Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dear Blog Reader,

Dear Blog Reader,

I am sorry that I have been so sluggish in posting interesting bits of my thoughts and life. The truth is I've forgotten where I've put them in the stacks and stacks of books about knowledge of STDs in the early twentieth century and interpretations of Clarissa Dalloway. They're jumbled up in the mass of Hebrew-ish sounding words that I'm trying oh sorry hard to pronounce right when I know that if ONLY my parents had been Jewish this would be so much easier for me. They're piling up in the corners of my mind waiting to be shared with the blogosphere and acting as meditation for my library updating. But that's where they'll have to stay for now--hidden, jumbled, shoved in a corner. One day I'll have time to muse again, but for now I'm going to take a blogging break so I can give all things their proper focus.

Sincerely,

brnh

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Big Four-Oh

I know many people keep lists of the books they read in various levels of detail. I've been intrigued, but never participated. But then facebook had the virtual bookshelf app that I thought was pretty cool until I forgot to update it. And Kristina from the fiveawesomegirls got woefully behind on her New Year's Resolution to read 50 books in a year. (She was at like 15 in July.) And I was forgetting where I was in the Gossip Girl series. So I thought I would make a list in my favorite list-making place: Google docs.

First off, let me fangirl Google docs just for a second. It's an amazing application. I can access documents from my laptop and my work computer. I don't have to remember to email myself the latest saved draft. And I can link up my favorite people to share info and edit things. Nearly 2 years ago, we set up my dad with a Google account so he could enter in the RSVP cards he got for our wedding (because in the antiquated wedding etiquette all that mail goes to the patriarchal head of the bride's household). So Mike and I could literally watch Dad add people. It was amazing and it was all in a spreadsheet that we continue to use to... not send out Christmas cards... Anyway. It's amazing. You should use it.

Back to the point at hand, I started keeping a list of the books I read with the title and the date I finished them in July. This week once I finish A Handful of Dust for Brit Lit and Silhouette in Scarlet (because I can't live without fun reading) I will have read 40 books since July. I'm so on track to hit 50 before New Year's Eve. I'm just kind of amazed. I mean, I know I read a LOT, but that's kind of a scary amount of a lot. No wonder my magazine pile has been languishing. :-) No wonder I can't necessarily remember it all.

As for why Google Docs works where Virtual Bookshelf fails, there are two factors: 1) High visibility: I'm always on Google something or other so the docs link crosses my field of vision often, and I maintain other lists there. Virtual bookshelf was always way down on my profile page and now in the box tab or someplace. I don't even know where. 2) Simple recording process no analysis of which copy of the book I have, current status or anything. I just pop in the title while I'm reading (if that reading takes a couple of days) and jot the date when I finish (or make it up if I forget). Even letting the list lag a week isn't too bad because it's really only 3 or 4 books max. My memory can handle that. I don't even list authors--too complicated. I can always google the author. :-)

Soon a post on why I HAVE to have fun reading.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

There's Something Wrong Here...

The analysis indicates that the author of http://thedimlyseen.blogspot.com is of the type:
ESTP - The Doers
The active and play-ful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities.

The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.

I'd like to point out that ESTP is the exact OPPOSITE of my Myers-Briggs letters. Obviously, I am not doing a very good job of reflecting my personality in this blog. However, I plugged some of my fellow bloggers in and it doesn't necessarily hit match theirs either. How odd.

Want to play? Check out Typealyzer.

Man, I really want to know what algorithms go into that...

H/T Mike whose blog is INTP

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ecclesiastical Embroidery: It is finished!

Hear the victory cry! (A week late of course.) After freaking out about the GRE being 8 days away and having 2 1/2 books to read in a weekend and needing to do a project for a church committee oh and planning my bible study for the next morning (Micah!), I sat down to spent some quality time with a needle, some thread, and Bones. (I'm one episode away from finishing Season 2--big fan when they don't show all the graphic, gory details. I get enough graphic gory details in "literature".) Anyway here is the result:
Click here to see the before. Wow so that was kind of a lot of work. So it's pointy in the back, right? Evidently pointy in the back is hard so that part's a little wonky. But I think the design is pretty solid. The instructions I used have you machine stitch the inside seam (the part closest to the neck) which gets the most wear. I think machine stitching is stronger in general (unless you're talking about buttons) and well easier. Then the outside is handstitched which saves you the trouble of trying to turn the stupid tube inside out which can be incredibly difficult. (Of course the handstitching did take the length of the Godfather and two or three discs of Bones.) And it just seems like a nice touch on a handmade piece.

So that's it. Mike can get ordained now. Now I just have Advent/Lent, Christmas/Easter, and Pentecost/Epiphany to make. Fortunately, the woman who painted this beauty has another piece in the works, and it might even be a full stole so we'll see what happens. I think those can wait until after classes finish though. Until then Ecclesiastical Embroidery is on hiatus. Whew!

You can see just a bit of the set-back method I learned for this project. It keeps the lining from peeking out of the edge of the stole. (The little patch is from the woman who painted it.)










Here's the embroidery in action. It's my design contribution to the stole.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thoreau Wanna-be

I've always been enamored with Henry David Thoreau. He appeals to my introvert. I used to plan out how to live at my grandma's "rustic" cabin (ac but no indoor toilet). Food was always the issue. I need food to live. Gardens are not possible really. And there are snakes. I don't like snakes. But the idea of living alone and writing and writing and writing--oh it sounds like heaven.

In the midst of this week of my first week of full classes (after 5 weeks of weird days off), finishing Mike's stole, getting sick, AND studying for the Literature in English GRE, I find myself longing for a cabin on Walden Pond. It doesn't help that I have to read about Henry David Thoreau while I'm studying.

So tomorrow morning I'm going to be regurgitating every I could possibly know about literature, but I'll be wishing that I was at least taking the test by some body of water.