Friday, January 29, 2010

The Lovely Garden State

I gotta say, I've never lived in such a colorful place as New Jersey.

I got up to go to bed last night. As I was turning off the TV something caught my eye.

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It's a crappy picture (oh someday I'll have a camera that takes decent pictures in the dark!) but you'll see that's 5 patrol cars with their party lights flashing parked in front of the boobie bar.

What you can't see is the Chief's SUV parked out of the picture.

You also won't see the ambulance that drove up after I took the picture.

I'm not really sure what happened. By the time I realized it was going on (they didn't use their sigh-reens* getting to the boobie bar) they were putting one guy into the back of a cruiser, bandaging up some guy in the back of the ambulance (in the dark you can see in the ambulance's side windows...gotta be a HIPAA violation somehow), and talking a guy/kid in a high school letterman's jacket.

Three strippers left at about 10:45 p.m. which seemed a little early.

But it also appeared that the bar remained open throughout the whole ordeal because there were still dudes going in and out and coming outside to smoke.

My guess is there was a bar fight.

But six cop cars seems like quite a lot for a bar fight.

Maybe it was a slow night.

Sometimes I enjoy the cheap entertainment living so close to this bar. But then the roof starts to leak again and I could live without it.

And before I go--a quick update on the foot-in-mouth situation at work. Well, she never read my email and instead asked to be transferred to a different attorney. Whew!

But you know how misspellings are a massive pet peeve of mine and I bitch about them all the time?? Well I caught a BIG one this morning on a letter going out. Only to add an extra letter to the name of one of my attorneys on a different letter later in the afternoon. That letter DID go out.

Or at least I'm pretty sure I added an extra letter. It popped into my head that I did it on my drive home tonight and now it's going to drive me crazy all weekend.

What the hell???

It's my bitchy-karma coming to bite me in the ass!!!


*The official Chatty Cathy way to say "sirens." In a future post I'll discuss the proper way to pronounce "croutons."

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Drive By

Knitting
I haven't been knitting much.

Citron is my car knitting. It's boring and I'll probably never wear it. But it uses up some yarn that's been languishing in my stash. Thank goodness I'm on the final ruffle.

Crafting
I am forcing myself to quilt on the CSU t-shirt wall hanging. It's going to look great when it's done.

My only worry? I want to hang it on the wall. However, we discovered a NEW leak in the ceiling--this time it's in our bedroom and the water from outside is seeping down the wall (and consequently dripping onto the bed of Zorba's live-in nurse a floor below). I don't want to eff up this wall hang

Three more years. Three more years.

Sewing
I've got the sewing bug. I think it's because of the shirts Bean and Karen have been blogging about (I'm too lazy to link--I can barely type this because there's a Springsy cat sleeping on my left arm.). I ordered a shirt pattern off of etsy for a few bucks. But now I can't justify ordering fabric for just the shirt. I hate not having a decent fabric store around.

Dr. Mad Scientist made a pact with me--for our anniversary this year (December 2010) since we didn't do anything nice for each other (or for Christmas for that matter) he'll buy me a new sewing machine and I'll buy him a graphics card for the computer.

This means that I'll buy myself a sewing machine and he'll buy himself a graphics card for the computer because neither of us know what the hell to exactly buy for each other.

I've got a whole year to research the perfect machine.

Current Events
J.D. Salinger died. I don't know why everyone is upset. We should all be so lucky to live to be 91. Good grief.

It's interesting to see the competition that he had in 1951 when Catcher came out--C.S. Lewis, Samuel Beckett, William Faulkner. Kinda makes you wonder what authors published in 2010 will withstand the test of time huh? Ah well, another dead white guy author to add to the list.

He also had the misfortune of dying on the same day Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad. Yikes.

My sister T. talks about sitting in on "naming" sessions for products at her advertising firm. Apparently the naming committee for Apple must have been on auto-pilot that day.

Or maybe Steve-O was still recovering from his replacement Lizard liver the Illuminati hooked him up with the day he signed off on that name. Hee hee.

Prize At the End of the Post
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If you leave your February Lady Sweater on top of your dresser--it will attract the color cat whose hair will most stand out against the yarn.

It's a good thing she's cute!

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I've Been a Bad Girl

I took a crack at someone behind their back and it's going to bite me in the crack.

Long story short:

Oiley* salad dressing + falling down + bad joke = not a good time.

Someone at work may have fallen on her back (allegedly--no one saw it happen) after slipping on an alleged (again, no one saw the spill) spilled saladd* dressing.

Later, when the person who spilled the dressing emailed me and Big Boss the ingredients of the saladd dressing to prove that there were no oily ingredients like alleged, I might have written back some catty remark about being surprised that the alleged victim wasn't still in the kitchen stuck to the floor by the corn syrup and xyyanth* gum.

I know the alleged victim reads the emails of the spiller of the dressing (victim works for spiller, so access to spiller's email is standard protocol, reading spiller's personal email is not standard protocol but that doesn't stop alleged victim).

And now I know tomorrow when alleged victim comes back to work tomorrow and more than likely reads the spiller's email, I'm going to get it.

I know, I know. Catty. Bad me.

I've heard both sides of the story and the whole thing is ridiculous. Both sides are blowing it out of proportion.

I can also say that unless I was in a coma or broke a hip due to the fall, despite any injuries I received slipping on the dressing, I would be laughing at myself.

But here I am feeling guilty for making the sticky-comment.

At least I know at one time I was a nice little girl.

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Congrats on making it this far into my post!

This post is also in response to Kristi's blog-anniversary post.

Hee hee! What can I say? Her shag carpet and floral couch brought me back. And now I can't help but wonder, when did the ugly floral couch really go out of style?

Shag carpet and floral couch not to be outdone--enter the dark wood paneling!

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Yuck!

But man, I wonder if I cut my hair that short would it curl like that? What a great head of hair I had! Chunky totally got that from me. Moochie I'm afraid got his Daddy's thin-fine hair.

*I'm misspelling these words for a reason.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Creamy, On a Sunday Afternoon

Ok, so technically it's "groovin" on a Sunday afternoon.

And technically it's Sunday evening when I'm writing this.

And technically you're reading this on Monday. But that's because for me, Monday is going to be crap.

We've got a Brief From Hell--Third Circuit Edition due on Monday. I love e-filing for the convenience, but I hate it because it gives the attorneys until 11:59 p.m. to file instead of 5:00 p.m.

It wouldn't be so bad, but Dr. Mad Scientist has his one and only class left in his teaching program on Monday nights and the first class is tomorrow (or technically today because I'm scheduling this post).

So this means I have to leave to get Chunky and Moochie from aftercare/daycare at 5:00 p.m. Get to Chunky's school at 5:30. Race over to grab Moochie at 6:00 p.m. and then drive BACK to Newark getting me back to the office at about 6:30. Dr. Mad Scientist gets out of class at 6:45 p.m. and thankfully (if you can call it that) his class is held off the Montclair State Campus at a Newark HS. So it will be easy for him to stop by the office to pick up Moochie and Chunky.

I don't know when/how I'm going to feed the boys since Moochie's usually done for the night at 7:30 p.m. Sigh.

But enough of this malarky. Cross your fingers that Big Boss gets his act together and I can hit that beautiful "submit" button on the e-filing page and get the Brief from Hell in at 5:00 p.m.

Bring on the cookies!

This week an interesting twist.

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Ginger Creams.

They're a cakey ginger cookie with a lemon icing. They make for an interesting juxtaposition of the spicy wintry flavors and the light lemony springish flavor.

Which was fitting for today. I think it was 50 degrees outside. And yet, it is January. Winter people. Winter. And 50 degrees. Why yes, I am complaining. Where's the cold? Where's the snow?

Despite my gripes with the weather, quite delish.

It was also a milestone for Moochie this weekend.

Every other Sunday night is pizza night (we make it from scratch now that we're weaned off of the Boboli crusts). This weekend I figured I was sick of him trying to mooch bites off of my pizza and so I pinched off a bit of the dough and rolled him out his own baby-pizza.

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Oh yeah. He takes his pizza eating serious.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Snapfish Rocks

You might remember my rant wherein I said Lifetouch sucks.

They did make good when I finally got through to them and talked to a human.

I hereby upgrade them to a half-suck. Kind of like a half eaten lollipop. You know, like a Charms Sucker that you thought was a Tootsie Pop and when you realized it was cheap gum in the center instead of chewy chocolate, you gave up on it.

This brings me to tell you about the loveliness that is Snapfish.

Back when we were young and naive parents to baby Chunky, and admittedly this was before the dawn of the digital camera, we stupidly dragged him to Sears and shelled out gobs of money to get his "One Year" picture taken.

Believe it or not we were saving money because we didn't do it every three months like everyone else seemed to at the time.

Best part about subsequent kids is your stupid-shit-meter is better honed and you realize that spending $120 on a picture package of shots that are cute to get in your Christmas card, but soon end up in the trash or some dusty corner of the junk drawer, or you look at once a year when you're replacing last year's school picture with the current year's.

I wanted a nice 8x10" of Moochie at one year old but didn't want to a.) drag him to a studio and b.) pay for it.

So I plopped his cute little ass down on a day when his clothes weren't too food stained and his nose wasn't too snotty and took a picture.

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Alert LL Cool J--the look is back!

I cropped down this picture a bit and uploaded it to Snapfish (It's a little offcenter and you can see the cat-scratches on the chair. Classy!).

I dropped it into my cart and ordered an 8x10" shot.

It ran me $5.

It came quickly in the mail.

But--the final picture cropped off the tippy-top of his head. You could still see his face--but it was cropped just enough to bug me. Especially because it didn't match what I thought I had dropped into my cart.

I emailed Snapfish and told them about this and within six hours I had a response.

Ends up I am a dumbass and didn't realize that for certain sizes of prints they have to autocrop them.

Ohhh! Read the fine print? Why the hell would I do that? It's un-American!

Snapfish was nice enough to give this dumbass a credit for what I spent and I re-ordered my Moochie print after dinking around with it pursuant to the instructions. I have no doubt I'll have a decent full-Moochie-headed picture soon to hang next to the half-suck Lifetouch picture of Chunky on the wall.

Now if only Verizon was a decent company that responded to their email inquiries as comprehensively...

But that's a different blog post for a different day!

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm Down With LCB...

...yeah you know me!

LCB? WTF is that, you might ask.

LCB is Kristi's Lansing Comfort Bear project.

Abbreviated version: You knit a bear for one of the members of the Lansing Po-Po to carry around in their trunk for any kid they may encounter on the job who needs a little something to snuggle.

After scouring various places on the web for a freebie teddy pattern, here's what I came up with.

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Pattern: Care Wear Bear

Yarn: Ummm...some kind of sport weight light brown acrylic in the stash.

Needles: US3

Notes: This is a very interesting pattern. It was modified from some old Norwegian knitting book according to the pattern description. He's cute. But the construction was different from what I'm used to.

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He's knit all in one piece. Sort of. You knit the first leg separate, then join them, and then cast on symmetrical stitches for the arms. Very interesting. Huh. And now that I'm thinking of it, why didn't I turn him inside out to seam his arms shut?

He's cute, but I have two problems with him.

1. He's kinda small--about 5" tall or so. I'm not sure how much comfort he'd really give; and
2. I think he looks like a cat!

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Either way--he'll soon be on his way to Lansing!

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

First FO of 2010

Last weekend, when I was out with Chris, Jen, Karen, and Christina the yarn store we met up in had these very intriguing DPN needle cases made by Lantern Moon.

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Photo courtesy of hmm...shoot, now where did I steal this picture from? Hmm...darn, I don't remember. Ha ha!

That's what they look like folded up. Here's what they look like open.

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Simply gorgeous and such a clever construction.

Price tag: $57.

Yikes.

I've been needing a new DPN case (remember my old VHS case case? It was getting too full and falling apart!) and figured I could sew myself one. However the typical rolls that are easy enough to make and you see for sale on etsy just weren't doing it for me.

What's a girl to do?

Why knock off a little Lantern Moon!

The outside:
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Note my cute little product model in the picture there. He would NOT get out of the shot. Ham!

The inside:
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All loaded up with DPNs and ready to go:
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Folded up and secured:
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On the dresser next to my Zonda-made interchangeable needle case:
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I am so happy with it!

There are some differences.

First, Lantern Moon uses some decadent silk. I just used three fat quarters and some plain pink fabric I had in my stash.

Second, Lantern Moon's closure is magnetic. I used a big-ass snap

I also made the mistake of underestimating how BIG of a circle I needed to use (the pizza pan was too small Karen!). Luckily I had a ginormous cookie/minicupcake tray in my cupboard that I used as a template for the main circle and closure flaps and I realized my first circles I traced using my pizza pan were too small before I cut!

That said, I probably could have gone with a bigger circle anyway because I do have one pair of DPNs that didn't fit in the holder. They're Plymouth and I think 8" long.

I'm still tickled with the results of this knock off!

I do want to kill my machine though. Every time the bobbin or the top-thread spool gets low on thread, the tension on The Beast goes all whacked out and the needle becomes unthreaded. I want to kill this machine. I'm seriously contemplating buying a new machine because no matter what I sew, I spend at least half the time wrestling with and cursing the machine and the other half actually sewing.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Some Burdens

Rebecca texted me yesterday to let me know that they've accounted for about 2/3rds of her family. Her aunt and a handful of cousins are OK. Homeless with some minor injuries, but OK.

They haven't heard from a few other family members, but they're holding out hope.

Thank god my burdens aren't that big and I've got my goofy goobers nearby all the time.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On Being Human

I go by many names.

One of those names--my "professional" name if you will--is Rebecca.

Because my firm likes to pretend they are Noah's Ark, there are lots of pairs (or even more sets) of people with the same names working there. This is how I met a girl named Rebecca at work.

She and I hit it off quite well. We had a lot in common.

She is the oldest of six kids.
I am the oldest of six kids.

I am from the far north.
She is from the tropics.

We have a similar sense of "down to earthiness" and a low tolerance for the shit the office Hens will cluck about.

In the winter she would whine about snow and ice while I laughed at her.
In the summer I would whine about heat and humidity while she laughed at me.

Rebecca doesn't work at my firm anymore--she went back to school to do something with her life! But she and I still keep in touch.

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A closeup of the mini-snow shovel I gave Rebecca as a going away present. She went to school in Cleveland where there exists the dreaded phrase: "lake effect snow." I figured she'd need something to dig out with!

I immediately though of her when I was driving to work today and I heard for the first time about the Haitian earthquake. When I said she hails from the tropics--she hails from Haiti specifically.

Things are pretty rough for Rebecca right now. They haven't been able to contact their family still living on the island.

I'm not a praying or a religious woman, but my heart goes out to Rebecca.

I grew up with memories of earthquakes--each time they hit the thought crosses your mind "Is this the big one?"

I grew up with physical reminders of the catastrophic quake of 1964. I don't ever want to imagine what it must be like to be Rebecca right now when it could very well could be me in her stylish shoes (we also share similar shoe-taste!) because about 90% of Everyone's Favorite Blog Family and Blog Family In Law still lives up in Alaska.

Now I'm not asking you to band together as Knitters and donate to my Charity that is not the Motorcycle Safety Foundation because well, golly, you're a knitter...and it's our moral duty to band together and help out for the common good!!!

Barf.

It's our moral duty as HUMANS. Not chicks and dudes who dig looping some string together with a pair of sticks.

Let's be real.

I don't care how much or if you donate or not--because seriously, times are tough and sometimes you have to concentrate on getting the oxygen mask on yourself before you can help others.

Quite honestly, I think the Haitians would be happy to get your donation when you've got some money to spare six, twelve or even years from now when the world has forgotten about this disaster of epic proportions and it's nothing more than a blurb of a news story every January 12th from hereon out.

So donate if you want--I donated $6.23 (my birthday), because quite honestly, until September rolls around, we're living paycheck to paycheck--or at least send a happy vibe to Haiti.

Not because you're a knitter.

Because you're human.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's A....

Finished pattern!

I give you The Jovie the Elf Knock Off Hat!!!


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Let me know if you can't see it. The other half is getting this schnit on the internets to show up right so everyone can see it!

ETA: This pattern has NOT been test knit. Proceed at your own risk. It's free. Whattya gonna do?

ETA (1/14): Ok, I updated the gauge information. I didn't stretch the K1, P1 ribbing when I measured the gauge. Oops.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

It's Almost Worse Than Childbirth

Ok, so not really.

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But crap, writing patterns is painful!

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Go For The Cookies

You should definitely go for the cookies and stay for the knitting, crafting and fun.

I love that cookie picture! When I grow up I wanna take pictures that pretty of my cookies!

Yes, it's a shameless promotion, but I love this magazine!

I can't wait to see it in the e-format. I'll covet my earlier print versions of KnitCircus, but e-mags seem to be the wave of the future.

Besides when you see the amazing projects they come up with that are knittable, edible, readable and otherwise, you'll realize that drool is much easier to wipe off keyboards than paper!

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Sometimes The Best Things Are Free

Growing up in Alaska, there was such a thing as "Second Christmas." This is what happened when the mail was so slow, the presents from Lower 48 relatives didn't arrive until well after Christmas.

Lemme tell you how much fun it is NOT to have to wait to open your Christmas presents!

This year however, not due to slow mail, but due to big-chain malarky, Chunky got to experience Second Birthday.

Everyone's Favorite Blog Mom ordered him this from Amazon and instructed them to ship it directly to our address:

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Legos + Starwars + Genetic Geekiness inherited from his father = One Happy Chunky!

She ordered it the beginning of November--there was plenty of time for it to get to us by November 27--Chunky's birthday.

Did we get it in time for his birthday?

Ding-dong, you're wrong.

Grandma called Amazon and spoke to their representatives in Bombay and they informed her they would ship it mid-December instead.

Ok, cool. I figured that would give Chunky something nice to have when the spotlight was on Moochie 100% for his birthday on December 19. Especially considering Moochie kinda stole the show in cuteness while eating Chunky's birthday cake.

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The middle of December came and went.

Grandma finally got pissed with all the excuses Amazon kept giving her for why it hadn't shipped and cancelled the order with Amazon and got her money back.

She figured they'd try to look for the book closer to home.

On December 22--nearly a month after Chunky's birthday I get the following email from Grandma:

Hey guess what? Good things come to people who wait!!! We got the book!!!
The only thing is it does not have the Luke Skywalker lego man that is suppose
to come with it. But the price was GOOD!!! 0000000000000000$$$$$$$$. Daddy went to a book store in Wasilla* and told the guy there what we went through and how we just gave up and thought that we should get Chunky something different. The guy told Daddy to give him his name and # and that he would search all his warehouses to see if he could find one. I guess the guy does the book fairs/sales for the schools in south central and so he has warehouses (storage units) close to the schools. Well...While Daddy was choosing a book for Blue Face Lester the guy came out of his back room and had this book...When Daddy went to pay for it the guy said "No charge"!!!!! Love, Mom

Pretty sweet huh?

I think Wendy was on to something with her chain-store challenge. Long live the local bookstore!

Chunky LOVES the dictionary and the other little something Grandma threw into the box:

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She made him a fleece-tie blanket. He wanted to go to bed a little early today so he could snuggle with it in bed! Ha ha!

Happy Second Birthday Chunky! And thanks Grandma and Grandpa!


*Home of the infamous bump-haired-crazy-baby-namin'-VP-wannabe!

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Friday, January 01, 2010

Snoozefest

Springs is curled up under the covers in my bed sound asleep.

Moochie is napping in his crib.

Squeaky is curled up in front of a bookcase snoozing.

Chunky is snoring on the couch.

Guess we all had a late night last night!

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While Dr. Mad Scientist was (and still is...although he did come home to sleep for a bit) at his all-night meeting, Chunky and I planted on the couch for an Office marathon on DVD.

We ate popcorn and drank hot chocolate and toasted the new year with sparkling cider.

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Today, we took down all the Christmas decorations and undecorated the tree.

One thing about buying a cut-your-own-tree: they come with free spiders! The star on top of the tree was looking pretty Halloween-y when I took it down--covered with cobwebs and a couple of dead spiders!

I haven't made any new year's resolutions, except for one.

Everyone's favorite blog mom gave us a really cute quilted Christmas wall hanging that, although it only hung up there for one week, looked amazing on the wall behind our computer.

Now that wall is really bare.

Therefore, I am resolved to get this old WIP done this year:

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Kinda frat-boy-man-cavey decor, and eventually when we have a house and Dr. Mad Scientist can have his man cave this is where it will go, but I think it will fit that bare wall just great.

Now, if you'll excuse me, three of my bosses gifted me some moolah for Xmas and I'm eyeing fiber clubs...do I dare? I should probably spread out the splurging throughout the year, but it's fun to surf!

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