December 24, 2008

It's OVER!!!

Finally!

It's Over! I'm a homeowner. I will post a detailed accounting of this mess, but I can't do it. I'm too tired right now.

December 17, 2008

Nearing the End and Karma visits me again

First, a knitting update:
I still need to do the seams on the Lordana Boucle Car Coat for my mom.
I have started on sock 2 of the Herringbone Rib Socks for Daddy.
I'm wishing I had access to my knitting things, but I've already packed all of it.

I am finally getting close to the end of this house-buying saga.

The Final purchase price of the house is $118K and hopefully the closing will take place on Friday or Saturday. I don't care which...because that will leave me with just days to paint before moving in. This is a major league hassle! If you are going to buy a foreclosure, please be prepared for the waiting involved.

So here's my timeline (assuming a Friday Closing):

Friday
  1. Get keys to house
  2. Call locksmith to change the locks on the house (Nevermind. Just did that. It will costs me $11 a lock...so for ~$35 I can have three locks rekeyed)
  3. Buy Paint and Paint Accessories
  4. Begin Painting (if I can start before nightfall)
Saturday
  1. Paint.
  2. Paint
  3. Pain
  4. Paint (I know I'll be in pain by the time this is over)
Sunday

While the new house is drying, I can go back to the apartment and finish packing. Hopefully I'll have the movers in to move me on Tuesday.


While writing the above, I took a moment to check my email to see what the status of my closing was...ARGHHH!!! The title company is moving my closing AGAIN!!! Let's see, in the past 30 minutes I had accomplished the following:
  1. Rented a U-Haul truck online.
  2. Arranged to have movers at my house on the 23rd.
  3. Arranged for Brighthouse Cable to install my cable on the 23rd.
This is getting ridiculous. First the title company holds my paperwork for three weeks. Then they attempt to strong-arm me into closing fast by saying that I should have had the paperwork into the lender (even though they had not sent over the executed contract until December 5th). Now, the Lender has to have the contract for 48 hours before the closing can be scheduled??

I have to be back to work on January 5th. I need time to paint, move, unpack, and generally make my home liveable. I still have to get a garage door installed, get the water pipe into the house caulked, and get the air conditioning cleaned and updated. I have things to do that I can't even remember what I need to do.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am about 2 seconds from cursing everyone out when we get to the closing table.

So, now that I know that I won't close until after Christmas, what am I going to do? Why, I'm going to:
  1. Finish packing
  2. Arrange for an iron-clad closing date
  3. Go ahead and buy my paint and have it ready to move.


On a more positive note, I am glad to say that Karma, that lovely lady, strikes again. I spoke to a close friend the other day who let me know that my ex-fiancee is divorced.

LMAO!

The words, "I told you so" have never been so sweet. They weren't even married an entire year before he divorced her and I tried to tell her silly behind that he would leave her. She decided to cuss me out, post nasty things on MySpace (and I don't even hang out there), and generally blacken my name around town, which was a wasted effort. Meanwhile, Karma got him by deploying his behind to Iraq (although he apparently didn't make it out of Kansas). Failure: it's what he does best. (sigh)

Karma is sweet.


For those of you who think I'm just wishing ill on myself, please rest assured that getting him out of my life was the best thing I ever did for myself. It was one of those situations where God doesn't want you to have something that isn't good for you, but you (brilliant human that you are) know better. So finally, like any loving Father, God says, "Well, if she thinks she knows so much, I'm going to let her have it and then she'll know what I mean. I'll be here when she comes back."

I tell you now, if you keep wishing for something that doesn't come to pass, let it be. If it is meant for you, if someone is meant for you, you will be with them eventually. But don't run after someone who doesn't run after you. Once I dumped Mike (first time in 15 months I've said or written his name), my life improved dramatically. I lost weight, moved away, increased my income by 50%, and now I'm buying a house (eventually! ARGHH I'm getting angry again thinking about this delay); believe me, if I didn't feel so sorry for him, I might thank him....no, I wouldn't. Never mind.

November 11, 2008

Tired

I'm tired of signing my life away.

I finished the front and back of the Lordana Boucle Jacket and bound off the shoulders. I need to finish the sleeves and I'll be done. Just in time for Mommy to try it on at Thansgiving.

Speaking of which, the entire family will be here for Thanksgiving. Here's the menu:

  1. Roast Turkey with Gravy
  2. Brown Sugar Spiral Cut Ham
  3. Cornbread Stuffing w/ Sage
  4. Collard Greens
  5. Macaroni and Cheese
  6. Fresh Green Beans
  7. Sweet Potato Pie
  8. Peach Cobbler
  9. Vanilla Ice Cream
  10. Cranberry Relish

I wasn't going to make a ham, but Uncle Bernard has requested one. I may still make a leg of lamb instead.

November 8, 2008

Moving Right along

OK, on the knitting front: I've finished 43cm of the Lordana Boucle Car Coat (click to review in Ravelry). For about 30 minutes tonite, I couldn't figure out the match to the armhole shaping and I was convinced I would end up with more stitches than I was supposed to.

Tequila helps a lot of things.

After tequila, I stopped overthinking the math and, lo and behold, the armhole math was correct and I had perfect bind-offs. Now I'm confronting the possiblity that I will run 1 skein short of yarn in order to finish this project.

On the house front: The bank countered me at $119,000. At that point I was a little sick of the game, so I sent over a firm and final offer. I loved the way Jaya put it in her email, "this is my client's firm and final offer."

They accepted! My contract has been accepted! I'm almost a homeowner!

(Panicking, panicking, panicking)

Am I really ready for this? Am I really ready to be totally responsible for a house???? I mean, a house means that I can't just pick up and move when I get ready. I can't be footloose and fancy free.

It does mean I own a little something in the world, which is a strange concept. I believe in the Indian ideal that one cannot own land . . . you cannot own something that will outlast you in perpetuity. Someday I'll be dead and gone and that land will still be there. The most claim you have to it is temporary rights of guardianship . . .

But I'm off on a tangent.

The bank sent over an additional addendum. I read it yesterday in the Realtor's office, had questions she couldn't answer and am now waiting for the answer to my questions. I also didn't receive the termite information for the house, so I'm waiting on that before I sign this additional addendum.

Being a first-time homebuyer is frustrating and scary.

I have one set of mortgage contracts but I'm waiting on the other two lender to respond to me. I'm hesitant to sign with this first guy (even though everything is great) because I want to see if I can get the interest rate down to 5.875% or lower and I want to run back through the math again. If this works out the way I plan (and the way I really need it to), my house payment will be about $1000 a month, I will get the $7500 credit back on my taxes which I will apply to the car loan, and I'll be broke for an entire year, but I'm ready to do this.

Meanwhile, I still don't know if I'm doing the right thing in the right order. Once I send the documents back, I can schedule the inspection. But since this is a foreclosure being sold "As Is", I can't get out of it unless there is major structural damage. So I might be stuck with serious house repairs that I can't afford. I'm really gambling here. Then I have to get insurance, which is ridiculously expensive in Florida, and work on getting a moving company and a timeline. I have to box up my clothes. My move to Florida taught me how to pack quickly. . . so I know that a week of dedicated packing will get my stuff moved, but still. . . I'm so nervous.

I can't continue to rent. This is pissing away my money to someone else so they can get richer while I'm at their mercy on rent. If I'm going to pay $850 a month to live somewhere, I might as well chip in $150 more and have equity (kinda kills that earlier paragraph, huh?)

Finally, I try not to comment on Politics in my posts (only a few times I've broken that dictum), but I will say this: I'm glad election season is over.

November 3, 2008

Let the GAMES Begin!

On Saturday, I put in a bid of $112K on the house I told you about on 10/30/08. Well, Jaya called me today to let me know that the bank counteroffered at $122K. NO FREAKING WAY!!!! I'm not trying to be house rich and cash poor. I want to be house rich and cash even (hey, I know it's too much to ask for cash rich).

I countered with $116K. They better accepted that or I'm going to start house-shopping again. I know that this is a normal part of the negotiations and that this is to be expected, but when I need to give notice to the apartment complex on Nov. 16 that I'm moving out at the end of my lease, we don't have time to play! I need an offer, an acceptance, and a firm closing date that occurs before the end of the year. So although I'm nervous (really really nervous) I need this to happen for me.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch/apartment, I cast on for the Lordana Boucle Coat last night. . .179 stitches of bulky KnitPicks Twirl (great way to use it up and if it comes out looking good, I'll do another in Lordana Boucle for me :) ) on a size 8 (5.00 mm) needle. I'm hoping that this will move along fast. Instead of doing the back and fronts separately, I cast on on for them and will execute all of it at the same time. This is worrying me a little (I have to make decreases every 8 rows, but the yarn is so thick I can't count 8 rows) but I'm going to perservere.

I also decided to start designing more. So, using Shirley Paden's Flame Stitch Cardigan as inspiration, I'm going to try to create my own cropped cardigan. . . wish me luck!

PS. Am I the only person planning to get in line to vote at 7AM tomorrow???

October 30, 2008

FO Report and New Developments

I finished the Undulating Socks tonight. Overall, I love the pattern and the socks, but I will never buy Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn again. The yarn is scratchy (I haven't blocked it yet, but I don't see this "hand" getting any better) and the twist of the yarn is incredibly uneven. In some places it's as think as a strand of DK. In other places it is like cobweb-weight yarn.

In other news, I've started house hunting. On Monday, my apartment complex left a note on my door to tell me that they were raising my rent by $100! That's a 13% increase! I would end up paying rent that is more than what my mother pays in mortgage. No way am I going to do that. So I contacted Jaya and we've started house hunting.

Tonight we found a gorgeous house in Palmetto. Specs:

1713 square feet
$124,900 list price
3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
2 car garage
small porch of the dining room
In a well-developed community
Corporate owned

Let's keep hope alive. I'm hoping this will work out. I have to give the apartment complex notice by November 16.

October 27, 2008

Season Finale of Mad Men

I originally posted this on Ravelry, but I'm reposting here for anyone interested.

Ok, so I've had an entire night to think about the finale and here are my thoughts:

Don's career: I do not think that Duck or Don will become the President of the firm or that Don will leave. The firm has been purchased by PPL and even though part of the conditions were for Duck to become President, you cannot have an advertising agency without Creative. Unfortunately for Duck, Don is one of the most famous and successful in the business. The fact that he doesn't have a contract means the SC can't afford to lose him and I don't see Don packing up ship, especially not now that he has the upper-hand on everyone. So, what do I see? I see PPL sending someone over from London to run the place and everyone stays in their current positions.

Duck's career: Duck's scenes could be subtitled "The Dangers of Overplaying your hand." As they say in politics "You dance with the one who brung ya." Don now has Duck in a very bad place because Don brought him in to bring in more business, Duck underperformed and just when Duck moves to redeem himself he finds that Don still has the upperhand. In one scene, Duck tried to pay Don back for all the humiliation over the past two years. He reveals the extent of his loathing and irritation at Don and attempts to chart a new course for SC. Sadly, although Duck is largely right on the plan, by insulting Don in front of everyone he weakens his own position in front of his bosses and subordinates. Worse, Duck underestimates Don, assuming that since Don is a Creative guy he doesn't understand Accounts, but Don (not Duck) is the person reminding Pete and Kinsey that aerospace and congressmen are the objective in California. The one person Duck should have groomed to have complete loyalty to him, Pete, is really loyal to Don (or as loyal as Pete can be). However, having now shown all his cards, Duck's power comes from knowing his London bosses better than anyone else. Don's the MAN in New York but that doesn't mean anything in London. PPL knows and understands Duck and his limitations but are they willing to put up with a boozed Duck as a puppet overlord?

Don's three-week jaunt to California: I think that time in California did Don more good than anything else in this world. During that trip he finally fused the two parts of his soul together and became a man again, instead of the empty shell we saw for 1.5 seasons. He has finally accepted that he is both Dick Whitman and Don Draper and that there is no impediment to his living his life as both men. After all, he is both men and the only person in the world who knows about his double life is OK with it and she loves him for the person he is, regardless of identity. Furthermore, he reached clarity on what he really wants in life: a happy family, which he never had as a child.

Betty: As I watched Betty during this episode, the thing I kept thinking about was, "Paging Dr. Freud!" Illicit sex in a seedy bar with a man who looked devastatingly similar to her husband (right down to the wedding ring)? Was Betty trying to release her frustrations by becoming the woman (she imagined) Don was attracted to? Women who, regardless of their social position, money, or any other list of attributes, simply slept with a man because they desired him? After all, that's what Mary Beth did, right? Furthermore, it was almost as if Don had given her permission by finally admitting that he had not shown her "respect" and that she wasn't crazy. She was faithful to her husband for as long as it took Don to finally admit he was a liar and an adulterer. The moment that cat was out the bag she was free to acknowledge all her appetites.

However, I liked how the scene finally played out. She can no more cast Don out of her life than she can rid her womb of that new child. No, it isn't convenient, it's happening at a bad time in her relationship, and it isn't really wanted. But just as the child was (symbolically speaking) between her and her tryst, that baby also symbolizes a new start, something fresh with no mistakes. Her marriage is broken but it can be recast into something new and stronger. The way Don looked at her, trying to gauge his reaction from hers, also symbolized (to me) the fact that he isn't going to take Betty for granted from now on. He now realizes that he has the life he was scratching at and, more importantly, that Betty is the one who controls his access to it.

Peggy and Pete: This is the part that took me the longest to write because there was so much going on there. It is amazing to me that in a moment in time when you assume that the world is about to end you realize, with great clarity, that there are only a few things that must be said and done. Trudy ran to her parents, her shelter in the storm, instead of banding together with her husband. She still refuses to accept the fact that she is married and her place is by his side. That left Pete to finally realize that he didn't love this woman, that Peggy really was the one for him, and he wanted to be with her if the world was going to end. I think that Pete really does see Peggy for who she is and doesn't put her on a pedestal, unlike Trudy. He just doesn't know what to do with this newly-independent woman. His cry of "Why are you telling me this?" as Peggy made her confession underscored this. If he and Peggy had been together and they had had a baby he would probably have been OK with the baby. A baby with Trudy is not a pleasant thought.

The problem is that Peggy, having had a taste for success and enjoying it, realized that she's moved beyond Pete. Her "crisis" happened on the delivery table and in choosing to do whatever she needed to get out the hospital she recast herself as a new and independent Peggy. However, I don't think all is lost for Peggy and Pete. Her choice of words during her confession was very careful and deliberate,a true ad-woman; "I could have shamed you into being with me."; "I had your baby and I gave it away." "I wanted other things." If read on the surface the words seem to say that Peggy wants nothing to do with Pete; I don't read any of them that way. I read "I could have shamed you into being with me" as Peggy telling him that she wants him as an equal, not with her in a subordinate position, having trapped him into marriage and him being there out of guilt. That isn't healthy or right and she thinks more of herself than that. That's also how I read "I wanted other things." She wants her career, she wants to be successful, she doesn't want to have to stop working once she gets married. She's enjoying this newfound sense of power and she isn't going to give it up for a ring.

Now for the controversial bit, "I had your baby and I gave it away". Anybody else notice that she did not once say adoption? Gave it away to who? Did she give it away for adoption or did the State of New York take it? I assumed that if she were to put the baby up for adoption it would be with a Catholic Adoption Agency (someone please let me know if I am wrong). That sentence was the most mysterious and interesting of the whole speech for me. I'm not saying that Anita has the baby (I think the baby we've been wondering about all season is Anita's) but this is interesting...

Whew...that's my 2 cents.

September 26, 2008

New Goals

Ok, I'm coming clean. Work is a bust. My co-worker and I are on the outs and I can stand to be around it. Yeah, I said it. It. I'm not even acknowledging them as a person, just as an entity that is ruining my whole damn life.

However, this experience has taught me to acknowledge something about myself that I really didn't want to: I really do have the attention span of a gnat.

I do.

I can't even ignore the truth of the situation anymore.

Why am I finally acknowledging this? Because I'm ready to leave this work environment.

The co-workers in my department are great. They are fun, professional colleagues who enjoy working together (for the most part). I've been here for 9.5 months now and I know who doesn't like who and I have to say, everyone does an excellent job of keeping those frustrations tightly below the belt.

The pay is great.

The other people outside my department? ...Let's not go there.

All this leads me to an inescapable conclusion: I would do much better on 100% travel. If I could flit in and out of schools on a weekly or monthly basis I would be in a much better position. I would never get bored, I would always enjoy the new cast of characters, I would always be seen as the "expert" (thus affirming Virginia's adage: The expert is always 10 miles down the road), and I could travel more, which was my childhood dream job.

And I've always been a fan of per diem accounts.

So I've put it on my new 2009 plan: Learn as much about portals as I possibly can. Become a genuine product expert. In November/December 2009, start shopping for a 100% travel position.

September 21, 2008

Ahmed

I'm in love. This is the object of my affections.

AhmedAllenSidee_005

And the beautiful baby in action...a bit grainy. It was shot at ~2AM cuz this baby does NOT like to sleep!

Life gets difficult

I am well aware, in the grand scheme of things, I have a tendency to make my life difficult. I shut down, I refuse to take calls, I don't email, etc. I know this and I actively fight it. Hence the lack of blogging in the past month.

However, I am getting back into my blogging. It keeps me grounded.

So, here's the update:

A Yarn Outlet: I need to stay away. I'm going broke.

Work: Let's not discuss that. Someone in our office is looking for a new job because my liasion is driving them crazy. I'm thinking that two people are looking for a new job for that reason.

August 30, 2008

An Update

This has not been a very "bloggy" month for a lot of reasons.
    A. The Fall school started. This is the part of the year I like least: scads of eager, fresh-faced college students descending like locusts upon an unprepared and unsuspecting campus. They take all the parking spots, cop attitude really quick, and their parent's also act like fools. Worse yet, the administration of every school I've ever worked at acts as if this is the first time they've ever opened in August. No one ever remembers how to do their job, which means:

    B. The people I have to work with turn into stark raving fools. However, since I have a new job, it hasn't been so bad. I only have to deal with one person and normally she's OK. However, this month she's been a hassle. I'm her liasion, yet she's sending everything to my boss, not CC'ing me on emails, so that when the CIO asks me what going on, I'm clueless. Now, I don't know what I've done to offend her, but best believe we will has a serious discussion about this little attitude problem she's having very soon. I can't take this, I won't take this, and I am seriously pissed about it.

    C. I am on Vacation. I am in DC right now visiting my friend Shaye, who has decided that, for some unknown and ungodly reason she wants to leave the happy shores of America and go to Africa...Seriously! Africa! (J/K Shaye!) I'm sad that she's leaving, but hey, that's a great new place for me to visit and hang out.

    D. Shaye's new son, Ahmed Allen Sidee, is without a doubt, the most adorable, gorgeous little 2-month old I've ever seen. He is also attached to Shaye ever 2 hours. Amazing...

    E. The Democratic National Convention was . . . words fail me. Inspirational and well-orchestrated come to mind first. 84,000 people at Invesco fields, 38 million people watching on TV. A bigger audience share than the opening of the Olympics, the Season ending of American Idol, and the Oscars. I can't wait to see what the Republicans come up with.
    American's are ready for change. We have two change agents at the head of major party tickets. Which reminds me . . .

    F. Gov. Sarah...Who? I mean really, Who???! If this isn't pandering, I don't know what is.
    I remember reading about her 2-3 months ago when her name came up as a possible VP pick and I thought, "If they choose her, all the Republican cracks about Obama's 'lack of experience have got to stop' ". This is hilarious. Debbie Wasserman Schultz [D-FL] said it best, "I have more people in my congressional district than she has in her entire state!"


In Knitting news, I finished the Baby Surprise Jacket for Baby Ahmed. I made a lot of upgrades on it:
  1. Did some double knitting around the hood to accomodate an I-cord tie for the hood.
  2. Added Moss Stitch to the edges, including the button bands in order to prevent curling.
  3. Made the sleeves extra long
  4. Added short rows in the back for more space.
I'm actually very proud of it. I'll post pictures soon.

August 21, 2008

Firebug

I have a new Friend called Firebug.

Casey (on Ravelry) suggested the use of Firebug to all bloggers who were irritated with their CSS and HMTL as a way to check script before loading.

I thought it was a bunch of hooey. Until I used it.

Firebug

I am in the league of believers now. Firebug helped me edit all those little things about Blogger I hated: My sidebar was higher than the main post page, those annoying double-line borders around my picture, etc. It helped me isolate all of it.

Wonderful! Now, if I can get over my obsession with pages, I might be able to make Blogger work for me.

August 20, 2008

In which our faithful blogger reveals her duplicity

I started updating my Wordpress site again.

I can't help it. It's so pretty and clean.

It's not my fault. The Walker Treasury Project has made me an author. I don't want to have to update Blogger, then update Wordpress. I want to do all my blogging from one place. Not to mention that Wordpress Stats are a lot better.

I even thought about self-hosting. Ridiculous isn't it?

I did break down and get a year subscription to Flickr Pro. I just don't know if I want to go all the way with Wordpress yet.

August 17, 2008

What a Difference a Year Makes

2007
  1. I was living a home with my parents
  2. I was working a great job for a great boss in a horrible environment for s**t money (it was getting better toward the end, but still...)
  3. I had broken my engagment six months earlier but we were still in a relationship (or at least I thought that)
  4. I had a lot of friends and family around for support and encouragement.

2008
  1. I live 450 miles away from my parents. I moved 350 miles, then my parents moved 100 miles.
  2. I work a good job for a good supervisor, a so-so CIO, and an OK environment. But the money is fantastic and the prospects for advancement are excellent.
  3. I'm single. The Jackass is married to someone else. Karma will get his ass. I try not to think of him anymore. I'm looking but I'm not really ready for someone else.
  4. I'm making friends very slowly. My closest relative is 3 hours away. I am my own support system.

A few months ago I spoke to one of my friends (and mentors) and I told her that there had to be some point to God placing me in "God's Waiting Room." She laughed and said that I phrased it quite well. I'm in the waiting room for some reason.
  1. Why am I here? I dunno.
  2. Is it to learn patience? Maybe; I am gaining more patience.
  3. Is it to learn to focus? I can't focus to save my life.
  4. Is it to learn to put myself first? Possibly. I'm definitely doing that now.
  5. Is it to fix whatever emotional issues I have? Possibly. I'm coming to grips with the fact that I'm not perfect, I'm not always right, I'm not a State Department official who spends her time globe-trotting, I'm not a lawyer. I haven't done a lot of things I expected to but I've done a lot more than I expected.
  6. Is it to become a better knitter? Why else would He place a yarn store within 10 minutes of me?
Hmm...I dunno. Let's see what 26 will be for me.

Happy Birthday to me.

August 15, 2008

Ravelympics Update

I haven't been blogging lately because I haven't had much to say.

I finished my beret for Ravelmpics.

Marabou Beret1
I immediately cast on for another one, but I've decided that Ravelympics is the perfect time to finish all those WIPs I have hanging around in the house. So I'm trying to finish the Bayerishche Socks first. BTW, did you see the fancy new button on the right?

It's not going well, but at least I've finished the gusset on one sock and I've brought the other sock to work with me to knit.

I need a vacation.

August 7, 2008

We apologize for the interruption

I have two Flickr accounts, one for private pictures, one for knitting. I keep two flickr accounts because I'm cheap and don't want to pay $24.95 for the privilege of placing everything in one account. If Google Picasa web were better, I'd stick everything there.

But it's not.

So last night, I started scouring Flickr for this truly horrendous picture of myself 3 years ago, after a "Big Chop" that left me with an inch of hair on my head. I checked veiland first, although I was pretty certain that there wasn't anything in there except knitting-related stuff. I was right, so I switched to the old account, vne8172.

Did you know I had almost 600 pics in there? For some people that doesn't sound like a lot, but for me that's like saying 10,000! So I started deleting, all the while looking for this horrible picture of myself.

I deleted the Las Vegas Trip (half those pictures need to be permanently deleted), my (duplicate) pictures of the stash and the finished objects, miscellaneous picture of fruit trees, etc. I was proud, mostly because I'm a packrat and I hold onto everything beyond the necessary amount of time.It took me two days to find that picture. I’m still not proud of it.

What? You thought I was going to post it here? LOLOL! Not a chance.

August 1, 2008

You can't even carry my bra!

I like watching mess from afar, usually because it's safer that way. Right now, there's no better mess than the continuing saga of Detroit's Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick.

Yup, I've been watching the mess in Detroit shamelessly. In the car yesterday, NPR had a quick story about the electoral chances of Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (you know, Kwame's Momma? Poor Woman). For the first time in 12 years, the woman is having to battle for her seat. And her opponents keep playing the same tape over and over again.

This one.


Thank you YouTube!
Now, on a personal level, I think it's really low of Rep. Kilpatrick's opponents to hold her comments from two years ago against her. She did what a mother, a real mother does: She saw her child being attacked and she got defensive. She went on the warpath. She reminded the people of Detroit that while her son was in office Detroit began a renaissance that the citizens of the city had been praying for for years.

Her opponents are trying to tar her with the same brush as her son and before her son was commonly known as a lying, cheating deadbeat, she was a very well-respected US Representative. Sorry. That's just not fair.

Anyway, I went to the Detroit News Online and read about the debate between Momma Kilpatrick and her two opponents. The last line made me pee my seat!

(Mary)Waters said, "Anybody who goes to Congress can bring home the dollars."

Kilpatrick replied, "You can't even carry my bra."

LMAO!!!

Oh, you want to see it? Of course, dear readers! Don't you know that the debate is online? Oh please enjoy!

On a side note, I like Rep. Scott the most. My respect for Mary Waters is nil. That woman isn't articulate and she's just there to beat up on Representative Kilpatrick about her son, which isn't fair. Trash her record. Trash her personal life. Don't trash her for a being the mother of a grown man she can no longer control.

July 28, 2008

I am not in love

I am not in love with the Bayerische Socks anymore. It's not because the pattern isn't lovely. It is. It also the most fiddly thing I've ever seen.

It's the yarn.

I do not like Knit Picks Gloss for complicated patterns. It isn't plied tightly enough for very intricate detailed patterns...which are my favorite kinds.

fuzzy_sides
You see? It's all fuzzy. I can't even hope that blocking will take care of that because I know that blocking will simply make it more fuzzy.


This does not make my day.


What does make my day is the promise of beautiful new yarns.


From Zaol.


Never heard of them? Me neither (and their website was a beast to find).


Oh, but you have to see the swatches . . . I already want the Toki 80, Toki 40, Cashmere Classic, Lady Cashmere, BioRope, Biosof, Biosof 2, Olive and Muse. You have to check out their yarn!

July 26, 2008

Woo-hoo! More Books

I received another email from LibraryThing!

Congratulations. You've snagged an Early Reviewers copy of The Empress of Weehawken by Irene Dische.You should get your copy in the mail shortly. The publishers ship the books directly--some are speedier than others, so please be patient!

We hope you find the time to read the book and review it on LibraryThing. You are free--indeed encouraged--to put your review on your blog, or wherever else you want, and to talk about it in the Early Reviewers group. I want to repeat that, although writing a review will help your chances of getting more books, the actual content of your review will not.

Remember, we also have a bonus batch of books up this month--you could win from that batch as well. Take a look!

We hope you like the book! Let me know if you have any questions.


Another book to look forward to! If you aren't on LibraryThing, you need to join. It's wonderful!

July 25, 2008

The comment I posted on WAOD

I posted this comment on What About Our Daughters, one of my favorite blogs.

You know, I read all the comments her before I decided to post mine and all I can say is this:

If you really, truly, expected Soledad and CNN to cover the diverse spectrum of the Black Female Experience in 2 hours, then you have no concept of TIME!

I think the fact that Soledad even attempted is an accomplishment unto itself. She didn't have to try to produce this segment. She didn't have to care, but she's at least put the internal dialogue out there for us to discuss in public.

Moreover, a lot of you are missing the point. The point was to discuss how, as a whole, the black community is not doing as well as any other group in America. Here we are, on the verge of making history with the first Black President, but the bulk of black America has less equity with American society than we had in the 1960s. This is a tragedy and a shame and the burning question is Why? Frankly, considering the time constraints, I think Soledad did a good job. Not a great job. Not a crap job. She backed up her info with facts. She interviewed a diverse number of people (although I got tired of seeing Roland Fryer, as much as I do admire his work) and tried to cover as much as she could. Did she have a chance to interview every luminary in the Black Academic out there? Who knows. Unfortunately, so many comments on this page are complaining about the fact that she didn't cover more about the healthy, successful, and well-educated among us. Well, who wants to listen to a bunch of successful (and semi-successful) people make petty complaints? Who has time to watch a visual history of Howard, Morehouse and Spelman? Who needs a history of Alpha Kappa Alpha and Alpha Phi Alpha? We are out there, doing what we have to, doing what we need to, while 2/3 of our brethren are mired in poverty, thinking they don’t have options, without role models and fathers to help guide them. What has to be done to help them? What do we need to do in order to raise all boats? You know that you have these people in your family just like I do and if you’re anything like me, you don’t understand it either and you don't know what to do or how to help.

Urban Sista said it well: “Whether or not you like it, it’s necessary to show the other side of the coin. There are problems in the Black community – serious problems like poverty (the brother struggling to raise two kids on his own; the sister making ends meet on one income and supporting five children), ignorance (no one showing up for the AIDS awareness class), lack of importance placed on education, the difficulty Black women have meeting Black men who are like-minded, lack of proper healthcare.
The program may not have shown your particular reality, but this is one series on a very diverse group of people. Soledad and CNN would have to give us an entire year or more to truly dissect the diaspora.

Well said!

PS. I didn’t like the Poetry brother either.

July 24, 2008

Just ain't fair

This has been a diffcult week and I'm just going to unwind, so hang in here with me and let me vent . . .




Two Thursdays ago, I walked into work, booted my computer up, and watched in horror as my computer came up with the following error:


"INVALID LBAI"

Wanna see?


If you don't know that that means, it means "You just wasted 2.5 days trying to encrypt your machine. Ha ha ha!"***

AGGHHH!! Frustration does not begin to cover my feelings. I did as I was supposed to: I encrypted my machine, I started working on my open projects again, and this happens.

Did I mention that Friday at 5PM was the corporate deadline for encrypting each computer?

So on Friday, I start trying to encrypt the machine again. Of course, we get off work at 1PM on Fridays, so I know that I'm working against time. Thank God for Teresa.

"Victoria, you sent me proof of encrypting that machine earlier in the week, right?"
"Yes, I sent it in email."
"Then quit that and go home. I'll send in the proof that you did what you were supposed to and we'll encrypt the machine next week. Bye"

Thank you!

So on Monday I return, chipper, happy, ready to start reinstalling the encryption software. I reinstall Windows, get everything done by Monday afternoon, encrypt the machine Tuesday morning and send in the proof.

Then I rebooted the computer.

"INVALID LBAI"

Yes, you are seeing that right. This time I go to the helpdesk. James takes a look at my computer and suggest I find a nice cliff to toss it off. He calls Dell, order a new drive for my computer, then we get started again. On Friday, having sent in proof that I've reencrypted my machine, I reboot.

"INVALID LBAI"

This ceased to be funny about two reboots ago.

The new drive arrived on Friday. I uninstalled and reinstalled Windows and the excryption software again. This time I receive a new error and my computer no longer senses my keyboard.

By Monday, everyone in the office is ready to throw in the towel on my computer. You can't make up this kind of absurdity. I wipe the drive clean again, reinstall Windows, and start the encryption to run over night. I came in Tuesday expecting the worse. Instead, I had a Windows desktop . . .I rebooted the sucker twice.

If I'm going to have to reinstall this stuff for the 5th time, I better find out in advance, right?

Right. Machine still encrypted, Windows still installed.

As of this moment, this very moment, I've had a working computer for 1 hour. I'm not doing anything important, lest I screw with fate.

2.5 weeks of knitting in my office. All because some idiot lost a laptop.

Not bad at all. Just not fair either.


***Actually, it really means that the master boot record (the file that starts up Windows) is gone, missing, has been moved, etc. For me, with an encrypted drive, this means that the computer cannot boot from a recovery disk. Long story short, reinstall everything, starting with the OS.

Sometimes life is very good

One of the little life's lessons I'm working on (besides patience, and the cursing, and the anti-social behavior) is the inability to be anywhere on time.

CP time is not even an issue with me. I keep black folks waiting (which is an accomplishment, because if you know black people you understand that while we will keep people waiting, you betta not leave us waiting!).

So on Thursday, after working on installing Oracle and TOAD on my machine all morning (more on that in tomorrow's post), I look up and realize that I've been sitting on my butt all morning and the WoolGather's Lunch meeting is in 30 minutes.

Did I also mention that I am incapable of getting dressed and out of the apartment in less than 30 minutes?

So here I am, in Bradenton, Florida (also known as God's Waiting Room), trying to rush 85 blocks across town. It took me 20 minutes and I'm surprised that everyone remained alive.

So I get to the LYS and there isn't a single parking space available anywhere! They're all gone! I can't believe it! So I park next door and walk over to the LYS! It's a MADHOUSE!!!

Mattie greeted me at the door (I'm beginning to really want a dog).
Linda is there (I missed her so much!)
Bettie, Carol, and Jaya are back (Wonderful! Always wonderful to see the return of new knitters and crocheters)
Lots of new people! Yay! Debbie really shouldn't worry about traffic into her store.

Now, walking in, I knew something everyone else didn't: There was a columnist from the local paper and a photographer there. The photographer seemed a lot more interested in what we were doing, so he (eventually) admitted that he had a habit of getting involved with his girlfriends' hobbies. He had been involved in miniature dollhouses and blue china, before, but right now, he was devoted to antique cameras.

So, like any proud knitter, I asked each woman to compile a list of her single friends who were fiber artists (regardless of affiliation) and let's get this man hooked up. The look of (momentary) horror gave everyone laughs! Everyone kept trying to push needles and hooks on him, so he started taking pictures, which gave everyone something new to do.

Hide from the camera.

But eventually we all settled down and started talking about our project. Bonnie brought a gorgeous crocheted dress, which she had also lined, and we all cooed over it. I'm tempted, tempted to take up my hooks again.

I brought my So-Called Scarf (Knit in 24 hours out of Noro Silk Garden)

My So-Called Scarf

and my Cable Love Scarf (Cascade 220. Probably about 2 weeks, on and off)
100_1357


The lunch was excellent! Bettie brought a wonderful chicken spinach alfredo, so good that everyone asked for the recipe. Carol brought cheesecake fudge brownies. I ate three (3). That's all I'm going to say about that.

We knit, and stitched, and giggled for 2 hours. The photographer took lots of pictures. That columnists lit out so fast it wasn't even funny. We had a great time, as always.

And that's all I'm going to say about that.

July 20, 2008

Book Review: Summer Blowout by Claire Cook

Three Sentence Synopsis: Bella has been betrayed by her half-sister, who slept with her ex-husband. At a public makeup demonstration, she meets entrepreneur Sean Ryan, who helps her start a sideline business. Misunderstandings ensue, involving her personal life and the family business, conflict is resolved, and Bella and Sean eventually end up dating.

Recommendation: This is a quick airplane/beach read. Light and fluffy, this book should take little time to finish. However, the characters are not well-drawn, the book suffers from product placement overload, and the motivations are thin at best. The best part of the book was the pacing.


Main Review:
Bella Shaughnessy is a woman scorned and betrayed. Her half-sister, Sophia, is now dating her ex-husband, Craig, a situation Bella finds intolerable. Her family is trying to keep peace between the sisters, especially since both Bella and Sophia work at the family salons. However, at a college fair Bella meets Sean Ryan, an entrepreneur who is selling a “How to Get into College” kit in the booth next to her. He admires her work (she’s a makeup artist) and suggests she start her own makeup kit for women. While doing the makeup for a wedding party, she is paid to take care of a pair of unruly children, then a dog. No one ever comes back for the dog, so she decides to keep Precious (who is later renamed Cannoli), then begins to create her personal makeup kit. Bella’s makeup knowledge combined with Sean Ryan’s sales knowledge ends up making the personal makeup kits a nice sideline for Bella. She invites him to her nephew’s wedding in Atlanta and he accepts, but later refuses when her ex-husband shows up one night to talk. Bella ends up flying to Atlanta with Cannoli and attends a college fair with Sean Ryan, where he tells her he’s interested, but he doesn’t want to be the rebound guy. At the wedding, Sophia flirts with Sean right in front of Bella and Craig. Bella confronts Sophia and tells her to get her own life then kicks Craig out of the reception. She then turns to Sean and tells him that he has to make a choice: she’s either a business associate or more. Sean eventually chooses more and they end the book dating.


Final Opinions:
Summer Blowout by Claire Cook ranks as one of the fastest chick-lit books I’ve ever read and for good reason. It’s badly written. I could not identify with the main character, Bella Shaughnessy, her family, or anyone else in the book. The only people remotely interesting were her brother and brother-in-law. Overall, the pace was good, but the rest of the book suffered. The product placement was staggering (to say the least).

July 18, 2008

A long awaited prize

Today I received an email from JoAnn's.

Thank you for shopping at Joann.com! The item(s) below
were shipped on Jul 14,2008.
Qty Name
--------------------
1 Swift Yarn Winder

Woo Hoo!!! My Swift is finally on it's way.

Seeing this email around 1PM made the entire day go by faster. So of course, once 5 PM came and I could leave, I had completely forgotten about the email. Besides, I didn't expect the swift to come today.

What's this?


MY SWIFT!!! I couldn't get it into my house fast enough.

Or unpack it fast enough.


Is it my swift??


Yes!! It's here.


So Pretty . . . I need a better picture.



Oh forget that. I just want to use it.


Ok, maybe not. This bar pass is filthy. Time to clean.


Much better.

Time to work.

Wanna see me work?

(Hmm...I looked too goofy in that video. I promise, I'll be back with a better video soon).

July 16, 2008

Viva la Vida

Today's word: Talisman:

  • An object marked with magic signs and believed to confer on its bearer supernatural powers or protection.
  • Something that apparently has magic power.

My knitting stand is a talisman. Whenever I take it to work, one of two things happens:

  1. The day goes so fast that when 5PM comes I'm genuinely suprised; or
  2. The day is so stupid I don't get anything done and I'm genuinely surprised when 5PM comes.

Either way, 5PM gets their faster when I take my knitting stand. This can only be good. Anyway, the last few days at work have been great. Someone within the corporate office lost a laptop and in higher ed there is no greater fear than students' SSNs getting out. Anyway, because of the lost laptop, now everyone has to encrypt their machines and run all sorts of virus scans and disk checks.

You know what that means?

That means that for the past two days I haven't been able to do any meaningful work in the office. I asked to go home earlier Tuesday so I could do some work from home. In 30 minutes I managed to do what would have taken me 2 hours at work.

I wish they'd just let me work from home. I could get much more accomplished and take naps.



I am in love with Coldplay. Viva la Vida is on constant replay on my iPod; so beautiful, so lyrical . . .I like this U2 direction Coldplay is moving in.

Keyshia Cole is the most ghetto R&B artist I've ever seen, but her song "Heaven Sent" is my song right now. She's rough (with the most appalling family I've ever seen and GOD KNOWS I don't like to pass judgement on other people's families) but she has a god given voice and some excellent song writers.



Tonight's Woolgather's meeting was Excellent!!!There were four new faces tonight:

      Betty, who's only been knitting for 3 days, is a self-proclaimed perfectionist, and who was enthused be everything. She's definitely a natural leader, organizing a lunch for next Wednesday at the store and talking to everyone.
      Jaya, a Realtor who is crocheting for her new grandson. She looked unsure when she first arrived, but soon got involved, went to her car and pulled her blanket out and showed it off.
      Karen, hmm....I didn't get to talk to Karen much. Darn.
      Carol is a teacher from Pittsburgh and is looking to move to Florida permanently. (This is a correction. I couldn't remember her name earlier. I just remembered and ran to post it before I forgot again. Sorry :( I know you expect much better of me.)

Of course the regulars were there: Jean, Deb, and Jim (who celebrated his 60th yesterday!!!) (hey, where was Linda?). Vashti was there as well and she reads my blog...! I have a reader!! OMG! That made my day (Thanks Vashti!)

July 12, 2008

Wonderful Surprises



I love when nice things happen.

I went to A Yarn Outlet to pick up some more yarn for Mommy's beret's. After touching everything in there (I'm not even going to try to break that habit), I picked up 5 new skeins (and successfully avoided the sock yarns . . .sigh).

Yellow Cascade 200 Heathers



Purple Cascade 220


Nashua Handknits in Green


Misti Cotton in Mint Green


and in a Pumpkin Color


On the way home, I began to wonder when my advance book from LibraryThing would arrive. If you aren't on LibraryThing, and you are a voracious reader, you need to sign up. I signed up to be an early reviewer and I received an email about a week ago to tell me I'd been selected to receive and advance copy of Summer Blowout by Claire Cook (which is somewhat amusing to me, considering the book was released on June 3).


Anyway, guess what was inside my mailbox?








Hmm....I wonder what could be inside?





Yup! Now I have about 5 books around the house I need to read.

July 11, 2008

Where have all the good civil rights leaders gone?

*****DISCLAIMER: This post is me calling it like I see it. I am in no way unappreciative of the heroic and brave work that these men and women did in order to secure my happy life. I am by no means ignorant of the struggle. However, I do believe that no one is immune of criticism.




Once you reach a certain age (sometimes called the "Age of Reasoning"), you realize that your heroes have flaws. Mommy doesn't always know the answer, Daddy doesn't like to play, Granny and Pop-Pop are old.

And if you're black, you notice that all the good civil rights leaders either died early or you don't hear from them and this cast of characters they left us is a joke. After the death of Dr. King, many of his contemporaries tried, in vain to carry on his mantle of self-righteous goodness. Most failed; if you ask me, John Lewis came the closest to correct, using the system to which the Civil Rights Movement had given him access to try to press for change from the inside. His work in Congress is laudable and his reputation as a member of the Civil Rights Old Guard means that no one in Congress even attempts to pull a race card on him (besides, he has a pretty safe district. He could die in Congress first).

However, the rest of that cast of characters is a joke: Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Julian Bond, you name 'em, I'll laugh at them. The biggest part of the problem was that they never changed and adapted their message with time. They became mired in the marching/praying/chanting movement and never moved out. They never made themselves relevant to the younger generation. It was almost as if they expected us to fall lock-step behind them because they fell lock-step behind Dr. King.

So now you have an entirely new generation of African Americans with no connection to the Civil Rights Movement who watch these guys on TV and roll their eyes. People of my generation don't pay any attention to Jesse or Al. So now you have an African-American at the head of a national party ticket (a position made possible due to Shirley, Carol, Jesse, and Al) and Jesse wants Obama's nuts?! No wonder the political pundits are saying that Jesse may be a toothless tiger.

My sense is that many of the old-guard civil rights leaders, are seething at the prospect of a black president who owes them nothing. That's perhaps the most appealing thing about Obama -- that he could leave Jesse Jackson and his ilk in the dust. That's what has excited my friends and myself - Obama didn't come through the "Black Church Farm Method." His trajectory is one all my friends can see themselves on, no stop at seminary school, no marching. Just an excellent education, a sincere effort to organize and help his community (without having to get involved with the dysfunctional NAACP), marriage to a wonderful woman, and a desire to go further by winning elective office.

THIS IS CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN.
THIS IS CHANGE WE DO BELIEVE IN.
THIS IS THE CHANGE WE WANT.

The NAACP needs to get it together. Ditto for the Urban League. Do it quick.
Jesse needs to retire (extra point to his son for rebuking his father's words. Jesse Jr. gets it).
Al needs to stay quiet (we've really appreciated your silence Al)

The King Kids . . . well, it may be too late for them. Have you seen the latest?


UPDATE: Apparently, I'm not the only person thinking this:

When The Man is One of Us by Jack White

July 9, 2008

This should be required reading...

An Ideal Husband--NY Times

Oh yeah, Happy Birthday Chris!!!
Happy Birthday Andrea!!!

Getting Old


My little Brother turned 23 today.



So why do I feel old?

Gotta admit, the boy is fly!

July 8, 2008

This could be awwkward....

Mommy reads my blog.

Do I care? No. There's nothing here for me to be ashamed of (and even if there were, it's my blog!)

So . . . why am I mentioning this? Because Mommy didn't like how I characterized her in a previous post. Hmm . . . What was it that I said?

She's prissy, ultra-ultra-feminine, a shopaholic, a do-it-my-way-or-hit-the-highway, emotional sort of person.


Right.

Well, that is you Mommy. But, I suppose in the interest of fairness, I can expand on that a little more.

My Mother, if you ever meet here, is one of those gorgeous individuals with absolutely no concept of her own beauty. She doesn't dress to impress other people; she dresses to make herself feel good. She still has (most) of her figure and she makes the most of it when she dresses. Males between 13 and 80 still double take after her.

Consequently her looks have bought her plenty of ill-will from other people (well, women and/or hateful ass bitches) who believe that, despite the fact that my mother has been happily married to the same man for over 20 years (and with him for 25), she must be looking for some extra play or she is deliberately flirting. Sad part is, most of the time, these men are flirting with her, but she's so wrapped up in her own world she either ignores it and thinks they must be teasing her.

(This part of the explanation never sounds good, because most women remain aware of their effect on men and exploit that power to the best of their ability. My mother doesn't. She's just that clueless).

So, this has caused difficulty for her, even with her own daughter.

How would you like to be the 14-year old whose mom is considered hotter than her?
When the objects of your affection hit on your mom instead of you?
And she's still freaking clueless?

Between 14-18 I hated Mommy.

I still cry a little thinking about it. Even knowing my mother like I do, I still cannot believe that any one woman can be that damn dense.

But she is.
It's who she is.

And it didn't help that I'm considered a replica of her. Same face (except for the eyes and lips), same build, same voice, same looks. All of it, but bigger. About 50% bigger.

I'm the "What the hell went wrong there?" version.

Now that I've left my teen years behind, I am (grinding teeth) grateful for that experience. It taught me a few things:
  1. Any man who hits on my mom gets dumped the same day. (obviously)
  2. I cannot afford to be that clueless about the opinions of people around me. I don't have to care, but I do need to be aware.
  3. Whatever I've got, I better flaunt it.
  4. Some people really do float through life unaware of what's going on around them.
  5. High-mindedness is good, but no one ever climbed the corporate ladder being high-minded.

Mommy, if you read this post, just know . . .a decade later and I'm still not over some of that stuff. It would be really nice if you came down and lived in the real world for a little while.

July 3, 2008

New Play Toy

Mommy is gone.

I should be happy about this, but I'm not. She left on Monday and I've missed her ever since, especially since my friends (Andrea, Nikki, and Ashley) arrive tonight. Since they're staying until Sunday night, I won't have my apartment back to myself until Monday.

(sigh)

Anyway, I mentioned in my last post that I built a light box. It cost me all of $5.


  1. Box - Free. Left over from my move to Florida

  2. Tissue Paper - $1.79 at Wal*Mart, for a jumbo pack.

  3. Glue - $.33

  4. Tape - Free. Left over from my move to Florida

  5. White Poster Board - $.50 at Wal*Mart



Hmm . . . OK, $2.62. Not Bad. . .oh right


  1. Daylight light bulbs - ~5.00.

Well, that's about $7.00. Not bad. Wanna see the results?




The Inside:


And this is my little setup. When I'm ready to take the picture, I angle the light right next to the tissue paper to illuminate the interior, setup my camera on it's tripod, and snap away.



Why?

This is what a light box will do for your pictures:

Without a light box: Taken on the kitchen counter top, under florescent lights. Edited with Picasa, using Sharpen Filter and "I'm Feeling Lucky"
100_1129
And knowing me, probably taken somewhere near midnight with flash.



In the Light box, with a special "Daylight" bulb. Macro settings on camera, no flash. Edited with Adobe Photoshop...(I can't remember all the filters, althought I know "Auto Levels" came in somewhere).
100B1260
Definitely taken after midnight. You can't tell can you?


The Brilliant colors of the Baby Cable sock is really coming through. The light box makes everything look much more lifelike and honest. So in what could only be termed as a "fit of stupidity" I decided that I wanted to take new pictures of everything in my stash using the light box....

I'm betting my friends will ensure that craziness doesn't go anywhere.

Today's Random Thoughts

  1. When is Mad Men coming out on DVD?
  2. I need to buy some books from KnitPicks before they go off sale.
  3. I need to buy Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister...Next month, definitely.
  4. I need to clean the house and buy fruit.
  5. Do I have enough vegetables?
  6. I'm tired to thinking . . . and my eyes are tired.
  7. It's 4:59 on the Thursday before Independence Day . . .I'm allowed to shut everything down now, I think.

Oops. 5PM. Time to go.

July 1, 2008

Today's Random Thought

Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo

I considered atheism, but there weren't enough holidays.

June 29, 2008

She's GOT TO GO

Mommy has now been here for two weeks.


It's time for her to go.


She's taken over my home.


I have color schemes I never intended. My things are in places I never intended to put them.


I have food I never would have bought.


She's irritating the hell out of me. How?

"Torio, what are you doing?"
"Torio, where are you going?"
"Torio, what did we have planned today?"
"Torio, what's that going to be used for (referring to the light box I was building)?"
"Torio, what's that going to be used for?"
"Torio, what's that going to be used for?" (seeing my irritated face) "Well, I forgot. What's that going to be used for?"


SHE'S GOT TO GO!
Posted by Picasa

June 24, 2008

Cleaning and Organizing

Well, I had a really good weekend. It started by spending some time at A Yarn Outlet, trying to help Debbie and Jim figure out what kind of web store they wanted (which reminds me, I need to call Debbie). I finally found an e-commerce solution that I thought would work for them, loaded a few things into the database, and went to bed.

Early on Saturday morning (...OK, more like noon, which is early for me on the weekends), Mom and I got up, had a little lunch at Panera Bread, then high tailed it to Orlando. It rained the entire trip.
View Larger Map

First stop: IKEA! My shopping superstore. Swedish Chic meets student budget.


IKEA had the HEMNES bed on sale for ~$179. Now that I'm home, I wish (fervently wish) I'd bought the bed. It is exactly what I've been looking for. Plain, white lacquer without excessive adornment.

$179! (my heart is crying. A moment of silence for my heart).

However, I didn't buy it because a) It was raining; b) I drive a Honda Accord, so c) I had no place to put it. (side note: IKEA builders if you are reading this, please finish the TAMPA store post-haste!)



So, while I didn't buy the bed (sob sob), I did buy the following:

  • hurricane candles
  • a new wok
  • an IKEA umbrella
  • 2 white bathmats
  • 6 oz juice glasses
  • red paper napkins (for 4th of July)

Mommy just wanted to get some of the cool blue bags...and a pot rack that could be hung from the ceiling. I am still asking why . . . she doesn't cook . . .




We went to the Mall at Millenia, which is Mecca for the shopping elite of Orlando. Naturally, Mommy took to it like a duck on water.

I hung in there gamely.

Odd thing was, I ended up spending all the money. I bought 4 pairs of shoes and drifted dangerously into the Jo Malone section of Bloomie's . . .(I love tuberose. Please don't ask me to explain). After that we got back on the road to Bradenton because Mommy was tired and I was hungry. Dinner was a Chinese buffet spectacular: Lo Mein, Mongolian Beef, and Egg Rolls. No we did not eat this all in one sitting . . .it took about two days.
red Beret
I finished the Beret. Mommy giggled happily and modeled the beret for at least 20 minutes, then picked up my catalog from Patternworks and said, "OK, I want you to make me a lot more of these in this color, this color, this color..."

(AGGHHHHHHH) Is she kidding me!? More mindless knitting???

I gotta find a pattern for these.

June 17, 2008

On the Needles

Quick Project Update


Beret.

I hate the Beret. If this weren't for the Mommy, I would've put it down by now. I am knitting it using Cascade 220 (bright red), on size 6 needles at 6 stitches/inch. The stitches are so tight that they can barely move along the needle. I did this on purpose because she wanted to felt it, but I wasn't sure if it would come out at the right size if felted. And after 5 inches (well, 4.75 in.) of stockinette stitch, if I don't get something interesting and fun soon I think I'm going to scream!

Why have all my projects been boring lately??



The Bayerishce Socks
The new needles arrived from KnitPicks yesterday, along with the 6 hanks of Gloss Lace Yarn . . .
Celery Gloss Lace Hello Lover!!

I smell a Feather and Fan Shawl in my future. (Mindless web browsing while writing this post leads me to the Japanese Feather and Fan Shawl . . .hmmm . . . possibilities . . . )

Oh. Right.

The socks will see some work tonight.


The Big Purple Monster

The Big Purple Monster is 95% complete. I'm so glad to be done with it I don't know what to do. I didn't even want to touch it for the past week.

June 15, 2008

This Revolution won't be televised either




UPDATE: I didn't know that the FCC fined Sarah Jones and HBO for this poem. Sarah Jones made history as the first artist to sue the FCC for censorship. . .and the sista WON! Makes me love this performance even more :)

June 11, 2008

Mommy

My Mother is here for a visit.

Mommy is a teacher and since school is out for the summer, she's hanging out with me. Until I left Albany, I never occurred to me that my mom could be my best friend. She's prissy, ultra-ultra-feminine, a shopaholic, a do-it-my-way-or-hit-the-highway, emotional sort of person.

I'm not. I hate to shop (which I attribute to her dragging me through every single store in the mall as a kid), I am very logical (to the point of being emotionally detached from most people and situations), and I never saw the benefit in spending all day trying to get dolled up and staying clean...(as a kid...as an adult, I'm spic and span).

The my-way-or-the-highway bit I did get from her.

Mostly, I am my dad.

(Still a little annoyed about that mall thing. I mean, literally, every single store. Even FootAction. Why? WHYYYYY??? I can't enjoy any mall now. Not even outlet malls. I literally hate malls.)

But now that there are ~350 miles between us, we can't talk enough. Or see each other enough. One call from Mommy and I'll make the 5 hour trip to go see her.

View Larger Map

Which in this time of $4.14 gas is not a small undertaking.

She arrived around 4 PM today and will be staying with me until July 4 weekend, when she'll clear out and my other best friends will arrive.

3 Weeks.

Sad to say, I'm almost tempted to ask her to stay through their visit but I know she won't. She already said that she's leaving when they arrive.

Darn.

I wuv my mommy.

Extra Encouragement Unnecessary

Well, it has been a fateful 5 days. On Sunday, I'd cleaned up the cast-on, gotten the twists looking correct, and had everything looking pretty again. The problems I had with the Bayerische socks hurt my feelings so much that I ignored them on Monday. However, on Tuesday, refreshed and ready to conquer socks again, I picked them up.

And put them right back down.

I just couldn't do it. Perfectionism reared it ugly head.

"Why are you going to go into the body (or in this case, the leg) of these socks on the wrong needles??? You need a size 0 needle. The smallest needle you have here is a size 2! That's 2 too big!"

I hate that voice. That voice interrupts soothing knitting, but the voice is usually right.

Mind you, I ordered a pair of sz. 1 and sz. 2 wood fixed circulars from KnitPicks, but almost immediately after arrival, the Size 1 split right down the center and proceeded to start snagging on everything...

So. . .why was there no need to encourage me?

Well, I called Knitpicks last night, to determine the best way to exchange the needle for a new needle.

Me: I would like to return a needle please.
KP: What's the problem with the needle?

Me: Well. . . .the needle split. . . right down the center. . . kinda like if you were to stand a piece of wood up and use an ax to split it right down the middle--
KP: Ahh...the needle split. OK. We'll send you a new one.

Me: (feeling slightly foolish for the long description)...umm...OK. How much do I have to pay for the shipping and handling.
KP: Oh, the shipping and handling is free ma'am. That's a defect on our end and we won't charge you in order to get a replacement. As a matter of fact, since the S&P will be free, do you want or need to order anything else?

NO OTHER ENCOURAGEMENT WAS NECESSARY...

I ordered the following:
  • 1 Size 0 24-inch circular
  • 1 Size 1 24-inch circular
  • 16.9 oz Eucalan wool wash (Original)
  • 6 hanks of Celery Gloss Lace

In addition to the replacement Size 1 16-inch circular.

Good customer service will encourage me to do unnecessary things.

Meanwhile, I've picked up the Big Purple Monster and will continue to hack away on that until the package arrives.

June 8, 2008

When Good Ideas go Bad

Well, my post on Friday was so full of hope.

When I last left you, I'd cast on for the Bayerische socks, secure and happy in the knowledge that I would have significant progress on the socks completed by Sunday night. However, I forgot to account for one little personality trait that crops up at the most inconvenient time: Perfectionism.

I never went to sleep Friday night, which meant that I spent Friday at work in a stupor. However, since Fridays' end at 12:30, I figured I could last the 4.5 hours. So I knit all night, making my way to the cable charts. That's where I ran into problems.

Somehow I had both too many and too few stitches. The cables were not coming out right, so I logged into Ravelry to see if anyone else had had problems with the pattern. Hmm...seems I'm the only dunce in the group.

I went to work, worked in a complete stupor, and when I arrived home, I looked at my progress.

Nope, would not do.

Cables in the wrong places.
Twists looking fuzzy.
General Havoc everywhere.

To add insult to injury, the beautiful cast on I'd chosen can't be joined in the round for at least 5 rows. So now I have this off looking pleat.

So, I ripped out the cast on and the 15 rows I finished and started over.

Unfortunately, I would come anywhere near that number of consecutively knitted rows the entire weekend.

To make a long story short, I restarted these socks five, no FIVE times!!! And I'm a sock QUEEN! I rock with socks! Socks never give me problems!

What is this about???

So now, at 10:00 PM on Sunday night, I have both socks, cast on, on a size 0 and size 2 needles, with about 8 rows of knitting done.

(sigh)
Did I mention I never went to sleep Saturday night?

I'm going to bed.

June 6, 2008

Why I love my fellow bloggers

I love the feeling I get when I learn something new. Especially something that's eluded me for weeks.

My favorite cast on is the Long Tail cast on. It was the first one I learned, it usually works very well for me, and I can usually get it to do what I need it to. However, the Long Tail Cast On is also my single biggest reason for knitting socks from the toe-up. Knit from the toe up and I can use the Elizabeth Zimmerman sewn bind off to finish. Super Stretchy, really pretty.

While at the library on Monday, I noticed this older knitting book (circa 1990), Reader's Digest Knitter's Handbook by Montse Stanley. I picked it up and fell in love. Every cast on you could ever possibly imagine was listed. All sorts of wonderful cast offs, short row info, design information, blocking information, etc. This was a boon! I own enough reference books not to get excited by most reference books anymore, but this was different.

So I checked it out and took it home. It's waited patiently for me to dive in and explore it's secrets, so why I thought 3 AM was a good time I don't know.


The hated Big Purple Monster was set to the side and the pretty Concord Grape KnitPicks Gloss sock yarn was fondled. I settled on this sock yarn weeks ago for Jennifer's Bayerische Socks, so now it was time to cast on! I decided to go for a tubular cast on, which I've never done, and I felt confidently that I could get both socks onto the needles before it was time to fall, exhausted, into bed.


Don't you love that sound of optimism in my voice?

I cast on, following the book's directions very carefully.

No Go. Three times, no go.

I decided to switch to a different cast on, a Provisional Cast on.

Didn't have the mental power.

I put the sock yarn down and noted the 3:15 AM time. The sock would have to wait. . .


Except that I'm no quitter (even when I should be). I picked it back up, ripped out all the stitches, and surfed to TECHKnitting. TECHKnitting is the most amazing website ever! Whenever I have a question, don't understand what I'm doing, or want to learn something new, I surf to TECHKnitting and look it up. I figured if I couldn't get help there, it would never happen. I found her Provisional Tail Method of 1 x 1 tubular cast on. This is the most amazing cast on EVER!

Happily knitting away!

June 5, 2008

The Big Purple Monster wins...for now

I can't do it anymore.

The Big Purple Monster is 50% done. It's 48 inches long. I didn't measure width, b/c I plan on blocking the heck out of it.

But I can't knit on it anymore.

I felt myself losing brain cells as I tried in vain to reach the 50% mark by 11PM.

I will post a picture tomorrow. Right now, I am going to cast on for the Bayerische Socks...Yummy yummy yummy...

:)

Note: My friend Byron is moving to Texas...I miss him already.

Stealth posting

I realized today that if my blog is going to be about me, then I have to post about work. Mostly because I spend 8 of my 16 waking hours at that place and not blogging about it is like denying my existence for 8 hours.

However, I have absolutely no intentions of being fired, so everyone is getting nicknames. . . and I'm keeping the nature of my job as non-specific as possible.



Today was weird at work. The BOSS is back and, while she appears to be tired, I think she's ticked at me about something. I don't know why or what, cuz all I do is sit in my cubicle and pound out reports all day.

And do her work.
And do stuff that she's hasn't even thought about. Because I believe in being ahead of schedule.

But she's definitely in a mood. My Sup asked me if she were job hunting (so the rumor mill goes), but I don't have any idea. Nor do I care. She's here now. I have to deal with her now. I actually think she's OK most of the time, but not when she's in this mood.

Yesterday, Velvet Steel sent an email to Big SUP to say the following: We haven't been getting anything out of the database about a major program. You need to allocate someone on your staff to work with us on this. DO IT NOW!

I was irritated by that, b/c Big SUP came to my office to chastise me for leaving him on the chopping block. . . except I can't save an ass I don't know is on the chopping block. So, we walk into Sup's office and call VS.

Why is it when you get on the phone with someone who has sent a nasty email, they get all apologetic, like they didn't understand the tone of the email they typed?

She gets on the phone, apologetic, to say that they haven't been getting that since some guy left and, while she's never seen an old copy of this file that she's demanding, she just wanted to get the ball rolling. . .

Kiss my ass.

So, not only did Big Sup chastise her for the email (which she CC'd to the entire world), but he also reminded her that it was MY job to coordinate these issues. So, instead of emailing it to a bunch of people who would never be able to get her the information she needed, she should have just emailed me.

Now, I know she wasn't going to email me, b/c she's pissed that I keep reminding them, via email, that they have a major commitment that is still open and has been open for two (2) months. But still...don't mess with my job, lady!

Jeez . . .

So, to relieve my stress, I spent 30 minutes rearranging my blog. . .I have to admit, I don't miss WordPress so much anymore. . .

June 4, 2008

I'm Back!

I finally made a decision today: I'm moving back to Blogger.

For the last few weeks, I've blogged using WordPress. I was unfaithful. I was seduced by pretty themes and a clean look. I turned my back on the platform I used to start me off in the world of blogging.

I'm so sorry.

However, it only took me a few months to realize that my marriage to WordPress might not have been the best move.

  1. I couldn't update the CSS without paying.
  2. I couldn't get my fancy Ravelry progress bars.
  3. I couldn't change the colors or the layout.
  4. I missed Blogger.

So, I spent most of today (when I should have been working, considering I have to do training tomorrow morning) updating my Blogger blog.

First, I got the Ravelry progress bars working.
Then I changes the template and the colors (based on my pretty picture of Bradenton Beach)
Then I moved all the posts over.

Since, I figured out (remembered) how to change some of the CSS and HTML elements, now everything looks good again.

Since I plan on working with the Walker Treasury Project, I am going to leave the WordPress Site up, but I'm not posting there anymore.

Ahhh...it feels good to be back home.

June 3, 2008

Is It Over??? Is It Safe???

Jeremy (resident Republican) came around to tell me that CNN and the AP just reported that Clinton is stepping out of the race.

I refuse to get excited...

Without checking out Politico, CNN, and the AP first.
Hillary
Is it true? Has Jesus heard my cry??

"OH God WHEN will it end??? I'm beyond caring anymore! Just end the Democratic Primary please???"

Hey, wait a minute...

CNN: Terry McAufflie is saying she's staying till it's over. Other People (I love anonymous quotes, don't you?) are saying that she'll accept a VP slot.

Politico: Hmm...Lots of good stuff. I couldn't choose, so here's a screen shot:
politico

AP: AP tally: Obama effectively clinches nomination



So, after getting my hopes up, the correct answer is MAYBE this sucker is still dragging on!!!!

SUGAR HONEY ICE TEA!!!!

I never thought I would say this, but the Republican's have the right idea: Everyone* meet at an expensive hotel at 8 PM on Friday. Bring your own Cohibas and Jack Daniels.
Also, bring a slate of Not-Even-in-a-Million-Years candidates to provide an interesting, but ultimately futile race.
Bonus points to the individual who bags a rich sucker who'll spend all his money (Mitt Romney, Steve Forbes) on a losing race.

*Everyone refers, of course, to Party bigshots, rich donors, fiery ministers, and ex-Presidents. This is the Republican Party, where a chosen few get together to do things in your best interest.

Just Kidding.