when i was visiting cali back in march, i brought back a little sample of some old man’s beard lichen. one of the natural dyeing books i perused has a recipe to dye wool a bright orange with “bartflechte” aka old man’s beard aka Usnea barbata. the northern californian old man’s beard must not have the same dye properties as its german counterpart. i followed the recipe exactly, but my wool went from white to beige. it does smell distinctly like northern california now though, which i guess could be seen as an aromatherapy update. i’m waiting on an order of alum (Alaun auf Deutsch), a mordant used to make natural dyes stick. hopefully i’ll have better luck with onion skins and red beets once the alum arrives.
irl no longer applies. irl used to be the way for some of us to discern between “in real life” and “online” friendships and relationships. at this point in time an overwhelming percentage of my relationships (friendly, business, or otherwise) are what i would have termed virtual ten years ago. i have had face time with my immediate family on average three times a year for the last few years. almost all of my close friends live in a city other than mine, and some live on another continent.
for me irl is no longer valid because all of these long distance relationships are now part of my real life. we may keep in touch via chat or email or texting or rss feeds or comments on photos and blog posts. with some people i even have some sort of voice communication, made cheaper by the fact that i was an early adopter for voip with standalone sip hardware. some of these people i have yet to see in meat space and others are people i gather with at the same gps coordinates perhaps once a year or once every two years. i have meaningful personal and business relationships with people from all of those categories.
it’s interesting that the term irl is no longer valid to describe my interpersonal relations, and i have a shrinking suspicion that perhaps it doesn’t apply to you either.
i went to two knit meets in two days, and all i seem to be doing is swatching and frogging. my self-designed skull logo argyle knee socks pictured above with some matching graffiti are now ripped out. hopefully there will be something more substantial on the needles soon.
i was walking around berlin yesterday, and saw the sign pictured above on the wall next to the entrance to an apartment building. yes, it smelled awful there but i could not stop laughing at the sign.
and on the opposite end of the cuteness scale, i almost walked on this kitteh:
last night was fete de la musique, and here in berlin we do it electronic style with dj’s on the bridges and underground club nights. the photo above was semi-staged, she did strike that pose by herself first, but then i asked her to do it again so i could capture it. a happy summer to all my peeps in the northern hemisphere.
i finished reading spook country last night in a fit of page-turning-late-nightedness. the book hit a little too close to home this time, sparking some sort of gibsonian convergence. i wonder, am i product of reading so much gibson, or are gibson’s inspirational subjects too close to who i am now? it was one thing after another with which i relate: the hardware hackers who help artists, scotch drinking new media journalists, the french chick, union square, cali, vancouver, river phoenix, cellphone tracking, cellphone encryption, maglev beds, aging powerbooks, and spray painted dumpsters.
perhaps, though, i just relate especially well to his leading ladies. i hope it’s just that.
i thought i’d share some recent shots. the former is shot with my “big” camera, the latter with my e70’s built-in cellphone camera. i find them both equally evocative of berlin’s night scene. the blonde hair with long bangs look is just a coincidence — i don’t think it’s the same girl.
i finally got all the slides from this spring’s talk-tour uploaded. warning: all are in pdf format, and all are photo-heavy. contact me if you want them in open office or ppt versions.
[photo: 5-minute-hacked mini jack male-male cable for a girl geek road trip, made from parts from dave’s basement, stripped with a pair of scissors, and some scotch tape. ghetto-tastic. photo by elisa.]
a perfect sunday breakfast consists of oatmeal pancakes, pear juice, and the newest gibson.
imagine my surprise when i opened a package last week from deknit. she had been my houseguest the week before during a geek event, and i had (half-jokingly) mentioned that she could leave the stunning embossed leaves socks she was knitting at my place. she gifted me the socks! thank you so much ms. deknit, they are gorgeous and perfect for warm weather. though today it is raining, i wore them yesterday — they were quite comfortable in the heat.
the socks she knit and gave to me are made with lana grossa meilenweit, a cotton/poly/wool blend. i’ve knit with this yarn before and thoroughly enjoyed it. it’s cottony but with enough give that it doesn’t kill your hands. i think i have some in teal blue in my stash that is calling my name for some summer knitting. thanks again ms. deknit for spoiling me! come and visit me anytime!
[pictured below, me knitting on a different pair of socks with the same yarn in paris last august, shot taken by my sister.]