Saturday, February 23, 2008


I completed these socks on Thursday, but I didn't get them photographed right away. I took a few last night, and more today. Wow, isn't the weather great today? Well, it is if you're in Austin, TX. If the weather is not great where you are, then I apologize for rubbing it in.

These were just a little pair of plain stockinette socks that I started to kill time when traveling, and to use up some of the mass of sock yarn that I've acquired. However, my sock club yarn and then the Noro sock yarn got in the way. I actually got down to the business of getting these done last week during our Twin Peaks marathon (only about 7 hours to go!).

The foot came out a little bit long, but not enough to be a problem, like maybe one or two rows. The biggest problem was that I knit the second one down to half way through the foot and then realized that I'd messed up at the cuff. (The second cuff was 1/2 the length of the 1st) This is what happens when you knit while drinking (alternating wine and coffee), talking, and watching tv. Since I had intended to match up the starting colors, and hadn't remembered when actually casting on the cuff issue was the final straw. I frogged the entire sock and started over again.

I think they came out pretty damn nice.

Next up: knitting the second sock for the test sock I did last year. I knit a full size test sock so that I could see how it would fair in the laundry. I knew I couldn't put it in the dryer, but I wanted to make sure that the yarn could at least survive the washer, and come out in wearable condition. The sock passed the test, and then I got down to knitting the socks I gifted my dad for Christmas. This is going to be a fast knit, since it's only 48 sts per round, and I think I only made a 5 inch leg.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bang Bang!

Another movie review here. We actually watched Shoot 'Em Up a while back. Back before Valentine's Day, although I'd be lying if I said I could tell you exactly when. I swear I do watch non-violent movies at times, I guess I've just been on a bender for them lately.

Shoot 'Em Up is just what it sounds like. The movie is just one big gun fight after another. The gun slinging and fight sequences are just off the wall insane, and will keep you enthralled... Well if you like that kind of movie anyway. Honestly the movie only goes down hill when they start to introduce more than a cursory plot. The strongest sequences are in the first 10 minutes when you really don't have a clue what's going on. I found myself getting irritated with Mr. Hertz as he starts figuring out the history of Mr. Smith, because it was better when I didn't know. They just needed to shut up and keep shooting at each other!

Still, I rated this 4 out of 5 on Netflix, because it was enjoyable, and there's some damn funny scenes. I know I'll get sucked in when it starts popping up on USA and I'll watch it again. It probably would have been worth it to see it in the theater, but oh-frickin-well, it's too late for that now. If you like a good mindless action movie from time to time, and especially if you like Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, and Monica Bellucci, then you ought to check this one out.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Skechy at Best

As much as I would like to think that I have nothing in common with the women I work with, that is obviously just not the case. Here you can see we all came to work modeling the same shoe in different colors. (Left: Melanie, Right: Hae, Bottom: Me)

It's not that there's anything terribly wrong with these folks, it's just that there's about a 20 year gap in our ages. They all have children, but those kids are old enough to have moved out from home already. They've both been married, divorced, and married again. And... I think they might both be republican.

Still, comfortable yet attractive footwear can bridge these gaps of age, and history to bring us all a little bit closer together, and I think that's kind of cool.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Get Some Culture

I know that you're just itching to go see some Austin theater, but you don't know what to see. Well I've added a little button over there to help you out.

The Automat is another fine Loaded Gun Theory production by Timothy Thomas. I really like the story that Tim has written in this play, and it's going to be a great show*. Don't take my word for it though, go check it out.

Feb 29, Mar 1 & 2
Mar 6-9
Mar 12-15
Sundays start at 5pm, all other shows are at 8pm
Dougherty Arts Center

Call 512-916-9856 or go to (or click the pretty button over there ->) to make your reservations.

*I got a sneak peak during a rehearsal because I forgot my keys and Julie wasn't cruel enough to just dump me on my front porch.

You Know You Want One

This awesome little number was created by Carissa Knits over there (points to Carissa's blog). The original post was from September 2006, but this is a classic that won't soon go out of style. I mean, who doesn't want an R2D2 hat? She even designed little pokey outey bits instead of only working a flat design. I'm not sure how I feel about her choice of using duplicate stitching (knitting a striped hat and stitching the pattern on top afterward) as opposed to knitting it together that way to begin with. I guess it depends on which way is more flexible. I mean, it's a hat, so wearability is paramount. I think adding the stitching on top would be easier in some ways, but it's also more like needlepoint and less like knitting, and although I love the idea of needlepoint the project that has languished in a plastic sack in my closet since 1992ish tells you that it's just not something I can really get into.

Still, a very cool hat in my opinion. I think someone should make me one.

At Least They Aren't Pooping On It

Well, it happened again last night. Some cat threw up on the bed. The time before was only back on Saturday. I suspect Bullet, since I'd seen him toss his pellets on the "dining room" floor on Sunday, but Jeff refuses to lay blame. I think mostly Jeff doesn't want to lay blame, because then he'd know who to be mad at. See, the cat(s) have a pattern. If they throw up on the bed, they only do it on Jeff's side. Why? I dunno. It might be because his side is pretty much bare, and mine is piled with covers. It might be because they feel comforted by his scent on his side, or maybe they like me more and don't want to puke on my side. There's really no telling. Still, as much as I like clean sheets I think that I'd like to not have to wash them every 3 days. It would be nice if they would go barf in the tub or something where it would be easier to clean up.

Aren't you glad that you read my blog today? I promise the next post will be more pleasant.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Jay Walking

Well I finished my Noro Sock Yarn socks a couple of days ago, and I finally snapped a few quick pictures for you. These were really fun to knit, and the pattern is easy to memorize. The Noro was a bit tricky to work with at times, and in it's thickest moments made the stitches hard to make out on the needles. Still all in all I am very pleased with the results.

A Night at the Movies

When Jeff asked what we should do for Valentine's Day I suggested we see a movie. I know it's sort of cliché, but we don't get out to the movies very often, so it's still a sort of special event. Being the gentleman that he is, Jeff let me pick the movie, so we saw In Bruges.

In Bruges was awesome. I really completely enjoyed the movie. I don't have anything bad to say about it, and that's rare. I will warn you, the movie centers around the lives of two hit men…. That means that there is violence, and things are said and done that might offend your delicate sensibilities. I didn't find anything offensive in it, but that's me. The movie was touching, and funny, and sad, and I don't know. There is just such a sweet story buried in this strange circumstance. I honestly would like to recommend this movie to everyone, because I believe it is that fantastic. The only thing that holds me back is the subject matter, and the graphic-ness, because I know that would be a big turn off to some people. I don't want to put down any details that might be spoilers for people that want to watch it, but if you want some specifics before deciding whether you want to watch it I'd be happy to email you any details that you want. (Or I'm sure you can find them at some other review type site.)

After the movie we grabbed some Outback Steakhouse to go. I loves lamb. We also picked up some wine, and took it all back to our home.

We settled into the couch and popped in Eastern Promises. I really thought that I would like this movie. I'd seen lots of trailers, and I thought I wanted to see it. I don't know if it just couldn't compete with In Bruges, or if it was just the lack of story arch that made it a disappointment. I mean, the acting was top notch, and the story was compelling, but at the end it just stops. It really felt like there should have been a fade to new scene, but instead the credits came up. It wasn't satisfying as a movie to me, but still not bad. (Also violent, in case you weren't aware, it does center around the Russian mafia, so lots of blood and general nastiness.) (Oh and a nekid Viggo with his junk flopping around as he tries not to get killed in a sauna… just you know, in case you care.)

So all in all it was a pretty nice night. It might not have been a pink and red candy Valentine's, but then again neither are we.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Obligatory Diet Post

I've been fighting with my weight for a few months now. I was trying to lose weight before, and then decided that I needed get serious about it with the wedding coming up. Since November of last year I'd been trying to be good about what I ate, and I must have done something right, because I stopped gaining weight. Not getting bigger was a good start, but it didn't really help me want to get into a swim suit (I'm guessing I'll want to wear one in Hawaii).

Julie had such success with Weight Watchers that I did a little online digging. I started to analyze what I was eating, as much as I could without having any real access to "official" sources. Finally a couple of weeks ago I broke down and asked Julie if she would help me get started. I'm a big chicken, and I don't like going to meetings and things where I don't know anyone, at least at first. I knew it would be better with a friend.

The first meeting was last Friday (right after that fender bender I mentioned earlier). The leader was strange, and I wasn't really sold on her. I was definitely going to give the program a try though, because what I was doing on my own wasn't cutting it. I had some hard times, especially on the weekend when I typically have a greater access to junk food. I also had some really good days, and Jeff's been working on modifying his recipes so that they're still tasty, but worth fewer points.

We went to another meeting yesterday, and the leader was a lot more fun. I think that I'll like this Wednesday group better, so I'll probably stick with them for a while. The scary part is that according to the weigh-in I've already started to lose weight. That means that in 5 days I managed to do what I haven't been able to accomplish on my own in 3 months. That is encouraging to me, and I hope that I can keep it up. Of course, I also hope that I stop feeling so hungry all the time. I'm a snacker. I don't tend to eat a whole lot at once, but I do spend a lot of time eating here and there. I'm having a hard time figuring out when to eat and what to eat, but supposedly that will get better as I go along.

I'll try not to bore you with mundane day to day details of my weight watcher experience. I'm just kind of proud I guess, and I wanted to share. So if you offer me something delicious and I don't take it, don't be offended. I'm just still in the early stages of this and having a somewhat difficult time. Sometimes it's easier not to have any than it is to have just one piece.

How the Heck Have You Been?

Wow, I have had a busy busy week that started with last Friday. I'll try not to be tedious, and yet I have a lot to say so please bear with me.

Friday afternoon Jeff damn near totaled the car. Now, he didn't get in a major accident or anything, there's a picture right there of what my "totaled" car looked like. We were making a u-turn under MoPac and the car in front of us made to go, and as Jeff rolled forward and checked to see if he was clear too, then chickened out and slammed on the brakes. We basically bumped into them and of course my sturdy aluminum car folded like the piece of Hyundai crap that it is. So with a busted fender the car was almost a total loss to the insurance company. Since Saturday we've gone from the car having $1200 of previous damage and being repairable, to the car having $1550 of previous damage and being totaled, to finally the car having $1000 of previous damage and again being repairable, albeit needing more repairs. *sigh* Our original claims agent Scott Hunter at Progressive in Austin,TX was a total prick, and I think hell bent on totaling my vehicle. Yesterday we dealt with several other nice people who were able to give us additional money and decide that the car was not the big piece of crap that Scott seemed to think it was. Yesterday I got the type of service that I'm used to receiving from Progressive. They've always taken care of me. I choose to believe that Scott is a fluke, and I hope to never ever speak to him again. We were given the name and number of someone else in the claim department that we will work with if we have any other issues come up during this repair cycle.

Over the weekend we made our first trip to the Ikea, and I think we almost perished. I was pretty sickly, and spending 3 hours shopping just about did me in. Still, we found this cute little tv stand and hopefully after this weekend (I don't want to have his first few days in the living room too traumatic.) I'll move Toby out into his new space. See, I haven't been the best lizard mommy and I want him out where I can see him, and hopefully give him more attention.
We also finally got the wedding inviations put together Sunday, and they went in the mail Monday. I've already heard back from several local people that they've started getting them in. I'm still looking forward to being married to Jeff, but honestly I just can't wait for all this wedding shit to be over with.

Well, there's more posty to come, but for now I've got some stuff to deal with here at work.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I've Failed You

We braved the Ikea this weekend, and I saw nipple plates, and I did not take a picture. I thought for sure that I would be able to find it online, but I haven't yet. Next time I see the absurd I promise to take a pic for you. The best that I can do is tell you that it looked just like this, except that the blue was pink, and a graduated pink at that.... That there is some boobage.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

It's Comin' Right For Us

Several of the items that I've shared via blogger lately have been knit hats of varying degrees of coolness. I don't think that's ever tire of seeing the various hats that people devise. But I think this one is currently taking the cake as my favorite hat. Here is Knitting Ninja's shark hat as modeled by her boyfriend? If you stop by, you should also check out her Chain Chomp hat, because it's also nifty. I admire the Chain Chomp hat, but I think the real designing challenge lies in the shark hat. That's just some awesome right there.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Knitting Life

Here I am knitting on my latest sock project. That poor neglected sock from before the STR January project is still languishing. I did manage to knit past the heel, but then I felt pulled another direction.I found out a couple of months back that there was going to be a Noro Kureyon sock yarn coming out and that my LYS (Hill Country Weavers) would likely have some in January. I have a slight issue with Noro in that my money just leaps out of my pocket when I'm around it. I knew that I would just have to have some of the sock yarn. It doesn't matter that people say it's 1 ply and that it won't hold up well. It doesn't matter that it's still Kureyon which in Japenese probably means "not soft" or possibly "contains twigs". I adore it and forgive it all the short comings that you can claim it might have.

I've read up and found that common consensus is that the yarn softens nicely when washed, and that it doesn't felt all that easily in a cold wash, so machine washing is possible. To combat the possible flimsy quality of the single ply I've held reinforcing thread with the yarn while knitting the heel, and I'm probably going to do it at the toe also. If it's too chunky for the toe when I try it on I'll just rip back a bit and do it again with out. I don't find it all that stiff and difficult to work with, and since I'm making these for me, I'm sure they'll be fine.

I'm finally knitting Grumperina's Jaywalker pattern that I first saw a year ago. For some reason I've looked at this pattern over and over and decided that it was just too difficult to figure out, and proceeded to knit a plain stockinette sock. This pattern is not hard. Good lord, it's an easily memorized stitch repeat on one round then plain knit on the next, how much easier could she have made it. And the pattern looks great. Here's a better example, since you can't really tell much from that photo above. I love how the stitch pattern pulls the stripes of color into zigzags. I think it is just an awesome match for this yarn. I don't want to lose the simple beauty of the Noro color changes, but I wanted something a little special, something with more pizazz than a straight up stockinette sock. I've finished the heel (did a short row heel instead of the heel flap in the pattern) and I'm working my way down the foot now.

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Book Meme

Thought this might be interesting, so I stole it from Tim.

The instructions are simple:
Bold those you’ve read.
Add an asterisk* to those you have read more than once.
Italicize books you have started but couldn’t finish.
Underline those on your TBR list.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: A Novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities

The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveller’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
*The Canterbury Tales
The Historian
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
*The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-Present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
*The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

I didn't underline any books as being on my to be read list, because I don't really have one. For the most part if a book falls into my hands that I want to read I will read it. I hardly ever seek out a book. There are several books that I have read (even on this list) that I would like to read again though. Maybe I should have made up my own category and underlined the bolded books that I've read, and hope to read again.

For the most part I read the older books on this list for school purposes, if I read them more than once it was either because I liked it (The Inferno), or because the first time I skimmed it real quick, and then had to read it again to make sure I could write about it or pass a test (The Scarlet Letter). Most of the books that I started and didn't finish were school assignments where I only had to read an excerpt and choose not to finish them because they weren't to my tastes. The exceptions were:
1. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - I tried, but I felt like I beating my skull in with all those words.
2. David Copperfield - I was extremely dissappointed in the 7th grade when I checked this book out from the library and found out that it had nothing to do with the magician.

Well, that took up entirely too much of the time that I should have been working today, so that will probably be it. Happy Monday folks.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Really Rockin' Now

I finished my 1st Socks that Rock Sock Club knit on the way to Ian and Mary's wedding yesterday. They're very comfortable and are keeping my toes toasty as we relax in my dad's apartment this morning.

Ian and Mary's wedding and reception was really nice. I'm glad that we made the trip out here to see them, even if it was harried. We left a lot later than we should have. We had to bring the dog to the apartment and change before heading from Houston to Plantersville. We almost didn't make it in time, and that caused us both a little stress. All in all though it worked out just fine. We partied until we ran out of party and then we came back here to sleep.

Now I need to figure out if we can go to Craftex this morning, and how long we'll be in Houston today.