Saturday, August 29, 2009

working for the weekend

I've been taping both Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager on the PVR for the last several months, and the series of TNG went full circle last week. Unfortunately, somehow the PVR managed to tape only Part I of the finale. Colour me disappointed.

The clock is ticking on my return to work. We have a late start this year because of where our Labour Day falls, and things don't start in earnest until the 14th of September, so I have been avoiding accepting that my life will be very, very busy for the next few months. The course I usually teach has been split from a full year course to two half year courses, which dictates a much more frenetic pace to the semester. I also have approximately 165 students. It's going to be a lot of marking this year, that's for sure.

I'm helping an old roommate move in with his fiance today, and a friend from teacher's college is swinging by tonight. It is a cold, wet, and potentially miserable day here. If it weren't raining, I'd take my new February Lady out for its inaugral wearing. I made an Urchin beret yesterday out of a Fleece Artist kit I had kicking around in my stash. I held a strand of a thick and thin yarn with a mohair-wool-silk boucle, and it looks gorgeous. Exactly what I needed for my new grey wool coat. I have plans for another Urchin in a few weeks. I love patterns that knit up in a day.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cat Beast

I have determined that the reason why I am so fond of How I Met Your Mother is that it is produced by the writers/producers of my beloved Clone High. I'm also into the third season of Buffy, which is a much better show than previously expected, although it does leave me feeling a little like Joss Whedon just keeps writing the same show again, pitting the characters in different settings. The parallels to Firefly are fun, but disappointing.

Basically, I want to be watching Battlestar Galactica again for the first time, and am always going to be disappointed that I'm not.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

world turning

Everything is a whirlwind. This weekend featured a quick trip to visit my parents, who had purchased concert tickets for the whole family to go see Great Big Sea down in Toronto. It's kind of nice to go to shows with my dad, who is of an age now where he doesn't see the point in having crappy seats, and is always willing to pay for better seats. The last time we saw Great Big Sea, back in November, we had front row seats (due to some Ticketbastard stalking on Dad's part). The seats weren't that good this time, but it was a good show.

I also got to do some shopping with my mum, including a trip to the yarn store in Barrie to check out their pre-fall inventory sale. The next thing I knew, I had eight balls of Sublime Organic Merino DK (how could I say no to that, at $2/ball?) and four skeins of Berroco's Peruvia Quick ($5/hank). The Merino DK honestly feels closer to a worsted than a DK to me, so I'm anxious to see how it knits up.

I was also able to pick up some new clothes for work. I've lost about 25 lbs. in the last nine months, and none of my old clothes fit properly anymore. It will take a while to build up a wardrobe that actually fits the way it's supposed to, but I've at least made a dent in it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

maybe I'm amazed

I had an entire post written about the wedding I attended this weekend, but Blogger managed to both eat the post AND the draft. Bollocks.

Thus, I will leave you with this, since I can't recreated the entire thing:

jess and aaron 033

aaron + jess // a short film about us from stillmotion on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In Conversation

[While watching So You THink You Can Dance Canada, we see a dancer use a very poor cover of Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes"]

Me: You know, I haven't entirely given up on "In Your Eyes" as a wedding song.

Fiance: Really?

Me: Yeah. It's the whole "In your eyes/ I see the doorway to a thousand churchs" line. It's gorgeous.

Fiance: I think we're avoiding the real issue here.

Me: We are?

Fiance: Yes. Why don't we just accept the obvious?

Me: The obvious?

Fiance: Our wedding song is Distant Sun.

Me: It is? It is. It is! How did I not know this?

Fiance: You're dumb. I think we'd talked about a few months ago but decided against it for some reason.

Me: I don't remember what those reasons were, so obviously they weren't very good reasons.

Fiance: Agreed.

Me: Distant Sun is pretty much my favourite song ever.

Fiance: I know.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lo! The Flat Hills of My Homeland

Scotland has been on my mind these last few days. I'm not really sure why this has come up now, exactly, although we are coming up on the sixth anniversary of the last time that I went.

I want to go back so bad I can almost taste it. I want to revisit many of the things that I did see, and I want to bring Mat with me so that I can show him these things and these places, so that he can understand where my family comes from. His family is French-Canadian (although franco-ontarienne and not quebecoise) and has been in Canada for many generations--so many so that no one really knows (or cares) how long. My dad, along with his parents and his sister, came to Ontario in the late 1950s; they travelled around a fair bit because my grandfather was an electrician for the Post Office (I think--I will have to double check that with my dad) but our family is from Dunfermline, in Fife initially. My great-great grandfather on my mother's side was from Glasgow (the Gallowgate to be precise) and came to Canada as a Barnardo Boy--orphans that were rounded up and farmed out to the colonies as domestic labour. My g-g grandfather was treated well by the family that got him, from what we can tell, which was not typical for many of these children.

I also want to see the things that I didn't see: Campbelton, in the south, where my dad was born; the pub my dad's grandfather owned; the Isle of Skye; the north; more of Charles Rennie MacIntosh's work; woolen mills.

My parents went last summer--my dad for the first time since he was 16, and my mum for the first time. They did a two week driving tour and saw more of the country than Mila and I did. My mum loved it so much that she's going back for ten days this fall. She and her sister are travelling to Loch Ness to run in a marathon (or a 5K in my mum's case) and then doing more sightseeing.

There is a knitting camp in Stirling next August, and I would love to go to that. Stirling was my second favourite place (the first being Dunfermline, where I got to spend the day with two of my great-aunts and eat my own weight in Scottish food) that Mila and I visited while we were there. The castle is wonderful, and the town is quite nice, too. We had lunch at a little pub, and Mila didn't know what Yorkshire Pudding was, so she gave her share to me (and regretted it later when she saw how awesome it was).

Unfortunately, it looks like I'm getting married next September, and all of my spare time and money for the next little bit is going to get funneled into that. I reckon it would probably cost me about $2000 Canadian to do two weeks in Scotland, and that's just not viable.

Maybe in a few years. I hope.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Tidy Mind in A Tidy House

My office, aka the craft room, has been looking rather like some sort of yarn storm had hit it: There were project ends everywhere, uncatalogued yarn, and even a few sad, abandoned projects. So I did the only thing that someone who doesn't want to do the dishes could do: I cleaned my office.

I reorganized my plastic drawer sets so that all of my fabric was in one (and filled up an empty banker's box with more fabric). I then filled two drawers with sock yarn, and two more with worsted weight yarn. (That might seem like a lot of yarn to you. I assure you, it is not. It does not, for example, include the yarn in my giant plastic bin, the yarn that is stored in the three duvet bags on top of the wooden shelves, the bag of novelty yarns that people keep gifting me with, the aforementioned abandoned projects, or any of the yarn that is currently downstairs.)

You can actually see the floor now. I guess that means I should do the dishes.

Tonight is the finale of my one reality TV show guilty please, So You Think You Can Dance. I'm having a hard time caring much--it's been a really lacklustre season compared to previous showings. I'll still watch the finale and results show tonight and tomorrow, but I'm certainly not invested in this crop of dancers. Hopefully SYTYCD: Canada will be a better showing this fall.

I've finished my shawl for the wedding next weekend, and it has blocked out gorgeously. I made it bigger than the pattern had called for, and was terrified that I was going to run out of yarn--so much so that while I was visiting my parents on the weekend, I returned to the Purple Sock and miraculously found a second skein of the same colour. (It's Fleece Artist, so a second skein was not a guarantee.) Naturally, after I found one, I was able to finish the shawl with the yarn I had in the first place. Sadly, I still can't find my camera, so I can't even take a picture of the shawl in all its glory.

Perhaps I should go have a look for it.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Going to the Chapel

If you're interested in all in weddings, particulary in their early 21st century formation, this interview from IndieBride is a fascinating read. In it, Elise Mac Adam interviews Rebecca Mead on her book One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding.

We've just started planning for next year's extravaganza and it's already crazy. There are so many pitfalls that I'd like to avoid, and it just won't be possible to do so. The first one, of course, is the guest list. Already full of awkward. Not much we can do right now but ride out the storm.

Monday, August 03, 2009

So Say We All

As per usual, I'm several months behind everyone else. We finally finished Season 4.5 of Battlestar Galactica tonight. The last few episodes were so well written. The final episode got a bit lazy, writing wise; I liked it well enough, and I accept that when you're telling a story this epic, that some threads don't get woven in just because of the sheer scope of the thing (see also: X-files), but it felt weak. The Six and Baltar bits in particular bugged me: it was unnecessary and undervalued the audience's intelligence.

There's so much else to love about it, though. I don't know that there is anything else on TV that even begins to compare to it (sci-fi or otherwise). To me, the most compelling part of the show is its characters: you come to love those you hate in the beginning, but not because they have changed. Instead, you change as a viewer/reader (not unlike George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire). Awesome.

I'll write more once I've had a chance to digest a bit more. I want to rewatch the last few episodes so I can think through what it all means.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Hey lucky you, lucky me...

My parents recently returned from a fortnight in our smallest province, Prince Edward Island. While there, they did a number of very awesome things (of which they took very awesome pictures):

Sally's Beach, PEI

They also visited two wool mills. The first, Belfast Mini Mills, had a tearoom (with fresh cinnamon buns, which shut down any objections my father had to spending lots of time there). They got to see a variety of fibre animals and how their fibre is processed, including quivit (which my mum was quite taken by), and how the leftovers could be made into felt. Mum bought some really nice aran yarns there.

They also went to MacAusland Woolen Mills, which makes yarn and weaves blankets. Here mum got a baker's dozen of yarns there, which she had shipped home along with two wool blankets.

"How do you work with yarn in skeins?" she asked while she was on the island. "I tried to wind one off my feet in the car today and it didn't go so well. Your dad had to keep driving so I could finish."

My mum had never seen the ballwinder and swift before, so when I brought it home this weekend, she was amazed. By yesterday afternoon, she'd wound more than 30 hanks of yarn into balls.

I think my mom is a Knitter again.