Posted by: PunkiePixie | December 5, 2007

More It Came from the Interweb!

But Wait!!! There’s More!

Okay… searching You Tube for the Spam sketch from Monty Python’s Flying circus, I found another video. It’s a kind of bad fusion of the Black Knight scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail and audio from Star Wars. The Black Knight will be by Darth Vader in tonight’s show.

yeah… kinda bad, really nerdy. I must admit, I did find it amusing.

Let’s move on.

After watching the above, I found another nerd-tastic video of Star Trek vs Star Wars. Oh yeah… it’s the Star Wars: The Next Generation or something. Watch the video to see what happens. If you’re a sci-fi nerd, you’ll find this entertaining.

now onto British Sci-Fi

This is a fan video montage of the hotness that is Capt. Jack Harkness from the awesome British Sci-Fi series Torchwood and Doctor Who

this first one is clips from both shows set to the Cher version of “It’s in his Kiss (Shoop, Shoop Song)”

this second one is set to “Here without You” by 3 Doors Down

there’s a nerd theme today huh… well i am a nerd

from Potter Puppet Pals…..

Wizard Swears! (live action too!)

the day is still young, i’ll probably find more… i’ll post it then.

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Posted by: PunkiePixie | November 29, 2007

New feature: It Came from the Interweb!

I’d like to debut a new feature… not sure if it’ll be weekly or not. Hell, it might be daily; it could be monthly.

Anywho…

I get bored at work often, but never enough to write new blog entries, I tend to go to You Tube and look for strange things or my friends do it for me. What I find, I email to my friends or share with them via IM. That’s getting annoying for me.

So, instead I decided to start up a new blog category called It Came from the Interweb!

Basically, this section/feature/whatever will be me posting the strange stuff I find while bored at work. A lot are videos, some are strange blogs, others are strange pictures. It really depends.

So to begin, I will introduce you to LOLpresident. It’s like LOLcatz… but with American presidents and with a lot of references to American history with no explanation. This site expects its readers to have at least completed 5th grade American history class and maybe passed it.

Next up… Planet Unicorn. Yeah… this is very weird. One of the unicorns is named Tom Cruise, how can you not love that. It seems to be a parody of <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Little_Pony”My Little Pony and I was all about My Little Pony when I was a kid. I had the toys, watched the show and the movies… so this cracks me up

here’s episode one.

*sings* a gay boy wished for a planet full of unicorns, planet unicorn, unicorn planet!.

that’s enough of that

there’s also episode two, three, four, and five


My friend lexi is also responsible for some of the silliness I’ve been watching today. Here’s what she sent me

so

those videos are from a liam show

i found this about a year ago

The Harry Potter Rap

More to come! check back soon!

Posted by: PunkiePixie | November 28, 2007

Star Trek Tech

I’m a Star Trek nerd… No lie. I’m proud of it too. Kirk, Picard, Sisco, Janeway, and Archer… yup! I know all the captains. Spock’s cool too. Had a crush on Data as well… oh and on Tom Paris and Doctor Julian Bashir… and who didn’t crush on Kirk at some point in their life? I know guys who have man-crushes on Kirk! (but come to think about it, it could be that they’re in awe of Kirk… he did have a way with the ladies 😉 )

I digress.

I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation with my older brother and came into my own with Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Wasn’t a fan of Enterprise though… it wasn’t nerdy enough as it didn’t have as much cool technology for me to wonder about. Oh yeah… I’m a tech nerd.

So growing up on TNG and DS9, I always thought those reading tablets were kinda cool. You know, you could read whatever you wanted anywhere on a flat device that only weighed a few ounces and there were no pages to turn. Much easier to transport, harder to lose your place if you needed to get up and take a pee break. That and the transporter were always cool for me… So basically when I was looking on Amazon.com tonight for some DVDs and I saw some strange device being advertised and it shook me to my core… the cool reading device of which I wondered about as a child is no longer science fiction but retail fact!

This is the device of which I speak:
kindle.jpg
(image borrowed from pocketnow.com)

It is the Amazon.com Kindle

What is it, you ask? Well my friends it is quite simply next in the line of Star Trek inspired devices (or at least to me it look Star Trek inspired). It’s a wireless reading device. If you’ve ever seen Star Trek, you’ll know that the characters use these interesting tablets instead of books, newspapers, or magazines when reading and everything they wish to read about can be wirelessly moved onto the device using verbal commands to the ship’s computer. Well, this thing can do that… minus the cool verbal commands. *sighs* BUT at least there’s no service contract and it uses state of the art EvDO wireless technology to “beam” the info over the air and into your nifty book thing. Now for those of you who don’t know about wireless tech like I do (I spent a year selling cell phones… worst fucking year of my life!) EvDO basically is the wireless equivalent to cable internet service: really fast… and really expensive. Good news though, Amazon.com doesn’t require you to sign a contract! Oooooooh! How do they get away with doing that? Well, according to the product description, they cover the cost to keep you happily reading loads of books and stuff, so you don’t end up like my old friend Jean-Luc, with a desk covered in digital wireless reading devices.

picardbooks1.jpg
(image borrowed from: The Star Trek Gallery)

Tut, tut! Jean-Luc really needs to learn to clean up! LOL Okay… yup! I’m a nerd. I admit it. *sighs*

Oh and there’s no “hot spots” needed. So if you don’t feel like reading your digital paper at Starbucks and paying way too much money for not only Wi-Fi but for that coffee you want with your digital WSJ, then you can read at home b/c EvDO works anywhere. Wi-Fi? Nope, only in hot spots which tend to be public spaces (hotel lobbies, malls, Starbucks). Oh and Wi-Fi tends to be very insecure… and I don’t mean it has the image problems of a teenage supermodel. I mean it’s harder to hack and you can therefore safely transmit whatever personal info Amazon.com requires for you to download that copy of The Golden Compass or Playboy that you’ve been dying to read.

Just like the iPod, you have to get your media from a specific source, this being Amazon.com, and of course you have to pay for each item. Hey! It beats traveling with several dozen books, mags, and newspapers and it keeps the house a little less cluttered. Books start at $9.99 and you get free previews (hmmm sounds like iTunes!) so it’s comparable to buying a book at a bookstore. Heck, new releases are $9.99 according to the promo and most new books are hardcover and those cost $25+, so that’s a nice savings.

This seems like an all around cool device. I’m sad that it doesn’t make phone calls, nor can it play movies or music… So it’s no iPhone; and at $400, I’d rather get the iPhone as it does more stuff.

So yes… I’m ecstatic that someone came out with yet another Star Trek device… and it just happens to be the one that always intrigued me. I’m still waiting on the transporter. Anything to avoid all the airport headaches… ungh. I’ll let George Carlin explain.

ETA: DAMMIT YES!!!!!!!!!!!! A friend of mine showed me the Top 10 Things I Hate About Star Trek list several years ago. I bookmarked it, but sadly, that computer died and i never backed up the bookmarks. I’ve been searching for it ever since. But today, while reading posts on a Star Trek group based on an online knitting community (oh i sound like such a giant loser now), I found it again!!!!!! YAY! *happy dances*

here’s a taste of it

Top 10 Things I Hate About Star Trek

10. Noisy doors.
You can’t walk three feet in a starship without some door whooshing or screeching at you. My office building has automatic sliding doors. They’re dead silent. If those doors went “wheet!” every time a person walked through them, about once a month some guy in accounting would snap and go on a shooting rampage. Sorry Scotty, the IEEE has revoked your membership until you learn to master WD-40

9. The Federation.
This organization creeps me out. A planet-wide government that runs everything, and that has abolished money. A veritable planetary DMV. Oh sure, it looks like a cool place when you’re rocketing around in a Federation Starship, but I wonder how the guy driving a Federation dump truck feels about it?

And everyone has to wear those spandex uniforms. Here’s an important fact: Most people, you don’t want to see them in spandex. You’d pay good money to not have to see them. If money hadn’t been abolished, that is. So you’re screwed.

—–

In other news.

Thanksgiving wasn’t too eventful. Like every year, I cried b/c my siblings made me feel like shit… but oh well! C’est la vie! I did get to go to the movies as per family tradition. We saw Enchanted (like I had complained about in an earlier post)… and something odd happened

I actually LIKED it!

It was awesome. Here’s how I described it in a recent email to my friend Ann

despite it seeming really stupid and hokey and cheeky…. Enchanted was really good and really funny.. oh! and the guy who plays Wormtail in the HP movies is in it! and he’s just as icky. lol

the humor is great… it totally mocks all of the Disney princess movies and you can pick them out one by one. Even the Little Mermaid is given a nod, it’s hard to spot, but it’s there.

and Susan Surandon’s in it and wow… she’s got a great body for a woman her age! (her costume is skin tight!!!) and she was amazing as the wicked queen.

James Marsden is great (and good to look at) as the dumber than a brick prince and WOW can he sing!

and Patrick Dempsey? mmmmmmmmmmmmmm *drool* um i mean, his acting is superb *nods* 😀

and Amy Adams is great as Giselle. totally cute in a pinch her cheeks (the face ones) adorable (whereas Dempsey and Marsden are pinch ass cheeks hot 😉 )… she can really sing too.

there’s loads of adult humor… not much of a kid’s movie, yeah, it’s a fairy tale but it is a great romantic comedy parody. oh and it’s really politically correct at times, you’ll catch it.

and another great thing… the animated parts are hand drawn… no computer animated crap. only the chipmunk is computer animated and done very well indeed!

and OMG the musical number in Central Park!!!! TOO FUNNY!!!!!!!! and i’m sitting there thinking “i’ve been to Central Park… that’s really CP and the New Yorkers probably saw the filming, shrugged and went on their way”)

such a great film, totally worth the $9+ per ticket.

Also, the Belly Dance performance of 2 weeks ago went well. I only messed up a few things, nailed the one thing I was sure to mess up (always nice) and now I’m gearing up for my solo which is only 2 weeks away and I’ve picked 2 songs, can only use one… need to choose one though. UNGH! I’m so screwed!

So that’s what’s on my mind tonight… now off to bed!

Posted by: PunkiePixie | November 16, 2007

In one week’s time…

I’ll be coming out of a movie theater and fighting off a turkey-induced coma. My mom wants to see Enchanted, which I’m not thrilled about; I’m not a fan of the strangeness that is this movie. It’s a fairy tale… in live action. It’s a Disney movie, complete with a prince and princess and evil queen…. set in New York. Oy! It looks funny, but I have an uneasy feeling about it. Granted, my mom can be the cheesiest person on the planet, but she can’t help it! She was a teacher for 40 some odd years. But it can’t be good when the primary reason she wants to see the film is because the main character’s name is Giselle, yes, Giselle. Isn’t that the name of one of Cinderella’s evil stepsisters? (Oh yeah, I’m that big of a Disney Dork… remember I worked at Disney World for 9 months). Well, my mom wants to see the movie because her niece, whom she raised which makes her my sister/cousin (weird I know, it’s complicated) is named Maria Giselle and my mom calls her by her middle name. Everyone in the family calls her by her middle name… oh she hates it too. That’s another story.

So, here I am not thrilled by Thanksgiving this year b/c well, it means that the traditional movie night will feature something I’m not too keen on seeing. I’d rather see Fred Claus. But, good news! I made an agreement with my mom that if I go and see Enchanted on Thanksgiving, we can go see Fred Claus on Friday. YAY! So, at least I get to see something i want to see. Now, I’m praying that I don’t get sick b/c last year I wanted to see Borat and I just had to get the cold from hell. My fingers are crossed that I won’t get sick!

And in the spirit of the gluttony that is the Thanksgiving dinner, here’s one of my favorite recipes from my grandma’s kitchen (gods I miss her cooking! RIP nonna)

Toasted Bread Crumbs (a pasta topping)

1 lb of spaghetti or linguine, cooked al dente… DO NOT OVERCOOK (that’s blasphemy!)
1-2 tbsps of olive oil
1 cup bread crumbs (the Progresso Italian seasoned type is what my family uses)
1 onion, finely cut (like really super tiny)
1 jar sundried tomatoes, diced (either oil cured or the dry packaged
type refreshed in boiling water)
a few hand fulls of Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 jar tomato sauce (our favorite is Francesco Rinaldi
Tomato, Garlic & Onion, when we can’t be bothered to make our own.)

cook pasta according to package instructions for “al dente” results. do not overcook the pasta or this won’t taste right.

heat the oil in a skillet. once oil is hot add onions and cook until
golden brown (about 5 minutes). now add bread crumbs and cook until
golden brown and toasty (it should smell like good toast). now stir in
sundried tomatoes and let cook for 1-2 minutes and remove from heat.

mix in cheese and put in a gravy boat.

drain pasta when done. put pasta back in the pot and add in freshly boiled tomato sauce, about a half jar’s worth. stir until all of the pasta is coated with sauce.

serve pasta and sprinkle with bread crumbs and top with a tbsp of tomato sauce. put the leftover sauce in a second gravy boat and place both gravy boats on the table in case anyone wants extra.

stir well, and enjoy!

that’s how my grandma did it… she went one step further and made her
own tomato sauce, but that takes ages to do and is such a pain

Happy Thanksgiving (a week early)

Posted by: PunkiePixie | November 13, 2007

Belly Dance and a few news related rants…

So, as most of you know, I’ve been taking belly dance classes since September ’06. I instantly fell in love with the dance style and the teacher (Shalimar Rocks!), so I signed up for 6 weeks of classes, then another 6 weeks, then another and another and another… and it’s now a year later and Shalimar thinks I’m ready to perform. Eeps! I’ve been in the intermediate class for about 9 months and she thinks I’m decent enough to dance in front of other people. Whatever, she’s the retired professional, she knows best.

I took her up on her offer to have me dance with the class at Belly Dance Connection on Friday, November 16, 2007. The class is being introduced as the Daughters of the Pharaoh, and as a student group. As always, I’m nervous as hell and I think I suck despite knowing the whole dance from top to bottom and just having a slight timing issue that’ll correct once I dance with the group. I haven’t performed in ages, oh gods, in 8 years. The 1999 Caroline’s Dance Center recital. I was a soloist and I had no clue it would be my last year dancing on stage. I was in a car accident just weeks before my final recital with the school before I headed to college, so I had to be taken off the program. At least I was a vocal soloist and could at least perform “I Will Remember You” by Sarah McLaughlan as my goodbye to Miss Caroline. I miss her dance classes, she was so much fun.

So of course, my return to the stage is a bit fraught especially since the Belly Dance Connection is a well attended event and this time it’s not a theater filled with parents, but instead a banquet hall filled with belly dancers and belly dance enthusiasts. Oh, and I’ll be in a line up that includes professional dancers. Oh my god! Just thinking that makes me more nervous!

If you’re interested in seeing me belly dance in public for the first time ever, again, it’s on Friday, 11-16-07 at the Marco Polo restaurant in East Hartford (near the Manchester town line). Doors at 6pm, performance at 7pm, cover is $5 per person.

UPDATE: The performance went really well. I’ve been busy preparing for Thanksgiving so I haven’t been able to blog about it. I only messed a few things up and I nailed the one sequence I was sure I was going to mess up, but overall the performance went well. It was a fun night and now I’m gearing up for next month’s solo (I finally chose a song!)

Also, Shalimar was able to convince me to perform SOLO (bigger eeps!) at The Buttonwood Tree in Middletown, CT on Wednesday, December 12, 2007. This one I’m totally scared of because, seriously, after one year of study and Shalimar constantly telling me “Yes, Liz, you are a good dancer and have come really far in one year,” that I feel like I totally suck. Worst part? I have to choreograph it myself! UNGH! Shalimar, thank the gods, is wiling to help me tweak and perfect whatever I come up with, but I’m still unsure. At this point, I’m still listening to hours and hours of Arabic folk music and “belly dance music” looking for a song that “speaks to me” so I can put something together. Why is it that all the song I like are too western? Oy! I need to choose a song, the performance is in 29 days and I’ve got nothing! *sighs* I really need to get my act together on this shit. At least Shalimar made up 2 discs of bootlegged stuff for me, that’s helping a bit because now I at least know what she’s looking for. I’m totally screwed…

If anyone’s interested in seeing me make an ass of myself in Middletown, CT next month… click here for more info

You all know about the writer’s strike; if you don’t, please tell me what rock you’ve been living under?

The news media has gotten tired of covering it b/c the strikes have been peaceful thusfar and let’s face it, they’re owned by the companies being targeted by the strike and therefore don’t care that much.

So, being pro-union and all, I got curious and started researching the whole thing. Turns out the news media did a gods awful job stating what’s going on. Why should they? As I said before, their ownership are the ones being targeted (NBC/Universal, CBS/Viacom/Paramount, ABC/Disney, Fox/Fox). The writers have a really good reason to strike: they’re the ones creating the work that the producers are profiting from and all they want is a small share of the “new media” (aka: internet/iTunes) sales. Let’s face it… if someone was profiting off selling your work and not giving you you’re fair share, you’d be pissed too! It’s corporate greed their fighting… and it’s good that someone if finally standing up to it! The money hungry assholes on the top of the corporate food chain need to be bitch smacked by those at the bottom from time to time just to be reminded that without the little guy at the bottom doing all the work, they wouldn’t have their millions/billions.

I’m seriously looking at Disney and thinking “What the Fuck? You KNOW unions and their demands, I’ve seen you give in” as I used to work for their Parks & Resorts division. I was in an non-unionized department of said division, but the largest group, the housekeepers, were. Due to this, we got a lot of nice perks that most other employees in the US don’t get: two 30 minute breaks every 4 hours, two 15 minute breaks per every 2 hours of overtime, guaranteed overtime if a shift exceeded 8 hours for any reason, if a 6th day needs to be worked, that day is only 6 hours long and still has the two 30 minute breaks. Oh the luxuries!!! I missed them when I switched to retail. If I worked 6 days in one calendar week, you bet I was working 8 hours on the 6th day… I made OT pay, but I would be barely able to function. Only one 30 minute break per 8 hour shift, if I worked OT, no guaranteed 15 minute break. See, unions can be a good thing; they force employers to be HUMANE.

Yeah there’s the sucky thing of paying dues, but they offer health insurance if you need it and your employer for some fucked up reason won’t provide it (or if the company plan takes way too much out of your pay check). They offer pensions, what companies offer that anymore? It’s now 401K and that has it’s faults because it’s based on the stock market…. you could lose your retirement income if your company stock becomes devalued.

Employers don’t like unions because, well, they fight for stuff that the workers want that they don’t want to provide like decent health coverage, humane working conditions, and oh! What are the writers wanting?

THEIR FAIR SHARE.

To find out more, watch this video from the WGA East website.

For more info: click here

ETA: a friend of mine brought this letter to the editor from the Hartford Courant to my attention. It’s ironically funny and quite insightful click here to view

Moving on to other news that I’ve been thinking about.

I love BBCAmerica, specifically I love BBC World News America. I love how it’s British journalists trying to explain America to Americans. It really gives me a great perspective on what’s going on in the US and around the world as I’m getting it from a point of view of an outsider, mainly: British journalists. It also has better world news coverage than ANY of the American news sources. No coverage of escaped convicts, or bank robberies, or how much the insurance companies suck… it’s coverage of European elections (I didn’t know that this past summer the French were having Presidential elections until I started watching the BBC World News!) or Turkish refusal to acknowledge the Armenian holocaust and their childish move of pulling out all their dignitaries and ambassadors from the US because the US was trying to make them acknowledge said atrocity. Or, that the Turks hate the Kurds and they’re ready to fight a war over something that makes no sense to me so why try and explain it, or that the kidnapped African children have *gasp!* families that are concerned about them and are pissed off that they were taken advantage of by this French “charity” and the strange Western trend of international adoption (stupid Madonna and Brangelina— hmmm Brangelina sounds like a breakfast cereal, I digress). Seriously, the American news agencies cover these events for all of 2.5 seconds during a 30 second “World News” piece. Ungh!

Oh and the commercials are drastically different. The commercials on the nightly network newscasts are so geared to the old people who watch said newscast. It’s for medicare supplement insurance, arthritis rubs/pills, cholesterol medicine, laxatives, life insurance, and frozen dinners. I feel 80 just watching that shit. Now, flip to the BBC and watch the newscast there… I finally learned how to pronounce Qatar! It’s Kah-tar! Who knew! Well, they advertise on the BBC World News as a great place to put offices of the multinational corporation the viewer might be heading up. It’s also for airlines and those crack me up!!!! The ones for Thai airlines? OMG I fall over laughing watching this really “white” Asian business man get pampered by beautiful flight attendants and he’s obviously in first class! What do you get when you fly coach? Nothing. But the target market flies first class, so the commercial is for them. There’s ads for Credit Suisse, and Turkish airlines (this also makes me laugh as there’s a 747 rolling down city streets in London, Rome, Moscow, Istanbul… and people stop and point all calm and stuff), and Wallonia, Belgium (never heard of it before I saw the commercials). Oh! and Rolex and Intercontinental Hotels. Wow! Their target market is the top people at multinational financial companies…. too bad those people are resigning and being taken to court by the SEC. Ahhh, how funny the world is.

So, if you actually want to know what is actually going on in the world and you have digital cable, watch the BBC.

Now for you’re enjoyment, my favorite commercial btw; it’s for Thai Airways. It’s the one I was ranting about.

That should be about it. I’ll post pictures from Friday’s dance event during the Thanksgiving break, and I’ll bitch about Thanksgiving as well.

And remember, don’t overdose on turkey next week because submitting to a turkey induced nap around the extended family can produce unwanted side effects.

Take care!

Posted by: PunkiePixie | November 8, 2007

A Frightfully Good Time…

Halloween, it’s got to be my favorite holiday. It’s an excuse to dress up, play a character, and eat more candy than is allowed at any other time during the year. I love dressing in costume and for me it’s not just dressing up, it’s all about creating a persona. If you don’t act the part, then you’re just an other kid out trick-or-treating; you have to embody the character, that’s what makes it “grown-up.” I’d say “adult” but that in reference to a costume just makes me think about Playboy which we know no one reads for the articles. I digress.

When I dress in costume, I plan not just what I’m going to wear, but who I’m going to be and as fun as pre-packaged costumes from Target or the local Halloween emporium are, it’s so much more fun to look in my closet and think “What’s in there that will make a good costume?” A suit paired with sunglasses can be a CIA agent, my old chef’s jacket from that culinary class I took in college if paired with black pants can be a chef (duh), a low cut sweater with the pencil skirt jammed in the back of the closet can be a sexy librarian if i wear my hair up and my glasses. The list goes on.

This year, I took full advantage of my collection of Harry Potter merchandise (the only reason why I’ll enter a Hot Topic) and all the stuff leftover from the costume I wore to the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I even found a blue wig I bought 2 years ago and never wore. So what was I, you ask? I was a punk Gryffindor student. To complete the look, I added my Doc Marten boots I bought in London back in 1999 and a metallic silver Badtz Maru (Sanrio) messenger bag that’s also leftover from high school (I even found an old high school paper in it, creepy!). The look was convincing, but it wasn’t complete.

I wore the getup to the October edition of the CT Belly Dance Connection. It was Halloween themed, the audience was encouraged to come in costume (this event has a following) and there was a costume contest. I arrived at the event in costume, but also in character. I had the “punk swagger” because, seriously, it’s the only way I can walk in my Docs. I had the Johnny Rotten sneer, the Sid Vicious glare (the one he had before he ODed)… I was channeling Nancy Spungen… and I kept it up when the costumed attendees were told to come onto the dance floor for the contest. As I did my catwalk, I maintained the swagger, threw the devil horns, sneered, as I turned, I lifted the hood on my jacket, threw the horns again and before I took my spot, I stuck out my tongue. Oh yeah… punk baby!

The costumes were judged… and no one figured out the Harry Potter reference in my costume, but they recognized the punk as they called the “Blue Haired Punk” to come and claim her prize for “Most Bizarre Costume”.

Very awesome. It’s rare that I win Halloween costume contests, but this one was my most creative yet. Take a look yourself and tell me what you think: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=19197&l=7ff17&id=568549047
(you don’t need a facebook account to view the photos)

And before I sign off, one announcement.

I decided to turn the comments off on the patterns that are featured in the archives, especially the ones listed on Knitting/Crochet Pattern Central. I’ve gotten sick of having to delete hateful and spam comments. Seriously. I’ve had someone ask me why “goats wear hats” and that same person said “that the thing on the goat’s head looked like a toilet seat cover.” The picture he was referring to was the one of my mom!!! SO NOT COOL. It makes me glad I moderate my comments, and those described were labeled as spam.

It is also because of these people that only users who are logged in and registered to WordPress.com or another open source account can post comments.

I regret having to do it, but some people have no tact and I really don’t need that on my blog. Please, if you have nothing nice to say, just don’t post it in my blog!

Thank you and goodnight!

Posted by: PunkiePixie | October 8, 2007

A Fair-ly Good Weekend

This past weekend was the Berlin Fair. It’s a big deal in my hometown, there’s not much else that happens there. The Berlin Lions Club hosts the events at the town fairgrounds every year. The event is so big that the schools get a half day on the Friday of the fair and every kid in town submits something into the youth exhibition. Even the art teachers get into the act and have kids draw, paint, or sculpt submissions. Every kid gets a prize. It’s a big deal. I grew up doing this.

As an adult, I’ve entered in items into the needlework exhibition and last year was my first year doing so with my items placing 2nd and 3rd. This year, I entered 6 items and hoped for the best as the judging is tough. I fared well, and there was tough competition this year too as younger and younger craftsters add their items into the exhibition. It’s not your grandma’s knitting exhibition anymore!

This year, all my items ribboned garnering everything from 1st place to 4th. Here are my entries with their ribbons after they came home from the fair.

4th place
pattern: Amanda’s Squatty Sidekick
yarn: Patons Classic Merino Wool, “rosewood”

DSC00042.JPG

3rd place
pattern: Fetching
yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, “rain” (discontinued color)

pattern: Summer Berry Hat by Jan-Knit (pattern currently unpublished, I was a test knitter)
yarn: Patons Classic Merino Wool, red & leaf green

pattern: Cold Shoulders Capelet from Stitch ‘N’ Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker
yarn: Patons Divine

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2nd place
pattern:Clapotis
yarn: Elann.com Adara, “lagoon”

DSC00041.JPG

1st place
pattern: Tyrolean Stockings by Ann Budd, Interweave Knits fall 2007
yarn: Knit Picks Swish Superwash, “Squirrel Heather”

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Posted by: PunkiePixie | October 6, 2007

A Fair Find

A great find actually. I only say it’s a fair find because I found this yarn at my hometown’s annual agricultural fair, The Berlin Lions Club presents the Berlin Fair. And you know, the Harlot is right… knitters do have “yarn-dar”. I was wandering the fair and something just told me to turn down a certain avenue and I happened to turn my head that the precise second that I was passing yarn. I had a suspicious feeling that I might find yarn at the fair this year, but I kept ignoring it thinking “Never in my LIFE have I seen yarn at the fair and I’ve been coming here every year since birth!”

Before I get into the yarn, I want to announce something. The Tyrolean Stockings that I have blogged about before are now complete. I entered them into the adult needlework exhibition at the Berlin Fair and….

They won 1st place!!!

I forgot to bring a camera with me when I went to the fair today, so I’ll get some pictures once I bring home my prize winning socks. I also entered in 5 other items (Clapotis, Strawberry hat, Amanda’s Squatty Sidekick, Cold Shoulders Shrug, and Fetching gloves) and they all won ribbons as well. I can’t remember what won what prize. I’ll blog about that once I get the pictures of my prize winning knitting and crochet.

After checking to see what prizes my entries had won, I started to wander the fairgrounds with my constant companions: my mom and dad. We grabbed dinner of kelbasa, pierogis, and deep-fried oreos (mmmm fair food!), saw the livestock exhibits, browsed the vendor booths, and picked up our “must eat” items (giant sugar coated doughnuts, french fries, butterfly potatoes… mmmm fair food!). While making our way to some apple crisp, I suggested we turn down a road we hadn’t walked down previously. Little did I know that my yarn-dar was kicking into action. As I walked down that road, I thought for an instant, Wouldn’t it be cool if I found yarn at the fair? And at that moment I turned my head and saw it… Yarn, but not just any yarn… Hand spun, hand dyed yarn that was being sold by the person who put all the work into it! I had to ask “Do you have a website?” Alas, he doesn’t, yet, but he sells out of his home and at local fairs… So I gave him my email address saying that I know quite a few people from all over the world who would love to get their hands on this stuff. I wasn’t lying.

The yarn is just ooshy yarny goodness. It’s a bit scratchy, so no scarves or anything else that will be worn against my sensitive skin, but it’s no Noro. I would say that it’s somewhere between Noro’s steel wool coarseness and Malabrigo’s yummy softness. The coarseness is because it’s unprocessed wool; I came to this conclusion because it smells like sheep and still had the lanolin on it. Growing up in a farm town, i know what sheep smell like, and it ain’t pretty. The colors are jewel toned and nature inspired and are breath taking when put to the light (I found his booth after dark). The yarns I saw and handled were bulky to super bulky, with a few heavy worsted weights thrown in. The sheer bulkiness of the yarn made me think that he uses a drop spindle instead of a spinning wheel, but I never thought to ask. I fell in love with his yarn. It was hard to decide, but I found 2 skeins I couldn’t part with, and at $55 for both, I figured it would be easier to part with the cash.

As soon as I got home, I dug out the yarn and flung it onto the kitchen table to see the colors in the light. I was right! The colors are jewel toned and shine beautifully in full light. I, of course, took pictures and added them to my Ravelry stash (I’m kNerdyKnitter if you want to add me) and share them with my friends and post it all on my blog.

So, I present you all with Jan Marek Raczkowski Studio and Gardens Homespun & Hand Dyed Yarns

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Posted by: PunkiePixie | September 20, 2007

Insert cheesy song lyric here…

Oh my gods I am so happy right now! So happy that I HAVE to blog about it!

No… I didn’t win the lottery. No… I didn’t find true love. No… I didn’t get news that my best friend is coming up from DC to visit…

So why am I so happy? Read on…

i went to Old Navy tonight to get some sweaters as i was looking at their website earlier this week and managed to fall in love with all the fair isle and cabled stuff they have. not only did i end up getting all the sweaters i had intended to purchase and then some (7 in total, i think… i know ungh couldn’t help myself) but but BUT

i found some corduroys i really really liked. so i grabbed a pair in size 16 to try on. i put them against my hips to see if they’d fit and they looked like they would. i had just bought some jeans at Lane Bryant in a 16 so i thought i’d give Old Navy’s 16 a go, but i had doubts that they’d truly fit. After looking around for other things, i get those cords into the fitting room, i put them on and….

THEY FIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
and they fit PERFECT too! not tight, not “stuffed sausage” (as my mom calls it) but PERFECT!!!! and the best part? they were the “diva fit” which is the SMALLEST fit of the new fits/styles/whatevers. WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i instantly grabbed my mom and hugged her and danced in the fitting room! i haven’t been a size 16 at Old Navy since 1999… since fucking 1999!!!! 8 fucking years! FINALLY!!!!! and this is a store that’s known for small sizes. omg omg OMFG it was the most amazing feeling to have those pants fit!!!!!

i’ve been riding the high all night and just had to share!!!! i danced around the living room when i got home and hugged my mom a few more times for good measure. i could not believe my luck! the last time i went to Old Navy and tried on pants i left the store fighting back tears because nothing fit! and now to have a smaller size fit… wow wow WOW!!!!!

oh and even better… the cords were on sale for $14 a pair… so what do i do? i get 3 pairs. can you blame me?

gods… thinking about it, i’m back in my high school size! it was only a year ago that i was near tears because i was a size 22. now, i could cry tears of joy because i’m 4 sizes smaller! it’s like a whole new world is starting to open up to me thanks to yogurt and salads. LOL

i had to share my joy!!!

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UPDATE:

someone asked for how i lost the “weight” in a year. well i haven’t lost much weight, but i’ve dropped a lot of inches…. so i’ve shaped and toned up a lot over the past year. Here’s how I did it.

i spent a year working out at Curves 3-4 times a week and when the membership ended, I started going for 30 minute walks around my hilly neighborhood with my mom 4 times a week. i also go hiking on the occasional weekend and i go to a belly dance class every Sunday afternoon.

on the food side, i’ve been eating a salad for lunch every day, i eat yogurt and fresh fruit as my nightly treat and save things like ice cream for weekends only and i have to go out to an ice cream shop to get it. and i make sure that at dinner i eat only a little bit of lean meat with a lot of colorful vegetables. i also watch my portions. i measure my food and try to eat the recommended serving size and never ever eat directly from the package. oh, and i stay very far away from processed foods; i eat a lot of organics and whole foods. my food philosophy if it’s not found in nature, it’s not going into my body. it limits my diet, but i’ve been much healthier.

this is what’s worked for me. i’ve also been under the supervision of my doctor. i do recommend talking to your doctor before dieting because he/she will smack some sense into you and recommend good and healthy ways to lose the weight. i still have more to lose, so i plan on following my doctor’s recommendation and join Weight Watchers.

Posted by: PunkiePixie | August 30, 2007

Stockings from Tyrol

Tyrol, at one point, was a real place. It still exists. It’s a region of Southern Austria known as, duh, Tyrol and a region of Northern Italy known as Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. Ahhh, that useless bit of information comes from my mother. She spent her single digit years (and a few double digit) in Sicily and just like us American students being forced to learn all 50 states and their capitals and how those states came into being… well my mom had to learn all 20 regions of Italy and their capitals and history. Italian kids are lucky… they get 30 less pieces of useless information to learn (I can’t say all 50 states, but I can sing them in alphabetical order! And please don’t ask me the capital of Nevada… I don’t know it and, frankly, I don’t give a damn.)

So, you’re wondering why I’m babbling on about Tyrol… well it’s because my latest project is Ann Budd’s Tyrolean Stockings from Interweave Knits Fall 07 issue. These beautiful stockings caught my eye when I first leafed through the issue in the periodicals section of the local Borders. I turned to my mother and said “oooooooooooooooh, i love those! i want those! but i don’t think i could make those” and she gave me a confident “oh, you’re an amazing knitter, you could make those, they don’t seem that hard.” i bought the issue and spent 2 days lusting after those stockings before finally announcing to my mom “I am making those stockings!” her reaction “well, if they don’t fit, i’ll take them!” That day at work, i went to KnitPicks.com and ordered my yarn: Swish Superwash in squirrel heather.

A few days later, the yarn was in my possession and i spent a good few minutes fondling it. I had never worked with Swish before and this was my first time feeling it… oooooooh it’s soft. very soft. too good to be true soft. I dug the needles I had also ordered out of the box and proceeded to knit my gauge swatch… and something amazing happened: I got gauge on the first try!!!!!!!!!!! i never get gauge on the first shot with the suggested needles, this was amazing. this is a good omen, this means that i will have no issues with the pattern, so i cast on…. and my first problem occurred.

The pattern suggests using a cast on method known as the “Old Norwegian Cast On” okay… what’s that? So off I flip to the glossary at the back of the magazine and I try to follow the directions… Interweave, your instructions SUCKED!!! it took me the better part of an hour to figure out how to cast on. I missed most of my favorite show, Hotel Babylon trying to figure out this cast on method. These instructions were extremely vague and the pictures didn’t help. I stared and cursed at them until finally I figured out that I was misreading the vague directions and i figured it out. After i finally decoded the CO instructions, I CO with lightening speed and moved onto the first section of the chart.

I have to admit, I hated chart knitting. I’ve done it twice and it makes my eyes cross. Mainly because I’m an idiot and I don’t think to blow up the chart using the photocopier at work. Yup, I’m that special. But this chart wasn’t too bad, once I took the 5 minutes to play with the photocopier to enlarge the stupid thing. I sped through the first section in about a day (okay, that’s a long time for most knitters, but i don’t have much knitting time available b/c i um, work) and had no major issues (a few bad twists, but that was easily fixed). I then moved onto the more “complex” portion of the chart where I would make those lovely “v”s that are on the shin of the stockings. I was scared, nervous, i thought i’d mess it up… so hesitantly i moved on… and realized “what the hell was i scared of? this is dirt easy” and i wound up memorizing the chart, something i thought i’d never be able to do. i was even able to work on these stockings while on my birthday present trip to Maine (see previous entry for details of that trip). i actually finished the second section of the chart while in Maine. I was so proud of myself.

oh, and did i mention that these stockings are made using double pointed needles (dpns)? did i mention that until now i’ve hated, no despised dpns? and if i add a cable needle to the mix and i want to stab something with the needles? well because i was smart enough to order bamboo dpns, instead of the pretty metal ones that Knit Picks sells, i am saving my sanity. figuring out how to CO and to wrangle the damn things was a mess, but i’ve gotten the hang of it, and it took me forever to figure out how to wrangle the cable needle as well, but no blood was shed and no tears were cried and nothing went flying across a room. i figured out everything and now i’m happily working on the leg decreases of the stockings, slowly making my way to the heel flap and then the foot.

here is my progress thus far…

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the beginnings

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the first section of the chart, the ribbing, completed

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section 2 complete… those “v”s weren’t that hard to complete. i was crazy for being scared of them

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a closer look at those “v”s

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