Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More memeliness and other random stuff

Eryn just tagged me for the Seven Random Things meme, and as I was already going to post tonight, might as well do it now. Because if I don't, it may never happen. Looking forward to it, I think, as I have many random out-of-context facts to share. Other stuff to follow.

The rules:

Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.

Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

Let them know they are tagged by leaving comments on their blogs.

Let the Randomness Begin!
1. I have driven over 200,000 miles (probably closer to 300k at this point), the most being 45,000 miles in five months.

2. Somewhat related - I have visited all 50 states, but have not been outside of North America.

3. Like Eryn, I dream of having a farm in North Dakota. I would love to grow sunflowers, but I am probably too lazy to make it work.

4. When I was in high school, I was once part of the entertainment at a bachelor party. Somewhere out there is a videotape. (Used to shock "nice girls" with that story - that, and the story about dating a married man around the same time. Innocent stories that sound naughty.)

5. I have gone weeks, if not months, without watching TV.

6. When I am immersed in a good book, I want to do nothing but read. The library has been my downfall on many occasions.

7. Ever since I was a kid, I have loved to cook and bake. I once set off the smoke detector and woke up my whole family at 4am while baking pita bread from scratch. (My mom just brought that up the other day.)

Who to tag?
  1. Carry
  2. Cheryl
  3. Cyd
  4. Emmms (though we should be patient - she's got a lot going on right now!)
  5. Ktb
  6. Mary
  7. Shirley
Still working on the sweater; have started the ribbing for the bottom. My cable broke as I was trying on the sweater, which was a bit of a mess. Was able to recover, thankfully, but it was a pain. Haven't yet figured out the number of stitches in the sleeves, but that is on the agenda for this evening. Did figure out how many stitches I can get per skein of yarn, so once I figure out the number of stitches in the sleeves I can calculate if I will have enough yarn to make long sleeves, or if I will need to make a short-sleeved sweater. Which would be silly, as it's mostly alpaca, and thus very, very warm.

Nearly bought enough yarn for another sweater today. Remember the pattern I bought at Knitter's Fantasy? Well, I have decided on the yarn I will use to make it. I will need 2000 yards of this, probably in Spice, but possibly in Moss or Lichen. I could even live with Fieldstone or Slate. Maybe even Sable or Cranberry. Thoughts, anyone? It's very sad that as the weather gets warmer I am still thinking of sweaters.

Weekend work is over for the summer. I am looking forward to grocery shopping on Saturday and staying home on Sunday. Easier to buy beer on Saturday mornings... Speaking of which, I should run out later tonight to buy beer for the Beer and Fiber Swap. I was supposed to have a package on the way today, but as Mike's anti-beer mom surprised us with a visit on Monday, I did not get everything purchased. My procrastination worked well for once, though, as my swapner has moved in the interim, and I can now ship to her new place.

So how about that Pens game last night? It was the first in the series that I'd actually watched, well, at least most of. Caught the post-game highlights of Sunday's game at my parents' house, after visiting with my dad and sharing the Happy Birthday Cinnamon Rolls. And cupcakes. And chocolate chip cookie pie.

Oh yes, I did try to burn the house down on Sunday morning. Made the dough for the cinnamon rolls, and while the rolls were rising, I made chocolate chip cookie pies. Unfortunately, they rose a bit too much, and some dough spilled out onto the bottom of the oven. Result? Lots of smoke. Luckily no smoke detectors were activated, as we were pretty quick to open windows and doors. Cleaned out the oven enough to bake the cinnamon rolls, but Jennifer and I started out a bit later than we had hoped. The surviving cookie pies were still tasty, as were the cinnamon rolls. And the cupcakes. Good stuff.

Had lunch with my mom at Mad Mex, which was quite tasty. Dropped off her car at the house, then the three of us drove to the golf course to visit Dad. Listened to the tail end of the Pens game on the car radio. Visited with Mom at the house for a bit, then headed over to Brad's potluck for a bit. Gave him the blue cabled hat (oh, at lunch Jennifer agreed to adopt Guacamole for me. She can wear the green; I can't.) and the second chocolate chip cookie pie. He asked his friend Emily to play a few songs for us, since we couldn't stay. I was very impressed - she has a lovely voice, and writes beautiful songs. We may need to have a house concert at some point...

Arrived at the Byham during Ron Sexsmith's first song. Knitted a bit between sets, and then enjoyed Nick Lowe. I admit it - I have a fondness for witty British men. Mr. Lowe has crafted some very fine pop songs during his career. Particularly enjoyed this one, with its Rick Astley reference. And this one is always a favorite. Oh, the floppy 70s hair......

Drove home after the show, and was surprised to find Mike still awake at 12:45. Went to bed, and Zuzu allowed me to sleep until 4:45. Nice kitty. Took a nap on the couch after her breakfast, and was only slightly late to work. Would have been on time, but Mike informed me that his mom was coming over at 8. Can't say I was ready for that. Or really wanted her around on Monday. I worked, came home, napped, went to knitting. Visited a bit in the middle there, and went to bed early.

Went to the Cuyahoga Falls knitting group on Tuesday, as part of our group is joining them for Stitch and Pitch at the Akron Aeros in June (June 13, if you're interested!), and the other girls wanted to meet that group. Nice people. Oh, also worked with the kids that afternoon. Taught one girl a yarn-over/dropped stitch pattern; she seemed to like it. Would love to have the sweater done next week to show them.

This morning I ruined someone else's commute. That is to say, I was the bad driver that some lady is complaining about. I don't think I did anything wrong - you decide. I was reading at a stoplight (you know, that engrossed in a book thing), and apparently I didn't move the instant the light turned green. I was 10-12 cars back, so one would think that immediate motion was unnecessary. In fact, I noticed that the light had changed, and was ready to move, but couldn't move until the cars in front of me started moving. She beeped at me anyway. Oh well. We both made it through the light.

Oh well. Just had a bit of bad news, but there's nothing that can really be done. I should get back to the sweater.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mostly pictures

Traffic yesterday was just stupid. That just needed to be said. Stupid people on the road when I was going to work last night, and evil construction that condensed four lanes to one over the span of about a mile. I got bored with sitting in traffic, so I got out the sweater. Did 100+ stitches while not moving. Took an additional 20 minutes to get home. Yuck. At least Zuzu was happy to see me. She was showing off her lovely kitteh belleh yesterday. Can you see where the fur is shorter, where it hasn't grown back completely after her surgery? We love our kitty.

kitteh belleh
Zuzu's lovely kitteh belleh

And can't resist this one, taken as she tired of her supermodel status and sat up:

Kitty in motion

Somehow made it to work early today. Have gotten a decent bit done on the sweater, so it is longer than it appears below. It's 25-30 rows longer now. 53.33% done, according to my estimate. Soon I'll figure out the actual number of stitches and have more accurate calculations.

more sweater
Fibonacci stripe sweater

Here's Zach's hat, because I'm sure everyone wants to see the evil yarn. Did I mention that? Well, I have decided that I do not like Vanna's taste in yarn. (Vanna's choice yarn is quite painful to knit with, IMHO.) I do like the stripey pattern, though.

zach hat 2
Zach's hat

And in the exciting news category, we present Zelda!!! Elin from Norway created a beautiful zebra hat, which was too large for her head. So Zelda was felted, and became too warm for Elin to wear. After a trip across the ocean, Zelda now lives with me. How lovely! I almost (but not quite) want the weather to cool off again so I can wear her. Elin is right - Zelda inspires song!

The beauty that is Zelda - Thanks, Elin!

What else? Deer have been eating my tulips. Mike tells me we have at least one snake under the deck. (I'd rather have a snake than mice.) Got a phone call and did another row on the sweater - 53.67%. Decided that my dad will have some Happy Birthday Cinnamon Rolls tomorrow. Why? Because I want to make more. I think there are also leftover cupcakes, so there will be lots of sweets for the diabetics. Plus I have some caramel corn leftover from Easter, and he has a craving, so I'll bring that along, too. Will probably make some chocolate chip cookie pies, as we may stop by a potluck tomorrow evening so the blue cabled hat can be delivered to its new owner.

Anyway, I should get back to the sweater. Must have lots done so my mom is impressed, and inspired to get back to her cabled scarf.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cupcakes and other sweets

It's been a busy week. (Surprise, surprise, I know.) I think I spent the remainder of Sunday working on my sweater (just under 50% done now - again assuming 60,000 stitches), but I can't quite recall. Feels like a long time ago.

Finished the Guacamole hat on Monday - does anyone want an avocado hat? I like the pattern, but don't think I can pull off the color.


zuzu wearing hat
Zuzu didn't enjoy wearing the hat - would you?

Finished it with my knitting group then picked up the sweater. Was one of the last to leave because the sweater is an addiction. And knitted in the round, so there is no obvious stopping point. Ever. (Wait, why am I typing now?)

Tuesday was the New Pornographers. Good show, although I missed seeing Neko Case and Dan Bejar. I think my brain supplemented what my ears heard. Baked cookies for Ed early that morning - he tipped me off to the presale info; naturally I was grateful. And promised cookies. Also shared some with my HS knitters. And a few people at work. Zuzu woke me early, so I started baking. I think the cookies were done by 5:30 am. Stashed some dough in the fridge for today, too (will explain later). Even had a bit of time to do a few rows on the sweater. Went to work, then came home for lunch because I felt like spending time with Mike. Back to Cleveland for knitting lessons, where I worked on my sweater and explained knitting in the round.

After hanging out with the HS girls, I spent a few hours in the Euclid Creek Metropark, as it's pretty close to the Beachland, and it made no sense to go home and then back north. Sat on a bench and worked on the sweater. Witnessed a jogger chatting on a cell phone. Made me think of this song. Saw a pair of Metropark deer. No fear of people. Wondered if they were going to visit me during dinner, like my bison friend once did. (I was eating an energy bar - they might have liked a nibble.) Anyway, eventually moved along to Music Saves and enhanced my CD collection, in part with my bonus WRUW telethon premium. Met Ed, who proved to be as nice of a guy as he sounds. Gave him his cookies as well as a few treats for his cat. (Donate to his show! C'mon, you know you want to!) Enjoyed the conversation and then the show, as the NPs played many favorite songs (including a cover of ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down - ELO always makes me think of Xanadu - I really need to get to NYC to catch that on Broadway with Gretchen!), and was not quite groped. Very odd experience - a petite woman was making her way through the crowd, and was, um, overly friendly. She was gaining people's attention by touching their waists and shoulders in a very intimate fashion. Almost like she wanted someone to turn and kiss her. She did it to me, as well as the woman in front of me. And yes, we both felt somewhat invaded. It was odd enough that we chatted about it.

There has been a theme in my life lately: I have been knitting outside a lot. Tuesday afternoon, deck and Metropark. Spent Wednesday's lunch hour at a lakefront park, knitting. Used the time between work Wednesday and the museum lecture to work on my sweater while sitting on a bench in Wade Oval. Big news: I am no longer entirely pasty white! The backs of my neck and shoulders are now pink. And sore. Enjoyed the Wade Oval time, though. Saw a grackle trying a bird of paradise move - he puffed up his neck, showing off his iridescent feathers. Also saw a pair of mallards just hanging out in the middle of the oval. I know the Botanical Garden has some water, but the middle of the oval does not. Appreciated the lecture, especially since vicuna was mentioned. Chatted with a few Kirtlandia members as well. Got home, passed out.

Spent Thursday evening running errands with Mike. Lizard, Lowe's, Library, and grocery store. With a detour to Mark's so he could return a carboy. Went to bed early. Ahhh, sleep.

Argh. Just spent an hour on the phone. Not that it's bad, but I wasn't ready for the calls, and my sweater was still in its bag! No knitting! *gasp* Jennifer and I are heading out to Pittsburgh on Sunday to catch Nick Lowe. (Thanks WYEP!) Will probably have lunch with my mom, may hang out with my dad for a while (I should bring him cupcakes or something - today is his birthday) when he's at work on the golf course, may go on a Just Ducky tour. Fun stuff. May just spend time outside knitting.

Oh yeah. Made cupcakes this afternoon. Baked the rest of the cookie dough this morning, and this afternoon, per our friend Chris's request, made more of the vanilla cupcakes. Since he and I share a desk, he will have several cupcakes when he arrives on Monday. Or he might visit me tomorrow, who knows. Yes, the cupcakes are worth going in to work on a weekend. Reason for the cookies and cupcakes? One of the instructors always buys dinner for his students on the last Friday of classes, and last week, asked what I wanted. He had no obligation to include me, but as he did, I figured I'd bring cookies. Mentioned that to Chris, and he suggested cupcakes. As this morning's work went surprisingly well and as a result I got home at a reasonable hour, I made cupcakes. Yum. I think I may have another now. After I refill my water bottle. Some of them turned out ugly for some unknown reason, but they are all tasty.

Anyway, I should try to get a teensy bit of knitting in before I leave. And pick up my tupperware from downstairs. I work all day tomorrow, so I should be able to get a good bit of my sweater done then. Will post pictures when I upload more. Have fun!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sweater obsession

Finally started my Fairfax Fibonacci Sweater. (Another one.) I am obsessed. Started it on Thursday, and estimating 60,000 stitches, I am over 20% done. 21.65%, to be exact. (This is where my OCD exhibits itself. Thanks Ravelry and your progress bars.) I am nearly ready to split off the sleeves; just a few more rows to go. Should get there tonight. Here it is, off the needles. Self-portrait, so it's not the best shot, but you can see the colors and stripe pattern and whatnot. It's a top-down raglan, and I am in love.

self portrait sweater

Worked on the sweater Friday afternoon between work and the lecture (while sitting out on the deck with Zuzu), and could not put it down while at work on Saturday. Even brought it to the Brew Kettle to work on before and after dinner. I love the feel of the yarn (Andean Silk from Knitpicks). Would definitely use it again. So soft and slightly fuzzy, as well as beautifully colored.

Spent this afternoon (at the Beer Engine - yes, our visiting friend is a beer guy) working on yet another museum hat, as I finished one Friday morning and started another at the lecture. Very interesting lecture about songbirds and the patterns of their songs. Parking was insane - they were filming a Jamie Foxx movie, and there were several huge trucks parked in front of the museum. Plus the lecture was packed. Our friend Kevin came to visit for the weekend, so I got a late start. Had to visit a bit, you know.

cabled hat
finished cabled hat

Zuzu has been a lot of fun lately. She's been playing a lot, which is great to see. She's been tossing her woolly mousie around, and has thrown it onto chairs and the ottoman. We're really happy to see her play, because it seems like she's finally completely recovered from her health issues of 1-1.5 years ago. Yes, she's an older cat now (11), but she's back to being her kittenish self. She's also attacked my sweater bag (reusable Wegman's shopping bag), I think because she likes the texture.

pretty girl
Zuzu insisted on being in a hat photo

She also turned off the TV on Thursday. I was knitting and listening to music, and Zuzu climbed behind the TV to investigate something, and suddenly the room went silent. She'd stepped on the UPS and turned off the TV and media computer. And was so proud of herself. She certainly earned my attention!

Oh, remember The Server That Makes Me Cry? The replacement (that was due at the end of February) still hasn't arrived, and the client has decided that they are going to go with a more reputable company, thankfully. So hopefully soon all will be resolved.

I am going to shoot someone. There are people that ride dirt bikes behind our house, and the noise is driving me crazy. We are watching TV, and I still can hear the noise, with all windows and doors closed, and the TV volume about 50% louder than usual. I am calling city hall tomorrow to find out about noise ordinances. I can't stay inside all summer due to those idiots. Yes, I am a pacifist, and there are no guns in the house. So I doubt that the shooting will happen. And even though I usually don't wish harm on anyone, I really want one of them to fall on his head and break his neck so that they go away. If this continues, I'm going to make voodoo dolls.

Anyway, I should get back to my sweater! I wonder how quickly I can finish it...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lazy Sunday

Remembered one of the things that I've wanted to post but had forgotten. Gretchen sent me a note the other day to tell me that a Greek friend of ours had contacted her via Facebook. When I think of Lambros, I think of a beautiful spring day (Memorial Day weekend?) when we were bored and wanted to leave Athens. Lambros had a car. A white Ford Escort if I remember correctly. The three of us piled into the car, and Lambros started driving. Drove south with no real destination in mind, and ended up in Kentucky. Visited the Hillbilly Flea Market (we had to - who can pass up a place like that?), bought a few knickknacks. Still have one of the funky triangular silvered bowls that I bought, as well as the Easter Island head vases. Turned around, started back home. Again, such a beautiful day. Not sure who started it, but we stuck our feet out of the window. Three people in the car, and at one point there were five feet sticking out of the various car windows. Which is when we passed a state trooper. Of course we get pulled over. Trooper comes over to the window, spits, and starts drawling about seeing "elbows and assholes sticking out everywhere." As there's no real law against what we were doing, he can't give us a ticket. He continued lecturing, and told us that when we get tired, we should stop and stretch. He returned to his car for the obligatory paperwork, so we exited ours, and started picking wildflowers. Ahhhhh, the memories.

Today is very much a catch-up day at home. Mike is finishing the taxes (apparently we weren't completely done before, but we will be today), it's laundry day as well as grocery day (home by 10am - yay), and I should probably straighten up the kitchen a bit.

Made more cinnamon rolls yesterday. And cakewaffles. Good stuff. Jennifer came over for breakfast; even though she couldn't go to Knitter's Fantasy with us, she wanted to visit with the girls a bit. Tanya, Patti, Elizabeth, Megan and I all drove to Youngstown and wandered around the Yarn Market. Ran into Jeanne there - she was wearing a gorgeous sweater she made. (Hers is longer than the one pictured - and much prettier, in my mind. The images on the website don't impress me, but Jeanne's did.)

saturday naked cinnamon rolls
Saturday's cinnamon rolls, pre-frosting

And of course the question is, "What did you buy at the Yarn Market?" Bought some TOFUtsies in green and white, some Aussi sock in Oak Moss (green), Wildfoote in Desert Grass, Trekking in a blue-green variegate, and some really neat laceweight - Habu with metals. I bought some copper bamboo, and stainless steel wool. I really liked the sample swatch they had knitted up in the stainless steel silk (but liked the color of the wool better), as it held its shape. It was a simple garter stitch piece, but would stretch to be either a long, narrow piece or a short, wide piece. You could flare the ends or sides to make it wavy. Very neat.

habu-copper bamboo habu-stainless steel and wool
Habu yarn - copper bamboo and stainless steel wool

I am far too easily distracted. Started this post three loads of laundry ago. It is now snowing. Please make it go away. Drama llamas are running rampant all over Rav. I really need to stop following links to the melodrama. It's not worth the time or concern.

Oh, took a picture of our finches yesterday. Wish Mike's dad had email so he could see it - he's the one that made the feeder that my nephew calls "Florida Yard Art." It's made from a garage sale ice bucket and serving platter, plus some wire screen. He makes them with teapots and other vessels, but I like mine the best.

Zuzu's appetizers

Our kitty has been snuggled with Mike all day, snoozing on his lap. I should get back to the knitting. Or curl up with a good book.

Friday, April 11, 2008

No Rice for the Zuzu

Post title: Was portioning rice into tupperware for freezing, and some fell on the floor. Zuzu dashed over to investigate, because it could be food (we were in the kitchen, after all). She sniffed the rice, but decided that it wasn't edible. No rice for the Zuzu.

She has been a naughty kitty lately, and has taken to waking me at 3am. She curls up on my chest, purrs, and paws my chin. Ohhhh, see how nice this snuggling is? We should go downstairs and snuggle more, after you give me breakfast, of course. Yeah. No go. She did that for two nights in a row. We set her feeder to give her some kibble at 2am, and that seems to help. She would have let me sleep in until probably 5 this morning, but I think I'm now conditioned to wake up at 4:30, so even if she doesn't wake me, I wake myself.

Speaking of the kitty, she has been birdwatching lately. Apparently it is a great season to have bird feeders, because the migratory birds are back, but their food is still somewhat scarce. We've had lots of finches, but Zuzu's attention is really drawn by the cardinals. (I think it's because they look more like a meal, rather than the finch-snacks. Not that it matters, because she stays indoors, and her only wild food consists of insects. But a kitty can dream, right?) We have a pair, and they may be looking to nest on the beams of our deck's roof.

Really need to get the She and Him CD. I have been singing various songs of theirs for the past few weeks. Would be great car music, so I could sing along without being overhead. (I think the woman in the office next to mine is a bit annoyed at hearing my voice. She works Saturdays for the quiet.)

So I was going to post Sunday, but got swept up in a kitchen frenzy. Baked bread, cinnamon rolls, red pepper cornbread, and spinach-artichoke dip. Is that all? Feels like there was more. Cinnamon rolls were lovely. I will have to make them again. Challah bread and red pepper cornbread are favorites from Still Life with Menu by Mollie Katzen. Good stuff.

cinnamony goodness
cinnamon rolls pre-icing

challah from the side
challah bread

Mike had a few friends over to play games, and while they made a mess of the basement, I made a mess of the kitchen. I think they were happy for all of the food, though.

What should I have been doing rather than baking? Working on the SAAZ newsletter, finishing those last two pairs of clogs (though I did get one pair felted), making more baby gifts (I'd forgotten how many I need to make, and have gotten sidetracked), and doing laundry. Now nearly done with the first of the last pair of clogs, aside from my clogs-of-many-colors. Have started thinking about them, and what fun they could be.

This week was busy, as we had knitting group on Monday. Abuelo's is a pretty decent Mexican restaurant - and if you ask when you're being seated, they will bring you a vegetarian menu. Gotta love a place that will do that. Plus, I've found most Mexican places in the area to be very bland. Mike finally got the point that I didn't care for one place when I told him that it tasted like Taco Bell. Why spend $7 when I could have the same experience for $2? Anyway, brought him takeout from Abuelo's, and once he understood that yes, the food was his and was not my lunch, he enjoyed it. We will go back.

Finally did the SAAZ newsletter Tuesday, day of the meeting. Oops. Hey, life happens. It didn't really take long to throw everything together, as there weren't all that many contributions. Left out a few small things, but didn't want to search for pictures or clip art to fill the rest of the page.

Baked cupcakes Wednesday. Four dozen. Vanilla with vanilla buttercream frosting, and vegan chocolate mocha with mocha frosting. Surprisingly, I think I like the vanilla ones better than the chocolate. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a chocoholic, but for some reason I'm finding the vanilla ones really tasty.

bobmas cupcakes
Bobmas Eve cupcakes

Thursday was Bobmas Eve. If you have to ask, you won't understand. Just over a dozen of us met at Bob Evans for a celebration of Ravelry. It was a lot of fun - matching faces to Ravelry user names. General consensus is that we'll have to have another, sometime soon. Perhaps at a place that serves alcohol. (What can I say, we like to have margaritas/beer while we knit!) Cupcakes were appreciated, but I still went home with two dozen. Left most of them for coworkers this morning, and brought a few for the guy who is covering for me tomorrow.

Mike drove to Columbus this afternoon to drop off beer for the NHC. He kegged beer on Tuesday, and several turned out quite well. Hopefully he'll do well in competition, although you never know who your judges will be. (They even let me judge one year, and after watching Mike torment himself over his returned score sheets, I will never do that again. I don't want to have my name on something that can cause such misery.) Anyway, it is out of his hands now - beer has been delivered, and he is home.

I'm at work now, and it's finally turned into a quiet night. Had to do a lot of running around at first, then had to talk someone through accessing their email account for the first time, oh, and then needed to change a projector bulb. Fun stuff. Finished "Collapse" while waiting for the slowest computer in the world to boot up and open Outlook so I could print the schedule.

Tomorrow is Knitter's Fantasy, in Youngstown. So we are having the traditional turnpike-route departure, and gathering at my house for breakfast before hitting the road. Cakewaffles and cinnamon rolls, probably. Vicky gave me some Vietnamese cinnamon, and it was fabulous in Sunday's cinnamon rolls, so will try it again with the new recipe.

Another News Item: It is the end of an era. I received a new card from Discover, and they changed my account number. I have been able to recite that number for years. Really. I have had the card since college, and always used it for phone orders (really mostly just donating to public radio stations - I'd feel the need to call while in the car, and didn't want to fumble with my wallet, so I'd use the number I knew.). Anyway, I tried to use it online today, and it was declined - they deactivated it! New one is now activated and working, but now I have another number to learn.

Not sure if there's anything else I should share. Oh, made another afghan square last night and shipped it out this morning. Some of the squares may have been lost, so mine is an extra. I just wish I had extra time to include some goodies in the package!

Oh! Chocolate Skittles! Found some in the store here at work, and bought two bags to share tomorrow. They frighten me somewhat, although probably not as much as the ones I saw on their website - Ice Cream Skittles. (Was craving chocolate last week, and didn't bring any baked goodies, so I checked out the candy rack in the shop.) Was amazed by the variety of M&Ms, too. No longer is are M&Ms just plain or peanut - there are dark chocolate ones, wild cherry and raspberry packets. I tried the dark chocolate, but wasn't really all that impressed. Will stay away from the wild cherry and raspberry ones - they are scary. Oh well. On that note, it's back to busy-ness!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Time to apply for the position of village idiot

I have been very stupid lately. Or at least forgetful, if you want to be polite about it. Last night, I stopped at the grocery store on the way home. With a list. That had everything that I needed on it. Somehow, I still managed to walk out missing three items. I blame our friend Nick, as I ran into him there. He told me that Mike should be the one doing the shopping. I completely agree. Was quite distraught about forgetting the lasagna ingredients (like ricotta!)

Anyway, yesterday was a long day, what with Zuzu waking me at 4 as usual, work in the morning and then again until 10pm. Finally made it home around 11:00, unpacked the groceries, and blocked the afghan squares. Could not find my straightpins for the life of me, so I ended up using a packet of sewing needles. Probably could have used a few more, but so be it. Squares are approximately square. Mike was kind enough to drop them in the mail this morning, so they should reach their destination either Monday or Tuesday.

Went to bed around 11:30, and remember looking at the clock at 12:At exactly 4:06 this morning, I feel a paw on my chin. Zuzu wants breakfast. Fine. Stumble downstairs, feed the kitty, go back to the store for the missing items. Get home, start making the crockpot veggie lasagna for today’s potluck. I offended the kitty - she was meowing, pawing me, rubbing against my legs trying to get my attention. Silly me, trying to get things done! I was missing our snuggle time, and Zuzu wanted to make sure that I get my daily dose of purrs.

Anyway, I finally got everything assembled and curled up on the couch for about an hour. Zuzu was on my lap before I’d arranged the blankets. Oh, and when it was time to get up and get showered for work? Kitty didn’t want to move. We will have to do some serious snuggling tomorrow to make up for this deficiency!

big yawn

Today is a long day following a long week. Work until 4:30, drive an hour to a potluck, spend time there, drive the hour home, and crawl into bed. To be woken at 4am again tomorrow. Oh well. I love my kitty. And Sunday morning we can sleep on the couch from 4:15-8:00.

Oh, car update. Will hit 11,000 miles today. Had the car since November 7. I'm actually not driving as much as I thought I would. Working weekends helps prevent road trips, though. Car seriously needs cleaned out. I want to find my giant knife that is lost somewhere in the back seat. (For those of you not in the know, when I brought the leftover cakes to my knitting group meeting, I brought a knife. It was on the backseat. Then I mailed the packages that were keeping everything in the backseat immobile, and the next time I stopped, the knife moved. I don't know where it is hiding. It's a good thing I rarely have passengers, because I wouldn't want anyone to get stabbed.

Found "Collapse". It was in Mike's office. I don't know why it was there, but we were talking about taxes (and Zuzu), and there it was, on the floor. I have been reading it before bed again. Nearly done. About halfway done with "Medical Apartheid", too.

At work right now. (Obviously.) Gorgeous day outside, and I am stuck in an office, thinking about how nice it would be if Zuzu wasn't traumatized by travel and could come spend the day with me. I'm on the fourth floor, near the roof, with a window that has a nice, wide sill, and a lovely view of the gutters where the birds hang out. Zuzu would have entertainment all day! Not that she doesn't at home, but still. (I guess I am feeling deprived of our snuggle time, too.)

This link was posted on Ravelry. We've used some of these terms to describe Zuzu. Very entertaining, and apt, too! Flippy's Cat Terms

Oh well. I should get back to knitting those clogs. Will remember everything else I wanted to post as soon as I publish. Mmmmm, the office smells like lasagna. Gotta love crock pots.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Book (and other) excitement

Emmms over at Quelle Erqsome tagged me in a book meme. Because I don't want her to think that I am the slacker that I truly am, I am posting my responses here. (Also, I am hoping that it earns me bonus points in her Mustachioed Avengers contest, because I can use all the help that I can get.) I appreciate the tag, though, as I am constantly reading something, even if it's just the list of files whizzing by as they are scanned.

Anyway, here goes:

1. What book are you currently reading?

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, by Harriet Washington - heartbreaking accounts of racism in medical treatment. There's a lot more than just the Tuskegee Syphilis Study; doctors who are now regarded as heroes for their new techniques frequently experimented on slaves or free blacks before performing the procedures on whites. And experimentation without informed consent continues - by companies in certain markets who have been granted permission to experiment on anyone who becomes unconscious en route to hospital, and by the U.S. military. Very well-written, informative book; won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

The Best of the World Cafe: Great Conversations from NPR's Most Popular Contemporary Music Show, by David Dye - transcriptions of interviews from the radio programme. As a music lover, I enjoy learning more about the thought processes of those talented enough to create music. (Hey Emmms, I'm about to read the Neko Case interview!)

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, by Jared Diamond - currently on hold, because it is somewhere in the house. Upstairs, I think. Perhaps in the giant sack of things that went into hiding before the party. Great book about how some of us humans have mucked up our environment and how others have learned to live in a fragile ecosystem.

2. When you think of a good story, what are the first 3 books that come to mind?

Call it a cop-out, but these are some of the books I read and re-read again.

Beauty, by Sheri Tepper - fabulous reinvention of fairy tales. (You can probably add most of her books to this list, too.)

Most of the Discworld series, including the Tiffany Aching books. Just great stuff, entertaining reads, with so many cultural references that you're bound to miss a few, which leaves more to discover when re-reading. If pressed to recommend just one or two, I'd say (with references in parentheses) Soul Music (pop music), Moving Pictures (movies), and Maskerade (musical theatre).

Anything by Tom Robbins or Margaret Atwood. Probably most frequent reads are Skinny Legs and All and Cat's Eye (Oh, how that book made me cry on first reading... And thanks to Gretchen I have an autographed hardcover version. Someday soon I will get back to NYC.)

3. Which 3 books would you recommend for summer 2008 beach reading?

Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson - I really enjoyed this book. I am not entirely sure why. I will probably read it again this summer.

Island of the Sequined Love Nun, by Christopher Moore - the title alone marks it as an excellent beach novel, and Moore's absurd humor inspires giggles and belly laughs. (Or read any other book of his - all will make you laugh. If they don't, you are reading the wrong Christopher Moore.)

The Ground Beneath Her Feet, by Salman Rushdie - One of Rushdie's strengths is the way he uses language, and this book tells a wonderful love story (again with lots of pop culture references - now you know one of my many weaknesses. Oh, and U2 and Daniel Lanois recorded a song with Rushdie's lyrics for the movie Million Dollar Hotel. It was a bit freaky first time I heard the song, as I recognized the lyrics but hadn't known they'd been made into a song.)

4. Any knitting books you would care to share?

A Field Guide to Knitting: How to Identify, Select, and Create Virtually Every Stitch, by Jackie Pawlowski (because it's small portable, with lots of color pictures)
And someday, someday, I will make one of the gorgeous creations in Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan.

5. What is next on your reading list? (I added this part; future meme participants can consider this optional)

The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint
Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media by Susan Douglas
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert

6. Tag three other knitters for this meme:
Penny, Eryn, Megan, consider yourselves tagged. Looking forward to seeing what you have to say.


And in other news...

Had awesome bedhead the other day. Like, totally. As in gag me with a pitchfork sort of awesome. Good to know that I can have huge hair without using any sort of product. At least until I brush it. (Yes, I was amused - so amused, in fact, that I felt compelled to share.)

Have been running around a lot, as usual. Knitting was Monday, in North Olmsted, and while I'd hoped to stop at home before going over there, work got in the way. Yesterday, I came home from work, cooked dinner, and left. Went to Miss Chickpea's and met a few of the Cuyahoga Falls Knitters and (crochet) Hookers group members as well as my friend Tanya. We bought a few things (I gave in and bought Joyce's favorite sock yarn - Mountain Colors Bearfoot as well as a skein of Berroco Sox; Tanya bought some Malabrigo), then she followed me home to use my winder and swift. After she left, I ate dinner and swung by North End to deliver Matt his hat (argh - forgot to take a picture!), and had a drink with Mike. Had planned on stopping at Jo-Ann's to get a needle felting tool, but got on the road too late.

Today I am catching up on all of the things I have ignored lately. Did the book meme, will fill out the questionnaire for the Beer and Fiber Swap, stitch a few squares for a group gift afghan, oh, and Mike did our taxes, so I need to review and send the darn forms in. With checks. I don't know that I like sending a check rather than asking for a refund, although I guess it's one of the necessities of being self-employed.

Watching the Pens game right now. Gonchar just scored, and they just played this commercial. Can't.Stop.Laughing.

What else? I always think of things when I'm not posting. I know I will have more to babble on about as soon as I post. Oh well. I should do those other things that need to be done, instead of just talking about them.