Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Off!

Way back when we were first mapping out days off in our department, I picked this Friday due to the scheduled 2-week audit we were going to have in the weeks prior. Fortunately, the audit only lasted one week, but due to the craziness of Represent and Anniversary, I could use a three-day weekend, and my house once again is a mess. Mounds of laundry, unopened mail, and some old milk and a bottle of Triple Sec stand solitary in the fridge. Yup. I'm no Martha Stewart, but our house is starting to resemble Jake's house in Sixteen Candles when he finds Farmer Ted imprisoned in the coffee table and a pizza on the record player.

And so, after some extra wonderful hours of sleep with the cats this morning, I'm finally up and ready to do things at my own pace. Nice.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Eleven Years as a Weismann...

Yup. Eleven years. And he ain't been murdered yet.

Joe and I spent a wonderful yet exhausting weekend in New York City celebrating our 11th year as husband and wife. Here's but a taste of what we did/saw. Will upload more later. Plus, for you yarny folks, I have my booty from the Represent night, as well as the yarn purchased from the weekend.

This was a wonderful Mexican place on the Upper East Side, Sabor a Mexico. I have read some negative reviews, but I have no idea where they might have been eating. This place rocked. Joe had soft tacos of chorizo and pork, and I had enchiladas of seasonal veggies and cheese. Great Mexican beers (no margaritas, claro que no!), great service, and wonderful place.

MUCH later that night, we went to see Pirates of Penzance at the City Opera. I've loved me some Pirates, ever since I first saw Rex Smith and Kevin Kline in cheezy movie-of-the-week costumes. But MAN this was a great show. View the photo gallery of comments on the Opera Nazi.

Sunday afternoon we saw Spamalot. Yes. Spamalot. I highly recommend it for any Python lovers. The marquis reads, "Cows, Coconuts, Killer Rabbits, Witches (too expensive), and French People." What's not to love?!? More theater nazis in the photo gallery notes.

I'm too sleepy (and still recovering from Represent and Anniversary Weekend) to upload all the pics, but needless to say it was a grand time.

For you yarn addicts (and you know who you are)...

I got this at The Yarn Connection on Represent Day...several balls for a groovy new hat, and others for some headbands/who knows what. I have a problem when I go into yarn stores and don't know what I want to do...I just grab what feels and looks good.

Here's what I got at shop on the Upper East Side. I loved the selection but detested the ladies. If I weren't on such a yarn high, I would have totally left the building. But it was the only shop in our general area. I will certainly name the shop in the photo gallery, but in all honesty they DID have a great selection. I just have oh-so-many stories about their snootiness. Photo taken in the chair of our hotel with guide book.

More later. Too tired now.

Friday, March 23, 2007

...And Now for the Money Shots...

Holy Cow! It's Guido! And we're making "Fear Me And My Pointy Sticks" Fists! :)

Wonderful knitters were out full force. On the left was a lady from Rhinebeck, on the right was my dear friend for the evening, Meghan, and the lady sitting down was fixing something fair-aisled.
It's these random knitting shots I just L-O-V-E. Like when we all go to The Great Beyond? If we've been good? It'll look just like this...

Meghan's ultra-cool socks AND shoes. She has an open invitation to come visit, especially since she and her man want to fix up an older house in the country. Heh. We'll take care of that... ;)

Knitters, waiting in line. Mind you, this is OVER AN HOUR before the "show."

There was some pre-seating, but there was space for everyone.

The goodness in my lap. Okay, totally wrong way to say that...everyone got a bag that included yarn and needles for knitting a Warm Up America square.

Random over-the-head shot of knittas behind us. I love how they're all just gettin' busy. America, prepare to Warm Up!

This is a (very bad) picture of The Harlot with flash. I just love the audience member applauding with knitting-in-hand.

The Harlot without flash. Sorry I didn't get a brilliant picture of the Bohus. She's just too darned spunky and fun to stand still long enough for my crappy camera to deal with it. Actually, I think she's taking a picture of us and THE SOCK below.

The Harlot, speaking, keeping us knitting and laughing and crying and cheering.

Hey - who's this I see? Could it be...Jayme-the-wonder-publicist???

What I brought back with me - I wasn't done with my square yet. I'm a slow knitter...also got the book and...
Some kickass buttons.

I'm normally not much of a doer. I do my thing, attend the occasional music festival, but otherwise lay low. To all Knitters out there - if the Harlot is anywhere NEAR your area/state/region...You. Must. Go.

Thanks to everyone who made this evening SPECTACULARRRRRR.

Pre-Harlot Goodness... segregate the ME photos from the REPRESENT pics...

This is how I began my journey - at the Beacon MTA station. Not a bad view, though...

Followed my anal-retentive directions to get to the nearest yarn shop (that was on the way to a pub)...

The Yarn Connection, while difficult to find, was quite a delight. The ladies were friendly, the selection was amazing, and I came away with some very yummy items. I just wish I knew what wireless coffee soda was...badump-BUMP.

Ah, yes. The Gingerman. The stuff of legend with Joe and his buddy Russ. Here, a pint of Captain Lawrence Imperial IPA makes nice with my beer sock-in-progress. I just wish I'd known it was 8% ABV before I drank another pint. But that's another story...

The famous Stout pub. Alas, I could not get in - the bar was packed (at 4pm on a Thursday???), and the dining room didn't open until 5. A good thing, though, since at that point I didn't realize how much I needed to NOT drink at that point. On to the YarnHarloty Goodness...

Let's Get This Outta The Way...

But first - one easy WIP that I finally finished - the Knitty Gritty Rasta Hat, as modeled by my dearest Joe...

...and now by me. Don't ask me why my chin is doing that thing. I really don't have a pointy chin. Really. The yarn was purchased at the Union Square Green Market about a year ago during a visit with my dear Snarky friend.

I tried it twice as a scarf, but it really wasn't meant to be anything but a hat. Obviously.

The following photo shows: (Foot of snow + Days of warm weather) x Tin Porch Roof = ice slideage.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Preppin' for Representin'...

Cell phone charged?

iPod located, updated, and charged?

Camera with 2 sets of backup batteries?

Three socks-in-progress, notes, and knitting accessories carefully tucked away in bag?

Cash, train schedule, maps, phone numbers?

Handknitted socks on feet, with gloves, hat, and scarf ready to go?

Counting down every slowass moment before I can hop into my car and zip over to the train station?

I do believe I'm ready to represent.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Trying to get Back to Normal

A few updates:

The Thin Mint Cheesecake recipe is here. I highly recommend it. The cheesecake itself isn't minty (just the crust and YUM! Andes candies and Thin Mints in the batter), so it's not overwhelming. I added green food coloring to the batter (since it was for St. Patrick's Day), and it turned out really nice. I don't want to know how many WW points it was.

Speaking of St. Pat's day, we spent it with our Irish friends, the Connors. All the goodness - corned beef, cabbage, ham, lots of beer, Irish whiskey, Bailey's, games, and staying up until 4:30am. Let's just say things were a bit rough on Sunday, but it wasn't anything a good nap and some greasy fast food didn't cure.

While we were out, the kitties caught mousie #03-2007. No pics due to violence involved. I guess a couple of the kitties played tug-of-war. Ick. Just what you want to face when you're hungover.

If all goes well, I'm going to be here Thursday evening. I'm totally stoked. I just haven't heard from my boss whether or not I can have a few hours off. I hope I hope I hope!

On-and-Off-the-Needles updates to be added to the sidebar - just haven't been able to get that together yet. Also need to add some buttons that I lost in the big conversion of layouts a while back.

That's about it for now - better get back to work!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Finally Rolling Out of Bed... 11am. After a week-long audit and a craptastic drive home in this -

I treated myself to a goodly bit of wine last night while I made a Thin Mint Cheesecake for St. Pat's dinner at our friends' house. Moving just a wee bit slow this morning. It's also helpful that the outdoors aren't presenting a very attractive pull for my attention...

...and so I rolled around in bed, catching up with old episodes of Supernatural. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki can wake me up any day. Mrrrrow.

I'll eventually have to be productive, shower, and shovel. But for now, it's just me and my coffee.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Rest In Peace, #02-2007

Ah, yes...complain about no pictures, then something nice and picture-worthy happens…

We live in an old house. Old houses have many, many issues – one of which is “settling.” Our main house was built in 1871, and as best we can guess the back addition was built about 50 years later, with our laundry room extension not too long after that. Different parts of the house have settled differently over time, leaving gaps where walls and floor meet in some places. Our foundation work halted the extreme settling, but we still have to work on cleaning up all of the inside issues - cracked drywall, baseboards, and such.

In addition, we have a completely dirt basement. The stone foundation (reinforced with concrete and rebar now, thank you very much) stops about shoulder height if you’re standing in the basement – everything else is dirt. You’re in a big dirt hole. The only things down there are shelves we don’t use, beer that we’re aging, the furnace, the water heater, and spiders. Lots of spiders. I’m still not convinced that no one is buried down there (it has the creepy one-lightbulb-in-the-middle-of-the-room-horror-movie-lighting), and if you can get past the insulation we’ve shoved in different places, you’ll get a peek at our groundhog’s den.

So it comes as no surprise that a house with gaps over a dirty hole in the earth should have critters once in a while.

My first experience was right after we moved – it was the summer of 2001, and I hadn’t yet found a job. I was enjoying my domestic lifestyle and was happily doing laundry, when I turned around to find a little gray mouse on top of the laundry door frame, pretty freaked out and just staring at me. I pride myself in not being girly, but I went EEEEK and ran out of the room, called my husband, then hung my head in shame as he laughed at me.

I pulled myself together, went back in the laundry room, and the little fellow was still there. Hmmm. How to get a mouse off the door. I know – I’ll just knock him off the ledge, into the bathroom trash can, then take him outside.

That’s when I learned the little boogers can jump.

Picture it – me, trying to keep a mouse no bigger than my thumb in a trash can by waving the can around, banging the mouse against the sides, throwing off his trajectory enough until I could get him outside. But I did it, the dizzy mouse scampered away, and I was a happy girl once again.

In later mouse episodes (and yes, there have been a few over the years), I have gone from covering them with tupperware bowls to grabbing them with my hands. Yes, I know, vermin-germs-filthy-nasty – whatevs. They’re little mice. You catch them. You wash your hands really well. Plus, I know they don’t live in the house. How do I know, you ask?

Because we have cats. Four large, scary cats – who, after the first couple of run-ins with mice, dusted off their natural instincts and became Protectors of the Home. They don’t eat them – they don’t even mean to kill them. They just want to PLAY. Once, Otis and Dobby were PLAYING with one and pushed it off the top step, onto the hardwood floor 10 feet below. They ran down, looked at it, pawed it, then looked at me as if to say, “Sorry Mom – I broke it.”

When a poor, unsuspecting mouse finds its way into the house, all of the cats hone in on the rustling and don’t leave their post until it ends badly for the critter. We get a few each year – mainly when some drastic weather changes are in the air (like yesterday was almost 70 degrees, and tomorrow we’re getting snow) and they go looking for warmth or food. Then they find that they’ve ended up in a special Mouse Hell from which there is no escape.

So this morning, I realized something was amiss when none of the cats were in bed with me. Chilly morning + no cats in bed = something has their attention. Then I heard the jingle of Otis’s collar as he and Dobby were playing outside the bedroom door.

Wait a sec. Otis hates Dobby. Goddammit.

Turn on light – see cats look up, and notice the little gray something in Otis’s mouth.

“Dammit, Otis – why’d you have to bring him up here???”

Otis (with muffled speech): “But Mom – aren’t you proud of me? I’m King of the Jungle!”

Dobby: “Hey – I helped, dude!”

And thus begins my morning. Waking up to the 2nd mouse of 2007 (the first one was in January).

I bet everyone wants to come visit now, eh?

EDITED TO ADD: That's a fist-full of Kleenex upon which the poor guy is finally resting. Not sheets, as it appears in my hastily-cropped sickos...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bear with me...

Yes, I know, I know, I've been the totally rude Porch Mistress lately. But there are reasons, I swear! First of all, we're being audited this week (at work, I mean). So at the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is type or stare at a PC. And I've been so busy at work, I haven't even been able to do non-work things online during the day. Oh, the horror!

Secondly, I've been getting ready for tonight's meeting in the Village concerning our Comprehensive Plan. Yes, alas I cannot say no to our officials, and not only am I on the Planning Board but this CP Committee as well. I love our village. I love the people, the homes, the businesses...everything. And I inherited enough of Dad to get involved and make sure Montgomery can grow into something even more beautiful. We had our first public input meeting tonight, and it went very well. It warms my heart to know that others feel this way - whether they've lived here for generations or for just a few years, like myself. Sure, there are a lot of uncomfortable moments when politics and personal feuds get in the way. But having grown up 20 minutes from just about everything (although I really did love growing up that way, Mom!), it tickles me to death that I can walk to...5 delis, 2 coffee shops, 1 bakery, 1 pub, 1 martini bar, 5 top-notch restaurants, 4 pizza places, 1 liquor store, 1 grocery store, antique shops up the wazoo, the post office, the Village Hall, all of the get my drift. I love the Village of Montgomery. Please come up and visit sometime so I can show it off! :)

And because I've been pictureless lately, I leave you with something I totally scammed from my Angry Noodle friends...May you and yours have a happy, peaceful day - I promise more updates (esp knitting) very soon.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I Just Might Be Insane...

Because I think I'm going to do this...

Yup. Ride a bike. With other people. For 30 miles.

Most of the other folks at my company are going for the 60+ miles, and I'm not that loopy. But I'm thinking...just THINKING...that I might be able to train for 30 miles decently between now and July. Plus, it would certainly kickstart my WW motivation and progress.

Any thoughts?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Two Random Conversations Today...

Me: "Does my hair look funny after being in the hat?"
Joe: "No, but your lips look funny after being in the red wine."

Joe: "Beth! BETH!!!!"
Beth: "I'm in the bathroom! What is it?"
Joe: "I have head! I HAVE HEAD!!!"
(This after opening a bottle of the dreaded flat hazelnut porter - which is evidently flat no more.)

Just another fun day at the Weismann home. :)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Finally - SOMEbody Said It...

I'm a Georgia girl. I'm proud of that. I don't have an accent - I never did. Just a thing. But I'm proud of being from Georgia, because that shaped my life. It still does. We had snow. We had ice. We had tornadoes. We had a high crime rate. We didn't sit around in a bubble of nice people with a slow twang. That being said...

...for all the times my New Yorker coworkers felt sorry for "that southern girl" having to drive in the snow (uh, hello? it's not ME I doubt - it's you crazy soccer moms going 60mph over icy back roads with a cell phone to your ear - illegal in NY, I might add)...

...for all the times I didn't pay attention to the forecast and went to the grocery store on my normal night of the week, only to floor it past the packed parking lot...

...for all the times my school-teacher neighbors didn't have to go to work because there was a dusting on the ground...

...for all the times I had to suffer through the endless list of school closings on the radio and TV in the mornings...

The lovely Yarn Harlot has so eloquently said what I've been dying to say for years...

Here's a hint, you harsh New Yawkers. The term Steel Magnolia was coined for a reason. We kick ass when we want to. We're just more polite about it.

And I Wasn't Even Drinking!

Today marks Day Four of extreme WW back-on-track-ness. Gained 10 lbs over the holidays, and they're not too anxious to leave again - especially since my love of good food and good drink usually breaks down my flimsy willpower. So I haven't even had a beer or glass of wine in four days (gasp!). But since it's Birthday Weekend at the Weismanns, that will certainly change - mine is tomorrow, Joe's is Sunday, and we usually celebrate the day in-between (since that's the one full day we're the same age).

So earlier this week, when I was oh-so-proud of myself for being soooo very good, I did the typical Beth-is-a-clutz move to bring me back to earth. Hard. This move, carefully crafted over many years, is usually performed when slighly inebriated and going down stairs. I just miss the last one. Who knows why. Tuesday night, however, I missed two on our back stairway (not to code, steep, and winding) - my big, flat feet went right out from under me, and I smacked onto the cold, hard kitchen tile. I thought, "This is how people die. Joe's out of town, I'll hit my head and black out, and the next thing you know my coworkers will find me days later after my cats have eaten my face off." Yes, I'm just a bundle of sunshine in my own mind...

Very slight sprain on my sprained-so-many-times-I-just-roll-with-it right ankle, but otherwise I'm good to go. Just couldn't do much on the treadmill the last few days.

On to happier things - like knitting!

I'm starting on the Beer Socks for Joe to wear at the TAP-NY Beer Festival in April, but they're toe-up, and I get nervous about that. So I was going to start a trial pair with this lovely yarn my good buddy Sharon so lovingly sent to me. Then I realized Hell-to-tha-No, I'm saving that yarn for our special Snark-a-long later this year. This sock yarn is way too yummy. So I decided to go with this yarn - purchased on a binge in St. Louis - didn't really like how it was looking and not fond of the feel. Mom wants some colorful light-weight socks, and these will be perfect for her, I think. I'm also thinking about making myself this rasta hat. Just because.

That's about it for the random thoughts...I guess I'd best get back to work, since I' work...