A Good Yarn

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Combo Platter

I have a couple of mop up topics to post on, so it's a combo platter for you.


I joined the Summer of Socks KAL again this year. I'm a little late getting started because I'm very disciplined about not starting new projects until I've finished another project. I'm also a slow knitter, so I won't be in the most socks contest, so there was no real need to get started immediately. But, it's fun to knit with everyone else and fun to see the hundreds of different socks being made in the KAL. My first sock is also a Project Spectrum project, in lovely red for June/July. I also joined a KAL of this pattern. So, three birds with one stone, as they say:

Red is always hard to photograph, for me. I'm using some of my PS Sock Club yarn from the Sweet Sheep Shop. I really like the feel of this yarn. The slight varigation looks pretty with the cabled pattern, too.


I saw Chicago at The Ordway on opening night. It was a fun show and if it's a musical you enjoy, I'd say this is worth seeing. Probably everyone has seen this musical either in the theater or the film version. So, you probably know the great songs. The cast was all costumed in skimpy little black numbers - low cut blouses, body suits, mini skirts, etc. Very sexy. I really liked the performance of the actress playing Roxie Hart - Michelle Dejean. She had a nice, strong voice and danced well. She was very winning as the desperate for fame Roxie. I wasn't as fond of the performance of Terra Macleod as Velma Kelly. She had a strong voice and good moves, but she seemed just a little too hard and brassy for me. The great Melba Moore played Mama Morton and had a few good songs in there. Gregory Harrison, who you may be familiar with from his extensive tv work, played Billy Flynn and really captured his slick and charismatic character. My favorite performance, though, was Eric Leviton as Roxie's husband, Amos Hart. His performance of "Mister Cellophane" was hilarious and spot on. Overall it wasn't my favorite show, but it was an enjoyable way to pass the evening. It's playing at the Ordway until 7/15 if you want to catch it.


It took awhile, but I finally finished my last book club book, only about a month after our book club meeting. Ugh. I wish I wasn't such a slow reader. Anyway, this is the book:

This book won the Pulitzer Prize and it's so complex, it's hard to explain what it's about. In very sketchy terms, it takes place mostly just before the Civil War in a fictional Virginia County. There are a lot of characters in the book and it's sort of an ensemble story, so it's hard to say there's a main character, but I guess the story that kind of links everything together is about a freed slave called Henry Townsend who owns his own plantation and slaves, much to the disappointment of his parents who bought his freedom after buying their own freedom. The book includes their stories as well as the stories of their former owner, the most powerful man in the county, the stories of many of the slaves working Henry Townsend's plantation and the stories of the county sheriff and some of his deputies who patrol the county for runaway slaves. There are so many different characters in the book that for the first 1/3 or so, it was really hard to follow. I kept forgetting who everyone was and eventually had to make a little cheatsheet for myself. However, eventually the focus narrowed and I figured out who was who and eventually I really cared about the people in the book and what was going to happen to them. As you can imagine from a book of this nature, a lot of it is heartbreaking. Many of the characters are really complicated and you don't particularly like them, although you may understand them. The story isn't told as a straight narrative - there are times where a particular part of the story will be followed through to the end, before you return to the main timeline. It can be somewhat confusing and sometimes I was disappointed to know what was going to happen to someone - for instance, a character would do something and then the author would say something like, "that's the last time X walked that rode before he was killed in a boat accident" or something like that. Because there were so many characters, sometimes characters would just disappear from the story. Overall, it was definitely well written and worth reading, but it was very frustrating at times.

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