Friday, June 16, 2006

Oh, Canada!

So it seems I have a "covet" problem lately. First it was the ipod, then it was pants. I have seen people in these interesting pants. Not quite sweat pants, not really spandex. Kind of like workout capris but not ratty or anything. They do have the characteristic white stripes down the sides like warm up pants. But women everywhere are wearing them. I never caught on to the 'sleep pant' craze even though they DID look comfy. But it just isn't 'me' to wander around in Winnie the Pooh pajama pants. Winnie the Pooh ankle socks, yes. Pajama bottoms? No. I hate socks, so I figure if I have to wear them I might as well make them show stoppers, right? I covet things, but I am also cheap. No way am I going to spend sixty dollars or upwards for a pair of lounge pants. Yesterday I was in a discount store, and lo and behold! My pants. Ten dollars. In my size. It was like the sky opened before me and cast a ray of light on these pants so I could see them in the disorder of the clothing section. They are red. They have white stripes down the sides. They are capri length and sort of flare a bit (which actually makes ones thighs look smaller, in case you ever need to know. Quite the optical illusion). However, the illusion stops there. They have the word "Canada" scrawled across the buttocks. Now, in the store, this didn't seem like such a problem. What difference did that make? I've seen pants with words on the tuchas before. At least it was my country, and not something like "Juicy" or "Bootylicious" or "junk". Just a tasteful script with no sparkles or sequins or moving parts. Just "Canada". I could pull that off. I woke this morning feeling pretty poorly. I am going through some health issues right now and don't ever feel "good". Most days I feel like I am coming down with the flu or maybe had an intense workout the day before (alas, that is never the reason). It isn't debilitating, but it is draining to always feel off. It is partly the reason I went for the ipod. I am hoping that a soundtrack with a fast beat and uplifting music will give me more energy. Well, I can hope, can't I? This morning was particularly bad. Struggling to get out of bed and moving and motivated, feels like I was stepped on like a bug. What better day to wear a pair of cheerfully red, optical illusion pants that make your thighs look smaller? A plain white t-shirt topped it all off and I looked pretty good, if I say so myself. Nice and cheerful. Brought some colour into my cheeks. It wasn't until I was brushing DD's hair and caught a glimpse of my own backside in the mirror that the day crashed and burned. What the heck! How can my butt be WIDER than a word that is written across the entire back of a pair of pants? And how come the words are up THERE and my butt is down THERE? What kind of factory writes words in the wrong place like that? It must be their fault right? I mean, there is no way that it is my actual butt that is too wide and too low. Say it isn't so! I can't tell you how upsetting it is to realize that you just don't have the body for 10.00 discount store red Canada warm up suit capris. I have to wonder what the karma gods were playing at.... making sure I saw these, in my price range, and in my size. What are they trying to tell me? And why does my ipod keep "shuffling" to the workout podcost over and over again? Could this be their evil work again? Is the cosmos trying to tell me something? Never mind that the doctor has been telling me the same thing for years. He's just a human being with a million dollars of schooling and intense years of training and experience behind him. What does he know? But the powers of the universe, well, one shouldn't ignore those. Call them karma gods. Call them powers of the universe or the cosmos or kismet. Call it fate or destiny or 'God's will'. Call it whatever you want. But I think they are trying to tell me something, and are using my backside as their message board. Xena was posing today so I got some shots of her, and boy does Ruby get jealous when I pay attention to the cats or DD more than her LOL. She was pawing at my arm and trying to pull my hair until I took a pic of her. What a brat.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I finally broke down and bought myself the i-pod shuffle that I have been hinting for since they came out. Subtle hints. You know, making comments when commercials come on, pointing to it at stores saying "those things are cool". That sort of thing. You all know DH is not exactly Mr. Sensitivity, but for some reason I always forget this. The hints were not working so I took a harder tack and cut pictures out of catalogs and left them places. Subtle places like attached to the bathroom mirror and in his lunch bag. That didn't work, so I out and out said I wanted it. I tried coaching DD, but she kept giving him cryptic messages about shuffleboard and turtles (don't even ask. I have no clue. Purple Monkey Banana Typewriter). Christmas, birthday, valentines day, and more have passed and I got nothing but a shrug and a "didn't know what to get you". *pardon for a moment, Paul Simon's Cecelia is on and that calls for singing in harmony. Since we all know about me and singing, I need to conentrate or else people could get hurt*. In all seriousness (and I know most of you won't believe this), it isn't my style to buy something like that for myself. I pick things up for DD and DH all the time if I see something I know they need or like, but for me it is usually necessities only. We are talking having to underwear shop in bathing suit bottoms because the last pair has fallen apart. I could drop hints with my parents for Christmas (Mom shops all year and gets excellent deals on things) but I know for sure she would get the most expensive one with video and stuff, and really I don't need something that grand. *Excuse for a bit, Peter Paul and Mary are Blowing in the Wind..in my ear*. I figure, it is a sin to covet right? And I was surely coveting this thing. Well, I have to save myself from that don't I? Wouldn't you try to save somebody from sin if you could? See how I look out for my best interest? Stop looking at me like that. And don't shake your head. It is making me dizzy. *or could it be the remix version of 'Barbie World' that is playing now - with the driving techno intro that makes my heart beat faster?*. ANYWAY. So, I copy some songs off the two whole CD's I own and a few I scoffed from DH's collection (Aerosmith. Can't find the Ozzy No More Tears CD and everything else he has doesn't interest me. No offence Rob Halford). I bought a few from i-tunes as well - everything legal here folks. I love love love this thing. You can play your songs in order or have it "shuffle" randomly through them. It weighs next to nothing. And to charge and load it with songs, no cords are needed because the bottom has a USB connector on it. Just plug it in. It works as automatically or manually as you want. Very happy so far. *Interesting. Not sure Ricky Martin's "Living La Vida Loca" fits in properly right after that techo stuff, but what can you do. I'll be right back. When you listen to Ricky Martin you have to shake your butt, it's like a law or something*. But - and here is the big but (no no, don't panic. Not big BUTT. And you shouldn't have watched earlier if it was going to traumatize you for life. Have some sense of self preservation for goodness sake and look away next time). For some reason when I wear earphones I become very conscious of my breathing because it seems so LOUD. Which makes me sort of hold my breath, or breathe....very.....slow. I don't even realize I am doing it until I feel vaguely ill. To try and control it I breathe out sort of hard through my nose (and loud nose breathing is never attractive). I get very self conscious and feel incredibly out of shape even though I am controlling the breath out and not fighting for breath in. *Oops, gotta press the skip button. We've shuffled to a workout Podcast. Like that is going to happen right now......although the timing is uncanny. I feel like a fat old lump that can't breathe and a workout podcast comes on. Do the karma gods EVER take a break?*. So now I have been saved from certain damnation (I reserve the right to think positive about such things).........but everybody else has to listen to me breathe like a dork. Everything is a tradeoff. *I think I might "Walk This Way" with Steve Tyler and the rest of Aerosmith and go get the mail*.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Here is your homing device

I do believe that men are under the impression that all women are born with GPS systems to track each and every object a house contains. Sitting here, working dilligently at a very large and extremely complex piece of code (which roughly translates to "I have never used these commands before to do this action, and I hope to heck it works because I have no idea what I am doing"). Just looking at my frown, my strained posture, the fact that I have yelled at Ruby three times for touching my feet, any sane person would know that it is not a good time to ask me ANYTHING unless it contains the words "diamonds", "How many", "would you like", and "How large". Offering chocolate would be a good idea as well even in that case. But to interrupt me three times (once to ask what Bush was doing on the TV that I did not turn on and am not paying attention to, once to repeat something that Kelly Ripa said - don't even get me started on that, and once to ask about a household item). "Dear, have we lost a measuring cup?". Now, he had to repeat the word 'dear' a few times, ramping the volume with each one before I gave him a steamed look and spat out "WHAT?!?!". That should have been his cue to run away, but he isn't exactly astute sometimes. After hearing the question I was automatically seething. What the hell is that supposed to mean....did we lose a measuring cup. We have a freakin drawer full of measuring cups, am I supposed to count them every morning and evening like royal spoons??? Does he think I don't have enough to do, that I need to add to my load by keeping track of gd(oooh, bad word) measuring devices? Then it clicked that he was looking for a specific size and not finding it, and asking in a roundabout way (perhaps to make me lose my mind but for now we will assume he is not being malicious). In our house, when it comes to anything kitchen related there are three places anything could possibly be. In the dishwasher (clean or dirty depending), on the counter (most certainly dirty), or in the cupboard or drawer where it belongs (most usually not there though). Beyond that, if it isn't in those places, we might as well kiss it good-bye. For if it reached the inner sanctum of DD's toy room, it is gone for good I tell ya. Or worse, if I find it in the bathroom it goes straight into the garbage. Nothing can make a kitchen implement clean enough for me to use, once it has gone into the bathroom. Especially if I have no idea who put it there or why. We have a six year old in the house. I shudder to think of the possibilities. Trying to be sarcastic, my answer was "Yeah. I threw it out". Now, note that I don't even know what specifically he is looking for yet. But when he heard my answer he freaked. "That was my favourite measuring cup! How could you throw it out! I can't make my oatmeal without it!". Because clearly, one can only measure 2/3 cup of hot water with that ONE measuring cup as none other ever made has that marking. I reminded him once again of the "Three places to look" rule. It was in the dishwasher (Clean. He got lucky). How is it that a person who has his drum cymbals memorized (sizes, brands, more details than you ever want to know really) and can tell me the birthdays of every member of Judas Priest CANNOT find the ketchup in the fridge. I can overwrap something four times, mark it "boiled zucchini" and wedge it in the back of the freezer (behind the frozen turkey and on top of the sliced carrots) and if that package contains cookies or brownies I can guarantee he will wander upstairs later with it in his hands saying "What is this?". But if I SEND him down to get a package of frozen peas (sitting all by themselves on an entire shelf of a standing freezer) he is dead in the water. No way we can find those. And yes, I do have to tell him that frozen peas are found in the FREEZER or else he would never get even started. On our honeymoon, about two thirds in, he looked at me puzzled and said "Where is my shirt?". What shirt? He explained he had worn a shirt the second day, took it off, and dropped it on the floor. Then why are you looking in your suitcase for it? It seems he thought at some point I had washed and folded it and put it back in his suitcase, considering that is what his mother would have done. Boy, did he ever marry the wrong person if he thought THAT was going to happen. Seeing as we had been together every moment and he never once saw me near a washing machine I should have wondered then about his sanity. But it WAS our honeymoon so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Silly me. "Looking for something" means totally different things depending on who is doing it. DD looks for things by lying on the floor and whining that she can't find it ANYWHERE even though she hasn't moved from that spot. To DH it means standing in the middle of the room and loudly declaring he can't find something. Usually followed by the dreaded "Dear! Where is the.....". Then I answer with a few suggestions of where it might be. Whereupon he continues to stand in place, hands on hips, and yells "Well, I can't find it!". I am sure you have heard the saying 'if it had been a snake it would have bit him'. Not in this case. Even a snake is likely to shake it's head in disbelief over that one. I have taught Ruby to "get". If I say "go get your squirrel", she disappears upstairs. We hear her rummaging around, then triumphantly trots back down with the requested object. She can distingquish one toy from another as well. "Get your ball" usually sends her to the living room where she keeps it, whereas the pillow is always in the bedroom, but the squirrel can be anywhere. She usually remembers where she left it, but if not she will go from room to room and look. Now, we love Ruby dearly. She is lovely. More personality than any dog I have ever had. But she just is not smart (not in a conventional sense, anyhow). The fact that she can a)look for things, b) find things and return with them and c) continue to look when she doesn't find it where she expects it to be - well all that speaks volumes to me. Not that I am saying my husband is dumber than a dog that isn't too bright or anything. Okay. That is exactly what I am saying. Dh hates when I compare them like this. I agree it would be offensive to be told you are less smart than a dog that is afraid to walk by a new lawn chair in the yard. But I calls 'em as I sees 'em. This is the start of a poncho I am making for my godmother as a Christmas present. I love love love the yarn, got it from KnitPicks. It is an alpaca/silk/wool mix and I just wish you could see it in person. I love the rich colour and it's sheen and the feel of it. I am not a fan of garter stitch, but Frida from MagKnits is basically garter edges with a panel of leaves. Can one be crazy in love with a knitted panel of leaves? Right now I plan on making the actual poncho. But as I go along, it may become a wrap. Not because I don't like the poncho, but I want it to look classy. She is a special education teacher, and often waxes poetic about the neat things "Real teachers" wear (they make like double her salary even though she deals with more students and special needs at that). I think she would look smashing during yard duty wearing a wrap or poncho made from alpaca, silk, and wool! Plus that way I can make the other half and keep it as a wrap for myself ;). The poncho brought up a bit of a puzzler for me. The pattern is a repeat of 24 rows. The Irish hiking scarf is a repeat of 8 rows. I have one knit counter (Kacha kacha I think it is called?) and I love it. But they are way expensive here. Not too expensive to have one, but too dear to have several in your gear waiting to be used. I don't like the little ones that you twist (What do you mean, why not? because I am picky. Mind your business.) And as any knitter or crafter knows, more often than not we have several projects on the go. On any given day I usually have three fiber things 'on the needles' (or the hook, as usually one is crochet. I like to switch back and forth to minimize hand fatigue). With only one counter, what to do? Sure, I could somehow pin the row number to one project, reset the counter, etc. etc. but I prefer to keep the counter with the project until it is done to minimize the chances I will screw up. A pattern with 99 rows could be dealt with, but most patterns I use have a repeat of so many rows. That is where it gets trickier for me. So DD and I came up with this from bits and bobs around the house. This contraption counts the stitches, holds the needles, and I can clip my pattern to it along with clippers, attach any DPNs or cable needles, and so on. Not perfect, but essentially free. And since DD decorated it for me, certainly priceless. All it took was a blank card, a hole punch, some scrap paper, and some fasteners left over from another project. In case you can't tell, the 'spare' needle is poked through holes in the card through the knitting, basically "pinning" the working needle and stitches in place. You can't see it here, but a cable needle (okay, a bamboo DPN) is poked through the card on the other side to keep it handy. It is only used every eight rows, so I poke it back into the card when I am done with it. Minimizes the chances that a child or animal will run off with it. MINIMIZES. Not ensures. But we do what we can.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Larger than life

My craving, that is. I have such a strong craving. It's had it's clutches on me for more than a week. And NOTHING I do to tame it works. I once tasted a stuffed pasta that rocked my world. It was a ricotta/spinach type filling in a large tortelli type shape. Served very simply with browned butter and sage. The filling was creamy, cheesy, and spinachy. The pasta was thin and tender. Biting into one of these, was like biting into a cloud. Waking up with this experience on my mind, I decided it was time to go back to the place where this experience happened. Only to stand in a parking lot in front of a barren plot. The restaurant was GONE. Not renamed, not opened as a dentist's office. The entire building no longer existed. Did not bode well, my friends! I asked around a bit, and found out the placed closed five years ago when the owner's retired, and the building had been sold. Future site of a mini-mall. Sad, really. The elderly couple had nobody to run the place and wanted to retire. With the money from the sale they went back to visit the "old country" and nobody seemed to know what happened to them after that. Indeed, there are no listings under their name in the phone book and nothing on the internet. Of course, searching high and low to find two people so I could ask them to cook for me seemed a bit shallow ;). I figured, stuffed pasta is stuffed pasta. And since I don't have a pasta roller (and I can't possibly roll it thin enough by hand) and there is not one Italian bone in my body, store bought was the way to go. Supermarket pre-packaged items looked glum. Little tortellini were too small, crescents seemed wrong, and we won't start on the various forms of ravioli. Spinach and cheese fillings abounded, but nothing LOOKED right. So off to the gourmet market. Aha! These looked promising. Little stop signs, about two inches across. Sure, not the same shape but stop signs can billow. One package for me, a package of DD's favourite tortellini, and we were in business. Until I tasted one. The butter sauce was right on (just browned butter and a bit of finely ribboned fresh sage, and a touch of minced onion). But those THINGS were not. The dough was far too thick. And the filling was heavy like a brick! There might have been one green fleck in the entire batch, so much for spinach. And the cheese was more like dry curd cottage cheese than any ricotta I have ever tasted. Heavy, pasty, chewy. No billowing. No clouds. Quite a disappointment. Upon reviewing the package I noted that one of the ingredients was "potato". So basically what I had here were perogies. And let me interject that the leftovers, panfried with onions and dolloped with sour cream, were quite good today eaten at lunch. It's all in finding the proper application. Of course, this means nothing to my craving as it was still unfilfilled. A trip to our local "Erie Street", the Little Italy of Windsor Ontario may be in order. Or, I might just break down and buy the coveted pasta roller for once and for all. I'll keep you posted on that. Seeing as I am a being of extremes, these intense food cravings are not really a surprise. I do everything to extremes. I either don't knit at all, or I spend my day doing it and neglect the world around me. I don't touch a crochet hook for months, then I crochet an afghan in a day. I don't buy a stitch of new clothing for years then all of a sudden I replace everything I own. I've never eaten an avacado in my life, then tried one not long ago, and now I can't walk down that aisle in the grocery store or they jump in my cart, force their way into my home, and expect me to eat them - properly mashed with salsa and scooped up on chips. But don't worry, I will hit my limit and then won't touch them again for five years before the cycle begins again. Whereas I swing from one extreme to the other, DH is steadily monotonous. He doesn't try many new things, and what he does and likes today is pretty much what he did and liked 20, 30 years ago. As you can see, we regularly frustrate each other. It's like "our thing". From one extreme to another, that is me. Kind of like having a microwave one day, then none the next. Now THAT is extreme. It is in the repair shop. They are running a diagnostic and will call some time this week to tell us what is going on. It's like waiting to hear the results when a family member has major surgery. Every time I walk through the kitchen I see the big gaping hole in our life where the microwave belongs. Notice the "crap creep" that takes over any spare flat surface in our home. Kind of like how Kudzu is taking over the southern states. If we don't get it back soon, I'll need a machete to clear the area out again.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I know you are talking but all I hear is "blah blah blah"

Can you believe my daughter said that to me? My little girl, my raison d'etre, my baby piece of angel food cake said THAT. Then she laughed her little arse off at her own cleverness. Seems she saw that on a sticker, and said sticker was on the lunchbag of (hold on to your hat) her BOYFRIEND. Yes, she claims to have a boyfriend. Now, last year she had a boyfriend too. Let me just mention, last year she was in kindergarten. And she had a boyfriend. She walked up to a boy, and told him he was her boyfriend. And he wasn't happy about it, but she said he had to do it, so there it was. We giggled about that, but it was all innocent and cute and stuff. Well. THIS year, she has a different boyfriend. And we keep finding notes that they pass back and forth. Notes with the words "love" and "kiss" in them. Notes that make a parent want to lie down with a cold cloth on their heads. I have seen these two together. They barely speak. Sometimes he gives her a push or a punch on the arm. Sometimes she does the same. Then they argue over a toy or something and yell "Oh YEAH? Well good-bye!" and storm off in different directions. She walked over to me once after one such altercation, face beaming and a dreamy look in her eyes "Sigh. I love him". ROFL! We were worried about the kissy kissy words, but seeing as they can't even stand to sit next to each other I think we are safe for the few days that are left to the school year. We'll see how it goes. It seems that somebody gave my little girl permission to grow up. How did that happen? Why was I not consulted? Shouldn't I have a say in all this? She wore her new two piece bathing suit last night, and when I went outside to watch her swim my heart skipped a beat because I didn't see her in the pool. Then I remembered - oh yes. That tall kid in the big-girl bathing suit is my daughter. What was I doing, looking for water wings and a pink one-piece with duckies on it? After swimming they came inside to eat and she threw on her animal-print fleece robe. It is crazy how adorable a little girl looks wrapped in an oversized super fluffy robe. I watched her, holding her plate, standing in line politely and filling her own plate from what was offerend and thought to myself "who is this child, and where did my little girl go?". Then I watched her inhale an entire steak but leave her potato behind because it had an onion flake on it....and THERE she was LOLOL! I am a bit worried about myself. If I act like this and the child is not even seven, how can I hope to survive her teenage years and beyond? Graduating from highschool, going to university, getting married, having kids of her own. I am going to need a heck of a lot of cold cloth time. Maybe I should buy stock in textiles.