Thursday, April 30, 2009

On the Rag April

My finished object for April is a pair of matching cotton dishrags for my mother in law. I just did the bias-stockinette pattern with YO increases. My decreases are all goofy. I really wish the resources for left handed knitters were a little better. These don't even match!

On the plus side, most dishrag patterns are easy enough for mindless tv knitting. They are small enough to fit in my purse as well.

I used the Hobby Lobby brand "I Love This Cotton!" This stuff is way softer than Lily. It does have a tendency to fuzz out in the wash a bit. I think the stiffness of Lily cotton is what keeps a stockinette dishcloth from curling up like a roly-poly. So these are a little curled. I think the remainder of the skein I will use for another one with some other color. It's a very pretty color way.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Day

Hours of Sleep: 5, almost
Shots of Espresso: 5
Cokes: 2
Frozen Entrees Thrown in Trash in Disgust: 0.6
Spoons of Peanut Butter Eaten from Jar: 0
Forks of Peanut Butter: 3
F-Bombs Dropped: Unquantifiable at this time

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Funniest News Story All Month!

Mostly because it does not involve my children.

All Your Skeins Are Belong To Us

Das Leben der Anderen

Not Another German Movie!

The theme of this movie is Loneliness. Epic Loneliness. Wiesler, Christa-Marie, Georg, Jerska, Hauser, even the repulsive Minister of Arts. Mostly Wiesler. The moments when he is out in the world, trying to talk to associates and strangers are so stark that he almost seems slightly dessicated in them. He knows every tiny detail of The Lives of Others and they don't even know he is there, watching them, saving them, loving them. I suppose some would blame all those consequences on the oppressive regime of the BDR. I think it's an over-simplification.

Because of the lack of human, emotional connection between the characters, everything feels tightly wound in this movie. I was on the edge of my seat for a lot of it, and yet, there is not much in the way of actual violence.

I don't Sprechen the Deutch. I took it for a year in college, but it was at 7am and I was sick a lot that year. I find the sound of it vaguely soothing-- there is a lot of ach'ing and tchussing.

I must also applaud the German Cinema for making sex, plain old sex, which is so awesome, seem so unappealing. I have no idea how they do that. It's the worst magic trick ever!

I cannot, for the life of me, think of a single German Movie I've seen that hasn't been steeped in Epic Loneliness. Granted, I can only think of a handful of the titles:

La Femme Nikita
Bella Martha
Der Himmel über Berlin
Das schreckliche Mädchen

I need to find a German Comedy.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Stash Flash

I recorded my stash today, complete with photos. It's all on Ravelry. I still have a lot of the pictures on my camera. For some reason, they don't all go to the memory card. Where is the cable? Grrrr. One of the shots stuck on there is the Stash Flash-- all the yarn spread out on the futon in happy ziplock bags (take that moths!). I chucked the needle bucket on there as well.

I didn't ravelry-stash the yarn that's completely knitted up and out of my hands. Altogether, I have 115 skeins of yarn. That was rather more than I thought I had. Granted, they are all of differing sizes and prices. Around 1/3 of the total weight was given to me or purchased with gift certificates. I need to get cracking on knitting it.

I've been working on a series of little knits for April. Those which I finish this month I will post on the 30th.

Friday, April 24, 2009

As Cool As I Am

I did not shriek when my dog flushed a snake out of the flowerbed last night. I did not squeal when I stood there trying to get him to "LEAVE IT" and one slid across my bare foot. I did not scream when I bent down to pick up his tether in the dark and found I had a snake in my hand.

Suck it, bitches.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Book 16: New Moon

In which Isabella Swan is presented with a superior alternative and goes back to Ole Sparkle Fangs

Personally, I think Jacob Black, brand new werewolf is vastly superior to Edward. First of all, he is not 110 years old. Second, he is able to fix cars and motorcycles. Do I even need a third? Edward is cold and hard to the touch, what with being dead and all. Jacob runs hot on account of being a werewolf. Think of the long winter nights-- with Jacob you would never ever need to wear socks to bed again. Edward can't even sleep, either. Jacob eats food. Edward drinks blood. Makes for awkward dinner dates.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wow! It worked!

Emailing posts actually works The paragraph spacing is still weird though.

Speaking of weird-- my mom found a poem my sister wrote about me when she was in 3rd grade. She was calling me weird and boring back when I was 10. Abandon all hope.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Emailing a Post

I am just trying this to see if emailing a post works. I seem to recall from my other blog that emailed posts have formatting issues, particularly surrounding paragraph returns.

Not much to report around Chez Spice. I am single spacing between paragraphs, using 10pt Arial, in green (for Spring, duh).

Children: Above average in looks, intelligence, humor, naughtiness, and defiance. Below average in eating and sleeping.

Spousal Unit: Grumpy.
Bathroom: Still In Progress. We have some insulation up and some durarock and greenboard.
Taxes: Not technically finished. Getting twice as much back from the Feds as we owe the stupid state of Nebraska.

Good Friday: Slacked around with the kids, and yet, there was peace. Oh how I love domestic peace. Sometimes I feel like I'm standing outside myself, snarking and judging my other self for the lengths I'll go to in order to have peace. Then I remember Blessed are the Peacemakers. Or is it the Peepmakers? I get confused a lot.

Holy Saturday: Dyed eggs with my parents, my siblings, and all associated offspring. Also, there was pizza and Rock Band on my brothers PS2. Umm, not so sure that my Holy Saturday was Particularly Holy.

Easter: A rash of good behavior at church, something akin to new life in Christ, for sure. Also, it takes about 4.5 lbs of milk chocolate to kill a dog the size of Barkimedes. That was a tremendous relief after he snitched some small, foil wrapped eggs from the kitchen table. Dinner with the in-laws.

Glitter Poop: Still gross.
Yarn: I finished a knitted dishcloth that looks more like a parallelogram than like a square. My mother-in-law likes it though, so I will give it to her. I frogged the sock I was making for Jason. The lefthandedness bit me again. My increases and decreases were slanting backwards and it was just making me bonkers. Need to finish a few things that are languishing on needles.

Books: Started the latest installment in the Maisie Dobbs series and the sequel to Twilight.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dear Internets

I love you and your crazy nerd ways.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Poetry Is Hard

Hard to read when you have a flatulent dog at your feet, a cat across the room in the litterbox and a 4 yr old with NO OFF BUTTON.

John Lithgow has put together a little poetry collection called The Poet's Corner. Arranged alphabetically. Of all things! I prefer a chronological sort of anthology. I like to see how the new forms come from the old and who just likes to break the rules and fuck shit up. Poetically speaking that is.

This is recommended as a parody of Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold:

Book 15: The First Wave

This is the second installment in the Billy Boyle series and another solid hit. This one takes place in North Africa, right before Ike's deal with Darlan. James Benn knows his history well enough that he doesn't spend too much of the book making sure that you know he knows it. Just enough historical back story to remind you he is a history teacher. Interesting information on the army's institutional sexism in WW2.

The first person narrative has a mixed tone-- Billy is hard boiled and naive at the same time. Like a swirl cone! Only Billy is not that cool. Billy's detecting process is one that I employ with puzzles. He thinks things over and over and over until suddenly he stops thinking for a minute and two unrelated things converge into an idea. Good Stuff, Young Billy.

Book 14: The Graveyard Book

I finished this book yesterday morning and haven't really thought of how to articulate my thoughts on it. I picked up The Graveyard Book on Friday at 3pm and I finished it at 8:30am Saturday. (I did sleep, but dinner was a slapdash affair.) Very compelling reading.

This is a novel length fairy tale about a boy raised by ghosts, in a graveyard, after his family is murdered by a mystery man. Neil Gaiman is really adept at fantasy writing in a way that feels more modern-- it lacks the moralizing of the Grimm Brothers but also the Everything Goes Morality of say, Heinlein.

His style is a bit more spartan than the genre usually goes. I really liked that Gaiman didn't have this elaborate architecture of his fictional world. I sometimes thought that if JK Rowling wasn't so intent on showing off her elaborate plans for the Potterverse that those books would have been a great deal shorter.

The origin of the mystery has an ambiguity that young adult books don't normally have, but this is not a set up for a series. Thank God-- I hate that feeling that most of an author's purpose in book 1 is to get me on the hook for a series that doesn't really have teeth. There is sound, final resolution and the gates of the graveyard are clearly closed for good.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Book 13: A Face In The Window

Really dreadful installment in the Home Repair is Homicide series. It's not a mystery, more of a thriller. I think I'm done with the series.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Parenting Win

I am pleased to announce that each of my children believe themselves to be my favorite. I RULE!!

Book 12: The Nymphos of Rocky Flats

At last, a BUTCH VAMPIRE! This book also had aliens, guns, gratuitous sex, and a muscle car. The plot was fast, but I do think the author telegraphed the 'twist' behind one of the characters. I will still pick up the second one in the series. I get the feeling this author will improve along the way.

I'm still looking for a good supernatural detective series. Harry Dresden sort of blew his wad when he saved the whole universe from the Summer Queen. Meh. Oh Harry, if only you'd never have hit the big time!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Book 11: Dope Sick

This is a young adult urban sci-fi book by Walter Dean Myers. The hero is Jeremy Dance, aka 'Lil J' is trapped in a hell of his own making and his own perceptions. He's a high school drop out with a little thing for heroin, a kid, and a mom who is pretty clearly depressed and an alcoholic. Now though, it's really hit the fan. Lil J is on the run from the cops after a drug deal went bad and his pal shot a cop.

Lil J takes refuge in an abandoned building where he meets a 'spooky' guy named Kelly. Lil J gets to watch his life on the TV in Kelly's place. Kelly wants him to figure out where it all went wrong and what he would change to get himself out of this mess.

I found this a pretty depressing story. The language is tough, but not an insult the grammatically correct. The ending was ambiguous enough that it might be a litmus test of whether your glass is half full or half empty. I thought it was exactly the ending it should have.