Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Oscars! Red carpet!

I'm live-blogging the last two and a half hours of the red carpet festivities before the Oscars.

To put it bluntly, it's all about the clothes.

Now, I don't think it's fair - in fact, it should be illegal - to snap pics of stars at the grocery store, or otherwise on their own time. They're entitled to their privacy like everyone else.

But it's the OSCARS. It is very obviously a work event. Part of an actor's job is to look good. And anyone with 1/100th of a brain knows there are going to be photos and cameras and all sorts of news coverage. So.

Here we go.

ADDED LATER: I was gonna post ten million pictures to go with this, but then I came to my senses. If you're interested, all the photos I'm looking at can be found HERE. I put names to dress comments, so you can figure out who I'm talking about if you really want to.

Wolfgang Puck, food, blah blah. BRING ON THE CLOTHES.

Kelly Osbourne has fixed her hair. Sort of.


Rose Berg (?) wearing a swathe of sequins. Excellent fitting. VIVIENNE WESTWOOD, BAYBEE.

Melissa McCarthy wearing drapey rose. Eh.

Some other bridesmaid, wearing another well-fitted dress in rose, beaded like mad. Neither one has boobs in her arm pits. I approve. This one's... someone I've never heard of.

Ellie Kemper. This is a badly fitted dress. Droopy boobs in the arm pits. Heavy sigh. Armani. Why didn't they fit it better?

Bernice who? Bejo? (Sorry folks, don't pay much attention to Serious Cinema.) It's a take on the old 'nude dress' that Marlene Deitrich made famous. But, not as sexy. Dress by Ellie Saab. Trying to figure out why it's so unflattering. I like the hair. Beats the scraggly just-rolled-out-of-bed look so many go with.

Hunger Games commercial. I may need to read that book.

George Clooney's girlfriend looks fabulous, but with him as an accessory, how could she miss? Dress by Marchesa.

Missi Pyle gets a salute just because she wore COLOR.

Another bridesmaid. Feh. Seriously?

Whose soul did Janyne Semour sell to Satan? How old is she? She was a Bond Girl back in the freaking SEVENTIES.

Jessica Chastain. Ornate. Looks like a McQueen? She's got the figure and the hair to carry it. Really nice. IT IS A McQUEEN. Go Julie! Though he's so distinctive it's hard to miss. Her boobs are in her arm pits, though. -sigh-

Dude. WTF is that white dress? Shailene Woodsley. (Tagging all this stuff with names so I can find photos for this later.) It's like a mutant Chanel. Is that her tits I'm looking at all through the white dot things? No. Don't want to know.


E: I don't give a shit what you think is a trend. Just tell me who in hell designed that dress. JUST ADMIT YOU'RE SHOCKED THAT PLUS SIZES CAN LOOK ATTRACTIVE YOU SKINNY BITCHES.

Okay, points to the E folks for calling Chastain's grandma to the camera.

Where is Benedict Cumberbatch, HMMMMM?

Michelle Williams. Peplum from hell, and I'm sorry, her hair always looks like it was cut with a Swiss Army Knife. Louis Vuitton. Sorry, honey, but that peplum? Just no. And why in fuck does my spell check not know 'peplum'.

To tell how well-made a dress is, and fitted, LOOK AT THE BOOOOOBS. Why why why aren't these things fit better?

Tux by Armani, blah blah, MOVE ON TO THE AWESOME DRESSES, MOFO.

This blog post is going to be three feet long.

Ryan Seacrest, a foot shorter than the women he interviews. Love it.

Hosts fawning over people. Blah, blah. Feh. CLOTHES, PEOPLE. CLOTHING.

Great googly-moogly, the commercials! They never end!

They're trying to push the suspense of the Oscars. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Oh, Viola Davis. It's Vera Wang, but... I just don't think it's as awesome as the Golden Globes dress. Heck, you decide.

Maya Rudolph. Uh. Hm. Well, at least you wore decent foundation garments.

Glenn Close in a fancy suit. Really nice! Fabulous. Varying finishes and textures, all in the dark green. So awesome.

Chick (Leslie Mann) complaining about a tight dress. SERIOUSLY? What, you couldn't find anything else??

Diddy getting groomed by some hyper dude with a dust roller. Diddy's ignoring him. Freaky body language stuff. Whoa.


Kelly, we aren't interested in your opinion of George. SHOW ME CLOTHES.

People keep TALKING TO ME. Trying to concentrate here! Ah!

Rooney Mara. STAND UP STRAIGHT. QUIT SLOUCHING. WASH THE TEN POUNDS OF LACQUER OUT OF YOUR HAIR. GET OFF MY LAWN. Givenchy. Feh. The hair, the too-dark lipstick, the dress makes her look like a board or a fifteen year old boy.

Rarely have I seen so many badly fitting dresses in one place. How many stylists were involved, and these dresses don't fit??

Octavia Spencer. Lovely. Sparkle, fit, hair, everything. Perfect.

Hour two of really super lameass superficial 'interviews'.

Melanie Griffith looks like a cartoon of herself. Is that Botox talking?

Commentators are fussing and fawning some more. Bluuuurgh.

Socks by K Mart. Okay. Thanks for that, Sacha. (Dude. You're nuts.) He's claiming the gold urn is Kim Jong Il's ashes, to be scattered over Halle Berry's cleavage. Then he dumped it on Ryan Seacrest and got hauled out by security. Not sure if that was staged or not. Points for dumping on Seacrest, though. Wish I could do it myself. Nice publicity stunt. I'm waiting to see how fast this trends on Twitter. (About ten minutes.)

Dear gods, Melanie Griffith, LAY OFF THE COLLAGEN. You look like a muppet.

Black dress. Snore. Least it fits. I think.

JLO MY LOVE! You know how to dress! Yes, it's shiny and over the top. She's presenting an OSCAR! If ever there was a night to overdress, it's tonight! (Zuhar Murad dress.)

If you're a stylist, why do you look like shit?

More armpit boobs and dresses not moving while the body underneath does. Feh.

Emma Stone. Dude. What... DUDE. The neck floof? Very seventies. Well, at least it's color.

E keeps discussing the same six dresses over and over and not showing anyone else. I'm positive there are more people there. Even if the McQueen gown is awesome, I still want to see SOMEONE ELSE.


Well, this was a waste of time. We've got four women talking about clothes. I've got the commentary I want on Twitter. All I want from E is clothing coverage. This is like the opposite of what I want. Whine bitch moan complain.

Eight o'clock. Half hour to go and they're talking about clothes and not showing them. Blarg.

Natalie Portman in a polka-dot red prom dress. She can wear anything, but it's awfully prommy.

More blah blah about dresses we've already seen. Blah blah.

Gwenneth Paltrow in a lovely white dress AND A CAPE. Looks like Calvin Klein... She's another who can wear anything. Plain, but she's Gwenneth freakin' Paltrow. She don't need no freakin' ornament.

Mila Jojovoich, in another white one-shoulder dress. Again, former model who can wear anything. Fits decently, and she knows how to wear it. Plus she'll kick my ass if I say anything negative.

Still can't reconcile Kelly Osborne's tats with her fancy dress. I've got a tat, I know, I know. But it looks weird.


Someone Ferris. Black sequins. Sleeves, high neck, feh. Kinda boring.

Anyone still reading, I'm impressed. 'Cause I'm sick of watching.

They're talking to Jay Leno. Who in hell cares about Jay Leno? We're here to see clothing!

Sandra Bullock in Marchesa! Fitted skirt (good), loose blouse sorta thing (ugh). Gold lace styling... She looks okay. Not sure 'okay' is what she was going for on Oscars night.

Penelope Cruz looks magnificent in Armani. As always. Fitted beautifully, lovely hair, perfect outfit. THIS is how you dress for the Oscars.

Cameron Diaz with a badly fitted sheath, slouching, with bias ruffling on the skirt. The slouch really bugs me. She was a model! She should do better than that.

Where's Bjork? I wanna see a swan dress.

"As we're sewing her into the dress in the limousine..." Oh, for crying out loud.

Angelina Jolie in black. Again. There's a shock. I like the drape and the fitting, though. It is a pretty dress. She looks happy. It's hard to look bad with a smile like that.

More blah blah. I bet there's people wearing clothes around there. Bet.

Olivia Wilde, wearing a really boring black dress, though it does fit magnificently. Silly black belt.

Okay, more gushing and blah blah. Shutting down.

That concludes the Oscar red carpet. If you enjoyed it, ten points for making it to the end.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Zauberball keeps me sane. Ish.

This is gonna be a bullet point post, because, well, you'll see why.

•Monday, went to PT/OT. They agreed I've got future problems brewing. The upshot: visits twice a week for six weeks.

•Monday night, realized the new PT exercises set off the fucking RSD.

•Monday night, ran a virus scan on my computer. It was acting weirdly. Deleted three viruses.

•Tuesday, fought urge to kill people because my hand felt like it had been ripped off.

•Tuesday morning, another virus scan came up clean.

•Tuesday afternoon, near as I can tell, the computer deleted its own hard drive. I cannot find any sort of OS on it, not even DOS.

•Did I mention, my fucking hand hurts like hell?

•This afternoon, the kid told me she didn't feel well. I'll skip the details, but she's sick.

•Went into The Pit to find my old lap top. Found it. Not the first clue where the power supply is.

•Am blogging from the Kindle Fire. I hate touch screens.

Now, I'm going to go knit. So I don't kill people.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

There are no words.

To describe my adoration for Crazy Zauberballs. I hit Natural Stitches today and bought two more.
I'm knitting another Half-A-Washcloth shawl. (This makes three.) Because on bad days, even stripes (Watson Scarf) is too complicated.

So sad.

While I was there, I lost my head (I swear it's the yarn fumes) and bought this:
HALF A POUND of merino/angora/bamboo blend. In purple. That fiber blend says socks to me... with luck I'll get enough yardage to do ankle socks for me AND the Goob. (Last half pound I spun, I got 500 yards. It's possible.)


In other news, yesterday was vaccination day for the Goob. Screaming, crying, fever, crying, oh dear gods. I admit it, I'm a marshmallow. It destroys me when that happens. So, the Goobie was wrapped up on the couch and given unrestricted time with the Kindle Fire.
I may have also treated her to some early Easter candy. And made her favorite for dinner (cheese quesedillas). And gave her an awesome Perry the Platypus bandaid for her arm.

Yeah, marshmallow. It's my widdle baby.

Excuse me. I have to go knit some more and see what color rolls off the Crazy Zauberball next.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ah, romance.

For Valentine's day, I got these:
Wolverine boots. Waterproof ones, with Thinsulate. I went to the grocery store this morning, in the cold and rain, and my feet STAYED WARM. Absolutely wonderful. And they'll last longer than flowers. (Hub gloated to his buds at work, while they were buying flowers and candy, he took me to the boot store. Hee.)

I've been sloooowly knitting the Watson Scarf:
Really slowly. Half the time I can't make a fist, so that's a lot of knitting time, gone.

OT appointment Monday. I'm hoping the news isn't too bad.

The Goob has been like this today:
I think it's a growth spurt; she's also been eating everything in sight.

Today I got a copy of the new Principles of Knitting. YES! It has finally been printed, after years of postponements! I've given it a quick flick-through, and a lot of holes have been patched. (For instance, there was no mention I remember, at all, of medallion knitting in the original. This time, there's math and cast-ons and other discussion.) Cast-ons listed have gone from around ten to about eighty. I've had enough requests, I think I'm going to do a comparison with the old one, and a review for everyone. But for thirty bucks, how can you possibly go wrong?

Monday, February 13, 2012


Another shawl. (That's Sekhmet in there for scale.) I've really been wearing them, especially in bed at night. (The blue one looks sooper klassy with my usual biker tee shirts. I'm sure this one will, too.) It's interesting; this is one of the yarns I dyed myself, in Charleston. It was wound in a ball, and the outside layers of it, the pink faded a bit. You can see it, along the edge:
Still, for years-old hand dyes, that's not bad. 880 yards of laceweight on size fives, for anyone curious.

I've started on the Watson Scarf.
I'm darning in the ends as I go, but I like to wash the knit and wear it a bit before snipping the ends. That way the yarn can 'set' and felt together a little bit, so the ends of the yarn stay where I put them and don't pull loose. (This is Cascade 220, regular, so it WILL felt a tad. For other fibers, I do different stuff.)

Um, otherwise? I got nothin'. Had a bad pain flare over the weekend, combined with a caffeine overdo, so I've been sozzled. AND KNITTING! WHEE!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A spot of history.

Back in the day (the 1940s), there were computers* being used in the world war. The UK was using a massive tube device - when it worked - called Colossus to decrypt messages. Bletchley Park was the place. In the US, we were using ENIAC to figure out trajectories for artillery shells.

Get that last bit? Artillery trajectory. One of the first uses of computers was trajectory. (The Bletchley Park stuff is VERY cool, but not relevant to my ramblings. Sorry, Limeys.)

After the war, people continued fooling with computers. Obviously. By 1947, someone had filed a patent for a "Cathode Ray Amusement Device". I guess "video game" didn't occur to them. What was the game? A simulation of a missile range - you try to hit the targets.

In 1958, they'd gotten a working model put together and changed the format marginally, calling it "Table Tennis".
(Image from Wiki Commons.)
That should be recognizable, right? To at least most of us. We called it "Pong".

By 1961, MIT students (of course) were playing something they called "Space War!" With a bit more tinkering, it became "Asteroids" which you REALLY ought to recognize.
(Image from Wiki Commons.)
Asteroids was released to an appreciative audience in 1979; there was a lot of stuff between Space War and Asteroids, but you're following me, right? All this is based on that original computer work done with trajectory calculation.

Since then, it's been a long progression of that original artillery game, with better graphics. The latest one is the most popular video game running, right now. (Image from Rovio.)
That's right. The new awesome thing is based on the world's first Cathode Ray Amusement Device, over sixty years old.

Enjoy your historically significant video game. Playing it on the most high-tech devices the world can offer. (Your smart phone? More computing power than the entire fleet of space shuttles.)


*Depending on how we define computers, we can be here all day and on into April, discussing the history of computing, all the way back to the Sumerians. I'm starting with tube devices forward, and you can't stop me.

Monday, February 06, 2012

The new member of the family.

A couple weeks ago, the in-laws came through for a quick visit, and my MIL showed me her birthday present: An iPad. It was nice. Really nice. I liked it a lot. In fact, my first thought was "That would be perfect for the Goob."

Then I looked them up and saw the cost.

I didn't have a stroke. Quite.

So then, I started researching. Because I'm me, and it's what I do. Behold:
A Kindle Fire.(And space monkey pajamas, but the PJs aren't new.) When I opened the box, it turned itself on. I named it HAL.

It does everything we wanted it to; the Goob can watch her school videos on it. That was a biggie. She just sat here for an hour like this:
That's the PBS kid's web site. She likes to play the games, and takes breaks to watch videos.

She and the hub have been playing Angry Birds of all kinds like fiends. I've almost beaten Plants Vs. Zombies. Laying in bed watching TV shows on it is nice. And the other day, I ACTUALLY READ A BOOK ON IT.

It's an Android platform with full internet capability. Everyone: Speak to me of knitting apps.


Last week's rant on digital piracy got a lot more attention than I expected. Really, it was just a roar of frustration more than any sort of orderly discussion. I'll probably do a followup in the next couple days to try and state things more coherently, because obviously some folks didn't quite get it.

Oh, and the dude who compared digital piracy to rape? You're a flaming asshole. You missed COMPLETELY missed the point, but damn. You're an asshole.

Thursday, February 02, 2012


Piracy, copyright, profit, and kiss my ass.
Yes, yes. Content stealing is bad, and we're all going to hell. And God(s) kill a kitten every time you download a torrent. And, you know what? Fuck them.

Not the content producers, no. Not the worker bees who truly make the stuff. Them, I want to give what money I've got to spend. No, I'm talking about the distributors of the content, who make it hard to get, then piss and moan when we download it off the internet.

Here's an example that's going on right now.

The BBC (British telly) is running a VERY popular show, Sherlock, its very much anticipated second season of three shows. All three were run in January. In the UK. In the US, we're supposed to wait until... well, hell, I can't even find the information. Sometime in the summer, I believe. So American audiences, who've been slavering over this show for a YEAR, have to wait to see it, while their UK friends squeal and slip and give out spoilers. Yeah, right.

People who've never downloaded a bittorrent in their lives are getting Sherlock and watching it. And you know what? Good for them.

The BBC would whine about this. They DO whine about this. You know what? It'd be easy as hell to solve - SHOW IT ON MY BLOODY TELLY. We've got BBC America in this great godforsaken land, they could have shown it simultaneously in both places with little or no trouble, and made a bundle of advertising revenue. No. They stall the release and everyone on the internet illegally downloads it. WHY IS THIS NOT SEEN AS THE BBC'S STUPID DAMN FAULT? Because IT IS. We'd all happily watch the show on their channel WITH THEIR COMMERCIALS, BUT WE CAN'T.

Fuck them and their stupid, archaic business model. They deserve to lose money.

How about another one, for fun?

Disney. Disney DVDs of classic movies like Fantasia and the like. They have this stupid, fucked up, idiotic program where they release the DVDs for a limited time only. If you don't buy it then, you have to wait another ten years. In the mean time, you have a kid, and your five year old wants to watch Sleeping Beauty (or whatever) and YOU CAN'T GO OUT AND BUY THE BLOODY DAMNED DVD BECAUSE FUCKING ASSHOLE DISNEY ISN'T SELLING IT. So you torrent it, or you buy a used copy (Disney has tried for years to make purchasing used DVDs either illegal, or requiring a second royalty payment).

What I said above about fuck them and their archaic business model? FUCK THESE ASSHOLES AND THEIR ARCHAIC BUSINESS MODELS. You want me to buy your stuff? SELL THE GODDAMN STUFF YOU FUCKING MORONS.

And one last one, just to round it out into a trilogy of ranting profanity.

Harry Harrison's Deathworld Trilogy. Originally published in the sixties. The first two are available in print (anthologies) and digital form. The third book cannot be had for love or money in any media. WHAT IN FUCK IS UP WITH THAT. It should be illegal to make the first two books of any trilogy available, and not the third. I would pirate that bitch like Bluebeard on a Spanish galleon, if it was available, but it's not.

So, in summary.

I WOULD DEARLY LOVE TO BUY SOME SHIT BUT THESE MOTHERFUCKERS WON'T SELL IT. Then they whine and piss and moan and try to pass draconian laws and make up ridiculous figures of money lost. They are living in the 1960s with their business model, and they deserve to loose revenue for the way they AREN'T SELLING their content. FUCK THEM.

When it comes to stuff I can actually buy, I do. Especially books, because I know that my money does go, in part, directly to the author. And book publishing is actually trying to keep up with changing formats and content use. (Not perfectly, but they're trying.)

Anyway. Piracy. They're asking for it.

Grrr, ar. I'm gonna go kick a parrot.