Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Montgomery has lost her smile

There are certain people you get to know in this tiny village - people you get to know rather quickly.

There's our mayor (and former neighbor) Steve, who made us feel so very welcome when we first moved here, and who loves Montgomery to his core.

There's Rags, the proprietor of the antique shop down the block from us - he marches in every parade as a proud veteran.

There's Rabbit, a Trustee whom you can find outside the Old Fashioned Deli on any pleasant evening, just chewing the fat with his buddies.

And then there's Richie. Everyone knows Richie. With a smile, and sometimes a hug or kiss, he greeted everyone as family. He rode with the firemen during General Montgomery Day parades, head held high, smile as big as his heart. There's a picture in Village Hall of him with Robin Williams during that movie shoot several years ago. Whether it was evening at Copperfield's or mid-day at The Daily Bean, you could always find Richie checking in with the local businesses and neighbors, just making sure everything was okay. Strangers might label him developmentally disabled, but Montgomery just knew him as one of their own. He was surrounded by people who respected and loved him.

Richie passed away last Friday, and all of Montgomery mourns.

Rest in peace, sweet man.

ETA: For a beautiful article on his life, as well as stunning photos of the funeral procession, go here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Guilty Pleasures on Late-Night YouTube...

Yeah. So.

Guys may not want to click further - not that there's anything NSFW - just that you might not appreciate it nearly as much as any girl who grew up in the 70s...


...I met this guy once...he wasn't shaking his booty so much, though...

...and best of all I don't pay property tax

I remember where I was when my little brother broke this 45. In Mrs. William's store parking lot. With his plastic cowboy gun. It broke my heart.

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen...this is what I do when I'm stuck in a youtube loop of nonsense...

Colors You Cannot Describe

So I'm knitting and watching a good movie, then I turn around and see this...


Life is good...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New Things: Week 1

HOUSE: Clean the master bath
PHYSICAL: Walk 3x this week (at least 20 min), 1 time must be outside
MENTAL: Knit for at least 2 hours total, outside of lunch hours and knit night. I gots me some baby things to finish for the new little Mr. Clark. Besides that, I was hanging out on the Rav this morning and realized how many lovely things there are in my stash. And then when I put away a recent purchase (hey - it was in Italy - that doesn't break the rules of my destashing goal), I of course had to open up all the bins and drawers and look at what's waiting for me. Yummy, yummy things with a world of possibilities.

This is all going in my Stephen King Desk Calendar, so you know it's official and stuff.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

One New Thing

I've come to a pretty disheartening conclusion:

I'm a fat, lazy, drunk potato on a dirty couch.

And so, with Joe's travel schedule being very intense over the next few months, I see this as an opportunity to take the steps needed to get myself out of this mess. Over the next few months, I will be starting One New Thing each Sunday in the following categories: Home, Physical Health, and Mental Health. They might be big or small. But I will start incorporating these Things into my daily/weekly life until they become habits. Because - and I tell you this honestly - they ain't habits now.


Home - clean master bath, tie up recyclables, vacuum certain rooms, etc. Currently this is all being done, but with absolutely no degree of regularity.

Physical Health - walk 3x per week (gotta start somewhere), bike for 1 hr each week, add 1 fruit to daily intake, etc

Mental Health - set aside 1 hr to knit on porch, read 30 minutes before bed each night, no TV on certain evenings, etc.

Again - starting REALLY slow and adding items as they become routine.

Anyone want to join me?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Exciting Things for Montgomery...

Joe and I were out at our favorite pub last night for dinner...guess what is moving into the neighborhood...?
I'd always joked that we needed a liquor store and a tattoo shop...I can't wait to see what certain "upstanding" community members have to say about this...

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Was Kind of Hoping for a Zombie...

I've had very odd sleep patterns as of late. The heat and humidity is back, Willow continues to pound on the door to her room, and Joe has been in and out of town, which can be weird to the half-asleep mind. Who is this in bed with me? And why is he mumbling?

Last night was no different. Except at 4am, when I'm usually in the last few precious moments before wakey-wakey time, I heard an odd noise from outside the open bedroom window.


Sounded a bit like a cat getting really pissed off at something. We have neighborhood cats that sometimes don't get along, so I didn't think much of it.


Huh. Probably not a cat. Getting a little freaked out now. I put on my specs and peer out the front window, where I see the silhouette of a tall, lanky man, fumbling around near the railroad tracks.

Holy shit. The zombies are here.

I went from eerily fascinated to disappointed and a bit scared when I heard him blurt out, "I'm gonna kill myself...I don't wanna live..." And in the stillness of the humid morning, he had The Sound of The Crazy - as in, this guy could take out a few others before himself. Gotta call the cops.

Then I realized that in his hand was not a gun but a cell phone. And he was talking to a woman who evidently didn't feel for him what he felt for her. For the next 45 minutes, he went from crying, to belligerent, to cussing her out, all throughout which he was so drunk he was barely able to stand. And so, as he fell/lay down into the gravel near the RR crossing, he Nextelled his buddy and talked about how innocent he was in whatever drama had unfolded.

"Man! I'm lying on the ground! She hates me! Oh, god I wanna die!"

He wandered up the street a bit, waking a few other folks up before his "buddy" came by to pick him up, and he was poured into the back seat of the car.

Edited to add: we live within stumbling distance of several bars, so loud, drunken folks wandering home are not uncommon...I'd just never seen one with such melodrama before...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Won Something...Again!

According to Cambria, a good chunk of my recent stories have been along the lines of, "I never win anything, but I won this..."

After several stories of my winning stuff (Pepsi schtuff right before I resigned, Young Frankenstein tickets...), Cambria stopped believing that I never win anything. And so she's right - because I won something else...


You see, as a Rav-Hoar, I'm prone to just surfing about and finding interesting things. I found this lovely lady's blog and saw that she was raising awareness and donations for a very worthy cause. I was supposed to blog about it, but...well...yeah. I'm a lazy bum.

So a while back I received a hefty bunch of yarn from a neighbor, and I wasn't sure what to do with it. But this seemed to be the perfect way to marry yarn love and yarn need...

Here is what I sent, and the letter I sent with it...

Hello from upstate New York!

I hope you are able to use and enjoy this yarn. I wanted to tell you a special story – that this entire box of yarn (except for a few skeins from my stash) came from a somewhat famous home…

John Wylie, a veteran stage actor in New York City, was in the original production of Grand Hotel on Broadway. While he was backstage, or during downtime at rehearsals, he loved to crochet. He became a recluse in his later years, and he passed away around the time my family moved into a home a few doors down from him.

He left his house to his good friend Hal Robinson, who was in Grand Hotel along with John. Hal has been a most wonderful neighbor and friend over the years. One day he mentioned to me that he had a lot of “knitting stuff” that he’d like me to take off his hands.

In the meantime, some movie producers came around our neighborhood, looking for a spot to film a new movie staring Robin Williams. It was called The Night Listener. While it wasn’t that great of a movie, it was exciting having it filmed in our little town, and we even got to meet Robin Williams. In fact, a good bit of the movie takes place in Hal’s house – Hal even had a small role in the movie.

I cleaned out the “knitting stuff” from Hal’s home – it ended up being two large boxes of yarn, odds and ends, and A LOT of things that needed to be thrown out. I was surprised to see so many full skeins still in tact, and I knew that John would be delighted that his stash was going to such good use.

Sending lots of knitting blessings,


And there you have it. Winning a prize was total gravy - I love that John's beloved yarn is going to such a good place

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"We Made Brownies...and I Think We're Dead"

Check the animated "Drama" and full call in Related Videos...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

A Maple's Legacy

Some of you might remember the Grand Old Beloved Maple from this story. And how it became lumber in this post. The life and beauty of this wonderful tree has now come full circle. I give you...

Joe's first project with this hallowed wood: a gorgeous little cutting board. It's simply beautiful. And remarkably heavy! I took it out to the Mother Ship...

I think Daddy Maple would be proud...

Friday, August 08, 2008

Back in the Game

So I spent the last few months stressing out about a long-distance vacation and planning activities (but not too many, mind you) for 10-12 people and hoping they wouldn't hate me. Our trip was so perfect - so right in every moment - that I still can't believe we were there - that we were part of it.

And now we're at a point where (1) we can't afford to travel anywhere and (2) we're too busy at work to do much. And so, I've come to a conclusion:

I must knit. A lot.

And I started last night, at the local Stitch-n-Pitch:

(That hot dog is a teaser for Joe). We had a blast. And I realized: I must knit more.

I've made myself a little list of all things that must be knitted before I can buy more yarn *. That list consists of:

- Finishing both of these sock pairs
- Make a pair of socks (for me!) in this lovely holiday yarn
- Make another pair for Joe - in this (on the far left - he picked it out at Hanks)
- Make a pair of socks for Mom, at her request (this pattern, this yarn - top of pic)
- Make baby stuff for John and Sara's kid (no spoilers here)
- Make the two projects that were given to me from lovely folks who visited during Rhinebeck (Sophie and Kelly, that's you - already nommed the goodness that Lorena gave me)

So there. That's my promise to myself. To knit wonderful things from wonderful yarn.

* Rhinebeck 2008 purchases don't count...of course

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Happy Dobby Day!

Six years ago tonight, I met this little cutie.

And how do I repay him for the joy and fun he's brought into our lives? I bring home another kitty - one who likes to f--- with his mind and drive him crazy. We never knew Dobby could make such bizarre noises...he sounds like a woman screaming in agony when he gets spooked by Willow.

The good news is (and I hope I'm not jinxing myself here) that we've found a bit of a rhythm. Willow stays out in the daytime, gets put in her safe room (with the Feliway diffuser) at night, and the boys get lots of loving and attention until the next morning. Otis seems to be doing okay, but Dobby is taking a little longer.

Poor, sweet Dobby. I hope tonight goes well for you (and all of us)...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Back to Normal...Kind Of...

So it took me a week to get back into a normal sleep pattern and be remotely productive at work. A little difficult to get out of the sleep-late-relax-drink-until-2am vacation mode. But to help out with that, we have some great friends who had us over for late-night drinking on Friday, then Joe helped some other beer buddies build a deck on Saturday (I came along to knit and, well, to drink beer). Today is for catching up and going through the mountain of mail I've been avoiding. But first...

Willow is not only out and about, but she's got a snazzy new collar. We started letting her out for supervised chunks of time, and today is her first full day out. It's not going badly, but we still have issues. She has a tendency to sneak around and startle one of the older cats, causing howling, spitting, and a fight or two. Hence the collar - it has a bell. We'll see if this keeps the spitting to a minimum. They all seem to still be intrigued with each other, but I'm not forcing anything. I know it'll take time. I just wish Dobby knew how much fun she could be - they'd be having a blast by now...

In the meantime, I've made some sock progress (gasp!). The pattern is rpm, but I call them my Big Bird socks. Hard to imagine why...

I love the yarn and pattern combination. I'd been trying to avoid the silliness and striping, but when I embraced it, I came to find a very happy sock.

This is a double eyelet rib from wendyknits - I love how it's working up with the yarn (Mountain Colors Bear Foot). This was another yarn I just wasn't finding the right pattern for, but it's really working well now. I knitted on these all throughout Tuscany - on plane, bus, hanging out by the pool...they will hold such lovely memories.

Both of these socks are for ME, because I wanted to make something for me again. And something small. I need to whittle the sock stash down a bit before I blink and it's Rhinebeck time again. I think I need to put myself on a deadline - like finish these two by September, and finish another pair by October. Then I have to work on some Christmas gifts that I had promised last Christmas. That's the thought, at least.

Well, I have some bills waiting to be paid, and some cats waiting for some attention...