Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Red Heart Stylish Stripes Scarf (With Modifications)

I was shopping for some Red Heart Soft Essentials yarn which was on sale. One of the wrappers featured the Stylish Stripes Scarf,    https://www.redheart.com/files/patterns/pdf/LW5480-Stylish-Stripes-Scarf-Free-Crochet-Pattern.pdf    which look big and wide and snuggly.

I didn't care for the colors featured in the original:

(Seafoam, Navy, Cream, Charcoal)

I bought instead 2 balls each Peony, White and Misty Rose.

While I followed the pattern as it switched between Double Crochet/Half Double Crochet (my first try with this stitch), I didn't change colors as they did.  I had three rows of the Peony to begin, then alternated two rows each of my three colors.

Here it is, sans the fringe which I've never done before and haven't attempted yet.  This is my first ever scarf, so slowly, slowly!

 I considered not doing a fringe at all, but the ends are a little uneven and it would mask that, plus it will likely look just a bit more finished and stylish with one.

It only took a few days.  I'm glad I've decided to hop between projects.   How nice to have a smaller project that can be completed and worn.

This pattern is really pleasant to work on, and it could easily be made into a throw or afghan by continuing the rows.

The Red Heart Essentials is super soft and silky, with a pretty sheen.

Oops it looks like I took my pictures from the back of the scarf.   That's why you see that blobby spot in the center.  Tsk.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Crochet+Travelers=Science Fiction Dreaming

I'm crocheting like mad. I have seven projects going.  Two scarves, the other various afghans.   When you do something intensely, it can get into your dreams.

I've also been binge watching the Netflix series Travelers, where they have intense "missions" all the time.

The last two nights have been crochet dreams all night.  I'm almost afraid to crochet during the day to feed the beast, right?

Last night Travelers and Crochet combined so I dreamed I was being dropped through the open top of a plane, rappelling down a rope at good speed. Once inside, my Crochet Mission was to add as many complex stitches to a construct, that is, a big boxy mass of yarn-before being discovered.  I'd wake up, look at the clock, go right back in.  Argh.   Picture the top off the plane.  That's me rappelling in.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

DOA On TV: Short Takes

Welcome to Binge season.  We're still in the mid-season doldrums where most fall shows haven't returned.  Some nights you just want to zone in front of the lighted box and be entertained.

This Is Us (NBC)

First we binged Season 1 and the first half of Season 2 "This Is Us".   Totally not a genre show.  Completely the sort of "watch and weep" show my mother used to live on.  Even so, it is smart, well written, with what I call "zingers" in every episode.  Each episode is packed.  The characters appear in their past and present incarnations.  The child actors in the past and present are spectacular.  Everyone is so likeable.    The show returned for live episodes this week and we're in heaven.

Blindspot (NBC)

This has had good buzz since it came out and I wanted to to start with episode 1 season 1 but it wasn't working out for me to do so. So I tried episode one of season 3.

I only liked the main character "Jane Doe" played by Jaimie Alexander.   Everyone else was annoying.  The deal breaker was Sullivan Stapleton as Jane's love Kurt Weller.   OMG.  The closeups of his mouth and that askew tooth on the bottom.  Shudder.  Nope.

The Good Place (NBC)

Lots of authors I enjoy speak highly of The Good Place.  Though it is a sitcom, which I never watch anymore, I watched the first season.   Somehow, though Kristin Bell's character was a truly awful human being, she seemed to improve somewhat over the course of the season.  Redemption is good.  Not a fan of Manny Jacinto's slacker Jason Mendoza character, but loved William Jackson Harper's Chidi immediately, and Jameela Jamil's Tahani grew on me.   Ted Danson's Michael, always interesting.   The characters from The Bad Place were a hoot.    I wasn't going to watch season 2, but now I want to.  It isn't on Netflix where I watched season 1 so will have to track it down.

Travelers (Netflix)

Time travel of a sort.  The Travelers are from the future.  I've only seen the first few episodes.  They take over the consciousness of current day people seconds before the death of those people.  In theory their bodies are back in the future, but for the nonce they're in the current day trying to stop various disasters.  Odd communications come from The Director back in the future via short takeovers of children and others who spit out a message then return to themselves.   There are a vast number of teams of five Travelers sent back with missions to accomplish.   I liked all of these characters immediately, so whatever they're up to, I'm rooting for them.

Agents of Shield  (ABC)

Back for their new season in December, they're having another great season.  They're in the future somehow where earth has been all but destroyed, and a small gritty society ruled by Kree overlords makes for misery.   Great stories and acting from everyone.

X-Files  (Fox)

This season isn't starting off strong, last weeks opener had me not paying much attention.   I'm not crazed about the Scully /Smoking Man twist, but I don't believe anything he says, so perhaps that's why.   Hopefully better tonight.

The Librarians   (TNT)

They're having a great season with super creative episodes.   The episode "And the Silver Screen" where Baird and Flynn get trapped in an old movie was hilarious.   One of their best ever episodes.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Final Post 2017 Best Series Read This Year

For glorious post 100!!!  The book series I read in 2017 that was the very best science fiction set of novels or any other genre I've read in ages goes to:

DOA Through The Ages

Ha, not really me.  But I've certainly used a lot of avatars over the life of the blog.  Some were just part of 23 Things, but others are clearly the sort of solipsistic thing introverts shouldn't indulge in.

Te Presente Moi:

Mid-Season Report: Designated Survivor

Here's a show I stopped watching somewhere this season, then watched the final episode to see how it all played out.

The series started off so well, then became the Hannah show.  She isn't admirable to me, she does what she thinks should be done, with no thought for others or for whether she might be right or wrong.

Kiefer Sutherland shines, though he became less of a deeply good man this season.   We need more deeply good men.


I knew his wife's character was leaving, but found the plot line that took her out to be unbelievable for her character.  Kiefer's character is less without her partnership.  His family, which was part of the interesting adjustment to his presidency took a back seat completely.

Didn't appreciate the removal of Kimble Hookstraten who was a great foil for him. 

I might continue watching, but unlikely.

Mid-Season Report: The Walking Dead

For me, the show started a huge downhill turn with the way Beth's fate was handled.  Since then, the summary dispatching of characters "to advance the story" has been bleeding the show dry of it's heart.

Though he lives and thrives in the comics, Carl, the boy we watched grow up in the apocalypse is now to be dead when the show returns in February from a random bite.   How special that they saved the actual death for the midseason return.

Then there's the constant tease that Rick could die too.

This season was supposed to be when the Rick and the non-Savior groups rose up together to fight and defeat Negan.   Despite a few victories, Negan's army shrugs it all off and wipes out most of The Kingdom.  In a ridiculous scene, even the CG tiger was needlessly slaughtered.  There's the thing.  Character deaths apparently equal ratings.  Perhaps they might want to ask themselves why the ratings drop and drop.   Because you don't need to kill off characters every few episodes that your fans have been rooting for.  They're killing hope as well as the characters.

I think it may time to walk away.

This Is Us Binge Watch Episodes Pilot through Ep. 7

I've seen the article headlines for this show, and being in a mood to just watch TV last night, I curiously loaded up the pilot.

At first I thought all of these characters are unlikable, why are people watching this?

Hours and hours later, after "one more episode" syndrome took me to 1 am, I'm totally taken by the characters and plot, and only dislike Kevin, who has been a bratty, selfish snit his whole life, so far.

My favorite character is Kate, both as a child and an adult.  She is such a smart, talented, wise woman. And beautiful.  Tough and vulnerable. I love every moment she's on the screen.

I now understand the fascination with Jack, and see how everyone could wonder about his death.  So cleverly is the story woven between past and present that his demise is something you know happens but wish would never come.

Randall is so great as a child, credit goes to the adorable actor Lonnie Chavis.   I've only seen a few episodes with teenage Randall, but he seems to be coming into his own as a person and character in those years.  Adult Randall is wonderfully complex, and is a great husband and dad.  Of the three kids, he seems to have learned the most from his parents, and he has their best traits.  I like that he is the one who keeps up family traditions.  His wife is wonderful.  His kids are super.   A brilliant man with a big heart.

Mandy Moore as the mom is alternately wonderful, awful, and frustrating.  She does a spectacular job of playing the character at various stages in her life.   You want to understand her keeping Randall to herself and her fear of him being taking away by his father, but the result of her actions is too crushing for the father and son.

I'm curious to see more of Randall and Kate's relationship, because so far the show has concentrated on Kevin's resentment and fights with Randall from childhood on, but I don't see the relationship of the two more interesting characters being shown.

I see season 3 (eep!) is coming up soon, and how can I possibly binge my way through the rest of season 1 and 2 by then?  Who needs sleep?

Happy New Year's Eve!

What an odd year it has been in the world.  My mind always prefers optimism, so I can't dwell on any of that.   In my own little cocoon of an existence, I've worked to keep things light.

Here, in a Wordle cloud, is a summation of my year.   99.999% to the good, yay!

Today, to end the year, I plan to snack, maybe bake some gingerbread whoopie cookies, crochet, read and snuggle my cat and beagle.  All years should end just like that.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Peeps Unknown

I've been working to digitize photographs as well as slides and negatives I inherited from mom.  Slow going.  Slowly, I've been able to recognize and identify many people from different points in their life.  Sometimes it seems the more you look at them, the more familiar the faces become.

Some remain unidentified, but I like the pictures.  Love the babies!  They're in a digital file cleverly called "People I Can't Identify"

Here are some of them: