Thursday

[books/tv] Stacked, cont'd

More news on a show that Fox hopes will bring illiterate people into bookstores across the country.

"A workplace ensemble comedy, Stacked revolves around beautiful Skyler Dayton (Pamela Anderson, Baywatch, V.I.P) who is tired of her non-stop partying lifestyle and bad choices in boyfriends. Wanting a major life change, she wanders into 'The Stacks,' a small family-run bookstore owned by Gavin DeWitt (Elon Gold, In-Laws) and his brother, Stuart (Brian Scolaro, Three Sisters).

Divorced and unlucky in love himself, Gavin's inclined to regard Skyler as an embodiment of the vacuous, image-obsessed culture he has come to abhor. Stuart, however, is dazzled by Skyler's beauty and, much to Gavin's horror, offers her a job at their store, which she happily accepts as the first step in her quest for a steadier lifestyle. Unhappy that she's going to be minding the till next to such an intimidating bombshell is the store's sole other employee, Katrina (Marissa Jaret Winokur, 'Hairspray'), who doles out doses of realism and cynicism. Rounding out the characters is the store's one steady customer, Harold March (Christopher Lloyd, Taxi, Back to the Future), a preeminent but retired rocket scientist."

I'm inclined to think that this show will not have as many literary references as Gilmore Girls. Or, if they do, it'll be mentions of Dr. Seuss and The Da Vinci Code. Still, I'm going to have to find someone with cable and ask them if I can come over once a week to watch this...

Also, the show's cast as a Friendster page.

Wednesday

[amy] What's going on?

My computer at work had to undergo another reformatting. And by computer I mean shit-box-machine and by reformatting I mean the-erasing-of-all-programs/things-I'm-used-to-and-need-to-function -on-the-most-basic-level. The last time this happened was, I don't know, 4 or 5 months ago. I love it. I can't get enough of it. I loooooooove having to go and reinstall firefox, text editors, set up my xterm accounts, map all my drives, make Outlook appear a way so that I can read and send email without punching my fist through my monitor...

No, I'm cool. It's okay. I've been feeling a little down since I attached one sleeve to my Henry Sweater and tried it on. It looks sooooo bad. The shoulders are all wrong and I haven't the heart to attach the other sleeve. I realized that I'd been spending so much time working on the stupid sweater that once I knew I didn't want to finish it, I had nothing left to live for. I should ammend that, I have nothing left to live for now that the sweater's just a pink pile of crap. I'd kill myself but I read in The Inferno that one of the more terrible rings of Hell is reserved for people who off themselves. So... I'd like to avoid that if possible.

Instead of ending it all (Am I talking about this too much? I like it, it sounds so dramatic- "I can't take it anymore! Don't try to stop me!"), I'm watching more Deadwood. Like, watching it for real; none of this knit-and-watch stuff. It's so good. Way better than Carnivale. It's brutally violent, extremely well written, exciting and funny. I like it everything about this series. The cast is so great. And you know what? My crush is starting to move from Seth Bullock to Doc Cochran. Can you believe it? I can't stop watching him when he's on screen! I guess I'm more in awe of the actor, Brad Dourif, and his range. Seth has got a pretty bad temper, which is exciting and all, but I could get my laudanum from the Doc. I think the choice between the two is pretty obvious.

In other news, all the steam I was running on that helped me get so much shit done around my house has left me. Now, I lay on the couch, letting dishes pile up in the kitchen, surrounded by dirty clothes, wondering if I feel like taking a shower or not. It's actually not a bad way to live.

Friday

[stupid] Senate OKs Alaska wildlife refuge drilling

Goddammit. These are the assholes who made it happen...

Akaka (D-HI), Nay
Alexander (R-TN), Nay
Allard (R-CO), Nay
Allen (R-VA), Nay
Bennett (R-UT), Nay
Bond (R-MO), Nay
Brownback (R-KS), Nay
Bunning (R-KY), Nay
Burns (R-MT), Nay
Burr (R-NC), Nay
Chambliss (R-GA), Nay
Coburn (R-OK), Nay
Cochran (R-MS), Nay
Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
Craig (R-ID), Nay
Crapo (R-ID), Nay
DeMint (R-SC), Nay
Dole (R-NC), Nay
Domenici (R-NM), Nay
Ensign (R-NV), Nay
Enzi (R-WY), Nay
Frist (R-TN), Nay
Graham (R-SC), Nay
Grassley (R-IA), Nay
Gregg (R-NH), Nay
Hagel (R-NE), Nay
Hatch (R-UT), Nay
Hutchison (R-TX), Nay
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Inouye (D-HI), Nay
Isakson (R-GA), Nay
Kyl (R-AZ), Nay
Landrieu (D-LA), Nay
Lott (R-MS), Nay
Lugar (R-IN), Nay
Martinez (R-FL), Nay
McConnell (R-KY), Nay
Murkowski (R-AK), Nay
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Santorum (R-PA), Nay
Sessions (R-AL), Nay
Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Specter (R-PA), Nay
Stevens (R-AK), Nay
Sununu (R-NH), Nay
Talent (R-MO), Nay
Thomas (R-WY), Nay
Thune (R-SD), Nay
Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Voinovich (R-OH), Nay
Warner (R-VA), Nay

"The measure will still have to be approved by the House, which is far from certain." At least that's something to be hopeful about.

I heard about this via knitting blogs, which are talking about Qiviut- the insulating down of the muskox. Qiviut is apparently 8 times warmer than wool (by weight) and a crapload more expensive as well. Still... I'd like to try it out. So if anyone wants to spend $60.00 to buy me one ball, I'd thank you but would probably also end up saying, "You know this was an incredible waste of money, right? One ball? Psshht, I can't even make a scarf with that."

[Via Nake-id Knits]

Thursday

[amy] DVD and Sweater Progress

It seems as though there aren't enough hours in the day. I can't get everything done. Last night I started watching Deadwood while continuing to knit up my 2nd sleeve. I've spent more than 40 hours on this sweater and I've just got shit to show for it. I'll try to finish the sleeve tonight and pick up the stitches for the ribbed cuff on the 1st sleeve, which has already been blocked.

I'm trying to finish the stupid sweater because the Henry Rollins show is next weekend. Ken got the tickets in the mail and I went over to his place to grab them. They're letting me be in charge of remembering to bring them which, I think, is too much responsibility. If I forgot them or if "something" happened to them, I'd just... I'd just die.

Anyway, my tv-land crush has moved from The Wire's Stringer Bell to Seth Bullock, played by Timothy Olyphant. I re-watched the first episode with the creator commentary on and it turns out that a lot of the characters in the show were real people. Wild Bill Hickok, of course, and Calamity Jane. But Seth was real, too. And interestingly enough (for me), Doc Cochran is played by Brad Dourif, whom you might remember as Wormtongue in The Two Towers. And, get this, he's the voice of Chucky in all the Chucky movies. How weird...

UPDATE

On the Henry Sweater front, I just finished the 2nd sleeve and picked up stitches to knit a seed stitch ribbing- which looks quite nice. I want to make the ribbing at the cuff longer, but I'm afraid the sleeves might hand down to my knees. We'll see...

Monday

[amy] Doing lots of stuff...

I've been watching the first season of 24 while knitting. A couple guys I know are all about it and I ended up renting it from Hollywood Video because Netflix can't get DVDs to me as fast as I watch them. I can only sit through about an episode and a half of 24 before I have to get up and do something. There are so many things going on in that one hour and after it's over I end up thinking, "Well, Jack saved his wife and daughter, stopped an assassination attempt on the Senator, kicked some guy's ass, did his taxes, had a baby and wrote a book. What did I do? I knit a few more rows... But I have to watch more." I'll start the next episode and 20-30 minutes into it (after Jack has uncovered a mole within CTU, re-rescued his wife and saved the universe), I think, "Nope. I gotta do something."

So this weekend I went crazy. I took care of 70% of the recycling that was piling up in my back room (and ordered the remaining 30%, which I will take to the Recycling Center next weekend), shelved a bookcase full of books that were just sitting on my library floor, took care of all the garbage in my apartment, washed and put away every dish I own, did 5 loads of laundry (and neatly folded, hung, put it all away!), pulled and organized all the clothes I don't wear anymore to donate to Good Buy (next weekend), got a car wash, had a really good workout at the gym, finished and blocked one sleeve of my sweater, finished about 40% of the second sleeve, got all my grocery shopping done for the week, three-hole punched loose patterns that were laying around and put them neatly into my knitting binder, cleaned my bathroom sink and toilet, changed my sheets... I'm telling you there's more, I just can't remember right now... And I did all this between watching (and being motivated by) 12 episodes of 24. It might be important to note that I got up at 7am on Saturday and Sunday and was in bed by 10. So... that's kind of lame. But I got a lot of shit done.

And I have to say the best part of the whole weekend was going to the Recycling Center. I'd never been and I was bringing about a million beer bottles, cans, cardboard and garbage. The place is no joke. You drive around, throw your garbage bag down into one enormous dumpster, drive around, throw your cardboard into another dumpster, drive around, throw your paper into another dumpster, then drive around and up to the main building where throw your separated cans, bottles, plastics and "other" cardboards. I brought my bottles to the end of the isle within the Center and tentatively dropped one through the hole in front of me. I let go and counted to five before I heard a SMASH tinkle tinkle tinkle. I saw a guy coming toward me and asked, "Hey man, is it like all right if the bottle shatters when it hits the bottom?" He said, "Sure. That's the best part. Get to it." All right! Instead of dropping one bottle at a time, which would take way too long and is (I think) the wimpy thing to do, I picked up a 12-pack box and upturned the whole thing. SMASH SMASH CRASH SMASH CRASH!!!! Oh yes. I can get used to this.

If there's something that you don't get to do everyday, it's probably "break shit". Unless you're in the business of "breaking shit", you're missing out on the really satisfying sound and feeling of throwing something and watching it break. I had to settle for hearing it break, but I still enjoyed it immensely.

And the thing about the Recycling Center is that everyone's in a total mad hurry. I got rid of 300 glass bottles, 200 aluminium cans and 30 pieces of cardboard in 2 minutes flat. Seriously. In and out. The only snag I ran into was when I shoved a woman (who was holding a toddler) out of my way and attempted to slide some cardboard into the 'cardboard' slot. "That's corrugated!" she screamed in my face, "That's corrugated cardboard! That doesn't go there! This isn't for corrugated-" I pulled my shit back through and walked down to the corrugated slot with it. The place was like "Scary Civilian Militant Zone".

Friday

[books] Stacked

"Pamela Anderson, the former Baywatch actress whose enthusiasm for cosmetic surgery has given a whole new meaning to 'silicon valley', is to star in an American sitcom set in a bookshop. She plays a woman who always falls for the wrong sort of guy. The title of the comedy? Stacked."

So... Is it the bookshelves that are going to be stacked or her sweater? I can just imagine the conversations that might take place in the store...

CUSTOMER: Do you have The Satanic Verses?
PAMELA: We don't carry occult books.
CUSTOMER: No, it's by Salman Rusdie.
PAMELA: Salmon who?

[via Telegraph | Arts | Literary life]

Thursday

[knitting] A Few Things

You many have remembered that I mentioned a sweater a long time ago. Here it is...

 

I made it using Peruvian Collection Highland Chunky Wool from Elann. They don't have it there anymore, but it was nice to work with, if a little short (only something like 79 yards per ball). It went fast on size 10 1/2 needles. I used a basic raglan sweather pattern from The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patters by Ann Budd. It took me three weeks to make but the last week of mostly just messing around with weaving in all the loose ends. Not fun.

Now I'm working on my "Henry" Sweater. I finished and blocked the back and two front pieces...

 

The first sweater I made ended up looking really manly. I know, it's my fault, I chose the colors. But that meant the next sweater I made had to be really girly, and what's more girly than pink? For this cropped cardigan, I'm using Cascade 220 Superwash Wool. I don't know off the top of my head which pink it is that I have, but it's more of a soft pink than an aggressive cotton-candy-ish one. I started my first sleeve for it last night and I'm a little worried about joining it to the shoulder. But I'll just have to deal with it when I get there.

In order to do this sweater (which I plan on wearing to NYC for the Henry Rollins show (hence the name "Henry" Sweater)), I had to put aside this shawl that I was working on...

 

The pattern if from a knitting calendar that my sister got for me. It's January's pattern and I still haven't finished it. It has a really pretty open lattice-work pattern. I've messed up on a couple rows but thankfully the yarn I'm using (Paton's Divine from Patternworks) completely masks the errors! HAHAHA! I was getting tired of it, though. I'll finish it after my Henry sweater.

Wednesday

[games] Settlers of Catan in 3-D!!

Check out some pictures here (click "Next Picture", there are more). Forest, mountain, desert, meadow, field. So pretty! So well crafted! So... 3-D! I have to get this when it comes out but I'm afraid the price is going to be a buhjillion dollars. The regular games are $50.00 so I guess this one is going to be... A buhjillion dollars. Yeah, I think I was right the first time.

[funny] What up, bitch?

Hahahahaha. An animated gif between Tinkerbell and Bit Bit. If you don't know who they are, shame on you.

[comics] "Who Watches the Watchmen... Movie?"

Read an interview of Paul Greengrass, director of the upcoming Watchmen movie. Apparently both Terry Gilliam and Darren Aronofsky were involved in the past and I like both their work but it sounds as though Greengrass is going to make an honest movie out of Watchmen, the "Citizen Kane of comic books."

[comics] WRJ- It's not so bad...

James Sturm, author of The Golem's Mighty Swing, is writing this week's diary over at Slate. He started the Center for Comic Studies in White River Jct and is going to be teaching there. In Monday's entry, he has a quote from the lovely Kim Souza.

It's kind of surreal for me, reading about WRJ in Slate or the Boston Globe. I used to wish that South Main St would be bombed off the face of the earth, but it's not so bad after all, I guess. Of course, it'll probably be better now that the nudie bar, adult bookstore and adult clothing shop have gone away (and by "gone away", I mean "burned to the ground").

Tuesday

[amy] Snow and Sweater



So this is what my backyard looked like Sunday morning. Saturday we got a proper blizzard and I was stuck inside all day. Which is all right because I finally got started on the cropped cardigan I'm making for the Henry Rollins show. Since Friday night, I've working on the pink sweater a total of... one, two, three, four... twenty six hours. Wow, it sounds like a lot but I don't feel as though I've actually made a lot of it. I've done the back, left front and half of the right front. Then there's the sleeves, all the seaming, the edging to do... Aw fuck it. I'm not going to work on it anymore. All the work is too daunting.

[books] Green, the New Blue

The cover for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is now available for your viewing pleasure.

As we are all aware, the last book had a bluecover, which for some reason spawned all sorts of other books to come out with blue covers.

My theory was that some kid might ask a parent for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and say, "It's blue, okay? It's got a blue cover." And because parents generally fuck-up and get the wrong thing, they picked up any old blue hardcover book. Right? Can't you see this happening, too? So I'm getting read for loads of new children's chapter books that just happen to be green.

Monday

[henry] Caught in the Zipper

I might go see Henry Rollins at the Zipper Theater in NYC. Ken brought it up over the weekend. I want to believe and he says he's going to make it happen (he is, in fact, in the business of making dreams come true) but I don't want to get my hopes up.

In completely unrelated news, I'm trying to finish knitting my stole so that I can start a new sweater that I want to have done in time for the Henry Rollins show. I mean, the shows are probably all sold out but just in case, I want to make my own sweater to wear.

This weekend I bought a new dress and shoes. Not that I'm going to have someplace special to wear them... But I never know, right? I might need to go to NYC for something. Like a Henry Rollins show.

So for real, in non-Henry news, I went out Friday night... Here's me, Ram and Angela. Looks like a car full of nerds to me- we all have glasses. At this point, it was waaaaay past my bedtime and I was almost asleep. Oh and Ram's wearing a hat I knit for him.

Over the weekend I did some laundry, played some Mario Party, went to the gym, did some shopping, um... It feels like I did more... Watched a little more of The Wire... I was still dog-sitting, but that's over today. Seriously, I don't care what my co-worker says, I'm not dog-sitting anymore. That gig was whack.

Friday

[funny] Hey Crackhead

"Please, Crackhead, please don't tell me you sold your crackpipe to buy crack. Even a stupid crackhead such as yourself couldn't possibly be that stupid."

[amy] The Neverending Dog-Sitting Story

HEY! Guess what I'm doing? Dog-sitting! AGAIN! Woooo, yea! I'm totally psyched! I hate my life! Wait- I mean, I love my life. I wonder why I wrote "hate"?

Anyway, I'm coming down off my uppers and the shit-pile that is my life is rapidly coming back into focus. The good news is that I'll be back at my place by Monday night.

What happened this week...? I got my hair cut- straight, chin length. I always go into the salons and say, "Gimme some layers" or "Oh I don't know... How about some layers" or "Can you just layer it?" But this time I said, "Some layers I think" and while the stylist was washing my hair, I said, "NO! Straight! Just cut it straight! Even. So, like, when I tilt my head like this... There will be a straight line along the end of my hair, you know?" So it's straight and short and I hardly need any shampoo now.

I'm plugging away at a shawl I'm knitting. I might be able to finish it this weekend, but it depends on how much fun I'm having doing other things.

My mother got me a really nice set of soup/salad bowls that look like this (which match my place perfectly- sage in the living room and terracotta in the dining room). If anyone wants to come over for soup, I'd be more than happy to entertain. I don't think minestrone soup, though. It might be hard to tell where the soup ends and the bowl begins.

I'm watching Season 2 of The Wire. I wish they had a Season 1 re-cap on the disk, because I can't remember how it ended. Some of the drug dealers are in jail, the "wire" squad has disbanded and McNulty is cruising around Baltimore harbor on a boat. In related news, my tv character obsession has shifted from Clark Kent (but only until Season 4 of Smallville comes out) to Russell 'Stringer' Bell. "Darkly charismatic and devoted almost exclusively to work, Bell studies economics at the University of Baltimore and applies what he learns to being a more effective drug lord." I mean, how can you not be impressed by that? [sigh] I'm in love.

Other than that, I'm trying to help out with the uvScene and the brand spanking new uvPartylist. uvGoodTimes.