Thursday, February 28, 2008

Alternatively

D could also be for done! As in holy crap, I just completed over thirty thank you notes, I'm finally friggen Done!



Now many of you big-wedding folks may say, "Thirty? That's nuthin'. Quit your bitchin!" But for those of us who eschewed the big-wedding thing and went small and intimate, and then decided that the husband would do the thank you cards for his peeps and the wife would do the thanks you cards for her peeps* and said wife only had like six peeps, well, thirty is a lot. A WHOLE HELLUVA LOT!

*FYI - I totally recommend such a system. It's great. For us, it has evolved into Boo doing all of the cards for his peeps (birthday, anniversary, holiday, etc.) and me doing them for mine. Since I have less peeps, it works out really well. For example, one December we sat at a beach side restaurant and filled out our holiday cards. I was done in twenty minutes and got to spend quality time gazing at the water (and the oddly clad freaks on the beach) while Boo kept writing and writing and writing. The only real downside is that my peeps never get their cards on time because I suck at remembering such things. On the other hand, his peeps get their cards on time because I'm not in charge of remembering such things!

D is for ...

Decaffeinated Spiced Chai.



Decaffeinated spiced chai that tastes like dung, to be exact. Which honestly, makes no sense to me. I've been a lover of decaf tea for a long time. In fact, I have people ship or deliver or smuggle me my favorite decaf tea from down South since I can't get it in Connecticut. I also really love chai and can drink two whole pots of it in one sitting (yes, Passiflora chai rooibos I'm talking to you!) and I have gone so far as to create my own chai recipe that I can mix up when I am feeling saucy. So it seems like I should really like the pre-made decaffeinated spiced chai, but I don't. Which is a shame because it is seriously easy to make.

D is also for ...

... Duped! Crazy just saw the box of decaffeinated spiced chai sitting on my desk and asked me if I like it. I said, "No, not really." Well, she just reached over, took it off of my desk, and said, "I have a friend (I'm not sure I believe this ... how can that crazy bitch have a friend?) at the gym who would like it so I'll give it to her." Then she turned around and walked out of my office, tea in hand. Um, what the fuck?

... Damn Disaster! As in, trying to re-locate two huge shelving units full of yarn, without first removing the yarn, will create results that can only be described as DISASTROUS. There is no photographic evidence of the move as my tears, frustration, and general temper tantrum needed not to be photographed. Let's just say the whole process sucked and that we had some fatalities in yarn, knickknack, and shelving form. On the upside, neither the husband nor I suffered any permanent injury. And, at least it is done. Sort of. But we are not going to talk about that.

... Duh! I've been having twice weekly non-stress tests to check on Lady Bean. She is fine, so basically I have a bit of free knitting time twice a week. If you add that into the other knitting time I sneak in, you'd think I would be done with, or pretty damn close to finishing, Clapotis. Except that on Monday, I left my Clapotis pattern at the doctor's office. Duh! I could have downloaded a new copy and kept knitting, expect my copy of the pattern has my notes on it and I'm gonna need it back anyway, so why print out a temporary copy? I'll just be killing a harmless little tree if I do that!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pedicure Socks

What an inspired title, eh? Ha! So, last week I finished my pedicure socks. I've been patiently waiting for my pedicure appointment to roll around so that I could take some pictures at the salon and blog all about their usefulness. And yes, I was totally convinced that these puppies would be useful (which it turns out they were). Anyway, last night was the big night of pedi pampering and the picturing taking thing was a great plan, but for the fact that I forgot my *&%$!# camera, having left it at work. So, I had no pictures at the salon. But! But, I had my old camera at home and figured I could use the old camera, take some pictures, and blog away. That worked out wonderfully until I tried to upload the pictures onto our new home computer with its fancy Vista operating system. Basically Vista laughed at me when I asked it to upload the pictures from my poor antiquated camera. *&%$!# Vista. Anyway, now I am at work, having regained picture publishing capabilities, and all is right in the world. I can now share my pedicure socks!



So these socks were quite simple to knit, even if the yarn was quite icky. Since these are not going to be in my regular sock rotation, I figured why use the good stuff. The answer to that question is, a better knitting experience. It is just nicer to knit with yummy yarn. That being said, for acrylic, this stuff ain't too bad and it didn't hurt my hands.



For the pattern itself, I just kind of winged it. I cast on 30 stitches and did a few rounds of ribbing in the black mystery yarn. I switched to the striped yarn, did one round of ribbing, and then started on the heel. For the heel I used a generic heel pattern that I had kicking around my knitting stuff from some unknown source. It is, however, quite similar to this one.



Once I turned the heel and decreased the gusset, I knit the foot. This was just plain ole knitting in the round. I went along until I was a half an inch from the start of my toes, that is, the toe part starting at my foot, the part where the toes connect to the foot, capishe? Once I hit that part, I did a few rows of ribbing until I reached the beginning of my little toe. Then I started casting off. This actually caused me to use my noggin' as I needed to figure out where to place the in-between-the-toe bit. I knit in my ribbing pattern until I reached the point where I wanted the toe bit. I knit those three stitches, and then started casting off until I reached the next three stitches that I needed to line up and fit in between my toes. I knit those three and resumed casting off until I ended up back at my first three stitches. I ended up with six live stitches total, three on the front needle and three on the back. I knit the three stitches in stockinette until they were long enough to connect to the other three stitches. Then I kitchenered them together. Easy peasy!




My method worked (perfectly for me) though it means that I have a right sock and a left sock - they are not interchangeable because the toe bit goes between my big and second toe. They aren't interchangeable but they are matching in stripeyness. I made sure that I started on the same place with the yarn for both socks so that the stripes lined up. I am a dork!

However, I am a dork with dry warm feet, after a rainy cold February evening pedicure!



Yarn: Unknown black stuff and two partial skeins of Moda•Dea Sassy Stripes, color #6946 Crush, dye lot #5821.
Needles: Addi Turbo, size 3.25 mm (US 3)
Pattern: As discussed above, I just made it up as I went.
Time: 18 days.
Care: Machine wash cold, lay flat to dry.

Friday, February 22, 2008

My Life as a Movie

It's Friday and I ain't got shit to do. I am home for a snow day. Normally this would be great news. Except for today. Today I had an assload of things to do (shopping, hair cut, gym, shopping, you know, IMPORTANT things) which I've had to scrap since I am housebound and, that's right, AND, we ain't got no food.



Or rather, in the words of the great cinematic character Smokey: You ain't got no sugar? Daaamn! Y'all ain't never got two things that match! You either got Kool-Aid, no sugar ... peanut butter, no jelly ... ham, no burger ... damn!

How wrong would it be to order a pizza for delivery and expect some poor schmuck to come out in the weather and brave the driveway from hell?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hiding the Hemorrhoid

Okay, I have to make the hemorrhoid thing go away. I could delete it, but, well, after three months at home with a newborn, I may need to remind myself of why life at work sucks big ole monkey balls. So, instead of deleting, I will honor Joan's request and provide inside pictures of the diaper bag ...

Bag closed, from the top:


Bag opened, from the top, with my belly intruding:


Bag opened, from the top, only lighter because black = hard to photograph:


I'll also give you an update on my pedicure socks ... just need to cast off! That wasn't much of an update was it? How about an update on Lady Bean who is weighing in at 5lbs., 10oz., but still has six more weeks to  cook  grow. Or, how about an action shot of my Clapotis which should be a lot further along than it is.



If you are familiar with the pattern, you will probably note that there are way too many ticks next to section two. That would be because me, I not so good at following directions. Or rather, not so good at reading directions. You are suppose to do SIX additional repeats. Not TWELVE. Just in case, you know, you are like me, and, um, blonde, you might find that helpful. It is too bad I didn't realize that I only had to do six repeats sometime before I finished repeat number ten.

Reason #1854 That I Don't Share At Work

Me: Mr. Y is going to be out sick for three days?
Office Manager: Yah, he's having surgery.
Me: Shit, I hope he's okay.
OM: Oh, I think so. Crazy said he had a hemorrhoid go bad and tear his anus so he needs to have his rectum sewed up.
Me: ???

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Romance

Happy Valentine's Day!

Remember how I was cleaning out my camera, well I never actually finished. I could skip the finishing of the cleaning out of the camera and entertain you with the wonderfully romantic plans the husband and I have made for (presumably) our last Valentine's Day as non-parents, but I suspect as soon as I uttered the words "bi-weekly non-stress test," "town meeting" and "sewer system," you would tune me out. Which quite frankly would be silly, because come on y'all, is there anything that says romance like spending an evening with a bunch of your neighbors and elected officials and talking about failing septic systems, city sewer lines, and environmental impact statements? Nope, I think not. Do you know how hot I will be if my husband convinces these folks to hook us up to the city sewer for less than the Are-You-Fucking-High-$20,000 they want to charge? WAY. HOT. So WAY FRIGGEN HOT that it will have been a good thing that I had the bi-weekly non-stress test. But since I suspect I am an oddball, well, I figured I would share the last of the pictures rotting in my camera instead.

These pictures are all related to the new human being we plan to bring home with us in a little over a month. You would think that it would be around this point, 8+ months, that I would be all, "HOLY SHIT, we are getting a new human in a little over a month!" But actually, I'm still not feeling like this is real. I wonder if that real-feeling will set in at some point before the baby is crowning.

Anywho, without further bumbling, the new stuff which we actually purchased all by our little selves (as opposed to the plethora of new things - some of which I totally do not know what to do with or how to work - that very nice people have given us because 1) they like us and wish us well, or, more likely, 2) they are worried about our level of cluelessness and are giving us subtle help while at the same time memorizing the number to our local social services office).

First up, a glider which is suppose to some how rock my world (no pun intended, but now that it's there, heh) and some lullabies.



In case you are curious about our level of nuts, we are at the level where we will spend $80 on lullaby CD's. This is a little higher than the normal level of nuts as I swore that I would never give Metallica a dime after the whole Napster snafu. I loved Napster and was ticked that Metallica was throwing a wrench in things. So before it became illegal (and not one time since because I am law-abiding, or paranoid), I downloaded every Metallica song I could find. For free. So there. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Mr. Lars-I-am-Already-a-Millionaire-Screwing-the-Regular-Guy-Asshole-Ulrich. Despite my resolve to never give Metallica shit, I couldn't help myself when I saw the CD. There were a lot to chose from but Boo and I compromised, each picking two. I went for the U2 and Metallica lullabies and he went for Led Zeppelin and the Beatles. What this means is that I am going to have to find some 50 Cent lullabies to counter act the damage of The Beatles. Such is my lot in life though.

My lot in life also involves bags, and, I assume, diaper bags. Quite frankly, the diaper bag shopping has been my most favorite part of baby shopping yet. Swaddling swinging things? No clue. Purses? I get it. I know purses. I understand purses. Which is why it is so odd that I am not sure about my feelings on the first diaper bag I purchased.



That is the Mia Bossi Cherry Fizz, in case you were wondering. I like the bag design and the size. But the color is kinda weird. The white bits are actually more bone than white. I am not sure how I feel about this.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

More of the Same

I'm still not finding the funny, or the blogworthy and interesting, though this morning I did find the pissed-off-hormonal-indignation as I trudged through horrible weather to get to work on time when nothing else (including the courthouse NEXT to my office) was opening on time simply because Crazy wanted sympathy. Yesterday she left at tenish for no reason, or one of three totally different reasons, depending on which person she told. So when I walked in the door this morning and saw her crying at the receptionist's desk, I know she expected me to drop everything and say, "Oh no! Are you okay? What's wrong you dear, sweet, kind, caring woman?" Having just slipped and slid my way over a mountain to drag my ass to work, that wasn't happening. Instead I chirped, "Good morning!" and waved. It might have been slightly rude, but honestly, it was better than calling her a self-absorbed, sympathy-junkie, bitch face.

So, since I am probably not fit for regular conversation as of yet, I'm cleaning out my closet, er, camera!

Here is pedicure sock number one.





I did find the ball of crap yarn that I thought I'd lost. It seems I never took it out of my suitcase. Whoops! I wish I could say I did the same with my camera battery charger and extra battery, but they weren't in there and can only be presumed missing. In any event, I am onto pedicure sock number two. My next pedicure is a week and a half away, so I have some time to get these guys finished. I suspect though that I will single handedly bring an end to winter by finishing these socks in a timely manner. I have power like that. Also, I can bring the rain by simply washing my car. I am magical!

Here are a few of the pictures from my trip to D.C. You are being spared the three thousand self-portraits during which I was trying to get the Washington Monument, Capitol, or some other neat building in the background. I look at them and it is like a Where's Waldo? I have to laugh at myself. I could have asked one of the five people with me to take my picture with the item of interest but that would have been, well, normal.

    
    
    


Here are some more of my D.C pictures, those these are of our Indian dinner, which had my new favorite Indian dish Palak Chata (crispy spinach).


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fun Stuff

Um, I'm not sure why I never posted this. It was sitting in my blog just waiting to be posted since January 29, 2008. D'oh!

So it seems I am a bit of an arse. I know that is hard to believe, but it is apparently quite true. Yesterday BeFri was asking me if I had received anything in the mail from her. I told her, "Nope, nuthin'!" We debated the postal service and its slowness versus losingness. I suspected it would arrive today or tomorrow, BeFri she was in the lost camp. Well, here is where my assholianness comes in ...

The husband and I were coming home late last night and he stopped at the mailbox so I could get the mail. There wasn't anything from BeFri in there, so I said to Boo, "BeFri sent me something last Monday and it isn't here yet. I thought it would arrive today." To which Boo said, "You hear me but you just don't listen. You got something from BeFri last Thursday." Apparently when it arrived, he told me about it and then left it on the desk for me. I never noticed because I am unobservant. And an ass. So, now that we've acknowledged that I am an ass, and without further adieu, the latest gift for Laby Bean ...



It is a customized, circa 1980 airbrushed, Lady Bean onesie!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Waterloo

I've been in a bit of a blogging slump lately. I have stuff to blog about, like my DC trip (which was lots of fun depsite the lack of blogging about it), but I just can't find my blogging mojo. I've tried doing simple posts and I've pondered just slapping up the pictures from DC and calling it a day but that seams like cheating. Speaking of which, I even thought about seeing if Joan or Opa wanted to "guest blog" the DC trip, but even that felt like asking someone to do my homework for me. So the DC trip has sat in my camera alone and pathetic. And, I am sad to report, that things don't look like they are going to get any better, any time soon. You see, I learned the most tragic thing at our breast feeding class last night. Let me reiterate, THE MOST TRAGIC THING.

Last night we had our first baby/child birth/parenting class and it was on breast feeding ... nothing like jumping straight into the deep end of the pool, eh? All in all it was a very good class. Neither Boo nor I freaked the fuck out, though we did have a moment when we watched a video with an Australian narrator who said "baby" a gazillion times in her strong Australian accent and each of those gazillion times caused one of us to giggle and mutter, "A dingo ate my baby!" Anywho, the instructor was knowledgeable. In fact, she even showed us how to breast feed in public (and we all know how I feel about that, i.e., WRONG) without showing any of your bits or even really what you are doing. Since I've noticed that a lot of woman don't give a flying fig about being discrete or modest, I can only assume that their breast feeding classes were subpar and didn't contain useful information like this. I mean come on, my instructor was a 65+ year old arthritic nurse. If she could whip out her elderly droopy boob and make it work on a weird misshapen doll without revealing a damn thing, there is no excuse for a 30 something year old woman not being able to do the same. But that was not the tragic part. No, it wasn't. Prepare for tragedy, here it comes.

We had moved into the section on the nursing diet and she said, you should eat a healthy and diverse diet. Well, she might have just said, "We are going to talk about mom's nutrition and diet." And I might have cut her off before she got to the healthy and diverse part by throwing my arm in the air with so much force that the rest of my body lifted up out of the chair and I might have been shaking and bouncing and I might have blurted out, before being called on, though being called on was not a requirement, but put me in a class room and I feel like I am under Robert's Rules of Order and need to be called on to speak, but whatever, I digress. I was antsy and anxious and yet, I politely inquired, "So I can have sushi once I give birth right?" and the lady next to me said, "She means we. We can have sushi right?" We might have sounded a little bit desperate. To which the instructor replied, "Sure, as long as it contains no raw fish." And that is when the air left my sails, my ass returned to it's seat, and my world collapsed a little bit. I may have even shed a tear. Because, really, I can have a goddamn veggie roll now. That's not what I want. I want the fishy bits. The salmon rolls. Which, consequently, even if they were cooked would still be no good because nursing moms should only have wild salmon. Not farm raised. Now tell me where in the fuck am I suppose to find a wild salmon out here on the east coast? No where. That's where. So not only can I not have the good sushi, I can't have salmon unless I jet on over to Seattle, Portland or Juno. This is just depressing.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

C is for ...

Clapotis! I may be a day late and a dollar short, but I am still jumping on the Clapotis bandwagon.



The color of the yarn in that picture is a little off. The yarn has a lot more purple and pink to it. This is a lot more true to the color.



I suspect I will finish this right around mid-July. You know, when it is nice and hot and I will have absolutely no use for anything around my neck.

C is also for Cuisinart. Several months ago I bemoaned the untimely death of my Cuisinart. I had hoped to have it repaired or something. Well, something turned out to be me doing nothing until a Kitchen Aid food processor went on helluh huge sale and I bought a new machine as an impulse purchase. Since I am now a little lighter in the wallet and owner of a brand new Kitchen Aid food processor, I really have no use for all of my Cuisinart model CFP-9 blades and parts. I figure it is time to try and sell them .... now I just have to figure out how!

Monday, February 04, 2008

A Most Embarrassing Truth

Windows Vista is KICKING MY ASS! That isn’t a most embarrassing truth that I have to share with you, but since it is messing with my blogging ability, or rather my spell checking in Blogger ability, well, I just had to share. I suspect it could be considered an embarrassing truth being that I AM A SENTIENT THINKING HUMAN and it is a COMPUTER PROGRAM, but well, let’s not think about that. Also, let's not think about any spelling errors you may see as it is 100% Windows Vista's fault. Instead let’s think about something even more embarrassing ...

I seem to have lost some yarn! I know! How do you lose yarn? Well if you are me, you lose it after you carefully pack it into your backpack for a train ride. Maybe you don’t get your first project done as quickly as you think you will since you are blinded by unsightly pooling (a pooling so unsightly that I've heard, "Wow, I've never seen pooling that big before!") which means you don’t get to your second project. And perhaps somewhere along the way, well, the yarn goes poof.



The yarn was going to be for pedicure socks. I can’t reach my feet in any way that is comfortable and I can’t have ugly, nasty, nekid toes (this is a “thing” of mine, I know it is unusual, but it is, so let’s just acknowledge it and accept as a fact that I must have painted toenails). Since I can’t comfortably reach my toes long enough to paint them, I am getting pedicures. Pedicures in the winter. Pedicures that make my bare feet cold when I leave. This is the reason why I must have pedicure socks. Toute suite! Anywho, I had two balls of the pink stripeyness and one ball of the black. The black was some unknown quantity from my aunt’s stash and the pink was something I bought. As you can see, I am down to one ball of pink. Now losing your yarn may be dumb, but it would normally only be mildly embarrassing, if embarrassing at all. Hell, I've lost yarn that I am in the middle of knitting before. But losing this yarn is actually embarrassing because, well, because of the type of yarn it is.




In case you are unfamiliar with the brand, let me give you a close up of the label.



Yes folks, I, yarn snob extraordinaire, knowingly purchased 100% plastic, I mean acrylic, a/k/a ickrylic in some circles. Granted, I bought this several years ago, but still. I am embarrassed by my purchasing choice and embarrassed that I couldn’t even hold on to it once I was committed to using it in a real project. Yes, it does help that the yarn that I lost was el cheapo acrylic, and maybe the loss is the natural order of things ... nature reasserting the natural balance of things by removing the acrylic from me one way or another. But still. How do you lose yarn?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Medicinal

I'm back from a great time in D.C. where there were all sorts of fun times (a man crashing the baby shower to take the stinkiest ... more about that later) and fun things like the world's best ice tea bag which for some socialist reason is unavailable "up north" and delicious cake with dancing babies on it ...




But, before I regale you with the good, I need to share the bad, or if not bad, disappointing.



What? You must be thinking, those socks are lovely, not bad or disappointing. But that my friends, is the power of photography. A little illusion, a little huggle muggle, a little bait and switch, or something. Because while those pictures look passable, only when you see the socks full on, no holds barred, do you see the bad.



Gahhhh! I have pooling. Ugly ass, where the hell did this come from, you can't hide it pooling.



I worked all of the pattern part of the first sock, the non-pooling sock, on the train ride up and while at Joan's and was feeling pretty good about the project. I started the bad sock on the train ride home and almost lost my breakfast. I could not for the life of me figure out what I had done different to cause such a horrific spectacle. But then, it hit me.



My skein was plagued by one of the common complaints about Colinnette Jitterbug. There seems to be two common complaints about this yarn: skimpy yardage and knots. The yardage thing wasn't a big deal to me since I knew about it going in. I also knew about the knot going in, as I had seen it when I was dividing and winding the skein into two balls. I figured it wouldn't be a big deal. Never in a million years (because maybe I am dimmer than I think I am) did I believe it would change the color flow and cause pooling. Had I thought that this was even a possibility, I would have started the second sock at the top so that the knot and subsequent pooling would have been on the foot part, the part no one would ever see.

Needless to say, I hate the pooling. If I loved the pattern or the yarn, I would rip this out and redo it upside down, but frankly the socks don't float my boat. They are okay, I guess. I like how the pattern made the side seam area wavy ...



But the pattern causes weird puckering (my ankles are swollen enough thanks to Lady Bean, I don't need to have my socks enhance this look) and the overall effect isn't anything to write home about. I still love the color and the yarn itself is an okay knit. It isn't splitty and it held up real well to multiple rippings I had when I was trying to get the right size/stitch count/etc. going. Will I wear them, sure. Will I admit to knitting them myself? Maybe not!



Yarn: Colinnette Jitterbug, color Raphael, 1 skein.
Needles: Knit Picks, size 2.75 mm (US 2)
Pattern: Two different feather and fan patterns mixed together used with a generic toe-up pattern.
Time: 24 days.
Care: Machine wash cold, machine dry low heat.