Friday, September 30, 2011

FO Friday - 9/30/2011

My friend Amy had a baby boy the other day.  I made him a little something and took it to the hospital yesterday:

MK out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 9/27/2011 The Daily Grind

This week, Carole asks us to list Ten Things You Do Everyday.  Here's what happens with regularity between the times I wake up every morning and go to bed at night:

1.  Brush teeth - more than once throughout the day...
2.  Take medicines - fortunately, mostly vitamins...still...and at my age!
3.  Work out - I like to take a nice power walk
4.  Shower and get dressed 
5.  Read the paper - I scan the front page headlines and do a run through of the living/style/whatever-your-paper-calls-it section – especially my horrorscope (as I like to call it), the Lu Ann comic strip and Dear Abby (sometimes)
6.  Knit a little – it may just be a row or two, but something…
7.  Work a little on paper clutter
8.  Blogging – if I don’t write a post that day, I will at least check some of the blogs I follow
9.  Eat – at least two meals, I don’t always eat breakfast
10. Think about what to have for supper – note- I didn’t say what to make for supper, because lately, there hasn’t been as much cooking around here as before...

There are many days that, despite all the other chores and projects that are on the agenda, this list is all I get accomplished.  I feel pretty bummed out on those days.  I should look at it from a more positive point of view.  It still means the ironing may have not gotten done, but I did do something...

MK out.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Movie Monday - 9/26/2011

Another installment of Merry Karma movie comments:

I don’t think I ever commented about The Informant!  In it, Matt Damon plays a guy working for a large agricultural firm.  He becomes very well-versed in the company’s price-fixing conspiracy and then decides to report it to the FBI.  Unfortunately, his story and his loyalty keep changing, frustrating the FBI’s attempt to capture the “bad guys.”  At the end of the movie, the driving force for this behavior is revealed. Is it greed or something else? I had pretty much figured it out early on…see if you can.  Scott Bakula and Melanie Lynskey also star.

Our Idiot Brother isn’t a great movie, but it does have a sweet message.  Paul Rudd plays Ned, a very honest guy.  His honesty seems to get him into all sorts of trouble.  His mother and sisters, played by Shirley Knight, Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks and Emily Mortimer, are always bailing him out of his scrapes.  He may not be as idiotic as he seems…It was cute.  There were some funny parts.  It’s definitely a renter.

Reservoir Dogs put Quentin Tarantino on the map.  A group of thugs that are to use fake names are brought together by a big boss to commit a jewelry heist.  We see what happens before and after the botched attempt.  There is some flashing back. It was disgustingly graphic in places.  Many good actors are in it:  Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Lawrence Tierney and even Quentin himself.  Despite that, I would’ve been okay not ever seeing it.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole is based on a series of children’s books by Kathryn Lasky.  This animated feature is rated PG.  I think it is a good decision because the movie is dark and a little too violent for the younger kids.  It’s about bad owls and good owls.  Some owlets get kidnapped by the bad owls, escape and try to find the mythical good owls who can beat up on the bad ones once and for all.  Meh.

In Country Strong, Gwyneth Paltrow plays a country music star who has fallen on hard times.  Her husband is eager for her to get out of rehab and get her career back on track.  On the tour with them are a songwriter who happens to be her lover from rehab and a young rising star.  Tim McGraw, Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester also star. It was predictable and just okay.

MK out.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Like to Read

I used to read all the time.  If a book is really good and I want to get to the end to see what happens, I've been known to spend all day and night reading...ignoring housework, cooking, even (gasp!) bathing...

For the last several years, I've tried to limit my reading to about one book a month or so, because life is so hectic that I need to focus on the tasks at hand.  I go through many reading dry spells, too, when life gets too busy.

I have been on my once-a-month schedule lately.  In May, I read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.  I wanted to read it before I saw the movie.  I like to read a book before I see the movie, because books are generally better, and I feel I might ruin my reading experience in some way if I see the movie first. 

The book is set during the Depression.  The story begins with Jacob, a veterinary student who is near the end of his training.  He suddenly finds himself an orphan without any money.  He has to drop out of school and find a way to make a living.  He literally joins the circus.  He finds himself falling in love with the star of the top attraction, who is married to the cruel animal trainer.  Jacob has to fight for his life in his quest to get the girl. 

I really liked the book.  I thought the movie was an adequate adaptation, but the book is better.

MK out.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WIP Wednesday - 9/21/2011

Merry Karma knitting mojo report:  Still not too knitterly around here.

My concentration level these days is not where it needs to be to keep Aragorn's twisted stitches and mini cables from trying to fall off the needles...I have had to frog back one too many times.  Add to the fact that the dark yarn makes it difficult for night knitting - which is when I seem to have a minute to knit these days.  All that to say, the Aragorn socks are in time out for a few days.

I do feel the need to feel some yarn and pointy sticks in my hands.  It is comforting.  I looked through my queue on Ravelry, and Citron popped out at me; so, I cast on the other night.  I'm not very far yet, but here's a little (not very good) picture:

I am using yarn that I bought in Palm Harbor, Florida three or four years ago.  It is Anne by the Schaefer Yarn Company in a reddish-orange colorway.  I haven't decided if it is too orangy for me; so, it may end up being a gifty.  I am enjoying knitting it so far.  It is doing the trick.

MK out.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 9/20/2011 Extra! Extra! Read All About It!!!

That Carole, she came up with another good one...Ten Headlines from the Year You Were Born.

I'm going to let y'all figure out what year it was (and it was a long time ago), but here we go:
1.  TIBETIANS SITE RED AGAIN; Travelers Report Speed-Up of Communizing Efforts
2.  GHANAIAN LABOR HAS WORLD TIES; May Join Neutralist African Group, but Keep Link to Free Trade Unions
7.  40 WRITERS OUT IN MOVIE STRIKE; Members of Guild Fail to Report in Move Against 56 Independent Producers
8.  PARIS WOULD BAN A-BOMB CARRIERS; UN Hears Plan to Outlaw All Means for Delivery of Nuclear Weapons
9.  ELECTION REFORM BACKED BY HOFFA; Judge Approves Agreement With Monitors on Rules for Teamster Locals

It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  The world continues to be concerned with things such as armaments that threaten global annihilation  (the a-bomb v. nuclear missiles v. biological weapons) and the threat of a spread of a hostile ideology (the communists v. terrorists of many extremes).  Unions still play a role in our workforce (the teamsters v. the NBA and NFL, most recently). 

There have been changes's kind of sad that the US space shuttle era has ended and that our domestic auto industry is no longer the power it once was.

MK out.

Friday, September 16, 2011

FO Friday - 9/16/2011

The Merry Karma has lost her knitting mojo in the last couple of weeks.  There wasn't a problem in the project planning department - just in the execution of the plan department.

I do have some FOs to share that were completed in August...

Better late than never - the June 2011 Socks:

I used Lorna's Laces in Flamingo Stripe on two 2.0mm circulars.  I knit them cuff-down, starting with a picot edging, did short-row heels and a what I call a regular toe...nothing fancy, just plain vanilla.  I need to practice my short-row heels, because I tried not to strangle my stitches with the wraps, as Lucy Neatby once pointed out I was doing, and I think they turned out too loose.  I may not have to worry about it, since I think I found a great way to do short-row heels...

May I present the (Christmas in) July 2011 Socks:

They are also in a plain vanilla stockinette pattern.  Using two 2.0mm circulars, and Lone Star Arts Fusion, I did a modified Turkish cast-on toe, worked Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel (OMG - it is so easy and I liked the way it made the socks look like peppermint candy!)  I continued up the leg in stockinette and finished up with Cat's Cable-Top bind-off.  I think they turned out cute.

MK out.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 9/13/2011 Weekly Expenditures

Goodness...Carole came up with a toughy this week - Ten Things You Buy Every Week.

My post should  be titled Three on Tuesday, because I am stumped! The things I buy weekly with any consistency are:
1.  groceries - because even if I'm not cooking much these days, there needs to be something around this house to eat in case we decide not to go out.
2.  gas - because I am a flighty person by nature...I don't like to stay in one spot for too long.
3.  a decaf vanilla latte - at this great locally owned coffee shop near my house, where I go weekly to collect my thoughts, people watch and pretend that I am somebody.

Since I feel as if I am shorting y'all a bit, here's a sneak peak of the socks currently on the needles:

MK out.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Movie Monday - 9/12/2011

I watched a few flicks:

Never Let Me Go is a haunting science fiction drama about cloning humans for the express purpose of organ harvesting.  It doesn’t get into the legal or ethical dilemmas involved, and neither will I.  Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightly and Andrew Garfield star as three such clones.  The movie first shows the trio growing up in a secluded, private school.  When they get older, they figure out what is going on.  Of course, human qualities have not been knocked out of their genetic material, but they do seem to be resigned to their fates.  This movie was adapted from the novel of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro.  It was really good.

Rick Riordan authored a fantasy book series about the ancient gods. Percy Jackson & the Olympians:  The Lightning Thief is an adaptation of one of the stories.  Percy finds out he is the son of Poseidon.  When Zeus’ lightning is stolen, he has to rise to the challenge of bringing it back.  Uma Thurman, Catherine Keener, Melina Kanakaredis, Kevin McKidd, Steve Coogan, Rosario Dawson and Pierce Brosnan are among the host of actors in this movie.  It was cute.

In Ondine, Colin Ferrell plays Syracuse, a divorced father with a prior drinking problem, who fishes for a living.  One day, he brings up a woman in his net.  Is she a selkie or is there a rational explanation for the luck she brings him?  His daughter Annie needs a kidney transplant, and is leaning towards the magical explanation.   I thought it was a very good movie, but the heavy Irish accents were difficult to understand.

Director Nick Broomfield’s documentary Biggie and Tupac, alleges corrupt LAPD officers were involved in the deaths of these two talented rapsters.  Broomfield walks around interviewing people with his camera man not far behind.  There’s some concert and other footage of the stars when they were alive.  It was really interesting.  In the eight or nine years since this documentary was filmed, I wonder if more investigation into these senseless deaths has been made...

MK out.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I Meant to Post Yesterday...

...Really, I did.  Life kind of got in the way...that's neither here nor there...

I had to have airplane knitting on our trip last weekend.  I wanted something that didn't need charts or books or, I grabbed up all the little balls of Reynolds Cabana that I had left and my trusty Boye US 6 circulars and made a couple of little somethings:

Here's another view:

Now, I am done with all that yarn!

Hope y'all are having a good weekend...

MK out.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 9/06/2011 Ready, Set, Knit!

Ten Things I Want to Knit This Fall/Winter:
1.   Doppleganger socks
2.   An Ishbel shawl
3.   A baby afghan for a special little one...pattern not yet determined.
4.   Impressionisme socks
5.   Pillars socks
6.   A Flourish shawl
7.   A Baby Surprise Jacket - because I haven't ever made one yet.
8.   A Shoulder Shawl
9.   An Equinox Top
10.  A Citron shawl

As you can see from this list, the season does not really inspire the item I want to knit.  You may have been expecting hats, mitts, scarves and sweaters...but no.  I listen to my stash - it tells me what I want to make next.  Of course, lists are subject to change...

If you want to participate in this week's ToT, go here.

MK out.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Movie Monday - 9/05/2011

Not much movie watching this past week:

Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, Ian McShane and Geoffrey Rush star in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.  Captain Jack Sparrow is forced to find the Fountain of Youth after being hoodwinked onto Blackbeard's ship.  It was not the best effort of this series.

They remade 1984's The Karate Kid, but this time, Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan star as the pupil and teacher.  Dre Parker and his mom move to China from Detroit.  He is harassed by the class bully, who happens to be very good in kung fu.  The maintenance man comes to his rescue by teaching him the secret to succeeding in the martial arts.  It was cute. 

The 400 Blows is an old black-n-white (subtitled) French movie from 1959. It is thought to be one of the founding films of the French New Wave. It is said to be based on the director's early life.  In it, Antoine is a young teenager who is misunderstood and typecast by his teacher and fairly ignored by this parents.  He spends most of the movie either skipping school or running away from home.  He resorts to petty crime. At their wits end, his parents turn him over to law enforcement.  He ends up in a juvenile detention facility, and ultimately runs away from there. I liked it.

There was some baseball watching.  Notice where our group sat:

In June (the birth month of The Husb), a trip to Boston to watch the Rangers play the Sox in Fenway Park was arranged.  It was supposed to be part of an RV trip that would have included stops in Vermont, Maine, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  Unfortunately, situations at home prevented an extended amount of time away; so, we flew to Boston just for the games.

The Rangers won Friday night, 11-0.

On Saturday morning, we had a little tour of Fenway.  We went inside the Green Monsta':

The group spent a little time with Michael Young:

We watched a little batting practice:

We were acknowleged on the Jumbotron:

Unfortunately, the Rangers lost that game, 7-11.

They did come back and win on Sunday, 11-4.  We watched that game at the airport...our flight was a little delayed.

MK out.

Friday, September 2, 2011

FO Friday - 9/1/2011

Not one...

Not two...

but three FOs!!!

First, we have the one that has been on the needles the longest....The Baby Scrap Afghan!  I started it in January and finished it in July - except for the trimming and tying of the fringe knots more securely.  I did the trimming last night.  It looks pretty straight to me:

Second, here's the Little Man Sweater for a special little boy I know.  I started it in June and finished all the knitting in July.  It just needed buttons and the ends woven in:

Finally, I made a Little Poncho from start to finish (of the knitting) in July.  I wove in the ends last week.  I made it entirely out of scraps of the Reynolds Cabana I had bought once upon a time because it was a good deal. 

Someday, I will show you all the projects that I made using this yarn.

I can be such a procrastinator...I don't know why I cannot just sit down and finish something completely and then move on.  I think I get startitis and neglect WIPs, or I get getoverititis on certain projects and set them aside.

Anyway, I have a little over half of a ball of this stuff in black, and little tiny balls in other colors.  I see a couple of little hats in my future...Maybe...

MK out.