Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What I've been...

Reading: The Forest of Hands and Teeth, which is fantastic. It's gotten a lot of hype online, so I was curious to see whether it lived up to it and am happy to say that it SO does. It happens to hit a lot of my personal literary high notes — dystopian fantasy, female protagonist who's fighting the constraints of the society she lives in, genuine darkness, secret societies, a quest —and also happens to be very well-written in addition to being a compelling page-turner. It's set seven generations after the zombie apocalypse and humans have been reduced to living in a single fortified village that's ruled by a religious order, the Sisterhood, and there are zombies clawing at their fences all day, every day, to the point where their moaning is just white noise. But there's this girl, Mary, who thinks that maybe, just maybe, there are other people out there, but she's being forced to marry the brother of the guy she really loves and then she finds a secret book but before she can read much of it the zombies get into the village and kill everyone except four or five other people and they manage to escape together but even some of them die along the way and they discover that they have all been LIED to about many, many things and it all just makes for a mighty fine read. Thumbs up for this one.

I have this waiting to read next, which I'm really looking forward to too.

Watching: I finished up the fourth season of The Wire a couple of weeks ago and will probably dive right into the fifth next. I haven't been home much to watch anything though.

Knitting: Not much, really. Plugging away on Yank, just half a sleeve and the front bands to do, then blocking and assembly. While I was out of town, I started a striped pullover in fingering-weight alpaca that I've had sitting around, but am not sure about yarn amounts and should probably re-spec the whole thing to work top down.

Doing to support indie craft businesses: After the reveal of what Michelle rightly called the "egregious and foul" copyright infringement against Jenny Hart (her response here), I placed an order with Sublime Stitching for four patterns and a couple of tea towels. I got the Daniel Johnston set, the tattoo alphabet, vintage lamps and forest friends. I had been toying with the idea of taking up embroidery in some small-ish capacity, but this was really more of a voting-with-my-wallet kind of scenario than a yes!-now-is-the-time-for-another-hobby! moment.

Looking forward to: dreaming up things to do with the eggs that Martha dropped off at my office for me today (from her backyard chickens!), watching friends perform at Arena Rawk Karaoke tomorrow night, spending this weekend in the country with friends, stopping in at the Rob Ryan show that's apparently in a shop in the Meatpacking District(?), checking out the Jenny Holzer show at the Whitney, especially since my friend Seth (not that Seth, THIS Seth) called me "the Jenny Holzer of Twitter" a few months ago. What can I say? I have a thing for text-based art...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Unfortunately, me

Ganked from Michelle, Google the phrase “Unfortunately, [your name]” and post the first 15 results.

1. Unfortunately, Stephanie you can't have both, although I can see how tempting it must be to want both.
2. Unfortunately, Stephanie was already engaged to the finest shot in all of France.
3. Unfortunately, Stephanie's love of reading does not replace her strong desire to have friends.
4. Unfortunately, Stephanie Meyer is being a big baby about it.
5. Unfortunately, Stephanie is quite the catch but Eugene is a bit of a nerd.
6. Unfortunately, Stephanie was a new employee at Fred Meyer and was ineligible for health benefits at the time of the accident.
7. Unfortunately, Stephanie later discovered that it was breast cancer.
8. Unfortunately, Stephanie was recently involved in a car accident, and many of the items used in the supper club were destroyed.
9. Unfortunately, Stephanie Naumoska's skinny appearance is very common.
10. Unfortunately, Stephanie did not bring her strongest material forward with her first release of the year.
11. Unfortunately, Stephanie did not have any hits in the U.S.A..
12. Unfortunately, Stephanie has a bad habit of leaping first and looking later, and it seems that she has leapt right into a very dangerous situation.
13. Unfortunately, Stephanie's version of the Dusty Springfield tune "'You Don't Have To Say You Love Me," failed to move the judges and the American public.
14. Unfortunately, Stephanie's website has been woefully neglected for the last 9 years.
15. Unfortunately, Stephanie became infected again and another surgery had to be performed to removed a synthetic mesh that caused the infection.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Convention photos

There's a reason I describe my company's annual convention as ComicCon for genre fiction fans.

There were costumes...


Workshops and panels...
Plenty of intriguing visuals...
(I have a lot more shots of these and much more to say about them. They really deserve a post of their own.)

And, my favorite, the Mr. R-mance Pageant....
The winner is the guy looking at his trophy.

I didn't have any photos of myself on my camera, but I know other people were taking some. If anyone sends me any, I'll toss 'em up too. It's good to be home though — the convention is tons of fun, but it also means that I'm scheduled from 8 in the morning to midnight every day for a week and I need to be on and professional and shmoozy and charming the whole time. I can do it, but then I need primal scream therapy and to sleep for a week, neither of which I've gotten to do.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Apropos of Nothing

I've been getting this song stuck in my head off and on over the last couple of weeks, though I'd completely forgotten about the part with the steel drums. I kind of want to see the movie again now...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Family plot

I was hiking in the southern Catskills last weekend and came upon this carefully tended 19th c. family grave site, mostly dated in the 1820s-1840s range. One of the people I was with said it's been cleaned up a fair bit since they started hiking out there, but they don't know who's responsible.
I'd say at least 80% of the markers were for children's graves, the majority of those living less than a week. From what we could tell, all of the children were from just two mothers.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Peep show

That right there is the first project completed by my friend EP, a two-color mistake-stitch rib scarf for her dad's 60th birthday. BOOYEAH. She practiced on some swatches first, then wanted to dive into a project that had a lot going on. Now, for her second project, she's rocking short rows. I do love a fearless spirit. I mean, it's yarn. What's the worst that could happen?

Speaking of a fearless spirit, the night I showed her how to bind off, we made some sad, sad homemade peeps. I had had such good luck making marshmallows over Christmas that I may have been a little cocky. "Marshmallows are easy!," I may have said. "And we are awesome at doing stuff!," EP may have responded.* How could that magical combination of circumstances produce anything less than fantastic? But I think the proportions were off in the recipe we used and it definitely didn't have us beat the mixture long enough. So the marshmallows were very dense and not fluffy and much, much stickier than I remembered, except on the outside where we needed them to be.

The one thing we had tremendous success at though was making colored sugar (mix a few drops of food coloring into some sugar):

And we were pretty successful at making a mess:
I actually still have marshmallow bits stuck to my watch.

But our peeps sort of ended up looking ... diseased. (Compare with this. Sigh.)
And you thought leprosy had been eradicated in the candy-animal population.

Happy Easter!

*I'm pretty sure that conversation never actually took place.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sunday afternoon graffiti

Even though Miss Heather posted these already, I couldn't resist putting them up here too. It really stopped me in my tracks yesterday in the subway station.

Bonus, from 7th Ave. near Flatbush:
You and me both, darlin'.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Out and about

1. On the Smith-9th-bound platform of the Greenpoint Ave. G train station.

2. Marriage equality window boxes on Henry Street.

3. And a story: Last week, I was on the train in the early evening, say, 8ish. I didn't bother sitting down because I was only going a few stops and was standing in front of a teenage couple. I wouldn't have paid them any attention — they looked exactly like dozens of other kids I see every day — except that the girl spent most of the ride scribbling furiously on a hot pink post-it and guarding it jealously, though she did show it to the guy, who offered whispered commentary I didn't catch. When the train pulled into my stop, the guy stuck the post-it to the other side of the pole I was holding before they ran off giggling. I leaned around to take a look before I got off, more out of idle curiosity about the kinds of perversions Kids Today are getting up to than in expectation of anything interesting, and read, in carefully drawn and decorated letters, "You shall fall in love easily." I remain charmed.