Monday, May 28, 2007

cinema weekend

This weekend, I saw four movies. That's a lot for me.
  • A Mighty Wind, which my fellah just bought for $2, used. I'd seen it before; far better on the second viewing, and if you know someone who could very well have had a starring role.
  • The Apostle, directed by and starring Robert Duvall. According to the commentary, this is the only movie to have been endorsed by both Howard Stern and Jerry Falwell. I thought it was incredible.
  • Ghandi, a biopic of huge proportions. A moving experience, if you have three hours and ten minutes to spare. Also Daniel Day-Lewis's big-screen debut.
  • Star Trek II, on the big screen at the Paramount. Also Kirstie Alley's big-screen debut.

The last entry leads us to the most important question of all, which I would place in poll format if I could figure out how to do that.

Who's the best Vulcan babe of them all?

  1. Kirstie Alley
  2. Kim Catrall
  3. Jolene Blalock

(This is in effort to up my male readership.) Give your answer in the comments.

Not a good question to ask.

I realize this mini-rant will not apply to the few people who regularly read or comment on my blog, because you guys all attended Ohio Trip, for which I was grateful, honored, and very glad.

All the same, I'd like to discuss those people out there who proooomised they'd be there, mentioned it every time they saw me, asked how it was going, didn't show up, and then -- and this is the kicker -- now that they see me again, they say, "Are you going to be doing it again?"

Flames. Flames, from the side of my face.
--Madeline Kahn, Clue

What on earth is wrong with the human brain that so many people seem to think that producing this event was somehow so easy that I can just do it again, any old time I want? It's not unlike telling a newlywed, "I'm so sorry I missed your wedding because I was drinking beer and picking my bellybutton lint all weekend. Are you going to be having another wedding so I can show up this time, even though I won't?"

If you can't make it, you can't make it. If you don't want to, then whatever. If you repeatedly promise you're going to make it and you don't, I don't like you very much.

But if you ask me if I'm going to mount that play again, I will look for a way to spit in your shoe. And you really don't want me to do that, because I have a cold right now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Very nautie

Today I mailed off what I always intended to be the first of two Nauties, as a gift for a high school friend's twins, born in March. But every time I looked at that second ball of harsh acrylic, I just stopped caring about sibling rivalry and instead turned to my soft cotton mixes and possible sweaters.

However, this little Nautie, completed last Christmas, is now off and away.

The pattern calls for underwater tentacles rather than the antennae of a land-based mollusk, but I converted them just in case the kiddoes had a mind to choke on their very first taste of seafood.

My fellah saw this snail some time back, and he grew a look on his face. It said, "I'm not going to criticize your work because I'm a nice person, although there's something I really want to tell you."

"What?" I challenged him, aloud.

"It's just... you can do things with a bear, or a monkey, or a squid, or a dragon. You can't do anything with a snail!"

"You can move it slowly," I informed him.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

yarn love

Aww. Aren't they cute together?

The deep coral hank joins my variegated robin's egg blue hank in my Kool-Aid dyeing adventures. In truth, I was aiming for a dark red. According to this article, two and a half packets of Black Cherry should have given me a deep, dark red. Perhaps Kool-Aid has changed their formula?

I also note that I seem to keep getting colors that work better with my mom's skin tone than with mine. Summer/winter? Forget it. My mother's apparently classified as a "Kool-Aid."

This second dye job gives me a total of 880 yards of fingering-weight merino wool. I'll need at least one more hank to give me a sweater, probably two. One can be undyed. The other? You tell me!

Here are the possibilities. Tell me what you think:

  • chartreuse
  • blueish green
  • reddish orange
  • a muddy orange
  • a muted yellow, possibly heathered (I'll need to find fingering-weight gray merino...)
  • a darker blue (which I can't dye with Kool-Aid)
  • a lighter coral (one packet of Black Cherry instead of 2.5)
  • anything else?

This is the project that will teach me Fair Isle (or maybe just mosaic knitting, I don't know yet). I'm thinking, deep v-neck cut, close-fitting. Thoughts?

Friday, May 18, 2007

a rant on body image

Last night I attended the going away party for my friend Sarah, who works in film and is now moving to L.A. While I was there, a woman and her husband arrived at the party. They come up to the table where I'm sitting, where the food is.

"Are you naturally that skinny?" she asks me. Mind you, I've never met this person before or been introduced.

With half a dozen people waiting on my answer, I couldn't say what I was really thinking, which was, "Are you naturally that effing stupid and ugly?"

What did she want me to say? She wanted me to say, "As a matter of fact, I've struggled for years with anorexia, and I am a deeply unhealthy and unhappy person who secretly envies people like you who are about fifteen to twenty pounds above your target weight, despite the rampant imagery in advertising and entertainment which promotes my body type." Because this woman feels it is somehow unfair that someone like me could go around with a mostly ideal body; I must have cheated. I must be starving myself. Please, she thinks. Please, let her be miserable, because I am.

Sorry. I was eating a brownie and drinking a Shiner Bock during this conversation, so I don't know what she realistically expected. Mind you, this was a very small brownie, and I only had two that night, to go along with my single beer. (Yegads, it's anorexia, it must be.)

I am five-foot-ten because it's in my genes and my momma fed me lots of milk and good food. I am something around 120 pounds (five to ten pounds above your average supermodel's weight) because -- let's face the hard truth -- I eat healthy food with only a little dessert, and I run and lift weights.

I know you want to believe I'm not healthy, but the fact is, I am more or less okay. Which leads us to the topic of exercise. When most people who are above their target weight talk about how hard they work out, they are talking about going for a brisk walk. I'm talking about the years I spent running track and field which included enough hard-core workouts to pretty much kill my right knee by the age of twenty-eight. We're talking sweat everywhere, collapse at the end of the workout, so sore you can barely walk to class workouts. You don't know hard work till you've done 250-150 sprints six times in one practice.

Which is what the human body and its metabolism generally expect after living in an agrarian society for most of our shared history, when you worked your fingers to the bone because you did that or starved, and you carried enough fat on you to make it through at least some bad harvests.

I don't till fields now, but I run, and I pump iron. Adjust, lady.

(My fellah, who is about six and a half feet tall, gets some equivalent of this from strangers who feel the need to point out his height like he's a circus freak. We're talking, "You must be from outer space you're so tall!" There's no blame assigned in those comments, but they aren't polite.)

Flame away, friends. Flame away. But before you go off and talk about my body weight in front of several other people as if it's your business to insult me because you feel you've been gyped by your genetic code... stop yourself. Wait till we've been properly introduced. Get to know me a little. Then we can talk about it like civilized people, and I hope you can find what you need so you can come to terms with your body type, too.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

what I read

Anne Lamott quotes a friend in her book Grace (Eventually), "We can't forgive. That's the work of the spirit."

Score! I feel like I just hit the jackpot. Now I don't have to do anything about forgiveness, not with my literally insane former roommate who could really use a face rearrangement, not with George Bush, not with that one gal at my last job who did that one thing that one time. I can just back off and let Jesus do it!

That's the neat thing about the Holy Trinity: it's like you get to pick the one you want to deal with on any particular day, thanks to the three-in-one deal. For this, I pick Jesus. He's got the whole human experience thing covered, he's been slammed pretty bad in his day, so he's not gonna be like, "Hey. Chill." Or maybe he is, I don't know. Point is, I'd rather sit at the table with somebody who's had good reason for being really mad in a very human way.

And you know what? This is like when you've got some dirty dishes sitting in the sink, and they've been there forever. Say you baked some buttery fish last week, and you've been letting the pan soak, and you just don't feel like scraping the gunk out of there.

Suddenly, Jesus says, "It's okay, gal. You can get back to your knitting or any of those things you should be doing to better the human condition, and I'll take care of the buttery fish gunk pan."

Thanks, Jesus! Go right ahead. I'm going to work on my sweater and maybe do a little social and environmental activism.

Who knew it was that easy? I sure didn't.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

the times

A little behind here, but it took me this long to find a suitable and succinct way of expressing my distaste for the Imus ordeal. This guy (pointed out on Quiet Bubble) says, "I hate racist remarks but I hate false sanctimony more."

Not everything that writer says is something I like, but that is just about the sucker punch we needed on national radio and television as the country was tap-dancing away to the demise of Imus's career. Obviously, this honesty won't come, as media is business, and business interests trump everything when you've already got so many million. One can wish, however.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


On Thursday night, some friends went to the Round Rock Express (minor league) baseball game to celebrate Yellow Turtle's birthday.

It was a gorgeous evening, replete with an eighth-inning Express grand slam and a rainbow in foul territory.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

It grows.

It's getting bigger. That's about 1/3 of the waistband. (The lifeline is black, but trust me, it's there.)

I am delighted to be collaborating with another playwright in town on an evening of short plays, to be performed June 8 in her boyfriend's backyard. I'm excited to work with such a fun, talented writer. I am also remarkably stuck.

This is the part where I go clean the kitchen, because really, what else is there to do?

Sunday, May 6, 2007

First time for everything

Today, I began my first bona fide lace pattern (something that involves more than a few eyelettes here and there), and my first sweater. It will be a long time until I'm finished.

These are the first two repetitions of 26. And that's just the waistband! Thank goodness the thing has no sleeves.

And yes, mother, I'm headed to my stash right now to grab some scrap yarn for a lifeline. :)

The blue is a bit brighter in reality; the energy-saving bulbs on my lamp drained it.