Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Knee and knits

Oh, so busy. Oh, those plays. (Buy a ticket!)

A dear friend recently realized her dream to play professional football with the Austin Outlaws, only to trip at work while in a hurry and bang up her knee quite badly, right before practices were to start. She reports that it will require surgery. Unfortunately, healing isn't just a matter of how many people wish you well, but we can pretend like it is, right?

I'm knitting a lot, thanks to various errands for work and life that require sitting in unbearable waiting rooms. I can't wait to show you the pictures when I finish off these hats and gloves and things... Is there a disorder for people who get two seconds away from finishing something and then run off?

Friday, February 23, 2007

A very Austin sort of day

Today, I did three things which I did not expect to do when I woke up at 8 a.m. This makes it the perfect example of a very Austin sort of day.

In the morning, I got stitches. (Don't worry, Mom.)

In the afternoon, I saw Barack Obama.

In the evening, I attended a Lonestar Rollergirls match.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

The stitches were just to remove a couple moles that have a 2 percent chance of turning dangerous. One happened to be a bit deeper than I expected, that's all.

I'd heard Barack Obama was coming to Austin, but I assumed it was a $250 per plate kind of event. Nope! Thanks to the UT Democrats, I (along with 20,000 other people) attended a rally at Riverside and South 1st. In fact, my boss told me to leave work so I could go.

I like Barack Obama. I'm as nervous about his relative inexperience as anyone else, but if you listen to the man speak, he has very sound, intelligent ideas, and he is so great at communicating them. (That alone is worth your vote, after 8 years of Dubya.) He has great international experience, and he's also worked as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. IE, he hasn't just heard about poor people on TV.

I' m disturbed that already so many people are refusing to vote for Obama because they say he's a Muslim. For one thing... he's not. He's a member of a big church in Chicago. For another, it's too bad that the simple possibility of someone being Muslim is enough to discount them from holding office. There are non-radical Muslims out there who have good ideas, just as there are non-radical Christians like Obama who have much to offer.

Anyway. At 5:30, my fellah scored two free tickets to the AIGA Awards, thanks to one of the referees for the Lonestar Rollergirls. The Rollergirls (for you non-Austinites, they are among our favorite local celebrities) were the featured entertainment at the advertising and graphic design awards presentation.

Think WWF meets Hooters on rollerskates. Every time they go down in a heap and start pummeling each other, the referees gleefully dive in.

Is it any wonder I was ready for bed by 11:00?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Something I didn't expect.

Tonight I went to an opening at Women and Their Work, a delightful gallery that shows the work of very talented women (and a few men). This is where my play Ohio Trip will be running, March 29-31.

The current artist is Elaine Bradford, and the exhibit is "Freaks of Nature." Ms. Bradford took some taxidermied animals and crocheted sweaters for them.

But then it's like she just doesn't feel like stopping, because the sweater will go over the deer's head and past his snout and then through the air to become a big hoop-skirt-like ballooning thing on a different wall.

I recommend it. Seriously.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Absurdism reaches fresh heights

My fellah gave me a DVD copy of The Princess Bride as a little Valentine's gift. On the commentary, Carey Elwes (Wesley) says that during the shooting, Andre the Giant told him a story about when he was younger.

Andre suffered from gigantism, which is exactly what it sounds like. By the time he was a teenager in France, he couldn't fit on the school bus. His parents couldn't afford a car. So, the neighbor, a nice fellow, gave him a ride in his large vehicle.

The neighbor was Samuel Beckett.

I don't want to know if this story is not true. It's too beautiful to dismiss.

I can imagine it now:

SAM: We must go on.
ANDRE: I can't go on.
SAM: We must go to school.
ANDRE: I won't fit.
SAM: Shall I give you a lift?
(He doesn't move.)

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Joann Fabrics is moving to a new location. 40 to 60 percent off everything.

There's more at the bottom of the basket that you can't see.

When the silly novelty yarn is only $.99 each, your barriers are broken down. But rather than look at this as a problem, I've decided that cheap yarns encourage one to experiment. That lovely ball of cashsoft I got a few months ago must be knit into something beautiful. The stuff in this basket? I don't care, I'll just have fun.

There. All better.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Game Brain

I woke up sick this morning after staying up late to finish off a magazine article. For the article, I had the opportunity to interview Sheri Graner Ray, who founded Women in Games International, and who has a lot of fascinating things to say about gender and video games. She's also written a book.

There was no room to include all of it in the article, so here's my favorite piece of left-out food-for-thought: When boys go into a video arcade, what do they do? When girls go into the same arcade, what do they do?

Most of the time, the boys will run up to the first machine they see and throw it quarters and lose quickly but then they'll start to pick it up.

Most girls will look at what games are there, perhaps watch someone playing for a minute, then after some considerate thought either approach one or patiently wait their turn so they can have a try.

Ray used this example to point out the differences in learning patterns between the two genders. Fascinating.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Gauge is a mysterious thing.

At least to me it is.

I completed these two different pairs of Fetching. Obviously, the yellow (Bellezza Collection Dolcetto, color 2) has a larger gauge than what is called for in the pattern, so no worries about parting ways with the pattern there. However, the green (Knitpicks Swish Superwash, Dublin) matches the gauge in the pattern... and then I got confused.

I have this whole gauge discussion with my mother (who knits) and my knitting friend Rachel, and it reminds me of those arguments I'd have with my math teachers in junior high, when I insisted that that's not really the way geometry works. And I'd be wrong.

Except this time I think I'm right? Sort of? The green gloves don't feel too tight, but I cast on only 30 stitches, whereas the pattern calls for 45.

This is probably the place to admit what a beginner I still am in many ways. I haven't gotten past tangy at I'm open to helpful comments, so fire away!

Was Mamet always this crazy?

Last night, I caught David Mamet on Charlie Rose. He said, among other things, that young writers should not get a university education, because universities teach antisemitism.

Dang, I knew I shouldn't have skipped that class.

He also made a lot of political assertions, both before and after he complained about Hollywood celebrities who make public political statements. When Charlie Rose pointed out this contradiction, and asked him why he feels he can comment on Isreal's politics, Mamet snapped, "Because I'm Jewish." Okey-dokey.

It reminds me of an interview I did with the fellah in charge of Artspark, here in Austin. Sometimes, you can tell when the person you're talking to has wandered into deep waters but forgot to bring his floaties.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Goat?

I went to see a performance of Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? on Thursday. The performance was decent, nothing special. (I'll stop there, as I'm not sure I want to be a public reviewer of local productions since I'm also a practitioner.)

The script... How the h-e-l-l did this win a Tony? How? I know Mr. Albee has written some remarkable plays. But what is there besides some jokes about bestiality, a comment on the depravity of all human sexuality, some wordplay, and a resolution that isn't one?

The story opens with a happily married couple who are parents to a gay, teenage son. The father is absent-minded but nice enough. A friend comes over to interview him about a recent professional award. He confesses to this friend that he's having an affair with a goat... and he's in love.

The wife finds out, they fight, the son gets involved, there's some argument about homosexuality and human sexuality and what turns people on. I won't say how it ends, but it doesn't say much about the future of the characters.

If you have seen or read The Goat and you think I'm missing something, please post a comment to let me know what I missed.

It's just that, well...

I had to create a blog. Everyone else who knits has. (Seriously.)

Call it self-promo, call it simple fun, call it whatever. I knit, I write, I perform, and I sometimes tell funny stories. Now I'm going to share online.

Thanks for visiting. I hope to update at least once a week.