Sunday, April 30, 2006

I'll give you a stash flash

Ferrets have hidey holes. Tiffany has 2. The first, under the couch. The second, we discovered in the kitchen in one of the cabinets. Let's look at Tiffany's stash.

Clockwise from Tiffany: WB40; MY nailbuffer; WHN's socks (unwashed); MY new gloves that I never got to wear over the cold winter because they disappeared, and now it's 80 degrees; MY Touch Me face mask from Knitty; MY purple square from an afghan square exchange; sack of potatoes; more unwashed WHN socks; MY burgandy/green swatch (can't even remember the project or reason); MY leftover Knit Picks yarn- I made Backyard Leaves scarf as a Christmas present for a friend; and finally, the Budweiser beer that is used for Beer Can chicken, but after this discovery I will drink.

Because I found my camera and...

... I know how popular my ferret obsessed posts in a knitting blog are.

I'm not a cat person. They do nothing for me. However, one dark night, I almost ran one over. It was starving, bald (mange) so I took him to the vet had his balls lopped off, and 6 weeks, $1500 later, I was the owner of a moany old alley cat (and did I mention he's missing 70% of his teeth??) It's been 7 years. I don't want to wish him illwill, but let's just say I feel like I've gotten my $1500 worth and let's just say, if aliens came down and kidnapped him to make him king of their cat planet, I would not be particularly sad. He is like a big baby wanting to be fed every hour (he eats about 4-5 cans daily). He meows incessantly always wanting something. He didn't get his fourth can of cat food fast enough, so while I was dealing with Babette in her cage (Tiff was already out running around) Fred started his histrionics:

Yes, he jumped into the cage, because he knows where their food is. Can Babette's eyes get wider? She's thinking, WTF?? IS THAT MF actually in my house???

Is that MF eating my food??

That's really my food he's eating?? Must protect (either that or thinking something even better must be down there if he is)

Fred must have gotten a piece of bedding in his mouth. Glutton.

I feel so used.

How will I explain this to Tiffany.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Good Morning Baltimore

I've wanted to see Hairspray for awhile, and I was excited that it was coming to Las Vegas, however, I wasn't in a hurry since now it was going to be here for at least a year.

This past Friday night in the mail there was one of those Vegas magazines and as I was skimming through it and saw the ad for Hairspray, notice a little important detail: Harvey Fierstein was playing EdnaTurnblad for the first 12 weeks. I remembered it opened here in Jan/Feb... it's April... SHIT! I immediately called and this is his last weekend. He originated the role as well as won a Tony for it. Now there was an immediate want to see it.

I scored front row seats!!! And I am really happy that I saw it with Fierstein because his love song with Dick Latessa, "Timeless to Me" was not only a crowd favorite, but one of mine. The one minor complaint I have is that the orchestra was hidden until the end. I like to see them under the stage as a reminder that this live music, not Bose. Also, the staging I thought was a little off, as I could see many parts where many of the actors were obscured if one was sitting on the sides. (I noticed audience members leaning on each other to look)

But those minor points aside, I totally recommend it. I think the best compliment I could give it is I liked the music more than Mammia Mia! and considering I walked into Mamma Mia knowing all the words, versus Hairspray where I didn't know any... I remember an old Jewish named Yetta Zaslower who after seeing Les Miserables said, "eh but could you walk away whistling one of the tunes? Fiddler on The Roof, now that was a show with some songs." Hairspray is like that. I still have the opening number "Good Morning Baltimore" and the closer, "You Can't Stop the Beat" in a continual loop in my head. I know how songs stick to me, but I wonder what it must be like performing in a or working on a musical... can they turn it off at the end of the day or are they constantly mumbling the show's tune no matter where?

The actress playing Tracy was adorable, the cute actor playing Link was both cheesy and vulnerable (that's a hard combo to master), though WHN pointed out that he falls into my "type" of tall, thin, blonde, effeminate looking. (WHN always says it like that's not a good thing.)

The one thing that I don't like about sitting so close to the stage is seeing the mikes that they wear on their foreheads. They all look like they are wearing some weird cult symbol. When the hairspray is sprayed, I think UT OH gas, to make us believe. Or when they shot out confetti, I thought of propaganda bombs. But on the otherside, if you want to feel like you are really getting your money's worth, the front rows let you see the beads of sweat on the actors' faces.

One of the main messages of Hairspray is even a short chubby girl can find acceptance. However, while I was in the gift shop, I noticed a short chubby girl looking through all the tiny tanks and baby-t's trying to find a shirt that could fit her. I thought that ironic.

And if you see a show in Vegas versus LA or NY, you get added touches like wedding parties in full dress sitting next to people in t-shirts, shorts, and fanny packs. And let me not forget that I won $20 on quarter slots. Finally, when I was walking out to the walkway to the garage, Carrot Top was walking in with a sack of his props. Take that Broadway.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Now for something I can do

To make me feel better after the whole knitting machine thing, I picked up some needles to whip up a felted purse. The two colors I thought of striping, I don't think have enough contrast. I think once they are felted they will look a little TOO monochromatic.

OK so the pictures I found off the website, make them look nearly identical, but in real life they aren't THAT close. But again, Razr doesn't have the color quality, but here are the skeins:

Geez, maybe they are even closer than I suspect. I think once felted the lines would be indistinguisable. OI! I really want monochromatic, but I don't think that will be in the cards. I dont want to go to forrest green, way too dark for the kicky summer bag I envisioned. Maybe I'll just switch over to something retro like turquoise and orange. Or sophesticated like pale blue and brown. HM I really wanted to make the dual tone green work out somehow. Maybe I'll just buy a bag at Macy's.

2nd Knitting Machine Adventure

So you probably wont enjoy this post. It is what I did step by step in my 2nd go-around. I am posting this for someone specific.

The cast on:
Through the hole on the mast

Inbetween the tension discs (and in front of the little horizontal peg that is inbetween the discs

Through the eyelet in the front before moving onto the antenna (for some reason dont have pic of it going through right antenna hole

String through left hole in carriage

Pulling down to B position total 40 needles (20 +20 on left and right of 0; starting with every other one)

Knit one row

Add comb

Bring the other 20 down from A to B position

Right before I moved weights up to closer to the bed

Final result, no holes but awful cast on, and the sides.. Dont even let me go there... it will only make me cry.

First Knitting Machine Adventures

The LK150 arrived a last Tuesday. I was able to resist until 2:37am Sunday. Pretty good for me. I broke into the box to watch the video (no harm in that right?) I don't know if it was just because I was watching a video or it was 2:37am, but it seemed incredibly easy. So much so that I thought how handy the video is showing decreases because I'm sure that I will be knocking out a sweater by Monday.

4pm Sunday. I open box to machine.

Pictures will be a bit iffy because I still can't find my camera and have to use phone to take pics.

I follow the manual and the DVD to assemble and thread.

Let's say I want to cast on 40. From what I understand I choose 20 needles from either side of the 0. But for the first pass, I select every other needle to B position. OK good got that. I run the carriage over it and had the comby hook thing. Move the remaining needles over to B position and knit. Once a get a couple of rows add weights.

Originally I set the tension dials for 4 which was way too tight and move it to 7. Let's just say I got less than stellar results for my first go around.

Look at my cast on edge. There is all this extra slack. I have no idea how to get rid of it. Because clearly, if I got rid of that, the sample would look just fabulous.

You know how there are people that love challenges and will keep toying with something until they get it right? I'm in the other camp. The one that says fuck it. I'm going to do something easier now... like go roll a ball of yarn. Maybe I will leave everything out, so the ferrets can figure it out. That is if they ever wake-up from there stupor.

(OK you keen ferret observers like Claudia or Sibille... which ferret is on top?)

Friday, April 21, 2006

Maya Angelou

I still can't find my camera so no ferret stories... and today they had a bath. Good times.

So instead I will write about seeing Maya Angelou last week when she spoke at UNLV. It was good, she read her speech, which seemed weird since I would think she does the same one each time. But my favorite part of any of these speaking engagements are the Q&A because that's when the bizarreness begins. There were the general 20 minute long speeches before the questions...or questions that aren't really questions. At one point during one of them Maya Angelou said, DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION. But my favorite question was "HOW OLD ARE YOU?" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH What a kooky question. Maya Angelou just stared and then turned and walked out. Can you imagine being the next person in line to ask a question. Can you imagine being the UNLV host that has to talk to her right after?

After I was talking to one of the PhDs and she was horrified that someone had the audacity to ask a question like that to someone of her stature. Like if it wasn't THE Maya Angelou it would be OK to ask the question.

I decided not to see Bob Dole the following week.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Scientology and Me

Went to O last night. I liked this show much more than Mystere. I know Cirque du Soliel is amazing beautiful blah blah blah, however, I find a lot of the staging a bit creepy. However, with O, it felt more whimsical and less heeby-jeeby. Before O, we had dinner at MIX, on the 63rd floor of Mandalay Bay's THE Hotel. It was quite lovely sitting outside.

Today I was buying some knitting mags, and I couldn't resist buying this week's People. The cover story was Katie Holme's new life as a Scientologist. When I was in 6th grade my best friend was Casey. We were both latchkey kids as my mom worked the evening shift (nurse) and her parents were bridge crazy Scientologists. They spent every evening out until 9:30-10pm. As a kid, this was great because we could run amok at her complex (it was a family complex, so it was crawling with kids) The summer after 6th grade, she went to Scientology summer camp. She really didn't want to go, because at that point all she knew about Scientology was her parents and they were boring ol' pills that were never around. However, when she returned from camp at the end of summer, a couple of remarkable changes occured. First, she developed. I mean really developed. Second, she had a stack of Scientology books that she was selling (my mom bought 2). The first issue was rough because not only hadn't I developed, but everyone was expecting me to. I grew up hearing that Mom needed a bra in kindergarten or some such. So here is my mom, blonde large breasted, with my blonde now large breasted best friend, and me flat chested dark hair girl (is it a wonder The Smiths appealed to me so?) Basically around them I looked like the visiting friend. Also, Casey had a brazen about it that I didn't have. She had no qualms about carrying pads in her back jeans pocket (remember 80s- tight jeans). Where I still think it tacky to advertise that way, but I was jealous that she was just so comfortable with herself. Maybe it was the Scientology. Scientology had become the end all, be all to her. Monday - Thursday were just days she had to wait before she could spend the weekend in the Scientology dorms. There were highschool kids there and it was one big party. She wanted to go to school there because she learned that public school wasn't good enough. She was pulling C's; she didn't exactly need a prep school if you know what I mean. Everything was better at the Scientology center. The people, the food, everything. Even I could be better if I went. Not that I was looking for improvement, I wanted to be around the older kids. College dorm life but for a junior high kid??? I was so upset that my mom wouldn't let me go for a weekend. I tried to explain to mom that I wouldnt be doing anything Scientology-y just hanging out (have no clue why that argument sounded any better then...)

Casey and I within a month of her return stopped hanging out together after school... and then in school. But one day maybe 3 months after we started JH and she said that she forced her parents to send her to Scientology school. She told me that she got the church involved and that they had no choice. She was moving to Hollywood. It one sense it seemed really weird, yet in another how cool did it seem that a kid brought parents to their knees.

I didnt see her again after that.

When I was I flying home from college, I sat next to this woman that was actually Casey's neighbor. Casey did force her parents to send her to Scientology, but she didn't have to go to the church for help. Instead, she went to Jackson, one of the local hooligans living in the complex (he had already broken her parents glass coffee table.) Her parents caught her with him. A broken coffee table and daughter were enough for them to realize that they were not equipped to handle her. I dont think think that they were ever really meant to be parents.

Sometime after I graduated and I was working my 1st or 2nd real job, Casey got in touch with me. We had a wonderful chat. I told her about my job and move back to LA, my boyfriend. She got her GED and for a time was working Scientology outreach in Florida. She had just moved back to LA and was now in the publishing department. I kept suggesting we get together for lunch or something. She kept suggesting that I meet her there.

I thought that maybe we reached a new place in our friendship. Like when my best friend in HS came out when we were 19, she drifted while she was finding her place. She went through a hugely militant stage, which was weird for me because my other best friend came out too and he just screwed everything and was fine. But then she figured out who she was as a lesbian and we are closer than ever going on 20 years.

A few days later in the mail, I received a ton of Scientology literature. Everything that I had mentioned, there was a booklet in response. My new boyfriend, UNDERSTANDING RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH SCIENTOLOGY... my job USING SCIENTOLOGY FOR A BETTER CAREER and on and on. Did we actually have a conversation or did she just listen for key words and tick off boxes? A few days after that someone else from Scientology called me up asking me if I read the literature.

Good luck Katie Holmes.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Insomnia can be a good thing. I spent last night bouncing knitting blogs and I discovered something new. Nancy at Machine Knitting to Dye For is machine knitting fabric pieces, dyeing patterns onto them, unvravelling and voila! things like self-striping sock yarn! I love the dyeing theory aspect and using a knitting machine-- everything about this appeals to me. So much so, that I decided that I must take the beginning knitting machine and dyeing companion classes. And unlike every class I have seen this year that I've liked, it is not already over or on the other side of the country. May 13 I will flying my cookies to Berkeley. I had a great conversation with Nancy-- she is so passionate about the technique. Check out her examples-- (so intricate) and the results of one of her students Spinnity (notice on the sock blank she knows exactly what color the heel of her sock is going to be. You dont know that with a skein of OPAL.

Monday Moment of Zen:

And yet I still ask myself why does Tiffany sleep only under the couch? (Inside moebius basket that I am still to afraid to felt) I dont know whether Tiffany is having loved expressed to her or being tasted.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Shabby Sheep

Sheep are icky. They are not like the ones I read about with Bo Peep or I counted. They are dirty, smelly, sticky and part of learning spinning, evidently, is learning to clean this horrible animal.

I made a difficult decision today. I will not be going to Meg Swanson's knitting camp because it starts on the last 2 days of 2 of my classes and ends on the first day of my another class. It just wasn't meant to be this summer.

However, I am going to Camp Pluckyfluff in August. It is over a weekend which is great and it's more local (same time zone.) But the best part-- the camp is on a winery. Evidently the whole town is wine country. Spinning and getting hammered... can't get better than that. I am staying at a B&B , and picked out a room. It seems so quaint. I think I can do quaint. The consensus of friends and family is that I would fit in better at a smoked filled Holiday Inn lounge than playing Yahtzee in the parlor. I can't tell if they say that like it's a bad thing or not. Frankly, besides the drinking, I am looking forward to that whole king size bed to myself (unless I pick up a townie at that local Holiday Inn, but then no spending the night!) No cat, dog, or WHN.

I also decided that I will take workshops at the Taos Wool Festival in October. I think I am going to drive it. It's supposed to be a fairly picturesque drive but not sure how much of it is actually picturesque from Las Vegas to NM. And being about 10 hours, not sure how much picturesque I can stand. But I do want to get into spinning... at least this year. Also it does seem fun to spin the yarn that I knit. Well I guess I'll see how fun it really is. But after dealing with this nasty old fleece, I don't think I will ever go as far back as actual beast. There is just too much crap (literal and figuritive) on the wool. It's referred to as "vegetable matter"-- what a nice euphemism.

So far, over 300 people have signed up for SP8. The increase is most likely due to increased advertising on podcasts. To give you an idea, SP7 was 535 total.

I just like this photo, though it does make Tiffany look more rodenty. And as you may or may not know, ferrets are not rodents, but related to otters, pole cats, weasels... they are actually considered as smart as small primates.

BREAKING NEWS: New Knitty will be out Monday.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Joy and Pain

First the joy, SP8 sign ups have started! And I'm one of the hostesses! (let's hope that this one will stay joy and not move to pain) Check out SP8 for sign up info. Among other new things to SP8, you may notice a bunch of hostesses (19). This will hopefully improve (not that there needed improvement there, the previous hostesses did a great job) the experience. Hostesses will have more time to give more attention to less people.

Now the pain, I wanted to buy or at least rent a spinning wheel today. The one local spinning wheel dealer had 5 wheels. One was not set up. One was over 1K and the other 3, she doesn't like or recommend. While I appreciated her candor, why stock wheels you don't want to sell? Is it a shop or a museum?? She recommended online shops and advised against shopping for one Ebay. Did I mention that she was a spinning/weaving/knitting store owner and I was in her shop?? So she gives me recommendations of wheels to look into trying out. She may or may not carry them some day... WHAT?? Another option is to check out spinning wheels at Renaissance Faires, like the one in October HIZ WHAT??? HIZ WHEN??? Is she kidding me??

I am still working the camp angle too... unless they change their mind about having a camp or say their camp sucks and recommend other camps instead.

And speaking of both joy and pain, there is a Smiths marathon all weekend on Sirius Satellite. As a teenager, I LOVED THE SMITHS. When Morissey sang:
And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten-ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well, the pleasure - the privilege is mine

OMIGOD you can't get any more romantic than that. As a teenager, that was love to me. A lot is said about the excesses and neonness of the 80's but that decade did understand angst. Back then Morrissey said he was a cellibate vegetarian. My friends and I lived in continual fear that he would eat a cheeseburger and get laid; therefore, stop writing powerful depressing songs in favor of perky little ditties. I was goth (see Im not all Elton John and Tom Jones though I am dying to see Neil Diamond next), but I could never really look goth, no matter how hard I tried. When you have freckles and live in So Cal and like to surf, there is only so much you can do. I did do the obligatory burgandy hair and unrequited love for my goth friend who came out a few years after we graduated. (It was one of those, I "knew," but when you have a crush on someone, you dont want to think that you have NO shot... but before I officially knew, I could over him by dating his "friend" who went to UCLA (college boy woowoo) having no idea that at the time I was his Katie Holmes.

As a teenager, all of my disposable cash went to buying records. I would get rare 12" imports for a B-side that was unreleased in America but was a promotional copy in Japan. England was the end all be all to me. When I was 12 I was the first kid on my block to have a walkman that played both tapes and radio. And I had that thing with me at all times. Music was EVERYTHING TO ME. Whatever money I made babysitting and then later working in a restaurant and a hospital went to records (and later gas but also records still). I think everyone has that soft spot. My friend Colleen bought perfume with all her money. She wouldn't eat lunch for a month so she could buy a bottle of perfume. Another friend was that way about make-up. Luckily for me, my mom was really into me wearing make-up as part of the teenage experience so I was always good with that. Another friend Caroline, spent all her money on buying accessories and magazines about a car she didn't yet own. Everybody as that IT thing as a teen right?

My new IT, fiber arts: I bought the latest issue of Interweave Crochet. There is a striking blanket made with Koigu. It needs 22 of those expensive little Koigus for 40x43" Want to do the math on that? That's a lot of Smith import singles!

No one would ever be able to touch it, breathe on it etc... but oh wouldnt it be pretty to look at. I can't think of a vibrant and rustic yet cheaper substitute.

accommodation in Barcelona