Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tracy Flick lives on in Glee

One of my favorite dark comedic movies from the 90s is Election with Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick. I haven't quite seen its match in comedic style until now. Not only has the style been resurrected, but the lead high school female character is a lot like Tracy Flick, Reese Witherspoon's unforgettable character in Election. Fast-paced wit and charm interlaced with deliciously smart musical snippets can be found in the new Fox show Glee. There were scenes in the pilot that could've been pulled directly from Election. For example, how about Rachel Berry storming down the school hallway pumping her arms while intensely fluttering voices are playing in the background... to her fake crying in the principal's office making accusations against the former glee club advisor to get him fired. I thought back to the very determined Tracy Flick running for school president and how she would let nothing stand in her way. Rachel Berry on Glee is determined to be a star using the glee club as her platform. The creator of Glee even eludes to the movie Election when asked to what he compares his movie. Oh, yes. I'll be watching this show religiously come fall. I even downloaded the highly-ranked-on-iTunes cover of Don't Stop Believin'.

From what I've heard, there is a lot of good music and guests coming our way. Kristin Chenoweth plays "an alcoholic high school dropout"; Josh Groban guests as himself and plays an "ignorant a-hole"; and Debra Monk and Victor Garber play Will Schuester's parents." One difference between Rachel Berry and Tracy Flick that I like was shown in the pilot: Rachel actually has a heart and does get her feelings hurt at times. I mean, how couldn't she have a heart with that gut-wrenching performance of Les Miserables' On My Own for her glee club audition?! That gave me chills.

On to American Idol. Yes, I'm not finished with Idol just yet! For those who either initially disliked Danny Gokey or eventually disliked him, I found some hilarious, tension-releasing, South-Park-and-LOTR-infused commentary videos on EW by Michael Slezak and Kristin Baldwin:
Danny Gokey's exit recap video - Part 1
Danny Gokey's exit recap video - Part 2
Idolatry 5/10 - Part 2
I love the South Park graphic! If you don't have time to watch these in full, just watch the beginnings of the first and third video links. I found myself completely agreeing (and laughing along) with pretty much everything they were saying. Then if you have time, check out the video series of Allison Iraheta's exit interview. Obviously, Michael Slezak adored her as much as I did.

Something else to mention before I stop talking AI is that Danny Gokey did it again... As if some people didn't already feel enough disdain for the poor guy, he screwed up on CNN's Larry King Live with Ryan Seacrest last night. Every single other contestant on the show were considerate and gracious in their comments concerning Kris and Adam. Until Danny spoke, the other contestants were reiterating in solidarity what Kris and Adam have been saying in all their interviews. Then Danny comes along and says that he thought Kris would win and gave reasons behind why Adam didn't. Arrogant SOB. Adam and Kris were sitting right there. Granted, Danny had said these same things in an earlier live blog and Ryan Seacrest was bringing it up on LKL to see what Danny had to say for a second time in front of the two finalists. The other contestants could've eaten him alive with their eyes when he was opening his big mouth to Ryan. Danny, you do realize that you'll be going on tour with these people for the summer, don't you?! Ugh. As a David Cook fan, I'm still miffed that he sang Hello on the Finale Results Show. He didn't do that badly actually, but I'm sure all David Cook fans like myself had daggers in their eyes and collectively gasped when Danny started singing that song. Danny rant finished. Check.

Did anyone watch SYTYCD? I got all teary when the blond-haired girl who lives with her grandparents auditioned and made it. Just beautiful. I also liked the girl from the Bronx who has rheumatoid arthritis. Such talent coming from people who have odds stacked against them in life!

In Curly Girl news, I found the book at a smaller branch of my local library. I took Marie with me to get that and the Sensational Knitted Socks book, which happened to be only one aisle away from the CG book. (BTW, I've already finished the CG book -- fast read.) We also got her some books and DVDs, then walked across a grassy field to the playground at Thompson Park. She enjoyed that it was just us without Ian. When Ian is with us, I can't help Marie climb on things since he's always trying to run away and explore. I got to climb on everything with her, and she loved that. Then later when we got home, I read to her all about honeybees and snakes from her library books. We're talking in-depth books here, and she had lots of questions. My favorite was, "Are there any snakes that would eat me?" Her eyes were huge when she saw the page that showed a snake swallowing its prey.

Looks like I might be doing most if not all of the driving next week to Raleigh: Jared tripped and broke his arm today. Poor thing was trying to run to get the phone (it was me calling) and got a loop of his shoelace caught on his cymbal stand. He went to an urgent care and got an x-ray done, after which they put his arm in a hard splint.

Knitting News
Not much, other than I'm at the armhole of the front side of Wright. My sportweight socks are coming along slowly. I was lucky to find the yarn for those from last year's Knitters Connection goodie bag of one-skein yarns from Knitters Mercantile. Actually, I also found that I still have three differently-colored sample skeins of CotLin (my purchase from when CotLin first came out) and a super bulky skein of black alpaca yarn (from the Knitters Connection goodie bag). Other than that though, my modest stash consists of only leftovers. I'll be thinking about what to use those skeins of CotLin for while finishing my current projects. I'll probably make a Sheldon with my leftovers of turquoise and orchid Shine (unless it's the wrong weight of Shine -- haven't checked the pattern yet) that I used to make last year's mermaid outfit for Marie.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Both Won In My Opinion

Even though I knew it was a strong possibility that Kris Allen might win American Idol, at the very last second I really thought Adam would. So I'm as stunned as Kris. When I voted last night, I first voted for Kris. Then after a crisis of conscience, I voted the remaining time left for Adam. His talent and performance skills just couldn't be denied despite the fact that I like Kris's acoustic-rock style. I like them BOTH and think it's too difficult to compare them! Both really won tonight. Actually, I won't be surprised is all top 4 contestants get record deals immediately.

There were some fun duets tonight! I loved Allison and Cyndi Lauper singing Time After Time, my favorite Cyndi Lauper tune. Jason Mraz's group number and Keith Urban's duet with Kris were both enjoyable, and I loved Adam and Chris singing with Queen. I jumped off the couch when I heard the beginning of We Are the Champions. They sure had fun with that! KISS wasn't so hot, but Adam got to wear platform boots and do his rock wail. I'm curious to know what lyrics were censored on Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas. I'll have to check that out...

Oh, and I loved seeing my favorite Idol David Cook perform again! He was the underdog last year to David Archuleta, although the difference there is that he could sing just as well and often better than Archie. Like Kris, David did cool song arrangements. By the end of last season, people could clearly see that Cook was more well rounded, seasoned, and exciting than Archie. Going back to this season, I think Danny really shot himself in the foot by following in David Archuleta's footsteps. He became boring despite his initial popularity. People became more interested in Kris than Danny. Kris and Adam ultimately were the two most exciting contestants, Adam from the get-go and Kris building momentum as the season progressed.

Speaking of David Cook again: He'll be here in Columbus on my birthday... yes, that's right, MY BIRTHDAY! So you know where'll I'll be then, don't you?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Marie's Coney Island Socks Done; David Cook Videos

Pattern: Two Toe-Up Socks on a Single Circular Needle
Yarn: Felici
Needles: Knit Picks Options Fixed Circulars US 1.5 (2.5 mm)
Gauge: Good question. Must've been about 7.5-8 spi. I think I knit these tighter than my recent toe-up Jaywalkers which were more like 7 spi! In hindsight, I think I was so worried about making sure the toe increases were mega-tight that I must've continued the tight tension all the way up the sock.
Notes: I added a picot bind off to make them girly-fied :-) I used *CO 1, BO 3* and a few rounds of stockinette leading up to the BO to curl the edge. I started the 1 inch of 2x2 ribbing right after completing the gusset decreases.

Since I didn't really read through the pattern closely before beginning these (other than there being toddler and child sizes and it being toe-up), I didn't notice that the heel flap was on the bottom and worked like cuff-down socks. It was weird to pick up stitches along the sole flap and follow that with a heel turn and gusset decreases! I'm not sure yet if I completely like the resulting directional look of the stripes on these socks. With a solid color, it wouldn't be noticeable. But with stripes, I'm kind of partial to the look of stripes on a cuff-down heel flap since the gusset stripes are vertical and therefore slimming. So... I'm thinking I probably like the toe-up reverse-engineered heel better since it exactly matches the cuff-down heel. The only thing to try now is the Los Monos Locos heel with a plain sole and slip stitch heel. I've got one skein of Louet Gems sportweight yarn (from last year's Knitter's Connection goodie bag) that I might use to try this. It's only 50 grams though, so I'll have to make them snug and short. Correction: Actually, it's 100 grams, so no worries.

Last night I was on YouTube and looked up David Cook to see if he performed Billie Jean or Hello in concert. MmmmmHmmmm. Yes he did, and my, my did I enjoy. Here are two videos I found. One is of him singing Billie Jean in Kansas City last summer. The second one is of him singing The World I Know and Hello acoustically at Ford Day last September. His banter with the crowd is funny in the second video. I love his acoustic version of Hello. There are some videos of him doing Hello on the Idol Tour last year that are also good, too. One of these days, I'll have to catch his show since he's my favorite American Idol!

Billie Jean

The World I Know and Hello

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Yay Kris Allen! ...and Zoo Trip

We have an Adam Lambert/Kris Allen finale! I'm so glad that Kris' amazing talent finally shone through to the voters. This will be an exciting show next week! With only 1 million votes separating them, I can't wait to see Kris and Adam turn up the dial. Woohoo! ...and did you see how glad they both seemed that they were the final two? The really get along well.

Did everyone see Katy Perry's cape at the beginning of her performance on AI tonight? How could you not?! I'd read earlier that Adam is her favorite according to a Tweet she made. I thought her little pro-Adam stunt was cute. She's definitely interesting to watch, to say the least.

Jordin Sparks looked nice and sounded OK. Although, I'm reminded of how less than stellar that particular season's contestants were. When I try to name all the Idols in order, I always seem to stumble on the Jordin Sparks and Taylor Hicks years.

Marie's little socks are nearing the heel. Since I'm not using any fancy stitch pattern, I've been noticing how loose the ends of Side 1 are for both socks. No matter how tightly I work the stitches before and after, I'm getting a ladder on just that side of both socks. However, the beginning of Side 1 for both socks looks fantastic. So what's up with that?! Ladders at one end but not the other? Crazy socks.

Since we have a free 30-day upgrade to TWC's Standard package from the Basic, I've been occasionally catching The Sopranos on A&E, edited of course. Oh, how I miss that show. Jared and I still need to finish seeing the last season on dvd. We were on a roll until we went from one to two kids. I've also been enjoying Food Network, too. I learned how to eye measurements and improvise from watching many cooking shows on that channel.

The zoo was absolutely beautiful yesterday. I took the kids after lunch for a nice 2-hour visit. This time we visited only the west side of the zoo since there were some animals out that hadn't been since last fall. We saw bonobos, mandrills, and okapis. Colo, the famous 52-year-old female gorilla, was sitting right in front of the window in the indoor viewing area. I promised Marie that next time, hopefully next week, we'd finish seeing that side of the zoo, including the gibbons, kangaroos, boat ride, otters, komodo dragons, and the nocturnal Australian animals. Maybe they'll have the orangutans out soon? We always see the reptiles, aquarium, and the manatees. Marie loves "driving" the boat with Jack Hanna in the manatee building! Recently, the last time we went, I took the kids inside the building next door to the barn. Ian loved getting out of the stroller to run and climb. That building lets little kids have fun and play while learning about animals and the outdoors. If I were a kid, my favorite part would be crawling under the surface of the stream water and sliding down the hollowed out log. Marie and Ian seemed to like the tree area the best. It reminded me of Raleigh's Natural Science Museum (on a much smaller scale), except that you're not allowed to touch or climb on anything.

Is anyone else still in shock that Helen won The Biggest Loser? My jaw dropped when she was announced the winner over Tara, my personal favorite and the person I thought was unbeatable. Props to Helen. You go girl! Not only did she beat all the guys, she, 48-years-old young, beat a twentysomething. Who would of thought that?! The Pink Team has had 3 consecutive winners now.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

AI Semi-Final Performances

Other than Kris' awesome second song, the only thing I can say about the other performances is that Round 2 with their own picks was much better than Round 1.
"Dance Little Sister" -- I probably shouldn't have listened to Terence Trent D'Arby sing this on YouTube before watching Danny because I wasn't impressed at all. His voice sounded kinda shot right from the beginning. Perhaps from singing with his throat at all the multitude of hometown visits?
"You Are So Beautiful To Me" -- Much better. However, since when is singing Joe Cocker without changing it up much good to do on American Idol? Not current at all. Bleh. And Simon? A vocal master class?! Really?!!
"Apologize" -- Considering I find this song slightly boring to begin with, I thought Kris did a decent job on it. I actually liked him at the piano since he's usually playing guitar. After hearing his first song, I was crossing my fingers that his second song would knock the judges' socks off.
"Heartless" -- What a way to flip the bird at the judges! He took a current song and made it even more current, and it sounded completely his. Big risk, lots of originality. Kudos to Kris for walking out there with just his guitar and showing that he deserves to be in the finals.
"One" -- I really like Adam, but I did NOT like this arrangement whatsoever. I held my breath while he sang the slow beginning and then shook my head in disappointment when the song picked up. I was hoping it would pick up, but didn't approve of the style. Casual or non-fans of U2 might like this, but as a longtime loyal fan, I did not. He messed with it too much and totally in the wrong way. Even Mary J. Blige knew to sing this song straight so that you can hear the lyrics. After this post, I'll have to go back and try to listen to it again, if I can.
"Cryin' -- As MJ says on her blog, not as good as "Whole Lotta Love" or "Mad World." As well as Adam always does, I'm not sure that I'll remember that performance. It was clearly more than competent, but I prefer Steven Tyler much better on this. I'm not sure that Aerosmith should be a band that Adam covers.

Overally, I think that the only compelling performance tonight was Kris' "Heartless." Everyone seemed worn out from their hometown visits, and I felt underwhelmed by what I saw, except for Kris of course. Since Adam will be the most sought out contestant after this is all over, I'm more focused on my boy Kris beating that Taylor Hicks soundalike. Therefore, I voted for two hours straight and managed to get in almost 150 votes. The Gokey Kool-Aid drinkers must be stopped. Please!

Pre-Idol Talk and Spoilers

Just found out that Kris'll be singing Heartless by Kanye West. I found a version on YouTube sung by The Fray. Word is, Kris is doing it acoustic, just him and his guitar. I bet he'll take a little from The Fray's cover version. Here's the video:

Kris has to sing Apologize by OneRepublic. I sure hope he makes that song sound a little different! Adam is singing Aerosmith's Cryin' and U2's One. He's changed the arrangement of One, so I'll be interested to see if I like it. Supposedly the dress rehearsal audience liked Adam and Kris the best. Danny sounded "breathy, strained, and awkward" (according to a twitter I read) on You Are So Beautiful, backed by a string quartet. Unfortunately, his other song, Dance Little Sister, sounded decent though (grr).

Go Kris and Adam!!!!!! Oh man, I hope that Kris leaves everything on that stage and Adam shames Danny when he shows the real way to sing Aerosmith -- HA!

Friday, May 08, 2009

AI Thoughts...

Before I forget to mention it, it was Raphael Moreira playing guitar last Tuesday night for rock week!

A poll on USA Today's Idol Chatter blog has 50% wanting an Adam/Kris finale and 34% wanting an Adam /Danny finale. I feel that an Adam /Danny finale would not be very enjoyable. Kris is so much more musically interesting than Danny. If you watch Kris' hometown performances with just him and his guitar and no bandzilla, he's awesome. Kris' phrasing, tone, and originality impress me much more than Danny's loud, constrained-throat, karaoke singing. Keeping my fingers crossed that Kris and Adam knock it out of the ballpark on Tuesday.

Oh! I also have to comment on the judges' song selections. Kris got One Republic's "Apologize." Danny got Terence Trent D’Arby's "Dance Little Sister." Adam got U2's "One." ALL excellent choices for each person. I do find Kris' handpicked song a tad boring. However, it's current, it's suited for his melodic voice, and hopefully he'll skillfully rearrange it to show his originality. As for Danny, a Terence Trent D'Arby song choice is well-suited to his gravelly, soulful voice. It'll be karaoke night for him. However, he might make it too gospel-y sounding and overdo it, which is admittedly and unashamedly what I hope will happen. Adam's assigned song "One" is from one of my favorite bands ever. Of several U2 songs, I really like this one a lot and can't wait to hear Adam sing it. Have you seen the duet version of "One" with Mary J. Blige? I got to hear the original at Ohio Stadium back in college (good times!). I love the lyrics and think this could be very interesting since Adam can sing anything and yet I haven't heard him sing a song quite like this. Like Led Zeppelin's cover he did for rock week, he'll need to keep it true enough to the original and also show restraint and no Broadway leanings whatsoever. I bet Simon picked this song on purpose to show that, just like with "Mad World" and "The Tracks of My Tears," Adam can tone it down and still sound powerful and keep everyone's attention. This song is not about precision, it's about heart. I hope that Adam nails the soulfulness and drive behind the song and shows up Danny in the process.

Jaywalker Update
Oh MY, we ladies had a great time as usual at knit night on Thursday! Actually, I think I'd have to categorize it as a "best of." We dished AI and Curly Girl topics. Such a good time we had that I somehow screwed up and omitted a kfb increase on one of my sock's insteps. Those are tricky to correct when there's not any extra yarn to create a new column of stitches and you don't want to tink your work. Then later, I had some trouble with holes at the convergence of the heel flap, gusset, and leg. What I ended up having to do is go back to where there were one gusset stitch on each side. Instead of eating up the last RS gusset stitch and turning to purl back and eat the other, I continued on ITR (to the instep sts) and took care of the last purlside gusset stitch from the front with a k2tog. This seemed to work much better because when you do it as written, the heel flap ends up 2 rows higher than the instep stitches, which didn't make sense to me. I'd heard that you could do this little trick and, by coincidence, had to do something similar on my PG-R short-row toe.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Toe-Up Jaywalker Heels Are F-U-N

Can I say how much I'm loving the heel of the toe-up Jaywalkers?! It's the first time I've done a toe-up heel with a heel extension that has picked up stitches. I wasn't sure how close it would look to the original pattern until I actually did the heel: it looks the same. (Note: I slightly changed some numbers to match the original, which you can read about on my project page on Rav.) The direction of the stitches in all parts of the heel are the same as my first pair of (cuff-down) Jays. Yay! My favorite part of the heel was joining the gusset to the heel with decreases -- love, love, love. Los Manos Locos (the toe-up Monkey pattern) does this, too. The difference between the two heels in these patterns is the Crazy Monkey heel has no picked up stitches at the heel turn, while the Jay heel does. The only thing I wasn't crazy about on the Crazy Monkey heel was the Eye of Partridge stitch on the sole. I prefer it only on the back of the heel. So next time I do a Crazy Monkey style heel, I'm going with stockinette on the sole.

Something else I noticed while knitting the heel on these toe-up socks: there's not as much tension. When you're doing a cuff-down heel and have picked up stitches on each side of the flap, there's a good deal of tension those first few rounds that follow. Meanwhile, on my toe-up Jays and Monkeys, there is minimal tension the first few rounds of the heel decreases, and when you get to the top of the heel, it's really fun to look at an almost-completed sock.

Besides trying the Los Manos Locos heel with a stockinette sole, I'd also like to try the toe-up heel where you put a stockinette flap on the sole and follow the exact directions of the cuff-down heel. So you pick up stitches on each side of the stockinette flap and make gusset decreases, meanwhile putting in a slip stitch pattern on the back of the heel between two markers. The demarcated line of picked-up stitches is parallel to the ground rather than perpendicular to it. I wonder how that looks... I've tried looking at my original Jays with the leg and foot switched to enable me to visualize it.

A fellow knitter shared an interesting link today. If you like hearing about the brain and how it perceives color when it relates to art, you might like this, too:
Color is relative? Whoa, I was skeptical until seeing this. Makes ya think!

AI? Well, I knew Allison had to go at some point. So I wasn't completely crushed or surprised that she was eliminated. But, I was a little irked that Danny survived after an ultra-bad performance. Some Gokey lovers are saying, "Well, people voted based on his cumulative log of performances rather than this past week's." That would be fine in the middle of the competition. But when everyone left deserves to be there, I think poor performances should get a person immediately booted... my favs included. On a more positive note, at least Kris made it one more week -- yay! I hope that announcing him as the first person safe last night boosted his confidence and will make him try hard next week. My wish is that Kris makes a comeback and Danny chokes big time. I want Adam and Kris for the finale!!! If Danny does poorly again and survives, I'll definitely start believing the hype about this being a culture war.

Jared said that this season reminds him of Season 3 when you knew way ahead of time that Fantasia was going to be the winner. Season 5 also had a clear front runner in Chris Daughtry, but he got eliminated almost like Adam did last week. Last year, David Cook emerged as the front runner ahead of David Archuleta, but there were enough Archuleta fans out there to scare me when it came down to the final vote. Luckily, America got that one right!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Led Zeppelin Allowed On Idol... Yyyyeesssss!

Check out Adam's performance of Whole Lotta Love:

On Ravelry's American Idol forum, the pre-show talk mentioned how Adam would sound great doing this song (or any Zeppelin tune), but probably wouldn't be allowed due to licensure and adult lyrics. But, HELLO! They DID allow it! Jared said they toned done the lyrics at the beginning, but Adam did get away with the word "inch." Well heck, I guess they did let Flo Rida sing a song about... well, we won't say that here.

Before the show started, I tried to get onto mjsbigblog, but couldn't (high traffic?). So I was totally and pleasantly surprised when the pre-performance clip rolled and showed Adam wailing on Zeppelin with Slash. Cool, just really cool. I'll be downloading that for sure. Question is, the audio or the video? Both? :-)

Obviously the rest of the performances couldn't compete. But, I will say that I loved Allison's performances tonight. That had to have been fun to do that duet with Adam at the end. I think Simon was right when he said that their duet together might save her one more week. After Allison, I thought Kris was next best. As always, he's slightly limited vocally. But what he does have, he does deftly and in tune, which is more than I can say for Danny tonight. Danny was pitchy and might've ruined his chances tonight with that hideous scream at the end of Dream On. Leading up to that make-it-or-brake-it upper-octave part, he looked like a deer in headlights. (There are some hilarious comments about that high part on Ravelry.) And what was up with his boots? I could've slapped Simon when he unnecessarily compared Danny to Kris, saying that Danny was better. Really, Simon?! Oh well, Danny dug a big hole for himself with his solo. I also noticed that the AI editing team managed to recap that horrendous scream at the end of the show (<>).

My rankings:
1. Adam

2. Allison
3. Kris

4. Danny

I voted for everyone but Danny. As mentioned on several sites, I don't think Adam will have any trouble this week after what happened with the votes last week. Even casual Adam fans will be voting tonight. I'm worried about Danny not going home when he deserves it...

A random AI note: I think one of the guitarists tonight was the really awesome one from the house band on Rockstar.

Knitting News
I'm at the heel extension of my Jaywalkers!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Jaywalkers #2 In Progress

I've knit Monkey, Jaywalker, and Pomatomus socks. So far, except for the Monkeys, I've liked the socks I've made (more later on why I dislike the Monkeys). I always knew I'd make Jaywalkers again someday, and that day has finally come. At knit night last Thursday, I CO for toe-up Jays with my KP Felici yarn. Using Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' YO short-row toe, I CO for the smallest size, 8". The Felici yarn has a bit more give to it than the Regia Bamboo (which I loved btw) I used on my first Jays. So, the socks feel a little looser than I remember. Then again, I'm knitting them toe-up, and the stockinette sole should be looser than the fully-patterned leg anyway. To be cautious though, I searched the posts on toe-up Jays to see what people were saying. Come to find out, the numbers had been changed in the toe-up pattern. Following what another Raveler did, I decided to keep the original cuff-down pattern's numbers by placing the heel markers around the center 22 sole stitches rather than 38. Also, I plan on increasing the sole stitches to 54 rather than 70. Luckily, in choosing to increase to 54, the pattern directions remain the same: I'll still be adding 16 stitches outside each of the markers for the gusset as written. The maximum number of sole stitches will be 92 rather than 108. It sounds like a lot of changes, but really it's just one.

My next socks will not be striped, variegated, marled, handpainted, what have you. I've only ever done socks with multi-color yarn. Time to branch out! I'd love to do Pomatomus socks in spruce kettle-dyed KP Essential sock yarn. I'd also like to try the Essential Tweed and Risata. I've been holding off on using cotton sock yarn because of my Monkeys. I used a boring cotton yarn to make my toe-up Monkeys (the Los Manos Locos adaptation) and hated the result. They're bulky and heavy, and I never wear them! Despite my bad feelings towards my Monkeys, I've kept my mind open about the Risata. I'll have to see if any of my knitting friends have tried Risata before I ever buy any.

I just printed off a chart that goes along with a universal toe-up sock pattern, Judy Gibson's "Putting Me On Socks," to see what my numbers should be when it comes to size. Really, I should just get More Sensational Knitted Socks, which is what I really want. Maybe by my birthday this summer?

AI Thoughts
This week should be very interesting with Slash as the mentor. He didn't agree to it until they gave him free reign with the contestants. All his Tweets sound promising, so I hope it's a good show tomorrow. Supposedly, there will be solos and duets. Good, more performances means less judge banter!

So sorry to hear about David Cook's brother... That was big of him to still do his honorary duties and run the Race For Hope 5K. There's a YouTube video of him after the race where he lets the runners know about his brother's passing.