[amy] Dashing through the- AAGGH!

I sprained my ankle on Christmas Eve. Really bad. I've got to wear an air cast for four weeks. How did I do it? Well, I was at my mother's place and saw the FedEx guy drop off a big box. Thinking I'd do something nice for my mother, I went outside to bring it around to the back door. Because the box was so big and heavy, it was in my way of seeing where the edge of the paved driveway ended and I rolled my left ankle. I don't remember exactly what happened, but I was in a extraordinary amount of pain, looking at the big box on the ground next to me, wondering if I'd still be able to get it around to the back door.

Have you ever seen the movie Go? You know that part when Ronna gets hit by a car in the rave parking lot; then her body is dumped off the car into a wet ravine and she's laying down there, shaking? Yeah well imagine that the car hit me in the ankle (it's not a very tall car) and then I'm laying in my mother's driveway, wondering why neighbors aren't running toward me to help.

I hobble inside, get some ice on my ankle and try calling my sister. My mother was out shopping at the time and Richard was home but he's, like, a million years old and wouldn't have been any help in this situation. My sister doesn't answer the phone and I'm sitting on the couch watching a baseball grow on the outside of my left ankle. "Ooohhh, ooohhh, ooohhh," I keep repeating to myself. I look over at Richard- he smiles and says, "Happy New Year." Great. The phone rings and it's Barbara. I tell her to come down, I sprained my ankle- maybe worse. She arrives just as my mother gets back and they both tell me I need to go to the emergency room. It's not that bad, I say, it doesn't hurt so much anymore.

Well, long story short, Barbara thanks me for ruining Christmas (she tried thinking of the most selfish thing she could say and it was particularly funny after two hours of mind-numbing waiting), I get x-rayed, nothing looks broken and the doctor gives me an air cast to wear for three weeks. I also watch a tape he gave me entitled "How to Take Care of Your Sprained Ankle" (which features lots of legs jump roping, dancing and doing numerous other things which, as a person with a sprained ankle, I won't be able to do for ages and only made me feel more depressed). Back at home, I get a call from the doctor telling that he's just noticed a sliver of bone on the inside of my injured ankle, which was why I was so tender there, and if it doesn't get better in a week, I should go see an ortho-special-whatever and have my foot amputated. Oh, and I should wear the air cast for an extra week as well.

Currently, my foot is all black and I'm sure it's going to fall off. The good news is that it only hurts a little but I wish it hurt more because the pain was quite exhilarating.

So, yeah, that was Christmas Eve. Christmas was fun. I knit my mother a scarf and my sister a poncho. I can talk about the poncho now. I was not mentioning it and/or posting pictures of it for fear that my sister might see it. But she was happy with it and couldn't believe I knit it. She didn't knit anything for me (due to her City of Heroes addiction) but her and Jason got me wicked nice speakers for my iPod so now I have a proper portable stereo that still produces awesome sound quality. And it's the size of a hardcover book. I love electronics.


[amy] Christmas, Christmas, time is near...

I'm off work for Christmas until after the New Year so my postings are going to be infrequent at best. Having said that, I can't wait for Christmas. Can't wait, can't wait. I love giving presents and force people to shake their presents and guess what might be inside while I repeat, "No, guess again." I also like that this is a time of year for secrets: yours and other people's. You got something for someone and it's killing you not being able to tell them about it when they mention the exact thing that you got. You also might know what one person got another person and when the other person talks about it, it kills you to not be able to tell them what you know. See? It's hard to even understand what I'm talking about because I have to be all cryptic and shit.

In other news, I'm thinking about getting a kitten.

So back to the presents: I like disguising distinctly shaped gifts (e.g. books, cds) as something else. The trick is to put the intended present inside something that gives it a different shape and then wrapping that up. For example, hiding a cd inside a watermelon or a DVD inside the box from that porcelain you got- It gets them every time! The only problem comes from when the person reads the outside of the box ("Rebecca, crafted in Chinese porcelain and sporting an intricate lace-edged gingham dress, will make a darling addition to any doll collection...") and becomes ecstatic ("I've always wanted to collect dolls! This is fantastic!"). Hopefully, though, when they see what's actually inside ("A bong?"), they're relieved and happy ("Thank God. I was totally going to slash your tires over that stupid doll.").


[knitting] Colinette Scarf


Just wanted to start posting some of my knitting projects. This is a scarf that I finished a couple nights ago using Colinette Zanziba in Copperbeech (I think) and some novelty yarn that I can't remember the name of at the moment.

Because of Zanziba's thick & thin twist, I chose to use a basic moss stitch for this scarf- the finished texture is nice and pearly. Adding the dark blue/dark brown novelty yarn gave the orange and blue Colinette a nice, earthy overall color.

These pictures kind of make the scarf look purple, but really it looks beige, blue and brown. It's pretty, I swear.

[movies] Sin City redeemed on film... perhaps.

Okay, I didn't really care for the comic and I heard that the movie was going to be a celebrity clusterfu- well, there are lots of famous people in it (which is usually distracting) but GAH! The trailer! So awesome. And sweet, big-eyed, innocent, Tuck Everlasting, Alexis Bledel from Gilmore Girls as one of the many hookers in the film! Love love love!

[books] The Stupidest Angel

Okay, the discussion for Christopher Moore's The Stupidest Angel is up (a day late due to password issues). I hope you read it but you probably didn't. It was a fun Christmas story and put me right in the mood for killing Santa, zombies, naked swordplay and fruit bats. See what you missed out on?


[food] To eat before I die

Yet some more things to worry about doing before I die. BBC posts a list of 50 things to eat before you die. Let's see, I haven't tried:

11. Moreton Bay Bugs

Don't like the sound of that. But they're probably not really bugs, right? It looks like a cross between a lobster and a crab. Hey, I like lobster and I like crab so that would mean I'd love these bugs. Only, I wouldn't call them bugs.

19. Cream tea

Silly me for thinking this was just tea with cream in it. I could easily have said, "Yeah, done it. Thank heavens I tried that before I died." Apparently, cream tea consists of clotted cream, scones, jam and tea. And you have to have it at 4:00 pm. And the clotted cream has to come from Devonshire. And the jam has to be home-made. And the scones still have to be warm from the oven. Uh, I'm getting hives just thinking about it. It sounds too stuffy and uptight.

22. Kangaroo

... Really. So during my inevitable trip to Australia to eat all these things I simply must in order to pass on in peace, I'm meant to have freaky lobsters and kangaroo. Kangaroo. Hey, what if you're a vegetarian? You obviously won't eat all this fish and meat. Are you going to die unhappy/unfulfilled? And if you're a vegan- forget about all that clotted cream, man. Well, I'd try kangaroo. I'll probably be crying while I'm chewing but I'd try it once.

32. Guinea pig

What? No, man, they are too fucking cute. No way am I going to eat something I can pick up at the pet store. No. No way. Forget it. I mean, if I was stuck on an island of New Guinea and there were all these little native guinea pigs running around and I was starving, I would probably catch a couple and roast them over and open fire but only under those dire circumstances.

35. Paella

What is that? Oh yeah, this would kick ass. Finally, something on the list that I might actually be able to make at home. I'll just add this to my list:

- Make some paella
- Be one step closer to dying happily

36. Barramundi

I mean, can we please pick more obscure food? Sautéed rats with a side of krispy ants- you simply have to have that before you die. Let's see what the hell barramundi even is... It's fish. Fish from Australia! What, I have to eat everything alive in and around Australia? It's that great? ... I guess it would be cool to say that I've eaten a hermaphrodite fish. Unless that's common. Are lots of fish hermaphrodites?

40. Australian meat pie

Australia. What a surprise. Let me guess what's in the meat pie: koala, wallabee, platypus and wombat. Oh, just beef. How boring. I swear, if I do end up making it over to Australia, I'll probably leave 20 pounds heavier.

42. Durian fruit

Interesting. Let me guess- can only be found on the island continent of Austra- Oh, it's native to Malaysia and Indonesia. "Described as tasting like heaven and stinking like hell. The fruit is large and covered in spines with a really rich creamy flesh which tastes like cream cheese and onions." Yummy. "It has an extremely offensive odor described as garlic like, similar to stinky feet, and like Limburger cheese. Some countries even ban the presence of durian in hotels and on public transportation due to its offensive smell." Mmm, mmm. But too bad I'm allergic to tropical fruits. Oh well, so sad.

48. Haggis

I'll die happy if I don't ever try this. What is it again? Sheep liver, heart and lung stuffed inside a sheep bladder? I don't ever want to make something that would have be puking all over it during the preparation process. And I don't want to eat it. Ever. Maybe once. Covered in ketchup.

49. Cornish pasty

I love pasties, but I figure- "You tried one pasty, you tried 'em all." I'm not going all the way over to Cornwall just for a stupid meat-filled pasty. Meat and potato and onion and... Mmmm, okay I'm drooling a little.

* * * Amy's Note * * *

An obvious and glaring item missing from this list is kimchi. I'm not trying any of it until they add it.

* * * * * * * * * * * *


[knitting] The "playful" womb

this is the blog of the creator of the knitted womb. This chick is clearly insane. She answers some common knitted-womb questions she's been getting:

Q: Why a womb?
A: Why not?


Q: Plan on kitting up anything else weird?
A: I'm seeing a lot of expressive potential in the urinary system right now.


Q: Why not a penis?
A: [links to a crocheted penis]

O- Oh my god.

Crazy. This chick is crazy. Look at the purse she made! Cra- Hold on. Okay, this bunny she made is cute. And the Superhero poncho is really cool (I'm going to make my next poncho with a hood!). So... maybe she's only a little crazy. And that's not such a bad thing if you think about it.


[books] The Unmaking of Earthsea

Ursula K. Le Guin isn't too thrilled with the Legend of Earthsea miniseries. I haven't read it (yet) nor seen any of it, so I can't comment on the differences. But I wonder... Once you sell the rights to your writing, how much say do you/can you have over how the film is made and/or what message the film is trying to convey? Can you have that written into the contract? I imagine you could call up the director and say, "No, no, it happened this way," and he could say, "Yes, yes, we'll make the changes" and then not do anything.

I wonder how many authors sell their stories with the highest hopes only to wish, later, that they'd not let go.

That reminds me, there was a question on the recent Guardian Adaptation quiz:

10. Upon seeing a film made from one of his books, what was John Le Carré's quoted reaction?

a) "It's like Christmas and your birthday all at once"
b) "It's like taking a cow and boiling it down to an Oxo cube"
c) "It's like looking into the toilet bowl and remembering the wonderful meal you had the night before"
d) "It's like losing a daughter only to have her return as a whore"

Maybe the answer could be "a" in a best-case scenario, but it's probably more like "d".


Yo, Ursula K. Le Guin is pissed off. Read her op/ed piece at Slate, affectionately titled A Whitewashed Earthsea. She doesn't like that fact that the producers mostly cast White Bread (with Danny Glover filling in as the token black man) when her book and characters display a wide array of races. She gets semi-hysterical about all the different skin colors in her story and how the movie ignored that. I thought she was over-reacting until I read-

"I have heard, not often, but very memorably, from readers of color who told me that the Earthsea books were the only books in the genre that they felt included in- and how much this meant to them, particularly as adolescents, when they'd found nothing to read in fantasy and science fiction except the adventures of white people in white worlds."

I never thought of that. For those of you who read sci-fi/fantasy, how often do you read about main characters who are non-white? And I'm not talking Chewbacca or R2D2 "non-white", I mean African American, Native American, Indian, etc? Ever pick up a sci-fi book and see an ethnic person on the cover? Probably not. I can understand now why the variety of races is a glaring omission on the part of the mini-series creators.

Le Guin also kind-of answers my question about what happens after you sell the rights to your book:

"When I sold the rights to Earthsea a few years ago, my contract gave me the standard status of 'consultant'- which means whatever the producers want it to mean, almost always little or nothing."

[books] "When novel and author stop being polite...

...and start getting real." This is the Real World: Writing. Neil Gaiman is rapidly losing his mind. Recent posts to his online journal center around wrestling imaginary bears, bipolar ups and downs and the following:


Only What Happens in the last part of the book is all different now. It feels more like What Happens than what I thought happened in the last half of the book when I started writing this (or, er, this morning). But...


He's losing it. The man is losing it. The book sounds to be about 75% done and the honeymoon's well over. At the beginning, when Neil was meeting all his new characters and discovering what they're about, it was all rainbows over a marzipan landscape of smiles and hugs. Now I get the impression he hasn't washed in a while and he's blaming the book. White skin, sunken eyes, hollow cheeks, beard and an insane smile- he looks at himself in a full length mirror, whirls around to face the book and shouts around flecks of spittle flying from his mouth, "How dare you do this to me! I created you and look what you've done! You'll pay for this!" Clackitty clackitty clack on the keyboard (or, scribble scribble on the legal pad as is the case with Neil).

Can't wait for the book, Neil. Hurry up.


[amy] Weekend Update

I don’t really like dogs. No, I don’t like them at all actually. Guess what I’m doing this week? House- and Dog- sitting. I’ve known this dog for a long time and it’s the only one I feel comfortable around. I’m still afraid, though. It all started when…

[cue flashback harp music]

I was a little girl and my grandpa’s dog bit me in the face.

[cut back to present]

So that’s it. I hate dogs because they hate me. They must know I’m a cat person… So this dog-sitting thing is sweet and sour. The sweet part is that the house has cable and I watched 120 hours of t.v. this past weekend. I caught up on Food Network, MTV, VH1, E!, Bravo and all kinds of crap stations. The sour part is taking the dog on his pee/shit breaks. He’s kind of old and that makes me sad. And he’s kind of stinky, which makes me mad. I try not to pet him but he gets all dejected-looking and I end up petting him but I immediately run to wash my hands afterwards.

I don’t have to stay with him at the house, but I’d feel bad leaving him all alone and coming over just to let him out for five minutes at a time. He’d cry little doggie tears, I know he would.

Other than that, I’m frantically trying to finish a knitting project in time for Christmas. And trying to read Practical Demonkeeping, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, Island of the Sequined Love Nun and Lamb in preparation for The Stupidest Angel- the discussion of which starts next Monday. I love to read but, crap, that’s a lot of reading.


[news] Mel Gibson's Christmas shopping

I knew rich people still bought islands. Someone told me that the world's islands were all sold already but Mel Gibson has just bought his own personal island in the Pacific. And at $15 million, I consider it a bargain. Even so, that's like pocket change to the man now. I'm waiting for him to buy the moon next.


[test] flickr

This is a test, using flickr to post photo(s)...

[videogames] Girls! Girls! Girls!

Why do guys always outnumber girls when it comes to video games? Not that I'm complaining or anything, heh heh, no but seriously: Why? Guys outnumber the girls 15:1 over at Red vs. Blue. When I play group Halo/Halo 2, there are usually only a couple girls present. Why? Why, God, WHY? Are there no other gaming chicks out there? Where are the other nerdy, unix joking ("Ever try to concatonize the phrase 'a can of food' on the command line? You get 'cat cannot open a can of food'! AHH HAHAHAHAHA!!!"), Penny Arcade reading, hott females. Oh wait, HERE they are. Mmmm, frag-a-licious. It's like the Spice Girls, only better. You can pick your favorite one but they don't sing. Oh yeah, there are also doodz but I doubt they'd look as good in heels.


[boardgames] Holiday game guide... to Carcassonne!

Matthew Baldwin posts his 5th annual Good Gift Game (G3) Guide over at The Morning News. These are good starting games for everyone because they meet the following criteria:

1. Easy to learn, with rules that can be explained in less than five minutes

2. Entertaining, so committed to the fun factor that even the guy who comes in dead last has a great time playing

3. Quick, lacking downtime and requiring no more than an hour to complete.

I haven't been to Funagain or Games Surplus in a while, so hearing about Carcassonne: The City was news to me. I've got the original Carcassonne, plus all the expansions (Inns & Cathedrals, King & Scout, Traders & Builders), Hunters and Gatherers and the two player variant: The Castle. ... Gah! There's a new expansion called The Count of Carcassonne! 12 new starter tiles, which is cool because the river pieces were getting boring and totally give the person who plays the first farmer an unfair advantage.

[knitting] Winter Knitty

The Winter Issue of Knitty is up. The only two things I'd consider making would be the bob & weave (but make it smaller) and the maryella beaded wrist cuffs. I haven't knit with beads before but I'd like to try it out.

My only question is WTF is up with the knit womb. Seriously. ..."a cute, cuddly uterus doll"? I don't want to cuddle with it; do you? Didn't think so. And it's like Action Womb- they've taken pictures of it climbing trees and playing the piano.

If you must knit yourself a doll, why not knit a Rockstar? I'm all over the Henry Rollins one, but I'd do it shirtless and make sure to accurately replicate the "Search and Destroy" sun on his back, as well as all the tattoos on his arm his arms and legs... My only fear is that by the time I finish it, I will have made a voodoo doll.

The only dolls I want are these.


[books] Incoming Call. From: GOD (new number)

I’ve taken the 9/11 Commission Report and Diary of a Teenage Girl from my “Currently Reading” list to the left because, I’m not gonna lie to you, I don’t know when I’ll get through them and I have a crapload of other reading to do. So.

I finished Tribulation Force last night. This is Book 2 of the Left Behind series, which I find interesting. The rapture has taken place and loads of people have disappeared from earth (and are presumably in heaven). Those left behind have to deal with the upcoming 7 years of trials and tribulations, the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse, the antichrist and devil and all that. In the aftermath of the disappearances, there are two witnesses known as Eli and Moishe (a.k.a. Elijah and Moses) who pray/preach at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. They also happen to breathe fire and incinerate anyone who tries to harm them.

A couple of the characters in the book get a chance to get close and talk to Eli and Moishe. It was all, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” It was an intense conversation with these ancient, sweat stained men in tattered robes. The conversation ended with Eli and Moishe speaking directly into the two characters’ hearts.

The next day, one of the characters, a respected Rabbi, gives a surprising and controversial telecast to the world. He runs home for safety and bbbbring bbbbring goes the telephone. Is it the newspapers? Incised orthodox jews? No. It’s Eli. Calling on the telephone: “Hello, Rabbi? Hi, this is Eli. We spoke last night, remember? I was all intimidating and speaking without actually talking and trying to resist the urge to set things on fire with my mouth because, ha ha, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. Am I right? So listen, about this telecast you gave- I saw it. Loved it. I think you should come over here aaaand we’ll have a little pow-wow, you know, toss some ideas around about what to do about the inevitable arrival of the devil. How does that sound? Good? All right, you’re brill, love ya, I’ll send a car to pick you up. Toodles.”

The conversation didn’t go exactly like that but I couldn’t believe that Eli called the Rabbi up on the telephone. Up until that point, Eli and Moishe had been very mystical and it all came crashing down with that specific use of technology. You’d think, right?, that if Eli could do all sorts of crazy things and has the will of God on his side, he could just appear in the Rabbi’s living room, like a hologram or something, deliver an important message in a booming/echoy voice and dissipate. Right? On top of that, he’s not meant to move from the Wailing Wall for two years! I’ve never been, but I don’t imagine there are pay phones lining the outside of it. So what did Eli do? Pull out his cell, call up God and ask to be put through to the Rabbi?

A telephone… I can’t believe it…

[videogames] Halo 2: The Reckoning

This past Saturday I spent 8 hours playing Halo 2 with some new people- I can't remember all their human names but I am sure of all their screen names. Ken posts about it here. I didn't do too well the first game because I wasn't used to having my TV all to myself- it was kind of large and kind of freaking me out. But then I started kicking ass. Then, as the day progressed into night, my play got worse and worse. All in all, it was loads of fun. And I liked trying out new games, as opposed to just playing team slayer.

It’s worth mentioning that after playing Halo for so long with my regular crew, it was a bit of culture shock playing with guys who have their own customs. Here are a few differences.

* * *

Old Crew: Play team slayer until 25 kills.

New Crew: Play team slayer until 50 kills.

Initial Reaction: Fuck! This is going to take fucking forever!

Result: This actually is a better way to play for two reasons: (a) You’re on the level for much longer. Going for only 25 kills means you’re done with the level fairly quickly and after 2 hours of game play, you’ve done every level- twice. (b) The winning team will shift back and forth, thus making the game more exciting. With 25 kills, the leading team is usually going to be the winning team.

* * *

Old Crew: Motion Sensor off

New Crew: Want the gaydar and will bitch until they get it turned back on.

Initial Reaction: Babies.

Result: I don’t like having it on because I never use it. When it is on, I forget to use it. So… If I’m not using it, that means no one else can. Plus, it’s just more exciting to not know where people are.

* * *

Old Crew: 3-4 people per TV

New Crew: Refuse to have any more than 2 people per TV.

Initial Reaction: You do know you can play 4 people to an Xbox, yeah?

Result: Maybe they just don’t want to play on 1/4 of a TV screen because it would be too small? But hey, I learned Halo on 1/4 of a TV screen and I think it makes you a stronger player. Like, how your granddad would have walked to school in the middle of winter, barefoot, with only a baked potato in his pocket to keep his hands warm and stomach full for the rest of the week? It’s called hardship. Or poverty. Hardship or poverty. Either way, it makes you stronger.

* * *


[funny] Shizzy

I love Shizzy. I want to have like 10,000 of his babies. He completely outdoes himself with a email prank focusing on corporate treachery- Starbucks style. Read Part I and Part II. Also, read his interview.

[videogames] WarDevil for Xbox 2

Check out the new trailer for an Xbox 2 title, WarDevil created by Digi-Guys.

"For over 15 months, Digi-Guys has been creating and testing to make this project possible. Recruiting talented new team members from the 4 corners of the globe - which in turn have drawn upon many visual & literary influences, to created one of the first projects that can exist in both mediums - as a movie & a game."


[food] Where's the squab?

Hidden inside this unassuming turkey is a chicken, a duck and loads of stuffing. I totally missed out on the Turducken this Thanksgiving. And at $114.95 a pop, I’m kind of glad. Maybe I’ll get it next year for Valentween.


[amy] Hair Dryers

I got a new hair dryer. Or rather, replaced the one I had had for only one week before it broke when I dropped it. Shit just isn’t built to last anymore. I went to K-mart after 7pm, knowing that there wouldn’t be that many people there. I picked out a new (different brand of) hair dryer and decided to wander around.

I looked at all the Christmas stuff, imagining how I’d be wrapping gifts this year. I usually bounce back and forth between Martha Stewart-ish packages in shiny paper, smooth flat ribbons, bows, pretty tags, etc etc etc. With this method, it takes about 20 minutes to wrap one toothbrush. Conversely, there’s the hasty, last-minute book wrapped in paper towels tied up with shoelaces. How ghetto is that? I also perused the Christmas cards, not finding anything I’d want to send out to people. In the end, I picked out a few other things I needed and checked out. I swear, only I can go into the big K-fart, choose SIX things and have the total come to fifty bucks. FIFTY BUCKS.

At home, I gave myself a spa treatment (I got these exfoliating shower mittens that have no thumbs- so they're basically like socks you wear on your hands- and after having them on for two minutes, I realized how much I love/need my thumbs), read a couple reports for work, wound two skeins of yarn into balls and read the instructions to my new super 5 x Ion far-infrared Remington mega-magical hair dryer.

I learned that I’ve never once dried my hair properly in my life. I’ve been doing it all wrong! It’s a highly scientific process involving various heat and speed settings depending upon what style you’re aiming towards and what your hair type is. Don’t even get me started on that cool shot button, it’s too complicated. After carefully reading the WARNING! Safety Instructions! I found out that I should not operate the hair dryer while sleeping. I don’t know why I’d want to dry my hair while I was asleep but this has to be the most obvious safety instruction I’ve ever read in my life. I mean, you can add this warning to anything:

Car: Do not drive while sleeping!

Knives: Do not chop while sleeping!

Frozen Dinners: Do not eat while sleeping!

Clearly, the only thing you should be doing while sleeping is dreaming. Duh.

But this reminds me, I had this dream last night about being trapped under the ocean with a bunch of other people and we couldn’t leave this one place because this shark was going to kill us, but it turned out to be a robotic shark with a sinister man and woman inside it (who wanted to kill us) because they were looking for a big, uncut diamond (which someone in my group had)… It went further from there but involved everyone back on land, dressed clothing from the 1920’s, trying to prevent a forest fire.