Monday, May 31, 2010

Take a big breath

It's been a lazy day, mostly, and it's feeling like a lazy night. While I vegetate, here's someone doing something that looks absolutely insane.

The full description of this feat is here.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

T cozy

That "t" cozy sure has riled up some people. Knitters held a protest of sorts to counter the request that the yarn bombing item be removed from the public artwork.

From a distance this all is beginning to look pretty ridiculous, although this latest article fills in some of the civic tension that may be at play in this situation. But if that's how one wishes to spend a Sunday during a holiday weekend, more power to you.

As for me, I'll stick to watching baseball on TV, playing MarioKart, resuming my exercise plan, and baking a rhubarb pie. Enjoy the long weekend.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Not what I had in mind

I've finished knitting the brim of the hat that is a late--OK, very late--Christmas gift for my brother. As I mentioned the other day, having knit this pattern several times, I got sloppy and misremembered the stitch pattern.

I was thinking that I might correct for it by purling what is the right side that I want to be the wrong side. It might work, but I'm not sure that the single row of garter stitch, which is there the brim folds up, will be as effective as it ordinarily is.

At this point I'm leaning toward leaving it as is. It'll be a different stitch pattern on the brim than intended, but I don't know that that's such a bad thing. I suppose I could rip it all out, but considering how many false starts this project already had and how slow I've been at knitting it, I figure I better just stick with what I have or else I'll never finish.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Knit to a T

Yarn bombing is usually good for producing lighthearted stories about knitted items being attached to poles and such. But is smiling about these crafty installations endorsing vandalism?

One person appears to think so. In Berkeley, California (of all places) those behind yarn bombing a public sculpture are being asked to remove their addition because it is altering or defacing public art. It's important to note that it isn't the police who are pursuing this matter and that it sounds as though the person making the request isn't being unreasonable.

Sure, it may sound a little dramatic to claim this violates federal law, but I'll give the benefit of the doubt and assume this does break the letter of the law. Plus, I can understand the desire to protect the sculpture. Based on the reporting in the article, this situation is being handled in what seems to be the appropriate manner. I certainly don't think anyone needs to be charged with a crime, but it's fair for the owner to ask that the knit be taken off. What do you think?

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Thursday, May 27, 2010


My, how time flies. With Memorial Day weekend approaching, I am reminded that I've lived in my current apartment for three years.

Three years!

I don't want to sound like a senior citizen, but wow, it seems like that time has gone by in a flash. I suppose that means I've been part of the knit night group for about two years, although I should be docked for my lengthy stretches of non-attendance.

But seriously, how have three years slipped away already?

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Alternative plans

It's been a crazy week, so I was going to stay home tonight and watch baseball rather than go to knit night. Plans changed when I arrived at my apartment. The air conditioning was not working despite having been "fixed" a day earlier. The apartment was a toasty 85 degrees. Guess who's went out for awhile.

At knit night I worked on my brother's hat that may be finished closer to this Christmas than the last when, which is when it was intended to be given. I've made this hat several times, but for whatever reason I forgot that the stitch pattern for the brim is k1, p2 instead of the k2, p1 I was doing.

I suppose I can fix this problem by purling the stockinette portion rather than knitting it. (I can, can't I?) The question is whether I want to. But with allergies making my nose run and clogging it up and the apartment's heat having me sweating like a horse, there is a better time in the future to make that decision.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rise of the machines

Busy, busy, busy.

So while I try to get a handle on everything that's going on, check out this little robot.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Loosening up

It's been a little more than three months since the car accident, but my neck and upper back have continued to bother me. I'm not experiencing anything debilitating, but I'm definitely not back to normal either. Turning to the left, especially to check the blind spot when driving, is still limited. I had thought all this would have cleared up by now. Nope.

So I was evaluated at the end of last week. Opinion seems to be that some physical therapy sessions ought to do the trick. I've been assigned exercises to do at home and have scheduled eight appointments to work with a physical therapist over the next month.

I've felt like a big knot has been between my shoulder blades. While it's still there, it has diminished due to something the therapist did. (We both heard a fairly significant pop.) While I always expected to recover, the lingering nature of the injury has had me a little concerned and been a quiet irritant. This has been more tiring than I'd care to admit, but maybe the end is in sight.


Sunday, May 23, 2010


The series finale of Lost will be broadcast tonight. I've been watching since the beginning and look forward to seeing how it all wraps up, but I won't pretend like I've been able to keep all the mythology straight in my head. I wasn't exactly sure who some of the people were in this season's premiere episode, for instance.

I've watched the show and read some of the voluminous coverage of it, but I'm by no means an obsessive viewer. It's one of my favorite shows on the air right now, but I'm not poring over episodes frame by frame for clues or scouring message boards for all of the fan theories. I'll leave the heavy lifting to others and simply enjoy the ride.

The end of Lost brings to mind the conclusion of other popular television programs. I remember watching the final episode of M*A*S*H, probably the standard bearer for event TV, although I don't recall much about it. I went to parties for the last episode of Cheers and Seinfeld. I traveled out of town with some friends to see the final episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation so that we could see it in a market showing it before Columbus. (The syndicated show didn't play the same day or time everywhere.)

TV is thought to be a solitary activity, yet the experiences of watching those shows coming to a close was anything but. One movie theater in town has been showing Lost episodes on the big screen all season and been doing phenomenally well with it. (I believe the same success is occurring with Glee.) I know of at least two places showing the finale and expecting full houses.

Although I'll be watching the last Lost alone and from the comfort of home, it's neat to know that in today's fractured media landscape, there are still a few things that can draw together millions at once. Whatever happens on the show tonight, it will be a shared national, if not worldwide, experience for those tuning in. Don't believe me? Just listen to the chitchat at work tomorrow and see how many fail whales emerge around 11:30 p.m. (I expect Lost's conclusion might melt Twitter.)


Saturday, May 22, 2010

In the catbird seat

I made the trek north to meet up with a friend from college and go to the Cincinnati-Cleveland game with him and his son. I hadn't been to what's now known as Progressive Field since 2004. (Hey, I'm a Reds fan. If I'm going to drive two hours to go to a game, I'll pick my lifelong team every time.)

It used to be that getting tickets for games in Cleveland were tough to come by. Not so these days, probably because the team isn't very good. So it was somewhat strange to be in the stadium as a fan of the visiting team and feel like my fellow Reds fans made up a substantial part of the crowd. I've been on the other side of this when vocal visiting Cubs fans drown out Reds supporters in Cincinnati, but I never expected to be among the invaders making an away park sound like a home game. To top it off, the Reds won.

Despite rain showers of various intensities on the drive to my friend's place east of Akron and then to Cleveland, the night was about as perfect as it can be for baseball. The sun was out. There was no humidity. It was even a bit cool during the latter innings.

The only thing that could have made an evening at the ballpark better was an improved perch, yet our seats high down the third base line eventually proved to be in an advantageous spot. The post-game fireworks display was laid out right in front of us. While skipping the fireworks would have helped get me home at a more reasonable time, who would I be to tell an 8-year-old boy that we can't stay because I don't want to be on the road until 2:30 a.m.? For what it's worth, the fireworks were pretty spectacular.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Pac-Man fever

Google is recognizing the 30th anniversary of Pac-Man by making its logo into a playable version of the classic arcade game. Very, very cool.

I'm sort of aware how many copies some of today's video games sell, but short of the Mario universe, have any of them saturated the culture as thoroughly as Pac-Man?

When I was a kid I wanted the handheld version that came in a mini arcade cabinet. I had the Tomytronic version, which was pretty cool in its own right. I remember that the game could be frustrating because it wasn't the fastest thing in the world--none of these handheld games were--but it was exciting to be able to play Pac-Man anywhere. I would bet that I had a Pac-Man birthday cake, or if I didn't, one of my brothers did.

We also had the Pac-Man board game. The individual Pac-Man pieces didn't gobble the marbles all that easily. The marbles also tended to get accidentally knocked off their spots while playing. It was a fairly accurate, if even slower, reproduction of the original game. (I do not recall being nearly as enthusiastic about the board game version as this guy.)

And who can forget the Pac-Man cartoon? I'd hate to think how many episodes of that I saw. What about the hit song? Or the cereal?

Beyond all this, though, is the fact that the video game is still fun to play. I played the Google version for a little bit, and I have a free version of it on my iPhone. The hungry yellow guy has had some staying power.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

If only it were at The Knitting Factory

I'm not even going to pretend that I know who Sia is other than some singer whose CD with the weird cover tended to be at the Starbucks counter a lot. But if you do and are in London (England, not Ohio) or parts thereabout, then you can win the opportunity to sit next to the stage during her concert and knit a patch.

Seriously, I didn't make that up.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010


It's been awhile since I've shuffled the iPod and blogged about what comes up. I'm closing in on 10,000 tracks on the MP3 player, so this could (and should) be really random. Links provided when available.

1. Lambchop "I Haven't Heard a Word I've Said" Aw C'mon (2004)

I don't really have anything to say about this particular track, but I recall precisely when I first hearI d part this album,which was released at the same time as the humorously-titled companion volume No You C'mon. I was browsing in Used Kids Records on Valentine's Day 2004 before going to see Francis Ford Coppola's re-released One from the Heart. I was going crazy trying to place the artist and had to ask the clerk. (My best guess was Joe Henry, which I knew was wrong.)

2. Al Green "Tired of Being Alone" Al Green - Greatest Hits (1975)

I'm betting this will be the one track most of you will know. I was going to write how I randomly remember buying this in October 1996 while visiting an old friend in Madison, Wisconsin, but how banal is that. And the same goes for a lot of the rest that is likely to follow. So I'm scrapping the idea of saying much about these tracks in particular unless really provoked.

3. Broken Bells "The Ghost Inside" Broken Bells (2010)

4. Fiona Apple "Please Please Please" Extraordinary Machine (unreleased version) (2005)

I haven't downloaded much music online, but the Jon Brion-produced version of this album was something I tracked down because, if memory serves, people felt the record company was marginalizing and hiding it. (See, this is why I'm not following through with the concept. Do you care? No. But I was already deep into it when I decided to pull the plug.)

5. Guided by Voices "Dead Cloud" Earthquake Glue (2003)

The Dayton, Ohio indie rock legends have to go on the list of my all-time favorites, and I can't help but believe that local pride is partially responsible for why I took to the band.

6. David Gray "Long Distance Call" A New Day at Midnight (2002)

Mercy, the iPod must think I'm miserable if it's stringing all these songs together. C'mon, put a better face on things.

7. Beck "O Maria" Mutations (1998)

I expected Beck would be a one-hit wonder after "Loser". I was very, very wrong.

Let's just pretend this post didn't exist, shall we?

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I can tell that it was a busy and tiring day when I decide I need to take a nap at 8:30 p.m. and wake up two hours later. (Granted, this will probably ruin the rest of the night's sleep.) So, let's do some quick updates on stuff I've been blogging about. Because otherwise I have nothing.

-Whiplash from February's car accident is still bothering me. So the next step is seeing a physical therapist. Here's hoping that will return my neck to normal.

-My complaint to McDonald's yielded coupons for a free small coffee and free small fries. I'm still waiting for that seven bucks the parking garage machine didn't return, though.

-There's been some headway on preparations for August's family vacation. One of my brothers and I have been sending e-mails back and forth about what we might do to compensate for my dad's resistance to making plans. I found and booked the hotel rooms for the night's stay in Minneapolis, which is where we'll be stopping on the way to the rented cabin in northern Minnesota. It's a small thing, but I feel a lot better having that out of the way as it gives shape and an end point to that travel day.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Acts of man

Midlake has been around for about ten years, but their folk rock sounds like it comes from the 1970s. I've been enjoying their latest album The Courage of Others, but I can't say I know much about the band. So I was a little surprised to see seven guys take the stage, four of them with guitars (plus one with a bass).

The cover to their current album served as the backdrop. It kind of gives me the creeps, but that matches the haunting music. With most of the songs in a minor key, there's something insidious about these ornate songs in which the natural world is so vividly evoked.

Midlake bears some similarities to Jethro Tull, a comparison that, if I'd known, probably would have steered me clear of these Texans. (Yes, it was the flute solos, although I suppose "Bungle in the Jungle" and "Locomotive Breath" are all right.)

Midlake busted out a flute on occasion. Actually, there were a couple times when two flutes were going AND another when a third wind instrument joined in, but the songs were so impeccably played that I sort of get how flute can be incorporated into rock 'n' roll. Of course, there was plenty of guitar and vocal harmonies to compensate for whatever bias I may have previously held against this element.

Anyway, good concert, great vantage point. (I meant to take my camera but forgot it. Still, I grabbed a couple decent shots with my phone. I was certainly in a good enough spot.)

I couldn't find any official videos of songs from the new album, but there are some terrific unofficial ones that someone put to classic films. "Acts of Man" to Murnau's Sunrise and "Rulers, Ruling All Things" to Tarkovsky's Stalker are pretty stellar.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sweet knits

Oh, hello there. If I knew you were coming, I'd have baked a cake.

OK, I wouldn't have made that. It's way out of my skill set.

And no, I haven't a clue what that stitch pattern is on the WIP scarf.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010


Do you like felting? As much as this woman likes felt? The slideshow makes clear how much she likes felt. A lot.

And if that isn't enough felt for you, here's Felt.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Do I?

I probably ought to just hightail it over to a bookstore and check it out for myself, but have any of you seen Knits Men Want: The 10 Rules Every Woman Should Know Before Knitting for a Man~ Plus the Only 10 Patterns She'll Ever Need? Your thoughts, other than nonfiction book titles are ridiculously long?

I found out about the book last November. It's been in release for a month and a half, but with my knitting have slowed to a standstill of late, I hadn't been reminded of it until now.

What I've seen seems reasonable enough, although some of the humor/insight seems awfully reductive. I'm also wondering if the patterns aren't so basic that they're already out there for easy pickings. (The severest of the commenters calls the patterns "utterly basic, shapeless, and uninspiring". Err, that sounds like a selling point to me.)


Thursday, May 13, 2010

A serious matter

Two days ago I tiptoed around a subject and probably just left everyone who read it confused more than anything. Now you'll know why. That being said, I still want to be careful in how I approach this because it is a delicate matter.

Via the internet I've met several people who have become friends. Of course, "met" can be an imperfect term, as in some situations that does not mean any interaction except what goes on behind computers. There are readers of this blog that I "know" no more than from their comments, sites, and Ravelry pages. Likewise, probably for the great majority of you, that's how you "know" me. (OK, I'll drop the scare quotes now. You get the idea.)

You probably have certain perceptions about who I am that may or may not be true, and the same is true on my end. If you've read here long enough, you may be able to read between the lines if I'm in a good mood or bad mood on a particular day. You can't know for certain, but I'd bet there's a good chance you're correct.

Like I said in my original but vague post on this, the matter isn't about me, not really, but because of the serious nature of it, I feel I have a responsibility to keep things fairly general. With that out of the way, here it is.

There's someone I've known for some time via a discussion board and a social media tool but had never interacted with through e-mail, telephone calls, or face-to-face meetings. Even if I wouldn't necessarily know if I was in the same room with this person, I have no doubt that the person is real and not an internet construct.

Recently on a social media site this person posted some things that I found kind of curious. I wasn't sure how to take what I was reading. At worst I felt that the person was blowing off steam. A couple days later I realized that I hadn't seen any postings since those that planted some questions in my mind. Further investigation revealed that this person was no longer using the social media site.

Now I had a dilemma, and a distinctly modern one at that. How do you ask someone who you've never met, never communicated with in the ways mentioned above, and doesn't live near you if that person is suicidal?

This is what I was wrestling with two nights ago. I did have an e-mail address through people we know in common, so getting in contact was not a problem. While I hesitated to send a message, by the time I had one written I felt a lot more certain that my gut instinct was correct. So I pressed send and waited, somewhat with frayed nerves, for a response.

About fifteen hours later, one arrived. My impression was correct. Whether that person's feelings from a few days ago still persisted was unclear to me. I responded soon thereafter and offered to listen if this person desired. It's been more than a day, and I haven't heard back. Maybe I will eventually, maybe I won't.

In this particular instance, what's worse: knowing that I was right and not being able to do anything or discovering that I was wrong? If the latter were true, at worst I'd maybe have some embarrassment and offended someone. But I was correct and potentially just have the confirmation to show for it. That's a helpless spot to be in.

I don't write this for a pat on the back, for an acknowledgment of a job well done. If anything, I probably should have reacted faster than I did. The reason I write about this is that it is a modern life dilemma created by communication technologies at our fingertips on practically any habitable point on the planet. How much do you know someone when you've never actually met them? What a wonderful and exasperating thing this small but expansive new world this can be.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010


All right, knitting content...

Tonight marked my first time at knit night in nearly four months. The car accident and its aftereffects, two out-of-town film festivals, and the speed of spring had kept me away until now. With as busy as I've been and am, staying at home sounds good to me, but it was nice to get out and knit for a couple hours. If anything, going tonight was the impetus for resuming work on what was supposed to have been a belated Christmas 2009 gift.

So this evening I knit more than I probably have all year. Let's hope that means I've got a little mojo back.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A modern dilemma

What I'd like to write about today and what I'm going to avoid writing about for the time being is a very 21st century thing. It may be nothing at all, it may be something of great importance. I don't know. And that's why I'm going to be tiptoe around it. Yet it's also what's on my mind and why I feel it's necessary to tap out a few words regarding it.

Being vague can stir all kinds of wild ideas, so let me nip it in the bud. It isn't about me and has nothing to do with my well-being, day-to-day life, etc. Chances are that there's only one other person reading this that could have the foggiest notion what I'm going on about, and I'll be in touch with that person if I feel like I need another party's view or connection to resolve the question in my mind.

All right, have I been maddening enough? In brief (and in general terms), I've made a long distance observation that may or may not be correct and has me somewhat concerned. I've gone to the source and am waiting (and hoping) to hear back for confirmation or denial of the accuracy of my observation.

So, in this case I just have to say thanks for listening. I'll clarify as or if possible.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

On the warpath

I'm not one to complain. OK, that's patently false.

Correction: I'm not one to complain about bad service or the like. Call it inferiority or passive-aggressiveness or the belief that it won't make any difference or whatever. I just don't do it very much. My dissatisfaction may manifest itself in other ways--I refused to shop at Kroger's for years after they introduced a shopper loyalty card (and am not proud at breaking down)--or I may simply fume about it or let it go.

Not today, although both matters I dealt with were at least a couple days old. First was something I couldn't ignore. Last Wednesday an automated machine in a parking garage took my $10 and didn't give me the $7 in change I was owed. I'd been meaning to call about this but kept forgetting. Turns out it should be a fairly easy resolution. I faxed a copy of the receipt and my information to the appropriate person and expect to get the money mailed to me.

Drunk with a sense of righteousness, I then fired off an e-mail to McDonald's. On the way home from the Reds game on Saturday night I stopped to get a little bit to eat and a coffee to help keep me alert for the late night drive. (It wasn't my first choice, but the place I wanted to stop at was closed.)

Like I said, I'm not one to complain, but the service was terrible. Cold fries, no dipping sauce that I specifically requested, no napkins or straw, no cream or sugar in the coffee or the bag, and an exceptionally long wait--ten minutes minimum--with only a car or two ahead of me. The attendant didn't seem to know what my order was. Oh yeah, and no receipt, which usually has a customer satisfaction number.

Drop one or two of those factors, and I may not have bothered to voice my displeasure. In this case, though, I went to the trouble of looking up the location information and filing a complaint through the company's site. I haven't heard back and don't necessarily expect to get anything other than a form e-mail response, but hey, I told them! Politely, of course.

What inspired such backbone over relatively minor things? Probably it's my aggravation with not being fully recovered from what I initially (and foolishly) thought was an injury-free car accident. I'm not in terrible shape from the whiplash by any means, but I'm irritated that it's still lingering. Bad McDonald's drive-thru workers just got caught in the crossfire. (I still would have hunted down the seven bucks the parking garage owed me.)


Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother knows best

Now that I've been off muscle relaxants for a few days I can feel my neck tightening up again. In other words, I'm cranky and don't feel like putting a lot of thought into blogging today.

So I'll just wish the moms out there a happy Mother's Day and remind you to call or visit yours if you haven't already. Good thing I listened to mine and saw a doctor regarding this lingering injury from February's car accident.


Saturday, May 08, 2010


From Friday to Saturday the temperature dropped thirty degrees. A high around 50 is not what we expect here in central Ohio in early May, and it does not make the best weather for attending night baseball games.

Regardless, I've been wanting to see the Reds in person this season. I vacillated over whether to head south but ultimately decided to go. Who was going to stop me?

While it was a cold evening, I got a fun game with some stellar defensive plays, a couple of big blasts by the home team, and a thorough stomping of the visitors and their numerous fans. Hooray!

Of course, after all that I still had two hours to drive home. The drive from Cincinnati to Columbus is a pretty easy one, which can be the best and worst thing about it late at night. The unremarkable nature of the trip, especially in the dark, can enhance the boredom one feels as a driver.

After listening to the inane post-game call-in show, I hooked up the iPod and listened to some music for the second half of the trip. Eventually I realized that I felt really at peace on this lonely stretch of highway after midnight. The car's heater had thawed me out from sitting in the cold. The coffee I was drinking to ensure my wakefulness had me feeling relaxed and alert. The latest album from The New Pornographers had me comfortably encased in a sonic bubble.

Of course, once you acknowledge such a fleeting feeling, it goes away. There's nothing like breaking the spell than being aware of it, but the acknowledgment also confirmed that for all of my valid reasons for not going--too cold, coming off a busy week--it did me some good. (This is assuming I don't get sick from sitting out there.)

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Friday, May 07, 2010

Most knitters ever

It may not quite be a renewable resource, but stories about knitters trying to set world records seem to crop up on a regular basis. (Or at least I dig them up.)

Here's the latest: Toronto knitters hope to set the record for the most people knitting at the same time. If you have a passport, perhaps you could even join them in June.

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

And elsewhere today

Been a busy week here at the ol' blog HQ, so for today I'm going to limit myself to passing along a link to the story headlined "Era of knitting lessons in schools to come to an end as cash saving is agreed".

Hmm, not the snappiest headline, that. How about "Schools won't stick to their knitting" or "Knits nixed"?

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Take a chance

The benefit of the low-priced concert, especially when one can avoid all the surcharges too, is that it allows one to take a chance. For the price of a new CD (or less), why not?

The Wexner Center has become the premier spot in town to catch up-and-coming artists without breaking the bank. (Buy from their box office, and you avoid the Ticketmaster fees.) In the past few years I've seen several terrific shows in intimate spaces without spending much. What could be better?

I wouldn't go so far as to call what they're doing "curating" when selecting artists to perform there, but in my observation the folks at the Wex aren't just booking anyone who might wish to pass through Columbus. In other words, based on the quality performers I've seen them present, I feel like I can trust who they welcome to play their venues. I may not be interested in all of the acts they bring in but who would?

This is all a roundabout way of saying that I decided to go to tonight's Laura Marling concert. I did give her new album a test spin on the soon-to-be-shuttered Lala, so obviously I liked what I heard enough. Still, one listen on a computer isn't exactly much to go on when heading to a show.

It didn't matter. Marling was terrific and, to say what probably every article about the 20-year-old folk singer surely mentions, poised well beyond her years. The kind of music she plays isn't going to be getting heavy spins on radio stations or filling stadiums, but nevertheless, I felt like I saw a major talent tonight. It's hard to believe she's that good this early.

Hmm, maybe that inexpensive concert ticket wasn't so cheap. There's an album or two I need to buy now.

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Tuesday, May 04, 2010


Having never been to New York City, I've never seen the famed Anthora coffee cup in the wild, but it's familiar from plenty of movies and TV shows. I'm betting you know what I'm talking about even if you've also never seen one in person.

Leslie Buck, the designer of this particular paper cup, died last week. And whaddya know, you can knit a coffee cup cozy in this style.

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Monday, May 03, 2010

The family vacation

Big family vacations were not a regular part of my childhood. With my dad doing most of the work to run the family business, he wasn't able to take off for several days. There were long weekends here and there, but as I wrack my memory, I can only think of two extended summer trips. Maybe I'm forgetting others, but there can't be too many.

My reason for writing about family vacations is that I committed to going on one that everyone else will be taking in August. They've taken these trips at least a couple times in the last couple years, but I haven't gone, largely because when they were going conflicted with my work schedule. I didn't mind. They were going on fishing trips, and I didn't have much interest in doing that even if I'd been able to go.

This summer the family is going to northern Minnesota for a vacation that is, you guessed it, built around fishing. I confess that the idea of a week of fishing is not at or near the top of my list, but I also feel like I ought to go anyway. Who knows how many opportunities like this may remain?

I checked out the information about the cabin and site and looked at a map to see where we will be. Although the cabin is in a village about as big as my hometown--in other words, I don't expect more than one traffic light--there's a decent-sized city not too far away if I get bored.

So I told my parents that I will go, although I'm not guaranteeing that I will do any fishing. I may be perfectly happy to read a book or knit or do whatever. I have some concerns that everybody may drive me crazy, especially since my dad is (insanely) considering just taking one vehicle for seven people and a small dog. My brother and pregnant sister-in-law are to fly from Dallas to Minneapolis and then join us, so it wouldn't be seven the majority of the way but still...

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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Rain songs

Stray observations from tonight's rainy My Morning Jacket concert with opening act The Preservation Hall Jazz Band...

-Wearing a poncho was like being in my own little polyethylene bubble amid the crowd. It also gave me slightly more space in tight quarters.

-Apropos of nothing, there was a guy in the crowd wearing a full ape mask adorned with a hat with "party animal" on it. That was...weird.

-Bringing along a New Orleans outfit with a rich history might intimidate some groups, but one sign of a band secure with its own abilities is inviting a great opening act. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band was a lot of fun and a terrific start to approximately three hours of music.

-Why is My Morning Jacket not one of the biggest bands in America? They kill it live, and their recorded output isn't too shabby either. As I sort of said before, they would have been huge in the '70s.

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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Worlds collide

Several months ago I wrote about the film Handmade Nation. If you're in Columbus or nearby, your chance to catch it will be here. Studio 35 will be showing the film next Saturday after the Columbus Crafty Cotillion Spring Trunk Show.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show plays at the theater later that night. Who do you have your money on as the rowdier audience, the crafters or the Rocky Horror folks?