Friday, March 30, 2007
Really. No merriment going on here. First of all, there is a situation at my very important government job that makes me miserable. The problem is a weasel in people clothing there who wants to see my job eliminated. Every two months or so I have to defend myself against his attacks. Today was one of those days.
Then I came home to find cat shit. On. My. Bed. Yes, Duncan shat on my bedspread. I have to close the bedroom door during the day so Scott TC won't hang himself on the blinds, but Duncan has a habit of running into my room and hiding just as I'm leaving for work. I don't know why he does it, but once every few weeks I miss him and he's stuck there for 10 hours or so. And today he shat right on my bed. And then I discovered it by putting my hand down in cold cat shit.
So now I'm putting on my big girl underpants and running off to the store to get quarters for the washing machine.
The good news is that I'll be working on the Sahara tonight. I'll post the progress later.
Well, I'm not. That's me right there. I'm neither a man, nor am I particularly merry. In fact, I'm just an average 30 year old Jewish lady whose parents unfortunate foray into child naming creativity resulted in my being branded with a name that is a homophone of the name of this blog and a Christmas carol. Oh, the irony.
But since you're here, I'd like to take a few minutes to enlighten you about a few things.
First of all, did you know that an estimated 178,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to occur among women in the United States during 2007 and 40,460 women will die from breast cancer this year? Pretty depressing, but there's good news. Thanks to medical research, breast cancer is more survivable than ever. That research is expensive, folks. But you can help. Just click over there to the right. Yes, on the "Save Boobs" button and make a donation to the Komen for the Cure breast cancer research foundation in any amount. Seriously. It only takes a minute. And yes, you can donate a buck. After you've donated your $1, $5, or $100, you can come back here and continue reading. I promise you'll find what you're looking for.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Thanks for doing that. Now I'll share something else with you. I bet you didn't know that there are droves of sexy young knitters lurking about in America. Yep. We're young, we're beautiful, we knit, and we're everywhere. The media's been publishing it everywhere lately. In fact, WTTW's Chicago Tonight did a feature on us last week. That's actually what this blog is about. Knitting's not just for your grandma anymore.
And now for why many of you have come here. "The Merry Gentleman," a movie starring and directed by Michael Keaton is filming in Chicago this March and April. The film is Keaton's directorial debut and is described as an "Indie drama." I have no idea what that might mean. There's almost no other information on the Web about the film right now, but I'm hearing that people all over the city are seeing the filming in progress.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
My response to Borat is this: I want those two hours of my life back. I was appalled. Yes, I knitted during the two hours the movie was on, but the experience of the movie was so horrifying that I've blocked most of those two hours out, and so they are lost from me. I actually heard an interview with Mr. Cohen on NPR last week that prompted me to put the movie in my queue. I recall the interviewer commenting on how she expected to see an awful lot of poorly done knockoffs from this movie in the marketplace soon. I wonder how she proposes to tell the difference. Perhaps I don't get the humor because I don't have a Y chromosome, but I can't see how the naked scene in the hotel room was in any way entertaining, nor can I see the humor in presenting one's dinner guest with a bag of sh*t. The one mildly amusing thing about the movie was that Sasha Cohen was speaking Hebrew most of the time when he wasn't speaking English. In the name of human decency, don't rent this movie. It will only encourage the making of more crap like it.
A Good Year of course had the benefit of some eye candy. Apart from that, it was an average romantic comedy. It wasn't a great and engrossing movie, which is good because I was splitting my attention between it and the yarn. I'd say it was a good knitting movie.
Apparently, there is a movie called "The Merry Gentleman" that is filming in Chicago this year. Since this blog is attracting a lot of traffic for people who want to know about the movie, I'll try to keep you updated. After all, the movie is getting people to look at my little ole knitting blog.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
I know, I know. I promised an answer to this question days ago, but the answer I've been formulating is so deep and profound that it required days of thought and this warning:
This could suffice to answer the question, but I'm not going to let it.
Generation X is looking for something meaningful on our terms. Gen-Xers want to experience a meaningful and authentic life, but we're distrustful of the ways our parents and grandparents did it (and farked everything up). So we're going about things in ways that our parents didn't. Some have gone crunchy and prefer to eat only organic food rather than scarf down Bird's Eye frozen frankenpeas. A few found meaning in new age spiritual movements instead of going to church. I choose to make socks instead of buying those nice nylon ones that will one day live forever in a landfill.
So that's why I need to make things. I'm disillusioned with the single serving culture that I've lived in all my life. I want things that take effort to achieve and bring lasting pleasure. So I knit socks.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Green Tea Raglan
Friday, March 23, 2007
Scott TC is modelling the sock here. He's such a handsome fellow. With a little work, I think he'll have a career in modeling. Just look the the high cheekbones and vacant stare. Marvelous raw material.
With that mishegas out of the way, there is a more interesting announcement to make. For those of you in the Chicago area, Chicago Tonight aired a story on knitting in our city on March 21. I just watched it for free on Comcast On Demand. If you have this service and want to see the several minute segment, go to On Demand and look for the Get Local button. Access that menu and find WTTW. Chicago tonight will have about a week's work of shows there. The episodes aren't labelled, so you'll have to watch the first few minutes to find out if you've got the right one, you'll have to watch the first few minutes.
The segment included interviews with knitters at the Stitches Salon, some LYS's, and a men's group. Several of the interviewees talked about why they knit. Their goal was to show that knitting is not just for old ladies anymore and explored the origins of the knitting boom. One woman proposed that it was sparked by the September 11th attacks, but I'm not sure I buy that.
The show made me think about why I knit and what do I think led to the current popularity of knitting. I shall ponder this and report back tomorrow. Stay tuned for my purls of wisdom...
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Boredom is a terrible feeling. It's such a waste of time that it's a sin. I've been trying very hard to not waste time and to be aware of the passage of my life. To be greatful of every moment that the Creator of the Universe has granted me. To make even restful time productive, even if all that it produces is just revitalization. Blah, blah, blah. (I've been reading a lot of Rabbi Pliskin's stuff)
So now I'm sitting here bored to death, dreaming of being able to go home where I can run in the woods and knit socks. Oh. Running and sock knitting. Bliss and Nirvana. I wonder if I can combine the two activities in a way that will not result in my death? I'm very accident prone in my running, and tend to break my body parts on a regular basis. I have a vision of being found dead on the trail with a size 1 DPN to the heart and a skinned knee. At least I would have died happy and productive, blessing the Creator with my industry.
To change the subject, I have to complain about my very important government job. I can't really complain about it in a specific way because, well, they might find this and read it. Anyway. Do you know what I hate? While I'm sure that you could go through the archive for this blog and come out with a list of my mishegas, I will tell you here and save you the trouble. Today I hate when I'm asked to do something for work and not actually given the authority to execute said very important government task. I am sitting here and bored because I'm waiting for the authorization to do my job in a specific case.
I wonder if I could speed things along by brandishing pointy sticks. I'm afraid, however, that that would be another way to lose my life as a result of the pointy sticks. There are a lot of men with guns around here. But at least it would be fun and not boring.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
These are ankle socks, and there will certainly be lots of yarn left over. OOOOh. What will I make with that? Certainly something with this yarn in the stitch shown here for the cuff.
So, three mismatched socks on the needles. That's got to be bad luck.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
I've started the Knit-a-Tit knit-a-long to raise breast cancer awareness among knitters and to create comfortable and pretty breast prosthesis for women whose lives have been touched by breast cancer. I'm told that these handmade breasts are more comfortable, and comforting, than the traditional silicone prosthesis. All funds and boobs collected by the KAL will be donated to the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk for breast cancer research this summer.
So now you've found a use for that little hank of angora you've been petting in your stash. Or an excuse to buy some new yarn! Knit big ones and little ones, colorful ones, and fuzzy ones. Check out the KAL to find out how! Then steal the button and link to your blog or website.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Click the link. Save a boob.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I made a purse out of Koigu for a very good friend of mine for Christmas. I had two, now I have one. Well, Sarah wants a hat of that yarn for her birthday in May. And I don't wanna give up my only skein.
So, please, all you Chicago knitters. Please tell me where in the area I can get one more skein of Koigu. Make my lifelong friend happy without putting me through the separation from my precious. Where can I buy it? Please don't make me drive down to Indy to get it.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
I'm working on a new stash management strategy since the stash took over a drawer in my dresser. The new scheme involves photograph boxes purchased at local craft stores. I just bought three and transferred some of my stash into them. The transfer will take place as I get more of them. Pictured here is the first phase of the implementation. From left to right, we have sock yarn, weird orphan wool, and pink alpaca horde. Additionally, the sari yarn jacket (which really belongs in the sweater holding cell) is in a burlap rice bag. I will also need boxes for crappy wool, silks, sweater holding cell, and jail. Jail is currently in my work in progress basket in my living room. Clearly, a project sentenced to long term imprisonment does not deserve to be mixed in with well behaved knits. These evil creations may contaminate the nicer projects and cause a mutiny.
Dealing with bad guys
I'm thinking of taking a page out of the history books for dealing with bad guys. This page would be something I learned from King Tut, actually. I find learning from him fitting, considering that my greatest childhood ambition was to discover King Tut's tomb. On my trip to the Egypt museum in Cairo back in the day, I saw all King Tut's treasures. And let me tell you, that guy had a lot of stuff. Well, I saw a pair of shoes that the king had. He actually had at least a dozen, more than I have. But the ones pictured here are of special note. On the insoles are pictures of his enemies placed there so the king could walk on his enemies wherever he trod.
With my fair isle skills, I may be able to employ a similar strategy when dealing with bad guys. I could knit the likenesses of people who anger me into the soles of socks, and walk on them with a smile on my face. This could be not only fun, but cathartic.
Monday, March 12, 2007
First of all, corned beef of every type is nasty. Second of all, the red brisket (beef cured in pickling salt with herbs and garlic) is not an Irish recipe. It is an Eastern European, possibly Jewish food. This does not make me like it any more. Corned beef is nearly unknown in Ireland, and it's certainly not the national dish. It seems that the Irish did go through a period of eating a dish made of salted beef scraps and cabbage during The Hunger of the mid-1800's. This would have been famine food made of cheap and plentiful cabbage and low quality meat scraps. Certainly not a feast. It was a last resort meal brought about by a manufactured famine. And nothing to be nostalgic about. But somehow here in America it became a big Irish deal. This is all notwithstanding the fact that St. Paddy's Day comes during Lent, when traditionally the very Catholic Irish would not have been eating meat of any kind.
So, you may be asking, "What is the national Irish dish?" I would have to name The Pint at the top of the potential list for this honor. In Ireland, two pints make a good lunch. If you don't have the constitution to have only The Pint as your St. Paddy's day supper, try starting off with one of two much more authentic and cherished Irish dishes. One nice celebratory meal would be a boiled dinner of a bacon joint. Or you could try a nice fish pie if you're observing Lent. Then continue with your Irish pride by lifting a Pint to honor St. Paddy!
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Friday, March 09, 2007
Our very important government cable director called me down to his office today because he needed me to do some very important government work. Namely, to make water gurling noises with my mouth. He's going to be putting the noise into something he's filming. I'm sure that whatever it is, it's very important and for the benefit of our constituents. Probably he's making something about the new sewer pipes on the north side of the town.
I was happy to oblige. I endure much butt kissing every day, and this couldn't be any more harrowing. It turned out to be an unfortunate mess because my gag reflex is about 1/2" behind my teeth. I almost yak when I bush my teeth in the morning. Of course, gargling water caused a great spouting of water all over myself and on the floor.
And you wondered whether civil servants actually make sacrifices for thier jobs.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Last night I went to my Wednesday night SNB with the girls in Tinley Park. Woo, that was a hoot. Perhaps someone was working with hemp yarn, and we were all getting a contact high. Theresa was the leader of the scandal, but I have to admit a great deal of guilt in egging it on.
Schlemiels on wheels
To start with, I arrived all in a shtuk. Usually, the drive from my very important government job to SNB takes about an hour. Maybe and hour and fifteen minutes. Last night the schlep took two hours! And it was all the fault of idiots! Idiots on wheels! There wasn't even rain! I mean I know that I live in Chicago, and we have shitty traffic. One traffic snarl up on a major road effects everybody commute. OK. OK. But this was re-in-donkulous.
First of all, there was a jackknifed semi on the Tristate Tollway (that's I-294 for non-Chicagoans) at 95th street that had things blocked up all the way to Irving park. This is at least 15 miles of traffic jam, and during the rush hour no less. The jackknifed semi was blocking the three right lanes right after the toll. Personally, I think that when a semi (this is a tracker trailer) jackknifes on the expressway (the freeway, folks), they should make everyone stand back while they blow the fucker up. In only a few minutes the flames and debris will be gone, and people can drive past. It would cause less delay and difficulty than the enormous process of righting the thing and towing it away. Besides, any trucker who manages to jackknife on dry pavement deserves to have his rig blown up.
So I heard about this mess and decided on the next best alternate way home. Illinois Rt. 83. Pshaw! That was backed up all the way from Roosevelt to the Eisenhower (I-290). I thought that the problem must be that so many people where using it as an alternate to the Tristate. But I was wrong. I got to the hugely enormous intersection of Rt. 83 and Roosevelt road to find that the whole mess was being caused by a stalled pickup right smack in the center lane at the intersection. Like he'd been waiting first in line for the light when he ran out of gas. Now, this intersection is very busy and hard to get through anyway. And this guy had been blocking it up for at least 25 minutes, because that's how long I was sitting in traffic trying to get around him. I have no idea what he was thinking, because he must not have called the cops. None were yet in site to get him out of there. I mean, if I were blocking that intersection during the rush hour, I'd call the cops straight away so that they could protect my life from all the commuters I was pissing off as a result of forgetting to put gas in my car.
Finally, I got off that road near my place and discovered that several of the north-south streets where closed off for a chemical spill! I'd been giving thought to skipping the Essing and Beeing in favor of a bath and TV after the driving ordeal. No such luck for MB! Basically, I could not get near my home. I found my way to LaGrange Road to start going south toward Tinley Park, and that road was all jammed up with idiots. As I progressed through the traffic jam, I discovered the reason for the problem. That's right. The reason was fuckall. It was just a traffic jam for good measure with no cause. Getting past that one, I discovered another on the Cal-Sag road heading east. But at last I arrived at SNB.
Theresa's new husband
Theresa made an announcement last night. She whipped out a cable swatch made of the yarn she bought on The Fold trip from two weeks ago and exclaimed "I love this yarn, and I'm going to have its babies." I'm so happy that Theresa has found her new mate, and we all had to admit that it was a very good choice. I'd definitely sleep with that yarn. And I don't even know it's name.
Theresa also saved the day by telling us that she read about a very good use for those tiny 20-yard balls of super nice yarn we all have and can't throw out. She relayed a story that she read about on one of her hard core knitting lists. Apparently, a woman made an angora willie warmer for her mister. Of course, being a man, he decided to slip in on under his pants one day so he could have a secret reason to smile. Well, it gets rather warm and moist in the nether regions of the pants - and oh, oh, you knitters know what happened next... Yes, the yarn felted to his pubes resulting in an involuntary Brazilian. Oh my. I needed that. You have to wonder about when it started pulling and getting tight, did he just think he was getting excited? I am also forced to beg the question, "Do willie warmers tempt the sweater curse?"
My last report on SNB last night is about one of the new ladies that showed up. I don't remember her name (sorry new lady). She is apparently taking a graduate class in anthropology and wants to do a study on knitters. Now I'm speechless.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
I don't even know what to do with myself! I'm all aflutter. I mean, just look at those bmp's! I gotta have 'em. You remember playing Space Invaders on the Atari, don't you! Now the game can be immortalized in socks! Oh, I'm gonna make those.
I just checked on knitpicks about getting Essential in the proper colors. It looks like the only appropriate color they have is the black (and no white). It looks like I'm going to have to do some Kool-Aid dying on some yarn. Woo!
Is there a 12-step program for me? Maybe no. I certainly haven't hit bottom yet.
What is that one about things coming in threes? Ah, yes. I'd think it has something to do with the three on a match superstition.
I've had a "three" lately, and all related to people of the male persuasion. In the weeks following my mister-ectomy, I had three blast from the pasts from men I used to know or date (or who wanted to date me).
First there was the guy who showed up at the coffee house where my South Suburbs SNB group meets. I went out with the guy briefly several years ago. We keep meeting at strange times, and he usually doesn't recognize me. Our paths should not cross. We have nothing in common. Yet he keeps popping up. Hmm.
There there is the guy who I worked with at a volunteer job. We've made contact.
Lastly, a certain Scoundrel has made contact with me. (Scott X-BF is not a scoundrel, just a jerk. Calling him anything stronger gives him too much credit for effort.) I never want to see or speak to this Scoundrel again. He's a dangerous and nasty person who belongs in a dark pit forever.
Seeing as how I had this strange string of bumping into people from my past in recent history, I thought I'd see if luck would be with me. Last night I purchased my first lottery ticket since 2002. The jackpot was some outrageous amount like $370 million, and so I decided to test the cosmic forces. Needless to say, superstitions and luck do not work in the real world, because I'm off to my very important government job to earn my paycheck.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
The Hasbro company is giving grants of $50 - $1,000 for college D&D (that's Dungeons and Dragons) clubs to by new chairs and Doritos. The total amount of the awards will be $20,000.
There is another that funds projects for non-profits to start blogs for use as a fundraising tool. Perhaps I should apply for that one.
And then there was the million dollars the feds were giving out to fund potato research.
Somehow, I think some of this money could go to better use. But perhaps you think you could do a lot of good with some of this money. Perhaps we can work out a deal.
Monday, March 05, 2007
Sometimes the unsafeness of the world comes up and hits me in the head. It just hit me in the head again. I think I'd be safer under the rock...as long as I remember to duck.
Socks, socks, socks.
This weekend I actually had...a weekend! I rested when I wanted to rest, and I went out and did things when I wanted to. I even slept in as late as I wanted to. It's a big change after months and months of running my butt off every weekend trying to make up for lost time.
As I lay about the house enjoying the solitude and freedom, I worked on socks. No sweaters, only socks. I made lots of progress on my Roza's socks and finished the Song of Joy socks I've been working on for the last month.
During the sock knitting, I had the chance to watch a few movies and some TV. Netflix sent me two movies from my queue, Babel and Tristan and Isolde. Babel was a difficult movie to watch, but fantastic. It tells three interwoven stories about people in different parts of the world, and does a lot of jumping forward and backward in time. Not only was a lot of attention required to keep track of what was happening, but the movie was extremely tense. All three story lines were about people in physical or emotional pain and struggling through an immediate crisis. The tension was constant, and sort of uncomfortable. But that was what made it a great movie. Truth be told, I think I need to watch it again without the needles and yarn. As for Tristan and Isolde, it sucked the big one.
The other mentionable thing I watched was the Discovery channel documentary about the "Lost Tomb of Jesus." I can't pass up biblical archaeology documentaries, even if they are Christian. I have a background in biblical archaeology, having made aliyah when I was 19 so I could study the subject on the ground in Israel. I am fairly familiar with basic methodology and the political issues surrounding archaeology in that part of the world. Frankly, I found the documentary suspicious at best.
The director, Simcha Jacobovici, has a number of fairly impressive Zionist credentials. It turns out that he's a Sabra and involved in a number of Zionist organizations. I thought that perhaps he had some sort of Christian agenda, but I was apparently wrong.
He, however, does not seem to have any archaeological credentials worth anything. His methods were not scientific, and it seemed that he drew conclusions, and then went about trying to prove them. The way "evidence" was presented was also misleading. As a former archaeologist, I know that archaeology is a discipline of circumstantial evidence. There is almost never a "smoking gun" in archaeology. It is a slow and tedious process of learning everything you can from physical and historical evidence, and then drawing conclusions that need to be subject to peer review.
The Jacobovici documentary was plain "archaeo-porn." The sort of stuff of Indiana Jones that excites lay people, but has no basis in the scientific work that is the meat and potatoes of the field. After spending two hours of my life on watching what certainly was an entertaining TV program, I'm left with a question. Clearly, the director had an agenda that he was pushing. Well, he had two. One was money, of course. But what was the political agenda behind the making of this film? I mean, it was made in Israel, where everything is about politics.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Don't let anyone make you guilty about buying and collecting your
Thanks to Kris, graphic designer extraordinaire, we can declare our stash pride on our blogs! Feel free to steal the button, but don't be a bandwidth theif.