Friday, August 03, 2012

Back To School: In Denial

The first day of school, and the first day of Middle School for my youngest child begins in 18 days. I'm not sure if I'm ready yet!
Here's my post on Christine Fonseca's An Intense Life blog.

Friday, July 13, 2012

FO Friday Bernat Mystery CAL 2012 Finally Finished!

Finally! I'm done. I arranged the pieces differently than the pattern. I added some pieces on the sides so the edges would be a bit more even. used a different method to join the pieces. It was supposed to be an invisible join, but I wanted to utilize the deep red color more and I liked the idea of having each motif outlined. Lastly, my edging is different then the original afghan pattern. You may have to register and log in to view the afghans on the Bernat site.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

But I don't want a NEW Puppy!

I want Lassie! At least that's what I remember Roddy McDowell saying when he thought Lassie was gone. I checked the transcript on Drew's Script-o-Rama and it seems there isn't a line like that anywhere. Oh well. I am sure I have heard a similar line somewhere before, even if a Google search didn't produce any immediate successful results.

This is how I feel about my broken Nook Color. My Nook turned off and it won't turn on. Yes, I have tried everything. Yes, I have visited many Nook Color forums. I have tried holding the buttons down, first one, then the other, then a combination of the two, for various lengths of time. Yes, I have tried plugging it in to my computer. Yes, I have tried keeping it plugged in all night. If you are reading this and you think I have left out something, I haven't. I might have forgotten to write about it here, but believe me, I have tried. I took it to my local Barnes and Noble and they tried. Fortunately, my husband got the two-year warranty, which expires in November. This means all I have to do now is call the customer service number and they will send me a replacement Nook Color. For free --as long as I return my broken Nook Color within 14 days, otherwise, they will charge my account. Normally, this would be fine and dandy, EXCEPT:  slightly less than one month ago, I drove from Murrieta, CA to Vroman's in  Pasadena, CA (with a recently sprained ankle) where I had John Scalzi sign the back of my Nook Color:

He even obligingly inscribed, "This Nook belongs to Donna Leonard!" He also autographed a hardcover copy of his latest book, Redshirts for my dad along with the inscription, "Guy --You have an awesome daughter!" (Thank you again, John!) So, you see why I don't want to just hand over my old Nook. I asked the customer service people (yes, I ended up speaking on the phone to Barnes and Noble customer service reps while inside a Barnes and Noble store) why they couldn't just repair my old Nook --just put fixed parts into the old shell. Bottom line, they aren't set up that way. Once the old Nook gets to the warehouse, they have no way of keeping track of it. I asked them what happens to the old Nooks. The answer: If they can be refurbished, then they get fixed and sent out to be sold as refurbished units. If they cannot be fixed, they are destroyed.

The first thing that came to my mind, was: How would someone feel if they received a refurbished Nook with  the back saying, "This Nook belongs to Donna Leonard!" and then an autograph, which, unless they are John Scalzi fans, they might not even know what they have. To be honest, if it can be fixed, I am sure they will just find a way to remove the writing on the back --which irks me even more --and don't even get me started about having it destroyed --if they are going to have it destroyed, why not just let me keep it? 

Yes, I realize it's "just" a signature. One of the women who works at Barnes and Noble was trying to be helpful and suggested I get the new one sent, and just have John Scalzi sign that one. Sure. I'll just jaunt on over to Ohio and have him do just that. There might at least be a chance if they could manage to get the new Nook Color to me before Comic Con is over in San Diego. I am only about an hour away. Maybe I could find a way to just get in there (even though tickets are sold out) and see if John Scalzi would be available to sign my new Nook Color. But no. They want to send it to me through the mail. Besides, getting into sold-out Comic Con would require subterfuge that might involve the possibility of getting arrested. Driving to Pasadena with a sprained ankle for a John Scalzi book signing: COMPLETELY worth it! Getting arrested at Comic Con while trying to bust in to get Mr. Scalzi (he is 2 years younger than me, it seems weird to refer to him as "Mr.") to sign the back of my Nook, NOT worth it.

So, here is my "brilliant"(?) plan: In September, my mobile phone is due for it's upgrade. If I can manage to get the Samsung (my) Galaxy (precioussss) Note, (because money might be an issue even at upgrade prices) I can download the Nook app to that device and all my pretty books will be in there. Then I can still keep my autographed $300 paperweight as a keepsake!  What do you think? Any better ideas?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Christine Fonseca's "Transcend" Cover Reveal

Congratulations to Christine Fonseca - Her new book Transcend, a Young Adult fiction psychological thriller, which will be available in September has a gorgeous cover which has been revealed today. You can see the widget for it over on the right (at least until September) or you can see it here on Christine's blog.

In order to help celebrate, some of Christine's blogging friends are revealing a secret about themselves, so I'm just going to cut right to the chase: One time, many years ago, I borrowed a laptop from this guy that I kind of liked to get a term paper done and formatted properly. I got bored for a bit and started going through his messages and found one from a girl he had been dating, and there was all this drama about how she had thought she was pregnant (by him) for a while, but even during that time she had slept with a Chippendale's dancer. She was all apologetic about it, but his responses were not immediately forgiving (though it did seem like he really wanted to forgive her).  

I never told him or anyone else about reading all that. I felt horrible that I had allowed myself to stumble upon it. I'm not sure how everything turned out for them, though I do think I saw them together at the store a couple of years later when I still lived in the area.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Bernat Mystery CAL 2012

Yeah, I'm not quite done. Everyone else is done, but not me. I am almost done. I only have the edging to finish, though I didn't put it together the way they suggested. Here is a link to the Bernat CAL forum. The first two photos are examples of how the afghan was supposed to be put together. You may have to login or register to be able to view the photos. As you scroll down and view the next pages of the forum, you will see that not everyone put their afghans together the way  the instructions suggested. Some people added more pieces, some used more of one color than another.

We were given clues every week. We were told to by a certain number of skeins in whatever colors we wanted, so there would be a main color, color A, color B, etc. I'm not happy with the shade of green I picked for my afghan. I guess that's what I get for ordering my yarn online and trusting the colors. If I ever do something like this again, I think I'll get the yarn in person.

So here's my almost finished afghan. I'm only showing a corner of it, in hopes that I'll be done by Friday, when I'll show you the whole thing:

I wasn't supposed to stitch it together this way. The stitches weren't supposed to show up. Also, I'm making up my own edging. There are a couple of other differences that I'll talk about in a future post.

Nora Ephron

She made me laugh, she made me cry. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

FO Friday: Oceana Slouchy Headband Hat & Pattern!

For my Finished Object, I submit the Oceana Headband Hat. I kind of made it up as I went along, writing down what I did in each row. I will be posting it on Ravelry after I post it here, though the pattern is here.
The name of the hat is a play on my daughter, Ceana's name.

Note how the hat matches my daughter's eyes! 

*This is the first time I've written down a pattern for something that is a "make it up as I go along" creation. I've been over this at least twice after typing it out. Please let me know if there are any typos, or if there's something that just doesn't work. As of this typing, this pattern has not been tested.*

Oceana Slouchy Headband Hat
1 skein Berry Colorful Yarnings light sport superwashed 100% merino 2-ply – Teal
Hook: G
Gauge: I don't really have a gauge. If you use the weight and size hook I used, it should be fine since it's fairly stretchy so there's some room for error. 
Stitches used:
Slip stitch (sl st), single crochet (sc), half double crochet (hdc), double crochet (dc), triple crochet (tc)
Special stitches:
Puff Stitch (puff st): YO, Insert hook into indicated stitch, yarn over and pull through a loop.  You should have 3 loops on your hook; Yarn over again in preparation to insert the hook into the very same stitch once again. (4 loops on hook);  Insert the hook into the same stitch, yarn over and pull through a loop.  You should have 5 loops on your hook.   Yarn over again in preparation to insert the hook into the very same stitch once again. (6 loops on hook);  Insert the hook into the same stitch, yarn over and pull through a loop.  You should have 7 loops on your hook. Yarn over again and draw the yarn through all the loops on the hook.  This completes the puff stitch.  You can work an extra chain to secure the stitch. 
Herringbone half double crochet (Hhdc): YO,  insert hook into indicated stitch and yo; pull through (3 loops on hook),  Do NOT yo over again. Just pull through the first loop on hook. (2 loops rem on hk), YO, Pull through both loops on hook. Herringbone half double crochet made.
Double crochet decrease (dc dec): Work a double crochet in the specified stitch until two loops remain on the hook. Double crochet decrease made.
Triple crochet decrease (tc dec): Yarn over twice, insert hook in stitch indicated by pattern instructions, draw up a loop, (yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook) twice, yarn over twice, insert hook in next stitch, draw up a loop, (yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook) twice, (3 loops on hook), yarn over, draw through last 3 loops on hook to complete stitch.

Create and adjustable ring (also called “magic ring,” or “magic loop”). There are some good tutorials online. Here’s one:
Rnd 1: after you have formed your slipknot, ch 2. Dc 9 around; Pull tail to close ring completely; sl st in top of ch 2 to join.
Rnd 2: Ch 2; 1 dc in top of ch 2 from below, ch 1, dc in next dc, ch1; *2 dc in next dc; ch 1, 1 dc in next dc, ch 1* (repeat from * to *) around. Join with sl st in top of ch 2.
Rnd 3: Ch 2; Dc in top of ch 2 from below, dc in next ch1 space; dc in next dc; dc in next ch 1 sp; *dc in next 2 dc, dc in next ch 1 sp; dc in next dc, dc in next ch 1 sp*  (repeat from * to *) around. Join with sl st in top of ch 2.
Rnd 4: Ch 3; dc in space between dc and ch 2 directly below ch 1; *dc in space between next 2 dc’s, ch 1* (repeat from * to *) around to the end. Join with sl st in space between ch 3 and dc.
Rnd 5: Ch 2; dc in same space as ch 2; 2 dc in next ch 1 sp; 2 dc in each ch 1 sp around to end. Join with sl st in sp between ch 2 and dc.
Rnd 6: ch 2; *puff st in next ch 1 sp, ch 1;* (repeat from * to *) around to the end. Join with sl st in top of ch 2.
Rnd 7:  Sl st in top of puff st; ch 2. 2 dc in ch 1 sp, *dc in top of next puff st, 2 dc in next ch 1 sp* (repeat from * to *) around to end. Join with sl st in top of ch 2.
Rnd  8: Ch 1, sc in top of same ch 2; *ch 5, skip next dc, sc in next dc* (repeat from * to *) till one dc before end. Ch 5, sl st in ch 1 sp to join.
Rnd 9: sl st in next 2 ch; sc in same ch 5 sp; ch 4, *sc in next ch 5 sp, ch 4* (repeat from * to *) around to end. Sl st in sc to join.
Rnd 10: sl st in first ch of ch 4. Sc in ch 4 sp, ch 3; *sc in ch 4 space, ch 3* (repeat from * to *) around to end. Sl st in sc to join.
Rnd 11: ch 2; 2 hdc in next ch 3 sp; *hdc in next sc; 2 hdc in next ch 3 sp* (repeat from * to *) around to end. Sl st in top of ch 2 to join.
Rnd 12: ch 2, Turn; Hhdc in back loop only of next hdc and in each hdc around to end; sl st in top of ch2 to join.
Rnd 13: ch 2, Turn; Hhdc in back loop only of next Hhdc and in each Hhdc around to end; sl st in top of ch 2 to join.
Rnd 14 & 15: repeat rnd 13.
Rnd 16: ch 1, sc around to end, sl st in ch 1 to join.
Rnd 17: ch 2; dc in next 3 sc, *dc dec; dc in next 4 sc* (repeat from * to *) around to end. Sl st in top of ch 2 to join.
Rnd 18: ch 4, tc dec in next st,* tc in next 4 sts, tc dec* (repeat from * to *) till 3 stitches before the end, tc in last 3 sts. Sl st in top of ch 4 to join.
Rnd 19: ch 4, tc dec in same st; *tc in next 3 sts, tc dec* (repeat from * to *) till 2 stitches before end, tc in last 2 sts. Sl st in top of ch 4 to join. TURN.
Rnd 20: ch 1; sc around in top of each tc and tc dc. Sl st in ch 1 to join.
Rnd 21: ch 1; in back loop only: sc in top of each sc around to end. Sl st to join. TURN.
Rnd 22 & 23: Repeat Rnd 21
Rnd 24: ch 4; tc in each sc around to end. Sl st in top of ch 4 to join.
Rnd 25: ch 4; tc in each tc around to end. Sl st in top of ch 4 to join.
Rnd 26: this is where it gets tricky. Hopefully the photos will help. Ch 2. 3 hdc down along the front of the ch 4 below, 3 hdc down along the front of the ch 4 below from Rnd 24. Hdc in the sc below next tc from rnd 24. 3 hdc up along front of next tc from rnd 24 and 3 hdc up along tc from rnd 25. Hdc in top of tc. Follow this pattern around to the end. Sl st in top of the next 6 hdc in front. Sl st in sc that the hdc is attatched to. You will be making the sc in the middle of the “legs” of the hdc that has been stitched to that sc.
Rnd 27: ch 1. Sc in next st and in every st around. For every other sc you will be working into the middle of the hdc around to end. Sl st to join. TURN
Rnd 28: Repeat rnd 21 twice.
Finish off, weave in ends.

House Full O'Intensities

Here's my latest guest post on Christine Fonseca's "An Intense Life" blog: House Full O'Intensities

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday - Hunger Games Fingerless Gloves

This is sort of a combo WIP/FO. Since the one glove itself is done, it's FO, but since it comes as a set, WIP,  plus these particular fingerless gloves aren't totally matching. The oak leaf pattern goes down one glove and back up the other glove. They are designed by my friend's daughter and I get to test the pattern. It is supposed to represent oak leaf camouflage.

Maybe the pattern will show up better if I block it...?

I guess it's hard to see the oak leaf pattern in a photo. You can see it better in person.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Honor Roll Intensity...

Friday was my day to post on Christine Fonseca's blog. As is the case with most of my posts, it's about a personal experience. Here it is...

Friday, April 06, 2012

Growing Up Labeled Gifted: Vindication?

Today is my day to post on Christine Fonseca's: An Intense Life. Here it is.

Finished Object Friday - Hunger Games Yarn

I finished the cowl I making with the Hunger Games yarn. The WIP post for it along with yarn and pattern information can be found in this post can be found here.

Here's the finished cowl:

I made this for myself. It is a little big for my daughter, Amanda, who is modeling as I outweigh her by almost 100 pounds. It still works for her at this size too. 

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Mom's Scarf

The other day, my mom "hinted" in an email that she likes long scarves and that she likes browns and blacks and tans. Okay, got the hint, mom! ;-) I found this pattern on Ravelry, and I'm using some awesome yarn that a woman in my Stitch N Bitch group dyed. The yarn I'm using is fingering weight though, not worsted. Here's some pics:

It will need a LOT of blocking to get it to look more like the original.

Also, check out: The Crochet Way

Monday, April 02, 2012

Script Frenzy Day 2

Oh, don't worry, I'm not going to post a day by day accounting of my Script Frenzy writing. (Especially since I didn't bother posting a Script Frenzy Day 1) I'm just going to whine about my procrastination. In March, I was attempting to participate in NaBloPoMo. Life got in the way and I missed a day. Just one day and the participant is disqualified from "winning." Once that one day was missed, I got into the mindset of, "Why bother posting for the rest of the month?" I had intended to at least post on Wednesdays and Fridays for my Work In Progress and Finished Objects, but I guess the attitude just carried over.

I spent most of the time knitting and crocheting while catching up on every episode of a TV show I had never watched before. A TV show that began in 2005. I am now caught up to the current season. Oh, and no, to be clear, I did not begin with season one in March. I began season one sometime in December. I guess I just stepped up my episodes/per day. On the plus side, I got a lot knitting and crocheting done, and I have a new WIP and a new FO for this week.

Today, I also need to finish my Friday post for Christine Fonseca's "An Intense Life" blog. So, time to get back to that, and then on to my script....frenzy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Hunger Games!

Yes, I am still working on the CAL from last week, and the week before, etc. Here is the newest block:

It's just an octagon in double crochet. I have to make 6 in the Main Color.

Also, my Stitch N Bitch group are getting together on the 23rd to watch "The Hunger Games"! For the occasion, we could purchase fingering weight yarn from that was hand dyed exclusively for our group. With my yarn, I'm making a cowl from a pattern on Ravelry. It's the Euro Cowl. Here is what I have so far:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Problem With Committing to Post Every Day

Is that if I get busy on the weekend and want to spend time with my family, I end up with lame, cheating posts like this one. I've been busy catching up on my knitting and crochet projects and feel like I have a deadline with them. And now it's 10pm and I just want to chill and not think up stuff to write. So, here's to hoping I'll start earlier tomorrow.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Because I Love My Kids

Okay, I am not a perfect eater. I do not always buy organically grown produce or buy meats that before they became my pot roast, were free range eating only organically grown grass. My ten-year-old daughter recently told me she no longer eats the meat served in her school cafeteria. I asked why and she said, "Search 'mechanically separated chicken' and you will know why!" This same day, my brother had the above link to the petition on his Facebook page. So I am sharing. I am also recommending another site: if you are interested in reading more about this.

Friday, March 09, 2012

FO Friday - Perry the Platypus Knit Hat

Okay, drumroll please.......

If I had to do it over again (which I probably will...), I think I would have definitely done a black outline around the eyes and made the eyebrows two rows of black instead of one. I might also have two rows of black outline for the beak...not sure about that. Maybe make the ends of the bill a bit more rounded? 

Also, keep in mind, the black yarn is thinner than all the other yarns. The orange is slightly thinner than the turquoise and white. This was just a prototype using yarn I already had.  When I do it again, I'll buy yarn that is all the same. I guess what I'm trying to say, is I think I can do much better. This one was for a friend of my daughter, so she only got to wear this for the photo. 

I decided to knit the pattern part flat. I C/O 72 and did a K1, P1 ribbing for three rows. I did one row of turquoise before starting the pattern, then just used a stranded/intarsia combo method. Once I got past the eyebrows, I switched to circulars till decreasing (I decreased at 6 points around) then DPNs as it became smaller.  I tied it off at the top, wove in all the ends, then stitched it up in the back. Not sure what the stitch is  called, but you can't tell it's been stitched up unless you tug at it.

Before I try this again, I'm going to do a version with just one color where the pattern is outlined by purl stitches on a knit background (or vise - versa).

I won't be selling these, of course since I'm not licensed to use Perry the Platypus. If they tell me cease and desist from making them, even for free, I might get a lawyer and tell them I'll cease and desist when they put a Perry Hat out there that is made like this (or better) --and not like this:

You see how the bill and eyes are just embroidered on top? That is just cheating! 

Thursday, March 08, 2012

My Next Project

You'll see a photo of my progress on Wednesday, unless by some miracle, I'm done. Here is the project:
It's the Euro Cowl on Ravelry

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

WIP Wednesday - CAL

Today, I'm just showing the latest square of the Bernat Mystery Crochet-a-long. I'm not showing the sweater for my husband because I haven't been working on it much, and I'm not showing the Perry hat's finished! So you'll see that Friday! Yay!

Also check out: The Crochet Way

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

5th Grade Band Concert

We were busy getting ready for our daughter's solo concert. Okay, it wasn't just her. It was students from three elementary schools with solos. 10 - 12 kids from each school. I'll consider linking to the video tomorrow.

Monday, March 05, 2012

What Holds Me Back

What do I want? Aside from world peace, a self-cleaning house, and children just one notch below "Stepford," I want to do two things:

1. I want to be paid for my writing
2. I want to be paid for my knitting and crocheting

I am forty-five years old. Why have I not yet found a way to make either of these things happen?

1. I have never submitted any of my writing to any market. I don't even own a copy of the current (or any year's) Writer's Market...yet.
2. I have never offered any pieces of my work for sale. I don't even have an Etsy account...yet.

Okay, but WHY haven't I done these things? The reasons behind my procrastination in selling my knitting and crocheting seem more legitimate to me than the reasons behind my procrastination in submitting writing pieces.

Right now, of the three projects I am currently working on in my knitting, two of them are already going to specific people. The other, a "crochet-a-long" afghan will most likely not be for sale as I tend to want to keep afghan's I've made unless they were intended for a specific person. So really, I don't have anything available for sale. I already feel like if I'm not writing, then I'm knitting or crocheting, so I don't feel like I have much extra time to make things to sell until I have these other projects out of the way.

I also have fears. What if I make some things to sell, and then I end up with more orders than I can handle in a timely fashion? I don't want to be thought of as irresponsible or flaky. There are people who design their own patterns, and then only sell the patterns rather than the actual item. Great idea, only, I tend to work from the patterns of others. While I have designed my own knit and crochet projects, I have yet to actually write them down. I tend to design as I go.

For my writing, I have similar fears. What if they ask me to write about something, and I just don't feel I can even manage to do the required research --or worse, say that I can do it, thinking, sure, why not? I can research anything! Only to discover that I cannot, in fact, research everything. 

I've been working on my profile. I can only choose one industry. Arts and Crafts, or Writing and Editing. Which do I choose?  I ended up choosing "Arts and Crafts." I feel like it makes me sound like I'm a summer camp counselor. Of the two choices, I thought Arts and Crafts actually covered both areas. There is no question that is covers knitting and crocheting; but it also covers writing. Writing is an art. Writing is a craft. Had I chosen Writing and Editing, I would have felt as though I was misrepresenting myself. I am not offering my services as editor. While, sure I could help with some basic editing, so could pretty much anyone else who has a competent grasp of the English language.

I also tend have this inferiority complex about not having a bachelor's degree. I have this imaginary conversation with imaginary people who are looking at my profile. What if I put Writing and Editing instead of Arts and Crafts? The imaginary conversation goes something like this:

Educated Person: It appears you are offering your services as a writer and an editor. Is this true.

Me: Uh, sure!

EP: What are your qualifications as a writer? Have you published anything?

Me: I haven't sent anything out to publications, but not only do I have a blog, a friend of mine, who also happens to be a published author, lets me guest post twice a month on her blog about living with intensity of Gifted and Twice Exceptional children.

EP: Oh. So you are a blogger. Well, isn't that precious.

Me: Um? (continuing in spite of the veiled insult): In addition to that, for over ten years I have been an active member of an online writing group, where we take turns posting writing prompts every day and then we have the option of writing to these prompts and posting what we write.

EP: Is this a critique group?

Me: Not exactly. It's more of a morale group for writers.

EP: (flatly) Oh, well, good, because there is such a shortage of groups where writers all go and tell each other how great their writing is.

Me: There is? Oh. Well, if you want a serious critique from this group, you can ask for one.

EP: And there is someone in the group who is qualified to seriously critique your writing?

Me: No idea.

EP: Now, what about editing? Are you offering your services as an editor?

Me: I think I have a strong enough grasp of the English language to do some editing work.

EP: Have you ever done any editing?

Me: I edit my own work. I have edited some of  my kids' school assignments, and they both managed to graduate high school. I earned and A.S. degree in Paralegal studies, with straight A's....Oh never mind. How would you like a nice hat or a scarf?

Sunday, March 04, 2012

A Silly Conversation - NaNoWriMo Vignette #7

Here is my second to last vignette in the group of stories I was narrowing down to take to the Thank God It's Over Party at the end of NaNoWriMo 2011. If you missed vignettes 1 - 6 you can find them here, here, here, here, here, and here.

To make it easier, I'll list them too:

Vignette #1
Vignette #2
Vignette #3
Vignette #4
Vignette #5
Vignette #6

I have no illusions as to this being my very best writing. It is writing I did while using Dr. Wicked's Write or Die, while trying to type 500 words in 15 minutes. These were the results. I only edited for typos and readability. In this next one, the entire vignette is a dialogue. I used dashes because I felt the quotation marks were slowing me down. In the original, every line has a double dash (--) before the dialog. To help you keep track of "who" is speaking (I didn't have character names in this) I'll put a double dash (--) before each line of dialog spoken by one character, and a double asterisk (**) before each line of dialog spoken by the other.

Here goes....

A Silly Conversation

--So when were you going to tell me about Joe?

**What's there to tell?

--Well, I noticed you've been doing a lot of messaging with him.

**How would you know that?

--You left your computer wide open and I was just walking by and...

**And so you read my posts?

--I didn't really read them, I just noticed who they were from.

**Well, I guess you didn't read them because if you had, you would have known there was nothing to them.

--Was? So then you aren't talking to him any more?

**I was never talking to him. We were writing. He's my writing buddy.

--Oh, I see, is that what you kids are calling it these days?

**Calling what? We're doing NaNoWriMo and he happens to be one of my writing buddies. He lives in South Africa for crying out loud!

--Why didn't you say so?

**Why should I? I have lots of writing buddies both male and female, why are you so interested in Joe?

--I don't know, I guess that happened to be who you were writing to when I walked by.


--You know, people can travel form here to South Africa and from South Africa to California.

**I have no desire to travel to South Africa.

--Maybe your writing buddy would like to travel to California?

**If he does, I'll let you know. I'm sure he has plenty of other writing buddies. As a matter of fact, here, look, this is his profile. See? Look at all of his writing buddies!


**Really? Slut?This isn't a sex site, it's a writing site. You that, right?

--What were we talking about?


--I'm sorry, I feel like I just woke up.

**Are you taking Ambien(R) again?

--Yeah, how did you know?

**Uh, well apparently you can read in you sleep.


**You started accusing me of having an affair with one of my writing buddies.

--That's crazy! You're on a writing site!

**Well, you know, some people have gotten together because of NaNoWriMo...

--What are you doing?

**I'm just saying.

--Are you trying to make me jealous?

**No, I was just stating a fact. They even had a blog post about it on the Office of Letters and Light. This couple met on NaNoWriMo a couple of years ago. He was from the UK and she was from the US and now they are married and living in the UK.

--Oh my god! That is so cute! Where's the post? Do they have pictures?

**Yeah. Look, right here.

--Oh. My. God. Is that their invitation? How cute is that?

**I know, right? Okay, ummm I have to get back to writing.

--Okay...yeah, you get back to Facebook...

**Hey, sometimes I just need a little break...

--I know, kidding!

**Oh, hey! Don't forget to record American Horror Story tonight!

--You know I won't!

**I hope the have another Halloween episode next season!

--I hope there is a next season.

**How can there not be a next season? The show is incredible!

--Yeah, and you know, if I like show, then it's probably doomed.

**Oh, you're still mad about CBS cancelling Joan of Arcadia and for Ghost Whisperer?

--Well, come one, who wouldn't rather watch Amber Tamblyn over Jennifer Hate Hewitt?

**A lot of straight guys, probably.

--How would you know what straight guys like?

**Uh, I was in the closet for the first 23 years of my life, I think I have some idea.

--But you'll never really know for sure, will you?

**Who cares? I know what I like.

Saturday, March 03, 2012


We just got back from seeing Tin-Tin at the "cheap seats" and even though it wasn't in 3D in this theater, it was still a visual joy to behold! I'm looking forward to the next one!

Friday, March 02, 2012

My Post Over at "An Intense Life"

Today is the day I post on Christine Fonseca's blog, An Intense Life. The before last, I neglected to post the link to my previous entry on her blog, so here's that one too. Oh, and a poster of one of my most favorite parenting techniques:

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Bereft of Bodywash

Today's CHPerc entry:

"Bereft of Bodywash"

Imagine you own a house.  You have roommates. They are friends of yours. You let them stay there rent free because either they are looking for work, or they don't make a lot of money and need to save the money to use toward fulfulling their dreams for the future, and you see their potential, so you want to help with that. To that end, in addition to not charging rent, you pay for most of the food in the house, and more often than not, supply their bathroom with the necessary toiletries, sometimes even deodorant, because, hey, that benefits everyone, right? If they run out of bathroom supplies, they need only to notify you, and make sure you put it on the next shopping list.

In this house, they all have rooms. Some share a room. They all share the main bathroom.  You have your own room with it's own bathroom. You have your own personal bathroom supplies such as, shampoo, bodywash, etc. They are allowed to use your bathroom if the other one is being used.  If they are out of a certain toiletry, and you haven't had a chance to go to the store, all they have to do is ask to borrow yours. You will say yes as long as they put it back so it is there when you go to use it. On several occasions, you have been caught in the shower without soap because they forgot to put it back. After the second time that happened, you learned to check to make sure you had soap if you knew they had recently borrowed yours.  If they had not recently borrowed anything, you would be prefectly within reason to have the expectation that your supplies will be right where you keep them.

One morning, you step into the shower. You wash your hair. You turn around to put some bodywash on the sponge --no body wash!  You know you can't be out of body wash, it was still fairly heavy the last time you used it, just a day ago. You know it was one of your roommates. You know that no one has asked you to borrow the bodywash since the last time you used it. This has happened before, but it was quite awhile ago, and you were certain that they understood, and they assured you it wouldn't happen again.  What would you do?

In my case, these "roommates" are my children: 20, 20, and 10. (very soon to be 21, 21 and 11--if they live that long).  I am mainly speaking about the 20-year-olds in this case, since the 10-year-old kind of gets an automatic pass on rent and other necessities at least until she graduates high school. I thought about how we've been through this before. I felt like this was something I had no control over, and yet at the same time, I felt like I had the right to be in control over whether or not my bath products would be there when I needed them. I felt that I had drilled the thought that if you take something that does not belong to you without asking and getting permission, it is stealing.  I knew that over their entire childhoods from the time they seemed to understand spoken words, if they began to reach for something that they weren't supposed to, I would ask, "Does that belong to you? No, it doesn't" (when they were older, I would wait for them to answer with "No." Then I would say, "Then you don't touch it!"  Very simple. It is a very simple lesson. If it doesn't belong to you, you do not touch it. I would even say things like, "When you see something and you would like to touch it, or pick it up, ask yourself, 'Does this belong to me?' If the answer is, 'No,' then do NOT touch it!"  It is a lesson that I have always felt, in my observation of most kids, that a very large percentage of mothers did not teach this to their own children, or if they did, it wasn't taught with enough consistency to sink in. I continued teaching this to my kids through elementary school, dwindling off somewhere around middle school. It seemed to stick for a while...but not long enough.

This was my reaction to what I felt was a violation of my trust, and a lack of respect for my personal property:  I got out of the shower, still soaking wet. I put a towel around me, because my 20-year-old son was home and sleeping in a nearby bedroom. I wasn't sure I wanted to scar him for life....though I did consider it, thinking it might make an excellent object lesson and perhaps work as negative conditioning if he did happen to see me in all my natural glory, storming down the hall to retrieve my bodywash from the other bathroom.  Also, because it was around 10am, I thought it would be a good time to slam every door I used as hard as I could. Beginning with the bathroom door in my bedroom: SLAM! My bedroom door: SLAM! The main bathroom door: SLAM! I retrieved the bodywash and went through the inner bathroom door that separates the bath and toilet from the double basins: SLAM!  Back through the outer bathroom door, SL--oh crap, I dropped the bodywash while trying to slam the door with the same hand in which I was carrying the bottle. Pick up the body wash, switch hands, SLAM! I think I hear my son yelling, "Mom!?" I smile, pleased that my annoyance has now been distributed.  There was a slight amount of guilt because the possibility did occur to me that he might not be the culprit. If that turned out to be the case, I would apologize.  Back through my bedroom door: SLAM!  Back through my bathroom door: SLAM!

I proceed to take my shower, change my clothes, then enter my daughter's room that she is sharing with her brother (his old room was changed into an exercise room a while after he moved out...the first time.)  My daughter was at work, so I sat on her bed to talk to my son.

"Nick, I need your help."

"Okay," he said sleepily.

"I need to vent about something, and the way you can help me, is by not trying to get me to be all Zen about it."


"I already realize I overreacted, but I still need to vent."

"Okay, I will just listen."

"Thank you."

I then proceeded to share with him the example above, asking him to imagine he owned a house. When I got to the part about how he would be perfectly within reason to expect his bodywash to be there, he said, "Oh my god mom, I'm so sorry! That was me. I'm so sorry. I forgot!" I reminded him, that while it is okay to use my things if he asks, that he did not ask. He said something about no one being home to ask at that time, but acknowledge he still shouldn't have done it. I informed him that in the future, if he doesn't have any bodywash, or soap, he needs to look under all the sinks and in all the bathroom drawers, then he needs to call me before doing something like that again. As it turned out, in one of my bathroom drawers, we did have several bars of soap specifically designed for use in the shower. After our discussion, I put two of those bars in the main bathroom and put "bodywash" on my shopping list.

Yes, this is photo of the exact brand and scent of bodywash that was missing.  So, basically, my "Happiness" had been stolen! ;-)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WIP Wednesday - More Perry and Mystery CAL

I've gotten a bit further with the Perry the Platypus hat from last week. After a lot of trial and error, I decided to knit it flat and do a sort of stranded/intarsia combo method. Here we are so far:

Another clue was posted last week, so I have one more motif to share in addition to some of the ones I already made. They posted a third clue this morning, but I haven't had a chance to work it yet, and I wanted to get this posted first in case something came up later. I'm showing one of each color they had us do for each motif. If you click on the Perry link above, you'll see last week's. The newest motif is the octogon:

The white turned out to look a bit whiter than I hoped. Hopefully, it will all turn out okay in the end. It's kind of scary when you can only pick your MC, then colors A-D, but you don't get to decide where they go on the afghan--you just follow the directions that say, "make four of A, and two of MC" or something like that.

I haven't been working on my husband's sweater much this week. I've been doing a lot more writing lately. If you scroll down, you'll see! Oh, and yes, I acknowledge typos and the need for editing. Anything I did for my Coffee House Percolator group are supposed to be free writes, though most of us have a hard time posting absolute free writes, so I guess they end up being "rough drafts" with only minor editing.

I'm also linking to The Crochet Way, Ambassador Crochet, and