stemple. This book starts out only a few blocks from where I live! 🙂 This was a fabulous urban fantasy novel and I’m looking forward to reading more from Stemple (who has also been in the local bands Cats Laughing, Boiled in Lead, and the Tim Malloys).
My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding, edited by P.N. Elrod. I got this primarily to read “A Hard Day’s Night-Searcher” by Sherrilyn Kenyon (yes, yes, a Dark-Hunter short story) and “Something Borrowed” by Jim Butcher (a Harry Dresden short story). There’s a good short story by Charlaine Harris, but it isn’t part of her Sookie stories.
Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story by Leonie Swann. This was such a fun read! A flock of sheep discovers its beloved shepherd dead with a spade through his body. Led by Miss Maple (hee!) and black sheep Othello, the sheep work to discover the culprit.
Kiss of the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Dark-Hunter. Moving right along…
Stroke of Midnight – “Winter Born” by Sherrilyn Kenyon. A Were-Hunter short story featuring Ash and the Simi. What’s not to like?
Talk Nerdy To Me by Vicki Lewis Thompson. I’ve maybe overdosed on the Nerd Series…

Knitting Update
I finished a second pair of Sockamania Elegance socks… This pair is for another holiday present and was knit from Socks That Rock in the Monsoon colorway on 2.25 mm needles, 60 stitches. This was a sock club color that I bartered Jeanne for. What looks like grey in the pictures is actually supposed to be a plum color (and thus look less like camo), but you can only discern the plumish tinge under very specific lighting conditions.

“A camo kitty bed? So no one’s going to be able to see me when I’m on it, right? Cool!” -Mayhem

“Finally, I’ll be able to have some privacy and take a good bath, since no one can see me.” -Mayhem

*mrmph* “Boy, that’s a tough snarl there between my toes…” -Mayhem

“Hey, wait a minute… you’re all staring at me… this camo kitty bed sucks! It doesn’t work! Hmph.” -Mayhem

Thank you post the first

Whoops – I had the wrong link for Karrie’s contest yesterday, so I’m posting it again with the correct link. Sorry about that!

Karrie’s having Fake Rhinebeck Post contest – if you didn’t go to Rhinebeck, go stashdiving and get excited again about yarn you already own! Post a picture and blog about it before midnight PDT, October 27, and you could win a fibery prize.

Largehearted Boy is having a funeral song contest – what would you like played at your memorial service? You could win Arcade Fire’s Funeral, the Mountain Goat’s Ghana, and Eudora Welty’s novel The Optimist’s Daughter! A winner will be selected at noon CDT on October 29.

Thank Yous
I have been extremely remiss in thank yous for the wonderful get well presents people have sent to me! I’ll start remedying that right now.

Margene sent a wonderful mixture of cats (cute bowls), chocolate (truffles, hidden by Chaos head), and cashmere – thank you!

*sniff sniff* “Are these kitty treats?” -Chaos

Debby sent yummy gluten-free goodies, lovely Austermann Step (which I haven’t tried before), and some healthy kitty treats that Chaos and Mayhem love – thanks from all of us! And do stop by to visit Debby – her kitty Charlie passed away this week. 🙁

“Ok, these are definitely kitty treats. Hurry up and open them, Mom!” -Chaos & Mayhem

Frarochvia sent some of her gorgeous bellamoden sock yarn, pure dark chocolate,

and a stunning Flower Basket Shawl knitted from her lovely yarn! Thank you so much!!

Chaos really liked the shawl…

“What the heck are you doing under there, big kitty?!” -Mayhem

*purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr* -Chaos

Wireless woes

Argh – my wireless connection hasn’t been very stable for the past few days. Consequently, I’m behind on bloglines again and am a little frustrated at how many attempts it took me to get this post (such as it is) together. Fortunately, after an hour on the phone with tech support last night (aka “Dad”), things should be a lot better now. Just too many wireless networks in my little corner of the metropolis, apparently, all of us fighting for the same few channels.

Contest Update
Lisa has a lot of patterns from her LYS closing – leave a comment at Lisa’s blog for Libby (owner of the LYS), and you could receive a pattern or patterns.

Karrie’s having Fake Rhinebeck Post contest – if you didn’t go to Rhinebeck, go stashdiving and get excited again about yarn you already own! Post a picture and blog about it before midnight (PDT), October 27, and you could win a fibery prize.

Reading Update
Gone with the Nerd, Nerd in Shining Armor, and My Nerdy Valentine by Vicki Lee Thompson. Formulaic and trashy – but I’m enjoying these silly books anyway… although My Nerdy Valentine was my least favorite so far.
The Last of the Red-Hot Vampires by Katie MacAlister. I got the giggles when I saw this title at the library. It was a “meh” read, which was pretty much what I expected. 🙂
Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley by M.C. Beaton. Finished this one and started the next… and put that one down after 20 pages. I just can’t get sufficiently engaged in Agatha Raisin…
Seize the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Ok, I admit it – I’m completely addicted to the Dark Hunter books now and wish I’d been reading them in the correct order instead of skipping a few here and there.
D.A. by Connie Willis. This young adult science fiction book was ok (the moral of the story wasn’t subtle at all!), but so short that it seems far better suited for a short story collection than as a standalone novel.
Lost in Austen by Emma Campbell Webster. Ever wondered what it would be like if Jane Austen has written her novels as “Choose Your Own Adventure” books? Wonder no more! 😉 A cute premise that seems to owe some inspiration to Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next novels, I’m glad I got this from the library and didn’t purchase it.

“Why, yes, I did gobble down the big kitty. You won’t be hearing any whining from him anymore.” *burp* -Mayhem

And now… more socks!

I wasn’t particularly tempted by this month’s Sockamania pattern until I saw Limedragon’s gorgeous socks last week… then I cast on within a few hours! I used Noro Silk Garden Lite. As per usual, it was a toss-up whether the gorgeous colors of the Noro were worth suffering through the atrocious quality control – besides the usual twigs and other vegetative matter spun into the yarn, there was a colorway breaking knot in one of the skeins. See the abrupt change from yellow to orange near the top of the leftmost sock?!??? Grrrrr….

Oh well, it’s not like anyone’s going to see the top of the socks anyway – these are warm and will be great for inside my Birkie clogs on cold days at work this winter.

“Ha ha, big kitty, I got here first!” -Mayhem

“This is my new cat bed, and you’d better not forget it! That includes you, Mom.” -Mayhem

Lunching with Chaos (and Deb!)

We had sunshine on Saturday! It was lovely and warm, and I enjoyed a pleasant wander around my neighborhood. Alas, the clouds returned on Sunday.

Air by Geoff Ryman. This was an extremely well-written science fiction novel about the effects of new technology on traditional cultures.
Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener by M.C. Beaton. A gift from Mrs. Pao – it took me a while to sympathize with Agatha, but now I’m interested to see what happens in the next book.
Dragonswan, “Phantom Lover” (in Midnight Pleasures), Night Play, Dance with the Devil, Sins of the Night, Unleash the Night, Dark Side of the Moon, Fear the Darkness (free online short story), and The Dream-Hunter by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Dark Hunter novels – what can I say? Supernatural, trashy (oh, so very trashy) – fortunately, the writing and editing keep improving as the series goes on. Actually, it looks like The Dream-Hunter is the start of a new series.
Something Rotten: A Thursday Next Novel by Jasper Fforde. I’ve now reread all the Thursday Next novels and enjoyed them muchly.

On Friday, Deb brought over salads and Caribou mochas (soy for me, of course) to kick off a pleasant afternoon of lunching, conversation, and knitting. Chaos joined us…

“Oh, man, that looks tasty, even if it isn’t tuna.” -Chaos

“See how cute I am? You know you want to feed me, no matter what Mom’s telling you!” -Chaos

“What I wouldn’t give for some thumbs about now…” -Chaos

Some more words from Mayhem

Jeanne came over to knit Wednesday night and we watched my tape of The Lorax (first time my TV has been on since I watched Flatliners). Jeanne got a picture of Chaos’s secret shame, and he didn’t look at all happy about it!

I’m feeling really good. Much less tired. I’ve been going on walks about every other day – I would be going every day, but it has been so darn rainy. I think the flash flood warning must be permanent by now.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

“Don’t forget what I said about the naps…” -Mayhem

In which I finish another pair of socks (no surprise, that)

Amy and Miss T came over to knit on Tuesday and brought me Chipotle! They got party favors. 😉

Reading Update
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. This is the first book of the Twilight Saga and after reading it, I’m itching to read the next two! This is a young adult vampire story with a few twists, set in the Pacific Northwest. I couldn’t put it down.
Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter. I know there are a few *a-hem* P&P fans out there… I picked this up because of the title and brought it home because of the intriguing premise outlined on the back cover. Most chicklit is just “ho-hum,” but this was quite good – if you’re a P&P fan, I recommend it!
Nerd Gone Wild by Vicki Lewis Thompson. Totally trashy romance, picked up for $0.25 at the “withdrawn” shelf at the library. It was silly, it was fun, it was trashy – and I might pick up another one or two of her other Nerd novels.
Wish You Were Here: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown. Actually, I believe this was the first Mrs. Murphy mystery. It took me a while to get into the book, but it turned out to be a decent read. I’m told that the series sort of falls apart after a certain point…
24 Declassified: Vanishing Point by Marc Cerasini and 24 Declassified: Chaos Theory by John Whitman. I read these not expecting much, but Chaos Theory was darn good (and not just because of the title). It would actually make a really good episode of 24.
The Fourth Bear: A Nursery Crime by Jasper Fforde. This is the second book in the Nursery Crimes series, which spun off from the Thursday Next novel The Well of Lost Plots. A different cast of characters, but I’m enjoying this series as much as I do the Thursday Next novels.
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agness Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. This was laugh out loud funny – I can’t believe I hadn’t read it before!

Knitting Update
For all the relaxing I’m doing, I sure don’t seem to be accomplishing much knitting. Puzzling, that. Anyway, I finally finished a pair of 9-to-5 Socks using Trekking 167 (a new color).

“Hmph. They aren’t a MGWT, that’s for sure!” -Mayhem

“But I suppose they are acceptable as a cat bed.” -Mayhem