[amy] Busy Day, Busy Weekend

I was able to finish Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell last night, in time for the book discussion and performance tonight at the HOP (which I won tickets to- sweet!).

Since that's taking up the whole night, I'm running over to Home Depot during the day to get lumber for some (and by some, I mean SIX) 4' x 4' boxes. My mother has "requested" and Dollar and I make some for her, so I'm taking care of getting the lumber, having it cut and getting the screws. He's going to do all the manual labor tomorrow.

Tomorrow I'm going to Ken's moving sale at 10 am sharp with a fist full of cash, ready to buy ALL his books. Not that my library needs a major addition but I know don't have enough Dream and Occult books. Speaking of Occult, I'm pushing back the date for the next uvBookClub meeting because I need more time to read the next book.

Then... what else. I'm supposed to go up to a quilting place in Fairlee tomorrow to have them finish my quilt but they said that it costs around $100 to finish a twin and I know mine is full/queen. I think that's a little pricey, so I want to finish it myself. I've been lurking around the quilting thread at Craftster, trying to get more info on what to do. I've got some ideas, most of which include basting spray. (P.S. Check out the new featured projects on Craftsters front page - I live the glasses!)

Sunday is gaming at my sister's place. She just got Fury of Dracula and I'm excited to try it out. I've heard very good things. I ordered Apples to Apples and Bang! (plus expansions) from Thought Hammer this week. Using the FedEx tracking number they gave me, I've been watching my package making pit-stops all around the state of Texas. Who knows when it'll get to me. Last I heard, it was in Fort Worth.

And knitting-wise, I did cast on for my mom's socks but with Mother's Day only two weeks away, I'm thinking they may end up being ankle socks. I've only knit 5 rows. [sad face]


[music] New Miss Mash hour

Go to uvMix to download the newest, freshest, most mashiest hour from Miss Mash. If you're not a member, you need to become one (because there are loads of archived shows for you to download as well).


[tv] Long Way Round

You read in the news that Ewan McGregor and some other guy (Charlie Boorman) were riding around the world on motorcycles: London -> New York City via eastern Europe, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Alaska, Canada and finally the northern US. Basically: 20,000 miles in 3.5 months.

This documentary is fantabulous. I only have one thing to say: Ewan McGregor should have died on this trip. Something happened where I can't BELIEVE he didn't die. Morbid to talk about, yes I know, but it's a fact. I'm positive his family and everyone who knows him are ecstatic he got through it alive but there was one part where I realized: This trip was no joke. He could have said goodbye to his family, gotten on his bike and never got to see any of them again. Totally scary.

I can't recommend this enough. Way better than anything I've seen in a long time. Plus, you get to see Ewan and Charlie start to lose their minds after so many days on the road.

[uvGamingClub] Shadows over Camelot

Saturday the uvGamingClub (comprised of 50% newer and more enthusiastic members) came over to play Shadows over Camelot. Jason had just come back from EconoCon and brought a sweet game he just bought (which I can't remember the name of). He said he played Blokus and Medici there and really enjoyed both.

We played two games of SoC and we won both. We played the first game without a traitor and the second with the threat of maybe a traitor. Even when you deal out the loyalty cards there's still the chance that NO ONE got the traitor card. Such was the case with our second game- in the end no one was working for the forces of evil. Like any overly-suspicious neurotic psycho, I accused two players after I saw them perform what I thought were suspicious deeds. Which makes me think I'm just paranoid. Soon I'll be staring out my window and calling 9-1-1 of I see any "suspicious acts" around the neighborhood. "[gasp] Why is he taking out trash in the middle of the night? ... It must be a dead body!"

We also played a little bit of Munchkin as a filler during a break between the two games. It reminded me a lot of Hack.

I'm going to be offering up two more Saturdays in May and I think the theme is going to be card games. I was talking up Lunch Money. It's fun to say to people, "I grab you and pile drive you. Then I pimp slap you. And how about you eat this punch." Granted it's not as pleasurable as the real thing, but it's close.


[comics] Art or not?

Last night I went to the uvScene potluck meeting. Robyn is a vegan so Ken asked people to maybe bring a vegan dish. Turns out EVERYONE brought a vegan dish and supper was fantastic. Homemade pickles, vegetables, rice, couscous and tempeh. I thought vegan food would have to be boring or bland or difficult but it was all very good.

I kind of feel like I was insulting Robyn left and right, though. If you're reading this: I'm not a bitch! I swear. I got to talking about the Cartoon School and how expensive it is and she said, "For an art school, it really isn't expensive." I'm sorry, did you say an "art school"? I thought we were talking about a place where everyone is making cartoons.

Don't get me wrong, I love cartoons and comics and I have a whole bookshelf devoted to graphic novels but... I never really considered it art. Like Monet or Dali or whatever. I think learning about early comics and the infulence politics had on them (comics as propaganda) would be interesting. The history of manga (and things like Buddha/Phoenix vs. more mass market stories like Sailor Moon). Right now I'm dealing with wordless comics (Owly, Sshhh!) and how they tell stories through pictures alone. I think it's all valid and studyable but it's, like... Fun. I don't know, I guess I'm not explaining this right.

By thinking this way, I'm insulting all the author/artists out there: Chris Ware, Marjane, Tezuka, etc etc. "Oh, you're not a real artist because you draw cartoons." Nevermind these people show and tell complicated things like familial dysfuntion, the Iranian revolution and God/Evolution. It's just that it's in the form of a cartoon and that makes it... A joke? Less serious?

Am I a hypocrite? Maybe. But I love comics. The best, most satisfying story I've ever read is The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman (10 volumes of comics).

Whatever, I could go on about this for ages. Maus won the Pulitzer so I should shut up and accept cartooning as a valid art form. Gah! I can't even say that without cringing!

After the food, I left a early to go to Adam's and work on a new hour for uvMix. I got there at 8:00 pm and still didn't get home until 11:45 pm. But it's done. A new hour I mixed all by myself. Ahhhh.

I posed this question over at ILC and promptly got spanked. Ouch.


[knitting] Semi-sock, not socks, socks.

Here is one of the socks I'm knitting for Dollar. They are moving along insanely quickly:

The picture makes it look a quite teal but they are really a manly color of hunter green. All that you see there is probably 5-6 hours of work. Really. I'm never knitting socks on #2 needles again.

Uh... I mean, after I make these:

Railroad socks for ma-mah. I'm too scared to even cast on.

And my completed Creeping Vines socks:

These are the ones I finished a while ago but never posted a picture of. I'm happy with them, but they're delicate so I don't wear them. They're too nice to wear. I don't want to destroy them so they just sit around collecting dust. Siiiiigh.

And because he's the best boyfriend in the world, I have to show these flowers:

He said he picked them all out himself! Awww. Let's see what these flowers mean: White lilies (purity), white roses (I am worthy of you), pink roses (please believe me), and some irises (your friendship means so much to me). Hmm.. this bouquet suddenly got more complicated. I was having a crap-tastic day so he surprised me by taking the day off work. I came home to him waiting with the flowers, a stuffed animal, a new corn-o he picked up at the post office, cookies and drinks for me. Then he took me out to dinner at a place called Tai Shan in Quechee. We'd never been there before but saw it during the drive home on Easter. The food was great. I wasn't so hot on the idea of Asian after my recent food poisoning incident but these food here was easily the best in the Upper Valley. And the bill came to $26 so we've decided to become regulars.


[knitting] Socks

I'm working on a pair of worsted weight socks for Dollar. I'm using Lionbrand Wool Ease because it's machine washable and dryable. I want him to be able to wear and take care of them himself (so I don't have to ask after them, wash them by hand, block them, etc etc etc). The project is moving along fast- I started the heel of the first sock last night.

I'm also going to try to knit a pair of socks for Mother's Day. I have really nice Regia wool/silk in a cranberry color (my mom's favorite). I just hope I can finish them in time (for all y'all that don't know, it's May 14) considering the fact that it took me roughly 7 months to make mine. She may end up getting a bouquet for Mother's Day and the socks for Christmas.

I actually crocheted a blanket for her for Mother's Day a few years ago- using all Manos. Does she ever use it? No. It's "too nice", which could either mean "too nice" or "too ugly". I kind of want to ask for it back so I can rip it and maybe knit a sweater or something. Just thinking about all the Manos lying around makes me sad.


[amy] Easter Weekend

I had an unexpected three-and-a-half day weekend after I ate bad shrimp for lunch last Thursday and got violently ill. I was all better by Saturday but Friday was hell on earth. I was all, "Body, do you want water?" Body rejected it faster than you can say barf. I was all, "Body, do you want juice?" Nope. Body wanted to try to kill me from the inside out.

I was such a wreck that I slept until 11 am Saturday morning. Which is totally unheard of for me. I'm usually out of bed by 9 am (at the latest) on weekends. But I got up, showered the sickness off, and drove to Enfield, where I played an RPG, The Call of Cthulhu, until 9 pm. I got through it just fine (all I had to do was sit there and pretend to be someone else) but I was a little scared afterward when I was driving home through the woods in the dead of night, after playing a game where I drove home through the woods in the dead of night- and ended up dying. So I'm trying to call Dollar on my cell but there's no reception and I'm scared a demon is going to step out into the road... I think I was still suffering from fevered dementia from the food poisoning.

Easter Sunday we ended up going out to western Vermont to hang with Dollar's family. Then we came back home and watched a couple parts of Long Way Round. I wasn't sure if he was going to like it but hey, it's got motorcycles and mafia (two things every guy loves).

And finally, Dollar and I are going to Bonnaroo. It's going to be awesome. Radiohead. Tom Petty. Cypress Hill. Atmosphere Blackalicious Lyrics Born Beck Damian Marley Ben Folds Cat Power and on and on and on. I want to see them all.


[games] Losing streak

Last night was game-tastic. I got a GameCube- mostly for this game (which won't be arriving on my doorstep until the end of the week). I ordered the Cube, an extra controller and a memory card from Best Buy online; then went to the store to pick it up.

Best Buy is such a joke. The parking lot was empty but there were about 20 employees inside standing around, shooting the shit. Performing cartwheels. Climbing the wall racks. I think one family and I were the only customers. I went up to the customer service desk to ask a bitchy/bored high school girl for my stuff. She acted like I was TOTALLY putting her out. I'm like, "Are you too BUSY? No? Then wipe that face off your head and get my stuff!"

While I was there, I picked up Mario Party 7 to have something to play with Dollar. I also needed to get a Y-adapter cable for a mono TV. Or something. I wasn't exactly sure what I was supposed to get, so I ended up pulling aside one of the employees (who wasn't talking on his cell phone about an impending drug deal or playing the Xbox 360 on display or just staring at the door). I said to him (and I quote), "I have this TV and it has mono sound... or something. And I need a cable to turn two of the red white yellow cables into, like, one. I'm sorry, I'm not explaining this very well. Let me start over. The TV is from Japan and it's like... The cables, the red yellow and white ones, there's only two holes to plug them in on the TV... so... I need something to, like, fix it."

The guy politely held back his derisive laughter and guided me to the TV department, where he would pass me off to another guy who could decipher what I was saying. In the TV section ALL the TVs were playing the same thing: Barry Manilo, live in concert. 40 regular TVs, 40 flat panel, huge screens, small screens, all of them, ALL MANILO. I told the salesman, "This is like my worst nightmare, dude. Can we move off somewhere else? I'm getting the shakes."

Anyway, I got my Y-adapter thingie and went home. Setting up the Cube was easy (well duh, kids can set it up). Dollar came home and we played Mario Party. He's never played before but he won 90% of the mini-games. I won none. Bastard. We ended up losing to the computer players.

Speaking of losing, I went to bed after Mario Party while Dollar went downstairs to set up Shadows Over Camelot. He liked the game so much on Sunday that he started jonesing to play again as we were pulling out of my sister's driveway. This urge became so strong by Tuesday night that he decided to set up all 7 characters and play them all himself, confident that he could beat the game. He didn't. He came up to bed at 2:30am. I asked, "Did you win?" He said, "No." So sad. I'm telling you, this is a well constructed game.


[amy] Gaming and Gatsu

I haven't posted in week. Last week was really busy. Of course, I work all day long but the nights were exceptionally busy. Monday night I helped Ken clean his place after the party ("Wash the dishes, Cinderellie! Scrub the floors, Cinderellie!). Tuesday night I had some people over for dinner. Wednesday I brought Dollar supper at work. Thursday night I... I'm not sure what I did. I think I just got right into bed after work and watched many episodes of Six Feet Under (Season 5).

This past Friday night I played Shadows Over Camelot. Guess who I played with? Me, myself, I and moi. I played 4 characters by myself. Am I really so pathetic? Not really. I had the uvGamingClub coming over to my place on Saturday and I wanted to understand the mechanics, rules and flow of the game beforehand. I like to be prepared and I hate it when a game is stop and go: "Okay, so I moved to here, so that means I... What am I supposed to do here?" "Uh, let me look it up in the rules... Okay... You roll the die." "Okay. Two. What does that mean?" "Uh, let me look it up in the rules..."

So Friday I set up the boards, placed all the pieces and played. The point of this game is that everyone has to work together to try to beat the game. It's not easy as it sounds. I lost. To the game. Even when I was playing all four players myself (which means I knew what everyone was thinking and what cards they were holding- because they're all ME).

Saturday the group showed up and we played. And lost. Dude, this game is hard. Sunday Dollar and I went over to my sister's and played with her. Twice. We won one and lost the other (Dollar turned out to be a dirty, dirty traitor). So in three days I played this game four times and lost 75% of the time. We're totally playing again in a couple weeks and I want to get a full group of people.

And in sad news, Gatsu is gone from my home. I brought him over to Barbara's on Sunday. While I won't miss his incessent "MEOW! MEOW! ... MEOW!" at the basement door ("Dude, your litterbox isn't even down there- WHY ARE YOU MEOWING AT THIS DOOR?"), I will miss his cuddling and purring and just having him around. Run free at Barbara's, dear Gatsu. You couldn't ever go outside at my place.

[books] We and what's next

The uvBookClub met at my place last Thursday night. We had a stimulating discussion about Zamyatin's We- we compared/contrasted the story against Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World. Matt was the moderator and gave a bit of 1920's Russian history to put the book into context. Was the story meant as a piece of revolutionary propaganda? I thought so. I took it as a "Fight the power, stick it to the man" type of fable.

Interesting thing: Anthony and James read a different translation from Matt and myself. Not a big deal, right? Well one of the main characters was called I-330 in my book of E-330 in theirs. Significant? I dunno. And there we some discrepancies about whether or not D-503 actually made love to a wooden chair. If I were going to buy a copy, I would get the Clarence Browne translation, which seemed more lyrical.

Supper: caesar salad, steamed asparagus, pan fried chicken thighs, potatoes gratin.

Next time: 2 books- A uvBookClub sanctioned selection and a book to go with an event at the HOP.