27 February 2007

Bored again

As usual, I am sitting in the Pre-Anesthesia Evaluation Clinic (i.e. where you go to make sure you can withstand anesthesia if you're having a procedure) and I am so bored. I'm starting to fall asleep. Bad form. I wish people would just agree to talk to me about the study so I'd have something productive to do. Not that I'm not being productive for class ... let me re-phrase that, I have a book with me that's assigned for Modern American Lit, but I'm being paid by my boss to sit down here and enroll patients for our clinical trial. So I'm trying to be productive, but I'm productive in the wrong place, if that makes any sense at all.

But I've spent the last 4 hours reading news sites (dude, they had a guy flip out and threaten terrorism at the University of Missouri-Rolla), Barnes and Noble Book Clubs, Facebook, Yahoo, the comics, and now I'm updating my blog. Truly, I am lazy.

Oh, and my Dad's OK. He went home the day after his procedure and he hasn't had any problems since. We've been plaguing him with car trouble (my beloved '95 Buick Regal, The Beast, decided it wanted to start leaking oil and transmission fluid and my younger brother's Neon died), so everything is back to normal. Except for the weather. Ice sucks. And I was going to take a picture because the trees looked so pretty coated in ice - but it was too dark when I finally got home from work and then by 8am the next morning it had all melted away. Phooey.

Current book-in-progress: Quicksand and Passing by Nella Larsen (for class). And I'm about half done with Michael Dirda's Bound to Please which I've been chipping at for a while now.
Current knitted item: I finished the shawl!!!!!! (Happy dance - had a minor panic attack when an Addi Turbo snapped 6 rows from the end, but Edyie saved the day). Now I'm working on Eeyores for the nieces first birthdays.

14 February 2007

Worst Valentine's Day Ever

Spent almost the entire day at St. Lukes with my dad - who wound up having a heart catheterization procedure. On Valentine's Day. Crappy. He's fine now and the procedure did what it was supposed to do, which was correct an abnormal heart rhythm, and if everything checks out in the morning, the cardiologist will let him go home.

So I spent the day alternately knitting, worrying, and keeping a running tab on what the staff were doing wrong infection-prevention-wise so I could brood about it (Dad told them later that I was an epidemiologist and the nurse looked a little freaked out; he also pointed that the bottom of the bed rail was filthy - score one for him - so it was squeaky clean when he came back from the cath lab).

Current book-in-progress: Cane by Jean Toomer (it was in my bag, but I couldn't concentrate).
Current knitted item: Shawl. Finished the second diamond pattern. Have an eyelet row and 12 garter stitch rows left. (I'd feel more excited except I was afforded a ton of knitting time because Dad was in the hospital, not exactly the best way to spend the day).

13 February 2007

It's lovey day (tomorrow) and love is indeed a mix tape

While I will always be a hopeless Romantic and dream that somewhere I will find my soulmate, Valentine's Day really just serves to rub it in that I am STILL single. Still. Even when I had a major relationship, my boyfriend/fiancee hated Valentine's Day and did everything possible to avoid it. So I've never had flowers, or a date, or a Valentine's Day gift from my love (and he said he didn't want a gift from me - what a party pooper). I've become a grumpy cynic, but in a tiny corner of my heart I want a sappy, lovey Valentine's Day!

One of my favorite love poems:

Come live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dales and field,
Or woods or steepy mountain yield.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
And see the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my Love.
--Christopher Marlowe, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

And from one of my favorite books:

"I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, than when you almost broke it eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan. -- Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? -- I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice, when they would be lost on others. -- Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating in
I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening, or never.
--Jane Austen, Persuasion, letter from Captain Wentworth to Anne Eliot

*Sigh* There are too many days when I think no one will ever think those things about me.

And then there is Love is a Mix Tape - which I read through entirely too fast to savor and will have to read again. The entire book is a love letter to music and how much that music meant to Rob and his wife Renee. It doesn't read like a standard memoir (X did this, then that. I hated her for it and drank too much, etc) - each mix tape at the beginning of a chapter moves forward through time to a specific event or theme. Rob's first attempt at DJ-ing his school dance, a tape made for doing the dishes, for sleeping, for making out, for fighting, for making up, for their wedding, and even mix tapes to introduce his life after Renee (except one has Hanson on it - ick, ick, ick, ick).

And the more I think about it, love really is like a mix tape. There are dance tracks, really sloppy, mushy rock ballad tracks, moshy tracks, acid rock tracks, ocean waves, Prince (he can make the temperature rise at the North Pole), one-hit wonders, unchained melodies, and paens to love lost. The rhythm changes. Style, tempo, key. As much as love can make or break you, think how boring it would be if it were like listening to the same song for the rest of your life.

Current book-in-progress: Anything Jane Austen (my solace when I am lonely).
Current knitted item: Shawl. About 20 rows left.

11 February 2007

Video creates frustration!

I might just be web-stupid, but I'm having a little problem getting a video clip posted. What gives? All I want is to post a short video of my niece Olivia walking because I am a hideously proud auntie and Olivia rocks at walking for a 10 month old. Stupid technology.

On the other hand, I've started reading love is a mix tape by Rob Sheffied (editor of Rolling Stone) - it's about his wife. It is sooooo good. More later.

Current book-in-progress: Love is a Mix Tape: Life and loss, one Song at a Time, I am not kidding, any music junkie who remembers the 80s and 90s will love this, not only for the music, but for what the music means to Rob and Renee
Current knitted item: Shawl. One more repeat of diamond pattern #2, an eyelet border and 12 rows of garter stitch. About 24 rows total - I will, WILL get finished.

09 February 2007

New office (hey, I got to clean this one first)

So my work office moved down the hall, around the corner, down that hall, and around the other corner. Essentially, a U-shape. Reason? The operational improvement director hired yet another human and required another office to house said human. So I'm on my third office in three-and-a-half years. Yipe. But there's only one of me in here, since Loreen hasn't hired any one to replace Dianna yet, which is good because there isn't much room for a second human (the new office is about 2 feet narrower than the old one so the file cabinet sits farther into the room now).

HOWEVER - it is clean. I 409'd this sucker before I moved anything into it.

I finished a couple Hemingway stories while waiting for Glenn-the-computer-guy (who really is a lifesaver, we love him) to come and relocate my machine to my new office. "Big Two-Hearted River: Parts I and II" are really just two linked stories about a guy going on a fishing trip in Michigan on the Black River. What really makes them interested is the attention to detail regarding every, single, thing: walking in the meadow, walking in the pine trees, finding a clearing near the river, setting up the tent, making dinner, getting ready for bed, making breakfast, catching grasshoppers (for bait), baiting the hook, etc. All told with very short, sharp sentences - modernist to a "T." I was thinking that Hemingway probably wouldn't be published today with his over-descriptive, clipped style. New prose seems very drawn out to me.

The really interesting thing is the little "Chapters" between each story. Chapter XIV on page 161 is about a dying bullfighter, gored by the bull. It's so riveting for a paragraph. This is the end:

The doctor came running from the corral where he had been sewing up picador horses. He had to stop and wash his hands. There was a great shouting going on in the grandstand overhead. Maera felt everything getting larger and larger and then smaller and smaller. Then it got larger and larger and larger and then smaller and smaller. Then everything commenced to run faster and faster as when they speed up a cinematograph film. Then he was dead.

Current book-in-progress: "A Clean, Well-lighted Place" by Ernest Hemingway
Current knitted item: Shawl. I have two more repeats of diamond pattern #2, an eyelet border and 12 rows of garter stitch. About 36 rows total - I will, WILL get finished.

06 February 2007

Back to the shawl

I finished Rebekah's (well, baby Amir's) booties and even added a hat. Camera=no batteries so I didn't have time to take a picture before they went into the box for the shower. Maybe I'll get a picture of Amir wearing his hat (I love the hat, it turned out well, the booties turned out some odd size better suited for a one year old.) So I'm back to the shawl since I don't have money for more yarn meaning I can't buy enough for the nieces' smocks and britches. I do have the hat yarn....hmmm...and hats are fast. Yummy. And it's friggin' freezing in this part of the world (it was -1 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday!) so it's not like the girls will never wear them.

Finished the dos Passos - apparently we were really only supposed to read about half the book. I finished it, oops, but that means I can read ahead currently and leave me more time for the Faulkner. Manhattan Transfer really is such an interesting novel - I would say it should be taught in high schools as a good introduction to modernism (since dos Passos has some passages that are very modern in style, but he really doesn't seem to want to commit to making the entire novel in that style and keeps a realist angle throughout), but most high school English teachers suck at teaching novels and that would make the students hate a perfectly good book. There are so many passages that are like watching a cinematic collage. Wonderful.

So I'm reading Hemingway for fun. Not any of his novels (not quite sure I'm ready for that much of a commitment), but his short stories which, incidentally, are the American Classics read for Barnes and Noble Book Clubs.

Current book-in-progress: The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway (the Finca Vigia Edition) - I'm starting with "Big Two-hearted River (I and II)" and "A Clean, Well-lighted Place"
Current knitted item: Back to the shawl. I will finish that thing if it kills me.