Saturday, September 24, 2011

Where have I been? - in which I share rambling book and film reviews, a Fall Scarf project, and bizarre anxiety dream

Well, Fall is here - sort of. The weather still can't decide. But school started and I've got a Senior this year (Teen Wonder) as well as a 2nd grader Wild Thing. So things are uber busy. What better time to go off to Berlin for a conference? kidding - it's a TERRIBLE time to go away for a week. I was at the International Papillomavirus Meeting, which is always interesting for me and I get to see a lot of colleagues from around the world that I only see once a year or less. But it is a long trip every time I go to Europe (meaning far), and jet lag gets harder and harder on my body.

I haven't had a lot of time to do anything crafty. Though I have read a couple of novels with all the plane time. I finally read "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson, and started the next one "The Girl Who Played With Fire". I am totally into these, and only the most severe exhaustion allows me to go to sleep instead of staying up to read them - which confirms my general level of energy in the last three or four weeks.  I also read "Up in the Air" last week (as I hadn't bought the second Girl book yet) - the book that inspired the movie with George Clooney. I say "inspired" because the book was quite different - and it was a little disorienting to try and get into the book with the expectation that it would resemble the movie. I loved the movie (as did most others who saw it).  The book is written entirely from an inner monologue point of view, and the character is more complex than the movie quite captures. And more depressed - think Holden Caulfield. I didn't get the satirical humor feeling in the book that I had in the movie, it made me more sad - and also perhaps because I know so many more people in real life who've been downsized since that movie came out in 2009.  Anyway, my mom enjoyed the book more than me, I think, and she didn't see the movie (yet), so there is my very scientific reasoning for how seeing a movie first is usually a bad idea if you plan to read the novel.  Though I did also watch the movie version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" on Netflix, and found it to be pretty well done.  Another movie I saw recently that was a fairly close and accurate adaptation of the book was "Winter's Bone" - this is a very depressing story if you are not in the right mindset for it. But excellent - highly recommend!

Okay, enough of the books and films I've entertained myself with recently (oh, forgot to mention Super 8 which I just watched on the plane - that was good Stephen Spielberg fun!)

The one and only project I undertook in the past 3 weeks was a quick fall scarf project. I'm not sure what I had originally intended but I had 1/4 yard each of a crushed velvet and a Anna Marie Horner voile in my project pile. Seemed like it would be a pretty straightforward project to cut them in half lengthwise, stitch together each piece and then sew them together to make a simple scarf.  But I had to rip out most of the first try at stitching together and try again because the 2 fabrics were very hard for me to feed consistently and get an even seam. I've had this problem before. This seems to be something where an experienced sewist could help me out - or I could do a google search to see what's been shared on the topic online.  Anyway, I didn't have time even to take decent photos with my new camera - these are just from my iPod camera (or maybe it was my blackberry...) So forgive the poor quality and the messy hair!

This photo is not flattering, but it is probably an accurate version of me after a long day trying to fit it a few minutes to photograph a project I whipped out in a (relative) hurry. Anyway, you can see how long it is - but I  wore it in Berlin (with a nice blouse, brushed hair, and makeup) and even had a compliment or two so it is serving it's purpose.

 The scarf turned out way longer than I would have made if I'd given it much thought.  In fact I may have meant originally to go for a short wide one, but I don't think the 42" WOF would have been long enough to wrap around sufficiently.

Mr. Wonderful says I look more rested today. But I had one of the most bizarre and unsettling anxiety dreams last night that involved blowing a Final exam in some sort of writing class (playwriting?) - I was supposed to write a short play, cast it, and perform it...but I missed half the instructions, ran out of paper and spent most of the writing time scrambling around begging for scraps of paper.  Eventually, on little scraps of paper with a stubby pencil I wrote something that turned out to be completely off-base (due to missing instructions), and I had to fake my way out of sharing with the class while I tried to rewrite something.  I totally messed up the casting since the play was so off-base (like mine was a musical comedy instead of a serious drama), and it was like Project Runway where we were competing for the best actors (models for PR) so I was completely screwed and decided I'd perform on my own (seems like about as good an idea as representing yourself in court rather than getting a lawyer!)  I'm not even sure how the story turned out after trying to get the instructor's attention unsuccessfully to beg for mercy so I'd have time to figure something out.

Because I finally, mercifully, woke up.

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  1. I love the scarf! The color of the crushed velvet really works. Ican totally relate to just engrossing yourself in a book.

  2. I'm wondering if a walking foot used for quilting would have helped ease your frustration. Nonetheless the scarf turned out beautifully. I couldn't put those Stieg Larsson books down. I was glad I had read the last one when we went to the movies. We did go to the first movie without reading the book and then I was hooked. It did take awhile to really get into it, but after that, I just HAD to keep reading! I notice that there is a new American version to be coming out in Nov or Dec.

    Oops--way long comment!

  3. Your scarf is beautiful!! My husband keeps telling me to ready the Stieg Larsson books - I guess I ought to get to work on them!! Whoop whoop!!!

  4. Love the scarf, Janet, (wonderful colors on you, even when you're exhausted) and enjoyed your book and movie reviews. My favorite plane flight movie was "unknown" with Matt Damon; directed by Clint Eastwood.