Monday, January 28, 2013

Movie Monday - 1/28/2013

I had been hearing about how violent Django Unchained is and I was a little nervous about seeing it.  Maybe I am desensitized these days, because I found the violence (and there is quite a bit) not gratuitous in the least.  In fact, quite a bit of it is justified in the context of the film. But then, that's what Quentin Tarantino is all about, in my humble opinion.  Jamie Foxx stars as Django (D-J-A-N-G-O...the D is silent), a freed slave who joins a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) in hunting down people wanted for various crimes, until he can rescue his wife from her cruel master.  Leonardo diCaprio, Don Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington also star.  I thought it was pretty entertaining.

Carnage is about two sets of parents who get together to work out an incident involving each couple's eleven-year-old son.  During an altercation at the park, one of the boys hit the other in the face with a stick.  In the course of the afternoon, polite and rational conversation disintegrates into blame-placing and name calling.  Better, the parents should have left the kids to work out the apologies on their own.  Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz star as the parents.  The acting was great.  Overall, the movie was alright.

In Persian with English sub-titles, A Separation, is the story of an Iranian couple trying to do the best thing for all the members in their family.  They want to leave the country in order for their eleven-year-old daughter to grow up in better surroundings.  The wife wants to leave now, but the husband wants to stay a little longer, as they are caring for his elderly with dementia father.  Even though they don't want to, they go to divorce court.  The husband hires a woman to care for his father.  There's an incident that claims a life. The story is more than the sum of its parts.  The film is a study on being Muslim in a modern world.  It is more complicated than one would assume.  I liked it.

MK out.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Movie Monday - 1/21/2013

Not having read anything about the movie in advance, while watching the beginning of Beasts of the Southern Wild, I thought the movie was set in a poor village in Africa.  It soon became apparent that it was the United States. When levees were mentioned, I knew that the movie was taking place on a small isolated island (that was more like a sandbar) called The Bathtub off the coast of New Orleans.  A group of people live on this island away from the rules of the establishment.  There's little Hushpuppy (played by the adorable Quvenzhane Wallis) and her alcoholic father Wink.  They are among the inhabitants who  hone their survival skills in wilds of The Bathtub.  The skills are tested when a big storm comes their way and floods the area.  I really liked this movie.

MK out.

Friday, January 18, 2013

FO Friday - 1/18/2013

I finished the Baby Blizzard Cardi:


Well, sort of.  I can't decide on the buttons.  I really don't want to go to the store to buy's all about using the stash right now, but I may have to.

I have black, green, orange, pink and red.  Which color do you like?

MK out.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WIP Wednesday - 1/16/2013

I only have three things OTN currently, and maybe there will be FOs to show soon.  Don't hold your breath, because I've been having issues...

I started the January socks on the 7th, and have not gotten past the ribbed cuff:


I've frogged back to the ribbing twice.  I don't know what the deal is, but doing socks TAAT while trying to follow a chart for a pattern that repeats every 26 rounds is too daunting at this time.  The pattern is Elderflower Wine.  I really like the pretty Plumberry Black Sheep Dyeworks Sock Weight.  My LSSK Secret Santa/Sister gave it to me in our swap this year.

The Loopy Ewe is holding their First Quarter Challenge currently.  The rules are to make a project that uses one skein of yarn and has cables in the design.  Since I am cold sheeping until DFW Fiber Fest, I shopped my stash and found a lone skein of Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Moorland, left over from a sweater that I made (scroll down).  


I chose to knit a Lava Flow Cowl. I can still participate in the challenge, because I am using yarn that TLE carries. 

I also have a scarf going:


It's the Party Lace Scarf.  I found some colorful beads that go with the Bollicine Sissi that I had in my stash. (Click on picture to make might be able to see the beads that are only on the beginning edge.)

What's on your needles?

MK out.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Movie Monday - 1/14/2013

This week's comments:

Jessica Chastain is a pretty versatile and talented actress, and in Zero Dark Thirty, she does not disappoint. The movie takes us from 9/11 to the point where Osama Bin Laden is taken out by a team of Navy Seals.  Chastain plays Maya, a CIA agent who is convinced that Bin Laden is hiding in plain sight, and spends many years looking for him.  Also starring in this movie are Jason Clarke, Jennifer Ehle, Joel Edgerton, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler and Edgar Ramirez.  There were some scenes that were hard to watch, but it was a good movie.

Hysteria is a movie about how the portable home massager was developed. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Jonathan Price, Felicity Jones and Rupert Everett star in this comedy. A young doctor (Dancy) joins the practice of an older physician (Price) who treats the hysteria of women that was common at the time with manual stimulation. The older doctor is pleased with the younger one's help and wishes him to take over the practice and marry one of his daughters (Jones). The older daughter (Gyllenhaal) is more socially sympathetic and works to better the lives of women and children. It was funny and cute...good for a rainy day.

In Urdu (although they spoke mostly English in the version I saw) with English sub-titles; Khuda Kay Liya focuses on how difficult it is for a Muslim to live in the before and after 9/11 world.  The movie shows two Pakistani brothers who are popular musicians in their country before 9/11.  The conservative Muslims condemn music in general.  Soon, one of the brothers becomes influenced by the stricter laws and the other moves to America to study music.  They also have a female cousin who is fairly westernized and living in London. Then, 9/11 happens and the brother in Chicago finds his freedoms are being restricted in the Land of the Free.  The cousin is forced to marry the brother in Pakistan by her father, because she has a Caucasian boyfriend and she shouldn't marry outside of the Islam faith.  The title of the movie translates to "In the name of God."  It is interesting the things that all people do, using religion as their justification. The story was good, but the acting in this movie was terrible.  In general though, I liked it.

That's all for this week.

MK out.

Friday, January 11, 2013

FO Friday - 1/11/2013

I have some projects to show you that I finished right at the end of the year.

First, I present the November 2012 Socks:


I used the Catherine pattern and I liked it.  I used Lyndon Hill by Bristol Yarn Gallery.  It is a luscious yarn - mostly cotton with some silk - and unfortunately, not the best choice for socks.  See how the leg is a little droopy.  It doesn't look like that when it is on, but socks really do better with yarns that have some memory.  Lesson learned.

I also made a cowl out of one of the skeins of Tosh Merino Light in Oceana that I inadvertantly hoarded in my quest to make the Lazy Girl Shawl:


I wanted to make a Summer Wind cowl, but didn't have the pattern; so, I winged it.


I think it's close enough.

I have four things OTN right now:
Elderflower Wine socks - using the luscious Black Sheep Dyeworks Sock Weight Superwash Merino in a gorgeous color called Plumberry.
Baby Blizzard cardi - using Rowan Amy Butler Belle Organic DK leftovers from another baby cardi that I've made.  The color is Peony.
Lava Flow Cowl - using a skein of Madelinetosh Tosh DK leftover from a sweater I've made in the Moorland colorway.
Party Lace Scarf - using a skein of a light fingering weight mohair/nylon blend called Sissi by Bollicine.

MK out.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Road to the Oscars...

The day the nominations for the Oscar are announced is one of my most favorite times of the year.  For one thing, I can make a list of the movies I haven't yet seen - and y'all know how I like to make lists...

Seriously, it helps me zero in on which movies to see first and quit going to the movies in a willy-nilly fashion trying to make sure I see movies that might be nominated.  Now, I know what has been nominated!!!  It may not be very important in most people's worlds, but in my world, it is second to the Macy's Christmas Parade on Thanksgiving Day that kicks off the Christmas season.

In case you are wondering, the nominations for Best Picture are:
Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty.

I have yet to see Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty from this list.  I also have to see The Master and The Impossible because actors or actresses have been nominated for their performances in those movies.

I'd better get busy...

MK out.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Movie Monday - 1/7/2013

I managed to drag The Husb out for a movie date.  We went to see Lincoln, with Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  The story deals mostly with Lincoln's efforts to pass the 13th Amendment to end slavery.  Day-Lewis embodied the title role in a masterful way.  TL Jones can play a curmudgeon better than anyone, and his portrayal of the abolitionist Representative Thaddeus Stevens was perfect.  (As if I knew ole Thad myself...but what I mean is that he brought the character to life very well.)  The scenes during which the House debated and ultimately voted on the amendment was very reminiscent of what probably went on during a much more recent (as in, the one last week regarding the Fiscal Cliff) debate on the floor.  Some things never change.  It was a very well acted movie, and although the story is well known, it was quite entertaining.  I really liked it.

Sadly, the DVD I wanted to watch and tell y'all about was damaged; so, Netflix is sending me another one.

I did manage to watch an old movie that has been on my list for a while on CineMoi - a Direct TV channel.  Gilda is probably Rita Hayworth's most well known role.  She plays a lady with a past who marries an Argentinian casino owner.  Interestingly, the owner's right hand man (played by Glenn Ford) also has a past - part of which he shared with Gilda.  Is their mutual hate for one another to be believed?  I like to watch the acting in old is different from today, but no less artful or talented.  The story was very good.  I really liked this film.

That's it for this week...

MK out.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

An Untitled Post

I don't know what to name this post, but let me tell y'all what happened tonight.

The Husb left to go to a Mavericks game with the guys.  I thought that it would be a good time to do a few chores.  I had some mending to do; so. I pulled out the sewing machine.


See the screw thing on the right side?  It holds the needle in position and the whole operation goes up and down. 

Somehow, and the details are still not clear to me, my finger got caught in the space between the screw jobby and the sewing machine as shown (This picture is a reenactment):


I pressed a little on the pedal and it went up a little more - making the space smaller and the vice-like grip on my finger tighter.  There was no one around to help me.  I was on my own.  The movie 127 Hours flashed through my head.  My finger was stuck in the sewing machine and there was no one around to help me.  My cell phone was in the other room.  (Who was I going to call - the fire department?  EMS? My husband?)  I quickly thought about my options, as I was telling myself not to panic.  1.  I could pull really hard and get my finger out, risking leaving part of the end of my finger behind.  2.  I could cut my finger off at the end.  3.  If I pushed on the power pedal some more, maybe it would go up just a tad and then go down.  I tried just went up a tad more and did not go down.  By now, I was thinking about how long it would take for ischemia to set in and I would lose the end of my finger even if I did get it free.

I looked around.  The nearest thing to me was the accessories basket where I keep scissors and other sewing related things:


I tried a pair of scissors, but they didn't fit in the space very well.  Then, I found a screwdriver:

I was able to wedge it in the space and pushed down as hard as I could while successfully getting my finger free.  I wish I had taken a picture to show the impression that screw left in my fingertip.  It was really impressive (excuse the pun).

All told, the incident probably took about two to three minutes.  I took 800mg of ibuprofen and iced my finger a bit.  It isn't too painful, but it is tingly and the sensation is a little altered at the very tip of my finger and fingernail.

Live and learn...

MK out.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

WIP Wednesday - 1/2/2013

It's a new year...with new knitting adventures ahead!

I am going through my Ravelry Favorites and patterns and looking at my stash and trying to figure out what I want to make this month. 

I know I want to make Elderflower Wine for my January 2013 socks.  I will be participating in the Sock Knitters Anonymous Flora and Fauna Challenge.  There are some designers being spotlighted and one of them just happened to have designed Elderflower Wine.  I am double-dipping!  If I finish the socks and have nothing else to do, I might do the MOCK too - but don't hold your breath.  I may save it for a different month.

I'd like to make a sweater...and maybe a cowl or a hat...and maybe a baby item.

The possibilities are endless.

Meanwhile, I wanted to wear my Derecho last week.  I pulled it out of the drawer and noticed that something was amiss right away:

I don't think it is moth damage.  It looks like it got snagged and cut...

I'm off to pull out my Lucy Neatby video that will help me address the problem.

MK out.