Friday, June 29, 2007

I Think We're Gonna Home-school...

I can't even think about what kids AREN'T learning nowadays...

It's a long video, but it's very interesting...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

There's Gotta be a Better Way...

Monday we found out Joe had to travel this week, , so my appointment with Milo on Thursday (for an ultrasound to see if anything major was going on to cause his anemia) at the "special vet" would have to be done by me. No problem. Except on Wednesday, at 4:45pm, I discovered that I was to fill in (on Thursday!) for a guy at work who has an all-consuming job. It was a perfect storm...

5:00 am - get up
6:00 - leave for work, drive 12 miles.
6:30 - arrive at work. do work stuff, attempt to prepare for a hellish day.
9:00 - leave for home, drive 12 miles, pick up milo (stubborn ass won't get in his carrier), drive 12 miles to vet.
9:45 - pull into vet parking lot and realize that I left x-rays at home - d'oh!
10:00 - meet with vet
10:45 - leave Milo with vet for testing, drive home 12 miles, pick up x-rays, pick up extra shirt because Milo sheds so much, stop to get gas, drive back to vet (12 miles), more tests to be done, go to work (only 5 miles).
11:50 - arrive work
3:30pm - call vet, Milo's good to go, drive 5 miles to pick him up (city driving, lotsa lights).
4:00 - pick up Milo, drive 12 miles home, drop him off, feed other kitties, drive 12 miles back to work
6:10 - finally leave work, arrive home for the 4th time today

I'm tired. I'm bitchy. I'm gonna have me a beer.

ETA: and NO, bringing Milo to work was *NOT* an option, as was clearly explained to me this morning.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Done Some Feltin'...

I had two recent felting projects - wanted to at least get a couple of them going so I wouldn't feel so bad about the time (and water!) they took in the washer (about 45 min with a front-loader - used to be 15 min with a top-loader). So I had my French Market Bag and a SURPRISE just a-waitin' for the suds, hot water, and agitation...

Here's my French Market Bag. Made with 1.75 skeins of Andes - one would have thought that, being the same dye lot, they would be remotely similar skeins. Not. But I purchased this on a yarn-high (one of my first) in Woodstock Wool, so I totally blame myself. The color variation is SOOOO not a big deal on a bag like this. I made it a little deeper than the pattern. Very easy, quick, and fun-to-see-the-results.

You can see the beginning of it here.

Here's the SURPRISE project:

Extreme close-up. Let's just say it's for someone (whom I love and miss dearly) who collects green things. But not just ANY green things. :)

And this is why I can't spend any more time doing much this evening:

There are two things you will notice in the above picture. Poor, asthmatic Coz and the A/C.

It's 95 degrees outside. It's 78 inside. Coz ain't no fool.

Wishing you cool, non-humid air...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Those Darn Connors...

We have good intentions. We really do. We have fun playing games with Jen, Todd, and E, and we'd totally do it sober and have a blast.

But normally we don't. Dang Todd and his good manners of never letting anyone have a glass empty of red wine.

Saturday night we planned on having dinner with our buddies in New Paltz. We usually bring a change of clothes and toiletries JUST IN CASE. Joe was actually saying, as we were getting ready, "you know, we don't HAVE to get drunk."

Oh, Joe. Poor, naive Joe. Had a lovely chicken soup dinner, had a blast playing Taboo, and then Todd pulled out the tequila.

But I think it was already too late for me. There were already 6 dead soldiers (of red wine) that had fallen. And trust me - I wasn't alone in the consumption.

Not long after the two shots of tequila, Joe clumsily escorted me up to the guest bedroom. It took most of Sunday (and a whipass omelet) to recover, but fortunately Jen's folks came by, and we all had fun with some beers (good god that helped), watched the men fill holes with cement (Todd's building a deck!), watched the younger boys and Joe play with Diet Coke and Mentos, then we all had yummy steaks and noodles for dinner. With strawberry shortcake. Happy Birthday, Jen!

Joe often comments that I'm so unlike my normal self when I'm with the Connors. I don't think twice about staying over, getting out of my "comfort zone." I beg to differ - I think that when we're with them, we're more ourselves than we are anywhere else. It's good to have friends like that. Where you can say something stupid and have it be the funniest thing anyone's ever heard. Where you can wake up, looking like you're the worm in the tequila bottle, caustically grunt a morning greeting, then flop down on the couch. Where you can just sit, not talking, and just enjoy a cup of coffee and good company.

Those Darn Connors...I'm so glad we met them. They make life up here in NY seem normal. And wonderful.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Oh, the Filth...

This weekend's goal: TO CLEAN.

Dishes, clothes, catboxes, furniture, floors. You name it. It's just nasty around here right now.

I'm so very ashamed.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Playing Catch-Up

If you wanna see Joe's fancy-schmancy Alaska pics, they're here. La-de-freakin-da.

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but "had a sucky day at work, downed some bourbon, and went to bed early" stops being interesting after the second day of it. I have, however, been working on a little surprise for my favoritest niece...I know she doesn't visit this site, because I'm sure my sister (her mom) won't let her visit a place with such language. And drinking.

I let her birthday go by - I'm certainly a bad aunt with no sense of responsibility - mainly because if you're not one of the March or October birthdays, I forget. Seriously. I apologize to all my friends near and far - I just don't remember them - except for Pam and John, who are 1/11 and 7/11, and Todd is April Fool's, but those are just easy. The March bdays (me, Joe, my sister, Peter N) and October bdays (Joe's mom, my mom, Jeanine's mom, my younger bro, my dad, bro-in-law) are easy. Everything else is kind of all over the map. So May came and went without my sending Jordan anything. I do have something in mind, and it's on order. It'll need a bag, though...

Made from One Skein - it's the Spiral Ribbed Bag, modified for thinner yarn. It's this cottony-blend yarn with all kinds of pastel fuzzies poking out of the main white yarn. I bought 4 skeins on sale during my first trip to my LYS, thinking I'd make something babyish out of it. Hasn't happened yet, and my niece loves pink, so there you go. I haven't knit the base of the bag yet, so I borrowed a pose from Amy and the diaper thingy I made for Benjamin that totally didn't fit him. The base, weaving in ends, and icord will be done this weekend. A nice, quick little project to feel like I've actually done something.

On another note, we got some lovely thunderstorms the other night. Here is sunset after the storms passed through. The dot in the pic is a spider hanging from the porch eaves.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Joe's Back!

He hasn't put his gajillion pictures up yet, but I stole one just to say...

...he's such a lucky bastard. He got paid to go on this trip.

This weekend will be devoted to working on the bathroom, normal chores, hopefully getting in some riding time, and knitting.

I'm re-re-re-starting the infamous First Sweater, and thanks to a great suggestion from the Snarkmistress, I'll be knitting Tubey. I really didn't have enough original Sea Colors yarn for anything except the tunic pattern it came with, and I wasn't crazy about how it was going. Not really my style. In order to make a more "normal" sweater, I'd need more yarn (I only had 1200 yds), and I found another 800 of a complementary color from another purchase at Rhinebeck - didn't have any real idea what to do with it at the time of purchase (as is usual with me). So I knit up a swatch to see how the colors would look together:

The magenta and orangey colors are the Sea Colors. The blue was from a different vendor - can't recall who right now. You can kinda tell in the pic - the blue has all kinds of colorful flecks in it - including a magenta. They go together rather well, I think. So Tubey it is. It'll probably be a lot warmer than other Tubeys, but hey - I live in NY. There's always room for a warm wool sweater. The only thing that sucks is knitting it in the hot, humid summer. But I HAVE to get it done by October. I want to say, "I knit a sweater," dammit!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Happy Flag Day!

In the late summer before my freshman year in high school, I went to Band Camp. Not the kind from American Pie - this was the week before school started when the marching band would get its shit together. Learn choreography, music, commands, etc. I wasn't going to march the clarinet (which is what I played during concert season) - oh, no. I was talked into marching the xylophone. Carrying it and everything. I was such a dolt.

The fun part about lugging around 75 lbs of bars you hit with sticks was that I got to be in the drum section. With the cool people. All of the weird-yet-fun woodwind folks (oboe, bassoon, etc) played the cymbals, and the drummers were total studs. It was there, in the drum section, that I met my Very First Boyfriend, Rob Brese. He was a Junior, and I was smitten.

I remember only strange, random things. He loved The Smiths. He wore a trenchcoat all the time. He wanted a black rose for his lapel at homecoming. His birthday was on Flag Day. It went the way all young high school romances go - after close to a year it just wasn't working, and we were both still growing into who we would become. It didn't end well.

Many years later, I'm living in NY with my wonderful husband. Sometimes, when I can't sleep, I'll just poke around on the internets for nothing in particular. View odd youtube videos, look up random people I went to school with, look at satellite photos of various old neighborhoods, etc. One night I looked up Rob. I thought, "what the hell," and sent him an email. And he wrote back.

Remarkably enough, we had both grown into pretty similar people. There were no bad feelings - how can there be once you've matured enough to realize that the younger you just didn't know what was going on. It was fun to get to know him as an adult, and we became IM friends.

Then, one evening back in 2004, his mother posted a message to his IM list of addresses that he'd been in a motorcycle accident. After some time in the ICU, it looked like he was beginning to recover from his massive, horrible injuries. And then he passed away. I remember my friend Pam leaving a voice mail message that I retrieved when Joe and I returned from a Memorial Day camping trip. I called her, and we talked for a while - it was odd and very, very sad.

I didn't know the details surrounding the accident, so I searched for his name. And I found Snark. She and her friends provided me with wonderful stories about Rob and his life. And then I started poking around her site a bit. Then a bit more. I finally met Lorena in person last year, and it was as if we'd always known each other. This fall, I'm looking forward to a house packed full of knitting, drinking, laughing ladies (and so is Joe, I might add).

Thanks to the web of people who loved Rob, I have come in contact with so many wonderful, lovely souls. Tonight I raise a glass to Rob, who touched my life in ways I'd never imagine when we met over twenty years ago.

Here's to you, Rob. Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Weight Watchers Mousie

Packing up my lunch this morning, I realized that Mousie #05-2007 must have been watching his figure...he'd gone through half a box of WW 1pt Raspberry Chocolate Bars. Granted they are quite good (or at least they WERE), but poor Mousie probably OD'd on the fiber.

Note to self: WW bars now go in the fridge.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Why, Oh Why... my kids insist on showing off to their mama...?

Last night, before going to bed, I noticed Dobby sitting in the pantry. That could only mean one thing: Mousie #05-2007 would have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad night.

I wake up around 3am to a *THWOMP*jingle-jingle-jingle...which could only mean one thing - Otis (the one who has tags on his collar) caught something and walked off with it. However, the *THWOMP* was just at the foot of my bed. The bastards brought it upstairs again.

I hear the tale-tell grrrrrrrrrrrr of Dobby going down the stairs. Good. Be gone with you. I have a silent thought of peace and quick death for Mousie then go back to sleep. For about three minutes. Because then the grrrrrrrrrrrrr had come back into my bedroom.


I grab my glasses, crawl down to the foot of the bed, and peer over the foot-board - even in the dark I can see Dobby with something in his mouth.

"Get out, Dobby. NO, Dobby." Dobby walks closer to the bed, next to the little stair-steps he uses to get up on the bed. SweetzombiejeezusNOTTHEBED!!!

"NO! No, Dobby. Bad Dobby. Go, Dobby. No! No! No! Bad Dobby!"

I'm now kneeling on the bed (having stood up previously, forgetting that the ceiling fan is on), screaming "No, Dobby" so loudly and so frequently that I'm sure the folks staggering down the street after Last Call are certain that I have a special friend named Dobby who has forgotten the safe word.

Dobby finally gets the hint and turns away without jumping up. Cheezwhiz Heist, that woke me up. I shut the bedroom door, only to hear him outside, still growling. I envision him letting his little "toy" go for more playtime, only the mouse running under the door into my room. I don't care at this point. The bed is my safe zone for another hour or so, not that I'll be doing any sleeping. I keep staring at the door, half expecting the doorknob to turn slowly like in the horror movies. Funny things run through your mind when you're freaked in the middle of the night.

The only thing worse than the above scenario is not finding Mousie the next morning. It took an hour, but I finally found him, poor, battered little thing. Dobby is proud, but very sleepy. I know the freakin' feeling.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I'm such a bad knitter...

...I didn't go out and knit on World Wide Knit In Public Day.


I did knit, however, and I'm coming along on several items from my list - the surprise for my mom, the socks for my mom, and socks for hubby (well, those weren't on the list).

I've only been THINKING a lot about my first sweater. I'm not in love with it (haven't touched it in months). Part of me wants to make a cardigan rather than a pullover, but I'm not sure I have enough, and I haven't really found a pattern I like...hrmmmm...any suggestions? It's a slightly heavy worsted that I really love, but I just can't see making a ho-hum jersey-type-pullover with it. Not that I want to perform some impossible feat with my first sweater, but I'd like to like know?

Hmmm...maybe Sweetness. That looks nice - simple, yet not cryptic in the instructions. Takes into account varied striping (I have one large skein of a different color)...hmmm...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Because I'm Bored...

Because I'm still just hangin' out, without any real motivation, and because I like to talk about myself (what blogger doesn't), I found this over on Sharon's site and thought I'd just play along, even though it's from a while ago. Because, you know, it's all about ME.

1. Nervous Habits: Terrible fingernail biter. Getting better, but still doing it.
2.. Are you double jointed: No
3. Can you roll your tongue: Yes
4. Can you raise one eyebrow at a time: Just my right one. My left eyebrow doesn't follow instructions.
5. Can you blow spit bubbles: Not really.
6. Can you cross your eyes: Yes
7. Tattoos: One - with plenty more planned.
8. Piercings: 6 - 4 in left ear, 2 in right. More planned, but only in ears.
9. Do you make your bed daily: Not so much "make" it as "throw blanket back over."

10. Which shoe goes on first: Whichever I find first.
11. Speaking of shoes, have you ever thrown one at anyone: Maybe once.
12. On the average, how much money do you carry: $20
13. What jewelry do you wear 24/7: 4 of my earrings, my wedding band, engagement ring.
14. Favorite piece of clothing: My big gray comfy sweater

-- FOOD --
15. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it: Total twirler
16. Have you ever eaten Spam: I'm not sure - maybe as a child...
18. How many cereals in your cabinet: 3 - bran flakes, granola, and fiber one
19. What's your favorite beverage: frozen margarita with salt
20. What's your favorite restaurant: In GA - El Jinete in Roswell. In NY - Wildfire Grill and 88CS in Montgomery.
21. Do you cook: I *love* to cook. Pretty damn good, too, I've been grandmother's friend, Agnes, always said, "If you can read, you can cook." I agree.

22. How often do you brush your teeth: Once - brush and floss religiously in the morning. Everything else optional.
23. Hair drying method: Car window
24. Have you ever colored / highlighted your hair: I dyed it copper red for Joe as a surprise when we were dating. It had the desired effect. ;)

25. Do you swear: Like a motherfucker.
26. Do you ever spit: Only gum and sunflower seed shells. Pretty accurate, though.

27. Animal: All kinds, but I only have cats.
28. Food: pizza, mac & cheese, mexican...anything with cheese...
29. Month: March - when we met, our birthdays, and our wedding anniversary - one big party month
30. Day: Friday 5pm - Saturday 5pm
31. Cartoon: South Park
32. Shoe Brand: Cheap. I'm not a shoe person.
33. Subject in school: English
34. Color: Any jewel tone ("deep greens and blues are the colors I choose"...)
35. Sport: Tennis. I used to play a lot. Now I suck at it.
36. TV show: Probably Lost - the only show that's ever made me gasp in recent years.
37. Thing to do in the spring: Sit on the porch - usually drinking, smoking cigars, playing darts
38. Thing to do in the summer: My buddy Matt's July 4th party - booze, pool, roasted pig...mmmmm
39. Thing to do in the fall: Craft shows, wool festivals, and beautiful leaves!
40. Thing to do in the winter: Hope it snows only on weekends.

41. In the CD player: Checking right now...U2, Bob Marley, Matchbox20, Guster, Soniadada - from the last party we had. We only use the CD player for music on the porch.
42. Person you talk most on the phone with: My mom. We talk for hours. I might call her after this.
44. Do you regularly check yourself out in store window mirrors: Not really.
45. What color is your bedroom: White, but only because we have other rooms needing our attention right now.
46. Do you use an alarm clock: Yes, but I usually wake up 5 minutes before it goes off.
47. Window seat or aisle: Window.

-- LA LA LAND --
48. What's your sleeping position: Whatever works.
49. Even in hot weather do you use a blanket: Yes, but a very thin one.
50. Do you snore: I do when I get drunk and pass out. Or when I have sinus issues.
51. Do you sleepwalk: No
52. Do you talk in your sleep: No - Joe does, though, and it's fun to mess with him.
53. Do you sleep with stuffed animals: Only when I travel. Then my Dobby Bear comes with me.
54. How about with the light on: No.
55. Do you fall asleep with the TV or radio on: Only when I get drunk and pass out. Otherwise it keeps me up.
56. Last interesting person you met: Meghan - I sat next to her during Represent. She works here. I think I lost her email address, dangit...

Well, that's about it for me. I gotta go call my mom. :)

What to do...what to do...

This next week will be picture-less, because Joe took the camera with him on a business trip.

To Alaska.

Yes, that mo-fo went to freakin' Alaska, and he's getting paid to do it. Unfortunately I wasn't able to go with him (unless it was just for the weekend, and who honestly wants to spend $800 for 16 hours of round-trip air time for just few hours of enjoyable time), so I'm at home with no plans other than letting the furniture delivery guys into my neighbor's house later on today.

I need to go over to the plumbing supply place and put in our orders for toilet, sink, shower walls, etc. But I don't feel like doing it now. I desperately need to train more for the MS Ride, but I don't feel like doing it now. I really need to clean the house - the kitchen is a wreck, and the litter boxes need changing. But I don't feel like doing it now.

Sense a theme here? Very blah today. Hot and humid, and very blah.

Maybe I'll knit.

EDITED TO ADD: Well, my neighbor's couch came before my neighbors had to leave, so my reason for being stuck at home didn't pan out. Ran over to the plumbing supply store and put in my order for a brand-spankin'-new everything. Yeeesh. It all came to about the same dollar total as my little Hyundai was 6 years ago. Oh, well. The master bath is arguably one of the most used rooms in the house, so it's a good investment. Between that errand and the window unit a/c I just put in the dining room, I think I've been productive enough today to warrant some knitting and wine time.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


jam·over ('jam-"O-v&r) n. 1. disagreeable physical effects following participation in WDST's Mountain Jam, which often include several, if not all, of the following: sore joints; ringing in ears; scratchy throat due to (a) screaming, (b) singing, and/or (c) second-hand pot smoke; carpet tongue due to (a) festival food, (b) beer, (c) cigars, and/or (d) second-hand pot smoke; random spots of sunburn where sunscreen not applied; dirty feet; sore hands (from applause); damp clothes that smell like hippies; prunish toes due to wearing wet shoes for nine hours; and the total unwillingness to clean out the damp tote bag and hose off the folding chairs.

It was, however, a wonderful time. Picture album and recap to be posted later (edited to add: the gallery is here). In the meantime, I did my knitsibs proud, at least until it started raining...

One of the traveling socks on the road to Hunter Mountain...

After the sun was beating down on us for a while, I realized that the 75% wool with which I was knitting just wouldn't do anymore - I switched to the Sockotta. Not as nice to knit with, but better when there is sweat involved.

Hope you have a lovely rest of the weekend!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Jammin' on the Mountain

Headin' up to Hunter Mountain for the third Mountain Jam, courtesy of the best radio station, WDST. And a little guitar player by the name of Warren Haynes. Peace!