Friday, June 29, 2007

Do you want that to go, or do you want that to go?

Language has not been my friend today. First came a rousing discussion about possessive pronouns spurred by something the stupid DJs said this morning. And when I say, "rousing," I mean "pissy." Just in case you did not start the morning consulting your grade-school grammar book, a possessive pronoun is "mine, yours, ours," etc. As in, "That's your problem, and this is mine." "Your" in that sentence is not a possessive pronoun, it's a possessive adjective, modifying "problem." The "pissy" part came when I was arguing that the definition on was technically incorrect. They say a possessive pronoun substitutes for a noun. Well, that's just ridiculous. Applying their definition, the sentence, "That's your problem, and this is my problem," turns into "That's your problem, and this is my mine." Does that make sense? No, it doesn't. Wikipedia has it right. It substitutes for a noun clause. (That's a noun and all its modifiers.) I'm not sure why DH was so vehemently defending, but he was. He thought I was being overly critical of their defintion. Since I think like a boy about some things, I figured that since their definition didn't make sense to me, the problem was their definition, not me. ;)

Later, I went to a mall for some bargain shopping ( Clarks...) and to snicker at the people in line for iPhones. The shoes I got were so comfy, I actually asked the sales guy to pack the ones I had on up so I could wear them out of the store. I was amused that he put the plastic shoe forms into my old shoes (which are actually only a couple months old) and wrapped them up before putting them in the box. After scoring sale shoes and clothes, and enduring the scorn of the sales girl at Aveda (no, I do not need my look "freshened," thankyouverymuch, just the eye shadow) and the sales girl at Anthropologie ("I love how you just took your time trying that stuff on!" I'm sorry, did you have plans right now other than doing your job?), I sashayed to the food court for lunch. Note I am using lots of feminine language here to make me feel better about thinking like a boy. I wasn't too hungry, so I went to Hovan, where I thought I could get a three-slice sampler. Turns out I can only get a four-slice sampler, but that's OK. The bad news is that I can't get their new chicken salad roll as one of the slices. The good news is that the nice man gives me a little blob to try (and it was really good, too!) The other bad news is that he was out of pastrami, so I had to double up on roast beef. Really not a problem, but all this sandwich filling manipulation is making me feel wrong-footed and like a problem customer. Then he asks me, "To go, or take away?"


"Excuse me?" He has a charming accent, like you want someone proferring stuffed grape leaves to have...I must have misheard.

"To go, or take away?" They sound an awful lot like the same exact thing.

"Ummm...I want to eat here. I mean, I'm going to go sit down in the food court and eat." Maybe Hovan has some feud with the FC and I'll have to stuff my bag of Hovan under my shirt and sneak it to a hidden bench or risk being escorted out of the mall?

"OK. That's to go." He pulls out a plate for the sandwiches, which makes it look like I'll be able to consume my food in the light of day at a table like a first-class citizen.

"What would you like to drink?"

"Just a cup of water, please."

"Do you want mountain spring water or bottled water?" Does this mall have hot and cold running spring water? I didn't think it was built on top of a natural springs...

"Um, can I just get a cup of tap water?" Now I'm really starting to feel like a problem customer.

"They won't let us sell it!" Is this a drought thing? Georgia's in the midst of a serious drought and some counties have already run out of water and are using emergency reserves. I'm really going to have to eat in some dark corner now, I'm sure!

"Can I just get a cup of ice?" Or just a cup, I'm not fussy, really, despite how it seems....

"No, but we can give you mountain spring water in a cup, and it's only 45 cents!" Yes, really, I can afford it!

"Oh, OK, that's fine, thanks...." Mental note: Carry a flask when eating at the food court in the future.

Somehow I did not translate "to go" into "sitting down in the food court with a tray". How about "on a tray or in a bag"??

After all that drama (my own private drama, I'm sure), I couldn't finish my sandwiches after the accompanying "fruit and cheese pick" and free chicken salad. I am definitely not going back to the nice man at Hovan and asking for a "to go" box or a "take away" box or whatever. I don't want to throw away three perfectly good sandwich rolls. If I wrap them up in a napkin, maybe...but they're kind of juicy, and I don't want my new clothes stained before I even get them home. Aha! My inner engineer comes out and I do the only sensible thing: I put the sandwiches in the plastic shoe forms! My old shoes don't need them, and my lunch clearly does.
Geek take-out

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The people have spoken

I was leaning towards starting Aline anyway, so you all pushed me over the top. So here is most of the body of the bag done. Aren't the colors COOL?? The cute little bee stitch markers are courtesy of Teresa (thanks, T!!) If you are suddenly inspired to cast on this pattern, make sure that you check Annie Modesitt's site for errata first. The instructions have you cast on 15 stitches and do 6 rows of garter stitch. Then you're supposed to pick up 15 stitches on each side. ??? I was enormously confused about how I was supposed to pick up 15 stitches in 6 rows, so I looked for corrections. In reality, you're supposed to knit 30 rows of garter stitch. That's a big difference, eh? My previous sock knitting experience helped clue me in to the problem. With 3 gussets to my credit so far, I knew 6 rows wasn't enough to pick up 15 stitches.
No harm, no foul, I just knit 24 more rows. =) I even did the optional lace pattern on the back, although the VDD (vertical double 2 as if to k2tog, k1, pass sl st over) gave me fits at first. I'm not so sure that it was worth it. Can you see the lace pattern over there to the left? No, I didn't think you could. I ran by Michael's last night to look for yarn for the lining (it calls for ribbon, and I had none...can you believe my stash failed me??). I wanted a turquoise that might show through. The bad news is that the only thing they had that matched was blue/dark blue/black variagated Incredible. The good news is that it was on sale for $2!
I actually have the flap all done now; all I need to do it knit the lining with the ribbon. But now I have started to think. Always a dangerous path.... I really, really like the color combination on the bottom of the bag. And it looks like the rest of the skein is along those lines. But the main body of the bag is a little redder than I wanted. If only I'd starting winding the ball from the other end of the skein!!! =( I am thinking of measuring out how much yarn is left in the skein to see if I have enough to knit another purse with it. If so, I can give this one as a gift and knit myself another one. (Whoah, somebody's going to get really lucky!!! We'll see which one of my nieces kisses up the best. ;) If I don't have enough...I may end up unravelling this and starting to knit from the other end....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Human passions unbridled

Today's quote is from John Adams, one of the prime architects of the Constitution (and our second president, for those who, like me, have not memorized the whole chain of succession):

We have no government armed in power capable of contending in human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made for a moral and a religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.

Wholly inadequte, indeed.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Jumpin' Jehoshaphat June check-in

So, the stitching theme for this month was to work on BIG projects. I was somewhat hampered by the fact that my biggest Q-snaps are packed. So, I decided to work on big projects with small progress. Number one on the list was "Peacock Tapestry," designed by Teresa Wentzler. Here is what it is going to look like one day (God willing and the creek don't rise, as we say in the South). And that blob to the side? If you look at the smallest branch to the left of the peacock's tail, that's it. You might not think to look at it, but that blob contains about 20 different colors. A stitch here, a quarter stitch adds up. Slowly. So this is what I've been doing most of the month during stitching time. My "in the car" time has been spent on Quaker Sewing Case, which is now looking much more respectable. I'm going to scan it when I'm done with the pocket. For the rest of the month, I'm going to stitch on Japan Garden (I'm doing it on black), which also has Very Little Done.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Something Perfectly Wonderful

Just a quote today, some food for thought: Kurt Vonnegut, who died April 11, said that human bodies "are miracles of design. Scientists are pretending they have the answers for how we got this way when natural selection couldn't possibly have produced such machines.... Something perfectly wonderful is going on, I do not doubt it. But the explanations I hear do not satisfy me."

I hope you all can find something perfectly wonderful.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

When Geeks Talk Trash

On XBox live, you have a "rep". You can see mine there to the right on my's represented by the little stars. Now, it looks like I have a 5-star rep (which is the highest), but on my console, I can see that that 5th star is not completely full. You see, you can "prefer" and "avoid" players. If people prefer or don't rate you, you gain star value. If people avoid you, you lose star status. Worse, it shows you what percent of players have avoided you, and why. You can avoid people for using bad language, quitting out of a game early, having no skillz, etc. So I know that 12% of people I've played with have avoided me...for trash talking. No other reason. This is ludicrous to me, because I really don't trash talk. I mean, maybe once in a while, but I rarely have the skills to back up the talk, and it's ridiculous when people trash talk about how great they are and then you kill them with one shot. But I know the real reason all of them picked "trash talk" was because that's the default. They would have had to use the thumbstick and do some reading to record the real reason instead of just hitting A, A, A. I suspect the real reason is "lacks skill," but I guess in the end "trash talk" sounds better.

When I do talk trash, it's disturbingly geeky. On Father's Day, we played a lot of cards. At my parents' house we played Nerts, with partners. I've never played with partners before. I've actually never played Nerts before, but it's basically the same game as Dutch Blitz, which we are completely and utterly addicted to. We've played for hours. We've played on a cruise ship. Anyway. My nephew, who is a very intense person, aparently plays this game all the time with his every Saturday night or something. He ended up being partnered with my mom, who is 72, but she still plays a mean game of cards. She's a bridge player from way back. You should see her during Countdown...she tries to take three tricks every round. Mom, there's only two cards in this round! Nevermind, I'm taking three anyway!!

So, my nephew may be a little hampered, but he's still winning. I happen to be partnered with his mom. We're right across the table. Soon, he commences the trash talk. (Oh, my, I can't use "commences" in the same sentence with "trash talk.") Soon, he gets his trash talk on. It starts out small. At the end of every round, we'd all announce our scores out loud. As he's keeping score, he'd announce theirs last. With a smirk. Pretty soon, though, he's leaning across the table, staring deeply into my eyes, and saying, "My sole goal in this next round is to beat you." "Learn to live with disappointment," I retort. Of course, he beat us anyway, but we were darn close. And so it goes, and he does end up winning, but he ties with DH and my niece. He says a tie has never happened in the history of Nerts before (at least, his history).

We play a second game. At some point, he stops announcing their score. I didn't notice until I looked over and saw him writing down our 26 points and notice that their score for that round was zero. Oh, boy. "I'm sorry, I didn't hear what your score was that round. Was that a zero?" I smell victory. When he announces the scores mid-game, we're in the lead. I cup my hand to my ear. "I'm sorry, I didn't quite hear that. What was your score again?" I will spare you the minutia of the trash talk during the game, and skip to the end. The final round, we needed only 6 cards to win (to pass 100). I start counting our cards...

"How many do we need to win? Six? One, two, three, four, five, six...BUT WAIT! There's MORE! Seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen! Giving us...OH, that's the same score you won the last round with...only WE didn't TIE!"

My nephew replies, "Yeah, well you came in third last round and we came in second."

"Nope! We came in second, because you tied for first. See, really, you were just one of two! One over two, or one-half! We, on the other hand, are number one!"

"Oh yeah?! Well, we beat you by more than you beat us!"

"Let's look at the point spread!"

"Yeah, let's do that!! Look...we beat you by two more points than you beat us!"

"Yeah, but our game had a higher standard deviation!"

"WHAT?! No it didn't!"

"Yes it DID! I guess they don't teach you that stuff at the Naval Academy!"

"You don't know what you're talking about! Did you even take math at Georgia Tech?? Besides, standard deviation is just a theoretical measure!"

"Oh, so, even theoretically we're better than you!"

"It's just a measure of how far away from the average you are!"

"Exactly!!!!" (My nephew winces here, knowing he said The Wrong Thing.) "Here's average...and here's you...and here's us WAY OVER HERE!"

Things degenerated at this point...but it ended with him turning his back on me, at which point I said, "OH! He can't even face me anymore!" When he turned around, I gave him a big hug, and we dissolved into laughter. "You're fun!" we told each other.

So there you go, not only do I totally deserve my less-than-five-star rating due to trash talking, I'm really disturbing and embarassing when I talk trash.

It turns out that the game he won did have a higher standard deviation, but we were a greater number of standard deviations away from our mean than he was from his.

And that's all that matters. =)

Monday, June 18, 2007


I need to blog about my trip to Gatlinburg the weekend before last, but for now, here's a little eye candy. We stopped off for lunch in Franklin, NC, at a place called the Frog and Owl. It was...interesting. The decor was "mountain bistro". The attractively faux textured walls highlighted the various rusty metal frog sculptures scattered around. The menu looked great; I ordered a mixed green salad with fruit, almonds and goat cheese (mmmm...goat cheese...) with some dressing that I can't remember (because there wasn't enough of it), topped with chicken. We knew we were in trouble when we read the fine print on the menu, which essentially said, "We prepare all food fresh to order. Please allow us the time to lovingly hand-make our creations." Uh-oh. It did take a while for the food to get there, but we were on vacation, so who cares. I did have to listen to other diners complain, though, like the tablefull of "little old ladies" beside us who told the waiter that "salad should be on a COLD plate". Puh-lease! I would not have wanted my chicken salad on a cold would have leached the flavor out of the chicken and made the goat cheese less creamy. I hope I don't become that set in my ways. Anyway, I was actually amused by the whole thing...even when our waiter brought our food and asked, "Would you like fresh pepper on that?" and then left never to be seen again! LOL! The best part of the lunch (besides gazing at my sweetie) may have been that across the street, we saw a store labeled "YARN". DH insisted that the store must be named "YARN". =) The real name is Silver Needles, I believe. It was a really cool store; the yarn was arranged by color rather than by brand/type. That's the first store I've been in that's arranged that way. She had lots of different things in the store, and even though it was a very small space, it did not feel cramped. I got to feel yarn from alpaca, llama, camel, quiviut, bison, banana, was fabulous. Anyway, DH said my self-imposed yarn-buying ban was listed, so he picked the yarn on the right for socks, since I said, "You've never really asked for anything knit for you." It's yummy yarn and advertises that it's enriched with aloe vera and jojoba oil. I'm not sure how many washings that lasts.... The only problem is that after leaving the store, I realized that he'd probably never wear wool socks, since he is incredibly warm-natured! Oh, well, I'll have some pretty socks then. =) The yarn on the left is made from recycled saris in Indonesia and helps abused women. Very cool stuff! I want to make a funky purse with it. After searching for patterns, I came up with these two options:
What do you think? I'm leaning towards Aline. I was looking for a simple, shaped bag, since fancy patterns wouldn't show well with this yarn. Plus, it needed to be something I could knit with only 150 yards! Votes?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Indigo Rose Pincushion

Indigo Rose Pedestal PincushionI finally finished this lovely pincushion, which was taught at ASG...oh dear, I think it was two years ago. It's really sad that it took me that long to do. The gray linen is applied to the white linen, then stuffed. Then you stitch the motifs on the white linen. Honestly, I think what took the longest was stitching on that darn black ribbon beaded trim. I don't do sewing (and no, people, that's not the same thing as needlework). =) I stitched on the ribbon in between games in the Halo 3 Beta while waiting for matchmaking.

Pincushion detailHere's a closeup of the top:
There are 24 1/2" bullion knots on this piece. I think that's also part of the reason it took me so long to finish it!!


Stolen from Erin...

1. Are you taller than your mom?

Yes, but just barely!

2. What color is your car?

Well, I don't have a car right now. DH's car is "Patriot Blue". If I had a car, it would be blue. =)

3. What is the closest thing to you that is red?

Well, my speaker on the computer is muted, so there's a little red "X" by it. Other than that, it's the Tangrams on my page-a-day calendar.

4. What is your ringtone?

Some arpeggiated thing that came with my phone.

5. Are you sick?

Miraculously, no. I say miraculously because in the past few weeks I have gotten little sleep and have been on vacation, two things normally guaranteed to make me succumb to illness.

6. What color is your favorite pillow?

Favorite pillow? Favorite pillow??!? What kind of fickle slumber harlot wrote this meme? Pillows are not to be switched amongst like so many pairs of shoes! My only pillow is buff. (In color...DH is also buff, but not in color :b)

7.What is your favorite video game?

Halo. I also loves me some Viva Pinata. It's like video game crack. My favorite classic vid game (arcade) is Ms. Pac Man, my favorite original Atari game is Frostbite, and my favorite PC game is Super Tetris. Or Minesweeper. Or Spider. If I had back all the time I spent on those three alone, I probably could have solved the world's oil crisis or something.

8. Had a nap today?

=( No. I almost never get that luxury, and usually when I try, I've got too many things on my mind for it to "take". Sunday afternoons are the only time I can usually nap.

9. Gold or Silver?

That depends. My wedding ring is gold, but I tend to veer towards silver jewelry in general.

10. Is there an animal that creeps you out?

Snakes! Although they are technically reptiles.

11.Who was the last person you rode an elevator with?

Random guy I work with whose name I don't know.

12. Did you go iceskating as a kid?

Yes, and I was just as terrible at it then as I am now! Weak ankles or whatever. I rock at roller skating, though.

13. Ever have stitches?

Mmmm...I was going to say no, but I think I had one when I had a cyst removed from my temple.

14. Favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Egg creme, although that can be made alcoholic quite nicely. =) Other than that, hot tea of the flavored variety (and my favoritest is Orange Dulce Mighty drinking candy, it is).

15. How long ago did you kiss someone?

About an hour and a half ago.

16. What's something you want to do before you die?

Go all over Europe.

17. Have you ever caught something on fire?

Yes, and even on purpose. =)

18. Have you ever seen a ghost?

Well, I've seen "Ghost", but other than that, no.

19.Have you ever seen the northern lights?


20. Do you know how to use chop sticks?

Yes, but I'm not very shozo (skilled). =)

21. Name something good that happened today.

So far, I guess that would have to be that my WOMBAT scores submitted (unlike yesterday).

22. What room are you in?

The "library".

23. Are you worried about something you can't control?

That's like asking me if I'm breathing.

24. Do you take daily medications?

Nope, although during allergy season, it feels like it.

25. Ever been in a fight?

Like physically? No, although I have been worried about being jumped by an insane ex-girlfriend before.

26. Are you wearing nailpolish?

Only on my toes. I'm almost always doing something with my hands, and being a programmer for a living, with all the typing, it's just not worth it.

27. Favorite color?


28. Innie or Outie?


29. Ever used a Ouija board?

Good heavens, no! And praise God I haven't; I've heard some really scary stories about prolonged use.

30. Sweet or Sour?


31. Sun or Moon?

Sun, even though I am not a morning person. I hate winter because there's so little sunshine.

32. What shoes did you wear today?

So far, slippers. Right now I'm barefoot because I'm about to work out. After that, it'll be sandals...since that's pretty much all there is during Summer! =)

33. Favorite eye color of the opposite sex?

Blue, blue, blue.

34. Most important quality in any relationship?

Mutual respect.

35. Favorite zombie movie?

This isn't really a movie, but a video...Thriller. (Cheese-tastic!!)

36. Do you know how to kill a zombie?

This is a trick question, right? Zombies are ALREADY DEAD. That's why they're zombies. If you want to stop one moving, though, I think you have to shoot it in the brain. Brains....

37. Time of day you were born?

About 6:30 in the morning, and I've never been up that early since, LOL!

38. Do you know your blood type?

Yes. Am I supposed to tell what it is??

There's no 39, so I'm going to talk about blood types. My family becomes fascinated with the weirdest small things. At some point, they got fascinated by blood types. Now, blood type heredity is very simple. You get one gene from your mom, and one from your dad. A and B are dominant, O is recessive. So if you get an A from your mom and and O from your dad, you're an AO, and A is dominant, so you're type A. Since O is recessive, you can only be an O if you got an O from both parents (making you OO).

So if you know your mom is type A and your dad is type O, and you know you're type A, which two genes did you get? That's right, and A from mom and an O from dad. For some reason, my sisters are incapable of remembering this. We have the same conversation at almost every get-together.

"What type are you?"


"So what type is Mom?"

"She's A as well."

"But I thought Dad was A."

"Nope. He's O."

"But I'm type A and my son is O."

"That means your husband is O."

"So how can my son be O if I'm A?"

"You're an AO, 'cause Mom's an A and Dad's an O. He got an O from you and an O from his dad."

"So O is dominant?"

"No, O is recessive. Dominant/recessive has nothing to do with what's passed on, only with what trait once you've got it."

"Oh, I see. I wonder what Grammy and Grampy were (on Dad's side)."

"Well, we don't know, because Dad's O. They could have been A, B or O."

"How could they have been A or B if Dad's O?"


40. What would you spend 5000 dollars on right now if you were handed it?

I'd get this really cool table DH likes from Design Within Reach, and then I would pay a contractor the rest to get our stairs in the new place fixed before July 1st. If I couldn't find one, I'd get blinds for the second floor in the new place.

41. Name something annoying in public transit?

Not being able to get everywhere using it.

42. Girls are:


43. Guys are:

Idiots (except DH, who only acts like an idiot once in a while in order to remind me he's a guy).

44. Parents are:

Obsessed with their kids.

45. Did you grow up in the city or country?

Country, but I'm a city girl at heart. Or at least a small-town girl.

46. Would you ever consider going on a reality tv show if offered a large sum of money?

Depends which show. Actually, more like, different shows would require different amounts of money to get me to go on them. Like, to get me to go on Survivor would take a huge sum, because I don't do well without protein and I'd be afraid for my health (mental and otherwise, LOL!)

47. Have you flown in your dreams?

Yes, both with and without airplanes. :b

48. Hugs or kisses?

Yes, please. Although I only want kisses from DH.

49. You have 10 dollars to spend in the dollar store, what do you get?

10 things. Well, actually, 9 things, because there'd be tax. Duh! ;)

50. Slurpee flavor?

No, thanks, I'd rather have an Icee (cherry).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Father's Day already??

I have no idea what to get my dad for Father's Day. This happens every year. The problem has a few root causes:
  1. My dad is not a big reader. I once bought him an Andy Rooney book. He loves 60 Minutes and always chuckled appreciatively when Andy launched into one of his mild tirades, so I thought it was the perfect gift. I'm not sure he ever read it. If he did, he never mentioned it.

  2. My dad has no hobbies other than incessantly watching Headline News and yelling at the "idiots" on TV.

  3. My parents have way too much stuff, and I have no desire to add to it, since I will one day have to sort through it.

  4. Perishable gifts (food) are a bad idea, since my dad is overweight.

  5. My dad has a very small window of what is "normal". For instance, he thought "The Fellowship of the Ring" was a "little weird". I guess it is, in the grand scheme of things, but it's a fantasy/adventure.

  6. As a result of 1-5, I do not understand my dad and cannot ever answer the question, "Do you think your dad would like _____?"

The past couple Christmases, birthdays and Father's Days, I've done theater tickets. They fulfill all the criteria above; I just have to be careful with #5. However, this is really more a present for my mom than my dad, because she likes to go out and do stuff and my dad would rather sit home and become one with his recliner. He used to like to go to the Symphony, but that's generally on during the Winter months, and for the past 5 years or so, my parents have spent January and February in Hawaii. It must be so nice to be retired.

For his birthday this year, I hit the jackpot. The Alliance had a show going on called, "Always, Patsy Cline". I can remember being traumatized as a young girl on long car trips with Patsy spinning on the 8-track player, eternally wailing about falling to pieces. Even today, playing that song is a sure way to get me to ball up in the fetal position, hands clamped firmly over my ears, and begin whimpering pitifully. Or screeching unmercifully, depending on my mood.

Anyway, they went to the show, and they had a great time. The tickets were a bit pricey, but hey, they're my parents, and they've dropped a lot of scratch on me over the years. Unfortunately, the ticket price was printed on the tickets. I wasn't looking for any kind of props from the parents for my generosity. I actually wished the price wasn't printed on the tickets at all. However, a very handy side-benefit came from them knowing how much I spent. I have now been told, "No presents for Mother's Day or Father's Day." I, of course, ignored this edict for Mother's Day (although I did just give my mom a hydrangea...fits criteria #3). For Father's Day, though, I just might be an obedient child, since I was warned again on the phone yesterday.

Part of the reason I don't understand my dad, I'm sure, is that I have precious few memories of him from my childhood. I'm not sure whether that's because he travelled a lot when I was small, or because he was good and sick of having girls (I have three sisters...I was supposed to be the boy). He hated coming to my ballet recitals. He hated coming to my choral performances. I think he hated coming to my piano recitals less. That was something he could brag about to others. He never came to see me cheer. Anytime I tried to talk to him about what things were like when he was a kid ("What did you do for fun?"), I would get incomprehensible statements ("Working was fun for me." Schwunh??) All I know is that I don't remember my dad being terribly interested in me until I hit the age where it was time to think about college. He made me apply to nine colleges, and it would have been ten if I had not put my foot down and told him there was no way I was going to Cal Tech. He has never forgiven me for not going to MIT rather than Georgia Tech. Every time he meets someone who has a child who went to MIT, I hear about it.

So here are two Dad memories for you: One bad, one good. The first occurred sometime in high school or junior high. Our report cards at that time would show your actual numerical score in the class. An "A" was 93-100. I don't remember what the "B" range was, because I never got a "B". (Hey, stop throwing those tomatoes! Even though I'm a geek, I did not study all the time. I mean, I'm smart, but I did go to a really easy high school.) Technically I got one "B" in chorus one "nine weeks", but that didn't count because it was also at the end of a semester, and my semester average was an "A". (And the reason why I got the "B" is definitely another blog entry for another day....)

Anyway, I was pretty jazzed about my report card this particular period. I had gotten three 100 averages, and two 99 averages! You gotta admit that's pretty good...I was at least in Algebra by that time. My mom's thrilled! So, I triumphantly present my report card to my dad. What does he say?

"What happened with those 99s?"


Are you kidding me? I later told this story to one of my friends, and he said, "If I came home with a report card like that, my parents would buy me a car!" I got 10 bucks, because at some point (like 8th grade, I think) I found out that my parents gave my older sisters $1 for each "A", or $10 for all "A"s.

Dad memory number two: My dad is a total penny pincher (really, this is going to be a good story, I promise). I have quite a few memories when I was a kid of going to theme parks on vacation, with both of my parents. Remember walking around at a theme park when you were a kid? You would inevitably end up in the "game" section, where hawkers tried to lure you in with seemingly easy feats that would garner you a ginormous stuffed animal. If you were like me, you had spent all day ogling those lucky kids who were skipping around the park, giant animals in tow. All you have to do is knock over these three measly milk bottles! Oh, but wait...the bottles also have to fall all the way off the platform. How often have you seen someone manage that?? Or how about throwing the plastic ring around a bottle neck? There's like a thousand bottles, and it looks like if you just toss the ring blindly into the pit of bottles, it's got to ring one of their necks! Oh, if only the laws of thermodynamics would suspend themselves for a few minutes...but alas, the equal and opposite reaction of those hard plastic rings coming into contact with glass bottles creates more bounce than Tigger on a trampoline!

And then there was the granddaddy of them all: the ring toss. In this one, you had to get a hula hoop around the animal. These animals were even cuter because they weren't impaled on metal hooks on the ceiling. (Of course, they were instead impaled up their backside on a metal rod, but you couldn't see that.) Their heads were still round, and their glassy eyes stared beguilingly at you as they sat, arms outstretched, just begging to be taken home. Ah, those arms. There was the first problem. You swore they were animatronic animals with the way their pudgy limbs would latch onto the hula hoops and keep them from falling down. Because, you see, the hula hoop had to go ALL the way down around the animal. Not only that, it had to make it ALL the way down around the base of the platform on which the stuffed siren sat. And that platform was the exact size that fit in the hula hoop, and not a millimeter smaller. Once again, physics was not your friend, as that hoop would bounce up and catch on a corner of the evil platform, thus leaving your furry friend imprisoned in carnie hell.

Now, my dad being a penny pincher, you might think that there was no way that he would give in to the pleadings of the biggest stuffed animal fan in the world. But you'd be wrong! Yes, my dad would actually attempt to win me an animal! He'd set a certain number of tries, and he would wait until just before we went home, because, as he would tell his whiny child throughout the day, "You don't want to carry that around all day." (Aside from the obvious benefit of being the envy of every other kid in the park, he was probably right.) And, even better, my dad was actually good at it. The most athletic exploits I'd ever seen my dad manage were water-skiing, playing ping-pong and riding the lawn mower around. I guess he figured that, like Sunday school, he'd done enough of that when he was a kid. But with a weird flick of the wrist, he could make that hula hoop lie down in the right place. Usually. We did leave "without" a few times, but I was never really that disappointed. After all, how many huge stuffed animals can you have in one room? I also wouldn't always want the animal that the game featured, because it would be ugly. But my dad would always ask, the first time we passed the booth during the day, "Do you want one of those?" I was very happy with my two giant stuffed raccoons (totally different). Seems like I had another one, too, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was.

Maybe that's why I'm still fond of raccoons today....

Thursday, June 7, 2007


Happy anniversary to me and DH...10 years!!

How I got the most wonderful man in the world to put up with me this long is beyond my understanding....

Monday, June 4, 2007


So, I finally finished the pointe de reprise section of Blackwork Band Sampler.
Yes, I know it's Jumpin' Jehoshaphat June and I'm supposed to be working on a BIG project, but I wanted to get this bit done from May Memories before I put it away. And I have a little bit of a problem with JJJ...all my BIG Q-snaps are packed away. I got them out once to finish Christmas Mystery, but now I really don't know where they are! So, I think I'll be stitching on BIG projects that I don't have a lot done on, so they will fit in my 10" Q-snaps!!

Friday, June 1, 2007

More flair than substance

Saw this test on Afford Your Passions and couldn't resist. Of course, I could have told you which leading lady I'd come up as.

Your Score: Katharine Hepburn

You scored 19% grit, 19% wit, 57% flair, and 11% class!

You are the fabulously quirky and independent woman of character. You go your own way, follow your own drummer, take your own lead. You stand head and shoulders next to your partner, but you are perfectly willing and able to stand alone. Others might be more classically beautiful or conventionally woman-like, but you possess a more fundamental common sense and off-kilter charm, making interesting men fall at your feet. You can pick them up or leave them there as you see fit. You share the screen with the likes of Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant, thinking men who like strong women.

The Classic Dames Test

Cary Grant!! *swoon*

Old Geek-outs