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September 28, 2003

A place for everything...

I really wish I had some cool knitting-related content to share; however, I spent most of the weekend organizing my kitchen cupboards and my CD collection.

I'm very much into organizing these days. I'm gaining a reputation for organization. The other day, my coworker/neighbor called me up to ask for help fitting her possessions back into her closets. I came up with some clever solutions for her.

I have another coworker who I'm helping to declutter his office. He's been ensconced in the same office for 15 years. Everyday, I go in and (gently) demand that he find one thing he can throw out, just one. He usually finds a stack of stuff to chuck before he's overwhelmed. At this rate, he ought to be sufficiently pruned by the time he has to pack everything up so that his new furniture can be installed. I don't know why he puts up with it except that he realizes he needs help and that we are currently throwing out junk mail he received in 1993.

The best part of all this organization mania is that I am practicing what I preach. I'm clearing out and tiding up too. Not all at once, but bit by bit. Things are coming out of boxes and are tossed or put in their place. I draw the line at alphabetizing the spices though.

I guess I can credit FlyLady with some of this [the bits that don't annoy me]; although I've also been inspired by Mission: Organization on HGTV and Clean Sweep on TLC.

I have been knitting, but it's only on 'the afghan that never ends'. It will end though, I'm finally halfway through skein eight of eight. [Whew!]

[BTW, I ordered the Crate & Barrel rug yesterday. It should be here by next Saturday].

08:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

September 25, 2003

Call the Exterminator!

On second thought, I think I'll set some live traps. I wouldn't want to hurt these little guys.

they look like they are planning something

Tomorrow, I'm going to de-mouse my house and send these mousies and some of their friends off to Wendy. I wonder how many mice she thought she'd get for the Mouse-a-Thon. The count is already closing in on a thousand!

The balls of yarn in the picture are the red Stahl Winter-Cotton that I bought and returned and the new color (#9937) that came in the mail this week. The new yarn is a little darker than the ideal color I have in my mind, but it'll do nicely anyway. And, it's not red.

I went back to yoga tonight after almost three weeks off. I anticipate being pretty stiff the next couple of days.

Tonight, I have also been enjoying my new Guster CD.

08:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

September 23, 2003

Living off the grid...

...sucks. Well...just a tiny bit. I survived without too much inconvenience. After all, it was only four days. [I feel sorry for the people who are still waiting].

Things I missed and am very happy to have back:

  • refrigeration [ah, frosty beverages]

  • electrically-assisted laundry [unless I could have one of those bicycle-powered washing machines like the Professor built on Gilligan's Island]

  • adequate nighttime lighting [I couldn't effectively knit or read much by candlelight...maybe if I had a good oil lamp]

  • traffic signals [people in vehicles are idiots and/or jerks and have no impulse control unless explicitly told what to do]
  • Things I missed, but could probably learn to do without:

  • hot tap water [thank goodness for the gas stove/oven though]

  • television [I did have a battery powered radio]

  • computer/Internet [I would get used to doing without it eventually, really]

  • blow drier [as if I didn’t look like hell already]

  • iron [oh, I just give up]
  • Things I didn’t have to deal with losing:

  • all tap water [no bathtub water for me]

  • heating/cooling [the weather was beautifully moderate the entire time]

  • phone [not that anyone but my parents called to see that I was OK]

  • car [except that I was too afraid to drive due to all the idiots and jerks]
  • Things I was glad that I had:

  • gas stove/oven

  • books

  • knitting

  • cat

  • friends and neighbors
  • If there was any silver-lining to my hurricane experience, it was getting to know most of my neighbors better. After the power went out on Thursday, we all met in the hall outside my apartment with our flashlights for snacks, wine, and boardgames. We ate, and drank, and played, and waited for the worst that Isabel could offer. Fortunately, the worst she gave us was a power outage. I think in my old place I would have cowered alone in the dark until morning.

    07:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

    September 22, 2003

    I've Got the Power!

    Hoo-ray! The power is back on ahead of predictions.

    Here is one reason we lost power. [I took these pictures down the street on Saturday morning. I'm a little ashamed to say that I was a disaster tourist].

    This huge tree fell across the power lines not far from here.

    sad tree

    The force snapped off or pulled down the next four or five utility poles as well.

    isabel1.jpg

    Still no cable, but plenty of light to knit by. Hot showers and cold drinks for all!

    05:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

    Powerless

    No power at home since 8:30pm Thursday night. Best current projection for return of power: Wednesday night. Today, I'm at work enjoying the sweet, sweet electricity.

    03:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

    September 18, 2003

    The World as a Projectile

    Your perception of things changes dramatically when you imagine them hurtling toward you at a 100 miles an hour.

    Even though the Federal government has the day off, I went into work briefly this morning to get some things to read and work on until the power goes out. [Who am I kidding though, I'm not going to work, I'm going to knit]. On the drive over, I found myself noticing all the potential flying debris along the way.

    We aren't in the main path, so not everyone here is concerned about Isabel; however, we are still supposed to get one whopper of a storm with fairly high winds.

    Good luck today to everyone in Isabel's path.

    07:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

    September 17, 2003

    Hip to be Square

    flora_on_the_sand.jpg
    'Flora on the Sand' by Paul Klee


    rug.jpg

    Color block rug from Pier1


    checkers.jpg

    Checkers from Shelridge Farms

    Do you see a pattern developing? Mary did. At least, she recognized the similarity between the rug of my dreams and Checkers. She's knitting Checkers too; and by the look of it is doing a much nicer job than I did. [Perfection! ]

    Is it so wrong to love squares? If I had some talent in that department, I'd design a template for this place with squares like these. I tried a while back, but it was beyond my ability and attention span. I got nothing.

    Despite my intense love of squares, I've decided to keep the IKEA rug. I've become attached to it; and Molly loves it; and I love it enough that I don't feel the need to look any more [even though Kerstin keeps offering very tempting alternatives]. I'm sure the two of us will be very happy together and will grow in our affections over the years [Of course, if I have a sudden windfall, he's history and my true love and I can be blissfully united].

    Next mission: curtains.

    Last week, Melissa and Mare commented about the knitting lessons at the Folk Festival. I wanted to say a little more about that experience.

    Most of the people interested in the knitting lessons were young girls along with a few boys. With the exception of a couple of adults who wanted a refresher, everyone I taught was under the age of 15. [I say I 'taught', but it was really more of a knitting demonstration]. I would show them the basics of the knit stitch on an already started piece and then let them try. Even though they all got about the same instruction, they displayed a wide range of ability. Some of them could just not seem to grasp the mechanics of the process while others really only had to see it a couple of times before they could take the needles and reproduce the steps perfectly. That's just the way it is.

    They also showed a wide range of interest. Some stayed and stayed until their mother dragged them away. Others got the demo, tried, succeeded or failed, and moved on.

    [Shocking rug update!: Since I started this post, I checked out the rugs on the Crate & Barrel site and look what I found. And it's within my budget. Oh no! Now, I'm going to have go down and take a look. Rats! This may be a much harder decision.]

    08:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)

    September 15, 2003

    happy happy

    Tonight, I have two reasons to smile.

    First...new Knitty...new Knitty...new Knitty!! Hooray!!

    Patterns that caught my eye: Rosedale, Tilt, Bpt, and Latifa. [Four designs, people, and I am exhibiting restraint. It's been a long time since any print mag had four designs in it that piqued my interest].

    I've only scanned the articles. I want to savor them one at a time over the coming weeks. [Must avoid a Knitty binge].

    Excellent, excellent job by all involved.

    Second, courtesy of Boing Boing, Stealth Disco. Dial-up users, this is worth the wait. [Hee!] This is what it's all about.

    07:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

    September 14, 2003

    Nice rug

    Yesterday, I, and everyone else on the East Coast, went to the  IKEA  in College Park. I bought a rug.

    rug

    [You can click the picture for a slightly better look].

    I'm not 100% sure that I'm going to keep it, but I went out and looked at rugs again today and I don't think I'm going to be able to do any better. I really do love the pattern and the colors. I'd like to have a sweater like that.

    I am so fatMolly is convinced that I bought the rug just for her. I've been keeping it rolled up until I can decide whether or not to take it back because every time I unroll it, this happens. She will come running from the other room just for a chance to get in a quick writhe before I roll it up again. Of course, this probably also means that the rug will be her number one location for depositing hairballs. That's a painful truth that at least makes me feel a little better about my decision not to buy the rug of my dreams. I did go visit it at Pier1 today though. [So pretty, so soft, so expensive].

    What does any of this have to do with knitting? Nothing, although the rug is 100% wool.

    On the knitting front [sort of], today I picked up a copy of No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting at a used bookstore. I can add this to the long list of knitting books that I own and swear that I will read someday.

    Finally, I've started stuffing and sewing up my Mouse-a-Thon mice. I drove Molly nuts last night with the tub of Cosmic Catnip. She kept trying to stick her whole face in the tub until I gave her a supply of her own; then she didn't care what I did.

    08:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

    September 12, 2003

    You look different

    The Evolution of Eyeware

    This reminds me of the graphics you see that depict the stages of evolution from ape to Homo sapiens [and sometimes beyond to 'amusing' things like coffee drinkers or computer users].

    These are some of the eyeglasses I've worn over the last 23 years, arranged in chronological order. My eyesight has changed little in that time; I could wear any of these pairs today and see just fine. Whether I would look just fine is open for debate.

    I wore the Cro-Magnon pair at the top in middle school. Ah, the fashionably large lenses of 1980. Given that my head was smaller at that time, these glasses must have covered almost half of my face. I probably looked a little like this.

    The next three pairs are all some variation on the tortoise shell theme. Undoubtedly, these were my attempts to look brainy. Strangely enough, each of these attempts to look smarter alternated with attempts [undertaken in vain] to look more cool when I tried wearing contacts, silver frames, and even pink frames. I never really got the looking cool thing down, but at least over time the egghead-phase glasses were shrinking and getting less round.

    The bottom pair are the glasses I wear now. They are definitely the most evolved: rimless titanium frames; scratch-resistant, polarized, anti-reflective, ultralight plastic lens; and matching clip-on sunglasses. And, they are fashionably sized.

    I found all the old pairs in the move. I haven't found the silver or pink ones yet, but they may show up as I continue to unpack and weed out. I have no idea why I still have this many old pairs of glasses. I suspect I keep them because in theory I could still use them so I could never justify getting rid of them.

    What I am going to do though is take all but one backup pair with me the next time I go home to see the folks. My father belongs to the Lions Club and they have a program called Lions Recycle For Sight that collects used eyeglasses for distribution in developing countries where eyeglasses are often unaffordable and inaccessible. While my prehistoric glasses may be unfashionable by today's standards, they are still functional and could yet have a long life serving someone else.

    [Actual knitting content soon. I promise].

    08:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)