Saturday, June 25, 2011

Man with the Hex

Thanks to the budget passed in NH this week, according to the lyrics of the song I'm using for my blog title, "it's going to get bad, it's going to get worse."   No further comment, as it's too depressing, but if it were possible I'd be moving off the planet again.

In writing news, none of us had written anything on our projects for the Misplaced Modifier meeting later today, so Mary S. suggested that we each write haikus for the meeting.  Now, I like to read poetry, but writing it?  Not so much.  Haikus are hard.  So I wrote a bit of light verse about my inability to deal with structure for the meeting.

Poems are a chore,
Odes a bore.
Haikus are hard,
From verse I am scarred.
Seriously, this blows,
Which is why I write prose.

So there you have it.  I will likely not repeat the experience for some time.

I've been stuck on the novel in several key respects.  First, I've been knitting too much because I had to finish Kat D's things for the munchkin (pictures to follow as the reveal has occurred) and because I've been avoiding the novel.  Second, I've been way too fricking busy on the weekends, so there hasn't been a lot of time.  Third, I've been avoiding the novel because of my issue with how to blow up a truck that would work in the novel.  I've been back and forth trying to decide how to make it work based on our experiments and whether to research a new way to do it.  This week Mary Kate forwarded the group an email, informing us that an episode of  Covert Affairs, Season 2, episode 2, had used a method similar to mine to light a gas tank on fire, noting that ..."if USA can get away with artistic license here, maybe Denise can stretch the truth a bit, too."  I've decided she's right, and will make one little change involving motor oil to increase the verisimilitude of the scene in the book.  So now I have no excuses, and hopefully I can get my act together.  I had hoped to finish the novel by the end of June, but we'll see how that goes.  We do have a long weekend coming up, so maybe I can redeem myself a bit for slacking off for the last two months.

 As referred to above, I can finally reveal the knitting I did for Kat D, although some of you have seen this on Facebook and/or Ravelry already. (If you click on the pictures you can get a better view of the cables).  This is a Yankee Knitter pattern, I've had for years.  I knit the adult version for myself years ago, but it's now in the repair pile and I'm not sure it would still fit.  Knitting this reminded me how much I hate trinity/blackberry stitch (or whatever other name it goes by).  If it had been a larger size, I'm not sure I'd have gotten through it as relatively sane as I am. 

I also knit a toy T-Rex from a Paton's pattern book.  I'm told it has been christened Roscoe Pinto, which is sort of an inside joke.  Kat D wouldn't tell me what the name of the baby was, and gave everyone all sorts of fake names as subterfuge, so I told her I was just going to name the baby myself and call the kid the name I chose for the next 18 years.  I christened him Roscoe Buford Bobby Joe.  I do know the real name now, allegedly, but if she thinks I'm not calling that kid Roscoe, she's got another thing coming.  :)

I've also been working on the Kyoto Jacket.  I have one more pattern piece to finish before I can put the thing together.  I got together with Donna D this week to obtain more yarn, but I may have obtained too much.  I may have to give her back some leftovers.  She did get some nice cashmere that I had bought at Lora K's auction benefit in trade for the Noro Silk Garden.  I hope that the damned thing works, and my math is right in redesigning the stupid thing, as I'm sick to death of it.

In garden news, I have a lot of little peppers on one plant, and some herbs, but not much else is happening.  No flowers have bloomed on the big tomato plant, and there are no tomatoes on the cherry tomato plant.  I think the rain and storms have just wreaked havoc.

There are no flowers yet on the pepper plants in the topsy turvy and on the scotch bonnet in the window box, and none of the flower buds on the zucchini plant on the pot have bloomed either.  Kind of a bummer really.  But I think I'm going to make some mojitos with the spearmint tonight as that has been going great guns.

You know how you can put basil in the blender and freeze it in ice cubes for sauce and stuff later?  Anybody know whether this would work with spearmint?  I could dry it, but that wouldn't be good in mojitos this winter.

Last weekend was a bit busy.  We went down to the Cape to see Carolyn and her family.  It's a bit of a long trip for one day, but it wasn't too long a drive.  Suffice it to say that I do not enjoy how my GPS on my phone displays rotaries.  There was a bit of getting lost getting home, but oh well. I don't get to see Carolyn that often any more because she lives in the Baltimore area, so it was great to spend time with her.  I met Carolyn during my first year at Wellesley, so that means we've been friends for nearly 21 years.  How can all that time be gone?  It just doesn't seem possible.  We had a lovely cookout for lunch, featuring marinated chicken, with Carolyn's award winning Asparagus wrapped in bacon cooked on the grill as a appetizer, and salad made with lettuce and peas from Carolyn's garden in Baltimore.  Carolyn's dad also treated us to lobsters, clams and swordfish for dinner, which was lovely.  We hung out at the beach and watched Kristin get buried in seaweed by one of her brothers and then went to play mini golf and get ice cream (they had watermelon ice so I could have something, yay!). 
It's also nice to have friends that even though you haven't seen them in years, it feels like no time has passed since you've seen them and it's just the same as it's always been.  We didn't leave until about 8:30 that night, and we got a bit turned around on our way back, and we had to stop for groceries because I needed to get supplies for Kat D's shower the following Monday and for Father's Day at Brian and Joanne's the next day.  So after getting the groceries it was about midnight before we got home. 

I hit guild the following day, as I had missed the prior two weeks, and then I met Shawn at Brian and Joanne's for dinner.  We had a lovely time, and got to see Shirley and Al as well.

This week has been fairly low key, other than work.  I've been drowning my sorrows in fiber and netflix.  I also had my second chiropractor appointment, which appears to be helping.  The knot that I've had in my lower right back for six months that was the size of an apple, appears to have disappeared.  I have noticed that I appear to be walking and standing differently because different muscles are getting fatigued when I walk and stand.  Weird, huh?  Third appointment is Monday, so we'll see how that goes.

I managed to find a brand of hamburger buns with no milk in them at Hannaford last night, so I bought some dairy free fake American "cheese" singles, and I think we're going to have hamburgers tonight, and I'm going finally use some of the spearmint for a mojito.  Yay!

I think that's it for this report.  Stay tuned.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Heavy Cloud No Rain

Actually, there's been a hell of a lot of rain. I'm convinced it's because I had the audacity to put in the balcony garden. Without much sun, I'm not sure I'll get any tomatoes, unless things change soon.   I do however, have one baby pepper which I've circled to the right.  (If you click on the picture it will enlarge if you're viewing this on the blog).   I also have a 3 foot high dill plant in window box.  Kinda hard to see with the trees as a background so I put a nice red line so you could see.  It looks fairly ridiculous.

I have a nice bit of spearmint and cilantro, and I'm wondering if the peppers in the topsy-turvy will do anything, but without some sun this is going to be a moot point.  It looks like I have quite a few flowers that are going to bloom on the zucchini plant, but the cukes really haven't gone anywhere yet. 

In knitting news, I finished both Secret Baby Projects for my friend Kat.  Of course, I can't post them until the unveiling, but if you are on Ravelry, go check them out.  I was fairly obsessive last weekend until I finished the last project.  I pretty much didn't do much else, except Shawn and I met up with Chris and Kristie for dinner on Sunday.  It was really good to see them, but we missed getting to see the kiddos.  Anyway, back to knitting.  I've gone back to the Kyoto Jacket.  Which I might add, has been a huge source of frustration.  Seriously, I can't believe how aggravated it makes me that I paid $8.00 for a pattern this badly written.  I think on Thursday, I spent two to two and half hours redesigning the last row of entrelac on the sleeves because the last row on the pattern was so completely and utterly wrong, and the "normal" last row of entrelac from the reference books didn't match how the cast on at the end of the other sleeve looked.  So I ended up knitting and reknitting it until I got a method that worked to mimic the other armhole better.  I was having an apoplectic fit.  Because of the fitting issues, I had to add the shawl collar first so I could get the correct fit, and now I'm knitting the two bottom pieces.  Still trying to figure out what I'm going to need for additional yarn.  I used the Knitting Math Wizard to calculate the remaining yardage needed, but it's still only an approximate guess since the pieces are a combination between a rectangle and uneven trapezoid.  I'm probably going to get to the bitter end before I really know what else I need for yarn.  (Donna D - thinking at this point 1 more skein, unless calcs are really wrong).

I recently updated my super crazy type A knitting yardage spreadsheet, and I've knit 7.26 miles of yarn since I started keeping track at the end of August of 2009.   I've only knit 1.73 miles this year.  I think the Vintage Socks really slowed me down.

I signed up for my classes for Stitches East. I'm taking Aspiring Designer Bootcamp, The Sweater Map and Stashology 201. I think they will be interesting, and they will keep me busy so hopefully I won't shop as much.  (Hey, you can all stop laughing and falling off your chairs now, thank you very much.) I'm really looking forward to the trip, and I'm going to go down after work on Thursday this year. 

Writing news...yeah, well, um....not so much.  I need somebody to give me a good kick in the ass, so somebody do that, will you? 

Mom came down this past weekend, but honestly it rained so much and the arthritis in my spine and ankle went nuts and the rain didn't do so much for Mom either.  So we pretty much just hung out and watched netflix.  We were going to go to the American Stonehenge in Salem, but I wasn't walking around a mile on a trail in the rain.

Anyway, stay tuned for breaking news as it occurs or as I get around to posting it, in a semi-timely manner.