Friday, April 29, 2005

victory! (with a small "v")

Okay, this

now has two ends, and is hanging in my shower, drying. The small "v" above is because... well, I'm not terribly happy with it, and if it was a gift, or to actually wear, I wouldn't be happy at all. However, if you were to run by your computer screen and just glance quickly at it, you wouldn't see the error that is jumping up and down and screaming at me in the next photo. If you actually inspect it for longer than a fifteenth of a second, you'll see it too.

Go ahead and try the running thing, though (and if you're at work, please let me know what you tell your boss is the reason you're running by your computer screen.)

The "bad end" is on top here:

And here's the good end:

If I hadn't been so exhausted, and doing the final stitches on this after midnight last night (see, the benefit to not sleeping while waiting for medical test results is getting more knitting time in) I might have taken the time to fix the error. But Aslan was jumping up and down, begging me to come to bed, and I was bleary eyed and groggy, and the scarf is going to be hanging on a wall and folded (in a fake "worn" shape around a cardboard cut-out of a throat) so I think it'll do. I'll just make sure they don't tell anyone who knit the second end.

This morning is my wacky knitting class - this group of women just laughs the entire time. One of them has to mutter "don't look up his skirt" everytime she does the first stitch of a row. It's that kind of wacky. They're great fun, and I'm bringing my camera, so maybe I'll have pictures of what they're working on. Then tonight I actually have a date with my husband, then tomorrow I'm off to spend a spinning weekend with a dear friend, whom I'm very much looking forward to seeing.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

If you Tink Backwards, are you Knitting again???

Okay, I've knit the last 17 rows of this scarf four times now, and I'm having a dense moment (we'll be generous and call it just that one moment, as opposed to the more truthful "era")

This is the beginning of the scarf, which I still like very much. It's the gazebo lace from Knitting on the Edge. See how it has that pretty double decrease that makes almost a little braid, and how the lace slants up towards it?

Well, way down there, at the other end...

I want it to do the opposite. That is, look like this...

... of course, to do this, I need a double decrease that causes the stitches to then slant away from that cool center...

And I can't for the life of me figure out what that would be. What I did to begin with was S-k2tog-PSSO... and my mind is telling me that clearly the opposite of this would be PSSO-k2tog-S... yeah. Would it be k2tog-move to left-ssk??? Is that even a decrease?

I've done these last rows so many times I got tired of turning to tink, and started tinking backwards, and then errupted into a giggling fit fueled by exhaustion, because I figured tink backwards is knit.... (to the 4 non-knitters who read this: when you take out your knitting one stitch at a time, we call it tinking because K-N-I-T backwards is T-I-N-K)

I've decided to distance myself from the blue and yellow sweater. I'm not convinced I made a mistake, and I can't figure out how doing it the way that I now suspect is correct could possibly fit, so I need to take a little time. It's been sent to its room to think about what it's done.

But I do want to get this scarf done, because I've barely had time to spin at all lately, and I want to make sure Fiona remembers who I am before I take the classes next week with Judith MacKenzie McCuin. I'll be taking Three Bags Full and Spin a Fine Thread, and I'm thrilled silly about both, assuming I remember which end of the wheel is up...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

One final push for donations to Andrew Jordan's first MS Stroll. Paypal any donations to hollymoose78ATyahooDOTcom!

In other random news, I still haven't heard back from the doctor about the weird mass on my thyroid, and I'm really having TONS of fun thinking of all the worst possible things it can be. Sleepin' reaaaal well lately. (watch out, some sarcasm dripped over there...)
Counting Sheep

I think I made a major mistake on the baby sweater I was doing... but if I did, I can't figure out how it would have worked if I'd done it right. But because I don't have the baby to try it on, and I don't dare mail it possibly not fitting, I may end up just ripping the whole thing out.
Thumbs Down

One of the fish died.
Of course, it was the most expensive, the one that I practically begged GB to get, because he was so pretty - the fancy black goldfish. And of course I'm pretty sure we're past the two week "warrentee" from the store. And of course GB is out of town, so I had to fish it out myself. I swear the little buggers have a calendar in there and they just hang on until the worst possible time. "hmm... when would it inconvenience Amie the most? Okaaaayyyy....

Dramatic Death

And my boss sent me an e-mail this morning that said basically "I should have told you this three months ago, but I need this paperwork that should get updated everyday, and I need it for the dates starting Jan 1. Get that to me ASAP"
Paper Work

Which means lucky for you it's time to stop my grumbling and get to work.

Note to self: Someone's got it worse than you do:
Exploding Toads Puzzle German Scientists
'It Looks Like a Scene From a Science-Fiction Movie'

BERLIN (April 27) - More than 1,000 toads have puffed up and exploded in a Hamburg pond in recent weeks, and scientists still have no explanation for what's causing the combustion, an official said Wednesday.

Both the pond's water and body parts of the toads have been tested, but scientists have been unable to find a bacteria or virus that would cause the toads to swell up and pop, said Janne Kloepper, of the Hamburg-based Institute for Hygiene and the Environment.

''It's absolutely strange,'' she said. ''We have a really unique story here in Hamburg. This phenomenon really doesn't seem to have appeared anywhere before.''

The toads at a pond in the upscale neighborhood of Altona have been blowing up since the beginning of the month, filling up like balloons until their stomachs suddenly burst.

''It looks like a scene from a science-fiction movie,'' Werner Schmolnik, the head of a local environment group, told the Hamburger Abendblatt daily. ''The bloated animals suffer for several minutes before they finally die.''

Biologists have come up with several theories, but Kloepper said that most have been ruled out.

The pond's water quality is no better or worse than other bodies of water in Hamburg, the toads did not appear to have a disease, and a laboratory in Berlin has ruled out the possibility that it is a fungus that made its way from South America, she said.

She said that tests will continue. In the meantime, city residents have been warned to stay away from the pond.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Coo-Coo for Coconuts!

Aslan's drinks of choice, if you were wondering, would be martini or pina colada.

He was very disappointed when we took the coconut away. I had a friend from Sri Lanka in college who once made me rice cooked in coconut milk, so I have to say I appreciate Aslan's feelings, although I don't care for the meat....

Anyway, I was fairly productive this weekend. Here are two samples for AC Moore that I got finished. Each scarf is exactly one ball (literally, the final bind off stitch for each was dicey - no yarn left over) and is about 4" wide (the red) and 6" wide (the green) and about 30" long.

This is the Caron Feathers, which is softer than really anything has a right to be. I couldn't get over how this stuff feels, and while I'm not a fan of novelty yarns in general, I'd definitely give this yarn a serious thinking of next time I'm thinking of something fun and funky. Really - give this yarn a good fondle if you see it in person. Obviously it's a simple drop stitch pattern (I triple wrapped).

Here's Katia Duende. Also soft, but not as much as Feathers. This is just garter.

This one's still in progress. It's Lion Brand Incredible Ribbon alternating with Lion Brand Fun Fur Stripes. I'm alternating the ribbon with one complete section of color from the stripes. I don't really care for either, and the colors are a bit garrish for my tastes, so I'm not particularly enjoying this scarf. But it's almost done, and I took a break to work on the King Tut cotton scarf for my mental health.

Just to remind myself that I am capable of non-trendy actual skilled knitting, I redid this to become this

This I love. I may have to go get more of this for myself. The pattern is from Knitting on the Edge, and it's exactly what I wanted. Remember I wanted something not too frilly, and sort of contemporary looking, but also I wanted a scalloped edge? And I'm shocked to say I don't even hate the bobbles on this. I'm not a fan of bobbles in general, but here, I like. This shot is the closest to the actual color I've gotten.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Tests

I enjoyed having the day off Thursday, but was a bit peeved at the way things progressed. When you get paid by the hour, a day off work, even one that's mentally appreciated, is expensive.

I had one appointment at 11:30. I went in, and was handed a pill, and a cup of water, and told to come back in three hours for the second appointment. It was an iodine pill, and it took three hours to get into my system. The thyroid is the only place in the body that processes iodine, so they could see how much had been processed compared to the norm. (that's why the no seafood or tuna. Seafood and tuna have iodine in them, and it would have skewed the test results.) But it seems to me, rather than having me take the whole day off work, I could have been given a pill, told "take this a X, come in at X+3" and dealt with it that way. The test involved me standing in front of a sensor for 60 seconds. That came out completely normally.

I was sorta hoping it wouldn't. It would have been a relatively easy fix, and it would have been nice to have things settled right then and there. But no.

One more test - this involved an injection of nuclear substance into my arm, and then taking more precise images of the thyroid. Five minutes on the front, five minutes "close up" on the front, and five minutes each right and left side. The left side is where my throat is actually swollen, and every other picture came out relatively normally. But there's something, some mass, blocking the left side of my thyroid. To me, that says it's not the thyroid itself, but something on top of it that's causing troubles. They're sending the images to my doctor and another specialist, but that's all I really know right now.

I'm feeling significantly less 'at ease' with this latest test.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Lime Aid

I realize that green has long been my favorite color, though the particular shade of green varies a great deal. For the past few weeks, I've noticed a particular hue that keeps coming into my life....

What you can't see there along with my current favorite mug, my sunglasses case, and my journal, is the shirt I wore yesterday, which is that same color.

Oh, and there's one other little thing in that picture

YAY! My iPod mini came! And when they say Mini, they ain't just whistling Dixie!

I'll use it for audiobooks, but I'm enjoying finding all the little extras that are packed in there - games and a calendar and notebook and lots of extras. Most impressive to me is the space. That tiny little thing holds 6 gigs. That's sort of an obscure number though, isn't it?

Let me put it this way: I have loaded 3 language books (adding up to more than 9 hours), The Life of Pi (12 hours) The Time Travelers Wife (13 hours) and The Count of Monte Cristo, parts 1 & 2 (33 hours). That's 67 hours of audio. I've used 1.01 gigs. One-fifth of my space, and it fits neatly in my smallest purse. Wow.

Alright, off to the doctor for two appointments today. (Incidentally, I'm not sure what tests I'll have done today, but they made a point of saying "no seafood for 24 hours before hand, including tuna." Um. Are there really a lot of people who don't think tuna is seafood? I mean, other than Jessica Simpson?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Here's a cruddy picture of the new stash (remember, this was given to me by AC Moore so I could knit samples for them. That yellow hank didn't take long before it started a little cotton-Barry White thing with me. It looked like that at the beginning of Blind Justice,

and like this at the end.

I wish I could get a good picture of the color, but it's just not coming through - it's this rich lemony cheery thing that just makes you smile. It's King Tut cotton, and there were a lot of fun pastels.

I'm not convinced I like the lace pattern. On the one hand, I like that it's not overly frilly, which is nice for a sample, because it might broaden the outlook of people on what you can do with lace. On the other hand, I really like laces that give a scallopped edge... which tend to be on the frilly side, but I do like the edge. And on the third hand I don't have all the time in the world to commit to this, so I don't have tons of time to reknit this repeatedly until I fall in love with the lace. On a fourth hand (see? To be as fickle as I am you literally would have to be an octopus!) this lace pattern has a twelve row repeat, which makes it tricky to just pick up and go (at least with my memory the way it's been lately) so I'd kinda like a shorter pattern repeat. Hm.

While I ponder that, this is some of the other stuff I brought home.

These two are both wonderfully soft - GB actually gasped when I told him to feel them. The red/purple/orange/yellow is Caron Feathers and the green with polka dots is Katia Duende. The Katia got started last night in my knitting group. It's not a knit-in-the-dark yarn, because the green is a super soft eyelash, and the dots are held on with a nylon strand that's carried along, so it's easy to split. But it looks lovely too. I think that will just be garter stitch. The red might be a simple k2tog yo repeat.

This is less soft -it's Lion Brand Fun Fur (which I don't find all that much fun, frankly) and Lion Brand Incredible ribbon. My AC Moore boss picked it out, and wants the two together on one scarf. I personally think two novelties is too much, but hey. There are people out there with less taste than I (I know, I've seen them) so I'll likely do a drop-stitch pattern or something...

I have date-night with my husband tonight, and then the next two days off work (except for Knitting Class Friday morning) because of medical tests involving the thyroid and PCOS thing. Since tomorrows test is in the afternoon, I'm taking the morning off as well and getting a pedicure. So it's sort of like a four day weekend that includes being stabbed with needles multiple times!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

No pictures today, but there will definitely be some tomorrow! I had a fun knitting class today - just the one student, the good one who's been with me since the beginning. She just finished her very first sock (on horrid cheap acryllic, but she liked the color so much I convinced her to make it an around-the-house slipper) and she did a great job with it. While she was doing the final rows on that she went and bought some Lion Brand Magic Stripes for her first "real" pair, so I think she's hooked!

It's funny, because I have to remind myself when she's working in class that she looks a little stern while she's concentrating. She came in this morning with her one sock and nothing in mind for what she wanted to do next. After some prying, she mentioned colorwork, so I told her to go buy two balls of different colored yarn and come back, and told her she was going to learn Fair Isle.

I had her do two rows with both strands in her right hand. She complained a little about the twisting yarns but I told her that the way she was doing was the most technically simple, but I needed her to really understand why it was actually more difficult so that she would trust me on the other way. After two rows of that, I had her move one color to her left hand (she's a faithful "Standard" knitter) and keep the other in her right hand. She did it, with that sullen, stern expression, and I was getting nervous that she was hating it, and me, by the end. But after the two hour class, she had about four inches up (we used the chart only from the Plaid Poncho pattern in the most recent Vogue Knitting) and was saying how cool it was. There were some other AC Moore employees in the room, and they raved about what she was doing as well, which was a nice boost to her ego. We took the last few minutes of class and flipped through the magazine, looking at all the Fair Isle patterns in there, and comparing what she'd just done to those. She seemed excited that those patterns were significantly less intimidating now!

Then at the end of class, my boss said "hey - you wanna make some extra money?" ("Always")

She gave me about 15 balls of the new line of yarns (Caron has some SUPER SOFT things coming out this Spring - I'm actually really impressed!!!) and will give me $30 each for any small scarves (about 6"x36") I knit to go on display in the store. Most of the yarns are bulky/novelty stuff, so that won't take me too long, and I've been wanting some relatively mindless knitting lately, so I think it's a fair deal. Sure, the per hour wage isn't much on that, but since I can take the stuff to the movies and the radio station, it's not too bad either. I'll have pictures of all the yarn she gave me tomorrow...

Other than that, GB wants me to teach him how to make the Knitted Hand Grenade from this article. He does know how to knit, but will need some additional help purling, and following a pattern. And I'm looking for camoflauge colored BULKY yarn to do that with (I'm not going to torture him with the sock yarn) so if anyone has suggestions, I'd appreciate it!

Monday, April 18, 2005

I spent most of the weekend asleep, which was nice, and I'd like to go back to sleep right now! But I did clean the kitchen, and I did do a little work on the heel of a Christmas Stocking. I actually reknit it about 4 times, rechecking to see if I was following the pattern properly. Near as I can figure, I am, but it's got me doing funky things for the heel turn (I'm k2tog or p2tog after the little hole, instead of around it to close it) so I may give up on the pattern for this section, and just do how I know.

I also decided I wanted to try the Strong Heel (a heel named after the designer, not a description of heel strength) but I'm not at that place in any of the socks going right now, so I had to start another pair. I asked GB which of the sock yarns I have he liked and only one came back a winner (never mind that I bought about four colors thinking they were guy colors on the internet. When they got home, they were significantly more feminine!) Of course the one he liked was one of my favorites, so I was a little disappointed, but I do like the guy, so fine, he could have that yarn. I even felt better about it, because after I started knitting it up it started looking more and more like camoflauge, and more masculine in general. I'm even resisting the urge to put any lace patterns in.

This sock is going leg down, so I can try that heel. We'll see later what the second sock will do. Here's a closer shot at the camo look.

We got more family members, and I thought of Vi the whole time.

Three different breeds of goldfish (the calico was particularly camera shy, and Ms. Orange kept getting in all the shots)...

A school of these tetra Barbs...

And more Ghost Catfish, which GB hopes will reproduce, because they're quite cool looking. The fish is see-through, but it's bones and organs aren't.

Plus there was another soccer game Saturday morning, and DSS got to play goalie!

Unfortunately (or fortunately) his team is really quite good, so most of his goalie time consisted of him alone at the end of the field, while his team scored in the other goal. He did have one really good save, the one time the other team came close.

It was very cold and windy watching the game, so most of us on the sidelines were bundled in winter coats. It was then that I noticed an eerie similarity....

Friday, April 15, 2005

We have some feral children that run around the neighborhood here, not on leashes or anything. My experience with children is that they are seldom experts on animal/human communication, and sometimes things get pulled or smacked or roughly handled that really shouldn't, so I don't like the kids around Oscar when I'm not there ready to jump in if Oscar misinterprets their behavior as time to play-fight or worse.

One of them, about 4 years old, rode his little bike (with training wheels) up to my car when I got home and said "today your dog was nice to me." Now, that's great, but the "today" bothers me a little. So I said "well, his job is to protect me, so don't go up to him or go in his yard, because he doesn't think you're supposed to be there and he could really hurt you." and he's nodding and saying "okay" and walking up to Oscar in the yard.

So I beat him to the dog, and held onto him, and the child pet him. Oscar was a trooper, but got put in the house as quick as I could. A few minutes later I glanced out the window and the child is pulling at the dog's leash, so I stuck my head out the door and said "don't play with that, the rope is broken in some spots and I don't want you to hurt your hand" and he said "oh, I won't hurt myself".

He's going to be a man when he grows up. I can tell.

This child was completely alone. Normally there are older kids who watch the little ones, one in particular that Oscar loves, and on occasion, there are even... I think they're called "parents" who watch the kids. Those don't actually keep the kids out of the street or anything, but they feign embarrassment when I have to swerve to keep from hitting a bike or something.

Now, Oscar likes kids. He's seen all the kids in the neighborhood, and we're talking about a dog that starts crying when he hears a baby cry on tv. Nevertheless, he's incredibly strong, and very enthusiastic with his play, and could very easily hurt someone without meaning to, and if someone does something Oscar sees as threatening to me or his home, he could very easily hurt someone very badly and mean it.

And while I don't think someone who looks like this

is going to hurt the child, I'm more than a little peeved that there wasn't an adult to be seen (I don't even know which house this guy belongs to) that I could say "don't let him near the dog".

GB wasn't home, but I'll talk to him tonight to see if he has any suggestions, short of barb-wiring the yard....

And I obviously got the camera situation straightened out, so here are the pictures from yesterday's post. Just mentally insert them. Thanks.

And in case you didn't see, this comment was left on a slightly older post:
This is Andrew Jordan's mommy-- I just want to say thanks to all who have sponsored 'Drew' in his first MS walk-- we are very appreciative and it is such an important cause for us. Besides Doug, I have a cousin in Indiana that has MS, as well. Thanks so much for your generosity; it warms our hearts to say the least.
Sincerely- Holly Williams

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Virtual blogging

UPDATE: As of this morning, we've raised $95 for little Andrew Jordan's MS stroll (his father says we would get many thank yous if the little guy was speaking yet). If you haven't donated yet - please do. If everyone who reads this gives just one dollar - well, it wouldn't be a cure, but it would be a start. A dollar a mile is even better (they're going ten miles).... And now there's an easier way to do it. You can PayPal money to the family's account: hollymoose78ATyahooDOTcom (you know what to do there, right?)
If you want to let me know how much you give so I can add it to the tally above, fabulous, if not, that's okay too. But please do think about giving. No matter how little you can afford to give, it adds up - 100 people who can only afford $10 is $1000, and that's a nice donation, right? And I know lots of us can afford even more than that...

I have some adorable pictures of my stepson at his first soccer game last week... See?

Aren't they cute?

Oh, you can't see them?

Hmm... must be because my camera is on revolt! Don't know why. It's taking the pictures, it's storing them, it's buzzing and whirring like it normally does when I load them onto the computer. It's just not loading them onto the computer. I'll try to figure that out this weekend. For now we'll just pretend.

While you're pretending, look at this fantastic picture of Drew's sweater!!!

See, right there is what it looks like when you knit down the right front side.

Terrific, right?

And there - yeah, I know, it's a little messy. I apparently got distracted while picking up the stitches on the left side. How embarrassing.

But I fixed it, and now it looks like this!

All better!


Y'all play the "imagine there are pictures there" game really well! Give yourselves a pat on the back!

In other news, I got the test results back that had me off to the doctor so much last week. Turns out I have a funky thyroid. Tuesday I actually had a thyroid sonogram - so I got smeared with gross jelly, a cold wand was run over the goo, and little pictures were taken, but in 6 months, I don't have to give birth! What a deal! But it seems the unexplained weight gain and exhaustion are actually explainable. Who knew? I also likely have PCOS. We're holding off on a 100% diagnosis until the thyroid thing is a little more managed, as that's the more urgent matter, but my doctor (who I adore) is prety convinced. And it's funny, too, because there were several mentions of it on KR last week and I had realized I had a lot of the symptoms. Okay, yeah, pretty much ALL of the symptoms. I was going to mention it to the doctor but she brought it up first. I was really grateful for that discussion, because if I hadn't seen so many people obviously living relatively normally with it, I would have been scared to hear "polycystic" in relation to anything in my body, but as it was, I was just amused at the coincidence of the timing. I have another three-part/two-day test next week, and then a consult with an endocrinologist after that, but I'm feeling better just knowing it wasn't all in my head how tired I feel all the time.

And lastly, we finished our taxes nearly a month ago, but TaxCut wouldn't let us file State. I've used this program for several years, and always been pleased, but since this is the first year I've filed married, GB has less experience with it. And I must say he might have been mistaken for a sailor by some of the expressions he used when it wouldn't let us do that State thing. But I was looking around on their site today, and it turns out this is a common problem - that stems from user error of installing the state program incorrectly.


Okay, we'll get that fixed tonight, and be happy little campers.

More, even better pictures tomorrow (I know, I know - better than this? Dare to dream!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Can you say "no" to this face???

I received this letter today, and I must say I'm quite impressed with the typing and grammer of little Andrew Jordan (you remember him, he's going to be getting a little blue and yellow sweater soon...)
Letter from Drew

(which says:
First of all, please excuse this last minute letter, I should have written to you at least a month ago, but since I was only born two and a half weeks ago, I was a bit preoccupied. My mommy and daddy are also very busy taking care of me, therefore they don't have as much time as they usually do to try and raise money to help our cousin, Doug.

I just found out that my cousin Doug has Multiple Sclerosis. he has been living with the disease for almost eight years and he is doing his best to fight it. Right after he was diagnosed, he formed Team DJ to help raise money for the annual MS walk in Jamestown. Since it was formed in 1999, Team DJ has raised a lot of money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and has been recognized as one of the country's foremost teams. However, money is needed now more than ever. Recently a new drug was developed that virtually stopped Multiple Sclerosis from advancing a person's disability. Unfortunately, a few patients had terrible reactions to this drug and it needed to be pulled away from doctors' offices. It was a glimmer of hope that was taken away from Doug and 400,000 other Americans. Now more funding is needed to correct this medical flaw. But, the bright side is, if this drug could do what it was supposed to do, a cure for this disease is closer than ever!

This is obviously my first year participating in the walk, and though I will not physically be walking, I plan on being wheeled in my stroller for the entire 10-miles. I would greatly appreciate it if you were to sponsor me and my stroller in our first MS walk. Please send whatever donation you feel comfortable giving to me by April 30th so I will be ready to lace up my sneakers and polish my stroller wheels on May 1st.

Thank you so much for your support. It means a lot to me, my mommy and daddy, my cousin, and 2.5 million people worldwide suffering with Multiple Sclerosis.

Andrew Jordan

So here's what I'm thinking. If you want to donate to this very worthy cause, send me an e-mail (click on the flying envelope to the right). I'll work something out with the little guy's pop, and we'll get your money to the appropriate folks. I'm giving, my husband is giving, and we'd love for you to join us. Plus, now I've got a deadline - he'll need that sweater for such a long walk, don't you think?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Is it Spudnik???

No, but it is a garden full of space potatoes!!!
That's one Darth Tater for Bill, who I was supposed to have dinner with last night*, one for AC (see? He's gross and disgusting and talks in great detail about his bodily excretions, and I'm still nice to him because he's working all day for me today. I am a slightly more than halfway decent person.) and one will be on it's way to hell tomorrow.

* Bill was a mentor to me in radio school, and is so precious to me words cannot describe. It is his job I was offered a few weeks back, that I decided not to take. The reason his job was open was that he had decided to take another job - someone had been courting him and offered him a fantastic increase in salary, and it was an offer he couldn't refuse. So he was "retiring" from the school, and one of the other teachers there decided to go through some of his favorite students over the past 20 years that he's taught there, and invited us to a surprise dinner for him. She gave us an address for the restaurant: 705 Belair Rd, in Bel Air MD.

The timing coincided with work stuff for me, so I knew I'd be late, but hoped to rush out anyway, and be only an hour late. But something happened at work, so I couldn't leave right away. Then traffic was insane (hey, folks, you know that stuff falling from the sky? It's just water! Only if it's red and flaming do we need to fear lava!!!) and the directions to the toy store that had the aforementioned tater were horrible. Then the directions to the restaurant were pretty lousy too. Five minutes before the party had told me they were leaving, I called the restaurant. They weren't there.

Turns out there's a restaurant by that name at 705 Belair Rd in Perry Hall, and there's a restaurant by that name at 705 Baltimore Pike in Bel Air.

Yup. She'd sent the wrong address. I'd been driving around frantically for three hours for nothing. Fighting back the tears, I called and left a message on Bill's machine, apologizing profusely for not being there, and telling him I'd like to take him out to lunch next weekend. Hopefully we'll be able to get together, because this potato really needs to be his.

When I got home, I sent an e-mail to her explaining the mistake (which, I feel, was hers, in giving an incorrect address) and apologizing for not being there, and then this morning the response I got from her was "Sorry you couldn't be there, we had a great time". Gee. Thanks.


Anyway, GB will be home from his business trip, and I'm taking the day off for doctor's appointments, so hopefully we'll be able to see an early showing of Fever Pitch and then go to dinner.

And yes, I do know how to spell Sputnik.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Remember this? (If you stare at the picture long enough, the braids wave back and forth)

I gave in and frogged it. It likely wouldn't have been a problem if shipping were an instantaneous thing, but (remember, patience is not one of my virtues) I got impatient, ripped it all the way out, and started over on smaller needles. The other yarn is on the way, but in the meantime, I'm knitting a hat in Calmer on size 0 needles. I think there might be something wrong with my head. It's just that it's so freaking stretchy, I even considered taking out a repeat of the cables (which would be two of those braidy things), but then it would have meant real thought when it came to the flower at the top of the hat, and who needs real thought when they're worried about yarn running out? So I thought going down a couple of needle sizes would make it slightly smaller, and give me just a smidge more yarn. I'm sure I'll still need the other balls of yarn (that are coming) but I'll feel like I've done something productive in the meantime.

Meanwhile, the hat's owner-to-be has been mighty productive, and has some kick-ass news. Go send her your best energy.

It was very hot in the house last night - we hit 80 F here during the day, and everything was still shut up from the winter, so there was no air circulation. That meant spending the evening opening the windows and trying not to trip over cat puddles (cat co-habitators will know what I mean, non-cat folk think my cats have peed on everything. Nope. But if you get a cat hot enough, they behave as though their bones have all melted, and you'll just find these limp little bodies draped all over the floor and furniture in what couldn't possibly be a comfortable position. Like a puddle of cat)

Aslan picked a wise place to be a cat puddle. Did you know you could prop your head on the aquariam filter motor, and it would prop you up just enough that you could gaze into the tank dreamily and watch kitty tv? You can. We need to get Aslan more fish. More fish - you know, the "satellite tv" of kitty tv.

This morning, I planted this:

A rose bush, right by the front of the house. Last year we planted some white and blue ground cover to fill that area a little. This rose will be red (and I'm sorry, I'm completely blanking on which rose this is - it's a Hybrid Tea, because that's my favorite, but other than that.... OH! Oklahoma! (Am I the only one that has to sing the song to spell that?))

I also seemed up the right side of the baby sweater. I've only been working on it during my classes, so it's going slowly, but I think after tomorrow's class I'll work on it a little more, and hopefully be able to have it done by the end of the weekend. Here it is, right side seemed, and very unblocked:

And because knitters care, the seeming on the inside...
and on the outside...
I get a pretty huge kick out of how the mini pools line up across the seem....

I'm going out tonight for a special surprise dinner for someone who means the world to me, and so at lunch I have to find a toystore that sells this. All the websites say they're out of stock. Which of course means I will continue to waste my lunch hour driving all over Annapolis looking for the evil spud.

Marriage is love.