Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Things that suck

  1. The cafeteria here at 3MilesFromHome on holiday weeks. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that they did not have cream cheese for the bagels. And the only bagels they had were - I AM NOT KIDDING - chocolate chip and whole wheat. Not a single donut in the house. AND...the scrambled eggs were crusty.
  2. Sitting on the bench...the group double-you bench. I found out third hand that we're being released at noon today. If I didn't have friends upstairs I would never have known.
  3. The weather. Year-end festivities may be called on account of wind.
  4. My mood.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


  1. Brooklyn Children's Museum. Really, really geared towards kids. Everything is touchable, and everything worked. MM had a really great time and took lots of pictures. Which brings us to my next recommendation...
  2. VTech Kidizoom Digital Camera. MM's favorite gift this year. He worked out how to use it as a plain vanilla camera and then, completely on his own, figured out all its fun photo effects features. Let me tell you, I look totally gorgeous with a pig's nose and bulgy eyes.
  3. Dim Sum with kids. MM ate his weight in shrimp dumplings.
  4. Amtrak. I know, I know, I know....I've recommended them before, but what's not to like about a mode of transportation where you can sit comfortably, use your computer (or watch your own movies), get up, walk around, have a pee or a bite to eat, and still get to NYC from DC in 3 hours? Without having to wait in line to take off your shoes?
  5. Watching one's grandma turn 90, and have a 94-year-old at the party say, "I wish I'd had her kind of energy when I was her age."

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sorry so silent

I'm in NYC, hangin' with my family and eating dim sum and latkes and bagels. MM's been building with Lego and life in general is very sweet. We've been here since Thursday.

The socks have a taker. Second leg is almost done. Feet going on ASAP.

I'll be back in action on Tuesday.

I hope your holidays were beautiful and full of fun and love.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Latkes! Get yer hot latkes!

We invited MM's friend, SheIsAlmostAsTallAsMe, and her mom, IReallyLikeHer over for some hot potatoey goodness and the rest of the Hanukah scene last night.

The kids played Lego Star Wars while us grownups talked about everything and nothing as I fried up something like 30 latkes.

Neither of the kids were that into the latkes, but IReallyLikeHer ate 4 (as did I) and took some home with her.

They really liked the candle-lighting and were surprised that we gave SheIsAlmostAsTallAsMe a present (IReallyLikeHer was a bit chagrined that she didn't bring anything and I just shook my head and said, "no. You weren't supposed to.")

They left around eight. Gotta do that more often.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Looking for a Christmas gift?

Dick Francis: Break In (main character is named Christmas), and its sequel, Bolt
Margaret Maron: Corpus Christmas, Rituals of the Season
Georgette Heyer: Envious Casca
Agatha Christie: A Holiday for Murder (AKA Murder for Christmas, AKA Poirot's Christmas)
Charlaine Harris: Shakespeare's Christmas (NOT about the playwright!)
Murder for Christmas (short story compilation), first in a series, the whole series is great!
Nancy Atherton: Aunt Dimity's Death and Aunt Dimity's Christmas

Thursday, December 18, 2008

One Thousand

One thousand posts.

Some long.

Some short.

Some happy.

Some sad.

Some funny.

Some really, really not.

Some thoughtful.

Some less so*.

Some self-absorbed.

Some less-so.

Some arty.

Some crafty.

Some industrious.

Some lazy.

1000 posts in 1322 days.

When I started, I thought I'd be talking more about books. And I did do some talking about books. But somehow, I ended up being more Mommy than Mystery. Or perhaps more Life than Lit. You don't always see the best of me here, but there are also things I can't won't don't talk about here for various reasons.

* seems I've never enjoyed knitting that sock. And yet...I keep knitting it. WTF?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Will these socks never end? (edited to add a quick pick-me-up)

I just found a mistake I made, and it's a whopper, seven rows back. Which is 385 stitches. Many of them involving the fireplacing cable needle.

I want to cry.

(ETA) But this made me feel better:

Monday, December 15, 2008

More of what I was thinking

1 year ago today, I was annoyed about genderized toys and today they still annoy me.

2 years ago today, I was probably thinking about latkes. But I don't really know, because I didn't post anything.

3 years ago today, I was relieved that MM was happy where he was. MM still remembers going to that school for 3 weeks. He was much much MUCH happier at PNP.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I was reading The Yarn Harlot who was talking about her Christmas knitting schedule, which was set up for her by her friend Lene, who has her own blog called The Seated View, and she pointed me to a site that I swear is waaaaaay better than Amazon.

Lene also linked to the 100 most often misspelled words, many of which give me heartburn.

You're welcome!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I love Carolyn Hax and The Daily Show

First, it's The 2008 Holiday Hootenanny of Horrors. Once again, not completely safe for work. Same reason.

Next, it's last night's Daily Show. The musical tribute!! I died!


These (beautiful! sincerely, they are beautiful) socks will be the death of me.

Ways in which I have sucked mightily making these socks:
  1. Lost most of the original instructions, but was saved through the amazing generosity and kindness of the author.
  2. Knit half a sock leg in my normal twisted stitch (how the twisted stitch became my normal one is a story for another day) and found out that cables look not so great in twisted stitch. Did not want to rip. Knit second half of sock leg in flat stitch.
  3. Used #4 needles on ribbing as decreed. Switched to #6 for leg also as decreed...for knee socks. I am knitting the short sock. I was supposed to stick with the #4's.
  4. Started knitting second sock's leg. The ribbing looks TOTALLY different in flat stitch. Do I redo it in my twisted stitch? Or do I just keep knitting because these are already not going to be anyone's present this year.
  5. I have already decided to knit this leg in #6's because I'm NOT reknitting the other leg. I'M JUST NOT.

WAIT!! WAIT!! Perhaps I haven't screwed up as bad as I thought. I can knit the knee sock!

No, wait again. I already did the fireplacing decreases for the ankle shaping. I'd have to rip about 2 inches and then knit 10 more......

Help me, internets, you're my only hope.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Bullets of I love reading to MM

  • He always asks questions that Rowling answers in the very next sentence.

  • He really pays attention and anticipates what might happen next.

  • He loves when I use different voices for different characters and thinks my Professor Trelawney is spot-on.

  • Some words he has asked the meaning of: smirk, sneer, vaguely, tatty, briefcase, shabby, disdain, disgust, loathing, mutter, vulture, orb... (Extra credit, class! What chapter did we read last night?)

  • He got really excited when he realized that the creature on the cover was a hippogryph.

  • He loves to discuss with me the proper pronounciation of the magic words. Here's an excerpt of an actual conversation we had last night:

"I think they're short "u"s, Mom, because there's no silent E
or other helping vowel. See? It's CVC!"*

"But I think it's a long u followed by a short u, because it's
CVCVC! So the second u makes the first u say its name."

  • Sometimes he asks me to point to what I just read and then reads it again himself, trying to use my inflections.

  • He knows I know he could read the books himself**, "But you read faster than I do and besides, I don't know what all the words mean and I like when I can ask you."

*The stuff he's learning in first grade is awesome. He has to divide his spelling words up into categories: CVC (consonant/vowel/consonant), CVCe (consonant/vowel/consonant/silent e), CVVC (consonant/vowel/vowel/consonant), and Oddball. On his spelling tests, he has to mark the long and short vowel sounds. I NEVER had to do this. He's also doing sentence corrections. I don't remember doing that in school, either. With my dad at his job, yes. At school, no.

**He's reading the latest Magic Treehouse book for independent reading at school.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Sock Blogging UPDATED!!!!!

I was right about MM's socks. I don't have enough yarn to finish the second one. And my local store doesn't carry it, so will have to call the store in Roanoke and ask them for another skein.

In other socks, I bought 3 skeins of Oatmeal coloured Plymouth Yarn Encore worsted weight to knit the March sock from "...And a Time to Knit Stockings," which I have started before, but never in the proper weight and it really needs to be in the proper weight and...I can't find the graphs for the cables. And this is an Aran sock, so it's all cables. OMIGOD! OMIGOD!!! Katherine sent me a .pdf of the pattern!!!!!!! WOOT!!!

Anyone seen my March sock cable graphs?

Also, anyone know how to translate a flat knitting pattern into a circular one? I have a pattern that I love for mittens, but am unwilling to go back to sewing up seams if I don't hafta.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I am evil

Because I lost my shit with MM. He. Got. On. My. Last. Nerve. And I just lost my shit.

And he lost: the movies we were at Barnes & Noble to buy (long story, suffice it to say that when I asked him to give them to me to bring to the counter at our turn and he said, "no," it was the last of many straws); his Leapster for a week (keeping on talking when I told him to stop talking); his Pokemon cards for a week (hitting me in the arm in the parking lot); and television until I say so (keeping on talking when I told him to stop talking).

The last part was at the top of my lungs.

Not my proudest moment.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

More links than you can shake a stick at

First, if you aren't reading Wil Wheaton's blog, you should be. Even if you're not as big a fan of Stand By Me as I am. He seems always to be first with the great YouTube clips and also writes intelligently about the process of writing.

Next up, The Yarn Harlot has a primer on how the Canadian Parliament works. Read it, especially if you're as pig ignorant about other countries' political systems as I am.

On that subject, Andrea is writing (beautifully as usual) about the Limbaughitization of the Canadian populace.

I'm getting a ton of insight into my committee work from Dave Hingsburger of Chewing the Fat.

Chris at Notes from the Trenches has a pretty amazing story to tell.

Moreena has posted some great photos

A year ago today, I posted this. Which makes me think I need to buy a buncha potatoes.

Two years ago today, I posted this. Which just goes to show you that I am an idiot because I forgot entirely about the fact that that trick worked and I have some stained clothes I could use it on!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

And yet more bullets because my coherence levels are low. Anyone know where I can stock up on that?

  • Finished: HP&COS. MM wanted to start Prisoner, but I told him he'd have to wait for tonight.
  • Denied: Boston Cream donuts. Curses.
  • Puzzled: Wouldn't you think the development team would be invited to the tech review with the customer?
  • Triumphant: Frost removed from mini-van by sheer cussedness. That stuff was stubborn, but I am scrappy.
  • Tuesday, December 02, 2008

    More random bullets