Sunday, October 30, 2011

This weekend's makings

My friend Conor made a cast of my face for a mask on Friday.  Unfortunately I left it setting in my apartment in college, and haven't had a chance to go back in.  But I can finish it off and use it next year!

Fun fact: I find scenes in films where someone gets a bag tied around their head, or has it wrapped in cling-film, incredibly distressing to watch.  Moreso than most torture.  So this was a kind of terrifying experience.

My little brother came over and baked cookies for a VDP bake sale.  (You can also see the mask has a more defined mouth, I forgot the 'after' photo.)

 Speedy hat for a friend from stash yarn.

My mum asked for Amy gloves.  I have tiny child hands.

My wips and projects-to-be are all in college, so I'm contenting myself with knitting squares for the Henry Bear Blanketeers.  This yarn has been in my house for years - my grandmother used it to make a cardigan for my sister as a baby.  (That sister is now twenty-seven.)  I didn't know my grandmother - she died when I was three months old.  By all accounts she sounds like a wonderful person, and I would have liked to have known her, but I really can't agree with her taste in yarn.

The buttons on the cardigan were little yellow rabbits.
 Going to a good use though, finally!

Now to work through a stats podcast and then find a horror film to watch!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dolling myself up.

I went to a party last night and tried to turn myself into a creepy doll for it.  I hadn't done a run-through of the costume or make-up, and ended up as more of a goth kid instead.  Oops.

Anyway, here are photos!

If I straightened and dyed my hair I could have gone as a Beatle!  Too late, too late.

Normal hair...

Hair full of gel.

This is just cheesy, and defeats its own point since the finger hides the stitches, please do not judge me.

And off I go to hang out outside Central Bank!
What are you dressing up as?

Monday, October 24, 2011

These should be mandatory.

There just isn't a word for how useful these are when you forget to put your circs back in the packet straight away.  Plus steel needles are kind of fancy.


I'm probably going to vote for Michael D. Higgins on Thursday.  He seems dacent, and hasn't murdered anyone, which is always... the absolute baseline for giving someone power, not exactly a positive, but anyway.  In no way have I been influenced by this.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Words are tricky, except when they're not.

The internet's crush on Stephen Fry is perfectly understandable.  No-one, hive-minds included, shouldn't have a crush on Stephen Fry.  That said, I rather wish he hadn't said this.

I understand not caring that someone is 'offended' by gay couples existing right there in public, or by schools not being segregated, or by God being removed from the constitution (not that that's a concern in Ireland, ever.  And yet some people are concerned about the lack of Jesus in daily life!).  Like this woman.  This woman is a small person, and if I met her and she made me a cake and let me play with a puppy I wouldn't like her.  The problem is that in these cases, the word is being misappropriated, and thanks to this "I'm offended" has come to mean "I'm whining because the world isn't to my sensibilities, wah."

The word "offended" needs to exist, though, or there needs to be a word to replace it.  I know words change in meaning, but "I'm offended" is a nice, blame-shifting way of calling people out on thoughtless or plain abusive language or behaviour - an attack on their personhood, an offensive act in the "opposite of defence" sense of the word.  Needlessly thoughtful, actually, no-one says "I'm punched" after you give them a bloody nose.

The most bizarro thing is that even with the thoughtful "I" and shift in responsibility and use of a watered-down term, people go on the defensive if you suggest they've caused - performed - offense.  "I didn't mean actually retarded/I'm not racist/My gay friend laughed."  Good for you, knowing or blithely assuming that you're not a bigot.  Not everyone you meet knows that, and it's not their responsibility to give you the benefit of the doubt - you need to show it.  Not using dehumanising terms, or purely descriptive words as insults, is a bang-up start.  Otherwise, however cluelessly or unintentionally, you're attacking them.  Going on the offensive, one might say.  And then, through your actions and yours alone, they're attacked.  Offended, to use a slightly old sense of the word.


My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.  I read the title of this post and thought "Wow I want to tattoo that on my face put that on some form of clothing," then I read the post itself, and felt sad and squirmy.

I'm not very fussy about labels.  If I find something that describes something I already feel like, I'll adopt that, but only because it sometimes saves on wordy descriptions.  I love learning, guess I'm a nerd.  I have girl parts, guess I'm a girl.  I like making things, guess I'm a craftster.  I believe people of all gender and sexual identities are equal, guess I'm a feminist.

The feminism one has always been a little inconvenient because it's a subset of what I believe about equality.  I also believe people of all skin colours, all physical and mental capabilities, all classes are equal.  Everyone is people, all the time!  These things aren't strictly covered by the term "feminist".  But my first feminist blog was Fugitivus)which discusses feminism, race and class - perhaps more extreme than I am now, but I have a fondness for the blog and author, though sadly it seems to have fallen out of use) which led me to my first anti-racism blog ,Stuff White People Do (mainly race-based but has some elements of feminism, as WoC get it from both directions - again, no longer updated but remembered with fondness), where I came across Womanist Musings (race, gender and sexual identity, class, religion, most aspects of social justice, really).  I don't know if I'm bad at logic and assumed people who used the same label as me felt the same as me, but or if the route I took to this section of the internet led me to believe so, but I always assumed that 'feminist' really meant 'social justice-ist, including feminist'.  You don't have to act on all the issues ever, but how can you care about one and not at least see the rest to be wrong.  Then stuff like this happens:

and some people actually defend it and try to call it a feminist act.  So maybe I need a new word.


My little brother, who has just started studying in the same college as me, texted me today to ask if he could come heat up some food in my microwave.  When he got here, he had milk, tea, biscuits (two packets as he didn't know what kind I like), and two packets of pasta.  It made me feel all fuzzy inside.  Nice things happen too!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This sentiment needs to die a death.

There's been a good deal said about the Nice Guy Complex.  I don't have anything new to bring to the table.  But holy God is it annoying.

Aside from the creepy self-entitled skeeziness of the attitude, here's what gets me: I will not give you brownie points for being nice to me.  I expect you to be nice to me.  Not to go out of your way, but yeah, hold the door if I'm right behind you, and feel kind of bad for me if I'm having a crummy week, and not tune out if I talk about hobbies we don't share.  This doesn't make us friends - this is what I expect from acquaintances.  If you dislike me, I expect you to avoid me, and I'll do the same for you, and we won't rub each other up the wrong way.  This doesn't make us friends - this is what I expect from acquaintances.

When I say I expect this, I don't mean to say that someone can fail to live up to my standards and fall in my esteem - this is my experience of how the world works, so it's kind of conspicuous by its absence.  It's what the reasonable people have done so far in my life, so for as long as these things remain pretty unchanged, it's what I'm going to expect from future reasonable people.

I don't understand if Nice Guys have never had any friends, or if they've only had guy friends and their are different rules for girls because boobs.  If you are my friend, of course I'm going to care and try to make you feel better if you're upset.  If it's your birthday I'm buying or making you food, because food is how I show affection.  If I can help you out I will, with varying degrees of inconvenience to myself depending on how close we are.  None of this should be read as an indication that I am attracted to you.

The Nice Guy Complex comes with a sneery attitude that women (all three billion!  Each and every one!) don't know what they want.  They say they want someone who's nice or funny, but then how come they don't settle down with the first nice, funny guy they meet?  Why do they go out with anyone with whom they might occasionally argue, as people will do in relationships?  They're shallow is why, they're just waiting for someone rich and handsome.  It doesn't seem to register that when, people are listing their ideal person, "and whom I find attractive" is implied.  The people I'm friends with and the people I get a crushes on can probably be described in similar terms, because that's the type of person I enjoy being around - the difference is that some will make me feel all fuzzy in my tummy, for reasons I can't define.  Girls are such harpies, having subjective tastes that you can't control.

What Nice Guys don't seem to understand is that they're cock-blocking themselves.  If you resent someone for not sleeping with you after you totally empathised when their cat died, they can tell.  Women in particular might be a little more tuned in to this because we're conditioned to be nice without leading anyone on.  I don't mean this in some nonsense PUA Roissy "Women can tell when you're interested and once they know you have lost!" way.  I'm far too socially oblivious to know when someone likes me - I didn't realise my first date with my boyfriend was a date, and when my ex asked me out I thought he was making small talk.  I'm not too clueless to realise when someone is viewing me as parts, as a girl before a person.  It makes me uncomfortable, even if it's not sleazy (old-boy professors who distinguish between women and people, anyone?), and  it makes me not want to be around you.  And it's really hard to sleep with someone who won't be around you.

And anyway, the fact of getting annoyed about having another friend is a bonus layer of creepy.  Why can't you be like these nice folks?

FO: Lace mohair hat.

I made this scarf for my aunt for her sixtieth, and she asked a while ago for a matching hat.

She picked the pattern (Wavy Feathers Qiviut Cap) out from Ravelry - I wasn't sure about it, but it's much nicer in real life than the photo made it look.  It's made with Rowan Kidsilk Haze, like the wrap, and it's remarkably snuggly for such a light yarn.  (The fuzziness in the photos is because of the mohair, not because of blur.)

I finished it on Friday night, when I had gone home for training, and realised I had left my sewing kit, containing my darning needles, in college.  Disaster.

First-world problem: I have no time to knit (sad times), and all the projects I've started or have lined up are quite big.  I need to become an accessories person if I'm to have any FO-induced gratification this year.

Friday, October 7, 2011

And now an advertising break!

Fourth year is hard!  And I am only two weeks in and haven't even had time for assignment to accrue or mod project lab work to start.  (Proposal's not due until November, but I'll be starting work before then, because proposals are a wacky formality worth ten percent of my project.  Or maybe it was fifteen.)  I have disappointing little time to knit, and I don't have my sewing machine in college, so it will probably take me approximately a million years to finish anything.  This means posts will be either sporadic or wordy.

So I am going to share a cool thing with you, internet!  There is a great shop in Temple Bar which used to be called Sé Sí, and still has that sign on the outside.  On the inside it's called Mayfly, and it's just great.  They sell handmade things by various designers, and, by the sounds of it, are very open to stocking makings by anyone who's interested, and has some unspecified standard.  It's like Etsy, in real life.  They also operate a barter system, so you can pay for goods in IT help, or any other useful skill you may have to offer.  It's kitschy and retro, but not in a pretentious or affected way.  They have pin-up brooches on playing card price tags, jewellery made out of scrabble and jigsaw pieces, cloche hats and fascinators, redecorated old shoes (I meant to look that woman up actually, I would buy boring new shoes to have her fancy them up), cuff-links made from compasses and type-writer kets, and lots of unusual pieces that make it an uncommonly pleasant place to have a wander when you have the time.  I got a lovely steampunky necklace there last week, but unfortunately I left it in college so I can't take a picture.  I'm always willing to pay a little more for something handmade, because I like to support people who are working on their own craft, but everything in there is very reasonably priced, so you get to supports craftsters and not spend lavishly!

They don't seem to have a website, but here's a Facebook page.  Do go in, they're nice people.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tom Baker Scarf

The timing is purely concidental!  I started it over the Summer and finished it two weeks ago and my post last night reminded me to finally make the tassels.  Please don't judge me.

I have this problem with long projects where I bundle them up as they grow, so I don't realise how long they're getting.  If I don't bother to check, or have already decided I'm going to follow the pattern to the letter, this can have silly consequences.

It's not very clear, but I'm standing on a chair.  Doubled over, the scarf reaches from the ceiling to the floor.  I'm 5'6".

I could wrap it around a few times and use it as a dress.

It is very snuggly.

And I like the tassels.

The patterns is here; I can't remember what yarns I used, as I went with what was roughly right and on sale, and the wrappers are either in the recycling bin or my other knitting bag at home.  I didn't get the colours quite right, but the only one that's annoying me is the cream - it should have been a lot closer to beige, but I was going from memory.

So now I have a giant scarf and a snuggly hat.  BRING IT ON, Winter.

Related: I'm considering dressing up as the Doctor for Halloween, though this is depending on charity shops doing me well.  I probably have more of the build, and, currently, hair, to do a better job of the Matt Smith incarnation, but my first preference would be David Tennant.  Fangirlish preferences aside, I'm more likely to wear the clothes for that costume again.  A thought exercise this has sparked is that if I were to dress up as, say, Amy, the differences between me and a very hot girl would be readily apparent.  I'm not sure if a girl who isn't hot dressing up as a man who is very hot draws similar comparisons.

Or I might be lazy and dress up as some sort of creepy doll.  I could probably put a costume together from clothes I already own.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Stephen Moffat, you let me down.

Spoilers!  Spoilers if you watch Doctor Who!  Spoilers!

I was disappointed with the series finale last night.  So disappointed that I had to write a blog post about it.  How they wiggled out of the Doctor dying was very literally a deus ex machina move, and... I expected more.  There was always going to be a twist, but it felt very contrived and sloppy.

The biggest disappointment for me, though, was River Song.  River has been a mystery since the Library episodes, the more so because she's such a great character.  Amy is the Hot Sidekick (I mean, she's a great character, but she'd be a different one if she spoke the same lines while overweight with bad skin), but River is sexy without being a slim twenty-something - more than that, she's seductive, rather than just standing there bein' sexy.  She's confident and clever and strong.  She does her own saving the day, and has her own adventures, and is a match for the Doctor.  The probably-love-story arc is compelling too, because the more you see of her character the more tragic it becomes that they're moving in opposite directions, and she has get older knowing that he's going to forget her and their presumed love.  (It's kind of like The Time Traveller's Wife, but with characters and a plot.)  I thought her rapid turn-around in Let's Kill Hitler was a little clunky, but I could forgive it since they were pressed for time.  I didn't like that in The Wedding of River Song she was in love with the Doctor after one meeting and a few years of research.  It's entirely uncharacteristic with strong, self-sufficient River.  And the marriage for the sake of saving the world, when he still doesn't know her, and she doesn't know him at all... It wasn't the grand romance they'd been building up to.

After a little over two seasons, and who is River Song?  She's a kid with a crush.  Hopefully the next season has the older version of her, rather than the moony-eyed one.

I did like Amy killing Kovarian though.  One of my main complaints in the second half of the season is that Amy and Rory didn't seem too fussed about having lost their baby.  They always knew she grew up to be River, and it was treated as though it was somehow alright after Let's Kill Hitler because they had grown up alongside her (did she get fostered?  Do not understand.) when none of that changed the fact that their baby had been stolen from them.  I understand that to be the kind of thing to which parents don't take kindly, and that storyline just vanished.

That said, I can respect a man who can spend a whole season building up to a pun.

EDIT: Another thing I liked: "Die a final time, and know that she will never return for you." Oh yes she will.