Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm Irritable...

It's Friday but not 5 p.m. yet, and I've got a spreadsheet that isn't making any sense to figure out. I've got yarn but can't knit because I'm at work. Cranky, cranky.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

One From Lauren

*Please feel free to just insert your own questions wherever you feel like it. Or new categories too.

CONCEPTS
1. Favorite Colors: Blues, pink, deep reds.

2. Favorite Shapes: Circles

3. Cutest Shapes: Stripes

4. Favorite Symbols: { }

NOUNSSS!
1. Favorite Animals: Puppies, polar bears, cats of all sorts.

2. Cutest Animals: Puppies.

3. Favorite Accessories: I'm with Lauren, shoes do it for me!

4. Favorite Plant: Spider plants.

EDIBLES
1. Favorite Foods: Steak with egg noodles & brown gravy. Mac & Cheese.

2. Cutest Foods: Mini shell pasta, mini bowties.

3. Favorite Fruit: Strawberries and Macintosh apples.

4. Cutest Fruit: Blueberries.

5. Favorite Vegetable: Broccoli.

6. Cutest Vegetable: Corn.

7. Favorite Sweets: Almond croissant.

8. Favorite Drink: Coffee!!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Holiday Meme

I haven't posted a fun meme in a while, so here you go. Let's kick off the holiday season right -and I tag Stacey, Linda, Piera, Laurie, Lauren and Peg!

1.) Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate... no question.

2.) Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa wraps them very nicely at first, and then it becomes a mission to just get the damned things covered in paper of some sort.

3.) Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored!

4.) Do you hang mistletoe? I have never been able to find the blasted stuff, believe it or not.

5.) When do you put your decorations up? As soon after Thanksgiving as possible; we love having the place decorated as long as possible.

6.) What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? I'm a traditionalist; turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing... it's Thanksgiving part deux.

7.) Favorite Christmas memory as a child? Walking out to see all the presents, and seeing the dollhouse I wanted so badly leaning against the couch. Thanks, Santa Claus!

8.) When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I think I was a late blooomer; I was about 9.

9.) Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We celebrate Christmas Eve with Mike's family, so yes.

10.) How do you decorate your Christmas tree? I have lots of Hallmark ornaments - Star Wars and Star Trek included! Ornaments from every year of the kids' lives, and each year, I have the boys decorate ornaments to hang so I have a tree full of kid-designed stuff.

11.) Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love snow, dread the slush that follows shortly thereafter.

12.) Can you ice skate? Never tried.

13.) Do you remember your favorite gift? I'd have to say the dollhouse was pretty nifty.

14.) What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Being surrounded by family and friends. It's like the one time a year you can tell your friends how much you love them without sounding sappy.

15.) What is your favorite holiday desert? Christmas cookies!!!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Used to be going to midnight Mass at St. Bart's with Carol and having hot chocolate afterwards; now, it's Mike and I wrapping all the presents after the kids have gone to sleep, trying desperately to keep the noise to a minimum.

17.) What tops your tree? Winnie the Pooh, dressed as an angel.

18.) Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving!

19.) What is your favorite Christmas Song? No one does "Oh Night Divine" like Nat King Cole. Love "Holly Jolly Christmas" and of course, "Christmas Wrapping" by The Waitresses and Band-Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?", because I'm an '80s gal.

21.) Favorite Christmas Movie? No contest. "A Christmas Story."

22.) What do you leave for Santa? Santa really loves my Tollhouse Cookies.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Podcast Review - PolarBear Podcast


So the first of my new podcasting addictions to talk about is the Polarbear Podcast. Since I love Sweden and one of these days will get back there, finding this podcast was huge for me. It's a half hour (sometimes longer, but the episode I downloaded is 30 minutes) of all things Swedish - some music, some news, and in this particular episode, the Swedish alphabet (det Svenska alfabetet - see Gab, some things I do remember!) as recited by the host's daughter. I discovered some new music by a band called The Bombhhappies, who I really want to check out more from - totally influenced by '80s Brit pop, and very infectious to listen to, and had a giggle at the Swedish government's expense with some hanky-panky scandal. I'm excited to hear more and can't wait for the next episode to be uploaded. In the meantime, maybe I'll download a few older ones.
If you're interested, I highly recommend checking out an episode. Honestly, it's not like the nightly news being rattled off at you - the host, Andy, has some really amusing commentary. And since Helene and I have had a giggle for years about one of the misconceptions of Sweden being that polar bears roam the streets, the fact that this is called the Polarbear Podcast just made me laugh all the harder. That, and the section on the website that's called "Sweden - not Switzerland"; I can't tell you how many times people have made that mistake. Hilarious.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pod Junkie

Vickie Howell started it all - now I'm officially a podcasting junkie. I'm in the midst of downloading roughly 40 hours' worth of podcasts - who knew so many people were podcasting about knitting? Hell, I even found a podcast about Sweden that I'm checking out, just because I miss it so blasted much and so I can give Helene a giggle when I write about stuff in the news over there. I even got Will into the act and searched out some kid-friendly podcasts, which I've downloaded to his MP3 player.

I'll blather on incessantly about this new toy I've discovered for myself as soon as I've listened to enough episodes of each show (1 or 2 of each) to have formed enough of an opinion to comment on.

So here's my quandary, which I'm putting out there for you. Should I comment on the crafting podcasts here, or should I talk about them on Domestic Goddesses, where I'm trying to get some traffic moving again? Should Domestic Goddesses be just for recipes and commenting on recipes and cooking, or should I move some of the crafty content over there? I don't want to make this blog schizophrenic, so let me know what you think.

EDIT: I've just downloaded an unholy amount of additional '80s and Sci-Fi podcasts. How am I going to listen to all of this stuff? Damn my obsessive personality.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Rockin' with Vickie Howell

So this morning, I was seized with the impulse to finally download the Vickie Howell Craft. Rock. Listen. Podcasts. At 7:15 in the morning, when I'm normally rushing around like a lunatic to get myself and the kids out the door to school completely dressed and with lunch. You know me; when I get the urges, I've got to give in. For some reason, I decided that my commute would just be detrimental to another person's health if I didn't have something to keep me Zen.

I only got to listen to one episode - the Sustainabilknitty podcast, with Billie Joe Armstrong's (from Green Day) wife, Adrienne, but it was great. I loved hearing about how she's teaching her kids and their classes to knit, and how she and Billie Joe are all about being as environmentally conscious as humanly possible. Vickie Howell chimed in and both offered some ideas for working with sustainable crafting materials (organic fibers and recycled materials); I particularly loved Vickie's suggestion on raiding thrift stores for old clothes to repurpose and old glasses that can find new life as candle holders.

I also loved Adrienne's insight into how disposable a society we've become, and how important it is to take the time to make things and show the people we care about that we took the time to make something just for them.

I've downloaded another Vickie podcast, so I'm psyched to listen to that on the way home. And now, I'll be wandering the Web looking for more interesting podcasts. Hey, it cuts down on my commute rage.
The Littlest Ramones Fan?

About a week ago, I was watching the Too Tough to Die: A Tribute to Johnny Ramone documentary. Will and Alex, who were going about their business, recognized some of the songs and asked, "What's that?" I told them that it was a show about the "Hey Hey, Let's Go" guys - yes, Blitzkrieg Bop is a popular selection when I'm the car - and left it at that. Apparently, I've given birth to a new generation of Ramones fans. Will has been asking me to download Ramones music to his MP3 player and last night, Mike called me at the Parents' Association meeting to inform me that Alex was walking around last night yelling, "Lobo-to-my! Lobo-to-my!"

You really have to love when your 4-year old digs Teenage Lobotomy.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Can Someone Please Explain...


When The Country Music Association joined Starfleet?



Book Post

Lest everyone think I've abandoned my bibliomaniacal ways in favor of knitting, I decided to post a book meme today. Questions are courtesy of the Booking Through Thursday meme site, which I've just come across. Check it out, it's entertaining!

What book would you choose to give to a friend and why?
I know I'm in danger of having books thrown at my head, but I'd have to say The Hobbit by the master himself, J.R.R. Tolkien. It's a perfect book. It's light, fun, it's fantasy, has endearing characters, and an incredible quest. And Gandalf, possibly my favorite literary character ever.
It doesn't have the darkness that comes with the subsequent Middle-Earth adventures, so I wouldn't bring anyone down.

I've got one more - Grover and the Monster at the End of the Book. Because it's my favorite kids' book. Grover is still the greatest Muppet.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

House of 1000 Muppets

Trains Suck

Yup, you guessed it - the sky lets loose with a little water, and the New York subway system cripples. Took me just about an hour to get in today - 20 minutes longer than it should. Got down to the 67th Avenue train station, waited at least 10 minutes for a local train, and it crawled to 74th Street. The locals were few and far between, so every train was packed to the point of being ridiculous. I opted to take the E train to Lex and transfer to the 6 so I stood a snowball's chance in Hell of getting to work near 9 a.m.

Upon reaching Lex, and waiting for another 5 minutes to actually reach the escalators to the 6 platform, I heard an announcement about the 4 and 5 running with delays because of the almighty "earlier incident", this time at 14th Street. At least the green lines actually make announcements, because my lines (E, F, V, R) didn't say a blessed thing about the delays this morning. Maybe they realize no one believes them anymore?

Monday, November 05, 2007

TV Catch-Up



I spent a good part of the weekend catching up on lots of TV viewing - what did I do before the advent of DVR? So I'm almost fully caught up to Reaper, which is shaping up to be quite possibly my favorite of the new shows this season. If you haven't checked it out yet, please tune in tomorrow night. Sock, played by Tyler Labine, is one of the funniest slacker sidekicks in sitcom history (I'll get to Joshua Gomez - Morgan from Chuck - in a sec). The first episode was directed by Kevin Smith - what are you waiting for? Will gives Reaper two thumbs up - and yes, I do let my 8-year old watch a show about a slacker whose parents sold his soul to the Devil. So there.

I also caught up with Supernatural, which Will got me hooked on, actually. He stumbled across it somehow last season and demanded that every episode be recorded. I ended up curled up on the couch one night and watched last season's finale with him - and proceeded to kick myself for taking the better part of two entire seasons to check this show out. Brothers who hunt demons? Where have I been? Even my mom was into this show before me. Jeez. Just finally sat and watched the season opener - and man, this is going to be a good season. Fortunately for me, the first two seasons are out on DVD. Santa Claus, are you listening?




Ah, Chuck. I know a lot of people have been turning Chuck off after the first brilliant episode, but I still love my Nerd Herders. And, seeing as how I love a good sidekick (honestly, they make the show - the star is the star, but the sidekick gets all the really good jokes. See Reaper above.), I have to send some love out to Joshua Gomez, who plays Morgan. Morgan could possibly be Sock (Reaper) from a parallel universe. I'm telling you, watch the sidekicks. They get the best lines.

I think Chuck is going to make it. And I think it's going to stay well-written. Let it work out its growing pains.


Do I have to even mention my chick-crush on Katee Sackhoff as an explanation as to why I'm loving Bionic Woman? With the threat of BSG's final season looming in front of me, where else am I going to get my Starbuck fix in? Please, PLEASE NBC - don't kill off the 'original' Bionic Woman.


Other new show I'm still on the fence about: Moonlight
Fave returning show: Dexter (sorry, Heroes)
Show I desperately want to get better because I love it so: Heroes
Shows whose return I'm waiting for: The Tudors, Lost
Bitching about Stitching

Grr... frogged a baby sweater I was about 2/3 of the way done with because I buggered up a sleeve. I was just feeling really irritable and decided that it would somehow just be better if I started all over again. I know, I know, there's something wrong with me. Clearly.

I am, however, on a tear to finish that piece I've been working on with the yarn I got from Rhode Island. I misplaced the directions - yes, I'm a genius lately - so I'm printing out another set and will finish that by the end of the week. Whoo hoo!

We took the boys to Dan and Danny's this weekend, which was too much fun. At one point, the basement sounded like an arcade from around 1984, between the Dig Dug and Pac-Man sounds. It was awesome. The kids are dying to go back, especially since next time, there will likely be puppies running around.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Train Updates

No major delays to speak of in the last two days, but the overall speed of the trains is ridiculous - they're slow, and stopping every couple in between stops every few stations. WTF?