Monday, November 30, 2009

Busch Gardens on Thanksgiving

My family had Thanksgiving on Wednesday rather than Thursday like the rest of America...

On thanksgiving, I went to Busch Gardens...

I has sum peekchurs... Mostly animals and the park, none with me in them. Someone else was taking those and I haven't gotten those from them yet.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!!!

Or... Happy Thanksgiving! :D I hope everyone has a wonderful day with plenty to eat, but no stomach aches!

And now for a video:

I love our president. Just sayin'.

We're having Thanksgiving tonight. Tomorrow, I'm going to Busch Gardens because there will be almost no one there. Friday, I hit the stores for some awesome shopping. Yes, I am insane. *glee*

Friday, November 20, 2009

Knitting update...

I finished a sock! Successfully! o.O How did that happen? I'm currently working on the second one.

I've also finished the lace shawl that I was working on for what seemed like forever. I've washed, blocked it and taken pictures, but haven't put them up on Ravelry yet. I've also started on another shawl.

I'm working on a Piggle for my niece.

I've decided to make scarves for my littlest sisters. I just haven't decided on yarn or patterns yet. I'm thinking something trendy, but simple. Maybe braid cables or just a plain 1x1 rib. There are a lot of scarves in stores like that right now and they're at that age where they would probably like something very trendy.

In other news, I continue to work on washing, skirting and carding the llama fiber I've got. It's been slow going with work, but now that I'm on Thanksgiving Break for the next 9 days(!!!), I should have some time to power through the rest of it. I definitely want to have it all carded and done by the time I leave to go visit family for the holidays.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Oh, thank you, Emma!

Emma Thompson to remove her name from the "Release Polanski!" petition.

Emma Thompson is one of my favorite British actresses. I would have truly hated having to never see any future movie she was involved with.

Holidays are coming up fast...

So I have far too few days until Christmas and far too many things that need to be knit. I'm a bit frustrated with the shawl that I've been working on, although I don't have too very many more rows to do. I should buckle down and just finish them so I can block it and have it off the needles and out of the way.

For the rest of my holiday projects, I'm waiting for needles to arrive from KnitPicks. It's weird, I have dozens upon dozens of needles, but I just happen not to have the sizes and types I need for these last three projects. They aren't sizes that the craft stores around here carry either, and while the LYS has them, I don't want to pay $15 for a circ and $20 for some dpns when I can get the same sizes for $5 from KnitPicks.

So I have to wait until they come to start on anything else. Thank goodness they have fast shipping, even with their free shipping option.

Tangentally, I think I've finally decided on the sock pattern I'm going to try making. More on that at a later date...

What I really want to do right now is spin and card the llama fiber my friend in Orlando sent me. The llama fiber is lovely, and so far there has been very little wasted from the 2 lbs 10 ounces bag she sent me. Very little, especially considering that moths got into the bag since it has been here (I'm somewhat concerned about the rest of my stash, although the moths did seem to be isolated in the llama bag, which had holes in it and all my other fiber is either treated with lavender wash, or is in sealed ziplocks or thicker plastic with twist-ties and no holes. *crosses fingers*). I'm having to set aside huge chunks for better scouring to try to get the moth stickiness out of it so it can be carded. These chunks look like big, snarled mats, but really they are just being held together by moth juice (ew!) and if I can get rid of that, it should be okay. Of course, some parts are completely ruined because the moths chewed up all the wool into tiny little pieces, but so far, those little bits have been easy to pick out and the bits that I haven't picked out seem to be falling out just fine when I card. I hope to be able to take pictures to share soon of all my little rolags (which reminds me, I need to figure out how to spin from a hand carded rolag... never done that before).

And let's talk about carding for a moment. So I definitely see that it takes practice and I've noticed that I'm certainly getting better at it. The cards don't seem as heavy to me as they used to feel and the fiber isn't staying on the cards nearly as long. I don't know if that's because this is llama and before I was working with finer alpaca or if I'm just getting better at carding... I'm assuming the later.

And speaking of the alpaca. I haven't given up on hand blending it with the lambs wool I have, but I'm taking a breather on it because my friend who sent me the llama really wants something made from the llama and I'm trying to be mindful of that and get on the process asap.

Which brings me back to holiday gifts. *sighs* I've been trying to think of back up gifts in the eventuality that I won't be able to finish all the projects in what is now something like 50 days. Oy!

Time, you are aflyin'!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Can someone explain to me why there are some US size 2 knitting needles that are 2.75mm and some that are 3mm? And sometimes the 3mm are ones are US 2.5 (like in the Ravelry needles and hooks chart)?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween! - The place for profile layouts, flash generators, glitter graphics, backgrounds and codes
Myspace Stuff

Tonight I'm going to a friend's house to watch scary movies. Should be good times...

In other news, I dyed my hair with's blond kit last night. It's not really henna, it's cassia. It doesn't change the color of hair that is darker than blond and has a golden yellow dye molecule. That's not the primary reason for my use of it. It conditions hair like nothing else (except actual henna). Really, amazing stuff. I'm also experimenting with other henna mixtures using small samples of my hair taken from my hair brush over the past month. So far the two formulas I've tried, "Cinnamon" and "Sunshine" from hennaforhair, have both dyed my hair very distinctly red... One, the Sunshine, dyed it a rather orange tint, in fact.

Also, I really think I'm going to get a Mach II from Spinolutions. I found a dealer who I will be able to visit when I'm in VA. She's on the way to DC. So I hope in the next six months or so I'll be able to go try her wheel.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No, no, really...

I'm really pretty sure that if this wheel is half as amazing as it looks like it is, I want it. So much.

Check this out:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekend projects...

My friend Joe and I planted fruit trees on Saturday. My mom has been wanting a yard full of fruit trees for the better part of 30 years and something has always happened, either to them once they've been planted or to prevent trees from being planted at all. But now we have them. An Anna apple tree, a Dorsett Golden apple tree, a papaya, a mango, a Florida Hass avocado, a Meyer lemon tree, a Persian lime, a Key lime, a Valencia orange, a Hamlin orange and a Brown Turkey fig. It was quite a day, filled with digging and hauling and peat moss. We already had an Anna apple, a Brown Turkey fig, a pink grapefruit and a lemon tree. The lemon tree and the pink grapefruit both used to be orange trees. They died back in freezes back in the 80s, their graphs died or something, and when they grew again, they started producing other kinds of citrus fruit. I think this is the neatest thing about citrus trees. Both are much more than 30 years old now because they were here before the house was built in '79 and the land was still an orange grove.

I took the subject area exam on Saturday as well. I'm confident that I passed it and will be very surprised if I didn't.

Today, I went to the yarn shop but forgot to take along the notes about projects that I want to get started on soon, so I didn't get any needles or yarn for planned projects. I did get some yarn though. I can't go there without picking up something. I got some Qina in Wisteria and some Angora yarn in peacock green.

And then this evening, I made banana bread. I hope that it will be delicious and strongly suspect it will. I should post the recipe. My mom has been using it for about 30 years.

I've been working constantly this month. There have only been two weekdays the entire month of October when I haven't worked. So very busy. It's good because more work means more money, but it's still been quite a lot of work and I'll be glad to have some time off. This week, I know I'm working Monday and Tuesday, but I'm not sure about the rest of the week yet.

Edited to include recipe:

My Mom's Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
3/4 cup mashed very ripe bananas
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Cream the sugar and butter together in a mixing bowl. Add vanilla and eggs. Beat together as if you were making scrambled eggs. This will help the bread be lighter. Add bananas. Stir until well mixed. Add all dry ingredients, a little at a time, stirring together in between. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and pour mixture into it. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes. The very center of the bread will probably still be a little moist and the corners will look like they are too dry when it's done.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

He's okay...

At about 11:20 this morning, my dad got into a car accident. If he wasn't wearing a seatbelt, he probably would have been killed (everybody, always wear your seatbelt!). Someone who was speeding ran him off the interstate (and they didn't ever stop), he lost control of his car, hit another car (apparently driven by a nice young woman who goes to USF - she wasn't hurt but her car was pretty badly dented on one side and it spun around on the shoulder of the road), went off the road, and then his car flipped over and landed on the driver's side against a barbed wire fence next to a cow field. He climbed out through the passenger side window. He's got a bruise and cut on one elbow, a cut on his forearm, and a cut on the top of his head, where he must have hit something, although he doesn't remember doing that, and his knee that he injured almost two months ago while working in the garden got banged pretty good against the driver's side door and now it's as bad as it ever was again. Poor Daddy... but no concussion and he's okay and glad to be breathing.

We don't know if the car is totaled yet. It's been towed to the Toyota dealership he bought it from back in '01 and we'll hear tomorrow or the next day from the insurance adjuster as to whether or not it will be declared "totaled."

The school secretary tracked my mom and I down in the teachers' lunchroom about halfway through our lunch period to tell us. Scared my mom half to death. Luckily, my dad had called the school and there was a phone in the teachers' lunchroom, so she got to talk to him right away. I was going to leave school and go get him to take him home, but my dad's cell phone died before he could tell her exactly where he was (isn't it awful when that happens? Like, that's what people have cell phones for, but sometimes they just die right when you really need them), and Mom didn't want me to go on a wild goose chase up and down the interstate trying to find him because he had been at the dentist in St. Pete and might be anywhere or might be picked up by the tow truck before I got there. He had said before the phone died that AAA was sending a tow truck to get his car, and that if his phone died, he'd call her again when he got to another phone, either the tow truck driver's or when he got to the Toyota dealership, if he couldn't get a ride home and needed me to come get him. However, (again) luckily, the tow truck driver very kindly offered to drive my dad all the way home even though our house is about 8 miles away from the dealership and he didn't have to do that, so Dad called once he was home, not much more than an hour and a half after the accident happened.

Monday, October 05, 2009


I don't get them. I don't get why. And I don't think they look good enough to excuse the considerable trouble.

I'm working on the Swallowtail Shawl right now. I've don't one row of nupps. I'm thinking that's the only row of them I'm going to do. I'm just hoping that it won't look too odd to only have the one row and no more.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What the...?!?!

Sorry, I've been busy praying in synagogue and working this weekend and week respectively, so I'm just now hearing about all this...

(Feel free to take the above and use it elsewhere against these crazies who either signed the petition supporting Polanski or have publicly stated they support his release from jail.)

Roman Polanski - the creep - finally got arrested and will hopefully be extradited back to the US. But some people, who no doubt believe that art and time should heal all evils, seem to think he should be allowed to continue fleeing justice. What part of "HE DRUGGED AND RAPED A 13-YEAR-OLD-GIRL AND DIDN'T EVEN CONTEST IT! IN FACT, HE ADMITTED IT, PLEAD GUILTY, AND THEN FLED THE COUNTRY SO HE WOULDN'T GO TO PRISON FOREVER!" don't these people understand?!?!?! HE'S A PEDO FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S HOLY! I'll repeat that for those who missed it the first time: HE'S A PEDO! FOR THOSE WHO DOUBT IT, I HAVE THIS QUOTE, SPOKEN BY ROMAN POLANSKI HIMSELF:
"If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But... fucking, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to fuck young girls. Juries want to fuck young girls. Everyone wants to fuck young girls!"

(This was reported by The Telegraph UK, having been found in an interview that Polanski did with Martin Amis, a novelist, in 1979.)

If nothing else, we've all seen enough Law & Order: SVU to know that THAT RIGHT THERE is the way a PEDOPHILE THINKS to justify THE SICK things they do! They think everyone wants to do what they do, but everyone else just won't admit it. WTH?

And for those who might think that Polanski was right to run because the judge, who had accepted his plea deal, which Polanski had agreed to on the basis that the judge would reduce his sentence, reneged on the agreement that the sentence would be reduced and instead had decided to sentence Polanski to 50 years... The judge changed his mind because he was given evidence that Polanski had raped two underage girls in Germany before and had reason to believe that, if given the chance, Polanski would do it again. Sounds like a good reason to levy maximum sentence to me. The fact that Polanski has admitted to having sex with underage girls in the years since he fled the US just makes it that much worse.

So many people that I have to put on the "Dead to Me" list now, the people who have signed the petition asking for Polanski's release from the Swiss jail in which he's currently awaiting extradition... Including Terry Gilliam, who I adored until now, and Martin Scorsese. I notice, however, that most people on the list supporting his release are French or in some way Continental European... I find that rather interesting...

Oh, and I love (read that with sarcasm, k?) that this petition says he's been arrested on a 30 year old warrant in which he's charged "in a case of morals"... Nice euphemism for "child rape"? As if the rape of a child is not a generally abhorrent thing and it's all a matter of Americans being Puritanical prudes. Really, WTH?!? DIAF!

Another awesome article that obviously does not miss the point of all this at all. YAY! for SALON!

And I would like to say to Whoopi Goldberg, who clarified her "but I don't believe it was rape-rape" statement earlier today: You need to get your facts straight before you open your mouth. Polanski plead guilty to the lesser charge of "unlawful sex with a minor" in a plea deal. He would have been charged with and tried for "aggrivated rape" - which certainly is "rape-rape," as you put it - if he hadn't plead out. And if you read the transcripts of the victim's grand jury testimony, it is very obvious that what he did was aggrivated, violent rape of a 13 year old girl. The DA offered the deal to spare the child further anguish by having to go through what would have been a high-profile trial at a time when there were no protections for victims like there are today. There's no mitigation or down-playing of Polanski's crime, no matter to what he formally plead guilty.

Also: See this open letter to the signers of this petition and consider passing it on. This deserves to become viral on the internet and I hope every single one of the signers of the Polanski supporters' petition sees this letter and the comments.

As of 2:30am September 1st, the following people I once respected have signed the petition for Polanski's release:

Darren Aronofsky (husband of Rachel Weisz), Ethan Coen (one half of the Coen Brothers), Penelope Cruz (yeah, you read that right), Alfonso Cuaron (the director of Prisoner of Azkaban), Guillermo del Toro (damn it, and I wanted to see The Hobbit), Terry Gilliam (of Monte Python), David Lynch (who did Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive), Brett Ratner (the shit director who ruined X-Men: the Last Stand), Martin Scorsese (who needs no introduction), Tilda Swinton (The White Witch in Narnia), Sam Mendes (Kate Winslet's husband), and Woody Allen (who I never respected, ever, but who isn't a surprise to the point that it's a freaking joke...)...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Knitting and Spinning news...

I won the Customer Appreciation drawing on the Peaches n' Creme Ravelry group for September! Two pounds of any yarn! :D I got the Article 940 in Capri Blue and 984 in Sky Blue. YAY!

I finished knitting the Odessa hat my little sister asked for. I just need to dye it. She wanted in yellow and I couldn't get my hands on the right yarn in yellow, so I got Cascade 220 Superwash in a natural sort of color and I'm going to dye it with acid dye. I just need to get my hands on some vinegar.

In other news, I want this wheel so bad, OMG! Saw it in an ad in Fall 2009 Spin-Off (there are some really interesting articles in there, including information about raising silk worms, growing cotton in your backyard and spinning wolf fur!). The wheel is called the Mach II by SpinOlution.

I've been thinking about how I probably need a double-treadle castle wheel that I can place directly in front of me when I spin for a few weeks now. Not that I have any money to buy one. I'm not even entirely sure what I want to buy. But I think a double-treadle, castle-type wheel might help with the bursitis in my hip. I still can't spin for a prolonged period of time. I've managed a half ounce of fiber per day that I've spun three times this last week, and I've been okay doing that. No pain, no strain that I can really feel. It's something, but nothing like what I used to do. And I've asked on one of the spinning groups on Ravelry for advice about it and a double-treadle castle was recommended because the orifice and the treadles are directly in front of the spinner, instead of placed at an angle - either to the spinner or to each other or both - and this might encourage better posture, save one side of my body from doing all the work (or even allow me to switch feet entirely when I want to), and keep me from doing something I've noticed I do with my other wheels...

I had never noticed this before, but I'm trying to be more conscious of what my body does while I'm spinning that might be causing repetitive motion issues. I have a very pronounced tendency to turnout my hip and whole leg while treadling! For those who might not know what it means to turnout, it's a ballet and dance term for the motion where one rotates the hip joint (and therefore, the entire leg all the way down to the foot) away from the center of the body. I have noticed that I sometimes do this much less often while driving as well... This could be the source of my injury, and I'm making a conscious effort to not do it, but it is difficult. It feels very natural to allow my hip to turn out while spinning on my HitchHiker, and though I haven't used it in a really long time my Saxony practically begs me to turnout because the treadle is already at the perfect angle for it, but I can see that turning-out makes my posture lazy and it puts greater strain on my hip joint in a very short period of time, even if it is otherwise quite comfortable. Bad, bad, bad. So I really would like to try out a double-treadle castle wheel as soon as I can to see if this change in the treadles and orientation of the orifice helps with this problem.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Reading Rainbow is being canceled!

You read that right. I am so bummed! I loved Reading Rainbow as a small child. It was one of my first tv shows and I watched it practically every day. I hoped to one day have my children watch the show too.

Details here.

Personally, I think it's the job of schools, not television to teach the mechanics of how to read. Reading Rainbow makes reading cool and fun for young kids. And it's not just a matter of encouraging the literate to read, but also motivating the illiterate to want to learn to read and also, you know, a lot of kids who watch the show are still in the stage where their parents read to them. This idea of canceling it because research shows they should have programs that focus on phonics is stupid.

Who's up for a fund-raiser just for Reading Rainbow? I bet it would be really easy to raise enough money to keep it on the air if someone would just organize it. It's a shame that such a wonderful and beloved program is being canceled over the matter of just a few hundred thousand dollars.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

OMG, Shoes! ... And Shows...

I love shoes. Even if most of the time I like my feet bare, I still have an uncontrollable, irrational lust for cute, hot, trendy, hot shoes.

I bought some today. Seychelles. "Our Heroine."

That's the best photo I can get with my camera phone.

They're pretty much exactly like shoes that they are selling at Target, except these have brass hardware instead of pewter colored hardware, and these are real leather instead of evil PVC. \o/

In other news: Am currently watching Bones. I gave up on The Vampire Diaries after last week. It's set in a small town in rural Virginia, and yet NO ONE speaks with even a hint of a Southern accent... in fact, everyone speaks as if they're from Los Angeles. That's the tip of the iceberg of the things that are wrong with that show, but that was the thing that pushed me from "fun to mock how bad this is" to "now, they're just being excessively ridiculous."

Supernatural is on next!!! :D Hot shoes and Supernatural! I feel like it's my birthday or something...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I don't like Joe Wilson as much as anyone...

I totally agree that he was censured in the House today. I think he should apologize before the House too. It's not playing politics to censure him. He did an awful, awful thing during the President's speech. I said at the time that it was potentially racially motivated because I don't believe anyone would have done that to any previous president... whether that is because things are just so extreme right now, or because it truly did happen because the President is black and Joe Wilson is a racist, I can't say for sure.

But I do not like what Chris Matthews is doing. Saying that Joe Wilson is "playing Johnny Reb" by purposefully trying to stir things up to distract everyone from the real issue of health care, and trying to steer discussions on his MSNBC show toward what Joe Wilson's politics might be about the Confederacy and the Battle Flag, and suggesting that because Joe Wilson is from South Carolina everyone from South Carolina is racist, when that is very much not the case. Joe Wilson might be a lot of things - and I don't know that Chris is entirely wrong in his suggestions toward Joe Wilson's personal racism, I just wish Chris would be more specific with his evidence instead of just spouting innuendo and including all of South Carolina and all of the South in his slurs. Icwhutudidthar, Chris... and I don't approve. Because, honestly, you're doing exactly what you accused Joe Wilson of trying to do today - distracting from the real issues at hand. Stop being divisive, Chris! It weakens the argument and the Republicans do that enough for everyone... And the same goes for the rest of the Yankee media who seem to be really liking the idea that it's all a matter of people from the South just generally being ignorant, racist hicks. We're not. Thanks. I mean, some are, but I think the matter is being overstated and exaggerated.

I know what President Carter has said about the South. I would like to point out that he's of an older generation (like my grandmother who said last November that she wouldn't vote for Obama, despite the fact that the rest of us were, because "black people aren't as smart as white people"... *headdesk* Yes, we don't listen to what she has to say on such issues, and we realize she's living in 1932...), and might not be seeing the changes in the younger, mainstream Southern culture because he's looking for the way things used to be and finding that in some places (as Lincoln said, "If you look for the bad in people, expecting to find it, you surely will."). Sure, racism in the South still exists - I mean, duh - but is it pervasive and insidious like it once was? I don't see that it is.

Racism also doesn't occur just in the South. It also exists in New York, and Connecticut, and Wisconsin, and Vermont, and Arizona, and California - it occurs everywhere... Anyone who says otherwise obviously isn't paying attention, or purposely ignoring evidence because it doesn't fit in with their preconceived ideas about what racism is and who is guilty of it (and this tendency by some people is something I find pretty freaking disturbing). It isn't limited to just white people being racist toward black people either, it occurs in any and every combination imaginable, and anyone who pays attention knows that. Personally, I don't see greater evidence of racism in the South than I see evidence of it anywhere else in the country, although I think racism in the South gets a lot more press (again because it plays into some people's preconceived notions). If anything, I think many people in the South are hyper-aware of race issues precisely because of the South's history, in ways that people outside of the South are not, and make an effort to not only not be a racist in actual fact, but also to not do anything that might make them appear to be a racist either.

And can we please remember that Barack Obama carried Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia - which are three Southern states (Yes, Florida counts! If we seceded once upon a time, we count.) - and that he lost South Carolina by only 9%! That's a pretty small margin for a state that's supposedly so very racist, while also being so very Republican (which I think had a lot more to do with the loss, rather than pervasive racism). I'd also like to note that North Carolina and Indiana (not a Southern state!) had the same margin in Obama's favor: 50% to 49% with 1% going to other candidates.

At the very same time, I would very much thank the "Right" if they would STOP using phrases that bring up the idea that the South is full of racists to advertise their anti-Obama products, such as the "You Lie!" bumpersticker being peddled at WorldNetDaily with the phrase "Rebel yell" as part of the advertisement (and bona dea, but they are wingnuts over there at that site!). In fact, if you're not Joe Diffy or using it in technical historical context, I really wish you wouldn't use that phrase at all.

*sighs* ... Yeah, getting back to the fight for health care now.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Two pieces of business this morning...

And the Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day trailer...

October 30th, y'all!!! WHY SO FAR AWAY?!?! (I know it's because they want it to be close to All Saints Day, but still...)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Somebody in Washington got schooled last night...

Several somebodies actually, and I think they were much chagrined by it.

You can watch Obama's entire health care speech here, as well as the official Republican rebuttal immediately following.

I thought it was an awesome speech and I think the Republicans who are against it are just smoking crack (and by "smoking crack" I mean pandering to special interest groups lobbying for the status quo who are probably lining the Republicans' coffers in ways that should be and might actually be illegal).

As to what was going on in the House while Obama was talking: What the heck were those sheets of paper that some of the Republicans kept holding up? And that tasteless asshole, who shouted out that Obama is a "liar" right in the middle of his speech, Rep. Joe Wilson from South Carolina (whose web server crashed minutes after he did that, btw), needs to go home now.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

More on Public Option...

Not that this will necessarily clear up the confusion, but - heads up - Obama's talking about the plan he's pushing tonight!!! So tune in!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Public Option NOW!

Write to your elected officials now by going to

The text of the bill can be found here.


To anyone out there who thinks that Obama shouldn't address America's school children today:

You're an idiot.

And possibly also incredibly narrow-minded.

And probably amazingly ignorant.

And I grieve for your children.

That goes double for Jim Greer. I think it's awful that you're from the same state as I am.

I am not the only person who thinks so:

If this were President Clinton, or either of the President Bushes, this would never have been criticized or questioned. This is the President of the United States addressing America's school children. He should be respected by all students due to his elected position, if for no other reason, no matter what their own or their parents' political opinions are. That his motives are being questioned, and beyond that the suitability of whether or not he should even be allowed to do this is sickening. I think part of it is because Obama is black (no, really, I think any white president would never be questioned on doing this - even Bush or Nixon when their approval ratings were in the sub-basement), I think part of it is because Republicans are bitter and trying to stir things up right now, and I think part of it is because people are insane and/or stupid. Really stupid.

If this were Bush, and he were saying what Obama is getting ready to say, speech pre-released or not, I would fully support it... I don't think it would be a particularly effective message coming from him, but I would never say that he shouldn't be allowed to say it or pull my hypothetical children out of school for the day.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

In other news...

I find I'm quickly becoming addicted to Publix's Greenwise Organic Light Chocolate Soymilk. I used to hate everything soy (because it tasted funny to me), but in recent months, I've found I like a lot of it... even tofu when it's prepared correctly. I stay away from the more processed soy products, simply because they are processed and packed with salt. But this chocolate soymilk is seriously delicious. Unlike Silk Chocolate Soymilk, which to me still tastes like chocolate-flavored soy juice, this stuff is thick and creamy - like chocolate milk should be. I think it's the Dutch chocolate that does it...


I was reading a discussion on Jewish opinions on the idea of a Messianic Age on a Jewish Ravelry group just now. Someone suggested that liberal Jews believe in a Messianic Age, whereas more conservative Jews tend toward the idea of a Messiah in the form of an actual person. I object to this generalization and the way it seems to suggest that this is a uniform, required thing among Jews - the belief in a Messiah or Messianic Age - when it certainly is not. Because the last discussion of this topic was nearly a year ago, I'm uncomfortable with replying there with my thoughts. So I will do it here...

I do not believe in either a Messiah or Messianic Age. At all. In any way, shape or form. I am not an Apocalyptic Jew. I recognise that this was a direct influence of Zoroastrian thought on Jewish thought during the Pre-Hellenistic period. I also must point out that the Sadducees, and likely some other Jewish sects of the Second Temple Period of which we just have no record (and there are many of those), rejected Messianic ideas as being even less than apocryphal. Sadduceean thought did not subscribe to Messianic ideas because no information about a Messiah exists in the Torah, only in some of the Writings and some of the Prophets. Due to this, they rejected the idea... (One should also remember that there were a lot more Writings and Prophets that are now lost to history that existed for reading and study during that time.) I quite agree with their take on that.

I think that the Apocalyptic and Messianic ideas were fostered during the formation of Post-Temple Judaism because times were so very bad. For the same reason, early Christians expanded their influence at the time. People felt quite powerless to help themselves. People were probably pretty angry about it, downtrodden and oppressed. And unable to do anything on very literal pain of death at the hands of the Romans, the idea of a future in which God would assist them through an intermediary was quite attractive and comforting. In the Second Temple Period, this had taken on many forms. Some believed a Golem-like creature (and you might have thought that a Rabbi in Prague came up with that one, but no) or another supernatural creature would be sent, others that the Messiah would be a man, some believed that it would be many, some believed it would be just one. In the Post-Temple reformation, like all things in Judaism, there was a special effort to make the theology uniform, so one single idea of the Messiah was decided upon after what was no doubt a very long debate among the early Rabbis.

I take the attitude that if one keeps waiting for something to happen in order for something to be done, it never, ever will. "God helps those who help themselves" and "If not now, when, if not me, then who?" and all that. If we want things to change, we have to do it ourselves.

I'd like to add that Judaism has never really been an orthodoxy. Even in the Medieval period, there would be some disagreement among scholars on different theological points. As a professor of mine liked to say, Judaism is more of an orthopraxy (his word, not mine)... meaning belief varies, but approved actions tend to be more universal. This is an imperfect analogy too, however, since belief guides practice and practice guides belief. But I still think it's an interesting thought.

I realize to some Jews my thoughts and beliefs are heretical. In response, I giggle.

Friday, September 04, 2009


Fillings went fine.

I was linked to this today by a friend. It is an impressive rant calling the Republicans on their hypocrisy and corruption. It's awesome! Usually something this vehement would get me all stirred up and pissed off at the Republicans too, but this time that didn't happen. I'm just a bit blown away...

In unrelated news, I saw "Inglorious Basterds" last weekend. Meant to mention that before. I liked it okay... Wasn't the greatest movie ever, but wasn't the worst either and it had some good moments. I thought all the actors, with the possible exception of Mike Myers (while I generally love him, all I could think of during his scene was his SNL sketches and other goofy movies... I suspect it was the make-up they had on him), did an amazing job. The movie did pique my interest in learning a bit more about the Nazi higher-ups. Got as far as the people who were in the bunker at the end before I was just too disgusted to go further. Sick, sick people. Like we didn't know that. I think looking at these people as human beings makes them all the more monstrous and horrible rather than looking at them in more abstracted ways, as many movies do.

(Pardon my language below. It couldn't be avoided.) Did not know this: Hitler probably carried on some kind of highly inappropriate relationship with his niece Geli for a number of years, beginning in her teens, which ended with her suicide at the age of 23. He started seeing Ava Braun socially when she was only 17, and she tried to kill herself twice at 20 and 23 respectively for reasons that are unknown to history, but possibly the attempts were staged to manipulate Hitler, who was still reeling from Geli's death when she made her first attempt. When Adolf and Ava finally did kill themselves, Ava was only 33... Hitler also had his German Shepherd, her four puppies (less than a month old) and Ava's two Scottie dogs killed the night before Ava and he committed suicide. This seriously bums me out. It wasn't the dogs' fault who owned them... and... and... puppies! Hitler also saw another German movie actress who killed herself, or was murdered by Gestapo (it was never clear apparently), when she was 31. So, on top of being a mass-murdering fuckhead, a racist and bigot to the nth degree, a megalomaniac, and head of the original fucking Nazis (and I'm sure I'm leaving out a number of horrible things that he was here, but for the sake of brevity, let's just leave it at that), he also very likely was an incestuous pedo, who killed his own dogs and drove women to suicide. Just when you think Adolf Hitler couldn't get more fucked up as a person, he does. Seriously, NO ONE should EVER be compared to this guy.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

:-/ and :D

I'm getting fillings Thursday. I have two cavities. One each in #30 and #31 (bottom right molars). Never had cavities before. I'm a bit nervous about this, but not freaking out, which I count as a good thing.

Flossing is very important.

In other news, I hope to finally finish the Owling Mitts I've been working on off and on all summer tomorrow or maybe the next day. I'm making them for my friend Laura who requested them for her birthday. She requested them after her birthday though and it's too hot in the summer for mitts anyway (obviously), so I don't really feel bad for getting them done about 5 months after the date has passed.

I've got a lot of projects that I'm wanting to start asap. Two shawls, a pair of socks, a hat. I don't know what I should start first. The hat would take like a day, two tops, once I get the glass beads strung (need to find my beading needles), so I should probably try to get that out of the way first, since it's a belated birthday present for one of my sisters.

I also have a French Market Bag that's more than halfway done. I should try to get some work on that done as soon as I can. The circular needle I have it on isn't quite long enough for it, so when it's left for any length of time, the stitches near the needle tips come off the needle and some work with a crochet hook is usually required... I'm too cheap to shell out the cash for the longer circular needle though since I'd use it so rarely.

In other news: The Supernatural season 4 DVD sets have been released. Cheapest at Best Buy, but for $2 more ($37.98) can get it at Target with a bonus dvd with 30 minutes of the Q&A at ComicCon 2008. That's where I got mine. It was great to see Jensen and Jared, Kripke, Sera Gamble and Ben Edlund on the panel. I highly recommend it. I also thought the documentaries they've done about different mythological creatures they've been using on the show in recent seasons were really well done and very interesting. It was great to find out more about the sources that TPTB have been using for the show's mythology and the myths behind some of the creatures.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

What I've been up to...

I'm going to the dentist on Tuesday. I really do think I may have some cavities. Possibly three... I really blame the acid-reflux. I'm a little nervous about it...

I've signed up for the Subject Area Exam that I have to take to get certified to teach. I'll be taking it on the 24th of October. I'm also applying for the grad certificate program at USF to help me in obtaining this ultimate goal. I have to go over to school on Monday to talk to someone about the application process.

I uploaded all the photos from my vacation. DC, VA, and SC. They're captioned and whatnot so, hopefully, people other than myself can make out what has been photographed.

Heartfelt Blogger Award

I'm not sure if I totally understand this award and how it works, but if it's just to share the blogs that I really enjoy reading, then I'll happily do that.

Do you reach for a cup of cocoa or tea when you're relaxing, seeking comfort, sharing a plate of cookies with family and friends? You know that feeling you get when you drink a yummy cup of cocoa, tea or a hot toddy? That is what the Heartfelt award is all about: feeling warm inside!

Put the logo on your blog/post. Nominate up to 9 blogs which make you feel comfy or warm inside. Be sure to link to your nominees within the post. Let them know about the award by commenting on their blog. Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.

Ilana of The Cauldron nominated me, and even if she hadn't, I'd still have to nominate her.

Susan at A Bit of Earth.
Lara at Thoughts Like Fallen Leaves.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Home and getting ready for Autumn...

I got home late last night from my very long vacation. I had never been away from home for so long before. Two whole months. It's strange to be back. Good, but strange.

There will be pictures and details of the trip just as soon as I can figure out how to transfer the photos from the laptop to the desktop. Hopefully, it will be done by the end of the weekend or certainly early next week at the latest. *crosses fingers*

Seasons are changing, whether I can feel it in the air yet or not. The garden is totally finished for the warm season. I need to get to work on it for the cool season garden, but I have a few weeks yet until it becomes imperative. My dad has given me a headstart by getting rid of all the weeds that had invaded the planting beds while we were out of town.

I'm getting ready for another school year of subbing. Not signed up for classes myself yet, but at least I've figured out what program I want to do. The Grad Certificate program at USF for Social Science Education. *nods* For sure.

I may have two cavities in two of my bottom-right molars. I've never had cavities before. Must go to the dentist. *sighs* This is what I get for not going to the dentist for 8+ years... although I think the blame truly lies with the bout of acid reflux I suffered earlier this year and last. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Also, in much, much brighter news, it's almost time for more Supernatural. Based on this preview, I have a sneaky notion that this season just might kill me with its awesomeness.

Also, the gag reel from last season is out on YouTube. I lol'd a lot!

Season 4 will be out on DVD on September 1st. WOOT!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Where has this month gone?

Seriously, I ask you!

Because I so don't know...

I'm headed to VA tomorrow. Well, to VA via SC, where I'll be tomorrow night and maybe the follow few days. Just wanted to let everyone know who might be interested.

I've got three bags of sunflower heads that need de-seeding but aren't dry enough yet and I don't even know how many winter squash that will be coming with me, and a whole bag of home-grown onions. Not to mention the spinning wheel, sewing machine and tons of fiber and fabric for my summer projects... Kinda crazy... My car will be as packed as packed can be.

I'll be around as much as possible here and on Ravelry, but not sure how much that will be at least for the next week until I have better access to a computer.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No, really?

Just another German trekker: Some passages in the movie seem to indicate that there’s still some kind of monetary economy in the Star Trek Universe. How else could, for example, McCoy have “nowhere else to go” after his divorce?
Have you been aware of the fact that mainly this plot point (along with other, less crucial, ones) couldn’t withstand close examination given the fact that there is no money in the Star Trek Universe? (I mean: He’s a [physician] - how could he NOT be of service on earth?)

BobOrci: And Kirk offers to pay for Uhura’s drink at the bar, There’s money, or some kind of credit system in this universe.


Come on, is that the only answer we're going to get on this? "Oh, there's money in this universe"? WHY is there money in this universe? Since that's something that really shouldn't have been effected by Nero's interruption/destruction of the known timeline if the change only effected things from the day the Kelvin was destroyed onward. Unless things have rippled all the way back to First Contact and changed everything... In which case, Enterprise isn't even canon anymore as it was (Not that I would really mind that because I hated Enterprise and thought that they did a lot of really cracky, inconsistent things with that series. For example, T'Pol experiencing pon farr because oh, female Vulcans go through that too? Uh, no they don't! Everything we ever had about Vulcan physiology in TOS and Voyager indicates that pon farr was something male Vulcans had to deal with, not female. The females generally just had to deal with being mauled by their husbands for an indeterminate amount of time every seven years until the males got it out of their systems. The writers were obviously just lazy about coming up with a reason T'Pol and Tucker would be getting it on. Fail, writers, fail.)...

We do know that there was some kind of credit system in the Prime universe (that's what I'm going to call the original timeline until given a better name for it), but it wasn't money as we know it today. The first thing that comes to mind is that the Ferengi have gold-pressed Latinum. And obviously, Starfleet personnel sometimes buy things from them... (I'm thinking specifically of Quark's dealing with Harry Kim in ST: Voyager episode "The Caretaker" here, and Harry would have been able to pay him had they struck a deal, so obviously there's some way to exchange their Starfleet credits for Latinum.) But I don't remember anything that is ever really clear on the subject. I hope in subsequent movies, this ambiguity is cleared up somewhat and that we DON'T see someone whip out their VISA card! 'Cuz that would be so ridiculous and upset me greatly (and I know I wouldn't be the only one)! I think something like that would be far more ridiculous than the presence of "Bud Classic" and "Nokia" in this universe. And those product placements were bad enough. (In ST: First Contact, we saw that human society as we know it in the present completely broke down during the 21st century. Knowing that, I have a very difficult time as it is buying that major multinational corporations would survive such economic upheaval to still be doing business in the 23rd century, and I'm not sure what the writers could tell me to make me buy that the corporations are still operating in Star Trek XI's present)...

I just don't like Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman's answer to this question.

Monday, May 25, 2009


I've finished knitting the shawl I'm making for my sister. It took considerably less yarn than the pattern had indicated. Now I have an entire skein of Malabrigo Lace, plus a little more, left and nothing to do with it. It's my sister's colors and very much not mine. I might hold on to it in case I come up with something else to make for her, but I might also put it up for trade/sale on Ravelry (*loves that feature*). Now, I'm waiting for the blocking wires to arrive from KnitPicks. I decided to order them since I really think it will be much easier to use them to block rather than just using pins and my bed. I want this shawl to look really good.

I'm also working on mitts for my friend Lara. She wants gray owling mitts. I'm using Mirasol Qina. I love this stuff! I think it's my favorite yarn at the moment. I'm worried about the mitts not fitting her though, so I've had to put them down for now until the next time we hang out and I can get her to try them on.

So I am out of projects to work on, since I have no yarn available for anything else and no idea what I could make with what I've got on hand. I guess I'm just uninspired to come up with something.

And, even so, my fingers are itching for a project.

I've ordered yarn from KnitPicks as well. Bare Peruvian Highland Wool. 15 skeins. I'm going to use it for the Lace Chuppah pattern that was in one of the Interweave Knit magazines a few years ago... Am I nuts to be working on a Chuppah when I don't even have a boyfriend, nevermind an impending wedding? I don't know... Maybe it will bring certain energies in my direction. One never knows. But I'm going to make it anyway.

The order hasn't even been processed yet, so I probably won't get it for at least a week.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

An update on the pumpkin theft...

... since I've just discovered seconds ago what it is that happened. And get this because it's hilarious.

My brother went to a wedding today. Can't remember if I had mentioned that or not. So he and two of his friends were driving to the wedding together and one of them showed up here without a gift to bring. So my brother - genius that he is - says to his friend, "Hey, take a pumpkin!" And doesn't bother to ask me. Or anyone else. If that's okay. And his friend - being the kind of guy he is - doesn't think there's a damn thing wrong with taking a pumpkin. To a wedding. As his gift to the bride and groom... ... ... What? If anyone has ever wondered about my brother and his friends and just how stupid they are sometimes, this should give you some indication.

So I didn't even have to ask them. They walked in a few minutes ago and my brother said to me, "I took down that sign. That was really tacky." And I said, "Well, someone stole one of my pumpkins last night or this morning and I don't want them doing it again." And he was all, "Oh, no, we gave it as a wedding gift." And I was all, "What? You took my organic, heirloom, perfect french pumpkin? And you didn't even ask if you could? We thought it had been stolen. Do you even know how much an organic, heirloom pumpkin that size is worth retail? It probably weighed 30 pounds!" And they were very apologetic, though they did say it couldn't have been more than 15 pounds, to which I said bullshit. It was at least as big as the one you got at Walmart last year (or was it the year before?), Ilana. So. His friend has agreed to buy me several hundred pounds of cow manure at the hardware store tomorrow. Because I have a hard time getting it myself since it's only sold in 50 pound bags, and while I can lift and move them, I don't like to, so I'll let them do it. And that will repay me for this inconvenience.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Someone stole one of my pumpkins out of my front yard either this morning or last night. The biggest one. Had to have been about 30 lbs. If it was last night, it was done while I was sitting just on the other side of the wall from where they were, with the lights on and the tv on and everything (because I was up all night... been having a little trouble sleeping lately). Or it was taken this morning while it was raining. Either way, that took some planning and balls. And I'm fucking pissed off. I can't go ahead and pick the rest because they really aren't ready to be picked yet. They need another week, maybe two, on the vines. But now I'm worried I'm going to go out there one day and more will have been stolen. I'M NOT GROWING THESE FOR PEOPLE TO STEAL! And I know whoever did it wasn't someone who needs it. This is a dead-end street in a fairly well-off neighborhood. Nobody who lives around here is hurting for food. It's some kid being a delinquent, most likely.

I know it was there last night at about 7:30 when I went out to get the zucchini that were ready there because I checked on it to make sure that the damp wasn't making it rot, and it was there and it was fine.

I've put a sign in my yard saying that the pumpkins aren't in fact free to a good home and that stealing is not appreciated. I'd like to sit out there with a shotgun. But I don't actually have a shotgun (yet) and I have things to do other than guard the pumpkins in my own freaking front yard. So I made the sign. I used the frame of the anti-marriage sign I absconded with from the street near the polling place at the end of the block on Election Day last November, but the cardboard on it is different for this new sign, obviously. It's always good to recycle.

Still, grrrrrrr.....

Also. Our oven is broken. We have no oven until at least Wednesday. This makes me exceedingly sad.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Movies and other things...

I've decided on the Victory Shawl on Ravelry. I found yarn at the local LYS's five-years-in-business sale that will be perfect for my sister, so I bought it and am making this shawl for her for Christmas. YAY! I still need to figure out something to make for myself, but I can at least put off making those decisions for a few more weeks.

I'm already on the 11th "module" of pattern repeats (the pattern is in French - thank goodness for my high school French teacher and babelfish!). So far, it's looking good!

Don't scroll down if you haven't seen Wolverine or Star Trek and you don't want any spoilers for either movie. Because spoilers, they are abounding below... Wolverine is first, then Star Trek, so if you're clever with your mouse, you could read about one without reading about the other...

And for those of you who haven't seen Star Trek yet... I'm just gonna leave this here to tempt you a bit (and as awesome as the trailer is, it still doesn't quite capture just how amazing the movie itself is):





Wolverine was awesome, despite what they did to Deadpool. Lots of people have objections about what was done to Deadpool's character, but I thought it worked for the purpose of the movie and the plot. Others might disagree. Overall: bone claws, backstory, general awesomeness, pimp cane wielding Gambit. I'm a happy girl. Also, I'm easy for Hugh Jackman. I even liked Kate & Leopold because of him and I greatly dislike Meg Ryan as a general rule.






Saw Star Trek on Thursday at 7pm in an advanced screening. My first reaction was basically that it's THE MOST AWESOME RESET TO EVER BE MADE IN THE HISTORY OF EVER! BAR NONE! NO, I DON'T CARE!

Seriously, I couldn't get out of my seat even to stretch after the movie was over until the credits had completely finished and the houselights came up and even then I was on a cloud of happy for the next three days. That has never happened to me before, even with LOTR: ROTK, and I cried through the last 45 minutes of that movie the first time I saw it. So. This is saying something. I think I also hyper-ventilated due to awesomeness-overload a few times.

It was really great.

James T. Kirk is a badass. Who likes 20th century rock music, vintage cars, motorcycles and leather. I approve. Spock is pretty badass too. Together they are unstoppably badass. As it should be.

Sulu kicks ass and takes names. Really, really, loved his character in this.

McCoy... OMG, Karl Urban is an amazingly underrated actor. He became McCoy more than any other new actor became their character in this movie. He had down the way DeForest Kelly spoke as McCoy, his facial expressions, the way he walked... Everything! It was incredible. Also, he had some of the best lines. Really quite funny and I loved him.

Scotty and Chekov and Uhura are completely brilliant. Uhura could have been given more to do other than being a love interest for Spock, but there were a lot of other characters and she is, after all, a language specialist. She translates. So... yeah... she's important, but not exactly necessarily in the thick of things a lot of the time. Also... Spock is her former professor... making their relationship a little... questionable on the ethics scale, imho (and if I understood that situation right), because he's still has authority over her at Starfleet Academy. However, I can see why they did it given how much Uhura flirted with him in the early days of TOS.

Others have complained about a few things and I'll tell you why I think these complaints are nit-picky and dumb.

  • #1. That the make-up they used for the Orion (the would be the green girl who was Uhura's roommate) Kirk was trying to bone looked fake and was jarring.

    Dude, she's supposed to be that color green. That species looks like that. They have green skin, just that color with bright eyes and often times (any more) brightly painted lips so that there's somewhat of a - what I like to call - radioactive cats effect. It's not supposed to look like Rebecca Romijn did when she played Mystique in the X-Men movies, even though you might think that's a "cooler" effect. Just no. Orions always look pretty much just like they did in TOS. Always. It's the way it is. Accept it or GTFO. And if you still thought it looked like the most fake effect ever and you were startled by it so much you laughed and thought she looked ridiculous, I suspect you're not really a Star Trek fan to be perfect frank about it.

  • #2. Tyler Perry's cameo.

    I didn't even notice it a little bit, and I've seen it twice now. The second time, I knew he was in there somewhere and still didn't notice. I think someone's been watching too much Madea.

  • #3. Kirk and Spock Prime were suspiciously marooned on the same planet.

    Delta Vega is what it is. It's the planet that people get marooned on apparently (see TOS episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before"). Go with it. Also, one can easily see that Kirk and Spock would have been put on the same planet since there probably aren't that many M-class planets near Vulcan... Delta Vega being one of the planets in the Vulcan system. Also... It's the planet that Nero and his crew were mining when Romulus was destroyed. So, yeah, makes sense Spock would get dumped there by them.

    My little issue with this: Why is Scottie necessarily on the same planet? That was a bit convenient. And I find it a wee-bit coincidental that Kirk and Spock were dumped off close enough together to actually find each other just by chance before making it to the base, but I guess since they were in proximity to a Starfleet station, they were both probably intentionally placed there so that, after trudging through the ice and snow for a while, they would eventually find shelter and not die of exposure. But really, I'm more than willing to let these points slide.

Also didn't have a problem with:
  • Winona Ryder being Spock's mom

  • Any of the casting

  • The new look for the ship

  • That Kirk became captain at 25. If you saved Earth from being imploded, I think Starfleet would give you your own ship too.

Things I did have a problem with:
  • I have no logical explanation for why there would be water on the floor in some parts of Nero's ship. Were their bilge pumps not working or something (not that they'd have bilge pumps on a space ship as opposed to a regular floats-in-water ship)? I really want an explanation for why they wade through ankle-deep water in space...

  • The Nokia thing being in the car, and the "Budweiser Classic" at the bar... Because Earth in Star Trek is supposed to be post-capitalism. I'm not sure they really have brand names in the Trek universe. I'm not sure what explanation there could be for it other than product placements are "the thing to do" in these kinds of movies these days, and personally, that just doesn't fly with me completely when we're talking about STAR TREK for the love of all that's holy in science fiction. I certainly have never seen them in any other Trek movies or shows. So that did give me pause once I thought about it. But, really, I'll let it slide...

Other than that, I think I loved every nanosecond of the movie and can't wait for it to come out on DVD, and can't wait even more for the sequel(s? - please, I pray).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Oh, and he's funny too!

I love our president. My love, in fact, is ever-growing, really...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


"Fat Judges Need Not Apply" <--- That this sort of thing needs to be said is sad. I hope the President can rise above such ridonculousness...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Because I needed another reason to hate Smithfield Foods...

So now they're probably in some part responsible for the swine flu pandemic. Nice one, guys.

I actively boycott Smithfield Foods products and all subsidiaries (and Paula Deen too... She's their celebrity spokesperson)... not that I ever bought all that much pork in any of its various forms, but now I'm quite conscientious about it.

For those who are unaware of Smithfield's dubious reputation,, check out this Rolling Stone article (be aware, there are graphic images) about the atrocious way they operate their facilities inside the US where there's supposed to be regulations to stop this flagrant corporate irresponsibility. God only knows what they do in other countries where health, safety and environmental laws (not to mention, laws for the humane treatment of animals) are not even up to our standards (which are obviously too low if Smithfield gets away with these things).

Smithfield refutes many of the claims made in this article (interestingly not my favorite part with the quotes from the guy who started the company about just how much he laughs at the EPA investigators)... However, it is interesting to note that due to at least one of the health concerns detailed in the Rolling Stone article - water contamination - North Carolina had enacted a moratorium on hog "concentrated animal feeding operations" (CAFO's or "factory farms") in 1997, which was extended repeatedly until 2007 when it was allowed to expire... Not that the moratorium was particularly effective. South Carolina, Virginia and Quebec have also passed moratoriums limiting CAFOs and the methods employed at such facilities, and I know that Florida has laws detailing the amount of room a pregnant sow is supposed to be allotted (so they can't be kept in crates barely large enough for them to breath in, forget about moving, as they had been until the referendum was passed). I honestly don't know what's being done about curtailing dirty hog farming in those states right now, but I'd be willing to venture the answer is "not enough."

Random update...

Moved my doctor appointment up to today (well, yesterday now) because my acid reflux went a little nutz Sunday night. Still no closer to really having that under control, thanks to prescription drugs being crazy expensive and health insurance choosing not to cover anything since not having it won't kill me, but it was still good to discuss the findings (or not-findings) of the ultrasound I had last month in greater depth. Nothing to worry about there, and the chances that the pains are being caused by something life-threatening like some sort of cancer or serious like chronic appendicitis are pretty well diminished to as near to non-existent as possible without a hell of a lot more scans (just to be 100% sure)... so that's good.

Also the bursitis is improving as quickly as can be expected... It's just something that takes months and months to heal. He gave me some more tips to help it along. The stretching has been helping. I also need to minimize how much I drive as much as possible and adjust my car's seat a bit so that as little pressure as possible is put on my hip. I might also buy one of those posture support things for my car and one for home use and another for work because most of those "ergonomic" chairs at work are ironically painful to sit in, even for a few minutes, but not as painful as standing for over 7 hours straight. I need to get a new computer chair for home too. Really, really need to do that. I've found that using a straight-backed dining chair to sit in while spinning also helps because it's higher and straighter than my computer chair or any of the chairs in the living room. I might be able to return to more regular spinning... although not at the pace at which I used to work, where I was spinning about 6 ounces a day or more. Half an ounce a day, max, if I'm careful and cautious about it. But that's much better than nothing at all.

My left-over lung yuckiness from my cold is almost entirely gone. YAY!

Also, I've officially lost 10 pounds in the past year! \o/ This is a very good thing. I don't want to loose weight quickly, I just want to be headed in that direction - loosing, rather than gaining - without having to be working out like crazy or depriving myself of things I want to eat. It's working so far! Also, my doctor was able to discuss this with me, and express that if I could loose another 20 over the next few years, he'd consider that a perfectly healthy weight for me, BMI be damned, without offending me at any point. He's the first medical professional I've ever seen who has managed to do that. Kudos to him.

On to another random observation: I'm really liking Cupid on ABC. It's on late, at 10pm. But it's kind of a delightful light sort of show. A nice balance to all the heavy drama I tend to watch. If you haven't seen it, give it a chance if you would. It's cute... Fairly predictable if you know anything about Classical mythology, but still cute.

I'm coming out of my warmer weather induced desire to knit with nothing but cotton and now I want to make a shawl. Lace. Soon. I've got a hankering because several times this winter and spring I've wished for a proper shawl for times when a sweater is just too much and bare arms are just way too cold. Laminaria maybe? With cheap merino lace yarn from KnitPicks, I'm thinking? I would do the Danish Wrap Shawl that I've been wanting to make forever but I don't yet have the variety of appropriate handspun yarn I'll need for that, so it will have to keep waiting.

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's been forever since I posted...

Don't know why. I haven't been knitting as much as usual, and lord knows, I haven't been spinning (much - it's been rather miserable not being able to while surrounded by beautiful fiber). The bursitis in my hip is still giving me issues. I see the doc again on Friday. Hopefully he'll suggest another treatment that might be more effective. I have spun a little, just to test the waters. It hasn't seemed to make the pain any worse than casual driving does as long as I don't do any more than 30 minutes of spinning, which is about how long it takes me to do one bobbin's worth. I've been spinning the lovely Corri-Mohair blend I got in Greensboro at Gate City Yarns.

On the knitting front, I've not done too much since early March. Mostly granny's favorite dishcloths. I did finish the dresses for my niece. Pictures, such as they are, are on my Ravelry. I need to get more pics from my sister with the baby wearing them, but that might have to wait for a few more weeks until they fit her better and its warmer in Virginia.

I've also been working a lot. I'm still waiting to hear from the state about my eligability for certification. Could be several weeks still until I hear back. I know that there will be a lot of classes I need to take, plus internship and at least two subject area tests. Could probably arrange to take the subject area tests over the summer and get them out of the way. The qualifying scores are ridiculously low from what I've been told.

I got a book of children's fairytales (like cleaned-up-for-delicate-modern-children Grimms' stories) in Latin and I've been translating that with only the benefit of the glossery for help with the vocabulary. No help with the grammar. I think I've been doing an okay job. I should probably try to remember to take it with me to lunch with my Latin prof tomorrow (if we're able to go to lunch) and have her look at it. The reason I'm doing that is because I think a good deal of the Latin subject area exam is translating random passages with only the a dictionary for help with the vocabulary, so I thought this was a pretty good way to test myself... Although what I really need to do is get Caesar's De Bello Gallico, Cornelius Nepos' De Illustribus Viris, the Aenied and Metamorphoses, since those are what will actually be tested on the real exam. And I need to brush up on the particulars of Latin grammar so badly it's not even funny... But it will be good to know that I'm doing alright with translating without using a grammar guide.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Vacation update... short and sweet...

My mom, my sister, my niece and I went up to Floyd, VA yesterday to go antiquing and we bought a rocking chair, some paintings and some dishes for the cabin, and it was snowing up there. O.O First time I've ever seen *snow* falling from the sky. It was bizarre! It wasn't cold enough to accumulate on the ground though - only 34 degrees. Today, I hung out with my sister at the bead shop she works at part-time. Tomorrow, I'm going down to Greensboro to go to the yarn shop there. It's irresistable! Truly...

Friday, April 03, 2009


I'm driving to VA tomorrow for Spring Break. Lots to do around here before I go. No time for anything else it seems...

I'll be back no later than the 13th.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring knitting...

So... It's getting warmer, and more so than in previous years, I feel like I need to knit in cotton right now. So for the time being, I've put aside all my wool and I'm concentrating on warm weather work.

I've made a steering wheel cover for my sister, using the pattern that I came up with for my own.

I'm finishing up some cotton pocketbook slippers.

I'm going to start on a Spring Beret as soon as I'm finished with the slippers.

And I'm plotting my next endeavor. I think I'm going to make a few summer dresses in different sizes for my niece. I haven't decided on a pattern yet. I'm looking at Summerlin, The Two Summer Sundress (get on Ravelry if you want to see it), or the Babydoll dress from Knitty. I want to make something she can wear now and this summer and something that she'll be able to wear next summer maybe. The Two Summer Sundress has the advantage of doing this all on its own. It's made to grow with the child and be worn during two consecutive summers. *nods* It's also made out of Peaches & Cream or Sugar n' Cream, both of which I have on hand in many colors.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Simple Steering Wheel Cover

I decided after years of using a steering wheel cover I bought in desperation at Walmart that I really should get rid of that thing and make one myself. I searched and searched for a steering wheel cover pattern that I liked and couldn't find one. So I made one up! :D

This is designed to fit a steering wheel with a circumference of 46 inches. If your steering wheel has a different circumference, measure it and knit according to the pattern for 60% of that measurement. With that said, onward to the pattern itself...


2 balls of Peaches & Cream Worsted Weight 100% Cotton Yarn in your choice of colors.
Size US 10


Holding two strands together, CO 12 sts.

Knit in garter until long enough to stretch tightly around the steering wheel. (In this case, 28 inches.)


Sew BO edge to CO edge, being careful that it doesn’t twist.

Sew onto the steering wheel. It will be very tight, and should not require anything else to prevent slipping.


Now, it's true that this is not so easy as some to remove to wash. But if you use a constrasting color yarn to sew it on to your wheel, or you're just really careful, you can cut the string you use to sew it into place and then un-sew it, wash it, and then put it back with a yarn needle and either the same string or a new one. It works for me anyway...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's Spring-time already?

The Spring issue of Knitty went live today! YAY!

The Shipwreck Shawl... Um. YES! I was trying to design something like this myself... A little less like a shawl than this and more like a piece of fish-netting that was found on the beach and used by a selki, but the idea behind it is kinda similar.

Also - I love Aeolian So pretty! I want make it... with handspun... but I don't spin that consistantly and thin yet.

Reverie is likewise kinda awesome. I'm really loving all the berets and slouches that are being designed right now. I finished the February beret not that long ago, but I want to make myself many more...

If i make myself a sweater from this, it will be the green version of Decimal.

I really like the subtle texture of Andy.

I love the swirls of the cables in Absinthe, and I just love Cachoeira in general.

I love the airiness of Flit + Float. That is a scarf I would actually wear, I think.

I adore the historic pattern for the baby hood. How cool is that? (I also bought the new Piecework magazine this afternoon because there's a pattern for a sontag as well as several other historical pieces in it.)

On to the Features...

The Intentional Spinner looks like a really good book to have.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

*cough, cough*

Well, I feel as if I dropped off the face of the earth of late. I can't sit here too long, but I want to write something so I'll be brief.

I have the flu. I missed three days of work this week, but I should be able to go Monday. I'm getting better, but slowly. I also think I might have bursitis and/or tendinitis possibly in several location in my right hip (based on quite a lot of research this week while I've had little else to do). I went to the doctor last weekend about it, but the doctor wasn't in, so I had to see a NP. No offense to those out there who have taken that path in life, but NPs are and always have been utterly useless to me in private practice. They always tell me I have something I don't have and invariably misdiagnose me and then it has to be correctly diagnosed by the doctor at a later date. This time, it was no different. I won't go in to all of it because it makes me far too angry and I really want to scream at the woman what an idiot she is. Just one of the many things she did wrong, was that she gave me a prescription for the same GERD meds I've been taking over the counter that aren't working for me, but she didn't tell me that's what she had done because they have a different name by prescription. The only real difference is that they charge about 10 times as much for it. This after I explained to her what I had been taking and that it didn't work and I needed something else. Can we say, why do you have a job? I think we can. The NPs who work at CVS though, what gems they are. Always very knowledgable, polite and helpful. So as soon as I have a day free from working, I have to make an appointment with an actual doctor and go back to find out what's really wrong with my hip, as well as this stomach pain that my doctor has previously told me is scar tissue in my duodenum... Only problem is that the duodenum is higher up. The location is classic for the start of chronic appendicitis. I think I might have to demand some actual tests rather than just relying on his guesses. An ultrasound. Some blood tests. Something. Or maybe I should find a new doctor. That's a possibility too. *sighs*

As far as the flu goes, I'm mostly just coughing and sniffling now, but I don't want to get sick again so I'm taking it easy this weekend until I'm sure it's well and truly going away...

My hip is why I can't sit here for long. It hurts to sit at the computer. I don't know if it's the height of the desk, the chair or what, but I just can't do it. I also wonder if I originally hurt my hip by spinning too long and too vigorously. I wonder if others have had similar injury. Because the NP didn't believe me and looked at me like I was the stupidiest person ever to come in to her exam room. Hey, just because I don't get my repetitive motion injuries by typing, ballet dancing or running marathons, doesn't mean they aren't real, lady.

In other news, I have only the toe of the first of Jensen's socks to do. I'm waiting on pictures of his feet. ... Yeah, pictures of his feet. I want to know wheather he has particularly broad toes or not. I also got the handcards I ordered. Can't remember if I mentioned that or not. They're nice. I've been blending some of the alpaca Ilana sent me with some lambswool that wasn't carded to my liking and was difficult to spin on its own. It's fluffy and beautiful.

The garden is doing very well. With the flu, I haven't been able to be out in it at all since last Sunday, but it's doing all right. My dad's been watering for me, and that's really all it's needed. There's a lot that should be done, but nothing that absolutely must be done for at least another week, which should give me enough time to finish getting over this flu.

The new issue of MaryJane's Farm came in the mail today. It is beautious and filled with gardening stuff and recipes. *my eyes are all aglitter* Especially interesting to me is the article on people who are turning their front yards into vegetable gardens. What a fantastic idea that is for those who have soil in that location that will work for them. Us... all our good soil is in the back. Oh, sure, we could always amend the soil in the front to get it up to snuff too, and we are for the flower beds that are already established, but our front yard is the size of most people's back yards, so a full-scale effort there is not going to happen any time soon. Still, I had my friend Joe help me out today by putting down new top soil in one of the beds and planting it with the summer and winter squash seedlings that I never found room for out back. Now there are some of all varieties in both locations. :D

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Oscars...

Meant to post about the Oscars last night, but was so tired and it was so late! So now...

I really enjoyed the show. I'll tell you what I enjoyed the most (other than Hugh Jackman... seriously, I think I'd watch him read the dictionary if someone cared to televise it): I really enjoyed how as they were announcing the nominees for the acting awards, the presenters told each nominee what was so special about their performance. I could see that the nominees seemed genuinely touched by the complements and it just struck me as very special. Kate Winslet's was my favorite acceptance speech. YAY!! She won! :D (I <3 Kate!) Anyway, it seemed to me that this year's Oscars was a more intimate show... I don't know if it was just me, but I got that there was a sense of camaraderie and affection and... family really among a lot of the celebrities there, and I really liked that...

If you've got no idea what I'm talking about, watch this clip... It's good anyway (It's Kate! :D):

And OMG! I can't tell you how thrilled and moved I was that Heath was honored.

I cried. I won't lie...

Also - YAY! Sean Penn! I'm not a huge fan of him, but he gave a great speech:

Also - YAY! Penelope Cruz! I didn't see the movie, but I hear she is amazing in it and I loved her in Woman on Top years ago. And OMG! That DRESS!!! Did you hear the story? She saw it in a vintage clothing store 8 yerars ago and didn't buy it. She told herself that she'd go back for it when she needed it, and if it was still there, it was meant to be. She went back recently, and it was still there! 8 YEARS LATER! O.O Dude! The odds! The dress is 60 years old. *is amazed* Also, her speech rocks too...

On a completely different note: Today I started my 3 week long job. The teachers they have covering the classes really want me to actually teach instead of having them do it, but seriously, it's math and the FCAT (a standardized test in this state) is in a few weeks and I wouldn't want me preparing them for it if I were them. I know it's 6th grade math, but... still... Plus, they don't pay me enough to actually really teach 5 classes a day 5 days a week for the next three weeks. That's what the permanent teachers are getting paid to do.

Also today: My handcards arrived in the mail! YAY! *dances* Now I can start in on all the raw spinning fiber I've got laying around waiting to be processed.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


So I made that strawberry jam I've been talking about for what must be weeks by now. It is completely delicious. I used this recipe.

I've discovered something interesting. I think I'm allergic to strawberries. I hardly ever have strawberries, despite the fact that I live less than 15 miles from the Winter Strawberry Capital of America. Never fresh because I always expect them to be sweeter than they are, and I find it so disappointing when they aren't, and I think the last time I attempted to eat them was when I was 8 or 9 years old. I vaguely remember breaking out in hives at that time, but I can't clearly remember it and neither can my mom. I've had other forms of strawberries over the years. Strawberry cake, strawberry sauces on like ice cream and things like that (and I mean the real stuff, not artificially flavored things) and strawberry cheesecake for sure. Never had a problem with any of those. But this evening I've eaten about a tablespoon of strawberry jam and now I've broken out in hives. :-( This makes me very sad because my jam is really yummy.

Four pounds of fresh strawberries, fours after they were picked in Plant City...

Washed, cut up and ready to go in the pot...

Mashed and boiling...

Finished cooking...

All done and processed... 11 jars altogether...