Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I don't know why this works, it just does...

Hit the writer's block hard enough to knock the wind out of myself again, so I present once more my top ten most listened to songs.

Listed by total play count:

10. Ocean of Lust - DeVotchKa
9. Enjoy the Silence - Depeche Mode
8. At My Window Sad and Lonely - Billy Bragg & Wilco
7. Anthem for the Already Defeated - Rock Plaza Central
6. Corrupt - Depeche Mode
5. Energy - The Apples in Stereo
4. A Pain That I'm Used To - Depeche Mode
3. Never Let Me Down Again - Depeche Mode
2. I Can't Decide - Scissor Sisters
1. John the Revelator - Depeche Mode

Listed by average plays per day (oh yes, I got it set up properly...):

10. Hotel Song - Regina Spektor
9. Precious - Depeche Mode
8. Energy - The Apples in Stereo
7. California Stars - Billy Bragg & Wilco
6. Never Let Me Down Again - Depeche Mode
5. Black Mission Goggles - Man Man
4. John the Revelator - Depeche Mode
3. A Pain That I'm Used To - Depeche Mode
2. Song of Our So-Called Friend - Okkervil River
1. I Can't Decide - Scissor Sisters (seriously - an average of 1.9 plays per day, not counting listening in the car?)

I like being able now to look at my songs organized by plays per day. There's not really all that much difference in terms of artists, but I think it's fun to be able to take a look at my listening habits on a shorter term basis than the total play count provides.

Okay, enough math/analysis - back to language skills!

Now playing: Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall Cleaning

I've never quite understood the point of 'spring' cleaning. I mean, spring rolls around and you want to go out and do stuff (in theory). You're not really going to be inside that much for a while (again, in theory).

Fall, on the other starts getting cooler, and you sort of look around and go "I'm going to be in here a while - better clear some of this crap out of the way." There's also that whole keeping the creepy-crawlies from trying to get into the house for warmth as the weather gets colder to keep in mind. Not to mention holidays coming up that require other people to actually have to see the inside of your house (you can't get most of them to agree to blindfolds - I've tried).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Best Cooking Accident Ever!

I had some leftover rice from making chicken fried rice for dinner, so I thought I'd whip up a little rice pudding as an evening snack. I had just dumped in a couple of big spoonfuls of ginger and was reaching for the cloves, when I saw, sitting on the shelf proud as you please....the jar of ginger...

I looked at the jar on the counter, and realized that I'd actually just added garlic powder to my rice pudding. A less extemporaneous cook might have just muttered a few swear words and dumped the whole thing. However, all I'd added so far was rice and milk, so I thought I'd just try making a savory rice pudding. Ended up with a VERY tasty cheesy tomato risotto-like substance that will make a marvelous lunch tomorrow (the mouth is still in the mood for something a bit sweet to go with all this tea, will just have to make do with toast and jam...) Thus, I present:

Cheesy Tomato Rice Thingy

2 cups rice
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons powdered garlic
1 chicken-tomato bouillon cube
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
handful of shredded cheese (let's call it a 1/4 cup)
black pepper to taste

cook until pudding-like consistency and cheese is thoroughly melted.
Now playing: DeVotchKa - Queen Of The Surface Streets
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quite a bit of knitting, indeed.

So, I'm finally getting some of my older projects finished (mostly because I've got great ideas for new stuff and I'm too cheap to just buy more needles). Right now, I've got a kitty pi that's all done but the felting running through the washing machine. I'm a little nervous, honestly - I haven't felted anything in this machine before, and the damned cat bed took me so long, I'd really hate for anything to go wrong at this late stage. I suppose it didn't take that long in terms of continuous knitting, it got set aside for about a year, year and a half, but still... I did the math, and there's over 600 yards of yarn in this thing, not counting the eyelash yarn worked in at the top edge. Pre-felted pic for the sake of posterity (34 inches in diameter):

Also, since the **SECRET SWATCH** turned out so nicely, I got the needles today to start working a few more kinks out of the design. I'd love to have a prototype done soon, maybe get the pattern out by Christmas, but I really need to finish the other two in-progress patterns before I start in on it. After all, it's much easier to teach a class on a project you have a pattern for, hm?

Got the yarn to start in on some of the Christmas knitting today, too. Very excited about it, but (of course) I have to finish up another project to free up the needles I need. was just something for myself, so I could always just throw it on a stitch holder for a while...

Now playing: Moxy Früvous - King of Spain
via FoxyTunes

Monday, September 07, 2009

Swatching up a storm...

I was going to be all good and not start any new projects until I got a few things finished, but then I realized that if I want to actually get a baby blanket to my cousin in Australia before she's due, I probably want to have it done and mailed by Thanksgiving. I decided to go with the Op Art Blanket from Knitty in a nice washable cotton - good to wrap up in, but not too hot for Western Australia. So, did a few swatches until I got the gauge I needed since the yarn I'm using isn't the same weight as the pattern calls for (though more color-fast, from what I hear):

And then we got in some shiny new yarn, and I had a flash of inspiration. I'm really excited about this swatch:
What's it a swatch for, you ask? a secret!
(also, I may have been watching too much Slayers lately....)

And, just to round things off, I present Friday and Saturday's cup art (the sandwich shop was closed yesterday and today for the holiday :( )"

Relatively happy with Gir, but with the giant Octopus I drew the smouldering city first, then decided what was attacking, so he's not quite as integrated into the picture as I'd like.
Now playing: Depeche Mode - Blue Dress
via FoxyTunes