Tuesday, August 30, 2016

That Roll of Film I Forgot About (About That Bird)

in flight
What kind of bird is this?

I panicked a bit yesterday when I saw the slip for picking up my film along a ledge at home, dated for August 10. What if they'd gotten rid of it already? My film's with the store, so I would never be able to reprint those! So I immediately got my brother to pick up the package for me, having pretty much forgotten already what was on this roll of film apart from some foggy shots of the city, and was pleasantly surprised to see this bird again when I looked through the prints.

shows the symmetry
Taking flight - look at those beautiful wings!

I have no idea what kind of bird this is, but it was on the street one day some months ago, I believe. It refused to move too far from the center of the street despite urging by a couple of children, though cars coming in spotted it and slowed down, swerving slowly around it.

Beautiful patterning, completely symmetrical

As you might have surmised, this is really just a horror story waiting to happen, so I'll just get to it: a car came into the street way faster than it was supposed to be going for a street like ours, and ran the bird over, leaving an explosion of feathers in its wake, never stopping - not even slowing - and the poor bird flapping its one wing against the ground as it spun in circles.

I didn't take any photos of the mess left behind, but both the remnants and the blood stayed caked on the road for a while until the next great rainfall, which washed away the remnants.

No sense of self-preservation

What really surprised me though was the bird's complete lack of self-preservation! It never strayed too far from where it was (in danger), only flew when we charged at it to get it out of the way in order to scare it away from the actual danger, and didn't seem to be scared of cars at all. Like I said, it was a tragedy waiting to happen: thank goodness those children had gone when it happened.

The remainder of the photos to come in another post, since I wanted to give this bird a bit of attention. Also, what type of bird is this?

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Year of...

Karen Luk
Majas Mamelucker by Maja Karlsson

Woolen undergarments, apparently. First the Summer Bralette (blogged here & here), then these Majas Mamelucker (both by the same designer) - what's next? (There are a lot of vintage woolen undergarment patterns floating about...)

Wellington Fibers and Araucania Ranco
Seams? What seams?
The Majas Mamelucker pattern was quite easy to follow, after the translation process and figuring out what was what. (Mods are listed below.) The resulting shorts are very comfortable, as you might expect, although I'm having some fitting issues concerning the crotch area. I actually suspect that it might be because my gauge is off (surprise surprise), though it was close enough that I threw caution to the wind, even knowing the one size pattern would come out a little large... but that's what the ribbing's for, isn't it? Anyway, they're only slightly loose, and even that might just be because I prefer more skin-tight shorts if they're going to be worn under any other clothing. The crotch piece is a couple of stitches too wide though, so I would suggest either removing 5-6 stitches or so from the crotch area (and redistributing to the sides) or not increasing those 5-6 stitches in the front/back pieces in the first place. The ribbing does a great job in terms of fit, and you really don't even need that many stitches if you fall under the size listed.

No modeled pictures because they're short and I haven't a clue what to pair them with. They're also - in case you haven't noticed - super high-waisted, which is great for winter! Next time though, I would make the waist even higher - maybe knit 2~4" more of ribbing, so that when they fold down, they're still at the natural waist.

year of woolen undergarments
Look at that waist!
Now, mods:

  1. None, really, except for knitting the entire thing in pieces because I wanted to use my Wellington Fibers 30/70 Mohair/Wool, which wasn't enough for the entire piece. So I decided to colourblock the shorts with some Araucania Ranco, which meant knitting the sides & the front/back pieces separately after the waist ribbing. Then I kitchenered them together before doing the ribbing for the legs.
  2. My gauge was off, but by a small enough fraction that I just forged ahead anyway, especially since I knew the ribbing would pull in enough for the shorts to stay up.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Ghost Photos! (Not.)

At a temple, no less.
None of these are ghost photos (that I know of!), but I'm surprised anything came out of this roll at all. Some of these shots were taken at Nam San Wai, so I know for sure which roll of film this is: the one I thought never rolled on properly. When I rewound the film, after going way beyond 36, I only had to wind a couple of revolutions before the film was off the other side, so clearly it never took, right? And yet pretty much the entire roll contains photos of Hong Kong! Because I thought nothing took, I put the film in once again and, as luck would have it, shot everything at the wrong ISO (it was a 100 ISO film - I shot at 400 by accident), which is where the ghostly effects are coming from. Funny how things work out, since everything would have been too dark if I had shot at the correct settings. Now. I have no idea when I took the above shots. I usually try to avoid shooting people, so the fact that there's someone at the foreground is very odd.

Who are you? I think I know where this is, but I don't remember taking this shot...
It's really interesting to see how, without any planning whatsoever, the double exposures still came out pretty well. I suppose it's because I take photos according to some sort of rules or guidelines? Not really consciously, but I have a certain aesthetic and I follow it most of the time.

Intersecting lines

The trees are where the other trees are at, parting around where the bridge meets the ground!
Probably because of the number of times I tried to get the film to catch, and the number of times it went through the camera, some of the shots are in noticeably rough shape. It's also really grainy, in addition to the fogginess that I'm getting all around. Not the crisp red that this redscale has offered before.

Funnily enough, even two shots with different orientations work out well together! The lighter layer was taken in Canada for sure, though I can't really make out where exactly, and the main image is in HK. You can see the damage on the film in this one, though they're not scratches since they came out almost white (something must have been blocking the light on the film when they were being printed). Unless the plastic cover's scratched? I kind of just threw it into my bag after all. I'd like to think the imperfection adds to the effect.

Downstairs at ah por's

What's that ghostly figure in the center?

A variety of sweets. I don't even remember what we got, just the old lady that asked us to share with her after we paid.

This one's odd, because at first glance I thought the bright part was a reflection, and the white wisps clouds. Note how there's no sun on the "right" side of the "reflection". And the clouds? Probably damage to the film, though I'm not sure what. It might be dirt, actually, since no light, or very little, got through when it printed. I'm actually really happy with how this roll turned out, all in all. It's a good mix of where I came from and where I am now, a small, unintended negotiation.

Now ain't that lovely?

Monday, August 1, 2016

We Should All Be Feminists.. and other July reads

Note: None of the below pictured books have been read. None of them are the additions to my July list. Not a single one.

Where does the time go? Where does the SPACE go?
A fraction of what I have on my physical & written queue
There's been rather an influx of books on my bookshelf these past number of months. Some come on recommendation & on loan from friends - Roadside Picnic, After Dark, and The Virgin Blue - but most of these are pretty recent purchases, both new and used. I splurged on the Natsume Soseki & Osamu Dazai section to the left, but everything from A Little Book of Language, excepting the three mentioned above, are from used bookstores and donations to the library. I'm actually more than a little excited to read these - essays on the secondary colours? I'm game! Too bad they didn't have the first collection of essays on primary colours though. An entire book about laughter? YES! On romantic mythology? Jung? Sartre? All down my alley. And of course, an entire book dedicated to exploring those imaginary existences such as the Tooth Fairy and Santa Clause didn't stand a chance of getting left behind by me - but the sheer volume of these pages is starting to weigh down on me (and perhaps more importantly my bookshelf, poor thing). The good news is that I'm reading, though! The bad news, of course, is that what I am reading these days consist entirely of library material (I have discovered Overdrive, through which I can borrow e-materials via my library. While it's not ideal, as I already spend more than enough hours staring at a screen, occasions where I would sit in front of a computer doing not much else anyway have been cropping up more and more frequently - and will likely continue to do so - so I may as well do something more productive with that time. I've also been searching up residencies and calls for applications, in addition to briefly glancing at masters programs for library studies.)

On the topic of library books, I have a couple more to add to the July list of reads:

  1. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • Please read this! It's a short essay and not in the least intimidating (as I instinctively think when I think "feminist text"), being in fact very approachable.
  2. Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
  3. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
  4. Naked Statistics by Charles Wheelan
    • "All else equal, it's better not to be a low-status baboon, which is a point I try to make to my children as often as possible, particularly my son" (Wheelan 207). Why particularly your son and not your daughter also? I admit I didn't read this book in-depth because pretty much of all of it was a review for me (I took stats for psychology and only just wrote my thesis this year, so it's still relatively fresh), but unless there was something about job strain being more of an issue for males that I happened to have missed out on, I don't see why not tell that to the daughter also.
    • More probable real-life examples would have made the book better - it would have made it easier to see how stats can be, and is, applied in the real world - than using some of the fantastical examples (the missing bus the only one I can think of right now) that were in fact used. If I didn't have any interest in stats and was willing to give it a chance through this book, this one time, I would probably come away from it very far from enamoured.
And this just today, to start August off.
  1. Animal Wise by Virginia Morell
    • The tiny parrotlets' chattering as conversation sounds delightful! And I think it's absolutely wonderful that it's beyond our comprehension, which is not to say we should stop studying it or keep ignorant so much as that despite how intelligent we believe ourselves to be as humans, so much of the rest of the natural world eludes our understanding.
    • Also, fish feel pain, especially around the mouth area. Have fun fishing!