Monday, December 17, 2007

Replay value

I'm not much of a music reviewer, but still, these are my top albums of 2007, based on replay value, in alphabetical order:

"Strawberry Jam" by Animal Collective
"A Cork Tale Wake" by Chris Bathgate
"Mirrored" by Battles
"Armchair Apocrypha" by Andrew Bird
"Woke On A Whaleheart" by Bill Callahan
"Spiderman of the Rings" by Dan Deacon
"Night Falls Over Kortedala" by Jens Lekman
"Loney, Noir" by Loney, Dear
"Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?" by Of Montreal
"Person Pitch" by Panda Bear
"Good Arrows" by Tunng

Top homemade release:
"I Am the Water You Are Pumping" by Frontier Ruckus

Top unofficial release:
"Live @ Keweenawesomefest 2007" by Matt Jones

Favorite non-2007 album in 2007:
"Knock Knock" by Smog

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Think of all the ways molecules move

It's snowing like mad out there. I was supposed to head to campus today, but I've decided that I'm snowed in. So I've been knitting and decided to upload the number one winter song that you've never heard.

"Blood On The Snowplow" by Algoma

I started my Noro socks to prove that they won't be ugly. I'm keeping it relatively simple and using the Madder Ribbed Sock pattern in "Knitting Vintage Socks". This means I now have 3 pairs of socks in progress for myself. I did turn the second heel in the very first pair of socks I ever started though. I'm hoping that at least two of these pairs will get finished before school starts up again in January. The LYS is planning a potluck where everyone is expected to bring in all their current works in progress, and I don't want to embarrass myself with so much stuff.

Noro Kureyon sock yarn

Hiking boot socks, nearly finished

And now to write some papers!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Soon as I see you walk up in the club

I'm rocking the mash-ups from right now. And still avoiding work.

On the highway here they have signs that flash new speed limits during "inclement" weather. This morning they were flashing 45mph. I'm beginning to take these as more of a challenge than a guideline. If these signs weren't there, I probably would actually go slower than the speed limit. Instead, I go the regular posted limit, because I've driven through worse. Also, I think watching Top Gear is changing the way I drive. I definitely push my car a little bit harder while accelerating lately. Maybe this happens when The Stig is your hero.

Last week was an eMusic week. I was going to do a whole big post just about that, but I guess I put it off. The big winner from the collection was "Parades" by Efterklang though. And I picked up "Sologne" by Loney, Dear at the record store. And yesterday I allowed myself to get "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" because I could use my Bull Moose points and get it for half-price.

I bought Noro sock yarn this week. I don't know when I'll get to it. Michelle, the owner of the LYS, assured me that this colorway looked fantastic when knitted into a sweater, so I have high hopes for it in a pair of socks. I also finished my first pair of gift socks. The socks are, unfortunately, different a bit, because I used a different heel on the second one. Oh, and by finished, I mean they are knit, but I have to sew in the ends.

School is almost done. I have a crazy next five days. Then I want to party and knit. In that order.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I am he is you are he is

I haven't listened to The Beatles in a while.

There really isn't much to update. I'm at the point where I should be doing nothing but schoolwork, but I'm not good at that. I put these things off for a reason: I don't like them. Ha. I put myself between a rock and a hard place, though. I'll be working on a paper tonight, hopefully getting all the data for my first experiment by the end of the day Friday, grading done Thursday night, finishing paper this weekend, starting another this weekend, gathering data for a second experiment next week, writing a report and keeping a lab notebook about each experiment and giving a ten minute presentation about one of them midway through finals week, plus a final group project for my physics education research class due about then. It almost sounds doable.

In procrastination news, I picked up the DVD "Heima" by Sigur Ros yesterday. If you like the band, get it. Seriously. I also finished the cuff on my first gentlemen's sock with lozenge pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush.

Oh, and I am really spoiled by Fiberphilia, my local yarn shop. I stopped by yesterday, trudging through an unshoveled walkway to find out that the store was closed. Michelle was there though, and saw me, and let me in to buy yarn so that I'll be able to finish my gift socks without running out. The store actually lost money on Monday trying to keep the parking lot plowed during the snowstorm, so I completely understand her closing on Tuesday. I think that she was having so much fun with her paperwork when I showed up on Tuesday that she needed a break.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My vodka and snow is melting.

So I spent Thanksgiving down in Massachussetts on Cape Cod with my aunt Nancy and uncle Doug and Nancy's son David and his girlfriend Michelle and Michelle's daughter Emily and David and Michelle's daughter Bella. It was quite the adventure. Emily is 10 and and pretty awesome. Bella is 3 and quite awesome too, but she was pretty shy. I did manage to get her to play on my foosball team though, and we kicked Emily's butt. Before going, my parents warned me that they might not have a regular Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, stuffing, etc., but they did. The food was great. I shrugged off questions of "honeys/hunnies" at school from David, which is something I'm kind of getting sick of doing. Anyway, apparently the thing to do on Cape Cod after Thanksgiving dinner is to take a walk on the beach.

Set: Thanksgiving 2007

When David and crew left on Thursday night Doug said "Thank God" and even Nancy slumped against the door. And fittingly enough, I fell asleep that night listening to podcasts of the News from Lake Wobegon portion of A Prairie Home Companion. On Friday morning, I headed out at 9 to get back to Fiberphilia for the yarn sale of the year (seriously, the only one). I was sent on my way with a full plate of food and something close to a full pie. I figured it was about time to crack open the holiday music on the drive back, so I decided to break out my recent purchase of "Peace On Earth: A Holiday Album" featuring the likes of The Long Winters, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, and more. I would seriously recommend that you purchase this. It's only seven dollars and all proceeds go to Toys For Tots. Head over to to get your copy.

I made it to the yarn store just before three in the afternoon, and ended up with 4 skeins of sport weight alpaca for a scarf, and 4 skeins of fingering weight merino in two different colorways for some socks. I also picked up another set of size 2 double points and my first set of size 0s and Nancy Bush's book "Knitting Vintage Socks" which has a high concentration of mens sock patterns. The first I plan on doing is the Gentleman's Sock with lozenge pattern. And they took my picture in my Koolhaas hat for their wall. And then getting back from that I had the cd that I ordered from The Dodos, "Beware the Maniacs" waiting for me. So all in all, it's been a pretty good weekend.

And of course I have pictures of my recent purchases for everyone. :-)

scarf-fodder: Blue-Sky Alpacas Melange

soon to be Gentlemen's Socks with lozenge pattern: Claudia Hand Painted - Buckeye colorway

and will be socks but I don't know what yet: Claudia Hand Painted - Jungle colorway

And I finished my first gift sock for the holiday season. It's the Hiking Boot sock from "Knitting With Balls" modified with contrasting color heel and toe. I hope the recipient will enjoy it as least as much as I enjoyed making it.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Harder Better Stronger Faster

The Thanskgiving holiday is finally here. This year is the first time I'll be spending it away from home, but I do at least get to spend it with some family. I'll be joining my Uncle Doug and Aunt Nancy in Massachussetts for food and football. Doug is legally blind and thus has a monster TV for what I consider to be the best football game of the year, the Lions against the Packers. It should be good. It's been a long time since I've seen any of Nancy's kids, and I'm pretty sure I've never seen any of her grandkids. I think they'll be fantastic, which is essential because Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday since the post-Santa Claus era.

I managed to finish my first sock again. I'm amazed at how fantastic it feels to wear. My goal is to always be working on a pair of socks.




I really need to figure out how to take better pictures of finished objects. The lighting in my apartment is horrible, and my flash is way too bright. Oh well.

Apparently both the Sigur Ros DVD "Heima" and Daft Punk CD "Alive 2007" got their release dates pushed back until December 4th without me knowing. So instead I picked up "Discovery" by Daft Punk. And I'm not sure what to think of it yet. I like "Harder Better Faster Stronger" though. That much I know.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Montgomery bound

It's getting to be that time of year again, and by that I mean that I have to be thinking about what classes I'm taking next semester. I have about five options: statistical mechanics, continuum mechanics, string theory, quantum mechanics 1, and electrodynamics. I only need to take two of these. String theory doesn't interest me at all and I won't learn anything in electrodynamics thanks to the professor, so that eliminates two. Even though I've already taken quantum 1, I feel like I could really use a refresher, but I've also been urged to just make sure I get all of my classes out of the way as soon as possible. And I have a feeling that is really good advice. So I guess it's stat mech and continuum mechanics for me.

And just a short update on the knitting front, I have about 3/4 of my third attempt at my first sock done. Hopefully I'll be able to finish it over the break.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

THE MASSES | The Dodos - Fools

THE MASSES | The Dodos - Fools

This basically made my afternoon. I heart The Dodos.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Starring what's her face and what's his name

Once again it has come time for my eMusic update. Last month I upgraded to the 75 downloads per month plan because I am horribly insatiable when it comes to music. So here, in the order I downloaded and have been listening to them, are my eMusic albums for November.

"What Are You On?" by East River Pipe: A one-man bedroom act who caught my interest a while ago wiith his song "Shiny Shiny Pimpmobile".

"Let's Get Out Of This Country" by Camera Obscura: Based out of Glasgow, this band caught my attention with the first single off of this album, "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken", just when I was recently heartbroken. It was backed with "I Can't Stay Mad At You" and to this point in my life I can't think of a more poignant pairing of single and b-side.

"LP" by Holy Fuck: Sometimes I read reviews and I go, "wow, I really would like that" which is what I did for this album. I knew that they had been opening for Wolf Parade recently, and when I was rocking out to this in my office yesterday I knew I had found a winner.

"The Fyling Club Cup" by Beirut: I wasn't blown away by the single from their last album, but when cmg says something is good, I generally believe them. They pulled through for me.

"Broom" by Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin: These guys were one of the first Daytrotter sessions that I heard, and when I saw that Greg was listening to them I decided that I should go download the album.

"Countless Times" by Diane Cluck: She appeared on a collaboration with Jeffrey Lewis way back when and blew me away with their song "The River". I still mostly think of JL when I think of anti-folk, but Diane is some kind of awesome. Listening to "My Teacher Died / Countless Times" was a wow moment.

"Let's Stay Friends" by Les Savy Fav: cokemachineglow needs to stop writing so well. They convince me more often than not. I don't know what to think of the music itself yet, but here's what cmg says: "This band is where idiosyncratic goes to fuck itself."

Thursday, November 8, 2007

If only they could see me today

I just got back from the first indoor soccer game of this season. My "Weird Science" team won 7 to 4, and I made two awesome plays, only one of which I can really remember. The ball was coming for me but I saw Lindsey running behind me and could feel the defender on me, so I let the ball pass right between my legs to her. We didn't score a goal on that one, but I got many congratulations.

On the knitting front, I powered through about two inches of my sock during the PERL (Physics Education Research Laboratory) meeting this morning. It really feels like it's progressing this time around.

Gosh it's been a long day!

You look away

Men: The New Woman

Sometimes I wish I wasn't gay so that I could have a counter-arguement that she might consider valid.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Till my belly hangs over my belt

New music Tuesday!

Yes, it is new music Tuesday, which this week means the latest release from Sigur Rós, "Hvarf/Heim". It contains some new recordings, some re-recordings, and some live recordings. And well, since Sigur Rós is one of my favorite bands, I'm overjoyed. I'm looking more forward to the DVD "Heima" that they are releasing on November 20, though. That should be killer.

Today I also picked up the latest release from The Gunshy, "There Is No Love In This War". The lyrics consist mainly of letters by Paul Arbogast, Matt Arbogast's (The Gunshy) grandfather, to his sweetheart (and eventually his wife) during WWII. The cd is black with the following handwritten text in white:

I.O.U. 100 kisses

Paul Arbogast
You can't collect till I get home

The Gunshy - May 14, 1943

And on a different front, I went out with Kate, Andrew, and Jeff to play foosball in Old Town. It was awesome. And intense. And definitely needs to be done again. Also, Kate's dog, Widget, is awesome. (aka I want a puppy)

All that's left for tonight is to relax, knit, and watch the other recent purchase of Ratatouille. :-) : David Thomas Broughton: David Thomas Broughton vs. 7 Hertz

This is why I read cokemachineglow.

Truth be told, I go weak in the knees for DTB. Whatever presumptions prove “mini” to be a dumb way to market Broughton’s latest release, the record is every bit as devastating as the sun is hot and Jesus was sagely bearded – which is to imply that expectations have been met and Broughton’s caste-like reformation into something of a grotesque demagogue is coming to fruition. : David Thomas Broughton: David Thomas Broughton vs. 7 Hertz

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Move to Kansas City

I've been watching the Kansas City / Green Bay football game this afternoon. Kansas City by Okkervil River has been stuck in my head for most of it.

I started my first pair of gift socks this afternoon. I'm using the Hiking Boot Socks pattern from Knitting With Balls as the base. Hopefully these will be received warmly.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I will do as I am told. I will keep away the cold.

I just finished the Koolhaas hat by Jared Flood found in Interweave Knits Holiday 2007. I'm pretty excited about it. It was my first experience with cables and this is just loaded with them. I'm tempted to start a scarf that will match, but oh I hate knitting scarfs!


This picture captures the color of it better.

And I have this much yarn left!

It turns out I did need that second skein, but I now have a lot of this left. I really loved this yarn though. Hopefully that means I'll be able to figure out another way to use it.

Two other things have been occupying my time today. I've been frogging my first two attempts at socks so I can reuse the yarn. I love the colorway that I got of this, so I want this pair to be perfect. The first one I made too big, and the second I didn't make a long enough leg. So both are going going gone. I also picked up the new Zelda game for the DS. I'm through the first temple already. It's kind of weird to be playing video games again. Hopefully it doesn't take up too much of my time!

In other news, it was my birthday yesterday, and even though I did go birthday shopping, it still didn't really feel like a birthday so much. I definitely don't feel 23.

Friday, October 5, 2007

I try to explain it to you

I headed back to the yarn store today to pick up another skein so I could finish up my socks (I'm almost done :-)). I ended up also getting some size 2 double points, and stayed to knit for awhile. One of the ladies had brought in a dessert called a Nanaimo bar. It was basically the best thing I've ever had. It had a bit of a chocolate cookie crumb base with a layer of custard and topped with a layer of soft chocolate. Yum!

I requested some Jens Lekman on the familiar 91.9 WMTU FM Houghton this afternoon, completely forgetting that "Night Falls Over Kortedala" hasn't been released state-side yet. Oops. Anyway, it's really nice to hear some voices from the recent past, especially when they play some awesome music. I even caught part of the sports talk show with Eric and Russ beforehand. Definitely brightened my day a bit.

Plus Pitchfork's poor review of "Last Light" by Matt Pond PA made me relisten to it today. Whatever, I still like it.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

It's weird. I don't live there anymore.

Kevin posted this on Facebook earlier.

This is really weird. I recently moved out of Michigan and am now living in Maine, but I still feel very much a Michigan resident. I'm really having a hard time believing this. It seems unprecedented. How did they let the budget go unbalanced for so long that this is actually an option.

Impact of Michigan Government Shutdown
55. Can I buy alcohol?

Liquor sales are regulated by the state and therefore will stop during a government shutdown. Stores will be able to sell the inventory they have on hand, but will be unable to purchase additional inventory.

61. Will the state-owned lift bridges be open?

Six of the state's 12 lift bridges, in compliance with U.S. Coast Guard regulations, will be locked in the up position, allowing only water traffic to pass. Those bridges that are closed to traffic are located in Manistee (US-31), two in Bay City (M-25 and M-13/M-84), St Joseph (M-63), Port Huron (I-94Bl/Military Street), and Detroit (M-85/Fort Street).

66. Will the state welcome centers and highway rest areas be open?

State welcome centers and highway rest areas, including the bathroom facilities and parking lots, will be closed.

At least the Portage Lift Bridge is remaining open.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Good luck in the bumper pool tournament

Last week Anna and I went to the yarn store near campus, Fiberfillia. It was one of the most fantastic experiences ever. I haven't really been knitting for too long. I've made two scarves and two hats, but I wanted to get started on socks. So I did! :-) The owner of the store fixed me up with yarn choices and a beginning pattern and told me to come back as soon as I was ready to turn the heel. We got Anna set for her first scarf, and her stitch count has gone up and down several times. Maybe I wasn't the best person to teach her. ;-)

Yarn yarn yarn

This weekend I made sloppy joes. Well, I tried to make sloppy joes. I went to the grocery store and tried to buy things that I thought were in sloppy joes. Only I was wrong. I made sure to look up a recipe on Sunday, and fixed it. I'm awesome. Tonight I paired it with mac and cheese, the blue box variety. I'd like to give a shout-out to John Roderick of The Long Winters for his tip to make it with heavy cream instead of milk. It makes an unhealthy side dish that much worse for me, but it tastes so much better!

I got a postcard from Emily today too. That was really unexpected, but awesome.

Anyway, I'll post pictures of my socks as soon as they're finished.