May 31, 2005Happy belated birthday to my blog and real-life buddy, Amy "gadgetgirl" Barker. She celebrated with dinner at one of the best restaurants in town, and then changed her website design to boot!
Okay, since most of you probably have no idea what I'm talking about, steeking is a Norwegian technique for constructing sweaters. Basically you knit the whole body as a tube with no armholes, then you physically cut the tube to put the sleeves in. Sounds traumatic, right? Exactly. (Incidentally, that article I linked has pictures of this exact sweater I'm knitting. Do any other knitters think that Wendy's floats are too long there? She doesn't look like she's tacked the long ones down at ALL. All of my books say that you should definitely twist if carrying a float of more than five stitches. I'm just annoyed because her wrong side looks a lot neater than mine, and the dark green floats don't show through the white nearly as much.)
Anyway, yeah, so the first picture is me using the sewing machine to secure the steeks, which I'd outlined in bright yellow yarn so my lines would stay straight. I went around twice as the pattern suggests... and then chickened out and went around a third time. Then I was satisfied that those ends wouldn't be going anywhere. Next is me preparing to make the first cut. TRAUMA! I had to go have a beer afterwards. Third is the cut and completed arm hole. And in the last shot, I've sewn the shoulder seams and now I'm ready to insert the sleeves and finish up the collar. Shouldn't take me too much longer, which is a good thing... because the baby it's intended for (Ruth Lauren Cunningham, daughter of my dear college friend Nat) was born last week!
May 30, 2005How have I never found this site before? Threadbared is like Go Fug Yourself, but for vintage sewing and knitting patterns. HILARIOUS. (Link courtesy of John.)
I just had a customer tell me: "You have the most amazing accent. Where's it from?" I nearly fell over laughing. I said, "Actually that sultry, husky quality you hear is just because I'm sick and coughing my brains out. On a normal day, I have that same reedy, nasal, American voice you guys love to make fun of." I must sound like a pack-a-day lounge singer or something.
May 29, 2005Not that I'm watching or - *cough* - voting or anything... but how awesome was it that SuperTart Gianna got evicted on Big Brother tonight? I loved that they edited together all her INSANE bragging into one hilarious montage. She's so Mrs. Elton, all "Well, I don't talk about myself because I'm not conceited, but my friends would tell you that I'm a black belt in taikwando and I'm a supermodel and I designed an airport one time." The Snook thinks she's a pathological liar. I just think she's a pathetically insecure moral hypocrite who sees nothing wrong with smugly judging others for drinking while flouncing about the house in a nurse's outfit - and by the way, who brings a NURSE'S OUTFIT in the BB house? - pole dancing and all, "Oops! I forgot to wear panties tonight!" I mean, REALLY.
May 28, 2005Ladies and gentlemen, I am the #1 Google result for "you put your weed in there" quote. My weekend is complete!
Oh, and we're up to 11 sales on the website... for a total of $1200. With only, like, 20% of the site complete! Professional validation!
May 27, 2005The Tapestry Craft website is now live! It launched about an hour late (which is pretty much par for the course for any deadline around here). The first order was placed by the Snook, who was just testing for me. We're still waiting for the first official sale. Please let me know if you find any bugs or anything. I'm still adding products but thank God the pressure is finally over.
Update: We've had five sales, and we're averaging nearly a hundred dollars a sale! I'm ecstatic. All the hard work is paying off. The best part was when the Snook told me how great he thought it was. I thought he was just being nice at first, but he insisted that he really thinks it's a great website. I can't tell you how awesome it is to have your work appreciated by the person whose opinion you value the most.
May 26, 2005Did you know that J. Peterman was an actual clothing company? I thought it was just a joke on Seinfeld. Apparently so did most other people, which is why they went bankrupt in 1999. (I love the fact that Peterman bought the name back in 2001 with the help of John O'Hurley... who played him on Seinfeld.)
Do you want to hear something that will BLOW YOUR MIND? Last Saturday we were over at Major and Steph's for dinner and somehow during the conversation someone mentioned the game "Red Rover." I was like, "What? Wait, you guys played that too?" They were all like, "Yeah, of course!" and then started reminiscing about playing it. Their descriptions all sounded kinda weird though. Finally I got somebody to give me the Australian rules, and I'm tellin' ya, it's like I walked smack into the Bizarro World. Their version is almost completely opposite to ours! One person stands in the middle of a field with everybody else in a big line facing them. (Like at the end of the American version, when there's only one person left.) Then, get this: The lone person yells out "Red Rover, Red Rover, COME OVER!" And all the other kids run past to the other side, and anybody that the person in the middle manages to tag get stuck in the middle with him. This gets repeated until only one person is left running back and forth. ISN'T THAT INSANE? There's no clothes-lining, no deliberately picking the same weak kids every time, no silly girls who pull their hands back at the last second. I couldn't believe it. Same name, totally different rules.
Oh, and remember that horribly non-PC game called "Smear the Queer" where you basically tried to bash whoever had the ball? They played that one here too. It's called "Kill the Dill with the Pill."
May 25, 2005I am so frustrated with Apple Australia right now. My iMac is still out of commission, waiting for a replacement logic board. (Which is the same part that was replaced back in January.) It's now been FIVE WEEKS that I haven't been able to use my computer, and according to my technician, it could be another two before they get the part. I'm on hold with AppleCare right now, and for once I'm going to demand that something be done. This is RIDICULOUS. I did the math today: I've owned the machine for a total of 32 weeks, eight of which it's been unusable. EIGHT! That's twenty-five percent! And it's even worse if you take off the few weeks I was on holiday (and thus didn't use the machine). Here I am, working my ass off on a crappy laptop to try to finish a website in 48 hours when there's a frickin' G5 sitting DEAD in the next room. NOT HAPPY, JAN.
Update: Well, they offered to replace the machine. That's good. They can't get me a new one for three weeks. That's bad. How stupid is that? Plenty of stores have stock, but they can't just give me one of those. It's ridiculous. I'm sure if I was in the U.S. I could've just taken this thing to an Apple store and walked out with a new one an hour later. Instead I'm just supposed to accept shoddy service here as a given. So I just sent off a righteously peeved e-mail to my AppleCare representative, Apple Australian customer relations, the third-party service technician, everybody I could think of. I even invoked the Office of Fair Trading (who state that any manufacturer offering an express warranty must have a "reasonably" supply of parts on hand). I explained how I've personally had a hand in convincing several people to Switch: (Max, John, Hoey, Sharon) but that right now, I wouldn't be able to bring myself to recommend a Mac to anyone in good conscience. "I feel like Apple have LET ME DOWN." Let's see if that does any good...
I was just chomping away at my breakfast cereal and happily reading AskMeFi when I came across this question about the consequences of the moon's destruction. It was all very interesting speculation and I was about to ask the Snook for his opinion... when I got to the bit about how it would mess up all the human female's menstrual cycles. HUH? I nearly blew muesli all over the keyboard. That has to be a joke, right? But no, a couple of posters honestly argued that the length of a woman's cycle is not coincidental, but is somehow tied to the phases of the moon. The fact that other large mammals have widely differing lengths of estrus doesn't seem to sway them. My favorite bit of the argument is the cynical chick who refers to "magical moon fairies". Even Uncle Cecil agrees.
May 24, 2005I'm SO going to put this on a T-shirt.
Good grief. On top of all the rest of my stress, I noticed earlier this week that the vision out of my right eye was significantly blurrier than out of my left. How long has this been the case? I have no idea. My allergies always make my eyes a little screwy so it's hard to tell. It's only with my contacts; my glasses are fine. It's been about a year since my last prescription, so I stopped in at my optometrist tonight for a checkup. We did the whole "Better here...? Better here?" routine, and then the usual laser beam/puff of air in the eye thing. Finally he started writing down my new prescription. I freaked out as soon as I saw it: -7.5 and -9.0. Holy crap! My old prescription was -6.0 and -8.0! He didn't seem too perturbed but I just lost it. "What's the matter with me? Am I GETTING OLD? Am I GOING BLIND?" I asked in desperation. He laughed and then explained that that's my glasses prescription, which is always stronger than your contacts prescription. The upshot was that my right contact is going up to a -6.5. Whew! Then he told me about some other patient of his named Lewis who's up to a -18.0 in each eye. So now I feel a little better, knowing that I'm still better off than that guy.
May 23, 2005If you've been wondering if CouchCam has been stuck for the past 72 hours, it hasn't. I've literally been sitting on the couch for twelve hours a day trying desperately to finish this damn website before Friday. It isn't going to happen. My ass is numb and my diet is shot. And I think I'm getting a cold. STRESS.
May 22, 2005Don't be an idiot like me. If you are an idiot like me, and if you happen to, say, pop off the space bar on your iBook because you want to clean out the cat hair underneath and then you discover you can't get it back on properly, this is what you have to do. And don't say I didn't warn you.
May 21, 2005The Return of the Bangs
I went to get my color redone last night so I had my hairdresser give me a bit of a trim too. Halfway through the cut I was like, "You know, I was kinda thinking about bringing back the fringe...." And she was like, "Really?! Because I think you'd look HOT with fringe." So I nodded, held my breath, and we did it. And the whole way home I felt like a total rock star. Something was niggling in the back of my mind though. Everytime I caught a glance of my reflection, I thought I looked like someone. It wasn't until we were eating pancakes this morning and watching a TiVoed episode of The O.C. that it hit me: I have Julie Cooper hair!
May 20, 2005Magical Mac Key Sequences. That's an amazingly helpful resource even for those of us who've been using Macs for awhile. I can never remember those things.
May 19, 2005Hey Helen, this Spring Knitty surprise is for you!
Actually, yes we are. While checking the final proof of a mailout that's being sent to thousands of customers, I managed to spot that the word "off" had been mispelled. I smugly congratulated myself for saving us heaps of embarrassment. However, I failed to note that both our 800 number and the website address were incorrect as well. The whole run's been printed and it's too late to change. Like I said, it's a cock-up.
I could go on and on. But hey, it's late and I'm tired, and any of you that really give a crap about it are probably going to see it yourself in the next twelve hours or so... so have a good time! It really truly doesn't suck. There are still a few clunkers but overall the film is packed with action and it didn't disappoint. 'Night!
May 18, 2005Ebert gives Revenge of the Sith three-and-a-half stars... and predicts that Episodes 7, 8, and 9 will eventually be made. Whoa!
Meanwhile, only two hours left to go. The Snook's taking a power nap, but I think I'm gonna just wing it. Now all I have to do is withstand the temptation to have a choc top...
May 16, 2005DietBlog: Week six has come and gone, and my official weight loss stands at 7.2 kilograms. That's nearly sixteen pounds! Of course, if you graphed my actual loss per week you'd notice a severe downward trend thus far in May. I'm only averaging 600g a week now. I know it's ridiculous to feel bad about it; I'm still heading in the right direction, and that's still slightly above what you should be aiming for each weigh-in. I just got so excited by the big drops in the first few weeks that I half-expected them to continue. I did make one possible-related discovery tonight though: I've dropped into a lower Points bracket! (WW assigns the number of Points you get to eat per day based on your weight. Smaller people eat less.) I didn't even realize it, but for the last two weeks I've been allowing myself an extra Point a day. Maybe that accounts for the slowdown...
In exercise news, on Saturday the Snook and I turned from bushwalking to exploring our own fair city: We did the Bondi to Coogee Walk. We packed a picnic lunch and enjoyed some fantastic ocean views. The whole thing took us about two-and-a-half hours. Here are a couple pictures. First is a surfie on Bondi. It was pretty chilly and gray that day, but the wind was making some big waves and there were plenty of guys out. Next is a self-portrait of me and the Snook with Bondi behind us. The third is an amazing view looking south from Mackenzies Point to Tamarama and Bronte. And lastly is the Snook, with me reflected in his sunnies. (Don't worry Ma; he shaved today. That's just his weekend scruff.)
And lastly... I had a bit of an adventure tonight. I went to Dance Central to try out a belly dancing class. I know! Can you believe it? I nearly chickened out but the thought of another measly 600g loss spurred me on. It was surprisingly fun! I actually really enjoyed myself. I can't shake my hips for shit, but I'm definitely the queen of the belly and chest jiggling. I figure what you lack in rhythm, you should make up for in enthusiasm, right? I was like the lead in my own little Bollywood movie. The instructor even told me I did a good job afterwards! I'm so going back next week.
May 15, 2005Colourways Wrap II
Man, I feel like it's been ages since I had a Finished Object to report! This is a sample I designed and knit for the shop. We had an original "Colourways Wrap" from a few years ago, but this one uses slightly different yarns (and an extra ball) so the pattern needed to be rewritten. They're all Anny Blatt yarns, which means this is one of the most expensive items I've ever knitted. All seven yarns are carried the full length of the wrap, which means I had to resort to putting the balls in sandwich bags to avoid creating the World's Biggest Knot. But at last, it's done! We've got the range of yarns in several different colors and we plan on selling them as a kit. So anyway, yeah, from tomorrow my first official pattern will go on sale in the shop! Pretty neat, huh?
May 14, 2005Is your monitor a little dusty? Try this. (Cutest link EVER courtesy of John.)
May 13, 2005Kristine Ronssdottir
All day I've been following this Ask MetaFilter thread about whether most women change or keep their names upon getting married. My own contribution is in there, but just in case any of you didn't get the memo, I kept my name. We toyed with the idea of combining our names into some SuperSurname, but "Snook" and "Howard" don't really form anything cool. Besides, I can't imagine changing something so fundamental about my identity. It's not a genealogy thing so much; there's lots of Howard boys to carry on the line. It's just that I've been Kristy Howard for so long that it would be too weird to be anything else. I'm willing to concede that my feelings might be different if my surname were difficult to pronounce or spell, but Howard is just about perfect: everybody recognizes it yet it isn't as boring or ubiquitous as Smith or Jones. (Apologies to any offended Joneses.) Anyway, I was intrigued by this comment from the thread:
Data point: in Korea all women keep their family surnames. This seems paradoxical, given the low status of women in Korean society, but it's all about bloodlines here. Paternal ones.How about that? I was following ancient Korean tradition without even realizing it!
May 11, 2005Wow. What an Amazing Race. (Look away, Andrew!) Finale reaction to follow.
May 10, 2005Stitch and Bitch Scandal! According to this MetaFilter post, the Chicago SnB (love that Purl logo!) was served with legal papers from Sew Fast/Sew Easy claiming that they have a registered trademark over the phrase "Stitch and Bitch." What? The SnBers are predictably up in arms. There's no way they could defend such a general phrase as a trademark. What idiots. As the convenor, I feel compelled to go on the record and state that the Tapestry Craft Stitch and Bitch firmly supports Chicago SnB, and that Sew Fast/Sew Easy are a bunch of uptight, no-fun cows who probably scrapbook in their spare time. Bitches!
Oh, so now that the grossness is out of the way, yeah, I lost .6 of a kilogram. Though that's my smallest loss to date, I was actually a little relieved given that I'd been rather indulgent over the weekend (the beers at Redoak, nibblies and banana cake at the felting workshop, etc). It's good to know that I can have the occasional blowout and still stick to the program. (Hello, Chili's!) I also got another gold star, mostly because I'm the only person who ever talks. Emily loves me.
May 7, 2005Kevin's got links to several high-res images from the upcoming Goblet of Fire movie. It looks great! I didn't picture the maze as being that freakin' enormous though. Fleur and Viktor look good, and Cedric (who I always sorta pictured like my brother Antny) is fine, I guess. I'm also gonna go on the record and say that I'm loving the Weasley family mullets. Hurray for the Bay City Weasleys!
Unless, of course, it doesn't suck.
In terms of the big finale, I still like Rob and Amber but I admit it would be better for Joyce and Uchenna to win. She shaved her head! She deserves it. Ron and Kelly will hopefully implode, come in third, and break up before they kill each other.
Breaking for lunch in the middle of a felting workshop. I'm hoping to make a scarf to match the new coat!
May 6, 2005Since the Tapestry Craft Stitch and Bitch will be going on hiatus in a few weeks - (*cough* Winter Sale! *cough*), the girls and I have been looking for an alternative location in the neighborhood. Last night I took Amy and Miss Jane over to Red Oak to see if it was suitable. It was! We started off with some of the Framboise Froment which got everyone in a festive mood. Then DING DING DING! Unbeknownst to us, the Master Brewer was down at the Australian International Beer Awards and Red Oak had just won a medal for their Special Strong Ale. The staff brought 'round a taster for everyone in the bar! We cheered. Another full-size beer later, and another victory for the Oatmeal Stout! (That was my favorite, I think.) And lastly, just before we left, they won another one for their "Rauchbier," this crazy ale that uses smoked barley (and really, truly tastes like it's brewed with ham). So we ended up having quite a fun evening!
May 5, 2005Rules for Cats. So, so true. (Link courtesy of John.)
May 4, 2005While watching Survivor last night...
Snookums: Well, of course Gregg (pronounced GREG-GUH) and Jenn (pronounced JEN-NUH) were going to get together...
A minute passes while he thinks about it.
Snookums: Actually, maybe I shouldn't be making fun of people with superfluous double letters on the ends of their names.
Me: Ya think, ROD-DUH?
Heading out to yoga in my new pink reward jacket!
May 3, 2005Tonight's culinary adventure: homemade chicken ramen in the Wagamama style. I liberally substituted things in that recipe, throwing in a bunch of leftover bok choy, snow peas, and carrots. It turned out pretty well!
May 2, 2005DietBlog: The all-important weigh-in was tonight... and my stomach was in knots all day. I was so stressed. I felt like it was the day before a final exam. By 5:00 I totally felt like barfing. I just had a horrible little voice in my head saying that it was all a mistake, that the scales had been wrong, that it was all a fluke, that somehow I'd manage to put on weight... It was awful. Eventually it was 5:30 and I headed over to the Dymocks Building. I spotted our group leader Emily and waved nervously. "I think it could be a good night," I said, pointing at the "Total Loss: 4.9 kilos" in my booklet. "I'm hoping to reach my first goal." I stepped on to the scales and tried to lean forward to see the digital readout, but I had to settle for watching the attendant scrawl it in my book: "6.0 kilos." SIX KILOGRAMS. That's thirteen pounds! The stomach butterflies disappeared. I felt JUBILANT. I rushed to tell Emily and collect my "5 Kilo Achievement Bookmark," which I promptly MMSed to the Snook. I felt like hugging everybody in the room. I got congratulated by several of the other members. And when I got home, the Snook gave me the biggest, proudest hug EVER.
And yay! I get to go buy my reward tomorrow... Pictures to follow.
Roger Ebert has published a fascinating bit of correspondence between himself and Daniel Woodburn (a Little Person most known to me for his role on Seinfeld). Woodburn takes Ebert to task for using the word "midget," and Ebert uses it as an excuse to educate himself and us on the history of the word. Did you know that historically "dwarfs" and "midgets" were entirely separate classifications of Little People? I sure didn't. I admit, though, that I don't perceive a lot of negative connotation in "midget," but I'm willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt.
Where can one find truly local news online? Yesterday when I left work, there was a big commotion up at Home Yardage. Albert and I stood in the street trying to see what was happening. "I think somebody's under a bus," a guy said. Whoa. Somebody got hit by a bus? Our stretch of York Street is pretty bad for pedestrians, what with the cars (and often delivery vans) parked along both sides and only one cross-walk in the middle of the block. As we drove to our squash lesson we were passed by numerous police cars and an ambulance. Here's the thing though: I can't find one single word about the accident online. Not a thing. I want to know what happened! The ABC doesn't seem to have local Sydney news, only regional stuff for the country. The Sydney Morning Herald doesn't have it; neither does News. The Transport Infoline sure as hell doesn't have anything about it. So where can you hear truly local news in the city? Isn't there even a police blotter? Or is this just something you can't get in metropolitan areas?
May 1, 2005Wow. After thirty years, Indiana is finally going on Daylight Savings.