Sunday, April 30, 2006

Indulge Me for a Moment*...

...while I wallow in pure unadulterated maternal adoration.

*I know, I know - no one is really that interested in admiring other people's children. I just couldn't resist. And he has been a really great kid on a really busy and hectic (but fun) weekend.

And furthermore, I acknowledge what a copout this is - since I've not posted in days, and even then the last post I did was nothing but a Lorelei Gilmore rehash (although I still stand by the brilliance of the quotation!) But in all the whirlwind of getting ready for Festival, then celebrating Festival, and attending a wedding on top of that - there's been no time for anything else.

Next week, the usual blather and occasional knitted thing/book review will return....

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

You Said It, Lorelei...

During last night's episode, Lorelei is helping to host a slumber party for a whole passel* of 13 year old girls. She's is preparing to screen a movie for them. She sits them all down, and delivers this speech:
All right, girls, um....
You are about to meet someone very special to me. Her name is Molly Ringwald. Now I know you don't know who that is, but suffice it to say she is my generation's Audrey Hepburn. And I know you don't know who that is, either. But trust me... you're going to love her.

...and yes, that is the guy from "Two and a Half Men".

And then, the wailing intro to the Psychedelic Furs song, the long camera shot of the railroad tracks and the street sweeper crawling by....

That's right - it's Pretty In Pink.
I love this movie.

And, Lorelei, you hit the nail right on the head....

*Isn't that what tween girls come in, passels???

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

"Captain Saturday"

All-in-all, this past weekend was a lovely and low-key one. We hung around the house, I puttered a bit (laundry, tidying) and did some good knitting on some little bears. I also read a truly enjoyable book, and that is what I wanted to share...

I will preface this by admitting that I do have a soft spot for Southern literature, both the serious and the not so serious. And to my delight I've found a new (well, new to me) Southern author - Robert Inman. The novel is called Captain Saturday - and it's the story of Will Baggett, who is the most popular TV weatherman in all of Raleigh, NC.

Will's pretty much on top of the world: he loves his job, and he loves his adoring fans. He and his beautiful wife have a lovely home, and a son in med school. In short, Will's on top of the world.
Until the station is sold, and Will finds himself out of a job. And that's just the beginning of the woes the universe has in store for him.

This story deals with how Will reconnects with his roots, and in doing so reconnects with himself, and his wife and son. It was beautifully and descriptively written. Inman has a very good eye and ear for details. Even the more outrageous characters ring true.

I'm excited to have discovered Robert Inman. First, because I did genuinely enjoy this book; and second, because he has several more books out there. It's always nice to "find" someone who already has a couple of books under his belt, so that when you like their writing style, you don't have to wait years for the next book to come out* - you can go back and read some of the older stuff.

Although, this week, not much time for reading.... I'm paying for my leisurely weekend! Our big-time neighborhood festival begins Friday, and the unofficial kickoff is the children's party which I am helping to put together, which is on Thursday night. The rest of my week is going to be all about Festival....

*And yes, I mean you, Donna Tartt. You wrote The Secret History which was absolutely wonderful. Then you made us wait NINE YEARS for The Little Friend, which wasn't....

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Lovely, Lazy Sunday

Today has started off quite satisfactorily. I got up early and went for a nice long walk with one of my neighborhood girlfriends.
It's funny, I absolutely hate getting ready to walk, I kind of like the actual walking, and I just love having gone for a walk.

Then I returned home to spend a leisurely morning. As I was puttering about in the kitchen, I noticed that there's a whole slew of honeysuckle threatening to overtake the western side of the deck. I have no idea where that came from, or how long it's been out there. As I've admitted before, we rarely ever go out into, or even pay much attention to, the back.

Since it was such a lovely morning, I decided to drag a kitchen chair out there and spend some quality time with the crossword, and the other "fun" sections of the paper.
An excellent decision if I may say so. The weather was stunning this morning, a slight breeze, high 60's, sunny with a few puffy lil' clouds. It's still too early in the season for all the bugs to show up yet, so no beasties or long legged ghoulies were trying to suck my blood. And the smell of honeysuckle wafting around - amazing.

The crosswords were quite rewarding this morning, and I completed them both without having to cheat. (Usually, the NYTimes one requires some peeking, or at the very least, some Google help.) I then moved on to the "Art & Books" section and read a lovely review of a book I would just love to own: The Encyclopedia of Appalachia.* Just as I was sitting there, basking in the glow of completed crosswords and the anticipation of a newly released book, I thought to myself - "Could this morning be any more perfect???" Which is usually the moment at which something goes comically, cosmically awry - the universe smiting me for daring to question. Instead, and here I kid you not, the sound of bagpipes begins to drift through the air.

I know, I know - many of you might think that the bagpipe sound was my punishment from the cosmos - however, I actually love the sound of bagpipes. Weird, I know, but there it is.
I just sat quietly and listened. And that's a big deal for me, because there is not a lot of stillness in my life. The music didn't last long, maybe 10 - 15 minutes or so, and then ended as mysteriously as it began.
It doesn't get much better than that, folks.....

*Even though I am craving this book mightily, don't be looking for a review anytime soon. It's a big ole book (1,800+ pages) with a hefty price tag. However, Bubba if you are reading this, it is on my Amazon wish list. And I've got a birthday coming up. Admittedly it's not for months and months, but it is coming up!

Friday, April 21, 2006

For Phil...

Hey Phil,
I drove past this today, and it made me think of you.

And I almost got run over by a Marta bus, attempting to take this picture....

Which, pretty much sums up how my day has gone today.
And just in case you thought that I might be exaggerating about my day, let me just tell you that Schecky is sitting on the couch, waiting for me to come watch a DVD with him. Which on the surface sounds lovely and sweet. Except that the movie is BabyGeniusesII: SuperBabies!

Oh, and get this: Scheck's new name for me is "Evil Mom Lady". (Which is actually kind of funny. Obviously I've been letting him read too many of my old "Calvin and Hobbes" collections.)

Oh well, tomorrow's gonna be, tomorrow's gonna be, tomorrow's gonna be another day. Yay-yay-yay-yay!*

*Name that tune!
LCB, you ought to get that one....

Thursday, April 20, 2006

"Everyday with Rachael Ray" Review (and a miscellaneous nibbly thing)

I am a magazine junkie. And pretty much anytime I get one of those "Try an issue" offers, I give it a try. Typically, I read my free issue, and that's that. No desire whatsoever to subscribe.

Yesterday, a trial issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray arrived. I was not all that excited. I have a vague idea who she is, but have never watched her show. Or does she have more than one? I have this notion that she's building an empire and has multiple fingers in multiple pies....

Anyway, what a pleasant surprise the magazine was! First of all, it looks and feels nice. It's about an inch wider than most magazines, which gives it a substantial feel (although, it doesn't stack up nicely with the other magazines if you tend to let them pile up. Which I do.) and it's on nice heavy glossy paper. Points for that. The design throughout is clean, and visually appealing while still being easy to read. More points for that.

And there are a number of recipes that sound really appealing - and there are photos of every recipe. Huge points for that.
The only thing that make it lose points is that there is no nutritional information on the recipes, which I would like to have. Particularly since Ms. Ray seems to have dependency issues with her "EVOO"*. I could do without the cutesy name. She loses points for that, too.

All in all the good points outweigh the bad points. And we may have to try the Chicken Sausages with Red Slaw, the Leek-y Chicken with couscous, Andoille Dawgs with Gumbo Sauce, Rice Cracker Tuna, or the Shrimp and Feta quiche. Yum....

OK - want to know something that is really weird? Sitting down to watch an episode of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" that your TiVo has considerately recorded for you, only to realize that the main guest (the one who gets to sit down with Jon and plug something, not the one who gets visited by a field reporter and usually ends up looking crazy) is a boy you used to date. Never happened to you? Well, trust me, it's a strange feeling.....
The boy in question handled himself beautifully, and came across as very witty and clever and smart. In short, he did well enough that I was not embarrassed by the fact that I went out with him for a short period, but he wasn't so amazing that I was kicking myself for letting him get away. In fact, I was actually proud of him - does that mean that I'm an adult???? Perish the thought....

* "Extra Virgin Olive Oil"

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Introducing the Disappointing Kitten Thing

You know, for something that started out ostensibly as a knitting blog, there has not been a lot of knitting featured here lately.

There are a couple of reasons behind this:
  • As far as crafty girls go, knitters are the riders of the short bus. Those who sew can whip out prodigious amounts of amazing and creative product in what seems like the blink of an eye. Whereas we knitters plod along with our yarn and our sticks. We're slow. (or at least, I am!)

  • I really have been knitting - but I haven't been finishing anything.
    I've got too many projects going on and I just need to buckle down and finish something.
    I'm making slow progress on the Irish Hiking Scarf, plus I'm making a whole slew of bears. Five to be exact. I've got about two and a half of them done, so I'm literally halfway there. I've not taken a picture of them, though, because I figured you all might be tiring of bears. First there was BabyHenry, then Chubbins, and then Miss Laurie. I figure I won't subject you to each individual bear - but you might have to endure a group photo when the clan is all done.

    Oh yeah, I still have something that I started for a friend a month ago, and all I need to do is finish two tiny little things and then put it all together - but I seem to never get this done...
Anyway - in keeping with my "not finishing something before I start the new thing" theme, I got an idea, and I had to drop everything to try and create this thing in my head....

I had so much fun with the DomoKun, and he was such a quick little knit and is so pleasing to hold that I wanted to experiment with the "bean bag" format further. Also, I wanted to try my hand at intarsia. So somehow I decided that I wanted to try to knit a stripey kitten.

I got out Excel and plotted the whole thing out and then set to work. The above picture is the final result. I'm not real pleased with him, so I think that I am not going to bother to put him all together. Finishing/assembling is my least favorite part of any project - and since I'm on the fence about him, I'm not going to invest the time right now.

Things I like about the Disappointing Kitten Thing: I did a fairly good job with the intarsia. It was awkward to do and I had a bazillion strands all over the back, but I managed it all. And I even did a nice job of weaving in all the sticky outy bits in back. I also really like the concept of the stripes... the way that they frame his face (the back is a solid set of light orange/dark orange stripes) Finally, I like the fact that I am starting to be able to imagine my own stuff, even if it's not necessarily turning out the way that I wanted....

Things I don't like about DKT: I never did get his expression the way I wanted it to look. I wanted him to have more personality than he ended up with. Also, I made a dumb mistake - due to the fact that I created the pattern for the front of him, then the back of him, and then I ended up modifying the front without modifying the back. His stripes are 4 rows high in front, only 3 rows high in back. It's not the end of the world, but it is going to bug me.

So - thank you for allowing me to introduce the partially completed Disappointing Kitten Thing!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Handwriting Meme

thought I'd join in on the fun at the handwriting meme on Flickr....

In all honesty, I thought about "staging" a shot - using cute stationary, and my very best handwriting, etc. Instead, I decided to just "keep it real."

I grabbed a nearby 3x5 index card - they're ubiquitous in my house, as I use them for everything. I grabbed a Sharpie, my weapon of choice*, and just used my everyday scrawl.

NOTE TO ALL YOU HANDWRITING ANALYSTS OUT THERE: I am pretty sure that I don't want to know what this says about me.....

*Although, I am not completely sure how I ended up with a purple one.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Hot in Herre...

...and other miscellaneous nibbly things.

  • It's HOT! Ugh. Seems we are having a streak of "unseasonable weather" - read this to mean it's too darn hot here in Atlanta. I've got a reputation for being kind of a dictator about the A/C in our house. I hate using it, and prefer fresh air whenever possible. Both Bubba and Schecky know better than to even ask about turning on the A/C until sometime in May.

    Until today. I broke down and turned it on. But only because when we woke up this morning - it was 79°. In the house! That's the thing about these old houses - nice thick walls. It takes a while for the hot to get in, but when it does, it stays. That was bad, but when I saw that the high today is supposed to hit 89° - I just sucked it up, and turned the A/C on. The boys will be thrilled. I suspect this means it's going to be a long summer.....

  • Today is the first day of the official Vidalia Onion season.
    Woo Hoo!

  • The new issue of Cooking Light came today. It looks promising.
    Which is nice. Frankly, I've found the last few issues to be kind of duds.

  • I cleaned the oven this weekend. For the first time since we bought the house. Fourteen years ago.
    I am so ashamed.... :)

  • Traffic was a nightmare today, as the Interstate was shut down (once again) for (yet another) jumper....
    Is this purely an Atlanta thing, or does every city once it reaches a certain size start to attract lunatics who threaten to jump off of overpasses?
    We've had so many of these in recent years that they actually fenced in/up most of the overpasses, but it seems this guy was crafty and got outside of the fencing.
    I apologize if I come off sounding callous. I am sure that these people have terrific problems, and that I live a blessed life in comparison, and have no way of comprehending the depths of desperation to which life has brought these people. That having been said, I feel like if we (the city) handled these situations better/differently, that this would not continue to be such a problem.
    I wonder how much money it costs - in resources, traffic tie ups, loss of productivity, etc. - for an incident like this???

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Morning Egg Hunt Excitement

Easter Dervish

This is a snapshot I took of the Scheckster this morning - in the throes of a whirling dervish brought on by Candy Egg Avariciousness.

And the sad part is - at this point, he had not even eaten any of his candy.....

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Because sometimes my pictures are better than my words....

Eggs!  Get Your Eggs Here!

Easter Egg Dyes

Hard At Work
Schecky at Work*


Easter Eggs

*He really does have other shirts than this one. He just obviously wears it frequently, since the majority of photos that I have over at Flickr seem to show him wearing this one....

Friday, April 14, 2006

Dear Lord, I am a moron...

It just this very minute occurred to me....

My. computer. has. a. DVD. player.

I could have spent the past 2 hours watching a movie, instead of balancing the checkbook.


I blame the brain damage on the repetitive alternative rock....

How is this even possible....

I had high hopes for this evening - a lazy night curled up on the couch with some DVDs* I picked up earlier in the week. ('cause it's not like I spent all morning going to the movies or anything....)
Maybe even falling asleep on the couch, that's always fun. I love falling asleep on the couch...

However, I wasn't taking into account that there's a Braves game on tonight, and Bubba called dibs on the set.

So - a change of plans, no problem.

I sit down in front of the computer, put on my earphones, and get to work on balancing the checkbook. (and sneaking a few peeks at blogs!)

Funny thing is that when I get to working on a task, I kind of lose track of time, and to a lesser degree, my surroundings. So I just came up for air - everything balanced, yay! - and realized that I had just listened to the same song, Tear You Apart by She Wants Revenge, TWENTY SIX TIMES in a row.

How is that even possible? Seems that I had it set to repeat, and it did. And not only did I not notice until I happened to see the playcount, but I'm still not sick of the song yet.

I repeat, how is this even possible???

*Melinda & Melinda and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Movie Friday...

Today was an impromptu "Movie Friday" - according to the calendar, I'm not due for a Movie Friday until next week. But sometimes you just gotta break the rules...

I went to go see Thank You For Smoking and I really, really enjoyed it. It was quick, it was witty and ever-so snarky. And I enjoy that in a film, I truly do. I cackled out loud numerous times. Which was totally fine, 'cause I was the only one in the theatre. Which was fun. And sort of odd...

There were a number of familiar faces in it, and with only one exception, everyone was outstanding. Aaron Eckhart, Maria Bello, William H Macy, Dennis Miller, the list goes on - all did wonderful jobs. I even truly enjoyed Rob Lowe. The kid (Cameron Bright) was good - I didn't recognize him from anything, but suspect we'll see more of him.

My two favorites, perhaps, were JK Simmons, because I pretty much always love him, and Adam Brody who absolutely stole his scene.
I started to say, he should have been given more to do, but it was probably wise to keep the part so small. A little of "Jack" goes a looong way!
The icing on the cake was a teeny tiny appearance by Connie Ray, whom I have loved ever since she played the spunky, but strong matriarch on the short-lived series The Torklesons.

The one low spot in the movie is, sad to say, Katie Holmes. And please, don't think this is just knee-jerk TomKat bashing. I loved Joey Potter, and I thought she did a great job in WonderBoys and Go. And an even better job in Pieces of April. And it wasn't so much that she was horrible, I just didn't buy her as her character - it wasn't a good fit somehow. And even though her character is part of a huge turning point in the film, her performance didn't detract from the rest of the movie - it was just noticeable that she didn't fit in....

Next week is a scheduled Movie Friday....Brick? Friends With Money? Anyone?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Four Answers

This was sent to me some time ago, but I had to sit on it for a bit*....
Here you go, Laurie! Better late than never????

Four jobs you have had in your life:

  1. BBQ restaurant counter girl

  2. Truck Driver
    (I kid you not...)

  3. Software Application Designer / Network Administrator
    (I did both simultaneously because I taught them)

  4. Preschool Teacher

Four movies you would watch over and over:

Here I feel like I should say something really classic, like "Dr. Zhivago" or at the very least, "Casablanca". And whereas there are lots and lots of diverse movies that I do truly love, in all honestly - these are the ones that I can, and do, watch repeatedly....
1. Pretty In Pink

2. La Bamba

3. The Nightmare Before Christmas

4. A Christmas Story

Four places you have lived:

Sad to say, this is the entire list. And honestly, Number 1, I moved away from before I was five years old. Number 3, I just lived part time, during college. Pretty short list, isn't it? Is that weird???
1. Bryn Mawr, PA

2. Kingsport, TN

3. Sewanee, TN

4. Atlanta, GA

Four TV shows you love to watch:

1. Gilmore Girls

2. Rescue Me (When are you coming back, Tommy Gavin???)

3. Grey's Anatomy

4. Beverly Hills 90210
(I know, I know - it's not on anymore. But it was one of the most fun shows ever to watch, and if it were still on the air, I am embarassed to admit that I'd have TiVo grabbing every episode....)

Four places you have been on vacation:

These are the 4 most recent....
1. Barcelona, Spain

2. Gatorland, Orlando, FL

3. Stockholm, Sweden

4. Baltimore, MD

Four websites I visit daily:

Gulp - only 4??? Ummm- OK....
1. Drudge Report - What can I say? I'm an addict....

2. The Digital LandPhil

3. Geeky Mom

4. Creative Little Daisy

Oh c'mon - let me at least plug Jess Hutch, too!

Four of my favorite foods:

1. Shrimp and Grits

2. Vietnamese ClayPot Chicken

3. Parmesan Pretzels (like you get at Mellow Mushroom)

4. Eggrolls

Four places I would rather be right now:

1. In a "nest" built out of comforters in my bed, surrounded by a stack of fabulous books I've been longing to read.

2. Billund, Denmark - with Schecky and Bubba

3. Prague, Czech Republic - and again, Schecky and Bubba are invited

4. Having a "movie Friday" - all by myself!

*I was all prepared to answer this the day she sent it to me. Then I realized that I had posted pictures of the Laurie-bear just the day before. Since I didn't want to reveal her birthday present in advance, I just squelched the "four questions". Then I realized that I had the date for her birthday lunch wrong. So I squelched it somemore. But we had a lovely birthday luncheon for Miss Laurie today, and now I can play along!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Spent a lot of time today getting caught up on blogs, etc. Learned lots of interesting things, saw lots of cute stuff, laughed out loud at a lot of the wittiness I read. Then I came here and realized that I've been so immersed in the thoughts of other people - that I've got nothing!

So, in that spirit, I'm just gonna share some of the stuff that amused/educated me today....(no absolutely no order whatsover...)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Easing back in...

Baltimore was absolutely a wonderful time....

We wandered around gorgeous neighborhoods, did a bunch of fun things (went to an Orioles game at Camden Yard, visited the Science Center, the Aquarium,, the Children's Museum, etc.) and basically ate our way around both the Inner Harbor and Little Italy. All in all it was a relaxing and much-needed trip.*

Now, back to reality! I'm almost done tackling the mail, the email, the laundry, etc. I've got a few things on my knitting needles that I'm having fun with. Guess I need to do those darn lesson plans, though!

*I am never quite sure how exciting other people's vacations are. I know that I personally love to live vicariously through other people's travels, but I also know that I am a bit of an odd duck. I've got some photos posted over at Flickr - just some random bits and pieces - and believe me, if anyone is interested, I've got lots to rave about with Baltimore!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Quick Hit...

Ooooh - I want this bunny!

Sigh. Isn't he great????

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I'm baaaack...

...or mostly so.

It was an absolutely fab trip - I love Baltimore!

Give me a day or so to:
  • settle in
  • unpack
  • sort through the mail/papers/etc.
  • and a chance to visit all my blogs I like to visit
    I can't wait to see what you've been up to, I've missed you all!
and then I'll be back. With a vengeance. :)

And did I mention how much we loved Baltimore????