Monday, December 22, 2008

Knitted Mitts

So I held-off posting this completed knitted item until I actually gave it to the recipient! I did that today and she loved them. I am so thrilled!

These are Super Mario Mushroom Mitts. It's a free pattern that I found on Ravelry from Vickie Howell.

I am really pleased with how they turned out! What a super fast and fun thing to knit! They fit her perfectly, too.





















I decided to go with the red and a green, since the green mushrooms are the most important ones in a Mario game (they are the 1up delights)!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Is It the Time Of Year?



So, I was under the impression that this is "the most wonderful time of the year." At least that's what Andy Williams keeps telling me. LIAR!






What is it about this time of year that makes people...different somehow? I don't know. I try my best to remain static. I really do. However, I often get kind of depressed in December, a feeling that originates around Thanksgiving. And this year, my feelings of frustration, anger, sadness, depression, etc. seem to be more intense or acute than they have usually been in other years. Gee, I wonder why?

Also, lately, I've noticed a change in several people. Subtle things, really. Distant, less patience, less understanding, less compassion, less consideration, and just an overall general ambivalence towards other people's feelings and situations. It's hurty. :-(

I'm trying to press on and just get to next week, when my sister and her family arrive for the holiday. I've been focusing my energy on this visit and the week off I will have to finally decompress a little.

This has been a terrible year for many people, myself included. Here's hoping 2009 is better. Cheers!

In other news: Titus' eye is pretty much back to 100% normal. What a relief. I am nearly done with all my holiday gift knitting, which is also a relief. Now maybe I can get back to all the other stuff that I have put on hold for like a year! My poor mom, I've promised her that knit kimono for like 2 years!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Hat-O-Rama Part I

Here's just 3 of the hats that I have made so far (I made 5, but one was for me and another I used my cell phone to take a picture and I haven't uploaded it yet!)

Ta-da:


Hat for Aubrey. I think it might be a little big for her, but she'll grow into it! This is basically the ear-flap hat pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, but I decided to make it with a point on it! And I braided the tie strings instead of making i-cord. I. hate. i-cords. The yarn is Moda Dea Silk & Wool Blend. I highly recommend it!
















These are Slouchy berets. The pattern is free from Ravelry and it's called "Spring Beret." The person who designed the pattern did hers in cotton, but I think the pattern really looks good using winter-type yarn also! The deep red beret is with some cashmere I got on clearance a long time ago. The light-blue one is in Plymouth Baby Alpaca Worsted. Not the easiest yarn to work with, but the end result is nice! I used this pattern to make a hat for me in that cream cashmere. I will get a picture on here of that at some point!

I am knitting another Simon Tam for Donna (my sister) and then I think I am DONE with hat knitting. I might try to crank out another one just to have on hand as the "emergency" gift.

So that's what I've been up to! Sorry I've been distant from the blog. But this time of year is CRAY-GEE.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Worst Week Ever!

EVER.

For many of you who know me outside of this blog, you probably noticed that I have been withdrawn and moody as of late. This is because Wednesday 11/12 through Thursday 11/20 was quite possibly the WORST time-frame of my entire existence.

Where do I even begin? This going to be the longest post in history.

1) Wednesday 11/12: Well, you all know by now about Mr. Chesterfield. That kicked off the worst week ever in a big, big way. And his passing probably heightened all the sad, negative, angry, etc. feelings that were to come over me for the next seven days.


2) Thursday 11/13: In a meeting with my boss, I laid out a plan for the job goals for 2009 for both me and the department administrative assistant, who reports to me. Part of the plan involved a detailed table that I created which justified giving me a goddamn title promotion. I've been working at my job for nearly 6 years and I have the same title (Program Coordinator), which does not fully reflect all the programming work I actually do here. And I do a lot, believe me. So he was...let's say not very receptive to either of the titles that I proposed (Director of Academic Programming or Assistant Director of Programs), stating that I don't actually "do" any of the program things I outlined, but rather I "make suggestions" and he or someone else actually does it. This is an outright LIE. I. DO. FUCKING. EVERYTHING. And he knows it.

THEN, he has the audacity to say that my job was "to get him to pay attention to things that need to be done." No, sorry, pal. That is most certainly NOT my job. I was not hired to be your personal assistant. And you know what? All the times when I HAVE gone to him to either remind him or get him to move on something, he tells me to do it. SO...WTF?

The be-all, end-all was when he said that the Dean was planning on changing the titles for all people in our college under the Program Coordinator title. You want to know the title? You really don't. But I'll tell you anyway: Department Administrator. This is the WORST fucking title I can think of for someone with my job. It utterly negates ALL the work I do making the schedule of classes, interviewing seniors, advising undergrads, devising programs of study, registering students, etc., etc. Department Administrator sounds like all I do all day is order office supplies and sign travel-reimbursement forms. WRONG.

It goes without saying that my boss thinks this title is SUPER DUPER! Swell.


3) Friday 11/14: More crap. We have a few faculty applying for sabbatical next year. One of them teaches a course that is required for our majors and needs to be offered twice a year. Well, if this person gets sabbatical (which they will), then there is only ONE other faculty member who could possibly teach it. I asked them. They said no, not unless I pay them more. Nice. Way to serve the students, sporto.

Another faculty member told me that they went to a meeting to discuss adding more elective courses to our catalog. This is a great idea. However, one of the professors in the meeting, someone who I've mentioned before on this blog, who is THE biggest douchebag on the planet, pipes up and says, "We need to come up with a way to schedule these courses so that they don't conflict with one another and the students have a better chance of enrolling in them." Um, hello? Yeah, hi. THAT'S MY FUCKING JOB, YOU ASSHOLE. If I could tell you how many times I've tried to explain to this very same person all the reasons why we have to offer certain courses at certain times and during certain terms, it would make your head spin. They just DO NOT get it. Then they turn around and make a comment like that. As fat as I am, I have a hard time accepting that I am COMPLETELY INVISIBLE. No respect, none at all. Infuriating.


4) Friday 11/14 and Monday 11/17: The Fucking Associate Dean (FAD)
I swear to God, this moron has it out for me. Someday I am going to go all South Philly Italian on the FAD, I just know it. And it won't be pretty.

For the last several years, the FAD has been all over my ass about my department not offering enough courses for the students in our Liberal Arts college who are not directly department majors. And FAD picked an AWESOME week to start being a jerkoff about it once again. See, here's the deal: every winter my department has to offer a HUGE number of courses for one particular college---not my college. This has been our scheduling mandate for...let's see... forever. FAD knows this --- or SHOULD know this. Why should FAD know this? Because I've told FAD, oh, about 3947390467676689908040396767675890 x 10 to the 40th power times. That's why. Yet, FAD goes on and on about "we have a responsibility to meet the ever increasing demand of our own students in this college." This is 100% bullshit. I've been MORE than accommodating; they just want everything their way. I've added courses specifically for them in the fall and spring to try to cover this alleged demand. I've released the restriction on a course or 2 in the winter. The cold hard fact remains: the demand just isn't there. How do I know this? Because I did the FAD's fucking job and looked up all the information for myself. I took an hour and a half out of my morning on Friday to run the demand analysis reports for all of the courses in question from last year and this year and the numbers PROVE I AM RIGHT. Last year: There were 630 total seats in the courses. 683 students attempted to register. Well that means that 53 didn't get a seat, poor suckers. Out of ALL 630 students who DID get seats, 7 were students from my college. This is the group of students about which the FAD made our lives a living hell. "OMG BBQ! THE DEMAND!" SEVEN. Oh, but what about the 53 who couldn't get in? Surely those students were all from my college, right? WRONG. Two (2) were from my college. T.W.O. So...where is the demand? So, I'm supposed to open up 630 seats to every student in this college when there are a total of 9 trying to register? Um...NO.

Hey, FAD? EAT A DICK.


5) Monday 11/17: Refinancing my home with some cash-out so I can make some repairs on my SHITTY-ASS HOUSE. OY VEY. This process literally made me break down and cry on Monday. This, compounded with the OTHER stress of Thursday & Friday nearly made me check myself into an institution. It's been the most stressful, time-consuming, aggravating process and it's not done yet. I think we're in the home stretch. Oh God, I hope.


6) Tuesday 11/18: I was home having insulation put into my attic because the second floor of my house was about 12 degrees cooler than the first floor --- one of those many home repairs I just mentioned. But I checked my work e-mail and was greeted with this:

Hi all,
Following up on an idea that I think was suggested at the last faculty meeting, I'm talking to people at tech support this afternoon about setting up a website for the dept majors. I guess my basic goal is to create at least a virtual community that could spill over into the real world... ideally, the students themselves will be the main participants.

Anyway, if any of you have ideas about the kinds of things you think could or should be a part of such a site, I'm glad to hear them.
Among things I'm already considering:

* a "corner" for Gina to convey administrative info
* a way for faculty to post announcements to students about events, jobs, etc., including off-campus events
* maybe some links related to career options for our majors
* a discussion board: I'm not sure if I/we would need to provide the threads, or if students would just start topics themselves (from the practical to the scholarly).
* a forum to help get the honor societies in relevant disciplines advertised and known; likewise for the various essay prizes, fellowships, etc.
* maybe if we can get the students organized enough... even to the point of having elected officers (!), the officers could use the site.

Thanks,

A. Retard

Well, I went ape shit. We already have this. It's called the goddamn departmental website, of which, I am the administrator (unfortunately). Can I tell you have many fucking times I've asked my faculty to give me information for the website? CAN I? Again, I am completely invisible. Whatever I do here, nobody notices or cares. You know what? Someday when I manage to leave this place, then they WILL notice it when it's NOT getting done. At least my boss agreed with me on this. And this was the ONE thing that actually got solved within hell week.

It bears pointing out that the faculty member who sent this e-mail to the department is the very same person who does not want their picture posted on our website or the dates of any of their degrees, or any of their syllabi because he/she is afraid of IDENTITY THEFT. O...k?

I work with freaks, I know.


7) Wednesday 11/19: 9:00 am I get a phone call from a professor in my department. This person is so angry with me that they can barely control themselves on the phone. The problem? I scheduled two of their classes with a 3-hour break in between them. Yeah. "How could you do this to me?! What am I supposed to do for 3 hours???? (I had a couple of truly AWESOME suggestions, but bit my tongue.) This is ridiculous! I haven't had a schedule this terrible in all my years teaching!!"

Sigh. Here's the real issue: every single fucking professor wants to teach 2 days a week at 11:00 am and 1:oo pm. It is IMPOSSIBLE to accommodate everyone teaching at the same time! Where are we supposed to put everyone? We're not the only department in the university. There are a limited number of classrooms available in any given time slot. Also? What about the students? If the majority of classes are offered all on the same days at the same times, what are they supposed to do? This is basic common sense. Why doesn't anyone get this?!? But, of course, no one gives a rat's ass about the students. It's all about "I HAVE TENURE!" They are big fucking babies.

I told the professor that it certainly wasn't personal and that they were NOT the only faculty to have an "extended" break between classes. Their ranting continued and then they hung up on me.

Nice.


8) Wednesday 11/19: The Fucking Associate Dean strikes again.
This one instance could fill a book so I am going to do my best to keep it really brief. Suffice it to say that I missed a meeting that the FAD called about courses for special programs. I hate going to these meetings because at EVERY ONE, the FAD immediately hones in on me and my department and starts stirring up the bullshit. Basically, the FAD makes it look like I don't do my job, the department doesn't know what it's doing, and that we are uncooperative assholes. This is not the case, of course. But FAD obviously enjoys the opportunity to piss me off.

So, I told my boss that I wasn't going to this meeting. I explained my reasoning. After all the nonsense earlier in the week about the winter courses and the OMG WTF BBQ DEMAND DEMAND DEMAND, I just couldn't deal with more bullshit. I told my boss that I was sick and tired of being singled out in a meeting of 20 people and made to feel like an idiot. Plus, after the last few days I was in just the mood to start speaking my mind and that wouldn't have been good for anyone. My boss accepted my decision without hesitation or question.

OK.

Later that afternoon, my boss gets a call from FAD. FAD wants to talk to him. So my boss walks by my office and says, "FAD wants to talk to me. Apparently your absence at that meeting today did not go unnoticed." I just sighed. What-ever. About 20 minutes later my boss comes back and comes into my office and shuts the door. Jesus, this can't be good. He says, "Ok...um...I guess this meeting was really important, I don't know. ...FAD called you 'defiant'. I just shrugged."

O_o. DEFIANT? Because I didn't go to some dumbass meeting? And since when is the FAD my goddamn boss? RAGE. I threw my arms up in the air and said, "SEE?!" First of all, it was never indicated that this was a MANDATORY meeting. Also? I did happen to have a student in my office just at the time the meeting convened. And they take priority anyway. So even if I didn't decide earlier that I wasn't going, I had 2 valid excuses for not attending anyway.

My theory? FAD was still PISSED as hell that I basically did their job with that demand analysis and that I e-mailed the results to both the FAD and my boss. Spreadsheets are a wonderful thing. So, I made FAD look like the incompetent asshole that he/she is, and they wanted retaliation.

Do you fucking believe this? I'm still incredulous.


9) Thursday 11/20: Assistant Dean advising my major. Observe:
AD: I'm talking to so and so, who is a freshman CRAP major in your department and you registered them for CRAP 101-01 in the winter.
ME: ...yeah?
AD: Well there is a time conflict with that course and a foreign-language course they want to take. So can he/she take another section of CRAP 101?
ME: No. Because it's a freshman and a CRAP major, they are required to take THAT CRAP 101-01, in the winter. The course is designed specifically for freshmen CRAP majors.

[THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD NOT BE ADVISING MY STUDENT, ASSHAT.]

AD: But the student really wants to continue with the language....

I really wanted to say, "Yeah? Well I want 100 million dollars and a dozen corgis. BOO FUCKING HOO." I mean this student is a freshman. They JUST entered the university THIS fall. Do we really want them to be all off-track already? They will have plenty of time to take a foreign language, believe me.

ME: Well the only suggestions I can make are: that they either drop the language and take CRAP 101-01 now, like they're supposed to, or keep the language and the student has to wait until next year to take CRAP 101-01.
AD: ...and those are the ONLY options?
ME: Yeah, afraid so.
AD: SIGH. Well I guess I'll give the student those options then.

Yeah, you do that, jerkoff. Better yet, here's an idea: STOP ADVISING MY STUDENTS. I wanted to say, "Look, 'tard. Just send the dumbass up here and I'll take care of this shit." See, nobody wants to say "no." That's the problem. I have no trouble telling an 18-year old, undirected student that they can't have what they THINK they want. UGH.

PLUS I had visits from Iman Idiot this week, the water-delivery people never showed up so we had no water for like 3 days. The imbeciles in the office downstairs use WAAAAAY too much of our water. True, they put some money in our budget to offset the cost. But seriously, one of the people down there comes up to our office 2-3 times a day with what looks like a small crock pot and fills it with water from the cooler. Um...WTF are you doing? This is in addition to all the times the same person comes up to fill their coffee mug or water bottle. I swear, I think that ONE person uses half the water we get in a month, and they don't even work in our department.

Is it any wonder that I had a panic attack in the middle of the night Thursday? I woke up at 3 am convinced I was having a heart attack or possibly a stroke. My left arm hurt, my fingers were tingling and I had pains in my neck so bad that I couldn't turn my head.

The only real highlight of my week?

Stumbling onto this freakin' photo on the Internets:



















Sweet Tap-dancing Christ. He has to have a license to be THAT HOT. DAMN.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gone, But Never Forgotten

My friends, as you can see, I haven't posted in a little while. The last week has been filled with much sadness and aggravation. I don't want to talk about the aggravation part, which I will only say can be mostly attributed to my job and its ever-increasing ability to DESTROY MY SOUL.

I need to talk about the sadness---a sadness so strong that I have been unable to articulate it here for nearly a week. And I'd venture to say that I still can't express it to its fullest depths.






Last Wednesday (11/12) Todd and I had to make the hardest, saddest decision of our lives. We had to have Mr. Chesterfield euthanized.









As you may recall from earlier posts I made over the summer, Mr. C had taken ill---rather mysteriously---sometime in August. He seemed to respond well to the medications and treatments we gave him and appeared to be doing ok all through the month of September and most of October. Sometime just before Halloween I thought that he looked terribly thin. He was not eating as much as usual. He was not nearly as vocal as he used to be. Mr. Chesterfield was a chatty cat, let me tell you! And he still had weird bald patches in his fur, but in different spots than he had before. He also seemed to have a cold and was wheezing. We also noticed that he had rubbed off all the fur on his nose. It was very odd.

However, as is the case with most cats, he never complained or gave us any indication that he was sick or hurting. Sometime in the first week of November we noticed that he wasn't peeing or pooping very much, if at all. His eating declined further. I picked him up one day and it was like picking up a stuffed animal. He felt like he weighed nothing. I could feel his ribcage. I cried that day. We weighed him as best we could and he was about 6.5 pounds. This cat was 12 pounds when we got him a year ago and was a little over 8 pounds when we last brought him to the vet in September.

Something was wrong. We knew we had to take him to the vet, but we were dreading the visit. We loved Mr. C and couldn't face the facts --- he was dying.

For the 3 days before we took him to the vet for his final visit, he ate practically nothing. He couldn't care less about food, water, cat-nip, treats or anything else for which he would normally come running. The only thing he did still enjoy was sitting about an inch away from the mini ceramic heater that we use in the upstairs office in our house. Maybe the concentrated heat on his old bones relieved pain or comforted him in some way. We'll never know.

The day we took him for euthanizing, we tried giving him treats; he refused them. He didn't want anything. We wanted his last moments in his home to be comfortable and the best they could be, so we turned on the heater for him one last time. He stood there, lovely, dignified, with his eyes squinted in delight. Putting him in his carrier after that was quite possibly the most heart-wrenching thing I have ever done.

We got to the vet's office---they knew ahead of time what was to be done---and were met by one of the vet's assistants, Jennifer. She is the sweetest, most considerate, caring, gentle person that you'd ever want to meet. I was immediately comforted that she was there to help attend to Mr. C in his last moments with us. We took him out of the carrier and she weighed him: 6 pounds, 4 ounces. They had placed a thick, navy blue, wool blanket on the exam table for him to lay on. He sat there like nothing was wrong. He was absolutely silent, calm, one paw tucked under and one paw resting out --- it was like nothing I have ever seen.

We waited what seemed like forever for our vet to come in. I think it was about 40 minutes. Todd and I just kept petting Mr. C and rubbing under his chin. We were both shaking, sick with terror at what lay ahead. Our vet came in and she examined Mr. C for herself. She agreed that it was time for him to go. His muscles had atrophied, the infected ulcerations in his mouth were back with a vengeance, and his kidneys were failing him. I believe he had sepsis as well. All the while she poked, prodded, and squeezed Mr. C, he never made a sound or resisted in any way. He remained quiet and peaceful, with his usual dignified expression. He was ready, I believe that now.

We were not.

She gave Mr. C a sedative so that he would fall asleep. And then we held his paws and stroked his head while she administered the lethal injection. As he let out a final little sigh, Mr. Chesterfield's sweet, gentle heart stopped beating forever and he was gone.

I felt like someone cut out my heart and tossed it out in the street. I had to try to hold back the
floodgate of tears I could feel ready to come pouring out of my eyes. Whatever grief I showed at that moment was nothing compared to Todd's. He sobbed uncontrollably. He was inconsolable. I managed to sign the paperwork for Mr. Chesterfield's ashes and we left via the side door. I wept in the car.

Today we're feeling better, mostly. I mean, we know it was the right thing to do. But we miss Mr. Chesterfield terribly, and always will. I know I will never meet another cat like Mr. C. I'll repeat what I've said countless times before: he was the sweetest, loveliest animal anyone could ever want as a pet. He is physically gone from this world, but never from our hearts and minds.

We love you, Mr. Chesterfield.



Monday, November 10, 2008

Hideous Knitting 101

All right, here's the next installment of Hideous Knitting:


At first glance, this looks really pretty. I'm a sucker for a nice feather n' fan pattern and I liked the tied, blousy look. In fact, I almost downloaded this pattern (it's free, a big turn-on for me). But then it hit me: wait, those aren't sleeves. OMG. It's a...cape...with a belt...and the belt goes through the knitting to make totally non-functional, pseudo sleeves. WTF. A cape with a belt. Yes. I know, honey.

Sigh:


WHO DOES THIS? Look at how that evil belt pulls most horrifically on the knitting. I am cringing looking at it. I can feel my blood boiling.

A

CAPE

WITH

A

BELT

&*(#$@^$*&%^*#(@)%^%$#& FUUUUUUUUUUUCK.

Sorry. I just can't stand it.

Ok report card time.

Hideous Knitting 101 report card:
Style: F A. CAPE. WITH. A. BELT. = NO. BAD. WRONG.
Fit: C- As a cape, it's too long, and as a sweater, the "sleeves" are too short. The model wears it well enough. Although, let's see her lift those arms up, huh?
Color(s): C Meh. Boring.
Yarn: C Naturally Caron Spa. 25% bamboo; 75% acrylic. DK weight. I wish the bamboo content were a little higher and that there were more color options; looks like only pastels. However, this yarn comes in 250-yard skeins, so that's a big plus.
Execution: D The feather and fan looks fine, but again, the way the &*$%^@%# belt yanks on the knitting is awful, evil, and cringe-worthy.
Had this been a real sweater, with REAL SLEEVES, it would be absolutely stunning. I feel like this is a cop out to making sleeves. I mean, nothing against capes, (although I don't particularly like them), but if you're making a cape, then you're making a cape. Don't try to make it into some weird-ass, el-fake-o sweater. I am actually, seriously considering revising this pattern so that it has real sleeves. A challenge, def. But I might do it.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Voted.

Did you?

Please VOTE!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Hideous Knitting 101

Introducing a new segment that I will revisit from time to time that I'm calling "Hideous Knitting 101." All examples will be followed by a report card, where each item is graded on the following:

Style: the overall look of the knitted item.
Fit: how well it fits the intended application, not limited to the fit of garments.
Color(s): choice of color(s) or colorway
Yarn: Quality, fiber, and availability of the yarn used for knitted item
Execution: How well the knitted item uses the yarn and represents the skill of knitting.

And here's your first installment:



This trip to seizure town caught my eye the other day on Ravelry. If you click on the picture it will take you to Coats & Clark's free pattern! How delightful. I feel kinda sorry for that Gweneth Paltrow-esque model who had to wear this thing AND be photographed. It's one of the most unflattering knitted garments I've ever laid eyes on and in more ways than one.

Hideous Knitting 101 report card:
Style: D-
Fit: D
Color(s): D
Yarn: C- Moda Dea Sassy Stripes 100% Acrylic; sport weight. (which on the web site says: "100% acrylique," as if Frenchifying it will make it any better).
Execution: C- If you look at the knit samples for this yarn's colorways, they look NOTHING like the nightmare pictured above. I think this is supposed to knit up into a self-striping, fair-isle type of pattern.

Now if we used different yarn, would this be any better? I think only marginally. I'm trying to picture it in a different colorway or in a solid color. But the bad styling and fit is just so overwhelming that I think there's no hope.

Stay tuned for more.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Things I Learned From Living With a Dude For Nearly 10 Years




I thought I'd share some random things I learned from living with Todd for nearly 10 years.

In no particular order:





  1. A dude will put a container containing .0002 fluid ounces of beverage back in the refrigerator.
  2. A dude will call you in another state at 1:00 am to ask you where the ketchup is.
  3. A dude will only flush the toilet if they poop.
  4. With the possible exception of your being completely nude, you look exactly the same to a dude every day, regardless of whether you have a cold, the Bubonic Plague, or are dressed like you are going to the Oscars.
  5. Yes, they really drink straight from the milk carton.
  6. A dude takes 3 times as long as you do in the shower. And a "quick" shower to them is 30 minutes.
  7. A dude who does laundry will put your $75 bra in the same wash with the dishtowels he used to clean up cat vomit.
  8. And they don't read labels.
  9. On anything.
  10. Unless there are scorpions, killer rats, and you are missing a cat or two in the thicket of dust, debris and cat hair, the carpets never need to be vacuumed. I mean, who are we trying to impress?
  11. Want anything done? All you have to do is ask...
  12. ...146 times.
  13. The television is the most important appliance in your home. If that works, nothing else matters.
  14. A dude will call you at work to ask you how to spell things.
  15. If you send a dude to the supermarket, he will invariably come home with the same 6 items: toilet paper, ketchup, Reese's Pieces, tater tots, hot dogs, Diet Mountain Dew.
  16. A dude will show you a rancid, slimy onion and ask if it's still ok to eat.
  17. A dude with a headache = level 5 catastrophe.
  18. A dude with a headache & stomach ache = level 10 catastrophe.
  19. A dude with the Flu = the end of days.
  20. A dude doesn't know the difference between a drape, a blind, a curtain, or a shade. Semantically, it's all "shade." Don't even TRY to further differentiate with words like "valance," and "tension rod." Their brains will change the attention channel to a recent South Park episode.
  21. A dude will stare at a package of frozen french fries and ask you how to cook them. Every time.
  22. A dude never decorates for any holiday; that there is work for the women folk!
  23. You are expected to know where everything is in the entire house all the time, even things you didn't even know you owned.
  24. You are expected to know the exact in-stock quantity of all consumable items in your home at all times.
  25. You are expected to know every exit on every highway, byway, bridge, and back road within 200 miles of your residence.
  26. You slaved for 18 hours in the kitchen preparing Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. Upon seating your sorry ass down to finally eat, a dude will find the ONE ITEM you forgot to put on the table and ask you for it, usually as the first forkful of food you've seen in 24 hours is about 2 centimeters from entering your mouth.


    There is one living exception to most of the items above: my Dad, who does ALL the decorating, makes his own curtains without a sewing machine, cooks Thanksgiving dinner, and bakes pies from scratch. He knows where everything is in the house because he's the person that saves every receipt for every item he's ever purchased since 1965. Hence why I have lovingly nicknamed him "Highlander."

Halloween

One of the funniest things I've ever seen:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Am Angry

I am so angry, I can't even begin to express in words the depth of the emotion. Perhaps it will help to explain why I am angry.

This 2008 Presidential Election.

I am in AWE at the deplorable and despicable depths to which certain political parties will go in order to spread their lies and filth. Every day I see and hear more infuriating claims ---STAGGERING ACCUSATIONS --- about how evil and deceitful Barack Obama is. I am sick of it. I have never in all my 36 years on this planet --- ever--- witnessed such blatant, sickening slander against one person. From the day Obama received the Democratic nomination, McCain's campaign has never been one for McCain, but rather, AGAINST Obama.

You know at one time, I thought it could really be about issues. I did. I couldn't understand why certain people would support the right-wing, conservative opinions of the Republican party, but I could respect the fact that it was their choice to do so. But it's not about issues. It's about the Republican party capitalizing on rampant ignorance, hate, and lies.

I swear to CHRIST if I hear one more person call Obama the "Anti-Christ," "Un-American," or a "domestic terrorist" I am going to go ape-shit insane. You know who really IS a domestic terrorist? The worst one we've ever known? He's sitting in the oval office RIGHT NOW: George W. Bush. He has forced a populace to live in complete and irrational fear --- a state of terror --- since September 11, 2001. We even have a color-coded "Terror-Level" indicator, which is usually locked on orange (one step below "oh-fuck-we're-getting-bombed-right-now" red)! Remember the weapons-of-mass-destruction debacle? And why? Keep the sheep terrified of invisible wolves so that he can make it look like he's fighting the fight against the "enemy" and protecting us when there really is no threat --- all to advance his own political agenda. How's THAT for terrorism?

I suppose I have been entirely too naive to think that in America, in 2008, we've all advanced beyond ass-picking, idiotic, racist fucks. What am I talking about? Shit like this or this or this. Take your pick.

Still, I stand in amazement at Obama's calm, intelligent, rational responses to such vile accusations and lies. They bait him and he doesn't take it. They insult him, question his integrity (SNORT); he won't go there. He's too smart. He really is someone to admire. This is the man I want to be president.

And every racist retard prick who calls him a "Muslim Anti-Christ" should look at how well Obama turns the other cheek. Isn't this the most "Christian" response of all?


Monday, October 27, 2008

The Sweet Smell of Accomplishment

It's a scent that I don't experience all too often, I'm afraid. However, I recently finished TWO knitting projects, both of which I am very proud of!

Ok so remember that scarf for the professor that I told you about a few posts ago? Done! I am really pleased with how it turned out. I hope he likes it too. I mean I don't want to insult him or anything. He's a nice person. So I just hope that my giving him the scarf doesn't send the message: "I think you look ridiculous wearing that crocheted nightmare as a scarf." Although he did give me a freakin' CAN OPENER for Christmas last year. Not kidding. Come on, I couldn't even make that up if I tried. Granted, it's a nice can opener, but still....

Anyhoo, here are some pictures:



Here's a close-up so that you can see the yarn. See all those colors? The depth of color in this yarn is amazing. It looks like Black Watch plaid in yarn form.

I knit this scarf lengthwise. The yarn didn't come with any label of any kind. But it seemed to be aran weight. So I cast on 200 stitches on size 9 needles. I got not quite 4 stitches to the inch. So overall, the scarf is about 52 inches long. The pattern is just out of my head; made to look like 3X3 ribbing. I worked in a purl row in the middle of the garter rows to help prevent curling. It put a knit channel on the WS, thus helping break up the fabric of the knitting on the back, which did help prevent curling. So much so, that I didn't even need to block it. Hallelujah! Here's the "pattern" if you are interested:

CO 200 stitches
row 1: Knit
row 2: Knit
row 3: Knit
row 4: Purl
row 5: Purl
row 6: Knit
row 7: Purl
row 8: Knit

Knit until desired width of scarf. End with row 4. Bind off.

That's it! It was a very fast knit.

Next, there is the Simon Tam. (Firefly fans will know that this is a delightful pun.) So, I made one of these as the donation for KDO back in September. I had used this boucle yarn, which I absolutely DESPISED knitting with. It was a total pain in the ass. But the pattern is sublime. So I made another one. This time I used alpaca yarn from Berrocco. Very nice to work with. I bought tons of Cascade 220 to make several of these hats to give out as Christmas gifts. They are fast to knit, only take one skein of Cascade 220 or any other worsted-weight yarn that comes in 200ish-yard skeins, and look fantastic. My only complaint is that the last 2-3 rows of decreases punch me in my SOUL. But the end result is well worth it! In fact, on this hat, I bagged the last 2 round of decreases because my hands felt like they were coming apart. So I just cinched the top.

Some photos:






Here it is (below) around a dinner plate. I would have modeled it, but I didn't want to frighten anyone.


Now, this hat calls for a tubular cast-on. When I knit the first one, in the awful boucle, I was like "WTF is that? Whatever!" And I just did a regular cast-on. The hat looked fine. At KDO, in one of my classes we actually learned the tubular cast on! Now hear this: the tubular cast-on looks AMAZING. So I did a tubular cast-on for the second tam (the one above). I couldn't seem to find where I put the hand-outs from KDO on doing a tubular cast on, so I went on-line a found a very helpful tutorial here.

Now, the only disappointing thing about that tutorial is that it didn't explain what to do about getting this cast-on done on circular needles in the round. Which is kind of important when you are knitting a hat! So I improvised and came up with a fairly decent method:

With waste yarn, cast on half the stitches, as usual.
Join project yarn. Place marker.
Join in the round and knit 4 rounds. If the cast-on is a little too tight to join, then purl one row first, then place marker and join in the round and knit 3 rounds.
Work the tubular pick-ups as in the instructions.
When done, remove the marker and purl one stitch. Then replace the marker. Turn work so that the RS is facing and then begin K1, P1 ribbing. The cast-on/join stitch is nearly invisible and there is no seam this way.
I started another hat and here's the tubular cast-on I did for it:



Ooh, sexy! Believe it or not, the cast-on/join stitch is in that photo. Can you find it?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thank You, Dishcloth Pal!

I just wanted to post a public thank-you to my All Hallows Eve Dishcloth Pal for the thoughtful box o' goodies that I received yesterday!

Here's a picture of what was inside:

3 skeins of Peaches N' Cream yarn in festive, Halloween colors. 2 fantastic knit dishcloths, which happen to be 2 of my most favorite patterns ever! Lovely scented candles (on the left) in yellow and green. Body wash in a gorgeous, light fragrance. I adore it and can't wait to use it. And lots and lots of super edibles, including a unique candy bar, chocolate-covered pretzels, toffee bars, and those candy Halloween pumpkins that I LOVE. I already ate like 20 of them. D'oh! The little yellow candies you see are just a FEW--- and I mean a meager few---of these cute smiley-faced gumballs that were in the package. I have enough bubblegum to last me until, oh about 2017. Don't believe me? Observe:

See? I don't lie, y'all!

The only thing missing from the package was my pal's identity! The box had a return address in Indianapolis, IN. So I just went to the AHEDE page and went through everyone's blog until I got to somebody from Indianapolis! So, Maria M. I think it's you! Thank you so much for all the treats! I hope your pal treated you well too!

What-ever

My husband just showed me the article on MSN.com about the "Ten Worst Actors on TV today." This was the most bogus article ever. A few people on there I didn't even recognize. However, William Shatner was on there (I think he was 3rd), along with Gillian Anderson AND my man, Matthew Fox (ranked 10th, though). Ok. Didn't Shatner win a freakin' Emmy for his performance in Boston Legal? Am I imagining this? Is Gillian Anderson even ON TV anymore?

The reason they gave for Fox being a terrible actor? The character Jack on Lost is too "weepy." And that they don't understand why Jack seems to be the crux of the show and don't know why there are so many episodes about Jack and "close-up shots" of Jack. First of all, none of this has anything to do with his acting. You don't like the show's direction or the character? Fine. Don't call it bad acting. And also, oh really? You don't KNOW? Are you friggin' BLIND? Must have been a dude that wrote the article....

Because really, acting 'aint what it's about:

HOTNESS

Monday, October 20, 2008

Say It Isn't So!

It's not October 20th already?!?!? JEEZ. There must be some mathematical theorem that is something like: The ratio of increasing age and rate of passing time both increase at n to the power of 1000.

Anyway, I sent my Dishcloth Pal's package out last weekend and she received it on Tuesday. (Thanks, Columbus Day. RAGE.) YAY for when the Post Office works properly! My downstream pal was Grace Y. Grace is a lovely lady who knits the most gorgeous shawls I've ever seen. Check out her blog when you get a chance!

Now that I can, I wanted to post a picture of one of the cloths I knit for Grace. Since she loves red and heart patterns, I didn't want to post any pictures until after she received the package! Try to keep the suspense up! So here it is:


Let's see what else? Oh! Here's a recent picture of my niece, Aubrey. She's so big. If her hair was not still so scarce, she'd look much older:


Now I am feverishly working on all that "holiday" knitting that I want to get done. I intend on knitting a bunch of hats for gifts (mostly for co-workers) and I am more than 1/2 done a scarf for this guy at work. I swear to God, I can't see another winter go by watching him wear that...thing...that he wears as a scarf. First of all, it's CROCHETED. Crochet + man = DOES NOT COMPUTE. Second? It's light blue with a RED border. I don't care if his great-grandmom crocheted it for him. No respectable male (A professor, no less) would be seen wearing that thing for anything other than a GOOD LAUGH. So I am using this fantastic, hand-dyed wool yarn that Nicole got for me when she was in Ireland. It's gorgeous. It's dark green with flecks of brown and blue in it. Perfect for a MANLY scarf. I'll post pictures when it's done.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Is This Better?

I think it's a little better. I think the problem I am also facing is that there are too many choices.
I want to create my own, using pictures of my cats. But I don't have Photoshop and, apparently, that's what you need to do it. Sigh...someday

Hmmm...Do I Like This?

Do you like this? Not sure. At least I know that I have options for the stupid blogger templates. By just choosing a background and using the "Minima" template, you can get some pretty cool looks.

Anyway, I like the arrangement and the modern leaf/vine pattern. But not sure I love the DARK though. It makes the text harder to read. I've never been a fan of reading what is essentially white text on a near-black background.

Feedback? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekly Topic #5- All Hallows Eve Dishcloth Exchange

If you could go anywhere at all to enjoy a wonderful fall vacation - where would you go and why? Somewhere you've been? Somewhere you've heard has amazing fall colors? Somewhere that's LESS fall-like than where you are? Post and tell us about it and then post a comment here to let us know you've posted!

Hmm...this is a tough question for me because there are so many places I'd like to visit. I've always wanted to go to San Francisco. I imagine that fall there must be beautiful. I also want to get to Italy. I'm not really sure what the fall is like there. But I think I would have a wonderful time there, no matter what the season. Lastly, I've been to Japan; spent most of my time there in Tokyo. We went in the summer, though, and it was sweltering and it also rained a lot. I'd like to go back there during the fall and visit an onsen and see some more rural places. I think the fall would be a great time to do it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

If There Were Such Things As Parallel Universes...

I would be married to Jon Stewart in at least one of them:




...And Matthew Fox in about 1000 others:



His hotness dial goes to 11, you know what I'm sayin'?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Weekly Topic #4 - All Hallows Eve Dishcloth Exchange

So, for this week's topic - we have a little quiz. You need NOT get the questions correct for it to count - just post the answers somewhere in a post this week.

Q1: Where did the idea of Jack-O-Lanterns originate?
A) Scotland
B) England
C) Ireland. I'm going with this because it's Jack "O'Lantern." I don't know of anyone else that uses "O'" besides the Irish.
D) Wales

Q2: Halloween is the 2nd most successful commercial Holiday - what's the first?
A) Christmas. Just guessing this one, but it seems like it's the most commercial!
B) Valentine's Day
C) New Year's
D) Easter

Q3: What is the intense fear of Halloween called?
A) Hallowphobia
B) Samhainophobia. I'm pretty sure it's this.
C) Ghostophobia
D) Mortephobia

Q4: The mask worn by Michael Meyers in Halloween (the Movie) was actually a mask of who?
A) Leonard Nimoy
B) William Shatner. This I know for sure! I saw a TV special about it.
C) DeForest Kelly
D) No one - it was an old hockey mask

Q5: In 2004, what was the most popular Halloween Candy?
A) Candy Corn
B) Snickers. Just a guess, again.
C) Dum Dums
D) Milky Way

And finally - tell us what YOUR favorite Halloween Candy is! I'm a Candy Corn person myself - can make me SO sick to my belly, but man I love it! Just the plain old kind though - not the many other flavors and colors there are today!

I love chocolate. And I do love me some candy corn. As for kinds of chocolate? Well, Take 5 bars totally ROCK. I don't know if you've ever tried them, but I highly recommend them.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I Promised You Photos...

...and here they are:

This is the scarf I am knitting for the Red Scarf Project. I should be finished by the time I have to go to knitting tonight and hand it off to the person who will do a group donation (thanks, Ruth)!



Here's a close-up, so you can see the pattern. It's stupid easy; just the way I like things!




Next, here is one of the dishcloths I knit for my Dishcloth Pal! It's one of my favorite patterns (I linked the pattern in the questionnaire): Clover Tweed.



Now the next photos are of the purchases I made at Knitter's Day Out. Surprisingly, I only bought TWO SKEINS of yarn. I know, I amazed myself. But I also bought needles and a t-shirt too. AND. One of the yarn purchases seen below inspired me to buy more skeins of the same colorway so that I could make a Clapotis. I think. Maybe. The yarn is just too gorgeous for socks. Colinette Jitterbug. Yeah. I know. I was in trouble the minute I laid eyes on it. But I did manage to find the other 2 skeins I bought at some yarn shop in Canada for only $14 a skein (as opposed to the $22 I paid for it at KDO. Maybe it's a good thing they only had one skein left! URK.)

The other yarn is a local hand-dyed wool. I purchased this from a different vendor. But again, she only had one skein as well. I see a hat or a small scarf in this. It's the yarn in the back. I just loved those colors.

The picture really does neither skein any justice.




And here are the hand-turned knitting needles I bought. These are size 7. I love the nice sharp points on them!






























And here's a picture of the mini, top-down raglan sweater that I learned to make for a stuffed animal! I chose this bright orange yarn to go onto a funky beanie-baby type frog. I didn't finish the arms, or pick up around the neck to finish that part off, but you can get the idea of how it's supposed to look!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Weekly Topic #3 - All Hallows Eve Dishcloth Exchange

Every holiday has oddball things available to use for decoration, have in the house, or wear - some things are stranger than others. What's the oddest/strangest/weirdest Halloween decoration you have ever gotten for your home? Or, if you've never had a "wow, did I REALLY buy that?!" moment - what's the strangest Halloween decoration you've seen somewhere else?

Well, to me 75% of the Halloween decorations out there are super bizarre. In particular, I really dislike the horror/dismemberment/blood & guts type of Halloween decorations. It makes me wonder why people purchase these things to DECORATE their living spaces. I just don't see the appeal of skulls with eyeballs hanging out of them, or chainsaws, replete with a generous helping of fake blood and body parts, or life-size cardboard cut-outs of Freddy Kreuger or Jason Vorhees, or Michael Myers. Anyway, one example I can think of: I saw in a drug store (like a CVS or Walgreens), this "bowl," which was supposed to be a "have the kids take the candy for themselves when they trick-or-treat" type of thing. Except...attached to the bowl at one end was a dismembered hand, nice and bloody, bone sticking out the back. And whenever anyone got within 12 inches of the thing, the hand would spring down and sort of slap/grab you. How delightful for the 6-year old who wants a Kit-Kat. :-/

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Speaking of Halloween...

I've never been a huge fan. However, I like to get in the spirit as much as the next person. And who doesn't like the copious amounts of chocolate that this holiday invariably brings?

So I saw this free pattern today on Ravelry and thought I'd share---Dishcloth Pal folks especially, because it's part of our theme for this go-round of the swap. This link will take you directly to the PDF.

I really want to make one of these. This is the cutest trick-or-treat bag I've ever seen. I have a niece who's only 13 months old. But this would be a great, use-until-I'm-14-and-hopefully-too-embarrassed-to-be-seen-trick-or-treating bag. Probably is cheap to make too! KnitPicks Wool of the Andes is only $2 a skein. So you could use 2 strands held together and that would cost about $12 to make. Not bad! If they have the colors, that is....

Monday, September 22, 2008

Knitters' Day Out 2008: A Reflection

First of all, let me get this out of the way:

The Clapotis. 50% of the people there had on one of these, which I presume that they made. Fine. It's a lovely pattern and I like the way it looks. ( I even bought some yarn to make one for myself at some point.)

But...I think if I ever hear ONE more person pronounce it as a Clah-poh-TEE, I think I will punch them. Look people, I realize that it was designed by a woman who (at the time she designed it) lived in France, but COME ON. I am not a anti-cultural slob, either. And I've taken advanced French language courses too. I KNOW it's supposed to be Clah-poh-TEE. But we don't all go around pronouncing hors d'oeuvres the way it's supposed to be pronounced, now do we? I suppose we could use the English translation and call it that. But "lapping water" just doesn't have the same appeal.

Clah-PAH-dis. Ok? Pretend it's Greek instead.

Moving on...

Aside from the Clapotis annoyance, Knitters' Day Out 2008 (KDO) was great. This was the first time I ever made it to KDO. Saturday was gorgeous weather. Sunny and cool.

My friend Marsha did all the driving, and it was four of us from our ad-hoc knitting group that attended (Marsha, Beth, Debbie, and me). Marsha and I took the same classes, which are done in 2 three-hour sessions: one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

For our morning class, Marsha and I had:
Custom Fit Raglan
Carla Sturgis
Intermediate
In this class you will learn to take measurements and fit them into an
equation to create the "custom fit raglan" sweater in the size you desire
knitted from the top down. Prerequisites: Measure accurately and read &
comprehend instructions; previous use of double pointed needles a plus.
Materials fee: $8.00 payable to instructor in class; includes yarn &
handouts.
We learned to measure and knit a raglan sweater from the top-down.

And in the afternoon we had:
Advanced Finishing
Margaret Fisher
Advanced
This class is for those who wish to go beyond the basics. It covers a
variety of finishing topics: the tubular cast on and bind off, provisional
cast on, working short rows, grafting, and duplicate stitch. Learn and
practice a potpourri of useful techniques to advance your knitting and
finishing skills.


I enjoyed both classes, but I must admit that the afternoon class was really an intense learning experience. That tubular cast-on is like a dream come true. It's not easy, but the end result looks A-MAY-ZING. I think the next hat I cast on will use this method.

Then there was the shopping! In one of the larger conference hall areas, local yarn shops set up tables to sell their wares. I got some lovely yarn (pictures forthcoming) and I bought the "magic loop" booklet to learn how to knit socks on one long circular. I also bought some hand-turned wood needles in size 7. They are quite beautiful!

Weekly Topic #2 for All Hallows Eve Dishcloth Exchange

So here's this week's topic:

Here in Atlanta, it's finally cooling down, and beginning to truly seem like fall. I sit now with windows open, and the air is cooler than usual, and trees are beginning to change. For me, cool mornings, crisp evenings, and trees in red, gold and orange glory are the very best parts of Fall - What are your favorite parts of fall? How do you know it's truly arrived where you are?


Well, it's still kinda hot up here in Delaware, believe it or not! This week will be in the high 70s, temperature-wise. ACK. But I love that first really crisp fall morning. I love being able to put on a sweater and jeans everyday. This weekend was a mini preview of that, as Saturday morning it was a chilly 50 degrees up in my neck of the woods (we left at 6:30 am to go to KDO; will post about that soon). It was great---short-lived, but great!

The other thing I love about fall is school supplies. No seriously. I love the smell of school supplies and stationery. There is just something about the scent of new pencils and crayons and copybooks, etc. When I was a kid in school and we'd go to like the K-Mart, I'd make a run for the stationery section of the store and ooh and aah all over the packs of pens and markers and erasers...sigh...I miss my Trapper Keeper :-(.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Arrr, Maties! It Be Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Shiver me timbers, it be talk like a pirate day! Aye, I be celebratin' in me own way, on this here blargh...er glob...er whatever ye land lubbers call yer new fangled contraptions....

So put yer eyeball on these here websites and enjoy: http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html
http://romancereaderatheart.com/history/bonneyread/bonneyread.html
http://www.talklikeapirateday.com/wordpress/

ARR! I be SO SURE Anne Bonny looked like this here lass....




Yarr! And in honor 'o this special day, I fed me felines vittels called "Sea Captain's Choice." I told them, "Eat up, me hearties, or else you'll be walkin' the plank!" I considered dressin' the beasts up like this, but I be not ready to give meself up to Davy Jones' Locker yet!

Aye, and if ye scalliwags 'aint got nuttin' better to do wit yer time, I recommend to you this addictin' card game.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Oh Yeah...KNITTING

So despite the lack of photographic proof on this blog that would indicate such, I have been knitting --- a lot, actually!

First of all, I finished my Steam scarf! WOO! I had started this back in January. A knitting friend of mine (Elizabeth) found the pattern online and shared it with me and my other knitting buddies. It looks great on paper. But, when you see it knit-up in person. WOW. It just is amazing to see in the flesh (or in the yarn?). What I like best about this pattern is that it's ALL cables. It's total cable-on-cable-on-cable action! A menage a trois...but with cables. There's no space between them. That's part of what I don't like about cable, that weird, flat area between the cables. I think too much, I know.

Anyway, to knit it, I used this absolutely luxurious but affordable (for reals!) 100% cashmere yarn that I got from Cashmeres by Kate (an ebay store) in an ivory/cream color. I just cannot say enough about this yarn except GO GET SOME. It feels gorgeous and has an incredible luster. It seems to glow from within. Here's a couple of photos:




Now I am trying to find the perfect hat pattern to match. I might try to go out on a limb and create a pattern based on the Steam pattern for a hat. A lot of work, but it might be worth it!

Also, I have just finished a Simon Tam (yes, that's the name of the pattern--it rocketh!) to give as my "hat donation" for Knitter's Day Out (KDO). What's Knitter's Day Out? You can read all about it here. So it's this weekend. And I am really looking forward to it! It turned out really nicely, despite using crazy-ass yarn that I hated (Wool in the Woods Pizazz). Here are a few pictures:



It might look a little small on me, but that's ok because I think the hats are meant for kids anyway.

I like the pattern so much, I bought lots of more-suitable yarn to make a bunch of these to give as gifts for Christmas. They knit up really quickly!

Now I am knitting up a scarf for the Red Scarf Project. This is one of those things that you always mean to do and want to do, but you just never get to budget the time for it, and then suddenly it's too late you feel all bad for having pushed it onto the back burner of your life, you know? Yeah. So I buckled down and got this awesome yarn and cast on the other night. I am using Rowan Plaid yarn in the Hearty colorway, which I got UBER CHEAP at Smiley's. I think it was $2.99 a ball! It's a very nice yarn to knit with.

The pattern I chose is one that I actually printed out like 4 years ago when I had just learned to knit. Simple, yet visually interesting. It's a quick knit and it looks really nice with the Rowan Plaid yarn.

What else? I am knitting a Dream Swatch Head Wrap. I'm using the bamboo yarn that my Dishcloth Pal gave me from the last go-round! Lovely stuff to work with. So soft and smooth! I'll try to get a picture of this in-production too. Oh, and I cast on another pair of socks. This time, I am trying it cuff down. The first two pairs that I knit were toe-up. So far, I like the toe-up process better, but we shall see when the time comes to turn that heel....

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekly Topic #1 for All Hallows Eve Dishcloth Exchange

Check out the blog of one person you DO NOT KNOW yet who is participating in this round of the swap, and then post on your site linking to their blog and sharing a little something about them - perhaps you two share a love for wooden needles, or are both first-time swappers! Or perhaps you're both into Pumpkins over Witches for Halloween time! Just a quick blurb, but take a look around their blog and get to know someone new! It's nice to leave a comment when you're there, too - we all love some comment love.

I chose Joann P. over at Cape Sox Knitter, mostly because of her answer to question #5 on the questionnaire!

"
5. I love "stuff". I have all sorts of notions. I love to try out new things. I am also a "bag addict". I buy new project bags all the time. Just can't help myself!"

This oh so totally, utterly like me! I am constantly picking up unique, new notions and just...stuff...for knitting! I am addicted! And also, I have about 5787903465 different bags for kitting. Just like Joann, I am always grabbing a new, funky project bag somewhere!

The other reason I chose Joann is for her love of cotton yarns. And boy has she tried a bunch! But what stood out to me was the Plymouth Fantasy Naturale. Oh man, I LURVE me some Fantasy Naturale. It's a super duper cotton yarn. It's mercerized and a little heavier than the generic "Sugar N' Cream" yarns. It's soooo smooth.

The best thing to make with this yarn is the Fantasy Naturale Market Bag. I've made about 6 of these. LOL It's a free pattern from Plymouth. Here it is.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

All Hallows Eve Dishcloth Exchange Questionnaire


1. Do you knit or crochet? For how long?

I primarily knit. I've been doing it for a little over 4 years now. I can crochet, but I'm not very good at it because I don't do more than a crochet chain every once in a while! It's something I hope to work on in the future.


2. What sort of needles or hooks do you enjoy using the most? Are there some you've been dying to try out and haven't?

I like using Bryspun straights and Addi Turbo circulars. I'd like to try the KnitPicks Harmony wooden ones.


3. What kind of projects do you most enjoy? Small things you can take with you, or big complex ones that are just gorgeous when they're done?

I think I like smaller projects where I can get "instant" gratification, if there is such a thing in knitting! Things like scarves, hats, dishcloths, baby sweaters ---bath mitts are my absolute favorites! I tend to lose steam on the bigger tasks.


4. List one pattern for a dishcloth that you love to make, or just tell us about one you've made or received that you loved.

I absolutely love this pattern: http://www.jimsyldesign.com/dishbout/kpatterns/lacymockcable.html

And I love this one too: http://skullcharms.blogspot.com/2008/06/free-pattern-clover-tweed-dishcloth.html


5. What are your 'must have' notions? Are there any notions you need or can never have enough of? Any that might make you cry if you owned more?

Must haves: dangle-free stitch markers. I don't know how I ever lived without them. I have recently found the need for stitch holders and I have precious few of them right now! I think I lost a couple :(. Too much of anything is never too much! :-) I am happy to receive any kind of notions.


6. What are your favorite yarns to work with? Any you hate or are allergic to?

I love merino wool, cotton, alpaca, & bamboo. I don't mind acrylic if it's mixed with something (cotton/acrylic blends are actually really nice)! I'm not a fan of mohair or any of the furry, eyelash, ladder, novelty stuff. Also, I don't really care for "thick & thin" wool yarn. I find it very difficult to knit with.


7. What colors do you like to use in projects? Any we'd never catch on your needles?

Here's my short answer about colors: Anything but teal.

To elaborate: I like lots of colors! Really, it's more like what colors don't like me! For instance, I love yellow and orange, but they look hideous on me. They are great colors for dishcloths, though and for accessories. I like heathered, natural colors the best. I'm fond of plum, green, all kinds of blues, grays, terracotta, coral, purple, red, taupe, browns and mocha. Nearing the bottom of my list are pastels. Not a huge fan of burgundy either. And --- to reiterate --- I hate, hate, hate teal. Teal should be obliterated from all human existence.


8. Any cottons you'd like to try you can't find by you, or just haven't gotten around to getting?

I've tried tons of cottons and I enjoy them all. Cotton is just such a nice fiber to work with. Always fresh and crisp. I will say that I prefer worsted-weight cottons to the bulky-weight ones.


9. Do you like to use bar soap or shower gel more? What kinds of scents do you love? What kind do you hate?

I generally gravitate towards shower gel, but I'd love any fancy-schmancy soap! Scents: fruits (particularly pear and citrus), green tea, oatmeal & honey, cucumber, lavender. Bascially, fresh and natural scents. I absolutely CANNOT STAND patchouli and I'm not really a big fan of cinnamon all by itself.


10. What's more 'Halloweeny' - Ghosts, Pumpkins, or Witches?

I gotta go with Pumpkins. :-D


11. What's your favorite Treat to get? Sweet or Salty? Anything you're allergic to or just hate?

Oh, bring it ALL, baby! No Twizzlers, though. YUCK. Chocolate, of course, is the BEST. Love me a chocolate-covered marshmallow or pretzel. Fudge is awesome. I love pistachios too. Look, if it's high in calories and fat, I'll probably like it. ;-) Since this is Halloween-themed, I thought I'd mention that I love candy corn and those small pumpkin-shaped candies (which essentially taste like candy corn). YUM.


12. What was your favorite Halloween Costume as a kid? As an adult??

As a kid, hmmm...let's see...my grandmom would always put together neat costumes for us. But one year, when I was about 12, I ventured into the world of costume-making on my own and came up with a pretty convincing Charlie Chaplin. I'd have to say that is my favorite. I can't even remember the last time I dressed up in a costume as an adult, so that is an unanswerable question for me!


13. Are you on Ravelry? What's your ID?

Yes'm! Id is: mirthful


14. Anything else you'd like to be sure your pal knows?

Well, look upon my blog for 5 seconds and you'll probably figure all this out anyway but:
I am a cat freak. I have 6 of them. They are my furry children.
I am a huge fan of MST3K.
I love to collect little hand-sewn, stuffy animals or little carved wood ones or little ceramic ones. I am a video-game geek and just a gamer geek in general.
I think that's about it!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

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Todd nesting at Winterthur:

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

STABBITY

A real email conversation between me and the Assistant Dean of my college (who, apparently, put the "ASS" in assistant):

From: Assistant Dean of Jackassery
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 12:10 PM
To: Waters,Gina
Subject: FW: Course entry request
Importance: High

Gina ~ please approve and forward this closed course entry request to the RO…thank you. [RO is the Registrar's Office]


From: Waters,Gina
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 12:26 PM
To: Assistant Dean of Jackassery
Subject: RE: Course entry request

Hi, Asstard:

Is the student graduating at the end of the Fall? I need to know this. Also I need the closed-course entry form from the student's adviser.

Thanks,
Gina


From: Assistant Dean of Jackassery
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 12:27 PM
To: Waters,Gina
Subject: FW: Course entry request

It is a student athlete.


From: Waters,Gina
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 12:30 PM
To:
Assistant Dean of Jackassery
Subject: FW: Course entry request

Hi Douchebag:

Oh ok, well that needs to be on the form or the RO will deny it. Also, I need the student's adviser to send me the form.

Thanks,
Gina



From: Assistant Dean of Jackassery
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 12:30 PM
To: Waters,Gina
Subject: FW: Course entry request

I sent you the form…RO will accept.



The student in question is an EDUC major. The Dean in the correspondence above is in the LIBERAL ARTS college, NOT the college of Education. Also? The Assistant Dean has been at his/her job for more years than I have been in my job, which is working towards 6. So...HE/SHE SHOULD KNOW BETTER.

Ok so WTF? Is this person retarded or just being a total douche?

I KNOW YOU SENT ME THE FORM. I HAVE EYES. I SEE THE ATTACHMENT. I need the student's ADVISER to send it to me. NOT YOU. GET IT? The ADVISER sends the forms to me for approval for their students, NOT some RANDOM ASSISTANT DEAN FROM A TOTALLY UNRELATED COLLEGE.

I didn't even bother writing back. I'm not approving it. As far as I am concerned, I need the form from the student's adviser. Period. Nobody cuts me a break, so fuck you.

And while I am off and ranting...WTF is so special (other than that they have 2nd-grade reading- comprehension levels) about student athletes? They get to have everything they want at the drop of a hat. Sorry. Gramma Waters don't play dat. Y'dig?