Sunday, September 30, 2007

September Trip, III (b)

The Second Annual Girlz Weekend at the Cape was a resounding success. There were a lot of good food, good laughs, and good times. There were also a lot of good tips for the wait staff since Cheapy McCheap couldn't make it this year. In no particular order, here are some highlights.

Worst Decision: Trying a out "new" technique on an expensive paint-your-own-pottery piece. There were three nice items, and then there was mine:

I tried out "blending" which is really just another term for "painting like a blind, armless, four year old." I'm not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to try out a new technique. Actually I do. I saw this and wanted to duplicate the idea.

Obviously I suck.

Best Bet Taken: Going in the ocean, at midnight, when it was COLD, for a nickle. With a one dollar bonus for something or other. The details are fuzzy. Much like the photographic evidence of said bet.

Bet That Should Have Been Taken But Someone Was a Chicken (bock! bock! bock!): Jumping on stage with the two older Irish music performers at the Irish restaurant/pub while they sang, and dancing to the song they were singing. For a nickle.

Weirdest, Yet Coolest, Item Purchased: Liam. A faux puppy that breathes. Liam looked so real I found myself reaching over to pet him. I was not drunk. Seriously, check him out. I uploaded a video (my first time ever, go me!) that I took with my camera (so hopefully it all works well) of Liam's little puppy chest breathing. I zoom in at the end. You may have to look close. But he breathes! I swear!

Napping on the beach is nice. Snoring while napping on the beach may prevent others from napping at the same time. At least that's what I've been told. I have no first hand knowledge of this as, um, I was napping on the beach.

Newest Addition to the English Language: Ralph is out, Jessica is in. To wit, when one vomits, she no longer "Ralphs," she "Jessicas." Used in a sentence ... I laughed so hard I Jessicad.

During the game Apples to Apples, most ridiculous answer: Adjective, cuddly. Noun, Adolf Hitler.

Two: The number of rows I managed to knit on my sweater. The number of times one person Jessicad.

Worst Hostess Gift Ever: Apples. From me. To a hostess that reads this blog and knew the origins of said apples.

Biggest Culinary Disappointment: Chocolate cake with coconut frosting that tasted like bananas.

Biggest Culinary Pleasure: Two way tie. Lemon cake ('nuff said) and steak tips (steak tips with fried green beans, steak tips with mashed potatoes, steak tips on a Caesar salad).

Most Shocking Discovery: Sleeping in until 7:00 a.m. is now considered "sleeping in." In Chez SPR, when we sleep in, we sleep in. Yes, we might get up at 7:00 a.m. to pee or let Dogbert out, but then we go back to sleep. Hence the term "sleeping in." One who sleeps in, does not shower, read the paper, go to church, or play video games at 7:00 a.m..

Video Game Angst: Brain Age. Some very smart people, like math majors and MIT graduates, and not yours truly, had a brain age of 70+. Which is bad. B. A. D. bad. The goal is to have a 20 year old brain. 70 year old brains are apparently terrible. As in, your brain is so old it must have forgotten everything it learned.

Cruelest Moment: Laughing at someone (me) when she explained how she had just discovered that her toothbrush of six months had on an on and off button which caused it to pulsate. The toothbrush in question looks like a normal toothbrush. I had no idea it was fancy. In case you're curious, the proper response to my story and glee at this new find would have been, "Wow! That's great!"

Saturday, September 29, 2007

September Trip, III (a)

I'm in the Cape for a Girlz Weekend. I could be working on my sweater now but I'm not. Instead I've jacked my host's internet connection so that I could share with you the best Scattergories word ever ...

Letter: N
Category: Instrument
Word: Nica, harmo

Second runner up ...

Letter: P
Category: Reason to miss work/school
Word: Poop issues

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Crack Is Whack

Kay requested that I knit her this. I believe someone needs to stage an intervention. She is dipping her toes into the deep end of crazy!

And, in my plight to expand my own personal level of crazy, I managed to choke down an apple. One entire apple. My arm hair stood on end the entire time, and I maybe swallowed chunks of apple the size of golf balls which I can only hope my digestive system digests because otherwise, ouch. Despite my apple intake, I still have my lingering hack. And I also have TWO MORE APPLES. Mr. Cool is delivering them exponentially or something. I'm not sure I can survive this apple season.

I hope I do survive, because not only is Socktoberfest coming, but Sock Wars is too!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Apple Season Cometh

Last night I managed to knit ten whole rows on the sweater of slowness. For all intents and purposes, it might as well have been ten stitches. Progress, it remains unnoticeable. Anywho, all of this wild and crazy knitting kept me up to the unholy hour of 11:00 p.m., well the knitting and the new season opener of Heroes chilling on the DVR. And also Journeyman, because I am a sucker for new shows and enjoy watching the pilots. And, speaking of Heroes, how is it that none of the people who died last season are really dead? I digress though, all of my wild and crazy knitting kept me up to the unholy hour of 11:00 p.m., a full hour later than my naturally prescribed bed time, and I find my self somewhat zombie like this morning.

Which brings me to my point, in a rather round about and not so direct way: the apples. As you probably don't remember, I don't like apples. Mr. Cool forgets this and tends to bring me some every day during apple picking season. And because I like Mr. Cool, and I don't want to hurt his feelings or feel like a hair turd, I smuggle the apples out of the office and try to force my husband to eat them. Every now and then I am forced to eat one because I want Mr. Cool to see me eat the apple and know that I am grateful. And yes, I realize this is totally fuked up and that I probably need psychiatric help, but there you have it, I eat apples that I hate to make someone I like think I am grateful for something I don't like. Is there a name for this disorder?

Anyway, I strayed from my point, again. My point is, I was so damn tired this morning I somehow talked my way from one apple into four. Yes, four, cuatro, quatre, quattro, vier, четыре.

Are you kidding me? I'm not quite sure how this happened. Maybe if I hadn't given up caffeine, I would have seen it coming, tired or not. I dunno. What I do know is that I've got four different varieties and flavors and sizes of apples and Jizzy Fricken Crizzy HOW AM I GOING TO EAT (OR SMUGGLE OUT) FOUR APPLES?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

September Trip, II

I am back from Florida, alive and unscathed, but with my cold still lingering. I tried to ditch that bad boy while I was away but he wouldn't cooperate. It's like the aftertaste of TaB, it just lingers and lingers no matter what you do. Even though I was feeling a bit peaked, I did mange to have a great time and got absolutely no knitting done. That's right, no knitting. I think this Rhinebeck deadline of mine is going to act as a throwback to school when I would dread a project I had to do, knowing I had to do it before a certain date, I would think about it and plan different ways to do it but still not do it until the absolute last minute. Procrastination is thy name and I live up to it fully. But, let's not talk about that.

The trip, lots o' fun! I have some funny stories, like the one where I frantically searched every nook and cranny of all of my bags, only to find that I left my antibiotics at home, 1400 miles away, and so I had to get another prescription called in, which was all fine and dandy an nice and so forth, except that when I went to the twenty-four hour Walgreens I learned that the store was open twenty-four hours but the pharmacy, it was only open until 9:00 p.m. and so if I wanted my drugs right then I would have to drive thirty minutes away, which I did and I felt was totally worth it. Well until this morning at work when I was cleaning out my purse and found my original prescription in my purse pocket, the very same purse pocket that I searched so very thoroughly while I was away, so now I have extra antibiotics which is hardly any fun because they are not like say, extra morphine. Any one need a z-pack? And yes, I know, I went on and on about how I don't take anything when I get sick and I wouldn't have taken anything except my doctor, she yelled at me and told me coughing up green stuff was no good and dammit I would take an antibiotic or else, and since she bears an uncanny resemblance to my college president Donna Shalala, and is, you know a real doctor, well I couldn't say no. But then maybe my subconscious did say no since it tricked me into believing that I left my drugs at home. Which is kind of interesting when you think about it. Or not.

Let's not talk about that either. I attended a great Miami game in a great stadium. Well the stadium is great in terms of tradition, if not amenities. The Hurricanes played like the Hurricanes of days past and it was fantabulous. It will probably be the last game I'll see in the OB (unless I win the lottery or find a benevolent benefactor willing to give me four hundred bucks for plane fare) and since I managed to catch all of the fifty-eight home games during Miami's fifty-eight home game win streak, the longest in NCAA history, thankyouverymuch, it was extra nice.* I followed up my awesome football game with a fun bachelorette night out with BeFri and her wonderful wedding.

During the bachelorette night, we visited all of the places we used to hang out as kids, be it our old houses, the skating rink, our schools, or our friends' old houses. We then went to a favorite restaurant of ours, The Melting Pot, in Miami Beach. Only it wasn't in the same place as it use to be and only luck and the fact that we might have maybe missed our turn because we hadn't been there in a really long time, had us finding the place. Anywho one of the highlights of my trip was that I was able to satisfy my intense craving for fried brains, um, I mean fried broccoli.

Many people have eaten at TMP and I suspect that at least two thirds of them have seen the veggies and pooh-poohed them. The only time they touch the veggies is to move them our of the way of the meat. Well let me tell you that they are making a huge mistake. HUGE. By far, the best part of the fondue experience is the fried broccoli. It is perhaps, perfection in the form of a deep fried veggie. Yes the cheese rocks, the shrimp are great, and the chocolate is nice too. But the broccoli, Holy Crap! It is delish. And I am a die hard carnivore, so if I say the broccoli is better than the meat, you can trust me. Oh and the carrots, good in TMP chocolate, but that is another story for another time.

The majority of my pictures of the trip were of food. Whether it be the wedding food or the brunch food or our night out food, I took a lot of food pictures. I attribute this totally to BeFri's influence. I didn't take many people pictures (though I did manage one artsy picture of during the wedding but it was only artsy because of a zoom/flash issue) and I didn't take any knitting pictures. I could tell you that this is because I didn't want to freak people out at the wedding by whipping out the sweater of slowness, but the reality is that my knitting wouldn't fit in my purse.

I could have borrowed some space in BeFri's purse as I was in charge of it for part of the wedding, but her purse was even smaller than mine. Mine held a tube of lip gloss, my one inch thick, two and a half by four inch camera, a kleenex, and a ten dollar bill, whereas hers held a hanky and lip gloss, the end.

Needless to say, I got me some sweater knitting to do (as well as some laundry) before I go away (again) this weekend. I'm not even going to pretend that I am going to knit over my weekend trip because let's face, it ain't gonna happen.

Oh, and in relation to none of the above, if you're interested, Socktoberfest 2007 is almost here! If I ever finish this !@*&^%? sweater, I am so diving into a pair of socks.

* Speaking of football, guess who is in first place in our pool. That's right, c'est moi!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Mixed Bag

I have a cold and I feel like ass. Which totally, totally sucks. I'm no good at being sick. I don't handle it gracefully. I tend to whine, "I don't feel good." A lot. I prefer not to take anything for my colds, which is fine when you only get sick once every few years but suckey when it's that time once every few years when you are sick. In any event, I feel like crap and my brain is somewhat mushy right now. But that is not going to stop me from reporting that ...

I. The yellow thing is in fact "a shawl like rich people wear to the country club" and NOT an apron. Which is totally lame. Turns out the gift giver and another guest at the shower make these ... things ... and sell them. It is good that BeFri didn't call the number on the label and say, "I received this weird ass wrap/apron/sweater thing as a shower gift and I was wondering, what the hell is it?" as she probably would have been talking to the gift giver herself!

II. Lately it seems like several people I know have gone, or are going to be going, to England. And every time I someone mentions England, I beg (rather shamelessly) for the person to keep a look out for black currant candy/pastilles. To which I get a smile and a nod and a look of, "Uh, What??" So I try to explain how Joan is evil and introduced me to the wonder of the hard chewy black currant goodness which lives everywhere but America and then I move on to how she'd get them in England when she visited and how she sent me black currant goodies from abroad, like the Black Currant Life Saver. And at Life Saver my fellow Americans say, "Oh!" Because we know the Life Saver. But then people go and travel in England and have fun and they can't find them and they think I made this candy up. But look!

Photographic evidence to show all you doubters that they do in fact exist. It just seems that they only exist in Australia. So my bad for using them as an example of the black currant delights available in Great Ole Britain. That's not to say there aren't other, better, black currant candies in London. Because there are. I just know it.

III. I worked on the Kangaroo Duo sweater at SnB the last few weeks and I even worked on it last night in between nose blows. And you know what? I am really sick of that sweater. And I am not even onto sleeve island. Hell, I even have hood island to contend with, and that totally makes me shudder. What is so annoying is that there have been hours and hours of knitting and hardly any progress to show for it.

I tried to get all creative on ya and pin it out so you could get an idea of the huge amount of boringness going on, but I had some issues. For starters, I had to use thumbtacks for pins and the floor kept rejecting the thumbtacks and sending them flying. It did add a little adventure to the photo shoot as I was forced to duck and weave. The other issue was all the movement of the colors in the sweater and all of the movement of my office carpet mixed together to make it seem like a three dimensional optical illusion picture. Either that or you might just feel motion sick. In which case, my bad, didn't meant to make you wanna hurk! Overall the photo shoot was a bust, but I figured I should share share the joy that is my work in progress.

I do have a bunch of traveling coming up ... a flight to Florida for BeFri's wedding, a drive to The Cape for Girls Weekend, a drive to New Jersey to see the MIL ... and all this traveling lends itself to knitting. So I should be able to make my Rhinebeck goal. But the thought of knitting that sweater, and all of the knitting that is left, well, it is killing me. I know if it is the only thing I have with me to knit, I'm not going to have a choice, but man am I tempted to start a sock or a scarf or a Clapotis, something small and fun, for my travels.

IV. I dreamed about knitting socks last night. Very specific socks. I even dreamed about buying the yarn, Fleece Artist yarn, a yarn I've never used but hear lots about, to make the socks. I blame this dream on my lackluster sweater interest/progress (see supra III ... and what the hell as that?? I just Blue Booked my blog. Jizzy Crizzy I need help. I think I am embarrassed by this. Well not so embarrassed that I am deleting it, but still embarrassed enough that I feel I must make amends for my dorkdum by sharing said dorkdum with the world). Anyway, I dreamed about knitting Fleece Artist socks which is kinda weird for me ... Fleece Artist socks on a nekid Bruce Willis, oh yah, knitting Fleece Artist socks, not so much.

V. The Cuisinart saga has come to an end in that Cuisinart will not do squat for me, despite my best (and repeated, at the urging of Williams-Sonoma Awesome Sales Associate II) efforts. At some point in the future, I will have to make a decision, but for now I'm doing nothing. Which means that you can not throw a party in which people need to bring food. I mean, you could, but then you wouldn't want to invite me since I would be bringing a veggie plate or something else equally boring. And not inviting me, well that would be mean. I'm sick. Don't kick the sick girl when she's down.

For anyone interested, Consumer Reports rated food processors in December 2006, and rated the Kitchen Aid ones slightly higher than the Cuisniart ones. The top three choices were Kitchen Aid models KFP750, KFP740, KFPM770 with Cuisinart's DFP-14BCN and ProCustom II DLC-8S coming in a couple of points behind. Also, Williams-Sonoma has a new policy where it guarantees any appliance type things you buy there for life. So if your Cuisinart craps out 30 years from now and Cuisinart won't repair it or help you out with a discount, Williams-Sonoma will either fix or replace your machine, or give you the money back that you paid for it. I couldn't find this policy on the Williams-Sonoma website, but it is hanging on the wall in my local store and Awesome Sales Associate II explained that this was a new policy recently enacted.

VI. Guess who is last in our football pool? Not me baby! I am in a tight race for first. It's neck and neck I tell you! (Or in plain English, I am in second place.)

Friday, September 14, 2007


Or, How Cuisinart Broke My Heart

Many many years ago, or exactly 30.5 years ago, my aunt received a Cuisinart food processor for Christmas. And she loved it, and she and my mom played around with it and then my mom loved it.

Here I am, having just turned three years old, sitting on my aunt's lap as she perused her brand new Cuisinart instruction manual.

She read and I stole her bracelets. A good time was had by all!

So the following year for my mom's birthday, my aunt bought my mom a Cuisinart. My mom loved her own Cuisinart food processor as much as she loved my aunt's and let me tell you, she used the hell out of that little machine. She had a dozen or so fancy blades as well as the regular ones and she basically used it every night. And yes I remember her using it every night because the dish washer, that would have been me, had to wash the parts by hand since they weren't put in the dish washing machine. Anyway, when she died, the Cuisinart came to me where it did not get much use for several years. And by much use I mean no use. It sat on a shelf, collecting dust. But then I got into the whole "cooking" thing and the Cuisinart came out more and more often (as did the KitchenAid mixer, but that is a whole 'nother story).

So, the Cuisinart and I were friends. We made many things together, many good things like chicken croissants and spinach dip. And a couple of months ago, we were making one of these very good things, chicken croissants, when my little Cuisinart gave a gasp and quit working. I gave a gasp too.

I contacted Cuisinart and the woman told me I could send my machine in for repair but she wasn't sure about the details of costs and things like that, so I did nothing. I figured the shipping on this thing would be an arm and a leg being that it weighed just under four tons and couldn't decide what to do. A friend told me to send it in and see what Cuisinart would do. She thought as a loyal long time customer, they would repair it for free or send me a new one if it couldn't be repaired. She was an optimist and it was contagious.

So I called Cuisinart and said, "Yes sign me up! Fix my machine!" And Cuisinart said, "Okay, give us the serial number." And I said, "I have no serial number, it is a CFP model nine." And Cuisinart said, "No, no, silly, all machines have a serial number." And I said, "No really, no serial number!" And Cuisinart said, "Liar!" And I said, "Nu-uh!" And they said, "Uh-huh" And I said, "Listen to me, this is a CFP model nine, it is like 20 years old, There. Is. No. Serial. Number." And Cuisinart said, "Let us speak amongst ourselves." And they did. And they decided that maybe I was not in fact a liar and that they gave me a random number to use and told me to mail it in. And so with my random number, I went to UPS and paid thirty friggen dollars and sent off my little baby with a kiss and a sob letter explaining that it was my mom's machine and I've treasured it and loved it and used it and my dozen blades and could they please fix it, pretty, pretty please with sugar and a cherry on top, oh and give it kisses while I wasn't there to do so.

Well yesterday Cuisinart called me and left an obscure message about a thirty year old machine and how I should go look at new machines and then please call them back. And I was confused, but did as asked and then called Cuisinart this morning. Cuisinart said, "Dumbass, your machine is twenty-five to thirty years old, what the hell are you doing sending this old ass shit to us. We no fix." And I said, "What?" And Cuisinart said, "Yes, we don't know why you were told to send this machine in, must be the stupid people in Florida's new call center. Anywho, we haven't done repairs on this machine in at least ten years. And I know this because I, Customer Service Representative, have worked for this fine company ten years and when I started we did not fix machines this old." And I said, "But ... but..." And Cuisinart said, "We'll make you a deal, we'll sell you a refurbished machine for $100." And I said, "Pardon?" And Cuisinart said, "We realize you can get a brand new machine for around the same price, but that is our offer. And just so you know, I personally wouldn't recommend taking the offer, but it is there none the less."

Here are a few of the Cuisinart's blades. I'm not quite sure what they all do.

And I said, "But my blades, all of my glorious blades!" And Cuisinart said, "Yah you're screwed. They won't work on the new machines, and we don't recommend you try to make them work." And with tears streaming down my face because I am a sucker who personified her poor little machine into an orphan in a far away city by its sad little self wondering why it was sent here so very far away without its family, tried to wheel and deal. Although, with all the sniffling I was probably not at my top level of wheeling and dealing performance. And Cuisinart said, "No. No coupons or rebates or discounts or bupkis. We don't do that kind of thing." And I said, "Well could you at least send me my little baby back?" And Cuisinart said, "Sure." And that was the end of that.

So in the next week or so I expect to get my sweet little Cuisinart back and I'm not sure what I'll do at that point. Per Cuisinart's message, I had gone into Williams-Sonoma and spoke to an Awesome Sales Associate who showed me all the new machines. Awesome Sales Associate feels like there should be a solution to my issues and asked me to bring in some of my blades to see what, if anything they fit on. She was kinda intrigued that my blades had the stems affixed on them. Even though I know it is not going to work, I'm going to bring the blades in anyway. But from there, eh, I don't know what to do. The Cuisinart customer service rep was really nice when she was bursting my bubble, destroying my hopes and telling me to go screw. But nonetheless, she did tell me to go screw. So, do I by a new Cuisinart knowing that the company won't do squat for long time customers? But at the same time knowing I may not need squat for thirty years? And also, would it be weird to bury my poor dead machine in the back yard? You know, a proper burial and all that.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Last night we bought my husband a new car. Exciting yes? No, not really. Not so much. The process took about three weeks with test driving and then making model choices and color choices and then haggling over price and then the dealership having to find the car because the one we wanted in the color we wanted wasn't at out dealership. We really had to work hard for this little car, which I think is actually considered a SUV, though a small SUV, and not a car, but whatever.

We agreed on a price and then the price we agreed on was no good. Because our salesman was sketchy? I dunno. Then the manger overrode whatever nixed our previously agreed price and it was all good again. But then they didn't have the car in our color and it would take two days to get it, and a week later still no car. Then they finally had the car, but it wasn't there when Boo went to go see it and around and around we went. When our salesman could not figure out how to use a fax machine to fax a copy of the purchase agreement to our credit union, I figured that this was the final sign that the world did not want us to have the car. And I kind of made peace with that (truth be told, it was actually pretty easy since the car was for my husband).

But lo and behold the planets realigned, the gnomes got on board, and we (well us and the credit union) are the proud owners of a new shiny black car (body style "s. wagon" which means that my husband is one step away from a mini-van or mid-life crisis). Now that it is done and I have had time to reflect, I can say, without a doubt, that my favorite part of this whole experience was when I was handed my key to the car. My key, donning it's very own condom.

You gotta hand it to the dealership, they may try to screw you, but they are watching out for you while they do.

Monday, September 10, 2007

September Trip, I

This past weekend I flew to Florida to surprise BeFri for her wedding shower.* The surprise was probably not that much of a surprise as she said, "I just couldn't imagine you not coming." But the surprise real, feigned, or non-existent, the shower and the trip were a lot of fun.

I arrived late on Friday night and stayed with BeFri's sister at their relative's house. And by house I mean mansion. Not McMansion, but a full on 24,000 square foot mansion. I brought the sweater with me because I had an assload of time on flights and layovers, but in the end I didn't get much sweater knitting done. I did, however, get pictures with the sweater in the mansion because, well, that is what I do.

Here is the sweater with a World Series Trophy and with a Vince Lombardi trophy!

The sweater was getting freaked out during the photo session because the help, and yes, I just used the word "help" to describe people, who the hell am I? The help, in particular, the head lady help, she kept checking in on me, the weirdo taking pictures of the valuables. Or rather, the weirdo taking pictures of the valuables with what looked like a wadded up blanket. Since the sweater was shy I put her away and took a few more pretty shots when the help was not looking (which I'm sure fueled the fear that I was in fact casing the place and not merely taking pictures of things simply because they were neat).

This is the view from the master suite, and incidentally, I now understand why there is something called a "master suite" and to all you posers out there like me that think having a walk-in closet and a bathroom attached to your bedroom renders it a "master suite" know that that is not true and we are merely deluding ourselves. In fact, the guest room that I stayed in was more of a master suite than my stuff at home. It 1) was bigger than my master bedroom; 2) had a larger, fancier bathroom than any of the bathrooms in my house including my master bath; 3) had a walk-in closet larger than my house's guestroom; and, 4) had a partial loft which was about the size of my master bedroom. But let's move on.

Here is a picture of art. Real art. Like art you would find in a museum but instead it's in some one's actual house. Real art that probably has an insurance policy more sophisticated and higher valued than my homeowners policy.

What is so neat about this particular piece (yes, first it was the help and now it is the piece, I'm a freak with the vocabulary of someone in a much higher socio-economic class than that of which I am actually in!) is that it isn't a painting but instead is a gazillion tiny pieces of Venetian glass mosaic tile thingamajigs jammed together to make a picture. I'm sure the artsy fartsy term is not "jammed in" nor is it "tiny pieces of Venetian glass mosaic tile thingamajigs" but I don't know how else to describe it. So there ya go. Oh and the art, it had it's own label and description, like in a museum, but not, because it was in the foyer. Also, like the master suite, you may think you have a foyer, but you don't, not really.

So after ogling the nice house and embarrassing the hell out of my sweater with all of my picture taking/ducking the help, I readied myself for the shower, as in the bridal shower, not my bathing shower, though I did that too, in a steam shower which was more complex than the cockpit of a jet and made me twitch when trying to figure out how to turn on only one jet/faucet because the others were shooting at me all willy nilly and freaking me out. So the shower, the bridal shower.

There was some prep work done in which my surprise appearance was suppose to be ensured. That is to say, I didn't show up with BeFri's sister, but was instead snuck through the back door of a clothing store across the street and placed in a holding pattern until BeFri couldn't see me and then led across the street having to squat as I walked because my "blockers" were all six inches shorter than me.

But I did arrive and BeFri did act suitably surprised and so the ruse made everyone feel good. Like we were slick, even if we weren't. Which BeFri won't confirm or deny for certain.

The shower was at a paint-your-own-pottery store and BeFri had picked out plates, cups and colors for use to do. I being well prepared (or crazy and anal and nervous that mine would suck without having a DETAILED plan) had practiced drawing mine and even enlisted the help of a real artist to give me a template with which to work from. I was really pleased with my plate.

That is until BeFri's sister decided to put Van Gogh's Starry Night on a cup.

Now at first glance you might think Starry Night is not terracotta orange in color but know that this Starry Night won't be terracotta orange either. The glazes were fancy schmancy and all go on in shades of terracotta but then fire into different blues and greens and yellows. Hopefully BeFri will send me a picture of the finished products so that I can show you the magic of ... fire? A kiln? Magic something.

In addition to painting pottery we also got to eat. And boy did I eat. Specifically I ate the hell out of some cake. The cake was so awesome that even the sweater came out of hiding to check it out. The muggles, however, were freaked out by the sweater, and she got all nervous and ran back into her bag.

BeFri was not forced to open her gifts in front of everyone, which is good because she is so not into that. And also, some of the gift's were, um, unique. Like this.

What the hell is this? Half a sweater? BeFri was going with a shawl "like rich people wear to the country club" but I thinking that this is a bridal shower gift and should be homey or something am going with apron. Thus far no one else is seeing the apron idea.

She also got some slightly used lingerie in that the giver decided to try it on herself to make sure it would fit BeFri. Can we get a collective EWWWWW? One more time, EWWWWW, because what the fuk is that all about trying a thong on yourself to make sure it would fit your friend? Honestly, I could not make that up. The giver was so excited about the gift that she made BeFri open it after the shower officially ended, but before she got home. Dirty Giver proceeded to tell BeFri, as she was opening it, that she had tried it on and so knew it would fit (despite being eight inches taller and about seventy pounds heavier than BeFri). Yuck.

After we deloused BeFri, she and I went back to her house and she and her fiancé opened the gifts. Including the aforementioned APRON. Later she and I went out to eat and had some of the best spinach and artichoke dip ever at Houston's. Damn that stuff is good.

The next morning we woke up early and went to breakfast at a local jewish deli which was also delish and then I caught my plane home. Well one of my planes, because hello layover I hate you. I did manage to knit on my second flight. The flight that was so ridiculously short that there wasn't even beverage service. So I didn't actually get much done. But the little bit I did finish included ATTACHING THE POCKET. Woot Woot!

I now have about seven thousand inches of straight stockinet to go before some neck shaping. Oh the joy!

*FYI, in case you are ever enacting a surprise similar to this surprise, I suggest you have a back up plan, just in case. Ya see, had I truly surprised BeFri and had she had plans for Saturday night or Sunday, I would have been screwed, and also stranded with no place to stay and no way to get to the airport to get home, having been sold on the following by BeFri's sister ... "So, we won't tell BeFri you are coming. I'll pick you up at the airport Friday night, we'll stay a X's, and then Saturday we'll go to the shower. You can then go home with BeFri and spend Saturday night and Sunday with her and then she can take you to the airport." Which is a great plan unless, like I said before, BeFri had had plans. I realized the potential disaster at the last minute (and by "I" I mean my husband who said, "What are you going to do if BeFri has plans?" and to which I said, "Shit!") and made a back up plan with Opa which turned out unnecessary. But my point, as long winded as it is, is have a back up plan should you travel fourteen hundred miles to surprise someone.

Friday, September 07, 2007

No So Full Of It After All

I am tied for first place in The Football Pool!

Coincidentally, I am tied with the only other girl, who happens to be my friend and someone I recruited for the pool. That's right, I/we rock. Looks like I wasn't just just talking smack after all. And yah, yah, I know this was only the first game, but it is also an omen. An omen of my dominance! Wahaha.

Now if I could get that dominance going on the blasted sweater, that'd be great.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


I love me some college football. Having grown up attending games of National Championship teams, first as a kid then as a student, this is not surprising. So, on Saturday as I sat watching my beloved Hurricanes whomp on some Marshall butt, I thought it might be fun to have a college football pool. I tried to convince my husband of this, but he thought that a college football pool would kick my ass when teams like Podunk U. played C. Fla. Not convinced of my NCAA prowess, he poohpoohed the idea but suggested a NFL pool (something about less teams to tax my brain, what-ever). Well things evolved and now we have a pool. A real pool in which several of his manly man sports smart friends have joined. A pool in which I plan to kick some ass and dominate. A pool in which I plan to win so that I can buy me some Clapotis yarn with all of this manly man money (and a little bit of money from my non-manly man friends who join)! Of course, my best laid plans often go wickety wack and all my trash talking might just be a prelude to me coming in dead ass last and forking $20 over to some testosterone ridden, addle brained fool. But that's okay, I think it's going to be fun. Even if I suck.

I tend to have a lot of fun doing things I totally suck at, like bowling and mini golf and playing HORSE and tennis. In fact, the suckier I am, the more fun I have and the more trash I talk, thus convincing people I am not so sucky and then ruining their expectations of some sort of competitive game when they see my true level of my suckdom. But by then it is already too late since they are in the middle of a game with me. Wahaha. It is all part of my master plan. Yah, as if I have a plan.

But seriously, I am so going to win this football pool. This isn't even me talking smack. I have until tonight to have my teams picked and you know what, I am already done. Yep, I have thoroughly researched (those Cowboy's kinda have a cute quarterback and those Ravens have a lot of Hurricane players) and made educated, well informed decisions (eeny, meeny, miny, moe). I am so ready to win me some yarn!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Nuthin' Doin'

I've been busy cranking away on my Kangaroo Duo, which sounds like I should have a bunch of progress to show you. But eh, not so much. I'm still not even ready to join my pocket to my front. But I have a goal. My goal is to finish this sweater in time to wear to Rhinebeck. It will be my very first Rhinebeck Sweater. In years past it seemed the internet was full of people knitting 'Rhinebeck Sweaters.' I've started to hear some rumblings again, and have even seen a really cute sweater ready for this year, so I figured, why not join the masses. Maybe if I have a goal, I can crank out this sweater (knit stupidly on US4, 3.5mm, teeny tiny needles) sometime before I die. So I shall toil away on it until I finish, and not go yarn shopping for Clapotis, which makes me very sad.

To help me reach my goal, I've been knitting while I watch the boob tube. The husband and I were searching for a new show since nothing good has been on and since yet another show we liked was not picked up. Some internet surfing led me to Dexter and the husband approved, which was great since I didn't have a back up plan. So $13 later, we were Showtime subscribers on our way to Miami with a serial killer. I was a little leery at first because I'd look at Dexter and see David but kudos to Michael C. Hall for putting that to an end real quick. Let me tell you, Dexter is a great show and I totally recommend it. Through the miracle of OnDemand in about two weeks we were able to enjoy season one. Immensely. But the last few episodes, man, they had me hiding behind a pillow and cringing and squirming and doing many things other than knitting. That show built some tension. Some major I'm-scared-and-don't-want-to-look-but-I-have-to-but-no-oh-god-what's-happening-I-can't-stand-this type tension. So in summary, Dexter = good for watching, bad for knitting.

And, not related to anything else mentioned above, Rebecca nominated me for Rockin' Girl Blogger which is both very nice and somewhat confusing since I see myself as more dork than rockin'. I mean I talk like a fucking rock star, fuckin-a I do, but otherwise ... I dunno. I'm flattered, thanks Rebecca!

As for my nominees, here are a few ladies whose blogs I enjoy, none of whom I've met in person, and none of whom have offered me any money for said nominations ... Barb P, Nicole, and Susan. Not that I'm not totally open to bribery - if you'd like to pay me for a nomination, we can talk!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

That's Weird

Recently it seems there have been several signs that the apocalypse may in fact be real and knocking on my door. So, lest you think I am crazy, I share with you the top four (I know four is a queer number but the fifth sign has not shown itself yet, so we are going with four) signs that the apocalypse is here.

Four - Yarn. As in, I have all of this beautiful plentiful yarn, and yet I don't have enough of anything suitable for a Clapotis. How is this possible? It's like, so unbelievable, kinda of like ...

Three - A rookie throws a no hitter in his second game start. And he plays for the Red Sucks. This should not be possible. Greatness isn't suppose to rise from shit.

Two - Flies. We've been bombarded with house flies and we don't know where they came from. Last night we (and by we I totally mean my husband, I just kind of directed) killed five muthafukin flies. They appeared out of no where while we were watching a movie. We don't leave the doors open, we don't even open our windows which all have screens. We are a hermetically sealed, air conditioned loving type people content to lounge in and breath our recycled air. Also, we took the dead body out of the basement over a week ago. There is absolutely no reason for the flies.

And finally, the number one sign that the apocalypse may be real and on it's way - My used purse is worth more than our used car. Yes folks, after multiple inquiries into the seedy underbelly of car dealings, it seems that my purse is worth about $200 more than our car. Yes the car has 220,000 miles on it. But still. The car runs, transports my husband 18 miles to work and 18 miles home each day. It can transport four, somewhat comfortably, hundreds of miles. My purse can't do that. It spends the majority of its time loafing on someone or something else. It swings on my arm or chills on a hook in my office, holding things like gum wrappers and receipts. Again I ask, how is this possible. And, in a delicious little twist, the guy that "valued" our car saw my purse and commented on how he use to get them in Germany for $10. Yes, he thought my purse, that is worth more than my car, was fake.

You may want to utilize a five foot buffer zone when interacting with me should I spontaneously combust.