Sunday, February 28, 2016

It's February 28, 2016, and it's Oscar night

It's time to relax, be calm, watch Chris Rock host the Oscars and maybe have a couple of laughs.

I am going to start the relaxing thing right now.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

My life in crochet

I am not the craftiest person in the world.  I enjoy crafts like jewelry-making, especially bracelets, and papercrafts, like putting together small books.  These things do not come easily to me as I have almost no art talent.  My art talent has increased as I've gotten older but it is more my ability to stick with it and be willing to learn the craft than actually being able to sit down and just do it.  I went to a bookmaking class once where I struggled to finish the project by the end of the allotted time while there was one hyperactive, hyper-talented art teacher who made two of project simultaneously and left early.  (Her husband was out of town, she said, and she never got to do things like this when he was home.)  I have to plod along in my own fashiion and let it register in my own way and then it certainly sticks and I can do it forever.

And then we have crochet.  I've started various projects over the years but have never had the ture stick-to-it-iveness to complete them. They were always winter scarves.  I like having a warm neck so why not wrap it in something I made myself.  I cannot knit; rather, I can knit but I cannot purl.  Purl just will not penetrate my head and hands.  You can say "you go in backwards" and "it's the opposite of knit" a zillion times but I just can't do it.  I can crochet because it makes sense except when you get to the end of the row and have to turn around and go the other way.

About 10 years ago I started a winter-scarf project.  I actually stuck to it and crocheted and crocheted.  After a while it occurred to me that it was starting to look like a necktie and not a scarf.  I ripped it all out, winding it back onto a ball until the point where the scarf ended. What had I done wrong?

My younger niece learned to knit from her mom.  She was making cool things with ease.  I said I couldn't knit due to the purl thing and I found crocheting to be easier.  She listened to me (Thank you, Laurel!) and learned to crochet from You Tube.  She told me yeah, it was easier and she made even more cool things.  She is clever with her hands, unlike her auntie, and has a good eye for color.

For my most recent birthday, she gave me the gift of lunch.  I said instead of lunch I'd appreciate her spending time with me to teach me how to crochet.  She agreed with the caveat that all her crochet things were packed up for the upcoming family move and I'd have to bring my own.  No problem!  While I am not a tidy housekeeper, I know where everything is.  I put it all together -- all the hooks, all the balls, that half-completed scarf that was almost a necktie -- and I drove over to her home.

It was the nicest four hours.  We talked about a lot of stuff, we sometimes allowed a little quiet as we worked, we shared ring tones and alarm sounds that we use on iPhone (she likes Nicki Minaj and I like Aaron Copeland's "Hoe Down").  I shared the "Carpool Karaoke" on You Tube that features Adele (which was welcomed) and the Slow Mo Guys video of the uvula (which was not welcomed as it's really, really disgusting.  And hilarious.).

I worked on the scarf and she started on a hat.  I made great progress.  The scarf started getting narrower again but Laurel taught me how to toss in some extra stitches mid-row to widen it up.  I'm going to finish it THIS WEEK and I will wear it next weekend with great pride.  It's not perfect but it's charming just like Laurel and me.

And if you want to see what I mean by disgusting, here's that Slow Mo Guys video of the uvula.'

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The All-Americans

Hooray for Peyton Manning, the Denver Broncos QB who got the job done.  He was not the MVP (because he wasn't the most valuable) but the man ended his season -- some speculate his career -- on a true high.

But, of course, hooray for us because we had Lady Gaga singing the Star Spangled Banner.  Here and now we agree and Lady Gaga has true talent.  She looked and sounded pretty as an All-American girl.

The halftime show was great!  All Americans Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, and BeyoncĂ© brought it and what would an All-American show be without a little British invasion?  Coldplay -- Chris Martin especially -- looked so excited to be there.  I was excited to watch!  Past Super Bowl halftime shows have been missing something because the artist looked damn bored about being there.  Not this time.

This next one is from the point of view of someone in the show.  It's a whole different vantage point on the halftime performance gig.  And when it's over, it's over but it's not.  We went to commercial break but they had to clear the field.  Who was playing the National Anthem on guitar?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Don't call it "L"

Courtesy of the NFL

For 49 Super Bowls, the NFL has insisted that the Super Bowl be called by number but displayed as Roman numerals.  It should have been a fabulous lesson for people everywhere on the usage of the ancient numerals but it probably wasn't.  Super Bowl 33 = XXXIII.  Like Roman gladiators. You get what I'm saying.

But this year, it's Super Bowl 50.  I wondered what made the NFL, those old, rich guys who love to hang onto a tradition until its proven to be deadly and then still won't let it go.  I was privately referring to it as Super Bowl L but this week I read an article that explained the NFL's point of view.

Make an L with the thumb and index finger of your right hand and hold it up to your forehead.  Yep!  You got it!  The NFL doesn't want people to think "loser."  The NFL has reasons that are simple, elegant, self-serving.  As always.

Doesn't mean you're not a bunch of losers, old, rich NFL guys!  Who could be more greedy than y'all except maybe the Olympic Committee?  Damn, you guys know how to put on a spectacle.  Coldplay, BeyoncĂ©, and Bruno Mars for the half-time show!  Lady Gaga singing the National Anthem!  The tippety-top of American advertising for the commercials!  I am looking forward to it except for the 8pm-9pm hour when I will be watching "Downton Abbey."  Yeah, I care more about Lady Edith, Bates, and Anna than about Cam Newton, Peyton Manning, or Ron Rivera.

Who will win?  I honestly don't know/care.  On the one hand, I'd love to see Peyton Manning win one more time.  On the other hand, the Panthers lost just a single game and Cam Newton is pretty great.  So after honest reflection, who do I think will win?  I still don't know or care about that but I am looking forward to that half-time show.