The big ideas and things I've loved:

My ipod. I bought it to go to Europe and rocked out in the metro in Paris, on a transatlantic flight, at the National Portrait Gallery in London, and on a cheapie bus to Scotland. It is so damn cool! And much better than schlepping around a bunch of cds and batteries.

Liz Phair. Yeah, I know other people have been into her for years, but since I've got all her albums now, I really appreciate this lo-fi rocker's work. Clever, unapologetic, and too cool for school.

Clinique perfumes. There are three different ones that I wear, depending on my mood. I think this is what is called "a fragrance wardrobe". In any case, I like 'em, after many years of not wearing scent on a regular basis because of work.

Scissor Sisters. Glam. Fabulous. Fantastic. Whatever you want to call them, this NY based group is infectous, fun, and poised to be really big. I even recommended them to my dad! My friend Ave introduced me to their stuff when we were getting ready to go out to a hen party in Scotland. It's perfect makeup and hair music.

Newer Wave. If I'd been born earlier, I would've loved The Clash, but instead I listen to The Sounds, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sahara Hotnights, The Raveonettes, Franz Ferdinand (and yes, they are good enough to back up the pretentious name), Modest Mouse, and the White Stripes. Give me a good beat, guitar, and an edgy growl!

John Kerry. He didn't win, but for a brief time, he allowed me to believe that this country could be more than what it is.

Nellie McKay. Subversive, fun, young, talented jazz singer who was this year's musical it-girl is too hard to describe. She really needs an interpretive dance or maybe a top-shelf mixed drink named for her to really do her music justice. Trust me and buy the album.

Thievery Corporation. Amazon.com recommended their "Richest Man in Babylon" to me for months, but I resisted. Then I heard it. I listened to this album, along with Ryuichi Sakamoto's Chasm in three different art museums in Europe. Fantastic.
You can also find amazing selections by them on the Verve Remixed discs.

Europe. I know, it's obvious. I went there this autumn and now I can't wait to go back! I want to wear heavy eyeliner and smoke French cigarettes, teeter around in kitten heels, wear a smart raincoat and cheap wig, and party with my cousin. I want to go back to London and Paris, and I want to see Berlin and Spain and Normandy. But I'll have to wait until the exchange rate improves.

My cousin Stephen. He uses lots of exclamation marks and has a plummy British accent. I simply adore him. xx

Joni Mitchell. There were a couple of weeks that I listened to Ladies of the Canyon and Blue in pretty heavy rotation. She's good for a rainy day with a cup of tea, lying in bed with the blues, or lying in the grass on a sunny day. David Sedaris apparently went through a period of listening to Hejira all the time. I understand.

Did you know that they give you magazines in the lounges at European airports? Certainly makes it hard going back to the low/no budget airlines in the states! I flew one of them last week to Boston and was disheartened by my bag of pretzels and total lack of legroom. I need to cross my legs and have the space to read big glossy fashion magazines (that I brought myself)!

Color. Yes, color. I wear more of it now. Like blue eyeshadow, which used to be a big joke until Ashley the MAC pro explained it to me. Sheer color. I can wear that emerald green they're showing in Vogue too. It's like line weight in drafting. I think that this is called value or some other vaguely uncomfortable term in design; all I know is it's fabuuuulous!

Text messages. I didn't even have my phone configured to send them until September, but now I'm hooked! Sometimes, much cheaper than a phone call, more discreet, more expedient. And a lot more fun!

My Doc Marten mary janes. They're brown and they were popular when I was in high school. Still, I love em because they're versatile, foot shaped, and withstood many kilometres of hiking around. They're not exactly cutting edge, but I could probably run in them if I had to and they don't weigh a ton like my DM boots.

and a lot of other things as well!

Things that brought me down in 04:

The election. 'Nuff said.

Having to tell people that I'm Canadian while traveling. I don't want to listen to tirades about George Bush or the war in Iraq while I'm on vacation.

The war in Iraq. Clearly, this is not going to end well. One of my college friends saw this clearly in 2001, and I can still hear him say it when I watch the news.

The end of the yellow brick road.

The disappointing outcome of my R2 sweater. I had that yarn shipped from overseas! The sweater resists blocking, has an oddly triangular shape to it, and is unflattering. So much for edgy knitting.

Guilt trips and passive-aggressive behavior. But that's hardly exclusive of 2004!


All good things must come to an end. I leave this place on Monday, but I'm only just getting a sense of the place. The night sky at the opera is amazing. The moon is so large and near, surrounded by numerous stars. And the mountains! I love a mountain on the horizon. Funny, considering that I never had that until adulthood.
This morning, I discovered two more pouches in my suitcase. It was like Christmas! They don't increase the overall capacity of the bag, but they are neat.
I have a bruise the color of a blueberry above my left knee. I regarded it for a moment, puzzled as to its origin, until I remembered that I dropped an amp on my leg on Monday. Amps are heavy, though this one was relatively light. Damned inconvenient place for a bruise.


Wow, I wish that I could get a list going in my side column, but every time I insert the code in my template it does nothing or looks weird. Oh well. Here are a few things that I'm into these days:
*Nellie McKay. If you haven't heard her work, you should check out Get Away From Me.
*Stereolab. How have I only just discovered their work? Maybe I was put off by the pretentious name.
*Pink, though not today because I have a little sunburn on my face. Wearing pink really brings that out.
*My new suitcase, which was made by Drop, a company that makes bags for skateboarders, snowboarders, et al to carry their gear. It is so well designed, big without being mammoth, and it's my favorite color--blue! It was a total steal too, I realize now that I've checked out a couple of the travel stores around town. Luggage isn't cheap, unless you want cheap luggage.

I took a stab at the little R2 ponch I've had planned for a while. The idea was to work on it during my marathon trani ride, but I got impatient. So, that sock I have stashed in my office continues to languish. I didn't get very far on the ponch, because the rag yarn is hard to push around on my big bamboo circs and it quickly became clear to me that the designer grossly underestimated the amount of yarn required. Well, shit. I'm going to begin on my Phildar wraparound cardigan instead (think DVF).
I bought a French textbook/workbook for immediate to advanced French speakers. It annoys the shit out of me, but I will soldier on. I need a bit of a refresher so that I don't sound like an idiot whenever I open my mouth. That's the frustrating thing about speaking a second language; you'll never have the same vocabulary or facility as you do in your mother tongue. Today, I did an exercise in which I had to describe the aftermath of a car accident. None of the juicy stuff, like the cause or circumstances of the crash, but a laundry list of injuries. I hope that there are some useful phrases deeper in the book.
My roommate moved out today. I'm a little sad. Sad that she's gone and sad that there's still a lot to be done around the apartment. Half of our lamps don't work. I have to replace several light bulbs if I don't want them taken out of my deposit, including one of those damn specialty globes that people put around mirrors. I can't get too upset about buying lightbulbs. Maybe it's just stress about moving soon. I am looking forward to my trip and not having nosebleeds all the time, but the logistics of the whole thing are a big headache.
I've got my ipod fully reloaded. I added the audio version of Bill Clinton's autobiography (abridged), intending to listen to it on the train. I'm already about half way through it. He really gets bogged down in details, but it has a very conversational tone. Maybe I wouldn't feel that way if I were reading the text instead of listening to it. I've still got several books to read on my journey: A Moveable Feast (so far, so good) Orwell's Down and Out in London and Paris (probably depressing, but classic, and not in any book club), and The Great Gatsby. I recently had a wonderful conversation with a neighbor and friend about why people shouldn't read GG in high school. It's one of those few, shimmering novels that people read during adolescence and rarely reread. What a shame. So that is how I hope to keep myself entertained for three days on a train. Three days!


I'm wearing my hooded sweater for the first time. But I'm wearing it without the hood. I am sooooo pissed. This is the second time that I've had a major problem with a pattern from the Yarn Girls book. The hood is dinky. Crazy small, even though I made it larger than the pattern directed. Were you to see it, when I tried it on in front of the mirror, you would dissolve into peals of laughter. This is really disappointing for me, because I've wanted to make this sweater since I first bought the book a couple of years ago. Now I know better. I might make another hood, with help from my excellent mother, of a completely differently design. I can't believe that I spent so many hours on that dinky little hood! Seriously, it would only fit someone with a head the size of a coconut! I thought about taking the project to their store to see what they had to say about it, but they were very defensive about corrections to their patterns in the past. Fortunately, the sweater looks good without the hood, but it's not the same.
I'm working on reloading my ipod. Well, some of it is new material, like the new Ryuichi Sakamoto cd. It's very time consuming, even though it doesn't have to be recorded in real time like the minidisc. Now I understand why people use services like podload, which initially struck me as being very lazy. I'm not putting anywhere close to my whole collection onto my ipod now, and it's taking ages. Ah, well.


My upstairs neighbors are having a loud party and it's making me cranky. Earlier, they were shouting right outside my window and I stuck my head out to inform them of this fact. They were mildly apologetic. Now, I have bass rumbling emanating from my ceiling. I don't want to be the asshole who has it broken up, but I'd also like some peace and quiet. It's like this all the time! It's like living in the dorms again! Argh! I feel so old. But I am too old for this shit. I want to relax with a book before going to sleep or listen to some NPR. My roommate is actually trying to get some sleep, as she has to get up in the morning. She doesn't want to be the asshole either.
We bought some cleaning supplies at Target to clean casa de kirstin today. They're really fabulous. I attacked the sink in the bathroom with a cucumber scented all surface cleanser, which both kicked ass and smelled fantastic, like perfume or a facial mask. I can't wait to use the ylang ylang shower spray and almond wood polish tomorrow.
I started assembling my blue cotton hooded sweater today. I've got the shoulder seams done and one of the sleeves 60% set in. I'd work on it now, as it is unlikely that I will sleep unless I narc on the revellers above, but there isn't enough light in my apartment. Our lamps keep breaking. Soon, I fear that I will be entirely dependent upon my maglite for illumination. And that isn't going to be pretty.
I started packing today, in a half-assed fashion. I'm not ready to leave, looking at the calendar, but I am emotionally prepared. Also, I think I'll have to ship a couple of boxes back to myself, so it's good to get a head start. My new suitcase is awesome. It has many exciting compartments for various purposes, like a passport pocket (discreet but easily accessible), mesh pockets for sweaty clothes, and wheels! All it needs now is a tag and a little Canadian flag.
Ashley got an email from her uncle tonight that featured an animated photo of him talking. It was funny, but also a little freaky. When she wasn't playing the audio track, it just sat there and blinked at her, like the paintings in Harry Potter.


Life has certainly had its ups and downs lately. My ipod has been returned to me, finally fixed. I've loaded most of the music that was on there before I originally sent it in for repairs. It has allowed me to organize my music more efficiently.
The people who work in reception must really be sick of me since I often stop by their desk to check for packages. They don't notify us of them in a timely fashion, so I look at their log when I am in the neighborhood. I'm expecting a few packages--my bag for my trip and a cute Paul Frank watch that I bought on eBay. My roommate and I wonder, is Paul Frank related to Lisa Frank?
I am still working on my blue hooded sweater. I've finished everything but the hood. I thought when I finished the second sleeve that it was almost done. Ha. The hood is nearly as large as the body of the sweater. Insert whatever joke you'd like about my big melon here. I hope to finish the sweater this weekend.
My roommate and I watched Oprah this afternoon. Bill Clinton was her guest, and quite charming. Ash and I are talking about getting his audio book. I'm not usually into audio books, since I feel that I can read faster. However, Clinton's reading was wonderful and ponderous.
Today, I realized an unexpected benefit of my upcoming trip. I probably won't be subjected to political ads for a month. We've got a pretty steady stream of campaign commercials here in New Mexico.
A new Trader Joe's opened a couple of blocks away from my apartment, to great fanfare, this week. Ashley and I went over there to check the place out. TJ's was packed with flaky granola-eaters with an absolute oblivion to aisle traffic. I bought a cheap bottle of sangria to enjoy on yet another rainy evening (ah, monsoon season), which is actually decent. I also bought some cheap Brie. An inspection of the receipt revealed the cheese to be of Canadian origin. Maybe if I drink enough sangria, I won't care.

I'm Really into the Following Things Now:
*Party Shuffle in itunes. Genius! It just makes my music collection sound better and better, and makes up for the shitty radio stations out here.
*Rachael Yamagata and Nick Drake. Watch out for patchouli and vanilla candles next.
*Newer Wave. Like the New Wave, but now. If you don't get it, check out any of the following groups: The Sounds, Sahara Hotnights, The Hives, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Franz Ferdinand, etc. They're not the Clash, but they're pretty hot.
*A Chai Latte on a rainy morning. I bought some Chai concentrate to wean myself off trips to Starbucks.
*The foreign film section at Hastings. Lately, I've seen Woman is Woman, Morvern Callar, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, The Dreamers, Time Regained (well, I watched half of it), All About My Mother, and Barbarian Invasions. I'm a sucker for a subtitle, I guess.
*Paul Frank. That monkey is just so damned cute.


Quelle Chierie*
I got my ipod back. It had new scratches on it. It's going back to the repair center again. What a drag. I was planning to spend the weekend reloading it, possibly in a better, more organized fashion. So, I'll be without it for about another week, it seems.
I was thinking how great it would be to have my ipod as I walked the two and a half miles back to my apartment from the mall. I was wearing flip flops. That was not originally the plan. I dutifully called the local bus company to check the schedule for today and was given incorrect information. I tried calling the info line after waiting fifteen minutes at the stop. No answer. As I was engaged in that activity, the bus(with an incorrect route sign)drove right past me. So I got some unexpected exercise today.
I rented a couple of DVDs while I was out: The Company and Une Femme est Une Femme. The Company, a Robert Altman film featuring The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, was surprisingly dull, despite a couple of breathtaking dance sequences. Nothing ever really happened, so the ending was anticlimactic. Une Femme est Une Femme was charming, as many French films are. The sound was atrocious, but I believe that was a conscious choice on the part of the filmmaker. One of the more delightful pieces produced by the New Wave.
I bought the soundtrack to Morvern Callar today. That is what is typically called a quiet film, about a woman whose boyfriend commits suicide and leaves her a mix tape. It has a very good use of sound and music, so I had to find the soundtrack. There's a Nancy Sinatra/Lee Hazlewood song on it that is laugh out loud funny. I first thought that it was clever DJ work, intersplicing two unrelated songs, but closer inspection of the liner notes reveals that it was originally cut that way. Lee Hazlewood's sections are very gruff and a little rockabilly, which is quite the contrast with Miss Sinatra's floral verses.
I realized yesterday that I have no idea what the person I've chatted with for the past three months on the back deck is named. I'm such a shit. The point at which it would be acceptable to ask is long past.
Progress on the latest sweater is beginning to stall. I truly loathe knitting sleeves. They move so slowly and just keep getting wider. That is, until you have to decrease all those increases back out. Still, I think a good set-in sleeve is worth it, given the alternatives (dropped shoulders or a sweater vest, ugh). I'm going to power-knit tomorrow, as I'd like to wrap this up and move onto my next project. I've kind of finished my paper sweater. Miraculously, it's the same shade as a thin tank I already owned, so they can be discreetly worn together. I haven't made the hood for it yet, but I kind of enjoy it hoodless.

Current Events Roundup:
*George Bush finally admits the Republicans' true agenda in textbook example of Freudian slip. He claims this slip-up is due to his difficulties with the English language. Thin excuse, given that it is his mother tongue. Also, does he speak any other languages in which he might be more proficient?
*The mormon man believed to have killed his pregnant wife in Utah looks eerily like one of the stage managers at work. Weird.
*Rick James is dead. I hope that this will not diminish my enjoyment of Rick James related material on The Chappelle Show.
*I'm listening to David Bowie's Greatest Hits album. That's hardly newsworthy, but it makes me happy.

One of my friends is leaving tomorrow. This is sad, even though I will probably see him again. He lives only two hours away from me back in IL. He may or may not be able to cart some of my belongings back to the great midwest for me.

*It's not exactly high school French. Email me if you can't guess the meaning.


Life is Short. Opera is Long.
I can't really complain, because I am not assigned to the show currently in tech. So, I have a bit of time to catch up on my knitting. I don't normally have a lot of time for it as my days consist of sleep, work, sleep. Occasionally, there's alcohol in there as well, but that isn't exactly a performance enhancing drug for knitters. So, I spent all of yesterday finishing my caramel striped raglan sweater. It is very cute, even though it hasn't been blocked. I am so glad to be finished with all those stripes and decreases!
I've already started another sweater, about which I am optimistic. The new project has no stripes, therefore, should go much quicker. I am making a hooded sweater with moss stitch detail in Manos Stria cotton yarn. It is as soft as a cloud, with a funky, almost boucle texture. Those women's collective yarns always get me, but this one is actually fabulous. The moss stitch doesn't read as well as it might have in some other fiber, like the wool called for in the pattern, but it has an interesting texture. The yarn is a nice cornflower or sky blue, with many natural variations in color. It's good to be back to my normal palette, haha.
I seem to be out of my Newer Wave phase. That's not to say that I don't like it anymore, but I've been listening to a lot of mellow music instead lately. Maybe I'll make a mellow playlist on my ipod... So, the following artists have been in heavy rotation lately: Rachael Yamagata, Nick Drake, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Rufus Wainwright, and Dido. I also really enjoy the Johnny Cash album that I bought a couple of weeks ago, even though my coworkers complained that it got "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" stuck in their head. That's a very valid complaint, I agree, since that isn't exactly my favorite S&G song. I'd be hard pressed to name one, though I can tell you I love the following albums: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme and Live in Central Park. It's funny how musical taste can be cyclical, and so hard to predict. How did I ever decide which albums to bring along this summer? Last year, I took all of them. Last year, I also took my car. I miss the car more, but sometimes I get an itch to listen to the original cast recording of Company, which I haven't spun in years.
I went to see Fahrenheit 9/11 on Sunday. It was well constructed, with good use of juxtaposition and music. It made me laugh and cry and want to shout obscenities at the screen. Still, I wonder how history will view that film. It's not exactly The Sorrow and the Pity, but who knows how that film will affect the election. Most of the people who were in the theatre where I saw it were clearly already democrats (although it's hard to say about the two inexplicable preteen boys). Later, I rented several art films. How predictable.
I was already a little angry about politics in this country as I cannot watch my scrambly television without being subjected to a barrage of campaign ads. The Bush commercials are so, so evil. Like the one that basically attacks John Kerry for supporting a woman's right to choose and her right to privacy. As I told my mother a few years ago, beware of any government that seeks to control women's bodies. That's where it always begins. It is so clear to me that the Republicans don't give a shit about women, as illustrated by their much touted Laci Peterson law. First, that law won't protect any woman from harm, as their ads claim, only provide greater potential punishment. Why not strengthen existing laws against domestic violence and violence against women? Why not actually enforce them before writing legislation to protect "unborn children", a phrase that makes me gag every time I come across it? Well, it's hard to tout that sort of thing in campaign ads, isn't it?
I'm going to get back to my knitting now.


Taking the Good with the Bad

Good: I've finally finished the back of the striped mercerized cotton sweater that's been sitting on my coffee table for ages!
Bad: Hours and hours of weaving in ends. Somehow, I always forget that part when I decide to undertake a striped project. Lots and lots of weaving. Weaving and seaming are my least favorite activities in the construction of a knitted garment.

Bad: I have to send my ipod in for service.
Good: The shipping box to send it to the repair center arrived from Apple the day after I requested it. They don't mess around at Apple.
More Bad: One of my coworkers threw the box in the trash and I had to spend twenty minutes on the phone with Apple repair this afternoon in order to have another one sent. I don't really understand how the box appeared to be trash to the coworkers, as it had very nice fitted foam inside and many important looking codes on the exterior.
Also, I discovered today that Apple is rolling out a new generation of ipods with a longer battery life and lower sticker price. If only I had waited!!

Good: I finally joined Hostelling International.
Bad: Because of the exchange rate, I still cannot afford to stay at the Georgian hostel near Covent Garden. It'd be lovely, but I'd like to eat while I'm there.

Bad: My roommate and I went to see Anchorman over the weekend. The screening was horrible! It looked as though they had dragged the print of the film across the floor of the projection booth before the show. The sound had a terrible low repetitive hum, very similar to the sound of the sprockets on the projector. Except more annoying. They had to stop the film twice (or was it three times?).
Good: I complained afterwards and got my money back. I saw it for free!


My ipod is sick. That makes me sad, since I've had it less than a month. The battery isn't holding a charge, which is apparently a well-known problem with ipods. I knew that going into this adventure, but was optimistic that I wouldn't have any problems. There was about a week of denial before I sent in a service request at the Apple website. They claim a one week turnaround once the ipod reaches them. Hope that's true, because I don't want to be deprived of my expensive toy for long. I just bought it a blue jacket.
Other news: I've started knitting a new pair of socks. The pink fairisle socks are done, finally, after a long period of neglect. My current sock project is a basic ribbed design made out of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock yarn in the Green Mountain Madness colorway. I work on it during downtime in the shows, of which I have a lot. My prodigious sock making is funny considering that I rarely wear socks. Nevertheless, socks are a nice portable project. I haven't had much time to work on my striped cotton sweater, to my disappointment. The sweater is stalled on the needles until I have more free time or less interest in sleep.
I've recently become interested in Phildar designs. Phildar is a French yarn company that also has pret a porter at their stores in France. As far as I can tell from their website, they don't have a store near to where I will be traveling in September. And, I won't be able to get the lovely english-language translations that my Canadian sources supply. Ah, well. I purchased a kit to make a wraparound cardigan (kind of DVF influenced) out of a lovely, shaded cotton blend yarn. It's waiting until I finish the striped cotton sweater. I'd also like to make a few other projects from Tendences de Printemps, but I'd like to keep my options open for a while.
I am curious about Rowan's new line, which tries hard to capture the hip, young design kids/knitters market, R2. The book (or magazine, hard to tell) retails for $20 in this country, but only costs five pounds in the UK. I'll wait.
You can check out these projects and more at the following links:
www.knitrowan.com and www.knitntyme.com


Here's to the Ladies Who Brunch
and to anyone who understands that reference....
My roommate and I haven't seen a lot of each other lately, since our work schedules are very different at the moments. This morning, we donned non-work clothes and headed to a posh hotel downtown for brunch. It was unspeakably lovely. Since we'd slept in, we could legally order alcohol from the bar and did. It was the strongest mimosa I've ever had, which is not a complaint. Ashley and I chatted about work easily and our plans for the end of the season. I think that I will miss her when we are done here. We've vowed to make a weekly brunch outing for the rest of the summer. That will guarantee that we see each other at least one a week.

We're still having a lot of problems with equipment failure/breakage at work. It's really ridiculous at this level. Nonetheless, we soldier on as amps switch into protect mode in the middle of a performance, clear com channels decide to stop working, and last minute requests are issued. All par for the course.

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
I bought a pair of brown mary janes this week. It's been a while since I've worn shoes with buckles on a regular basis. In fact, I cannot remember such a time. The shoes are cute as a button, but there was one aspect that I had not anticipated. Small, sturdy buckles are very hard to operate when one is drunk or exhausted. There are four total between my new Docs. Still, I am quite happy with my purchase.

A Few Thoughts:
*When did doing laundry become a luxury?
*What was Apple thinking when they designed the exterior of the ipod? They're gorgeous to look at, but the design is pretty impractical.
*I'm looking for Johnny Cash cds. If you've got some in your collection, drop me a line. I'd like recommendations.
*Family reunions: yea or nay?


I bought an ipod this week. I'm having digital music related growing pains. I spent most of the morning uploading cds to my ipod, then accidentally erased most of them later (I thought that I was just taking the files off of my laptop, but the changes tracked into the ipod as well). Well, at least now I know how not to do that. Most discoveries in A/V seem to occur that way. This is not to say that I am unhappy with my purchase--I am happily eating ramen noodles to afford it. So, I'm learning new things about itunes.
Things are a bit stressful at work, mostly due to the imminent opening of the season. I overheard a coworker make a wildly unflattering remark about me, but never confronted him on the matter. For one thing, I'd have to admit that I was eavesdropping (a little unavoidable under the circumstances). Also, I have no idea what I could possibly say. "It really hurt me when you said..." or "I heard you say this and fuck you too"? Neither is a workable solution. I have to work with this person for the rest of the summer. So, things have been awkward. And undoubtedly solely awkward for me, as I do not think that he knows that I overheard him. The women in my family have long memories when it comes to perceived wrongs and slights, so this feeling may last a while.
I don't have many other things going on in my life in the moment. I go to work, I go home, sometimes I listen to a little music or watch fuzzy television, reread one of my books for the third time, etc. It's not as exciting as other people might think, largely because everything closes so early. I have been to two dance concerts here, which is more than I'd been to in ages. I don't think I've ever gone to a dance concert in Chicago....I've also been to one of the swankiest flea markets known to mankind, where I purchased a nifty ring reminiscent of NTSC colorbars. What can I say, I'm a nerd. So it's not as bad as all that, just incredibly wearying at times.
My knitting is going slowly, since I rarely work on it. I'm still working on the sleeves of my camel and crimson raglan sweater. I decided to start with the sleeves, as I have a lousy track record of completing garments with sleeves. In my defense, I will say that they are long sleeves worked in a relatively small gauge. And the project doesn't travel because it's being worked off of a giant cone. So I'm working on a pair of socks at work, when we have downtime. It's a bit frustrating to make so little progress on my projects, but that is usually the case when there are several ongoing.


You may have noticed that I changed my blog template. It was time for a new look, I think we can all agree. Sadly, I lost all of the personalization that I made in my old template, like a link to my email, my top ten lists, links, et al. I made them so long ago that I can't remember the tags. Sigh.
Maybe I'll be in artist mode tonight and not worry about it. I can work on my camel and crimson sweater (so far, only part of one raglan sleeve done. Sleeves seem to be my bete noire) and watch the Tonys on my scrambly television. I've taken to keeping a plastic bag atop the set, so that I can sheath my hand in it before touching the antennae. I am sick of shocking myself!
Suggestions for blog improvement are welcome. Suggestions of increased frequency are not.

Living for the Weekend
I am now perched in a laid-back cafe in Santa Fe, nursing a drink and taking advantage of their free wifi service. Free! And they don't seem likely to give me the bum's rush for staying too long. This cafe is just minutes, walking distance, from my apartment.
I had the weekend off. This is unprecedented. This is unlikely to happen again for the rest of my contract. It was heaven. Many, if not most, places are closed on Sundays here, as it is a heavily catholic town. So my usual day off is not terribly useful to me. I tried to make the most of my precious Saturday. I checked out the local yarn stores (one is phenomenal, casual, and artistic, all in one), window shopped in the cathedral district, and went to see a movie at the mall. That was a bit of a let-down. I often go to art films (that is not a euphemism!), where one is unlikely to see many babes-in-arms. It was babies-a-go-go at Shrek 2 yesterday. Yes, it's a cartoon, but how much enjoyment can an infant really get out of a movie? Later, one of my pals from work came over and we headed out to a very chill little party. Again, I forgot that I am ten times higher here than I am used to at home, and therefore can really only drink Shirley Temples.
I was very pleased to discover the quality of one of the LYSs. The proprietor was incredibly helpful and kind. She even told me that she could order things for me and ship them (all the way across town), as it is unlikely I'll be able to return. Very, very cool. I bought some lovely blue Peruvian cotton that was hand-dyed in giant copper kettles, as well as a pattern book of natty modular patterns. Not the scary ones that you find in the back of the Vogue book, more like a choose-your-own-adventure of knitting.
I haven't blogged in a while. It doesn't seem like something that I can get away with at work. So I was a little surprised and confused to find that my blogging interface looks completely different than the last time I visited. Whoops. Apparently, there are new improved features, which I have yet to explore. Maybe things will look different the next time you visit this page.


I'm supposed to leave in a week. I feel like a kid waiting for christmas. If I could wake up tomorrow and have that be the 16th, I'd be so relieved. I'd like to get this travelling thing over and done with. Twenty-four hours on a train isn't my idea of a laugh, but it was compellingly cheap.
That being said, I'm not packed at all. Not only have I not packed anything, I have heaps of laundry to do. And I need to know what to take. I haven't heard anything about company housing, other than that they have some. This is all terribly frustrating to me. I was really spoiled by the company management at the Pillow, who sent out a massive binder full of info on the company, the area, and all other useful facts. I've not encountered such a thing since.
The biggest conundrum of packing is deciding what I'll knit for the next roughly four months. Very, very hard to predict. I'm on a real knitting roll now, finishing off a couple of UFOs and whipping through a pair of jacquard socks. It's gratifying, but a mere drop in the bucket. I have loads of socks (literally, loads when it comes time to do the handwashing), and I want to tackle bigger projects. Do not interpret this as a desire to make anything for you. If I want to make you something, I probably already have. I have so many wonderful things hidden away in my stash that I don't know where to begin. This calls for copious list-making.
I had lunch with my beloved ex-boyfriend this past week. He's the only one of my friends that will go to the noodle shop with me. This time I remembered to order without the carrots, as to avoid disastrous allergic reactions. He just lost his job and is surprisingly blase about the whole thing. He's usually a very lucky fellow, and I'm sure that things will work out well for him. He's intelligent, articulate, well-liked, etc. Someone is bound to hire him. In the meantime, he's lazing around and wearing purple metallic nail polish. It was strangely attractive.
Other things that are going on... I got my hair cut. I made swedish meatballs with Lewis. I still haven't listened to that Richard Feynmann lecture series and suspect that I won't have time. I went to the post office to pick up passport applications and discovered that I can get one cheap and quick, since I've already had one. I think it's funny that they want to know what your plans are, as though people don't get passports on a whim, or to insure that they could take that spur of the moment flight to Paris if they wanted. I don't have any plans, but I want to be able to get up and go later. That doesn't fit into the tiny box on the form though.
I was supposed to go back to Iowa to see one of my friend's directorial efforts in the New Works Festival. I chickened out. Things are always a little heavy when I have to pack up my life and go away for months on end. And I have a lot of loose ends to tie up. And I just couldn't get excited about that four hour drive through monotonous farm country. I guess I'm not a very good friend.


I googled myself today. What a disappointment. There were six pages of results, and none of them were about me. Who knew that there were so many people with my name out there in the world. Of course, my last name is incredibly common, but my first name isn't. There was even another person with my name working in theatre. Luckily, we work in different areas of theatre, so I doubt that there will ever be any confusion. At least, I hope there won't ever be any confusion.

I read a book about historic English-language autograph manuscripts. Well, I mostly looked at the photographs and read the detail-rich captions. It was very interesting. I discovered that there was one almost universal characteristic to great English-language authors: none of them had nice penmanship.

What an old-fashioned concept, I know, but I'm old-fashioned in an odd way. I am a liberal politically, but a conservative grammatically. I hate when people use apostrophes to make nouns plural. I dislike finding grammatical errors in publications (though I was once thrilled to find one in the New York Times several years ago). Hell, my school paper in college often had typos and errors in the headlines. I still think of language as prescriptive rather than descriptive, even though I doubt many schools still promote that idea. I'm in love with the printed word. I'm in love with words, full stop. I learned the word in French for "the clap" this week, and it gives me a little intellectual thrill. The beauty of collecting words or ideas or knowledge is that they don't clutter up your house. There is a seemingly infinite supply.


I've decided to engage in more intellectual endeavors. To that end, I have checked out a collection of recording of Richard Feynman's famous "Six Easy Pieces" lectures. He only delivered them once at Caltech in the early sixties. My physics TA in college called Feynman the only great native American physicist. By this, I think he meant that he was the only genius that we didn't import.

I read a biography of Ted Hughes that one of my friends in New York lent me. It was a little dry, but interesting. It concentrated on his intellectual and romantic involvement with Sylvia Plath. The author really flogged this to death. Hughes outlived her by decades and went on to do a great many things after her death, but their marriage is usually in the first paragraph of any article about him. The book reminded me of an honors seminar that I took in college that examined the intellectual exchange between Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. It was fascinating.

I've also decided that I would like to improve my French. I've basically neglected it since college and fear that I may lose all comprehension of the language if I do not act. I took an online test and scored in the intermediate range. I suppose I should be thrilled by that, since I haven't had to speak French every day since 1998. However, I did put in the equivalent of six years of study of the language. I've been chatting with some francophones online and pondering the old Berlitz tapes at the public library. I should give my old instructor a call to see what kind of maintenance/refresher she suggests.

The new Sigur Ros EP is amazing. Amazing! It sounds like the soundtrack to a dark, sophisticated, sexy foreign film. Not surprising, considering that it was composed in collaboration with Merce Cunningham. I highly recommend the EP to any soundtrack, ambient, or Scandi fans out there. I recommend buying it from iTunes instead of going out and buying the disc, if you can. It cost me less than three dollars online, after I saw it for eight bucks at Borders! I am discovering that a lot of albums are cheaper online, though I am still torn about digital music vs. physical recordings. I still get a thrill out of going to the store and buying an album and taking it home to listen to it for the first time. Of course, I occasionally still slip and call them records, so that should give you an idea of my tastes.

I listened to some amazing music by Jobim Gilberto's daughter online today. Naturally, it was bossa nova. I would be very surprised, what with her parental influences and all, if she put out a rap album. Warm days call for sunny music like the bossa nova. Today was a lovely, lovely day. The cherry blossom trees outside the public library are in full bloom and very fragrant. I happened to glance at one out the window of the reading room and was transfixed by its technicolor pink against an equally vibrant blue sky. Ah, spring! I was also giving the Yeah Yeah Yeahs a spin on my MD at the time. That is a really great album. Not at all like the aforementioned Gilberto recording, but very strong in its own right.

I made my friend Bob Marcus a hat out of lovely variegated cotton and merino blend yarn. It's my usual little rolled-brim stoner hat, but in cotton instead of wool. I love it. He and I have the same size head (which is funny, when you think about it), so I've been wearing it for quality-control purposes. I don't want to give it away now and will probably end up making another one.


I thought that Apple had some crazy-genius method of categorizing my itunes purchases. They were in such an eclectic line-up (just like me. I'm a real Pisces). At least I thought so until this afternoon, when I went on a little itunes spree. Maybe half of my cousin's gift certificate remains, and all of my pepsi caps are used up. This afternoon, I headed over to the local Borders to use a fast wifi connection instead of my slow as molasses dial up to download some music. Fabulous, except I'm having problems with my wifi.... Luckily, the people at T-Mobile are really nice when I call with my dumb questions. So, I bought a bunch of tunes, including the new Sigur Ros EP, and what many radio formatters would refer to as "golden oldies". The Drive is practically a permanent fixture on my radio dial, so it doesn't surprise me that I have Bob Dylan and The Darkness in the same line-up, Dusty Springfield and They Might Be Giants next to each other. I happened to look at my list after my spending spree, wondering how my songs would be categorized, when I realized what kind of crazy-genius order they're in. They're alphabetical by the artist's first name. My playlist is a little soft right now, very much in the spirit of these lovely, lazy spring days of late. This kind of weather really calls for lying in a sunny spot in the grass, flying a kite, and listening to Joni Mitchell. Vanilla candles and patchouli optional.

I am going stir-crazy. Climbing the walls. Bored to tears. I’ve read my back log of New Yorkers, Tin House, Granta, and Money Magazine. I spent hours in bed yesterday, thinking the big questions: What am I doing with my life? Why am I here? What is going to become of me? I’ve recently accepted that I do not know what is going to happen.
I do know that I need to get a job. Not strictly for financial reasons, but because I need something to do. This feeling usually takes a month to set in, but it’s taken less than two weeks since I left the playhouse.
So I’m pounding the virtual pavement again, making the usual round of phone calls. I’ve looked at jobs that I wouldn’t normally touch with a barge pole. Companies I’ve never heard of, in fly-over states, which offer weekly rates that probably don’t even equal minimum wage. Argh.
I took off my St. Christopher medal for the first time in a month. It feels odd. I think that he’s becoming one of my favorite saints. More optimistic than Jude, less arty than Genesius, and less verbose than Augustine… I do travel often. I asked the nun at the religious bookstore where I bought the medal about the de-listing of St. Christopher. She told me that we just have to take him on faith. Luckily, I didn’t laugh until after I got out of the store.
I took on an ambitious project this week: a fairisle hat knit in the round. It started as an adaptation of a Rowan Big Wool pattern, worked at a much smaller gauge, but that was quickly abandoned. I’ve never done fairisle before. The ease is surprising, though it isn’t as mindless as my usual projects. The hat is goose shit green and slate blue, with ear flaps.
I got a phone call from my friend Bob at last. We’re playing permanent phone tag. He left a charming, rambling message and I responded in kind. He’s at the playhouse for the rest of the season. It’s a living, I guess.
I celebrated my friend Harlie’s birthday, with very short notice, on Monday. We met at the diner, neither of us feeling any pain. I was clad in a neon pink wig, bubble gum pink Burberry knock-off raincoat, and $6 worth of vintage jewelry. A couple of gentlemen mistook me for a lady-of-the-evening as I waited for Harlie, which was très amusant. I was standing on the corner at the time.
Harlie recently had a party at her apartment, which is one of many recent parties to which I’ve not been invited. I think the last party that I attended was the one that I threw last July. Maybe I’m predestined to a life of Saturday nights at home with the Sunday Times.


My trip back to Chicago was a little less enchanted. It rained and rained and rained. There was fog and sleet and a general funk. There were unexplained lane closures, bumper to bumper traffic in the middle of nowhere, and many, many trucks. I dislike driving near trucks even in good weather, but especially in the rain. It took me about eight hours to get across Pennsylvania when it should have only taken six. Then I hydroplaned in Ohio and was almost blown of the turnpike by a semi. I decided to pull over and take a nap at one of their amazing rest stops. I ended up sleeping several hours in the cramped backseat of my Ford while trying to wait out the rain.
I was prepared. I had blankets, pillows, old New Yorkers, a Maglite, and my walkman. What else could a girl want? Well, I wished that I were shorter or the car wider. I had to curl up into the tightest fetal position. One of my friends who is from Ohio gave me a call. It was very pleasant. Then I woke up around five am and drove to the next rest stop, where I took another nap and visited Starbucks. I was so relieved that the rain had passed. The second day was much easier. It also had a high hick factor. I stopped a couple of places in Indiana and was amazed by how different it is from its adjacent states. I saw a woman at McDonald’s wearing an openwork crocket tank top on a sixty degree day without anything under or over it. That’s a bold choice.
When I got home, I had three New Yorkers, a Tin House, and a copy of Bitch awaiting me. Huzzah! I’ve been home a couple of days, and I’ve read everything but the Tin House. I am so enamored of the printed word, especially sparkling, witty, liberal printed word.
I dragged my mother out to purchase a wifi card for my laptop with my federal tax refund. It is the bee’s knees! I wish I’d done it sooner, but if I had, I would have gotten one of the older ones. I purchased a Belkin 54g card, which fits smartly into the slot in my laptop. Now I can take the Viao out to Starbucks, Borders, and McDonalds (supposedly, they’re going wifi in the next six months at 18,000 locations. I’m not sure that I want to use my laptop someplace full of screaming children, grease, and creeps), and network at Frisky’s, since he has a wireless router. Yee haw! The rates for the hot spots are kind of high, though I can get a good deal if I commit to a monthly renewable plan through my wireless provider. I’m not sure if that’s best for me, given the unpredictability of my income. I’d also like to avoid being nickel-and-dimed to death. So, I’m going to try this out for a month and evaluate how often I use it. It may be worthwhile to go unlimited for $19.99 (plus tax). I don’t know. It certainly is nifty to take the laptop out for a spin.


It has been nearly a month since my last blog because I have been away from my home base. I have been away from my computer as well, which is an odd occurrence given that I use a laptop. I left the laptop at home and brought along my tablet pc. It’s pretty neat, but I didn’t have access to a phone line where I was housed. Yeah, no phone line, no access to computers at work; I was completely dependent on the ancient pc at the public library and the eMacs at the local internet café. In either location, there was no way to print and an eye on the clock. It was very, very frustrating.

My job was a three week gig in Eastern Pennsylvania. I won’t name names, though it may be fairly evident to anyone who’s talked to me lately. The housing was in the middle of nowhere. The theatre was falling apart. It was a “character building experience”. Except it wasn’t.

The wireless mics kept dying on me, even though they were always fine during sound check. There must be some nice technical term for that, but I don’t know it. It certainly led to many “oh shit” moments. One of the actors sweated like a pig and killed two mic heads before I realized the cause of the malfunctions. Medical tape is always cheaper than microphones.
One day, I got a bad batch of nine volt batteries. Half of them died before we’d even finished the first act of the show. The stage manager, who is not really a stage manager but an electrician, was on my ass about it for the rest of the run. She badgered me about changing the batteries for every performance—which I always, always do---even insisting on changing them herself for the last matinee. I hate being treated as though I am incompetent or don’t care. I do care. I want to have a good show. I hate having train wrecks. I hate feeling as though I am not in control of the show (at least the sound elements), which happened several times during the run. I was lucky that the actors were very flexible about mic reassignments and really saved my ass on more than one occasion. Actors should be kind to their sound engineer. We can make them sound like a million dollars or the worst hack.

The highlight of this sojourn east was a long weekend in NYC. I spent the three days off between our Sunday matinee and Thursday evening show in Gotham with friends. It was wonderful. I pounded the pavement everyday. My legs ached. My feet were blistered. I was in my element.
In New York, I did the following:
•Continued my tradition of buying a Manhattan Portage bag from their tiny shop front on West Broadway in Chinatown. I purchased the flight bag, in black, which is a very good size, sleek, and very practical. I wore it out of the shop.
•I made my usual pilgrimage to School Products for giant cones of yarn. The proprietor, an Eastern European woman who’s been knitting for about a million years was unusually attentive. I ended up purchasing three cones of mercerized cotton, very similar to Karabella’s Zodiac yarn, in ice blue, camel, and red. Very, very classy color combinations. When the owner fussed over my eye for color, I was surprised. It wasn’t until later that I realized she was surprised that someone wearing a neon pink wig would have such discriminating taste.
•I went to a movie. I realize that we have movies out in the sticks, too. I like to see something different when I’m in the city. This has included the following in the past: Camp, Huit Femmes, and Drunken Angel. This time, I went to see Triplets of Belleville at the Chelsea Clearview in the late afternoon, on the recommendation of a good friend. There were only five people there. The other four sat directly behind me and talked throughout the film. When I realized that it was a mother and her young children, I couldn’t work up the nerve for a good “shut the %%## up”. I was still irritated. I recommend the film, nonetheless.
•I went to The Beauty Bar, a highly anticipated visit. They’re known for their ten dollar manicures and cocktails in a tiny, dimly lit former beauty parlor. They weren’t doing nails the night that I was there, but they did have a nice happy hour. It was the cheapest cocktail I’ve ever purchased in Manhattan!
•I paid a visit to KnitNY, about which I’d read many things on the stitchnbitch listserv. It’s a nice, glossy store, but they were a bit understaffed when I was there. I ended up helping a beginning knitter put together a project while the sales clerk was tied up with other customers. I’m such a girl scout. They had the perfect elements for a gift for Lisa, who is learning to knit, and let me use their swift, so I really can’t complain. Also, I enjoyed calling information for their info and asking for “New York, New York”. I’m such a nerd.
•I had lunch with friends. I say had instead of did because there were no cocktails or reservations involved.

It was a good trip, and just the right length. Of course, I didn’t want to go back to PA at the end of it, but my things were there. And there was the small matter of my contract. So I went back, all of my purchases in tow. I had to make half dozen transfers on the subway to get from Greenpoint to Astoria, since the G only runs out there nights and weekends. Argh. Luckily, there was a very helpful man sitting in front of the map in the car on the Q who helped me find the local N station. Sadly, this involved walking several blocks while toting all my luggage, but I got there. I chalk it up to my St. Christopher medal. I think that the gentleman in question wanted to strike up a conversation anyway….but he gave good directions.

I had one good show of Superstar. I was pretty frazzled by shit that happened before the show, what with arguments over batteries, mics going haywire, etcetera. I managed to squeeze in a trip to the local Starbucks. Considering my allegiance to wonderful indie coffee shops, you’d think that I’d hate Starbucks. I don’t. You always know what you’ll get at Starbucks. It’s the overpriced McDonald’s of coffee.

Anyway, the intern decided that she’d “fix” one of the mic packs by spreading the battery contacts with her car keys. She demonstrated that it worked by turning the pack on and showing me the tiny LED light on top, rather than checking for signal to the board. I told her I wouldn’t put it in the show because I wasn’t confident that it would work during the show. She must have said, “I don’t know why you won’t use it in the show. It should work now” about five or six times before I just walked away. I wanted to scream at her, “because you’re the f$^#ing intern!” She’s still in her teens. Maybe she’ll outgrow it. The show was our best, sound wise, and it was our last. The producer never came to see it. Oh well.


Hey Hijinksters, it's been a while since my last post. I've been a busy, busy girl lately. You see, I met my quarter century mark this past Sunday. Naturally, there was no way to get everyone I love together for one celebration, so it stretched out like an ancient roman festival to one week. This involved three cakes, some cocktails, a floral arrangement, nouvelle cuisine, and a small roman candle. Fireworks and the indoors don't mix. The smell was atrocious!
I've also been packing up my gear for a gig in the great state of Pennsylvania. Or is PA a commonwealth? I've done a lot of laundry. I finally got around to doing all of my handwashing, which was back-breaking work. Using the bathtub for this process seemed like a good idea at the start, but forced me to practically stand on my head to agitate the garments. I washed all of my handmade socks, a felted purse and wallet, two shells, and a cardigan. As I worked the sweater in lazy circles in the dye-seeped bath, I had an irrational urge to make another sweater like it. That sweater did not meet my expectations when I first made it, but now that it's properly blocked, I think that I will love it.
The past week has also featured feverish creation of minidiscs. They're far less desirable to thieves and much more compact. And my minidisc player is more power-(therefore cost-) efficient than my discman. This decision required me to attempt to predict my musical yearnings for the next month or so. I think that I've made about a dozen new discs, ranging from Glenn Gould to Sahara Hotnights. I also had a fairly respectable collection squirreled away, which I sorted into piles like Scrooge counting his coins. Fortunately, my cousin Chris gave me a MD organizer for xmas a couple years ago. His brother is giving me his ipod when he trades up, so this last gasp at embracing the minidisc is funny and a little sad. I think that I'll keep my MD around, for when I don't want the "steal-me" allure of the ipod or when I want to make field recordings, messages for Willie B., make show discs, etc., but our relationship will be forever altered by the ipod. I used my MD player today as I did some shopping in the Loop. I finally found a pair of short-line cans to replace mine, so that I can use the remote again. It's really handy. And who doesn't want to listen to Swedish garage rock while shopping for a St. Christopher medal?
In other news, I finally managed to sync my tablet pc to a desktop. It required me to haul it up to the north side to connect to Lewis's eMachine, but it finally works as I'd hoped! I installed a pared-down version of AOL to it, so that I can still get my email while I'm on the road. Huzzah! I am so excited/relieved by this development that I can barely put the feelings into words.
Now, all I have to do is clean out my car...


I watched the Oscars tonight. It was a terribly predictable evening. As always, the technical categories, such as sound editing, makeup, editing, et al, were poorly judged. Those "minor" awards almost always go to the big popular favorite because people cannot differentiate between a great movie they enjoyed and one with good editing, sound design, scoring, etc. It's really too bad, because many truly talented artists go unrecognized due to the academy's penchant for movies with loud explosions, hideously expensive special effects, and a big gross. I was happy that Digidesign got a Technical Achievement award for the development of its ProTools sound editing system. The importance of that program cannot be overstated. I love it, and naturally, I can't afford it.
The whole evening was pretty dull. The only interesting speech given was by Blake Edwards. Of course, since it was a lifetime achievement award, he had time to prepare. I added a few things to my list of films that I'd like to see, kept a scorecard, and knitted furiously. My picks were not as astute as they've been in the past, largely because I made sentimental choices instead of politic ones. I wanted Bill Murray to win best actor, and Keisha Castle-Hughes to win best actress, though I can think of many reasons that they didn't. I was surprised that Canada won the Foreign Language category, even though American audiences find French language films more accessible than, say, Japanese. There were several films nominated that were featured at the film festival I worked in the fall. Made me wish that I'd gone to more films then.
I've resolved not to buy any sock yarn until my stash is greatly diminished. I have enough sock yarn for a month of Sundays at present. Socks are an easier project to which to commit, I guess, and a smaller financial outlay than, say, a sweater. Still, do I want to work in small gauge forever? I don't even wear socks most of the time!
I finished the beautiful pastel socks in Schaefer yarn, a very luxurious blend of fibers but very fine. Eleven stitches to the inch fine. So when I started working on a pair of socks for my grandfather's upcoming birthday at seven stitches to the inch, it felt luxuriously large gauged. It's all relative. The birthday socks came as a bit of a revelation. I'm making them from Cherry Tree Hill Supersock, with which I have never worked. What a pleasant surprise! I knew that their yarns were beautiful, but they also have a magnificent hand. Supersock feels a lot like Koigu sock yarn, which is an expensive, rare beast in this area. I even have another skein of Supersock in my stash!
I'm working on my raglan colorblock sweater in fits and starts. I don't want to make it with a v neck after all, so I have to chart out a crewneck instead. Knitting is just one big story problem, minus trains in different cities leaving stations.... It isn't terribly difficult to make the necessary alterations, just tedious. Since I cannot start on the sleeves until I've finished the body, I'm stalled on this project.

What if the internet were a physical place that you went to?
That was the main theme of a sketch that I saw on an episode of Chapelle Show. He posited that it would be a horrible, intolerable place. The sketch featured a mall-like environment. I imagine the physical manifestation of the internet to be Times Square circa 1975. It's full of smut, cheap shit to buy that you don't really need, people trying to rip you off, pickup artists, and thieves. The internet doesn't have neon signs though....


After many months of resisting, I've finally upgraded my version of AOL. I didn't want to do it because I fear it taking over my entire computer, like a cat in the middle of your bed. So I trashed the free programs that come packaged with it. Why this sudden conversion? Well, I discovered that AOL was filtering my mail for spam. Seems harmless enough, but I wasn't getting emails from people I knew or my listservs and didn't know it. In the version that I was running before, the spam folder was buried very deep in a set of menus. I am very wary of anyone deciding what I can and cannot read (draw your own parallel with the gov't decision to axe many popular shows from their captioning grant program). I'm also wary of anyone who wants to be my only content provider.

I feel a Luddite like itch. The light bulb in my bedroom burned out several days ago and I've yet to remember to change it while I can still see to do so. Yesterday, I found myself standing next to the useless light switch, shaking my fist in the air, saying "Damn you, Thomas Edison!". On the other hand, would I want to go back to cutting tape with a razor blade instead of digital editing? Hell no! You just have to remember, technology is great as long as it works. Then it doesn't and it really sucks.

My cousin the navy boy is back in town on leave, in is shiny new car. I really enjoy having a cousin who is more or less a contemporary. For many years, when we were growing up, the age difference between us was too large. So now I get to discover this cool adult cousin who drives a Volkswagen, listens to an ipod, and watches SATC. Who knew?!

My mom and I went on a yarn expedition today, with varying results. I wanted to find yarn with which to make a pair of birthday socks for my beloved grandfather. I keep setting the bar higher and higher for myself. If I keep it up, I'll have to make a pair from golden fleece.... I ended up getting beautiful blue and purple variegated CTH sock yarn, a colorway called River Run, and two skeins of Takhi Donegal Tweed fished out of the sale bin. I hope to make a felted hat out of it, along the same lines as my Yoko Ono hat. To that end, I purchased a pattern online, but everything got so fouled up with my email that the seller just refunded my money. Huh. Maybe we can handle the transaction the old-fashioned way. I'll give her a $5 bill, and she can give me a mimeographed sheet of instructions. Relax, that's a joke.

I'm working on my noodled out colorblock sweater again. It turned out that the variation within the dyelot is obvious (sigh), so I have to work alternate rows from two balls. This sounds more complicated that it is, but mainly means that this project doesn't travel. Luckily, I have some socks in the works for that. I'm making myself a pair of fine gauge hand-dyed socks. The yarn is Anne from Schaefer, which I previously used in a pair of socks for my paternal grandmother, in a wildly different colorway. The one I am using now reminds me of a garden in the spring; it has yellows and greens and lavender, in a subtly striped pattern. It is working up at an astonishing eleven stitches to the inch. Had I known it to be so fine before beginning, I doubt that I would have.

I finished all of the books on my list in the sidebar. Whatever will I do with myself now?! Any book recommendations would be appreciated. Maybe I'll re-read Anna Karenina.


Long time, no blog. Who would have guessed that my first blog of the new year would fall in February? Anyone who knows me, I guess. I've been in a bit of a funk lately, so I haven't kept up with this page. Now, I'm feeling a bit better, so I'm putting it in script.
So, hmmm...what's happened lately?
* The red tape in my unemployment claim, which seemed long enough to stretch to the moon, has finally been cut through. It only involved lots of long-distance phone calls in the middle of the afternoon. I got my first check only TWO months after I lost my job. That's our tax dollars at work, folks.
* One of my friends was in a train wreck. I know that I sound oddly ebullient about that. He's fine. It's his current tale of woe. He said to me, "How many people can say they were in a train wreck?". to which I replied, "I was". That took a bit of the wind out of his sails. Mine was a minor train/car challenge somewhere in small town Mississippi. Not terribly exciting, but Amtrack usually isn't. This is only one of many complaints my friend has about the CTA.
* My dad gave me a tablet PC, which was a state of the art PDA back in the late 1990s. I hesitate to call it a handheld, because it requires both hands, or at least an assist from a knee. It has a big bright screen, a mic jack, and a little speaker--AV bliss! Now, I've only to figure out how to get it to sync with my mail.
* My dreaded trip to the dentist went off without a hitch. I've gotten a reprieve from the drill, and a jolly visit from the dentist. The hygenist was another matter.... I bled so much from the cleaning that I felt light-headed while lying down! Just proves that I should go more often, I guess. My grandmother fed me a couple of cups of strong Australian tea afterwards.
* I've finally pulled the plug on my other blog, as the person who was supposed to collaborate on it never did. That was the whole concept of the project, and I tired of waiting. She's busy, I know. Maybe it will be reborn, like the phoenix, in some other form. But don't hold your breath.
* I am asterisk crazy!
* Now is the time that tries techies souls---summer stock hiring season. I'm spreading my resumes around like counterfeit cash, though I only apply to places that I'd actually like to work. Anything else seems like a waste of time for all parties involved. I'd heard that my last stock company wasn't doing much hiring this year, from a very good source, but they have two listings in ArtSearch. I don't know what their deal is, but I doubt that they'll be at it much longer.

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