Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Poor people are funny!

Last night I watched Fun with Dick and Jane, which starred Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni as Dick and Jane. Jim Carrey is not one of my favorite actors I'm not a big fan of how he turns every character he portrays into Fire Marshall Bill (now that was an old reference wasn't it! Bet you thought I would say the Mask, or Ace Ventura - but no - I went for ye olde laughs)! This movie gets a meh. Mostly because it couldn't decide if it wanted to be funny or dramatic. I personally thought it was very sad.

The premise is simple, Dick and Jane are prosperous upper middle class types living pretty lavishly in I think California. Dick's evil boss - Alec Baldwin - bankrupts his company and steals all the pension funds etc. Enron style. Of course now Dick and Jane, as well as their co-workers are completely screwed. Enter the alleged hilarity, Dick goes and tries to get jobs without success, storming out of a Wal-Mart type store after failing as a greeter then finally hanging out with a bunch of illegals at a Lowe's trying to find work. Um, not funny. I don't really know what they were trying to go for here, funny that an upper class person has to grovel and find his way working with the majority of the population? Eventually Dick is desperate to the point that he and Jane are driven to committing crimes - of course only stealing from those places that cater to the excess of upper middle classers, starbucks, sushi restaurants, jewelry stores, etc. This movie dips it's toe into the pool of what is really going on in this country without taking the plunge, oh and of course the ending is tied up in a nice little bow with Dick and Jane getting their pension back and realizing that money doesn't buy happiness etc. etc. Blech. Don't worry folks you don't need to worry about struggling and paying your bills - it's not going to make you happy! Straight from the mouths of actors and studio execs making more in a month than I probably will in my life time. So -MEH! Take that!

I have a super fun project on the sticks right now, but as I mentioned earlier it's a gift so...sorry no pics. right now.

I'm still off of the celebrity gossip, although I did learn by osmosis that Britney is out running around without her undies on again. Ew. Britney, no one wants to see your cha-cha. Besides, pretty much everyone as already seen it. Jay Leno doesn't even make jokes about it anymore. Just put your junk away.

OH, I started a correspondence class for writing children's literature - I'm super excited. I really think it's going to help me focus as well as being able to get my work in front of people who may actually publish it. I also had another rad idea for a book. Yay! I really want to make some money so that I can transfer to UMA and finish up my degree - only um 11 years after the fact....Please don't e-mail me and tell me I don't really need it etc. etc. I may or may not, but the truth is I'm only like 30 cr. away from a BA, I should really just finish it up.

And finally, I wrote an e-mail to one of the town selectmen to see what was up with the high-speed internet situation in my town (as in there isn't any - yes I really do live in the stone age ok,I do have satellite internet from Hughes but it is HORRIBLE. You can't stream movies, or download books, music etc. because they will then say you are using "an unreasonable amount of bandwidth" and kick off your connection for 24 hours. It's pretty sweet. Oh, and it costs well over a hundred bucks a month. Awesome!) Anyhow she very nicely responded AND asked me to be on the oversight committee for the installation of high-speed in my town. I think I will do it. New thing AND volunteering. Wham! Wham!

That's it. I have to go run errands before another F@#%ing snow storm keeps us trapped for the next 2 days.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

End Game.

Don't worry it's not end game for the list. It's end game with the plow guy. I'm totally over it but thought you might like an update. So at last posting he had come and sanded my nearly bare driveway. That was Monday. On Weds. I get an invoice from him with a little note - and I wish I had it I would just post it here - that said something like, "I received your voice mail and came to sand your driveway as a courtesy for you. The 75.00 for plowing we agreed upon did not include sanding, I had been sanding it as a favor. Please note that for next year 2008-09 I will not be plowing in (my town) and you will need to make other arrangements." Um. Ok guy. So what about the time when we hired someone else to sand and were on the verge of firing you and you said "no no, I can come sand" plus, if someone is paying you 75 for plowing that takes you about 20 minutes, is sanding their driveway so that they can pass safely up and down really a courtesy? Blargh. 900 bucks we have given this guy this winter. Anyhow I called him and very nicely told him that his check was in the mail and don't bother coming back this winter, I will make other arrangements. We should just buy a crappy truck for like $1500 bucks and also use it to go to the dump. I think we would be ahead of the game in less than a year. Ok, enough of that.

It should also be noted I am turning into a super bird nerd. We put out a new feeder for thistle last night and this morning it is swarmed with gold finches. I actually squealed with glee. I'm planning a super awesome bird garden this summer with feeders and plants that birds enjoy. So dork rating status: bird watcher, knitter, audio book and NPR podcast consumer, reader, and trivia fiend. I would say bird/nerd meter is at about 40%.

I think I am going to count applying for writing jobs as submissions. Because I do have to send a sample of writing, and it is just as awesome to not hear/get rejected over and over and over. Even if it's not for a regular magazine it still sucks balls. It's still a big "yeah your writing is not good enough to contribute to our crappy website". Whatev, my ego is big enough so may times I can go check out the site and say, "Oh, I get it - my writing was too good, I scared them away. They probably don't think they can't afford me." The thing is I probably charge far less than the plow guy. Hmm maybe I should give up writing in favor of plowing driveways....

Last night I watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, starring Val Kilmer and Robert Downy Jr. It should be noted that I would probably watch a movie of Robert Downy Jr. doing a crossword puzzle and give it a Woot! Drug problems aside, he is a fantastic actor and plays everything with an infectious sketchy intensity. Yes, I heart Robert Downy Jr. Moving on..The movie was basically the same old formula for a who done it murder in Hollywood. The great thing was the narration - RDJ - who actually acknowledges the cheesiness of the movie. Also, the dialog/humor in the film was fantastic. A lot was made in the media of the fact that Val Kilmer plays a gay detective in this movie, but aside from a few really good jokes, there was only one place where it played an important role. They avoided the whole "Friend pretends to be gay to get the girl" story line which I feared was going to be the case early on. Anyhow this was a great fun movie, a snarky version of a classic story line. It gets a Woot!

I'm still working on Kavalier and Clay, which is still really good. My afternoon nap has been eliminated, and I used to read a lot during that time, so I have been reading a bit less. I have a super fun knitting project going on right now, but it's a gift so I will share it after it's been given.
Oh, and I decided not to try out for Gilgamesh, not because I am a chicken, but because there was "creative movement" mentioned on the casting sheet. Which means - creative dancing- which means - I'll pass.

You may have noticed a huge jump in my local foods bar - that's because we purchased 1/4 of a cow and paid for 1/2 of our CSA share this year. CSA = Community Supported Agriculture which basically means you pay a certain amount to a farm in the spring and then each week in the summer you get a bag of super fresh veggies. I highly recommend joining one near you. I'm super excited about the cow too, especially with the huge beef recall last week. Hopefully we will be purchasing 1/2 a pig as well. Which is a lot of meat but will be saving us money over all next winter.

I also made up a new recipe last night - a super healthy banana bread with dark chocolate chips. The thing is it didn't really bake correctly it took well over an hour, maybe closer to two. This could be because my oven sucks - which it does - OR that it was just too dense for a bread pan and should have ve been cooked in a cake pan. I will try another version soon and report back. That's it. I'm out.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wham - 2 projects dunzo!

I finished two knitting projects yesterday! The super funky slippers are for my mom, and though they look kind of weird in the picture, they look great on the feet. The ipod pouch is for Mike, but I think I might make another one as this one is just a bit too big. That little pouch only took me a couple hours, I started it at about 7 and finished it at 11. Woo Hoo! So that makes me pretty psyched.

I'm not sure what to make next. I think I might start this really cute jacket for Mags. My evil plan was to get stocked up with little projects so I'm a bit ahead of the game 30 list wise, and then start a larger project. I have also hooked up with a sock a month challenge via raverly, but am waiting for my new sticks before I can start. I'm a knitting MACHINE!

In other news, the plow guy DID come finally yesterday, you know when it was 45 degrees and raining and my driveway was already 95% defrosted......that's all I have to say about that.

I am currently debating a "new thing" which is whether or not I should try out for a play in community theater. The play is Gilgamesh I dunno, I'm pretty on the fence about it. The try outs are Weds. so I'll keep you updated.

I think that's it for today. Just wanted to post the new knitting projects.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Trivial Things

So, I took some pics. of the descent down my driveway. Yes, I was driving with one hand and held the camera out the window with the other, that's why the pics are so tilty. Yes, I know that was really stupid and dangerous of me. Please don't e-mail me and tell me how stupid and dangerous it was, Mike and I have discussed it length. I have learned my lesson and repented. But since the deed was already done - here are the pics! As you can see it really sucks. Also as an aside, I had to call the plow guy yesterday and left the following message :" Hey plow guy, um, I really need you to come and sand my driveway. My car is stuck at the top, and my driveway is a complete ice slick. We have guests coming in an hour, and they probably will not make it up the driveway. I mean, we are paying you $75 per storm, last year we paid $80 to another guy and the driveway was beautifully sanded and passable each time, I didn't get stuck even once. This year I have been stuck 3 times, and have had to get my dad to pull me out. Please come over as soon as possible." To which he responded by doing.............NOTHING. No call, no coming over to sand, nothing. I have very strong feelings about this guy right now. Needless to say, he will not be assisting us with our snow removal needs in the future. You can be assured, my plow guy rates a big poopsandwich.

Friday I participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count, which is still going on today if you would like to help out. It's really easy, you just count birds for at least 15 minutes, fill out a sheet, e-mail it in and your done! I have a lot of chickadees at my house that's for sure. You can also check out the stats. of bird species in your area in real time . This is going to be filling in some of my volunteering time. Which leads me to another volunteering thing. A certain organization mailed me - in the regular mail - a flyer with a sign up sheet for an event occurring soon that I was interested in participating in. On the sheet it said you can register on-line. So I did. To which I have had no response. Now, I am familiar with this organization, and am pretty sure that they probably don't check their email ,or just deleted it. But, I am totally not e-mailing back or calling. Why? Because I don't feel like I should be chasing them down in order to volunteer, I really don't. Places need to make it as easy as possible for volunteers to sign up, and I feel like in a lot of cases they don't, and then they whine about lack of interest and volunteers. It's really easy people - the answer is this - Use the internets. They are your friend. How's that for a bad attitude?

Friday I also did a "new-thing" which was to participate in a trivia challenge at my local bookstore. Not only did I not win, but I was defeated by my trivia nemesis, Mr. Daniel Bachelder by one point. ONE POINT! But I'm a good sport and so am publicly reporting my defeat and his stunning fourth quarter victory. I think I will be going to more trivia nights and have heard that there is an excellent trivia challenge at the Liberal Cup in Hallowell on Tuesday nights. Which might be even more fun because instead of tea, you can also enjoy delicious adult beverages. Thanks Dan and Erika for being my dates! I look forward to going out again soon :)

Let's see, what else. Oh yes! I have been learning new words thanks to a word of the day app. on my desktop. My favorite so far is "pestiferous". which sounds like a word I would make up myself. I will now use it in a sentence "One must avoid walking in the pestiferous woods around my house during the summer, lest you be covered with legions of mosquito bites."

This weekend I nearly completed a pair of slippers for my mom. I think if I knit non-stop on these, I could have had them done in about 6 hours. Probably less. I am really disappointed in the lack of slipper patterns knit in the round. Most of them are back and forth on straights. Annoying. Last night I won a set of 15 pr. of dbl pointed needles for like 14 bucks on ebay. This is a huge score, as they are usually between four and eight bucks a pair - my new ones are less than a buck! Woot! It's rad to have a whole set like this because now I know I always have the correct size that patterns call for. I plan on knitting some bitchin' socks and fingerless gloves. OH! I also entered this crazy knitting contest thing on Ravelry. People are matched up with a pattern and a partner. When the item is finished it is mailed to the partner via usps, if you receive your partners piece before you are finished you are "dead", and they move on to the next round. Sounds like fun. Just a note about Ravelry, it has to be bar none one of the best websites I have ever seen, been on, participated in, etc. etc. Unfortunately you have to be a member to even check the site out, but if you are a knitter or crocheter I highly recommend it. Oh, and it's Freeeeeee.

Movie review! Last night I watched Memoir of a Geisha, which rates a Double Woot! with the following disclaimer: if you are a dude, this is probably not a movie you will enjoy as it's a romance/drama set in Japan in the 30's/40's. I'm not trying to be sexist, I'm just saying, it's not really a dude movie. Just the same as the new Rambo promoters are probably not including moi in their target demographic. The movie was stunning visually, as most movies set in Japan are. If it wasn't a zillion hour long plane ride I would love to visit Japan sometime, but I really can't see myself on a plane for 16 hours anytime soon. Anyhow, the movie tells the story of a young girl who is sold at age nine to a Geisha house. Apparently this was fairly common for parents with little money etc. who felt their daughters had no real chance at life. The movie still left quite a bit of mystery surrounding Geisha, and I'm sure the book is quite good, but I was always under the impression that Geisha was a choice for women, but I would say it's as much a choice as those who "choose" to be prostitutes. While Geisha are not prostitutes they are sort of viewed as pieces of art, not really people in the traditional sense. There's a lot to it. Anyhow, Double woot! And possible book choice as well!

Oh, that reminds me, back to Ravelry for a minute, there is a little online book club for knitters who also read, and so I joined that too. This is a new thing for me, being a joiner. Anyhow in the next few weeks I will be reading the next choice - A Thousand Splendid Suns.

As of today, the only category with 0% goal completed is lose 30lbs. Which is going to be more like lose 40lbs if I don't literally get my ass in gear....I'm sure there's more but this is already super long. Cya.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Universe to Me: Happy F@#!ing Valentine's Day!

Yes, it was one of those days. A day when I understand why all the moms in the 50's ate Valium like jellybeans. A day when I considered becoming a "drinks during the day" mom. A day when I actually said to my best friend on the phone, "I kind of wish I would fall on the ice, so that I could go to the hospital and have a little vacation." Yes folks, it was that good. It all started with Mags just freaking out all morning. I don't know if she didn't get enough sleep, or is getting a cold, or it's a full moon but she had a tantrum at every turn. "Please wear this shirt." Response "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Hurls self on floor crying. "Please eat your breakfast" Please see previous response. "Please put your mittens on so we can leave." Again, see first response. You get the drift.

So after about an hour of negotiating with Mags, we finally leave only to discover that our plow guy who we pay $75 PER STORM - you do the math for this joyous winter- has not come and sanded our driveway which is now an Olympic sized luge. For those of you who have not had the joy of experiencing my driveway, I will post some pics. soon so you can feel the love. Basically I slid to the bottom, then called Mike and said "Call the guy". Anyhow, journey continues on to Strong's where I planned on taking pics. to put on ebay for my parents but again Maggie was being cranky and bored. And my mom, who I have specifically told not to buy Maggie sweets anymore as it is becoming a problem in our house, decided that Easter Peeps and Chocolate Chip muffins do not fall into this category because it's Valentine's Day. Uh, ok. I move on up the road to Rite Aid, where on Monday I had taken 2 rolls of actual film, which I found while doing a - thing I've been meaning to do - task, clean out junk drawer. After dropping them off and finding out much to my horror that it was going to cost me like $20 to have them developed, I go up to the counter today and tell the guy my name and he says "Nope not here, when did you drop them off?" and I said "Monday" To which he responded "OH! Well there is no way they would be here why would you think they would be here today?" and I said "Uhhh, because of this sticker right here on the counter, which reads Drop off Mon., Pick up Weds." It should also be noted that today is Thursday. "I see. Well we didn't have deliveries because of the storm." Hmmm. I see. Whatever. On to Hannaford.

The trip to Hannaford actually wasn't that bad until the end. Actually it was kind of funny, I was buying some wine (um of course) and I happened to buy this brand called Rex Goliath 47lb Rooster, which has a picture of a Rooster on the front. Of course they had just reorganized the wine section so I said to Mags "help me find the rooster picture!" when we found it shes said "Awww Mama, there's your rooster! Did you miss him?" Ahhh yes, yes I did indeed. Of course at the check out she freaked out because she couldn't have a Milky Way bar, the preferred chaser for Easter peeps. I'm sure I totally horrifed the older lady behind the checkout who, in the midst of a full on tantrum said "Ohh, I think cupid hit her with his arrow!" What?! Are you serious lady? Anyway I replied" Yeah, I think cupid hit her with a cranky stick." She looked slightly appalled. Ok, groceries bought, homeward bound. Convo. with Mike confirms, still no sand on the driveway. Which, although it was a luge, a literal sheet of ice, I was confident I could make it up, and I did - almost.

My driveway goes kind of like this - huge steep hill, flat, smaller hill, sharp corner, steep hill, You made it! so I made it past sharp corner to final steep hill, and literally just slid backwards. So of course I try again, at which point I actually get stuck. There have been many many times when I can't drive up my driveway, but never have I actually gotten stuck. Put my car off the side into the ditch. Two year old, and $100 of groceries in the car, I get out, and it's so icy I just slide down and have to hold onto the car in order to stay upright. Mike comes down, we put Maggie in her badass 4x4 stroller, put salt just in front of us and walk up. Like 10 minutes later plow guy comes with his sorry excuse for sanding - aka bucket - and Mike goes down and talks to him, do they get the car out? No. Of course I, of noble Irish birth (read - stubborn) and good Yankee stock (read - even stubborner) trudge down with the plan of getting my car out. Look, I am really good at getting my car up the driveway, Mike will even tell you it's true. I even have to get HIS car up the driveway sometimes. I spent many hours as passengers in vehicles that were stuck in mud in the woods, and learned the technique of rock, spin, rock, spin, floor it, dig dig dig, lean, smoke, study, repeat. This was not happening, I was far off the driveway in the ditch running down the side, which now was water and mud. So I did what any Mainer girl would do. I called my dad. He came over,with his huge truck, hitched up my car and pulled it out in about 3 minutes, AND he was super happy about it. I mean, when does he get to use his fancy tow rope, hopefully hardly ever. So, if you're reading this, thank you thank you Dad. Seriously. You made my sucktastic day suck just a bit less.

However, during all this suck, I managed to get a few things done. My afternoon downtime - meaning Maggie's nap time when I get all my cleaning and other stuff done - was spent shoveling, so that is definately my exercise for the day. Second, I identified another bird, goldfinch. Third, I was listening to this podcast about knitting - What you didn't think I could be any dorkier and now you learn I'm listening to knitting podcasts? Oh you just wait my dorkiness has only just begun to be revealed. - and learned that knitting book writers, and yarn companies have test knitters. Test knitters get free yarn and free patterns in exchange for working through a pattern and identifying mistakes, like a knitting editor. Woot! I immediately emailed a couple places and got on their lists for test knitting. How cool is that? AND I had an idea for a really cool book, which I'm not going to talk about because I don't want it to lose it's mojo. Mags had a good nap, and we whipped up a batch of tasty oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and she was in a great mood the rest of the night. And now she's in bed so the rooster and I are reunited, and I can go watch Lost and relax.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Just the facts Ma'm

I actually just did some math. Ok, Excel did the actual math part, but I had to remember how to get averages. Shut up. Seriously, is that something I use often? No I do not. In fact I try to use math as little as humanly possible. This is a typical math problem for me: How much does that cost? How much is in my wallet? Do I have greater than/less than what that costs. Yes? Yay! No?Walk Away. Anyhow I was interested in figuring out what my average% completed is for the list, AND how much should be completed each month in order to achieve my goals. If I was to complete everything at a leisurely pace I should figure on 8.33 percent completion per item per month. Now, here's the thing, some of my goals are at 0, and some of them are at 53%, which makes me love averages. Anyhow, if you tally up all my goals, my current average is 9.69%. Yay! I feel that this is the sort of math/logic that the government uses all the time. As you can see, though I'm not even working on some of my goals, the ones I am working on are canceling them out, and in fact I am ahead of the game! Huh? Exactly!

I watched Capote last night and it too receives a Woot. But a much more emphatic Woot than Shopgirl. Phillip Seymour Hoffman did an excellent job and should totally get an Oscar for this movie. Oh wait, he did like a year ago. This movie was about, you guessed it Truman Capote who, it just so happens wrote the book that one of my favorite movies ever - Breakfast at Tiffanys- is based on. Capote centers around the 4 years of Truman Capote's life while he was researching and writing his non-fiction novel In Cold Blood. Capote tells the story of a Kansas family of 4 who were brutally murdered and the 2 men who killed them. A couple of things I found kind of annoying about this movie were 1. They never showed or told the evidence that they had against the two murderers and 2. You didn't find out until about half way through the movie if they actually committed the crime or not, or at least whether or not Capote believed that they did. This is the second movie in about a week I have seen with Kathrine Keener the other being 40 Year Old Virgin and I have decided she's great, and I really like her. Where has she been all these years? It's like she sprouted into celebritydom in her 40s. She plays Harper Lee, yes, that Harper Lee, the one who wrote To Kill A Mockingbird. Another thing I really liked about this movie was I the way it portrayed Capote as a writer, his immersion in the subject and mulling it over for months, perhaps years before actually getting down to the writing part. I can empathize Mr. Capote. One final thought: at the end of the movie there are these little notes like "Capote died in 1984 from alcoholism related problems" etc. etc. they said "After In Cold Blood, Capote never finished another book." Well, I did a bit of research this morning, and that is not really true. While he didn't finish another whole novel, he did a ton of short stories and articles, many of which were compiled into books. He also wrote a TV series. The movie would have you believe that after In Cold Blood, he just stopped writing altogether, which is simply untrue. This may just be drama OR it could be a nod to Capote himself who was widely criticized for taking pretty big liberties with the retelling of the murder case, and in fact some said he outright lied in a number of areas. Either way, it's a good movie and it gets a woot. I also think I will be adding In Cold Blood to my reading list.

While I'm here, I'll write about my 2 dilemmas. 1. My local yarn store is going out of business, and although I promised my self that this year I will NOT be buying any new yarn until my stash runs out, this is serious! I could get some great deals! Of course I will wait until everything is 50% off, but is this buying more shit I don't need, or stocking up for future projects? Blargh! 2. I really want to paint my kitchen this fabulous Barn Door Red Color BUT we really really need to rip out the counter which is super cheap and all warped, as well as replacing the back splash, especially behind the sink where it's all mildewed and gross. So, here's the dilemma: do I go ahead and paint the kitchen and worry about just doing touch ups etc. when we do the counter or should I wait until we do the counter and paint then? I think I should probably just paint now because who the hell knows when we will have a couple grand for a new counter. Also a gallon of paint is like 30 bucks, so if we have all this money to do the counter and back splash, we can probably afford an extra 30 for more paint . Hmmm.

Still nothing on the sticks, hopefully will be starting something tonight. It takes me forever to settle on a new project. Tea Time.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

50% Yeah Baby!

OK granted, the 50% mark has been reached for...Blogging...but still 50% in like a month. I predict that my blogging goal is going to be like 500% by the end of the year. I finished ANOTHER knitting project last night - a super cool bulky hat with the same yarn as my socks. You can find the pattern here. I was also a treat to read some of the designers blog, she calls herself the Yarn Harlot, it's pretty cool too, if you're interested check it out here.
I also did some exercising yesterday finally, which I think is going to count as both exercising AND doing something I've been meaning to do. I finally FINALLY took my XC skis across the street to the nature preserve and skiied around for about an hour. It was awesome. Why haven't I gone over there before? I mean we have only lived here for 7 years. Because I'm a weirdo, that's why. But here's the thing, while I was skiing, my skis literally fell apart. The top peeled away from the bottom like a sardine can, and the plastic caps that go over the top of my ski poles split and cracked and just fell off. So if you or anyone you know would like to sell me a pair of skis drop me a line, otherwise I will be heading to Play it Again Sports in the next week or so. Which leads me to another thought I've been having. The 30 list contains 2 categories : Around the House Projects and Things I've Been Meaning to Do, which I have come to the conclusion have not been done because I am lazy, but because we're broke. Not to delve too much into my financial info, but I really don't get it. We don't spend frivolously, I never by new stuff - EVER, we have a house payment that is far less than most people's since we were able to buy it in 2000, before the boom. It's just crazy because pretty much the majority of people I know, are making far above the Maine "average" income, and yet everyone I know is just barely paying their bills. It's twacked. Oh wait DUH DUH DUH - I forgot, it costs us 650, to have our oil tank filled. Sweet. Anyhow, enough of that.

So I watched Shopgirl last night. I know I said my next movie would be Capote, but it wasn't, um obviously. I was torn as to whether to give this movie a single woot or a meh. I think I have settled on the Woot. Here's the thing about that movie: Steve Martin wrote it, and narrates it - and it's a story about an older dude - played by guess who...Steve Martin...and a younger woman, Claire Danes. I could not get over Steve Martin 1. playing a serious role that wasn't funny AT ALL and 2. seeing him get it on with Claire Danes, it totally grossed me out. Oh and also, Claire Danes is SOOO thin, distractingly thin, and they dressed her in clothes to highlight her distractingly thinness. I think that she is about as thick as a dictionary. The movie also tried really really hard to use all kinds of edgy indie type shots, you know the stark weirdly lit long shots down a hallway, etc. Not only that, but the movie had lots of stereotypes, especially that of Mirabell (Claire's) loopy blonde co-worker, wh0 seemed to really play no significance to the plot except to add in a totally unnecessary sex scene with her and Jason Shwartzman - who I love by the way. But on the positive side, the acting in this movie was fantastic, I give it a woot alone on the 2 minute scene with Mirabelle's parents played by , some guy who looks like Jeff Bridges, (but wasn't) and Fracnes Conory (the mom from 6 feet under) Seriously, those two were just amazing. Also, Claire and Jason did a fantastic job, however Steve Martin just seemed forced weirdly restrained like he was holding in a poop the entire movie. This movie was advertised on netflix as being "like Lost in Translation" except no, it wasn't. While this movie does examine the loneliness of people, and everyone's struggle to find meaning, this movie showed positive growth in the characters AND had a happy ending. Anyhow, Single Woot.

I think that's it for now. Cya.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Yay! Finally!

Got some pictures for you finally! Without further adieu:

Knitting Project #2 Cable Brim Hat Knitting Project. #3 Slipper Socks, and Turkeys!

As you can see, it's all very exciting. The knitting projects are 2 and 3 because I forgot to take a picture of 1 and gave it away. Hopefully in the next few days I will have a better picture of the turkeys so that you can see better how huge and prehistoric they are.

Moving on. As you may know from some of my bloggings last year, I am very intrigued with the idea of Lent. Which is the tradition of giving something up for 40 dayss after Ash Wednesday. I like this idea of an annual giving up of something. Except instead of 40 days I like the idea of giving it up permanently.
So, yesterday I decided to give up my afternoon nap. I got a lot of stuff done while Mags was napping, and felt pretty good about it. But later on I got thinking about what I should REALLY give up. And that thing is....drum roll please....celebrity gossip. I have no idea how I became one of *those* people. I imagine it's how a cocaine addiction starts, hey this is harmless and kind of fun every once in awhile, and then it just snowballs to an every day thing. Is a celebrity gossip addiction as detrimental as a coke addiction? I dunno, but it was definately taking time from me doing healthier activities, and though it wouldn't kill me, I really feel that too much Britney will kill your soul. So today, I got rid of all my links on my home page and replaced them with good stuff. I deleted - get ready - E!, People, Perez Hilton AND TMZ from my homepage. Shit Kate, that's a lot of useless information you were packing into your skull each day. In their place I added, word of the day (English AND Spanish) Buddhist thought of the day, Salon, and pictures of the day from National Geographic and Nasa. All much better than reading about what the Hollywood skanks are up to now.

I had a lovely visit with some friends last night, and ate way too much good food. I also made baklava for the first time, and it was quite delicious if I do say so myself. Oh! and I love coincidences that actually seem very uncoincidental - oddly enough as I was reading the Baklava recipe I learned that it is a traditional dessert served at Lent with the different layers representing the 40 days, and I hadn't even planned that! So that was pretty cool.

Another development is that the other night when I was adding my bird list over here ---> I learned that next week there is an event taking place called the Great Back Yard Bird Count a joint project between Audubon and The Cornell School of Ornithology. I'm definately signing up. A cool way volunteer, and do some good without actually much effort on my part :) I encourage you to count your birds as well! Oh, also in bird news, I am striking the birds I saw at my moms house, and am only going to go by the ones at my own feeder. This will also encourage me to vary my seeds etc. As you can see, I already have identified quite a few!

Got to start a new knitting project today. I feel odd without something "on the needles" I'm out.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Those Aren't Highlights.....

The other night I was scrutinizing myself in the mirror while Mags took a bath, and noticed my old friend rouge gray hair. Rouge gray has been around for awhile, and even though I always yank it out, it always comes back (duh) - yes of course it's always the same one! Well or so I thought. I noticed my hair was especially shiny and looked like it had a ton of highlights in it with the light shining down from my bathroom ceiling. Oh, no. Gray hairs. Dozens of the little bastards. Now, I'm going to have to add "get hair colored" to my list of things to do. Oh, c'mon don't be so vain! Go gray gracefully like your salt and pepper husband! NFW. I'm fighting this aging thing like crazy. I'm gonna be one of those 80 year old ladies with jet black hair. You say they aren't fooling anyone? Sure they are because actually they are 97. See 17 years younger!

So another movie down. Last night I watched The 40 Year Old Virgin, and I have got to say, it's probably one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. Literally I was laughing out loud throughout the whole thing. I thought it was going to be mostly lame washed up sex jokes like Superbad, and it kind of was, but unlike Superbad this had some really good original ideas in it. I'm probably going to get some shit for saying this, (that means from you Sally) but I'm ranking this right up there with Office Space as one of the best comedies ever. Um, for those of you who actually watched most of these movies last year - was Seth Rogan in every comedy made last year? I'm not complaining I think he's great, but he was in a ton of movies. Actually 40 year old virgin had a lot of the same cast as Knocked Up, which I also loved. I know that this movie did really well at the theater, but I think it probably would have done even better if it had a different title, I think the title makes people think it's going to be super smarmy, and really it wasn't. My favorite scene was definately the chest waxing. I would not be surprised in the least to find out that it was Steve Carrels actual chest hair they were ripping off - it was that believable. You should watch this movie for that scene alone. And the ending was just pure genius. So with much fanfare - 40 Year Old Virgin gets a Double Woot! Next up - Capote.

While I was watching 40-Year Old Virgin I was furiously finishing up knitting project #3, a pair of slipper socks. Again, photos to come. What's up with me not posting photos? Well I can't find either my camera charger OR the memory card. Once those are located, I will upload some great pics. fo sho' Also it should be noted, that although this is a PAIR of socks I'm only counting it as one knit item. If I get down to the wire in my final days of the list, I may review and count all my pairs as two things. What! Cheating? Perhaps. You should not be surprised.

In the past couple days I have also made up 2 recipes. The first one was this weird meatloaf pie thing. Basically I mixed up some ground turkey, ricotta, red onion, and an egg, and instead of making meatballs or a whole loaf - both of which are time consuming, the balls because of the rolling, and the loaf because of the cooking - I put it in a foil lined pie plate, and put some Parmesan cheese and a little spag. sauce on top. It cooked up super fast, and I just cut it into wedges and served it with some noodles. Then yesterday I made a foccaccia, roasted some eggplant sprinkled it with some balsamic, and made a sandwich with feta and olives. Both recipes get smiley faces.

Bird update - since my post the other day about my turkey identification, the turkeys have been at my house every morning around 9 and every afternoon around 3. It's awesome! They are so weird, and dinosaur looking. I will also post some pics of them soon.

I sent in a little piece to a writing contest for children's books. Writing contests do count as submissions I will have you know. I plan on entering a couple more in the coming weeks. Ok, it's snowing like crazy, I just read we will be getting between 5-9 inches today, and my car is stuck at the bottom of the driveway from yesterdays storm. I better go get it in this brief window before it's REALLY immovable.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Oy Vey!

As predicted I finished The Yiddish Policeman's Union a couple of days ago, and it was a great book. The premise is kind of weird as it's a detective story set in Sitka Alaska which happens to be a city of 3 million Jewish refugees who moved there after WW 2 instead of going to Israel. So, it's kind of an alternate reality, as in the city and premise for it are all fake, but it doesn't have that new-agey feel that most alt. reality books have, it just happens to take place in a made up city, in a world that had a much different outcome after WW 2. Michael Chabon is a genius. I don't know why I haven't read any of his stuff before, well actually I do, he won a Pulitzer for his book Kavalier and Klay and I usually stay away from award winning books since they are usually boring as hell. For example- James Joyce -can I get an amen? While Chabon is pretty wordy and overly descriptive its' in a way that isn't boring. In fact I liked his writing so much that I went right back to the library and got Kavalier and Klay - the Pulitzer winner - and it's great! I also picked up All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, I have developed a real liking for his work as well after I read The Road - which I also highly recommend but be warned, it's really disturbing. And when I say disturbing I mean it - this is from a rabid SK fan, this book actually made me nauseas and I had to actually put it down and walk away from it for a few hours, but then I picked it right back up and finished it in less than 2 days....so yes, I'm a sicko but it's a great book.

I also finished a slipper/sock made out of the fab. super bulky I got for my birthday. These things knit up quick since it's on #10 needles and the yarn is all huge. I would probably be done with both of them if I hadn't had to rip out about half of the first one after I finished it and restart it. But now #1 is finished and #2 will be going on the needles today. It should be noted that the pattern for these socks really blew goats. That is one of the really annoying things about knitting patterns, there is really no standard. For example in this pattern, you knit around with 4 dbl pointed needles, then you drop 2 for awhile and then it says "pick up stitches and knit " it doesn't say - pick up stitches with your other 2 dbl points and knit around. Which was confusing. Anyway, now I know, and sock 2 should go much more quickly. All you knitters should check out the gusset in the pattern linked above just so you can say "ohhh, I see - Lame"

Last night we went to Lowe's while the rest of the country was watching the Superbowl - it was awesome! That place was deserted, it was like shopping on x-mas day! I mention this because I think it's weird that a sporting event basically cleans out major shopping centers like Lowe's - and Wal-Mart where we ventured afterwards. Anyhow, we purchased a bunch of stuff that is definitely going to help the little house project bar move. Hooks for the backs of all the doors, as well as 2 jars of sample paint for my kitchen and living room. Whoever decided to start selling those little cans of sample paint is a damn genius. Because custom paint colors - meaning - anything not white is expensive for the good stuff, and you should get the good stuff, it's about 28 bucks per gallon, and it's not returnable. So for my kitchen I was totally inspired by a couple friends of mine each with fabulous red kitchens, and I got Barn Door Red. For my living room I got Pinecone, which is a medium brownish color. What?! Red and Brown? Your house is going to look crazy dark! Actually I get a ton of light in this house so I can do darkish colors, also my house is sort of open concept so the colors will be right next to each other and fairly complementary. It should be noted that this is Martha Stewart paint, you could probably guess by the names, and yes I love Martha. She's kinda bitchy but she does things right. Which leads me to my next thing to tackle.

On my list of things I've been meaning to do, or maybe it can count as kindness, I haven't decided yet, I'm going write 3 pieces of fan mail. A long time ago I read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (oh and yes I am a Dale Carnegie class graduate! Google it) and it talked about recognizing people who are inspiring to you. More recently I read My Life In France which is sort of an autobiography of Julia Child, I saw sort of because it was completed after she died by her nephew who used transcripts and letters etc. It is one of my favorite books ever, and you should put it on your list as well. Anyhow, she talked about how she had framed photos of people she found inspiring, generally other chefs, her cooking school instructor etc. on her wall. THEN just the other night I was watching Conan O'Brien and noticed he too has framed pics of people he finds inspiring on the wall of his studio as well. So, since two of my great inspirations, Julia Child, and Ken Kesey are dead and I highly regret not writing to them to tell them how much I have been inspired and motivated by their works, I am going to write actual letters, not e- mail, to Stephen King, Martha Stewart and Anthony Bourdain. Yeah it may seem like cheesy people to be inspired by, but they are my people I'm sure you have yours. I may eventually write even more, like to Joss Whedon, and Barbara Kingsolver, but right now I'm gonna write to my top 3. Wish me luck.

I guess that's it because this morning Maggie's tolerance for me writing is 0% and my tolerance for listening to her whine is also 0%.

Oldies but Goodies: