Thursday, February 28, 2013

Life. Living It.

Nothing big, but life is time-consuming sometimes, isn't it? Will blog. This weekend. Maybe.

Here. Look at this.
Isn't that better?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

And That's Why It's a Cliche: Because It Happens

You all know the story: as soon as you find the best-ever item, the perfect sneakers, the most wonderful t-shirt, the most delicious yogurt, the ideal notepad ... no matter what it is, you've been searching for it and you found it and you know what happens next.

They stop making it.

Yes, how do they know? Are they spying on you? Do they bug your home or office to hear you declare that the search is over? Do they cackle and rub their hands together as they call down to stop production?

This has happened to me more times than I can count, and it's always annoying. The latest volley has to do with, of all things, coffee creamer. I've been trying different flavored ones, and my reaction has ranged from "ok, I guess" to "eh" to "next!" Then my friend at work brought in another new one, from International Delight:
Do you see what is says at the top? Salted Caramel Mocha. This is code for "unspeakably delicious"; it was love at first sip. I was happy to think I never need try another, having found perfection.

Unfortunately, do you see what it says at the bottom? Seasonal Edition. This is code for "will only be in stores until you try it and love it, then it will vanish and leave you brokenheartedly standing in front of the dairy case at the fourth grocery store you've tried, wondering if anything can live up to it, knowing the search is doomed to fail."

What, oh what, is "seasonal" about salted caramel and mocha? Nothing, right?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Ow. Not the Head, At Least, But Ow.

When I woke up this morning, Carlos was sleeping with his head firmly planted on my hand. Give the boy credit: he knows how to make me even less interested in getting out of bed. Aiding him in this was the fact that my legs hurt, making moving at all an unappealing option.

Yeah, the legs. It's very random, but last night my legs started aching, specifically the backs of my thighs, and it's so painful, and so weird because what did I do? I thought I achieved a decent balance of "laze around" and "get things done" yesterday, but perhaps I did too much? Ten minutes on the bike, which isn't that much or new for me, some stretching but not unusual amounts, laundry (meaning stairs) but again, I do that every week, so what's up? Cooking and doing dishes require some standing, but honestly not much... Maybe it was just all of it together, but I hope it's a one-day thing, because ow. Also, ibuprofen doesn't seem to be helping. Also also, OW! I'm trying to tell myself that it isn't as bad tonight, and is therefore going away, but I don't know...

Distraction! I got two good things in the mail today: my new Discover card and a save-the-date card for a wedding this summer. I was pleasantly surprised to see the latter, as I've known the bride for years but we're not super-close, and I wasn't sure how big the wedding was going to be, so I didn't know if I'd make the cut. I mean, I totally would have understood if I hadn't! But I'm happy to go and celebrate with them, too, so that's nice. (What should I knit them?)

As for the Discover card, my new account number is not completely awful: it contains both a 42, my favorite number, and a 68 (the year I was born), so I have a (small) chance of learning it. Probably I won't, but oh well, it's not hopeless. 

Unfortunately, my legs still hurt. So much for thinking of other things. Time to think of getting ready for bed. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Well, Knitting and Hockey and Work and All

I have achieved much today, at the price of being very tired before 6 PM. Of course, it didn't help that the little maniac next door was up early, dropping things on the floor, and kept me from sleeping after around 7 AM. That's really early for me, on a Sunday, but he's like a howler monkey with a jackhammer; I don't know how old the little devil kid is, but although he says Mommy and Daddy and Yes and No quite clearly, every other sound out of him is noise without words, just yelling, and running, running, running, thump-thump-thump. Lovely neighbor, as you can imagine. (They're not owners, they're subletting, and I keep hoping they'll move to a bigger place, give the kid some space. I'm dreaming.) I'm still doing the laundry, and I rode the bike, and I cooked and did the dishes (well, the crock pot is soaking, but I did the rest), and I am currently very busy ignoring the snow, what snow, I don't know what you're talking about, the Bruins are in Florida and out of team unity I'm with them in spirit .

So! I blocked the lace shawl this morning, since I finally ordered blocking wires last week, and they arrived yesterday. Here's the shawl before:
By the yardstick, the top line is just about six feet.

Where did it go? My toy? It was just here a minute ago.
With blocking wires and pins, after its bath:
It grew about a foot, so it's nice and big now (I used all but 4 grams of the yarn: perfect!). And soft, and light, and warm! Threading the blocking wires through the edges is a pain, but it's much easier to adjust than going with just pins. And fortunately, it dried quickly, since Carlos found the yarn, or at least the texture of the blocking squares, a little too interesting for my comfort. There was at least one, "HEY! NO!" before the shawl came up this afternoon.

In other knitting, I'm making a quick pair of green mittens for Adrienne Martini's mitten tree project, which you can read about here (I'm with her: knitting is my response to a lot of things). And hey, if you're a knitter, think about whacking out a pair sometime in the next six months?

I started the first one yesterday, using bulky yarn that I got at Michael's (my stash is heavy on blue yarn, of course, but remarkably little green). I met up with Mary Ellen for some coffee and knitting in the afternoon, and got to here:
The yarn is actually 100% acrylic (it's from Michaels' own Loops and Threads brand, called Charisma), and it's really soft. These mittens aren't going to fit me, probably because it's a bulky yarn and the pattern calls for super bulky, but that's not a problem since they aren't for me. They're certainly quick and easy, and the pattern would be easy to tweak if I decided to make some for myself: just make the wrist longer, and add a few stitches to make the hand wider too. I picked them up again this afternoon, finished the first one, and have made a good start on the second one.

I was knitting while watching the Bruins game; before I picked up the mitten, I turned the heel on the purse sock. From here:
To use your imagination, but they're ready to knit onward. Going from that to the bulky yarn was startling, and then I rode the bike so I was back to fingering yarn; my hands are so confused.
The Bruins won this afternoon, so that was fun. And Chara scored a goal on a move so fine, it was on hockey blogs before the end of the period; you just don't expect a guy who's six-foot-nine to move like this:

Whoa. And on a side note, I hope we hear about it if the team decides to follow up on the "ballerina" theme and put a tutu in his stall. (Remember his Halloween costume in 2011? Giant bunny? Picture at the end of this post.)

The Bruins only played twice last week, and once was when I was in NY (and in the throes of a migraine, but you only need one reason not to be watching); they've played fewer games than any other team in the league to date. From here on, though, they play three or four games a week until the end of the season. Apparently the quiet week was well-timed, as no less than seven players missed practice before their trip to Florida with flu-like symptoms. (Question: why don't they just say "with the flu"? Why is it always "flu-like symptoms" instead?) I hope they can keep winning; they're playing well, but I think they can be even better. Should be fun to watch.

I had my review at work Friday, and am I glad that's over!
I always get worked up about such things ahead of time, and with a new job and new manager more so, but in this case especially, where I've had so little feedback from my manager so far, I just felt clueless about how it was going to go. It all very well to look at my previous experiences and say they were fine: as the investment commercials say in the small print, past performance is no guarantee of future results. The review itself did go well, though, and other than learning I'll be reporting to my least favorite person in the office from here on, I'm happy. (There's nothing I can do about that, so I'll see how it goes. Maybe I'm being too pessimistic. Though, I don't know; it still bothers me that she didn't appreciate the "stop clubbing, baby seals" poster.) After it was done, I felt limp with exhaustion; this weekend, being mostly restful, was much-needed.

This coming week, I have the usual chiropractor appointments, my stitch and bitch and the other knitting group I go to sometimes, all the Bruins games to watch, and on Friday night, a knitterly treat: the Yarn Harlot! I learned the other day, via an e-mail from my nearest LYS before she herself even blogged about it, that Stephanie is speaking in Watertown on Friday night. I'm not a member of the Metrowest Knitters' Guild, nor do I live or work in Watertown, but it's a reasonable distance to travel for such a fun speaker. Yay! I love an event that says "Bring your knitting. Cash bar."

The other thing this week is that my dear friend JDJ, who sometimes comments here, is starting her new job. I'm so excited for her, as the position seems like it will be an excellent fit for her skills and interests both, and how rare is that?
She is out of practice at starting new jobs, though; we figured out that since she started her last job, in 2000, I have had nine jobs. Nine! Two of them were temp jobs, three I chose to leave (for moving or for my sanity), and three were layoffs. Still, I've never worked anywhere as long as she's been at that job, so this will be a big change for her. Want to wish her well? I'm sure she'd appreciate some good karma heading her way this week.

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

No, I'm Not Dead

It's closer to ten than it is to nine, Saturday night, and I'm tired. I'm not blogging at length tonight. I'll try to get to it tomorrow--I mean, I want to--between cooking and laundry and dishes and blocking the shawl and whatever else it is I have to do.

Meanwhile, Thursday night I went to an open-house thing at the chiropractor's office, which is open to any interested people and required for new patients to attend. It was an all-about-chiropractic session, what I referred to when telling my mother about it as a "drink the kool-aid meeting", and it was pretty interesting. The chiropractor showed us this video, and I found it very interesting, and a good overview of what chiropractic is trying to do. Curious enough to spend seven minutes watching?

I did!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I'll Be Brief (Feline Request)

Carlos, of course, is still not over my recent trip. He isn't punishing me, or ignoring me, he just wants me to spend time with him, which is hardly a punishment. Let me just share my first Tablet Moment: a knitting friend came over tonight to use my swift and ball-winder, and she asked me about a blanket that I'd mentioned at a recent stitch and bitch, didn't I say I'd made a black and white baby blanket? (If you remember the Op Art blanket I made, you've been reading here a long time!) Anyway, I pulled out the iPad, opened up Ravelry, and showed her the blanket while she was still winding, just like that. It was pretty cool.

Now, off to worship his lordship.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bullet Points for Weekend and Beyond

Lots going on here! More than I have time to fully delve into, but that's life, and better to touch lightly on them than not at all. If you're interested in more detail on any point, let me know, and I'll try to oblige!
  • Safely back from the trip, obviously (well, I guess I could be blogging from NY, but I'm not). Carlos is relieved. Miri, not so much. And I actually got to scritch Grandma's cat on top of her head! She's been inside a long time, but she was feral once, and contact is an achievement. I have no idea how it happened, but my mother saw it, so I think it really happened.
  • It was a good weekend overall, though of course there were highs and lows. 
  • Lowest low: migraine, damnit, and a bad one. Sigh. 
  • Also low: snow Saturday morning made the beginning of the trip messy.
  • Highest high: seeing Mum, getting hugs, being well fed through no effort of my own.
  • Funniest moment: when Grandma opened the Penny Saver and proceeded to read aloud the column on house training your dog. No one in the room had a dog, has ever had a dog, or is getting a dog, but that wasn't stopping her. She's in her own world, and she makes the rules there.
  • Expected development: I got a lot of knitting done. I finished the toe of the first bike sock, and cast on for the second, so it was ready to go when I am. I had to rip out the start of the latest purse sock--too big, as I had an inkling it would be--and got well into take two. And I finished the shawl! So glad I got to show it to them, and can't wait to see what blocking does for it.
  • Most unexpected development: I came home with an iPad. I know, who could have seen that coming? It's essentially a re-gift from my mother, who was given it and didn't want it enough to deal with how to work it. One of her neighbors, who is super-nice, has been going through tough times recently, and my mother has been gladly helping whenever she can, even if it's just providing a shoulder to cry on. In gratitude for her help, the woman's son just gave my mother an iPad (which I'm sure he had a reason for choosing, though I don't know what it was). My mother found it frustrating to try to figure out, understandably, and asked me if I wanted it. Given that I've been thinking of getting a tablet/reader/device this year, I was glad to take it and try out the concept for myself. New toy! Mum was happy to see it go, and pleased to be able to tell her neighbor that it has found a good home, instead of feeling pressure to use it herself. We call this a win-win. (And I need to spend some time with a tech-savvy friend to figure out what I need to know; I've been poking around, blindly, but I bet I'm missing things.)
  • Non-weekend-related low: If you're a knitter, you may have heard that KnitPicks had an incident with its data, or whatever you call it when the story tells you your credit card information may have been compromised. I read about this on the Knitlist, and on various knitting blogs, as the company apparently is mailing out physical letters to let people know, sometime, eventually (how 19th century of them). And so I checked the recent activity on my Discover Card, and, well, look at that: I wonder what I bought from Apple last Friday, for $138.07, and liked it enough to do it again the same day. Yes, my luck has finally run out, and the credit card number that I have had since 1989 is no more. Shit, man, that is a bummer: I'll never get my brain cells to learn a new one, nor will they ever let go of the old one. I don't imagine I'll feel like ordering from the company for some time to come. And I'll be looking into what each of my credit cards offers in terms of disposable numbers for online ordering. I'm lucky that this is only an annoyance, not a disaster. But it really is annoying.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Almost Trip-Ready

It's been a productive evening, but I'm starting to feel it. That's partly because I just got off the bike, so I'm sweaty and achy, but hey! I finished the sock! Well, except the toe, but I think that's best finished off the bike; I'm okay with saying that it was knit on the bike, except for the cast on, picking up stitches at the heel, and binding off the toe. More to the point, the knitting-on-the-bike time worked out to about 9 and 2/3 hours, so with the other bits, I can confidently state that it takes me ten hours to knit a sock. A nice round number! I'm really ridiculously pleased, both with the sock and the knowledge.

That's not all I've done tonight, either. I decided it would be best to do laundry, so I don't have to think about that next week, plus I've been packing, or at this stage it would more accurately be called gathering, or maybe piling. Once it's all there, I actually pack it into bags. Need to finish that, so I won't linger. Besides, I have a third period to watch; the Bruins are up 2-1 over Buffalo. Go Bruins!

I'm off in the morning, weather permitting as it looks like it will; there's a chance of some snow tomorrow, but the measurable amount (3-6 inches) isn't supposed to get here until Saturday night or Sunday. Joyful place to live, eh? They only got my street plowed more than single-car width today, and just in time. Ugh.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Miles and Miles Better

I was asleep last night before 8, with no more night-time disturbances, and as a result today was Much, Much Better. Thank heavens! They'd better not do that again.

I had the chiropractor again tonight; last night I dragged there and arrived early, too tired to think of any errands to do, and afraid to go home only to fall asleep on the couch and miss the appointment. Tonight I squeezed in two errands when I only had time for one, and arrived late--not that they cared, they're very laid back, and both nights I didn't have to wait hardly at all. Plus, tonight they were handing out roses! It was sweet to get a rose, not something my Valentine's Days have typically included. I love roses.

What I'm thinking of as my real Valentine's gift, though, is that I get to see my mother this weekend. Not, sadly, in Florida: she's Grandma-sitting while my aunt is away, so it's off to upstate New York for the long weekend. Fleeing the land of snow for the land of more snow! But family is what counts here, and I'm willing to drive a few hours for a weekend of hugs and chats and food and all. And plenty of knitting time!

But I'm not there yet. I'm trying to clean up the kitchen tonight, since tomorrow night I need to pack (oh, right, that), and I'll be leaving early Saturday--not oh-God-no early, but early enough. Cross your fingers that it won't be snowing, since right now "they" don't seem to be sure. Am I the only one who think the weather folks enjoy reminding us of how little they know? I would not be bragging, is what I'm saying. Of course, I also wouldn't thrive on being at the heart of the big wild storm as doom and destruction bear down upon me (I'm looking at you, Jim Cantore), so clearly there are many reasons why meteorology is not for me.

Doesn't "meteorology" look like it should be the study of meteors?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

...What? (Yaaaawwwwwwwwnnnnnn)

The Bruins game went to a shootout, so I didn't get to bed until 10:30 last night, later than I like on a work night; I really need at least 8 hours to be functional, but, you know, the Bruins. Off to the best start in franchise history! I had to watch. They lost in the shootout, but given that they were down 3-0 near the end of the third, and took the Rangers and Lundquist from shutout to shootout, it's not that bad. Plus, watch Jack Edwards; I love it. Of course he's a homer; he's supposed to be. Yawn, oh well, off to bed.

However. It turns out that my city is working around the clock to clear the snow from last weekend's storm, an attitude that sounds commendable in theory, right? Well, when they arrived outside my bedroom window at 1 this morning, and were there until 3, banging and clanking and scraping and beep-beep-beeping the whole time? I was not such a fan of their dedication. I already wasn't going to be getting enough sleep-- I really needed those two hours. And I didn't get them.
And believe me, I tried.

There is a school of thought that says acting the way you want to feel can help you feel that way: acting happier makes you actually feel happier, and so on. I think this may be true, in some cases, but trying to act more awake has no noticeable effect on me. My eyes were at half mast all day. I dragged to the chiropractor, then gave up on alternate-knitting-group and came home. Who wants to guess how early I'll be in bed? Is 6:30 too early?


One slight bright side is that, while yesterday's situation didn't evaporate overnight, it's hard to get up a head of steam worrying about it when I'm this tired. Sufficient unto the day, etc.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Warning: Crabby. Very, Very Crabby

(Apologies for being oblique here; I don't want to be too explicit about work, but I have to vent a little.)
Something came up at work today that has me feeling very cross and crabby tonight. I am telling myself not to get worked up about it now, that it may not be as annoying as it potentially sounded during the first moment* of reveal, and I know this is true.
*Though that's a few hours ago now, and I'm still grump-grump-grumpy.

However, crabby crabby crabby! Enough that I paid full price for the Ben & Jerry's that awaits me. If the Bruins play well tonight, I may be back on an even keel before bed.

Maybe.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dude, Seriously. So. Tired.

I sometimes get so tired, early of an evening, that I actually feel like I could cry, because I am so tired and there are so many steps between me and bed. Not literal steps: things to do before I can go to bed.

That's a bad feeling. Far worse, however, is feeling that way at 2 in the afternoon, at work. I was so tired today! My arms ache and ache, and I just feel tired, bone-deep.

I did go to the chiropractor after work tonight, and to stitch and bitch, but man, that is all she wrote. Literally. Carlos says I should go to bed.
And I'm going to.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Post-Blizzard Ow.

My arms are so sore. SO so so sore! The warnings for shoveling snow usually have to do with saving your back by lifting with your legs, but my back is okay, while my arms are so sore I can't lift them without groaning. Showering was interesting! I'm also overall weary, and hungry like raaaaaarrrrrr, but it's the arms that are the biggest problem.

I went out for half an hour yesterday afternoon, and got this far:
Rest, then another half hour, and most of the way around the car was clear (though not to the tailpipe, so I didn't even start it on Saturday).
The plow guys finally came after dark, around 6:15, and the crew descended with snow-blowers and shovels and plows. Good thing, too: it would take me a week to dig out the end of the driveway, at my pace. You can see from my view this morning that things did improve.
And after another solid hour of work, I got my car clear.
Not clear enough to drive, I don't mean, but enough to get it out, theoretically, and for the sun to do a little work for me in the meantime. And a couple of hours later:
It has. I may be able to get out to dinner at my friends' house tonight after all. The dinner that was supposed to be Saturday after the Bruins matinee night game postponed game. (Someone at NESN understands, though: they re-ran the Bruins Cup-winning game from 2011 last night instead. Love them.)

My little city isn't plowing around here today. The width you see isn't enough for two cars wide, and that's from being plowed Saturday; I haven't heard a plow all day today. I get that it's not a main street, but when will they come back--and what will it do to my driveway when they do? The plow crew didn't do the greatest job, but I know it could be worse, and I don't know that I get tomorrow off work, so it would be nice to be able to get out of the driveway in the morning. Only time will tell, I guess.

A couple of other pictures from Saturday, when people in the neighborhood used the snow as an excuse to break out the snowshoes for a walk:
And let a kid play in what you can't tell is the middle of an intersection:
See? Sort of?
And it turns out that my neighbor has pants to snow-blow in that must be designed to not get lost in snowdrift accidents:
Today, meanwhile, I saw some impressive frozen drips across the street:
Another time, I'll go into the knitting I worked on during the blizzard, but for now I'm off to rest my arms. I'll leave you with something even more impressive than my pictures: someone filmed 36 hours of blizzard out his window, and condensed it into a minute. Time-lapse blizzard! To me, the best part was how the snow piled up into the yard when people were shoveling. Whoa!

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Saturday, February 09, 2013

Snow's Done; So Am I

The snow seems to be done, all 2+ feet of it, and I still have power, bless the world for that. Not only that, I can still see my car! Or at least, enough to see that it's there. Since it disappeared gradually, it's good to see that hint.

Here it is Friday morning at 10:45, barely snowed-upon.
By 1 PM, the cover was a bit more comprehensive.
And by 3:30, we were here:
If you can still see the wipers, it isn't much, though. By 5 PM, this was all that built up:
I didn't try to take more pictures in the dark, but by 9 this morning, you could see a substantial difference, eh?
And less than an hour later, even more:
And half an hour after that, yet more, or rather less.
Noon:
 And by 1:15 Saturday, we were about done:
It's a lot of snow, and it's quite pretty ... until you think about going out. The plows haven't even done a thorough job on the street yet (concentrating on main roads, I'm sure), nor has our guy come for the building. A half hour of digging around the car wore me out, and that job isn't even half done. Then I come in to the news that this afternoon's tonight's Bruins game is postponed. Maaaannnn! It's the sensible decision, I know, but still. Not my idea of a good time, here.

I'm going to rest now.

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Friday, February 08, 2013

Snow, Sure. Blizzard? Not Really Here, Yet

It's snowing here, though not accumulating much yet, partly because the wind is gusty and blowing things around. It won't be ending any time soon, though. Here's what the weather map looks like right now:
For that matter, if you zoom out, you can see how big the storm really is:
And according to WBZ via the Globe, worse is heading right for us:
So, snug inside is the way to go. May it remain snug: I'm hoping the power stays on, for comfort and entertainment and because the dishwasher is running. (I also did three loads of laundry earlier: love a chance to get a jump on weekend chores!)

The Bruins game tomorrow was supposed to be a matinee, but the 1PM start was pushed back to 7PM. Both teams* are in town, so that's good, but the storm isn't supposed to be over by then, so they're erring on the side of safety. For which I can't blame them, I suppose.
*Don't you bet the Lightning are thrilled to be here in time for the storm? Bet they'd rather be in Tampa!

In other hockey news, the Providence Bruins have signed on to the You Can Play project. On the serious side, I think it's great that they're doing this, working on making hockey teams a better place for gay players. As they say, "If you can play, you can play."

On the humorous side? It's a good thing that "If you can read off a cue card without looking like you're reading off a cue card" isn't part of the pledge.

Bonus points for a couple of the guys who said "You can play" in languages other than English--at least, I assume that's what they were saying.

Weather updates tomorrow, power permitting. Stay safe out there!

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Snow Coming Out There: Me Staying In Here

I got a little concerned this morning while listening to the weather forecast. They were saying that by Friday morning, it would only be lightly snowing, and the heavy snow wouldn't start until later, but they weren't very clear when that would be, exactly. It got me thinking that perhaps I should plan to go in Friday just for the morning, and get a little work done. But what if it gets awful mid-day, just in time for me to be driving home? I don't want to get into that. So it was a relief to get in to work and find that my boss e-mailed everyone and told us not to come in. Of course, the message was to work from home, but we've established that I can't, so bummer, day off! Whew. I'm so law-abiding.

The forecast this afternoon, by the way, says light snow starting in the morning, then turning to rain, and only back to snow at night. But hey! They've been wrong before. How many snowmageddons and snowpocalypses have there been, that ended up being eh, not so much? I will say that, if instead of the forecast 18-24 inches, we get under 6, say, I'll be annoyed. But, you know, bonus long weekend, maybe not that annoyed.

I had picked up a few groceries after work last night, and I got some errands done at lunch today. I needed to go to the bank to get quarters for laundry, and then to the pet food store, to get Senor Prissypants some of his favorite food before we're snowed in, and then since the pet food store is right next to a Trader Joe's I ran in there for a few things (repeat after me: Kona Coffee Cookies, danger, danger!). Then after work, on my way to the chiropractor, I mailed a letter and returned a library book. Now I'm in, and no need to go out again before Sunday--and even that's for dinner with friends, which can get put off (again, as it was originally Saturday) if weather requires. Phew! If you're in the snow path, take care.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Winter Storm Watch--No, Strike That, Blizzard Watch

Looks like I won't be going to work on Friday, given that the current predictions are for 12-24 inches of snow from the storm coming our way. And by the way, they name all the storms now, apparently, and the names crack me up. This one is called ... dum-dum-dum ... Nemo. Nemo! Could they have picked a less threatening name? Why not just called it Snuggles or Fluffy? Does Nemo sound like he could cause havoc?
Anyway, color me perfectly happy to get the day off. I mean, shucks, if they gave me a laptop, I could work from home, but since they haven't, I have no choice! Such a shame. On a Friday, too.

So I'll go in tomorrow, work on this damned report that I am so sick of almost done with, and hopefully take a first look at the next one before the end of the day. Then, boom, out of there, to the chiropractor, and home to huddle up.

Speaking of the chiropractor, last night I had my first real adjustment, and it certainly is an interesting experience. I think it's because I'm used to specialists: the dentist stays with the teeth, the hairdresser with the hair, the eye doctor with the eyes, and so on. Naturally enough, given that chiropractic believes in what Douglas Adams called "the fundamental interconnectedness of all things," this doctor is all over the place. Not in any sort of creepy way, but it's just different. Bangs and pops, tools that feel like a no-puncture staple gun or sound like a floor sander ... it's just very different. I'm hopeful (still), and I'll be going a couple of times a week, so I think I get full credit for really trying it.

Unrelatedly, I will leave you with this quote:
"Respecting the difference between words is not about being pedantic or pompous or even perfectionist. It just means we can express ourselves more clearly."
~ John Humphrys, Lost for Words: The Mangling and Manipulating of the English Language 80 (2004).

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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

I Got Nothing Tonight

I will say, though, that if you want to see an amazing photo of a flamingo, go here. The feathers look like paint. AMAZING.

Monday, February 04, 2013

The Vise Tightens

My head was moderately bad today; right now it's not bad, but it was troubling enough this afternoon that I passed on stitch and bitch to come straight home instead (which is a bummer, as I was looking forward to showing my cuffs and new yarn).

I composed this little poem today:

Pain
Washes in and out
Like the tide
It gets less, and raises hope
Then more, and smashes hope
Pain
You don't have to tell me that it's not my best work; it would be odd if it were, really. Migraines are crazy things, and lead to crazy thoughts. Like, "If it hurt more, I could go home and not try to work through it." Or, "Sitting up takes So Much Energy."

Speaking of which, I think I'll go to the couch now.

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Sunday, February 03, 2013

Of Quick Knits and More Yarn

It snowed pretty much all day today, but it didn't accomplish much; the flurries were lackadaisical, and often when I looked out they were wafting sideways or back up, instead of heading toward the ground with any determination. Just what I like in snow, if we must have it! It looks as though a big gust of wind would clean my car off for me (though the last time I looked, it hadn't).

Compared to the snow, I accomplished a fair bit today, including laundry and paying the bills and making dinner, as well as some loafing and knitting time. I've just finished the second cuff, and given that I started the first one Friday night, it goes to show that they are a quick knit.
What cuffs, you say? Well, I mentioned a few weeks back that one of the things I wanted to knit was a pair of cuffs, to bridge the gap between my gloves and my shirt sleeves, where the chilly fingers of the wind like to reach in. I tried wearing my gloves over fingerless mitts, but they're just a little too bulky to fit together comfortably, so cuffs it is. I used this pattern, though since I didn't do the houndstooth patterning, it was more like a guideline, so I didn't have to guess at needle sizes and number of stitches/rows. I found the leftover yarn from those cashmere socks, and the first cuff only took 6 grams, meaning I have enough of this yarn to make four!* Not that I'm planning to, but still, it amazes me how little it takes. I put them on to try them out, and my hands feel warmer already. Nice! I'll have to get someone to take a picture of them on me.
*Does anyone on my list want some cuffs for Christmas?

Yesterday, I had a little yarn-related adventure. Last fall, there was a Groupon offer for a store in Natick called Fabric Place Basement, and I indulged, not wanting to pass up paying $29 and getting $60 of yarn. I knew that I wasn't likely to go in the fall, given how yarn-full my fall always is, but I figured that it would be a nice adventure after the holidays. I don't live close to Natick, but it's less than an hour away, and easy highway driving to boot.

The first thing I saw when I went in was this sign:
Which reminded me, in a good way of course, of this picture:
I love ice cream, but yarn lasts longer. And FPB has a lot of yarn*. I almost left five minutes after I arrived, after I touched this yarn. Swoon!
*And other stuff, I guess, but you know I stayed in the yarn corner.
Cashmere magnetism at work again! But I felt like, delightful splurge though it would be, five minutes of shopping and two skeins of yarn is not exactly what I wanted.
Note to self, though: Shalimar Yarns Breathless feels divine.

Surprisingly, so did this:
Cascade Pacific Chunky, more acrylic than wool, but a very nice feel to it. I didn't get it, however, as I couldn't think of anything I wanted to make with chunky yarn, which makes knowing how much to buy challenging. (This is part of the reason I have so much sock yarn: you buy enough for a pair of socks, period.) I made sure to take a picture, though, for future reference.

So what did I get? Well, I went around their well-stocked yarn department many times--I was there for about an hour and a half--and ended up with these:
For my original $29, plus $1.95. What a deal!

Specifically, we have this gorgeous skein of Malabrigo sock:
The colorway is called Solis, but the saleswoman suggested it was the color of a peacock feather, which I think is far more descriptive. I've knit with this one before: the yarn that didn't want to be a sock, but became a happy little Wingspan instead. These may actually become socks, who knows.

Next is this speckled lovely:
From Cascade, called Heritage Quatro, it's 75% merino, 25% nylon, 100% lovely squish.

Finally, two skeins of Frog Tree Pediboo sock:

This is 80% merino and 20% bamboo, and I was unable to resist taking two. I guess we'd better hope I like working with it!

I also took pictures of this cool sewing machine they had as a display:
And I'll leave you with lots of the fun signs they had around the yarn department. Smile! Yarn lovers abound!
Amen, say I.