Tuesday, April 29, 2008


It's that kind of day.

Monday, April 28, 2008

My Saucy Knitting Friends Rock!

So I got my goodie box from my Saucy Knitters swap pal Kathy, and holy mackerel, does she rock. I got the post office notice on Thursday and ended up telecommuting on Friday.

Friday deserves a blog post of its own, but since I was too sleep deprived, here's the story in a nutshell - 2 a.m. Friday morning, Mom calls to tell us Alex has been up coughing for hours and can't sleep. Mike jets out to Jersey to get him, I run downstairs at 3:45 to get Alex because Mike can't find a parking spot, we both get up at 6:30. He goes to work, I stay home and telecommute, and Alex sleeps like a log.

Mike gets home on Friday and I make him drive me to the post office before we do anything else, so I can get my box. I can't even begin to tell you about the insane giggling I experienced just imagining what fibery and saucy pleasures awaited me. I finally opened the box, despite Mike's constant chastising, before we hit Target (we were doing some quick weekend picking up of stuff).

Well... pictures speak a thousand words. So these pictures should all tell you that Kathy freaking rules.

Le Box - two skeins of (hot) red sock yarn, two skeins of beautiful variegated green yarn that's just desperate to be hugged, GIANT BAG OF M&M PEANUTs, two rocking sock patterns, and a really nice pen and case.

Must look closer at sock yarn. You will see my feet lovingly wrapped in these by the Fall, I guarantee you.

Green. Ahhh... The color of Spring. I may have to whip something up in this immediately, if not sooner, just to feel the soft wool winding around my fingers.

The sauces. The sauces! How cool is this sauce? Not only is it Jamaican Hot Pepper Sauce, but the little cap on top is handmade - Kathy wrote that children were making them and selling them when she was there! How cool is this for a souvenir!

Pocket-sized Tabasco sauces. For all my traveling needs. You know these guys are coming to Des Moines with me in May.

There was also a tasty-looking Key Lime Margarita grilling sauce that Mike keeps eyeing, and I have to smack his hands lest he take it and sleep with it under his pillow. My sauce!

Again, Kathy - thank you, and you ROCK.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Time. Warner. SUCKS.

I have not been a happy Time Warner cable customer. Last year, when the folks next door moved out, they disconnected MY cable service, having mixed up the reading of the apartment stickers, apparently. And took a freaking WEEK to come rectify their mistake. Have you ever tried to be at home for a week with a preschooler who can't watch Dora the Explorer?

So for their latest, my bedroom cable box just goes out the other night. I'm used to this ridiculous "rebooting," having endured it periodically for a few years now. Time Warner insists it's not a problem, so I guess I'm just paying astronomical cable rates for an inconvenience. (Not that my payments showing up late would be an allowable minor inconvenience to them, mind you.) Except this time, when my cable comes back online, MY DVR QUEUE IS WIPED OUT. I have shows that I watched back in February and early March showing up - stuff that I deleted after watching - but a month's worth of shows - including MY DOCTOR WHO MARATHON FROM SCI-FI CHANNEL LAST WEEK, and Torchwood, and the latest episodes of both The Office and Survivor, are GONE. Freaking gone. Oh, and the stuff that came back from the dead? It tells me that the show doesn't exist when I try to access it.

When can the cable company come? Mike has to take a day off on Wednesday so these tools can show up and probably tell me that they can't recover my shows. Never mind that I was screaming like a harpy in the background that they work on my money, and they should show up when it's convenient for me. (Mike swears that we're lucky they show up at all with me screaming that so that they can hear.)

I just heard that Verizon is hoping to launch their own FiOS cable/phone/internet system in New York by next year. Put my arse first in line for that signup.

So please, no Office spoilers, okay? I have to watch it online tonight. And the only reason I haven't grown to Godzilla-like proportions and taken out the Time Warner building in Queens in my rage is because Battlestar repeated itself later that evening.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

So. Awesome.

Please to enjoy Peeps for Passover.

In less awesome news, I had to frog the shawl I'd been working on for Mike's cousin, who's making her Communion next weekend. AUGH. That sound you hear is my head slamming into the desk after I've impaled myself on my circular needles. Back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring Fever

Oh, how I have Spring Fever. BIG TIME. I need to get OUT and get some air.

Man, when I was a kid, and it was a beautiful day like this, we'd have gym outdoors in St. Bart's Park, right across the playstreet from school. We looked forward to spring, because our lunchtime recess would move from the playstreet into the park. It was a marked change in the season that we loved, a change in routine.

Why can't work be like that? Why can't our bosses say, "Hey - it's beautiful out. Let's go sit in a cafe and work for a while." Or, even better, "Go home, log in when you get a chance."

Man, it was cool to be a kid.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring Fling Coffee Swap Topic #3!

Ooh, it's a good one this week, right in line with my blog title...

Tell us how you started drinking coffee. Were you in high school or college and making it through all nighters? Did you get it from a family member? What drives your love of the bean?

My dad loves himself some Manhattan Special - espresso coffee soda, essentially, to the uninitiated. I remember him giving me a sip when I was a kid, and thinking it was WAY too strong. But something had to intrigue me, because I'd say when I was about 14 or so, I had a sip of iced coffee - and if you have never had a sip of iced coffee on a hot, summer's day, my friend, you are missing out. By the time I was 16, I was nursing an iced coffee habit that may have rivaled my book habit (the yarn habit developed much later).

I remember the office where I worked that summer. There was a delicious little pastry place up the block that I'd pass on the way in every morning. I'd run in, get a croissant and a large iced coffee, and settle in, relishing every buttery bite of the croissant and the delicious rush of the coffee while getting ready to face the onslaught of the day.

By the time I was in college, I was a coffee junkie, graduating to hot as well as iced coffee. Now, I still love my iced coffee, but I do need a hot cup to get a jump start to my morning. I remember cramming for midterms and swallowing handfuls of instant coffee and washing it down with Kool-Aid to stay awake - and by the way, folks, I REALLY don't recommend that to anyone.

My dad and mom had split when I was in college, but I remember going to visit him in the Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn he was living in; I'd get off of the subway, head right into the deli at the foot of the subway station, and pick up two bottles of Manhattan Special. I remember the two of us, laughing and cracking the bottles open as we sat across each other at his dining room table. I remember sitting with Dad at Au Bon Pain during our weekend outings, him shaking his head and saying, "Roe... I'm gonna kill you for doing this to me!" as we finished our second rounds of their Iced Mocha Blasts. I remember him coming to visit me after Alex was born; the two of us, this time across from each other at my dining room table, me cradling my new baby, him having just played with Will, and settling down to share a nice, hot cup of coffee together.

I'll be heading off to Florida in a few months to visit him again, and I think I need to pack some Manhattan Special into my carry-on (or, since it comes in glass bottles, maybe I have to pack it. I'll figure it out.).

So I guess I never really thought about it before, but aside from the need for general adrenaline, my love of the bean is driven by the good memories it always seems to deliver of time spent with my Dad.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

What's Your Favorite Book?

I just read this in Publishers Lunch and had to share:

Poll Asks, Name Your Favorite Book

Harris Interactive surveyed American adults to find out "What is your favorite book of all time?" The answers:

1. The Bible
2. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
3. Lord of the Rings (series), by J.R.R. Tolkien
4. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
5. The Stand, by Stephen King
6. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
7. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
8. Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown
9. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
10. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

I've got to say, I love and hate these polls. I love seeing what other people's favorite books are, but I lose all memory when it comes to me. I blurt out the obvious - the Lord of the Rings series and The Hobbit - but I know I've got so many more bouncing around in my head. For someone who loves books as much as I do, it's almost panic-inducing when I'm asked that question.

So am I going to try and answer it? Of course I am.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Yeah, I think I've got to say that one. I return to it every now and then just for the sheer love of the book. It's honestly the most dysfunctional love story of all time.

Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier. Come on, girl meets boy, girl marries boy, girl has to contend with crazy housekeeper who loved boy's first wife and finds out that boy shot first wife and dumped her body at sea. And then finds out that first wife was a slut who wanted to die because she had cancer so she taunted boy until he did the deed. What's not to love? Daytime television had nothing on Du Maurier.

Bridget Jones' Diary, by Helen Fielding. The original chick-lit book. Hilarious and just enough girly stuff to make me happy. And big girl panties will never be the same again.

The Vampire Lestat, by Anne Rice. For a while there, I was insane for Anne Rice. (Until she went berserker and started believing her own hype. But I digress.) Interview with the Vampire was amazing; The Vampire Lestat ratcheted it up a couple of notches. While Mike rolls his eyes at Rice's vampires, snarling "Eurotrash" every time I mentioned them, I love this vision of the vampire - the tortured, immortal Louis, the devil-may-care, eff 'em if they can't take a joke Lestat - it's all good. The original three Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice will always be aces in my book, but if I had to pick just one, this is the one I'd take to my desert island.

Okay, I've got more, but I hear Alex having a fit so I think Mike is washing his hair 'wrong' again.

So let me explain how excited I am. When I was a kid, my dad had me watching Star Trek with him from the time I was in diapers. My second earliest memory is of watching an episode of Trek that had what looked like flying pancakes attacking Spock (it's Operation: Annihilate), and I was hooked. From there, Dad and I bonded over science fiction and adventure - you all know my Star Wars and Indiana Jones fixations. When Will was born, I was convinced that I would be raising a Trekkie/Star Wars/Lord of the Rings geek like myself. I wanted that connection. I know it sounds as corny as hell, but I wanted us to share something like that.

He had a passing interest in Star Wars. He did want to be a Balrog when he was 2, which gave me hope, but Star Wars? Meh.

So the other day, since I've recently gotten into Dr. Who, I was watching one of the episodes I've DVR'd (thank you, Sci Fi Channel, for the marathon). Will and Alex both wander in, and as soon as they see the Tardis whirling through the clouds, they settle down in bed next to me. By the end of the Blink episode, Alex has wandered off, but Will turns to me, eyes huge.

"Do you have any more of that show recorded?"

So now, not only are Will and I sharing the connection I was desperately hoping to have, but we're learning about it together. Sometimes, you just have to let it find you.

I know some people may roll their eyes, or laugh, and think, "How ridiculous; you're relying on science fiction to bond with your kid?" And my answer to that is no, I've done that quite well to date, thanks much. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, it's almost impossible to explain. For those of you who understand, I guess there's no explanation needed.

So I guess I should say thanks to Russell T. Davies, who brought Dr. Who back (and gave us Torchwood, which I'm still on the fence about but moving toward saying, "Okay, I like it.")

Monday, April 07, 2008

Next Spring Topic!

The Spring Fling Coffee Swap topic of the week:

Since some of us are beginning to see glimpses of Spring, while others are still getting snow, have you changed what projects you are working on? Have you put away the hats, scarves and mittens and brought out the cute tank top sweater projects and lacy wraps? Have you changed yarns to something more lighter and cooler, not so heavy and bulky?

I'm dogearing Spring patterns, if that's what you mean. I have marked up last year's and this year's Spring copies of Interweave Knits, and actually considering making them rather than just sighing and casting on another scarf. But right now, I'm finishing up a pair of fingerless gloves (does that count as Spring, if there are no fingers on them?) in this delicious Noro yarn I got from that insane yarn sale a month ago at Skein Attraction. I have a couple of baby projects on the backburner, but they'll be Summer and Fall stuff because one baby is due in the Summer (super secret projects!) and the other is here, but I saw something adorable that he must wear come the Fall.

That said, I do intend to knit myself at least ONE nice Spring thing to take to Savannah next month when Mike and I go for our big 10-year wedding anniversary trip.
So, Who's The Last Cylon?

BSG did not disappoint on Friday. From Starbuck telling poor Anders that she would put a bullet between his eyes if she ever found out he was a Cylon (gulp) to Baltar finding God in a pair of boobs (I asked Mike if he wrote that week's episode), it was intense storytelling that made me yell at the screen a few times - always the mark of a good episode. Heck, I didn't even knit, afraid I'd miss a crucial camera shot or reaction shot (like Anders being activated - that's how I took it, anyway). Now I'm counting down days until next episode (that would be 4). Oo-Ga.

Finished the Dr. Who Family of Blood episodes, and I've got to say, if the rest of the episodes are that good, I will be a Dr. Who fanatic in no time. Great storytelling - if I'm reading Wikipedia's entry on these episodes right, they were nominated for a Hugo Award for dramatic presentation and it is well-earned. I've DVR'd a bunch of episodes, and luckily for my addictions, Sci-Fi channel appears to be gearing up to air them as well, because there is a Dr. Who marathon during the day on Friday.

I just checked out USA Today's book section and a fellow Gen-Xer has written a book defending our poor slacker-named generation. I think I may have to check this out.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Excuse Me?

Yesterday I had one of those moments that blew me out of the water in its unexpectedness, and not in a good way. I was at work yesterday morning and had a meeting. As I was saying goodbye to the folks I met with, I realized my phone, which 'til then had been in my bag next to me, was buzzing; it was Mike. Will wasn't feeling well and could I pick him up from school? Since Mike works all the way downtown, I was the closer parent, so I told him I'd get him. I got the okay and left, arriving at school approximately 10 minutes before dismissal. He was in the office with the "gloom and doom face".

As I signed him out, one of the office aides - a woman who I've known and gotten along with the entire time Will's been in the school, mind you - says, "I tried to call you three times." I responded that I had been at work in a meeting, so I didn't have my phone right next to me. She repeats herself, and then says, "I finally had to call your husband when I couldn't get you... I felt bad, because I hate calling working fathers."

Excuse me? My blood starts to boil, so I quickly say, "Well, I'm a working mother." She gives me what I feel is this simpering, patronizing smile, and says, "I know, but I hate having to call a working father away." I signed Will out, looked her dead in the eye and said, "Well, I'm a working mother, and I was in the middle of a meeting when Mike got me. I have a JOB, too." I grabbed Will and walked out, and that's when I realized I was shaking, I was so angry.

What the hell? I felt so judged. How dare someone make me feel like I'm less of a parent because I work, or that because I'm a woman, my work is less significant than my husband's is? Especially from another woman?

Now, I know this is her issue and I shouldn't take it personally, but I do. I have been an active member of that school's parent community - a HELL of a lot more active than most of the at-home parents there, that's for sure - and that comment just pissed me off. It ate away at me for the rest of the day.

The assistant principal is having a baby - will this same office aide treat her like she treated me? Is it okay for the principal to be a working mother because her children are grown?

I haven't felt like a casualty in The Mommy Wars for a long time now, but that shot really got to me yesterday.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Coffee N Yarn Swap Topic o'the Week

So my coffee 'n' yarn swap topic this week was to browse some of the other participants' blogs, find one person who enjoys a similar roast coffee to me, and share something interesting about them that I find on THEIR blog. Oh, and talk about what I've been working on knitting or crochet-wise this week!

I wandered over to Becky's blog and she's a caffeine lover like I am; and I love the fact that although she lives in Starbuck's Country (Seattle), she loves herself some Dunkin'. As I've said many times, America and Roe run on Dunkin', so anyone else who shares the love is aces in my book. Also like me, she's recently started knitting intarsia patterns and hates the weaving in ends business. I hear you, girlfriend.

What am I working on this week? Well, I finally finished the snowflake lace socks, which look very nice if I say so myself. I've let the Princess Pram Cover and the second Horcrux sock languish for this week, but instead cast on the Evangeline gauntlets because I've been aching to try out that Noro yarn I got a few weeks ago. The yarn and I had a few disagreements initially, because it didn't want to be the first couple of patterns I wanted it to be, but it seems to be enjoying the Evangeline process nicely.
The Caffeine Click Test - How Caffeinated Are You?
Created by OnePlusYou

Three more days, my friends. Three more days. If I could giggle and jump up and down, I would, but that may draw looks from my co-workers. Or maybe they'd just think I had more coffee than normal. But I digress - THREE. MORE. DAYS.

In the meantime, I read a great interview with my chick-crush, Katee Sackhoff, here. I love that one of the first questions is addressed to all the folks who were staunchly against the idea of Starbuck being a woman. I hang my head in shame, as I was, indeed, one of those haters. I hope I've redeemed myself.

To soothe myself during these days of BSG countdown, I've been enjoying the new episodes (finally!) of Reaper (CW, please renew this show) and the amazing John Adams miniseries on HBO. I was just telling Linda that I've had the McCullough book on which the miniseries is based for an age, and one of these days, I've got to just sit down and dig in. If you haven't had a chance to watch the show, I really urge you to. Paul Giamatti cannot do any wrong in his choice of acting roles, and the interplay between his John and Laura Linney's Abigail Adams is incredibly well done.

I also caught the Season 2 premiere of The Tudors, which set a lot of storylines into play. It's going to be a good season - already, Catherine of Aragon has been ousted from the castle, we've seen a poor kitchenhand boiled in oil (Boleyn, I can't wait for you to get what's coming to you), and had the Pope move to excommunicate the King. Is history altered? Of course it is; it's television. But is it compelling to watch? Hell, yes. And considering that Queen Elizabeth is born this season and Anne will likely lose her head (will they save that for the season finale?), we've got a good season in front of us.

For my sci-fi jonesing, I've started to finally catch up on the latest incarnation of Dr. Who and its spin-off, Torchwood. I've grown up with Dr. Who, so the newer ones are easily watchable, having some idea of what's going on. I like David Tennant as the "new Who", and the couple of episodes I've seen so far are good. Since I'm starting in the middle of Torchwood, I think I need a little more time to figure stuff out. The first episode I watched has a doctor coming back from the dead but who's not alive - not a zombie, just not alive. He walks, he talks, but he's got no pulse, no heartbeat, and, as he finds out when he tries to revive someone using mouth-to-mouth rescussitation, no breath. Wounds don't heal. So again, interesting television but I need to place myself more into the middle of what's going on before I can say whether or not I love the show.

Wow, I completely geeked out for a while. It feels good. :)