Monday, January 30, 2006

tastes like spring

this morning i almost just stayed in bed. it was dreary and grey outside, and i was just exhausted from my uber-busy weekend. but i slogged out of bed, made a fabulous breakfast of french toast and grapefruit, and headed out to work. the minute i stepped outside, the lovliest smell wafted my way--tom and janie's (our neighbors) apricot tree is blooming! it's way too early, and i am just praying that the frost doesn't get it, but my god the smell! such a lightening of the spirit just to breathe it in. it makes me long for spring and my yard full of blossoms.

in other news, this weekend was PACKED with activity. i spent saturday morning lifting about 4k 35-pound beaded and embroidered wedding dresses over the head of my friend sonya. the good news is that she found the most BEAUTIFUL dress that looks fabulous on her and is totally the perfect color of light champagne-gold. gorgeous. the bad news is how fucking tiring that was! i actually hurt my finger from zipping things up and down! don't get me wrong, it was fun, too! but man--i came home and took a long hot shower and slept for almost two hours. maybe i am just a wimp. hard to say...

we also went out saturday night with eric and kylie--i got to have some lychee martinis at the bamboo club--my favortie thing about that restaurant, and then we stayed up too late playing games with them. sunday, it was on to lucy's 4th birthday party. sadly, i forgot the camera. otherwise, you would be getting a treat, my friends. the hippie played about 700 games of ring around the rosie with lucy and her tiny girlfriends. he's getting famous for that among the younger set. honestly, i love him for being such a good sport about it. he's the bomb!

in still other news, i have an important announcement to make: SAMSON IS A VERY BAD CAT. i know this is shocking to those of you who have met samson and thought him to be the very best of all things Cat. however, the evidence is mounting against him. he coughed up a hairball on the corner of my white duvet cover this weekend. he bit his brother AND his sister. he raced around the apartment like a madman, followed by a lot of sleeping instead of doing his chores--lazy bastard. and worst of all--he stole the hippie's bunny leg. observe this photographic proof. note the expensive ball of yarn in the floor, the crooked Ear of Evil on the cat, and most importantly, the expensive rosewood knitting needle with actual knitting barely still on it. where's the other needle, you wonder? it was under the couch, right where needles do NOT belong.

Friday, January 27, 2006

salsa dancing cancelled due to snow in milan

yes, i'm actually serious about that. my poor boss is stuck in italy where it's snowed two and a half feet already and is still snowing. all the airports are closed, and the trains aren't running. so i was at work a bit later than expected tying to find him a way home sometime this weekend. working till after 8pm means not going salsa dancing at 9. i'm damned tired, people. why i am blogging and not sleeping is anyone's guess.

by the way, that image was stolen from caltech--i've been reading a lot about snowflakes lately--they're awesome.

you are not allowed to call me "hon" if you are 10 years younger than me

i'm just sayin'.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

apparently i suck at the tango

last night, the hippie and i started our second dance class. in the first one, we learned the basic steps of six dances: foxtrot, swing, rhumba, cha cha, waltz, and tango. we missed two classes, which means we missed the whole tango. now, we are in the second level class, where we are going to be learning more advanced steps in the same six dances. last night's class was great, lots of review and lots of dancing. and it's nice that this class is almost entirely comprised of our favorite people from the first class. but man--that tango! she went over the basic steps for it, and no one remembered it well AT ALL. and dude--i really suck at it! so bad! it's supposed to be this seductive dance that says--i love you, but i hate you--come back to me so i can thrust you away! but MY tango is more like i am saying--shit! don't drop me! i am hanging on for dear life over here! help! where did all these feet come from!?? surely this will get better!

we are planning to go hit a salsa club with our instructors and some people from our class on friday night. that'll be interesting, especially since we don't know how to salsa yet--thank god for the club's free lesson! i'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

things on my mind

thinking about knitting. why do i love it so much? i think it's because it's creative and has a product to show at the end that is actually useful. i think it's because it's one of those things that's easy to do, but not so easy to do well, so it keeps challenging me. plus i like giving gifts, and hand-knitted things make great ones. like all my hobbies, i just wish i had more time to give to it.

thinking about all these babies everyone keeps having. we are up to 5 so far this year. i have mixed feeling on the whole thing. so happy for my friends and the hippie's friends who are starting families. more than a little jealous. happy to have an excuse to make baby things, which i love. what's cuter than baby things???

thinking about my hate of the working out and how much harder it seems to get with each passing day i don't do it. i feel weak, and i hate it. yet, where is my motivation to do it? i think it's buried somewhere in self-consciousness. i wish i could just walk out of my life for 6 months, spend all that time alone with nothing but exercise equipment and fresh vegetables, come back all svelte and healthy. blah.

thinking about blogs. thinking about blogs that win awards and become nationally recognized. what is it that makes people read them? are we all voyeuristic at heart? is it like watching reality TV, only actually real? i know what makes me write, but sometimes i am not sure what makes me read. maybe it's just a need to connect, even if remotely. one thing's for sure--these blog things are addictive. even the person who keeps telling me my blog is boring continues to read--maybe he's hoping for more...

thinking about the next big thing. what am i going to do with myself next? i have books to read to help me figure it out, but i keep procrastinating reading them. what's THAT all about? this job? it's ok and all, but my brain is starting to atrophy. i was drawing little vegetables this weekend, missing my textile design job so much that it was actually hard to breathe for a second. i miss doing work i felt was valuable. i really gotta look into getting back into some of that.

anyway. it's kind of a blah day for no real reason at all. maybe it's because i feel like thse shoes don't go with these pants i'm wearing. *sigh*

Monday, January 23, 2006

my first sweater

my little eggplant hat has inspired me to make a matching sweater. i figure, it's a good idea to make a baby-sized sweater before you jump into a me-sized one anyway, and it's something that i put on my list of things to accomplish this year. so on saturday, i went to the yarn store in search of a rolled neck baby sweater that was made top-down, preferrably in one piece, using worsted weight yarn. et voilá--what you see here is what i found. it's from knitting pure & simple, and it's called (very creatively, i might add), baby pullover #214. i am now a sleeve and a half away from having a finished baby sweater to my credit. (guess what i did all weekend?) i think i am going to embroider a little row of vegetables around the bottom of this thing just to push it over the edge into so-cute-i-can't-stand-it territory. and folks--i gotta say--this sweater thing? it's addictive! i mean it--i think i may be hooked on garment manufacturing for a long time. i may even be ready for this--i'll keep you posted!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

moral dilemma solved by kenneth cole getting their shit together for once--sort of

ok--so they charged me for two pairs of shoes now. and i have two pairs. one will be going back to th evil corporation, accompanied by a very nasty letter. (sorry sam!!!) what an enormous pain in the ass that i now have to go to the post office to return shoes I NEVER ORDERED IN THE FIRST PLACE! and what an enormous pain in the ass that i will now have to deal with them taking forever to return my money for said shoes. they are taking up valuable yarn bucks with that hold on my cashola. those bitches are really lucky i love their shoes so much, or i may never have ordered any more of them ever again. UGH!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

yay! i'm knitting again!

i admit it: christmas kind of burned me out on knitting. so much that i haven't even posted pics of the plethora of christmas gifts i made and gave this year. i also took two whole weeks off from knitting, more time than i have taken since i learned how to do it. now, however, i am getting back into the swing of things. i started this little hat on tuesday and finished it last night. and i LOVE IT!!! look how cute it is from the top, too! it's a pattern called kid's fruit cap from ann norling, and it was VERY quick and easy. the yarn is a beautiful worsted weight wool/alpaca/mohair blend called julia (from goddess yarns--my favorite baby hat yarn! given that we know 5 people having babies this year, you can bet i will be making a few more of these! i chose the pattern because a) it's cute, b) i wanted to make something quick to get back into the rhythm of things, c) i am SICK TO DEATH of making scarves, d) i wanted to force myself to use double pointed needles, and e) i wanted to try something with two colors. this cutie filled all these needs. now i am all fired up to get going on about 50 other projects! maybe tonight i will wind the yarn for my clapotis. or maybe i will start a baby sweater to match this little hat. the possibilities are endless! yay for knitting again!!!

ps--the DPNs? they weren't so bad. tell me again why i have been dreading using them so much???

pps--the two color thing? it's easy peasy. however, this is also NOT intarsia--talk to me again when i get around to trying THAT!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

moral dilemma

so last week, i ordered these shoes from kenneth cole. aren't they FABULOUS??! totally frivoulous purchase, shoes i don't remotely need but just WANT. so anyway--i went onto the website and tried to order them, and got a bunch of error messages. so i tried again an hour later, and got a bunch more errors. finally, i just called and ordered them over the phone. i asked the guy i talked to to make sure they had not charged me for the shoes already and to just start over. all seemed well. but then, i looked at my bank account and noticed that they charged me three times. i called back and said--hey assholes--you charged me three times--take two of these off here. so they removed ALL the charges. so i called back and told them, but they still never charged me. today, i got two pairs of shoes in the mail. *sigh* so now what do i do? do i waste 4 hours trying to straighten this out, or do i just send the extra shoes to the sam instead?

aside: maybe i should just keep my mouth shut and hang onto everything as revenge for the Painted Heel Incident i had with them a couple of years ago for which they refused to compensate me. that one left me angry, as i paid almost two hundred smacks for a pair of strappy black sandals, and the paint wore off the heel to reveal the cheap white plastic heel underneath the very first time i wore them. their customer service department refused to do anything at all about it, so i finally just colored them with a sharpie.

stupid kenneth cole.

Monday, January 16, 2006

secret date night => good weekend

this was the view from our seats at the symphony this past saturday night. i took the hippie out on a secret date, and it was just divine! we went to dinner at the bloomsbury bistro, a place we have been talking about trying for a very, very long time, and it was FABULOUS. a bit pricier than our beloved frazier's, but also the only place we have been to lately that is on par with it. really wonderful food: we shared an excellent started plate with sunflower pumpkin bread, country-style paté, a mission fig and blackberry chutney, and a potted rabbit crostini, and then i had rabbit wrapped in priciutto with braised pears and a wild rice risotto with english peas and sweet potatoes, while the hippie had a stuffed pork loin chop with crawfish and garlic cheese grits. i think he would have been happy with just the crawfish and grits part.

last week, i got an email newsletter from the north carolina symphony, from which i learned that they were having a concert this weekend called big band blast with guest conductor jeff tyzik, and i immediately got tickets. it was just wonderful--all these great old songs from the duke ellington band, the count basie orchestra, doc severinsen, and the like. things you just never hear performed live anymore! the hardest part was not getting up and dancing in the aisles. and bonus--the hippie LOVED IT!!! so i am calling my secret date a resounding sucess.

the only dark spot was a hellacious onset of cramps, mid-symphony, that kept us from going out for a post-performance martini as originally planned. still--it was a wonderful evening out. the hippie and i haven't had a good date night in a while--we were overdue. :)

then sunday, we actually scored a bonus date. harry and jenn traded babysitting with a friend of ours, and then invited us along on THEIR date night. after errand running (yay target!!!) and spending a little quality time in one of our favortie local coffee shops, we went with jenn and harry to see aeon flux at the buck-fifty theater, and then to dinner at porter's--always a favorite. this movie didn't get the greatest reviews, but it's right up our alley--the four of us really enjoyed it!

add in that i was motivated to clean and straighten up the house, and that i completed the grocery store shopping necessary for healthy eating during the week, and i am declaring this weekend one of the best i have had in a long while, cramps notwithstanding.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

day one of plan a bust

oops--posted this on the wrong blog--i moved the original post over to southern fried fat where it belongs. my idiocy is just more evidence of what a crappy day yesterday was!!!

small miracles

as i have driven into work this week, i have been listening to the radio in the car, which i don't actually do all that often. the radio mostly sucks, especially in the morning when the goofy DJs who never play music and only talk are on. however, this week i have been turning it on for some reason--don't ask me why... anyway--each morning, i have heard one song that has stood out from the noise--one song that i adore and never tire of and alsmost never hear on the radio--old songs, and great ones. monday, it was dragula, by rob zombie--it's a miracle i didn't get a speeding ticket! tuesday it was sweet jane, the cowboy junkies version, which is really the ony version you really ever need as it RULES! wednesday, it was new year's day, by U2, which is my 100% favorite song by them and has been since way longer ago than i really feel like thinking about right now. and then wednesday in the car, i called the hippie to tell him about my good music fortunes over the week. and i said to him, "if i hear sweet emotion by aerosmith tomorrow on the way into work, i will know something's up." and people--guess what i heard on the way in this morning?! yes--that's right. clearly, i am blessed or something.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

reading: The Stupidest Angel

The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror, Version 2.0, by Christopher Moore
in a word, hilarious. i read this quickly over the holidays, and i even restrained myself from reading the whole thing aloud to the hippie, who now has custody of the book. this is the story of the arch-angel raziel, who is sent to grant a child's christmas wish, but bolluxes the whole thing, as dumb blonde angels are wont to do. throw in a cast of insane (some literally) characters, and really--i could not stop laughing. and not just giggling, i am talking about spitting tea all over the book funny here, people. i love christopher moore's sense of humor, and have greatly enjoyed most of his other books. he is irreverent and amusing as hell while still being somewhat thought-provoking, and anyone who can pull all of THAT off get a good-writer vote from me. this book is set in a fictional california village called pine cove, sharing location and/or characters with many of his other books: lamb (my favorite!), practical demonkeeping, the lust lizard of melancholy cove, and island of the sequined love nun. a couple of these have fallen through the cracks of my book radar, but i will definitely be picking them up. my two cents? thumbs way up!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

in other news:

the hippie gave me these beautiful vivid pink roses for no reason at all on saturday. i love him! :)

today is my friend aimee's birthday--she's spending it at disney world with her hubby and two fabulous little boys. happy birthday, aimee!!!

my african violet is blooming. again!!!

my friend kerstin started a blog. it's called meandering aimlessly go read it RIGHT NOW.

my washing machine drain is clogged, and it's flooding my basement every time i wash clothes, and apparently the plumber they sent is a moron since he could not fix it in 3 hours of jerking off in my basement while i worked upstairs onthe couch. this is annoying the crap out of me.

also annoyed that the landlord was supposed to come look at this on saturday, but has instead, fled the face of the earth. grrrrrrrr.

i am tired of being out of town on weekends. i refuse to go anywhere till the end of january.

less than 6 weeks till the sam, the steve, and the steve's bride-to-be come to visit. YAY!

makin' plans to go to europe. whoo hoo!!!

still knitting, but have been slow since the holidays. a tiny bit burned out.

startin' to get caught up...slowly...surely...

Monday, January 09, 2006

happy new year! (yes, i do know i'm late!)

yeah i know. i took FOREVER to get our new year's pictures downloaded, edited, and uploaded. EVERYONE and THEIR MOTHER is after me about it. so y'all can relax now! flaurella, tell W4D to chill out--miss toes is back on the scene. :)

so. we rang in the new year with the pseudo-in-laws at the ramada in in altoona, pennsylvania. not my first choice of venue, but still--it was WAY better than expected, probably because of the fabulous company! well--that and the fact that we brought a lot of our own alcohol. that helped. anway--it was a buffet and a DJ and a cash bar till 2am. the DJ gave us a bit of a scare by being called "starship enterprises," which caused a minor panic over whether or not our new year's party was going to be star trek themed. however, his name had nothing to do with anything, as far as i could tell. he was an 80s and 90s era DJ with no vanilla ice and no funky cold medina. LAME. but man, my hippie's family loves to dance!!! so we cut that dance floor to pieces in spite of the not-so-fabulous tune selection.

the other travesty of the evening was that those bitches were serving martinis in PLASTIC CUPS! i'm sorry, but for $174 a couple, some glassware would not only have been greatly appreciated, but was also fucking DESERVED! denise and i were forced to consume our martinis out of the tiny baby martini glasses they gave us as party favors. babytinis will still apparently get the job done if how quickly i passed out at the end of the evening was any indication. i guess it IS kind of like doing shots all night, come to think of it...

this new year's, i also learned about some food traditions. i remember something my grandmother used to vaguely reference about eating pork on new year's, but my family never bothered with this. now i know--if you are from PA, you are supposed to have roasted pork and saurkraut. if you are from The South, apparently it's hoppin' john, collard greens, and cornbread. i am apparently not as good a Sothern womanas i thought--i had to look up what hoppin' john IS! but no worries--next year--i am ON IT!

more blogging to come soon--i promise.
oh, and here's the link to all the new year's pictures.