shake some action.

First of all, “Shake Some Action”┬áby the Flamin’ Groovies is the first track on my not-yet-finished 2012 mix. I heard it on an NPR All Songs Considered podcast about opening tracks on albums this morning (though the episode was from June 2010). I’m glad I didn’t get to this until today, because there’s something about this song that is spot-on for me right now.

I’m doing end-of-the-year things today. I made my 2012 list for the fridge (above), and I finally got around to pulling all of the books off of all of the shelves and grouping them by theme — you know, so the books I need for work are in the office. When I unpacked, the goal was just to get everything out of boxes and onto shelves. And then I never got around to organizing them. Now that my books are spread out across several rooms, I need to be able to find them. Also, the water damage of earlier this fall has been fixed, which means I am finally ready to fully re-inhabit my office. I hung my DIY-ed frame cork board (which has been leaning against the wall in the guest room for 7 months) and cleaned up the piles. I’m so happy with this space.

I even tried to snap a self-portrait. Here’s the best one:

Last night I had a hard time falling asleep. I ended up getting out of bed, chopping off several handfuls of my hair, and taking a shower. Now I feel a bit more ready for the new year. (I think I’ve told you about this before, right? That I tend to cut my hair when I am feeling stressed, and that it helps? There’s so much I can’t control in the world, but my hair? I can fix that. My curls hide a multitude of sins/errors, making it possible for me to literally cut off hunks without too much worry. I don’t recommend this if you don’t have hair with similarly awesome camouflaging qualities…)

I also found some time to knit on my touch of mink socks. I love them. (Next time I’ll snap a picture while there’s still a bit of daylight. This shot doesn’t do the yarn justice.)

Tonight, Boh and I are off to hang out with dear friends of the human and animal variety. We’re planning to enjoy dessert, bourbon, and board games. I’m not sure we’ll make it to midnight, but I trust that the new year will arrive, even if I’m not awake to ring it in. Here’s to 2012 — I’m sure ready for a new year.

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shake it out.*

A slow start today, folks. Yesterday I managed to get some serious revision done on the prospectus. (The trick? A five o’clock latte. I think I’m starting to resign myself to the fact that I need an afternoon change of scenery and a fancy espresso drink to get shit done and feel good doing it.) Boh looks like he could use a latte, and it isn’t even noon.

I’m making slow, steady progress on that BSJ I started a few weeks ago. I love this shade of green — so bright, so happy.

Here’s the side view of that sweet pout. Looks like somebody needs to give Florence and the Machine’s new album a listen. Seriously. I downloaded it yesterday, and it got me through a whole sink of dishes. There’s something about Florence Welch’s particular brand of big and epic that I love. (*”Shake It Out” is the second track on Ceremonials.)

“i was thinking that night about elvis…”

 

Came home to this. Sat in the second row. And after the show, basked in the glow of it all with a dear friend and a little tumbler of whiskey. Realized that I’ve listened to Gillian and David consistently for all of my post-college life. Their music accompanied me to the other side of the world and back, to the desert and back, and it is often playing on my porch. If you can see them on this tour, do it.

[Blog post title is the opening line of “Elvis Presley Blues.”]

 

 

“one day i’ll be a better writer…”*

We saw Sharon Van Etten and the Bowerbirds at a neat bar near the water this week. Sharon Van Etten (pictured in the crappy photo from my phone, above) is worth checking out, if you’ve never encountered her music. What you see is what you get up there — a girl and a guitar — but man, can she write a song. And her voice — soft, clear, haunting. Check out a video of her at SXSW here.

I also recommend the Bowerbirds. Who doesn’t love a band with an accordion, a snare drum, and a homemade xylophone? Check out their tiny desk concert at NPR here.

So, some fun stuff (read: late nights) this week, but also lots of work. Which made for a very tired rooster. Thursday night I made a big pot of cauliflower soup, and while it was simmering, I slathered peach butter made by my friend K. on slices of beer bread. Yum.

And today, when I got home from campus, I curled up on the couch, watched Bones, and made progress on windschief hat numero dos, out of malabrigo in verdeazul, for B. Malabrigo is the perfect yarn to knit with on a cold and rainy day. Planning an evening of soup, knitting, and maybe a movie. I’ll get back to the pile of books tomorrow. Happy weekend, folks, and thanks for all of the sweet blogiversary wishes.

*This is a line is from “Much More Than That” by Sharon Van Etten.

3-ply and peonies.

peonies in kitchen

I have been anxiously waiting for what I think are peonies to bloom along the driveway. (Correct me, dear readers, if these are not peonies.) They began to open this week, and I noticed that some of these blossoms were getting too heavy to hold up their own heads. I figured I could help with that, and gathered the droopy ones to enjoy indoors. I think I cut 6 or 7 blossoms, which I am now inhaling in every room of my tiny apartment. I miss the desert, but this is something I could never do there: take my scissors outside and cut a few fragrant flowers to lift my spirits while I work.

I heard some great live music with a friend last night, so I was out late. (I’ve mentioned Eilen Jewell here before, and my recommendation stands — she and her band have a new album out that has a bit of a rockabilly feel to it. I really appreciate that she both writes her own hauntingly sorrowful music AND reclaims old-school country-western and rock — covering Loretta Lynn, Charlie Rich, Them, etc. But I digress.) Boh and I slept in, made coffee, and I sat down to my first attempt at a 3-ply yarn.

3plymyrtle1

3plymyrtle2

This was a whole lot of fun to ply — there’s something about watching the twist move through 3 strands of yarn that is absolutely captivating. I have no idea what weight or yardage this is going to turn out to be, but I’m excited to find out. I’m quite pleased with the amount of twist I put into these singles, and I’m considering this yarn a step in the direction of handspun sock yarn.

What about that stripey sweater, you ask?

sleeve progress1

I’m knitting away on the sleeves and loving it. Boh and I are heading home tomorrow to spend a few days with my parents, and I’m planning to bring this with me. I’m hoping to finish up my uncle’s socks today, and perhaps get this 3-ply washed, dried, and skeined up.

Also, in case the degree to which I am addicted to spinning was unclear, this is what is sitting next to my computer:
pileohandspun

A great big pile o’ handspun. Yum. Happy Sunday!

you don’t meet nice girls in coffee shops.

Last night I heard Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin and Buddy Miller sing Tom Waits, Bessie Smith, Johnny and Jack, Judith Miller, some gospel music and a bunch of their own stuff. It felt like looking down on something special, to see these individually incredible songwriter-musicians make and enjoy their music together. Makes it sort of hard to return to regular life, so instead of jumping right into the reading I should’ve done last night, I’ll show you a little bit of spinning I did yesterday.

spunky-jan-fiber

This is my first batch of fiber from the Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club — 4 oz of organic merino in colorway Twilight.

boh-spindle

Boh’s not so good with the spindle. (Yet.)

spunky-progress

The blues and greens look particularly beautiful against the colors of one of the books I’m reading this week — prompted me to get out the camera this morning.

Time to have some more birthday cake for breakfast and get back to the pile of reading…