Monday, April 30, 2007

Pennies and Penises

This weekend was OK. We don't do much on weekends because we don't have much of the throwin' around money for fun or gas. Our entertainment has been limited to going to the park, library, or grocery store for bi-weekly grocery shopping. This Saturday was grocery shopping.

On Sunday I was feeling bad. Like lower-intestinal dysfunction bad. I'll spare you all and leave it at that.

But by the evening, I was feeling well enough to cast on this:

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That's Bad Penny from Knitty. I figure since everyone else is all over Japel's Fitted Knits, I'll go the cheapass route and knit one of her freebies from a few years ago.

Oh and it's a top-down sweater. No sleeve seaming!

Speaking of Bad Pennies, Penny Karma is working on this devious plot that involves people crocheting this (don't open that if you're at work, have small impressionable children around, or if you're perhaps websurfing at church, or possibly all three).

Since I don't crochet I started knitting mine.

Ok, I'm about to post a picture of it.

Are you ready?

Are all the impressionable children gone?

C'mon Billy Boogerfliker, it's time for a nap!

Is the boss gone to get coffee?

You want cream with that Mr. Braunhoel?

Wait, has Father O'Prudence finished up his sermon yet?

Yeah, yeah, we all know we're going to Hell.

Ok, here we go:

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I think it kind of has a squid-look to it.

I provisionally cast on at the base of the shaft there. I'll unravel it to some live stitches so I can cast on the testes.

Penny's thinking about turning this sausage party into a worthwhile cause. Being an equal opportunist, how could I, the creator of the Kootchie Awareness Yarn Extravaganza, turn down the opportunity to knit a penis for a good cause?

Finally, the icing on my weekend came today in the form of a phone call that actually happened a few hours ago. Not technically the weekend I guess.

It was from that law firm I had been interviewing with.

They offered me the position! Woot! I will officially be working as legal paper pusher once again.

I'll get to work from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with an hour for lunch. This is wonderful because I'll have plenty of time to get Chunky off to school in the morning and still make it to work.

I'll also be making a mere $3,600 less than Dr. Mad Scientist a year. Don't let anyone fool you about becoming a PhD or even a lawyer. Yes, they seem to equal big money, but not straight out of the gate, it takes years.

It's all about the earning potential of a high falutent edjumication. Yeah I might make nearly as much as he does with a lousy Associate of Arts degree in General Studies from Podunkia U. right now, but in a few years he should outstrip me in income. I won't make much more than what I'm making at this new place throughout my working life.

And finally the best part--I don't start until May 7. I've got a whole WEEK off to NOT worry about finding a job, going on interviews, etc. I can vegitate and work on knitting my testes and Bad Penny.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

More Fun in Seaming

Back when we shelled out more money than I'm willing to admit on a new bed, I had dreams of covering it with one of those Mason-Dixony log cabin knit blankets.

Well, now we don't have the boxspring on that extremely expensive bed and that Mason-Dixony log cabin blanket only made it to nine blocks instead of a full queen-size size.

I ran out of patience, and well Dr. Mad Scientist lost the Texas job and I couldn't justify buying more Cotton Plus.

No bother.

I figured while I was in the seaming groove after seaming up the Beyond The Grave Sweater, I'd seam up the nine blocks I had done for my blanket.

Can I tell you how much easier it is to seam blocks as opposed to sleeves?

I backed the blanket with some flannel I had bought on clearance back in San Antonio. Next I hand sewed the backing to the blocks. (I'm still overcoming my fear of my sewing machine alright?)

It looks like crap. Handsewing a stretchy knit blanket to a non-stretchy piece of flannel is neither easy nor fun.

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Aside from the poor lighting, it looks pretty good in that picture. Therefore I won't show you the "spread on the floor"! You'll just have to take my word for it that it looks like crap.

To stabilize it, I tied it with ribbon on each of the white center squares.

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Springs, the notorious afghan rapist, seems to like it.

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I thought about gifting this to Dr. Mad Scientist's brother for The Spawn.

But alas, I think it's too hand-made looking for even them.

Besides, The Spawn looks like she's going to show up like two weeks early. I don't reward early births. Those who have to haul baby-ass around for days past their due date are the ones who truly need to be rewarded. (No, I'm not bitter.)

Speaking of babies, I would like to speak to the entity that stole my baby.

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See that arrow? That's pointing to Chunky's new adult tooth.

He complained of tooth pain eating an apple last weekend. I had him bare his teeth to me and I discovered that his bottom two adult teeth were coming in behind his bottom two baby teeth. Luckily those baby teeth were loose.

He's been wiggling them all week. Something must have worked, because this evening when he asked me to check on his super-loose tooth, I discovered it was gone! He must have swallowed it or something.

So who the hell stole my baby boy? And what's up with me not getting to enjoy the cuteness of a gap-toothed kid who has just lost their first tooth?

I swear, at the rate this boy is growing, I'm going to have to give him a can of shaving cream and a razor for his eight birthday!

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Friday, April 27, 2007

They Say She's Full of Cheese...

But I know she's full of spam!

I speak of Kay,The Cheesey Knit Wit of course!

Sara over at The Knotty Gnome Knits was giving away this cute teeny little Sophie bag she made and finished with one of her bajillion zippers she ordered off ebay. The goal of the contest was: whoever left comment number 42 got the bag.

Well like I said, I never knew Kay was so full of Spam! She commented and commented and commented and commented until she got to comment #42. And then sweetest of all sweets--she asked to have the bag sent to me!

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(Click on Sara's link above--she takes better pictures!)

Sophie is simply to die for! She's like an inverted chocolate covered raspberry--wooly and pinkish red on the outside and satiny brown on the inside. Thanks Kay--you're a nut! And thanks Sara for holding a very clever blog contest!

Sophie went with me on my second interview with the law firm today.

I think the law firm might work out. I don't want to jinx it but it would be nice.

It's not too far from the Bez home base, and there are ways to get there without having to take the damn Garden State Parkway or NJ Turnpike. I swear I've dropped nearly $15 in tolls just this week going to interviews!

We'll see.

In the meantime I've got to get a packet of info notarized for that cop transcriptionist job. I've made it to the swimsuit round of that interview process. Apparently Captain Lawyerhater didn't hate me as much as I thought.

Honestly I think I wowed them with my meager computer skills.

When they went to print out my transcription test, it wouldn't print. Through a series of right clicking on my part (because they couldn't figure out why it wasn't printing) I ascertained that the computer I was using was hooked up to print at some computer in the narcotics division.

Finally I'll wrap up with telling the squeamish to look away. Those of you with stock in Lysol or other super-duper disinfecting agents can take heed that your stock will probably rise a bit today.

On my two week anniversary of not having had a kill (my mother-in-law informs us that if you can go two weeks without a kill, you've probably got a good handle on your mouse problem) guess what we had last night?

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A bleeder. Sigh. He managed (and I don't really want to know how) to sashay the trap from the back burner of the stove to the floor in front of the stove where he bled some more on the floor.

Judging from where his head was though--I don't know how he managed to survive long enough to make that far. It looked like a good snap.

Or do mice run around like chickens do when their heads are cut off???

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Death of Creativity?

Browsing the crap that major corporations pandering to impulse consumers feel the need to send me in the mail, I came across this in a Blood Bath & Beyond flyer:



lemonade


What the hell? It's a pre-made lemonade stand for kids.

Maybe I'm old fashioned but isn't half of the fun of making a lemonade stand finding the old boxes, tables, etc. around the house and making your own stand?

Oh but why bother when this one comes with markers you can color your stand with!

Jesus Haploid Christ. How many trees died for this frivolity?

I guess I'm grappling with my own creativity issues.

I love this new school Chunky's going to but one thing I've noticed that really gets to me is the art projects they let the kids do.

They have to be EXACTLY THE SAME. If they draw a picture of the red flowers in the vase on the table, you must color the flowers red. You cannot color them yellow or purple.

I walked in one day as he was making a butterfly out of construction paper and sequins. He misplaced a sequin so that it was about two inches below where it should have been to match the corresponding sequin on the other wing. His teacher made him pull it off and re-glue it so it would be symmetrical with the other wing.

Ok, maybe it was an exercise in learning the meaning of "symmetry" but I don't think so.

I've brought up their strictness in the instruction of "art" to Dr. Mad Scientist and he doesn't seem to think there's a problem. (Hm, did I expect anything else from a scientist?)

Maybe I am over reacting.

But on the other hand maybe I'm not. In my opinion, if you're going to call it "art" then you need to give kids some guidelines and let them interpret those guidelines as they wish. To me the definition of art is self-expression--not making sure your picture looks just like the one the kid sitting next to you drew.

I just don't want Chunky to become an uber-perfectionist that's going to develop an ulcer if his artwork isn't as asthetically pleasing, or doesn't look like his friend Billy Boogerflicker's.

It's also hard to teach a five year old that he needs to respect his teachers, but that they aren't always 100% correct in what they're telling him.

I just hope I can teach him that it's OK to push the artistic envelope now and then.

What else would you expect from the girl that did sculpture out of oatmeal and dead goldfish in her high school art class and grew up to knit plastic bag raincoats in her spare time?

Alright if you've read this far, guess what else is up?

It's almost the end of the month and we all know what that means right?

Time to unveil the K.A.Y.E. prize yarn for April!

Not familiar with what the hell I'm talking about? Click right here for the contest rules!

Now I've tried to consciously get away from sock yarn because I know not all fiber fiends are sock knitters (but there's just something so gosh darn hypnotic about sock yarn!) so this month's prize is a yarn that you could use for socks, but you don't have to if you don't want to (Be creative! Break with conformity! Push the envelope!).

Scope it out:

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Mmm...it's a hank o'Mountain Colors handpainted worsted weight yarn.

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I believe the color is "Alpine."

Next step in buying prize yarn: Try to stay away from all the blues. I've been giving away too much blue yarn with this contest!

Stay tuned for May 1 when the old Random Number Generator picks a name out of the pool of people who have become eligible for the Kootchie Awareness Yarn Extravaganza this year.

And as always, don't despair if your name wasn't randomly generated--you've got all year to win each month. This includes the mini-stash Grand Prize of donated yarns generous knitters have sent me to be awarded in December.

Does Santa bring you anything for getting your cooter rooted? I think not!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Beyond The Grave Nightmare

I only ever met my Great Aunt M once in my life.

My Grandma (her sister) took Dr. Mad Scientist and I over to her house when we were stopping by Geneseo, IL on our way from Colorado to Michigan (our first cross-country move back in 2000!).

We were both ragged from being on the road, and as rude as it was, all I really remember about our visit with Great Aunt M is trying so hard to stay awake.

It is possible this pissed my Great Aunt M off and she is now exacting her revenge on me with this sweater that she had finished knitting but never seamed.

Scroll down and find a picture of it here unpieced.

Here it is seamed.

BTGS

Guess what? It doesn't fit right. The shoulders are ALL wrong.

I sewed the sleeves so that they started a bit higher on the shoulder-top.

Sort of like this:

Sigh

Yeah I effed it up.

I think I should have sewn it like I had it laid out in that first picture linked above.

Something like this:

Answer maybe?

I'm so pissed I could cry. I HATE seaming.

Aside from sewing it together all wrong, this was my best seam job ever.

All those goddamned tutorials you see online are assuming you are sewing squares that are perfectly knit. I HATE those tutorials.

And now I have to rip it all out and reseam it.

I swear on my dead Great Aunt M's grave that I am never making another sweater with sewn in sleeves.

It's tank tops and in-the round for me.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What Do You Want Your Obituary To Read?

Today marked Interview No. 3.5.

I say 3.5 because I'm only counting my run in with Mr. MatchMaker at the massage parlor as a 1/2 interview. Who by the way has called me twice in the past couple of days trying to entice me with a job that will "hire me on the spot--no interview that has great benefits."

Yikes dude. No thanks. I'd feel safer working across the street at Clancy's Tittie O'Rama.

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Friday was a law firm. Monday was a high school. Today was a police department.

Friday's interview went very well. It was a nice firm and even though it's a bit larger than what I'm used to (they have offices in the tri-state region and 70 attorneys on staff) it had a small-firm feel to it. It would be boring law--corporate law, educational law, political campaign contribution law, etc. But I'd be able to get back in the legal swing of things.

Monday was with a high school. I'd be replacing a dead secretary. She just dropped dead of a heart attack one day. Ugh. What a life huh? But it seemed pretty straighforward. You deal with the kids (it's an alternative high school so there's under 100 of them), you answer the phone, type and all that other mundane paper pusher stuff.

Today was with a township police department as a transcriptionist. This interview I think I did the worst on. However, I'm not 100% sure. The police captain didn't seem too impressed that I was in the legal field before. He wanted to know why I thought I was qualified to be a transcriptionist.

I had to explain to him that when I worked for The Man, 90% of what I did when I wasn't wiping her butt or picking up her daughter from school I transcribed her documents. If you've ever worked in oil and gas law, you know that when you are about to drill or even explore a piece of land, you have to go back to the dawn of time with a title report and do up a lenghthy summary of who owns what portions of the land you want to drill/explore, etc.

The Man would dictate these things to me.

She'd eat and dictate.

She'd smoke and dictate.

She'd hack up a lung and dictate--it was disgusting.

Therefore, if I could handle long boring descriptions how the Druids (did you know there was an ancient Michigan sect?) bequeathed a parcel of land to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, which was then bought out by the Saginaw Valley Railway thus transferring ownership in the SW4/NW4, T45N, R33W, to them, while The Man sucked on a Capri cigarrette bringing her four minutes closer to death, I think I can handle typing the taped confession of Harry McCriminal as taken by Officer Doogooder.

Each job had it's perks.

The law firm job pays wonderfully. I mean I'd be making just as much as Dr. Mad Scientist. The lady interviewing me gave me some great pointers as to what to ask for in the legal field. I guess with my experience I was selling myself short. To my credit I've never worked in such an urban area where the pay-scales are much larger than the rest of the US because of the high cost of living here.

The high school secretary job has wonderful hours. I wouldn't have to show up until 8:20 a.m. and I'd get off at 4:30 p.m. This would allow me to take Chunky to daycare and pick him up before the 5:00 p.m. rush hit. It doesn't pay very much though.

Finally, the transcriptionist position would mean just transcribing. They let me do a "test" transcribing a witness interview and I was honest to god a bit bummed when they came back in the room to tell me I was done. I wanted to keep going! This job too also pays next to nothing, and is quite a drive away.

Gobs of cash aren't really something I care about. If I can get something that covers the rent and daycare each month then we're good to go. In order to do that, I'd have to work 40 hours a week at $11.75 an hour, that's right about what the high school secretary and transcriptionist position would be offering.

So we'll see. If I'm lucky I'll have many choices as to what I want my obituary to read.

I get the feeling my days of unemployment are coming to a close. Which is fine by me.

In the meantime I'll try to finish up my Quill Lace Socks:

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I'm making much better progress now that I frogged the first attempt.

I might also start taking a few naps just because I can and because I have this guy as my nap-guru:

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Seriously, how the hell is the comfortable???

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Freebasing Granny Sweater

It's done. Thank goodness.

Oh and A.C. Moore? They sell no buttons. Nor does Michaels. And the nearest Joann Fabrics is too far to drive for just buttons.

I settled on some wooden beads that I let Chunky paint red.

Here's my photo shoot of him modeling it in the 80 degree weather yesterday.

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My favorite picture is this one.

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So here's the stats:

Pattern: Very loosely based on Jilian from The Garter Belt. VERY loosely.

Yarn: TLC Essentials in "Country Blue" and some Red Heart in "Country Blue" for the collar, button bands, and left sleeve. The "fair isle" designs were made from random scraps of similar weight acrylic in my stash.

Needles: US 8

Notes: I really hate this sweater. It's poorly seamed, the "fair isle" is rippled, the buttonholes suck, and the sleeves are just godawful (they flare where they shouldn't.)

But half-assed was the name of the game with this sweater. I would like to pretend that I'm just so skilled at knitting that I had to try to get it to look this craptacular, but that would be a lie. It's taught me that I really need to practice knitting garments in pieces and seaming them together.

Oh and modifying a pattern? I'll be thinking about that twice next time I get the notion!

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Friday, April 20, 2007

It's 4/20 Dude!

When you click on the TV today I'm sure you'll hear all about Columbine and VA Tech and other depressing things like Hitler's birthday that will annoy you to the point of saturation.

Obviously the news media will be overlooking the true spirit of this hallowed day.

If you don't know the significance behind this day, you can click here to read more about it.

I figured how can you properly celebrate 4/20 without brownies?

But you know me, I can't just make boring old brownies!

First I made little brownie bites and dimpled them.

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Then I filled the dimples with a peanut butter silk frosting.

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And then topped 'em off with a cap of chocolate.

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I think I've blogged these before. They're my own creation and I've dubbed them B3s--Bezzie Brownie Bombs. No marijuana in these brownies, but they do induce a similar euphoric state.

Finally, in honor of 4/20 I'm posting this informational video about the dangers of drugs. If you haven't seen it before (it does seem to be making it's way around the email forward circuit) it's pretty insightful. I recommend you click.



Nice web, Mr. Crack Spider.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Does This Paint Make My Ass Look Big?

Alrighty! Time for some knitterly content!

First up, check out the progress I've made on the Freebasing Granny Xander Sweater:

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All I've got left is the last buttonband and then Chunky and I will hit A.C. Moore (my new fave big box craft store--they've got such a great collection of mainstream yarn!) and buy some buttons.

I must have knit the first sleeve about a jajillion times. Apparently I can't read and effing around with an already established pattern isn't really a good idea.

However, even though her Mac and my PC don't like to share pictures, Elizabeth (the designer of the pattern I'm mutating for this sweater) talked me thru knitting the sleeves and set me on the right path. They're still QUITE wonky--notice that I've bent them in this picture so you can't see how wonky--but they fit Chunky and when he's wearing it you can't tell a difference.

I think what I'm loving the most about this sweater is the two separate dye lots I've got going on with the collar, buttonband, and sleeve. Ha ha!!!

Next up I've got my first commissioned piece of knitting.

My sister T., contacted me and arranged a swap of sorts.

She just bought herself an MP3 Player/Voice Recorder for something she had to do in one of her classes and needed a "case" for it. So in return for making me a handmade cereal box journal she proposed I make her this:

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See the button?

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That is one of those uber-expensive buttons I bought at Kid N'Ewe in Texas.

I was going to line it in velvet T., but I didn't think the recorder would still fit then. I think it's going to be snug as it is.

Finally, my sister in law (yeah that would be the one married to the brother you all swooned over in December) is in Germany (where she was born) while my brother is participating in the Fleecing of America.

The US government flew him down to the Lower 48 to do training for his new FAA job. He gets there to find out that the training is all SELF-PACED training. So those tax dollars you paid on Tuesday? Those are going towards his two month hotel bill and towards some guy's salary to sit up in front of a classroom and babysit (not teach) a bunch of newbie FAA employees.

But where was I? Oh yes, she flew home to visit her family while my brother was away and her and a friend took a hop up to Ireland.

This picture she took of a sheep crossing the road greatly amused me:

Pink Butt

Since the sheep run around all willy-nilly they just spray paint their asses to make sure they can keep them straight.

I told her if I had been with her I would have shaved that sheep's butt and spun something out of that pink rump hair!

Oh! And before I leave you'll never guess what's in my front yard right now!!!

A couple of guys armed with leaf blowers and other yard equipment.

WOO HOO! Zorba's ignorance finally helps us out! He apparently didn't read the lease and the provision stating that we are in charge of maintaining the lawn and shrubbery. My lips are sealed!!!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Will Knit For Food

The next cell phone I get will be a cameraphone, or I'm getting one of those $20.00 keychain digital cameras.

Because seriously people, I wish I could make this stuff up.

First, a little background.

Yesterday I got a call literally five minutes after I emailed my resume to a company called MatchMaker.

My first indication that something was amiss should have been that the email address ended in "aol.com." To me that smacks of unprofessional. However, I'm desperate and I'm trying not to be judgmental. You just never know.

On the phone with Mr. MatchMaker, he asks me some rudimentary questions.

He asks how much money I was looking for (How do you politely say "Any!" without sounding desperate?), and if I know how to use PowerPoint (which, if you read my resume, is listed under "Office Monkey Tools I Know How To Use" right under "Banana" and above "Stick to pull ants out of a log").

Then he tells me he needs to meet with me. It will only take 10 minutes.

Ok, great. He gives me directions to his office in Denville. Denville is a 30 minute drive away from where I live.

However you have to also consider it will take you an extra 30 minutes to get to Denville because it would appear that New Jersey drivers on I-280 like to drive really slow looking out the window.

I now have Shakira's vacant stare burned into my brain from having to stare at an ad for a Latin radio station on the back of the NJ Transit 79 Xpress bus that was in front of me for 10 miles going 5 miles per hour. That's 93.1 on the radio dial for you northern New Jersey blog surfers.

Finally, after realizing that in fact her hips might lie, I get off the highway and make my way into Denville to Mr. MatchMaker's office.

Wedged between a respectible brick building filled with law and dental offices and a mechanics garage is his "office."

His "office" is one of those old houses turned into offices.

Ok, no big deal. I used to make deliveries to many attorneys in the Lansing area working out of their old-houses-come-offices. Some of them were very nice.

Behind the "office" is his parking lot. The entrace to his office is also in the back. As I approach the building, I realize that Mr. MatchMaker shares his "office" with a place called Sensual Therapeutic Massage, Inc.

I enter the "office" and climb a set of stairs following his voice instructing me to meet him in the back.

I cautiously open a door to reveal the inner sanctum of Mr. MatchMaker.

It's a huge office with a desk in one corner that is covered in stacks of resumes. Stacks! They literally line this man's desk wall to wall.

It was actually kind of unnerving because I could read them from where I sat. Maybe it's all those years in the legal field or having HIPAA rules smashed into my brain at the Health Science Center in San Antonio, but it felt wrong.

So yes, Bill Wallace, I know that you can type 65 wpm.

The hardest part about entering that office was trying to disguise the look of shock on my face when I finally saw Mr. MatchMaker.

He was a stocky man. He was dressed in a pair of jeans, and a black tank top with an opened button-down shirt over it.

Ok, that's the way Dr. Mad Scientist dresses on weekends when he doesn't want me to drag him anywhere outside the house because he knows I'll be embarrassed by his repulsive attempt to dress like a middle aged man on a cruise to the Bahamas.

Since I didn't have a camera (see my first sentence) I had to draw you a picture of Mr. MatchMaker.


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Yes, his hair actually looked like that. Imagine that Bill Gates had a fatter, nerdier, and much less successful brother if you will.

The whole meeting lasted all of five minutes. He asked me the exact same questions he asked me on the phone: "How much do you want?" and "Do you know how to use PowerPoint?"

Then he called up this place I'm assuming he was working with to see if I could interview with them today as they were looking for "a professional looking woman to sit at the front desk and answer phones and such." His point of contact at the company had just gone into a meeting so he had to leave her a message.

So he tells me to go home and he'll call me on my cell when he hears from her.

I hightail as fast as I can out of there.

I can truly say I never fully appreciated the word "skeeved" until I met Mr. MatchMaker in his massage parlor sharing office.

As I'm driving home, I'm listen to WNYC's interview with Suze Orman (Did you know she was a lesbian? Huh. I never would have guessed.) with the volume cranked all the way up so I could easily ignore my phone if it rang.

Of course by the time it hit West Orange it rang.

But lalalalalalalalalalala Suze was telling me that rich lesbians can only leave each other two million dollars if they die as opposed to rich heteros that can leave their significant other billions lalalalalalalalalalala I couldn't hear the phone.

As I was walking into my front door something occured to me: Why did I have to drive 30 minutes to meet with this freak for five minutes?

My answer: I think he was checking me out.

I think he wanted to make sure I wasn't a complete uggo or weighed 600 pounds.

The whole experience freaked me the hell out.

I thought that maybe I should have called him back to go on the interview with the company looking for the "professional lady to sit at the front desk and answer phones," but I do I really want to be doing business with people that do business with this weirdly unprofessional guy?

He never even gave me a business card or his last name.

Ok, I'll cut the company he was allegedly working for some slack. Hiring a person is a labor intensive job. You have to weed resumes, schedule interviews, and sometimes administer preemployment tests,. However, it's also something that comes with the territory of running your own business.

If I owned a business I'd realize that first impressions are everything (it goes both ways in an interview--they check you out, you check them out). I'd spend the extra money to go with a chain agency to do my hiring if I didn't want to do it myself or at the very least I would find someone that projected a professional demeanor.

This whole ordeal and 1/2 a tank of wasted gas did at least teach me that I will not be responding to ads that end in "aol.com" and I will not be going through employee-finders to find a job.

In the meantime it's back to square one. Back to sending my resume to everyone and their brother and hoping it doesn't end up on the desk of some disturbing creepaliscious headhunter.

If you see a crazy looking girl off of Exit 151 of the Garden State Parkway with a cardboard sign up that says "Will Knit For Food" you'll know it's me. Be sure to honk or throw a skein of Red Heart out the window at the very least to show some love.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Rain, Rain, Don't Go Away

View from my front room window:

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View from my front room closet:

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Now who suggested I turn that walk in closet into a yarn room? I'm glad I don't have enough yarn to fill a closet. I would have been up to my ears in wet wool.

As it stands the leak only soaked some of our "luggage." Luggage when you're cheap consists of some freebie canvas backpacks/totes picked up from "swag day" at the annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology, your mom's old army duffel bag, and a garment bag you bought for your husband so he could tote the one suit he owns back and forth to job interviews/national meetings in style and bring back said canvas backpacks/totes.

But unlike every other Lower 48ian, I'm not going to bitch. I like this weather.

Maybe it's because I chose to go to college in Juneau, Alaska where they get an average of 91" of rain a year. Average that out, that's a quarter of an inch a day.

Maybe I was a duck in a past life.

Maybe I like being able to add "Nor'easter" to my repetoire of natural phenomenon I have lived through (earthquakes, volcanoes, forest fires, and tornado--I'm still holding out for hurricane).

Or maybe, I remember the old rhyme:

"April showers bring May flowers."

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Plus the rain means I've got a few less days I have to worry about going out and buying a lawn mower to cut the lawn.

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Yick Zorba, maybe it's time to get that foundation looked at.

Anyone have luck cutting scrubby weed-grass with those manual reel mowers? I'm really hesitant to go out and spent lots of money on a gas or electric mower. I'm just renting this shitty lawn.

Alright, well back to hunting for jobs (it's the start of week three of the great New Jersey job hunt!) and curling up with my furbag friends that have no qualms about modeling knitwear--as long as you don't wake them up in the process.

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Note we're still sitting on lawn chairs in the living room. "Buy a futon/couch" is on the long list of things to buy when I finally land a job.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Seeing As This IS a Knitting Blog...

...or at least it started that way, and seeing as after a few hours of job hunting a day, I don't have much else to do but knit I might as well show you what I've been knitting.

It's funny, I bitch about being unemployed and having all this free time on my hands, but I'd bet you a dozen doughnuts that if I was employed all I'd do is bitch about how I have no free time. Ha ha!

One of the two things I have on the needles right now you might recall is my Freebase Fair Isle sweater for Chunky that I'm doing as part of the Buffy KAL.

Here's my progress sofar:

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I've got the back and the two fronts completed and the first sleeve nearly complete.

I'm using Elizabeth's Jilian cardigan pattern as a base.

Obviously I've left out the girlish picot edging for Chunky's sake and I've modified it a bit to fit him. This involves a lot of me chasing him down and demanding he holds still while I stick a sleeve on his arm or figure out at what inch on the back to bind off for the armhold shaping. Which of course tickles!

I thought about knitting it in the Size 6 as her pattern says, but I don't know if a Size 6 girl sweater fits a Size 6 boy???

Luckily, the whole purpose of this sweater was to make it look like a granny freebasing crack put it together. Therefore, if it's not perfect--asi es la vida!

It's my first real put-together sweater. All my other sweaters have been shoulderless, sleeveless, knit out of plastic bags, or for stuffed animals. I've never had to worry much about seaming.

It's also my first "fair isle" but even that is a stretch. It's more like intarsia with a fair isle feel because I'm not (in keeping with the freebasing format) continuing the pattern in a steady strip. I'm just half-assedly sticking it wherever I feel like it.

I decided to go with some red for the "design" as I was running low on the light blue and I need it to seam up the Beyond The Grave Sweater which will finish it's freeze/thaw moth egg killer prescription shortly.

Thanks for all your nice comments on my spiffy little DPN holder. Glue guns are powerful tools people. If you don't have one go get one. The world is your oyster with a glue gun.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

What Time Is It Kids?

I can't hear you!

That's right it's time for my weekly nagminder about my lovely Kootchie Awareness Yarn Extravaganza! Click the link if you haven't already been inundated with three months of my nagminders!

Since it goes on all year I'll give you a quick quarterly stat. To date, including the three monthly winners sofar, I've got 43 participants (and a few more that have told me they have scheduled their appointments and will let me know when they've completed 'em). Not too shabby huh? I think we could easily reach 100 by December. Maybe even more???

And the kind donations keep coming in! These are being put towards Mother Of All Prizes in December when the old random number generator pulls someone's number from the pool of all the year's participants and they basically win their own mini-stash of yarny goodness.

I'm already plotting very Bezzian ways to package this Mother of All Prizes up in December!

The latest kind donation comes from our favorite Canadian Nomad Doctor, LadyLungDoc:

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Two skeins of Cherry Tree Hill Silk Merino! Mmm, mama!

Moving on!

Glad you enjoyed my bread photo "essay." The boys came home and really enjoyed the bread as well.

Yeah, I could easily make bread in a bread machine, but why? I knit when I could buy a sweater at the store too. There's something very satisfying about kneading your own dough, letting it rise, baking it, setting off the uber-sensitive smoke detectors in your apartment, and eating it warm out of the oven.

I could also go out and buy a double point needle case for all my DPNs that have been driving me nuts with no good way to stor them.

But again, why?

I could easily make one myself out of an old VCR tape box, elastic, and an old kerchief.

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And some old yarn labels.

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Boy I really need a job.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Lonely Potato

Since it appears I am unable to earn any bread lately (I told you I was impatient when it comes to finding a job and well, everything else in life!) I figured I would make some!

Lemme tell how expensive bread is here. First off there are no bakery thriftshops anywhere close by so that's not an option. I too remember the joy of buying nearly expired bread and Hostess cupcakes for pennies on the dollar when I was growing up and later living in Lansing.

No, no. To obtain cheap bread here in this part of New Jersey is an art form. You have to know where to look.

Why we as Americans need a whole aisle of bread is beyond me. There's wheat bread, white bread (gag), white bread that has the minerals of wheat bread, whole grain bread, half grain bread, raisin bread, stone ground flour bread, sandwich bread, sweet bread, blah, blah, blah, the list goes on and on!

The trick to finding the plain jane wheat bread is to look in the most unobvious place. This means you'll find it nestled in with the Lo-Cal Lo-Carb South Beach Diet Kosher Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins.

And after all that work to find it, do you know how much it will cost you? Nearly $2.

Maybe I got spoiled paying 99 cents to $1.29 for bread in Michigan, but I'm getting pretty damn sick of it. Especially considering being a cheapass I opted out of the $6 a day lunch plan at Chunky's new school and Dr. Mad Scientist brown bags it every day. Well unless he donates blood, then they give him a free meal ticket to the cafeteria. As a result we go through a lot of bread.

Therefore, as cyberspace as my witness, I hereby resolve to start baking my own bread.

$2 be damned!! (And we will not consider how much natural gas it takes to bake this bread OK? They estimate my gas bill, might as well get my money's worth!)

Let's begin shall we?

Once upon a time there was a lonely potato. All his brothers and sisters were eaten up by the three big bad humans.

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Instead of being speared and sent to the nuclear chamber of death like his kin, this lonely potato was skinned and boiled alive.

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"Muhahahahaha!" screetched the crazy ass baker who oddly insisted upon taking pictures of everything she did.

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Including taking a picture of the cup of "sour milk" she made to substitute for buttermilk in the recipe. All you do is add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of milk. All I had was rice vinegar. Worked OK for me.

Oh my god! The horrors!

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The lonely little potato was turned to mush! More water was added to his already badly decomposed body along with some sugar, the sour milk, and a couple of tablespoons of butter.

This was added to some yeast and some flour. Now bear in mind this isn't your momma's potato bread. The deranged cook ran out of white flour and she had to substitute wheat flour instead.

Next she beat, um, no, kneaded the flour, yeast, and potato corpse mixture together to form a ball.

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"Goodnight my pretty!" she cackled and set it aside to rise for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes she uncovered her creation and declared:

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"It's aliiiiivvvvvve!!!!"

Next she hacked it into three pieces with her cleaver...

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...and covered it again for a short nap.

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After ten minutes she separated the parts of her Frankensteinian creation and put them into three separate pans.

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And yet again they rested for 30 minutes!

After thirty minutes, with an evil gleam in her eye, she brought them out of their warm dark resting place.

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She gently caressed the shiny new $30 special order knob that the mailman had brought her the day before and turned it to read "375 degrees."

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Oh god! No! The humanity! She took what used to be a poor defenseless potato, now in a doughy re-birthed form, and BAKED IT for 40 minutes!

But now the twisted woman will no longer have to fight the fat lady talking on her cell phone parked in front of the Lo-Cal Lo-Carb South Beach Diet Kosher Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins in her Electo-Cart for the last two loaves of wheat bread that will cost her $4.00 and last her maybe two weeks.

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We'll see how the boys like their "real" bread sandwiches in their lunch tomorrow. I think this story will have a happily ever after.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I want to run away and join the office...*

From Sunday's Star-Ledger:

Receptionist
Busy contracting firm in the Clark area seeks upheat person to handle hi volume phones and administrative clerical duties. Must be able to type and have good MS-Word/Excel.


I'm thinking what I really want to do is send my resume into the newspaper and ask if I can have the job of typing up the want ads.

Yes, yes, I know. Whoever does that job probably has a lot on their plate. Or maybe it's not them who is making these flagrant spelling and grammar errors--maybe it's the person who submitted the ad.

Regardless, if you're going to either spend money to run an ad, or if you're going to be the person responsible for making sure the ad goes in the paper--would it kill you to read over it again before you send it in/publish it?

I think my favorite spelling error is when it involves email addresses. I applied for one job where the email address was bubbaspalaceoflove@newersey.com.

New Ersey? Is that my new home state?

My second favorite are the ones that emphasize how perfect you need to be in order to work there.

Must be vary detail oriented and have good grammer.

Is it a mini-preemployment test to point out in my cover letter that I am very detail oriented and have great grammar?

So no news on the job front. It's been a week today since I interviewed with Hotdog, Inc. Not hearing back from them doesn't bum me out too much. I got a weird vibe from them. Not to mention the president of the company reminded me of an extra from The Sopranos. Oh hell, who am I kidding? Half the people I see on the street around here look like they stepped off The Sopranos set. Even funnier are the moms at the park who yell at their kids and sound like Kyle's mom from South Park.

But I digress. On the job hunt I continue. What I would love is a nice joe-job. However I don't think there are many out there that would let you work 8 to 5 and have at least one day of the weekend off. Dr. Mad Scientist has started going in to work on Sundays.

*Brownie points if you can tell me where I got the very Old Lady Pen Pal-ian title of today's post. I'm betting my first CASP Starfish will know it!

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Sweaters From The Living, Sweaters From The Dead

Remember this?

CordedYoke-mag

It's the Corded Yoke Pullover appearing in the Winter 2006 Interweave Knits by Annie Modesitt.

I fell in love with this sweater. But I didn't fall in love with the six to eight feet of i-cord.

So I modified it. Oh lord did I modify it.

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Hm. "Sunshine On My Shoulders" Sweater? Take a Bite Out Of The Crime Of This Sweater Sweater? Cordless Yoke Pullover?

The stats:

Pattern: My own based heavily on the Corded Yoke Pullover by Annie Modesitt.

Yarn: Caron's Simply Soft in Dark Sage. Approximate cost of yarn--$1.37 after using Joann's gift certificates earned using my now defunct Joann's credit card.

Needles: Size US 8 both circular (on body and neck) and double pointed (sleeves).

Notes: Um, yeah, I don't know if I'd wear this in public or not. It's a beautiful color, but it gives the term "sweater puppies" a new meaning. I feel the ribbing makes my sweater puppies look like sweater Saint Bernards.

I guess this counts as my first "sweater" and yet it doesn't. I've yet to knit anything adult sized with sleeves that required me to sew in sleeves. With this, I merely picked up the stitches around the arm holes and knit the sleeves.

I am however, eternally thankful this is FINALLY off the damn needles.

Speaking of sewing sleeves of a sweater, look what my Grandma sent me:

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She's been cleaning out her dead sister's crafty stuff and sending the appropriate craft to the various family member that fits the craft. My mom's getting a bunch of quilt squares, Grandma's keeping the crochet stuff, I'm getting all the knit stuff, and another aunt of mine is getting some rug making stuff.

Grandma said to give it away to Goodwill when I'm done seaming it, but it seems like a nice sweater and I couldn't help but wonder who Great Aunt M was making it for. Grandma surmises it was one of Great Aunt M's daughters.

I think I'll send it back to her to give to one of the daughters. Wouldn't it be kind of cool to get a homemade sweater from your mom who's been dead for nearly three years?

That and there's no Goodwills in this part of Jersey. Seriously there are NO good thriftstores nearby. With gas starting to creep up to $3.00 a gallon I'm not making a special trip either. I can walk to the post office and mail this back to Grandma for cheaper!

Once I'm done freezing this sweater (it had some suspicious bug casings on it) I'll seam it up and post the final pictures, so stay tuned for more knitting beyond the grave!

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