Thursday, May 31, 2012

Like Tripping on Acid*

Groovy man!

Pretty psychedelic building huh?  It's actually the Flanders Gallery in downtown Raleigh, and all that bright colored paint, isn't paint at's yarn.  Yes, yarn.

It is panel after panel of crocheted yarn done by Crocheted Olek.  A friend shared a pic on Facebook earlier today so when I ran out at lunch to return some library books, I couldn't resist stopping by to take my own picture.

Can you see the stitches?

While I'm not sure that I would call this attractive (apparently the odd figures are the artist's "thing"), I think it's really cool that crochet is being recognized as art.  Not everyone will agree, nor like it, but I don't like all art either.  That doesn't mean that it is not, in fact, art.  I think it's pretty cool.

*Disclaimer: I have no idea what it's actually like to trip on acid, but I did figure out how to put captions on my pictures!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

From Whence Ideas Come

I've been sitting here for a while, surfing Facebook and some other blogs, trying to come up with something to write about other than my day.

So far I've considered and rejected the following:
  • People whose Facebook posts are always dramatic
  • People whose Facebook posts consist of their belief in Jesus
  • People who detail the minutia of their daily lives on Facebook (something I'm trying somewhat unsuccessfully to avoid here)
  • People who post nothing on Facebook but pictures of cute babies and animals that someone else has added a cuter caption to
  • Another list of 10/20/50 things about me
  • Several quotes by Anne Lamott (whose books I have never read, but who seems to have written rather a lot of quotable material)
  • Another run through of my day (rejected because there was nothing worth talking about)
  • A couple of news items (rejected because I would have inevitably expressed some sort of political opinion which I don't do because of my job)
And my husband's idea of a topic....what a great lover he is... was rejected once he decided I wasn't allowed to write about that because then the numerous women who read my blog would all be jealous that their husbands aren't nearly as good as he is in bed. (He's going to kill me for actually putting that in here...hehehe).

While there seems to be a potential future post on the subject of what people post of Facebook, none of that really triggered enough thought in my mind tonight to come up with a full fledged post on the subject.

This seems to be one of my biggest issues in blogging.  But one thing I have learned in doing NaBloPoMo this month is that if I just sit down to write, I can come up with something to write about.  It might not always be something interesting, and it's certainly not always great writing, but it is possible to write for at least a limited amount of time and make some sort of sense.  It's a lesson that I hope to make myself apply more regularly to this blog and in a general sense.


As a follow up to yesterday's post, I was grinning from ear to ear today when my coworker who was the recipient of the shawl yesterday came to work with pictures on her phone of all the outfits she had tried it with last night at home!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Joy of Giving

I try not to gift hand knitted items to those that I don't think will appreciate them.  I truly want to give gifts that the recipient will enjoy, but I do enjoy knitting gifts for those that I know will be appreciative.

Today I had the joy of giving a hand knit shawl to a coworker who had a milestone birthday.  She was thrilled, so I was thrilled, and it there was happiness in the land.  At least until we had to go back to work.

This is the shawl I finished recently but couldn't post pictures of yet because the recipient is aware of this blog, and while I don't think she reads it regularly, if I had posted this before I gifted it, it would have been my luck that would have been the day she decided to read.  Also not posting pictures of her with the shawl because I forgot to ask her if that would be o.k.

I finished a mystery shawl tonight, but won't have a chance to block it until this weekend, so pictures of that at a later date.  I have another mystery shawl starting Saturday, and yet another starting next Wednesday, so more shawls to come for sure!

And I'm pushing getting this done to qualify for posting on May 29th, so I'm going to call it an entry!

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Flag Still Stands for Freedom

How many times have you said or thought ...."I don't want to go to work tomorrow"?

This afternoon, as the reality that my nice, relaxing, 4 day weekend was coming to a close began to sink in, I had that thought.  And then I remembered that I had the day off work to begin with because there are people who choose to do the work that I don't want to.

I can bitch and moan about not going to work, without the fear that there will be real consequences for my statements, because of those men and women who choose military service as their work.  And unfortunately, some of those men and women give more than just time and effort to their jobs, they give their lives.

Our son is in the U.S. Army.  We are very proud of his decision to serve.  I generally choose to do my best not to worry about things I cannot control, and he has only had one (very brief thankfully) deployment so far, but his service also means the reality is that one of these days, this holiday could have a much more personal meaning for our family.  

Regardless of your political opinions about where and/or why the US military is sent to serve.  I hope that today you took a moment to think about those who were courageous enough to do it and lost their lives as a result.  And recognize that those who are serving now have already made the decision that they are willing to do the same.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I Lied

I lied when I said I'd come up with something better to talk about today.  I've really enjoyed the past couple of days, just doing whatever I feel like in the moment, so I didn't want to ruin it today.

I've spent most of the day on the computer, reading boards & Facebook, then playing a game for a couple of hours.  The past couple of hours have been spent working on the writing course.  I can see already that right now it's going to take me probably more than 1 week to get through each week of lessons, but that's o.k.  I've committed to spending a decent amount of time working on it.

I have been at least a little productive in getting the laundry done.  And now I'm off to make lasagna for dinner.  After that I think I'll knit for a bit this evening.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

More Minutia

Another nice, relaxing day in this holiday weekend.  I'm thinking about a lot of things, but nothing that would make an interesting post at the moment, so you get another run down of my day again.

In the interest of really making an effort to do something with my writing, I've signed up to take a 6 month online course.  So I spent a couple of hours today going through the tutorial on the structure of the class, how to use the website tools, etc. and began reading the first lesson.  I'll tell you what it is and more about it in a future post, once I've had a chance to get more into it and have actually formed an opinion.

A friend of Rob's came over to play in the garage with the boy toys, so I took myself off to Bella Filati in Southern Pines for their Saturday afternoon knit group.  I've only been to this group a couple of times, and personality-wise it's not as good a "fit" for me as the knitting group I actively attend in Cary, but it's a nice group of ladies and they're always welcoming.

Just got home from Southern Pines a little while ago & took the shawl I blocked yesterday off the pins and took some pictures.  But you're still going to have to wait for those a couple of days.

That's all the excitement here, but sometimes a lack of exciting things going on is a good thing.  I promise I'll try to come up with something better to talk about tomorrow.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Something About Nothing

Lovely, relaxing day, and I haven't wanted to think too hard, so nothing really planned for a post today.

Made a visit to a new business in town today.  Find X Designs Fabric & YARN!  Squee!  Yes, there is now a yarn store in Sanford.  (Didn't take a picture, I need to get better about taking pictures so I'll have them for my posts)

They just opened 3 weeks ago, and their stock is heavier on the fabric than the yarn, but it's a nice store.  I did buy one skein of yarn today, in the interest of helping them stay in business  ya' know *wink*, but it was also something I really liked and a yarn I had not seen before.  Juniper Moon Farm Findley Dappled in the zinnia colorway.  It's a lace weight, so I'm sure I'll have no trouble coming up with a shawl pattern for it.

They also carry the Knit Picks Harmony Options interchangeable needles that I own, love, and am always wanting more of.  I think Knit Picks made a smart decision in starting to allow retail stores to carry their needles.  If I realize I don't have the size I need for a project, I'm generally not going to wait a week or so for a Knit Picks order to arrive, I'm going to go to my local yarn shop (LYS) first chance I get.  If my LYS carries the Knit Picks Harmony wood needles though, that's what I'm going to buy, as they are the perfect median between metal and bamboo needles in my opinion.

The remainder of today I have alternately played on the computer and knit.  Oh, I did get a shawl blocked that I finished last night, but you'll have to wait another couple of days for pictures of that.  (I'm sure you're waiting with bated breath right?)

It's 7:30 pm now & my stomach says I should figure out what's for dinner, so mindless rambling ends here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Letter to Scooter Riders

After hearing about this I thought I'd offer a little free legal advice to all you NC "scooter" riders out there.

Despite what the place you bought it from told you, that scooter you're riding just might be a motorcycle.

If so, not only is it supposed to be registered, with liability insurance, but you're also supposed to have a valid drivers license WITH a motorcycle endorsement (or at least a motorcycle learner's permit) to ride it.

First, let me be clear that I'm not saying that the man who was tragically killed in the article linked above was riding a scooter he thought was a motorcycle.  The article just got me to thinking about how many people are riding what they think are scooters/mopeds, but are really motorcycles under the law.  Although, even if what he was riding was a moped, and accidents do happen regardless of skill or training, training is never a bad thing and I advise all of you who are riding anything on two wheels that doesn't require you to pedal to make it move to get thyself to your closest Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Rider Course.  If you live in NC, your local community college probably offers it as a one weekend course for less than $100.

But getting back on track.  What I really want to talk about is how many people think they are riding what is defined in NC a moped, which does not require a license plate, liability insurance, or even a drivers license to ride on the road.

Commonly referred to as "liquor cycles" (pronounced licker sickles here in the south) they have historically been the preferred method of transportation for those without a drivers license for one reason or another.  Originally, they actually had pedals that you could use to propel yourself forward when you ran out of gas, or were just feeling energetic.  But over the past few years, particularly with the rise in gas prices, many people have purchased what are more frequently called "scooters" and are no longer self-propelling.

But here's where it gets tricky.  NC has no laws for scooters.  There are only mopeds and motorcycles under the law, and if it has less than 4 wheels, then unless it is a bicycle (having no engine at all), then it is one or the other of the two.

The definition of a moped is....

A vehicle that has two or three wheels, no external shifting device, and a motor that does not exceed 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement and cannot propel the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on a level surface.

See what I've pointed out order to be a moped the engine cannot be more than 50ccs AND it CANNOT BE CAPABLE of propelling the vehicle more than 30 mph.  
So if the dealer that sold you the scooter told you that you were o.k. without a license so long as you didn't actually ride it faster than 30 mph....THEY WERE WRONG!!!  Sorry to yell at you like that, but it really annoys me when people get the law wrong about things that are supposed to be part of their business.

Anyway, if your "scooter" is capable of going more than 30mph, then it's a motorcycle, and I'm not going to go through the list above again, but you need some stuff to be riding it legally.  I realize that there are a ton of these on the streets, and I have no idea what percentage are actually motorcycles instead of mopeds, but I'd be willing to bet it's well over 50% of the ones sold in the last 5 years.  

And no, law enforcement officers are not out there pulling over every scooter they see and trying to determine how fast it's capable of going to see if it's a moped or a motorcycle, they usually are out looking for the people doing blatantly wrong or unsafe things on the roads.

But with the increase in the numbers of these growing daily, don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Brain Dead

My brain doesn't seem to want to function anymore today.  I've been sitting here staring at the screen, and nothing is really coming to mind to write about.

It's been one of those days where I've been going, going, going, and juggling several things at once.  I've been printing e-mails out left and right all day and continuously editing my to do list because I'm worried I'm going to forget to do something important.

In other words, welcome to the first week or so of session.  It's always like this when a new session starts, particularly the "short" session since the interim between the "long" session and this one is so long.  I have to remind myself again what exactly I'm supposed to be doing for each of the bills, and what I need to do to prepare for committee, and how each committee chair likes to have things done.

By next week the process will all be routine again.  Although routine does not mean orderly and well planned by any means.  But this week I'm still running around every day with a little bit of panic in my chest that I'm going to screw up something major.

Guess I found something to write about after all.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Functional Art

For the past few years I have coveted a pair of Dansko clogs, but I was hesitant to spend the money on them not knowing if I would like them.  With all the foot problems I have, I don't have a problem spending money on good shoes, and everyone I knew that had them loved them, but I hated to spend the money and then end up hating them.  Last fall my mom loaned me hers so I could wear them a few times to see if I liked them.  I did, and I bought my first pair, black with tooled leather, last fall. 

There is another brand called Sanita that, from what I've been told, is pretty much the same as Dansko.  In the course of looking online at the various styles and colors, I came across a website called The Swanx that sells Sanitas with a twist.  They all have hand painted designs on them.  After looking through the various designs I found several I liked and decided that at some point in the future I would like to have a pair of them.  No surprise, I was leaning toward the ones with the dragonflies.

Today, a coworker and I were talking about shoes.  Don't ask me why we were talking about shoes, I don't know, it just came up in conversation somehow, we're women o.k.?  Anyway, I was telling her about the hand painted clogs and she pulled up the website.  They have some new designs since I last looked at the site a few months ago, and I might have to move up my purchase to sooner rather than later.

Because look at what I found....

And look at the heels....aren't they just the cutest thing!

I can get comfortable shoes and wear something artistic that represents my favorite artistic pastime all at the same time.  How fun is that?

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Happy Place, a la Happy Gilmore

Because of my job sometimes I just can't talk about the things that are really on my mind.  Which means that sometimes when I really want to vent, it's not possible.  Today is one of those days.

So instead, I'm going to show you something that makes me happy. 

My finished Color Affection shawl.
This was one of those projects that I just couldn't stop knitting.  It was so much fun to watch the colors come together.  I actually finished it over a week ago, but didn't have time to block it until this weekend.

I tried to get a better picture of the colors, but I'm not the world's greatest photographer, so I'll just tell you that the yellow is very golden and the orange is more of a rust color, so it's all very rich looking, at least to my eye.

Just looking at it makes me smile, and that's what I needed tonight.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Back in Time

We spent a couple of hours this morning at the Ole Gilliam Mill crank up. It was a nice morning for walking around looking at old tractors and steam engines, and viewing all the handcrafts demonstrated.

And another reminder of all the crafts I'd love to learn if I thought I would have the time to really do them.  Maybe when I retire I'll have time to learn to spin, quilt and weave, among other things.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fun at Carolina Fiber Fest

Yesterday afternoon I took off work a little early and met my friend from knitonregardless* at the Carolina Fiber Fest.  What fun we had checking out all the fibery goodness, and we even had our own paparazzi in the form of her husband. I'm the short one on the right.

We were both trying to be mindful of how much money we spent, so while I did walk out with a few purchases, it would have been much, much worse if I had purchased everything that grabbed my eye!

I've been really enjoying using Wolle's color changing cotton lately, so I snagged 2 skeins of a new color she had called Glory.  I think that this is destined to be a Roxbury Pond shawl.

I fell in love with The Unique Sheep's cotton lace weight yarn Ostara in the Jack's Beach colorway.  I'm not sure yet, but I'm thinking maybe High Seas or Three Quarter Time.  I don't think I would have bought a cotton lace weight normally, but Laura had a sample knit up in this yarn and it's sooooo soft once it's washed and blocked. 

My final purchase was a skein of Unplanned Peacock's Whisper Lace in Sapphire.  Who can resist alpaca, silk & cashmere all in one yarn?  Not me, that's for sure.  And that blue!  No idea what this one is going to be yet, but I'm sure I'll find something to do it justice.

So all in all, I'm thrilled with everything I purchased, and I had a fun afternoon fondling yarn and hanging out with a good friend. And that's what it's all about right? 

*Yes, she has a name, but I've noticed she doesn't use it on her blog, and I keep forgetting to ask her if it's o.k. to use it on mine.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Rules of the Road

This morning I witnessed yet another bicyclist almost get hit by a car.  In fact it was 3 bicyclists that almost got hit, but it was completely their fault.

This is one of my pet peeves.  I recognize that bicyclists have the legal right to ride on the roads of NC.  I don't object to that.  What I do object to is the fact that so many of them want to exercise that right, but also ignore the fact that the law requires them to observe the rules of the road the same as motor vehicles.

I realize that there are bicyclists who follow the rules, and probably get as irritated as I do when they see fellow bicyclists ignore them.  But I cannot tell you the number of times I've seen someone on a bicycle completely ignore a stop light or a stop sign.  I'm not talking about going through a stop light that won't change, but completely ignore it and breeze right through without even slowing down.

This morning I was sitting at a stop light and watched 3 bicyclists ride the wrong way up a one-way street, then turn on to another one-way street (going in the correct direction this time) and move from the right hand lane across a middle lane and into the left lane directly in front of another moving car.  The car, which had turned onto the street coming from the correct direction on the previous one-way street, had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting them.  There was no other traffic on that road at the moment, and they could have just as easily slowed down a little and moved into the lane behind that car. 

I guarantee you however, if that car had hit one of them, they would have been screaming bloody murder and threatening to sue.  And I guarantee you I would have offered to testify for the driver of that car.  People who think the rules don't apply to them really annoy me.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

50 Things

With the legislative session starting yesterday, my brain has been full of things other than figuring out what to blog about, so I'm cheating a little today and answering a list of questions I found somewhere online some time ago and saved.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7:30
2. How do you like your steak?  Medium rare.  I'd rather it be undercooked than overcooked.
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?  The Avengers
4. What is your favorite TV show? NCIS
5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?  Not sure I can answer this one specifically.  I'd love to live in another country, at least for a time, but not sure I'd want to live outside the US permanently.
6. What did you have for breakfast?  Quaker Banana Nut Oatmeal bar
7. What is your favorite cuisine?  Italian or Mexican
8. What foods do you dislike?  mushrooms, beans, cooked greens such as spinach, there's more but that is what comes to mind
9. Favorite place to eat? Anywhere with decadent desserts
10. Favorite dressing? Raspberry vinaigrette
11. What kind of vehicle do you drive?  Mustang GT convertible
12. What are your favorite clothes?  Sweat pants & t-shirt
13.  Where would you visit this weekend, if you had the chance? NC mountains
14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? 1/2 full
15. Where would you want to retire? NC mountains
16.  Favorite time of day?  Nighttime
17. Where were you born? Durham, NC
18. What is your favorite sport to watch? college football
19. How many siblings? 1 brother, 1 sister
20. Favorite pastime/hobby?  knitting, reading
21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? anyone (how's that for a cop out?)
22.  Bird watcher?  No, not really.
23. Are you a morning person or a night person?  Definitely night
24. Do you have any pets? 3 cats
25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? It's almost the weekend!
26. What did you want to be when you were little?  A teacher, an artist, and then a doctor.
27. What is your best childhood memory? the beach, at the pool, playing in the neighborhood.
28. Are you a cat or dog person?  Both, but only have cats now because they're less hassle to take care of.
29. Are you married? Yes
30. Always wear your seat belt? Yes
31. Been in a car accident? Yes, several
32. Any pet peeves?  People that shorten my name to Sue.  Usually northerners. (sorry, but it's true)
33. Favorite pizza toppings? pepperoni
34. Favorite flower? Probably lilies
35. Favorite ice cream?  Vanilla
36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Chick Fil A
37. How many times did you fail your drivers' test? None
38. From whom did you get your last email? Michaels Craft Store
39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?  If it was just because then definitely a yarn store.  Deciding which one would be very difficult!
40. Do anything spontaneous lately?, not that I can think of.
41.  Like your job?  Most of the time
42. Broccoli? Yes?
43. What was your favorite vacation?  John C. Campbell Folk School
44. Last person you went out to dinner with?  Rob and our friends Donna & Paul
45. What are you listening to right now?   Rob's computer game
46. What is your favorite color? Blue
47. How many tattoos do you have? two

48. How many people will fill this out?  No idea, depends on whether anyone actually reads it.
49. What time did you finish this quiz? 9:40 pm
50. Coffee drinker?  Not really.  I prefer my caffeine cold and carbonated in the form of Diet Coke.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

NaBloPoMo - Halfway There!

Today is the half way point in the month and my attempt to blog every day in the month of May. 15 days done and 15 more days to go!

I knew this was going to be hard, but it's been frustrating some days to feel like I'm unable to come up with something to write about.  Maybe it's my own concept of what constitutes a blog post.  I have several draft posts started that I haven't posted yet, but I can't seem to pull any of them together in a way that I feel is complete and I don't want to waste the ideas on a less than finished post.

Some days I've had a definite idea of what to post about, and others I'm just throwing thoughts together, but I'm proud of the fact that I have in fact posted something every day so far. None of it is great literature for sure, but it's helping me to get in the habit of writing a little every day, and that is a large part of the reason I signed up to do it.

So I'm patting myself on the back a little today......and cheating a little by not having to come up with something else to write about!  Hope you come back for the rest of the month....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bicycling in Bed

I have long had insomnia.  I never have a problem sleeping once I get to sleep, trust me, I'm a champion sleeper, but I can lay awake for hours waiting for sleep to come.

One of the culprits is my brain.  It just won't shut up.  It seems that when I lay down to sleep at night and I'm no longer doing anything is when my brain decides it needs to go through tomorrow's to do list, compose bill drafts, blog entries, e-mails, and anything else it can come up with.  It's not unusual for me to look at the clock, realize that I've been in bed awake for 2 hours and also be able to trace back every single thing I've thought about since I turned out the light.   Of course, that doesn't mean I'll remember any of it the next day when I should be thinking about it all. Case in point.

The other villain that contributes to my sleeplessness is Restless Leg Syndrome, or what Rob calls my bicycling in bed.  If you're part of the 10% or so of the population that suffers from this, you'll know what I'm talking about.  Trying to lay still and ignore the desire to move my feet and legs is useless.  My RLS occurs at other times as well.  It's not unusual for me to be sitting in a meeting and find myself bouncing one or both legs up and down.  But when I lay down at night to go to sleep is definitely the worst time, and unfortunately there is no logic to when it will occur, how long it will last, or how severe it will be.  Many times it's easier to just get up out of bed and go do something else for 30 minutes or so and then try again to sleep.

It appears to be a genetic thing.  I know that my sister has it as bad as I do, both in bed and out, and my brother also has it, at least when trying to lie down in bed.  Oddly, I've never thought to ask my parents if either of them have it, but I noticed my oldest niece exhibiting symptoms of it at her 1st communion a couple of weeks ago as well.

Most nights I don't even try to go to bed before midnight because I know I won't sleep anyway.  Sometimes that's not enough and I lie awake until the wee hours of the morning.  I have a sleeping pill prescription, but I don't like to take it until have had several nights in a row of little to no sleep because it makes it even harder to get out of bed in the morning.  I'm not a morning person to begin with, so I don't need anything else giving me an excuse to hit the snooze.

For the most part, I've come to accept that RLS, and insomnia in general, is just something I have to live with, but it would still be nice to be able to lie down in bed without feeling like Jiminy Cricket.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Strings On My Fingers and Bows On My Toes

It seems the older I get, the more forgetful I get.  

At one time in my life I could remember anything.  Names, dates, to do lists, phone numbers, addresses, you name it.  My brain was a limitless repository of information.  Well, I guess the repository is now full. These days I cannot seem to remember anything without writing it down, or more accurately, putting a reminder in my phone.

To make it worse, there is now evidence that I am apparently forgetting how to actually DO things.

This morning I put the ingredients for chicken taco filling into the crock pot.   This evening, as I was leaving work, Rob called me.  As soon as I realized who was calling, and before I even spoke to him, it dawned on me....I turned the crock pot on....but I did NOT plug it in!  But hey, in compensation for my forgetfulness, I've at least become psychic right?  Because, he was in fact calling to let me know that dinner was not waiting at home the way I expected, and of course, to tease me for not plugging in the crock pot.

Maybe I need to take one of those "Improve Your Memory" courses.  I would probably forget to do whatever I need to do to take the course at the rate I'm going.  The old string around my finger might work I suppose, but I'm not sure I have enough fingers and toes.

At least the issue of dinner was easily solved by a stop at the Greek restaurant on my way home.  But if you see me at the craft store sometime soon, just try to pretend you don't know what all the ribbon in my basket is for.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Movie Time

It's the beginning of the summer movie season and today we went to see The Avengers. Sometimes I only go to see these types of movies because Rob really wants to see them and I'm willing, if not excited to see it.  But I was looking forward to this one & enjoyed it.  Lots of action, some humor, and of course it was left open for another movie to come.  If you go to see it, there are 2 scenes after the movie is over.  The first happens during the credits, with not too long of a wait, so probably worth waiting for.  The second one doesn't occur until the very, very, very, end of all the credits, and while I found it humorous, it wasn't really worth waiting through all of the credits to see it.  Don't say I didn't warn you if you choose to wait.

So I got to thinking about how we judge new movies into two basic and DVD.

Theater movies are those that we're willing to pay the outrageous ticket prices that movie theaters charge these days, which is $9.75/adult here in Sanford.  These generally tend to be action movies and are deemed theater movies because of the special effects, and our feeling that they are better viewed on the big screen.  Pretty much anything that's based on an old comic book (like the Avengers) falls into this category as well because of Rob's continued fascination with the comics of his childhood.

DVD movies are those that we'd like to see, but we're unwilling to pay the money to see in the theater, or  our interest level is not so high that we want to run right out and see it rather than just wait for it to come out on DVD.  These days, it's only a couple of months between the theater and DVD anyway, so we don't usually have to wait that long.

It's also become annoying the number of movies they're making in 3-D these days.  Well, showing in 3-D is probably more accurate, because they're not actually MAKING them in 3-D.  Most of them are not improved by 3-D viewing, and I see it as just a way to charge more money for a ticket.  For that  reason, we pretty much never go to the 3-D version of a movie we choose to see in the theater, and if it's only offered in 3-D, odds are we'll choose to wait until it comes out on DVD.

With all the movies based on old comic books they're making these days, I'm sure we'll make it to a few more movies this summer.  But with it costing $20 for the 2 of us, just for the movie, I surely don't expect it to be an every week event!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ramblings About My Day

Waking up with a massive headache this morning was not the greatest start to the day.  I stayed in bed with my eye mask on until late morning when it seemed to be getting better, then got up and took a long hot shower, which helped to make my face feel less like it was being squeezed in a vise.

Needless to say, I did not get the azaleas trimmed today like I had planned, but by the time we left for a cookout late this afternoon, I felt mostly human.  I still have a low grade headache, but after one like I had this morning, that's pretty normal and I'm used to dealing with it. 

The cookout was fun.  It was related to where Rob works, and was mostly military people who I didn't know, but I can always find someone to talk to, so I enjoyed it.  And my cinnamon cheesecake squares were a hit, as usual.  I don't even offer to make anything anymore, Rob always just volunteers me to make the cheesecake squares.

I'm getting close to finishing my Color Affection shawl and I'm itching to start a couple of new projects.  I need to get started on a shawl for a coworker's 60th birthday later this month so I can get it done on time.  I also bought yarn the other day to make a double knit blanket for my granddaughter to be. 

We killed a little time on the way to the cookout today by swinging by the gun shop to look at a gun Rob would like to buy, and then for me, a visit to the yarn shop.  I limited myself to just one skein of a new lace weight yarn they're carrying.  It's a single ply and the yarn I'm using for my Color Affection shawl is a single ply and I'm finding that I really like the look of the single ply yarn.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Calm Before the Storm

I love a day with no requirements.

I took the day off work today, just to have a day off work before the craziness of session starts next week.  The only thing I had committed to do for the day was to take the truck to get a load of topsoil. That required no more effort than driving the truck down to the dirt & rock place, paying the man for a scoop of topsoil, watching him dump it in the bed of the truck, & driving the truck home.

Other than that, I did what I did at the whim of what I felt like doing at any given moment.  That mostly involved reading and knitting. Yes, I still have a weekend before me, but there are things that I should or need to do on those 2 days, and although I did run the dishwasher today and make cinnamon cheesecake squares for a cookout tomorrow, it's nice to have a day to ignore the things you should be doing and just do what you'd like.

We're heading into what we call the "short" session.  The rumors are that leadership intends to wrap up the budget rewrite and the session in about 6 weeks and be done by July 1.  But after 16 years, I never expect them to be done until they're actually done, so one last relaxing day before the uncertainty of my hours begins was well worth it.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Channeling Alfred Hitchcock

The past couple of days have felt like I was trapped in the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds.  No less than 4 birds have scared the shit out of me by appearing to be determined to commit suicide on the windshield of my car, only to change their minds at the last minute. 

I was only mildly concerned about the songbirds who were feeling depressed this week, but two of these incidents involved rather large birds that I believe were hawks.  No, I'm not sure they were hawks, at the time I was too busy numbly watching their decent towards my windshield, and trying to figure out which way I would need to steer to lessen the impact if they didn't veer away in time, to worry about specifically identifying the species.

I can only hope that over the weekend the birds in the area resolve their issues and stick to the upper levels of the horizon in the future.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Not As Great As I Thought

I'm going to talk about something girlie today.  Not embarrassingly girlie or anything, but if you're a guy you probably can safely skip this entry.

I'm not a girlie girl for the most part.  I don't wear make-up except for special occasions, and if I could, I would probably live in sweatpants and a t-shirt and no bra.

But one girlie thing I do like to do occasionally is to have my nails done.  It's really pedicures that I love.  It's so relaxing and indulgent feeling.  I only get one every 3 months or so, so when I do, I usually spring for a manicure as well while I'm there.

Day to day, I generally just keep clear polish on my fingernails.  I find it impossible to keep from using my hands long enough for anything else to dry, so I always end up messing them up.  I love the look of the "French" manicure, with the white tips, so I often get that when I pay for a manicure.  I almost always end up screwing up at least one nail before they're completely dry though, no matter how careful I try to be.

So a couple of weeks ago when I got a mani/pedi, they gave me the option of the gel polish on my fingernails.  She said it would last longer, so I decided what the hell.  Even though it was more expensive, it's not like I get manicures every week. 

Until yesterday I was a convert.  I walked out of the nail salon with my nails COMPLETELY dry and they looked great for over 2 weeks.  I raved about them to everyone and had decided it was well worth the extra money.

But yesterday I realized a couple of them had noticeably chipped and decided it was time to remove the polish and go back to clear for a while.  So I broke out the nail polish remover, a tissue and......nothing.  It didn't even begin to start taking it off. 

That's when Google informed me that gel "polish" is not really polish at all, but rather the acrylic they use to put over the fake nails, and that you either have to grind the shit off or spend 15 minutes with cotton balls soaked in pure acetone sitting on your nails and your fingers wrapped in tin foil and then hope that loosens it enough to scrape it off. 

So now I'm disappointed.  It was great while it lasted, but it's not worth the hassle of removing it to me, so there will be no more gel "polish" for me. Back to plain boring clear polish or messed up nails I guess.  Such is life.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I'm Not Overly Squeamish, But.....

This is NOT what you want to find your cats playing with in your bedroom floor when their incessant meowing wakes you up at 3 o'clock in the morning!

We think they carried it upstairs, so I guess I should be thankful that it was on the floor and not on our bed. *shiver* Needless to say, getting back to sleep took a little while as my imagination ran wild with all the horrid scenarios involving multiple snakes in our bedroom, and in our bed, ran through my head.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I've Got Nothing

To say that is.  I've started several posts tonight, but I can't seem to get my thoughts together to finish any of them.

So I'll leave you with the funniest picture I took on our trip to California for my sister's wedding last May.  If you've ever been to Hollywood, you'll understand the truth in advertising this represents.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

What's in a name?

Sometime in late September I will have a new name.  I don't know the exact form it will take yet, as I'm still actively seeking and weighing my options.  But whatever the actual name, it will mean one thing....

I'm not sure I'm ready for this.  I'm definitely not old enough for it, at least in MY mind.  My grandparents were all in their 60s when I was born, I'm not supposed to be becoming a grandmother at 43 years old!  To say that it hasn't quite sunk in yet is putting it very, very, very mildly.

Don't get me wrong.  A baby is always a blessing, and we are excited for our son and his wife.  They found out about a week ago that it will be a girl, so I can now start my baby knitting,, as soon as I figure out what that's going to be.

But the most significant matter on my mind in relation to this event is my name.  What will I be called?  Grandmother is too formal, not to mention old sounding, as are Grandma & Granny.  My grandparents were called MaMaw and PaPaw, with the only difference being the mountain pronunciation for my mother's parents in contrast to the mid-NC pronunciation for my father's parents.  I'm not opposed to being called MaMaw simply because of the pleasant memories that it creates in my mind, and that's probably the one I'm leaning towards at the moment.   Other suggestions I've heard are, Grammy, GiGi, GoGo, G-Mom, Glam-ma & Nana.  I don't hate any of those, but I still think there ought to be something better.

This is a weighty decision.  This is our first grandchild, and whatever name she uses will probably be what I am called by any future grandchildren as well.  The clock is ticking and September will be here before I know it!

Question for you:  Please tell me what you call your grandmother(s) in the comments and any other name suggestions you might have.

My Maternal Grandmother (AKA MaMaw)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Special Moments

Today was a special day for my oldest niece, Maddy.  She took (received?) her first communion.

It was a good day with family.  My sister and her husband flew in from California.  I hadn't seen them since Thanksgiving, and truth be told I was so drugged up on Percocet that weekend because of my back surgery, I don't remember seeing them at all really!  So it's actually been since their wedding last May that I had spent any real time with them.

It's always a little weird to go to these events because I am not Catholic, and was raised Southern Baptist, so I always sort of muddle my way through the service.  But it was important to Maddy that we be there, so we don't mind going.  Rob says his presence hasn't caused the church to fall down yet, but we did have a rather loud thunder and lightening storm after the service!

A couple of months ago when we found out the date for the service, I asked my sister-in-law if there was anything special I could knit for Maddy for the event and she asked me to make her veil.  So I cobbled something together, and I think she was happy with it.  I got a lot of nice comments on it, and I was pretty proud of it since it's the first thing I've really designed myself.  I didn't design it completely from scratch.  I pulled a few stitch patterns from other patterns and from stitch dictionaries, but I had to modify them a bit so it took enough figuring out that I would call it my own design I think.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Simple Joys

My friend at Knit On Regardless has joined me in the quest to blog every day this month and is posting each day about the small luxuries and simple pleasures in her life.  Since part of my goal in doing this is to become more aware of things in my every day life that I can write about, I'm stealing a page from her book today.

The weather has turned warm again here in North Carolina, down right hot in fact.  As I left work this afternoon, top down, Journey on the radio, and the weekend before me, I found myself sitting at a stoplight with my toes tapping, my fingers drumming, my head bobbing and a smile on my face.  One of life's simple joys.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Nightmares and Dreamscapes

Stephen King is my idol.

We caught the movie Dreamcatcher on TV tonight and I was reminded once again what a creative mind Stephen King has. 

The man writes some truly weird shit, but can you imagine coming up with some of his ideas?  I own, and have read, all of his books and while I definitely enjoyed some more than others, I am continually amazed at the number of different stories in the man's head.

I have no desire to write the types of stories that he writes, but I can only hope to one day be even a smidgen as original he.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4GLTE smartphone.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Color Affection

Sometimes a knitting pattern just won't let me rest until I have cast on.  Color Affection is one of those patterns, and today I gave in.

I am usually drawn to individual skeins of yarn because of the color.  So when I first saw this pattern a couple of months ago, I immediately began considering all the possible colors I could use.  I had several pow wows with my stash, but despite the growing number of skeins residing there, I could not come up with 3 skeins in 3 colors of yarn similar enough in weight, content and feel.

I have been trying to finish up several other projects, one of which had to be done by this past weekend, so I had been able to put off casting on.  But last week I realized that I was perilously close to finishing almost every project I currently have on the needles, and I begin to panic that I still hadn't chosen the colors and  yarn to use for this pattern.

A couple of days of perusing internet yarn porn ensured, a decision was made, and Saturday the yarn arrived.  I had planned to actually finish a couple more projects before casting this one on, but today I could resist the siren call no longer.

I mean could you resist knitting with these?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

And So I begin....

A blog post...every. single. day. 

I don't post here as often as I should, mainly because I find it hard to come up with something to write about my life that I feel others might find interesting, entertaining, amusing, insert favorite adjective here, or otherwise worth reading.  I have been doing well the past couple of months at reviving my personal journal, but so much of that is simply a rehash of what I did that day that I cannot imagine anyone but me finding it appealing.

I need to get better at finding things, observations, and events in my every day life to write about.  Not just because it will give me more to write about here, but also because it will help me to improve the details of any fiction I write. Which has been sadly, very, very, little lately.

But I always do better with measurable goals.  Even if I don't always achieve them perfectly, having a way to track, or be accountable for, my progress seems to prod me along.  Thus the reason I signed up for NaBloPoMo. My hope is that by the time May is over I will have posted every day and be more in the habit of posting regularly, so that even if I don't post every day after this month, I will post more often than once every 2 months.

The theme for the month of May is "play".  I plan to do my best to come up with post ideas on my own, but BlogHer provides daily writing prompts to help, so you may see several posts along that theme as the month progresses.  Otherwise, I'm likely to be all over the place, but such is my life.

Day 1 is done, and so I begin....