Sunday, November 30, 2008

Things I have learned this Sunday:

1) When you grow accustomed to a TV show and begin to love it, something in the universe will tarnish that love. There might be magically vanishing characters and smart characters going crazy (Grey's Anatomy, which the weirdness is making me sort of hate), shows mistreated by poor placement (The New Adventures of Old Christine), or cancellation/hiatus crap (Pushing Daisies, Battlestar Galactica, or 80% of the shows I've loved from the past). Right now, I'm still dealing with the Pushing Daisies news. Even without the fact that I adore Lee Pace, I love everything about the show, even that I have to ignore aspects of my science background.

2) I am bad at working over the weekends. I find myself fighting with my desire to be creative. Today, while I should have been working, I have knit, studied pastry recipes, considered planning a trip to Brittany (Bretagne or Breton), considered whether or not the "I'm a Convert" Sweater is a good match for me and my body type, and redid a neckwarmer I'm making/designing for my mom. Not to mention the interview reports I can't seem to write.

3) Empire Records makes everything better.

4) I need to be a combination knitter. Or moreover, I am a combination knitter, and it's easier to remember to do something than it is to try to change 20-year-old habits.

5) Apparently, some people do like the book that no longer exists. One of my sister's coworkers says that it is her favorite of the series because it was so different. And when I mentioned the irresponsible gore in the book, she seemed unaffected. And her only criticism was that nothing much happened. I'm only realizing now how effective my forgetting campaign was, except now after discussing it, the silly book is coming back to me. Now, I have to go see the movie version of Twilight, just to see if it translated well at all.

6) Oh, and did you know that the Secret Diary of a Call Girl is based on a blog? I'm oddly fascinated by it. I've been distracted by that today as well.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I think I have discovered the root to all of my knitting problems: my crochet background.

For the two years that I've been both a crocheter and knitter (although I have known how to knit a little longer than two years), I've been plagued by twisted stitches. I blamed it on my purls (which were to blame once). Then, I blamed it on knitting through the back loop (which led to a brief flirtation with combination knitting). And now, I think I know the new culprit: I twirl my yarn in a way more befitting my crochet background.

The reason for the sucky knitted twists (which I've turned into a stylistic element in my dad's scarf) is because I have been crocheting for 20 years now, and that's enough time to get stuck in one's ways. I've heard people complain about everything from how one holds a hook (knife or pencil) to grabbing or throwing the yarn. And none of these issues ever plagued my crochet. I generally throw the yarn instead of grabbing the yarn with the hook, but then I'm all about "grabbing" if I have to do a chain of more than three. And even though the act of throwing yarn in crochet is similar to the act of grabbing yarn in knitting, there's a nuance that no one ever bothered to tell me about. Nuances create or eliminate twists.

And so now, I'm wondering how I should proceed. I can't become an English-style knitter (I tried back when I learned and created my own flawed version of continental). I am commonly too lazy to be a combination knitter (I'd have to remember to ssk when patterns say to k2tog, and vice versa with some rearranging stitches), plus I'm wondering if combination can be done effectively in the round or if we just live with twists if there are no purls to right a twist. And then, I am too stubborn in my crochet methods to likely be very good at changing a similar method just for my knitting. So, I'm lost and looking for suggestions.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dear Music Department on "Life",

I think it's important to note that usually when I love a television show, I'm not a huge fan of the music used on the show. However, I realized a few weeks back that "Life" and I have a connection. Now, I could say that it's Damian Lewis, because I do generally have a soft spot for him. I could also say that it's Donal Logue or Robin Weigert (who I really do miss) because they are both awesome. It could also be that Sarah Shahi plays one of those few female police officers who isn't annoying because she's trying to prove something and being a false version of tough. But you know, they aren't the reason I don't want to miss the beginning of the show. Dear Music Department, it's because of what you present me in those first few minutes. And then the rest of the music? It's like we are music soulmates, all of us (Jennifer Blank, Liza Richardson, Michael Baber, and Tricia Halloran). I mean, seriously, I'm listening to Cat Power right now on the show. Right now! I love you guys. I mean, Cat Power!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


A few things I've been wondering today:

1) How do people not get into car accidents if they swerve between two lanes for more than five minutes?

2) Why are the jerkiest asswipes on the road generally driving BMWs or pickups?* And is it that they don't notice that they are endangering the lives of others as well as their own, or that really risking one's own life is just that much of a rush?

3) What makes vegetarian chili something other than a tomato stew with beans? And why is my mom's so much better if the only difference between mine and hers is that I used less zucchini?**

4) Why is it that when I am under a few strict deadlines, now is the time that I want to pull out a skein of wool and knit a hat?*** On top of that, why don't I fear deadlines like I should?

5) Why was the cornbread done in half the time the instructions gave?

There's a spat brewing in this household, and no matter how I worry about what the other party feels or thinks, I know that I am the one in the right. I'm just beginning to wonder if this was the right time to be right. Then again, if not now, everything, including my well-stewed bitter resentment, would have come out in a couple of days and that would have been ugly. Best to deal with it now, right? But how do you seem less like a jerk when the other party doesn't want to concede that you are in fact right?

*I'm not saying that all drivers of BMWs and pickups are jerky asswipes, just that the jerkiest of the asswipes always seem to drive these vehicles.

**I am going to be all chili-ed out by the time of the chili cook-off at work in over a week, but I'm doing this so we have more competitors. Although, I'm not sure I can turn in a tomato stew.

***I get that the desire to knit is directly related to the fact that I've been crocheting like a fiend for weeks on end. But why can't my brain turn off that immediate gratification button.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

How could you?

For all of the deserving cries of "Yes, we did" and "Yes, we can", I am crippled by the question "How could you, California? How could you?"

You've broken my heart before, California, but it's been years since then. And I thought maybe you had grown up, maybe you wouldn't be a school bully this time. But as of this moment, 52% of you are. You looked at one sentence and decided that it was okay to take away a person's right to marry whomever they choose. You might have voted for a presidential candidate of hope, but you turned and voted elsewhere out of fear. How could you? I can't defend you. I can't say, "Gosh, I'm happy I'm a Californian" because of you. Instead, I'm sitting here asking "Why can't I be from Massachusetts? Why can't I be proud of my home? How can you let so many people down?"

I just don't get it.