Who’s on First — 2009 Style.

December 16, 2009

This is the text conversation I had with hubby tonight.  I have a new phone, which is supposed to have better texting.  What do you think?

Me:  Where ya at
Sent 5:53 pm
Me:  I’m. Going home
Sent 6:03 pm
Me:  Please bring the other charger Home.
Sent 6:09 pm
Hub:  where’d ya go?
Sent 6:15 pm

(by the time I got this one I had already gone to the yarn shop and taken the train home)

Me: Home.  You were Ignoring me as usual.
Sent 6:46 pm
Hub:  Ok meet you downstairs?
Sent 6:52 pm
Me: Are you drunk?
Sent 6:54 pm
Me:  I am home!
Sent 6:55 pm
Hub:  No problem.  You leaving now?
Sent 6:55 pm
Me:  Wtf
Sent 6:55 pm

(at this point he gave up texting and called, where I informed him that I was at home and wouldn’t be meeting him downstairs at work)

Me:  I am blogging this ridiculousness.
Sent 7:01 pm
Hub:  I got messages at 6:50 saying you were leaving and to bring the charger.  Nothing about you being home!  Weird.
Sent 7:04 pm
Hub:  Got that about blogging though so I don’t know what’s up
Sent 7:04 pm
Hub:  Work.  Almost done, you?
Sent 7:07 pm
Me:  This is going to be a winning entry.
Sent 7:12 pm

So Much Freakin’ Knitting To Do…

December 15, 2009

… I mean, Merry Christmas!

Of course even though the recipient of the scarf has said that he’s fine with getting it after Christmas, I’m determined to finish it beforehand.  My strategy to get the knitting done is to invite people over to knit, and ‘watch’ tv I don’t care too much about (in this case, Lord of the Rings).

I have about 11 more hours of knitting to go.

Shopping in 2009

December 14, 2009

If it weren’t for Amazon, I’m sure I’d have an ulcer by now this holiday season.  I have bought exactly zero gifts ‘in person’ so far, and that’s the way I plan to keep it.  One of the best things about Amazon is their wish list.  Guessing what someone you see twice a year might want for Christmas is stressful.  A wish list means you simply click the button, and it’s something they’re going to enjoy.  It’s a win-win for all!

But what do you do for people who don’t have a wish list and haven’t specified anything they want for the holidays?  You know, the moms and dads that can be extremely hard to shop for because they pretty much have everything?  If you’re me and you only know one or two things they really like (and that’s a good example for my FIL), then he gets lots of golf stuff.  Golf shirts, golf shoes, golf balls, golf calendars.  You name it.  Golf!

Now my MIL is a different story.  I knew she liked Christmas angel decorations, but I distinctly remembered after saturating her with those for a couple of years that she mentioned she had too much.  Now my FIL might have too much golf stuff, but until he actually /says/ that he does, guess what he’s getting?  So after my MIL made that statement about the angels, it’s made every Christmas/birthday gift giving pretty stressful.  I did come up with an idea in the 11th hour this  year, though.  I decided to start buying her holiday dishes (plates, platters, etc.).  That way I can pick a pattern and just keep adding a few new things each Christmas.  I’m still going to have to come up with a plan for birthdays, but I still have four months.

Kids are so much easier.

Knitting for Procrastinators

December 14, 2009

Last year I learned to knit.  I wanted to knit a baby blanket for my new niece, and there is a knitting group at work.  We meet every other week, and knit and gossip.  So the baby blanket was a bad idea, because it was taking forever before I’d see progress.  I never finished it; it’s still in my desk at work.  I could see I probably wasn’t going to finish, so I started on something easier – a scarf.  I ended up making something like 8 scarves and a couple of hats for Christmas.  Not bad at all!

This year I’ve discovered I make a lot more progress when I knit with others, because when it’s just up to me I procrastinate.  I was going to make a few scarves and a hat for coworkers this year.  I figured it would be a cinch after everything I made last year.  The mistake I made was I let the first person pick their own yarn and pattern.  I had a ton of yarn at work, opened the drawer, and told them to pick what they wanted.  Then I looked up free patterns on ravelry.com with that sort of yarn.  As my luck would have it, the chosen pattern wasn’t fast or easy.  Usually you can just straight knit a scarf, and it goes quickly because you don’t really have a pattern that you have to track.  Not this time.

For people unfamiliar with knitting, the smaller the number on the needles, the smaller the needle.  In the past, I’ve made scarves on size 35 needles.  We’re talking huge honking needles.  The needles for this scarf are 6.   Bigger needles make fatter knit.  When you combine the size of the needles and my tendency to procrastinate, it equals “OH CRAP!  THIS WILL NEVER BE DONE  BY CHRISTMAS”.

Tonight I got to it.  An online friend was knitting as well, so we checked on each other along the way.  Hubby timed me to see how long it took to do one row in the pattern.  Based on the time and approximate number of rows that still need to be done, I think this scarf will be completed in 2012.  OK, not really, but if I keep at it steadily it’s going to take another 8.5 hours.  Last year I could make at least two scarves and a hat in that time!

Lesson learned:  NEVER let the recipient pick out their own pattern & yarn.  Period.  Also, find more friend who knit!

Photographic Evidence: Cats (2) Tree (0)

December 12, 2009

Cats & Christmas trees don’t mix.  Or rather, OUR cats and Christmas trees don’t mix.

Cats (2) Tree (0)

December 12, 2009

I came up with a brilliant plan last night.  I would only put garland around the top 1/2 of the tree, so the terrible cats would leave it alone (and so the tree wouldn’t be so bare).

I’m sorry, tree.  You’re going to have to settle for naked (well, at least you have lights).  These cats are relentless and obviously taking some sort of growth hormone at night that allows them to reach up and undress you.

Photographic evidence to follow.

How the Day Turns

December 11, 2009

This morning started out the way a lot of my mornings seem to start out — by being woken up by an animal.  This time the little old dog was slurping away on his leg (near my head) and woke me up.  I responded in kind by thwacking his head.

Listen, I’m not a morning person.  I’ve never been a morning person.  When I was a baby, I was a sleeper.  I don’t like getting up early unless it’s to catch a flight for vacation.  For that I make an exception.  But to be woken up by slurping really makes Neeners unhappy.  So unhappy that she thwacks dogs and talks about herself in the third person.

So other than being rudely woken up, the morning proceeded as normal.  I knew it was going to be cold outside, so I got out my thick winter jacket and walked briskly to the train station.  Once I got on the car I started to get my iPod out of my purse when someone tapped me on the shoulder.

“Excuse me”, the gentleman said.  Keep in mind people don’t usually talk to each other on the train in the morning, let alone to total strangers.

“Yes?”, I answered suspiciously.  I was sure he wanted money.

“I’m afraid it looks like a bird attacked you,” the man apologized.

Remember, I’m not a morning person and my brain wasn’t fully awake.  I honestly thought for two seconds he meant I had feathers on me.  I thought, “this coat is great, I never felt a thing!”.  Then after the third second I understood what he meant and started looking for the evidence.

“Your right shoulder,” he explained.

I didn’t see anything at first, but then after twisting just so I saw it.  Great.  Wonderful.  I’m walking around with bird shit on my shoulder.  Gross.

“Here you go,” my new pal said, and handed me a handiwipe.  “By some fluke I just happen to have this!”  (Really?)

“Thank you so much!”  I started wiping up the mess.  I still couldn’t see everything because of the sheer size of the coat, but that was OK.  I felt comfortable asking my buddy “Did I get it all?”

“No…” he said hesitantly.  He’d already acted unexpectedly by a) not asking me for money, b) giving me his last handiwipe, and c) talking to me.  I guess he decided there was no turning back, and he asked if I wanted him to wipe it off.  So he cleaned it up for me.

After I thanked him profusely, I moved across the car to lean against the opposite side doors (a big no-no according to the signs, but everyone does it) and began listening to my tunes.  He turned around to face the car door on his side, as his stop was next.  I was just getting ready to cross the car to tap him on the shoulder and say thanks again, but before I knew it he was gone.

I’ve seen a lot of bad behavior on the subway: loud music, pushing, begging for money, farting, etc..  I’ve also seen good behavior: giving up seats for the hurt/elderly/pregnant, talking to children, holding the door for someone.  But I’ve never seen a stranger clean shit off someone else.

Thanks for continuing to surprise me, big city.  And thanks especially to my subway friend for giving up his last handiwipe for a grumpy lady sporting poo.

Photographic Evidence — Heaven on Earth

December 11, 2009

We will be in the beautiful Virgin Islands within two weeks.  I needed to find a pic and post it to remind my body that it will be nice and warm soon.  It’s actually freezing here in NJ/NY.  I’m fighting off a cold, but better now than on vacation… and even then… I think having a cold in the VIs wouldn’t be much of a hardship.

Holiday Party Time

December 11, 2009

Between our two jobs, there is one holiday party.  To say there is a difference in entertainment budgets between our jobs is an understatement.  Hubby’s company had extra money in their budget, so sent  them to the Caribbean.  Our team outing consisted of pizza in one of the conference rooms, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of ordered toppings was a concern.  Hubby’s holiday parties are sometimes in buildings/places that are internationally known.  We, on the other hand, don’t have holiday parties.  December is too expensive.  We party in January or February.  We did have a DJ once, though!

But that’s OK.  Hubby’s parties make up for it.  The food and music are always top-notch and this year was no exception.  This year they even had a casino, so hubby got in a stint of playing craps.  The only bad thing about last night were my shoes.  I took every precaution to make sure that my feet would feel good; I read reviews on the shoes before buying them to make sure they would be comfortable, I tried to ‘wear’ them in a bit the day before, and I bought little footie things (sorry, can’t remember the name) that help pad the toes and the heels.

I have a history of having the wimpiest feet ever.  When I switch the shoes I wear from season to season, I inevitably get blisters.  My feet look like they’ve been through the wringer.  Not cute, or pretty.  I can’t really wear heels because I have back issues, but these shoes did have heels.  Or as hubby liked to say, “Look!  You’re wearing big girl shoes!”

I actually did pretty well, given the feet I have.  I didn’t have to take them off until the last hour, so I wore them for a good three to four hours.  But after that, forget it.  PAIN.  We were impressed that I didn’t have any blisters when we got home, but we should have known better.  There was one little irritating bugger that popped right before bedtime, so I could feel the sting any time the covers moved.  Of course.

It was totally worth it.  My shoes were cute, for once.

Photographic Evidence – Always Check the Size

December 9, 2009

We made our own wine this year, and I wanted to get wine bags so that we could give some bottles as gifts to wino friends.  I went to Amazon and did a search for wine bags.  I found some cute ones at reasonable (or so I thought) prices.  What’s wrong with this picture?

“wine” bag

Do people give airline-sized liquor as Christmas gifts?  Who knew?