Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year!

I lost track of time during the holidays and therefore left behind at least two Disney posts. I can summarize one of them in one sentence: I am a hotel snob and like a really good bed/pillows/bathroom and Disney moderate resorts does not provide that. End post.

The second post is the pintrading post. Disney has this fantastic gimmick - you wear a lanyard covered in pins around and you trade with park employees who also wear the lanyard. I have a really hard time putting in to words why this is fun. I researched it prior to our trip and decided against participating - it was just too intense. See here. Loml and I chatted about it occasionally and I ended up just deciding not to invest in a lanyard and pins to start me out.

And then one night in Disney, loml showed up at dinner with a pin for me. And it snowballed from there.  I ended up with this:

The spaceship earth mickey pin is where it all started. All things considered, I probably spent...$40 or $50 on pins. That's right - Disney is GENIUS. I bought a bunch of "starter" pins and traded all of those away. In the end, I have only 4 pins here that I originally purchased - loml's spaceship earth, the mickey and goofy nerds and the Epcot christmas pin at the very bottom (it spins!).

It took a full day to get up the nerve to actually ask a cast member to trade a pin (I was scared out of my mind). I found an old man, told him I was a newb and he treated me with love and tenderness.

Eventually, loml fell down the rabbit hole with me - he fully researched the world of cast member only pins and helped steer me in my trading selections.  I ended up with 5 "hidden mickey" cast member only pins - the two "bowling pins", the two weird eye license plate princesses and the weirdest of them all, Aurora's quote ("Okay, okay, I get the point"? Pin pun?).

Scoping cast pins was fun and the pin gimmick is just my kind of gimmick - hands off unless I take the initiative. It really is amazing to me how Disney can find something for every range of ages to drop money on. And I will do it again, next time I'm in the parks.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cat bliss = warm radiator on a cold day.

Katie bliss = real christmas tree with a ring under it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I'm a bit hampered by what to even start talking about with regards to Disney World. So I'll just start. I've been quite a few times and I plan to go again. As kids, Disney, for us, was a super special vacation, I went twice in my childhood. It's funny, I don't remember too much - I remember having an autograph book. I remember a real live duck visited the porch of our villa at least once. I remember a character breakfast that was Aladdin themed. That's about it. Those trips were awesome for me as a kid.

And I aged with a hearty appreciation of Disney still. It's pretty amazing what they do there. And on this trip, we took the Keys to the Kingdom tour. The tour where they don't let you take pictures while you go "backstage". We went into the tunnels under the Magic Kingdom. I learned a lot on that tour (like the fact that those tunnels are fairly small and packed with stuff, while golf carts buzz through full of maintenance staff). It takes a lot to keep the park running/clean (including a trash machine where they put all the garbage, it gets shot to a backstage location and processed). I'm not sure what else to say about the tour except that our guide Sean clearly loves Disney and at the same time was realistic about it (seemed like he had bad feelings about Eisner). On several occasions we met people who had been working at the park or their attraction since it opened. Loyalty.

Really, when you compare the cleanliness, staff and decor of Disney with Universal Studios - it's no contest. Disney wins in every category. It's hard to go there and not feel happy.

That being said...loml at Disney was something. He didn't like the pace or lines or the food (which, kind of a given, most of that food is mass produced fare). He felt the vacation was too long by several days. And he napped hard every day. But I think he liked it more than he expected. He was dreading long lines and we rarely waited in lines of any real length. The longest we waited was 40 minutes, for Toy Story Mania (good ride, worth it). After that, I think most lines were barely any wait to about 15 minutes at the longest. It was, really, a dead time of year. I think the lines were a big dread factor for him and once that was clearly not our style, he lightened up. He even said he'd go again...though he said probably only for a few days and then he'd leave. That's success if you ask me...

Monday, December 05, 2011

Ron Weasley and I were in love last night in my dreams (not Rupert Grint, Ron Weasley) and so now seems as good a time as any to talk about Universal. One of the most exciting parts of our vacation was our plan to visit Universal parks (both Studios and Islands of Adventure) to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the first time. And to put the cherry on the top of the excitement, my Dad generously offered to send us in style - VIP Tour style. What this meant was that we walked around with a guide for 7 hours and she let us in the exit of every ride. We skipped every line. Even the wand experience line! It was pretty fabulous and we were on the receiving end of a lot of questioning glances...and one or two dirty looks. Really, most of Universal was fun, but it's really not so...magical as Disney. I highly enjoyed almost all of the rides we went on and feel like ET is the classic, lovable ride that I remember while the Simpsons was the new break out favorite. But who cares about that.

Hogsmeade! It was really everything I had hoped. They did a fantastic, fabulous job on it. Some pictures of the buildings and such can be found at my brother-in-laws iPhone blog here. In particular, Hogwarts. I don't want to run through everything, so here's just my main feelings:

  • It just FEELS like Harry Potter.
  • Dueling Dragons/Dragon Challenge is too adult for what Harry Potter is all about. I didn't know this at the time, but apparently that's just a ride that was already at Islands of Adventure re-concepted for Harry Potter. The new concept sort of works, but the coaster just feels out of place. Big Time. That being said, even if you don't want to ride the coaster, go through the line. That sounds stupid, but there was some fantastic stuff to look at in that line.
  • Flight of the Hippogriffs = kiddie coaster that lasts literally a minute. If there's a wait, this is not worth it at all.
  • The Forbidden Journey was awesome. Cool ride mechanics, neat story, you're in Hogwarts! Though, I do have one bone to pick: MUGGLES CAN'T SEE DEMENTORS. Again, the stuff to see in the line is fantastic, so even if you don't want to ride, go get in line.
  • Butterbeer is insanely sweet. I kind of liked it but I don't think I could have had a whole cup. A few sips was enough.
  • The Three Broomsticks felt true. Different styles of chair, lofty, wooden, just...awesome. 
Verdict: Awesome! Love! So glad I went!

I should warn you that these Orlando vacation posts will only get nerdier, so if this is too nerdy for you, watch out. I'm about to go way down in your eyes as far as coolness goes. Being cool is pretty damn stupid when you can be off having fun instead. Like these HP nerds:
loml + katie + hogwarts express = awkward picture of two slouchy nerds

Sunday, December 04, 2011

I have Disney posts in me and I can't seem to get them out. I suspect this is because the beds in the Disney compound inhibited my normal 8 hours of sleep. The bed was hard, the pillows not great and my back, chest, arms, legs, all eventually got pretty knotted. I also had some pretty bruised/blistering feet by the end. This led to cranky time and the need for recuperation.

Disney world is not relaxing.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm in Disney World right now which is why I suddenly stopped blogging. Loml, my mom, my sister and her husband all along for the trip. My brother is gonna show up in a couple of days to join the fun. I am pretty sure I have a few Disney posts in me. But I am mostly writing because I have realized how much I love showers.

Sometimes on the weekends, if i don't shower, I am crabby all day. A good shower just sets my mood straight. Hot water. Massage like. Brain emptying. I need that time to myself. I just took my second shower of the day, because if i'm sleepy or worn out, a shower just makes me feel better.

So I wonder, with the importance of showering in my life, how I came to be with loml. Who got made at me when I asked him to shower yesterday (he smelled) because "that's not vacation!". Opposites attract.

Friday, November 25, 2011

My holiday yesterday was spent with loml's parents. They are awesome and I'm super comfortable with them. Except for one thing. Farts.

Apparently dinner made both loml and myself gassy (and one would assume his parents felt the same way). We were all just hanging out in the living room. And I heard a fart. A pretty rumbly though muffled fart. This crossed loml's mom off the culprit list because she was sitting in a wooden rocking chair.

And then I smelled it. And let me tell you, that was one thick and pungent fart. All I wanted to do was comment on the horrifying smell - but what if papa loml had done it? And I embarrassed him by commenting on the purtridness? But what if he thought it was me? In the end, no one said anything until I got into the car with loml alone. It belonged to loml. Which means it's highly possible his dad thought it was me.


Thursday, November 24, 2011


I hope most of us feel thankful more than just one day a year- but I love that we all are kind of forced to do it on this day, together. I hope you all take some time and list out the things you are thankful for, even if only in your head. This post is probably going to veer into the sappy so if you are cynical, step away. I am thankful for:
  1. The people I love. 
    1. Loml. Two and a half years ago, I jokingly nicknamed him the love of my life. On his suggestion. But even then, I pretty much knew. He makes me laugh every day. And almost every day I say to him, we are so lucky. To have found each other and have this life we have. We are so lucky.
    2. Family. You don't get to choose them, but mine are pretty fantastic. We're all so different, it enriches my life to have them around. 
    3. Friends. I have a fantastic support system, these people are the best. 
  2. My job. With the economy the way it is, I am glad that I can go to work everyday doing something I enjoy at a place I mostly enjoy. Knowing how a lot of people feel about their jobs (mostly hate), I am thankful that I enjoy it most of the time.
  3. This house. When you buy something so big and life changing (30 years of my life, life changing), you hope that a year in, ten years in, 30 years in, you still love it. And this home of ours, it still feels right. I love it.
  4. Mashed potatoes. I made these yesterday to be eaten today and they are insanely good already. I can't imagine after they bake covered in butter. I am so excited to eat them.
  5. Disney World! We're going on vacation to Disney in a few days and I can't wait to hang out at the happiest place on earth.
Really, I'm thankful for my life. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you enjoy good food and good company.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Today I realized that I almost never think, when creeping around on someone's facebook, "wow that person has gotten fat". I can think of actually only one instance where I remember thinking that and it was about a dude. 

But I frequently, almost regularly, think that someone has lost way too much weight. And these are almost always ladies.

I don't know about you all, but to me, skeletor is much uglier than a pleasantly plump care-bear. No one wants to see or touch your bones ladies.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Every day for the past week and a half, I've come home and tried to check one thing off of a to-do list. This to-do list does not actually exist. I tend to come home from work and sit slothily on the couch and watch a lot of TV and play a lot of flash games. I think this is a perpetual cycle of tiredness and inactivity. I'm tired after work every day so I do nothing and then I'm tired and depressed about how inactive I am so I feel tired and go to bed. Then I wake up the next day tired and come home tired, etc. So I'm stopping that.

Things that, in my head, there is a checkbox next to:

  • Knitting at least a few rows (one row doesn't count)
  • Cooking a real dinner
  • Playing with paper to try to "design" a Christmas card. This has been a hopeless pursuit for days. Until tonight! I think I have my card designed. Though you should know I went with super simple this year for my first trial at this
  • General craftiness

Things there is no checkbox for:

  • Writing a blog post (whooops, missed a whole chunk of days. Fail at nablopomo)
  • Watching TV
  • Flash games
  • Reading books
Besides the blogging, all of those uncheckbox items are things I will do every night no matter what. So they don't qualify as getting anything done.

It's feeling pretty good to check a box every day. Even if it's a fake box.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Finding something to talk about every day is starting to become an issue. It's not that my life is boring (though it mostly is) but that the things that I find interest in aren't good blog posts. Or I don't want to talk about them here.

Tonight I learned that Valentine's Day was not a great movie. And that I am tired in the same way I am on weekdays when I have an almost normal morning routine (book club fairly early this morning had me up and showered). This exciting blog post brought to you by: happily going to bed at 10pm on a Saturday.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

absolutely nothing.

Two of the last three books I read during my epic reading journey (the Time 100 list + librarian recommended books before you die) were set in World War I. Both involved trench warfare and the horrors of the front line. One was from the German point of view, one from the English. Both fascinating, gruesome and really depressing.

Birdsong was kind of surprisingly, a lovely love story. It was also about family and really, the word I keep coming up with is love. There were some really dark war filled sections of the book but it fit and felt exactly what I imagine war feels like in anyone's life - uncomfortable, uncertain, dirty, dark. 

All Quiet on the Western Front was really just a war novel. I walked away struck by the book - I really enjoyed it and at the same time, didn't enjoy anything about it. The novelist was a veteran of the war, so I can only imagine that the harrowing story, while fictionalized, is also taken from real experience. 

Recommend them both. Really liked that I read them within a month span of each other as well.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

sparkle peen

Twilight. Yes, this is going to be about Bella & Edward. I have read the series and while it may be passe to say so, I ripped through them quite speedily and enjoyed most of my reading time. If you haven't read them (or seen the movies) you will find better uses of your time than continuing on here.

That last book though....I started to feel uncomfortable with the whole thing. Controlling boyfriend/husband, abstinence, really passive and depressing girl who only wants to be exactly like her boyfriend (I think of this as chameleon syndrome), weird baby/werewolf plotline involving, essentially, pedophilia. I'm sure if I kept trying I could think of more. I felt a bit let down, maybe even disgusted.

Today I read this (please read):

And while most of my horror is not even discussed here, it does make me think about Bella a bit differently. The argument is that Bella's depressing and creepy chameleon syndrome and her obsession with Edward is just a girl teenager issue. Everything relationship just seems amplified when you're 16/17/18 and at the same time you have no idea who or even what you are. It's why we no longer look kindly on people that get married that young. At that age, you're just swept up in your own emotional drama that you can't truly figure yourself out. Bella might suck, but she sucks in a way that most teenage girls suck, which is why most teenage girls like the books.

The comments, too, are interesting. I mostly expected people to be very negative (Twilight + a community of ladies = a certain brand of feminism SCREAMS in horror). Turns out it's mostly just a discussion of the articles good points and maybe not so great ones. It's like 16 & pregnant. Romanticizing something that isn't great for youngsters (chameleon syndrome/controlling boyfriend/teen pregnancy) isn't something I'm a proponent of.

Pedophilia, abstinence and controlling boyfriend are still a large, hideous Twilight issue for me though.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Do do do do do, do do...

I went to the DMV express in the loop to get my license renewed today. I turned 30 and just completely forgot that this forced expiration on my license (thanks for the reminder Al). I was thinking about it as I was getting my picture taken - from 21 to 30, my license was renewed with a sticker. This assumes that I looked exactly the same at 21 as I do at 30. Seems completely ridiculous. I mean, I assume when I'm 39 I will look older (probably fatter too). In the end, this license picture is so much better than the last. I looked way more baby cheek fatty at 21 than I do at 30. I think the key is to smile with no teeth. Teeth on a license = too much. That's my new hypothesis.

Other new hypothesis - when you write something bad on your blog everyone will assume it's about them.

As a side note, that DMV, even with a 15 person line at lunch, is quick! I think busy periods are probably the best time to go as they had 5 clerks available. Fantastic.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A few months back I was reading something that linked me to Fosterhood in NYC. One day I nearly read the whole blog, the archives, everything. It was amazing and inspiring to me that a peer of mine in a city decided she could do this thing alone - foster a child and be a part of their life for as long as possible. I think it's really amazing and fantastic. And overwhelming.

I have briefly flirted with the idea that this is something I want to do. I'm not certain I do but I'm not certain I don't. I feel like the foster system has this reputation for being full of crappy money grubbers who take kids in to get money from the government and don't provide actual care. People are capable of a lot of love...why not share?

I really am ashamed at the quality of this post. That's what happens when you have to post every day. But I really do think fostering is neato. The bomb. Someone take this blog away from me now.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


loml tried to punch me last night. kind of.

I was dead asleep. I woke up to him kind of holding down my shoulder and...pushing his fist into my face? Not punching me exactly, but it was weird. He was up on his knees in bed. When asked what he was doing he mumbled incoherently for a bit and then said "moving the piano". And then he laid back down and was silent. We don't have a piano.

To be fair, we both do this. A lot. I don't know if anyone else has sleep conversations or sleep adventures with their partner, but we do. I guess sometimes when loml makes loud noises as he gets into bed, I have conversations with myself.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I'd like to put this here as a record of an agreement between loml and myself.*

Cat boku loves him and has slowly come to regard me as a second prize. Not as exciting. Runner up. I caught loml trying to convince cat mona to feel the same earlier. This would be devastating to me, mona's one true human love. And so, if loml convinces mona to love him more than she loves me, I get a kitten!

*He didn't technically agree. But come on, this is clearly obvious and logical.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

One of the things that has really been hitting home for me in the past year or more is how often something I believe about myself or about my relationships turns out to be not all that true. Sometimes in a good way and sometimes in a bad way. Alright fine, more often in a bad way. It's not that I'm delusional or anything, I just think I'm a sugar-coater sometimes and overly optimistic.

An example from today: I was explaining my relationship with someone to a third party, explaining their life, etc. And I slowly realized that everything I was saying sounded pretty terrible. I don't want to go into specifics here, but it kind of became clear that I have very little in common with this person and that a part of me doesn't respect their choices. A few years ago I probably would have talked myself out of this or come down really hard on myself for not being kind or charitable or empathetic. But today I just thought, wow, our lives really are that different and I really don't know about those choices. And I didn't accuse myself of bitchiness, I just let it sink in that this relationship, like many, might not be what I thought it was of what I want it to be.

Ah realism. Being friends as we get older just gets harder. It's about common threads and there are a billion different threads out there - the probability of finding a match just seems so low. I used to be hard on myself for not having a lot of friends, but at this point, I feel fortunate to have the close friends that I do.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

loml's post

I just asked loml what I should write about and he said:
  1. how you feel fat
  2. women's empowerment
That seems like a weird pairing except those were two of our main topics of conversation today. 

Fat: As I was sitting on the toilet today (I know you want this mental picture) I realized that my pleasantly rounded belly was now more of a roll. And my chin fat, second chin, waddle, whatever your term of choice, is really much bigger than ever before. Because I am much bigger than ever before. I don't like not liking myself, but I just feel heavy. Not even heavy as in fat, heavy as in, I feel like a walking exhausted ball of lead. So I have to do something about this. I don't want to buy new pants again (since I've already bought bigger pants twice in the past year). Time to eat less and get moving.

Empowerment: loml for a while today was obsessed with Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. And linked me to this article which includes her TED talk and a short article about how the author was inspired by that talk. My reaction was something like "what if my foot has never been on the gas pedal?". Because to be honest, I'm not all that ambitious or motivated. I like my job, I like doing a good job, I wouldn't mind finding other ways to do my job well in other avenues. But I don't plan on ever being a COO. I don't even know if I want to be a manager someday. I've been on cruise control since I graduated college, why would now be any different? But I do think Sheryl has some fantastic points. The TED talk is definitely worth your time, so wander on over there (they fix the sound a few minutes in).

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Have you ever watched 16 & Pregnant? I hope you say no. I feel bad about life/teens when I watch this show. I don't really want to support this show. And yet, I have watched it multiple times. And the only reason I'm admitting this is because I watched an episode that was really good.

It was a night where there was nothing on TV. Tivo had suggested the show so I could watch it commercial free. And so I sunk to its level and played it. Little did I know it was one of the very few episodes where the 16 year olds decided to give the baby up for adoption. And wow, it was intense. Their parents didn't support them in it which made it harder. The couple that adopted the baby were super supportive and wanted them to be involved. But wow, the journey of actually giving the baby away was heart-wrenching.

I do not like this show, I think the idea of glorifying teen pregnancy is troubling. But that episode was a really honest portrayal of a bad situation. I recommend that one episode for anyone that is curious about the show, but doesn't want to see stupid teens have babies that their parents have to support. Be prepared to cry (probably much more likely if you have a uterus).

watch it here

Monday, November 07, 2011

The night of the party, I wrote a really fabulous blog my head. It was some kind of treatise about couples. About settling and chameleon couples, about how loml and I wonder about everyone's relationship after we observe them in the wild. But I can't remember that post and I'm fairly sure it had no point and may have been mildly insulting to a lot of people.

I do wonder if anyone else discusses the dynamics of other couples in the same way we do. How their lives and communication are confusing, how it works, how it doesn't, etc, etc. Maybe we're creeps. Over-analyzing, judgy freaks?

Sunday, November 06, 2011

party people...

Yesterday, after everyone left the party, I came on my computer and almost wrote a post. Then realized it was already 1am and I wasn't getting the "every day in November" merit badge even if I stayed up a little later to write it. I was sure that post-dating was not a thing - but it seems like blogger would have let me do that. Now I'm planning on being a fake internet psychic...(I will never post date anything, ick)

Yesterday I had a 30th birthday party for myself. Made two cakes, told people to expect to play board games. Around...noon I told loml I was over the idea and why did I ever even want to have a party? During the party I was telling this to my cousin and a friend and he was like - you just don't like fun, huh? And I totally do - but being the point of a party is a bit overwhelming for me. Sociability is not my strong suit.

In the end though, I am so glad I did it. People played games. Enjoyed making their own grilled cheese. Drank bellinis. Ate cake. And laughed and were merry.

I am 30 and have now celebrated that age with a lot of people I love. Thanks everyone, excited about this decade.

Friday, November 04, 2011

It's a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake..

I love to bake. This is new for me; I've always liked helping my mom bake, but I'd never actually tried much on my own. And really, in my old apartment, baking would have been impossible. I had exactly one small area of counter space and what you could call a half-size oven. In the past few months, I've taken to full on baking - and it turns out that cakes are fantastically easy and totally satisfying.

Currently there's a Boston Cream Pie cake cooling in the kitchen (filling in the fridge, glaze to come). And tomorrow I'll be trying my hand at a from scratch yellow cake with chocolate frosting.

Satisfying to make and hopefully even more satisfying to taste. Apparently I relish all that is domestic. Except cleaning. Cleaning is the worst.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

There are certain ages that everyone would agree are milestone ages.  16. 21. and then it becomes decades. 30. 40. 50. And a lot of people put a lot of expectations on these milestone decades. I was asked, more than once, how I am dealing with this birthday - like I should be having a big meltdown. As if being unmarried and childless were suddenly the WORST.

But honestly? I'm pretty happy with 30. I've felt well older than my age for a long time. I've had an inner 30 year old for a lot of years. So maybe the next few years will be harder - when I feel younger than my age. But really, age is just a number. 

All that being said, I am very conscious of the future. Loml doesn't really like the term "future talks" anymore. But to be fair to my ovaries, I feel like the next couple of years are going to require decisions (to use them or not to use them...).

I am officially in my thirties...and officially close to the age I've been for a while.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

10, 20, 30...

I had this whole 30th birthday post planned that I think I have to postpone until tomorrow. Gradually, as the day has progressed, I've gotten sicker and sicker. Pressure head, sneezing marathons, eye tiredness - it's all suddenly upon me.

At 30, I've never felt so lucky. My friends and family are amazing. And loml is an awesome fit - I couldn't wish for better. He's off on an epic adventure to get me soup right now. I feel cared for and loved; thirty, though starting with the plague, seems like it will be a fantastic year.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


mo?  Can I do a month?  I haven't even managed a full month of posts this year.  A full 13 posts are my 2011.  But I seem to do better at blogging given a schedule.

So happy november everyone. My november started with a cupcake, peaked with a personal sized cake made for me by a coworker and will hopefully end with some bulb planting and knitting.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I've been thinking a lot about home ownership lately. There are a lot of people that talk of home ownership like they talk of their marriages and their jobs: like it's a shackle holding them back from reaching their true potential. Though you have to wonder, true potential for what?  

This house is old, it is going to require a lot of money over our lifetime together. But it is also something that I am still super ecstatic about. It sometimes hits me at odd moments, like last night randomly: loml and I live here. We are making this our home, however slowly that is happening. We now have furniture in all the rooms. No unpacked boxes. And lists of plans and hopes and problems. To me this isn't solely a responsibility, it's a hobby. I'm going to put money into this house to make it my own and I'm going to relish it (most of the time).

I think I've mentioned here before that I was a weird teenager - I used to watch This Old House every afternoon and initiated a process to choose nice, wooden furniture for my room. My parents helped subsidize my weirdness - if I paid part of the cost of the furniture, it would be mine as an adult. It is now officially a part of the purple room here. I have always enjoyed this part of domesticity. 

The gutters could use replacing. The garage as well. Mulberries. The basement floor is partially ruined already. The list goes on; and sometimes it feels damn good to complain about the problems. But I own those problems, I am happy to put part of my money into fixing them. I'd rather have money to replace the garage than I would a new shirt, shoes, purse, gadget or car. It may not seem fun to you, but it is to me. I mean, what is more fun than seeing and falling for this and realizing there are dozens of places you could put it:
(via Oh So Beautiful Paper, hopefully available here soon)

Thursday, August 04, 2011

I tend to be a non-social person. That's not to say that I'm anti-social; I like a good get-together. And I've been known to enjoy a good party. But I just don't really thrive off of social situations. I am good with one-on-one, good with those I know well in small groups - I just don't like crowds. I am, in many ways, an introvert.

Strangely, I have found that I love it when loml has people over. I love it because I get to watch him doing something he likes and is great at (being social) and I mostly get to observe without participating.  It is like sucking in the atmosphere at a no-pressure party. I feel like I get all the benefits of social interaction without having to actually do much. It's fantastic.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

fo 1 & 2!

Yes, it is June and I am posting my first and second finished knitting projects of the year. It took me 6 months to finish a single thing. This:

It's small. Smaller than a baby blanket should be. But I just got to the point where I was done with diamonds and needed to give this to the mom-to-be. She's due in two weeks. So here is a case where it is the thought that counts.

However, I made up for the small blanket.  This is possibly the cutest thing I've ever knit, and all for baby Seb (he will be Sebastian Mateo).  Immediately following the blanket, in less than a day, I whipped this up:

It's called the umbilical hat. And it was a crowd pleaser - the yarn was right (soft and machine washable) and it was itty bitty. Maybe not so practical for a july baby...but that's beside the point. More to come, much more quickly now that I don't have a baby blanket hanging over me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Do I want to buy this? I don't know yet. But since I'm trying to be a more regular blogger and I'm dead tired, this is my effort at content this week.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lately I've been feeling like an adult. An adult with a partner, a house, a job and responsibility. It's funny how suddenly, or as suddenly as 9 years can be, it seems I've grown up. That's assuming adulthood begins when you can legally drink. I'm trying not to use this space as a place to vent (wet basement! job frustration! boys smell!), so yeah - all of that, but also the good stuff.

Like gardening. I know it doesn't appeal to some but it is cathartic to me to dig holes and rip out plants and sweat. And this house is going to take a lot of gardening thought over the next few years. I don't think the landscaping is bad - but it is a bit boring.  A lot of groundcover and ivy and hostas and ornamental grasses. And one rose bush, which I hate (white roses?  really?). I know roses are an art and people worship and cultivate them. But I think they are a bit silly. Give me a rhododendron or a hydrangea any day. There are some lovely hydrangea bushes here in fact. One out of about five seems to have had a bad time this spring, but happily there is one bush that is probably the size of a wine barrel.  It is huge and hardy and I cannot wait to see what it brings.

I only planted a flat and three tub plants this year: impatiens in my planters (shout out to my mom, the impatiens lover) and some bigger geraniums in the front landscaping. I mostly just spent my time ripping out stuff I didn't want. If you're not sure about that ornamental grass, don't plant it - because taking it out is going to hurt.  I have a lot of ground cover to consider, some bushes to remove and then a backyard to wrestle with. 

I wonder if I can manage a very small vegetable patch at some point (and then we'll not eat those vegetables just like the CSA box we've already changed from veggies + fruits to fruit only).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I have a confession to make. Something that actually kind of shames me. I am nearly 30. It is 2011. And I still use scrunchies. The fabric covered hair bands of the 80's and 90's. The worst part of this is the actual reason behind this scrunchy use. Fine, thin hair + hot as a coal during sleep = hair must be pulled back at night or I wake up with a drenched neck (you wanted to know all of this right? along with the acne?). 

Pulling my fine, thin hair back in a regular rubber band was causing it to break, intensely. I mentioned my concern to my stylist and he recommended the scrunchy as a less traumatic hair tie - it cushions my hair so it doesn't break as easily when it's held back. 

And so, I've taken to wearing scrunchies when I'm in the house. It will hopefully prevent me from having bald spots in a few years (I predict, if loml and I grow old together, I will be the one growing bald over the years. Sigh). But it can be kind of...shame inducing when people stop by. Don't judge.

Monday, May 16, 2011

This! I have adult acne, it's impossible to deny it. It's gotten worse in the past few months, one of the things I can blame on being almost 30? I've started a face regimen like a 16 year old (astringent, pimple cream, etc). And when I'm looking the other way, literally in the matter of seconds, I get a huge new pimple. It's ridiculous.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hmm, once abandoned, it becomes nearly impossible to suddenly write a blog post. I feel like I should have something profound to say after nearly four months of silence. But I really don't. I just wanted to get the ball rolling again. Watch this be the only post for another four months. Maybe there is something to that feeling that I should have something to say before I post...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I'm having this weird issue, that I'm slowly becoming aware of:  I cannot clean in the house while loml is present. And by present I mean not otherwise entertained/detained.  And detained means one of the following:  asleep, out of the house, somewhere in the house with someone else, cleaning with me. 

Is this super childish of me or ingrained habit?  I can't figure out if I'm resistant to cleaning because he is available to clean to so why isn't he doing it?  Or if I'm resistant because I don't want to be watched?  Or if I'm resistant because if he's not busy I am striving for quality time?  Or really, when it all comes down to it, am I just so used to working the cleaning junket by myself that I can't fathom having another human wandering around messing up my pattern?

I think they are all equally likely.  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Journal swap round 5: me

I realize, as I'm doing this, that most of my ideas are neutrals.  What I mean is...the idea behind this page was a winter tree with an owl.  I wanted to start experimenting more with color though, so I forced spring.  And I think, honestly, it was better in my head.  But, that's bound to happen quite a bit.  It's kind of twee, huh?

I also realize that I'm fairly obsessed with texture.  So I'm challenging myself to use a completely flat surface in the future as well as colors.  

Let the experiments begin...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

This is the life....

Head on a pillow, on the warm radiator, Christmas tree providing soft/mood lighting...

Good life.
And no, I wasn't watching access, I just hadn't changed the channel yet....

Saturday, January 15, 2011

baby gimlet blanket pattern

This is a departure and not meant for regular readers.  Just an fyi.  

A few years ago now, I knit a blanket for a cousin's baby.  I loved that pattern - which I found on a knitting blog I frequented.  Since that time, that blog and its author have all but disappeared.  I tried to get permission to reprint the blanket pattern and failed.  However, the pattern was printed on her blog for free and I absolutely have no wish to take the credit for it.  So, this pattern courtesy of KnitAnnie.  The ravelry link is here:

All details in pattern are from KnitAnnie and do not apply to the blanket that I, personally, knit.  Note that the pattern was written by KnitAnnie, so any "I"'s from here on out are her.  Also, she's from Australia, so watch out for metric.

Any double knit (8 ply) or aran weight yarn would be fine for this blanket, as long as it's soft and fairly plain.  I used Cleckheaton Country 8 ply (5 and a bit skeins) in Colour 003 and 4mm needles.
Finished size: 64cm x 64cm before blocking, 75cm x 75 cm after.

Moss Stitch: *K1, P1, repeat from * to end
Diamond pattern:
Row 1: *P1, K7, repeat from * to end
Row 2: *K1, P5, K1, p1, repeat from * to end
Row 3: K2, *(P1, K3), repeat from * to last two stitches, P1, K1
Row 4: P2, *(K1, P1, K1, P5), repeat from * to last 3 sts, K1, P2
Row 5: K4, *(P1, K7), repeat from * to end
Row 6: repeat row 4
Row 7: repeat row 3
Row 8: repeat row 2

Cast on 104 stitches and moss stitch for 4 rows.  This forms the bottom border of the blanket.  Moss stitch 4 stitches then follow diamond patter until 4 stitches remain, moss stitch 4 sts.

Continue as above for all rows until blanket is almost square.  Moss stitch 4 rows and cast off.  Weave in ends.

(katie here:  I ended up doing 17 repeats of the diamond pattern to get a square.  Plan for something similar)

Image of this blanket (complete with baby!):

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Journal swap round 5: librarian.

When I saw this, I thought of new beginnings and spring...London and Mary Poppins...I don't know if i can explain those last two.  It's also highly possible I felt this way because I received this right around the move.  And yes, I've had this book sitting around for months.  But I'm finally getting back into it...