Friday, December 27, 2002

Darkthreads Designs: Year in Review

I apparantly had a good year. I was just sorting through my ebay records and I estimate that I had at least 130 customers/transactions from all over the US, several from Canada, and even a few customers from the UK, France, and Australia!!! Oh, and I finally listed a new pattern in my eBay store--check the link at left, for my Plus Size Stretch Choli Pattern Package. This package includes patterns for 3 different top styles in sizes 1X-3X.

Recommended: Excalibur on DVD

Received this as a gift and it's a good one. Special features include director's commentary by John Boorman, in which he reveals lots of interesting tidbits about making the film.

Magnetic Poetry

Also got one of these kits--always wanted one but for some reason never had one before--now my fridge has broken out in a rash of magnetic tiles. I'm not much of a poet. I think that my attempts at any creative writing are...what's the word...see that's why I'm not good at creative writing. I'm only good at technical or journalistic-style writing (that's what I do for a paycheck, pretty much). Anyway, my SO has a very special gift for writing sick, twisted, disgusting, hilarious verse that touches my heart, and he does so seemingly effortlessly, so the magpo kit is more for him as a means of entertaining me. BTW, the link above takes you to the official magpo site, which has a wonderful collection of poetry.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Post-Xmas Reflections

Enjoyed two days off and I am back in the office today. The day already has an eerie feel to it--I was THE ONLY person on the bus this morning. I got some good presents, including this very thoughtful one from my SO: America the Beautiful, by Moon Unit Zappa, uncensored version, that he purchased from Apparantly the version you get here in the US is censored. It has a different cover, anyway. This is not a book I asked for, or I would think to buy for myself, but my SO read about it and thought that I would like it. I am impressed because, afterall he is a guy, and he is a cretin when it comes to books.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002


I deliberately arranged my busy holiday schedule so that I could just chill out today and watch the Farscape marathon on the most-loathed-for-cancelling-farscape scifi channel, and I had just settled all snuggly in my easy chair when my SO announce that he had no gift to give his father tomorrow and we must go out and get one. So I had not yet escaped the evil clutches of xmas shopping. It actually wasn't so bad afterall. I'm thinking that it's the depressed economy. Anyway, we got some stuff and now I think we are all done. Enjoy Farscape while you can.

Monday, December 23, 2002


I'm having mixed feelings about this. I was okay with the changes that were made to the story in the first movie to adapt it to a screenplay. They made sense. But I don't like what happened to Twin Towers. For those of you who didn't read the book, let me set the record straight (what should have happened):

  • Aragorn did NOT break up with Arwen before he left Rivendell. He stayed true to her. Arwen did not leave to go into the West. Maybe they thought there needed to be more sexual tension between Aragorn and Eowen.
  • The elves must have had it in their contract that they HAD to appear in the second movie because they weren't supposed to be there at all. No, the elves did not arrive at Helm's deep to save the day.
  • The Ents actually saved the day at Helm's Deep. One morning, the besieged awoke to find a forest standing in the battlefield where the enemy was. The Ents had done away with them, as well as taken over Saruman's tower. Maybe they thought this was a little far-fetched.
  • Faramir REFUSED the ring! He was not a dickhead like his bro---he let Frodo go on his way and did NOT take him and Samwise and Golem to Osgiliath! I have a big problem with this one because this really changes his (Faramir's) character.

However, there were some good things. Golem is well-rendered. Maybe a little too well. I could have done with fewer close-ups. There were a lot of gratuitous close-ups. I'm glad to see that Galadriel is keeping up with her skin-care regimen--she has good pores. I'm glad to see that the Ents weren't completely written out of the script. Aragorn is hot. Legolas is still the prettiest. ;-)

Star Trek: Nemesis

Another 2-hour episode of trek. However, I really really really liked the villain: a young punkass version of Picard.

Recommended: Lacuna Coil

Happened upon the site of this band and listened to their samples, and then promptly ran out to media play and bought their latest, Comalie. I love it. It's romantic, haunting, melodic goth metal. Very easy for me to listen to.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

My Mom Graduated!

Just got back from her graduation ceremony. My mom has a Master of Arts in liberal studies now, and no, I'm not feeling pressured to catch up. I pretty much spent the time thinking about what major I would choose if I went back, and I couldn't. I just couldn't do it right now, unless, of course a big pile of money magically fell upon me. In that case, I totally would not study something related to my current day job. It would have to be music or art related, definitely.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Khafif Happenings...

The gig at the Carnegie Library in Braddock was cool. The building has wonderful acoustics, and it was an appreciative audience. I'll post the pictures when I eventually get them scanned. I have to be proud of us because we did a full, solid 30 minute set that included a variety of pieces, and we could've done more. We don't have any public performances scheduled in the immediate near future, but we have some other projects brewing, and big things planned for Spirit of the Tribes in March. Stay tuned--check the link at left for updates.

Home Improvements, Preparing for NYE...

Spent the weekend reorganizing our kitchen. Made some modest purchases at Ikea for a new island/countertop unit and some shelves and it is making a really big difference in the functionality and practicality of the space...I know, I know, BORING, but this is all done in preparation for our dreaded annual NYE party. I swore I wasn't going to have another one, but I was overruled by the SO and his cousins who twisted my arm and promised me that I would not lift a finger. Sitting back and watching them cook and clean for the party might just be worse torture for me than doing all that work myself (as I have done in past years.)

DVD Recommendation: Duellists

And in continuation of my exploration of Ridley Scott's past work, we rented and watched The Duellists with some friends. This movie surprised me in many ways. For having been made in the 1970s, the costuming was amazing. But, guys, don't let the fact that it's a costume flick put you off--the story is about two men who engage in a succession of duals over a period of 15-20 years--there's plenty of action and blood. The extra features include an interview with Ridley Scott and director's commentary, which is worth watching.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

This Weekend...

Nothing special happening. Khafif is playing at a private holiday party this Friday. Saturday is busy day, as usual, with lots of errands to run and then, friends are invited over to our house for movie night. So, I'm staying in AGAIN. Sunday is mom's b-day so I think we are doing brunch and then a movie. Maybe I can sneak in some sewing time or music practice time...

Monday, December 09, 2002

Preparing for Solstice...

Okay, so it's been a slow news day and in an effort to promote religious diversity, peace, and harmony, I give you the following:

Oh, and I almost forgot, yesterday was Bodhi Day (Rohatsu), the birthday of Buddhism, when the Buddha achieved enlightenment.

What is Light without Dark?

Movie night last Friday, we watched the Legend: Ultimate Edition DVD--highly recommended. This is one of those films that was somewhat ill-fated, did not do well in it's theatrical run, but it ranks as one of my favorite fantasy films of all time. Ridley Scott directed this following The Dualist, Alien, and Bladerunner (all of which are also on my list "to buy"). The DVD includes the director's cut or European version, which has a completely different soundtrack and is about 8 minutes longer. I can't decide which version I like more, because I love the Tangerine Dream soundtrack of the US theatrical release, but the European version has extended scenes with the fairies, Meg Mucklebones, and the "Make Her One of Us" dance scene.

New Patterns Soon to be Published

I know I've been saying it for a while now, but I mean it this time. I worked on a Plus Size version of my stretch choli pattern this past weekend, soon to hit the presses and then onto eBay.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Holiday Season in Da'burgh

Shopping Purgatory...

I made it a point NOT to do any xmas shopping this past weekend because I knew it would be a nightmare. Reports from my mom and brother from the field confirmed this. The word they used to describe Walmart was PURGATORY. The aisles were clogged with carts, people were bumping into one another so aggressively that some were injured to the point where ambulances had to be called. This is the "Christmas spirit" I suppose. No wonder I am a Buddhist humbug. My bro is lucky that he got that job at Kmart. You can pick on Kmart all you want, but at least you have a significantly lower risk of personal injury while shopping there.

'Burgh Holiday Landmarks...

Okay so maybe I'm not a total humbug, because for some odd reason, I felt compelled to take pictures of all the familiar holiday landmarks that sprout up here every year...

Here is our version of Rockefellar Center. Last year was the first year for this temporary ice rink at PPG Plaza and it's back this year.

Here is the "Hornes department store tree," (left) although Hornes has long since left the building and it is now occupied by other shops.

And, I think this one is new (right)...I saw them hauling this into town on a flatbed on my way to work on morning.

Persian Hennaed Hands

And finally, a picture of some henna that I did recently, based on a pattern in the Hennaria book. These are supposed to be "lovers knots."

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