Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ten Minutes Left of 2006

It's been an interesting year. Not entirely like the Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times" but every now and then, kinda-sorta.

Have a Happy New Year, everyone!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Gay Zombi Penguin 'Toon I Should Have Put Up In JULY!!

I have no idea how it happened, but I missed the posting of my very own stop on the Gay Zombi Penguin Tour back in July (the day before my birthday even!). So here, very belatedly, are the Gay Zombi Penguins from July:

Now, the artist/author of Gay Zombi Penguins wasn't 100% satisfied with that one, so she drew me a new one! Yay! TWO for one!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Blog Chain #8, The Android's Dream, Star Trek, Fizzle

The AW Blogchain is plugging right along, now in it's 8th iteration. I've asked to join in this time around and I look forward to participating. Please read along and comment - even if it's just to let us know you popped in for a peek.

The participants (by AW username) in posting order are:

BK_30 -Just A Small Town Girl
asorum - A View From the Waterfront
Gillian - Even in a Little Thing
Simran - Writing-From-Within
aruna - Down From the Garrett
Forbidden Snowflake - Incoherent Blabbing From an Incoherent Person
Cath - Curiouser and Curiouser
Peggy - The Road Less Traveled
Atomic Bear - BTGC Production Log
XThe NavigatorX - Fireflies in the Cloud

I loaded 6 CDs worth of Christmas music (Mannheim Steamroller, Trans-siberian Orchestra and a Celtic Christmas CD) plus an iTunes purchase of Renaissance Christmas music (also Mannheim Steamroller). That's several hours worth, at least.

I'm also going to figure out, at some point, how to subscribe to some podcasts. I can do some via iTunes, but there are others not listed there I'm interested in. I have a cool little digital recorder that I can download stuff to so that might be the solution for portability.

I'm about a quarter of the way into John Scalzi's The Android's Dream and it's been a very fun read. I highly recommend everything he's written, including his blog Whatever. (very cute kitten alert - be prepared to say AWWWW)

I'm also reading through some Star Trek fiction. There's a trilogy that was put out for the 40th Anniversary, Crucible with each of the books featuring one of the three main characters, McCoy, Spock and Kirk - in that order. I finished the McCoy book the other day and started the Spock one today (yes, I'm reading two books at once - the Trek book is a pocketbook sized paperback and the Scalzi is hardback. It's easier on my shoulder to carry the Trek book in my purse). I also picked up Voyages of Imagination which "takes a look back on the first forty years of professionally published Star Trek fiction, revealing the personalities and sensibilities of many of the novels' imaginative contributors and offering an unprecedented glimpse into the creative processes, the growing pains, the risks, the innovations, the missteps, and the great strides taken in the books." (from Amazon's blurb)

Since I've been collecting these books since, oh, 1969 or so, I'm pretty excited that I'll have a way to check for completeness of my collection as well as organizing it. I think some of my books have gone missing over the years, so I'll want to fill in the gaps.

Well, the brain is fizzling out. Good Night!



Saturday, December 02, 2006

Put on Your Sunglasses - It's Time Again for Dawno's Intense Christmas Sweaters!

(the first part of this post has appeared in Absolute Write's "Thread Killer" thread, so it may look familiar - I believe in recycling)

Yes, it's that time of year again. The time of year when Dawno wears her Intense Christmas Sweaters to work. I now have enough of them to wear for the rest of December's working days starting Monday the 6th. I can't tell you how excited I am. I just love the puzzled looks on some folk's faces. They're not sure if they should flee or just put a present under me.

(Tiara International Sweater, above)

However, I have one great sadness, much the same as last year - I haven't found any really, really highly embellished Tiara International sweaters so far this year - not even online. They used to make the best ones. I can only hope that I can get down to SoCal after Christmas and find some down there - last year I found a couple very nice ones, but the store that had them has been bought out by Macy's and they haven't had any good (for the Dawno value of "good") Christmas sweaters in a Macy's in years.

What are the elements of a certified Dawno good Christmas sweater?

Color - there needs to be lots of it but there should be a reason for the colors and they should harmonize. One of my favorite sweaters has many shades of browns and golds worked into toys and ornaments and Christmas trees. Another features shades of green that lean towards sage and olive - looks lovely with a pale sage turtleneck. I "lost" that sweater for a bit and was extremely joyful when it resurfaced last year.

Theme - the sweater should have a unified theme. Snowmen and snowflakes, trees and ornaments or trees with presents, Santa and reindeer. Let's not just clutter up a sweater with every conceivable Christmas icon. And placement is important. I like detail down the very center of cardigan style sweaters and at the bottom hem. On pullovers the entire front should be covered. Stuff on the back, it's ok, but it should be a continuation of the front, not something entirely different. I have one new sweater that has simple conical, decorated trees up the front, and there's a line of stitches that go over one shoulder to the back with Christmas light bulbs at the end of it at about mid shoulder. I approve.

Beads and metallic threads - definitely, but again, for embellishment not for their own sake. Random sequins or beading doesn't work for me. I have a sweater where the pointsettias are embellished with bugle beads and it's perfect. Sequin garlands on a Christmas tree, lovely.

Last year it was suggested in comments that I embellish my own sweater. I'd love to do that someday - I just can't make myself put aside the time for it right now. One year I searched and searched and couldn't find a new sweater. I did find a cardigan in ivory that had snowmen and snowflakes embroidered on it in off white yarn. Barely visible - certainly wouldn't show up in pictures.

I decided to get some shades of brown, tan and gold embroidery floss and stitch over parts of the sweater to give it color. I worked a few of the snowflakes and the caps on the snowmen. I put the sweater on. The snowflakes were unfortunately positioned on the sweater, which I didn't realize until I tried it on and looked in the mirror. They looked like light brown and beige yarn pasties. I picked out the work I'd done on the snowflakes but left it on the caps - they looked fine. Lucky for me I did find a sweater at the after Christmas sale at Robinson's May in Bakersfield and wore that to the family celebration later that day.

I have broadened my Christmas wardrobe this year in a new direction. My daughter and I were shopping while I visited her last month and I got a pair of flannel jammies. They were decorated with pink flamingoes wearing ski caps and scarves standing in little snow drifts outside of Airstream style trailers decorated with Christmas lights. I may now need to buy a new pair of jammies every year as well.

I will face the mall hoardes once again tomorrow. The holiday bracelets I ordered have come in at Brighton and I'll need to pick them up. I'll wander around for a few hours, hoping to be inspired by something I can get for a gift but I truly dread going out into the crowds. I think this will be more of an online Christmas than ever.