Thursday, March 27, 2008

Victory is Mine!

Lots of great news to report so let's just dive right in shall we? First off, I got a job this morning with the Wiscasset Newspaper as a part-time reporter writing about such fascinating things as town meetings, school news, and transposing the police blotter! Although the pay is an astounding 7.50 per hour. Which I THINK is minimum wage, I will need to drag my reporter ass onto the website of some sort of state agency, I am so happy to have this job. This is the job that you have to learn how to be a reporter and write interesting things so that you can move on to bigger and better things. Also, I can totally do most of it from home or in the evenings with little disturbance to my schedule of watching Maggie! Yahoo!

Moving on to next sweet thing, I totally won the first round of Yarn Smackdown! Woot! It really came right down to the wire, my opponent and I were both mailing our hats literally within minutes of each other, she in Tennessee and me in Maine. Surprisingly the Maine USPS was faster! Actually, I might have won because our dinky little PO closes at noon on Saturdays so afternoon deliveries have to wait until Monday. As you can see, I sent her a pretty sweet hat! Actually you probably can't tell the sweetness just from the pic. but it has 6 inches of k2 p2 ribbing, which believe me is a pain to do simply because it's boring and 6 inches is a lot longer than you think. Er, that sounds kind of dirty. It also has cables and a sweet pattern on the top achieved by decreasing a certain way. I wish I had taken a better picture of it now. Oh well. Cest La Vie. So now I just wait to see who the other winners are, and the pattern will be released for round 2. Just so you know, I got the pattern for this hat at 5pm on Weds. and it was in the mail at 4pm on Thursday. That is ridiculously fast knitting.

I watched two movies this past week, and was surprised by both. I saw Notes on a Scandal which was totally creepy, and not in a good scary way but in a Judy Dench trying to seduce Cate Blanchette sort of way, to which I respond to by gagging and giving it a big old poop sandwich. From other reviews I thought I would really like this movie but no, no I did not. The second movie I watched was Match Point, a Woody Allen film starring Scarlett Johansen and a bunch of British people. This movie was fantastic, not Woody Allenish at all. You know how some Woody Allen movies are so obviously his that it just seems like all the parts are played by Woody Allen wearing costumes that look like other people? This was not like that at all and I give it a Woot!

I finished Dark Tort, a really light murder mystery by Diane Mott Davidson, which is part of a series of books which outline the adventures of a mystery solving caterer. They are about as heavy as Nancy Drew, so it was a nice touch after Kavalier and Clay. I also listened to an audio book by Stephen King, "The Man in the Black Suit" was pretty light for SK, a collection of kind of old timey stories. I just started another collection by him "Blood and Smoke" which is not light and quite gory. SK the man himself reads both of these collections and for some reason I find it to be a zillion times scarier. Probably because he reads it exactly the way he intended it to sound. I am "regular" as in not audio, reading Running With Scissors which is also really good and I can already tell will probably get a good review from me. Oh yeah, the ratings - Dark Tort gets a woot, and SK gets a Double Woot.

And last but not least, our bird feeder has been going crazy and I identified a bunch of new birds out here - Mourning Doves, Some sort of WoodPecker, I think a Cedar Waxwing and day before yesterday Mike and I saw 3 huge Turkey Vultures fly over so I'm counting them too. That's long enough for one post. Cya.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'm just a big liar.

I was just re-reading my last post and have come to the conclusion that I'm just a big liar. I did not update my bars as promised, or finish hats for my brothers in-law, or post a pic of my dress, AND here it is 5 days after I said I would be writing twice per week, and this is my first entry! I'm neglecting my adoring public. For shame. And also, why has no one informed me of my gross overuse of commas? Jesus. Sorry about that. I'll try to cut down.

Anyhow, it should be noted that today I completed one of the "things I've been meaning to do" items. Which as you know really are things that most people do because they are organized and on top of shit. Things like: going to the dentist, getting their hair cut, or registering their motor vehicle - which coincidentally is what I did this afternoon. It had only expired in December so I mean, really 4 months too late isn't that bad right? Yes, some of you may remember one of my very first blog entries from like 2 years ago involved me being pulled over on my way to a swimming lesson for this very same thing. Did I learn my lesson? No, No I did not. Though, I can say that this time I registered my car because Mike is getting a new office and will need the use of his car, and NOT because the man is bringing me down. I mean the man is always bringing me down that goes without saying of course.

Anyhow, I went and got some cash and boogied back to the town office with my fingers crossed, because it would only be karmically prudent for me to be pulled over on my way to register my car after driving around illegally for 4 months, but phew I made it. I would like to know if town clerks sign some sort of paper that says they will work until they actually die of old age. The woman, who is very nice I might add, at our town office must be at least 75. She can't do more than one thing at once, or she messes up. This includes talking on the phone and typing, as well as talking and adding things up on a calculator. And of course this afternoon I was in a hurry - as I'm sure everyone is who is at the town office because let's face it, you never want to go to the town office - ever. If you are at the town office it means you are standing around waiting to pay someone money for some stupid reason. Like registering things. or getting a permit to burn things. So finally it's my turn and she digs around in the nice Tupperware box our registrations are filed in, comes up with it and asks for my insurance card. Oh of course my insurance card is expired - but I have tempted fate too much I think - I cannot leave this place without my registration. I call my insurance company, get them to fax a copy of my card and wait while the nice old lady writes, in pen - as in not types using a computer - my registration out and gives it to me. I was at the town office for one hour. What is the reason for me telling you this really long story? Well the old ladies last name is....Speed. Wow, Irony. That's like if my name were Grace or Hasgoodmanners. Oh, also I was informed that my car registration is now the cheapest it's going to get because of the age of my car - and it's still a hundred bucks a year. Thank you state of Maine!

Enough of that. I am super excited because the Yarn Smackdown begins tomorrow. It's a knitting competition sort of in the style of the assassins game. Did I already go over this? Apparently I'm getting old. So basically a bunch of people sign up and are paired with an opponent. Tomorrow we will all receive a pattern at the same time and begin knitting. When you finish your hat you send it to your opponent - this "kills" them. Then they send you their unfinished hat and you send it to the next person on the list until there is one knitter standing. Picture college basketball brackets - ohhhhh - riighttt - you say. Yeah, it works like that. Wish me luck.

I also watched No Country for Old Men the other night. It rocked. Double Woot! Super super good. Go watch it right now.

I'm out!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Throwing Tea at Parapeligics.

What? What is she talking about, throwing tea at paraplegics?" Intriguing isn't it? That's what we in the biz call "a hook" I will get to that in a moment. First order of business - the list - of course. I finished a kick ass sweater/coat for Mags yesterday. Sorry for the crappy pic. but you can get a hint of the awesomeness from this I'm sure. A couple other events of note which also go on the list, I went to the Rising Tide annual meeting last weekend, which is something I have been meaning to do for years and years. Also, I went to the flower show, which is something I do every year, but I'm gonna make it fit somehow. Hm, I know there's more but I'm slack and I can't think of it right now. Ok, now a little story.

The other day I met my friend Amy for breakfast at the coffee shop, where we had a nice visit, then I purchased a large tea to go. Mags and I then proceeded on to Hannaford to buy a million dollars worth of groceries. I entered Hannaford at the same time as this woman - I presume the mom - and teen aged girl in a wheel chair. Two things you need to know - one is that we ran into them like every aisle, and every time they came down the aisle I was always doing something obnoxious like blocking the aisle and reading labels. Two, I am infinitely paranoid about Maggie saying something rude to people in wheelchairs, since according to my mom, when I was about Maggie's age, that was my deal. Every time I saw someone in a wheelchair I would point and loudly exclaim one of the following: "MOM LOOK AT THAT MAN! WHAT'S WRONG WITH THEM? WHY ARE THEY IN A MACHINE?!" embarrassing the hell out of my mother on numerous occasions. Nice huh?

So here I am in Hannaford over by the meat section and Mags says, let's get some Hot Dogs! I swing the cart around, and her little croc shoe flies off. I had been picking them off the ground the entire shopping trip as they were too big and as she grew increasingly more disenchanted with the shopping process, she would swing her legs back and forth really fast in the cart, causing them to fling farther each time. Anyhow, I go to grab the croc in mid fall with one hand, and somehow, I'm not really sure how it happened, I spaz out with my other hand and just fling my cup of tea. The tea (which thank ye gods was only lukewarm at this point) careened in an arch as if being filmed for a sitcom, before splatting on the floor directly under the girl in the wheelchair. Dudes, if there had been a quarter of an inch difference it would have landed directly in her lap.

Mortification. Profound embarrassment. Menacing Vibrations. I say something like "I'msosorryitwasn'thotI'mjusttryingtodotoomanythingsatonceknowwhatImean'mreallyreally sorry" - insert really lame nervous smile here - to the girl's mom. Girl's mom stares at me like I'm a crazy person and says nothing. Girl in chair sits there. Luckily there was a deli guy standing practically right next to me when it happened, AND had a little box of paper towels with him. He hands me the box and I go over to clean it up. Meanwhile my own two year old is sitting in our cart growing impatient, and I start to worry that she will climb out. I rush over to the tea which is all over the floor underneath the girl's chair and start cleaning up. The towels are those crappy industrial kind, so they were about as effective as cleaning with copier paper. The girl's mom did not move the chair, and just stood and stared at me while I stretched and leaned and tried to get the tea up from the floor underneath her daughter's legs. Finally she jerks the chair back and cruises off. "Sorry!" I shout after her. Still not a word. Oh and did I mention that the deli guy was just standing there watching the whole scene and doing nothing for like six hours? Finally he goes into the back and comes out with a mop, which thankfully he used himself, I fully expected he was just going to hand it to me and walk off. I took off and finished my shopping uneventfully. Luckily all Mags had to say was "Mama why did you throw your tea on the ground?" to which I responded "Because I'm a spaz."

Why does the weirdest stuff always happen to me at Hannaford? I seriously can't wait until RT can expand and I can truly do 100% of my shopping there. I think that if studies were done, it would be established quickly that Hannaford is indeed in the center of some vortex of weirdness.

Gak. I will be updating my stats later today. Progressing nicely - except of course the weight loss one, which will be shooting towards success very soon because 1. I dreamed I was on the Biggest Loser last night, I think that's like a sign from god or something and 2. I have some friends who are getting married in October and I have this dress I have been saving for a special occasion or until I can fit into it (sz 8) for like ohhh 3 years. I optimistically purchased it right after I had Mags. But mark my words, I WILL be wearing it to their wedding. I'll post a pic of it on here soon.

Next knitting project - I hope to finish a hat for my brothers in law (yes that's plural, they have both asked for hats) before I start the yarn smackdown competition at the end of this month. I'll post the deets of that later, this is already starting to look more like a novel than a blog.

I promise I will keep you suckas up to date more often, at least twice a week.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

More Snow! Yes!

Yeah, it's snowing again. Just thought I'd mention it. The sun was out for about 10 minutes yesterday, but the temp was in the 50's. Mother Nature is such a bitch. Oh also, I think I have strep throat. So I am in a super good mood this morning. Just thought I'd share. Ok, so two reviews this morning. I finally FINALLY finished The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay yesterday, and then last night we watched Gone Baby Gone. Let's start with the book.

The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay took me a really long time to read, about a month, which is super long for me. This is not to say it wasn't an excellent book, it was indeed, the writer Michael Chabon is just really wordy. But wordy in a good easy to read way, not ready in a put you to sleep Joyce Carol Oats way. It's about 2 cousins in NYC right before and during WW2. Without giving too much away, one of the cousins - Joe Kavalier has recently escaped the Nazi's in Prague and is trying to get the rest of his family out. He and his cousin Sam Clayman start a comic book with some other guys. This book reads sort of a like non-fiction account of the comic book business sometimes, and is trying to bridge that gap of creative non-fiction with just enough real facts tossed in to make you wonder. It was an extraordinarily well written book, and I highly recommend it. It's depressing but not too depressing like most WW2 books are. I give it a Double Woot!. Hey it won a Pulitzer, who am I to disagree?

Last night we watched Gone Baby Gone. This was Ben Afleck's directorial debut and I have to say, he really should have gotten an Oscar nomination for this movie. It was brilliantly directed. I can't really say much about this movie without giving too much away. I was literally at the edge of my seat, I put down my knitting and everything! Basically Casey Affleck (yes Ben's bro) is a private detective working with the Boston police to find a missing girl. But here's the thing about this movie, which I actually had read about before hand, except for the three or four major roles in this movie, all the minor roles are played by actual people from South Boston. It gave the movie an amazingly real feeling, in fact Mike observed that it made the major actors, especially Morgan Freeman seem terribly out of place. The other thing about this movie is that it was shot on location in South Boston, and it is obvious that Ben Affleck loves his town. There is one really amazing shot on a rooftop with the skyline of Boston framing Casey's outline. It was great. This movie for lack of a better word, had weight. I literally felt heavy at the end of it. I highly recommend it. I wish I could say more without giving it away, but I really can't It has a couple of rough scenes especially for me, since it does deal with child abduction. But other than that it was awesome. I hope Ben Affleck stays behind the camera from now on. Double Woot!

I'm currently knitting a very cute swing coat for Maggie, hopefully it will be done in the next couple days. Maybe today even if I get my way and lie on the couch all day.

Oh, and two month update, numbers are looking good. Average percentage is 16% which is right where it should be. As mentioned before, some percentages like blogging are swaying the poop sandwich amounts, like exercise. And some of them I have decided are just kind of dumb, like water. I mean I drink ridiculous amounts of herbal tea all day, doesn't that count? Also some of them are going to need to languish until the end of the year, like waste (which I still haven't figured out how to calculate) but I think I am doing pretty well by not using reusable shopping bags, and this summer I'm starting a kick ass compost pile.

Ok, I'm out.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Dog Ate my Snowshoe

Am I destined to not enjoy any of the spoils of our 100 inches of snow this winter? As you can see from the photo below, alas it seems to be the case. In case you need be reminded, my last foray into the great white wilderness left me with a pair of skis peeled up at the ends like cartoon sardine cans and disintegrated metal spikes for poles. After relaying my tales of woe to my dad (read: whining profusely about my lack of outdoor recreational supplies as well as lack of funds) he very nicely gave me an old pair of snowshoes. Mind you these were not as he so bluntly put it "his good ones". Anyhow, I brought them home, noting that the rawhide bindings would need to be replaced, no bid deal, and promptly stuck them in the snow bank near the ruined skis. Immediately upon bringing them home I noted that Etta, my dog,was sniffing around them a lot but chalked that up to the fact that they came from my parents barn which contains: bats, chickens, rats, god knows what else, and probably also have come into contact with one if not all of my parents three dogs.

The next day I noted that Etta had chewed a bit of the rawhide binding but again, no big whop. Fwd to this morning. Etta was laying on the floor enjoying a nice brushing session from Maggie, who for about a week now has been declaring that everyone either "has a cold" or "doesn't feel good". Anyhow she was saying that Etta didn't feel good when Mike walks in and says "I know why she doesn't feel good, she ate your snow shoe!" To which I kind of shrugged off and replied "yeah I know she was chewing the bindings" He says 'no no, she ate the webbing part. All of it!" Great! Immediately I called my dad who informed me that the snowshoes were made with sinew which is some sort of gross cartilage, basically my snow shoes were made out of the same stuff as rawhide chew toys. The dog is fine. But now I am sans skis and snowshoes. Good thing it's starting to look like spring.

Did you read that last line and say, what? No it's not. It looks gross outside, I don't see any signs of spring! But yes! The first sign of spring has arrived in Mid-Coast Maine. Is it a robin? Budding trees? A glimpse of some small woodland creature? No Way! Sea Basket is open! Sea Basket for you uninformed is a restaurant which sells very overpriced mediocre fried sea food to tourists for most of the summer. I think they might sell regular lobster too, but generally it's consumed in the form of the lobster roll. I haven't been there in years, but at the end of each February when I see the sign "open in 1 week" my heart leaps with the same sort of hope and joy some of you get when you see that crocus pushing it's way to the sun in the melted snow under your dryer vent. It makes me almost as happy as when Bet's Fish Fry marks the beginning of Summer in Boothbay Harbor.

Do I mark all of the seasons with the opening and closing of fried sea food restaurants? Yup. Just these two really. And if you have ever eaten at Bets you will understand why. She serves two things. Fish. Chips. That's it. Don't ask her for anything else. She will yell at you. I'm not even joking. But she sells the best fish and chips ever in the world. How's this for smart - first of all she only takes cash. Second of all she owns the damn boat that catches the fish she sells. How is that for cutting out the middle man? Seriously if you come within 20 miles of Boothbay this summer you owe it to yourself to go to Bets. Oh, also, it's cheap as hell.

Ok, enough non - list related stuff. Couple of updates. Watched Nacho Libre last night. Thought it was very cute and very funny. Gets a Woot! Secondly I have finished a knitting project, that as I mentioned before is a gift, and will be giving to someone then posting pics after. I should be finishing up my book today or tomorrow, FINALLY. Also, the new website I love - Ravelry needs people to volunteer edit knitting patterns on the site. Guess who signed up? Woot for volunteering!

Oh, one last (I hope THE last) update on plowing madness. We have a new guy, er people, and we heart them. So let's hope we keep them for ever and ever.

Oldies but Goodies: