Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Netflix, Books and Knit night


The latest netflix obsession has been Star Trek.  I never watched this in younger days.  In fact, I avoided it like the creepy boyfriends I once had who loved it.  Giving it a look-see, it has become my Columbo of the summer of 2012.  Spock with a goatee?  LOVE.

Also on the playlist was a British independent film called "Sarah Palin- you betcha" which revealed no surprises but was part of my summer of trashy indulgence series.

KnitnightJustine recommended a BBC show called Black Books which is a campy over the top  British sitcom.  It had some laugh out loud moments and is so ridiculous I'm pretty sure I'll watch the rest.

I have an app with white noise called Sleep Pillow that is really nice, but when I need a little more, I play the 1967 version of Dragnet and don't bother watching.  Seriously.  Jack Webb IS white noise- and yet I love him so.


I finished what I could read of the Gifts of the Crows book.  There was a whole lot of brain part words and explanations that went beyond my abilities.  I'm sure they were there to make a scientific point.  I didn't need the point so much.  I just wanted to know the cool things that birds in the corvid family do.  There was a small dose of that.  The crows have not yet responded to my calls on the alto recorder but there was a jay that seemed annoyed that I was blathering on in the hottest part of the day.

As the second installment in the series of trashy summer indulgence, I read Levi Johnston's book "Deer in the Headlights."

I'm not sure which unread kindle book I'll go to next but I'm enjoying the variety for sure.

Knit Night-

Just a  few words on the kindness of knit night.  They collectively helped me past my orange-phobia.  They had to have grown weary of my constant blathering about the weirdness of orange and I together but in the end, I think I will now be able to wear orange with the strength of knit night behind me.

KnitnightJudy knit a beautiful version of Romi's Ice Queen, had yarn and beads left over and passed them on to me so that I could make one.   I've never knitted with beads before but now she's done it and is seeing to it that I have the chance as well.

KnitnightGina loves a good tangle.  Turning spaghetti yarn into balls is just one of her many amazing talents.  Last week I tried to do the "ball winder on a cutting board on my lap" trick and found that the swift didn't really care for the angle of the whole situation.  About a third of a skein of silky wool popped off the swift.  Rather than stopping and slowly assessing and handling the situation, I wound until it wouldn't wind any more and had quite a mess to deliver to Gina.  And of course it's in a tidy little ball now.

Mr. Sophanne begins vacation this week.  As every free morning with him begins with the words "what do you want to do today", there may be a little more active doing in the next few weeks.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Orange you glad?

I went shopping for clothes for the Big Trip in July. I wanted comfy good clothes with a fit that wouldn't distract me.  Enter the broomstick skirt.  I was made for that style.

Enter Aunt of Sophanne.  Whereas I lean toward greens and maroons, she does not.  She joined me in my quest for good travel clothes and now I own more orange (2 skirts, 2 tops) than I ever have in my entire life.  All I can keep saying to myself is Orange?  Really? And yet I keep looking around and people are wearing it.  Orange.

This morning I was drinking coffee on the porch and realized that drinking coffee on the porch is just like walking the dog at the river only you have coffee and you don't have to walk.  Oh yes, my summer is full of stunning insight.

I am reading a book called "Gifts of the Crow."  Non-fiction about how crows and ravens and that family of birds are really the monkeys and dolphins of the bird world.  Who knew?

I was hoping it would be more anecdotal and less scientific-(with brain and nerve function descriptions) but so far not so much.  I was also hoping for some advice on getting to know the crows in our neighborhood but no luck yet.

My clarinet (my major instrument in college) has returned from an overhaul.  My face is in no shape to play for any length of time but I thought I'd see if I could do something about that.  Killing two birds with one stone,  so to speak, I think I'll take it outside and see if the crows come

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mia Sofia and more.

New yarn store in the area.  It's not quite ready for prime time yet.  They have a variety of cascade, some fingering malabrigo and some brand I can't remember and never heard of. They say they are getting more yarn- heavier weights of malabrigo- variety is definitely limited.

On the up side- they gave away free chochtkes- they have a nice logo and a friendly employee.

On the down side, they had never heard of Ravelry, the main employee when I visited this morning prefers the scrapbook and machine embroidery rooms they've got going on, and the store is filled with crochet doll clothes and slightly creepy dolls. (Not that there's anything wrong with that- but I can get that at the local flea market)  

They've only been in business for a week so judgement is to be withheld for a while.  Naturally, I had to "support your local LYS" and bought some cascade sock yarn in a color that's the opposite of me and some knitting sticks for the chillun's in Switzerland we are visiting who will be age-ready to knit.

After browsing the Ravelry and doing some searching, I have started Moderne Log Cabin with the overload of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool that I was somehow compelled to purchase.  What was I thinking?  I'll probably have enough to make a second one if I'm not particular about the colors.  

Note to self- when you buy more than 20 skeins of the same brand yarn, you are not thinking rationally no matter HOW good of a sale WEBS is having.  

Pictured colors are pretty accurate- I'm calling them dark periwinkle, rust, charcoal and camel.  It's a whole lot of garter stitch but that's just as well, as Mr. Sophanne got the xbox Arkham City Batman game and it takes both of us.  Maybe I'll name the blanket Arkham City.

Last week I finished (but did not block) the never ending Clockwork.  The great thing about this pattern is that you can put it down for a while and when you pick it up, you know exactly where you are.  No tricky business.  It's a whole lot of garter stitch with a few opportunities to miss a slipped stitch or carry yarn in front- which I took advantage of regularly  

It's Madeline Tosh some kind of puple and gray fingering weight and hopefully I'll be able to hang on to this one and not feel compelled to give it away to the first person who compliments it (as I am wont to do-yes kmkat- another spelling coup)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Teacher teach thyself.

Notably absent (until yesterday) on the daily account "what I did this summer" is playing the guitar.

When I teach kids to play an instrument, the trick to their success (if they were truly meant to play) is motivating them to take out their instrument when they are at home.

If they are meant to play it, once it comes out, it's like any other addiction, they can't put it down.

I know if I require them to practice 10 minutes (or even 5 minutes) a day, they will be successful because if you love it, you can't just play for 5 minutes.

I had "guitar insomnia."  I think I'm over it now.  I found a song I wanted to sing.  I played for at least an hour today and yesterday.

Teacher, teach thyself.

This youtube video is the folk song Katie Cruel. I heard at a conference many years ago and it's always stuck with me.  Moira Smiley and Voco perform here. Things don't really get going until about 2 minutes in. She/they are my new favorite thing to listen to- and now perhaps I'll have to dig out the accordion again!

 (note to Nicole- you probably might already know her but if not, I think you will LOVE her!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Awesomeness of Tara

Some of you know her as knitnightTara from previous posts.

Tara is the person who says,

Do you need cupcakes?  I'll make them.

Do you want me to block that for you?

You can have this needleholder when I make a new one.

My double points before:

My double points after:

How this wrap looks when it's blocked well:

I've only really known Tara for a couple of years via knit night.  Yet when I found out I could reach her instantly via iMessage from the iPad, there was a sigh of crafty relief knowing that at any time, day or night, I can say Tara, how do I?   and she will respond with not only suggestions on how to but also with enough why questions that will lead to you could... that will be an idea ten times better than the one I had.

The few times you've seen her on the blog don't even describe the the lengths she is willing to go to help people have fun and do well in their crafting and living life days.  And that, my friends, is THE AWESOMENESS OF TARA!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy Happy!

Yesterday we took some time to celebrate Aunt of Sophanne's Birthday (which is actually Tuesday)  Not pictured is the double layer boston creme "pie" cake.  Yum.  Why do they call it Boston Creme Pie when it's really cake.  Do people in Boston regularly call cakes "pie?"

We had ribs from DeeJay's - a "must" for any rib fans traveling in the Ohio Valley.  The camera got a little shmeer of their homemade dressing as Mr. Sophanne tried to capture the full scope of festivities but I think it adds some dramatic effect.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Feeling tired? Weak? Anxious?

Then I highly recommend a listen to the Thich Nhat Hanh's audio book The Art of Mindful Living.

Breathe in, you are a flower.  Breathe out, you are flower fresh.

Breathe in, you are a mountain, breath out, you are solid.

Breathe in, you are the still waters , breathe out, you are reflecting

the refreshing moon of the buddha, traveling in the sky of utmost emptiness.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

A quote to begin the summer

I am a member of "Goodreads"- the facebook of bookreaders.  They have a daily morning quote "service" you can participate in.

Today's quote was-

Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous - to poetry. But also, it gives birth to the opposite: to the perverse, the illicit, the absurd. 

A toast to a summer of all that.

AlsoI think I would like myself better if I didn't sleep in until 11:00 every morning.  This will not be easy.To keep myself motivated and accountable, I'm starting a new page on the sidebar.  How I spent my Summer Vacation.  Not everything there will be full of beauty and/or the absurd. It's likely to be more mundane than overflowing with greatness.  But when the summer is complete and my mind, as it is wont to do, blanks it out, I will be able to refer to those days and say- at least I walked the dog.

Monday, June 04, 2012


Saw this in the parking lot at work this morning.  Love.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Ding dong, Nature Calling

This guy was hanging out on the sliding glass door jamb today.  It's about 3 inches long.  

Anybody know what it is?  

LizaJane is black and white- maybe it was looking for a place to hide.