[Real] Thursday Blogging: New Year’s Resolutions

In case you missed the previous post (or my Twitter, for that matter), today is my birthday.  I turned 101, or at least that’s how I feel.

Since my birthday comes in the middle of the year, I like to make my new year’s resolutions now.  I’m not going to post any of the “important” ones, in part because I don’t particularly want to leave my finance and job issues hanging out for everyone to see, and in part because I don’t want to give “thatkyliechick69” the satisfaction of knowing anything about my health goals.  (Ah, trolls.)

Anyway.  Some of my goals and plans for the following year include:

  • Finding a new job that starts once my contract at the Lab ends.  (Boston area, social media/marketing with a side of admin, nonprofit or academic preferred)
  • Night journaling
  • Getting more proficient at tap dance.  I’m doing well in class and have been practicing for 10 minutes a day, but I’d like to keep growing.
  • Cold Sheep at least for the summer months
  • Work towards the goal of recording a punk covers EP: figure out the skills I need to learn; transcribe the songs and learn the strums; record myself practicing
  • Put together a capsule wardrobe and do Project 333 (probably in the fall, when the weather and my life circumstances will have hopefully stabilized)
  • Blog 3-5 times a week
  • Work on making this blog look a little better
  • 52 in 52.

That last one might be confusing, so bear with me.  I want to get better at playing the ukulele, which requires practice and playing before an audience.  I’d like to learn 52 new songs and record myself playing them.  My goal is to get some footage of myself playing on my laptop and post it on YouTube every Thursday.

I posted my first two songs today.  Here’s my version of “I’ll Fly Away”, which holds the honor of being the first song I learned to play and sing on the ukulele that isn’t a Christmas song.

I’m hoping this won’t become an all-ukulele-all-the-time blog, but learning to play has been one of the great highlights of the past year.  My next song, a cover of September 67’s “Hazel Motes”, should be going up a week from today, I hope.


Thursday blogging: Tomorrow’s my birthday and I’m riding high

Tomorrow I celebrate my 101st birthday. Since it falls in the middle of the year, I like to take this opportunity to look back over the past year and contemplate what I want to do next.

What did you do this year that you’d never done before?
Worked a job that had something to do with my background and aspirations. Attended a conference as a representative.  Picked up a musical instrument and learned to dance (tap and blues dance, with a diversion into swing).

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

My main NYR was to find a job, and I did that.  I am still thinking about what my resolutions for this year will be.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
My sister-in-law, as well as one of the PhD students in the lab.

Did anyone close to you die?
There were a few close calls, but no deaths, thank God.

What countries did you visit?
Does DC count?

What would you like to have this year that you lacked last year?

A greater sense of fulfillment from within, as opposed to looking outside myself for validation.

What dates from this year will remain etched upon your memory and why?
The day I started at the lab; the day I worked at the State House; the whole of the first blizzard, which dovetailed with the conference I attended.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting and hanging onto a job in my field!  Seeing my byline on some internally-circulated documents.  Learning the ukulele and sticking with it.

What was your biggest failure?
I’ll plead the fifth here.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

Does injury of pride count?

What was the best thing you bought? 
Dead heat between the Janet Klein Flapper Firefly Banjolele and the tickets for Boston Calling I scored.  (Replacements, woo!)

Whose behaviour merited celebration?
My boss, who has the patience of a saint; Gentleman Caller’s…oh, and my tap teacher and my ukulele teacher, for helping and encouraging me.

Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
The jabroni with the drawn-on eyebrows.  Also, the admin at my neurologist’s practice, as well as her nurse.

Where did most of your money go?
Rent or fixing my teeth.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Working at the lab!  Having a job where I feel fulfilled and happy.

What song will always remind you of this year?
“Little Mascara” by the Replacements; “I Summon You” by Spoon; “Books About UFOs” by Husker Du (the first song I learned on the ukulele); pretty much everything I’ve heard so far by the Dirty Projectors; “Goin’ Up on a Tuesday” (what?); “Take 5” by Dave Brubeck; “Te Doucement” by Blossom Dearie

Compared to this time last year, are you:
 a) happier or sadder? Happier, but aware of the transience of happiness.

b) thinner or fatter? My vintage garbadine tux pants don’t lie; I still haven’t shed my blizzard weight.

c) richer or poorer? Poorer.

What do you wish you’d done more of?
Hung out with my cohort.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Feel disdainful towards the millennials what surround me.

How did you spend Christmas?
Arguing with my family.  Next.

Did you fall in love in 2010?
Stayed in love, which is better.

What was your favourite TV programme?

Mad Men. 

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Dead heat between the Dolores Umbridge of Nonprofits and the Martinet.

What was the best book you read?

Probably We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, thought Missing Reels was a lot of fun.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
DIRTY PROJECTORS.  Also, son jarocho.

What did you want and get?
A new ukulele!

What did you want and not get?

Did pretty well this year — can’t seem to think of anything.

What was your favourite film of this year?
I Am Big Bird, Every Everything, The Mighty Uke, Sandwiches That You Will Like, that new print of The Rules of the Game, Dear White People, The Third Man for the umpty-bazillionth time.  My taste in film has de-evolved to the point where I just want something entertaining while I knit and/or frog.  (I also enjoy crying in public.)

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Hung out in Northampton, buying yarn, looking at Louise Fitzhugh’s drawings for Harriet the Spy, and recovering from my attempt at being a rock promoter.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I wish I’d decided to make an EP of murder ballads before I came up with the idea to do a punk tribute EP.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

New wave fairy godmother-meets-Lucy Van Pelt.

What kept you sane?

Knitting and the love of Gentleman Caller.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Young Alex Chilton and Tom Verlaine.  And Britt Daniel.

What political issue stirred you the most?

Ferguson, which has a direct impact on the work I do.

Who did you miss?

My dad, who died of pancreatic cancer on my birthday 18 years ago.

Who was the best new person you met?

Evan, Treasure, Johnny, Jess, Jenny, and Amy.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year. 

If you don’t know how to be responsible, ask.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year

FO FRIDAY: Lipstick Traces

I finished the Lipstick Traces socks last week, and I first wore them out of the house on Tuesday.  They are comfortable and look cute…in fact, they match my Rosie the Riveter romper.


Apart from knitting them toe up, the only other modification I made was to ditch the row of red above the ribbing.


Knit from Cascade Heritage yarn in gray and Plymouth Happy Feet in red.  Raveled.

TUESDAY TUNES: “Under the Hedge”, Ted Leo

This November I am embarking on a new novel for NaNoWriMo — “His Nibs Slept Here”, the story of a girl who promotes a show for her reclusive punk rock hero, only to find out that she’s not good at promoting and he’s kind of a coot.

It is most emphatically not autobiographical.  Not even a skosh.

If the book had a theme song, it would be “Under the Hedge”, a soaring pop song by Jersey punk/singer-songwriter hero Ted Leo.  The song may be about that time he opened for Guided by Voices, which went down as well as can be expected.  Ted Leo is in the pantheon of favorite artists for aging indie rockers (and the music director for Julie Klausner‘s podcast “How Was Your Week”), so I probably don’t need to tell you that he’s great, right?


On Sunday, I got to revisit Repo Man, a movie I like a lot. As any white suburban punk will tell you, the soundtrack is also a thing of beauty, but on this viewing, the contributions of Los Plugz stuck out at me.

I loved the cross-pollination of norteno technique (the polka-like rhythm and the horn section) and bristling punk energy. If my Spanish were a little better, I’d want to sing along, but all I could do was sway back and forth and nod my head.

Los Plugz have an interesting, eclectic history – their music appeared in Repo Man and New Wave Hookers, and they briefly served as Bob Dylan’s backup band. Their fearless leader Tito Larriva is still working to this day.

Unfortunately, Los Plugz’ albums are out of print (but easy to find if you know where to look ::ahem::).

MOTHBALLIN’ MONDAY: Taking the football away from this sweater


From Melvie by Allyson Dykhuizen

Knit in Pinguin Coeur de Laine and Cascade 220

So I’d been eyeing this pattern for a long time, and when I got about 1200 yards of superwash at a local yarn swap, I figured I’d take the plunge.  I’d made a red striped handknit dress prior to this and thought this one would also work for me.  Yeah, about that:



I’d been a little physically uncomfortable wearing this due to the HUGE collar and snug sleeves, but looking at this photo I see that the thing is just a hot mess.  The pattern would look great on a taller, more athletic girl, but it just didn’t work for me.

Frogging this to make Miette, a design that will work much better for my figure.

FO FRIDAY: A cardie for Boston Calling

Marion by Andi Satterlund

Knit in Classic Elite Seedling

Size XS (see notes)


Earlier this summer I got a barkcloth jumpsuit, that I will be wearing — at long last — to Boston Calling.  Because it’s early September, the weather will probably be a little chilly, so I knit myself a shrug to wear with it.  Even though I was knitting with super-bulky yarn (or at least my equivalent thereof), it still took me an ungodly long time to bind off on it.


So here’s my version of Marion.  I got 3.5 stitches/inch after blocking, so I made the smallest size.  The main modification was doing a crochet cast-on so that I could pick up the shoulder and button band stitches.  I screwed up one cable, but it doesn’t seem to be too terribly noticeable.  I’m really proud of it and can’t wait to wear it out.  Not much else to add.

See you at City Hall Plaza!