As I have a few minutes

Went to CA for Christmas to see the family. Got to see my sister-in-law and older nephew for the first time in a couple of years. They’ve been at work the last couple of times I’ve been by. I decided to drive, as renting a car for the week ended up being about the same price as a flight, and this way I’d have more independence. The day itself was quite nice, though my brother wasn’t able to join us, as he was called away to work. 🙁 So I drove up to Palmdale to pick up my sister-in-law and my younger nephew (older nephew was going to his girlfriend’s… first time for any sort of major celebration!!), as my sister-in-law doesn’t drive on freeways. We also had my mother’s housemate’s son and his family. He and his wife had their second baby four days earlier, so we weren’t sure if they were all going to get to come.

Got to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader while I was in CA. I was both pleased and disappointed. Most of the elements of the book are included in the film (e.g. all the islands they visit), but they’re out of order. And the whole main plot of the film (green mist, seven swords), is entirely new. I enjoyed the film for its own merits, but it’s not a particularly good adaptation, in my opinion.

Working on a new project for Ignatius Press… a critical edition of Mansfield Park; the full text of MP, some contemporary opinions that Austen herself collected, and various criticisms. For Iambik I’m doing a book called Getting Sassy for their Crime collection. It’s about a woman trying to get the money to keep her mother in a nice assisted living facility who resorts to kidnapping a thoroughbred racehorse’s goat companion (the title character, Sassy). Also still working on Sense and Sensibility for LV, though since both of these projects are due quite soon, it’s not getting as much attention as otherwise.

I had been planning on stage managing Barefoot in the Park starting next month at the Civ, but I just heard that the original director has stepped down, and I don’t know if the new guy will want me or if he has someone else in mind. I don’t really mind either way. If I do it, I get a bit of extra cash, if I don’t, and I get a role in My Fair Lady, which comes right after it, I wouldn’t end up doing two shows in a row.

So cute!

I’ve finished the little dress from the Dale book, and it turned out soooo cute!! I’m really pleased with it. I bought some little pewter clasps online to use as buttons.

The shower is next Saturday, so it’s pretty good timing.

I’ve started the next project. I was originally going to do one of the sweaters as a cardigan and the other as a pullover (the pattern has instructions for both), but before I started I read through the cardigan pattern and saw that it’s knitted in the round and then steeked. I’ve never done steeking before, and while I do want to try it, I figured a gift item wasn’t the best test piece, so I’m going to do two pullovers instead and save steeking for another day.

I’d be twice as far along, only I realized a couple of rows below this that I’d mis-read the pattern and was starting the rows in the colour-work graph at the wrong place (I’d started the first one in the right place, but then was going to the far right at the beginning of each new row, instead of back to the same starting place), so I frogged it and started over. Much better now. The one thing I don’t like about this pattern so far, is that there are a couple of rows that involve three colours of yarn. It’s orders of magnitude tanglier than just two.

At LV I recently finished The Sky Is Falling by Lester del Rey, another sci-fi story. My next project is What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge. I’d wanted to do it a couple of years ago, but someone else started a solo version before I could get to it, so I put it off and did What Katy Did at School instead. The other project has since been completed, so I feel like I can do mine without stepping on anyone’s toes. 🙂

Recently watched the new-ish version of Sense and Sensibility (I think it was part of that Austen series they showed on Masterpiece a year or so ago, but I missed it then). I really liked it. Well enough to buy a copy for my library. None of the others in the series impressed me that much, and I will keep faithful to the earlier versions I already own (P&P w/ Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, Persuasion w/ Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root). Not to say I no longer like the Emma Thompson version of S&S, though.

We’re doing Gypsy at the WCT. I tried out for one of the stripper roles, but got cast as Miss Cratchitt, the secretary in the New York scene. Should be fun… I’m onstage for two scenes at the end of act 1, and the rest of the time I’ll be able to read, play cards, relax back stage. Reminds me of Christmas Carol. 🙂

Where no one has gone… (Star Trek Spoilers)

So I went to see Star Trek this weekend and I must say I enjoyed it. I liked the choices they made with the various actors; Karl Urban seemed to be channeling DeForest Kelley’s McCoy, which was fine for McCoy (he’s such a specific character), but I was glad the other actors did their own takes on the characters. I liked Scotty a lot (“Are you from the future? That’s brilliant! Do they still have sandwiches there?”); I found his accent to be more authentic than James Doohan’s – he tended to do a more stereotypical accent. I was a little weirded out by the Spock/Uhura thing, and I didn’t even realize that Winona Ryder played Spock’s mother till I got home and looked it up. Chekov was adorable, and seemed much more competent than in the original series.

As far as the plot went, I’ll bypass the fact that they used time travel as the main plot device (they comment in the film that this is cheating). I can suspend my disbelief enough to accept that Spock and Nero ended up 154 years in the past, but what really bothered me is that the way they got to the past was by passing through a black hole. I mean, isn’t the point of a black hole that the gravitational forces in them are so great that nothing can escape?? I mean, putting aside the passing through it, even if they could, shouldn’t the ships have broken up completely, or been crushed to teeny, tiny, dense lumps?

For the rest, there were quite a few things that made me giggle, a fair few in-jokes for the fans of the series and movies, and enough explosions to satisfy the most rabid mythbusters fan.

Miss Marple rocks!

I’ve recently been watching the new(ish) series of Miss Marple stories that had been coming out on PBS a few months ago. I really, really like Geraldine McEwan in the title role. She’s almost exactly what I always pictured in my mind when I thought of Miss Marple when reading the books. I also came across a biopic of Agatha Christie told mostly by herself, from the perspective of her talking to a therapist after her disappearance/reappearance in 1926, and of interviews with journalists at the ten year anniversary of the opening of the Mousetrap.

Over the weekend I also bought the new Stargate movie. It was fun… had a lot of great stuff that was reminiscent of earlier seasons.

Starting off the year

Well, I survived the week in CA, but I was glad I was only there for a week. The place was hectic. Ten people and two dogs, and then the last couple of days, one additional person. Two people had colds when I arrived, and by the time I left, they’d traded them with two others – myself and my mother. So, I was glad I’d asked for the rest of last week off. It gave me time to get better before having to come back to work. With so many of us sick, it was interesting to see how each of us reacted to the same virus – one had really bad chest congestion; another had horrible post-nasal drip and cough; mine was all in the sinuses; mum’s had just started when I left, so I don’t know what hers was like.

I got a great new lap quilt from mum for Christmas. I’d told her how cold it gets in my office, so she made me one that folds up into a pillow to keep at work. I’d been a bit worried about the gift I got for Andy – a physics kit (like a chemistry set but with gears and wires and things), but apparently his parents found him playing with it when they went to bed Christmas Eve (an hour or so after he’d said he was going to sleep). 🙂

MB and Sherry and I got to have a couple of SKVE meetings while Sherry was here for her holiday. We went to see P.S. I Love You one day and met for coffee another day. I’m not a great fan of Hillary Swank, but I enjoyed the movie ok. Sherry hadn’t heard anything about it before going, so she was disappointed that Gerard Butler dies; but then relieved that he comes back in flash-backs and hallucinations. She just likes to look at him. I made them each a short scarf with a slit in one end that you can tuck the other end into. MB opened hers while Sherry and I were waiting for our coffees, and we watched her trying to figure it out. She kept looking at the length of it, then opening the slit, then folding it back up. When she heard us giggling at her she asked me what it was, “It’s too short to be a scarf, and it has this opening thing only on one end…” Once she figured it out, she liked it. Sherry, having spent some time in a colder climate now, knew exactly what it was and how to use it. 🙂

I’m off to my first programming conference this week. It’s a three day conference on XSLT. It’s the first conference I’ve gone to for Baylor. I need to do a bit of research on Austin (which is where it’s going to be), so I can visit stuff after hours.

I’ve started a new project on LibriVox to work on in conjunction with The Elusive Pimpernel. I started Anne of Avonlea last night. I had a sudden craving for some more Anne. I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to get done on these two projects this coming month (while Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is in rehearsals), but I’ll always have weekends.

Yesssssss!!!

I got the job!!!

Yes, yes, I know I usually agree with PTerry on multiple exclamation points, but this is a special occasion. 🙂

They finally called me Wednesdy evening to offer me the job. The HR lady who likes me had told me to expect the call, and to pretend to be surprised. So I pretended, and needless to say, I accepted! I’ll be starting Monday week, but I still don’t really know what it’s going to involve… other than some amount of programming. I suppose they’ll get to that eventually.

I went to see HP5 Tuesday night with some friends from the theatre. MB bought the tickets ahead of time, and at the last minute a couple of people had dropped out, so I invited Eileen to come along with us. It was pretty good, considering it was the shortest movie so far – and based on the second longest book. They left out ridiculous amounts of stuff, but what was there was good.

In other news, I’m going to see The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) at the Hippodrome this Saturday. It’ll be the first time I get to see the Cachinnator act; Don Boscoe is also going to be in it, plus a third guy I don’t know. I’m going with MB… Sherry was up for it, but was going to be out of town that day. Also, we’re finally going to have our Music Man intervention this coming Tuesday. Huzzah!

I’ve been searchin’…

For a job, that is. I haven’t had a whole lot of luck, but I did have an interview here in the library Friday before last. They said that they hoped to have the rest of the interviews done by last Friday and make their decision some time this week. It’s now Thursday and I have yet to hear anything, so I’m starting to lose hope. Still, fingers crossed until I know for certain.

I finally finished Tales from Shakespeare on LibriVox, which I’d been working on since March. I didn’t remember them being so dry and dull. The only way I got through was by bribing myself with reading a chapter in a new project every time I managed to finish one of the Tales. The two projects I bribed myself with were What Katy Did at School, which I’ve since finished, and Anne of Green Gables, which I’m about two thirds of the way through. I’m planning on doing another of the Scarlet Pimpernel books next; I’m leaning toward El Dorado, the one where they rescue the Dauphin.

We had a SKVE meeting on Monday and watched How to Steal a Million with Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole. So now we have several new quotes on our SKVE board. And let me just say that Peter O’Toole was hot back then! 🙂 We still need to have our SKVE Music Man intervention with Regan and Melissa, because we never did get our schedules worked out during Mattress, and they can’t keep going through life without having seen Music Man!

How is it possible??

I found out last night that Regan has never seen The Music Man! It came about because, when Lise was blocking Swamps of Home she was trying to explain that in a particular section of the song, she wanted us to look a bit like the women doing the Grecian Urns (one Grecian urn… two Grecian urns… and a fountain, trickle, trickle, trickle), and Regan didn’t have a clue what she was talking about!

This from a… well, ok, she was never a music major, just an undecided music enthusiast, but she took lots of music classes, you’d think somewhere, someone would have introduced her to The Music Man! Well, if no one else will do it, I will. We’re having a movie night someday soon (just need to get our schedules sorted) so she can watch it.

If Mary Beth and Sherry can make it too, we’ll make a SKVE night of it. We’ve been talking about asking Regan to join the SKVEs and this would be a good trial run, to see if she’s up to our particular brand of movie-watching. The last person we invited, Kelita, couldn’t seem to understand why we found it so amusing to MST3K our way through Pride and Prejudice (“look, I have a sword!”, “are you sure those are period sheep?”).

Cake or death?

Yeah, I’ve been watching Eddie Izzard again lately (“I’ve got legs. D’you like… bread? I’ve got a french loaf! WHACK Bye! I love you!”). I can’t help myself, the man’s a comic genius! I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve converted several of my friends to the Izzard… let’s call it cult, shall we?

And speaking of friends, we’re going to get together in a couple of weeks (as soon as we all have a free evening, all at the same time) and have a Jane Austen night. Considering the number of Jane Austen films that have come out lately, it’ll probably be the first in a series of Jane Austen nights. Yay!

I went to see Firewall yesterday… with one of my classes… and the professor paid. Now that’s what I call a field trip! The class is cyberwarfare, and basically, we went to see the movie so we could criticize… uh, critique it and the various technologies they use in it. It was fun, but it wasn’t really realistic… not that we expected it to be… it is a Harrison Ford movie, after all.