Blog, Sweet Blog

Archive for the ‘scribblings’ Category

A continuing series of reposts from my tumblr page, annahell.tumblr.com.

Oh damn! As soon as I saw this, I knew that this was the golden comedy fleece from which the fabled Sweaters of Hilarity are knitted.

Is this inspiration enough for a joke off? THE ANSWER IS YES!

If you want to play along at home, write a joke and post it or submit it to me.  I’ll reblog the best!

•I’ll take ‘Worst Ways to Find Out Your Parents Don’t Love Each Other Anymore’ for $600, Alex.

Divorce Magazine has a strict no suicide/binge drinking/custody kidnapping editorial policy because those kind of stories just bring you down, man.

•Rejected Divorce Magazine article submissions:

So, your hubby’s making time with the Cootie Queen?

Spousal surveillance: a beginners guide.

Are you a stalker?  Take our quiz and find out!

Divorce: Still shitty after all these years.

Divorce Magazine can go fuck itself along with Dick Cheney.

•Music Legend Dan Hill Talks Relationships…THAT END IN DIVORCE.

•Ahh, memories…of my parents getting divorced. Also, therapy.  Lots of therapy.

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A continuing series of reposts from my tumblr page, annahell.tumblr.com.

“Where?  I don’t see it, Chief” confessed the navigator.  “Is it like a satellite or something?  There’s a satellite over there.” Chief Science Officer Bertrand clasped his left hand over the befuddled navigator’s mouth and forced his head towards the creature with his right. “No, you cretin, over there,” Bertrand hissed.  “Behold!  Megasiderus cuniculus, consumer of worlds. If I’m not mistaken, that’s Miss Flopsy, the cherry-colored mega bun of Sacron Prime.  And she’s making a meal out of the fifth moon of Jaal!”  “Mmur mmph mffng flrgnumph?” Chief Bertrand stroked the top of the navigator’s head, as a child might stroke a beloved pet or a kindly, old sock, “Indeed, my dear Sylvio, she does appear to be very far from home.  But why?”  kummerbund:  artandthemind:  (via telethon)  (via iwasablindfold)


Short Attention Span Sci-Fi Inspired by Found tumblr Art

“Where?  I don’t see it, Chief” confessed the navigator.  “Is it like a satellite or something?  There’s a satellite over there.”

Chief Science Officer Bertrand clasped his left hand over the befuddled navigator’s mouth and forced his head towards the creature with his right.

“No, you cretin, over there,” Bertrand hissed.  “Behold!  Megasiderus cuniculus, consumer of worlds. If I’m not mistaken, that’s Miss Flopsy, the cherry-colored mega bun of Sacron Prime.  And she’s making a meal out of the fifth moon of Jaal!”

“Mmur mmph mffng flrgnumph?”

Chief Bertrand stroked the top of the navigator’s head, as a child might stroke a beloved pet or a kindly, old sock, “Indeed, my dear Sylvio, she does appear to be very far from home.  But why?

Mood: Blurgh
Music: Einstürzende Neubauten-Halber Mensch



Aww, rat farts!  I’ve been so busy being tumblr-ifc all over the place, I forgot to do a Friday post.   How about we trade a poem of mine about Minutemen and Charles Bukowski for your angry, bitter tears?

Driving home, listening to Minutemen, thinking about Charles Bukowski,

Did his pickle plant buddies know he wrote?

Do you think his postal service record said, “…would rather be a writer?”

Did he try out new poetry,

before publication submission,

on dive bar denizens,

over afternoon beers and,

neat belts of whiskey?

Don’t worry, we’ll talk again later this weekend.

Mood: toil and trouble
Music: tUnE-yArDs – Hatari


Your hostess, bearing the fruit of her needles.


Ed. This is a long essay about knitting, you guys, but please try to read it…for me, ok?  Think of it as a Gumpian chocolate box filled with some hot knitting action, a few funny bits, a couple of life lessons, a magickal shout out, and delightful animal photography.  In other words, there’s something in it for everyone!  Enjoy!

……………………..

I finally finished that beret.

I feel…well, not as great as I thought I would.  Yes, do go back and look at the date of that post in the link above.  I started this accursed head covering in January and finished it in April.  To those of you who are unfamiliar with knitting, three months is kind of a long time to work on one hat.

I chose the lace grace beret for my second project because I thought it was cute and it seemed like a challenging, though reasonable way to increase my knitting skills.  How wrong was I?  So very wrong.

I felt qualified to  begin this non-beginner-level beret because I had completed one scarf and a few, small practice swatches for learning different beginner techniques (ribbing, increases, decreases, etc.).  Those tiny projects left me feeling powerful and crafty, as if possessed by the very spirit of Athena (goddess of crafts, y’all) herself.  I took my Athenian confidence  down to the local yarn store (LYS) in search of new yarn for mah new project.

The pattern called for a DK weight yarn, so I bought two skeins (on the shop’s recommendation) of a pretty blue-grey baby alpaca.  It also called for use of a set of five double pointed needles (DPN) or a circular needle in a gauge I didn’t have.  “Huzzah, new skills!” I cried as I left the store with my new yarn and a set of 5 bamboo DPNs.

I couldn’t wait to start!  I checked the pattern and immediately got stuck at the cast- on part, a.k.a “the beginning”…

With crochet hook and waste yarn, chain 65 stitches. With working yarn, and US4 needles, pick up 60 stitches from back of crochet chains. Distribute stitches evenly over dpn’s and join in the round, being careful not to twist.

…which, given my extremely limited experience, might as well have said…

Place the platypus paw in the colander with 15 parts unicorn tears,  three silver bells, and the scrapings from an old woman’s shoe.  Agitate the solution by alternately telling knock-knock jokes, humming the chorus to “Midnight at the Oasis”, and petting the auxiliary kitten for approximately twelvyty-two quartons.

The Rosetta stone for the “modified crochet cast-on” wasn’t included with the pattern and I only knew one cast-on method (long tail).  I spent hours asking the Internet until I found an explanation.  I finally figured out how to do it, but, as the following comments show, many of my fellow beret knitters weren’t as lucky…

Love the look. NO CLUE what you’re talking about with the whole cast on method you use here. I’m giving up and moving on to another pattern because of it.

Hi i’ve just started knitting and this pattern completely boggles me.

Spent 2 hours trying to figure it out and ended up with just a massive knot.

Maybe it was just me, but I could NOT figure out the ’simplified tubular cast on’

So, off to a rough start, but still hopeful.

The next step was to join the ends and start knitting an increase round, then a knit round, then a purl round.  I can’t even tell you how long it took me to get past these first three rounds! I must have started over AT LEAST ten times.  The problem is the knit and purl rounds had an extra step that I didn’t know how to undo.  So, when I made a mistake, I couldn’t unknit them and had to start from the beginning.  The DPNs complicated things as well.  Knitting projects can be a bit, how do you say, unruly for the first few rows and it’s even worse when you’re trying to hold four different needles in one hand and knit for the first time ever with the other needle while not trying to drop stitches or get twisted.

I like to call this period of the project, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.  It was an awful, crushing time.  I daily doubted my love for knitting and often wondered if I was going slowly mad; I would fail at the same task, over and over again, yet expect a different outcome, every time.  And I couldn’t stop for the night until I failed again or made it past those three rounds…just like an obsessed crazy person!

At some point, the stars aligned and I managed to finish those three rounds from Hell.  The next step called for an inch-long band of purl  1/knit 1 ribbing, which I actually knew how to do.  It was loads easier because I knew how to back to a problem in the round.  For that one inch, I felt like a knitter who knew what she was doing.  Knitting was fun and satisfying again and I couldn’t wait to start the large, final part of the beret, the lace pattern.

If the weird crochet cast-on was a difficult puzzle, the lace pattern was learning Mandarin Chinese in a long afternoon.  I screwed up, lots.  I started over from the very beginning, lots, again.   Are you beginning to see a pattern here?  Every new knitting thing was another exercise in doing the same thing over again ten times.  Nothing came easily, everything was a struggle.  The good news about starting over so often is that it took much less time to complete the previous steps; just like I was human being in possession of the capability to learn.

I had one more giant meltdown when I was about 2/3rds of the way through it.  I’m not going to lie; that one was hard, you guys.  I let it sit in a sad heap of failure and silent mockery on the kitchen table for over a month.  Ripping out hours and hours of hard work loses its luster after a while, and I was too tired and beaten to keep fighting.  I had convinced myself that DPNs were the root of evil and the source of all my problems.  I would continue, but not until after rewarding myself with a shiny new set of Addi Clicks.

I started over again from the very beginning for the last time and it all seemed so effortless, like I actually knew what I was doing!  I flew through the pattern at three times the speed and finished late one night, et voila!

Another view, on jack-o-lantern pottery


So, where are all these “life lessons”, you ask?  Mellow out, Betty, I’m getting there.

With a very few exceptions, every part of this project involved learning some new technique.  My mother had bought me a copy of Debbie Stollers’s Stitch & Bitch for my birthday last year and it has been my constant companion.  I read (ok, skimmed) a lot of it while working on those first projects, but there’s so much that didn’t sink in…

-bring the yarn in front before you purl

-make sure it’s in the back before you knit

-use round markers

-round markers go on the needle cord, not the yarn, dummy

-don’t believe them when they say you need two skeins of yarn to knit one beret

-make test swatches…they’re boring, but important

-check your work, count your rows

-television and complicated knitting patterns don’t mix

-drinking and knitting is a bad idea

-you get better results when you pay attention to what you’re doing

-little mistakes shouldn’t keep you up at night

-persistence and hard work pay off

-the people that say knitting is easy are not your friends

-it’s ok to ask for help; challenge builds character

-we only truly know ourselves in the face of adversity

…and on and on.

I finished it two weeks ago, but I wanted to block it and take some decent pictures before posting this.  In case you were wondering, there are a few major mistakes in it, but they’re something only other knitters would notice.  Here the crazy thing about knitting, you guys: I wanted to start work on a new, mistake-free version the very next day.

The mistakes don’t matter though, I’ll love it and cherish it forever…or I’d better keep it forever. I told a friend that this simple hat had become a sort of Horcrux for me.  Like, I had invested so much of myself in its creation, that it felt like a piece of my soul would be lost if something happened to it or it fell into the wrong hands.  Knitting just might be the secret to immortality!

So there it is, knitting (and crafting) can save the world and make you a better, smarter, more attractive and successful person, but you might have to suffer through months of desperate living before you get there.  Mileage varies, but my learn-to-knit experience has seemed closer to and nearly as profound as crossing the Abyss.  I still have so much to learn, but I feel like I can finish any project now…and I’m def pro at making berets.

So, what should I make next?

Mood: Apologetic
Music: Ben Folds Five-One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces


FROM TUMBLR: One of the funnier whiteboard jokes (which isn’t saying much) from the engineering computing lab when I was in school. Someone drew a nice dog on the whiteboard and I added the words….because I like to help.


Ugh!  I’m so sorry, you guys.  I’ve been so busy tumblrlogging and wrestling with a bunch of hot, sweaty story ideas, that I’ve been neglecting my oldest and bestest love, Blog, Sweet Blog.  Again, sorry, but allow me to explain.

Oooh, wait!  First, let me explain the “not-dearth” thing.  Sometimes, when I write, I consult a dictionary or thesaurus to double check a word’s meaning or spelling.  I had dropped “dearth” on a friend of mine during a particularly lengthy and productive Skype call this weekend.  The context was something like, “Yeah, there’s too many choices these days; there’s a dearth of options!”  She even made especial note of the word when I said it and , at the time, I thought she was admiring mah mad word skillz.  I thought I’d go back to the well this morning and impress you all with a well-placed dearth or some other, more obnoxious synonym.  Well, color me all kinds of embarrassed; the Wiktionary told me that the synonyms for dearth were scarcity and paucity, not abundance and plenty+1 to the forces of evil allied against me! This is a one-woman operation, you guys.  Sometimes, I make mistakes, ok?  Sometimes I’m not a “good speller” or a “person who knows the meanings of words and uses them correctly in a sentence.”  I don’t think you should let a silly thing like that stand in the way of our special love.

So anyway…trapped underneath a 500 pound pile of story ideas right now and I don’t know how to get out from under it. Should I tell you guys about how knitting crushes all but the strongest of craftsters and how this recent project is driving me to the very edge of madness? Should I tell you the story about my Saturday and how I got sort-of kidnapped and fed breakfast by Denver’s most interesting tow truck driver?  Perhaps we should talk about my recent business trip to Las Vegas and its connection to my other trips to Washington DC and Mobile, AL this year? Maybe I should be working on a I’m a nice girl, really, you guys cherry for the top of that dating piece I just did.  Of course, there’s always my ever changing feelings about stuff and things; those have to be aired out too, lest I exploded from crazy.  And what about the sweet, sweet happenings over on tumblr?  Like so…


Why yes, I am researching how to shave my cat.  I’m no “cat expert” but I don’t see how this could end badly.

FROM TUMBLR: Why yes, I am researching how to shave my cat. I’m no “cat expert” but I don’t see how this could end badly.



And there’s always room for reposts from my college blog!  GGGAAAHHHHHHHH!!!

See, you guys?  It’s too much! I’m overwhelmed and much more interested in knitting and tumblr right now, but I’ll find a way to get up to date, blog-wise, at some point.




And that, my friends,  is what you call making something out of nothing.

Mood: Is it Friday afternoon yet?
Music: Camera Obscura-Suspended From Class


the view from home

the view from home by anna hell



O hai internet friends!

I may have mentioned it before, but I recently perfected my home NAS setup and I have been doing a lot of joy riding in the way back machine, adding older pictures to my flickr account and thinking about migrating posts from my old blog site.

I had a web site in college back in the early Naughties.  The site consisted of weird experiments in hand-coded HTML, pictures of Jack Black in his underwear, and handmade site graphics.  I’ll share more later, but here’s the link to one of my favorite posts from days gone by…

The College Years: The Great Sandwich Conspiracy



I’ll just be posting the links becuase I to pretend like these posts were always part of Blog, Sweet Blog, so they should be cataloged accordingly.

If you’re just too damn busy to read the whole thing (I never was pithy), here’s a highlight…

Having survived the Safeway peanut butter crisis, I completed my shopping and made my way up to the checkout. I chose a line with an older woman on the cash register and a young kid (maybe 16 or 17) on bagging detail. When my peanut butter and jelly came up for bagging, the kid said to me, “Aha! It appears that you have fallen prey to The Great Sandwich Conspiracy!” The checker and I both ignored him. The kid waited until I had completed my grocery transaction when he hit me again.

him: Pardon me, but do you realize you have fallen prey to The Great Sandwich Conspiracy?

me: What on Earth are you talking about?

him: I see you have purchased both Jif peanut butter and Smuckers jelly. Don’t you see? Jif and Smuckers are both owned by the same company. It’s a sandwich conspiracy!

me: That’s great kid, really, but have you ever noticed that Jif and Smuckers are the most prominently featured products in that aisle? It wouldn’t be too crazy to suggest that Safeway is in league with the makers of Jif and Smuckers…perhaps they are all owned by the same company!

him:
Why Madame, if that’s true, I’ll eat my hat!



LOL, the old days were fun, weren’t they? Then there’s some more dialogue about Superman and Lois Lane, a thrilling comparison between Peter Pan and Jif peanut butters and a sweet picture of a lion, I think…maybe a car chase.  You should totally read the whole thing!

I hope you enjoy this little slice of Blog, Sweet Blog history.  I’ll try to repost the better ones (look for the friendly, The College Years prefix), but you should really read them all, because…well… that’s what Internet friends do, right?

Mood: guh
Music: Camera Obscura-Country Mile


https://i2.wp.com/www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com/2009/12/01/tinafeyupdate.jpg

let's just pretend this is from a Joke Off segment from SNL's "Weekend Update"

I posted this on mah tumblr last night, but I’m having second thoughts about keeping it there.  I want that page to be different than this one…more visual, darker, dreamier.  I feel like the jokes have found a home here (in a wayward-home-for-lost-ideas sort of way) but words beyond poetry or lyrics seem alien over there.  I’m ok with that.  Maybe I’ll start a Molls-style tumblr at some point, but keeping it special and dark today feels right.  Until I get it figured it out, sorry for the cross posting.

Anyway…  Some of you may recall the recurring joke-off segment from the Tina Fey/Jimmy Fallon-era of Saturday Night Live‘s “Weekend Update.”  The premise was that the two would battle each other for who could tell the most jokes (not the funniest) on a topic in a certain time period.   I’m sure they wrote them ahead of time, but to me, it seemed like what it might be like to watch them pitching in a writer’s meeting.

I would love to make this a regular Blog, Sweet Blog segment, but, as I can’t recall any recurring segments on this blog, we’ll see how that goes.  The idea is that I’ll try to think up around five jokes in a short time (~15 minutes), then post them for your “entertainment.”  Feel free to chime in with your own jokes for this or any other topic.  Ugh, now that I’ve used the world’s longest, most unfunny setup to strangle the life out of this bit…

So, I’m in the middle of cleaning the house and I just got done with the main bathroom. It was so skeevy, it felt like the perfect topic for a joke-off, naturally.

My bathroom was so dirty…

-I seriously considered getting hooked on crystal meth to get the energy to finish cleaning.

-while I was cleaning, the executive producers of Hoarders called to pitch me a new show called Dirty, Dirty Slobs….because they wanted me to host…from my filthy bathroom…because it was so gross.

-the people that live in my head wouldn’t even go in there.

-a xxx fetish website emailed me a job offer. I had to tell them it wasn’t that kind of dirty.

-it made my mother cry.

-just writing this makes me want a to take a Silkwood shower.

Mood: la dee da
Music: Little House on the Prairie-“A Most Precious Gift”


tall, distinguished, famous...not pretty



Dear A


an introduction





Hi, I'm Anna and I love cheese!

This blog is a chronicle of my life and a catalog of happy ephemera. The About page has a little bit more information, but, remember, none of this is really me...it's just a supplement, a thumbnail sketch, a mostly anonymous Intarwebs placeholder. I'm way better/less wordy in person. :-)

Oh, and if I wrote something about you and you thought it was mean or hurtful, I'm sorry. It's how I felt at the time, but probably isn't how I feel now. Chances are, I love you and I think you're awesome.

copyright

All content on Blog, Sweet Blog is copyrighted by me, Anna Hell. Unless otherwise noted, all photos, words, and content on this site are mine, created by me, and should not be used without my permission (or at least attributed and linked back). I try to embed links or quote original source material if I use another person's work.

Click the button thing below to have a delicious li'l slice o' Anna cake* delivered to your emails inbox whenever I write something new!

*N.B. Anna cake contains neither Anna nor cake.

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