Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In anticipation of me seeing Eclipse tomorrow...

I give to you... some of my favorite Sparkle Snark. Yes, I'm a Twilight fan, but with some ironic distance. Meaning, I've read the books a gazillion times, I could probably write a thesis about it, and I can toss around the characters and factoids as well as any Twihard (and heck, I am even acquainted with the term "Twihard"!), but I could just as easily roll my eyes at the drama and ridiculousness and bad writing as I could squee over how freakin' awesome Alice is. (She's my favorite character. Team Alice!)

Anyway, naturally, I'm drawn to other people who can manage to be more smark than mark (those two terms come from wrestling - a "mark" is wrestling fan who totally buys into everything that's going on story-wise, and a "smark" is a wrestling fan who is smart enough to know better, but enjoys it anyway). I've amassed a collection of fun writings, reviews, and commentary on the Twilight movies and books, and now I'm doing to put them all together in this entry and share them with you. Because if you can't laugh at Twilight, you're no fun.

(PS - Language/content warning. If you're not supposed to be exposing yourself to swear words and lots of jokes about how Bella really wants to do IT with Edward, then maybe you shouldn't click on these. Adult language and adult content because to adults, Twilight is pretty frickin' ridiculous. And funny!)

First is the newest one that someone sent to me. I'm a knitter, and I love Twilight. And thanks to Ravelry, I know other knitters who also love Twilight. Therefore, this link will probably really only be funny to them. Unless you, too, are familiar with the magic that is Malabrigo: Proof That No Matter How Bad It Is, Knitting Makes It Better

Next we have a couple blog entries from one of my favorite humor writers, Jen Lancaster (chiefly famous for writing really funny memoirs about her life). She has decided to re-enact the Twilight films using her Twilight action figures (and sometimes her dog, since there needs to be werewolves). Here are her versions of New Moon and Eclipse.

Then we have Growing Up Cullen, a series of conjectures and speculation about Edward pre-Bella. Basically, at some point in one of the books, Edward talks about how everyone else was busy "coupling" while he had no one, so he had a lot of time to pick up a lot of hobbies. As they say, "I like how we turned Edward into a 40 year old mother on a bad day." Hilarious, and highly inappropriate (seriously, kids, do not read this). Part 1 and Part 2.

And then of course, there's Cleolinda, a Livejournal blogger famous for her hilarious "Movies in 15 Minutes" recaps. She is equal parts snark and social commentary and Sparkle Squee. I highly respect her opinions on the series, and I totally laugh out loud at her writings. She has totally changed the way I view and enjoy the entire franchise. Her recaps are very well-known and were even featured on a Time Magazine blog and mentioned in New York Magazine. Hardcore, man.

You have to read these in the order she wrote them, so you can kind of see how she has developed her thoughts and her writing. Don't read all the Twilight stuff first, then the New Moon stuff, then Eclipse, etc. They're chronologically sequential - she does make lots of self-references. Whatever. Just read them in this order, okay?
  1. Twilight book recap
  2. New Moon book recap
  3. Eclipse book recap
  4. Breaking Dawn book recap, part 1
  5. Breaking Dawn book recap, part 2
  6. Breaking Dawn book recap, part 3
  7. Midnight Sun recap, part 1
  8. Midnight Sun recap, part 2
  9. Movie recap: Twilight in Fifteen Minutes
  10. Movie recap: New Moon in Fifteen Minutes
  11. *ETA* Initial thoughts on Eclipse (I waited until I watched the movie first AND wrote about it before I read this, so we have a lot of coincidentally similar points) 
  12. *ETA* Movie recap: Eclipse in Fifteen Minutes
There are a lot of other Twilight parodies, satires, and commentaries out there, and a lot of them are just plain mean-spirited. I enjoy the ones I linked to above because even though they're poking fun at Twilight, deep down, there's some love there. That's how I feel about Twilight too. :)
Going to see Eclipse tomorrow, finally! Yay!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Back in the game!

Attended my second practice with SBDM last night, and had a blast. Jamie, who was one of the co-founders of SVRG, came out to coach, and she did not disappoint - my legs were burning about halfway through. How could I have stayed away so long? I LOVE this.

I feel like I'm better and stronger than I was during bootcamp, and that could be due to a number of factors. When I started bootcamp, I was coming off of over a year of being inactive. Right now, I'm coming off of... well, bootcamp, and a few months of running. My stamina is better right now than it has been, and my muscles are stronger. Also, I'm sure this makes a difference - we're skating on a concrete outdoor basketball court, so I'm on my outdoor wheels. In bootcamp, I could NOT do crossovers for the life of me, but apparently I can do them now. I guess I can thank the grippiness of my Radar Zens. Maybe I should skate on them indoor too...? Just kidding.

And I'm just feeling relaxed. There's no pressure, like THE TEST THE TEST THE TEST. Who knows when we'll get around to that? So I can just focus on getting better without psyching myself out or meeting a deadline of THE TEST.

It's a long drive for me, but I think it's worth it. I can't NOT go, knowing that I have the opportunity to play for a team (eventually). Plus, I'm learning to like the commute. Derby does that to people, I guess :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

FOs: Balthazar Vest, a stockinette Autumn, and Fingerless Gloves

They were both stashbuster/quick work pieces with Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick - things I've been meaning to make, and I managed to get them done. The Balthazar Vest pattern wasn't very well written, I would say. Or, rather, it wasn't well-edited - totally riddled with mistakes, and luckily, I'm an experienced enough knitter to either fix the mistakes or completely improvise.

That said, I really like them both :)

I also made the Fingerless Gloves from Vogue Holiday 2009 - Is this my first VK finished project? I THINK SO!!! I bought my first copy of VK aaaaaaages ago, with the intent of one day getting good enough to knit from it, and finally, I ventured out on my first foray.

Oh, Mari Muinonen, you plague me. Sylvie was very kind to me, but these gloves took me four attempts before I finally got it right.

I decided to make only the small stars, so the gloves are wrist-length instead of elbow length. It was just enough for me to get a sense of the construction (which is pretty cool!!!), and I also had my first experience blocking - see the last photo. I think these stars look better stretched out than in glove form, because you really get to see the gorgeousness of the lace.


Things that keep me up at night

I've gained back 10 pounds in the last month. I've totally let myself go.

And worst, I've stopped running. Have I so easily abandoned my dream of this being the year that I run a full marathon?

I HAVE to find my way back. I don't know why I just up and quit. It's not like I was discouraged. I was totally seeing results. I think I just got really tired or lazy or the rest of my life was getting me down. And I let it affect my personal goals.

Well, no more. I've been on summer break one week, and I've given myself a chance to loaf around the house and do nothing, and now I've got to get back to work, so to speak.

Friday, June 11, 2010

FO: Twinkle's Pacifica Jacket

Knit up with Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe in Lipstick :) (A soft red yarn called Lipstick? OF COURSE I love it!) The body was done double-stranded on size 17's, and the crochet trim on the front was done single-stranded with a size G hook.

Obviously I decided to keep it as a vest rather than making it a jacket. (The weather's warming up for summer, and I wanted to be able to wear it before, you know, November.) I'm also wearing it "upside-down," so the collar would be flatter and not bunch up around my neck.

Of course, there's some red lipstick to go with it :)

MAC Ladybug

MAC liner in Brick, topped with lipstick in Ladybug :) (And my newly finished sweater vest!)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer red

MAC lipliner in Chicory, topped with Viva Glam Cyndi = a nice coral-red

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Change of plans

So, I've been thinking a lot about how my training is going. I haven't run in two weeks (and it'll be miraculous if I manage to get up early enough to run tomorrow).

And I'm not going particularly fast - I'm running a 5/1 at a 13:00 pace, so my adjusted pace is actually 13:57.

Here's the problem - the NWM gives you 6 and a half hours to finish, from the time the gun goes off. It starts at 7am, and we have to be finished by 1:30pm. BUT... if you're slower, you start further back. And you have to wait and wait and wait... I think I timed it once - I finally crossed the START line about 15 minutes after the race had actually started.

So, really, I have 6 hours and 15 minutes at MOST to finish the race. My pace will have me finish in about 6 hours and 5 minutes. And that's if I can stick to it - nevermind the giant hills in the first 6 miles, the crowds of people walking in my way (DOES "RUNNERS ON THE LEFT, WALKERS ON THE RIGHT" MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU????) and just plain hitting the wall. I could totally bonk at mile 20 and just not be able to run a single step further.

It's looking pretty grim.

Even if I stick to my training like a perfect angel from now until the end, there are no guarantees that race day itself will go smoothly.  And obviously, I haven't been doing anything perfectly angelically.

So... here's my change of plans.

I'm going to do the half-marathon for the Nike. But I will do the full for the Silicon Valley Marathon, which is two weeks later, and is the same race everyone else in SJ Fit trains for, pretty much.

Here's why: SVM also starts at 7, but gives you about 7 hours to do it, AND San Jose is not as hilly as SF, AND a large part of the course itself is on the LOS GATOS CREEK TRAIL, which is the same trail we run every freakin Saturday. I will know that trail so well by the time race day comes that I will know which cracks to hop over in the pavement. AND it has GOT to be less crowded than the NWM, and will have more serious runners with knowledge of running etiquette. (Not to knock charity runners - because they are absolutely awesome for raising money - but the fact that they're not well-versed in running rules creates problems for those of us who ARE when we are out there on the race course.)

On the weekend of the NWM, we would be doing a 10-miler anyway. So... I'll do the 10 miles as I would've anyway, and then walk the rest. Hopefully I'll be in great shape.

I think it sounds like a good plan. Please don't tell me if it isn't. I think I would cry.

FO: Taffy Pull Scarf (sort of)

Man, every time I finish a scarf, I remember why I hate making scarves. (Boring.)

But there is nothing boring about these colors!:

I made the Taffy Pull Scarf, which is a new, free pattern to promote Debbie Stoller's Stitch Nation yarn. I used Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe yarn.

I got the colors wrong to begin with - the red color and pink are fine, but the blue and teal are not - in the original pattern, they're purple and green!

And then I just ended up finishing the scarf when I felt like it. Which was soon. :) I think I got the "spirit" of the pattern right :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

FO: Wenlan Chia's Oliver Twist

I wish I could love this sweater. I loved the pattern. I loved knitting it. I loved the yarn I used (di.Ve Zenith in Lilac on size 13s). But the finished product... just didn't look great on me. Mostly due to the sleeves.

It would be an easy fix if I hadn't already finished everything - if they were only a bit longer, to actually cover my shoulders, it would look pretty good. If I end up being stuck with this sweater for a while (as in, no one wants it - I'm offering it up free to any takers), I just might take apart the sleeves and do that. But as it is, it doesn't look good on me, and because I just finished it, I have no will to get right back to work on it and take it apart.

Oh well. They can't all be perfect. :)