I'm having an accordion emergency.
Yes, I'd like to try some free wine.
I need to work on my fundamentals before getting a concertina.
Fuck this shit.
I'll have a Cabernet.
He says that he's straight but he puts off a gay vibe. He's welcome to prove it anytime.
I'm getting a new accordion and you can't touch it.
God, this shawl is taking forever. Maybe it's the 300+ stitch long rows.
Mad Men last week was a disappointment.
Thank you for asking to see my ID.
The DMV was full of other people having a birthday. You know, procrastinators.
I'll take a Febreeze shower on the way to work.
Why does it smell like Salisbury steak?
Apparently, they respond well to me being a total dick.
My dentist told me to stay away from leftover Easter candy. Leftover, ha!
Thanks for making that awkward.
I'm having an accordion emergency.
Posted by K at Monday, April 15, 2013
Here I am, nursing my first giant cup of coffee of the day. My grandmother gave me a burr grinder for my birthday, so I'm finally able to use my French press. I love the ceremony of making the coffee and just want to drink it all the time.
The mixing console came back from the shop a few weeks ago, with an amusing diagnosis. I was right about shorts on the board; there was tinsel inside the mixer that was creating arcs. No one at work can remember the last time we used tinsel, though there was an aluminum tree in our Christmas show. Even though everything is dandy with the analog mixer, I'm doing most of my heavy lifting with the digital board.
The other reason for using the digital board is that it will make things easier when I hand my current show off to another engineer. My secret motivation in wanting the system shipshape is that I am leaving my gig at the end of next week. It's so much easier not to have to explain dozens of quirks. This is a positive move for me. I will miss some of my coworkers, but I need more work than my current gig offers.
I'm taking off for a sit-down out West and it is slowly dawning on me how long six months is. There aren't any yarn shops where I'll be, so I have to take whatever I'll need (or want) to knit for the next half-year. Predicting what I will want to make is tricky. Fortunately, I have a fairly deep stash, but I don't want to take all of it. My friends and family keep reminding me that anything I need or forget can be obtained through the magic of the Internet, but you can't fondle yarn through a computer screen. Sometimes instant gratification is required!
Posted by K at Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Today, I impulsively decided to go see a movie. This time of year is usually dead for films, but I managed to find a real gem: Quartet. I was the youngest person in the theater by at least thirty years, but I don't think that I am the target audience. If you haven't heard of it (and it hasn't received a lot of press in the States), Quartet is a film directed by Dustin Hoffman about a group of retired musicians and opera singers. The acting and music were superb.
The film ends with the quartet from Rigoletto, which really has to be heard to be believed. Transcendent, really. When I was walking down the hallway, I passed by another theater playing Les Miserables, with one of Fantine's songs bleeding through the wall. It was like smelling Burger King after eating at Mortons. Why would anyone want to listen to that when there is real music, I thought. All my friends who have been raving about the new Les Mis film are just not going to convince me to see it.
The other thing that struck me about Quartet is that it is an unusual film. How many films are made today about adults, without sex scenes, violence, action, or some other element that appeals to 18-25 year old men? How many films focus solely on characters in the autumn of life, without some sort of subplot involving an adorable or troubled grandchild? I suppose I am a sucker for a film like Quartet, since I adore music and understand too well the way in which the characters reminisce about productions they did fifty years earlier. The work was their lives, in a way that it isn't, I suspect, for actuaries and garbage men and postal workers. Performers and artists really shoot for the moon in expecting their work to provide everything. Civilians don't expect that, do they?
On the personal front, I haven't been shooting the moon lately. I've had a lot of technical problems that make me feel like I might have a heart attack every night at work. One night, I was just sitting there in front of the mixer, not touching anything, when all of the channels' signal lights blinked off and on for about a minute. What The Fuck? There's got to be a short in the mixer somewhere, damned if I know where though. I hate having to fervently hope that all of my gear will work as the (metaphorical) curtain goes up every night. I just want everything to work consistently. The mixer is in for repairs, where trained technicians who probably make more an hour that I do can track down all those intermittent problems. I'm trying to get everything shipshape and Bristol fashion, to counteract all of the short term thinking that has allowed the sound system to be in such a state.
Posted by K at Thursday, February 14, 2013
The trees are wearing their yellow flags. The weather is crisp and suited for sweaters. Ah, Fall! I find myself turning the lamp on earlier and earlier these days. The cats sleep in tighter balls and their coats seem a bit thicker. It's the perfect time to start (and ideally finish) a cozy sweater.
I have plenty of Christmas knitting to ignore, so I did a stash dive to find yarn for a new project. My criteria: enough to make a sweater, wool, and suitable for a relatively boring project that can be knit at work. About four years ago when I worked at a yarn shop, I bought a kilo of Manos del Uruguay yarn to make a large shrug. Yes, there were plenty of jokes at work about getting a kilo from South America. Well, the shrug never got made and the yarn stayed in my stash waiting for the perfect project. I thought again about making that shrug, but it doesn't seem like something I'd wear very often.
Anyone who keeps a stash will recognize this situation. Precious, precious yarn never finds the perfect project. Nothing ever seems worthy of the stashed treasure. You can't have your stash and knit it too. There is no perfect project. Find something that you like that works with the yarn and make it. How much enjoyment is really derived from yarn sitting in a drawer?
That Manos was ripe for knitting, I decided, recalling that I had a pattern calling for that yarn in one of my books. I'd made the Not Your Standard-Issue Sweatshirt a few times before, using Malabrigo Worsted. Malabrigo is amazing, but its merino softness leads to an unacceptable amount of pilling and a shorter garment life. And readers, I wore the shit out of those sweaters. Here's hoping the corriedale wool in the Manos will give it more staying power. I've already knit the back and have started on the front. I'd say that this is a quick project, but I recall from previous versions that the hood takes forever. Oh well, I've got plenty of time to work on it during the show.
Posted by K at Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Since my last post, I have done two shows and started a third. They were: awesome, asskickingly hard, and easy-peasy, in that order. During the shows, I knit a pair of socks and two Daybreak shawls. I think that I have made six Daybreaks now, which is a record for me. The only other pattern I've knit so many times is the felted slippers from Tracy Ullman's book. Don't tell my cousin Bam Bam that, as his many requests for felted slippers have been denied. I'm not cruel, I just don't want to do all the work to adjust the pattern to fit his giant feet.
Since it is September, I have started work on my annual giftmas knitting. I probably should start a month earlier, but it's hard to get motivated about Christmas when the weather is so muggy. This year, my plans are less ambitious than in the past. I've already finished one present (a Daybreak) and half-finished a second (an Ulmus shawl in delightful Malabrigo sock). The second is languishing at the moment while I work on a lace sweater for my non-internet using grandmother. She is the most appreciative recipient of knitted gifts, so she gets the most involved project nearly every year. And, unlike many other mothers and grandmothers, she actually uses the sweaters and shawls I give her instead of stashing them away in a drawer forever, lest something happen to them.
I'm oddly fortunate with my current show. It's simple playback with lots of downtime when I can knit. The designer told me when I joined the show to being two books so that I wouldn't get bored. This is exactly what I need for my holiday knitting, though it means that I have to rotate through patterns that can be knit in the dark. My current project, a February Lady Sweater, was perfect for knitting at work while I was working on its garter stitch yoke. Now that I am knitting the lace body, it has to stay at home. Now I must strategize: I need a project that is plain enough to avoid mistakes while I am knitting under the dim run lights that will also make an appropriate gift for someone on my list. Or I can give anyone who has been unappreciative a lump of coal and knit things for myself. But have you seen the price of coal lately? I'll have to strike upon something else to give as gifts that properly conveys how little I care.
Posted by K at Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Well, my machine is back from the shop now. Ironically, my interest in sewing is greatly diminished now that I can again. The higher temps are largely to blame, since it is hardly appealing to sit next to a hot iron in 80+ degree weather. The hot weather is making totally miserable, since my car's a/c is kaput. My darling mechanic proposed putting a can of freon in it to see if the a/c would kick in, thinking that it was a coolant level issue. I hoped hard that this was the (affordable) solution, but sadly it was not. He didn't even charge me for the test, instead sending me to an associate of his who just does electrical and air conditioning work. Well, I haven't made it over there, because this will at minimum cost me $250 and possibly up to $1200, which I frankly cannot afford. Why not go the 460 ac route? Well, my car only has two windows that roll down and one of them does not reliably roll up on the first try. Since I do a lot of driving in Chicago, that means that I basically cannot drive with the window down in case I have to roll it up in a hurry.
Further adding to my misery is my recent discovery that the right channel in my car stereo has gone out. Since I am a sound engineer, this is driving me nuts. If it weren't encased in a vehicle, I could easily repair it myself, but this requires the work of someone with experience in popping off door panels. Also, anything other than NPR sounds like crap with only the left channel working and I love my tunes.
Sure, neither of these problems affects the operation of the car. It works and I am damn glad it does, after the inconvenience caused by the thermostat and radiator fan crapping out last month. It gets me from place to place reliably, but I am afraid my car is becoming a hoopdie. Sigh. It's ten years old, so these minor problems are not unexpected. On a ninety degree day, sitting on black leather(ette?) seats, the a/c does not feel minor.
The other reason that my sewing impulse has waned is that I am pretty close to finishing the Acer cardigan that I started to tide me over until my machine was usable. I'm almost to the sleeve cap on the second sleeve. After that, I just have to knit the neck and button bands and sew the sleeves on and it will be done. I won't be able to wear it until the fall, but I am happy to build up my wardrobe out of season. It will be ready for that first crisp autumn day, instead of being cast on then as is my usual weather change behavior. Oh, it's getting cold, I think, time to knit something warm. No, the time to knit something warm is before you need it, but knitting warm sweaters is a beast in hot weather. I'm pondering what to knit next and have decided that it can't be something that is knit from the top down. I don't want a whole sweater lying on my lap like an unneeded blanket. So, something that is knit in pieces and seamed together, even though finishing is one of my least favorite parts of knitting.
I also need to find something that makes good backstage knitting. I'm about to start work on a new production as a mic runner, which I very rarely do. I usually mix from front of house and am damn lucky to have an A2 backstage in case of problems. Actually, I don't think I've had an A2 since college because most producers just don't budget for a sound crew. When I'm not making my moves, I'll need some kind of basically mindless, easily picked up and put down again project to keep me from nodding off. Socks? Another shawl I probably won't wear? Decisions, decisions.
Posted by K at Friday, May 25, 2012