July 30, 2005
Hello Kitty and Gin
Today did not start off particularly well, if one can call waking up at 3:51 AM to a screeching building-wide fire alarm a start. It turned out to be a false alarm, but i dreamed i knew who the vile prankster was and berated him justly. It was none other than J's little brother. Damn him! Well, we slept in accordingly and only later ventured out to a Chipotle lunch, where in i performed an amazingly stupid feat: i drank a caffeinated soda. Just one, mind you. Seems innocuous enough, right? Unfortunately for all involved, especially for J, it is not. Caffeine makes me amazingly happy for several hours and then miserable and angry. My neurotransmitters just can't handle the violence being done to them. So, my crash began whilst in the middle of making the Hello Kitty Lunch Bag below. What set it off really was when J beat me at Magic. It was just too much to bear. Well, it was a teensy more complicated, but you get the idea. Things are improving now, but i think i still need some recovery-icecream.
As for the matching skirt, i made it last night. It is very simple, with an elastic waist instead of a zipper. i wanted something that i could just pull on and could lounge around in besides workout gear...and besides the Faux-Former pants i made for us, also pictured below. So anyway, the Bag came out pretty well for not having a pattern and basically winging it. i would like to get one of those Amy Butler patterns, but don't know which. i am starting to get the hang of the inside-out thing, but the shapes and flaps and stuff are currently beyond me.
Also, Lisa-the-costumer came over to help me modify my Betsy Ross Sharp Skirt to be more pencilly and generally sexier. The new cut is very Raymond Chandler. Can't wait to stitch that skirt up. How dirty sounding! So anyway, we broke out the liquor bottles (though sadly, not for some afternoon guzzling, but rather to weight down the pattern and cut it sans pins).
Here are some photos before i set off to find that ice cream...
Lisa in action:
We thought this fabric had real Transformers on it at first, but it was just as good (if not better) after we realized that they were some kind of Joann's pseudo-Hasbroian creation. Delta X44?? Patrol Sector 6?? Who knows?
Quick and comfy pull on skirt:
Evidence of my foul mood even after successfully completing the Hello Kitty Lunch Bag:
Here is my first pouch. It is even reversible so i can use it with both of my previous skirts!
July 28, 2005
apparently, Bree has discovered my secret identity:
i have been spending half of my time being your typical stressed out grad student and the other half being the defender of green growing things everywhere. zounds, foiled again!
As everyone's favoriteLibrarian on Fire is departing for the Big Apple, we held a small, but dignified ceremony at Minneapolis' fine Leaning Tower of Pizza.
Xtine and friend Tara attempt to correct the fateful lean:
Xtine relates a wondrous tale of the characters of her hometown (up to and including Matzoball and the Dorito Girl) or was she pontificating on the merits of Public Enemy??
Here Christine J explains the intricate and arcane details surrounding Midget Magic and the true nature of their compressed mystical skills:
Damn we're cute:
Finally, the Knittin' Kittens (twin cities branch -- minus Taryn, of course):
i will finish Kyoto today as well as the Faux-Formers pyjama pants i have been working on for J and myself. cold shoulder #2 was finished and worn successfully last night. makes me feel like a 1950's sweater-girl in all the right places. yum!
July 22, 2005
i have been modifying t shirts and working on skirts lately. they are coming out pretty well. the hotrod skirt is from a Betsy Ross pattern. last night at work, Leanna had on a super-cute pencil skirt that she made (i was envious). mine looked almost frumpy next to it! so, this morning i thought i would try to pencil-ize mine. total failure. so, i just put it back the way it was. i think that will be sufficient! next time i use the pattern, though, i want to try add a little slit and some tapering. maybe Lisa costumer-extraordinaire and Snoopy Maker To The Stars will give me a hand...
i love the new camera. it will take a bit of getting used to and some hot photoshop action to make everything right, but that is to be expected. there is one dead pixel in the screen, but i think it would be too much of a hassel to send it back now. especially since i am in love. (and since i can see all the readouts through the eyepiece just as well) it is like a teeny version of my real camera, so it feels pretty familiar.
well, i should go read some Kant before the day sweeps me away...
July 20, 2005
a life less ordinary
Sometimes i think that things are going pretty well. i am a doctoral student with prelims right around the corner, no debt to speak of, a great (and decidedly well decorated, if i do say so myself) apartment, fantastic boyfriend, fun hobbies, etc. i'm pretty smart, not bad looking, and pretty good at most of the stuff i try. Then i go an do a stupid thing like google the names of some old friends from high school and before. My lab partners from physics? They are now doctors. That's right, folks, fucking medical doctors. One even had a kid and still made it through before i'm even to prelims. The girl i used to hang out with in 6th grade gifted? She's a model, performer, entrepreneur, comedienne, and writer now living in Manhattan. i spend my time wondering if i should swiffer or not and planning what i'm going to buy at Target. i knit little things that i can wear. they are sometimes really cute, but seeing where other people currently are in the world does throw their smallness into relief. i enjoy and get a sense of ironic glee from making these things, but what if that irony is, in the end, counterproductive? i know that is not a hip cultural-studies thing to say, but what if its not really getting me anywhere? i realize that i could, instead, be watching tv or playing World of Warcraft or something equally mindless, but i am not arguing for a lesser evil. rather, that the pastimes i enjoy (and that pretend to be somewhere outside the system) are really just that, passing the time and not actually contributing anything special. Adorno wrote quite a bit on how hobbies and pastimes are tools built into the culture industry to allow for a small and false sense of accomplishment within the constraints of parasitic capitalism. i can't help thinking that he's right. i made a kick ass skirt yesterday from hot rod material. i like it, but so what?
My camera is somewhere in Eagan. Maybe i will get it today and take some art pictures and feel fulfilled and my life will be changed forever. This shit was supposed to go away when my period started. Fuck.
*Special Note: this is not intended as an emo search-for-validation "please tell me everything i do is ok" post, so please don't. there is just something wrong with the way we do things.
July 18, 2005
Bicycle Thievery in 3 Easy Steps
1. Monitor local Villain and partner for bike usage
2. Note location
3. Snip chain whilst unsuspecting ghetto dwellers sleep
Voila! Easy as lying!
My bike has only been stolen once; J's, twice. Apparently the Purple/Hot Pink Confection given to yours truly by Taryn was not worth their time. Humph! In an effort to find something that is worth their time, I bought a new bike. It was a Target special and I LOVE IT. Now that I can finally ride it, it is a joy to behold. It did involve, however, a rather lengthy ordeal:
6:13 PM: bought bike
7:45 PM: left for dinner at Punch, yummy pizza napoletana
7:48 PM: glass lodged in tire causes tire to deflate
7:48 30s: Villain goes berserk, frightening J and eventually ending in hysterical PMS induced sobs
8:15 PM: buys patch kit
8:45 PM: finishes patch job
9:15 PM: V and J eat delicious, greasy pizza at Punch and a good time was had by all
9:45 PM: gets dark
9:47 PM: V and J leave for home but discover that patch is useless and tire is flat again.
9:50 PM: attempt to fill tire at gas station, loud wooshing sound indicates failure
10:00 PM: J (and V a little) *carry* bike several miles to a gas station and lock it there, to be claimed in the morning
It was perhaps more of a fiasco than can be indicated by this little timeline. I applaud my strong (and uncomplaining) boyfriend to the last. Thanks, J!! I bought a new innertube and replaced it this afternoon. It really wasn't that difficult and I certainly wasn't about to pay $10 to have it fixed at the shop when I can do it for $2.50. Seems to be working so far. I removed all of the sparkly decals, even the one that made it known to the world that this bike is called "Great Divide". J thought that was a pretty funny name for a woman's bike, even when I noted to him that the men's version is called the same thing. I like to think of it as some kind of feminist statement.
I am supposed to be working on the game I will be storytelling tonight. Unfortunately, all I feel like doing is eating chocolate and chocolate icecream.
July 15, 2005
The Digital Revolution
Last night, I had a vision of the future. Well, it was actually a dream and so it was really about this technicolor version of the Alps with carnivalesque lawn adornments, cheap motels, and a terrifying vertical train. The violet caped mask things were really billowy and neat, but the actual vision was in the digital camera that i used to capture them. In the dream it wasn't actually the quickest snapper in the lake, but i will pass over that fact and wallow in its sheer loveliness (it was a dream after all...) I have decided to take the plunge and throw a couple hundred dollars at a piece of technology that may be out of date in a week, but oh well. Here it is:
It is on the SLR model (though does that really mean the same thing with a digital camera??) and this means that i can just look through the little viewfinder we all know and love instead of at some puny, hard to see screen. I find the screen hideously disorienting and the pseudo-viewfinders that never actually show you what you are taking a picture of, just as bad. Down with parallax! Up with through-the-lens! I feel like i have abandoned my well-loved film cameras, but they have just become so impractical.
I wanted to walk into a store and say, "I want to be a part of the Digital Revolution. Where do I sign up?" but alas, I am buying it from Amazon, so no contact with a humanoid is required.
I still get to be part of The Revolution, though, right??!
In other news, i finished the second sleeve of Kyoto last night at work and will start on the sash this afternoon. It feels so slow. This is due to my need for the ever-illusory "progress". One sweater in the bank. Only three million to go.. then i'm done.
Also, the Aquatenniel Block Party is tonight. Don't know who that headliner is, probably someone popular. I want to see Mike Doughty, formerly of Soul Coughing. Ah, i remember those sweet days of "Screenwriter's Blues" and "True Dreams of Wichita". It almost reminds me of college, but of some mythical, totally happy college experience that was not truly mine. Not sure if even he could live up to the 2001 headliner, though. I can't believe i missed pat Benatar!!!!. Damn, i love Pat Benatar. Too bad the video is so grainy on the site and "Warrior" is missing. "Love is a Battlefield" is pretty good, though. There is a sort of Sin City/Old Town vibe when she starts messing with that pimp. Tough bitches rule.
July 13, 2005
a season in hell
I am an academic. This fact might not exactly jump to the front of your mind when you read my oh-so-intellectual musings on Kidd Video and gauge swatches. I might not be committed to the profession from the very depths of my shriveled little soul, as J is, but nonetheless, it is what I happen to do. Except during the summer. Then, I revert to housewifery and internet addiction. The well nigh 4 months of summer break are a veritable wasteland for my brain. It is really less like hell and more like the mandatory waiting period that one endures in purgatory. Then I decided it would be a great idea to take a summer lit course in French. Well, turns out this little school girl isn't quite ready for such a course. I dropped it. This action makes me feel all queasy and nauseous, as if by my very existence I am a disgrace to the profession. This is, of course, not true. However, I have never dropped a course before (at least not in my recollection) in all of my million years of being in school. It was really the only option and does open the rest of the summer up for things that I really should have been doing in the first place such as:
Kant: the current bane of my existence. I have an Incomplete in a course. Thus, I am forced to wade through his bizarre reasoning and convoluted language once again. Damn you for being the cornerstone of western aesthetix. Damn you. Soon it will be over. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.
In other news, The Wittgenstein Youth Brigade meeting was... interesting. All I can really say is that, to this school girl, incessant name-dropping and smarmy obfuscation is quite useless and tantamount to academic dishonesty.
On a brighter note:
I love jackalopes. And demon rodents, too. My new Threadless t-shirt came in the mail yesterday. I will be proudly wearing it to Knittin' Kittens tonight. I have been waiting for months and months for this to be reprinted. It is all I could have hoped for. Perhaps if I touch the shirt with a narwhal horn while reciting the right spell formulation, they will come to life and live with me forever and ever.
Well, back to the Kant mines. Wish me luck.
July 8, 2005
I have been spending my days, as of late, variously trying to remember how to speak french and flittering about the apartment doing chores that never seem to amount to an overall increase in home-cleanliness. The french is starting to come back, so at least that part of the equation adds up to something. And I suppose the carpet looks a little cleaner. I vacuumed. Did I mention I vacuumed? Unfortunately, it was after the Knittin' Kittens came over and we sat on the then-dirty carpet to craft... I am afraid that the french class I am starting this monday is going to kick my ass. It, Carribean literature, looks like it will be fascinating, but there is a whole fuck-ton of writing. In french. That is a metric fuck-ton and not a short fuck-ton. In case you were wondering.
Progress is being made on Kyoto... these damned 16.5 inch sleeves seem to be taking a newt's age, but I guess that is how a kimono looks. I need to be reminded of that fact at least two times a night. Me: "Don't these sleeves look like they will be baggy and disgusting?!"
In other news: Kidd Video.
Anyone remember this as being one of the most fantabulous pop music adventures possible in a cartoon? (Before Jem, of course) Perhaps I am just too old? I think it came out the year J was born, just like the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon that I also loved. From my viiiiiiiideo to my raaadio! Priceless.
Another slice of randomness, this time courtesy of Metafilter:
Its all about the cock pushups. For real. I saw this and I could just hear Christine saying, "Do you think I'm a wimp cuz I go home every night to Starla there?!" Damn.
So, in short, nothing profound to say so far today. Summer = deadly plummet out of academia and into the Mundane Zone. Hoping to remedy this with an injection of postcolonial literature, but still fear it will be far beyond my current frenchosity. Even if I don't end up taking it, there will always be J's beloved Wittgenstein Youth Brigade Reading Group to tear me away from staring at pretty pretty pictures of yarn on the computer...
July 6, 2005
pocky for kitty
July 5, 2005
the joys and perils of sleeping in
I never seem to sleep very well. There are the nightmares, and possibly more fatally, the fact that any little noise or hint of a noise will wake me up. Thus, I wake up a lot. Last night it was about four times. This might not seem like very much to the average Jane, or someone with like, a baby or something, but it is a lot to me. Consequently, I did very little today besides drive J to work at what seemed like an ungodly hour and finish a project that has been sitting in The Pile for a very very long time.
Once upon a time.... I dyed a bunch of Lamb's Pride with kool-aid and set about making the second sweater of my knitting career. It was based on Glampyre's Bad Penny and ended up alright... except that the sides were all poochy and weird and it was overall lumpy and just too darn big. Blocking ended up doing a bit more harm than good, and it ended up a li'l scratchy from where it wanted to felt. Then, one day, I found Bonne Marie's tips and voila! the possibilities were endless. Of course, I didn't have a sewing machine or any clue of how to use one, but nevermind. Later in the story, our heroine stumbles upon such a wondrous device. Many many moons later, she works up the courage to attack and fells the savage beast-sweater. A good number of zig-zag stitches later, she blocks the beast and wears it on a rather-too-warm-for-such-attire Minneapolis day. (first person/third person confusion, oh my!!) This is the first time that I have steam-blocked anything and I think I am in love. I have feared my iron for too long. I just steam-steam-steamed my way to a straight little seam that was, gasp, dry and ready to use! My current method involves towels on the hall floor and tripping over sweaters for days at a time... not to mention that the water isn't doing my hardwoods any favors. (but hell, I live in an apartment, so let them deal with it...not like they've come to fix that ceiling plaster that I was supposedly put on the list for 2.5 years ago...) In conclusion: steam-blocking = yummy. I can even smell some residual kool-aid...
July 3, 2005
kyoto-a-long and christian capitalism
Today, for lucky lucky Villain, is the last day of the St. John's Bible From Hell Show at the museum. Not that the project itself is a flawed one, just that the idiotic, geriatric, self-righteous bastards who have been coming to the show are just about the worst, most insensitive, least intelligent museum patrons that I have ever witnessed during my tenure as a shopgirl. If I have to say, "Yes we have the book from the show and it is on the table RIGHT FUCKING BEHIND YOU, but you didn't feel the need to actually LOOK around the store, rather to simply inflict yourself upon me and ask the same question that every other bastard has been asking me all day long. You know, the table that all the other fuckers are swarming around??!" Or, in the edited version, "We sure do!! They are on the table behind you!!" one more time, I am going to vault over the counter and throttle whosoever crosseth my path. Thus sayeth the Villain. Amen.
In other news, Taryn, my dear friend and fellow museum-sufferer, has gone away to Taiwan with her sweetie (who is being forced into servitude in the Taiwanese army for his obligatory two-year stint). The trip sounds rather perilous so far, but at least she will have our Intercontintental Kyoto Knitalong to keep her mind off things! We are working on this lovely little number. I have, um, already finished the back and am working on one of the fronts, because I seem to have nothing better to do. This assumes that I have conveniently forgotten about my long-overdue Kant paper, prelims, next semester's syllabus revisions, and the fact that I start a French class next week and can't seem to remember a damned thing. Funny, that.
I did manage to make another skirt! It looks pretty good (same pattern as the pinups) but for the fact that I fucked up the zipper. Well, not terminally. It went in fine (though when I say this, I mean it went in and looks relatively normal, because the directions on the zipper packaging are well-nigh indecipherable) except for a bunch of extra fabric at the base. This, I managed to make into a couple of pleats that look, if I do say so myself, almost intentional. Woo.
Well, back to being grumpy and dreading work. Ta-ta.