Monday, September 29

Of Quidditch, weddings and spinning

I saw a link for Muggle Quidditch the other day and thought it sounded interesting. I popped in my email address and thought, well, it says it starts Oct. 15, so I should expect an email a little before then. But nope — here's what I found in my inbox over the weekend (links intact):

Serious trouble is afoot and Muggle Quidditch 2.0 is in danger...

How did the goblins find my trail so quickly?  When did the Ministry begin monitoring the Muggle Interwebs?  What does this mean for the future of this project?  And my future…?

Alas, there is so much to be done, and so very little time.  I have reason to suspect that any or all electronic owls I send may fall into the wrong hands, so I've encrypted my instructions and dispersed a series of clues across the globe.  Yours is below:

Part Three of my Domain
This riddle's answer does contain:

An ancient brigade, strong and true
In battle we gained our name.
As deadly Arrows around us flew,
Not a single man was slain.

So tread softly, and carry your wand at the ready. We need everyone we can get to join our cause.

Good luck, and Godspeed.


Post Scriptum:
Five of five, together achieve
What one alone could not perceive.
A gambler's word, the safest bet:
Play your part on the Muggle's Net.

So clearly, this is a test of wits. I, not feeling terribly witty on a Monday such as today, copied my bit of the riddle and Googled it. My first result was this bit o' pretty, wherein I found a link to another discussion. Curiouser and curiouser.

Other than all that, the wedding singing went well. The rehearsal on Friday evening was nice. The one song I had a chance to sing then (as it was the bridal party processional) felt a lot lower than usual; I guessed my mom had forgotten to transpose it up a couple steps, which I had decided to do a couple weeks ago. (I didn't want the notes coming out all crap and growly.) So Saturday rolls around, we're getting ready to start the ceremony, and my mom switches on the keyboard and whispers, "Ok, I've got you transposed down two steps." And I looked at her, all panicked, and said,"Down?! I need it up two steps!" So crisis averted, just in time. And all was well with the world.

Finally, I did a little spinning last night. It's not the fanciest, most even spin ever, but I'm fairly pleased with it. Have a look:

Spinning take two: alpaca
Top whorl is the way to go.

Now all I have to do is finish up my crafting for the Firefly swap. I feel woefully behind on it, though I don't think I am, really. I just need to fix up my sewing skills...

Friday, September 26


I got new shoes last night, because I wanted my feet to look cute while I sing at the wedding tomorrow. I've got the music down, I think, though I'm going to sing with a cheat-sheet. I'm too chicken not to. Just a lyrics cheat-sheet, though; I can visualize the pages enough that it will be fine. Still a little nervous, though.

Also, I have nothing else, because I have to go deposit a newly-fixed car at my dad. He's having nicotine problems, and I have to bring his cigarettes. *headdesk*

Wednesday, September 24

Bordering on arachnophilia

(Note of hysteria prevention: links in this blog post will contain photos of spiders.)

My house has become a spider house ... but only on the outside.

Seriously. I have two, and now perhaps three, spiders living by my front door. There's a brown crab spider with a lovely huge web going from the east side of the house to the trash can. The only reason this makes me sad is that when I take the crash to the curb tonight, the pretty web will be broken. (Here's a link to a picture of a crab spider, xysticus, though not mine in particular.)

The spider that lives on the east side of the door is a funnel web spider. I know this because there is a web there, shaped like a funnel. Sometimes, if it's not afraid (which is rare), it will come out of the funnel-y bit and wait on the web for some food to wander by. I haven't seen this one, whom I've been calling Remus as I initially thought it was a wolf spider (before I remembered wolf spiders don't spin webs), for a few days.

I did, however, see an actual wolf spider today, near Remus' usual hiding spot. (I know it's not Remus, because Remus was missing one of its legs; the wolf spider has all eight.) Actually, I think this wolf spider is a rabid wolf spider — Rabidosa rabida.

I don't really mind spiders, apart from if they crawl on me. If I happen to spot one in the house, I catch it in a glass and let it outside. (After all, they take care of all the nasty bugs I don't want in the house.) I think probably the only spider I would have problems with would be a huntsman spider, also known as a clock spider, because they're fucking huge and scary.

I probably shouldn't go on too long about spiders, as I'll just scare Oboek├Ânigin away from my house forever.

Wednesday, September 17

Look what I can do!

So there's this funky program called Skitch...

Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

And you should check it out. Also, there's a rumor that a yarn shop is coming to Winterset. Huzzah! Yarn a few blocks away!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Internets, already in progress.

Monday, September 15

Wait, it's mid-September?

This weekend I happened to notice the date. Did you notice it's mid-way through September, too? Yeah. Remember I said I'll be singing in a wedding at the end of the month? That's next weekend. Um, need to practice much? Yes, I really do.

On another note, let me show you what I've been walking past every day when I go to work ...

I know, right?

You can't really tell, but in the upper left corner it says Nov. 2008 ... and there's a heart around it. Hoo boy. This coming from one of the ugliest houses in town: it's all painted and adorned in a god-awful shade of hunter green. And none of the greens quite match, so it's some powerful ugly. (Also, this house is next door to a house that always has an Explorer pared in front of it. The license plate on the Explorer reads DORA. I'll try to get a picture.)

While I'm showing you signs of patriotism, let me share this button I saw on the Innernets today.

That about sums it up, eh?

Wednesday, September 10

How does a knitter direct choir?

I would blog today, but I feel crappy. Breakfast stayed down all of five minutes, so I'm sucking down ginger ale. I'm going to leave work ASAP so I can have a nap before choir.

Church choir is going well, by the way. There were 10 whole singers Sunday, which is a decent turnout. I know a couple people were sick. Oh, and I directed using a knitting needle as a baton. US 5, bamboo, 10 inches. What? Don't look at me like that. They needed to see me better. It helped.

So on that note (D sharp), I will leave you with this knowledge: Fall Knitty is live!

Wednesday, September 3

Hey look, I can blog!

Demetrios and Burgy First things first: I adopted a friend's cat. She has become increasingly allergic, and I've got extra room, as it's just been Demetrios and I.

At first, things were a little rough, and Burgy demonstrated her dominance (although one night Demetrios decided to retaliate and camped in front of the litter box. That was fun). Now they get along. There's the occasional nose-touch and butt-sniff, so I call that a win. See? They're pals.

Now I'll tell you what I've been doing lately: knitting! (Like you couldn't guess that anyway.) Actually, it's really geeky knitting, so beware. I joined a Firefly Swap on Ravelry, and below is a test model for one of the many fun things I have planned. I even found some fun packaging that has a bit of Chinese flair, like so much of Firefly does.

Jayne air freshener hat
A tiny Jayne hat was a warm-up for a similar keychain, which will be sent to my (secret!) Firefly Swap pal.

I also joined the HP Knitting / Crochet House Cup on Ravelry, which also has a blog. I'm knitting in Ravenclaw. Each month there will be assignments for different classes; we're allowed to do as many or as few as we like. Being the typical Ravenclaw, I signed up for everything except Quidditch.

In Potions, we're meant to knit something using two yarns you wouldn't normally hold together. I decided to use jute twine and fun fur. As you can see below, it's very ... colorful. In Astronomy, the assignment is to make something star-shaped, or with a star on it, while the Herbology task is to knit a dishcloth with hemp or cotton. As for Transfiguration, the assignment is to learn something new, or get better at something we've barely tried. For me, that's definitely spinning. So hopefully by the end of September I'll have a nice, consistently-spun skein of yarn to show.

September Potions assignment
Potions by the Numbers

Oh, and I almost forgot Charms: we're to create something using either lumos or wingardium leviosa. For wingardium leviosa, we're do to something that flies. For lumos one must have something that holds or gives off light; I'll be knitting a tealight holder out of wire and beads. It might even turn out to be sculptural, if I can find some a light-gauge wire that is still sturdy. Maybe a Whomping Willow candle holder?

So I'm about half done with both my Potions and Herbology homework, and a third or so of the way done with Astronomy. And that's all she wrote.