Friday, November 7, 2008


I think I've always been an avid reader. Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time is probably what really kicked off this hobby for me, somewhere back around the fourth grade. Ever since then I've very often had a book in my hand. In fact, my freshman year in college I remember sitting on campus and reading a 700-page book in two days during finals... I just couldn't study any more and sought refuge in my roommate's copy of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. A consequence of reading something so heavy so quickly seems to be that I can't remember the story any longer, but it definitely served a purpose for me at the time.

I just finished reading Nobel-laureate Jose Saramago's Blindness (1997). This is the best novel I've read in quite a while. That said, it is most certainly not an easy read. It is graphic and raw, and written in an almost stream-of-consciousness style with page-long "sentences", little punctuation and no quotation marks, just capitalization to indicate a new speaker. The style is mostly dialog interspersed with thoughts and philosophy, both of the characters - who are never given names - and of the author, in the form of clauses joined by commas. And its all translated from the original Portuguese. If you can get through the difficulty of the actual reading, the story is disturbing and incredibly rewarding. For a synopsis Wiki it here.

A film adaptation came out this year starring Mark Ruffalo and Julianne Moore. Unfortunately, Metacritic gives it rather lukewarm reviews. I can understand though, if its true to the book at all it would have to be quite an ugly film. I'll definitely rent it when it comes out on DVD, if only to be disappointed. Saramago wrote a sequel in 2004 entitled Seeing, and I've written about my love for series-books, so I'll be picking up at my favorite used book store on my next trip. This was an incredible book.

So, what do I read next? I have a stack waiting to be read: a lot of sci-fi, some David Sedaris, Gregory Maguire, the newest Phillipa Gregory is out now... but Liz has me thinking of revisiting Beckett. What are you reading?

I've been busy with music lately, which I'm still ecstatic about. This past Thursday I played with the Hornet Band at another senior center, this time in Fremont. There was a larger crowd and we had a singer with us (I wasn't the only girl!). And I got paid again... I've made $9 as a professional musician so far! Getting closer to that new sax by the week, only 18 years and 11 months to go at this rate. That same evening I had rehearsal with the PCCB again. Our next performance is in two weeks and we're nearly ready for it. The lead alto from the band invited me to sit in with his jazz band next week while one of their altos is on vacation. I know that when I play with musicians a lot better than myself, I get a lot better, so I'm very excited about this chance. That said, I was practicing early one morning at work and didn't hear someone come in. He asked me later that day if that was my "musical stylings." I'm not that bad, am I? I've since redoubled my practice efforts. Funny how much of a hit my self-confidence took from one comment by someone who admitted to knowing nothing about music.

I'm still chugging away on the Cable-Down Raglan, working on the left sleeve now. I'm more and more convinced that it isn't long enough, so once I finish the sleeves I think I'll go back and lengthen the body by another inch or two. Still happy with it!

And the close-up:
I might put this project on the back burner for the weekend though. The Hornet Band has a gig after Thanksgiving for a city tree-lighting ceremony, and I'm told its always cold since its outdoors at night. I want to knit a pair of wristwarmers to keep my hands a bit warmer that night since gloves would be too bulky for playing music. I've seen quite a few really nice patterns, but I think I'll go with Knitty's Voodoo Wristwarmers since they are basic and I should be able to finish them in plenty of time.

Here's Mac and Ayla at one of their favorite hobbies: bone/rawhide chewing!

1 comment:

Liz and Kurt said...

Funny, a Wrinkle in Time was my favorite 4th grade book too, I actually read a few of her books (4th grade level) after that. And speaking of Margaret Atwood, I bought the Blind Assassin, but haven't read it yet, hope it's good. I'm currently reading two books - Innocent Traitor (I think I got that idea from you) and the Year of Living Biblically (not as good as I hoped so far). When did you see my Godot comment? I wrote that on Facebook, but didn't know you had an account. I'm excited about a new Phillipa Gregory book, does it fall in line with the Other Boyeln Girl style? I've been thinking about revisiting some 'high school' books too, but don't really know where to start. Let me know what you start next.