Sunday, April 30, 2006

It's Funny 'Cause It's True!

Did you see it?

Did you watch the White House Press Correspondents' Association Dinner/Thing on C-Span?

I didn't (no cable). I heard about it from Stitchy McYarnpants (thank you).

Stephen Colbert took names and kicked ass in his speech last night, and you can see the whole thing--complete with visible discomfort on the part of GWBush, Laura Bush, and most of the audience--here at Democratic Underground. (It's in two parts for easier downloading.) Commentary on it from Daily Kos and

I don't have much to add to all of this, except to say HELL FUCKING YEAH and GOOD ON YEH, STEPHEN!

And just ITMFA.

We called him "Billy Shakes" at school

I've been reading (well, listening to) this book Will in the World by Stephen Greenblatt, and it's pretty darn good. I'm kind of an armchair Shakespeare ... um, well, the word "scholar" is so far away from what I mean. I've taken a few classes and read some of the plays and all the sonnets at one time or another. I like his work. He's good people.

Anyway, the author perks up the bare facts of Shakespeare's life with some speculation about his parents' lives, his "lost years," his marriage. That's as far as I've gotten so far, and it's really snagged my attention which is novel. The last few books I've read (listened to, rather; I listen as I process DVDs or mend books or repair AV material at work) haven't really grabbed me, so I'm happy to find a book that I'm not constantly tuning out. It's pretty pathetic when putting stickers on DVD cases is more interesting than the book I'm reading (listening to).

Because this book makes reference to all of Shakespeare's plays, most of which I haven't read, I'm strangely inclined to read all 37 ("Thirty-seven?!") of his plays. I think I own at least one complete works, and lots of individual volumes of some plays. My Mom and I had a sort of two-person book club going there, for a little while, but I can't really see asking her (or anyone, including my friends who teach Shakespeare professionally) to read along with me. Ah well, the life of a reader is naturally a lonely one (dramatic sigh).

(And if you haven't heard The Avett Bros. yet, you should. I heard them on NPR's World Cafe and found their songs at the i-tunes store, and you should too.)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Internet Is a Weird, Weird Place

Someone found me using these search phrases:

albino manatees
cancre tongue photo
crochet pattern fallen soldier
crochet pattern mental hat
crochet slut dress

I don't even know what constitutes a "mental hat." I do know (roughly) what a crochet slut dress consists of (2 parts crochet to 4 parts slut, I assume). And of course Get Your Hook On is the world leader in albino manatee information. Naturally.

In other news, Ziggy urges everyone to just ITMFA*:

(if you look closely, you can see the reflection of my hands and the camera. My hands look like creepy pale spiders. What a charming mental picture that conjures.)

* Impeach The M-F-er Already

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More Orange!

I've been kind of secretly working on my Tempting sweater (kind of secretly in that I've sort of been telling you about it, but haven't been showing pictures as often as I should. Because there is a blogging rulebook and I shun it. Or whatever.), and I finally have decent pictures to show off.

I got the sleeves done this weekend, which surprised me. Everything's faster with picking!

Then last night I attatched the tops of both sleeves to the body of the sweater while I was at the Stitch-n-Bitch at Borders (Heather and I didn't last long, as I had residual migraine-ness and she was cranky and trying to hold it in). I thought I would come home and switch to the 29" size 8 circular, but when I got home I got a call from the Beloved saying he was at the Annex (our favorite bar for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it is one block from our apartment) with some old friends and so I went out and drank instead. I know. What kind of knitter am I?

Here is the sweater with both sleeves firmly attatched (I hope!). I'm going to switch to the longer needle today/tonight and work the remaining 5 or 6 inches and then be done. And then cast on for Picovoli, with any luck.

And because the weather here has turned her nasty face on us, I give you happy spring-like pictures. (Seriously, we're getting the ugly precipitation trifecta -- rain, snowflakes & tiny, tiny hail. It was 72 degrees yesterday. Sigh.)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Thursdays Are For Randomness

And this is not at all a cop-out from actual blog content. Nope.

Part 1 - Legends of Drunken Knitting
Sounds almost like it could be sort of a kung-fu movie, maybe. Right? C'mon! Okay fine. Anydamnhow, remember how I taught some friends to knit while we were drinking? (Of course you probably don't, so click the link) It turns out that C., the friend who isn't planning a wedding, picked up on the knitting and is a total convert! Weeha!

Look how happy she is!

A few weeks ago her husband came up to me and asked what I did to his wife (oddly, this is not the first time I've been asked this question--comes with the territory when you teach fiber arts over two years), because now she pays him no attention and just knits after work (she's a lawyer, so imagine the stress relief she must get). And C. only knows how to make the knit stitch--she hasn't learned the purl or the bindoff--but she's still really really excited about it. I love it! Hooray!

Part 2 - How I Force My Food to be Cheerful

Does anyone else do this? I have done this for as long as I've been making my own sandwiches. Always with the mustard smiley face. If I'm feeling snarky I drizzle ketchup on the same slice and make it look like the smiley face got beat up. I'm so weird.

Part 3 - So, This is a Knit Blog, Right?
Yes, and I'm going to bind off the first sleeve of Tempting today, and cast on for the second sleeve. I was going to do this all last night but then two things happened. First, I drank a beer (which led to a second beer); second, I realized that my handy ball of waste yarn (some old kitchen cotton in not-me colors which I use to hold some stitches instead of binding them all off) is probably at Borders where I left it a week and a half ago. Idiot! At least it was the 2$/ball cotton and not the 12$/ball merino. Shows I still have some sense.

Part 4 - Work just improved a lot
And by "improved" I mean "became much more lucrative." I was making complete crap wages, and so were many of my co-workers, and then the Board in their wisdom distributed raises o'er the land and behold! I will soon be not-as-poor and may be able to contribute to the wedding. Or do other grown-up things like pay every bill that comes in.

Part 5 - Oh, and speaking of the wedding
Nick and I have been trying to coerce our parents into giving us their guest lists for the past month, so we can get a count of how many invitations to order. We finally got everything in on Tuesday night and the guest list? It's got 325 people.

Three hundred twenty-five people.

I can't even understand what happened to my small, low-key wedding. It blew up. It just completely exploded and I have to go lie down now.

Part 6 - The Therapy

Ella (first two pictures) and Maisie (second two) live with our friends Ryan and Lindsay. They both love posing for the camera, and we had to capture them and take them home (at least digitally).

Okay, now I'm going to go lie down.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Grinner... check; Lover & Sinner... check

And now I'm a Picker!

I've been throwing since I learned how to knit (because the friend who taught me is a thrower), and then I began this 2x2 rib sweater (Tempting). I had to knit 14 inches of ribbing before I started the sleeves and it was not moving along very quickly at all. And I want to wear the sweater for one of my upcoming bridal showers, which are upcoming very soon.

I had tried to do the left-hand carry before, but couldn't get the purl stitch to go correctly--it was always twisted when I tried to work into it on the next round. I gave up on that, though I was pretty sure I should be a picker, because I began my fiber life as a crocheter (yarn in left, hook in right hand). Then, then! I found Knitting in Plain English by Maggie Righetti and now I worship at the altar of Maggie Righetti because I can now pick-purl. I have no idea what I was doing before, or what I'm doing differently now. It just works and it's awesome.

If you knit, do you pick or throw? If you crochet, how do you hold the hook (pencil or knife)?

(Pardon me as I abandon you for the moment... I have to work on the sleeve.)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Diary of a Wedding Dress, Part 2

The Bra

This thing really could go out and get a job on its own, don't you think?

At least there aren't any stays along my front, just at the sides. But the damn thing cost seventy dollars! ($70.00!) I have whole closets full of clothes that didn't cost that much put together!

(aside: You know what's amazing? It's 2006 and bras are still being sold in "flesh" colors that fall only on the "white-girl" end of the spectrum. Undergarment manufacturers, get your damn heads out of your asses and make a better range of bra colors! Gah!)

Anyway, here are pictures from the actual fitting, in which no boobies were mishandled or told to obtain a higher position on my chest. Thank god.

The Dress

I don't know why I'm scrutinizing my right hand; Look at the happy half-face! I love dressing up and I didn't even know it!

I am not fond of bows on my butt, even when they are band-aid sized. Especially when they are band-aid sized. Here you see Harriet reluctantly cutting it off (she likes bows. She is also the woman who looked down my dress and announced my need for cleavage enhancement. Despite these facts, I kind of like her).

Setting the bustle and hem. Deanna has her hand on my butt (in a holding-the-bustle way), Harriet is pinning the hem, and my Mom looks on (wondering how her tomboy daughter managed to find herself in a wedding dress).

Me and the dress, having a moment together.

If you look closely, you can see my Mom's diamond jewelry on my ears and round my neck. My something borrowed. (Later, as Laura was helping me out of this crazy getup, we dropped one of the earrings in the dressing room and I think I died for the two minutes it took for us to find it. We did find it, so I did not remain dead.) I still haven't found something old or something blue.

And there it is. My wedding dress. Holy crap.

Monday, April 10, 2006

It Was Margaret's Birthday this Weekend

... and I missed it. Such a bad friend.

Margaret is a hoot. I wish you could all meet her, because she is so very awesome. So awesome in fact, that she and I were in a band called Awesome.

Margaret totally rocks the world in the arenas of best-friendishness, hilarious poem-writing, silly fun-having, good listening, strong personality-having, maid-of-honor-being, whiskey drinking, and goofy picture-taking.

I love her tons and tons, and I missed her birthday. I am a troll-brain. I am sorry.

She is also finishing her Master's Thesis in the next, oh, minute-and-a-half here and could use any happy thesis-finishing thoughts you might send her way.

Happy Birthday, Miss Margaret-pants. I can't wait to see you in June. June! Hooray!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Cheer, in yarn form

It's been a rough week here at Chez HookOn.

(1) The bathroom smells like a drain and the toilet won't stop making weird hissing noises. It's hard to pee when you think you're going to be attacked by a feral animal. (Are there toilet weasels?)

(2) The caterer that was going to save our wedding budget, isn't. We were hoping to do two kinds of pasta dishes (cheap!) but the only red sauce they use has cheese in it (not compatible with the vegan theme). They're a grocery store, they carry many varieties of red sauce on their shelves that does not contain cheese, and yet. Grrr.

(3) Work has been hectic, with trying to design, order and receive posters in time for next Wednesday's board meeting. Also, communication still fails at some points, despite the recent HellBeast-ectomy. This is discouraging.

(4) Money. Ick.

(5) My second wedding dress fitting is tomorrow. I am still whatever weight I was last time, though I have been eating less (see #4). Despite my insurance covering half a gym membership, I can't join one until I get the anticipated raise which won't take effect until the end of this month (see also #4). And I've got the PMS, which is always a great help in determining the fit of a dress. The cursed Curse!

(6) The combination of numbers 1-5 made me wake up at 4:something this morning and I haven't been able to get back to sleep. Lovely!

To combat all this drear, I give you (and myself) yarny goodness.

My newest acquisitions, all together. Socks are next on my list (after the Tempting... and the Picovoli... and the wedding shawl)(pardon the lack of links, but it's 6am and I can't be bothered), so of course I must anticipate the frenzy and stock up.

The pink/yellow on the left is Sock Garden Stargazer Lily, which will hopefully be 2 pairs of socks (one for me, one for a gift); the multi in the middle is Dancing Tap (socks for me); the grey/blue is yarn with which to learn socks, because I don't like the colors much (maybe socks to give away?); the red/orange is Sock Garden Zinnia (socks for me to match my fingerless mitts); the purple is Sock Garden Pansy (fingerless mitts for Laura). All KnitPicks.

I feel better. Now to get a nap in before I have to wake up.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Reason No. 10

The Beloved and I were watching the bonus features on The Lord of the Rings (Fellowship) the other night and got to the part where someone was talking about the Elves and their super-strength and whatall.

Quoth my fiance:
"It would be awesome to be an elf."


"An elf ninja!"

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Diary of a Wedding Dress

Part One - The Fitting

When I ordered my wedding dress (in a blizzard, which was a barrel of laughs, let me tell you), the nice ladies at the shop ordered a size 10 skirt and size 14 top. This flies in the face of all fact-based reality, as I am generally a size 8 top and probably a size 12 skirt. But it's wedding clothes, so nothing is based in reality at all. Ever.

So, March 25th was my first attempt at fitting this weird size combination to my body. Being the fashion-unaware person that I am, I have no strapless bras (okay, I do have one but it's red and just screams "slut" and on the whole isn't that appropriate for under a wedding dress. Or is it?) --anyway, I had to borrow one from my sister. The strapless bra I wore is nothing fancy--no pushup, no long-line. It was essentially a bandage with shaping.

Maribeth helped me into the dress, helped me out into the showroom with all the mirrors and people, and I saw myself in the dress, full-on.

It was a little weird. Despite the hugeness of the top, I saw a bride and --holy hell!-- I was the bride. I got a little shaky and looked at my Mom and said "I'm wearing my wedding dress," which was blatantly obvious, even to the untrained eye, but which was suddenly very real and nearly made me fall over from shock.

In the midst of this moment the fitters are pulling at the sides of the top, and pinning where they're going to take it in and whatnot. Then the lead fitter gets to the front of me and kind of pauses and says "Hmmm."


"Are you wearing a bra?" she asks.
"Yes," I say.
"Is it a push-up bra?" she asks.
"No," I say, cowering.
"You'll probably want to wear a push-up bra" she says. "Let's see what you've got up top."

And I swear to you I am not kidding, she walked up to me and--despite the fact that there were other shoppers in the store--seized the top of my dress with two hands and pulled it out and looked down the front of my dress to see my non-push-up-bra-encased boobies, and when she looked up she confirmed: "Yep, you'll need to get a push-up bra."

Thank you. Because I didn't have enough judgment in my life.

(And I go back for my next fitting this Saturday, armed with a strapless long-line push-up bra the likes of which I have never seen before and hope never to see again. Ever.)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Stupid &*$#ing Daylight Savings Time!

I woke up when the bedroom clock said 10:19am. I walked out to the living room (where my phone lives) and my phone clock said 12:19am. Two hours? How did I lose two hours?

I thought I was going nuts. After fiddling with it, my phone then read 11:20am. I thought this was some elaborate April Fools Joke played by my Beloved or by my sneaky-pants neighbors. It didn't even occur to me that it was freaking Daylight Savings Time until I was almost late for work.

Stupid government time thing. Made me think I was losing my shit.