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Friday, July 17, 2009

Girlzilla and The Puppet Bike

I had my camera with me all day. Did I take any photos at the Midwest Fiber and Folk Fair? Nope. I forgot it was in my purse. It's kind of tricky anyway, since some of these types of events restrict photography, but most would-be photogs aren't up to any fiber-y espionage; they just want to spread the yarn-y goodness around.

The fair seemed smaller this year--about 1/3 smaller by my (non-scientific, could be completely wrong about this) estimate. Last year there were vendors lining the hallways (the event is in a community college classroom building), as well as in tents outside and in the gymnasium, but this year there were few hallway spots. I missed Miss Babs and Jennie the Potter, but I expect I'll see them both at Summit. Two of my favorites, Brooks Farm and Briar Rose, were there. I can't seem to resist either of them. I become weak in their presence, and usually end up double-dipping, going back for seconds (and sometimes thirds!) before I will myself to stop.

I have a couple of book recommendations for you. I've got an subscription, and I finally finished listening to Son of a Witch, the follow-up to Wicked. It was good, but Wicked was such a great read, and I was not nearly as enamoured of the sequel. I might feel differently if I had read it as opposed to listening to it, and I started to think that maybe audiobooks were leaving me a little cold. Then I downloaded The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It's a Swedish book that has been translated into English, and I am loving it. It's got some great hooks: a 40-year-old unsolved crime, corporate wrongdoing, vengeance, and a bit of sex, though some of it is unsavory, to say the least. (It's not gratuitous, however. It works in the context of the storyline.) The Swedish names take some getting used to (and some sound somewhat similar, which wouldn't be an issue if I saw them written out), but I am enjoying the narration. It's making my Sock Museum socks go more quickly.

I also started reading The Help. Just this week I got a Kindle and it was the first book I downloaded to it. I have stacks of actual paper books to read, and instead I am reading an electronic one, but there is a good reason. I thought it would be easier to "turn" pages with the press of the button when I was on the treadmill. With a paper book, I'd have to take it out of the rack each time I wanted to flip pages, which makes keeping a steady pace kind of tricky. And, hey, if it means I use the treadmill more, that's good, right? Anyhoo...I've only read chapter one, but I love it already. The characters are well-crafted, and feels like it is going somewhere important.

I had my camera with me tonight when the husband and I walked up to Clark Street for some sushi. The little girls next door have been busy little sidewalk artists again this summer. This one looks like Girlzilla about to decimate a village:

On the way home, one of our favorite neighborhood oddities, the Puppet Bike, was open for business. (The Wikipedia entry about it is very interesting. There is also a YouTube video here (actually, there are lots of them if you do a search) but keep in mind that it isn't as charming on video as it is in person.)
It is what it sounds like, a puppet stage mounted on a trike. The first time I saw it was downtown, but it has since take up residence here in Andersonville, and we love it. The "show" consists of Steiff handpuppets bopping around to recorded music.
It's often older, fun stuff from the 40s and 50s (Louis Prima and the like), and the "staging" is quite simple. Whenever the curtain is up, you can count on a crowd of 15-20 people, young and old, watching it. There is a tip box, and hilarity ensues when cash is deposited, especially if it's a bill bigger than a dollar. (The puppets can reach into the tip box from the back and sometimes a tug-of-war breaks out.)

Yes, our corner of the urban jungle is populated with stuffed tigers, alligators, and bunnies.


The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Oh my gosh-stuffed STEIFF puppets? My 11 yo self would have been completely obsessed!

I love Brooks Farm, too, and am a total double dipper:)

lizchatwell said...

You will LOVE The Help! I have been talking it up for MONTHS now.

BertandFelix said...

I love! I mean LOVE the puppet bike! So much that I found the song "Potato Chips" and have it on my iPod.

Went to the Midwest Fiber Festival today too. I just got quite a bit of roving. Think alot of vendors are waiting for the Socks Summit. Saw Jennie the Potter at knitting camp and she said that they will be there...she is pregnant but I think that Gretchen will be there in her place. I bought the cutest bowl from them. Has a bird in the tree with balls of yarn.

Marisol said...

Love the puppet bike--wish I could take in a show by the windy city:)

cupcakefaerie said...

I'm totally into audio books too since it doesn't take away from knitting time. I'll have to check out your recommendations. Thanks!