Thursday, March 29, 2007

He's Done It Again!

Apparently, Weird Al is omnipresent. Or at least he has the ability to somehow peek into my window from miles and miles away, thus discovering the following exchange that Todd and I have nearly every night. I love Weird Al. Also? The man never ages. He's looked the same for about 20 years. Maybe he made a pact with Satan? Or perhaps drinks the blood of newborn lambs? Whatever it is, it's paying off. His genius knows no end, evidenced by his latest parody masterpiece. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Another 100 List

I saw this on another blog somewhere and thought it was cool. However, there are some books on why are ALL the Harry Potter books listed? And why are there two Ayn Rand books NONE of Faulkner's? And Dan Brown gets two and Hemingway only one? Scandalous! Whatever...

Bold the ones you have read.
Italics on the ones you want to read.

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings:
Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone (Rowling)
17. Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) About 45 times. Love, love, love this book.
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the
Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)

24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) This book is dumb.
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. A Separate Peace (John Knowles)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Stranger (Albert Camus)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Awakening (Kate Chopin)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

First SP10 Contest!

So, here's the info for my first SP10 contest! And, in fact, I've wanted to put this up on the blog for a while now! It's my current projects! Finally!

Thanks so much to Nicole, who took these pictures this morning. I still can't find my stupid camera. :-(

So, here are the socks---my first-ever pair of socks. Knit from the toe-up. I am almost to the point on the one sock where I need to make the gusset and then turn the heel. Because of the moving hoo-ha, I've been unable to make it to any of our recent knitting meetings where these techniques were covered. So I will have to have one-on-one instruction with Pat (our super awesome teacher). I am actually rather proud of myself for being able to knit fairly well on eenie-teeny needles AND double points, which I've never used either before. Seriously, the smallest I've ever used has been size 7 and I've never used double points until these socks.

Here's a picture from a different angle. I'm using Knit Picks yarn called Essential Tweed in the Flint color on size 2 needles (I think?). Very soft, lovely yarn. The yarn, however, is slightly challenging to work with because it does split if you're not super careful. These will be a very nice pair of socks (and dare I say, luxurious?) when I finally finish them. And I really do want to finish them. Gotta finish my first pair of socks ever! Right?

My next project is near and dear to me because it's for my sister, who is having her second child after 13 years! WOW. She found out she's having a girl. So that, to me, makes knitting baby items a whole lot easier. So here is a blanket I started working on for her. I am using Bernat Cottontots yarn in Sweet Cream and Lovely Lilac. The pattern is from a little booklet of baby patterns that I found in line at the supermarket checkout! For $3.00, that little book has some really nice patterns in it! It's basically houndstooth. I know it's hard to tell from the picture because I only have about 6 rows done so far. This is a very simple pattern, but the result is so neat!

Also here is an updated picture of the yarn stash. I think I've unearthed everything. Now if I can only find my comb...yes, it's been 2 weeks and I can't find my hair comb. Oy.

Monday, March 19, 2007

100 Things About Me

I've seen this on many-a blog lately. So I've decided to do it as well. Maybe this will help my Secret Pal too. Edited 8/6/08. Edited again 7/14/09. Edited again 2/18/10.

1. My name is Gina

2. My full birth name is Gina Marie

3. After I got Confirmation in 6th grade, my name was Gina Marie Bernadette

4. Yes, Confirmation sucks

5. I'm older than I look, which is a good thing

6. But I also feel much older than I should, which is not a good thing

7. I have 2 sisters: one older, one younger

8. My little sister is much younger, by over 10 years

9. My older sister and I have really grown close over the last 10 years or so

10. My husband’s name is Todd

11. We were married in June 2004

12. But we’ve been together since January 1999

13. No kids

14. Ever, I hope

15. I love animals

16. As a result, I have 6 cats

17. They are: Hercules, Titus, Ophelia, Luna, Orson, and Moonie (Mr. Chesterfield passed away in November 2008,; we lost our beloved Sophie in March 2010.)

18. Yes, I am crazy

19. No, somehow my house does not smell like a giant litter box

20. I was born and raised in South Philly

21. I moved from there to Claymont, Delaware about 4 years ago

22. I will always consider myself a Philadelphian

23. I'm 100% Italian

24. And Catholic, of course

25. Not practicing

26. Recovering from 13 years (if you count Kindergarten) of Parochial school

27. I am chubby

28. This bothers me

29. I lost a bunch of weight (60 pounds) a few years ago

30. Gained pretty much all of it back

31. Not happy about it

32. I am currently trying to figure out what's up with that

33. Part of it is that I like food too much

34. Except Indian food (RETCH)

35. But I adore sushi

36. I am a pretty decent cook

37. Well I learned a lot from my grandmom, who was awesome

38. I didn't learn from her as much as I could have

39. Now it's too late

40. I miss her

41. I lost my best friend to a senseless, tragic car accident in July 2005

42. Her name was Kathleen

43. It wasn’t her fault

44. I am still reeling from it

45. I miss her too

46. Terribly

47. Thankfully, both my parents are both still living

48. My dad was, is, and always will be the smartest man I’ve ever known

49. I nicknamed him Highlander because he seems to know everything about everything

50. I am very much like my dad

51. Though I’m not as smart

52. I’m very artistic

53. Yet also quite pragmatic

54. Which is why I declined a scholarship to Moore College of Art

55. My existence totally disproves the left-brain, right-brain theory

56. I majored in History

57. At West Chester University in PA

58. It was ok

59. Currently, I work at a major Philadelphia university

60. It’s ok

61. I’ve been working at this job for over 8 years

62. My boss is a nice man

63. Frustratingly cryptic and frazzled, but a good person

64. At some point in my life, I want a Welsh Corgi

65. To eat

66. Only kidding :-P

67. I like to knit, sew, cross stitch, paint, wallpaper, draw --- basically anything creative

68. I love video games: console, computer, and hand-held

69. I also do face-to-face roleplaying

70. My husband introduced me to that

71. Currently loving Lost, Dexter and old episodes of the X-Files.

72. Mystery Science Theater 3000 was my favorite TV show

73. I own a lot of episodes on VHS and DVD

74. I own a piece of the disassembled Deep 13

75. I hope I didn’t lose it in the move :-(

76. I also loved the TV show Perfect Strangers, much to my husband’s dismay

77. I love animated stuff from Cowboy Bebop to Spongebob Squarepants

78. But especially the work of Hayao Miyazaki

79. I’ve been on e-mail and using the internet since 1993

80. Ebay owes me, big time

81. So does

82. I like stuff

83. I buy a lot of it

84. I can’t ride a bike

85. Or swim

86. I am terrified of drowning

87. I am a Taurus, through and through

88. Slightly mitigated by a Libra rising

89. I do believe that astrological signs say a lot about a person

90. I was born in the year of the rat

91. I am a Democrat

92. I have one nephew who is 16 and a niece (his sister) who is 3 and 1/2.

93. I’ve been to Japan; it was quite an experience.

94. I’d like to go again

95. I’d also like to go to Italy, France, England, and Australia

96. I love movies, especially silly ones

97. No horror movies, please

98. Or Titanic

99. I love the 1980s, particularly that decade’s music

100. There’s nothing like a great cup of coffee and a homemade pizzelle

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Ides of March

Well, today is the Ides of March, and it just so happens that today is the official start of Secret Pal 10! Yay! I heard from my spoiler and she is so nice. I am in Shelby's group, who is also super nice. I contacted my spoilee yesterday, too and that went really well. I am so looking forward to the SP10 exchange. I love buying cool stuff for people (and receiving some 'aint so bad either)!

Today is also my Sophie's birthday. She's 11 years old. Here's my big girl:

Tomorrow we go to settlement for our house in Philly that we're selling. Then it's all over. Mostly. I think. I just want to NOT have to initial 47862 documents in a row ever again. Really, that's all I care about.

We are coming along with settling into our new house. The kitchen is mostly done; I'd say about 85%. Marsha helped me arrange the yarn stash that we could find! It looks really cool! She arranged it by color and did a really super job. Here's a picture that she took of my new knitting/sewing room (which is one of the upstairs bedrooms). Pardon all the crap around:

I later found a few boxes with more yarn, so I added all of that in there. And I found the boxes that contained my knitting books. I arranged all the books alphabetically by title across the bottom 3 cubes. So I need to take an updated photo. (If I can ever find my digital camera, that is.)

I must confess: I haven't done much knitting lately. My sister learned yesterday the she is having a girl. So that will make the knitting plans a lot easier! I find that it is much easier to knit things for baby girls as opposed to baby boys. Anyway, I hope to get back into the knitting soon. This weekend might be a good time because I think we're supposed to have crappy weather. So maybe I can squeeze in a couple of hours of knitting in between emptying boxes!

Anyhow here are a few more pictures of the house, courtesy of Marsha.

Here's another bedroom that we are using for something else: Todd's office.

And this the guest bedroom.

This is the master bedroom and the bathroom attached to the master bedroom.

This is the entryway/foyer.

I'd like to pause here to say how much I freakin' HATE Blogger. I mean can it be any MORE inconvenient and time-consuming to have to continually drag pictures down through the composing window (which is only like 2-inches wide to begin with --- RAGE) to the place where you want them? JEEZ. Hey, um, excuse me, Blogger? Yeah, can someone work on making the "insert photo" button actually work? That'd be nice. K? Thx. Buh bye!

Ok, whew. This is the dining room.

This is me being all fat in the kitchen. Seriously, people, I gotta lose some
weight, STAT.

Here is the living room.

And a close up of Todd dealing with a cat. Looks like Luna, probably.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Catch-up Stuff

Oh, in the name of all sanity, the things that are involved in moving are so complicated! Sorry I haven't been posting much. I've been quite overwhelmed with the stuff of moving. I am almost done painting, thank Christ. I have half a wall left to do in the dining room. I am exhausted!

Likewise, I haven't been doing much knitting, either. Our official move date is March 10. So, hopefully, within a week or so of that day, I will be chugging along again with knitting. I'd love to finish the socks that Pat taught us. I already missed the "gusset" lesson. :-( Plus, that baby blanket for my sister 'aint gonna knit itself.

About 2 weeks ago I broke my self-imposed yarn moratorium and bought some very special 100% linen yarn that was on 65%-off clearance somewhere. I can't even remember which website it was, or else I'd link you guys! It's Louet Euroflax Aberdeen Heathers. Seriously, $18-a-skein yarn for $6.25? I had to buy some. I intend on using it to make a couple of guest hand towels for the bathroom(s) (seeing that my new house now has 2.5 baths)! I got Milkweed (1 skein --- it was all they had), and 3 skeins each of Chamomile, and Lavender. But that's all I bought, I swear it! :-)

OK so I have the Knitting Pattern-A-Day Calendar on my desk at work. Today's pattern is the most disturbingly ugly, eye-assaulting thing I think I've ever seen on this calendar --- and I've been getting this calendar since January 2005. I will say that the quality and integrity of the patterns within this calendar have continually degraded over the last couple of years. Courtesy of my cell phone, so it's a little fuzzy. You'll probably thank me for the fuzziness once you get a gander at this atrocity. To see it with full-on clarity might induce vomiting:

Yeah. I know. Erm...sometimes you gotta say what the fuck? You know? I mean seriously. My God this is BAD. Ok so I don't know what's worse about this: the feathery, yellow collar on this sorry excuse for a garment or the fact that she's wearing it over a long-sleeve, black t-shirt. Or maybe the fact that it's every freakin' color in the universe? Or that because it's a motley, shapeless, flour sack that goes to the knees it is the single most unflattering garment ever designed for the female shape? I can't look at it anymore. What do you think? Discuss.

Oh, yeah, and? That yellow stuff? Yeah it's not just a collar. It's a freakin' HOOD. YES. A. HOOD. So that you have "the added option of pulling [it] over your head to resemble Goldilocks' hair." That's what it says. No, I am not joking. Here's a close-up, if you can handle it:

So, basically, if you want to look like Big Bird wearing something that looks like Walt Disney threw up on you, then your dreams have finally come true.