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In my lap

Sunday, December 30, 2007

On My Lap

I read this in the Sunday Paper

2007: Are we turning the page on reading?

Which got me thinking, as we look back on 2007 and consider the year in books, has print finally turned a corner?

Two of 2007's biggest publishing events left a wildly divergent picture of the future: On the positive side, the year's unquestionable blockbuster was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - which sold 10 million copies in 24 hours and left wags wagging about how Harry created a generation of readers. On the negative, the National Endowment for the Arts released a study, that America is reading less for pleasure than ever before - particularly young America. But don't feel bad: The French published How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read, which became a hit over here, too. (I bought this book for my roommate)

What you saw less of this year, thankfully, were bitter polemics - though Stephen Colbert had a huge hit with a parody of one. One could argue, however, that O.J. Simpson's If I Did It, finally released, is bitter and polemical; it's also a hit, having sold more than 100,000 copies since October. That said, so concerned are we that kids are overly obsessed with celebrity and not getting out from behind computers that another hit of 2007, The Dangerous Book for Boys, was more or less a manual for being a child.

My favorite book of 2007?

They asked me to pick one.

Three books come to mind: Alex Ross' The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, an unlikely, engrossing history of classical music and how it shaped rock and hip-hop and how we hear in general; Joshua Ferris' Then We Came to the End, a moving first novel with a keen understanding of hive mentalities (written in the cultish "We") that, after The Office and Office Space, rescues office novels from the usual satire.

And the best:

Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, a buzzsaw of an immigrant novel that skips from high culture to low, from its hero's family legacy in the Dominican Republic, back to his pitiful life in the States as a fat, virginal, Lord-of-the-Rings loser. Funny and moving, told in a zippy combination of Spanglish, pop-culture shorthand, and literary flourish, Diaz's first book in a decade is so vibrant it's likely to force a reconsideration of the immigrant saga - and America.

Contact Christopher Borrelli at:
Reading Icon
What was your favorite read of 2007?

On my lap at any given time you will find my belly, having gained quite a bit of weight this year; a ball of yarn; a kitty; or a good book.

This Year, I have read or heard.

Books 1 through 4 of the Vampire Huntress Series.

Books 6 and 7 of the Southern Vampire Series

The entire Harry Potter Collection


Right now, I am finishing up two yarn projects. The knitted cape has completely worked my nerves but I am finally down to the last two buttons.

The yarn-stash blanket proved to take more time that I had allotted for it. It will be complete this week. Thank god. It is driving me crazy.

The wrap has suffered because of the baby blanket. But it will be on my lap today.

Happy New Year

Frizzy Hooker

Yarn Stash Afghan Blanket

Now if I could just finish this one!

I B Knitty

Great Escape Cape

I finally finished the collar and now I need to add the buttons and it is done.

Knotted Openwork Shawl

Should be getting back to this one this week.

Frizzy Reader

Entry for December 26, 2007

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Online Videos by

Still Very Busy

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Enjoy the Song
Online Videos by

Very Busy This Week

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Enjoy the son

The Strangest Things Happen to Me

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


This is what I want you to consider. I drove 2 hours immediately after work to attend a training from 8 pm to 10 pm. Paid $20 for materials and probably $60 in mileage. The next day the training began at 8 am. The second half of the training began at 2 pm and ended at 4 pm. This video was used to illustrate the roles of those being trained. The trainer received the official PowerPoint a few days before the training. She informed us that she had been forced to scale it down by 50% for our time frame. She would use interactive exercises so as not to bore us with the PPT. For this, I was appreciative. Death by PowerPoint is not what I want my obituary to read.

The woman represented the (let's say) HR director where you work. The little girl is the manager. The man is the reference/person/policy that would disrupt the hiring process. The police car represents the regional manager. The man at the end of the video represents that district manager (who reports to the regional manager).

Now watch the video.

What did YOU learn from the video about the role of the HR director? I am not making this up. People were actually engaged in discussion. Others were laughing so hard their eyes were watering. I was appalled. Someone told me that she wished she had been a fly on the wall when the trainer sat in front of her computer and said to herself, "I have the perfect video for this portion of the training."

I ripped the trainer up in my evaluation and made a phone call.

Just to make my week just as interesting as my weekend, I found a stray kitten that had been trapped in my garage while I was gone. Monday night it begins howling. I tried to catch in order to get rid of it for good. Lydia, my neighbor, who keeps feeding the strays has been catching them and getting them fixed at the Vet's or taking them to the Humane Society. Well, it bit me and bit me good. I had to go to the emergency room ($50 co-pay) in order to get a script for antibiotics. I talked them out of a rabies shot. She has been feeding them for two years. They have no need to go roaming around and catching rabies. Of course, I let Lydia know that she has caused me harm. Her daughter and I pleaded with her to stop feeding the strays out of her garage. To illustrate my point, I bled on her rug. No more knitting/crocheting for me for a minute...

:: Update

Lydia informed me today when I arrived home from work that the cat is still in garage. She heard it howling today. Funny, when she told me this she had cat food in her hand and was on her way to her garage. Do you see the irony? This is all her fault.....

Today, I was in my car doing things that might make a man stare while sitting at the railroad crossing. They were the type of gestures, I will do when I am alone or with really good female friends. I looked to my right and I see this guy staring, wide mouthed at me. I politely smile and drove off. At the next traffic signal, he aligns his car with mine and holds up his cell phone. He is mouthing some words......Riyeeet...... I turned my head and began applying lotion to my hands in the sexiest manner possible.

That was worth my $120 weekend.

Frizzy Hooker

Yarn Stash Afghan Blanket

10 percent

This one is coming along. I am excited to have found a way to get rid of my yarn stash and have fun with it.

I B Knitty

Great Escape Cape

90 percent

I am forced to redo the entire collar. So much for my following the directions.

Knotted Openwork Shawl

This is really wide. Might be more of a blanket.

It is That Serious

Monday, December 3, 2007

Article published Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Former University student pleads guilty in bank robbery

READING, Ohio - A former University of City student has pleaded guilty for his role in robbing a bank July 17 in this Hamilton County city, authorities said.

Andrew Butler, 20, of Cincinnati, pleaded guilty Monday to two felony counts of aggravated robbery and six felony counts of kidnapping and is in the Hamilton County jail in Cincinnati without bond. He will be sentenced Dec. 27 and could face up to 20 years in prison, according to a bailiff for Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Steven E. Martin.

Butler, a former U freshman majoring in theater, was on summer vacation at the time of the incident, according to U spokesman. His mother has contended that her son needed money for college tuition and other expenses.

"He just really was struggling, working two jobs here, you know, temp jobs, two jobs and trying to get the money," Franki Butler said this summer.

About 12:30 p.m. July 17, two men robbed the Valley Central Savings Bank of an undisclosed amount of money, Reading police said.

After the robbery, the men were seen changing vehicles in the Lincoln Heights area about two miles northwest of the bank. Later in the day, Cincinnati police officers spotted a vehicle matching the description of the one the men used last.

Officers stopped the vehicle and found Butler and Christopher Avery, 22, also of Cincinnati, inside and took them to the Reading Police Department for questioning. During the interview, both admitted to the bank robbery, Reading police said.

Still later, Reading police served search warrants at the men's respective residences and recovered a handgun and a shotgun believed to have been used in the robbery as well as most of the money taken in the robbery, officers said.

At the time of the incident, Avery was a student at the University of Cityb, according to his attorney.

Avery, who also pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of aggravated robbery and six counts of kidnapping, is also being held in the county jail without bond, pending his sentencing in court Dec. 27, the bailiff said.

My Frizzy Notions

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Rule by Fools: Kakistroacy
First, I Think Text Felicitations Are Dumb

I am, of course, referring to people who send text messages of "Happy - Insert Holiday-". Seriously, for the Love of a Simple Cellular Phone Plan stop it. I have to pay for out of network text messages after 50 and greetings are not worth an additional fee each month. Maybe you think that I am overreacting. So.... Send a card. Spend your money instead. Especially if you are not in my network. Or call me after 9 oçlock.

Two, Hallmark is still the best place to go for the perfect card or gift.

If you have resorted to buying your cards from Wal-mart or Kroger's, remember that you can do better than that. I love visiting Hallmark during holiday seasons. There is always something worth buying or someone worth surprising. It is a lot more thoughtful than a text message.

Three, this is a great time to catch up on movies that you missed at the theater.

Allow me to recommend one for you.

Imagine if you will that the Writer's Guild strike continues indefinitely. Reality TV shows flood the airwaves. Clown court TV shows and CS-Sci-Fi replace real justice. Law and Order begins to resemble Reno 911. Entertainment news and biased talk shows replace investigative report and the whole story. Imagine if the greatest economic, legal, political, military, scientific, academic and humanitarian minds stop having children or have less children. Just imagine another 500 years later.

I am not talking about a future influenced by wars and planetary expansion like that portrayed in Serenity and Star Trek. Nor a future shaped by viruses and conflict like Aeon Flux or Ultraviolet. Not a world dominated by a totalitarian government as in V is for Vendetta. No that that at all. I am referring to a world ruled by idiots. A movie by Mike Judge and well worth a movie rental. Good satire and a scary future.

Idiocracy Photos

It is called Idiocracy and feature Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph and Mike Judge. This is a presidential parade of the future.

Four, buy a lap desk.

lap desk board

These big wooden desks are great. I can put my laptop in the middle, a book to the left and still have room for a writing tablet. I can use it while surfing the Internet on my PC, too. I love this little lap table. You should get one, too. Think of the possibilities.

Five, Try new bread.

I must admit. Hazelnut, poppyseed wheat bread is the best bread on Earth. Just try it once. You will be hooked

Okay, seriously I was just having fun. The real point of this blog was to get you to rent Idiocracy available right now at your local video store. Funniest movie of 2006 that noone saw!

Idiocracy DVD: Standard Edition

My original blog had a lot of my favorite secrets but that one is gone. Isn't it?

My night went from irritation to worse, too. After losing my blog entry, I went to bed. Around 4:30 am I found myself losing my dinner. I have been under the weather all day. And you know what? It would really be great if someone sent to me a text message that said, "I hope you are feeling better."

Just kidding........

Frizzy Hooker

Yarn Stash Afghan Blanket

10 percent

This one is coming along. I am excited to have found a way to get rid of my yarn stash and have fun with it.

I B Knitty

Great Escape Cape

90 percent

I thought seams were difficult, but collars are worse.

Knotted Openwork Shawl

I am not confident that I will have this one completed by the end of the year.

Entry for November 26, 2007

I had a really cool blog entry. It was about some really cool things that I have discovered. You would have liked it. There were pictures and links. I spent an hour on it. Probably more because I had drafted it in my mind earliar this week. I permitted myself to post it once I completed my homework. So there is a good hour of my life gone. Some really great reflections that I wanted to share. Just released into cyberspace. Gone.

The innerworkings of my mind. Blank.

My butt aches from sitting on my bed and I have to work in the morning. But - no blog to post. Nope. It went away.

I clicked on "Post This Entry" and it disappeared.

Now it is late and I am tired. I will try again tomorrow.

Freaking pisses me off sometimes.....

Trapped in an Elevator

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Perfect Holiday Gift
I read this article and thought to myself. I want one, too.

I want a cell phone jammer, too.

Sometimes, I am trapped by cell phones. I am trapped in elevators, cars, in line at the store, in my office, at a meal or wherever by someone's cell phone conversation.

I have actually started covering my mouth when I am talking near people to avoid being overheard. I realized that if I were at home no one would listen to me and no one really needed to know what I am plotting.

It drives me nuts when people shout into their cell phone as if they are in a crowded room and no one could possibly hear them anyway. While everyone makes crazy faces at the cell phone shouter, I am the one suggested that she might be more comfortable having her conversation in another room. That is right. I am an advocate of bringing folks back to reality.


In the past, it was cool to have a cell phone. People thought you were important. We were quiet while business deals or medical advice was dispensed. Once, a guy accepted a job offer on his cell phone.

Today, it is just nonsense.

Husbands calling about grocery lists; a guy telling his brother that his girlfriend had filed assault charges before he was able to do so; friends who don't want anything at all but to know what you are doing; chinese food orders; party locations and attendees; or daughters asking their mom where their school uniform is located.

Too Much Information Overload

I want it to stop. Cover your mouth when you answer your phone or don't answer it. Look around you. There are people there. Is your life really that interesting that strangers must be subjected to one-half of your conversation? And for the sake of all things private, don't answer your phone in a public restroom.

Frizzy Hooker

Yarn Stash Afghan Blanket


The baby will not be here until April. I am going to take my time on this one.

I B Knitty

Great Escape Cape

I am having quite a bit of trouble with the whole 'making a seam' issue. I had to buy more yarn. Argh. Thank goodness there was exactly ONE ball remaining of the Eros yarn.

Knotted Openwork Shawl

Still have not touched this one in two weeks.

Too Much Vanilla....

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What do you believe?
I do not believe in a lot of things. but there is one thing that I do believe without a doubt in my heart.

I am not clear on Angels, Vampires or reverse-racism but I definitely believe that some things do exist.

I believe in creatures that hide small objects until you give up looking for them.

I believe that ghosts haunt us, although I can't figure out why they would bother.

I believe that you can put too much vanilla in a recipe in opposition to what my mother told me once.

I believe that daisies are the friendliest flowers.

I believe that bluetooth headsets as technology should be banned and no further research should be developed around the concept.

I believe that robots should not be made to look like humans.

I believe that really cheap shoes hurt you in the long run.

I believe that Christmas trees are creepy.

I believe that the act of shaving is symbolic of men's dominance.

But more than any of those listed and many not listed - I believe that Zombies are Real

If you believe as I do, then follow this guy's website and order your uniform.

Just think about all of the medicines that are pulled off the market each year. All of the medicines that are probably sitting in a refrigerator - fermenting. Between the fields of bio-chemistry, genetics, religious fanaticism, and anthropology, I think that it is more possible than a national health care system.

Identify this picture


Okay, I can tell that it is a stopwatch. But then I look under it and find.....


What are those holes for? They have teeth inside as if to grab something but exactly what?

Frizzy Hooker

Yarn Stash Afghan Blanket


The baby will not be here until April. I am going to take my time on this one.

I B Knitty

Great Escape Cape

II am really close to completing this one. I taught myself how to walk and knit at the same time.

Knotted Openwork Shawl

I didn't have time to work on this shawl last week. I hope to have it done by the Holidays, even though, it was supposed to be a B-Day gift.

My New Widget - i have no idea what a widget is but here goes it///

Plan Well

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I can't express myself with just one simple page
There is a reason that I have not posted.

I have been given signs. Many of them in fact. Some lessons that I refuse to learn.

First, I need to do things myself and stop hiring handy-man or professional. They all lie or mislead. At least, if I hire someone, I need to learn how to check their work. Just click on "contractors" in my tag cloud and you will see.

It started two months ago. I noticed water damage to the ceiling of my craft room/office. I called the handy man. He has disappeared . It happened again. They always disappear. This guy has been missing for weeks before the leak. I patiently waited . On a cool day I went into the attic to investigate. You didn't think that I would go up there when it was blazing hot just because it was leaking did you? Silly reader.

This is what I found. The roof vent for the bathroom exhaust fan did not have a closing flap to keep the water from wrecking my ceiling . AND the screws used to anchor it to the ceiling were incorrect. The vent tube had been attached with duct tape and had come loose. I would have discovered the water problems earlier if it had been falling on my head when I brushed my teeth. Instead it get water stains on the ceiling of the bedroom next door after weeks of it leaky.

This is what it should have looked like. What I had going on in my attic was a hot funky mess.

When I had it repaired Monday, the contractor had me inspect everything and check that the flap worked to keep the water out. Maybe now, I have learned my lesson.

On Sunday the toilet started leaking. Isn't that funny? As if it knew that I had hired someone to fix the roof cap. It would have leaked for an entire day if there had not been a hole in the bathroom floor where the water flowed to drop onto the kitchen floor. I had been mopping the kitchen floor all morning and I was beginning to think the cats were peeing on the floor. See, I discovered the leak when the water landed on my head. I had to replace the entire bowl kit and have the floor sealed.

This is a great website for you do-it-yourselfer I could have done it myself without the contractor.

Well, back to the original reason for hiring the new contractor. Yes, the moist basement.... When he came to assess the problem he determined that I first needed to build up the foundation.

Second lesson - get a better understanding of volume

So, I called the county recycling division and had 4 cu yd of topsoil dumped onto my driveway. Note: Always call the city or county before calling a professional company when you need landscaping materials. I got the mulch for the city forestry department.

I should have remembered that I have no real understanding of what a cubic yard looks like. First the mulch and now the topsoil. Had I reviewed that blog entry, I would not have ordered so much topsoil.

After he finished applying the topsoil around the foundation of my house, there was (of course) a lot left over. I was very concerned. The next day was Halloween and there are many options that children/pranksters have on that day. They could see the huge pile of dirt as an invitation to play. They could be frightened by the huge pile of dirt or think that it is a part of some stage Halloween show. The parents would avoid a house with a huge pile of dirt. Well wouldn't you? I thought about putting a sign on the topsoil. Then abandoned it. I was beginning to think that the Heavens were telling me not to hand out candy this year.

Third lesson - Plan well.

I am trying to go out of town tomorrow. I have had to get all of these repairs completed, pack, detail my car, get the car fixed, do homework and pay bills before I leave.

In preparation, yesterday during lunch I took my car in for repairs. I learned that my warranty expired last year and the notices probably went to my mother's house. I was looking at $300 for wear and tear repairs. And many more....So, what did I do?

I bought a new car. So much for getting the old one detailed.

Frizzy Hooker

Yarn Stash Afghan Blanket


Lil Sis is having a baby and I have lots of yarn to share! This pattern is a great way to reduce yarn and decrease the cat's number of play things.

Cat Mat


Kitty is using this mat right now before the sides have been completed. I wonder if she will let me finish it.

I B Knitty

Great Escape Cape


I have been working on this item on an off for about 6 months. Which ,of course, I regret because it is getting cold.

Knotted Openwork Shawl


This shawl is a funny story. I thought that I had memorized the pattern --- not quite. When it was done, it was quite oblong. I have had to unravel it twice.

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