Matt and I made Christmas stockings. We went down to his parents' house and borrowed the sewing machine and kitchen table for several hours, and this is what we came up with.
He scientifically engineered it for maximum lootage. Seriously. Equations and everything.
Matt did this by hand, so that there would be no mistake as to whom the stocking belonged. As if the orange and blue wasn't enough of a giveaway.
It has come to my attention that sewing is not one of my strong points.
However, I have proved somewhat competent in the area of knitting. I bought this yarn in Germany two or three years ago, and finally found someone I think it goes with. I just finished turning it into a scarf.
Man, this book was a lesson in perseverance--700 pages, of which maybe 150 were relevant to the action. The story was interesting enough when the author felt like sharing it, although it was really two different stories that sort of collided with each other every once in a while. I didn't really like either of the main characters; Becky was too conniving and Amelia was too much of a milquetoast. Now, if their personalities could have been combined, that could have been something. Imagine somebody who is intelligent and moral, or is that too unbelievable?
We went to Ikea over the holiday weekend in order to buy a shelf to organize the back room. That's the room where everything goes that we can't find any other logical place for. And because Ikea is so amazing, we found exactly what we were looking for. Behold the organization:
Only look at the organization, not the stuff. Some of those things are hoping to be presents one day. In particular, the gray blob on the top right. We got that at Ikea, too. You can't just buy furniture; sometimes you have to buy incredibly soft, giant roly-poly bugs...
Somebody left a piece of paper in a book that came through the library today. The paper was a sales record for a bunch of calves. All of the calves' sires were listed, and they had the best names. Things like, "Dirty Harry," "Wooly Bugger," and "One More Shot." You can't give human kids names like that. (At least, not in New Zealand.) Maybe that's one reason pets are so popular.
This book was many things. Moving. Meaningful. Worthwhile. Most of all, I think it was beautifully written. I loved how words were described as physical objects with actual presence, their meanings sometimes defined but more often felt. The narrator gives things away but that doesn't matter. Even if you were to know everything that took place in advance, you'd still have to read the book in order for your knowledge to mean anything. The power of words is demonstrated not only by the story, but by its presentation.
Someone had the idea that I should review the books that I read instead of just telling you that I had read them. I'm not terribly good at that sort of thing, but perhaps I can at least tell you a bit about what I thought of them, or what made me want to pick them up in the first place.
1984 by George Orwell
I can't believe that it took me so long to get around to reading this. It's a much different version of the future than Huxley's "Brave New World," but I found it to be more frightening. I think what got to me the most was how the past simply did not exist for these folks. Chilling. I won't say I loved it, but I am glad that I read it. I cautiously recommend it to anyone who wants to feel better about the present...because things could be much worse. Just watch out.
The Host by Stephanie Meyer
I'm almost ashamed to say I read this. More ashamed to say that I liked it and that it only took me two days. I was unenthusiastic about it when I picked it up, but I used to see it a couple of times every day at work and I wanted to know what the fuss was about. After reading the jacket blurb, I was even more turned off. I mean, the main character's name is "Wanderer," not even anything cool and alien. However, despite my prejudices I was drawn into the story. Mostly, I wondered how the story could possibly end well. I had to keep reading to see if a feasible resolution would present itself. I wasn't terribly disappointed. The characters are cheap, but if you're a girl who thinks a story revolving around a parasitic outsider campaigning for world-peace sounds like good times, then dig in. I wouldn't recommend this to my brothers, though...
Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card
Read this if you've read both the Ender series and the Shadow series. It won't make sense otherwise. This book picks up where "Ender's Game" left off, giving us a glimpse into the blank spaces left by Ender's 3,000 year jaunt through space. It also answered some of the questions I had left over from "Shadow of the Giant," the most recently published book in the Shadow series. Not for everybody, since you have to read at least five books beforehand to get the picture. Preferably you would read all eight. An Ender fan doesn't really need me to tell them about this, though. They'll read it anyway.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
I picked this up for a book group. It's a Newberry Award winner, so you know that someone somewhere liked it. Also, you can guess that the title witch doesn't get burned because, come on, it's a book for kids. I rather liked the story. A young English girl is orphaned, and has to leave her carefree life in Barbados to join her Aunt's Puritanical family in Connecticut. Needless to say, she does not fit in. She befriends all the wrong kinds of people and shocks people with her unorthodox upbringing. Also, she can swim. Definitely a witch.
On Nov. 5, 1955 Dr. Emmett Brown first conceived of the idea of the flux capacitor, that marvelous piece of technology that makes time travel possible. And today is the day that we remember that day. By watching the movies.
For Christmas this year my family is doing presents under $5 that didn't come from China. Either that or homemade things. So of course I've been hitting up the DI for books and interesting gadgetry for most of everybody, but for one of my sisters I plan on making a manger scene out of clay. I made the Mary figurine the other day while watching "Hello, Dolly!" Unfortunately, she burned in the oven. Curses.
I'm a-thinkin' that I can deal with her cheeks being so dark if I can just paint her wimple white again...
Last time I was in school I was required to start a blog for the purpose of practicing rhetorical analyses and other types of classroom nonsense. I deleted everything, worthless as it was, and here I am with a fresh start. Hopefully anything I decide to infrequently post will be worth the time it takes to read.