Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A very Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays from Virginia Beach! I'm here with Wes and his family celebrating the holidays with my niece and nephew. Christmas day was overwhelming to say the least. I got some fun gifs - knitting books, a guitar, a peacoat, a rockin' GPS, a digital picture frame and a few other things. The kids are awash in toys and clothes and loving it. Today was rainy and windy but we ventured outside to pick up a few things. Tonight I taught my niece and sister-in-law the basics of knitting, and they're tearing away on the needles. I'm most of the way through a sweater I started right before the trip, and I've started another wrap for a friend. There's been lots of knitting time since we drove here from Kansas and have a long ride home, not to mention TV and fireplace time here.

Tomorrow we're doing family pictures as a final holiday gift, and then Friday morning Wes and I will head back to Kansas to celebrate New Year's and find a place to live. I'm loving being on the vacation even if the snow and ice storms leaving me longing for California.

I hope y'all are having happy holidays with you and yours! I'll be adding some pictures soon.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

A pleasant work day.

Today is the last day of work before the holiday break (we're lucky enough to work for a University that gives us the days between Christmas and New Years off) and I have to say it's been a nice day. Half the people here are already off on vacation, so it's nice and quiet. The day started with presents from my bosses - a sudoku a day calendar and a gift card to a knitting store! Then I had lunch at my favorite sushi place with friends (it's a little like Cheers - the entire wait staff knows my name there) and our favorite waitress brought us some mochi at the end of the meal. Then it was back to work for December Birthday Cake celebration and the Director spoke a bit about my leaving and gave me some company swag. Now there's just an hour or so left to the day and then I'm on vacation until January 7!


Thursday funny

Tis the last day before holiday break and my countdown is now 10 more working days in the new year. A little fun is in order.

Image courtesy of NatalieDee.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

That last Christmas knit.

This evening I finished the final Christmas knit. He's Sheldon from Knitty and he was a fantastically fun knit. He's destined for my almost three year-old nephew and I hope he'll be loved to bits.

Now I just need to pay bills, pack, and get out of Dodge!


Giggling through history.

For Chanukah/Christmas, the l'il sis' boyfriend gave me a book, Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell. I hadn't heard of the book, nor the author so I had no idea what I was in for. All I knew was that she had recently received quite a bit of acclaim on NPR, and that was enough.

I was in for a treat though! Ms. Vowell has written a book about taking a vacation to retrace the steps of America's most famous assassins. What she weaves together is a humorous retelling of some of the darkest moments in U.S. history. Aside from her impeccable historical research, she spends a lot of time exploring the nuances of who knew who, who was present where and when, and all the interesting footnoted trivia about our presidents and the men that chose to kill them. I profess I'm no historical buff, but this was a truly enjoyable read and I spent most of it giggling through history. If you're a liberal at heart, you'll enjoy Ms. Vowell's explorations and how she relates them to current political quagmires.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Finally Finished!

Thank goodness these are put to rest. I'm delivering them to the LYS tomorrow and I hope the requester is happy. I give you the Cabled Gauntlet Gloves:

Pattern: #23 Cabled Gauntlet Gloves,
Vogue 25th Anniversary Edition
Needles: Size 5 and 4 DPNs
Yarn: GGH Taj Mahal (5.5 skeins)

This pattern wasn't a terrible knit once I figured it out. I love the finished product, even though reading all the different cable charts was quite a challenge. All in all, I was glad to learn new techniques, work with such luscious yarn and make something that looks so great.


Way to piss me off #13

Ask me the exact same question you have asked me every day for a week and haven't listened to the answer any time I've told you, even though it's the same answer every single time.

Thank god there are only 12 working days of this insanity left.

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Words of Advice

Never go to Target the week before Christmas.

Last night my creative decorating workmate A. and I went shopping. This year our workplace decided to adopt a family and since our colleagues were so generous in their donations we had almost $500 to spend on gifts for the family. So we headed out to shop last night, so we could wrap today and deliver gifts tomorrow. All I can say is %&^*$#@#*(&! Wow! Target was not only crowded, but it was not very stocked. And it was REALLY insanely hard shopping for a family when you don't really know them. We could pick up the items they requested on their lists, but we weren't sure what else to get as gifts since we don't know what kinds of movies, books, games, etc. they already have or would enjoy. We shopped till we dropped last night, returned all the gifts to the office around 10pm and headed home to collapse into bed. Today is wrapping and then preparing for delivering tomorrow. I love what we're doing, and that we're making the holidays great for the family! But avoid Target like the plague. You'll be glad you did.


Monday, December 17, 2007

And then there were 13.

After today I only have 13 work days left before I put on my cape and fly from this place. On second thought, I'd better check into matching tights as it's a mite cold in Kansas.

For your viewing pleasure, I discovered this little gem courtesy of Scrine. Now that's a thesis! Enjoy.

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The 12 Day of Christmas

Beware that this is not the typical Christmas carol... just watch for a few seconds and things really get going! This reminds me of a little ditty from the show "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." Thanks to Blenda from Oz and a few others for pointing it out.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

A lovely weekend.

This weekend was busy, but truly lovely. I came home on Friday night to relax, knit and watch Tin Man. I only got through the first two parts, but it was an interesting take on the tale. I'm still not sure how I feel about how it has spun Oz on it's head, and the second part seems to diverge greatly from any story I've ever known, but it was interesting. I'm probably going to watch the third part Monday night.

Saturday dawned with lots of things to do. First I met my mom at the bridal salon to try on my dress and then place the order! I'm super excited to have it ordered and it should come in 3-4 months! After that I ran a few errands and headed over to the LYS to sit and knit for a while. It had been a few weeks since I had been there, and I was definitely ready. I started a top-down cardigan with some wool my parents brought me from New Zealand. I'll finish that up over Christmas. Saturday night Wes and I had our movie date and watched the remake of The Stepford Wives. It was very different from the original, but I wouldn't say it was great. However, Wes and I were so glad that he had power back and that we could Skype that it was just fine!

Today I did some laundry and headed down to the parents for a belated Chanukah celebration. On the way, I stopped a spa to get a few women's beauty treatments. No sooner had I settled into a room than a knock came on the door. Without giving away too much information, I was in no condition for the door to be opened. Whoever was on the other side asked if I owned a silver RAV4. My heart sank...a lot. "Someone has just hit your car. I'm sorry!" came the reply. So we quickly finished up and I got dressed and headed out to check the damage. All I was thinking was "I hope it's drivable" and "thank goodness it wasn't my fault!" So I go outside and brace myself... and it wasn't my car! It was someone else's RAV4. I feel very bad for whoever else that was, but thank goodness it wasn't mine.

Tonight I had Chanukah dinner with my parents, aunt and uncle and cousin. Chanukah is technically over, but since we were in Kansas last weekend, we did a little dinner and gift exchange tonight. I think my family finally got the hint that I'm a little obsessed with yarn. My aunt gave me three beautiful skeins of Noro Yarn, and a gift card. My mom gave me the Stitch 'n Bitch pattern a day calendar. I'm super excited about the yarn and the calendar, and I've already got plans for the gift card too - I'm going to get a crock pot to make warm stews and soups for the cold days in Kansas. I can't wait!

Tonight I came home to finish watching some DVDs (Bones, Season 2) and to finish the first cabled glove. I'm so excited that the first one's done and that it looks so good. Just 4 more fingers to go on the other one and then they're ready! Just in time for the holidays. I'm also whipping up a few last minute gifts and reveling in some new fibers. This is the last week of work, and on Friday I head out to Kansas. I can't believe the holidays are here and it's almost the new year.

Hope you all had a great weekend! More news as it's fit to print.

P.S. Look what photo I finally got!

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Things to post about!

For the past 24 hours all sorts of things have happened and I've thought "ooo I need to post that" so we're going to do it all bullet style today rather than post 12 dozen times. I give you things that have made me happy in the last 24 hours:

  • Top of the list: I arrived home last night to find a package on my doorstep addressed to Auntie Fluffy. Inside were the cutest pictures of little Melody and some sweet notes from her mommy. This MADE MY DAY! I only have a very few close friends, and fewer still that I know I'll be friends with FOREVER and my dear Light is definitely one of them.
  • Wes finally got power back on at his house! He had been living without since the ice storm knocked it out Tuesday night. Luckily he had heat and some fuel for the camping stove, so he wasn't going cold or hungry, but it wasn't that pleasant and I'm glad he's back!
  • Chris mentioned a little time-waster, Bloxorz, on his blog. Consider my time officially sucked.
  • I've been using the power of Ravelry to find out about great knitting stores in Kansas City and to find some knitting friends even before I move there. Everyone has been super nice and I'm starting to get excited for my new knitting community!

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Thursday, December 13, 2007


I have just been notified by email that I have won an African lottery; funds will be transferred after I send my bank account routing information and social security number: who wants to celebrate with me?

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Babies in handknits.

I do have a weakness for adorable babies in hand-knits. One more of precious little Melody.

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The button jar.

Tonight is the annual holiday party, and for the occasion I broke out a new shirt that I purchased a few weeks ago on sale at Express. Some time this morning I had an odd sensation in the new shirt, and realized that I still hadn't clipped the envelope with the extra button from inside the shirt.

As I stared at this extra button, neatly packaged in its envelope, I was reminded of a conversation Wes and I were a part of on our cruise this summer. Every night we were seated with the same group of couples - 2 couples were newlyweds and one had been married for a while. Each night, the couples tried to out-do each other in griping about their spouses ("she's always shopping!" "he never listens!"). For the most part Wes and I tried to ignore this bickering. One night however, one of the women described a cardinal sin of her husband's: somewhere in the "moving-in together" process he had disposed of her button jar. She told him it was unforgivable and he couldn't figure out what he had done wrong.

See this is one of the fundamental differences between men's and women's apparel. Men's clothes come with extra buttons - they are sewn to the inside of the front button band. Women's clothing comes with extra buttons and thread - however, they are usually attached in a small envelope to the clothing. Every woman I know has some box, jar or bag somewhere with a collection of these envelopes. Now I will acknowledge that I probably still have envelopes of buttons and thread for garments long past that I no longer own, but even so, this collection is essential to maintaining clothes in proper working order.

So tell me ladies... do you have a button jar?

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

That really chaps my hide.

Lately I've been watching quite a bit of the Discovery channel and I've gotten hooked on Everest: Beyond the Limit 2007. This is a TV series that follows an expedition of mountain climbers and guides as they attempt to summit beautiful, awesome and deadly Mt. Everest.

Tonight I watched my dvr'd Episode 7 to see Summit Day for Team 1. I have to say, I have traversed a wide spectrum of emotions while watching Everest this season: amazement, horror, awe and many others. I have watched, literally sick to my stomach or breathless in anticipation of the next step. Tonight, however, was ruined for me in watching Tim Medvetz climb the mountain. Tim has become something of a hero in the series, rallying from a motorcycle accident and a failed attempt last season, to summit this season. Early on Summit Day, Tim falls and breaks his hand in two places. However, he chooses not to tell the guides and to soldier on. Some praise him for a his true grit, others for his bravery in the face of danger and his strength at summiting with a virtually unusable hand. For me, the excitement of the climb is ruined by his actions. What I watched tonight was a selfish foolhardy man who let his desire to summit Everest get in the way of what was safest for the whole group. On the return down the mountain, Tim is so injured that the Woody, the guide has to help him every step of the way. In continuing up the mountain Tim puts his own life at risk, but worse, he puts his team members at risk as well. Because of the happy outcome (Tim makes it down the mountain with no other major injuries to himself or anyone else) he receives a hero's welcome, but the potential for this situation to have been so much worse is huge.

It is this cavalier attitude that causes so many accidents on Everest. After reading Into Thin Air and many other accounts of disasters on Everest, I simply cannot applaud a man who knowingly does something so selfish.

So that's my two cents this episode.

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More pictures.

Subtitle: Why we got out of Kansas just in time.

I can't take credit for these photos - Wes shot these in the aftermath of the huge ice storm that overtook the midwest this week. He doesn't expect power back at his house for the rest of the week. It's eerie but beautiful.


The Bear Went over the Mountain

To see what he could see.

The other side of the mountain was all that he could see.

The Bear Song by Green Jelly. Hopefully I'll have a better sound clip posted soon.


The weekend in pictures.

Wes at the Order of the Engineer.

[Sadly I'm still waiting on this one. It's supposed to be a really cute picture of me and my sweetie with him in his cap and gown. But guess what? There are none of these on MY camera because I'm in the picture holding my camera. So I'm just waiting for SOMEONE to take pity on me and send me one. Check back later.]

After commencement.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A little needlework.

Didn't get much done over the weekend, but I managed to crank out a little drawstring bag for my 10-year-old niece for Christmas. A little crochet, a little Cascade 220 and a couple of snowballs later...


Replacing myself.

It is a truly odd experience to replace oneself. In the past week I have been writing my job description in various ways, formulating task lists and effort distributions and monitoring resumes. They have now posted 2 positions to replace my one job, and I am tasked with screening resumes, setting up interviews and trying to get candidates into place before I leave.

It is really weird screening resumes to find someone to do everything I currently do. It's not that I don't think I'm replaceable - we all are. It's just that finding someone with a set of qualifications that more or less matches mine is not that easy. That and our job descriptions are so generic that we get tons of applicants with widely different experience levels. It should be an interesting few weeks...


A wee bit chilly.

Sorry for the long blog absence, but I've been off to Kansas and fighting a bit of a cold! This past weekend was Wes' graduation. I have some great pictures, but they're still in the camera so you'll just have to imagine until tonight!

Friday morning my parents and I set off on a Kansas adventure to watch my sweetie graduated from KSU. The flights went smoothly and we arrived in Kansas where it was in the 20's and just a bit balmy! We enjoyed a great Thai dinner with Wes and his family and headed to bed to get ready for the big day.

Saturday dawned really friggin' cold. It was in the teens and it was so cold that there was ice on everything - as soon as water hit the windshield you could see it crystallize. It was super scary - I've never been in THAT kind of cold before. However, we all braved the cold and trekked out to KSU. At 11:30 in the morning we watched Wes join the Order of the Engineer. After a short reception we headed over the Bramlage Center to watch Wes graduate! It was a short ceremony, but toasty warm inside the sports center, and we were all so excited and proud! After lots of pictures (which I'll share later) we headed out for a great BBQ dinner at Famous Dave's.

Sunday was a quiet day. We saw Enchanted with my parents and then had dinner with Wes' family back at the house. Monday we headed back to the airport and managed to get out of the midwest right before the big ice storm hit. As I'm typing this Wes is stuck at home with no power.

All in all it was a great weekend. I'm so proud of Wes for making it through college and graduating. He has accomplished so much! It was so nice to spend the weekend with our families - even though they don't have a lot in common everyone got along great and it was wonderful just to be together. Now I'm back in LA finishing a few things up before Christmas break. Wes and I are so close to January and starting our life together. It's starting to get really scary to think about leaving my family and friends and Los Angeles, but at the same time it's starting to feel very real and exciting. Now I just have to make it through some power knitting, gift wrapping and packing!

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Auntie Fluffy

One of my best friends, Light, just had her first baby. She's the first of my friends to have kids, and I was so excited. Now I'm "Auntie" Fluffy. I knit quite a few little goodies for her and her mommy just sent me some photos. Isn't she adorable?


Wednesday, December 05, 2007


This week I've had a running theme on mondegreens going. Don't know what those are? Wikipedia to the rescue:

A mondegreen is the mishearing (usually accidental) of a phrase as a homophone or near-homophone in such a way that it acquires a new meaning.

This can be particularly amusing when it relates to songs:

  • "Sweet dreams are made of cheese."

  • "Shot through the heart, and you're too lame."

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Tharmb

A week or two ago I spoke about a knitting tragedy that had befallen me. See, about a month ago the owner of the LYS store approached me about a commission job for her mother's friend. This woman wanted a beautiful pair of cabled gloves out of the Vogue Knitting 25th anniversary edition. We selected some beautiful yarn (slate gray Taj Mahal if you're asking) and I anted up. The finished product was to look like this:

I dutifully swatched for the gloves, got gauge and started knitting. As is obvious in the picture above, the gloves are gauntlet style. The picture I first saw, however, did not make that apparent. So I panicked for several days that my glove resembled a stretchy leg-warmer. However, after a pow-wow with some photographic evidence we decided I was on the right track.

I don't know if you've ever knit cables from several charts at once, but I haven't, and the gloves were going maddeningly slowly for a while. However, I seem to have gotten into my groove and have been progressing fairly rapidly in the last week or so. I was glorifying this accomplishment at dinner tonight when I suddenly lost my ability to speak english. "Tonight," I cried, "tonight I will finish the...THARMB!" It was out of my mouth before I could take it back and my friends (Knitmeister S and Blenda from Oz) could only giggle at me. So there you have it folks, tonight I have finished, and I present to you, Cabled gloves WITH THARMB:

P.S. Yes Blenda I know there is a tharmb IN THE GLOVE but it was the only way to show the tharmb was complete.


Three Cups of Tea

I just finished a wonderful book, Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. The book begins as a tale of a mountain climber trying desperately to summit K2. After a few failed attempts, half-frozen, hungry and half-dead with exhaustion, he loses his way down the mountain and ends up in a tiny Pakistani mountain village. Out of this visit comes his desire to give something back to the people who have saved his life, and thus starts a life's journey. Greg Mortenson begins with just $12,000 and a dream to build a school for girls in the tiny Pakistani village of Korphe. Set amidst 9/11 and other world events, Mortenson's journey into the Arab world is terrifying and courageous and beautiful. Mortenson, as one lone American, achieves what an entire war is being fought for, and is failing to achieve. I can't say enough about how wonderful this book is, it truly is a must read.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Baby it's cold outside!

So for the last few nights it's been getting into the 40's in Los Angeles. (Ignore the fact that tomorrow it is supposed to be 80 degrees, we're back to rain and the 50's and 40's this weekend - what is this, the Midwest?) I digress... for Christmas and Channukah I wanted to whip up a little something for my l'il sis and my former roomie so I tried Calorimetry from Knitty. Sadly I forgot to take a picture of the one I gave my sis, and it's especially sad because I used a rockin' button to finish it. Maybe she'll send me a pic of her wearing it (hint, hint) and I'll be able to share. I did, however, crank out two more of these. The green and lavender one is the roomie's and the pink/purple one is for me. I figure I'm moving to someplace freezing, I might as well have a good headband that covers my ears! More pictures when I find buttons.


It's the holidays!

Well since it's now December 3, the holidays must be in full swing. Our fabulous ICT holiday decorator (fresh off her stint as the Wicked Witch of the Hess) has provided us with lovely holiday decor. I just love my snowman (in his pink knitted scarf and earmuffs!)

Her door is cute as well: "Dear Santa...."


Lazy Weekend

This weekend was a pretty lazy one. I spent a disproportionate about of time sleeping late, but I did manage to get a few chores done. I also watched more of Bones Season 2 on DVD. Finally, I managed to get a little knitting done (ok well more than a little). I'm still working on Christmas gifts so not too many pictures, but between Friday and now I managed to get another 8 squares cranked out for the San Diego Wild Fire Blankets. Pictures of the other knits to follow soon!


The mailman bringeth....

Lately I have been deluged with junk mail - catalogues of every size, shape, color and ilk. I suspect it may have something to do with the fact that I purchase online more and more frequently these days. But the Christmas catalogues that have been arriving daily are not just an annoyance, occasionally they provide entertainment of the strangest kind. So I'm starting a little series this month of weird and ugly gifts I find in catalogues that are threatening to overrun my house.

Specimen A: The littlest star. Can you see the therapy bills now?

Specimen B: Every little girl's fantasy: Butterfly cowboy boots that look suspiciously like Uggs. Have you seen anything so ugly?