More of "Simon’s Cat"!

Utter and complete geek joy.

It was Mark who first told me about Oobleck (non-Newtonian fluid made out of cornstarch and water).  I’ve had a vague desire to play with it ever since (and since that was at least 20 years ago, it’s a pretty freakin’ vague desire.  I think if I was that interested in playing with the stuff, I could have gooped up a batch of it by now).

However, there’s so much fun to be had with it.  The Mythbusters played with it in lieu of Ninja water-walking, and YouTube is full of ooblecky videos.  But BoingBoing showed me this one today, which I just love: a half-sheet pan of oobleck + a subwoofer = geekly joy.


In a continuation of the odd blogging synchronicities that we’ve been having ’round here lately…

Making Light posts a link to the YouTube Video of The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain doing one of my all time favorite power-pop songs, Life on Mars*:


I rather love this – especially since the first singer bears a passing resemblance to John Simm.  It’s also clever in that glee-club/harmony/deadpan way when they start to go intentionally off the rails.

*My favorite version of which is probably Seu Jorge’s, even though it has none of the bombast that makes the original so compelling to me and was a key component of yesterday’s plea for help. What can I say – I’m fickle.  Of course, Bowie’s original isn’t really jangly, so doesn’t neatly fit into the category I posited anyway.

Oh – and hey lookie – another video.  Seu Jorge himself:

See?  Love.

Made me laugh so hard I cried.

Take two utterly insane things, mash them up, and you have Wookies dancing.

Blogging the Blob

I promised Robynn photos of the blob, so here they be:

Blob – wide-shot:

Bee shawl - final phase

Blob – closeup of final motif:

Bee shawl - closeup of final motif

Extra bonus knitting content – a sock for John, cobbled together with ideas from Cat Bordhi’s latest fever-dream, er, book :

John's raven socks - well, sock

(I really like that heel, and this was my first foray into linen stitch, which is a bit of a pain, but the effect is nice).

Extra bonus holiday weekend cute – LoLo the lounger:

The Yoga of Cute

(Yes, that’s Milo. I have a slightly wacky habit of nipping a nickname off the back of our pets’ names. So MacIntosh becomes Tosh or Toshie, Simon becomes MonMon or Mon-ster, and Milo has become Lo, Little Lo, or LoLo.  Those with single-syllable names don’t have this indignity visited upon them, so Dash is safe.)

Robynn also tagged me , and while I’m not generally memealicious, I decided to go along…

What was I doing ten years ago?

Hmm…. May of 1998.  I had just moved to the DC area for the first time.  I purchased my first house in Arlington, VA (everyone told me I was out of my mind for buying, the market would tank any minute, everything was overpriced… um… yah.  Not so much.)  I had one cat (Mon, MonMon, Monster).  I wasn’t in a relationship, and for the first time in my adult life, I was pretty cool with that.

Five things on my to-do list for today:

  1. Write this post
  2. Work more on the blob bee shawl
  3. Clean up the kitchen
  4. Relax
  5. Relax some more (holiday, don’cha know)

Snacks I enjoy:

Mostly things with salt – potato chips, corn chips and salsa, and the like, but I also really like pickles… mmm.  Pickles.  Salt and chocolate together are also favorites, like chocolate-covered pretzels, and while it’s not salty, chocolate-covered ginger is a dangerous new discovery.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Um… wow.  The world kind of explodes when you think that way, doesn’t it?  My mom and I used to play a game called "dream house" – we would talk about various aspects of what home would look like if money was no object: location, features, what sort of special rooms we might have.  This is kind of like that, except there’s a personal and a public side to it.  Clearly there would be a lovely home (well, homes – favorite places like Colorado and Paris spring immediately to mind), and there would be travel to places I want to visit but wouldn’t necessarily want to live (India, the rest of Europe, New Zealand), but there would also be the "doing good" part of having that much money, and knowing me, it would be about education and independence.  I suppose I would either fund a foundation and work with people who are committed to enable independence through education, or find a foundation that’s already doing that sort of work and work with them.

Places I have lived:

It’s a pretty short list: New Hampshire (Hollis and Manchester); Portland, Maine; Minneapolis, Minnesota; the DC suburbs of Maryland and Virginia; Somerville, Massachusetts (I’m only including places where I’ve had an address on my driver’s license – there are other places I have spent considerable time – like London, England, or Menlo Park, California).


Umm…. well – let’s see.  How ’bout Marie , Lianne , and Daisy ?

True story — sort of.

"She told it to me, and… like Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great, I occupied it.  It was real estate that I wanted to be part of so I just marched in and became part of it."

“Wake Up Cat” strikes again

Remember “Wake Up Cat“?


…But is it art?

Fear not – this isn’t going to be one of those posts that wafts about the idea of whether knitting is an “art” or a “craft” and what that particular semantic exercise means in terms of intrinsic or perceived value of the pursuit or of the finished object, the role of gender differential in determination of worth, etc. etc.

Actually, from my postings of late, probably nobody expects me to talk about knitting at all any more (is this a knit-blog?  Well, no.  Actually not.  It’s the blog of someone who happens to knit and goes through various fits of actually writing about it.  I think the first three years or so of the blog was almost entirely knit-free, as a matter of fact.  Interesting, that – well, to me.  Stop with the parenthetical digressions before you lose your readers, J.  Oh.  Okay).

No, what I meant to dash in and link to and dash away again was more about two ideas I’m sort of holding up next to one another and seeing if they have anything to do with one another or if they’re just two things I happened across yesterday.  One is the re-thinking and re-crafting of an art* form, introduced into my current thinking queue by Steve Martin’s biographical essay in Smithsonian about his early career.  Here is a guy who took the idea of “joke” and turned it on his head.  In my humble opinion, he and some of his contemporaries (Monty Python in particular) enlarged the entire idea of comedy.  Instead of the ordered logic of: setup, punchline, laugh, this group went along with something more along the lines of: setup, pick one or more of the following:

  1. random digression
  2. oddball silliness (e.g. a fish-slapping dance, banjo playing, nonsense words)
  3. OJARIL**
  4. any combination of seeming opposites (stiff authority and silly walks, superheroes and suburbs, scripture and instruction manuals, etc.)
  5. taking a complete and utter absurdity of a premise and carrying it solemnly up to and past its “logical” conclusion (Cf: The Parrot Sketch or Upper Class Twit of the Year, or Martin’s “I gotta get me a pair of cat handcuffs and I gotta get ’em right away. What a drag…I found out my cat was embezzling from me…He’d go down to the bank, disguised as me—little kitty nose and glasses, little kitty arrow through the head…”)

…and in the case of the Pythons, then off to a Terry Gilliam cartoon/fever dream that would end up morphing into the next sketch (because they never could end their sketches, or so it seemed).  I seem to recall that Martin’s bits tended to either trail off or ram straight into the next one as well (not having a cartoonist stashed somewhere on his white-suited person). 

Oh, and by the way, insert “laugh” wherever you like in the above.  There’s no punchline to wait for.

Compare that (or not – like I said, I’m still holding these ideas up next to one another and seeing if they have anything to do with one another) with these “reviews” of milk at Amazon.  It strikes me that this is almost the creation of a new form of expression.  Coleridge poems reimagined as odes to milk, neo-noir vignettes featuring milk, extended absurdist plays on the notion of “jugs” somehow wrapped into a sweetly nonsensical story of a couple’s engagement, and of course the inevitable haiku.  All written as a response to the idea of how innately absurd it is to write a review of a commodity item.

Is there a connection here, apart from the temporal one of my having seen both of these yesterday? 

*Humor is so an art form.  Work with me here.

**The Python’s term for Eric Idle’s rambling and yet rapid fire monologues.  It stands for “Old Jokes and Ridiculously Irrelevant Links.”

Ehrm… Stuff.

Hi. I’m back. I was away for about a week (last post was dateline: San Francisco, even though I didn’t mention that).

In my travels, I seem to have picked up a very small gremlin who is industriously smashing my sinuses with a brick.  Also, I got home last night – no, this morning – at about 1:30.  So, that’s fun.  I am home today, feeling achy and low.

Possibly because I am achy and low, I am loving this, in that “Oh, how can I be cynical while there is still hope in the world like this?” sort of way. (Joss himself loves it too, so I am trusting that my sinus-bashing gremlin hasn’t taken a couple of whacks at whatever passes for the taste center in my brain as well).

For Marie

…because she played the oboe*. (However, she should probably not play with kiddos about).


“We have spawned the devil!”

* The oboe bit is about halfway in.