Monday, April 28, 2008

The end of the dream

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I don't think I've actually mentioned this on the blog before, but I work as a software developer part-time. Not as a contractor, but as a salaried, part-time employee, Monday through Wednesday.

Why? Because I can.

I always get interesting reactions when I tell people this. They generally range from "you're my hero" to some sort of disbelief. One woman at my company, upon learning I wasn't full-time, immediately asked me if I had kids. When I told her "no," she looked at me as though I'd just offered her a plate of rotten strawberries for a snack. Apparently in her world, having kids was the only acceptable "excuse" for working part-time. =)

How I got this gig is kind of a long story, but the short answer is that I prayed for it. The circumstances were totally beyond anything I could have cooked up; I didn't ask to go just happened. That was at a previous job, but it gave me the confidence to say, when I interviewed for my current position, "I'll only accept a part-time position." Oh, they wanted me full-time, but I told them only three days a week were for sale. =)

So what about that gloomy post title? Well, about a month and a half ago, Michael told me his company was shutting down on April 15th. Maybe. Or maybe someone would buy it. Or something. As April inched closer, I realized we needed to do something (gotta have that healthcare, and the savings are kind of tapped out right now because we haven't sold the old place yet). So, I went to my manager and asked him if I could go full time (he kind of knew it was coming).

His response? "Sure!! Want to start this week??"

I have to say, it is nice to be wanted. =) So, come this Thursday, I will be full-time. *sigh* I tried to view this as a good thing. Michael promised me his "job" would be getting the old place fixed up and on the market. And, that dinner would be waiting for me when I got home (which is more than he got sometimes!!). These would be very good things! =)

But then, his stupid CEO bought the company.

Now we both have full-time jobs.

Dang it.

I'll be working full-time starting May 1st. Chocolate and sympathy cards accepted....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Forbidden Kingdom

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If you have any love at all for kung fu movies, go see The Forbidden Kingdom. Accept that the opening sequence is not going to dictate the feel of the entire film, realize you could be watching the most brilliant reworking of The Karate Kid ever, revel in the super-nifty opening title sequence, ignore some dialogue and plot holes that could use help, then settle in for an enormously entertaining fish-out-of-water story. Tell yourself that the restaurant scene with Jackie Chan would have been THE most fun thing to co-star in, ever. Marvel that Jet Li can produce that much facial expression and animation.



Watch Jackie Chan and Jet Li fight each other.

Seriously, I want to buy the DVD right now so I can watch all the choreography again. Yuen Woo-Ping, who did the fight choreography for The Matrix, did an awesome job, and clearly enjoyed working with fighters had skill to begin with.

This is the first movie in a long time where I remember leaving the theater and saying, "Now that was worth ten bucks!" (Shudder...ten wrong....)

Only downside: No JC injury montage during the credits.

Go. See. Now.

Monday, April 14, 2008

This post has everything!

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It's got knitting!
(This scarf was a gift from my mom that I finally got around to blocking. Here's its pre-blocked state, and the pattern, in case you're interested.)

It's got stitching!
(This is a shot of Autumn Queen before any Amazon April work has occurred on it. I'm hoping the progress I make won't be so infinitessimal that I can't see it at the end of the month.)

It's got an obligatory Yarn Harlot shot!

It's got Kinnearing! Oh, wait...sadly, it doesn't. But the last post had some (I Kinneared myself), so maybe you'll let it slide?

It's got geeky XBox achievement screenshots!
(Sorry. Michael pointed out to me that my recent geek content was shockingly low. I maintain that, as in real life, I try to shield people from my geeky stories when I can envision their eyes glazing over as I tell them. For instance, today I had a conversation about neural nets and natural language processing and how very COOL it is that you can write LISP code that will actually WRITE MORE CODE ITSELF!!! But do you really want to hear that? I thought not. I try to restrict the geekly postings to entertaining rants, cool gadgets and stories involving the possibility of know, stuff everyone has a chance of understanding. And, if you're still with me, this is me winning the DDR National Championship. Which includes Canada. For some reason. Crazy Hawaiian programmers!)

It's got an AYP*!
I realized most of my sock yarn was very dark, and I want to make the Milkmaid Stockings in New Pathways, so I "made" myself get this beautiful stuff. It's very squishy.

It's got dispensational stash!
Here I must pause and give a shout out to Drema at Needlecraft Corner for great customer service. If you don't have a good LNS near you (or can't get there easily) or you're looking for a good ONS, I think Drema's as good as it gets. The first bee box I received had a broken leg, so I emailed Drema to ask if I should contact Just Nan about it. (Drema couldn't have known the bee was lame when she sent the kit...the bee was inside a box in the kit, which was sealed shut by Just Nan.) Drema immediately sent me a new kit, including a box with return postage, already labeled, so all I had to do was put the defective bee in the box and tape it shut! Everyone complains when they get bad customer service, so I felt I had to share a shining example of great customer service!!

Where was I? Oh yeah...It's even got a Hidden Mickey! (OK, maybe not so hidden.)

And, of course, it has JiffNotes.

*AYP = authorized yarn purchase...i.e., yarn purchased with a gift certificate, to make a gift, or to complete a project already in progress

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


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I totally cheated.
I said I'd stitch or knit, every day, on at least one thing I hadn't touched yet that month before working on something I'd already worked on...'cause that's what my March Madness is about.
I made allowances for myself: "I'm too brain dead today. This is so easy and so soothing, with its easily-memorizable repeats and every-other row not even needing to count. And I'm so close, and in a few days it will be too warm to wear this."
I even, on a few days, paid some brief lipneedle-service to another project first: one length of floss, one motif, one row...and then I'd cast that project aside and take up the relaxing trek 'round the medallion.
Not that it was many days, mind you. Really, I think there were only three or four.
Then one whole Saturday where I fussed with putting the medallions together so that their swirls flowed into each other...then redoing it because they didn't quite...then staying up 'til midnight finishing the collar...
...then the next day, attaching a little more of the sides...
Who says cheaters never prosper?

Medallion Capelet, by Nicky Epstein
from Vogue Knitting Fall/Winter 2007
knit in Valley Yarns Berkshire in Blue Ming (waaaaayy brighter than it looked on my screen, but still nice)
swanky shawl pin from DF Jill (via Etsy)

This capelet was knit by an amateur in a closed environment. The knitter in no way condones cheating as a lifestyle, even if it is just cheating on your own rules. Cheating may not work out as well for you as it worked out for this knitter. You should take this as a completely isolated case where good came from a bad practice. Consult your doctor before cheating. Or, you know, your conscience. And only cheat on inanimate projects--not on tests, your taxes, or those who love you.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The End of the Madness

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I loved March Madness (and, in case you haven't been reading long, I'm not referring to basketball). Stitching or knitting something different every day gives me a chance to visit lots of WIPs I've not seen in a while. For instance, this one:
This is a JABC chart that was kitted up by Drema at Needlecraft Corner. Can you tell what it is? No? =) It's going to be a very colorful Partridge in a Pear Tree.

Speaking of colorful... awesome is my Herringbone Block Shawl going to be once it's done?? I got some very bright Silk Garden to add into the mix (it's the top left diamond). I wish I could take a picture that truly shows the depth and richness of the colors. This one is always hard to put down because I can't wait to see what color will come next. I've pretty much decided that I'm going to start from the other end and join in the middle. When I work on it next, I need to wind out the appropriate skein of Noro until I get to the right place.

The Tofutsies Errant Lace Ankles socks are coming along. I thought I was going to get a straight spiral of white, but the spiral seems to have switched directions...
...this is one sock, two sides. I love the way this yarn refuses to be tamed. =)

With the end of March Madness, I seem to have entered a Blue Mood...

The worst part was when I realized I was totally, completely out of PB01 for Sapphire. And I'm soooo close to being done with it! Oh, well, I'm going to scrounge some up somewhere. I think I only need a couple of yards!

Hmmm...seems like there's one more blue thing that fit in with the theme...but you'll have to wait 'til tomorrow for that. It deserves a post of its own. =)

March Madness around here means working on a different project each day. Who would have thought I'd have so many projects with blue in them?? Well, really, I suppose anyone who's known me for very long!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Promises, Promises

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Congratulations, Erin! (Sorry, ed...that's a different Erin.) I'm guessing you'll go for blog candy of the stitchy variety. It'll be on its way to you as soon as I can manage. =)

This weekend I went to the Eufaula Pilgrimage with two of my sisters. Part of my childhood was spent in Oxford, Mississippi, which also had an annual Pilgrimage. Or, as I like to call it, Seeing Houses Sherman Didn't Burn Down. In Eufaula, they had extended the definition to most any Victorian house. Which was just fine, because there were a lot of big, beautiful houses to view...

...and gorgeous Spring flowers everywhere...

...even some knitting happened....

Unfortunately, you were not allowed to take pictures inside, so I can't show you the handpainted murals or Bohemian glass pocket doors or handmade wood moldings. But the exteriors are great:

The temperatures were in the 70s and 80s (I wore sandals!!! Yay for sandals!!!)

That's my oldest sister there heading up to the door. Here's the view from the porch:

I'm kind of nuts for the azaleas...

But look at these awesome fuschias...

It was not all pretty. The Days Inn put us in a non-smoking room...adjacent to a smoking room. Like, with an adjoining door. And take a look at this lamp we saw in an antique store:

Yes, as best I can tell, that is a sea dragon angel with breasts.

And on that note, let's look at some yarn, shall we? I spent some of my birthday Knitch gift certificate last week on this yummy Malabrigo lace yarn...

...and some Blue Sky Alpaca sportweight and Rowan Cashsoft to make some squirrel mittens!!!

What else did I promise to show you? Oh, yeah, WIPs and a little FO...well, that's going to have to wait. It's very late. Well, at least I showed you some of what I promised. And more's to come.

Pretty houses and pretty yarn...and more pretty to come.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


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Dear blog,
I know you want to see pictures of the AYP*. And pictures of the progress I made at the end of March Madness. And pictures of that little thing I finished....

Oh, yeah...and the results of my blogiversary contest. But, you see, I've been working 12 hour days and I'm leaving tomorrow for the weekend with my I'm going to extend the contest for all my readers, and I promise I'll feed you lots of lovely pictures of WIPs and FOs and even pilgrimage when I get back...

And after I see the Yarn Harlot.

*AYP = Authorized Yarn Purchase

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