Saturday, June 29, 2013

2 Quotes, 1 Visual, #23

Along with 'Neverwhere' I picked up a copy of 'American Gods' (Neil Gaiman). This book has been talked about by so many people whose intellect & style I admire that curiosity got the better of me.  This tale of immigrants, cultural mores, power/attention (& the lack thereof), & of Older Gods/Goddesses is amusing, engrossing, & carries itself well enough to be considered more of a literary classic than, say, The Great Gatsby or Moby Dick, for me.

Quote 1: "Well," he said, "I agreed to do it.  I could have said no." He wondered why he wasn't scared of her: why a dream of a museum could leave him terrified, while he seemed to be coping with a walking corpse without fear. "  (page 56, paragraph 14)
   What one can touch is often much easier to deal with than what's in the mind.  Then again....

Quote 2: "Hey," said Shadow.  "Huginn or Munnin, or whoever you are."  The bird turned, head tipped, suspiciously, on one side, and it stared at him with bright eyes.  "Say 'Nevermore', " said Shadow.  "Fuck you," said the raven."   (page 141, paragraph 6)
   A sense of humor runs through this tale, more dry than slapstick.   For me, characters not taking themselves, or the situation, straight-faced serious helps to ground the story as more of a fable than a lecture.  A necessity when the tale reflects what the author sees around him.

1 Visual: "Chicago happened slowly, like a migraine.  First they were driving through countryside, then, imperceptibly, the occasional town became a low suburban sprawl, and the sprawl became the city."  (page 67, paragraph 16)
   I find that authors whose works are memorable travel to the settings their tales are set in.  It's easy enough for the reader to discern as an authors' eyes percolate through the tale, invisibly but staining. This description of Chicago is spot on. Another author, whose cozy mystery series I read 10 of, hadn't traveled through the countryside (in a completely different country from where she lived) in which the majority of her series took place. Tellingly, the house her characters lived in always seemed to be out of place, setting but lightly in context. I can't remember her name, the characters' names, or where they were supposed to reside now, & don't particularly care to find out.

   The same can't be said of Neil Gaiman.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

'Tis prime hibernations season!

The sun is bright (it burns!), making my skin itch & boil as much as it excites my young grandchildren. My ability to take them to the beach (which I enjoy) is limited to late afternoon or early evening. The high humidity makes it difficult to breathe,so, even if it's only 9.20 in the morning, the A/C is on.  Once it's after 9 a.m. & before 6 p.m. the only thing I'm interested in is staying inside!   Therefore, I've been searching out projects to do.

It's never too early to start on Yuletide ornaments .  Or, maybe, cute black kitties are the way to go.  Here's a sweet sampler type , but samplers aren't really to my taste. 

Then again, larger needles could be put to use. I have the yarn for this & a few of these .

Or, the sewing machine could be brought out for a few things.  Melly is wrapping up 30 days of Sundresses...giveaways, tutorials, patterns, etc.  & Kate has so many cute ideas! 

CraftGossip is always good for ideas in any manner of craftiness, as well.

Then again, this is just fascinating reading...way to go Jack & Harold ! & this piece will give you all you need to know about being happy :)

Or, I could just finish the two mini shawls & the birth record/sampler I already started.......;)

See, so many ways to avoid The Bright Burning One & it's companion Air So Thick It Strangles :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Even though I knew

...that the proportions were off, to suit me, I made the biscuit recipe as written.  Yum...blueberry biscuits! This recipe had 4 cups plain flour, 2 cups milk,  2/3 cup sugar, 10 T. butter (cold), 8 t. baking powder, 2 t. slat, & blueberries. 

Just looking at this, I could see that there was too much milk for biscuits which were supposed to be rolled & cut. I also questioned the amount of butter & that the recipe called for the butter to be chunked (small) & folded in lightly, instead of incorporated.  Sure enough, the batter was more like a drop batter...no, more like a cake batter as I added another 3/4 cup flour to get the batter to a 'drop' consistency.  The chunked butter acted like I thought it might, as well. That is, melted all over the baking sheet. The taste is fine, except that much butter is making my digestive system most unhappy.

Usually, when I am this unhappy with a batter, I would just toss it out, *but* fresh blueberries only come along for a few weeks/yearly, so.....nuts.

Given my current living environment, money is hard to come by.  So when I get some unexpectedly, I do my best to get yearly gift-giving out of the way. To that end, this years' gifties are bought & waiting to be wrapped.  As well, I bought materials for throw-quilts & yarn for throw-sized afghans. Now, I now that, when substituting yarn, weight must be taken into account. Which I did...switching one bulky weight for another.  However, I forgot to check skein size (the ozs.).  Naturally, when checking the materials list, I discovered that I was 4 ozs. short. So, my order just came in. One more skein of each color:  (Lion Brand Yarn Hometown USA) Phoenix Azalea, Napa Valley Pinot, New Orleans French Berry, Portland Wine, Cincinnati Red.  Also, size 13, 36" circular needles (I always knit a few sizes too big, so needles I use are generally 2 sizes smaller than requested in the pattern).

Ah, Stonehenge. After all these years, still it lends itself to much speculation. Still the occasional scholar just Knows they have discovered it's true purpose or some such about it's history. For example, a map !  oooooo  :)

& this, this is just an interesting thing to contemplate.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

2 Quotes, 1 Visual, #22

After I picked up a copy of Neverwhere , I decided to buy a copy of the book. The series & the book are lovely close, thankfully.  It is an enjoyable read, to be able to put words to visuals. The novel allows for expansion on details, adding delicious context to a tale of loss, lost, found, danger, murder, & love all set in one of my favorite cities, London.  This is a tale of two worlds, almost parallel universes, intersecting & flowing smoothly, if not invisibly, together & through. 

Quote 1: "It was a Friday afternoon.  Richard had noticed that events were cowards: they didn't occur singly, but instead they would run in packs and leap out at him all at once."   (page 13, paragraph 2)
   Neil Gaiman has this wonderful talent of putting together words describing commonalities in uncommon situations (uncommon to the reader, at least). 

Quote 2: " She glanced at the little fires across the room. Then she looked back at Richard.  She smiled again.  "Do you like cat?" she said.   "Yes," said Richard.  "I quite like cats."  Anaesthesia looked relieved.  "Thigh?" she asked.  "Or breast?"
   It is  a smooth storyteller, who can get me to laugh at such words, even though I am a cat lover, through & through.  I felt Richard's shock & sadness when Anaesthesia died.

1 Visual: "Richard realized that he could not tell what color her eyes were.  They were not blue, or green, or brown, or gray; they reminded him of fire opals: there were burning greens and blues, and even reds and yellows that vanished and glinted as she moved."  (page 39, paragraph 3)
   ooooo...I want those eyes!

Come Winter, when the colder winds blow ice out of the sky, this is one of the tales I will re-read to transport me to a different sort of weather.  I thoroughly enjoyed this tale & rather wish Mr. Gaiman would write a sequel as to how Door's sister is found.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Addicting...

...those damn Facebook games! Bubble Witch, Panda Jam, Pet Rescue Saga...timesuckers all. & I have decided to go cold turkey.  No more games, they just take up too much time.

Instead, I will catch up on my reading. I'm, like, 16 posts behind on Gordons' blog . Behind way too many posts to count on Dionysian Atavism .  Behind on my favorite blog named to remind of a garden , but not to do with gardening. 

Tomorrow I will bake a cake (so that I don't have to throw away a cake mix) & try out an intriguing frosting recipe. One that involves instant hot chocolate mix with the word 'golden' in the title. So I'm pretty sure that I will end up scraping it off into the trash. But.....it *is* an almost-intriguing idea.

Oh, & Gertie has it right. *Why* would people fuss over the sight of that fleshy upper arm skin?  Seriously, get off the insistence of ripping apart our appearance, women!