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  1. Thank you for sharing my Tess hate!! I had to read that for my Victorian lit class in college, and what a bad impression it made on me. By book’s end, I had just had it with Tess. She’s up there with Scarlett O’Hara for lead female characters I am supposed to admire but just can’t stand.
  2. 4/5, one *! Came close on the 5th, but Don Juan does not equal Don Giovanni.
  3. I am hoping that NBC has decided to keep this show as a holiday treat. They did the same with the first two, and then fourth, seasons of The Sing-Off, and it worked really well as that holiday show. (The third season, they tried to make it a full fall show, but the ratings tanked. The only good thing that came from the extended run was that the season’s winner Pentatonix was able to develop their sound over the course of the show and capitalized on it.)
  4. She swore on her appearance on the podcast Pod Save America, too. i am in the middle of listening to the audiobook of Blowout, and I totally agree that it is very engaging.
  5. Just got caught up on the past two eps. I only got wolf and missed FJ with Don Juan for yesterday, but I did get KellyAnne Conway, snowplow, Fenway Park, and also Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer. FYI, I just recently watched an excellent Biographics video about Kepler on YouTube—learned he was instrumental in lots of scientific discoveries, not just the laws of motion.
  6. It was at BookExpo America, a booksellers convention that I went to three years in a row when it was in Chicago (I worked part-time at Waldenbooks, which was my “professional” credentials to get in). I had to pay the $100+ weekend fee, but the free books and other paraphernalia, many of which were signed by the authors, made it totally worth it! The first year, I came home with over 200 books, most of which I gave away to coworkers at both jobs. I got smarter with snagging free booty and didn’t overdo it in subsequent years. Ms. Andrews was signing one of her children’s books. She was in the upmost tier of authors who were not only signing in the signing area, but you had to get a ticket for her signing to get a spot in line. I had learned my first year to show up for the ticket dispersal line by 5:30 am, since they started handing them out at 7. As I was walking away from the ticket booth with tickets in hand, they announced that her tickets were all gone, and you could hear the groans of disappointment echoing around the room. She was everything I wanted in a celeb encounter—very nice, showed interest in me in a few words, listened patiently while I babbled how much of a fan I was/am, then politely waved me off while the next person in line stepped up. I will never forget it! Edited to add a movie-related BEA story. In 2001, the Houghton-Mifflin booth was all Lord of the Rings movie tie-ins, including a tv showing the internet-exclusive trailer. My dial-in modem at home sucked so I hadn’t seen the trailer yet, and the official trailer was still months away, so I had no idea of what the trilogy was going to look like until I saw it at the booth. A bunch of us were transfixed and marveled that it looked like they might actually pull this off!
  7. I just saw a great vid where Taron and the director break down the “Rocketman” scene, starting from when Elton is hauled out of the pool to his take-off at the concert.
  8. When I met Julie Andrews back in 2000, my first thought after internally geeking out was how fabulous she looked and that her plastic surgeon must have been one of the best in Beverly Hills.
  9. I had a rather weird moment today. The clue was asking for what a bowler strikes. I wasn’t paying really close attention, so my wandering mind fixated on Bond films and bowler hats, and I said “a marble statue.”
  10. How much did I love that noodle puppet? Just a bit more than the pun-off between Nick and Amy. it looks like they have fewer professional crafters this season, which is a good thing, imo.
  11. Thinking about it, I guess “deal” is more a diphthong than two syllables. (BTW, I’m from Chicagoland.)
  12. 3/5, 2 *s, although I still don’t get how “deal” is considered a monosyllable (it’s dee-uhl, thus two syllables).
  13. All I could think of for FJ was Ivanhoe, so missed that one.
  14. Just got caught up. For the past two weeks, matching scores: 3/5*. I usually don’t get asterisks, so two in a row is really good for me!!
  15. Thanks! I had a whole bunch of almost-done-but-not-quite xstitch pieces that I concentrated on finishing several years ago, so all I have now are the kits for small projects that can be done in days, one Xmas piece I really want to do that will take probably a month that I am holding off on doing until I need a short break from this megaproject, probably next spring, and then several more megaprojects that I bought from Scarlet Quince. None of those are as big as this one, but they are all probably 12- to 18-month projects. I love the big projects just for the huge set of accomplishment when it’s done. My first was a 186,000-stitch antique world map I made for my sister and BIL, which took about 20 months to finish. That one was very demanding, since messing up the longitude/latitude lines would have been immediately obvious. It had a lot of variations on white/ecru that drove me up the wall!
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