Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Change of Plans

Removed by request of subject.

The woman who was asking for support/money on this day - and whose story touched me enough to shill on her behalf - contacted me to say she's now in corporate America and is trying to erase all traces of this incident from the Internet.



Monday, July 30, 2007

Cable Guy!

And these!

Cable knit Keds!

*FOOTNOTE (un-asterisked, -pounded, -ampersanded, etc.): No points for this heading, unless you know the special meaning it has for me personally, and I think the only people who know that don't read this blog.

Feel free to let your imagination run on that one.

Android Dreams

Look at these shoes!

Those are Chuck Taylors with SHEEP on them.

Happy Monday!

*FOOTNOTE (unasterisked... or ampersanded, crossed, pounded or any other damned thing): It's not a hard one, but I'd give bonus points for those who get the heading reference off the tops of their heads. Double secret bonus points if you know the movie and the author.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Oh, My Stars...

...this merits an after-hours quickie (and when I tell you, I'm sure you'll agree. In more ways than one):

Johnny Depp

will be playing Barnabas Collins

in the upcoming movie version of Dark Shadows.

Be still my flapping bats!

Off Off Off Off Broadway

Guess what I saw Thursday night?

First some background.

This is the Denver Performing Arts Complex (DPAC). When I was in high school, it was the Denver Centre for the Performing Arts (DCPA). I still like the way that rolls off the tongue better. D-pack sounds like some military ration. DCPA has a lilt.

OK, I'm a snob.

In any case, I suspect whether you're a DCPA teenager or a DPAC teenager, if you ever took a photography class or fancied yourself a photographer, you spent a certain amount of darkroom time on these sorts of images.

When I was in Photo II in high school, we got a half-day off school to go take pictures.§ Jeff (my best friend) and I went downtown and took many of these self-same photos that you see here today. Sometimes the obvious, well... obviates the creative force.

Believe it or not, I sat in the bottom loop in this sculpture. Climbed up my own self. I wish I had a cat for scale so you could see how impressive that really is.

Hmmm. I kinda wonder if Jeff still has a picture of that. Cause, y'all know, the "believe it or not" part would be moot if I had photographic evidence.

In case you're interested, this is where my high school graduation was held. When I was there, my high school was pretty white and pretty upper class.¶

Oh! Oh! If you look just to the right of the needle scuplture in this one, you'll see a person standing there. That should give you some scale. See? I told you my climb was impressive. Damn near Everest.

The Buell Theatre wasn't around when I was in that phase, so I didn't get this shot in high school...

...but since the first time I saw this sign, it's reminded me of the stories of people's shadows etched into concrete walls by the blast at Hiroshima. I'm guessing that's not what the designer intended.


The DPAC couple enstatued# here (i.e. -- not the real one walking, but the big one on pedestals) wasn't around when I was in high school either.$ I really like them. I guess I like that a couple of fat people found each other in the courtyard outside the theatre, and that they can be icons of a destination like this.

And that brings us around to background a little closer to the foreground: Thursday, my cousin Jo said, "I have an extra ticket, meet us at the Fat Lady at 7:30."

Since I'm perpetually 15 minutes early, I had time to take pictures.

The Little Mermaid is currently pre-Broadway. They've been rehearsing and developing in Denver for the better part of a year (near as I can tell) and Thursday night was the first ever (ever!) performance. From there, they go into what's basically a two or three month dress rehearsal in front of Denver audiences (read: Mary Kay bunnies%) before heading to NYC for the *real* opening.

Now, I'm delighted to be on the leading edge, but there is a tiny shiver of insult that goes into knowing your town is not good enough for the actual production, just the dress rehearsal.

Just sayin'.

Meanwhile, back at the critique: It's an amazing production that I'd recommend for many pros:
  1. Costumes -- 'specially counting the minimal amount of clothing sailors and mermen wear. Y'all know. Triton... yum.
  2. Heelies -- 'cause to make play-fish swim requires some ingenuity.††
  3. Spectacular sets. I can't begin to tell you how innovative and sparkly and colourful and fun and architectural and watery and technologically marvelous it all was.

On the con side, they added 15 new songs (or some ridiculous number) and they all sucked. And the prince was a mealy-mouthed, simpering, Opie Pollyanna‡‡ of a weenie.

But I'd still recommend it. If nothing else, half-naked men. With sick abs.

And now for some scenery of the non-ab variety:

The western sky through the Ricketson councourse.

St. Cajetan's across the street at the Auraria campus

Dancing Aliens. Yeah, those weren't around when I was in high school either.

[SUMMARY: Half-naked men. Were you not paying attention?]

FOOTNOTE (crossed): You knew there had to be background, right?

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Or, for you DPAC-era photogs, Photoshop time. Poor little latter-day photogrpahers... they'll never know the joy of the vinegary scent of developing solution and stop baths while getting stoned in the darkroom with Mr. Neiberger, the photography teacher.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): I don't know whose bright idea this was. How many teenagers would you trust to just wander off to "take pictures" unsupervised? OK, OK... so Jeff and I actually went downtown and took pictures, but we were complete fucking dorks.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): "Spoiled" may be the word you're looking for. Not me, personally, of course. You can see I turned out way too well to have been spoiled. Shut up.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Is that a word? Should be.

$FOOTNOTE (moneyed): Seriously, when I was in high school, it was mostly dragonflies the size of 747s and lizards trying to evolve wings.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Like guniea pigs, only more 90s. Turns out I have no idea what lab animal is being exploited for what in today's world.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): So the players have to sing, look good half-naked AND be able to roller skate.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): No offence to Anna-Liza and Lyda. Not your kind of Pollyanna, who comes with ultra-cool Needles of Doom, but the kind that makes you want to slam the little Mormon boys in the door wholesale when they come knocking with their pamphlets.

ETA: I just went to the website, and the DCPA is still calling it the DCPA. How on earth do so many people get off changing it to the DPAC? Or maybe it's one of those picky semantic distinctions. Doesn't matter... DPAC didn't exist when I was in high school.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Don't Get Excited

Do you realise this is my first full week of work in a month?

[SUMMARY: I know: sympathysympathy*smack*sympathy]

Can I get a hearty TTHFCIF from my peeps? Where my knitta heads?

*bock bock*

[SUMMARY: Out of my ever-lovin' mind.]

Anyway, I did something kinda cool last night and I do have pictures, but it'll have to wait.§ The pictures are still in the camera, cozy and warm and not available for your viewing pleasure.

[SUMMARY: eca teases Marin. Marin teases the world. Kharma.]

I do have a little news, which I am deliberately posting today because it involves Ally, and Ally is currently weekending in the 80s and probably won't even see this until Monday. Serves her right for being younger than me.

See, Ally found this blog through our mutual involvement with Secret Pal 10.

It was originally nerve-wracking for me because when she started commenting here, I had to suck up all vestiges of personality when I sent her stuff.

I am your father, Luke.

I imagine she had an inkling, maybe a suspicion, possibly a gleeful near-knowledge, but let's make it all official-like, shall we?

'Cause, while it was originally nerve-wracking trying not to give myself away, it's now nerve-wracking because she apparently hasn't received my final package and it's been 25 days.

Pissing match blah blah Canadian Post blah passports blah customs blah blah delays...

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Patience, my ass. I'm gonna kill something.

So this is the big reveal.

C'est moi!

I are it!

As you may have suspected!

Hope you get your package soon! If the diamonds and caviar are gone, go pound the Canadian Postal worker nearest you!

Tell him the Male Lady sent you.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): You may not get that AT ALL. It's really for Brother. I hope he was drinking something carbonated when he read it.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): No, not that. Hey! Not that either! Sheesh... I do have some standards.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Don't get excited. And there's a funny story behind that phrase: I was puttering through the mall with my cousin Tani (mother of Stupid Blanket) one day, years back, and I started a sentence and she squealed and grabbed my arm and gasped and said, "Oh my god! That just reminded me! I have something for you! I've been carrying it around and I almost forgot to give it to you and I can't believe I didn't remember and I almost forgot and I found it and it made me think of you immediately and I had to get it for you and I have it here and...!!!" Then she opened her purse, looked me in the eye and said, "Don't get excited."

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Y'all know Ally. She wanted to fly to my house to save the wool from dead Marin fumes when that whole Grim Reaper vs. The Stash thing started.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Knitblog in the Moonlight

It took me hours to figure out what setting and how to take this picture of the Lake in moonlight, then I forgot to post it yesterday. Good thing I'm in charge here so we can preempt your regularly scheduled knitblog to make you unwillingly appease my vanity by looking at my pretty pictures.

[SUMMARY: HKIC: it has its advantages.]

These are the yarns that showed up Tuesday and Wednesday last week. I didn't even open them before I left -- I just tossed them wholesale, packaging and all, into the Mini and took off for Nebraska.

Knowing what was waiting for me when I unpacked on the other end inspired me to the discipline necessary to organise myself and stick with the program and...

Who am I kidding? It mostly inspired me to drive about 100 all the way there.

But look:

Clockwise from upper left: Cider Moon Glacier in Rainbow Trout, Louet Gems Opal in Violet and Shamrock, Lorna's Laces in Baltic, Watercolor and Maple Leaves.

Wouldn't you drive fast if you knew this was on the other end of your journey?

The infamous Lorna's Laces, fresh from their worldwide tour.

...and the shamrock Louet is for these...

Cookie A! Twisted Flower!

...and the violet Louet is for this...

More Cookie A! Thelonius!

...or maybe these.

Cookie, Cookie, Cookie A! Gothic Spire!

Just love me some Cookie A. Theoretically, I mean, since I bought four patterns and have yet to do more than fondle and drool and daydream.

Now, the Cider Moon (new best friend!) didn't picture up as well as I'd hoped, so I took a new picture this afternoon, with the wound skein attached to its chosen project, Sulala's Swirl Socks.

The colour is called Rainbow Trout and I hope to get more to make socks for my dad. Not that my dad is so into the rainbow part, but I think when I tell him it's all about the trout, he'll snap right in line.

Isn't it gorgeous?

Just look at the progression of colours along the needle...

*sigh* Beauty surrounds us.

[SUMMARY: We've learned something important here today: I am a sock whore.]

You know one thing I really like about the Swirl Socks and the Cider Moon? Sport weight.

Here are my other current socks, the debtor's socks for my brother for Father's Day. They're not sport. They're fingering. It'll probably be really good for the intarsia Arrrgyle pattern I'm putting on the leg, but it is a LOT of stitches. 72 per round, to be exact.

[SUMMARY: No greater love hath a seester...]

When I wasn't knitting the debtor's socks at the Lake, I was knitting this washcloth.§

Look! Purple!

The pattern's cool, isn't it? And pretty easy.

My big gripe is that the Fiber Trends pattern is printed on dark green paper, defying photocopying, so I can't write all over it, which would be helpful since there's a lot of on-beyond-four counting involved. Plus, it's getting pretty beat up. I'm just going to have to break down and put it on my very special computer-generated index cards one of these days.

Soon, if I'm smart.#

[SUMMARY: Modern technology: Garbage In, Garbage Out. Or, in my case, Nothing In, Nothing Out.]

And this would be the Girl Colours Big Baby Blanket for Dave's daughter.

I know, I know, but after the forgetting-the-border debacle (particularly since I'd just sent First Among Imaginary Kellys the pattern that very day), I was a little demoralised.

Don't worry, I'll get there. I have to. It's deficit knitting and I want to be out of debt and free to live my life.


All the way in from the coast...

Wait for it...

Cat for Scale!

Your camera strap, it fascinates me.

[SUMMARY: Not a knitblog without a cat.]

I heard the most interesting thing†† on ESPN Radio this morning.

The New York Yankees will be playing in KC tonight, which is almost irrelevant to this story. This little statistical gem goes like this:

A-Rod hit his 499th homer last night. The Yankees have won six straight.

On Friday, prior to a regularly-scheduled game, the Yankees and Orioles will be playing the last couple of innings of a game that was suspended on June 28. Anything that happens during those makeup innings will be statistically counted on June 28.

So... assuming the Yankees win tonight in KC, they will have a seven-game winning streak going into Friday.

Here's the good stuff: if they lose those makeup innings, that loss will be counted for June 28, thus the winning streak will still be alive.

Even better: if A-Rod hits his 500th during the makeup innings, that will be credited to June 28, putting last night's 499 as 500 in the record books.

It's like quantum baseball: "If Alex Rodriguez hits his 500th homer prior to his 499th homer, will there be anybody there to celebrate?"

[SUMMARY: Hate me some Yankees, but love me some weird-ass statistics.]

Wow. Is it Thursday already?

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Oddly, the simpler the camera, the harder to take pictures of the moon.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): eca, pray for me. Steph, I can hear you giggling.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Yes it is.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): You knew there had to be one somewhere, didn't you?

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): RHETORICAL. No need to comment.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Now, now... you have your interests, I have mine.

ETA: Take my car keys. As I was typing and such, I realised I got the WRONG WEIGHT in the Louet yarn. Cookie A would really like me to knit her lovely patterns in FINGERING,‡ and I apparently think I should be doing them in SPORT.

Thank the wool gods I'm dealing with Wendy at Lanas de Libelula.

Wendy is marvelous.

Wendy will probably secretly laugh and wonder if she should take my car keys but she'll exchange my yarn cheerfully. For putting up with all my senility (and you haven't even heard the story about how I didn't get enough yarn the first time around and she -- thanks be -- still had the same dye lot which turns out not to matter so much when it's all going back and we're going to have to start over hopefully without all the Marin angst...), she has my undying devotion.

Good grief, I'm a dork.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Admit it...

...you want to knit this.

Morticia Knits

This is the song that never ends...

Like Monday, we are re-visiting the "what to do with my fibre when I die" issue. I'm going to have to join the American Association of Undertakers if this doesn't stop.

And, like Monday, I open with the operative comment (from Red this time) so you don't have to go find it:

How are we going to knit your projects at your gauge? It's going to need to be picked and done again. For the love of wool don't start any big projects like afghans! Remember Stupid Blanket and his sudden growth spurt? (Is stupid Blanket a he? I just sort of assumed)

First, OK... I hadn't thought of that. "Tight knitter" is apparently a huge understatement in my case. I do have a theory, though: If you knit each stitch as tight as it will go, you have reached the single finite point to be found in tension, thus allowing you to have perfectly even stitches.*

I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to anyone, and it's not my actual strategy, but I think it's a good point.

Shut up.

Second, c'mon... frogging and reknitting socks under promise of cashmere. Are you telling me it's not worth it? eca would do it. I know she would. 'Specially for Brother.

Third, hmmmmm... lessee: Stupid Blanket looked simple, carefree -- even fun -- at the beginning; rapidly became a pain in the ass; became difficult to leave because of time invested; eventually inspired so much bitching, moaning and loathing as to drive away friends and family; required professional help and lots of wine to get over the hump toward closure; when finished, looked oddly lovely and when delivered away from me, aroused rear-view mirror longing after time.§

Yep. Pass out the cigars. It's a boy!


So, yeah, when I die, you may have to frog entire socks and reknit them, lest they be mistaken for wine glass cozies, but won't it be worth it?

As for the afghan issue, you know Lizard Ridge is on the horizon, but I figure it's done in individual squares, so y'all will just have to block the HELL out of my pieces and shove yours into a vaguely geometric shape before sewing them up.

[SUMMARY: Ghouls. You're all ghouls. And my brother? Lord High King of the Ghouls.]

In other news...

Back Story:

Years ago, I had an issue with Amazon.com and they lost my business.

See, I had moved and changed my address with them and blithely shopped with them and everything was peachy and suddenly, one day, my package didn't show. And didn't show. And didn't show.

With increasing impatience, I followed their instructions to "wait one more week" and "check with your local post office" until I could take it no more. Through some digging, it turned out their software, in some sort of pre-destined audit function, had spontaneously regenerated an old address and the package had been sent to that erroneous place out of my past.

Of course, this was after I'd been away from that address for over a year, so, of course, the forwarding was expired. And, of course, the lowlife who lived in my old apartment probably just kept the shipment of CDs for himself so I was, of course, screwed.

Amazon offered me a $10 gift certificate for my trouble, but did not offer to replace the lost purchase. Cherry on top? While I had no intention of being an Amazon customer anymore, I did decide to use that gift certificate.

It didn't work.

[SUMMARY: Fuck Amazon...]

Fast forward to 2007.

In May, I ordered six skeins of Lorna's Laces from Yarnela on eBay.

EBay uses the same software platform as Amazon. Can you see where this is going?

Because the shipment came from Canada and there is this ongoing pissing match betwixt the Canadian Postal Service and all things American, the proprietor of Yarnela begged me to "wait two more weeks."

Holy fucking cats, that sounds familiar.

When we finally concluded the package was missing, said proprietor was ready to ship new yarn to me right away. The email with the particulars showed my old address.

Where I haven't lived for a year-and-a-half.

My stomach made a beeline for my toes.

I pointed out that I've only had my PayPal account for a couple of months, therefore the PayPal address couldn't be anything but my current address. Les (see?) pointed out that the confirmation he/she got apparently drew the address from whatever eBay was dishing out. And forwarded me his/her confirmation to prove it.

Three items of interest for those who shop eBay/Amazon/whomever else uses that software platform:

  1. The address on Les's confirmation was, indeed, the old address, BUT there was also a specific note (marked by a question mark) that said the address wasn't confirmed and should be confirmed with the purchaser before any shipping took place. I assume PayPal concedes its address database to that of the vending website, but warns if the billing address they have doesn't match. EBay sellers: HEED THE QUESTION MARK.
  2. The address on my confirmation from PayPal was the correct one. It is the only email confirmation I got, so I can't tell you if the screen eBay gave me had the correct address or not. I didn't pay that close of attention, having purchased things from eBay, via PayPal, that had shown up just fine. EBay buyers: HEED THE CONFIRMATION SCREEN.
  3. When the package of Lorna's Laces finally showed up (much marked for the non-forwarding, returning and re-sending) last Wednesday, I went to check my eBay account to be sure I'd changed the address as thoroughly as possible, it showed yet another address, this from two moves ago, where I haven't lived for seven years. Everybody#: PERIODICALLY CHECK YOUR EBAY INFO.

Does it seem a little stupid and cumbersome that one has to think of one's address change for upwards of seven years? Does it seem outside the lexicon of modern living that one would have to change one's address harder and more thoroughly?

[SUMMARY: ...and the software they rode in on.]

To para-quote Buffy again, I suddenly find myself having to know the plural of "apocalypse."

That's my public service for the month, unless you count the one about hiring trained professionals for waxing, which is more a pubic service.††

TOMORROW: Actual pictures of the actual yarns you saw on the bed in the Lake series. WIPs. Perhaps a Cat for Scale picture. You know... real knitblog shit.

*FOOTNOTE: (asterisked... yeah, yeah): "Tight stitches are all alike; every loose stitch is loose in its own way." Anna Karenina as knitter.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Like I have a strategy.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Note to self: must add cashmere to stash so knitters won't exhume and re-kill after finding they reknit socks for no cashmere. Or opt for cremation. Mental image: betrayed knitters peeing on charred remains.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Wow. Who knew that analogy was going to be so apt? Like dating situations gone babies-on-spikes, I think we're going to have to add to the argot "Stupid Blanket" for those guys you stay with too long for all the reasons listed.

$FOOTNOTE (moneyed): That's my changing-the-subject-away-from-the-embarrassing-revalation throat clear, for those of you scoring at home.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): On whom I'd like to bestow a pronoun, but whose name may be short for either Leslie or Lester.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Or maybe it's just me.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): No, I didn't use this whole post just as a setup for that stupid joke, though I can see why you might think so. You know me too well.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lake! A Story in Pictures

Hello Lake. Hello cabin.

Oh, cabin, how I love your multiple choice selection of beds, your kitchenette, your running water...

...but I love your air conditioning most of all.

Heaven on a bed means different things to different people.


Junie Mae's for breakfast is a must.

Junie Mae's has wonderful food, including (but not limited to) biscuits and gravy, migas and...

...JAM! Homemade!


Dino prints make the walkin' beach go 'round. Mary, as her father says, is "cute as socks on a squirrel."§

Mary is well-equipped both in playthings and playmates.

Mary and Mom (Connie)

And she shares her bounty. The orphaned turtle we found washed up on the beach ended up with his own amusement park ride.

Does it look like someone buried Dolly Parton here?

And a architecturally marvelous turtle kiva. When I asked what the hole in one room was, Mary said, simply, "Hot tub."


Sometimes it's a little cloudy and you can just hang out.

Mary's dad (Shanny)

Or float on already.

Kevin and Linda

When the sun beats down, we raise the roof.

Sun worshipers bask.#

Bobbi and Cami

Children play.

Mary and Drew

Trust me, you don't get a lot of this with Mary.

Drew wore Mary out and now turns his attentions to Paulie.


Connie and Shanny say, "This doesn't suck."


A golf cart rides off into the sunset.$


Let the fire pit begin!

S'mores, anyone?

Mary and Connie


Bye bye Lake. See you next year.


By the way, I left out the sixteen-photo series on feet in the mud.%

FOOTNOTE (crossed): I know you can hardly believe this is where I went with "heaven on a bed," but there was a shipment (or two) of yarn that showed up just before I left.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Just for you, Red.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Mary was born on my birthday -- almost deliberately. Connie had a scheduled C-section and in her choice of four or five dates, chose my birthday.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Shanny said to Mary, "I'm sorry more grown-ups don't play like Kevin does." Mary turned to me and said, "You're like that, Marin. You play with me." Break my heart...

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Bobbi is Drew's mom. Cami is Paulie's wife. For those of you scoring at home.

$FOOTNOTE (moneyed): Golf carts everywhere. The first day, as we headed back for dinner, we found a row of parked golf carts, their occupants watching the sunset. It looked so odd; it really was a WTF moment.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Specifically, my feet in the mud. You're welcome.