Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Mini-Update

I mentioned not quite two months ago that I'd just learned to knit. Well, after doing a number of practice swatches that I immediately frogstitched, I now have completed three dishcloths (with increasing and decreasing--yay!), a pair of Mary Jane slippers from directions on Craftster, and a "non-rolling boyfriend scarf" that is about as long as I am. Okay, so the first dishcloth was really lopsided--I was trying to loosen my tension as Elizabeth Zimmerman recommends in the Knitting Without Tears I'd skimmed and I guess I started to have success with that on the decrease side--and the next two aren't perfect. And I still haven't sewn the buttons on the Mary Janes, so it's not really honest to say they're completed, and I can point to several imperfections in my scarf.

But so what about those imperfections? For me it's not about the finished objects, it's about the pleasure. Knitting is pleasurable. Much more so than crochet. For some reason I can't explain, I find the motion of knitting--and even purling--to be more pleasurable than the motion made in crocheting; now when I crochet I like it far less because I'm comparing it to knitting. I also like that I can really watch TV when knitting; there's much less looking down than there is with crocheting. The main thing I want from either of these handicrafts is something to occupy my hands with while I watch TV (actually DVDs, as I almost never watch TV anymore), and knitting does the job better than crocheting--or for that matter, better than handsewing, which was the previous thing I'd tried.

I'll never be a really accomplished knitter--or crocheter--because, well, my main goal is just to have something to do while I watch TV, nothing more. But I am going to keep up the knitting at some level because I like it. And because I don't plan to stop watching DVDs anytime soon.

Speaking of DVDs, I recently got around to watching Firefly and Serenity. Finally. I'd sort of intended to try it when it aired--UP actually caught an episode or two--and since then I've seen a number of eye-catching references to it or crafts made from it, John Derbyshire commented favorably on it, and there was this:

Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would
you best fit in?

You scored as Serenity (Firefly).You like to live
your own way and don’t enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should
do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you. [from]

I liked Firefly a lot and am sorry it didn't last longer; I would have liked to see how the characters' stories developed. The ship's crew were likeable and interesting and the interactions were fun to watch, but I think the world itself was what I liked best. The Asian-Western fusion felt right for the future, I liked a future of multiple frontier worlds rather than a lot of highly polished ones, and it was all refreshingly different from other science fiction shows that have been on TV.

The movie, Serenity, wasn't as good as the TV show, but I'm glad they got to do it.

For both the TV show and the movie, I'm glad Ron Glass was getting work; I liked him on Barney Miller. (Here's how warped I was as a little girl: he was a close second to the character I liked best, the over-educated, intellectual guy.) As for younger men, Jayne was attractive in a purely physical way and a fun character. The captain was attractive; I think that's not just the character as written, but the actor, because he had a certain masculine charisma even when he was playing a thoroughly disgusting villain on the final season of Buffy. And, although I shouldn't admit it, I liked the one-shot character Jubal Early. He was clearly warped in the kind of way that leads to very bad things, but, God help me, I liked him. Jubal Early is the kind of man that some writer once said you can use to gauge the level of the society by--primitive societies kill men like that, societies in the second stage make use of men like that as torturers and executioners, third stage or advanced societies try to rehabilitate them, and really advanced fourth stage societies kill them.

Anyway, although there are some problems with the show--most notably the Alliance not being depicted realistically enough--it was highly enjoyable and I am giving it the official Auntie Suzanne Seal of Approval. Okay, I'm actually just recommending it, but that sounded more impressive, didn't it?

As long as I'm at it, I'll recommend a movie I meant to recommend when I watched it a two or three months ago: Tristan and Isolde (or is that Tristan + Isolde, like Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet?) I have never particularly cared for the Tristan and Isolde story, and I dislike movies and books about adulterers as a rule. But I saw Card's review when this was in the theaters in--what?--January, and was interested enough to get the DVD from Netflix. I still don't approve of adultery, but this movie shows their adulterous relationship causing problems and it does what it can to make the temptation understandable. What I most liked was that they made Isolde's husband likeable. How easy it would have been for the moviemakers to make him a brute who deserved to be cheated on, all to make some point about how adultery is okay, because "the heart wants what it wants" or some such nonsense. Instead we get a more complicated and better story. Good for them. We are also given some really good acting and some great costumes and scenery. This movie deserves to have more of an audience than it had in its theater run. Rent it.

Oh, and we--it's probably congenital stupidity or something--acquired a new cat a while back. Maybe I'll do a "Meet Mr. Foofy, the Cat Who Lives With Us" post later.

We lead decidedly uneventful lives--a blessing really, when you consider that most events worth relating are disasters of one kind or another and adventure is just another name for trouble--so that's really about it.

No comments: