Monday, July 3

Damn my wandering eyes!

The stash sale was a success - everything's gone except the Lampe's Lumps handspun (which I doubt I'll ever use, so if you're interested but balking at the price, just make an offer). Thank you to everyone who bought something - your packages are out (but may be a little delayed due to tomorrow's holiday).

I'm still being quite unfaithful to Brocade; in fact, I've committed quite a major sin in starting another sweater. On Friday I cast on for the Union Square Market Pullover (from the fall '05 Interweave), using this Frog Tree alpaca that I bought at Webs a few months ago. Poor, poor Brocade. Why did I do it? I felt like I needed a plain stockinette project. Normally I'd just reach for a sock but I'm in no mood for dpn's (no idea why). So the USMP it is, on size 2 needles - some Crystal Palace bamboo circs that I got in a swap. The metal join hasn't bothered me at all yet, and I'm very thankful. I'm almost done with the waist decreases already, and I think my gauge is okay. I'll post pictures once I'm a little further along - I bet you can guess what it looks like :)

Oh, and guess what I got? A free copy of Norah Gaughan's Knitting Nature! My mom's friend at work, Jill (hi Jill, if you're reading!) had a copy and decided it wasn't quite up her alley, so my mom scooped it up for me. I'd almost bought a copy a few weeks ago, but the price made me return it to the shelf (it's pretty cheap on Amazon, though). Anyway, just looking through this book is a wonderful experience. It's gorgeous; every piece is interesting. After a quick glance through, here are some of the patterns that jump out at me as possible projects: the Hex coat (but in Lopi? Yowch!), Cabled Spiral pullover, Ram's Horn jacket (love it!), Phyllo Yoked pullover, and Sunflower tam. I love many of the other designs as well, but the shapes just don't look flattering. I could see myself using the motifs in other contexts, though.

Onto film, anyone?

I'm a pretty big fan of Michael Haneke; I find his films to be very challenging, unique, and sometimes disturbing - even if you don't particularly like what you've seen, it sticks with you. His most recent film, Caché , was just released on DVD, and I watched it on Friday.
from Michael Haneke's Cache

Caché is about a couple (Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil) that receives mysteriousurveillancece-like videotapes of their home (along with some creepy drawings), but it's not a simple suspense-thriller. It turns into an exploration of guilt and history (specifically France's history with its Algerian immigrant population). I loved it. I found it completely successful as a fulfillment of Haneke's concept and fascinating in terms of the dynamics within the family (issues of trust, detachment). I tend not to watch the extra content on most DVDs, but after watching Caché I watched the interview with Haneke on the disc. It was wonderful hearing his motivations for making the film and his little jabs at American movies and our need to have everything be resolved in the end. Whatever Haneke does next (even if it is an American remake of Funny Games - how odd) I'll be more than willing to give it my time.

Another few quick notes on stuff I've watched lately - after renting Bleu over a month ago, I finally got around to Blanc and Rouge. They were both quite lovely. I enjoyed Blanc more than I expected (for some reason I thought it centered more around Julie Delpy rather than the male lead, and she rubs me the wrong way) and Rouge just blew me away entirely. I also rented Funny Ha Ha, mostly because it was filmed in Boston. I liked it, initially, but at a point it almost became unwatchable... a bunch of awful, awkward moments taking place in some recognizably shabby Boston apartments. And, lastly, Battle in Heaven - I almost wanted to give this film its own paragraph, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to many people for a few reasons. It's not an easy film. It's explicit, but it's slow, deliberate, meditative. It's shot beautifully but what's addressed is so ugly. That said, I really, really liked it... it's just not for everyone.

I hope everyone has a lovely day off tomorrow. We have nothing much planned here, except to watch the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on ESPN at noon - I'm not a fan of sports at all, but I could watch Competitive Eating all day long. I love Kobayashi, but I'll root for Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas in most match-ups. There's also a soft spot in my heart for husband-wife team Richard and Carlene LeFevre.... okay, please tell me there are some other fans out there! I'm going to slink away and try to hide my obsession.