Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Let’s Get Dirty!

Get you mind out of the gutter! Today is National Mud Pack Day. Tonight relax with a soothing mud pack. It will rejuvenate your skin. It will make you look younger and tighter. Actually, it probably won’t, but it would be fun. Slather on some muddy stuff and do a little reading.

I Read Banned Books… How About You?
Yesterday, I forgot to remind everyone that Banned Book Week had begun on 9/27. It goes through 10/4, so you still have time to read a banned book. Of course, you can always read a book that has been banned. I am trying to make my way though a list of them. I have read several, but some, well I know I will not be able to slough through any Steinbeck, so I know I will not read them all. However, if you can read Steinbeck, do it! Right now! Go out to your local library or book store and pick up a book that has been banned or challenged. To find out what books have been banned and why, please go to the ALA website. If you would like a recommendation, I would suggest Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It is one of my favorite books and ironically has been banned. A few others that I can recommend: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut, or Beloved by Toni Morrison. All of these are fantastic books.

Stick it to the man and Read!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Wheresoever You Go, Go With All Your Heart

Today is Confucius Day. It is a day to celebrate the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. He was extremely influential in Asian culture. His sayings became the cornerstones for the Chinese for centuries after he wrote them.
Here are just a few (along with the title) that I like:

When anger rises, think of the consequences.

Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.

So look up your own quotes or think about these, but spend a little bit of time with Confucius today. He really did have many good things to say.

We bought a car on Saturday. It is a 2008 Mazda 3. I know that I had not really talked about the Mazda, but we looked it up in the Consumer’s Report and they recommended it. My husband test drove it on Friday and he really liked it. So on Saturday, we went up and I drove one and it was fine so we bought it. I liked the Rabbit better, but the Mazda was more sensible. I did however figure out last night why I liked the VW better, I could really hear the engine. I like the sound of the engine. I realize that when I read reviews of cars, they always comment on how much road noise there is and that is considered a bad thing, but I like the noise, it makes me feel like I am driving.
The color is Galaxy Gray Mica. I think it is a stupid name for a color. I am not sure what the “mica” part means even. Is it going to flake off? Is it supposed to be sparkly? What? All the colors were really dull, black, silver, gray… sigh. I think I am going to get a racing stripe or something put on it to jazz it up.
I am not complaining (well, maybe a little). It is a nice car. We got a pretty good deal and got rid of our old car. I will not have to worry about a new vehicle until we get a farm and will need something to haul alpacas and such around.

Knitting News
I am plugging away on the market bag for my MIL. It is going well, but if I knit too long with the linen, my hand starts to hurt. So I have also cast on for a baby jacket for my upcoming grand child. It is l’illo from Knitty.com. I just love how it looks. I am knitting it with a wool/cotton blend and it is really soft. I think it will be just lovely.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Don’t Read Under The Covers… You’ll Go Blind

Today is National Comic Book Day. When I was a kid, I never read comics. I don’t even know if I could have bought them in my little home town. I did not read comics until my met my husband. He really introduced me to them. Of course, he was a Marvel guy and I ended up being a DC gal, but we share a common love. And I was able to fix him and he soon was reading Batman and Sandman as well. It was he who bought me a subscription to The Tick, one of the best comic books ever! I think we were married by the time we were subscribing to The Sandman. So some time today, get out a comic book or a graphic novel and read it. Enjoy the artwork. Maybe it will change your world. Okay, it probably won’t unless you are reading “Watchmen” or something, but you never know. I do highly recommend “Watchmen”, it is awesome. I also will recommend “The Dark Knight Returns”, “Batman: The Killing Joke”, “Swamp Thing” (by Alan Moore), any issue of Astro City and almost any issue of “The Sandman” (stick to the ones written by Neil Gaiman). I also am enjoying 30 Days of Night, but it is really grim. A lot of these recommendations are old because, well, I really have not kept up with my comic book reading.

Car crap…
We test drove another VW Rabbit last night. I still really like it. It is so hard to decide because I know logically we should go with something like a Toyota, but then I think that I am going to have to ride around in it and I want to be comfortable. The gas mileage is not all that much better than the Passat, but it can take regular unleaded which will save money right there.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

And To Think I Have Never Even Tried It

Today is National Cherries Jubilee Day. As my title indicates, I have never had cherries jubilee. I have never had any desire to try it. I still do not have any desire to try it National Cherries Jubilee Day or not. However, if you like cherries jubilee or wish to try it, here is a recipe from the Food Network
It looks easy. Try it out.

I am participating in RIP III. I am doing Peril the Second. I have already read my 1st book. It was “The Hellfire Club” by Peter Straub. I had sort of hoped it would be a horror book, but it really was more of a mystery. Although it was not much of a mystery, since I figured out what was going on way before any of the characters. Don’t get me wrong, it was an entertaining book. It was a bit gruesome in parts. So if that bothers you, don’t read this book. The plot revolves around a Tolkien type book that may or may not have been written by the author. So the mystery is who wrote the book and what happened in 1938 at some writer’s retreat. Like I said, it is entertaining, not deep or meaningful and I sort of questioned the time line at points because it did not seem like some of the characters would have been around for almost 60 years (the book was written in 1996).

On a similar subject…
Last year for RIP II, I read Lovecraft’s “The Rats in the Walls”, which I enjoyed immensely. Last month I received a newer copy of Stephen King’s “Night Shift”. This was to replace my ratty old copy I have owned since high school and did not have a cover. For those who don’t know, it is a collection of short stories from early in Mr. King’s career. One of the stories is called “Jerusalem’s Lot”. Now, I remember reading the story years ago and I had liked it then, but what struck me about it now, is that it is basically the same tone as Lovecraft’s “The Rats in the Walls “. I was actually really impressed that I noticed and that King was able to write in such a manner. It is a good story, so you should go out and read both and see what you think.

We did not like the Honda Civic. Tonight we are going to test drive a 4 door Rabbit. Maybe that will be the one after all.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Don’t Forget

Today is Elephant Appreciation Day. Take time out of your busy day to give your elephant a hug. Let him know that you appreciate all he has done for you. If you, like me, are not allowed to have an elephant in your area, perhaps just think about how cool elephants are. They can recognize friends and family members even after being apart for years. They are clever. They can tell when a tsunami is coming. They are really cute. So we should appreciate them.

On to other news…
Saturday night, my husband and I went to the opera. It was opening night, so it was quite a to do. We saw Il Trovatore. It was excellent. The music was lovely and the pace quick. The singers were very good as well.
I have decided that by the time the next opera comes up (we bought season tickets this year) I am going to have a stole knit for the event. I bought some Blue Heron Rayon Metallic yarn just for this very reason a few years ago. It is a sparkly blue color. I will start it next, I think.

Over the weekend, I started a market bag for my MIL. I am using Euroflax linen in emerald. So far, so good. It is a little hard on my hands though. I was working on it while watching the game yesterday. The Vikings finally won a game. Hooray!! It was a really good game. Hopefully, it is not too late for them to do well for the season.

Saturday afternoon we test drove some cars. I currently own a VW Passat. We are looking for something a little smaller and that gets better gas mileage. We drove a Corolla, and did not really like it. Mainly, it was uncomfortable to ride in. The sales guy said it was because of the narrow wheel base. So we left the Toyota dealer and went to look at VWs. Now, I had promised myself no more VWs. I love my Passat, but it costs a lot of money to fix when something goes wrong. But, we test drove a Rabbit. And you know what, I loved it! So now I want to buy the Rabbit. It is just not good. Tonight we are going to go try a Honda Civic and see if we like that.
I hate car buying!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shiver Me Timbers

Avast ye scurvy dogs, today be Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arrrr. Ye best be piratey today or I’ll make ye walk the plank! Who doesn’t love Pirates? Okay, I mean the romanticized pirates of yore, not the modern day ones that highjack boats with rocket launchers. There is just something fun about talking like a pirate. So today is your chance. When you go to the store, thank the clerk in a manner befitting a pirate, perhaps “thank ye matey, arrr.” It will be fun!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Mayflower Day

Today is the anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from England in 1620. So it is designated Mayflower Day. Why we would celebrate the sailing and not the landing is some what mysterious to me. I am however very grateful for it leaving England, mainly because the following person was among the 102 passengers on board: William Bradford - Husbandman, fustian-weaver during his time in Holland. Later governor of Plymouth, from Yorkshire, England, about 30-years old.
This is my husband’s ancestors. He actually can trace both sides of his family back to Mr. Bradford. I know you are impressed. I mean how many people can do that? Okay, I grew up in a community where almost everyone traced their ancestors back to Norway (I am half Norwegian and half Irish), so it was new to me when I met him.
If celebrating the fleeing of persecuted people from their homeland is not your thing, it is also Collect Rocks day. Go for a walk and pick up some pretty rocks. It will brighten your day! Who doesn’t love rocks? I always pick up rocks on vacation… it drives my husband crazy, but I can’t resist a pretty or interesting stone.

Knitting News

I have finished my husband’s beer gloves. They don’t look too bad if I say so myself. I was going to take a picture of them, but The Girl has the camera, again.
The pattern is well written and very straight forward, but I really do not like knitting reverse stockinette stitch in the round and that is what the whole thing is done it in except the cable. I will post a picture as soon as I get my camera back.
I am now working on a hat which I am creating from scratch, using a cable pattern from Barbara Walker. I am hoping it will turn out okay.

We went to see “Burn After Reading” on Saturday. I enjoyed it a lot, but I love the Coen brothers movies. So if you do not like dark humor, do not see this movie. I laughed all the way through. The characters are all morons, which is what leads to one problem after another. The story in a nutshell is that some gym employees find a CD with the memoir of a CIA analyst on it and think it is a valuable document and decide to get some money for it. It is very farcical. There are not any hand knits per se. I am giving it 3 out 4 knitting needles.

During the previews, we saw a trailer for “Nixon / Frost”. It looks really good. However, The Girl leaned over and whispered, “What did he do wrong?”, referring to Nixon. I had about 30 seconds to explain Watergate. Of course, she also said she might want to see the movie, so maybe we could all go and it would be a learning experience.
There were actually several movies that looked good: “Doubt”, “Milk”, “Nixon / Frost”… it might be a good movie season coming up.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Have Fun Today

Today is both National Video Game Day AND Chocolate Milkshake Day. Woohoo! Two great things in one! So tonight, kick back and play a little Star Wars Battlefront or Destroy All Humans or Guitar Hero (I can not play this one) and have a milkshake. If you are playing against someone, you can yell out “I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE” and laugh manically. Sounds like the perfect Friday evening to me. Okay, I would have a vanilla milkshake, because I prefer vanilla ones, but the same principle applies: drink something fattening and play a game.

This morning I woke up with My Chemical Romance in my head. I know what you are thinking, “Crap, isn’t she a little old for the teen angst thing?” And you are right, I am. But that does not stop me from liking My Chemical Romance. I think their album The Black Parade is one of the best albums ever. I like all of the songs on it. Well, the “hidden track” is a little silly, but only because you really can’t have hidden tracks on a CD since the number of tracks automatically comes on your player. The song itself is kind of catchy.
There is a song on The Black Parade called 'Cancer'. I love this song. It is sad and reminds of people I have lost, mainly my dad who died of cancer. I discovered on vacation that The Girl does not like this song. I found that interesting. Perhaps it is because she does not want to acknowledge that death can be a struggle. I don’t know.
As I was thinking about how much I like this album, it made me think of other albums I would put in the category of very nearly perfect. So here is a short list, not in any particular order:

1. Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited – I love all the songs on here; they are very poetic and thought provoking.
2. Oasis, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory – I think this is just a really solid album. Nothing fancy, but always pleasant to listen to and sing along with.
3. Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Blood and Chocolate – the perfect mix of anger, sadness and pop music.
4. Johnny Cash, American Recordings I – I love Johnny Cash and this album showcases all of the best aspects of his music. I have actually listened to him since I was a kid. I also love Live at Folsom Prison.
5. The Beatles, Abbey Road – I think The Beatles finally achieved perfection on this, the last album they recorded. The harmonies are great and the songs interesting.
6. Metallica, Kill ‘Em All – It is difficult to decide which Metallica album I like better, this one or Master of Puppets. In the end, I love the raw, young talent of this album.
7. Alice Cooper, Welcome to My Nightmare, Billion Dollar Babies and From the Inside – Okay, I love Alice. The songs have a dark sense of humor that appeals to me; I think he is way underrated. He likes the concept album, which I think makes him have to think about how the songs fit together. This is a very rare thing in this world.

As you can see, I like a wide variety of music. Although I will say, I like interesting lyrics. I have always thought what you are saying is just as important as the tune you are playing.

Anyway, that is all for today. Have a great weekend. Tomorrow is a big holiday day. Check it out:
Chinese Moon Festival 15th day of 8th Lunar month
Defy Superstition Day
Fortune Cookie Day
National Peanut Day
Positive Thinking Day
Uncle Sam Day - his image was first used in 1813

Spend your Saturday celebrating any of these great holidays, or all of them. Dress up like Uncle Sam and eat peanuts and fortune cookies while sitting under a ladder in the moonlight with a black cat, thinking “I can do it!”

Most of all – Have Fun!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Baby let me be your lovin’ teddy bear

Yesterday was Pardon Day and I was going to beg your pardon for not posting on Saturday, but I simply did not get time to blog. So I am doing it today.
Today is Teddy Bear Day. So go out and hug a teddy, it will make you feel good. Or even better, knit a bear or bear clothes for someone who does not have a bear to love.
Here are some charities for you to consider:

Here is a photo of one of my teddies dressed in an outfit I knit for Cubs for Kids. I am sure I have posted it before, but he sure is cute!


I was sick over the weekend… food poisoning. I got it on Saturday from some bad cream cheese. It was honey walnut; I think the walnuts had turned. Anyway, it meant no blogging or anything else was done over the weekend. I did not even finish my husband’s beer gloves, which I had promised him, would be done by Monday. I am still sore in my back from all the heaving and my stomach has not totally settled down. I am sticking with fairly bland food still. I hate being sick. I know I have mentioned that before, but it is still just as true today.

The weather has been perfect. Labor Day weekend was hot and summer-like and then on 9/2 the temperature dropped and it has been lovely fall weather. I love fall.

I Think It's Time We Stop, Children, What's That Sound
Everybody Look What's Going Down

-- Buffalo Springfield

As promised last Friday, here are some of the photos The Girl took at the RNC protest on Thursday night.

The building in the background is the MN Historical Society.
I love this shot.

Just a few of shots of the dangerous folks who were protesting.

Tear Gas Over St. Paul

Friday, September 05, 2008

I believe that if anything is worth doing, it would have been done already.

Today is Be Late for Something Day.
So take your time. Put something off until tomorrow.
Remember tomorrow is another day, namely Fight Procrastination Day. So really it is okay to procrastinate today!
I have procrastinating tendencies, I always have. Not with everything, just things that do not seem very important. I hate to be late to appointments or meetings or work, but I will put off cleaning until the cows come home. It isn’t that I like work, I think it is just I have to work and well, cleaning doesn’t seem so important. It is a good thing my husband does the cleaning. God only knows what the house would like if I had to. LOL! Anyway, I thought I would share some parts of the Procrastinator’s Creed. I found it on the interweb… just Google it and you can read them all.

1. I shall meet all of my deadlines directly in proportion to the amount of bodily injury I could expect to receive from missing them.

2. I firmly believe that tomorrow holds the possibility for new technologies, astounding discoveries, and a reprieve from my obligations.

3. If at first I don't succeed, there is always next year.

Ahhh words to live by!

We had some excitement last night. As you have probably heard, the Republican Convention was here in town this week. There has been protests everyday. On Wednesday night, The Girl said she was going to the protest on Thursday. We figured that it would be okay so we let her go. She is very much against the war in Iraq and she hates the Republicans more than anyone I have ever met, so it seemed a natural thing for her to want to protest. Also, I think it is great that she is aware of anything political at 16, Lord knows most teenagers aren’t. So, a little before 8 she called and asked us to come pick her up because she was tired and the protest was breaking up. Unfortunately, my husband had the car so I had to wait for him to come home before we could leave. As we left, we called to let her know we were on our way… no answer. I just figured she was in a dead area or could not get to her phone because she was texting. You know something innocuous. We got a little lost because some roads were closed, but we were almost there when we finally received a voice mail (we had been trying to call her again) from the Ramsey County Sheriff’s dept stating the she had been arrested! We arrived at the parking lot were she had said to pick her up and there she was cuffed and surrounded by 5 cops. 5! There were no other protesters there, just her! Apparently, the cops were breaking up the protest and she had not moved along because she was waiting for us to pick her up. So we acknowledged her info and that we were her guardians and they cut her loose, literally as they had her in those plastic tie wraps. While cutting them off, the cop actually cut her wrist so she was bleeding profusely when we got in the car. Apparently, she will get some notice via mail regarding her punishment. Is it wrong that I am proud of her? I just think it is rare that people actually stand up for what they believe in and that she is willing to do that makes me proud of her.
She took photos of the protest and I will try to get some of them up on blog once we get the downloaded to the computer. Maybe tomorrow, because today I am procrastinating and tomorrow I won’t be!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Hey, it is Skyscraper Day.
Here is a picture of the Chrysler Bldg.

It is lovely. I took this photo a few years ago when I was in NYC. I love the Chrysler Bldg.

Here is a picture from the top of the Empire State Bldg.
We went at night (obviously) and some how I hurt my ankle standing in the excessively long lines. My husband had went there in January and said there were no lines at all. So if you do not want to stand in line, I recommend going in the winter.

I have decided that this month I am going to enlighten everyone on the more unique holidays. Remember, if it is a holiday, you should get the day off.

It has been 3 years since I have had a depressive episode. Is that the right term? I don’t know. All I know is that 3 years ago I entered a depression that scared me enough to get help. It actually started around the time of our trip to NYC. I started medication and therapy and I got better It was amazing. . I had suffered from depression since I was a teenager and I really regretted not getting help sooner because my life became a good thing. I discovered knitting, which helped me with my therapy. I did well in therapy and was able to graduate, or whatever it is called. I learned coping skills. Life was great.
However, when going home from work, I realized that the icy tentacles of depression were attempting to grasp my soul again. I could feel them tugging me into the pit of despair and darkness. I have been worried about this for a couple of weeks because I have been craving carbs and salt. This was always my signal that a depression was approaching. So, I have to put all of my skills to use and see if I can avoid the darkness and stay in the light. I am hoping that by writing this down I can see it for what it is: a mood, a feeling, something that I am in control of not the other way around.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Happy Beheaded Day

I know you are thinking, “Where has the year gone? It just seems like yesterday when we were celebrating those who have been beheaded”. Time just flies. Let’s take a moment today to think of those who have been beheaded before us. Not to say the any of us will be beheaded, but it is always a possibility.

In knitting news: I discovered that some how I reversed my shawl and the front became the back or vice versa. Anyway, I think I am going to have to rip it back and since I did not use life lines, I guess I will rip back to the beginning of the last ball. I discovered this as I was about to switch balls so this is not a small task. I am just so mad at my self for not noticing sooner. That is why pride is a deadly sin. I was so sure that I was doing really well and I did not need no stinking life lines. Sigh.

I have completed one Beer Glove for my husband. It looks really good. It has mistakes, but I was able to fix / hide them so it is okay. However, I started the other one last night and was working on it on the bus this morning. I thought that I should have the ribbing done by the time I get home tonight and then I could work on the fiddly bits at home. However, as I was walking from the bus stop this morning, I thought about how I needed to put the needle sizes on Ravelry and how I would need to do two since I used US 4 on the ribbing and US 6 on the rest of the glove. That is when I paused and realized that I had cast on last night using the US 6 needles and had been ribbing with those. Arrrgh! I could not believe I had performed such an idiotic act. Of course, it did explain why my ribbing seemed so loose. So on the bus ride home; I will be ripping up the 2nd glove. Knitting drives me crazy.

On the plus side, I did finish my mittens before the Olympics ended and I have photos.

And with the thrums showing

Aren’t they lovely? They are so soft; I can not wait until it gets cold so I can wear them.
I think that I mentioned before that this is the 1st time I have done anything with thrums. It is not hard, but it is tedious. I might do it again, but I do not know. I will see how these hold up.