Yarn Along! – February 20, 2013

Thank you for your kind thoughts and comments on my entry about depression.  I don’t want to say that I feel 100% better today — I feel much better, but still fragile, like there are tiny cracks along the edges that could rupture at any minute — but there’s sun out, both outside and in here, and I do feel some sort of improvement.  Plus today is a Crazy Bruce day.  Which generally means good things.

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The good news that I haven’t shared yet?  I finished The Behemoth on Sunday!  Yes, yes!  817 pages DONE!  A review will be forthcoming (aren’t you excited?  I used to post “Book Reviews You Won’t Care About” on my old blog as a joke; maybe I should bring that back), but for now I’m just slogging ahead.

The book that I’m currently reading (for fun) on my Kindle is still Why You Think the Way You Do: The Story of Western Worldviews From Rome to Home by Dr. Glenn Sunshine.  According to Lenore, my trusty Kindle Fire (I name my electronics after Edgar Allen Poe characters; my old Kindle is Annabelle Lee), I am 53% finished with it.  I am really enjoying it; although it is nonfiction history, Dr. Sunshine writes with the same dry wit that he uses during his lectures in our classes.  When I read it, I am reading it in his voice, which is pretty funny.

I am also reading Jean Plaidy’s The Rose Without a Thorn, a piece of historical fiction about Katherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII of England.  So far, it’s pretty good — I’m a little turned-off by her botching of Katherine’s age (it is widely believed that she was between age 15 and 17 when she married Henry; in the book she is 18 when she first comes to court).  But I am liking Plaidy’s choice to make Katherine a deeper, more sympathetic character than she is usually portrayed in media (thank you, Philippa Gregory).

As for knitting, I’m still plugging away on the Honey Cowl.  I never have enough time to do more than a couple of rows a day, so it’s taking much longer than it should.  However, it’s an easy pattern to memorize and I am enjoying the mindlessness of it.

Hooking up with Ginny at Small Things…

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Yarn Along! – February 13, 2013

Happy Ash Wednesday!  I guess it seems sort of odd to wish someone a “happy” Ash Wednesday, since Lent on a whole isn’t a very cheerful season of anticipation, the way Advent is.  And it seems like we JUST finished Christmas a few weeks ago.  I am really hoping, after the disaster which was Easter 2011 (D acted like a jerk all weekend) and Easter 2012 (D told me he wanted to separate), that Easter 2013 is a resounding success and a reminder of just why I used to love the holiday so much.

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I am working on a Honey Cowl on US 8’s with a skein of Noro Chirimen that my friend Drea bought for me last year at a closeout sale for $5 a skein (I know, Noro for $5!  It’s unheard of!).  It’s a very soft blend of cotton, silk, and wool — not very stretchy but still nice and soft.

As for what I am reading?  Well, of course, The Behemoth, but at over 1,000 pages (including notes and bibliography) it’s not exactly something I take with me to work, so I leave it at home.  On my Kindle, I am reading Why You Think The Way You Do: The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home by Dr. Glenn Sunshine, who just happens to be one of my professors.  Dr. S. is big into the whys and wherefores of worldview, and the book is (thus far) very good.  I’m only into like…chapter five, I think?  But I am enjoying it.

Random bonus picture of me with Tabby, my little kitty:

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She was not thrilled to be part of the picture.

Hooking up with Ginny over at Small Things

Yarn Along! – January 23, 2013

I am pretty much the slowest knitter ever.  I am still working on the Noro Silk Garden off-the-cuff hat that I was working on a week ago.  I know.  A better knitter would have done like two or three of them by now.

But I think I have an excuse.

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This BEHEMOTH of a textbook is World On Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War, and it is the first of many, many secondary sources I’ll be using for my Master’s thesis.

Because I started my research yesterday!!!!

It’s ridiculously exciting, but also quite daunting.  The book clocks in at 1,008 pages, but fortunately, only 816 of those are actually writing, the rest is just notes and bibliography.  I did what I usually do in cases like these where the actual length of the book is deceptive: I stuck an extra bookmark where the notes begin, so I could see how much I actually had to read:

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The top bookmark is where I am (page 13).  The second bookmark is where the notes begin (page 817).

…Yep, not making me feel much better!

But it’s a good read, and so far it’s entertaining, so I’m enjoying it thus far.  My goal is to read 100 pages a day, and if I can do that, there’s no way I won’t finish this behemoth by the deadline.  Yes, there’s a deadline.  By February 5th.

Halp.

Hooking up with Ginny on Small Things

Yarn Along! – January 16, 2013

I haven’t done a Yarn Along in months, and I don’t think I’ve ever done one on this blog, but two years ago I would quite frequently hook up with Ginny over on Small Things for her weekly blog post.  Since I am both reading and knitting right now, I thought I’d do it again, and hopefully try to get back into doing it weekly.

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I am still plugging along on the Noro Silk Garden hat that I started last week.  It is ridiculously simple and easy, but with school and work and whathaveyou I just haven’t really had the time to sit down and really plug away at it.  Though I was watching She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth on Youtube recently, and getting some knitting done.  Female monarchs fascinate me; female monarchs in the time before feminism was recognized even more so.  It’s amazing what these incredible women had to overcome in order to take their rightful places as rulers of one of the most dynamic and sophisticated courts in Europe.

Unsurprisingly, I am reading a novel that takes place around the time of one of these notorious women’s reigns — Queen Isabella — and it’s Ken Follett’s World Without End, the sequel to his epic novel The Pillars of the Earth, about the people who live in the small village of Kingsbridge, England.  Like all of Follett’s fiction, it’s long…over 1,000 pages, and I’m about 51% of the way through with it, according to Goodreads.  It’s very good, but slow-going — it’s not quite up to the standard set by Pillars, which I read in January of 2011 and fell in love with (review can be read on my old blog, here), but it’s still an excellent book.  I admire the way that Follett seamlessly blends historical fact with historical fiction, and the way you can never quite tell if his characters are good, evil, sympathetic, sociopathic, etc.  He is a great talent.
Do you read or knit?  What are you working on today?