Friday, June 20, 2008

Following the Leader

Because I am ever a follower (at least, when the people leading are doing cool stuff, anyway), I have joined the Tour de France Knitalong again. I'm on Team Slipstream-Chipotle. How cool is that name? This year, I'm aiming to knit a pair of socks in the allotted time. For me, it's quite the challenge. I lost track of how long it's been since I started the bribe socks. I have so much lovely sock yarn, I need only pick a skein. A pattern should be more challenging. I want something easy, but not quite a plain vanilla pattern again. Looks like it's time to hit the Internets! Right, because the very last thing I need is another excuse to spend time on my computer. I see my timing for joining Ravelry was pretty good, eh?

Today, I am being remarkably lazy. I laid in bed reading til about noon, and I'm not sorry for it. Today is my first real day off in a week or two, and my last for about the same. I think I'm working six days and some crazy hours for next week--my manager will be gone and we're not sure who his replacement will be yet. Our third service writer left a note telling us that he wouldn't be in town this weekend, but that we should call him if we needed him to work Monday. I'm thinking of finding him and relieving him of a few appendages. Without a definite manager, this is pretty much the very last thing we need right now. But, we'll cope.

At any rate, the house is mostly clean, the weather's a bit iffy to be out in the garden (thunderstorms are being called for) and the most I have to do today is some laundry and a bit of shopping. Not such a bad deal, eh? I'm pretty much caught up on life, and that's a lovely feeling, isn't it? The most worrying thing on my plate right now is waiting for my test results from the lady doctor. I should be hearing back sometime next week. Fortunately for me, Dr. Paula is great, and she appreciates my sense of humor. As a Wood, if you present me with something serious and potentially worrisome, I feel myself obligated to make smartass remarks about it. When I told her I was the envy of all the girls back home, she told me that if I wanted to have a colposcopy party, she'd give us a discounted rate. And this, my friends, is why I drive back to New Jersey every time I need to see the lady doctor.

And for the moment, that's all the news there is from over here. I'll be trying to post more often for the knitalong, and to keep the habit up. No, no. Really. Yes, I mean it. Honest. I swear. (i give it a month, any bets on how long the frequent updating lasts, ladies?) Welcome to the weekend!

edited to add: I spoke too soon, I ended up getting called in to work for a few hours because my assistant manager needs to pick her daughter up from day care. I had to cancel a date with Jim and everything. I'm not normally a vindictive person (stop laughing momolla, it's true!), but when I find Mark the Errant Service Writer, I will harm him severely. In a thoroughly professional and friendly way, of course.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ick...

I'm finally done my delightful seven-day work marathon. There's some good news in there--my manager put his notice in. After this Saturday, he will no longer be working with my company. Huge sighs of relief are being heaved all through the store. The only down side is that now that he's decided he's leaving, he doesn't give a shit about anything. At all. But then, that was the case before he put his notice in, too, so it's not really much of a change.

At any rate, tomorrow is my first island of freedom in this busy ocean of work, and I will be spending it in Jersey, so as to visit the doctor. I went in for my regular lady doctor checkup and was told I needed a colposcopy because (once again) my pap smear was abnormal. Not to give you folks too complete a history, but my paps are always abnormal (seriously, in four or so years of seeing the lady doctor, i have had one normal test) and even though they're not the alarming sort of abnormal, the doctor is recommending more testing (this has a lot to do with the huge rates of cancer in my dad's family). A colposcopy is basically just a test to screen me for any pre-cancerous cells, and it's nothing really major or life-changing, but it is no fun. I've had one before, and I was crampy and uncomfortable for a few days afterwards (why does the doctor always say "there will be a slight pinch" when she means "this will be quite an unpleasant feeling, the likes of which you will hope never to experience again"?). Jim has graciously agreed to drive me to Jersey and Momolla will be taking me to the appointment and back. Momolla is also bribing us to stay for dinner, there will be grilled meat and homemade potato salad. Who can argue with that? I'm planning to take some good painkillers and knit a few more inches on my second bribe sock. All in all, it won't be a bad day. Just not quite as restful as I'd originally hoped. But hey, there's potato salad.

And sadly, that's about all I have for you folks tonight. Sorry for the lack of meaningful content, my brain is a bit (more) scrambled (than usual). I promise to post a blog with something interesting, or at least some pictures, later in the week. I hope this week goes along smoothly and well for you all.

Oh, and I've joined Ravelry. My username is Emmyjane4286. Stop on by to say hi.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Lovely Weekend

In spite of the ridiculous heat. I'm sure everyone is tired of hearing how hot it suddenly is up here, but our temperatures jumped from the mid-60's to the high 90's in the span of two or three days. Nobody was prepared for this, and my goodness, EVERYone is miserable.

Nonetheless, this past weekend was lovely. Jim and I went to my sister Carolyn's wedding on Saturday, and managed to get there on time. I had to pull a Clark Kent maneuver and throw my dress and makeup on in the bathroom, since my boss is the devil and made me come into work for three hours so I could leave for the wedding. The ceremony was short (a methodist ceremony, i'm only familiar with catholic types. twenty-five minutes and everything was done. amazing! someone should tell the catholics about this stuff. my butt hardly had time to fall asleep), and the bride was radiant. Here's Carolyn and John, the lucky new husband, on the steps of the church. I love this picture, because Carolyn looks so thrilled. And the big princess dress fits her to a t.


The reception was held at Historic Prallsville Mill in New Jersey, and the venue was lovely. There was even some shade, thankfully, though the ladies of the party all ended up sinking into the soft ground at some point. Ladies' shoes are not meant to be worn on un-paved areas (i was the object of much jealousy. i switched my fabulous blue shoes out for some boring black flip-flops and was probably the happiest girl there). The food was wonderful, the dj friendly. All in all, it was a wonderful day, and I feel so blessed Carolyn asked me and Jim to be there. The wedding was very small, perhaps a hundred people, including the bridal party and so forth. Seems like a lot of people, but really, it seemed very intimate and sweet. Carolyn, if you ever read this, thank you. It was a pleasure to share in your day.

This is a picture of the Albright crew, as we're called, all the people who went to school with Carolyn. With the exception of the single male, everyone present was a sorority sister. I have never quite gotten the hang of looking good in group shots (or solo shots, let's not lie here), so I look rather dorky. But there I am in the black dress looking short and generally tiny (especially when compared to the young lady to the left of the bride. i tell you, she's built like an amazon. life is cruel, isn't it?) and you won't be able to notice, but the hair is much improved. Colleen chopped some layers into it for me Friday night, and now I at least look like an adult. (thanks so much for the support while i was freaking out. i feel silly, but a crappy haircut is really damaging to my fair, fragile flower of femininity psyche. stop that giggling, mom! it is!)

And, being the terrible blogger/photographer that I am, this is the only picture I have of me and Jim from the whole sweaty, sticky day. You'll have to trust me when I say that he cleans up extremely nicely (goodness, i love a man in a tie!), and that I wasn't looking too shabby, myself. I like to think Jim had a decent time, though he looked a little overwhelmed by my sisters at some points.



Saturday was a day of celebration and joy, but Sunday, my friends, was a day of bounty. It turns out that there is an alpaca farm in Cape May, NJ. This is not too terribly far from where Jim and I used to live, and he heard about it on the radio and suggested a trip down on our day off (no, you can't have him, he's all mine) even though Jim has no particular love of alpacas or of fiber.
And so, a plan was born. We were going to see the alpacas (or, if you're like me and are easily excited by large, fuzzy things of incomparable cuteness, the FUZZIES!), maybe wander the local boardwalk or see a movie, and then have dinner with my family. The day went pretty much according to plan, except for some unfortunate navigational maneuvers. Mostly, these weren't really our fault, as the road that the alpaca farm sits on is not marked on the main road. (there are no pictures of the fuzzies, i am a bad, bad little blogger and left my camera at home. however, this website has great pictures. fuzzies on the beach!) We finally found the place, and spent a while outside in the heat, watching the alpacas roaming. Goodness, they're cute! Even when they're laying in the dirt, they're cute. They try to roll over, and they get kind of stuck on their backs halfway over like a turtle and have to really heave themselves to finish the roll. Sooo cute!

And then, we saw the store. I bought Momolla and Kate some fleece, so as to share the wonder of the alpacas with them, minus the heat. None of us has ever carded a fleece before, so this should be an adventure. The woman who runs the shop is lovely, and gave me all kinds of information about the different fleeces and the animals they came off of, and she added me to her mailing list for when she has sales. And through it all, Jim was wonderful. He was certainly not sharing my joy in talking to a woman I'd never met before about how amazing alpacas are, but when we left, he nonetheless made a comment about the next time we go back (no, you can't have him. really. do you know how hard it is to find a man willing to drive for three hours and almost two hundred miles one way to indulge you?), and he even dutifully petted the fleeces.

This is the skein of yarn I bought, which is handpainted Paca Paints in Seaglass, just my colors, all wonderful blues and greens mixed with a tiny bit of gray. The colors are less muted than in this picture. (please ignore the shirt that the yarn is posed on. the white pep boys shirt contrasted much better than the bowel movement green of the couch) I think it shall be a lovely scarf, when I'm feeling up to touching yarn again.


And as if all that and a delicious steak dinner weren't enough, Dadumms made me sock blockers! I can now get rid of the ridiculously misshapen wire ones I made, and use these pretty wooden ones. And in true handcrafter's form, they're not quite finished yet. He's so good at this handmade gifts thing! Here they are posing with my fleece and my yarn, getting cozy together.


The picture here actually gives a good idea of the color the fleece I chose for myself is. It came off of Regalo, who is pretty new to the herd, and I do believe it is the softest, squishiest, most beautiful thing I have ever felt. It is just too lovely for words, and it will wait for me to get a wheel, I think, because this needs to be spun up properly. No placemats for this lot!

And that right there was a wonderful weekend, full of family and friends and food and love and fiber. And you know the best part? I got to spend a weekend with Jim, out and about having adventures. Sure, we were hot and sticky and not quite pleasant the whole time. But we got to bond, and spend more time together than it feels like we have in ages. And that, my friends was great. Welcome to the new week, I hope things to smoothly and sweetly for you all.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Drive-by...

...I just got the haircut equivalent of a fifteen minute oil and lube job for a car. When I gave the nice woman my preferences (no shorter than my ears, long enough to be pulled back if possible but not a requirement, and will look good when parted on the side), which, to be fair, were pretty vague, I sat back and let the nice lady do her job. And now, I look like a fourteen-year old. I've always looked young, but this is just bad. Do a google image search on Mary Anne from the Babysitter's Club movie. I haven't done one, so watch out for porn and such. But if you can find it, that'll give you an idea of the blunt, perfectly even dome of hair that I have. It is completely symmetrical and just too lovely for me to post pictures of. I'm considering trying to chop some layers into it myself tonight. Because, really, didn't the all-one-length shoulder bob go out in the '90's? Any thoughts on hairstyles to disguise the mess that is my hair? This all started because my hair refuses to curl ever.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Copycat...




Your Power Element is Fire



Your power color: red



Your energy: hot



Your season: spring



Like a fire, you are full of power and light.

A born leader, you easily draw people toward you.

You are full of courage and usually up for anything dangerous.

You have a huge ego and love to be the center of attention.




Well, I burn things. And I'm egotistical. Go, me! Heh, these things are fun. And so very silly.