Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Great Pumpkin, it's Halloween

on the porch
jack 'o lantern handiwork

The fall is slipping away so quickly I can hardly keep track of the days, let alone document them. The weather has been amazing, especially compared to last year. We've had snow twice this month, but it hasn't lasted and most days have been warm and mild. This has helped keep me walking, which seems to have improved my mood. Cold weather makes me kind of blue.

On Friday, Rick and I carved pumpkins, which I think turned out well. Mine's an alien ghost--witness the coolness. We also roasted the pumpkin seeds. Rick spiced them with cumin, cinnamon, and ginger, which was interesting (in a good way). I think I ate too many of them, though, because I had a stomach ache later that night. But it was worth it for a fun, mellow evening.

In other holiday-related news, it turns out I'm going back home for Thanksgiving. I stayed in Laramie last year because it seemed like a lot of hassle for a short trip, plus I go home for a couple of weeks over Christmas anyway. But Mom asked me to come and we found a pretty cheap ticket, so I'm going. My sister-in-law and brother are having T-Day dinner at their place, which should be fun. Have I told y'all what an awesome cook my s-i-l is? Truth. A couple of years ago, she made me a birthday dinner that rocked my socks. It was a pork loin with a blackberry reduction, a potato gratin with gruyere, and hericot verts. So you can imagine I'm looking forward to seeing what she comes up with. Also, it will be nice to see family and hold the nephew. Speaking of, nephew had his 9 month checkup and he's a whopping 25.5 lbs and 31.5" tall. I wonder if he'll be taller than his dad, who's 6'7".

Anyway, holiday plans are coming together, I guess. It's weird to be here, a day away from November, when it seems like I was in the middle of summer a couple of weeks ago. I kind of miss summer.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

how Kaijsa keeps busy

I've been scarce around these parts, despite my best intentions. What have I been up to? Well, lots of stuff, most of which would bore you to bits. My friend Miriam and I have been trying to take walks as close to daily as possible, which has been nice and seems to be improving my energy and general attitude toward life. I think we need to ramp it up a little because it's getting too easy, although I bailed early yesterday because my ankle's been bugging me (too much wearing of the high heels at work). Another good side effect is that most of my pants are too big. Unfortunately, my wardrobe is full of things I truly love and don't want to have to spend the money to replace. You take the bad with the good, I guess.

There have been other activities lately. I continue to go to the Sunday film series in town, and a couple of weeks ago saw Once, which I loved. I got the soundtrack from the library and it's wonderful. Some Frames albums are in my request queue. This past week, I saw La Vie En Rose, which was also good, although Edith Piaf's music isn't as much my thing as Glen Hansard's.
There were also various homecoming activities going on. I didn't attend much, but did catch the sing, which I didn't know about until this year even though it's been going on for 72 years. My favorite act had to be the LDS student group doing "Thriller," complete with some of the choreography from the video. The big event for me, though, was the homecoming parade on Saturday. The university libraries float won the grand prize, which is pretty cool. I can't take any credit for this, as I was a non-participant.

So, that's been happening.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Meme time

I've been really bad about posting for the past while. There's been stuff I've wanted to say, but either I didn't feel like saying it, I got too busy to say anything, or I just was feeling crummy. How about a meme to get me back into posting?

1. Hardcover or paperback, and why?

Paperback. Specifically trade paperback because they usually have nice quality paper and are a good size. Also, paperbacks don't weigh down my giant bag too much and there's no dust jacket to mess up or lose.

2. If I were to own a book shop I would call it…

I'm terrible at naming things. I'll never own a bookstore, but I guess I could name it bokhandel, which is bookstore in Swedish. I'm so boring.

3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is…

I don't have any awesome quotes at hand, and I'm honestly a little too lazy to start rummaging around to find them. I have read some pretty insanely quotable books lately, the latest of which was Which Brings Me to You. I also love the following quote from Why Moms are Weird, by Pamela Ribon. I already quoted it on the book blog, but it bears repeating.

I've been romanced, dumped, caressed, fondled, and destroyed in the confines of my car. It's the shell that protects me when the rest of the world can seem so infinite. When everything in love becomes too chaotic, I can take a man to the smallest place that can contain us, force him to look at me and tell me the truth.

4. The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be…
I don't like meeting famous people in general, and authors would be a particularly strange bunch. There's really nothing I can think of to say to them, and I suspect I'd have little fun with some of my all-time favorite authors. Like, would Hemingway get drunk and ignore me while hitting on the waitress? And would Emily Dickinson make me eat in the next room? I know some authors who are pretty rad people and fun to have meals with, but if I had to pick somebody I don't know I'd go contemporary and choose
Steve Almond. He seems like a cool guy and would have lots of interesting stuff to talk about.

5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except from the SAS survival guide, it would be…

This scenario sounds so terrible I can't even contemplate it. Denial is encoded into my DNA. After the presentation portion of my interview for my current position, I was asked to name my favorite novel of all time. I gave a five minute answer about why I can't choose, named my favorite genres, and talked about my commitment to reading all the Pulitzer winners for fiction. The other library folk in the room seemed to understand and enjoy that answer. Nerds find their own, I guess. Similarly, I'm finding it impossible to answer this question. How about the compact OED (with magnifying glass)? That would take some time to finish.

6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that…
Magically makes all my books fit into one box that I can lift so I don't have to hire people to ship 30+ boxes next time I move.

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of…
Used bookstores. I'm not very imaginative, I guess. Also, that smell doesn't get me excited.

8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be…

So, I suck at this meme. I also tend to like books with really fucked-up characters, and I wouldn't really want to be any of them. I think Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables series was pretty kick-ass, but I don't know if I'd want to live in olden times. I'll go with that answer, though.

9. The most overestimated book of all times is…

Oh, who knows? I haven't read a lot of the canon because of my weird and awesome undergraduate education, so a lot of the biggies are off my radar. In the past decade I've been underwhelmed by critical and popular favorites like A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (insufferable).

10. I hate it when a book…
Is really awesome and I fall madly in love with it only for it to either fall apart in the end (Middlesex) or be the only thing the author ever writes that's any good (Como Agua Para Chocolate).

I found this book meme at 50 Books. Doppelganger and I have similar meme tagging policies. If you want to do this, consider yourself tagged.