TUESDAY TUNES: Special “I’m Only Going To Say This Once” Edition

So everyone in the indie rock demimonde has collectively lost their shit over Courtney Barnett…

…but when I listen to her all I can think of is how much she sounds like Mark E. Smith of the Fall.

They even kind of look alike.  Are they secretly related and we don’t know about it?



So there I was, traipsing through Porter Square without a care in the world.  I had just taken part in a clinical study, which left me with $50 burning a hole in my pocket.  I was thinking of using it for some practical purpose, like paying my phone bill.

And then I walked past Mind’s Eye Yarns and noticed a sign in the window: “Anniversary Sale”.  I hadn’t bought yarn for myself in months, and even though I was planning to Cold Sheep my way through the summer months, the lure of a sale proved too tempting.  Half an hour later and :cough: $60 lighter, I left Mind’s eye with a bag full of…


…a sweater’s worth of Malabrigo Worsted in Azul Profundo.  I haven’t made up my mind, but I’m thinking of making Matilda Jane with this.  My one concern with Matilda Jane is that, because of the corset detail and the neckline, I might have a hard time styling that sweater.  The yarn’s TARDIS-like color makes me think I should knit something worthy of one of the Doctor’s companions.  Any suggestions?


…one skein of Holiday Yarns sock in light pink.  I just got my 45s out of layaway, and I want to make a pair of Spatterdashes to go along with them.


…and, finally, the free gift I got with purchase.  The store was giving away a skein of Noro for every $25 purchased, which meant I came away with two skeins of the much-loved yarn.  I opted for a solid blue-based pink.  I’m thinking of making something by Caitlin ffrench from this yarn.  She does a beautiful job with lace in unusual textures, and something about this just makes me think of her.

What was the last skein of yarn you bought?

Do you buy for projects, or do you get the yarn first? 


For my inaugural Friday Five, I’m stepping into a time machine to look back at some previous eras.  Join me, won’t you?

I first heard about Halt and Catch Fire from Molly Lambert and Emily Yoshida’s sadly defunct podcast Girls in Hoodies.  Their praise for the series — which follows the misadventures of three tech innovators in the Silicon Prairie of the mid-1980s — piqued my interest, and when I got an Amazon card for my birthday I sprung for the DVD box set.  After binge-watching the first season, I started buying the episodes from iTunes once season 2 started.  What’s gotten me to fall in love with this series?  The milieu, which is so familiar (speaking as someone who’s the same age as Gordon and Donna’s daughters) and yet so foreign; the engaging characters, played by brilliant actors; the subtlety and the suspense it courts; the working relationship between punk coding prodigy Cameron and working-mom Donna, and the music.  As someone with mental conditions, I’m really impressed with how the writing team has handled Cameron’s anxiety, and I also love how the show has depicted the parallels between the punk scene and the nascent internet/gaming subculture.  And the cliffhanger ending for this week’s episode…oh em gee.  Sadly, AMC is taking a wait-and-see approach to a Season 3.  If you’re looking for a series to take the place of Mad Men on your Sunday nights, give this one a shot.

Staying in the southwest (I think) but moving the time machine forward to 1989, We Can Never Go Home is a comics miniseries about two teenage misfits with superpowers.  The hyper-realistic depiction of the protagonists’ hometown and school grounds the story and makes the violence they experience all the more shocking.  I first heard about this through this post on Instagram, and anything with an explicit nod to Hüsker Dü is A-OK with me.  Matthew Rosenberg and his creative team have done a great job of engaging the audience and making the main characters’ struggles palpable and painful.  The last page of Issue 3 left a lump in my throat.  This will apparently be a limited run, so get in while it’s still going.

Let’s go west with the You Must Remember This podcast, which is taking a long, hard look at Charles Manson’s Hollywood this season.  Due to the brutal nature of Manson’s crimes, whether I’ll last through the season is anyone’s guess, but the episode dealing with Manson’s connection to Dennis Wilson was fascinating and deeply sad.  I have a great fondness for Dennis Wilson’s solo albums (Pacific Ocean Blue sounds like a mashup of peak Nilsson and early Springsteen), and getting some backup on the creation of those records makes them all the more poignant.  Karina Longworth always has something worthwhile to say, and her love of film is steeped in a great intellectual curiosity and an irreverent attitude that might make you reconsider things you took for granted.

Staying in Southern California but going back a bit, this skirt caught my eye on the Junebugs and Georgia Peaches blog, and I have to say…I’m in love.  I’m hoping I get a job soon so I can get one in time for fall.  I love the ric-rac detail, and the print makes me smile.  (I’m with you, Amelia: the cactus riding the pinata FTW.)

Finally, moving a little forward to the Kennedy era…I try to keep political matters off my blog, but for the past year I’ve been working a position funded by AmeriCorps.  Holding down this job has given me the opportunity to hone my skills and learn more about the field I want to pursue (social media and marketing for nonprofit arts and education organizations), and has allowed me to engage in activism and learn more about people and communities with whom I haven’t worked.  I’m very proud of my work here, and as I wind down my service year I am dismayed to learn that Congress is voting to cut funding to AmeriCorps.  If you care about service and the ability to make a living while helping underserved communities, reach out to your Congress-critter about why AmeriCorps matters.

THURSDAY BLOGGING: I wore this to my ukulele group

OOTDBlouse & pinafore || Jitterbuggin’ Portland

Shoes || Fluevog Hope Cherish

Earrings || Leetie Lovendale

Sunglasses || vintage

Bag || Kate Spade Tower Avenue Quinn

So basically I wore my entire tax return from this year and last year.  I’m trying to get a jump start on my goal to dress like I live in the 1940s when I’m in my 40s…did I succeed?

Also, looking at this photo, I realize that I need to wear a slip with this dress.  Live and learn.


WIP WESNDESDAY: Balsam Hollow shawl

Almost done with this pattern repeat, oh em gee

About 75% or so done with the Balsam Hollow shawl.  Knit with Cascade Heritage in Christmas Green that I bought off someone on Ravelry.  Lace pattern the first is almost done.  Knit with interchangeable needles, one 4 and one 5 on this stockinette section.  Nothing else of note.  Nothing to see here, move along.


TUESDAY TUNES: “Sloop John B.”, The Beach Boys

You know this one.

“Sloop John B.” was the first song for which I learned fingerpicking, thanks to a tab in the back of Ukulele magazine.  When Gentleman Caller and I caught Love and Mercy this weekend, the scene where the Beach Boys shoot a proto-video for this song prompted me to look it up on YouTube.

As a side note, I find these short films 1960s bands shot really charming.  Is it the primitive technology?  The nostalgic pull of the music?  The personalities of the band members, which seem more real than those of contemporary pop stars?  Something entirely different?  Who knows.  In spite of where Brian was at in his life, watching the Beach Boys cavort and do pratfalls makes me chuckle.

TUESDAY TUNES: “A Beautiful Woman”, Deradoorian

Apparently I chose the right time to fall under the spell of the Dirty Projectors.  While Dave Longstreth’s band has yet to announce another album, former vocalist Angel Deradoorian is getting ready to release a new album.  Her new single, “A Beautiful Woman”, has a sinuous groove and a cinematic mood, and the busy production is giving me Brian Eno flashbacks. Listen to it on Soundcloud.