Friday, November 30, 2007

There's Still Time!

To enter your name into this month's K.A.Y.E. drawing!

Deadline is today! Can you believe November's already over? Yikes.

Anyway, the lucky November winner will be receiving this in the mail:

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A skein of Classic Elite Alpaca Sox in "Dried Herbs" (gotta go with a Thanksgiving theme here...)

Read the rules--it doesn't matter what month your kooter was rooted, as long as it's been done this year. My rootin' is scheduled for the 18th. Should be fun. I tried to pick a gyno with the largest sounding hands on the list of providers Mt. Sinai gave us.

December is the last month of the Kootchie Awareness Yarn Extravaganza.

It's also a double-whammy month.

In addition to the normal winner, I will draw a second "grand prize" winner's name.

I have sizable stash of yarn generously donated by yarn enthusiasts all over the world.

I've thought about breaking it up and having a few winners, but I'm kind of lukewarm on that idea. I like big splashy endings.

I'd also like to throw something into the grand prize myself--but I'm coming up empty. Any ideas?

(And no, not everyone in this contest is a religious Bezziephyte. No autographed picture suggestions!)

Finally, I want to thank everyone who has entered and/or who has spread the word either on their blog, via a messageboard, in person, or however they did it to their other fiber friends. I've got 143 entrants thusfar and some of the stories I hear make this contest soooo worth the time and effort!!!!

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Weirdness for my Sister

I normally don't do memes.

But my sister T. tagged me and I really don't feel like taking a shower right now. (It's freezing in this apartment and getting naked really doesn't sound appealing right now. Especially with that damn 1920 slow draining plumbing. Nothing like wading in your own filth.)

Since T. is unemployed (well for the most part--she's rockin' the joe-job scene but would like a more grown up job) and has time on her hands, I'll do this to entertain her.

Therefore, I give you Seven Weird/Random Things about me.

I don't think I've ever done this one. I did Six Things That Piss Me Off the last time I was tagged with a meme like this. But enough--onto the meme!

1. I am afraid of mind readers. When I'm in the grocery store and thinking what a mother effing jackass the guy in front of me is for parking his cart at an angle in the middle of the aisle while he slowly examines each can of sliced olives--I worry that he might be able to hear my thoughts.

Or worse yet! What if Hot Attorney hears me thinking about what a great ass he has and how somedays that's the only thing worth going into work for?! Eeek!

2. Staying on a supernatural topic--I really don't like to think that dead people check up on us to see how we're doing from wherever they've departed too.

Think about it. Do you really want Grandma checking on you and oops! you just happen to be having sex? I'd like to think that Grandma would look away if she happened to check in on me and I was gettin' busy. But on the other hand, I know that if I was dead and checking in on my relatives, I'd probably be laughing my ass off watching them have sex.

Have you ever imagined what you look like having sex? I have. And I'm sure it's a laughable situation.

I really hope Granny is just eating a Philly cream cheese bagel on a fluffy cloud and chatting with cherubs instead.

3. I don't like to eat in front of schoolmates or coworkers. Now if I'm in a meeting and they order lunch for us, I'll eat then. However, if I'm bringing my own lunch in, I do not like eating it in front of people. In high school I ate lunch between classes with my head ducked in my locker or not at all.

Now, at work, I go out to my car to eat lunch and never eat in the lunchroom. Of course this gets fun in the dead of summer and winter.

Maybe this is just anti-socialism, but I can't even eat lunch at my desk in front of others. I'll put a sandwich in a desk drawer and sneak bites of it if I'm forced to eat at my desk.

4. If I could choose how I died, I would want to freeze to death. Better yet, I'd like to get really drunk and then freeze to death. This seems like a really peaceful, painless way to go.

5. I will freak out if I'm in the shower and the toilet seat is left open. This only happens if one of the boys comes in to drain his dragon while I'm showering--but it drives me crazy! I have a fear of stepping out of the shower and setting my foot into the bowl. I'm blind as a bat, so I could see this happening. Not so much in the bathroom we're in now, but in the bathroom I grew up with, the one we had in Fort Collins and Michigan--yes!

6. This one's for the knitting folk: I've been knitting for how many years now and I think I've been SSKing instead of K2tog. Oops. I'll never change the way I K2tog though!

7. Sometimes I'll walk topless through my dining room to give the guys smoking outside Clancy's Boobie Bar across the street a peek at what they're missing by patronizing a lame-ass "go-go" bar where the "dancers" have to wear skimpy tops and bottoms.

And yet I have a problem with my dead grandma watching me have sex. Hm.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Past Due

I am way past due in thanking a certain Kooky Auntie M in Florida (she knows who she is!) for a simply crazy lavish set of boxes she sent me in the past few weeks.

I hate that I can’t call her my Crazy Aunt M instead of Kooky.

It seems like it would be me ripping off Crazy Aunt Purl’s name. Her name is pervasive enough for even I, a non-reader of her blog, to know.

El sigho. (I’m trying a Spanish twist on the cyber phrase “le sigh.” Sorry Pepe Le Pew, with our country’s demographics, I think the more progressive thing to say is “el sigho.”)

But back to my Kooky Auntie M. She popped my Noro cherry. I’ve never knit with it. I’ve fondled in the yarn store, but never had the calling to purchase it. She sent me a ton of the stuff!

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And not only that—she sent me three knittingbooks.

One of those books is Knitting New Scarves.

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Now, despite the three scarves I have in my list of 2007 finished objects, I’m not a big scarf knitter. But Kooky Auntie M wasn’t thinking I would use it for scarves--rather as an idea platform.

How right she was.

I can’t wait for the holidays to be over--ok, I can't wait for holiday knitting to be over!

After flipping through the books she sent me and fondling the Noro I’ve got so many ideas brewing right now as a result of Kooky Auntie M’s generosity. Thanks M!

But I’m making progress in Christmas knitting.

The secret cat-warmer project (the thing Springs was so delicately sitting on in the other day’s post) is done. And of course, the Grandpa Mad Scientist scarf is done too. I thought those things would take a lot longer making than they actually did.

I’m also making great progress on Grandma Mad Scientist’s potholders. Since she asked for “hot pads” and I’m not exactly sure what her definition of “hot pad” is and her son is oblivious to these types of things and was no help when I asked him, I’ve decided I’ll make her two potholders (lightly felted) and a cotton (what I consider) a “hot pad”—a rest for your hot dishes when you put them on your counter top/table. (Whew! What a run-on sentence!)

Finally, I'm making a dent in my office Christmas presents. As this is my first Christmas in this office, I don’t know what the holiday gift protocol is. Therefore, I’m just doing something small but that will still be impressive to them as non-knitters. I’m making these:

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They’re the same little felted Christmas trees I made for my coworkers last year. Ah the joys of moving so much—I don’t have to come up with original ideas!

I’ve got about six or seven to make and I’ve got three knitted already. Knitting them takes 20 minutes. Of course felting them and “decorating” them with beads will take a bit longer.

Oof! Even though I think I’ll finish the Christmas knitting somewhat earlier than expected, I still have sooo much to do.

El sigho.

Oh and for those who have made it this far, I think it might have just been the angle picture of Chunky yesterday that threw you off. He wasn’t a particularly large baby—just 7 lbs. 14 oz. He was however a whoppin’ 22 inches long. Might I add that I am only 5’2”? Imagine having 22” of Chunky curled up in your stumpy little torso. Oof. Is it any wonder I used to call him my little tapeworm when I was pregnant?

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Finest FO To Date

I finished this one six years ago today.

It's still kind of a work-in-progress, and I did have some help making it, but I think you'll agree that it is one of my best works.

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Happy Birthday Chunky!!!

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas um, cookie? countdown

Ok, so no cookies today. I skipped making Sunday cookies because Chunky's birthday is Tuesday and he wants me to bake his class Boston Cream Cupcakes to take in and I'll also be baking him a racecar cake. My fat ass doesn't need a bunch of cookies lying around in addition to all that cake!

However, I know y'all wanted the recipe for the Pumpkin Praline Roll I made for dessert for Thanksgiving.

You get that today instead of cookies.

I took this from Betty Crocker's Ultimate Cake Mix Cookbook (no comments on the cake mix factor Nikki!) I'm probably violating copyright laws by putting this in here, but I'll put the way I bake it.

Pumpkin Praline Roll
3 eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin (I used real pumpkin that I cooked and pureed myself)
1/4 cup of white cake mix
2 teasp. cinnamon
1/2 teasp. nutmeg
1/8 teasp. ground cloves
powdered sugar
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
chopped pecans

Grease a sheet of aluminum foil or wax paper and line a jelly roll pan (15 1/2" X 10 1/2" X 1"). I used parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375 deg.

Take your 3 eggs and beat the hell out of them until they're stiff or lemon yellow. Mine never got stiff, but that didn't hurt the recipe.

Add in the pumpkin. Beat until incorporated.

Gradually beat in the cake mix, the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves on low speed (you don't need a mixer to do this though--your arm works just as well)

Pour the cake onto the pan, spread it to all of the corners.

Bake for 8-12 minutes or until the middle of the cake bounces back when you touch it.

When the cake comes out it should look something like this:

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My jelly roll pan was a tad bit too big. I only used half of it.

Here's where you have to work fast.

Take a clean dishtowel and sugar it to hell with powdered sugar.

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Now take the cake, and put it on the towel with the sugar. You can do this by putting the towel over the cake while it's in the pan and turning it upside down and then peeling the foil/wax paper/parchment paper off the bottom of the cake.

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Now roll the cake up in the towel.

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Let it cool for 30 minutes.

While it's cooling it's time to make the frosting!

Take your 4 oz of cream cheese (softened) and cream it together with the 1/2 cup of brown sugar.

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I used dark brown sugar. Those little nuggets of molasses like sugar you see in my cream cheese mixture did NOT hurt the final outcome of the frosting.

Now slowly add your 1 cup of heavy whipping cream.

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Whip it. Whip it real good.

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Check out the stiffness of those peaks.

Now add some crushed pecans. You can do the 2 tablespoons the recipe calls for, or more.

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By now, it's nearly time to unroll the cake. If not, then put the frosting in the fridge to help it keep it's consistency.

When it's time to unroll the cake, slowly unroll it.

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Don't worry if it cracks like a mo'fo because that honestly makes no difference. Mine cracked a hell of a lot more than what's shown here.

Frost the inside of the roll with 1/2 of the frosting and roll it back up. Transfer it to a serving plate.

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With the rest of the frosting, go to town on the cake. Sprinkle pecans all over the cake top.

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Be sure to keep the cake in the fridge, covered loosely, when not in use.

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It was so damn good!!

And hey, I know this doesn't take the place of Cheapass Christmass.

Since y'all really seem to be missing that I'll make a point of posting some Cheapass Tips this season. I can't guarantee it will be structured like last year though!

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Yay! I finished Grandpa Mad Scientist's scarf!

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Very Pottery Barnish no?

Lest you think it's black and white yarn and not silver and black yarn I compared it to a true black and white creature.

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"Mmm...I loves me some scarf fumes!"

The stats:

Pattern: Reversible Rib Scarf from Hip Knits (It was my first knitting book I ever purchased, cut me some slack!)

Yarn: Vanna's Choice in Linen and Black

Needles: US 10.5

Notes: Dude, it's a scarf--not much more to say. But a quick scarf thank god. The only modification was that I didn't knit it 80" like the pattern says to. To me a man in a scarf that is that long is just looking to be killed when he goes to exit the passenger side of a car, slams the obnoxiously long scarf into the door by accident and the driver takes off--with him in tow.

I also made progress on some top secret Christmas knitting.

Luckily my trusty lap whore was kind enough to keep it under wraps for me.

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"Get outta my sunbeam woman!"

Thank goodness the recipient of this item is not adverse to cat hair and is a friend to those of the pussy persuasion.

Finally, I leave you with a question: How would you decorate the fugly tree?

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P.S. See that radiator the fugly tree is on? It still hasn't been turned on! We've had snow and everything! Hee!

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Make Way For Christmas Knitting

Or ducklings...whatever.

I boxed up my latest submission for Hats for Alex.

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That 17 or 18 hats will be going to Pam today.

Some of them are more like beanies, but maybe there will be a small-headed child that will enjoy them. I need to remember that not everyone gives birth to freakishly large headed children like myself.

My favorite this round? Definitely that olive and pimento hat!

I normally knit one Hat for Alex a week. But now that Christmas is officially upon us, it is time to throw myself into the Christmas knitting.

While Chunky and I were camped out under the cancer causing electric blanket yesterday afternoon watching movies, I worked on Grandpa Mad Scientist's scarf.

And I ran out of yarn.

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Bah. So now I have to hit Michaels for some more cheap-o yarn. Oof on Chartreuse Saturday. Yuck. I'm so not looking forward to that.

What kind of cheap-o yarn? Why that would be Vnn's Chc crylc.*

This is my go-to man scarf pattern. I made one for Dr. Mad Scientist two years ago when no one read this blog.

It's an easy stitch pattern that's reversible and goes fast when I double strand the yarn.

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Grandpa Mad Scientist requested a scarf made from Oakland Raiders colors (he's a California boy from waaaay back) and so Vnn's Chc had colors that fit the bill--black and a somewhat silvery "linen" color.

After I get this done, it's on to some potholders for Grandma Mad Scientist. I'm not sure what would work better--cotton or wool for those. Any feedback?

*You have to pay extra to buy the vowels.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

What I'm Thankful For

This week's Blogstalking is Thanksgiving--what I'm thankful for.

Easy peasy!

I'm thankful for my little Chunkito:

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And before you think it's un-PC for my whitebread kiddo to be dressing as a Native American--he came home talking about how the Pilgrims spread disease to the Native Americans and made them sick and some of them died.

Wow. I know I sure as hell didn't learn about that stuff in kindergarten. How cool is this private kindergarten I send him to? Hee hee!

I'm also thankful we were all together this Thanksgiving. A far cry from last Thanksgiving.

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I'm also thankful that even though it took about 15 hours of cooking and prep time that the boys loved the food enough to devour it in 15 minutes.

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Finally I'm thankful that we actually got to spend a full Thanksgiving with Dr. Mad Scientist. I can't remember the last Thanksgiving that Dr. Mad Scientist didn't have to go into work at least for a few hours.

Everyone is so gung-ho on thanking cops and firefighters for sacraficing their holidays--but we never remember everyone else. There are doctors, nurses, convenience store operators, journalists, TV station operators, movie theater workers and a bunch else I'm sure I'm missing all working these holidays.

And there are the scientists that still have to feed the lab rats that are helping cure your diseases on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Cell lines don't take holidays.

Alright now I'm off to do the dishes from last night, take a shower and then me and Chunky have an afternoon planned of vegging on the couch watching "Elf" and "Christmas Eve On Sesame Street."

Hooray! We can now officially give in to Christmas!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More Selfish Knitting

I only say selfish because I should be concentrating on Christmas knitting.

I cast this on a week or so ago. It’s a Victorian Lace Collar.

When I pulled out my winter coat this season, I also pulled out my tired old Irish Hiking Scarf. I decided I wanted something new to keep my neck warm this winter.

I went on a search for something that would:

a)not be bulky under my coat like a scarf or gaiter; and
b)wasn’t too loose like a smokering.

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This collar fit the bill. And yes, I discovered it while perusing The Place That Shall Not Be Named. But I always said The Place would be best for me as a pattern library.

The stats:

Pattern: Victorian Lace & Ribbed Neck Warmer

Needles: US 3

Yarn: Jo Sharp Silk Georgette (Alpaca, Merino, and Silk!)

Notes: This was a self published pattern and it had a few spots that were wonky—but hey, it’s a free pattern, you can’t really complain. And because I wasn’t knitting with the suggested big-fat chunkish yarn the pattern called for I made a few modifications.

If you knit this, pay attention to what one blogger posted in the comment section about the lace pattern being off. I paid attention for the first repeat, but not when I did the second repeat. Ah well, at first glance, no one will know. The second lace repeat was part of my modifications. The pattern only calls for one.

I also didn’t follow her instructions to make the buttonholes because of gauge and ignorance issues. Buttonholes are like piecrusts to me—I can make them just not well.

This yarn was to die for. I got this from Kate in a swap last year. So damn soft and luxurious! I had been holding on to this lone ball just waiting for the right project and this was definitely it. The buttons are leftover from some defunct baby-sweater idea that never came to fruition.

I think this might be my new favorite luxury yarn. I’m not sure I ever had a favorite luxury yarn but this is it now! My only gripe is that I wish it came in a heavier weight. I would love if this came in a worsted weight!

Sadly, I don't like it. It gaps where I don't want it too. It's not the pattern's fault really, I think it's because I used such a lightweight yarn.

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Ah well the search for a suitable non-bulky neck warmer continues. Maybe one of those keyhole scarves.

Thus concludes my for-me knitting. I cast on for the Grandpa Mad Scientist scarf last night and despite it being a scarf and thus boring, it’s making for great TV knitting.

My travel-knitting has also shifted to different Christmas knitting now that Autumn Walk is done. I’d like to show you what that is, but I think the recipient might read this blog. There’s a great story to this knit too, which is a bummer. I’ll just have to wait until after Christmas to tell you about it.

I’ll probably be going dark here soon. Today I have to make “fruit kabobs” for Chunky’s school Thanksgiving party and Wednesday is my Turkey Prep days—I’ve got to bake the cornbread, make the pumpkin praline roll, and get the dough for the dinner rolls ready.

We’ll be roasting our 12 pound bird and having all the fixings for just the three of us.

People seem to think we’re pathetic pobrecitos for not having family* around this time of year to share Thanksgiving with. Normally at least one person tries to invite us to partake in dinner with them.

Bah, yeah, like I want to hang out with your crazy relatives any more than you do. No thanks!

Then day after Thanksgiving me and the Chunk have plans to plant and watch Christmas movies all day. I’ll be Christmas knitting or perhaps working on The Very Big Project. We’ll see. There will be no shopping for us.

After my weekend of stimulating the economy this past weekend, I’m done with real flesh and blood shopping--it’s all online this year baby!



*Doesn’t a husband and kid count as “family”? Shoot, I did a big dinner for me and Dr. Mad Scientist the first year we were married before Chunky was around.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

CCC: Brazilian Coffee Cookies

Yeah it ain't no Cheapass Christmass, but cookies do make great cheap Christmas/Hannukah/Yule/Sacraficial Burning of the Squash Day presents.

For the first of my installment of Christmas Cookie Countdown I give you Brazilian coffee cookies.

I swiped this one from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book--a reprint of the 1963 original.

I first made these cookies a few years ago when a coworker around this time of year approached me about making her some cookies for a cookie swap. She had her house on the market and was in the throes of heavily showing it. She was instructed by her realtor NOT to use the oven for any reason--lest she funk it up and discourage any buyers.

I made these and a couple other types for her and made myself a cool $30. Does that make me a professional cookier?

Brazilian Coffee Cookies
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed--however this begs the question have you ever seen a cookie recipe where it calls for unpacked brown sugar??)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla (although I just eyeballed it)
1 tblspn. milk
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt (I never use salt in my cookies)
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tblspn. instant coffee

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all your wet ingredients til the shortening is nearly incorporated. Then mix in your dry ingredients. If the dough is too soft (mine sure wasn't) you can chill it for a while to firm it up. Roll the dough into little balls. Then with a greased and sugared fork, or bottom of a glass, press the cookies down.

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This is where the Chunkmeister went to town squishing the cookies. We just buttered and sugared the bottom of a glass. Nothing fancy.

Bake 'em for 8 to 10 minutes, and ta-da.

This is a very crunchy cookie with a light coffee flavor and not too overly sweet. I dunked some in my hot apple cider last night and they were delish. You could probably dunk them in coffee. However, I hate coffee. And yet, I enjoy these cookies. Go figure.

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My cookie porn is going to have to improve. It's harder when it's overcast outside. Ah well, that's why this is a weekly thing.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

I Don't Get It.

No pictures today. Just crazy ass ranting about nothing related to knitting.

Yesterday I stimulated the American Economy.

Oh dear god, did I ever.

Maybe I was fueled by the fact that we just paid off the credit card we charged 90% of our NJ moving expenses (truck rental, hotel bills, gas, food) on yesterday. Now we can take the money we spent on that card and throw it at the other card that suffers our everyday expenses such as car repair, train tickets, subway fare, and gas. (And don't worry, I didn't use the credit card to stimulate the economy yesterday--I paid cash for everything)

Or maybe I was excited by the fact I was birthday shopping for the Chunk.

Anyway, I decided it was time for a new pair of jeans for yours truly. I have one good pair and I like to have two. The other ones I have in my closet are just too damn loose and I can't keep them up--I hate belts, or they've been worked to death t0 the point that they're embarrassing to wear out of the house.

So I grabbed a pair of men's Low Loose Bootcut jeans. These are total metrosexual jeans. I can't imagine any man actually wearing "low cut" jeans. Maybe I'm old fashioned or I just don't hang around with the right guys.

I picked the closest to my size: 30X32. Normally I wear a 30X30, but I can live with them being a little longer.

On my way to the dressing room, I passed the women's rack of jeans. I figured what the hell, I'd try on a pair of chick pants too.

I grabbed a pair of bootcut chick jeans. Size 12.

In the dressing room (which smelled faintly of piss) I tried on the Man Jeans.

Oh my god, how do I loveth the Man Jeans?

My ass looked sublime! They fit like a dream and hugged all the right curves. They were a little long, but I knew they would be since I couldn't find a 30" inseam on the rack.

Then I put on the chick jeans.

Oh boy.

First of all, they were HUGE.

Now I'm not vain. I wear a size 12 women's pant.

Yeah, I used to wear a size 10 pant back before Chunky was born. But hey, the fact that I've consistently worn a size 12 pant since Chunky was born (almost six years now!) is a good thing. Means I haven't put on any weight in the pants-department!!!

But these size 12s were insane. Buttoned and zipped up, I could pull at them and they slipped off with ease. What the hell???

Not to mention they were baggy in all the wrong places and about four inches too long in the legs. (Way longer than the man jeans!)

I suppose I could have tried on a pair of size 10s to see how those fit...but why bother when the men's pants consistently fit me and women's don't?

I guess this was my first encounter with "vanity sizing." Gah. What a bunch of freaking nonsense. How are we as a nation of overweight people supposed to do something about that fact when we're too busy fooling ourselves about what size we really wear?

And don't go saying it's the fashion and clothing industry doing it. Someone out there is buying this vanity size stuff. Otherwise if we weren't buying it, they wouldn't make it.

Remember New Coke or Crystal Pepsi? No one bought that shit, and they stopped selling it.

God bless the men who want to wear lowcut jeans and have no hangups about the size of their pants.

Since I'm on the topic of fat asses...I've decided to unveil my newest blog-o-scheme: The Christmas Cookie Countdown.

There are five Mondays left til Christmas. Each Monday I'll spotlight a cookie recipe I enjoy. I'll include the recipe and gratuitous cookie porn shots.

It'll be like Friday Food or Yarn Porn Friday posts--except on Monday.

Mondays are begging for a good theme day.

It's no Cheapass Christmass, but you can only beat that departed beast of burden so long.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Autumn Walk

Tonight we're supposed to get a wee bit o'snow.

What better way to usher in winter than with an Autumn Walk scarf?

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The stats:

Pattern: Autumn Walk by Elizabeth

Needles: US8

Yarn: My beloved cheap Russian yarn that is simply called "Angora" (50% Merino/50% Angora Goat) in the color "Andromeda."

Notes: This is a Christmas scarf for Miss Vera--the "principal" at Chunky's private kindergarden. You'll remember I made Elizabeth's Mead Scarf out of some Russian alpaca for Chunky's teacher Miss Maya (also for Christmas) a few months ago. I figure I'd keep with the Russian yarn/Elizabeth pattern theme and decided on Autumn Walk for Miss Vera.

It's a simple pattern--only a two row repeat. However I managed to somehow eff it up at the very beginning of the scarf and the very end. I tried frogging back at the end-screw up, but holy cow that only made it worse. I figure what the hell--it's symmetrical now.

I'll leave you with a modeled shot.

I didn't knit it as long as Elizabeth's model, but only because scarves bore me after so long, I've got more Christmas knitting I need to do, and I'm a short-decorative-scarf chick myself.

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I cut my head off because my glasses, although always crooked on my face, were particularly crooked in this shot.

Oh! And I did the dishes this morning with the Washamadoodle--it worked like a dream!!

Although I have to say, Janna's idea to just sew a cap or two to the edge of a normally knit washcloth would have worked just as well too. Ha ha! That's the way my brain works--always picking the harder way to solve the problem!

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Friday, November 16, 2007

It's a Bird, It's a Plane...

...it's a hot air balloon?

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It's a Washamadoodle! Dirty dishes not included.

Here's the thing: ever since the IRS came knocking at our door with their greased broomsticks, I decided to wean myself off of my beloved yellow sponges with the green scrubbers on the back. They aren't that expensive when you buy them in bulk at Costco, but they're a luxury. And the first rule of belt tightening is cutting out luxuries.

I started using cotton dishcloths.

But cotton dishcloths just don't have the scrubbing power of the green back on the yellow sponge.

However, on a foodie/kitchen blog I read about how the blogger used old soda bottle tops to scrub the caked on food off of her pots and pans.

I tried and LOVED it! Using a little bottlecap works great! It gets the gunk off and doesn't really scratch the pan (not like I really care about that though).

However, I didn't like trying to keep track of my bottlecaps. Add in the fact that a certain black and white kitty at this house has a penchant for playing with bottlecaps, and it was getting to be a royal pain in the ass.

The Washamadoodle is my attempt to marry the bottlecap scrubber and the cotton dishcloth.

I started with this:

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Artsy fartsy!

And knitted around a balloon/round shape. Then before I closed it, I turned it inside out (the reverse stockinette side is better at scrubbing) and I stuffed it with 1" strips of an old terrycloth dishtowel.

Now I've got the power of a bottlecap at the end of a dishcloth.

It looks a little weird, but hey, if it works, I don't care.

We'll see if it works tomorrow when I do dishes. I was excited to finish this, but not so excited that I wanted to do a sinkful of dishes. That takes an act of Squashola!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I wish I had something interesting to say...

...but I don't.

I have been knitting.

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I hope this works out. I'm actually writing this one down as I go so I can make another one if I need to.

If it works, I'll post it here.

Cryptic enough for ya?

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Loosing My Lunch

Ah, the end-0f-year holidays! The parade of dead trees disguised as paper pestering us for money has started to come in the mail.

This one I particularly loved:

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You know, I do worry about loosing my house and job.

Wait a minute, New Jersey isn't on any fault lines that I know of, so I don't think my house would ever become loose.

I guess my job could become loose if I ever took up employment across the street at the tittie bar.

I'm not a United Way giver. I like to research my charities, and well, United Way doesn't make my personal cut. But this gem of a piece of mail was great blog fodder just waiting to happen.

And speaking of loose--poor Dr. Mad Scientist had a grand beginning to his weekend.

Friday night he worked late. I offered to pick him up from the train station, but he said he was OK walking with his Joe Pesci Hat and his gloves. But when he learned it was 34 degrees and raining, he decided to take me up on the offer.

We were a few minutes late getting to the train station (hey, try raising a Chunky from a sound sleep and getting him bundled up and into the car!).

He had this look on his face that could sour milk with one glance when we pulled up.

I apologized for being a few minutes late.

Alas, it wasn't my slight tardiness he was upset about.

He was upset because some Jersey Girl decided to VOMIT ON HIM ON THE TRAIN.

One of the "perks" of living in a highly urban area like New York City and northern New Jersey is you can get around quite a bit without driving. On Friday nights this equals lots of drunk-ass people on the subways and trains.

Remember this picture of me and my sister in Seacaucus? Notice the dude in the background--yeah, a whole linen closet full of sheets into the wind.

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What really pisses me off about this girl is two things:

1. Dr. Mad Scientist was sitting by the window. She was sitting next to the aisle. When she vomited--she did not turn towards the aisle, or bend straight over--she turned towards him and spewed.

2. Before Dr. Mad Scientist could process what happened, the bitch took off running for a different car. She didn't even apologize!!

According to Dr. Mad Scientist, she wasn't sick with the flu, she was clearly drunk.

Now if Chunky blew chunks on me, I'm OK with that. If Dr. Mad Scientist tossed his cookies on me, I'd deal. Even if some random child (I'll let a kid off the hook due to the trauma of vomiting and how unsettling it can be to the young) couldn't control the contents of their stomach and showered me with puke, I'd let it go.

But a full grown woman, who drank enough to get herself to the point of puking? No way. There is no excuse for that.

Thankfully:

1. I do laundry on Saturday and I didn't have to make a special trip to wash his clothes;

2. Dr. Mad Scientist, unlike his other train-mates that get off at the Uber-Rich stop he does, does NOT have to wear a suit to work. You don't even want to know how mad I would be if that bitch had puked on a suit we paid good money for;

3. Dr. Mad Scientist had worked up a sweat rushing around the train station/subway system and took off his leather jacket prior to sitting down. The vomitus did not touch his leather jacket; and

4. Thank goodness Dr. Mad Scientist changed his mind about getting a ride home. His cell phone battery died after he called me. If he hadn't called when he did (pre-vomit) he would have been walking home in the cold, in the rain and covered in puke.

So dear drunk-ass-hootchie-mama-NJT-Jersey-Girl--I may never know who you are, but I console myself that someday you'll get what's coming to you.

Maybe you'll die and be reincarnated as one of those hospital barf bowls, a bottle of syrup of ipecac, or possibly as the carpet of a frat house.

I'm just so miffed about this whole thing.

I tried cleaning the shirt Dr. Mad Scientist was wearing and was unable to salvage it. I think Jersey Girl was eating a greasy Big Mac or something before she evacuated the contents of her stomach on my man. This is a bummer because Dr. Mad Scientist looked so damn HOT in that shirt too.

Sigh.

Ok, but I promised Dr. Mad Scientist that I'd let it go.

Thank you dear readers for letting me spew my anger about the Amazing Vomiting NJT Bitch. Pun completely intended.

I'll give you a reward for reading petty rants about spelling errors and rude people:

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I finished another Calorimetry--this time out of that Crystal Palace Fjord yarn in "Roses" that I bought last weekend at Stix when me and the Chunk went to meet Chris.

Now I have three of these. I might gift this one though. I've been wearing my Cpurl Yarn Green Calorimetry all weekend in the house. I told you--I'm not turning on the heat until December!!!

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Friday, November 09, 2007

A Bag, Fire and Poop(s)

Sorry, this post is not about a flaming bag of poop, but close!

I'll start off today's entry with an FO of sorts.

I already showed you the felted Chunky lunch bag.

But here it is in its final glory:

Lunchbag

The stats:

Pattern: You could sort of say “my own” but that’s not 100% true. The Brown Bag on Knitty is knit very similar. But you could say that the Booga Bag is also very similar to the Brown Bag.

You knit flat for a bit.

You pick up the stitches on the sides.

You knit in the round for a bit.

You bind off three sides of the bag.

You knit flat for a bit.

You felt (or full if you’re going to get technical) it.

The end.

Nothing spectacular or mind blowing about that.

Yarn: Paton’s Classic Merino Wool in "Wedgewood." Chunky picked it out at the store.

Needles: Size US 10

Notes: This was a nice mindless knit. I think it may do the trick in combating Stinky Lunch Sack Syndrome. The insulated lunch sacks I had been using for the Chunk were getting stinky and funky no matter how many times I wiped them out with soap and water and dried them. I should just be able to toss this one in the wash when it starts to get the funk. It’s already felted—why not?

I cannibalized the handle and closure from an old purse I had. Dr. Mad Scientist tells me it looks like a lunch purse and I should enjoy the age Chunky is now because he still thinks the things mom makes for him are cool. I think he’s just bitter that one of his coworkers said he looked like Joe Pesci in Home Alone when he wore that hat I knit him to work. Bah, what does he know?!

Speaking of coworkers, I don't write much about work on my blog anymore. This is partly due to the fact that although there's a lot of blog-worthy fodder, I think I've learned to exercise a bit of discretion in my two years of blogging (my year 2 bloggoversary passed last week--oops!--I didn't even notice!).

But today they canned two people. One I kinda figured had it coming. The other was a total shock.

I got to thinking that firings always seem to happen this time of year. Dr. Mad Scientist sort of lost his job in late September of last year. Although that was more a revoking of an offer than a firing.

A good friend of mine got the axe at Scheister, Shafter, Conniver & Dodge on Halloween two years ago. Another coworker went with her. That girl had it coming and why they waited so long with her, I'll never know. But my friend was a single mother and to can someone that you know has no other source of income so close to the holidays seemed kind of heartless to me. But when is it ever not heartless?

And then there was Bambi.

I worked for Scheister, Shafter, Conniver & Dodge for four years when my Cool Boss decided to leave the firm and not take me with him. This left me in a lurch.

The Man was having problems with her secretary Bambi. In late September, after Cool Boss left me, The Man asked me to come work for her and told me she would fire Bambi.

The catch was, she didn't have the balls to fire Bambi! She kept putting it off and putting it off, making up excuse after excuse. Meanwhile, I was still "working" for SSC&D--if you can call dusting two large fake ficus plants leaf-by-leaf "work."

Finally on November 11 she fired Bambi.

Oof.

Knowing about Bambi's demise weeks in advance was horrible. But not as horrible as having Bambi come back the next Monday after she was fired to train me.

In retrospect, any motivated ape could have done Bambi's (and subsequently my) job. I picked it up quick enough and wish I could have spared myself the uncomfortable 4 hours of awkwardness that were my training with Bambi.

Ah well. I think firings are always blessings in disguise. I'm confident my two ex-coworkers will find something better and will be happier.

Of course this is really easy for me to say in my position. I hate to think about the shit they're feeling right now.

But, I'm not going to end this on a downer.

Behold! Poops Hands!

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Seeing as Chunky's hands are growing at the same rapid pace as the rest of him (I've got approximately one foot in height on him and my hands are only one inch longer than his), it was time for some new mittens for him.

I tried knitting him some. But um, yeah. I sucked butt at the pair I tried knitting.

So I contacted the Mitten Queen and she made Chunky a pair of custom mittens.

Dude, for a nominal price she made these kick ass mittens! How cool is that?

Plus when I told Chunky that a lady named Poops made his mittens, he couldn't stop giggling. This is why I love having a kid, potty humor never gets old.

So if you want to get your hand on some Poops check her out!

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Oatmeal, Old People, and Object of a Finished State

This week's blogstalking is one that I managed to actually do.

I didn't do statues.

I didn't do a day in the life.

I didn't do the oldest picture of me.

I won't be playing catchup to do these ones. It kind of feels good to be a rebel slacker.

But "what's for breakfast?" I can do.

I was never a big breakfast eater until I had Chunky. Now since he eats breakfast everyday, what the heck, so do I.

When we moved to New Jersey, the Chunk and I somehow got on an oatmeal kick.

You take one apple and dice it (don't worry about peeling it).

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Add one cup of oatmeal (I use the old fashioned non-quickie kind--super duper cheap).

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Add two cups of water.

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Nuke it for six minutes.

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Divy it up between you and the Chunk and add a spoonful of brown sugar to each bowl.

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Enjoy the blurry goodness!

I love this breakfast because normally when I eat any other food in the morning, by 10:00 a.m. I'm starving again. If I skip breakfast entirely, or eat oatmeal, this doesn't happen.

We used to eat the Quaker instant oatmeal in Michigan and Texas. However, like the price of gas and milk, for some reason the price of the big old boxes of it I bought at Sam's kept creeping higher and higher.

But enough about boring old oatmeal.

Onto more boring topics!

I voted yesterday. This means that I have voted in four separate states in the eleven years I have been registered to vote.

So far, New Jersey wins for easiest voting.

In Alaska I voted out of my precinct with a question ballot (I was attending college). That was a pain in the ass, but understandable since I wasn't voting in my precinct.

In Michigan, the lines at the firestation in our neighborhood were always out the door and the booths and lines were poorly set up for ease of use.

In Texas, the lines were even freaking worse! I felt rushed to get in, vote, and get the hell out. However, since I knew I was leaving Texas at the time I voted, I wasn't too terribly concerned with the outcome of the races.

New Jersey was great. I got to vote at the school that spurned my Chunky from kindergarten (added bonus I got to check out the school he'll be attending for first grade). There were no lines whatsoever and the polls were open until 8:00 p.m. (In MI I want to say they always closed at 7:00 p.m.). I voted at 6:30 p.m. after picking up Chunky from school.

They had roomy booths that allowed me to bring Chunky in there with me and he could clearly see the ballot and what I was doing. (And yes, I may have let him press a button I told him to press--I remember my Old Man letting me punch a hole in a ballot when he took me with him to vote back in the day).

My only complaints were they misspelled my first name. Never mind the complexities of the true Bezzie last name--they couldn't spell "Rebecca." So my voter ID card reads: "Reecca."

The elderly people running the voter check-in weren't too on the ball either. They tossed me from table to table trying to find my name on the voter list.

Apparently the street I live in is broken up into two precincts and the two precincts vote at the same place. After finally nearly yelling* at the old lady checking names that my name started with B-E-Z not B-E-F (because Z and F sound soooo alike) she found my name.

I voted for the measure to fund stem cells and for property tax relief, both of which were shot down.

In retrospect, this is probably a good thing.

Whereas I am a strong believer in stem cell research, it makes sense for the financial strapped NJ to concentrate it's monetary resources in other places.

Stem cells are kind of like the candy bar at the grocery store. Sure, it would be delightful to have that candy bar, but right now when you're on a tight budget, do you really need that candy bar? No. Focus on buying the staple food first and then you can buy the candy bar when you've got more money.

It's not like there aren't other ways to do the research that stem cells can help do.

From what I've picked up, cancer cells work pretty well too. Stem cells seem to be the Cadillac of research whereas the non-stem cell lines being used right now are like your dad's old 1975 Dodge Pickup that he had your brothers paint red with housepaint one summer and that you can't bring to a complete stop at a stoplight so you have to inch, inch, inch, inch until the light turns green lest the truck stall out and you're stranded. It gets the job done, but just not as efficiently.

But what do I know? I'm just boinking a scientist.

Finally, if you've made it this far, I give you a picture reward:

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I made a Caloriemetry with the yarn that Cpurl sent me last week.

It's the actual yarn that the pattern calls for and I still don't understand why anyone would cast on the 120 stitches the pattern calls for. I only cast on 100 and it fits just fine.

120 stitches seems just way too big!!

I've got another one on the needles that I may keep or give to someone for Christmas. If only that someone knew who they were. Ha ha!




*I think she was hard of hearing--it wasn't anger yelling.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Friends and FOs and Everything Else Imaginable

What a weekend!

Saturday El Chunko and I headed over to Stix-n-Stitches and met up with Chris. It was great meeting her and hanging at the new Stix store. I think Chunky and his polka dot sticker fetish entertained her. It's always so fun to actually meet people you only read about--and I got to take possession of the Fug too. Eeech.

While at Stix I picked up some lovely sock yarn on sale:

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A ball that just spoke to me with its "Rose" color:

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(Soon to be another Calorimetry!) And November's K.A.Y.E. prize yarn:

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Classic Elite Alpaca Sox. Yeah, yeah, more sock yarn, I know!!! But it's alpaca! And the color is called "Dried Herbs." How Thanksgiving-y is that??? It was too nice to pass up!

Today I capitalized on the extra hour.

I woke up and took Chunky's lunchbag and turned it from this:

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To this:

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I hate hand felting. But the laundromat seemed to be out of hot water on Saturday.

I still have to let it dry and do some finishing touches on it before I give the official blog-o run down.

Next I baked a pumpkin.

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While it cooled, I changed the smoke detector batteries (did you?).

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Then I pureed the pumpkin.

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I froze about 3 cups of pumpkin. We'll have a pumpkin praline roll for Thanksgiving dessert (can you tell I'm psyched about turkey day?)

Next I planted some garlic.

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Not sure if it will work, but it's worth a try.

Then I worked on a couple things for the shop.

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I don't really like the way that one turned out though.

Next I took this:

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And sealed up our bedroom window, kitchen window and the dining room windows.

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Again, not sure how well this will work but the kit cost $9.99 and I figure it won't hurt. The windows I sealed are so old and drafty it's disgusting.

I'm trying to see how long we can go without having to turn the heat on. I'll bet we can make it to at least the middle of December.

Then I paid the bills, smashed the jack o'lanterns with the boys, called the 'rents, made homemade pizza for dinner, did the dishes, prepped everything for crock pot chili and cornbread tomorrow, made lunches up for tomorrow, and cast on a Calorimetry.

Gah, I'm exhausted!!!!

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