I Cannot Contain my Excitement!

28 06 2007

When JungleJim and I began dating he went on and on and on about his love for cycling, the small regional races he’d ridden, and the great routes he’d found here in the desert. He said something along the lines of I wouldn’t see him at all during the month of July, which pleased me greatly because we began dating in December, and this meant he thought we’d still be together. On the other hand, punk! I’d never watched Le Tour de France before, only knew that Lance Armstrong had won a billion times, and could not for the life of me understand why anyone would want to watch a bunch of men riding bicycles. So months passed, JungleJim and I continued seeing one another and at some point fell in L-O-V-E. And then July rolled around, and I teased him about what he’d said way back in December, that I wouldn’t see him in July. This was the day before the race, and his expressionless gaze told me that I either had to get on board and become a fanatic, or sit silently beside him and not scoff the race, or really not see him. So I got on board and became a fanatic, and for that I thank my darling JungleJim.

I have an autographed picture of Dave Zabriskie that a sweet, sweet girl named Carrie got for me while DZ was making an appearance at a bookstore in Colorado. I might have kissed it. More than once.

My kids and I will sing snippets of songs from “The Triplets of Bellville” to each other every now and then.

I begin the countdown to Le Tour in May.

I’m still learning a lot about the teams and different stages of the race, of course. Sort of like knitting! Still learning a lot about knitting, but my devotion runs deep. And while that may seem like a pretty random segue (although probably not, given my propensity to babble), it isn’t.

I’ve joined Le Tour de France KAL and I’m SO excited! I’ve had about 900yds of gorgeous, dark chocolate brown alpaca yarn in my stash for quite some time. For this KAL, I’m going to knit a Clementine Shawlette. I figure the –ette makes it somewhat French, and therefore appropriate for this KAL. Check out that super cool button there on the sidebar! Seriously, people, it took me an HOUR pre-coffee to do that thing. I’m no button master, and I’m embarrassed by my lack of skillz. But there it is!

NINE DAYS, people! NINE DAYS! I am so excited!

Vive le Tour! Vive la Clementine Shawlette, or, to be plus francaise, Viva la shawlette Clementine!


Knitting = Coffee Table Art Book?

23 06 2007

Friday was a day for photographing scorpions and yarn. Happily, not together. I don’t know if any of you have ever held a scorpion, but those shits are HEAVY! They’re so solid, despite their delicate appearance. Scary, scary things. Thursday evening Jim and I were watching CSI, which used to be our favorite night-time routine. We’d turn it on at 7 and then stumble into bed around 10. During the flurry of activity during the past month we watched it once. I think we were tired of the re-runs, and besides, we have all three seasons of Arrested Development on DVD. Besides M*A*S*H*, Arrested Development is inarguably the Best Show Ever. Anyway. There we were watching CSI when Jim said “Feet up, FEET UP,” in a very calm but insisting tone. I thought maybe there was a rat on the floor. But a rat in the desert? Porn squirrels, yes, but I’ve not heard of rats invading homes. So then, ok, a spider. Or perhaps a cucaracha, there was a dead one in the pool. But no, it was a scorpion. Now, I hate it when people write things like “I just threw up in my mouth a little” (DUH, in your mouth! What, you’d throw up in your elbow-pit?) and “I just peed my pants a little,” because, people, incontinence = no laughing matter. Because that will lead to further incontinence. HOWEVER! I do admit to having a bladder seizure that nearly resulted in pants-peeing when I saw that scorpion headed towards the space on the porcelain tile that was not even nano-seconds before occupied by my feet. SCORPION! Even the word is frightening, such a swift, hard sound.

Ok, so he killed it with the remote. I love me my Jimmy, I really do. It’s sick. Here’s the carcass next to a fork.


And here he is next to his dead friend, who apparently said “Farewell, cruel world” by flinging itself into our pool. Squashed one is on the left, drowned on on the right.

Friday morning I began taking pictures of my stash for Ravelry (Happy Anniversary, Casey and Jess!). In addition to improving my knitting skillz, I also need to improve my photography skillz. I don’t aspire to be Mr. Trillian42, or Kent, but some honing is in order.

This is my fancy, trying to be AmyKnitty picture of my needles in a container picture.


Speaking of Kent (and I must apologize for probably giving him the impression that I am a psycho stalker, when that’s absolutely not true. I just get very enthused about some things!) look at that gorgeous Candleflame Shawl picture! To quote Mel Gibson in the movie “Signs”, I gasped, I literally gasped. That got me thinking about a coffee table book of gorgeous, non-fussy knitting photos. No people, no pets, no scorpions, just gorgeous photos of knitted things being knit.

Do you have a favorite?

What to do when MS Paint is missing and your computer overheats:

20 06 2007

A few weeks ago I must have done something to my computer, something that ATE the MS Paint application. That was a crying shame, because it is with MS Paint that I was able to make this delightful picture for my Super Hero Alter Ego, Domestic Overlord:

That’s pretty awesome, isn’t it? MS Paint, babies, MS Paint. And the POWER of my IMAGINATION! Imagine, then, if you will, my utter despair when I discovered that somehow my laptop had EATEN MS Paint. Eaten as in it was gone, nowhere to be found, and no matter how much mad Googling I did, no matter how thoroughly I scoured Microsoft’s (not even an ounce of) Help forums, I couldn’t figure out how to get my beloved MS Paint back. Last night in class I sat next to a delightful man who knows oh so much about computers. There was my opportunity! I seized it. In a manner far more succinct than this post, I said to him “Mike, my computer ate my MS Paint. How do I get it back?”

“It ate MS Paint?”

“Yes, MS Paint is gone from my computer. How do I get it back?”

And here are the instructions he gave me, just in case YOUR computer ate MS Paint, too!

Go to your Control Panel.

Go to Add/Remove Programs.

Now, on the left side of the window that pops up, you will see an option to Add or Remove Windows Components. Click on that.

Here’s the important part: A list of options will appear, and it is important that you ONLY check the one you want. In this case, you want to check ONLY the Games and Accessories box. So do that and then click Next. This will re-install the missing programs. In my case, it re-installed the calculator, all of the games, and yes, my beloved MS Paint. I don’t know how these programs ended up missing, but I’m glad they’re back.

Another problem I had with my computer was that it was forever overheating, and one morning the dang thing just refused to get going. It would turn on, whir up, stir a mighty breeze of hot air with its fan, and then *plook*, turn itself off. I was desperately frightened and quick like a bunny called Customer (lack of) Support. I did not get my hopes up, because this was the same outfit which told me that my Bluetooth wireless connection wasn’t working because I didn’t have the wire for it. Would that I had made that up, people. (I’m not sure what that means. Well, I know it means “I wish I were making that up”, but how did it end up meaning that? I needs me an OED.) Anyway, I gave up on Customer (lack of) Service and did what I should have done originally, which is Google it. Here’s what I learned to do if your computer is overheating and shutting itself down:

Clean out the heat-sink! On the underside of your computer you’ll find the vent for your fan. This thing gets clogged with a LOT of dust, which as we all know is primarily dead skin cells and miniature Abe Lincoln hats. If you have pets or children, replace “dead skin cells” with “cat hair” and “dead bugs and candy wrappers” in the previous sentence. This needs to be cleaned out! Remove the panel that covers the fan. Very carefully wiggle the heat-sink out of its cubbyhole. This may be, this will hopefully be, attached with a screw or two, and in that case go ahead and take them out, or you may as well give up. Don’t be a wuss, now. Just do as I say. Ok, so you’ve unscrewed your heat-sink and sweet-talked it out of your computer. Here’s what mine looked like, and you’ll have to forgive the blurry quality of the picture. I was a bit nervous about invading my computer’s orifices.

If you have one of those fancy office utensil, air in a can, things go ahead and give everything a fierce honk or two. Perhaps more if you have lots of pets. Give the fan a blast, too, just because. Ok! Now you’ve cleaned al of the crap off of the bits, it’s time to put the heat-sink back in. So put it back in, and make sure you replace the screw. Now your computer will start! And the fan won’t be blowing hot air all the time!

Next week: I will endeavor to cease using the words “And”, “So”, “Also”, “OK”, “Well” and “Now” at the start of nearly each sentence.

PS- Last night I knit two rows on my Icarus. Also, Ravelry has a search thing that goes in your Firefox toolbar searchy thing! Seriously. I’m going to be an English teacher.


I Think He Said I’m #69

18 06 2007

I promise, I still knit.

Just not a lot. And mostly on the same two objects- Icarus and the baby kimono. I’ve started numerous projects and either ripped them out or shoved them (with gentleness!) into a box for moving purposes. I still love our new house, despite the fact that I’ve already broken the doors to the laundry closet, and the pool pump and filter have both quit and consequently our pool is … not as sparkling clean as I’d like.

School keeps me busy. I guess by making you take REALLY SUCKY ASS CLASSES during SUMMER, They are testing my resolve to see if I really want to become a teacher. I do, can’t they just believe me? Oh well.

So because I have so much to do for school, and because I’m still unpacking, and because I foresee a big old thing in my immediate future, I’ll leave you with this:

If you’re tired of every single song you have in your iPod or Zune or Zen Creative whateverthehell, try this band Phoenix on for a little while. You won’t be sorry! Look, people, it’s not often that I recommend things to you, so when I do, trust me that it’s good. Especially when it comes to music. When at last I admit to myself that I can’t knit for crap and I should hang up my needles, I’ll turn this into an All Music All the Time blog and THEN we’ll see what’s what.

PS- Also, go read Zombie Fights Shark! It’s in my blogroll over there. Waffle House? How can you NOT love a blog that simply leaves you with a picture of the Waffle House menu? I found this guy several months ago and forgot about him, which is AWFUL of me! Anyway, that’s THREE things now:
Phoenix, Zombie Fights Shark!, and Waffle House.

I smooch you.

Oh, and PS again- Dear Ravelry- When my children aren’t fed, and no one has clean laundry, I’m sending my family to you because it will be YOUR FAULT!  Which is to say, I have a total crush on you.

Yo Queiro Comprar Mocos

12 06 2007

Well, good morning! I hope this Tuesday morning finds you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Actually, you’re on your own with that bushy-tailed business. I’m not sure what that means and the way my mind works, I think I’m better off not knowing.

So! This weekend loverman and I headed down south to Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. Or, as we gringos call it, Rocky Point. We stayed in the same resort condo thing, although there were a few noticeable differences between this condo and the last. Far be it for me to criticize anyone’s interior decorating decisions. My walls are mostly bare, and not just because we’re still unpacking from the move. However, and I say this with complete authority, a severed pelican head is never an acceptable element of interior design. Never.

You see? And you thought I was joking! I’m sure the net started out as a simple accessory, and that over time guests added random bits of sea crap to it. But someone actually TOUCHED that rotting bird skull, and my Spidey sense tells me that they didn’t use gloves, or, at the very least, plastic grocery sacks. The fun does not stop there, though! Oh no, it does not stop there.

Perhaps you thought I was just being squeamish about the rotting bird head, and perhaps I was. I invite you now to check out the mural that adorned one of the interior walls.

Yes, they did that on purpose. You can tell they did that on purpose because of the end-table/light ensemble there in the corner. I almost wondered where they found that, but then I realized I didn’t want to know. Ordinarily, when we go to the beach we spend most of our time in the water or on the sand basking in the gentle sunlight. This time, we spent as much time as humanly possible outside not only to enjoy the sun and ocean, but also to avoid the hideously tacky and somewhat grotesque décor of our rental condo. JJ reminded me more than three times that yes, their condo is beyond tacky, but the owners have a condo in Rocky Point and we don’t. Towards the end, though, his eyes were decidedly down-cast because there was nothing offensive about the floor tiles.

All right. Now that’s out of my system, I shall move on. We had the best weekend! The sun was perfect, the ocean water was the perfect temperature, the beach was not at all crowded, and we found some great little restaurants and street tacos. Street tacos are not at all, not even distantly, related to road apples. There was also what I’ve taken to calling The Marriage Proposal Fake-Out. It’s really less dastardly than it sounds. It was a sweet and weird moment, but no, we are not engaged.

Since Saturday was World-Wide Knit In Public Day, I brought along the baby kimono and knit about 10 rows while basking in the sun on the beach. I was the only person who was participating in WWKIPD there on the sand, but that’s ok. I’m nothing if not a revolutionary. I won’t bore you with another picture of it, I think I’ll wait until it’s well and truly done.

Today is Pool Boy Day! Some girlfriends from class are coming over to ogle the lovely lads who come to putz around half-nekkid in my yard. I’m sure we’ll also get some work done for our Research in Secondary Education class. What a day!

Twigs and Berries

5 06 2007

Some things are quite funny to me.  Takeshi’s Castle, for example.  That stuff is DAMN funny, people, and if you don’t laugh to the point of choking on your own tears watching this, you have no sense of humor.  So is the story of Nolan putting a wad of watermelon bubblegum in his hair on purpose, but he asked me not to talk about it so I really can’t. 

But what’s NOT funny is being mean to children.  Even jokes about it aren’t funny.  How could that be funny, anyway?  There are a few things about which I am insanely sensitive.  Violence against children is one of them.  So when someone jokingly suggested that I put my son in the freezer for a few hours to get the gum out of his hair, I was quite taken aback.  Obviously it’s a joke, but how do people come up with jokes like that?  Seriously.  I recently read a little gripe someone posted about her neighbor’s kids leaving their crap in her yard.  That would piss me right off, as I am quite territorial and possessive.  I think that comes from either being a middle child or a Cancer.  Someone suggested using electric fences, a hedge of prickly roses, or even poison ivy to keep the offending child out of the person’s yard.  Ok, another joke, but seriously, what the hell is with people that they think these “jokes” are funny?  Yes, I am sensitive.  Yes, it has been said that I’m occasionally unable to take a joke.  But come on.

All right.  To lighten the mood around here, look at this TOTALLLY UNTENTIONALLY DIRTY yarn porn!  This reminds me of the time my younger sister and I were having lunch in
Madison at an Indian restaurant.  My lunch arrived in the shape of a long, thick tube.  Her lunch arrived in the form of two large, round items.  We decided to share, and I deftly sliced the tube in half and plunked it swiftly down between her lunch items.  I then gasped at the startling resemblance between what was on her lunch plate and the external apparatus of the male reproductive system.  We laughed so hard and so loud, I’m surprised we weren’t kicked out.  Shameful.  So here’s my tilli tomas Voile de la Mer posed on the pool deck. 

Here’s my Icarus so far.  I’m on the 4th repeat of chart 1.  I was a lot farther along, but I had a huge mistake that I had to fix, and that required me to unknit all the way back to the start of the 4th repeat when I was nearly to the 5th.  Dammitall.  I’m fairly confident that I’ve got enough yarn left over.  And now since I’ve said that of course I’ll run out.  This is a very boring picture, I know.  It occurred to me this morning that I can’t remember the last thing I actually finished.  Certainly not anything this year and it’s JUNE.


Finally, this is the MDK Baby Kimono that I’m making for my future-husband’s sister’s future baby girl, who will arrive sometime in October.  Speaking of future husband, I’ve been informed that he wants to tie the knot before the end of the year.  So much for my Springtime wedding!  However, until Mr. Man actually proposes, this shall al be taken with less than a grain of salt. 

All right, lovelies, until next time.  Classes started up again last night, I’m still not unpacked, and to celebrate our crazy life, JungleJim and I are going to Rocky Point again this weekend.  Be good, everyone.

Girlfriend in a Coma

3 06 2007

When I was in high school I was in every single chorus class I could take, and was in every audition choir we had.  Eventually there were no more chorus classes to take and I had to take a music theory class.  One of the assignments was to write a song.  It didn’t have to have lyrics, but it did have to be at least eight … eight … whatever those things are called.  You know.  If you’re doing a song in 4/4 timing you had to have eight of the 4/4. Bars?  Is that what they are?  Measures?  I didn’t do very well in that class, obviously.  Anyway, my song was atrocious; I think I spread my index and middle fingers on both hands as far apart as I could, and then plunked them sporadically across the keyboard in whatever timing felt right at the time.  Seriously, it was gross. 

Last night my darling loverman took me to see Morrissey for an early birthday present.  I love Morrissey, I always have and I always will despite his HORRIBLE LACK OF TASTE when it comes to opening bands.  I leave you on your own to google this because I will eat rock garden dirt before I link to that mess.  Kristeen Young.  Her piano playing was brazenly RIPPED OFF from my music theory song writing assignment!  I’m not sure how she got ol’ Kent Parry, head of Carmel High School’s music department, to hand over my song, but damned if that’s not what she was playing last night.  I say playing, I mean smashing out from the keyboard.  Whilst doing the pee pee dance, or, as we call it, El Baile de Pee Pee.  Her voice was GREAT if only she’d stopped doing that goat impersonation followed by some sort of operatic wailing.  It was so bad.  She introduced one song with this drivel: “I’m backwards, I’m socially inept, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you don’t need parents, you don’t need a husband, you don’t need a baby (and then she went on, but I was too distracted by my own thoughts to pay more attention)!”   Seriously, the crowd was made up of mostly people in their 30s and up, and the chick noticed the lack of enthusiasm at her weird rant.  Oh well.  Finally she was done and left the stage.

Morrissey rocked, it was an absolutely amazing show.  I’ve wanted to see him since I was 11, and waiting 22 years didn’t dampen my enthusiasm one bit.  His band was SO energetic and spectacular, I loved every moment of their playing.  I love you, Morrissey.  Please, though, please, next time you come back to Phoenix, do these two simple things:  1) Don’t play in a venue that’s smack dab in the heart of a retirement village.  The elderly theater volunteers made the whole thing so odd, even though they were very sweet.  2) Please get a better opening act.  Even if it’s Nolan and his accordion, or my neighbor and his portable cement mixer, get a better opening act.  Oh, and there’s no need for a hotel!  You can stay with me!

All right.  I am currently working on a Mason Dixon Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono for my future niece-in-law.  Future because I’m not married to her uncle-to-be yet, and she’s not been born yet.  But when she is she will have a darling kimono knitted for her from me, her favorite Auntie ever.  It’s in a forest-green shade of Cotton Fleece.  I’ll take pictures when it’s done.

I’m sorry to have gone on and on about that wretched music.  It really was terrible.  I’m sure you could find her myspace page and have yourself a listen if you feel like it.