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January 2008
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March 2008

Is There Still Life Outsde?

Since I'm  not around a whole lot. I miss you guys! Busy, busy! Which is actually a good thing but sometimes the late nights, early mornings, the inability to remember how to make a knit stitch or work the remote control for the TV...... it makes me wonder. What should I be when I grow up?

You Should Be in the Military
You are driven, focused, and an extremely hard worker.
And while you can be ruthless in getting what you want, you also have a compassionate side.
You are able to balance your own desires with the needs of others.
You'll do almost anything to get the job done, but you're not willing to step on anyone's toes.

You do best when you:

- Are working with others
- Are in a fast paced environment

You would also be a good CEO or school principal.

Huh. Didn't see that one coming. The military? The description is fairly accurate, as long as "extremely hard worker" is followed by "long period of such productive activity as knitting, reading, pestering the cat and staring at clouds."

Speaking of TV shows (weren't we?) watch Jericho. DB Sweeney is back as Goetz from Ravenwood which normally I would be quite jazzed about but since he was also in Strange Luck and Harsh Realm and I loved both of them before they were cancelled......It's getting really good. Even the twerpy Dean wasn't twerpy.

What's going on with Lost? It's actually been pretty awesome, possibly because I LOVE time travel/time paradox/parallel universe stories. Desmond and Penny's relationship is now a complete cypher. They haven't been together since they broke up before 1996? Seriously?  I'm starting to really like Daniel.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles are doing the same flash back/flash forward time traveling thing but I'm still trying to make sense of them. (I just watch Lost uncritically now. If it eventually makes sense, yay. If not? Oh well. As long as I don't have to watch Jack parade around in his righteous whatever, I'm happy.) I'm also getting a kick out of seeing David from 90210 as John's uncle-from-the-future.

Law & Order continues to be so good!

Alas, Lipstick Jungle is a bit of a mess. I unreasonably hate Kim Raver so much that I can't watch her for long and for some reason Andrew McCarthy is creeping me out, I have no idea why, I like him normally. Paul Blackthorne is hot which is allways a good reason to watch a show.

Dr. Carson Beckett is back on Stargate Atlantis! Well, at least they found him in a Wraith/Human hybrid holding cell. Is it really him? Is he a replicator? Is Dr. Kaylee getting replaced?

Stupid HGTV revamped their TV schedule today. I want to see Knitty Gritty! It's been on at 7am on Fridays only and Simply Quilts at 8am every day. (Pacific time) Not today. Boo. At least I noticed it before I ran out the door and stopped the tape. Simply Quilts looks like it'll be back on Tuesday. Wednesday's show will be featuring Kaffe Fassett. What can I say? I love coming home after working 8500 hours and watching the amazing things people do with fabric. Blog_pix_816

Speaking of amazing things with fabric, isn't that buttonhole band gorgeous? Here, look. Blog_pix_814 Look sideways. For some reason, the iPhone doesn't like to take pictures the angle I want it to, no matter which way I hold it. It's similar to my copy machine constantly rotating the image when I don't want it rotated! Gah. Machines.

Blog_pix_815I'm three inches from the underarm shaping, still on the right front.  I was really hoping to have this done at the beginning of Feb and now I'm just hoping to have it done sometime this winter/spring.

Hez chortles at that. See how she sits with her paws over the edge? It's really cute when she hangs her whole arm over.


The Grumpfest

Just for Lorraine:

You Are From Mercury
You are talkative, clever, and knowledgeable - and it shows.
You probably never leave home without your cell phone!
You're witty, expressive, and aware of everything going on around you.
You love learning, playing, and taking in all of what life has to offer.
Be careful not to talk your friends' ears off, and temper your need to know everything.

It would have been more helpful if it had said something like "If you seem to be in a complete grumpfest it's possble that a humongo attack of PMS is happening and try, try! to have no contact with the outside world."

Too late. So on top of being a total grump all week (and shhh, still, really) I was sideswiped on the way into work the other day by a poor woman who was back in the state to have surgery. The damage is pretty minor but I cannot stress enough to you, the joy of being Not At Fault. Almost enough to mitigate the grumps, but not quite.

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You Should Rule Saturn
Saturn is a mysterious planet that can rarely be seen with the naked eye.

You are perfect to rule Saturn because like its rings, you don't always follow the rules of nature.
And like Saturn, to really be able to understand you, someone delve beyond your appearance.

You are not an easy person to befriend. However, once you enter a friendship, you'll be a friend for life.
You think slowly but deeply. You only gain great understanding after a situation has past.

Oh, that's nice. I only understand what's going on when....oh, wait. That might not be as bad as I thought at first. Oh, the Grumpfest. It continues. I made the mistake of defragging my computer this morning - I have hopes of it being done by May.....


Not the Buttonholes, for a change of pace - The band

Stupidly I did not take a Mmip_550 before photo, darn it. The problem I had was with the pictured below, a four row pattern repeat that I was....well, randomly kniting. Purls, the occasional knit tossed in and in no actual row count order.

See? This oh-so deceptively simple pattern repeat. (Okay, deceptively simple to me. Charts are hard. ) Mmip_552_edited_2

I had to write out it all out row by row to actually be able to knit the pattern and, uh, is it ever easy. Oh well. Mmip_554_edited

I just couldn't get it through my head looking at the chart that it was knit one, purl six on the even rows.

I mean, never. Every time I came to it, I would check the symbol keys - K on RS, P on WS, and then try to decide - am I on a RS? a WS? Which row of the four? Two? Four? Gah.

Arrrrgggghhhhh. It's Left and Right, North, West, East, South, do you lose an hour in the Fall or the Spring with Daylight Saving time all over again. (You lose it when you spring forward but I am capable of arguing either way with equal passion.) (It will also be abolished if I'm ever in charge. Hate DST. Also? There is no way to regulate daylight! The sun and the rotation of the earth pretty much determine how much light we get. Anyway.)

Anyway. I finally got it. And it's really a pretty pattern for a buttonband. The buttonholes themselves (thankfully) are yo, work2tog and are fabulously easy. They even look good (unlike a certain frogged 50's cardigan). Mmip_551 (Wow. I really need to learn to take pictures because it's so much nicer looking that what shows in that pic. But you get the vague idea.)

And now for TV.

Too late now, but Sunday night: Pride & Prejudice Part 2 on Masterpiece. (Not Theater any longer.) At least it's the Colin Firth version.I'm not sure what next week is, I've kind of given up on this Jane Austen series, although I finally did read Persuasion and Mansfield Park. Once again, the books are so much better than the filmed editions.

At 10pm - Dexter on CBS and Breaking Bad on AMC. Deb of Wound Too Tight told me about Breaking Bad - it's really a pretty  intense show about a high school chem teacher finding out that he has cancer, a baby on the way, a son with special needs, not a whole lot to leave his family when he's gone and how he goes about doing just that.

Monday - The Sarah Conner Chronicles on Fox at 9pm and Medium at 10pm.

Tuesday - Jericho at 10pm on CBS. Watch it or else. I don't miss Teen Trump and His Princess but I do miss Bonnie and Major Mom. Wasn't Stanley's and Mimi's scenes last week perfect?

Heather of Lectio.ca has made this personal. We've got a bet going - a pair of mittens is riding on it - she thinks Constantino and Jake will team up against the New Gov and I say never! Nevah! He killed Major Dad! Details at her blog.

Argh. I know there's only seven episodes this season but I do not know what happens! Why haven't I been searching out spoilers? (I mean, other than I couldn't have made the bet then, but it is a little unlike me not to look for spoilers). I don't even know if James Remar is going to show up again. I can just hope. I did know Esai Morales was joining the cast.

Wednesday - 10pm NBC. I'm really into Law & Order again this season. It's fun to see McCoy dealing with his (possibly temporary) promotion and his staff. I like the new ADA, I really like Greene and Lupo as partners and how Van Buren handles them all.

Thursday: Lost at 9pm ABC - so far, so good. I'm cautiously optimistic. I've also decided I don't care about the mysteries, resolutions or continuity, as long as there's plenty of screen time for Sawyer and Sayid. I'm happier that way. Then, Lipstick Jungle at 10pm. I didn't want to watch this show....but I got sucked into it. Paul Blackthorne, formerly Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files plays Brooke Shields husband.

Friday: Stargate Atlantis, Sci Fi Channel at 10pm. Dr Beckett was in the teasers for next week! Not dead! Not looking like an ascended being or a ghost either. Cross your fingers. I like Dr. Kaylee, but I like Carson better.

Oh, and today, a marathon of Firefly is playing on the Sci Fi channel starting at 8am until 6pm. They're also repeating Jericho episodes Monday nights at 10pm.

You Belong in 1990
With you anything goes! You're grunge one day, ghetto fabulous the next. It's all good!

Jericho on Tuesday Night 10pm CBS

Watch it. Or else.

In other news - other than one of my shows actually being uncancelled and airing again - YAY! I am going to live. Live! I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to breathe through my nose, not have my very own snot factory in full production and not be freezing and aching. The flu sucks.

Of course it's been replaced by working 24/7 but that turns out to be a better alternative. Who knew?

Blog_pix_800_edited Hezekiah fights the evil flu. Or possibly jute covered rattling balls tied together. Her new favorite toy. [Wipes a tear away] My baby is playing with toys! She used to run in fear from them. Now she takes no prisoners.

The lovely prizes I won from Carrie at the Barefoot Cobbler - is that mint box not the cat's meow? Blog_pix_802 And hey. There were

chocolates! (Were being the operative word....)

You Are a Ham Sandwich
You are quiet, understated, and a great comfort to all of your friends.
Over time, you have proven yourself as loyal and steadfast.
And you are by no means boring. You do well in any situation - from fancy to laid back.

Your best friend: The Turkey Sandwich

Your mortal enemy: The Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Oddly enough, my mortal enemy is my go-to dinner. I'm not that fond of ham sandwiches either. Where's the peanut butter? Loyal and steadfast. Quit giggling.

In knitting news, I cast on the right front edge of the V Pointed Charmer by Lauren Devecka Sunday night. The back, it is finished! And the sleeves! I'm really in love with this pattern. I did have delusions of knitting both fronts simulataneously until I realized that the V part of the name was the fronts and also I have left/right issues. Blog_pix_804_edited

Blog_pix_795_edited Hezekiah says that she is an angel. Also? Keep it down. A cat needs her beauty sleep you know......


Flu & Tax Season - What could be more delightful?

Well, tax season is delightful to me, I enjoy doing them but the flu? Not so much, especially since this is my second round with it in something like 3 weeks and this time not only do I have the ever popular running-like-a-faucet nose but the slight fever that's causing massive body aches and chills and it's not like I can stay home and sleep the day away (but I'm not that sick anyway. Just icky feeling sick.)

Also? Whining.

I'd post a picture of the cute dishcloth and skeins that I won from  The Barefoot Cobbler's Resolution Contest (A resolution that I totally ---shhhh, have not even attempted yet) (The resolution was To Get a Jump on my Christmas Knitting/Presents, which I am so going to do. Later.) but I'm not really sure where I put my camera. (It's somewhere. Probably at home on the bookshelf). And then she nominated me as a You Make My Day blog! Along with The Fairy Godknitter, the lovely mrspao at mumblings and Knitted and Purled which leads me to believe that you are all very sweet but misguided. Snark! Gossip! That's me. OTOH, snark & gossip makes my day.....

I am completely wimping out on passing it on - I sat on my cat this morning, for Pete's sake. I am not to be trusted. (In my defense, she'd burrowed under the covers and I had no idea she went back to bed.) Hezekiah is fine, by the way. Fit as a fiddle. (Is it possible that this cold has morphed me into a hale and hearty 70 year old retired admiral from the 1800's? Because that's the voice in my head. Shhh. I'm blaming Jane Austen).

Oh, but I'd be really remiss if I didn't review the two (yes two! Two whole books!) that I'd read in January. Becoming Charlemagne by Jeff Sypeck and Unspeakable: The Story of Junius Wilson by Susan Birch and Hannah Joyner.

Unspeakable: The Story of Junius Wilson broke my heart. It's the story of a deaf black man born in the early 1900's and his lifetime stint in a mental ward in the South. His family, the medical staff, the law, the government, all had a hand in keeping him locked up for their own various reasons. I loved that I understood the logic and emotion behind all involved in the decisions, it scared me silly to think that it was so easy to do. We've come a long way, but have we really? I highly recommend this book.

Ooookay. Well, I do love breakfast. And pancakes.


Third Annual Brigid in Cyberspace Poetry Day

One of my favorite cyberspace traditions, posting poetry in honor of Brigid, the Celtic Goddess of Poetry, smith craft and healing. Here are my contributions in Feb 07 and Feb 06. (Darn, I can't link Feb 06. The poems were The World is Too much With Us by William Wordsworth and El Dorado by Edgar Allen Poe, practically the only poem I can still recite. )

And this year's offerings, the first by Anonymous from 1885:

A Stocking in Rhyme
To knit a stocking, needles four,
Cast on the needles and no more;
Each needled stitches eight and twenty,
Then one for seam stitch will be plenty.
Four twenty rounds your stitch must be
Two plain, two purl alternately,
Except the seam stitch which you do
Once purl, once plain, the whole way through.
A finger plain you next must knit,
Ere you begin to narrow it;
But if you like the stocking long,
Two fingers' length will not be wrong.
And then the narrowings to make,
Two stitches you together take
Each side the seam; then eight rounds plain,
Before you narrow it again.
Ten narrowings you'll surely find
Will shape the stocking to your mind;
Then twenty rounds knit plain must be,
And stitches sixty-five you'll see.
These just in half you must divide,
With thirty-two on either side;
But on one needle there must be
Seam stitch in middle, thirty-three.
One half on needles two you place,
And leave alone a little space;
The other with the seam in middle,
To manage right is now my riddle.
Backward and forward you must knit,
And always purl the backward bit;
But seam stitch, purl and plain, you know,
And slip the first stitch every row.
When thirty rows you thus have done,
Each side the seam knit two in one
Each third row, until sure you feel
That forty rows are in your heel.
You then begin the hell to close;
For this, choose one of the plain rows;
Knit plain to seam, then two in one,
One plain stitch more must still be done.
Then turn your work, purl as before
The seam stitch – two in one, one more;
Then turn again, knit till you see
Where first you turned, a gap will be.
Across it knit together two,
And don't forget one plain to do;
Then turn again, purl as before,
And sew till there's a gap no more.
The seam stitch you no longer mind,
That, with the hell, I s left behind.
When all the heel is quite closed in,
To knit a plain row you begin,
And at the end you turn no more,
But round and round knit as before.
For this, on a side needle take
The loops the first slip-stitches make;
With your heel needle – knit them plain,
To meet the old front half again.
This on one needle knit should be,
And then you'll have a needle free
To take up loops the other side,
And knit round plain, and to divide
The back parts evenly in two;
Off the heel needle some are due;
Be careful that you count the same.
On each back needle, knit round plain;
But as the foot is much too wide,
Take two together at each side,
On the back needle where they meet
The front to make a seam quite neat.
Each time between knit one plain round,
Till stitches sixty- four are found;
And the front needle does not lack
As many as on both the back.
You next knit fifty-six rounds plain,
But do not narrow it again;
'Twill then be long enough, and so
Begin to narrow for the toe.
Your long front row knit plainly through,
But at its end knit stitches two;
Together and together catch
Two first in the next row to match;
Then to the other side knit plain
Half round, and do the same again;
That is, two last together catch,
Two first in the front row to match.
At first knit four plain rounds between,
Then two, ten one, until 'tis seen
You've knit enough to close the toe;
And then decrease in every row,
Until to stitches eight you're brought,
Then break the thread off – not too short –
And as these stitches eight you do,
Each time your end of thread pull through;
Then draw up all to close it tight,
And with a darning needle bright,
Your end of thread securely run,
And then, hurrah! The stocking's done!

By Anonymous

A poem both dismal and hopeful (love those Russian poets):

When Life Is But A Round Of Crushing Care

When life is but a round of crushing care
And, a great heap of stones, lies heavy on us,
There suddenly, God knows how, why, upon us
A joyous mood descends... Of balmy air
A breath comes from the past and, o'er us drifting,
Invades the heart, its fearful burden lifting.

At times with autumn's coming is it so,
When empty lie the fields, when bare the groves are,
And paler turn the skies - and of a sudden, over
The darkened earth a damp wind starts to blow.
A fallen leaf it chases with elation
And to our hearts of spring brings a sensation.

by Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev