Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Scary Tale

A while back I had purchased an adult beverage (aka bottle of wine). One evening, I had grand plans for finishing out the day by partaking of said wine. I had placed the wine in the fridge for appropriate chilling. I gathered up my corkscrew and set to opening the bottle.
It was then that a terrible thing happened. The corkscrew broke. Part of it was still happily embedded in the cork, which was unhappily still in the bottle. The remainder of the corkscrew rested in my hand.
I used to have another corkscrew but have been unable to locate it post-move. A quick scan of the kitchen implements revealed no new information on that front. I considered getting a hammer (I knew where that was) and doing a controlled removal of the cork in the sink. I decided that seemed a tad extreme. (But I considered it for quite some time.)
So, it was for several days before I was able to acquire a new corkscrew and rescue the poor little cork with its poky corkscrew remnant from the bottle and get on to more exciting things (such as drinking the wine. So, in the end all was well.
cork

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Team Spirit

It is well known amongst Capitals fans that owner Ted Leonsis wanders through the different levels during the games, making himself available to fans. I have heard tell that he responds to all emails. And I have never seen such an outpouring of love from hockey fans, fans who boo the officials, as when Mr. Leonsis' face pops up on the jumbotron. (I can only imagine, in contrast what kind of response one might see if Dan Snyder showed up on the screen during a Redskins game.)
So, my brother, who in addition to being a Caps fan, also plays hockey (not in the NHL), told me this story. A fellow player has a tattoo of the diving eagle. He ran in Leonsis at the arena and showed off the tattoo. This was few years ago when there was early discussion of a change to the jerseys. Leonsis asked what the plan was if they change the logo, and said player responded he would have to get another tattoo. Leonsis told him, should they change the logo, the new tattoo was on him.
So, I asked my brother if with the jersey change this year, a new tattoo had been acquired for the player. My brother said yes, and pointed me to this article.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Words Can Change the World #2

Test your vocabulary and feed hungry people. Free Rice allows you to test your vocabulary. While you do this, the advertisers names appear on the bottom of the screen. This advertising helps pay for rice that is donated to hungry folk through the United Nations. So, it's a win-win, test your smarts and help others at the same time.


Thanks to the Cherry who sent out this link.

Friday, October 26, 2007

But My Story is so Much Better

I come from a family of storytellers. And as we all know, family members will embroider and embellish stories (right in front of you) and then, possibly, accuse you of being a stickler when you try to inject a little truthiness.
But families are special.
However, staffers in the US Capitol want to extend this more-fun-than-the
-boring-truth approach to the Capitol staff tours. Here's how it breaks down. Right now you can get tours of the Capitol from staff member (arranged by your congressperson or congresspersons, should you be fortunate enough to have more than one). There are also trained tour guides who would be easy to find once they finish up the visitor's center. So, they want to do away with the stafff tours. Now, to be fair, I am sure staff members would not be prohibited from showing friends or family around. But, the trained tour guides want to put this in place, in part because staffers tend to share stories that, while fun and pervasive, are lacking in fact. Their response - our tours are more fun.
And they may be, but it seems like if the staffers really want to keep leading tours they could:
*stop sharing the untrue stories
*and/or warn people that some stories are unsubstantiated
*and/or volunteer to go through a short training session that the professional tour guides to hold.
I'm sure there are other variations, but I find it fascinating that folks want to defend their right to mislead people, because it's more fun.
Now, I know it sounds like I'm being a big stickler, but if I travel from out of town (or even across the city) and arrange for someone to give me a tour, I don't think it's crazy to think that I have an expectation that they know what they are talking about. Or will be honest about what they do know. And if people don't want their tours cluttered up with facts, what do they need the staffers to lead them around for?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Vote for me!

Voting has finally opened in this year's Scarlet Boa contest. So, please go vote. In fact, please go vote for scene#26 which might be by someone you know. And please ignore the fact that I screwed up the html and stuck two paragraphs together.
Vote here. They ask for your address because one voter is going to win a prize. So, really, it's because I want to help you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I Call Bull

When I was in college in the UK, we were on a trimester system. They were in the process of slowly moving to a semester system. And while everyone blamed Americans (I kept pointing out that there were plenty of American schools on trimesters, and really the switch had to due with European Union rules, but anyway) the thing that fascinated me most was how semesters - simply dividing the academic year into halves instead of thirds, was blamed for potential summer job loss, loss of courses in the catalog, changes to the grading system and many other things that were not at all related to how the year was divided.
I feel the same about DVRs. People, myself included, have been making arrangements to watch television at a time other than the original air date for years. DVR's have certainly made this easier but this is better for the TV people. It is better because when my show gets moved - whether due to a schedule change or if it gets bumped to midnight because of a basketball game - my DVR finds it for me (assuming the scheduling information was provided, but that's a separate issue). I have a dual channel DVR that lets me record two things so I watch more. And I can pause live TV so if there's a phone call or interruption, I can focus on that and get back to my programming when it works for my life. So, my DVR helps me watch more. And I know it makes it harder to count, because I may not watch the Sunday show until Thursday. But they have the ability to count that stuff. Sure, it's harder and more complex. But the ability exists. And let's face it, back when I was using a VCR - they had no idea. Now they know I recorded it and watched it. (Which is a bit creepy, but whatever.) So when TV folks try to tell me that shows are suffering because of DVRs - I call bull. The fact that I watch the show later than it's original time doesn't hurt them. It's the fact that I can pick and choose and design my own personal viewing schedule. So, I don't end up watching crap I don't like just because it's the only thing on. Especially with all the channels these days. Look, you can certainly argue that people somehow don't know about your show, or haven't been given enough information to believe that your show is for them. But the rising use of DVRs isn't stopping them from watching what they want to watch, it's helping.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Free Yarn!

Well, Ms. Howell (of "Knitty Gritty" and other such fame), promised free yarn for sticking this pretty on your blog. And really buttons and yarn are clearly things I love.

Now, of course the button has a purpose (excuse me, I am really tired and right now I am hearing the mouse from "An American Tail" say "puhpose" and it's really funny). The Powers That Be have decided the world does not need more episodes of "Knitty Gritty" and so this upcoming podcast will be the way to get new Vickie Howell content out into the world!

Ocean Love

Despite my stated love for cool colors, and ocean colors, I had not realized what a rut I was in. Don't get me wrong, nothing will stop me from thinking that blues and greens are awesome and flattering and pretty, but I may consider making an effort to expand my color repertoire. (My purchased wardrobe demonstrates better range).
I brought two projects with me on my short trip. Both new, in part because I had reached a crucial point with another that was already cast on that was going to make it a bad traveler and because I had pretty, pretty yarn!
The one that got the most attention was the Cherie Amour pattern. I had picked out some ocean colored Manos and a complimentary solid that I knew wanted to be something. The lacy bit is exciting enough to be fun, but easy enough to do while multi-tasking. (I was in well-lit areas, use your judgment for movie theaters and such.) It was fun on the plane. It was fun the next day when taking notes was overloading my brain but knitting helped me focus just enough. It was great when we sat in the library at the hotel chatting, relaxing, and later drinking. It was so great I paid no attention to the change to ribbing (where I had originally planned to change to the solid yarn) and kept going until running out of yarn on the first multi-ball forced me to stop. (So, it doesn't look quite as well planned, I am fine with this.)
Cherie Amour - In progress
The bottom bit is knit on big needles so the visible progress is really rewarding. And I love that most of the shaping is done by switching to smaller needles for ribbing.
The only snag I see up ahead is sleeves. I still don't like them. But maybe big lacy sleeves will be more fun. I started off thinking I could cheat on the sleeves, make them smaller or something, but I think the proportions would look funny with little sleeves. But that's a while.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cherry Con

I am going to do this in sets of five - partly to avoid a post that is tome length and partly to create a semblance of organization.

Five Things About the Goodies:
1. The decorations and goodies and freebies and all of that rocked.
2. Blinking Sunglasses
3. Flamingos - pens, headbands, table decor, key chains, and lollipops.
4. Bubbles!
5. Books - Oh my all of the books!
The Books I Got

Five Things About Cincinnati and Covington:
1. Lovely.
2. Incredibly nice people (with the possible exception of one bus driver who wouldn't let us all on even though the bus didn't look very full).
3. Covington really suffers from a need, in my opinion, for a Starbucks that is open on Sunday. Just saying.
4. The Levee was great fun.
5. Great public transportation (even if the routes seem strange). Seriously, I am very picky about public transportation (or lack thereof).

Five Things The Authors Talked About:
1. Just write it. Sometimes the stuff that you'll end up cutting later is an integral part of the process, letting you get to know your story. If you keep polishing the first chapter, you'll never get to the end.
2. You'll be able to do a better job of polishing the first chapter once you have written the end.
3. Fuzzy goals are hard for readers to follow. Concrete is better.
4. Lots of people will give you advice and rules - down to the kind of binder clip. Take what you need, ignore the rest.
5. Anything you can do - collaging, or a soundtrack to get yourself into story mode helps.

Five Things I Know About the Cherries:
1. Cherries rock! I may not remember your name - or I may remember that there was an XXXX and a XXXXX but was XXXX the blonde or the brunette - but I still know, you all rock.
2. Cherries know how to have fun.
3. Cherries know everything. (Clearly). Books, alcohol, football, religious symbols, the wonder of Veronica Mars and the joy of Manos Del Uruguay yarn.
4. There are all kinds of Cherries.
5. Cherries are wonderfully creative - write those stories, quilt those quilts, knit, crochet, make clay dogs, cherries do it all.

Five Things that Are Probably Less Funny in the Re-telling:
1. Krissie read a sex scene aloud (having been dared) and we made our blinky glasses blink to represent the hotness.
2. I made someone take a picture of me blowing bubbles because I was at a party last month and couldn't do it.
3. I tried to convince people that they wanted to give me the ARCs they won. (Okay, that was actually serious, I would have given them back though. I just want to read them.)
4. What is the button on the back of the tiara for?
5. What happened to that bridesmaid?

I'm Back!

I was at the Cherry Con, aka the Jennifer Crusie Writer's Conference for the last few days which means I am mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted (although in a totally different way than my day job gets me). I have lots to talk about and I did some reading, and knitting, in the middle of all the talking and the listening and the hard thinking. And then there's all the books I came back with. (My roommate for the event was astounded that I went to the bookstore while I was there. I had to get a present that needed to be signed. The other four books just fell on me.)
So, lots of stuff coming as soon as I unpack my camera, my thoughts and all that.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Things I Don't Get

To each his or her own. Really, I do mean that. However, there are things that, to me, do not make sense. I understand that some people choose not to wear underwear. (Some people really want everyone to know they are wearing underwear but that is a whole other topic.)
And while, personally, I am a little more concerned about things like gravity and laundry and ending up on some website with parts of me I didn't choose to share with the world on display, I understand that others are less worried about this, and that's great. And some people find bras or underpants constricting, which I can also see.
But how is adhesive less constricting? How is having something stuck to you more comfortable than fabric? And now I learn that not only are people using adhesive in place of bras but there are bits for those who are sans underpants. Now, to be fair, those seem to be designed to stick to your pants, thereby alleviating my laundry concern, but I feel certain that some people are using these with skirts, and ew. Your choice, but, ew. And I am totally trying to avoid talking about the removal, because how is that an acceptable trade-off for anything?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My First Stitches

Let me apologize up front, things have been crazy enough that I have not been able to take daytime pictures of any of the purchases so, you will just have to imagine their beauty.
I went to my first Stitches this weekend - just the marketplace. I decided after reading last year that folks had travelled down from New York that it must be worth checking out, even though I heard rumblings it wasn't so interesting anymore.
And while I might take public transportation next year because parking in downtown Baltimore is pricier than I remembered (my Balto travels tend to be toward the edges), it was worth it.
I saw many people. I stopped and stared at the yarn of strangers. I saw the Blue Moon booth and saw Socks that Rock in person (and bought some, and some bamboo too - so soft).
I talked to folks from Cascade and Manos and told them how much I loved their stuff. I also told the person in the Manos booth that I was high from all the yarn fumes - classy.
I went to the WEBS booth where they had The Fibre Company's Terra which I had been lusting after ever since someone mentioned they were thinking of doing one of the Romantic Hand Knits patterns with it (an idea I have now totally ripped off). And they had a discount if you bought in bulk, plus no shipping - instant gratification.
I stopped by the Neighborhood Fiber Co booth to tell Karida I loved her stuff. (Any locals - new yarn launch!)
I ended up hanging out for an excessive amount of time at the Celtic Knot Yarn Shop booth where I determined that I need to go check out their store and that I need to (after some budget recovery) buy Storm Moon Knits yarn. So pretty!
I ran into the person who's Mystery Stole I had fondled at the Yarn Harlot event, so that was fun. (My mystery stole is in a time out, while it ponders it's bad behavior. I may be ready to face it by December or so.)
Anyway, I had a great time, saw some great yarn, got to hang with some great people. So, yes, it was worth it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

And More Yarn!

My Tea Swap package arrived, and oh, am I spoiled. Becky, is/was my lovely hostess.
Tea Swap Box
*Cocoa Chocolate Chip Scone Mix. (Just add water. I mean really, even my lazy/busy self can do that.)
*Tea Cup (lovely).
*Tea - Jamaica Butter Rum (Safe for drinking while working)
- Lemon Blossom - an excellent sounding iced tea mix
- Double Spice Chai Black Tea
- Wild Raspberry (for when I need more Vitamin c, less caffeine)
*Tea Tongs - to save my fingers as I chase those round tea bags.
*A Teapot shaped spoon rest
*Soap - Lemongrass and Green Tea (relaxing - it also has one of the funnier warnings on the back since it mentions I should not apply soap to my eyes or lips.)
*Yarn - Arucania hand dyed Atacama - it's alpaca and it's lovely pinks with red and plum bits.
*Dishcloth - Becky knit me a great moss grid dishcloth, inspired by the Mason Dixon handtowel. Check her blog for the details - here.
Tea Swap
(Please ignore the junk on the side, my camera batteries were rapidly dying so I didn't get a chance to crop out the - uh - organization going on there.)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Yarny Footbally Stuff

Things are so crazy at work - it's totally that I have so much to do that I think I'll just sleep until it goes away kind of feeling. (Or is that just me?)
Anyhoo, a bright spot was that today I got a package. (I actually got two, but one is at the post office so I have to wait to see what's in that.)
Football Swap
It's my football swap package.
First, there is this gorgeous Burgundy Cherry Tree Hill yarn.
Burgundy Yarn
And then there are all the football goodies! Beads, Redskin tacks, inflatable football, football notepads and party goodies! Yay!
Football Swap Goodies
So, thanks so much to Liz!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Knitting Saves the Day (on TV)

Last night's "Pushing Daisies" (I'll be vague for those who still have it queued up somewhere) - one of the characters was knitting to relieve stress. (I'm going to chuckle for much of the day over the sidearm cozies.) And so, when the [bad person] trapped them, the knitting needles the knitter had in his pocket were integral in their escape.
I recognize this does nothing to help the "twee" that the show has been charged with, and I still have no idea if there is enough to sustain a season, but really, sidearm cozies.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Custom Ordered Free

I realize there is no harm in asking. I am a member of the local Freecycle - so that I can get rid of stuff. (I am currently not allowed to even look at the stuff marked OFFER until I get the remaining boxes in my kitchen taken care of.)
I check the ones marked WANTED since people might have something that I am not really using and can get rid of thereby speeding the destash of my apartment. (To make more room for yarn. Or books.) And there is nothing wrong with asking - that is in fact part of the established protocol. Perhaps it is just me, but while I see asking for "kitchen stuff" or "wall hangings", I find it a bit amusing to see "television 30" or larger with remote" or "tablecloth - blue only". I mean sure, someone might have a spare television or blue tablecloth. And - no harm in asking. But, isn't the idea of freecycle that we reduce waste? Making better use of the resources already out there by passing on things to others who need them rather than passing them to the dumpster. Now clearly, I don't know the stories behind these requests and there might be legitimate reasons that only these specific things will work for their needs. And you might as well see if you can get it for free before trying the next outlet (no pun intended).
But it seems a little bit like trying to special or custom order something and get it for free. I really need this exact thing, and I'm hoping you'll just give it to me, so I don't have to buy it.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Wish for Hair

Pantene has a program called Beautiful Lengths where they provide real hair wigs for those with cancer. If you go record a wish on the Beautiful Wishes site, you will be entered into a contest where they may select your wish for granting. But they will also donate one dollar to Beautiful Lengths for each wish. So, go wish.
It was interesting, the first wish they ask for is a personal wish so I felt all selfish wishing for something for myself when I should be wishing for world peace or textbooks for kids or something. But don't worry, you make a community wish after that, that's where you can get broader minded.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Readers and Knitters are Dangerous

Over at ArghInk, Jenny reviewed a book about being a female action hero (spoiler alert: she didn't like it). But things get even funnier when she asks for suggestions of what should have been in the book.
First, I did not know so many people carried condiments. (Not a typo).
Second, I knew knitters were dangerous. But I had not spent enough time considering that knitting gear might be useful in case of vampire attack or what yarn to use after garroting someone so as to cover up the bloodstains.
Or how to plan an escape with a crochet hook.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Far Be it From Me to Argue

(I know, but it sounded good, right?) So, for opening night (which usually falls around my birthday - astonishing I made it for so long without being a proper hockey fan) the Caps have asked via newsletter for folks to Go Red on opening night. Now, I understand that red is the dominant color of the new jersey. But guess who they are playing, the Carolina Hurricanes. Guess what color their uniform is? Nothing against showing the home colors, but it just seems like maybe blue would have better distinguished the Caps fans from the Canes fans. (Hey, it's not that far a drive, they will be there.)
After all, back when we had the black and gold on the dark uniform, I was accused of being a Penguins fan by a troublemaker in the food line. I know that just about every color is in use in the league (pink seems to be underutilized...) and so no matter what the uniform looks like it will be close to someone else's. But really, couldn't it at least be Go Red, White and Blue? Sure, it's longer. But come on. Don't make your fans look confused.

Gigi

I was unable to resist purchasing Romantic Hand Knits: 26 Flirtatious Designs That Flatter Your Figure by Annie Modesitt. Shortly after I was in the vicinity of a yarn shop and had to go in to buy some stuff for a swap package. The yarn shop kindly allowed me access to a copy of the book so I could make yarn purchases for myself.
And it happened. I saw this yarn that I immediately scooped up and hugged.
I'm Allergic to Wool
It was Farmhouse Yarns I am Allergic to Wool, and it is a cotton rayon super bulky yarn. It isn't cheap but it's so pretty and snuggly feeling. It's 150 yards in that skein to give you a sense of how truly bulky it is. I have done something clever with the tag, so I have no idea what the official color was, and the ones on the website all look more blue than turquoise to me. But I love every bit of the color.
I took the Gigi pattern from the book, although since it is knit with a much skinnier yarn, I modified it for one pattern repeat. I knit it on 10.5's (the options needles).
I also decided it would be nice to make a hooded scarf, so when the scarf went from fingertips to my shoulder, I started increasing (twice on each row) until I had enough for a second pattern repeat.
This is how far one skein got me.
One Skein also
So then, when the hood part made it around my head I started decreasing (twice on every row.
I really like this stitch pattern, it follows a fairly simple numerical pattern that was easy to remember and just eyeball, which made it a fairly portable project.
And this yarn is so bulky, progress was visible pretty quickly.
Here is a closeup on the pattern and how much yarn i had left over.
Leftover
And here is it what it looks like on.
Modeling Gigi
Pattern: Gigi by Annie Modesitt
Needles: Knit Picks Harmony Options - size 10.5
Yarn: Farmhouse Yarns I Am Allergic to Wool - 1.5 skeins.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Squee!

They are looking into remaking "Cupid". Alan Sepinwall has the scoop here. If you don't somehow believe that the show was excellent in it's original version, you can go to Rob Thomas's site and there is a script of one of the episodes that didn't make it there. (It helps if you hear Jeremy Piven's voice in your head as you read.) Or follow Alan's directions for the Youtube.

And....

Also at the Baltimore Book Festival, I met co-founder of Paperback Swap Richard Pickering. (I also had a lovely moment where he said, "Hi, I'm Richard Pickering" and I said, "You want my what name?" Yes, I am fun to be around.) They had a booth at the festival where they were spreading the word, and giving away free books (the Baltimore Book Festival definitely has more books than the National one). We took a photo together (his camera). And we chatted. I didn't have my number of transactions memorized (I tend to focus on the you have saved over $300 part) but for the record, it stands at 78 received, 86 mailed.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Booky Weekend - Part 2 Baltimore

My plan was to stalk Tim Gunn. Oh, and check out the Baltimore Book Festival.
Due to some crazy traffic, I was a smidge late. And then I had to find the map (which is located in the middle of the festival, mmkay). But I made it and did not seem to have missed much. The tent was full to overflowing, but I managed to find a space behind that sound guy where I could see Tim pretty well, considering.
Tim talked about the book process and how he struggled with finding the angle. He spoke with Diane von Furstenberg who advised him that his voice as an educator was so much a part of him, he should hang on to that and that inspired him to approach it in more of a how-to fashion.
Gunn talked about the struggle to find time to write. He tried writing during the day, but his day job interfered. He tried writing early in the morning, but that didn't work. He took a sabbatical and tried writing from home. He said at the end of that period his windows gleamed and there was nary a speck of dust, but the book - not so much.
So, then the publishers kidnapped Gunn and trapped him in their offices, sequestering him until he had a book. It was in the midst of this that Gunn had a meeting with the Bravo folks who wanted to do a show that was more about him, and so he went to the meeting and mentioned that he was so grateful to be out and about, and the Bravo people found out about the book and thought that was a great idea for the show, and there we are.
Gunn had been unable to see the most recent episode of "Guide to Style" since the hotel he was in did not have Bravo. (I feel his pain.)
Gunn spoke of being on an "Oprah" episode where he was assisting in a "get better" process for twenty women. He said he arrived at the store to discover a stylist had preselected outfits for the women, but the women didn't feel the outfits reflected them. With the permission of the producers, Gunn took each of them out into the store and helped them find an outfit they liked. They ran into a bit of a snag since one of the women was a horse trainer so did not have a lot of need in her life for dresses. Gunn helped her find a great pair of jeans, instead.
Gunn also said that "Project Runway" season four would be fabulous. He mentioned that he says that every season, but said that the quality of designers who audition each year increases. Gunn talked about how for shows such as "American Idol" it was a little easier to just step off the stage and go; whereas for a designer it took a little more to get going.
He gave up a smidgen of scoop about the upcoming season to say that one designer had a little meltdown and when confronted confessed that they had assumed that the editing made the challenges appear shorter and more compressed than they really were.
Ha!
Gunn also mentioned that viewers may wonder about the judges. He said there was one challenge where one designer's outfit was so bad that Gunn was musing to himself that it was a shame for the viewers at home, since there would be no tension in the outcome. The designer in question had, in fact, packed up in preparation for being aufed. And then, the designer won!
In response to a question, Gunn spoke of some of the past contestants. Most of it has been floating about, but he did mention that Andrae has been teaching at FIDM, which I hadn't heard.
Overall he was just as lovely and charming as he appears on television. The tent was packed and they actually ran out of books for the signing.

A Booky Weekend - Part 1 DC

This past weekend was both the National Book Festival and the Baltimore Book Festival. I'm going to break them up to prevent a ginormous post.
Saturday I went with a friend to the National Book Festival. I had originally thought that there weren't a lot of people I wanted to see (since they had no representation for romance and the only paranormal was paranormal kids). But, looking back over the list I found that Gene Luen Yang was speaking, author of American Born Chinese (which now comes with two stickers).
(There were a bunch of authors scheduled to speak at four, including Mercer Mayer - who I saw as a child at the now closed Cheshire Cat Children's Book Store. However, I was pretty sure my stamina was not going to last out in the heat and wind that long.)
Yang spoke about wanting to be an animator as a child. He also had three reasons why being a graphic novelist was stupid. They are: it isn't sexy, it takes too long, and it won't make you rich. He suggested trying to hit on folks and saying first, that you are a novelist, and then (to different people) that you are a graphic novelist and seeing the differing reactions.
Yang is still working in the school system - as a computer science teacher and as a database administrator. As to the time graphic novels take, he said American Born Chinese took five years, although he was also working full time, getting a masters, getting married and buying a house.
Yang also mentioned that one of the great things about being a graphic novelist is that some time and a trip to Kinko's and - Voila - you are a graphic novelist.
He talked about how his mother, being artistic herself, had been fairly supportive of his dreams; while his father had concerns about the practicalities. Yang's father made a deal that if Yang majored in something sensible, he'd leave him alone.
So, Yang majored in Computer Science and then got a job working in programming. And then he felt the call and decided to become a graphic novelist and a teacher. (He had given up the animator dream when he found out that animation takes even longer than graphic novels, although they do get benefits.)
So, Yang started getting clippings in the mail about computer programmers and what their salaries were.
Well, so he wrote two graphic novels. And then started working on American Born Chinese which he said came from his desire to do a tale based on the Monkey King, and also to look at ethnic identity - both from the perspective of a kid growing up in the US and also with this "funny" character, so in the end he decided to see if he could do all three in the same novel.
Well, American Born Chinese was finished and published and Yang gave great credit to librarians who saw that this story would have resonance and really pushed it out there. And the Chinese Language newspaper published a story about American Born Chinese, and Yang said, since then, he has not gotten any clippings in the mail.

Making the Creepy Adorable

I know that there is a long tradition of children's entertainment parodying more adult entertainment. But, this, is awesome. Sure, parodying "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" seems creepy. And yet - oh just watch.

Thanks to ALOTT5MA for the link.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Banned Books Week

It's Banned Books Week. So, go read something other people think you shouldn't.

My Trip to Massachusetts!

Well, I went to Massachusetts this weekend, virtually that is. Yes, my Knitters Virtual Vacation Swap package arrived and what a trip I had. Thankfully, I have all these goodies to remind me.
KVVS Package
Brochures galore for all the sites I visited. Also, a postcard from Mt. Greylock - the highest in the state. Aimee took me to WEBS, where my brain overloaded and I now have no recollection. Thankfully, I have some yarn. And a catalog. (Aimee is such an enabler.) The yarn is yummy Berkshire Bulky in Fuschia, Colonial Blue and Amethyst.
I've got Maple goodies - some syrup, a lovely Maple ornament, maple covered peanuts and some yummy maple candy (disappears fast, let me tell you). Also a tea infuser and some maple tea. Ooh - I love maple tea. Also, some local soap which looks divine.
There is also a travel mug from Six Flags, but it did not want to be photographed, it kept rolling away and hiding.
I also have a Massachusetts magnet and a Cider Day recipe book. I flipped through the recipes, and the Hot Apple and Potato Salad - for example - sounds delicious.
So, thanks, Aimee for a great trip!