I had, as my boss put it, a Harry Potter weekend. I stayed up insanely late on Friday to read the book. The late part was aided by my long wait at the bookstore. That isn't a complaint; I had a good time with the other hardy souls waiting in line. I even got to use some of my Borders Rewards towards my purchase. Whoo-hoo! So, I've read the book and am almost done re-reading it. I read very quickly, but often re-read for detail. I won't post any spoilers, but I was sad that one of my favorite characters (somewhat minor) was killed off.
So, after the luxurious three day weekend,I headed back to work this morning. There is a new girl who is working on a show with one of my Goodman friends, and it turns out that she and I did a show together but never met. Crazy. I had been thinking about that show because I saw another production of it at a local theatre. The production values were low, low, low, but they had a lot of heart. Basically no design concept and some damn big dark spots on stage, but my expectations were low. It did remind me how much I liked the show, after all of the negativity surrounding the Chicago production.
I got my hair cut on Friday. I really needed it. I don't like having hair stuck to the nape of my neck in the heat. Since my hair is short now, after soooo many years of wearing it long, a ponytail isn't an option. It is cut in a graduated bob, with the longest layer curling under my jawline. Very flapperish. Actually, it really looks like the haircut that so many of the sorority girls had when I was in college, but didn't have the nerve to do with my nearly waist-length hair. Why I wanted hair like Jan Brady, I do not recall. I gradually cut it back. When you've got long hair, no one really notices when you chop off 6", because it's still long. Until you get above the shoulder. If I'd planned properly, I could have donated my hair to some little bald girl with cancer. I didn't, and the tranferrence of split ends was averted. The assistant manager at work called my hair sassy today. I don't know how I feel about that. I'll post a pic after I hair model tomorrow and you can judge for yourself.
Speaking of sassy, do you remember the magazine Sassy? I loved it, in a way that I've loved no other magazine, not even the New Yorker or Bitch. It rocked, back in the day. Then it was bought out by Teen magazine and died a horrible, change of editorial staff, death. Most of the people from Sassy went on to Jane magazine. Jane really wanted to be a grown-up Sassy, and for a while it was. Then it began to suck. A lot. If I want to look at $500 dresses and jackets with prices "upon request", I'll read Vogue, thank you. And the virginity auction? Desperate on so many levels. I wasn't too sad, then, when I read that Jane is folding after this month. A lot of people stopped reading after Jane Pratt left (and perhaps before) and it never really lived up to its Sassy heritage. Oh, well.


Some douchebag put a flier on my windshield today. From across the lot, it looked like a ticket, which is not funny. Closer inspection revealed that it was political material for Ron Paul for President. I don't really know much about the Republican field (despite driving a Buick Century. The pro-choice bumper sticker should have been a clue.), so I read it while waiting for an extremely long train to cross. Ron Paul is against the UN. He's also endorsed by Gun Owners of America and the Right to Life Committee. There's also a picture of him with Ronald Reagan: a youngish looking Reagan and an old looking Ron Paul. Oh, and he's against the UN, but apparently pro-litter, as I doubt many of the other commuters did more than tear it off their vehicles and throw the flier on the ground. In, short: Ron Paul, you are not getting my vote. I'm a single issue voter (and you're on the other side), have never voted Republican, and would like to elect a president under the age of seventy. Oh, and don't put anything else on my car.

In less cranky news, my invitation to Ravelry finally arrived! Yay!!! I stayed up way too late playing with it last night and had to will myself to get out of bed and go to work this morning. One of my coworkers, referring to my changing shifts, asked me today if I like getting up in the morning. My answer was a concise 'no'. Look for me on Ravelry. My screen name is soundknitter and my profile is a work in progress.

This weekend is going to be hard to prioritize. I've got to finish my mom's birthday present (knitted, of course), go to my friend's opening night, and read the new Harry Potter. I wasn't planning to go see the show until my friend sent me an email about it. I've seen the show on Broadway and worked on a big production of it in Chicago, so I'm not falling over myself to go see it at an LOA theatre. I like to think of myself as a good friend, though, so I'll go. It has high camp potential.


I had a really lousy day today. I was harassed by a homeless man while getting my first coffee of the day (*DON'T INTERRUPT THE COFFEE*), felt lousy enough at work to leave early and therefore worry about getting a lecture about skiving off, and fell down the stairs at the train station and skinned my knee and palm. When it rains it pours, but at least I didn't do a face plant on concrete. My knee really effin' hurts. I had forgotten about that, since it's probably been a decade or more since my last skinned knee. So I am feeling a little self-pitying and cranky.
The Ravelry gods (god and goddess?) have put in a new feature for short attention span types like me. You can now check your position in the waiting list through the website, instead of sending imploring emails. I was a bit optimistic in thinking that I'd get in this week, though not far off the mark. They sent invites out to people who registered on or before May 28th. I registered on the 30th. There are 477 people in line ahead of me, but I don't think it will be long. I can't remember being this excited about an invitation since I got my first college acceptance letter. Is that geek chic?
In addition to all of the other goings-on, knit wise, I have started a new project of my own design. It's small, so I refuse to feel guilty. I'm making a soap case that folds out into an exfoliating washcloth, in a lovely shade of green hemp. There are a few things that I wish I had planned better, but not worth tearing it out over. I've also been paging through my old Phildar magazines for inspiration. God, are cable patterns confusing in French! There are a couple of things that I'd like to make, one of which looks like Thermal by Laura Chau, only larger gauge and with lacy yarnovers. The directions really made me think that it really is easier to do cables instead of fake cables, but I'm sure if I took the time to chart it, it wouldn't be so bad. Because I really need more to knit :)


This was the week that I did not get my invite from Ravelry, despite repeated checking of email in-boxes. I felt fairly optimistic on Sunday, but that feeling has dissipated. Fortunately, I've had a few other things to do.
I won a round of bingo at Roscoe's last night. I think it may have been the first time that I've ever won at bingo and I was a bit surprised. I was a bit drunk, thanks to the special on pitchers of apple martinis, which makes it harder to watch your card. My whole table was a group of girl-drink drunks. I won a fuzzy die (not a pair of dice) for my vehicle and a pair of blue pom poms that remind me of Fraggle Rock. A good time was had by all.
My order from Amazon arrived today. No books with plots, alas, but I'm kind of off fiction at the moment. This is not to say that I won't be standing in line like a fool to get my new Harry Potter next week. I will. Today, I got Tracey Ullman's book, a ho-hum book of quick projects called Speed Knitting, and The Perfect Summer by Juliet Nicholson. I may curl up early with a book instead of the usual tv and knitting marathon.
I also made a yarn pilgrimage this week. A bit of unexpected free time presented itself, so I headed out to Chix with Stix in Forest Park. It's a charming yarn shop with lots of natural light and Colinette yarn. That was the primary reason for the trip (secondary reason: green tea ice cream at the place next door), since Chix is the only store in the Chicago area that carries Colinette's new sock yarn, Jitterbug. I exercised some self control and only purchased two skeins. Due to the shitty exchange rate (thanks, Bush administration!), there's no longer a price advantage in having it shipped over from the UK.
My hours are changing at work, so I may be a little hard to reach for the next week. Even though it will call for a major shift in my sleep patterns (ugh), I am optimistic. I really think that working during the day will help me to get out of my sales rut. And I won't have to ask for time off to go to concerts in the park, friends' shows, etc. I'll just have to get up and go to work the morning after.


Back in my day...

I just spent an evening with my cousins, Annie and Kathy, whom I see about every 7 years or so. I'd forgotten how cool they are. They're both out of high school now and are really excited and passionate about lots of things in their lives. Katherine is going to a theatre conservatory school in the fall and we talked about it all night. I'm really excited for her. It makes me remember that point in my life. I guess that college does that for older people. I remember the wistful looks and odd remarks that my mom's friends made when I went off to school. One of them told me that college was the best time in her life. I'm not sure that I would say that. Maybe the best time of my life is still ahead of me. That's the fodder for late night thoughts.

I feel a little guilty about the Ravelry whinge in my last post. I await that invite like a kid awaits Christmas. Really, I'm not ticked about the wait. You probably know how impatient I am, if you've been reading my blog for a while (or know me in real life). I follow the comings and going of my mailman almost obsessively when I'm expecting a package. It turns out that that is actually prudent, given his lackadaisical approach to his job. I blame this expectation of instant gratification on the internet. This seems random, I know, but follow me here: You can buy and download an album in like five minutes from the itunes store, find the answer to just about any question online in far less time than a trip through the library stacks takes, and connect with the world in a way that just didn't exist five or ten years ago. I say five because I went to school pre-facebook. All of my networking involved awkward questions in close vicinity to a keg, like "what's your major?" and pretentious jokes about theatre. Things used to take longer, and people were okay with that. We didn't have expectations of things happening instantly. I checked in over at the Ravelry blog, where the most recent post responds to impatient complaints. I felt guilty as I read it, as though I had been the person who sent them some mysterious, hateful, impatient email. I didn't, but I'm a pisces. They predict sending invites out to people who registered before May 28th this week. I think that includes me! Yay! I might disappear for a little while when I get my invite, because I hear that Ravelry is addictive (in a good way). Thank god I can't read my email at work, or I'd probably get fired for stalking my inbox for the invite.


Today is the last day of the Taste. What a relief! There's something about the Taste that brings out my inner hater, I guess. I just want my regular commute back. Maybe in addition to the family car on the trains, they should have a curmudgeons' car. It would be full of people quietly reading-- no loud music leaks, cell phone conversations, random conversations that amount to me giving a total stranger thirty minutes of free therapy, etc. I'd be there, happily reading the New Yorker and listening to weird Japanese ambient music.

There have been some bright spots. Last week, I was riding home, tired, bored, and knitting as usual, in a train full of boisterous people. They were drunk but happy, unlike my July 3rd ride from hell. I was sitting there minding my own business when I heard some of the revelers saying, hey, hey, hey. Oh, shit, I thought, and steeled myself for the usual taunts. "Knit me a scarf," said one of the kids in the gallery. Sigh. Why do non-knitters think that is funny? Then, one of the guys clarified: "We're not making fun of you. What you're doing is different." I smiled, having never received a literal shout out for my knitting. "Let's give big props to the single mom downstairs." he continued. What the fuck? I wasn't traveling with a small child and I'm not knocked up. Do I have a really mumsy look or something, I thought. Then I realized, it's the knitting. The old knitting stereotype. Why would some young, chic single gal want to knit (in public of all places) unless there was a kid involved?

For many, many years, I avoided knitting in pastels for fear of situations like this. That is, until the recent pastel explosion chez Kirstin. Colors come in cycles, of course. Maybe it's a seasonal thing. That, or I'm finally working more colors into my wardrobe. Look, there's even coral, which is as close to orange as I get! The coral is being used in Interweave Knits' Summertime Tunic, which was the "baby" project I was knitting on the train. There's a free pdf of the pattern on their website, if you're interested/curious. I've made tons of progress on it this week, mostly due to determined knitting on the train. The other yarns are all alpacas. If you look closely, you can spot a cartoonish alpaca on one of the ball bands.

I've made a couple of baby sweaters recently for actual babies that do not belong to me. That is how I like it. I will admit that I got a little emotional when I put them together. They're just so small and cute (like the tiny people involved). I'm angling for the crazy aunt slot in this equation: the one who isn't really a relative, but is cool and spoils the kids with presents of questionable appropriateness. You might also note that neither sweater is pastel. The twins are the offspring of costume designers, so I have to bring my A game. The sweaters are an adaptation of the kimonos in Louisa Harding's Natural Knits for Babies book, made in RYC Cashsoft yarn. Only a crazy aunt would give babies cashmere sweaters, right? Totally washable cashmere blend, not totally impractical!

The 4th was fantastic. I went to two barbecues, one of which featured many, many fireworks. Their neighbors must have spent thousands of dollars on their explosives. They were big, loud, and impressive. It was a great evening. The bottle of Gew├╝rztraminer that I bought at the Co-op turned out to be really good. It was a total pig in a poke, as I'm not really up on German wines, so its quality was a pleasant surprise. My hostess, Shannon, has just discovered the sheer joy of backstage knitting and proudly showed me her projects. It made me nostalgic for a time when I could knit at work. She's already started work on her Christmas presents. Did you guess that she's a stage manager? This put my mind spinning about my own present drawer, now sadly empty. Typically, I being my Christmas knitting in September. My family isn't as large as the Waltons, but that's still cutting it close. Inspired by Shannon's ability to plan ahead, I decided to get cracking myself. Once the books I ordered from Amazon arrive, I'll be in business. I had planned to buy from the LYS, but when I found Knit 2 Together for $5 new, I couldn't resist! I may email a few (female) family members soon about sizing, favorite colors, etc., but try to forget between now and Christmas. Or at least look surprised, eh?

I've been waiting patiently for my Ravelry invite. Well, as patiently as possible. They've compared it to the Gmail invites, but since I got a very early Gmail invite from Blogger, it doesn't really translate for me. While I wait for that exclusive invite to arrive in my inbox, I've been looking at Craftster instead. I could easily become a Craftster addict. This is one of the ways that the internet has really revolutionized knitting. I can see projects that people made in Japan, read about modifications that other people made and weird pattern errata. I've added a couple of projects to the mental list after seeing FOs on Craftster. If I were on Ravelry, I could add them to an actual queue, but that will have to wait.

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