Friday, April 25, 2008

Today's Post Brought To You By Len's Pants

Work continues to kick my rear, and will through next Friday. The founder of Population Studies Center (where I work) died in November and our memorial will be May 2. I am doing the photo and table displays; his career spanned some 50 years and was incredibly varied. Trying to visually sum up a career which included the Detroit Area Study and fertility in Taiwan is a teeny bit daunting.

So, because I need a little levity: Len's pants:

Len's Pants

I should have linked yesterday: Len's toys are the chickens.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Today's Post Brought To You By Bald Grumpy Chickens

Still insanely busy at work. Len's new toys are getting. Oh, let's say, less than pretty.

Bald Chicken

I want out


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Judy is a Punk

I didn't mean to be away for so long. Work has been taking up a great deal of time (no, I haven't stopped coming to work). Don't you hate that? When work is work?


This is Gwen. Gwen is neurotic. Her life is far from perfect, and she complains about it regularly. We don't know why her life isn't perfect, but it isn't.


This is Simon. Simon is a big, dumb guy. His life is perfect and he rarely complains.

Fred loves water

This is Fred. Fred loves water. Fred's life is perfect, too, except for the Monster.

Judy is a Punk

This is Judy. Despite what Fred thinks, she is not a monster.

Judy at Rest

In her way, she is actually kind of sweet. But, Tea's comment from the other day isn't so far off ("
She sounds like a housewife who got married as a teen just to leave her parents' home, but it turns out she's secretly a lesbian and now has 9 kids so she has to turn to the Vicodin & Gin diet.") Poor girl.

Because we can't seem to get the situation between Judy and Fred under control, we called in an expert. Yes. An expert. A cat whisperer, if you will. She had some interesting insights: it seems that female cats in general, and calicos in particular, are quite anti-social. Their little pea brains are all about maximizing resources for themselves and whatever litter of kittens they have hanging around. Even if they have never had kittens, this is still part of their genetic makeup. Calicos are even worse because it takes some extra female chromosomes to hold all of the colors. Super females. Males are only trying to maximize their own resources, so can afford to allow other cats into their orbits.

Judy was ok with Simon and Gwen because she was a kitten when she came. They were, for all intents and purposes, her parents. She is not ok with Fred because Fred is also a female, almost an adult, and kind of a bad ass herself. It turns out, Fred is a bit of a killer (or she wants to be). She got on this poor woman's lap and starting trying to eat her knee.

So. We are to start feeding them treats, first separated by a cracked door, then in full view of each other, but separated by a screen (child gate, or something), gradually moving them closer together. They should, in theory, begin to associate each other with TREATS rather than KILL.

Sounds good in theory. But we are having trouble getting them to step one. Judy is too freaked out to come out from under the bed and Fred is much too busy. We'll keep trying, our wits aren't at an end yet, but we're getting close.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Knitting! Weaving! Sewing! Oh My!

Finished in very short order:


The Walkaway Dress. Very, very easy, but the bias tape was annoying. I found 6 yards of the green and blue paisley fabric in a local antique (junk?) shop. At 36" wide, it worked fine for the skirt and back pieces, but the front (the white piece in the above picture) was too wide. I was afraid the paisley would be overwhelming, anyway, so wasn't disappointed to use a contrasting fabric.

Shoes, you ask?


! Please don't look at the price, I'm embarrassed. My only excuse is a nice sized tax return.

Drifting Pleats

Pleats continue to drift. The red continues to be impossible to capture. The color is about right, but the picture fails to capture the depth of the color (Blue Sky Alpaca).

Linda's Hat

A Koolhaas for my step-mother, Linda, in Rowan Calmer.

White Blob

It doesn't look like much (and probably won't for a couple of years at the rate I knit), but eventually it will be Frost Flowers and Leaves. The blue is a lifeline, which I've not found reason to do before, but that row gave me a great deal of trouble. A lifeline hint: when you are threading it in, make sure you don't go through the markers. Learn from my idiocy.


It looks a bit like a hairy cloud, don't you think? This is alpaca from Henry's Attic, I may dye it when I am done. Then again, I may not.

Len's Sock

A toe-up ribbed sock for Len, guaranteed to drive me to drink -- I hate ribbing, but this is the only way to get a little pattern into his life. Um. I don't know what this yarn is.

Inkle Weaving

And. Finally. Weaving. Yup. We've been keeping Judy locked up in the weaving room, and to keep myself occupied while visiting her, I warped up the inkle loom. The selvages are pretty bad. I re-tied the warp so I think it will be better now. This will be a camera strap for my dad.


I'm going to put up hints to the remaining quotes in a couple of minutes, so check back.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Movie Trivia Game

First, I want to say Hey! to everyone visiting from A Dress A Day, and thank you so much for your kind comments!

I was planning on posting pictures today of knitting (I do still knit), a new dress (will the obsession ever end?) and possibly some weaving (gasp!). But a plan is not a post, so instead I have a Movie Trivia Game (stolen from Miriam Felton's blog and the Caffeinated Librarian). 15 of my favorite movies in quotes (via IMDB), what are the movies (leave your answers in the comments)? If you cheat, you are the only one who will (but you will know and can you live with that?)

1. Good evening Sir, my name is Steve. I come from a rough area. I used to be addicted to crack but now I am off it and trying to stay clean. That is why I am selling magazine subscriptions.

Office Space, Keith M. For some reason, I know the name of the actor, Orlando Jones. I don't know why. Steve is, indeed, an out-of-work software developer. However, they start pumping him for information because they think, as a "former crackhead", he might know dealers who would know about laundering money. As it turns out, Steve wouldn't know a rock of crack (or whatever) if it hit him upside the head.

2. Mickey: Think her family's gonna be okay that you're a white guy?
Cliff: They think any woman over 30 who isn't married is a lesbian. She figures, they'll be so relieved that I'm a man...
Mickey: Yeah, it's always heartwarming to see a prejudice defeated by a deeper prejudice.

Lone Star, Helen (from the great John Sayles, he alway manages to get a great performance from Kris Kristofferson, which is not an easy task)

3. When you're in love with a married man you shouldn't wear mascara.

The Apartment, Helen (A recent addition to my list of favorites. Shirley MacLaine is just adorable and heartbreaking in this)

4. We musn't underestimate American blundering. I was with them when they blundered into Berlin in 1918.

Casablanca, Keith M. (This usually sits at the #1 or #2 spots in my list of favorite movies)

5. I thought all writers drank to excess and beat their wives. You know one time I secretly wanted to be a writer.

Hint: "Sometimes, for your own sake, Red, I think you should've stuck to me longer." "I thought it was for life, but the nice judge gave me a full pardon." "Aaah, that's the old redhead. No bitterness, no recrimination, just a good swift left to the jaw."

Philadelphia Story (really? No one got this one? What a great, funny, funny movie, and lot's of drunken behavior!)

6. Are you sure you were talking about water skis? From where I sat it looked as though you were conjugating some irregular verbs.

Hint: Why do you think we moved so often? Your father was a swindler, dear, but a lovable one. If you ask me, this one's a bigger operator on every level.

To Catch a Thief, MichMash (So many Hitchcock movies, so little time...)

7. I can remember everything. That's my curse, young man. It's the greatest curse that's ever been inflicted on the human race: memory.

Citizen Kane, Keith M. (very good! Spoken by Jedediah Leland, as many of the really good quotes in this movie are)

8. Anything happens to my daughter, I got a .45 and a shovel, I doubt anybody would miss you.

Clueless, Helen (one of my favorite quotes from the best adaption of Emma)

9. The last time that I trusted a dame was in Paris in 1940. She said she was going out to get a bottle of wine. Two hours later, the Germans marched into France.

2 Hints: "How do I look so young? Quite simple. A complete vegetable diet, twelve hours sleep a night, and *lots* and *lots* of makeup." and "If you ask me, anybody that offers a million bucks to solve a crime that ain't been committed yet has lost a lot more upstairs than his hair."

Murder by Death (I first saw this was I was 10 or 11, and thought it was hilarious, even if I didn't get what it was satirizing. I thought the last quote would give it away for sure, since that's the plot.)

10. I don't think I've ever drunk champagne before breakfast before. With breakfast on several occasions, but never before, before.

Breakfast at Tiffany's, Helen (sigh. Audrey....)

11. We're not in infinity; we're in the suburbs.

Hint: "Have you ever transcended space and time?" "Yes. No. Uh, time, not space... No, I don't know what you're talking about."

I (Heart) Huckabees, MichMash (How could you not love a movie that takes existential philosophy as it's theme. Such a weird, funny, intelligent movie. By the way, is anyone else still surprised at Marky Mark's acting chops?)

12. I've hired you to help me start a war. It's a prestigious line of work, with a long and glorious tradition.

Princess Bride, Keith M. (I skipped many many classes to stay home and watch this one, and it never gets old)

13. I don't like warriors. Too narrow-minded, no subtlety. And worse, they fight for hopeless causes. Honor? Huh! Honor's killed millions of people, it hasn't saved a single one.

Hint: "Mul-ti-pass"

Fifth Element, Lacy (one of those movies that shouldn't work, but does, in all its campy wonder. Milla is gorgeous, Bruce is Bruce, and Oldman chews so much scenery I'm surprised he has any teeth left.)

14. The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don't wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules.

High Fidelity, Helen (I kind of thought this was on the obvious side, but these are words to live by, or at least make mix tapes [or CDs] by)

15. Doctor, I'm takin' your sister under my protection here. If anything happens to her, anything at all, I swear to you, I will get very choked up. Honestly, there could be tears.

Serenity, Mim (another recent addition to the favorite list. A western, in space, with zombies, written and directed by Joss Whedon. What's not to love?)

I'm going home now, so check back tomorrow for answers..

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

5th Anniversary

Today is the fifth anniversary of Len and my first date. What I wrote for our third anniversary still rings true (and it is the story of how we met). Len is the love of my life and my very dear friend, I can barely remember what it was like before him, and I don't want to imagine it without him.

And he has the prettiest eyes of anyone I've ever met.


Monday, April 07, 2008

Len's New Toys

New Toys

New Toys2


Taking pictures of the little buggers is about the level of involvement in this venture that I want. They are cute now, but they grow up to be nasty creatures.

Temp Housing

This is their temporary housing (borrowed from a neighbor). The former owners of our house had a dog run in back of our barn, which Len will convert to a chicken coop. Note Fred in the background. She was intrigued.

Never in my life did I suspect chickens would be part of my world. Chickens. Oh well. Len did need a hobby!

Friday, April 04, 2008

And Another Thing

I've been reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and I just have one thing to say:

Mozzarella Makings

Damn you, Barbara Kingsolver and your mozzarella making ways!

(It came out really badly. I'll try again this weekend.)


I have achieved Dress! The pictures are awful -- these are the best of the bunch.



It is very hard to take pictures of myself. The pattern did not promise to be "Easy", and it was not: the collar was hard, the midriff was hard, I had to take the bottom trim off and do it again (mostly due to my own boneheadedness). The seam ripper and I became very good friends during this project. And to be honest, I enjoyed every head banging, frustrating minute of it. It was like a big puzzle, and at the end...a dress! Very cool.

Next up, something easier. This pattern is much more appropriate for the blue and green paisley fabric (something having to do with grain direction). No ifs, ands, or buts about it: I am obsessed.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

On Having a Kitten

Fred Discovered TP

Fred discovered toilet paper.

Fred Discovered TP

We're so proud.

Playing Innocent

It's exhausting work.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Spring is Springing

Despite threats of more {insert swearing} snow, spring is coming. I think.


Bell's Brewery thinks Spring is coming.


I've been seeing more of these rotten creatures.

Sniffing Rabbit

Look! It's already trying to sniff out my garden! Rotten creature.


You might think this is a robin. Fred calls it "dinner".


You might call these "violets". I call them "weeds".

Daffodil Shoots

The best sign of all: Daffodil shoots.

Even snow {insert swearing} can't keep spring away forever. I think.