Thursday, November 17, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
new favorite online knitting magazine: the anticraft.
i know it's really cliched and punk pretentious (yes, there are skulls), but i like how it's sort of like nascent knitty.com with a dash of emily the strange. i think they recognise how hot topicky they are in a meta-mockery way, so that itself redeems it.
\loving the anatomical heart motif
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
Sunday, November 13, 2005
offline-blogging at someday cafe in davis square. it's a busy night here in the land of fragrant tea leaves, luminescent bladder lamps, and small-big-talking pretentious-but-charming minding-the-time couples. niknak and i were lucky to find a comfy, striped couch to sink into, with objects of pleasure and business on our laps, cups of green caffeine cooling. nick brought up the point today that someday cafe is the only place for studying in the area with comfortable couches and quaffable treats. 1369? cozy tables and street-watching, but no. diesel? diner booths and hot chicks, but no. starbucks? don't even go there.
that is one of the reasons why we are here tonight. to sink ourselves into cushiony comfort.
this past week has been peculiar. i may have experienced a cosmic wrinkle, as it felt simultaneously endless and immediately over. maybe it was the s t r e t c h i n g of the stars and the moon until monday, where the winds finally coalesced and diffused. a moment of weightless warmth, where you try to hold your breath and find yourself breathing anyway.
narrative interjection: i just espied (over the shoulder, heehee) that garner by kirstin allio was reviewed in mcsweeney's the believer #27: september 2005 issue. this might explain it! the newly instilled mit graduate women's book club (of which i am a member, proudly) conducted its inaugural monthly meeting last week about this book. and it was unanimously hated. consensus: garner 5ux0r3d. while i was reading it on my own, i wondered if i was missing anything. the dialogue, the nonlinear structure, and fussy writing (there were honest pleas for clarity at the book club, like, wait, the guy was was shot? when did that happen?) made it super difficult for me to slog through the book. i was heartened, therefore, when the book generally made everyone's life a little more complicated. in the bad way.
[currently reading the believer's review.... so meta....]
[. . . . . finished.]
hmm, ok. it's a generally positive review, with reservation, but impressive on the way it transports the reader to the history and the mood kinda way. huh.
garner is neither a brisk nor a strictly satisfying read...
i would agree. definitely not brisk! i think i was bored to tears at some places. briskness being interrupted by the occasional nap attack. and i wasn't particularly satisfied by the way the book was written or the way it ended....nope.
i dub garner a masterly, multi-voiced, mood-altering mystery...
'masterly' is probably not the best word i would use. it was truly confusing and a bit disconnected (in style and character development). multi-voiced i would agree with, since the narrative is truly pastiched in structure, told by myriad characters, through flashback, dreams, journals, thoughts, and voices. and mood-altering? is that supposed to be a good thing? moldy bread can also be mood-altering.
a debut so wise, certain, and cleverly empathetic as to seem the work of a sure-footed pro...
kirstin allio teaches creative writing at brown university. that's not a trivial accomplishment, and i respect her for that. but ick, i probably don't want to take her class after reading this.
so that's my truly non-professional and non-tactful book review. but i also have a certain disdain for highly-mannered writing (i could hardly get through the first chapter of wuthering heights) and i'm not the hugest history buff. i don't go crazy or get moved to tears after reading about fallen soldiers and political unrest and white-men-fighting-for-reasons-i-cannot-understand. it's just my thing, i guess.
next month's book: transit of venus by shirley hazzard. i haven't yet begun reading, but i'm quite confident it'll be a much more pleasant selection.
other things i'm currently reading for fun: jude the obscure by thomas hardy (oh, tess!), smashed by koren zailckas, selections from cabinet magazine; and recently finished mary, nabokov's first novel (translated from the russian original). i also have one place after another by miwon kwon and this book on design theory from the mit libraries in the queue.
after an unexplained hiatus, reading feels so good.
[can you believe my mcsweeney's #17 is still intact? the taut clear plastic tempts my poking, curious fingers. i'm waiting for the right moment, i think...]
one thought leads to another. last night we watched sideways, that movie from last year that probably everyone has watched already. late in the game as always. anyway, the 'moment' is like how miles waits for the right moment to drink his 1961 pinot. kinda like that. kinda. maybe. well. no.
onion rings shall be present, in any case.
it was a good movie, but i wouldn't say spectacular. none of the characters were remarkably likeable, except for maybe maya, but then you even start to doubt her judgment when she actually finds miles attractive. that may be cruel, but hey, not everyone is obsessed with pinot noir, either. the cabernet--i.e. jack--is absolute retch. where's the pinot grigio, huh? the pinot grigio just don't get no respect.
one of my favorite moments in the movie was when the two couples eat in the fancy restaurant and keep eating. other than the whole drunk-dialing episode, that looked yummyhappy. another one was when the golf dorks unleashed their suppressed violence. iron-swinging, indeed. i'm sure miles' book sucked nonetheless.
funny how this entry became one largish book and movie review. heehee. more to come, i'm sure. maybe it's the cafe atmosphere (and piped nostalgic hipster pop) that's leeching onto my brain and causing such literary effects in my system. i feel prose running up and down my arms with their relentless tickle. caffeine + silliness + laptop + partner-in-crime + cushion = waxing galactic christine.
it's too distant
they're too intelligent
just like rub knees already
the double-reed might turn me off
it was just too much to deal with
[inspired by the argyle-clad cushioned couple to our right]
[[you'd understand if you were here.]]
oh yeah, i met ezekiel honig of the microcosm label last week. exciting! he and his girlfriend met up with a bunch of us nutty media labbers for dinner at rangzen (delish tibetan!), and he even made a live half-hour mix specially for my radio show. [big shoutout to morgan, christine, zeke, and ondrea! ] ezekiel's been superfriendly in correspondence and makes delicious 'gentle techno.' i guess i'd call it organic electronica... it's very soothing, yet unsettling. it's as if a robot were singing you a lullaby.
anyway, check out the mix and asynchronous interview on sans serif. it's the most recent show, 2005.11.09.
it's 11:33pm, haven't had dinner yet. must be the grape leaves and cheesy omelet i had at brookline lunch this afternoon that's keeping my tummy tidy. that place gets my recommendation without reservation. three pancakes, one egg, and breakfast meat served for $3.95? in cambridge?? and neato lamps, too. you can't lose.
Friday, November 11, 2005
a complete coincidence leading to utmost glory.
yesterday morning, over a groggy bowl of cereal, rifling through the dig, i espied the quarter-page at the most opportune time.
live in concert in february
at the orpheum theatre in boston.
i glanced at the clock.
tickets, on sale online, in two minutes.
refreshing ticketmaster.com every second, until the fateful moment.
my persistence paid off. two tickets, mezzanine row A, for their takk tour.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
ode to a chopstick.
together, you happily
clutch bits of egg
small angles for a tender
beef chunk or three
in oily love
a twin partner
with each other
length and strength
no cube of tofu
but what tragedy
when only one may
break on a bone
fall through the gutter
drop in the dirt
or splinter a tongue?
the sky opens its silver lining
as the remaining one
nestling into the soft folds
of shiny tied hair.
dressing up in silver
encircled by fine rings.
providing a firm spine
for a weakling green.
or polished and proud
twirled in loops
between the fingers
of a knitting christine!
Sunday, November 06, 2005
sleepy sunday today. the sky bodes for tea, naps, and curling up with a book. if i had a kitty, i would pet it. not too much going on except adhoc musings and... doing kitchener grafting over 110 stitches! for the first time! and being insane!
before you ask, no, it is not a huge, huge grafted toe for a sock. even i'm not that experimental. (well...)
here's the lace leaf pullover i've been working in fits and spurts. check her bad green self out...
it's a luscious, cozy weight, stitched with knitpicks sierra and andean silk together on size 13 needles. the resultant mix of 35% wool, 11.5% merino, 42.5% superfine alpaca, 11% silk is supersoft, and i love the variegated effect of the heathered andean silk undulating throughout. however, i had to do some revisions because my gauge was about 11.5-12 sts, though the pattern gauge is 10 sts. the finished body is true to dimensions for the small (38" is the small, so this is a very generous fit with ample ease), though i didn't account for the increased number of stitches throughout. therefore, i'm in limbo right now because i need to order more yarn. i'm fretting that the dye lots of the 'leaf' color (in both yarns) will be terribly off. an even more alarming fact is that the 'leaf' sierra is out of stock at knitpicks... i hope they are not discontinuing it! however, i guess it's not the end of the world if the hue of the sleeves are perceptibly different. at least each large section of the sweater shall be consistent.
the same leaf motif (i <3 knitted leaves, woo) is conducted on the collar, near the bottom, and on the left sleeve. however, to make the leaves work, the top half is knit from the collar down, and the bottom is knit from the bottom edge up. then, with the patience and persistence of a goddess, you graft the pieces together. i wonder... is it impossible (or tricky) to knit leaves from the tip down, rather than from the base up? it's probably due to the fact that decreases are better than increases at being visible outlines (tapering the leaf to its tip). but still, grafting an entire sweater all around takes severe courage and attention to the tension and evenness of every stitch. otherwise, the graft sticks out like a sore, stitchified thumb. it was extra tricky in this case because (1) i had never tried kitchener before delving into the leaf sweater, not even with practice grafting swatches (call me foolish or ambitious), and (2) the double-stranding engenders the same stitch tension issues, times two, plus the complexity of twisting (oh, that annoying 3rd dimension).
however, somehow i managed. :) here's the proof! but, admittedly, i did physically screw up the kitchener technique twice in the process. both times, i know, was when i stopped to put it down for a bit, and then started back up again. as careless as i am, you have a 50% chance you're beginning at the correct step. but, hey, no one can tell unless their nose is somewhere it shouldn't. plus, i can always aver that ruching is back in style.
i got some great generic, cuff-down, adaptable sock patterns from danielle and femiknit mafia last thursday, so i'm trying it out on this adorable fairisle-patterning sockotta in color 6670 from plymouth yarns italian collection. don't adjust your monitor; those definitely are size 2 needles. (going from size 13 to size 2 takes a little adjustment, but i end up acclimating quickly. it's akin to putting down your viola and picking up your violin. the movement is similar but the framework has changed. your mind and your fingers attempt to rectify the inconsistencies.) the gauge on the label reads 7 sts per inch. the tension i am producing on my needles is perfect, though i'm getting 9 sts per inch. heh heh heh. what... i'm not a tight knitter! i'm just efficient. my hands are like a data compression algorithm.
i inspect my legs carefully. tawny streaks and dapples, floating atop translucence of skin, run up and down my shins, across my knees, around my ankles. to strangers they are imperceptible, but each faded scar to me speaks vividly. past events live within these healing spots. scratches, scrapes, accidents, misdirections. despite the twenty-plus years of practice of walking on two feet, clumsiness takes me, and my golden surface accepts the regular black or blue. they brand my skin with traces of past slights, of which i cannot escape or deny.
my right ankle bears a soft, muted mauve on the bone. one wintry morning when i was in high school -- where whiteness flows dizzy outside the pane and a luscious snow day report is broadcast -- i set out to retrieve the newspaper and feed the mailbox. clad in pajamas and a lazy optimism, i threw on a sweatshirt and slid sandals onto my bare feet. clutching outgoing envelopes, i manuevered down the porch, dodged the white wind, and carefully pattered down the driveway to my destination. i open the little doors. clutching the daily newspaper, i set back towards the house. so close, yes, almost there. i think of something and nothing, and suddenly slip. i feel the ice, crunchy friction against my bare skin. one false step, and my ankle is bruised and bleeding. inside the house, i find the newspaper in my hands wet and smeared.
under my right knee boasts a smattering of brown. i can't help but wonder if it's been there since i was 6, a memory still with me for reasons i cannot understand. i was at a friend's home, her name was sara i think, and her front driveway sloped down slightly, looped, and curled back up to the house. sara on her small pink bicycle would coast down the pavement, and pedal back up the incline. she could cycle continuously around this infinitely recusive path. swoop, climb, swoop. she looked as though she were flying. envious of her flight pattern, i begged to try. we traded places, she now standing on the grass, and i in the seat. i began down the slope and knew i would be ever more graceful, and weightless as a bird. the acceleration took me by surprise, and i was too paralyzed to balance or turn. i capsized with speed at the bottom, hurt in the tangle, humiliated. my whole body burned with indignation, of myself and the bike and the incline that failed me, as sara's mother applied sticky bandages to my pink skin. i swore to myself that day that i would never attempt to go down that driveway again. i held a hatred to the asphalt.
as to more recent events, i sprained my left ankle last year [halloween on crutches rendering significant pillage on the underarms of my fine dolman merino sweater]. on a day in which i was to catch a plane, i went running in the morning to inhale the day, to blush my cheeks. i traversed new neighborhoods, winding in an out of the unfamiliar sidewalks and streets. a tall peculiar tower, perched high, silently invited my company. i ascended higher and higher until i reached the top, surveying the view of the city below. the air was sunnily clear as i jogged in place. suddenly, my foot caught uneven pavement, and i fell immediately. before i knew what happened tears of pain ran down my face. a concerned passerby could offer nothing but a kleenex. i walked in excruciation for more than a mile, frightened and crying, searching in vain for a taxicab or a shuttle. in that split moment in the sunshine high above, i went from triumphant to vulnerable. i had to use a brace for months afterward, and even now on occasion my ankle performs a strange turn or bend. the weakness within betrays me unexpectedly.
my scars, telltale, with each day fading.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
one of these days
love you 'til then
love you 'til then
feel my breath
on your neck
and your heart
don't say no to me
you can't say no to me
i won't see you
i'm sorry you saw that
i'm sorry he did it
i can't say no to you
i can't say no to you