Knitting at the Hollywood Bowl

I’ve gotten into the habit of carrying my little knitting bag nearly everywhere to make progress on some of my smaller projects when I have a bit of free time. So when I got the chance to go to the Hollywood Bowl to see the LA Phil and Los Angeles Master Chorale perform Verdi’s Requiem on Tuesday, I knew I would be taking it along to work on the sock I had cast on Monday. But, being paranoid as I am about having my knitting needles taken away somewhere at security, I wanted to check for any restrictions.

There is no information anywhere about knitting at the Hollywood Bowl. I know there are many knitters out there who like to bring work along to concerts and such, but there was literally nothing on the Internet that said whether you could or not. Typing “knitting Hollywood Bowl” (simplest term I came up with) only leads you to pages that mention The Knitting Factory and Hollywood Bowl. So I decided to wing it.

Now, my experience may not be typical. The security guy glanced at my lunchbox and I didn’t even have time to open my tiny knitting bag before he waved me through. But no one else inside the venue said anything about it, so I’m assuming it’s not against any regulation.

We got there right as they were letting everyone in to be seated, so we ate our dinner at our seats, which were luckily in the front of the section. That meant we could use the ledge as a makeshift table. I had packed sandwiches and cookies in some fabric sandwich bags I threw together. I’m not saying that to “humble-brag,” I literally was throwing things through the sewing machine. That is why I took them apart today to remake them with a little more thought.

We finished eating our dinner just as the concert was about to start. I picked up the start of my first purple Earlybird sock and started knitting. We were only able to stay for the first hour or so, since it was a late night. I still managed to get through the first repeat of the cables, though.

So, for any knitters out there looking to knit through their next LA Phil concert at the Hollywood Bowl, to my knowledge you are allowed to bring it. That is some helpful information to have out there.

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Blast From The Past: My Favorite Shows That Actually Ended Before I Was Born

Oh sure, everyone knows The Flinstones and the Jetsons. But the other day I was playing the newer Chipmunks movie soundtracks for the boy I babysit, and his mom told me to look up the Alvin and the Chipmunks theme from the 80s, thinking I had never heard of the show. I had forgotten about it until I looked it up, and then remembered it was one of my favorite cartoons growing up.

Sure it’s an 80s cartoon and I grew up in the 90s, but back then Nickelodeon played more than two shows repeatedly during the day. (Not that I have anything against the current Nick shows, but it wouldn’t hurt them to throw the Rugrats or something on at a time other than 2am.) According to Wikipedia, the show was actually in production from 1983 to 1990. Thanks to Cartoon Network (from 1993-2001) and Nickelodeon (1995-1997), this show lived on for another generation.

This got me thinking. What other shows did I grow up watching that ended before my time. Of course there was The Muppet Show (1976-1981) and Fraggle Rock (puppets 1983-1987, animated 1987), but I knew those were old. Muppet Babies overlapped into my lifetime (1983-1991), and Garfield and Friends (1988-1994) was half-new when I was watching. I also remember watching You Can’t Do That On Television (1981-1990) a couple times when I was younger. And who could forget The Smurfs (1981-1990).

Today, thanks to the magic of Netflix, iTunes, the Internet, and DVD, we can share our old favorites with new generations anytime we want. Well, as long as you can find them. (PS, anyone looking for the 90s Nickelodeon Programing: 90sareallthat.com will help you waste hours you meant to be working with the original Rugrats, Doug, CatDog, etc. You’re welcome.)

What shows do you remember when you were growing up? Anyone else grow up watching shows they didn’t even know were out of production?

Halfway Down the Stairs

Halfway Down the Stairs

If you are a Muppet fan, you probably already know the world lost an incredibly talented, creative man Thursday night. Jerry Nelson passed away at the age of 78.

If his name doesn’t sound familiar, perhaps his characters do. He performed many, many, characters, including Count Von Count, The Amazing Mumford (“A la peanut butter sandwiches!”) and the original Snuffy on “Sesame Street,” Gobo Fraggle, Pa Gorg, and Marjorie the trash heap on “Fraggle Rock,” and Floyd Pepper, Lew Zealand, and Robin on “The Muppet Show,” as well as voice-overs such as “Pigs in Space!” and the announcer voice in Disney’s “The Muppets.”

*Characters represented are property of their respective companies. No copyright infringement intended.*

Aw, Shucks!

SbazoInSlowMo of She Can’t Be Serious has nominated me for another award. This one is called the Kreativ Blogger Award.

Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to the awarding blog. Thanks SbazoInSlowMo!
  2. Answer 7 questions about yourself.
  3. Provide 10 random factoids about yourself.
  4. Hand the award to 7 deserving others.

The questions:

  1. What is your favorite song?I have to pick? Uhmmmmm…Right now I’ll “Particle Man” by They Might Be Giants. Mostly because it’s the one that came to mind first.
  2. What is your favorite dessert?Easy: chocolate. In any form.
  3. What do you do when you’re upset?Listen to music. What music depends on how upset I am.
  4. What is your favorite pet?Considering I only have one, I’d have to say the dog.
  5. Which do you prefer, white or whole wheat?Wheat for me, though my favorite is sourdough.
  6. What is your biggest fear?Honestly, I don’t know.
  7. What is your attitude mostly?Mostly I try to stay positive.

The factoids:

  • I still collect Rugrats videos. As in VHS tapes. That I watch on my VCR.
  • I also collect CDs. You know, those little round discs that contain music. We used them when music used to be sold in actual stores.
  • I also have a mean collection of video games, from the 80s til now.
  • I still own a PDA that is separate from my cell phone.
  • I always have trouble coming up with these random facts.
  • I play piano, flute, guitar, saxophone, recorder and percussion.
  • I taught myself to play the saxophone within a day.
  • Even though I did really well in school, I completely dislike the whole system and never want to repeat such an experience.
  • I’m taking three online classes through the library system at the moment, despite my dislike of school.
  • I just wrote this whole thing in HTML, thanks to one of those courses.

The part where I ignore the final rule:

I have been horribly out of the blogging loop, and I apologize. That means I don’t really have any nominations to pass this on. So I’ll let you decide. If you want the award, you’ve got it. Just leave me a comment so I make sure I go see your post.

I Should Start A Trophy Shelf :-)

Or I could just let this post be my virtual one. Yeah, that’s probably better.

Waaay back on May 30 (yeah, a whole week ago) the wonderful SzaboInSloMo of She Can’t Be Serious bestowed not one but two whole awards on me. I feel so special to be noticed, especially during a week-long hiatus from the Internet during a whole month where I was pretty darn scarce from the world wide web on all fronts. So what better way to come back than by passing on some awards?

First up is the Blogger Appreciation award. As with all awards in the blogoshpere, this comes with a few rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated me by linking his/her blog. (Again, the blog is She Can’t Be Serious)
2. Answer the 4 questions below.
3. Award the Blogger Appreciation Award to fellow bloggers.
4. Let the Bloggers know that I have nominated them.

I’ll get to the nominating at the end, but first – Questions:
1.How long have you been blogging?  Uh…This one’s existed since October 2010, although I’ve had at least three in different platforms before this.
2. Why did you start blogging?  I was getting fed up with MySpace and the school filters blocked it anyway. A couple of my friends were on Xanga, and the school district’s computers didn’t know about it yet, so I started a blog there freshman year. (It doesn’t exist anymore.)
3. What type of blogs do you like to follow/read? A bit of everything. It helps if the writer has a good sense of humor.
4. What is the one thing you’d like to improve on as a blogger?  Actually writing more often. I’ve taken a few weeks break and I think I’m ready to dive back in. I’ve got a bunch of posts planned.

Next up is the Living Passionately Award. The rules for this one are a little simpler:

1. Take a deep breath.
2. Think about who you’d like to pass this on to.
3. Do something weird and out of the ordinary today. (I spent six whole days in a row watching a three-year-old, I’ve done enough things out of the ordinary this past week.)
4. Post the award someplace conspicuous…framed in your cubicle, as a place mat, or lining the kitty litter box.  (Mine is “posted” as my phone wallpaper. As is the emerging trend, I also am out of color ink in the printer.)

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for – the nominees are:

Snoring Dog Studio – She’s an amazing artist and an awesome writer. She paints wonderful watercolor portraits, and you should go check them out right this minute.

Katie of Cookies and Crafts – Katie inspires me to do new projects and drool over my keyboard with all the delicious treats she makes. I keep saying I’m going to try some of her recipes, but mostly I just drool over my keyboard at the pictures of the ones she makes. Katie also shares my love of reading, especially YA books.

Nathan Badley of BadlandsBadley – Nathan’s hilarious, do you need any more reason to check his blog out? He’s also quite nice, at least in responding to comments.

Cassy of Knit The Hell Out – Cassy’s a designer, she’s a knitter, and she’s always got something amazing on and off the needles. She’s also a self-professed sock-yarn-hoarder.What can be better?

And, last but not least, Charlotte of The Great Fitness Experiment – Charlotte often shares embarassing moments and confesses her tutu-obsession. Oh yeah, and she tries a different style of exercise every month so you don’t have to to know what works. Plus, she wrote a book and is working on the follow-up.

There we go, awards accepted and given away. What a nice way to come back to the world of the Internet. Thanks, SbazoInSloMo!

5 Reasons I Actually Like the Fresh Beat Band (and You Might, Too!)

I am definitely not in NickJr’s target demographic, and you most likely aren’t either since you can read this. (Unless you are exceptionally smart. In that case, rock on little one.) But I have recently become a fan of one of their latest hit shows, The Fresh Beat Band.

If you’ve watched the show, you probably know a tiny one who is obsessed (the reason I like to admit), or it caught your attention one morning as you flipped through the channels with nothing better to do and you ended up watching the whole thing without realizing it was NickJr (uhm, guilty…). If you haven’t heard of them, you might be quick to brush them off as another kiddie band. Don’t be so quick to judge.

For those unfamiliar, the show focuses on four friends who live in the same apartment building and attend music school together. They have a band in which they each play their signature part: Kiki (Yvette Gonzales-Nacer) on guitar (and occasionally violin), Shout (Thomas Hobson) on keyboards, Marina (originally Shayna Rose, now played by Tara Perry) on drums, and Twist (Jon Beavers) as the band’s MC on the turntables and the occasional rap. They work together to help each other solve problems and make music.

If that doesn’t grab you, I’ve got five reasons why they might end up being one of your favorite bands/TV shows (at least while in the presence of the smallish ones).

5 Reasons I Like the Fresh Beat Band

1. They actually sing, and they do it well.

In this time of overly auto-tuned pop music, it’s nice to have a group that uses it sparingly for effect.

2. They aren’t weird or creepy like other kid’s groups from TV shows.

Remember the Doodlebops? Those people who were each a different color, not too much unlike the residents of the Capitol in Hunger Games. They were just plain weird, and they scared the crap out of me most of the time. Then there are others like the Wiggles and whatever those pirate guys are called at the end of Jake and the Neverland Pirates. No offense to those guys, but they all seem slightly pedophile-ish.

"Aye, kids. Hop in me boat. I've got candy and puppies in here."

3. They don’t play your standard nursery rhyme music.

Why should upbeat songs be for kids only? If there’s no murder or sex or drugs, then it’s kids music. Yes, kids need positive musical influences, but sometimes I feel like going bananas, too. So it shouldn’t be just for kids.

4. I’m sick of shows that treat preschoolers like they are stupid.

I’m talking the Dora the Explorer and Ni Hao, Kai-lan type shows. You know, the ones where the character asks a stupid question and stands there with a blank expression for half the show to give kids a chance to answer. No preschooler really calls out the answer. At least on Blue’s Clues they waited maybe 30 seconds before having the TV kids answer the question.

But The Fresh Beat Band has lots of jokes and keeps the kids laughing. There aren’t giant pauses where kids are expected to answer. It teaches the problem solving skills by example instead.

5. I love the dancing.

Enough said.

Anyone else like the Fresh Beat Band enough to have the soundtrack on their iPod? What kids’ show do you secretly (or not-so-secretly) like to watch?

Hunger Games, You Sucked Me In

I didn’t really know much about the “Hunger Games” trilogy (by Suzanne Collins) when talk of the movie first started. I was frequently getting requests on Twitter to join the “MaleseforKatniss” campaign. Having finally read the book, I agree that Malese Jow would have made a good Katniss Everdeen. I just didn’t know it at the time.

As the movie release gets closer, more people seemed to be getting more excited about it. I had originally planned to grab a copy from the library sometime, and completely underestimated the appeal of this book. There are waiting lists hundreds deep at all my local libraries, both for the physical copy and the digital one. So I downloaded the sample on my NOOK and started reading.

By the end of page one I was hopelessly hooked. I kept reading as I was knitting my mom’s new shrug, and by the end of the sample I automatically hit the “Buy Book” button at the top. There was no way I could just stop in the middle. Or in the middle of one of the final sentences of chapter one, rather.

This was the first book I’ve read in a while that I haven’t been able to put down. Possibly because most of my recent reads are actually re-reads. But “The Hunger Games” is wonderfully suspenseful and very well paced. If you can get your hands on a copy and haven’t read it yet, do!

Now I’m actually getting excited about the movie. Although, I am a bit wary of the violence and “icky” parts since I am slightly squeamish.

Have you read the whole trilogy? Were you one of the fans from the beginning, or did you become aware of it when the movie buzz came about? What books are you reading now, or what movies are you looking forward to seeing?

P.S.- I just joined Goodreads and am working on figuring it out. Here’s the link to

my read shelf:
Casey Kay's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)