Sunday, August 31, 2008

Another 'also ran'

Well the Ravelympics didn't work out for me. Watching the opening ceremonies, during the "parade of nations" portion, one of the announcers said something like, "of course the majority of these athletes come here with NO HOPE of a medal..."

What a jerk. I'm sitting there, with my endless knitting project, and my broken damn foot, and these people were AT THE OLYMPICS! It shouldn't matter that they may not be number one, two or three... I find it amazing that they can be number 25! Or 12! Or 18! Or moreso, 4!!! When are we going to learn to appreciate these "also rans?"

Well, I didn't even finish the back of the sweater. But I haven't given up, I hope to finish it for Christmas.

Right now, I have about four co-workers expecting babies. Maybe five. I can't remember. But I've found a really nice baby blanket pattern on line, which I have adapted and adjusted. It initially called for 2 strands of worsted yarn, size 10 needles, and a rather substantial size. I hate working with 2 strands of yarn (it's a waste, honestly!) and I really only wanted something that was small enough to be thrown over a baby or tot in a stroller or car seat. It's cold up here, and I remember tucking H into his carseat and wishing I had a smaller blanket than the ones I had.

So... I've adjusted it to 400 yards of worsted, size 9 needles, and a finished size of 22x28 inches. Once I finish the one I'm working on, I'll post a picture. I also dyed the yarn (Knit Picks Superwash Merino-BARE) with Kool-Aid to make each one more individual. It's really cute.

Gotta go now.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Summer of the Gimp

Regarding my last post, which was months and months ago... Ice Out at our house was officially May 12, 2008. Scary.

Well, here it is, August already, and what have I been doing this summer? Well, I started my summer like this:

Then moved on to phase two, which looked like this:

And now I'm in the fun ankle-brace, cane and physical therapy portion of the program. It looks like this and involves STEEL REINFORCEMENT. No, really.

Friday, June 13 (honestly!) I took the bottom step of the stairs (here at the house) just... wrong... and managed to sprain my ankle. Sprained it so well, in fact, that the tendon ripped a piece of bone off what they believe to be the "cuboid" which sounds more like a Lego than a bone to me. But the point is I broke a tiny bone in my foot and have spent the last 8 weeks recuperating. It's nothing I'd recommend, and fortunately it's been a very wet, very cool summer so I haven't missed out on too much. Bill had to chauffer me for five weeks or so (it's my driving foot, of course) and that was trying. But I've got my wheels back, and now the physical therapists are having their wicked way with me and leading me into new experiences of pain and torture (different than Bill's driving).

I'll do another update later this week, on my RAVELYMPICS 2008 event project. Currently, it looks like this:

I have until the closing ceremonies in Beijing to complete it. It's a sweater for Bill, so the odds are not good.

Catch ya later:


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Effing Snow...

We live in the White Mountains. Here's a couple pictures. We have more snow on the way tomorrow. Soon we will be sub-arctic.

Last night as I was wandering around the supermarket, very excited about their phenomenal yogurt sale, I ran into a guy I know. This happens often, we all joke that we keep track of everyone we know by running into them in the supermarket (I actually ran into about three people last night, which isn't many, when you get down to it). Anyway, I ran into a guy I know, and I did my usual "Hi! How are ya?" like I do all day long--at work, or around town. He responded, rather tensely, I thought "I'm doing very well" and scooted past. I responded with a passing "Glad to hear it, hey, good to see ya!" and it occurred to me that his tone had been, well, rather unlike his usual friendly self. I thought that was odd, especially since I thought he looked especially well. Especially well for someone who's been fighting a rare and persistent form of cancer for some time.

Then it occurred to me: well-meaning though I meant it, "How are ya?" is probably something he hears all day long, from people who expect either a "very well" or "poor today," both of which have to be followed with explanation about good days and bad days, and even if he's having a totally crappy day, people want to hear "very well" even when he's not, and then, do you go into it with everyone in the supermarket, or the convenience store, or that you run into at work?? What a pain. Are they asking because they really WANT to know, are genuinely concerned, or are they just being friendly? How do you answer that when you know you have more bad days than good days?

What an idiotic greeting... "Hi! How are ya!" when I don't really expect to listen... if everyone did tell me the truth, I'd be stopped for hours a day. I'd be the region's "well, let me tell you how I'm REALLY doing..." person. I wouldn't ask "how are ya?" if I didn't CARE... or don't I? Do I go into MY litany of personal problems, financial stress, hip bursitis, allergies, etc. when someone asks me, casually "how are ya?" No, I don't. Then why do they ask? If someone says "I'm good! How are you?" the automatic reply is "great! Nice to see ya!" and then you move on by. But that's all crap.

A few years back, I went to a very busy, very crowded sheep and wool festival with a friend. It was one of those places that had a lot of displays, and booths, and you're always winding around people and bumping into them... I was saying "sorry, oops, sorry!" all day long, as I usually did. My friend, however, never said "sorry!" she said a very polite and sincere "excuse me..." I watched her do this all day. Wow, I thought, was I really SORRY--was I really apologizing to people in this situation? "Excuse me" seemed so much more proper... "sorry" should be saved for when you do someone a genuine WRONG. Since then, I say "excuse me..." if I need to reach past them at the supermarket to get the tomato sauce, and, oddly, most people reply "oh, sorry!" and I want to say "don't be sorry, just say, 'oh, of course!" and shift out of my way a little. No apologies needed. Unless you run over my foot with your cart, or drop a soup can on my head... feel free then!"

So what would be a better casual greeting than "how are ya?" I've been thinking about this long and hard since last night. "Hi, nice to see ya!" "Hi, great yogurt sale, isn't it?" "Hi, hope your doing great, but if you're not, I hope things improve...can't chat, gotta go..."

I think I'll try to go with "nice to see ya!" Thoughts, anyone?


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Primary Season

Yes, we live in New Hampshire. Yes, we are both independents. No, we are not answering the phone right now, so please leave a message and if you're not a pollster or political "bring out the vote" caller, we'll get back to you.

Hooray for the fun, the craziness and the mayhem of the political season! Because we're non-affiliated in this household, we get double the fun, because both Democrats and Republicans are courting us. We have canvassers at the door most afternoons, one evening recently, we had 4 phone calls between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. (that's a lot for us) and the first three of them were pollsters. The fourth was my mother-in-law, who lives in Maine, and I felt a bit bad that by then we were screening calls.

The other morning, I went out and found that the Edwards people had lined both sides of the Saco River bridge with beautifully spaced signs, all about 3 feet apart, down both sides of the bridge, it looked really pretty. Down the road at the intersection, I saw a group of Obama people putting up a humongous sign. This, mind you, was all at 7:30 a.m., and the bank said it was -7 degrees out, and I think it may have been colder inside my car. The fact that the Edwards signs were already there, all up and down the highway, means that they had been out in the frickin' freezing cold of night to put them up. You've got to admire that kind of political passion.

The primary is Tuesday (thank heaven) and here's what this Saturday's mail looked like:

There may have been a bill as well, but it's hard to tell. This represents 2 Obama, 2 Clinton, 2 Edwards, some PAC or other, a Richardson and a Ron Paul. Can't wait to see what Monday brings. I think it's cute, though that Obama actually has a LOGO... check this out:

I wonder if this is the wave of the future, instead of just having a company design a classy, eye-catching sign and color-scheme, now they'll all have logos? We'll see. You heard it here first, folks.

Well, I'm gonna go take a nap. Need the strength to hold up to this week's mail.



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Lordy, Lordy, I Ain't Even Forty...

It all started in September, when our family doctor closed his practice. Well, I suppose if you're a "big picture" person, it all started sometime in 1968... but whatever.

Anyway, in September, our family doctor closed his practice. My "new" doctor told me I needed to have a baseline mammogram. Okay. No prob. Bill's new doctor introduced himself with a digital rectal exam of his prostate. Okay. Starting to feel impending age creeping in now.

Then I went to get my eyes checked yesterday, and much to my combined dismay and relief... I need bifocals when knitting. I've had some eyestrain for a while, and have used those little half-glasses you buy for ten bucks at the drug store off and on, but over my "real" glasses I feel like an ass. Now, here I am, on the cusp of 39 (really! I'll be 39 at the new year!) and needing bifocals. Not for everyday wear, but when knitting, crocheting, reading, etc.


(Go Red Sox!)


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Brother Sweaters

Holy Heck! I finished something! I finished TWO somethings! Here are H and Harris Bear in their "brother sweaters"--a pair of button-front hoodies.

The last time I knit a sweater for Harris (a beautiful "Superman Blue" cable front sweater) the bear wouldn't wear it because "it itched" him. It was done in Wool-Ease worsted. THIS time I went for a really cool-looking blue Bernat Camoflage, all... acrylic. I got the yarn during a New Year's run to Patternworks with my Homegirls. My Knitting Sisters, MJ & Sherri. Started the sweater in the winter. Finished in the fall. Not bad for me! The bigger sweater, for those interested, is from The Yarn Girls' kids book, for ages 4-12. The pattern is called "Supersize Me" and is designed for 2 strands of Koigu, which not only is expensive (although amazing) but would have ended up covered in yogurt, mud, ketchup and shrunk down to fit a baby doll after accidentally ending up in the washer (not that it's happened before or anything... I still mourn you, purple mohair cardi...)

Harris' was an afterthought. I whipped it up last Sunday during the Patriots' game. I hate football, but it's good knitting time. The boys agreed that they'd think it was cool to have matching sweaters, and that in the Camoflage, even Harris would wear it. H has never been a sweater kid, which is kinda tragic, but maybe my fortunes are about to change, he's been really interested and accommodating with this one, even when I've dragged him away from Bionicle mayhem for fittings.

Saturday we're doing the Walk for the Animals for the Conway Area Humane Society. Harris is coming. Hopefully we won't have any trouble with his new Baldness Ray powers with all those dogs around. Harris doesn't like dogs. Maybe I should get him some shades like Cyclops in the X-Men has...

Ta, I'm very tired tonight and now I'm gibbering.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Bionicle Thermopylae

So my baby brother and his family came to visit recently, and the discussion inevitably came round to movies. Since four of us were parents of Kindergarten-aged children, most of the films we see are on DVD. I mentioned that I had really liked "300" and my sister-in-law showed great concern that the film was horrifically violent.

Actually, I found "Braveheart" to be infinitely more violent. "300" is set up like its origin--the graphic novel--and although it is about a brutal, ancient battle, I didn't find it too violent at all... don't get me wrong, there is a fair amount of heads flying, but it's so thrillingly beautiful to watch, so visually amazing that it didn't prevent me from watching the film, utterly engrossed, to the very end. Of course, it could have been the buff abs of Gerard Butler and the tiny leather skivvies, too. Totally worth it.

We continued our discussion of films, moving on to H's most recent epic Bionicle battle. One of the plusses of having a daddy who's a videographer is that your childhood games can be caught forever on the miracle of DVD. H went into detail of the most recent battle, how Hewki did this and Jaller did that and who got limbs removed with a flying laser crossbow... My brother, who is in as difficult a position as I am, only in reverse--he has a 5-year-old daughter who would most like not appreciate his collection of Star Wars action figures in the same way H doesn't appreciate my Barbie collection-- asked if we yet had enough Bionicles in the house to do a re-creation of the battle of Thermopylae.

Hmmm. I thought. Interesting idea.

Unfortunately, H doesn't follow ancient, documented battle plans. But I must admit that some of his battles do resemble Thermopylae in some respects. A large army facing down a much smaller one, underdogs who fight like the odds weren't against them... in one of these pictures, you can see that even Harris the Bear has joined in, and yes, he was armed with both a squid launcher and a sword in addition to his usual superpowers--the laser beams that shoot from his eyes, his ability to control insects, and his newest superpower, the Baldness Ray (more on that another day).

Sadly, Bionicles don't have abs like Gerard Butler.