Wednesday, July 25, 2007



I will miss your many bridges-and I will not see the Burnside one reonstructed. I will miss Powell's - one last sale today. I will miss all the friends I have made here and your small pocket size neighborhoods. I will miss the friendliness and amazing trust which permeates all the areas I've explored.
I was doing so well until one friend walked in with a flower for me from her last bit of rain***CV

Monday, July 23, 2007

packing packing packing

As I've been packing up I've been weeding through my possessions and many things have been either donated or gone to Powell's. In fact, I managed to halve my pile of unreads and now am at a mere 100. So today I finally bought a set of banker's boxes and began the packing of the books. I got a deal I think on the boxes too. Got a ten pak for less then fifteen dollars.

All ten boxes are full and mostly labelled. I'll purchase another ten pack tomorow. Meanwhile someone might nicely explain to me how I could sell approximately 200 books and still need more than ten boxes to pack the remainder? (Oh and my teaching books? They are already in three+ crates.)
I got The Women's War by Dumas today! (Hmmmm maybe that explains that box issue....)
Meanwhile I manged to snap three needles working on a pair of baby sox. Three! I realised on the third snap that I would not be going to Kareoke tonight, nor would I be attending Noah Levine's talk at Powell's. All the time I was siting and knitting I was trying to think of time frames: lessee I have two nights to complete my packing so if I leave at (x) time and get to the bookstore then I'll be there for (b) length of talk and can knit for so long then I'll leave at (y) time to get to kareoke and I'll sit and knit for about (c) length of singing which means I'll get home at (z) and I can pack for *snap* Maybe if I only go for half the bookstore time(1/2 b) and work only a third of the(1/3 c) *snap* So then if i only got to kareoke then I would have (a) amount of time before *snap*

That third snap told me I needed to get back to packing ASAP rather then spending time elsewhere. I'm glad I did.

I still have stuff to pack, including two dresser drawers worth of clothes and a bunch of kitchen stuff given to me three years ago that I haven't used because, that's right, I never called the gas company to turn on my stove :) But at least half my books are away and I've mostly gathered my odds and ends and just need to wrap and pack.

No stove.......Good Golly. No wonder I have so much tea unused***CV

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sage sagas

Anahita's Woven Riddle, Meghan Nuttall Sayres (350pp) Set in Persia during the late 19th century this story could still, albeit without the evil Russian army, be a modern story. Anahita is a member of a nomadic tribe. Her father has decided that she be married and is ready to engage her to the local kahn. Anahita loves riddles. In fact it is a game that both she and her father regularly play with each other. Anahita is also a forward thinker, much to the dismay of other tribe members who are quite contenet with tradition thank you very much. Included in this Cinderella like tale are snippets of Rumi, of traditional dyeing (though the cochineal did puzzle me; would not kermes or another indigeous species be more likely?) as well as appreciation for a culture we so recently seem to view too shallowly.
The Black Tulip, Alexandre Dumas (238pp) Once past the elaborate first chapter intro (and a very gory demise ala the French Revolution) the story settles into a menage a trois romance with requisite jealousy, envy, true love and intrigue. And to think the woman these two men are passionate over is a Black Tulip. Well one of them does realise after a bit of a struggle that maybe the jailor's daughter is a bit of all right. More so when she so lovingly takes care of his off set.
After class today a very angry woman was atthe bus stop collecting discarded bits of willammette weekly. Fine. I need to catch my bus here and I know that the woman you're (you being said very vocal angry woman) talking about could not be me so okay I'll just knit. (She did have a pretty singing voice when she chose to sing I must say). Then in the cafe two people remarked on the knitting whilst reading: I hasten to add it's stockingnette, I'm looking at it whenever I reach a corner, I drop stitches and then have to pick them up.
Started reading Eigil's Saga. You know how sometimes people can feel a bit overwhelmed with the many choices in baby names nowadays when a baby is expected? Apparently the vikings had no such problem. I've met at least five Thorolfs and two Gunhilds as well as inumerable Thorolds, not to mention Thorirs. And talk about plot jumps.

So this one landholder recieves a group of men and settles them in an out building where their clothes can dry and then he brings them some food apologising because it is all he has (sour curds, sour whey, maybe some bread) That's okay, his guests say, something is better than nothing and they eat what he provides. Then the host offers them lots of nice straw to sleep on. Meanwhile the King and his Queen are on the same property in another building with a full on banquet. The king asks where the host is and is told he is attending some guests. So the King says, well, let the guests join us. And so they do and they all sit down to drink.

(No one says aword about the fact there is a feast in one building and refuse buffet in another.)

Well not true. Eigil starts making up insulting poetry about not treating people in a hostly way, but apparently everyone is clueless. Then the Queen along with the host/landholder decide to poison Eigil's cup (whoa 'scuse me where did that come from? What does the Queen have against Eigil? Was he going to use up all her sleeping straw??) And then Eigil cuts himself and recites something -a rune? before taking the cup and the cup shatters which apparently is an insult (!) to the host (personally I think a dead poisoned guest is a lot more insulting not to say tacky). Anyway it's decided that the men from the refuse buffet are a bit drunk and it's time they leave. So the host and Eigil leave along with Eigil's very drunk captain and Eigil offs the host. Then runs away.

I did not leave any pertinent details out. I should probaly add that while this is Eigil's saga as in he is the hero, Eigil has some anger management problems. The least of which is,when as a child, attacking another child with a battle axe after Eigil lost a game to him. Oh and then when it is realised that he did this, after a full out axe and swords battle between all the adults, being told he will make a fine Viking.......Makes me want to know who invented the first time out chair. Don't think it was a viking. Uh uh.***CV

Saturday, July 21, 2007

the Night after.....

Where have all the readers gone?
Out with Harry
When will they e'er return?
When will they e-'er return?
Meanwhile I am completing a delightful YA book called Anahita's Woven Riddle having finished the Black Tulip yesterday afternoon. Which means I am out of Dumas. Shoudl I wait until Cody's or should I stick with Powell's ahile I can? Decisions decisions.
One pair of scarlett knee highs complete. Actually, I have to frog the foot of one as the heel is too deep. Otherwise it's done and I have 1 1/2 amber kneehighs done as well. I did start the Indigo koigus but on 2.5's and I'm not sure that I like it. Funny that the koigu label says 3mm or US 3 when in fact a 2.5 not a 3 is a 3mm. Odd that.****CV

Thursday, July 19, 2007

In which the Adventure goes on after the accustomed Manner

The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas (720pp) I really don't need to comment about this book do I? Everyone knows who the three musketeers are right? Should be enough to say I read this in three days...whoa eerie coincidence. Let me meditate on that for a while. Oh wait, I know what I can say. The movie I saw of this book I think was a well done translation of the story itself. Yes, stuff was left out. Yes, scenes were edited for cinematic blah blah; and yes at least one person died differently in the book then in the novel (but then in the novel one character changed from a brunnette to a blonde wihtout one writer's blush), other than that? Well done you screen authors.
Currently reading;

The Black Tulip, Alexandre Dumas
The Time Before History, Colin Tudge

Recently purchased:

The Female Quixote, Charlotte Lennox (and yes it is a work of fiction written around 1752)

Have a quote from the main character to her maid who has apparently been delivered some letters addressed to her mistress:

" You are a simple Wench, said Arabella smiling: You may depend upon it, all Letters directed to me, must contain Matters of Love and Gallantry; and those I am not permitted to receive. Take them away then immediately. But stay, pursued she, seeing she was about to obey her, one of them, you say, was deliver'd to you as a Letter of Consequence; perhaps it is so: Indeed it may contain an Advertisement of some Design to carry me away. How do I know, but Mr. Selvin, incited by his Love and Despair, may intend to make such an Attempt. Give me that letter, Lucy, I am resolved to open it. As for the other - yet who knows that other may also bring me a Warning of the same Danger from another Quarter. The pains Mr. Tinsel took to conceal his Passion, nay, almost as I think, to deny it, amounts to a Proof that he is meditating some Way to make sure of me. 'Tis ceratinly so: Give me that Letter, Lucy; I should be accessary to their intended Violence, if I neglected this timely Discovery."

I love the capitals sprinkled throughout, the fact that Arabella is a French novel reading over the top melodrama queen (ould it not be aht Mr. TInsel is really not interested in her?), the tons of punctuation sans quotation marks to indicate speech (perhaps this is why the proper names are italicised?) and it is an 18th century book. ***CV

Monday, July 16, 2007

We (may) have cottage!

Knock on wood. Deposits and such still need to be made.
Hmmm do you think I should order my madder, indigo, some weld and marigold now? This is because, if the cottage comes through then, there is a private garden that is attached and I could you know try and grow stuff in it. I know I want lavender. And I would love to grow dye plants. Instead of, you know, growing dying plants (I so do not have a green thumb, but I think if it was my plot and I was the one learning from it it would be okay. I was responsible for a garden that was in the back of my former Primary and, ummmm, the lavender did real well as did the poppies; not so much everything else.)
I am a third of the way through The Three Musketeers. D'artagnan had a much bigger part than I remembered. Perhaps this is because Athos, Porthos and Aramis were played by such good character actors they seemed more main characterish then they actually were.
I almost have the leg of my second scarlett sock complete (reading and stst are a good combination) and I finished one of the amber knee highs last night*****CV

NB Good thing I didn't mention woad. Apparently it's a noxious weed in CA, as is the wild marigold.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


La Reine Margot, Alexandre Dumas (468pp) Well. Dumas certainly doesn't believe in cluttering up a story with too many details does he? Really though it's the fighting, the wooing, and the conspiring we read Dumas for right? In some ways I am grateful I saw the old three musketeers on the silver screen (by old I mean the 70's versions) before reading any of the original works. It is also helpful to know that Dumas wrote for the theater. This way I did not get hung up on sudden shifts in plot and what not. Why are Coconnas and Mole at Catherine's perfumer? Why is he making a wax doll? Why is he shaking the heasdsman's hand at this moment?... oh, it's a plot twist *thwack* silly me.

I am now eagerly looking forward to reading the Three Musketeers and The Knight of the Maison Rouge.
It occurred to me today that a fun way to read French Literature might be to start out with Balzac and then read Dumas and see the similarities as well as differences. Balzac writes romances with lots of detail in setting, politics and what not. Dumas writes romances. Period. On the one hand lots of bric-abrac on the other streamlined efficiency.

Then one could seperate the remaining authors of the period into Balzacian and Dumasian camps. I think Hugo would go into the Balzac column as would Flaubert and Huysmans.But who would be with Dumas?***CV

Friday, July 13, 2007

step 2

Step two of the well educated reader's process is to

(look away now if writing in your books, dog-earing corners, underlining and highlighting bound texts makes you queasy)

go back and re read all those notations you made during your first read through. Notations can be as mininmal as punctuation marks beside certain phrases, sentences, paragraphs, etc; comments written as above; key words circled and/or underlined/highlighted, etc. One could also keep a juournal which actually one is supposed to do for writing down thoughts both during the inital reading and for teh second go through where one is analysing the text. There is a certain list of questions which is provide as a guide through this journal process and the list of questions depends upon whether the work is fiction, non fiction, historical or biographical.

Now in my mind this all sounds extremely cool and I can imagine all sorts of journals and various ways they would look (typed, cursive, calligraphy, Indiana Jones style bundles) but the practice? Not so much. I tend to get distracted. I start out all on top of it: writing out quotes I like or wish to rethink and then I get caught up in the tale and want to know what is on the next page and "I'll get back to that quote", "I'll remember where it was" .... Later "Was that page 302? or 203? or 12? or, Oh wait I think it was 19 years later when x that means it was before the horses....."

In other news I finished one scarlet knee high and started the second today***CV

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

So 102, and you?

The Late Mr. Shakespeare may be very late as in, I do not think I will finish reading it and instead see if Powell's will buy it back. I am sure it is a delightful book, if one is alrady familiar with all of Shakespeare's writings and the biographies of said bard and the gossip and the Stratford countryside and the polit- perhaps you see my point. It is a very clever book and I feel as if it is written in alanguge which has been (for me) hidden and dead and buried and well Atlanteanised.

Perhaps if I read the bard as more than a teller of tales I would enjoy this book more. However when I have to rationalise persevering through one book in denial of another, enough! Out it goes.

I was talkng with a friend while she went through my latest sell offs, about various books and she came across a G.G. Marquez and when I mentione 100 years of Solitude she sort of gritted her teeth and said, "Oh don't mention that book. It is so confusing with who is relaled to who and I have to keep rereading to understand-"

I recently picked up a copy of A Well-Educated Mind and the author proposes a two step approach to reading classical or classic books. The first part is to read the book for its story.


Think I got that part down.

So I mentioned this to my friend about how when I read a book for its story, at a cetain point I don't really worry about how the characters are intmately related and what they symbolically are meant to represent. I figure if the author thinks it important than the author will repeat the important bits in a variety of ways so as a reader I will know they are important. If the author expects me to work at understanding his agenda (Dude! It says fiction not metaphysical digressions. See? Here it is clearly labeled f-i-c-t-i-o-n on your book) well that is an expectation I most likely won't meet. (Unless the book is labeled metaphysical digression. Then I was fairly warned, wasn't I?)

Clearly I need to work on the second read through skill if I am to be well-educated;)***

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Is that the time?

Got a phone call this morning from the property management wondering when they could bring people in to show the apartment. As I looked around noting boxes sealed and unsealed, books stacked in scattered heaps: to keep, to sell, to give away; a kitchen half packed and dust bunnies (some scurrying for cover and others blatantly prancing around the floor) I had to ask myself: Do they want to rent this apartment?
In other news a cottage was looked at for me today and I have just sent off a generic application for it. Any good thoughts you can spare I appreciate.

Books I have bought after selling thirty:

La Reine Margot, Alexandre Dumas
The Late Mr. Shakespeare, Robert Nye
Understood Betsy, Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Displays of......

Regarding my last post. I just read a disturbing entry a friend of mine put up. Last night a drummer in a local band went to watch fireworks at a local park. Other persons were not there to watch but to participate. Said participation involved the throwing of a firework known as an M60.

(What does it say about a society which names its tools of "fun" after other tools of "not fun"?)

So the local drummer? She will not be drumming any more. Some other work yes. Playing an instrument: no.
I myself went out last night after some very hot and sticky hours of sorting through way too much paper stuff. Yowza. And there is more waitng me tonight. Ick. (I'm gonna wash those lesson plans right outta my hair. Gonna watch those records disappear in thin air. LaLaLaLa) And I walked to a local cafe. Yup. People were sitting out watching the sunset while their neighbors set up little firework displays for the kiddies. On my return I saw roman candles being set up and off; and, for whatever reason, walked blocks out of my way to avoid them.

I like to watch. Or I did. ***CV

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

julius display

The White Castle, Orhan Pamuk
The New Life, Orhan Pamuk

I am still somewhat disoriented by the fact that it is possible to buy fireworks and firecrackers at the grocery store. Perhaps one can tell where someone else has grown up by the reaction they have to the buying of fireworks. Where I grew up it was a clandestine risk to buy firecrackers. The only kind I ever had to light were the ones I found the day after the Fourth of July (no lectures please). They were mostly duds and the few that went off, well, they were few.

But to buy them meant a trip to Chinatown and a long wait at a school playground and maybe the seller wouldn't show up. Very secret agentish, which probaly makes it "fun" if illegal. However here is is legal. The only caveat seems to be that you must be 16 or older.


I guess this is what comes of living in a state where the rain percentage is so much higher. A friend of mine from AZ shared my surpsrise at the ease of access. Of course we both have animals in our charge so maybe this also makes us just that much more aware of the fun versus consequences of setting off explosives.

I do like Roman Candles though :)***CV

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Beginning to count down

Yesterday, after practice, I went to return some much overdue library books. Then I wandered the sections looking for something to read. I finally settled on AS Byatt's, Little Black Book of Stories.

Then I had to search for a place to sit.

Most of the long tables at this particular branch are taken up by computers. I finally found a place, after passing people hunched at walls and sitting in aisles, at the end of a table which was neatly divided into two sections: one computer with printer section and one for readers.

I proceeded to read and knit for three hours. Very nice. Well, except for the part when I realized I had done 7 inches on a sock leg but four inches back was another one of those barely holding on knit stitches *sigh* I put the book back and then went to a cafe where I ripped four inches back and started again. This is my second pair of to the knee (no I have not finished the first pair) in Shuibui. The color is Amber.
Today, after a tear filled morning of, Omg** I'm really leaving this place where I've made friends and going somewhere to start all over again!, I cleaned some floors moaned the lack of boxes for my books, booked a Uhaul (let us not go into the price of said vehicle okay), tried to contact my friend who is driving said Uhaul so I could get his ticket back to Portland, put all my CDs into 2 boxes; then went to the cafe where I read a little bit of Bryson's, Mother Tongue while working on the amber leg before going to a book store and finally getting a copy of Good Omens, Gaiman and Pratchett. Oh, and I also found a book I've been looking for for a while, Last Child in the Woods. It was on the store's sale shelf but not marked sale. So I took it to the clerk and after he swallowed what he was eating asked him if the book was on sale. Much computer clicking later :

"I didn't think so. Here, you probably know better than I where it should go."

And I went back to browsing. Three minutes later I hear a mutter:

"It is on sale? But it's not marked..."
Silence, then:
"Ma'am? It is on sale."

So I got it for sale and an dditional 40% off. It's such an agenda book but since I agree with its particular agenda that's okay with me ;)*****CV

Monday, July 02, 2007

Film at 10

Got the pics today. Wow. I think Portland has kind of spoiled me, or at least the section I live in. The new city is Urban with a capital "U". But that's okay. There is a movie house only a block away and groceries (if not the organinc kind) are three blocks over.

So unless something comes up real sudden and jumps in my lap it looks like this will be the place***CV

Sunday, July 01, 2007

O casa mio

Thank you everyone who responded to my SOS. I did contact the owners and they are going to put together some pics today and tomorrow and send them to me. I'm really looking forward to seeing them.
In other news: Hope I went and got the second in that series you sent me. Bad Hope. ;) I've also been picking up a few, no really, a FEW other reads:

Difficult Loves, Italo Calvino (short stories)
Inferno, Dante
The Rainbow Beneath My Feet, A. Bessette (mushroom dyeing)
Cast in Courtlight, Michele Sagaro
The Hester/Wills I'm working on are a pair of to-the-knee scarlet socks. I actualy turned the heel on one today but didn't like the heel and then I noticed in the leg that a stitch had split when knit. It was barely hanging on. So I ripped back about 6 inches and I'm now to the heel flap again. The yarn is Shibui, Chinese Red. It looks like scarlet velvet :) ***CV