Biting the Bullitt (Chin Cleft Theater)

The problem with watching "classics", or movies that have the 1st instance of x, y, or z, is that they are often crappy when viewed in entirety. And utterly destroyed by 60's/70's pacing. Take Bullitt. Steve McQueen was a fine looking man. No problems there. Jacqueline Bissett is a fine looking woman. (Although, I was highly distracted because she looked and sounded a LOT like Elizabeth Hurley. That'd be the other way around, I guess.) Their relationship was unconvincing and at one point, JB had a dress on so short, AT WORK, that I helpfully reminded her to put pants on next time.

From Wikipedia: "Bullitt is most-remembered for its central car chase scene through the streets of downtown San Francisco, one of the earliest and most influential car chase sequences in movies." I must admit that I missed the car chase scene, because the 1st 45 minutes of the movie was SO BORING, that I left the room and didn't come back until very near the end. This movie was billed as a "thriller". Oh. Uh-huh.

There was this one scene where McQueen's back is to us, and you can see Bissett's face, but not all of it... his shoulder is totally blocking her mouth, WHILE SHE IS SPEAKING. At first I thought it was just crappy filming, but then I wondered if they hadn't written the dialog yet... so that they could dub it in later.

There was one bit of comedy too, although I think it was supposed to be suspenseful. I asked Lee after I laughed out loud. SMcQ and several dark-haired, cleft-chinned men were waiting by the TELEX machine to spit out a picture which will identify the bad guy. The machine made a grinding noise, and they all just stood there, watching it. Maybe it was only 15 seconds, but that's LONG time in filming language, for there to be a herd of guys just standing around, not moving the plot forward.

Also, Lee and I decided that the late 60's sounds were VERY ANNOYING. Every time a siren went off in the movie, the cats would go on high alert and come in to see where that ear-splitting noise was coming from. That part was funny... watching their ears swivel, as they looked quite concerned.


Hello! My name is Sassy!

Don't even THINK about taking my corn cob. It's MINE I tell ya.

UPDATE 04/30/07: check out Nicola's comment... she says it just right! :)


People let me tell you 'bout my best friend...

Really, I don't know how I know about The Courtship of Eddie's Father and its theme song. I remember watching it, but I don't remember where I was... you know how sometimes you can figure stuff out if only you can remember where you were? I must have seen it in reruns, since it was on from 1969 - 1972. I'm guessing I didn't see it originally, since I was born in 1969. Unless I was a prodigy. That's always possible I guess. Although, you'd think someone would have said something.

But I digress. The best friend I wanted to show you is this: I am in love with Mint Tea. I like the others too, but I LOOOOOOOVE the mint. Every day I fill 2 big travel mugs with tea. Mint in the bigger one, of course, and a different kind in the smaller. Both mugs are empty by 9:30. I cannot account for my love of tea now, when it never held much appeal for me. Maybe I just had to pay more $$ and buy the loose leaf stuff. Regardless, I blame Theresa. She got hooked 1st, and dragged me down. Is tea an entry drug into something more dangerous? Freebasing coffee, perhaps.

And finally, here is some knitting content, because I'm sure you all were wondering why I'm blabbing on and on and on about TEA, for crying out loud.

1st pic is of a teal sock I am making. Yes, I KNOW what I said about hating to make socks. I'm actually pretending it's a mitten. For some reason that makes a difference. It's the leftover teal Cascade 220 from Wicked1 and Wicked2. And, wow, this camera is great. You can see the cat hair on the cuff!

Here is the bag of wool Lisa gave me. Not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but it's soft and I just want to pet it.

Shout Out to My Peeps... Yo!

I'll admit it! I'm a blog stalker. I go to many sites regularly and rarely leave a comment. I always feel that I must be Intelligent! and Meaningful! and Unusual! and Funny! Whew... that's a lot of pressure. I get comments from a select few on this blog, and it always makes me tingle when I see a new comment has been posted.

So, I was feeling like about 5 people were reading my blog... all family and friends... and it should have been enough for me... after all, didn't I SAY that this blog is for MY own amusement, and that I was OK if only I read it? Turns out that was a BIG. FAT. LIE. I had no idea. Honestly.

I remembered that when I signed up for the statcounter (at the bottom of my page), that I get more than just the counter. I get stats. I dug out the login and checked my stats, prepared to be heartbroken. Looks like a bunch of people I don't know are at least looking at my blog once.

With Stats like these, who needs friends! Ok, I still need friends! Wait, don't go!

Here's a big shout out to my regulars:

  • Yay Mom and Pop (up der in da UP eh)
  • Yay Katherine (who has her own blog, and 3 of the cutest kids EVER.)
  • Yay Carrie and Paul (btw, saw Aaron at his new job. He really looks like your family now that he hasn't got the mohawk. I told him we weren't checking up on him, but that we'd tell you we saw him.)
  • Yay Theresa (who loves the flip off gloves I made her.)
  • Yay Nicola (my Barley friend)
  • Yay Lee (cause, you know... I love him and stuff.)
  • Yay Steve (Who else do I know in MN?)
  • Yay Megan (She wins with the most visits besides me. Shouldn't you be studying? Miss you. Come home soon so we can knit and watch long chick movies! We have string cheese! And Cherry Coke!)
  • Yay Melodie (See you soon! Driftwood united!)
  • Yay Lisa (who deserves extra Yays for asking me, out of the blue, if I wanted a bag of wool and a bag of mint tea. Two of my very favorite things!)


I underestimated the power of wool. I'm so ashamed.

I know, I know... I of ALL people should not be surprised by how much people love fiber. I went to Cedarville (IL, not MI) to the Fiber Arts Fair. I went alone, so I was a little worried about a) being the only one there and b) not finding anyone to talk to, and c) just feeling awkward and nervous in a new situation. I needn't have worried.... this scene took care of a). Also, the fact that I had to park 2 blocks away...

I noticed this sign on my way in... it's like a bee to honey, moth to a flame... must... go... touch... fiber.

I don't have any pics from inside... I felt weird and awkward. See c). b) was taken care of by a nice long chat I had with lady about soap. She had a fanny pack. I don't know why smelly soaps were at a Fiber Art Fair, but why not? I bought some. And fanny pack lady and I agree that there is "good" lavender soap, and "bad" lavender soap, and that THIS soap was GOOD. And also THIS soap, and THIS soap, and oooooh, try THIS soap.

I also had a long conversation with this lady about her weaving. REALLY nice stuff, btw. I choked at the $25/dishcloth, but they were lovely and I was tempted, but had already bought a bunch of other stuff. And are you actually to USE a handwoven dishcloth? I almost didn't buy my $4 oversized dishclothes at Kohl's the other day.

Here's what I bought: Soap (Peppermint and some herb - really strong. Love it.). Shea Oil & Lavender lotion ("good" lavender and I'm a sucker for lotion). Yarn and pattern kit for socks.

Yes! I have once again paid $35 for a pair of socks that I have to KNIT MYSELF. From Handspun by Stephania. There were also kits that included homespun wool/dog hair. It was really soft, actually. You know the dog's undercoat that is white and super-soft? Yeah, that. Stefania's husband told me that he got an angry phone call about how it was inhumane to use dogs like that and they were going to call animal control. Turns out, the caller thought they were SKINNING the dogs to get the fur. Um, no. Just brushing them... not even shearing them like sheep. Heck, if someone wants to start spinning cat hair, just have 'em vacuum at MY house. We've got enough free range fur to build another 2 or 3 cats. (Just kidding all you relatives who are allergic to cats and won't want to stay here now.)

I picked up a flyer for Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair in July. Anyone want to come? It's in Crystal Lake. I'll be the one buying anything that smells like lavender - the "good" kind.

I am a wealthy, um, man?

I bet you didn't know this about me...

Or this:

So many people have expressed surprise that I am actually a middle-aged black man. That's a part of my life I don't usually talk about. But you can watch it in "The Pursuit of Happyness". Good movie, but loooong. Bring tissue.


Springy Goodness

Seriously, dudes... just looking at these pictures will make you cheerful. (And possibly better looking, and richer!)

I thought I bought Paper Towels...

You know, quality control has really gone to the dogs lately. (Or to the cats. Ha ha.) I bought this 6 pack of paper towels, but there was a soft, fuzzy surprise inside.

It may seem like I take more pictures of Murray than Sibbie. I guess I do, but it's only because Sibbie almost always looks peevish for pictures. I can only get good ones of her when she's sleeping. Here, they're both looking peevish with their helicopter ears, but there was just a territorial dispute over who got to be in the bag. Eventually Murray vacated and Sibbie was able to "hide" in the see through bag. See picture below.

Baby Kimono A-Go-Go and Murray.

Everybody needs a Murray. How do you all knit without a Murray? He is so very helpful. He stretches out his little paw and "chirps" to remind me to rest my wrists a moment to pet him. Isn't that thoughtful?

Here, I'm working on the baby kimono. I finished the increases for the sleeves, then started the straight knitting. After a few rows, it became clear that one sleeve was longer than the other. Blast! (I blame StarGate SG-1, Season 8) However! Score one for the home team, because I was able to pick up the stiches a few rows down, with NONE of them being twisted and ALL of them accounted for. Go me.

So, here's a pic of the kimono with both sleeves being the same length. Ok, except you can't tell because I cut one off in the picture. Duh. You'll just have to trust me that I can count. Eventually. :)



I'm trying to post knitting pics... honest! For some reason, Blogger isn't loading my pics properly. I've just spent 1/2 hour trying to upload. Pooh! I'm going to bed.


Name this Institution

Is this a

a) prison
b) jr. high
c) building that needs a refurb
d) all of the above

Doesn't this hallway inspire you to greater heights in learning? Yeah, me too. Made for a sweet composition though. The tiles are freshly waxed, and I like the fore-shortened red emergency box on the right. Lights trailing into the distance speak to the impending doom of high school and endless days that stretch indefinitely into the future.

I guess the days don't stretch TOO indefinitely into the future, although it felt that way at the time. I graduated from HS in 1987. Holy cow. (Or "Hokey Toot", if you prefer.) That means this summer marks 20 years since then. I would like to speak to Time. Hello? Time? Where did you go? Remember that body I was unhappy with in High School? Yes? I'd like it back now. Also the skin. Ok, so I didn't heed the warnings about sun screen. I'm ready to listen now. Hello? Are you still there?


What about ME?!

Lee got a new guitar... shouldn't I get something as well? I should explain... we are not impulse buyers for big ticket items. Ok, sure, we'll pick up cheap items sometimes we were not looking for (items like this), but for expensive items we do take our time. Lee's been wanting a new guitar for at least a year. So. What have I been wanting for a long time? A camera more grown up than a point and shoot digital. (I have no problem with the point and shoot, EXCEPT that I have outgrown it, and I want to do more... like focus on what I want to focus on.) Anyhoo... here's me and my new friend. It's a Pentax K100. Every review I read mentioned that it's a good camera for those who have outgrown point and shoot. Perfect.

So, what does this have to do with knitting? Well...

Er.... I'll be able to take better pictures of my knitting? Yes, that's it. I finished a dishcloth. I guess I need a new project. Oh, wait. I started a new project this weekend. I'm making a baby kimono. (From the Mason Dixon Knitting book.) I'll post pics tomorrow, but for now, picture a rectangle in garter stitch. OOOooooh. Bet you can't wait to see that!

Here's a sample of what my new lens can do... 1st pic is how my street really appears. 2nd pic is a close up of buildings at the far end of the street. Neat!


Guitar Straps and Paw Pads

Lee has been wanting a new guitar for awhile. He's had his old one for 9 years now. There's nothing "wrong" with the old one, except it sounds bad when plugged into a sound system. It did not come with the pick-up originally. It sounds fine when played "unplugged," but even I could tell it sounded bad at church. So... here is Lee's new baby. I know nothing about guitars. It's got a hand rubbed oil finish on the front, so it smells good. I had him play the new one, then the old one to see if I could tell the difference. I said "Well, I don't know if it's the smell or what, but I think it sounds better than the other one." It's a Martin, if that means anything to you all... I'm told it does. I've heard of them.

Now, that's a satisfied guy. He plays it before work, after work, would play it AT work if he could... He also got a mixing board, so I heard lots of "Check. Check, 1, 2. Check. Check." from the basement last night. Cutie.

On an unrelated note... I want to be a cat. Actually, I want to be one of OUR cats, and lay on the radiator all day. Check out this paw pad/curled paw action. Lazy cat! Get a job!

I didn't knit last night. My left wrist hurts. When I twist it in a knitting motion, something "twangs". I'll try icing it and not knitting this weekend. Gah.


Gain vs. Loss

Take Money. Hard to gain; easy to lose.

Take Weight. Easy, and fun(!) to gain; hard to lose. Suddenly you realize that one more day of eating for comfort, and these pants will not even close.... maybe they won't even make it over the hips. Gah! How did that happen?! Why did I not choose food wisely once I was at a good weight last October? I'll tell you why - winter happened... and is still happening. From October to now we've had, what? 2 sunny days? And I've consumed what? Eleventy thousand more calories than I should have.

I was so cranky last night about weight, being depressed about work, etc... that I forced myself to work out. Stupid endorphins. I left the place feeling better, and with a smile for my husband when he got home, which I'm sure he was glad to see. He brought me Peeps. Sale Peeps.... and that means they were stale, and did I mention that that's how I like them? Yes, I ate them. GO AWAY ALL YOU HOLIDAYS THAT CENTER AROUND FOOD AND CANDY. The seams of my pants can't take anymore!

Thank you. That is all.


We should have asked: "What KIND of April Showers?!?!"

April Showers Bring May Flowers. Ha ha ha. Good one. Ok, technically, there WAS rain mixed in with the snow, making a big slushyslushy mess. Try walking through the parking lot and keeping the hems of your pants dry. Try it! I dare you.



Happy, happy fabrics pour moi! Everybody sing and clap your hands!

I was right (of course)

Remember how I was complaining about dishcloths and my lack of love for them? And then remember how I justified buying new cotton yarn thinking that would make me love dishcloths again? Well, hooray for me, because I just cranked out these lovely ladies in lavendar...

BTW, here's a quick movie review for "Ladies in Lavender". Now, I like me a good boring movie. I've watched several movies of the "chick" kind that Lee will say "Oh, is this the scene where they talk and stare at each other?" Or "Oh, is this the scene where they dance and don't speak?"

Ok, so "Ladies in Lavender" was TOO BORING for even ME. I kept finding excuses to get up. I'd be gone for 5 minutes, and had not missed anything. It's the story of two old English ladies (sisters) who find a young man washed up on shore by their house. (There. Now you don't need to see it, because that's all there is. Ok, and the boy is an excellent violinist, but, really, who cares?) The most exciting part of the movie for me was when I knew the boy's nationality before Judi Dench did, and I yelled at the TV "He's Polish, for crying out loud!" It was based on a book. Hopefully a SHORT story.

Check out this lovely lady... can't go wrong with happy happy spring blue.


Cat of Many Talents

Ah, Murray... just when I thought he only had ONE or TWO talents, I discover more... and these are just in the last couple of hours!

Here he is holding my fabric down. JUST IN CASE. It isn't particularly windy in the room, but YOU NEVER KNOW.

And here he is Sorting Laundry. I think that's what he's doing, anyway. You can't hear the purring in the picture, but it was there. This laundry basket is about 3' high... he jumps up and over and baskets himself. To get out he has to climb the inside until it falls over. (He jumped into the garbage can once.... hilarity ensued... for US... he was not happy, and looked over his shoulder at us with the look that said he considered it OUR fault.)


Dishcloths... now with 90% less enjoyment

Feeling bad about these last night.

I finished the dishcloth that was on the needles. Ran short of the hot pink about 5 rows from the end. EH! I winged it with a different color.

I pulled the DPNs from the socks and the mittens, so I could put the DPNs in my new DPN cases. Also, I just wasn't committed to finishing those 2 particular items. Back into the stash the yarn went... still in cuff format. No sense in Doing the Job Right.

Haven't dealt with the Miter Square yet. (By the way, I think the German language has it right when they capitalize the Nouns. Just makes sense, at least with how I talk. Well, maybe in German you need them capitalized to know where they are. Actually, for me, it'd be easier if they capitalized the Verbs. It gets confusing. It confusing gets. Don't get me started about past tense auf Deutsch.)

Ok, here's a story about me, as a newbie german speaker...
I went to Austria in 1996... I'll write up the "why" at a later date. My friend Brad picked me up from the airport in Munich. So, I'm extremely tired and stressed from travelling alone and a layover in Amsterdam. Alone. Anyhoo, we're driving, driving, driving, and we keep passing signs for Ausfahrt. By about the ninth sign, I say to Brad, "Man, that Ausfahrt must be a HUGE town." I don't believe Brad knew he was capable of laughing so hard. There may have been snorting involved. Through tears streaming down his face he said, "Chris! 'Ausfahrt' means Exit." I believe this story was told again and again long after I left Austria. So, if you've heard a version of it about a friend of a friend ... IT WAS ME. :)


You should see what I DIDN'T buy!

I ran over to Hobby Lobby the other day, to "buy yarn for a baby afghan". Seems like every time I go to HL, there's a 40% sale on whatever I happen to want that day. Really. I think I'd like some fill-in-blank-here. Huh, how about that! They're on sale! No exception for the afghan... baby yarn was 40% off. I found a cute pattern book ($16!), then found yarn... all the patterns needed at least 1,300 yards.

Yarn? Check.
Pattern Book? Check.
Sudden lack of desire to knit anything that contains 1,300 soul sucking yards of yarn, coupled with idea that $16 is a lot for a pattern book? Check.

In the presence of new yarn, I decided my dishcloth antipathy was because I'd run out of the "good" colors. Couldn't hurt to pick up a few new colors, could it?

And "oooooh, I've been wanting to try Irish crochet.... why, here's the very thing."

And "Hey! Look at these fabrics which would be perfect for that thing I've been thinking of making." At one point, two fabrics I put together were so pleasing that I laughed out loud. Only one lady was near... it could have been worse. The lady who cut the fabric for me thought it was very ugly... I could tell... mainly because I asked her if she thought it was. I did too, but when I put it with the other, it satisfied me and made me laugh.

Lee called me about then... our conversation went something like this...
L: How you doing?
C: Well, Sean and Anna's baby isn't getting a new afghan, but I'M getting a bunch of cool stuff.
L: (pause)
L: You're stealing from babies?

Here's what I've been working on... see those 2 little flowers? Mine. I don't even know what to make, but the main idea is to make a bunch of the floral elements, then attach them using a "ground" like on the right. Facile, non?

Also, been cranking these out... trying to make enough to put in my etsy shop. (It's not up and running yet, but it'll be www.yarnsmith.etsy.com) Also, "cranking" may not be the proper word, since I've only made 3 so far, and only one is shop worthy. The 1st 2 have some issues... issues like "I haven't sewn in awhile", and "wow, are those lines crooked." The one with the red interior is the best so far. Apparently, all I needed to get over my knitting blahs was to DO SOMETHING ELSE for a little while. :)