Thursday, March 09, 2006

Guess I'm not as cool as I thought I was

So I’ve had it in mind for awhile that I wanted to start a Zine, kind of a punk rock Better Homes and Gardens sort of thing. A little DIY (do it yourself, did you but know it), a little back to the land, a little industrial music…you know, the sort of thing that I would want to get in my mailbox twice a year (which is as often as I thought I’d get around to publishing it). This idea has gone the way of so many of my ideas, that is to say “wow I want to do that, it’s so exciting, let’s do a small amount of initial planning and then not do anything for three years.” It has been added to the heap of abandoned projects that I keep somewhere in the back of my head (Yammer the brain scientist (pictured to the left, I'm fitting the brewfest pictures in where I can) would be able to tell you exactly where…north of the cerebral cortex I think, but east of the amygdala). It is keeping good company with the anti-social greeting card company, the pirate romance novel, the vermiculture composting system, and many many more. The name of this opus was going to be…you guessed it “Domestic Piracy” so you see, I haven’t totally abandoned the idea.

In fact I was thinking of reviving it here, in some form, limited by my lack of techno-skills and equipment (it is sort of a pain in the ass to have to go and use other peoples cameras/scanners etc). It was with this in mind that I was poking around the internet yesterday to see what other DIYers were doing. There are a good number of blogs, and of course “Readymade” which suffers from the too-cool-fur-you syndrome (referencing rock stars that you’ve never heard of by their first names etc.). Most of their projects are sort of sholockety, and yes I know I suffer from the perfection gene, but if you’re going to bother making something, make it well. In the crafty vein there are wonderful things to be had, Knitty (of course), Magknits (which published a hat strikingly similar to one of my own design, but I’m over it, I should have gotten my ass in gear and published it much sooner), and (heart of my heart) Anticraft. All of these things I knew about. What I didn’t know about and what hit me like a brick in the forehead is the amazingly cool shit that’s being done with electronics.

Check this out! Bike wheels with animated lightshows! Graffiti that lights up! Shoes that spell things as you walk! An MP3 player that fits in an altoids box. Why didn’t anyone ever tell me to pay attention in science class? Who the hell let me take 3 periods of independent study painting when I could have been learning how to make these?

I think my favorite website so far is this one. This woman is amazing, and so a girl after my own heart. She wrote her MIT thesis on “social defense mechanisms,” in other words, devices that keep other people’s technology out of your personal space, personified by the wave bubble (scroll down the page a bit), which is a low powered cell phone jammer. Basically it turns the space around the wearer in to a “dead zone.” What a completely brilliant idea! How have I lived without one of these for so long? It just might replace TV-b-Gone as my new favoritest thing ever.

So this has all left me feeling less like the heir to Martha Stewart, and more like the hostess of one of those late night “Crafting with Ms. Thang” shows that HGTV uses to round out their programming in between reruns of “Trading Spaces.” I was going to write up my bread recipe, which I’m fairly proud of because the only thing you actually measure is 6 cups of water and it uses exactly one 5 pound bag of flour….but all I really want to do is go out and buy a soldering iron. I want to adapt the LED bicycle lightshow to my spinning wheel…wouldn’t that cause a stir at the guild meetings.

Further proving that I am but a mortal and that while I think I’m hot shit the rest of the world is less than impressed with my talents, Rat Girl received “we might be pirates,” this morning. It had been lying on the dining table and Manimal gave it to her as she was getting ready for school today. She came into the kitchen where I was washing dishes to show it to me and asked, “Did my Papa make this hat?” I guess because he handed it to her she thought he was the one that had made it. Manimal has made exactly 4 hats in his lifetime, all of which are pretty cool in a “learning to knit/crochet” kind of way. I wore mine all the time until I had to switch to something warmer mid-winter, and Rat Girl’s has little I-cord devil horns sticking out of it. Again let me reiterate, very cool hats. However, this is fair isle were talking about! This is two color knitting damn it! This is not the work of a Manimal! Ah well, she is 8. I guess all knitted head gear looks alike when you’re 8.

Hey at least I'm still a beer bitch, here's another brewfest picture. FYI that is not that Manimal passed out on my lap, that is some scientist friend of Yammer's what I barely know.

And incidentally I think Beverly is right about the flax. I’m going to finish off this bobbin (the old clockwise direction, although now with less fuzz thanks to the water bath) and then spin a small sample counter clockwise and see what happens.

Ragnar...who is still hot shit damn it, I am!

Be back on Monday


Will Pillage For Yarn said...

Ah yes the zine. I have a whole folder of sketches, amusing cartoons, the first page and some articles for my never published, defunct zine idea. *sigh* You are not alone, my funk soul sister.

Also, I want a cell phone jammer wave bubble thinger and I will wear it to the market and to restaurants and all over in LA and people will not understand what is happening and feel frustrated by the lack of cell phone functionality but they will never identify me as the source of their woe.

Peace and quiet AND a chance to f*ck with the man? I'm so there.

celticjig said...

You are in need of a pick me up. How about a beer at North Peak in TC tomorrow afternoon, I'm driving. You can spend the after noon at the beach knitting the world's first linen kite to fly along the beachfront.

wylieeeeee said...

Ah Ragnar,
You're the coolest- I mean not everyone has a skull shrug, a refrigerator with beer taps, an ability to cook healthy food and make it delicious, a wonderful taste in beer (and people), an enormous garden, etc, etc, I mean just because you don't have blinky lights . . .
But when you do the spinning wheel light show it will be a Jolly Roger, Right?

I'm not so sure if getting Ragnar to
fly a kite
is a good idea.

Did Yammer ever send you the
hamster midi? Maybe not as cool as the altoids mp3, but worthy in its own right.

celticjig said...

Who knew kite flying had become an extreme sport? You could knit a nice skull and cross bones on it though, like flying a flag, but with no ship.
Am I the only one who has no idea what MIDI is? Esp when it might involve hamsters and music....

Bungholia, swabber of life's poopdeck said...

Thanks for this post - as it provided an excessive amount of entertainment on an extremely boring weekend shift Saturday.

*love* Err. . . .I mean *ARGH!*

Atla said...

I wish more folks knew about and submitted to anticraft. I'm afraid it's going to fizzle out.