Month: October 2007 (page 1 of 8)


Now there’s a new one. An otherwise normal-looking customer just approached me with a packet of Velcro and asked in all seriousness, “What is this used for?” What do you say to that? Embarrassingly, I stammered something about “shoes” and mimed tearing it apart. “You know, rip!?” I can’t figure out who was the bigger idiot.

Happy Halloween!

Brains with Raspberry SauceHappy Halloween, everybody!
I’ve finally managed to get my party photos up, and I’ve included links to all the recipes if any of you are still looking for last-minute ideas. To the right you can see this year’s centerpiece: Panna Cotta Brains in Raspberry Sauce. Disgusting yet delicious! Thanks to everybody who came along, and apologies for not getting more photographs of the costumes. We’ll see you all next year in the new house!

It’s a Big World After All

Disney is shutting down “It’s a Small World” for refurbishments… because modern guests are too fat. Yikes. Me, I’d prefer them to alter all the rides for tall people! (Link courtesy of AskMeFi, where the comments are going just about as well as you might imagine.)


As the announcer puts it: “…one of the most miraculous plays in all of college football!” I can’t disagree. Trinity University had two seconds left on the clock and scored a touchdown off a crazy play that included fifteen lateral passes! Looks more like rugby than football to me.

Party Pictures

I was still too pooped yesterday to post my party pictures, but Erin (who looked lovely as Tracy Turnblad!) has posted some of hers. She also kicked my butt at Wii Boxing, which is why I can barely lift my arms today. (Must. Do. More. Weight Training.)

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from the Mythbusters

Me and Snook as Adam and Jamie

This marks the third year I’ve gone in drag. I’m getting a little tired of having a beard! Next year I’ll have to go as something ultra-girly, I think.

Anyway, our 5th annual Halloween party was a smashing success. Pics will be up once we’ve finished putting the house back together…

Way to go, ladies!

Awesome. Way to go, ladies!

Food Sissy!

Someone on AskMeFi has asked whether those “deceptively delicious” recipes are a way for adult picky eaters to get more variety in their diets. The poster also mentions that they hate all vegetables in just about every form. A couple people trotted out the “Ooh, you could be a supertaster!” suggestion. Whatever. Instead I actually cheered at this comment:

“You are a food sissy. With every microwaved meal, with every bland bite, with every glob of pasteurized processed American cheese food product that you shovel down your insensate gullet, you become more of a food sissy. Stop it. Get over yourself. It doesn’t taste bad, it just tastes DIFFERENT. The only way to learn to like veggies is to EAT THEM CONSTANTLY until you like them.”

AMEN! It’s tough love, but it needed to be said. And I say that as a reformed food sissy myself. Ask my mother. The only vegetables I’d eat growing up were potatoes and sweet corn. Deciding to “get over myself” a few years ago was the best decision ever. I have no idea how people can survive (or enjoy life!) without fresh tomatoes, coriander, roast pumpkin, capsicum (peppers for the Yanks), basil, spinach, etc. You’re missing out on so much!

The Accidental

The Accidental
Last night I finished The Accidental by Ali Smith, which y’all recommended a few months ago. Unfortunately… I didn’t like it much. I feel like an absolute git for saying that, because it won all sorts of awards and every single review I can dig up is uniformly positive. Yet somehow it just didn’t grab me. I guess maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for big, plotty stories (whether in books or movies), and I’ve never gone in for inscrutable character or mood pieces very much. This book reminded me of an Art Film. Intellectually I can tell that the writing is excellent and I can see what people are praising about it, but I didn’t really find myself engaged on an emotional level. (I’m moving the rest of my thoughts inside, lest anyone get spoiled.)The one section I did connect with was Magnus’s first chapter (during his depressive phase). The way his thoughts kept cycling; the way he kept dwelling on the dead girl; the way he talked about the bullies. I couldn’t put the book down during this section… right up until the point he tried to hang himself, but then Amber found him and bathed him and everybody laughed. WTF? I think I actually groaned outloud when I read that. “Your son just tried to kill himself. ” Hilarious laughter. How is that realistic? Unfortunately I found Michael, Eve, and Astrid all a little bit boring. (Which is odd, because most of those reviews rave about Smith’s ability to write convincingly as a 12-year-old girl. I guess I find most 12-year-olds boring.) And Amber herself annoyed the crap out of me. I was with her up until the point she started shagging Magnus and tossing video cameras and behaving less like a person and more like a literary device. So all in all I’m not sorry I read it – Ali Smith is an excellent writer and certain passages have really stuck with me – but I wouldn’t say I found it very entertaining.

I’ve still got a few books left in my “To Read” pile. I think we’ll go with Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys next…

Socks and Monsters

Socks and Monsters
I’m happy to report some Finished Objects for October. First up are my Whitby Socks, which I started on the way home from knitting camp at the beginning of the month. I had to frog and restart once, as the number of stitches suggested just wasn’t working for me. (I actually went up to 67 from the 51 suggested.) It was an easily memorized pattern and the cables were fun without being bothersome. I also tried out an eye of partridge heel for the first time. The original pattern is from Knitting on the Road and the yarn is the last of my Colinette Jitterbug. I love the colours, but I don’t think I’ll be getting any more. (My Vinnlands are already starting to pill and felt from a single wear.) I knitted these at the same time on 2.75mm needles using the two-circulars method. I’ll be cross-posting these at the Southern Summer of Socks as well. I think a goal of one pair per month is pretty do-able…

Whitby Socks The Monster Ghost and Pumpkins

The other fun things I’ve been making are these toys from Jean Greenhowe’s Jiffyknits. I bought the book a few years ago for the Halloween stuff but somehow never remembered to make them before our party. So far I’ve made two pumpkins, a scary ghost, and Frankenstein’s monster. The patterns themselves are *extremely* simple. It’s literally just garter stitch strips with no shaping whatsoever. (You don’t even have to know how to purl to make these toys.) Construction isn’t quite as fiddly as I feared, though sometimes you have to cut circles of cardboard to reinforce the round shapes. And I’m not sure the whole “knit a boulder and sew Frankenstein’s legs to it to prop him up” worked very well. He’s kinda wobbly. I do love joggle eyes though…

AND – I’m happy to report that by posting these toys to Ravelry, I’ve now jumped to #4 on the list of people with Halloween projects. (You can see it on the “People” tab.) Next year I’m aiming for #1!