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what am I doing here?

in which susan proceeds to get caffienated and knit all day. if only I could get paid to drink coffee and knit... that would so be the shiz-knit.

stop and go 4.27.2006 |

I know how much people love to read posts about traffic, so I'll try to keep this brief. to summarize, when traffic sucks as badly as it did for me this morning, a driver needs to be entertained in order to keep her mind off such things as, oh, caulculating how much gas gets burned up while moving .4 miles in over 10 minutes and how much that burned up gas had cost her at the pump just days earlier.

so, when I was roughly halfway to work this morning, I noticed what appeared to be a man with a helmet, standing off to the side of the road, actually in the street, but on the right hand side of it. as I got closer, I realized that he was not just standing there, but moving - not walking, but riding. on what seemed to be some sort of segway-esque contraption - except with three wheels. he was wearing a shiny white helmet with some "really cool" hot pink decals on each side. he was also wearing a leather jacket, kind of like what someone with a fancy little crotch-rocket might be sporting. I was really amused as I got closer, and, as I passed him, glanced over my shoulder to get a good look at his face. just cuz I was curious about what a person who owns and rides a motorized standing scooter looks like. I imagined some nerdy kid, but was surprised to see a middle-aged man with a salt and pepper mustache and sunglasses looking back at me. and I actually laughed out loud and wished he were going faster or I were going slower so I could snap a picture. but I blew by him at about 40 miles per hour. I imagine he couldn't have been going more than 10 mph. who knows. but he looked rather smug on his scooter, probably because it uses practically no gas at all to run. anyway, as I left him in my dust, I hoped that he would be on the road again tomorrow so that I could get a good photo. and then I laughed again, a few seconds later, because, dude, the guy looked really dorky.

anyway, so, that was before the traffic started. I pretty much take one street all the way into my office, and about a mile past mr. scooter, things started to slow down. a lot. I mean, a LOT. as in .4 miles in over 10 minutes. so, as I'm sitting there in the left lane, windows open (cuz, YAY! nice weather!), listening to my morning show, wondering how late I'm going to be, I casually glance towards my right, watching people get onto the freeway, when I see the scooter guy zip by, looking even smugger than he did a mile back. this time, he blew by me so fast that I didn't have a chance to get my camera out. and that was it. I never caught up to him. maybe he got on the freeway. who really knows? the point is, his scooter was faster than my car and I'm sure it's infinitely cheaper to own. I got schooled by a guy my dad's age. on a scooter. with a helmet. with hot pink stickers. on a scooter.

just my $.03 4.26.2006 |

I spent last night eating and playing with some good friends I hadn't seen in a while. we used to all hang out all the time, way back in the day - so far back that I can't even remember the last time we were all together! good times, good times...

the saddest part was when we'd finished eating and were trying to think of what to do next. yes, the sadness of living in the middle of suburbia becomes quite apparent at 10pm, when you realize that everything but walmart is closed. so what are three twenty-somethings and one thirty-something to do? this is not a trick question. I just said that everything but walmart was closed. so, obviously, we went to walmart. I suppose we also could have gone to a gas station, but there isn't as much to look at there.

one of the guys declared, as we were making our way into the store, that everyone had to buy something. I didn't really want to buy anything, so I decided that my mission was to find something for under $.10. this started to prove to be quite a challange, and I wondered whether or not walmart had a clearance rack. turns out they do! with all sorts of great stuff, like replacement caps for your coleman fuel canister for $.10 and a container of 8000 bbs for $5. and something camouflaged in a plastic bag. which is what my friend got. I was the clear winner, though, because look what I left with:

and then, the self-checkout machine gave me back an extra penny, which is a whopping 25% savings! amazing. and now I just have to figure out what to do with these here stickers... oh, and the other two boys got to go home with this and this. exactly. what in the world is coke blak? a desperate attempt to do something new and cool, but it is just pure grody. blech.

you take the good, you take the bad... 4.24.2006 |

well, I'm just gonna stick with the good and try to ignore the bad. but I'll give you the bad news first. this is what I saw on my way to work this morning. thank goodness I filled up over the weekend, because this was not appealing at all. I feel as though it's time to invest in a bicycle. or maybe some good running shoes. and, is it at all ironic that I feel the need to sell off some shares of my oil stock just so I can afford to buy gas?

but the good news is that I've made some actual, visible progress on the shawl! now I've got a whopping two pattern repeats and it's starting to look like what it's supposed to look like. the only thing that I'm a little concerned about is that it seems awfully narrow. maybe it'll grow with some good blocking, or maybe it'll seem bigger when I lose some of this leftover baby fat. who knows? regardless, it'll be forever before I finish anyway. but I'll continue to chug along. like a really slow-moving train. "I choo-choo-choose you!"

discipline 4.21.2006 |

I know I've got commitment issues, but, come on now. I swear I've had the same projects going on since the beginning of time and my progress is sooo slloooowww that if I blink, they actually get smaller. but, unfortunately, they never disappear. they just get small enough to make me sad, but still stay big enough to make me feel guilty. and I keep wanting to make other stuff! it just isn't right!

and I almost feel like I should stop reading other knitblogs, because I keep seeing new things I want to make. I so want to participate in the orangina kal and I am getting this terrible I-want-to-knit-socks itch. prompted greatly by this. hello! how cute would isa and I be if we had matching socks?? so cute that people might actually start passing out as we walk by. we'd have to wear signs that say "caution! do not look at our feet!" or, we could just wear these awesome shirts that the boys bought for us. these were a thank-you for the knitting lessons from way back when.

btw, one of those boys, who is still knitting months after the fact, recently scored himself a girlfriend. I take full credit for this, of course. the new girlfriend is a crocheter and when my friend started to knit, he suddenly had an excuse to hang out with her and visit yarn stores, which, no doubt, led to hand holding and, most likely, smooching. he said that when they get married, he'll make sure that I get to stand up for them. I think he means out in the hallway, handing out programs.

I totally digress. what was I getting at? oh, right, my complete, utter lack of knitting discipline. I must focus and finish at least one project before I'm even allowed to entertain the thought of starting another. I must tame my wayward heart. with a whip. made of yarn. teehee.

gas prices are on the rise... 4.18.2006 |

and I know that this affects airfare, but come on, now... are we being serious here?

clicking on that link led me to this. apparently, these flights offer connecting service. how delightful! I hope they connect through places like paris and maybe beijing and also tahiti, perhaps. and I hope each of those layovers are about a week long. in which case, what a bargain! sign me up! or maybe these flights are flights for one, where there's a whole staff of people on board to pamper you, and maybe an espresso bar and a hot tub and a masseuse to make sure you are having an enjoyable flight experience. and yarn! lots and lots of yarn. yum! a hot tub filled with yarn! a hot tub made of yarn! a masseuse made of yarn! and yarn! yarn! yarn! yarn!

ewwwww!! 4.17.2006 |

You Are a Soy Latte

Yeah, you've got a bit of that healthy hippie thing going on
But you're more Kate Hudson urban bohemian than Phish groupie
You're worldly and well traveled.. and you know where to get the best coffee in town.
All your experience makes you a compassionate person - and a caring girlfriend.
What Kind of Coffee Are You?

have you ever had a soy latte? so gross. soy milk, good. latte, good. the two together, so not good. maybe the quiz thinks I'm lactose intolerant.

anyway, I'm home sick today, which is nice because I get to relax, but not so good because I'm feeling really not well. good news is that I've gotten to the third cable row of the reversible rib shawl. and I'm beginning to seriously consider ripping out the inch or two of sleeve I have for the sweater which refuses to be finished and redo it while trying to relax. I'm not sure how else to get the gauge to match the body. I'm debating trying two circs instead of the magic loop - I think I'd mentioned this already, tho. so, instead, take a look at this cuteness!

this was a birthday present for isa, made by a good friend of mine. actually, this is the person with whom it all began. we were hanging out one day, shopping, and somehow got on the topic of how we needed a nice, relaxing, crafty hobby and decided on knitting. since neither of us had ever even really had any knitting exposure, we really didn't know where to begin. I remembered having seen yarn and needles at a fabric store once, so we headed there and picked out some yarn, then some needles, then a "teach yourself how to knit, for kids" book. we thought we were really smart when we left the store, but we felt really stupid when we got home and couldn't quite figure out what was happening in the book. anyway, needless to say, we eventually figured it out. but, whereas I got bitten pretty hard by the knitting bug, she didn't seem to get quite as obsessed. then, a couple of months ago, she told me she wanted to start again. and look what became of it! it's always exciting to have friends that knit. too bad she lives super far away in san diego.

wanted: motivation (and/or medication?) 4.13.2006 |

I think I just realized that my last FO was clapotis. man, how long ago was that?? I guess long enough that I don't really remember. I stuffed all my half finished projects into a bag the other day, when I was cleaning up for isa's party and have barely given them a second thought. now that they aren't staring at and condemning me from their usual perch on the couch, I've almost forgotten about them. almost. but not quite. I lugged the bag back downstairs a few nights ago, but all that's come of that is one poor little half-hearted row on the reversible rib shawl. *sigh* will someone please send some motivation my way? quick? I fear the part of my brain that can (sort of) comprehend patterns is slowly beginning to atrophy. gah!

by the way, I managed to kill my paper shredder here at work. I didn't even do anything except try to shred the usual couple sheets of paper when it decided to stop working. but I have tried to "fix" it by shoving stuff like paper clips and scissors and things of that sort down into the shredders, but that didn't really do anything except make me wonder if I should unplug it first. that would've been way crazy if it did all of a sudden start to work and it was able to actually shred the scissors! believe me, if it did, I would immediately start to gather a pile of "will it shred?" items from around the office for a little experimentation. that would be a great project to take on while everyone else gets tomorrow off. if only...

the beginning and the end 4.10.2006 |

lent ended rather uneventfully this weekend. my shopping fast is over! I was pretty excited about it all and actually kind of expected myself to maybe explode into a mad shopping frenzy, but that didn't really happen. weird, really. I've surprised even myself.

I'm kind of embarrassed to say that I kept a list going this month of stuff I wanted to buy when the 40 days was over. it wasn't a very long list, but it was a list nonetheless - mostly of yarn and patterns. heehee. but now that I guess I'm free from what may or may not have been a silly fast, I've got this weird feeling of being free to not spend money. like, under the whole lent thing, since I wasn't allowed to buy stuff, I had this burning desire to click "buy now!" all the time. but I actually tried to convince myself that I should buy some stuff yesterday and I just couldn't do it! I kept thinking, hey, I really really don't need this. I've gone a whole 40 days without buying it, why would I need it now? and then I felt kind of confused, but happy at the same time. because, look at me! I'm saving money! maybe isa will even be able to go to college someday!

anyhow, it feels nice to not really want to buy stuff. and it feels good to feel nice about that. but the whole time I was not buying stuff, someone else was busy accumulating new things. too bad she didn't really take much interest in doing her own unwrapping. luckily, we had a seasoned professional in the house to help move things along. also, cake. look who had her first birthday party this weekend!

I'm the everywhere girl... 4.06.2006 |

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

look at all those states I've visited! woowee! man, it sure makes it look like the gop has taken over, huh? *shudder* looks like I've got nine more states to visit. no offense to anyone who lives in those other places, but I think alaska is the only one of the nine I'm really feeling a need to go to. and, hey, what's with google counting dc as a state?

this reminds me of that one street smarts where all they did was ask people how many states there are in the usa. a scary amount of people thought 50 wasn't counting hawaii and alaska. and I think some people thought puerto rico was a state. do they not teach geography in the schools anymore? if I hadn't been laughing so hard, I would probably be crying, because, really, that is just sad.

o happy day! 4.05.2006 |

happy birthday to my sweet little chunky chunkster! she turns a whole one year old today. it's almost mind-boggling when I think about it. where did the year go? I am on the verge of getting all super mushy blubbery messy, but I think I will save that for some place that is not the much too public blogosphere. instead I will just apologize to my baby girl for not having made even a smidgen of progress on her sweater since my last post... I think magic loop makes me tense, because I'd knit the sleeves tighter than I'd knit the body. I think I need to calm down before I go back to sweater land. I think this should help me do just that. who could resist this sweet face?

smoke, mirrors and globalization 4.02.2006 |

this weekend, I came to the startling realization that the us2 addis I've been using for the body of the sweater-that-haunts-me-in-my-sleep are not the same size as the us2 needles I had planned on using for its sleeves. the sleeves are supposed to be knit in the round, so I figured my susan bates us2 dpns would do the job. now, I've read some stuff about how to be careful switching needles brands in the middle of a project, but I figured that was just for the perfectionist type who would notice even the slightest difference. but even my undiscerning fingers could tell that the two needles were not quite the same size. was my mind playing tricks on me? it's been known to happen. but, upon closer inspection, I discovered that an addi us2 is 3mm and a susan bates us2 is 2.75mm! is this common knowledge? and if so, what gives? is this some cruel trick the rest of the world is playing on us americans? and, really, when I think about it, why in the world does america insist on making up its own sizes for pretty much everything? what in the world is wrong with the metric system? the rest of the planet seems to have no problem with it. it's all just plain silly! can't we all just get along?

so, as a result of all this silliness, I've been forced to learn magic loop. I've been rather intrigued by the whole idea and had been meaning to find out what all the ruckus was about. turns out it isn't actual magic. and it's pretty easy to figure out, but it's a bit fiddly and I'm debating whether or not I should just do the sleeves on 2 circulars. or if I should just do them flat and seam. because, really, garter stitch in the round is annoying. but seaming is annoying as well. which leads to the big question: which is more annoying?

but, the good news is that the body of the sweater is finished! el finito! now I've just got to do the sleeves and the edging and the finishing and I'll be done. but when? oh, that is the perpetual mystery... I also don't think I'd ever mentioned that I can't count and had cast on about 10 too many stitches, which I just left in the middle of the back, because there was no way I was about to start over at that point in time. I figured 10 stitches was nothing to get upset about. but, really, it is. so I decided to make a little pleat in the back. I have no idea how to make pleats in knitting, so I just made something up. I hope it doesn't come out looking too awful. and man, looking at all those loose ends is making me a little woozy. I think I gotta go and bake some more...

ps. I'm watching grey's anatomy and all the girls are knitting. teehee. meredith knits funny.