Sunday, April 28, 2013

My first Hot Docs movie: Good Ol' Freda

Last night I went to see Good Ol' Freda, the movie about the Beatles' secretary.

She was just 17, you know what I mean! Freda used to go to the Cavern Club on her lunch breaks from the typing pool, and got to know the guys and Brian Epstein. When Epstein needed a secretary, he gave her the job, and she worked with them... from before they were famous till after they had disbanded. She was at the Civic Reception for them, she went on the Magical Mystery Tour, she visited their parents and saw their babies.

Here's a clip, with her talking about her work with the fan club.

And here's a picture of her last night at the theatre. The movie was super, and the Q&A with her and the director, Ryan White, was just icing on the cake.

A woman in the audience stood up and said that she had lived in Toronto when she was younger, and when she was 12, starting to go to the record store on her own to buy Beatles records, her parents moved the family out to the suburbs and her life was more or less over! What to do but write to the Beatles fan club to lament? Freda wrote back, made a connection, cheered the girl up!

She said she answered all the fan club mail! Even after she quit her job and had two little children, she kept going till all the letters were answered. (In the beginning, she had given out her home address, and before long they were getting sacks and sacks of letters!)

It was a really fun evening and a highly recommended film!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thunder and rainbows

Crashing thunder. I went upstairs to make sure I hadn't been foolish enough to leave the window open on this temptingly springlike day. The window was properly closed, but I stepped out onto the deck, and saw this!

Wowee-wow-wow, you don't get a full, double rainbow like that very often!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It's all about the vouchers

Toronto has the big film festival in September, and I have seen movies there for the past couple of years. It's a big affair. Lots of people see multiple movies every day and one assumes there are scads of movie stars and bigwigs all over the place.

We also have a documentary film fest, Hot Docs. At first glance, a documentary film festival did not turn my crank, but the home cinema is just down the street and there's always a few good ones which I hear about but don't get around to seeing, so I looked a bit closer and figured the thing to do was to volunteer with them and see what happens! I've volunteered for several do-gooder groups before, and at schools, but here, I am not saving the world or educating dear children or doing much but ripping tickets and telling people which line to stand in, but I'm gettin' me some film vouchers.

As it turned out, I managed to get 3 days' worth of volunteering in the office last week, so, along with a handful of paper cuts, I got vouchers for films already -- the usual "pay" is one movie voucher per 4 or 5 hour shift. We also got a voucher for going to the training session. (What they tell you at the training session: you are invaluable but you have no authority; tell the paid staff if anything weird happens or anyone wants anything special. Be nice. That is all. And that is fine with me.)

Quick as a bunny I traded my vouchers in and will see:

Our Nixon

We Always Lie to Strangers

Choir Boys

Muscle Shoals

 I will get five more vouchers, if all goes according to plan, and have a list of about 15 movies I want to see! Can not wait!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Colonnade progress

I am not knitting the prescribed three rows a day; I have gone for days without knitting anything, and then when I do sit down to knit, I have trouble stopping. I recalculated what I have to do and made it simpler: to finish the yarn I have for this project in April, I have to knit two balls a week.

Oh, no, I can't possibly do that!

And then I knit up a ball in one day.

And then I rested my arm a bit.

And then I realized if I kept going as planned, my circular needle would explode. The pattern increases eight stitches every two rows.

Now I have almost 400 stitches on it and can't comfortably jam any more on. So I will add the rest of the length on sideways -- Elizabeth Zimmermann says not to have a big old long bind-off edge on a shawl anyways!

In keeping with the Colonnade theme, I thought I wanted something architectural and solid rather than lacy and delicate. I had one edging in mind which had garter stitch diamonds, but then I thought I'd just continue the lines of the shawl with these crazy fringes.

Cast on; knit a tiny bit; cast off. Four hundred stitches' worth I have to do this! I am crazy indeed. I think the ridiculous nature of this will keep me from over-working my arm!

When that green runs out I will continue in the navy. I also have tidbits of the other colours which I can fit in somewhere. I figure I should use about 3 or 4 balls of navy for this, meaning I will have a couple left over. 

I will get so bored with casting on and casting off, and surely I shall never finish!

Monday, April 01, 2013

Plan for April

I see that today is the first of a new month.

I haven't had knitting plans for a long time, but now I think it is safe to say that I wish to finish this shawl by the end of the month. Or at least, to knit a couple of these really long rows a day!

I have 8 balls, and each now makes about a dozen rows, so that's 100 rows, so... Three rows a day! (This is called fuzzy math.)

(April Fool's: it's really just called "estimating.")