| Saturday, March 31, 2007
Friday, March 30, 2007
So I was in the knitting shop, and this American-sounding chick came in looking for wool. So I helped her pick out some stuff, and she was soon joined by another chick... who looked just like her. "Are you guys--?" I asked. "Yep, twins," they said. They were here for more than an hour - in fact, they're still here - and I chatted to them off-and-on, completely oblivious. "Where are you guys from? Oh, Ohio? Yeah, I'm a Hoosier. I hope you're not Ohio State fans." "Go Buckeyes!" they said. After a while, I headed in to the office to call our warehouse guy. As I was on the phone with him, Lissa came in with a wild look in her eyes. She grabbed a pen and proceeded to write "KIM DEAL" in front of me. "NO F**KING WAY." I can't believe I missed it. I went back out and proceeded to be the lamest fangirl ever, and they kindly submitted to this ultra-crappy mobile phone picture for me. (Why I didn't take the megapixel shop camera on my desk, I have no idea.) They're making OSU signs, in case you're wondering. So yeah, today I got to meet my 16-year-old alternateen heroes. What a day, huh?
For the clueless, the Deal sisters were in two of the seminal alternative rock bands of the late 80's and early 90's: the Pixies and the Breeders. The Pixies have reformed and are currently touring, and apparently they're doing a show in Sydney tomorrow night. I was more of a Breeders fan, ever since I caught the video for "Cannonball" on an episode of 120 Minutes. "Last Splash" was on constant rotation in my car from the day I got it. I have a prized-but-ratty Breeders T-shirt at home that I bought at Tower Records when I was 16 and have worn ever since. How cool is that?
Hey, it looks like the Easter Show winners have been posted! And I didn't win anything. Judging by my level of disappointment, apparently I secretly cared a lot more than I told everyone I did. :(
Update: Holy crap! Veronica got a first place! Way to go, Veronica! At least somebody I know won something.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
How annoying is this? I was just out in the knitting shop helping a customer, when this young guy and chick walk in. They're wearing matching Citibank lanyards so I figure they've come over from a meeting or something.
Me: What can I help you with?
Guy: We're just going around to all the businesses in the area let you know about our great low interest rates--
Me: I'm sorry, what?
Guy: We got a great new low interest rate going.
Me: *blank stare* For what, loans?
Me: You're in here... during the work day... offering me a loan?
Guy: We're just going to everyone on this street--
Me: I'm sorry; we're working in a knitting shop. We're not interested in loans.
Me: And I personally make it a policy not to respond to unsolicited commercial... SPAM.
Chick: What part of America are you from? *smarmy grin*
Me: Uh, Indiana.
Chick: Do they have a lot of marketing over there?
Me: I wouldn't know. I've been here for five years.
Guy: When is the business owner available?
Me: He's upstairs right now. SERVING CUSTOMERS.
Guy: We'll come back later.
Me: You can try your luck, but I doubt it'll work...
Spam. People spam. How is this different from cold calling? It's even more confrontational since it's IN MY FACE. (And of course, there's no National "Do Not Pester Me in Person" Registry.) It's annoying enough to get off the bus at Town Hall and have to run the gauntlet of chuggers and beggars; I don't need marketroids following me into the workplace. And what's up with asking where I come from? It's like she was suggesting that only Americans would find their tactics objectionable. WHATEVER. I should send in a complaint.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I'll see if the Snook can get a screenshot later.
The Snook and I have been laboring under the delusion that our washing machine was broken all week. We called the nice folks at Direct Appliance Service to come take a look at it. The guy fiddled with the knob and know it works perfectly. There wasn't anything wrong with it; we probably just overloaded it. Thankfully, the nice man didn't even charge us the call-out fee. (Hence my public recommendation.) Now you may laugh at us.
Later: No, wait! It really is broken. The damn thing stopped working again.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Plus: Albert and Mrs Morris went to see Scoop on the weekend, and apparently Mrs M kept saying through the whole movie how much I looked like Scarlett Johansson. W00t!
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
In addition to knitting on the Internet this morning and finishing the Kitty Kat Cardy, I had one other important task for the day: VOTE! Today was the NSW State Election and, as voting is compulsory in Australia, I got to vote here for the very first time. The Snook and I headed over to our local polling place this afternoon, which just so happened to be at the Notre Dame Sydney campus. I was amused by how totally casual the whole process was. I showed a lady at a card table my driver's license, and she ticked me off a big list of names. Then she handed me two paper ballots (one of which was truly massive) and directed me to a simple cardboard booth. No, really! No Diebold machines, no curtains, no hanging chads. Just a pencil and a couple pieces of paper. (I have to say, the ballots were really well designed, too. I had no trouble understanding exactly where I had to mark.) Then I just had to fold my ballots and put them in some cardboard bins. (No lock box or anything!) And that was it! We were in and out in less than ten minutes.
I have to say though, I totally cracked up at some of the parties listed on the big ballot. I mean, the first one was "The Fishing Party." (My Dad would be all over that one.) I also remember "Australians Against Further Immigration" (like I'd ever vote for them), "The Shooters Party" (again, one for Dad), and the cryptic "Save Our Suburbs." I'm just disappointed I didn't see the "Standing-At-The-Back-Dressed-Stupidly-And-Looking-Stupid Party."
Later: Pattern notes have been added after the jump. [more...]
Friday, March 23, 2007
We're in the home stretch, people! I've got fourteen hours until Veronica picks me up to head to the Easter Show headquarters. (Minus time for sleep, hygiene, and an hour's worth of faffing about on the Internet tomorrow morning.) Both sleeves are now attached and super-puffy. I've done two of the four cat faces. (A sneak peek you see before you.) So tomorrow I've just got to do the other two faces, and then work out what I'm doing for the button situation. Plenty of time, right?
April 2006: Chicago bans foie gras.
March 2007: Chicago has wild goose problem.
Links courtesy of the decidedly carnivorous Snook, who adds (in a Nelson voice): "Ha, ha!"
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
One sewn in, one to go. It's a wonder I even had the energy. What a week! In three days, we've had FIVE staff absences in the shop. Basically, this means yours truly (aka The Go-To Girl) was on her feet and serving customers non-stop. Normally this would've provoked a massive rant, but I've actually had nothing but really nice people. We had an American tourist who basically hung out with me for two hours today. On her vacation! Two hours! So at least the days have gone by quickly. And then I actually spent two hours tonight of my precious knitting time staying late to parcel out the Knit Picks (because I know y'all are itching for them). Now that's dedication. Anyway, one side of the cardigan is now complete except for the kitty faces. The sleeve wasn't too difficult to sew in, but as I was rounding the back of the shoulder I let fly with a string of obscenities. There, STARING ME IN THE FACE, were three random purl stitches interrupting my lovely blank canvas of stockinette. What the--? Did I go momentarily insane? I continued sewing in the sleeve while meditating on my options. I could chalk it up to an Amish mistake and just hope no one notices... or I could deal with it. The Snook was surprised to see me preparing for surgery. "You don't understand," I said through gritted teeth. "My Knitting Nemesis is also entering the competition, and I WILL NOT STAND to have her see such a glaring error on my piece." So before I could talk myself out of it, I snipped. I snipped and I unravelled and I made a great big hole in the jumper I've been killing myself to knit for the past month. Then I picked up the stitches with some DPNs and began the painstaking process of grafting the stitches back together. (I should mention again that this is black 4-ply. Somewhere my optometrist is moaning in his sleep.) I cursed and I stressed and I had to make, like, three false starts, but I got there in the end. Once it's pressed, you won't notice a thing. And I'll be able to sleep at night. Hey, isn't that a nice puffy sleeve?
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Later: Holy crap! They called me up, like, twenty minutes later. There's an empty spot tonight from 7-8... so I'm on it. That's right; yours truly will be chat-chat-chatting away LIVE ON THE INTERNET from 7-8pm tonight Sydney time. (The Snook's going to attempt to record for posterity.)
Almost time: They appear to have a mobile number that you can use to ring me during the show! It's 0424 875 224. Give me a call with questions or comments! (And compliments. I'm terrified of people ringing to say "You suck.")
Monday, March 19, 2007
I was helping customers in the shop today when a lady asked if she could order some knitting needles. As I wrote down the order, I asked her for her name and phone number. Her surname was Babbage, she said, "like cabbage with a 'b'." "And like Charles Babbage!" I added. She smiled. "Actually," she said, "he was my husband's great-great-great grandfather." GET OUT. We chatted about it for a while and she explained how the descendants of the guy who basically INVENTED THE COMPUTER wound up in Australia. And then I had to call the Snook and geek out. Isn't that neat?
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Well, that was fun. We didn't get much trip preparation done, but thanks to the Snook my birthday weekend was one to remember. It started Saturday morning with a trip to Bills in Surry Hills for breakfast. We met up with Miss Fee (and her Mystery Visitor) for scrambled eggs and coffee in the sunshine. Afterwards I headed to Glebe for my first appointment with my new stylist, Desiree at Partners Hair Workshop. She was fantastic! I'm used to salon visits taking forever, but Desiree had me out the door in under ninety minutes. (And that's including foils, cut, and blow dry!) Back at home, the Snook was preparing for my birthday barbecue... right before the heavens burst. So the festivities were all indoor. But no matter; we had Wii! Many, many games of tennis, fishing, cow racing, and boxing ensued. We also had a veritable cadre of bloggers amongst the guests, including Amy, Rob, Kenya, Bex, Helen, and Andrew. (I'd count Major too but he stopped updating.) We had salads, chicken, fish, SO. MUCH. CHEESE., chips, bread and truffle butter, and really just everything lovely. The Snook made a rich low-carb chocolate cake and Andrew countered with some decidedly high-carb (but sooo worth it!) fancy cupcakes. As you might imagine, the Snook and I spent most of Sunday just in recovery mode. We had lunch in Chinatown with his mother and sister, but otherwise I spent the day working on my cardy. The other puffy sleeve is now finished! I've moved on to the embroidery, as you can see here. I've got til Saturday to put it all together and finish it off. I think I'm actually gonna make it!
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
It appears that my meticulous calculations have worked! The first puffy sleeve is finished and it's just about as perfect as I could've hoped for. I need to give both pieces a good ironing before I sew it in, but I'm 95% sure this pattern is a keeper. You can see how it looks on my arm here. Now I just need to knit another one and finish the thing off! Easy peasy.
And that second photo? That's the amazing dinner the Snook cooked me tonight. (Vegetarians LOOK AWAY NOW.) It was a low-carb carnivore's feast. Starting from the bottom, there's a bed of mashed cauliflower surrounding a Scotch fillet steak wrapped in bacon, with fried duck's liver on top. And what's that funny white golf-ball-thingy? Oh, it's truffle butter. (Seriously, I could eat a bowl of that stuff.) The sauce is a reduction of sherry and homemade veal stock, and there's a side of green beans amandine. We washed it down with a few glasses of an excellent Australian red.
You know, so far my 30's really don't suck!
Yours truly is now a Woman of a Certain Age.
I was reminiscing this morning about where I was ten years ago. I was a sophomore in college and we'd all gone to Boston with Eileen for Spring Break. It was a great week. About a dozen of us all met up to see Rent for the first time. I wanted to get a tattoo to mark my 20th, and as they were illegal in Massachusetts at the time (is that still the case?), we had to go to Connecticut. It was a big secret, because Eileen had gotten one a few months before and her Mom didn't know about it, so we had to keep mine very hush-hush. I remember distinctly hanging over the back of a chair while the guy slowly inked the Korean characters on my lower back. Liz was filming the whole thing with her video camera (whatever happened to that tape?) and munching a Big Mac while circling around us. Later we went to Boston College to party with some of Reen's friends, and I got ridiculously drunk playing Asshole. I was horrendously sick afterwards... and of course we then had to take the train back to Indiana, and I was sick for the entire 24-hour trip. Good times.
Am I really so far removed from that girl? I don't tend to imbibe to that excess anymore. I care less about fitting in with the crowd. I feel more confident in speaking up for myself. I don't have swooning crushes on girly-boys who wouldn't give me the time of day (except for Daniel Radcliffe). I feel pretty comfortable with my body. I still say "random" and "whatever" a lot. So maybe I've grown up a little.
And now, drumroll please, Snookums has promised me a very special birthday present. Some of you have been waiting for this day for years. And here it is...
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
But yeah, they're tricky to knit. Bex gave me some helpful advice and I've filled several pages with scribbled calculations tonight. But it just might work...
9. Exhibits (with the exception of quilts, weaving and spinning) which have been washed will be disqualified.Huh? Do they really mean that? I had been planning on giving the Cabled Jacket of Doom a gentle hand wash and then a blocking, but it sounds like they're saying they'd boot me for that. What's the problem with washing, anyway? All my stuff is covered in cat hair!
There's a Catster site too, but I think a Flickr page is enough for one cat, isn't it?
Monday, March 12, 2007
Later: Holy crap. I guess there's no point in going. They cleaned the place out. And get this:
The most popular items were McCartney's much-hyped trench coat in grey and navy - just 6000 are available Australia-wide...SOB. That's what I wanted! If any of you happen to find youself in a Target that has the Stella trench in a size 14, BUY IT. I will reimburse you. Black is preferable, but I'll take any.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
That there is the body of my Argyle Kitty Kat Cardy FINISHED. Well, not technically finished. I have to weave in a million ends and embroider on the white diagonal lines and the cat faces, but the actual knitting is done. (I used a three-needle cast off for the shoulders.) Folks, that is a total of eight days from start to finish for that sucker. And did I mention it's in BLACK 4-PLY? I'm a little amazed myself. I was helped by the fact that halfway through the week I checked my row gauge and realized that doing five diamonds up the front was going to make it too long. I fretted about the non-symmetry of only doing four, but the girls at the guild meeting today convinced me it'd be fine. So that saved me 20% of the expected time.
As of this moment, I have exactly thirteen days left before the exhibits have to be turned in. And of course, I still have to knit the sleeves. Anyone want to take bets on whether I make it?
And in health news, I think I'm feeling better. My temperature seems to have stabilized and my throat isn't getting any sorer. Of course, this damn bug might just be incubating til my holiday starts...
Friday, March 9, 2007
Thursday, March 8, 2007
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
We're the goonies sitting in the back row of the boat. Oh, and if you're wondering why everyone else is in red and we're not? Because they're wearing ponchos. WUSSES! Sal and I rocked it hardcore and got soaked in the process. I highly recommend the ride if you ever visit Sydney. It's not that scary and you do get to see a lot of the harbour. Just get the 30 minute short ride though; that'll be enough!
Monday, March 5, 2007
Sunday, March 4, 2007
So how did I spend the next-to-last weekend of my 20's? I'm ashamed to say: sitting on my butt and knitting. Saturday morning was the Annual General Meeting of the Knitter's Guild, and it totally just SAPPED MY WILL TO LIVE. I was surrounded by blue-haired busybodies who actually spent half an hour heatedly debating the issue of whether we should print annual copies of the Membership Directory. Seriously. (For the record, I think the whole issue would be avoided by putting it on the website, but as A) that would mean work for me and B) I don't actually care one way or the other, I kept my mouth shut.) My Knitting Nemesis was also in fine form, dominating the debate, waving her camera around, and generally just annoying everyone who was counting down the minutes til Tea Time. Basically, that was ninety minutes of my life that I'll never get back. (Notable exception: Miss Fee received her Level 1 Certificate, and a hearty congratulations to her!)
Afterwards I suffered a major allergy attack and a subsequent headache, so I decided to pike on SSK and the Mardi Gras parade (to which the fabulous Bex had invited me). I then spent most of the next 36 hours working on my argyle kitty-kat cardigan, a teaser of which you see before you. I'm supposed to enter it in the Easter Show, but it'll never be done in time. If it turns out well though, I might write it up for Yarn. I also watched Freaky Friday and Cat People (both of which were EXCELLENT), four episodes of House, three episodes of My Name is Earl, and the Biggest Loser weigh-in. Yeah, I suck.
Friday, March 2, 2007
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Mindful of the fact that some people (*cheeky look in Andrew's direction*) are sick of seeing them, I've posted my progress chart after the jump. [more...]
I'm finalizing the details of our stay in Orlando next month(!). We get in on the evening of Tuesday the 10th, and we fly out on Monday the 16th. I was looking at staying in a Disney Hotel, but JEEZ they're expensive! Mousesavers.com recommended this place instead, and that's what I'm leaning towards. (Especially since it's right across the road from Celebration; I've always wanted to go there!) So I'm thinking we stay there throughout that week and do the touristy stuff. We do have the Astronaut thing on the 12th, which unfortunately means (I think) that the multi-day Disney tickets that save you money aren't going to be any good for us, since we wouldn't be going to the parks on consecutive days. The Snook's not a huge thrill-ride guy, so I'm thinking we can give Universal a miss. (Though I went there in 2000 and LOVED it.) So I'm thinking maybe one day at the Magic Kingdom, and then another day at Epcot. Normally I'd give the MK a pass since I've been there before (and Rodd went to the one at EuroDisney), but then again he's never ridden the Haunted Mansion and neither of us have been on Splash Mountain. Neither of us have been to Epcot, and I think we'd like that. Is Animal Kingdom worth going to? I like the sound of Expedition Everest, but the rest doesn't sound too spectacular. I've done MGM before and - though I might be able to drag the Snook onto the Tower of Terror - I doubt he'd enjoy it much. Any thoughts or suggestions? (We'll probably spend that Saturday/Sunday with my relatives.)
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