Tuesday, July 31, 2007

First you pitch, then you stitch

These people get this all out of order.
If you're stitching, who is doing the pitching?
I figured that one out on Friday night.
Here's the backstory.
Where I work, along with lots of other companies, we participated in the "Eat Well, Live Well" challenge.
I did it so I could get a nifty pedometer.
So materialistic, eh.
Now where is that thing?
Anyway, the guy who coordinated it for my work called and asked if he could put my name in to throw out the first pitch at a Red Wings game.
I said sure, knowing full well that I'd have a better chance of winning the NYS lottery.
(Oh please, oh please, let me win!)
I came upstairs a week ago from a meeting and my coworker Debbie had a serious shit-eating grin on her face.
She said, "Julie, you have a message. Call Amy at Rochester Business Alliance."
I looked at Debbie, I thought about it, and I said, "Oh this better not be what I think it is."
It was.
Of course Debbie went and got tickets so she could watch my shame.
Along with another 3,000 or so people.
Did I practice?
Not really.
I did get a t-shirt to wear from the Athletic Director so I could represent.
Of course I look fuge!
Maybe I should go find that pedometer and work on my 10,000 steps.
Anyway, come to find out there were six people total out there throwing out pitches, but mine was the "official" one.
Of the six there was only one female.
Sounds about like the Marine Corps demographics.
Anyway once the guy who was fourth in line TOTALLY screwed up throwing his pitch, the pressure was really taken off of me.
At least I thought so.
After all, he was a guy and if he had trouble getting a pitch in to the catcher then what would the crowd expect from a fat girl?
I wish I had taken just a minute more to settle down but I just got up there and threw the ball.
And it made it to the catcher!
It bounced twice, but hey, it got there and didn't go flying off somewhere else.
Once it was over I headed back into the stands to try and fix my poor Chevron scarf and have a beer.
As I was taking pictures of the scarf DH said to me, "You're acting like Jennifer."
That was a compliment of the highest order.
And I think he meant it as such.

I should have had the beer before I went out to pitch.
Since my knitting is still cursed I took some wonky pictures instead.

"Oh Canada! Our home and native land...."
So that's my story about my major league, well AAA, pitching debut.
They let me go once I was done.
Guess the only player coming out of Rochester to make it into the Hall of Fame is Cal Ripken; you won't see my name there.
The Hall of Shame maybe.

Monday, July 30, 2007

We'll Miss You, Frank

For all you EastEnders fans out there, here's a sad one.
Frank Butcher, played by actor Mike Reid, died of a heart attack on Saturday. He was only 67.
Frank Carson, a friend of Reid's and a fellow comedian, described the news of his death as 'absolutely devastating'.
Hell, I'm sad and I only knew him from the telly.
Rest in Peace, Frank Butcher.

Why We Have Violence in our Schools

The Curse Continues

I just can't get my knitting to work out properly.
So yesterday I went through some of my cross stitch things and straightened them out.
I'd forgotten just how much I have in the way of embroidery floss and cross stitch kits.
("Crap," DH would say.)
I have quite a few kits, but I also have a lot of magazines - and a lot of floss.
My friend Julie likes kits but I find it a pain to have to sort colors.
I'm lazy that way and really don't want to overtask my simple brain by trying to figure out which one is light pink and which one is salmon.
But I was feeling inspired because I had just finished reading a book called A Murderous Yarn by Monica Ferris.
It's about a woman named Betsy Devonshire who owns a needlecraft store in Minnesota and it got me hankering to stitch a bit.
And because it's Minnesota I thought of Julie and her cross stitch (she's a master - and fast).
So I began to stitch.
Something quick, and yes, from a kit - simple like an easy Christmas ornament.
And of course I stayed up until 11:00 stitching this "simple" ornament.
It's not done, but it probably will be tonight.
No pics, you'll have to wait.
And stay tuned, because I have an interesting post - with pictures - coming up.
Something that should/could have been one of the highlights of my life, but if you know me, I don't like quite that much attention -- or opportunity to embarass myself.
More later (I almost typed "Moor" - what am I thinking about? Probably my brother and the Melungeon connection.)
What do you do when your knitting is not working properly?
And how long do you wait before you go back and tackle a piece?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sign of the Times

DN1 works at a large sporting goods store in the shoe department.
She arrived at work on Sunday to find this handwritten sign posted as a stern reminder for the employees:

Monday, July 23, 2007

Confidential to Major Knitter

I just had a tuna fish sandwich and chocolate pudding for lunch.
Doesn't that take you back, right?
Just thought I'd let you know I was thinking about you!

Back to the regularly scheduled copacetic life

On Friday night DN1 and I went to see a lady who read our tea leaves and used other methods of divination to give us insight into our future.
Cost = $5.00 each.
Not priceless, like the commercials would have you believe.
And it was cash anyway, not Visa.
DN1 was quite pleased with her visit and she told me on her way out of the shop after her reading when she was on her way to have some pumpkin cookies and butter beer, "Mom, keep an open mind."
I said, "My mind is open!"
"No, sometimes you have a very closed mind."
"Not true," I sputtered to myself.
And I was very nice to the lady, who is a very nice lady anyway, but she certainly did not tell me anything new or earth shattering.
Her primary message from the tea leaves is that she sees a path for me and that path is the one I'm supposed to stay on - it is a very strong, true path.
Okay, but it's also a contextual path because is she talking family, career, future goals, what?
Then she told me that at the bottom of my tea leaves she sees a heart.
Is it because I showed up with three of my kids?
I think the wacky lady at the bookstore doing the palm readings at least gave it a go.
I tried to explain to DN1 yesterday in text messages, not necessarily the best method of communication, that I live my life by signs and symbols anyway and do a bit of my own fortune telling so it's almost unlikely that she could tell me anything new.
Why do I think my divination skills are better?
Well I can't tell anyone else's future for them, but I can certainly over-analyze and foretell my own.
And I know sometimes who is calling when the phone rings - without looking at the caller ID.
It's the Scot in me.
Right Ken?
(That's my brother, I know he will agree.)
Anyway it was all in the spirit of fun so I don't want to be overly snarky.
But it wasn't what I thought, or feared, it would be.
Fortunately, all is copacetic.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

C'est fini

It's over.
I finished the book.
Surprising ending, but then not surprising at all.
I'm not ashamed to say it made me cry, but so did David Copperfield and many other books.
But page 637 broke my heart.
Must remember - they are not real people.
Now I can get back to my knitting.
Maybe do a little cleaning too.
For the record I began reading it at 7:30 Saturday morning.
And yes, it was worth it to stay up past midnight on Saturday in order to pick up the book.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tonight's the Night

Tell me that title doesn't make you start to hum a Rod Stewart song.
Or if you're like me, your mind jumps quickly to a Neil Young song about Bruce Berry (one of his best albums ever in my humble opinion).
No, let's not talk about Rod or Neil, let's discuss Harry.
Harry Potter.
Anyone read the spoilers?
I haven't.
And I won't.
Although I am wondering if I'll be able to resist the urge to read the end of the book first - or during.
Temptation thy name is "read ahead".
I have tracked my book on Amazon to the post office where I'm sure it will be safely stored until delivery tomorrow.
But tonight, however, I will get a copy at 0001 (that's 12:01 am).
I need to get a knitting project started so I can while away the hours whilst waiting for 0001 to come.
Any thoughts on who is not going to make it?
I'm betting Neville won't, not that I'm wishing it on him.
And with so many Weasley's one or more has to go.
Please don't let it be Fred and/or George.
Honestly, they are just as good in the movies as they are in the books.
Is it wrong to have your DH accuse you of having a crush on those two young men?
Can you believe there are people already lining up to get it?
Well, I'll just have to wait and see, and tomorrow I'll be sitting on the front porch waiting for the mailman.
Because someone in my house thinks she is getting tonight's copy first.
Silly girl.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Curse

No this is not a post about getting my period.
That's definitely TMI.
But sometime I may fill you in on my idea to bring back the menstrual hut.
Seriously, a week of being considered "unclean" and not having to work but staying somewhere else? I'm all over that.
That's a topic for another time though.
Until then you'll have to hear about my most recent curse -- my knitting.
Have you ever had times when nothing goes right?
For example, I'm knitting a perfectly lovely (at least I think so) Chevron scarf.
Could I possibly knit without screwing up?
Not me.
And I cast on for a scarf meant to be a Christmas gift.
I was very proud of myself - here it is July and I'm already working on Christmas gifts. I joined this too, so that may be part of the impetus:

Is there anyway I could not screw up a scarf which only has eight stitches?
This fool here has nine.
Who does that? Honestly.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bring it On

I'm not normally afflicted with triskaidekaphobia or even paraskavedekatriaphobia but this morning has been a bit hairy.
After going to sleep and waking up on the same day (which means after midnight and before 5:00), against my better judgment I decided to felt the hat that I stayed up so late to finish.
Three minutes in the hot water and I pulled it out to check.
I like to check often since my first mistake at felting two years ago when I left a hat in too long and it shrank up to a horribly small shape.
I wasn't going to make that mistake again, especially since I had just felted two handbags.
So I pulled it out.
I unzipped the pillow case cover and pulled out the hat - want to know what I found?
The top where I had pulled the last few stitches tightly together, or so I thought, had all come undone and there was a huge gaping hole at the top.
That woke me up.
I stitched it up as best I could and I'm praying that the felting process will sufficiently cover up this HUGE mistake, but even still I'll always know that the hat covering my cranium has a hole in it.
And it might not sufficiently cover the one in my head.
Go figure.
It's Friday the 13th.
If this is what is going to happen to me at 5:45 in the morning I say - Bring it.
I'm ready.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

First Four Minutes

This is for Kat.
The first four minutes of RH.

And can I tell you how much I love YouTube?
Seriously, the stuff you can find...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

He'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain Very soon

DN1 had a friend come over last night to borrow Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. He wants to read it again before he sees the movie.
I was supposed to be looking for the book in the house but got distracted because, well I'm easily distracted but also because my cousin had called and told me about what she has figured will happen in book 7 based upon her re-reading of book 6.
I know that the midnight movie tonight will be packed, but I just don't think I can go because I couldn't stay awake that late.
I know my limitations.
Also I'm really much more excited to read this book.
I know what happens in the movie - and I'm certain Fred and George will be superb - but I need to find out what happens in the final book!
This little town will be rockin' next Friday night as some of the restaurants will be preparing Hogwart's specialties and so many other fun things will be taking place.
I'll be able to stay up until midnight that night for sure.
In the meantime I'm finishing up the His Dark Materials trilogy and wondering if the movie version of The Golden Compass will be any good.
At least they let you choose your own daemon.
Here is mine:

Now you're supposed to tell me if this is correct (which I think it is) and then go find out which daemon you (would) have.
Fascinating stuff.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Online Dating

I suppose I should be happy it's not rated much higher than PG!
After all I really am not here to offend anyone, just curse every once in a while.
And if you're curious as to what I look like this morning, well think of this:

But I slept well and got up early so I can work on my Chevron Scarf and read my book.
Oh and try to get to work on time too.
That would be a good thing - something that doesn't always happen.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

News at 11:00

This just in:

Beached whale surfaces at water park.
Patrons blinded by exposure to startlingly white blubber.
Yes, I went to a water park today.
And...(gasp)...wore a bathing suit!
No one rolled around on the ground screaming, "My eyes are burning! My eyes are burning!"
It was a successful trip.
Some irritating and rude people, though, but that's no big shocker.
Like the woman who found it necessary to have her four small children dress themselves right at the entrance to the women's locker room.
Look lady, no one wants to see your kids in their underoos, most of all people who just want to get in or out the damn door without tripping over your half-naked children.
Other than that it was a great trip.
I'll see how much like a lobster I am in the morning.
Today was supposed to be one of the hottest days this summer - they promised 91 degrees.
When we got to the park at 11:15 it was raining!
The sun was up there in the sky, I knew it because it was daylight (I should be a science teacher, eh?) but it was hidden behind clouds until about 5:00 pm.
So did mensa girl put on any sunscreen?
Hell no.
I did bring my knitting to the park but wasn't able to do any of it.
Surprisingly enough it is awfully wet at a water park.
Who would have figured that would happen.
I did get my yarn in the mail for my Chevron Scarf KAL.
I present to you yarn in many (or at least three) moods :

On top of some lemon balm.

Silently reposing on the railing.

Trying out the new Raleigh Coaster bike in the garage.

Wait, what's this?
Someone has a new bike?
They sure do!

Well it's a great bike, but so is my scarf.
No wait, my scarf isn't a bike.
But it would look great on me if I had a new bike.
What do you think?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Summer is for....KALs

I'm not a big joiner.
And I'm not talking about joining with DPs or in the round for those of you whose minds automatically go there.
I've just never been one to go along with the crowd.
I can't help it - it's my anti-social self.
But I have joined two KALs recently and there is a method to my madness.
Because they are knitting something I like and can actually finish.
I blogged earlier about the Chevron Scarf KAL.

I ordered some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn (at a very decent price) from Sandra Singh and it was shipped the same day! Very fast, very good service. Highly recommended.
So I'm anxious to start on that scarf finally.
And at Angelika's urging I've also joined the Knitty KAL.
Sign ups close on July 10 so if you want to do it hurry over there.
It's a simple KAL - all you have to do is find a project you like on knitty.com and then knit it.
Easy enough, right?
I'm going to work on the French Market Bag - and what makes the KAL even better is I'll be using yarn from my stash!
Yea me!
Finally, in case you're ever interested in finding out which KALs are coming up you can check it out here and grab yourself a button while you're at it. I did.

I do actually read about knitting a lot.
As Kat said to me once, I study it.
I took that as a compliment.
It doesn't mean I'm smart with it, ergo I don't necessarily like to illuminate my profound ignorance in public which is one of the reasons I'm not a big joiner.
Yeah, and I keep a blog why?Well so I can meet great people and become a Rockin' Girl Blogger.

Angelika has done me the honor of calling me out as a Rockin' Girl Blogger. Now how awesome is that? I'll bestow the honor on some worthy knitters in my next post. Cross your fingers!

Summer Reading Program

Here we are already well into summer and I have to say that I have been advancing quite well through my personal summer reading list.

But a conversation yesterday with my daughter, who is 8, reminded me of what I miss most about summer - the ability to sit in my room, or outside, or on the couch and have no other priorities in life but to read a book.

And trust me I did read a lot when I was younger.
Well among other things but none of the other things I had going on involved work in any way, shape or form so whenever I wasn't out getting into trouble I was home reading.

You know that many businesses and libraries will encourage children to read over the summer. Barnes and Noble has a summer reading program - you read 8 books and then you get a free book.
What a deal!
Sign me up!
What do you mean I'm too old?!?

Yesterday was the ideal summer day to sit at home, cuddle with a cat, and become immersed in a good book because it was damp and rainy.
So I encouraged DN2 to do just that, and even explained the Barnes and Noble program to her.
She was excited because she loves to buy books - it's getting her to finish one that is a problem.
She asked, in all seriousness, "Do I have to read every page of the book?"
I laughed and explained, "How else will you know how the story ends?"
Silly girl.

Getting kids excited about reading is difficult, especially boys.
One of my co-workers whose 8th grade son continuously makes high honor roll received a suggested summer reading list in the envelope with his report card. She told me that when he saw it he ripped it up before she could even see it and he told her, "I've read most of those books anyway."

Well I'm not a high school student (thank the Lord) but I do like to read as much as possible at all times throughout the year and not necessarily limit the bulk of my reading to the summertime. However since summer is the only time I'm not taking classes I've been really indulging and challenging myself and reading quite extensively with the hope that someday I'll be as well-read as some people I know.

Although I can honestly say that it is unfortunate that my knowledge of contemporary literature is pretty weak because, with the exception of Harry Potter novels, I have not read many books published in this millenium.
Kind of sad, eh?

When I was younger my favorite summer reading book was Desiree by Annemarie Selinko.
I still have it even though my cover looks different than this one (although I'm sure the words are still the same):

My friend Dana told me that her favorite summer read, even as an adult, is Anya Seton's The Winthrop Woman.
I've read it and other Anya Seton books and they are actually very good.
I usually try to read a book before the movie comes out and completely ruins what the author has created.
Currently I'm working on Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, amongst other books, but I have read some that were on my list to be read.

Or conquered.
Because that's how I felt about Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead.

I didn't just read it I overcame the challenge of reading it.
Did I like it?
Not particularly.
But did I read it?
Why yes I did, all 677 pages of text.

Now if only the weekend would get here soon and then I can go and read some more.
Caveat lector!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Thanksgiving 1981

Yes I know that yesterday's holiday is not only "not" Thanksgiving but I'm off by about 26 years.
But that is where in time the episodes of Ryan's Hope are currently set on SoapNet.
I never watched this show when I was growing up, did you?
I happened across it just two weeks ago and quickly became caught up in the storyline.
DN2 and I watch it everyday even though it is on at 5:00 am and 5:30 am.
We can do it with no problem either, want to know why?
Digital Video Recorder.
Yes, the Time Warner equivalent of Tivo.
I love that we are not held to a 5:00 am wake up time, well one of us is not, and that we can watch it in the evening and skip the commercials.
We got behind and had to watch four episodes yesterday but at half an hour a pop they move along quite quickly.
It's a good story and I'm enjoying going back in time to 1981 and looking at the heavy eye makeup and remembering that's where any sense of fashion I had was truncated.
Good knitting time too.
The Urban Girl bag is almost dry and I'm working on another wrist warmer. I've been trying to use up some of my Lion's Brand Wool-Ease that I have, so I've already made three wrist warmers and a hat, this is the last one and I think I've about exhausted my supply of that yarn.
Thank goodness.
I'll leave you here with a little humor from Pickles.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Urban Girl

And here are some pictures of my Emergency Room bag:I'm calling it urban girl because it looks like camouflage to me but with pink and brown.
I used two skeins Patons Classic Merino Wool in Rosewood.

I knew that box of cereal from Tops would come in handy for something. See my bad cat Benno in the background there? He thinks he's an outdoor cat. He is not. And he needs to keep his butt inside.
And here are the raccoon tail straps. They actually resemble Benno's tail. Jennifer used handles for hers, but since I was at the hospital on Saturday and not leaving anytime soon I decided to knit straps. I think this will work pretty well for an 8 year old, don't you? Seriously.

Here's my favorite purchase of all from Parkleigh:

It's a coaster, but I think that it is truly a summation of my purpose here on this earth. If you can't read it, it says, "I'm not here to make things better, only to observe and pass judgement."

And to my friend Kristi, since I'm slowly but surely working my way towards looking like this old lady, will this picture suffice?

Thanks for your well wishes for my mother, she's doing fine. I don't need a crystal ball to see into the future because I already know that she'll recover completely and when she's a bit more mobile she will tell everyone the story of how she broke her hip. That's my mother, she's good at making any short story into a long one.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Status and Updates

Well my mother is having surgery this morning to get pins put in her hip.
It is fractured.
So my weekend has been spent doing things with my sister-in-law, who is visiting until Thursday, and running to the hospital or picking up my stepfather or being on the telephone to my relatives.
I did finish the handbag for DN2 but because I need to sew the straps to the body no pictures of that yet, but I do have pictures of Amanda's Squatty Sidekick.
Here it is before being felted:
And here it is after felting:
The picture is a little dark - sorry!
And fuzzy. Sorry again!
But it came out okay.
The bag not the picture.
And you can see I ended up making the strap a bit longer and then stretching it out a tad more.
I only used one strand of Noro Kureyon so it's not an uber-firm bag, but it suits my purposes.
I do need to find a button - I'm thinking something chunky and green, but I haven't had a chance to get to the store yet.
I did use the kitchener stitch to graft the handle and also to make a loop for the flap.
I have found that Debbie Stoller’s Stitch and Bitch book has pretty good directions and I like the simple way they explain the kitchener stitch.
I only goofed up a bit on the button loop.
And...the grafting of the strap handles was done backwards.
Kind of like how I planted my bleeding heart upside down.
Backwards, upside down - either way, it still works!
My second project this weekend is a felted hat. I haven't finished it yet primarily because I don't have any size 11 circulars.
Hard to believe, right?
If I have them they are nowhere to be found.
(And Angelika, I just didn't find the right combo yet for the Chevron Scarf so I'll have to get some yarn for that.)
Perhaps I'll go hit up Michael's or A.C. Moore for some of the things I need.
But with everything else going on I may as well start looking for something else to knit.
Lord knows I could work on some socks, right?
My sister-in-law and DN2 were able to find some time for manis and pedis on Friday - check out their nails:
Hope the week goes much better than the weekend!!