Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween Time!
Decorations in progress

Spiderwebs on the ceiling!

Will's Spooky Tree

Alex's Spooky Tree

Freaking Trains

You guessed it, yet another morning where the trains screwed up my morning commute. I've decided to blog about my commute to see how often the trains are screwed up - because I honestly feel like in the little over a month I've worked here, it's becoming more the norm. And since the MTA wants to raise the price of a Metrocard swipe again, I've got issues - before you spend money on something, isn't it supposed to work?

Anyway. This morning, got the kids off to school with no problems. Got down to the train station by 8:15. First announcement of a problem was after about 10 minutes on the platform, when the empty V train bypassed our station (63rd Drive). Took a crowded R train to Queens Plaza (because 74th/Roosevelt was nightmarish). Wasn't able to take the E train because it was overcrowded. Finally got on a packed V. Arrived at 42nd Street at 9:15.

Overall time delay: Normally, it should take 40 minutes for me to go from school door to my desk. I got to my desk at 9:20, so the commute took me an hour an 5 minutes today - delay time of 20 minutes.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Well... no kidding...

Your PMS Disaster Level: EXTREME!

You're PMS is horrific and totally freaky.
You should be locked away once a month... with a ton of chocolate cake!
You Could Be a Vampire... If You Had To

Like most people, the thought of being a vampire has crossed your mind. But you're not sure if you'd do it, even if you could.
Living forever doesn't sound half bad, if you could live forever with the people you love the most.
But do vampires even love? And would the vampire version of you even be you?
It's all too much to contemplate. Luckily, the chances of you ever becoming a vampire are astronomically low.

What you would like best about being a vampire: Living forever

What you would like least about being a vampire: Blood stained teeth
You Are a Werewolf
You're unpredictable, moody, and downright freaky.You seem sweet and harmless, until you snap. Then you're a total monster.Very few people can predict if you're going to be Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.But for you, all your transformations seem perfectly natural.
Your greatest power: Your ability to tap into nature
Your greatest weakness: Lack of self control
You play well with: Vampires
Monday Monday

It was a good weekend - took the kids to a Halloween party that a friend of Will's had, which was nice for Will after spending most of the week in the house with a stomach virus. Even Alex had a good time. The parents really went all out - great decorations, fun stuff for the kids to do, food - just really a genuinely nice time. I feel like a turd, because I just can't get it together to decorate for Halloween. I think part of it is that I get so frustrated by the clutter that I just can't get into decorating.

Went to Jersey from Saturday evening - last night, so we spent the day with Mom. Alex was crabby beyond belief - but I'm pretty sure that's due to a cold he's developing.

Now I'm here at work, trying desperately to focus and losing the battle. I'm so tired.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I Had to Post This...

Man, I love the '80s. Oh, and by the way - rocked a quiz on OK Cupid.

Thank the great god Balki! You're finished! You scored 29 out of a possible 30 Accuracy Points, and you earned an extra 10 Bonus Points!

Link: The Think you remember the 80's? Test written by jahazarak on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test
Blogging Zombies

No, for a change it's not a reference to my waking state. I'm blogging for the Zombie Hunter Show. Make sure to check it out; I'm updating on a pretty regular basis now and trying to get some buzz going - especially since we're going to have a booth there at Chiller in May. Make sure to check it out!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sleep... Perchance to Dream...

I am SO tired. Between being up at 4:15 yesterday morning with Will, who's recovering from a stomach virus, and being up at 5 this morning thanks to that freaking cat chasing yet another piece of paper around, I'm going to snap from pure sleep deprivation. They should have used kittens in A Clockwork Orange, forget that Beethoven montage. Tons of kittens chasing random scraps of paper and anything else they can find around. All night long.

Monday, October 22, 2007

More Vickie Howell Love

As a thank-you for giving her upcoming podcast a shout-out on my blog, Vickie Howell sent me a ball of rockin' yarn from her Craft. Rock. Love. line. How pretty is this yarn? It's bamboo silk, so I'm doubly excited to work with it. Although right now, I just want to stare at it and pet it occasionally. Nice yarn. Niiiice yarn. Love the yarn.
I *Heart* Pop Candy

USA Today's pop culture junkie and blogger, Whitney Matheson, rocks. I can't tell you how many cool things and sites I've gotten from her Pop Candy blog. She is also a huge fan of Heroes, Lost and The Office - 'nuff said there.

Some latest goodies - retroCRUSH has listed their 100 Scariest Movies Scenes of All Time, which includes some really cool stuff. There's the expected (shower scene in Pyscho, even though the scene where Martin Balsam buys the farm is far more terrifying to me) to the obscure (Silent Scream - even now, I remember that commercial giving me the creeps as a kid) and the non-horror but still unnerving (Willy Wonka's psychadelic boat ride). It's cool stuff, and definitely fodder for an all-night horrorthon discussion.

In knitting news, I decided to put the tilting blocks blanket down for a couple of days until the mood swings pass by. I'm working on mini-sweaters again, to put on gifts as decoration this year. We'll see how far I get...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pumpkin Picking!

So today Mike surprised us and went to Jersey, picked up my mom, and took us all to Demarest Farms in New Jersey so the boys could go pumpkin picking. The kids had a great time, and thanks to the amazing bakery they had, so did I. Just when I thought I was getting back on track, foodwise...

Will and Alex see how they measure up

Alex and a little furry friend (no, the rat from the train adventure last night was smaller)

The inside of the bakery was all done up for Halloween, with skulls, giant, hairy bats and spiders descending from the ceiling, skulls and witches aplenty, and TONS of Halloween-y goodness from sticky body part things that grow in water to Halloween cookies and cakes. They had homemade donuts and apple cider, both of which we bought in quantity. (Taste a homemade donut and see if you go Dunkin' again. I dare you.) It was all just so much fun, I forgot that I was raging with PMS for a little while.

That bakery ROCKS. I think I need to add Demarest Farms to my list of places to visit on an obsessive basis. We had ice cream, hung around outside and let the kids run around a corn maze (not that much of a maze where I couldn't see the kids), and then went on the hayride to the pumpkin patch.

Mom and the boys on the hayride line

The boys running free, looking for the perfect pumpkin

Alex, who's recently read Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin, ran all over the field looking for "the perfect pumpkin: not too fat, not too tall, not too short, not too big, not too little." He finally found one (after some coaching, I think, from Mike and Mom, who really wanted to get back home) and Will not only found his but proceeded to help Mom find hers. He even painted the face on it when he got back. Whatta kid!

Closet Monsters Reading

I've blogged about my friend Dan's book, Closet Monsters, before. Last night, I was lucky enough to go to his reading down at the Rapture Cafe on Avenue A and had a blast. The Cafe is a coffee bar and indie bookstore that has to be one of the most relaxed environments I've ever been in. Dan and another author, Tom Cardamone, who read from his book, Werewolves of Central Park.

I haven't been to a good LGBT event since I left ISO, so this was just such a great night out for me. I got to see some old friends, meet some new ones, and support one of my close friends as he embarks on authorhood. Dan's been published before, but Closet Monsters is his first work of fiction that's all his. There are five short stories and a novella that anchors the book. Dan read from the novella, Zombied Out and rocked it; and in true Dan self-deprecating fashion, proceeded to talk about how he looked like the perv since Tom decided to read a less-scintillating entry from Werewolves - no worries Dan, I don't think anyone had a problem with that. ;-)

Dan, giving some background on the story before launching into his reading

It was just a nice, relaxing night out. I was surrounded by books, good coffee, and friends. What more can anyone ask for, especially since my nights out don't come 'round that often? I even got to play photojournalist for the evening, taking pictures along with Danny, Dan's boyfriend (and muse - tongue planted in cheek).

Shot of the Rapture toward the back - I just thought all the black and white ads and art looked so cool, contrasted with the very reading parlor-feel of the front of the cafe.

Counter shot - don't you want to buy a copy?

Of course, the adventure begins when I head home. I was proud of myself for successfully navigating a new train line for me - the L train - and got to Union Square, where I transferred to an N to 34th Street, figuring just in case the R isn't running (you know it happens all the time), I stand a chance of getting home. I walk over to catch the F train when I notice a rat is running up the stairway directly across from me, like a little commuter. Ah, New York. Get down to the F line only to see the Queensbound side is roped off, with no explanation. Even the lights on the Queensbound side are dim. Argh. I run back to the local side, asking some random guy on the way if he knows whether or not the R is running. He answers that it is, so I decide to take his answer on faith rather than go upstairs and hail a cab. Thankfully, an R is pulling in as I run back down the staircase. Whew. At least I don't have to transfer at Roosevelt now. I get some more knitting done, and am back home a little after midnight.

I remember when my evenings began slightly earlier than when I arrived home last night. All I could do was murmur to Mike about what a great time I had, thank him for being cool about letting the kids terrorize him all night, and pass out.

Okay, Dan - when's the next reading?

Friday, October 19, 2007


I went wandering at lunch, with every intention of going to get some WonTon soup and red bean buns again. Then I passed Toys R Us and ended up doing some Christmas shopping instead.

I've had a Balance Bar and a bag of Veggie Crisps. I don't think that qualifies as lunch, no matter how much I'm trying to convince my body otherwise.
Friday, Friday

So happy it's Friday. I can't shake the sleepies this week! I think there's something about the onset of Fall that's so comforting to me that I just want to curl up in bed with some yarn and the DVR remote.

And speaking of Fall, when will the weather actually accompany the season? I'm sitting here in capris and a short-sleeved shirt. Someone get Al Gore on the phone so we can strategize this.

Just found out that a Forest Hills pizzeria that I've always meant to go to is either part of the Grimaldi family or reminiscent of Grimaldi's, depending on whose website one reads. Anyway, Nick's Pizza may have to be on my places to visit list this weekend, especially since Stacey and Claire managed to undertake the amazing feat of getting me to wait on a line to get into Grimaldi's last week. And it was all worth it (and I knitted the entire time, to offset line rage).

Weekend - tomorrow we've got a birthday party for Will's buddy Randy, and hopefully some living room gutting and cleaning. Sunday, we're hoping to get to either Queens Farm for pumpkin picking and animal feeding or the Bronx Zoo for Halloween tomfoolery and animal feeding. Either way, there will be pictures. And lots of handi-wipes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Because I Promised Pictures...

Here, we have Blanket. It is a work in progress. Alex is thrilled, and I'm kinda happy to be working on it, too. :-) I just need to go on another yarn run to get the last half's worth. I hate when I underestimate myself.

This is a vintage project; I got on this mini-sweater kick a couple of years ago and made a bunch. I was thinking of making some this year to give away as ornaments, so I thought I'd show off one. So cute, so easy to make - and I sewed it up the same day that I knit it, so it deserves to be shown!

My first real crochet project from a pattern - it's the One-Skein Scarf from The Happy Hooker (Deb Stoller's crochet bible). I really chose this picture because Gypsy's face is truly priceless. I think this may be the most hilarious picture I have ever taken of her...

I Got A Vickie Howell Shout-Out!

If you don't know who Vickie Howell is, get off this blog. Nah, just kidding. ;-) Anyway, Vickie Howell is the ultra-cool host of one of my DIY addictions - actually, the reason I became addicted to DIY - Knitty Gritty. She's also one of the hosts of Stylelicious, where you can learn to make cool stuff like tote bags out of duct tape. Check it out if you get a chance.

Anyway, I LOVE Knitty Gritty and Vickie Howell rocks. I've been reading her blog for a little while, and it turns out, she's going to start podcasting - like I needed more knitting stuff to do on the Web. :-) She's asking fellow bloggers to promote the link, so I link to the podcast (Look to your right. See the icon? Awesome.) and let the webmaster know. And I got a shoutout! I am so psyched!

In other news, still knitting secret stuff like crazy. But I'm also re-knitting Blanket. Need a refresher on the Saga of Blanket?

When Alex was first born, I crocheted him a blanket from this great light cotton yarn. Which I promptly forgot (okay, it wasn't prompt, it was like 10 months later) at a friend's house and I've yet to get back. Grr.

So I set out to make Alex another blanket. I got the same yarn - I believe it's Sugar & Cream, or something like that - I have to check the label, which is home and I'm typing this up at work. Anyway. I got the yarn in a really nice blue, white and yellow variegated, and made the Big Bad Baby Blanket from my Knitting Bible, Stitch & Bitch. Alex loves it. I mean, LOVES it. It is named Blanket, and he's like a miniature Linus. He can't sleep without it, travel without it, anything. Blanket is there. He wouldn't even potty train unless he was holding Blanket.

One day, about a year ago, Blanket started to unravel. So I checked it out, figuring I'd just stitch up the loose end or something. Oh, no. Blanket was literally wearing away in spots. I took custody of it, hoping to fix it and give it back within a week. No good. Blanket is now occupying a spot where I keep Will's & Alex's baby clothes, delicately wrapped in its own Blanket.

I knit up another blanket for Alex, this time with a worsted weight, blue yarn. No good. It wasn't Blanket. For over a year, I've heard about how he misses Blanket.

So finally, I go and get more yarn. Blanket Yarn. All I had to do was flash Alex the ball of yarn and he jumped up and yelled, "BLANKET!"

I'm about 2/3 of the way through Blanket, and realize I need more yarn. Gar. But at least Blanket's in progress. He may be a UFO for now (unfinished object), but he'll be done. Soon. And that's one picture I can post!
I Hate the Trains

What the heck has been up with the trains? Today is my one-month anniversary at Working Mother (and if you've been reading for the past couple of years, you know that's a reason to celebrate) and I swear to you, I have not had ONE DAY where the commute to work has been aggravation-free. This morning, I dropped the kids off at school and was at the train station by 8:10 - a personal best, if I may say so myself.

No train. Okay, one'll be along shortly.

Five minutes. No train. I'm reading my book, trying to unlock my jaw. Okay, so I'll get there just in time, today. Maybe I'll get my coffee after I get to my desk.

Ten minutes. A crowd is forming. Some woman asks me, "Are there delays?" I restrain my irritable, pre-2nd cup of coffee-response and say, "I don't know." I debate taking the local on the other side and catching an express at Forest Hills. Then I decide against it, remembering that strategy has bitten me on the backside every single time.

Roughly about 20 minutes later, a V pulls in. It is so packed that I can't even look at my cell phone clock to see what time it actually is. Luckily, my book's already out because otherwise I'd be forced to spend the commute reading the same old ads on the train. Grr.

The train crawls into NYC, and I get out of the train at 9:12. Yay for freaking me. I decide to get McDonald's for breakfast and soothe my raging temper.

This has got to get better - it's been a damned month, already. What should be at most a 40-minute commute takes over an hour. WTF?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I Don't Wanna Work, I Just Wanna Bang on the Drum All Day...

Not a statement about the job. Love the job. I think I'm still on vacation in my brain. Maybe wandering the mansions of the Cliff Walk made my desire to be idle rich even more prevalent. Who knows? All I know is that I've got the attention span of a 4-year old today. Mayhaps I should take a walk and get some fresh air. But honestly, I don't want to expend the energy. How sad is that?

I just hung out on Ravelry.com and checked out some of the knitting groups. I belong to Subway Knitters, but there is a group for everything. I think I'll keep it small, so I can actually post to the group with some regularity.

Snackage. I am snacky. I want to get a bag of Veggie Chips but I that would require the expenditure of energy. Can't I will them to me?
More Rhode Island Goodness
The happy couple, at the rehearsal dinner on Thursday night.

The Three Mrs. Kiladitises (Kiladitii?) at the wedding on Friday -
we took our jackets and wraps off for the shot, but we were freezing!

Back to the Cliff Walk - Mike decided it would be funny to sit where there was no guard rail and laugh at me.

He finally got me out there, and I was terrified the whole time. See me clinging to the rock?

More water. Nothing exciting to write, just very relaxing and beautiful to look at.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Rhode Island has officially knocked Virginia down to the #2 spot on my "Places to Drop NY Like a Hot Potato For" list. We were there for Mike's cousin Jen's wedding last week, and I fell in love shortly after arrival (and congrats, Jen and JP!).
I located a yarn store within 20 minutes of our arrival - baby, I Googled yarn stores weeks before we left - and got some nice, blue yarn that I've started knitting with already (can't divulge more than that for a few months, sorry) and it knits up like a dream.
We went on a Cliff Walk to see all the Old Moneyed mansions - as Mike's uncle puts it, "These people considered you 'new money' if you made your first million after 1908." The Vanderbilt's estate, The Breakers, was just amazing. I took this picture right by the estate. Can you imagine looking at that when you woke up every morning?
We missed the kids unbelievably, but it was nice to play boyfriend and girlfriend again.
We also found the best Thai Restaurant ever, Thai Cuisine, on the main drag, Thames Street. To say we gorged ourselves is probably putting it mildly, but it was all worth it. Any chance they do takeout to New York?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Nope, haven't started sewing yet...

I still haven't started that skirt that I bought the fabric for. I think I have to dig my apartment out from under all the accumulating crap first. We've been in the swing of seasonal clothing changes, so we've got large Rubbermaid containers all throughout the place, not to mention the usual cavalcade of junk laying around. I'm ready to hire a professional organizer at this point. Or Tim Gunn. But that's just for my clothes.

Speaking of Tim, has anyone checked out Tim Gunn's Guide to Style? I have to admit, I was a little disappointed; I don't know what I expected, but it's just another makeover show. Kind of like Queer Eye, minus 4. I'm psyched for the new season of Project Runway, though.

Little stressed trying to learn everything at the job these days, but otherwise loving being back at work - if, at times, a little guilty.

Break time's over; more to come.