Tuesday, January 22, 2008

And the Nominees Are...

The Oscar nominations were announced today. I live for it, in case you don't already know. There were some surprises, but I am pleased with most of the nominations. If you want to read more about it, you can go here.

I still have to see The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Gone Baby Gone, I'm Not There, In the Valley of Elah, There Will Be Blood. Luckily, most will be coming out on video soon. I don't know if I will get to see I'm Not There, though. It is not supposed to come out on video until April - after the Oscars are awarded on February 24th. Hmmmm.....What to do?

Merry Karma out.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I Partied With a Rock Star

...in the knitting world, that is.

One of my favorite LYSs, The Woolie Ewe, hosted Louisa Harding yesterday for two classes. It was way cool! I met Louisa last June, the last time she appeared at The Ewe...and I just know she remembered me.

I started my day with a pedicure at the Coldwater Creek Spa. I cannot say enough about this place, nor the pedicure. It was hands (or would it be feet?) down, the best pedicure I have ever had. You should go. They swaddle you in this chair with a warm neck roll around your shoulders and lay you back and do your feet. It was heaven. I was feeling so hot and sassy - except for the fact that my toes were freezing. I did remember to pack my pedi socks; so, the rest of my feet were warm....but I digress.

I had my car packed for the day. The aforementioned pedi socks, flip flops, purse, and camera in said purse, ready to document my being in the presence of Lady Louisa. She's a loyal subject of the Queen - you know the one - and had flown to the US to attend the TNNA Conference out in California. The last six days have been spent flying closer to England, but making stops at a different yarn shop along the way.

I arrive, say hello to some people I know, take my seat, get situated and decide - after Louisa got us started and I had reached my stopping point - to get up and take a few pictures for the blog. Um...I had the camera...but the battery was dead.

Merry Karma was not amused.

Luckily, and thank the Lord for modern conveniences...my phone has a camera. So, I will leave you with a few pics. Sorry about the quality, but at least you can get the idea.

Here she is...Louisa Harding.

The students were working hard.

Here is one of our lovely hostesses, Sue. I caught her by surprise.

My friends - Tasha in the very back wearing her Central Park hoodie, and Liz on the left in red.

So - a good time was had by all.

Merry Karma out.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ima So Saaad!

Those Cowboys had the Super Bowl in the palms of their hands, but it appears that it just wasn't meant to be...

I still am in a little bit of shock, but I at least can talk about it today. Sunday night, I did not want to listen or watch any post-game shows. I did catch a glimpse of TO crying as I walked past the den, at one point, and all I could think was, "Me too, Buddy...me too."

The physician dining rooms were silent in both hospitals yesterday. Why, on the last several Mondays, you could always find someone discussing the previous day's great plays, or hear about tickets for the Super Bowl being purchased, etc. Yep, yesterday, it was v.e.r.y.q.u.i.e.t.

Hopefully, we won't be hearing about how Romo should not have taken that trip to Cabo with Jessica for the next seven months....

Merry Karma out.

Monday, January 14, 2008

It's Just a Manic Movie Monday

This post is all about the movies!!! Before I get to that, did anyone watch the NBC presentation of the Golden Globes last night? I did not, but I don't suppose anyone missed much, as the paper gave it a poor review today. What, without the red carpet hooplah, and actors not getting all dressed up and sparkly - who cares? Seriously, it wasn't exactly well promoted. What advertiser would want to spend millions on spots announcing a show that was more of a non show? I hope this writer's strike gets resolved before the Oscars....Now, that would be a real shame not to have an Oscars ceremony...

The Secret Life of Words is a video that I really liked. Tim Robbins is in this movie. He’s such a good actor. Anyway, Hannah (Sarah Polley) is a very introverted factory worker who has never taken off any time from work. Her boss makes her go on a month-long vacation, and she happens upon a situation that results in her spending her time off on an oil rig taking care of an injured man (Robbins). It’s a character driven story. I thought it was pretty good.

I watched The Libertine, with Johnny Depp, Samantha Morton and John Malkovich. Depp plays John Wilmot, the Second Earl of Rochester, who lived in the late 1600s in this story based on fact. Wilmot, an author and poet, is an unlikable character. He was rather a sex addict. His father was very loyal to Charles II, but did not live to see the Restoration. In honor of that loyalty, Charles awarded monetary support to Wilmot. Unfortunately, Wilmot penned and produced a satirical play about Charles and fell out of favor with the King. He fell into illness and depression and succumbed to syphilis at a rather young age. Karma, as they say, is a bitch.

Paris, Je T’aime is a collection of 18 vignettes, each set in a different part of Paris. Each have been directed by different people (big name directors) and have different actors starring in them. Some were good, some were not so good. Some were poignant, some stupid and some without point. Lots of good actors involved – Fanny Ardant, Juliette Binoche, William DeFoe, Steve Buscemi, Nick Nolte, Gena Rowlands, Natalie Portman, Elijah Wood – just to name a few.

Deck the Halls, starring Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito, was okay. It is a Christmas movie, about a couple of neighbors who try to outdo each other with the decorations. There were some funny parts, and it is a season-appropriate film, but I am definitely glad that I watched it on DVD and not in the movie theater.

Atonement won the Golden Globe for Best Picture in the drama category. It was good, but I'm not really sure if it was Best Picture good. Anyway, Kiera Knightley (Cecilia) and James McAvoy (Robbie) star in this period piece set in England before and during WWII. Briony, Cecilia’s little sister, witnesses something that she misinterprets. It ends up destroying some lives. That actress playing the youngest Briony is really good. I really liked this movie. My only complaint was that they could have cut out about 30 minutes of the war stuff, because it really dragged some there, but…what the hey…I had nothing better to do.

Merry Karma out.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

FO Saturday?

I really did try to have an FO Friday post yesterday, but I was having serious connection issues...

So.....(drumroll please)........

Here is my FO for the week:

The carseat blanky is drying on the blocking pad.

Recipe: I used this pattern .
I did not want to go back and knit a border afterwards; so, I CO 63 stitches and did 4 rows of garter. I kept the first 3 and last 3 stitches for a garter border and the worked the pattern with the stitches in the middle. I ended with 4 rows of garter.
Needles: size 13US
Yarn: 2 balls of Cabana by Reynolds
Finished measurements: 21X24 inches.
Would I make it again?: Yes, but probably using different yarn. Cabana is fine for straight knitting or even an occasional K2tog, but it doesn't have much give. It feels a little stiff sometimes.

Now, seriously - did anyone watch Grey's and er the other night? It was so nice to see n.e.w.s.h.o.w.s. I wish that the powers that be hurry up and give the writer's their cut and get over it. People have bills to pay. The public has shows to watch...

On Grey's, I liked how we saw a different side of Hahn and Christina. Meredith wasn't as whiney as she usually is, but I am really tired of the back-and-forth, we're-on-we're-off stuff between Mer and Der. Meredith has issues, but really, so does Derrick. Hellooooo, Der - if you really love Meredith, and you really want to build a house for the two of you, and you really want to give her babies and grow old with her....Do you really need to go to dinner with Rose? I guess it is the drama that keeps us watching...

With that, dear internets, I will leave you

MK out.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

WIP Wednesday

So, I want to post more in order to not deprive the one person who reads my blog the scintillating details of my life and doings. I have not been very successful. I tried to think of a disciplined way to approach this matter. I thought about posting about movies on Manic Movies Monday, my progress on knitting projects on WIP Wednesday and my completed knitting projects on FO Friday, but here we are in the second week of the new year, and no such postings have appeared.

Coincidentally, the last week or so has been very hectic at work; so, I haven't had many opportunities in which to engage in any of the above actions to allow me to post about them.

I will tell you that I am on the sleeves of that pink sweater that was pictured on a previous post back in November...Gah! November! I plan to have finished it by this weekend and ready to mail off no later than Monday. (Yeah, ok....)

On that sweater that I started for the kid - I have completed the 2 1/2 inches of ribbing on the back and have switched to larger needles to keep going with that. I also, in an ADD-laden state, cast on for the front. There are charts involved with this pattern, and the plan is to knit one repeat of the large chart on the back and then get to that point on the front...and keep going like that. It's kind of like knitting the front and back pieces together, but separately...Don't ask.

So, no pictures today, because they take a boat load of time to upload just to see a whole lotta nothing or nothing very new.

Merry Karma out.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Smattering of Subjects

First, let's talk about the Dallas STARS. They've lost their last four games. The last two home games (New Year's Eve and today) were shut-outs. I'm so sad. My boys are in a slump.

Next up, I've seen a few movies...big surprise. I really should change careers, but then, I don't think I would enjoy watching movies as much if I had to do it.

Charlie Wilson’s War is a movie based on fact. It is set during the 1980’s when Russia was going over to Afghanistan and committing all manner of crimes, for no good reason. Charlie Wilson is a former US Congressman from Texas, who at the time commandeered appropriations to help the Afghans obtain weapons to fight back and eventually drive the Russians back home. Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Emily Blunt star in this funny little movie.Enchanted was enchanting. That Amy Adams is such a good actress. I first discovered her in Junebug, in which she played the pregnant sister-in-law to the main characters. She was so bubbly and cute and always positive. This role is similar, but I don’t think that she is just a one-dimensional actress. She was in Charlie Wilson’s War and did a mighty fine job, even though her role wasn’t that big. She plays the princess-hopeful in this movie that starts out as a cartoon. The Prince’s evil stepmother wants her out of the picture in order to keep her crown, for once the Prince marries, the new wife becomes the belle of the kingdom. Giselle (Adams) is tricked out of the kingdom and ends up in New York City. She is quite out of place….what, with her princess gown and all. A divorced dad and his daughter take her in until her Prince comes to rescue her. Patrick Dempsey, (who is a good actor, but mostly just looks good), Susan Sarandon, James Marsden and Timothy Spall also star. It was cute, cute, cute.

I really enjoyed The Savages, with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney. They play siblings who must place their father somewhere after he suddenly becomes without a place to live. It was a good story that was well acted.

What is Nicole Kidman thinking these days? Except for Golden Compass, which was pretty good, she has been in some real stinkers lately. Margot at the Wedding almost falls into the latter category. It has its amusing moments, but on the whole, it was not the movie I thought it was. Nicole’s character is a real bitch. She says some awful things to people – even to her own kid. Jennifer Jason Leigh (Pauline) plays her sister, who is about to marry Jack Black, a man whom Margot feels is beneath Pauline. I suppose, it one takes into account that Margot played an unlikable character well enough not to like, then she did a great acting job. The trailers have you believing that this movie is a clever little comedy about family relationships. Um...no....there's definitely darker subject matter.

What can I say about Sweeney Todd? I thought the story was good, it was well-acted – with Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman and Timothy Spall – and there was singing. Johnny Depp can sing…Who knew? The sets were great and the costuming was charming. (The knitted fingerless mitts are being discussed on many knitting blogs.) It really was entertaining, but it was really gory. I mean, come on – Do we have to see throat slitting and arterial blood spurting with each heartbeat over and over again? Seriously? Eww.

Finally, there's knitting! I have a couple of FOs:

I made these fingerless mitts for a friend for Christmas. I finished them after Christmas. Oops! I hope she will understand.

The recipe: I lost the ballband, but I think the yarn is Regia sock yarn. I caked it up into two balls that started at about the same place in the color sequence. Cast on 50 stitches. Set up a K2,P2 rib and knit for about 6 1/2 inches. I sewed up 1 1/2 inches from the top and 2 1/2 inches from the bottom, leaving a 2 1/2 inch opening for the thumb.

I finally finished this cap and bootie set for a firend's new baby.

The booties are
Saartje's Bootees. I used sz 2 needles for the booties and sz 4 for the cap.

Cap recipe: I used a pattern adapted from Rowan Babies named Lola pictured on page 17, instructions on page 69. CO 72 stitches with CC. Join in the round. Do 12 rows of garter (K 1 rnd, P 1 rnd). Change to MC and K every rnd until 5 inches from CO edge. Shape as follows: Rnd 1: K 10, K2tog across rnd. Rnd 2: K 9, K2tog across rnd. Rnd 3: K 8, K2tog across rnd. Rnd 4: K 7, K2tog across rnd. Rnd 5: K 6, K2tog across rnd. Rnd 6: K 5, K2tog across rnd. Rnd 7: K 4, K2tog across rnd. Rnd 8: K 3, K2tog across rnd. Rnd 9: K 2, K2tog across rnd. Rnd 10: K 1, K2tog across rnd. Rnd 11: K2tog across rnd. Cut off about an 8 inch tail and draw it through the remaining stitches. Weave in ends. I made the flower as written in the pattern on sz 5 needles.

The little carseat quilt that will accompany this gift is finished too. See?

I'm in the Stash Knit Down 2008 group on Ravelry. We started a challenge today - Knit a Mile in January. I started a sweater for the kid.

That's all folks!

Merry Karma out.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

There Are No Words

The STARS lost last night, but attending a STARS game is always entertaining.

Merry Karma out.