Monday, December 31, 2007

I set a lot of goals for 2007, but I only managed to complete one of them. Hopefully, 2008 will be a better year. Anyway, the one goal I accomplished this year was to read 100 new books. Not necessarily new purchases, just books I'd never read before. Thank you, Houston Public Library. I actually surpassed my goal. As of this moment, I've read 113 books. With any luck, I'll finish 114 before going to bed tonight. Yay me! Here's the list. The books I particularly enjoyed are in bold.

1. Into the Storm- Suzanne Brockmann
2. Grave Sight- Charlaine Harris
3. Tinker- Wen Spencer

4. Don’t Kiss Them Good-Bye- Allison Dubois
5. Second Sight- Amanda Quick
6. How to Be Popular- Meg Cabot
7. The Little Lady Agency- Hester Brown
8. Danse Macabre- Laurell K. Hamilton
9. Shakespeare’s Champion- Charlaine Harris
10. Grave Surprise- Charlaine Harris
11. High Heels and Homicide- Kasey Michaels
12. The Rest Falls Away- Colleen Gleason
13. Urban Shaman- C.E. Murphy
14. Mistrial’s Kiss- Laurell K. Hamilton
15. Plum Lovin’- Janet Evanovich
16. White Lies- Jayne Ann Krentz
17. Shakespeare’s Christmas- Charlaine Harris
18. Sleeping With the Fishes- Mary Janice Davidson
19. Wolf Who Rules- Wen Spencer
20. Book of True Desires- Betina Krahn
21. Black Powder War- Naomi Novik
22. All Night Long- Jayne Ann Krentz
23. On the Way to the Wedding- Julia Quinn
24. The Warrior’s Apprentice- Lois McMaster Bujold
25. The Vor Game- Lois McMaster Bujold
26. Natural Born Charmer- Susan Elizabeth Phillips
27. An Assembly Such as This- Pamela Aidan
28. Party Princess- Meg Cabot
29. Twilight- Stephenie Meyers
30. Tall, Dark, and Dead- Tate Hallaway
31. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time- Mark Haddon
32. Shards of Honor- Lois McMaster Bujold
33. A Charmed Death- Madelyn Alt
34. Barrayar- Lois McMaster Bujold
35. Duty and Desire- Pamela Aidan

36. Shakespeare’s Trollope- Charlaine Harris
37. Dance of the Gods- Nora Roberts
38. Real Vampires Have Curves- Gerry Bartlett
39. These Three Remain- Pamela Aidan
40. Blood Bound- Patricia Briggs

41. Centaganda- Lois McMaster Bujold
42. Ethan of Athos- Lois McMaster Bujold
43. The Smoke Thief- Shana Abe
44. Maximum Ride- James Patterson
45. Dead Beat- Jim Butcher
46. No Humans Involved- Kelley Armstrong
47. Brother in Arms- Lois McMaster Bujold
48. Mirror Dance- Lois McMaster Bujold

49. The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever- Julia Quinn
50. All Together Dead- Charlaine Harris
51. The Jinx- Jennifer Sturman
52. The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes- Jenny Crusie, et al.
53. Lean Mean Thirteen- Janet Evanovich
54. Rises the Night- Colleen Gleason
55. Memory- Lois McMaster Bujold
56. Pants on Fire- Meg Cabot
57. Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows- J.K. Rowling
58. Komar- Lois McMaster Bujold
59. The Harlequin- Laurell K. Hamilton
60. Sorcery and Cecelia- Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
61. Castle of the Wolf- Sandra Schwab
62. A Civil Campaign- Lois McMaster Bujold
63. Kitty Goes to Washington- Carrie Vaughn
64. Diplomatic Immunity- Lois McMaster Bujold
65. Princess on the Brink- Meg Cabot
66. 13 Little Blue Envelopes- Maureen Johnson
67. The Devil Who Tamed Her- Johanna Lindsey
68. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid- Bill Bryson
69. Shakespeare’s Counselor- Charlaine Harris
70. Proven Guilty- Jim Butcher
71. White Night- Jim Butcher
72. The Hob’s Bargain- Patricia Briggs
73. Austenland- Shannon Hale
74. Damsel Under Stress- Shanna Swendsen
75. Falling Free- Lois McMaster Bujold
76. The River Knows- Amanda Quick
77. Jinx- Meg Cabot
78. Howl’s Moving Castle- Diana Wynne Jones
79. New Moon- Stephenie Meyer
80. Eclipse- Stephenie Meyer
81. Speak- Laurie Halse Anderson
82. Silver Master- Jayne Castle
83. The Golden Compass- Phillip Pullman
84. Devil May Cry- Sherrilyn Kenyon
85. Just For Kicks- Susan Andersen
86. Unshapely Things- Mark del Franco
87. Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair- Laurie Perry
88. Adios to My Old Life- Caridad Ferrer
89. Agnes and the Hitman- Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer
90. Knitting Rules!- Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
91. Garden Spells- Sarah Addison Allen
92. Mason Dixon Knitting- Kay Gardiner and Ann Meador Shayne
93. Driven- Eve Kenin
94. Wicked Lovely- Melissa Marr
95. Witch- Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
96. Dark Lover- JR Ward
97. Over Hexed- Vicki Lewis Thompson
98. I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You- Ally Carter
99. A Lick of Frost- Laurell K. Hamilton
100. Lord of the Fading Lands- C.L. Wilson
101. The Fire Rose- Mercedes Lackey
102. Force of Nature- Suzanne Brockmann
103. Lady of Light and Shadow- C.L. Wilson
104. Lover Eternal- J.R. Ward
105. Lover Awakened- J.R. Ward

106. Lover Revealed- J.R. Ward
107. Lover Unbound- J.R. Ward
108. Witch in the House- Jenna McKnight
109. Claimed by Shadow- Karen Chance
110. Halfway to the Grave- Jeaniene Frost
111. The Sharing Knife: Beguilement- Lois McMaster Bujold
112. The Shop on Blossom Street- Debbie Macomber
113. All Through the Night- Suzanne Brockmann

Edit: I finished book number 114. Iron Kissed- Patricia Briggs

Thursday, December 20, 2007


In September there was an unauthorized charge on my debit Master Card of $450 by some company I've never heard of. I reported it to the bank, they decided it was indeed an unauthorized charge, and put the money back in my account. Today they took the money back out again.

Apparently, there was some paperwork I had to fill out that no one told me about and I never received. Now they're telling me that the window to fight the charge is passed and there's nothing they will do about it. Even though it wasn't my fault. My only option is to fight the charge with the retailer.

In September all they had was a company name, no contact info. I tried researching it at the time, but there was no internet or phone listing for the company anywhere in Texas. Today the bank was able to give me a phone number, but when I called it some random guy answered and then hung up on me when I asked for the company. When I called again he wouldn't pick up.

I did a reverse number look up. It's a cell phone number and unlisted. Of course, I can get the info if I want to spend $15 for it. I called the police instead. Now an officer is supposed to be calling me and/or coming by my apartment to take a report.

Have I mentioned that I AM SO MAD! Rat B*stards!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

So, it's been a while. I've been busy being very sick and listening to my boss threaten to fire me if I don't get better soon. Thanks, boss. That's really helpful to someone with a disease that flares under stress.

Anyway. I'm not dead yet. I started Remicade about a week and a half ago, and I've already seen improvement. Yay!

The end of the year is coming up fast, and I've been thinking about New Year's resolutions. Actually, I've been thinking about them for about a month now, ever since I completed one of my '07 resolutions. I'll post about that later. I have lots of ideas for 2008, and I'm not sure which ones I want to pursue. I know I want to finish the book I started during NaNo last year. I know I want to do an exercise resolution. (Doesn't everyone?) I think I want to make some knitting goals. I know I have some financial goals for next year. But how many is too many? I have a list around here somewhere, and there are at least 10 things on it. Do I set all of them as goals, and accept that they won't all get done? Or do I just pick the few I really want to accomplish, and focus on those? I'm leaning toward take them all on, and see what happens. Maybe if I decide to do something toward one of my dozens of goals every day, I'll get some of them done. A resolution to work on my resolutions? Maybe.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Happy Birthday to ME!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mom has officially gone nuts over the Halloweenie Beanie. Yesterday she took it to church to show to all of her friends. Today she wore it to the gym to show the trainers and to the grocery store. Tomorrow and Wednesday she plans to wear it to school for her preschool classes. I thought she would like the Halloweenie Beanie, but wow, I had no idea.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Well, Mom got the Halloweenie Beanie! Just in time for Halloween, too. Where my parents live, each town picks a trick-or-treat night, usually a Friday or Saturday night, instead of doing it on the actual night. That way the kids aren't out on a school night. It probably also cuts down on mischief. Anyway, Mom was very excited about her hat.

Speaking of hats, I'm going to have to knit one for myself soon. The hair situation is getting a little scary. I went for a massage yesterday morning, and my therapist looked at me and asked if I'd cut my hair. Nope. It's just falling out. When I put in up in a scrunchie, the pony tail is about half it's normal thickness. I still don't see any obvious bald spots, but I can't exactly see the back of my head. When it's up in a pony tail, I can see the scalp more easily than I used to. I'm considering cutting it all off. Not that there's that much there anyway, lengthwise. It's only about to my shoulders. But maybe if it isn't so heavy it won't fall out as fast. At least it won't be as obvious with shorter strands of hair.

I'm getting closer to being ready for NaNo. I went out yesterday and bought a case for my lap top, so I'm ready to haul it around to write-ins. Not that I'll go to many, probably. But at least it will be protected when I do.

A friend just called. She's going to be by in a minute to pick me up for lunch and then the Kick-Off party. Must not forget the giant pencil. I'm not in charge of the westside this year. How can I manage a whole area of the city when I can barely manage myself? So I'm handing it off to the new girl who stepped up to the plate. I hope she's prepared. We're an active bunch.

I finished my blue slipper socks and started on my first pair of socks using real sock yarn. It's kind of small and fiddly, but I like it anyway. The colorway doesn't seem to have a name, just a number. I call them my lemonade socks, because that's what the color reminds me of. It's yellow and orange and pink. Not stripes exactly. It kind of wobbles and fades through the colors. It's also really twisty yarn, so I find myself dangling the whole thing from time to time, to let the yarn unwind a bit. I don't know if you're supposed to do that in knitting, but you do it in cross stitch when the floss gets twisted, so I'm doing it here, too. It makes the yarn much easier to work with.

I read An Ice Cold Grave last night. Yay! Harper and Tolliver Did It! It will be interesting to see how things change in the next couple of books. Already the dynamic between the two characters has changed.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I finished my first sock! It looks pretty darn good, if I must say so myself. I put it on, and it's a little long. I started the mate today, and I'm going to make that one a little shorter. It's not unwearably long, there's just a little bit more room in the toe than necessary.

I went to a sock making class yesterday, and had a good time. I was the only one in the class, which was a little weird, but good. I've never had a chance to knit with anyone but my mom, and that was right after coming out of the hospital. It was fun to just knit and chat, although there were times when I was also trying to count, so I wasn't holding up my end of the conversation too well. The instructor is also plugged in to the writing community, so that was nice. I know lots of writing folks, but that's because I seek them out. I make friends in writing organizations. I don't stumble across writers too often in my every day life.

I gave my friend the Halloweenie Beanie, and she really liked it. Apparently, she put it on and then wore it around for a while, including while taking out the trash. She passed someone on the way to the dumpster, and I guess they looked at her funny. She was like, "What? Haven't you ever seen a Halloweenie Beanie?" Not too many people wear hand knits in Houston in October. It's still in the 80s for the most part.

I think I'm going to make two more Halloweenie Beanies for my mom and her co-teacher. She teaches a 2-3 year old pre-school class. I bet the kids would get a kick out of them. Also, in Boston it might not be completely out of line to wear a hat this time of year. And more importantly, I think Mom is a little jealous that Kel got a Halloweenie Beanie and she didn't! (Also, I just like to type/say Halloweenie Beanie!)

I bought a couple of Halloween balloons when I went to the grocery store today. Yes, I am secretly 5. My very Halloweenie black cat is currently playing with the ribbon and clip on one of them. He's a big believer in inventing his own toys. Half the cat toys I buy him get no play time at all. But he steals every pen he can get his little paws on.

Now he's discovered the clip to the other balloon, which is wrapped around one of the dining room chairs. (The ribbon on that one is much shorter than the ribbon on the first balloon. The clip for that one is on the floor, and the first balloon is still higher than the second one.) Anyway, now that he's discovered there is a second clip, he's trying to figure out how to get that one down on the floor to play with, too. Goofer.

Gotta go. The dishwasher just finished running, which means it's time to pull out the newly-washed pots and pan and make dinner. Spaghetti with ground turkey. Yum.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Well, my blood work came back normal, so Yay! I'm back on the Imuran. Hopefully, in a couple of days everything will be back to normal. Or as normal as my guts ever get.

I watched the last episode of Pushing Daisies this weekend, and yes indeed, there is knitting. One small gripe- the voice over said he was purling, but the actor was actually knitting. I went back and watched it a couple of times to be sure. But other than that, good stuff. I don't have a gun, but if I did I would so totally knit a gun cozy for it. I just love Jim Dale, don't you? He was the perfect casting for the voice over. He also reads the US version of the Harry Potter audio books. He's fantastic. Listen to them if you get a chance.

I started Crazy Aunt Purl's Halloweenie Beanie tonight. I'm making it for a friend who will be coming by on Friday, so I need to finish it tomorrow. But no pressure, right? Also, I've picked out my next big project, once I've finished the eighteen Christmas scarves and hats I've got planned. (OK, so it's not really eighteen. It just feels like it.) It's called the Trailblazer Jacket, and it's in the September issue of Creative Knitting. It's made out of Baby Alpaca by Plymouth, which I lurve because it's soooo soft. Of course, I could buy three sweaters for the price of all the yarn, but that's not the point.

I'm getting close to finishing one of my New Year's Resolutions for 2007. The way this year has gone, I can't believe I'm going to accomplish any of them. Having the end in sight has got me thinking about resolutions for 2008. I'll post more about that as the time comes.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My hair is falling out. A lot. I talked to the doctor about it last week, but he didn't seem concerned. He said that it was just my body reacting to the insult of the last few months. Well, OK. So what do we do about it? If it keeps coming out at this rate, I'm going to be visibly balding soon. I'm going to have to learn how to knit cool hats.

I got started on my uncle's Christmas scarf. It's also made out of Patons Chunky Shetland Tweed. This time in brown. It's very autumnal. Brown with flecks of orange and green. I've done about 10 inches so far today, and I'll probably get another 3 or 4 inches done before bedtime. I still have Journeyman and Pushing Daisies waiting on the Tivo. I'm still not sure what I think of Journeyman, but I really liked the first episode of Pushing Daisies. I hear that the business partner- I can't remember the character's name- knits in this one. A guy knitting. I can't wait.

I have to go for a blood test tomorrow. Yippee. I hope I can either get back on the Imuran or onto something else soon. My guts aren't happy. Of course, I'd like to not be all over black and blue, too.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I met Crazy Aunt Purl! I brought the green purse I made to carry at my brother's wedding to show her. (I ripped off her "magic scarf" pattern and made a purse out of it instead.) She said I have perfect tension. Can you see me glowing?

Mama and Papa Purl were there, along with Brother Purl and Uncle Skip and a bunch of other people who were obviously friends and family. Mama was wearing the shirt. I'd planned to say hello, but was attacked by a case of the shy's. There were just too many of them. I was just glad I managed to talk to Laurie without stuttering or falling over. She liked my purse! Did I mention that? Also, she said porn. Although only to the group at large, not to me personally. Which is probably just as well. Lord only knows what I would have said back.

I started my first sock last night. And then I had to rip it all out and start over. First of all, the ribbing at the top was flabby. I can't take flabby ribbing. Second, I somehow got the stitches screwed up. There were supposed to be 14 stitches on two of the needles and 12 stitches on the third needle. I pulled it out to work on while waiting for the reading to start, and discovered that somehow two stitches from the 12 needle jumped onto one of the 14 needles. And twisted. And dropped stitches. Honest to god, I've never seen anything like it. Of course, I haven't been knitting long, but still. It was bizarre. I tried ripping back to before the dropped stitches, but I ended up with twisted stitches and it just didn't look right. Plus, I had those flabby ribs sneering at me. So the whole thing had to go. I've started over now, and believe me those ribs are washboard. If only my stomach looked so good.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I discovered a nail in my tire at lunch today, and ended up replacing two tires. Yes, I lead an exciting life. On the positive side, I managed to get almost a foot of knitting done on my dad's Christmas scarf. Hooray for slow tire changing people! I'm still loving the tweed yarn. It's just so... scrunchy.

It's official. I am now the Queen of the Yarn Over. I started a shawl this weekend, in a feather and fan pattern. Many, many yarn overs. I don't know why I was so afraid of the yo. It's really not difficult. I'm not sure how it's coming out, though. I've got it on 29" circs right now, and it's kind of scrunched up. Also, I'm frequently not coming out with the right number of stitches. This could be because I can't count and watch SVU, Pushing Daisies, or Chuck at the same time. I didn't even try to work on it while watching Heroes this week. Too many subtitles. Thank god for Tivo, that's all I can say.

Don't you just love Heroes? It kind of lost me there for a little while last season, after coming back from hiatus. Of course, that was right around the time I had my surgery, and I was feeling crappy, so that probably had something to do with it. But I gotta tell ya, the magic is back. I love Hiro. Couldn't you just put him in your pocket and carry him around with you? Waffles!

I finished Driven by Eve Kenin a couple of nights ago. I know a bunch of people who are working on stories for the Shomi contest. I don't think I'm going to enter, but I bought the books to check out the line anyway. I wasn't sent at first, but by the time I got to the end of the book I was really enjoying it. I think it was Wizard and the fact that we got more into his head toward the end. Raina was OK, but it was Wizard that I loved. "Your eyes are appropriately spaced." LOL

So that's about it for me. I'll be going to see Crazy Aunt Purl either on Friday or Saturday. I'll try to post pictures. If I can figure out how.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Big accomplishment for the day: I finished my first adult-sized hat! It's not my first hat. I finished that one last week. Unfortunately, due to poor swatching and a general unwillingness to follow pattern instructions, it came out way too small for my head. But the one I finished tonight fits! It's kind of wonky. In fact, it kind of looks like it has a nipple on top. But I did it!

I bought some Patons Chunky Tweed in medium blue yesterday, and I'm loving it. I've started on a scarf for my dad for Christmas. (Dadu, if you're reading this, act surprised!) But I'm thinking I might attempt slipper socks with it. It's so cushy and cozy! Boy I'm using a lot of exclamation points tonight!

Might as well get it out of my system. Because I STILL haven't finished my contest entry. I'm going to have to do it tomorrow at work and then express mail it in. Keep your fingers crossed. If it weren't for the fact that this is for my chapter, I wouldn't bother.

Sign-ups for NaNoWriMo start tonight. In theory. I was over at the site a few minutes ago and they weren't up yet. Really, you should check it out. NaNo is wunderbar. I'm planning to break the rules *gasp* and finish last year's story this year. I like it too much to leave it half finished. And I don't think I'm going to finish it any other way. I haven't even read through the whole thing yet. But I have cleaned up the first 35 pages. A little bit. For that damn contest.

Urg. Junk food for dinner. Not my finest hour.

I was watching Chuck tonight (and knitting, of course) when I realized where I recognized Major Casey from. It's Jayne! Where's your hat, big guy? Shall I knit you another one?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I went to the LYS yesterday and spent an obscene amount of money. Love the baby alpaca! If you know me, you will be getting a scarf for X-mas this year. Try to act surprised.

Still haven't done anything with my contest entry.

My Tivo didn't record the season opener for CSI. Piece of crap. Did Sarah live? I'll have to see if CBS has the episode available online. And if I really want to sit in front of my computer to watch it. At least my desk chair is comfortable for knitting.

Have I mentioned my mp3 player yet? I love my mp3 player. I'm not much of a gadget girl, but these things are groovy. I just load it up with all my favorite music and put it on random play. It's like having my very own radio station. Yes, I know the young un's have been doing it for years. But I'm old. It takes me longer to adjust to new ideas.

Still working on Agnes and the Hitman. Love Agnes. She's progressed to meat forks. Can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

I'm trying to motivate myself to get up and go to the library. I have an overdue book. Also, I reserved a couple of knitting books, and they're ready to be picked up. Knitting! Books! Free! I may take a nap first.

Well, gotta go now. I bought some music and it's finished downloading. Some Jason Mraz and Tori Amos, but mostly The Cure. They were emo before emo was emo. Told I was old.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I love my surgeon.

I went to the doctor today, and during the exam I told him that I'm seeing a new GI since my last visit. I told him the name, and he said "Oh, yeah, I know him. You told him I didn't do this to you, right?" Snort. Yes, Dr. M. Every new doctor I meet hears about the idiot who did this to me. They all know he's not you.

Tomorrow is Friday. A mixed blessing. On the one hand, woo hoo! It's Friday! Beginning of the weekend! I get off at 4:30! On the other hand, time to come down another 5mg on the Prednisone. More tired. Maybe a few more aches in my joints. Grumpy. I really wish I could have an extra day off. Or two. Maybe I could catch up on my sleep. And the dishes. The kitchen is looking (and smelling) a little gnarly.

I went to the UBS after work today and got lucky. They had a copy of Agnes and the Hitman. Love you Jenny Crusie! You too, Bob! I haven't read much yet, but there's been a frying pan. I've been a little cranky myself lately, so I'm feeling Agnes' pain.

Did anyone else catch Ugly Betty tonight? I just love Betty. There was some good stuff in the last 10 minutes. Can't wait to see how some of this stuff plays out this year. I'm almost finished with the first season of Heroes, too. One more episode to go, I think. I watched it religiously until the surgery, and then after that I just didn't have the attention span to follow along. Tivo is my bestest friend.

I'm supposed to be prepping the first 35 pages of my novel for a writing contest- deadline next Wednesday. Haven't looked at it in weeks. I just don't have the heart. Or the energy. Or something. Also, I've been completely obsessed with knitting. So far I've made a hat, which was supposed to fit me, but whoops! I'm about 3/4 of the way through a scarf, and I've got a second hat on the needles. This one is actually adult sized. Amazing what happens when you follow the instructions. But hey, it was my first time knitting in the round. And the needles were the wrong size. I'm allowed to make a few mistakes as I fumble my way through. It was just some cheap acrylic yarn anyway. Not the $8 a ball baby alpaca. That I will not be screwing up. Too expensive.

Anyway, the book. Not much happening there. And I really don't care. Except that I do want to enter that contest, so I guess I'll break out the laptop and work on it this weekend. Ugh.

Almost 10pm. Time for another round of meds.