Archive for November, 2008

28
Nov
08

Me, me, me

I saw this meme floating around (don’t you love how I don’t even bother to be tagged anymore? Just like people don’t bother tagging either) and I’m not sure whether I did it or not (not exactly, but some of the things look familiar and some done), so here’s another quick distraction between work here at home:

Things I’ve Done (In Bold)

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (does going to the island count?)
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train (we took the auto train from VA to FL but I didn’t sleep!)
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors (The Czech Republic, Scotland and England)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class (but just the trial class…)
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (Richard Biggs of Babylon 5 rode in my car!)
92. Joined a book club (Crafter’s Choice  )
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee (I stepped on a bee in my apartment, go figure!)
100. Rode an elephant

26
Nov
08

Silence

We’ve had some bad news in our “little” town (there was some banking legislation that came out of my town, and I think it was 60 Minutes that called it “little San Mateo”) – I was driving home yesterday around 5 pm and noticed that there was a huge collection of news media outside our police station with cameras and lights. We found out the rest later.

Yesterday at 9:30 *a.m.* a woman called her husband who called the police to say that there was an armed intruder and she had barricaded herself and the kids in a bedroom. Neighbors actually got some of this on tape, which was really surreal in a suburb of San Francisco at 9:30 am on a Tuesday – but the SWAT team was called in, carried the kids out of the house to safety, and then there was gunfight, and the woman and the intruder both died. The pictures are so amazing since they’re about 2 miles from my house, and look like they’re straight out of a cop show.

Speaking of which, the series finale of The Shield was on last night. I have gone back and forth on the show over the past 6 years, but have watched it religiously. It wasn’t a great finale but it could have been so much worse (a la The Sopranos). Shane didn’t end up getting away with everything, like I thought he might, poor Ronnie ended up taking the blame for everything, and the piece de resistance was Vic’s comeuppance. His wife was put into the witness protection program, so he wouldn’t see her or his kids again; his only friends are either dead or in prison; and he is chained to a desk for the next 3 years! “I don’t do desks” will be my quote of the year!

I loved the last scene, where they spent at least 5 minutes letting it all sink in for Vic, and having a genius use of silence in their sound design. You could only hear the hum of the fluorescent lights while Vic “acted” and thought about what he had done, and the fact that for the next 3 years he would be required to sit at a desk from 9-6 (the lights and air conditioning automatically shut off at 6 pm!) and analyze data, unless he wanted to go straight to jail and not get immunity for everything. Jail would be fine for him, but a desk is really Hell. I can give up this show without longing for a better ending.

Tonight it’s the Sons of Anarchy season finale. I think it’ll be good, but what will I watch for the rest of the year? I just might have to get to the pile of magazines I have to read, and I have 5 books out of the library. I’m most interested in the media related books I have, Television Disrupted by Shelly Palmer, and a book about how Clear Channel killed commercial radio. Fun!

25
Nov
08

Awful

First of all, I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford to have my own site again once this year is over, and I’m not sure where I’d go, thanks to the amazingly great economy (and AIG continues to have company parties 😉 )

I don’t know if it is my general depression due to the economy or my lack of a fancy new job after job seeking for a year and a half, but I’m really uninterested in TV these days. I even told BR that if it came down to it, we could cancel our cable whenever.  Even Internet, now that’s bad.

Last week I was thoroughly disgusted with the The Office episode – it was so awful, I really almost don’t care if it comes back.  I gave up on ER because it’s been so overly over the top since they have been given a year to wrap up the show and bring back all those thousands of people that were on the show but didn’t get killed – hey, wait a minute, why do we get Anthony Edwards in a ghost cameo, but Kellie Martin is nowhere to be seen?  I also basically gave up on Californication, which not only has one of those Godawful “Zima” girls (Madeleine is on this show, I believe, and I saw another one somewhere else, and only recognized her by her speech’s cadence.  I love the Zimas just about as much as the [Matthew] Lawrences in the ’80s where they all had those Godawful bowl haircuts.) but really hasn’t been good this year.  I know they think it would be the death of the show to get Hank and Karen together but they were only together for a 1/4 show, and then now they’re apart again?  Lame.

The shows I actually do like I don’t really care if I see again either.  Dexter has been good as usual, but the whole Miguel storyline has been lame (I am not a Jimmy Smits fan), and it as a whole reminds me of last season: Dexter finds a crazy soul mate, Debra gets into some wacky relationship (although I do like Anton!), Rita is even more perfect in her ’50s housewife-y best, and there is nowhere near enough James Remar (!!!).

I’ve enjoyed The Shield for the past 6 years, and kind of even got back into it this season, but frankly I just don’t care how they wrap it up tonight.  Knowing my luck (which has been better lately, though, they did cancel Pushing Daisies, didn’t they?  Payback for having cancelled Dirt last year that I was so in love with.) Shane and Mara will get away scot free, they’ll start a Shane spin-off (God forbid) and Ronnie will be blamed for everything.

I do really like Sons of Anarchy and have been enjoying it, but I don’t know if I’ll care if it comes back or not. I think I’ve just begun to learn not to get attached – all the good shows get cancelled and the ones I don’t like are on into infinity.

And on that note, I finally gave the old heave-ho to my ill fated machine knit sweater.  It doesn’t fit, I re-knit the sleeve 3 times, sewed it up, and it still is huge and short.  (Way too much like me, I guess.)  So off to Goodwill it goes.  I wonder if anyone else will want it?

But I have started many other projects, and maybe one of these will be keepers, who knows.  They’re all wraps, which seems to be my M.O. this year.  First of all, my Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick/Rowan DK Marl wrap:

wool

and newest, my recycled silk wrap. The silk is very poorly spun, but the colors are gorgeous!

silk

17
Nov
08

Finally!

I finally got off my you know what to figure out if my camera still worked (just barely – and I even bought a new one that doesn’t work!).  And I put aside some of my huge list of work to show off what I’ve completed lately.  First of all, I’ve also been distracted by this:

Our neighbor’s outdoor cat, Opal, has taken a liking to us and has come in to sleep on our bed off and on lately. We’ve discovered that not only is BR allergic to cats but IM is too, so I haven’t been able to let her in as much lately. But it is very nice to have a cat to take a nap with.

Here’s what we’ve started seeing lately as well:

Opal

“Let me in!!!”

So my machine knitting, part 2 class has been progressing nicely. After 7 weeks (each class is 5 weeks), I ended up with a new sweater:

grey sweater

Made out of a very nice Cascade Pima Melange yarn, it’s huge. I washed it in my machine and it shrunk up, so now it’s short and huge. But at least the sleeves aren’t past my hands anymore. My teacher suggested I use buttons to cinch it in at the waist and sleeves and I’ll probably do that, but right now I’m done. I’m just giving up.

I did end up buying the LK-150 and it’s fun to play with. I have made a shawl/wrap thing with leftover mohair yarn and plan to give it to my pink-loving friend for Christmas. Here it is sideways:

scarf

I also took up Stephanie‘s cause to make 100 scarves to be donated to San Francisco’s homeless. Last I heard she had made 37, and I tried to make a few more. I made a very nice one with Lion Brand Wool Ease but left it at my knitting teacher’s house by accident. I finished one very flimsy scarf out of Crystal Palace Breeze:

blue scarf

and started one yesterday with Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick. I then proceeded to run out of yarn, and time, as Stephanie’s group needs them by Wed.! I’m sure I’ll find another needy person to wear this really appropriate, warm, thick scarf.

cranberry

When I brought out my Thick and Quick (I am loving this yarn!) I also brought out a ball of black, and started another crocheted scarf yesterday. I’m also using up my Rowan DK Marl that I’ve had forever. I can’t wait to wear this one! (Yeah for stash busting too!)

black scarf

04
Nov
08

The Facts of Life

“You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and then you have…”

Well, I’m very happy that we won’t have to say Vice President Palin for the next 4-8 years, but I’m sad that we in California are just lame enough to think that someone being in love is a bad thing.  I voted against Prop 8 and and Prop 4 (what I like to call the “if you were a good parent you wouldn’t need this law” proposition) and even more than the presidential election I made sure that those “NO” votes were recorded correctly.

Someone on Ravelry mentioned where they were when Obama was announced to be the first “black” President, so I’ll add my two cents: I found out about Obama’s victory while I was at Starbucks with my knitting group.  So I can always remember knitting fondly!  Why am I now thinking about the scene in “Singles” when Kyra Sedgewick’s character says “I’m going to have to remember this chili dog forever?”  Personally, I get to remember the grey shawl I was knitting when I found out that we won!!!

04
Nov
08

My Year in Lists

I just found another meme, so I figured “why not?” Here goes:

The official rules are mark with bold the things you have knit at least once, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.

Afghan
I-cord
Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Shawl
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Hat
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Sweater
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Cardigan
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Slippers
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Scarf
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dyeing with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Bobbles
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dyeing yarn
Steeks
Knitting art
Fulling/felting
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Purses/bags
Knitting with beads
Swatching
Long Tail CO
Entrelac
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Darning
Jewelry
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Gloves
Intarsia
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Pillows
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Rug
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Shrug/bolero/poncho
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

I guess I should have added a characteristic of things I would never do, like knitting for pets 🙂 Okay, I guess I’ll try underlining things that I have no interest in …




Elspeth

is a knitter, librarian and pop culture enthusiast in the San Francisco Peninsula. Email me at emmckee@rocketmail

Tweets, if I bother

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