Saturday, December 22, 2007

New Shoes

This morning, I learned that Converse is making clear Chuck Taylors. So while picking up a few last items at the mall today, I ducked into Journeys and snagged me a pair.

Still playing with my lacing strategy, trying to obscure as little of the sock as possible. But clearly [sic] I have found an excuse to knit more socks for me me me.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

If you've got a heart, then Gumby's a part of you

For two days this week, I actually listened to something on the radio besides NPR. A local station was broadcasting TV show theme songs.

It was amazing. Avengers, Dark Shadows, Facts of Life, Peter Gunn, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Davy Crockett, Soap, Hawaiian Eye. There were songs I completely didn't recognize, songs I knew every note of but couldn't place, but mostly there were songs that were instantly familiar from the first note or two.

It was incredible. I couldn't turn it off. I first tuned in Wednesday afternoon on my drive home from work, and wanted to sit in my car listening. Thursday morning, I found the station streaming on the web, but eventually I had to switch off because I couldn't concentrate on work.

These songs are perfect little gems of culture. Listening to them one after the other, you become aware of just how much talent and energy goes into them. A minute's worth of music to accomplish so much: to invoke mood, to explain a premise, to establish expectations.
    Nameless studio musicians in tight, jazzy harmonies inform us they've got a gorilla for sale, or that Cathy and Patty are cousins.

    Smooth, earnest voices assure a young woman in the city that she might just make it after all, or that there are places where everybody knows your name.

    Balladeers introduce us to vigilante loners: rebels, knights without armor, the rippin'est, roarin'est, fightin'est men.

    And wonderful instrumentals: the syncopated jazz themes of impossible missions, bass-heavy intros to wacky precinct stations and night courts, synthesized evocations of the limits of space and imagination.
I happened to be tuned in Thursday while driving to lunch. At noon, the theme from The Rockford Files abruptly cut off, a new station was identified, and Elvis Costello's "Radio Radio" began playing.
So you had better do as you are told
You better listen to the radio
I know the TV theme songs were just a stunt, a silly placeholder designed to lure a broad demographic to the frequency. I know that it wouldn't be long before I would tire of the nostalgia and the culture-critic impulses such nostalgia always raises in me. Still, since Thursday afternoon, I've felt a sting of disappointment and loss every time I get in my car and face the same choices I have every day. Another modern rock station is just a tired variation on everything else, but for a few days, we were listening to something rare and new.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Knitting Update

I buckled down and finished the Cobblestone Pullover last weekend. I've worn it four times already, and I'll probably wear it again today. Here I am modeling it, in what S. criticizes as a MySpace angle.

Generally good pattern. The garter stitch circular yoke gives the sweater a medieval, Robin Hood-ish look, which is growing on me -- it makes my chest and shoulders look broad. I did the garter stitch welt at the bottom in a smaller needle size, which I think keeps it from flaring out. I hated the garter stitch sleeve cuffs, so in the end I snipped the yarn, picked out the cuffs, and knit new plain cuffs that finished with a short, reverse stockinette roll.

I've got two sock projects in process. One I will talk about when they're done, but the other is the pair I started in Maine last month. I call them the "Mummy Case" socks.

A little weird looking, but "mummy" says they fit nicely. I did some Cat Bordhi Riverbed-style increases on the bottom, a short-row heel, and then decreased up the back. I drew lines to highlight the shaping: red for gusset increases/decreases, yellow for the short row "seam." The heel seems to cup the foot pretty tightly. I probably wouldn't do this again, but it was in interesting experiment.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I am the Boy Next Door

I followed the link from Mel's blog to OKCupid's Online Dating Persona Test. My cautious and repressed relationship history usually means that such tests yield upsetting or irrelevant results, but this outcome actually seems pretty accurate. It identifies me as the Boy Next Door.

But what I find interesting is not so much what my test results say about me, but the particular taxonomy of the test itself. Like MBTI, it's built on 4 dichotomies:









I suspect this might just be a re-labeling of the Myers-Briggs dichotomies; maybe something like this?









Which makes me an INFP when it comes to dating. I can see that. What do you think? Have I got these matched up right?