1. I've been going out a lot lately. Like, a lot. It's the inward-looking, hunkering-down state of mind that leads to good blog fodder, but more outward-directed phases are essential too, what with the talking to people and seeing new things that are involved. But I don't have any knitting to show, is what I'm saying.
2. On the other hand, I did fall down the other day and order yarn for what might be the most adorable sweater ever (from here).
I got this in charcoal. Louet has a gorgeous range of colors, but somehow teal or fuchsia owls just seem wrong.
3. I've been doing reasonably well with my 9 for 09 challenge, having finished two of them already and working on a third. I got through The Book of Lost Things a few weeks ago and though I had really wanted to like it — darker fairy tale stuff, a London Blitz setting, a quest! — I didn't think it was anything special when it came to the actual execution. I had better luck with Good People, which I finished last night while stuck for an hour on a stopped train. When I went to hear the author, Marcus Sakey, read a few months ago, he talked a lot about his time spent with detectives learning Cop Stuff, as well as what-all Cop Stuff he learned, and that shone through pretty clearly. I thought it was a good story that did exactly what it set out to do and though I saw some of the twists coming from that proverbial mile away, there were definitely some surprises.
I interviewed him last summer and he falls squarely into the category of Good Egg, so I'm very happy to have liked the book too.
4. I dig this "seconds" line of dishes by Jason Miller in a deeply covetous way. Calculated imperfection really does it for me. [Via Oh Joy]
5. On Monday, EP and I took a longish lunch and went to a dumpling place nearby-ish that is doing some seasonal hand-pulled noodle soup. We hadn't been since the summer, when they do some seriously great Hawaiian shave ice along with the dumplings. It was snowing in earnest as we sat at the counter, looking out at the inexplicably open windows across the street.
We both got the dumpling noodle soup, which puts their tasty, tasty dumplings IN the soup. It sounds better than it was though; the dumplings got a bit waterlogged and the dough part fell off. So it was noodle soup with meatballs and some extra dough bits, which was fine, but I would have been happier with plain soup and pan-fried dumplings on the side.
The greens were fresh, the broth was delish, but the noodles were a touch on the gummy side. Still, satisfying and yummy.
6. Last night, a couple of friends and I went to my favorite local live music venue, the Bell House, for a Lost premiere party that included a band whose gimmick is singing songs that recap previous Lost episodes. They're called, naturally, Previously on Lost. And I have to say, they were pretty good, definitely better than any of us were expecting. "The Island Won't Let You Die" was especially good live. The music was catchy, they were clearly having a lot of fun, and they managed to include all three of my favorite band tropes.
A ridiculously Brooklyn-adorable frontman:
And a dude in headband, bikini underpants and tube socks:
They also have a theremin.
7. And speaking of gimmicks, my current favorite goofy blog is Fuck Yeah! Ryan Gosling, which is sort of like the I Can Has Cheeseburger of pretending Ryan Gosling is your boyfriend who calls you 'girl' all the time.