[misc] Quickie Reviews



Good book. Very funny. Hilarious if you know scripture. Sad ending but no surprise there.


Gilmore Girls: Season 3

Rory's still smart and Lorelai's still a slut. Luke is too good for her.


Girl goes to college, gets crap job, lives alone, sabotages all personal relationships, inanimate objects start talking to her and tell her what to do. It's like looking in a mirror looking back at me reflecting off of a reflection.


Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

What is the "phantom menace"? The Dark Side? I still don't know. Padme... Is that gungan for "pedophile"?

Star Wars, Episode 2: Attack of the Clones

Anakin is a whiney little bitch. No wonder he goes to the dark side.

Star Wars, Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith

Nothing's hotter than a guy tortured by the very decisions he made for himself. It's even hotter if he turns evil because of it.

[knitting] Pillow and Flower Power Shrug

The pillow is finished:

Here are a couple more pictures of the front and back, post blocking/pre-seaming and post-seaming. The buttons match really well and I'm happy with the end result.

I've also started the lace mohair beaded shrug:

I like knitting with size 10 needles- The project grows so fast. And the beads are fun- except for when I get to a place in the yarn where the strand broke and was tied back together. Usually I'd just keep knitting but because I can't push the beads past it, I have to cut the yarn, take off all the beads, thread them all onto the new strand and think about the extra loose ends I'm going to have to weave in.

Also, I had a lot of trouble with the lace pattern over the course of the first few pattern repeats. Note the lovely lace design when I hold the work up to the window. Now, take a look again but look through my eyes. See the missing yarn-overs and the junky flower bits? That's all I can see but I'm hoping that once I have it on, no one will be able to notice.


[amy] Crazy

Note the long post below. I've joined Secret Pal 5. I've been enviously watching from the sidelines as knit bloggers post pictures and coo over the nice things that they get for no other reason than being a knit blogger. And, heh, since I like getting shit, I figured it was time for me to join. The only caveat is that I, too, have to send some random person shit as well. But since I like giving presents as much as getting them, this is going to be fun.

In other news, I finished reading Lamb and watching Season 3 of Gilmore Girls. I'll try to write up reviews over the long weekend.

Hark! What dost I justeth say? That's right, I'm taking a long weekend. I plan on relaxing by mopping my floors, donating old clothes, visiting the recycling center, organizing my library and knitting. Or, I may hop a plane to Aruba and never come back. Who knows? I just know I need to rest. I've been feeling rather... volatile as of late. Not "lighthearted" volatile, but "tending to erupt into violence" volatile. Do you ever wonder what it would be like to slide a knife into the stomach of someone who's pissing you off? I do. Maybe I need to Chappelle-it and check myself into a mental institution for a spell...

I'll be back Tuesday. ... Maybe.

[knitting] Secret Pal 5

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

I tend to avoid Red Heart. Lion Brand has got some new, okay-looking yarns. I'm not against acrylic- I used a Patons Divine to make my lattice stole. But I'm not a complete yarn snob either. I've used Rowan for a project but the poncho ended up costing me close to $100 to make. I think there are plenty of places to get nice yarn at reasonable prices.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

I'd like to learn how to spin, but I've never done it. I specifically want to learn how to spin cat fur. And I do crochet, although not nearly as much as I knit.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)

Nope, nope, no, nope... But if you plan on sending me tropical fruit, I won't be able to eat it, because I am allergic to that. No mangos, no pinapples. I'm serious here- I might die!

4. How long have you been knitting?

Just over a year now.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?


6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

Rose. Patchouli.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?

Only when I'm PMSing. So... No, I don't. But I do have a salty tooth.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

I'm ordering a few books from Amazon on how to sew, bead and embroider. I'd like to learn how to do those things.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

Electronica: Air, Chemical Brothers, Crystal Method, Daft Punk, Death in Vegas, Fluke, Groove Armada, Massive Attack, Nightmares on Wax, Underworld.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

I like all colors but I really like pink. And light blue. And black. And cream. And brown. Let's just say "all colors" and be done with it.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Single, living by myself. I have no pets but I love cats and am hoping to get one or two hundred someday.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)

Bring out the trash, do the dishes, become invincible, take over the world, rule with an iron fist, etc etc...

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

Really nice, soft wool.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Scratchy wool.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

Shawls and shrugs. Also, I'd like to knit more things for my home (e.g. pillow covers, throw blankets, etc)

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Anything I don't have to seam. So that pretty much leaves scarves. Pattern-wise, I love knitting lace.

17. What are you knitting right now?

The Flower Power Shrug with beads from Interweave Knits.

18. What do you think about ponchos?

I made one. I have have no problem with them. People are taking this whole poncho craze a little too far. It's just a fad. If you like it, there are a million different patterns for you to choose from. If you don't like it, it'll go away eventually.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

I knit on circulars almost exclusively now.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Bamboo. I can't knit on aluminum needles because I can't stand the scratching of one aluminum needle against another. It's like nails down a chalkboard for me. Or chewing on tin-foil. Or having my leg ripped off and being beaten over the head with it.

Having said that, I've never tried Addi Turbos. Those are meant to be the holy grail of knitting needles, right? And I've wanted to try the Crystal Palace Daisy needles because they're so fun looking.

21. Are you a sock knitter?

Yes. I've done one pair of ankle socks and one (singular) self-striping, pink sock. I have about 5 balls of sock yarn laying around, waiting to be knit with but I honesly find knitting socks to be tedious.

22. How did you learn to knit?

My sister picked up Stitch 'N Bitch last year. She learned the basics and showed me how to knit and purl. Everything else I've learned from books. And from a particularly helpful lady at my local yarn store.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?

When did I start knitting? I remember making a mitten last summer and I never made it's mate.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?

A ligra. It's only like my most favorite animal!

25. What is your favorite holiday?

Christmas. And Halloween. And my birthday.

26. Is there anything that you collect?

Besides dead bodies? Knives.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

No subscriptions but I often pick up Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits and K2.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?

Are you sure you want to ask me that question?


[amy] Figures.

I went over to Ken and Ram's last night for supper and had the following coversation with Ken:

KEN: [going through pictures from the 80's party]

AMY: You know, I don't really like that picture.

KEN: Adams t-shirt?

AMY: Yeah. It's... kind of pornographic.

KEN: Why did you put it on your blog, then?

AMY: What? I put a picture of you and me dancing...

KEN: ... No, I'm pretty sure it's the bound up Asian woman-

AMY: Are you serious? Crap! I bet- [shoving Ken aside, navigating to blog] I bet the picture ID's changed after you added the new pictures and- AGGHH!! NO!!


AMY: I have to change this! How could this happen! I have to take it down right now!

* * *

So, that figures. The one picture I find offensive happens to be the one that magically replaces the original one I chose. If anyone came around to my blog yesterday and wondered, "What the hell?", I apologize.


[uvscene] 80's Rock Star

Geh, I'm still hungover. Check out the 80's party post and pictures. I don't know who was running around with a camera, but they managed to get a couple pictures of me.

[*Missing Photo*]

Lovely. I think this photo was taken right before the bottle slipped out of my hand, shattered on the floor and I stumbled to the bathroom to wretch. The party was fun, I ran into all kinds of people I hadn't seen in a loooong time. And the "Ozzy Rules!" t-shirt was a massive hit. From people screaming "OZZY RUUUULES!" in my face to the bartender saying, "We're friends of Ozzy here" in a very "Pedro offers you his protection" kind of way. The crimped hair, short tight shirt, long t-shirt, leggings- it was all working for me.

Prior to the 80's party, I went to a small Rock Star party for supper. It was the best food I've ever had. One of the appetizers was a wheel of brie baked with port, caramelized onions and currants- meant to be spread on bread. Over this really nice food, Ken and I decided that our next project will be to take the Upper Valley and secede it from the United States, thereby making our own country. We'll set up a perimeter but bus Americans into our country for parties. We need to start thinking about a flag design...


[knitting] I'd rather be knitting...

Goddamn that software training sucked yesterday. I managed to suffer through the morning, but I left during the lunch break to come home. I got all I needed out of it anyway. Plus, what's even better is that I got a really cool, green, GIS notepad. So it wasn't a complete loss.

I mentioned a couple days ago about the fake tree/cell-phone towers. Here it is...

The picture was taken during the drive down I-89S in the morning (at around 7 a.m.) whist speeding along on cruise control. The tree looks completely out of place in a Frakenstein kind of way, right? It just begs the question: What the fuck is wrong with that tree?

As per le knitting, I've nearly finished the front of a graduated rib pillow cover...

I should be able to complete the back this weekend but I'm running dangerously low on the Lamb's Pride yarn. It's going to be close.

The late-and-getting-later-by-the-day Mother's Day bag had been sewn together.

I also machine sewed a green lining...

As for putting the two together... well, heh, I thought I measured correctly, but it seems that the lining is a smidge smaller than the bag so... I don't know what to do. Buy more fabric and get it right the second time? Heh, well, that would cost money now wouldn't it? I'm going to try to loosely sew the lining in and see how it looks (while periodically grouping some extra knit stitches along the top of the bag as I sew along with thread). If that doesn't work, I'm just going to buy my mom a cookbook.

And here's some yarn for a couple upcoming projects. The Alpaca Lite I bought at the Sheep & Wool Festival...

Some Berroco mohair I bought on clearance at my local yarn store and beads I bought at the local craft store to make a shrug with. I've never knit with beads before, so that should be interesting...

[movies] X-Men 3 Casting News

Kelsey Grammer is set to play Beast in X-Men 3. Vinnie Jones is going to play "Juggernaut, a 6-foot-10, 900-pound metal-clad battering ram, is the half-brother of Professor X and will anchor Magneto's villainous band."


[cats] Gatshmoo

I'm out tomorrow- off to take another jaunt down I-89 to Concord to get some FREE software training. Here's Gatsu soaking up the sun...


[amy] 89 Love

I'm doing far too much travelling on Interstate 89. There were the two trips to Boston, an upcoming trip to Concord this Wednesday and the NH Sheep & Wool Festival this past Saturday. I went down with Barbara and Jason. I know the road so well that when they say something like, "What's wrong with that tree?" I can reply without looking up, "It's not a tree. It's a cell phone tower made to look like a tree. In 2.6 miles, there'll be a broken sign by the side of the road. In 8.7 miles, you'll see a fallen tree." Sigh.

But the Sheep & Wool Festival was cool. I was planning on spending a million dollars on yarn but only ended up buying 5 skeins of Alpaca Light from the A Touch of Twist booth. They had the best deals, to be honest. I saw one booth that was selling yarn for $140.00 for less than 300 yards of their yarn. Give me a fucking break. Sure I'd steal some, but you'd never catch me spending that much on yarn unless it was certified "magical yarn". At any rate, I plan on making a shawl with the 1000 yards I bought for $30.00. (See? What a great deal!)

There were lots of animals at this thing. Alpacas, sheep, goats, rabbits, dogs... Uh, I think there were some pigs there, too. Lots of women sitting around spinning and weaving. Here's a picture of a 4-your-old girl with an especially menacing pair of shears, diligantly clipping a lamb:

The dog trials were the coolest of all. Border collies are amazing. They take off running in a wide arc around the three sheep, come up behind, herd them through two yellow cones, around through a white fence, across the field through another white fence and finally into a pen. And they do all this while taking whistle calls or shouted commands from their handler. One whistle toot means stop, two means straight, three means counter-clockwise, etc. It was so cool.

On the actual knitting front, I'm still working on the late Mother's Day bag. I finished the front, back, sides/bottom and sewed them all together yesterday. I went to the local craft store to buy some fabric to sew and line the inside of the bag with. I popped up to my sister's to use her sewing machine to sew the cloth together... Now I have to sew the lining to the inside of the bag and I think the lining is too small and the whole thing is going to look shitter than I expected. I'll post a picture tomorrow...

To get my mind off of the shitty bag, I'd started a cover for a 16" x 16" pillow I bought at the craft store. The pattern is from Hand Knits for the Home. I think it's going to turn out real pretty.


[amy] The fun never stops...

I went down to Boston (again!) on Wednesday night to see The Crystal Method. Thanks to Sully, Pat, Nigel and Rob for an awesome time. Of course, these guys are used to staying up past 10 p.m. but I was having a hard time of it. Around THREE A.M., we're back at Pat's talking and chilling. Talking and chilling. Chilling and talking. The only thing I'm thinking is: "Sleep. Sleep would be nice. I wonder if I can be awake but sleep at the same time? Sleeeeeep..." Plus, to top it off, I hadn't eaten anything since lunch, had been awake for roughly 21 hours and I knew that no matter what time I finally passed out at, I'd still be waking up at 6:30 a.m. I can't help that. So all these things compounded into me abruptly saying, "Okay, I'm going to sleep right here, right now and you all have to go." What I really wanted to say was, "Do you guys want to die? Because if I don't go to sleep right now, I'm going to kill all of you."

So I ended up sleeping in until 7 a.m. Jeesh, I must have been really tired. I drove back home, couldn't get to sleep, read and cat-napped until 1 p.m. and went to the grocery store to get some supplies for a book club meeting I was having last night. We ended up choosing Drop City by T.C. Boyle. I've been plodding along through Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. It has been really funny and wonderful read.

But getting back to the concert... It was AWESOME! Totally blew my mind. Axis is a pretty small venue but there was plenty of room to dance. They didn't come on until 10 p.m. but they played music until 12:20 a.m. They did all kinds of new remixes and some of the stuff from Community Service II and a couple songs ("Get Busy Child" and "Trip Like I Do") from Vegas at the end of the night. The thing that I thought was wierd was that the two guys were never mixing the music together. It was Scott Kirkland up, spinning/mixing; then he'd switch with Ken Jordan. Then Scott. Then Ken. Like, tag-team. And I had a funny conversation with a fellow concert-goer while we were outside, taking a break:

ME: Hey, man. Crystal Method is AWESOME! Right?!


ME: I came down from Ver-MONT for this show.

GUY: That's AWESOME! I'm from Massachusetts.

ME: I know, I can hear your accent.

GUY: Oh.

ME: ...

GUY: But the show's AWESOME!

ME: COMPLETELY! I have all their albums! Vegas, Tweekend, Community Service One-

GUY: [nodding enthusiastically]

AMY: -Legion of BOOM and now Community Service Two! I love music like this!

GUY: What do you listen to?

AMY: Oh, you know- Chemical Brothers, I came down here a while ago to see Air, I like Death in Vegas and Groove Armada-

GUY: I love Groove Armadar.

AMY: Groove Armadar? I didn't realize there was an "r" at the end.

GUY: ... It's my accent.

AMY: I know, I'm just fucking with you.

GUY: HAHAHAHA! I love the newest one, though! The second Community Service!

AMY: You don't think it's too...

GUY: Rock?

AMY: No, like dancey.

GUY: I thought the first one was dancey and this one is more rock.

AMY: WHAT? No, the FIRST Community Service was more rock-inspired and the newest one is more dancey.

GUY: See, I thought that the first was more dancey and this one is more ROCK.

AMY: [staring at GUY]

GUY: [staring at AMY]

AMY: No, see... the first album was-

GUY: Dance music.

AMY: P.O.D.'s on the fucking album, dude. It's rock.

GUY: I think completely the opposite of you.

AMY: That's interesting...

GUY: What are we even DOING out here? Let's go back in a DANCE!



[games] 10th Anniversary Settlers of Catan

HERE it is. And at four-hundred fucking dollars, it's well out of my budget. ... But I wants it. I wants it so bad I feel like crying.

To anyone who might be reading this: If you buy me this game, I will do anything you want. Does that make me cheap? ... I don't care!


[parties] Cinco de Jenna

Here is a nice picture of Ken and I from Jenna's Birthday/Cinco de Mayo party.

[movies] The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Watch the trailer here! (Make sure you the "View X-Large Trailer".) The director of the Shrek movies is directing this one (so you know it's going to be good) and WETA is taking care of all the props/character design/etc (so you know it's going to be awesome). Watch the WETA "trailer" here.


[amy] Weekend Update

Weekend Update...

Saturday night I went down to Boston for a party. Here's what not to wear: a t-shirt that you think is funny and relatively unknown. Because, haha, everyone is going to recognize it and say, "I LOVE that shirt! I've been wanting to order it for, like, forever!" Whatevs. I'm going to stick with getting my t-shirts from here from now on. They're more obscure and funnier anyway.

It was my friend's girlfriend's birthday and I chatted with her about the work she's doing in Boston now. She's actually working for this homeless newspaper called Spare Change. You can read more about it here. The work she's doing sounds really great.

I drove back up Sunday morning, half-asleep. Then I slept until 4 p.m., got up, showered, went to my mom's for a Mother's Day dinner, gorged myself, went back home, watched Lady Snowblood and went back to bed. So Sunday was pretty much fucked. It was just a buffer day to rest so that I wasn't a complete wreck for work on Monday.

I also finished up the first (and only) season of Freaks and Geeks. What an awesome show. Why, WHY, was is cancelled?


[gossip] Ew

It looks as though Tom Cruise gave Katie Holmes herpes. What the hell was she thinking leaving her home looking like that? Blech. It's just making people more repulsed by a relationship (*coughPUBLICITYSTUNTcough*) that they unambiguously hate from the get-go. Nobody's buying it, it's all slightly creepy, etc etc. Meanwhile, it seems as though everyone is rooting for Brad and Angelina. Are they together? Aren't they? If they are, it would be AWESOME! But Tom and Katie? ... HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!


[knitting] A few things

I know this is a tad late but here's the finished shrug . It fits nice, it was fast, it's pretty... all in all, I'm very pleased with it...

Here's the front (the back is exactly the same) of a bag I'm knitting using four very pretty skeins of Mountain Mohair from the Green Mountain Spinnery. [Note: The colors in the photo are way off. That ugly gray color in there is actually a really nice pistachio green!]

I was planning on having the bag (pattern from the original Stitch and Bitch) finished by Mother's Day, but I don't think it's not going to happen. Oh sure, I could finish knitting the sides, bottom and straps in time and sew it all together but I'd also like to sew a cloth lining (with pockets) into it as well and since I have no idea how to do that, it might take me a while.

And here are some of the Noro granny crochet blocks... Pretty but scratchy.

[cats] New pictures...

Here's the difference between Gatsu and Griffith. I'll follow them around outside, trying to take interesting pictures of them. Griffith will lay on the side walk, not doing much of anything. Gatsu will run to a small pile of rocks and pose. Seriously. I'm convinced he loves having his picture taken.


The following pictures were taken after I tried changing a few settings on my camera. The blue one was after I increased the incandescence. The black and white one was (duh) using the black and white setting.



[knitting] Rough Love

At bridge last night, I take out a small square I'm crocheting to work on while cards are being shuffled and dealt...

* * *

E: What are you working on there? A snuggly blanket?

AMY: Feel this, would you want to cuddle with it?

Amy takes the ball of yarn and drags it across E's arm, leaving a series scratch marks.

E: Aagghh!

AMY: It's like hay, right? It's totally not soft.

E: Then why are you using it?

AMY: I don't know! I have all these balls of yarn in my stash and I need to use them up!

* * *

Aaaaand... Scene.

I don't know why I'm using the Noro. It sucks. I may wash the squares I've made, to see if they soften up some.

[music] Mike Doughty's Haughty Melodic

I made a post about James Kochalka Superstar's upcoming album release over at The uvScene.

I also found out about "Mike Doughty's first full-band album since since Soul Coughing disbanded in 1998". It's called Haughty Melodic and I have to tell you, after listening to a few snippets, I can safely say that I am going to buy this album and I am going to love it. I listen to a lot of electronica but Soul Coughing was always one of the few bands I'd buy for the music, lyrics and lead singer's voice. Doughty's lyrics always sounded like poetry to me and I like the lazy way he sings. ... His voice isn't half bad either. And speaking of poetry, he did release a book a couple years ago entitled Slanky.


[cooking] Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

I made some Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas last week for a couple people who came over for dinner. It was very yummy and the only only changes I made were: (1) Used boneless chicken thighs and shredded with forks and (2) used less than half the cheese suggested.

[video games] New Maps for Halo 2

Red vs. Blue has walkthroughs of some of the new maps for Halo 2. (At the bottom; note that there is audio). So far, I like Santuary the best because of how "lush" it is.

[amy] Geriatric and loving it

This past Saturday was the Revolution Spring Fashion Show. This is the first one I'd ever been to and it was really fun. The Cooler Gallery was completely packed- so packed that I think they need to hold this Fall's Fashion Show in a larger venue. We were able to raise over $1900 from ticket sales and all the proceeds are going to the Youth Managed Cafe. After the show was over, the tables were moved and the dance party began. DJ (VJ?) Trolld was there and even let me spin some of the video he was projecting and mixing. I didn't really know what I was doing and all the controls he was tweeking looked a little... rocket science-y to me.

Sunday I spent sleeping and knitting. I realized that I've got lots of random balls of yarns in my stash, leftover from other projects. I'm not too sure what to do with them but I'm thinking about crocheting them into squares for an afghan or throw. But... Crochet? I haven't crocheted in a year. The last thing I made was a Mother's Day blanket for my mom (which I never see her using, thank you very much), which was just row atop row of double chains. Bo-ring. I can make way more interesting things with a pair of needles than I can with a stupid hook.

But last night after I got home from playing Bridge, I crawled into bed and started going through Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet. I got a spare hank of yarn and tried making one of the Granny Squares, which I had tried to do in the past but failed miserably at. Well, this time I did it without any mistakes! Awesome! The one thing I will say is that crochet goes a lot faster than knitting. I can crochet a 4" by 4" square in 5 minutes but knitting the same swatch would take me 15 minutes.

So... Playing Bridge, crocheting, getting into bed before 10 p.m. ... Am I a 70-year-old woman trapped in a 26-year-old's body? Yesterday afternoon there were a bunch of kids hanging around in the street in front of my apartment and I was tempted to put some curlers in my hair, throw on a apron, grab my broom and chase them all away. Which, ha ha, would actually have been kind of fun.