Friday, March 31, 2006

So my dear Beverly started a "favorite paintings" meme, and in the fine tradition of Implosion Explosion, I am posting two favorites, which are total opposites. One is an oil painting, the other was created on a computer; one is full of tension and even hostility, the other is wistful and even sad. The first is a portrait, "Therese Louise de Sureda," by Goya, c. 1803/04. According to The Story of Painting by Sister Wendy Beckett--I used to love her show in high school--her husband was a drinking buddy of Goya's, and Sister Wendy and I think that she and the painter hated each other. Sister Wendy says, "There can be no comparable portrayal of a woman at once so attractive and so hostile." And I agree.

The second is from explodingdog, which I love. You can send in a title for a picture, and he'll draw it. I love the simplicity and I think the message is always perfectly clear. If you like this one, my other exploding dog favorites are "i am building a world for you," "it is okay because i don't really mean it," and "oh god what have i done," which used to be the screensaver on my computer. (I have thought about painting them as murals in my apartment.) This one is called "you will never know what i saw." Click the link to go full-screen.

Chuck Norris fears no man! Only women.

So I got to the top of the yoke of my hourglass sweater last night, counted the raglan-sleeve stitches, and realized that one sleeve has like 16 stitches and the other has 23. I tried it on. It doesn't look bad. I am torn between ripping back and spending more hours (and more tears! WHY, GOD?) on it, and completing it and attempting to forget that I've got an uneven sweater. I'm leaning toward completing it.

In other news, my sister Katie directed me to a page that has raised my awareness of a serious problem facing America's youth today: admiration of Chuck Norris. This admiration is harmful and corrosive to the spirit, even if intended ironically. I found the following anti-Chuck Norris facts so convincing that I've renounced the watching of the occasional Conan O'Brien "Walker Texas Ranger" clip, however humorous I may previously have found them.

Chuck Norris fears the Care Bears, especially No Heart.

Chuck Norris listens to Fall Out Boy and cries.

Uncle Jesse's mullet once won a knife fight against Chuck Norris. Uncle Jesse's mullet didn't have a knife.

Stephen Hawking once beat Chuck Norris in a foot race.

Many stuntmen who have worked with Chuck Norris complain on set that Chuck Norris makes far too many so-called jokes about "exchanging blows."

Chuck Norris was once invited back to his high school to speak at a graduation. Upon his arrival, Screech, Slater, Kelly, Lisa, and Jesse said, "That's not Zack Morris, that's Chuck Norris!" Mr. Belding broke the bad news to the class that Zack would not be attending the graduation, then delivered a roundhouse kick to Chuck Norris and sent him to detention.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

thank you for bein' a friend

All right, I have something more to say... Reading all the various "Jaime's birthday" posts of my fellow SNBers has made me quite mushy. I'm really grateful to have met so many awesome women. I look forward to it every week, not only because I have enough geeky solitary hobbies and it's good to have a more sociable one (knitting: it's good for you!), or because it's nice to have a cheering section for a project that you think you can't handle (like, say, jaywalkers), but also because I have such a good time. I always laugh so much I feel a little drunk when I leave. I was so bummed when I started working on Tuesday nights, and so excited to hear I can have a two-hour lunch break if I want! So thank you guys, for being awesome.

needle in a haystack, har, har

So I was working on the second circus-freak jaywalker while waiting in line at the bank drive-thru earlier today, and when I drove away I just put my knitting on the passenger seat. When I went to go knit on my break later, my head exploded with rage and frustration when I couldn't find the fifth needle. I went and got a cup of coffee, picked up the shattered remains of my head, re-assembled them, and did a thorough search of my car, which is not what you might call "neat" or "clean" or "organized" if you were the kind of person who, you know, has eyes. I finally found it and managed to get a few rounds done. Now that I'm home it's time for good ol' hourglass sweater.
p.s. so those of you who've met me know I'm about as white as it gets without being a Nelson, right? Today at work I was asked (by someone who knows I'm not married, and thus have my own name) if my last name is "a white person name." Heee!

I'm going to make like a xerox and copy: the Four-themed Meme! via Noelle.

Four jobs I've had:
1. salesgirl, Totes/Sunglass World factory outlet (once the lights behind the "Totes/Sungl" part of the sign went out and my coworkers and I screamed with laughter over the thought of working at "ass World"), Tannersville, PA
2. archaeological field/lab technician (and occasional crew chief), multiple companies, multiple states
3. teaching assistant, UNM anthropology dept
4. Sunday School teacher (no, really. My mom made me), Cherry Lane UMC, Tannersville, PA

Four movies I can watch over and over:
1. The Muppet Movie
2. Elizabeth
3. A League of Their Own
4. SuperTroopers

Four places I've lived:
1. Reisterstown, MD
2. Tannersville, PA
3. Erie, PA
4. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Four TV shows I love:
1. the Simpsons
2. America's Next Top Model
3. Seinfeld
4. PBS Mystery!

Four places I've vacationed:
*I've never really "vacationed" since I've been an adult. (Unless you count those four years of college.) So:
1. Nag's Head, North Carolina (repeated family vacations of my youth)
2. Jackson Hole, Wyoming (my one and only spring break trip)
3. San Diego, California (weekend, to see my grandmother)
4. Tempe, Arizona (weekend, to see Amy)

Four of my favorite dishes:
1. strawberry shortcake, chocolate cake, or anything involving both strawberries and chocolate
2. real pizza
3. my mom's Chinese chicken. Well, okay, anything my mom makes, including
4. blackberry cobbler, with blackberries my sisters and I picked ourselves

Four sites I visit daily:
1. the powderroom
2. Overheard in New York
3. Manolo!
4. Myspace

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. on my snowboard
2. with my sister katie, at our parents'
3. DFW, to visit Jessa!
4. in my sleeping bag, under the stars

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

knit, sleep, or take another personality test?

Heh. I never thought I was particularly authoritarian, open, or trusting. Whatevs.

Edit: what the hey? Where'd the picture and the link go? Oh well. In any case, personality test, blah blah confidence, blah blah spontaneous, blah blah I scored higher than average in both masculinity and femininity. How does that work, I ask you? Also, I scored as slightly more functional than aesthetic, or as the test put it, "slightly functional." Yep, that's me.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

i can see paradise by the dashboard light

Er... something like that. Tonight I got to third base with this sweater! But I'm not going to make my self-imposed deadline of Tuesday, so I can't wear it to SNB, which is actually okay since I always get pretty warm at the Rio Grande Flying Star (although I'm always freezing at the one on Central. Go figure). I'm on the even row after the ninth (of 24) raglan decrease, and after that I still have to kitchener the armpits and sew down the hems and probably block it since it's rolling pretty badly at the bottom hem. (Otherwise I'd totally just skip blocking it. Ooh, I'm so ghetto.) I took the photo standing on an apparently highly light-reflective table at work, which is why my foot is in it. I was a) on the clock b) keeping one hand on the ceiling to avoid swaying from vertigo and early-lunch-related lightheadedness and c) keeping one eye on the door and muttering prayers to Whatever There May Be that no one should walk through the door and say, "What the hell are you doing, crazy woman?" because they've all already caught me talking to myself, out loud, with hand gestures, and some of them also think I'm a pervert because I snicker at certain sexually-suggestive product names. (I mean, come on. Hot Pickles? Fun Sacks?) I really don't need to earn any more eccentricity points at work.

Here's a question for my knittas: can I do a three-needle bindoff for the underarms instead of kitchener? I hate kitchener, I don't even really get it, and I always (always! Yeah, I've done THREE socks) do a three-needle bindoff instead of kitchener at the toe of a sock. I don't see why not, but I thought I'd ask in case somebody tried it and it was the most gawdawful mistake of his/her life.

Friday, March 24, 2006

good things come in small paper cups

I spent my Friday night raiding Target and baking cupcakes with my girls Shamsi (who complains she never gets mentioned on her friends' blogs, although she doesn't have one herself, so never mentions us) and Wendy (who may not even know that I have a blog). Yeah, I am wild. Here they are in all their glory. Usual apologies for crap quality of photos etc.--the cupcakes are devil's food and the icing is cherry. The photo on the left more accurately captures its Pepto-Bismolesque color. Thanks and kudos to Shamsi (holy crap, two mentions in one post, are you totally sobbing with joy and gratitude or what?) for figuring out how to get those damn little rainbow dots to stick. (The key is to disturb the icing. Don't let it settle first.) This post was inspired by All Cupcakes, All the Time and sponsored by the letters M and S.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

knitta, please!

This is hi-larious.

enter the gladiator

...that's the name of the song that you associate with the circus. (Or, anyway, that I associate with the circus. And I tried googling to find a link so you can hear the song I mean, but I keep finding these crazy cellphone ring-tone sites that either won't load or are sensory overload, so I'll settle for this: it's the song that goes doo-doo-doodadoodoo-doo-doo doo-doo-doo-doo!)
Yesterday(ish) I finished this, which I have dubbed the Circus Freak Jaywalker, because of its crazy stripes. I really need to get a digital camera, because my camera phone is not doing justice to the colors. I mean, look at my leg, for example. In real life it's more glaringly white than pink and blotchy, which is how it's looking on my screen. The ribbing is bothering me. It's a little loose. But I think for my next pair of socks (ah yes! I'm a forward-looker!) maybe I'll cast on size 0 and then switch back to 1's once I get past the ribbing. I really dig the colors, anyway. I'll focus on that.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

dear internet, you suck; dear SNB, you rock. sincerely, cari

This is a test of the emergency blogcast system, to see if my internet connection will last long enough for me to post...
Great night at Flying Star with my SnBers! It was Laurie's birthday. I have set a goal for myself, to finish my hourglass sweater for next week. I was making such quick progress during the knitting olympics, and I usually work better with a deadline, so I'm abandoning the pretense of doing it for fun and relaxation and am just DOING IT. My first sock of my second pair of jays is going well--I got to the toe decreases tonight! Woo!
Okay, wrapping up now, so as not to push my luck. Crossing fingers makes it hard to type.

Monday, March 13, 2006

timing is everything

So I went snowboarding at Ski Santa Fe yesterday and it was snowing lightly most of the day, but just enough to make it interesting... nothing like what must be up there now, on a work day! Arghh! Well, I'll have to satisfy myself by watching snowboard-porn (translation: Robot Food binge with much David Benedek lust, oh yeah, I said it) and working on my retro reindeer beanie. I did get off work early enough this evening to go see Minus the Bear at the Launchpad, and I did manage to attach the first sleeve of my hourglass sweater to the body, and cast on for the second sleeve, and get three inches into a new jaywalker. Gotta go wash off the Launchpad's eau de nicotine now. I never mind smoke when I'm in it, but the afterbang (hee! it's an inside joke... with myself!) is awful.

Friday, March 10, 2006

bliss it was this afternoon to be alive

Seriously, does it get better than this? It's my second day off of three in a row, and it's also payday, so I treated myself to lunch (takeout from Pei Wei--sweet & sour chicken, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Check it out, I'm all about the quotations today) and stash enlargement. I went by Village Wools and said hi to Jaime and picked up some Regia self-striping sock yarn (probably another pair of jaywalkers, I'm so original) and some Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Cotton Fleece for an air-conditioned-office-appropriate summer sweater (probably bad penny, but monochrome--no contrasting edges for me, thank you, I'm dull). After ignoring it for most of my life, over the last two years or so I've developed a major love affair with green. I think it's because back east I took it for granted, but in New Mexico it must be savored. Actually, as I was deciding which color to go for, I was deciding between Holly and Cherry Moon, and realized I was asking myself the New Mexico State Question: red or green? This place is seeping into my pores, I swear. I went with green this time, although I realized later that I could've jumped on the Project Spectrum bandwagon if I'd chosen red, and used one of Carol's supercool buttons. In any case, this afternoon is a little slice of heaven: delicious lunch, knitting, reading, and chillin' like a villain on my sunny front porch.

I should get back to my hourglass sweater sleeve now. Two more inches before I can knit it onto the circulars and join it to the body portion! Yippee!! ...of course, it's the first sleeve, and then I still have the yoke and all the hemming. But I will enjoy the process if it kills me. At work I always snap at people, "patience is a virtue!" but I really don't have any myself.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

storebought just tastes wrong

Shout out to A Dress a Day, a blog I love not only for the pictures of pretty vintage (and new) dresses and dress patterns, but for the good writing and great philosophy on clothes. I loved today's post, "It's not the dress, it's the idea of the dress." As I said in my post about my "backyard" I have to alter things, I can't just let them stay commonplace. I like looking at my kitchen stepstool and thinking about the reaction I got from my neighbors while I spraypainted it on the porch, or how I painted my TV stand hot pink on the first anniversary of 9/11. Even the things I haven't altered have a story of some kind, like the comforter on my bed that I bought after a major Pride & Prejudice binge, which otherwise is so un-me it's not funny, but it's so... oh, that Mr. Darcy! My desk is the one my mom wrote her dissertation on, and I have a lamp that has been mocked--yes, mocked, and by people I thought were my friends!--but was made by my grandfather. When I was little my mom made a lot of my sisters' and my clothes. She also makes her own strawberry jam, and having been raised on it I can't eat storebought jelly. In fact, since there's only so many jars I can haul back from Thanksgiving and Christmas, jam-making may be my new hobby. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, March 06, 2006

who told me the difference? my mom.

Okay, so I took this internet quiz about who I was in a past life. And I am such a nerd that before I posted it here I had to correct it. Hanging as a method of execution is known in the past tense as "hanged." I am not now and doubt that I was in a past life "hung," which is something else altogether.

In a Past Life...

You Were: A Greasy Philosopher.

Where You Lived: Tibet.

How You Died: Hanged for treason.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

check out my backyard, part III

So I was going to try to take a photo of my living room that gives an idea of just how obsessed I am with photographs, but I'm feeling lazy and the place is a mess (I'm drying a bunch of laundry that can't go in the machine, and I'm not the type to air my clean laundry on the internet), so here's a description instead. In my apartment, total, I have

  • 5 pictures of grandparents, 2 of which include great-aunts and -uncles, 1 of which includes my nephew;
  • 3 pictures of my parents together, 1 picture of my dad and my little sister, 1 picture of my parents and little sister;
  • 1 picture of my best friend and her husband, 1 picture of my best friend and her daughter, and 1 picture of best friend's daughter solo;
  • 8 pictures of landscapes, including a Georgia O'Keeffe-style closeup of mountain laurel, the Pennsylvania state flower;
  • 6 pictures of various friends;
  • and a whopping 10 pictures of my little sister Kate alone or with me, and 3 of her with our nephew. She's not only one of my favorite people but my favorite to take/look at pictures of, 'cause she's so pretty. Of the untold millions of photos of her on my computer, these are my favorites:

The picture of Kate and Ian (our nephew) is quite possibly my favorite picture ever. That was Thanksgiving 2001, I think, when Ian was just over 1 year old, and Katie still had her natural hair color. Isn't it pretty? Tell her to go back to it.

ETA: my dear Katiedids: sorry I kept calling you "little." I meant "younger." Except that you are an inch shorter than me. So there.

check out my backyard, cont'd

I am a huge fan of color, and also of customization. I am incapable of leaving something exactly the way it was when I bought it. So here are my green bookcase and fuschia TV stand, shot all artistic-like to avoid showing the mess that I don't feel like cleaning up, or even like shifting out of the way while I take the picture, and my fabric-lined bookcase (good concept, but not terribly practical--the books don't slide easily on a cotton surface, it turns out).

check out my backyard!

Blogger sucks.
So I've been tagged with the "show us your backyard" meme (via Beverly and Scout), but as an apartment dweller I don' t have a backyard. So instead I'm showing off the view from my front porch and some choice bits of the inside. I'm going to do this in a few separate posts as it is way too hard to manage all these photos in this little editing window when Blogger keeps wanting to put them exactly where I do not want them.

I have a shotgun apartment, and I miss having a lot of windows, so being a crafty girl, I "made" some. Here's the fluffy cloud window in the bathroom. (The snowflake window in the living room is currently in the process of revision, as I'm putting some shelves up in front of it.)(And yes, it's supposed to be crooked. Asymmetry is charming.)

ETA: view from front door. Oops.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

totally non-knitting related IM conversational overlap that totally cracked me up

my sister kate: i've decided you should get married to fozzie bear
me: okay, i think i have to go to bed

why does knitting have to be so math-heavy?

So I'm working on my hourglass sweater, which is knit in the round, and I just got the division for the yoke, and I have used about 2.3 skeins (I love Brown Sheep! So much yardage!), and I have 3 skeins left. That should definitely be enough to finish the sweater, right? I'm thinking it should be more than enough, but I'm worried because I checked the pattern corrections as well as the KAL blog and a lot of hourglass knitters have apparently run short. (Of course, I'm using a sub yarn, so who knows how this affects me.) Because I could do 3/4-length sleeves if not, but I need to decide soon. I'm casting on for the first sleeve tonight, so I may get to the armpit by tomorrow or the next day.

So bummed I couldn't make it to SNB tonight. Weird work day. But I knit on my break and got some interesting comments--one guy said I looked like a little grandma but then bought me a diet Pepsi from the vending machine. (I was about to say, "hope you guys had fun!" but, duh, SNB is always fun.)