Friday, September 26, 2008

Some updates

I crafted quite vigorously for the past week and am almost finished with one project!

This is for my friend Ladydurer. It's coming along very nicely, much faster than I expected. Hopefully I will get it done by the end of this year and frame it for her.

This is the second of the red sock I'm making. With the second one, I have a lot mistakes due to practice and memorization of the pattern.

Finally this is for the baby of mutual friends. It's made with Bernat baby cotton and very nice to knit with. I think because of the needle size (8), the tension is quite lose and almost stretchy, something not too common with cotton thread. But for now it's bouncy and soft.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Joey is a wiggly weight bar and other abnormalities

A couple nights ago I tried to dead lift Joey. He sprawled on the floor after his workout and eventually asked me to help him up. I have been working out for the past month on various skills, and I finally had a chance to put them to use. I got behind him and placed my hands beneath his armpits and attempted to pull him up. I did not consult him about this beforehand, and both us were shocked when he slipped from my grasp. All the training of "push on your heels" and "don't use your waist" disappeared in my mind during the process, and I almost pulled my back.

The lesson of that night was: 180 plus pounds of wriggly flesh is much less complacent than a 45 pound bar.

A few days ago Joey and I attempted to watch In the Name of the King: a Dungeon Siege Story. Despite the impressive cast ensemble, the movie did not deliver its full potential. The computer generated graphics in the movie were seamless, and the costumes and setting were grand and impressive. As far as entertainment value is being graded, I enjoyed it despite the terrible acting.

Even though the plot line was trite, that did not deter my enjoyment. I don't mind predictable story lines as long as there is enough eye candy in terms of stunning fight scenes and over abundant fireworks. The acting and casting however, nearly killed the movie. Like most Middle Earth movies, the story is set in Medieval era Europe, most commonly England. Jason Statham had the accent, but his thuggish demeanor did not convince me of his royal lineage. Ray Loitta convinced me of his evil personage, but his Midwestern American accent ruined the credibility of the setting. I focused so much on the inconsistency of the accents that I did not even notice the plot holes that Joey pointed out later.

However, I'm not one to over dissect action movies, and this movie did try to over exert itself into some racy plot elements. The sexual tension between the battle maiden and the Moor (I can only assume due to historic context) general could develop into something larger, but the director did not press on it any further than one symbolic fencing scene. I also admit to be completely shocked when the antagonist killed the main character's young son. Most Hollywood movies have spared children from being killed unless it's in cases of specially sadistic movies, but I did not expect Dungeon Siege to fall in that category.

Plus, for a movie to have ninjas, Moors, and battle mages, I would have expected to see dragons and pirates, both of which were disappointingly absent.

Last of all, Joey is starting his own blog!

The Den of the Arch-Bear

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I'm such a bully.

I almost made a little girl cry today, or at least, I think I almost did.

I went over to a friend's place, and events led me to tease her youngest child a little too much. I jokingly told her that for everything the parents do wrong, their penalty was to give away their youngest child, and that's why Joey does not live with his parents anymore. At first she was incredulous and laughed, but for some reason, I couldn't quite stop myself from continuing what I thought was a funny joke. After all, I tease Joey all the time about selling him for my craft habit. Apparently at some point in life I lost my ability to differentiate the age and the gullibility discrepancy between young children and adults.

I continued in a serious manner, and her laughing eyes eventually turned to horror and worry. My friend slapped me on the arm and told me that if I made her child cry, I had to take her home. I stopped and told her I was joking. Almost instantaneously, she put back on her goofy smile.

I feel kind of duped. I noticed the troubled look in her eyes, but the immediate change of expression afterward makes me feel like I was tricked. Though of course, I didn't want to finish my teasing; I certainly do not want to deal with a crying child. There's got to be a special place in Hell for grownups who tease kids too much, and even though I'm not a believer, I've always been a firm practitioner of not testing the limits.

I do feel slightly guilty, and like a bully.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Belated Update

Let me get the pictures out of the way first!

Socks made with the most wonderful yarn I found. It's Panda Soy and it loves me!

Shawl for Jeff's mom. I'm not as disheartened as before, it's actually getting substantially larger!

And finally, my precious baby that I would easily trade Joey for on a desperate day.

The three I have been working on diligently without too many breaks in between. I am determined to finish something by the end of the year.

Onto more serious things!

I passed my language proficiency recently. I figured I would, but I didn't know how those mistakes were going to count against me. However, the test only grades according to "pass" or "fail", and I definitely did not do bad enough to fail.

My class of zealous interest right now is the Creative Nonfiction class. There are writing exercises every week, and our topics are usually self-centered due to the nature of the course. It's like an extensive class in academic blogging but without spams in my comment section. The final at the end of the semester is quite unorthodox. Instead of a large paper, we are to send one of our papers in for publication and show the evidence to the professor. This is an exercise to "get us used to rejection." I suspect there will be lots of sniveling at home after I receive my letter.

This class has inspired me to blog more, though I have yet to act on it. Perhaps I'll start posting short essays in order to strengthen my writing for class. Perhaps.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

An Update on Nothing

Now that I do not have a job with routine hours anymore, it's hard to find time to blog. Well, I take that back, it's now hard to blot out precious lounging time to blog.

It's nice to be back in the department as a full time student again, except this time I get paid for it. There's definitely something to be said about being around people who are just as divorced from reality as I am. Though I think I jumped the gun a little more and have completely alienated reality now that I have time for zombie movies again.

This semester is already coming off to a good start. I understand the readings and the subjects are quite enticing. The class I am unexpectedly looking forward to is the Creative Nonfiction class. We are to write quasi-reflective pieces that would in some way describe the human condition. I already have some ideas for my pieces, though I would definitely do some research on the genre before hand.

Once again, I'm taking a class with Dr. Farmer for a Chinese related class. The first book is already good! It's about flood myths and awesome bawdawesome. Once I'm finished, I'll have a more substantial summary. There is a girl that knits in class. I'm widely jealous yet still have too much shame to knit in such a small class. One day! One day I'll throw off these shackles of conformity and civility! And wear nothing but a burlap sack with argyle socks!

As far as crafting goes, I haven't finished anything in a long time. I started plenty of things though, but that's pretty normal. I've finally come back around to the cycle of cross stitch again. I really want to finish the Zelda cross stitch sometime this year, but I suspect it'll be harder as the semester progresses.

Let's see, other than that, life has been pretty much the same. I started working out at Crossfit Richardson after hearing Mel talk about it so much. While there are no physical results yet, I feel much more energetic and tons more talkative, much to Joey's dismay. But now that I have more energy, I feel like I can do everything with gusto. Like... bumming around... HARDCORE!

So.... lalala!