Saturday, May 31, 2008

Our First Knitting Meeting

Yesterday was our first knitting/crochet group meeting. We actually had a good turnout - of the 22 people who signed up, 16 actually joined us!
Well, okay, Flower and I are included in the 16, but I'm looking at complete numbers because we were knitting and crocheting too.
We will supply yarn for everyone as long as they are knitting or crocheting for charity, and in this case the first charity we've decided to participate in is for a Warm Up! America afghan. When it's done, we'll give it to the local nursing home.
There were some enthusiastic knitters and crochetiers, and now we just want to make sure we can sustain their enthusiasm for the group. After we work on afghan squares we have told everyone that we're open to new ideas for charity work.
I think we'll have a good time.
Not everyone who came to the meeting yesterday knew how to knit or crochet.
The learn to crochet group was the most popular:

And only two people wanted to learn how to knit:

But truthfully there wasn't enough room for everyone to sit on the couches so we had some of us sitting in the middle of the room at tables:

Sanctioned knitting in the middle of the day at work is a wonderful way to spend a Friday.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Please Note the Time Stamp

It is 3:00 AM.
I just got home from watching this:

The new Sex and the City movie!
I took my knitting, but didn't knit.
Too much to watch - and it's a long film.
But good.
Definitely worth going to the midnight showing.
Now, off to bed.
I have to wake up in less than 3 hours.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday Quiz - I Scream, You Scream....

...we all scream for ice cream!!!
Now that our spring weather has finally arrived -- at the end of May -- it's ice cream time again.
I like to go to the local ice cream/candy shop in town, but honestly, it gets expensive. But I'm sure glad I'm not lactose intolerant because I do love ice cream.
Perhaps we should do what DN2's friend does, have Sundae night every Sunday night. Read to the end, there's a Meme there for everyone to answer.

Your Ice Cream Personality:

You are not a particularly modest person. You're proud of who you are, and you don't care who knows it.
You have a wild reputation, but you're not as wild as you seem. You take risks, but only measured risks.
You are a somewhat open minded person, but deep down you're fairly conservative. You don't like trying new things very much. And if you do find something new you like, you stick with it.
You are a natural multitasker. You feel alive when you're doing more than one thing at a time.
You can be a big dramatic and over the top sometimes. You are bold in every way

And here's a little Meme for everyone.

Name your top five flavors of ice cream.
Here are mine:
1. Chocolate
2. Mint chocolate chip
3. Maple walnut
4. Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia
5. Raspberry sherbet

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Socking and Soleing

I had a goal for this past weekend.
Well, DN2 had a goal as well, and that was to head to the local amusement park.
We did that, but I was also able to incorporate my goal in with hers.
I was bound and determined to knit socks all weekend.
And I did!
I finished this pair knit with Paton's Shetland Chunky (I'd show you the second one but I'm not quite sure where it is, but I know it's around here somewhere!):
And this pair of Moda Dea Sassy Stripes (after I had to rip the second sock back TWICE!):
And this pair of Lion BrandCottage Slipper socks:
(They wear like you have an afghan on your feet, and truthfully they're not pretty -- because they look like something you would put on underneath your armor before going into battle -- but trust me, they're warm.)
And I started on this pair using Moda Dea Sassy Stripes:
And this pair I worked on diligently while standing in line for roller coaster rides at Darien Lake:
Bernat Denim Style (acrylic and cotton so I hope they don't sag too much or shrink too much, guess we'll see!).
Yes I am a sock-making fool. And as I was standing in line at the amusement park a lady looked over at me and said:
Lady: I don't think I've ever seen anyone knitting at a Six Flags before.
Me: Well it sure passes the time.
Lady: I bet it does!
And then we laughed.
Okay, so sue me, not a great conversation, but she was awed.
And I was awed that I didn't drop a DP while standing in line.
I told my friend Flower about it this morning and she thought I also knit while on the roller coasters.
Oh no!
Are you kidding?!?!
I gripped tight and closed my eyes.
Can you imagine?!?!
Sunday I sat in the backyard and knit, knit, knit.
It was wonderful.
Yesterday I went to my mother's house and ate and knit, knit, knit.
What's even better is that my sock knitting is going much more quickly because I'm getting used to it.
Thank goodness.
I should be learning how to can fruits and vegetables (gas exceeded $4.00 a gallon this weekend), but I will have warm feet this winter.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Not all Memorials are Made of Marble

I received this email and photo from my friend, Caveman.
He received it from a Marine who was a SgtMaj with 3/5 in Fallujah and is now SgtMaj of a Recruiting District.

I just wanted to pass on to you all a little story that happened today at the Marine Corps recruiting office in North Charleston SC, we had all the recruiters in the office conducting training and a little frail man walked in the office today at about 0845 with a red Marine WWII veteran hat on and said that he didn’t know we were in a meeting and we said that wasn’t a problem what can we do for you Sir? He said that he had something he wanted to show us. Being the history buff I am I was hoping he was bring in some old Marine Corps stuff to show is from back in the day. What he brought in was a 2 foot tall sign under it that had a few words on it and an American flag taped to the top. He held the sign and tried to speak…….. He couldn’t hold back the tears it was all he could do to compose himself enough to speak. He finally composed himself enough to let us know this was for his friend in the Marine Corps of 3 years who died at the Marines bloodiest battle, of WWII he stated that each year at this time of year (memorial day) he puts it out in front of his sub division so that his friend is not forgotten and asked us to give it a salutes as we go by.

The Marines in the office say that he comes every year and reminds them about his friend Goldie; 64 years ago he paid the ultimate sacrifice for his Country and his friends. It goes to show you the brother hood that the Marines have. He went to the place that he knew he would be understood for how he felt about his “Buddy” and that we as Marines would care to hear just those few words and the jester from a friend who won’t let his buddy’s memory be forgotten! “Not on his watch” Please pause to remember this weekend what Memorial Day is all about I hope this moves you like it did me.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I Should Love New York Because...?

Tell me why I should love New York.
Because these words, quoted below, strike me straight through my heart.
Here is the message from Amazon that delivered the fatal blow:
Important Messages
Due to a new law recently passed by the State of New York we are required to collect NY sales taxes on taxable items sold by on or after June 1st, 2008. If your order is placed prior to June 1st, your Order Total may not include an estimate of NY sales taxes, but those taxes may still be charged if your order is readied for shipment on or after that date.

Damn New York State and their horrible taxes.

It's Time for Summer Reading but It's Like 50 Degrees Outside

My class is over and my next one doesn't begin until June 2 and will last for only five weeks.
The class I'm taking is Grammar (at the graduate level).
Tell me I'm not stressing about how much grammar will be thrown my way in five short weeks.
Yeah, I'm scared.
I'll admit it.
Grammar is scary business and I don't know if I even remember diagramming sentences when I was in elementary or middle school.
But I'll get through it because I have my summer reading to get to.
Summer reading that will actually lead to my graduate thesis.
I haven't actually put pen to paper yet but I have been incubating an idea about young adult literature and how it reflects the hero's journey (a la Joseph Campbell).
Well that's my rationale for buying books at the school book fair the other day.
And while I'm reading I also hope to throw in some knitting along the way.
I joined the Summer of Socks:

Because you know that lately it has been all socks, all the time.
Now, I just need to get a pair finished as opposed to knitting and knitting and knitting and not finishing (and starting another pair)!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday Quiz - Mind over Myth

I love to study mythology.
It's not difficult, really.
Think of Bullfinch's as a comprehensive Soap Opera Digest and then think of all the characters in the myths as soap opera characters and it will really demystify it for you.
Telling stories, tracking characters movements, who is married to whom, who had a kid together, who married their mother, who killed their father, etc.
Fascinating stuff.

You Are a Pegasus

You are a perfectionist, with an eye for beauty.
You know how to live a good life - and you rarely deviate from your good taste.
While you aren't outgoing, you have excellent social skills.
People both admire you - and feel very comfortable around you.

And for Caroline, I want you to know that the first book I'm reading during my summer break is Njal's Saga. You made me curious about this Medieval Icelandic saga and it sounds so interesting I have to check it out for myself. I've always been a Greek and Roman kind of girl, with more emphasis on the Greek, but I am anxious to dig in. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Old Friends

SN2 flew down to Maryland to visit a friend from kindergarten and go with her to the prom.
Don't they look so cute?


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Netflix is for Knitting

I joined Netflix yesterday.
I used to be in, and they gave great deals. You would get 3 movies at a time and then they would give coupons for 2 free rentals a month at their store. Well they closed the Blockbuster here. The closest store is 15 miles away and honestly I don't feel like driving 15 miles to Blockbuster. I gave up the membership because those coupons were worth more than the price of membership and since I couldn't use them, pfft.
So I've been missing the accessibility to random films that these sites offer.
Let's face it, my local Family Video is not stocking the complete collection of Ingmar Bergman films.
Actually I don't think they have any Bergman films.
I decided to join Netflix and now I have over 100 movies/tv shows in my queue.
(They have Knot's Landing! I love that show!)
You know what this means, right?
That summer will be for knitting and Netflix.
I'm psyched.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Fundraising - AIDS Walk

I don't remember if I mentioned this or not, but I was inducted into Sigma Tau Delta a few weeks ago.
It is the International English Honor Society.
For me, a non-joiner (and someone who never really gets asked to join things other than the society for constant debt), it is a big thing.
Anyway, I also nominated myself (again, because no one else would) for a leadership position in our Chapter.
Part of holding a leadership position is participating in the Chapter's events
One of the events the Chapter is taking part in is the AIDS Walk in Rochester on Saturday, June 7.
You will see that I have included a fund-raising widget over on the side.
Feel free to donate if you can!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thursday Quiz - Muppets!!

Who doesn't love the Muppets - who couldn't love the Muppets?
Honestly, their humor makes me laugh and I think Jim Henson was a demi-god.
I guess I'm not surprised by the Muppet I am, because I know that I really am a bit of a whacko loser, just like....

You Are Fozzie Bear

"Wocka! Wocka!"
You're the life of the party, and you love making people crack up.
If only your routine didn't always bomb!
You may find more groans than laughs, but always keep the jokes coming.

But I have to tell you, Fozzie is not really my favorite Muppet character -- that would be Rizzo the Rat.

He's the, rat.
Is anyone out there Rizzo?

And just in case you're in a Muppet Christmas Carol mood, my favorite of all the Muppet Movies, here is a clip from said movie that contains my favorite line (you'll find it at the 2:43 minute mark):

("If you think this is good, you should read the book!" Yes, you should!)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Shiny, New Things

Something took up residence in my house this mother's day.

It's a Roomba!
Isn't it awesome!!!
It's exactly what I wanted.
Of course the time I spend watching it clean the floor could be spent cleaning the floor myself.
But I'm sure in a few days I'll be able to turn it on and let it do its thing without constant supervision.
Right now I'm calling him "Little Guy" until I can think of a better name.
I'm considering Rudy, perhaps, or Squidward because it has this little sweeping arm that comes out on the side and when it slows down it looks like some kind of sea creature. DN2 wants to call it Bob, but then she names everything Bob.
Any thoughts?
And how was your day?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I Knew I Would Wake Up With Something Stolen

Yesterday was the last day of classes at the college.
(Let me hear a yee haw! Or even a woo hoo!)
Next week is final exam week, but this weekend is party time.
When I was growing up, the college used to have this wonderful, raucous event called Spring-In. Our high school used to give out the warnings that if anyone missed school that day, even if they were sick, they would be in trouble.
Because who wouldn't want to skip school and hang out with the drunken college students and listen to bands. Well if you were too chicken to skip school and get suspended you could always rest assured that the high school let out at 2:12, and since the high school is adjacent to the college you know where we would all head right away.
Over to Spring-In.
And remember, back when I was younger the drinking age was 18 so more people had legal access to alcohol, thus increasing the amount that was present at Spring-In.
It was everywhere.
The event started in the 60s (big surprise) and continued into the 80s. I moved away in 1983 so I am not sure when it ended, but it did.
Well memories of Spring-In are very distant - the event does not take place anymore, but there are those who would like to resurrect it.
And they are working on it but there are many factors going against it.
For one, the drinking age is 21.
Second, the college administration is maintaining more stringent oversight of the students and their activities.
Third, when they have their current events the student government has to hire extra police patrols. There are police on foot, police on horseback, state troopers, and anyone else who wears a uniform keeps close. There is even a Marine recruiter who comes out.
We headed over at about 4:30 to see the activities.
And they try to make it anything but a drink fest.
They have bands, free food for the students, long lines, and free activities.
DN2 likes to play on the activities:

And the African dance troupe was a HUGE hit:

Even still, the vibe at this year's event felt a bit different.
I think even with all the oversight there was much drinking going on.
When I was headed home from work on my bike at about 4:15 I passed party after party, so I know there were some beer pong tables getting a good workout by students prior to their heading over to the event.
And I have to pay attention to this because of course now I'm not that high school kid looking to have a good time. I'm a parent with a house to worry about. In addition I worry about things getting damaged or stolen in the yard.
Well surprisingly enough when I went out at 6:00 this morning, thus cementing the fact that I am indeed an old fart since I must go to bed early in order to get up that early and be lucid, I went outside to have a look around.
Oh, one important piece of information I forgot to pass along.
The event took place on the next block over from my house.
I think you can understand my concern.
Here's my checklist:
Nothing stolen, check.
Nothing broken, check.
No ID cards in the yard, check.
Found: one plastic bag (is that vomit in there?), one sock in the driveway, and one empty cigarette pack (these kids can afford a $5 pack of Marlboro Lights?).
I was greatly relieved to find things in order.
Now I can go back and put my Shi Shi Dogs back out on my front porch.
Who wouldn't want to steal these guys?

They're so darn cute, right?

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Smell of Lilacs is in the Air

You can smell them everywhere.
It is wonderful.
Spring is finally here and in full bloom.
I walked out of a dinner party last night and you could smell the lilacs scenting the evening breeze.
There is something magical about this time of year when we are surrounded by nature's beauty. With awe I regard the mystery of the beautiful flowers that spring up out of the ground after a long, hard winter and pepper the air with their scent.
It is definitely a wonderful time of the year, class is almost over, commencement is next Friday, and on Wednesday I came back from a meeting to find a note on my desk from DN1.
Happy Early Mother's Day!
I already put some Tori songs on there to keep you entertained on your bike ride home!
Figured you could use something nice.
- Me ^_^
P.S. I named it Francesca. Thought it fit.

What did she leave?
Meet Francesca:

Isn't spring an awesome time?
And don't I have the best daughter?
Truly she knows me.
Here is one of the songs on Francesca.
She carries it so well.
Take a few minutes and have a listen:

And yes, I am entertained when I ride my bike.
Thoroughly and completely entertained and overjoyed.
Happy Mother's Day on Sunday!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thursday Quiz - But Where's the General Lee?

Somebody had better bring the General Lee around.
Check out what 80s tv show I am.

Take this test!
Yee-haw! So maybe you get into a scrape or two, but what's wrong with that? You never mean no harm. You believe in standing up for what's right — and don't mind having a good time while you're at it. We wouldn't change you if we could!

Do I have to chose from the men of Hazzard County?
Then I guess I'll take Luke Duke, thank you very much.
Yee haw.

Note: I've actually seen one of the General Lee cars they used. They had it at the Williamsburg Pottery in Williamsburg VA. Kat, you just went there recently, didn't you? Is it still there?

Note (again): That's two "yee haws" in one post. I wonder if I'm approaching my yee haw limit for the month? Is anyone keeping track?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I Taught Someone to Knit

My friend Flower, remember her?, sent out an email yesterday about our Charity Knitting Group.
Almost immediately we started getting responses from people.
It was nothing short of remarkable.
I mentioned to Flower that we should be prepared to be overwhelmed by knitters and hookers (ha ha!) and when we are we should be very pleased.
I had to make a trip out to get water and soda for the office so I decided to make it a trip to the Devil's Store in order to stock up on yarn for the group.
Call me crazy, but I love field trips!
I picked out 15 skeins of the cheap stuff along with some totes and small supplies we'll need to finish the blanket(s).
Since I had to close the floor last night Flower stayed with me and at 4:30 we busted out the skein of yarn she thought was the prettiest color and got out the size 7 needles.
By 5:00 she had knit 3 rows and was developing the muscle memory (and hopefully not my bad habits) that will enable her to keep on knitting.
If was a very proud moment.
When I get to work I'll have to take a picture of her knitting. I sent her home to work on it last night - just simple stockinette - 10 stitches across - nothing overly complicated.
This is her learning swatch and if she makes a mistake she can learn from it.
After we get Flower going, Sheri and I are having a meet up so we can work on her knitting too.
Isn't that right, Sheri?

Note: I called her last night after I got home from a meeting and she said, "Julie, American Idol is on, I can't talk now!" Oops, sorry. But she also thinks she made a mistake. We'll check it later. I'm sure it's salvageable. After all, it's only a swatch!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Sheep Shearing

I should have posted about this last Saturday but I've been involved in some deep navel gazing regarding my paper for class.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
I went to a sheep shearing festival on a Saturday morning with my Flower Child Hippie friend, who for the sake of brevity I'll call Flower.
And because anywhere I go so goes DN2, she came along as well.
There's a farm in the area where they do lots of things for the kids. It's a Christian-oriented operation, but the farm is there to create opportunities for many kids who don't have any.
And trust me, in this area where the gas is at $3.75 a gallon and a gallon of OJ is $6.99, we need some opportunities other than the Devil's Store.
Here are a smattering of pictures:

Here we are with Lilac.

Here is Martha who had something to say about everything. And like a sheep you'll see in a bit, Elliot, she left a trail of crumbs behind her.

This duck and goose are cooling off after a hard-fought game of Duck, Duck, Goose.
It was hilarious. They really were chasing each other around.

Things to remember for next year: don't wear sandals unless you want to constantly shake goose poop out of them.

This is Elliot.
(Say it in an ET voice and it's funny. Say it with a sheep's baa and its even funnier.)

Elliot also got his toenails clipped.
And when the guy shearing Elliot lifted Elliot's tail, lots of little things came dropping out. The guy says, "Well, it's my fault, I pulled the lever."

When Elliot was done getting a haircut, everyone was allowed to take some wool.
Imagine, wool straight off the sheep - and free!!
I sent DN2 to grab me some handfuls.
Here's what I got.

She asked me, in a totally incredulous voice, you know how 9 year olds sound, "What are you going to do with all this?"
I replied, "You never, ever turn down free wool."
Silly girl.
Things to remember for next year: #2, bring plastic bag so inside of handbag doesn't smell like a sheep.

The picture of the three of us at the beginning is with a wonderful ewe called Lilac. We didn't watch her get sheared but she was very friendly.
Things to remember for next year: #3, stick around and get more free wool. Those kids won't know what to do with it anyway.

Well look! It's Nancy from our church!

I did not know that she was so involved in spinning and dyeing. I truly do live in a vacuum. She also told me that a group of women get together the last Tuesday of every month and spin from 10:00 AM until they get tired of each other. Figures, a daytime group. She asked me if I was a spinner and I told her I hadn't quite embraced that obsession yet.

These wonderful ladies were very friendly and explained their craft.

All in all we had a great time and we left just before the big thunderstorm rolled through the area.
We'll have to go back next year for sure.
And now I have some wool that needs cleaning.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

1968 + 40 = 2008

Last night I went to see the musical Hair.
My friend Cindy called on Saturday afternoon and asked what I was doing in the evening and I said, Nothing, why?
Apparently she had received two free tickets to the play just for advertising it in her shop.
Not a bad deal and last night was the closing evening.
I've heard from many people how excellent the show was but thought, oh well, guess I'll have to give it a miss, so I was extremely pleased to be able to go.
And for free!
Gotta love the free.
The show was fantastic - I'd never actually seen it before.
I've seen the movie, which is so not the play, but this was great.
Put on by a group of college students it was completely professional, and there are some kids who I've seen in other productions and I wonder how long it will be before they are on Broadway themselves.
You've gotta love talent.
The father, mother and twin sister of one of the performers was sitting in front of us and he was so proud. He should be, his kid is really good!
So that's how I spent my Saturday night, not knitting, but enjoying the 60s.
And I was astonished to think that it was representing a time that was 40 years ago!!
Back when I was 20, something from 40 years earlier would have seemed horribly outdated, yet quaintly nostalgic and would have had a WWII storyline.
This is what you get from 1968 (as represented in the 1979 movie):

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Thursday Quiz - For All You Princesses Out There

What kind of princess am I?
Obviously one who is too busy getting the kingdom in order to blog properly.
What about you?

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork

The Traditional Princess
You are generous, graceful, and practical with both feet planted firmly on the ground. You tend to be a little on the old-fashioned side. You value home, hearth, and family life and love to be of service to others.Role Models: Snow White, Maid Marian
You are most likely to: Discover a hidden talent for spinning straw into gold.
Take this quiz!

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