Point Me

Monday, February 28, 2011

Guy of my Dreams...

...Is an awesome flash game that kind of plays out like an episode of "This was Your Life." 
You are a kind of gothy teenage girl who negotiates relationships and career advancement in the quest to find the said guy.

It's an easy and entertaining game. It come across as slightly sexist at first, but the game play is cool enough that I was won over by it. It's my current time waster du jour.


Friday, February 25, 2011

We'll try Again!

As I've blogged about like 10 million times, Paul and I have had some pretty sorry excuses for relaxing vacations lately. We're not going to give up though! We've started thinking about planning our next trip for the spring. We're having a hard time deciding where to go though. What do you think?

(Poll is in the sidebar, in spite of my best attempts to put the HTML in this post. Oh well!)

I'm looking forward to hearing opinions - if you pick "somewhere else" tell me where we should go in the comments!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Willie The Operatic Whale- 1946

In honor of the little stuffed sea mammal I made the other day, I thought I'd post a cartoon about another seriously awesome whale. This classic Disney cartoon, also known as "The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met", tells the story of a gifted whale whose fondest desire is to perform and sing for others.

Unfortunately for our tragic hero Willie, the opera producer who sets out to meet him isn't interested in an audition, he's attempting a rescue mission. Tetti Tatti fails to recognize the talent in the friendly cetacean, instead believing that Willie has swallowed an opera singer (or 3).

The end result is predictably horrible. Where were the sea shepherds when he needed them?

My favorite part is at 2:42 when he plays Mephistopheles. Something about putting a whale in a devil costume is just amazing. 

This is a pretty sad cartoon. But it definitely makes you want to like opera more.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Impulse Purchase of the Week

On Sunday, Paul and I decided to go to the Mall, just to have an excuse to get out of the house and do something different. Usually I eschew the aggravating consumerism of the private shopping complex. But hey, we needed a new garlic press.

So, as we were making our way back to the car (AKA "escaping"), we passed by this little Asian knick knack shop that was going out of business. That's when I saw it.

A Maneki Neko, the Beckoning Cat. It won me over with its cuteness and kitsch.

These little cat statues are basically synonymous with Chinese restaurants around here. But in Japan, where these figurines originated, they can commonly be found in lottery shops, banks, pachinko parlors, and other wealth-driven businesses. That's because the Maneki Neko is a symbol of financial prosperity. A raised right paw represents the protection of wealth, while the left paw (like the one on ours) indicates the acquisition of wealth. When I purchased it, the cute old shop owner even said "It's OK you spend money on this, because you get more monies coming in soon!"

The waving paw is supposed to mimic a beckoning motion (hence the name). This is based on the myth that cats are lucky spirits that will guide you away from harm and towards good fortune. That's why when you see one of these guys in a restaurant window, you're supposed to be drawn inside, away from your potential doom!

There are a few origin legends about why these little cat statues started being made. The weirdest of which goes as follows:

"A courtesan named Usugumo, living in Yoshiwara, in eastern Tokyo, kept a cat, much beloved by her. One night, the cat began tugging at her kimono. No matter what she did, the cat persisted. The owner of the brothel saw this, and believing the cat bewitched, cut its head off. The cat's head then flew to the ceiling where it killed a snake, ready at any moment to strike. Usugumo was devastated by the death of her companion. To cheer her up, one of her customers made her a wooden likeness of her cat as a gift. This cat image then became popular as the Maneki Neko."


But yeah, we'll see if this guy helps us rake in the dough. He has a special home in our newest home improvement.

Doot do do dooo! New built-in bookshelves. Paul's awesome dad made them for us and installed them last Saturday. They really improves the living room tenfold. It was a lot of fun to put out all our books to display too. Between them and the fortune cat, everything's coming up Milhouse!

Monday, February 21, 2011


I made this "Maner" headscarf quite a while ago, but I never got around to putting up pictures. It's more than just a headband, but not quite a hat. It's perfect for not-so-great hair days when you just want to rein in your 'do.

If you're making one for yourself, you should know that this guy starts off being incredibly tight, and it takes a few wears to get it all stretched out.

The yarn I used was Lorna's Laces Shepard Worsted Yarn in Fiddlehead. I love this yarn, the colors are so pretty! And the name reminds me of my grandmother's favorite spring plant, the fiddlehead fern. I have another project I'm doing with it that will be done soon, so stay tuned!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

But I don't LOVE love you....

I posted recently about the Kakapo, New Zealand's nearly extinct flightless parrot. While I still think that these dapper little birds are pretty awesome, I might stop short of wearing that "I heart Kakapos" t-shirt now...

I really wouldn't want the little guys to get the wrong idea!

Kakapos like it rough.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Little Things

This weekend I discovered a really really awesome website for knitters. One of the most annoying parts of knitting is having leftover yarn when you finish a project. If you knit long enough, your yarn stash gets inundated with these random lengths of fibrous ghosts from projects past. Think there's nothing to do with the extra? You're so stupid! There is!

This website catalogs hundreds of projects to do with your scraps of waste yarn, organized by length used.

I used the leftover yarn from my big foofy cowl to make this cute little stuffed whale.

As the pattern mentions, this little guy is meant to be a cat toy. I wasn't planning on letting Roosevelt play with it, but she managed to find it and rough it up all on her own. I guess it's pretty irresistible for kittehs, what with the floppy tail and being the same size of her ideal prey and all. I'll let her have it, I guess.

Awww...She loves it!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Oh, Hai. Happy Feast of Lupercalia. I mean Valentines. Whatever!

I'm fully aware that this holiday is a combination of Catholicism attempting to smother out pagan sex parties and card companies transfiguring sentimentality into dollar bills, but I can honestly say it's nice to have an excuse to have a romantic evening with your loved one. 

It's good to take the time sometimes to appreciate how lucky you are to be in a good relationship, if you are in a good one. But I'm with the Omicronians when it comes to excessive cutesiness!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"I can see the birds in different Song"

This is a slightly weird(but good!) clip of Paul Simon singing "Me and Julio" on Sesame St. in 1972. The strangeness comes from the little girl who duets with him. She's pretty cute actually, as she improvises her own lyrics to the song. But it gets super awkward around the 30 second mark where Simon breaks in and starts singing the actual song. It makes him seem kinda like a jerk for a second, upstaging a little kid!

The little girl takes it in stride though and actually takes turns harmonizing with Mr. Mrs. Robinson. It's pretty sweet.

Friday, February 11, 2011


I've been thinking lately about cutting my hair short again. Like really short.

This cute little baby hipster with a pixie cut is really convincing me that this is a good idea!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Buffalo Gal

My dark past as a picky eater isn't really a secret. I've recently realized though that getting a late start on trying all the gastronomic masterpieces of the world has actually allowed me to enjoy new foods more. My latest favorite that I thought I hated?

Buffalo Wings!

For a while I was just intimidated by the sheer spiciness of them, and also my suspicion of blue cheeses. But this football season got me to try them with a new, more tolerant pallet. I've since discovered that they are in fact, unbe-friggin-lievable. I am now much more excited about the fact that Paul works mere foot steps away from Amherst's notorious chicken dynasty, The Hangar.

To really experience this wonderful spicy deliciousness, perhaps I should venture up to the National Buffalo Wing Festival this fall. Last year, over 70,000 people attended and devoured over 33 tons of chicken!

 It would be really cool to go, you'd get to try top-notch barbecue from over 30 restaurants from across the country. And hey, maybe I'll even throw my hat in the ring to become Ms. Buffalo Wing (a grand honor!).

One aspect of the fest that I really don't see myself joining in on though is the annual Blue Cheese Bowl, where contestants bob for wings out of a kiddie pool of blue cheese.

I think I'll just eat mine daintily, k, thanx!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

He's about to go all Basil Fawlty on you!

John Cleese in 1977, and the Muppets attempting to shanghai him into performing a musical number. This is probably the only time a guest star on the Muppet Show attempted to strangle Kermit the Frog.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Holy Moly, Shadow Home Secretary

So I'm not really one for reality TV dance competitions. However, I am one for amazing ridiculousity. The BBC's "Strictly Come Dancing" featured "The Right Honorable" Ann Widdecombe as a contestant this season. She's a hard-line conservative, the type that abhors abortion but is perfectly fine with killing people with lethal injection once they're all grown up. Over the course of the show, she became a fan favorite, basically because she can't dance. Not even a little. The raw essence of her performances consist of aimless stomping about, being tossed in the air like a rag doll by her partner, sulking, looking embarrassed, and wandering aimlessly.

In spite of the fact that she's a TERRIBLE dancer, she came in 5th out of 14, due to the general public calling in and saving her. I think that people just got a kick out of seeing this stuffy old broad being forced to do sexy rumbas, very poorly.

Please go directly to 1:20 to see an example of her flawless grace.

Also, I'm pretty sure they picked the least flattering costumes on the planet for her on purpose. Also Also, I feel so bad for the professional dancer she's paired with. He tries so hard to be dynamic and interesting and graceful, while she shuffles around like a confused sleepwalker.

Just Wow.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Winter Blues Cowl

When the weather outside, quite frankly, sucks, something warm and cozy is a most important remedy. A big soft cowl works well in lieu of a fireside or soft flannel sheets. Once I put this guy on, I never want to take it off!

The bulk of this piece was made during the mega storm that paralyzed us last week. Now that it's temporarily sunny and warm (40 is warm, right?), it seems slightly unseasonable. I'm not so sure we're out of the woods with this damnable weather though, so it may yet get some use.

The yarn I used for this was Rowan Big Wool. This was the second time I've really consciously chosen to use a more high-end, superior quality yarn, and I have to say it really does make a noticeable difference. It was also kind of awesome to use a big thick wool that knit up quick after my last project. It took me a month to make the "Bad Oyster" using sock yarn, while this, like I said, only took a coupla days.

I based the pattern on the one available here. The stitch I used is the American Moss Stitch:

Rows 1 and 2: k1, p1
Rows 3 and 4: p1, k1

And repeat!

If I was stranded in a snowstorm, I would want to be wearing this. You can pull it up and wear it like an awesome warm hood that makes you look like a Jawa.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Beginning or the End?

So I am officially applying to become a full-time employee at the food bank, in the position I have now. While I'm feeling fairly optimistic about my chances, there is a pretty big roadblock in the way of my success. The person who takes this post should be bilingual en Espanol. I have some skills, but I'm nowhere near the fluency that would be ideal for the job. So I feel like I'm kind of on a 50-50 shot trajectory here. I think that my bosses and the people I work with like me and think I'm a good worker. But I can understand the desire to have somebody completely fluent working with non-English speaking clients. I feel like I'd be OK with either outcome, but obviously I'd prefer to stay employed.

If I do get hired, the first thing I would do would be....

Get my own business cards! It's been 2 years since I've had a permanent, long term post, and I've always been jealous of friends who could whip out their card. I feel like this would be the cornerstone of my metamorphoses into a professional.

If I don't get hired, the first thing I would do would be.......

Get a manicure! This job is HARD on your hands. I've got blisters, paper cuts, cardboard burns, and ten raggedy-ass nails that I don't really pay much attention to. When you spend half your day unloading trucks and breaking down boxes, it doesn't make any sense to try and make your hands pretty. I did get my nails done right before the wedding, and I really enjoyed the pampering and how nice they looked afterward. If I had the assurance that I wouldn't mess them up immediately, I'd totally get a nice french tip.

We'll see!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Terror Birds: Aptly Named.

I was thinking earlier about the flightless birds of the world. It seems like they generally fall into two categories. First being "cute, harmless and prone to extinction." See the KiwiDodo bird (although they're not that cute),and the adorably anthropomorphous Kakapo of New Zealand.

Honestly, these guys are so cute and awesome. I want one of the 120 surviving birds to be my pet.

The second category of flightless birds is "huge, awful and terrifying." See the Ostrich and the Cassowary. They're the kind of birds that can look you in the eye before injuring you in some unspeakable way. As scary as these living monsters are though, their prehistoric ancestors were even worse!

Behold the Phorusrhacidae, giant predator birds from 20 million years in the past, more accurately and colloquially known as "terror birds".
A selection of terror birds, with an outline of a doomed man for scale. A - Brontornis burmeisteri; B - Paraphysornis brasiliensis; C - Phorusrhacos longissimus; D - Andalgalornis steuletti; E - Psilopterus bachmanni; F - Psilopterus lemoinei; G - Procariama simplex; H - Mesembriornis milneedwardsi and the silhouette of a man (1.75 m high) for scale (Herculano M.F. Alvarenga)

The largest species pictured here, Brontornis burmeisteri was 9 feet tall and weighed 800 pounds. Their size wasn't the scariest part of these monsters though. Their massive hooked beak (like a bald eagle's) gave them some pretty amazing eating abilities:

"An ostrich, the largest living bird, can swallow an apple. But a phorusrhacid could swallow a medium-sized dog in one gulp"- Herculano Alvarenga, a terror-bird expert

Scientists also estimate that these guys could run as fast as 30 miles per hour. That's enough to outrun a human (we go about 28)! 

I'm very glad that these feathered fiends are relegated to the distant past. It's sad though that awesome and adorable flightless parrots seemed destined to meet the same fate. But at least they have a legitimate excuse, what with being slow, chubby, and tiny vegetarians and all.

 Outline man waves to show his approval for a much more favorable modeling partner 
Also, PS, I think I wanna buy this shirt now.