15 May 2008

Or else I'll have bad dreams

I was so thoroughly upset by the ending on the season finale of CSI that I had to watch something light-hearted to calm myself down before going to bed. The winner? James and the Giant Peach.

Hey TechGirl, remember when Mrs. Kessling read that book to us in 5th grade? My memories of that book are so positive that I bought a copy of it several years ago just so I could have it near me.

09 May 2008

The Festival in 2003

Kate told a few interesting stories about her brushes with a few celebrities, and it got me thinking. So I thought I’d share my stories. All of them center around one event.

In 2003, I was fortunate enough to attend the Sundance Film Festival. I went with the X, and it was quite possibly the worst trip we’d ever taken together. I won’t bore you with details, but that trip was a turning point for me personally, and several months after the trip, I broke up with him for good.

But that’s not what this story is about. The only brushes with celebrity I’ve had in my life were at the Festival. As you can imagine, there are dozens and dozens of movies shown throughout the 2-ish weeks of the Festival. Some of these showings are considered “premiers,” meaning that not only is it the first time the films are being shown to the public, but also that the actors in these movies are known well enough to warrant a big hoo-ha deal. The first of these premiers that we went to was a movie called Masked and Anonymous. Click the link and you’ll see who is in the movie—it has a crap-ton of well-known actors. An hour before the movie started, we arrived at the theatre, located in the local high school. As we pulled up on the parking lot in the bus, we could see that there were swarms of people around the entrance to the theatre, and the flashes of many pictures being taken. Once we got off the bus, we could see that there was a red carpet lining a walkway to the front door, flanked by roped-off areas containing media persons in one section, and screaming hippies in another. We must have missed whatever caused all the commotion because the atmosphere calmed down a bit as we joined the line of people who had actual tickets to the movie (as opposed to stand-by tickets). It wasn’t until we reached the front of the line that I realized why there were hippies there. I had forgotten that Bob Dylan was in the movie; the large group of screaming and weepy hippies clutching their well-worn Dylan LPs to their chests were there to see him, though apparently none of them had tickets.

Once we were seated, I noticed Roger Ebert standing in the side aisle to my right. The X was unimpressed. Then once everyone was settled, the director came out onto the stage to introduce the movie. I figured he would talk a bit and that would be it. Nope. There was much more. Not long after he started talking, he introduced the guests who had come with him: Jessica Lange, Luke Wilson, John Goodman, and Christian Slater. I think Penelope Cruz was there too, but I can’t remember exactly. Then, after the actors had walked to the middle of the stage and were just standing there smiling, the director introduced Bob Dylan, who took the stage amongst frantic applause from the audience. Such a small, shy man; he was clearly uncomfortable with the attention. The celebrity guests stood on the stage for a few minutes before leaving to sit in their seats in the first few rows. The movie started.

I’d love to say that it was a great movie; that not only did I have this (sadly, unphotographed) completely unexpected encounter with celebrity, but that the movie was amazing as well. Unfortunately, the movie was absolutely horrible. Definitely worse than any of the 20 other movies I saw the 5 days we were there. I don’t even remember the plot. I read the synopsis on IMDB, and nothing clicked. Can’t remember a thing.

And the story doesn’t end there. Remember how I said that Roger Ebert was in the theatre? Well, after the movie was over, and the crowd started filing out of the theatre, the X and I pushed our way through the mass of people in the lobby. I turned around to make sure the X was behind me, and when I turned back, CRASH!! Roger Ebert slammed into me, walking the opposite direction of all the other people in the crowd. He didn’t even stop or apologize. Thankfully I didn’t fall to the ground, or I’m sure I would have been trampled.

The other celebrity story from that trip involved a premier for a movie called Owning Mahowny, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Minnie Driver. This movie was being shown at the Egyptian Theater in downtown Park City. Once again, we arrived an hour before the movie started and took our places in the ticket-holders’ line. The line was pretty long—it wrapped around the side of the theatre down some steps next to the theatre and through an alleyway. During the mind-numbing boredom of waiting to be let in, I was looking around and noticed someone in a blue parka at the top of the stairs, looking over the crowd. It took a few minutes of squinting and staring, but I finally recognized him—Philip Seymour Hoffman. Again, the X wasn’t impressed. When the line finally started moving, and we made our way to the front door, we passed him again. He was standing outside the door; I was probably only 2 feet from him when we passed by. I was too embarrassed to stare though.

After the movie, there was a Q&A session. Many of the movies had these so that the audience could ask the directors questions. We had a movie we had to go to across town, so we left before the Q&A started. As the X was rushing me out of the theatre, we passed by Minnie Driver in the lobby. She was imploring people to “please stay for the Q&A!” I paused for a moment, but the X got irritated and wouldn’t let me stay and meet her. I don’t remember much about her except the impression that she was really tall and really pretty.

So that’s it—my brush with celebrity. Exciting, huh? Oh, and that Owning Mahowny movie? MUCH better than the Bob Dylan one.

08 May 2008

RPM socks

Finally, I am posting some FO pictures of my RPM socks. I finished them almost 2 weeks ago, but I keep forgetting to post pictures.

So, here they are...

RPM socks2 042908

I'm very pleased with how these turned out. The colors in the yarn are hard to capture fully in photos, but they're just lovely. Purple, plum, electric blue, lime green, rusty orange - I must have stopped knitting a thousand time to admire the colors.

RPM socks4 042908

And they're so fuzzy! (In a good way.) The mohair content makes the yarn so silky to the touch, and left a lovely halo after washing.

RPM closeup 042908

Oh, did I mention that I used Mountain Colors Bearfoot? SO loving this yarn! This is a skein I purchased from Posh in Denver a couple of months ago. I have another skein in the stash that I bought last summer and I can't wait to get some more. Yarn Barn just started carrying it, and I nearly passed out when I saw the selection last time I was in there.

I altered the pattern a bit. As usual, I worked them toe-up. Because the yarn is a bit thicker than fingering, I only needed to increase the toe to 64 stitches instead of my usual 72. In order for the stitch count to come out right, I removed one knit stitch on each repeat of each row; so, I alternated 3 purls with 5 knits, rotating by one stitch on each row. I also made the rotation go in opposite directions between socks.

I worked a short-row heel and a 2x2 rib on the cuff.

RPM heel 042908
RPM cuff 042908

These fit perfectly. I love that about socks. I suck at getting sweaters to fit right, but socks? No problem at all!

Here's the deets...
Pattern: RPM from Knitty
Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Elderberry
Needles: 40" size 1 Addi Turbo
Started: 3/21/08
Finished: 4/27/08
Mods: Worked toe-up, magic loop. Altered stitch count as explained above. 2x2 ribbed cuff.

RPM socks1 042908

Love 'em!

05 May 2008


On my dresser is a mirrored tray that I’ve had since I was a teenager. For many years, it has displayed a couple dozen colognes, body sprays, and scented lotions. From one stage of life to another, the contents of the tray reflected my many moods. The fragrance I choose everyday is generally determined by the season of the year and specifically by my mood when I wake up in the morning.

A few days ago I picked up a small purse-sized bottle of body spray that I purchased from Walgreens ages ago. I’m not sure what prompted me to pick this particular scent this day; I haven’t worn it in a year or more. Come to think of it, I can’t even remember what the name of the scent is – it’s something flowery. Gardenia? Jasmine? I sprayed the spot at the base of my neck where I always spray cologne; the spot that used to be a hollow divot between my collar bones before I gained weight a few years ago. The second the smell hit my nose, I was instantly transported back to the summer of 1998…

I had been at my first career job for a few months, had just bought my first car, and had moved into an apartment with my sister. The X was in Greece for the summer, so I was left to myself for a couple of months. That smell reminds me of the day I took him to the airport. Of the drive home, listening to Madonna’s Ray of Light. I can see that apartment like I’m standing in the middle of it – blue-grey carpet; tiny kitchen with dark wood cabinets; my oversized bedroom; the balcony where I would sit at night before bed, smoking cigarettes. I am not reminded of anything very exciting, just my life at the time.

I am always amazed at how scent is such a strong memory trigger. I still have fragrance bottles that I don’t open anymore except when I want to steep myself in memories. One whiff and they come flooding back, thick as smoke. When I’m feeling melancholy and want to throw a little salt on my old wounds, I open that bottle of lily of the valley essential oil that I bought in San Francisco 12 years ago. And then some days, when I’m feeling triumphant over my old weaknesses, and want to remind myself of how much better my life is now than it was then, I open that same bottle and breathe deeply, as a big smile spreads slowly across my face.