Thursday, December 25, 2008

Unexpected

Sometimes things are just amazing, like how my grandmother filled up a fifty state quarters book for each and everyone of her grandchildren, all 10 of us, and also included several coins that were collected by my late grandfather. I received the 1927 silver dollar, which was from the year they were born. It is incredible how dilligent and thoughtful this was, something that I'm sure to cherish for a lifetime.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What to get

The one sale at my local yarn store has come and gone, with me unable to take advantage of it. I wandered around the store, with no plans in mind, and just kind of got stuck. Sure, there was yarn that I would have liked, but I just couldn't seem to justify it to myself. Since then I have come up with several ideas, but it's too late now. All I ended up buying was the remaining yarn for my sweater. Which is going swimmingly, by the way. Here's what it looks like now:

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I finally managed to get a picture of the mittens that I made too.

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I'm being slightly ambitious with gifts this year, but only considering how busy I think I will be the next two weeks. I've got one gift that I need to finish before I head back to Michigan, and one that won't need to be finished until Christmas day. They aren't exactly major projects, probably one skein a piece. I just need to make sure I find the time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Blindsided

Neko Case has a new album coming out next year.

And this is the album art:



Fucking wicked.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Across the hands that are changing

I've been listening to my music on shuffle for the better part of the past month, which is a bit strange for me. It feels perfect like that lately though.

It's been a while, and that's not really due to a lack of material. Like I've started my very first sweater. I'm doing the seamless saddle-shouldered sweater from Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Knitting Without Tears" in Cascade 220 in a purple color. I expect it to turn out great. maybe a little bit bigger than I intended, but that's okay. I'm about 8 or so inches into the body right now, and have about 10 inches of one sleeve done. I'm holding off for next Friday to buy the rest of the yarn for it. Michelle has been holding the rest of the yarn for me so I can just buy it as I need it, but she is having the annual anniversary sale on the day after Thanksgiving where all yarn will be 20% off, so I will be buying the rest then, and likely enough yarn to make another sweater out of Donegal Tweed.

The only other project that has had any progress on it since the start of this sweater has been the scarf I started this summer. The weather has gotten cold enough that a scarf will soon be a necessity. I'm already thankful for several of my hats and the yet-to-be-felted mittens.

It's been snowing in Houghton, MI already, and this year I'm less nostalgic for that particular aspect of life there.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The low hanging fruit

It is common practice at the local yarn shop to come in, sit in the sunroom, and knit, regardless of whether or not you plan to make a purchase that day. Today, I proved that there is good business sense to that policy. I intended to just knit today, but as soon as I was in the door, Burla points me at the wall of Cascade wool that came in yesterday, another wall of Manos, and the Manos silk. The silk was fantastically tempting, but I managed to refrain from all of this. Instead, I found something that I managed to miss over the summer, I'm guessing. Take a look.

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This is Zitron Trekking Hand Art in the Feuerland (tierra del fuego) colorway. I am not a person that really gets struck by beauty often. People show me patterns and say "Isn't this pretty?" and I nod, because I don't know any better. Seeing this in the skein, the word gorgeous came to mind. I took it down, and then actually put it back up. I told myself that I didn't need any more yarn, that I want to start a sweater, that I should save my money. I went back to my knitting, and the longer I stayed, the more I couldn't live without this yarn. And now that it's home with me, I have no idea what I'm going to do with it.

As of last weekend, I had made it down to two WIPs, having finished my Lovikka mittens --except for felting and embroidery-- and the teddy bear --except for sewing in ends, blocking, seaming, and filling it-- so I started another project. Another pair of socks. See below.

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I'm calling them my Wye Oak Socks (because the colors are similar to the album art of the band with the same name). This is my first project that involves yarn overs, which by itself isn't terribly exciting, but it does open up all new pathways. I would certainly like to try lace knitting at some point. Right now, I still very much knit for myself, and lace knitting doesn't really produce any manly wears. Until I find a more feminine person who would really appreciate it or a more manly lace pattern, lace knitting will just stay on hold.

And John Darnielle released yet another EP! He's calling this one "Satanic Messiah" and you can get it from the link below. Feel free to donate a few bucks for the songs, but don't feel obligated. That comes straight from the man himself. It is really fantastic though. I'd definitely have paid for it if I had to.

The Mountain Goats - Satanic Messiah EP

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

To get it right

Remember that post I made a while back about being inspired by the article that John Roderick wrote about beards? Well that night was the last time I shaved. I am totally giving this beard thing a go. I'll post a picture of how it is going at some point. It looks fine so far, and not shaving is definitely a plus. I'll see what happens when I have to get around to trimming it though.

I started another new goal last week. I decided that I was going to try to do the hundred push-up challenge over at hundredpushups.com. The goal is to be able to do 100 consecutive push-ups after doing the six week training program. I started last Wednesday, was sore Thursday but still went to softball practice, and then ended up staying sore through most of the weekend. This week has just been crazy busy, and I've mostly just been using the downtime to relax. I think I'll try to get back into it tonight. Also, I never realized how much push-ups work your abs!

Knitting has finally progressed a bit. I finished the Salto socks from Knitty! This means I'm down to 4 projects on needles. I've got a second sock, a second mitten, a scarf, and two small teddy bear pieces still. I've decided that I'm going to refrain from starting any new projects until the beginning of November. I'm going to use my birthday powers to request a gift certificate from Fiberphilia, my local yarn shop, and get started on my first ever sweater. The plan is to do something from Elizabeth Zimmerman's book Knitting Without Tears, maybe something tweedy. I'm sure I'll do some consulting with Michelle, the LYS owner, and we'll figure out something grand.

Music music music. Oh man. New track from Frontier Ruckus. New album from Mason Proper. Bound Stems album from Kevin. And currently on my ears is the latest album from Alias, who I saw open for Why? the other week. Alias is Brendon Whitney, producer and rapper, and a native Mainer. I'd enjoy his music no matter what, but I especially hold local musicians in high regard. That brings my list of Maine musicians that I know and enjoy up to three: Alias, Nat Baldwin, and Ray LaMontagne. I'm going to have to talk to some people at the radio station (I have a show! Did I tell you? 91.9 WMEB FM Orono Mondays from 10 to noon) and see what they can tell me about local music. As for non-local music, I'm going with a friend to see Minnesota singer/songwriter Mason Jennings in Boston this weekend. Should be good times.

Now that was a lot of words, so here's a picture --even though it is recycled from a previous post.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I thought myself lucky

I don't try to pick favorites a lot when it comes to music, mostly because I just can't choose. For me then to say a song is one of my favorites certainly means something. Right now I'm talking about "Saro" by Samamidon. It's one of those that I think I could put on repeat for an hour and not be sick of it.



And in finding the video for that, I ran across the band Pomplamoose. Give them a listen too.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Things I didn't need to buy with my Why? ticket:

A short list of things that I didn't need to purchase when I bought my Why? ticket:
1. "Alphabutt" by Kimya Dawson and friends
2. "Kala" by M.I.A.

Sure I won't regret either of these purchases, but I don't need them right now. Plus, I have a ticket to see Why? in Portland on Saturday, which is like 8 times better than anything. Ever.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So womanly, I have to go kiss her

National Novel Writing Month is soon upon us again. They've already started sending out emails. I might give it a more concerted try this year, having previously signed up and then sluffed off on my writing duties completely each time. That's not going to stop me from signing up again though. And hey, maybe third time's the charm.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

On the outskirts

My research advisor has a show on 91.9 WMEB FM Orono, which I decided to listen to for the first time today. He has quite the eclectic taste in music, but it was thanks to this show that I found out about the Gobbledigook contest by Sigur Ros. The most important part of this is that this means there was an instrumental version of the song posted, which, if you haven't heard it yet, you should check it out here: Sigur Ros - Gobbledigook (instrumental)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

Forget that it came out of my mouth

Your paradigm kisses

This isn't the same song as the single I talked about yesterday, but it's still great.

Nonpareil of Favor - Of Montreal
Nonpareil of Favor - Of Montreal

Thursday, September 4, 2008

In my eagle-shaped mirror

So the new Of Montreal single wasn't released conventionally. I couldn't just by the one vinyl copy. I had to buy three copies, each on a different colored vinyl. And I don't know what to do with the other two copies. The other thing I forgot about Polyvinyl Records is that they put an Airheads candy in each order they ship! Saweet!

Photo 3

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

There's more than one

Classes have started again. I'm not busy yet, but I will be soon. Even so, I haven't done any knitting in over a week now. I haven't even unpacked the projects I brought with me when I went to visit my parents. Even without seeing them, just knowing that I have unfinished objects makes me feel guilty. In other news though, eMusic treated me well this month. I downloaded "All Is Well" by Samamidon, and it is quite fantastic. eMusic says that if you like Chris Bathgate you'd like this guy.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I try not to cry over spilt beer

I'm back in Maine, and it feels great. I bought things I didn't need today. I now have my first full-length record that I don't have in digital form. It was one of those things that just catches your eye, the limited edition of "When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold" by Atmosphere on yellow vinyl. So it's been a vinyl listening day today. I also picked up "Tallahassee" by The Mountain Goats, and on my first visit to the record store in Orono, I got "Tourists" by A Prairie Home Companion and "6 and 12-string Guitar" and "Timesteps" by Leo Kottke. Totally unnecessary, but totally worth it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

All the same to you

Michigan. Great Lakes, great times. 70 mph highway speed limits. Bell's Oberon. Wishing I had enough time to take I-75 North, across the bridge.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I will remember your name and face

I had a nice talk with my mother earlier this week. I found out the things that make life fantastic, the stuff you always want to know but don't necessarily ever find out. Like how my parents didn't use the upstairs of their house when they first got it. How my crib was in what is now the dining room. How their furniture consisted of lawn chairs until my dad's birthday when my mom got him a recliner as a present. That their kitchen table was a wooden plank picnic table. This is the stuff that makes me smile, the history that I care about.

I bet going home next week will feel a little bit different now.

But before that happens, I will be attending my first ever knitting class this Saturday at Fiberphilia! We'll be spending the day knitting and felting to create Lovikka mittens. I'm really hoping that we make it all the way through to the embroidered cuff. At any rate I'll end the day with some wonderfully warm mittens for this upcoming winter for either myself or someone with similarly sized hands.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Immediate action

I feel like I've been knitting up a storm lately. I finally broke down and took some pictures this evening. First up is "Francie" from Rebekkah Kerner at Bowerbird Knits. I saw this on the Yarn Harlot blog and just had to do it myself. These knit fairly quickly and was plenty enough to keep my attention. This was my first time using bamboo needles and I think they really helped me with my gauge. I knit terribly tight, so much that when I'm using metal needles small enough I bend them. Bamboo doesn't bend though, it breaks, and I did manage to make it through without breaking a needle. A success then!

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I then started another Rebekkah Kerner design, "Salto". I had been working on the Gentlemen's Socks With Lozenge Pattern from "Knitting Vintage Socks" in the Noro Kureyon Sock yarn but the purl pattern was boring me to shreds. I had been working on the one sock for months, on size zero needles, and couldn't imagine finishing the one, let alone getting through a second sock. And then there was the solution, CABLES! And "Salto" is full of them. Noro sock yarn is my favorite yarn to knit with, how it goes thick and thin, and of course the colors. I'm nearly through with the first sock, and after this many cables, I really would like to go back and knit the Koolhaas hat again now that I have a better idea of how cables work.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?

Marie and I were discussing the fact that neither of us has written anything in quite a while, so we set ourselves a poetry assignment. I dug out my copy of "The Practice Of Poetry" and picked out the task of "letter poems". We are giving ourselves one week to complete this. Feel free to try it yourself.

Letter poems instruction - page 1
page 2
page 3

Monday, July 7, 2008

And we will become a happy ending

I feel totally ruled by entertainment lately. I've watched the season finale of Doctor Who once a day since it aired on Saturday. I made it through the first three seasons of Scrubs again. I did my eMusic thing and got an album from Deastro. I felt ready to declare this the summer of Page France, but now my musical mood is shifting towards David Thomas Broughton. I bought physical copies of two Songs: Ohia cds that I previously could only listen to on my computer thanks to the iTunes store. "Person Pitch" by Panda Bear joined my vinyl collection. Knitting has gone by the wayside, but I've been playing tennis, so I guess that's something. Oh, and the Fourth was all beer and burgers and friends and fireworks! Like this:

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Friday, June 20, 2008

I gotta get down

I did one of those things that probably spells doom for all the other books I'm reading right now. I listened to "Workingman's Dead" by the Grateful Dead, and now I have to start reading "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" by Tom Wolfe. I suppose I'm okay with this, even though I'm mostly through rereading "Dharma Bums" by Kerouac right now and got "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas" by Hunter S. Thompson in the mail just a little bit ago...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fire in the hole

This actually sounds like science.

BBC News - Scans see "gay brain differences"

I'd rather walk than run

Herman Düne stopped by the good old folks at Daytrotter and this is what happened.

Herman Düne - Daytrotter Session

Sunday, June 15, 2008

We don't believe it

I've been watching the latest BBC Earth series, the last episode of which was essentially a wrap up of the previous episodes with the introduction of Rare Earth Theory. The series concluded by looking at how the Earth has responded to various catastrophic events throughout its existence with the conclusion that the Earth can take care of itself, and what we have to do is save us from ourselves. I know that this is entirely obvious, but sometimes when things are explicitly spelled out, they hit a little bit harder. The other thing I always think about when I watch things about the geological, astronomical, and biological history of the Earth is the existence of a god or gods. And when I got to my computer now, just after the final moments of this series, I was greeted with this new comic:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pulse

"LP" by Holy Fuck is certainly a great album to run while listening to. It's all synth-thumpy and driving. The only problem is that during my jog/walk I only made it a third of the way through the album before my legs said it was enough.

Holy Fuck on Daytrotter

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hammer down

If you use Flickr, then this looks to be a pretty neat program. DestroyFlickr

Rain delay

This video is great. Probably not safe for work, because it's what the black bars do that makes this interesting.

The BPA "Toe Jam"

Friday, June 6, 2008

Lights on the stereo gather 'round you

A Softer World has some of the most profound and funny strips.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I'll see you when the sun sets East

I was reading the recent Pitchfork interview with Why?, listening to Sufjan Stevens, Yoni Wolf mentioning Eminem and Joanna Newsom in practically the same breath, and I could tell as "Detroit" started playing on my iPod that it didn't fit right. I'll get back to "Michigan" after "Alopecia" is over.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sexy lady on the floor

I had my first encounter with Bollywood tonight. The film was Dhoom:2 and it was amazing. It's an epic film, the story of a criminal mastermind (and master of disguise) and the cops who are after him. It was filled with action, drama, comedy, a love story, musical numbers, and special effects. That soundtrack! I actually found the best thing to listen to after that movie, and it turned out to be mashups from thehoodinternet.com. The film was mostly in Hindi, but there were often phrases, or sometimes just single words in the middle of a phrase in English. Overall, this movie was grossly over-the-top, but I loved it.

Dhoom:2 Trailer

This is the first musical number. The criminal mastermind is the one in the wife beater and green scarf.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gobbledigook

I don't know if I can anticipate an album more than the upcoming release from Sigur Rós. They managed to just let it sneak in there too. The release date for "með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust" is June 23 in the US, but the album begins streaming online from www.sigurros.com on June 9th. Right now you can head over there and download the first single, "Gobbledigook", and watch the music video for it, which is very not safe for work! I'd say that it is very much worth your time.

Monday, May 26, 2008

An ill-kept front yard

I have to say that I was surprised this morning. I generally stay on top of what's coming up on Daytrotter, but this Mountain Goats session caught me unawares. That's not to say it wasn't a pleasant surprise. :-)

The Mountain Goats - Daytrotter Session Encore

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Get your head in the game.

I just finished watching High School Musical. I wouldn't say that it's the best movie ever, but it's definitely in the top 10.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the lips

I'm easily influenced by pop culture. I seek out music that I read about in books. I search out books that get mentioned in songs. I think it's great that at one point Ander Monson and I were using the same toothpaste. So, when I find the song "Rye" by Lullaby For The Working Class, and it's a song that I really dig, I had to get myself a bottle of rye whiskey. It ended up being a bottle of Jim Beam Rye. And it gets a thumbs up.

Lullaby for the Working Class - Rye
"We'll just wash it down with rye."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What would you yell into your well?

The Internet is filled with amazing things, like YOUNGME - NOWME, a project that is collecting photos of submitters at a young age and comparing them to pictures of them now, generally in the same pose. Check it out.

In knitting related interests, I've started three projects since I last mentioned anything. I started a ribbed sock, a scarf knit on a bias, and a twisted rib watchcap. The sock has become my traveling project, and the cap is now my watching-Pistons-basketball-on-TV project, mostly because it is on circular needles and has a simple pattern, so that when the game comes back from commercials I can just put it down. I also started to teach myself to knit English style, just for shits and giggles.

P.S. Smog shouldn't have written so much great music. "Knock Knock" is probably my favorite album of all-time, and I just got "Red Apple Falls" and "A River Ain't Too Much To Love" and am just smitten. And the only reason I bought those was because Amazon had "Sun Giant" by Fleet Foxes on sale for 3 dollars and I was damn well not going to pay as much for shipping as I would for the cd, so I aimed for the $25 free shipping mark. "Sun Giant" is better than I expected, which means that it is great.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Antennas to Heaven

I think one of the best feelings in the world is to listen to the first song off an album and fall completely for it such that by the time it is over you have to wonder why you waited so long to listen to it. I did it for "HLLLYH" by The Mae Shi and today it was done by "Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven" by godspeed you! black emperor. The only reason I even have that album is because of eMusic, and how you get so many downloads per month, and how when downloading albums you always end up with a handful of downloads left, and how gy!be albums are only 4 songs long, so you download two songs this month and two the month before that, and now you have 80 minutes of captivating music that was otherwise absent from your life because 30 second snippets don't do this band any justice but you decide to download them anyway because what else are you going to do with those two leftover downloads this month.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Like genuinely afraid

Remember when John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats had a guest spot on an Aesop Rock song? Well he gave Aesop Rock free reign over his song "Lovecraft In Brooklyn" and this is what happened.


The Mountain Goats - "Lovecraft In Brooklyn (Aesop Rock remix)"

Sunday, May 4, 2008

silent like the wind

The singer for Future Islands is Jack Black co-incarnate and I was rarely over two feet from Dan Deacon's light panel and trippy green skull. I was the last participant in the dance contest (sassy as fuck) and ended up with no competitor so I ended up becoming the start of a dance gauntlet. The concert ended two hours ago and my ears are still ringing and I will be so sore tomorrow from dancing for almost two hours straight. But I know I will not be sorry. "Spiderman of the Rings" will be spinning on my record player tomorrow. Motherfucking Dan Deacon, motherfucker.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It's about time I got out of PA


The Gunshy: Daytrotter Session

When my first exposure to a band is in concert, assuming that I find it enjoyable, usually accords them a special place in my heart. That is the case with The Gunshy. He made the trek to Houghton, MI twice, which at the time was extraordinary. Both shows were solo, acoustic affairs, with awkward stage banter, and I think that is how I will always prefer him, but the full band arrangements here are pretty alright with me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm working on my backwards walk.

5 Steps to a good day.

1. Drop off graded lab notebooks.
2. Work on Statistical Mechanics assignment (due Friday) for five hours so that it is nearly finished.
3. Pick up "Midnight Organ Fight" by Frightened Rabbit at the local record store.
4. Play it very loudly on the stereo.
5. Wonder if it is possible to stop listening to it...

Frightened Rabbit: MYSPACE

Monday, April 21, 2008

Black sheep boy

Pitchfork TV is presenting the Ultimate Reality DVD by Dan Deacon & Jimmy Joe Roche all week. I haven't watched it yet, but I'm sure it is awesome. Go check it out.

Ultimate Reality DVD - Chapter One

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Safety is a word that I've learned

I've been restless lately. In Houghton that was okay. I'd just head out for a walk. I don't feel quite as safe walking around here at night. So I drive to Walmart with a craving for Jones Soda and chips.

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Yum!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Do what you love



Happy Record Store Day! Organized by a collection of independent record stores, today is the first ever Record Store Day. This meant in-store performances across the country, crazy deals, and freebies. The quality of the in-store performances depend on where in the country you are. Being in Maine, I wasn't expecting much, so I didn't even try to be around for the show. I did stop by this morning to collect a free 7" from Merge Records featuring Destroyer, with Wye Oak on the B Side.

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I picked up tickets for the Dan Deacon concert, as well as the "Matchbook Seeks Maniac" 7-inch by Deerhoof. This started a series of singles listening this afternoon, including Panda Bear and Of Montreal. I'm very very very glad I own a record player.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

From around here

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I made it to my first band concert tonight since being at UMaine. It's not often that I've sat in the audience during a band concert, and I hope to keep it that way. I plan on trying out for the Symphonic Band next fall. Assuming I make it in, this will be the first really good ensemble that I've been in. The Wind Symphony at Michigan Tech was okay, but definitely has their faults. I'm not saying that the UMaine Symphonic Band doesn't, just that they are better. The only problem is that I've talked a big game, like I was positive that I would get in upon auditioning. I am not sure if I will be good enough to make it, so I definitely plan on practicing this summer. Actually, I plan on practicing tomorrow even. My clarinet hasn't been out of its case since last semester, and I know I will have time late tomorrow afternoon. I have to start again sometime, so I should definitely do it when I'm inspired.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

And they call it puppy love



There are some things that I feel should not exist. This falls into that category: Celtic Thunder, essentially a touring Celtic boy band with members ranging in age from 14 to 29. I saw a commercial for their cd this afternoon and had to cringe. The following video featuring the youngest member of the group is really the most horrible thing I can imagine. So please watch it.

The bees' knees



I'm more and more excited about the Dan Deacon show with each passing day. I found the above video on the Facebook event page for the concert. And I unfortunately found it right before I wanted to go to bed. I have a feeling that no matter how hard I try I couldn't fall asleep while listening to "Spiderman of the Rings"...

I only played chess once in my life and I lost

News from my backyard:
http://www.sunjournal.com/story/261229-3/Franklin/Flag_project_hits_nerve/

Social experiments are neat.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I sewed them into a sail and left

I decided to treat myself with my income tax refund and ended up getting myself a new digital camera, the Nikon Coolpix P60. It is truly a step above any digital camera I've ever had. There are two programmable modes, one which allows me to change the exposure and the camera changes the aperture and shutter speed accordingly, and one which allows me to choose the aperture setting and the shutter speed. It has vibration reduction and an electronic viewfinder in addition to the large LCD screen. It also gives me the option of taking up to 8MP pictures in standard size, 35mm ratio, and widescreen. And of course the only things that I really have to take pictures of lately are my knitting projects, plus one of the most useless things that I've ever purchased.

These are the first Noro socks that I finished.
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And these are the Noro socks that I am currently working on:
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I really really like how this pattern (Gentlemen's sock with lozenge pattern from "Knitting Vintage Socks") works with this yarn. Unfortunately, my fears were true and my first attempt was definitely too big. I plan on doing one less repeat of the lozenge pattern and going up one needle size. I'm sure that will do it.

I managed to catch the end of the last Woot-Off and bought myself a Woot screaming monkey!
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I did my best to take a picture so that it looked like it was flying.

I made one of my best music purchases of the year last week, the latest album from The Mae Shi, "HLLLYH". I listened to the first song and just was blown away. I can't say that the rest of the album disappoints either. I'm not the biggest fan of their earlier material, though I do enjoy that too, but this is just a step up for them. Originally I thought that the religious undertones of the album would put me off --I avoid Christian rock like the plague-- but this, along with "Rise Above" by Dirty Projectors have been getting serious amounts of playtime lately.

I got the best ever music related news this weekend. DAN DEACON IS PLAYING IN ORONO ON MAY 3! I don't know how to explain just how awesome this is. I told the good news to my office this morning and got empty stares. I do have one officemate who knows who Dan Deacon is though. After this concert/dance party, Sigur Ros and Kimya Dawson will be the only acts on my "must see before I die" list.

Dan Deacon - "Crystal Cat"

Sunday, April 6, 2008

There is no sorry to be sorry for

Little has been accomplished today, well not much that signifies accomplishment to the average person anyway. I restarted the Gentlemen’s sock with lozenge pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks using the Noro Kureyon sock yarn that I had leftover from my fingerless mittens. I got past the cuff this morning and I definitely think the thick stripes in this yarn will stand up better to the pattern than the hand-painted I was trying earlier.

The only other accomplishment I had today was reading the entirety of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s new book, Things I Learned From Knitting... Whether I Wanted To Or Not. As an avid reader of her blog, I have a feeling it was her retelling of an unfortunate (but humorous because it wasn’t me) morning that reminded me to get to the bookstore. It was a quick read, but full of the wit, humor and honesty that makes her such an endearing character (at least from a knitter’s point of view).

Of musical note, I can totally see myself becoming a Dirty Projectors fan. Great great vocals. And I rediscovered Apparat Organ Quartet and why they are my second favorite band from Iceland.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I froze my hand, broke my fingers off, gave them to my friends

I think that I'm going to have to downgrade my eMusic subscription. This was the toughest time I've had filling all the downloads. That is said even with the swanky new in-browser song previews they have. This looks to be one of my best hauls yet though. (I hope I don't say that every month.)

"No It Cat Oh!" by My Robot Friend: I got this mostly because it has a new version of his song "Walt Whitman" on it.

"Rise Above" by Dirty Projectors: So much hype, and Nat Baldwin plays/played? bass for them.

"Lost Notes From Forgotten Songs" by The Six Parts Seven: Their usual instrumentals get some vocal treatment from many sources, including Will Johnson of Centro-Matic, Sam Beam of Iron & Wine, and Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse.

"Street Horrrsing" by Fuck Buttons: I liked the previews, I like the idea.

"Vuvuvu" by MSTRKRFT: This is just one song. I read an interview about this at one point, how a member of Justice said that MSTRKRFT's music sounded like "vuvuvuvu", and this song was named.

"[Everywhere][And Right Here]" by The Six Parts Seven: I've been hella digging slow shit lately.

"Things We Lost In the Fire" by Low: Until I can no longer read about it in blogs or find out on Facebook, I will be tied to the musical happenings of Houghton, MI. Low recently played at Keweenawesomefest 2. I bought "Drums and Guns" preemptively and dug the hell out of that. Now I have more.

"Ghost Tropic" by Songs: Ohia: Because there is always room for Jason Molina.

"On Avery Island" by Neutral Milk Hotel: I had twelve downloads left, this was twelve songs long. It had been in my save-for-later list basically since I opened my eMusic account. Plus it is NMH. End of story.

And earlier in the week I downloaded the new EP from Mason Proper, "Shorthand", and was over-excited to hear the song "Friendship" which I particularly remembered from Keweenawesomefest last year. It's echos of "I froze my hand, broke my fingers off, gave them to my friends..." are something you don't forget easily.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bite my shiny metal ass

Having spent the last three or so days in bed, I can tell you that there are occasionally good things about being decently sick. Like you feel less guilty to treating yourself to season one of Futurama on DVD (and the most recent Low album because they were playing at your old campus that night). And that it is perfectly acceptable to do nothing but sit in bed all day, watch TV, play DS, and nap. You can't even feel guilty about not being in class or working on homework. I'm sure I had thought up more good things, but I'm blanking on them now.

I went to the walk-in clinic on Saturday morning to find out I don't have strep throat, which means either another bacteria is responsible or it is viral. I'm really hoping it isn't mono. I did come away from that visit with a seven day prescription for Super Motrin, which is really helping me feel more normal. Knitting is even too taxing on my brain lately. I hope this is over soon.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Billy The Kid did what he did and he died

I woke up only to find myself pretty excited after I checked my blog reader to find out that Michigan-based band Mason Proper were the stars of today's Daytrotter session. Three of the songs are unreleased and one is coming out on their upcoming video EP due out next Tuesday.

Daytrotter.com - Mason Proper


And yesterday, I found out that the Centro-matic / South San Gabriel double album "Dual Hawks" is out on April 8. The two bands each supply a disc of material, South San Gabriel should be providing the softer side, while Centro-matic brings the hard-rocking Americana. Be aware that this is the only distinction between the two bands, as they both share generally the same cast and are both led by Will Johnson. I have said at times that South San Gabriel/Will Johnson/Centro-matic are my new Songs: Ohia/Jason Molina/Magnolia Electric Co., and after this is released I'm sure they will be again for a few months.
Centro-matic - I, The Kite

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

This is what you get

Some things are always nice. My parents did a particularly good job with my Easter Box this year: Cadbury Creme Eggs, Hershey's Special Dark Eggs, Green Peeps, Meijer brand jelly beans (because Starburst jelly beans have green apple instead of lime), Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs, and the required milk chocolate bunny (which I probably have ended up throwing away every year). I have to remember to call them later.

Easter Box 2008

Fingerless mittens!

DSCN3753

They have been done for about a week now. The second one had quite a bit more purple in it than I was expecting. I also think I cast off a bit too loosely on it. I have a whole bunch of this skein left, so I will probably make at least another pair with a different rib pattern across the top. I'm going to finish my Noro socks first though!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I wasn't much to look at then

The letter of the day is D thanks to new albums by Destroyer and The Dodos. This means that I am grading at home this afternoon and listening to music.

Edit: Only I didn't end up listening to them. I can't seem to stop listening to Chris Bathgate Live @ Wads Annex 2006.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The stupidest thing

It's been a long time since I've updated. I've just been busy. :-) I finished the first of my socks using the Noro Kureyon sock yarn, and yesterday afternoon I finished the first of a pair of fingerless mittens using a different colorway of that same yarn.

DSCN3747

I started these as a spring break project because as I was knitting at Fiberphilia, my LYS, my hands were cold, and I really liked how this yarn was turning out as socks and thought it would be fantastic for them. It's a really simple improvised pattern, 60 stitches cast on size 2 needles, a 2x2 rib for the cuff, the Madder Rib pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks for the top of the mitts. So today when I really should be cleaning my apartment, I'll be knitting the other one and watching a bunch of NBA basketball.