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Not Exactly a Drive-By Update - Drinking from the Fire Hose — LiveJournal
and trying not to drown

Date: 2012-01-30 10:49
Subject: Not Exactly a Drive-By Update
Security: Public
Music:The Muppet Show
Tags:live theatre, movies, nia, rl

Friday night we went to see Kiss of the Spider Woman at the Baldwin Theatre in Royal Oak. This was a musical and was, apparently, not nearly as dire as jebra anticipated. Having read the storyline on wikipedia, I knew how it would end and was prepared. And honestly, watching KotSW wasn't much worse than watching MSNBC's Lockup Raw.

Overall, Stagecrafters did a good job with the production. There were a problems with one of the microphones but fortunately that was early in the show and was resolved before the end of the scene. I was quite impressed with the skill of the dancers, although I was puzzled by them as well. In the year that I've been dancing I've only seen three men take part, and none of them regularly. I asked Jean (who taught class Saturday morning and who spent her childhood and adolescence taking ballet classes) if any boys took part. She said there was only one, and he was there because his mother was a teacher and made him. She also said that when Wayne State put on The Full Monty, they had to teach all of the actors how to dance, so it is possible to put on a show with actors who do not have a dance background. These guys were really good, however, so I wonder if some of them had prior experience.

The storyline was exactly as wikipedia described, and (going by what Jean told me) less confusing than the non-musical version (which she saw).

My favorite part was Molina's hallucinated conversation with his mother, during which she says she'd never be ashamed of him unless he was cruel or uncaring. My second favorite part was near the end, when the Spider Woman performs her solo, as it was visually interesting the way she was moved about the stage (she was on a rolling platform) against the projected shadowy spider's web.

Saturday morning, after Nia, I came home long enough to take a shower & change clothes, design a birthday card, and kiss jebra good bye. Then I was off for Knitting Club, where I spent the entire afternoon, most of it working on a shoulder bag for Brooke, the woman who usually teaches the Nia classes I attend. I was excited to finish knitting the bagand eager to start the felting process, but I was so tired when I arrived back at the house that I couldn't stay awake. After falling asleep while watching something or other on the DVR, I gave up and went to bed. At 8:15. I woke up at midnight-thirty and returned to my corner of the couch to try watching my recordings and play around with my graphics program. jebra came home about an hour later -- he'd spent his time at the Ann Arbor Folk Festival.

Sunday I stayed in bed until I started worrying that I'd oversleep and miss the Nia Jam. I got up and got ready, then woke jebra and had him get ready to drive me and to be our unofficial photographer. The Jam was lots of fun (they almost always are) but I was dog tired afterwards and quite shaky. I think my blood sugar plummeted about half way through class and I was rather worried what my body would do next. I managed to keep moving -- albeit at a pace much slower than the teacher's.

After class jebra went out to dinner, which was disappointing as we returned to the place we'd gone on Thursday night, and although I ordered the exact same thing, it wasn't prepared correctly. The side dish was cold and the main dish was missing its signature ingredient -- the portabella mushroom. My dinner was far from inedible, however, and I was so hungry I didn't care that the side dish was cold and I was half-way through the main dish before I noticed anything amiss.

When we returned to the house I started washing the laundry, beginning with my to-be-felted bag. I was so excited to see how it would look when it came out of the hot water cycle -- and I was crushed when it did. It was knit with 100% alpaca yarn and the damn thing fused to itself, so that the bag could not be opened all the way. I tried to pull the front side away from the back and couldn't. I took scissors to it and tried to cut through the middle but succeeded only in making holes in the body of the bag. I have more of the yarn, so I can probably patch the holes, but I'm not sure what to do about felting the patches. Perhaps it is time to get out my needle-felting kit and see how that works. Do any of you know if needle felting produces as tight of a felt as felting in hot water?

The rest of the laundry was washed, dried, and put away without problem, so at least that was good. I'm still quite upset with the felting failure, to the point where it's in my home office drying out of site and I lost the will to pick my knitting needles and start the next project. I'm sure this a temporary state of affairs and, in the interim, I'm working on crocheting a cat bed for the animal shelter.

Jumping back to Thursday night, jebra and I watched the spy spoof, In Like Flint which I'd recorded the night before. The introduction to the movie revealed that I'd confused it with the earlier movie, Our Man Flint, so I went in somewhat disappointed. I loved Our Man Flint when I saw it during my formative years and I wondered how it would hold up. I still don't have an answer as I've always held that ILF is the weaker movie. I don't believe I fully recognized the Flint movies as spy spoofs back then; this time I had no such problems. I did, however, have a number of problems with the plot. The whole "women plotting to take over the world" was ludicrous and having their plot subsumed by a few bad guys was infuriating. And Flint's explanation of why he is irresistible to women, that he doesn't compete with them, no longer makes any sense to me. As a kid, I loved James Coburn and his guest spot on the Muppet Show made it my favorite episode:

This entry was originally posted at http://mrs-sweetpeach.dreamwidth.org/337317.html.
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User: lolabobs
Date: 2012-01-30 19:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I saw a knitting pattern in my Mum's magazine this week for a pair of felted slippers. I've never done felting before and was tempted to give it a go - the fact the recommended yarn was £12.50 a ball and this post have combined to dissuade me!

Such a disappointment for you though, so frustrating when something you have worked hard on doesn't do what it's supposed to.
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User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2012-01-30 20:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keep in mind that I was felting alpaca. The individual fibers are much longer than sheep's wool and I think that's why (and how) it misbehaved. I've done a fair amount of felting with sheep's wool and have never had that problem. And I know for a fact that a number of women in my knitting circle have made felted slippers in Tina's washer without trouble. You may be able to find a less expensive wool yarn than what the pattern recommends. I don't know if Patons Classic Merino Wool is available in the UK or, if it is, at a reasonable price. Here it's typically $5.99 a skein (and typically goes on sale at 50% or buy-one-get-one-at-half-price several times during the year). I've had great luck felting Patons Classic Merino -- I've made felted bags, camera cases, and cat toys from the stuff -- and never had it close the way the alpaca did.

Edited at 2012-01-30 08:44 pm (UTC)
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User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2012-01-30 21:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I had a few moments and googled to see if anyone else has had troubles similar to mine. Someone wrote:
Y'all've reminded me of a question I usually think of at 3 a.m., when I can't ask anybody...

What keeps the sides of a bag, or the front and back of a sweater, from felting together? How does the itme know felt each section to itself, and not to any other section? (this reminds me of the joke about two simpletons marvelling over a Thermos bottle [keeps hot food hot and cold food cold]. Ask one: "how does it know?"...)

To which someone else replied:
DitzyGirl: Try the Brown Sheep Country Classic -- very affordable for felting... as is the NatureSpun from Brown Sheep. Also if you eBay you can usually find some good buys on there...(just bid with an eye on an regular yarn website so you can make sure you aren't overbidding...

Lissa and LJ: yep, my mittens (made with alpaca yarn) didn't know when to stop felting... resulting in tears. However since then I have had no problems.(I also haven't used alpaca for felting again and probably won't -- at least not for mittens)

So now I'm more convinced that my problem is a result of using alpaca yarn for the bag. That and using my front-load washer (since I am unable to open the lid and check the level of felting and make sure the inside isn't fusing itself shut).

Which, is, of course, my long-winded way of saying "Don't let my run of bad luck discourage you from making felted slippers. I saw Tina's on Saturday and they look both warm and *extremely* comfortable.

Edited at 2012-01-30 09:11 pm (UTC)
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