26 February, 2010

Tinkerbell never quits trying

My little adventure dog. Last night I made the mistake of letting her out after dark without hooking her up to the long line. I do that because when it's dark and she doesn't feel like coming in she just simply won't answer the call to come, but instead sites, immobile, as if that makes her invisible. I heard her barking and called but she didn't come in so I left it for a bit, know that sooner or later she'd show up at the door and if not I'd get the flashlight and go grab her. Instead I got a phone call from the neighbor behind us. That is Tink's favorite spot to escape to because the lady has cats that come torment Tink. I guess she likes to return the favor whenever she can. The lady was laughing, thankfully. Mr. M went out and she handed her over the fence. Now I need to do another perimeter sweep around the yard and plug up the hole under the fence. I was thinking that I needed to check it last week. Now I'm going to have to wait until it stops raining.

I woke up last night and heard the rain against the window and on the skylights. It's a nice cosy sound when you know you don't have to get up and ride to work. I'm working from home today. Thankfully I've had some good computer luck for a change! I can indeed get to my departmental server from home so I'm able to make the updates to the departmental site. And even fix the corrupt file, which has been making me crazy. And at lunchtime I'll take a drive to Trader Joe's and do some shopping without the insanity of the weekend shoppers to deal with.

I did a few rows on the Gatsby while watching "The Graduate" last night. Classic movie. I just love it. It's the ending of course. Definitely not real life. I wonder if that has ever happened. Maybe I'll do some research. I suppose it must have happened somewhere at some time.

Well -- back to work. Already we're planning for Autumn quarter. zoom .... zoom ....

25 February, 2010

These computer problems!!!!

It is just one thing after another! No, I didn't get another virus, thank goodness. When I use my laptop at work I don't bother plugging into the Ethernet, I just use the wireless connection. I had no problem connecting to my class server and making changes to my class sites, but when I tried to get onto the departmental server it was a no go. The only thing I can figure is the IT guy has not set it up so that I can connect with this machine over the wireless from here. I can do it easily enough from home though. I guess I will work from home tomorrow so I can get these updates done. I have no idea when he's going to be able to fix my machine because even though his vacation is due to end, he blew his knee out snowboarding and so might be laid up for a few more days. Lucky for me it's not September or I'd be in real trouble. The good news is Mr. M has a load in tomorrow so I'll have a nice quiet house .... although come to think about it, his daughter is (still) staying with us and is due to come back from visiting her grandparents tomorrow. Oh well ..... she most likely will be out and about anyway.

I have all my clothes so I AM going to run today. NO excuses. I'll take it nice and slow. I won't be ready for the St. Patrick's Day Dash, but perhaps there's a race in April I can shoot for. So I drove in today and as I was walking down the steps I noticed again how the garden is just going crazy. Unless it's pouring rain on Saturday, I'm going to have to get out there and so a little clean up. Things are coming to life at an alarming rate.

I made some sort of mistake in the lace on the Gatsby dress at noon knitting yesterday. I was doing the first set of decreases and made some sort of mistake. I thought I had it figured out until I got a closer look last evening. Since I am just hopeless at tinking back when there are yarn-overs involved and I don't feel like ripping it out and picking up those stitches again so I'm going to leave it. It will not be noticeable when it's on because it will be the back left portion. Unless someone was on their knees inspecting up close it's not going to show up. Says I!

24 February, 2010

Sometimes I wonder .....

I get distracted so easily! Yesterday I spent the entire morning dealing with my PC virus issue. The backup IT guy contacted me and arranged to come take a look at my machine in the early afternoon. I ran a scan and found another instance of the offending program and cleaned it up and then ran another scan to make sure it was truly gone. It is gone, but it is quite obvious that my computer has been compromised since I still can't open many programs and there is a fake log in screen. He took my CPU and I am left to work on my laptop until our regular IT guy gets back from vacation and gets my computer fixed. All this to say that I really really REALLY needed my run and at 12:15 I closed my door and prepared to change clothes only to find that I had forgotten a crucial item. And that's where the distraction comes in -- I had been gathering my running clothes and been briefly distracted with another thought and there you have it. The attention span of a ... a ... 2 year old. It's quite annoying.

I did a few more rows of Gatsby last night during the LOST re-cap but put it down for the regular episode, which I thought was really good. It had a nice little twist at the end. I really can't imagine how they're going to tie up all the loose ends. I guess that's why we watch, eh?

Our dinner companions on the cruise were Christine and Dave. Christine is Mike Holmgren's cousin! I wanted to ask her all sorts of personal questions about him but I did not. Remarkable restraint on my part, don't you think? They were pretty conservative people. Members of the Crystal Cathedral. yikes

23 February, 2010

Malicious Mischief

Yesterday after lunch my PC got hit with a virus. All of a sudden a window popped up saying I had a virus -- it was one of those fake ones we've all seen. I closed it and immediately ran a scan on my machine, which quarantined and then cleaned up the file. I restarted my computer thinking I had dodged a bullet. But even in that short amount of time and without me even clicking on it something had happened to my computer. Now I can't open any program from a shortcut unless I choose it from a list and even then it may or may not open. And some programs are just not found, like Word or Exel. I brought my laptop in today. Of course the IT guy is on vacation and the guy who is supposed to be backing him up is not answering my emails. My laptop is great but it's not as comfortable to work on as the PC. Well it could have been worse. At least I didn't lose anything.

I worked on the Gatsby dress again last night. Here's a picture -- 12 rows of ladder lace on top of the double fern pattern band. I am using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece and I'm getting a very nice drape with it. The color is good as well. The ladder lace is very easy and good TV knitting. I will be able to work on it some more tonight during the LOST recap episode.

There was one thing I was quite looking forward to when I got home from vacation -- the Spring edition of IK. I sat down with it Saturday after my chores and went through it. And I must say -- ICK! I think it's the worst issue ever. Not one single thing in there caught my eye except in a "what the heck were you thinking?" way. Hideous garments, every one of them.

Today I am going to run at lunchtime. First time in quite a few weeks. I felt really great when I got home last night. The hills didn't kill me like they had been. Maybe .... just maybe ... I am over this respiratory thing finally!

22 February, 2010

The forgotten

First of all, everything is fine with my nephew. He finally showed up -- called his mother Friday while we were in the air on the way home to say that he was there (in Valencia) with her car and he'd bring it over the next morning. He had completely forgotten he was supposed to pick us up!! He doesn't normally have Friday off, but had arranged for the day off so he could bring the car back and I guess he got caught up in plans with his friends and took off straight after work on Thursday to hang out in Valencia. He felt pretty bad after she had told him how worried we all were, calling the police, etc. I'm sure she rubbed it in good. He did call me last night to apologize. The poor kid feels so foolish I was almost apologizing to him.

So here we are ... back from vacation. It was a good vacation but not long enough, of course. The time in Valencia with my sister was so nice. The weather was warm and sunny and we had a lovely hotel. Getting onto the cruise ship on Monday was a hassle because, as I had posted, Mr. M couldn't find his passport. He was sure it had been stolen. I tried to reassure him that it was most likely just misplaced but he was just positive it was gone. I got him onto the ship and when our bags were delivered to our room he went through his and sure enough, it was there and he was finally able to relax. The cruise itself was fine - great weather in Catalina and Ensenada but cloudy on our day at sea. We had decent dinner companions and the food was fine, although I think it was better on the cruise my sister and I took a few years ago. The entertainment was okay -- the comedians were pretty mediocre, but the live band was wonderful.

We got to shore on Friday around 9:30 and we spent an hour trying to get in touch with my nephew. We finally gave up and went to the Queen Mary and toured around her, then had a nice lunch and after a few more calls back and forth with my sister and other nephew, we headed to the Long Beach airport to wait for our flight. We had plenty of time. I got out my knitting and Mr. M got on his computer (free wi-fi at least) and we spent a 2 1/2 hours in a very teensie airport. I worked on the experimental wrap I started with the Kureyon. It is not working out. I am going to have to rip it out and start over. The border needs to be seed stitch, for one thing. And I am not at all keen on the way the colors are blending. I need an entirely different colorway. And finally I am thinking that perhaps Kureyon is going to be too heavy, even knitting it with a 10 1/2 needle. Back to the drawing board.

I got up early on Saturday and got Tinkerbell from the doggie boarding place. She was SO happy to see me and SO dirty!! I brought her home and gave her a nice long walk. I swear, she spent 25% of the walk rolling on her back in her favorite spots. Then it was time for a much needed bath. Mr. M had to work Saturday and I was going to rehearse but Doug has a cold, so I got to spend some good quality knitting time in my favorite chair in the sunshine. Yes, I felt a bit guilty that I should be out in the garden but I gave myself permission to be on vacation for the entire weekend so I pushed that right out of my head. I worked on the Great Gatsby dress -- finishing up the lace edging for the back hem. Oddly enough there is no gauge listed for that but the measurements are there. Luckily I measured before I finished up all 23 repeats and found that at 19 I was a couple inches over the size I wanted to make. I picked up the number of stitches for the size with 19 repeats, the first one. Ah .. and then I realized I had picked up the stitches on the wrong side! I was not about to take out 146 hard to pick up stitches, so I cut the yarn and just started from the front side. It looks perfect! The next stitch pattern, the ladder lace, does have gauge measurements. I did a few rows last night while watching TV. I'll measure it tonight and hope that I can fudge things so that it won't be huge. Oh and I needed a longer needle so I took a deep breath and pulled it out of the Rock Star. Now it is officially frogged.

We got caught up on LOST last night. Now I need to read the blogs to figure out what the heck is all means. I woke up and started thinking about it, of course, but luckily got back to sleep and work up feeling not too bad, considering I had a week off to sleep all I wanted. It is clear outside, and it's been so nice and warm! However, it is still February and it was barely above freezing when I got on the bike this morning. Wow and did it ever hurt going down the hill. It should be a nice ride home though. It is now light enough both ways that I don't need my head lamp.

19 February, 2010

Worried sick!!

We got back to Long Beach this morning. I had made arrangements with my nephew to pick us up, hang out and go to the airport. He arranged to take today off so he could take my sister's car back to her. But when I called him this morning there was no answer. After 30 minutes of that I took a cab over to his apartment but couldn't get through the gate. It is now close to 2:30 and he has not surfaced. I am mad at him but also very concerned. No one has been able to contact him today and his friend hasn't seen him for a couple of days. Terrible way to end a vacation. We are in tiny Long Beach airport cooling our heels and I am worrying. The plane doesn't leavefor 2 1/2 hours. Time for some therapeutic knitting.

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16 February, 2010


He found it in his suitcase. It took every bit of self control I possess not to speak. I deserve a medal.

Catalina Island today. The weather is gorgeous. Heading to a wonderful spa experience, lunch, then back to the shop for a relaxing afternoon with my book and a bottle of Champagne.

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15 February, 2010

Out to sea

In 30 minutes we will beeaving port. Mr. M has misplaced his passport. ...... Yeah. *sigh*

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14 February, 2010

Happy V Day

From sunny and warm California, happy Valentine's Day. Observation of this morning.... Time is a very strange thing. Ten years seems like a lifetime ago and like yesterday.

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12 February, 2010

Hoorah!!! Vacation day!!!

Just a few hours more and then it's off to the airport for our little trip. It's pouring rain here in Seattle and, thankfully, the rain has left the southern part of the country and we're headed into warm temperatures and sunny skies. Ahhhhhh ..... yeah.

It took me until about 8 last night to get all packed. I had purchased a new big suitcase for Mr. M and therefore I have a little wiggle room when it comes to my packing. I got everything in my suitcase except my toiletries and a couple books, which will handily fit into his. I did indeed decide to start a new project and brought the Noro Kureyon. And also I had bought some pearls and beads to make a white necklace and that's something that my sister and I will do on Sunday. Tonight I think we'll go out for sushi - just something low key. We're staying at a hotel right across from my sister's apartment building and there are lots of good restaurants within walking distance.

Just tying up a few loose ends. Boy, do I need this vacation!!

11 February, 2010

Disaster averted

Whew! My plans are still in place and Tinkerbell will be taken care of. HUGE load off my mind. Now I can head out for vacation without worry.

I made it through the day yesterday without my head exploding. Noon knitting was nice and relaxing. I am still plugging away on the Enchanting scarf. I have started on the second skein of yarn. I vow - never ever ever again to make a scarf on size 2 needles!! Even if I block it "severely", as the pattern suggests, it's not going to be very long at all.

I didn't grind my teeth to nubbins yesterday but I did spill a cup of tea on my keyboard. Not the whole thing, but a nice big splash. I was afraid this morning that it might be all sticky or not work properly but I guess I did a good job of getting it dried off quickly because all is well today. Luckily I had a big towel close by that I keep for when I come in from running and that did the trick. Oh, and my desktop is nice and clean too! Bonus!!

10 February, 2010

Why do things have to get so complicated??

As I was saying (complaining) yesterday, it's sometimes very complicated trying to get out of town for any length of time and getting things lined up, like Tinkerbell sitting, etc. Mr. M threw a HUGE monkey wrench into it yesterday and I swear, I was so mad I felt like I was going to throw up. I'm still quite steamed so I'm not going to go into it. Suffice it to say that unless I am WAY off on imagining the primary reason our house sitter wants to take care of Tink for those 4 nights, I am going to have to hope and pray that the boarding place will take her starting this Friday afternoon. I can't make any changes in the plans until I hear from the house sitter, who has not yet responded to my email from yesterday afternoon. If I don't hear from here by noon knitting time I'll give her a call after lunch. *sigh* I NEED a vacation away from everybody! Unfortunately that's not going to happen ...... grrrrrrr -rant off-

I did manage to knit for that one hour of the LOST re-cap but put it down to concentrate fully on the new episode. What was Sawyer taking out of the floor of his house? And what's the "dark thing" growing in Said and Claire? Oooooo ... spooky.

My hope for today -- that I don't grind my teeth down to nubbins or lash out at a stranger.

09 February, 2010

It's so hard to wake up on a foggy day

I know that it will be lovely at lunchtime, but it's foggy and cold now. I was going to bike in but then decided to drive so I could make a couple stops on the way home. There are so many little details to take care of before we leave. It's not nearly so chaotic when just I am going away, but when I've got the dog to make arrangements for and the husband to wrangle .... it makes it much more complicated. It's all doable. And the sad part is that it's going to go by so quickly! Then there will be the rest of the winter to get through. It is getting lighter though. It's noticeable finally.

I really wanted to knit last night but after getting the house picked up from the party and getting dinner going I just wasn't in the mood to do anything but watch a little TV. I went upstairs early to read and fell asleep early. But tonight .... ahhhhh LOST is tonight. I can knit through the first hour - the repeat of last week - but then I must put it down so I can concentrate. Oh! That's another thing I need to do. I need to figure out what project I'm going to take with me. I am thinking of making a tilted blocks pattern wrap with four skeins of Kureyon I have. I'll do alternating colorways every pattern repeat. It's the same as the Enchanting scarf but it'll be much bigger. I think that would be a good project to take along. It'll be not so difficult that I can't sit and chat or drink while I knit and yet complicated enough so I don't get bored.

I am looking forward to a LOT of just plain relaxing. I have two movies on my iPhone as well as a couple of TV series [I just can't get enough of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"] and audio books. I just purchased the 8th episode of Ricky Gervais "Guide to" series. I can't decide whether I should save it or listen to it when I go for my walk today. Yeah ... that's the big decision for today.

08 February, 2010

It was a great game ...

and a not so great party. Well ... actually I had fun, but it was sparsely attended, to say the least. There were a couple of big shows loading in, oddly enough, and it took away a huge number of people who had planned on attending. Thank goodness the BEST ones showed up and we had a fine time eating and drinking. The chili turned out really good, but a bit too salty. I put in a couple of pieces of potato and cooked them up and voila! it was just fine.

I had been given the opportunity to buy into a really good football pool, so I got a square and my friend's husband and his friends got squares. The payout was great but unfortunately we got SUPER bad numbers! I ended up with 9 and 9! I won my money back but that was it. And believe me, I was already spending that $800 I was hoping to win! I found a ring that I really really want when I got my jewelry cleaned this weekend. Gorgeous pave band with a heart .... ah well.

So it was a busy busy weekend. I worked from home on Friday and had intended to go visit Mr. M's daughter in the hospital. Unfortunately I didn't realize the visiting hours were so restricted and by the time I had finished up with some work I needed to get done it was too late, so I had to go on Saturday. Friday night was Sophia's 12th birthday party - 2 of my 3 all time favorite things -- pizza and cake!

With all the running around I had to do on Saturday I didn't get home until 4 and I hadn't even started cooking the chili, although the meat had been marinating. So I had to call Doug and tell him I wouldn't be able to rehearse. He wasn't very happy about that and said he wasn't going to come to my super bowl party if I wouldn't come to rehearsal. Very mature, yea?

Today I had to meet with the woman house and Tink sitting for us. She's Mr. M's bookkeeper and just LOVES Tinkerbell to death! She's so excited to be able to have all that time with her and I'm happy that somebody will be taking care of her at home, at least for a few days. She'll only have to stay in the kennel four nights.

You just wouldn't believe how everything is growing. It honestly looks like spring out there in the gardens and it's only February. Remember last year how snowy and terrible it was? It was snowing during the St. Patrick's day dash! My tulips are coming up in the garden! I seriously have to get out there or hire somebody soon.

05 February, 2010

The royal "we"

Yesterday as I was getting ready to take a walk in the lovely sunshine up to the used book store, I got a call from Mr. M. "Can you take a little bad news?" ... this is how he starts the conversation. I don't know about you, but that kind of question makes me want to respond with something like "Hell no!" and a quick hang up. However, I managed to keep it to a curt "Just tell me." A traffic ticket had come in the mail that morning. Seems that on the way in to work on January 20th I was caught on a camera speeding in a school zone. There is a section of road labeled "School Zone" where I have never seen a child, nor is there a school visible. I always slow down though and remark on the fact that it seems rather silly when there are no children around. I'm going to contest it, for sure. The fine is ridiculously high and it's clear from the picture that my brake lights are on, and that had to have happened before the camera flash went off. I remember when it happened thinking that it couldn't have been for me, since I was going quite slow. And honestly, at this point I am more upset that Mr. M opened a piece of mail clearly addressed to me - in fact not even using my married name. I brought up the subject last night briefly. I am sure he thinks it's no big deal. I on the other hand think snooping is the worst kind of thing. I wouldn't dream of opening anyone's mail. Anyway .... rant off.

I did some work on the Enchanting scarf last night. I want to get that thing off the needles. It's pretty but I don't like knitting anything besides socks on size 2 needles.

04 February, 2010

Mystery solved

Of course, they were right in the closet where they should have been. How I missed them I will never know. I was pretty groggy, having stayed up extra late the night before, but still I am surprised how easily I found them when I got home.

I was SO tired yesterday, all day long. The meeting, as is true of most committee meetings, was more talk than action and I was fighting not to yawn through the entire time. Noon knitting was nice and the sun was out (!!) which is extra nice since there are windows where we knit. And in that natural light I was able to see that the yarn I had purchased for my Great Gatsby Dress is dyed a little funny. I bought it on line because the local yarn store only had one skein of the color I wanted. The on line store said nothing about the yarn not being first quality, but as I said, in natural light it is apparent that these are seconds. Ah well .. I am just figuring it will give the garment depth, especially the lace portions. If I find once I get to the plain knitting that I don't like it then we'll have to revisit the issue.

Mr. M is double booked with shows for this weekend and is loading in the first one today. This means I will not have any help at all for putting together the party for Sunday. I don't think it's going to be an issue because it is definitely not going to be as huge as it was last year. Seems that there is another large show loading in on Sunday so a good many of the guests are now going to have to be working. Oh well ... fewer guests, less mess. And I know the ones that are coming are mostly my friends, so I know I'll have good time. And really, the only thing I have to do is make a batch of chili. I've got a new recipe I'm going to try. It's rather labor intensive but everything I've read indicates it is really worth it. I can cook it Saturday and then only have to re-heat it on Sunday. So I guess my main concern is making an inventory of the disposable cutlery and plates and bowls and replenishing that and maybe buying some chips and stuff to make guacamole when I get the chili stuff. Easy.

03 February, 2010

The mysterious missing pants

I am SO frustrated this morning I could scream!! I wanted to wear a particular pair of pants today and I could not find them! How can that be? I spent a good part of last Tuesday evening straightening up my office/dressing room, cleaning the closet of unused hangers, etc. etc. I specifically remember picking up those pants because I had worn them a few days earlier and they were draped over my office chair. But when I looked for them this morning I couldn't find them in the closet. My closet is arranged by color (still! Thanks Monika!!) so they could only be in one small part of it, nevertheless I went through the entire thing twice. Somehow I missed them. They didn't just walk out of there on their own. Unfortunately I didn't have time to solve the mystery this morning so I grabbed another pair and off I went. I've got a meeting in a few minutes but I just had to vent. It is beyond annoying. Now I won't be happy until I find them so you know what I'll be doing when I get home this evening.

Last night was "Lost" -- 3 whole hours. One hour of recap and then a two hour premier. And I can just say --- huh? Which of course is probably what they were looking for. Some answers but more questions, like always. 15 more episodes to go.

01 February, 2010

And another Monday rolls around

On Thursday I got Tinkerbell all checked out at the boarding place and I worked from home again on Friday. I took a little break mid-morning and got my car emissions test and new tabs. The day went by pretty quickly and in the evening I decided to dig out my Rock Star Cardigan. I hadn't touched it for so long -- maybe a year. And after finishing up that Frost Flowers Stole (which I wore out last night) I figured that it would be very easy. But you know what? I just couldn't face it. I've decided to frog it, and here's why. First of all, while I love the yarn (Rowan Kid Classic) I don't like the color of it at all. It's an olive green with way too much brown in it. Secondly, the pattern is not only hard to read (it's printed on dark red paper!) but it is poorly written. Maybe I'll use the yarn for a blanket. Or sell it on eBay.

The weekend was pretty busy. Saturday I did chores and started the Great Gatsby Dress. Even though I am really against doing pieced projects, I am going to make an exception for this. I started the hem lace which is 23 repeats of a 17 stitch 10 row pattern. Then you pick up stitches along the straight edge and start a second pattern which flows into stockinette stitch, then you bind off again and pick up stitches for the ribbing which makes a nice ridge, like on the last skirt I made. I think it's going to be really cute.

Saturday night we had a surprise party to attend, so I got all dressed for the party and went to rehearsal at 4:30, then drove back home and got into Mr. M's car and off we went to the party. The guest of honor was one hour late, but that was okay. The band started a bit early and we chatted with people and had dinner. This was a party to celebrate the retirement of a guy who had a company selling audio gear so basically it was full of live audio geeks. January is the time when they have the most time off. Usually you can't have a normal social life -- it's like theatre people. If you want to socialize with them it's got to be on a Monday. Thankfully we didn't stay long.

Yesterday was Mr. M's birthday so I took him shopping. And in the evening we went out to dinner. Nothing too special.

I've got to start thinking about the party coming up on Sunday. Lots to do for that.