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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Two steps back

I thought I'd been doing so well lately with the whole break-up thing. But, this weekend was a tough one. I don't particularly know why.

I have this bad habit of not deleting my phone messages after listening to them. So, today I decided to listen and delete the 14 messages saved on my machine (yes, 14). I didn't realize it had been so long since I'd cleared the machine. There were 5 messages on there from Fred - must have been months old (we've been broken up for almost 3 months). Well, every one of those old messages cut through me like a knife. It was hard to listen and I'll admit I broke down a little. But I deleted all of them. It felt like a final step in a way.

Will it get easier now? I'm kind of doubting it. I am back to feeling like I'll be alone forever - which isn't really a new feeling for me - my relationship with Fred was an 8 month break in the desolation. I want to think positive, but it's really difficult. I miss him so much, even though I know things weren't perfect. At the same time, I'm really upset at him (and getting angrier by the day) for what seems to me as his total lack of respect for me, shown by him ignoring my requests to return each others' stuff. Would it really have killed him to respond to the IM? I wasn't asking him to devote himself to me. I just wanted his crap out of my house. And I refuse to spend my money to mail it to him (especially since his little barbecue - the Ba-B-Q - is sitting out on my balcony). And really, I don't really know what I left at his house aside from the CDs that were in his car and a couple of movies (I do want the CDs and movies back). Anything else there is probably stuff he gave me as gifts. And I don't think I'd be able to really use or enjoy those things.

Argh...I feel pathetic for still being hung up on him. When will it stop? When will I no longer care if I ever hear from him again? Why do I still consider taking him back? (Not that it's an option - he has made it clear that he no longer wants me in his life.) Okay, sorry for the depressing rant...

Friday, April 28, 2006

One Skein...

It's Official

Okay, I did it! I sent my info to Interweave Press and have now officially signed up for the One Skein Secret Pal Exchange. I'm kind of excited now! It gives me a good excuse to go peruse the LYS at lunchtime (I haven't been to the one by work since before Christmas - trying to curb my unneccesary spending…plus need to use up some of the yarn already in my ever-growing stash…of course, I have visited the LYS closer to home once since Christmas…but that was totally necessary. You know, have to curtail the withdrawal symptoms).

So, now I have that pretty little button on my sidebar! (Love that yarn!) I don't know how to make the button link to the website though...I have my limitations.

One More Week...or more

I have a slight reprieve from the frantic housecleaning (which I'll admit, has not been nearly as frantic as it should have been). I had been planning to have the place ship shape (if your ship is a wreck?) by Saturday so it would be presentable when Mom and the step-father came to haul off my ugly couches. I talked to Mom Wednesday night, and it turns out they are not coming this weekend after all, because some event or something with their Chevy club came up. (I see where I fit into the priorities…:( ) But, at least now I have more time to clean…like all weekend. Probably good, since I don't get any cleaning done during the week at all. But, that means I don't get Gracie for a few more weeks.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Testing, Testing...

I don't know why I'm so fond of these little mindless tests. It's not like they're based on any scientific studies or fact...but they're fun! Even if they are sometimes way off the mark. So, here goes - have fun!

All American Kid
Popular but not plastic. Athletic but not a jock. Smart but not a brain.
You were well rounded and well liked in high school.

Hmm... This was SO not me. While I wasn't picked on, and got along with everybody, I was very very shy. Not athletic at all (had special attention from my P.E. teacher to insure that I'd pass the physical fitness exam and not have to take P.E. for another year). I probably was considered a brain. And I would never have considered myself Popular. Not the biggest geek, but I always figured I was considered a geek or nerd. (Not that I really know how people saw me.)


Your Birthdate: September 12
You're a dynamic, charismatic person who's possibly headed for fame.You tend to charm strangers easily. And you usually can get what you want from them.Verbally talented, you tend to persuade people with your speaking and writing.You are affectionate and loving, but it's hard for you to commit to any one relationship.
Your strength: Your charm
Your weakness: Your extreme manipulation tactics
Your power color: Indigo
Your power symbol: Four leaf clover
Your power month: December

Hmm...never really thought of myself as charming, or unable to commit to any one relationship. Extreme manipulation tactics? (I think not!!) Who writes this stuff? On this one, I actually wonder if the results are completely at random. (Then again, maybe all the tests are that way!)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sock it to Me...

Okay, here's the progress on the Lorna's Laces socks. I wish the picture had come out better. The golds in the yarn aren't nearly as orange as they appear in the photo. This fits me pretty well so far - yay me! I think the trick was finally settling on a hook 2 sizes larger than called for in the family (mostly because I don't have a C hook, and couldn't find a D... Looks like it worked out. I estimated the gauge - I'm not good with being too precise.) I actually attempted two different sock patterns before settling on this one. The other two weren't working out for me (one was working out too small, even having checked my gauge, the other was a boring stitch pattern and I didn't think I'd make it through 2 whole socks if I wasn't enjoying it.

So, like my classy stitch markers? The purple one matches the yarn. The green one...well, it was closest to my hand when I needed it. Can't beat proximity for a stitch marker! (For me, the same thing goes when it comes to bookmarks...whatever thin object is closest will hold my spot fine.)

Well, tomorrow morning I have a meeting that starts at the same time I get in, so I
really need to be on time to work. Hopefully early, since I'll want time to grab some paper and a cup of tea first. Wish me luck! (Anyone reading this who knows me and my problems with timeliness know how bad I need the luck!)

Tuesday Randomness

Just a little blurb today…I was pretty frustrated with blogger last night. I had taken some photos of my sock-in-progress (it's coming along quite nicely), and was going to post them, but blogger wasn't connecting…then again, it's probably my ancient computer that was causing the problem, as it promptly froze on my screen and wouldn't let me do a thing… Though I could happily continue my spider solitaire game (I suck at it, but I just can't stop playing!! Something to do while waiting for all those pages to load).

I've been thinking about joining the One Skein Secret Pals Exchange hosted by Interweave Press. But, I get self-conscious and wonder if I'm good enough and if some stranger would be happy with what I might do to their lovely skein of mystery yarn…I'd hate to have wasted their money. What is with this constant self-doubt?? I should do it though - it sounds like fun. (And they let crocheters in!) But, I'd better get on it, if I want to, because the deadline is May 1st. Hmm...I'm also a little confused, as the page says you send one skein to your secret pal the first month, then a 2nd skein the 2nd month. Then, in the 3rd month, you mail your pal the one-skein project you completed for them. Does that mean you get to keep one of the skeins? (Pardon my idiocy...I've never participated in a secret pal exchange.)

Busy day at work today - I haven't gotten to catch up on any of my obsessive blog reading! But, I do feel like I am getting a lot done today. Which is good. Maybe eventually all of these stacks of files/paper on my desk will start to shrink...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Look Ma! I'm knitting!

Knit Wit

My friend that I was supposed to have brunch with on Saturday cancelled on me Friday night. So, instead of consuming delicious breakfast foods in wine country, I languished on my couch with a cup of tea and a pair of knitting needles. I also decided I'd pamper myself and use a teacup from my collection for my tea in the morning. Doing that always makes it feel special somehow.

As I did not having much luck with the double cast on method when I last attempted it, I tried the cable cast on, which I found online. I had much better luck with this method. See? All the loops were all lined up correctly and everything! (Don't mind that pile of laundry on the bathroom floor in the background...that was on the agenda for later in the weekend.)

Once I'd cast on 20 stitches, I practiced the knit stitch for a while. Not too bad. Then Sunday, I attempted changing yarn colors...did not go as smoothly. I did something wrong, not sure what. But, I'll bet if I pulled out the book and read how it's supposed to be done, it would go better next time...

Then I worked on the sock I'm crocheting. So far I am enjoying the lorna's laces. I didn't shoot any photos of that yet though.

Cleaning Spree

Sunday started out with another cup of tea (or two) in another nice china cup. And a bit more knitting.

Then, the cleaning started. I feel like I did a lot, yet you can't see a huge difference (though the bathroom is notably cleaner...I don't spend as much time in there as I do in my living room). But, I did get 4 loads of laundry done, so at least I have things to wear to work this week.


I really need to call my ex regarding returning his stuff to him and getting mine back. I don't know if he's still living in the same place or not (he was going to move closer to work). I am afraid to talk to him. I don't know what to expect. I don't know what to say. And I'm terrified. But I think my biggest fear is that he may have found someone else already, while I'm so not even close to over him yet, and I'm afraid that would crush me. Okay, I know it would crush me.

And when I signed on to the internet tonight, he was online, but idle. When I saw his screen name I actually felt ill for a minute. Totally lost my appetite (I had been eating some macaroni & cheese). But, I sent him a simple "hello," and went on with my business, chatted with a couple of friends and wrote an e-mail. Figured I'd work on my blog. An hour later, he appeared no longer idle, so (now annoyed that he'd not responded, even though I knew he probably wouldn't), I told him we needed to figure out what to do about getting each other our stuff that had been left in our respective homes. Then I told him to e-mail or call so we could figure it out, and please not to ignore the message. And it kills me that he's not responding, and that it still hurts me so much. Like he couldn't care less. Even though I'm really hoping he got my message and it made him miserable to know that he let me go. I really hope he's questioning everything he's done. But I'm sure he's not. I'm sure he is probably annoyed that I attempted to contact him. (I haven't made any attempts for a whole month.) Why does this still hurt so much? I've been doing so well, but seeing his name on my screen just brought it all back. It's not fair. This still sucks. And sadly, I still want him back. Am I an idiot? I think it is probably worse because he was my first love. (Yes, my first love, and I didn't meet him until I was 29...and he left me at 30. My love life has always been pathetically non-existant, and now it is again.)

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Here's an old photo of my Grandmother (Dad's Mom) with my older sister. I'm guessing my sister is about 6 here...which would make this photo about 27 years old. Anyway, they've both passed on now, but not from my memory. Both were named Theresa, but Grandma's friends called her Tret. My sister was Terri.

I've been thinking about Grandma lately because of the Easter Holiday. Grandma was an excellent cook, but protective of her recipes. When she died, a lot of her recipes died too, as she rarely (if ever) had them written down. My mother does have a few that she wrote down while watching Grandma at work. These are rather comical... Grandma's cooking wasn't very scientific, and everything was added until things "felt right" or were the right consistency (hard to convey on paper). I don't know if she truly ever measured out ingredients. But, she definitely knew what she was doing.

Over the years, a number of us have been in search of traditional Italian recipes that would be the closest to what Grandma used to make for us. I remember that when my family would drive 4 hours across Upstate NY to visit my grandparents in Amsterdam, Grandma would have a pot of chicken noodle soup with beef meatballs ready on the stove. I'd never heard of anyone else making that, and now I realize that it's actually a version of Italian Wedding Soup, that you see all over now. (Campbell's version is actually very close in taste to Grandma's, and when I first tasted it I just had to tell my father about it!)

I kind of went off on a tangent there... Anyway, this past Easter, my mother actually pulled out a few of the traditional meals that Grandma used to make. The ham pie (she had gotten this recipe from my cousin, who pulled it from her memory), Ricotta Cream Pie, Ravioli, and the lemon cookies (these are awesome and a must at all my family holidays - Mom and Dad both, even after the divorce - and my father still contends that my mother makes them better than Grandma ever did...but my Uncle refuses to agree. They actually argued about it once, my Uncle ending with, "They're good, but they're not how Mom made them.")

We need to tweak the ham pie, as Mom and I both think there was too much cheese, and don't remember it quite that way. It was good though. This was what the family would stay up late on Good Friday waiting for. As soon as the clock struck midnight, and we could eat meat again, out came the ham pie, eaten cold.

The ravioli are also a family tradition. They take 2 days and are completely worth it. Both of my parents make them, just a tiny bit different. My dad uses a pasta machine now, but my mom still rolls out the pasta by hand. I'm pretty sure they both use a food processor now though, to prepare the filling. The filling is spinach, sausage, parmesan, egg, salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg...Chopped so fine it's the consistency of pudding. That sits overnight, and the dough is made the next day. My favorite part of the recipe as my mom wrote it is that it calls for 6 eggshells of water. (Grandma originally told her to add water to consistency, but as mom watched, she saw Grandma measure out 6 eggshells full.)

And my mother takes great pride in her raviolis. (Though I think her biggest vanity is actually her ability to make pie crust...) Here's mom posing for my blog (camera ham! hehe):

Spooning filling into pasta.

Folding the pasta over on itself...ready to roll!

The action shot...with the ravioli rolling pin.

Originally, my idea was to share the actual recipe...but I actuall forgot to write it out for myself! (I re-wrote it for Mom, to make it clearer & easier to follow, though it almost felt like I was robbing that little recipe card of it's historical accuracy and character.)

I do have the gnocci recipe though...maybe another time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

(the order of the following has been altered to conform to my post title...)

Chef Tami Comes out of Hiding (the Good)

I was in a serious cooking mood last night. Probably because I was hoping to get home earlier than usual and thought I'd actually have time to cook…well, I only got home 1/2 hour earlier than normal. And, I still couldn't feel half of my face, so didn't want to prepare anything right away. But, I took out a chicken breast to thaw and had grand ideas for it. I washed the dishes in the sink (may sound like a small thing, but believe me, it's a feat for me…), emptied the dishwasher, refilled the dishwasher and lightly cleaned the sink and countertop (okay, the one clear countertop out of the four - it's a start). Then I settled down on the couch with my Lorna's Laces Motherlode (accidentally called it Goldrush on here the other day - must be an Apprentice slip) and worked on the crocheted sock I started (I have a cuff…or a hair thingy if I never pick it up again).

It was another hour and a half or so before I had enough feeling in my face where I didn't think I'd risk eating my tongue by accident… So, I sliced the chicken breast into strips and sautéed it over medium heat in a little bit of olive oil and about a half cup of balsamic vinegar, and then ground some Italian spices over the top. The vinegar reduces down and gets really sweet. Then I threw some frozen asparagus into the pan (chicken out) and a little more vinegar, on low until the angel hair pasta boiled. (I didn't time this well, but the chicken stayed warm, but I had overcooked it a bit). Threw the asparagus and balsamic reduction on top of the angel hair, sprinkled parmesan on top, and had my dinner. I was quite pleased with my efforts, except for the dry chicken (I am always paranoid I'm going to undercook it, and end up overdoing it. I didn't use the meat thermometer soon enough to counteract my natural tendency). I counted this as 11 WW points, which is more than I normally have for dinner, but I was point deficient yesterday and only made the pasta to get in my minimum!

The Faint of Heart…(the Bad)

All of my fears have been confirmed…okay, not all of them (that would be rather earth shattering, wouldn't it?). I usually don't fear the dentist, but this time I was afraid that I'd have another weird reaction from the anesthesia. I warned the dentist beforehand, and he said it's not that uncommon for women to faint if they receive the epinephrine too quickly (and Christyn sent me here yesterday to read about the fact that it is biologically impossible to be allergic to epinephrine, but it accelerates the heart rate and instills the fight or flight response. Of course, none of the symptoms for epi sensitive people listed there included fainting… Kind of scary to me that my flight response is to fall unconscious - I would not be good in a combat situation, unless used as a decoy!). So, the dentist numbed me up topically prior to the injections, and he was very good - I hardly felt anything (unlike the excruciatingly painful injections given by the hack!). But, shortly after completing the second injection, my vision started going black and blotchy and I felt that funky pre-pass-out sensation. I said something stupid like, "I'm feeling kind of eh…"(picture that statement with the accompanying hand gesture). And then I came to slowly - the dentist and hygienist were speaking, but it sounded like gibberish to me (that's a new one…I think all the other times I've passed out, it's been quiet when I came to) and I didn't understand it. The hygienist was doing acupressure on my temples and forehead, and then put cool cloths on my face. I was sweating buckets - I could feel it trickling (I know, thanks for sharing). So…yes Joie, I did mutter the infamous line…"Did I faint?" Like I didn't already know... They gave me oxygen and turned up the AC. I was a little shaky for a while, but it went away.

Good thing I had prepared them for this. I guess it wasn't a one-time thing after all. They marked my chart for no epi from now on. Aren't I special? This is a new thing for me - I never used to have a problem with dental anesthetics… And while part of me thought there might have been a contraindication with my anti-anxiety meds, I remembered that I was taking them the last time I had a root planing, and I didn't pass out then. I must be getting old. :( The rest of the appointment was fine though. I got my temporary crown (it's rough in my mouth…doesn't feel normal…at least it's only for 2 weeks!) and the other problem tooth filled. It doesn't look like I'll need the root canal, but the dentist wants to see how I do with the temporary crown before outruling it completely. He called me last night to see how I was doing. (I've never had a dentist do that before, is that normal? Or was he afraid he'd damaged me irreparably, and trying to avoid a lawsuit?) So, my next appointment is in 2 weeks.

Bye Bye Ugly! (and the Ugly)

The world's ugliest couches will soon be leaving my house. YAY! I'm getting another couch cast-off from Mom and my step-father, not the prettiest, but a vast improvement and way more comfortable. Of course, in preparation for the great couch crusade of '06, I need to do some major cleanup of my house. Major. I absolutely cannot allow the step-father to see the chaos in which I currently live. (This is because he tends to think his own kids can do no wrong, and likes to find fault with Mom's kids so he can point it out. I think this is possibly because he knows his own kids are obnoxious little self-serving brats, and it makes him feel better if he can put us down so he doesn't feel like as much of a failure. In any case, I don't want to unwittingly give him any ammo. And no, he doesn't usually say anything to our faces, but he'll mention it in a snotty remark to my mom. I don't know how she can stand him!!)

So, I am trying to do a little bit here and there where I can, which was part of the motivation for the mini kitchen cleanup last night. Barely made a dent though. I was planning on doing the big part of the cleanup project this weekend, but it's beginning to look like a hectic weekend coming up. I'm meeting a friend for Brunch on Saturday (planned when I didn't think I'd be doing anything other than cleaning this weekend). Then, there's a last-minute going away party for one of my closest friends who'll be moving to Denver shortly. So, Saturday is pretty much out. I'm stressing already! Any tips?

and a little more Good (to end on a positive note)

I may also be getting my mom's cat Gracie that same weekend, who doesn't get along with Mom's other cat. Gracie is terrified of the other cat, and stays under Mom's bed all day, aside from the occasional foray to the litter box or food dish. My step-brother's fiancée was going to take her, but thinks she's allergic, so I will find out soon if the cat is to be mine. I haven't had one in a while, and hope she's healthy. My last cat, Zena, had a mystery malady that no vet could figure out. I'm hoping I'm not cat-jinxed. This cat is really really sweet and affectionate - she was a rescued stray, and we wonder if she had been terrorized by other neighborhood animals or a former home. (Poor kitty)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Short 'N Sweet

I finished the Short 'N Sweet Bolero last Friday. I had to add an extra row to the body (short-waisted as I am, it was still too short for my taste). The only other alteration I made to the pattern was in the sleeve rounds. Instead of chaining three immediately after joining rounds, I slip stitched into the prior V-stitch and then chained three, which kept the V-stitches looking like actual V's. After finishing and weaving in all ends, I tried it on. Unfortunately, I had underestimated my bust measurements when deciding which size to make, and the open front kept wanting to fall to the sides instead of laying nicely over my chest. (I am cursed, I tell you!) But, I was still quite happy with having completed my first actual garment, so the sense of accomplishment wasn't diminished.

I decided to give this to my mother, who is skinny and narrow (unlike me). Here's a shot of her wearing it. (The mirror shot was her idea, to get the front and back in the same shot - isn't my mother brilliant?)

Later today, I go back in to the dentist to get prepped for the crown. (Do I get a coronation ceremony?) I also find out if I need a root canal under that molar...wish me luck!

Monday, Monday...

Lead Foot

This morning I was running late to work. As usual. I was going a little faster on the highway than I should have been…as usual. The unusual part of this story is the CHP car that was directly behind me, that I didn't see until it started making high pitched siren-y noises… Bad me!! I must have totally been under highway hypnosis not to have noticed. And so, today I was the unlucky recipient of the 3rd speeding ticket in my life. I did surprise myself this morning though, as I was relieved and happy (yes, happy - I'm a freak) when the cop said I could do my traffic school online. (The last traffic-school eligible ticket I got was in Marin county, and I had to attend the world's most boring "comedy" traffic school in person. Who is it that determines a traffic school class qualifies as "comical?" The only comical thing about that class was that the instructor looked like Santa Clause, admitted to a seasonal gig as such, and had spilled coffee down his white shirt on his way to class that morning.) And why is it that all of my friends think I drive like an old lady, and yet I keep getting these tickets for speeding?? (Okay, 3 in the last 6 years…it could be much worse.) And more importantly, why are the cops that pull me over never cute and young? Oh well, such is my fate. And I am also convinced that if Joie had been in the car with me, I wouldn't have gotten a ticket.

Happy Easter

I spent the weekend with my mother and step-family…and took many things to keep me busy while there. (Anything to avoid awkward and irritating conversation with my step-father.) I was armed with the Stitch 'N Bitch knitting guide, a pair of needles, multiple types of yarn, the crochet sock pattern I want to make, a novel, Interweave Crochet Magazine, the new Weight Watcher's magazine issue… When I got to Mom's I unzipped my overnight bag, and searched for my crochet hooks - I was itching to start the new socks with the Lorna's Laces Goldrush. My hooks were no where to be found! (The horror!!) So, I assumed I'd left the hook case sitting on the couch cushion, which was the last place I'd seen it before running out of my house. I knew I'd forget something. I always do…only it's usually my pajamas (most of my friends know that if I'm spending the night, they'll probably end up rummaging around for something for me to sleep in).
So, since I couldn't start on the socks, I settled down with Stitch 'N Bitch and started reading away. (Actually, I was waiting for my stepfather to take offense at the "bitch" in the title - he's the type that would -but, much to my surprise, he didn't say a word.) So far, the most frustrating part of knitting for me is casting on. I think the last time I was shown how to do it, I learned a different method than that initially given in the book (the double cast-on). The knit stitch itself came back to me with minimal difficulties, and binding off went okay too. Granted, I only did a little swatch of stuff. I definitely need to practice the casting on a lot more. And I didn't get up to purling yet. I had a lot (a LOT) of trouble with that the last time I attempted it. I'm trying not to pressure myself to do too much too fast. I know I need to get comfortable with the knit stitch again before trying to move on. So far so good.

And naturally, because I'm the brilliant girl that I am, as I was packing up last night to head back home, I found the hook case and all my hooks in the bag I'd put the sock yarn in…And WHY didn't I check that before, I ask? Sometimes I wonder...

Friday, April 14, 2006

sunny crochet day

Well, I got some good crochet time in last night, while talking to my mother on the phone. I was able to finish off the main body and one sleeve, and I didn't even have to frog any of it! (For once…) So, all that is left now is one sleeve and the edging. And my least favorite part of crochet…weaving in all the loose ends. Am I the only one that finds this process tedious? (It might just be that when I finish the actual hook work, I just want to be done…and able to move on to the next thing. Impatient, maybe?)

Now, I have some options for the next project…I have 2 different sock yarns set aside for sock making, and I definitely want to start on a pair. The dilemma is, do I start with the lion brand magic stripes in blue/greys, or the lorna's laces in burgundy/golds… The blue ones will be a gift for a friend of mine who requested a pair…the others will be mine all mine! (Unless I decide they'd be perfect for someone…but at the moment, the idea is that they'll be mine). I am also planning on picking up the Stitch 'N Bitch Knitting book and trying my hand at that once again, but I'll use some of the leftover acrylic from my stash for that.

Today is the 2nd day in a row that the sun is shining up here! It really does cheer people up. The mood around the office is definitely better…but that might have something to do with the supervisor being on vacation, and the manager working from home today… Hmm…wonder if we'll get out early because it's Good Friday? If so, I can make a stop or two on my way home and search for the ravioli cutter that my mom has been scouring her area for. (It's the little wavy rotary cutter that seals and cuts the ravioli.) She sent the one she's had for years to my Aunt in Israel, because she figured she'd be able to find one without a problem (whereas Israel isn't really known for their Italian cuisine…). Anyway, there's a Linens & Things on my way home, so I might give that a try. And my specific interest in this little tool is that Mom is making a batch of ravioli for Easter dinner - my grandma's recipe (funny actually - my parents are divorced, and the recipe is my paternal grandmother's - Mom uses all kinds of Grandma's recipes and feeds them to her 2nd husband and stepkids. I'm lucky that my mother tries to keep our family traditions alive even after the divorce. And the ravs are awesome! She's also making Grandma's Italian ham pie and this extra-delicious sweet Easter Egg Bread - not Grandma's recipe, but Mom's been making it for years. My mouth is totally watering now…maybe I should have remembered to eat breakfast today...)

Okay, enough babbling. Back to work.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Me? Royalty? Ha!!!

Okay, this looked like fun, so I decided to give it a go...
You Are Cinderella!
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Dignified and hard working. With a gentle and soft-spoken manner you have something many people don't. Patience. Even through the moments of heartbreak you're still able to hold onto all of your hopes and dreams. Bide your time; your dream will come true.

Which Disney Princess are You?

Come know you want to take it!

On the non-royal front, I've been sucked into The DaVinci code pretty deeply, so haven't been doing as much crochet. But, I did get to one row shy of finishing the main body of the Short 'N Sweet Bolero today. And I only had to rip out 2 rows! I'm a moron...I removed the crochet hook to try it on to see if I wanted to add another row for length - I did - and placed the H hook next to another one on my coffee table. Then, I ate my dinner, washed my hands, turned on ANTM, picked up a hook and started working on the bolero...then, 2 rows in, I noticed the small hook still sitting on the coffee table...and realized that I had worked the last 2 rows with an I hook instead. I almost left it, but was afraid it would end up all funkified just at the bottom, so ended up ripping out the last 2 rows and starting over with the right hook. Oy... Too bad too. I was really hoping to get started on the sleeves today. Oh well. Another day (hopefully tomorrow!)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

photo journey

Ah...Northern California. Not a bad place to live. I know everyone is complaining about all the rain we've been getting (including me), but it really makes the landscape green and beautiful. Spring is probably the prettiest season here, when the hills are actually green and not dry brown/yello smoldering fire hazards.

Did I have a point? Oh yeah, I was all spring-happy on my way to my father's house in San Andreas and was thinking of all the great scenery I was passing. (And noticing how the forecasted rain was mysteriously absent!) So, I pulled out my camera on my way back home (don't tell Dad...not the safest move) and snapped some photos of my journey. The pictures are not the best, but in my defense, they were taken through the windows of a moving car.

Mooooo...there are lots of cows along the way from San Andreas to Benicia... And it being spring, lots of cute little calves too. I don't know if this is a dairy farm or these guys are up for the slaughter, but in my mind, they're the CA Happy Cows that make the CA cheese...

The sheep are cute too, and lots of little lambs running around (not that I was able to really capture them in this photo). I wonder what this sheep farm produces (again, I'm hoping it's not a meat plant, and prefer to think they are harvesting the wool to make us all some luscious yarns).

This building may not look too impressive...but if you look a little closer, you'll see that this little brick building is attached to a larger section and houses Chocoholics Divine Desserts. This is their factory (in Clements, CA on 88) where they actually produce the goodies. They give tours too! One day, I'm going to have to stop here and take one. And totally sample some divine goodies. I've seen their products in the stores, but I've never actually tasted any of them.

Can I live here?

Further down the road there are lots and lots of vineyards. Not too much growth on them yet, so they look like dark withered hands rising from the earth right now (I'm a bit of a freak, yes...and there's a reason I can't watch horror movies!). Now, I'm not much of a drinker (okay, I really don't drink at all), but I love the name of this line of wines which is on the yellow sign above. Gotta love it... 7 Deadly Zins. from Lodi Vineyards. Too clever (yeah, I'm easily impressed).

I also pass over a number of drawbridges. I thought this one looked neat from inside, so I snapped this and quickly stashed my camera away to maintain my position in my lane. I tried to center this so it wasn't on an angle...but it just wasn't working out, so I'm sorry about that.

I also pass a long expanse of windmills. Go alternative energy source, go!

And a few old school windmills too...(more charachter in these, but I don't think they'd brighten too many bulbs for too long).

I wasn't able to snap a shot of the Jelly Belly Factory as I passed it (it snuck up on me), but it's right before the Budweiser plant (above) on Highway 12. There's been a lot of growth in the area. My father took my brothers and me on a tour of Jelly Belly years ago, and it was pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Now, it's surrounded by stripmall... I guess I shouldn't be surprised. But, the tour was pretty fun, and I would totally recommend it - you also get free samples along the way.

As for Budweiser, I don't know if they do tours or not, but if so, I know a lot of people that would be interested. I'm trying to remember when they changed the sign, which used to be Anheiser-Busch, with the big eagle logo too.

Anyway, lots of rambling from me, as usual. Just think it's interesting how much you can pass in a 2hr/15min road trip across Northern CA.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Falling Apart

Okay, so I'm 30 and I'm already falling apart. I may have said this before, but I don't remember (first thing to go?). Today I had a dentist's appointment. I hadn't been in a year - and the last time I went was a disaster...I passed out. In the dentist's office!! From the Novocaine! (Well, according to the dentist, it was a different kind of anesthesia, that had epinephrine in it, and personally, I think it interacted with my anti-anxiety meds.) After that, the hack who I'd gone to actually thought I'd want to reschedule (I was getting a filling replaced). Like I'd want to risk going through THAT again! That first injection was the most painful I'd ever had in a dentist's office, and after passing out, spilling my Dixie cup of water in my lap and dropping & soaking the magazine I'd been holding and then recovering, I never got numb!! Don't get me wrong, I couldn't move anything on the right side of my face, but I could feel everything. Seriously, I was afraid the dentist had actually paralyzed me (he didn't, I can move my face again). I think I must have been spoiled before - and I'm one who'd never feared the dentist. Anyway, he shot me up with regular Novocaine and I numbed up immediately - no fainting - and he refilled the tooth. Moron. His reasoning for using the other anesthetic was that it is longer lasting. That's ridiculous - it's a 10 freakin' minute procedure!! Not to mention that he'd made me wait over an hour to even take me back to the exam area. And there was NO ONE else there! Anyway, I decided that I was never, under any circumstances, ever going back to that guy.

The next day at work I went to my benefits online system and changed my dentist with the insurance company to one that a friend/co-worker recommended. So, even after fixing the filling in that tooth, it was still sensitive to pressure, if I bit down on something just right (or wrong), but I put off making another appointment until last week, a year later, when it became hot/cold sensitive again, and started aching. I am a TERRIBLE procrastinator...

So, I really like the new dental office (feels like a real dental office, unlike the last place, which felt like an isolated cave of pain and dental destruction - did I mention how dark it was there? Old and outdated, and NO dental hygenists...that was weird to me. BTW, I only went there because I was in desperate pain and this was the dentist that the insurance company had assigned me to). Anyway, it's a good thing I like this new place, and actually feel like I can trust them (helps a ton that my friend goes there and also likes them), because it seems like I'll be spending plenty of time there in the next few months. The filling in the painful molar has expanded and is actually cracking my tooth in half (well, THAT would explain the pain!). I have an abscess above my right front tooth, which doesn't hurt at all...Apparently because the root of that tooth has died...Lovely, huh? And apparently I grind my teeth...Must be while I'm sleeping, since I certainly don't do it while I'm awake. Anyway, I need at least 3 more appointments to take care of this stuff. I need a crown & a half (Maryam says there's a reason she's called me a princess in the past...I deserve a crown! Is that an insult?), possibly a root canal there (which they won't know until they've prepped for the crown), very likely a root canal above my front tooth to treat and take care of the abscess (they're setting me up with an endodontist to check out that situation...Never seen one of those).

Sorry to unload all of that on you unwilling readers...(though if you've read this far, you're probably at least a tiny bit interested...) Anyway, I go in again next Tuesday for the crown prep. Now, who's going to tell my bank account about how lonely those little dollars that I leave in there will be?

And OH MY GOD - what a neurotic jerk Lenny turned out to be (on the Apprentice - quick change of subject...Um, I do that). I can't believe how he treated Charmaine during the task. She was bringing up good points, and he just basically kept telling her to shut up. And he was so defensive in the boardroom (which is to be expected, but he kept contradicting Trump and I'm surprised Caroline didn't slap him for being such a prick to her). Okay, I am way too into this show...

OMG (again)!! I just realized why Sean looks so familiar! He looks like a tanned version of Billy Zane. Anyone else see it?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Hearing voices

Let's take a little trip down memory lane…anyone ever watch the Nanny? I actually didn't, because I couldn’t stand Fran Drescher's voice or laugh (I'm shuddering just thinking about it). Well, fast forward a few years… I now work in the same office (thank God not the same department!) as the one and only male version of Fran Drescher…and apparently, he has a crush on me (or did), according to my co-workers. It's almost unbearable people! He works down the hall, but his boss's office is not too far from my cubicle, so I can hear the dreaded voice (like rusty nails on a chalkboard, makes me cringe, and my teeth itch - yes, itch!) when he's in there. And he has no people skills, buts into other people's conversations with unrelated crap, and is just a total irritant all the way around. This morning, he was in my boss's office FOR-EVER!! Rambling on about some project he's working on for her. I was waiting for my ears to actually start bleeding…total torture. I can't look up from my desk when he walks by, or he thinks it's okay to come over and start talking to me about nothing. And I'm too nice (obviously not TOO nice, according to what I've already written) to just tell him to go away. I'm cursed, I tell you!

In less irritating news, I've decided to jump into the new millenium, and have started reading The DaVinci Code. I decided that now that all the hype has died down a bit, it was okay for me to read it. (My own tiny rebellion against pop culture - if everyone's doing it, I don't want to…sometimes. And the more people that tell me to something, the less likely I am to do it. I'm so passive aggressive it's scary.) The book has been out for 3 years now, and I'm one of the few that hasn't read it, which is fine. When it was all hyped up, I didn't really pay any attention to what it was about or anything, but the other day in the store, I checked out the description on the back of the paperback and it really did look interesting. So I debated buying it, since it was only $6. And figured that if I'm ever going to read it, I should do it before the movie comes out, which will be pretty soon. But, I didn't buy it - I remembered that a co-worker had it and never really got that into it, so I decided to ask to borrow it instead. So, since she's so awesome (reading this Christyn?), she let me borrow it. In fact, I e-mailed her to ask about it, and before I could blink 2x, it was sitting on my desk. It's funny - the things we keep in our desk drawars! Anyway, I'm about 3 chapters in and I'm diggin' it so far. Though I'm not sure about casting Tom Hanks as Langdon. Bookish looks, maybe, but not the sultry deep voice they describe in the book. In fact, I know of a former co-worker (not my department - I WISH!) that had that kind of voice and would have been perfect (even just as a voice-over for another actor - oh my God, people, this guy's voice was amazing! Not that he ever talked to me, but I got to hear him speaking to others)

Anyway…I ramble on…as usual. And now, I'm remembering the sexy voice - it will be a happy day. :)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Random Thoughts

I just saw a commercial for Vault – Drinks like a soda, kicks like an energy drink…Didn’t they already do that 10 – 15 years ago? And it was called Jolt? All the sugar, and 2x the caffeine (or something like that). I guess all fads come back…

Personally, I don’t understand the whole energy drink craze. I’d rather drain a cup of tea (or coffee…back when I was still an addict). Or if I’m that tired, take a nap. But, maybe it’s because I don’t like overly sweet things – but I also don’t like that hyped up wired feeling either. I guess I’m weird…

Last night I made some good progress on the Short ‘N Sweet Bolero…but I realized around 9:30 that I’d started the prior row with one less dc than required. So, I’m going to rip out the last two rows, but after that, I’m close to being done with the body and will only have the sleeves left. Now, I should probably learn not to crochet while totally engrossed in TV. (I won’t learn – that’s the best time to do it!!)

And I need to work on making more of the little chicks. I’ve had requests at work, and I’d like to give one to my baby brother this weekend – he’s turning 2!! I can’t wait to see him. It’s been since Christmas. Poor kid will be blinded after I’m done with my camera. :)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

And a-weigh we go...

Okay, I have come to a decision. I NEED to reach lifetime at Weight Watchers. Okay, so I've come to this decision more than a few times in the past… But, I'm re-dedicated now (again). Aside from the benefits of reaching a healthy weight for my height/age (diabetes in the family), I could really use the extra $11 a week I drop per meeting. That's approximately $572 a year…think of how much yarn that would buy? Or clothing… Or books… etc…

I've been a member of WW for about 4 years, on and off plan, but consistently weighing in. I know that if I stop going to weigh ins, I'll lose all of the accountability that it provides, and be back up to my starting weight in no time (152, on a barely 5'1" frame). I've been between 5-15 pounds from goal for a couple of years…it's frustrating, and sometimes I get tired of being on plan and stray. It's self-defeating, I know… but I know exactly what I'm doing wrong, so I can't blame the plan (which really does work if you follow it). I'm resistant to exercise…but I've been wearing a pedometer for a while, which keeps me a little more active. Now, I have only reached the recommended 10,000 steps a handful of times, but I am definitely getting more steps in than I used to. And now, since I've written this all down and published it to the web, I feel even more accountable…so wish me luck in my dieting endeavors!

On the crochet front, I worked up one of the Berroco chicks (Peeps!!) last night. It didn't turn out nearly as cute as the ones in the pattern photo. It was too big really... I had used a K hook, because it's such a bulky yarn. So, I tried again tonight with an I hook, and it came out much better (the smaller, blue eyed chick). And the yarn is luscious! I swear it is like crocheting a little cloud. SO soft! It's great! I want a sweater out of this stuff (just not sure I'm that ambitious yet!).

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Spinning a Yarn

So today I met up with a friend to go to a Wedding Event at Michaels. It was supposed to have ideas for invitations, cakes, etc, but it was actually very disappointing... But, afterwards, I was able to run down to Fashion Knit in Walnut Creek to indulge in some yarn. Yay! I haven't been there in ages. I picked up some really pretty sock yarn (Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in Mother Lode), the new Interweave Crochet issue, and some yellow Berroco Plush (to make these cute little chicks!! ). Ooh, and I also got a skein of Noro Silk Garden, color 71, which is the prettiest mix of purples, greys, greens, browns. I will probably make a simple scarf with this, since it's only 100 meters. But, I couldn't resist.

Anyway, that was the highlight of my weekend...I stopped putting off my laundry (it was getting pretty desperate) and did 6 loads yesterday. For once, I even folded it all. Of course, my back is killing me now...I'm so weak. :(