Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Finish Line Approacheth...

I can practically hear the sleigh bells departing the North Pole, and still, I knit on. I've got two more gifties left to go, and something tells me I'll be up 'til the wee hours of Christmas Eve. Okay, maybe not, because I've got a load of wrapping to finish up, too. The question then arises - what's next? What happens after the epic Christmas Knitting Season of 2008 comes to a close?

Hell, I dunno. But whatever I pick, it'll be something fun. I have much stash from my employed days, and with grad school on the horizon, methinks I will need much in the way of stress management handy.

Speaking of grad school, I've officially paid the bursar. Whoo hoo! Next up, the scholarship applications...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Of Duran Duran and Christmas Postcards...

The Duran Duran show was FANTASTIC. Mike and I waited seemingly forever for them to finally take the stage, but it was all worthwhile once they did. From the second they took the stage with The Valley from Red Carpet Massacre to the final strains of Rio, I didn't stand still; they sounded (and looked - never forget looked) amazing and complete command over the crowd. John and Simon looked like they were having the time of their lives, Nick was his usual ironic self behind the keyboards (Simon did manage to get him to crack a grin once), Roger is at the top of his game, and Dominic Brown, the guitarist that replaced Andy, has a great rapport with the guys in the band and with the audience. They played for two solid hours and for those two hours, I was back to being 15 years old. It was a pretty fantastic way to celebrate my birthday.

Atlantic City looks very different from the Atlantic City I'd be dragged to every summer for the requisite family vacation, too. Lots of new buildings, casinos have gotten more flashy in attempts to get East Coasters to make it the Vegas of the East Coast, and - and this is the very cool part - AN OUTDOOR OUTLET SHOPPING AREA. Oh yes. I took full advantage of my birthday finances and treated myself to some new shoes (RocketDog, Stacey - but they were on sale) and a few new things to wear (hopefully, to job interviews soon...).

You're doubtless asking yourself by now, where are the Duran Duran pictures? Folks, I got nothing. I was only about 25 feet from the stage, and probably could have taken some amazing shots, but I decided against bringing my camera for a couple of reasons. First, I'm never sure whether or not I can bring my camera into a venue these days, with most digital cameras having recording capability and all; I don't want to get my camera pulled for bootlegging suspicions. Second, I was in a general admision show - some fool bumps me and I drop my camera or spills their drink on my camera, I'm showing up on Judge Judy for assault while I counterclaim for my lost camera fees. Finally, the biggest reason - I just wanted to dance and have fun. I get nuts when I have my camera with me; I always want to take full advantage of a photo opp, and I didn't want to do that. It was my birthday, I just wanted to get lost in the show, so I opted to leave the camera home.

I've finally managed to get holiday preparation kicked into gear this week, too. Since we've got a smaller tree than normal, we only used half of our ornament stash, which kind of made me pouty, but at least now I tell myself I can rotate ornaments each year. Boba and Jango Fett made the tree this year, as did Han Solo and the Clone Troopers, but I gave the Klingon Bird of Prey and Romulan Warbird a break. The Baby's First Christmas ornaments from both kids are up, though; they'll always be on the tree because I love the memories.

Speaking of the holidays, I took part in a holiday postcard swap with my fellow knitting Plurkers and am finally getting the postcards in the mail today. I repurposed some older Christmas cards and added a postcard backing template courtesy of our friend Martha (Stewart) and I think they look cute, if I say so myself. I should have thought to scan them and post them, but they've already been addressed so I don't want to do that now. I also received two of the three I'm getting, which is so nice for someone who stalks the mailbox looking for mail that doesn't have a bill in it. Bev, who I see on Plurk and Ravelry all the time, was one of my partners and sent me a great postcard from Maine - loved it! And I received a great Virginia postcard from Stacey, which just reminded me how much I miss Virginia and that I need to get back soon. :) Thanks, all!

I'm off for now to finish off some more holiday knitting - deadline time approacheth...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Birthday Goodness a Little Early!

I was treated to more early birthday goodness this morning, when Cutie Pie and Heartbreaker demanded to give me my birthday gift from them, since tomorrow, I'll be throwing myself around the House of Blues like a psychotic 14-year old listening to The Wild Boys. Oh, wait a minute - I'll be a psychotic 38-year old listening to The Wild Boys!

So I got the cutest card ever, and something I'd been heavily hinting that I wouldn't be averse to receiving - a drop spindle and some roving to start me off with!

Many of you are staring at the screen saying, "What in the world is she talking about?" I will explain. I'm going to start spinning (well, attempting to) my own yarn! Roving wants to be yarn when it grows up. You need to spin roving into yarn (that's the most basic way to put it), and I've been thinking that I want to try it out and see if I like it.

Roving samples!

Das Kit! See the spindle in the back? And the fiber is alpaca - see the picture on the front? His name is Amos. I get to meet the animal whose teaching me to spin. Kind of like those Sally Struthers commercials, but not.

Gypsy loves herself some roving.

P.S. I've been letting the video for Wild Boys play on YouTube as I wrote this post. And I clicked back each time to catch the cuts to John Taylor's close-ups. Man, I've still got timing. And I'm sure I've terrified a bunch of you. Deal.
I'm off to play with roving now, and ingest massive quantities of caffeine. If you hear high-pitched squealing sometime tomorrow evening, you'll know that Duran just took the stage.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I have the bestest husband EVER. Guess who's going to see Duran Duran at the House of Blues in Atlantic City for her birthday present?

Friday, December 05, 2008

Hey all, not missing in action, just had a few things beating me down. I'll be posting more soon; I owe lots of phone calls and e-mails that I'm just starting to address now.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bzz, Bzz, Bzz...

One of the geeky things I do, when not watching Star Trek, for instance, is act as a BzzAgent. It's a really cool deal - you sign up for free, and you get stuff to brag about, essentially. So I figured for Thanksgiving, I'd offer some Bzzz... and a giveaway!

My current Bzz campaign is for Boston Market. We've all eaten there at least once, right? I know my Heartbreaker, for instance, would get IV servings of their mac and cheese - no joke, he gets an order of mac and cheese with mac and cheese as a side dish. Me? If I could find a way to get shipments of their cornbread to my door hourly, I'd be a happy girl.

Now that the holidays are coming up, Boston Market is catering - so when you get all crazy and excited during the holiday season, inviting all your family, friends and coworkers over for a holiday party, only to slap yourself when you get home and realize that you've got 20 people coming over that actually expect to eat something, there's salvation to be found at their catering link. Get a whole spread delivered to you, cornbread included. Nice, right? I have the info if anyone wants, plus a sweet little discount code.

Oh, and the giveaway - I've got five Boston Market magnets, coupons for $3 off any $6 or more purchase, and a free cupcake token. The first 5 posts I get are the lucky recipients of the little prize packages. Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I have a good reason.

I know I haven't blogged in over a week, but there is a good reason. Honest.

I am the proud owner of a Wii Fit. My mom gave me an early birthday gift, and HOLY MOSES, this is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I have been putting myself through paces and working out every day for at least a half hour, trying to push for an hour, and have managed to get a pound and a half down! Whoooo! Now, I just have to stop bingeing on fruit snacks... emotional eating has been high today.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fair isle knitting with 2 yarns in the left hand

Don't know if this posted the first time, so I'll repost and say again, Fair Isle. I must conquer this.

After Christmas.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm No Slouch...

Lest anyone think I've been home either wallowing or sitting on the couch feasting on bon-bons.

I'm pretty sure Jen doesn't read this blog, so I can safely post this - it's another Helena sweater (I did one for Mike's cousin's baby shower a couple of months ago), this time for her daughter.

Here's a scarf for one of Ron & Christine's daughters...

...and a close-up of the pattern for Ron & Christine's other daughter. I took the Elvish Leaves dischloth pattern and turned the pattern stitch into a scarf. I used this pattern to make a lap blanket for Mike's great-aunt last year and she loved it; I love the way it knits up, so I'll just keep on using it. Maybe I'll design a pair of socks next?

My first glove! It wasn't as aggravating as I'd feared. I used the One Skein pattern which I loved; the cabled cuff is adorable. However, I severely underestimated the yarn - and now I have no more to complete a second glove. ::facepalm:: I'll declare this one a stunt glove and call it a day.

Le sock! For me! I used bamboo yarn to make this Clover sock, and I LOVE it. So. Soft. I even gave myself a different toe using a different skein of bamboo. Hee. I can't wait to finish the other sock so I can wear these; I just have to finish up some Christmas goodies first. Delayed gratification...
Baby Steps...

This morning I celebrated another little victory. I have gotten into the (bad) habit lately of not eating breakfast before bringing the boys to school, figuring I'll have a 'real' breakfast when I get home. (And then, of course, noshing on whatever is lying around, swearing I don't have time to cook - seriously, where am I going?) Anyway, today was no exception, so off I went, a mere cup of coffee burning a hole in my stomach.

I got to school, and offered to help our Parent Coordinator set up for a Math workshop she's running this morning. I really didn't have an intention to stay for the workshop; I have been feeling a little achy and wanted to take one day to stay home, lay down, and get some housework done. But I fully intended to help set up - and then she put me in charge of laying out the snacks. I poured myself another cup of coffee and set to work, displaying the myriad blueberry muffins, pumpkin muffins, chocolate chip muffins... and the pound cake. Marble pound cake. I could almost take the buttery goodness.

I almost took a slice, figuring it would be my breakfast and morning snack - it's got that many calories and fat, trust me. I almost did it, until I stopped and thought about it. My inner brat and I know full well that as soon as I got home, I'd be hungry, unsatisfied by the filler crap I just ate, and I'd eat more junk. So I shook it off. I finished setting up, went home, and made an actual breakfast that was far more filling and satisfying. Wow. Baby steps. They actually work.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oh, and Don't Think I Let It Pass...

Today also happens to be Gab's birthday - so while I search for her phone number so I can call her in the next hour and a half (you've got to be done eating dinner by now, right?), I just want to say grattis pÄ födelsdagen, min venn. (Yes, I know 'min venn' is Norwegian, but doesn't have Svensk.)
It's the Little Victories.

So the day after I declare the I will lose 10 pounds by Christmas, I volunteer to help sort the candy sale packages at the boys' school. And the guy running the business gives us a box of pecan caramel turtles to thank us for our business. Nuts. Chocolate. Caramel. It's one of the combinations that makes this country sing. I slipped.

I came home and caught myself starting to munch thoughtlessly, because I was hungry and didn't have anything to warm up. But this time, rather than decide today was a lost day and push it off 'til tomorrow, I decided to make something. I pulled out a copy of Kraft Food & Family (the Fall 2005 issue) and made myself Rice, Broccoli & Cheese cups. Tasty! It's healthy, in that there is broccoli involved, but let's be clear - there's also a 1/4 cup of Ranch dressing (you can use light dressing, I just didn't have it in the fridge), two eggs, and 2/3 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. But you know, I'd rather eat two of these for 240 calories than stuff my face with a bunch of chocolate bars that are easily double that plus all the guilt that follows, not to mention the fact that I'd still be hungry.

All in all, I love the recipe and will save the rest of these to warm up and eat during the week. The next time I make this, I'll make sure to have light Ranch dressing, part skim mozzarella cheese, and low sodium chicken broth in the house, but this was great in a pinch and filling enough to take the edge off my rumby tummy. And I feel good about myself, which is really the big battle these days. I'm thinking about trying this at some point using a vegetable broth (you cook the rice in chicken broth as opposed to water) for my veggie friends, because I think this may be right up Stacey's alley.

I'm so excited that I actually put the junk down rather than let the 'inner brat' dictate otherwise. On this rainy day, it gives me hope.

Back to the second sock for Mike's aunt... or maybe I should take advantage of my newfound energy and work out?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Time to Stop Whining...

...about not being able to fit into the pre-pregnancy clothes. I've been home for a week today and have had a few misfires. I am declaring here that by Christmas, I will be down by 10 pounds. And I intend to blog every day of the challenge to keep myself on track.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yes, I did take a phone snapshot of Obama on Election Night. I texted madly away with Stacey as the realization sunk in - Yes, We Did! - and that I was the only one awake to see it live!
The excitement and the pride were overwhelming, and I couldn't stop myself from tearing up. I was blown away by the class and graciousness of Senator McCain's concession speech, and as one person put it, "He became the John McCain I'd have a beer with again." I have always has the uptmost respect for Senator McCain, and had this been a different time and against a different candidate, he would absolutely have received my vote.
As with many families, this race, and its outcome, have divided my family - those of you who know me know what I'm talking about, and I'll leave it pretty much at that. I love my family, and I hope that the next four years will not be fraught with tension and that we can all play nicely. We'll see how that turns out. It's been a major reason why I normally refuse to discuss politics and why I probably won't discuss them too much going forward. I respect everyone's right to their own opinion, but it does seem that those of us with differing opinions are either expected to keep them to themselves or be ready to defend them at any given time. If I'm proud of the candidate that I voted for, just let me be - I don't ask that you defend your choices, do I?
One last thing - I'd like to express my deep disappointment regarding Prop 8. How we could make such history as a nation one day with President-Elect Obama's win and the next, make history in a completely different direction, is just sad. Love is love, and that really should be that. As far as we've come, we apparently have a long, long way to go.
Anyway. Moving on. My excitement of the day was somewhat dampened the next day when I was laid off. I debated not even mentioning it here, but it's not something to be ashamed of. My company was bought by a bigger one, and apparently I was made 'redundant'. I'm hanging in and trying to find something else. It's a scary time to be unemployed but by no means am I in a minority. I'll hang in there.

I've been getting quite a bit of knitting done, working through Christmas project after Christmas project. I've just gotten one of a pair of socks off the needles for Hubs' great-aunt, and now I'm debating on - shudder - seaming up a sweater for Hubs' cousin's baby-to-be. I don't have to set in sleeves, but I am still world famous for my loathing of seaming. Sigh.
Off to job search and bang out a reader report.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I'm not a woman known for my patience. To quote a friend of mine, "people in the hills sing songs about your tolerance". I've walked off a line during a huge sale at one of my favorite clothing stores, because I just don't have the patience to wait.

I'm also not a woman known for my enjoyment of rising early. Hubs wakes me up by placing a cup of coffee at my bedside, and backs away slowly. Bless him.

This morning, I was out of my home at 7 a.m. and on the way to vote for Barack Obama. I was prepared for a siege-like wait, armed with a fully loaded iPod, a book, and some holiday knitting. I was ready for the wait, because I was going to be damned if I didn't let my voice be heard today.

In the last election, I voted not so much for John Kerry as for Not-Bush. I was pissed off when we got four more years of Dubya, but I can honestly say I didn't have as much emotional investment in that election. This time around, my heart and my mind are completely wrapped up in this election and this candidate. When he speaks, I believe he will help us find our way back. I have hope, which has been in very short supply these last several months.

My boys are apparently bigger Obama fans than I am - something I've noticed lately; kids LOVE Obama. He's got this great vibe that they totally pick up on. Cutie Pie has informed Hubs, loudly, that if he were to vote McCain, he could still live with us, but he would be angry at Hubs. I think Cutie Pie may be on the shortlist for Obama's Secret Service detail should the election shake out that way.

Regardless of who you vote for, PLEASE VOTE. Make your voice heard.

I've got more to write, but I'll pause here for now. Please - vote.

Friday, October 24, 2008

This Could Explain A Lot...

Serious ADHD Likely!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fall Weekend

We really could have used Mike in this shot...

The cutest Mummy ever... or, as I like to title this one, "Mummy's Boy" -
yes, go ahead and groan now.

Homemade cider donuts AND potato pancakes. Oh my GOD.

The ill-humored vampire.

Beautiful colors of Fall!

Fall, Fall, Fall...

I LOVE Fall. The crispness in the air, the colors, the fact that I can finally pull my favorite clothes out of storage, being able to cook and bake without feeling like I'm dying in my mini-kitchen - it's all good with me.

To kick off the Fall in proper fashion (yes, I know it started a month ago, but the weather is finally here), we had our second annual pumpkin picking trip to Demarest Farms where the boys got to run around, go to a pumpkin patch, and we all got to enjoy copious baked goods. Pictures are coming after this post. We got there earlier, calendar- and clock-wise, than we did last year so the crowd wasn't nearly as bad this time around and we had a better choice of pumpkins, bringing home two very nice, plump ones that will add to our Halloween-y home.

On our way back from the Farm, I discovered Yarn Diva, which now rivals Skein Attraction for my favorite LYS (local yarn store) in Jersey. The staff were so friendly; I never once felt like I was intruding (believe me, a lot of yarn stores make you feel like you're a potential perp just for walking in the door) and was allowed to just wander freely. I ended up getting two balls of soy silk sock yarn and some DK weight yarn, plus a set of double-pointed needles for my latest sock project. I'll be going back there often.

Last night, I attempted to figure out some more of Second Life. After 20 minutes, my brain hurt and I logged off. Sure enough, though, there is a Second Life forum on Ravelry, so I've joined it and friended one of the knitters there - so maybe she'll take me on a tour. That, and I've bookmarked a Wiki on Second Life.

Less than a month to go before registration at SJSU!! I'm in excited countdown mode.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Halloween is Coming! Halloween is Coming!!

In terms of holidays, Halloween comes second only to Christmas for me. Since I was a kid, I have loved everything about it - the decorations, the scary stories, the trick or treating. And becoming a parent makes it even cooler, because now I have two kidlings to enjoy the holiday with. Because it really is a kids' holiday; enjoying it as much as I do just assures that at least sometimes, I still get to retain that childlike sense of joy and wonder that can sadly go missing once we head into the 'real world', which is nowhere near as much fun most of the time.

The decorating process has begun - big glow in the dark skull on the front door? Check. Hanging spooky artwork done by the kids? In place. This weekend, we'll be getting the rest of the Halloween decorations out and putting them up. The egg carton spiders will once again decorate my ceiling, driving the cat insane. And the jack-o-lanterns, both real and electric, will be in full force. I can't wait. The costumes? Purchased.

Many of you know my heartbreaking story of the pirate costume. For those who don't, it's a sad, sad tale. When Heartbreaker was born, the Disney store released a costume - the cutest Captain Hook costume you've ever seen in your life. Complete with hook and wig. Seriously, what is cuter than a kid dressed as a pirate? There were no infant sizes, so I waited. And waited. And when Heartbreaker was old enough to fit a size... he didn't want to be Captain Hook. Ever. Every blasted year.

Cutie Pie was born, and my hope renewed afresh. But yes, you got it - he ain't into it either. When Pirates of the Caribbean hit the movies, they released costumes. I figured, sold! They LOVE Pirates of the Caribbean! Heartbreaker wants to BE Johnny Depp when he grows up - at last, I can dress them like pirates!


It's become a running joke every Halloween. We wander by the Disney store, only to have both Heartbreaker and Cutie Pie laugh and mock, "Look, Mom! Pirate Costumes! Ahahahahahahaha..." I swear, I'm going to ground them.

This year, Cutie Pie has decided to be a ninja - the archnemesis of the pirate. And Heartbreaker? At least he's going to be a zombie.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Bronxgrrl had this meme up on her blog, so I considered myself tagged.

37 Things about me

1. Do you like blue cheese? Nope.

2. Have you ever smoked cigarettes? Yes, a long time ago.

3. Do you own a gun? There are all manner of water guns, Star Wars blasters and even a Star Trek phaser or two at home. Other than that, no.

4. What flavor Kool Aid was your favorite? Cherry and the blue one.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Sometimes.

6. What do you think of hotdogs? Yuck.

7. Favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Story, hands-down.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee!

9. Can you do push ups? I can do the modified one, where you bend your knees.

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? Wedding ring. And the 'real diamond earrings' Will got me at the Mom and Pop Sale at his school two years ago. :)

11. Favorite hobby? It's pretty equally split between reading and knitting.

12. Do you have A.D.D.? I think I do sometimes.

13. Do you wear glasses/contacts? Not yet, but that may change soon.

14. Middle name? Louise

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment?
a - Crabby.
b - Sleepy.
c- Don't want to be here.

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Water, coffee, seltzer

17. Current worry? Job security - anywhere.

18. Current hate right now? Economy

19. Favorite place to be? Anywhere my boys are.

20. How did you bring in the New Year? Laughing and hanging out with the same group of friends we've spent the past 9 New Year's Eves with.

21. Where would you like to go? Back to Stockholm.

22. Name three people who will complete this. Anyone who wants to.

23. Do you own slippers? Yes, they're somewhere buried in my closet.

24. What shirt are you wearing? Blue button-down under a black sweater.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? I'm a cotton jersey girl.

26. Can you whistle? Not that well.

Favorite color? Blue

28. Would you be a pirate? In a heartbeat.

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? Not much lately.

30. Favorite Girl’s Name? Victoria

31. Favorite boy’s name? William and Alexander. :)

32. What’s in your pocket right now? No pockets.

33. Last thing that made you laugh? Alex goofing off.

34. What vehicle do you drive? I'm the passenger of a minivan.

35. Worst injury you’ve ever had? Reconstructed ankle.

36. Do you love where you live? Meh.

37. How many TVs do you have in your house? 3

Monday, October 13, 2008

Drive-By Blogging

It's a quick 'n dirty post tonight, but I've finally done it.

I've cleaned my apartment. Yes, Mike and the boys were conscripted into helping, but it is clean. I think I need to get an .avi file of Zelda Rubenstein announcing that "This house is clean" and just play it over and over again.

What the hell am I going to do in two weeks when it looks like the 'before' picture?

Off to knit and watch Dexter...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Casting On, Tuning Out...

I've been irritable again (sigh... a-gain) about the state of my apartment. Chalk it up to living with three men, two of whom are under the age of 10, chalk it up to being aggravated at pretty much every area of my life at the moment, chalk it up to looking at one too many issues of Real Simple or watching too many episodes of Top Design, but there you have it. I've been knitting myself into a fury in an attempt to escape the growing aggravation every time I look up.

We did some clearing out in the living room today; I'm hoping that at some point, they'll all understand that the less crap I see cluttering every flat surface, the more I'll actually be motivated to clean and make things look even nicer. Which will fall on deaf ears (blind eyes?). But it'll make me less crabby to live with, so hopefully that will be an attractive bonus.

Hubs surprised me by getting me some gorgeous bamboo sock yarn for me on eBay - who knew he even remembered me mentioning I liked bamboo's feel and wanted to knit with it? Good husband points aplenty there.

I've been nominated for an I Love Your Blog award! My Ravelry/Plurk/blogging bud Nancy over at Bronx Girl Knits nominated me, citing my superior taste in hobbies and science fiction... to quote her, and at the same time espouse the phrase that many of my geek gals and I have shared over the years, "We geek girls gotta stick together." So here's the deal:

1. Please put the award on your blog.

2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.

3. You must nominate at least 4 fellow bloggers for this award.

4. Add links to the recipients.

5. Leave a comment so the recipients know they have received an award.

I’ve read the rules, and I promise to comply, so here it is - my shiny new ribbon!

And my nominees are... (drumroll, please!)
1. Stacey - the whole reason I started this blog, not to mention the best bad influence one could want in a craft store. Geek sisters of the world, unite and bow.
2. Linda - pull up a chair, have some coffee and danish at the ready, and read about freelancing, raising a teenager, and enjoy some fabulous commentary on music, movies and more.
3. (Not-So) Cynical Gal - Another knitting friend I've made in cyberspace, (Not-So) Cynical Gal's blog has the best of all worlds - she has beautiful pictures of her garden, her pets (including the most adorable golden retriever EVER), her knitting, and her sweet little niece.
4. Bronx Girl, aka Nancy - Gotta throw it back to the bud that nominated me; no apple-polishing here, just a real appreciation of the blog and the blogger. Anyone who subtitles their blog, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Knitting," is a blogger I need to know. Geek gal, sci-fi fan, and she likes Duran Duran? C'mon.
In other news, Hubs took Heartbreaker to a wrestling show yesterday - not a taping of one of the WWE shows, more like a autograph convention where some old school and even more recent wrestlers get together and sign pictures for fans. Heartbreaker was in his glory, especially when he got to hang out with the Blue World Order. The guys were very cool with him, as you can see.

Freaking awesome.
I'm now watching a commercial for the Clone Trooper helmet voice changer. I think I need one.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Is it me...

...or does this picture of Obama from an article on look like it was inspired by Michael Jackson's Dirty Diana video?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Of Geek Sisters and Baby Showers

Stacey has started a blog for us girl geeks at Go now and geek freely.

I had a baby shower this past weekend, so SIL Bonnie and I went on a road trip to the arse-end of New York, otherwise known as Stony Brook. Again, Mapquest failed miserably and we ended up lost in Suffolk County for the better part of an hour, leading to all sorts of hilarity and possibly a suicide pact a la Thelma and Louise ("before Angelina sullied him"). With tattoos.

Finally, after several phone calls to the establishment, promises of tattoos and real estate via Sotheby's, we found the place, only to discover that there was but one parking spot available, and it was reserved. "Reserved - FOR ME!" Bon declared, and by this time we were so giddy and punch drunk that I collapsed into giggles. She pulls in, we get our baby loot together, and she scrawls "Come in and FIND ME" on a sheet of paper, thrusting it onto the dash like a permit to park any freaking where she pleases.

The picture may not look like much to you; I guess it may be one of those "you had to be there" moments, but I still chuckle every time I look at it.

Other than that, the baby shower was pretty sedate. Apparently, many people had been failed by Mapquest, so we were not the minority. Jen, Mike's cousin, received beautiful baby shower gifts, and the sight of so many cute pink and flowery things always gets the biological clock screaming in my ears. Blissfully, Bonnie was not towed and we made it back to Queens without incident. More pictures to come; my knitting was happily received. Whew.
Other than that, work's been brutal, but I'm hanging in - some days, by my fingernails, but I'm still hanging in. Excited to see my friend Setsuko, who will be visiting from Japan very soon. Excited to register for grad school in a few weeks.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Plus, Alex!

Left one major fun happenstance out - Alex celebrated the one month anniversary of being 5. We were away when he actually turned 5, so I wasn't about to let it pass without a party. And I think I may make this an annual happening, because he's got a late August birthday; having the party in September assures that his buddies will be back from vacation and ready to party.
Long Time, No Blog...

Well, there's been a lot of craziness going on with Clan Kiladitis, but I'll try to give a quick update. The good news is that it's official - I'm a grad student! I was accepted into the San Jose State University Master's program for Library & Information Science! It's an online program and I will be a Spring 2009 frosh. I'm terrified, excited, and just want to start things off already. I'm going to speak to an advisor to get a basic idea of a plan down, but for the first semester, I'll just take one or two of the pre-req courses to start the show. My 'school store' will be through Amazon, so I'm wondering about the whole selling the textbooks back business - have to look that up. And I'm hoping that I'll be able to utilize the public libraries for some of the books, too.

I'll be a freshman again at the age of 38. Wow. Actually, it's kind of cool. I've put this off for so long now that to actually have it happen feels almost unreal. Talk to me around midterms, and I'm sure it won't feel that unreal after all.

Work has drained me beyond belief. Our company was bought by another megacorp - no surprise, the rumor mill has been alive for months - and I'm not really sure where my position will be in the grand scheme of things, or even if I'll have a position. On the one hand, I'm okay with that. I haven't been thrilled with this place for a while, but on the other, with the economy tanking and jobs going away by the thousand, I'm concerned - especially with my dream of grad school in hand now - that this is the only gig in town. So I'm trying to take things day by day and just see where things go. Not a great feeling to have hanging over my head, but that's what life is giving me right now so I have to go with it.

I started teaching last week, too. I'm teaching Catholic religious ed once a week for an hour to second-year kids (mostly second graders). Holy Moses. The first class hit me like a ton of bricks. The struggle to keep control overrode everything else, including the lesson plan I'd prepared. I got through the first unit, essentially having the kids read the pages out loud (they love that stuff) and I emphasized a few points ("God made the world, He made us to take care of it") and actually used one point of interest out of the 20 or 30 I was originally going to use. I was freaked out and not even sure I could go back for another class, but Mike and my Mom both reminded me that this is something so far out of my comfort zone that it was to be expected.

My sister-in-law, herself a second-grade teacher in the public school system, really put things in perspective when she told me, "You didn't give birth to them, you don't have to love them. It's important they like you." Believe it or not, that liberated me - I was so concerned with wondering how I was going to love these kids from day one, and being frustrated with them upset me because I was giving myself the Bad Mother treatment - for kids that aren't mine! Giving myself permission to NOT be the good mom, to be the teacher, I think will help me this week.

Much knitting happening, which is keeping my tenuous grip on sanity firm. I finished scarves for Ron's daughters' Christmas gifts, and I've gotten one sock done for Mike's grandmother. I cast the other one on this morning on the train - if you saw a woman in teal furiously knitting in a circle at the stairway on 42nd Street at Bryant Park, that was me. I hate when I get to my stop before my round is done.

I've got the knitted portion of baby gifts for this weekend's shower for Mike's cousin Jen all done - the Helena sweater is done and is absolutely adorable; the two hats are in, and I'm debating on a pair of booties. I started a pair of Saartje's Booties, but I have to seam them up and I'm concerned, after finishing one, about the seam running at the base of the foot and whether or not that will irritate the baby's delicate new tootsies. I'm not going to frog the one I've done already; I may just make another one, fill them with tulle and use them as a gift wrap accent.

Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post, but I just wanted to get caught up with everyone since I've been away for a while. More soon!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sock Meme

I was kind of tagged by TheKnittingPatch, so here goes:

When did you first learn to knit socks?
I knit my first pair earlier this year; found a dubiously named "Easy" pattern and went for it. It aged me prematurely, but I finished them and I loved them.

What’s the first sock you ever knit?
The Easy Aran Sock by Karen Konop. It called for a worsted weight yarn, so I thought it would be a good start. Turning the heel gave me a little agita, but I finished! I knit them up on Plymouth Encore, ran out with half a foot left to go on the second sock, finished it up with Caron Simply Soft in white - hell, I just wanted to finish it! Besides, that part of the foot will be in a shoe.

Favorite Sock Pattern?
I loved the Kimono Socks. I've blogged about them before.

Favorite needle method?
I'm all about the dpns, but one of these days want to learn the two circs method.

Favorite sock needles?
I love my little Tatumi bamboo needles.

Who do you knit socks for?
It's split right now between my mom and me.

How many pairs have you knitted to date?
6 1/2 - I knit up one Horcrux sock for Alex, but didn't measure out the foot right.

What is on your sock knitting to-do list?
Oh my lord, what isn't? Okay, anything that is in Fall Knitty and Twist Collective. WendyKnits' Nanners. Countless others.

What kind of socks to you like to knit?
I LOVE cables. Lace is fun, too. I like 'em all, basically, but I favor cables.

Striped? Haven't tried yet, but sure, I'm game.

Colorwork? On my to-learn list.

Plain Stockinette? Why not?

Cabled? Without question.

Lace? Yup.

Anklets? Sure.

Knee Socks? Did one pair; have to get elastic to sew in (Snowflake Lace Socks) because the cotton doesn't have the elasticity of wool and they fall down.

Solid colors? Yup.

Bright and crazy? This is me we're talking about, so the answer is yes.

Faux Fair Isle (the yarn doing all of the work)? Sure thing.

Tag a few sock knitters here:
Oh, consider yourself tagged if you like knitting socks.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not much else to say today.

Monday, September 08, 2008

See? Productive!

Helena sweater from Knitty. Mike's cousin is due in December with a little girl, so I've been knitting away on baby shower goodies. Her mom has done three blankets so far, so I'm not going to contribute a blanket this time, but I will be making the Umbilical Cord Cap using this yarn and I found a cute pair of booties to whip up. I love how sweet this little jacket looks, and the beauty of it? Sleeves are knit into the body - no seaming! I just finished the second sleeve this morning, so I just have to finish the details.

Sock Hop socks from Creative Knitting. Oh, Cynical Knitting Gal, how I love you for this yarn. Are these not the perfect Fall socks? Now I have even more reason to wish for the cool weather.

Kimono socks, baby! I think I need to make myself another pair of these in another color, because they were so much fun. After all the baby showers and Christmas gifts are out of the way...

Twisty Hat! Yup, it's the same yarn I used on the kimono socks; I had enough left over to make this hat for Mike's cousin. I like baby hats, and having done this pattern once before for Baby Boyd, I thought I'd revisit it. The seemingly endless ribbing gets a little tedious, but it's perfect for television watching.

Don't remember if I posted an earlier picture of the Celtic Cable neckwarmer, so here you go. Baby Alpaca. Ahhhh... now I just have to get off my keester, head down to MJ Trimming, and get three lousy buttons. I think I may do a little single crochet around the edges too, just to give it a more finished look.

See? I can be productive... just not at work...

After an extended blogging vacation, I am back! Fear not!

I know before I left, I was just a mess, running to catch up everywhere. Having had the last week off to get the kids ready for their first week of school, I've managed to discover my inner whirlwind of productivity. Being back at work, however, I don't know how long that momentum will be sustained... but we shall see.

In short - Florida was great fun. We had a side trip to the Everglades where the boys (and me, shanghaied by Alex) got to hold snakes and alligators; we sampled a key lime milkshake from this awesome fruit stand called Robert is Here. My dad shocked the living daylights out of me by pulling out all the stops and throwing Alex a full-on birthday party at Dave & Buster's. I even got to joke around with my stepmother, which is nothing short of amazing. It's taken almost 20 years, but I think we've finally gotten to a point where we actually feel comfortable around one another, rather than just making nice. It's a good feeling.

We came back to Labor Day weekend and the start of school the next day. I think I was more nervous about Alex starting Kindergarten than he was. Let's take a look:

See Will's eyebrow? Yes, he is ready to pull a Sonny Corleone and break my camera.

Alex pronounces Kindergarten "Awesome"!

So yes, my boys handled separation anxiety far better than their mother. As usual. Today is my first day back at work, and I've been fretting and fussing about how Alex will handle afterschool. I know he'll be fine. I know Will is going to be fine. But it doesn't matter. Mother Guilt - never goes away, does it?

So, what else is shaking? I was a torrent of activity last week; I was able to get a start on Parents' Association goodness, I practiced my lesson plan for my upcoming Catechist duties, I knit an incredible amount and made soap. Can I just, you know, stay home and collect my regular salary? Pretty please?

Knitting. There has been much. I began a pair of yummy socks while I was on vacation - my stepmother was fascinated by the sock knitting process - and finished them shortly after arriving home. It's the Sock Hop pattern from the July 2006 issue of Creative Knitting magazine and I knit it up with the greatest yarn, received from my buddy (Not So) Cynical Knitting Gal during our Hot Sauce Swap. Wait 'til I post a picture; they are the perfect Fall socks. I thought it was just a pretty variegated yarn until I started working with it, and then I realized that it's a self-patterning yarn! It's awesome!

I also finished those Kimono Socks that I was going on and on about a few entries back. Love.

I'm working on some baby shower gifts again, but since the recipient isn't reading this blog, I can share. I'll post pictures next.

Ah, Fall. Back to school for the kids, but I still feel, after all these years, that it's a beginning for me, too. Maybe it's the promise of cooler weather coming. Maybe it is that feeling, ingrained from childhood, that it's the beginning of... something. But I do love Fall. Maybe things will really take off now.

Happy Fall, everyone!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It was supposed to be one...

I spent two hours trying to choose a project to take on vacation with me. Two hours. The equivalent of watching Star Wars, credits included. Anyway, I was supposed to choose one. Two, tops - because you know, I could finish the first one too early and have nothing to do on the way home. Highly unlikely, but I like having a plan in place.

I ended up starting a completely new thing last night, bringing an extra project in my bag to work - just in case - and have two additional projects packed in my carry-on bag. What the hell is wrong with me?

In other news, I finished the kimono socks. I heart them so much, I feel like knitting a pair for myself in every color. Did someone mention a trip to the yarn store?

Other than that, had a setback with some not-entirely-fabulous news yesterday. I'm picking myself up, dusting myself off, and looking at Plan B. I allowed myself to mope this morning and not work out (I did, however, watch an episode of Doctor Who and knit more on the project I started last night) - but then again, I didn't go on a junk food binge last night or this morning, and I not only walked to the extra train station in Forest Hills, but I got off a stop early and walked from the West side to the East side. I'm hanging in, trying to keep developing the good habits that served me so well the last time.

Cannot wait to tear into (heh heh) World War Z - I started it a couple of days ago, and it's so good; I can't believe I didn't make the time to read this earlier. I expect I'll get some reading done on the plane, and in the evenings when we're hanging out at Dad's.

Since this is the last time I'll have computer access for the next few days, let me mention that Cutie Pie is turning the big five tomorrow. Five! That's not fair. I wasn't done with his being a baby. Pictures of the big fifth birthday extravaganza to come.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Countdown Continues.

Two more days. Actually, more like one and a half because two days from now, I'll be sitting in Florida, most likely at brunch with the family. I can't wait.

Damn, but the summer went fast. I was supposed to clean my apartment and lose 20 pounds. I was supposed to knit up all the Christmas presents I had planned. Guess how much of that was accomplished?

But I'm tired of looking back and being disappointed in myself, because that just leads to really self-destructive behavior on my part. So I'm going to shrug and say, well - I got the middle closet and the dining room done. I did knit up a few things. And while I haven't lost 20 pounds, I've gotten into a pretty firm workout routine and upped the fruit and veggie intake. So I've made steps, and that's something to be proud of.

Some nitwit at work ate my yogurt. Grr.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Holla At Cha Boy

This one's for Piera. ;-) Classic moment in Project Runway history.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


After what seems like forever, I am finally reconnected this week - Mike just got my cell phone fixed and, earlier this week, dealt with Best Buy in a way that my temper would never allow and got my camera replaced. Huzzah!

Counting the days 'til Florida - less than 7 full days now (it's actually 7 days, but at this time, we'll be in Florida, relaxing by the pool)! I think it may be safe enough for me to pack, at least some stuff. I get antsy when I can't pack early. Packing makes me feel that much closer to leaving.

I've got serious knitting ADD lately - I finished the first Kimono sock last night (and it is adorable), but felt the need to cast on something entirely different to head off second sock syndrome. So I decided to start up a little sweater for Mike's cousin, whose baby shower is in early October. I still have the ever-going stockinette stitched French Market bag sitting in my stash bag. And I finished the Celtic Cable neckwarmer, but haven't gotten the buttons for it. Don't ask me about the Tree of Life afghan. We do not speak of such things.

Finally finished the Torchwood novel, Slow Decay and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's written very much in the vein of the show, which I've come to love and I definitely want to check out more of the novels. I still have three Doctor Who novels to get to, and I just saw a Primeval book in Border's, and since I like that show, I'm sure I'll be getting that book. Yup - too many books, too little time.

I'm still working my way through Twilight. Not sure if it's my speed or not. I know it's really become very popular outside of the 'teen and 'tween market, but I think I need to finish it before I make a decision on how I feel about it. I've got World War Z finally on my nightstand, which has been one of those books I've sworn I was going to read for about a year now. It's in the on-deck circle, finally.

Sigh... then I still have the rest of the Dresden Files.

So, I've been working on my vacation reading. I'm hoping to have Twilight done, so I'll be toting World War Z in my carry-on bag. I always like to have a back-up, so I'll probably bring a Doctor Who novel with me. Or maybe a couple of magazines, this way I can lighten my load and dump them when I'm done.

Vacation knitting - I'll probably just bring the second kimono sock and be done with it. And maybe some baby hat goodness for the shower. Or a baby sweater. Something small and portable.

Must mull this over.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Catching Up

I've been remiss - my podcasts have been languishing! Having Will with me on my daily commute put a big dent in my podcast listening time, so I'm catching up this week. I want to give a shout-out to Bren over at one of my fave podcasts, Mail Order Zombie, who has given me a shout-out on several of the episodes - I'm back!

It's been such a busy summer that so much has gotten away from me without my realizing it. Between shuttling the kids to and from camp every day, working on the NYCTF application, and dealing with the little things that come up constantly, I feel like I missed a chunk of the summer. Jeez, remember how much fun we had as kids? Summer was all about sleeping late and then going out to play all day long. I could use a summer like that!

Now I'm counting down the days 'til we leave for Florida (T-minus 9 days). Looking forward to seeing my dad and having some downtime.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

After the NYCTF teaching event on Saturday, I met Mike and the boys at Madison Square Garden (after a stop at Borders - three new Torchwood novels, whoo hoo!), where we surprised them with tickets to Walking With Dinosaurs - courtesy of Carol, who rocks. You see, getting tickets to this show was a bear of immense proportions - it was only in town for a short time, and weekend tickets were akin to World Series tickets in their difficulty. But Carol pulled a lot of stops out and got us four tickets - and the seats were amazing.

After it sunk in that we were going to see the show, the kids were pulling us through Madison Square Garden. Along the way, we somehow managed to pick up a dinosaur spinning light and a 3-D poster. We were initially shown to the luxury boxes, where Heartbreaker was thrilled with the cinema seating and free sodas; I was grateful for the private bathrooms (am I getting old?). Turns out that the view was obscured, so we were moved down to the floor.

The stage was actually the entire floor of the Garden, so the seats actually began in the dark purple section here:

See dead in the center? Yep - that was us. Get your dino freak on, baby. I called Carol to thank her profusely, and the boys basically screamed "Thank YOU!" into the phone. The red and yellow section comprised the stage, so you can see how close we were.
The show was great. There was an actor/paleontologist who took the audience on a tour of the evolution of the dinosaurs, with the dinos lumbering out to eat, fight, and take care of their young. There was an Icthyosaurus that dropped down from the scaffolding to 'fly' against a moving background; there was a Stegosaurus, an Ankylosaurus, an Allosaurus (T-Rex's smaller cousin), and Velociraptors for all. The boys were thrilled; Alex really thinks the dinosaurs were real. When the Brachiosaurus came out and stuck his giant neck over the audience, he was right over our heads.
The crowd went wild when the Momma T-Rex made her appearance at the end, defending her baby. She proceeded to roar at each section of the crowd, with her baby letting a cute squeak follow her up. And when the paleontologist took his bow at the end, Baby T-Rex was there, stealing the show, even refusing to end the curtain call.
If Walking With Dinosaurs comes back - and man, I hope it does - you have to go. It's worth every cent. And in the meantime, check it out on DVD if dinosaurs are your thing - it's that good.
Quick Updates

I'm in the throes of the Summer KAL-CAL, but the endless stockinette stitch of the French Market Bag from Knitty is killing me slowly. So I decided to keep my brain alive and cast on for the Kimono Socks from Knitscene's Fall 2008 issue - so. cute.

Now my cell phone AND my camera are dead - am I Magneto? Or Harry Dresden? Jeez. This is killing me, because I can't take pictures of my bag-in-progress of my adorable sockies. Dammit.

I did get my Saucy Knitters Hot Sauce Swap goodness from my pal AJ over at (Not So) Cynical Knitting Gal - and I swear to you, I will post a photo soon. In fact, I had Mike shoot the swappy awesomeness with his camera phone this morning, and as soon as he can e-mail the picture to me, I'll put it up. Two words - sock yarn. Three more - three hot sauces. One of which is my Tex-Mex restaurant face, Cholula Hot Sauce. The raspberry chipotle salsa may have to be busted out tonight, since I think we may be eating quesadillas. And the Tiger Hot Sauce. Oh my. More swappy discussions once I get the pic up. But suffice to say, AJ is awesomeness. And her doggie, Gracie, now graces a special spot on my wall o'photos. Because she's smooshy cute.

More on the teaching demo and Walking With Dinosaurs later - I've got a rumbly in my tumbly that tells me it's time to forage for lunch.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just a quick update...

I got some exciting news tonight - Baby Benevides has joined us! Stacey Plurked about it after reading Lauren's Facebook page. Girl, you are Iron Woman for being in labor AND Facebooking it. I have those last couple of gifts to give, so when I get to visit, I'll make sure to bring them.

Saturday's coming quickly, and I've started my teaching demo run-throughs. I am seriously debating on dragging Heartbreaker and Cutie Pie out of bed to be my students, but that's probably not very teacherly behavior, especially at 10:59 p.m. on a weeknight. I gave Mike my lesson, but he was half asleep. I'll run through it tomorrow.

And to SiSi - that e-mail address is the old one. Let me see if I can make this work: Roe's e-mail. If you click on that, you should be able to e-mail me!

In knitting news, the endless stockinette stitch of the French Market bag continues. I frogged the first draft of the Celtic Neckwarmer, but the second time seems to be the charm.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Stupid Man-Eating Escalator.

I was supposed to get my stitches out today, but the doctor decided it would be best to leave them in for another couple of days. So I get to pay an additional co-pay in a few days. Stupid escalator. Stupid rush hour.

Okay, enough griping. I've got good stuff on the horizon. I haven't really said much about this because I was being superstitious and afraid of jinxing myself, but I have to get past that phobia. So here it is - I applied to the NYC Teaching Fellows program and have made it past the first round!!! Deep breaths, deep breaths.

So the next round comes this coming Saturday. I have a day of interviews downtown and I will have to give a 5-minute teaching demo. I'm excited and terrified all at once, and Nancy is a saint for putting up with my mania as I mine her years of education knowledge. She's given me some great ideas, now I have to test it out on my boys to see if I can get this down pat in five minutes.

I don't know what will come of this, but I'm really hopeful. I have wanted to get into the classroom for so long, and I really hope that this is the chance for me. So please, keep your fingers crossed, ok? Send some teacherly vibes my way.

Other happenings... I'm working on the endless stockinette stitch involved in the French Market bag, but have cast on for a Celtic Neckwarmer to keep my brain from flatlining.

I've got another swap going - the Saucy Knitters Swap Part Deux - a continuation of the awesome hot sauce swap that I was in a few months ago. (not so) Cynical Knitting Gal, someone I've come to consider a good friend, ended up being my swap partner and she totally rocks! I'm so ticked off that my camera is still dead (grr...), but I'm going to see if I can get Will's camera to work so I can take a pic of the swappy goodness. In addition to the package o'yarny love I received at home today, there's one of hot saucy goodness waiting at the local post office. So guess where I'm headed after work tomorrow.

Did I mention that I got to meet another knitting Plurker? Last week, Karen from The Knitting Patch and I got together for some tasty Yolato and knitting talk. It was so great to meet another knitter that I've been talking to online for months (only to discover that she works less than three blocks from me)! The online knitting community is really amazing.

Okay, before I split to break up the emerging fight between the boys and herd them to bed, just have a message for my friend Sisi - I do not know what is up with the e-mail situation; no one else has had a bounceback! I am sending off a letter to you by the week's end, but didn't want you to think I was ignoring you - when my e-mail crashed a while ago, my address book was wiped out and I can't find your e-mail in my address book! Can you e-mail me again? I hope we can make plans for October!

Oh, and by the way - new issue of Knitscene? Must. Knit. Every. Pattern. Immediately.

Okay, they're trying to put each other in sleeper holds. This can't be good. I'm out for now.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I just spent my literal last dollar on lunch. It was totally worth it, but I may have to ask Mr. ATM to loan me some cash so I have 'mug money'. You know what mug money is, don't you? My mother always told me to have some money handy in case you get mugged, because if you're empty-walleted, apparently that would make it worse. Ah, the '70s.

So I took it to the knitters on Plurk, and it seems that the French Market Bag is the way to go with the extra-chunky yarn I've got; the fact that it's not quite at gauge is okay because it's going to be felted anyway. Whoo hoo! Next project for the Summer KAL-CAL will cast on tonight!

Speaking of the KAL-CAL (knit-a-long/crochet-a-long), I have to take pictures of the soaps I'm donating as prizes. Except my camera broke in Rhode Island. So hopefully the phone camera takes halfway decent pics...

More later!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I was meaning to blog this earlier, but was sidetracked by the excitement yesterday.


- The lady walking with the bloody shin? (that would be me yesterday) Obviously not having a good morning. Clear a path to the coffee counter for her.

- That sound you hear as I pass by is Anthrax and Public Enemy. Not exactly Yanni. It reflects the mood. Get out of the way.

- Tourists, this one's for you - A.M. rush hour in Manhattan is precisely the WORST possible time, along with 5 P.M. rush hour, to be taking photos in Grand Central Station. What in the hell are you awake and in Grand Central for at this hour, anyway? You're on vacation. Go back to bed, or find a breakfast buffet and stay the hell out of my way.

- The urge to clothesline people coming at you full speed is tremendous, especially when you're undercaffeinated and very hot and drippy. And bleeding. So before you Westchester and Connecticut commuters think about charging me en masse, think hard.
Bad Blogger, No Cookie.

I know, I know, I've neglected again. I throw myself on the mercy of the court.

So, what's been going on? Well, we had a lovely weekend in Newport, Rhode Island that wasn't without some stepfather drama on the fringes. Suffice to say Newport is now very close to places I would leave NY for in a hot second.

What else? Oh yes, the Subway Incident. Ready for this one? Take a seat, pop some popcorn, this is a good one.

I had a bit of an adventure that required me leaving work at noon. To go to the freaking hospital. Why? Because I am a freak and New York sucks. Anyway. Heartbreaker goes to camp in NYC, so we get off at 53rd and 3rd yesterday morning, like always. As we go up the escalator - and, for those non-New Yorkers reading, escalators in New York have express lanes, I kid you not; if you just want to stand and allow the escalator to do its job and transport you, you stay to the right. If you use the escalator as a walking path, you go to the left. True story. Anyway, we're in the express lane, and everyone in that lane acts like some crazed serial killer is behind them.

Some jacka$$ must have stepped on the back of my sneaker because obviously being right up my rear end was going to get him or her to the top of the escalator that much more quickly. I fell, hit my leg on the step, which is like a little claw. I got up, saw I was bleeding, didn't think much of it. Got Will to camp, got to work, and cleaned up the leg, which looked worse cleaned up. I had a hole of about 1-inch in my shin. I tried to bandage it up, but it kept bleeding through, so around noon, I went home. Mike met me there, checked the cut, and apparently, I was cut to the bone. So he drove me to the ER, where I waited a really long freaking time, and got three stitches and a tetanus shot.

In knitting updates, I finished the Rattlesnake Socks! Now, I need to find something else to knit. I'm thinking of the French Market Bag from Knitty. But will I use it?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Happy Fourth!

A bit late, but let's keep the party going. We had a busy but relaxing weekend. The boys had a playdate, we spent some family time out in Staten Island, and Mike and I got some work done at home. We threw out a couple of bags worth of garbage, got the bookshelves above our bed organized, and I can now access my radio/CD player that was buried under books and dust for far too long. We actually have paper in our file drawer now, too, as opposed to empty pentaflexes and paper strewn about the room. Let's hear it for organizing! Now, if I can just keep reminding myself that progress comes in inches rather than leaps.

I finished one sock - the Rattlesnake Creek socks I've been working on as part of the Summer Knit-A-Long/Crochet-A-Long - and cast on the second, so Mom is happy to have a second pair of socks coming her way.

Had an aggravating conversation with my father - is there any other one, these days? - and retreated into junk food for two days. Sigh. Nothing like hearing, "Oh... I guess you haven't heard from me in a month because I was too lazy to call." That's only a slight paraphrasing, folks. Does he honestly think that makes me feel better? Not only is he too much of a selfish jackass to come up to New York, putting all the effort on me to trek four people down to see him, but now it's all on me to keep up any pretenses of a relationship at all? When I do get down there next month, there's got to be some conversation; changes are going to have to be made.

I don't normally get this heavy here, but I just needed to vent a bit.

After my 2-day pity party, I've emerged recommitted to getting myself back together. Today's nano-goals include eating well for breakfast and making a healthy lunch. Check - had a tasty smoothie for breakfast, I've made my own lunch (pasta with edamame with a splash of lemon juice) and brought healthy snacks. Just have to make sure I eat a snack before leaving work so I don't snack/binge when I get home.

Slowly, but surely, I'm getting back on track. If I can get down those 10 pounds before leaving for Florida next month I think I'll be in a good place.

Monday, June 30, 2008

How'd I Do?

So today was the first day of my rejuvenated, get my arse in gear plan to lose 10 pounds by Alex's birthday. I did great, until I got home. Rather than take the time to figure out what to make, I opted for a before-dinner snack of Pringles and fruit snacks.


Okay. The day's not over, and in the grand scheme of things, this is not a dealbreaker. I did catch myself and have a yogurt before things got completely out of hand, so at least I put some dairy into my day. Now, I'll make myself some actual food, work out, and make sure that I eat a healthy snack before leaving work tomorrow - that should head off the snackies when I get home.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Can you tell us how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?

Upon meeting Big Bird, Alex was apparently inspired to do his best Richard Nixon impression.

Big Bird palms Alex's head like a little basketball.

Family portrait by the Camden waterfront.

Will does his best shipwrecked corpse impression.


Just got home from our vacation weekend, and it was perfect. The weather held up, Sesame was so much fun - if insanely crowded, the Adventure Aquarium was great, and we had an altogether awesome time.

Grover was indeed there, and he was in SuperGrover regalia. However, I was on line for the Grover ride, the Vapor Trail - AUGH! At least Mike was good enough to capture him on digital. I did make sure to get pictures with Bert and Cookie Monster, though. I think going to Sesame Place was as much fun for me as it was for the kids.

More on vacation and pictures to come. In the meantime, I've got to finally say it. My son is going to be five and I am still not back in my pre-Alex clothes. I can't beat myself up for this anymore. For Alex's birthday, which is in just under two months, I'd like to know I'm on the path back to pre-Alex clothes. So I'm hoping that by making it public, I've committed myself to not falling off the wagon. Not congratulating myself for sticking to a good eating plan after one day by 'celebrating' with the stuff that keeps me looking like this. I commit to being ten pounds lighter by Alex's fifth birthday. Keep me honest, folks.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Of Pirate Parties and Pre-K Graduations...

The end of school always brings running around with it. This week, Will's class had a pirate publishing party (say THAT three times fast) and Alex graduated Pre-K.

What's a publishing party? It's when the classes work on projects for a few weeks, and then 'publish' their projects - make a cute little report book up and such - and parents and family to come visit, ideally. Will's class worked on pirates this past month, so he wore his Jolly Roger finest to school that day (a very cool tee from Savannah with the pirate flags of some of the most famous pirates in history, plus his skull & crossbones bandanna) and I contributed two bags of - you guessed it, Pirate's Booty - to the party. I brought Alex with me, dressing him in his Pirates of the Caribbean shirt to make sure he felt like he was a part of things.

The Pirate Boys!

Will's teacher this year is one of those teachers who really goes the extra mile with getting the kids involved in their learning. At the end of each school year, she goes all out and decorates the classroom for one major theme to end the year on, this year's theme being Under The Sea. Since pictures are worth a thousand words, let me just pause here to show you.

That's a classroom. How cool is this? There are fish, crabs, jellyfish, and even a plush Orca hanging out in the classroom with the kids. Last year's class theme, the rain forest (complete with hanging vines and snakes) was tough to beat, but it looks like she may have topped herself. It was fantastic.

We got to review all the kids' projects and comment on them, and then we pretty much just hung out. I snapped this cute shot of the boys - I love when they think no one is looking and you can really see how much they enjoy each other's company. Despite the fact that they get on each others' nerves constantly.

And then, it was time for Alex to graduate Pre-K yesterday. And I actually didn't fall apart into a puddle of sobbing motherhood. I think that may have been due more to the irritation at the rude parents and assorted family members who kept shoving and standing in everyone else's way - seriously, if you're in the front row, what the hell do you need to stand for? Sometimes, adults are more infantile than the children.

Anyway. It was Alex's day, and he was awesome. He sang, he danced, and ultimately, became a graduate.

Of course, having received his little diploma early on, he got bored pretty darned quickly.

So now, it's on to Sesame Place and a great summer.

We leave in less than two days for Sesame Place! I think I may be more excited than the kids. I hope we get to see Grover; even at the ripe old age of 37, I love that furry little blue guy. Bet on me taking a picture with him if he's wandering around; if he's in SuperGrover regalia, so much the better.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I think everyone's day would be a little brighter if it started off with The Village People, don't you?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Plurk Obsession

Okay, so as if Facebook wasn't an obsession enough - or Ravelry, for that matter - I get Plurk. I've never Twittered before, but a bunch of knitters on Ravelry have been talking about Plurk, which is apparently just like Twittering. So I set up an account (full disclosure: I also heard that one of the Plurkers would share a sock pattern with any fellow knitters who are also Plurkers. Hey, you knew it was likely knitting related, didn't you?)

So I sign on, and next thing I know, after some time in the Plurk Ravelry forum, I'm now addicted. I've even added the widget to my blog, so just take a look over there on your right. Hi there. Now you know what I'm doing all day long. Doesn't this give your life new meaning? Thought so. So if you happen to be on Plurk, just look me up.

By the way - met Stacey for lunch at ZenBurger yesterday, and now she's converted me. Vegetarian but tasty? Chipotle sauce on tap? Dancing hamburger video? What could possibly be wrong? I tried to find footage of the dancing hamburger on YouTube, but sadly, there was nothing to be found.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pretty much speaks for my frame of mind today.

In other news, I finished the Lacy Days socks from the last post. Very comfortable! Now, I've gone and started the epic Tree of Life afghan project (check out the button on the right) from Lion Brand. I've joined their Knit-Along, and God help me, I'm going to do it. I'd love to have it done in time for my mom's birthday in September.

Have to continue on my quest for a bathing suit today, since the only thing I accomplished at Old Navy earlier this week was an understanding that I am about a decade too old to be shopping there. At least for bathing suits. Sigh.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the Daddies out there!

This weekend was a whirlwind, like they've been for the most part lately. We had Will's delayed birthday party yesterday - same bat-time, same bat-channel (i.e., Nathan's, where he's had the past two or three birthday parties).

Nathan's on Old Country Road, by the Source Mall? WOW. They've done some big-time renovations, including adding a separate party room with two large screen HDTVs for the kids, the Burritoville is finally open, and a Ray's Pizza is coming. Yum.

It was great for Will, because we had 19 kids there; he was surrounded by his friends and family, and I am pretty sure the kid had a blast. And the stash of presents? Don't even get me started.

Will and the guys chowing down

Birthday cake time! It was an Iron Man cake - ROCKIN'.
After the party, I met up with Piera and we went to a book party - GOD, it was so nice to go to one again! I really, REALLY miss book publishing. And the added fun was that it was a friend of mine who wrote the book - no, not another book from Dan just yet - Robb wrote a Q Guide to Sex and the City, and had a book party at Book Court, a fantastic little honest-to-goodness bookstore in Brooklyn, last night. No mega-super-multi-floored stores, no Starbucks counters (full disclosure: there is one down the block, and I did have a tall skim latte), just a space that felt deliciously like my own living room, books, and people that knew not only how to talk books, but how to make a wicked Cosmo. Yay!

Piera, David and me - together again!

Author-Man Robb Pearlman, and David

Like the show? Buy this book!

Another old friend from the ISO days, John Nicholson, came in for the party and ended up giving Piera and I a lift back into Queens, bless him - especially since Mike and Alex braved horrific rain and a BQE shutdown to get us there and apparently only beat us home by 20 minutes.

It was awesome. And as I settled into bed last night, I whipped out the book and read half of it. I finished it this morning. Reading Robb's book is like sitting down to a Sex & The City marathon with some of my best gay husbands (well... it was written by one of them, after all), dish, snark and all. If you like the show, you'll love the book. Not a gay man? Seriously, this is Sex & The City - all the more reason for you to read it, girls.