If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Patwoman Reviews Terminator Salvation

Still catching up on my movies...

Terminator Salvation (though the title is not the best) was actually pretty good. I was a little worried, since we had not seen much of this movie beforehand. The trailer I saw on TV last week was basically the same trailer I saw 6 months ago at the theater. That's usually not a good sign.

Plus, I'd heard the movie got a major rewrite when Christian Bale signed on. Like, the movie wasn't supposed to be about John Conner, but he insisted John Conner's part be bigger. But the rewrite seemed to work. I can't imagine what the movie would have been like if it had been more focussed on Marcus and less on John Conner.

I like Bale in this movie, too. (Don't care that he "Baled out" during production. I'm sure a lot of other celebs are assholes, too.) He brought the same kind of intensity to John Conner that he brings to Bruce Wayne. Same kind of character, too. Both guys are guys that are chosen/drawn to a life of hard choices and bitter heartbreak. Yet, both of them have remained on this side of the line. Both have kept their humanity.

Some people I talked to didn't like this darkness. I don't know what they expected. The world has been taken over by machines who want to kill us. There's no way that's not a dark movie.

Some people don't like that the timeline is different, or that it gets changed in this movie. Listen, Kyle Reese says (in the first movie) that John Conner taught him "The future is not set. What we do has the power to change it." You know, that says to me the timeline can be messed with and the movies still have continuity. (Some of the people who had trouble with this, I'm sure, just don't get the concept of non-linear time.)

Some people I talked to just didn't like Bale. Whatever. I think he's a good actor. I'm pretty impressed with his performance.

Some other things of note in the movie:

* Sets looked awesome. I'm sure McG took a page from Ridley Scott's book on using that yellow filter to make everything look worn.

* Most of the CG looked good.

* The Swarzenegger lookalike looks a lot like him.

* There is a quick shot of Terminator peen. (I don't know if it is a Swarzenegger lookalike, though.)

The bad thing about the movie: Made me think "The Wolverine movie should have been this good."

Friday, May 29, 2009


Since my office moved downtown, I’ve been walking the 4 blocks or so to the Farmer’s Market every Wednesday. It’s fun. It’s a good walk, good exercise, and there are always neat things at the Market.

But I’ve begun to feel really self-conscious about carrying a plastic bag out of there. Even though they are re-used plastic bags, so it’s not like someone had to kill a plastic tree on my behalf. I just feel like I should be carrying a basket or a bag, knitted out of some natural fiber.

What’s funny is that I actually own several cloth (recycled from paper and plastic bags, btw) grocery bags that I bought for the express purpose of having reusable grocery bags. But those have all become my work bag, my gaming bag, my knitting bag, my bag-of-things-I’m-not-quite-sure-what-to-do-with bag, etc.

There are tons of great patterns out there for bags. I actually have a couple in my list of things I’m never going to have time to knit, even though I really want to, so who the hell do I think I’m kidding? Ravelry Queue.

That’s what I’m going to do this weekend. I’m going to knit a market bag. So Wednesday, when I go to the Farmer’s Market and they start to give me a reused Meijer bag, I can say, “Please put it in my market bag.”

Thursday, May 28, 2009


So I learned today (and maybe I’m the last person on earth to hear about this) that there was a Dark Shadows revival project going on, and that Johnny Depp is attached to it!

I can’t explain how excited this makes me.

First, let me say, the show was bad. Not necessarily bad acting, directing, or writing (it was a live show, done 5 days a week, so obviously there were going to be some sacrifices made on those ends) but there were flubbed lines, missed cues, poor lighting, visible mikes, lights, and stage hands… So not the pinnacle of art.

However, it was a good show for so many reasons. First of all, it was a horror soap opera. I don’t think anyone had ever done one up until that point. It filled the niche for people who might want to watch stories of a fantastic nature. It certainly had an appeal across many generations. My mom watched it. All my brothers’ friends (high school kids) watched it. And all my friends (grade school) raced home to see what happened next at Collinwood.

Secondly, it was dark. Sure, there were deaths and terminal illnesses in ordinary soaps. But DS had murders. And not just crimes of passion, but complex murder plots and conspiracies. Plus, there was killing out of pure evil by some characters. Killing for revenge. Killing in self-defense. And killing for food . You wouldn’t find that on Days of Our Lives, let me tell you.

Third, you never knew what would happen. Okay, Barnabas is a vampire. Then we have Quentin the werewolf and Adam the “made” man… Witches, warlocks, ghosts… Hey, don’t forget time travel.

Fourth, it had Barnabas Collins. Now there’s a great character. Barnabas, the original vampire with a soul. Barnabas the tortured. Barnabas the just-want-to-be-loved. (Although, seriously, if someone came to your house looking like Jonathan Frid and said he was your “long-lost cousin” I doubt you’d invite him in. Not without your garlic and your crucifix and your wooden stakes, at least.)

That’s probably the biggest disappointment of the DS reboot they did in the 90s. They just didn’t get Barnabas. Too bad, too, because the actor had the look of a 175 year old vampire in his eyes. He just had no place to spend that, you know.

Last (so far), the show has a following, still. On the air in the 60s and still people love it. They would all watch a DS reboot. So would I.

I’m assuming, of course, that Johnny Depp is going to play Barnabas. I like that. He’s cute and funny, yes. But he can be dark, too. Not Sweeney Todd fake-dark, either. Daaaaarrrk. Look at his eyes.

Yeah. It’s there.

Monday, May 25, 2009

You Knew I Would

Started over.

This time, same 22-stitch pattern, but I added 2 purl stitches on either side, then a 2-stitch twist (left and right, on opposite sides), and a 2-stitch garter stitch border on each side. So 34 stitches total.

Lays flat, not too skinny, not too wide.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Patwoman Reviews Star Trek (Finally!)

Almost flawless.

I just can’t say enough good things about this movie. The actors were great. The writing was great. The sets were great. Stunts, costumes, FX… great.
I can’t even narrow down one performance that outshone any of the others.

Chris Pine was awesome as Jim Kirk. He had it down. (Of course, he sold me from the trailer, when someone says “We have no captain…” and he sits down in the chair “Yes, we do.” Is that not Kirk?) Loved the way he sat in the chair, too. (Not a perv comment.) He just sat in that chair the way Kirk sits in a chair. He was Kirk.

Zachary Quinto I already love from Heroes. (Sylar is the best Heroes character, btw.) Did a great job as a conflicted Spock. Sure, he looks like Spock, (and boy, he really does!) but he also acted the part really well. Think about this… how much can you convey with your eyes? He had such subtext with his!

And I’m not bothered at all with the Spock/Uhuru romance. Hey, Spock is half human, right? And he’s young. And he has not completed the Kolinar. So, I think it’s (ahem) logical for him to seek emotional comfort in a time of crisis.

And Bones! OMG, Karl Urban just channeled Doc McCoy, didn’t he? Just made me smile every time he delivered a line. I think I liked his performance best of all.

Of course, we all love Simon Pegg in everything he does. And his Scotty was fun. It’s interesting, though, when I talk to people about the movie, they say “Well, I don’t know about Scotty…” Please! That’s Scotty. He was playful like that. It’s just, in the Shatnerverse, he’s older.

That’s what I really love about these characterizations. You can imagine all of these guys growing up to be the guys in the earlier series and movies. They’re just a bit rougher, a bit less jaded, a bit less experienced.

Loved all the little nods to the Trekkies. When the guy overshoots the platform and dies—after maybe 2 lines total of dialogue—T pointed out the guy was wearing a red shirt. Or how about when Kirk tells the engine room to increase power and Scotty says “I’m givin’ y’ all she’s got!” Good job writers! I, for one, can’t wait until the next movie.

Now, at the beginning of this, I said the movie was almost flawless. The only thing I didn’t like about this movie was, as I left the theater, feeling excited and pleased and seventeen different kinds of happy… I thought “This is what the Wolverine movie should have been like.”

Friday, May 15, 2009

Self Doubt

So I decided to work on some Christmas gifts. This is a scarf I am working on for R. I wanted a Celtic design, but couldn’t seem to find a pattern I liked. (And I am definitely not clever patient enough to create the pattern myself.

But then I remembered—aha!—that I have this book:
And this book has all kinds of cable patterns in it, including some that are decidedly Celtic-looking. This particular pattern is the wide pattern motif from the man’s sweater. It’s pretty much exactly what I am looking for. I added 2 purl stitches and a knit stitch (which I slipped at the beginning of every row, because I like the edge that gives you) to accentuate the pattern a little more.

After I finished the first pattern repeat, I held it up and looked at it and thought “I am so good. This looks so sharp. He will love this.” Then, feeling all smug and pleased with myself, I held it up to T and said “What do you think?”

Too skinny.” He says.

So I look at it again. Is it too skinny? R doesn’t like the scarves that bunch up and fold over on themselves, so I don’t want to add too much width. But I don’t want it to be so narrow that it’s useless. Plus, I had knit this pattern repeat before, with 2 purl stitches on either side of the cable motif and then a 6 stitch cable on either side and 2 garter stitches on the edges. Like, 42 stitches across. That ended up too wide, definitely.

But now I’m doubting it. So I get the scarf I knit him for Christmas last year and compare it. It’s the same width. And he loves this scarf.

But doubts linger. And I’m paralyzed into inaction. It’s a complex cable pattern. I don’t want to knit any more on it if I’m just going to rip it out. And I don’t want to rip it out if it’s perfectly fine.

Aaarrgh. But it’s not perfectly fine, is it? It is too narrow. Even if it’s the same size as the other one. It just looks too narrow. Hmph! And it rolls a little bit on the edges. So what now?

I’m going to frog it and start over, of course. All this internal discourse is just denial. I knew I was going to frog it the second T said “Too skinny.”

Damn it. Knitting sucks.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More Knitting

Yeah, okay. So I did the matching hat. Here it is. Same yarns. This is one skein Fancy Fur and whatever was left over from the Luscious. Modelled, of course, by the lovely Notpatwoman.

And still restless, so I did this one. It’s also Luscious, which I think they discontinued, btw, but that’s too bad because it is sooo soft! The color is Fruity. Straight garter stitch scarf because, really, this yarn is so fuzzy you wouldn’t see any fancy stitching, anyway.

What’s next?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

This Blog Is Really About Knitting

Of course you wouldn’t know it by looking at it, would you? How long has it been since I posted any actual knitting?

Not that I haven’t been knitting. (I haven’t, actually.) But it looks like I should be doing more of it. Yes, sad to say, Patwoman has been diagnosed with high blood pressure. (If you call a mere 158/92 high.) Yeah, and high cholesterol too, although how that happened, I don’t know, since I’m eating a pretty low fat diet anyway ever since T’s heart attack.

Anyway, the doctor prescribed some meds and all these impossible things:
• Lose weight
• Get 20-30 minutes cardio exercise 5 days a week
• Limit my salt intake
• Get 8 hours sleep a night
• Do something to de-stress

Realistically, I think I only have a shot at the last one. (If only because I’m going to use it as an excuse to buy some more yarn.)

I haven’t actually felt like knitting much these days, mainly because I’m so tired. And restless. Like, I want to knit, but don’t know what to knit and nothing is calling out to be knit by me. But I did pick up the needles the other night. And, with nothing else in mind, knocked out a garter stitch scarf, made with some floofy fun novelty yarn.

It’s Lion Brand Fancy Fur in Ecru and Ebony and Yarn Bee Luscious in Black Walnut. One strand of each, held together and knit in garter stitch with size 13s. I used less than one skein of the Luscious and about 3 skeins of Fancy Fur. I’ve got a little more of this yarn left. I’m still restless and unfocussed. Maybe I will do a matching hat?

Friday, May 08, 2009

Christmas Knitting, Day 128

Oh yeah. That makes me laugh. So for all of my plans to start early, what has happened? What have I actually completed?


Yeah, well I guess it’s still early, technically. Let’s see what I can do. I made a huge list at the beginning of the year. Let’s see if I can do one thing a week.

Don’t strain yourself laughing.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Patwoman’s Movie Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

NOTE: There may or may not be spoilers here. You know how I am. I just say it as I think of it. Read at your own risk, but you don’t want to take a chance on any spoilers, don’t read yet. Because I do want you to go see this.

Okay, on with the review.

First of all, let me say Hugh Jackman rules. Do not take anything in this post as a criticism of my boy Hugh, because I would never. I have enjoyed him ever since Paperback Hero, which I saw on cable years before X-Men. (And don’t you just love the idea of a manly man writing romance novels in his spare time?) And I’m not just saying that to be all “I’ve been a Hugh fan longer than you” or anything. I just want you to know I’ve seen him in lots of different roles, not just Wolverine.

Secondly, Origins is a great idea. It was a great idea for a comic and a great idea for a movie. If it’s done correctly. Think about how craptacular Enterprise was and you’ll know what I mean. You can’t mess with the established story.

That being said, we all know Marvel does that all the time. They start telling a story and make it wilder and wilder and then, when the writers can’t think of a way to tie up all the ends (or maybe they get bored with it) or a new writer takes over the title, suddenly it was all a dream sequence. Or an alternate reality. Or something happens to make time restart at an earlier level.

Whatever. So I’m inclined to be a little lenient about “fudging the timeline.”

What I’m not okay with is bad writing. And OMG the writing is baaaad. Not just terrible dialogue, but bad writing. Like, if we know that only adamantium bullets will hurt the adamantium man, why not give the best marksman in the world the adamantium bullets when you send him after Logan? Why send him with regular armaments if you know they won’t work? Why save the adamantium bullets for the dumbass who 1)can’t shoot for toffee and 2)doesn’t have the common sense to load the gun before he might need to use it?

Bad writing.

Like “the guards called him Gambit because he kept winning all their money at poker.” Did the writers not have a dictionary? Because a gambit is a strategy. It’s not gambling. Now, you might argue that the guards were ignorant thugs and didn’t know what gambit meant. Okay. But it’s still a stupid name, if that’s the reason you’re naming him that. How about Ace? How about Lucky? How about Chips? How about Louisiana Pete?

Personally, I like the name Gambit—a risky maneuver—because that fits the character pretty well. So why not "They called him Gambit, because he was always taking a chance on things." ? And the actor did a good job. It would’ve been nice to give him a little more screen time, for those viewers who weren’t familiar with him, but still and all I liked his portrayal. And not too bad to look at, either.

And Liev Schreiber was great. I’ve always found him a little creepy, since his turn in Phantoms (excellent). And when I heard he was playing Sabertooth, I went, huhwhat? But he bulked up nice. And really brought some dimension to the role. (I absolutely despised the portrayal in the first X-Men of Sabertooth as a monosyllabic animal.) So good job, Liev. I hope they do more with Sabertooth.

Liev also gets the best line of the movie. “Nobody kills you but me.”

And, as I said previously, Hugh Jackman rules. Just one more picture, ‘cause I like to look at it. He really has Wolverine in his heart. I’ve been a Wolverine fan since I first met T and read all his comic books in his dorm room. And Hugh just knows him. So good job, Hugh.

And the action rocks. The action alone is enough to see the movie. (If only there were more shirtless fighting!) The action almost makes up for the bad writing.

And I say almost because of the ending. (The one before the credits.) I was so disappointed in the ending. And it was 100% because of what they did to Deadpool. (Well, that, and a certain amount of “that’s the last straw.” )

Now Ryan Reynolds did a great job. They should’ve given The Merc With A Mouth more lines—I’m thinking he should be at least as mouthy as his Blade 3 character was. But, he looked good. Action was good. He was perfectly cast in that role.

But the writers… sigh. I almost stood up and walked out during that shitactular ending. I actually said WTF out loud. (But not the letters, the words.) It was okay, because I think about half the audience did too. And the alternate endings after the credits? Well, that’s not going to make me pop another $10 to go see it again.

So, let me sum up… It was a fun movie because of the action and the actors’ work. But it was not a fantastic movie. I didn’t leave it feeling the way I did after the Spider-Man or Dark Knight or Watchmen.

Understand, I read that there is a 2nd Wolverine movie in the works and I think that’s a great thing. I will definitely see it. And I read that there is a Deadpool movie in the works. Ryan Reynold’s comments about it lead me to believe he would like to reboot the whole Deadpool storyline so that it would be… right.

Really looking forward to the Star Trek movie this weekend, too. I’ll tell you all about that.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I'm Chess

You Are Chess

You are brilliant and shrewd. You can often predict what people will do in the future.

You thrive in complex situations. You deal with contradictions well.

You can have many streams of though going on at your mind at once. You keep track of things well.

You are very patient. You have lots of endurance, even when your energy dwindles

That's funny. 'Cause I would've guessed that I'm Twister.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Is This Funny? I'm Gonna Say Yes.

Okay. Those who know me (or read this blog) know that there are two ways I like my comedy… painful or hurtful. It’s a rare and beautiful thing when you can combine both.

But, I’m walking down the street at lunch today, past this restaurant. And this rather large woman is down on the sidewalk on her hands and knees, scraping up gum off the concrete with a putty knife. (No, I didn’t laugh. What kind of a person do you think I am?)

But I did think to myself “Who did she piss off to get assigned to Sidewalk Gum Detail?” What kind of an asshole makes someone do that? I mean, that’s a pretty evil punishment, wouldn’t you say?

Gum Lady: How come I have to work Saturday? I hate working Saturday! Why doesn’t Jennifer ever have to work Saturday? Do you even know how to make out a schedule? Didn’t they teach you that in Manager Orientation?

Manger: It’s your turn to work Saturday. Oh, and look! It’s also your turn to take gum duty.

Gum Lady: What? Why? Because I don’t want to work Saturday? You gotta be kidding me!

Manager: No, this is something totally separate. It’s just your turn.

Gum Lady: It was my turn the last 3 times. Let Jennifer clean the damn gum off the sidewalk.

Manager: Sorry. It’s your turn. Says so right here.

Gum Lady: You suck.

Anyway, people were walking by her—either without looking at her, or looking at her all annoyed for having to be on the sidewalk, scraping up ABC gum. Like, she chose to be doing this. (“Can I be on gum duty? Please? Pretty please?”)

Here’s the funny part. (Well, funnier. As horribly offensive as that scene is, there is actually some visual comedy to a lady her size bending down to do such a stupid, superficial task.)

As I walk back this way, the Gum Lady has 1)gotten tired of being on her hands and knees, 2)gotten tired of people practically stepping on her, or 3)gotten pretty tired of the whole damn situation and the condescending bastard who sent her out to scrape gum in the first place.

She’s still scraping gum, but now her giant butt is pressed up against the dining room window glass, dragging back and forth, back and forth, with every scraping motion of her arms. I can see the snooty clientele inside, pretending not to notice this ass as it moves along the length of the sidewalk—a not-so-subtle message to her manager and everyone like him.

At that point, I did laugh. I couldn’t help it. And you know what? Gum lady looked up at me and smiled. She knew exactly what she was doing.

Oh yeah. Power to the people, bitches.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Let’s Talk About Adam West

So, these last few weeks have been a little busy for me. My office moved from the East Side (or as we say on the East Side “E Saaaaahhhd”) to downtown. Great move for me, since it cuts about 20 minutes off my drive each way.

But, you know how it is when you move. There’s always so much more to deal with than you planned. Seriously. If you’re going to move, calculate how much time it will take you to pack everything and then double it. And then double that.
Jeez, why do you think I stay in my current house (the House of the Tiny Kitchen)? I don’t want to move.

Anyway, it’s a little less stressful when you’re moving your office because not only does someone else carry everything, but there is also some corporate project manager who makes sure your phone gets connected, your computer gets connected to the intranet, and there is actually space to put you.

For my move, my project manager was…

No, not MY Adam West. But certainly AN Adam West. Made me giggle every time I got a phone call or email from him.

Oh, and speaking Adam… Did you see this video?

Jeez, I signed up for Funny or Die because of this video. I hope he does some other stuff for this site. Still got the comic timing, AW.

Oh, and I've started my Annual Campaign to get Adam to Come to GenCon, btw. If you’d like to help, just go to the GenCon website and click the “contact us” button. Tell them how much you’d love to see Adam there. I’ve already volunteered to be his GenCon Host and secure an actual Batmobile (replica), so there’s really nothing GenCon needs to do, except get him there.

The only hiccup in the whole thing is that GenCon is still watching their pennies (even though Indy GenCon has always made money), so who knows if they will even try to get my man there? Rumor has it, he is pretty pricey.

Adam, if you are reading this, I promise I will take you to Arby’s.

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