Thursday, April 17, 2014

Phone Cozie

Some time ago, Mr. Trizzle bought me a present for my office – a smart phone.  Now, I was not just about to throw this shiny new object into my purse with my keys and knitting needles so it could get all scratched up right away.  I needed something to protect it.

I didn’t want one of those rubber cases that practically doubles the size of the phone, and besides that, I needed to protect the screen, not just the body.  So, I made my own case!

Using the toe-up sock technique I’d learned when making my knee-high socks and modifying a pattern for finger-less gloves that came on the yarn I bought, I made a little sweater for my cozy (4)

I used the phone as a guide as I went.  I did a toe-up cast on with enough stitches to reach across the bottom of the phone.  The “toe of the sock” became the bottom of the phone cozie.  I knit a row or two around and then moved into the cable pattern from the yarn wrapper, which I thought was pretty neat.  I checked the length of the cozie as I went, tucking the phone into it and then going back to knitting. 

phone cozy (3)

Once it was long enough to fully cover the phone, I began casting off at a point about 2/3 of the way across the backside of the cozie.  I continued casting off around the front of the cozie and about 1/3 of the way around the back.  Then I began knitting in the cable pattern again, making a long narrow flap to go over the top and hold the phone in the case.  When the flap was nearly long enough, I did a yarn-over and ssk in the middle to make a button hole and then did some final rows and cast-off.

phone cozy (5) I had made a yarn button by crocheting a spherical-ish mess. – I didn’t want to put a hard button on the case because it might get pressed against the phone and crack the screen. -  I tacked the yarn button on by working the yarn ends into the cozie.  But, I hadn’t left the yarn ends long enough to really work them in, and the “button” soon fell off.  However, it turns out the case doesn’t really need a button to stay closed.  The friction of yarn against yarn does enough to keep the phone covered in my purse or pocket.

My little knit phone cozie works fabulously and I get lots of compliments on it. Yay!

phone cozy (2)

Yarn: Bernat Satin in Ebony

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Theater Review: Lend Me a Tenor

Lend me a Tenor This weekend, Munchkinhead and I went downtown to the Milwaukee Chamber Theater to check out Lend Me a Tenor by Ken Ludwig.  It was fantastic.

Lend Me a Tenor is a fantastic comedy set in an Ohio hotel room in 1934.  A visiting Italian opera star is going to perform with the Ohio opera.  Then everything goes crazy and the opera’s lackey winds up stepping into the role instead.  Confusion and hilarity ensue.

The cast was excellent.  Both tenors, the Italian opera star, Tito Merelli played by Steven M. Koehler, and the Ohio opera lackey, Max played by Rick Pendzich, have beautiful voices.  The Italian opera star and his wife, Maria played by RĂ¡na Roman, were superb.  They’re accents were very believable and Ms. Roman had the attitude and veracity down to a T, allowing her small statured character to fill the stage.  The cast played well of each other, there were no forgotten lines or stumbles.  Mr. Koehler handled it very well when one of the props had blown away from where he was supposed to find it.

Of course, I did have one issue – I always have at least one.  The actress playing Maggie – huge fan of the Italian opera singer and desired girl of the opera lackey – was played by Hannah Klapperich-Mueller.  Ms. Klapperich-Mueller is a student at Marquette.  She played the part really well and I find no fault with her general acting abilities.  However, her Wisconsin accent is so strong, I couldn’t get past it.  She sounded too low class for the surroundings on stage and made me feel like I was talking to your average sales girl at a mall clothing store.  It drove me nuts the whole show – just ask Munchkinhead.  Despite this, I still loved the show.

I adored the set.  The colors and styles made me feel like I was back in the 1930s.  The entire play takes place in two rooms, both of which are visible the entire time.  There is a door and an imaginary wall separating them.  At the end of the show, the cast re-enacts the entire play in super fast-forward and the actors hesitate at the invisible wall and then step through it.  That was quite cute.

The costumes made me jealous.  I want Maggie’s dresses and shoes, especially the grey shoes from the opening scene.

My favorite part of the whole show was near the end when the various characters begin to figure out – or think they’re figuring out – what has happened.  You can see the wheels turning and their faces lighting up as they solve the riddle.  That is magical.

Lend Me a Tenor at the Milwaukee Chamber Theater is an excellent production of a funny and well-written play.  It runs through April 27th.  Tickets are available here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Book Review: A Layman Looks at the Lord’s Prayer

I got this book out of a pile.  When my church in Cali merged with the church whose building we were using, the new combined church leadership cleaned out the building.  There were stacks of books along the wall in the sanctuary; books for people to take.  This particular book looked intriguing.  I mean, come on, how can someone walk away from a cover so fabulously 70s?

Lord's prayer book

A Layman Looks at the Lord’s Prayer was published in 1976.

I was also interested to see what the layman’s take on the Lord’s Prayer might be.  The book breaks the prayer down into 12 chapters.  Each chapter looks at one phrase of the Lord’s Prayer.  - Although the last chapter seems more of a mouthful than that, “For Thine Is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, for Ever. Amen.”  I sort of expected “Amen.”  to have its own chapter.

I was super excited to see that the book used the debts/debtors version of the prayer as that has always resonated more strongly with me.  I have lots of debts and fairly often have debtors.  I rarely have trespassers to worry about forgiving.

The structure of the book was pretty neat, and I imagine some of the content probably is, too.  I couldn’t really tell.  The text is so repetitive my mind kept wandering off and before I knew it I’d have read 3 pages without a full sentence registering in my head.  Then I’d scan the pages for about 5 seconds and get the gist.

I was paying enough attention to realize that some of the book was quite critical of “other” Christians.  I don’t really know who these others are, only that they misinterpret the Lord’s prayer and do their relationship with God wrong, according to the author. 

The author showed good knowledge of scripture and often worked hymns into the text, too.  That was neat, but not neat enough for me to sing this book’s praises.  I’ll reserve those for Our Father.  It seems there’s a series of A Layman Looks at books.  I don’t think I’ll be looking at any others.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Big, Round 6 - 0

In case you haven’t had enough birthday posts this week, here’s one more.


My daddy is 60!

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

daddy as a baby

Believe it or not, his eyes still look the same.  That’s about it.  He has much more hair now, a reconstructed nose, and he doesn’t smile with his mouth open.

I get to see Daddy nearly every day because we work in the same place.  It’s very fun, in spite of all Mommy’s worries it would be quite the opposite.  Daddy’s always very busy this time of year because he does taxes for work, but I’m sure he’ll take a little bit of time out of his day to celebrate his best present ever – Mommy.


Daddy’s not getting a big long speechy post because I’ve already done that and he doesn’t really like being on the blog. 
Instead, here’s more about Daddy:

 1 2 3 4 


6 7(warning, PG-13) 8 9

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Happy Birthday Uncle Johnnie!

Today is my Godfather’s birthday.  He doesn’t sound like the Godfather, but he would sound funny to some of you.  Somehow, he’s gotten the heaviest Southside accent.  Much more so than any of his siblings.  It baffles my mother.  In fact, he’s pretty much the epitome of the Southside guy and that’s one of the reasons I love him.  He’s awesome.

mommy and uncle johnWhen I think of my Godfather, three things come to mind: Beer, Bowling and Sheepshead. 

He’s quite good at all three.  Sadly, I don’t think I got any of those genes.  He and my Godmother may be coming camping with us next month.  Guess he’ll be taking all my nickels in the sheepshead competition!  Uncle Johnnie’s got a great sense of humor, so at least I’ll be smiling and laughing while losing those nickels.

For his birthday this year, we’re giving him a little surprise.  It’s quite small, but I think he’ll like it.  I suspect though, he’s already got the best present ever; his oldest son is visiting home from the Navy over his birthday.  That’s a fabulous present, and no one deserves it more.