Sunday, May 29, 2011

Summer Blockbuster: Cardi Cozy

Sometimes I make myself forget how much I like things. I refused to read the first three preview chapters of the latest Charlaine Harris book (the author of my favorite, Club Dead), I saved the last two episodes of Deadwood (latest late-discovery obsession) until after finals were over, and I haven't touched a serious knitting project all year. I love knitting. Like a ridiculous lot. My summers are usually spent knitting from the time I wake to the time I go to sleep, much to my carpal-tunnelly wrists' dismay. So, part withheld gratification in favor of academic productivity, part fear of carpal tunnel tinglies have brought my knitting to a grinding halt.

What is it about real life that makes you feel like you have to abandon your knitting? It's therapeutic as hell when you're not cursing the yarn gods for tangled strands or if someone interrupts your counting.

I love college. I love my little cell of a room. I love my solitude. I do like being around cute college boys. It's a perk. But there are some things I miss.
I always feel the need to put it on the back burner during the year, along with my recreational reading, heavy television marathons and general slothiness.

Did I mention that summer's here? It is! I've allowed myself to read
Dead Reckoning in full, finish all of Deadwood and Timothy Olyphant's entire body of work (not quite, but close enough), and organize my Ravelry account, window shop a few (see also: hundreds) patterns with techniques I've been dying to use. Bobbles! Beading! Cables! Short-Rows!

All those results and no, well, results... I was at the end of my rope. I couldn't find the summer project. The dramatic music played on, the sky flashed with lightning, rainwater poured down my face and onto my keyboard as I typed.
"Why?" I screamed, to no one in particular.
"Why must I go on?" I shook my fist at the sky and scowled, scowled like the wind.
"This hat is too small! These fibers, inappropriate for summer! These needles are in use! I want something more challenging! But not too challenging! This weather is ridiculous!"
(Music swells.)
I typed, I cried, I narrowed search results -- 10,000 -- 4,000 -- 43 -- 1.
The sky cleared. A wonderful silence emerged, a birds chirped in the distance. I cleared my eyes and smiled.
It was a sweater. A lovely sweater. Cardigan. Lightweight. Cables. Lacey, yet sturdy. Challenging, yet simple. My style entirely. My favorite example project was modeled by a grandmother.

A few more clicks and I'd requested the book from the library. And in that surge of purpose I had a summer goal. I will find you, love you, marry you, and knit without shame, Cardigan. (Just finished
Atonement and I'm feeling emotional.)

This will be my summer blockbuster. I will atone for the knitting and blogging negligence of the past. I will knit the crap out of that thing. Yes, all the while, I will have to defend my life choices to my parents who want me to be either one of the girls on
The Jersey Shore or Jack Donaghy from 30 Rock (they haven't decided yet). But I can't deny the thrill of the knit. Or my fondness for television.

Summer is a time of super attractive people on super hot summer shows.
Game of Thrones is keeping my interest lately, though slightly less so after the melting of Harry Lloyd (though a creeper, a long-time favorite on Robin Hood -- so it's legit). And God knows I'm counting the days until True Blood, Torchwood: Miracle Day and Haven. If it weren't for Doctor Who on Saturday nights, I might have to admit to not having much of a nightlife.

This summer, I just want to knit my nights away, sharing plot theories with my friends over instant messages, warming my hands against the total-lack-of-cold with a cup of tea. And have a lovely sweater at the end of it all.

I saw the Cozy Cardi from
Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines and I thought, "I want you on my body." Let this be one thing I refuse to procrastinate. This is love. I have two hanks of Gypsy Shadow Tonal and a pair of idle hands. You know what they say about idle hands... they love to knit.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Your Cuddle Bunny's Waiting for his Jam.

Record Cozy. It has been a while. (Please feel free to read that in an Eric Northman circa "Plaisir d'Amour," True Blood Season 1. I know I did.)

Because I could look at him all day. Let's do that now.

So. Here we are again. I'd like to say it's something flashy, something exciting or humorous, but really it's completely normal. Or at least I hope it is for you.

I'm not talking about something in the TMI zone, no, I'm talking about music. I don't just mean music as back ground noise or something you can move to. But music as your life's blood. As part of your life, your memories, your happiness. Hardcore. I said that, but I'm not a hipster, I swear.

It's why music people look down on non-music people. Or at least choose not to associate with them. Can you imagine going a day without listening to music at least once? Even elevator music or the bass of a car stereo as some teenager blasts their rebellious noise? I can't.

When you hear a good song, there's something about it that just makes sense. You close your eyes, you dissect the layers or you listen for that one note. You know that song forever. When you hear that one unforgettable line, it's the most lovely feeling in the world. It's just right. Warm fuzzies.

Then the songs are everywhere. You hear a certain phrase and it's never the same again. As Spike once asked Buffy on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Who you gonna call?" and after a deliberate pause he said, "That phrase is never going to be usable again, is it?" And it won't.

Music's way sneaky. I know that I can't stop giggling when I try to enjoy a hot beverage, because as soon as I think, "Tea or coffee?", I'm compelled to finish with, "Chocolate Cake or Biscuit?" from a Patrik Fitzgerald song I was listening to (obsessively) a few weeks ago.

You'll hear that song again, and you'll remember the first time you heard it, what the weather was like that day, what you did, how you felt. And that's a mixed bag. Rule #1: Never listen to an excellent song if you believe your boyfriend will break up with you.

That's not really a rule. You can listen to country music. "The music of pain," according to Xander Harris. (I'm feeling the Buffy references tonight for some reason.) Xander Harris: Music person. You don't spend your youth at a music club if you don't get it. The Bronze had some nice 90's stuff. Alt-rock at its best. That poppy goodness means fun times with your buds. Country means pain.

If you've ever had a song stuck in your head, there's probably a reason for your music needs. Today, that song is "The Killing Moon" by Echo & The Bunnymen. For me, that is. Why? It's a bit snowy, but there's slush on the ground. It's the first week of classes. It's drab. The streets feel still when it's cold. Those faint notes just sound so desolate, yet the lyrics are strangely romantic.

There's something about the lyrics that can't quite fit anywhere comfortably. There's an edge. "Fate /Up against your will/Through the thick and thin" with its almost cathartic melody alongside it, just melts the drab day away. It's like seeing snowflakes fall in front of a streetlamp. Pretty, but it's going in your rain boots. Your socks are wet, but you're too happy to care. It's a night where your breath curls from your lips ("a magic world"), and you feel like you're just about in Narnia. Not exactly what it means. But that's OK.

When the music moves you, it does more than move you, physically. You're a poet, you're an artist. And your a character in your own movie. You can be giddy or angry at the world, or a hopeless romantic. You just need the right song. And the will to move that sentimental cuddle bunny in your heart. He's waiting to hear his jam. Don't make him cry.

If he's not burning up your tummy waving a bunny-sized lighter of joy and warmth that makes you smile, you're not doing it right. Embrace the bunny. He is your friend. And music, she's like a superspy, but she's got your back. Check back for concept art: Cuddle Bunny and Music Spy. (Not really, but just picture it. And get listening.)

Kele of Bloc Party just became your Cuddle Bunny.

Or if you prefer the literal images...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Moyer Gets Wet in Armor, Fights Vikings.

How do you know you're a diehard Truebie? Well, you're so intrigued by one fan's comment at Comic-Con that you reserve your very own copy of Prince Valiant at the library.

But there's a problem -- No, it isn't that you've checked out a movie based solely on the fact that Stephen Moyer appears in it (especially when you're an Eric girl), but that you misread the text online and reserved a VHS tape.

That's right, I'm real high-tech and no longer have a VCR. So I have to call Rachel and subject her to the cheeseball fangirl fest. And what does she do? Explains the plot to me when I'm too busy laughing and provides Moosetracks ice cream for me to enjoy.

It's 1997 and pre-True Blood for Stephen Moyer, and pre-Grey's Anatomy for Katherine Heigl. (This movie also features
Hellboy and Professor Flitwick from the Harry Potter films.)

King Arthur has a daughter, Princess Ilene (Heigl), who wants to be a knight. Valiant (Moyer) impersonates his squire in a jousting match because he isn't able to fight. Arthur enlists him to take Ilene to a safe place because they are being invaded by the Scottish (but it's really the Vikings impersonating the Scottish).

Meanwhile, the villans have dug up Merlin and got his spellbook so they could get Excalibur. They remind me the ones in Power Rangers. Yes, I was a kid in the '90s. And those guys really like the eyeliner. But it's shown that only Valiant can release it. (He's a squire because he was orphaned and raised in a monks, who named him Valiant.)

The one requirement for Valiant's quest? That he get wet while wearing armor and possibly have a swordfight. (4:08)

Much better hair like this. Not that "ridiculous mullet." - Stephen's words, not mine.

Pretty much every scene includes Valiant with wet hair and armor. You'd be surprised how many situations call for that.

Then, epic battles ensue. Vikings are barbaric and wear funny hats.

Epic battles, freeballing it to victory. (Sorry Belles, we're not talking Moyer.)

Rachel rewound the part at :25 about three times. Let me just say, this really made me wish that Alex was Thagnar, there. We all know he's Scandinavian, Godammit. They "love to be naked."

But there's a anti-Viking slant going on. Valiant and his people are rightfully pissed at the Vikings. They stole his home and tried to harem-up his woman. UNTIL we find out that Valiant is a Viking, but the good kind.(About 1:13)

You got a thing for proposing to blonde girls, Moyer?

Sound familiar? He's a Viking, but a good one. He hates his own people because they've wronged him and stolen away his family and his rightful life! Some big Viking is trying to sex up his lady and take his spot, so he fights and uses armored alligator heads as lifts!

There you have it. Stephen Moyer is a secret Viking, this movie would have been pop culture gold if Alexander Skarsgard was cast as the evil Viking and all us Truebies could have died happy.

Instead, we'll just have to watch this sometimes live action, sometimes animated, sometimes ridiculous movie of awesome much in the style of Mystery Science Theater 3000 with a friend. Just make sure it's a friend who will not only accurately finish the sentences of the movie she's never seen, but offer to be on a screenwriting team for awesome medieval '90s movies with you.

This movie is a must for Moyer fans, for sure. But fans of alligators in armor and PG-13 innuendo would like it too. Or at least have a good laugh. Stephen did. (4:15)

Thank you, Random Fangirl. You made my Saturday.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I'm Sorry, Blog. I'm Cheating with Tumblr.

Yes, I am a horrible person.

I have been away too long. I have one of those dead blogs now. But I have a good reason. It's called Tumblr.

Tumblr is the best time waster ever. It's a visual blog, which means there are many many reasons to stay and stare at certain handsome Swedes.

Reasons I Haven't Been Posting Here Lately:

1. School Hates Me Sometimes.

It's a lame excuse, but I'll use it. There is life beyond the internet. Possibly. That's my planner. That's a full week.

2. Tumblr has things like this.

Do you know how much picspam there is? A lot. And it's delivered straight to my computer screen with very little effort on my part. Type. Click. Awesome.

3. And posts like this.

Which lead to more time wasting opportunities. Like watching my Generation Kill DVDs with commentary...

So, I apologize, Blog.

It's not you, it's me. We can still be friends.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've started about a dozen posts. I'm going to post them retroactively. (Including one for the True Blood finale, I am most embarrassed about that.)

I'll be posting here at least once a week, but I'll be on Tumblr, in the meantime.

Now that cheating metaphor just got a little strange.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Skarsgard Fix -- I'm Just a Craving Skars Girl, Baby. Watch Generation Kill, Baby with Me.

I've horribly neglected my blog this week, but I promise to deliver on the True Blood finale and everything else later. Right now, I am going through horrible Alexander Skarsgard withdrawl, for no apparent reason.

So here we are.

My birthday's next month, and I really cannot wait to have another video of the Skars to pop in any time I want.

What's my random craving today? Some Iceman. And what's going to cure that? Some singing clips from Generation Kill and other lovely, lovely GK-themed clips. Yes.

You love to see it. These guys are so heart-breakingly cute.

The only downside? You have "Teenage Dirtbag" stuck in your head all day. It's worth it.

And ASkars is miles away from Jason Biggs, sorry to say. I like his version better. Mainly because I get to look at him. You know how that goes.

I bring you clips from Generation Kill:

Singing. It's awesome when ASkars does it.


Lots of nice Iceman, but skip to 3:50 for the drool. Sigh.

I need to get this DVD. Like now.

I'm just craving Skars girl, ba-by. This might help until sum-mer, ba-by with me! Ooooooooo.

But I still want more Eric next season.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vickie Howell Says Repost, You Repost.

Vickie Howell will host a Twitter Party tonight. The details can be found below. Here's the same post on Vickie's Blog and one here which details that for every blog that reposts this information, Lands' End will donate yarn to Warming Families. So join in. It's about yarn and knitting awesomeness!

Commence plug:

Join Me & Lands' End for a Twitter Party!!

Join Me & Lands’ End for a Twitter Party to celebrate the kick-off the FeelGood Campaign! The party will feature more than 20 fun giveaways ranging from the FeelGood sweater and my books to Lands’ End gift cards and FeelGood yarn. Here are the details:

Lands’ End FeelGood Twitter Party

Date: Wednesday, September 16th

Time: 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. CST

Location: #landsend

What IS a Twitter Party?
A Twitter Party is where a group of people can discuss or “Tweet” about a specific topic in their own little chat room. To participate in the discussion you’ll need to sign up for a free Twitter account (instructions are listed below).

Why Attend?
Twitter parties are a great way to connect with other people while chatting about a specific topic. Lands’ End will be hosting a two-hour Twitter Party to kick-off the FeelGood campaign – complete with fun and giveaways.

Twitter Party Hosts
Twitter Party Hosts oversee the event, answer questions, and keep the flow of the party going.

How To Participate

1. Twitter Account - Go to to sign up for a free Twitter account.

2. Find and Follow any or all of Lands’ End Hosts:

During the party if you want to address one of the hosts directly, be sure to use their entire Twitter handle (ie @VickieHowell).

Hashtag – The Twitter world calls a pound sign (#) a hashtag. A hashtag is a code used to mark a specific topic. The Lands’ End FeelGood Twitter Party is marked and happening at #landsend. You can search for #landsend to participate in the party and see the party tweets.

Set Up TweetGrid - On the day of the party, use or another Twitter application such as TweetDeck to follow all of the “tweets” marked #landsend and participate in the party.

On TweetGrid - You can comment, reply and read all at once in TweetGrid, and it even puts the hashtag in your comment for you.

Click here for a TweetGrid tutorial list. The Twitter Party Tutorial should be #8.

Fast Followers – Something to note, Twitter parties are fun and fast!

Hope to see you there!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Record Cozy Tumblr -- Enjoy The Diet RC.

So, I've been neglecting the blog a little lately. I feel ashamed. BUT... I will have a True Blood reaction up tomorrow, and a playlist pretty soon.

But -- News. Which may not be news if you know it already, but Record Cozy is now up and running on Tumblr as Record Cozy Lite.

What does that mean? Random, but lovely things that are related to regular ole Record Cozy, but not post-worthy.

I don't know if I can promise the suggestive fun times of that there Diet soda, but I can promise way more ASkars than you can handle and a few of my best-ever things: Conversations, Tweets and Top Searches which lead people to Record Cozy (only the amusing and bizarre).

Wasn't it magical the way they all just fell down like that? Dirty mannequins!

I'm especially interested in getting a few more knitting peeps to follow. So, let me know if you love yarn! Woot!

Please enjoy Record Cozy Lite, and we'll be up and running when I get something accomplished academically and can tear myself away from Alexander Skarsgard pictures and Miniature Tiger songs on repeat.

Someone help me. That combination is effing lethal.

Sooooo pretty...
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