Monthly Archives: October 2008

Pollyanna Attempts to Dance Her Ass Off

Yup. ” … to dream the impossible dream …”

Very Superior Husband and I are going to a Masquerade Ball in Boulder tonight. I’ll be The Lady in Red. (He says he’ll surprise me.) You’ll know me by my red feather boa and extremely short skirt. I fully intend to be hungover and sore tomorrow.

Muscles! I’ll have sore muscles! Oh … forget it. Go ahead and go there.

Oh. Wait. Anna-Liza blogging. See ya!

Pollyanna Is a Bad, Bad Girl, er, Knitter

Hey, Anna-Liza here. I have been obsessing reflecting on all the things I just do wrong in knitting, the rules I don’t follow, and whether or not I care.

Like swatching. This is The One Big Broken Rule, that everyone knows we should do and hardly anyone does on any kind of regular basis. Really now. I can count the times I’ve seen someone swatching on half the fingers of one hand. And we all wonder, if we love to knit, why do we hate to swatch? More knitting, right? But apparently we don’t think of it that way.

I have some rules about swatching that do make some kind of sense. Like my rules about speeding … what? You don’t have them? Right. And when we break those rules, are we ever sorry. (*sigh* Just got my first speeding ticket in at least 15 years, and first one of any kind for maybe ten, except maybe for expired tags … but I digress.)

So washcloths, blankets, scarves, anything where gauge is not so important, I usually won’t swatch. I’ll see if l like the fabric in the first few inches anyway, and I’m too cheap frugal to waste yarn on keeping swatches around in little notebooks. I know you are all exactly like me in this case. None of you swatches for these things, do you? I didn’t think so. You, raising your hand in the corner — liar liar pants on fire.

Now, if it’s something really big with a really long cast-on, then I’ll swatch for a bit. But I still frog the swatch when I’ve got it the way I like it and use the yarn in the final project. Hey, good yarn can be damned expensive! Do you have any idea how much is in an average swatch? Me neither, but I’m sure it will make a few rows in my sweater.

Speaking of sweaters, or anything where the gauge is likely to make a pretty big difference, I will definitely swatch for those. Although I’m not usually too fussy about getting row gauge. So far, it’s been close enough. However, that is one of the several reasons I haven’t cast on for the Sunrise Circle Jacket yet. Yarn, check, pattern, check (I’ve had it for three years!), no satisfactory swatch yet.

I don’t swatch socks, even though gauge does make a difference. I figure the first two or three inches of leg will tell me what I need to know. Now, that did result in my first pair of socks, intended to fit me, being a little bit large. As in, Darlin’ K wears them as an extra layer over another pair when it’s really cold. Yes, his feet are a fair bit bigger than mine are, thank you for noticing! He’s a size 10; in men’s shoes, I’m a size 5. Yeppers, that gauge thing can be a bitch. One of the Yarn Goddess’s most important minions, I expect.

Then there’s the whole unholy WIPs and UFOs thing. If any of you have looked at my projects page on Ravelry, you’ll know I just can’t have only one project on the needles, and I lose interest so easily. You know, the seasons change, the kind of texture I’m in the mood for changes, I want more or less of a challenge, or maybe five minutes have gone by since I cast on.

Which might explain why, thing one, my Ravelry projects page doesn’t reflect the true state (or number) of my UFOs, and, thing two, I am desperately trying to maintain the discipline to get Eris and/or the Monkey Socks done, but I’m being severely tempted by this. And you have already read about my obsessing over these.

Hey, “Eris and the Monkey Socks” would be a great band name, don’t you think? What? I could totally be Eris!

Pollyanna’s Halloween Movie Picks

Lyda here.

In my “Weirdness of Halloween 2008″ post, I said a good way to spend Halloween is to rent some horror movies.

Suggestions? Thought you’d never ask.

First: If you have kids, be sure to pre-screen any of these before you let them watch. Even some Disney movies have scenes that might be too scary for them. If you have small children, you might want to stick with “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown“. No point in terrifying the little ones. They’ll be plenty of chances when they’re older. Bwahahahaha!

1.) Gory and scary?

 “I am Legend” (2007) – very scary, very exciting, very thought-provoking. And with the DVD you get the alternate ending, and the discussion of which one is better.  Pollyanna review here. Brains rating: 2 out of 5 brains for gore and scares.

For good zombie-killing fun: “Resident Evil” one, two and three (ya’ll know the third’s my favorite). Movies two and three have Oded Fehr. Just look at him. Drool.  Movie reviews here. 3 out of 5 brains for gore.

I also recommend “The Mummy” (1999) and “The Mummy Returns” (2001). The third movie may still be in theaters in your area; the Resident Sith Master and I loved it.  2 out of 5 brains for a couple of gross moments.

Mmmm, Brendan FraserOded Fehr, yummy (he’s in the first two movies). And some actress or another makin’ eyes at my men. (Rachel Weisz in the first two movies; Maria Bello in #3.) 

Yeah, I’m just peeved ’cause they got to kiss Brendan, and I haven’t.


And he thought the mummies were scary…

2.) Gory and funny and weird? “Shaun of the Dead” of course, “Black Sheep“, and “Fido“.

3.) Scary but not gory? Any Hitchcock movie. “The Birds” (1963) terrified me as a child, and still does today. And of course “Psycho” (1960).

4.) Classic scares? Start with the classic “The Wolf Man” (1941). My own personal first horror movie –  Lon Chaney Jr. has a lot to answer for! – and still one of the best. No gore, but still scary.

Night of the Living Dead” (1968) – a zombie and horror classic – for good reason. 3 out of 5 gory brains.

The first “Alien” movie (1979) – still scary (and gory).

Jaws” (1975) – yes, it still holds up. “Show me the way to go home…”

5.) For kids and adults alike: Classic funny with a few pretty safe scares?

The “Abbott and Costello Meet…” series of horror movies – my favorite is the first, “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948),  which has Lon Chaney Jr as the Wolf Man, Bela Lugosi as Dracula, and Glen Strange as the Frankenstein Monster. 

Disney’s original “That Darn Cat” (1965) is still good – more of a mystery than a classic Halloween movie – a few safe scares but mostly played for laughs. And starring Haley Mills – definitely one of the Pollyannas favorite actors.

6.) Funny and gore-free?  “Young Frankenstein” is awesome for Halloween (and safe for the kids too). Pair it with Mel Brooks’ tribute to Hitchcock, “High Anxiety“, for a great double feature.

Ghostbusters” – which may be too scary for small children (that librarian ghost freaked out my nephews when they were little).

 “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” – ya’ll just have to see it to believe it. Crazy funny.

7.) Truly weird and funny-bad?

Start with “Plan 9 from Outer Space” – widely voted the Worst Movie Ever Made. Add anything else from this list or this list – or anything else made by Ed Wood – that strikes your fancy.

8.) Halloween TV?

Any of “The Simpsons” Treehouse of Horror  episodes (really funny, too scary for small kids, sometimes gross/gory).  “Dead Like Me” (weird, funny, no gore).  “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (weird, scary, violent, sometimes gory, funny) and “Angel” (ditto) of course.

9.) More from Pollyanna? Check this post. See this post for lists of scary movies. Or scroll down our blog and select “Category: Movies”.

10.) Check Rotten Tomatoes and especially They’re Coming to Get You, Barbara!  for reviews and ratings.

Pollyanna has an announcement to make

Lyda here.

Bruce Willis is no longer the king. Our top search term is now “michael jackson thriller”. That’s right; the King of Pop is king.

In fact, it would be even more of a front runner if people knew how to spell “michael”. Or “thriller” for that matter.

I just hope Bruce isn’t too heart-broken.

He’s not even second in line. “Endless yard sale” is second place.

Still lots of hits with search terms that include the word “shark”. We are also getting hits for Kurt Russell now.

And “Pollyanna cake” and “tribles star trek” – which I of course love!

And a few I’d better not mention. Can I just say that anyone who types “lick” into a search engine should be glad that they ended up here instead of… well, the mind boggles…

The person who was looking for “halloween scary bleeding of doom decorat” might have been looking for Halloween decorations. Or wanting to read about my life before my operation. Who can tell.

And what was the person looking for who typed in “i feel like i’ve been et by a wolf and s”? And how did they end up here?

By the way, “what is a christmas pollyanna?” anyway?

But my favorite search term this time around?

“shakespeare pig”

Like this. “Hamlet” heh.

Two, three, four…

“Yes, this is thriller!
Thriller night! ** 
And no one’s goin’ to save you  from the beast about to strike ” ***
* For RSM and Second Son
** And ya’ll thought Legos couldn’t dance. (Go to minute 8 for the dancing.)
*** No one except Jennifer Garner, of course. And who knew the beast was a lizard?

“Yes it’s thriller!”

Oh no, that last one’s too scary, even for me. The hair! The leg warmers! The voice!

Run for your lives!