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.

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