Tuesday, December 23

Ms. Merino's Guide to Midwest Travel

  • Check the weather.  It's no fun being surprised by weather.
  • Check your car.  It's no fun being surprised by your car.
  • Check the time.  It's no fun being surprised by the time.
  • Check your itinerary.  It's no fun being surprised by your itinerary.
  • Be surprised by the weather.  Those meteorologists went to school to know what they're talking about.  So the odds of what they predict is about 50-50.  So don't be surprised when what they say comes true.  Or doesn't, for that matter.
  • Be surprised by your car.  Check the oil so the engine doesn't get mad.  Check the windshield fluid levels so you can see when everything goes to hell.  Also recommended is a sense of reality when gathering everything to take with you on your trip.  Your trunk will never successfully channel Mary Poppin's bottomless carpet bag.  Shed a few tears and then move on.
  • Be surprised by the time.  Your watch and all your clocks are in fact NOT plotting against you when you look at them only a "few minutes" after you looked last time only to find that your "few minutes" was actually a "few hours".  There are most likely clocks that are plotting the downfall of humanity but they are, mostly likely, not your clocks.
  • Be surprised by your itinerary.  Or rather, the complete disintegration of your itinerary.  Trying to schedule last minute errands, work, travel, and a holiday get-together looks great on paper.  Not so much in real life.  
So, how do I know to make all these wonderful tips?  Oh, personal and recent experience.

How things went so wrong:
  • The weather.  It sucks.  Rainy and then freezing and then raining again and then more of the freezing.
  • The car.  It sucks.  Or rather, I suck for keeping so much crap in it.  This is nothing new, but always surprises me when I go to pack.
  • The time.  It sucks.  I will never understand how walking out to the car takes over 8 minutes.  To any physicists reading looking for warps in the time-space continuum, I have found one.
  • The itinerary.  It sucks.  Or at least mine did today.  It started so well.  I got to Tammany's and made it to work a minute early (woah!).  And that's when it started to go downhill.  Because of the weather, my part-timer couldn't get to work on time.  Because of the weather, I had to spend 20 minutes scraping 1/8" of ice off my car.  Because of the weather, it took four and a half hours to drive 30 miles.
That's the short version.  So I'm vacationing in lovely Anderson, Indiana in the middle of an ice and snow and rain storm.  I'm sooo excited.  Not really.  The roads were terrible and they only salted them after things had frozen.  They were so bad that I was slipping and sliding after inching forward a few feet at a time.  Go Indiana.  So tomorrow the plan is to finish the drive home.  Hopefully not at the same pace.  Because I'd like to get to Detroit sometime before the new year.  And then back to Indy of course where the kitties are fuzzy and hungry.

Saturday, December 20

One more thing from yesterday.

One more thing that I forgot.
  1. Disgust:  Whoever declared that 10 pounds equals one dress size (ie lose ten, go down a size) is an freaking idiot.  Should I ever come across the guilty party (who I'm sure is a man, because no woman would ever declare something so asinine and obviously untrue) I shall kick him in his ouchie parts.  So yeah.  Go me.  Only took me 30 pounds to lose a size.  This man should cower in fear and ne'er show his face.

Friday, December 19

Things from today.

  1. Confusion:  Canadian geese.  I'm not confused by their existence (and people say God doesn't have a twisted sense of humor) but more by the fact that I saw a flock of them today.  About 20 of them.  Flying in V formation.  But I saw them flying at 9 at night.  And I saw them flying north.  So it seems like they're confused too.
  2. Disappointment:  Starbucks Salted Caramel Signature Hot Chocolate.  The Signature part?  Blech.  We are, all of us, a result of our upbringings.  Thus, I expect my hot chocolate to taste like sugar and milk chocolate and even more sugar.  I can appreciate the idea of going all gourmet with designer drinks.  But dont't. mess. with. my. hot chocolate.  Also, the Salted Caramel?  Not so much with the caramel because there was none to be found actually in the hot chocolate--lots of disappointment here!  And the salt was found sprinkled on top of the caramel on top of the whipped cream on top of the hot chocolate.  There's nothing like sipping your hot chocolate and crunching on a big piece of salt.
  3. Shocked:  Put the icicle lights up at work today and tried to finagle a way to get an extension cord from the outside to the inside without getting the cord stuck in the door.  Instead, managed to use the metal door to slice completely through the extension cord WHILE IT WAS PLUGGED IN AND ON.  Note to self:  do not repeat.  Luckily, I wasn't touching the door, no one was hurt, etc.  But the loud pop and big flare and burning smell were a bit of a surprise.
  4. Torn:  I went with Tammany to a yarn store today for a felting adventure (more on that below) and was hoping to find a color card for Cascade 220 so I could order some yarn for the Amelia cardi.  The first time I'd asked for one the ladies working there had no idea if the store even owned one.  Very helpful.  There was one today but...there were only a few dozen colors.  For a yarn line that has probably closer to a hundred.  So not all that helpful.  So the torn part is this:  I know of a store that has a complete color card for the solids and heathers of 220.  But it's not the store where I would be buying the yarn.  Shady or not shady?
  5. Fulfilled:  Or full-felted if you want to be cheesy about it.  The felting party was a complete, nerve-wracking success.  Two pairs of Fiber Trends felted clogs knitted and now two pairs felted.  There was some serious anxiety on my part because 1) if there was disaster, I wouldn't have enough time to make more in time for Giftmas and b) if there was a disaster, I'd have to buy more yarn.  Normally I'm all for buying yarn but gift yarn is different and yarn money is kind of limited.

What Tiny Tim Never Understood.

And that is why the bebbeh Jeebus cries and I call it giftmas.

Now here's hoping I get some really good stuff.  Teehee.

Thursday, December 18

What does it say about me?

That when I see the Yahoo logo...

...and the skater girl goes skating and jumping and spinning across the pond...

...I will keep rolling over it to see what happens and end up kind of disappointed that she doesn't end up falling through a hole in the ice?  Hmm.

Holiday guilt.

If there is one thing that is universal, it's guilt.  Even more universal (if that's possible and for now let's assume it is) is holiday guilt.  This is what they should put in christmas stories that you hear by the fireside and in winter jingles that are supposed to perk you up but just end up being depressing when you hear them in November.

Today's guilty dilemma:  the donating of the blood.  I will always be thankful to my mother for dragging me along as a kid with her when, like the decent person she is, she donated her maximum four times a year.  It always surprises me that donating blood is still so sweepingly unpopular.  I remember in high school that it was the cool thing to do because you got an awesome sticker that had magical powers to make people be nice to you because you gave.  I don't know if it's the fact that you have to take a measly 30 minutes out of a busy schedule to go and give someone a pint of life or if it's something completely different.  But I do think that our lives (and society in general) is all about convenience (fast food, anyone?) and donating is often seen as too much of an inconvenience.

Well.  Imagine being the one injured and needing a transfusion.  Those things are just so inconvenient too.

Anyhoo, my holiday guilt right now is split.  See, I have this big list of knitted things to finish before the big G (Giftmas, or Christmas for all you still fooled into thinking all this commercial crap is done in the name of Jeebus).  And to get all of it done, I'm going to need my left arm. 

And therein lies the conflict.  If they take blood out of my left arm (because apparently that's the only one that works) I will fall even further behind.  Which is not good.  

But...I can always knit after the holidays (though dammit this was going to be the year I got stuff done) but if someone needs blood it's not like they can wait, ya know?  So yes.  I am going.  I only considered postponing for about 3 seconds.  But I still feel the guilt that I was willing, even for 3 seconds, to put fiber (some lovely fiber at that) above someone's bleeding ulcer/severed arm/ruptured spleen.

So when my family is making fun of me (don't you just love family...*grumblegrumble*) remind me to show them my HUGE AND AMAZINGLY UGLY BRUISE that I got while saving someone's life.

PS--Oh, and for today's knitting content...

Forgive the crappy Photo Booth picture but that's the back of the Misbehavin' vest.  ALMOST FREAKING DONE.  That finishing of objects thing I mentioned?  It might happen yet.  The blanket is on row 109 of 121 and if I don't make it all the way through the chart I won't be disappointed at all.  It shall be all blocked and pretty this Saturday (thanks to T for the use of her tub and carpet woot).  I still hate gloves with a passion previously unknown to man and beast, but they shall be done too.  Also, clogs will be officially done tomorrow! when T and I going a-felting.  Woot!

Tuesday, December 16

Totally reasonable? Or...

Overly optimistic and foolishly suicidal?  You decide.
There are 9 days left until Giftmas.  9.  That's it.  And while I am closer this year than any before to actually finishing everything on my list, that little voice of reason in my head is screaming hysterically, "What the hell were you thinking??? You'll never get everything done!!! Abort! Abort! Abort!  Assume the fetal position and begin with the desperate tears!"

Well.  That voice is mighty persuasive, let me tell you.  But my will (otherwise know as a ridiculous sense of determination) is strong and I shall persevere.

The List (with most recent (but not really all that recent) pictures):

Fibertrends Felted Clogs for Cousin 2 -- DONE!

Fibertrends Felted Clogs for Cousin 3 -- DONE!

Hannah Hat for Cousin 3 -- DONE!

Broadstreet-style Mitten/glove things for Cousin 1 -- not so done and make me feel stabbity.  Note to self:  quit it with the gloves.  You don't like them, so don't think that this time will be different.

[no picture...imagine a half-done lonely single glove in navy blue yarn]

Swirling Gauntlets for Cousin 2 -- not so done but rather fun

Hemlock Ring Blanket for the grandparents -- not so done but getting there.....sloooowwly.  I've figured out if I do two rows a day between now and Giftmas I can get it done.  Just realized that I didn't factor in the bind off.  *twitch*

Misbehavin' Vest for mom -- not so done and the pattern writer makes me feel stabbity.  You cannot write "as the spirit moves you" on a pattern and not expect me to take your name in vain.

Dr. G's Memory Vest for pops -- not so done and in fact barely started.  I've accepted that there is no way that I can get it done in time, especially with everything else.  But as the smaller stuff gets done, I can at least get started.

Brigid socks for aunt 1 and 2 -- not so done....and these are from last Giftmas.  Yes.  I suck.  I know and I've moved on from this.

And there are a couple of pairs of socks for the grandparents which were what they asked for with their Giftmas coupon from last year.  Yeah, not in a rush on either of these.  Oh well.

On the non-fiber front, I was really hoping to have a new job at the beginning of the year.  There is a certain degree of suck and awesome with the new job but overall it would have been a good move.  But I haven't heard from them since November when they said they were going to be hiring over the next 7 months.  Don't they know I have a schedule of my own and they must follow it?  Economy being what it is, it'd be a great opportunity to save money and work a somewhat more life-fulfilling job.  But I am grateful that I still have my job and am not unemployed and filing bankruptcy and living on the street and can still afford the essentials (read:  lovely yarn).

Back to the fiber.  It calls to me.  Did I mention that it tells me shameless lies?  It does.

the problem with her is she lacks the power of conversation but not speech.