Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolutions, 2010

Remember my resolutions for 2009? Yeah, none of them really happened. I mean, we (Patrick) worked on the bathroom, and it is truly about 90% done. But not fully finished. I didn't see friends every week, and in fact was something of a shut-in, what with not working and all. And I can't truly say I cooked more soup than normal.

Should we just give up on resolutions? They make me feel good for about a week or so, and then I forget about them. So I guess they don't hurt, which means they're not bad. So I'll do them again.

1. Finish the bathroom (again).
2. Cook dinner 1x per week (Patrick does all the cooking).
3. See friends at least 1x per week (again).

I'll let you know how it goes.

Oh, and I turned on word verification for comments because I'm getting lots of Viagra spam.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

New Post

Patrick has challenged me to write a new post. I spend so much time on Google Reader, catching up on more prolific bloggers, which of course he thinks is a waste of time. I mean, I'm not saving the world or anything while reading about someone's pancake project, but he spends his time following the NFL draft, and I spend my time reading feminist analysis of pop culture. Whatever.

So, after a year of trying, I finally got a job! It's an Administrative Coordinator position in the Pediatrics Department of a local hospital. My boss and supervisor, with whom I interviewed, seem really cool, and there's a real social justice angle to the department, which I think I'll like a lot. I start in mid-January, so I still have some time to set up the DVR to tape Oprah.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


This weekend is the NY Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY. This is a really big event, with vendors, food, sheep dog trials, author signings, and more. I went last year with a woman from my knitting group, and this year we're going again with a third member. I'm not planning on doing much shopping this time ( ! ), but we'll see...

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Baktus Scarf

Hello! I'm back! I didn't knit a single stitch the whole summer, which partly explains why I abandoned this blog. But now that the cool weather is here (I've put our early-winter quilt on the bed), my needles are clicking and I have a project.
I've done some secret present knitting that I can't tell you about yet. This Baktus scarf is for me, though. I'm using some Noro Kureyon Sock yarn, as I've decided that I'm probably never going to knit a pair of socks out of it. And a good decision, that--this stuff is so thin in some places, it's like wire. And tons of knots. Who wants socks made out of knot-filled wire?
But this scarf is pretty cool. Light-weight, garter stitch, triangle. I've used 17g of the 100g ball, so I'm thinking it's going to be pretty long.
Here are the instructions.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Some Gifts

Here's the sweater in action:

And for the Birthday Girl, a Beaufort hat:

I've made the Beaufort before, as a Christmas gift for little A. Good stitch definition, the swirl adds interest. Overall, a nice hat.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Giraffe in the Grass Sweater

Just in time for summer (heh), I present the completed Giraffe in the Grass Sweater. In its last appearance on this blog, it was still in pieces. Well, it's taken me all this time to piece it together, knit the I-cords, and attach the ties.

The neck, sleeves and bottom edge all have a garter-stitch detail. The neck:

I-cord ties:
Rotated pic of the inside with tie closure.

Here are some things I learned:
  • I-cords really aren't that bad to make. Not sure why I psych myself out with them. Probably because I had to make a million of them for that centipede scarf.
  • Next time I'll figure out how to do the body in the round, so as to avoid all the piecework.
  • I'll have to check in with the mom to see how practical all of these ties are. I suspect they're not.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Newport, RI

The in-laws are in town, so we have a few days of fun activities planned. Today we went to check out the mansions in Newport, RI. Specifically, The Breakers and The Elms. I'm always kind of torn about touring opulence, but just let it go for the day and enjoyed myself. I think it would be boring for kids, what with the hour-long audio tour, but is a nice day for a group of adults.

Right in the midst of the mansions is Salve Regina University. I'd never heard of it before, but man, what a beautiful campus--right on the ocean, housed in old mansions.

I always enjoy photographing Patrick with statuary.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Do you know this site? Like LOLCats, but the idea is that all of the animals are trapped in Communist Russia. As you know, I love those crazy LOLCats, so this is an obvious fav. Check it out:

Thanks to Savage Minds for the link.

Monday, March 09, 2009

I Wanna Get Drunk Fast!

We recently got cable, for the first time in about 3 years. It comes with a DVR (digital video recorder), which has been really fun.

But Patrick has been filling up the DVR with all kinds of crap man-shows. About low-rider cars. And this trivia show called Manswers. Narrated by a nearly-shouting, gravel-y throated 20-something, it investigates all of the pressing questions today's Man has: how can I know if the prostitute I am approaching on the street corner is really an undercover cop? Or: How big do boobs have to be to crush a beer can?

How's this for a quote: "If you wanna get drunk fast, stick it up your ass!"

The Watchmen

I’m a fan of graphic novels. I started getting into them about three years ago, and like anything I take a shine to, my involvement has been methodical and meticulous. I’ve researched which titles are considered classics, ruled out any that are likely to be offensive to my sensibilities (read: meant for boy’s eyes only), and read. One of my first was The Watchmen, by Alan Moore.

The Watchmen as a graphic novel is everything I had hoped the medium would do with its particular story-telling capabilities: use text and images to tell multiple storylines in each frame, and carry themes throughout the book in ways that are graceful and not hitting you over the head. I went to my local comic book guy and asked for more books that do this, and he wistfully replied that there aren’t any. (If you disagree with him, let me know your suggestions in the comments.)

So, I’ve been waiting for this movie. In part because I hoped it would be a good, true adaptation of the book. But also because I feared that it wouldn’t. And if there’s one thing I love to do, it’s de-construct a movie.

And the chances that I’d have a lot to de-construct with this movie were high, given that the director, Zack Snyder, also directed the movie 300. 300 is my least favorite movie of all time. It is the most sexist, racist, and homophobic film I have ever seen. And while I haven’t been able to bring myself to read the graphic novel from which it was adapted, friends who have read it have told me that the director made some serious changes to the source material—changes that resulted in the film being the hot mess it is.

So, I spent the last week re-reading The Watchmen, so as to be on top of my movie-reviewing game. It really is good.

Patrick and I went to see the movie last night. My impressions (there are some spoilers in here):

Loved the opening credit sequence. Dylan’s “Times, They Are A’Changing” was a perfect match. I loved the look of the first generation heroes, with their home-made costumes. Loved the photographic-look of the cinematography in this part.

The film was much more violent than I’d imagined it would be. Granted, when I read the book, I didn’t really pay much attention to the fighting. But in the director’s hands, the action was loud, bloody and graphic. I’ve looked back at the artwork in the book, and some of the movie’s scenes went way beyond what Gibbons had done (Rorschach attacking the child kidnapper, the arm scene in the jailhouse). Some people love that stuff, so I’m not really faulting the decision to go so gory in the movie.

I actually thought the treatment of the women in the movie was very balanced and true to the book. With one exception, though minor: in the movie, when Nite Owl and Rorschach re-team and go to the bar to shake down hoodlums for info on Adrian’s attempted assassination, Janey Slater (Dr. Manhattan’s ex-girlfriend) is named as an employee of Pyramid and as handing off the payment. This is not in the book at all, and I really can’t figure out why they would do this in the movie. I should say that I am very sensitive to this plot device, and one of my major beefs with 300 is that it starts out with what’s-his-face’s wife giving a nodded approval to throw that guy down the well, thus starting the war. Why get Janey tangled up in this?

I hated 80% of the soundtrack choices. They didn’t make any sense, and just seemed like cool songs that someone liked so much that they had to go in the movie. And the choice of that Leonard Cohen song for the love scene—the audience at my screeening laughed the whole scene.

They did have to cut out the whole space alien plot, which was fine. I wasn’t very upset that they had to pin it on Manhattan. In the end, the theme is the same—there is no black-and-white, moral compromises must be made, Rorschach can’t live in such a world.

Excellent job finding actors who looked like the comic characters.

I thought Dr. Manhattan was done well. Billy Crudup played it cool, aloof, which isn’t how I’d read it in the book but now that I think of it, I think is the right way to go. The guys sitting in front of me couldn’t get over his junk. It was pretty distracting!

As an over-narration, the journal entries were pretty heavy and hard to focus on.

The movie did feel long, with the scenes on Mars and Antarctica dragging forever.


Have you read the book? Seen the movie? What did you think?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Secret Sweater

I do knit. Really, I do. It's just that almost everything I make is for other people, so I can't post the surprise here. But in this case, I decided that I'm sure that my brother and sister-in-law don't read this, so I'm posting about the sweater I'm making for their new baby. As you can see, he's shaped like a starfish.

No, not really. In the end, I don't like this pattern because it comes in five pieces, which I now have to sew together. Total bummer. On Monday I got myself to suck it up and dive in. I attached the shoulders. No problem. Then the hard part--I attached the right sleeve and closed up the right side. Great! Only, gah! I attached the sleeve inside-out. I have now ripped all of that out, and the sweater is in time-out. Just looking at it makes me feel a bit sick.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

This is what the internet is for, right?

Patrick just got his latest email update from TripAdvisor--a listing of the dirtiest hotels of 2009. We had a good laugh, but then I'm thinking, "Why this?" I don't think they've done this report in the past, so something about the current climate made someone think this was a good idea. Could it be that no one is going on vacation anymore, but the site still needs traffic? Nothing like a little dirt to get people clicking a link.

I just got a pre-recorded message over the phone declaring a snow emergency starting at 8pm tonight. Someone please tell me this is the last of the snow!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Game Stop: Forgotten Circle of Hell

I recently made my first trip to Game Stop, a used buy/sell/trade video game store. We've amassed quite a pile of Wii games, many of which we don't actually like. So we picked out 3 and headed to Game Stop.

Holy crap. This place is awful. First, it is full of the worst kids on earth. Second, those kids are with the worst parents on earth. I witnessed one child so enraged by the fact that the game his mother was buying him didn't include classic Pac-Man, spit flew from his mouth. And all of the parents were screaming at their children, at all times, from all areas of the store. Just awful.

We traded in our 3 games for a used copy of Twilight Princess, one of the Legend of Zelda titles. Only to get it home and find that it doesn't work. Hmpf. Now we have to go back to Game Stop to return it. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to convince Patrick to go without me...but I'll try.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sign Me Up!

I saw this over a Boing Boing Gadgets today and had a good time looking at the posts. This person (people?) work at some big social networking or fan site, and get emails from kids begging and lying to be let into the site despite their age. The good ones get put on COPPA KIDS:

And this kid tried to steal my perfect username:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Garden Planning

It's time to start planning the garden! And that means that Spring is coming, which is exactly the kind of news I need to hear right about now.

Here is a sketch of our plans. We have 3 large raised garden beds and 5 small ones. We built them out of non-pressure-treated boards (don't want any chemicals leaking into the soil) over the past 3 summers. They've served us well, but will probably rot out soon. That will be a good chance to redesign the space, as their dimensions and placement could be better.

So, here's the list: cherry tomaotes, plum tomatoes, some kind of larger tomatoes (beefsteak?), spinach, lettuce, snap peas, english peas, strawberries, zucchini, carrots, eggplants, collard greens and various herbs. Oh, and weeds, of course. Can't avoid those.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Sense and Sensibility--Stop Haunting Me!

Sense and Sensibility. OK, for real, I can't stop watching this movie. Every time I come across it on PBS, I stop to watch it.

Which is strange, because as far as I know, I can't stand Jane Austen. About 12 years ago, I took a long trip. One of my friends gave me two books for the trip: One Hundred Years of Solitude and Pride and Prejudice. I ended up reading OHYS about 8 times (love it). The Austen book I pulled out whenever I had trouble sleeping on trains--after 6 pages I was sure to be asleep.

But this movie! The acting is excellent, the costumes, sets, people, beautiful, and the romance and scandal!!! The honorable Edward. The rogue Willoughby. Top notch.

So, you should try to catch it when it is on. It's in two parts, so it might take some planning to see the whole thing, in order.

Monday, February 02, 2009

James Harrison Super Bowl 2009 100-Yard Interception and Touchdown...INCREDIBLE

This poor guy was not built to run that far. But yay!

We watched the game at our regular Steelers bar and had a great time. I'd say there were about 100 fans there, lots of noise, lots of cheering. Though that last quarter was tough to watch.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Gummi Bears Theme (Orginal)

When I was a kid, Gummi Bears was on at an ungodly hour of Saturday morning. Like, 6am. Even back then I wasn't going to get up that early. But! I lurved this theme song. So much so, I would drag myself out of bed to hear it and then go back to bed. At some point I smartened up, got out my tape deck, held it up to the TV speaker and recorded the song so I could hear it whenever I wanted. And it is still a great song.

A Dream Come True

If you've spent any time over at my friend CCR's blog, you've probably noticed two things: 1) her cats are always cuddled together, entwined like pretzels, and 2) in the comments sections I'm constantly griping that my cats don't do that. Harold and Pan were longtime friends, so that somewhat explains it. But the new Herself and old Harold? They hardly know each other!

My stupid cats have been together for about 10 years now, and while they share a food dish and tolerate each other's use of the litter box, they're not exactly holding paws and singing "Islands in the Stream." They'll wrestle-play sometimes, and George will lick Belmont's head upon approach, but really, not much more.

Until today! Look what I woke up to:

Love it! I feel like I raised them right, you know?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

We Have a Dream article

Here's a write-up of the show by our local paper.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama O's

Well, I am soooooo happy to say that I finished my quilting project. Happy doesn't really do it. Towards the end, I couldn't stand it. Mostly because I had a nearly-impossible deadline (my own fault, of course). Some pics.

Above is the concept/progress sketch. 9 rows, 5 columns, a simple nine-patch in red and blue, with solid cream fields in between. The deadline I mentioned before was a Martin Luther King themed show to which I wanted to submit the quilt. I titled it, "Thoughts on Election Day, 2008". In the cream fields, I used my quilting stitches to make letters and numbers to write out "08.28.63 I HAVE A DREAM TODAY MLK 11.04.08" Then, in the nine-patch squares, I used my quilting stitches to make what I call Obama O's (you saw them everywhere on Obama campaign materials).

Here is Patrick's commemorating shot of me finishing the last stitches on the binding. Those two shoeboxes in the background are where I keep all of my sewing supplies. Not a very good solution, but that's what I'm working with for now.

Here's a shot that gives you an idea of what the quilted letters look like. You can see a big Y in the foreground. If you click on the pic, it should come up bigger and be easier to see.

Another shot of the quilting stitches. This time, the Obama O's are visible on the nine-patch squares. Again, click on it for a bigger shot.

And here's a close-up of an Obama O. Stupid blogger has decided to rotate the picture, and I don't know how to convince it otherwise. Hmpf.

The show was created to compliment a piece created my Malden Access Television titled "We Have a Dream", in which 150 Maldonians (that's what we're called!) recite lines from MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech. About 15 artists submitted works to the gallery. You can check them out at the Gallery at Elm Street now through Feb. 22nd. Here are the hours:
Sundays, noon-2pm
Tuesdays and Fridays, 10am-1pm
Saturday, 10am-2pm
By appointment

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Zombie Time

As many of you know, my greatest fear is zombies. I think it's because there's just no stopping them. If all of the corpses in the world rose up to eat us, we'd be screwed. It's not like they die of hunger if you hole up for a few years. Still there, scraping at the windows.

I just spent a good amount of time going through all of the comics at A Softer World (hey, I'm unemployed). A couple of running themes: bad mothers, stalking, and zombies. Worth checking out.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Wine It Up

Yesterday we went to a good friend's 30th birthday party. Her husband arranged the whole thing: a wine tasting at a vinyard on the South Shore and then lunch. The vinyard, Westport Rivers Winery, produces only white and sparkling wines--not usually my favorite. But I have to say, I really enjoyed the tasting, and we even bought a bottle of bubbly to bring home. (the 2001 Imperial Sec).

We also stopped at Joann's Fabric to buy some twill for my quilting rack. Yes, it is time to rack it, which has me really nervous. I'll post some pictures once I get it wound on there.

Stupid Blogger keeps moving my pictures all around. It looks fine and neat in the post preview, put when I publish the post they're all scattered. Any advice out there? Do I need to learn how to edit the html?

Thursday, January 01, 2009