Sunday, February 24, 2008

Goodbye, competitor

The Albuquerque Tribune published its last edition yesterday, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2008. It ended the 86-year run of a very good paper. I work for the Albuquerque Journal. We're the morning paper and the Trib was the afternoon paper. We worked under the first-ever joint operating agreement, forged during the Great Depression in an effort to keep both papers alive, if I understand correctly. Other papers followed the model across the country. This JOA allowed both papers to work under the same roof, sharing presses, HR, advertising and everything else except editorial staffs. We worked on opposite ends of the hall, following the unwritten rule of not entering each other's newsrooms, though there was nothing to stop us.

At one point they put up glass doors, but our badges could still allow access to the other end of the hall. They put up the doors after some guy wandered the Trib leaving notes on people's desks. Apparently, people wondered who he was and eventually figured out he didn't work there (maybe everyone thought he was a new guy?) but was just some random fellow. This is the story I heard, but I'm not sure if it's accurate. It's funny, anyway.

The Trib died because afternoon papers have lost popularity, but not because it was a bad paper. On the contrary, it consistently had catchy front pages and amazing photos. I admit that I didn't read it regularly because I simply didn't have time and got my newspaper fill by working at one. I don't work in a section of the paper that worries about what the competitor has (I'm a copy editor). Having the Trib close made me sad. This is a small town as far as journalism goes, and I think a lot of journalists at different institutions know each other. It's saddening to see our brethren lose their jobs. It also means dozens of fewer jobs available for Duke City journalists.

For its final publication, the Trib did a really nice layout of its history and what it's meant to work there. Actually, it brought a few tears to my eyes. Best of luck to all who have lost their jobs. We've picked up a few at the Journal.


What I'm working on now

As you'll see at the top left of my blog, I have a box where I say what I'm inspired by now.
Right now it's the combination of yellow and gray. I looked through an entire yarn store and only found one yarn with this combo. It's wool and very thin -- not really what I usually buy. I'm making a scarf (big surprise), but I have already pulled it out once because I didn't like how it was curling up. I started over, but decided to use my tiniest needles. At this rate it could take months to make a scarf, so I may pull it out again and start over with slightly bigger needles.


A knitter's guide

I have wanted to try different knitting stitches, but often when I find an interesting pattern, it is for something I don't want to make. Mostly, I make scarves.

I was pleased to find this book, Super Stitches Knitting by Karen Hemingway. It shows dozens and dozens of different stitches -- more than I knew existed. It does it in an easy way, with pictures on one page and instructions on the other. It also gives just the pattern for the stitch in small increments, so you can apply it to whatever you want to make. I love it!


The ugliest scarf

Earlier, I posted about how I'd bought this lovely green alpaca and bamboo roving. I spun it into my second-ever yarn, using a drop spindle. I guess I hope you'll understand that I'm not very good yet.

I like thick, chunky yarns, and uneven, fat-skinny yarns, so I purposely made this yarn like that. Only there must be some secret to accomplishing that. This came out so ugly. And there wasn't very much of it. I had to stretch this skein as far as I could, so I knitted it with huge needles into a scarf. And it's the ugliest scarf I've ever seen.


I don't know what to do with it. Sneak it into a donation bag to Goodwill? Do poor people deserve this? Give it to T-Shirt Face for father's day? Ooooh! Maybe I'll send it to my brother for his birthday.
In the past I've read about Ugly Scarf Projects where people bid on ugly scarves and the money goes to charity. Maybe I'll look for one of those.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It's 2, 2, 2 times the Jesus!

The other night, Mark and I were watching a movie his sister was in called "Magdalena: Released From Shame." (That's his sister, Rebecca Ritz, in blue on the Web site.) At the end, we were watching the credits and -- oh, wait! I forgot to tell you what it said at the beginning. As the movie started, it announced that Jesus was played by an actor. Back to the credits -- it had a credit for Jesus, then it had a credit for additional Jesus. I don't know what that means, but for some reason it's pretty funny to me.
At the exact same moment, Mark and I looked at each other and said, "Additional Jesus. That sounds like a band name!"

I don't have a band, but I have a blog. Additional Jesus, I've named it after you. I picture you as being the lonely younger brother of Jesus. The one who always gets picked last for everything and never gets any of the glory. And you're probably the fun one, am I right? You sing karaoke and tell great jokes and love to go TP houses? Here's to you, additional son of God.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's Chickenbone Jones!!!

My friend Chickenbone Jones (also known as Amy) was in Albuquerque for a visit. We went to college together, so after we ate lunch, we walked over to UNM's campus with her husband, Sr. Chickens, and another of her college friends, Heather. We wandered around for old times' sake and were pissed about how much they've fixed things up, especially in our old communications and journalism building, where we spent so much time. It doesn't seem fair that it was so much crappier when we were there, and I feel I should get a partial refund.

Amy suggested that we take a picture to document the gathering of great blogging minds. Unfortunately, by this point we had eaten lots of pizza and spent a lot of time in the wind. So if you could just not look at our bellies. Or our hair. Or, really, our faces, either, cuz this pictures ain't doing mine any favors.



A roundup of some recently finished items, available at Burst of Happiness.

My first full apron, in an adorable white and red:


and the reverse side:


Lemony fresh pleats!


and the reverse side:


This yoga bag sold:


A little makeup bag:


Friday, February 15, 2008

Mr. Mister

I want to talk about the song Kyrie Eleison by Mr. Mister. Remember it from the '80s? Here is a link to the song, so you can refresh your memory.

I must have heard that song hundreds of times over the past few decades. Today I heard it and finally decided I'd had enough of trying to figure out what they were saying. Here are the lyrics to the mystery part:

Kyrie Eleison
Down the road that I must travel
Kyrie Eleison
Through the darkness of the night.
Kyrie Eleison
Where I'm going will you follow
Kyrie Eleison
On a highway in the night.

OK, so no wonder I didn't understand it. But then I found out from that YouTube clip above that it's not a name, like I was thinking, but that kyrie eleison means "Lord have mercy." It's Greek. So it's not just a weird name, or nonsense, after all. I guess if I went to church, I'd know this?

During my search, I found that many people were equally confused. Here are some of the misheard lyrics, as found on

Carrying a raisin down the road that I must follow
Carrying a lesbian ...
Carrying a laser ...
Curious lesbian ...
Kill me a lizard ...
Tearing your leg off ...
Kyeweyalayal--[kyew e weyh yah lay yal]--down this road that I must travel. (this was what I thought it was, too)

and my personal favorite:
Little kitties in lace along the road that I must travel...

And here is one now:


((I have taken this image from a place that sells such kittens, so it's linkable to their site. I think this is the decent thing to do and hope they don't get mad. An image of kitties in lace is not easy to come by.))

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

On TalentDatabase

I like to set up profiles wherever I can to promote my shop. I recently heard about TalentDatabase and set one up. Today, they sent me an email that I'm featured on the Fashion Portal. I'm the little black and white face on the right. Below is a button they sent me that links to my page.

Monday, February 4, 2008

What's new? Not me.

A few announcements:
1. I have a new niece. She lives in Maine, so I probably won't get to meet her until she's 4. I don't even know her name yet. My brother sent a picture, but no other information. I would post it, but in the past he's been quite protective of pictures of his family.

2. It's my birthday on Thursday. That means this is my birthday week. I like to drag out the celebration as much as possible. I will be 34. Every year of my life, I've been excited for the next birthday. Except this one. This is the first time that I felt like screaming, "slooooow dowwwn!"
I always admired my mom's life. It seems to improve and become more rich and fruitful with every year. That's how it seems to me. I thought, "isn't it lovely getting to middle age?!"
But all of a sudden, I'm not feeling it. I mean, I know I'm not approaching middle age, but what if I get a gray hair? What if I get a wrinkle? What if I have a baby someday and my stomach looks saggy forever because I'm too old to snap back?
I used to think that crow's feet added character. What was wrong with me?

I want that attitude back, and I'm sure it will return soon. I bet 34 will be the most fun year of my life! Right?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Again with New Mexico and the movies

I've done a few posts about how N.M. is portrayed by Hollywood. Here is one.

Before, we were just a freaky place that obviously frightened people, so when they needed a creepy town for their film to take place in, they just set it in "New Mexico." Now, though, thanks to state incentives, the film industry is actually coming here to make movies and pretending they are set somewhere else.

This is all fine and dandy with me, except that a few stars have hand less-than-pleasant things to say about my home. A few days ago, the Albuquerque Journal had a story about how Tommy Lee Jones said Albuquerque is incredibly noisy. Huh? I've been different places, and I can't say it seems any noisier here than anywhere else. As a matter of fact, if you went outside my house at any given time, it would be pretty much quiet, save the sound of some birds. He says everyone's fixing their cars and stuff. Again, huh? That's all I can say to that. And, BTW, I have been to NYC and it's considerably noisier. Considerably is putting it nicely.

Next up is Jessica Alba, who complained that the only thing to do here is go to Wal-Mart and that there is no good food, just Applebee's. Sorry, Jessica, but you might not have tried very hard. If you really wanted something to do, here are some suggestions:
1. Do some shopping in Old Town
2. Ride the Tramway
3. Visit the numerous museums, including the Atomic Musuem, Albuquerque Museum, New Mexico Museum of Natural History or the Biological Park. Sure, they aren't the biggest in the country, but they are better than Wal-Mart.
4. Visit the Petroglyph National Monument or the mountains.
5. Shop boutiques in Nob Hill
6. Drive 50 miles to Santa Fe and check out all the galleries. There are lots of galleries in Albuquerque, too.

As for dining, try one of these great local places (some listed in the column):
1. El Pinto
2. Artichoke Cafe
3. Paul's Monterey Inn
4. Scalo's
5. Cafe Voila
6. Yanni's
7. Restaurant Antiquity
8. Prairie Star
9. Le Cafe Miche
10. The Japanese Kitchen

Oh, there are so many. Plus, if you head up to Santa Fe, there are about infinity more. So next time, just ask around. You'll get plenty of suggestions for a happy belly.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Oh, wee felted flower

I felted a different way this time. First I crocheted (out of wool, of course) a flower and then I threw it in the washer with a few items (for extra agitation) with hot water on a long cycle. It shrinks it a bit, and sort of mats up the yarn. The overall effect is a softer looking, fuzzier flower. I like the way it looks both ways.
Before and after:

I thought it would be a nice accent on this purple crocheted super-duper long scarf, available for sale (click the picture to visit my Web site):