Archive for October, 2014

Rhinebeck Sheep ‘n’ Wool Festival 2014.

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

I went this year! It was great. I drove up with my sister K. because she is a super-talented knitress and as opposed to me who goes for the sheep-petting, she actually goes to buy yarn like a normal person. This is some of her work:

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Yeah. She’s amazing. Anyway, we went up and I saw some excellent work. I considered walking up to several people wearing beautiful handmade sweaters/shawls/gloves/etc. and thanking them for making and sharing these wonderful pieces with the world, but then I decided that that would be way too weird even for me, even for the RSnWF. And let me tell you the RSnWF can get mighty weird. One example that immediately comes to mind is when I walked up to a woman, a professional woman, a woman manning a booth filled with wooly products for sale. She had a two-year-old child sitting on the counter in front of her and while this woman was talking to a client the child pulled up her shirt and was nursing from one of her breasts while finger-playing with the other nipple. All of her goods and services were hanging out into the great wide open and I mentally shut down. It was like seeing a griffin*. I’m all for breastfeeding but this was waaaaaaay too much. I think I got boobPTSD from that experience. My point is that one could walk up to a stranger at the festival and compliment their knittery without being the oddest thing that happens to them that day. BY A LOT.

We hit up a couple of specific shops K. wanted to purchase products from, one of which was Fiber Optic. They sell yarn groupings that gradually change from one color to another so you can make ombre-type scarfs. I LURVE me some ombre so I loitered outside their booth staring at the examples they had pinned up. So good.


Other neat things I saw at the RSnWF: this sweater.


This shorn roving with pictures of the sheepies that it was shorned from which makes me want to buy this fleece even though it’s probably greasy (lanolin) and I have zero use for it.


The truth was I did end up buying some roving because I have a very special project in mind. Let’s start at the beginning. When my friend Ness turned 30 she and a bunch of her chums went to New Orleans to celebrate what she called her Dirty Thirty. At this exact time a hurricane had passed through the delta and drowned thousands of nutria (a giant South-American rat) and these nutria corpses were washing up on the beaches. I could not stop talking about it. So, in order to make Ness’ trip even more memorable, every time she would post something on Facebook I would comment with something about nutria. No context, no explanation. Every time.

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Then I started photoshopping her pictures.


I was shocked she didn’t come back and stab me in the face with a collectible plastic margarita glass shaped like a fleur de lis. I honestly expected the stabbing but I still couldn’t stop myself. Now Ness is getting married in May and the wedding is going to be in New Orleans, her reasoning being “it’s equally inconvenient from people on both the East and West Coast.” I cannot let this opportunity pass. I am making myself a Southern church-going hat to wear to the wedding and on top (you guessed it) will be a six-inch nutria doll made of felt. In order to make this felted nutria I bought some brown roving from a llama (no lanolin so naturally dry and clean) with tiny sparkly threads woven in. It’s going to be glorious. Get ready.

*”Is that half eagle, half lion? What’s going on with its front legs? I have so many questions and I cannot physically stare hard enough at this.”

A small medium at large. And all the dog memes today.

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Sorry for the long delay between posts. There just wasn’t a whole lot of anything going on. I was working, and then I was working some more, and then for a change, work.

The joke I am referring to in the title is this one:


My sister K. is a producer and she asked me two weeks ago if I would be available to be filmed having a reading done by a medium. I said I had ebolaAIDSpinkeye and wouldn’t be able to go because I do not believe in hocus-pocus, but she needed bodies to populate this video so finally I acquiesced and said yessssssssss fine. On Sunday morning I woke up at 7:30 (before the sun which is the Lord’s way of saying don’t wake up yet), put on an appropriate outfit (no black, no logos), painted my face, brushed my hair and went to Manhattan where the filming was happening. I filled out paperwork allowing them to use my face and any corresponding footage for this video and possibly as filler in porn movies (I didn’t read the document) and then waited for the medium to arrive. The other producers asked me whom of my dead relatives I wanted to speak to, and I answered honestly. “Well, I would really like to talk to my paternal grandmother because she died when my father was nine and all accounts describe her as a very nice woman, but she only spoke Yiddish and chances are we might not be able to communicate. Most likely my maternal grandmother will come through who helped raise me and was a ‘strong woman.’ That’s a nice way to say it. I’ve heard her referred to as ‘soul-crushing’ and ’emasculating’ but ‘strong woman’ is probably the best way to put it.” The first thing the medium, who was a nice tiny woman of about thirty years old, di when she arrived was burn sage and clear the room of negative energy (actual result: the whole space smelled somewhere between a Catholic mass and a 4/20 rally) and then she called the four people who were going to be read into filming area (me and three freshly-graduated NYU students). We did some meditation, clearing our minds and readying ourselves to contact the deceased. And then she began. I would LOVE to say she changed my mind and I got to chat with family members and I’m a total believer now, but alas, she did not. She asked incredibly vague questions until she narrowed it down to something tangible in your life and then she honed in on that. My favorite example was, “I’m feeling a twisting sensation in my belly area. Did you know someone who had gastrointestinal troubles or someone who internalized their feelings?” Why, yes, yes I do, because you’ve just described everyone who’s ever lived on this planet, ever. Thanks for that. She could have said, “I’m feeling a tender sensation in my earlobes. Do you have a relative who was able to hear in both ears?” Wow! As a matter of fact I did.


In my follow-up interview I was very diplomatic. I said while I didn’t feel convinced that this was not an advanced parlor trick, if someone had lost a person close to them and was suffering and this medium brought them some peace, then I was totally okay with it. Placebos work too. I don’t think that’s what the people recording the TV show wanted to hear but I wasn’t going to lie, especially for what they were paying me (a fat hairy ball of nuthin’).

In a thoroughly unrelated note my friend Gem was in town for the Annual Gathering of the Nerds Otherwise Known as Comic-Con (did everyone see this amazing costume? It’s all the roles Johnny Depp has played on one person, that is GENIUS):


And every time Gem comes to town she takes me to a different bar or eatery which is good because I am totally inclined to staying in my apartment and crafting while watching copious amounts of Nat Geo Wild and Investigation Discovery. This time she took us to The Dead Rabbit which is a bar in the financial district. It was extremely cool. I know exactly zero things about the original gangs that ran in New York during the 1850s and one of them was called The Dead Rabbits. I believe the movie Gangs of New York was based on them. We got to sit at the bar in the parlor which normally would bother me (I’m sad when my feet don’t touch the ground) but this particular time it was awesome because I could watch the bartendress. Her name was Jillian Vose and she blew my mind. First of all, there are seventy-two cocktails on the menu. Seventy-two. Twelve of them are seasonal and change regularly. Sixty-four are separated into groups based on different sections of the Dead Rabbit gang leader’s life, John Morrissey. Here’s a sample page from their menu.


When an order comes up there’s a small screen under the bar that lists the ingredients but Jillian still had to figure out which bottles to use to make it. There were like fifty bottles with various concoctions in them, syrups and whatnot, all the same size, all unlabeled. You can see them in this picture from their website.

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She was amazing to watch. And then she would take large chunks of ice, put it in the palm of her hand and whack at it with an ice pick. I kept waiting for Jillian to give herself stigmata and a strong metallic taste to the subsequent drinks but it never happened. That woman’s a pro. In addition to there being a gazillion festive drinks and British foods (I tried a scotch egg for the first time, they’re pretty darn good, like a breakfast food orb) when you order your drink, in order to hold you over until your drink arrives, you get some house punch in a porcelain tea cup. How freakin’ cute is that?


I would go back if it was on the grid, or near the grid, or literally not at the bottom of the island in what I consider a no-man’s-land of New York. Perhaps if someone else goes with me I will return. If left to my own devices I would get lost.

Brain droppings du jour.

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

1.  Saw this on Buzzfeed. Did not click.


Wow. I had no idea the vegetarians of Thailand were so intense. That picture is crazy. It looks like there are explosions and shrapnel and someone is throwing a sledgehammer at the man in the skeleton mask. I always took vegetarians to be a more mellow sort of person, but apparently I was wrong. And as for severe body modification, I say (brace yourselves) phuket (NO I WILL NO APOLOGIZE FOR THAT).


2. I am a huge fan of taking things that are considered rubbish and making them into things of beauty. Right now people are really-super-obsessed with a show called Adventure Time. I’ve watched a few episodes, I can’t really get into it, but it has a rabidly devoted fan base.

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My point is some guy found a trash-chair and made it into an Adventure Time chair. Delightful. Good for him.



3. Two internet things that taste great together = Wikipedia and TL;DR. I assume everyone knows what Wikipedia is, and TL;DR stands for Too Long; Didn’t Read. One sees that often as a comment at the end of multi-page articles with a lot of words. Well, as y’all know, almost all of Wikipedia’s articles are long so there’s a Tumblr website called TL;DR Wikipedia and I can’t stop reading it.

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Head’s up: some hit a little hard and will make suck your teeth and make that hissing noise. Still good though.

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