Friday, November 18, 2005

the holidays--they have officially started

last night i made my first pie of the season--an apple pie for the thanksgiving pot luck thingy at work today. my whole house smells like apple pie, which is EXCELLENT. this is one of my favorite times of year--i love all the cooking and the mad rushes getting ready for the holiday season. i LIKE shopping for christmas presents and nearly killing myself to make more presents than any sane person would try to make. i love the smells of the holidays--the cinnamon and the nutmeg and all the roasting meats. i like my crazy family, and the hippie's crazy family and the nesting feeling i get about my house. i like it all. yay for the holidays! even though they snuck up on me AND HOW this year, i am glad they are here! :)

off to eat the pot luck lunch with my coworkers...

update, 1:19pm: i am calling this pie a success--it was completely gone before i even finished eating my lunch and before any of the other pies were cut. go me! :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

reading : The Mermaid Chair

The Mermaid Chair, by Sue Monk Kidd

i enjoyed this book, even though i thought i was not going to in the beginning. when i read her other book, the secret life of bees, it resonated with me from the first paragraph. this one, however, took me a little longer to get really into. i thought i was going to dislike some of the characters, but in the end, i felt like i knew them, which is saying something. especially when many of the characters are benedictine monks! when all was said and done, what this book really made me want to do was paint and paint and paint. the main character uses painting as part of a voyage to rediscover herself after years of complacency. and while i am not emotionally in a place anywhere near this character, it did make me remember when painting felt like an extension of myself. i ahve been thinking about it anyway, and this book--it may have pushed me over the edge. that said--the story is engaging, the characters are real and believable, and i really really enjoy this author's use of language. her scenes are alive to me. i definitely recommend her and this book, although i would rate the secret life of bees a bit higher than this one.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

new yarn store

today at lunch i ended up on my own, so i dragged over to check out this yarn store i have heard about, but have never actually been to. as far as i know, this is the only one in the area i haven't already dropped a load of bucks at. i called them to ask about specific yarns a couple of times, and they were always less than friendly on the phone. plus they are never open past 5pm, so i have never made it there on time. so today, while i made time for it, i have to say--my expections were low.

anyway--i went over there, and it's in this little old house and should be very cute, but instead it just smells funny. they have a TON of yarn, many that no one else around here has. the downside to that fact is that it's VERY disorganized and therefore overwhelming. when i went in, there were two people working ona one other customer. it took them about 15 minutes to even say hello to me. this is just not normal for a yarn store. still--i checked it all out, and once i figured out how to tell how much the yarn actually cost, i was settling in to have a pretty good time perusing. then i noticed the light--it was too dark in there to actually tell if anything matched anything else. *sigh* i finally gave up on the yarn and bought some knitting needles instead--they have a couple of brands that are hard to find around here. but then while i was paying for them and talking to another customer about christmas, i got to listen to the woman working there go on and on about how much she hates the holidays and how all she is going to do for christmas is knit since knitting is all that matters. ugh--it just left a bad taste in my mouth.

will i go back? i am sure i will--there are not so many yarn stores around here that i can afford to boycott any place with good yarn in it.

will i like it? questionable--let's just say that this is never going to be a place where i want to get to know the girls behind the counter.

in conclusion, here's my bottom line assessment of shuttles, needles, and hooks in cary--they have good yarn and lots of it, good needles, and a good location, BUT the people are negative and unfriendly, it's dark, claustrophobic, and overwhelming, plus it smells funny.

Monday, November 14, 2005

beach house 2006

it's really hard for me to believe i got full compliance from the beach crowd this early, but by some miracle--i did! and yes, we have already procured our beach house for next summer. june 10th to be exact. whoo hoo! we're going during prime season this time, so that means we aren't right on the ocean. however, we appear to have a fabulous house in a gated community (hopefully they won't throw us out). heck--we even have a golf cart. and we will be just 200 yards from the beach access. i wonder--is it too soon to start counting down? let's see...215 days till the beach. that's a little drpressing, so i think i will wait till january to get the official countdown going. even though i am already ready to go! *sigh*

Friday, November 11, 2005

reading: The Partly Cloudy Patriot

The Partly Cloudy Patriot, by Sarah Vowell

i actually finished this a while ago, but failed to report back. this book is so different from assination vacation, but both are totally great! this one is less of a journey and more a collection of moments, both from sarah vowell's own life and from history. she manages to amuse me and educate me at the same time, which is quite a feat. there were many moments i laughed out loud, and just as many where i was afraid that my Geek Card® might get revoked if i don't learn some more history. i particularly enjoyed her description of her mother's face on seeing the chelsea hotel and thinking that was where she would be staying on her one visit to see sarah in NYC. my mother, too, would not have looked on the chelsea with nostalgic thoughts of sid vicious and the heroin-induced murder of his beloved nancy, but would have also shuddered in revulsion. not that my mother will ever set foot in new your city again! but i digress... it's a great book--you should read it.

Monday, November 07, 2005


my wrists are on fire. i spent a lot of time making wire things this weekend, and i still have a few more to go. and man, my wrists apparently can't take it. i have carpal tunnel, and have had it for years, and it seems like it flares up at the most inconvenient times. and well--this is a REALLY inconvenient time. i am working under a deadline, which is my own fault. although for those of you who know me--you know this is my process. i need pressure to produce. i have gotten better about procrastinating as i have gotten older, but i still wait till there is pressure to really get going. thank god i work fast. so anyway, all babbling aside, please think good thoughts for me as i try to get through the last 20 wire things while invisible knives are stabbing me in the arms. ouch. i will now stop typing and go home and rest my arms before i start back at it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

file under: misc.

Section One: Fire in the Sky
when i left work last night, the sky looked like this. the one thing i always like about this time of year and the time changing back to standard time is that i get to see these awesome sunsets every day when work is done. last night's was truly spectacular--like the sky was on fire. i was particularly intrigued by the reflections of the sky in the side of our building and in the windows of mycar--i couldn't stop taking pictures. i have been dying to paint lately, and a sky like this just makes that need worse. i really want to get an easel and clear out some space (somewhere!) so i can start painting again. hopefully i will be able to make that happen after the holidays. and by the way, does anyone else feel the holiday panic already begining to set in?! i feel like thanksgiving is basically tomorrow, and christmas can't be more than a week away!!! ack! but i digress...

Section Two: New Shoes!
the hippie came home last night from visiting the sam, and he brought with him a FABULOUS present for ME!!! observe my fabulous new shoes from the amazing john fluevog. i have been threatening to buy some shoes from this man for over a year now, but i always talk myself out of it. the hippie, he picked these out for me and even remembered to go up half a size since fluevog makes his shoes a bit on the small side. i think even the manolo would approve. today, i am sporting new shoes, a matching pink sweater, and my favorite black skirt from max studio. and while i wish i had stood by my initial urge to go with opaque black tights, i am still pretty happy with the whole thing. hopefully, i will be a HIT at dance class tonight! i have a wonderful man. i know i've said it before, but my hippie--he's a gem.

Section Three: Teaching Our Ways to the Young
observe the hippie teaching the young of the species to appreciate one of mankind's finest inventions: beer. doesn't he look happy as baby adam is reaching for his beverage? the hippie is always evangelical about his vices, but i have to say--this is the first time i have seen the process of corruption extend to one so young. observe as well how oblivious adam's father rick is. he turns a blind eye, knowing his baby son is in good hands. since alyce, adam's mother, was the one who took this picutre, i am going to assume she was in favor as well. heh.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

i got a fever...

and the only prescription is more cowbell.

if you're having a bad day, head over here and get yourself some more cowbell. this HAS to be the best SNL skit of all time. it will lift your spirits--i guarantee it.

knitting frenzy

i have been trés busy the past couple of weeks, as i am sure you have guessed from my conspicuous absence. i am not even sure WHY it's been so busy, but i feel like i have had no time lately to sit still and breathe for a minute. this weekend, the hippie's friends were in for a game weekend, which is always cool. i spent most of saturday cooking--totally relaxing to me. then i took off and went out with my friend grant, who i never see now that he is immersed in grad school. the grant and jackie time--it was good. oh, but let's have an aside moment and talk about generation gaps.

i told my mother i was going out with grant on saturday, and she had a FIT! she was going on about how the hippie wouldn't like it if i was out with another man, yadda yadda yadda. which is kind of ridiculous if you know me and grant--we have been friends for years--he's 10 years younger than me--one of us would have killed the other years ago had we ever attempted to date. which we didn't. and i tried to explain this to the parental unit--she responded with, "well, what will you do whem jason wants to go out with some female friend without YOU???" and i had to go on to explain to her that the hippie was flying to boston on monday (yesterday) to go to a concert with the sam, and that he would be *gasp* spending the night at her house before flying home today. i really think this is some generational difference of opinion about what constitutes "dating" and what doesn't. anyway.

last night i had a whole evening to myself. there was a mountain of dishes, which i chose to utterly ignore. it was halloween, which i also pretty much ignored except for a brief interlude in which i had to check out my neighbor's niece, who was a FABULOUS little 3-year-old raggedy ann. so cute. she gazed longling through the window at the cats till i brought fergus outside so she could pet him. fergus, of course, was complete freaked out by being OUTSIDE. but i digress...

i left work early (early = 5:20pm) so i could go get a new class schedule from my LYS to post on my knitting group's website. the people at the LYS declared me to be family, which was kind of cool, although also somewhat telling about how often i go in there. meanwhile, there was a woman there looking for a skein of paton's melody in this variegated color (pastel clouds) which the LYS was out of. she needed enough to finish 4 rows of the very same baby blanket i have spoken of many times. i happened to have over half a skein of said yarn at home, so i spontaneously invited her to come and get it, which she did. kind of a strange knitting moment, but i really felt like i saved that woman's whole day. it's not like i was using the yarn, so no loss to me. :)

when the knitting lady was gone, i had some leftover shrimp and grits for dinner, threw in a movie, and casted on a new project (still knitting christmas presents, which are super-secret, so no details are available at this time). i knitted through batman begins and through part one of the extended version of the fellowship of the ring. i knitted till i could not hold the needles anymore. i knitted till my hands ached. and IT WAS GREAT!!! i was depressed when i had to stop. i need about 6 more nights like that, and i might actually be relaxed again.