Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hand-spun yarn

Is there anything Etsy cannot do? That is the question!

I just found a seller on Etsy - through the wonderful Ravelry website - who makes and sells her own YARN!!! Etsy = LOVE

Kittygrrlz on Etsy sells this stuff and more, go over and shop her wonderful store!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Crocheting, and Amigurumi

I'm on a mission. I've decided I'm going to make the Fuzzy Alien pictured below if it's the last thing I do!

I sat down the other night with my crochet hook and a ball of yarn, just to practice reading the directions. Well after I discovered I was unable to execute Row 2, because I don't know what the hell I'm doing, I got on the internet and found a treasure trove of information out there, check these out:

Top mention here: Let's just say, this ain't your grandma's crafting website.

Next: Obviously this website focuses on just crocheting, but it is an active site with what appears to be a very knowledgeable base of members.

Ravelry is another absolutely fantastic knitting/crocheting community. I was just reading their latest blog post about an art workshop that takes place in New Hampshire twice a year that sounds absolutely divine, and I'm going to try and make it to the next spring one, but oh, it's going to take a plan and some good old-fashioned dedication! - this is a wonderful blog with AWESOME pictures of the amigurumi created by Howie Woo. A guy who crochets, and crochets amigurumi is WICKED COOL in my book!!! Plus, he sports an orange mohawk - what's not to love!!! found me on Twitter, and although I haven't exhaustively perused their website, just skimming the surface proves this is one to adore.

And of course there are my two favorite yarn-maker brands: Lion Brand Yarn which I discovered first through Christen Haden's book Creepy Cute Crochet, and Lily's Sugar n' Cream. I'm registered on both websites and receive their newsletters.

This is the book that got all this started for me:

I'm not even particularly big on horror movies, which is primarily what the book is based on.

I just want to learn how to make these adorable dolls. In fact, through all this research I've done I've developed quite an appreciation for the craft and the amigurumi genre.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dear Ayatollah Khamenei

[This is a letter found on the website and anyone can sign this petition.]

Release those detained for peacefully opposing the election results

Ayatollah Khamenei,

I am writing to you to express my concern over the use of violence by security forces responding to protests over the election results following the 12 June elections in Iran. Large numbers of people have been severely beaten by riot police on motorcycles who wield truncheons and night sticks. Furthermore, up to five students at Tehran University were reportedly shot dead on Sunday 14 June and another person was reportedly shot when security agents opened fire on a demonstration on behalf of Mir Hossein Mousavi on 15 June. Several other people were injured by gunfire.

I am also concerned that at least 170 people have been detained by authorities since 12 June, including the brother of former President Mohammad Khatami. Furthermore, the Iranian authorities have attempted to prevent the flow of information by blocking cell phone, text messaging, email and web sites.

I urge you to insure that security agents will exercise restraint in the use of lethal force to respond to protests, and to refrain from beating people for exercising their right to freedom of expression and association. I also urge that those detained for peacefully expressing their opposition to the election results be released. I finally urge you not to restrict the right to freedom of expression and association, by permitting peaceful public protests and by not interfering with communications. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sarah A. Barres

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Barannibel, Death Knight


Beware the Death Knight. Granted, my DK is only level 58 ... she still ranks high on the list of bad-assery. Check out that blade, man!
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Friday, June 19, 2009


I support the right to have free speech. A journalist or a protestor should have the right to express their views and opinions freely without fear of being locked up in prison and abused. The stories of Roxana Saberi who was recently released from prison in Iran, and now the 2 journalists who were sentenced to over a decade of hard labor in North Korea because they were reporting on abuse against women there. The N. Korean government didn't like what they had to say, so instead of inviting them to an open dialogue in order to reach a compromise, they had them captured, locked up, and threw away the key.

I feel so helpless to situations like that, but there is something I've discovered I can do. Voice my opposition against those governments who treat their citizens like that. And so I'd like to use my blog to declare that I stand in full support of the effort to free journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling.

Along the way to researching some information for this blog post I stumbled across a musician by the name of Chad Stokes. I think I have totally, utterly fallen in love:

Turns out he is quite the social and political reformer and I totally applaud his efforts, most recently for teaming up with Amnesty Int'l. for a teach-in on Women's Human Rights. Yeah, Chad Stokes has my vote, all the way!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Baby chimp story - cuteness overdose!

Okay, we ran this story at the end of our 11:00 AM newscast today, and I felt it merited some further press. Click on the picture below to read the full story.

Photo credit by, News Channel 8's Jim Hockett, story by reporter Jackie Barron:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Please pass the popcorn

Watched 2 movies today: Back to the Future III, and Pi. XBox was down for maintenance today, so we were getting caught up on movies we had yet to see. I think I saw BTTF3 back when during it's original run, and then I would have seen it in the theatre. But I honestly don't remember. The ending was truly one of THE most suspenseful endings I've ever seen in a movie - fantastic!

Pi, on the other hand, got it's first viewing for both Glenn and I today. It was rather long, and I like that it's done on black-and-white film. It truly lived up to the hype, too, which makes me glad. It's remarkable that anyone could love math that much; as much as the main character, Maxwell Cohen did, and as much as Darren Aronofsky did to make a movie about how it causes one man's descent into insanity.

I'm not even sure I understand what happened at the end of the movie, but it was intense throughout. Another mind-fuck-type movie - 2 in 2 days' time. Whew. That's okay, they were both excellent movies in their own right, two totally different concepts, both of them brilliant. One movie full of big Hollywood names, the other one full of mostly unknowns. One done with many of the most wonderful digital effects available in 2006, the other shot on black-and-white film in 1998.

This has been a great week for films so far!

Now - I'm off to kick some Horde ass on World of Warcraft! I really need to hit level 70; that would make me happy. We finally got the new Mountain Dew "Game Fuel" flavors, red for Horde and blue for Alliance. They are yummy! Unfortunately the HFCS and caffeine (among other things) had a bad effect on Glenn's stomach, so ... I get to finish his drink! Yay!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Southland Tales

"Ladies and gentlemen, the party is over. Have a nice apocalypse."

I'm waiting to finish watching what might be THE weirdest movie I have ever, ever in my life seen. I'm not even sure what it's about; it's kind of a pseudo-post-apocalyptic setting, the eve of World War III, and the war is between Texas Republicans and Neo-Marxists ...

But more remarkable than that is the all-star cast: Justin Timberlake, Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jon Lovitz, John Larroquette, Mandy Moore, Kevin Smith (better known as "Silent Bob"), Amy Poehler (SNL cast member), Christopher Lambert - yeah, the original "Highlander" - a couple of MADTV alums whose names I don't know (but I recognize them) ... the guy who played "Booger" in Revenge of the Nerds is in this! I don't know the other names but they look familiar. They all play characters entangled in this political election on the eve of the anniversary of the nuclear attacks of July 4, 2005, and the Republicans have taken over control of the internet, and this one guy, Boxer Santaros (played by The Rock) who's married to the daughter of the Texas Republican candidate somehow got his memory erased and he's now living in Malibu with a porn star, "Krysta Now" (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), and they're working on a movie script together, but Christa sells out Boxer and eventually gets him delivered into the hands of the family he's married into.

Okay, you see how difficult that run-on sentence was to follow? That's kind of the effect you get watching this movie! And it's told in chapters!

"Revelation 21: And God wiped away the tears from his eyes, so the new Messiah could see out to the new Jerusalem. His name was Officer Roland Taverner, of Hermosa Beach, California. My best friend. He is a pimp. And pimps don't commit suicide..."

The thing I can't figure out is if this movie is pro-liberal or pro-conservative!!! I really, honestly can't tell! But my hubby got a phone call and I'm waiting for him to finish up so we can finish watching the movie. At this point I'm not sure what I think of it. Admittedly, I had to go to to get some of those cast names, and I see that this movie is already 3 years old. So no doubt it had some influence from the anticipation of the yet-to-be-held, all-important presidential election of 2008.

Kudos to the makers of this film for doing such a great job of keeping me in the dark as to which "side" they're on politically! I'm intrigued; although I must add this caveat: this is one trippy-ass film. NOT for children. I wouldn't even let my teenager watch it, if I had teenagers.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Super-Conscious Mind according to Brian Tracy

"The Super-Conscious Mind is the source of all creativity, all intuition, all flashes of insight, all hunches. The Super-Conscious Mind is the source of inspiration and motivation and the ability to see things in a brand new way. The Super-Conscious Mind is the source of new ideas that help us move toward goal-attainment. And the super-conscious mind is available to each one of us, like a power source that we can plug into simply by finding the plug.

"Another characteristic of the Super-Conscious Mind is that it functions on a non-conscious level 24 hours per day. It is always working to resolve the problems that we are mulling over and to move us toward achieving the goals that we have programmed into the subconscious.

"Another characteristic of the Super-Conscious is that it's capable of goal-oriented motivation. For goal-oriented motivation it requires clear, specific goals. Now you can imagine using the super-conscious capability. Imagine that you had an enormous computer, the most complex computer, the most sophisticated computer ever built in the universe, and you had an entire team of the most accomplished computer experts that had ever been trained and they were at your service. And you could go to them with any problem or any goal and they could put it into the computer and they could give you the answer or they could give you the ideas that you would need to achieve the goal. Nonetheless, even with the most sophisticated computer and the most intelligent computer operators there is nothing that they could do if you could not define the problem for them or if you could not clearly tell them what it is that you wanted to accomplish. This is why we talked before about how important it is to have a very clear, specific idea of the goals that we want to accomplish.

"The Super-Conscious Mind is invariably triggered by clarity of definition, and by decisiveness. The more decisive and clear we are about what we want, what we want to accomplish, what problems we want to resolve, the more rapidly the super-conscious capability goes to work to bring the answers into our lives.

"Another characteristic of the Super-Conscious Mind in terms of goal-oriented motivation is that it releases ideas and energy for goal-attainment. If ever you had the experience of working on something that you are really excited about that you are really emotionally involved in, something that you really wanted, or something that really inspired you, you will remember that at that point you seemed to have a continuous flow of ideas and energy. You seem to be bubbling with energy, sometimes you could go on only 4 or 5 hours' sleep a night. Sometimes your mind would just crackle with ideas and you had this feeling of continuous excitement like sometimes you could barely sleep. This is an example of super-conscious energy. It releases free energy from the atmosphere and makes it available to us to enable us to move toward goal-attainment.

"Another characteristic of the Super-Conscious is that it responds to clear, authoritative commands. And the clear authoritative commands that we give to our Super-Conscious capability are in the form of positive affirmations. Every time we affirm, positively, from the conscious mind to the sub-conscious mind we trigger the super-conscious mind into action. That's why whenever we say, 'I like myself, I like myself, I feel terrific, I feel terrific, I earn fifty-thousand dollars a year, I earn fifty-thousand dollars a year," these strong, emotionalized affirmations drive down into the sub-conscious and trigger the super-conscious into action. That's we find that men and women who are continually talking and thinking in an excited, positive way about the goals that they want to accomplish seem to have a continuous stream of energy, enthusiasm and ideas move them toward the accomplishment of those goals.

"In the Bible it says, 'To him who hath shall more be given, to him who hath not even that which he hath shall be taken away.' And it means that to those who are excited and positive and moving toward the accomplishment of their goals they get even more energy and more ideas and more creativity; to those who are going nowhere, who have very few ideas or have no goals, even that energy that they have is drained away and they become tired and depressed and fatigued.

"Another characteristic of the Super-Conscious Mind is that it automatically and continuously solves every problem on the pathway to your goal. No matter how far the goal is, no matter how distant, as long as the goal is clear the Super-conscious will give you every single idea and solution that you need, in the exact order that you need it. Once you have programmed the goal in and take the first step you'll find that the super-conscious will give you the first step to take, it will solve the first problem, and when you implement the solution, it will give you the next step, it will solve the next problem, it will give you the following step, it will solve the following problem, and all you have to do is take it one step at a time, and at every step along the way, as long as the goal is clear, the problem will come to you.

"Another characteristic of the Super-Conscious is that it operates best in a spirit of faith and acceptance, which means that the harder you DON'T try the more rapidly the super-conscious brings you the ideas and the solutions that you require to achieve the goals that you have programmed into the sub-conscious. In all creative work, mental effort defeats itself. Creativity cannot be forced. Creativity invariably favors the relaxed mind. When we talked in mental programming about how important it is to relax, to take a deep breath, to get a clear mental picture of what you want to accomplish and just absolutely believe with complete confidence that if you can keep that clear mental picture that it will come to you exactly when you are ready for it. This super-conscious capability, the more you believe in it, the more you absolutely trust that you are moving in the direction of your goal and that your goal is moving toward you simultaneously the more rapidly it seems to work. The harder you try to force it, the less effective it is.

In the Bible again it says, 'Whatsoever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye have it, and you will have it.' This is one of the most powerful admonitions to self-confidence and to positive thinking, that if you absolutely believe that you already have the goal as achieved and just confidently expect each step to take care of itself, that's what triggers the Super-Conscious into working. Another capacity is that the Super-Conscious grows in capability as it is used and believed in. The more that we absolutely believe that it is working for us the more rapidly it works. And you'll find a very interesting thing that when you begin using this Super-Conscious capability it's the same as getting a muscle into shape. If you have not done physical exercise for a period of time it'll take a while before you limber up and loosen up and are able to use your muscles in a particular sport. When you have warmed up and when you have gotten yourself into good physical condition you find that you can play longer, you can engage in the sport for hours without fatigue, that you can do more and more with greater and greater flexibility and adaptability, it's the same way with the super-conscious capability: the more you use it, the faster it works and the better it works until it finally gets to the point where you can think of a goal or put a problem into the super-conscious and you'll get a response sometimes within minutes. Sometimes so fast that it will absolutely stagger you... "

The foregoing is a transcription of Brian Tracy's "Psychology of Achievement" taken from Chapter 9. All right are reserved.

Dangerous territory

I am bored. Horrifically bored. Bored with, bored with Twitter, bored with just about anything I might do today. My life is at a crossroads and I am bored!

I used to pride myself on never being bored. That is not the case anymore, but then I used to have more control over my life once upon a time.

I know I've got things to do - I'm done with laundry, trying to figure out the dishes situation being under a boil water notice. (Damn the boil water notice!)

"What have you dreamed of doing that you held back from doing because you were scared?"

Answer: Nothing. I already did what I dreamed of doing, so then I figured I should help other people realize their dreams. Problem is ... there is nothing I can do to help people achieve their dreams! It's all up to them!!! I can help if they ask, but ... that is a complicated topic too. (My dream at one time was to play drums in a rock band. Been there, done that, did it in front of a paying audience, too, on a stage with a microphone in front of my mouth and bright, flashing lights. Yes, I dreamed of being a rock star, of gaining the approval of the audience - it was great! I was a success at that, but I had a falling-out with my bandmates and it was short-lived. Part of me wishes I could get back to it, but ... that was almost 10 years ago ... )

I walk outside and see the trees, the clouds in the blue sky, feel the rain on my skin sometimes, breathe the fragrant air ... and I see my freedom.

The End.