Ilivetolearn's Blog

May 30, 2009

mediocre movie night

Filed under: Margo's life rules,movies — ilivetolearn @ 9:41 pm

During Bill’s latest trip (5 weeks’ odyssey across the country in our “new” 1979 diesel Mercedes) another tradition has emerged at our house. On Sunday nights we watch a movie from the library or Netflix. After a couple of these, Margo decided we should call it Mediocre Movie Night. The idea is to avoid anything too thought-provoking, too depressing, too hysterically funny…we just want to wind down after the weekend and slide back into Monday-to-Friday mode without high drama.

Often this becomes a game of Find the Fatal Flaw.  For Saving Sarah Cain it was: too earnest (I think this is a Michael Landon thing). For The Love Guru: too vulgar. For How to Deal: too contrived. I’m not sure Bill will agree to watch movies we know are not great just so we can find fault, but it’s actually instructive to discuss how the film-maker could have injected a little humor here, or taken a less predictable plot twist there, or given a certain character a shade more nuance. It’s a step up from the game we used  to play watching movies on the Disney channel, which involved listening to a few bars of the background music and saying the next line to be spoken before the actor got it out. Margo got incredibly good at it.

May 28, 2009

my most recent felted (or rather, fulled) bag

Filed under: sewing/knitting — ilivetolearn @ 12:40 pm

I already have more felted bags than I can use, but when I got the latest issue of Interweave Knits (Summer 2009), I couldn’t resist the Kalahari Tote, designed by Vivan Høxbro. I even had all the right colors in my stash, though instead of her suggested yarn I used Frog Tree alpaca, which I know from previous experience felts nicely in a boucle-ish way. So off I went, on size 5 needles, doing mitered squares. Another technique that benefits from felting, in my opinion…all the little holes and glitches go away. Here is the before item, measuring 17 1/2 by 18 1/2 inches:

bag before

After a go-round in the machine, in hot water with a pair of jeans for extra agitation, it looks like this:

bag after

and measures 10 3/4 by 12 1/2 inches.

I lined it with a light color so it won’t become a black hole for wallets, cell phones, and keys, and even put in a zippered pocket for some of the aforementioned items:

IMG_1304And here is the finished item, modeled by Margo (but in reality, I will never let her use it):

IMG_1307

And I’ve already started another one in blues and greens. I may never go back to entrelac.

May 5, 2009

support the spray paint and magnetic ribbon industries

Filed under: bumper stickers,on the road — ilivetolearn @ 8:28 pm

As in Spain, I was amazed at the amount of graffiti in and around Bologna.  Most of it is ugly and annoying, especially when you can’t get it out of whatever photo you are taking. This is a tomb; many important Bolognese historical figures (famous clergy, lawyers) are interred (or rather, not) above ground in these sarcophagi under canopies. This one is in the courtyard of a church but is actually attached to an apartment building. I imagine the occupants opening their shutters and saying hi to Bishop so-and-so a few feet from them each morning.

img_1157And of course some idiot with a spray can had to  decorate the wall next to it.

On the other hand, some areas seem made for graffiti and wear it well:

img_1204This is the entrance to an underground passage at the train station in Ravenna.

Of course, in this country we have bumper stickers and those ubiquitous magnetic ribbons. Here’s my recently-sighted favorite.

gr_ribbon1

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