Jan 30, 2010

The oldest Sci-fi I have read yet

     Well, I don't really count anything that doesn't use actual science as a sci-fi but since Journey to the Center of the Earth counts, I guess this one does too.  I have finished A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder, which was written in 1881.  This is even before Mars was a big place to journey to.  The plot was simple, English pleasure-seekers find a manuscript out at sea and it tells the story of a man who goes to the South Pole and the "lost world" he finds there.  The best part about the book is that it analyzes itself.  The English gentlemen are learned and discuss the people the main character encounters, the flora and fauna and how factual this book is based on contemporary science.  It's hilarious to read how they prove all these creatures that Adam Moore (the shipwrecked explorer) are dinosaurs and lost avian species like the moa or even larger.

     Included in the book are illustrations that don't look like what I imagine them at all.  Also it seems that the dinosaur ages such as the Cretaceous etc are not created yet.  I'd give the example but I will have to recheck the book, which I already returned.  One drawback is that the people Moore meets are coarse and perverse in ways that offend the dignity of everyone (cannibalism, human sacrifice, etc) and then are named a split-off of the Semites.  A little unnecessary I think, but I didn't write it.

     The scarf, on the other hand, is currently past the halfway point and I'm very proud of it.  You could wrap it around your head about one-and-a-half times.  I just wanted to use the hyphens, sorry.  No picture though because I want to get this up but next time I will update a little more about me and a little less about a book no one reads anymore....  Ja!

     501 books count: 43

Jan 23, 2010

scarf 2: Revenge of the Knitted

((This is actually being updated three days after having written it.))

     Well, I've been enjoying my time with Tad rather than updating and spending time on the computer these last days (weekish really).  I read and digested The Fig Eater which was a good read but not something I'd pick up at full price.  Pretty much it was a murder mystery from multiple viewpoints that one side solved with logic and another with superstition.  Because women are superstitious.  Also, gypsies get screwed over in Austria-Hungary and actually just about everywhere and everywhen.  Sorry for that Romani, it's not you're fault and you deserve to be treated as everyone else. 

     With Haiti utterly ruined Tad and I wanted to help out with donations but I'm very skeptical after United Way uses some absurd percentage does not get directly used for disaster relief.  Tad found a site (look at my links) that evaluates known, established charities and give their exact services in Haiti and across the world.  We donated to Doctors without Borders which I think is an amazing charity that was already established there.  I hope you will do the same and help not only these people but all unfortunate people by supporting the organizations that already have the confidences of the people they work with.

     On to the main event!  My second scarf is getting longer and longer all the time!  Also, it is striped!  So without anymore introductions here it is:

    Tadaaaa!!!!  And I will be making a hat to match it as soon as I learn to purl.  Yay!

Jan 10, 2010

The awaited Ringworld review

     School starts tomorrow and I finally got some stuff for classes.  Took my sweet time, geez.  Raided the Good Will and found some great deals.   For 40 dollars we got a new book The Fig Eater which I vaguely remember at some point getting praise or not.  Tad got three new pairs of pants, two dress shirts, a casual shirt, plus a new suit jacket.  I got two fashionable jackets a new pair of work pants, a nice pair of slacks, a skirt and a nice shirt.  I need a new pair of shoes to match some of my nice clothes.  I'll probably go back and get another nice slacks and dig through their blouses.  It was a great haul though.

     Finished Ringworld finally.  Turns out that I only had about another five minutes left in the recording so it was a bit of a downer.  Good book, most definitely.  None of the characters really draw you in but you can identify both good and bad points of most of them.  They all have at least one point uncovered about them that opens their characters up except the main one, Louis Wu.  He doesn't change at all but you still like him so that's good.  The plot has a great twist in it and it fits drama rules: everything later used in the story is there to begin with.  It definitely twists things to let them be seen in a different light so it kept the story interesting.

     I'm trying to unravel a twisted yarn ball that is mohair and some crinkle thread.  I want to make a scarf Amy made on Ravelry with it for Sibly but it's a mess.  I will have to spend hours on it but nothing good is ever easy.  I hope to have it done for her birthday in March.  We'll see.  We'll see.

Jan 8, 2010

Til the morning comes...

Er, that was actually the lyrics to a Smashmouth song in my head, not a vague omen or such.  I ordered Stitch 'n' Bitch a few days ago and it should be coming in on Tuesday, thanks Amazon.  I was trying to get it used but when they have super-saver shipping it isn't worth the two dollar difference between new and reused.  Also, joined the Target book club (on Facepage) with other peoples from work and am hoping we will start it up soon.  I've been a bit of a busy bee this week between long walks with Tad around the area (just over seven miles on Wednesday) and going to the movie store in the mall for 50% off clearing out prices I've got us dental appointments and the car is going in and arrrgg!!! School still starts Monday.  ::sob::  ::sigh::

     Enough on the personal fronts, as for my awesome cooking skills: bourbon chicken.  Just like the mall, except better because it takes about 40 minutes to make.  See?  Much better.  I actually got a picture because some friends came over to eat it.  So I present to you my dinner (that I didn't eat).

And yes, that is good short grained rice that is sticky and delicious.  The recipe was a mishmash of about 5 others on the web but it does involve a cup of bourbon whiskey so be prepared to drink the rest of your whiskey afterward. Last night I came home to a sick, stuffed-up Tad so I made from scratch matzo ball soup with the left over chicken.  I added a little lemon and ginger to it to make it a more invalid meal but he said it was delicious.  It looks amazing, I must say.  I also finally bought Tad's charger just yesterday for his phone.  Took me a while I must admit but there it is, done.

     Here's the recipe for my bourbon chicken:
  • 2 lbs chicken breast, skinless, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar (I might go balsamic next time)
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 smashed cloves garlic
      Add to taste: ginger, ketchup, lemon juice, dry mustard, salt, pepper. Mix everything but chicken in a bowl and let the chicken marinate for a few hours to a day to make it taste good.  Sear the chicken with oil in a larger skillet til brown and mostly cooked.  Remove chicken and add sauce and bring to a hard boil.  Replace chicken in the skillet and bring down to a simmer and let simmer  for 20 minutes.  This is not a sauce like a brown sauce so it won't thicken but you can pour the left over onto the rice you serve it on.

     I have also been knitting more.  Somehow, and I hope my book tells me, I have been picking up stitches as I go.  I started with 40, not a hard number but enough to make a decent sized scarf, and at the largest point counted 59.  I don't know how I do that.  I am almost through the first skein and am sometime today I feel will  be forced into the yellow and a new stitch.  If I follow what has been suggested to me it is seed, knit one, purl one.  I still don't know what purl is but there's a video just waiting to be watched!  Oh well, back to the cold dreary winter of my discontent.  And knitting.  The winter of my knitting.

Jan 4, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

     Saw the new Holmes movie today and I must say it was great.  Not blockbuster explosive action or sappy love drama shite but just plain deductive, quirky fun.  Definitely worth the matinee price, scratch that, worth a full movie ticket price.  If you like the books go watch, if you don't it's worth it to watch the bad jokes and the Holmseian logic go.  Also, kinda a gay vibe in there.  It's not obvious but it's there.  Tad and I were arguing about whether certain famous peoples had Aspberger's Syndrome, the very slight autistic disorder.  Generally for those who are geniuses (genii if you want) who are pretty much complete social 'dicks' as Tad calls them.  They cannot discern social norms like a normal person can, no cues and no understanding.  Also they have the idiosyncratic gestures of autism and the monomania.  So Holmes, Einstein, etc.  Ok, those are the two we were talking about specifically.

Edit: Hehe, I just noticed it looks like a smiley face!!

     Here's the scarf at the moment.  Also the second color of it.  Not very feminine but I'll try and make the yellow more decorative.  I joined Ravelry here to try and look up patterns and give me some focus on my projects.  I have no idea how long they are supposed to take me though.  Friends are over at the moment so I'm going to leave and update another time.

Jan 3, 2010

New year means resolutions, right?

     Well, it is now the new year and so far my resolution of writing on the blog has failed.  It's not the blog's fault, I just haven't been reading in the last few days.  Also, the car ride did not quite end Ringworld for me so I have about an hour? less? of the book to listen to.  I did hear a nice H. G. Wells horror short story but that was when we were driving around in Clearwater.  Tad lost his charger for his phone ::sigh:: so I have to remember to buy one today, which I won't. 

     Weather is cold finally, I mean, NYC is in the 20s but here it's currently 47F.  Why isn't the degree symbol on a number somewhere in the modern keyboard?  It's usable, especially when in the science areas.  Cold, cold, cold. 

     With winter finally setting in on Florida I make my resolutions: lose weight, organize the apartment, learn a new skill set, etc, etc.  Just all the basic ones.  OK, I do plan on losing some weight here, I have to get into better shape.  I saw something in one of Anna's Allure magazines (nothing else in the bathroom) about two women who were career women who lost 20ish pounds each.  I think it was definitely inspiring as they can do it I can too.  I just have to stop snacking at work and getting out more.  I might end up blogging more about that, we'll see.

     Lastly, but not leastly, I am knitting.  There's always been more patterns for knitting than crocheting but I had no one to show me.  Look in my links, there is now youtube.  Thank you youtube for being full of literally everything usefull and useless on the internet.  Cyberseams has a simple, non-vocal video on the basic garter stitch, which is what I'm making this scarf for Gara out of.  Then I will get fancy.  One step at a time. 

     Goal: knit a hat and socks for Tad that he doesn't hate. 
     Progress: Trial period for Gara's scarf, presently at the level seen below.