Monday, March 16, 2009

Books, Music, TV, oh yeah, and Yarn

I dipped into Stephen King's short story collection, Just After Sunset (with the headache inducing cover) this weekend. I'm trying to pace myself, and so am only about halfway through the stories, but I've enjoyed all of them, especially Harvey's Dream, where an ageing wife learns just a bit too late, that being bored is infinitely preferable to the alternative, and Stationary Bike, in which moderation in all things, even diets, is explored in typical King fashion.

Yesterday's mail brought a few books from the Children's Book of the Month (grandkid birthday gifts), including Neil Gaiman's Coraline (which I would have mispronounced, if not for the movie trailers).I imagine the book will be passed down to the voracious reader in the family, but I'm going to read it first. I love all things Gaiman, and expect to love this book as well.

The reviews for Taylor Hicks's sophomore album, The Distance, are about as expected. EW! flat out hates Taylor, and the review reflects that. People is mildly dismissive, and I don't even wanna know what Rolling Stone thinks. I like the album, and hope enough die-hard fans buy it to keep him recording (I don't think anything in the world will keep him from performing). The standout tracks, for me, are What's Right is Right (released as a single which is actually getting airplay on the AC station here), the lovely and aching ballad, Maybe You Should, and the Southern Rocking Seven Mile Breakdown, with a nod to the collaboration with Elliott Yamin on Woman's Gota Have It. Keepin it Real is just a tad heavy handed on the social commentary (I don't want to think about Britney, OJ, or Paris. Ever), and even I think that Nineteen is schmaltzy. The rest are fine- not great but not bad, all listenable. The only track on the CD that I don't like is Wedding Day Blues. The tune is fine, the singing is fine, the production is fine, but the character of the narrator is a jerk and I don't want to spend time with him, even if he's using Taylor Hicks's voice.

I watched the debut of Kings last night, and am still thinking about it this morning, which means… something, anyway. I'm not up on my bible stories, so I didn't immediately recognize the anointing of oil, or some of the name adaptations, but I know enough to know that if the producers follow the source material, we're going to have a very interesting story indeed. I am always amazed at Ian McShane's command of every scene he's in, though I missed his mustache, and the swearing (I kept expecting a few choice words from him, network standards notwithstanding). The surrounding cast is also very good- and I am waiting to see what sort of Lady MacBethian shenanigans the Queen will get up to (plenty of Shakespeare to go around in the imaginary world of Gilboa). Young David is very Heath Ledgerly, and the rest of the cast is fascinating (especially not-so-favored son and heir, Jack). I'm looking forward to the next episode.

And while I watched TV, I worked on the Finn roving from Girl on the Rocks. This is my first experience with Finn, and it won't be my last. It's a lovely wool, the yarn is bouncy and it's going to have a nice little halo. I Navajo 3-plied the first bobbin and ended up with 1.1 ozs and 82 yds of fingering weight yarn which is going to knit up into stripes of yellow/green/yellow/pink/orange (there are some major plying boo-boos in that skein, but they don't show in the picture). I have another bobbin ready to ply, and 2 more to spin. I'll probably work on it tonight, during Chuck and Heroes.

But before I do any of that, I have page proofs to tackle, and a deadline bearing down on me. So I'd best get to work.

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