Monday, January 30, 2006

Ahh, yes. Monday.



Well, it's officially over a week now since I quit smoking. I'm still happy with how everything is going.

The only thing that is irritating to me is this pain I have in my chest and back on the left side. I guess when I was last sick I managed to pull some significant muscles in my chest and back from all the coughing I did. At least that's what the doctors think...I had chest x-rays and an ekg and bloodwork done, including them sticking a needle right into an artery in my wrist. THAT sucked ass. Anyway, they couldn't find anything, which I suppose is good to know.

Would be just my luck to quit smoking and then have them find something awful. So on one hand, it's nice to know that there's nothing horrifying going on. On the other hand, I can't really do much until whatever these muscles are that I pulled, are healed a bit more. Once that stops, then I'll really feel a lot better. Until then, I'm just going to worry. ><

I can knit, though. :) So maybe I can actually get some progress made on this silly sock I've been picking at.

And speaking of knitting, I was really excited to find that Vogue's Knit.1 Magazine has now gone subscription based, and you can sign up over the internet. I like the magazine because most projects are based on the Lion Brand yarn. Lion Brand is pretty nice because they have a large variety of yarns available, and they aren't very expensive.

While I do appreciate the joys of a really nice yarn, there's nothing more frustrating to me than to find a pattern in a magazine that I really like, only to go hunting for the yarn they used and discovering that the yarn is incredibly expensive. I don't like the idea of paying $200 + in yarn just to make a sweater...and if I were to do that, this sweater better kick some serious ass.

Anyway, I dig the magazine, there's always more than one thing in there that I think I need to knit, and they're always cute and current patterns.

And with this magazine, at least I don't have to worry about refinancing my house or living on Top Ramen for a month just to knit something they're featuring.

This weekend, I made an incredible discovery on the net.

omg Needlecraft University omg!

See, around here, if you're lucky enough to find a knitting class, it's usually one that just teaches basic knitting. That, and I'd probably have to drive at least a half hour away, and then pay a shit ton of money. I don't need a basic knitting class, I don't want to have to drive cross country to find a class, and if I spend a shit ton of money on a knitting class, I wouldn't have any money left to feed my yarn habit.

This place though, is perfect for me. Classes are taught online, there are message boards and support for people in the class, you get a list of the things you'll need to do the class before you even register, and you work at your own pace pretty much, and it seems to me that they offer plenty of time to get the projects completed. That, and the average class is between $16 and $20.

So! I plan on taking the basic crochet class, which is free. I think that I'm going to have to figure out how to crochet at least a little bit, in order to further my knitting skills. When I was a kid, my mom taught me how to make a crochet chain. I was good at that...made a chain that could have gone around the outside of our entire house, I bet. Anything beyond that though, was hard for me to figure out, so maybe this time around, I can get the concept and use it. My mom used to crochet a lot when I was a kid, and I still have a blanket that my great-grandmother made for me before I was even born...so part of me feels obligated to learn how.

Then the first knitting class I'm going to take is the "Get Twisted" class that starts Feb. 25th, which will be a great way to learn a bunch of new cable stitches in one shot and have something to show for it in the end. Then, there are a few sock classes. I kinda want to stick to one class at a time, but by the time I'm done I plan on taking all those sock classes. :) Then there's a triangular lace shawl class that I think will be a great way to get me ready to do the lace diamond shawl I have that's begging to be started but that I'm a tad intimidated to start on.

The nice thing is that it seems that most every class they offer is something that will allow me to learn more and to gain more confidence, and it will also be a nice way for me to "meet" other knitters, since there isn't much going on around where I live that allows me to do any of that...so this will be totally perfect for me.

I'm *pretty* sure too, that they run the classes over and over again...so if I miss a particular class this time around, I can just do another class while I wait for the first class to restart.

I'm excited. I'm confident that Phil is too. In fact, when I announced to him that I was going to take EVERY SINGLE CLASS THAT THEY OFFER, I'm positive that I saw a tear come from his eye. And I'm sure that it could only have been a tear of joy. Right? :)

Well, I guess I just don't have anything else exciting to report today, and I already filled my bitch and rant quota up for probably the entire month, so I'm going to head off, register for the twisted class, and get some more coffee.

Have a nice day :)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Update on the Book of Daniel

I have been travelling around to miscellaneous message boards taking my non-smoking aggression out on people who are gloating about being involved in the cancellation of this show.

I know it's not going to bring the show back, but it made me feel better. Today I've already been through the shower, done two loads of laundry, offended a bunch of people, been called "a spawn of satan", called a bunch of other people ignorant bullies, and I've made myself one Hell of a ham sandwich, and it's not even noon yet.

I rock.

Apparently, they think that dictating what other people watch on TV is a victory. I think it's self-serving and ignorant. I mean, if I have to sit and watch Pat Robertson be a total idiot every time he opens his mouth, the least they can do is let me have one stinking show.

If you don't like it, change the channel. Otherwise, stfu.

Anyway, if anyone is interested, they will be showing the un-aired episode tonight, but ONLY online. You can catch it at 8 est, over here:

http://www.nbc.com/The_Book_of_Daniel/index.shtml

There are also posts on the message board about petitions, and phone numbers you can call if you feel like yelling at someone.

It would be absolutely terrific to see this show continue under HBO's wing, or as a podcast or at the very minimum, on DvD.

Day 5!!




Well, it's finally Friday.

Not sure why, but this week just seemed to go on and on.

This is the 5th day since I quit smoking. I'm still quite pleased with how easy it's been. Even Phil mentioned last night how well he thought I was doing. I think the poor guy is just grateful that no one has been hurt and that nothing has been broken this time around.

I already notice a difference. For one, my clothes and my hair don't smell like smoke anymore. My skin is starting to clear up a bit, it looks better. I'm still a tad bit stuffed up from my last cold, but things smell different and taste different to me. And oddly enough, I can't remember the last time I have had so much energy. I can't remember the last time I felt this well. Now all I need is for the muscles I pulled in my chest and back when I was last sick to feel better, and I'm good to go.

My only really difficult times are when I sit at the computer, and shortly after dinner. I haven't been logged into the game much because of this and I know I'm going to have to just figure out how to deal with it eventually, but for right now I'm sticking to short computer trips.

Everything else has been oddly...pleasant. It's a lot easier to not have Phil smoking in the house.

Sadly, I don't have much knitting news today. I've been working on the same sock darn near all week, and I've been starting to dream every night about knitting up my other projects, so I'm going to have to get cracking at it. :)

I have however, managed to get a ton of laundry done that I've been putting off. I even cleaned out the fridge...and the night BEFORE garbage day instead of thinking of it the day after garbage day like I usually do.

This weekend I think I want to hit WallyWorld to see if they have anything to help out with our lack of storage space in this house...and I also want to pick up a few houseplants to torture and eventually kill. Can you imagine, three years of horticulture, and I don't have any plants in my house because I can't keep anything alive?

It seems that I just don't have anything remotely interesting to write about. I know that if I'm getting distracted just trying to write this, that it must be even more miserable for someone to read.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Book of Daniel cancelled because people cry too much.

Was I the only person who watched this show that didn't have to call someone to cry and complain about it? Am I the only person in the whole world who knows how to pick up a remote control and change the channel when something's on that I don't want to watch?

Before this show ever aired, they hyped it up quite a bit with a lot of commercials for it. I looked forward to the premier, and made sure my ass was firmly planted in front of the TV when it aired.

And I dug it. I really really did.

And for the next two weeks, I looked forward to it being on.

Apparently, other people found it offensive. Apparently, they're too freaking stupid to figure out how to change the channel. Apparently, they have huge sticks up their asses but they somehow managed to convince NBC that the sky was going to fall if it aired again. People raised such a stink about it that network affiliates were pulling the show off their local air, and sponsors were pulling their commercials.

The idea of a disfunctional priest in a disfunctional household is much more real and believable to me than a Mr. Perfect priest with a family that is perfect with some Norman Rockwell life. I don't care who you are or what you do, because no matter what, life is going to happen, and no family is perfect.

I guess in this case, it's easier for some folks to stick their heads in the sand and believe that every show with a minister in it should be portrayed in some wholesome light, but I wish that they would have just changed the channel like I spend a lot of time doing every Sunday morning, instead of crying and sniffling and getting the show cancelled.

Jerks.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Not much blogging today...

Our internet was rather boofy today, I could get some places on the net and not others, like HERE.

Now it looks like there's going to be some downtime for Blogspot, so I'm just going to wait til tomorrow and try again.

Day three of not smoking. I haven't killed one person.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Nicotine deprived rant enclosed. Run for your life.


So, I'm on day two of not smoking. I expect that I will find that yesterday will have been the hardest day to get through, so I'm interested in how today will play out.

It's been so much easier this time than any other time I have quit, and I'm not sure why. There's only been one time that I've made it past the first day, and that was for a few weeks, and I remember crying and being a total raging bitch that first day-even my cat was threatening to pack up his shit and leave.

It's making me a bit nervous that I didn't have that at all on my first day. This time, I decided to get past the "try to quit smoking" idea, and just put the fact in my mind that I'm not trying to quit anymore, and that I already have.

It's kind of weird...the urge to have a cigarette will just pop into my head out of the blue, for no reason at all. It's literally like a timer goes off about every half hour in my brain that says "DING!!! Cigarette!!" and all day yesterday all I could really think of when that happened was how weird it was, because it was really the first time I was aware of that happening.

Then, I have my habits that trigger my wanting one. Talking on the phone is a big one, but the absolute worst is sitting at this computer. Early mornings are no problem for me, I can usually go about my normal routine without having a cigarette first thing. After meals shouldn't be bad either.

No panic, no bitching, no patches or nicotine gum, no obsessing like I have in the past. It's a lot different.

I will admit that I'm feeling a little ditzy. Concentrating on something is hard from time to time, I expect that to go away, and I expect that staying on topic on my blog should prove to be interesting, lol.

So enough of that. I wasn't even going to blog about it, but then I decided that if I wrote a little bit each day about it, it would be a good reinforcement. That, and I'd feel like a total asstard if I had to post that I had started again.

I was sifting through knitting blogs the other night, and ran across this knitting related thread on a Christian forum. It appears that their board is down for maintenence as I post this, but maybe it will be back up later.

I wish I can remember where I found this, but I neglected to bookmark that particular blog :/ and I only bookmarked the thread itself for entertainment purposes.

(Edit: Was driving me crazy that I couldn't find the link to the blog I originally found the link on, so I dug around and found it. He's male, he knits, and he's married. To a woman. Go check out his blog: Yarnboy )

The thread is about whether boys should be taught to knit, and I'm really suprised at how some of the people responded. One person's initial response was simply, "Jesus didn't knit." This kind of made me laugh, but then as I read on, it was clear that there were quite a few people on this board who clearly were against guys who knit...threatening they would ground their kid if they ever caught them knitting..that it was basically "women's work" and not something that is done by a respectful man.

I'm not much of a religious person, I never have been. I could go into the why's and how's of it but that doesn't really matter right this minute...but in the end, I try hard to be respectful of people and their religions, probably more so than they respect someone like me, hehe.

The more I think about it, I don't know if people think guys shouldn't knit because of religion, because of ignorance, or because of both. Is this a religiously based anti-gay opinion? Or are people really that stupid?

It seems that people are convinced that picking up knitting needles makes you gay. Someone said they would ground their kid for doing it. You ground your kid for smoking, for shitty grades, for wrecking the car, for skipping school, for talking back...but picking up knitting needles? Seriously?

While I'm sure that there are gay men who knit, I know that at the same time, there are plenty of straight men who knit, for all sorts of reasons. I know that a lot of religions have a pretty distinct stance against gays, and I'm sure that has a lot to do with some of the ridiculous comments on this particular forum.

Some of my oldest and dearest friends are gay. Some really influential people in my lifetime have been gay. I can say with absolute certainty that they didn't knit, and even if they did, I am positive that I would not be terrified at the sight of them knitting...unless they were going to try to fight me for the good yarn. Gotta have your priorities straight.

Then, we just have people who are just fucking stupid, like the idiot who showed up and announced "Jesus didn't knit" as if that was going to solve the whole debate.

Can anyone find any reference in the bible that says the guy didn't knit? Ok, so the guy was busy turning water into wine and walking on water and feeding thousands of hungry people with just a couple loaves of bread and a couple ratty ol' fish, but who says he never had time to knit? Maybe his feet were cold after walking on water, and he needed a pair of Jaywalkers to keep warm.

And you know, who cares if the guy didn't knit, because there is plenty of history that refers to men knitting, all over the world and in my humble opinion, if you're too stupid to know anything about men knitting in history, then you have absolutely no business responding on a thread and talking out your ass about whether it's respectable or not.

So, I'm going to wrap this up today with a history lesson.

Men knitting

Uber macho samurai knitted. No lie.

Toodles!!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Whoa.



I got up this morning, looked out the window, and I was confused as to what month it was.

Apparently, we're supposed to hit close to 60 degrees today. What a trip.

I'm not sure if I posted about our dryer when it went tits up, but we recently had to get a replacement. It was two Fridays ago, and I know this because we've dutifully put our old dryer at the curb to be picked up on the Bulk Pick up day, expecting them to pick it up and take it away, like they have with every other bulk item we've put out there in the last seven years.

Today, I stood with my nose pressed to the window as I watched the garbage guys once again pick up our garbage while leaving the dryer sitting there.

After hitting the town website, I discovered that you have to make appointments to have "white" goods hauled away. An appointment. Like what you make when you have to go to the doctor or get your hair done.

So I called them to make this...appointment. The nice fellow on the other end of the phone told me that they would be happy to stop by and pick it up next week. Next week? Another week of looking at this dryer sitting on my property, and I'm calling to order me a double wide and a pile of old tires to go along with it.

"Oh my, and I just hauled that big ole thang right out there to the edge of my driveway. I just don't think I can drag it all the way back in again by myself!" I told the guy in my best helpless but very cute female voice.

"Oh no, don't do that ma'am!" Mr. Appointment guy said. I heard a rustle of papers and he said "Tell you what, we'll stop by and pick that up today. I'll do it personally!"

Oh, I bet you will, Mr. Appointment guy. And I've already closed my blinds and made sure everything was locked and I'm hiding in my puter room 'til the dang dryer is gone.

Ha.

I was just sifting through my iTunes, and I'm pretty sure that I have the most bizarre collection of music on the face of the earth.

It appears that I've managed to gather every one hit wonder song from the 80's. Yup, pretty sure I haven't missed anything there. Then there's the hair bands from the 80's and early 90's. Bands no one has heard of because I was the only one who bought their album...on cassette tape. Classical? Tons of that. Movie soundtracks? Disco? Techno? Yup, got those, too. Heavy metal? Check. Death metal? Of course. I have like, 3.25 gigs of crap that would make most people say "WTF?"

I have almost every song I have ever loved on my computer. Despite this, I still have a monstrous bin downstairs filled with cassette tapes. Sure, there are some things I have that no one cares about enough to put out on CD, but the rest of it, well, I'm not really sure why I hang on to it. I mean, the bin itself is huge, it's taking up space. I think about going through those tapes and trashing them pretty much every time I walk by the bin, but I just haven't been able to muster the strength to finally do it.

Some of it is just sentimental crap. Like the Madonna karaoke tape that my friend Herb and I rolled coins to go buy in high school, got really really stoned, and then sped down the road in his little beat up Rabbit with the windows down, screaming the songs at the top of our lungs. /hides head in shame.

God, I miss him.

The really weird thing though, is that my son has no idea what a cassette tape is. All he's ever known, are CDs. Coming from someone who proudly owned a record player and more than one Sesame Street RECORD before I was his age, I find this really bizarre. I mean, I even remember 8-tracks. My dad had an entire Neil Diamond collection on 8-track, and I remember that he actually had an adapter that would play 8-tracks in a cassette tape slot in his car.

Holy shit. I'm getting old.

Off for another cup o java. Have a nice weekend. :)

Thursday, January 19, 2006


I just can't think of something witty or halfway intelligent to put up as a title today.

Voila, a knitting related picture!!

On the right, is the new sock--the replacement for the vomit sock that I frogged last week in disgust. The yarn is called "Dancing" from Knitpicks. The colors in this yarn are MUCH better than that last sock I did, and I have to say, I kinda dig the yarn itself. I only got two balls of it just to make a pair of socks but I will definitely be picking more of this up after I let myself off my yarn diet.

I figure that if you're going to spend a lot of time handling something and looking at it, you'd better like it. This time around, I do. Anyway, I'm about to turn the heel on the sock.

To the left is the yarn that I'm using for Sebastian's pullover. I just cast on for this and I'm only a few rows into it, but I think that they are colors that will look nice on him, should he be brave enough to wear this. :) The yarn is Lorna's Laces shephard worsted, and the color is Nightwatch. I just took another look at the picture, guess I missed the cat hair when I took the pic. So it's 99% Lorna's laces, and apparently 1% George. /sighs

While I was sick, I somehow managed to lose track of my favorite measuring tape. It's a sheep, you pull his tail and the measuring tape comes out, squeeze his stomach and the tape rolls back in. Anyway, it's missing. No clue where it went, and I'm lost without it. In fact, now that I think about it, I'm missing a bunch of row counters as well. Usually I know where everything is, but this week has been a cycle of going to look for something, not being able to find it, but finding something you were looking for two days ago that you don't need anymore. It really pisses me off.

I'm pretty sure that these items have slipped into what I call "The Void." The Void is where all my missing socks are living.

I went through all my yarn and crap last week and organized it. Not sure this was the right thing to do. Everything looks so neat, but now I can't find a damned thing. I really should have known better. I don't function well with neat and organized, and I never have.

The weather here has been nuts the last few days. Crazy winds have downed power lines and literally uprooted trees this past weekend. The corner where Sebastian's bus stop was shut down for all of Monday because someone's tree fell, took out power lines, and ended up smooshing the back end of the neighbor's truck across the street. They kind of did a half-assed job of patching everything together too, since there are still lines of some sort coiled up on the side of the road that are connected to something, and then another line on the ground crossing the street. For a bus stop, it's like the worst place in the world. There's still another tree there, that's basically hollowed out at the base and being held up mostly by power lines, and it needs to be taken out before it falls on someone who's down there for the bus, but so far, no one has listened.

It's supposed to be around 54 degrees today, which is a long haul from the negative numbers we were at two nights ago. And I wonder why everyone has been so sick, heh. I can't wait until spring!!

I'm off!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I'm alive, and other stuff.




Well, according to my family, we had a terrific three-day weekend. I don't remember all too much of it since I was in bed for the majority of it. I guess if you're going to get sick and end up in bed, it's much better to have it happen on a weekend versus a weekday.

What was "just a little cold" to Phil, showed up and kicked my butt. I think my biggest problem is that I've just been so sick this year, over and over again, that my body just hasn't had time to recuperate from one thing before the next thing shows up, so maybe things are just kicking my ass much harder than they normally would.

Anyway, I'm feeling a bit better now, and I still have another day to go on the antibiotics. So enough of that.

I thought I'd put a couple pictures up from my visit at Sebastian's school on Friday, where Phil's mom came with me and read the class a story.

The book is one of his favorites, it's called "Liberty's Journey" and it's about the day that the Statue of Liberty gets sick and tired of standing in the harbor, and comes off her pedestal to travel the world. It's a really nice story and it has great illustrations. Sebastian is a big fan of the Statue of Liberty, so it's one he just loves, and the kids really got a kick out of it.

Since he was the "Student of the Week", there was a bulletin board put aside for him where he could put all the photographs that he worked hard picking out, so I tried to get a picture of as much of the board as I could.

I like that the teacher features a new kid every week, because it gives the kids a chance to know and learn about each other, and it was something Sebastian was really excited about. I think that it also made him feel even more comfortable with the other kids.

I am ready to pick my knitting back up, now that I can complete a full sentence without spitting out three words and forgetting what I was going to say, so my only big problem is deciding what to pick up first. I promised Sebastian his pullover, but I tell ya, this shawl is yelling at me to pick it first. I think though, that the shawl will be a time consuming project, and if I don't do Seb's pullover first, he very well may be too big for it by the time I get around to doing it.

First though, I have to get my house recovered from a long weekend of neglecting it.

Maybe I'll knit just a little bit, first. ;)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching...

And trying really hard to die.

I have been out of bed a total of 4 hours since Sebastian got home from school yesterday afternoon, and I'm about to crawl back in.

Started a course of Zithromax this morning, so hopefully by tomorrow I might feel a tad bit better. My plans of a three day weekend blissfully filled with knitting, DAoC and laundry has instead been taken over by Kleenex, an assorted mixture of miscellaneous cold medications, and one retarded cat who insists on sleeping on my face when I already can't breathe.

Phil's done a great job of keeping Sebastian out of my hair since he got home yesterday, but I think Sebastian pretty much figured out on his own that if I'm too sick to get out of bed, that I probably don't want to hear him go on and on about tornadoes.

I have pictures from Seb's school from yesterday to post, and I will when I'm able to function long enough to get them up here.

Friday, January 13, 2006

It's Friday, but who cares. ><


The only good thing I can think about today is that we get a three day weekend. The bad thing is that it doesn't start until tomorrow.

Got off today with a late start. Managed to get to the bus stop in time.

This new cold I have is kicking my ass. If I could just get a month in between catching things, I think that I would make it through these colds a lot easier. One or two weeks between bugs is just not giving my body time to feel better, so when I catch something, it's just that much worse, so it's time for some heavy duty antibiotics and a nice long weekend of going absolutely nowhere, because this thing is really just screwing me up!

I pushed my quit smoking day to next week. I just didn't have a very positive feeling about quitting on the week that I had a nasty cold and PMS at the same time, because a quit day in the midst of all that is just begging to fail from the start. I ordered a book though, that's supposed to be really good, a lot of people have read it and used it as a tool to quit, so I think I will go that route in addition to the Wellbutrin and maybe the patch, because I figure the more I can do to support myself, the better.

The hardest thing I think will be keeping my hands busy. I'm knitting now, where I wasn't the last time I quit, so that should really help out. Then there's the mental thing. Once I think about a cigarette, I can't stop thinking about it until I have one. My mind might shift off to something else for a minute, but it always comes back to the cigarette, and I need to find a work around for that, too. I've ordered my root-beer barrels so I have something keeping my mouth busy, which is also another hurdle I always have.

I've done a lot of stupid things, and I've quit most of them. At one point I literally had to pick up and move myself across the country just to get myself back on track.

Smoking, though---it's a lot harder than that.


I haven't accomplished anything knitting wise in two days now. Knitting and a stuffed up, cold-medicated brain just don't work. I knit two rows and think, "Gee, what was I doing" and then have to rip back. Knitting on Nyquil is only for the wild and adventurous. That is not me.

I think I've probably frogged one miserable sock at least 4 times in the last two days. I guess it's better to get sick and try to knit a sock instead of picking up a sweater or something I've spent days and days on. Still waiting for the new pullover pattern to get here for Sebastian. I ended up going ahead and ordering extra yarn for it, just to make sure that it was all from the same dyelot, because the pattern gave yarn amounts for 3 sizes and for the size I want to make (10-12) I was pushing it with the yarn I originally got.

Today is the big day at Sebastian's school. Phil's mom is going to swing by around 1 to pick me up, and then we're going to head down to his school so she can read the class a story. Apparently, she also picked up cookies for the class, so I'm guessing she'll be a big hit with those kids.

I'll try to take some pictures and get them posted sometime this weekend.

Until then, I'm off to look for something to wear today. The rest of this weekend is going to be about sleep for me I think, so my next post may wait until Monday or Tuesday.

Have a good weekend,

N.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I don't like Wednesdays, either.


Craptastic. I have another cold. This one, I got from Phil. Damn him for breathing near me!

I think this is what, the 7th cold I've had since September. 8 if you count bronchitis.

It's not really too bad so far-I just wish I could sleep. Am I the only person in the world that finds that they can't sleep when they're sick until right about an hour before the alarm goes off?

Man.

As long as I'm feeling better by Friday afternoon, I can deal with it. Since Sebastian is student of the week at school this week, Phil's mom and I are going to go in and read the class a story on Friday.

I spent a lot of this weekend going through The Drawer. The Drawer is where I keep momentos and letters and crap from my childhood, and over the years it has turned into a drawer for Sebastian as well. So we went through it, looking for baby pictures that he could share with the class.

I don't know why it is, but I don't go through this drawer a lot. I guess that it's because in addition to my childhood stuff, there's a lot of things I've saved from people that aren't around anymore. Sometimes, it just bothers me to go through some of the things I have stashed away, but on the other hand, they're all things I could never part with.

I have an entire folder of jokes that my Grandfather used to fax to my office from his real estate office. It's monstrous-he used to fax me at least once a day, and I have every single one of them.

Letters from my Grandmother. I never realized how many letters she wrote me when I first moved here to NJ, but I have a whole stack of them, including ones she wrote after Sebastian was born. I regret every day that she never got a chance to meet him.

I have letters and pictures drawn by my friend Monty, who passed away when we were still in high school. I have obituaries, newspapers, photographs and even old pocket calendars that I documented everything in as a kid.

It's kind of weird how you can fit memories from every stage of your life, into one little drawer.

It didn't take me long to recover from the tragedy known as the vomit sock. This was the sock with the god awful yarn that I ended up ripping out and stashing away. I have since started a new sock, made out of "Dancing" by KnitPicks, and I'm happy to say that these colors are really quite pretty.

I have the yarn for Sebastian's pullover, which will be my next new project, and the pattern also came in the mail. I have a habit of reading through every pattern I get before I do it, just in case there are things I don't understand, and when I went through this pattern, a lot of it just didn't make sense to me.

I'm still pretty new to knitting, so I knew that there was a strong possibility that nothing was wrong with the pattern, and that it was just me being stupid. I sat on it for a night, got up the next morning and it still didn't make sense, so I shot the writer of the pattern an e-mail, and it turns out that I happened to get some weird copy that was wrong. She was nice enough to send me another pattern, but she's in California, so it will take a couple days to get here. As much as I want to get started on it, I've decided to wait until it arrives, because with my luck, there will be other mistakes. That's the first big project I have planned for the year, and I'm anxious to get started on it.

I also have other projects lined up to do- the Diamond Shawl Fantasy scarf, which looks like it will be really pretty if it looks anything like the picture when I'm done, the Clapotis shawl, the Cozy from Knitty. I also want to do another Booga Bag, but I want to make one that's a bit bigger than the original pattern. I also broke down and got that swing jacket kit from Ebay, and it should be here via Royal mail any day. And of course, socks. Lots and lots of socks!!!

Lots of things to keep me busy, and I'm really excited because every single one of these patterns will be a challenge in some way to me, whether it's lace stitching or altering patterns, or just knitting my first object with arms. :)

Today though, is not the day to start any of it. My head is just too stuffed up to think, and I know that if I pick anything up to knit, I'll end up ripping it out, so I'm just going to save myself the grief and concentrate on laundry, finding out what Sebastian clogged the toilet with, and contemplating life while sitting in front of my TV, doing nothing.

Monday, January 09, 2006

I don't like Mondays.

I finished Sebastian's bear this weekend. Well, almost. He still needs his nose, and I'm having a hard time figuring out what I'm going to do about that. I guess I'll have to dig around on the internet to find out a way to embroider a nose on a knitted bear.

In the meantime, Sebastian really doesn't give a hoot about the nose. This week at school, he's student of the week, and he insisted on hauling that poor noseless bear off to school with him to show the class. I hope the other kids don't make fun of him.

I'll try to pry it away from him today long enough to get a picture of the bear.

Not long ago, Sebastian always told me that knitting was for old people. I'm not really sure where he got that impression...perhaps from TV. He would be mortified to get off the bus and see me sitting on the ledge waiting for him, knitting a sock.

Recently though, he's discovered that my knitting is not so bad. Today, as we walked to the bus stop, he asked me when I was going to "cast off" his hooded pullover that I recently got the yarn for. I was kind of amused, because even though he meant "cast on" it showed me that he's starting to pay attention to what I've been doing. The bear and the pullover have certainly helped, but he's discovered an added bonus: winding yarn.

What I would almost consider child labor, he has decided is the most fun in the whole world. My son can set up a swift, latch the yarn winder to the table, and wind up the most perfect balls that I've ever seen, practically by himself. His little arm just cranks away at the winder, and he thinks it's the best thing in the world since Fruit Loops. Fine with me, I hate winding yarn, anyway.

So anyway, the bear is pretty much done. I shredded the crap out of the rainbow sock I was knitting. I tried to give the colors of the yarn a chance...I really did, but the more I knitted it, the more I hated it. I was all the way up to the instep when Phil glanced over at me and said, "What the fuck color is that?" and I knew right then that there was absolutely no one in my life that I hated enough to give socks to in this color. It's really hard to describe this yarn, but it's kind of like a bag of skittles vomited, only there's brown mixed in. A lot of brown.

It looked nice on my computer screen when I ordered it. :(

This weekend, our dryer croaked. I'm pretty sure that this is the same dryer that we moved from the old house to this house, so was pretty old, but it really pissed me off that it decided to bite the dust on the weekend that I had pretty much nothing planned but laundry, and on the first load to boot.

I hate buying appliances. It's such an overwhelming task for me. I went online to look at dryers, and it's amazing what they've come up with. Drying closets. Dryers that can dry like 30 pairs of jeans in the same time it takes for a load of laundry to be washed. Nice, but at those prices the dang things should come upstairs, retrieve my laundry, and wash it and fold it for me.

Sent Phil off alone into the wonderful world of appliances, his only instructions were to get the cheapest thing they had, and he did good. Turns out now, that the cheapest dryers out there are a lot nicer than the one we had before. Our new one has a drying rack that goes inside for shoes and such that shouldn't really be tumbled dry, but that I have no problem tumbling dry anyway :). There's also a buzzer, which our old one didn't have, and then a switch so you don't have to have the buzzer go off at the end of the cycle.

When you live in a household with a bird that can imitate the oven, the doorbell, the telephone and the microwave so well that he constantly has you running to check on them, the last thing you want is a dog gone dryer buzzer going off, too.

So today, I get to start by rewashing the load that sat in the old dryer all weekend while we pretended that we didn't need to go buy a new one, and then I can start on what I had planned to accomplish over the weekend.

In between that, I'll cast on for Sebastian's pull over.


Typical Monday. It's 9:30, and I'm ready for a nap.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Woo!!!


Wooo! Today, I managed to add progress bars to the blog, and I didn't blow anything up. I'm a total n00b when it comes to code and html and figuring this crap out, but a couple tries and a few cuss words later, there they are.

This is part of how I hope to better document and keep track of what I have going on knitting wise. For a while, I considered doing a totally separate blog just for my knitting, but I decided against it for a couple reasons.

First of all, it's a miracle all in itself that I manage to update this blog as regularly as I do. If I added a second blog, there's a high chance that one or the other, or maybe both, would eventually get neglected.

More and more, knitting is really becoming a big part of what I do, so it only makes sense to just continue to mix my knitting posts in with all my other babble.

I'm still waiting for the extra yarn to arrive so I can give Seb's poor bear his second ear and be done with him. I know they've shipped the package, I'm just not sure where it is, so I expect to see it hopefully by the weekend.

In the meantime, I thought it would be a great chance to get another pair of socks done, so I'm doing a really quick and easy sock pattern. I'm not sure yet if I like the yarn, but I guess I really can't decide whether or not it looks like total crap until it's done and on a foot.

Today, Sebastian literally bounded out the door, excited to go to school. I thought maybe something was wrong with him. Turns out that this week in his gym class, they're going to be doing exercises with a big parachute, and that was enough motivation to push him happily out the door this morning. Aside from basketball, I don't think that there was ever one activity in any gym class I ever took that made me want to go to school. Ever.

His teacher has started weekly spelling tests. She's provided us with a list of what each set of words are for the week, and they'll be tested on those words as well as bonus words that the kids pick themselves every Friday.

This weeks list is a breeze. For some reason he's only having a problem with two words: get and red. He keeps wanting to spell them as "git" and "rid". He decided on two bonus words: tornado and school. I expected him to know how to spell school simply from seeing the word all the time.

What I did not expect was for him to spell out tornado as easily as he did, but lately he's been on a tornado kick, watching movies and asking questions that I have no clue how to answer, and trying to get his paws on any tornado book or picture he can, so maybe it's just another case of him seeing a word enough to remember. I am trying to figure out how he can sound out or spell words so much easier than he can read them.

He's such a weird kid. He gets that from Phil, I'm sure.

/whistles innocently

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Bummer!


I had hoped that todays post would include a picture of a completed bear for Sebastian. Sadly, I finished the remaining arm, and one out of two ears before I realized that I wasn't going to have enough yarn.

Seb was a good sport about it though. It's nice to see him excited about something I'm making him. The thing about Sebastian is that he's too young yet to have much tact. He doesn't lie about things just to make someone feel better...and he's very particular about letting me know when there's something he doesn't like. He thinks I look bad in glasses. He hates my hair when I cut it short. Tells me that I suck at drawing when we're sitting down doodling.

So when he told me that he really likes the bear, even though it hasn't grown its ears yet, I believed him.

Anyway, I ordered an extra skein of yarn yesterday, so once that arrives all I need to do is finish his ears and then I'll post a picture of it.

While I'm waiting for the yarn to arrive, I'm knitting a new pair of socks. I suppose that's a big suprise.

And speaking of socks, I thought I'd post a picture of the cover from one of the books that my Dad got me for Christmas. This is a terrific book, and right now I'm just trying to decide which sock I should attempt first.

I got my new glasses last night and it's taking some getting used to. Normally, I end up getting a round frame, but this time my lense is a bit narrower...and I'm not sure yet if that was such a wise decision, because when I look up or down, my eyes end up looking above or below the lense which means that my eyes have to adjust, and sometimes that really sucks ass when you're walking down the stairs, heh.


With the New Year, as always I try to set some goals for myself.

First thing's first, I want to quit smoking. I've really cut down a lot since I've started knitting, but that's not good enough. I'm on day 4 of Wellbutrin, gearing up to quit next week. I quit for three months the last time using Zyban and it was actually quite easy, and I'm not sure why I was stupid enough to go all that time only to start back up, so I'm doing it again.

I expect after cutting down as much as I have that it should be easier this time. My only issue right now is that on these pills I've had a horrible time getting to sleep the last two nights. Insomnia is a side effect, but I never noticed it the last time.

I also want to go through my house, get rid of the things we don't use, and reorganize it better by finding better ways to store things since we only have two closets in this whole house. We seem to be packratting it a bit as of late, and it's really starting to get on my nerves. Then I want to paint the walls.

I want to read more this year. Last year I read maybe 5 books total, which isn't typical for me at all.

Knitting wise, I want to be able to continue to try new projects that challenge me. I hope to document my projects a bit better this year, because only a few things I made last year ever made it to my blog.

I also plan on going through all my yarn and planned projects, and getting that all organized.

I'd also like to be able to knit both Phil and Sebastian sweaters that they won't be ashamed to wear in public.

That might prove to be just as difficult as quitting smoking. :)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

First post of the New Year...

Today is the first day that I've had a chance to really sit down to blog since just after Christmas.

During the weekdays, I have this little routine that I follow, where I can usually put time aside just to sit down, but this past week with Sebastian on vacation, my routine got thrown a bit out of whack. :)

There's no school today due to snow. I got up at 5 am to check the news site and they said a 90 minute delay. Then I got up later and learned that it was cancelled. That's what the school district gets for making them start school yesterday while everyone else had the day off.

Since Phil had yesterday off and Seb had school, Phil and I actually went out to breakfast...by ourselves. I'm trying really hard to think back, but I'm pretty sure that's the first time we've been out to breakfast alone since Sebastian was born.

After breakfast we hit the eye doctor. I'm not sure when the last time I'd been in was, but Sebastian was in a stroller, and those glasses broke or disappeared into the void long ago, so it was time to get in, but our insurance doesn't cover optometry so I was bad and put it off.

Turned out to be pretty much what I had expected, I still need glasses, hehe. They were having a buy one get one free sale so I ended up doing a pair of regular glasses and then a set of prescription sunglasses. I decided against contacts altogether, because it's so much easier for me to put my glasses on rather than go through the whole contact ritual every day.

New Year's eve was great, we aren't much for going out for the new year, so we stayed at home and brought it in with some munchies and champagne with Sebastian. Seb tried his first sip of champagne and declared it "yucky".

I almost have my first knitting project of the year done, but I haven't taken pictures of it. Sebastian wanted me to make him a bear. Easier said than done but so far, so good. I have to finish up one arm and do the ears and then figure out how to embroider a nose, and this bear should be good to go. If it resembles a bear in any slight way when I'm done, I shall declare it a success and then reward myself by knitting some socks.

This past weekend I went from craft store to craft store looking for self striping or self patterning yarn. I really don't understand the stores around here. It's winter, the time when you'd expect most people would be knitting socks and mittens and the like, but I was unable to find anything that was even close to what I wanted, self striping or not.

Michaels, a craft store here, they have a pretty large yarn section, like two full aisles. I figured I'd find something there for sure. And I suppose that I would have, had they not filled one ENTIRE aisle with fun fur or novelty yarn...and a bin full of flip flops in case you want to make Fun Fur flip flops for the 18 degree weather we're having. Hey, I can appreciate the funky yarns just as much as the next person, but a whole freaking aisle devoted to the crap is a bit much, especially when they can't seem to squeeze in just one bin of yarn suitable to knit a sock.

It's like that everywhere.

Well, I have a lot to get done today.

Happy New Year, everyone!