••• Saturday, May 31, 2008

Free Range Randoms 

Do These Excuses Make My Butt Look Big?
I had every intention of posting on Wednesday. Really. But waaay last week before, I wrote a rather lengthy post which encompassed all bloggable thoughts that were in my possession at the time.

When all was said and done, I decided it was just too much of a good thing and thought to chunk said post, by cutting a section and saving it for another day. Kind of like doubling a recipe and putting half in the freezer.

But I cannot find it. The chunk. Instead of putting it in the freezer, I seem to have thrown it in the trash. Or left it out for the cat to have her way with. It even had pictures that were unique to the topic, which I have since disposed of. I've actually been trying to think of some way to blame my husband for this, but I cannot come up with any connection to him, at this time.

So, here I sit.
What to say...What to say?

::I have recently been assigned a meme by The Wilk, but since I already have a topic for today, which happens to be a discussion about how I have no topic today, I'm going to save the MEME for another day, when I'm really desperate.::

What to say...

Oh yeah...Sick, My Eye.
I was home two days this week with the Cakers, who was suffering a bout of the Pink Eye. The good thing about Pink Eye is that it doesn't really render a child sick, so there are no late night hurlings or hours of sorrowful malaise on the couch. The bad thing about Pink Eye is that it really doesn't render a child sick, so the child wants to go outside and play with friends. Except she can't.

I did let her go out, but had to repeatedly scold her when I caught her playing with friends. This made her feel like the neighborhood scourge that she was, which was hard for her, being such a social beast, with a tender heart. I finally agreed that she could sit in the cherry tree with her friends, with the understanding there would be no exchange of eyeball fluids.

There is one other bad thing about Pink Eye. Trying to successfully place eye drops into an unwilling eyelid of a six year old.

Man oh man.

And I admit to displaying a fair share of Bad Momma over the course of several hours, as I vascillated from sweet cajoling to pleading to yelling and finally forbiding any activity outside of breathing and toileting, until she succumbed.

And Lawd knows that she tried, as indicated by her making repeated claims to be ready and willing to try it again, but over and over, she simply could not hold her eye lid open, once she saw the tube approaching. The couple of times she mustered the courage to leave it open, she instinctively pushed my hand away with her other hand. It was as though she had dueling operating systems. Each session concluded with her in tears.

And then I had an idea.

Good Wiki.
Good Momma.

Soon the girl was all smiling pink orbs and outside digging in the dirt. And the best thing of all? She now thinks I'm a genius.

Here's a sock I'm working on. It's almost done, but I don't have an updated picture. This was taken in the car over Memorial Weekend. I like the lighting in a car on a sunny day, for knit photos. Don't you?

While trying to find he perfect light and angle, I propped the sock for a shot against my husband's arm. Notice the bicep? He popped that just seconds after he felt the sock on his arm. Such a guy. And versatile, too.

Reason Number 643 That All 4 of My Friends Live Out of Town.
Or, Random Acts of Goofy.

I love riding in the speedboat. Over the past few years I have wished for a way to share the experience of speedboat riding with you, my reader(s). Now that I have my new purse/boat/car/walk camera, I hoped to have found the perfect medium for sharing my beloved boat ride.

I don't know if it was too windy or too choppy or maybe I'm just a holey vessel for naive optimism (i.e. stupit) but let's just say I will not post the video of the boat ride. I hate the thought of you getting seasick on your keyboard, for a couple of reasons.

When we slowed down for minute, I took the opportunity to find out if I could video myself on a boatride while looking like a complete moron.

Operation Successful.

::It was really cold in the front of the boat, which is why I am bundled so.::
::I don't know why there are two video windows.::

••• Monday, May 26, 2008

Big Pictures Have Small Ears. 

Dial-up at the cottage this weekend, per usual, did not allow me to upload any pictures to blogger. Adding insult to injury this time around, the part-time AOL-Slum-Lord-aka-pizza-slinger-aka-local-Notary-Public would neither allow me access to Flickr or Ravelry. I know.

The upside is that I had more time to relax and just be.

Therefore, because they also need time to relax and just be, the following pictures are presented to you in their purest form.

Sans the word. Much.

Silence is Bolden
::You are heartily encouraged to click to embiggen. And I mean it, this time.::

Edit Note: The only retouching the sunset pictures endured was the slight darkening of the silohuettes (Spelling? Fuckme. Having spent most of today's re-entry period at a med center, color me Not in The Mood. ) of the kids, to hide clothing details. The rest is really what we saw. It was breathtaking to the point that I had to force myself to stop looking to take pictures.

••• Friday, May 23, 2008

Gallimaufry Friday 

The "A" List

That is the running list of evaluations for which I am responsible.The eval at the top of the list was due March 29.

Yesterday I presented my findings on the last.
Hot Diggity.

With the school year ending in two weeks, I'm now hoping for a smooth ascent into summer. ::Of course I just jinxed myself.:: And seeing as how my caseload could double next year with the proposed staff cuts, I may never again see such a clear two-week period. And baybee, I plan to enjoy it.

I might even get some prep work done for fall; a time of year I usually find myself rolling around like a chicken with her legs cut off.

Project Much?
Between the above mentioned deadlines, other high profile issues and underlying anxiety related to my new job status next year, I've been under significant stress.

On one particularly bad day last week, on my way home from work I saw this sign on a corner:

My stressed brain read: Silky Terror Puppies.

I'll take three.

I Can Haz Braynz?
My eyes can smell the chaos,
And it's not a pretty sight.

My doctor put me on a new brain medication and I'm loving it very much. I feel crisp and focused and find myself finishing thoughts from six months ago and well into next week.

The two downsides to this (or any) medication of similar ilk, are:
1) It can't tell you what to focus on.
For example, it's now much harder for the wails of my lonely, starving family to distract me from a particular Ravelry group.

2) It can't put in what the Lord left out.
About once or twice a year, I get to drop Cakers off at school in the morning. Today was one of those days. As is found in many Stay-At-Home-Parentalized communities, the child drop off procedures are highly regulated, systemized and apparently known to all adults (but one) who drive within a 2-block range of the school.

My first mistake this morning was to shove the pile-o-crap in the back seat toward the "curb side" door, to make to room for Cakers to sit, thereby blocking the safer egress. My second mistake was not noticing the waving arms and jumping up and down bodies of the two safeties who monitor the drop off point, who apparently were not only trying to tell me I had stopped in the wrong spot and that my health now faced an uncertain future at the hands of other parents.

I did happen to notice their yelling, once I was out of the car and hauling Cakers into the angry fray of the usually-smooth-sailing-but-(thanks-to-mom-shit-for-brains)-now-stalled-Volvo-Escalade-Lexus-ladened traffic.

I'll never be able to show the inside of my car door in this town again.

Soccer To Me
Cakers had her last soccer game of the season earlier this week. While she loved the camaraderie of the team, she's really not that into soccer, as a sport. In fact, her approach to soccer reminds me of College Boy's approach to finding a job. i.e. If a soccer ball/job just happens to land on my foot/jump out of the bushes and kicks my ass, then I'm there.

Therefore, I don't have many action shots from the field. ::Nor do I have any of my son leaving the house in search of...anything.::

Even if she wasn't the star player. At least she had fun...

...and glow.

We're off to the cottage for the long weekend, so postings may be few and far, if at all.


••• Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Masala 

So You Think You Can Blog?
I know. You really didn't think it was going to happen, did you? That I would actually post three days in a row. Me neither.

First thing, I'd like to share with you a new-to-me blog I happened upon while following a Ravelry thread, which lead to this person's profile page, where I found the link. I initially clicked the link because I was intrigued by the name of the blog. ::Warning: It starts with the F word. Yeah, that F word.:: Truthfully, I was pretty much expecting some kind of Rage Against the Knitting Machine voice on the other end of the line. What I found instead was a kind of quiet, intelligent and interestingly observant voice, attached to (at the time)one well-buffed fingernail.

And not that there would be anything wrong with a Rage Against the Knitting Machine kind of voice, whatever that may be. It's just that I was curious as to what it would be, if it were. You know. To be. There.

So go say "hi." Then come back. And if you came here with only one comment wad to blow, I'll share.

So Bye-Bye Mr.'Bana Boy Pie
Big changes are a-brewing here at Chez Porcine-Cabana-Cakers-College Parasite Boy. Due to economic circumstances outside of our control, Cabana has been forced to take a real job at a real company. At this real company, he has to really show up at a real certain time, real early, and stay all day. For real.

He starts tomorrow.

His getting a real job is a good thing, because we built this City on Rock and Roll* household on two incomes. And two incomes we need to sustain it. I may have mentioned this before, but when Cabana isn't Cabanabizing, he is a self-employed designer of things that make things that make parts for cars. Over the past few months this line of business has been very slow around here. And despite many recent hints that the shit of the things-that-make-things-that-make-parts-for-the-cars will be hitting the fan any day now (in a good way), we can't afford to wait around.

His getting a real job is also a bad thing, because when working from home he has the flexibility to get Cakers up and off to school, volunteer in her classroom, do laundry, take stuff out of the freezer for dinner when I forget, pick up Cakers from school and run to the store on a moment's wifely whiny whim, for wine.

His getting a real job is a sad thing because both he and Cakers love his volunteer work in the classroom and that he is always available to be a designated driver for field trips. Cakers cried when she found out he can't help out on Mondays anymore. And they were both melancholy Friday morning, after their last round of daddy-breakfast, watching Caillou on PBS and chatting about their upcoming, respective plans for the day. ::Cabana calls it Cal-You. He's so cute.::

So starting tomorrow morning, Cakers will be roused, fed, and routed to school by her big brother, via the Hobo-mobile. ::As of this moment, his car is still filled with all his worldly possessions. I ask him about it daily, which I think has actually prolonged the event I eagerly anticipate. Don't ask how I know this, but I will say that it has to do with a white pair of corduroy pants I left out on the clothesline for about, let's say, 8 months, circa 1983.:: At least he has promised to take the two basketballs off the top of the heap in the back seat, to protect her precious head in the event of a sudden stop.


Bottom Line: We do feel blessed that this timely, back-up opportunity came
a-knocking when it did and recognize that we were lucky to have the benefit of a well paid, stay-at-home parent over these past two years. Besides, there's only three weeks left in the school year before I am home with her. And my handsome College Lump.

Rebound Knitting
It's been said that you're better off being alone than getting into a new relationship too soon after a breakup. Having endured post break-up life both ways (well alone and well-rebounded) I think the rebound is a good place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there. ,

I suppose the same can be said for rebound knitting. Here is incarnation number three for this recently re-ripped sock yarn:

The pattern is called Tidepool. It's easy and free and on the needle looks like ten miles of bad road, for which I blame the yarn, NOT the pattern. I don't think the texture of the pattern finds itself until stretched across a foot.

So, the good news is that I've not given up on finding a purpose for this yarn. The bad news is that I've not given up on finding a purpose for this yarn.

I did have a couple more little ditties to share, but suddenly my drive for ditty done dove face down in the dirt.

I will leave you with this further evidence of how great is my new camera and how cute is my old husband. I apologize for the screeching sound the camera makes when I focus. And please pay no attention to the poor man's irregular rhythm. He was born with an irregular heart beat so it's really not his fault.

Click Here for Guitar Cabavideo.

Edit: I removed the embedded video because it was messing up margins and perhaps I was being presumptious of pipples' desire to see it and wanted to make it more of a choice and less of a chore.

But ain't he cute anyway?

And yeah, that's my nasal diction you hear.

*Every day, that Jefferson Starship song is in my brain and at least two or three times a day I belt out that line, without warning. Today I heard Cakers singing it, when she thought no one was around. WTF?

••• Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday Slew 

Last week, while shopping for shower invitation accrouements, I came across a camera sale at Office Depot and ended up buying this, in a display model, for about 83 bucks.

And yes, I do already have a camera. A very nice, huge-ass camera, that takes wonderful pictures. But,as I explained to my husband, that camera does not fit in a pocket or purse for impromptu exposures.

The main reason I wanted a smaller camera was to take along on walks.

Tonight I took my new baby on her first excursion. She did not disappoint.

I came across these tulips just down the street, with the sun at a perfect angle to set them aglow. ::Please click to embiggen. Especially the sceney greeny ones.::

My usual walk route takes me through a neighborhood that is on a swampy inlet, of a nearby lake.

And if you're really good, I might even pull a third post from my butt this weekend.

••• Friday, May 16, 2008

Fricassee Friday 

I started writing this post last week Sunday, while still in my jammies and operating under the mistaken belief that I had an entire afternoon yawning before me.

It's amazing how quickly a yawn of an afternoon can turn into a gasp and then a choke. Then, between a week's worth of work things, home things and internetz-distraction-things,the knife ran away with the spoon.

Let Me Invitate You
My sister and I are throwing my niece a wedding shower June 14, which means the invitations needed to go out this week. During the preliminary planning discussion, it was decided that it would be a quite cute and clever if we ::me:: were to make the invitations,using my niece’s “Save the Date” picture. ::It’s a family curse, this Need to Make Things One Can Much More Easily Buy From the Store Without Anyone Giving A Rat’s Ass::

My original plan was to keep it simple. Plain card. The picture. Simple matting. Lovely Script. Done and Doner.

However, the only digital sample my niece had was tiny size, so when I resized it to fit the card her pixels were showing. ::The kind of thing she should save for the honeymoon, really.::

Next thing you know I’m over at Big Huge Labs, in search of the perfect solution. And the entire time I'm foto fiddling over there, I'm thinking to myself,Why am I doing this,when I can just go to the store tomorrow,buy some invitations, put them in the mail and nobody will give a rat’s ass?.

And then I found a most excellent Big Huge Labs application combo, printed it up and made a prototype invite. Even though it was cute, it still needed a little something. Like a tiny satin bow. So I go back to the store for the bow.

And then I decided it needed a little something more. Like a pearl bead. So back to the store I go.

And then I tried to write the shower information real neat, using a tiny Sharpie bought just for this purpose. And it looked like asswrite.

And then I thought I'll just go buy some damn invitations, because, really, who will give a rat’s ass?

But instead of buying already-made invitations, I bought sheets of clear labeling material, upon which I could print the shower information, then cut it out and stick it to a card, 25 times.

But only after I accurately cropped each picture, at just the right angle, which was not a right angle, and stick it to a card, 25 times.

And then there was the ribbon sticking.

And the pearl sticking.

Two sticky days later...voila!

At one point late Saturday night, my husband came by and asked how it was going. After a whinge and a huff and a series of poor little mes, I said "This is really a pain. Especially when you consider that I could just buy some invitations, send them out, and nobody would give a rat's ass."

He nodded and said "But they are really cool. You did a nice job."

Then I looked at the pile and thought "Yeah. I did."

And the truth is, regardless of the element of pain in the assedness, I really love this stuff.

And I did do a good job.
And I give a rat's ass. That's who.

If It Weren't For Bad Knit,I'd Have No Knit at All.
A couple of weeks ago I started a pair of socks for my mother-in-law. Over the Circle of Brain weekend, I got quite a bit done and by Sunday night I had turned the heel and picked up the gussetts. Two rounds of decrease later, I found a big ol' boo-boo, from days ago. So I ripped.

I've done nothing since.

Except this:

It's a scarf I knit for my sister. For her birthday. Last year.

It's been stewing in a bag all year, awaiting a kitchener application. I finally got around to it last weekend, just in time for the two week anniversary of her most recent birthday celebration.

And to think I coulda just bought her something.

Mother's Day Intervention
Overheard at Mother's Day party:

Niece: That wine has a really strong smell.

Cakers, full drama: Oh. I know. We get that smell ALL the time, at my house. Especially by the computer.

Entire Family: Silence.

There'll be more on how to punish a 6 year-old for doing nothing wrong, later in the show.

::Edited 5/17 for typos wordos and grammos.::


••• Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Damn Them Tandem Randoms 


Random Sludge
I’ve been a little under the weather the past week, suffering from some kind of gluey, sinus sludge. And as this substance makes a slow and less-than gracious exit from my body, I can’t help but worry that I'm actually expelling brain glue; essential material for holding together the bits and pieces of my brain. ::With the help of some twigs, yarn and duct tape.::

::But I will say that DayQrunk is my new best friend. MmmMm...How I loves me some warmy orange.::

I’ve also been physically and mentally busy with work and home issues. The worst of the physical work stuff is almost winding down. Almost. I have cranked out three reports in the last two days, with no coming up for air in between.

But the emotional work is yet to come, when our department will have take a hard look at the full impact of losing two full time staff for next year.

The home situation is complicated, and getting moreso by the hour it seems. At the risk of being cryptic, I can only say that we have some changes going on in someone's (not me) professional venue. These are good changes, in light of what was soon to become a dire circumstance. But not so great when considering the wider scope of someone's hopes and dreams and in the interest of optimal family function.

Again, I'm sorry for the vague-y ness,but that's all can say, and really, the whole story is kind of boring. Unless, of course, you’re living it.

Truth be, we are both grateful and relieved for this Timely Save and will not be looking this Blessing Horse in the mouth, any time soon.

It's complicated.
And emotion sucking.
And thought plucking.

Random Dudes on Couches
Meanwhile, College Tumor Boy is home, as of Saturday. Following are stats related his return, to date:

1-Number of jobs applied for.
0-Number of jobs procured.
3-Number of times he has reminded me that his uncle has offered to pay him 200 bucks to powerwash his deck this summer, so no worries if he can’t find a real job.
1-Number of laptops he owns.
0-Number of laptops he owns which have been unpacked and fired up.
1-Number of laptops I own
0-Number of laptops I own, to which I currently enjoy full access.
1.5-Number of boxes of Town House crackers consumed.
1-Number of jars of peanut butter consumed.
13-Number of times I have heard "What's to eat in this house?"
0-Number of unemployed friends currently in town for the summer, with whom he might be able to hang, off my couch. Away from my home.
1-Number of vehicles as yet unpacked of all worldly goods, minus the as-of-yet-unfired-up laptop and a bottle of acne medicine.
1579-Number of times I have said to self “How handy it is that all his belongings are still in his car, in the event of Sudden Homelessness?”
14-Number of hours per day spent listening to screaming sportscasters on my T.V.
5-3/4-Number of total feet taken up on the couch, while sleeping to the sound of screaming sportscasters on my T.V.
5-Approximate hour of the morning he goes to bed.
3-Approximate hour of the afternoon he awakens.
.5-Number of bottles of my hooch he has consumed.
6-Number of times he has used the word “tweak” in describing his observation of my increasingly destabilizing emotional presentation in response to all of the above.
0-Amount of hope in possession, that any of this will be changing soon, except maybe the numbers.

Random Time Passing
I meant to post about this way last week, but I was busy with an unglued brain. So let's just pretend it happened two days ago, and call it good. K?

The weekend with My Circle of Brain was a wonderful treat, but a bit more subdued than our maidenhead voyage back in January.In hindsight, a bit more subdued might be a good thing, in that any attempts to match or surpass on previous crazy, could have resulted in someone getting hurt, or arrested or famous.

And because we were guests in someone else's home, it was probably best to keep Kristi off her high horse, and the sanitary products stuck to the proper side of our underwears, and Kellie from shooting/posting recordings of activities that could get someone hurt, arrested or famous.

But there was plenty of fun to be had.
And good drink.
And, of course, good company.

Kellie did write up a picture-laden, detailed summary of our all too brief time together. Scroll down for a picture of me, popping my freak in a new pair of sunglasses that are just about bigger than my head.

:: The following will make more sense if you read Kellie’s post. ::

In honor of our surviving the weekend together, I have created a new scarf design:

Drama on the High (Neuro) Seas: A Pattern

1) Cast on an odd number of stitches, depending on your width preferences.

2) If you are really confused about how many stitches you should cast on, ask your friends their opinion about how many stitches you should cast on.

3) Argue with each and every solicited opinion about how many stitches you should cast on, then come up with a 4th option, all on your own. Cast on that amount of stitches.

4) Repeat the High (Neuro) Seas pattern (see below) until you reach desired length, but not long enough for someone to use against you in an attempted homicide.

High (Neuro) Seas Stitch Pattern:
1) Row 1: purl

2) Row 2: k3 *k2tog, yo * to last 7 stitches, then knit whatever the fuck you feel like, to the end of the row.

3) Row 3: Purl

4) Row 4: Knit 7, *k2tog, yo* until confused, or something goes wrong, or something goes right when you're sure it should be wrong. Hand project to Sue so she can figure out what is wrong. When Sue tells you what is wrong and how to fix it, *knit any series of stitch pattern combinations that you desire, EXCEPT whatever Sue told you to do to fix it. * Repeat between * * to the end of the row.

5) Row 5: Purl

6) Repeat row 2.

7) Repeat row 3.

8) Rip entire project and swear a lot.

9) Ask three friends for suggestions on another garment that could be made from the yarn.

10) Argue with every piece of solicited input.

11) Decide to give Montego Drama on the High (Neuro) Seas another shot.

12) Cast on an odd number of stitches, depending on your width preferences.

13) If you are really confused about exactly how many stitches you should cast on, ask your friends how many stitches you should cast on.

14) If you are given three different numbers from your three different friends, argue with each opinion, then come up with a 4th option, all on your own. Cast on that amount of stitches. WARNING: The number of stitches for this cast-on SHOULD NOT match any previous number suggested by friends from this, or previous cast-on solicitations. Not following this step could result in...well...never mind. How much worse can it get, really? But still, it helps to write these things down.

15) Repeat steps 1-14 until you run out of yarn, friends, booze or are deprived of oxygen against your will by a trio of known assailants.

16) Cast off and slap self on your very flat ass, 3 times.**

Random Inapprorpriateness

*I never heard of this Feh thing until I started reading blogs.I assume it means the opposite of Squee. Squee is another expression that is new to me. It makes me think of going pee, then thinking you're all done and wrapping it up, then realizing there is still some pee. So you squeeze it out. That is Squee. To me.

**Sorry to be so long in the wind, but just because I’m busy, doesn’t mean I don’t have things to say. Just no time to say them.

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••• Thursday, May 01, 2008

How You Bee? 

I Bee Busy.
Thanks for Asking.

A real post of some sort is hopefully coming soon, including some kind of recap of last weekend.

There is mucho crappo going on in my professional world, mostly related to ongoing budget cuts and further staff reductions. And while I am mindful to scrape my emotional feet every day as I leave the office, I still end up dragging some bits out the door.

And by the time I get home, the bits have grown to chunks.

And kind of heavy.
And stinky.
And make me tired.

Yesterday I took a nap after work.
I can't remember the last time I did that, as I'm not much of a napper.
And what a treat that was, on the back porch, in the sun, under a blankie.

I forgot how wonderful it is to hit that state of half awake doze, where I drift off to another place, yet am still connected to the real one, by sound and feel. And then the little movies start playing on the inside of my eyelids, incorporating the barking of the dog next door with psychodelic swirls and dancing monkeys.


But now I gotta bee goin'.