Saturday, April 21, 2012

Stupid Movie Saturday

It's Saturday night.
And it's been raining all day, with snow of 2-4" expected Sunday night.
What does that mean?
It means that Saturday night was spent inside watching a stupid movie.
Hence it is now stupid movie Saturday.
Now let's be clear that I waste many summer evenings on stupid movies too, but I didn't think that I could actually classify this time until today.
Especially since I watched a really bad movie today.
So, what movie did I waste my evening watching?
Tuff Turf.
Ever heard of it?

Well it's got James Spader, Robert Downey Jr., and Kim Richards.
Those are the big names.
Of course it was Robert and James before they were big, and Kim at the end of her peak, well until Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
A role which one could hardly consider a career resurgence.
This movie was a a low-budget, pre-Brat Pack picture that is typical of some of the early 80's movies. The loner attracts the negative attention of the local gang leader, as well as seeking out the attention of the gang leader's girlfriend. A big no-no if you want to keep your face looking pretty...James, er...Mr. Loner.
The gang makes his life miserable, but he insists on remaining who he is, and woos the gang leader's girlfriend by showing his perseverance and steadfastness. She does not make his life miserable, and he, of course, shows her what a narrow existence she has.
There's also dancing (seriously), and lots of music. I think the producers and director tried to make this a 1980's version of Fame meets West Side Story featuring "Juliet" in Madonna-style clothing
Never fear, however, it's the love story that is similar to West Side Story/Romeo and Juliet, as neither of the protagonists dies.
What might be one of the more interesting parts of the movie is that Jim Carroll appears in it.
The one true unexpected bright spot.
Well, now we've seen it, and this movie can be taken out of my Instant Queue.
As the movie finished, hubby said, "Well that's two hours of your life you'll never get back."
He's not wrong.
Curse you, Netflix.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Two Men

We lost two men today who had an impact on my life.
I've never met either of them, but they are ever-present in my memory.
Earlier today I saw that Jonathan Frid, the actor who played Barnabas Collins in "Dark Shadows" passed away.
When I was in kindergarten (back in the day, way, way back), I used to get home and off the bus just in time to catch the 4:00 airtime of Dark Shadows.
I don't know that I necessarily understood the show, and I mostly remember the scarabs as well as Barnabas, but it is a firm memory.
Here's a very funny annotation made to the moment Barnabas shows up at Collinwood.

Oh that ring, how I remember that ring!
For those uninitiated, this is a very "raw" show, and by raw I mean live and not altogether polished.
But good stuff for teenagers (and kindergarteners) in the 60s.
This was shown again on TV when I was in 7th grade or thereabouts, so I would rush home (but not as quickly as the 5 year old me did) and watch the show then too.
Great stuff.
Nostalgic camp.
RIP Jonathan/Barnabas.

Even sadder is the passing of Levon Helm.
You may know him from The Band, you may know him as Loretta Lynn's father in Coal Miner's Daughter. You may also know him as an amazing drummer and singer.
RIP Levon.
Here's a couple of songs we can listen to and glory at your talent.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Je t'aime, Henri

If you haven't seen this, you need to.
It's hilarious.

Henri, the existential cat.
How sublime.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Someone special in our house turned 21 today.
Here he is at the age of one at Niagara Falls.

 And here he is at the age of five when we were living in Germany.

And here is a recent photo where he's hugging on Delilah.

Happy Birthday to Baby Jake.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blinded by Science

Yesterday our campus observed Scholars' Day, a day when over 300 students, faculty and staff present papers, works of art, posters, and dance routines.
No classes on this day, just an opportunity to see what others are pursuing with regards to scholarly work.
When I go to presentations, I usually head to ones from the English or History Department, or to support a student I know.
This year I just went over for the free lunch.
I'm not all that interested in science, so I usually skip those presentations, but mostly because I'm intimidated by the topic.
Some of the titles even scare me.
Check this one out:
"Examination of the Relationship Between the Quasi-biennial Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, the Southern Oscillation, and the Accumulated Cyclone Energy in the Atlantic Basin."
Or this one:
"Characterization of Melanin-concentrating Hormone 1 Receptor Expression in SH-SY5Y Neuroblastoma Cells: A Potential Role for Receptor Clustering in the Regulation of MCH Signaling."
These are some smart students.
I'm just not much of a scientist.
I wish that I were, but I'm not.
This picture represents the extent of my interest in scientific pursuits:

So, yeah, I can haz string?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

When a Little Yarn Becomes Too Much

At what point did I cross the threshold, the one where I didn't have any yarn to the point where I really think I have too much?
It had to be a few years ago, but I continued to cross an already-straining bridge and buy more yarn.
Now no one is to blame but myself.
And really, I am not unhappy with my yarn.
I truly believe it is a security net of sorts for my old age (God help me that I actually live as long a life as my antecedents).
When I'm ancient and living on whatever retirement benefits I'm allowed I know that I'll have a lovely cushion of wool to comfort me.
The realization that I probably have too much yarn came to me a few days ago as I opened up a cedar chest to find something and all this yarn tumbled out. Yarn that I had completely forgotten that I had purchased.
As I was not working yesterday (two naps in the recliner, I'd consider that a good day off), I decided that I should actually sort through said cedar chest, see what was in there with regards to clothing that can go to Goodwill, and make some semblance of order with my yarn.
This is the end result.

That's a lot of yarn, isn't it.
It's all wool, or a wool blend.
Sock yarn is on top, worsted weight on the second shelf, bulky weight on the third shelf, and the bottom has "specialty" yarns, some knit scarves that are screaming to be blocked, plus some roving with which I intended to make thrummed mittens a few years ago.
I literally had to stop and remember why I had roving.
It's been that long.
There's some Knit Picks Imagination sock yarn in there too. It's lovely. Why hasn't it been made into socks? Better question, when did I buy it?
Don't answer.
That's rhetorical.
Even better question to consider: why was I storing acrylic yarn in a cedar chest. Exactly what part of the acrylic am I protecting from moths?
So now that my cedar chest is sorted, I can see a bit clearer into the future.
One thing I have to admit, however, is that I still have two other cabinets to sort through.
If you're looking for me, I will be on the couch contemplating my wooly nest egg.
Did I mention that I have the same cross-stitch retirement plan?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

So Where Have You Been?

Me, you ask?
I've been working.
Going crazy.
Stressing out.
Knitting too much, cleaning too little.
Same old, same old.
The semester is winding down, and we're gearing up for Commencement, amongst other end-of-year activities, so it's been very busy.
Which is an understatement.
I went to A.C. Moore and bought more yarn.
I am not sure, and I was asking myself that question even as I left the store.
I finished a pair of socks:

I call them my 4Evah socks because they took me forever to knit.
And I knit one sock from a pair of socks:

Okay, okay, I still have to stitch up the toe. I will. I'm not afraid of the Kitchener stitch, in fact I really enjoy it.
There was a blip when I was making these socks, however. I started decreasing for the toe, and noticed that I had the stitches wrong on the needles, so I unknit to where I had started the toe decrease.
Well, at least I thought I had.
As I was finishing up the last of the decreases I noticed that I had left a K2Tog in (and if you look closely I think there's still a SSK in there too).
Being the lazy knitter that I am, and knowing that these socks are too ill-fitting to be worn in public with normal shoes (plus too bulky), I left it (them) in.
Can you see them here above the bottom needle?

I'm thinking about calling it a sock dimple.
I'll let you know if that catches on.
I cast on for Multnomah, but as much as I love the pattern, and the yarn I'm using (which sadly seems to be pooling on one side), I needed something bigger for my pre-menopausal, pre-arthritic hands and failing eyesight.
You'll notice the above ill-knitted socks are knit on larger needles (size 7s, as a matter of fact).
I'll go back to Multnomah, but only when it's bright and I can see the needles clearly.
Getting old is a right pain.
I have been reading intermittently, and as a matter of fact I have books that are now officially one day overdue at the library.
Hello $1.50 in fines.
C'est la vie.
C'est la forgetfulness on my part.
So that should bring you partially up to speed with my life.
What's new with yours?