The road goes ever on and on…

October 22, 2010 § 2 Comments

So, now that Martin Freeman (aka Dr. John Watson) is confirmed as Bilbo Baggins in the upcoming dramatization of The Hobbit

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… I find it vaguely freaky that two weeks ago, I wrote the first sentence of The Hobbit over my little doodle of the Watson sweater.

I’M PSYCHIC Y’ALL.

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Blackbird has spoken like the first bird

September 14, 2010 § 4 Comments

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(my life in a picture)

It’s funny; I’ve had a couple of rather introspective days behind me and I hadn’t realized how much I missed them. With the sudden and unexpected arrival of Glühwein season, another year has passed, and, well. It got me thinking.

Usually, with my roomies around, there’s always some form of entertainment going on. I don’t just mean movies, but also conversations that, despite running deep and on several levels at a time, aren’t introspective by definition. But Saskia was off to some square dance event this weekend and Sassi is still in Ireland, and it’s not that I don’t like them, but it was so nice to have some quality time with myself.

I realized I’d been avoiding introspection for a bit. Not consciously, I’m sure, but there’s just so much going on here even if there isn’t really, with Saskia and I popping over to each other’s rooms to share ideas or thoughts and generally having a more-or-less continuous flow of information going on. I also remember, vividly, the long years of teenage angst, penned down and over-analyzed in 3 diaries per year, sometimes more: the pinnacle of introspection. In retrospect, I’m amazed I got anything done at all between the ages of 13 and 18 to contemplate with all the introspection I did. I have no wish to recreate that time, or that amount of angsting about everything. (It’s funny though, in all that time there was very little sexual-identity-angst except when I was dealing with rumors.)

But I also have a feeling tweeting ever last half-formed impulse has contributed to a certain amount of superficiality that’s snuck into my life without me realizing it. Over 4000 tweets in just over a year – that’s a LOT. That’s about 11 tweets a day, on average. Maybe that’s too much, but cutting down is useless, mostly because if I don’t tweet it, I head over to Saskia’s room and tell her in more than 140 characters. I find it harder to focus now, in any case.

So on Friday, I went to the Leipziger Kreativ- und Strickcafé, which was one of the first places I went when I moved to Leipzig but kind of dropped when uni started. I never picked up going at least semi-regularly mostly out of laziness, except for WWKIP and their Wollefest.

Laziness. Sloth. It seems to be my biggest problem.

It’s true, with my successful conversion of Saskia into a knitter a lot of my wool-related isolation (as in, I didn’t have anyone to talk about knitting with) has dissipated, but we’re still very much in a teacher/student dynamic in that respect. I’d forgotten how amazing it is to sit among equals, learn from and teach each other, and just sit and knit and talk for five hours. My wrists still hurt a bit after an hour or so of knitting,  I think from that evening, but I now know better. They have pattern books over there. Next time I go (probably Saturday), I’ll have a look through Victorian Lace Today and rest my wrists a bit.

I’m also checking out a square dance club in the city this Friday, so that might be my new secondary hobby. I’ve realized I need to get out more, and although I’ve vowed more involvement with The World Outside every semester, I have a good feeling this semester it might stick. I have a good feeling about this year. Overall, I mean.

**

On another, unrelated and less life-affirming note, I started to read all three Hunger Games novels by Suzanne Collins in a row, now that the final part is out. If those books don’t get you thinking about society and television culture and human behavior overall, I’m not sure what will. It’s a dystopia, and from the covers and the age of the protagonist (16), I’d call it young adult. I picked it up because it was rated as YA, and I love YA unashamedly for all that I love Wilde and Tolkien and Ovid too.

But from the premise of the plot and the form of the dystopian society, I’m not sure how well it fits in the 14-21 age bracket. You can read the synopsis on Wikipedia, where I just saw they’re making it into a movie, and what the hell. A book that condemns unreflected TV culture gone mad, and a society where outrageous appearances and capitalism are everything while 90% of the population starve, and the rich 10% love watching innocent children slaughter each other once a year – and they’re making a movie out of it. Of course.

So.  Yeah. Those books. They’re good books, they’re hard to put down, they view modern culture, to put it carefully, somewhat critically. I read part two in the bathtub, and when I looked up because I was done, the 20cm-high cover of bubbles had dissipated because I’d been in there for three hours. They’re that kind of book. And like every dystopian novel there probably is, it takes current society and exaggerates it into something horrifying, and there isn’t a chapter where you don’t realized that everything that’s wrong with that society is what’s wrong with ours, just that we haven’t had the time to get that far. And they’re making it into a movie.

Yesterday we stood at the brink of the abyss. Today we’re one step further.

And on that mood-swingy note, I leave you,  esteemed reader, with the view out of my window a few evenings back, because dudes and dudettes – it’s autumn.

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EXTERMINATE

June 17, 2010 § 5 Comments

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(a TARDIS-blue sky, people. a TARDIS-blue sky)

**

So, I might have mentioned in passing that I’m a bit of a geek.

And also, the astute may have noticed that sometimes, I have just the slightest tendency to knit geeky stuff.

Ahem.

There may be just the slightest possibility that… I’m knitting a Dalek vest.

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I swear, it started out as a joke! I was reading a fanfic that had geek!Jensen own a Dalek costume, and Saskia and I were talking about how awesome it would be to have one, and how I should knit one, and… and then I kind of immediately ripped back the slightly, subtly geeky Ghostproof sweater, wound the 4-ply yarn into 8-ply, and started charting, and here I am, with the first of three rows of circles finished and only stopping because I have to study at some point and also I need a breather from intarsia.

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Seriously, intarsia! Holy crap. This is my first intarsia project, and while it’s kind of fun, I haven’t yet figured out a technique to get rid of the tangling. As of now, I’m using two little balls of yarn to freezer bags with the corners cut off, and it’s working moderately well, but it still kinda fries my brain. And I still get tangled up.

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I had to pick up the front of my cardi a couple of times to do some calming down (especially before I got the freezer bags), but, you know. I’m thinking it may be kind of worth it, though it’s definitely a long way off from becoming my favorite technique ever. (Then again, nothing will ever beat lace, so…)

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That’s already a lot of Whose Line episodes right there! I just try to keep calm and carry on, and I chant ‘With great effort comes great satsifaction’ under my breath a lot. It’s a good thing to make those things round-ish, I needed 14 center stitches instead of 9, so I’ve already finished a third instead of a quarter of the lower body. Right now I’m just trying to decide whether I should make the dots in the other two rows the same size or have them get smaller as we go up. I’ll mull that over a bit, since I really need to get to that studying I’ve been pushing back to get some knitting in. oÔ

She bring me love, love

January 28, 2010 § 5 Comments

… or in this case, deliciousness.

Seriously, I should just bite the bullet and rename this blog Gluttony and Foodwhoring.

Sorry for the recent lack of knitting, honestly. But somehow, cooking (not even really eating, mostly just the cooking) relieves my pre-exam stress more than knitting. Knitting, these days, seems to cause stress instead of getting rid of it. And blogging about my lack of knitting and the recent overabundance of relatively fancy and time-consuming foodstuffs is another perfect method of procrastination. So, yeah.

Anyway. So last night, we made Feuerzangenbowle. Which is where you take red wine, put a bunch of spices and orange juice into it, heat it, pour it into a big ol’ bowl, set a rum-soaked sugar cone on top of that… and light the sugar cone.

Yeah. It’s just as bad-ass as it sounds.

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Plus, when you pour some more rum over it, the flames go from otherworldly-blue to, well, flame-colored. Guess what Saskia did as long as it was still burning.

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And once the sugar cone has melted and dripped down into the red wine, and once the flames have stopped licking around the rim of the bowl… you drink it. And get really drunk really fast. But it’s awesome. Even if our fortunately-soon-leaving roommate was there (but nothing’s so bad after a couple glasses of this stuff)

And then this morning, to sop up any remaining alcohol, I got out the very last vestiges of the chili from the other day, added a handful of chopped rocket, and another handful of shredded gouda cheese, to make something I call ‘Chili Salad’ but is really just chili and rocket and cheese. Cause rocket is my current favorite ingredient for everything, from soups to salad to little rolls of cheese and ham and mayonnaise with rocket in the middle.

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And most importantly, had another go at making tortillas. This time, I replaced half the flour with corn flour, which gave another dimension of deliciousness to the tortillas. They’re not particularly pretty, but especially in this case, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

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And when the chili salad and the tortillas came together to form chili-salad-and-tortillas – man. I could’ve died happily. Plus, with less white flour, the whole thing almost counts as a semi-healthy-if-you-squint-a-little breakfast.

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Oooooh yeah. That right there, that’s what happiness is made of.

(In the background: Voluntary Madness by Norah Vincent. She’s the author of Self-Made Man, one of my favorite non-fiction books ever, and her second books is an engaging read, too. After last week’s Supernatural being set in a mental institution, I wanted to learn more, and when I heard that Norah Vincent had gone to three different loony bins undercover and written about her experiences – well, how could I have resisted buying that book.)

Now, excuse me. The kitchen is trashed, and I’m hoping it’ll take me at least an hour to clean it. Anything to procrastinate.

I feel rivers overflowing

October 29, 2009 § 2 Comments

Living here is never as awesome as in autumn. The tree in front of the church turns this breathtaking shade of gold, and I don’t even mind the clouds hanging low, because… it’s autumn.

I’d take the time to recommend and/or extensively quote Robert Frost’s Nothing gold can stay, except it would clash grossly with the CCR headline of this post. So, pictures instead.

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(This is what I see every day. From my room, from the bathroom, from the kitchen if I leave the doors open… I’m so lucky to live here!)

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The Garter Stitch Bitch is coming along awesomely… it’s gonna be bigger than the first SYS, and slightly more subdued in the color choices. Slightly. As in, no reds. Greens, blues, purples, a bit of gray, a bit of gold, but all in all, slightly more subdued. But then, it’s hard to get less crazy, color-wise, than the SYS.

And also, I’m actually getting rid of the scraps this time around. The only colors I used up on the SYS were the hot pink, the spring green from the Grasshoppers, and the teeny bit of Atlantic from the cowl. And the other scraps I just reduced to an even less workable amount.

Not with this one.

I’m almost done with the Opal Hundertwasser, and then it’s 30 g of brown-purple and 9 g of purple, and then I’m DOOOOONE.

The last two rows of brown will go to a [k2tog, yo] and the row back, and then one row purple, and then bind-off. Woot.

**

I also got the second season of Grey’s Anatomy. Which is made of so much awesomeness I can’t believe I ever forgot how awesome it is. There’s Addi, there’s Mark, George is still alive, and… omg. Excuse me while I hyperventilate about Denny, because Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s voice makes me gooey inside, and even more about Callie, who at this point practically glows with self-confidence and cockiness and it just blows me away. Not that I don’t like the current lesbian twist (hell, I think it’s brilliant and I’d like nothing more than invite Callie and Arizona over to my place) but it’s nice to see her so carefree and angstless.

Oh man, the drama.

It’s an overload in my head

October 28, 2009 § 9 Comments

I’m really pleased. Muir blocked fine – I’ll have to redo the foot or so where the wires ended, it’s kinda dumb that it’s not quite as stretched-out as it could be, but it’s not an immediate concern. I have to weave in the ends, anyway, so, eh.

Also, the contrast color for my top-down raglan came – a gorgeous gold color, better than I imagined. Very pretty. Now I only have to figure the numbers out, and chart a Starbucks symbol, and… start knitting. Ahaha.

My copy of ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ arrived, too. (And ink cartridges for my printer. I had three packages waiting for me. New record.) I haven’t read that far, and I’m not intimately familiar with the original due to the fact that I abhor Jane Austen – but the five or so pages of PaPaZ I’ve read were absolutely hysterical. I am becoming rather convinced most books would benefit hugely from a zombie invasion.

Does Pride and Predjudice and Zombies count as fanfic? Huh.

**

Anyway. Yes, awesome materialistic things – but mentally, I’m exhausted. Too little me-time. Came back from Christian way late last night, at like 12.45 am, unpinned the shawl and read a bit, got back up at 7.15, spent all days at class or in the canteen or baking and doing our translation homework with Christian and Saskia and then walking Christian to the tram station and going back and watching Supernatural with Saskia and all in all, the only quiet times I’ve had today are bathroom breaks. And not even all of them, since Ulla and Saskia and me were talking and laughing in the bathroom at uni.

So, yeah. Head, meet wall. All walls. In a shower of blood and brain chunks.

**

Speaking of brain chunks (braiiiiiins!) last night we watched ‘My Bloody Valentine 3D’ at Christian’s, sadly in 2D.

It’s a bit of a splatter movie, yes. I mean, there’s a guy with a gas mask (are you my mommy?) going around killing people with his pickaxe in the most bloody and gory ways possible, and LOTS of people get their eyes poked out through the back of their heads or their lower jaws ripped off and gross stuff like that.

I tell you, it’s hilarious. Seriously.

The main reason we watched it was because Jensen Ackles is in it, and I hadn’t seen an actual horror movie in ages, but it was so predictable. Like, really predictable.  I’m not 100% sure how seriously they took themselves, but there were so many clichés that I’m almost positive they were in there for the comedic effect. I mean… a pug, and a midget lady, and some blond chick running around in nothing but high heels for about five minutes before she gets brutally murdered, and some guy trying to scare his girlfriend except thirty seconds later his eye is about half a foot in front of his face, stuck on the tip of the pickaxe that just smashed through his skull… that’s pretty freaking hilarious to me.

Or maybe I’m just sick like that.

What I’m saying, however, is that they had lots and lots of effects that must have been really great in 3D – stuff coming towards you, tons of it (including the aforementioned pug and midget lady) so… yeah. I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on that one. It’d be awesome.

Somewhere ’round mile-marker one-twelve

September 30, 2009 § 2 Comments

Ah, I’m home. Back in Leipzig, back to the Saskias and the dog. Back to my wide bed where I can let my feet dangle over the edge. Back to my own kitchen, my own bath, two clocks in my room, green walls, cooking for myself, the TARDIS poster on my door, tons of pillows between me and the wall, and tons of yarn, needles and books to choose from.

I came home yesterday, actually, but it was rather late, I was kinda knackered, and pretty much all I did was changing my sheets from dusty to new and sparkly, taking a bubble bath, and making some baked beans. And tea, lots of tea. And soup, around 1.30am, when I was inexplicably bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Then, today, I got up late, and after breakfast set out to the long-procrastinated-on task of cleaning up my room. I’m… just so lazy with it. I do parts, but for the wide majority of the time, I just drop things on my desk or wherever, or plop down books on other books in the case instead of putting them back properly.

Seriously, the only part of my room that’s even remotely organized 90% of the time is my stash.

So I took down three bags worth of trash, a carton full of paper, plus I dusted, vacuumed, started on my desk, and reorganized my books. Oh, and I found two DPNs, a row counter and a crochet hook behind my bed. I’d been looking for those.

My proudest achievement of the day? Organizing a cultural timeline from Ancient Egypt all the way to contemporary Germany and the UK. It’s the history and culture textbooks I have, plus stuff like Shakespeare’s plays, Greek myths, the Iliad, Arabian Nights, Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’, Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’, Thoreau’s ‘Civil Disobedience’ – basically, essential texts, books that I didn’t really want to put in my mostly fiction-based regular bookcase. The only thing in the main bookcase that’s non-fiction are the handful of knitting books, and John Barrowman’s bios. And I think that’s about it.

So, yeah. I’m rather enchanted by the whole timeline thing though, because it illustrates my point of view exactly: History and culture and literature are never entirely separate things, but quite the opposite: they three facets of the exact same thing. Like three sides of the same, weirdly-shaped coin. Ahem.

Other than that… I did the ‘most boring slideshow ever’ today, for Saskia. I’d told Sassi about it beforehand, and we both had to work very hard to keep from bursting out laughing when Saskia’s comments became more and more pissy. ‘Well, it would be nice if you could see anything besides the three of you! Seriously!’ Mwahaha. But I did a slightly-more-extended-than-the-regular slideshow afterwards, and she was rather more enthusiastic about that one.

I still have to upload a couple of pictures to show up here, but… not tonight.

It’s so nice here, all quiet, except for the dog breathing on the (freshly vacuumed) rug next to my bed.

Sassi squeed really, really loudly when I gave her the little ball I spun out of the hairs Wave shed this spring.

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