Saturday, April 30, 2011

Let the good times roll

No photos of cars for today, which breaks a two day streak. In fact, there's not really anything I have to say other than what one might put on a post card. So...

Having a good time. See you soon.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Gotta go back in time

It was an even later Friday evening--and one that was spent writing in earnest--so I forgot to post here. So why don't I hop into this car, seen near the event I'm attending, and go back in time?

See, I've posted on Friday now.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Packed to the gills

Dear readers, I do have tales to tell of my evening here, but they will have to wait until another night when I have time to do them justice. I've not done a lot of socializing while at this event in past years, but going to tonight's shindig gives me celebrity interaction and festival party anecdotes.

In the meantime, here's a car I spotted nearby. The owner is apparently hoarding all manner of paper. There's room for a driver in the interior, but that's about it.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Film fest blogging begins in earnest elsewhere tonight, so I turn to quick and easy blogging here.

The place pictured above was across the street from where I parked on Tuesday night for the concert. Something about the signage amused me. I particularly liked the strangeness--is it a joke or serious?-- of "If the store is closed, please just slide your money under the door."

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In the club

Timing worked out nicely for me to catch The New Pornographers and The Walkmen in Cincinnati tonight and then head west for Roger Ebert's Film Festival tomorrow. I really wanted to see this pairing of bands--they'll be in Champaign-Urbana when I'll be there for the festival--and this evening's concert meant not ditching any films and shaving an hour off Wednesday's drive. (Granted, I drove about two hours to get down here, but tomorrow's drive will be shorter.)

I really need to be finishing up some stuff and then getting some sleep, so I'll refrain from posting pictures from the show or writing about it. Perhaps I can get to that after the film festival and on a slow blogging day.

What I did want to touch upon briefly was visiting Bogart's, the club pictured above. As far as I can recall, the last time I was here was in late June/early July 1999 to see Beth Orton with Kelly Willis opening. I know I saw The Afghan Whigs in this club, but that was probably in 1996 or 1997. If I haven't seen any other shows here--and none come to mind--it feels like I did. (Guided by Voices, perhaps?)

The place feels so familiar. I had a pretty firm idea of what it and the area looked like. While I didn't look around much after arriving and departing--I lucked into a parking spot almost directly across from the front door--it all seemed like I remembered, more or less. The spacious room, which is a long rectangle with a parquet wood floor and wood paneled walls, feels homier and doesn't feel as cramped as a similar Columbus club. It's a simple, unpretentious space that is a great place to see a concert, at least if you're near the stage, as I was.

It was a bit unusual to be patted down and asked to empty my pockets before entering. I can't remember the last time I've experienced that before going to a concert. (It wasn't to catch recording devices, as they ignored the camera. That alone tells you how much the new ordinary is entrenched at concert venues.) While waiting for the opening band to take the stage, a security guard confronted two college-aged women who'd been handed bottled beers by a friend. They weren't of age, and he tossed them all, best as I can tell. Never seen that happen.

Both bands were terrific. I had a great spot about three people deep from the stage. All in all, it was a great way to kick off what has been an annual spring trip for me.

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Monday, April 25, 2011


It's been a gray, soggy spring so far 'round these parts. I could use some color. Check out these spectacular shots of Dutch tulip fields. I don't expect the Midwestern landscapes to look like that when I hit the road this week, but something other than rain that announces spring would be nice.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011


Knitters, something to consider if you reach 100 years of age:
"I guess I wore out my eyes with all my fancy knitting," said Meyne, who is mostly blind. "I don’t know how to say it, but I just enjoy doing it."

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

This just in

Coming across the knitblog newswire today:

-Knitted Easter chicks for charity

-A "bro-chet" club

-Yarn bombing with a giant knitted ball and chain

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Friday, April 22, 2011


During my visit to New York City last month I purchased a weekly pass for taking the train from Secaucus, New Jersey to Manhattan. By my calculation, it would be worth the expense due to the number of trips I'd be making.

The problem was that I made the decision based on faulty data. I'd been a little confused by the purchase--and shocked by the amount it cost me--to go from Penn Station to three stops into New Jersey. It turns out that I messed up and purchased the same trip twice, with one good enough to get me as far as Seacaucus, the first New Jersey stop, and another to go two stops more. I thought I'd bought a ticket to Seacaucus and another ticket from that hub to my destination. (In other words, I thought I bought a ticket from A to B and another from B to C. Instead I bought a tickets from A to B and A to C.)

I bought the weekly pass on a Saturday, the first day one could use it, but almost immediately after doing this I wondered if it would be good for rides not originating from or ending at Secaucus. (My train trips would begin and end two stops down the line on Monday and Tuesday.) I stopped into the station's office to see if I would be OK using this weekly pass or if there would be an additional cost for catching and taking the train farther. I assumed so, as that's how New Jersey's system worked, but I wasn't sure in this case.

The transit employee didn't seem all too certain but ultimately said that I would be fine. As the weekend went along, and the more my brother and I thought about it, this didn't seem correct. So, on Sunday night we popped into the office again and asked a different transit worker. She said that it couldn't be used the way I needed to use it and went about filling out the forms and making the copies necessary to request a refund.

She also told me that the weekly pass didn't start losing prorated value until a weekday passed, so she thought I'd be refunded for the entire thing. I had used it four times over the weekend--twice going into NYC, twice returning--and was happy to pay for the trips I'd taken, yet if the refund went through, I would end up benefiting from my obliviousness and a loophole.

It was kind of a time-consuming process to get everything ready to request the refund, not that I minded, as I was otherwise going to have wasted around $20. The transit employee was patient and very helpful--she knew the ins and outs much better than the person I previously spoke with--and I made a point of writing her name down in the event that I got some or all of my money back.

A month after the request was made, a full refund was credited in my bank account. Now I have a letter to write. That employee gave terrific customer service, and I feel like she ought to be recognized for it. Where one of her co-worker's provided me with bad information that would have cost me even more--I would have had to make up the difference and pay a penalty to the conductor--she fixed a mistake I made. Although it was a nice victory to come out ahead--a fact that won't go in the letter--that wasn't what I was looking for. For that, the least I can do is let her superiors know how much I appreciated her efforts.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sweet threads

It isn't knitting, but I thought the spirit of making something works for this site.

So, I present: the prom dress made of Starburst wrappers.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Steps and stitches

The answers about the knitting marathoner's attempt to break a world record--her own, if I understand correctly--have been revealed on her blog. I'll let you check for yourself than spoil it here.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011


It could be quite a year of changes.

My mom is resigning her position, and my parents will be moving. (They're waiting to hear any day now if the house they're interested in will be theirs.) They'll be near where two of my brothers live, or at least that's the plan. While she's calling it her retirement, the possibility of a job exists.

One of those brothers, the one who's been working out of the greater New York City area for about six months, is keeping his options open for another job, which would likely necessitate moving away from where he's called home. (It's only coincidental that this arrives at the same time that my parents will be getting closer, for what it's worth.)

While I don't expect a really big change at work, one that would put things on high alert, the way things have been means not ruling it out either. Some things have been stirred up again. Who knows what that means. Regardless, other changes are going forward that will be significant. (My main concern is that there's not the most significant change: looking for employment elsewhere. That doesn't appear to be imminent.)

Turn and face the strange, indeed.

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Monday, April 18, 2011


Some random things...

-If I purchase a drink at a restaurant without wait staff, I always make a point of dumping the ice and whatever liquid is left over in the soda dispenser tray or outside. I remember this didn't used to be the case when I was a kid. Now it seems wasteful to me to do otherwise. But is this something that only I do? I don't know that I see anyone else practicing it, and I'm not sure when or why I started.

-If I haven't linked Meryn Cadell's "The Sweater" on this site before, it sure seems like something that ought to be mentioned on a knitting blog. The music and video sure do scream early '90s.

-I've not been able to find out if the knitter/marathon runner was able to stitch together a scarf during the race, but here's a little more about her. And here's her blog.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

A royal treat

I suppose the one benefit to the forthcoming royal wedding is that it gives me blog fodder. For instance, a woman has knit a royal wedding cake.

But really, cool it with the coverage.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Marathon knit

If knitting on your couch isn't enough of a challenge for you, how about trying to knit a scarf while running a marathon? Just figuring out the logistics--or not automatically felting the yarn from the sheer amount of sweat, water, and heat--seems like a sufficient challenge.

There are also details on some of the other ridiculous things some people are attempting to do in the London Marathon. Come on, isn't running 26.2 miles hard enough?

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Friday, April 15, 2011


I guess it's indicative of the slump I'm in that I found a story worth reading and writing about but just feel like linking and leaving it at that. So, with that said, I'll try to pull it together and leave you with this: how little sleep can you get away with?

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Limited perspective

And as she talked I called up images of women knitting and realised that it is gone.
Well, I suppose this is a different angle than the typical late-to-the-game article about knitting's resurgence. The above quotation comes from an Australian newspaper blog post titled "Disappearing skills".

I think the point to take away from this is that sometimes we really don't know more than what our own experience tells us. It helps to look around.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

No nonsense

Don't mess with the knitting great-grandmother.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New release Tuesday

Tired, very tired after a busy, busy day. Enjoy some new TV On the Radio.

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Learned and relearned

Sometimes it takes learning something again and again and again. Let's hope the lesson sinks in this time.

About two weeks ago I noticed that my left outer thigh felt numb while also producing occasional pain. Of course, the first thing I did was jump to some wild conclusions. Since the area was approximately where my cell phone rests against when in my pocket, the obvious answer was that the radiation from the phone had deadened this part of my leg and possibly made it cancerous. I wish I was joking, but seriously, that was the first thing that crossed my mind.

I stopped carrying the phone in my pants pocket to see if a little time without it there would make a difference. It didn't. The problems persisted. Hmm.

Naturally, the obvious thing to do is jump to a conclusion that may be even more outrageous. This must be the first sign of ALS. Never mind that I don't really know much about it. My maternal grandfather died from it--not that I knew him or ever witnessed the effects of the disease--so clearly I must have inherited it.

In my feeble defense, I can't say that I dwelled on these ridiculous assumptions, but not knowing what was wrong and not doing much about it let me worry like a champion. I tried applying Sportscreme and taking a week off from exercising. Neither seemed to have any appreciable effect.

At the very least I could have looked up the symptoms to get some possible answers. Or I could have gone to the doctor. But no, let's worry about this and make myself miserable. Obviously that's the best solution.

I ended up plugging information into Google and finding what seemed like a reasonable diagnosis. Granted, the first place I think I found this was in an old discussion forum with people who had given some worst case scenario answers to those inquiring about their symptoms. I poked around a little more looking for info about this condition and decided that this is probably what I'm experiencing. That in and of itself let me ease up on the worrying.

I called the doctor's office this morning and surprisingly was able to get in today. The doctor agreed that my self-diagnosis sounded correct, handed me some anti-inflammatory medication, and told me to let him know if I don't notice any improvement in a few weeks. (It could still be a pinched/compressed nerve. It just might need to be treated with something else.)

The lesson, again, is that when it comes to medical concerns, it's better to address them head on. Concocting wild ideas about what might be wrong isn't productive. If anything, they make me feel less like checking with a doctor. What if the doctor confirms my worst fears? What if it's expensive? The question that's not going through my mind often enough--but should be-- is what if you're not helping yourself in any way by handing the issue in such a manner? (I should mention that I've not had any impairment or loss of function, which was the main consoling factor in all this.)

I worked out tonight and didn't notice any issues. I then went to see The Mountain Goats in concert, which required being on my feet for three hours straight. That was probably not the best decision--I was feeling the pain early on--but hey, I bought the ticket awhile back. As if not going was an option.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Summer in April

And then suddenly it was a summer-like day with spring basically being skipped in the process. The high here was in the mid 80s. Eight days ago I was wearing a knit cap, a winter coat, and long underwear to stay warm at an evening baseball game. Crazy. Of course, the high is supposed to fall about twenty degrees for tomorrow, and the rest of the week looks to be in the 50s or low 60s.

So how did I elect to take advantage of this beautiful day? I went to see the first part of a twenty-six year old and nearly nine and a half hours long Holocaust documentary. (Today's section was "only" four and half hours.) It's a rare chance to see something I figure I ought to see. You wouldn't judge me if it had been raining all day.


Saturday, April 09, 2011


Please, tell me you don't do this.

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Friday, April 08, 2011

It's not cable

Whether the rumored Friday Night Knitting Club project ever gets off the ground, there's the potential for another knitting-related movie to be made. OK, make that TV movie. HBO has optioned The Knitting Circle with Katherine Heigl in mind as the lead.

I've not read either of the knitting novels, nor does Heigl's attachment to the project bother me. (At least in film circles online, the actress seems to be quite disliked.) Frankly, HBO's involvement should invite more hope than if this were another theatrical romantic comedy. Heigl's cinematic efforts have been mostly been ill-fitting and unpleasant affairs.

So, what do you think?

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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Time flies

Hold on a second. You mean it was a week ago that I was driving up to the Cleveland area and spending a night in a hotel so as to get sufficient sleep before film festival attending? That feels like it was a month ago.

Just keeping way too busy here. Something that's been worrying me isn't worrying me as much today, although it remains to be seen if I should be feeling that way.

Anyway, you've heard this song before...

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Knit art

If you've reached the point as a knitter where you feel like there aren't any challenges left, perhaps you can try recreating famous paintings.

Me, I'm just trying to summon enough energy at the end of the day to blog.

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Where is my mind?

Monday I locked my work keys in my office.

Today I figured I could go to evening screenings tonight and tomorrow and not miss much of the Reds games on TV because they're playing Houston. That would be all well and good if they were playing IN Houston rather than against them in Cincinnati.

Could I just slow down a little bit and get it together again?


Monday, April 04, 2011


It had been the tournament of the little guy. Two mid-major schools advanced to the NCAA Final Four in the men's basketball tournament. Maybe this would be the year when the small program came out on top.


The championship game between Butler and Connecticut was a brutal display. Neither team played particularly well. Butler just happened to play about as poorly as a team can yet lead at halftime and conceivably still have a shot late in the game. So much for pulling for them.

I admit that I invest a lot in wanting to see the smaller schools win. The teams I regularly root for are often the underdogs. Good grief, that's pretty much how I see myself. I really felt like this year the time had arrived for an unlikely champion to emerge. It did happen, and it all went down in the most disappointing of manners.

Maybe next time.

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Sunday, April 03, 2011

Integral to the role

Friday's meager blog post mentioned that the actresses in Meek's Cutoff are knitting in one scene. It turns out that Michelle Williams has weighed in on how she felt about having to knit for the role. (For what it's worth, the headline and the quotation don't match up. Way to distort things, editor.)

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Saturday, April 02, 2011

Play ball

The baseball season began in dramatic fashion Thursday for my Cincinnati Reds. A two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth snatched a win from what was looking like defeat. What a way to kick off a year in which a lot of hope and confidence is invested in this team.

Tonight I headed down to the second game of the season. A winning result was achieved without such showmanship, but who cares about style as long as the game ends with right team on top? That said, it was a good, fast game.

Perhaps most enjoyable was the atmosphere in the ballpark. The Reds have tried to make the second game an event--Opening Night--in order to bring people out after the highly in-demand Opening Day game. It worked, although it wasn't simply good marketing. The fact that almost 38 thousand turned out certainly had something to do with the expectations for this season.

Those hopes had the stadium hopping in a way that I don't remember seeing in the regular season, especially this early in it. The crowd seemed more engaged and vocal, which made it more fun to there. So this is what it's like to be on top, or at least have a good claim for it.

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Friday, April 01, 2011

Old timey

During the last film on my last day at the film festival, I came across a scene that features all three of the actresses knitting. In Meek's Cutoff, coming soon but not necessarily to a theater near you, Michelle Williams, Zoe Kazan, and Shirley Henderson are all seen knitting while their wagon train has stopped for the time being. All are wrapping the yarn with their right hand, which is the more American method, correct?

Yes, this is what I was really thinking about during that part in the film.

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