Sunday, January 28, 2007

Books books books

I haven't been knitting. At all. Not a stitch. I think it's some sort of knitting malaise, and I'm sure I'll snap out of it eventually. But for know, I'm following my whims, and I'm not knitting even though I'm co-hosting a knit along. Slacker.

Instead, I've been reading voraciously. I hadn't been reading a whole lot recently because I always needed my eyes for other things. I listened to recorded books, but I only actually read before bed.

I had been reading The Green Knight by Iris Murdoch since Thanksgiving. I love her writing, but I read it rather slowly because it's dense. The copy I have has the most densely filled pages, too, of any book I've read before. I think maybe the margins are narrower and the typeface is small and more narrowly spaced between lines. I just finished it this morning.

I read The Other Boleyn Girl in about 5 days. That was a speedier read- much lighter fare. But it caught my fancy and I really enjoyed it. Especially since it spurred me on to read a bit more Tudor history and learn about Henry VII and his wives. Ok, I looked it up online. I didn't read any History books. But still.

This morning I started reading another purely candy book while in the bath. It's called Lirael by Garth Nix, and it's the second in a trilogy. I think they are young adult books that SVH discovered while working in a bookstore. They appeal (to me) in the same way the Harry Potter books appeal to me. The magic in this world is very different than anything I've read or seen in movies. It's a nice treat while I continue to process the Murdoch book I finished.

Lirael is SVH's book. When he saw it on the bathroom counter as I was running my bath, he said, "If you get that wet, I swear to Jebus ...." He loves his books. I'm a pro at reading in the tub, so I assured him it would be fine. Still, later, I couldn't help myself, and I called from the tub, "Carl? I was going to practice reading underwater. You don't mind, do you?" He came slamming into the bathroom, grabbed the book and stormed out. My man, he has excellent timing. I couldn't stop laughing. I think he scared the hell out of the cat. He came back in with the book and said, "Don't push me, woman."

Oooh - he's in the tub right now! Maybe I'll go dangle the book over him for a while.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Did I ever tell you...

...about the time we had to go to a workplace violence training session? We weren't trained to be violent in the workplace, of course. We were being trained on ways to avoid violence in the workplace. The first suggestion of the video was not to hire people who were likely to become violent, which was my first clue that this video was meant for people who had control over things like HIRING and not for average employees like me.

The part of that meeting I was thinking of just now was the email announcing the training. It said "You are cordially invited, but required to attend, a training session blah blah blah." Don't you just love that one?

I won't go on too much about all the off-color comments made between myself (I was sitting in the very front, of course), Fantastic Boss, and my Sleepy-Voiced Coworker/Husband. We were particularly interested in whether violence between Carl and myself would qualify as workplace or domestic violence because we're married. Just in case you were wondering, domestic violence that spills over into the workplace is considered workplace violence. I realize this is a serious subject, but because this training made no attempt to separate what employees at different levels of authority could do, nearly all suggestions had nothing to do with what would be my response or role in such things. So I became a 10-year-old again and made jokes. Quietly. To the people next to me. And then try desperately not to laugh.

So after a long morning of stifling the giggles, the piece de resistance was when our safety coordinator announced that she was available for questions 24/7. Except weekends. And evenings. And holidays.

Monday, January 22, 2007


Hi. Me again. Started off the week by vomiting spectacularly. I mostly slept and stared today.

Sometime, I'll start doing things to write about again. For now, about the most I'm capable of is reading The Other Boleyn Girl (nothing like a little tarted up historical fiction, eh?) and watching the DVDs of Firefly. Can anyone tell me why a show that good was canceled?

More when I feel better

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

2006 in Self-Absorbed Review

Hi. You know what I don't do much anymore? Blog. But you knew that.

The past couple of weeks have been 100% gray. I have a bit of trouble with the short daylengths and cloudy days. I didn't really want to post about how I was doing nothing more than holding down the couch. I'm barely knitting. I'm working on a second fetching for a gift (LATE late Christmas gift) for my friend Nicole. But I've hardly even been interested in that. Much less the miles of fine knitting to be done on my Enid cardigan in GRAY when it was so bloody GRAY outside.

BUT! Today, in my narrow swatch of upstate NY the sky is completely blue and cloudless as far as I can see! It's sunny and lovely and I've a new spring in my step. I thought I'd finish a post I'd started last Friday (sorry). This is the 2006 Year-in-Review. I know, it's late for that kind of thing, but I think I could use a kick start.

Knitting (completed projects):
Harry Potter Scarf
Homely Socks
Kitty Toys
Baby Yoda Sweater
Kitty Hat
Felted Bag - No pic - bad blogger
Jaywalker socks
Baby Pullover - No pic again - see jaywalker picture for pieces of the body
A single Fetching for me - You'll get pictures when you deserve them, dammit!

Knitting (incomplete projects):
Tempting - To the Frog Pond, Baby!

Art (completed projects):
Still Life in Color (pics later?)
Portrait of Steve
3 Women (did I ever show that one?)
Sets and backdrops for Pirates of Penzance
September Piece-a-Day project (Just look at all of Sept '06 and the first of Oct '06)
Backdrop for A Christmas Carol

Art (incomplete projects):
Still Life in Color - did you catch that? It's done, but I'm not happy with it. Must fix.
A lovely little oil of some squash that has nothing more than the underpainting
Portrait of Miranda - one of those from my class last spring that just never looked right
Wise Guys - A painting based on some of my Grandmother's pictures from the 20s and 30s. It doesn't even have the underpainting.

Additionally, I managed to plan an art show where I work, and snare a couple of awards for my artwork. Oh- and I started a blog about the creative work I do. Yes, I just linked to this blog. Delicious.

I feel better. When I'm sitting at work, I feel like I'm not making any progress toward an artistic career. This little strutting-of-my-stuff reminds me that I'm not as far back or inactive as I feel sometimes. Thanks for indulging. Love you!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Many random comments

My cat snores.

I found out when he began snuggling and falling asleep with me, usually around 3 am. He stretches out his full length with his back to me and front paws up next to the top of my head and his head under my ear. It's maybe a bit more of a wheeze than a snore, but it's enough to wake me up.

In other news- I'm going to have to bite the bullet and go get a size 3 needle. I know, I know, I've already been through this. I even said my gauge problems were solved. But I was smoking crack or something. I think in order to make gauge with my #4 needle, I would be knitting so tightly I wouldn't enjoy the project. I'm not even knitting on my swatch because I know this #4 isn't working and I'm all crabby, so I'm totally stalled. Suck it up, soldier!

I'll go to the yarn shop tomorrow.

I made home-made mushroom soup tonight. Just for me. SVH hates mushrooms, so they're mine, all mine! Mwah hah hah hah! He made wild rice soup for himself, and he can have it, the nasty stuff.

In yet other news- I'm still polishing up my list of new year's resolutions. Yes, I make them, and yes, I take them seriously, but no, I don't feel they need to be solidified right away on the first of January. I've found if I take a little longer to think about them and decide, I actually keep them. I've got one that I've kept for 2 years solid now. But you can hear about that another day. Toodles!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

New Rules For Susan

I, Susan, do solemnly swear to live by the following rules:
1. I will not spaz about my gauge before my swatch has even reached 3 inches in length
2. I will not measure my swatch with the needles still in the fabric (Can I get a duh?)
3. I am not the Yarn Harlot. I will do a proper swatch and not claim a sleeve counts. Maybe once I've knitted as much as the Harlot, I can do the same as she.

The gauge is looking much better, and I won't do my final measurements until I've given it a bit of a wash. Honestly, measuring gauge on 2 inches of fabric with the needles still in it...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Nintendo Weekend

I was wishing, wishing upon a star for today to be gray and cloudy and guess what!? It is!

I'm actually serious about that. I wanted this weekend to be, as the SVH calls it, a Nintendo weekend. We're still recovering from the driving, the visiting and the driving again. We had considered going to Syracuse or Rochester to shop- Christmas at my parents' house was an embarrassment of riches in the form of gift cards- but we were just too damn tired. Perhaps next weekend we can go get some cute shoes, some Starbucks coffee and some knitting books. This weekend, we're following Kouros's lead.

So, I never managed to take a picture of the baby sweater for my nephew-in-progress. I also never managed to take a picture of my fulled/needle-felted bag that I gave Carl's older sister for Christmas. I needle-felted a martini glass and a couple of olives on the front of it. I think I'll see if the Mother-in-law can snap a pic of the bag. And maybe once the n-i-p is born, my family will get a digital camera and they can take a picture of the nephew in the sweater. It was such a bizarre shape, but then again, it was the newborn size, and newborns are bizarrely shaped. They're all big head and chubby torso.

While I was home, I got a wonderful hand-knitted scarf from my friend Jenny! Check it out! It's a rattle snake scarf! It's so soft and warm, complete with a forked tongue and a beaded rattle! I think it's looking pretty snazzy with the tie-dyed shirt I got for Xmas. My niece Emily said I could wear the shirt on Halloween, and I think Gabby said it would make me the queen of the bumblebees. Pay no attention to the Saturday hair.

So my current knitting project, the Enid cardigan, is going slowly. I've never knitted on 4 dpns before. My other issue is this sleeve is going to be HUGE! Pay no attention to the pasty white arm- other than to show the scale of the monumental sleeve. SVH was asking if I could photoshop in a tan.

So, I guess I may be in for a quick trip to the LYS to get a smaller set of needles. So much for not leaving the couch today. I guess I did play about an hour of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (shut up)... well, until Hooktail laid the smack down and Mario bit it. Aaaah, Nintendo weekend.

P.S. Isn't my breakfast adorable? The mug is part of the incredibly thoughtful Christmas gift from Carl's younger sister (yes, he has 3 sisters- his older sister, his younger sister and the sleepy-voiced-sister, who's the youngest). Her friend's father made it. I love everything about it- the shape, the handle, the colors, the capacity! She also gave me some handmade earrings. I'll post a picture of them later. They're really cool.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Just a quick pre-2007 note (I'm in the central time zone, even though the blog is on Eastern). We're heading back to NY all day January 1 (and into the wee hours on the 2nd), after the best Christmas ever and one of the best new year's eve's ever, too. We've had a fabulous trip, despite the fact that I functioned mainly as a jungle gym for my nieces the past few days. It's been really good to spend time with family.

See you next year...