Archive for the ‘Geekery’ Category

Stitch Story: Food Swap

The theme for the last Phat Quarter swap was food.  One of the things my partner mentioned was how she liked the art style of the Fallout games (50s) and Bioshock (art deco). I'm pretty familiar with both of those games, so my original idea was to stitch something from one of the games. Then I decided to do something a little more ambitious. The idea was to take one of my partner's favorite foods, Cadbury Mini Eggs and create a billboard ad that might fit into the Fallout world.

food

I searched for pictures of Cadbury's ads from the 50s (Mini Eggs didn't exist back then), as well as food ads from that same period to get an idea of their layout and content. I was craving Crunchie bars like crazy for a few days there.

Since I was basically creating a fake product, I had to give it some kind of name, so I used my partner's last name, which I thought was a good fit for a fake chocolate company and a nice way to personalize the piece. For the slogan, I thought since it's the 50s it should probably involve wordplay or a pun. And I think it fits in well with the products in the Fallout world. It was at this point I started to feel like some kind of bizarro Don Draper.

I knew I wanted to include a bunny and had a pretty good idea of what I thought it should look like. I got lucky and found a picture of a 50's/60's matchbox on Flickr that was almost exactly what I'd imagined. I tweaked it a bit, changing the ears and adding a bowtie.

Overall, I'm happy with the way it turned out.

Friday Five

I'm currently working on some of my pages for the new site, including the collection page. Sometimes I forget what records I have. So here's 5 things I had no idea I had.

  1. Tears for Fears- The Hurting
  2. Depeche Mode- "People are People" 7"
  3. Cornershop- "Brimful of Asha" 7"
  4. Eurhythmics- "Here Comes the Rain Again" 7"
  5. The Police- Outlandos d' Amour (which is why I now have 2 copies)

WIP Wednesday: Lost Weekend Edition

So that plan I had to spend the long weekend crafting up a storm? Yeah, not so much. My car battery died last Wednesday and screwed up my plans for a few days. Then my laziness caught up with me and I spent the weekend doing the following things:

  • watching reruns of House
  • watching Bones
  • rewatching season 3 of Mad Men (the season finale is one of my favorite eps)
  • watching The Mighty Ducks
  • playing Civilization Revolution
Needless to say, I'm a nerd and I wasn't as productive as I thought I would be. But I did work on some patterns. Still haven't finished the pattern I've been struggling with. For now it's on the backburner until I figure out how to finish it. I also worked on my spool knitting. It's about 3 feet long now and still has no purpose in life. I also started stitching something new finally...



This may or may not have something to do with LL Cool J...
I think I'm going to do 2 versions of it, so no finished pictures until I get them both done.

WIP Wednesday: Throwback Edition

Waaaay back when, I stitched this little number for my bf. A couple of weeks ago I came up with the idea to do a stitchers' version of it, minus the binary because frankly, I didn't want to stitch all those ones and zeros again.

l33tstitch.jpg

I'll be adding the pattern in the next few days, depending on my level of laziness.
(Edit: Pattern for this and l33t crafter on the Patterns page now!)

I also started a new crafty thing- spool knitting. I used to do it when I was a kid and somewhere in my mom's garage is my original stuff. I decided to start up again to give myself something relatively simple to do while watching tennis or golf over the summer. Particularly when I'm not stitching something. It worked nicely while I watched the final round of the US Open on Sunday.

Spool knitting

Catching Up

It's been awhile since I've posted any stitchy bits, or really anything at all. I'm working on a new pattern that is taking forever to complete (which for me is saying something) and in the meantime trying to stitch some quicker things.

Here's my latest piece, finished today. The picture isn't great, the colors are actually pretty bright.

claptrap.jpg


Yet another random video game reference, this one is from Borderlands. More specifically, this promo video for Borderlands:



"So who's Tony Romo now, motherfucker?!" Ha.

I've also very very slowly been making some changes to my craft room, including reorganizing all my cross stitch stuff. I'm pretty close to being done, there's just some new things I need to frame and display. Hopefully it'll be pictureworthy when it's done.

I'm also going to be making some changes to the site, incorporating some new things. There may be patterns involved.

Best of the Decade Update

So, there'll be no more monthly album lists. For the remainder of the year I'll be working on compiling the best of 09 list, albums of the decade and possibly songs of the decade. Haven't decided whether the album list will be 50 or 100, although I'm still leaning towards 50. Still have alot of albums to sift through, been slacking lately.

Required Listening: September

2006 was a decent enough year. Neko Case and Thom Yorke were highlights. I forgot how much I liked Sondre Lerche's Duper Sessions.

This months' 2007 albums should be pretty easy, since they're so recent. I've listened to most of them in the last few weeks. I really need some new music to listen to.

Beirut- The Flying Club Cup
The Good Life- Help Wanted Nights
PJ Harvey- White Chalk
Interpol- Our Love to Admire
Kings of Leon- Because of the Times
Sondre Lerche- Phantom Punch
The National- Boxer (which is NOT better than Alligator)
The New Pornographers- Challengers
Radiohead- In Rainbows
Silverchair- Young Modern
Spoon- Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Tegan and Sara- The Con
David Usher- Strange Birds
John Vanderslice- Emerald City

And for point of reference, my best of 2007 list.

Required Listening: August

Between being sick and vacation, I kinda slacked off on my '05 albums and still have a few to listen to. Luckily the list for '06 is fairly short.

Here goes:

Beirut- Gulag Orkestar
Black Keys- Magic Potion
Brand New Heavies- Get Used to It
Neko Case- Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Cursive- Happy Hollow
Gnarls Barkley- St. Elsewhere
Grizzly Bear- Yellow House
Emm Gryner- Summer of High Hopes
Sondre Lerche- Duper Sessions
Placebo- Meds
Corinne Bailey Rae- Corinne Bailey Rae
Silversun Pickups- Carnavas
Thom Yorke- The Eraser

Been in a Sondre Lerche mood lately. Listening to Two Way Monologue a bunch. It's much better than I originally thought. Nice when albums surprise you like that. Definitely looking forward to the new album and the show in Sept. He's one of the artists I've been wanting to see again.

Required Listening: July

July's albums (another short list):

  • Nikka Costa- can'tneverdidnothin'
  • Emm Gryner- PVT
  • Emm Gryner- Songs of Love and Death
  • Jimmy Chamberlain Complex- Life Begins Again
  • Kings of Leon- Aha Shake Heartbreak
  • The National- Alligator
  • New Pornographers- Twin Cinema
  • QOTSA- Lullabies to Paralyze
  • Spoon- Gimme Fiction
  • David Usher- If God Had Curves
  • John Vanderslice- Pixel Revolt

Now that I've crossed into the second half of the decade, it's time to say goodbye to the albums that were sacrificed to the Smoke Monster.

  • Black Keys- The Big Come Up
  • Coldplay- Parachutes
  • Nelly Furtado- Woah Nelly!
  • Good Life- Novena on a Nocturn
  • David Gray- White Ladder
  • Emm Gryner- Dead Relatives
  • Interpol- Antics
  • Long Winters- When I Pretend to Fall
  • Muse- Origin of Symmetry
  • Muse- Absolution
  • Nada Surf- Let Go
  • The National- The National
  • New Pornographers- Electric Version
  • Orbit- xlr8r
  • Roland Orzabal- Tomcats Screaming Outside
  • Placebo- Black Market Music
  • Remy Zero- The Golden Hum
  • Bic Runga- Beautiful Collision
  • Silver Scooter- The Blue Law
  • Sunset Valley- Icepond
  • Travis- The Man Who
  • David Usher- Morning Orbit
  • John Vanderslice- Mass Suicide Occult Figurines
  • John Vanderslice- Life and Death of an American Fourtracker
  • John Vanderslice- Cellar Door
This is not to say these albums are bad (although a few are borderline), but to create a top 50 list, some things have gotta go.

Required Listening: June

So 2003 wasn't so bad, although it certainly didn't live up to the hype I manufactured in my head. These next few years (2004-06) should be interesting because I think they are hands down the worst of the decade overall. Not to say there weren't good albums released in those years, but the overall level of quality sunk to its lowest (particularly in '04). But here's the 2004 albums I'll be listening to:

  • Black Keys- Rubber Factory
  • Franz Ferdinand- Franz Ferdinand
  • Interpol- Antics
  • Keane- Hopes and Fears
  • PJ Harvey- Uh Huh Her
  • Sondre Lerche- Two Way Monologue
  • Sonic Youth- Sonic Nurse
  • Tegan and Sara- So Jealous
  • John Vanderslice- Cellar Door
Since I'm at the halfway point of the decade, I'll also be re-listening to some albums from previous years that I think require more attention (see below). And post a list of the albums that have been fed to the Smoke Monster so far.

  • The Black Keys- Thickfreakness
  • BRMC- BRMC
  • Interpol- Turn on the Bright Lights
  • Muse- Origin of Symmetry
  • The National- The National

Required Listening: May

2002 was a pretty damn solid year for music. I enjoyed everything I listened to and all the albums will most likely make the list. I especially enjoyed listening to the Long Winters first album again. It has that debut album magic that is hard to replicate on future albums.

Up next, 2003, the year I've most been looking forward to for some unknown reason.

  • Black Keys- Thickfreakness
  • Cursive- The Ugly Organ
  • Kings of Leon- Youth and Young Manhood
  • Long Winters- When I Pretend To Fall
  • Muse- Absolution
  • Nada Surf- Let Go
  • The National- Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers
  • New Pornographers- Electric Version
  • Placebo- Sleeping With Ghosts
  • Radiohead- Hail to the Thief
  • Those Peabodys- Unite Tonight
  • David Usher- Hallucinations
(Suggestions are always encouraged)

Record Store Day

Got up early yesterday to make the trip to Rhino Records for Record Store Day. Most of the RSD exclusives weren't particularly interesting to me, but you say Cursive 10" picture disc and I'm there. It worked out nicely because I hadn't been in awhile and the BoyCrab's birthday is fast approching. Plus everything was 10% off. I got there right before the store opened and there were actually people waiting outside, which I should have expected. Limited edition + vinyl lovers = heaven. However, there seemed to be a large number of people who were just buying one of everything, no doubt to sell the stuff on ebay. That kind of pisses me off because it goes against what RSD is all about....supporting record stores. And it means that someone who actually wanted that item may not have gotten it because of some wannabe dealer. RSD is a great idea and I hope it continues to get bigger and bigger because record stores can use all the help they can get these days.

Since my purchases may or may not be birthday gifts, I won't say what I bought until next week.

Required Listening: April

This decade has been pretty lousy for music, which doesn't come as much of a surprise to me, but I really thought that the early years were much better than they actually were. The stupidest realization I've had during this process is that hey, there's a reason you haven't listened to some of these album since they were new....THEY ARE CRAP! Imagine that, some rhyme and reason to my listening habits. 2001 was filled with albums from bands that just went to hell afterwards, and in some cases, on that particular album (I'm looking at you, Remy Zero). I was going to post my original best of list from 2001, but frankly, it's embarrassing. Let's just move on to 2002.

  • Bic Runga- Beautiful Collision
  • The Black Keys- The Big Come Up
  • Bright Eyes- Lifted....
  • Neko Case- Blacklisted
  • Emm Gryner- Asianblue
  • The Good Life- Black Out
  • Imperial Teen- On
  • Interpol- Turn On The Bright Lights
  • Sondre Lerche- Faces Down
  • Long Winters- The Worst You Can Do is Harm
  • Sonic Youth- Murray Street
  • Spoon- Kill the Moonlight
  • Queens of the Stone Age- Songs for the Deaf
Not too much for 2002, luckily there have already been a number of solid albums released this year so far, the Emm Gryner, Neko Case and Cursive albums are current favorites of mine.

Welcome

The new and crazily improved Pony in a Rope is here! Poke it with a stick and see what happens!

Yesterday one of my latest works was featured on mrxstitch.com, one of my newest blog finds. A running joke around my house is that my web developer S.O. is a l33t hax0r, and this piece is his "proof". The border says l33t hax0r and has his initials all in binary.

Required Listening: March

I thought 2000 had too many boring albums. Too much middle of the road, non-offensive music for my taste, but I think that's all the UK was producing the first few years of the decade. Hopefully 2001 will be better. This is what I'll be listening to.

  • BRMC- BRMC
  • Death Cab for Cutie- The Photo Album
  • The Faint- Danse Macabre
  • Emm Gryner- Girl Versions
  • Ed Harcourt- Here Be Monsters
  • Muse- Origin of Symmetry
  • The National- The National
  • Orbit- XLR8R
  • Roland Orzabal- Tomcats Screaming Outside
  • Radiohead- Amnesiac
  • Remy Zero- The Golden Hum
  • The Sheila Divine- Where Have My Countrymen Gone
  • Silver Scooter- The Blue Law
  • Spoon- Girls Can Tell
  • Sunset Valley- Icepond
  • Those Peabodys- Those Peabodys
  • David Usher- Morning Orbit
  • John Vanderslice- Time Travel is Lonely

Grammy Thoughts

  •  The new U2 song is pretty bad. They sounded like a band trying too hard to make a comeback. Sadly, I don't think Bono can write songs anymore
  • You could definitely tell Whitney Houston has been out of the spotlight for awhile, she didn't know what to do with herself.
  • Simon Baker's intro for U2play was obviously supposed to be for Radiohead, Transcendant? I don't think so.
  • Way to go Chris Martin, you out Bono-ed Bono! Their costumer couldn't have given him a longer shirt? I'm glad they apologized to Paul McCartney. 
  • Kid Rock...don't sing...ever.
  • Is it me, or has Robert Plant lost his accent?
  • Wow, the Jonas Brothers are actually worse than I expected. I'm glad the Grammy people were nice enough to pair them with Stevie Wonder, no one should have to look at those toolboxes.
  • I'm glad I got my Best New Artist pick wrong. I didn't really think people would be stupid enough to pick the Jonas Brothers, but I couldn't see anyone else winning. Good job picking someone with actual talent Grammy voters!
  • The "Rap Pack" was a total mess.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow totally wishes she married Thom Yorke. I wish I was in the USC band. Playing with Radiohead at the Grammys= able to die happy. Nice of U2play to give them a standing ovation. They should also give Radiohead all the Grammys they've won tonight. Just saying.
  • There are WAY too many performances, it should really just be those artists nominated in the major categories with maybe a couple of tributes. Most of the performances aren't even that good, trim the fat people.
  • I went 2 for 4 on my predictions, so not horrible. The Robert Plant- Alison Krauss songs sounded interesting

Grammy Predictions

I'm actually interested in this year's Grammy's. The nominees are actually pretty decent, Radiohead is performing, and MIA might give birth on stage. It might actually be an interesting award show! Here are my crack predictions for the some of the awards

Interesting thing to note, the last 2 years, one artist has won 3 of the 4 major awards.

Record of the year: Viva La Vida because I think it's going to be a Coldplay night, but I wouldn't be surprised if one of the other songs won, except Chasing Pavements.

Song of the year: Viva La Vida, with slim odds to American Boy

Album of the year: In Rainbows should win, but I'll go with Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends or Raising Sand

Best New Artist: this one is a crapshoot, most of the nominees weren't all that successful, and based on recent winners, it's always someone successful, so I'll go with Jonas Brothers (yuck)

Required Listening: Jan/Feb

Recently, it was brought to my attention that 2009 means best of the decade lists. So of course I jumped at the opportunity to anguish over another best of list, only this time, it can be drawn out for the entire year! Luckily I have a partner in music snobbery  who is into this as much as I am. So a very long list was compiled of all albums from 2000-08 that are currently owned (211). Some initial cuts were made, because let's face it, beautifulgarbage should not be on anyone's best of the decade list. So that leaves approximately 90 albums for me to listen to throughout the year, along with whatever comes out this year and the possible addition of other albums I may have missed out on the first time (suggestions very welcome). All to create a top 50 albums of the decade list.

To break things up a bit, I'm taking it one year at a time, of course starting with 2000. So for the rest of Jan until the end of Feb, I'll be listening to the following albums:

  • Bjork- Selmasongs
  • Bright Eyes- Fevers and Mirrors
  • Neko Case- Furnace Room Lullaby
  • Coldplay- Parachutes
  • Cursive- Domestica
  • Death Cab for Cute- We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes
  • Nelly Furtado- Whoa Nelly!
  • Emm Gryner- Dead Relatives
  • The Good Life- Novena on a Nocturn
  • David Gray- White Ladder
  • PJ Harvey- Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
  • New Pornographers- Mass Romantic
  • Placebo- Black Market Music
  • Queens of the Stone Age- Rated R
  • Radiohead- Kid A
  • Travis- The Man Who
  • John Vanderslice- Mass Suicide Occult Figurines
Some of these albums are a lock to make the list, but some I haven't heard in so long I really have no idea.

June Gloom

  • Finished Rant last night. I enjoyed it, although there was some pretty messed up stuff going on. But from what I know about Chuck Palahniuk that's par for the course. I'll be starting Atonement this week.
  • The best part from the otherwise boring spelling bee



  • Yet again, new month means new albums. I enjoyed listening to both Placebo and Spoon. I had some serious nostalgia going on while listening to A Series of Sneaks. That album reminds me of Austin so much. Without You I'm Nothing, even though I can remember when I bought the album, doesn't remind me of anything else. Nut listening to it for a month reaffirmed that it's not my favorite Placebo album. Since those albums have 2 of my favorite album covers, I thought i'd make a proper list..
In no particular order...

Joe Jackson- Look Sharp!


Placebo- Without You I'm Nothing


Keane- Under The Iron Sea


The Police- Ghost in the Machine


Spoon- A Series of Sneaks


This month's albums are similar because I used to really like these 2 bands and then they started to completely suck and sadly, I've abandoned them to the point that I don't even listen to their good albums anymore. So this month I'll be constantly wondering what went wrong and thinking how good these bands used to be. I've actually been looking forward to these albums.

Death Cab For Cutie- Something About Airplanes
   
I'd guess it's been 6 or so years since I listened to this album. I gave up on death cab around the time Transatlanticism came out and Ben Gibbard did all that horrible electronic crap known as The Postal Service (which in my opinion is what ruined his ability to write good songs). But way back in 98, I was just hearing about Death Cab and for 3 albums they were really fucking good. So it's going to be hard to listen to this album without wanting to curse the music gods for turning Ben Gibbard into a complete toolbox. No doubt I will like it as much as I did back when it was new.

Snow Patrol- Songs For Polar Bears
    Um....I last listened to this album maybe 6 years ago as well. Unlike Death Cab, I think this is Snow Patrol's only good album. Their second album had some good songs on it, but overall kinda sucked. And then after that they decided they wanted to turn into Coldplay (who now wants to be U2, go figure), changed their sound and got successful. For the record, it's not the success that bothers me, it's the turning into Coldplay. Anyway, I think this first album is pretty good, and it's sad they've changed so much from what they used to be.

Random May Thoughts

Lakers-Spurs game 2 is tonight. There's already been some trash talking going on between my house and my mom's. I'm staying out of it because frankly, I'm a traitor, and I would prefer not to be disowned or thrown out of my house.

Pitchfork has an interesting article about favorite albums. "Like a lot of kids I would spend time in my room making lists of favorite this and that but it was always with one mind's eye on the social world: getting my ideas straight before they were tested." That was totally me in high school, although I don't think i've ever had just one favorite album at a time. That requires too much loyality and commitment to one album. But I can fairly easily spit out a list of favorite albums. I don't like to be limited to just one favorite.

The new Gnarls Barkley album has grown on me quite a bit. I think unlike the first album, this one is much more of a grower. Right now my favorite song from it is "Neighbors".

My latest project...



I need to get a better picture, the light was crappy since it's been overcast all day. Oh well....it's still making me hungry.

Randomness

  • Kobe won the mvp...yay!
  • I should be finished with The Time Traveler's Wife next week. I'm limiting my reading to school hours only, otherwise I'd finish it this weekend. It's really really good.