Friday, November 30, 2007

NaBloPoMo, xxx

Whoot whoot, we have reached triple x! Not only does this mean today is a porn free-for-all, it also means this is the last day on which I am obligated to blog. I realize that the last month of posts have been somewhat boring, maybe not the most interesting of stuff, and often filled with me whining. Because hey, if I can't say something funny or interesting, let me complain. I know I can do that. But, I want to end on a high note. You'll look back (delusionally) at NaBloPoMo and remember me as Miss Mary Sunshine, so I thought I would share ...

Stuff that Makes Me Happy

  • Finding out we're having a girl! I would have been just as happy if it was a boy; it is the finding out part that rocks.
  • Making other people smile. Thanks Mr. Puffy!
  • Knitting. I haven't made much progress lately, but I still enjoy it. Hooray knitting!
  • Completing and mailing our holiday cards out BEFORE the holidays! Thanks Tana for the unintentional nudge.
  • Flowers.
  • Lists.
  • Christmas lights. This actually takes some 'splaining. Every year I like to put Christmas lights up in my office. Not because I am believe in God or embrace the religious overtone of the holiday, but because they are pretty. Which, now that I think about it, basically sums up my entire Christmas philosophy. I don't believe in the God or Jesus stuff associated with this time of year, but I like the trees and the lights and the presents because the season is fun and pretty, so yah, let's do it. In any event, my office, it's lights. Usually I end up going in on the Monday after Thanksgiving and spending the morning on a chair with Kay handing me hanger things and the lights. This year, however, I got off easy because I never took the lights down last year. I didn't light them up after New Year's, but I didn't take them down either. I'd say this has me hovering around an 8 on the TrailerTrash-o-meter. Now that the holiday season is here, I have been lighting them up and enjoying that festive tiki bar atmosphere that only faux wood paneled walls and multi-colored Christmas lights can give you. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
  • Visiting friends. Visiting family. Anyone visiting who is visiting for good reasons, not to like, jack the television or the china.
  • Cake.
  • Actually blogging everyday for NaBloPoMo.
  • Christmas trees. Especially Christmas trees that were purchased and put up last night, days before my husband goes abroad. I only have to do the ornaments and that's not a bad thing to do alone. In fact, if you are a control freak who likes things "just right" and your "just right" involves angles and spaces and stuff other people can't see, well then, doing the ornaments alone isn't a bad thing at all, in fact, it is like a holiday present early. And, in case you are curious, I am totally ignoring the part where we were the very first customers of the season at the Christmas tree store and that the guy made a comment about getting X type of tree to help ensure that its needles last until Christmas.
  • Naps.
  • Dental floss.
  • Wearing hand knit socks.
  • Free porn. Come on, you didn't expect me to leave that one out when we are on NaBloPoMo XXX did ya?
  • Thursday, November 29, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xxix

    I found myself getting totally annoyed on my drive to work this morning. It has happened before, and I am sure it will happen again. Anywho, in an effort to lower my (I'm sure it was skyrocketing) blood pressure, I drafted a mental list of ...

    Six (such a queer and random number, but it worked at the time) Things That Tick Me Off When Driving.

    6. Poor blinker usage. Using it is great. But turning it on, in and of itself, doesn't give you the right to cut me off. If you smash into me, saying you had your blinker on isn't gonna save you.

    5. Slllllooooooowwwww ddddrrrriiiivvveeerrrrssss. Yes, we are on regular non-highway roads. But for fuk's sake, GO THE SPEED LIMIT.

    4. Mini-vans. What the hell is it with mini-van drivers? They are either maniacs or putzs. They speed or they dawdle. They ride your ass or you end up riding their's. They're too tall for us regular car driving folk to see around or through so you never know what the hell is going on in front of them. Is there a reason they are driving like a turd? Dunno, can't see. This latter part also applies to SUV's. Though they as a group don't tend to drive as poorly as the mini-van crowd, it is annoying when you can't see what is happening up ahead because of their big ass vehicle.

    3. The right lane. It use to be a special place. A place for the daring. A place for the speeder. Those of us crazy kids that wanted to go a tad bit faster, well, we could use the right lane to pass the regular folk in the left lane. Apparently those good ole days are gone because now the right lane is full of people who want to futz along somewhere around and maybe, just maybe, at the speed limit. This has the fantastic effect of creating a huge pack of angry drivers all wanting to pass someone, anyone, just get me the hell away from this asshole!

    2. Unable to maintainers. How is it that so many people are unable to maintain their speed? They go twenty, they go fifty. One minute you are being left in the dust, another you are almost smacking into them.

    1. Box blockers. There is a saying in New York, "don't block the box." It means that you don't chill out in the middle of an intersection when your lane of traffic has stopped. If you do this, you block the people who are going the other direction when the light finally changes and you are stuck in the exact same spot in the middle of the intersection. I believe this should have some sort of biblical, eye-for-an-eye punishment. Forget a fine. You deserved to be rammed, demolition derby style ... You can't go? Well neither can I, but you tried and now so am I. Whoops! Did I just smush you brand new Beemer? Tee hee, sorry!

    So those are Six Things That Tick Me Off When Driving. Feel free to add your own, or even create your own list. I am sure I could come up with sixty if push came to shove.

    Hopefully I won't encounter the same asshole contingent when I leave work today. I'm leaving early (sweet!) because today we have (another) ultrasound/sonogram (I'm not sure what the difference is or which is the correct term and I tend to use them interchangeably) during which we hope to find out if the bean has a proverbial hot dog or hamburger. I'm trying not to get too excited since the last time we tried, the bean was uncooperative. This does not mean, however, that the husband and I have not spent a somewhat embarrassing amount of time yelling inspirational phrases (phrases like, "Show your stuff!" or "Don't be shy!" or "Tell us what you are hot stuff!" or "You better cooperate or else your grounded and that means NO T.V.!") at my stomach. We have. The question is, will the inspirational phrases work. I mean come on, I am, well, I am what I am, and what I am is one of those people who needs to know the gender of her offspring before the offspring is actually delivered. I'm not sure I can handle being kept in the dark.

    Even with this ultrasound approaching, and the due date looming in my future, I haven't really felt all that pregnant or like I'm going to be someone's parent. Me, I am just gestating peacefully over here, minding my own business, going on with the day-to-day. I haven't had any super urges to decorate or nest and my knitting, well, it is still one hundred percent self-centered. And, for the record, I am totally cool with this. Recently though, well on Thanksgiving morning actually, I felt the first movement that I could definitively say was the bean's and not the broccoli from dinner the night before (yummm, broccoli, I could totally dig on some broccoli right now). Since then, I can feel the bean moving around a lot more. This is both cool and weird. I find that this jumbling around is neat and makes me smile, but it also makes me cringe a bit because dude, it's slamming into my organs and stuff with a decent amount of force. This can't be good for either one of us. I'll be la-la-la-ing along, typing or something when, THWACK, someone just poked me in the [insert internal organ here] and realize, hey, I'm pregnant!

    Wednesday, November 28, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xxviii

    Crazy: I mean no offense, but have you noticed that you are starting to look pregnant? Like with a belly (pause) um, bump?

    A) Shit! Are you kidding me? Guess I better lay of the Swiss Cake Rolls.
    B) I mean no offense either, but you're a cunt.
    C) Yah, I figure that is going to happen at some point being that I am, you know, pregnant.
    D) Is that a zit on your chin?
    E) FYI, when you start a sentence with "I mean no offense" it is obvious to the listener that YOU DO IN FACT MEAN OFFENSE.
    F) As my supervisor, is that really an appropriate thing to say to me?

    As in the majority of multiple choice questions, the right answer to that question is C. I played it off like I was oblivious to that fact that she was trying to tell me I looked fat. I'm annoyed at myself for doing this as I usually don't let her get away with childish snotty comments. I'm big on calling her out to her face when she is rude or unprofessional to me. I'm also big on making fun of her behind her back because in many ways, I am twelve years old. Either way, when she told Office Manager that her boobs were too small, her clothes were unflattering, she looked horrible and so on, I got all over Office Manager for not standing up for herself or complaining about sexual harassment or something. So me = hypocrite.

    Despite being called a lard ass, my day was not ruined (this happened yesterday).

    Yeah, flowers! I love flowers. I love getting flowers. I love buying flowers. And, if I wasn't black-thumbed, I suspect that I would love growing flowers. Pookie and his boy toy, Shorty, sent me flowers as a 'Congrats, you're knocked up!' type of thing. Very cool! They are coming up to visit two Sundays from now and I can hardly wait. Since I will not be drinking, again, I look forward to remembering all the idiot things they do and recounting them in minute detail, much to their horror and dismay. There are rumblings about an epic game of Trivia Pursuit as Shorty is supposedly "good." Needless to say Boo is "grrrreeat" and even with me as dead weight on the team, I suspect he'll kick some arse. The last time we played, Boo ditched me on to some poor unsuspecting family members, but this time I think he'll be stuck with me, so maybe I'll finally win.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xxvii

    I must admit that I totally suck at this whole roman numeral thing. This last week I have had to correct each of the roman numerals in my titles because me, I am math dumb, and not number savvy. Considering that these are not really numbers, but letters, my number savviness (in case you were curious, savviness - spelled with a y or an i - does not appear to be a real word, but I've decide to keep it in there anyway) has nothing to do with squat and, well, that is extra sad. But whatever. It's not like I'm to the point where I am going to have to look up my roman numerals. I know there is some rule about never having four somethings ... ones maybe? And I know the whole minus thing when you get to the four thing. Except not really. I may very well be making this up. Maybe I should quit talking about this and move along.

    Since I'm already breaking the rules (see supra, savviness), I figure I will post the most awesome food picture I've seen in a long time.

    What does this totally awesome flock of cauliflower sheep have to do with rule breaking? Well, the picture was sent to me in a forwarded e-mail and I have no idea who took it, if it is under some type of copyright or what not. By posting it I could be dipping my toes into copyright infringement. Hey, I am wild. I live dangerously. Next thing you know, I'll be speeding. Yah, yah, I know people get really sensitive about their pictures being used without permission, and I understand why, and I am not mocking them. Well, actually, I am, but not maliciously. But these sheep are too awesome not to share, so if you happen to be the owner of the cauliflower sheep, please let me know I will give you credit and kudos because you totally rock.

    In the meantime, can I just say how much I love these little guys. Cauliflower bodies, olive heads ... too cute. I can't tell what the legs are, but I would totally eat them too.

    Monday, November 26, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xxvi

    I was (indirectly) reminded that I have the power to see what searches bring random people to my blog and so I looked them up and saw this one ...

    Is Derek Jeter a Republican?

    I don't know why, but that cracks me up. It also sent me on a search to find out the answer. I did not find it per se, but I did learn that DJ supposedly has herpes and has passed them on and that he may be a tax dodger. The whole VD promiscuity thing leads you to think "amoral slutty democrat." But then you have the whole makes-a-lot-of-money-and-doesn't-want-to-pay-taxes thing which smells of "rich tax-cutting republican." Oh Derek, you are such an enigma!

    Sunday, November 25, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xxv

    My husband is flying to Dublin and is staying at one of the nicest hotels in the city. He is doing this all for free since he is going to "work." Taking into account his free accommodations and the fact that he will be gone for my birthday, we've talked about me going with him. Unfortunately the plane fares have been ridiculous and we can't really justify this expense with a bunch of unpaid leave looming in the horizon. That doesn't mean we haven't tried. Boy have we ever ...

    Top Ten Reasons Why It Is Totally Cool To Spend $2700 On A Plane Ticket:

    10. My awesome negotiation skills could help finalize the IRA disarmament talks and put an end to The Troubles.
    9. It's a good reason to explain why The Bean doesn't have a college fund.
    8. To research, write, star in, and direct a movie about Veronica Guerin ... oh wait, that was done already.
    7. Getting a head start on ideas for a St. Patrick's Day party.
    6. I could finish knitting my sweater on the long ass flight.
    5. My presence on an international flight will help reaffirm people's faith in the security of the airline industry.
    4. I'm a drunk and the beer is just better there.
    3. In my husband's absence the animals will bond with me more causing a potentially deadly shift in household domesticity.
    2. Spending that much money will stimulate the economy.
    1. Fuck it, it's just money.

    Saturday, November 24, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xxiv

    I spent today watching the Hurricanes lose while freezing my arse off. I thought gestating babies was suppose to make ya run hot. So not the case. I feel like I got gypped out of the useful pregnancy symptoms. I was so damn cold, most of the 'self-portrait' pictures I took, came out wonky. Case and point:

    You can't tell who this is or where we are. In fact, the only things you can tell from this here picture are that my uncle and I ended up wearing matching coats and that my hat wouldn't stay on properly. It's all good though. Despite the poor showing and subarctic temperatures, we had a nice time visiting with each other.

    Friday, November 23, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xxiii

    My uncle has arrived and opted to start his visit with a nap. He is totally my kind of house guest. The down time gives me a moment to report that Thanksgiving went off without a hitch. The pecan pie was well received and I converted two more people to the way of the puh-kahn. Granted they were under the age of fifteen and grossed out with my pee-can/outhouse analogy, but whatever, I consider it a moral victory. The mashed rutabaga was not as popular, but that is okay. It meant there was more for me!

    I did have a moment or two of stress (because I am a control freak) when everyone kept opening the oven to check on the turkey and stuffing. In my head I was all, "Leave the oven closed! You're letting out all of the heat! The bird will never cook! Grrr." But on the outside I was all peace and tranquility. It worked out nicely and the bird did cook.

    On the drive down I was able to get some knitting done on the socks. There was a pretty nasty accident which added an extra hour and a half to my knitting time, uh, I mean our travel time.

    Thursday, November 22, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xxii

    Happy Turkey Day!

    We're off to poison treat my in-laws to some delicious pie and mashed rutabaga. Should you not hear from me tomorrow, it may be because I prematurely struck out the poison part of that last sentence.

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xxi

    This morning I worked and this evening I am preparing for Thanksgiving at my SiL's. Last year we spent the day doing Not-Thanksgiving things. This year we are diving in to a traditional Thanksgiving. It's my in-laws' first Thanksgiving since my FiL passed away, but they are marching forward and meeting the holiday head-on. Ironically, they are making me do the same, as we were asked to bring pecan pie. Or I should say pee-can pie ... what the hell is a pee-can? It sounds like something that belongs in an outhouse, not in a pie. My people, a gentle folk, say it puh-kahn. My husband laughs at this. But whatever. I, surprisingly, have digressed.

    Back to the pecan pie. Many years ago, my mom would make The Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving. She was the go-to gal for pecan pie. In fact, her pie was so good that my uncle would put one on his Christmas wish list. Having grown up only eating her pecan pie, I never had any others to compare quality wise; but, I am willing to say it was the best pecan pie ever. Since my mom died, I have not had pecan pie. My aunt would make one at Thanksgiving and I would abstain. I once tried to have the pumpkin pecan cheesecake, a pecan pie on top of pumpkin cheesecake, at The Cheesecake Factory. I started sobbing after my first bite. Apparently I have issues with the pecan pie. Or I should say, I had issues with pecan pie being that it is the item we were asked to bring to my SiL's so I can't exactly keep my issues any longer.

    Boo suggested buying one at the grocery store, but I just couldn't make myself do that. My mom and aunt would find a way to haunt my ass if I did. So, I dug out my mom's old cookbook, found her recipe, tried to remember how she tweaked it, and made a pie. Well two. My uncle is coming up for the weekend and I figured I could make him one too. He doesn't cry when he eats pecan pie, so it seemed like a nice gesture.

    I cheated and used a pre-made roll out crust. Having never made a pie before, this was probably smart. Having never made a pie before it would have probably been smarter to read the directions before I threw them in the oven. In hindsight I have a couple of tips for anyone using pre-made pie crust. One, there is a reason stores sell pie weights. I didn't have those, or beans. This was kind bad. Two, that extra crust around the rim? Follow the directions and fold it over like they say. Ripping it off my result in shrinkage. If you're me, your pie crust will shrink once you fill it and stick it back in the oven. I now have a gap along some of the side bits. Whoops. Notwithstanding the crust issues, I was somewhat worried that the pie part itself might taste like ass. I had some extra filling (as my mom always did, so that has to mean I was on the right track, yes?) so I poured it into a small baking dish and cooked it along with the pies.

    I had a bite. I did not cry. I did not vomit. In fact, I kinda smiled and thought, "This ain't too bad." I am going to have my husband try it and see what he thinks. If it passes his taste test, then I am bringing a pie (shrinkage and all) to the in-laws. If they don't need their stomachs pumped, I'll be giving my uncle his on Friday.

    Lest you think I am some sweet nice pie making girl, I should confess that I am also submitting my in-laws to my favorite Thanksgiving dish in the world, mashed rutabaga. Having not made it in a few years, I kind of lost my sense of perspective and ended up with two huge pots of boiling rutabaga. This is not actually the first time I've done this. Several years ago I made Thanksgiving dinner for Boo and I. Only the two of us, yet our entire apartment bar/counter top was covered with food.

    It might have been overkill for just two people. I might have eaten Thanksgiving dinner for weeks afterwards. Anyway, I seem to have done this whole too-much-food thing with the rutabaga. Hopefully someone besides me likes it. Boo, he does not, not in the least. In fact, he says it smells like farts. He, of course, is an idiot. Rutabaga smell earthy, homey, delicious, not farty.

    If, however, the rutabaga did smell the least bit farty, which it totally does not but just say for arguments sake that it did, well then my entire house would smell farty. There is no way you make that much rutabaga and not smell up the entire house. My husband could be a very sad camper when he gets home and takes a deep breathe. Maybe the puh-kahn pie will cheer him up. Either way, I need to figure out whether to mash the rutabaga now, or wait until tomorrow when we get there.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xx

    NaBloPoMo, xx. Heh! One more 'x' and I'm going to have to add a disclaimer and an age requirement. Yah, so, maybe that only makes me giggle. Maybe we should move on. Today we had our first snowfall for the year. It, somewhat surprisingly, seems to have stuck. A little bit. Odd. But pretty. For now. Pretty until the sand truck comes and the cars drive and the white snow turns to muddy muck.

    My front yard, in an impromptu photo shoot as I was backing out of the garage. Note the pretty red leaves which should have fallen BEFORE the snow fell. Someone, other than me, is going to have a shitty time dealing with them whenever they do get around to falling.

    I wasn't really prepared for the snow to stick around today so I find my self improperly shod. I ended up holding hands with Office Manager as we walked to lunch since neither one of us had on decent shoes. We couldn't decide if the hand-holding was helpful and would prevent a fall, or dangerous as it would mean we'd both go down. In the end we managed to get there and back unscathed, so I am going with helpful.

    And, speaking of shoes, another pair of hand-knit socks grace my feet today, only not in super cheap shoes. The shoes, though not great for snow, were bought in a real store! I got these shoes a couple of years ago because, ironically, I thought they would be good in the snow. The foot sole has tread, but the heel, no tread. Kinda sucks when you walk like, you know, a human, and put your heel down first. Well I assume that is how all us humans walk. Maybe I am a freak. I know I have to walk funny in high heels because of the heel first thing. Shit, now I am going to have to research this. Maybe I walk like a duck. Crap. Okay, let's talk about the socks. These puppies tested my knitting mettle. They seemed to have loosened up - good. But they have also faded - bad. Nonetheless, I like them and wear them.

    Monday, November 19, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xix

    Today I let my inner schmuck out to play. I didn't realize it at the time though. I was driving back to the office after a quick and easy court hearing and I was in a good mood. So I'm not sure why, but it irked me when I was maybe thirty yards or so from a green light at an intersection and a dude crossed the street in front of me (instead of walking up to the cross walk at the intersection). Being that I was irked, I said, rather loudly, "Sidewalk Asshole!" I realize, in hindsight, that this was the wrong word choice; I should have said, "Crosswalk Asshole!" My word choice, however, wasn't the issue.

    You see, the whole thing really wouldn't have been a big deal, but my windows were cracked and the guy heard me. The guy, who happened to be a cop. From the side, all I could see was his black pants and black jacket, not the pretty badge and hoopla he had on his front. But when he turned to look at me after I voiced my greeting, I got the full frontal view and realized my faux pas. As if this wasn't bad enough, I was so busy staring as Sidewalk Asshole Cop, that I didn't realize my light had changed from green to red, and I ended up running the red light. I wonder if he thought, "Red light Asshole!"

    Sunday, November 18, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xviii

    Another day, another post where I'm phoning it in with a pair of hand-knit socks and cheap shoes and another birthday shout out! This time birthday wishes go to Opa while my socks and shoes are ...

    These socks were not knit by me. They were a gift from a friend to whom I had given the yarn. The yarn gift was not because I was nice, but because the yarn was hexed and trying to drive me crazy. Despite my lack of genuinely generous intent, I was lucky and gifted with gorgeous socks. It pays to have nice friends, huh?

    The shoes are cheap K-Mart specials. I bought them several years ago to wear in the rain. Now I wear them in the snow. Not that it snowed today. I wore 'em just because. If you look closely you'll see that at some point Dogeralla decided to have her way with the lace on my right shoe. She didn't totally chew it though, so I can still wear them in semi-polite company.

    Saturday, November 17, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xvii

    It is getting late and my dinner is disagreeing with me. These two things are important as they explain why I am phoning it in on this here post. A post posted for the sole reason of meeting my NaBloPoMo obligation.

    The cold weather is starting to arrive and my hand-knit socks are starting to emerge. Today I wore some of my favorites, knit last April, with a newish pair of shoes to go see No Country For Old Men. The shoes are Target specials and the movie was okay. I wanted a little more redemption in the end, but my husband he disagreed thinking that the movie was great as is. We both agreed that my socks were cool, as were my shoes. Or at least if he disagreed, he had the sense not to do it out-loud.

    Friday, November 16, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xvi

    Today is Joan's birthday ... shout out to Joan! Go Joan, it's your birthday! Happy Birthday!

    Speaking of birthdays, remember how I was saying that the bean NEEDED to be born of 4/6/8 so I wouldn't screw up and forget its birthday? Well let's just say that I wasn't being a total smartass when I made that declaration. Though I remembered Joan's birthday, I did not remember to send out her birthday card and gift in a timely manner. Which is to say, I was planning to mail it out today. On her birthday. So she would get it Monday, not on her birthday. Whoops. But even a bigger whoops is that I don't have her new address. My great plan, which actually was kind of a sucky plan to begin with, just got worse.

    Also, Dogerella? I TOTALLY forgot her birthday. Last year I remembered, and threw her a party. This year, not so much. Which is a bummer. Not only for the dog, who I know was crying on the inside despite her act of nonchalance, but also for me. Because you know me, I love me some cake. Celebrating your dog's second birthday is a great reason to have have cake. I'm thinking that maybe we should throw her a "surprise party" on Saturday. The surprise being that, Ha! It's not your birthday but mom is having cake anyway!

    Even though I screwed up the dog's birthday, I've gotten some redemption ....

    Remember how I was the teeniest bit bitter that Baby Girl didn't win (or place in) her doggie costume contest? Well that right there is a picture from our local newspaper, announcing the winners of the doggie costume contest. Somehow Baby Girl's picture ended up with the winners, even though she wasn't one. Obviously this means that even the newspaper people thought she should have won! Guess I wasn't just one of "those" moms after all!

    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xv

    Barry Bonds' screwed-upedness has mucked up my husband's day, causing him to have to work extra late; thus, mucking up my dinner plans. I no like Barry Bonds. Unfortunately, Barry's screwed-upedness isn't really all that interesting and worthy of blogging about here at Chez SouthPark. Well at least over in my half of Chez SouthPark, the husband may disagree since sports news is his bread and butter.

    In any event, we're half way through NaBloPoMo and I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel for content as my knitting progress doesn't really keep interest on a day-to-day basis and the nut-jobs I work with are behaving themselves and not providing me with much blog fodder. Which is why I am whipping out an old chestnut of a finished object. Ta da:

    This is a square that I knit back in August for a baby blanket for one of my fellow SnBers. She was having a boy and she and her husband were decorating his room in a nautical theme. The ladies decided to make her a baby blanket comprised of individual squares that each of us made. The rules dictated that you had to make a ten inch square in blue machine washable yarn of a specific gauge (a gauge which I have forgotten). I had offered to do a nice lacy square but that got pooh-poohed. Something about a choking hazard or having fingers caught. I dunno. I then offered to knit my name so that everyone would know which square was mine, again I was pooh-poohed. Bah. These women are picky, let me tell you.

    In the end, I went with the obvious and knit up an anchor. I found the pattern here but it has been updated since I knit it so I'm not sure if it exactly like mine. I don't remember encountering any errors in the pattern, so I am not sure what was changed. In any event, I lucked out in that no one else went with the obvious nautical stuff and so mine was the only anchor. Whew!

    As you can see, the back is not nearly as nice anchor wise. But, it does have the pretty knit stitches, so that is a redeeming quality, I s'pose.

    Since I finished this in August, August 15, 2007, to be exact, I don't remember any of the details I usually include with my finished objects. I know it took less than four hours total and that it looks more complex than it is. I started before work, did the anchor bit during my lunch hour, and cast it off that same night. Should you ever need to knit an anchor, using stitches instead of color work, this is a great option. I do believe that you can click on the pictures to see them super big if you want to get a good look at them.

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xiv

    I'm going to visit some clients in jail this afternoon. Usually this is a fun thing. I get out of the office and meet, um, interesting, people. Last time I did this though, I was invited into a cell with a madwoman. I'm not even kidding. She tried to attack the officer that was dealing with her restraints to get her to the visit. From what I gather there was some spitting and some kicking and some poking, well as much as one can kick or poke with her arms and legs cuffed. But you get the point. I respectfully declined the offer to be escorted into her her cell, citing the lack of privacy and potential breach of attorney-client confidentiality. I really wanted to site the what-are-you-friggen-nuts-I-don't-need-any-new-bruises-thanksalot thing, but took the high ground.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xiii

    Someone had a bee up her bonnet yesterday, huh? I have issues with all the fuckers in this world that think they deserve a hand-out, or even a hand-up, just because they are breathing. Lack of personal responsibility is one of my pet peeves, and with everyone telling me I should sue or something because my employer owed me more than two weeks, well, it got me going. But I'm over it. So there ya go. Let's move on to rainbows, cotton candy and knitted delights.

    Why yes, those are some work-in-progress shots of my sweater! Not because the pictures are all that great or fascinating, or that my sweater sleeve is almost done; mostly because I am running out of things to say. I figure if I am going to say them again (i.e., I worked on the sleeve some more), I should at least provide pictures.

    You'll notice, if you look very closely and squint, that the sleeve seems to be switching colors. This happened despite my knitting from two balls at once because I am the opposite of slick. That is to say, I did knit from two balls at once. It's just that I started at the same point, with each ball new, so that I ran out of each ball at the same time. So basically all of that switching was for not. I just created a bigger area before the color change. So, I'm a creating a new category, a new thing with knitting rules for my feeble mind, a section consisting of "notes-to-self." Now normally my note-to-self is something along the lines of, 'X sits bare-assed on public toilet seats; note-to-self, don't sit on seat after X.'* But I evolve, I learn, and I grow. So, I'm expanding my notes-to-self to include useful knitting knowledge in the hope that it prevents further calamities ...

    Note-to-self, when using two balls of hand-dyed yarn to provide color uniformity or mask color non-uniformity in large knitted piece, start knitting the balls from different points so that you don't run out of the two balls at once creating one big block of what you were trying to avoid. If you mess this up you'll need to add a third ball into the mix and that is a royal pain in the arse.

    Okay, well, hmmm, that is hardly a succinct little gem. I'll have to work on it. And, speaking of working on it, I found the missing jaywalker socks, so I could, hypothetically, start working on them too!

    * That one is for BeFri. She was dating X and almost spit Diet Coke on me when that particular note-to-self came into fruition.

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xii

    My office is actually open today, despite, you know, it being a state and federal holiday and the courts being closed and all. Which it turns out was okay, because guess what, I learned my two week maternity leave was raised to three months. You might think it was due to my amazing powers of persuasion, but in the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit my only persuasion was something along the lines of ... Hahahahahaaaaa, did you say TWO weeks? Heheheeee. I must of misheard because I swear you said you wanted me back at work two, as in one, two, two weeks after giving birth. Wicked persuasion. It must have been my hysterical laughter. All kidding aside though, I do, honestly, believe my employer had every right to stick with the two week offer and that I am lucky that the head honcho changed his mind. Although now that he is up to three months? Done! Sold! Deal! No take-backsies!

    Recently I've heard multiple stories about people having horrible work/maternity leave issues. But even as I was starting to become a member of that crew, the whole my-employer-kicks-puppies-and-pregnant-ladies crew, I would still find myself getting annoyed at people's bitching about their jobs. Ironic? Maybe. But here's the thing. Your office/job/company/employer? It doesn't owe you anything. If you don't like the conditions in which you work, or the policies of your employer, then you can quit. Does it suck? Sure. But you're not entitled to a job. You're not entitled to some mythical amount of time off. When I was facing a two week maternity leave, I had to decide what I was going to do about it. It was on me. I had to decide if I wanted to look for a new job now, quit after I have the baby and find a new job when I was ready, or wait it out and see what happened. Obviously the latter option worked for me and I didn't have to wait it out very long. But the point is, my employer owed me nothing. Yes, I've been here for over five years. Yes, I have an impeccable work record (frivolous prisoner grievances aside). Yes, I think it is the nice thing to do, to let someone take time off after having a baby. But no, I don't think my employer has to do it, or even that it owes me.

    I realize that there are laws that govern big(gish) companies. I researched those very laws so I would know what my options are. So I do realize that in certain situations, the laws dictate that your employer does in fact owe you something. But for the most part, not so much. It really irks me when people whine about life not being fair. Life's not suppose to be fair. Pull up your pants, tuck in your shirt, and grow the hell up. Instead of waiting for someone to give you something, to do something for you, get it yourself, do it yourself. Maybe they have different laws in Notamerica or Utopia or Stickistanvlackia. If those laws are so great, those places so fabulous and friendly, then go there. Leave. Buh-bye. Actually DO something for once instead of whining about how someone should do something for you. Geesh.

    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, xi

    My in-laws were here this weekend. Well, my MiL and a BiL and his wife. A tiny group compared to the herd that I married into. Only my MiL was staying with us, but that was reason enough to try to get the guestroom up and running again. Can you imagine telling your 72 year old MiL that she is crashing on the couch? So, not wanting to give up our bed ('cause we are selfish like that), we really busted ass to finish the room, and despite my oodles of snot and general malaise, we managed to get it done. Sort of. The room needs curtains and a television and some bedding newer than, say 1998. We also need to do something about the dresser in there that was my husband's from, well, way before 1998. So work still must be done, but it is back into usable condition. So I'm cool with it.

    For your viewing pleasure we have some 'befores.'

    Just like the last time I did some before and afters, my before pictures are really before, as in before we owned the house. But you can get the idea. See that brown wall? That is the textured wallpaper that hid a wall horrors. And see the shelves? They were painted into the wall, requiring dry wall repair when removed. I won't even get into the mess that was the carpet ... but only because the carpet is gone and I don't want to trigger some PTSD moments recalling it.

    Now we have freshly repaired, primed and painted walls and real hardwood floors. We also have 'bookings' for the next couple of weekends. So hopefully we didn't miss something critical and none of our guests get beat up by a falling wall or a previously unseen floor tack.

    Saturday, November 10, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, x

    Despite what you've heard, or rather haven't heard, I have done some knitting. On my sweater. If only because I misplaced the socks I was working on. D'oh! I'm about three inches closer to the end of this sleeve than I was before. Doesn't make for exciting picture so you'll just have to believe me. The upside is that with all of the decreases, my sleeve is starting to pickup speed.

    Friday, November 09, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, ix

    Bonus points for everyone! If you guessed, you were right. All of my whining was true. But today, today is a much better day. Not only did I have a fifty-five year old curmudgeonly man use the work "yeppers" (as in, yes, sure, no problem, yeppers) twice while talking to me, I got to see these gems on the back of a correctional officer's truck.

    Can you make those beauties out? No, let me make 'em bigger ...

    Seriously dudes, who in the hell puts that on his car? I'm assuming it is a him, but that is totally gender bias on my part. After seeing that as I was walking into work, I just had to laugh. I mean life, it could be worse. I could be married to the person that owns this car!

    Thursday, November 08, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, viii

    Today has been a rough day. The type of day where you just have to laugh at the absurdity because otherwise, you might kill someone. Bonus points if you can figure out if today has sucked thus far because ...

    • my cold, it still lingers;

    • last night I forgot to bring home the file I needed for court this morning, and only remembered this morning when I was thirty minutes past my office, causing me to have to turn around and go pick it up, thus back tracking and adding an extra hour to my morning drive;

    • my pinkie finger hurts as I somehow slammed it in between my car door and the mirror of the car next to me in the courthouse parking garage;

    • my case that was set for ten o'clock was not heard until eleven thirty so I got to stand around in tall, uncomfortable shoes for an hour and a half;

    • the first thing that I was greeted with when I walked into my office this afternoon was a client grievance sitting on the top of my desk; or

    • I am being offered two weeks, unpaid, as my maternity leave.

    Wednesday, November 07, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, vii

    My pants don't fit well. This in and of itself would not be the end of the world, had I not discovered the unfittingness during my drive to work when it was way too late to change my pants. You see, my pants, they fit fine when I'm standing up. When I sit down, it's NO GOOD. So when I got dressed and was messing around the house, they were great. By the time I got to work, breathing was a challenge. Add in the fact that I am trying to breathe through gallons of snot and well, life here is not pretty.

    In fact, it is so unpretty that I have found myself unable to sleep, unable to read, unable to knit, and unable to watch tv. Put these things together and you have a very boring Jenna. I am (probably) on the mend, so let's hope that by tomorrow I'll have something to tell you about other than my snot. Otherwise this will be a really long NaBloPoMo for everyone concerned ... and I may resort to telling you stories about the old people trying to learn how to vote using those high tech things called "scantron forms" which is only funny when you are sick as hell and slightly delusional. And, maybe also funny when the 80 year old man who was complaining that he wants the "simple, common sense" lever system reinstated causes you to reflect back to when you relocated to a new state and had to give up hanging chads for the lever system, a system that made NO SENSE, and that you needed to have explained to you.

    Tuesday, November 06, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, vi

    Sometime between yesterday afternoon and this morning, I contracted the plague. Surprising since I just got over the plague from last month. I guess my immune system really is busy working on other stuff. I knew I was sick when I decided that my dinner could consist of three of the gawdawful banana Reese's things that had been left on the end table next to the couch for some unsuspecting fool. So in the end, I spent last night with kleenex jammed up my nostrils and cough drops chilling in the back of my throat. I sat there for hours thinking of sleep instead of actually sleeping. It was truly lovely. Lovely like being stretched on the rack or poked in the eye with a stick.

    Speaking of sticks ... or not, my husband was able to remove the carpet and the tack strips from the guest room floor. Now we have a slightly holey, slightly dirty, hardwood floor. Should the planets realign and my head drain, I hope to get the room done by Thursday so I can do some more work on my sweater. If not, well, there still are those three banana Reese's cups.

    Monday, November 05, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, v

    Day five of NaBloPoMo and not only do I have nothing (interesting, funny, exciting) to report, I also still can't type NaBloPoMo for squat. I don't have any new knitting to show you, and the one picture I took of my socks to say, "Hey look I really did knit!" Well, it looked like the last picture I posted of the socks, so why bother? I didn't get much more knitting done after my airplane knitting, since I spent yesterday working on our guest room.

    A few weeks back my husband got a wild hair about the wallpaper in the guest room and decided to rip it all off. It was this thick, textured, almost grassy type stuff that I didn't find too horrible. But apparently he did because, poof! It was gone. Which is great, but the glue behind the wallpaper? Not gone. Also, the walls? In shit ass shape. So for the past few days we have worked and worked and worked. Well, he has worked and worked and worked, I maybe only worked. But we've got the ceiling and the walls cleaned, repaired, primed and painted. Now we are on to the ripping up of the carpet and the removal of tack strips on the floor and then painting the molding. Once that is done we have to clean it up, reload the furniture, and we'll be ready to roll. Which doesn't seem like too much work. But for the fact that the work, it has to be done by Friday because my MiL is coming up on Saturday and going to be staying in there.

    I'm sure we'll get the room done in time (I'm not sure at all, I am totally bluffing here), but the real question is, will I get my hair to behave by then? Last week I got my own wild hair and decided that I wanted bangs. I'm not sure what I was thinking. But now I've got em. This whole willy-nilly-I-want-bangs-thing is not unprecedented.

    In March of 2006, I gave myself bangs. I had eaten six, yes 6, oatmeal cream patty/cookie Little Debbie things and ended up on a sugar/oatmeal high. A high so diabolical that it seemed totally logical to give myself a haircut. Despite my oatmeal/sugar induced euphoria, I did realize that cutting my own hair, and hacking off six inches or so RIGHT IN THE FRONT might not be the smartest thing to do. So, as a precaution, I cut the bangs about an inch too long. What that extra inch was gonna do as a precaution beats the hell out of me, but that is what I did. I ended up with bangs that rested nicely on my eyeballs.

    Remembering this tale of woe, I decided to have a professional cut my hair. And she did a lovely job. A job so lovely that I have a hard time duplicating it. I got the bangs to do right once, on Friday night, which if I had to pick one time not to have them all wonkily curled, was the perfect time being that people were taking pictures and stuff. Every other time, however, they have given me a headache (literally, somehow ten wispy pieces of hair on half of my forehead gave me a headache) and I've eventually pulled them back.

    So the big burning question (well questions, as I have two in there) this week will be, can we finish the room, and if so, will it help me get my hair to do right?

    Sunday, November 04, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, iv

    I am back from Miami, with a little more life experience than I had when I left. And, surprisingly, that extra life experience didn't come from my conversation with Janet Reno (with whom I schmoozed like I was some big shot or something) or from suffering through one of the worst quaterbacked games in the history of football. No, it came from a conversation I overheard in the ladies room at the Orange Bowl.

    I was behind two women as I walked into the restroom and from the snippets of conversation I caught, I learned that they were mother/daughter and that they were talking about a boy the daughter had brought home for her mom to meet. As we each entered the stalls and started to do what one does when one is in a bathroom, the mom said, "I have to tell you, I have exceptional gaydar and that boy is not not sleeping with you because he cares about you and wants to make it special."

    Saturday, November 03, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, iii

    I'm in Miami today ... Bienvenido o Miami! I'm basically here for twenty-four hours. I jetted in last night to watch my family receive a post-humus award on behalf of my aunt and today I am catching a Hurricane game and jetting home. It makes me sound much more adventurous that I am. Jet setter, ha!

    I got some knitting done on my socks the way down. The sweater is just too big to schlep when I only am using a carry on for all of my stuff. I can't post a progress shot from here, but trust me, you'd be impressed. You'll just have to wait until tomorrow when I am on my home turf.

    In the meantime, have I mentioned that we had the big sonogram on Thursday? The one where you find out all sorts of neat stuff like fingers, toes, chambers of the heart, penis? Yah, well our baby seems to have all of its parts, but it is finicky ... and breach ... and using it's umbilical cord like a loin cloth so we don't know what gender it is. Fortunately we have another appointment in three weeks. Hopefully the baby will give up the goods then.

    Friday, November 02, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, ii

    Not only have I been lax with my knitting updates, I've also been lax in my 'thank yous.' Recently, well not so recently as I have just admitted to being a slacker, but let's just pretend that it was actually recently, because really, recently, it is a good way to open up my sentence. So.

    Recently, we've received some neat baby booty from EiC and Joan. EiC is my husband's good friend from way back in high school. He is an author and big wig book executive guy. Now he is an "editorial director," which I think means that he picks which books his company publishes. It could mean that he is a regular schmuck that has been there so long that they gave him a fancy title. But he is smart, so probably not. It use to be, however, that he was a regular editor at a different big fancy schmancy publishing house in New York City. While he was there he could get me free, advance copies of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. Though he has definitely moved up the career ladder, I do miss the free early bird Stephanie Plum books of yesteryear. Anywho, I've digressed, shocking I know.

    EiC sent us a couple of neat books. One, The Pregnancy Countdown Book counts down the pregnancy process day-by-day, as if the title didn't give that away. It is totally breezy and not at all freaking me out. Unlike the other books on the topic, such as the one given to me by my doctor that has a whole huge chapter on hemorrhoids and contains several gems about what should and should not be placed inside the vagina during pregnancy. Right in the beginning of the book. Jizzy Frickin Crizzy! That book scared the crap out of me and for the first time in my entire life caused me NOT to read the last chapter first! If you are going to start with with hemorrhoids and vaginal probes, I don't need to know where you are going to end, thankyouverymuch. TPCB, however, has not yet freaked me out. It is still talking about happy stuff at day wherever I am at ... day 156 (had to look that up). There is real medical info, but there is also fluff. I like fluff. The book was light-hearted enough that it lulled me into a sense of comfort so warm and snuggly that after reading a few days when we first got it, I decided to read ahead. Dammit! I knew better, but I did it and you know what, my nice funny irreverent book is real nice and funny and irreverent about babies not ever wanting to come out in the "fourth trimester," the days after the countdown has come and gone and you are overdue! Nonetheless, it didn't scare me, so it is a keeper in the SPR library.

    EiC also sent us Sci-Fi baby Names. Can I just tell you how great this book is? If you and your husband have totally different opinions on the whole name thing (Zeus IS a totally viable name and leads to the awesome nickname Z), this can give you some fresh ideas ... Guinan (from Star Trek, TNG, dispenses mind altering libations and snipets of wisdom) or Vril (from Action Comics #42, super brainiac with iffy ethics and megalomania; will end up in jail or with a Nobel Prize). Need I say more?

    Joan, she is my friend, a friend from the drunk delightful times known as law school. Joan lived with me in law school and knows that I love my sleep. A lot. And she also knows that I can be a teensy bit whiny about not getting my sleep. It seems that she is concerned that the whole baby thing could mess with my sleep. Totally ridiculous I assure you. I mean, I am sure that our baby will be the one baby in the entire world that falls right into a sleep pattern that mimics its parent's sleep pattern perfectly. Joan must doubt this as she has given us to items which are sure to help our little bean drift off into blissful slumber.

    Joan sent us a video, or I should say DVD as that is probably the more accurate term, on how to make your baby sleep. Dr. Phil recommended it. Sounds good to me! I haven't actually watched it yet. I am putting off the viewing of the sleep DVD until it is closer to the time we'll need it. I don't want to forget the important bits. Also, we're out of popcorn. And anytime you put a DVD in, with the exception of DVDs of the adult variety, you really need popcorn. I may also still be a little freaked out after watching the National Geographic special, In The Womb. It is a really neat show and I like all the scientific stuff (each piece of DNA is six feet long! SIX. FEET. LONG. You can't see it with the naked eye, but it is a half an inch taller than my husband!). Nonetheless, the show was a little unsettling. I suspect that is because it seems weird that all that stuff is happening inside of me when I still feel normal. But there ya have it.

    The other goody Joan sent was a whole wheat wrapper, uh, I mean a swaddling blanket. I am really psyched about this one. All parents seems to have stories on the magic of the swaddling blanket. So I am hoping that it can work its magic at Casa de Moi. Not that we'll need it. Again, our baby is going to be the non-fussy, sleeps perfectly, bundle of sugar and spice. In any event, we are totally gonna be using this. It comes with very detailed instructions, which is very important because despite the fact that we'll be wrapping the baby up like a burrito, I don't think my burrito making skills (which are quite impressive if I may say so myself) will be all that helpful.

    Anywho, my thanks may be late, but they are totally heartfelt. Thanks EiC and Joan! You guys rock!

    Thursday, November 01, 2007

    NaBloPoMo, i

    Today marks my first post of NaBloPoMo, and hopefully somewhere along day four or so of this month long blog posting festorama, I will quit stumbling every time I type NaBloPoMo. Otherwise this is going to be a very long month as far as my fingers are concerned.

    Anywho, I've been somewhat lax about keeping you up to date (in case you're curious, up to date and the hyphen situation was making me twitch, I've decided to go with no hyphen as I am using it as a verb and not a one word type of adjective thing, this could be wrong, I don't know for sure and Strunk and White are currently out of my reach, just know that I did think about this as I didn't want to make your eyes bleed, because me, I care) on my knitting progress, which I know disturbs (and saddens) you to no end. My apologies.

    As for the sweater of doom, I mean the sweater that I absolutely love to bits, it is coming along. Slowly. I've gotten a couple inches done on one sleeve and am trying to knit at least two rows a night. At this rate it should be ready in 2010. Fortunately, well for purposes of sleeve knitting anyway, I have midget arms, so the sleeves shouldn't take too long once all the decreases start to take effect. If I had normal arms we'd be looking at 2012 or so, I'm sure.

    As for the Socktober socks, yah, well I was going to cheat and make them peds so I could finish them in time, but, um, I didn't even get that far. I have two toes and one and one half feet. I need some more foot, some heel and some leg and I'll be good. Unlike the socks which are not striping good (or for the grammar police, well, which doesn't have the same symmetry as good, but is actually the right word choice, I think, again Strunk and White have deserted me). I like the stripes clean, sharp and demarcated. I've got that. But I wish that the stripes were different widths. These stripes are all the same widths and this does little for me.

    And, in case you were curious, the Limited Edition Elvis Presley Reese's peanut butter cups are not good. I repeat: NO. GOOD. You may wonder how I ended up with these banana flavored confections, if not, indulge me. It was 100% bad luck. Normally we don't get trick-or-treaters in our 'hood. But each year I panic at the last minute and buy some candy just in case. Last year we got one kid who wanted money for UNICEF and not a single one wanting candy (Him: Knock, knock. Me: Hello! Happy Halloween! Reaches out with hand full of candy. Him: Holds up box. Would you like to donate to UNICEF? Me: Huh? Him: Would you like to donate to UNICEF? Me: Does UNICEF want candy? Showing hand full of candy just there for the taking. Him: No. Me: Um, then no, no thank you. Him: Okay. Walks away WITHOUT candy.). Nonetheless, I was worried that this year, this would be the year we were rushed by unruly trick-or-treaters demanding candy goodness. So, at 4:45 p.m. on Halloween evening, I went to my local grocery store to pick up some candy. And guess what, they only had one bag of Halloween candy left. If I wanted Christmas candy I was golden, but Halloween? Not so much. So I took that one bag of candy thinking it was Reese's peanut butter cups with an Elvis theme for Halloween ... not an Elvis flavor. We had two trick-or-treaters, and despite the fact that I gave them huge heaping handfuls of this banana badness, we still have a two-thirds of the bag left. I think will bring them to knitting next week to share.