Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Rest of My Three Day Weekend

Alright! Just one more non-knitting post, I swear!

I didn't get any pictures from Sunday. That's because Dr. Mad Scientist, Grandma Mad Scientist and Prima Cousinerina went into the city by themselves. They hit the Manhattan Mall (PC is a 13 year old girl who lives in Alaska. They don't have many of the teenybopper stores that we take for granted down here in the Lower 48 malls up there).

They also went to see where Dr. Mad Scientist worked (been there, done that) and they went to a matinee performance of the New York City Ballet.

Now you know why I call her Prima Cousinerina (get it, Prima Ballerina?? And hey, "prima" means cousin in Spanish, even though she's not MY cousin..she's Chunky's!). She's big into the ballet scene back home. She can bend her limbs in the most disconcerting ways as a result. She loved it.

Chunky and I didn't go because um, yeah, five year old boy at the ballet for two and a half hours? Yeah, no thanks. Plus, I would have hated it. Dr. Mad Scientist likes to say that my idea of culture is the kind found in a cup of yogurt. I can't disagree with him there.

But I had time to make a big old dinner of lasagne while they were gone. Something I couldn't have done if we had gone with him.

On Monday, we got up early again and this time Dr. Mad Scientist DROVE us into Manhattan. Which wasn't as bad as it sounds. It was early morning and Memorial Day.

The intention was this: Dr. Mad Scientist drops us off near Rockafeller Center and we get on the Today Show and he would go to work to do something or other to his cells.

Well, he dropped us off, but nowhere near the Today Show. Wandering around, we asked a doorman where the Today Show was, and he pointed us in the direction to Good Morning America.

GMA was kind of lame. Again, all the good spots to show up on TV were taken by those damn Seapeople. I'm all about supporting the troops, blah, blah, but dude, way to rain on a sistah's tourist parade!

But I got a good picture of Chunky on the walk there!

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After buying Grandma Mad Scientist some more suitable shoes in the Garment District, we hoofed it to Penn Station to meet up with Dr. Mad Scientist.

From there he took us up to Mt. Sinai--which happens to be extremely close to the Conservatory in Central Park.

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Could you ask for a better day for going here?

I took lots of flower pictures.

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And the cousins messed around.

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I made him make that silly face.

During one of our breaks from walking around so Grandma Mad Scientist could rest her weary toes, I took this series of pictures that I simply just LOVE of Grandma and Chunky:

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Too cute!

After the Conservatory it was on to the Bronx Zoo!

After we got off the subway we stopped at Riverfront Park right in front of the zoo for a little picnic lunch (you didn't really think this cheapass was going to shell out the dough for zoo food did you?)

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Check out my sexy chubby pasty white legs! I might as well tattoo "Tourist" on my forehead!

We packed sandwiches, chips and even slices of watermelon.

This was the view from that park bench, notice the yahoo trying to get himself killed in the picture.

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After lunch it was into the zoo!!!

We saw zebras.
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And giraffes.
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And an ostrich!
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Then we decided to go into the Butterfly House. We sprung for the tickets that let you get into all the extra zoo attractions (like the Butterfly House and other things I'll show you shortly) but Dr. Mad Scientist used his Mt. Sinai employee discount. Score!

Check out these butterflies! It reminded me of Texas where they had a MASSIVE butterfly invasion this past winter.
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They also had a koi pond in there with the biggest koi I had ever seen!

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Next up we went on the Bug Carosel (part of the all-inclusive ticket)

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Chunky got to ride the praying mantis he wanted to get on. I wanted a ladybug, but I accepted the annoyance of adulthood and let the little kids riding have it.

Then it was on to the Children's Zoo.

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The cuzzes posing in a bird's nest (notice Chunky's "wings").

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Chunky testing if he could jump as far as a bullfrog.

A porcupine sleeping in a tree in the Children's Zoo.

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Chunky the turtle.

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Chunky seeing what it's like to have bat hearing.

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And what's a Children's Zoo without a place to pet and feed barnyard animals?

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The cuzzes feeding some sheep.

Those sheep were really soft even in their funky greasy, straw covered state. You know you've got a fiber problem when you're fondling sheep wondering what kind of sweater they'd make!

Even though at this point we were only half way through the zoo, we were tired and decided to catch the Safari-Tram (I forget the official name of it).

Prima Cousinerina, Chunky and I were in one car and Dr. Mad Scientist and Grandma Mad Scientist were in the one behind us.

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Do they look excited to go up?

You get really crappy pictures through the windows of the tram, but do you see those black dots at the top of the hill?
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Those are baboons!

By this point I had run out of memory on my camera card! And even though we had only seen half of the zoo, it was going on 5:00 p.m. (the zoo closed at 5:30 p.m.) we decided to head home.

It was an amazing zoo. Pretty damn close to the best one I've ever been to. I think the Denver Zoo is pretty good too. It's definately up there with this one.

On the way home we went through the sea of swirly twirly gumdrops.

No, I kid, but we did go through the Lincoln Tunnel!

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We had a really good time entertaining our first visitors in our new digs.

Tomorrow: I announce May's KAYE winner!!! And then it's back to your regularly scheduled random meanderings!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Long Weekend

Ever take a vacation and feel like you needed a vacation right after?

Grandma Mad Scientist and Prima Cousinerina just finished up their leg of Grandma Mad Scientist's Eastern Time Zone Offspring Tour (ETZOT).

I call it ETZOT because she started in VA visiting Dr. Mad Scientist's brother and his wife (still no Spawn, she is holding fast and not coming out early at all); then they drove up here to visit us; and on Thursday they'll be flying from VA to Ohio to visit Dr. Mad Scientist's oldest sister and her kids. Those are the three of Grandma Mad Scientist's five kids that have left Alaska that she hasn't seen in years.

I'll warn you in advance, there is no knitting content in this post whatsoever. This is all tourista pictures.

If you've been to or live in New York, or don't care for non-knitting related posts, you won't find this post (or tomorrow's) interesting.

Grandma Mad Scientist and Prima Cousinerina rolled in Friday night so we didn't do much until the next day.

We woke up early and hit the train station in Clifton.

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That's Dr. Mad Scientist, Grandma Mad Scientist, Chunky and Prima Cousinerina.

Then we boarded the train to New York Penn Station.

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Chunky really hit it off with Prima Cousinerina. He was VERY sad to see her go. She's 13 going on 14 (in two months) and has that total kid-magnet vibe going on despite her typical teeny-bopper demeanor.

At Penn Station we hopped on the subway and headed towards South Ferry.

I love the expression on these threes' faces on this pic I snapped of them riding the subway. Chunky staring off into space, Prima Cousinerina hamming it up and Dr. Mad Scientist rolling his eyes.

on subway

We finally got to South Ferry and made it to Battery Park. We bought our tickets to ride the ferry to Liberty Island, and we waited in line for an hour and a half in the heat.

We watched people hand feed squirrels, avoided schmoes trying to sell us fake designer handbags, sunglasses and Rolexes, and laughed at people who couldn't read like this guy.

illiterate

Then we crammed onto the Liberty Island ferry which was also Chunky's first boat ride!

Wha?
Note the extreme enthusiasm on his face.

Yeah it wasn't that exciting. I think they pack you on there like sardines to give you that authentic immigrant feel.

First we went by Ellis Island.

ellis island

Then we were able to see the statue as we got closer in the ferry.

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Dr. Mad Scientist and I were too busy pretending it was the Love Boat and wondering if we could get that boat a rocking to notice.

hey baby

Just kidding!

We disembarked at Liberty Island and found a place to rest our tired line and boat-standing feet.

While we rested, we took pictures of the Manhattan skyline.

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Mmm...hazy goodness. Did I mention it was nearly 90 degrees all day and sunny? Blech!

I love this picture of Chunky and Prima Cousinerina chillin' in the grass.

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Next, we walked around the statue up close.

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I had to get this picture of her butt (which incidentally if you take the ferry from the Jersey side, is the view you get of her as you pull into dock--did anyone see Zach Braff's monologue song on SNL a few weeks ago?).

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Check out how she's lifting her right foot there. I thought that was neat. Everyone else thought I was nuts. But you don't see THAT on postcards!

We didn't get to go into the statue. They were all out of the free passes to get inside for the day (they only give out a set amount). We noticed a lot of seapeople (I want to say seamen because it makes me giggle but there were women sailors too!) crawling around the island. We ascertain that because it was Fleet Week in NYC, they probably the seapeople first crack at the passes to get inside. I know they got to cut to the front of the line to board the ferry ahead of everyone.

Ah well, they'll still have to bleach armpit sweat stains out of their white uniforms! Why do they give seapeople white uniforms? Does anyone on earth look good in white pants?

We hopped back on the ferry and decided to skip Ellis Island. We were exhausted from the heat, the crowds, walking, and standing in line. Not to mention it was lunch time and we were all starving!

We hopped the subway from South Ferry back up to Grand Central Station where we had a heavy lunch, or linner/dupper, to tide us over through the evening.

From Grand Central Station we went to the Empire State Building to look up at it.

We didn't have time to go into the Empire State Building, which was fine. Grandma Mad Scientist and Prima Cousinerina at least got to see it.

Personally, I'm partial the Sears Tower, but that's just me.

From there we went to Times Square and they got to see the Vegas-wannabe lights and we took them to M&M World and to the giant Toys R'Us store. A lot of the stuff I've already blogged about back in March when we went on our own.

We also went to the bathroom at Toys R'Us. If I was making a George Costanza list of best bathrooms in NYC to pee in, Toys R'Us would be on my list.

Before we left Toys R'Us, I got a crappy picture of Chunky next to Shrek.

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After Times Square we skedaddled back to Penn Station, caught the NJ Transit train to Clifton and then drove home.

The first full day was exhausting, but oh so much fun!

If you're interested, stay tuned, for tomorrow I'll highlight Sunday and Monday.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Oops! I Almost Forgot!

One more thing and then I'll shut up.

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Jitterbug in "Florentine."

It's this month's KAYE prize.

Mind the kootchie and enter today!

June 1 is right around the corner.

That is all.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It Applies To Grown Ups Too

Remember my post about the death of creativity? Well, creativity is dying amongst adults too!

I received an email from our marketing department (from what I can tell consists of one woman) about a “Marketing Department Creativity Contest.”

They recently upgraded the firm brochure to a new folder and have a stack of old folders they don’t know what to do with and are trying to solicit ideas from us, the drones.

Here’s how much creativity weighs in the decision on the winning idea: 10% out of 100%

Hm. How can you honestly say that it’s a “creativity” contest? There’s nothing creative about creativity only playing a 10% role.

I have plenty of bizarre creative ideas that I could lend them. However, I realize what kind of place this is and will keep my ideas to myself.

What kind of place is my new job?

Have you ever heard the word “quash” before? I’ve never seen it used outside a legal office. Usually you quash subpoenas or testimony.

To me, this is the type of place that would pretend to foster creativity, but instead would quash it.

Such is life.

My creative ideas are better suited for my own gain anyway.

And speaking of creative ideas being used for my own gain, I will not be writing a book. Of course I will reconsider if one of you is willing to front me a few grandola that I can profit off of while I write said book. Which, probably isn’t going to happen. Actually I’m not even sure how one gets a book published.

Besides, everything I have to say here has been said in one way or another before. I’m just barfing it back up for your enjoyment.

I do, however, have a different idea up my sleeve.
One of these Friday nights when Dr. Mad Scientist is working late and I’m in front of my computer, knitting and listening to reruns of This American Life I’ll work on this idea I’ve got up my sleeve.

I’m about to take a one week or so blog hiatus.

Dr. Mad Scientist’s mom is coming into town with one of his sisters’ daughters.

They land on Friday night. Tonight is grocery shopping night and Thursday is vacuum the floor, do the dishes and do laundry night. Once they are here we have a whirlwind tour of New York City planned.

This is his niece's first real trip out of Alaska (well if you don’t count the few years they spent stationed at Ft. Riley in Kansas when she was really young). I remember my own first trip outside of Alaska when I was about her age with my mom. It was to visit an almost equally culture shocking place as NYC will surely be to her—southern California .

Needless to say there will be minimal time to blog or knit sadly.

But what the hell, I’ll leave you with a glimpse of Yasser. Maybe the name of this project will make more sense when you see the colors.

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He’s being made from some yarn that TurtleGirl so kindly RAKed me.

See you sometime next week!

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Monday, May 21, 2007

I'm Knitting...

...I swear! But I've just got Quill Lace sock #2 on the needles and I'm not into posting pics of socks until they're both done.

And I'm knitting "Yasser" right now. It's nothing special, but it's not done and not really that cool looking in WIP form. It's lace. Does lace ever look that cool in WIP form?

So instead of knitting I'll post pictures of my latest adventures in sewing.

Bear in mind I completed all of these in the past three months and I was unemployed for nearly all three of those months!

First up, when we moved here, we realized that the kitchen window was easily viewable by the people next door and the people next door to them.

Did I mention the bathroom is right off the kitchen? Meaning yes, I do walk naked through my kitchen to the shower.

So I took this:

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...a frumpy hippie wannabe skirt (long skirts make me look even shorter than I am and stumpy) that I bought at Ross for $9.00 and turned it into:

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Nice huh? I bought a wooden dowel at Home Despot for 79 cents that fit where a normal curtain rod should. You can't find a real curtain rod for 79 cents!

Then I became enamoured of those "Go Knit" pouches that everyone seems to have. But dude, have you seen the price on those things? $18 to $32?!?! It's just a nylon bag with a strap and drawstring!

It would have to lay eggs or spout prophecies for me to pay that amount of money for them.

So I decided to make my own.

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I take it with me when I do laundry and knit Hats for Alex, or when I take Chunky to the park.

I took a kerchief I bought at Walmart for 99 cents (I used to tie my hair back with them until someone told me I looked like a rabbit wearing them), folded it in half, seamed up one side, seamed a "pocket" for the cord, and for the bottom I sewed in a round bottom cut from an old velvet tank top that I don't wear in my Post-Chunky Fashion Era.

I had saved the cord and cord deely bob (you know those plastic things that you can pinch on either side to move to cinch the bag?) from an old purse that I had and threaded it through the "pocket" I sewed. When I get rid of a purse or even sometimes a garment, I like to cannibalize the zippers, buttons, or closures. You never know when you might need them!

I simply love it. And I love the fact it cost nothing to make and honestly comes in a waaaay cooler color than any of those Go Knit pouches.

Oh, but it doesn't snap to your belt loop so you can walk and knit, you might say.

But can you look this cheesy with your Go Knit pouch?

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Finally, one of the reasons I haven't been knitting is because I've been working on pillows for our new and exciting futon-couch.

For some stupid reason when we trashed the old couch that didn't fit inside the house, I didn't trash the throw pillows that came with it.

Best thing I ever did.

For $5.99 I bought a yard of (I want to say trigger but my mom thinks it's outdoor canvas) heavy duty canvas-y fabric in navy blue.

So my funkadilly-o old couch pillows went from looking like this:

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To this:

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(Don't mind the cat hair already on there!)

Even though they're just handsewn squares, I think they class up the old futon-couch.

Not bad for a girl who's afraid of her sewing machine and hasn't plugged it in in ages huh?

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