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the anticraft > blog
Feb 9, 2010
It smells like...a SONG!
If you love Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, you'll laugh your ass off at Wolverine, The Musical! Stay tuned after the credits roll for the url to directions for making his awesome claws, so you, too, can slice the wings off of a bee.
How did I get these mutton chops?
Oct 8, 2009
My kinda town, Chicago is...
w00t!! We're off to the Windy City. It's all rest and relaxation for me (except for one very early day) but hard work over the past several months for my husband.
It's Marathon Weekend in Chicago!! And I love it.
No. I'm not running. Not in a million years. I once considered training for a marathon, but that was because the marathon I was interested in was being run on Antarctica. I would have gladly let myself be distracted by the wildlife and geology; you might say that was the sole reason I'd ever want to do such a mad thing. And then I sobered up.
This is the second time Rick will run Chicago, and I couldn't be more excited for myself. The first time we went, I packed all sorts of stringy projects to keep myself entertained for the 5 or 6 hours it takes him to run that far (he's not fast, but that's not why he does it) and ended up touching not even one. I remember wondering on the plane to Chicago, chatting with another marathon spectator, what could possibly be at all exciting about standing around watching other people run past.
Oh man. Well, let me just tell you.
First of all, there's like a million people out there cheering and waving flags and signs and so forth. It's a wild crazy party on both sides of every street (and many hanging out of windows above the streets) of the 26.2-mile course. 1,000,000 people. It helps if you say it like Doctor Evil. Except that it's not only not an exaggeration, it's probably a low estimation.
Second of all, the people are so interesting. I expected people to be wearing tech shirts and shorts. Maybe a few would be wearing those special tights they make now for running in cold weather. There were 40,000 runners clogging the streets around Grant Park, and while most of them were wearing traditional running gear, many were wearing very outlandish ... um... things. (Wait for it...)
So in October of 2003, I was there at the start with My Beloved, eager and nervous for him, and a little more than surprised about the way the day was turning out. I decided that I'd be happy standing under the Sears Tower, which is just past the halfway mark. I actually got there before the professional runners.
Yeah. There are three phases of runners in any large marathon. There are the professionals, who were invited to participate from all over the world and have big names and will be running for giant bags of money. They are not human. Their endorsements have endorsements. They'll finish the race in 2:08 or so and make the end of the race a very exciting few minutes.
The second phase of runners are the super elite humans. These are people who will run the race in 3:20 and complain about hitting their plateau at mile 18. They take the sport of running seriously, but are not at Olympic or professional level. They will all have paid actual money for their sneakers, most of them even paid full price; there won't be a single endorsement among them, unless they happen to be an athlete from another sport. (That happens sometimes.) Many of these people are running to get a particular finish time which will qualify them to run the Boston Marathon or other hard-to-get-into races.
The third group is made of just regular people like Rick. These are the people who get in a 5-10 mile run at the gym on their lunch break and then do longer training on the weekends. Most of these folk are really just interested in visiting a new city and maybe actually finishing the race. They use running to keep fit and to excuse that extra helping of cheesecake, and they probably bought their shoes on sale or with a coupon. This is where my husband fits in.
Mixed in with the third phase of runners are the people in costumes.
In 2003 I saw the San Diego Chicken run past me at least 3 times. He (?) was wearing different sneakers and numbers each time. Elvises (Elvii??) from every stage of his life ran past, and I lost count of them around 7, I think. You might have thought that Fat Sequined Elvis would be the funniest to watch, but biggest laughs went to the Leather Elvises. I saw firefighters and members of the military running in full gear. Several Spidermen, Supermen, Wonder Women, Incredible Hulks, The Flash (who apparently lapped the other racers--I saw 4 or 5 of him), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all streaked by. There were gorillas, brides, zombies (wonder if they needed the makeup by the end of the course?), Frankenstein's monsters, cheerleaders, ghosts, omigoodness all sorts of Halloween masks. It was spectacular.
So there I was, at the base of the Sears Tower watching in awe as the too-athletic-to-be-recognizably-humans ran past. I marveled at them and at the super amazing next phase of very serious athletes. By the time the real people started making their way past us the cheering got seriously loud. People who weren't in costume put their names on their shirts so we could cheer for them by name, and we did. I had gotten to know the people around me. Conversation was lively and fun. I am in this weekend for my own entertainment, and I know I won't be disappointed.
I missed seeing Rick running in the massive crush of runners that last time. I hope to see him this time. That's my goal. His goal is to finish. No, he won't be wearing a costume. Yes, he will be almost as entertained as I will be. And of course there will be the obligatory embarassing pictures on Facebook.
I can't wait.
standing and cheering and making a big public fool of myself over 26.2 miles,
PS: If you read this far, you may be interested in knowing that Rick is running the Chicago Marathon to raise money for the American Brain Tumor Association. His mom is recovering from brain cancer. If you would like to read his story and donate, please click HERE.
Sep 1, 2009
It's September 1, and that means you have only 18 days to brush up on your Pirate for International Talk Like a Pirate Day. HERE'S A LINK to the ITLaPD website which will, if not provide you with seamless fluency, prime your linguistic pump.
In honor of this momentous annual occasion, I was going to post a whole bunch of links to knitting on a pirate theme, but Stephanie Pearl McPhee beat me to it. THREE YEARS AGO. So HERE'S A LINK to her blog entry, as she put up everything I would have (honestly -- most of it was in my mind to find before I found her site!).
The one I want to especially highlight is HelloYarn's Pirate Mittens, not linked on YarnHarlot's site, but they match the hat pattern called "We Call Them Pirates", which is. I made those for my husband last year after he discovered that you can change your language on Facebook to "English, Pirate", and left his account set that way from the beginning of September until his birthday in late FebruARRRRy. They were easy and quick to knit, and he was so proud of them. If you have any desire to knit a sweater for your significant other, I'd strongly recommend these mittens instead, so as to avoid the Curse. You know what I mean.
So: is anyone having pirate parties? NOW is the time to plan them!! SeptembAARRR 19 falls on a SatAARRRday, aftARR all! Plus, it's a perfect excuse to get wicked sloshed on rum drinks, and who doesn't enjoy that? (Please don't answer if you don't. Unless you're answering with an alternate potent suggestion.)
Which is a really good segue into an important reminder.
The Samhain issue submission deadline is fast approaching. Our topic this issue is things to do with alcohol. So if you feel pARRticulARRly inspired by International Talk Like a Pirate Day and create your own recipe for grog (or really anything to do with alcohol), we'd love to receive your submission!!
Article and project submissions should be received at firstname.lastname@example.org by September 6. CLICK HERE for a reminder of submission guidelines.
swashing my buckles and yo-ing my hos,
Aug 28, 2009
Not for the Arachnophobic
I'm working on my arachnophobia.
It's the only reason I didn't go into entomology, you know. I love, always have loved, always will love insects. But it's hard to make a career out of something during which you must live in fear because the scariest of the scary is always Right There. Sort of like opening a wedding cake store when you hate white, sugar+saccharine, and the terrifyingly schlocky. (That's also my story.)
So this summer, when two Yellow Garden Spiders (closely related to Wood Spiders; they're both argiopes) took up residency on my back porch, I decided I would work at being at peace with them. It took surprisingly little effort; they've been wonderful neighbors, fascinating company, and their webs (I've always loved spider webs) have been breathtaking. In return, I've been leaving the back porch light on for them. I want them to catch lots of insects so they stay healthy.
I've been accused of spoiling my pets before. So what? It's not a crime.
So when I saw this video, I thought I HAD to share it with someone. And why not AntiCrafters? Who better to appreciate spiders?
Watch, and enjoy. You may even learn something.
What? It's all in the name of science.
I thought about conducting my own experiments but 1.) all caffeine in my household is to be used on ME; and 2.) no spiders are allowed in the house.
It just doesn't matter how snuggly we get out on the back porch. If they come into the house, they're only so much squished organic matter.
still laughing about Crack Spider "popping a cap in his arse",
Jun 14, 2009
Gold Lame Pants Make Me Dizzy
If you've been reading this blog for the past year and a half, then you may already know how I feel about flash mobs.
If you're new (or need a reminder), this is how I feel: I. LOVE!!!!! FLASH MOBS.
What's a flash mob?? It's wacky good fun. Occasionally it can also be a political or sociological statement, but in the case I present below, I leave you to make your own determination.
As opposed to shopping in fancy (albeit warehouse-y) Sunset Boulevard shops, which would be "PriceY".
wondering if I have enough gold lame for my own pants,
PS -- Watch for the guy in the headband. He made me HOWL.
May 28, 2009
I like zombies. And irrelevance. And irreverence.
My long absense insists that my first post in, like, a quingigillion years (it's a real number) ought to be an outrageously silly one.
Why? Why not. Plus, I like zombies. Some of you might, too. (HA! "Might.")
I canNOT stop laughing.
And because I like mash-ups, here is another version:
Aaahhhhh. Silly Bill. Bill being made fun of. And zombies. I think it's my new favorite combination.
In the meantime, I will not be so absent. It'll preserve you from these pent-up outbursts of silly.
giggling like a fool,