Thursday, December 4, 2008


I am really looking forward to seeing Coraline. It was a fun book to read, but the art I've seen so far in the snippets is beyond what I had in my imagination. It's so beautiful, and spooky, and cool, and just awesome. If you can't wait until February of 2009 then check out the website, and use these codes to get a peek.
stopmotion : the Biggest Smallest movie ever made. (this is so pretty)
buttoneyes : Meet the cast...
moustachio : Bo Henry, art director of Coraline, shows off his remarkable moustache tricks. (beware men may find themselves needing to grow a large mustache)
armpithair : Every hair in the film was placed there by hand... (boggle!)
puppetlove : Director Henry Selick explains what it must be like for the puppets in the film. (this one was a bit weird)
sweaterxxs : Micro-knitting. (even non-knitters will be a amazed)
After that you need to go check out the Knitty blog. There are said to be 50 boxes sent all over the net containing various movie memorabilia, and Amy did a great job photographing hers to share. Not all of them have been sent to knitters and I found a great post here with links to other boxes that have appeared online.

It's times like this when I wish I were famous, at least internet famous, even if no one locally knew who I was. As much as I appreciate all these folks sharing their presents virtually with the world, I wish I could touch them. I'm sure there will be some cute merch released with the movie and I will just have to support the economy when the time comes and get something of my own.

We Can Has Bucket

We came home last night to find our new recycling bin waiting for us, as well as the gigantic list of what we can now put in the bin. I have my pickup schedule up on the fridge and I only wish I had more empty containers to put in it. Our first pickup is next Monday, and it's going to be woefully not full.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sometimes Life is Not Fair

I just found two pairs of Converse that I adore. I would love to be concerned with which pair to put on my Amazon wishlist* but it doesn't matter. Neither of these shoes comes in my size. I mean, it's not even close, not even 4 pairs of socks close. The smallest size that they come in is the equivalent of a US women's 10 1/2. In case you ever want to gift me shoes I wear a US women's 7 1/2. There's no way I can handle a shoe 3 sizes to big. The pair of Converse that I own in a size 8 (whole sized only on that one) are still so big that I barely wear them, lest I trip over my own feet.

Still I shall share my finds with you, in case you are gifted with larger feetsies than myself.

These are both from the Project Red collection. The Converse site says 10% of the net wholesale price of these CONVERSE (PRODUCT) RED™ shoes will be paid to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Geneva, Switzerland). Pretty nifty to get cool new shoes and donate to a good cause I think.

Without further ado I present to you:

1 Hund(red) #30 Jeremyville
and 1 Hund(red) artist #34 Ana Ventura
Don't feel too bad for me though, I did add a lot of Mary Jane style shoes to my list. So I am not completely devoid of the possibility of new shoes.

*You should check out the new ability to add anything from the net to Amazon lists, it's cool. I've been able to finally add many of the other items I've coveted for years, but have never splurged to buy myself.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I just had to enable the word verification on comment posting, and delete two comments that were Viagra ads. Stupid fraggin spammers.... Anyway, good night it's way past my bedtime.

Friday, November 14, 2008

No Content

Well since I don't have anything else to post right now, here's a link to a silly Olbermann mash up. It made me laugh, and it's only a minute, so go ahead and check it out.

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

Monday, November 3, 2008

Out of My Depth

I don't normally post about politics. I consider myself "kind of informed". I mean, I listen to NPR most mornings/afternoons (even on purpose sometimes), and I watch some news-like programs on television. However, I don't feel like any sort of authority on any issues. I don't do massive amounts of reading online or in newspapers about politics, I've always hated history and therefore never bothered to remember any of it, and in general refer to the political blogs Jeff peruses as "boring political crap". So, I think kind of informed covers it. I'm not up there in my knowledge, but I'm not completely out of touch either.

I support and have voted for Barack Obama. I don't talk about this much at work because I am surrounded by the sort of rabid republican that would start foaming at the mouth if the subject came up. I tend to duck out of conversations when politics comes up, because I can't argue the finer points of either candidates positions. Although the more I listen the more I realize they can't either.

I've been amazed lately by the crap that I've heard coming out of their mouths. I don't understand how they can believe it without question. One person last week was pissed because she's sure Obama is going to win, and she'd just found out that the 401K she'd been saving was going to be taxed an additional 15% by Obama, even if she waited to make a withdraw until she was 60. Being a rational person, who's listened to at least some of the debates this sounded dubious to me, so I googled it. Apparently people are twisting a raise in capital gains tax into having anything to do with 401K (which it doesn't, in case you're curious 401K withdraw is taxed at the regular payroll/income tax rate dependant on your income, not at the capital gains tax rate).

Today I heard that Barack wants to bankrupt coal companies. An odd statement to be sure, so again I ducked to my office and found it came from an interview with They way I understand the statement is that whoever creates carbon/greenhouse gas emissions should pay for them and the revenue collected would help create newer tech to reduce these harmful emissions. If people want to continue to pollute, they are free to do so, but they will pay for it, and if they don't try to reduce their emissions then they will bankrupt themselves. It's not a statement of intent (as I see it) more a statement of eventuality. If you can't afford the fees, and your refuse to change, then eventually you will run out of money.

The final straw though was when I heard that, you'll love this one, Barack Obama isn't black. I'm sorry, but have your little ones cover their eyes because I'm going to swear here. For fuck's sake! First he wasn't white enough and now he's not black enough? And if one more person talks about how he's a muslim like it's true, or that it would even fucking matter to me....

There's a reason why I talk about working with redneck, hillbilly, rabid republican dipshits. Very few of the people that talk politics around me seem to know jack about shit. I mean, if I heard a report that John McCain had plans to raise the tax rate of people making $15K-45K by an additional 5% and giving that money to their employers to help pay for health care I would freakin' doubt it. I would look into that shit a little closer and not just go spouting off about how terrible he would be for our country, and how he's out to screw the little guy.

Okay I'm done. Screw these not-hippies, I'm going home.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Auto Woes

My car is in the hospital. We took it to the doctor, and he said it was so bad that it needed a specialist. I suppose that we're lucky that the car was still able to drive between these locations, and it isn't completely dead. We do want another car, but we want it on our terms, not just because our current vehicle went belly up.

The specialist observed the car over night, and called this morning with the diagnosis. It's not terminal, but it will require a large infusion of cash to solve the problem. Over the weekend my little car will be getting it's transmission completely rebuilt.

Keep our family in your thoughts, and hope for a complete recovery.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We Have Returned

We are back from our journey to Houston. All in all we saw very little damage where we were. There were still isolated spots without power, it was strange to drive down a road and hit 3 blocks where there wasn't electricity. We saw two gas stations on 2920 that didn't have power and were closed, all the ones that were open had gas that was cheaper than Austin prices. It was as low as $3.45 for the low grade at one Exxon near my dad's apartment.

The biggest problem we had was that my dad's apartment still doesn't have cable. I am lost without regular access to internet or tv apparently. I was reduced to watching the electronic picture frame for entertainment. Even over at Tricia's parents we couldn't catch a wifi signal. There was one at the TCBY that Jeff hung out at for a bit, but that didn't help me much.

Despite Jean driving everyone a bit crazy, and damn near losing her mind, the weekend was a total win. Friday was the rehearsal dinner where everyone tried to eat the pounds and pounds of food that Jean had prepared. I can't even estimate the ungodly amount of food, but we took several dozen tamales home afterward, so it was a lot. She had a couple of appetizers that I missed out on, beef and chicken fajitas, tortillas, beans, rice, queso, guac, salsa, chips, pork and chicken tamales, and probably something else I forgot. We washed it all down with margaritas, beer (2 homemade by Jeff), wine, water, and tea. She had piles of desserts, and in general it was a great big party.We got back to my dad's around 1 am and promptly sacked out for the night. Laura and I had hair appointments Saturday morning at a salon in The Woodlands. We both got cute little up-dos, because if you're going to pay someone to style your hair you might as well go fancy. A woman that I will treasure always, even if she never told us her name, asked if we were going to prom. Laura's only a year younger than me, so it made both of our day.The wedding itself was Catholic, and done by a priest who unfortunately doesn't believe in letting his congregation sit because he thinks it helps them pay attention to be standing, fortunately he also believes in talking as fast as possible and he managed to skip some items on the program. I had estimated we were looking at an hour or so service, and I think he got it done in less than 30 minutes. I then hung around in the church killing time while hours of photos were taken.
After all the photos were completed the wedding party (and tag-a-longs like me) piled into a big ol' limo to head off to a pub called Gooses Acre Pub. We had 3 long tables and everyone was drinking beers and eating various snacks. Then one after another each table got a round of Irish Car Bombs (1/2 pint of Guinness that you drop a shot glass of Bailey's into then drink before it fuzzes over on you). Once everyone was nice and happy it was time for a few more photos outside, and then off to the actual reception. I have to admit, having a party before the party was a lot of fun. In my next life I'm stealing that idea.The reception is kind of a blur. I remember good food, an open bar, chatting with tons of people, and even dancing. Those who know me know that I do not dance. If I do dance it is brief and because I love the song. That night I loved dancing, if that weren't evidence enough the next day hangover is proof that I had a wee bit much to drink. Highlights of the evening include:
- Sarah and I buying a pack a cigarettes so we could each have a single smoke while the boys were on the balcony smoking cigars. I left the rest of the pack at my dad's house.
- Everyone showing off the flipflops they brought to change into once the reception started. Julie Kieth had the biggest sparkles on her and deserves a prize.
- The best man basically implying that he heard the bride and groom having sex the first year they new each other. (yup, that was part of his toast)
- Me getting mad when they only played 5 seconds of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" then stopped it to announce the bouquet toss.*
- A friend of the family, who is old enough to be my dad, venting about his own father is dating a younger woman (she's in her 60s). I kind of know how he feels from previous relationships my own dad had, but had a hard time sympathizing because my current step-mom is really cool, and she's great for my dad.
- The only good picture of the reception that I have is of our empty table.
As previously stated I woke up Sunday with a pretty good sized hangover. I had managed to get a to go box of wedding cake for Iza and that meant I was free to eat the slice I stuffed into a ziploc bag. I started off the day with rootbeer and wedding cake, and that got me going enough to make it to the after-party brunch. I was not the only hangover around. Many of us were clutching mimosas or bloody marys in our hands, shielding our eyes from the sun, and grateful for someone else making us some food. I feasted on quiche, cheese cake, and various fruits. It was one of those mornings where you start feeling a little better only to find that you're still exhausted under all that hangover. Daniel and Tricia opened their gifts, and then we said our goodbyes.

After a bit of a nap we cleaned up all of our belongings from my dad's apartment** and headed back home. Jeff kindly drove the whole way, and I made questionable snacking choices.*** We got back to Austin around 8:30 pm and that was that. I went to bed early and woke up Monday feeling much better.

*The next morning I caught shit from various old women that I'm related to by marriage laughing at me for going to the floor for the bouquet toss. I finally (hangover remember) got mad enough and announced that I didn't want the fucking bouquet, that I'd had plenty of bouquets in my life, and that I wanted to hear the goddamn song. I think I declared it time to go home very shortly after that.

**Except for the charger for the camera battery. I just got a message from Iza that we left that plugged into their wall.

***There are new Whoppers with Reeses peanut butter on the outside, and a regular malted milk ball inside. They are not good. Don't buy them. If I don't like a candy it's probably pretty bad.

**** I will eat most things that have sugar as a key ingredient. I ate 2 or 3 of these and threw the rest of the box in the trash.

****The exception is sour candy. I'm not real big on super sour candy, but if it's a sweet candy you can trust my opinion.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy TLAP Day

Arr ye maties, it be National Talk Like a Pirate Day, lest ye forget. Ahoy, me expect you all t' obser'e this holiday, or I'll have t' make you walk the plank. Gar.

My pirate name is:

Mad Mary Bonney

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network
Arrr, have a happy and safe, Talk Like a Pirate Day, and don't keelhaul anyone I wouldn't keelhaul. Aye, me parrot concurs.

Down the Rabbit Hole

We're off this weekend to Danny (Jeff's brother) and Tricia's wedding in Houston. Before anyone gets all worried or anything it's actually northwest of Houston proper in The Woodlands, and before anyone continues to worry they have electricity now, never lost gas or water service, the streets are clear and the traffic signals are working.

Now, you wouldn't know any of this from talking to Jeff's mother. Despite the fact that she is going today to get flowers from a Costco in the Houston area, she wants us to get desserts to bring from the Costco by us in Austin. To quote her hysteria, "Jeff, you just don't understand what it's like down here, it's just...." apparently too bad to put into words? Except that I know that the area she's in isn't that bad. And if it were that bad, why the F- would we want to go? I mean every highway in Austin has signs up telling me "Do not go to Houston or Beaumont". I only wish I could obey.

I'm not trying to make light of the situation that many across Texas have found themselves in. Everyone who's turned on a tv, or opened a paper or blog knows that Galveston was almost wiped off the map. And there are tons of other towns that were also hit hard. Some areas had surge flooding, others just too much rain, and there was plenty of wind damage. Many small towns lost utility services, and are seeing even longer wait times to get them restored. A co-worker has a daughter-in-law who lives in a town that gets power from Beaumont. In a situation like that power has to be restored in Beaumont first, and then you get to fix the mess between the two towns, before little podunk gets electricity. At least the DIL still has a home, there are people that fared much worse, people that lost friends or loved ones, and many that have no home to return to.

I just wish Jean would get a little perspective. It does no justice to the areas that really are devastated to act like she's in the middle of a war zone. She has the luxury of maybe having to wait in line for gas, and pay around $5/gal, then drive to a Costco that has electricity so that she can get flowers to decorate for a wedding rehearsal dinner. That's not chaos, that's not anarchy or rioting, that's minor inconvenience.

To be fair I've only received reports from others in the area, and have not seen it myself yet. I'll let you know after we get there what my opinion is, for what it's worth. I am not some fearless journalist though, and I will not be exploring to see what sort of damage was done to other parts of Houston. Don't expect a full report on conditions across Harris county, I'm staying to the north so that's all you'll hear about from me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tunes for My Pod

Today has been mercifully quiet here at work. Quiet in that I've been largely left alone to get stuff done. Most of this stuff has been work, although there has been some blogging and blog reading as well.

It has not been quiet in regards to the level of noise I've been exposed to. It seems like the tugger and fork lift traffic has been crazier than usual. Luckily I came prepared today. Over a year ago I was gifted an iTunes gift card, and since then I've acquired two others, and not used any of them. I happy to find that there was no silly expiration on them and I was able to redeem them this weekend. I finally sync'd my phone this morning, so I've been grooving to new (to me) music today.

One of the albums that I got was No, Virginia... from The Dresden Dolls. At the same time I had Jeff share his other albums with me (The Dresden Dolls, A is for Accident, and Yes, Virginia...) I haven't made it to A is for Accident yet, because it seems like live versions of songs that are largely on the other albums, it will be up in another 4 songs or so. I like what I've heard so far, and I'd like to get Amanda Palmer's solo project, Who Killed Amanda Palmer. I've watched some of the videos on her you tube page, and enjoyed the songs.

I also put other albums on here, not just The Dresden Dolls, I just haven't listened to them yet. I grabbed In the Aeroplane, Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel, American Doll Posse by Tori Amos, No! by They Might Be Giants, and 12 Greatest Hits, Vol 2 from Neil Diamond. (Tim you need this album.)

I haven't technically listened to the Neil Diamond album yet, but I don't really have to. I grew up listening to this album, and I love it. The track list includes: Beautiful Noise, Hello Again, Forever in Blue Jeans, September Morn, Desiree, You Don't Bring Me Flowers, Longfellow Serenade, Love on the Rocks, and more. I don't even know what's on Vol 1, but these are my favorites, so I don't really care. Wow, just talking about it got me all excited that I have it now (used to borrow it from my dad) so it's on play. Sorry D. Dolls, I'll get back to you later.

What new music have you purchased lately, and did you like it? I've still got one more card to use, and I want to make it count.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I believe that I've just been hit in the face with a wall made of cucumber melon. It's an invisible wall, but it's making my eyes burn and giving me a headache all the same. I'm not sure what's going on here. It used to be strange lunch time odors that I had to worry about. (The next door cubicle has a contraband microwave and they commit grave sins with it.)

Last week there was 4 days of horrible cloying sweetness. I kept leaving work with a headache that miraculously was cured the minute I got into fresh air. Around 11 am it seemed to appear out of no where, and lasted all day. I have no idea if they are spraying something or what, but it's really annoying. Today was fine until just a few minutes ago, and to be fair the cucumber melon is not as bad as whatever last week's smell was.

Our work space is so condensed you can smell scented lotion being rubbed into someone's hands from two cubicles down. Offices are small with low walls, and no doors or ceilings. I really hope whoever it is gets over their current fascination with freshening their work space before I have to just stand up and ask, "Who is that? Who do I smell, and can you tone it down a bit please?"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Little Diversion

I don't anticipate this being something I stick with. I have a very short attention span for games of any sort, and once I feel I've plateaued I tend to move on. Still, if you got some time to kill, you like silly little games, and you have no fear of lawn gnomes, then you should check out Molehill Empire.

You can find my garden there under the name squeekthing and I'm currently investing a lot of time in radishes with a side of cucumbers, and just starting to work into strawberries and tomatoes. My current rank is "tomato dealer" which I believe is the third level.

It's not earth shattering or anything, but I like collecting/fishing/growing games so this appeals to me. Something like this would likely drive some mad, or send them into despair if you forced them to play. For now it's entertaining, and I look forward to seeing if I can get paid to play this at work. I have my doubts, but you can bet that I'll be giving it a shot.

Did I mention that it's free?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Another Work Week Down

Yup it's Friday. I'm at home, and goofing around on the interwebs. Not much going on here, but I figure if I only post to bitch about being sleepy or when have something interesting to say then it might be another week or three before you here from me. So, here's a post about nothing. We're hanging out at the house waiting to see if we get any weather tossed our way this weekend.

Meanwhile the tamales aren't going to make themselves, so it's time to drag Jeff away from his computer and get cracking. We have way too much pork, and I'm already hungry. See you later tater.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mr Sandman

Last night I still didn't sleep well, but I got much better rest. I am more alert, and in a much better temper than yesterday. I haven't felt like busting heads or crying at all. Yay! I had a very hard time falling asleep at first, and then briefly woke up startled once I did fall asleep. Gotta love it, scare myself by finally doing what I've been attempting for 30 minutes. I slept solid from 10:40ish until 1 am when my darling finally came to bed. Then I slept until 4 am, when I woke up for no apparent reason. I fell asleep again, but woke around 5 when someone* was trying in his sleep to pull my pillow out from under my head, because his was on the floor.

I think the key last night was being able to get back to sleep easily. Tuesday night I had a rough patch of almost an hour and a half where I just could not get back to sleep. Last night, other than the initial problems, I was able to drift right back into sleep. As a result I feel much better. I still wish I could sleep through the night, but I'll take broken useful sleep over no sleep any day.

*Gee wonder who that could be?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

If I Had a Pillow

I need more sleep. For the last two nights I've woken up around 3 am, and then I toss and turn for the next hour or more before I can sleep again. It is taking it's toll. Today I am overly emotional. It started with anger this morning. I kept it in check, and did not snap at Jeff or the cats, but I felt angry. On the way to work I was kind of null I guess, maybe leaning towards happy. Now, I am sad. I keep thinking about all these sad things, trivial sad things I should add, and I feel weepy. I'll be fine if I can get a solid amount of sleep tonight, but I fear for everyone around me if I sleep crappy for the third night in a row. For now I just feel crazy, tomorrow I expect I would act crazy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I've been knitting away on my Socks that Rock July kit. This is the Gumdrop pattern, seen from the back of the leg. Those would be heels up at the top there. They look kind of funny from this angle, but it's the only photo I've got right now. [click photo for Ravelry page]
I've been feeling a bit out of sorts lately. I like knitting a lot, but I haven't really got anything that I want to be knitting. I adore this pattern, but I'm using needles that are a bit small I think, and that's making it less fun. I also have another sock to knit for Jeff, because I do like to make him actual pairs of socks. Not just random single socks. Of course by the September first I need to start a pair for my dad, for his birthday. Meanwhile I don't want to do any of these. Well I wouldn't mind starting the pair for my dad, but I'm sure I don't want to finish them, and I haven't settled on a pattern yet anyway.

I started a Sheldon and so far he's a head and body, no legs, no shell, no face. It's kind of sad, and I don't want to work on him at all. I have a sweater that I've been working on for a year, don't feel like picking it back up. There's a shawl that I think might be one of those things we never finish. Maybe I'll frog it and turn it into a jazzy scarf instead.

I don't know what to do with myself, so I'm still working on the Gumdrop socks. I'm also trying to read Watchmen, but I haven't been making the time for it. I should take it to Dallas this weekend, maybe I can finish it on the drive.

So that's why the no bloggy. Work's been kind of crazy and I think it's been hard to get it out of my head. I'm either worrying over something that I really don't care about, or I'm staring into space zoning out.

In other news, please let me know what Brocoflower tastes like ... if you know.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

No Rest for the Wicked

I had planned to be up bright-eyed and bushed-tailed this morning. Alas I woke with no tail, and I was not bright-eyed at all. I went to sleep a bit later than I intended, but early enough that I should have been well rested. Jeff however fell asleep on the couch. When he woke up sometime in the middle of the morning/night he decided to crack open his Orange Box. The first hint I had that Jeff wasn't sleeping was sometime around 3:30a when the cats were going bonkers begging for food, and making some sort of unidentifiable noise.

By 4:30a they kept me awake long enough that I figured out the problem. My darling husband was in the office, and our darling kitten desperately wanted to join him. She expresses this desire by screaming outside the office door (6 inches from the open bedroom door) and clawing at the underside of the door. When I got out of bed I could have just killed them all. I don't think I've ever woken up so grumpy in my life. Of course that's when Jeff realizes he should probably try to get some more sleep before work, so he comes back to bed and tortures me with his snoring. I got a little bit more sleep, but it wasn't much, and then it was time to get up.

I spent most of my pre-work time this morning trying not to be pissy. I think I did okay, all things considered. Since then my mood has continued to improve, and I don't even want to strangle the 5 of them anymore. I do however want a nap.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Scuba Tuba

We spent this weekend completing our Advanced Open Water Scuba certification. For those not familiar with scuba, the first step is generally to get Open Water certification and this means you know how to scuba, and you can go to depths of 60 feet. The next step is to go to Advanced Open Water which allows you to safely dive the full range of recreational dive depths, which means not any lower than 130 feet. You also learn more about various skills to help you be a better diver, like buoyancy and navigation.

It was a pretty hectic weekend. We took Dinah and Bullet to the vet for their annual shots at 8am, and picked up flea and heartworm stuff for all 4 kittehs. The vet tech fawned all over Bullet, she has a real soft spot for black kitties, and apparently the crazier the better. It was sweet, but poor Bullet was just freaked the heck out by the whole leaving his house thing. He cried all the way there, while Dinah tried to hide under his butt.

After that we went home, but only got to relax for a little bit. Jeff had to run out to Chris's house to borrow a dive light, slate, and some dive computers. Then we left around 11 to go get lunch before class, and had some tasty Culver's burgers. I love their crinkle fries! We spent about 1 1/2 hours going over the chapter reviews in the class room, and then it was time to head home again for about an hour. We're lucky to live so close to the dive shop, so that we didn't have to find a way to just kill time between there and the lake.

We all met out at Lake Travis Windy Point at 3pm, ready to start diving. Saturday we had 3 separate dives. The first dive was to work on buoyancy control. I can tell that I've already gotten better, just from having done more dives. Still, I definitely have a LOT of room for improvement. We also swam around and learned a bit about the layout of the area. After a brief rest we went back into the water and practiced navigation techniques. We swam a square and a triangle as pairs. Luckily my Jeff has a good sense of direction, and knows how to read a compass. I tried to keep count of how many kicks we did on each leg, so that they'd be roughly the same length, and it went pretty well. We did have to do the triangle twice before we succeeded, but that's better than I could do on my own. After that dive we had a longer break, and went to grab a quick dinner, before going back to the lake for our night dive. I feel kind of bad for anyone in the class that hadn't done a real night dive before. We went down about 8:10p and were back up before 8:40p. It counted as a night dive because sunset was listed as 8:10, but it doesn't really get dark until almost 9. The water is so murky that it's difficult to see in daylight even, so it gets harder, but not more fun. At least the night dive in Hawaii (which terrified me) you could see what you pointed a light at.

That night we managed to clean up our gear, pack new towels and such for Sunday, and shower before conking out for the night. We were pooped. Sunday we ended up having to leave a bit earlier than expected because we needed to put gas in the car, and we needed more cash for the park and tank refills. Jeff's wallet wandered off sometime Saturday, so it was just one more wrinkle. Everyone met at Windy Point again just before 10am. We did two more dives Sunday. The first one we did was our deep dive. We made it down to 75 feet, and saw some pink flamingos under water. (there are also boats, a car, and other sunken objects out there) After that dive we spent a decent break on shore and practiced tying knots. Our last dive was search and recovery. Jeff and I were teased for not being able to find the brick that was hidden over a ledge, under a boat, and that matched the lake bottom. After being given a hint we headed back down and returned with said brick. (the knot tying was for this brick that we used a lift bag to get up to the surface) Then we floated at the surface waiting for our turn to look for a kitchen sink. The kitchen sink was much easier to find, but a lot harder to move. Lacy and her loaner-buddy went last so we waited bobbing along in the water until they finished. It was a lot cooler in the water than waiting up top by our gear.

After getting our log books signed and packing everything back into cars we, Lacy, and another couple met up with Lacy's husband Sean at Maudie's for some tex-mex goodness and margaritas. It was a lot of fun to go over our diving adventures with fellow classmates, and brought a nice close to our class. There's only so much I can tell you about the dives that won't just make your eyes glaze over if you haven't been down there to see it. And of course we all had to commiserate with Lacy for having a bad buddy. He really just didn't seem into it for the last day, and that made it a lot less fun for her.

We had planned on trying to hang out with other friends Sunday night, but by the time we made it home in the afternoon all the activity and heat had wiped us out. We didn't even unload the car, just went inside and took an hour nap. We did a little housework, and once it cooled off we unloaded the car, and started cleaning up our gear. We were so tired we didn't even notice that we'd been sunburned while doing all that surface floating until much later when we finally got around to taking showers. My right hand looks much better today, but yesterday there was a great line where my white arm had been covered by my wetsuit, and the top of my hand was a lovely shade of pink. I'm also covered in small cuts/scratches that I have no idea where I got them. I am a delicate flower.

No photos I'm afraid. The camera never made it out of the bag. There was no point in trying in the water, and we weren't all that keen on having pictures of us wilting in the 100* heat of the day. We probably should have at least taken a picture at Maudie's with everyone, but by then I think we were just too tired to think straight. So you'll just have to take my word for it. It was some hard work, but a lot of fun, and even though I was scared before every dive that I would fail somehow, I'm totally glad that we did it.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Post Without a Title Still Smells as Sweet

I know I've been quiet for a while, even on Plurk I've missed some days, but you know sometimes you just get too busy to stop. My strawberry plant hasn't stopped though. It has started sprouting berries! The first picture is the first berry the first morning I spotted him.
Just two days later and it's starting to look more like a real strawberry. There are two other berries coming in just above the red one. So I've only got this one plant left out of 10, but at least it is doing really well. I'm proud of myself for at least keeping one alive. You don't want to see what happened to the basil....
I got in a Socks That Rock club shipment in July, but haven't blogged since then. I loves the colors and it actually came with two patterns this time (yay!) and sweetarts. Click the B&W to see the color pictures.
I've been knitting a pair of socks for my Jeff. So far 1 down, 1 to go. I might have to take a break from them to knit some STR club sock, but we'll see. I'm torn. I think maybe I'm not really in a sock mood right now, or maybe not even really in a knitting mood. I have a lot of junk in my head, but it could also just be that a month of 100* weather is enough to kill my mojo.
Still, I have also been knitting a wool hat, so maybe the heat isn't so bad. This is some lovely squishy delish Malabrigo worsted. I'm knitting a brioche hat with a pattern Jeff got in a class. I figure we paid for the class, and he hasn't used the pattern so I might as well. This is coming out a bit big, so it might be for Jeff as well.
I'm planning on grabbing some soaps and/or oils when the Happy Housewife site goes live. There's very limited stock though, so I'm not sure how successful I'll be. I have a short list of what I'd like to try and grab, and I'll let you know how it goes. Also planning on some BPAL purchases later in the month, when the Halloween update goes up.

Not much else news here. We're trying out this whole exercise thing we've been hearing about. It would be nice to be in better shape. We have pretty good eating habits, so I think this "moving around" might be the missing piece of the puzzle. No more gym memberships, since we haven't gone at all this year, so we're doing it the old fashioned way.

Hope you have a great weekend, and try to stay cool.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Trying Something New

For some time now I've been contemplating something new. I hear all these people talking about spinning yarn, and they seem to be having a grand time. I've also seen lots of beautiful roving (unspun wool) on Etsy and other places, and since I'm not into needle felting I wouldn't have much need for it if I couldn't spin. For the last few weeks I've been trying to convince myself that I want to spin. Of course, I'm not crazy enough to jump into a spinning wheel purchase, for a hobby I may not enjoy, so that led to drop spindle spinning.

I went to Hill Country Weavers on Friday intending to purchase some roving and a drop spindle, but they were out of the spindle that Suzanne likes. She offered to let me borrow one that she didn't like until the new shipment came in, but then I spied the Louet drop spindle kit. Suzanne opened it to make sure she approved of the spindle inside (this was a yes) and I have to say I loved the colors of roving (purple, dark blue, teal) so I was all set.

The instructions included probably help if you already have some instruction from other sources on spinning. The pictures are not very clear, and without internet videos I would have been up s-creek as they say. I'm still not sure I'm "doing it right" but I am getting yarn, so I'm not a complete failure. Here, let me show you:
They are stacked in order of attempts. Top most is my first try and it resulted in a very thick single strand of yarn. No way I was going to try and ply that into a double strand, it would have ended up thick as my arm. The middle one is a very wee amount of yarn. I did some of the dark blue, then changed to the purple, and then when I thought I had the same amount of each I plied them together. It's about as thick as the first one, but is two strands so it got thinner, I just failed to remember that I was going to end up with half as much length. The bottom most skein is two plied teal. I think I started off much thinner, but ended up just about as thick as the middle one, so when I plied it back on itself it averaged out to about the same.

I'm currently working on more purple, but I'm also knitting on multiple projects, so it will in progress for a while. I'm going to try and spin at least a little bit each day. I know I can't rush getting better at it, but at the same time I'm not going to improve without working on it. I'm enjoying myself, but I'm not sure why I'm doing it. I don't know that I have a spinning goal... I have no clue where I'm headed with this thing. Still the kit came with 1/2 pound of fiber, so I've got lots to play with for a while. Maybe by the time I run out I'll know where to go next. Maybe a spinning class?

The other question is what the heck am I going to do with this yarn I'm making now....??

Monday, July 14, 2008

Goal Met

I met my designing goal for this summer of getting at least one pattern down on paper that other people can use. Go me! Can you believe it wasn't a sock? I made the Nanner Hat for Lily (my newest niece) and the pattern is available for download from Ravelry. If you are interested you can use the download button to grab the pattern for yourself. At least I hope you can....

And for your enjoyment, a few photos:
First the profile view, use your imagination they kind of look like big fat nanners.
And a view of the top.
Next up, Jeff socks... I know I'm a glutton for punishment. He picked out the yarn himself though, and I really like the pattern it's going to make. Time to get out of the office, cause it's hot and there's no husband, cats, or knitting in here.

Stoopid Cat Beast

Happiness is coming back home and being able to sleep in your own bed after 2 nights of sleeping on a couch in someone else's living room.

Silliness is staying up until midnight watching tv and knitting some new yarn, when you should be getting some sleep before work the next day.

Sadness is waking up at 3:30 in the morning because your cat (that is sleeping on your pillow, just above your head) is having some sort of nightmare.

Spooky was making all sorts of unhappy kitty sounds, and thrashing around, and of course kicking my head. I woke up, pet him, and he calmed down and we both went back to sleep. Still kind of sucked. I mean, I knew I'd be tired today from staying up too late, I had not factored in having that sleep time divided into two separate sessions. Stupid cat beast.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Another Pair Done

I finished my Making Waves socks on Sunday.
Pattern: Ocean-Toes (short version) from Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters
Yarn: Peruvian Sock from Tess' Designer Yarns
Needles: US size 1.5 (2.5mm)

These were a lot of fun to knit, and went a lot faster than I thought they would. Of course the last pair of socks I knit from this book was for Jeff, so I probably had that in my mind while working on this much smaller pair.

I really enjoyed using the Peruvian Sock yarn too. It's really soft, and silky, maybe from the silk in it. It has a great sheen to it too. It is an impossible purple blue to photograph, but the final pictures came out pretty well.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Can you tell that I like the flickrSLiDR? It's kind of cool to be able to put up more photos in less space. What do you think though? Does it make the page load suck, or not work well in your browser? Do you like it, hate it? I am here for you after all.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Two Socks and a Baby

I have a couple of finished objects to discuss today. Firstly my sister Traci finished her baby, Lily Mae, on Thursday evening of last week. 7lbs 4oz, 19 3/4" and no pictures because my family has only sent me pictures via multi-media message on my phone. I swear if they don't send me a decent picture soon I'm going to drive up there and take some pictures of my own. Both mom and baby are doing well and are at home. Lily's cute, as far as babies go. You know, they're all a bit funny looking. Still the first image I got of her was great. She looked just like Traci, only really ticked off.

My FO is much less complicated. I knit a pair of socks last week. Less time consuming, and strenuous than having a baby. I actually finished these on Sunday, but since I don't have anything else to show you right now you can see the finished Nanner socks (pattern by WendyKnits). Sorry, don't ask for the pattern, it was a limited time offer for knitting Plurkers and the time has passed. You can however see the slowly growing collection of Nanners that have been knit at the Flickr group here.

Created with flickrSLiDR.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

More Yarn Pron

I got more prize yarn in the mail today. What a great yarn week! Such great stuff, and free, can't beat that can you? I mean you're not likely to find someone that's willing to pay you to take their yarn from them. Although if you do find someone, please tell me. That's a job I'd love to take.
This is Socks That Rock Lightweight in the Rare Gems colorway. Rare Gems is a "random" colorway made from left over dyes, or experiments, or from dying over an already dyed skein. This is one of the reasons why it's not purchasable online, too much work.

So here's some close-ups of some of the colors that are around the skein. There are lots of tealy variations in the yarn. Dark, light, bright, muted. It's like all the other colors are surrounded by a teal base.
I won this skein for correctly guessing the two colors used to knit a pair of socks for Tina (the BMFA dyer). We winners chose light or medium weight and then BOOM special coolass yarn. Isn't this purple neat?
I really like this side of the skein. It's so much brighter than the front. The bright green and orange really jump out at you.
I'm really curious what this is going to look like once it's wound into a ball, and again once it's knit up. I just haven't got a clue, but I think it will be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I <3 Yarn

Back in April I showed you a cat in a slip. That picture was one of two that tied to win the creative award for the 3rd round of Sock Madness this year. Well today my prize came in the mail, and boy was it worth waiting for. My prize came from Tess' Designer Yarns. This is a group shot of all 4 skeins. Those bluish looking ones are really gorgeous purples, but my camera refuses to tell you the truth. I received 3 skeins of Superwash Lace Merino (very fitting since round 3 was knit using laceweight yarn) and 1 skein of a new sock yarn called Peruvian Sock.You can see a little more of the purplish color on this close-up of the Peruvian Dream Sock yarn that I got. This is one of their new yarns that is 60% Superwash Merino, 20% Silk, 10% Alpaca, 10% Nylon. The skein feels nice and sproingy, and I know it's going to make some kick arse socks.
Below are close ups of the 3 Superwash Lace skeins. There are so many variations of shade in these skeins, and they are soooo soft. I'm completely torn on what to do with them. I really think that I might make another pair of slip stitch socks with them... yes using all 3 colors. But since I'm in the middle of Nanner socks I have some time to think on it.

You can see that my camera wouldn't even take a good close up of the purple, but trust me on this one. This skein is a purple's purple. I want to call it bright and dark at the same time. It has subtle shading within, but it is the definition of purple.
This orange almost glows in sunlight. The colors range from almost yellow to a darker more Cheeto orange (sorry, I guess I'm hungry). It's a beautiful skein of yarn.
The green is cool with shades that vary between a yellower base green and a bluer base. It's such a soft gentle color that I love it next to the electric orange and the vibrant purple.
I am thrilled with my prize pack, and with the colors Melinda sent me. When she asked me what color I'd like for the Peruvian Sock I asked her to send one of her favorites, I think that was a smart decision, cause I LOVE purple.

Monday, June 23, 2008

No Go Yogurt

I decided to give Rachel's yogurt another try today. I figured that I'd give it a fairer shake by doing several things differently.
1. I bought something with a flavor name, instead of an "essence".
2. I searched for something with the furthest out possible expiration date.
3. I kept it colder, to prevent texture issues from slight warming.

I have concluded that this is a thinner yogurt than I tend to eat. I don't think it's too runny when cold, but even slight warming makes it too thin for my taste. I prefer something closer to a custard than a smoothie. It is also much more sour than I like. This time I got a mango, pineapple, passion fruit blend and I could tell that it was tasty, but it was just too sour for me personally. I don't even eat candy that's very sour. I will eat cherry sours and lemon drops, but not anything that most candy eaters would consider a "sour" candy (warheads, sourpatch kids, strips with sour powder whatever those are called).

So I give up, and I won't be buying anymore of that yogurt. They have interesting sounding flavors, and pretty packaging. If you like sour yogurt then you should give them a try, just be ready for a bit of a pucker.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Plurking Isn't as Dirty as it Sounds

Work today was one of the most hectic, crappy, stressful days that I've had in a long time. This does not bode well for next week. As a rule of thumb, if the week before the end of the quarter is crazy then the actual week that ends the quarter will kick thy ass. On a positive note there did not appear to be 400 people laid off, which had been a popular rumor for the last few days.

What I wanted to post about earlier today, but couldn't for reasons above, was Plurking. I've fallen into a deep dark well... okay not really dark, but a deep brightly colored well called Plurk. Plurk is kind of like Twitter, but I feel it has a couple of advantages. I find it way more entertaining to say for one, and that's half the battle won right there. I also find it more attractive to look at.

It's still very much the same sort of device. You post little blurbs of 140 characters or less and it creates a timeline of your day. Really the only things I like more about Twitter are that I've found people I know who use it (albeit very little) and you can update through SMS. Now, if I had unlimited texts so that I could follow other peoples twits through SMS I might be more into it, but all I can afford is to send mine then read stuff later online.

Additional reasons I prefer Plurk are more numbered. It groups responses to a plurk under it, like a conversation. You can embed links, photos, and videos in a plurk or response. Even though there is not a text message posting option the web version of Plurk is quite fast even when on ATTs edge network. I figure when we get 3G phones it will be even better. I'm just looking forward to gaining a few more Karma points so that I can change the color of my timeline and also get the dancing nanner emoticon. (I have such high aspirations in life, don't I?)

So if you want to join in and be my friend you can click here. I've only got a few people that I'm following so far, but as I get more fluent with Plurk I know I'll be adding more. It was a bit overwhelming at first, but now I'm having a great time.

I figure if nothing else this explains that little widget over in my sidebar, if you happen to actually view this on the blog itself rather than through a reader. That's the headless Plurk dog that will keep you posted even if you don't want to join in yourself. Now I'm going to go have an icecream and knit before dinner.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Not It

I found a new problem with me cooking dinner last night. It started when we got home much later than usual. Since normally Jeff cooks, I can just plop on the couch or in front of the computer on nights like that and wait for food to magically appear. I don't think I even started working on dinner until 7 last night, and after a few minutes I felt like it was going slower and slower and my stomach was starting to hurt and I got kind of bitchy. I ended up having Jeff cook the steak while I finished chopping the rest of my ingredients, so I still haven't really cooked meat yet, but it was either that or I was just going to give up.

I'm glad I didn't give up because the Mexican Chopped Salad was pretty good. I added an extra clove of garlic to the dressing, and the flavor was good, but there was way too much liquid. I think next time I'll try halving the liquid ingredients and keeping the garlic and jalapeno the same. The next time I make it I will also do something different with the red bell pepper. Jeff seems to like them in strips, so maybe I'll try that. I really don't like raw bell pepper at all, and it kept sneaking into my mouth along with the tomatoes because I couldn't tell them apart. By the time we finished off the salad I had a little hill of red squares left behind on my plate. We cut the steak into thin bite sized pieces, because I didn't want to need a nice for my salad, and the flavor worked really well with the rest of the salad. Without the steak it would have been tasty, but I don't think it would have been as satisfying. I can't just have a salad for dinner, lunch sure, but for dinner I need something more substantial.

Tonight is Jeff's turn to cook. I called "Not It" this morning. I have too many other things to take care of tonight, so cooking is not on the list. Still it's been fun. Of course now I want to create a cook book version of my knitting binder, so I can keep track of recipes I try and what I do differently. I can get plastic sleeves to put the recipes in to keep them from getting yucky while cooking, and then dividers to break them up into categories like type of meal, or main ingredient... (hmm.... maybe that's a little too much for someone that only has about 5 recipes to put away)

Free Cooking Tip:
I learned last night that you don't need 8 limes to get 1/4 cup of lime juice. My limes took about 1 and a half to get there. I now have 6 more limes. Margarita time anyone?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sweet Success

I have decided that it's high time that I learn how to cook. I'm not sure exactly how to go about this process. I have in the past learned how to make specific dishes, but not general cooking. Step one for me was starting to find out how to actually cut up vegetables and fruits, as opposed to hacking at them with a knife until they were the right size. This is still a work in progress, so if you see me in kitchen don't be surprised to find me doing something in a completely unorthodox and complicated manner which will likely involve using the "wrong" type of knife.

Other than learning basic food prep, I haven't figured out any other way to learn how to cook without just cooking more often. Jeff is usually our cook, and I've tried to learn by watching and that was a big pile of fail. I get in the way, bug him by asking too many questions, and I also get bored and then fail to listen, so that doesn't work. I've grabbed recipes from cookbooks, television, and various websites and they've mostly resulted in disaster*. I lack the cooking knowledge that lets people like Jeff look at a recipe and see inherent flaws in instructions or flavor ratios. I also lack the timing and techniques a more seasoned cook would have, so the deck is stacked against me when it comes to grabbing random recipes. My greatest successes have come from recipes supplied by friends, especially when they are on hand for the first cooking and I can get some off the cuff answers to my questions. Second runner up are recipes from people that I know online, I'm guessing because they tend to come from real people who don't spend their days creating complicated foods for a living.

All of that is leading up to: I cooked last night, and it was pretty darn good. I followed a link from Tim's blog and ended up on Epicurious. I found a few recipes that sounded like foods I would like to eat, and I might be able to prepare with minimal help from Jeff. Last night's recipe came from the Dinner Rush selections that are supposed to be quick and easy. I made the Avocado and Watercress Salad and the Lemon Fettuccine with Broccoli and Pancetta. They both came out really well, both of us were impressed with me. Tonight I'm going to attempt the Mexican Salad with Honey Lime Dressing, only I feel the need to add some meat so I've got a steak to cook and slice up with it. We'll see I guess.

Are there any recipes that you think I should check out? or online recipe sources that rarely let you down?

*Disaster in the case of my cooking means that it was inedible, even by the most polite company, or so terrible that it went straight from a pan to the trash.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Just One More

I am fixated. I'm not sure what the cause is. My brain is stuck on knitting. I'm supposed to be here working. I really do have things that I should be doing. I am taking off Friday so that we can head over to Dallas for the weekend, and catch the kiddos before they head off to their dad's at 6. I basically have a deadline of Thursday 4pm to get anything done that I want to get done this week, and I'm not doing it. I mean you see me here blogging for you, which unfortunately I do not get paid to do. I've checked on a few issues and made sure nothing is falling apart, but that's really all that I've managed.

I want to create knitting designs. Maybe it was inevitable that I would want to write real true patterns. I've always been willing to heavily modify a pattern to fit my vision, and that doesn't seem very far from creation. Some of my very first patterns involved having to change stitch counts, pattern repeats, or adding/subtracting embellishments (like the pattern for a "bunny" hat that I knit as a monkey and as a frog, but never as a bunny). I brainstorm best while actually knitting, so that's what I want to be doing. I have my club sock in my bag, and it's coming along quite nicely, but I try not to spend too much time knitting at work. I want to be knitting, scribbling notes/pictures and mostly just not being here pretending like I'm working, but that's not going to pay the bills.

Part of my problem is that I'm not sure where to start. What concept do I have in my head that doesn't already exist? I have a few ideas in my head, but I fear accidentally recreating a pattern that's already out there. For example, I had intended to write a sock pattern. I've had the concept in my head for a while, and had planned on that being my first all mine pattern. Well, the Zombie sock is almost exactly what I had in mind so that idea is scrapped. On the bright side I have a great sock pattern without having to figure it all out myself. Ideas I have are purses/bags of various sizes, socks (of course), perhaps more socks for men since those patterns can be more difficult to come by, hats because hats are fun, I even have some funky yarn bought specifically for creating an original scarf pattern. I think my goal is going to be to create at least one pattern this summer. That shouldn't be unrealistic.

Meanwhile I need to focus back on my work, and try to stop being a space cadet staring off into space. I have all weekend to think about yarn and knitting, so until then ... well maybe I'll just knit a couple of rounds to take the edge off. Then I'll get right back to work, promise.

Monday, June 9, 2008

It Doesn't Cure Dehydration

Jeff and I saw The Cure last night with Tim and Julie, and it was awesome! and hot! really hot. Seriously man, it was so hot. I keep trying to tell people what a great time I had and how they played so many awesome songs that I kept thinking it would be over after this one, and then they'd play another one of my favorites, but all I keep saying out loud is "It was SO hot". I guess I was traumatized. I really think if the show had gone on for one more encore that I might not have made it. Actually, it did get a little better towards the end, because I think some people left after the first encore ended, and even more people left during the second encore. It was kind of insane that they played two hours and then played two really long encores. I don't think I could have made it through a set like that. I hope they had better air conditioning than we did.

When we first got there I was really starting to get upset, because I couldn't see. I'm 5'6" and I've never felt so incredibly short in my whole life. There were people shorter than me sure, but it seemed like 80% were my height and another 9% were taller. It seemed like no matter where I tried to move some tall person would scoot over so all of a sudden I couldn't see again. In fact I'd started to think I was going to have to make do with watching Mr Shiny Pants* and occasionally the drummer, when I could see him. During the second song people started to shift, and I was able to catch glimpses, then Julie came to the rescue and found me a better view. For a while I could see really well, but then the crowd shifted and I was screwed again. When a new spot opened up Tim lined me up with a great view. I had 4 heads across of short people and I could see great! That one was eventually compromised and I just shifted back and forth a bit, trying to catch peeks where I could. By the time the second encore came I had a great view and it made the rest of the show worth the sore neck that I've still got.

The show was really awesome, and I'm still astounded that I was soooo close to the band. I mean, with a little effort I could have forced my way to within a few feet of them. It would have been easier during 60 Seconds of Something**, but that's not really my style. I'm not like all the pricks and prickettes that just shoved through the crowd to get up closer. I'm also not like the sort of people that would show up hours in advance to try and get up close real early then have to fight to keep my spot. Just knowing that I could have if I wanted to was enough for me. We were still really close, I'm terrible with distance, but I'd guess that we were within 30 feet of the stage.

Things I saw at The Cure (in no particular order)
- A girl with gigantic moles to the bottom left of her mouth smoke Marlborough lights. She was ugly, and slowly killing herself, so I suppose I'll forgive her rudeness, she's being punished enough.
- A ex-supervisor from work. I'll only call him SK because those are his initials, and I have nothing nice to say about him except that he was smarter than TS.
- A really short guy with a baseball cap that kept moving to be right in front of me. It wasn't really his fault that he kept ending up right in front of me, because he also had problems seeing through all the tall people, but it is his fault that he was wearing a baseball cap and kept turning his head in such a way that the bill of his hat would block my view.
- A lady with a gigantic purse. Giant purses in and of themselves are not criminal in my book; I own a lot of giant purses myself. However, you should not carry a large purse on your shoulder that is protrudes 4 inches in front of and behind you that is made of rope. Briefly she was in front of me and every time she moved it sawed a hole in my arm. If I still smoked I would have used my lighter to set it on fire.
- Lots of great people having a great time that kept their personal belongings and limbs in check. I'd say most of us fell into this category, but we're boring, so I'll keep going with the non-boring folks.
- A beer cup fall from the balcony above us and hit someone 4 feet away from me. I knew it was going to happen, and I was grateful to have moved away from the kill zone before it did.
- A strange guy doing weird dances that made him look really drunk or high, but since he never once hit anyone in the large crowd with his flailing limbs he must have been pretty aware of what was going on.
- A lady with a black veil and feather hat that didn't seem to want anyone to stare at her. Sorry, but if you have just a veil we might be able to pass it up, but when you add an 8 inch feather I've got to look.
- An arm punching the air from over the balcony above us. You couldn't see onto the balcony above us from below, so it was kind of impressive that I saw an entire arm up to the shoulder. They must have been practically hanging off the rail.
- A woman wearing a hot pink uglydress that wouldn't have looked good on very many people, and definitely not on her. She was standing spread legged on the balcony across the room from us, it was a strange posture and again I stared. I'm happy to report that you could not see up her skirt from where we were.
- I didn't see, but did smell someone smoking skunk somewhere nearby. Why do people only smoke skunky stuff in public? I wouldn't mind them doing it around me so much if they'd smoke something that smelled better.

I'd totally do it again, but I might try for a balcony seat. Now that I've been really close I think I'd like to settle for more comfort and maybe some binoculars. Does that make me officially old? I don't care, my tired old bones had a GREAT time! Thanks Tim for driving us all around, and to whoever suggested that I at least temporarily revoke my ban of Billy's Brew & Q. It was pretty tasty, and I wouldn't have ever gone otherwise.

*Sorry, I'm really bad with names, even with people I've actually met in person. I'd never have know who this was without Julie mentioning it. To me he will likely remain Mr Shiny Pants, but you deserve to know who the heck I'm talking about, so I stole that link from Julie's blog post.

**I actually remember their name, but last night Jeff and I were so wore out that even our brains were tired, and we kept butchering it in new and interesting ways. They are not a band I'd ever go see on purpose, but I think it would make kick ass sound track music for a zombie movie or maybe a horror slasher film.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Much Finishing This Morning

I finished up a couple of projects today. I stuffed Iza's frog last night, and today gave him a cute little smile. This would have been a very quick project if I'd had all the stuffing and eyes and actually finished the putting together in a timely manner. The actual crochet was very quick. I fretted over how to seam him together, and tried to find instructions, but in the end I just pretended to know what I was doing, and it seems to have worked out fine. Now I'll just try and keep him free of cat hair for the next week, and then he'll be off to his new home.
Since I was in the mood for completing projects, and since all these projects need to be ready to leave town on Friday I finally sewed the buttons onto Lily's Baby Surprise Jacket today. The baby socks and jacket are already covered in cat hair, because the cats kept laying on the yarn while I was making them. I' m going to wash all the baby stuff tomorrow and then they'll just need to dry by Friday.Now I can devote my full attention to my May club socks, or even start a new project guilt-free. I've completed all my current dead line projects, yea!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

More Like It

Well, that attempt to rip back to the toe failed, and I in fact had to begin all over again. Aargh! Someday I'll start to make real progress on this sock. The good news is that it looks properly like the pictures on the pattern now. So, maybe all my jinx will be done with and it will be smooth sailing from here on out.

I've also taken a few "before" shots of Iza's frog. I feel terrible, because I haven't named him (or her) yet. Maybe it will speak to me once it's stuffed and sewn together. Here's a shot of the empty frog husk. I also have cute little plastic eye bits to go on the whites, so they look my eye-ish. The mouth is just going to be embroidered on (I think) well I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.I also have a little strawberry plant that is doing quite well. I hope the bush he's planted under continues to protect him from the summer sun. It's already entirely too hot, and it's only just begun. This is the biggest and best looking plant, a total of 5 of my original 9 plantings are still coming along.

Try Try Try Again

I like to brag about being a fabulous knitter. I know, pride comes before the fall right? I should really keep my mouth shut. I still maintain that I'm a darn good knitter, however I am a terrible reader. I've been working on my RSC May socks since Friday when I got the yarn, and I've made very little progress. Julie was more than patient with me as I knit up the toe at her birthday party. I couldn't help myself. I mean, you've seen the yarn it's beautiful! I just had to start on it. I stopped knitting after the toe though, because that's where things get a little more complicated. Then we proceeded to party the night away, and we didn't stop until 4am. It was an awesome night of relaxed conversation and I'm glad the birthday girl enjoyed it.

The next morning I frogged the whole thing. I knew I'd made a mistake when working the toe, and I'd fudged it to just be done, but the next morning I wasn't happy with my decision. I couldn't even see where I'd messed up or fudged, but I really love this yarn so I wanted to do it right. I did work on Iza's present before I re-knit the toe. I have a little self control, just not much. This time the toe came out with the exactly perfect stitch count. I still don't know what I did wrong the first time, but at least I did it right the second time. Meanwhile I've made excellent progress on Iza's present. I hope to have pics of before and after assembly tonight, or tomorrow at the latest, so I'm over a week ahead of the deadline on this one.

But back to my knitting disaster. I've gone and knit the first 23 rounds of the foot pattern, and I know there's something wrong. Honestly I've known for quite a while. My sock just doesn't look like any of the other pictures that I've seen. I tried to pretend for the first 15 rounds that it was an optical illusion, or that the look would change after just a few more rounds. Isn't great how we can lie to ourselves and ourselves will totally go along with it, even though we have to know that it's a lie? Well, I finally stopped lying to myself, and decided that I was definitely doing something wrong again. After frowning into the computer monitor for a while I decided to pull out my pattern and read the stitch definitions for LTC and RTC. Yeah, I've been doing them completely backwards of the way they were written. I've put the left stitch on the right side and the right stitch on the left side.

That may all be greek to you, but in essence: I buggered it up because I fail at read. *sigh* again. Well, now that I know what I've done wrong it's time to try again. I've taken a picture of the failure in the hopes that soon I can compare it to success. (Disclaimer: It is a crappy iPhone pic that is neither in focus nor true to color. However, I plan to rip back before I can get to a real camera and take a better shot, so it is going to have to do.) In case you want to see what other people have gotten from the pattern check out Miri's sock and bit over here.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

There is a Catch

Oh for shame...
I know that I need to finish the second baby sock.
I know that I need to work on Iza's birthday present.
... But you know what else?

My Rockin Sock Club yarn came in today. It's one of my favorite colors. The pattern looks interesting, but not too complicated. Actually I take that back, it looks really complicated, but I don't think that it's as complicated as it looks. I think it just took a lot of words to try and keep everyone from getting confused.

I've hidden the true colors behind some black and white so that I don't get shot or something. With any luck you should be able to see the pretty pictures I took by clicking on the b&w image. I tried to get pictures of all the pretty shades I saw, but I'm not that hot a photographer. I am impressed by how good the colors look. I think they're pretty accurate this time.I just don't think I can wait to knit this. I'll put it off until the weekend, but that's probably the best that I can do. I mean.... the other two months have been nice, but this one... this one I adore.

I've Been Knitting

I have been knitting up a storm lately. Of course it's a wee baby sized storm which made it quite easy to weather. Traci's due to become a mom is less than a month, and since I'm a fantastic knitter now I figured I'd better make with the hand made gifts.

The first project that I under took was Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket. It's funny because it's such a simple pattern, but I couldn't have done it without the help of the notes I found here. The reason that it's called a surprise is because it starts off looking like this...
then you magically transform it into this!
This is actually a picture from before I seamed it up. But take my word for it, I did a good job. The jacket is sewn together (across the tops of the arms) and I added crochet around the neck. The only thing it lacks are buttons, because I don't have any buttons... It's possible you will see another photo of this once I procure and add said buttons, so lets move along.

I finished that baby hat that I was talking about. Even after knitting it a third time I still love the pattern. It has a nice rib to help it snug up to the head, and then these cute little ridges of purl rows then you leave holes so that a little braid can cinch it up at the top into this cute little poof.I apologize for the ugly baby doll in this and the sock pictures to follow, but I haven't got a baby of my own and I would feel weird asking a friend if I could borrow theirs for a bit so that I could post better knitting pictures on my blog.

I've knit one and a half pairs of socks for Lily so far. I'm working on sock #2 of the second pair. The first sock is a variation on Cookie A's Monkey socks. The pattern mod is called Baby Monkey by Nikkiana. The second sock is High Energy Baby Socks by Jodi Green. They're plain stockinette for the most part, but the CUTE picot edge at the top of the cuff makes the sock. I like to think that my color choice screams high energy.I find it fascinating that although both of these socks were knit on the same needles with the same yarn, and only a 2 stitch difference in width, they came out much different sizes. The monkey pattern really pulls the fabric in a lot, while the plain stockinette spreads out a little more. See what I mean? The high energy is knit a bit longer, but I didn't think they'd come out quite that different in size. Hopefully Lily will fit into one of them.I'm going to need to start working on the gift idea I have for my step-mom next. I know what Bree's getting for her birthday (and so does she) so that's no biggy. My step-mom is harder though. I have an idea, but it's crochet so as soon as I finish the baby socks I'm going to need to get cracking on it, since I still don't really know how to crochet. The deadline is June 13th, since that's when we go to Dallas next celebrate this pair of birthdays.

Must Not Peek

Oh the temptations. I have two links on my RSS Reader that I dare not look at.
1. The Rockin' Sock Club Blog
2. The comments for that blog

The sock club shipment has been mailed, and the last time that I looked at any of the comments I saw that one person has received their shipment. I love the surprise of opening the yarn package and having no idea what will be inside. I don't want to find out ahead of time what's coming, so I'm avoiding both of those feeds like they have the plague. Of course that means that they are piling up unread material that is taunting me.

On the one hand I figure even if I find out ahead of time what the yarn or the pattern looks like that it was still a surprise, and will still be fun, but I'm insane, and people post really bad photos that totally lie about what the yarn really looks like. If I see a picture ahead of time and get all excited then it only tortures me more while I wait for the mail man to make my delivery. Then what if it doesn't look like the picture and then I'm all sad? Or what if they post the picture, and then I don't even want the mail to show up because I think it's ugly? Okay, so that last option is pretty unlikely, but why risk it? So instead I sit here not reading the blog or comments just in case someone can't contain their feelings on the shipment and accidentally spoils my surprise.

Well... that was a really stupid post. Better luck next time, please try again.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Captain Obvious

It's not often that I will post a picture from the "ladies room" but this had to be done. I like to think that they mainly posted the sign so that none of our rocket scientists tried to sit on it sideways.

I will acknowledge that there are far likelier reasons, including that the sign had been baring entrance to the entire bathroom earlier, and they just put it there to hold it until they came back to finish repairs, but my version is funnier.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Yo Gurt

I'm a yogurt eater. I know not everyone enjoys yogurt, but I do. I've seen Rachel's vanilla chai yogurt in stores several times, and since I love chai I figured it was time to give it a try. I brought it to work for breakfast today, and I was not at all impressed. This has to be my single worst experience with yogurt ever. If this had been the first yogurt I ever tried I would hate yogurt and vow never to eat it again.

My first impression was that it looked a bit off. The color was "funny" I don't know how to describe it better than that, and the texture looked wrong too. I raised an eyebrow, but didn't think too much of it, since a lot of yogurts look strange but taste good. When I put my spoon to it, and tried to stir it up I found that I had a cup of something barely thicker than a rich milk. This was the runniest yogurt I've ever seen. I really didn't want to eat it, since I prefer something with more substance, but this was all I brought for breakfast so what was I going to do? *

I deeply regret having put a spoonful of that stuff in my mouth. I wish I had tested it with a taste off the tip of my finger instead of a full spoon. The only good thing I have to say about it is that the texture was smooth, not gritty or curdled feeling. The taste was horrible. It was all sour lemon and unpleasant. I didn't taste any sort of chai flavor, and really didn't smell a chai scent either. To make matters even worse the taste stayed, even after eating something else I could still taste a lingering after taste of the sour note.

If anyone has had a different experience with Rachel's please tell me. It was so bad that I half wonder if it hadn't just gone bad during shipping... Also, has anyone tried any of the other flavors, or do you have a favorite yogurt that I should know about? I mostly stick to Yoplait Light. I recommend trying the Key Lime Pie flavor if you're into yogurt and enjoy key lime. It's surprisingly good, of course I also like the Lemon Cream Pie, but I didn't really care for the Orange Creme. Other than that I stick to Strawberry, Cherry, Blueberry, and occasionally Blackberry.

*Acutally what I had to do was to go to the cafeteria and get a sausage biscuit. My yogurt was not edible.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Holy Cow It's Not a Sock

I know, it's strange. I haven't posted knitting pictures of much other than socks lately. Sorry about that, they're just so portable that they tend to dominate my knitting world. I also love sock yarn, and tend to have it just lying around waiting to turn into socks, so they are convenient. Not to mention all the brilliant patterns out there. Anyway today I have sock yarn that is instead becoming a hat.

I'm undertaking a few baby knits to welcome my newest niece into the world. Traci's daughter Lily is due in at the end of the ever so chilly Texas June, so of course she needs tons of knits to keep warm. (That should be read with severe sarcasm to those of you who are not from/in Texas.) I know she doesn't need to be bundled against the snow or anything, but that's not going to stop me. My only hope is that there are overly active air conditioners to guard against or that these items still fit when the summer swelter has passed.
The first project will be posted on later, because I haven't photo'd it yet. I was too enamored with this new yarn so it got it's picture taken first, even though it is further from completion. I mean, I even took it's picture before it was wound up into a ball. I would have loved to make Lily a jacket with this yarn, but a few things stopped me. 1. This is wool and wool is warm, and Texas is warm, so Lily would melt like chocolate in a pocket. 2. Although it claims to be machine washable I wouldn't want to risk a felty mess with it. 3. There was only one skein, and I'm not sure it would have made an entire jacket.
Instead I'm making a baby hat for the third time (Simon and Georgia were the babies who got the first two). That's how much I like this pattern. It's quick and fun to knit, but also I like the way it looks when it's done. I've worked the beginning rib so far, and now there's a couple inches of plain stockinette, then the fun begins with decreases and purl ridges. From past experience with the pattern I know that I'm going to have a ton of this yarn left after doing the hat. I'm excited about making some baby socks for Lily with all this left over yarn. I'm curious to see what a smaller diameter will do with the color repeats.
The pattern is available for free at Hill Country Weavers. You can usually find the store sample attached to a copy of the pattern living in sock land.