Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Yup, I still knit

Ah, what a nice weekend. I guess it doesn't really matter since I'm unemployed anyway and every weekend is a three day weekend, but I had fun hanging with Chunky and The Mad Scientist. Well, actually The Mad Scientist worked every day except Sunday. Sunday we went to see Over the Hedge. I hate spending that much money on a movie or anything not tangible, but it was fun. It was a cute movie. The only part that sucked was they totally ruined the Ben Folds song at the end--Rocking the Suburbs--he must have re-recorded a PG version for the movie.

That was Sunday. On Monday Chunky and I walked up to the school park (I "tagged" one of those autrociously ribboned trees with my knitted ribbon) and played for a bit. Of course this weekend (and today and tomorrow) it's been freaking 89 degrees before the heat index. This leads me to the conclusion I'm going to die in Texas. At least in Texas I guess we'll have A/C in every room of the house---here we just have this old box air conditioner in the living room that's lounder than hell and sounds like it's going to take off and fly out of the wall when we run it.

After the park we cleaned out some of the storage unit. Yick. Spiders. I Freecycled a ton of stuff--baby and toddler clothes galore and one of those freaking space-eating exersaucers. Chunky hated that thing as a baby and it just took up a ton of room. Baby shower gifts, what are you going to do?

On the knitting front I decided to replace Soleil (bah, I don't feel like linking to the pattern) with the Lotus Blossom Tank found in the latest edition of Interweave Knits. Although I think once I finish the million rounds of lace at the bottom I'm going to frankenstein a different pattern to do the armholes and neck. Probably not the wisest idea given my track record on the now infamous Texas Trio of Thrifty Tank Tops. I washed the Dumpley Tank this weekend and yeah, it didn't help. It still does the flippety-do thing (I should try to tack that down) at the back and generally looks like shit. Oh well.

Anyway I also cast on a sock in anticipation of my traveling next week:

lotus and sock

Here's a close up of the lotus blossom--I'm not even done with one repeat of the pattern:

lotus upclose

And the sock:

sock up close

The sock is done with a broken-rib pattern using the cotton blend yarn I picked up at Threadbear last month. I know I've read a lot of people hate ribbing, but I love knitting it. For me it's mindless so I guess I enjoy mindless knitting.

Ok, well it's time to start researching places to live in Texas so I can at least check out a couple of places while I'm down there.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Mystery Project Revealed

So I gave y'all a small sneak peek the other day. Here's another something to whet your curiosity while I tell the backstory to the inspiration to this:

pieces

So I'm by far NOT the most patriotic person in the world. I hate what the U.S. is doing in the world today (and yes I know y'all might not agree with that statement, but let's agree to disagree; I can't change your mind, you can't change mine). But I do support our troops. Two of my three brothers have served in the middle east, one in Iraq and one in Saudi. I'm sure one of them will be going back again shortly.

Everyday I try to get out and walk a bit to stave off the Unemployment 15. As I've been walking around the neighborhood I see a lot of nasty "yellow" (usually they've faded to white), shredded, dirty, poorly knotted ribbons on trees in peoples' yards. The neighborhood elementary school even has these eyesores all over their trees out front.

Now let us review what's wrong with these ribbons:

1. What an eyesore. They're faded, torn, and shameful. Why would anyone want shitty, split, faded plastic ribbon all over their trees? This doesn't seem like proper troop support to me; and

2. They're KILLING the trees! A tree's vascular system runs through its trunk. When you tie a ribbon or string around it, it's like you're cutting off it's circulation. Tie a ribbon tightly around your neck and tell me what happens. Given the state of things in the middle east, I don't see it very likely that we'll be cutting these ribbons off anytime soon, thus saving these trees from a slow death.

So I figured, hell, I could knit a freaking "ribbon" that would expand with the tree and not strangle it to death.

So here's the off-tree pic:

assembled

And here it is on the yucky apple tree (Chunky calls it that because when he was a baby, in the fall he always wanted to pick the rotting apples off of it--I had to continually tell him "No! Yucky!"):

ribbon

And a side view:

side view

Yeah, it looks kind of kitschy, and the puffy bow reminds me of barrettes I wore in my hair in the 80's, but I will say it looks 10 times better than the shredded, strangling trash I see on other peoples' trees.

And for those interested, I've secured another interview in San Antonio the week I'm down there. So hopefully soon my weird boredom-induced knitting projects will end.

Thanks for the craiglist suggestions from yesterday. I'll have to check that out.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Trying To Think Outside The (Moving) Box

I'm smacking my head against my very dusty walls. Who knew WALLS could get dusty? Holy shit, I'm taking down the pictures in our living room--gross!

Anyway, I secured a half-interview yesterday. Meaning if the job is still available on June 6 when I go down to SA then they'll interview me for it. Personally I think this is regional discrimination, but I don't think the ACLU will help me out on this one.

I'm seriously thinking me and Chunky will end up in SA before The Mad Scientist. He's been talking with Mr. and Mrs. PI and it's starting to look like September when he'll finally defend. Sigh.

So here's my problem: I've got The Mad Scientist to help me load the moving truck up here in Michigan, but when I get down to San Antonio I've got no one there to help me move my crap out of the truck. Now I'm not worried about boxes, I'm no girly-girl, I can move a box. But a couple of our items of furniture like the entertainment center, possibly the craptacular couch, and the computer desk are going to require two people. What the hell am I going to do? I've looking into movers--um, no, I'm not paying people that much money to move a couple items of furniture.

I have the feeling there's like a really simple solution to all of this, but I can't freaking think of anything. I think I've got an aunt and uncle outside of Dallas, but yeah, I've never met them, that would be an awkward favor to call in!

As much as I hate to see Chunky grow up and not be my little boy anymore--this is the first time I wish he was bigger! Ha ha!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Knit One, Pack Two

Not much excitement to report today. The lady from the law firm in San Antonio called me and I've secured an interview for June 7. Whee! Now all I have to do is find a list of daycares and set up some tours and do the same with houses. I emailed an realtor I saw with a lot of listings online. She emailed me back and pretty much gave me the blow off. Screw you lady. Now I know who I won't be finding a place through! I won't say who the company is but lets just say it rhymes with Moldsmell Skanker.

I've been packing up a storm as you can see:

100_1038

Silly katze.

Yesterday I packed a lot of my non-essential pots and pans and of course discovered I had a lot to get rid of. So I posted on my beloved Freecycle:

I've got the following kitchen items up for grabs:

9 inch aluminum pie pan
Angel Food Tube Pan (new w/tag)
2 small fry pans (9" or so...)
Small square flat "griddle" pan
4 cup electric rice cooker (working condition)
One of those super chopper thingys you used to see on TV a few years
back--you use it to mince veggies.

You must take it ALL. Thanks!


To which I received (among many) the following response:

Hello, I am interested in all the things you have listed, I need a rice cooker, and a griddle, and fry pans. I do a lot of cooking at my house for my family.
Thanks
Rebecca


Oh my god! She cooks at her house for her family! Well then! I should give them to her!!! What a deserving person showing up all those damn losers that eat out all the time, or cook at their neighbor's house. I had to resist the urge to email her back with some snarky remark telling her to shut up and quit giving chicks named Rebecca a bad name with such stupid remarks. (Rebecca is my professional name).

Ok, enough obsessing about idiots on Freecycle. I've beat that one to death.

On the knitting front I'm attacking another one of my pet peeves. I'll give you a little preview:

100_1042

Hee hee! Just wait! I just hope I have the balls to do what I want to do with it!

I've got a couple of other little projects going now that the Dumpley Tank is completed. I've got to come up with something portable and time consuming for my San Antonio trip in a week and a half. Something that won't get me an FBI file like The Mad Scientist when he forgot to leave his pocket knife in the car when he went to San Diego and they damn nearly strip searched him.

Maybe a sock?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Shapely Tank

Well. It's done. That's about all the positive things I can say about it. Here you go:

100_1034

I think my expression says everything. I'm not very pleased with it at all. Maybe I just lack those garment knitting skills everyone else seems to have. At least I tried though right? I swatched and everything!!

I still couldn't get rid of that damn flipidy-doo thing it does at the bottom:

100_1033

See how it flips up completely in back and does that Jetson-skirt thing near the front. Sigh. Oh and can you tell where I dropped a stitch (and didn't see it til this picture!)?

And don't even get me started on the collar:

100_1036

This is totally my fault though. I strayed from the pattern by making the neckhole a tad larger than called for (I bound off an extra 3 stitches) and I knit the edging in the round. What I should have done is knit the edging on the front and back BEFORE I attached the shoulders together. However, the pattern called for attaching the shoulders and then knitting the edging on the arm and neckholes. If I had knit the neck holes before attaching the shoulders I wouldn't have had to knit it in the round thus getting that awful rolling thing.

And no, I won't be blocking it. I'm a wash and wear kinda girl. What's the point in blocking if you're just going to toss it in the wash again? (and I don't do airdrying either! Hee hee!)

So in conclusion, I guess I learned the following from this pattern:

1. Maybe cheaper yarn isn't always better; and
2. Go with your gut, if the instructions say one thing and you think your way would be better--do it your way.

On a lighter note--on Saturday me and Chunky went to Threadbear for the release party for Big Girl Knits! And yes, I did buy a copy of the book and yes, I did have it autographed:

100_1037

Hee hee! From what I've read sofar it's a well written book. And even though I'm not a size 14 or more, it still has good tips on what items of clothing are going to be flattering on your build. I mean seriously--who is completely 100% in love with the junk in their trunk? But then again this is coming from a pretty non-savvy dresser. If it's comfy and fits then hey I'll wear it.

It was fun getting to chat with Amy and Jill if only for a little bit. Chunky doesn't do too hot in yarn stores as you can tell from the picture from Amy's post on the official BGK blog, and I didn't want to linger too long.

Jill saw Chunky wearing his Colorado State football shirt (Go Rams!) and commented that she had lived in Fort Collins before moving to Michigan. Come to find out she left good old FC the same year (2000) me and The Mad Scientist did to come to Michigan. Cosmic man. Fort Collins really isn't much bigger than say Lansing, and of course when school is out the population drops drastically. Small freaking world I tell you.

Finally an update on my Freecycle food dehydrator: I had another 15 people email me about it ranging anywhere from "I make potporri" to "Please please please gimme gimme gimme" (I kid you not!) to "Hooray! Give it to me and I can use it to dry herbs for ointments and salves!" Maybe I'm just old fashioned but when I dry my herbs, I tie them upside down, cover them with a paperbag and hang them up in a closet somewhere and forget about them.

So I went with the one person that didn't blatantly beg or offer me some lame anecdote about why they needed it oh-so-bad. She'll be here at three. Now if only I could get rid of all these damn Tom Clancy books no one seems to want on there. Damn pulp fiction, it gluts even the freebie market!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Playing God (or insert your Creator of choice here)

This afternoon, and this past week I've slowly been packing up Bezzie Manor in anticipation of The Big Move. Yeah, I know it's probably premature, but it makes me feel like we're that much closer to San Antonio.

So today, as I'm packing up miscellaneous things in my kitchen and giving Chunky various things to dust before we pack them (I tell you that boy is going to be the best freakin' husband ever or possibly gay--he's got this bizarre penchant for cleaning. What other kid do you know that asks for a toy vacuum for Christmas?) I unearth a food dehydrator that my brother Bub gave us for our wedding. I think I've used it twice.

So I posted it on Freecycle. I've been posting shit on Freecycle all week. I love Freecycle. Where else can you actually get people to come to your house to pick up your unwanted shit? Yes, I've tried to get those Starvation Army type places to do pick ups and they never want what I've got to offer!

However when you post on, or even merely read Freecycle requests, you can tell that there are many interesting people/weirdos using Freecycle. Read Penny Karma's post on cooking unitals and the abuse of grammar with posts.

And it is so hard as a Freecycle giver to weed out the weirdos. I refuse to give my stuff to men. "Yeah baby, come over to my house and pick up these 10 year old college text books. Here's my address and phone number if you get lost." Before I give anything away, the email a person sends asking for my shit has to hit me just right.

For example last week I got rid of three bags of Chunky's infant baby clothes and some girl-baby clothes someone had given me when I was pregnant with Chunky (we didn't find out his sex until he was born). I had about 15 people email me asking for the clothes for their pregnant daughter/sister/church members. And then I had one that struck me--a girl who had a small-for-her size 12 mo. old daughter (the girl baby clothes were all about 12 month sizes anyway) and she had a premature little boy still in the hosptial. Most of these clothes I was Freecycling were from The Mad Scientist's sister who also had a premature little boy a year before Chunky was born and she handed down his clothes to me.

I also posted two bags of Chunky's toddler clothes. I stated they were boys' clothes summer and winter from 12 mos. to 24 mos. in size. Again I had a dozen people emailing me (and some dude who had also wanted the infant clothes) about their poor one year old naked grandson/nephew/son/cousin. I even had one lady ask me "Well what sizes are included in the bags?" Geeze, if you want that much detail and can't figure it out from 12 mos. to 24 mos. in size, guess what? You're not getting them! But the email that did it was one from a lady who was the very last one to email me and the thing that she said was "Thank you" at the end of her email. No one else said that. She's sofar been the politest Freecycler I've encountered. I'm glad I gave her those clothes.

Which brings me back to the food dehydrator. Again I feel like I'm playing God (or whoever/whatever you choose to believe brought on life as we know it). This paticular email I got rubbed me the wrong way in its tone. Maybe I'm reading too much into it though.

Hello, My husband and I are retired, on limited income...we would LOVE to
have the dehydrator. My mother, when alive, loaned us hers to make dried apples
and cherries. It is just wonderful. So, please, put us at the top of your list
of folks wanting your dehydrator. With hopes, Patty
"...please put us at the top of your list"?? Um, no. Sorry. It just really bothered me that they came off as begging for it. Besides, they're on a limited income. I didn't mention in my post how much electricity this damn dehydrator sucks up when you have to run it 12-15 hours just to get some dried apples that would have cost them $2.99 at Kroger. And is anyone else wondering what happened to her dead mother's dehydrator? Maybe these people broke it? Or maybe they pissed mom off and she didn't will it to them? I'm probably being an arrogant bitch for not giving it to them, but I'm going to sleep on this and see what emails are in my inbox tomorrow. I like the request to connect with me before I give my shit away to any old person. Thank you Freecycle for giving me a God complex.

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of the hopefully finished Shapely Tank and my copy of the autographed Big Girl Knits and a description brief encounter with the wonderful Jill and Amy!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Insert Squeal Here

I just got off the phone with a law firm in San Antonio--one of the ones I sent my resume to unsolicited--they want to meet with me!

WOO freaking HOO! So it looks like Bezzie will be possibly jetting down to SA to talk to attorneys, scout housing, and check out daycares.

Yes, I know it's not a job, but hey--someone's interested in me! I'll take what I can get!!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

High Hopes and Other Randomness

Sing it with me! Oh yes she's got hiiighhh hopes!!! Hiiighhh hopes!

I give you the front of the Shapely Tank de Cottontots:

front

You will notice the location of the boob-darts:

detail

Um yeah, Laverne and Shirley were probably that perky oh, back when I was in fourth grade! (Any guesses as to why I call 'em Laverne and Shirley? And no, when I was nursing Chunky I did NOT lactate milk and coke (pardon--Pepsi) out of one of them--ha ha!)

So I guess I'll just finish the back and pray for a great push up bra. The Mad Scientist has suggested duck tape.

Speaking of The Mad Scientist, I've been on Operation Pantry Raid (no, not panty, pantRy) to use up the crap in our cupboards because a) we don't have as much money as we used to for grocery shopping with me not working and b) I'm not hauling a bunch of dry and canned goods across the country when we move. So last night I made some brownies using some cocoa powder and some caramel ice cream topping I had in the fridge (not as yummy as I had hoped). Anyway, as I'm mixing everything together The Mad Scientist asks:

"Are you gonna put nuts in them?"

Me: "Um, no, I don't have any nuts sorry."

TMS: "Oh well, then I'm not going to eat any."

Me: "What the hell is it with you not ever eating my brownies if they don't have nuts???"

TMS: "What?! You wouldn't love me if I didn't have nuts."

Point taken. I love my husband.

Ok, now back to some knitting related topic (hey, I don't call it "Random Meanderings" for nothing!) I've been tagged by Karen with this little Meme:

1)What's your favorite LYS?: Threadbear
2)What about it do you like most?: It's GINORMOUS! You can go in, fondle, browse, knit if you want to, pet the dog, and walk out completely satisfied even if you don't buy anything.
3)What is your 2nd favorite?: Rae's Yarn Boutique
4)What would you improve about it to make it a tie with your first?: I'd make it a tad bit bigger, I feel guilty if I go in there and DON'T buy anything. But the girl who owns that store has got to be close to my age and her knitting ability astounds me.
5)What's the last thing your bought at your #1 LYS? Two skeins of Dale Stork Cotton and a couple of skeins of cotton blend sock yarn.
6)Who's Next?: Geeze, I suck at tagging peeps. If you read this and haven't seen it before and want to complete it yourself--go for it. (Seems like everyone I know has done this meme!)

And finally, I cleaned out about 1/4th of my closet yesterday. I emptied out a drawer full of Chunky's old baby clothes. God, where did my little baby boy go?!

Did anyone catch the season finale of Scrubs last night? I laughed at the irony of Dr. Cox and Jordan giving away all of their baby crap only to realize that Jordan's pregnant later in the episiode--but then I had to stop laughing when I realized that's exactly what I had been doing all day!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wipdate

How sad is it when you feel guilty abandoning your knitting to update your resume and search for jobs so you can start whoring yourself out on the job market 1500 miles away?

Just two things on the needles right now:

wips

The start of Texas Tank Top Number Two--a shapely tank made of Cottontots in "Strawberry" (looks more like Pepto to me). And the sock that would not end. Gah, I swear I HAVE to finish this damn sock. I'm soooo bored with it it's driving me NUTS. I'm considering getting rid of my last two balls of Regia Nation in the German flag colors just because I'm soooo sick of looking at them (of course I knew this burnout would happen!).

I'm enjoying the somewhat mindless monotony of doing the bottom of the shapely tank with a little shaping here and there to keep it interesting. However, I'm having a hard time figuring out why the bottom "scallop" called for short rows though. I mean I get short rows for a sock heel or a bust apex (snicker!) but because I did it (as the pattern called for) on the bottom of the tank, I have little boobie-dart-esque at the corners of my scallop. Maybe I screwed it up. But I keep thinking there's got to be a better way to creat a scalloped effect at the bottom without short rows.

Anyway, this is happening to the bottom of my tank:

darn edge!

The bottom edge keeps flipping up. I suppose I could block it when I'm done to see if that helps, but the whole purpose of the Trio of Thrifty Tank Tops was to create three cotton machine washable tanks I could just toss in the machine and forget about. Ah well, such is the adventure of knitting. I'll figure something out to keep this edge from curling. Or I'll at least make it a "design feature" ala Bezzie.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Fugtacular!

I was one of the participants in the First Annual Fug Off (now morphing into a traveling Fug-a-Blog object d'fug). The brainchildren (crazy geniuses?) behind the First Annual Fug Off were the one and only Penny Karma and
Domestic Overlord

I was the lucky (?) recipient of dkswife's (aka The Cheesy Knit Wit; aka Kay) colon cancer on a stick scarf. The back story to this lovely (snicker) piece of fug is that she knit it while a family member was battling colon cancer and well, you've heard of projection right? The bad juju associated with such a nasty disease such as colon cancer seems to have manifested itself in this scarf.

Anyways, without further rambling, and with great apologies to the Yarn Harlot and her traveling sock, I give you the pictoral adventure me and the fug had this afternoon!

First I welcomed the fug into our home sweet Apartment #5 home:

Door

Awwww....look at the hug its giving our cute little family name sign!

Fug and I quickly hopped into the Silver Cloud and buckled up for adventure:

Buckled

So I asked my fug, what exactly do you think of when you think of:

Lansing???

First thing I think of is cars. Sadly due to the shut down of a majority of the G.M. plants, the auto industry in Lansing is dying. However, on the subject of death and cars, there was one dead guy we decided to visit:

R E Olds crypt

The one and only R. E. Olds, father of the Oldsmobile, which of course they don't make anymore and have shut down the plant that used to make them.

Fug and I decided the next thing you think of when you think of Lansing is fourth grade. Why fourth grade? Because in fourth grade you're forced to learn state capitals:

At the Capital

Finally the fug and I wracked our brains--what the hell else is there to see in this dump? Ah ha! Of course! The third major source of income for this hellhole, the one the only:

MSU

MSU! I tried to get a picture of the fug with Sparty, formerly the world's largest outdoor terra cotta statue (they replaced him last summer and now the original Sparty resides in the MSU library I believe), but the roads leading to his non-terra cotta doppleganger in front of Spartan Stadium were under construction. Darn. That would have made a cool picture.

Overall the fug and I had fuggin' good time.