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Archive for April, 2009

A quick report on the Neil Young concert.  Sadly, it was not “Acoustic Sensitive Neil” that showed up for the concert.  It was “I am the Grandfather of Grunge Rock Neil”, so the music was a little, shall we say, grungier than for what I had hoped.  He played a couple of his acoustic pieces, but I cannot say that it was my favourite concert of all time.  After the opening band managed to whip the crowd into a stupor, we did have the added benefit of sitting just down from the world’s stupidest stoners.  These guys made Harold and Kumar look like Rhodes Scholars.  In a facility where smoking is not permitted, they had their lighter turned as high as it would go, and yet could not mange to keep the joint lit.  Several tries down the road (and producing just enough smoke that we could tell what they were doing), security noticed the repeated flame and relieved them of the troublesome marijuana.  Off to drink more beer!  There was also a woman sitting on the other side who was talking yelling on her cellphone through a couple of songs, shring the concert with a friend, so the experience was somewhat less enjoyable than it could have been.  (This was a circumstance when Twitter would have been a good idea.  Much quieter.)   Now, they’ve just announced that Fleetwood Mac is coming back, but without Christine McVie, so now we have to decide if that’s a dealbreaker or not.  Mike thinks that Lindsay Buckingham is  more important than McVie, but all my favourite songs they do are hers, so I’m not sure I want to go.  Other opportunities coming to town:  Leonard Cohen (who’s been getting rave reviews) and Celtic Thunder.  I’d like to see Celtic Thunder, but I’d have to go alone, since they’re “too produced” (Mike’s words).  (Like Riverdance wasn’t produced?)  Anyways, there are always opportunities to separate us from our money in the name of damaging our hearing entertainment.

We interrupt this blog to bring you a special opinion piece:  (and really, aren’t my opinions always special?)  Our local Talk Radio channel calls Thursday morning’s call-in show Bug’s Day: the Hour of Rage.  I would like to take this opportunity to Rage about something that Bugs me.  Yesterday’s show featured the question:  Could you do without televeision?  After listening to some of the pompous people calling in, I pose the question:  Why do people claim moral superiority just because they choose not to watch TV?  Is it not just a choice?  I am not weak just because I choose to watch TV with my husband in the evening; I  am knitting at the same time, we are enjoying what we are watching, we talk about it afterwards, we still find time to walk the dogs.  ***We do both read, but usually when the other person is elsewhere.

All this being said, we don’t just watch whatever is on.  There are maybe a half-dozen shows that we watch regularly, dramas and sitcoms mostly,  and Mike tapes a lot of movies that we may or may not watch somtime down the road.  There is precious little “reality” television (it’s only on a long as it takes us to change channels or turn off the box), although Mike does have an affinity for anything with a scoreboard in one corner and a timeclock in the other, and I kind of like the nature and science end of things.

What I’m trying to say is that I do not consider watching television a sign of mental weakness or reduced intelligence.  I have learned a lot from watching TV, and it has opened my mind to a lot of subjects that I otherwise would have dismissed.  If you choose not to have a TV, that’s great!  Just don’t look down your nose at me because I choose to spend time watching  Star Trek reruns and the National Geographic channel in high definition.  You do your thing, I’ll do mine.

We now return you to your regularily scheduled program.

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Well howdy there!  I have just been sitting around, watching television, drinking mimosas, and watching the world go by and counting the days until I am a mother-in-law.  Okay, the part about the mimosas is true.  I had the pleasure of attending a bridal shower for my future daughter-in-law on the Easter weekend, and had a very nice time.  My sister Jean came with me (and was a good sport, even though she professes to be less than enthused about traditional shower games- you know, fabricate a wedding dress from a roll of toilet paper in five minutes and that sort of thing) and we got to know a few of Geoff’s future in-laws and a few of Courtney’s dancing friends friends from dancing.  There were mimosas (and a box of wine that I took- you never know when you might run out of things to drink.  I hadn’t bought a box of wine since Ski Club days at university.) and cupcakes.  Oh, the cupcakes. If you are ever in Calgary and haven’t had these,  I command you to run out and try some.  Betcha can’t eat just three or four.

I’ve been having some success with The Dress, meaning that I have acquired the proper Undergarment, and can now stand and sit in the dress.  Breathing whilst sitting is still somewhat constricted, and eating will be a bit of a challenge.  I’m confident that two and half weeks of discipline will get me to where I need to be.  That and Lean Cuisine.   Mike has rented a tuxedo and should look sartorial, Andy ditto, and the dog/house sitter is all lined up.  18 days.  Not that I’m excited.

Knitting continues.  I finished these goofy socks

clown-barf-socks

although they really don’t look as goofy on as off.

cb-socks

They are really comfortable, and everyone at S&B seemed to like them or at least pretended to.  I should point out that the lady in the top picture in green is not actually a knitter, but a crocheter, but we let her come Wednesday mornings anyways because she hosts movie nights at her house.  We just watched Mama Mia and the next one will be Hairspray.  We are an easily distracted bunch.

I have started on a pair of socks for Mike.   I don’t seem to be moving very quickly on these- could it be that I am selfish and only get enthused when I knit for myself?  Or perhaps it’s knowing that Mike is hard on his socks and a search on Ravelry has turned up several comments that the wool felts when worn, and I was hoping he’d get several wears out of them before they’re ruined.  As it is, I will not let him wear them until he pampers his rough feet a bit.

mikes-socks

The yarn is Knitpicks Imagination, colourway (no longer available) Woodsman.  If you check out the sock on the right, you’ll see patches of whitish, where the dye apparently missed.  According to comments again on Ravelry, this is a problem with this yarn.  It’s too bad because it does detract from the whole thing, (although Mike was unable to pick out the difference.  Nice guy, just not too perceptive when it comes to subtlety in colours).  After I emailed KnitPicks about it, they replied (and fast!) that it can happen with handpainted yarns, but they do try to send out skeins that are close.  For my bother, they have put a credit on my account for my next order.   These guys are good.   Mike is not likely to be wearing these socks with shorts, and all of his pants come down at least to the tops of his shoes, so I will probably be the only one who notices.

Upon reflection, I realize that it only seems like these are taking forever.  Two-at-a-time seems like a good idea, except that it takes forever to get anywhere.  Maybe I’ll knit a sweater for a break.  (Marge, you may have an opening here to reclaim your sock mojo that you thought I had taken.)

Mike just phoned to say that tickets for Neil Young just landed on his desk, so it’s off to get culturefied tonight.   The tickets are in the nosebleed section, but if there are empty seats lower we’ll just sneak down.   Not essential, because in this case, the music is more important than the visuals.  I enjoy concerts where it’s about the music and not about the dancing, costume changes, entourage and pyrotechnics.  You know that when Mr. Young opens his mouth to sing, that’s exactly what he’s doing.  He’s a pro- no lip-synching for this guy.  Should be good.

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Greetings, Zorchers! What’s hyper-happening?

Now, is there anyone out there who can tell me why I remember this line from a Jetsons comic book from roughly 40 years ago? I was not a huge Jetsons fan, or comic book fan, but this has stayed with me, using up brain space I would rather allot to something else more useful (such as family birthdates, knitting stuff, where my cell phone is, and so on…). I know that I’ve only got so much space in my head, and it bothers me that with all of our scientific research and advancement, we haven’t yet figured out a system for orderly memory maintenance. Oh well. Sorry to rant, Zorchers. Thanks for stopping by.

What’s been happening here? Well, we are finally getting some above freezing temps, and the snow is starting to reveal what’s underneath it in the yard. Dog poop. Water. Birdseed. Frisbees and soccer balls. Dead grass. This year, as in other years, it is my most fervent wish that the weather warms up enough that the standing water actually evaporates before finding its way into our basement. Just in case, we have moved all the furniture away from the offending side of the house downstairs, the dehumidifier is running and the pump is on standby for the lake which could form in the back yard. It’s hell being a burgess.

To distract from the potential water issues, I have done a bit of knitting since the blue ankle socks:
orangeandtealsocks

I don’t remember what the yarn is on these.  They were a little tight in the ankles (too much tweaking) but once I used my nifty new knitPicks sock blockers, they’re going to be okay.  And they match everything.

imgp0066

This is a Drops design, using Fabel sock yarn.  Once I figured out that 2.5mm needles gave a gauge of 32 stitches per 4 inches, not the stated 26 stitches per 4 inches, I was able to monkey around with the needles size and get underway.   This was a disappointing pattern- a little overthought, and not as snug as I would have liked for ankle socks.  The wool is nice to work with, and I would use it again (but not ordering it online; by the time shipping was paid, these are twenty-five dollar socks.) but I would use my new-found sock-knitting powers and fly by the seat of my pants, as it were.

The socks do match the guitar rather nicely, but I doubt that has any relevance to anything.

imgp0074

And, most currently:

imgp0097small

This  is the funniest sock I have ever knit.  (Second sock is safely on the needles.)  It is Opal Hundertswasser, in a colourway referred to by a Raveller (humourously, but rather uncharitably, I thought) as Clown Barf.  While the sock looks goofy, (I used elements from Mojo) it is surprisingly comfortable.  I may be getting the hang of this.  I will model them when the pair is done, and once again, these socks go with everything.  (My mother-in-law will be eyebrow-raisingly skeptical, but I am pre-emptively putting that down to envy.)

My self-searching question for the day is:  When the heck am I going to knit anything else?  There are projects I really, really want to attack, but it seems that as soon as I finish a sock, another one magically appears on my needles.  It’s the ultimate “just one more row” scenario:  “Just this pair of socks, and then I’ll finish that shawl/sweater/scarf”.  Then I find myself ordering more sock yarn online, or buying it at the store, and then it’s “I’ll just knit up those 12 balls I got from KnitPicks, and then I’ll do that other thing”.  I guess I should stop stressing and just go with the flow.  After all, it’s not like I’m not being productive.  And, I have a renewed close friendship with my chiropracter.

Attie and Wallace are very excited.  Wednesday is a big day for them, so we’re trying to keep them calm.

dead-dogs

Easier said than done.  “This dog bed’s not big enough for the two of us.   This morning- back ends.  This afternoon- front ends.”  I swear these dogs have no bones.   Here I must digress for a moment.   If you want to see a boneless dog, (and really, who doesn’t?) check this out:

And, on that note, it’s off to attack my income tax.  This is such a fun time of year…

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This cracks me up.

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