Friday, June 27, 2008

Who Looks Hottest?

Next week is Emily's last week in my office. Although I am excited to get her Twins poster, I am sad she is leaving. Good luck out there in D.C., Emily! Maybe you'll run in to Hillary on the street!

So, as a little tribute to her, and because Scott asked me to, I am hosting a little survey. Below are three pictures of three of her friends wearing her oh-so-chic sunglasses. The question is: Who looks hottest in Emily's shades?

You can vote until Monday evening using the poll to the right. I have no idea what sort of "prize" awaits the person who gets the most votes. Do they get to keep the shades?

Your three choices are:

Scott, my favorite co-worker, now that Justin and Jason are gone.

Bryan. I have no idea who this guy is.

Jason, who used to be my favorite co-worker until he ditched us for the East Coast.

Remember to vote! You only have until Monday evening. After that, I'm taking back my blog!

Now..On to the Hard Part

I have two sleeves done for the Nothing But a T-Shirt!

Now, it's on to the dreaded picking up stitches for the collar (although I'll have far fewer to pick up since I left some of the stitches on the front and back "live" rather than binding off as the pattern said to do...I followed the Lumpy Sweater's lead on that!) and of course seaming. Yick.

And I am 3 pattern repeats away from doing the ribbing for the cuff of the Synesthesia socks.


No, I still have not bought a new camera. Picture quality continues to be sub-par.

I don't have anything too exciting planned for the weekend. Some quality time with Gigi and the Little Guy. Hopefully I'll finish up the sock while I am on the bus there and back!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Journey to the Land of the Cheeseheads

You may recall that a few weekends ago I went to Wisconsin to visit my 97 and-a-half year old grandfather. He still lives in his own home in Wisconsin Rapids, although I do not think that will be the case much longer.

Isn't it interesting that when we are very young, we insist that we add that "and-a-half" in to our age...or "and three-quarters" or what have you. When we get to be about my age, we just don't care. Then, when we get very old...everyone else wants to add "and-a-half" to our age...as if being just 97 isn't impressive enough on its own.

Regardless, when we got to his house, he had the heat turned up to 83, and I thought I was going to die. Anyone who knows me well knows I do not like to be hot and temperature related uncomfortableness always puts me in a very foul mood. Fortunately, we opened some windows and after Grandpa went to bed my step-mom turned the thermostat down to 60. :-)

In addition to the heat, I was also alarmed to see a photo of George Bush smiling across the counter top, thanking Grandpa for his support of the Republican Party.

Grandma and Grandpa were married for 73 years. She passed away about a year and a half ago. Sunday, July 15th would have been their 75th wedding anniversary. Wow, huh? I'm not sure what to attribute the longevity of their lives or their marriage to...but I did learn this story while I was there. Back in the day, Grandpa went hunting for two weeks. When he returned, Grandma had bought all new furniture and carpeting for the house. Apparently two weeks was too long.

Grandpa made us eggs Saturday morning, and then we all headed off to LaCrosse. Turns out, there was a gaggle of relatives there. My Aunt Linda came up from Chicago. She's my favorite. When my dad and step-mom got married (this was like 18 years ago), after the rehearsal Aunt Linda drove Gretchen and I all over Anoka while we showed her the sights...namely, homes of boys we had crushes on and the alleged bath-house in Blaine.
Aunt Linda is actually my dad's cousin. In addition to many other wonderful stories about my grandparents, they also raised three of my dad's cousins.

So, Linda was there, as well as my cousin Pam and her family. They live in Sartell, MN. It's a little unfortunate that we have to travel to Wisconsin to see one another. My cousin Kris and her family live in La Crosse as well as my Aunt Gladys, so it was quite the gathering of folks.

In addition to eating a lot of food and comsuming some of the worst beer I have ever had, we played lots of games. The weather was lovely, so many yard games were played, including Lawn Darts...the real kind...the kind that are now outlawed because they can impale you.
We also played Bocce.

That wasn't really my interest though...I wanted to play Hand and Foot. My grandpa made that card holder you see below. If you play a lot of Hand and Foot and need something to hold the gajillion cards you need to play, let me know. I may be able to hook you up.

And of course, Mexican Train Dominoes.

All while drinking some 50 year old Scotch.


Yup. That's how we roll in my family.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The List Continues....100 Things About Me, Part III

I don't know how I'll make it to 100!

51. I am afraid of falling.
52. I have been skydiving.
53. I like spicy foods.
54. I love V8.
55. My favorite dessert is cake.
56. I should really exercise more.
57. And drink more water.
58. I used to be really in to gift wrapping. Now, not so much.
59. I still really like picking out gifts for other people.
60. I get colds a lot.
61. I have a thing for guys in hard hats.
62. I have never had a cavity.
63. I listen almost exclusively to Minnesota Public Radio.
64. I let my membership to Minnesota Public Radio lapse.
65. I was born seven minutes after my sister.
66. I dropped Physics in high school and rejoined Orchestra so I could have lunch at the same time as all my friends.
67. I was also on the yearbook staff senior year.
68. We had a healthy (?) rivalry going with the Anokahi, the student newspaper.
69. The highest bowling score I have ever achieved was 120. It was a bit of a miracle.
70. I score over 200 on Wii bowling.
71. I have tried and failed at water-skiing.
72. I don’t ever want to try again.
73. My favorite city is Chicago.
74. The first thing I ever knit was a dishcloth.
75. I’ve been knitting for about 10 years…but only seriously for about 4.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Beer, Brats, and A Large German

This weekend marked the first of my "big" summer plans. A trip to New Ulm, MN! D and I took a little road trip down south. I got a little car-knitting done, but nothing worth blogging about.

I would like to blog about the slightly inappropriate photo I took up Hermann the German's "skirt".
This was our first stop in New Ulm...well, okay...a Target store was our first stop. But Herman was next. Of course, that wasn't the reason we went to New Ulm. We went for the beer.

We toured the Schell Brewery, and I must say I felt a little tipsy after the samples. Thank goodness I'd seen the peacocks strutting around the grounds when we first got there, or I might have thought I was hallucinating.

After a stroll, we headed in to town and dined at the Kaiserhoff for brats, sauerkraut, and German Potato Salad.

And then it was time to go home. Actually, we had to stop at Best Buy in Bloomington because we were so tired of being in the car. So what did I do? I played SuperMario Kart...a game where I pretended I was driving a car. Go figure.

It was a lovely day. Good weather, good beer, good food, and of course good company. And a little bit of sock knitting.

What else could a girl ask for?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Soon, This Will Be Mine!

I have a co-worker who will be leaving soon, and she is bequeathing to me this Twins poster. Michael Cuddeyer, Joe Mauer, and Justin Morneau at the site of the new Twins stadium. I can't wait.

To get the poster. I'm not at all excited for her to leave.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Look! A Sleeve!

I finished one of the sleeves for the Nothing But A T-Shirt Last night. Here it is!

Looks a little weird, no?

I had high hopes for my evening last night. I had to return Season 4 of Sex and the City to the library and had the last six episodes left to watch.

I snuggled down on the couch with bread, cheese, and wine (I had some pickles too) and got to it. Unfortunately, the DVD kept stalling. Very frustrating. Then it stalled and completely skipped over a very pivotal scene between Carrie and Aidan during the episode titled "Change of A Dress". I just gave up. If I couldn't see that important scene, I didn't want to continue. I'll try renting it from Blockbuster.

I consoled myself by playing Luxor on my cell-phone. Carrie Bradshaw I am not.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

100 Things About Me...Part 2

So, maybe no one really was that interested in 1 -25, but I am continuing in my efforts to help you all get to know me better! Here is the second installment in "100 Things About Me".

26. I cannot dive.
27. I do not like shrimp, or any shellfish for that matter.
28. I really like crabcakes though.
29. My fantasy is to open a “Bed-No Breakfast” in Castle Danger, MN and name it “The Lazy Moose: A Place to Sleep”.
30. We might serve muffins.
31. The first rock concert I ever went to was A-Ha.
31. My favorite number is 3.
32. My middle name is Lynn.
33. I wish I made my own cleaning supplies.
34. I am a recovering shop-a-holic.
35. I drove myself into debt over many years.
36. I think credit cards are evil.
37. I rarely go to the mall anymore.
38. The only place I shop on a regular basis is Target.
39. When I was a kid, I was horrified at the idea of buying clothes at Target.
40. I have lived in four states: Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana.
41. I have traveled to or through: New York, Washington, DC, Virginia, Kentucky, Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, California, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Montana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, Michigan, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Ohio, Maryland and Hawaii.
42. I have also been to Canada, Mexico, and Jamaica.
43. I used to have a dog named Ollie.
44. My sister and I named her for a skate trick to try and attract cute skater boys. It sorta worked.
45. My favorite author is Louise Erdrich.
46. In high school I dated two different captains of the speech team.
47. I am currently dating a guy who was captain of the speech team in high school.
48. Obviously, I like a man who can express himself.
49. I rarely put salt on anything I eat.
50. I own one book of poetry, The Trouble with Poetry and Other Poems by Billy Collins.

I'm still only up to number 55, so hopefully I can eke out a few more....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday, Monday

So, my other brother has started a blog. Look familiar? MOM!!!! He's copying me!

I had a great weekend visiting with my family. I'll post about it as soon as I have photos to share. I'm just waiting for my step-mom to upload her pics to the interweb and then I'll tell you all about it. I only took a few photos with my cellphone camera.

There were some fun times...including shucking corn with my grandpa, who is 97 1/2 ...not 96 as previously reported on this blog. Look at him...he barely looks a day over 82 and 3/4.

I did manage to get some knitting done. I finished the front of the Nothing But a T-Shirt.

And did a tiny bit of work on the Synesthesia sock.


Look! It has a heel and then some. I'm so glad to have this back on the needles as it gives me something to do on the bus.

Well, it is summer here at the U of M. That means there are college students waiting on every corner to ask me if I "have a minute" for the environment, or clean air, or what have you. The problem is, they don't really want a minute...they want money. Today I jumped over some shrubbery in a skirt (I was in the skirt, not the shrubbery) just to avoid them. I always feel like such a heel saying "no". I care about those things. I really do. But I already donate through payroll deduction to causes I believe in. I just want to be able to walk across campus in peace!
There are great things about working on campus in the summer though. Right now, a salsa band is playing on Northrup Plaza as part of the summer concert series. I can hear it from here in my cube, and spent the first part of my lunch out there soaking up some rays, watching folks dance, and generally having a nice time.
Summer...it has finally arrived!

Just Playing Around

I'm just playing around with different blog templates. Who knows how long this will last....

Edit - Yikes! I just looked at it and I don't like it! Not enough demarcation between posts.

Friday, June 13, 2008

100 Things About Me...The First 25

Several years ago, before I started blogging, there was a meme going around called "100 Things About Me". I always thought it would be fun to do.

100 is a lot of things, so for the ease of my readers, to build suspense, and to keep you coming back for more, I will be dividing my 100 things into 4 easy-to-read installments. Plus, I've only gotten to 54 and am sort of stuck. If you know something about me, leave it in the comments! Maybe it will make my list.

Without further ado, here are 100 things about me...the first 25!

1. I knit (duh).
2. I am a twin.
3. I have a Master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from Indiana University.
4. It would be a stretch to say I use it in my daily work life.
5. I love beets.
6. I make stuffed animals, inanimate objects, and occasionally my feet, talk.
7. I used to play the violin.
8. I was on danceline in highschool.
9. I really wanted to be in the Marching Band.
10. I once called my sister’s boyfriend, pretended to be her, and broke up with him (at her request).
11. I have 17 nieces and nephews, with an 18th on the way. Apparently, people in my family like to reproduce.
12. I have no plans to join them in the near future.
13. I enjoy public speaking.
14. I do not like clowns.
15. I do not own a car.
16. I was a residence hall director for 6 years.
17. The smell of scotch tape reminds me of Christmas.
18. I would love to be as witty and well-written as David Sedaris and make my living by writing.
19. Alternatively, I’d want to be some kind of trainer…of people, not animals.
20. I love to play games. Like board games, card games…Not the manipulative kind.
21. Some of my friends and family think I am overly competitive when it comes to games, but I am working to overcome this.
22. I really like baseball, but wasn’t overly interested until I learned how to fill out the scorecard.
23. Eggs are one of my most favorite foods.
24. I like to put Tabasco on scrambled eggs, hash browns, and macaroni and cheese.
25. When I was a kid, I always got sick on the days we had parties at school.

Stay tuned for 26 - 50 things about me!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Steady Progress

I've been making slow but steady knitting progress this week.

I managed to finish the heel of the Synesthesia Sock (which you can't really see in this picture).

And have gotten to the "Work 24 rows even" part of the front of my Nothing But a T-Shirt.

Crummy pictures courtesy of my cell phone. Hopefully I'll get a new camera soon.

I am looking forward to LOTS of knitting time this weekend! I'm heading to Wisconsin with my dad and step-mom to visit Grandpa. We will be driving to Wisconsin Rapids Friday night, then driving Grandpa to my Aunt's home in LaCrosse on Saturday, and then back to the Twin Cities on Sunday. Yup...lots of hours spent in the car. Perfect for knitting.

I'm sure there will be lots of Mexican Train dominoes and Hand and Foot playing as well. I'll let you all know if I win. Grandpa is pretty cut-throat, so I don't have high hopes. He may be 96, but he's still sharp as a tack. My dad is pretty skilled at the dominoes as well, but I think I'm on to his strategy. Watch out, Pop!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Well, Now There's An Idea!

My brother made a good point. My cellphone has a camera, so maybe I can take some really crummy pictures for my blog. Let's try one!


That's me...inside a turtle at the Children's Museum in Saint Paul a little over two years ago. Yes, I am that much of a dork. I wasn't even trying to entertain a small child at the time. Just bein' me.

Okay, so that seems to work! I've got a work around until I can get a new camera! Thanks, bro!

Yesterday I saw a woman walking down Nicollet Mall with a Kurt Cobain lunch box.

I also let my nephew push around the lawnmower. IT WAS OFF! I'm not crazy! He asked so nicely...."Hep me...hep me...hep me" as he tried to push it out of the garage that I could not resist. I thought it was cute. Obviously, I do not have children of my own. Next thing you know, I'll be feeding him cupcakes and diet Coke before bed.

Gretchen was not amused. She did not think it was a good idea. She has a point. A lawnmower is not a toy. She let out an exaxperated little sigh and looked at me with those scolding mom-eyes and asked, "If he were your child, would you let him play with the lawnmower?"

I guess not.

But, in my defense, when he tried to head around front and poke at the gas cap and whatnot, I told him "no" and informed him that the only safe place with a lawnmower was BEHIND the lawnmower.

It's never too early to teach your child lawnmower safety.

Monday, June 9, 2008

That's a Bummer

Well, I broke my camera. I dropped it Friday...twice. Now it won't do a thing. It's just a useless hunk of metal.

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be getting a new camera for at least a few weeks. So, I can't show you pictures from the fun I had this weekend at Timmy's birthday party, or the fun I had at my dad/step-mom/niece/family friend's birthday party, or the fun at the Saint Paul Saint's game over the weekend, or how cute the little guy was last night when I visited, or the progress on my knitting.

As such, blog posts may be relatively light for the next few weeks.

In better news, my new Harmony Wood Size Zero arrived over the weekend from Knitpicks, so I can get started again on the Synesthesia sock and finish that up! Yay!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Knitting Adjustment

Going in to last weekend, I was fairly confident I would finish up the back of “Nothing But A T-Shirt” and get started on the front.

Then, I came to a somewhat startling realization. It’s a thought that has been taking up a little space in my head, but last weekend it sort of moved in permanently. Too bad it didn’t bring new furniture with it.

I don’t get a lot of knitting done on the weekend.

It’s not just the nice weekends like this past one that my knitting always seems to take a back seat to whatever else comes up. I never get as much done as I thought I would on the crummy, rainy weekends either. Why?

It’s people. People are the problem. I have friends. And family. And there’s this guy I kinda like to hang out with. And I’m just not the kind of knitter that can actively engage in both knitting and visiting at the same time. I’m also not the type of knitter that will choose my yarn and sticks over time spent with friends, family, and guy. So, I’ve realized I need to adjust my knitting expectations.

As such, I didn’t finish the back of the “T” until Tuesday and started the front on Wednesday. But, it is done. Here it is!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Brrrrrr....

It is so cold here in Minnesota. Where did summer go? She cruelly poked her head in over the weekend, and then disappeared. I've heard she's been seen in other parts of the country and there is no estimate on when she will head back up north.

This past weekend was beautiful! We had some bad storms Saturday night, but both Saturday and Sunday were just perfect otherwise. I got to go to the Farmer's Market in Minneapolis, stroll around Lake Harriet, enjoy dinner with friends, and lounge leisurely in my sister's back yard. I can't think of when I've had a more perfect weekend.

I think Lake Harriet is my favorite lake in the cities. It didn't feel as much of a meat-market as Lake Calhoun and you can still get huge ice cream cones near the bandshell.
It is also close to the Lyndale Park Gardens, which includes a Peace Garden. While there, you can fold your own paper Peace Crane.

In the middle of the park is this statue. If you look closely, you can tell that each tier is actually a step in folding a crane.

Around the statue are instructions.

I ripped an ATM receipt in half and D and I folded some rather sad looking cranes.

Well, I folded a sad looking crane. D's actually looked pretty good.

I also promised I would let you all know the results of the vacation presentations. Costa Rica or Ireland? The winner was Ireland in the spring. That gives me plenty of time to check out the Irish knitter groups on Ravelry and figure out where I can find wool while we are there!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Zoey

I have sad news about Zoey the Cat, my furry companion from December until May. Sadly, she passed away over the weekend. She had gone back to live with Matt and Gretchen before I went to Denver, and this past week she got very sick. She was 16 years old and had a good life, but it was still a surprise.

I thought I'd share some of my favorite pictures I took of her from when she stayed with me, with a little bit about what I know of her life. Sure, we had our differences, but she was a sweet cat.

Zoey was my sister's husband's cat. He brought her home when he was in college, or maybe grad school. I'm not sure which. Regardless, when my sister and I lived in Madison, she met Matt, and also Zoey. Zoey was always a little standoffish during that time. She mostly hid under the bed when I was around.

Zoey didn't really like other cats. When they lived in Indiana, Matt and Gretchen tried to adopt a stray cat they had found. That didn't work. Zoey spent most of those few days on top of the kitchen cabinets.

I was lucky enough to go to Hawaii a few years ago with Matt and Gretchen. They worried so much about Zoey! I thought that was crazy! Come on! She was a cat!

When they moved back to Minnesota, they needed a place for Zoey to stay while they looked for a house. Somewhat reluctantly, I agreed.

I loved having Zoey with me. The cat hair I could do without, but Zoey was great. I got used to coming home and having her waiting by the door for me. I loved how when I walked towards the couch, she would ZOOM over there from wherever she had been to sit on my lap. She warmed up to me very quickly and spent lots of time curled up with me, pawing my knitting, nipping at the needles, purring all the while.

I also started to understand how Matt and Gretchen felt when they left Zoey for a week to go to Hawaii. I worried about Zoey when I wasn't around. Was I leaving her alone too much? Did she miss me?

I especially liked when I had a bad cold about a month and a half ago. I went to take a nap and Zoey curled up along my side and napped right along with me. I don't know if she could sense I felt crummy, but it felt nice to have her there.

I'll miss Zoey a lot. A couple weeks ago I spent the day with the little guy, and while he napped, Zoey came out of hiding and sat on my lap while I knit. Just like old times.


(Edited to correct that Zoey was 16 years old, not 14.)