black cloud

Today does hold some good news

Good news: Blagojevich got booted from office

Bad news: My friend lost his job for no good reason other than people just aren’t spending money.

Kind of outweighs the good.

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movie star drool

Attention, Nick Hornby Fans!

According to Nick’s blog, the film he wrote, An Education, premiered at Sundance and won the Audience Award and a prize for John de Borman’s cinematography. It got picked up for distribution by Sony Classics so maybe we’ll get to see it in the US.

Yay, Nick!

new books (yay) · random · stuff I read

(late) Resolution Wrap-Up, Week 4

Worst pick-up line ever: “Read to me baby and take my mind off this pain.” – uttered by the dude sitting next to me on the bus tonight (damn, knew I should have moved to one of the empty seats once the other passengers got off)

A very late Resolution review – I did make it to a ballet class (after minding a visiting pediatrician for the week) but Dad did interrupt my plans to hit the gym; I got a new kitchen faucet out of the interruption, so it’s not all bad. I’m not covered in water in the mornings anymore. I ate a little better this week but I need to hit the grocery store to stock back up on my staples.

I picked up several new books this week. Our little group at the store is reading Three Bags Full – a mystery told from the perspective of the flock – and it sounds very cute. I picked up Alison Weir’s new book Mistress of the Monarchy about Katherine Swynford, the Duchess of Lancaster; I like her biography of Eleanor of Acquitaine so much I couldn’t pass this one up. I also picked up Our Mutual Friend and The Mystery of Edwin Drood to add to my The Old Curiosity Shop, Little Dorrit, and The Pickwick Papers so I have more Dickens to read (in my spare time, hah!). I bought a new book of knitting patterns, Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarns, that has some really nice sock patters. I also came across a new Oxford edition of Christina Rossetti’s poetry and prose – couldn’t pass that up, either.

I finished Lisa Zunshine’s Why We Read Fiction. She has some interesting ideas on Theory of Mind and metarepresentation and how that ties in with our preference for stories. I don’t think she quite sold me on the idea because her given examples bounced all over the place without truly going into detail on more than just two titles – Clarissa and Lolita – both of which represented novels with unreliable narrators. Her section on detective novels was woefully short and superficial (and feature two still photographs from the film adaptation of The Maltese Falcon which really didn’t belong in the book because the movie wasn’t discussed at all). She did spend a great deal of time detailing how Theory of Mind works from a psychological standpoint but she really didn’t “prove” (as much as it can be proven) why we read fiction.

Current book-in-progress: Silas Marner (for LbW – February starts next week) and Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann; I seem also to have gotten into a Dickens phase
Current knitted item: Bollocks on that scarf, I started a pair of socks from Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarns (the “Puntuated Rib Sock” pattern)
Current movie obsession: John Adams
Current iTunes loop: Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Calliet

new books (yay) · TV shows

Resolution Wrap-Up, Week 3

I’d like a mulligan, please.

I got sick this week and that is frustrating because when I’m sick I tend to not do much of anything and eat whatever I want. It is doubly frustrating because that rotten asthma I picked up 6 years ago causes a common 3-day cold to last nearly two weeks; my lungs just incubate that crap. So here’s to hoping that I’m not incubating anything for which I’ll going to need antibiotics.

My copy of the new Pink Carnation book came in last night; The Temptation of the Night Jasmine by Lauren Willig. Lauren seems to be retreating in her trashiness. The first novel in the series (The Secret History of the Pink Carnation) was pretty trashy and had some good, old-fashioned Regency spy plot devices. Well, this one had better relationship development as far as the romance between Charlotte and Robert but was pretty light on the espionage part. Still, it was cute and I read the whole thing in about 3 hours (Eloise’s relationship with Colin is sort-of boring, even when compared to an untrashy Regency fling). I think my favorite in the series is #3, The Deception of the Emerald Ring.

I also watched the British version (original) of Eleventh Hour with Patrick Stewart and Ashley Jensen. The UK one is only 4 episodes, so it was more like a miniseries; the US version is my new favorite TV show because it has Rufus Sewell (have I mentioned this before?). I liked how Rachel (Ashley Jensen) has a much sharper toungue than her US counterpart, but I feel the US show moves along much faster.

Current book-in-progress: Silas Marner and who knows what else
Current knitted item: Who knew a scarf could take quite so long
Current movie obsession: Netflix instant; I have John Adams next up in the queue
Current iTunes loop: some podcasts downloaded from iTunesU

The Self-Improvement Crazy-train

Resolution Wrap-Up, Week 2

I missed a few days on my food diary, whoops, but I did try to keep the overload of non-healthy things to a minimum, like no scones everyday, no venti mochas, etc. I also tried to keep the snacking late at night down, too; I didn’t cut it out entirely but I feel like I’m not raiding the kitchen for the time being.

I definitely need to add more veggies into the mix (yuck, tastes icky). This would be helped by my actually going to the grocery store. Perhaps I should do that today.

I bought a few new gym things last weekend – who knew that finding sports bras for those of us who are well endowed would be that hard? With regular sports bras, as you get into larger sizes the band width just increases, not the cup size. I did finally find some by MotionFit for $44 a pop. Ouch. But at least my boobs aren’t stuffed up under my chin. Then, as fate would have it, I slipped and fell in the store parking lot later that day. I caught myself on the hood of someone’s car, doing a strange one-armed triceps dip in the process, and strained my latissimus muscle on that side. Hurts a lot. So I didn’t make it to the gym until yesterday, rats, but I did do about an hour of cardio (ran out of steam the last 15 or 20 minutes but the point is to actually do the time; I’ll build endurance later).

Plan for the day (I work at 3pm):
1. Go to the co-op. Buy fruits and veggies.
2. Go to Hy-Vee.
3. Gym? Maybe after work since I don’t think I’ll have time between grocery shopping and making it to the store (snowed a bit again so the roads are a little covered).