Friday, August 29, 2008

Blogs and inspiration

Some time ago Micheleena, Shelleen, Jill, Janaina, and Sonda nominated me for a Kreativ Blogger award
I am touched and honored ladies. Truly.

There are some pyramid-scheme-esque rules that go with the award which (since I'm so dang slow) you've all read maybe a hundred times by now. I'm going to ignore them and go my own way. I'm sitting here thinking back to not so long ago when I started this and I'm trying to remember why it all seemed so dang essential to begin with. I think it started with a compulsion to find pics of completed RRs for ideas then it expanded to a hunt for all the really cool WIP pics of xs I could for inspiration. At some point that turned into a compulsion to find all the xs blogs I could (you should see my bookmarks folder!).

Anyway, all that is to say, I've found herds and herds of creative bloggers roaming the plains of the internet. They ***YOU*** are everywhere. And more of YOU are being created every minute. You are all inspiring and I'm glad you all are out there for me to find.

Part of the "real" rules for the Kreativ Blogger Award are that I'm supposed to nominate n-people, for some given value of "n." I ain't gonna. I am going to mention a few folks who inspire me in one way, shape, or form. I don't promise that you haven't found them on your own, or that they'll be your cup of tea, but I always feel a little perkier or thoughtful for visiting them:

The Pigeon Loft Charlie doesn't stitch, but she has knitted the most amazing pigeon who she takes on adventures

Linen Stitcher who is doing a wonderful "construction and contracting" job on her not-so-RR neighborhood

Stitch Bitch whose adventures and misadventures are worth the read

Stitchologist because she's fearless, jumps right in and does these amazing out-of-the-box finishes, and stashes with the best of them

Paisley because anyone who can make moving a whole house entertaining and picture-worthy is Creative!

Kendra who has a great soundtrack of Sinatra and friends to accompany her beautiful stitching updates

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Yes, I know, I'm sorry.

I've been MIA. I apologize. I was going to be visiting with you this weekend but I stayed home and immersed myself in the Olympics. [Woo hooo! Congrats volleyball! Ok, anyone else watch team handball and not get it? I mean my uncle played handball and it wasn't anything like that. I never checked-- did Iceland prevail?] Then I was certainly going to be with you Monday but I ended up being thoroughly stymied researching Chilean theme parks. [For the record, apparently there aren't many. And if you know of one/some, let me know!]

All that aside, here I am everso briefly to say hi and share a finish or two --
Drum roll please......
8_22_2008 019
Yes she's done with all her little beads!
8_22_2008 012
BTW, I'm planning on picketing Mill Hill someday. I believe we should all support legislation require MH to make beads that fit over a size 28 needle. I mean, it's not like beading needles are threadable. My powwow beads almost always fit over a 28. If they can do it so can Mill Hill!!!! I believe that usable beads are an inalienable human right. Aside from my pending protest action I am quite proud of myself. I FINISHED a MIRABILIA! hee heee I'm feeling quite smug.

I also completed or nearly completed a couple ornies --
8_26_2008 024

Oh and I completed replacement squares for Tuula in Fair and Square. She never got her squares from her partner in round 7 so I hopped in when Vonna asked. Now, I can't show the squares to you for 2 very good reasons. First, Tuula doesn't have them yet. Second, lame ole me forgot to take a picture before I sent them. I know, I know. I take pictures of darn near anything that doesn't actively jog away from me and yet I missed those squares. Sigh. I'm lame.

Aside from stitching and working, I've been very, very bad. Not only did I go buy MORE BOOKS last night --
8_26_2008 019

But I bought my ticket to the Cross Stitch Pals Fall Fling!!!! It really is great fun so if you are thinking about needing a stitching retreat this one is darn affordable and the folks are really, really fun. Annnnd I think Chris and I still have space left in our house. You'd be able to meet Amy and Mel and Moniquee and a bunch more goofy ladies! Awww come on. You'll have fun! For the record, I signed up only for the ornie finishing class. Chris however is taking them all I think. lol It's a real role reversal for us. Usually I'm in every class and she's footloose and fancy free.

I leave you with this shot that makes me giggle. I caught this in a parking garage --
8_20_2008 002
Oh come on! Noah's AC. lol

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Finishing Denver

Ok, back to the Denver Tour.

Among the other sculptures in the square between the government buildings is
8_11_2008 035
“On the War Trail” by Stephen Knight

And this lovely lion – one a of a pair that flank the stairs leading from the square to the museum triangle
8_11_2008 046
Apparently a gift of Alfred and Anna Adamo (who also donated the Columbus statue from the previous post).

Upon making it to the lawn of the Denver Art Museum I found “Wheel” by Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds
8_11_2008 052
8_11_2008 062
If you want to read more about it, visit its page at the Art Museum. They are really cool, possibly not so if you don’t like modern art. As a rule I don’t, but these are downright nifty. Probably it helps that I’ve spent years in Indian history.

This piece is in front of the Libeskind building
8_11_2008 075
Sorry, I neglected to get its particulars. If you happen to know, I’d be grateful. Behind it in the picture are the “museum apartments.” For excessive amounts of money, you too could live across the patio from the museum –
8_11_2008 077
8_11_2008 087
8_11_2008 090
I also missed the name of the giant whisk broom. Sorry. It still cracks me up.

And these giant cows live at the back end of the Libeskind building.
8_11_2008 113
I missed their name too. I think at this point I was in desperate need of caffeine. Lord knows I was certainly thinking that I shouldn’t have packed the sun block before exploring the city.

Had the art museum been open on Monday, I would have headed in to visit this exhibit.
8_11_2008 121

Sigh it was not to be. So instead my next stop was a museum that WAS open – The Colorado Historical Society.
8_11_2008 122
I have to admit that I didn’t have high hopes, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. They’ve done a marvelous job here. I figured to spend an hour, but stayed for two and a half. It’s a lovely little place (and, actually, not all that little). The gift shop offers a small refrigerator case including water (bless them!), and some nice, but over-priced goodies. The exhibits are good enough to make allowances for over-pricing. There was this marvelous timeline the length of the room—
8_11_2008 158

Which included this wonderful sign from WWI.
8_11_2008 160

They have a temporary display on women of the Range from which I couldn’t resist this little froth of lace from the hem of a wedding dress in the exhibit
8_11_2008 162

Then there was this alien ribcage
8_11_2008 185
Well, it looks like an alien ribcage, right? It’s actually a motor section on some sort of mining equipment. Still, in honor of Denvention I shall always think of it as “the alien ribcage.”

The Historical Society also has a nice display on Native American life including a case of school jerseys featuring Indian mascots and then this lovely:
8_11_2008 210
Lol Be annoyed if you want, but I’m a supporter of the people-aren’t mascots campaign.

Of course there is the possibility that my fondness for the Historical Society rests squarely on one sign –
8_11_2008 223
I think it sums up my life/work handily. I think I’ll stitch it in a sampler!

I left the lovely air conditioning of the Museum for lunch at
8_11_2008 120
…. Yup, the Denver Public Library. They have a tiny, but nice café. I didn’t try the gelato, but I can recommend the chicken breast sandwich, and the Coke had never tasted better. BTW, don’t you have to love a city that has giant building-covering banners in support of its library?! BTW, they have this cool sculpture/sign on one side –
8_11_2008 284

I wandered from the library over to the state capitol by way of the Veterans monument—
8_11_2008 295
8_11_2008 297
8_11_2008 311
8_11_2008 315
8_11_2008 330

On the steps of the Capitol are three official mile-high markers. One is the initial marker, the carved stair was added to thwart folks who kept stealing the button marker. The final marker was added after science geeks (no disrespect meant, it’s a term of honor, honestly) worked out that the marker was about a foot shy of actually being at a mile above sea level.
8_11_2008 342
8_11_2008 343
8_11_2008 346

What I thought was my final shot on the capitol grounds was this one—
8_11_2008 347
A view from the mile-high marker to the Civil War Memorial, the Veterans Memorial, and back across the central park to the city/county building. Quite a vista. Anyway, I thought it was to be my last pic there, but then I met a friend –
8_11_2008 353
He looked as hot as I felt. But I think he was faking it.

The final pic of the day ended up being of part of a fountain that memorializes the pioneer settlers of Denver –
8_11_2008 364
I like shooting water when I can get it to work to my advantage. Lol

Thanks for bearing with me on my Denver adventure. I certainly wish I'd have had another day or two to explore. I'd say if you were looking for an interesting long weekend trip or a place to have a convention, I'd recommend Denver.

Apologetic note: It was a really sunny day when I was wandering the city so a lot of the time I was shooting these pictures blind. So, please pardon the angles and framing.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Denver has much to be proud of....

Despite a cab driver assuring me that the city was "never this clean" and that it was "only this clean because the Democrats are coming," I found the city to be fairly salubrious. I know I enjoyed my day's wanderings in its government and museum districts.

The first thing I should probably exlpain is that I prefer to take pictures of things that don't move. Architecture is favored, followed closely by flora. Mind you, if you want a stiff breeze to pick up, just have me pont a camera at a nearby leaf. Sure as shooting you will get a really dedicated breeze directly correlated to the length of time I aim the camera. Honest. It works every time.

My first post-con day began with repacking. You see, I had spent the night kind f tossing and turning and thinking of better ways to pack all those books I bought. Before there are any snide comments about excessive luggage, You should know I packed a small spare bag in the suitcase which I dutifully filled with books. And between it and the actual suitcase I still only had 59 pounds of luggage. Considering how many book dealers I kept in business, I think I did right well. Ok, sure I had 2 carry-ons and I came home with a hefty list of books I "need to find." What else are cons for if not to ammass books? I mean that is the purpose, right???? Anyway, once repacked I headed downstairs for the nice, long wait for the ONE PERSON working the registration desk at the Crowne Plaza. They never had more than one and a half people working registration despite having a very full hotel. [An abbreviated version of my hotel rant is: If you can get into/have no aversion to the Hyatt or the Hilton, stay there. Avoid the Crowne Plaza it will only aggitate you especially if you don't suffer foolishness well.]

One out the the hotel lobby the day was quite lovely. The first stop was at teh vendor cart outside the U.S. Mint to collect an AZ quarter for my buddy Elaine. As promised said guy and his cart were curbside next to the entrance to the Mint's gift shop and I got the quarter for a mere 75 cents. Mission accomplished. Now, on the the art. ....

Between the State government buildings and the city/county buildings there's both nice architecture and pretty parkland in the Denver core. First I tumbled into
a piece by Robert Mangold (untitled as far as I could find):
8_11_2008 002

Then I wandered the sculptures and flower beds in the square between the city and state buildings --
8_11_2008 013
That's in honor of Christoper Columbus by William F. Joseph (seems very fitting that a lost explorer should be pointing in all directions)
8_11_2008 015
8_11_2008 016
8_11_2008 019
8_11_2008 022
8_11_2008 029

More eventually..... Someone needs to go home and read and work. Two bins of mail waited for me on my office floor. Sigh. That's two bins too many!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm back....

.... I'm tired. I'm not completely unpacked. I'm up to my knees is work. And did I mention I was tired?

I'll be back soon with closing Denver thoughts, but for now ya'll have to be patient because... say it with me.... I'm tired!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

snifff sniff

The Bad News: WorldCon is over.

Well, it's the end of Denvention, and I'll certainly miss it. Sure it's crazed and over-stimulating, but I love it.

Day 5 in review:

Morning began with a panel on science fiction and museums and libraries which was mostly focused on the problem with keeping institutions on the "side" of science fiction and/or convincing them that SF is "worthy." I used the panel time to, are you ready?..... to start a new project. lol You knew it had to happen. And it's appropriate given the venue -- see, I started Black Swan's Dragon's Lair:
8_10x_2008 002

You can't really tell but so far I have 3 colors in-- black, purple, and yellow.

After the morning panel I headed upstairs to get my lunch smoothie and join the line for Charles Stross' autographing. Gasp-- no more "black sand beach" smoothies. Only banana-mango and banana-strawberry. That just wasn't going to cut it. Do you suppose it was a gentle sign that it was time for me to leave? lol The Stross line was far more productive because look who is schmoozing at the head of the line--
8_10_2008 002
Yes, that's our Kathryn!!! We got a little chatting in before I headed off for he EOS/HarperCollins "what's coming up" slideshow and she went off for more signatures.

Now, Kathryn and her husband drove so that allowed for extra packing space, but if you come to a con, you should be prepared if you are a booky person --
8_10_2008 004
That's Kathryn's suitcase of books for signatures. She'd like you to know that's only half of them. Dedicated book geeks will understand -- at least I know I do! But I was flying so I only brought: 2 hardbacks, 1 trade paper, and 7 mass markets. lol You think I'm nuts don't you? Oh well.

My final panel options seemed to have disappeared, so I wandered the halls, caught up on the upcoming cons announcements, and picked up my substitute lunch (a hot dog). Oh and I bought a pair of earrings, but I don't have a picture of them and I'm too tired to go take one now.

Oh guess where dinner was -- Yup. You're right.
8_10_2008 040

To finish off my splendid time at WorldCon, I'll tackle some of the little things, in no particular order that you should know about conventions, Denver, and the Denver Convention Center --
At cons you learn to stand in line. We have it down to a science (well, some of us do... those registration lines were a horse of a completely different color)
8_8_2008 044
That's a pretty short line as lines at cons go. You get used to it.

We also specialize in milling around and schmoozing:
8_10_2008 020

8_9_2008 034
is a voodoo board. I highly recommend them for conventions/large events. Without having to interrupt everything with 7 million ringing cell phones, or with tracking people you don't have numbers for, but you're certain are around, you use the voodoo board. the name of everyone pre-registered for the con in listed on the board; as you come in you circle your name to say you have arrived; if you want to leave a message for someone, you put a push pin next to their name, jot your note, and leave it in an alphabetically divided box next to the board. It's really very handy. Sure, in the era of blackberries and cells it's fading, but it's such a fannish institution I don't think it will ever be abandoned.

Denver has been very welcoming to us:
8_7_2008 015
Yea, we got street banners!

The Hyatt across the street from the convention center has this interesting "meaningful" statement that wraps all the way around its building.
8_10_2008 041
No, I haven't read it all. I just thought "superincumbent soil" sounded sciency enough to be part of my WorldCon memories.

We always hang what I've come to think of as the "sacred banner."
8_7_2008 013
And I always take a picture of it.

The Denver Convention Center:
1. has a main ballroom branded by --
8_5_2008 025
a California vineyard???? And how is it that Korbel is featuring a "California champagne"--- I thought they had to call it sparkling wine? Ooops, don't tell the vintners of Champagne.

2. has the nicest smelling hand soap in their restrooms. Not that nasty pina colada crap.

3. has really cool light fixtures which make me think of scifi, mutant pinecones
8_8_2008 050
And they helped create a really nifty look (to me at least) in one place:
8_10_2008 005
8_10_2008 007

4. has pretty good lighting and great sound systems in the rooms

5. puts some sort of soporific drugs in the air of their meeting rooms. I can't be so tired because I haven't been to bed before 3am all week. Nah, that couldn't be it. lol


8_10_2008 049
I'm going to Anticipation -- WorldCon 2009 in Montreal !!!! Well, I hope I'm going. I at least have a membership.

Even with my happy news, I think the near is sad. Don't you think he's going to miss me?
8_10_2008 027

Tomorrow is my "experience Denver" day. I plan on hiking over the the State Capitol building to see the mile high step, visiting the main branch of the public library, checking out the exterior of the art museum, visiting the historical society, checking out any statues or architecture that captures my eye, and possibly visiting the firefighters museum. You can expect full reports. And probably a couple pictures too.

Quote of the Day:
"If you scratch a Ph.D. physicist, you'll get an 8 year old very quickly." Ellen Klages