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movie movie movie the word has lost all meaning

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012
My Oscar Summary:

Billy Crystal - terrible in ways I would not have predicted.
Angelina's leg -  I think she was goofing on everyone and I kind of love her for it. LEG OUT
Bret Mackenzie - BRET! That he won for work with Muppets makes it even better.
Emma Stone's  dress - she loved it so much that I LOVE IT TOO. 95% of all other gowns looked like Barbie Prom, why not have a little fun with a beautiful color and a giant neck bow?
The Rest: I was crocheting, but I did love Captain Von Trapp winning his award with his dashing mustache and generous thanks. I'm also curious what they bleeped out of Christian Bale's speech.

IN SHORT: Hugh Jackman, please come back! (it won't embed, which makes me sad.) Notice that by the end of his performance that the audience loves him - he's really bringing it and they respond with surprise and delight -  not the grim gutting it out of 2012's audience. Oh, Hugh. (siiiigh.)

These two videos below made me laugh - first the star-studded trailer for Movie: The Movie, put together by Jimmy Kimmell and some people willing to be very silly.  Gary Oldman should be in everything. After that, Making the Movie: The Making of Movie: The Movie. ha ha ha!

a word from Mrs. Hawkins

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Friday, February 24, 2012
Mrs. Hawkins on editing:

A large part of an editor's job is rejection. Perhaps nine-tenths. In those days at least, it was not only rejection of manuscripts but of those ideas that seemed to come walking into my office every day in the shape of pensive men and women talking with judicious facial expressions about such mutilated concepts as optimist/pessimist, fascist/communist, extrovert/introvert, highbrow/middlebrow/lowbrow; and this claptrap they applied to art, literature and life to the effect that all joy, wit and the pleasures of curiosity were quite squeezed out. 

Muriel Spark,  A Far Cry From Kensington

More on this later, but I will say now that I enjoyed it very much. Mrs. Hawkins is one of the more memorable characters I've come across lately.

fold the cloth

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Thursday, February 23, 2012
waves at whale cove

Right now, this very minute (12:26 AM) I am listening to the Cate Le Bon album Cyrk and the song playing is Fold the Cloth - I'm enjoying the album so far.  This song's got a kind of psychedelic welsh hippie mama vibe, which I like.

I am having strange days! Part of the strange days condition (not officially recognized by the AMA or any official body) is that I'm having trouble articulating the reasons - but the results are that I've been a spotty blogger, a terrible email correspondent, etc. I haven't even been writing much in the journal I've kept faithfully for years. Maybe it's just a quiet time? I'm feeling a little more interior than usual. It's nothing bad - I'm not sick or depressed, just contained. Anyway, that seems like a feeling about to pass and I'm not sorry.  Spring is coming - the light lingers, the bulbs are pushing out of the dirt; we'll see what happens.

ocean views, accidental stabbing, and ebook bargains

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

went to the beach on Saturday - it was lovely, as always. I feel like I hardly went at all in 2011, so it was nice to get a visit in early this year - may it be the first of many.   There are a lot more photos but I still need to upload them -  haven't fixed my camera yet as none of the tiny screwdrivers I've acquired are tiny enough! I did discover that they are just the right size for accidentally stabbing myself in the index finger, though. GOOD TIMES! 


Oooh - more ebook deals: Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere  for 2.99 on kindle, nook, and ibooks - this was the first Gaiman book I ever read and I have an abiding fondness for it. 

Jennifer Crusie's Welcome to Temptation/ Bet Me bundle is only 6.99 on kindle , nook, and ibooks. These are both romantic, fast, and funny full length novels - 6.99 for two is a good deal! 

These deals won't last long, so if you're interested, act soon. 

cats cats cats

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Friday, February 10, 2012
sweet busby
Busby, looking handsome as always. He's such a good cat and has been very patient with insane kitten situations, which is why when he steals my spot like he did right here, I just let him have it and sit one cushion over. (insane kitten situations = all situations involving Otis, who has decided that the only way he likes to eat is from the same bowl as Busby at the same time Busby is trying to eat from it.)

Otis stalks the granny square
Somehow in his kitten brain, granny squares are wily prey that must be stalked, pounced, carried in his mouth, attacked with hind claws, and hidden in his secret treasure hoard. (location of secret treasure hoard, and don't tell him I told you: top of the stairs by the shoes.)

Otis stalks the granny square
It gets a little Gollum-y in the living room.

Otis stalks the granny square
He snatched this one off the couch right after I put the border on it.

coming up

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Thursday, February 09, 2012
white violet
Winter flowers are blooming - these little white violets are some of my favorites - the purple violets haven't started yet. There were snowdrops (despite no snow), but my photo of them was too blurry. I'll try again tomorrow.

Rhubarb is emerging. When it dies back in the late summer/ fall, I never believe that it will come back,  yet it always does!

This week has been strangely out of time. I've had the cold that's been all over town - not as bad as some have had it, thank goodness, but bad enough that my nose is raw from tissue and I want to sleep all the time.  In the interests of doing the things I mean to do every day yet somehow don't, I've been using this calendar/list website. I like it! It's clean and simple and crossing things off is satisfying. I know I could probably set this all up inside a calendar program or something, but I like it this way. It's not one more thing to figure out, it's just typing and clicking and actually watering the plants.

In other news, I am now way behind on Devil in the White City and am going to have to do a lot of catching up before Sunday. It's beautifully written, but the serial killer freaks me all the way out. I know he's been dead for a long time, but still: MAJOR CREEPY. So far on the architecture side it's mostly been meetings, which while important are not particularly riveting. Frederick Law Olmsted doesn't shoot anybody or anything. (at least not yet!) My reading eye has been wandering, but I'm ready to buckle down now. It really is very good.

first paragraph

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Saturday, February 04, 2012
I just started The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America. I was worried at first that I'd left this book too long - the meeting for my non-ficton book group is a week from Sunday and non-fiction (depending on subject) takes me longer to read than fiction. But after reading this first paragraph I don't think I'll have any problem. It all seems very exciting! This quote's not even the book proper, but an author's note at the very beginning.

Evils Imminent
(a note)
In Chicago at the end of the nineteenth century amid the smoke of industry and the clatter of trains there lived two men, both handsome, both blue-eyed, and both unusually adept at their chosen skills. Each embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized the rush of America toward the twentieth century. One was an architect, the builder of many of America's most important structures, among them the Flatiron building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C.; the other was a murderer, one of the most prolific in history and harbinger of an American archetype, the urban serial killer. Although the two never met, at least not formally, their fates were linked by a single, magical event, one largely fallen from modern recollection but that in its time was considered to possess a transformative power nearly equal to that of the Civil War. 

Like I said: EXCITING. Can't you hear the movie trailer guy reading this?

Earlier today I finished The Magician King by Lev Grossman. It was so good! I'm still collecting my thoughts - right now they're bouncing around ("remember that part? so excellent!" etc.)  and I'm full of that good feeling a satisfying novel delivers.

sharp kitten teeth

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Thursday, February 02, 2012
I started writing about the books I'm reading now, but as happens every time I try to write about books lately, I got all tangled up so I quit. Tomorrow, so help me, I will pull it together and write about at least one book. (They're good books, even! it's not like I'm trying to cushion a blow.)     

But tonight I bring you this picture of Otis, who is getting very tall! And very bad. What is it about kittens at this age and their love of walking on precarious ledges and climbing in houseplants and affectionately biting faces with their little razor teeth?