Thursday, April 26, 2007

Episode Fifty-one: Happy (fill-in-the-blank) To Me!

Hey, do me a favor, wouldja? Click on that Popcurrent thingy in the right margin (here if you're looking at Libsyn).

And take a look at this very useful sock page (I I obsessed?).

I'm freaking people out with my Hufflepuff Sock (What is that...a BADGER?!). Spinning a buncha llama, in public no less. Trying not to lose my mind when I go for a week at a time without talking to another adult. And being very sad over losing Vera.

Take a look here for help on French Titles. And enjoy Book 2, Chapter IX, The Gorgon's Head.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Episode Fifty: Just The Chapters, Ma'am

Waiting for word on the t-shirt glitch. I'll post here when I know more.

From Katie: I got a notice yesterday that Caf├ęPress experienced storage and backup failure recently. My guess is our image was a part of the ones they were unable to restore. I still have a copy, so I’ll get those products put back up later on today.

I'm about to head out to see the oral surgeon AGAIN. My mouth is still stuffed with gauze and my head is stuffed iwth Vicodan (which, sadly, ain't workin' too well).

Today it's just the chapters. I'm sorry about that, but I'll post what tidbits I can here. And, honestly, you wouldn't be able to understand me talk about these chapters a sadder note, my friend Jeannie Townsend (of sock creating fame) who has given away literally thousands of sock patterns for free, is now supporting son and grandson (this would be the third grandchild she is raising!!). She is now trying to pay the light bill by selling a sock pattern. She's able to accept PayPal for $5 to JeanTownsend [at] earthlink [dot] net. Let her know in the note line that you'd like the Gold Sock Pattern.
She also donated a sock pattern which now comes free with the purchase of yarn from the Astrid Dutch Obsessions web site.

Some interesting info from Sandi (who, like me, should take up a collection for an OED):

I was just listening to episode 48, and I was curious about the last line in Congratulatory, which describes the winding sheet of the candle dripping onto Carton's sleeve. I got that it's an obvious omen of death, but I just couldn't wrap my head around how it would be possible to combine a burial shroud and a candle. So, I did a little internet searching and found this explanation:

“[a] mass of solidified drippings of grease clinging to the side of a candle, resembling a sheet folded in creases, and regarded in popular superstition as an omen of death or calamity” (OED).

Apparently, in Scottish tradition the same association is made between candle drippings and death:

"The common tallow candle in burning often gutters, and the tallow runs over the edge and down the side of the candle. It soon hardens. When the flame consumes the candle, at times the little column formed by the gutter is left standing unconsumed on the edge of the candle. It is called a "coffin-spehl," and is looked upon with suspicion as portending a death in the family at no very distant period."

Based on those two bits of folklore, I'm guessing that there is an association between candle drippings and burial shrouds because: a) the creased wax simply resembles the cloth of a shroud, and b) this creased wax is what remains of the candle after the flame has burnt out, the extinguishing of light, of course, being symbolic of death.

And then, there's today's chapters, Book 2, chapters 6, 7, 8.

Chapter 6: All About Foreshadowing–really. Nothing should be taken for mere "filler" in this chapter. Miss Pross and Mister Lorry are lovely here, and Lucie, you may notice, is in fact the "Golden Thread" that improves all it touches throughout the book. She's almost an archetype—certainly not a 'real' woman, but an important tool that Dickens is using in the book.

Chapter 7: Back to France. Pay close, close attention here. We get a little Madame Defarge here (I wonder what she'd knit?) and while this whole chapter reads like it's an extended metaphor or symbol or grand allegorical moment—it's not. doesn't hurt to see it that way, but sadly, these guys are real.
This is an ugly chapter, meant to parallel the earlier chapter of the wine cask breaking in the streets. Dickens may not like what the mob is up to, but he has no love of the aristocracy either (remember, he wasn't born rich himself).
As always with Dickens, whenever he gives you a physical description—listen closely. It's a representative of the person's soul. And speaking of souls, listen for the corruption of these men's relationship with God.
Some words for this chapter:
escutcheon the shield of a family crest.

"the merry Stuart who sold it" That was Charles II.

Convulsionists Um...think "Holy Rollers," an ecstatic religious group

Palace of the Tuileries Louis and Marie-Antoinette's digs in Paris.

Chapter 8: Lovely guy, eh? Note more red symbolism. And WHO exactly is coming to call at the end of the chapter? Hmmmm?
Some words here:
the heavy drag a carriage brake

the chase the hunt

the chain of the shoe chain connected to the brake (shoe)

And then, of course, my heart goes out to the poor students and families at Virginia Tech. I'd like to think that this finally will get us to deal with mental illness responsibly...but I think I know us too well at this point. We'll treat this guy like a freak, and the next time a teacher comes forward and says, "I have a kid in my class who needs help," that teacher will be told:
a) if he hasn't made a threat, there's nothing we can do
b) you're blowing this all out of proportion
c) you're white and he's (fill in your own) and everyone'll just think you're racist/sexist/elitist/ageist
d) we can't lock someone up for something they might do
e) look, they're just kids. They say dumb things.

And the kids who need help will continue to go it alone.

Makes me cry.

And the drop of the shoe: Vera Meiselas Mensher, 1914-2007.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Episode Forty-nine: Waiting For The Shoe...

And So It Goes...
I recorded last night and woke up today to find that Kurt Vonnegut
passed away last night. It's like my own personal Mark Twain died. So sad.

I started reading Vonnegut when I was in fifth grade. My parents let me read almost all of his books (except Player Piano) and I literally wolfed them down--most of them I've reread at some point. He wrote a two page "how to write" flyer that I THINK is still in my box of "school junk". Brilliant.
I'm so sorry he's not public domain. We wont be able to listen to him here, but I so deeply urge you to pick up something he wrote. Slaughterhouse Five (riffs on his experiences IN a Dresden meat locker (!) during our (secret) WWII bombing campaign) or Cat's Cradle (riffs on life, the universe, and everything) are good places to start.
"See? damn damn cradle..."

Back to Craftlit:

I am sad about Vera; don't forget your shirt; check out some neat yarn stores (now and pending) I came across; a cool thimble; nifty blogs to read; a Knitty Coffeeshop (no really); a knitalong for this (which I covet); and more on the mysterious "Hilary Term".

And I promised a pic of The Shirt:

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Episode Forty-eight: As God Is My Witness, On You it Looks Good!

We have a SHIRT!

Take pics of yo' bad self in a shirt and send the pics to me! I'll post them on the blog...just don't expect one of me on that new glass walk-way over the Grand Canyon !

And, please visit to support Katie who has "shirted" us.

And Carrie left this note:

More random information for you - the Bedlam mental hospital in London still exists - it is now a building called Salisbury House off London Wall and Finsbury Circus in central London and houses several law firms' offices among other things including the London office of the company I work for! (you might say not much change there then!). Although the office parts have been altered and updated the stairwells are still much as I imagine they always have been complete with tiled walls and it is a very strange mixture of a building to walk around in.

My First Sock-Swap (or, Just Call Me Sucker).

And who wouldn't want a Ron Weasley Cell Phone Cover?

And, FUN!

"With over a million hits to in its first few months, we knew this program was going to be something special," Patty Parrish, Executive Director of TNNA, explains. "Stitch N' Pitch is sweeping the Nation. The response from baseball Clubs, the needlearts industry and fans is overwhelming. Stitch N' Pitch creates a unique and fun environment for families, singles, couples, old, young, kids, women and yes, even men!"

Watch carefully and you might "catch" a knitting contest, team mascots wearing handmade colorful scarves, images of men knitting, counted cross-stitch frames, teaching tables full of children learning how to needlepoint, a Ceremonial 1st Pitch with a ball of yarn and so much more!! Special Stitch N' Pitch gift bags, giveaways and surprises will round out each fantastic event. Local needlearts retailers, wholesalers, guilds and groups will come by car, bus and train to be a part of this new American phenomenon - Stitch N' Pitch!

Enter Creative & Fun Contest - Just for the Fans!!
CRAFT Magazine's Stitch N' Pitch Contest! The contest is open to everyone to enter in their own baseball theme craft in the categories of knitting, crochet, needlepoint, cross-stitch, and embroidery. The contest kicks-off on April 4th with the deadline for submissions on May 31st.

And, as a way to date myself, you really should take a look at The Battle of the Bands (some graphic images, not for kids).