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November 26th, 2010 — 8:16pm

On June 1, 2008, (thanks, gmail archive) our dear Chris Hughes sent me an email recommending “Peep Show“. Dan and I tried it and absolutely fell in love. We’ve watched all six series over and over and over, to the point where we can recite along with the characters. Or all we have to do is say, “Mark, are you ACTUALLY Sherlock Holmes?”, or mention “tricking the boiler” or “invisible rays of bullshit” or “endlessly pooing” or “red next to black, jump the fuck back”, or scream “JOHNSON!” to make each other crack up.

Last year some time we heard rumors that there would be a seventh series. Eventually the rumors were confirmed, and then the writers and actors (we follow some of them on twitter) even began talking about filming… and finally, months ago, they announced that Series Seven would premier on November 26th. So we marked the calendar and began counting the days. And today was the day! Finally, finally, finally, some brand-new PEEP SHOW!

We tried not to expect too much… not every episode is great even though they all add up to something remarkable, but tonight’s episode was everything we could have hoped for. Ahhhhhhh Peep Show. Thank you, cast and crew and writers! Can’t wait for next week!

If you haven’t seen Peep Show yet, I should give you a word of warning as to content. I’ll paraphrase the warning that Chris gave us originally:

It is very innovative, and very funny – BUT dark, dark, dark, to the point of cringe making in places. Adult themes. Bad language. Do not watch with children or the elderly and infirm.

If you can handle it, you’re in for a real treat. Check youtube (carefully). You can probably watch every episode there in bits and pieces. Look for Mark and Jez:


And of course Super Hans!



3 comments » | Blog

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26th, 2010 — 7:43pm

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope your day was as cozy and peaceful as mine.

Henry went to Rhode Island on Tuesday with his dad and grandpa to spend Thanksgiving with his Rhode Island relatives (he says they all talk like Peter Griffin), so Dan and I had a quiet Thanksgiving with just the two of us. I hadn’t really planned on making a big feast… but then Trader Joe’s tempted me with their pre-cooked half-turkey, and I do love mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. And stuffing. And gravy. So I went ahead and made everything as usual, heh.

Dan requested a cranberry cheesecake so I bought a springform pan and we made a cheesecake together on Wednesday so it could chill overnight. It turned out fabulous! Here’s the recipe: But you should double the amount of cranberry topping, and also follow the alternate baking directions: bake at 350 for 15 minutes, then at 200 for 75 minutes, then turn off the oven (NO PEEKING) and let it sit in there for two or three hours. Perfect creamy texture and no cracks! We served the extra topping on the side so the pretty marble pattern didn’t get covered up.


I also invented a saute of cauliflower and asparagus with a lemon/butter sauce. Turned out nice! Oh, and we shared a bottle of sparkling cranberry juice. Here’s dinner:



1 comment » | Blog

My Very First Little German Book

November 23rd, 2010 — 1:21pm

Elli and I just recorded an adorable little picture book together: My Very First Little German Book. The text is here: and the free librivox audiobook is here: I read the English parts and Elli read the German parts. I edited the whole thing together, and she did the cataloging. So much fun! Here’s a sample page:


Poor little boy!

2 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

Reading in German

November 13th, 2010 — 2:14pm

I’m quite proud of myself because I have just read an entire novel in German: “Klassensprecherin Dolly” by Enid Blyton. I’ve read a lot of other stuff in German over the years — chapters of this and that, short stories, and even half of Alice in Wonderland for LibriVox (Elli read the other half), but never a whole novel from beginning to end. And Enid Blyton is unknown here, so I wasn’t even familiar with the story or characters. Our library has NONE of her books in English, though she is a British author! They only have a few German translations in storage. Hilarious.


Yes, it’s “just” a kids’ book… but still it was quite an accomplishment for me! And very fun, as well. I’ve always loved boarding-school stories. And I was just delighted when Dolly gave horrible Irmgard a good shaking!

Now I’m in the middle of “Balletschuhe” by Noel Streatfeild, which I’ve read before in English, of course, so that helps quite a lot. But I think Streatfeild’s writing style is a bit more complex than Blyton’s.

3 comments » | Blog, Books


November 12th, 2010 — 8:54am

A few weeks ago, one of the moms on my homeschool email list asked if anyone could find an online text of “Grammar-Land” by M.L. Nesbitt (published in 1877). I had a look and found the text on Google Books:, and after I’d glanced through it I decided I had to read it for LibriVox, since, you know, I’m kind of obsessed with grammar and language, and it looked like a really fun little book.

Elli did the proof-listening for me. We both loved the book. It’s utterly charming, and so lively and interesting! The chapters are nice and short, which didn’t hurt either. It’s a lot easier to find time to record a 10-minute chapter than a 45-minute one.

I finished up the book on Wednesday, so here it is:

“They are funny fellows, these nine Parts-of-Speech. You will find out by-and-by which you like best amongst them all. There is rich Mr. Noun, and his useful friend Pronoun; little ragged Article, and talkative Adjective; busy Dr. Verb, and Adverb; perky Preposition, convenient Conjunction, and that tiresome Interjection, the oddest of them all.”

Whom do you like best? Elli and I are both quite fond of Dr. Verb, and we dislike the smooth and slimy Adverb. Notice how the author has each character use his own kind of word as much as possible — very clever. :)

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

Gentleman’s Sock with Lozenge Pattern

November 3rd, 2010 — 10:57am

Just finished up a lovely new pair of socks for Dan. They’re the “Gentleman’s Sock with Lozenge Pattern” from Nancy Bush’s “Knitting Vintage Socks“. Great book.

Yarn: Lang Jawoll Superwash
Needles: size 000

I knit the cuffs on 72 stitches and the rest of the sock on 70. I used the cuff pattern and the nifty “lozenge” pattern, and did my own favorite heel and toe. This is a great pattern if you don’t like to count rows! The purl stripe comes every tenth row in the cuff and the lozenge pattern is very easy to memorize and you can just work as many repeats as you need by just counting diamonds.

These socks are here on Ravelry: (no log-in necessary)




I’ve already started another pair in dark green.

7 comments » | Blog, Handmade

This Country of Ours, Part 3

November 2nd, 2010 — 1:15pm

It seems I started posting Through the Looking-Glass before This Country of Ours Part 3 was quite finished. Oops :) So now I’ll start posting the rest:

29 The Founding of Connecticut and War with the Indians
30 The Founding of New Haven

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

The Apple Stone, chapters 5, 6, 7

November 2nd, 2010 — 1:08pm

Happy November! Here are a few more chapters of The Apple Stone for you:

55 The Apple Stone, Ch 5: The Sword and The Planets
56 The Apple Stone, Ch. 6: The Feathered Serpent
57 The Apple Stone, Ch. 7: Detectives

“The Sword and the Planets” might be my favorite chapter… well, one of my favorites, anyway. I love Sir Amias.

1 comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

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