My show closed on Sunday. It was a very emotional affair. We spent the last nine weeks together, living, breathing, and eating the Sound of Music. We became a big, dysfunctional family of actors, knitters, techies (with some overlap between those groups) because we had no time to see our real families. Closing a week before xmas makes for a rough reentry into the family sphere. Some of us will work together again, but it won't be the same.
I'll miss Mitch and Melody, who are sure to become legends in the Chicago theater community, the most. There's something incredibly appealing about getting a hug from a seven year old who's genuinely glad to see you every morning when you go into work.
They're great kids. Mitch is incredibly helpful and kind, the best sort of big brother to Melody. He helped me do my mic checks while I had laryngitis. It seems as though a voice is not terribly important for the person engineering the show, but it is hell running a mic check without one. Also, writing notes to communicate doesn't work very well over the ClearCom! Rita, the stage manager, and I both adore M&M, so she took Melody to see the SM booth. Melody even got to press GO on the light board after the theatre was clear. Since Mitch was curious about sound, I had him run through a couple of big cue sequences. I loved how exciting our jobs were to the kids. So, I suggested to Rita that we let them run the storm sequence (thunder and lightning, very exciting stuff) together. We were almost as excited as they were. I'm really going to miss those kids.
My next show doesn't start for a month, which leaves me with loads of free time. Too much, I think. A month is a long time to go without a paycheck, but not long enough to pick up another gig. So, lots of Netflix and knitting, I guess. I didn't have as much time as I thought I would to knit during SOM/WTP, so my grand plans to knit a million things for xmas didn't come true. I did knit a few things for people on the shows, so I guess it all balances out. Under the xmas tree this year, one might find the following things from my needles: two cabled scarves, of similar design; a cushy ribbed scarf of kettle dyed wool from south america; one hat, made from odds and ends of Manos; a tiny sweater to illustrate the larger one that I meant to make in time for xmas but didn't get around to--- if I get around to making it. I've been on a finishing kick, to get all those things ready. My beautiful French alpaca blend sweater that has languished for months as I worked on SOM/WTP came to mind. All it needs is the second half of its shawl collar finished and some seaming. A good afternoon/evening project. I can't find the collar piece--still on the needles--even after an exhaustive search of the house. I've asked St Anthony of Padua to have a look around for it, though I imagine this is his busy season. I don't have enough yarn to make a replacement collar piece. I hope that it will turn up soon, since I don't want to send off to Belgium to get more yarn to finish it. As soon as I do, the lost piece will turn up.



Yesterday, I was sitting in the living room, watching some mindless television, when I heard a squeaking noise. It sounded like a squeaky dog toy. I don't have a dog, or any dog toys, just a ferocious, voracious tom cat. Or so I thought. I went to the kitchen to investigate, and discovered Winston chasing a large grey mouse in circles. An art director couldn't have chosen a better mouse to go with my cat. "Kill it. Kill it," I cheered, then thought the better of it. I felt like a spectator at an underground cock fight, and didn't want to stick around to see the denouement. He chased the mouse for five, maybe, seven minutes. Did Winston kill the mouse? No. I hope that Winston isn't operating under the assumption that the mouse is his playmate or friend, because Winston's #1 job is to kill mice. I gave him several stern inspirational talks about killing the mouse, and brought him back to the kitchen to sniff around. So far, no sign of the mouse's return. You can't prove a negative though, so I will continue to coach the cat to commit rodenticide.


Today, I started knitting a beautiful caramel colored chunky alpaca scarf. For myself. I feel vaguely guilty making something for myself this time of year. All of my other projects are for other people. I even plan to make a scarf for my secret santa person at work, which is perhaps overly ambitious. I bought two fabulous balls of Colinette yarn for a dollar each out of the bargain bin at my LYS. I don't know how I'll get it done, since I can't work on it at work. The secret part of secret santa would be ruined in the recipient recognized the scarf! My scarf is coming along at a nice clip, on size 36 needles. Yes, they make them that large, and they were the envy of all the ladies at work this morning. I've won the big needles pissing contest.
My dad called this morning, to ask about sound equipment suggestions for xmas. Luckily, I keep my phone on vibrate when I'm at work. I think it's so cool that someone would give me gear for xmas!
I used to read the New Yorker from cover to cover every Thursday afternoon (except when there was a double issue) when I was in college. I would just lie in bed and read the entire magazine on the day that it arrived in my mailbox. I haven't done it since then. Some of that has to do with structured time and not reading the gallery listings anymore, but I kind of miss it. I decided that I would read the whole magazine yesterday, during my free afternoon. The magazine arrived over the weekend, but I hadn't had a chance to read it yet. So, I crawled into my nice warm bed and promptly fell asleep before even opening the magazine. I took an accidental five hour nap. Guess I really needed the sleep.


Brown paper packages tied up with string

Hello. I probably haven't talked to you in a while because my life hasn't been my own lately. I'm running two shows concurrently, which means that I have very little free time. Today I had a rare afternoon off, which I enjoyed thoroughly. I spent a few hours at home, while there was daylight, then headed into the city for coffee with Joe Tech and a bit of shopping. No xmas presents purchased, but I had a good time and Joe got his compressor back.
I still have a few presents to buy for xmas. Just the big ones-- the grandparents and my mom. I don't know what to give them. My grandparents have everything they could want and no place to put anything (the two are related). And, well, I don't know what my mom wants. Pout. I'd decided to do an ambitious knitting campaign for the holidays this year. Great, except I work all the time. And since I'm engineering my shows instead of simply a board op, I can't knit during the shows. I got so spoiled during summer stock, when all I had to do was press GO every once in a while.
Knitting is going through the cast like a virus. Last week, I went down to the ladies' dressing room to discuss a mic snafu and found the actresses silently knitting. All of them. It all started when one of the girls brought in a project. She taught one of the other girls in the cast. Her mother decided to learn as well and took to it like a duck to water. Soon, other women clamored to learn and secret knitters brought in their projects to pass the time backstage. I've seen this happen at other theatres, but never on this scale. We've even got one of the actors knitting! That's Kaylie pictured above, with her latest project. She makes amazing, fuzzy scarves as gifts and plays a wicked Uno game.
I've got a few projects in the works. My beloved french alpaca sweater is on a back burner, in order to make things for other people. It's almost entirely knit, too, but I don't quite understand how it all goes together. I guess that's one drawback to using patterns in a foreign language. It makes me feel so damn smart, but when I don't understand something, it's really rough. There are two scarves going now, one out of beautiful Colinette wool tape, and the second of kettle dyed wool from South America. Oh, and a hat. I guess there isn't time to knit any socks before xmas.


I'm tired, so tired

I have an eight show week this week. That sounds fine, if you distribute the eight shows across seven days. Except my eight shows all happen in five days-- three two show days in a row, and two singles. It's too much. I have another three shows before my day off, and that thought puts me on the edge of tears. Please, Mr Producer, don't do this again! It's too much for everyone, especially the children. Yes, the kids are doing all eight shows too, since we don't do understudy rotation (we don't have the resources). Yes, I'm whining now. I'm tired and I want to get all of this out of my system before I go to work, where everyone else is coasting on fumes too.
Next week, I have four days off. Four! Silly me, I scheduled an appointment on Monday, so my plans to lie in bed like Brian Wilson must wait. Then, one of my friends from college is coming into town. I suspect he isn't a morning person, though.


Days Off

Now that the show is in full swing, and the windows in my house are done, I've had a bit of free time. Free time.On Friday, I used this unexpected furlough to go to the makeup department at Carson's. Surprisingly, nothing caught my eye at the MAC counter, except the brush cleaner that I went in for. They even had their little xmas kits out. Instead, I ambled over to the Clinique counter. I've been a Clinique customer for a long time, even though my aesthetic has been less *subtle* lately. I was quickly whisked into a chair and made over. I love the makeup they sold me, but not the way that the Clinique artist applied it. Why is it that makeup artists must always do one hateful thing that undoes all the wonderfulness of the rest of it? I don't want to have Liza Minelli's eyelashes! I do not like to have crazy, thick eyeliner! I don't need to wear powder and foundation together! Well, that's a series of complaints from separate events, but you get the point. I felt fabulous and lovely, walking around and shopping after the makeover. When I got home, I saw that the mascara had sloughed off into raccoonlike grey circles under my eyes. Very unfabulous. I took it all off and reapplied the Pink Tweed dual eyeshadow combo in a less 80s fashion, then headed off to opening night.

Yes, we're finally open. Of course, I had plenty of problems with the mics on opening night, in front of all of the bigwigs in the company. Sigh. I don't like static, but there is very little that I can do about interference. We're running 22 wireless mics, so somebody's going to pick up something inevitably. Thank god the next show has a much smaller cast. So, a full weekend of shows, then two more days off! Yay! On Monday, I drove into the city and hung out with Lewis. He was so happy when I gave him his much-belated birthday present (it's early for next year, I guess), a striped hat made from Manos del Uruguay. I took the #22 down to Andersonville. A drunk or otherwise socially inept man pestered me at the bus stop until the bus finally arrived. I have two CTA cards: one with $20 on it and one with $1 on it. Which do you think I grabbed when I left the house? I didn't have any change, any cash at all, so I had to ask a woman on the bus for the remaining fare balance. Argh. Several homeless men begging on Clark St. told me how lovely/fine/sexy/beautiful I looked as I strode purposefully towards the bar. Maybe it was the hundred odd dollars' worth of makeup I was wearing, but I'd like to think that my day off happiness was writ across my face. I had dinner with a friend. It was lovely. Today, more errands, and not in any logically mapped out path through the city. I'm looking for the perfect xmas cards. I came across some very beautiful Art Nouveau letterpress ones at Paper Source, but it's awfully hard to justify $1.65/card (before taxes and postage) when I need forty of them. Instead, I bought a print of a fake antique tourist map of Paris for less than $5, and some thank you cards. They're always good to have around.


I just posted a diatribe on my Myspace blog. I must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed today. I was roused at 9 AM to drive my car various places, which was quite a bad idea, as I still was quiet sleepy and had planned a late reveille on my important last day off before tech. I'm going to be running myself ragged, so why start today?
My cat discovered the mail slot today. We've had him almost a year, but he never noticed it before. He can be quite the charmer, which is good, because he gets in his moods sometimes. This afternoon, for example, he was very cranky. The other day, however, he amused me by ringing the bell hanging over my computer. Yes, I realize that it is strange to have a bell hanging like the Sword of Damocles there, but it's part of a hard to describe handmade decoration brought back from the Caribbean by my grandmother. I was sitting in the living room when I heard a bright little ring from the kitchen. I didn't realize that Winston could reach the bell, but there he was, practically standing erect behind my massive 19" monitor to reach the bell. He misunderstood my laughter and took off. Tonight, I must make sure that he doesn't bolt out the door while ajar for the distribution of candy. So, far, only two groups of trick or treaters have come to the door. It's dark, cold, and raining, so I can't say that I am surprised.
My mom bought a new knitting magazine today, published by Interweave Press, called knitscene. Somehow, they've managed to assemble a knitting magazine with a minimum of patterns and maximum of advertising. Sure, they've got loads of lovely photographs of projects in the magazine, most of them composed in a fashion that hides a multitude of sins in a garment/pattern, but only provide a link to their website where the pattern ought to be. All that for the princely sum of $7.99! I wonder if there will be a second issue of knitscene.

Fossil Fuel

I've driven my car a lot over the past few days. Not a ridiculous amount. I haven't driven out to the curb to collect the trash cans after collection or anything. And I've had really great parking karma. Friday, I drove out to the theatre in Indiana for a recording session and impromptu dinner with a colleague. I then took the Skyway (lead foot, IPass, and badass attitude in evidence) into the city to go to a cabaret. Yes, cabaret, but there were no scary Liza Minelli eyelashes in evidence. But first, I had to swing by a friend's place on the other side of town. Who wants to go to a cabaret alone? We had to circle for about ten minutes before getting a really good space. A lot of people were out--in crazy costumes--in Wicker Park for Halloween parties, presumably. We saw a trio of girls in bizarre pink plastic wigs. I don't mean fake hair wigs, I mean frightening pieces of plastic in the approximate shape of hair worn on these girls' heads. I suspect that they were dressed as manga characters. The cabaret was interesting. Even though we had comps, the two drink minimum was not waived. This was explained to us in a rude manner by our sassy gay waiter; he didn't bring us the drinks or the tab, just the attitude. I enjoyed the show, even though the sound lacked finesse.
I got embarrassingly buzzed on a single martini (served in an ugly glass), so Lewis drove my car, to the sounds of Peaches' Teaches of Peaches. He wanted to hit an ATM before we went to the diner for some late night carbs, which lead to a sad stoner version of all those Chase commercials on tv. I wonder how long he would have driven around looking for a Bank One, as they've just gone on a sign-changing spree this past week. They even have commercials showing off the new signs, scored with The Beatles' "Hello Hello". At first, I was disgusted to hear a Beatles tune in an ad, but then I realized that Michael Jackson needs the money.
The next day, I had a business meeting back in Wicker Park. On the way there (ha!), I stopped by Women and Children First, in search of a Canadian indie zine. They didn't have it. Neither did Quimby's Comics, but I had very nice conversations with clerks at both bookstores. Afterwards, I swung by Nina (even finding a free parking place less than a block away) to pick up a skein of Manos. This was the second store that I checked in 24 hours for the yarn needed to complete my scrap hat. They didn't have the color needed either. Instead I bought a couple of skeins of Lorna's Laces sock yarn to knit a pair of socks for some lucky relative. The owner (I think) and I had a nice chat as she wound the skeins for me with her lovely wood swift. She was amused that I'd pinned my usual messy chignon up with a pair of bamboo knitting needles. Usually, I use pencils, but it's easier to find a pair of needles in my house. Imagine that. Then I drove home. Thank god I filled the tank with cheap Indiana gas.
Today, I went back to the theatre to do some pre-production work for my show that goes into tech on Tuesday. I thought that I would be there for a few hours, but ended up staying for ten. Still, I managed to program mute scenes for the entire show into the board, sort out the wireless microphones and transmitters, and watch amusedly as the designer played with his new P-Touch labeller. That labeller was worth its weight in gold, as everything needed to be tagged in our new configuration. The theatre bought a new mixing console (huzzah!), microphones, loads of rechargeable batteries, and some cable. All of this had to be sorted out before tech starts on Tuesday morning. As they don't have a sound person on staff, this responsibility fell largely to the sound designer. So far, I like the new mixer. It's more ergodynamic than the last one, and it works.
I have tomorrow off (though I guess it's today now) to have my last lie-in for a while, get a bit of knitting done, and maybe go to the library. No big Halloween plans. I'll probably just hand out candy to the kids, perhaps while wearing my red wig and sequined horns (from Scotland!). We haven't had that many trick or treaters the past few years, but, as my grandmother observed, the price of gas has really gone up. Maybe people won't drive their kids to more generous neighborhoods this year.


I found a couple of balls of Manos Stria yarn left over from a sweater I made last Spring when I was cleaning, so I decided to make a hat. A nice, simple hat takes about 110 yards, depending on the weight of the yarn and the size of the head. I'm making it for my sized head, which is not freakishly large, but not small either. So, I carefully knit a "random" stripe pattern to maximize the rose color, of which I had less, and planned on using the cream as the primary color. Even though the cream ball was larger, it wasn't large enough. I got all the way to the conic section of the hat (aka the top), then realized that I am going to run out of yarn. I don't have any more odds and ends of this yarn, which means that I'll have to buy another skein to finish my "thrifty" little project.
I got three Netflix DVDs today. They're all Felicity episodes, which is apparently cliche central for me. I really don't spend all my time watching Felicity, or Lifetime Television for women and gay men. Yes, I like the Gilmore Girls, but that isn't shameful. So, three dvds of Felicity, which I haven't watched yet. I, like many other people, watched the first season of Felicity, It was interesting, since I was in college at the time and had a penchant for mixed tapes. But after she cut her hair, I really didn't watch it anymore. It wasn't the shear job, really. They kept moving it around on the schedule where I lived, and I started running shows, which essentially kills any primetime tv viewing. So, no Felicity for me. Then I happened to catch an episode from the last season on We over the summer. I got sucked in, so now I'm trying to fill in the gaps. Apparently, Felicity's hair grows back. The first season was hard to revisit, because she was so goddamn earnest. We all like to pretend that we were never like that!
Did anyone else see the letter to the editor that John Cameron Mitchell wrote to Time Magazine? I love, love, love, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, so I was disappointed to see their one sentence, conservative, reactionary description of the film in their recent article about gay teens. So was Mr Mitchell. I wonder if the author of the article has actually seen Hedwig, or just had it described to him by someone else. It features some universal themes, if the viewer can move past the fact that the protagonist is an East German tranny. Maybe I'm expecting too much from Time. It isn't the New Yorker, after all.


Today, men were supposed to come and cut a giant hole in the side of my house, then leave me with wonderful modern window replacements. Yay, I thought, no more drafts while watching MASH late at night, or cold breezes in the shower in the middle of winter. Much furniture was moved to facilitate this. Except for one small problem. The installer is stuck in a shelter in Cancun, riding out the hurricane. Why, why, why, would you go someplace on vacation AFTER a hurricane was predicted to make landfall there? They can't reschedule the windows right away, so most of one of the walls of the house will be removed during the second week of November. November in Chicago! Poor Winston was even taken to the vet for the day so that he wouldn't be tempted to stage the great escape while the window was out. He was fetched a few hours later, so that he can play in whole new areas of the living room where he's never sniffed mysterious invisible objects before.

I spent a good chunck of the day asleep, since I'd stayed up all night transferring all the music from my ipod to my hard drive. There are programs that allow you to do that (since Apple had to make a deal with the record companies promising that ipods wouldn't be the little engines of music piracy that they are), but none of them work cross-platform. That is, none are written for people with FAT32 drives on their ipod moving files to a Mac OS. Macs can even "see" Windows ipods, but not vice-versa. They're just going to drag that out forever, aren't they? So, I had to hack the ipod (super easy, despite what Apple says) and transfer the files to my PC, then transfer the files via sneakernet to the Mac. This took, perhaps ten hours. That's an hour a gig. I lost all my playlists, except the one that I scribbled out on a legal pad before taking a deep breath and reformatting my ipod's hard drive. Well, it means that I'm rid of all the vestigial lists that never get played anymore, and some restructuring of my "Hard Living" playlist. It's a work in progress.

So, no knitting today. I did spend a few minutes rounding up all my needles into my big pink knitting bag (from France!), and putting patterns into my binder. It's so much better not to squint at crumpled pattern sheets, when I can squint at patterns in page protectors. I'm currently working on a bag made out of Cherry Tree Hill Melange, knit on the bias. I think it may need a lining when it's done, due to the snagginess of the yarn. It reminds me of production notes that I read in a book about Edith Head, where she states that she chose fabrics that would snag for Tippi Hedren's suits in The Birds, so that it would really show where the birds pecked at her. Design is all the little details that tell the big story! Anyhoo, there's a picture of the bag in progress, not looking like a bag at all.

I'm multitasking this post. It's time for the Late Show with Craig Furgason. I think he's the cat's pyjamas. He doesn't do a regular monologue like the other talk show hosts. He just tells amusing anecdotes in a droll Scottish accent, like a recent story about his obsession with a pinball game he bought over the weekend. His humor is so dry and smart, it's completely lured me away from years of Conan watching. He is awfully tan for a Scotsman... He often tells patently false stories about life in Scotland, such as people in Scotland being so repressed that they have sex through the mail. "I love my inhibitions," he said, "They save me from my ... hibitions". He went on to explain that kilts are practically guaranteed sex, and that men would be arrested if they acted the way that women act around a man in a kilt. Maybe you should give Mr. Furgason a chance, on CBS after Letterman.


Mac Mini Attack!

Yay! This is my first post on my new computer. Yes, I decided to spend the money that I socked away during Over The Tavern and spend it on a Mac Mini. Now can be a Mac Addict x2! I did a bit of research (that is, hours of websurfing late at night) and found a great deal from a place in Vermont which I suspect to be run by old hippies. They have loads of pictures of dogs on their website and have links to donate money to organizations like Planned Parenthood and the local animal shelter. Very cool, no scary macrame or blown glass objects. So, I bought a Mac Mini, in order to actually do sound editing that doesn't involve a splicing deck and Bactine. My dad told me how underpowered they are with only 256 RAM, so I upgraded to a gig. Money well spent. After much anticipation, it arrived late Friday afternoon, right in the middle of a very good episode of The Gilmore Girls. Lorelei and company were quickly abandoned in favor of the humorously large box carried by the UPS man. But the Mini is so small, I thought. Well, it was a box inside of a box, with loads of large scale bubble wrap and expensive plucked foam. And two wee dog dolls, the calling card of the Apple Reseller in Vermont.

All was set up in less than an hour, including the dogs atop the CPU. I suspect that Winston visits them at night. Also established in that hour: the network adapter I already had doesn't play well with Macs, requiring the purchase and installation of an Airport card. Today, I braved the crazy weekend crowds on North Michigan Ave. to take my brand new computer to the Apple Store. I'd never been to one before, so it was an interesting experience. I saw veiled Muslim women buying ipods (when I told my mom this, she stated dryly, "They're not Amish"), an Indian woman trailing a beautiful sari around behind her as she lugged a printer in a box, and Japanese tourists buying black nanos. Oh, and a bunch of white people. It only took an hour, and over a hundred dollars, to get my computer ready to talk to my home network. Now I'm cooking with gas! In the meantime, I did some window shopping at Marshall Field's and shamelessly read a magazine at Borders, while sitting in the corner of the apparently unpopular art theory and criticism section.
Now, it is back in its rightful place, dogs at the ready, and I am, in the words of my dad, on a new computer high. It's similar to a sugar high, but much more expensive.

In knitting news, the berry colored cabled scarf is finally finished! Here's a photo of it in its natural habitat.

Now, I am making little progress on a bias-knit handbag out of Cherry Tree Hills Melange yarn. The pattern is a breeze (and available in a back issue of Knitty), but it's not getting as much attention as it should, due to the new computer. Also, the yarn is a weird ply of several different fibers, so it can get twisted around the needle as I'm doing a decrease or increase. Still, not a massive project. I've decided not to cripple myself cranking out gifts for xmas, so no one's getting a sweater, shawl, or lace anything this year. I still don't know what I will give several important relatives, but I've got a bit of time still.


Today is a red letter day. Two packages and a DVD! I'll have to stop thinking unkind thoughts about the mailman. Actually, I have the mailman to thank for the return of my mail service. Even though I complained three times, it was never communicated to my local mail carrier that the forwarding order was to stop. He took the initiative and rang the bell to inquire and now I get the New Yorker and packages from the UK and Netflix DVDs. Yay, mail!
I was really surprised that they both arrived on the same day. Says a lot about the Royal Mail, since they came from very different places in the UK. I bought four balls of R2 Rag Print, a discontinued yarn from rowan that feels like torn up tshirts, to make a poncho for one of my cousins. The R2 yarns are really different from Rowan's normal line. R2 is marketed at young, hip, design-conscious knitters (ie me and Lewis), but I think they go about it the wrong way. The patterns are all really tiny and a wee bit vague. I don't like to squint at a diagram. Also, I think that most people who are into customizing designs are already doing that and don't need a special design-wonk line marketed to them. But I digress....

R2 Print and my Liberty bag. Both British and fabulous!

When I opened the envelope, I was amazed by the smell of the yarn. Well, not really a yarn smell, but probably the scent of the shop in Wales where I bought it. It smelled of mint and something heathery, not quite lavender. My sense of smell has improved since I quit smoking, so I wonder if I missed out on this scent before.

Destined to be someone's xmas present!

This also arrived today. It's going to be knit up into a cabled scarf for an unsuspecting relative. The yarn, Rowan All Seasons Cotton, is really soft and cushy. I've already made a blue one out of leftover yarn from my ill-fated vneck shell. I liked it so much that I snapped this up from an English store on ebay. Oh, ebay... such a dangerous place for knitters.

ASC cable scarf, version 1


My show closed yesterday. I finally have my life back (free time, sleeping in, the ability to go places like the post office and the library while they're open)until the next show goes into tech at the end of the month. Ahhh. Now I have the chance to catch up on things that I've lately neglected, like emails, blogging, processing photos from the digital camera.


I am a bad blogger. I've thought about writing loads of times over the past few weeks, but never actually sat down to do the typing until now. I have been busy with work, but that's a standard excuse.
A week ago, on the 24th, I realized how soon Christmas will be here. To most of you, I am sure that three months seems like plenty of time, but other knitters will know exactly what I mean. This year, I am trying not to be too ambitious. No matching fisherman's sweaters for the family or any of that nonsense. Nothing with more than one seam. So far, I've made one scarf out of Gedifra New Age, a fantastic chenille tape. It feels like a muppet. Ho-hum designs are not my thing, so I added an intarsia monogram on one end. Fortunately, the person in question has no curves in their initials, so I didn't need to chart any of it. Oh, this is getting a bit technical.... This project also appeals to my thrifty side, since it was made of reclaimed yarn. It was purchased for a sleeveless sweater back in 2002, which sat unfinished for three years. If it isn't done by now, it never will be, I reasoned and ripped it out. My energetic cat offered his assistance, but settled to just watch with saucer sized eyes. I think that I have enough for another scarf or two hats. The trick is making them for people who don't know one another. And like medium dusty rose.

Hmmm... who could this be for?

My current project is another stash raider: a cabled scarf of my own design made from leftover skeins of Rowan All Seasons Cotton. It's fast work, and has prompted many comments from the older ladies at work. I sometimes sit next to the sound board during preshow/intermission and knit, since I don't like to leave the equipment unguarded but haven't much to do. My days of knitting during the show are a distant memory, now that I'm doing actual reinforcement instead of pressing GO three dozen times over three hours. Sigh. Ask me which I like better and you'll get a different answer everyday.
Planned: another ASC scarf, of similar design; a Manos multicolor hat for Sarah, my HLP; a striped hat out of odd balls of celadon and cranberry Manos (think thin stripes, which are so much easier to do in the round); a pair of socks (sounds small until you consider there are about 50,000 stitches in a pair of socks); and a lacy wide scarf/shawl out of Cherry Tree Hill yarn that I've had forever. I'd like to figure out some sort of young and fabulous use for my three balls of R2 paper yarn. Preferably something that doesn't require the purchase of additional yarn. Hmmm...
I got up at 6 am on Saturday. No, that's not a typo. Six in the goddamn morning, all because I love my Grandfather and told him that I'd help him at Pancake Day. This was greeted with general amazement when it actually happened. The last time I saw that time of day, it involved a fire alarm and a lot of swearing. There was no swearing this time, but plenty of smoke. The smell of pancakes and cooking oil was so strong that I had to take a shower before my matinee. Though I'm not sure that would have cut through the dense fog of old lady perfume typical of our matinees. My aunt and uncle came into town for the occasion, with their adorable dog, Ginger. Dog and aunt slept in while uncle and I flipped pancakes, making three generations of the family accounted for in the Pancake Day volunteer force. A lot of hard work and a lot of fun, but I was really tired during the matinee. So I unwisely ate lasagna for dinner and was ready to slip into a food coma before the evening show.
My show closes on Sunday. We've been counting down the days at work, which is funny considering that the show isn't unpleasant, nor are any of the actors. They're a great bunch. Still, everyone starts counting down to closing on opening night. After that, I have a few one-offs but nothing steady until Halloween. It'll be nice to have some free time, but I've found that paychecks are habit-forming.
I've found a way to do free photo hosting, so look for photos of my fabulous projects soon! As soon as I get around to taking them.


File this under the general heading "Crazy Shit Happens to Kirstin":
I haven't gotten any DVDs from Netflix in the past two weeks, which is very frustrating. After the first week, I thought that they'd been lost in the mail. I reported them lost to Netflix, so they sent replacement discs. I didn't receive those either. When I thought about it, I realized that I hadn't received any mail in a while. A quick phone call to the business office of my summer gig confirmed my suspicions: the post office is forwarding my mail again. I didn't tell them to do this, nor did they tell me that they were going to resume forwarding my mail. You can see how this would be a problem. So, I marched down to the local post office to complain for a second time (as they didn't stop forwarding my mail, despite directions to do so, until I went and complained at the beginning of August). No apologies or reassurances that the problem would be resolved soon. The supervisor merely made a few notes and disappeared into the back room. I stood at the counter for a few minutes before I realized he wasn't coming back.
This whole thing makes me feel a little crazy. Obviously, the post office, the cause of my problem, feels that I am the one with the problem. I don't have my DVDs, New Yorker, bills, letters, etc. I am sure that the lovely people in the business office will forward whatever reaches them eventually, but a) who knows when and b)it might get sent right back to them. I don't know what to do. I sent an email to Netflix asking if I could receive a partial rebate for the month, even though it isn't their fault that this happened. Unfortunately, I can't boycott the post office. I need to send and receive mail. Currently, I am a little more concerned about the latter. So, if you've sent me a letter and I've not responded, this is the reason. I am sorry.


I'm going to avoid the end of the year rush and make a list of music I've loved this year now.
These are the things I've had in heavy rotation for 2005, released in 2005:
* Marianne Faithfull, Before The Poison. Some things, like her voice, get better with age. Listen to this with the lights off and a bottle of whiskey.
* Nouvelle Vague. It's a cover album of New Wave songs sung by French singers who speak no English, bossa nova style. Not nearly as pretentious as it sounds.
* Martha Wainwright. Yes, she's the younger sister of Rufus Wainwright. Musical talent clearly runs in that family. She has a vulnerability reminiscent of Cyndi Lauper (if you don't remember the 80s, I promise you won't understand). Beautiful, rainy day stuff.
* The Postal Service, Give Up. My friend Willie gave me this CD during our college reunion. It was in popular rotation on the jukebox at The Mill (how I've missed that jukebox!). I have a lot of respect for Deathcab for Cutie fans, who are so devoted to a band that sounds like aural wallpaper to me. My HLP Sarah recommended them to me, since they have the same lead singer as Postal Service, so I bought Transatlanticism. I was unimpressed. I hope there's a new PS album in the works.
* Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, Cold Roses. I bought this around the same time as Martha Wainwright, but it goes much better with Before the Poison. It's not at all like his dreadfully popular "New York, New York". Due to that song, I didn't listen to Ryan Adams for years.
A couple of my coworkers and I went to a free concert on July 4th in Philly, featuring several acts and Elton John. I'm a big EJ fan, so I didn't pay attention to who any of the other acts were when I heard the commercials on BenFM. We were excited when Ryan Adams was announced, until we realized, to our chagrin, that it was Bryan Adams and the MC had mumbled.
* Annie, Anniemal. Yes, it's Swedish pop, but Swedish pop music approaches the Aristotelian ideal. Oh, and she isn't some lame Swedish Britney Spears, but a DJ with the skills to pay the bills. I listened to this often during the run of Henry.
* Verve Remixed 3. I think that this knob-twiddling format is getting tired, but there are some very nice selections on this disc. See Postal Service's remix of Nina Simone's "Little Girl Blue", the swanky reworking of Ella Fitzgerald's "Speak Low (When You Speak Love)", and Shirley Horn's "Come Dance With Me", which makes the listener want to do just that.

I should never order anything through the mail. I don't have the patience for it. A couple of my Netflix DVDs seem to have gotten lost in the mail. That is, if they weren't stolen from my mailbox, as the mailman hasn't been pushing the mail down into the slot lately. Argh. Alternate theory: my mail is being forwarded to PA again. I'm going to mail myself a postcard as a test. I really hope that the Netflix DVDs show up, because they'll freeze my account if I report too many of them missing. Also, I am bored.
I'm awaiting the arrival of a couple of Phildar magazines as well, from a shop in Belgium. Phildar has a cult following among American knitters, so you'd think that they'd distribute their yarns and patterns here, but they don't. They have to be ordered from Canada or Europe, neither of which is quick.
I am working on a Phildar project now: an alpaca and mohair blend wraparound cardigan that the French call a "cache-coeur". The yarn is a color similar to orange sorbet: pastel but not prissy. The loose double-ply construction makes my normally even stitches look wonky, so it will have to be blocked. There have been a lot of similar things in the fashion mags, so I'm looking forward to wearing the finished product.
My yukata sweater is 95% done. All it needs is its collar attached, which sounds so much easier than it is. This sweater just keeps making problems. Attaching the sash took me eight hours! After all the trouble this seemingly simple sweater was, it had better look good, feel good, and never need blocking. Since it's cotton, that's unlikely.


I had a completely pointless job interview last week. I knew that I wouldn't get the job when I left the house that morning. Maybe I should have just stayed home. It poured and my umbrella turned out to be broken. I slipped several times on the pavement, leaving my feet painfully curled in an unconscious effort to stay upright. So my sprained foot really hurt. I had to wait 40 minutes for the #22 bus, which is totally ridiculous since they're supposed to run at least twice an hour. When I got to my stop, I couldn't find the place. When I finally did, the conversation lasted a whopping five minutes and concluded with the interviewer saying, "Good luck with the bus". Oh, the petty indignities of life. I guess that I won't give them a follow up call.
The v-neck sweater completely resists all shrinking attempts and, perversely, becomes even deeper cut with each try. It's easy to block a sweater larger, but how on earth do you make it smaller when you want to?
I'm glad that I didn't buy a new laptop last year. The one that I wanted to buy has been greatly improved in the intervening time. All of the add-ons I priced out have become standards. You may recall, last year I realized that I had a nest egg large enough to get a new laptop or go to Europe for twenty days. I went to Europe. I'm looking to build another nest egg this fall, and the computer seems the prudent choice. It's just so damned sensible, though.


Am I one of a dying breed? I've read several places that makeup (or at least makeup that looks like makeup, an important distinction) is out. But I love makeup! I've finally given in to the indoctrination and the MAC counter. I'm amazed at how makeup can change a person's face, express their personality, and give the self-esteem a little boost. I don't NEED makeup; that is well established by years of wearing no makeup or natural looking things. Still, I like it and I figure that it's better to have fun now than when I am in my forties. Don't get me wrong-- I wouldn't wear the high fashion elaborate looks over to grandma's, but it was a thrill the first time I got a compliment on my makeup from the clerk at Sephora.
I finally learned how to do a good line in liquid liner the other day. What a thrill! I did a very classic heavy line to have brunch with my Mom and she nodded with approval when I told her it was inspired by the early slutty-looking Barbie dolls. I didn't go for the red lips though. I still don't think that I can carry that off...
A lot of designers are showing a smoky, plum eye for Fall (take that Vogue and your "inspired by Vermeer" natural look!), which I tried out today. It's fun, and a look that can be interpreted in different, age appropriate ways.
Well, enough about the old facepaint.
My latest, long dreamt of project just flew off the needles this week. I finally made the v-necked shell from Rowan's All Seasons Cotton collection. Funny, it doesn't look so low cut in the picture. It is undeniably, almost unwearably low cut, and I carefully followed the pattern on the neckline. Oh, and all of those eyelets that I carefully put in just roll inward to invisibility. So, I tried pressing it out with an iron. Mistake. I threw it back in the washer for another pass at blocking, but this may become a *sweater vest*. That would be a real disappointment.
I ran into my aunt at Borders today. I hadn't seen her in months, so we had a long chat. I ended up telling about how I need to figure out what it is I am going to do with the rest of my life and then do it. Not the easiest thing in the world. She was very understanding. Thank god I didn't just wear the shell anyway, low neck be damned!


Let's all observe a moment of silence for my dearly departed car, the Dorothy Parker. We had some good times together and some bad times as well. I learned to drive in that car, took her to college, drove to the East Coast and back many times. But she and I had to part ways in Western PA, on a rainy day at the Howard Johnson. I got fifty dollars for her. She's probably being flattened with a baler as I type this. I knew that we were nearing the end of our journey together, but I didn't know that it would be like this.


My goodness, it's been nearly a month since my last post, but you should be used to that by now.
In the meantime, I have:
* Done yet another college orientation. Because the boss can't be bothered and the intern was elsewhere.
* Flirted with abandon. It was nice to have a little sparkle in my life again.
* Closed a show, opened a show, and started tech on a third.
* Realized that somehow, all of these things have to fit back into my car.
* Sprained my foot. Thank god for worker's comp. Oh, and frozen peas.
* Seen a pink moon.
* Been to MoMA and was disappointed. They're very interested in Art, but not in the art. Their collection desperately needs editing and I'd love more illuminating wall text.
* Seen Giselle at the Met. I'd never been to Lincoln Center before, so it was a marvelous evening.
* Finally finished my box of wine. It lasted nearly all season. Sniff.

Now, I've only to survive the rest of tech week, dodge my boss's erratic moods (he punched the desk yesterday, straight on, which looked quite painful), and somehow pack up all my things into the Dorothy Parker for one last road trip. I'm not sure when I'll have the opportunity to rest my foot, but I have it wrapped in an Ace bandage, atop an overturned paperbasket. I haven't finished any of the knitting projects I brought with me. I blame this largely on startitis and a lack of knitting time. Still, not as bad as I'd feared at times, and better than I expected in others.


But Monday is my day off! Why am I at work?
Yes, I had to roll out of bed early this morning to run sound for a freshman orientation session for the university. I, not entirely awake or excited about this task, strolled over to the theatre in my pyjamas to discover it full of eighteen year old girls wearing unbearably cute (but trying not to try to hard) outfits. The plan for the day is still a bit unclear to me, but so far so good. Other than not really getting a day off.
I haven't gotten much knitting done lately. I was pretty gung-ho about a pair of socks for my grandmother, but then sort of fizzled out. I'm on Henry IV now, which eats up a lot of time. Yesterday, we had a two show day and I was at the theatre for eleven hours. Ack. Nearly everyone on the crew has some sort of reading material stashed away for the slow moments, so we had a mock book club meeting during our dinner break last night. There is a surprising variety of literature being traded amongst stagehands. The actors probably wouldn't be thrilled about that, but they must know that we don't watch the show in its entirety. I watch my favorite scenes, or the ones that have tricky cues in them, but that's hardly three hours' worth.


I am sick as a dog. There seems to be something going through the company now. First, I felt in it in my lymph nodes, now I feel it all over in my head. I hate being sick. Well, I suppose everyone does except for hypochondriacs. So, last night, I was really dragging and decided to take a shower. I wanted to feel hot water fall on my head and breathe in lots of steam. Small problem: no hot water. I let it run for several minutes before getting in and got a nasty surprise. So, I headed back to my room, where I discovered that they've turned the heat off for the summer. It's only 56 degrees out now, during the day, so you can imagine how cold it is at night. Argh.
Fortunately, when I stumbled out of bed this morning, the hot water was plentiful. I took a shower that would make environmentalist/granola types shudder. It's the best thing for congestion. I'm also taking Nelson's colds and flu homeopathic medicine. It works by making you sweat it all out at once. So, I'm using my day off to try and get all of this ick out in order to be able to work the rest of the week. Sigh.
I'm going to look for a diner that serves chicken soup to self-pitying artist types.


My reunion was a bittersweet thing, as all such walks down memory lane are. So much of my college experience had to do with people who are no longer there. I was the only member of my graduating class to return, so there were very few familiar faces in the crowd. It did, however, inspire me to purchase a new translation of Swann?s Way.
A Few Facts about my Reunion:
* Trips to The Mill: 4
* Music: Rufus Wainwright, Rachael Yamagata, Ryuichi Sakamoto, The Postal Service, and Marianne Faithfull
* Readings attended: 4
* Readings enjoyed: 4
* Productions attended: 4
* Productions enjoyed: 1
* Amount paid for one of my photographs used on poster, flier, and programs: $0

Oh, and I accidentally left my cell phone charger at Willie?s and therefore must use my car charger instead.

Now, I am at my summer stock gig. A lot of crazy shit happens to me. My car is dying. My television gave up the ghost this morning. I can?t access the internet from my room because I don?t have a phone card and don?t have an Ethernet ID yet. I can?t win for losing sometimes.
Yesterday, I was watching Gilmore Girls when the picture went out on my TV. Great, I thought, now I know what it was like to live in the golden era of radio. I gave it a very professional whack and the picture returned, sort of. There were a few lines of distortion across the top of the screen, but everything else was okay. This afternoon, I turned it on to watch some sort of escapist, middle of a Saturday afternoon crap and discovered that the lines had migrated to the middle of the screen, leaving a big black bar across the top. I was only seeing below the equator. Sounds like a job for the vertical hold button, eh? Small problem?I don?t have one! I?m an AV professional, I thought, I?ll just unplug it and crack the casing to look for obvious problems. As I was bent over the tube, Leatherman at the ready, I noticed a foul, bad electronics smell emanating from within. Perhaps this was from old dust on a warm tube, but as I do not have a great sense of smell, I must believe that this was a sign of impending electrical fire. Or at least unpleasantness. So I shoved it under the bed and thought very unkind thoughts. I?m so glad that I hauled that thing halfway across the country for it to break within twenty-four hours. Maybe I?ll take a look at it later. There isn?t much to do here and it kills me not to be able to fix the problem. At least I?ve established that turning it off and back on again and a good whack are not solutions.

My car is the perfect candidate for Pimp My Ride. I?m oddly fascinated by that show, even though I?m not really into cars as anything but transportation. Hoopdies go in to emerge beautiful steel butterflies later. I know exactly what I would do for the video. Start with me walking around the car, pointing out the tragic passenger side dents and mismatched bumper. A shot of me pouring in transmission fluid, as I have a leak that would cost more to repair than the car is worth. Then, the interior. See how the mirror occasionally flips down on the sun visor as I?m driving? Hot! I?m a sound designer/engineer and I have your basic AM/FM radio and a wonky speaker. Small problem: you and your car must be in Southern California to be on the show, and she?s not going to make it that far. Don?t get me wrong, I love my car. I learned to drive in that car, have taken it cross country several times, and treat it as a sort of purse on wheels. But soon she will go the way of all rust, to that big junkyard in the sky, and it gets me a little choked up. We?ve had some good times together, my Dorothy and I, and some really awful ones as well. Like that time that I had a blowout on the Pike right outside of Philly, when I had a bunch of gear on top of the mini spare in the trunk. Nothing raises the ire of fellow motorists like driving 45 on a donut on the Pike. Or the time that I had to pull over on to the shoulder because I was crying hysterically after hearing a song on the radio in the middle of a messy breakup. Maybe I could have taken her to the car wash more often (or at all) and perhaps I should have used more than a couple of blankets to insulate my television from all the bumps and potholes of the PA highway system. These things happen.

I love my:
* Ipod and FM transmitter. I downloaded a frequency list from the manufacturer and can rock it whenever I?m in the car that I promised my mom I wouldn?t drive ?too much?.
* MAC makeup remover wipes (genius! And perfect for removing all those fab MAC products!)
* Spotting celebrities on the street in NY. I saw Mo Rocca the last time I went in. And no, I did not point, take photos, or follow him. My roommate and I talked about it for two blocks afterwards though.
* Brown eyeliner pencil. It?s a bit metallic and brings out the blue in my eyes.
* White eyeliner crayon from Sephora. A little shine that opens the eye. The visual antidote to a hangover, to quote my friend Lisa.
* Mascara. I didn?t wear it for the longest time because I thought I didn?t need it, what with my big luscious Johnson lashes. Wrong! A good mascara takes them to a power of ten, but I still try to use a light hand to avoid looking like a Liza Minelli impersonator/ drag queen.
* Coffee maker. I?m not a human being until eleven AM, so a morning coffee infusion before work is vital.
* Super discreet Manhattan Portage laptop messenger bag. You?d never guess I was carrying precious cargo in its unassuming navy confines.


Think Pink! Or some other color.
After a long absence of color in the street and stores, colors are back. Pink, aqua, coral, green, you name it and it's in. Except lavender....hmm. What a nice change of pace from my usual blue and green and black. A pretty steady diet of black, really. I've put aside my black French sweater and knit a lovely tearose cotton sweater, inspired by this new Spring feeling. Sadly, I somehow did not realize that all the little white stripes would make for a million ends to weave in before I could seam the project. Oh well... If I keep telling myself that I'll have the sweater to wear much longer than it takes to assemble it, maybe it will make things go faster. Next on the slate is another cotton sweater, sans stripes, inspired by the cotton yukatas of Japan. At least, that is what the designer claims in the book. It's another project with a lot of assembly required, but I'm willing to admit that stylish garments take more work than, ahem, homemade-looking ones.

This spring renewal has also caused me to take interest in feminine pursuits like getting my eyebrows shaped and finally learning to apply undereye concealer properly. We've established that it doesn't matter how much I sleep, I'll always have circles. I bought a skirt over the weekend, and not some terrible utilitarian thing with lots of pockets. I found an outfit that looks perfect with an antique turquoise necklace that my grandmother gave me. And I walked around in heels for an entire day with little complaint. There's nothing like a bit of warm weather to make me want to shed the Doc Martens!

I've just heard about a new product from Belkin that is the solution to a problem I've had for years. I listen to a lot of NPR, but I don't want to sit next to the radio all day. Often, I have to miss Fresh Air with Terry Gross to, I don't know, go to work or something. If only there was a VCR for your radio, so that you could record your programs when you were busy elsewhere. I toyed around with this idea for ages, trying to come up with some sort of analog solution. Well, Belkin came up with a digital solution, the RadioShark. It's shaped like a big fin. There seem to be a few bugs to work out still, and I'd like the price to come down a bit before I'd consider buying it. They even offered it as one of the pledge gifts on my local NPR station this month. Very, very cool.


A Few Things About Me:
* I like pink. I love blue and green, but more and more pink keeps finding its way into my life. I guess it just makes me happy. And so, I now have a large pink mock croc handbag (perfect for trips to the movies), a fuchsia French knitting bag, with shocking chartreuse lining, and a Schiaparelli pink opera scarf. All these things were recent gifts from my grandmothers. It's that time of year.
* I have lots of bags. Most of them are strictly sensible Manhattan Portage bags. But I really love the ones that make people look twice: the pink mock croc, the Queen Mum/Doctor's Bag handbag complete with metal spikes on the bottom and tiny lock and key, and my Liberty tote bag. I've always wondered about the lock and key. If you lock your purse, where are you supposed to put the key?
* I often get phone calls from area codes that I can't place on a map. I got a call the other day that started with country code 6. I haven't a clue where that is.
* I was excited to learn that I'm to get a big tax refund this year, until I realized that I gave the government a big fat, interest free loan. Again. If I were more attentive to my withholdings, I could have had that money all year to squander as I see fit. Like on shockingly expensive bottles of French perfume at the Duty Free store.
* I can't bear being late to the movies. And I always have to find the optically optimum seat in the theatre. I must be such a pain in the ass to people who accompany me, but we're rarely straining our necks in the front row.
* I sometimes love irredeemably bad music. I like Bossa Nova, even though most people think it's just Muzak.

Au Meme Temps

That is a phrase that fills me with dread. At the same time, in a set of directions, invariably means that you've already made a mistake without knowing it.
Lately, I've had the distinction of undergoing SSSS, or super special security screening, at the airport, had a birthday, had the flu (on my birthday), had my car stall on the entrance ramp to an expressway, received a package from Belgium that looked as though it had been through a war, been tied to the train tracks by a dastardly looking man with a twirly mustache, seen an ex-boyfriend listed as the "singles ad of the day" on a favorite website, and seen a Bollywood adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Ah-ha, I've got your attention now. No train tracks for me, though the rest of it had to be endured with varying degrees of peevishness. Since I am still recovering from the flu, and I'll spare you the details, I've made my cousin Stephen my designated drinker for the evening. I'll be spending St Pat's with my DVD player this year.
It's really not that bad, I suppose. After the initial shock, I had a good laugh over the singles ad. Very interesting to see how the ad weighs up against the reality.
My car started up again after I coasted over to the shoulder. It was a nice little workout, as the power steering cut out with the engine. Sigh. I've got to get a major tune-up before summer stock season.
The package from Belgium was a long awaited yarn order from the lovely folks at Phildar. It only took a month! The postman dropped it off Monday morning, announced by a startling knock on the door of the sort favored by the police. It was held together with plastic straps, and I highly doubt that it left Belgium that way. Luckily, it was only the box and not its contents that were mauled by the post office.
The movie was a bit of a disappointment, though I am not sure what it was exactly that I'd expected. The acting was similar to the style favored by actors in Mexican soap operas, there were big music and dance numbers, and no kissing. I laughed a few times, but found the whole experience similar to accidentally buying a hollow chocolate Easter bunny.
I've been surprised by the response of my friends in the light of recent upheavals. I even got two transatlantic calls. I'm flattered that so many people care, given my Perils of Pauline life.


Tricotant, or Third Time's A Charm
When I was in Paris, I bought the makings of a bouclé cardigan at Galleries Lafayette. Once it was finished, I reasoned, I would always think of Paris when I wore it. Well, that was in September, and I've yet to finish it. I currently have sleeve number three on the needles. Yes, three. I only have two arms. I made a small but important mistake on the first, which I did not realize until it was cast off. I had to tear it out and start over again. So, that is how I've knit three sleeves for one sweater.
Still, I am totally smitten with Phildar knitting. Phildar is a company in France with chic pattern designs, not lagging behind current fashions as American companies often are. Phildar is fun and fabulous (with some scary, stereotypical exceptions), so it's a given that their merchandise is very hard to get in the States. They have no American distribution, which leaves Phildar-loving American knitters at the mercy of various foreign yarn shops. I discovered that one Canadian store was engaging in price gouging. Why should I pay twelve dollars for a magazine that costs five euros (plus shipping)? And worse. So, I'm becoming acquainted with the dollar to euro exchange rate and driving my spell check crazy with emails written in French. I always told my friends in high school that it wasn't a useless language! They were so smug about the usefulness of Spanish.
This time of year seems perfect for starting new projects, which is dangerous. It's very easy to get startitis and have a half dozen projects in varying states, none of them nearing completion. I've got the bouclé cardigan going at a fair clip, but there's also the ondé cardigan that's been languishing since last summer, and a pair of socks for Grandma that still need the toes done and the ends run in. Still, I long to knit up a fabulous black mod sweater in time to celebrate my birthday (which is in a month, yikes), and to get started on a kimono inspired cotton sweater. The silvery, lilac cabled yarn seems perfect for Spring. Maybe this is why some knitters make big heavy pullovers in the Summer and light little sweaters in the Winter, so that the garments are actually ready to wear.


One of my good friends recently observed that I haven't blogged in a while. It's safe to make such observations from one's sick bed. The flu can't last forever, unless it kills you.
So, I'm a cranky mood, so I thought, what a perfect time to visit Hijinks! I haven't really been up to much lately, so I haven't done any posts in ages and ages. Over a month. Tonight, a local grocery store chain to be unnamed for fear of libel accusations really irked me by having no check out lanes open. That's right, the store was open and there was no one working the registers. What is this world coming to? Instead, they had the self-check lanes open, which are kind of jetsons-y, but really just a big headache inducing mess. Then, I discover that I can't update my antivirus software and have to reinstall it, find correct key, and reregister it, which took ages and ages. I don't want to work FOR my computer. It should work for ME.
Hmmm... What's new. I've got a cat. He's a grey tabby, getting bigger and stripeyer every day. Very feisty compared to the elderly cats I had before. No sign of the mouse lately, though I am sure that I would know if he had caught it.
Knitting less these days, as the darling new cat does not understand that knitting is not a toy. Must wait until he is asleep or otherwise occupied before picking up the needles to work on current project. I am glad that I had the foresight to make a new hat, with big 90s alternative rocker earflaps, before the current cold spell/snow aplenty. Also made nifty wristwarmers from Stitch n Bitch Nation book, very similar to the gloves hobos wear in cartoons. They leave the tips of my fingers exposed, so I think I'll have to pair them with supercheap thin gloves while digging my car out tomorrow. Sigh.
I joined Netflix, after many months of growing disgust at local video rental place. They never had what I wanted in, or just didn't have it. So now, I get my foreign films and BBC comedies over the internet. The only drawback to this plan is the post office. The postal service around here is very slow, possibly involving a donkey. I must remember to ask my mom to mail the DVDs back from the Loop instead.
I've got loads of new music, accumulated over the past few months. Here are a few things I really like:
the new album from Pink Martini. Very popular with the NPR set.
Gwen Stefani's solo album, as my roommate Ashley predicted
and some other stuff too, which I can't think of at the moment.
The new Bjork is really haunting. It is very reminiscent of the work of her artist boyfriend. I caught one of his pieces at Tate Modern. It makes sense that they are together.
More later.

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