Katherine the Great
I like to think of myself as a storyteller. Mostly I tell stories about knitting.

Turns out at least one person reads this blog….and they commented as to how I haven’t posted a full on knitting movie review in a while. Since I take my fans very seriously, I spent last weekend watching movies. See if you can spot the theme.

Ya’ll, Dax Shepard wrote, directed and starred in this movie. He’s officially a triple threat. Michael Pena was talking trash about Dax needing his name on everything so Dax stunt drove for the car chase scene towards the beginning of the film and the credits now read Stunt Driver for Michael Pena: Dax Shepard. This movie is funny and the story and action are solid enough to watch it over and over again. I don’t want to blaspheme, but it reminds me of Bad Boys.

That said, now I need to address a serious issue I had with this movie…the facial hair (SPOILERS AHEAD).

The two stereotypically hot actors (Josh Duhamel and Adam Brody) had gross mustaches in this movie. Adam Brody is one of my biggest celebrity crushes and all I could think was, “just no”. I’m sure the filmmakers were doing some kind of retro mustache tribute, but…..not everyone can pull off a mustache like Tom Selleck. Veto. I also wonder if Dax Shephard was looking to be the hottest guy on set? In which case, well played, Dax.

However, he overlooked the drugged out son sporting an “i forgot to shave for a couple days” beard which is pretty much my ideal facial hair. I blame Indiana Jones (and 17 years with The Husband who likes to sport the short beard). I don’t know who was in charge of making Justin Chatwin (you may recall him as Jimmy from Shameless) look like a druggie, but they could have committed a little more. His mussed hair and fresh beard were perfection, so he looked like maybe he’d just been up super late at a knitting slumber party the night before.

Man up
I wasn’t sure I could buy Simon Pegg as the leading man in a rom. com. and he totally pulled it off. Must be the beard. This movie was cute, funny, and all around enjoyable. I’ve no idea why I didn’t watch it sooner.

Bonus: Lake Bell is sporting a nice cream colored knit hat with a pom pom. What do we think? Seed Stitch? I dig it!

Beauty and the Beast
My expectations were low. This film exceeded them. If you enjoyed the animated version, I think you’ll like this movie…unless you have to watch it more than once. In which case, I’m sorry.

Don’t kill me, but I would have preferred the Beast actor to have darker hair and 2 days of beard growth. The transition from Beast to clean shaven and blonde was too drastic for me. Anyone else on that boat?

Everybody Loves Somebody
I was all set to watch a nice run of the mill rom. com. when we realized this movie needed subtitles. But, not all the time. It was half in Spanish and half in English, so I ended up having to read all the subtitles because by the time I realized it was Spanish, I’d missed it. Overall, the movie was cute, and not half bad. I have to comment that Ben O’Toole is a hell of an actor. (SPOILER ALERT) To the degree that I actually wondered at one point if his wife had died in real life. (END SPOILER)

If you’re bilingual, I think you’d enjoy this film quite a bit. If the filmmakers want to manage expectations, they need to dub it in English or go back to the original title, Todos queremos a alguien.

The Spirit of Christmas
A friend of mine has recently discovered the guilty pleasure that is the sappy holiday romances. She summarizes them this way, “There’s a girl and she’s some kind of high powered professional that’s not into Christmas and the guy is a sweet hometown boy or a Christmas-loving widower and she has to sell off his factory/inn/home only he helps her realize the true meaning of Christmas and they live happily ever after. Sometimes he’s returning from war or maybe a cute kid is looking for a new mom/dad and if you’re really lucky, there’s a puppy.”

Jen Lilley sported a red cabled sweater, a cozy plain gray cardigan, a purpley blue cabled hat and a wine colored cowl-necked sweater during this film. I only noticed some of these. Probably because I’m knitting a cable pattern myself.

No one is winning an Academy award for these films, but if you’re in the mood for Christmas romance, The Christmas Spirit will deliver and of course, it doesn’t hurt that our leading man (Thomas Beaudoin) is sporting a great beard.

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Franklin's BBQ as we arrived


L and I took Friday off to tackle waiting in line for Franklin’s BBQ. We planned to play it by ear given the rain forecast and are not hard core enough to stand in the rain for hours before they open. (Knitting while holding an umbrella is not feasible.) We both live a bit north of Austin, so by the time we realized (via Twitter) that the line might be substantial, there was nothing to be done, but see it in person. We arrived around 10:45 and solidified that the people who say that rain keeps people away tell lies. all lies.



As advertised, there was a line monitor. We overheard him tell the couple in front of us that it was going to be 3pm before they ordered, then he left and we considered abandoning the game. But, we dutifully waited our turn. He showed back up, handed them a piece of colored paper and told them they were the last people guaranteed brisket. L and I exchanged glances as he approached us. He stated that we’d be getting to the front of the line at 3pm and we might get brisket but were not guaranteed. At that point I pretty much stopped listening and Lisa was halfway to the car as he followed up with the kicker, “I can offer you chopped beef?” Almost in synch, we said something to the effect of “um, no. Thank you!” as we bolted. You want us to wait 4 hours in line in the rain without knitting for chopped beef?!? hell, no. The people in line behind us drove in from Dallas, so we were only too happy to increase their brisket chances by bailing. L and I could not stop laughing and did appreciate that in the end, the choice was easy.
Franklin's BBQ as we left


We stowed the umbrella and headed to Alamo Drafthouse – Village for Pitch Perfect 2. As we settled into the cozy dry seats, we realized how hungry we were and were thankful we were on the same page and could laugh about our Franklin fail. We’ll try again on a sunnier non-Friday.

I’d not seen Pitch Perfect, but liked the previews for Pitch Perfect 2, so I was pumped to see it. I enjoyed the music, the laughs, the company, the vibe of the audience (seeing it on opening day was a good call) and my Royale with cheese. I cannot recall when I’ve seen more net shirts in a movie, but the whole thing was good fun and I’ll watch it again.

After the movie, we hit Honey Bee Quilts because they close at 5 on Fridays and I wanted to do some browsing. I like the idea of hand quilting and plan to learn to use a machine more proficiently this summer, so it’s motivating to scope out inspiring fabrics.


Next, we swung into Coyote Yarns. She has a nice selection of Dale of Norway patterns, especially baby ones if you’re interested and many workhorse yarns. I noticed some grape colored Cash Vero DK that would make a nice baby sweater if you’ve a mind. But, as I generally stick to socks, I didn’t find anything I needed.

Overall, it was a perfect Friday and I look forward to Franklin’s BBQ – Take 2 with L.

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I love Christmas. I love the glitter and the idea of snow and gingerbread houses, the Nativity, garland, stockings, Christmas trees, ornaments, twinkle lights, holiday music, holiday cards, Santa, hallmark movies…..I love it. Every year, I make a photo collage to stick in a card and send to my peeps. Last year, I thought I’d save some trees and just send a flat photo card printed on recycled paper cardstock. So, I ordered some from minted.com and they arrived 12/11. I requested they print cards that matched the digital proof they’d sent me – ie NOT crop my nephew out of a group photo and NOT crop The Husband’s head in our comic con picture. “Sure, no problem” they said, “you’ll have them Monday. (12/16).
12/19 comes and goes and they still have not SHIPPED my cards. How am I going to be able to send them out by 12/19 as I needed to if they have not even been shipped yet? I’m not. I’m going to have to give out the crappy ones they sent to begin with. FAIL.
(AND I had to deal with three different “print quality specialists” to get the second set to be acceptable. In the end, I had to tell them how to do their job to get a proof that wouldn’t be cropping people out of photos. inconceivable!)
Every time I called for help, their hold times were over an hour…and these cards were not cheap, ya’ll.
If you want a collage card, take my advice and use snapfish. I’ve used them for years and will be going back to them this year. So long, minted.com.

To balance out the negativity I just put out into the world, I’d like to wish each and every one of you a VERY happy Day!


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