Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Although it seems as though most everyone knows it and now I just feel dumber for having brought it up!
This is a drive-by posting....
Like a Bee, Ruth!
P.S. See y'all next year!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
It ended very strangely. Not to give too much away but the 4 adventurers are in a machine and they've struck a deal with the machine. If the travelers can answer all the machine's riddles, they get to live.
Seriously. The end. No riddles, no drama, just... done. He has an Author's Note at the end that says the books he writes take on a life of their own and they say where they need to end. And I've heard other writers say the same thing. The book ended at around 400 pages and from the beginning of Book One, King said there were going to be 3+ books so it's not like it's a huge surprise. Just a bit odd.
My husband would cry Bullshit. He would say it's just a ploy to make people buy the next book and just on principle, he would never read another Dark Tower (or probably any more Stephen King at all) again.
I have no such principles and Dave's not really a fan of SK anyway so I don't think it'll ever come up.
I'm looking forward to Book 4 but I'm taking a little detour to read Shutter Island. I told y'all I saw the preview for the movie at the theater and thought I had it figured out but comments on that post told me I was wrong (yay!) and also let me know it was a book. A friend in my knitting group lent me the book and I've started reading it. So far, it's still background setup but the writer's style has already got me anticipating a very good read. He's very visual. I like that.
But, back to the Dark Tower. The Waste Lands has an underlying, running theme of riddles. It becomes very important at the end of the book. I love riddles! I'm not a very logical thinker so they are usually quite difficult for me. One of my favorite parts of The Hobbit is the riddles between Bilbo and the Golem.
Several years ago, Dave and I were in a bookstore and we were looking at these odd little books shaped like toilets. They were logic and quiz bathroom books. We flipped one open to a random page and we saw a riddle. We couldn't get the answer so we flipped to the back of the book and there were no answers! We were cracking up saying that if we couldn't even find the answers to the logic book, we should probably just put it down before we hurt ourselves.
We eventually did find the answer and more hilarity ensued but I'll tell you about that next time. Here's the riddle...
Hoarse, Mousse, Guerrilla, Links, Bare
What do these words have in common?
I guess it's more of a word problem then an actual riddle but whatever.
If you know the answer, don't say in the comments, just raise your hand.
Happy Holidays One and All, Ruth!
Friday, December 18, 2009
Yesterday, I looked over his shoulder at the screen and saw a post that read, "Hey Reddit Atheists, I think religion, like money, is merely a catalyst for bad and good in people." I think that's brilliant!
If you've been here awhile you already have some ideas about my views on religion. I have a friend who is a practicing Catholic and I think she believes I'm against religion as a whole. Truth is, I don't care about religion, if people have it or not. I think if people have religion and it makes them feel happy and comforted and whole, that's great for them! I just don't need it.
The only time I get irritated about religion is when people start trying to push it on me. Like the other day when some Mormon boys came to my door. I love when those guys show up. Seriously! I'm not even being sarcastic! It's great fun for me to have... we'll say "debates" with them.
They knock on our door and it's always, "Hi, we are (insert names here). We're your local Latter Day Saints." To which, I reply, "Hi, I'm Ruth! We're your local Atheists." The looks on their faces is always a treat! And it's usually enough to have them shoving a pamphlet at me while they hurry on to the next door for fear of being struck by lightning or something.
The particular set of LDS boys who showed up the other day were not to be deterred. I'll call them Jay and Silent Bob as the one guy did all the talking and the other said not a single word the whole time. Jay was bigger and seemed to be a bit practiced in handling heathens. Silent Bob was a thin, slight guy who let Jay do all the talking.
I'm going to insert the videos I was telling him about so you can see them but, here's our conversation (you might want to get a snack).....
Me: Hi, I'm Ruth - we're your local Atheists.
Jay: Well have you prayed about it?
Me: Um. No. Why would I? Do you know what Atheism means?
Jay: Yes, but I was just wondering if you've ever prayed about it.
Me: Again, why would I? As Atheists, we don't believe God exists so what exactly would I be praying to? Look, my husband and I had enough religion fed to us as kids that we find no need for it now. I went to church 3 times a week as a kid. Then I started doing my own research and decided it wasn't for me.
Jay: Why not? What about it wasn't for you?
Me: To me its seems as though a person can live a good life but if they don't do that one little thing - accept Jesus - then I still go to hell? That just means that God is like a petulant 4 year old throwing a fit because they didn't get their way. Also, I never agreed with the tenant that a person can be a puppy-raping pedophile but, if on their death bead, they say, "Oh, I'm sorry. I believe!" then that person gets to go to heaven? No. That's not right.
Jay: That's not what our religion believes, that's the Catholics.
Me: [laughing] OK, you got me there. But what about the not accepting Jesus thing? If I live a good life, and I don't do that one little thing, I still have to go to hell? I can't get behind that either.
Jay: Well, let's think of it like this. You have kids, right? [he could hear them playing in the room next to my open front door]
Jay: And you have rules for them, right?
Jay: And you probably have discipline for them and consequences for breaking those rules?
Me: Yes, because I'm raising good citizens.
Jay: Well, that's what God has for us as his children.
Me: Ah, yes. See, this is one of my favorite arguments. The difference being that, if the boys don't make their beds, I don't withdraw my love and send them, at ages 8 and 6, to an adult prison where they'll be passed around like candy. The punishment has to fit the crime. And I don't see how skipping this one step completely negates the rest of my well-lived life.
Still Me: There's this video on Youtube from a guy named Matt something-or-other that likens God to a Mob Boss. Matt used to be a preacher for some 20+ years and he went to seminary school and the things he was "learning" and being told... he took a step back and decided it was all bullshit and became an Atheist. Now he has a show that gets posted on Youtube and it's pretty right on with the way I think about religion. Like a Mob Boss, God says, "You need protection, Jesus is that protection and if you don't take that protection, you're going to hell." But who's going to send us to hell? God.
[Here's the video...]
So then Jay goes on to tell me a bit about his story...
Jay: Like that preacher, I had my own crisis of faith a few years ago but I prayed about it and I got my answers.
Me: You did? How?
Jay: Well I just did.
Me: Come on now, you're here to spread your message and your story so tell me how you got your answers? I'm not making fun of you. I'm truly curious as to how those answers came to you. Was it a letter, did Jesus appear to you, was it a voice in your head? How?
Jay: I just did. I got my answers.
Me: sigh. OK. But couldn't that just be your own conscience or your own free will, your own personal experiences telling you which is the right way for you to go and live your life?
Jay: No. It wasn't like that at all.
Me: OK. Then how did you get your answers?
Jay: Through the power of prayer.
Jay was clearly getting irritated with me, so I didn't make my next point which was, "I think you are confusing belief with proof." Plus, I was trying not to be insulting and I although I think it's a valid point, I'm pretty sure he would've taken it as a personal insult.
Jay: Well, what are you going to teach your kids about it?
Me: Oh we're all set for that. We have a whole shelf on our bookcases dedicated to religion.
There's the Book of Mormon, the King James version of the Bible, there's Sufi books, Taoist books, the Koran. We've got the major ones covered. If they have questions, we'll point them to the shelf and tell them, "Have at it! Do your own research! Make your own decisions." Have you done your own research?
Jay: Yes, I have.
Me: Have you really? What have you looked at besides your own religion? One of my favorite books on that shelf is called Jesus and Bhudda. I used to really be into Taoism and other Eastern philosophies and this is one of my favorite books. On the left page it has what Jesus said and on the right page it has what Bhudda said. They are almost identical in their teachings, only Bhudda said it about 2000 years before Jesus.
Jay: Well, did you know Bhudda said, "A man cannot come to Nirvana except through the white being with the pierced hands and feet."?
Me: OK. Um. I'm not a close personal friend of Bhudda or anything but I'm going to have to ask you to show me that passage.
Jay: Well I don't have it with me but I can come back later and show it to you. Well, let me ask you this. What if you're wrong?
Me: Another favorite question of mine! Are you honestly telling me God would be OK with me getting "fire insurance"? That I can just fake it and except Jesus into my heart when your All-Knowing God knows the hearts of every man, woman and child. I can fool him into thinking I believe? There's another video I'd show you but my laptop takes forever to download stuff. There's this guy on Youtube who is about 24 and he's so smart and eloquent it pisses me off that he's so much younger them me! Anyway, he has a video entitled, "What if I'm wrong" or something like that. He says all the things I think and it's so well thought out I'm going to butcher it here talking to you but the gist is... "What if I am wrong? I would hope that when I get to Heaven and face judgement that God would pat me on the back and say, "Good job. I gave you free will, you used the brain I gave you and you used that free will and you made your own choices. You did your research and followed a path that was right for you. You lived a good life and you get to come in. Good job." And if it doesn't work that way, I can't imagine having to spend Eternity with a god who makes me sick to my stomach."
[Here's that video...]
Me: Look, I just can't get behind religion. Any religion. For one, it's very divisive. Mormons especially! My husband was best man at a Mormon wedding and he couldn't even go into the church because he wasn't Mormon?! And even beyond that, just dividing men and women.
Jay: What do you mean?
Me: If you can show me one religion - I'll even narrow it down to one Christian religion - that does not subjugate women, I might be willing to get on board.
Jay: I think I could but it's getting late and we have to do more missionary things. Can I come back later and talk to you about this some more sometime?
Me: I would LOVE that! You come back anytime. I'm not going to change your mind, I can guarantee you're not going to change my mind but it'll be a great conversation! I'll show you my books, you'll show me yours. I'll show you my videos, you'll show me your videos refuting them. It'll be a great debate with lots of show and tell!
And with that, we said our goodbyes.
I'd like to leave you with one last video. It is how I wish relgion actually was. It's simply brilliant...
Wouldn't it be lovely if that was really the way it worked?
I don't think Jay and Silent Bob are coming back, Ruth!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Actually busy with xmas knitting! I have some FO's to show you but I have to get the pic's off my camera and into the computer so I'll do that later.
I've also been having some sort of small mental breakdown/cliche' midlife crisis something or other. I think the stress of the last three years has caught up with me all at once, so that's nice.
On Monday, Dave and I were driving around and the AC/DC song Highway to Hell was on the radio and if you know that song, you know it has a very definite ending. Boom. Done. Dave said, "See, that's the way a song should end." I looked at him quizzically and he elaborated, "I never understood songs that fade off. Like the band just walks away from the mike still playing?"
I laughed my ASS off. I never thought about it but that's so true! I said, "Yea, so I'm picturing the wandering minstrel walking away still plinking on his lute." And Dave said, "Or the band is on some flatbed truck driving to the next town."
I couldn't stop laughing. Literally. I was getting a touch hysterical! Then, out of nowhere, I got this huge lump in my throat - the kind you get when you're trying not to sob - and I seriously almost started crying. WTF???
Have I ever told y'all about my love affair with stairs? When I was 5, we moved to the ranch and it was the first house I lived in with stairs. I spent an inordinate amount of time sitting on those stairs. I'd sit there and daydream or read. Our cabin up at Shaver Lake (CA) also had stairs and those were even better since they were sort of dark and secret.
Then divorce and moving and no more stairs. Until I was in Basic Training. That was my only solace. I'd sneak off into the stairwell and be alone until someone saw me and I'd have to go back to whatever we were supposed to be doing.
Some stairs here and there throughout my time in Army barracks then no more until we moved to Colorado three years ago.
Our house in Parker had two sets of stairs (yay!). I'd usually sit on the set leading to the bedrooms. It was a great set as it was also close to the kitchen so I'd sit on them while waiting for things to cook. Our new place has just one set of stairs but they are good ones.
Dave doesn't understand my stair-sitting. He says, "Why don't you come down and sit with the family?" That's the whole point of stair-sitting! It's a chance to be alone but still be able to hear your loved ones and listen to them and how they interact with each other. It's a place to be still and be quiet. Stairs have always been an area where I don't have to think or worry or do anything but just be.
This would be my dream staircase leading to a little room just for me. The only thing I'd change would to make the stairs a bit wider.
So don't worry about me, friends. I'm here. I'm a bit stressed, even a bit delirious at times, but still relatively sane and sitting on my stairs.
I blame lack of sleep, Ruth!
Friday, December 4, 2009
"Wow! Those are really nice!"
Me: Um.... thank you?
Her: They are really awesome!
Me: Ummm.... thanks?
Her: Seriously! I've been looking for a pair just like those forever! Where'd you get them?
Me: Well, um, I guess, I mean... I.... grew them... in the... normal way?
Then she looks at me strangely... pauses.... turns beet red and says, "No, no, no, ohno. I had pointed to your glasses. I was talking about your glasses!"
Then we were both beet red and laughing until we both had tears streaming out of our eyes.
Why can't anything be normal and not embarrassing for me?
The girls are pretty awesome though, Ruth!
Monday, November 30, 2009
Best intentions and all that, right?
My reading and my knitting were completely thrown off the tracks with the Sock Summit madness and then moving right when I came back from Portland.
I'm still on the third book of the Dark Tower series, so even my little 4 book R.I.P. Challenge was unsuccessful.
And the knitting??
Are ya kiddin' me? I joined the Sweater a Month thing on Ravelry and I have finished four. Really all that challenge made me do was cast-on twelve new sweaters. Not really, but close. I should be able to finish another 3: one short and chunky (no comments from the peanut gallery), Dave's (that I started August last year), and the Hateful Bed Jacket that still just needs the final trim and it's done. I would be able to finish them but I have this stupid holiday knitting that I'm trying to crank out.
I finished a Just Enough Ruffles scarf for D2's teacher (pictures after I block it) and I still need to do a scarf for T's teacher. I want to crank out some dishcloths for Dave's 2 half-brothersandtheirwives and for his parents as well. I also want to finish Dave's sweater by xmas for sure. I made a scarf for my stepmom and I need to make one for my dad as well.
Somewhere in there I have to get caught up on the sudden burst of orders for Stitch Savers I've been getting from LYS's that carry me.
I decided to do that November Blog Every Day thing but I thought if I said it out loud, it wouldn't've happened. I did it! Yay! And now that I'm back in the habit of blogging more often, hopefully I can keep it going! (Does that last bit count as a grand announcement? Oops!)
Running as fast as I can, Ruth!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
First, here's proof that there is a PAIR of socks...
I knit them top down, two at a time, Magic Loop on 2.75mm Knit Picks metal needles.
No pattern. Generic sock pattern, mock cable every other rib, every 4th row...
Notice the lovely sweeping heel and the wee stripes on the stockinette bits...
And how's this for my first Kitchener stitch? Not bad, right?
Top down socks went well. They stay up better then the toe-ups I did for Dave but I'm not giving up on toe-ups yet.
I know people have definite opinions about their knitting (what type of needles to use, what type of cast-on/bind-offs to use in different situations, etc.). I try not to make grand proclamations about knitting. I remember when I discovered Garnstudio's free patterns I proclaimed I'll never buy a book, mag, pattern ever again! Yea. Right.
I use the word "prefer". I prefer Magic Loop over DPN's . 98% of anything I knit in the round, I Magic Loop it. I prefer cable cast-on. I use cable cast-on for everything! I find it keeps me from having a too tight CO. I also prefer doing socks two at a time. But I know when I tackle something complicated (looking at you, Cookie A!), I'll do them one at a time.
Yep, I definitely try to avoid making sweeping, definitive statements about my knitting.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Dance was my life. All through jr. high and high school, I was all dance all the time. It was my sanity and my salvation. It got me away from my crazy family and took me out of my head. I had Very Bad Things when I was little and I carried pain within me that I couldn't shake. Except when I was moving. So I never stopped moving.
I'd be in my room, dancing. Once I got a car, I'd go to the high school. My school had a really great football stadium. I'd grab my boom box and some tapes and I'd be in that stadium at all hours. 3 in the afternoon, 10 at night, 2 in the morning. Practice, practice, practice, choreograph, choreograph, or just turn on the music and let go. I'd be there to escape and to take flight.
When I went to college, I was a Dance Major. My plan was to go to New York, be on Broadway for 5-10 years then become a choreographer (either in New York or L.A.). When I came back from the Army and discovered I couldn't dance anymore, I went home from that class, crawled into bed and didn't leave for three days. When I finally did get out of bed, I joined the Army for real (up to that point, I was only in the Reserves) and told them I'd only join if I could go overseas. I went to Germany.
Being a professional Dancer didn't happen for me. And it's OK. I didn't get the amazing life I wanted so I went and made a different and equally amazing life. When I realized I would never dance professionally, I made a thick callus and put it over that broken part of my heart. Dancing ceased being a passion for me and became merely a social thing where it drifted into the background of my life.
I watch dance whenever I get the chance. I missed the first few seasons of So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) because that judge named Mary gets on my damn nerves. Can that woman say anything without shrieking it? Stop yelling already!
But I watch it now. And no one else in my house cares about it so I watch it by myself. It's just as well because often, I get caught off guard by a particularly good dancer or a particularly amazing choreographer and I cry. Those stupid little broken bits under that callus rub together like broken glass under my ruined feet and I cry.
This routine completely did me in. The premise of this routine is the boy represents the fear and the girl is trying to free herself from her fears.
Routines like that make my feet and my heart ache like I imagine an amputee feels ghost pain in a missing limb.
I miss flying, Ruth!
Friday, November 27, 2009
And that shit sneaks up on you! Here I am thinking everything's fine then a summer goes by and winter rolls around and I put on my jeans and BAM - they are tighter then they were last year!
One of the main benefits of moving to Highlands Ranch is that all the Rec Centers are free gyms with indoor pools. I've been going nearly every day for over a month now and I've seen no changes. I'm not going to quit but it is a bit disheartening.
One of the tricks I use to motivate myself is to pick a paperback I want to read and I can only read it while I'm working out. It works pretty well!
My gym book is Anno Dracula and it's not bad. The premise is that Queen Victoria is a vampire and Jack the Ripper is a vampire killer. The author has thrown in EVERYone associated with that time period into this book. At first it was kind of cool but then it got stupid. OK, we get it, it's Victorian times. Even so, the story line is keeping me interested. I'm about halfway through and I still haven't figured what the Anno in Anno Dracula means.
Speaking of books, did y'all read the comments yesterday?? One of the authors I invited to my fantasy Thanksgiving table commented! How fucking cool is that?? So, Dave King, author of The Ha-Ha, here's the little write-up I did when I read the book and if you're ever in Denver, I'll treat you to lunch!
Reading my way to fitness, Ruth!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Ten people I'd like to have at my Thanksgiving table...
Family and friends are a given so I'll skip them although I would like to see
1. My Grandma Hofer - she passed in 1997 and I miss her every day
2. William Shatner - my love for that man has been well documented on this blog
3. Seth McFarlane - the creator of Family Guy - he missed a flight that would've put him on the plane that hit Tower 2 on 9/11 and he's a straight guy that loves musicals
4. "Mick" Mennucci - my dance teacher from high school
5. Stephen King and Maya Angelou - my favorite authors
6. Joshilyn Jackson, Matt Diniman and Dave King - more authors but authors of the best books I've read in the past few years (Gods in Alabama, The Shivered Sky and The Ha-ha respectively)
7. Salvador Dali and Michael Parkes - my favorite artists
8. Oscar Wilde and Tennesse Williams - my favorite playwrights
9. The Marx Brothers - my favorite comedians
10. Brian Urlacher and Tom Osborne (along with his lovely wife Nancy) - the first is a defensive linebacker for the Chicago Bears and the second is the greatest Husker football coach of all time. These guys are for Dave to be able to watch football with on Thanksgiving. (OK, Urlacher is also eye candy for me!)
Looking forward to the Turkey Thorazine shuffle, Ruth!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
We've been emailing each other nearly every day since we reconnected (Facebook does have a purpose beyond Scrabble!). The email he sent me yesterday started with this...
I have been in a bit of a dry spell for a few days. I totally ran out of yarn! How awful it is. I am sure you know the feeling.
BWAHHAHHAHA! I explained to him that I am in no danger of EVER running out of yarn. Like the Yarn Harlot, I collect and hoard yarn as though there will be some tragic sheep blighting disease that will eradicate new wool forever.
Someone sent him a box with some yarn in it and he dug right in. (It wasn't me, I am putting together a package for him but haven't finished/sent it yet.) He sent me a pic of the scarf he started...
I emailed back and about an hour later he responded and sent another pic of the scarf.....
It's a bit depressing that he knits faster then I do and I've been at it for about 6 and a half years now!
When he first told me about his new hobby, he sent a pic of these rockin' arm warmers he made...
I love those! It's also a wonderful pic that shows off some of the great tattoos he has. He's had ink from many parts of the world. The last time I saw him in person (1999), he had a beautiful angel on his arm - it had the most delicate face - that he got in Amsterdam.
I was thinking of having a contest... You know, you send me yarn to mail to him and then I pick a winner from the people that play. But then I remembered he's in Iraq and needs to travel light. I know how generous knitters can be and I think sending him a metric ton of yarn probably wouldn't be the best idea.
His birthday is this Friday and I'll be mailing his package on Monday (ish).
Oh! and here's a picture of him...
Even squinting into the sun, he's still beautiful! Behind him is the solar oven he made (this pic is from his house in the US).
He's sent me a some really cool pic's. One of him in his full combat gear with a really gorgeous weapon. One of his outstanding Harley with his equally outstanding sons in front of it (I was going to post that one but I didn't want to put his kids on the interwebs).
Since Dave and I both have a real thing for guns, I showed these pic's to Dave and when he saw the above one (with the solar oven), Dave commented that Phil looks just like "Castle". In that pic, he totally does! Especially the squint and the way his hair is.
Anyway, Phil ended yesterday's email with....
This knitting thing is biting me pretty hard, I wonder if it will ever let up!! Phil
Now that's something I can relate to!
Enabling him with yarn, Ruth!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Ten Random Things (stolen from Knitiot Savant)
1. Magazines subscribed to: None, really. My MIL bought us subscriptions to Reader's Digest (which T just loves!) and Taste of Home which is an excellent magazine full of recipes. I'd love to get a subscription to Interweave Knits.
2. Aside from knitting, my favorite pastimes are - Reading - love reading. Watching movies, playing around on the Internet, hanging out with my family.
3. If I were not a recruiter (insert your own profession) I would be: Once upon a time my choice would have been professional dancer, preferably on Broadway. Or an actress. Now, I'd love to make a living with yarn. Or be a successful writer (of course, all these fragmented sentences would have me banned from the publishing world).
4. I am irrationally worried about - the boys getting hurt. Going through tunnels or under bridges has always been an irrational fear for me.
5. If I were the opposite sex - I think I would be a great guy. I've never been terribly girly and I love guns, driving too fast, sports. It would be nice to be able to pee while standing.
6. The thing I miss most about childhood is - running around like a crazy person with no one actually thinking you're a crazy person. I still run around like a crazy person but now I get The Look.
7. I like to collect - Yarn. And books.
8. Though I've never been there, I feel inexplicably homesick for - Asia.
9. I've never really liked to eat - Lima beans.
10. When I have nightmares, they're usually about - being in a big empty office building/warehouse, there's bad men trying to find me and I have to escape. There's other people (or sometimes just one little kid) and it's my responsibility to get them out safely; to get them away from the bad guys with the big guns. I know, oddly specific right? This has been a recurring nightmare as long as I can remember.
I'm not going to tag anyone for this meme, if you want to pick it up - go for it!
Working on the writing, Ruth!
Monday, November 23, 2009
In Basic Training they have lots of GI parties.
It's a trick. There's no party. A GI party is what they call it when they make all the GI's get together and clean something. Scrub it senseless.
I remember one time in particular while still in Basic Training, myself and another girl in my platoon (Majette) were instructed to go to our classroom (on the bottom floor of our building) and clean it.
We were grumbling and griping and grabbed some brooms and mops and went to our party. Majette is a really shy, unusually quiet girl. She's so silent during our cleaning I keep forgetting she's in the room with me!
I can't stand the silence and I've had this song kicking around my brain for days now so I start singing it...
I got sunshiiiiine, on a cloudy day.
I really belt that line out and in the silence of the echoy classroom Majette looks at me like I'm a crazy person.
when it's cold outside, I got the month of May.
Then a slow smile spreads across her face and she grabs her broom handle like a mike and we start to sing together....
I guess, you'd say what can make me feel this way? My guy, my guy, my guy!
We are singing like crazy, sweeping and dancing around the room like a coupla fools. We have our backs to the door and are doing the Temptations dance along with the song and when we hit the next my guy chorus, I swing around, then she swings around and we see our Captain standing in the doorway.
Whenever an officer enters the room, someone (technically the person with the highest rank) calls, "Atteeeeen-TION!" and everyone else is supposed to snap to attention and the person who called it salutes (with their right hand).
I knew we were busted for screwing around and the only thing I could think to do was let him know that we knew.
I snapped up my left hand and said, "Triple Ate Up, Sir!"
A popular military phrase is "Triple A O". It means..... I forget, Asomething, Asomething, Adapt and Overcome. "Ate Up" on the other hand means.... F'd up.
I could see the corners of his mouth twitching like he was trying not to laugh or smile and he told us to "carry on cleaning, soldiers" and walked down the hall.
We both breathed a sigh of relief then started giggling because we could hear him cracking up as he walked away.
Once again, my dorkiness saves my ass.
There's a lot of tedious jobs in the Army. A lot of them. I love to see soldiers who make it fun.
This video is a favorite of mine on youtube. I know I'm easily amused but this video cracks me up every time I watch it. Every. Time. I especially like the guy at the workbench on the right. He holds out just as long as he can but finally breaks down and joins in.
It's also very typical of the other soldiers (higher ranking or not) to walk around such shenanigans like they aren't happening.
I do have sunshine on a cloudy day, Ruth!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I always have to make hats twice. They always end up either way too big, a little too small or too short.
Every single hat I've ever made.
Working on a hat right now. Finished it, had Dave try it on. Too short. sigh.
I'm not so frustrated with it this time since I was kind of thinking I wanted to go a different way with it anyway.
That's the other reason I frog so many hats. I get halfway through then think I want to add/subtract, do something else with that yarn. I can never seem to be completely satisfied with the hats I make!
Then there's the yarn substitution problems I give myself. Instead of swatching so I can get it right the first time (which is what you're supposed to do when substituting yarns), I usually just go for it.
With all this ripping and frogging, it's a good thing I like knitting. And it doesn't really bother me but this time of year... I'm already getting behind with my holiday knitting. Must knit faster...
Hats are my nemesis, Ruth!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
We were laughing at the drop-off with the kids. You should have seen all the beaming parents who knew they were about to have a night without children. One woman walked to her car after kissing her kid goodbye and actually jumped for joy before getting into the car.
Dave and I had dinner out then we went to see a movie. The movie didn't start for another hour. We thought it started every half hour but we were wrong. Who cares! We had no time limit! We bought our tickets then walked to a nearby bar and had a drink. Hung out and killed time for a half hour then walked back to the theater and went to our movie.
We saw 2012. It was OK. Amazing CGI disaster scenes! It's phenomenal what they can do with computer graphics. Definitely wouldn't have wanted the kids to see this movie. There's no specific blood but there's lots of falling bodies and destruction. John Cusak was good as usual (and lovely to look at!) but the movie was predictable and a bit cheesy. (When the Vatican splits, it does so perfectly splitting god and Adam? How precise.)
The movie had this character actor that I quite like. I have a real thing for character actors! This guy's costumers always seem to put him in bow ties for some reason. I guess they do kind of suit him. In this movie, they've got him speaking with an atrocious English accent. At least I think it was supposed to be English - it was hard to tell.
There was a preview for a movie with Leonardo di Caprio called Shutter Island. It's set in the 50's and these two detectives have to go to an island where there's an asylum for the criminally insane to find a murderess who has escaped. Thirty seconds into the preview I think I already know what's going on. Ben Kingsley is the warden and during the preview he makes a comment to the effect of, "I've spent too much time building what we have here to let it be ruined." That sealed it for me.... it's a movie about the inmates taking over the asylum. Set in the 50's makes it the perfect setup. Sketchy phones, no faxes, no Internet. A sequestered island - how would strangers from the outside know who was supposed to be running the place and who wasn't? It still looks really good and I look forward to seeing it on video someday and hoping I'm wrong.
Need to get rid of the kids more often, Ruth!
Friday, November 20, 2009
The school has a giant sleepover night and it's tonight. They have the kids together up until a certain point then the boys sleep in the gym and the girls sleep in the library. It was $60 for both our kids to be able to attend so we moved some groceries budget around and they are set to have a great night of fun.
Which means Dave and I have a night to ourselves. Splee! We're talking dinner, maybe a movie, maybe some poker, maybe all three!
I'm so excited, I'm going to leave all knitting at home! (Unless we go play poker somewhere, because then I'll be out before he is as usual and when I'm out of the game... I knit.)
We used to have a date every Saturday afternoon when we lived in Tucson. The boys would go hang out with Dave's parents and we'd go have lunch and hang out with each other. I miss that!
We stopped doing it here. Dave's parents are 80 and 81 so it's not as easy for them to watch the boys. They say it's easier as there's no lifting or diaper changing to deal with. We've kind of taken them at their word lately since we've been going to play poker on Sat. afternoons sometimes. But we feel guilty about it.
But tonight - no guilt! I can't wait to drop the boys off. The little dears.
I'm gonna hold his hand, Ruth!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
This question was posited in this week's edition under the "Knitter's Poll":
Would you consider knitting with yarn from someone else's unraveled project?
Are you kidding me?? Is this really an issue? I do it all the time with my own yarn, why would it bother me to do it from someone else's??
It's sort of a running joke in this house that whenever Dave hears me grumbling at my knitting he says, "What, do you have to tear it out and start over?"
For years, whenever there was a mistake in something I was working on, I'd rip it all the way back to the beginning and start over. Finally, I learned how to drop a stitch down and fix the mistake or to rip back to the mistake and not to the cast-on.
I rather perfected starting the do-over while simultaneously ripping out the original.
I know some people feel you should frog the yarn, wet it, hang it on a hanger with a weight so it unkinks the yarn but I'm much too impatient for that nonsense!
So, even though I have too much yarn - if you have a project you aren't happy with or is half finished and you don't want the fiber anymore or can't bear to frog it - I'll take it!
Waiting by the mailbox, Ruth!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The only reason I have a Twitter account at all is because I wanted to enter a Neil Gaiman photo caption contest and you could only do it through Twitter. (I didn't win.)
After I got my Twitter account, I followed a few people but I never have time to read them so the only time I even see twitters (tweets?) is on the sidebar of the Yarn Harlot's blog (right funny, those!).
I can barely keep up reading the blogs I like much less adding a bunch of Twitter stuff!
I wonder how the people that follow me found me, why they chose to follow me, and what are they following since I never do anything over there.
Is someone pretending to be me and posting really funny, witty tweets under my name? That would be kind of cool as I am not terribly witty and only marginally funny sometimes.
I ask that last question because I was following Christopher Walken's tweets for a bit but then they disappeared because it turns out it was not CW, but an impostor who'd opened an account with his name and picture. Shame, really, because the guy was damn funny!
I don't understand Twitter.
Feeling a bit old, Ruth!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I've also confessed to a weakness for sock yarn. As I've said before, I have enough sock yarn to make over 200 pairs of socks. Two hundred.
98% of that sock yarn consists of beautiful, sometimes actually stunning, hand painted sock yarn. I'm a sucker for the hand paints!
So, with all that bounty of color and beauty to choose from, what color did I pick to make my first ever pair of socks?
That's right, folks. Plain vanilla white. sigh.
Dave never wants me to knit anything for him. Then he sees the handmade socks Donna made for Daren (the couple we hang out with) and turns to me and says, "Why don't you ever make me a pair of socks??" Are you kiddin' me?? I've been wanting to knit something for him forEVER.
About a year ago, I talked him into finally picking a sweater that I can make just for him. It's a simple affair which makes it slogalong dull to knit and is still in the works. I made a pact with myself that when watching Husker football with him (his favorite team), I could only work on that sweater.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Dave's mom gives us 2lb. bags of Twizzlers on a regular basis. (Part of what she puts in the weekly bag of what I've come to call "grandma grenades".)
Apparently when you add those two facts together, you get small tooth placed into your hand.
Strangely, the tooth that popped out was not the tooth that was loose! It was a lower tooth to the right of the two front teeth (his right). He said he didn't even know that one was loose!
He's had it pretty easy so far with the teeth coming out. Last night there was a fair bit of blood but no apparent pain. Easy for him and easy on Dave and I!
The tooth fairy came and left a dollar as usual. She didn't need to borrow that dollar from T's little brother like last time. She learned her lesson and stockpiled a few dollar bills in a secret place.
Unfortunately, she's not nearly as stealthy as she would like to believe and T has gotten much better at faking that he's asleep so T is on to her.
He's promised not to sell her out to D2.
He's a good boy.
Anticipating his beautiful smile, Ruth!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I think the problem with the first session is that he didn't know what he was supposed to do. I'm a bit disappointed with the teacher. When I talked to her (with Davis) after the first session, she said she didn't realize he wasn't writing. I mean, I realize it's a free library class but there's only about 8 kids in the class and I don't understand how she didn't notice he wasn't doing anything.
That snowstorm (the week before Halloween) was a 3 day stunner! Today was pretty average and although the snow began last night, it had stopped by noon today.
Our minivan has new tires (and therefore, better snow traction) so Dave took it to go get his plow truck and go scrape some streets.
Me and the kids were stuck at home all day. Bummer.
Yea, right! They played videos games until I kicked them outside (where they played for almost two hours!). They came back in soaked and happy, I had them go take a warm bath, I made them lunch, then they spent the afternoon planted in front of the TV/video games/computer. Their brains are nice and mushy!
As for me, I watched TV all day while I worked on a special order of Stitch Savers and knit on some holiday gifts. So my brain's nice and mushy as well!
I watched a bunch of stuff I DVR'd. SVU, Community, National Treasure - Book of Secrets, and the first two episodes of the updated miniseries V. So, yeah, your basic completely mindless entertainment. National Treasure was so-so, nothing special. V is predictable and a bit cheesy but I've never been one to pass on a show because it's cheesy!
I'm going to read myself to sleep tonight and try to prop my squishy brain back up where it belongs!
Mushy, mushy, Ruth!
Friday, November 13, 2009
The boys and I were going back and forth from the old house to the new, moving stuff. On the way back to the old house, I saw a man walking onto the edge of the road about 2 miles ahead. What the hell is he doing?? It's a super busy road - 3 lanes on either side of the median, speed limit 50 MPH. People are slowing down and most are stopping in their lane, some are actually pulling over.
What's that in front of the man? A dog? Too low to the ground. A beaver? What.....
Have you ever seen a porcupine? A for real, in the wild (sort of), not a picture, not in a zoo porcupine?
The above picture is of the man who I originally saw. The poor little porcupine! He was obviously confused and didn't know what to do. I can only guess the man saw him in the street, trying to cross and pulled over to make sure the porcupine made it. He was clapping his hands behind him and trying to get him to go. I don't know where the little guy came from or where he was headed. Oddly, this went down right next to the Natural Science Museum! The museum is surrounded by fields of really tall, wild grasses. Maybe the porcupine wanted to try out the delicious cafes across the street?
If you look at the background, you'll see a man in a motorcycle helmet and he's got a tiny black backpack in his hand. He came into the road and used the backpack to gently push/encourage the porcupine in the direction it was originally heading (crossing the road). The hand-clapping man was doing his best but as you can see, he wasn't really dressed to play with porcupines.
I just happened to have our camera in the car and got a coupla decent shots before I was able to move again and be on our way.
Here's a closer shot...
Beautiful, isn't he?
So why did the porcupine cross the road, Ruth!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
This is the example they gave for last year's contest and you rest assured that I'm SO happy I didn't have to go up against this writer! (Not that I won anyway or anything.)
Beneath the Bed
They have always been here with us. Not just symbiotic to you or me, but humans in general. Imagination gave them form. Darkness confers life.
Tonight there come sounds. Raspy voices carried on forked and barbed tongues. I wonder about their purpose. Listening intently, understanding follows quickly.
“Our man should taste good,” one says.
“He has surely matured well,” another.
We are livestock. Bred for this moment, by creatures that reside beneath the bed. A hairy arm reaches out from under thick box spring. Monsters emerge, no longer afraid, nor needing to hide among dark shadow.
It is my time.
Story by Stuart Clark. Not included in the contest as Stuart is one of our judges.
They didn't do it this year! Bummer because I had already come up with my entry a few months beforehand.
Here it is...
Stretching languorously, sleepy canine nestles in warm bed under favorite blanket of yellow and red. Large, white hailstones pelt down unnoticed.
The tractor beam catches some attention! Cowering fearfully, Fido looks up, too scared to move. No comforting bright light, just pulled toward scary dark cave surrounded by misshapen, yellowing stones is all he sees.
Peeking over an edge, what was once tranquil sanctuary, now a suicide's leap away. Realizing limited options, Rover trembles, sweats helplessly.
Life flashing behind frightened eyes....
Ends as quickly when cavern closes around pup's middle, tearing half away.
mmmmm, Hot Dogs!
Hope he has the contest next year, Ruth!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
First up, we have our evil sorcerer...
I'm pretty proud of this costume. We bought a second hand evil robe and I got some glow in the dark and silver metallic fabric paints and painted all over it. Then I got a stiff piece of black felt, made a cone and stapled it shut, then a soft piece of felt, made the brim, more stapling, more paint and viola! (The staff was purchased. And we couldn't quite get his makeup right, looks like he dipped his face in milk!)
Then we've got D2 as your basic toothsome vampire...
Fancy shirt (as he called it), black jeans, cape that T wore when he was a 2 year old vampire (6 years ago!), some make-up and rubber fangs.
Here he is showing off his cape and his little rubber bat ring...
The evil sorcerer likes to ham it up with his fiendish vampire brother...
D2 was so funny about those rubber teeth! They were WAY too big and at first he wouldn't let me make them smaller. He was slobbering like crazy and finally I convinced him to let me shorten them. I cut a back tooth off each side and they fit a little better. He was still slobbering a lot. It's about a 20 minute drive from our house to the party we were going to. After about 5 minutes in the car I asked D2 if he wanted to take the teeth out until we got there and he said, "No way!" He was very committed to his character! Even when he'd go up to a house, he'd pretend to die when the light hit him and he'd say, "I vant to eat your cahndeeee.", or "Look into my eyes. Now give me all your cahndeeeee." What a goof!
We went to Donna and Daren's yearly party again this year. It was in our old neighborhood so we took the boys trick or treating there (they always get a good haul!). This year is the first time Dave got to trick or treat with me and the boys. He usually stays at the house and hands out candy but since we weren't in that house anymore... he had a great time with us! After about an hour it was getting truly chilly and the boys were ready to stop and go back to Donna's house to play with her dog. Dave kept telling them, "Let's just hit the houses on the way back!" Their sacks were almost too heavy for them to carry and they were done but he kept reminding them that mom and dad were going to eat half so they should keep going!
He makes me nuts every time we are to go to a Halloween party. In all the time we've been together this is only the fourth one he's gone to (#1 was in Tucson in 1999, #2 was T's first Halloween and it was with the playgroup and #3 was last year). He's not social and doesn't want to dress up. He waits to the very last day to pick a costume but all the while he throws out ideas of what to dress up as, should we dress as a couple, what about this, what about that - it's like when he's bored and has the TV remote - flip, flip, flip flipForTheLoveOfBobPickSomethingflip.
This year he got a grim reaper robe, put on a big straw hat (borrowed from his dad) and his Hawaiian shirt and went as Death Takes A Holiday. I got him to add one of his golf clubs for a scythe replacement.
I borrowed a great costume from Donna. She sewed this really cute Little Red Riding Hood costume a few years ago and with the skirt's elastic waistband, it fits anyone! She took a pic of us before we left the party but I haven't seen it yet.
The kids played with the other kids there and Dave and I played Poker with the adults. It was great fun!
Contemplating next year's costume, Ruth!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
D2 hasn't asked to call anyone. His little buddy Zack has started calling us and yesterday when I asked if he wanted to call him back he said, "No. But I promise I will neeever forget him." He's so odd! I told him that was fine but if Zack called when D2 was home, he should talk to Zack and be nice. He said he would. They talked this evening and they will get together this Sat. to hang out.
Speaking of old friends....
I got a message via Facebook from a guy I used to hang out with! His name is Phil and he is amazing. I believe I spoke about him before when I told y'all about how he was my "what if" guy until I realized that in the real world even the "what if" person would still have arguments and dirty clothes.
He is a Navy SEAL and he tells me he is in Iraq again. (Again?? Bummer!) We've been catching up via email (it's been over 10 years since we lost touch) and we got to talking about hobbies. He told me he spear fishes. I said, "That is so like you! Obscure, athletic, and possibly life-threatening!" But get this....
Swear to Bob! He sent me pic's of what he's doing! He's working on a garter stitch scarf and some excellent arm-warmers!
I asked him how that came about and he told me how he's really into these 1700's reenactment things (he lives in Virginia when he's not out saving the world). He's made himself moccasins, and he hunts and tans hides in the old style. Among the other reenactors, there's this woman who bought a flintlock rifle and they traded - she taught him to knit and he taught her to use her flintlock! Then she's gotten him to go to her knitting group when he's home!
He is one of the bravest, strongest, toughest, (not to mention beautiful) men I know and he is hands down the most diverse person I've ever met.
Love catching up with old friends, Ruth!
ETA: Forgot to say that he's the only person I've ever met who knew exactly what he wanted to do/be when he was in high school, graduated, did it, and still loves it. So lucky!
And yes, I will totally be hooking him up with some good yarn and knitting goodies!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Victory Tower is part of an obstacle course designed to scare the hell out of recruits. It's a separate activity from the rest of the course which mainly consists of rope ladders and rope bridges.
Victory Tower is where we learn to rappel. One person puts on a wickedly uncomfortable crotch harness (the kind that makes you feel really sorry for the male recruits) and climbs the stairs to the top. One person is at the bottom - "on belay" (I'm probably spelling that wrong). The belay person holds the rope wrapped behind them. They can walk backwards and slow you down if you end up coming down too fast. At the top, you plant your feet on the edge of the wall, make your legs stiff and straight and lean your ass over the edge - that's called "making your L". That L is the hardest part. You have to trust your harness and your belay person to keep you from... well, plummeting to your death really. Then the person at the top hollers, "On rappel." and the person below yells, "On belay." and the games begin.
Drill Sgt. Ski (the really buff one who would always bag on women even being in the Army) gave the demonstration. He put on a rucksack (giant backpack) full of whatever to make it weigh 60 pounds. He said he was wearing the rucksack to demonstrate that no matter the weight, the rope and equipment will hold you - "So all you Nancy girls can just quitchyer whinin' and get up there and get it done." Yes. He actually called us Nancy girls.
He climbed the stairs to the top of the tower with his harness already on. At the top they clip on a carabiner clip and he made his "L". He was yelling down to us the whole time, giving instruction while demonstrating. I was front row center because I wanted at it! All of a sudden, his body gave a little jerk and we could hear him saying, "Mike! Mike! mutter, mutter, mutter" He was about 4 feet down the wall and those of us that heard him looked at each other with panic in our eyes. We'd never, EVER heard a DS call another DS by their first name. We knew something wasn't right. The DS he called to was at the top of the tower in a flash holding onto the rope for dear life.
DS Ski stopped talking and made quick work of rappelling down the wall. Even with another DS on belay, during the last five feet he was just in absolute free fall. I'll never forget him landing. I can picture clear as when it happened. He landed on his back. On that 60 pound rucksack. His arms and legs splayed out and all smacked the ground while his back arched around that pack - it all happened in about one second. His landing also jerked the belay DS smack onto his face.
Bless that man and his professionalism. He hit that ground harder then any body has a right too and just as quickly he popped up onto his feet and said, "See? Nothin' to it. Who's first?" That man got up faster then his belay person!
Some of the girls started crying. A couple started hyperventilating. Even those of us (like myself) who were so looking forward to it were now, understandably, a bit reluctant.
"All right," he bellowed, "I'm pickin' then. You, you, and you - get those harnesses on and get up those stairs. You, you, and you - on belay."
Standing up front like I was, I was one of the first one's up. At the top, I took some time adjusting my harness but actually I was eavesdropping on the whispering DS's. Turns out, DS Ski's carabiner clip had broken! Damned thing snapped clean off! That carabiner is the only thing holding the harness on your body to the rope. DS Ski came down that wall solely on the strength of his hands and arms. Granted he had the biggest pipes I think I've ever seen, but add that 60 pound rucksack and... damn.
I don't know where the broken clip went because we never saw anything fall. I found out later that as he was whisper-yelling for DS "Mike", he was also stuffing pieces of broken carabiner into his pocket so none of us would see it. Curmudgeonly as he was, he was a good man and a great DS.
Here's a pic of me on Victory Tower...
Do you see how fancy my hair is? My battle buddy was 24 and both her children were boys. She loved to braid my hair for me. (And if you've been following along, you'll know how much I needed that help!)
Despite the grimace in the pic, I had a blast! Making the L was difficult but those cheap-ass plastic boots they gave us didn't' help. They were slipperier then snot on a doorknob. You're trying to rappel down the wall and by rappel, the DS's mean to walk down the wall. The whole 56 feet. I walked/slippedslided down the first time I went. Then I did my belay then I ran up the stairs and went down 3 or 4 more times! Each successive time, I was leaping further away from the wall and flying down that rope. I even tried to make them let me attempt Australian style - that means you go... basically head first. Your butt is facing the sky instead of the ground. They said no. Regular style is is then! So. Much. FUN! I would do it again, anytime they'd let me.
On rappel, Ruth!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
The concert landed on Dave's birthday and, in typical fashion, he chose something he sort of likes but knows that I really like. He's so sweet! And impossible to shop for.
Donna told me she was going to get tickets for her and Daren and did we want to go, too? She got our tickets (we gave her the money the day of the concert), we set up a sleepover for the kids at their grandparent's house and waited for the big day.
Donna mostly wanted to go to the concert to see the opening act - Franz Ferdinand. The concert was scheduled to begin at 7p.
On the big day, we went into downtown Denver together, had dinner at a pretty good Asian restaurant and walked back to the concert venue. Took us a few minutes to get in and we were walking to our seats by 10 'til 7p.
We heard Franz Ferdinand already playing!! Who ever heard of a rock concert starting on time much less early! We all ran to our seats so Donna wouldn't miss any more of the band she was mainly there to see.
When Green Day came on, they gave a decent show. It was strange and, frankly, a bit disappointing. I've not seen that much pandering since the last election year. It was like they had some private bet going - how many times can Billy Joe (lead singer) suck up to Denver??
"We love you Denver!" "We love Colorado!" "Denver!!" I shit you not, one of those phrases was uttered at least twice per song. Per. Song. Even the radio DJ's were bustin' on them about it the next day. The DJ's were also commenting on how incredibly long the show was! Green Day has a huge catalog of hit songs to choose from and the concert was nearly 3 hours long.
And! They kept pointing the microphone out to the audience. For a good 1/2 - 2/3 for each song! I didn't pay to hear these assholes to sing, I paid to hear the assholes on stage sing!
It wasn't a total loss, though. There were some pretty cool moments here and there during the show.
Early in the concert, Billy Joe pulled a kid of about 9 years of age onto the stage and whispered in his ear to tell him what to do and when Billy Joe gave him the "yer HEALED" tap on the forehead, the kid laid flat out on the stage and it was timed with some fireworks. Very cool moment for that kid, right?
Then the song Longview came up, Billy Joe pulled up a different person for each verse and let them sing it. He said, "I only want someone who really knows the lyrics", and each person he pulled up? They blew it. The girl he pulled up handed him her bra. He said, "What's this? Is this for me?" and she nodded and yanked her shirt up. Just as quick he yanked it down and said, "No, you don't need to do that." Awesome. Stupid girl!
Also, during one song, he paused and walked over to the side of the stage and started talking to these guys that were trying to get into a fight, "Now, now. Don't do that. Work it out, guys, work it out. We're not assholes here, we don't do that." The bouncers seemed to work it out with the fighting guys but it was cool that Billy Joe lent a verbal hand.
The last person he pulled on stage was one of the coolest things I've ever seen at a concert. It was towards the end of the concert, Billy Joe said, "And now for something completely different! I want someone for this next song that can play guitar. [Looks around surrounding crowd] You! Ya little fucker - you've been holding up that sign for the whole concert. Can you play guitar? Someone get him a mic."
BJ: How long you been playin'?
Kid: 5 years
BJ: How old are you?!
BJ: All right, let's see - what key is this song played in?
BJ: Hmm. What fret is that?
BJ: All right, get your little ass up here.
Billy Joe set the kid up with his own guitar! It was way too big for the kid so BJ had him sit on an amp and that kid played the whole damn song with the band! And he. ROCKED. IT! So cool! That is something that kid will remember the rest of his life! I heard that the mom called into a radio station the next day and said she was in the car the whole time and missed it and did anyone video it? Don't' know why she was in the car while her 12 year old was at a Green Day concert by himself! Maybe she hates Green Day? Bummer she missed that! I hope someone got a video to her.
The last encore was just Billy Joe by himself - he was at the end of the long part of the stage with an acoustic guitar and a single spotlight. He sang Good Riddance and another slow song off the new album and it was quite lovely.
It was a fun night, Ruth!
We were to meet at the Highlands Ranch Tattered Cover at 10:30a today, Sunday. Somewhere yesterday evening, my brain decided to take a rest. We were discussing Sunday food plans with the inlaws and we decided to meet at Sweet Tomatoes for brunch. On Sunday. At 10:30a.
See, usually when these things happen, there's a little bell that goes off in my brain that says, "Wait... isn't there something else I have to do at that same time?" But, last evening, that brain bell was dead asleep. (I blame being overly excited about my poker playing.) It woke up about an hour later when I was blogging (last night) about my weekend plans. So Dave and I had this disagreement about what to do. I said we should just call his parents and see if we can move it to late lunch/early dinner and he said that would be rude to his parents. I argued that, yes it was totally my gaff but his parents generally don't care what time we eat together and not showing up to the thing that I started/planned would be rude to my friends! So we decided I would take the separate vehicle and leave the brunch a bit early. I was still an hour and 15 minutes late to the knitting. sigh.
But! We ended up staying until almost 2p! I love knitting group! There's some knitting but there's tons of talking and sharing and laughing and I haven't had a regular weekly group since I left Tucson 3 years ago! I'm so excited about having a group again, it's stupid. And, it's only the first week! Hopefully it'll stick and not fall apart in a week or two.
Our tech savvy friend said we should start a Rav group to keep updated on the time/meeting place since it's going to switch off every other week. We assigned it to her but couldn't think of a name. Any suggestions?
Yaaaay, knitting group, Ruth!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday: Pizza night with the inlaws/grandparents.
Saturday: Drop the kids off with the grandparents so the husband and I can go play a free Poker tournament at the Celtic Pub. Then afterwards, pick up the kids and be home by 6p so we can watch the Husker game.
Sunday: Meet some of the girls at the Tattered Cover in Highlands Ranch for some knitting. (We're meeting at 10:30a and you're all invited!) Go back to Parker a third time to have dinner with the inlaws!
The Poker tournament isn't an every week thing (it depends solely whether or not it coincides with a Husker game), but it's damn fun! It's Texas Hold 'em and today I lasted longer then I ever had! I was rollin'! Playing pretty well and getting great cards. It's so much fun! Then I paid big to see a coupla hands and then about 20 minutes later, I was out. But! I was in for almost two hours! I never last that long! We usually meet our friends Donna and Daren there for the tournament and today was no exception. The last two people in the tournament today were Dave and Daren! Daren won.
I'm not a very good player because I know nothing of pot odds or reading people. Generally, I just play the cards in my hand. If you know anything about the game, that's a crappy way to play. Today I had so many chips, I actually got to bully people! That's not as bad as it sounds - it's like bluffing but more fun.
Donna and I bring our knitting so when we're out we can still be entertained. We always seem to raise eyebrows and get questions and comments. It's pretty funny! Today I had a guy ask me to make him a scarf and a woman ask me to make little sweaters for her Yorkies. I told them both that they'd have to pay me but I could certainly do it! Also, this one guy who is tall, lean, usually drinking quite a lot and pretty funny asked me to teach him to knit! He stood there and asked me to slow down so he could watch. I'm working some Malabrigo into a brioche stitch scarf and after watching me work one row, he started telling me what I was doing! It was amazing! He said, "Over, in through the right, next two in through the left." After one row!! Crazy, right?!
Still spreading the obsession, Ruth!
Friday, November 6, 2009
Nothing fancy, just a full physical. I didn't eat anything after 9:30p last night so I could give blood should they want it. They did. But they didn't take it until 11:30a so that horribly aged granola bar floating around my purse was calling my name all morning. (And once I got to it? It was delicious!)
I made my appt. for a day last month but since they were going to do a Pap, and since I started my period the day before my appt., I rescheduled. It was just as well. I was really leery of seeing the dr. they'd set me up with. While scheduling, the receptionist said, "I know this is going to seem like a strange and overly personal question but are you on birth control?" I said, "No. Well, yes... my husband has a vasectomy." I almost added, "I'm on that occasionally." but stopped myself and had a little private giggle instead. She said they make her ask that question to any female seeing that particular dr. because she doesn't prescribe birth control. "That's odd," I said, "Why not?" The receptionist said, "I have no idea. I've never been brave enough to ask her."
So when I had to reschedule anyway, I rescheduled with the other dr. I thought I was being a bit judgemental so I called my good friend who is a practicing Catholic. Even she said she wouldn't schedule with that dr. We both thought that a person's beliefs were their right but when it starts effecting their job... we just wouldn't be comfortable seeing that particular dr.
I get to my appt. early, as requested, to do the paperwork. One of the forms asks mental health questions and one of the questions was simply "Loss of pleasure". It seemed fairly random and for some reason that made me laugh. I know it's one of the beginning symptoms of depression but I've never seen it worded like that.
There was another patient there who was clearly losing her pleasure as we continued to wait for our respective appointments to start. Three people came in after us and they all were called in ahead of us. Two had on the wear-this-mask-if-you're-coughing things and I overheard the other talk about pain that was getting worse, so I just figured they were being triaged ahead of us - no big deal.
Of course, no big deal since I had my knitting! And yes, I still knit obsessively, though I haven't spoken much about it here. I have it with me everywhere and have even resorted to putting a small bag with a pair of socks for Dave in the glove box of the van in case I forget some.
I just got that color book by Kristen Nicholas from the library. I didn't see anything in the book I'd really tackle (sadly, I'm much more reserved in my color choices) but there was one thing she said in the book that really resonated with me. She talked about having her knitting everywhere she went and that it was really like an adult security blanket. That is exACTly what it is for me! Without it, I start to get twitchy. With it, I can wait all day long.
The RN who took me back and did my height, weight, pulse oxygen, etc. saw me knitting and said, "Oooh, I just got my pins!" She had an accent (German? Eastern Europe?) and told me how she'd just started to knit. I gave her my card and wrote the Rav site on the back. We were talking knitting and she kept calling the knitting needles "pins". I love that! "I just got my pins" - sounds like a gang initiation or something! She lamented not having any family or friends who knit who could help her out and then mentioned the nearest LYS and said she would have to call them to take a class. So she seems well on her way with the obsession.
When I got home and told Dave about the knitting RN he said, "I swear you can smell a knitter a mile away." It was pure coincidence! Also pure coincidence is the woman who lives around the corner whose son is in the same class as D2. She used to knit but hasn't since she was pregnant with her son (6 years ago?). When the boys play outside together, I'm knittin' away and she keeps saying she's going to have to get back into it. hah!
Our numbers are growing, Ruth!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Put 4 TBSP of butter in a 9X13 pan and put it in the oven while it's warming. Then, dredged in flour mixed with a packet of onion soup mix and various seasonings of choice. Cook until done. (I actually had to break out the 8X8 pan halfway through cooking because they were way too crowded in the other pan!)
Get some nice rolls and make chicken sandwiches for the boys. They LOVE these. It's just the cooked chicken, thinly sliced then put on the rolls with mustard and Miracle Whip. For Dave and I, we chop up some more of the chicken and mix it with our favorite hot wing sauce for Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches. I put the white horseradish cheddar cheese I love and some blue cheese dressing on mine. Dave skips the dressing but likes the fancy cheese.
For lunch, I also discovered that the thinly sliced chicken goes really well on a small toasted bagel with mustard, Miracle Whip and thinly sliced tart green apple! Next time, I'm going to add bacon to this and see if I can stop at 12 of 'em. (Yes, we prefer Miracle Whip, Dave and I can't stand mayonnaise - it's slimy and gross!)
Go to a birthday party where they are serving pizza
Make chicken enchiladas. I love making these. It's one of the best things I make and Dave requests them every time we have too much chicken. Also, after Thanksgiving, it's great with turkey.
1. Chop 1/2 a white onion and saute until translucent, add a 1/2 (or whole depending on how many enchiladas you're making) chopped chicken breast and a small can of chopped green chilies. Mix until warm, transfer to bowl. (When I was single, I'd add chopped olives and finely chopped radish, but I'm the only one in this house that likes 'em that way.)
2. Open a 28 ounce can of green enchilada sauce (I use Las Palmas). Spread a thin layer on the bottom of a 9X13 pan. Spread a thicker layer in the skillet you just made the chicken mix in. Use tortillas of choice (I like corn and Dave prefers flour so I make some of each), put the tortilla in the warmed green sauce, count to 10, flip, count to 10 again (I use my fingers for this).
3. Transfer the tortilla to the 9X13 pan and down the center of the tortilla put a layer of cheese, a layer of the chicken mix and then roll and push to the side (seam side down).
4. Repeat until your pan is full or you run out of mix.
5. Cover the enchiladas with the remaining sauce (usually 1/3 to 1/2 of the can) and then some more cheese (don't be stingy with it!) and cook at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes.
It's messy to make and delicious to eat.
Still have 3 giant chicken breasts left, Ruth!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
About a year ago, T came home with a cooked, salted sunflower seed that another student at school gave him. He wanted to plant it and I told him it probably wouldn't grow as it was cooked and salted. I told him if wanted to plant it to go ahead and give it a shot.
He planted it and watered it and waited and watched.
It didn't grow.
Until about 3 months ago!
Not only did it grow - it grew like mad! Seriously, that's right up there with some of the craziest things I've ever seen.
(Never mind their grimacing mugs, it was terribly sunny that day.)
Wonders never cease, Ruth!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
One is a creative writing thing and the other is a book club. They both meet for 7 weeks.
With the first meeting of the creative writing class, D2 went to his and was just sitting there. T, of course, met everyone in the room within 30 seconds and was writing up a storm. Dave went and asked why D2 wasn't doing anything and he said he didn't know what to do. Dave came and told me this and when I walked over to the class, the doors were shut.
After the hour was up, Dave asked D2 what he'd written and he said, "Nothing. I didn't know what to do." I asked, "You didn't know what to do or you couldn't think of anything to write?" He just said yes.
Dave asked, "Did you not like the class?" and when D2 said no, Dave blew me away when he told D2 that he didn't have to come back if he didn't like it.
I said, "Yes, he does." And I took Davis by the hand and walked back to the class and the teacher and I talked with D2 about how he could ask for help and get a better understanding of what he needed to do next time.
Then Dave and I had this argument about whether or not D2 had to go back. I said, "Absolutely!" and Dave said, "If he's not into it, then it just becomes a chore and he'll start to hate it!" I said, "I don't see how he can tell if he's into it or not when he doesn't even give it a chance. He's been to ONE session! So you're telling me if we signed him up for football and after ONE practice he said he didn't like it, you'd tell him he didn't have to go back?"
Dave said yes and I called bullshit.
I think one of the biggest problems I've had in life is the ability to quit when things got difficult. Not important things like surviving - I'm great at that! But other important things like school, work, whatever. It may be cowardly and it may be bullshit but I totally blame my parents for this. With very few exceptions, they let my brother and I quit anything we didn't feel like doing (after-school activities-wise). For my parents, it always seemed like one less thing they had to pay for/drive us to.
I don't want that for my boys. I want them to A) get some diversity and B) stick it out. It's once a week for 7 weeks. I don't want to raise quitters.
Last year, when T was doing that cumulative marathon thing, he got bored with it and wanted to quit. Dave and I decided he had to finish. It was one mile, twice a week with the final mile in downtown Denver. And that final mile was so much fun for him! He didn't want to do it again this year but I think it was good for him to finish what he started.
Dave says the difference is that T asked to participate in that activity where I just signed the boys up for the library thing.
I could use some opinions on this. I'm still going to make D2 stick it out but I'm curious to see what y'all think.
Quitters never prosper, Ruth!
Monday, November 2, 2009
If I remember correctly, we're still in Basic Training.
I told y'all about the tricks the Drill Sgt.'s play on us and now I'll tell you about the names they gave us.
Everyone in our platoon had a nickname. Most were given by the DS's but some we acquired on our own.
One girl was disgusting and she said if they treated us like men, we should look and behave like them, too. She stopped shaving (we all did, but she stopped much earlier then the rest of us!), she belched and let gas like nobody's business. Her nickname was Monster.
There were 2 women from Haiti and one had a last name that sounded like "machete". DS McCoy kept getting them mixed up so she just started calling them Mrs. Shitty #1 and Mrs. Shitty #2 (sounds like machete?).
One girl was an enormously talented painter and she ended up doing the mural in our barracks - very cool! But, she was also one of the biggest airheads I've ever met. Her head was always in the clouds and she never seemed to understand what she was told. The Drills named her Van Gogh - talented but slightly crazy.
Wanna know what they called me?
In Basic Training, the Drills named me "Flower Child". I was always asking why the Army couldn't do things more efficiently or earth friendly. Like the Chow Hall. Do you have any concept about how much food the Army throws out? Anything that's cooked, they don't save for the next meal or the next day. If there's anything left over, they throw it in the garbage. Every. Day. Every. Meal. I thought it would be better for them to arrange for some soup kitchen to come by and pick up the leftovers (of which there are many). The Drills laughed and said, "There's no logistical way that could happen."
I asked why not and they said that the soup kitchen would have to have the capacity to transport and stow all that food, they'd have to get fresh clearance every time they came on base and just let one homeless guy looking for a buck claim food poisoning and it'd be all for naught.
They also called me Flower Child because every chance I got, I'd break rank and go pick a flower. I was so sick of green (camo green clothes, green wool blanket to sleep with, green vehicles, green walls, fake green everywhere!) that anytime I saw a spot of color I was drawn to it like a moth to flame no matter the consequences. I'd stick it in my pocket or in the skinny headband that goes around the Kevlar helmet - anywhere I thought I could get away with it and enjoy it when I had a rare moment or two to myself.
Loving green when it's real, Ruth!