Sunday, March 30, 2008

Shopping report

First, thanks for the advice about bra shopping. There's a Lady Grace not that far from me, and I'll start with them. I didn't go yesterday, but I will go sometime soon, depending on their hours and mine. Chances are, I'll report back!

Meanwhile, yesterday's hunt went well. I have shoes:


And I know they go with the outfit, since I wore it shopping. (I didn't want there to be any question about length of the dress, etcetera.) They're pretty comfortable, and they were on sale: score! There were actually two pair I liked equally, and having ruled out any other decision-making factors like fit, comfort, how well they went with the outfit, or what else they could be worn with, I got these because they were less expensive (or more on sale). I'll start wearing them around the house here and there, then to work, to get my feet used to them before the trip.

What else did I get? (Besides Chick-fil-A for lunch, and Haagen Dazs for a pick-me-up?) Well, uncharacteristically, this:


Yup. That's make-up.

I know, me? But, first off, I'm willing to wear a little for special events*, and second, some of that in the picture was the free bonus stuff. We really just bought this:


*I did in fact already own some, which I bought for my cousin's wedding. In 2005. (Having just done that math, I threw it out today. I understand you're not supposed to keep the stuff that long.)

And my friend assures me that I can just do the "it's not really foundation, it's more like tinted moisturizer" and the undereye concealer, and don't have to use the lip gloss, eyeshadow, and blush.

Though we bought them anyway. You know. Just in case.

I'll have to play around with it before I go, to get used to the idea. I'm never going to be a makeup-every-day person, but I guess I could wear it more often than almost never.

Actually, I did have a somewhat bad makeup-related experience ten years ago. I was in another cousin's wedding, which was an overall wonderful experience by the way, and a problem relative* (doesn't everyone have at least one of those?) told me OVER and OVER again how Wonderful I looked with makeup on. In fact, since I was wearing a dress someone else chose, with my hair done by someone else, and makeup professionally done, it wasn't so much of a compliment to me, but to the committee. One iteration I could have smiled through and dismissed, but when she Kept saying it, well, I think it cemented my already strong feeling of comfort with not wearing makeup.

*I'd like to add that she's a relative by marriage, though I'm not sure why I want that to be clear. I adore other relatives by marriage, and am tepid at best to certain blood relatives, so what does it matter? I don't know. My mind works in mysterious ways, when it works at all. Moving on.

Now, a final word from Knitting. I know I've been saying for a while now that the first of the Banish February socks is almost done, but here's how much yarn is left:


Yes, I believe tomorrow night's stitch and bitch may see its end. Maybe. No promises.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Wait a minute...

How did you get my tail?


Your tail? Give me back my tail!

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sock One Almost Done; and, Shopping for dainty underthings: advice?

I was rather cranky today (too many jelly beans, too little sun, not warm enough, possible allergies, blah, blah, blah), and had to bite my tongue when, at lunch, it was implied that my sock is way too long and really rather ridiculously overlong and wasn't it ever going to be done already? (Perhaps I was reading a wee little bit into what was actually said. But really, I've said all along I want it to be a long/tall sock, and that if I finish it and feel it's too long, I'll peacefully rip back however far I need to, and I want it long, do you hear? Long!)

Now, I would be the first to say that it looks funny when not on a foot.


But as I've mentioned frequently, I Have Been Trying It On at regular intervals, and it fits my foot rather well. Not perfectly, but for first time with this yarn, first time with this pattern, I'm very pleased with how it's going.

And it is Not too long, thank you.


The inspector agrees with me.


Yes, that will do. It is acceptable. You may pamper me whilst wearing that sock.


Honestly, I think it's because when it's off the foot, the ribbing pulls in, so it looks narrower and thus out of proportion in its length. Because it really fits, just like I want it to.

Just because I'm oversensitive doesn't mean I'm wrong. I know when a sock fits me. (And when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.)

*****************

Now, can we discuss bra shopping? Because I don't even know where to start, but I bet you do, you clever people!

For years and years, I've worn "bras" that aren't technically deserving of the name. They're microfiber, over-the-head, size XL (so I don't even know what my true bra size is). They're comfortable, which was and is my first consideration, but they're not so much with the support. Obviously, I've been okay with that, or I would have switched long ago. It's only recently that I started to think it might be nice if, for example, my chest did not let the world know when I was cold. A little more between me and the world, is what I'm thinking. But not too much support, i.e., constriction, because it's going to be weird to change. I didn't like underwires in years gone by, but it's a long time since I wore anything but these. Has the technology improved, or am I deluding myself?

So, what do I do? Do I go somewhere to get properly fitted? Where? Or do I just suck it up, set aside a day, go to a store with a wide selection of sizes, and try them on until I figure it out or I can take no more?

I'm thinking about this now because I have a planned expedition to The Mall on Saturday, to get shoes and perhaps a purse to go with the outfit I'm wearing to the event I'm attending in England. I need shoes that go with it, that are comfortable enough to wear all day, and that hopefully I can get a lot of wear out of, beyond this outfit and this trip, since I'm sure they won't be cheap.

Shoes are hard, aren't they? I have wide feet, which makes it harder. I do not mean shoes that are just non-sneaker-y enough that I can wear them to the office even when it isn't casual Friday. It would be nice if I could wear them to the office without having my feet more nicely dressed than the rest of me, but what I actually Need are comfortable shoes I could wear to a funeral (knock on wood that I don't need them much, or soon).

But wait, I got off track. The point is, should I try a department store or other mall store for bras, or break these into two expeditions? What do you think?

***************

Have you ever had a weight-watching strategy backfire on you? This morning, when I was disturbed by my inability to stop eating Jelly Bellys, I decided that the time had come for drastic measures, and asked my friend Google how many calories were involved. I thought that I could strengthen my incredibly weak willpower with a harsh number.

It turns out that each one has four calories. Four! That's not scary! Granted, I ate a lot of them, but even so, that number will not help me keep my hands out of the basket. Curses.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Of food, healthy (ish) and not so

Or, real food and candy


I want to thank Annie's Eats for this simple and delicious recipe, which I have now made twice. The only thing I don't love about it is that you dirty three pans (making the "sauce", preparing the pasta, and then baking the whole thing), since I'm a big fan of one-dish cooking (and thus clean-up). However, in this case it's worth it, as the result is delicious, it makes plenty, and it reheats perfectly. I love leftovers! And if I just exert my willpower (ha), and wash the first two dishes while the meal is baking, I don't have a full counter of dirties when I'm done. Score!

*******************

My plan to comfort myself for the neverendingness of winter by being more relaxed about eating continues. Today was actually decent weather, with a brisk wind taking some of the nice out of the mid-50s temperature, but still with lots of sun. I heart the sun! I'm trying to not over-overeat, but several people at work brought in excess Easter candy, including in one case Jelly Bellys, and can I eat those! Mmm. I've eaten too many, for sure. And of course, I went to their website to see what all the flavors are. (I wanted to put the pictures here, but it's too wide for the page, and after a few minutes of tinkering, I concede defeat. Go looky, come back to discuss.)

It makes me want to taste-test the lot. How different are strawberry cheesecake and strawberry daiquiri? What about cafe latte and cappuccino? There are some I don't particularly like, and some I kind of like, and about a dozen that I really like. Mmm, sweet.

What about you? Favorite flavors? Or is something else your preferred method of falling off the food-willpower wagon?

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Waiting for the Train


I've known for a few years now that Pan has a heart condition, and although there have been some scary moments, on a daily basis it hasn't been very worrying. He showed no symptoms, the medications were preventive, he was his same old self, all's right with the world.

Now that he's in CHF, I'm having much more trouble forgetting it. The labored breathing, although easily corrected by the new med, was an obvious reminder that he is not 100% healthy. And even with the breathing back to normal, I'm still having problems.

It's like waiting to get hit by a train. You know it's going to hit you, but you don't know when. It could be today, could be two years from today. It will hit you, and it will hurt like hell when it does.

And thus, with almost everything he does or doesn't do, I worry: is this it? Is that a bad sign? Is he breathing? Does his throwing up mean something more than indigestion or a hairball? Is his heart beating too fast? Does he want to cuddle because he senses something? Does he not want to cuddle because he feels bad?

And the underlying question to all questions: What should I do?

Intellectually, I know that I'm doing what can be done. He's on medications, I'm monitoring his weight and watching for any other symptoms, I'm keeping his life happy and low-stress. Emotionally, though, I have trouble accepting that. The situation is broke and I want to fix it. I can't forget, even for a day, and if I can't fix it, I wish I could forget.

Pan has always been my baby. He was my first choice that day I walked into the Humane Society, ten years ago this summer. I love Harold too, love him lots, but Pan is a mama's boy and extra dear to my heart (a bonus re: cats versus human kids is that you can say things like that, even put them on your blog for all the world to see, without worrying about therapy bills later). All the preparation in the world isn't going to help me when the time comes. And not knowing when the time will come is ... unsettling.

In my situation, do you think you'd rather know, or not know, how long he has left?

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Signs of Spring, and a finished object

But not a sock.

Almost! Sock number one of the Banish February socks is almost done!

But it isn't. However, I did finish the scarf for my friend's birthday, and I will photograph it and show you later this week.

In the meantime, since it's Monday and I was late getting home due to my stitch and bitch group and thus Pan is cranky and wants a lap, I will give you a few shots of Spring-is-coming before signing off.

I bought a pot of crocuses to bring to Easter dinner, and they had their close-up before I left:


Not exactly a growing out of the ground sign of Spring, but lovely just the same!


And today, we noticed the pussy willows are budding, or blooming, or whatever you want to call it.



So pretty. It was quite a decent day. Not warm enough, but decent.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Harold's turn in the sun

Yes, sun! We have sun!

So it's not warm out. That will come (right?). I've been very pleased this weekend to see the sun.

And I'm not the only one. This morning, I found both boys in the target zone.


Harold was doing especially cute things with his paws. I love his paws.


He arranges them with such an air.


The toes. Sigh.


It's hard work, being Harold. One must rest.


Keep the paws together, in the sun. Remain focused.


Of course, after a while, it gets too hot, and you have to take your black fur out of the sun for a break.


Working hard, or hardly working. You decide.

Do you like the sun? I once worked with someone who didn't (she loved overcast and rainy days), but I don't know if that's common. What weather or weather-related phenomenon do you look forward to the most?

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

My happy place is full of yarn. And cats.

Chocolate is helping. I'm smiling!

I've also been looking at lolcats, who appeal to my sense of humor (or perhaps I should say, help me rediscover it in these dark days [don't talk to me of the first day of Spring, please, I'm in No Mood]). What, you want to see a few? Try this:

funny pictures

Or:

funny pictures

Remind you of anyone?

funny pictures

I'll stop now, but honestly, I think laughing out loud is my best medicine these days.

Knitting isn't bad, either. Remember, I bought this yarn to counteract winter, and the Banish February socks are coming nicely. When last we saw Sock the First, it was barely an ankle sock, and look at it now:


One with flash, one without, pick your poison. With is a bit closer to true color, but without isn't as washed-out looking as I feel with is. Blame camera or photographer? Camera!


(I love my camera, actually.) I forgot to photograph how much yarn is left, but it's a fair bit, which is good. No chilly calves! Shortly, I will switch out of the pattern stitch into ribbing for the top, and then number one will be done!

Of course, I cast on something else last night, but it's a fling, not a commitment. A friend's birthday is coming up, and I thought I'd make a quick, fun scarf for her. For some reason, when I wound the yarn last night, I felt like diamonds:


What do you think? Since I did that much last night and at lunch, it's pretty quick. It needs to be a bit longer before I decide if it's a keeper.

Speaking of keepers, I love this shot of the boys. They look like a long-married couple who have nothing to say to each other anymore, but still are never far from each other.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Am I blue? Oh, I wish

I am gray. Dull beige. Sand. Off-white. I want to be blue (sky) and yellow (sunny). But I am not.

(Warning: this post is going to be full of complaining, while I am fully aware that I have very, very little to really complain about in my life. If that sort of things annoys you, I advise you not to read on. I won't blame you a bit, and I hope you come back another day. Pick a sunny one, and you won't even recognize me. Thanks.)

If you've read certain of my posts from last Spring (or pre-Spring), you may remember that waiting for nice weather is not something I'm much good at, by winter's end. Now put that together with the true horribleness of this winter, with its near-constant snow, rain, gray skies, cold, etcetera ad infinitum, and you'll get an idea of where I'm going with this.

I've been feeling blah the last few days. It's that waiting-to-get-sick feeling when you just don't feel quite right, but you're not sick either, but you just know it's coming. Only it isn't really a physical feeling, but an emotional one.

Perhaps I need a light box? Would that help? But then the $300 charge on my credit card wouldn't cheer me up any. (I'm sure you can get cheaper ones; I used that as my example because Miss Conduct linked to it in recommending the light box her husband uses.)

So, despite the supposed-to-be-self-descriptive name of the Eat Less, Exercise More Plan, I am putting the Eat Less part on hold for right now. I am going to continue to exercise, because I don't think that's making anything worse, but right now eating is about all I have*, and I am taking myself off the hook for it.

*I do still have the kitties for fuzz therapy, of course. But snuggling up with Pan can involve noticing how fast his heart is beating, how hard it's working, even when he's relaxed, and that leads to Seriously Unhappy Thoughts. Holding Harold tends to make me wonder how he and I will do without Pan. It's hard to ward those thoughts off, perhaps more so when I am already depressed.

I am not granting myself permission to eat a pint of ice cream a day, but I am going to allow some crap into my diet and not feel guilty about it. For heaven's sake, desperate times call for desperate measures: I looked at the 10-day forecast, and there is one sunny day on it. One! And the highs range from 35 to 47 degrees. The highs! (And then, because I am just that stupid, I looked at the weather in Florida, and almost cried. Jealous much? Glutton for punishment, much? Why did I look?)

This calls for chocolate. (And Peeps.) Mama, your timing is impeccable as always:



I feel better already.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

A different SnB; and, comment responses

My Stitch and Bitch group normally meets on Monday nights, and today was no exception. We knew it would be different tonight, though, as our meeting-place is an Irish pub, and today of course is St. Patrick's Day.

Whew! Where are all these people the rest of the year? It was crowded, and loud, and crowded, and did I say loud? My throat hurts, is sort of tight, from trying to make myself heard, and I estimate I caught 3/4 of the conversations at the table, at most.

And did we ever get some looks for the knitting. I got there at the same time as one other member of the group, and we got a table and ordered and started knitting, to the evident confusion of an older man at the next table, who kept sliding looks our way. When three more showed up, and we were all knitting, I think he was a little freaked out, and I noticed he turned his back to us part of the time. Oooh, the scary pointy sticks! Actually, I did get some more done on my sock, but I'm too tired now for photography. Soon, though.

**********************

Then, a few responses to comments:

Kelly, welcome! I'm glad you de-lurked, though of course lurking is fine, too.

Leslie: I have a petsitter come in to take care of the boys when I go away. I've had several over the course of their lives and our locations, and I think this one is my favorite so far. I knew I would like her when she came over the first time and sat on the floor with them to meet them. She's both enthusiastic and organized, and she loves my boys, so it's really win-win all around. I found her through the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters' website, a couple of years ago. For anyone local, I'd be glad to recommend her, though I don't know the limits of her range.

And Kali, I'm sorry Blogger was being mean to you and your commenting. Hopefully it was a one-time deal. Did anyone else have problems? I do have an e-mail address dedicated to the website (ccrinma {at} hotmail {dot} com), if anyone ever wants to reach me privately or if Blogger is being bad. As long as MSN isn't having problems on the same day, it should work.

Oh, Happy Saint Paddy's

If you have not seen the Swedish Chef, Animal, and Beaker singing "Oh Danny Boy", you have not fully embraced St. Patrick's Day.



OMG, fabulous! Whoever on the Muppet Show staff decided to have these three characters sing together, kudos.

Thanks to Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing for the link.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

It's kind of funny that

Earlier, it seemed so right and reasonable not to get started on the laundry just yet, soon but not right this minute; and how now, not being done with the laundry seems so wrong. The last load is in the dryer, but how I wish it was done and put away instead, and I was crawling into my bed with its clean sheets and blankets with the sense of accomplishment that should accompany such a thing.

And why was I late getting started? I give you Exhibit A:


And Exhibit B:


It's really a wonder that I ever get anything done around here.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

What do I have to do? What? Eat less??

If I had been asked, several months ago, which would be harder for me, controlling food intake or countering indolence, I believe I would have said that they were about equally hard for me. However, it now seems that when you are doing neither, it is easy to delude yourself.

Okay, myself. I have been working on The Plan for two months now, and without a doubt, it is easier for me to make myself exercise than it is to make myself eat less.

Starting the initiative after Christmas and all its temptations, after New Year's Eve partying, I thought it might be a trifle easier. Except that there was Valentine's candy everywhere, and before the candy hearts were gone, the Easter candy was out, and even before I had a single Mini Egg the Girl Scout cookies were in, and what's next?

Actually, I still haven't had a Mini Egg. However, I have had Easter candy. Yes. In fact, tonight I stopped at Walgreen's with a coupon from the Sunday paper of a couple of weeks ago, and a coupon from their circular, for Russell Stover eggs, and scored 6 (one-ounce) eggs for $1.02 (regular price 59 cents each). I couldn't make myself pass it up. (Three caramel, two marshmallow, and daringly, one Marshmallow & Caramel, in case you were wondering.) They're so good! But no wonder my clothing is not getting any looser.

For sadly, it is not. And I have been snacking less, deciding whether it's hunger or something else that's making me reach for food, trying to wait. It sucks. I have a very low tolerance for hunger.

I have been exercising! Even though I still don't like it, not one little bit. I've been walking twice a day at work, 15 minutes each, without missing one for several weeks. I've been upping my intensity, too, walking faster, and am thinking about adding arm weights (surely just carrying the extra weight would burn one or two more calories?). I've been riding the bike, though still only for 5 minutes at a time (I can't do longer; I can hardly walk after that as it is), four times a week, which has to count for something. I keep telling myself. I'm starting to get frustrated.

Not ready to give up. But frustrated.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

About blogging; plus, an interesting confluence

While I love comments, each and every one of them*, I was thinking about the concept, the heart of blogging, the whole "is this a conversation or a monologue" question, and what I decided is this.

*Except not the spam ones, but so far (knock wood) I've only had a couple of those.

My blog is my Pensieve. When I write about things, whether silly or serious, some of the steam is let out of the pressure cooker. Sometimes, just arranging events or my thoughts into a (hopefully) coherent story to blog helps me understand myself, or make a decision. Sometimes it helps me calm down, or realize that being upset is in fact the right response. And, of course, sometimes you wonderful people solve a problem for me, even if I didn't realize I was asking.

So: I love to hear from you, and I do mean you. But if not, that's fine: I'm amusing myself. Welcome to you.

***********************

I get a couple of daily e-mails, book clubs and word of the day and things.

Today's word of the day was:
distaff \DISS-taff\ adjective

1 a : related through a mother b : inherited or derived from the female parent
*2 : female

Example sentence:
The Solheim Cup pits America's best distaff golfers against the top European women.

Did you know?
A distaff was originally a short staff that held a bundle of fibers — of flax or wool, for example — ready to be spun into yarn or thread. Since spinning was a basic daily task customarily done by women, the distaff came to be the symbol for the work or domain of women. This symbolic use of the noun "distaff" dates back to the time of Chaucer and is found in several works by Shakespeare. Eventually "distaff" came to be used for the female branch of a family and then as an adjective, as in "the distaff side of the family."

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.


Then I opened the Stitch 'n Bitch page-a-day calendar for today:

A STITCH IN TIME
There is sometimes a reference in history or literature to someone being from the “distaff side of the family” (meaning the maternal side). A distaff is a device constructed to hold unspun fiber as it’s fed onto the spindle or into the spinning wheel. The use of this term has its origins in the Middle Ages. It comes from a reference in the Bible calling a virtuous woman one who seeks wool and works willingly with her hands on the spindle and distaff. That makes us all pretty virtuous!
To quote Douglas Adams (and doubtless others): It's a funny old thing, life.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Two Questions For My Trip

So, yay, I'm going to England! (happy dance) Can you guess the first two questions to cross my mind?
  1. What to knit?
  2. What to wear?*
*Not for the whole trip, so much as one not-so-casual event. What would you wear when you might meet one of the royal family? Of course I probably won't, but I think an event at which HRH will be present calls for a little forethought.

The answer to the second one is in hand. My friend and I are planning a wardrobe inspection, followed by a shopping trip (not the same day), about which I won't even say "if necessary", since I know that at the very least, I need new dress-up shoes that are comfortable. I'm pretty sure I have clothing that will do, but accessorizing may be called for.

The knitting, though, is complicated. Not the basic answer, since that seems (today) to be a simple one. What kind of project is small and portable? Socks. And since my stitch and bitch group is planning to road-trip to Webs next month for the Yarn Harlot's appearance, I expect I can find something fun to knit with (assuming I've finished the ones I'm doing now). (I've never been to Webs before, so I'm very excited to see its wonders for myself.)

However, there's the Heathrow issue. I had heard that they're more strict than US airports about permitted/prohibited items, and that knitting needles were not allowed at least at one time. But is it still true? I have Googled around, and gotten two answers:
  1. Yes, needles are allowed, or at least not specifically prohibited.
  2. No, needles are specifically not allowed.
So you can understand my confusion.

At www.heathrowguide.com/, the answer is yes. At both www.heathrow-airport-guide.co.uk/ and www.heathrow-airport-uk.info/, the answer is no. Then, www.heathrowairport.com doesn't specify knitting needles, but says that
Sharp or pointed items must not be carried in hand baggage and will be confiscated at security control.
though it then goes on to list examples, of which knitting needles are not one. (At least it's positive that I can't bring my catapult. Good to know.)

I've found blogs where people had needles confiscated by security, or let through security but confiscated on the plane, or where they've gone through both without trouble. It's very confusing.

And as far as I can tell, the UK does not have a TSA* equivalent to possibly clarify the situation. The mere fact that the rules differ at different airports in the UK throws me a little, though perhaps I should think of it as that they admit the rules are different at different airports, since travelers in the US find that rules can vary from one airport to the next, and in fact from one screener to the next.

*The Transportation Safety Administration has its flaws, but it does provide a nice list of what you may and may not bring, in carry-on and checked luggage.

I believe that I will be able to bring my knitting for the flight over (which is, of course, the one I would choose to give up if I could only knit on one flight, since I want to sleep through most of it). The return flight? Who knows. I did read advice on one blog about tucking your knitting into a small umbrella, which I may or may not do. (Apparently it confuses the x-ray; if asked, you can say that it's to protect the needles, and of course you weren't trying to sneak anything by security!)

Will it really be necessary? Are bamboo US size 1 or 2 needles really going to get taken away? Conundrum.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Explain airfares to me, please

Can anyone, anyone, help me understand why, with $600 airfares and $800 airfares from point A to point B, anyone would pay $3600? What in the world is so special about Singapore Airlines?

Monday, March 10, 2008

February Sock: Now With Heel!

My sock is a foot! It's funny how the difference between it now and a tube with one closed end seems so great.


I think the fit is good enough to keep going, though I may want to make subsequent pairs slightly smaller. There sure is a learning curve with socks, for me anyway. After my first provisional cast-on (neat!), this was my first short-row heel, and I'm not sure I like it better than the other way, but I'm reserving judgment.

Now all I do is work my way up the leg!

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Mail, sock, and so much more! (not really)

Good news in the missing mail department: the recipient of the third card received it, and the check for the bill cleared. Yay! The very best resolution to a screwy and deeply mysterious situation that one could wish for. Thank you to Whoever was watching out for me.

In sock news, I'm plugging away at the foot. I'm slightly concerned that it's too loose, though it is not loose-loose. What do you think?


Looks like it fits, right? But there's this much ease:


I can't decide if that's too much or not, so I decided to keep going through the heel, and try it on properly. If it's too loose, to the frog pond it goes, and I'll have had heel practice. If it's good, I'll happily keep going.

Pan doesn't really care either way, as long as I keep it down.


A guy is trying to sleep, after all.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

A very social weekend for the introvert

My name is ccr, and I am an introvert.

I like to get together with my friends, of course, but I also need plenty of alone time, quiet time, recharge my batteries time. Many a weekend goes by when I don't have any social interaction, and that's okay with me. I'm not a complete social-phobe, but I'm definitely at that end of the spectrum.

This weekend is looking very busy for little ol' me, with plans Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday. All things to enjoy, but a slight, faint warning bell not to let it happen too often (remember last summer, and how stressed I got? too much fun in too short a period of time!).

I didn't post last night because of having done dinner and a movie with friends. Yummy pizza at Bertucci's, and Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day, which was quite good in our opinions.

This afternoon, a friend who's in town from California for a few days is coming over, which I'm very excited about (but which did require a morning of tiding the house, not that she is to blame for that! Lazy housekeeper alert is really what it is).

Sunday I'm going down to Providence to meet a friend for lunch and a hockey game, yay! Hopefully the Providence Bruins will be more entertaining than their Boston brethren have been this week (we will speak no more of them for now). The big club did pull out a win this afternoon, which was, I have to say, a pleasant surprise. Perhaps the previous three games were just a blip, not the pre-playoffs slide they do so many years.

Anyway! Lots of fun, but lots of, if you follow me. And, I have plans bubbling and brewing for the possible England trip in May, which is also very exciting and takes up the small segment of my mind that's free. Busy, busy, busy!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

What can BA do for you?

So, I was pricing flights to London for what may well turn out to be a fantasy trip (as in, I fantasize but never actually go), and look what I saw when quoting a fare on British Airways:

Offset the carbon emissions for these flights

carbon offset

You can help minimise the impact of your flying by offsetting your carbon emissions. The total carbon emissions from your itinerary are 1.10 tonnes and the cost of offsetting your emissions is $ 32.00.

Your money will go towards UN certified emission reduction projects.

* Please be aware that once your carbon offset contribution is paid, it cannot be refunded.

This is one of those times when I feel quite old and out of it. Is this really a standard thing now? I've heard of carbon offsetting, of course, but I must admit, this took me by surprise.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The story has an ending

Though not a middle...

So, are you wondering about the lost mail story from yesterday? I have an update for you.

I didn't find the missing envelopes last night, but I didn't really look. I drove myself so crazy Monday night, I had a "crazy" hangover, and I was leery of treading that path again. I kept my eyes open in case the universe decided to taunt me ("oh, look, what's that right there in the open where no one could possibly miss it?"), but the evening was lost-mail-finding-free. (It was also Bruins-win-free, though at least this time the loss was less catastrophic than the night before.)

Today, I sent an e-mail to my aunt, the intended recipient of one of the wayward note cards, asking her to keep an eye out in case the card, and/or a similar card to my grandmother (another card recipient), should arrive. She promptly replied that both cards had arrived today.

So, unless I actually did black out long enough to mail the envelopes without remembering it, I guess that I dropped them somewhere, and someone immediately found them and mailed them for me. Thank you, good samaritan! (Would it have killed you to let me know you were doing it?)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Possibly I Have Gone Mad

Fair warning: so far, this incident does not have an ending. If that sort of story bothers you, you may wish to scroll down to the bottom, for More Sock. (It's bothering the heck out of me, but this is my life, no getting away from it.)

This weekend, I got lots of small things done from my to-do list, several of them for getting ready to go to the Post Office. I paid bills, filled out a rebate and a bank form, wrote several note cards, enveloped some clippings for my parents and a few things for my cousin. Sunday night, I put the resulting six smaller envelopes in the outside pocket of my purse, and put the purse and the two larger envelopes (which needed postage) in my work bag.

In my usual morning zombie mode, I had half-forgotten the plan to stop at the PO until, when looking right to see if it was safe to change lanes, I noticed envelope(s) sticking up out of my purse, and thus remembered to get off the highway at the right spot. I grabbed my purse and the two envelopes and went in. The windows were open, but no one was immediately visible at them, so I went and used the automated machine to get my postage. Then I reached to my purse for the envelopes to mail.

There was only one envelope there.

Not six. One.

I looked around, and didn't see them on the floor. I went back to the car and looked in my bag and around the seats. Nothing. I went back into the PO to make sure I hadn't missed them on the floor somehow, but nothing. Unless I dropped them (without noticing?) and someone picked them up and mailed them for me (unlikely, but not absolutely impossible), they weren't there. I went on to work, doomed to spend the day wondering if they were sitting on my kitchen floor or something. Maddening.

Even more maddening, though, was getting home after SnB and not finding them. I have looked All Over, went back out to the car and searched again, looked in the least likely places, and found zilch. Those five envelopes are nowhere.

Three notes. One bank form (not a life-or-death one, at least). And my annual auto tax. In limbo.

I know, know, that I put them in my purse. In fact, I was putting them in my purse as I finished them. I looked all over because I could have taken them out to check that they were all stamped and then, in an absentminded fit, put them down when I went on to the Next Thing. Are they in the fridge? With the bills yet to be paid? In the library book I was returning? But they are nowhere to be found.

And it's Driving Me Crazy. Pan had to talk me off the ledge last night, I was so upset. (He got more upset as I did, meowing until I pulled myself together and just held onto him for a while. We calmed down together.) I have absolutely no idea what happened to them, and I can hardly think about it without ranting.

Where did they go?

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Sigh. At least the sock has overcome its little problem last night (what, me mis-read the pattern? nonsense ... rip) and is behaving nicely. So far, I'm enjoying the way the color is pooling, which I suppose is fortunate since pooling is one of those things that if it happens, there's no making it stop.




I find it funny how this yarn, which goes red-yellow-red-blue, is now doing stripes of red and stripes of blue-yellow. When I get a bit farther along the foot, I'll try it on for real, and see how it fits. I went to the lesser of two stitch counts, but I still worry that it's too big. If it is, frog and re-start!

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Sock Started

I started it Saturday night:


And here's now:


More perhaps tomorrow ... I am in shock after the worst Bruins game ever. Seriously. Who was that on the ice? That was never the Bruins just then. Not the way to kick off five games in seven days, either. Lord love a duck.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

We're still here

I just wanted to reassure anyone who might be concerned, that we did not spend the whole weekend in a puddle of tears and non-accomplishyness about Pan's condition and etcetera. Yes, there has been some sniffling, but we tried to maintain our perspective.

Okay, I did. He has no idea anything's going on. Whatever. I have spent a lot of time giving him a lap, but I've also been Doing Things like sweeping and laundry and cooking and dishes, as life goes on for now. He has been extra cute this weekend:


They both were, really:


And I went kitty-fishing, and the kitties were biting! Well, licking, actually. He likes to catch the toy and lick the string. Strange cat.


The big excitement, though?


He looks like he's scratching it in the intended way, but in fact he's licking the catnip off. Did I already say, strange cat? He had a wonderful time with it, though.


You can't see me...


Harold wasn't as sure, and they're both ignoring it today, but whatever.

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How cute is this?


I mean, have you ever? Of course the Easter Bunny drives a ragtop! I love Lake Champlain's sense of humor.

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