Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Devil: We have work to do my loathsome toad. Smeck: Evil work? The Devil: No, knitting. Of course evil work!

Bearette24 asks, Are you answering these questions in your next post? I read your blog, but I don't have the Google follower gadget thingy.
Well, Gott in Himmel, why ever not? It will change your life. Or at least your blog-reading habits. But in short, I will answer questions in this post and then the next. I thought I’d split ‘em up by Book-related and Not, but I am not sure it will be that discrete.

Dearest Suse asked:
How is your knitting going?
I keep knitting Meathead Hats. Hat after hat after hat. I especially enjoy creating or picking out the little decoration at the end...My shawl languishes bedside. And just today I became completely obsessed with knitting rag rugs and sliced up a dozen old t-shirts. Am I insane?

Do you like green yarn? Worsted weight, approximately 200g's worth? Dark green or light green?
Green is my favorite color. Dark is nice, but so is light. And I love yarn. But of course. I just bought more today. And snuck it into the house and then logged it all on Ravelry and photographed it. In other words, I spent hours of my life playing with yarn today. See how sick I have become? I hope you’re pleased.

Have you a quilt on the go?
I do. I always seem to. This one is only in the planning and cutting stages right now. It’s for my niece who is about 2. It’s very pink and green and floral, and it may be the most “designed” quilt I have ever done. I really really like it so far, and hope she does too.

Are you around this weekend for a little Skyping?
Sunday? Saturday is impossible. (Gah! Where did my weekend go??)

My word verification is chokilat. What do you think of that?
It’s a sign from God saying, send Babelbabe more chocolate Timtams.
What? You asked.

Yes, Badger from Texas, what is your question?
I have questions! What book(s) have you just NOT been able to finish, after more than one attempt?
Please don’t hate me.
Life of Pi.
Sophie’s World.
Anna Karenina (although I have read most of this, just not in order).
And I fear The Elegance of the Hedgehog is going to join that list.

What has the weather been like up there?
The weather was crappy and cold and rainy-verging-on-snow-and-sleet until two days ago when the sun came out, the mercury rose, and it’s been a lovely week/end of Indian summer.

Are the leaves pretty yet, or are they done already?
Mostly the leaves are just changing. The maples especially are in full fall glory.

Do you like apple cider?
I love apple cider. I even have a favorite brand from a local farm. But cider mixed with things like cranberries is an abomination unto God.

What are your boys going to be for Halloween?
My boys originally wanted to be esoteric Pokemon characters but over the weekend they changed their minds and want to be a ghost (Terzo), a vampire (Seg), the Grim Reaper (Primo), and the baby is a mummy. (Haha, get it? The baby is a...oh, never mind.)

Which do you prefer: taking the kids around the 'hood to get treats, or staying home and passing out treats yourself?
I *prefer* to hole up in my bedroom in the dark and drink vodka till it’s all over.

Janet demands to know, and with good reason as I have been putting this off forever because, really, who wants to drive across Pennsylvania with four children by herself? Not I. Especially. When are you coming East to visit us and introduce us to your little hooligans?
Now that I’ve answered the above question (the Halloween one), are you sure you WANT to meet the hooligans?
I am hoping to get home in the spring, or whenever my next ancient relative dies, whichever comes first.

Blogger daysgoby said...(How much does it crack me up that each of you is labeled “Blogger.” Like I didn’t know that. )

What book do you keep beside your bed?
Hahahaaaaaa. Singular? Lemme see, there right now: The two Mason-Dixon knitting books. The newest Fables graphic novel, which H brought home for me this afternoon. The Girl Who Played with Fire. Her Fearful Symmetry which I started this morning. Two weeks’ worth of Newsweek. A couple blank books, full of things like random scribblings, Christmas planning lists, and work research notes. And any other books moving up the TBR queue.

What's your favorite thing to do in the winter?
I love ice skating. Love it. I used to skate two or three times a week pre-children. I also like to ski but it’s expensive and much harder to do, with or without children.

Are you happy living where you are, or would you rather be more citified/rural than you are now?
I adore where I live and would not trade it for anything. The only thing that would make it better would be a bigger yard – but I can live with our small one for everything else good here. (Although if we ever won the lottery, I’d buy the duplex next door, knock it down, and promptly install a fire pit and some chickens.) We are only blocks from several parks, so it’s not a huge big deal.

What type of conversationalist are you? Do you hang back, sip your coffee and nod a lot, or jump in and chat?
I never, ever, ever shut up and can’t seem to help myself. I often leave a conversation and ten minutes later become convinced that my partner in conversation is cursing me and thinking, “What an unpleasant, talkative, and rude person.”I console myself that I am fairly amusing, most times.

Do you have any pets?
I have 2 cats. They are brother and sister; the girl is Emmy and the boy is Septimus (named after Septimus Hodge in Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia). Seppie is pretty sick right now, so I am hoping he is ok. And we are due for another goldfish (the last one was named Jasper; the next will be named Emmett).

What's your favorite thing to do that you don't write a lot of blog posts about?
Swimming or running. Although I do have a blog post somewhere in my Drafts folder all about swimming featured in novels.

I think I will wrap up this round with some questions from the Queen, Blackbird, whom I haven’t actually talked to in far too long.
Do you have any Winter plans for you and the boys? I'm always impressed with your trips to the zoo/parks/coffee shop.
Don’t be – if I just sat at home with them, we’d all be dead sooner rather than later.
There is a whale exhibit at the Natural History Museum Primo wants to see, and the boys are asking to go check out the Heinz History Center because of the Pittsburgh Penguins (hockey type) exhibit. There are also new penguins (the birds) at the Aviary. I owe them all a trip back to the art museum, which they loved the first time. Otherwise, we go to the library, I go to the gym where they hang out in the daycare and watch Pokemon cartoons, and we spend as much time as possible up at the park until winter closes in. We have lots of Halloween activities planned (parties, bonfire, parade, in addition to good old trick-or-treating), and hockey championships coming up...

What's going on with those boys anyhow? I feel like I'm not up to speed on them.
Primo is rocking 3rd grade. He is getting into computer game design bigtime, and I am having a tough time keeping him in books. On the other hand, his lack of bulk is not helping his hockey or soccer career, and as the games get more aggressive and competitive, and the other kids grow bigger, I am afraid he may have to look for another sport to play. I am also terrified our sick cat is going to die, which would KILL Primo. He adores that cat and is terribly worried.
Seg continues to come into his own in 1st grade, although I have had no fewer than 4 teachers pull me aside to tell me how different my two boys are. As if I was unaware. Please. If I hadn’t actually given birth to both of them, I myself would swear one of them was adopted. He is playing soccer and hockey, too, and his piano lessons are coming along beautifully. He plays with both hands now, with chords and runs and all kinds of complicated musical stuff I have never and will never understand. He is also reading much more than he used to, he is currently engrossed in the newest Wimpy Kid book.
Terzo is a love but channels my maternal grandfather, which can be disconcerting. He also has a startling and, frankly, scary propensity for fierce tantrums (or as my pediatrician terms them, “heroic.”) He is in preschool 4 mornings a week now, when I miss him very much.
And Quarto is a never-ending source of frustration and amusement. He moves at the speed of light, enjoys flinging trains at people, and refuses to actually USE his somewhat extensive vocabulary. He does, however, bark at every dog we encounter.

What's doing with the house? No reno projects to report on?
The house continues to fall down around our ears. We have installation of storm windows scheduled for the next month, and I am getting bids on a bunch of interior painting. We talk a lot about the kitchen redo, but never seem to actually ever get to it. Now that the oven upstairs works, who needs new countertops, I ask you?

Do the kids like to read as much as you do? C'mon, one of them MUST hate it.
I don’t think Seg is rabid the way Primo and I are, but that’s ok. But the baby shows signs of being as crazed as me...

Would you consider attending BlogHer 10? I can name at least four bloggers who would LOVE to meet you and, without your kidney cooler, could be easily convinced that you are a darling.
I. Am. There.
(Have you got room on your lawn for a smallish tent?)
I am sure no one would be convinced I was a darling, with or without the kidney cooler, but that’s ok. God, I could use the laugh…do you remember how much we laughed in Bethlehem? It was extraordinary, I am still surprised we didn’t do ourselves harm.

And on that pleasant note, I draw "Part I, Questions You Didn’t Even Know You Cared About," to a close. Thanks for awesome questions, and for making me feel so loved (awwww…..) I will answer the rest as soon as my hoodlums give me another straight twenty minutes of peace.


*"God, the Devil, and Bob"


Duyvken said...

I'm having trouble with The Girl Who Played With Fire (forgive all the caps, I spent several minutes trying to figure it out and gave up deciding just to Do It All), too much repetition of the same information from the different characters as they go through their own processes of discovery? Anyway, I am really enjoying it but it doesn't seem to flow as well as the first one did. Although, that was disturbing in it's own right.

Suse said...

Oh that was marvellous. I feel all caught up now.

A couple of things: The Elegance of the Hedgehog is ho hum until about 2/3 of the way through, and then it takes off. Worth persevering.

You know the "chocolate" is redundant in the phrase "chocolate TimTams"?

I looked at Her Fearful Symmetry in the bookshop yesterday but the PAPERBACK edition was $33.95 so I put it back and joined the enormous holds queue at the library.

I have a book on swimming for you! Called Swimming, funnily enough. Written by a woman at the uni where I work, and our book group is reading it for November. Will report back.

Tell Primo you don't have to be big and thick to be a soccer player. My husband and all 3 boys are champion soccer players and all three are small and thin and fast.

ps. I loved the barking at dogs, and the heroic tantrums.

pps. also, am very jealous about blogher. Although none of the KNITTING bloggers attend, you know. Is the next blogher in Tuvalu?!

ppps. must send you link to Vintage Chica's rag rugs. Glorious.

pppps. (getting ridiculous now) sorry about the lack of skyping. Semester now over, so more time soon!


Bearette said...

Good. You are reading Fearful Symmetry at last. I hope you like it.

Debi said...


This is my favorite post maybe ever. Since I read to get to keep up with you and get to know what you're thinking in these crazy-4-boys-raising kind of days...

Anonymous said...

I am sad about your trouble with The Elegance of the Hedgehog, as I want to hug it and kiss it and be its best friend. Sigh.

Kathy said...

I had real problems with The Elegance of the Hedgehog too -- I'd never reread it.

Samantha said...

You see this is what I miss when I'm not around - I have a sick note and would like to hand in my question late?

Anyway, it was a great catch-up. And I am with Suse, I think persistence does win the day with the Hedgehog book. It had two of the best sentences I have read in a long time and that seemed to be enough for me. It probably would not have been enough in any other book. Go figure!

But I also did not finish Sofie's World or Underworld or The Children's Book. I could not recommend anyone buying The Children's Book.

As to having a conversation in person with you I think we would spend our time talking over the top of each and not pausing for breath but hearing and responding to each other anyway. Lucky we "talk" on blog ... ;-)

Kerry said...

I am also sorry about the Hedgehog. I never even started Anna Karenina, so I'm impressed. I love Septimus Hodge. And I'm looking forward to your take on Her Fearful Symmetry.