Saturday, March 29, 2008

Send Carrier Pigeons!

I hope you're sitting down. HA and I have been without internet access at home since Thursday morning.

Gah!!!

Someone is coming on Monday to get the hedgehogs out of our tubes.

In the meantime, I am huddled over the laptop, piggybacking onto someone else's wireless network. There is one and only one wireless network in my immediate area that someone was kind or foolish enough to leave open, and for that I am extremely grateful.

Anyway, HA has the NY Times website as his home page, so when I fired this puppy up this morning, this was the top story. (Short version = particle accelerator, 2 guys suing to stop them from turning it on on the off chance that it creates a tiny black hole that will swallow the earth, "Or it could spit out something called a “strangelet” that would convert our planet to a shrunken dense dead lump of something called “strange matter.”)

This is not the synopsis of the next SciFi Channel movie of the week (which I'm hoping is Mansquito 2), this is real, actual news.

What I'm wondering is, if they do actually turn this sucker on, will we get advance warning in the news? Like, will Katie Couric look into the camera and say, "so if the world comes to end at 9 AM Zurich time, this is the reason why."? And will I get to take the day off from work? "Sorry boss, but on the off chance that this is the last day ever, I'm going to spend it with loved ones, mmkay?"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Yarn Alert!

There's still some alpaca available from my stash (though some has been promised), but if that's not enough yarn for you, the mom of a friend of mine has opened an etsy shop full of her hand-dyed yarns. The colors are gorgeous and the prices will make you plotz. I would've bought some myself, and then huddled in the corner stroking it like Gollum and his precious, but it's not superwash and so I'm likely to be allergic/sensitive to it. My loss! Your gain!

Go forth and buy yarn.

Leave links to your fave etsy yarn sources in the comments.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Argh

See the pretty blue wristwarmers.
IMG_0704
Made from baby alpaca yarn that I bought on sale.
IMG_0705
That itch like a mofo.

Because I'm allergic to alpaca.

Fuuuuuuucccckkkkkk.

Yeah. Wearing these, I felt every little bit of fuzz rubbing against my skin. I even tried washing them in shampoo and conditioner. No go.

Oh, and a friend of mine showed me her wool wristwarmers. I slipped them on without thinking. Itch-a-rama.

I don't think I'll have to go completely wool free. I think I've been OK with blends and superwash is fine (the fuzz has been chemically burned off), but...

I own 4 sweaters worth of alpaca yarn.

And you know, you would've thought that I would have already admitted to myself that I'm allergic to alpaca. I tried knitting some up into a top-down set-in sleeves sweater of my own device (led by Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top Down) and it bothered my sinuses to work on it. But no, everything I read online said that alpaca is hypoallergenic. People who are allergic to wool can wear alpaca.

Unless they're me.

My online research made me consider the possibility that it was something the yarn was treated with that was bothering my allergies. I'd planned on finishing the sweater and washing it and then finding out for sure.

Feh. (An incredibly kind person on Ravelry relieved me of that yarn and didn't even make me frog the sweater, lest I aggravate my allergies more. Knitters are awesome.)

So I'm de-stashing (Ravelry link).

MultiAl
Grignasco Top Print
I have 8 balls of blue & brown and 2 balls of pink & brown.
I'm asking $5 a ball, plus shipping

PunoBlack

PunoGray
Filatura Lanarota Puno. 10 balls each in black and gray.
I'm asking $30 for all 10 black or all 10 gray, plus shipping.

Leave a comment or contact me through Ravelry if you're interested.

Please spread the word--I'm hoping to sell it all and spend the money on some yarn that doesn't make me sick.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Seance on a Wet Afternoon

HA recorded this movie on the DVR and I watched it with him because apparently at some point I said I wanted to.

I was not disappointed. In fact, I kept talking over the film to tell him how wonderful it was. Which he already knew because he was watching it too.

It was impossible to watch this film without wondering why films like it aren't made anymore. (It was released in 1964.) Quick synopsis: a psychic has her husband kidnap a child so she can become rich and famous after leading the police to the missing kid. Not only is this plan as crazy as it sounds, but five minutes into the film, you start to suspect that she might be not entirely sane.

Kim Stanley gets lots of credit for making this such a great film, but Richard Attenborough (aka the old guy in Jurassic Park and the guy in charge of escaping in The Great Escape) was heartbreakingly awesome. I thought he was kinda cute in Great Escape, but I completely fell in love with him. Possibly in part because when I lose my mind, I suspect that HA will behave just like Attenborough's character.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I Slay Me

Actual e-mail exchange:

HA:
Sorry it took me so long to reply -- our internet has been down for the past
three hours! (gasp!) I was on and off the phone with Verizon tech support
for an hour, with them eventually telling us that they had done all they
could do on their end and the only thing left would be for a techie to come
in to look at our equipment...first thing next week.

And then an hour later it magically got better.

I don't pretend to understand this thing we call the Internet.

Me:
Well, you see the internet is a serious of tubes. And sometimes the little hedgehogs who carry the information through the tubes get stuck. And then all the other hedgehogs who get stuck behind them have to push them until they get unstuck.

Verizon just keeps trying to lure the stuck hedgehogs out by putting dishes of Hedgehog Chow at an opening. But this just gets eaten up by other hedgehogs, who then put on weight and get stuck in the tubes themselves.

And now you know.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution



When His Awesomeness asked if I wanted to watch this movie with him, I asked what it was about.

HA: Sherlock Holmes develops a cocaine addiction, so Dr. Watson takes him to Sigmund Freud.
Me: I am so there.

Oh, but wait, there's more! Robert Duvall plays Dr. Watson and Alan Arkin plays Freud.

You're totally there, too now, right?

Seriously, this film is everything you're imagining and more. Go. Go rent now.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Almost Blog Stalking

So I walking along the subway platform and saw a man sitting on the bench. I gave him a look of happy recognition and thought, "OMG, it's Franklin!". And then realized:

  1. That guy wasn't Franklin Habit, but a complete stranger.
  2. If it had been Franklin Habit, it would still have been a complete stranger.
  3. The reason I knew it wasn't Franklin is that I think he would've mentioned an upcoming trip on his blog in relation to his photography project. In other words, I knew it wasn't him because he wouldn't come to NYC without telling me.
The truly odd part is that the guy returned my smile. Maybe it was a reflex. Maybe he thought I was going to come up and start talking to him and he'd be able to figure out where he knew this crazy woman from. 

And the truly embarrassing part is that if it had been Franklin,  I would've gone up to him anyway and fawned all over him. And I NEVER bother celebrities. Almost walk right into them, yes, but never accost them. But Franklin, well, he makes some badass complicated knitting that would scare off yer grandma. And that I would not be able to resist.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Project

I'll spare you the apologies for the lack of knitting content, and my sporadic posting. Life happens. There's been knitting going on. You'll hear all about it at some point.

But for now, I have a big announcement. I've launched a new project. You know how we walk around thinking, "Oh, I need to get more organized," and "I really should exercise more," and "I've got to get control of my To Do list," plus whatever else we just read about in self-help magazine articles. Well, I'm actually going to do all that and see if I can hold onto my sanity while I'm at it.

I predict that I'm going to fail spectacularly, but it'll make for some entertaining reading.

And yes, I realize that managing 2 blogs is only going to make me busier. But just like there are some of you who won't want to read about The Project, there will be people who find that blog who won't want to hear about knitting and my other babbling.

So go have a look and let me know what you think. I'm going to need all the encouragement I can get.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Mac-wha?

As soon as I heard that Patrick Stewart was going to be doing Macbeth at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, I formed a posse and got tickets. I knew it would be a spectacular show. Back in 1997, I went with some friends all the way to
Washington, DC to see him do Othello, which was so worth the trip. And as I've mentioned before, I saw him do his one-man version of A Christmas Carol live and listen to the CD of that show every year around the holidays.

The man is an Actor with a capital A for awesome.

So Macbeth. I'm fairly certain that the run was sold out before it opened, let alone when it got great reviews. It was an amazing experience to be there, fabulous show, so glad we went.

However.

I was in Macbeth on college (Witch #3 thank you very much) and studied the play in college as well. I know the play well enough to catch when someone gets a line wrong (it's "from the nave to the chops" not "chaps". Honestly, people). I know all about the alleged curse (some actors insist on calling it "the Scottish Play" because of all the bad luck involved with the show over the years--people connected to the production dying, that sort of thing. The explanation I've heard is that the play is cursed because Shakespeare used a real, actual witch's spell for the double, double, toil and trouble bit. Considering that one of the ingredients is finger of birth-strangled babe, ditch-delivered by a drab (translation: finger of stillborn baby of a prostitute delivered in a ditch), I think that some of the ingredients are just too damn hard to get a hold of to be part of a real spell. I'm sure such an item would have a powerful magical effect, but why would you paint yourself into a corner by coming up with a spell that requires difficult to obtain items when there are plenty of lizard legs to be had.

Anywho, in this production, they did the whole spell as a rap. Yes, the weird sisters rapped. The dialogue was unintelligible, even for someone (like me) who knows all the lines. I wouldn't be surprised if they'd decided to avoid the curse by changing the words of the spell and then having the actresses rap it so quickly that no one could tell.

When this scene was going on, I made a mental note to discuss with my friends after the show. But it was later pushed aside by the last scene. I'd been very curious to see how they were going to handle it. You see, Shakespeare has written himself into a corner here. He has MacDuff say something along the lines of, "Here's Macbeth's head". Many productions have MacD throw Macbeth's whole body onto the stage and point at his head. That's what I expected here, because the alternative is just undignified.

The alternative is exactly where we went when I did it at Fordham. My friend Louis, did the props and he took a mannequin head, and using clay and other materials, fashioned a reasonable facsimile of the actor's head. From the back of the theater, it looked convincing enough. The actor's mom loved it and took it home with her after the last show.

However.

Every night, when Macduff pulled out this thing, the audience snickered. They giggled. A dramatic scene marred by a silly prop.

So you can understand that I was expecting them not to go there. Big hit in the London before coming here, loads of fancy British actors, genius director. One would expect a soupcon of discretion.

Nope. Big honking model of Patrick Stewart's head covered in fake blood/red paint. And I do mean covered. The whole thing was red. Picture that, if you will, and join with me in feeling sorry for the actors that had to deliver their big lines while holding the stupid thing.

Make it not so.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Tanzania

Dear woman who was talking on her cell phone 8 inches from my head on the 7 train yesterday morning,

The country you're going to next week for work is called Tan-za-nee-ah, not Tan-zany-ah. You mispronounced it several times and although I kept wanting to turn around and correct you so that you didn't make a fool of yourself in Dar-es-Salaam, I wouldn't have been able to do so politely and ultimately decided that there was no point in making you feel stupid.

When the revolution comes, anyone who can't pronounce their destinations will have to stay home while I get to go in their place.

Also? Calling every black person you know to tell that that you're "going to meet their brothers in the motherland" is still appallingly tasteless, even if you are Latina. Just because you're not a white girl from the suburbs doesn't mean that you can go around saying stupid shit like that without me making fun of you.

Hugs and Kisses,

Jennu

Keep an eye on the news next week, kiddies. This gal is an international incident waiting to happen.