Archive for March, 2007

‘Autorama’ my foot.

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Have you ever presented your entire life story in five minutes? Five minutes to tell your life story theatrically, through important (and extremely personal) events. Oh, and through the use of a specific and related metaphor…

That was my first directing assignment, due today. It was assigned Monday. I didn’t really feel like I had enough time to put into it, as I still had to finish the work for my other classes and go to rehearsals.

It was terrifying, and I’m not really sure whether I loved it or hated it.

I used…uh…well…isn’t it obvious?? A pile of knitting projects. I started out by flying onstage with them in my arms, throwing myself to the ground, and scattering them everywhere. This was a pretty incredible birth, but can anyone tell me what I was missing?

Oh right, ARMS. When you use your arms to throw things, you no longer have them to break your fall. That wasn’t *really* a problem, I realized mid-tumble (I didn’t have a good place to rehearse the fall in advance), but I have to say I was a little unprepared for the sliding that followed. Instead of traveling…oh…a foot on my stomach? I traveled for about seven (or maybe four) before coming to rest in the middle of my scattering of objects.

I wasn’t hurt at all and I know how to fall, but I must say it was quite the experience. What failed? Say it with me:

“Common sense”.

It was pretty hilarious from my standpoint, and I can only hope that my audience agreed.

I’m not going to explain the rest of my life story, but it was quite a trip to see what everyone came up with.

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By the way, the sweater picture in the last post is the finished body. The vertical stripes on the sides of the arms (they’re not that visible) are the armhole steeks. The neckhole steeks are already encased in the neck edging.

I have only done four rows on the sleeve since Monday afternoon. Things are obviously slowing down again…

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Hopefully I’ll have some more sock knitting time soon.  That would be nice.  I want to send these off to The Sneak!

Oh, yes.  One other thing.  It’s my night off rehearsal downtown, right?  Yes.  I spent it auditioning for The Madwoman of Chaillot. I have a million reherasal conflicts, but hey…it can’t hurt…right?

Lazy

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

I have a ton of granola, cereal, trail mix-ish stuff, pecans and cranberries, darjeeling tea, soy milk, ten-grain bread (but no toaster), and crystallized ginger. Among other things. Think I’m prepared for being back to school??

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Maybe just a little.

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That is not to say that I am particularly fond of being here at the moment. I could use another week in California.

Mouse, Pacific Ocean.

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

Pacific Ocean, Mouse.

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It was pretty. (Let’s not even talk about the weirdness of my hair in this picture. Or face, for that matter. Or sunglasses…etc…)

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Really pretty.

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Really really.

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Do you believe me yet?

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Oh, yeah. The Sneak’s sock got to meet it too.

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Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Bee Stripe. I may have already mentioned that, but I am currently feeling too lazy to go back and check.

I really only took pictures of the ocean, but I’m sure I’ll be back sometime. I spent the week wandering Berkeley and San Francisco with Sneak, Jess, their friends, or sometimes by myself. I knit a lot of scarf on the BART:

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You’ve already seen it, although the colors are a bit closer here. It’s grown a bit, but not too much.

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This yarn came from the Berkeley yarn store, called Stash. It is hand dyed for their store. This one is in the colourway Lancaster Autumn. Technically it is sock yarn, but I have some other ideas about what to do with it. I’ll have to think for a while.

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And *coughcough* speaking of the sweater…halfway through the armholes, or somewhat close to that point. I won’t be able to knit the sleeves by this weekend like I was hoping, but I’m sure I can finish the body. Notice the lovely steek stitches on the side…

California

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

I have not seen this much sunlight in half a year or more. We’ve been doing a lot of wandering around the city, and I have not once managed to remember my camera when leaving the house.

The truth is that while I love having pictures, I hate taking them. I would rather that they just appeared on my computer. *Poof!!* You have pictures!!

I’ve been pretty exhausted from the travelling and the time change, and today I have also acquired some sort of sore throat/headache viral thing. This has contributed greatly to my lack of posting.

To go backward a little bit, I finished the malabrigo knee socks at the beginning of finals week:

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Then I came home and bought some illicit yarn with Amanda. Malabrigo laceweight in the stonechat colourway. Don’t look at me like that. I had to.

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It has quickly become more than half a lace scarf…thanks to all the airplane/BART time. I can’t get a good picture of the colors right now, but here is a slightly washed out version.

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Then, at Imagiknit, The Sneak found some sock yarn she liked:

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It is Lorna’s Laces in the Bee Stripe colourway. I was definitely not supposed to start knitting these yet. Until I broke a needle on my other sock, that is… Oh well.

We have seen a lot of pretty things walking around, and I wish that I had pictures of them to show. I feel a lot like I’m in Ann Arbor, on a larger scale. I like that all the buildings have metal gates, and that everything is green in March. There are fantastic murals all over the buildings, and enough coffee shops to make your eyes sting just thinking about it.

Also…I could definitely live in a city that has Indian restaurants on every corner. You really wouldn’t have to try to convince me.

On another note, how many of us thought that we had seen the last of this:

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Yeah, me too. I think this is reason enough to hate airports. I don’t want to talk about it.

Finally, when we came home from the city on Thursday night, I heard my sister and Jess laughing from the other room while I was washing my face.  When I asked them what was so funny, I was informed that my sweater had had yarn babies all over the coffee table.

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Very funny.  Now that you mention it, she does seem kind of protective…

Adventure

Friday, March 16th, 2007

I leave for california in 3.75 hours.  Watch out, Sneak.

Big man, find tire.*

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

The other night, I took a tango lesson at the dance studio where Cait teaches. I’ve never taken a dance lesson before, but I (am fooling myself into thinking that I) was pretty decent. Once I had the steps down, my biggest problem was probably remembering not to backlead…

Anyway, it was a good time and I am feeling just smug enough to know that the universe has me down on the list for a good kick-in-the-pants sometime soon.

After the lesson we went to the coffee shop to eat apple crumb pie and drink coffee study for finals. As we were leaving, Cait asks me something along the lines of:

“Remember that giant pot hole we drove over earlier?”

I think you can see where this is going already. So, we ended up stranded in a parking lot with a flat tire at 11:15 PM. I’ve changed a tire before, but never by myself. I’ve always been with someone else who knows how to do it, and I didn’t really trust myself to do it.

Cait called her Western friends, who came to pick us up/help us change the tire. We had looked in the trunk, but (this is a little embarrassing) while we could find the jack, we couldn’t find the lousy spare tire. Go ahead and laugh, I know it’s funny. They’re usually under the floor of the trunk, but to get to hers you had to go down two layers. Oops…

So, her friends showed up and found the tire, and set up trying to fix the tire.

“Trying” is the operative word in that sentence, leading us up to the good part of the story. (I wish I had photo documentation of this…)

They didn’t have the first flipping clue about how to change a tire. My favorite comments were something along the lines of:

“This jack is so messed up. It doesn’t work. Why would they give you a jack that doesn’t work?”

and

“You have to lower the car back down to the ground before you tighten the lug nuts”

After watching them a)fail to lift the car with a perfectly normal and functional jack, b)ignore me when I said we needed someone to lean on the back, counteracting the slope of the pavement and the raised car, and c)try to attach the spare backward, causing me to move from my leaning place at the back of the car, and causing the car to fall, I finally just did the whole thing myself. Properly. They were somewhat resistant to listen to me, until everything worked.

The point of the story is this: forget your gender roles and stereotypes. This is the real point of the women’s movement: we are socialized in a way that lends itself to underestimating and devaluing women in simple, everyday situations. Most of the time this is not intentional, and that is why it is so important to continue raising awareness about inequalities between genders. We all have a responsibility to be aware of our actions and to prevent ourselves from questioning people’s abilities based on sex alone.

If you had put the four of us in a line, I would be the last one you would choose to change your tire, because I am female and because I am small. I probably have the weakest arms, but I was the most efficient at determining angles and actually lifting the car. I had the most accurate understanding of what needed to be done, as well as how to troubleshoot/solve problems.
Oh, and I was wearing a skirt.

So, to sum it all up…

Big man, find tire. Little woman, fix car.

*That was Amanda’s response.

A Great Accomplishment??

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

I realize that this isn’t as amazing as I think it is.  It’s pretty stupid, actually.

However…

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I can stand on my head unsupported, and I think that makes me really really cool.  Please humour me until the novelty wears off.

I can’t stop myself from feeling incredibly smug. (Look out, world.)  Plenty of people can do this.  It’s really not so amazing, right?

It is the middle of finals week.  I have finished everything for one class.  I have a final tomorrow, and half a final on Thursday.  Friday I leave for California to see The Sneak.

Please excuse my posting failure!!

Oh, and a Note To Self: next time you ask your rommate to photograph you in a headstand, please wear pants.

I would rather

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

be doing this right now:

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Hiding my face in a field in Tennessee

than this:

*insert image of mouse writing a paper*

Guess which one I’m working on??

Intimidating.

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

I have spent the past two nights at the Kalamazoo Civic theatre, surrounded by forty-one talented women. We outnumber the non-actors ten-to-one (not including the designers). When you get us all around the tables, it’s really quite impressive. And the beautiful thing about community theatre?? Ninety percent of us are really, honestly there because we *want* to be.

Beautiful.

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Have I yet mentioned how much I love this sweater?? Because I do. I love it unreasonably and absolutely nothing is going to stop me finals are going to temporarily inconvenience me.

Unfortunately, in a group that large you do run into some exceptions. Please excuse my lapse in politeness, but the snotty and whiney-voiced woman to my left is going to drive me over the edge. I was refraining from judging her, despite her irritating tendency to mutter words under her breath when someone else makes a mistake in pronunciation. I thought it was rude for her to judge people based on their ability to work with text that they are scarcely acquainted with under stressful circumstances, but I had to admit to my own thought process.  While I was not irritated with the people making the mistakes, I was also mentally correcting them.  Good theatre etiquette states that actors do not correct or direct each other. You keep it to yourself or go to the director with no in-between. In any case, this was our first read-through of the show and everyone was messing up.  Including her!!

So, while I was unimpressed by her etiquette, I excused it and tried to like her anyway. After all, it’s not like she approached them directly.

The reason why I feel justified in making a judgment about this woman is that last night, she turned to me and said “I don’t think you should call yourself ‘Mouse’. I know you’ve had the name for a long time, but it’s like…well…*sounding scandalized* it’s like calling someone ‘horse‘, or something, and I just don’t think you should perpetuate that anymore. I mean, I understand, my name is *********, but no one calls me that!” etc…

Hey, guess what? It is absolutely no one’s business but mine to decide what I am to be called. I am not asking for anyone’s opinion. It is not an animal title to me, it is a name. I do not find it oppressive or demeaning, and yes I’ve given it a lot of thought. This woman turned to me, uninvited, and condescendingly told me that I do not have the right to be called by the only word that has ever felt like a name to me. Freedom of speech and all that, but was she not attacking *my* freedom of speech? I can’t excuse a statement under “freedom of speech” when that statement attempts to place itself as a higher-status statement. It was rude, baseless, and ageist. I don’t care how childish it appears from the outside perspective; I’m keeping my name. To all the people who can’t handle that? Tough cookies. I strongly recommend that they make their judgments in silence and avoid me so that we can all be happy.

I didn’t really say much to her. I tried to brush it off as a small concern, then avoided talking to her for the rest of the night. I was extremely polite. Her action was unacceptable, but that does not give me the right to reflect her lack of etiquette. I do consider it to be well within my rights to repeat this story anonymously, as she addressed me (rudely) in a very public place (for all to hear) in the first place. If anyone there could hear here, anyone here can hear her.

My boss at work does not have a problem, my professors do not have a problem, my family does not have a problem, but more than anything I do not have a problem. I’m sure that she’s really a wonderful person who simply has trouble politely applying her views in practical day-to-day situations, and I do think that it is completely valid for her to make a private judgment about my decision. She is entitled to her opinions and I respect that so long as she does not make it my business. She has no right to expect me to change for her, and I reserve the right to label her (in return for her actions) as rude, ageist, and stuffy. If she were to apologize, I would of course repeal those labels. I’m sorry if anyone is offended by that.

Vive la ‘Mouse’!!

*sizzle sizzle*

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

*Mouse contemplates her left arm in a rather sleepy and uncomprehending manner*

“Holy god, what is that?” Could it be? Nooo…the…sun??

I am sitting in Rocketstar, pretending to do my work. I swear on my honor as a man that I am not working on my Venezia Pullover. Really.

I’m not sure if it’s the sun, the music, sleep quantities, knitting, or if it’s just me, but today is a very good day. Usually I despise Sundays, but at the moment it seems irrelevent. Why discriminate against March 4, 2007 on the generalized basis of my habitual hatred of Sundays as an institution. *Mock sternness* Seriously.

And really, what is it about Sundays? I know that I’m not alone in this. Is it just the upset-stomach feeling of Monday’s unstealthy approach? We all know that Mondays utterly suck. I mean, how could Mondays possibly be good when all the Indian restaurants close on Mondays. “Sunday” must be a lead-in to the increasingly unpopular institution of “Monday”.

Whatever the case, this Sunday is different. There is an exception to every rule, and I am willing to accept today as a fantastic anomaly.

I have made the executive decision to overlook the knitting for a while. If I don’t just let it happen, I really won’t start my work. If I’m not working anyway, I might as well be doing something useful.

It gets so hard to be productive once it gets to the end of the quarter. I can spend four hours staring at a book and imagining my progress, while failing to notice that I don’t remember a word I read. Useful in terms of looking busy, but unuseful in terms of my homework.

Anyone want to write a 6-8 page paper for me by next Monday? I promise you’ll only have to read a few thousand pages in preparation…