24 December 2008


I'm home for the holidays now, and I've taken to wandering around my old neighborhood, as I've always done. I find my neighborhood engaging enough as it is, but this week it's had the added enrichment of Snow, and Lots Of It.

Every day I've been going out to see who's been around: there have been raccoon tracks investigating a trash can, rat tracks hurrying to a hidey hole - perhaps related to the nearby tracks of a cat and her kittens. The tracks of the rare and illusive mailman, making a wide garland from porch to porch. Also, pony tracks - definite horseshoe prints along the sidewalk. Unexpected!

A few times now while out and about, I've encountered my father, also out and about. We are similar in that it takes us a while to just get down the block, because there is really just so much to stop and see. I get this 100% from my dad - the wandering gene must be dominant over the recessive genes which restrict my mother to strictly Point-A-to-Point-B travels. Sure, she'll make the occasional additional stop - as long as it lies along Line AB.

Anyway - the wandering is here in my storytelling too, it seems - once I was the one being tracked by my snowy footprints. I had doubled back at some point and nearly threw my father off, but he soon recovered, and eventually there we were together. I showed him the phantom raccoons, the cats, the pony.

We spent some time fabricating tracks to baffle anyone else who might be about. Hop on one foot with an upturned shovel as a crutch, and what do you get? Pirate tracks.

20 December 2008

The Frystache

The other day I found a French fry that looked exactly like a mustache.

It was imbued with the power to transform the already handsome into the devastatingly dashing:

Then I ate it! Now it's a part of me... forever.

01 December 2008

A bunch of videos

You guys know this Beyonce song and video, right? I love the video, and I wish every music video was like this - a performance, rather than the telling of some unrelated narrative or whatever else people are always trying to depict in videos these days. Case in point: A-Ha's Take On Me. Alright, so 1984 is not exactly "these days," but my point is, the story told in the video has nothing to do with the story (if there even is one) told in the song. Of course, the only reason I have had all this on my mind lately is because of this brilliant piece of work...

Anyway, back to Beyonce! This video first came to my attention from this Boing Boing post which showcases an amazing homage performance, as well as the truest statement ever: "If you feel moved to sneer, *you* try re-creating a Beyoncé video, shot by shot, shimmy by shimmy, while clad only in asymmetrical underwear." Truth!

Beyonce and J. Timb were also on SNL recently doing a funny attempted remake of the video, unfortunately this subtitled version is the only one I can find online right now. Hee, Paul Rudd. SNL is pretty bad these days though, isn't it? Basically the only guaranteed laughs for me are bits with Andy Samberg or Justin Timberlake.

12 November 2008

So, my last post. Maybe you guys were wondering where the heck I came from, and where I've been! Maybe you weren't... that's OK too. Basically, I used to live by one ocean, and now I live next to a different ocean. I keep meaning to do a long, comprehensive write-up of what has been going on in my life in the past few months, but the notion of doing that is overwhelming because there's too much to say.

Here's something fun: baby rats!

That's Beanie on the left, and Spigot on the right. This picture is kind of a miracle because it features both of them, and they are sitting relatively still - 8 week old rats are wiggly.

21 September 2008

Things that made me L to the OL recently

- This, which describes Usher's head as being shaped like a butternut squash... the most apt comparison ever.

- The fact that R. Kelly finally has a grown man's haircut, as noted by this blogger.

- Aboard the SS Redonkulous.

- "For really exciting penetration have your man thrust his arm directly through your torso and kind of blend into your back."

- From Ask Metafilter, a question about bathroom facilities on a roof. Best answer: "Maybe it's time to stop inviting Razak to parties."

- Ugly cupcake cakes, actually anything on Cake Wrecks.

19 September 2008

Vote 4 Scout

Hey, remember Scout and Piper from my dogsitting stint? Aubrey's mom says... "Scout and Piper are in this photo contest, and the winner gets a discount on the next class. Please help finance Scout’s advanced puppy class by going to this site and voting for Scout!"

The contest is here: http://ahimsadogtraining.com/poll/photo.php

In that picture, Scout is staying put while Hazel is in the water chasing a float. That's pretty good staying! Could YOU do that at 5 months? I doubt it.

Please vote if you have a moment!

17 September 2008

When you're R. Kelly

Despite the fact that I'm mildly obsessed with R. Kelly, I hadn't seen Trapped In The Closet until just yesterday. I had heard it was a million parts long, and for some reason I thought that the whole thing lasted hours and hours and I felt like I just didn't have the time or energy to commit to that much R. Kelly madness. I also mistakenly thought that it was a story told via a bunch of different songs, rock opera style - and again, I couldn't muster up the level of commitment it would take to parse through something like that.

But as it turns out, each part is short, and features the same music over and over and over and over and over! It's not really made up of songs so much as it is a rambling narrative told to music. And it's really way crazier than anything I could have ever imagined. I have so many questions... but I actually had to stop after part 5 because it got too intense for me. SPOILER ALERT, I called it that the guy his wife was sleeping with was the cop: I thought it was a curiously specific detail to mention that the cop flicked his cigarette away when they were on the side of the road, then later when he smelled cigarettes in his bedroom, I KNEW. Robert insists his audience's detective skills be honed sharp!

Anyway it's been over 24 hours and I still don't feel ready for the rest of it. But I will continue on, someday, and you'll be hearing about it.

Today, Rich at FourFour posted this amazing R. Kelly interview. My favorite thing about this... is everything. I feel like I should be transcribing this just in case it does get taken down. Seriously, my favorite part is where the interviewer mentions that people around R. Kelly, such as his manager and brother, have expressed concern about his behavior, and Kells tries to brush it off like everyone who speaks out against him is someone who used to work for him, but was fired and now has a chip on their shoulder. I'm concerned, and I'm pretty sure I've never been fired by the Pied Piper of R&B.
Interviewer: But your brother Carey... was not fired, he's still your brother.
R. Kelly: He was fired.
Interviewer: But he's still your brother.
R. Kelly: Doesn't matter. He's still my brother, but if he's still my brother, why did he get fired? [He says this with a tricky, master-of-logic look]
Interviewer: Why DID he get fired?
R. Kelly: I can't get into that.
Also - "Do not listen to the people that was fired. Don't even listen to the people that was hired!"

I'm... trying to?

16 September 2008

Describing Usher's head as being shaped like a butternut squash is the most apt comparison I have ever heard.

11 September 2008

I'm having a rough time lately with Life Stuff, so I have been sublimating my FEELings by keeping constantly busy working on various projects. Also, apparently, by eating ice cream and Internetting in the middle of the night.

Project highlights!

- Fingerless gloves for dad, using this pattern and some of my beloved lambswool.
- Alpaca hat for mom, pattern not online.
- Little things like this baby hat for Afghans For Afghans. Pattern here, easy and cute.
- A cross-stitch inspired by Subversive Cross Stitch. I did up my own pattern, and it's pretty simple, but I find cross-stitch really boring so I never want to work on it for any extended period of time. Right now I could literally be done with it after 10 minutes of dedicated stitching, but the reality is that I probably won't pick it up again for a while.
- And my current favorite thing, GIANT SHIRT. I bought a giant shirt!

07 September 2008

O'er the ocean

Here is a picture of an exercise my dude and some other folks put together recently (see also picture of the day here, or front page article of the most recent and sort of adorable Penny Press):

Meanwhile, here is something I observed this summer on Lake Union:

It's the Duck Navy! Five in front, and three way in the back, on the very right side of the picture. They rendezvoused and conspired under the shade of a tree, then suddenly all charged out in formation and went cruising around. I though they looked pretty sharp, but C. had this to say:
"Their spacing is a little lax. Not indicative of their seamanship at all."
What they lack in seamanship they apparently make up for in entertainment value, as later on I got another email from him on the topic...
“I took your photo of the ducks and invented a tactical signal (using existing doctrine) that would order the other ducks into station off the first one, the guide...

The first duckie (on the left) is the guide - as if he were the underway replenishment ship, or the ship the others come to to get gas and stores. Then there's one on his STARBOARD QUARTER (behind him and to the right) who would be in 'waiting station', waiting for the oiler to call him alongside. The one directly behind him is in 'lifeguard station', hanging out behind in case any peeps fall overboard!

Then I wrote that the two at the top of the picture were Iranian Navy, coming close to get a look and see what we're doing.”

22 August 2008

Lambswool yarn

Last weekend was very hot by Seattle standards, so naturally, I bought a sweater. J. Crew, men's XL, 100% lambswool.

I found this amazing sweater while at Goodwill with Matt, seeking crafting materials. This time it was... knitting materials! Form of: a sweater from which yarn can be recycled!

The best part about the sweater, other than the overall good quality and minimal wear, was...

...the seams! Perfect for RIPPING OUT. There was not a single serged seam. For information about why serged seams are no good, please read here or here. I found those websites useful in showing me The Way. (cue music: Clay Aiken's "The Way")

This week, I have been living in a yarn factory. I rip out yarn, organize it all over the floor and couch, wind it around the backs of chairs, tie it up so it doesn't tangle, soak it in the sink, hang it in the shower to dry and straighten out, dry it further on a rack by the window, do some math to figure out yardage, twist it into skeins, etc. So much wool to work on! Yesterday I was finally able to consolidate it all in one place to take this picture:

So that shows the current state of the sweater. All that is left of it is the entire back, seen here folded in half under everything else. On top are some assorted pieces to be joined together, and - my pride and joy - skeins totaling 970+ yards of wool.

Later I will tackle that back piece that is still intact. I wonder how many hundreds of yards I will get out of that? Oh yeah, did I mention this sweater was half off at Goodwill, so it was maybe two bucks? Two bucks for this much wool yarn... you will find such a deal NOWHERE ELSE.

I should note that the reason I am suddenly interested in working with wool is that I want to make some items for the Afghans For Afghans humanitarian effort. Maybe some baby and childrens' socks, hats, mittens, etc. They only accept wool due to the challenges of the climate where the items will be sent.

EDIT: I almost forgot! Last weekend my mom gave me another sweater to recycle. This was an alpaca hand-knit cabled sweater from somewhere in South America, and she bought it decades ago at a boutique in Tokyo. When I was a child, she purposefully washed it in hot water to shrink it down to my size. Now I am big, and the sweater remained small, so it was just sitting in a drawer for years. The sweater is shrunken, but not felted together, so there's life left in that yarn yet. First thing I'll make is a winter hat for mom, the yarn seems to be handspun so it has interesting texture.

I'm learning a lot about sweater construction from taking these apart. Here's a picture of a sleeve, filetted open.

After being wound in a ball, the yarn behaves itself despite it's crimpedness, so I probably won't soak or straighten this out, I'll just wind it up and use it right away.

16 August 2008


Last weekend I had the pleasure of dog-sitting for Aubrey's mom's three dogs while she was out of town. It was a lot of fun, and I was glad to be back in Seattle proper for a bit.

My new friends are Hazel, Piper and Scout the puppy.

We had an excellent time! We chased tennis balls...

And chewed on our feet...

And dragged slobbery squeaky toys into my bed and squeaked them suddenly and unexpectedly as I slept...

OK, so those things were mostly the dogs' doing. But here is an activity I was definitely involved in: Peeing a LAKE on the floor right before bedtime. Technically, the actual peeing was done by a dog (I never did figure out who), but I was definitely involved as I cleaned it up, and as I was navigating around it in the dark of midnight because the POWER WENT OUT.

But seriously, the activity I was most involved in? A little thing called FRIENDSHIP. Here's how you do it!

Aww. I'm glad we got to keep each other company this weekend. More pictures here!

01 August 2008

Visual aides

To get a pretty fair idea of what my time in Idaho was like, please listen to Sugar Hill Gang's Apache while watching the following:

Marcus gets down:


I was sad to leave Marcus and Stu yesterday after I had such a good time visiting them. I rode Greyhound from Idaho on my way back home, and before I left, I joked around with them about being murdered by a drifter while traveling. Haha! It was funny then, but um... kind of less so now, based on this recent incident in Canada: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/01/canada
"We heard this blood-curdling scream and turned around, and the guy was standing up, stabbing this guy sitting next to him repeatedly, like 40 or 50 times," passenger Garnet Caton told the Canadian press.
The severed head of the victim, described as in his 20s, was then displayed to the stunned passengers.
Holy CRAP. I'm glad the only frightening person I encountered was a guy with a swastika tattooed on his arm, who was openly discussing his criminal record. His other tattoos included a shotgun, and other stuff I couldn't make out because I was really, really busy minding my own business.

30 July 2008

Moment of the day

Prologue -
I experienced a weekend of Marcus taunting me with
knives to the face and "Why so serious?" jokes.

Today we were eating Trix, and Marcus, Stu and I all simultaneously came up with... "Why so cereal?" It was so good.

Epilogue -
"Wanna know how I got these scars? Daddy liked to drink... and one particularly bad night, mom went to the kitchen to get a knife. And dad didn't like that at all... but then she put the knife down. And they kissed, and my dad said, 'Why so serious?' Then my parents got back together. And we laughed and laughed... it was the happiest day of my life. And that's why I've always got this smile on my face!"


28 July 2008

7/27/08 Marcus and Elena Roadtrip Log

12:15pm - Meet up at Uwajimaya. Beer, shrimp chips and pho are purchased.

12:45-1:15pm - Travel through South Seattle. Marcus is cranky. We almost die at the hands of an angry motorist.


1:30pm - My iPod won't let me play the soundtrack to Step Up 2: The Streets. Nooo! Spice Girls is the alternative. Set your spirit free, driving to the Palouse. Tonight, is the night, when Elena goes to Moscow.

1:46pm - Marcus took out his belly.

2:41pm - When In Rome's "The Promise," dedicated to me <3

2:51pm - Vanity plate seen: "TT EATER." Marcus is certain this is "Titty Eater." Also: "MACHOMP." "Isn't that a Pokemon?"

3:16pm - We saw no deer, despite attempts to summon them from the hills. Tempers running short. Food rationed, grueling pace. Marcus died of dysentary.

3:20pm - We are at VANTAGE, WA!

4:12pm - "What kind of woman are you looking for?" "Well, I want to eat a titty, that's the first priority."

4:20pm - Othello Burger King, nom nom

5:05pm - "A 3/4 white baby, that's money in the bank. I've dabbled a little, and in the current market..."

5:09pm - Captain's log. Stardate: Palouse. Well, we aren't in the Palouse yet, but it's getting a little Palousey up in hurr.

5:22pm - Marcus hit me, and is trying to censor me - SEND HELP PLEASE

5:25pm - Listening to William Joel's "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" in celebration of Movin' Out (Elena's Song).

6:17pm - Almost there! We are in COUGAR COUNTRY.

6:42pm - We're here! Stay tuned...

25 July 2008

More on The Dark Knight

Batman villains usually have a lot of personality and crazy, interesting background stories. But then there's these guys... Crazy Quilt? Calculator?

My new favorite superhero/villain name is "Conflict Diamond," from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, which I hope you caught when it was free, because it was amazing.


I had some problems with Harvey "Two-Face" Dent in the new Batman movie. The burned-up side of his face was really distracting because it didn't make any sense. How could he still form words with half his mouth burned off? Why was his eyeball still intact and totally OK, not charred like the surrounding flesh?

I liked angry, vengeful Batman - but this time, the snarly disguised voice was way too much. Less is more, Christian Bale! I know you're upset, and have a secret identity to maintain, but come on. We like you, and we can suspend disbelief enough to let you not feel like you have to do that bad impression of a pissed-off Clint Eastwood.

Also, this is a fairly minor point but I keep returning to it: I am wondering what the deal is with the black makeup around Batman's eyes. The eyes of the cowl are wide enough that some of his skin would show through, but he's always wearing makeup there. I bet he looks silly for the moment after he's put it on, but right before he's put on the rest of his costume. He would basically look like... THE JOKER OMG (Or a raccoon!) but without the lipstick and greasepaint. I bet he goes through a lot of cold cream. I originally typed that and meant Batman, but it's occurred to me that it may be true for the Joker as well. Super-heroing and -villainry? NOT THAT DIFFERENT.

22 July 2008

Weekend movies

This past Saturday, I saw two movies - Wall-E in the afternoon, and The Dark Knight in the evening. It was a broad-spectrum kind of day.

I don't have much to say about Wall-E, except that it was so sweet and adorable. The plot overall was pretty cynical and kind of dispiriting, but Wall-E and Eve's interaction was just so, so cute.

Regarding The Dark Knight - there are a lot of ways to portray the Joker, but I personally prefer a CRAZY Joker. I don't really care for a goofy, Jack Nicholson-style slapstick Joker, I like a real sociopath. A really deranged, criminally insane dude - which is what Heath Ledger delivered. After we got out of the movie that night, someone in our group asked if anyone else was fearing for their lives at any point during the movie. The answer is YES. Am I now sort of terrified that the Joker is going to show up in my dreams and cut my face open? That is another YES. That was some good crazy.

Other crazy dudes I like in movies include Bill the Butcher from Gangs of New York, and that guy from No Country For Old Men -
Marcus: how did you like ol' no country
Me: it freaked me OUT. i closed my blinds behind me because i didn't want javier bardem to come shoot me in the head
Marcus: it's just a movie
Marcus: there's no such thing as javier bardem

17 July 2008

Police Blotter

I hope no one visits my blog expecting to find actual information about being a street cop, or being The Law. I'm just a person! (A person who likes Judge Dredd. What can I say, it is the perfect union of unintentionally comedic Sylvester Stallone movies, and rogue, loose-cannon cops - two of my favorite things.)

That being said, this week I DID thwart some crime! Well, minor incidents. Here's my own personal blotter.


Incident at the library: I was on my laptop, and a girl was studying at the table next me. A random guy sat down with her and started making really obtuse smalltalk and jokes in a loud but creepy whisper, even after it became apparent that she did not speak English very well. She was visibly uncomfortable, and I became concerned when he told her he had followed her to the library from out in the neighborhood. He gave her his number and tried to get hers in return.

Just in case, I went to speak with the librarian to see if there was security on site, but there was no one at the desk. At that point, the guy got up and left. I went and asked the girl if she knew him, and she said no, and I told her he seemed creepy. She didn't know the word "creepy" so I typed it into her Korean/English translator, and she got the idea right away. It's not a crime to hit on someone, but I got bad vibes from this guy, and it's better to be safe than sorry.


Incident at the park: Today I was at the park, and the only other people were around were a group of young children with no adult supervision. Two boys, maybe 8-year-olds, started digging through the trash, throwing glass bottles at the ground, then playing with the broken shards. I went over and told them to cut it out before someone gets hurt, and they responded by using some of the most foul and racially-charged language I have ever heard from the mouths of children. I moved on and ignored the ongoing cursing, until I noticed them trying to sneak up on me with handfuls of rocks, and making threats about getting an older relative of theirs to come and harm me.

Even though the kids were too young for anything more than a warning, I figured a call to the police was in order, because sometimes a talking-to from an authority figure can make a difference. As I was being pelted by rocks, I made the call and a cop car and two officers showed up shortly. It turns out that the SLIGHTLY older children there were supposed to be supervising, but clearly that was not happening. I hope the parents of these kids hear about this, but since they are apparently the type who allow their kids to be exposed to unbelievably vulgar language and who haven't taught them that it's not OK to throw rocks at adults, I won't hold my breath that a lesson will be learned from this.


Citizen involvement! Do it. Care about your neighborhood and neighbors.

13 July 2008

Is this felt?

Hi! Don't worry, I haven't abandoned this blog, I've just been busy being outside, getting FRESH AIR and SUNBURNS. It's summer in Seattle, and it's beautiful.

These days I am interested in knitting small, quick projects like toys to use up random scrap yarn I have accumulated. I started one of these little hearts with the intention that it would be my first felted project. You know how if you accidentally put knitted wool in the wash/hot water, and it shrinks and the material gets all tight and firm and bound together? That's FELTING in action!

Sidenote: C. has a joke. He'll look at some material, such as a garment, and say, "Is this felt?" Then he will touch it and say "It is now!" Then he laughs, and that part makes me laugh.

So, here's the heart in progress...

And at this point I still didn't really know what the fiber content of my yarn was, because it was just some scraps I had laying around. It felt kind of wooly, so I was hoping for the best. Acrylic/synthetic yarns are washing machine and hot water safe because they don't felt, they come out looking just like they did when they went in. Synthetics won't felt, it takes a miracle of NATURE. I figured I should do a little experiment to see if this was really wool...

On the left is the yarn, as-is. On the right is the same yarn, only I threw it in some hot water with soap and mushed it around, because that's how you felt, I think. I dunno, I've never done this before. What I do know is, the yarn all bound together like wool should, and I had made myself a solid ring of fibers. I put it on my finger, and it gave me superpowers.

Anyway, I finished the heart, it's maybe 3 inches across. It turns out the yarn I was using was too fine and my needles too big to give the heart the right proportions, even after I added some extra rounds to the pattern to try to fudge it. So my heart is looking a little squershed.

Still cute, though. It actually looked even more squershed after felting it (not pictured), and I prefer the pre-felting texture... I'll probably try this one again with a different yarn.

04 July 2008

4th of July retrospective

176 - 7/4/2007
Originally uploaded by illenion
On this day three years ago... I barely remember what I was doing. I'm sure I was taking summer courses and doing a lot of homework. Summer courses are why I got to graduate early. It's like the past is somehow influencing my life today!

On this day two years ago, I merrily made my way around Green Lake in a paddle boat with my ex.

On this day last year, I was on the beach of an uninhabited island off the coast of West Java in Indonesia. The weather, the friends, the monkeys - it was great. We couldn't get fireworks, but this bonfire (see picture) was the next best thing.

Today, I don't have anything in particular to report, but C. emailed me from UAE to say he couldn't see my Flickr photos, because Flickr is banned there due to internet censorship. Happy Independence Day!

29 June 2008

Radish skull

162 - 6/19/2008
Originally uploaded by illenion
Hooray, I won another Skull-A-Day contest! This time, the challenge was to make a skull out of a vegetable.

My radish skull was one of five winners, please see the others here: 1, 2, 3, 5.

28 June 2008

Talent shows I have remembered

I'm sure I was in plenty of talent show audiences in grade school up through high school (I've never been IN a talent show, by the way - my talents aren't the kind that entertain crowds) but I really barely remember any of them. There are only two specific acts that I remember, even though I have no idea who the performers were.

The first was in elementary school, and some girls who I don't think were even in 5th grade yet performed some kind of dance routine to the Spice Girls song, "2 Become 1." You know, the one that is explicitly about having sexual relations*, albeit in a responsible way - "Be a little bit wiser baby, put it on, put it on." OMG, right!? Who approved that act? I remember thinking it was weird, but for reasons that I would not really be able to put my finger on until later.

The other one was middle school, just some kid doing a one-man show based on scenes from "The Matrix." That involved some really flat dialogue, saying "Whoa" a lot, and flailing around as though reacting to gunfire in Bullet Time. It was unremarkable, but for some reason it has stuck with me.

*My favorite euphemism for DOING IT, by the way, is "gettin' mad rutty." See also: "jazz hose." Oh, Achewood.

24 June 2008

Passive Aggressive Note

Passive Aggressive Note
Originally uploaded by StuTheShoe
I told Stu about passiveaggressivenotes.com, and he found this amazing note at his workplace and submitted it to the website, but they haven't posted it. So you know what, I'M POSTING IT! That's right, I scooped them.

I like how you can SEE the fury, in the scattered, inconsistent punctuation and the random capitalization, not to mention the run-on sentences and crazy multiple exclamation marks. Also, it's a two-pager so you know this is Serious Business.

The little face is killing me, though. I thought it was supposed to be some kind of sour face emoticon? To me, it looks like carefully-restrained madness, but Stu said that it's supposed to be a normal smiley. He was actually the one who suggested she add that, to lighten the mood...

Is it working? Did you reach the end of this note and think, "Oh, I guess she meant all that in a friendly way"?

17 June 2008

Tiny sweater

158 - 6/15/2008
Originally uploaded by illenion
Speaking of George Washington again, the picture at right is what he would look like if he was wearing a sweater.

I made this little item based on this pattern, but I made some alterations. It's small, fiddly work, but I really like how it turned out. It's a gift for Brims, who always wears stripes.

I'm still a new knitter, so I am trying to learn some new techniques with each project I do. This little sweater taught me how to love increase stitches!

16 June 2008

Washington, Washington

So, that t-shirt rug I'm knitting? It turns out that one strip of that rolls up nicely into a POWDERED WIG! Look, I'm George Washington!

I tried to recreate what George Washington might look like in a self-portrait-in-a-mirror Myspace picture. Haven't you always wondered?

Apparently C. showed this picture to a few of his friends and coworkers WITHOUT providing the context of what I was actually knitting, so they probably think I'm the kind of person who knits powdered wigs for no apparent reason. I suppose there are worse things...

Also, if for some reason you haven't already seen this video, SEE IT. It's one of my favorites:

12 June 2008

T-shirt rug tutorial

New project! I'm recycling old t-shirts into yarn, and knitting it into a rug. I know, that sounds kind of hippy-dippy, but it's also fun and recycling is always good. Here's how this works...

You need some t-shirts, and some big knitting needles! I'm actually using bamboo chopsticks that I sharpened, sanded and waxed smooth. You also need to know how to do the garter stitch.

Cut the shirts into strips, about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch wide. To minimize having to mess around with joining strands of your yarn together, try to cut the longest strips possible. A good way to do this is to cut in a spiral around the torso, starting at the bottom.

You can probably knit with the material flat, but I stretched it all out so it curled in on itself and was round and more like yarn.

Here's a picture of the whole process, with flat material on the right (that's not spiral cut around the torso like I mentioned earlier, that's a sleeve), yarn in the middle, and knitting on the left!

Here's a closeup of the knitting compared to the flat material. The knitting transforms boring thin fabric into thicker and slightly more exciting fabric:

Since my chopstick needles aren't very long, I am going to knit thinner strips, and then sew them all together lengthwise into the final rug. I will probably use some different colored shirts to make stripes.

11 June 2008

Tacky person of the day

Yesterday I was in the bakery section at the store, and I watched a woman knock over a piece of cake, then scoop it off the floor, back into the box it fell out of. Then she started carrying it around, and I thought she was going to take it to the counter or give it to the attendant, but instead she waited until she thought no one was looking, then randomly shoved it onto a different shelf. How uncouth! I went, riled, and retrieved the FloorCake and took it to the counter so someone could dispose of it. The spirit of George Costanza compelled me, and I wanted to yell out, "You know, we're living in a SOCIETY!"

09 June 2008


Remember when I learned to knit? I'm still at it! I've learned to do stuff like cables (pictured at right), which... I don't really know what to do with because I'm not planning to make a sweater or anything.

I would like a project to work on, but I don't really have anything in mind right now. Plus, yarn is an expensive habit. What I have is a bunch of random scraps and small balls of yarn in a bunch of different colors and weights, and random needles, some which I don't know the exact sizes of. What's a girl to do?

I wish there was some kind of database online where you could enter the size of needles you have, the weight and amount of yarn you have, and it could spit out a list of different projects you can make based on what you have. Does such a thing exist?

EDIT a million years later: There IS such a place online - it is Ravelry!

06 June 2008

Dr. Jones, Dr. Jones

Why isn't Short Round in the new Indiana Jones movie? Just kidding! The fact that I know he's not, despite not yet having seen the movie, indicates that I know why not.

I would love to see Jonathan Ke Quan in there, though. I hear you out there, all, "Who?" Keep up, I'm still talking about Short Round. My vision is of a grown-up Short Round in a Very Special Cameo where he starts to say something in an "Asian" accent, but this time everyone is just kind of appalled, so he drops the act and addresses the audience briefly on how racial stereotyping is just not what we're about anymore. But then he winks, or pulls a fortune cookie from his pocket (and maybe drops a little bit of it and steps on it so it audibly crunches), so we know it's still him, and he's not mad at us... he's mad at the situation.

I just looked up what Short Round is up to these days, and OMG he is 36. Not that you would know it by his IMDB picture, in which he will be 12 always and forever. According to IMDB he does martial arts stunt choreography. Man, when are Asian folks in Hollywood ever going to be able to find success without being a total stereotype? (At least yellowface seems to more or less have gone away.)

This is my favorite thing I found out about him: "When phoning his mother during the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) movie shoot, he referred to George Lucas and Steven Spielberg as bearded man 1 and bearded man 2."

01 June 2008

Spoiler alert!

If you haven’t watched the video for R. Kelly feat. Usher’s “Same Girl,” then you shouldn’t read this. Or, if you only watched part of the video, then stopped before the end because you thought you “got it” already (yes, I was a fool and did this at first), then you shouldn’t read on.

Here is the spoiler: Kells and Ush think they are both dating and being played by the SAME GIRL, but assuming the video is canon, it is revealed that it is actually identical twins. That makes sense, right?


Traits shared by the twins from R. Kelly feat. Usher's "Same Girl," in relative order of plausibility:
  • Physical attributes – height, body proportions, complexion
  • Beauty mark on left side of mouth
  • Tattoo on ankle
  • Has a child
  • Georgia Tech alumna
  • Nicknamed “TT”
  • Well-paying job at TBS
  • Lives on 17th and Peach Street, in unknown city in Georgia
  • Attends music industry parties
  • Drives a black Dodge Durango, with vanity license plate reading “ANGEL”
  • Loves some Waffle House

30 May 2008

"Actors sniff jackets."

Everyone, go watch these videos: Acting With James Franco, by James Franco

I have been kind of off-and-on about James Franco. Freaks & Geeks was amazing, the Spider-Man movies I was not that into... everything else, whatever. But this is pretty great.

24 May 2008

Gettin' hitched - with style!

Going to weddings makes me think about what I would and would not want at my own wedding. I don't want to have a crappy time at my own wedding by having to stick to boring "traditions"!

I have all these great ideas...

Like having the reception meal be all breakfast foods! Who doesn't love breakfast for dinner? Eggs, bacon and sausage, pancakes, fruit, etc. I love this stuff so much that any time I eat it feels like a special occasion.

Also, I think the traditional wedding march is boring. It would be rad if the wedding procession came out to the theme from Rocky, and the bride and groom had to run down the aisle and up some stairs and jump around with their fists in the air.

When Stu told me he was on his way to the wedding rehearsal, I wanted to know what kind of moves he had to memorize. I was picturing some choreography where all the groomsmen and bridesmaids start out seated in the audience, then the lights suddenly go down and the music/lasers/fog machine starts and they all leap up and maybe vogue their way to the altar. The real ceremony did not turn out to be anywhere near that exciting...

Stu joined in on the hypotheticals -

Stu: Maybe I'd demand a live band or something
Me: demand to BE the live band. be like, i'm going to say my vows while cradling my guitar, deal with it.
Stu: I don't need to dance with my wife. I need to PLAY to my wife ALL NIGHT LONG

I love all these ideas, don't steal them from me! Or... DO THESE, and be sure to invite me. I will at some point stand up and start a slow clap for you.

20 May 2008

Fun times with Stu

This past weekend my good friend Stu was in town! The weather was warm and amazing. The weekend felt so full to me that it spilled over into Monday, and I am only just now realizing we have entered the work week. Look at me, all saying "work" like I have a job. Saying "week" like I haven't lost all concept of time.

We went to a wedding on Saturday, which is something we did last spring, too. I'm not a church-goer, so I'm never sure what to expect from the ceremony. Last time, the ceremony was Catholic and there were all these moves I didn't know anything about, like Communion and shaking hands with people around you. There was also this part where everyone made three little crosses to represent God on your mind, lips and heart... when everyone was doing this, I looked around and seriously thought that the guy next to me was just scratching his forehead.

At this wedding and the one last year, I have not known the bride or groom, so I got to schmooze with strangers and eat food and just hang out. This time Stu was a groomsman, which meant we got a good seat at a table right up by the action. It also meant that we got to cut in line for food, so I got to the bacon-wrapped chicken Cordon Bleu that much more quickly - before everyone stripped the bacon off and left the chicken. Rude! (Or is it... brilliant?)

Then on Sunday, Stu and I made our triumphant return to the University District for the Street Fair, which we also went to last May. It was great for people- and dog-watching. I got my first sunburn of the season on my cheeks and arms, because I am from a mild clime and don't understand the sun. How is it that I ALWAYS underestimate the sun? (You may remember such classic Elena vs. The Sun moments as: me falling asleep in the Australian sun for hours, without sunscreen.)

What a great weekend! I miss Stu all the time since he moved away.

15 May 2008

Have a listen

I am crotchety and set in my ways, so I generally think that the best music has already been made, and that everything new is dreck and kids these days with their sadcore this and Wizard Rock that.

But every once in a while, a new artist comes along who touches me just right in the brain and in the heart, and I am hooked. Then I have to say, "Sorry for not believing in you, New Music... I hope we're cool."

This week, I am listening to Mika's album "Life in Cartoon Motion" and LOVING IT. What fun tunes! I wish I'd know about this guy sooner. I found out about him in a really roundabout way, which involved this entry from Reformatted Songs, some Wikipedia-ing, and the vague recollection of a reworded version of "Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)" in a commercial for Ugly Betty.

Speaking of that song, it contains a great delivery of a line. It's the part where Mika goes, "Get yourself to the Butterfly Lounge/find yourself a big LAYYYDEEE!" and the whole thing reminds me of like... Freddie Mercury plus Jerry Lewis. Which equals a line, and subsequent rhymes, which I am physically incapable of NOT lip-syncing along to. Even um, when I may or may not be in public, like hypothetically on the bus or something. LAYYYDEEE!

Everyone get this album immediately! It will make you feel super!

12 May 2008

Quest for knowledge

Since I have been out of school... all of two months... I have been thinking a lot about how I can go back to school. It's true - I'm a big nerd and I love learning. I didn't apply to grad schools right away, because I knew that I had to take some time off or else I would self-destruct from being in school for years on end, with no breaks. For the past few years I have been taking classes every quarter, summer included, but now I suddenly find myself with nothing academic to do.

This calls for... UNSTRUCTURED LEARNING! And by that, I mean I am satisfying my needs by Google- and Wikipedia-searching EVERYTHING. It takes the edge off, a little.

Here's a list of recent things I have been reading up on. Some of these I don't even remember searching for, but Google search history doesn't lie. I'll also include some links, so you can join me on this voyage of discovery:

11 May 2008

My omamori

122 - 5/10/2008
Originally uploaded by illenion
Help! My omamori from Itsukushi Jinja has come untied. I don't know how to retie the knot, it's supposed to look like this. Does anyone know how to retie this?! I don't want the good luck to leak out...

07 May 2008

Using words to make a thing

My last two posts got me thinking about brevity, and daily projects, and how they might be combined.

I really like [Something]-A-Day projects, I think they are an interesting way to track the passage of time. Every so often, I take a look at my Photo of the Day from exactly a year prior. See what I was doing then, compare it to what I'm doing now, and think about everything in between.

In my paper journal, I have toyed with the idea of starting a sort of Poem-A-Day project, but with a specific form in mind: Allen Ginsberg's American Sentences. These are evocative lines of 17 syllables, and you can read about them here. For some reason I have never been that interested in haiku, but the restriction to 17 syllables is a challenge I can appreciate.

Slow day, nothing to write? 17 syllables shouldn't be too hard.

Busy day, too much to write but not enough time and energy? Just 17 syllables! Pick up the rest of the story next time.

05 May 2008

The Philippe Chronicles

I was thinking of regaling you all with a story from my trip to Australia last year, but I suddenly got paranoid that the star of the story might someday, somehow find this blog and read about himself and... feel bad. I know I'm all about making fun of jerks and hating stuff, but in this case, I feel like what we shared was too special to just openly mock on the internets. I'm not trying to break any hearts, here.

So, I'll just tell the story in the manner of IMDB Plot Keywords: Australia, Austria, inappropriate touching, museum, opera, Red Bull, space exploration, unusual odor.

As it turns out, I can also tell the story using relevant selections from IMDB Plot Keywords from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: American abroad, Austrian, college, escape, Hitler, ignoring warnings of peril, map, obsession, reaching, religion, train, tunnel.

04 May 2008

Elsewhere on the internets...

The other day I received one of these prints in the mail, it was a prize for being among the first 10 to doodle up something for a contest on Skull-A-Day. It's quite fine-looking, and I'll be putting it up as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

Currently at 335, the Skull-A-Day year is almost up, but don't worry. From a recent post:
"Since I'll need to take a vacation from making skulls after I finish my year, I've decided it's going to be YOUR turn to make the skulls. Starting June 4th, I'll be posting a new skull made by a reader every day!"
A chance at audience participation! Exciting.

02 May 2008

Two articles about animals and eyes

I recently read this story about a giant squid which has the "world's largest eye." Does anyone else hear "world's largest" anything, and immediately assume it's really inconceivably huge? I figured this eye must be the size of a VW Bug at the very least. But they are reporting it's about the size of a soccer or beach ball. Boring! Just kidding, it's still cool news, I GUESS.

Then there's this item - Starlings respond to human eye-gaze, and will change their behavior based on whether they are being observed or not. While I don't know much about starlings, this is something I have always thought was true of crows, and it reminds me of a thing I do: If I'm ever walking down the sidewalk and I see a crow minding his own business on the same path, I always feel a little bit strange about the fact that I won't be able to walk by without displacing the crow. Often, looking at the crow will send it flying away, and even a sudden glance will get it hopping nervously. So I try to walk around, and I avoid looking at the crow. I like to try to share the space - we're all in this together, after all.

01 May 2008

A memory

I was just deleting some texts from my phone today, and I came across one that I cannot get rid of because I love it too much:

Battle-Damaged Kirk

Battle-Damaged Captain Kirk... C. leaves no man (or Gorn) behind. Epic!

30 April 2008

Trouble for pigeons

Look at this terrible bit of news from National Geographic... someone is shooting darts at downtown Seattle pigeons.

One time last month I was downtown, and I saw one of these pigeons with a dart in him - it looked like a piece of wire or a needle, stuck under his beak right through the top of his head. At the time I wasn't sure if it was accidental or not, and I hadn't heard that other such case. He flew away before I could get a closer look, and he didn't seem impaired in any way. But it was a very unfortunate thing to see. It was on the first day of spring, too.

28 April 2008

That button on my messenger bag? Oh, just my diploma.

I just graduated, and I think I have to wait a few months before I get my diploma in the mail. I haven't seen them before, but I heard that my university's diplomas are small - like half the size of a standard piece of paper. A little scrap of credibility!

A while ago, some of my coworkers were receiving certificates from a training session they attended, on the subject of back health in the workplace. You know, lift-with-the-knees kind of stuff. I saw some of these rinky-dink certificates pinned up on people's cubicle walls, names printed in some swoopy font to simulate significance, and I started thinking they should get really heavy, ornate gilded frames to display them in. Huge frames, to completely dwarf everything else on the wall.

That's not the kind of thing I want for my diploma, though. I almost want to go in the opposite direction: if it's going to be small, why not pocket-sized? Maybe I want a little laminated card version I can keep in my wallet. I can't really see myself ever displaying my diploma in a frame if it's going to be small and underwhelming - but what if I had the kind of options a photo printing shop would provide? Diploma mug? Diploma keychain, diploma mousepad... diploma T-SHIRT? Exciting, utilitarian options!

27 April 2008

I'm just linktastic today

M. Giant over at Velcrometer posted this adorable account of his 3-year-old son's theatrical turn in a daycare version of The Wizard of Oz:
"M. Small came out, not crying but grinning shyly, sporting a silver snowsuit and an aluminum hat. He was supposed to say, "Oil…can" through frozen lips, but instead he came over and quietly hugged me in an egregious violation of both the fourth wall and his character's alleged lack of a heart, not that I'm complaining about either one."
OMG! My own heart just exploded.

25 April 2008


My last day of work at my old job was on a Friday. I practically skipped down the street on my way to the bus stop, I was so happy.

I am not usually the type of person who sings out loud, but that morning I almost couldn't help it. There was no traffic, no one around, so for no particular reason I started humming, then singing... "Islands in the Stream." At first I was thinking about the Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton version, then I started thinking about that episode of The Office and Michael's falsetto take on Dolly Parton (which I was sure I would find on YouTube, but it's nowhere to be found!)

I was giggling out loud to myself, and the street was empty - but then suddenly it wasn't! This guy on a bicycle appeared out of nowhere and slowly passed me on the left... as though he had been following me silently for a while, then decided it was time to speed up and move on. I averted my eyes as hard as humanly possible.

In a fictional, alternate version of this story that I would almost prefer: he should have come up from behind me and then joined in. It is a duet, after all! As embarrassing as it was, I can't help but feel he left me hanging a little bit.

24 April 2008

Collected thoughts on Alan Jackson's "Chattahoochee"

Have you guys seen this fine series of Garfield tribute videos? I like a lot of these, but right now I think my favorite is this one...

I don't know how this happened, but the song got really, really, really stuck in my head. To the point where I had to search for the lyrics and information about the song online, and then download it and listen to it a million times. Over and over, like penance. And, the next logical step of course was to watch the music video. Here is a play-by-play of what I got from it, let me just get this all out so I can move on with my life:

- Alan Jackson is waterskiing in a cowboy hat and jeans with the knees all torn out. Concerned about safety? Alan Jackson is too - he has aviator glasses and an 80s-looking life vest. Cute!

- According to the lyrics, he is "learn[ing] how to swim and learn[ing] who he [is]." This is represented by an old man fishing from a rowboat, and a bunch of crazy young kids driving into a river in a manner that looks unsafe.

- "It gets hotter than a hoochie-coochie"? I don't know what that means, and the video isn't telling me.

- Stereotypical country song staples roll-call: Pickup truck? Present. Hound of some kind? Present. American flag? Present. It's in the background but I see it. I see it with my eyes... and with my heart.

- "We fogged up the windows of my old Chevy / I was willin' but she wasn't ready / So I settled for a burger and a grape snowcone..." Really? I kind of don't believe him. Actually, now I feel terrible saying that about him because he is the American hero who brought us the 9/11 tribute, "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)".

- For a second there he wasn't waterskiing on skiis, but on the soles of his cowboy boots. Wait, he just totally topped that by playing his guitar while being towed in an innertube, wearing cowboy boots. And he acted like he was paddling with the guitar.

- There are a lot of things in this video that don't make sense, mostly because it's just a random collection of scenes with limited continuity. There's Alan Jackson, there's a younger version of him maybe, there's no one around him, there's a party, it's all over the place. There are a lot of things in the song that are straight-up descriptions of simple visuals that should be present but AREN'T - like foggy windows, and a pyramid of cans in the pale moonlight.

- Remember the guy fishing in the rowboat? At the end of the video, he catches a white cowboy hat on his line. For a split second when I saw that, I thought it meant that Alan Jackson was in trouble because his hat was floating around in the river. Remember in Oregon Trail when you tried to ford the river but your wagon fell over and someone's death was represented by that little hat bobbing along on the water? Nooo Alan!

But then it cuts back to Alan Jackson, who is still wearing his hat - a compelling twist ending!

22 April 2008

The knitting continues

I made a second R2D2 hat to match the one I made for C. - which he found out about, because he is a master detective! Or, because I put a bunch of pictures on Flickr, and he is on dry land now and has access to regular internet and looks at my photos.

So the first hat took me more than a week to finish, but this second one took me just two days. Yesss I am honing my craft. Hopefully this is an exponential process... Cornwell says he believes soon I will be able to make R2 hats in SECONDS.

Yesterday I went back to the store for more yarn, because I also have some hat requests from my friends to fulfill. I also wanted to get some double-pointed needles, because I have been knitting small circumferences (like the tops of hats) in a this super-inconvenient jerry-rigged manner using stitch holders, random implements, and prayer. But they were out of size 7 double-pointed needles! I left the store with just yarn...

Then I stopped at Salvation Army thrift store, and found a box of random mismatched knitting stuff. Down at the bottom, I found a number of double-pointed needles - not quite the size I need for this project, but I could see them coming in handy for future endeavors. They weren't marked with a price, so I went to the counter and asked how much they were going for... and the guy said I could just have them. For frees! He put his finger to his lips and Shhh!-ed in a stage whisper, to indicate that wrongdoing was occurring. Don't tell anyone, okay, Internets?

21 April 2008

On clemency

Senior year of high school, I was one of the five million people on yearbook staff. Yearbook was an elective class, and it seemed like a lot of people were loosely affiliated with it in some capacity. I don't remember what specifically I was on staff to do... I was skipping a lot those days. It was an end-of-the-day class, it was spring and graduation was nigh, I was in good with the teacher, and I just had bigger things to worry about. I did a little of this and a little of that... one thing in particular though, I remember pretty well:

I wrote up some blurbs and photo captions for the baseball team's page. Under one photo, I wrote that some baseballer was "enjoying the clement days of spring."

Fast forward to the end of the year, when yearbooks were printed and distributed. I turn to the baseball page, and find that the caption has been changed to read "...Clemente days of spring."

Apparently, rather than recognizing "clement" as a perfect fine English word, the yearbook editors decided to interpret my caption as some awkward attempt to cram in a reference to a well-known MLB player. Nice! I'm pretty sure the guy in the picture was a pitcher, too.

Today, I remembered this because I heard Roberto Clemente mentioned on PBS. I think about this incident every once in a while though, usually in the context of thinking about how much I don't miss high school.

17 April 2008

R2D2 hat - finished

R2D2 hat
Originally uploaded by illenion
Remember when I set out to learn how to knit? I did it, and here is the result!

Photos of the whole process here.

15 April 2008

Noooo Robert

My good friend Stu and I share an interest in the works of R. Kelly, an artist who “makes brave choices,” as my old boss once diplomatically said. Stu and I enjoy discussing/critiquing the motivations behind the man’s work... he makes profoundly poor decisions, but with an unshakable confidence. While I have a few of his songs and have seen some of his music videos, I’ve got nothing on Stu, who has albums and has been involved for years now. He is operating on a level of commitment that I can’t even begin to touch.

So there’s this R. Kelly song... “I Like the Crotch On You.” Stu sent this to me once, and I listened to it and was amused, then mostly forgot about it. Months later I happened to listen to it again, and I discovered that after the initial part about liking crotches and whatnot, there is a second part to the song...

Me: the other day i was listening to "i like the crotch on you" and i guess i had never listened to it the whole way through
Stu: haha, the end is the best part!
Stu: I was like "Man, this song is generic 90s r&b," but then that ended and the breakdown part started and I was like "Holy crap, this is amazing!" When he starts talking about asking girls if he can knock their boots, that's when I was hooked.

It involves Mr. Kelly talking and singing things like “They used to call me stank, but now I’m walking to the bank,” while studio musicians in the background pretend that they’re old friends hanging out with him and laughing in a raucous, forced way. I was hoping to find a transcription of it, but what’s weird is if you search for the lyrics online, the most you can find is the first few lines, then the rest of it is nowhere to be found!

Stu: Doesn't it bother you that you can't see the lyrics right in your face? I want to be able to read lines like "What's going on inside my pants, I can't explain."

Is everyone in the world too embarrassed to transcribe this song? I feel like that might be the case... I was actually considering doing it myself and posting the lyrics here, but then I realized there are things said in the song that I don’t want to be responsible for putting on the internet. I'm not brave like Robert Kelly.

07 April 2008

I have become the kind of person who knits

I've been holding off on making this post until C. is back on a ship, where he doesn't have access to blogs - he's been ashore in Guam and was catching up on his internet-ing, and was checking out my Flickr, etc.

A while ago we saw this amazing hat linked on BoingBoing, and ever since we have been joking about me learning to knit for the sole purpose of making one for him. The other day I was at the store and I randomly saw knitting needles on the cheap and I thought - Why don't I actually learn to knit?

So, I'm DOING IT. It's been kind of intense. Here's what I have been doing since last week:

Monday - Bought needles. I picked size 10 because... that seems OK? I have no idea. Went home and harnessed the power of The Internet to learn basic stitches, using some scrap yarn I had laying around. Knitting was going to be easy! I start thinking about how I am going to blog about knitting... before I even tell him this, my friend Cornwell anticipates it, and ghostwrites my first entry: "Dear diary: So far I have one small blue square. Soon, though... soon."

Tuesday - More knitting with scrap yarn. I have knit and purl stitches down, I learned how to switch between two different colors, I'm drunk with power. I feel like I am ready to tackle the real project, but I don't have my yarn yet.

Wednesday - I go back to the store to return the needles, because they are the wrong size and also just straight needles - I need circulars! I am dismayed to find no circular needles! I leave the store with NOTHING. I spend the rest of the day reading up on knitting on the internet so I don't lose the skills I have acquired over the past two days.

Thursday - More reading about knitting. I find a lot of helpful websites with pictures of how stitches should look, and how to deal with problems such as gauge and how to create a jogless join. I feel very Zen about the fact that I am learning to knit... without needles. I'm just visualizing everything very hard at this point... but I feel confident and ready. I am a caged tiger, waiting to knit.

Friday - I head to a fabric outlet store and purchase my materials - needles and yarn. I feel kind of creepy as I rub a lot of yarn on my face discretely, before I settle on one that is cozy-feeling and not itchy. When I get home and settle in to start knitting for real - I choke a little bit at the beginning. What if I'm not ready? What if my 4 days of training weren't enough? But then I start, and it's easy! I'm knitting along at a brisk pace. I realize that in my readings from the past few days, I have managed to teach myself stranded knitting without ever having actually done it. This involves using two colors at once, which the pattern does not call for (but it is mentioned by the author). I visualize it making the finished product look neater - so I do it. I feel like some kind of knitting savant.

Saturday - The hat is looking pretty great, but I start to realize that my knitting is becoming overly ham-handed and aggressive. I feel like I am fighting with the stitches at times, unable to loosen them. I look closely at what I am doing, and compare it to examples online - and I discover I have been twisting every stitch. Every single stitch. Since they are all twisted in the same way, it looks uniform and not terribly noticeable, but it has made the size of the hat smaller than anticipated, Also, I am kind of a perfectionist about this kind of work and so... I rip it all out. I once again find myself with no hat, just two ball of yarn.

Sunday - Knitting knitting knitting. Doing it right this time! Pictures to follow...

24 February 2008

What's inside?

They're donuts... made of felt! I made these for C's birthday, and put them in a tasty-looking Borracchini's box.

04 February 2008

Job applications

I was looking at some submitted job applications at my workplace the other day, and some of the stuff people put on their applications was so out of control, I felt the need to compile a few of them:

Prompt: Briefly describe the role technology plays in your life.

"I would assume that without advanced technologies, I wouldn't be able to survive until today." The first thing I pictured when I read this one was someone in an iron lung. Or someone who is otherwise literally being kept alive by modern medical technology. Or someone who was involved in some kind of terrible accident, and the only way to save them was to transplant their brain and maybe a few organs into a cyborg body.

"I possess a stron knowledge of technology..." Yes, stron. This was handwritten! Skills do not include attention to detail.

"Technology is like 90% of my life, without my computer I wouldn't know what else to do to fill up my daily life." Another cyborg. 90% robot parts, 10% man. Also... get some friends.

I should point out that nearly ALL the applications we get have answered this using some variation of the following sentence: "Technology has had an important role in my life, and has influenced me in all aspects of my life." This is pretty weak when you consider what the prompt was. I think we should add a rule to this prompt: Your answer must not contain the words "role," "technology," or "life."

Prompt: How did you hear about [where I work]?

"I see them come into classrooms from time to time." THEM! This makes me feel like I am a part of some kind of secret society or underground organization, and maybe people catch a glimpse of our shrouded figures from time to time and want to learn our ways.


"I am a Journey Level certified ASE Auto Technician..." I don't even know what that means, but it made me think of the band Journey, and that's awesome.

18 January 2008


Seattle's tourism slogan is "Metronatural." (Non-Seattlites, did you know this? Is it working?) I pretty much forgot about this as soon as I heard about it, a couple years ago when it was introduced.

I remembered it again today when I was reading the Wikipedia article on Seattle. According to the Metronatural article...
"Seattle's previous tourism slogan, 'See-At-L', was created in 1999, and written with the image of an eye, the at (@) symbol, and letter 'L'."
That's... embarrassing.