Saturday, June 30, 2007

Minor Setbacks and Minor Victories

Okay, so the plan for today was to get up early enough (I really wanted to be up before 10:00a) to download the first clue for MS3, go to the office to print it out (my printer is out of ink and I've been too poor to get a new cartridge), come home and work on it until rehearsal this afternoon, then work on the HP vest during the bus rides and performance this evening. (Is it bad when you consider a ten hour work day a short, easy day?) I even went to bed early last night - I was in bed by 1:15 and out before 2:00a and slept all night - and still had trouble dragging myself out of bed at 11:30a. Sigh. What is with this? I just want to feel like I've gotten SOME rest in there somewhere, geez! (Okay, so my leg, forearm, and shoulders - my shoulders? why my shoulders??? - would like to point out that they are still stiff and sore and would like to voice their votes for more rest, which I will give them in a few minutes. Muscle fatigue and damage not withstanding.)

Anyway, I did download the clue, and really enjoy it. It's on the bias, people! How could this not be totally up my alley! Especially when I was really starting to worry that it was going to have a provisional CO of a billion stitches (in my head), and I really am terrible doing provisional COs. I'm using the transparent blue beads, which look really nice in natural light with the yarn. I've only done a few rows so far, though, since I ended up not getting to work on it until the bus ride to Solvang. Beads, lace, and buses don't really mix well, let me tell you, but at least I didn't drop anything. I have a standing rule about not working on lace projects after 10:00p (somehow I wake up the next day and find more mistakes than correct stitches, it seems, not like I'm ever home before 10:00p anyway), so I will have to pick it back up and hopefully finish chart A tomorrow. I'd really like to do Chart B on Sunday, before I go down to LA on Monday. I also have quite a few evenings free this week - morning and afternoon rehearsals, no performances, and no class - so I think I'll be in good shape to get the first clue done before the next one comes out. A hint to everyone working on it, though, print out the charts in greyscale, if you can't do color. I did mine in regular old black and white, and can't read the center line for anything.

I'm on row 53 of the 74 body rows of the HP vest. It's PERFECT show knitting - rows and rows of stockinette in the round, and heavy enough weight yarn that I don't ever have to look at it.

I'm thinking of the Keyhole Top from Spring 2007 Interweave Knits for the cotton. What do you all think?

And, btw, I'm A Friggin' Genius.

Pics when I can get 'em...tomorrow hopefully.

Oh, and June 26th marked Teddie and I's official first anniversary. The spoiled brat =)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Battle Wounds

First sparring class results:
1. Seriously bruised and sore right shin from sparring with Ma'am and cracking shins too often. (Are there muscles on the sides of the shin bone? I have the bruise on the bone, but it also hurts off to the outside of the leg.) We tend to want to kick each other at the same time, apparently. This should help me learn to not always lead with the same foot.

2. Scraped up and bloody left elbow. No idea how it happened, but there's a nice chunk of skin missing. I didn't realize it, either, until Mr. R asked if I was okay. I thought he was referring to the fact that I felt a bit shaky (yes, I was a little nervous and tense!) although I didn't think I was showing it that much. Then I realized there was blood on my pants. (*mutter* I'm going to have to get new pants soon!) It didn't bother me at all until after class when I was trying to clean it. (You would think in the 20+ years I've been alive and scraping myself up that they'd come up with an antibacterial spray that didn't sting, but no. It's just as bad when you're 26 as when you're 6!)

More after the cut.

There were only four of us in class tonight, plus Sir and Mr. R. The other three were black belts, but ones I know are more of an instructor type. Mel hurt her knee pretty badly while she and Ma'am were sparring, so Mr. R worked with Mr. M and I for the rest of the (shortened) class. All evening I kept hearing "you've got long legs, Katie, use them!" The idea, I suppose, being to keep shorter opponents out of strike range with kicks, which is all well and good, but when you have a bruise knot forming on the shin of your dominant leg, it REALLY starts to hurt when those kicks get blocked! (I may invest in those soft shin guards. We're allowed to wear them in class.) I need to work on leading right and setting up for more left kicks, and using more side and front kicks. I also need to work on using my footwork to stay more to the side/front of opponents, rather than staying off to the side and limiting myself. The focus of tonight's class was working on turning blocks into striking opportunities. My focus tonight was trying to figure out what my body was supposed to be doing. I felt like if I was on defense, I knew what I was doing (blocking, I can do that! I even got some "nice blocks, Katie!" in there), but although I enjoyed being on the offense, I felt like I wasn't really sure what to do. I don't think I was terrible, and it actually was a lot of fun. Tonight wasn't quite as intense as usual, though, because of Mel's injury and the number of people there. When Mr. M and I finished our "match", Mr. R had us go through our forms (I am still having so much trouble with this one! I just cannot seem to remember what comes next, ever!) and cool down. I don't know if I'll be able to go to the Park tomorrow - it depends on if we get out of rehearsal early or not. I'm also not quite sure at the moment that my shin can handle it. I think I'm going to go put some ice on it, find a good movie or show, and knit for the rest of the night. Totally going to bed early tonight!

In 15+ Hours... can do a lot. (All sans caffeine!)
-A three hour understudy rehearal (from memory, as my production book got left in Solvang last night because of the performance)
-A four hour regular rehearsal of another show
-A performance
-Call 20 people and arrange alternate transportation to said performance for them (during the rehearsal)
-Do all paperwork for said rehearsals and performances
-Meet another knit blogger (Hi Kim! Who has really cute little cards, btw!)
-Schedule a trip to LA for Monday (really going this time)
-Do a dozen or so rows on the HP vest (okay, so that was during the show, multitasking is an art!)

Now I'm going to take a long hot shower, make m'self a mug of tea, and crash. Tomorrow should be lighter...just a meeting in the morning, publicity photos and dialect work in the afternoon, and....sparring tomorrow night. Probably going to go straight to the studio from rehearsal. Still nervous!

Monday, June 25, 2007

LOL...okay, a few random thoughts:

1. No, John is not a romantic interest (a question from six people). He's my boss. Specifically, he's the illusionist I work for in LA. A genre of performance requiring a lot of trust in your crew, not just on the expecting them to do their jobs precisely, but trusting them to not only care for and about the show and equipment, but keep the magic safe, as well. So I took it the way it was meant - as a compliment and very appropriate reminder of the secrets we keep. (Ooo, doesn't that sound mysterious?) I love working for him, and he's a friend, but it's a professional relationship. Besides, I barely have time for me and Teddie right now, much less a guy. (Which is a bit unfortunate, but true.)

(#2 after the cut - tkd related)
2. I'm becoming more and more certain that the camo belt in general is all about the kicks. My legs and butt are quite certain of it already. There are front kicks, jump front kicks, round kicks, side kicks, and reverse side kicks in the form alone, and they're starting to come in combination, which is both really cool and really hard. Mr. R started teaching me the first sparring segment tonight, too, which includes a #4 front kick, a side kick, and another reverse side kick. Hello, welcome to "the way of the hand AND foot," I guess!

I really want to find some drills or stretches or something to help develop leg flexibility, especially for side kicks. I think my front kicks and round kicks are getting better (Mr. R makes a point of holding the targets higher and higher for me during stretch kicks during warmups, and I was rather surprised that I actually still hit it today), but my side kicks are so pitifully low. I love watching Sir and Mr. R do kicks. The motions are so clean, and they can keep their legs straight so high.

Again, though, this once a week thing is taking its toll. I've been trying to work on my form when I can, but I am having the hardest time finding the rhythm and fluidity to it. I'm hoping to get some formwork time after sparring Thursday, assuming I'm still alive and able to move. Yes, I'm still nervous about it. I keep wondering what it's going to be like. How much contact is "light contact"? I really hope Sir or Ma'am or Mr. R is my first partner. They won't make me feel like I'm wasting their time by having to teach me. Although I'm always impressed and grateful to the other students who help me out and don't let me feel too stupid, they are also there to learn and practice and I don't like taking up their time in class, too. Friday's Practice in the Park is also sparring this week, and I might be able to get to that, depending on how this week's rehearsal schedule works out. (Don't get me started - basically it's fallen on me to beg other resident directors for their time to work on our show this week, while our director is gone, which not only do I find irritating, but also presumptious.) Of course, the studio is closed next week for the Fourth.

3. I finally have my WIPs and FOs organized in Ravelry. The lace and sock yarn stash is in there now, too. Now I'm slowly turning my focus to the other aspects of the site: the lists of patterns, yarns, other people's projects, etc. It's really interesting. There are people with literally HUNDREDS of projects on there. Crazy. I don't like the forums as much as I like the KR ones, though. Maybe in time. I'm also thinking I really need to get my hands on Fitted Knits - some of the projects I've seen from it are so cute!

4. Not only am I still unsuccessful in figuring out triangles for the baby blanket, but now the shower is probably going to be moved to July instead of August. Argh. I was really hoping to post an "I'm A Friggin' Genius" pic today, but alas, I have failed so far. I have a few more ideas to try.

5. I really want to finish something soon. I have an idea for the cotton, and I want to try it, but if I put anything down now, I won't pick it back up again for a while. HP vest is going well. Multidirdiag is almost to the end of its second skein, but I will have to get a third, it's not close to long enough. I'm thinking of making a matching hat and some fingerless gloves, as well.

I think that's about it. Typical Monday - not nearly long enough to get everything done I wanted to. Teddie keeps trying to sit on the keyboard. Maybe he's trying to post something, too! (If anything weird pops up in the next few days, blame the cat!)

Saturday, June 23, 2007


"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much,
and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much."

John sent that to me today. I don't have a source, but it sounds like a biblical/other old proverb. I like it, and I'm flattered it made him think of me enough to pass it on. (ETA: It's Luke 16:10 - thanks Mom, I knew it was familiar!)

I'm not going to go down to LA Monday. I really really want to, but it's hard to justify the time and money right now. There will be a more convenient time in a few weeks, and if nothing else, there's the show in August. I'm still bummed even though I know it's probably the smartest thing, though. I want to see what new tricks he has up his sleeve!

Work is easing up over the weekend, and should be somewhat lighter next week, although I'll be in rehearsals for one show and performing another. The director for Lifeboat is out of town next week, though, so it won't be full rehearsals, and Company seems to be staying in decent shape. Definitely hitting class hard on Monday and Thursday evenings. If they start Friday's park class at 5:00p again, I might try to get to that one, too. I've been trying to work on both Songahm 1 (the white belt form) and Songahm 4 (the camo belt form) this week. I remember most of 2 and 3, and am in the process of learning 4, but 1 is completely out of my body now. I'm having the hardest time making it feel natural again. It's weird.

Knitting is going well. The cat hasn't killed me yet.

Friday, June 22, 2007

I Can't, I Have Rehearsal...

Because I haven't posted a kitty pic in a while:

This is what a cat looks like when he thinks he's being neglected because mom has been working ALL DAY! Literally, I rolled out of bed at 9:30a this morning, did a 10:00a-12:00p rehearsal, a 12:00p-1:00p meeting, a phone call including some sad news from Mom, a 2:00p-6:00p rehearsal, a drive to the studio, a 7:00p-11:00p rehearsal, and then paperwork after that! "I can't, I have rehearsal" is a creed we live by and often joke about, but I've had to use it far too often lately. Now, okay, I don't mind being in rehearsal when it's actually useful to be in rehearsal. When I feel like I'm wasting my time (and talent, to an extent, this should really be an intern's show), though, it's just pure torture to get stuff like this:

More after the cut. If we only had started rehearsal half an hour later this evening, instead of ending half an hour early this afternoon (and this evening! We totally didn't need that half hour!), I could have used it today, too. Sadly, I was forced to hurry and pick it up over dinner (okay, so I wasn't forced, I just really wanted to go get it and spend even a little time in the studio and away from work today!). Sir and Mr. R were teaching a kids' class when I came in, but Sir saw me and just grinned. I shook my head to let him know I couldn't be there tonight, and he looked disappointed. He couldn't have been nearly as disappointed as I was! This once a week thing is killing me!

Now I'm trying to decide if I really want to go down to LA on Monday or not. The original plan was to meet up with one friend at Disneyland and spend the morning there, then stop by and check out some new toys of John's on my way out of town, getting back to Santa Maria in time for class. It would be awesome to get out of town, and of course, no one has ever had to twist my arm to get me to spend time in the warehouse. The problem is that I know from experience both Disneyland and the warehouse can be Twilight Zones when it comes to time, and the odds of me actually leaving in time to drive the 200 miles and make it to class are not stellar. Monday is also the only regular class I can make next week (I'm definitely going Thursday - first sparring class!), it's been a really long week for everyone, I'd have to get up super early, and Disney friend can't confirm that she'll actually have that morning off until Sunday. Dilemma!

On the knitting front, I still haven't decided on beads. You all are no help at all (comments, emails, and people I've hounded irl have been split pretty much straight down the middle!) but it's not your fault. As someone pointed out, the yarn (and beads!) isn't true to color in the pic. It's KnitPicks Shadow in Jewel, and is that shade of blue violet that in some light looks royal purple, in others looks royal blue, and all sorts of varying shades in between (including navy!). I took the swatch to work with me today and kept looking at it in different lights during breaks. I like both sets of beads for different reasons. I've never worked with beads before, so I didn't really think about the "effect" I wanted to create with them. Maybe I'll wait until the first clue is revealed and see where the beads are supposed to be worked into the pattern.

And I need to get a new profile pic! I went to use this one on Ravelry and realized that it's almost four years old now! My hair looks nothing like that right now, although I still might get it chopped off again - I HATE having my hair in my face or having to pull it back!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Hey, look what came in the mail today!

It's some diVe cotton I snagged off a destasher over on the KR Forums. It's DK weight, a pale, ice blue. I have ten skeins of it - 109 yds/50g skein. No idea what I'm going to do with it yet, but it's pretty! Maybe one of those summer tops I saw...

After, of course, I finish this:

Which is coming along quite nicely and is at the perfect mindless knitting point. Miles and miles of worsted weight stockinette in the round! Yes! It's lovely for movie marathons or listening to the audio books. I'm actually quite pleased with the colors. One of my friends begged me not to go Gryffindor or Slytherin, and wanted me to make a Ravenclaw sweater. I would actually have preferred that myself, not wanting to be a "typical" person, but couldn't find the right colors in the yarn. My high school was maroon and gold, so I guess this is okay. I'm obviously not opposed to gold and black, my beloved Purdue colors, either, but I can't really see myself ever being put in Hufflepuff for any reason. Nothing against Hufflepuff, of course. (Not that I'd ever be put in Gryffindor, either, I'd almost certainly be put in Ravenclaw, personally.) But anyway, it's my vest, and I like it so far. I'm also doing it in the round, as opposed to pieced, specifically so it would remain mindless.

But, I do need an opinion on something (if you can actually see it well enough to form an opinion.

It's my swatch for the MS3. The bottom part is just three repeats to check needle size. The top two repeats are beaded. The lower repeat has smaller (8/0), multicolored metallic green/purple beads that I really like, but may be too dark. The top repeat has larger beads (6/0), in translucent shades of light blue. I can't decide which, if either, I like. Any opinions?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Harry Potter and the Project Whore

Okay, so if you haven't figured out by now, I'm a Harry Potter geek. I'm not much into the forums and fanfics - arguing fictional theory with thirteen year olds isn't what I would consider a great use of time - but I have read the series (yes, the whole series) more times than I can count, and I love the fact that I can always find something new, some new little detail or clue or foreshadowing, every time I read them. I just love the depth that JK Rowling has put into these stories. One detail in the first book could be something important five books later. It's great! I'm both very excited and very sad that the seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is coming out this summer. I can't wait to know the end of the story, but I'm sad that it is the end. We can still look forward to a few more of the great movies, though!

In honor of the Harry Potter events of the summer, though, I started a new project. I've decided to finally give in to my inner geekness and cast on for a uniform vest with Gryffindor stripes. A full sweater, like the ones they wear with their uniforms in the movies, is a bit warm for here, but a vest should be perfect. I picked up the yarn yesterday - Patons Canadiana from the LYS. I'm basing the pattern on one I found at Hobbie's House of Wizard Wear, but am going to add a bit of waist shaping. I have to say, audio books rock. I can listen to the stories while working on the project. It's great. I can go through the series again, but not necessarily give up all my free time to read.

So now I'm actively working on the vest, the multidirdiag scarf, and need to swatch (and possibly get beads for) the Mystery Stole. Zepherine on the KR Forums turned me to a bead shop up in Grover Beach that I'm going to try to check out on Monday. I've never used beads on a project before, so I'd like to try the technique on the swatch before I decide if I want to use them on the whole stole. I also picked up the summer IK at the LYS the other day, and there are a couple of really cute tops in there that I'm also adding to my project queue. I went from having no real sweater/top project going to wanting to do about five all at once. It never rains, but it pours...I'll try to be faithful to these current projects!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

68* Hours Later...

Top of Show
You Could Drive A Person Crazy
Have I Got A Girl For You
Side By Side By Side
We're open!

Photo credit: David Bazemore. A few more photos can be seen on the website if you scroll to the bottom.
*Official rehearsal time. Not counting the insane number of hours the various crews put in over the past two weeks in order to make our 12 hours of tech/dress rehearsal time worth anything. You all rock!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Knitting Content!

Okay, these triangles are kicking my arse. I have not been able to work anything that remotely resembles what I want to have happen. I even broke down and went back to the sewing method, and still didn't get it right. Why is knitting a triangle between two diamonds so incredibly hard??? Anyone have any suggestions? In a perfect world, I'd be picking up 31 stitches for the legs of the triangle and the hypoteneuse will be the outside edge. Like how Ene's Scarf is shaped. I just can't, for the life of me, figure it out small scale. I wonder, if I pick up one stitch, can I increase from there and join it to the sides with a k2tog or ssk? Maybe that's to try next...

Oh, and for the record, I have worked on Tumbling Blocks lately, as well. It, the multidirdiag, and the second Green Gables sock have been uncermoniously stuffed into my work bag (which I'm sure is not good on the bamboo needles in Tumbling Blocks), you know, just in case I actually finish one in the 40 minute drives to and from Solvang. They also live in there with Arnold the Penguin, a beloved gift from a Dinner cast member, and Eeyore, a souvenier (sp? It doesnt look right) of our department Disneyland trip. So basically, my work bag has become my toy bag, and all of which are absolutely necessary for rehearsal.

And, in case you haven't heard about this, I got an invite to beta test Ravelry last week. (Hi, Coleen!) I finally took some time Monday to poke around the site. I think it has a lot of potential, lots of ways to organize things and keep in touch with other people. The only thing that I've been a little "mrph" about with it is that, as far as I can tell, it requires a Flickr account if you want to add pics of anything. And there are a lot of pics one can add - stash yarn, WIPs, FOs, that the apartment is clean, I might take the time over the weekend and Monday (I'm not going into the office in the afternoons over the weekend. I draw the line about working 12 hours span of days after Opening!) getting all the pics taken, uploaded, and getting My Notebook on there organized. (Assuming I have not suffocated from my own stuffy nose or coughing fits. Summer colds are the worst!) I do think it's kind of cool that you can see other people who are working on, or who have worked on, the same projects as you. I've already realized that I have the weirdest needle collection habits. I have seven US 8 circs (varying lengths) and a set of US 8 bamboo dpns, but no US 8 straights, for example. I have three US 5 circs and a set of straights, and can't recall ever using US 5s for anything. I'm sure more oddities will come up as the investigation continues. But anyway, you can probably expect to see some pics soon on this blog as well.

And, because I can't seem to comment for some reason today:
Coleen and Amie, thanks for sharing the animal pics! Too cute!
Ar, the baby FOs are adorable! Great job! Can't wait to see the shrug!
Vi, get some pics up! I wanna see the lambsie!
Brittney, is working with bokken in aikido not an every class thing? What else do you use to practice? And I agree on the wet doboks - ewww! Mine is a lightweight one, so it doesn't take too long to dry, but it's still fairly gross. We're not required to wear full uniform to class now that it's summer - it gets too hot and the studio doesn't have noticeable AC by the time the adult classes start in the evening - thank goodness! I've just been wearing a solid colored or ATA t-shirt, my pants, and belt. I wore my jacket the other day and about melted.

All right, gotta go run some errands before hitting the office again. Behave yourselves!

Useful Sweaters and A Short Rant

SRSP: perfect for Solvang tonight. There might just be a use for wool sweaters here yet!

I've turned the STR into the start of a diagonal rib scarf, rather than socks of any kind. So far it is working out much better. I also dug up a UFO - another multidirectional diagonal scarf (yes, I like working on the bias, apparently) in Patons SWS. It was perfect for the bus to Solvang this afternoon. (I slept on the way back!) I'm actually pretty close to finishing the second Green Gables sock, but I just can't bring myself to work on it right now. Someone inspire me, quick!

One more tech/dress for Company, then we preview and open. These 12 hour days are killing me. And I think I have one of the lighter schedules out of the immediate design/production team right now. The LD and I are both already starting to come down with colds. Then Tuesday I go back into rehearsal for Lifeboat, a remount of a children's show we did as an Outreach tour over the school year. Lifeboat, a 2-person remount, gets 20 DAYS of rehearsal. Even if we only did four hour blocks, that's already TWICE what we got for Company. And we have several eight hour days scheduled. It comes out to something like 105 hours of rehearsal before we go into tech. And when I casually asked if we were planning on using all the rehearsal slots, the director is concerned it won't be enough! It's a REMOUNT! With TWO cast members! And it *might* be 70 minutes long! We just did a full two and a half hour Sondheim musical (I keep mentioning that because Sondheim's music is notoriously difficult), from scratch, in what will end up being just over 50 hours, including tech and dress. I'm thinking this director seriously needs to work on some time management skills if he's concerned what he's been given won't be enough! And I'll be getting less than an hour dinner break on double rehearsal days, and less than half an hour on Company performance days. I'm particularly irked because it means I won't be able to go to sparring for at least the next two weeks. Grr!

Started learning the first half of the new form (Songahm 4) last night. I like it so far, although the twin inner forearm blocks throw me off. I need to start going back through forms I've previously learned, too. A brand new white belt asked me a question about Songahm 1 and I totally blanked. Sir also asked me to start reviewing the different kinds of kicks to start being able to do them on command, and gave me some more footwork drills for sparring. I hope that will keep me busy since I'm back in the "I can only go once a week" schedule for the next few weeks, and the wonderful rehearsal schedule mentioned above prevents me from hitting the gym, unless I want to give up sleep. I can still snag a rehearsal room during dinner, though.

Oh, and it's not so weird to work with Steve again. In fact, it doesn't bother me at all. Which is really nice!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Testing Impressions

Well, it's official. I gotta spar now. No more "Oh, it's not until the NEXT belt." My only reprieve is that I have a preview Thursday in Solvang, so I can't start until the week after next. I also have to admit that a camo belt is most likely the ugliest belt ever, and I cannot wait to get the next one!

Details after the cut for those interested. I'm wordy, as always.
Testing was really interesting. All the colored belts tested together - kids and adults. There were only four of us from the adult class, and I was easily the oldest by probably ten years. The kids were naturally Wound Up, although they were pretty well-behaved for the most part. A, the cheerleadery orange-now-yellow-belt in my class, and I kept the kids on our side busy cheering for their classmates. (A won the spirit award!) I somehow ended up with a group of giggling orange belt girls around me by the time the test was over.

The kids only do about 2/3s of the form. They also only have to do one self-defense (no take downs for the lower groups) and one 1-step or sparring segment. The adults do the full form, two of three random 1-steps, and all three self-defense moves with the take downs. (Ma'am was my partner - we only busted up laughing twice, once when I actually had to catch her mid-take down to prevent her from landing on Mr. R, who had just hit the ground from his partner, and once when she came at me for the third move and I think we were both a little more aggressive than we'd planned.) Each group also had to do the board breaks, a random technique Sir would call out, and a set of pushups and sit ups. Appropriate ranks/groups also had to free spar and do weapons drills.

The kids and Teeny (who I thought I had mentioned in a post before, but can't find it if I did. She's a red belt in the adult class, and is easily one of the tiniest people I've ever met. She's a terrier, though!) did their forms by rank, and then the remaining adults did our form together since all three of us were in the same block. It was probably the worst I've ever done on my form. I swear I don't remember doing the first two kicks at all, didn't even think of them until I was doing the last set (all the moves in a form repeat in reverse at some point) and thought "Wait, did I do those earlier? Is that why the beginning felt off?" I honestly don't know if I did them or not. I wasn't nervous or anything, I was I know my stances weren't nearly as deep or solid as they have been in class, either. It also took me two tries to break a board that I usually break the first time. Of course, it was also a harder board than the one they told me I'd be breaking! (Normally we do the harder boards in class and the easier boards for the test. For some reason, I got the hardest board I've ever done in class for the test.)

I'm a little disappointed - I know, and at least Sir, Ma'am, and Mr. R. know, that I can do better than what I did today. It was a lot of fun being with the kids, though. I taught kids' swimming classes for over ten years, and I forget how much fun it is to work with that age group. I kind of got roped into babysitting - an orange belt who was being squirrely got sent to sit next to me and my gigglers for the remainder of the test, and he wasn't too happy about it. NF, a black belt in my class, was the floor conductor, and she came up to me on the break and admitted she was having trouble getting the kids to listen to her. I think I'm just more intimidating - I'm much older, much taller, a higher rank than most of the squirrely ones, and, most importantly, a stranger to them - so it usually just takes eye contact or a touch on the shoulder/hand and a quick head shake to get them focused. If I could work the time into my schedule, I might try to do leadership/instructor training, but since I already often have conflicts, it's probably best not to for now. They are starting a Fridays in the Park class for the summer, all ages and ranks, that I might try to get to if I don't have rehearsal or a show, though. Except for designated sparring days, they're all bring-a-buddy, so if anyone wants to come out, feel free ;-)

Oh, and sign-ups are open for the Mystery Stole 3 Yahoo Group. I'm hoping this will be an excellent summer project, as everything else so far just isn't doing it for me.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Socks, Starter Wife, and Sparring

It actually took me a few minutes to come up with that title, and that's all I have to show for it. Sorry!

I frogged the STR sock. I was starting the gusset increases, too. It just wasn't working for me. I really like the fabric of the US 2's, but didn't cast on enough stitches, and it was just a smidge too tight. I kept telling myself I could live with it - even just change ever so casually to US 3's when I got to the leg - but it was driving me nuts. Could I wear them? Yes. Did I want to wear them? Yes. Did I like the way they looked on my feet when I wore them? No. I went to restart again on US 3s and I really don't like the fabric. So I don' know what I"m going to do with them now.

I started watching The Starter Wife this week on USA (watched the first episode on the website and the second one on tv tonight). I gotta say, I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I like the characters and the actors (I really like Debra Messing in this, actually), but it kind of seems like the story is moving just a hair faster than what we see on screen. There's been a couple of times I've gone "Um, just a little more backstory here would help this scene a lot!" Oh well. I'm not a multimillion dollar producer or screenwriter, so what do I know? I do realize that it is a mini-series (sorry, a "television event"), so perhaps all will be explained in the end. There is a semi-mystery in it, though, so maybe I'll just pick up the book instead. (We know the guy committed suicide, but the characters don't.) Has anyone else seen it? What do you think so far?

I went in for a pickup on the self-defense this afternoon. Sir helped me finally figure out what I was doing wrong with the take down (now I just have to remember it!) and then started showing me some different sparring footwork drills, and explaining the different numbers to the kicks (a #1 front kick v. a #2, 3, or 4 front kick, for example). He helped me place the order for my sparring gear and told me he was really interested in seeing what kind of style I'd develop for myself as I got more confident with the sparring. I'm kind of interested too. I'm still nervous about it, but it's a "I'm going to make such a fool of myself!" scared now. Which isn't really a problem - one of the things I really like about this studio is how extremely patient and helpful the other students are with lower belts in class - but still. Sir told me to just concentrate on footwork and putting just two or three techniques together at a time for now. I went back this evening and watched the sparring class again. Mr. R. told me that it was too bad there wasn't an odd number of people, or he'd've made me join the class. Sir did have me join the rest of the class for formwork at the end, though. It's tough getting up cold and trying to go through your form! And once again, my theater training and tkd collide - don't let the audience, or judges, know that you know you just messed up! I'm good for Saturday, but I'll only be able to go to Monday night regular class next week due to tech and Opening. The whole work thing is just inconvenient sometimes! Oh, and I'll do the camo belt form next - I somehow landed so that I'll actually go through all the forms in order, which is kind of nice. I like reverse side kicks, even if I suck at them right now!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Look! Quick, over there!

See, some progress! The second Green Gables sock only needs a few more inches on the leg. The STR sock is about an inch away from starting the heel. I'm going to do my best do to a toe-up heel flap and gusset on these guys, if it kills me! But isn't it intereting how the same yarn will work up into fraternal twins? This is the first Green Gables sock:

See the difference in the stripe pattern? The difference in the widths, the difference in the idea why. Cool, though, I don't need identical twins for socks. Frats are fine with me!

And, this is how the baby blanket looks so far:

The triangles, once I sit down and figure them out, are going to fill in the edges, in the color pattern, and then there will be a striped border around it. I kind of like it, myself.

I didn't get the apartment nearly as clean as I wanted today, since I ended up spending all afternoon in the office with my LD going through the blocking for the show. I did get laundry done, though, and am now waiting for it to fold itself.

It was awesome to be back in class tonight. I'm good with my one-steps, form, and board break, but I'm not good with the self-defense. I'm going to go in on Thursday for a pickup. I also got to talk to Sir a little about testing and sparring, which was cool. He said we might start sparring in regular classes, which would be interesting. I've decided I am going to test with the rest of the class on Saturday. The music director decided he really didn't need us there Saturday afternoon, so it's cool again.

Alright, the laundry still hasn't folded itself, so I think I'm gonna go take care of that and crash now. Have a good week, everyone!

Monday, June 04, 2007

I'll Drink To That!

We ran through Company for the first time tonight. The whole show. Up on its feet in less than 48 hours of rehearsal. Yes, that would be, for those of you keeping score, an entire Sondheim musical blocked and ready to tech in six days. My director, musical director, SM team, and (most important) cast ROCKS! Now they have a whole week to forget everything and start learning a new show before we go into tech. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm dead tired, and I didn't even have to sing or learn movements!

Tomorrow (today? I guess it's technically Monday) is dedicated to cleaning the apartment and going to class. Yay, class! Once I get the place CLEAN, really clean, I'll pick up the knitting again. I have to spend time in the office this week, but I'll have some extra time until we start tech. I'm trying to find an excuse to go down to LA where it's warm. Anyone want to hit Disneyland next week?

I might get my hair chopped off, too. We'll see.