Monday, June 29, 2009

Hilarity Monday

Although I am not at work today, Monday, I am bringing you your hilarity anyway, because you might be at work and need it. Why am I not at work, you ask? Well, for the simple reason that this job very rarely requires me to do anything actually resembling work, and sometimes even requires me to stay home. Okay, then, you say, why the hell are you leaving this job? Well, that is a complicated tangle of stuff best left out of a simple blog.

I meant to blog more about knitting this week, honestly I did. I even took a picture of the Prepster vest as it now is, and I finished the October Baby Hat and Booties, and I'm almost done with the Not Quite Christmas Gloves (freakin' finally). But I've actually been off work since last Wednesday and have been lazing around. I did a bit of preparation for moving, even had an apartment inspection, but really I've just been sitting around watching movies and tv shows, unwilling to sit with this stupid-hot computer on my lap.

So, to make up for the non-knitting, non-blogging nature of this blog recently (okay, to feebly attempt to make up for it), I give you this week's hilarity: goats.

Yeah, see, goats are sort of knitting related. They even mentioned angora in there.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hilarity Monday

In honor of Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, which I watched yesterday, I bring you this week's hilarity:

I can promise you, I found these 43 sounds vastly more entertaining, even on the third or fourth viewing, than all two-and-a-half hours of Transformers. Bleah.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

An FO and Movie Talk

Yeah, I meant to write this earlier in the week. But I was attacked by an extreme case of "I'm SO bored! Therefore I cannot do anything I'm supposed to be doing and must go off in search of something new!" On the plus side, it did allow me to discover Dollhouse.

First, a Finished Object:Name: October Baby Blanket, for Brenda's baby due in (you guessed it) October.
Pattern: Janice's Easiest Ever Lacy Blanket, by Janice Helge.
Yarn: Wister Araeru Merino 100, in color #11, a very nice beige.
Needle: Bamboo Japan size 11 80 cm circular. 80 cm was a bit long, but I'm sure it'll come in handy later.
Finished Measurements: 22" by 27", roughly. The edge is scalloped, so it's a little hard to tell. I would've liked it bigger, but it should be big enough.
Pattern Mods: I added one extra repeat, casting on 108 stitches.
KIP/Movies Watched While Knitting: As previously mentioned on this blog, this blanket was mostly done while watching Battlestar Galactica. Brenda said she would be sure to tell the kid this when the time comes, and considering the dad's level of nerdiness, I have high hopes of geek vibes successfully rubbing off. I don't think I really brought this one into public, though.
Number of Times Frogged: None that I can recall.
Things I Would Change Next Time: I'd add another repeat or two to make it bigger. I didn't use up anywhere near the yarn I bought for it, since I wanted to stop knitting before it became a stole. The pattern didn't give yardage, though, it just listed a yarn, so I looked at the yardage for that yarn and purchased accordingly. It did end up being bigger than the pattern says, but still, I'd have preferred it larger. The pattern is really pretty, though, and I found it to be a quick, pleasant knit. I've even made peace with how much I stretched it, so I think all in all it's a great project.
I also have several WIPs: the Prepster Vest, a hat to match the blanket, and some booties. Prepster is coming along - I'm just splitting for the neck, and have realized what a pain it's going to be to do that in the round, since I will now have to do knit and purl rows until I get to the armpits, and that could change my gauge. The hat I found with a similar look to the blanket is nice, but it seemed to think that I could cast on 54 stitches and then join in the round on a 16" circular, so I ended up casting on loads more stitches and the hat will clearly be too big for a newborn (at least I think so, with my limited baby knowledge). The booties are the Moon Booties again, and after a slight screw-up I finished the first bootie and it looks much bigger than the last pair - the leg is freakin' huge.

Of course, my sense of proportion has been severely screwed up itself since living in Japan. Four-door sedans seem ridiculously huge, pants I hold up in the store that I'm sure will fit can barely be pulled six inches above my knees, much less hips, roads and corners that I'm certain could not possibly accomodate a car can be taken at speed, skeins of yarn with barely 70 yards seem perfectly normal, and I absolutely squeal with delight when there is more than one taller person standing next to me. Maybe this baby, being a child of tall white parents, will have no problem filling the hat and booties with robust Caucasian head and legs. We'll see.

Also, last week I went to see Terminator Salvation on its Japanese opening night. For once, the theater was pretty crowded - Terminator is big in Japan. I loved it. It was different, for sure, and not like the other Terminator movies have been. It wasn't just my appreciation of the plentiful eye candy, or the darling Anton Yelchin making his second appearance in Awesome Movies of This Summer, or even my obsession with apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic movies. I thought it was a great story, interesting characters, and a great direction for the franchise. It seems I might not be in the majority in this view though - while the people I went to see it with also enjoyed it, a friend back in LA has said that everyone she knows who's seen it has hated it, and the internet reviews I've seen all panned it as "having no heart". Well, poo on them, I say. I completely disagree.

Two of the girls that came to see it in my group had never seen any of the first three, can you believe it? They didn't even mention this until we were in the car on the way home, and they were understandably confused about how Christian Bale's father could be some teenage kid he'd never seen. I gave them the ten-minute synopsis of the first three and now I'm dying to watch all four in a row. I would go back and watch #4 (or ST) in the theater again if it wasn't so stupidly expensive and so inconvenient to get to (going on my own would require a fifteen minute bike ride followed by a 25-minute train followed by a shuttle bus, plus the $15 ticket - oh God I want a car again).

Today we're off to see the second Transformers movie. I know, I can't believe I'm going to spend $15 on that mess either, but you just have to see Baysplosions in the theater, right? Also, if the movie pumped billions of dollars into the economy to be made, I guess I can do my part to pump back. And use my money to vote for ludicrous special effects, bad writing, Michael Bay-style entertainment - okay, this is depressing.

Last night in my intense boredom I called my friend Fumiko to see what she was up to, and she told me she was watching Dollhouse. I promptly invited myself over and we stayed up until 2:30 watching it. Damn, that's a cool show. And it has Helo! Hot.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hilarity Monday

Ugh, Monday.

Today we're going a little old school: Monty Python.

Enjoy. And up this week: my thoughts on Terminator Salvation (I want to have that movie's babies) and an FO!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Battlestar Galactica Blanket

Hey, kids.

Lord, it's Thursday already. Sometimes the weeks just fly by - usually when you're going to reach the end of it going, "Oh, crap, how did I manage to let five days go by and accomplish SO VERY LITTLE?!"

Actually, this week hasn't been too bad. I'm behind, as usual, but I did get a chunk of my to-do list finished. Mount Fuji cabin - booked. Laptop loan application - completed (also approved two hours later, apparently based solely on my wizened, mature old age of 28. brilliant). Baby shower invitations - printed, cut, and awaiting glue, addressing, and handing out. Successor - emailed.
The October Baby Blanket is now sort of the Battlestar Galactica Baby Blanket. I knit the vast majority of it while watching the end of season one and the entirety of season two, and now that there are no more discs to be rented from Tsutaya I am having difficulty making myself finish, despite the fact that I have maybe three more pattern repeats. The pattern repeats, by the way, are four rows.

Heh. Somehow I just typed "despot" instead of "despite." Don't you wonder what goes on in our subconscious when we do stuff like that?

Anyway, blanket should be finished tonight or tomorrow, ends woven in and blocked this weekend. Score! I should even have time to make a hat and finally finish this stupid thing before the shower. The shower will be an experience, too. We're inviting sixteen people (including the parents-to-be), and of those, five are dudes, eight are Japanese ladies who are likely completely unfamiliar with western baby showers, one is an Indian friend who was also totally mystified when we explained this, and the rest are American/Canadian girls who barely know how to hold a baby, much less birth one (I fall into that last category, in case you're wondering). But I found a website that, aside from insanely obnoxious use of the word "mommy" to refer to the shower honoree, gives pretty useful info, so we'll see what happens.

But meanwhile, I am desperate to get a hold of more BSG. I am a proponent of renting or buying over streaming/downloading, because even aside from the legality and space-on-my-hard-drive issues, I firmly believe in puting your money where your mouth is. Or however you use that phrase.

However, --SPOILER ALERT-- season two ended with everyone on that crappy planet because Balthar is a douche, Starbuck married to that pro athlete hot guy when she was supposed to end up with Apollo (hello? am I the only one that realizes they're destined for each other?), and the freaking Cylons showing up to turn everybody into batteries or walking wombs or whatever! Adama and his freaky mustache and newly-pudgy Apollo jumped away! What happened to good-Cylon-Sharon (whose one-year-old baby appeared about six months old - how did nobody notice that?)? Why isn't Starbuck a pilot anymore? How could Cally and the Chief move in together after she shot Sharon and he punched her face in? How can I not want to immediately start on season three? This is also why I can't watch tv shows when they're on the air - there's too much time in between and once the initial excitement to find out what happens fades, I lose interest. If I don't start watching the rest now, who knows when I will? Once I get home there's school and moving and being flat broke and how will I manage two more seasons of a tv show? And then some jerk will probably tell me how the show ends and I'll punch them and end up getting arrested.

This is not to advocate illegal streaming or downloading. Oh, no. THAT IS BAD. YOU SHOULD PAY MONEY FOR THE EXPENSIVE-TO-MAKE ENTERTAINMENT YOU WATCH. All I'm saying is, I'm desperate. And if a friend tells me they have more episodes for me to watch, but I have to go to their house, maybe I just won't ask any questions. You know, if.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hilarity Monday

We are now back to our regularly scheduled Hilarity Monday.

First, a word: Yes, I've been knitting. The October Baby Blanket is in fact almost done. This was able to happen because I have been watching a lot of Battlestar Galactica. In fact, yesterday I could not control myself and watched the last four discs of season two (a whopping two episodes per disc here in Japan - wouldn't want to overload anyone). About that, I just have to say OH MY GOD, DUDES, WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Anyway, I'll update on knitting and give further, more lucid expression to my thoughts on the current state of human/Cylon relations later this week. Seriously.

But for now, I bring you today's giggle-fest. Can't seem to embed it, but trust me - go there. This one should be SFW, but someone will start asking you questions if they see it, just FYI. Hell, perhaps you've already seen it - I'm a little behind the times, after all, what with being on the other side of the globe. So if this is old news to you, go back and be sure to enjoy such classics as The Choker and Mommy the Pooh, and this is new news to you, please enjoy:

Awkward Family Photos.

Be sure to go back a ways - some of them are barely worth a snort, some of them had me struggling not to shriek at my desk.

Happy Monday.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

One More Bit About Star Trek

This'll be a long one. I wanna talk about the movie, because this is a geek blog, and I am a geek. One of my geeky interests is Star Trek, and has been for a very long time.First, though, a few words about my love for ST: I don't remember what grade I was in when I discovered the re-runs of Next Generation playing in the afternoons, but I was fairly young. Fourth grade? Fifth? Old enough to know I was a huge geek, but entranced enough not to care. I even remember the very first episode I caught - it was the one where Data gets into a relationship with that woman who was not Tasha Yar, and he goes around to all the other officers asking their advice about relationships while they smile smugly at his innocence. It wasn't the relationship bit that drew me in, though, or the brilliantly writing (that episode was hardly a gem, if I remember correctly from the last time I saw it). It was space. It was aliens. It was the idea of this fascinating future where regular people flew around exploring space from the comfort of this awesome ship and with interesting companions in complex relationships (okay, I guess the relationship bit was important).

I was hooked. I would watch ST:TNG every day at four 0'clock, and sometimes the Original Series when it took TNG's place during the summer. I got my dad to rent some of the OS on video from 16,000 Movies down the street. I watched the movies - Star Trek IV, the one with the whales, was always my favorite because it was hilarious, but when I watched the Motion Picture on tv one time I was bored to tears. TNG is still the only television series I have ever watched to its conclusion, the only one I have ever committed to while it was still on the air (I know - if I can't commit to a weekly tv series, imagine how I am about everything else). I even read the books - because nothing says nerd like fan-fiction: official or not. And of course, I once went to a convention. I'd like to do that again.

I credit Star Trek with my interest in make-up, which has had mixed results but was still an important part of my life, and with my whole-hearted embracing of my geekdom. Well, Star Wars had a hand in that, too, but I think we all know which group has traditionally received more derision, and which therefore requires a more fearless embracing.

So. To put it mildly, I was excited about the new movie. It wasn't going to matter whether the movie was horrible or not. I would love it for what it was. But then the most amazing thing happened - people said GOOD things about it! All kinds of people! Even people like my friend Stacey, who thinks most sci-fi is crap and was dragged to see the new one by her fiance, reported that they liked it! Amazing!

Finally, last Friday I was able to see Star Trek: The Movie. Although I try my best to go into new movies, particularly ones I'm very excited about, with a blank, open mind and no expectations, it was impossible to shut out everything for this one.

But I was not disappointed.

It was good. It was genuinely good. At the same time, it was wildly different. It was new, exciting, not at all what I was expecting, extremely modern - and very good.

Not flawless. But very good.

Here come the spoilers!
Things I Loved:

1) Karl Urban. Note-perfect. Hilarious. Hotter than Dr. McCoy could ever reasonably hope to be. Proved that an actor I've drooled over for ages is also a talented actor. Mmmm, Kiwis...

2) The casting in general, with two notable exceptions (see Things I Did Not Love, below). Zoe Saldana as Uhura was fantastic, sexy, gutsy, and a great update to the role. Eric Bana as Nero was awesome and very, very sexy (then again, I like dudes with tats). Simon Pegg was as charming and wonderful as ever, and when he shouted Scotty's regular line towards the end I actually squealed. Anton Yelchin as Chekov was adorable - I wanted to wrap him up and take him home with me. Zachary Quinto was good - no Leonard Nimoy, but then, this was not your father's Star Trek. Chris Pine was excellent - at first I was disappointed to not see more Shatner in him, but then, it's hard to channel Shatner without looking like a jackass. There was one great moment right towards the end, though, where he walked on to the bridge, looked around and said "Bones!" with that little smile, so perfectly that all was forgiven.

3) The look. Again, at first my nit-picky brain was going, "No, no, no! That isn't what it looked like!" but I got over it. I do think it could have been modernized while still keeping it looking more like the OS ship, but everything was so pretty I just can't stay mad at them.

4) The dialogue, mostly. Snappy. Clever. Cute. Chekov's difficulty with the letter v was especially funny to those of us living in Japan - alas, the Japanese people in the audience did not see the humor. Kirk to those cadet thugs in the bar? Brilliant. Everything out of Karl Urban's and Simon Pegg's mouths? Completely brilliant.

5) The re-boot in general. I walked out of the theater asking, "Did they just re-boot the franchise? For real? Are we starting over, a la Batman?" Except none of the people I went with were nerdy enough to have realized how wrong the details were from the history, so I was talking to myself. As soon as Kirk's dad died, I started thinking, "Um, this isn't right." and by the time Vulcan blew up I was practically chewing the seat in front of me. By the end of the movie, I was already imagining a whole new series. Go for it. I can still love the originals.

Things I Did Not Love:

1) Two Terrible Casting Choices. Winona Rider and John Cho. I have nothing against either of those actors but Winona Rider was a bizarre choice (she is not that old, dudes, and I have issues with exceptionally recognizable actors in bit roles that aren't cameos), and John Cho, while cool, is not Japanese. In a cast of mostly unknowns, they did not need Harold for credibility.

2) James Kirk becomes captain for no discernible reason other than that his father was a hero. That is not how Starfleet should work. Cadets do not show up on ships, especially the flagship, and randomly take over the whole crew. Kirk would be a terrible captain, having never served as a junior officer and having no experience whatsoever. Then again, most of what he did on the OS was bang alien chicks and beat the snot out of people/creatures/alien chicks, so the movie certainly set up his experience in those areas.

3) We are left with Future Spock and Past Spock in the same time period. They talk to each other. WTF??

4) The Uhura-Spock romance. Where the hell did that come from? Everything else that was different from the OS characters and situations could be explained by the changes that occurred as a result of the Romulans' time travel. I was cool with that. Alternative reality, right on. That could not be thus explained. Yes, it was cool, and interesting, but unnecessary and odd.

In any case, the Loves outweighed the Did Not Loves. It was good. I want to see it again, especially because I was extremely stressed out the night I saw it for reasons that had nothing to do with the movie, and now I want to see it when I'm more relaxed. Also, because it was awesome.

Thanks for reading my novella. Live Long and Prosper.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hilarity Monday - Star Trek Edition Part 2

I meant to post another bit in the past week about how my knitting is progressing, but I had a hell of a week and a very full weekend, and didn't remember to take the pictures of my stuff until late last night as my computer was already right in the middle of a big back-up, and then I didn't bring the cord with me to work today...

Bleah. I'm just exhausted. But I'm still working on the Prepster and the October Baby Blanket, and they're both coming along, although I'm kicking myself over a couple things about the Prepster. I also finished a couple of the squares for the Warm Woolies group on Ravelry during my stressed out knitting-while-waiting-anxiously late Friday night, and sent a bunch more yarn home in the box with a bunch of books on Saturday. To top it all off, yesterday was a very long day involving a photo shoot with two of the girls here and a photographer friend. I'll let you know when I've gotten the photos and added them to my portfolio.

So, anyway. Star Trek. I loved it. I will discuss it in detail some other time, because I'm about to go to class. Meanwhile, please enjoy this bit of Eddie Izzard, a brilliant comedian, talking about Star Trek.

Edited: I am a dolt. Sorry that showed up twice for a while.