Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Pride Parade

Sunday, I marched in the Pride Parade with the White Rats Morris team. I had an amplifier plugged into my fiddle, that I wore with a guitar strap. I was one of four musicians, Lee on fife, Shay on banjo, Richard on clarinet, and me on fiddle. The parade goes for about nine blocks on Market street in San Francisco. It seems that each thing you see is more outrageous than the last. It was a lot of fun!

Before the parade, the White Rats bell-up. For most morris dancers, this means strapping bells attached to leather thongs around their shins.

The Rats do this too, but as an addition, we also attach bells to our arms. With monofilament. Yes, through the skin. Yes, it does hurt. But the reactions on people's faces are more than worth it. This is Laura getting her bells attached with Ari's expert help. This was Laura's first bell-up, and she's taking it in stride.

Here's a shot of the whole team. We had 15 dancers this year! That's gotta be a record!

Friday, June 16, 2006

In Memory of Sid

Two days ago, our dear friend Sid was killed by a car. He lived with Janet and Jeff since May of 2003, before that he lived with me in Hayward since Mothers Day, 1999. He came to me from Alison, with whom he had spent a year in San Francisco. Alison got him from the SPCA when he was five. He was extremely wary of people then, especially men. But he became much more trusting with time.

Sid was a gorgeous animal, with a regal bearing. He was a good companion. The only annoying habit he had was a loud meow, which he used when he wished to go outside, which was frequently. Sid enjoyed attention, and loved to be combed. He was the best company.

He will be missed.

Please add a comment at the bottom of this post, to share memories of Sid.

Sid with Janet and Jeff

Sid and Jeff

Sid in the Fiddle Case

One of Sid's favorite places. If my fiddle case was open and available, Sid would curl up in it.

Sid on the Piano

I have another picture somewhere of Sid sitting on the piano resting his chin on the edge. He loved to rest his chin on wood.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Knitting Update

I continued knitting the second Jaya sock at Ardenwood. Another inch or so, and it will be time to make the heel. Size one needles make this project very slow, and when I do finish, they will be a pair of warm wool winter socks. Jaya won't be able to wear them until it starts getting cold, anyway, so I'm not in a super hurry.

Here's the second sock next to it's future owner.

And now, on to some exciting news... the felting of the entrelac bag!!!

Here is a photo of the completed bag, before felting. I put it on paper, and drew an outline around the bag, so you will have a reference.

As you can see here, the bag is quite large (about 30 inches across if you were to stretch it out) with a loose knit.

After I took the picture, Dean decided he would try the 'needle method' of felting.

I didn't let him get very far with this, but I think he would have continued as long as I allowed it!

Here is Dean, before I shooed him away. Very industrious, isn't he?

I put the bag inside a pillowcase, and then into the washing machine with some other clothes to balance the machine. Short wash, hot water wash, cold rinse. I just set it on the maximum time, which is 18 minutes agitation in my washing machine, and let it go for the full cycle. Here's what came out! It is a bit bigger than I was expecting, but the felting worked great, nice and tight.

Then, I stuffed the bag with plastic bags, to get the nice round shape I want. I just have to let it dry that way, and it will be a perfect round basket to carry my projects in. I may make another, smaller one for my socks.

The only problem with this is, I didn't make the handles yet. I was impatient to see what the felting would do, and I thought I could put them in later. However, now I can't find all the holes I made in which to insert the handles! They have felted up too tightly to find!

I shall have to poke new ones after I get the handles done. Next time, I guess I need to make everything and assemble it before I do the felting.

I'm really enjoying the felted results of this bag. What a difference!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Another Packed Weekend

This weekend was another fun-filled time... first, Jaya and I went down to San Jose to deliver the Daewoo to Melanie. We had a nice visit, and lunch across the street at Alberto's. Then we drove over to Guitar Center to get me AMPLIFIED!

I'm playing fiddle in the Pride Parade for the White Rats on June 25. It's hard to hear the music over all the parade noise, and we've always used these little tiny amplifiers. But I didn't have one of my own, and the tiny ones aren't a whole lot better than nothing. So I went shopping.

I almost bought another little fender amp like the ones Lee has. But when Jaya heard it, he said my fiddle was drowning out what was coming out of the amp! So I went for the BIG one! Granted, this isn't exactly a large amp. But I have to CARRY it through the parade, and it's 10 times bigger than the little Fender. I got a nice padded strap for it, and a cord that plugs into my fiddle pickup. I am SET.

Saturday night we went out drinking and dining with folks from work. Lisa is leaving us, so this was kindof a goodbye dinner. Meredith and Lisa both took the DRINKING part seriously, having 4 martinis and 3 margaritas respectively.

Sunday we went to Connie Doolan's house concert. She was excellent. At the break, when I told her it was going well, she said, "When I look out and see you, I think about my posture and my breath!" I've been her student for a couple months, and we're working on that with me.

This little girl just couldn't stay awake. Connie teaches kids, and I don't know for sure if this is one of her students, or the daughter of a friend, but she was just too sweet for me not to snap her photo. They're all angelic in sleep, aren't they?

After the concert we went to the movies. Our choices were: Thank you for Smoking, or RV (Robin Williams). We saw RV. It was cute, a little like the Chevy Chase vacation movies, but I prefer Robin William to Chevy Chase, so I enjoyed it.

And then we went to the Tango! There sure are a significant number of people who can really do the Argentine Tango. I was impressed. Jaya and I danced, and we had fun, but we're still working out how to do it.