pixiecrinkle: (blurred)
I've noted several times recently, that my once voracious reading habit has been mostly replaced by TV, as a result of my voracious knitting habit. And really, that's just because I haven't yet mastered reading and knitting simultaneously (though I have attempted it with some success recently).

But it really became glaringly obvious that I hadn't been reading when I went back to start tagging old entries here on lj and didn't really need my "media: books" tag for any of 2005. Yikes. It just so happens that I have read several things recently, so I shall now report dutifully, and get to use my tag. And offer actual content for once.

I picked up, about a month ago, Don DeLillo's The Names. This is a book that's been sitting on my shelf for several years, having been bought in bulk with many other paperbacks at a rummage sale. And since the ex-BF and I had a little disagreement about DeLillo when I referred to him as a mid-list author* I had kind of resisted reading it. Well, this was the first book in about 10 years that I've actually hated enough to not finish reading. I could not get into it at all, and found that I was zoning out while trying to finish it because I couldn't even figure out what I was supposed to be getting out of it. The prose is well-written, the story just held no interest for me. (And I kept comparing it to Prague, which, while not a stellar, oh-my-god-you-must-read this kind of book, did the whole ex-patriate thing in a way that resonated much more clearly with me.

So, after putting that down, I read Ann Patchett's Bel Canto for my book club. This, I loved. It's really well written, and Patchett does a very good job at making this fictious, politically unstable South American country she creates quite timely, and timeless. The characters were wonderful. The ending, it's tragic, but there's no way it could have ended in a non-tragic manner without becoming sappy and Disney-fied. And while I first thought the postscript was a copout, I actually think without it the ending would have felt too isolating. I don't want to say too much about the story here, but it's fascinating to see something play out in basically one setting for an entire novel (the characters are held hostage).

After that, I went to a little fluffier book with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's At Wit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much. I really didn't expect to like this as much as I did. It's basically a series of paragraph long observations about obsessive fiberholics, but she did such a good job of pairing these observations with quotations and then little italicized lessons that it really works. I whipped through this in a few days, but it will be the kind of book you can flip through every so often.

Next up was a non-fiction book I picked up at Half Price just because the title sounded intriguing: Bachelor Girl : The Secret History of Single Women in the Twentieth Century, by Betsy Israel. If I could, I'd append "Mostly in New York" to the end of the title. This was a really intriguing history of single women and how society has viewed them, as well as how they view themselves as a class. And it was actually funny too. I liked this primarily because it filled a lot of holes in American history, as far as what happened between education and marriage for those women who didn't go right from one to the other. The statistics on valium use among single women when it was first introduced were staggering. And labor conditions for so-called "pink collar" jobs in the 20s and 30s? Eeeek.

I'm currently in the middle of three books:

Zen and the Art of Knitting: Exploring the Links Between Knitting, Spirituality, and Creativity by Bernadette Murphy, which I am so far enjoying. I also have The Knitting Sutra: Craft as a Spiritual Practice by Susan G. Lydon on loan from a fellow SnB'er, and I realized I did skim it a while back, but I think I'll re-read this after I'm finished with the first one.

Then there's Carol Shields' The Republic of Love. I am such a Shields fan, and whenever I'm reading an author for whom there's no hope of more books (Shields died in 2003) I tend to slow down on reading books I haven't yet. This is a new one for me, and I'm loving it so far.

At lunch I went over to the library and picked up my reserves, and started reading All In My Head: An Epic Quest to Cure an Unrelenting, Totally Unreasonable, and Only Slightly Enlightening Headache by Paula Kamen. Wow. I think someone on my friends list recommended this? Well, let me second that. I'm only two chapters in, and I'm already making notes of things for further research of my own. And it's kind of funny too, which is always good in the context of a non-fiction book, I think.


*In retrospect, I may have been baiting him at the time I said this. However, "mid-list" isn't necessarily a derisive term coming from me, especially given the context. At the time, I was saying I'd be happy to be a mid-list author myself, meaning that sales do not necessarily correlate to literary quality.
pixiecrinkle: (wig)
So, last night really was fun. )

So, today's been fairly non-productive on the whole. I woke up early, but then went back to sleep until noon, then went off to Panera for lunch. I had the IC Honeydew Green Tea drink thingee. It was interesting. After the first sip, I thought I wasn't going to be able to drink it, but then I got used to it. (What I didn't get used to was the half-inch diameter straw they served it with. Odd.) Then I went up to Half Price to sell some old books, and of course spent more than the $7.00 they gave me. I got a Henry James novel and a new portfolio (with the intent to write my latest novel idea out in it), some stuff for the gift exchange if we do the "All Leo Birthday Party" we've been talking about, and, the crowning achievement...a copy of Amy Rigby's _Sugar Tree_! It has a lot of her best stuff on it, including "Cynically Yours," which she played the other night and that I've been campaigning for BF to play at B&J's wedding when she DJs the reception.

Finished In the Time of the Butterflies today. I love love love Julia Alvarez. I'm hoping she's got something new coming out soon, because I don't have anything left of hers to read now!

Was thinking about going up to the cheap theatre tonight to see something, but there's not really anything out I want to see. So it'll be math homework tonight and cleaning tomorrow. And hopefully some yoga in there too somewhere. I signed up for the workshop in "Approaching Impossible Poses" and I'm a little scared now. Plus, I need to get ready for the Rodney Yee workshop in September. It's closer than I like to think about.

Rodney Yee

Sep. 8th, 2002 11:42 am
pixiecrinkle: (Default)
So today, Rodney Yee was at Yoga on High doing a demo and booksigning. He's actually there for the whole week, but doing teacher training, so I can't take the classes. So BestFriend and I and S & E from work went to the demo. Wow. What an amazing guy. I like the fact that even though he can be totally deep for 15 minutes, he'll then turn around and say, "But, then again, I don't really know." Very personable.

The demo was....wow. There were times that the room was totally silent, and then he'd do something really incredibly hard and look quite a bit like he was flying and the whole room would be filled with "ooh" and "oh" and "mmmm." It's like no one wanted to be the one making the noises but everyone wanted to scream "Oh my god!" So instead, they just made these little involuntary grunts.

Afterward, S & E & I got our books signed and the four of us got our picture taken with him. S should have the pix developed soon and then I'll post it.

Then S, E, their hubbies, BestFriend and I went to Haiku for a sushi dinner. Mr. Yee himself showed up at one point while we were stuffing ourselves on the patio. Some other people in his party wanted to eat elsewhere, so they left, but he did stop and say hello, much to the hubbies' chagrin. I think they thought we were a little fan-girlish. Well, we probably were, but probably not nearly as bad as the middle aged women at the book signing.

It was a good day. Definitely the inspiration I needed to get back into my yoga practice.
pixiecrinkle: (Default)
Well, after hitting both coasts in one month, I am very happy to be at home for a little while. Have even temporarily abandoned by time-waster habit of searching for cheap airfares, because I sooooooo don't want to go anywhere right now. I am playing catch up at work like crazy because of being away all but something like 12 days in July. Wow.

Seattle was absolutely incredible. I want to move there so badly. And if the job keeps going the way it is and BestFriend and RW are really serious about going out there too, that makes it all the more likely. It's just so gorgeous out there, and you don't need a car, and there are mountains, and water, and ferries, and islands, and so on and so on.
Of course, yoga went a bit by the wayside while I was gone. I did make it to a "Hatha Flow" class at 8 Limbs while in Seattle, which totally kicked my butt (might have had something to do with having to hike up and down the hills to get there), but other than that, I only made it to class about 3 times in July. And not too much more practice here at home. But as of this week, I've been there 2 days out of the 2 days of the week. So I'm getting back on the right track.

Bought a bike right before I left for Seattle. I actually rode it to Kroger one night last week. That was an experience. I made it all the way back, stopped the bike, and then, while getting off of it, my messenger bag strap broke, so I fell and the bike fell on me. So now I'm the proud owner of a big ol' scrape. Joy.

The work situation is, well, hard to describe. The Wig/The Dozer or whatever you want to call her justs keeps on being herself. I'm getting closer to the breaking point, but the really really bad weeks seem to alternate with the weeks of not seeing her at all, so I'm not sure what's up.

If the perfect job in Seattle dropped in my lap tomorrow, I'd take it though. Anybody need a self-appointed web usability expert who can problem solve like nobody's business and write copy too??? Anyone???

Off to bed now. My campaign this week is to get more sleep and give myself a regular schedule.

Recent books read: Backpack, by ???? Fluff, but perfect for the plane trip; A Girl Named Zippy---very very good, but all too short. Currently reading (yes, simultaneously) The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, The 14 Day Herbal Cleansing and biographies of Vermeer, and Virginia Woolf. So much for fluff.

'Night.
pixiecrinkle: (Default)
Just finished Silas Marner while eating dinner tonight. Hmmph. I love George Eliot, but this book just didn't do it for me. The whole time, I just couldn't get what the deal was with Silas, didn't like any of the "upper class" people at all, couldn't even get into the "scandal" and then the end was just totally unsatisfying. Hmmmph.

Decided to read Henry James' What Maisie Knew next. Hopefully it will give me my "classics fix" that I've so craved lately.

I'm going to take the bubble bath I meant to take and skipped last night. Woo-hoo!

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