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Monday, April 25, 2005

Crumple



I just bought a great digital camera, so my posts will become much more photo-filled shortly. But I'll use my lousy little camera to show the progress I'm making on a mod afghan for my boyfriend. It is very slow going, mainly because it's kinda a boring pattern and takes a lot of finishing. But I think it will look great when complete. (It's at the bottom of this post.)

So on the way back from buying my camera, I saw the oddest thing on the 7 train. (It wouldn't be a trip on the 7 train without seeing something peculiar). A man in a navy blazer and warm-up pants was laboriously reading every word of the New York Post. He had it up close to his face as though he's far sighted, his eyes darting quickly back and forth. But then, when he finished a page, he didn't merely flip it and move on to the next article. He loudly and rather ceremoniously ripped it out, then crumpled it into a ball and stuffed it into his ratty duffle bag. A rip in the side of the bag revealed that it was stuffed with the crumpled newsprint. Now, you often see sophisticates practicing their New York Times oragami, in which they fold the venerable old rag into a special shape that allows them to comfortably read it on the subway. But this guy's take is far more interesting. It's as though the paper is so vile or explosive that it must be destructed immediately after reading. Or maybe he just loses his place, and this way he'll never read anything twice. Or perhaps he's just nuts. Gave me something to ponder nonetheless.

 Posted by Hello

Friday, April 22, 2005

beep beep!





My great love affair with technology is starting to fizzle. It's not my lap top that has me angry, though I do resent having to pay so much for Internet access. And it's certainly not my cell phone, my loyal companion since 1999. When I forget my cell phone -- which has happened approximately once -- I feel naked and vulnerable and petrified. It's like a child or a third arm to me.

What's unnerving me is a little device called the "buff beeper." This has become an integral tool for crime reporters in New York City, nearly as essential as pen and pad. The beeper is your first alert to most major shootings or car accidents or "unusual incidents." It gives you a major head's up on the story du jour, but it's also known for horrific false alarms.

In short, it's my nemesis and my best friend.
Click for extended entry:

The device is called a buff beeper because it's primarily for crime buffs and accident gawkers who sit and listen to the scanner, hoping for calamity. A company monitors scanners and sends over everything from police-involved shootings in Bed-Stuy to a wild turkey on the loose in Chelsea. And lots of boring minutae in between. Today, the beeper even wished us all a happy Passover!

I keep my beeper on vibrate at the office and knit a small tuffet for it so that it doesn't go off, rattle on my desktop and scary me out of my wits. Most of the items that scroll across the screen are rudimentary, like this one from 3:23 p.m.:

NY>Queens>ALL HANDS> 787 Cornaga Street> Bat 47 reports all visible fire k/d at this time. all searches complete and neg a/t/t. fire is now placed pwh.

Basically, this we do not care about. The fire is out, no one is inside.

But at least once a day, there is a positively horrifying item that crosses the beeper. On Wednesday, a child fell out a window in the Bronx. Last week, a kid was shot in Brooklyn. When these items came over, we immediately sent reporters to the scene, and I started calling police and fire for details. The beeper was a lifesaver.

Last night, though, a report came over a woman assaulted by six to 10 men in Central Park. It was absolutely alarming. We sent a reporter, I got on the phones. This is the kind of tidbit that sends editors into a frenzy. Too bad it wasn't true.

Turns out, a young man jogging in the park had his iPod stolen. Now, this is terribly unfortunate, but hardly earth shattering. As my editors messaged to me, "The beeper strikes (out) again!"

A few weeks back, I was sent to an apartment building in the Bronx where the beeper reported a baby dead in an elevator shaft. My entire drive up, I entertained nauseating scenarios. Was he squashed by the elevator? Did he fall from it? This would not be good.

I get there and find an equally heartbreaking -- yet different -- story. A woman was strangled by her boyfriend in front of their daughter. But he fled out the window. And they lived on the first floor. No elevator anywhere in this story.

The funny part was that every newspaper and TV reporter up there was operating on the bogus elevator tip. So after they interviewed terrified witnesses, each reporter wrapped up by asking ever-so-sincerely, "Now, can you tell me about the baby in the elevator?"

In knitting news, I'm stalled on Xback. I am unsure what needles to use to create the proper sized tank. I am monitoring other's progress on the xback knitalong board, hoping someone will shed some light on my dilemma.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Rip it. Rip it good.




Ugh. So the Xback is knitting up super fast -- unfortunately, it's waaaay too big. I joined the Xback knit-a-long, and other knitters mentioned that their tanks were buckling in back and entirely too large. So I put mine on stitch holders and tried it on. Lo and behold, it is way too big. I chose the small size, but I think I will need to try to extra small. I worry, tho, that it might still be too large. Apparently, the yarn that we are all using as a substitute stretches more than the yarn that the pattern was written for. (That yarn, unfortunately, has been discontinued).

Here are some photos anyway, before I get ripping. The pictures stink because, right now, my only digital camera is a little teeny tiny "Get Smart" looking one that my mother bought me for Christmas. She is under the impression that I am a spy.
 Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 17, 2005

exhausted, but not too exhausted to buy yarn

I had an alarmingly late night at work -- I didn't get home until 5 a.m. I had to spend part of that time in Jersey, and I was forced to stop for full-serve gas there in the wee hours. You see a lot of kooky stuff in New York City that late at night, particularly while driving. I saw a car full of kids on Boerum Place near the Brooklyn Bridge driving backwards for several blocks. At first, I assumed that they had driven the wrong way down a one-way street, a move I'm familiar with. This has happened to me here once or twice, most notably in the Bronx, where I have never gone without getting lost. Why can't you make a left off of Bruckner Blvd.? Tom Wolfe practically revolved "Bonfire of the Vanities" around that question. But I kinda got the sense that the kids were doing this on purpose, so I just slid over to the service lane and cautiously drove there.

Anyway, after getting a little sleep I decided to seek out my yarn for Knitty's Ribbon Xback pattern. I made my first trip to Seaport Yarns waaaay downtown. Since I'm located there nowadays, I was hoping it might be my local yarn store of choice. It was fine -- I don't know why they wouldn't have a sign outside -- but didn't have what I needed. I called Downtown Yarns on Avenue A, and they did! I found this shop friendly and pretention-free, a rarity for yarn stores. An employee actually told me which circular needle was less expensive. Typically at an LYS, if you have to ask, you can't afford it. So this is what I picked up for my new project. Scroll to the bottom for sample 125 -- it's called golden nectar. Yum!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Inaugural Post!




This is the very first post on my decidedly non-narcissistic knitting blog.

I will post some actual content here soon, when I start getting the hang of things. Until then, know that I am selecting luscious ribbon yarn for this
lovely garment.