Friday, February 29, 2008

And that's Exactly what Happened evening was a bit interesting.

First, I had my hair cut down to 2 inches (yay!). Second, I knitted on a baby hat. Third, I talked to my parents and learned that my dad needs back surgery pronto (murrrr!). Fourth, I talked to Porkchop. Fifth, a dually pickup smashed up a half dozen cars on my street and then a guy across the street came out with a gun and shot at the pickup. And then there were police cars and the police helicopter.

No, seriously, that's what happened. Here's a shot of a couple of the cars from my porch. Notice how much the pickup in the picture was moved - it was originally parked parallel to the curb. Also, the car behind the pickup has been pushed up onto the grassy strip between the sidewalk and the curb.

Yeah, this happened REALLY close to my apartment. Also, I nearly parked on that part of the street, but decided at the last moment to take a spot on the upper part of the street. So glad I did.

Porkchop and I were Skyping, and she was starting to read me her letter of application for the second year of Tamarind. She was a few sentences into it when I heard: VROOOMMMMMSMASSSHHHHSMASSSHHHHHVROOOOOOM SMASSSHHHHHHHVROOOOOOMMMMM

A bit distracted, I turned my head at the noise, trying to figure it out. Porkchop asked what was going on, to which I replied, "I don't know, it sounds like a truck is running into all the cars on the street."

Porkchop started reading again, and then we heard, " POP....POP ....POP....POP... POP...POP." Porkchop said, "Are those gunshots?!" And I said, "I don't know, maybe."

Porkchop started reading again, but I had to cut her off because I could hear lots of people talking outside and I wanted to go see what happened.

I was floored to realize that a truck HAD gone down the street, smashing cars, and that a guy came out of one of the 4-flat buildings and started shooting at the truck.


Police cars arrived quite quickly, and the police asked us to stand on our porches because they were bringing in a canine cop (why, I don't know. Is the dog going to pick up the scent of the TRUCK? Of course, maybe they're sniffing for drugs.)

Not too long afterwards, the police helicopter started searching the area. And now nearly our entire block is cordoned off.

Crazy! CRAZY!!!!

After finishing talking to Porkchop, I had to call Beth and Katie so that I could hear Beth say, "What?! WHAT?!"

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'm either an Old Man or Hillary Clinton

I stayed home from work today, and this is what I did.

I'm much more amused by my first results on the top.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I have a Bad Attitude

I've become loosely involved in planning a work baby shower. "Loosely" as in I made the room reservation and I had to send out the email invitation because the person who was supposed to do that has been out of town and sick.

Now people are emailing me asking where to buy things and is there a gift list (even thought I included the list in the freaking email invitation) and are we collecting cash (again, in the original email) and blah blah blah.

I'm biting my tongue against saying what I really think about this. The sanitized version is that "shower planner" is not in my job description, and people need to read their emails more closely.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sweet Jesus, I Made a Sleeve

While it's not without some minor problems, I'm quite proud of this:

The shoulder and sleeve seams took an embarrassingly long time because I would make a few stitches (slowly, slowly), look at my progress, make sure things were still lined up, and then do a few more slow stitches.


Also, this Peruvia yarn is so sticky, it's hard to see the bars for the mattress stitch. And if you need to rip out any of the seam....forget it. And, finally, it does shred. Fortunately, this only happened to me at the end of the seams.

I hope I have time tomorrow to finish the other whole sleeve. But, you know, I might like to venture outside of the apartment for something (Okay, I'm exaggerating. I was only in the seam zone for under two and half hours. Only. And I did leave the apartment today for a couple of baked goods from Veruca, which is a great little bake shop attached to Niche.)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oh, the Pigeon

Tonight I tried to do the Royal Pigeon, and it kicked my ass.

I'm not quite near this:

But, I still love Yoga Today. Because you can't beat a new free yoga session every day.

I'm off to reassemble my body now.

All Fancy and Shit

Okay, I'm trying to embed the video of the transformer cha-cha (yeah...I'm a bit behind in some technology).

Gosh, this makes me happy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dancing Robots Make me Happy

I stayed home from knitting tonight, and although I missed the knitting company, I'm glad I stayed in.

Last night was quite sleepless, so today I was in a zombie-like state. Even though I felt better on the bus ride home and convinced myself that I should continue on to knitting, I scared myself when I looked in the mirror and saw that I looked like death warmed over. Seriously, I looked at myself and exclaimed, holy shit! So I stayed home.

Despite the tiredness, this has been a good evening....I did some cleaning chores that had been annoying me (like dusting the fan in the bedroom - I hate dusty fans) and I had many comfort foods. These foods were a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (especially tasty on sprouted flourless whole wheat berry bread), ginger tea (the real kind made by simmering sliced ginger root), and popcorn topped with nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper.

I also knitted a tiny bit on the duster - doing a bit of finishing around the buttonholes and weaving in some ends. I read up on attaching sleeves, contemplated this activity, and then emailed Rebecca-who-loves-seaming and basically said, what the heck?

I understand how to attach the top part of the sleeve to the shoulder, but I don't understand how to finish out the rest of the armhole opening. None of the tutorials I found elaborated on this tiny little detail.

OH YEAH....the title of this post!

I also watched some of the American ballroom dancing championships that PBS has been showing and re-showing lately. Tonight's line-up included the Latin Dancing section, which was FANTASTIC. The couple who won the show dance were dressed as transformers, and they did this crazy robot-transformer-cha-cha number. It was freaking amazing.

Parents can be Frustrating

Thanks for the well wishes for my mom!

She went home yesterday and is super-tired and still apparently having vomiting spells.

In a brief email, my dad mentioned that one of the doctors said it might be an e. coli infection. My dad noted that my mom didn't want him to mention this to us kids so as to not upset us.

So frustrating on many counts!

First, I'm more upset (angry, even) when my parents don't offer full disclosure. Secondly, I'm frustrated that the doctors are so vague and that my parents don't demand more information. Thirdly, I'm here and can't pump the doctor for more information (as a sidenote....when I asked the doctor at the hospital if my mom would be receiving anti-nausea meds in addition to antibiotics, the doctor said to me, "hey, I'm working here." WTF? I was going to respond with something equally snarky, but you know, my mom was lying there in pain.)

In other news, the collar of my duster is done. I just need to add buttons and figure out how to attach the sleeves.

Also, I went to a yoga class last night and felt good when I could do crow and side crow while others struggled with the poses. And then I felt bad for feeling good. But, I have this yoga-at-home complex thing. Like I must not be as advanced as people who go to classes regularly.

Monday, February 18, 2008

An Unexpected Turn of Events

On Friday morning, my dad called me as I was starting my drive to Jonesboro to let me know that my mom had a bad case of the flu and had suffered from chills and vomiting the night before.

My mom definitely seemed rough, like she was getting over the flu, when I arrived. Since she seemed like she was getting better, my dad and I went on to the Reba and Kelly concert (I will post a picture or two later). Our seats were really great, and Reba and Kelly closed the concert with "Fancy," which was totally awesome.

Not awesome was the fact that my mom was still sick on Saturday. And we're talking SICK. Not just "sick." SICK.

My dad finally convinced her around noon to let us take her to a walk-in clinic. We had to wait nearly an hour and a half before the doctor could see her. The wait was horrible because my mom felt so bad and nearly started crying a couple of times because she had planned so many things for us to do this weekend and we couldn't do any of them.

Fortunately, things went relatively quickly once she was called back. After her lab work was analyzed, the doctor surprised us all by telling us that my mom actually had a really bad kidney infection and needed to get to the hospital right away!

The hospital wasn't too far from the clinic, and they weren't very busy, so my mom was admitted pretty quickly. After that, the attending doctor visited and let my mom know in no uncertain terms that she would be there for a few days, then the lab person came for more blood, and then nurses came for vitals and to insert the IV (which was incredibly hard and painful....murrr). My dad and I left that evening....nearly 6 hours after we started our trip to the clinic.

My mom looked a lot better when we stopped by Sunday morning, even though she had had several fever spikes during the night. But she was totally wiped out when we came back after lunch because another episode of chills started soon after we had left.

Unfortunately, my brother and I had to leave in the afternoon. I thought about staying for another day, but I really would need to stay for another week because she isn't leaving the hospital today. I'll probably just go back this coming weekend.

The good news this morning is that she is eating some food and she hasn't had any more chills, just fever spikes.

What a weird weekend! Also, this will be a very memorable 65th birthday for dad (it was yesterday).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Am I Really so Common?

Last month, I kept receiving emails from someone who I didn't know, asking me questions like, "So, where are you and John now? Have you received the presents? When do you come back to the house?"

I responded at least three times, kindly pointing out that the emails were not reaching the intended recipient and that they should double-check the address. Unfortunately, this person would not believe that I was a different Carrie F____. I finally had to be very forceful and essentially write, I don't know who the eff you are, I'm not in your sorority, don't ever flipping email me again. The person FINALLY believed me.

Now I'm starting to receive other misdirected emails. Since last night, I've received three. One was a resume, accompanied by the line, "thanks lady!"; the other one was someone writing to her boss, saying that she had a doctor's appointment and would be late, but was still looking forward to the lunch meeting; and finally my favorite, "what's your day like? can you do a delivery for me?"

Originally, I wasn't going to respond to the first two, but the third one made me realize that someone (someone named Casey) is obviously giving out a wrong email address! Since I don't want these people writing to me AGAIN with things like, "hey, I need you to do a delivery for me," I responded with a brief email stating that they have the wrong email address.

So....yeah, that's my excitement in life. Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Watch Out for those VDs

Porkchop and I don't exchange presents on Valentine's Day because we feel obligated, we do it because we like to give each other presents.

This was a yoga-themed Valentine's Day. I gave Porkchop a yoga mat and strap so that she can do yoga in New Mexico. When I arrived home today, I found Porkchop's present waiting for me in the mail: a 10-pack pass to Southtown Yoga.


(I sent the hearts to Porkchop as well.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Maybe It's Nothing

Okay, maybe I blew things out of proportion earlier today.

Here is the left side - the correct side:

Here is the right side - the incorrect side:

Here is what was worrying me on the right (incorrect side):

But it's also on the left (correct) side:

I guess this just happens when there is a make 1 and then the ribbing starts? I have no idea.

I don't think I'm going to reknit it...because the wonkiness seems the same on both sides.

A BIG Correction
A Raveler just confirmed that WEB recommends doing these side panel increases as M1R, M1L (which, um, makes sense). So, what I thought was correct was actually wrong and vice versa. Everything above in this post should be read in the reverse sense.

So there you have it. I'm officially a bit off in the head.

Please excuse the dramatics.

Today Makes Me Want to Scream

I just had to listen to someone recounting a bad dream in which their clothes were a size 12 (this person is maybe a size 4 in reality).

I said that there was nothing wrong with a size 12 (hint, hint, you're offending me), and the person replied that they had never been a double digit before.

Anyway, the tone really nearly set me off into crazy-land.

Size 12 is perfectly reasonable and not a cause for alarm in any way. I'm a solid size 10 and still wear my old size 12 jeans.

You want double digits? I'll show you double digits!

(wish I had a picture of me flipping double birds)

100% Sure Now

Yes, I am a knitting idiot.

There's no uncertainty about it, I screwed up the increases on the right-side panel.

I really want to crawl under a rock right now and maybe throw up.

Moment of Truth

There is the very real possibility that, in trying to be smart with using M1Ls and M1Rs as suggested in the WEBS tips and tricks, I totally effed up one of the side panels on my Tilted Duster.

The panel NOT pictured in my previous post.

Yes, I'm pretty sure I messed it up, but I'll have to look at the panel closely tonight.

Oh well, there is no turning back now. There's no way in hell I'm reknitting that skirt (unless it looks seriously bad!, which surely I would have noticed before now, right?).


Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's Sunday Night Already?

Geez, this weekend has FLOWN. I hate having just a 2-day weekend.

Here's what I've been up to...

Friday Night
Bought a new set of tires, had them installed, had my car aligned, and had the oil changed. All within an hour and a half! With the new tires and alignment, my car is no longer so scary to drive.

I didn't think I would have it in me Friday night, but I continued with my one-repeat-section-a-night plan.

My Saturday morning was full of some craftiness, yoga, mopping, and going to the post office. Since I was determined to squeeze so much into my morning, I was a bit late to the Cupid's Tea that Michelle from knitting hosted.

Yay for chocolate fountains! And vintage Valentine cards, industrial glue guns, and general crafting fun. I made two cards when I wasn't dipping things under the flowing chocolate.

Once again, I managed another repeat section on my Duster....I was definitely losing steam at this point.

I also went to Whole Foods and lost my shit over the bulk foods section and grapes. I felt so bad buying the grapes because I know they are shipped from Chile and have a huge carbon footprint, but I haven't bought grapes in over two months! I lost my willpower last night.

I really plan on sticking to Local Harvest from now on because, apparently, I can't handle myself around gas-guzzling temptations. However, I'm proud to report this is my third week without buying bananas. Instead, I either eat granola made by the folks at Black Bear Bakery (our local anarchist bakery collective), or I make enough steel-cut oatmeal for the week and warm it up in the morning.

I spent a large part of my morning (trying) to make newspaper pots for tomato seedlings.

I started with trying to make round pots and quickly became disgruntled by the messy bottoms. After some research online, I found my solution: origami boxes.

This is a good tutorial. But American potmakers beware...the tutorial uses an Asian newspaper, the pages of which are more squarish than American newspapers. If you follow the directions using an unmodified American newspaper, you won't be able to make the box.

I played around with some options for a square piece of paper. First I tried half of a newspaper page, but that was WAY too small. Next, I used a page from a Sauce magazine....still too small. Then I did this to the newspaper to get a bigger square:

I cut around the edges of the folded part to get a square. This was the winning method!

Here is the progression of newspaper pot making:

I was using the wine bottle to make the round pots (no, I wasn't hitting the bottle at 10:00 am!).

This photo illustrates how a little bit bigger beginning square affects the size of the finished box:

I'm going to stick with the size on the far right. The boxes are far easier than trying to form the newspaper into a round pot bottom. Also, the square shape will make it easier to arrange the containers on a tray.

After figuring out the boxes, I exercised and then made a chicken tajine for lunch:

I used this recipe in Sauce with a few modifications. Instead of two pounds of chicken, I used one pound each of chicken and potatoes. I also added bulgar towards the end of the cooking time so that I didn't have to cook some sort of grain separately. This dish smelled so awesome while it was cooking! I generally like the taste, but I'm disappointed that it isn't more olive-y (guess I could add more olives next time). Also, I used purple potatoes because I thought they would make a pretty contrast to the green olives; however, the turmeric turned everything a light orange-y color.

After lunch, I met up with the Sunday knitters at Hartford. Since there was a music performance that started around 4:30, a few of us continued knitting at one of the other knitter's house. A great house on Utah, to boot!

Once I returned home, I only had to knit one more row on my Duster, and then I was ready to bind off the skirt. FINALLY!!

Since one of my readers posted concerns about the Duster looking too small in a previous post, I'm including some pictures here.

Here I am trying to show on one side how the skirt will open up when I block it:

You might think that the top part looks a bit skimpy, but don't worry. There will be five inches of ribbing added all around when I do the collar. The sleeves will be attached after I do the collar.

Here's a side view (I'm pulling on the skirt a little bit).

I'm quite pleased with the fit, and I can't wait to finish it entirely. I hope to block it at the beginning of next week.

Have a good night and a great Monday!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Taking Back my Complaints

The shooting at the Kirkwood City Council meeting tonight is tragically unbelievable.

I feel bad for complaining about my piddly workday.

Also, why didn't ABC interrupt the two hours of Lost to report on this?


My head is about to explode.

Can't wait to go home and do yoga.

Free-Floating Anxiety

Sometimes I'm anxious without knowing that I'm anxious.

Last night I had the following anxiety-ridden dreams:
  1. First, I dreamt that someone (most likely my downstairs neighbors) had knocked over my wormbin in the basement. Worms were making a run for it and escaping down the basement drain. I swore up a storm, which caused my neighbor to come down and tell me I was stupid for having worms. The good thing was that, once I righted the bin, the worms started coming back. Also, the worms were HUGE and a bit gross.
  2. I finished the skirt on my Duster (yay!), but when I tried it on, it didn't fit at all and looked horrible (damn!).

I hope neither dream comes true.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Lentil Love

For the past few weeks, things have been a bit slow for me at work. Today, I suddenly had a million things to do.

It's as though people forgot about me for about a month.

Now suddenly everyone needs an agenda formatted or a million tables prettied up.

Anyway, this is what I had for dinner last night and lunch today:

Red lentil loaf and roasted beets.

I've had a ton of red lentils lately. Friday night, I made a dal, to which I added thighs from some local pasture-raised chickens. [Sidenote - The chicken is from Higher Calling Farms. Have I once again been plied food connected to religious conservatism?] The dal was delicious and spicy - yum, yum, yum.

Before and after dinner last night, I had a bit of ice cream:

I only wish that I also had some cinnamon ice cream.

Yesterday, I went to a performance by a local chamber music ensemble, Configurations. It was good music and good company, and I must remember to go to the April concert. During the combined 7 movements, I was able to finish 7 rows on my Duster, so I only had to do 1 row at home to finish a repeat section.

Tonight, I knitted another section during Antiques Roadshow and American Experience (which was a really good episode about Grand Central station). I really hope to finish a section each night this week.

We'll see.

Good night!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Knitting the Night Away

While Porkchop is hanging out in Denver tonight, I've been watching old home movies and knitting. I feel quite fortunate that my parents had a movie camera in the 60s and 70s, so I'm able to see and hear my grandparents and other now deceased relatives.

My favorite segment in the movies is my parents when they were probably around 26 or 27. They're wearing cowboy boots and hats (non-ironically for my dad), and my dad is twirling a handgun around in his hand (um, I know - I think it belonged to my dad's dad because he's also in the scene, lounging on a car and smoking a cigarette). The best part is when my mom pretends to kick my dad with her boots. Seriously, it's hilarious.

I also love seeing my dad hop onto horses and ride them around bareback. It always takes me a second to remember that he grew up with his own horse.

Anyway, I've also been knitting. Here was the duster this morning:

After consulting with Rebecca, I decided to do fake grafting. Okay, these aren't the best seams around because, for one thing, I think I was drawing my yarn incorrectly during part of it. But, they are okay...see:

Obviously, I need some more practice. The other things that messed up the neatness were the decreases and bound off edges on the shoulders.

Here's what Keetah thinks of the duster:

Yes, a bit desperate for attention, aren't we:

After the photo shoot, I had brunch at La Dolce Via and knitted a few more rows. Then, I went to Knitorious to pick up a size 10 Addi, buttons to finish my headigan, and yarn for my next project (a super cute baby hat!).

My next stop was Home Eco, where I picked up some Biokleen spray cleaner. Home Eco is a great little store! With the cleaners, you can take in your empty cleaner and fill it up from a big bucket made from concentrate. So, you can reuse your cleaner bottle AND receive 20% off. Deal!

I also picked up a new lunch container. Next week, I'll start using this instead of Ziploc containers:

Shiny, eh?

Using this means I have to take a plate and bowl to work (because the metal is non-microwaveable, of course), which means I'll stop heating up my meals in Ziploc containers.

No more ingesting toxic plastic compounds! Yay!

Okay, kids, it's been a long day and I'm tired. Good night!

PLEASE pet me is what Keetah says.