MONDAY BLOGGING: Scrounging for scraps

As you may know, dear reader, I’m working on a small home recording project in which I will cover ’80s punk songs on my uke (and other instruments).  I’m hoping to start posting some of the songs to Soundcloud in May.

For the “cover art”, I’d like to make amigurumi of the different bands I’m covering.  I have most of the yarn I’d need, but I don’t have any eyelash yarn for the hair.  I can’t justify purchasing an entire skein of eyelash when I need maybe 50 yards (this is a liberal estimate).  I’ve been contacting Ravelry users who list eyelash yarn among their sell/trade stash, but so far no one has responded to my messages.

This is where you come in.  Would any of you happen to have 25-50 yards of novelty yarn?  In particular, I’m looking for:

  • Dark brown eyelash
  • Black eyelash or chenille-textured yarn
  • Dark brown acrylic of the Red Heart variety

I’m more than happy to pay postage and work with you on a price for taking this off your hands.  If you don’t have any eyelash yarn, feel free to reblog and link to this post.  Thanks!

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TUESDAY TUNES: In lieu of socks, a song

I cast on for Sarah Wilson’s Honey of a Hurricane socks today.  Sadly, my camera ran out of gas and I was unable to take a picture…so here’s another treat for you.

As my friends may know, I started taking ukulele lessons with Amy Kucharik in December.  I’ve been doing fairly well — if I do say so myself — and I’ve set myself a small goal: to record Straight Outta Lawndale, a ukulele tribute to SST Records.  Of the SST bands, my favorite is Husker Du, and I’m hoping to record two songs of theirs in the lab before the end of my service year.  Sadly, I can’t figure out how to embed this, but I made a little video of myself singing and playing “Flexible Flyer”.  (This is how it’s supposed to sound.)  This was my first video, and while it’s pretty rough around the edges — I struggle with the A# chord, and the phrasing can be a little awkward — I’m proud of the progress I’ve made over two months.  This can only get better from here, right?

TUESDAY TUNES: “These Foolish Things”, Ella Fitzgerald

I last saw Mike Horne on a balmy Sunday afternoon.  I was returning from SoWa, knitting, and minding my own business, when a meaty finger came between me and my work in progress.  A voice gnarled with sarcasm intoned over-the-top Communist homilies, and I looked up to see Mike’s asymmetrical smirk.  We compared notes on our doings; I was particularly excited about my new position at the Lab.  “You’re lucky,” he observed.  “Not everyone has a job they like.”

If anyone knew that, it would be Mike.  For a few months we toiled together in a call center job.  This was my first office position, and since I had gotten fired from my previous job I took this one very seriously.  Mike, on the other hand, recognized that this was a dead-end job.  While I almost developed an ulcer from not making my quotas, Mike would make horrible jokes while I was on calls and tie purloined balloons to the Hello Kitty backpack I carried as my purse.  After work one day, he and our friend Jonathan took me to the Public Gardens to surrepetitiously smoke pot from a ceramic “cigarette”.  His sense of humor and healthy perspective helped me stay sane for the time that I toiled in that cellar.

Eventually I burned out and left the job for the wonderful world of temping.  Though I didn’t see Mike as frequently, he still reached out to me to hang out with him and his buddies — go over to his house for a barbecue, perhaps, or catch a Bruce Lee double-header at the Brattle.  Mike’s generosity of spirit came through not only in his occasional gifts (like the free Spirited Away passes he helped me score), but also in his deep and arcane knowledge, and in his knowledgeable and skilled friend base.  Even though I didn’t agree with some of his positions, I valued his point of view and his ability to not see everything as the end of the world.

I ran into him less over the past few years, but whenever I crossed paths with him he seemed content.  He worked as a manager at The Compleat Strategist, he’d married his sweetheart, Carol, and he was still plugging away at things that interested him.  Seeing him on the T or popping my head into his store was always an adventure, and when I think of him I can’t help but smile and laugh.

Sadly, that afternoon at the tail end of summer would be the last time I’d see him.  While I was in DC for a conference, I learned that Mike had passed.

While Mike and I weren’t BFFs, I can’t think of certain things and NOT be reminded of Mike.  He introduced me to El Santo and to Ganja & Hess, and I told him about how important punk rock and Nancy Drew were to me.    I’m glad I knew him, and the world is a little smaller for his loss.

If you have a few quarters rolling around in your pocket, my pal Mara has created a fund for Mike’s widow, Carol.  My thoughts are with her right now, and with the many people Mike knew.

So long, man.