We're not here for a long time; we're here for a good time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Technical Difficulties

Well, I've had a wee bit of an unexpected surprise this week regarding my lovely Apple laptop. Have I ever mentioned, I lurv my laptop? I LURV it. It is one of my top three possessions (ranked in with my I-Pod and my Dyson vacuum). It is small and lightweight, low-maintenance, it never gets sick, it is incredibly hardy- it is the perfect machine.

And then it stopped working. After performing what seemed to be a routine update, it stopped. It just stopped. It pretended to work when it turned on, making the little opening note sound (which, I swear on all things holy, is the first few chords of "Live and Let Die"), it appeared to power up and then... nothing. A blank screen.

Apple is a little weird, in that when you buy the computer, if you want customer service, you have to pay for it. You buy a warranty and the customer service is included in that. It sounds dodgy, but here's why it's great: you never wait more than a couple of minutes to get a technician, they are easy to understand, and they do not let you off the phone until the problem is solved. I LURV my Apple. (Also, it forces fools like me, though they've experienced valuable items breaking in a far too short period of time, who say "who needs a warranty?" to get one. It is, The Hubba assured me, and damn if he's not right, a small price for a great thing.)

So I whipped out my handy-dandy Apple Care Protection Plan and gave them a ring. Possibly the most mellow technician EVER took my call and after a while of fiddle-faddling around, we discovered a clue. Under "Disk Utilities" it said System Failing.

I pointed out to my cool dude technician, this did not sound promising. About ten agonizing seconds later, he agreed, no, no, it did not. Another fifteen to twenty seconds later, he said, no, it was, in fact, very, very bad.

However- I have Apple Care Protection- which is very cool, he added (I kid you not)- and so am entitled to take that laptop to the nearest Apple store and have them send it back to the mothership, where they will replace my hard drive and (!) any other parts that might need it. Was there, he paused to ask, anything on the hard drive I would want to save?

Once my heart started back up, I assured him, as calmly as I could, yes there was a lot I wanted to get off the hard drive. No problem, no problem, at the store let them know and they'll back it up for me and send me home with a handy-dandy CD of all my work.

I summoned the courage to ask, how long until I get my computer back? Somewhere in the world, a woman was able to give birth in the time it took my cool dude to say "Five... to... ten..." Please don't say weeks, please don't say weeks, I mentally chanted. "... days."

So there's the story told, in about a tenth of the time it took to act it out. I have an appointment to take my laptop in tomorrow, have everything pulled off (we hope, we hope, dear God we hope) and then leave my little darling in the hands of some very laid back fellows, to be returned, like new, to me in... five... to... ten... days.

I expect to post between now and then, but I warn you: The desktop? Where I'm writing now? It's all the way upstairs.

And it's a Dell.

So I'm not making any promises.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I'm a Woman of the Cloth

Back in the habit, y'all, that's what I am.

Erin, who's recently been discovered in Burlington knitting cycles, and, sadly, is blogless (write your congressman!), has inspired several of us. She and her Ballband Dishcloth have got the masses (Miz Knotty and me) flocking to our local Michael's and even Wal-Mart for our Sugar n'Cream and Peaches n'Cream dishcloth cotton.

And turning out beauties such as this:

Might I point out, this dishcloth, which calls for size 7 needles and which I decided to knit on size 7 needles, will clearly, with my loosey-goosey ways, be bigger than all belief? But that is alright, because my dishcloth is always just the right size.

Again, I cannot emphasize it enough, I LOVE MY DISHCLOTHS. I just do, it is a love that dares speak its name and it makes me so happy. There is no explaining it.

So I'm already plotting out my next one of these. And- AND!- how did I miss this? am I really paying this little attention in day-to-day life? (chances are good)- I've *discovered* Knitting Pattern Central (or KPC, keep it on the DL, y'all) has an entire page of free dishcloth patterns. Dozens and dozens and dozens of patterns. I was almost a little light-headed looking over them.

So even though I'm still working on finishing this lovely mess o' lace

and even though I've cast-on yet another pair of socks, I am back in the land of cotton. Where I belong.

Off subject completely, but in these last few weeks of American Idol mania (I don't even link it because, who hasn't heard of AI?), The Hubba came up with a GENIUS plan. It was shortly after we heard (not being people who actually watch AI but who live in, you know, the world and so can't help but hear about it) Bon Jovi had appeared on the show (they are not, as it last seemed, dead) and not only performed but had a 333% (honest to goodness) boost in sales due to said performance. Seriously. Their last album, from 1936, shot back onto the charts due to this one five minute appearance. And so The Hubba, with that Grinch-like glint in his eye, looked at me and said "I know what we need to do."

"We need," he said, while strolling around the living room, hands clasped behind his back, "to get a few chapters of your book into the hands of someone, anyone on American Idol and have them read it on stage. It would be an instant success."

I looked at him. I laughed. I laughed hard. I told him how funny AND clever he is. He did not laugh, but he stopped pacing. He shrugged, looking a little sheepish, and said "I don't know. It seemed like a good idea. But... it's crazy, right? Nuts?"

And we both laughed.

Except... I mean... if anyone out there IS going to be on American Idol, well, maybe-

Look just email me if you decide to audition.



Monday, May 21, 2007

Hagrid's Emergency, Back-Up Dog

Miz Knotty once mentioned, she thought our Barkely looked exactly like the type of magical beastie you might find living with Hagrid of my beloved series. Once I got over my delight ("my dog! A Harry Potter dog! Where to start? I'd like to thank the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley, Dr. Brott who told us Barkley's glaring overbite did not require him 'breaking Barkley's jaw and re-setting it, where we'd have to blend up his doggy food and feed him through a straw' as The Hubba first suggested, Barkley's biological parents wherever they may be, the Academy, of course..."), I thought "hmm, there's a double meaning in that." (I also blatantly plagiarized Shakespeare- sorry about that). Still, I knew there would come a time, Barkley and his mystical Harry-ness would be important.

That time. Is now. I present you, Barkley Potter!

I'm overly delighted, to the point of subjecting our dog to photo shoots, to have finished this scarf, for several reasons: 1) It's been number one on my UFO list for, oh, about ten months now, since I started it last July (and reminding myself I was knitting it slowly on purpose did little to assuage my Virgo self- "unfinished project, must finish, Type A brain about... to... explode) and so crossing it off (metaphorically) is great; 2) I knew, eventually, I would get to the bit where I had to fringe it and I really didn't want to do it, which only dragged out the last few rectangles; and 3) now that it's fringed, I will never have to fringe it again.

Not that this wasn't a fun project. It was and I really enjoyed it, and as I pointed out to Knitty Yoda it is a scarf to last you a lifetime. I could get stuck in Alaska, during the coldest point in the year, in a bathing suit, flip-flops, and this scarf and be warm. It's that kind of a scarf. In fact, not to brag or anything, it's nearly, fringe and all, nine feet long. 8.8333 feet to be exact. Ahem.

My scarf, my scarf, my Harry Potter scarf. I really might compose a song in this scarf's honor. It is a glorious day in this week (and a half) of finishing, to have a completed Harry Potter scarf. And a dog who was docile enough to let me wrap it around him and take pictures. Though, I would be lying if I said meaty biscuits weren't involved.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Happiness Is a Cold Floor

While I'm hustling around, trying to finish my unfinished projects, the dogs did this, pretty much all day yesterday:

Inspiring, huh? Probably what we all should have been doing yesterday afternoon. Maybe not on the floor, but the basic restive pose doesn't look too bad.

But I wasn't. I was finishing a teeny-tiny baby hat.

Really teeny tiny. Made for a baby who should be born sometime late October. I didn't want to make this Umbilical Cord hat as big as the last one, because this baby will need the hat sooner and the last hat was already a pretty decent size. However. I may have gone to the other extreme.

First big hat, that fit a four-month-old baby with room to spare, compared to new teeny-tiny hat.

Either this hat will be taking a trip to the frog pond, or else I'll find a teeny-tiny baby to fit it.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Project One- Finished!

Haha. My scarf for my grandmother is done. Lalala.

When I finished last night, I questioned to fringe or not to fringe. The yarn is Lion Brand Homespun and while a) beautiful colors and b) surprisingly soft, it did not recommend itself to fringing. The ends-to-be-sewn-in had that raggedy fraying look. Fringing would be a bad decision, I insisted. There was no way to do it. Even when Miz Knotty suggested adding knots at the end of each fringe to keep it from fraying. But... I hate fringing. So I did not fringe. It looks nice anyway, yes?

Part of my no-love-lost-for-fringe leads me to finish the baby hat (to go with the gawjus baby blanket, if I do say so myself and I do, 'cause I just did) tonight, instead of leaping into the still-to-be-seamed-and-fringed Harry Potter scarf. Tho' I know it must be done. Really. It must be. By my hands. Unless there is some lovely knitter out there with a hankerin' to fringe... yes? No. Huh.

I realize I am technically a day behind as I didn't finish my first project until last night. Still, I am no longer taking pictures of toilet paper rolls, so I regard that as improvement.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Finishing School

I've decided to call this my Week of Finishing. Yes, it's starting on a Tuesday but it has to start somewhere, right? In honor of last week, when I finished my book-cue wild, slightly hysterical laughter- I thought it would be the perfect time to apply the same idea to my knitting. Not quite as extreme though. Last week, I barricaded myself in our house and did not: chat on the phone, email, blog (you might have noticed), grocery shop, or clean. It was, as I was telling Knitty Yoda and Miz Knotty, a bit desperate towards the end of the week (think Ramen noodles lunches and a single roll of toilet paper split between three bathrooms). But it worked and I finished. We went home to Knoxville for Mother's Day, which was great, exhausting, and a good time for all involved. So today is my first opportunity to right the severe imbalance set in our lives last week- more toilet paper being a good start, I think.
Taking stock of my UFOs, I've come up with:

1) my Harry Potter scarf (seven and a half feet long sans fringe- it's alright if you've got scarf-envy) that needs to be seamed together and have fringe added,

2) a baby hat from the leftover baby blanket (did I show you the baby blanket?)

3) a lace stole which really ends when I decide or I run out of yarn

4) a sweater for The Hubba, with its rather shapeless, "feed me, Seymour" quality, which I will either a) make great inroads into or b) frog entirely and find a new, simple sweater pattern that requires less of my personal "adjustments" and uses a worsted weight yarn

5) a garter-stitch scarf I started this weekend for my grandmother (who turns 87 on May 20th).

The plan? I will finish one item each day and, in the case of the pile of sweater, make a decision one way or the other. And it turns out, starting Tuesday, with five days left in the week (I rest on Sundays), is perfect timing as I have five projects. Perfectly planned, eh? Much like the Charmin. We never ran out.

Perhaps posting that last picture is a sign I've been out of society a little too long, huh?

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Something Happened!

We had dog action today. After a mysterious visit, when the dogs were banished to the bedroom, this was their response:

Something happened! Someone's been here.

The culprit started here...

moved over here...

and then, oddly, returned to the starting point.


But who was it? Who was this mysterious creature sending the whole house into an uproar?

I give you, the culprit:

That's right, Baby Yoda (modeling the adorable Umbilical Cord hat from Stitch n' Bitch that I had recently finished for The Hubba's secretary- the baby-to-be is a boy, but isn't that color charming on her too?). Baby Yoda had our dogs in an UPROAR. Sherlock Holmes had never been more on the case. They also picked up distinct traces of Son Yoda and Knitty Yoda, but I'm betting all those baby smells had to be the strongest, as the ottoman, where Baby Yoda started, in her car seat, and then left from, having been returned to said car seat, was the main point of focus.

Smells! Ahhhh! Unknown smells! It was an exciting afternoon for everyone.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Pal O'Mine

Once again, my compulsive drive to join secret swaps has paid off. Check out what my Secret Pal 10 pal sent me:

The first peek in the box- always exciting.

Handmade goodies- crochet scarf and matching bag. How cute are they?

The BEST book and a gorgeous hank of yarn to go with it from Lamzie Divy Woolens. The color is "Jeans" and I luff it.

All the non-knitting goodies, including candles, chocolate, lotion, and personalized notecards- could it get any better?

What a haul! And what lovely, lovely presents. If I had to pick my two favorites (which I don't have to because they're all mine- hahahaha) I would say the bag and the book are just the best. Thank you so much!

There has been a demand (or at least one politely phrased request- here's for you Knitty Yoda and Son Yoda!) for more pet shots and I tried to get a few new ones. However they all came out looking like this:

If I didn't know Barkley to be such a polite dog, I might think he was telling the photographer to "eff off".

I'll have to try again later; stealth tactics might be required.

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