(ETA: I'm talking here about Pirates of the Caribbean 3 - At World's End. I guess that wasn't obvious enough for some people.)

As always, she summarized the points better than I (spoiler warning in the link, I’ll try to avoid spoilers in this post*).

It’s rare that I think a movie is too subtle, but it really felt like a lot was left out. I know that you don’t want to do too many “As you know, your father the King…” type speeches, but no explanation at all just means I’m sitting there going “Wait, what… now she’s… and he has to… but why didn’t they…”** and lots of it just feels like retconning rather than a thoughtful overplot. They foreshadowed a lot of stuff successfully (e.g. Tia Dalma’s locket) which to me just emphasized what they didn’t foreshadow. There were too many places where I was saying “But if that’s the case, then why didn’t someone say something back then?” The whole Calypso thing, a major plot point, is introduced seemingly out of left field.

But I liked the movie and plan on seeing it again many times. A warning for those planning to take children; see it by yourself first. I do not think it’s suitable for sensitive young ‘uns, but watch the first ten minutes and judge for yourself.

I’m also a bit bitter because of what happens to my favourite character. Hmph.

Oh, and apparently there’s a whole explanation for the ending that is nowhere in the actual movie, which makes several things make a bit more sense or at least provides better closure. Be sure and stay for the post-credit bit, and brush up on the legend of the Flying Dutchman.

* But my absolute favourite Cleolinda quote from the above link is: “Taking my mother to see this movie is going to be hellish. 'Where are they? Is that China? Who's Calypso? Why are there so many Jacks? Why would multiple Jacks be hell? Is Will with the bad people now? Why is Will with the bad people? Why doesn't his father remember him? Why is Elizabeth Calypso? Well, why isn't she—' OH MY GOD.”

** Of course, some of that is undoubtedly because we went to see the midnight show and the movie is three freakin’ hours long. My level of intellectual analysis was basically “Oooh, ‘splody boats!”

(song lyrics here… heh. I hadn’t heard this before, but how perfect is it?)

It’s awfully short notice, but since today’s our birthday, and it’s also the official release date of Pirates of the Caribbean 3, we’re having a barbeque* featuring screenings of the first and second movies, then attending the third at midnight. It’s rated Arrr!

I came back to work yesterday and three people in a row reacted with “Whoa! You look like you need to take a few more days off!” The lung issues that plagued me throughout the weekend have segued from allergy-triggered asthma into some deep-seated crud that has me coughing continuously,** much to the detriment of my sleep schedule (and poor R:tAG’s). I am glad that a long weekend is coming up, and I am unspeakably grateful to Dancin’ Cicada Jen, hereafter known as Saint Jen, who came through with the prescription meds in a pinch because I am an idiot. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

But enough about depressing sickness! Boo, coughy lungs! Hooray beer!*** The week in Canada was great; old friends with new partnerships and new babies and new houses, dry ribs, Big Rock Traditional, Broadway Roastery mochaccinos, Firefly episodes plus red wine, and lots of driving across the prairies, which I happen to love.**** The only thing missing was a thunderstorm. I miss those very much. We had high hopes of one on our last night in Canada (Tuesday in Edmonton) where the wind was so strong that there were dust devils in the street intersections, the clouds were greenish gray, and the air had that heavy, foreboding feeling. Alas, everything just blew past.

Oh, and I did get the lace shawl done in time to wear it to the wedding; I finished it up on the plane, and did a half-assed job of blocking it on Ben’s living room floor. Luckily, Edmonton’s climate means that it dried almost within minutes. I don’t have any good pictures yet, alas, but I’m very pleased with how it turned out. I’ll re-block it and show you soon!

Thanks to Al and Jen for hosting such a great wedding, thanks to Suzi for hosting such a great party, thanks to Bne, Alamalan and Trent for the hospitality, and thanks to everyone for being such good friends. I apologize to anyone we didn’t see or weren’t able to spend enough time with; we underestimated the amount of time we need to do justice to y’all. We really, really miss you. Come visit!

*The etymology of “Buccaneer” and “Barbeque” is the same! It’s true!

** A “productive” cough, in medical terminology. We shall draw a discreet curtain over the disgusting details.

*** Have you seen the Red Stripe ads? They’re a hoot. And, unlike some of my favourite ads, you actually remember what they’re for.

**** Though not so much in a PT Cruiser. I cannot honestly recommend the car; very poor mileage, mediocre performance, not very comfortable, high-centered and tippy feeling (though of course some of that might be because I'm used to a much smaller car).

We're back, no problems. Apart from having to get up at 3:30 AM after going to bed at midnight.

More later. Sleep now.

I have paid the price for ignoring the math. I was considering making a whole new lace wrap for Al’s wedding, but thought to myself, “Self, that’s silly. You have a lace shawl in progress that only needs the border. That will be so much quicker!” I ignored the math. Never ignore the math.

The proposed Alpine Lace Shawl: 121 stitches x 400 rows = 48400 stitches approx.
Mediterranean Lace Shawl Border (not the whole shawl, just the outer stinkin’ four inches… stupid stupid 2mm needles): 1600 stitches (on average) x 50 rows = 80000 stitches approx.

I have five knit rows and one crochet row left. Then I need to wash it, block it, and let it dry.** On the other hand, I could make the needed alterations to my dress*, pack, do the necessary cleaning so our house doesn’t get colonized by slime molds in our absence, do laundry, do my weekly conference call with Bangalore,*** run a few errands, get a haircut and oh, maybe, eat and sleep.


* Not a big deal; just shortening the shoulder straps slightly.

** The blocking is why I wanted to finish it before I leave; blocking is easier with equipment (wires, hundreds of pins) that I'm not going to schlep on an international flight

*** Not optional, unfortunately, though I might be able to knit for some of it…

I am so excited to be going to Allan and Jen’s wedding soon! Really soon! I have yet to finish a lace shawl I was going to wear!* Eeek! Yay!

This is the wire necklace I knit!** Yay!

This is "hiking" in Calero County with Dancin’ Cicada Jen and her lovely Mum! Yay!

This last Sunday was a dance workshop with Ariellah, which was really quite good; more like a long class than a “workshop," I guess (I’m not sure what the difference is… workshops are one-shots?) in that it was in a proper studio with only ten people. She does Gothic tribal fusion so most of the technique was directly transferable to the ATS that I like.*** The only part I didn’t like so much was one expressiveness-training bit where we paired up and then danced “to” our partner (i.e. the partner stood and watched). It’s almost impossible to avoid the lap dance vibe, which is icky. I ended up just repeating some drills and asking my partner for a technical critique... is my arm back far enough? Are my hands too stiff? Not in the spirit of the assignment, but oh well.

We saw Spiderman 3 on Saturday on Cryptic’s dime – after all, it’s basically research for the game. I liked it but I thought it was a bit flabby in places, and a bit too long.**** There were also previews for Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and Harry Potter, um, five? Looks like a good summer for eye candy, anyway.

Oh, a completely unrelated but possibly amusing work story: an important part of our software is to record how a drug product performs in clinical trials, so that people can relate the performance back to its manufacturing process and see what works and what doesn’t. I expressed this in a meeting by saying “If the stuff turns your rats purple, you want to know why.” A senior designer in the meeting, a lovely and dignified East Indian lady, started laughing so hard I feared for her life. It turns out she thought I’d said “If the stuff turns your ass purple…” At least I've learned a) to enunciate better and b) that any small lapse in verbal decorum won’t have people clutching their pearls.

* I’m on the border, but each round is between 1,500 and 1,600 stitches and takes me about 45 minutes because lace is tricksy. I’ve done 10 of the 50 rounds. I’m not actually sure I’ll be able to finish, since there's also blocking to be done. Unblocked knitted white lace looks exactly like ramen.

** I used a thicker gauge wire (28 instead of 34) because that was all I could find and I wanted to have it NOW, plus I used 3.75 mm needles, not thinking that it would make much of a difference. It did! I thinkthe 6mm beads look smaller than in the original pattern (and did you see that Romi read this? Eee!), or maybe that's because I used pale blue beads with dark seed beads. I'm pretty happy with it, though, and I have a schwack of the wire. Time for experiments!

*** ATS is always improv, always in a group. Ariellah does mainly choreographed solos (as far as I can tell). But the movement “vocabulary” is very similar – controlled, level, isolated movements.

**** And obligatory nitpicking… what the hell was that experiment that ended up creating the Sandman? Scientists just turning on giant disintegrating blenders in open pits in fields in the middle of the night for no apparent reason? With minimal monitoring and no concern for confounding factors (“Oh, it’s probably just a bird”)? Yes, yes, I know, it’s comic book science, it doesn’t have to be for anything. Still.

Like she said, I’ve been waiting for something interesting to happen so’s I can blog about it.

But nothing interesting is happening, which means no blog post, which leads to concerned e-mails from friends regarding the state of my mental and physical health.

To reassure everyone, I’m fine, in possession of all my limbs, not homeless, and not being stalked. I just got a bit weary of the 1-2-3 narrative style blogging, which reminded me of the diary I kept as a child that quickly devolved into a recital of what we had for supper each night. Not that I was obsessed with food or anything* but that’s all I could think of to record.** I like to keep my thoughts firmly inside my skull, thank you very much.

So, on with the minutiae. I tried knitting with wire, and made a very pretty necklace from this pattern though mine ended up a bit different due to my choice of beads and wire (I should really put more pictures on this blog, shouldn’t I?). It took about an hour, most of which was stringing the damn beads.

Oh, and if you heard about the explosion that melted the highway, don’t worry about us, it was pretty far away.

* Well, maybe a bit.

** Plus ├ža change. We had friends over for supper on Sunday and I made pork chops in a blackberry Zinfandel sauce that turned out quite well, if I do say so myself. The key ingredient was chili powder… don’t make that face, it was good. And I have a new favourite no-fuss dessert; pot au chocolat (1 cup scalded cream, 1 cup really good chocolate chips, 2 egg yolks and a couple tablespoons flavouring (rum, Cointreau, Chambord, brandy). Put it in a blender until the racket stops, pour into about six small cups or bowls, chill for at least 3 hours. Thanks, Peg Bracken!). I failed with the vegetables (peas and carrots, too sweet and bland for the other components and overcooked to boot) but I know better for next time. Broccoli or asparagus would have been a much better choice – something with a bit of acidity.


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