[knitting] Winter Suprises

The surprise patterns are up at Knitty. I don't particularly like Layers but Startsky is quite pretty. I'm not such a fan of belted sweaters but I may want to make this one.

All these patterns I like- And I never seem to make any of them. Well, I'm still working on a pair of socks (that just won't end). Why does everyone like knitting socks so much? It's so boring and tedious. The stitches are so small. It takes forever.

As a break (and for immediate gratification), I knit a hat yesterday using a couple balls from my stash. I'll post a picture later...


[beer] EBT: Joe's Garage

It’s been a while since I’ve done any sort of Extreme Beer Tasting. Does that mean I’ve not been tasting beer? Laughably, no.

1. Circus Boy

This is Magic Hat’s Hefeweizen. I like Hefeweizen. UFO? Gimme. Sam Adam’s Hefeweizen? Lemme at it. How does this one compare? Let me take the first sip- Tastes like an ale. I don’t taste the Heffieness about it. The bottle says “Unfiltered and Unfettered. Circus Boy is cloudy by nature, like Burlington, VT itself. Rouse gently to release full flavor.” Let’s ignore the fact that calling Burlington cloudy is going to keep the tourists away (maybe that’s the plan), but ‘rouse’? ‘Rouse’? As in ‘wake up’? Oh I see, there’s a layer of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. So should I have shaken the bottle and then opened it? Is the whole idea of beer a joke to these Magic Hat people? Let me try putting the bottle to my lips and gently tilting it up and down a few times.

Yeah, that didn’t work. Not only did I look like a beer guzzling whore to all my neighbors, but now everything within a 3-foot radius of me is covered in a fine mist of Circus Boy. Let me try to pour most of it into a glass, swirl the remainder in the bottle to release the sediment (which I don’t know why I want so bad but I suspect is the missing Heffer-wizened flavor) and pour that into the glass. Okay, that worked. Now my beer looks like apple cider (they weren’t kidding when they said cloudy). But it still tastes the same.

At the top of the bottle it says “The ancient ritual of brewing a distinctly rich and flavorful beer is nothing short of magic. Our mysterious mix of time-honored ingredients, chaotic chemistry, humble patience, and blind faith age into the secret brew we share in the rousing company of good spirits.” Wait- what? What the fuck is that supposed to mean? I got wasted half way through reading it.

Cap Says: “Gus loves it.” Loves what is the pertinent question, I think.

The best part of this beer is the label- it’s yellow with a blue-curtained, old tyme circus car. Off to the side, yet within the circus car is a shadow. With white eyes. And a creepy three-fingered, claw-like hand gripping the last “y” in “Circus Boy”. That’s some creepy ass shit right there, son. He’s got- Why is he in the cage? Is he a freak? What kind of freak? Is he not in a shadow at all; is he literally black as night with white eyes (and grey under-eye circles)? I think he’s got white claws for toenails, too. There are these four white claws gripping the lip of the cart. Hello, nightmares. The only way this could be any more frightening is if the eyes were looking right at me. And if he had horns. And maybe a bloody mouth with fangs. Okay this could be a lot scarier. … I don’t know. The cart says “The Hefeweizen!” Maybe that’s who he is. Maybe he’s a hefeweizen thingie.

EBT Rating: 5 (out of 10) circus freaks.

2. H.I.P.A.
Hippie IPA? Happy IPA? Hoppy IPA? I don’t know, it doesn’t say anywhere on the bottle. It’s got a trippy picture on the label, though. A pretty woman with a big blue bubbley head of hair. With rings around it. She kind of reminds me of a Milo Minera chick.

Yup, tastes like beer. A bit bitter. Let me pour it into the glass I was just using. Fairly light. Not as light as a lager, not as dark as a red ale. Nice and amber. Amber. I wonder if that’s what the chick’s name is. She looks like an Amber. Ssssslut. I don’t generally like IPAs and this one isn’t changing my mind.

Cap says: Buy your Gal Growlers with her Flowers. Does anyone else think that that doesn’t really rhyme? Shouldn’t it say “Buy her growlers with her frowlers?” “Buy her beer, you’re in the clear.” “Get her wasted and she’ll have sex with you.”

This beer isn’t going down as easy as the first one. Must be because it’s the second one. Or maybe because it tastes like papercuts! No, like metal and socks. Wait- I don’t know, that sip tasted pretty good. It tastes like… Bleh, you know I just don’t really like IPAs. But the picture on this bottle looks really pretty.

Hey, did you know that the initials for the months of July through November spell out Jason? I can see the initials for all the months on the back of the bottle (for freshness nothchings) and July, August, September, October and November looks like JASON. Do you think that’s where the name came from? How interesting. And February through May looks like FMAM. Which probably doesn’t make as much sense. So nevermind. Huh… Two M’s, two A’s, two- no, three J’s. One F, O, N and D. Fond. I feel like I’m getting a message here. Do you ever do that? Count the letters in words? I do it all the time when I’m in the bathroom at work and need something to read. I’ll count the letters on the box of toilet-seat-covering tissues. “TO ONSERT ONE BOX, PLACE UP AND DOWN ON THE SPIKES.” Six O’s, three S’s, etc.

But I digress.

Is it normal to be this wasted after almost two beers? Probably if you drank them as fast as I did. But whoa man. Magic Hat beer fucks you up.

Jesus, I can’t wait for this beer to be over. (Notice how I’m still drinking it even though I hate it? Waste not, want not.)

EBT Rating: ***-------. Tasted better the more I drank, but that’s probably because beer tends to do that.

3. Magic Hat #9

I reviewed this beer already, it just came with the variety pack and I want to cleanse my palate before being subjected to the mystery beer. I love me some Magic Hat #9.

Cap says: Enjoy a 9 when you Dine. Well well well, isn’t Magic Hat promoting responsible drinking. [siiiip] Ahhhh, the beer is so good, why ruin it with food?

[NOTE: This is when I passed out. To be continued…]

[knitting] D&G Fall 2006 Ready-to-Wear Collection

Check it out. Time to start getting ideas for next Fall/Winter. I need to stock up on white / off-white / cream / ecru yarn, apparently.

I see lots of pom-poms, cables and bobbles. Some lace, too. Chunky knits. The hats are mostly big, floppy beret/newsboys.

I like the sweater on the left and the hat on the right. The hat rocks. I saw a knit and braided scarf in the most recent Patterworks catalog. Attach to a hat and voila.

The scarf on the left is fun (even though she looks like she's about to start crying). It almost looks crocheted. I wish there were detail shots of the leg warmers and bag on the right, but this is as close as I can get. I don't ever wear leg warmers but those are pretty.

This shrug is kind of weird, I just like the sleeves, which reminds me of namaste.

And now for detail shots...

Lots of knit flowers (with pom-poms and furry bits) were used as embelishments. Nice- those are easy to make. I also like how a chunky boring stockinette scarf can be subtly glammed up with crystals. The white yarn with clear crystals is very cool.

Some pantas on the runway (worn opposite to how most people are wearing them). That would be a fast, easy knit. And knit suspenders, anyone? I like these, I admit it. I like how flat the cable is. If I were going to wear suspenders, I'd wear these.


[amy] A wedding, a hike and a pair of socks

Whatta weekend. Fer real. I was out Friday (due to an incident involving the cops Thursday night) and spent the day on car issues. Saturday I went to Dollar's sister's wedding. That was cool. I hung out at the wedding with a girl named Katie. I know Katie from various parties and she's Crazy. The wedding itself was at 11am and by noon, we were back at my place, making a pit stop before the reception. Let me tell you, noon is PRIME TIME drinking time. One drink and you're feeling tipsy. I don't know how I didn't know this before. Of course, then you're wasted by 4, passed out by 6 and hungover by 9.

The wedding was lovely. I got to dance to a slow song with Dollar (the first time we've danced together) and meet all his family. I mean, ALL his family. He kept saying, "That's my cousin. That's my uncle. Aunt. Cousin. Cousin. Uncle. Aunt. Grandmother. Cousin..." Too. Many. People. While Dollar and his brother were busy doing groomsman things, Katie and I were working on consuming enough of the weak drinks to get a buzz on. I could see Dollar watching me, thinking in his head about what a bad influence Katie is. He was basically waiting for Katie to climb up onto a table, start gyrating around and getting me to do the same.

Saturday night and Sunday were chill-out times. We watched 40-Year-Old Virgin and more episodes of Battlestar Galactica (Season 1). I've totally got him hooked on this show now. Monday was a holiday and we spent the day running errands and going for a walk up Gile Mt. It was c-c-cold and I wasn't dressed properly. Also, the trail was completely iced over. I think if we go up again any time soon, we're going to need crampons.

I was also able to get a lot of knitting done. I finished the blue mohair beaded shrug! I’m pretty stoked about that. And I picked up a pair of socks that I started ages ago. I’ve been working on the heel flaps and hope to finish them in a couple weeks. I want the needles back to try and make fair isle socks, which I hope will help me find a naturally loose fair isle tension.

All in all, the weekend was splendiferous.

[amy] Corn

AMY: We need to get some corn.

DOLLAR: Uh... Is this a trick?

AMY: Don't you have any?

DOLLAR: I got rid of all mine.

AMY: WHAT? When?

DOLLAR: Right after we started going out.

AMY: Great! Perfect! Now what are we gonna do?

DOLLAR: Rent some, I guess.

[AMY goes to the video store while DOLLAR stays at home to work]

AMY: Hello, I'd like to open an account.

VIDEO GUY: Oh, I remember you from the White River video store.

AMY: Oh. Okay.

VIDEO GUY: Your cousin rents here.

AMY: Really.

VIDEO GUY: And your mom.

AMY: Uh...

VIDEO GUY: Your mom rents a lot of movies here.

AMY: Yeah.

VIDEO GUY: Let’s make sure your account is up to date.

AMY: Yeah.


VIDEO GUY: Okay, you're all set.

AMY: Super. Could *ahem* Can I be let into the you-know-what room?

VIDEO GUY: They're actually right there. [points]

AMY: Okay.

[Flipping through dirty, dirty movie titles. More people enter the store. AMY grabs one and brings it to the front (cutting off an old couple on the way).]

AMY: [throws picture at VIDEO GUY like a frisbee]

VIDEO GUY: [discreetly puts picture under the counter, retrieves a black unmarked dvd case, rings it in.] That'll be five dollars.

AMY: [hands VIDEO GUY five dollar bill]

VIDEO GUY: Thank you.

AMY: Thanks. [Leaves]

[Back at home, in the driveway, AMY tucks the movie into the back of her pants and goes inside.]

DOLLAR: [Looks up expectantly]

AMY: [Shows hands] I couldn't do it.


AMY: [Takes off coat] There were too many people there.


AMY: It was freaking me out, all right?

DOLLAR: That doesn't seem like you. To chicken out.

AMY: HEY! My mother rents from there!

DOLLAR: I can't-

AMY: Just kidding! AHH haha HAH hahHA- [pulling movie out and thrusts it into DOLLAR's face]- hhhah HAHAhahh HAHAh hAHH!!

DOLLAR: [heaves sigh of relief]

AMY: It's called "I [made tender yet passionate love to] my High School Teacher. Eight."

DOLLAR: That's messed up.

AMY: Tell me about it. I just wanted to grab one and get out of there. But seriously though, my mom rents from there.

[Later, watching the movie.]

AMY: So how is he her high school teacher?

DOLLAR: I don't know, but this is the worst corn I've ever seen in my life. And I've seen a lot.

AMY: The whole set is creepy.

DOLLAR: Really, corn can be so much better than this.

AMY: It's like not even a set; it's a bare white room with a mattress on the floor.

DOLLAR: The only thing on the wall is a thermostat... Aaaand she's about to hit her head on it.

AMY: The dude is gross... Ew!

DOLLAR: You can tell she's just there to get her crack money and get out.

AMY: Is she passed out? ... No, okay, she's awake. Whew. I thought it was roofie time. She's just bored.

DOLLAR: Hahahah hahah haha- This is so bad- Hahahah hahha hahaha.

AMY: Hahahahah- Ew, did you just see that? Hahahha hahah hah.

DOLLAR: Skank.

AMY: Where's- There's no plot. This is kind of sad. You know what, I can't watch it anymore.

DOLLAR: Okay. [Turns movie off] Don't worry. I'll get us some better stuff to watch.

AMY: Something with a plot.

DOLLAR: No, I know exactly what you're talking about. There's this one production company that specializes in unoffensive corn you can watch with your girlfriend-

AMY: Okay I don't care that you know so much about this stuff, I'll just trust you to pick something out.


[amy] Exercise: For the brain and for the body

The first week in March I’m participating in a Dance Dance Revolution Brain Scanning Experiment. I assume the PhD-ish cats at Dartmouth know what they’re doing. I’m gonna get my brain scanned on a Sunday (wheee!), play DDR for 30-45 minutes after work Monday through Friday, then get my brain scanned again on Saturday. Why am I doing this? For the greater good of science. Hahahah- no. I’ve never played DDR before (part of the requirement) and from what I hear it’s buckets of fun. And good exercise. Plus, there’s money and free t-shirt in it for me, so…

Speaking of exercise, I’m ready to start hiking again. I’ve not been skiing or anything this winter, so I’m ready for fresh air and sweat. I think Dollar and I are going to go up Gile Mt this coming Monday (it’s a three-day weekend) as an easy first hike. I told him that Saturdays from here on out are going to be hiking days, which means we’re going to have to get up and leave before 10 am. I said he can sleep in the car on the way to whatever hike we’re going to and he said that he’s going to hold me to that. I keep telling him how great it’s going to be: “Last summer, after I came down from Lafayette, I was hallucinating, man. Hallucinating. It was awesome.” He said that it was exhaustion after an aggressive five-hour non-stop hike that made everything look all swirly, but whatever. The point is: I was tripping out.


[cooking] Ice Cream and Pizza Dough

How to tell quality Ice Cream without tasting it: Take it to the produce section and weigh it. Brilliant!

Perfect pizza dough. Sounds like a lot of work, but you get 6 pizzas out of it. I've added American Pie and The Bread Baker's Apprectice to my Amazon Cook Books wish list. With King Arthur Flour right down the road, I've really got to learn how to bake stuff. May if there's a class on a weekend, I can get Dollar to come with me...


[amy] Re-arrangements

Well. Well. Well. How did the early Valentine's Day go? How was the movie and dinner? There was no movie. Nothing's playing right now that we wanted to see anyway. The dinner also didn't go according to plan. We re-arranged the deal on who was going to make dinner after Dollar said "Uh..." when I asked him what he was going to cook. In the end, he said he'd make raspberry turnovers and I said I'd make pesto pizza. At the grocery store, I grabbed some pizza dough and asked Dollar if he needed phyllo dough. He stared at me blankly and asked, "What's that?" I demanded to know how he was going to make the raspberry turnovers and he scurried off. He came back with a box of frozen Pepperidge Farm Raspberry Turnovers. I looked from the box to him back to the box to him. He was smiling so weakly and helplessly that I had to deactivate my mega-bitch mode. He enthused that he grew up eating these turnovers and that they're "sooooo good!" Fine. Fine. But now I've made it my personal mission to teach this joker how to cook something. And that something is going to be raspberry turnovers.

We also re-arranged the furniture in my living room. Couches got moved and speakers finally got hung up. Then we watched Deadlist Catch. Note to self: Never eat king crab legs again (too many men die every year trying to get them).

On Saturday night I went to see Lyrics Born at Dartmouth. The show was off the hook. I liked Rousseau, J-Live and Lyrics Born (of course). What surprised me the most was Mike Relm. He was LB's DJ for the evening but performed his own set- which was amazing! Multi-media live mash-ups! This guy can scratch and he had video playing all the while. I was very, very, very impressed and totally forgot to get a cd before I left.

Which reminds me, as I was leaving, a couple cops were standing around the hallway and asked me to start their car for them (to warm it up) since I was clearly on my way out. I asked, "What- Your police car?" They said yeah. I said, "If I start your car, I'm going to take it for a spin around the Green." The assured me that I wouldn't. I said, "Whatever," and left. Those crazy, lazy cops.


[knitting] Stuff

I'm wireless, baby! I have to take baby steps: first comes internet, then comes wireless, then comes AI taking over the human race.

I took of picture of all the knitting I've done since the last time I posted a picture (minus all the Christmas knitting):

Clockwise from the top, it's a blue uber-bulky scarf I made for myself using leftover yarn from my stash; a brown fairisle hat (using the flower motif from Handknit Holidays); a couple of pantas; hat & mittens that I never sent to Ram; and everything is sitting on my finished Kiri shawl. I need to weave in ends, block, etc etc etc.


[amy] Knitting and an early Valentine's Day

Heyo. This week has gone by fast. Happy Friday. The knitting blogmosphere is gearing up for the Knitting Olympics. I didn't think it was going to be such a big deal but a million people have signed up and it even made the news. What kind of idea is this, anyway? Make something challenging in 16 days? Are you knitters on crack? No? Well you will be by day 14. And speed. And caffeine.

I didn't sign up because I have too many unfinished objects I want to finish (yet I didn't join the UFOlympics) and I'm still burnt out from Christmas knitting. Seriously, people broke their fingers knitting gifts this year, why would they want to stress themselves out again? Maybe some people want/need the pressure. Not me. I don't want to cry over my knitting. I've read horror stories of mistakes made, ripping that had to be done, buckets and buckets of tears. No thank you.

So this weekend I want to make some slippers and maybe block my shawl. Knit something, anyway. I made 1.6 pantas while I was down in DC last week- I'd like to finish the 2nd one.

Valentine's Day is Tuesday but Dollar's going to see a concert that night. That's right, he made OTHER plans. I don't mind, but I like giving him the occasional hard time about it- "Oh that's right, you're not going to be around. I guess I'll cancel the clowns and see if I can't get my deposit back." Instead, we're going to make Sunday Valentine's Day and do something. But what...

AMY: So we should do something on Sunday.


AMY: I don't know.


AMY: Um...

DOLLAR: Hmm...

AMY: You want me to cook?

DOLLAR: Don't you want to go out? I feel like you cook all the time.

AMY: Hey, why don't YOU cook?


AMY: Not a good idea?

DOLLAR: Well, I'll... I guess... No, I can make something.

AMY: ...

DOLLAR: It's okay, I can make something.

AMY: It doesn't have to be anything complicated. Make whatever YOU feel comfortable cooking.

DOLLAR: ... I can make something.

AMY: O-kay. So we should do something else during the day.

DOLLAR: Like what?

AMY: Uh...


AMY: A movie?


AMY: Should we go see a movie?

DOLLAR: That's a good idea!

AMY: Okay, we'll see a movie, then go grocery shopping, then go back to my place and you can cook.

DOLLAR: That sounds good.

AMY: See, that wasn't so hard. Movie and dinner; it's a good plan. That must be why people do it all the time.


AMY: What movie should we see?


AMY: Let's just decide on Sunday.


[amy] Travel, not yarn, Magic

It's been a week since my last post. I was down in DC all last week for a conference. The talks were interesting and I had a good time. I meant to take pictures and see/do lots of touristy things, but the all-day meetings and talks wore me out. I spent my nights watching tv in my hotel room bed. I don't have network or cable tv at home, so I like watching it all (reruns, commercials, movie previews, etc).

I ended up buying some Chinese plastic raffia while I was down there. I remember a raffia project from my sister's Simple Crochet book and these balls were only 0.85 cents each. Who knows how many yards there are. Does this break my "No buying yarn in 2006" rule? I'm not sure. I say "no" purely because I've decided to keep them. I considered giving them to my sister and forcing her to give them back to me. In the end, I think "yarn" is the keyword. This is plastic. It's not... Look, it just doesn't count.

The weekend was spent with Dollar, playing Magic over and over and over again. I told him that Magic is going to destroy our relationship. I don't think he believes me but take this for example: We played about 8-10 games on Saturday, ALL of which I lost. That's okay, I don't mind losing. Sunday morning, I get up early and make a new white deck. Dollar gets up, we play, and I get my ass handed to me. I lost hardcore- no land, no creatures, nothing. I was slaughtered. What do I do? Cry. That's right- I started crying like a little girl. I tried to hold it in, but I was all hormonal and couldn't help it. So Dollar's like, "Hey, I'm sorry. I'm sorry." I say, "Sorry? You're sorry? I don't want you to feel sorry for me, I want you to say that we never have to play Magic again and that we can take the cards out back and burn them!" Yes, Magic will destroy us.

I also watched Crash. I was really impressed with the movie, though I thought it was heavy-handed at times. I understand it's about racism, but there was a lot of "I'm not Mexican, I'm Puerto Rican!" "I'm not Arab, I'm Turkish!!" "Chinaman? Chinaman? I'm THAI!!!" I'm rolling my eyes, like, whatever. Let's just call everybody "people" and be done with it. But there were lots of unexpected events that I didn't see coming. It's nice being surprised by a movie.