Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Just sticking my head in here to say I'm still alive. I've wanted to post about my Christmas and even my goals for 2008 for some time ... but things have been busy! I promise I will soon! I'm off to watch "Blade Runner" with my boyfriend and ring in 2008 very quietly.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Man I can't believe Christmas is nearly here. It will always be hard for me to picture Christmas without snow, but that's OK: I think I like the *idea* of snow, but not the actuality. I've seen only one little snow in the past two and a half years; man, that's sad.

For me, I think Christmas will begin when my parents, brother and golden retriever Augie arrive Sunday. I can't wait to see them! I woke up at 6:30 this morning after only a couple hours of sleep, and I couldn't fall back asleep because I kept thinking of all the stuff I wanted to accomplish. So I have been dusting and cleaning and scrubbing the tub all morning. I even took the time to go through my filing cabinet and get a bunch of stuff out to shred. De-cluttering is the name of the game, baby. I want the apartment to be perfect when they arrive. I'm definitely going to need a nap today ... it's my day off, I deserve it!

I spent an hour yesterday wrapping presents ... still waiting on one box from Amazon with my boyfriend's big gift. I'm trying not to worry about it getting here on time - it said it would be here by Dec. 24, so que sera sera. I'm also crossing my fingers I got him the right edition of Blade Runner. We'll see on Christmas morning, eh?

I've got to run out to Virginia Beach for a last-minute gift for my mom so I won't mention it here. (I can't wait to give it to her, the inspiration struck me last night and I hope she likes it!) And I'm stopping at Goodwill with a bag of clothes and two bags of assorted Red Heart and others that I just know I won't use. Giving away yarn, can you believe it?! And I think I might pick up a gift card for my dad at Barnes & Noble too.

I suppose I should get moving ... the sooner I can get these errands done, the sooner I can come home and take a nap!

Monday, December 17, 2007

pics from the documentary

OK I was a big nerd and took some pictures of the documentary I mentioned in my last post. I waited until my roommate left for work, haha, nor did I t post them on Flickr. Anyhow, here goes:

Here is my second-ever crocheted afghan. Yes the colors are really that bright. Red Heart Supersaver, baby.

Ta-da! It's me. And Jimmy. Let me tell you, taking pictures of TV is difficult. Random splotches appear when you use the flash, so I had to keep a steady hand and not use the flash.

Time to tackle that Monkey sock again. I tinked the other needle like I said I would, but I cannot figure out my mistake. I'm going to have to go stitch by stitch. Boooo. I give myself 10 minutes to get really angry at it and abandoning it again for my other sock-in-progress.


I'm still feeling sick, but it's hard to put my finger on it. I'm stuffy ... slightly sore throat ... and tired all the time - that is, I'm sleeping 12 hours a night but still feel exhausted. I don't know whether I have a fever because I don't own a thermometer, but I've been going through spates of being too hot and too cold. Friday and Saturday night I took cold medicine and had some really lifelike dreams. So I skipped the medicine last night, and I had a dream that my mother was trying to make my life a living hell and I woke up sobbing. I don't know that I've ever woken up crying.

I missed work yesterday and spent all day sleeping, knitting and sitting on the couch watching TV. I caught "Drop Dead Gorgeous," several OnDemand episodes of "Sex and the City," and some show about a tribe in the jungle building a treehouse school and a movie I think I'm forgetting. TONS of TV.

But best of all ... I caught the documentary about my college newspaper on PBS! I didn't mention it on here earlier because I didn't know what to expect from it and if it was embarrassing, well, I didn't want everyone I know to watch it. It had its nationwide debut Tuesday but didn't air in Norfolk until last night. My senior year of college, this filmmaker came to our college paper and filmed hundreds of hours of footage. I wasn't a 'main character' (really, the copy desk and grammar fun don't make for exciting TV) but my roommate at the time was, so the cameras followed her quite a bit and even came to our apartment a few times.

I was in the background in quite a few scenes - oddly enough, sometimes wearing the same sweatshirt and shorts I was sporting yesterday for my day on the couch. And one of my crocheted afghans on the back of the couch is on screen just as much as me!! I might have to take a screen shot or two to post on Flickr. That feels rather egotistical but oh well. I need to document it for the eventual day when our DVR goes back to Cox and I can't watch the documentary again. =)

But all in all I enjoyed it. It gave an accurate view of the struggles of the paper that year. It's fair - sometimes it's cruel in the honest of what's said, but it's fair.

So back to knitting ... I have progress to show on the Monkey sock, as I turned the heel yesterday:

Turning the heel makes me feel smart.

I hit a problem on the top of the foot, though - the second top-of-the-foot-needle has 15 stitches instead of 16. I am hoping that if I tink the first and compare it to the second, I will be able to find my mistake and just make a stitch in the appropriate spot instead of tinking the entire round. Ugh. I'm going to tackle this now and not put it off.

I think what I hate most about being sick is not being able to run. My long run on Thursday (a five-miler) was really great. The first few miles were super strong and I really enjoyed it. But I haven't run since - I skipped my two-miler Saturday and a three-miler today. It's cold and crisp outside, perfect for running all bundled up. But I'm sniffly and achy and it wouldn't be a good idea. That's what I keep telling myself. If I'm feeling up to it tomorrow, maybe I'll do a two-mile walk instead of a run. Then I'll try to tackle my six-miler on Thursday all recovered.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

O Christmas tree

all decorated!

Getting a Christmas tree in Virginia will never get old. Or cold. You see, we got it one day this week when it was about 75 degrees out. We wore shorts and t-shirts and when we got home, we flung open the windows and back door to get a little more air moving. We named our tree Hercules (after the name on the fence at the store). He's a little crooked but that's OK. He's decorated and lovely.

I am sick right now. I think my fever is gone, but I have the full-blown sniffles and a cough. I hate it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

buried under boxes.

I'm popping my head in to say I'm still around ... just been busy the past week. I helped pack/move boxes for my aunt's move three days last week. I ran three days, too, but I didn't always keep to the mileage I was supposed to. Today, for example, I had an upset stomach so I mostly walked about 2 miles instead of running 3. Ugh. I'm hoping my long run Thursday (a five-miler) gets me back on target. Everything just feels a little off right now - I haven't had a day off work since last Monday, and I won't be off till Thursday (and it's a one-day weekend at that - I'm picking up an OT shift Friday). I've got a lot of preparations ahead before my parents and brother arrive in two weeks, and I'm counting on my days off to get a bunch of that stuff done!

Tonight should be a semi-early night at work (that is, I'll be done by 10 or 10:30). Afterward I'm running to Wal-Mart for a few things - a tree stand, dog food and a retractable dog leash as a Christmas gift for my brother, which is at least getting out of the house for something that's not running or work. Ha.

On the upside, I'm knitting in any spare moments I get - mostly making progress on the Wildefoote sock. And there are some fun things to look forward to this week - we're getting our Christmas tree on Wednesday, and that night, I'm having a few friends over to watch the finale of "America's Next Top Model" (Team Jena all the way!).

Monday, December 3, 2007

back from the burgh

I'm back from a whirlwind trip to Pittsburgh. Man was it fun. My mom pulled off a big surprise and was waiting for me at my cousins' house Friday when I arrived. I couldn't believe it. I actually burst into tears when she came out the front door! She wasn't going to be there till sometime Saturday morning but she took the afternoon off work and drove in from Ohio.

It was a great weekend with family ... I got to see my grandma's apartment for the first time - she's been there since late 2005, after my pap died. It was really cute and she has pictures everywhere of family. It's a little studio apartment. And Saturday, my mom and I went out to Eat n' Park for breakfast with my granddad. He told us lots of funny stories about the college "ding-a-lings" (his word, not mine) that live a few houses down. He seemed to be in good health, too, which made me very happy. And Sunday was the baby shower ... my cousin looked great. She loved the hat and socks!

holding up the socks!

And of course there was time for knitting and shopping. All I did this weekend was buy yarn and knit:

major stash enhancement!!

a new sock

That's Wildefoote Luxury Sock in Brown Sugar in a basic stockinette pattern. I'm loving the colors ... but not loving the splittiness. I've had to ladder down a couple times to pick up a strand that I missed. I don't want them to snag, you know? A sock that big normally takes me a week or two! I did that in a day and a half. I don't even know where I found the time to make that progress. Well I did get to knit at a play Saturday night. It was theater in the round, and my mom and I were in the very front row and the lights were very bright. I could watch the play and knit by touch. Very fun. It was called "A Tuna Christmas" and it stars two actors in about 20 roles (women and men alike). After intermission, they come out as these slightly skanky actresses who work at the local Tastee Creme, and they've just won an award, so they're coming through the front row thanking everyone for their applause. One of the actors stopped in front of me (sock in hand) and said "are you done knitting me that thong?" It was hilarious!

And I can't speak of knitting without expounding on our yarn shopping!! We went to two stores, Knit One in Squirrel Hill and Bloomin Yarns in McMurray. Knit One was nice - it was in this bright cheery room with exposed pipes and a nice little knitting area. Among their sock yarn offerings, they had Regia Kaffe Fassett, every Sockotta imaginable, some Koigu, Trekking, handpainted Trekking, and, what I ended up buying, Fleece Artist Merino Sock 2/6:

Fleece Artist Merino 2/6

It is the softest yarn I have ever felt. I love the bit of pink you can see through. So much of what I buy is dark colors, I really like this pale yellow. More on the store: It was really busy, which is always nice to see, but it took foreeeevvveerrr to buy the yarn. There were two employees around and the woman at the register came across as condescending to other employee, who was a lot younger than her. Register Employee was asking Younger Employee to interrupt the woman she was with and make copies of a pattern for a customer. She didn't really explain what she wanted, so when Younger had questions, Register was really short with her - she was distracted by ringing people out, but she didn't fully explain her request - and kind of scoffing in apology to the rest of us in line, like 'Sorry Younger doesn't know what she's doing.' Then when I paid, she set my purchase on the counter - no bag - and turned to the customer in front of me (who spent $100 more than me) to talk about pattern errata. At that point I wasn't going to wait for a cute bag, I just picked up my stuff and walked out. That kind of stuff really rubs me the wrong way.

HOWEVER I will say that Bloomin Yarns in McMurray was one of the best yarn stores I've ever been to. It's in a little house on Route 19 - one I saw *every single time* I left work at TJ Maxx (my job in high school) but rarely noticed. There was so much yarn ... and the sock yarn was the best I've ever seen. Shibui Knits, Dream in Color Smooshy, Cherry Tree Hill, Schaefer Anne, Trekking, Lorna's Laces, Yarn Pirate and a whole spinning rack of (I'd conservatively guess) 40 colorways of Claudia Handpainted! I wanted to try some new stuff so I got some Schaefer Anne:

Schaefer Anne, Mardi Gras

Holy yardage!! 560 yards. My big old feet are going to have a nice tall pair of socks for once.

And Yarn Pirate, of course:

Yarn Pirate in Wildflowers

It's also super generous with the yardage: 480.

I've been obsessed with Trekking 100 for a while - it is so gorgeous and rainbowy. When I saw it I literally gasped/screamed!

Trekking 100

And finally (whew) - some Claudia's Handpainted in Purple Earth:

Claudia Handpainted Yarn

The owner, Michelle, was super nice. My mom was trying to remember what type of yarn she's been collecting for an afghan and knew there were pictures on Flickr. Michelle volunteered her computer at the register so she could find it! (Unfortunately it was Encore, which she didn't carry, but still - so nice of her!) My mom bought some yummy green Malabrigo (I'm going to teach her to knit!) and Michelle wound it into cakes and let me watch and ask inane questions about operating a swift and asking about the way different yarns are wrapped up. I will definitely be going back to Bloomin Yarns on my next trip to Pittsburgh.

I got back last night and am off work today ... trying not to think about how I'm working nine days straight ... so it's time to get off of Ravelry and listen to some good music and knit!