Sunday - August 05, 2007

Some progress, some things exactly as they were 

Progress - A "Pea Pod Baby Set" for Maria's baby, with blue ladybugs marching up the button placket.  First, as modeled by Mona (Lisa):

Mona lisa models pea pod set

Second, a more "serious" wide shot:

Pea pod baby set - complete

Third, channeling my inner brooklyntweed on the buttons and lace placket:

Button closeup

(Yarn: Dale Baby Ull, 2.5 skeins, color: 9436.  Size 3 addi turbo needles.  Blue ladybug buttons bought at Woolwinders.  Pattern: Kate Gilbert's "Pea Pod Baby Set."  Size: largest, but Baby Ull is lighter than the yarn called for in the pattern, so size is sort of small, toddlerish).

And for the thing that is exactly the same (in a manner of speaking), Milo, though bigger, is still very, very cute.

Yep.  still cute.

Yep.  still cute.

Yep.  still cute.

Posted at 12:55 PM     Read More   | |

Friday - August 03, 2007

Oh.  Yes. 

In October 2002, John and I went up to Mt. Desert Island for a long weekend.  It was during the height of the DC Sniper scare, and we were thinking about getting married up there.  

It was a glorious weekend, and a difficult one (anyone who has a smooth experience in planning a wedding is... well, let's just say I can't imagine a smooth experience in planning a wedding).  I was reading Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass on this trip, and I finished it on the flight home. 

It was a Southwest flight, and we were sitting on one that had a facing row in the front (maybe they all do - I'm not wise in the ways of Southwest, whatever my other experiences with air travel are), and when I finished, the man sitting across from me remarked that I was obviously intent on the story.  I could believe it.  I felt like I was swimming up from a very deep dive after I turned the final page, and it had taken me some time to return to the landing plane, the reality of coming home.

This makes me hopeful that I can have the same experience in a movie theatre:

Posted at 07:26 PM     Read More   | |

Thursday - August 02, 2007

We Get Letters 

It appears that Milo is the latest Internet celebrity.  At least, among my readers.  Which admittedly makes him a pretty small-time Internet celebrity.

But I've gotten some requests.  So... I present to you... Milo.

Do i have a head?


I ride the shoe.  i am the shoe.

"I ride the sneaker.  It does not ride me."

Milo matches the floor

Milo actually blends with the floor. 

Again with the flash.

"Will the paparazzi never leave me alone?"

"I mean, REALLY?"


"...mmmm.... whatever.  Snap all you want."

And you ... you there.  you want what?

"You still there?  Okay - got kibble?"

Posted at 10:19 PM     Read More   | |

Sunday - July 29, 2007

Tempting Fate 

Okay, my mom has warned me about the Jinx Gods and their wiles, but I have to report that... So Far...

Milo doesn't interfere with knitting.

Milo's a sweet knittin' kitten

He jumps up onto my lap, and does the Big Cute, and then crawls up onto my arm.  My left arm.  I'm a Continental knitter, so he kind of bobs up and down as the muscles in my left arm work.  

It's cute.  And he's not fussing my yarn.  Yet...

Milo the knittin' kitten 

Oh, I have hopes for this kid. 

Posted at 08:12 PM     Read More   | |

Tuesday - July 24, 2007

Just my Luck... get my Ravelry invite on a Tuesday.

(For any other Ravelry folks out there, I'm "writingortyping" - for anyone who doesn't know about Ravelry yet, either you're a non-knitter who won't care, or you're a knitter who may just lose their mind if you click on the link.  You were warned.)

Posted at 07:17 AM     Read More   | |

Sunday - July 22, 2007

Sunday Photography Roundup 

I love dragonflies, so here's a dragonfly:


And for Mom, who's been traveling, here's all the photos on Flickr of your "grandkitten," Milo:

Posted at 12:48 PM     Read More   | |

Friday - July 20, 2007

Hey Rachael - Guess What I did Today? 

"911, what is your emergency?"

"Forest fire."


Rewind about two minutes: I say to John, "Fire."

He mutters something about the grill, I say, "FIRE," and point into the woods. 

He says, "No, it's sunlight."

My brain has a one-word vocabulary by now.  I point again and say, "FIRE."

And it is at this point when my husband goes from, "John Smith, International Terrorist/His Satanic Majesty, Lucifer Prince of Darkness" to "John Smith, International Terrorist/His Satanic Majesty, Lucifer Prince of Darkness/Smokey T. Bear, a.k.a. My Hero." He races back through the house, grabs a shovel, and tears down the 45-degree slope behind our house into the woods.  I stand there like a dumbass, because I hope I did not see what I just saw.  

15 seconds later, he's running back, yelling grimly, "Call 911."  Which I do.  Thankfully, by now my brain has unlocked and I am more or less in Corporate Communications Crisis Mode: trust me, ma'am, I'm a professional.  Let me give you that data you need in very crisp, carefully enunciated English.

John races back down the slope with a big bucket (three cheers for the stream at the bottom of the slope).

Cutting to the chase: small bonfire, lit by stupid effing teenagers (we assume - definitely lit, crude pile of sticks, etc.  No random cigarette).  Put out by John and Handy Bucket before nice firefighters arrived in their big truck, but we were happy to have them confirm this.  Nice, very concerned neighbors also stop by to make sure all is well (my backup plan in case John's efforts were not enough was "run down our length of rowhouses, banging on doors and yelling, 'GET BUCKET!'"  My backup plan's resemblance to LOLcat memery was not comforting then, is less comforting now).

I could do with a bit less drama on my Friday evening, but I must say to all 911 operators like Rachael and their compatriots in Fire, Ambulance, Police, etc. a profound, "Thank you."  (Have I mentioned that my house burning down is the nightmare I have woken from in tears more than once?  No?  Let's not have to mention it again, mmmkay?)

Posted at 08:36 PM     Read More   | |

Wednesday - July 18, 2007

FTL Redux  

Okay, Battlestar Galactica has officially reprogrammed my brain.  

Today, I folded my husband's Faster Than Light underwear.

Posted at 06:28 PM     Read More   | |

Saturday - July 14, 2007

A Curious Collection of Things I Thought I Knew 

Here are some things I know about myself:

- I don't like to run.

- I'm not crazy about club music.

- I'm not particularly a morning person (stop laughing at that "particularly," Mum).

- Summer in DC sends me inside for the duration: too hot, too humid.

So why, despite these things I "know" about myself, am I getting up early every other morning in order to run to club music?  Why am I going to bed every alternate evening thinking, "Ooh - cool.  Tomorrow I get to run"?  Why am I looking at the weather reports and lamenting that a morning with good running weather occurs on one of my "off" days?  

Here are some of the things I have learned from the synthesis of the things that I "know" and the things I am learning in the course of ignoring what I "know" and trying this running thing:

- It's not that I don't like running, it's that I don't like running at someone else's pace (I'm slow.  I'm also 38 now and not overly concerned with running at anyone's pace but my own*).  Having someone else keep me honest also helps (even if that someone is the guy on the "Couch to 5K" podcast).  Apparently, I push myself too hard sometimes.  Imagine.

- Club music is good for keeping a beat and taking your mind off of your breathing.  

- Mornings in DC are cool enough for physical activity outside, even if they are still humid as hell.  Also - the woods around our house in the morning?  Dead gorgeous.  

So, yeah - for about three weeks now, I've actually been running.  Get me.

* Here's to throwing off the shackles of grade-school gym class.  Thanks, 1970s-80s phys-ed teachers.  It only took 20 years for me to finally reprogram myself and really internalize the fact that doing it is more important than doing it faster than everyone else, regardless of the limitations of your actual aptitude.

Posted at 09:06 AM     Read More   | |

Friday - July 13, 2007

Brief Friday Roundup

Two things.  

First - hey bartender: can I please get a glass of white wine?

May i get madame a nice glass of sauvignon blanc?

Second - my man Thor Hushovd won Stage 4 in the Tour.  Whee!

Posted at 07:05 AM     Read More   | |

Thursday - July 12, 2007


I'm becoming increasingly convinced that if you take any two people, there will be some point where either would say to the other, "You like/think/hate what?!"

That being said, why on Earth do we human beings constantly assume that there are universal truths that bind us that go beyond things like water, oxygen, and protein?  Why do we assume that we all want the same things, covet the same experiences, fit the same frames?

It may be even worse when you realize that your loved ones want things for you that you have either no interest in or (worst yet) something you actively don't want.  It may be well-intentioned, but it puts you in an awkward position of trying to realign their worldview, to say, "No.  Sorry - you may think what you want for me is something universally desired by all humans, but I'm human and I really don't want that."  And that's not likely to be a discussion you have once.  It's going to be one you have over and over and over, reacting to the fact that this person continually insists on putting you into a frame that makes sense to the way they see the world, without ever trying to make the leap of understanding the way you see the world, let alone acknowledging that you see the world differently at all.  

Does it make it worse or better that you will inevitably do the same to someone in your life?

Posted at 07:32 AM     Read More   | |

Tuesday - July 10, 2007

Live Free or Die Trying?

First off: as a Granite State native, every time I hear about the new* Bruce Willis movie, I think, "They set an action movie in New Hampshire?"

Ehrm.  No.  

Second (off?): I read this story and thought (probably unreasonably), "Good grief.  Only in New Hampshire.  Birnham Wood didn't go to Dunsinane, it went to the frigging bank."

*Okay, not so new, I guess. 

Posted at 06:34 PM     Read More   | |

Saturday - July 07, 2007

Friday - July 06, 2007

Overheard at Our House 

John, on the phone to my mother: "Hang on - I have the font of all knowledge here."

Me: "Helvetica?" 

Posted at 06:20 PM     Read More   | |

Thursday - July 05, 2007

An Unnatural Fascination with Weird Signage 

 I love odd signs.  I'm not sure why.  I especially love funky, oddly-spelled, hand-lettered signs like this one:

I love this.

There are also a couple of odd signs near my in-laws' home.  It's almost as if this one is poorly punctuated:

Hidden drie?

I want it to say, "Hidden Drie?"  Whatever that means.  This one, though, is my favorite, though it's also poorly punctuated:

BAD curve!

"BAD curve!"

Posted at 08:06 PM     Read More   | |

Thursday - June 28, 2007

Meet Milo 

Art shot of milo 

Did we need another cat?  No.  Did he need a home?  Yes.  Are we smitten?  Hell yeah.

I blame Rachael, with her adoption of Waylon and Willie.  (And did you see her amazing story about Digit?  Did you?  Go look.  I'll wait.)  That woman is clearly a cat-magnet, a model for us all (no, John, I don't want any more cats.  Really.  Maybe another dog...)

Back to Milo - he fits in with our little zoo nicely.  The dog was tickled, Dash was intrigued, and Simon... well, Simon's never had much use for kittens.  He'll come around.  

You want some more pictures, right?  Okay:

Milo - wee one on the stairs

...and my personal favorite, probably ripe for LOLCattage - 

I'm being pursued by a giant!

Posted at 07:25 AM     Read More   | |

Sunday - June 24, 2007

Semi-lazy Sunday 

We've got some family stuff headed our way next weekend, so I have that feeling where I viciously want to cram two weekends of leisure into one.  

This -- well, this doesn't tend to work terrifically well.  However, I've managed to strike a nice balance so far this weekend - some knitting, some crap television, bill-paying, jogging, haircut - all creating a good mix of virtue and sloth.  

John is outdoing himself in the crap television watching this weekend - his usual penchant for the made-for-SciFi Channel movies resulted in "Reign of the Gargoyles" and "Stan Lee's Harpies" - truly bad stuff.  He's splitting wood at the moment, taking advantage of the lovely weather we're having this weekend (probably the last weekend until September where the heat and humidity don't conspire to make me want to open a vein every time I venture out of doors).  I'm counting my blessings that the mild weather has extended so late into June.

Having been virtuous this morning, I'm going to be spending the better part of the afternoon here:

Where i plan to spend the better part of today

Working on this:

What i plan to spend the day doing

My best friend Maria is going to have a baby in November -- which is as close as I'll probably ever get to being an aunt.  I'm more than mildly excited about the prospect of this new kiddo in the world, so this is a christening shawl of my own design.  The motifs each have special meaning, and I'm looking forward to seeing it off the needles and blocked.  I hope it ends up looking as good in person as it does in my head.  Wish me luck.

Posted at 11:19 AM     Read More   | |

Thursday - June 21, 2007


It's been four years since the incredibly rainy day when I changed my name.

Someone said to me once that you find out what a person is made of when they are tested.  If that is the case, the last four years have proved to me that my husband is made of titanium: strong, true, and shiny.  

Happy anniversary, John.  I love you very, very much.

Posted at 06:57 AM     Read More   | |

Tuesday - June 19, 2007

Ummmm.... So, Yeah. 

I've been bouncing around the nation's airports like a crazed superball, pausing in New England this past weekend to attend my high school reunion.  I may or may not have coherent thoughts about that at some point (oh, let's be honest - probably not - and most people probably wouldn't care to hear them anyway.)

I did come up with a neater way to describe my relationship to my friends' kidlets - I was at a pool party, talking to an old acquaintance who asked if any of the children splashing about were mine.  "No," I said, "When they get to know me, I do tend to do the responsible adult thing and watch them, help them with their shoes, give them hugs - things like that - but they're not mine.  It's catch-and-release with me."

On the home front, our status as landlords/slumlords has changed yet again - one of these cute little guys (or a close relative thereof)...

::sigh:: wrens

...has yet again nested in the canoe.  Grf.  However, another birdlet has gotten smarter...

::sigh:: wrens

...and nested in the actual birdhouse.

::sigh:: wrens

John tells me that there are Carolina Wrens in the canoe and Common Wrens in the birdhouse.  First of all, I do believe this bird is giving me a look that says, "Who are you calling common, missy?"  Secondly, I can report that wrens have no concept of the doctrine of "moving to the nuisance," as they are absolutely incensed that we noisy, galumphing humans have the nerve to continue to live here, let alone go up and down the stairs to get to the grill, or water the plants that are mere feet from their twiggy estate.  

Sorry, bird - DC property prices being what they are, count yourself lucky that you have a home.

Posted at 07:26 AM     Read More   | |

Thursday - June 07, 2007

Congratulations May Be in Order 

I just finished a business trip.

I was on the road Sunday through today (Thursday).  I had commitments that ranged in dress code from business casual to full-on business.

I traveled with only carry-on luggage.

Is there a medal for this, in this day and age?

Posted at 09:59 PM     Read More   | |