Monday, December 31, 2007
My New Year's Resolutions can be summed up in one phrase - "keep trying." I will keep trying to exercise on a regular basis. I will keep trying to decrapify this house. I will keep trying to be patient, kind and understanding. I will keep trying to learn new things...
I wish everyone to have a happy and healthy 2008 - whatever your resolutions are.
Tonight, the fam and I are going to party with the Dallas STARS and then come home before "the crazies" are out driving on the road. We've done that for the last three years. It's fun and all, but I miss me a good, fun party. Maybe, next year...(I will keep trying to have/attend a fun New Year's Eve party again, once before I die.)
And if you think that my tree is still lightless, I leave you with this shot taken as Christmas Eve was turning into Christmas Day...
To think that I now have to take it all down...
Merry Karma out.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
It was crowded. There was a definite traffic pattern, and even if you were walking with the flow, it felt as if you were in a school of salmon swimming upstream. I meant to take a few crowd shots, but all I had with me was my cellphone, and the pics would not have been that great.
I managed to get all the yarn on my list, plus four skeins. (The little colorful ones in the middle of the picture are the rogues.)
I also grabbed several books that have been on my wish list.
After paying for my purchases, I drove back home and was laying down on the couch for a little nap by 0700.
I got up at 1030, cleaned up and drove back to Dallas to spend the rest of the day with my friend Jules. We took a walk, ate lunch and saw two movies. I will save the movie reviews for another day. I got back home by 1800 (6pm), had supper, watched a little tee vee while flipping through my new books and fell asleep rather early. Wonder why...
Merry Karma out.
Monday, December 24, 2007
I was feeling all "Bah Humbug" ish this year. Work was really hectic. Last year, the boss went out of town for half the month of December; so, it was an automatic vacation for me. I was able to complete all my Christmas tasks early and had some quality time to play. This year, not so much. He took off last Friday, is off today, and will return Wednesday just to start doing procedures for those people who want to get their colonoscopies in before a new deductible kicks in. I took off Thursday, but spent it catching up on the 30 dictations for the new consultations we've had in the last two weeks. I had done 10 here and there during those two weeks, but couldn't sit down long enough to string together coherant thoughts for the others. Well - after a few hours of that fun activity - my Christmas began!
I finished up most of the Christmas shopping on Friday. I also treated myself to a pedicure. The tootsies were tired. Saturday, I finally found the husb's Christmas present. It was after I had treated myself to a massage at the Coldwater Creek Spa. That was really an experience in relaxation. First, you check in, you change into a robe and slippers, and you are treated to a foot soak. They put a warmed neck roll on you. You sit in a room with comfy chairs and the lights are turned down low. There's one of those fake waterfalls on the wall that makes the light sound of water dripping into water. Oh.my.gosh. After 55 minutes of a wonderful massage, I went back into the relaxation room. You can stay as long as you want. I stayed for about 30 minutes while I calmly thought about getting the husb's present and getting home to start wrapping. It was soooo nice. Meanwhile, the weather outside turned windy and cold! Luckily, I had packed a warmer jacket into the car. So, I bought the gift, stopped by the local women's shelter in Denton to drop off a donation of clothes that no longer fit, ran by the store for nuts and raisins and headed home. I wrapped presents in between my chores around the house. I finished wrapping by 9:00 that night. Yay!
Yesterday, my mother and I baked some Christmas cookies. I baked a birthday cake for her. We had the in-laws over for supper and we celebrated...Happy BD Momma! I spent the rest of the evening on the couch knitting. I finished a pair of fingerless mitts for a friend for Christmas.
Today - I have a few errands to run that do not involve going to the mall.
There are a few good movies opening or have opened in the last couple of weeks. I have a list a mile long. I hope to see Enchanted, Charlie Wilson's War, There Will Be Blood and Sweeney Todd this week. I will leave you with an account of the movies I have seen.
In the last couple of weeks, I saw Dan in Real Life. Steve Carrell plays a widower with three girls. He writes a parenting advice column. Juliette Binoche plays a woman he meets in a bookstore. Emily Blunt and Dianne Wiest also star. It was almost as funny as Lars and the Real Girl, but definitely more predictable. The 40 Year Old Virgin was funny and very crude. This movie is funny and inteligent. I give it two thumbs up. The Golden Compass was really good. Nicole Kidman, Sam Elliot and Daniel Craig star in this adaptation of the best selling trilogy by Philip Pullman about parallel universes and fantasmagorical elements. If you like the Chronicles of Narnia, you will like this movie. I thought it was good. Finally, I saw Juno – I really liked this movie, it was funny, sad and smart. It is about a 16-yr-old girl, who gets pregnant and decides to put the baby up for adoption. The character has some really good, witty lines, but it made me wonder if a 16-yr-old could really be that witty and mature. Other than that, it was good.
Then, there's the list of DVDs, in case you are looking for something to watch while the weather outside is frightful:
Hairspray – If you wanna see John Travolta in panty hose – this movie is the one to see. It’s a cute adaptation of the Broadway musical. If my memory serves (and that’s iffy),
Waitress – Keri Russell stars in this movie about a waitress who bakes unbelievable pies inspired by events in her life. She finds out that she is pregnant, and she is not too thrilled about the prospect, because she is in a dreadful marriage. Cheryl Hines is also in it, as well as the writer/director of the movie, Adrienne Shelley. It was a cute movie, but on a sad note, Adrienne Shelley was discovered murdered in her NY apartment just months after the film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.
Evening – Vanessa Redgrave, Meryl Streep, Claire Danes, Natasha Richardson, Toni Colette, Mamie Gummer and Glenn Close star in this movie about a dying woman (Redgrave) who is surrounded by her daughters (one played by her real-life daughter – Richardson) as she remembers a one-night stand she had so long ago that she kept secret all her life. Danes plays her in the flashbacks. Mamie Gummer plays her good friend in the scenes when they were young. Meryl Streep, Gummer’s real mother, plays the character in the present. It was very good.
A Mighty Heart – This movie is based on Mariane Pearl’s memoirs about her husband’s murder in
Pan’s Labyrinth – Is it real, or is it Memorex? This movie, in Spanish with English subtitles, is set in
The Wind That Shakes the Barley – This movie is set in
The Italian – cute little movie in Russian with English subtitles. It’s about a little boy who is about to be adopted by an Italian couple. He decides to run away and try and find his birth mother before it is too late and she is lost to him forever. I really liked it.
Imagine Me and You – A rather dumb flick about this woman who catches the eye of her female florist as she is walking down the aisle to get married. Meh…
Everything is Illuminated – Elijah Wood plays this guy who collects all kinds of things that pertain to his family’s history. He travels to the
The Hoax – Richard Gere stars as Clifford Irving, in this based on fact film about an author (Irving) who tries to convince McGraw Hill to publish his biography about Howard Hughes. He tells them that he has the blessing of Hughes to publish this exclusive story, and in exchange, they write a check to Hughes for one million dollars. Many other well-known actors star in this picture – Hope Davis, Alfred Molina, Marcia Gay Harden and Stanley Tucci. It was pretty good, although frustrating to watch this guy dig himself deeper and deeper with his lies.
Sicko – This documentary is another Michael Moore perspective on a very real problem – financial barriers to health care. It’s rather slanted and it does not give the complete picture.
The Namesake – Kal Penn plays a guy who is born in
Breaking and Entering – This film was a stupid movie with good actors. Juliette Binoche, Robin Wright Penn and Jude law star in this movie. A teenager breaks into this business owned by Jude Law. Jude is dating/living with Robin Wright Penn who has this autistic daughter from a previous marriage. Juliette Binoche is the robber teen’s mother. The actors did well with the material, but it was a big, fat “who cares” in my book.
Freedomland – Oh.My.Gawd. This movie was pretty bad. Samuel L. Jackson, Edie Falco and Julianne Moore star in this film about a woman (Moore) who reports that her son was kidnapped by a black dude who hijacked her car. It was just bad.
Ratatouille – cute, cute animated flick about a rat who can cook. It is set in gay
The Nanny Diaries – cute movie with Scarlet Johanssen who plays a nanny for this
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
Merry Karma out.
Friday, December 14, 2007
One of the many knitters I am lucky and happy to know challenged the Lone Star State Knitters to post our resolutions regarding the yarn. Here are mine:
In 2008, I resolve to:
1. Continue knitting down my stash. My goal is to be stashless one day. I hesitate to say by the end of the year, because I think that it may have to be a neverending goal.
2. Finish the fingerless mitts that have been on hold all of 2007.
3. Finish the tie that has been on hold all of 2007.
4. Frog the still-incomplete pink ribbon top, start over and complete it.
5. Complete the carseat blanky.
6. Complete the Louisa Harding shawlette.
7. Complete the baby sweater and send it to the recipient already!
8. Complete a bootie and cap set and send it to the recipient already!
9. Get organized on Ravelry by loading pictures of my stash, finish adding my books and complete my needle inventory.
10. Make an Absolutely Fabulous afghan for me.
11. Make the Storm Water Shawl for me.
12. Learn how to incorporate beads in my knitting.
That's it. I had to get those UFOs on a list to encourage me to get them finished. Nothing like accountability.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Merry Karma out.
Monday, December 3, 2007
This writer's strike thing is causing serious trouble for millions of Americans who can no longer get their weekly fix of entertainment. What are we going to do???
Luckily, I have 63 movies queued in my Blockbuster On-Line account.
On a serious note, I think that the writers have valid arguments. I hope that an agreement will be reached soon.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
First, I saw Across the Universe. This musical is a Beatles fan's delight. The entire soundtrack is made up of music written and made famous by the Fab Four. Even those who didn't grow up in the era will enjoy it. Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess star as Lucy and Jude - two star crossed lovers who navigate their story set in the 1960s. Notice their names? All the characters are named after people found in Beatle songs - Max, JoJo, Sadie, Prudence...It was surreal. The whole movie was a bit surreal, and there were times that I felt as if I were trippin on the LSD. (As if I've ever been on an actual LSD trip.) The movie is tagged PG-13 – with Drug Content, Profanity, Violence, Adult Situations, Nudity, Sexual Situations – ummmm…that’s an R by definition to me. It was a good movie, none-the-less.
Next up, I saw
I really enjoyed Michael Clayton, starring George Clooney, Tilda Swinton and Tom Wilkinson. George plays a janitor for a powerful law firm with many clients – some of whom get themselves into situations that need cleaning. One of the firm’s clients is a company involved in a multi-million dollar lawsuit. The partner who is leading the defense quits taking his meds and has a psychotic episode. George is sent in to take care of the situation. It is a good story and the movie was well acted. Very good! Of the movies I’ve seen so far, it would be a contender for Best Picture.
If I had to pick Best Picture today, Lars and the Real Girl would win. It was so funny and it had a good story. People were rolling on the floor in the theater. It’s about a very introverted guy (and there is a reason for this personality trait) who buys himself a girlfriend – a life sized, anatomically correct doll. He treats her as if she is a real person, much to the dismay of his brother and SIL – who are already worried about his bazaar behavior. Soon, the doll takes on a life of its own. Excellent film!
Emile Hirsch stars in Into the Wild as Christopher McCandless, who graduates from college in the 1970s, leaves behind his possessions, burns his cash and hitchhikes to
Now, for a little violence, there's American Gangster . Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe and Josh Brolin star in this movie adaptation of a true story. Denzel plays Frank Lucas, a drug kingpin who brings in a better product and sells it for less than the competition. His way of smuggling it into the country is pretty innovative. Crowe plays Ritchie Roberts, the narc who brings him down. I liked it.
So on that note dear Internets, I will leave you for now.
Merry Karma out.
Friday, November 30, 2007
So, my birthday season came and went. It wasn't a particularly stellar one, as my birthday seasons go, but it wasn't too bad. I didn't get to see half the movies I wanted to see. I didn't try any restaurants that I've been wanting to try. I also didn't get to see many of the people I wanted to see. It wasn't as bad as all that. Here's a little something that I bought for myself. A girl's gotta buy herself a little sussie every now and then, you know.
I've been wanted to purchase that book since I heard about it. It has innovative methods for knitting socks. I've started reading some of it, and it makes good sense. I also bought some little stitch markers (pictured next to the book) that are needed for the formulas and methods. They have a different letter on each one, and make it easy to keep straight which marker marks which spot. I know, I know... I could've made my own, but it was a birthday sussie.
After the birthday season, we ease into the beginning of The Holidays.
First, we have Thanksgiving. Ours was nice. We went to the country club and had a nice lunch. I had a turkey breast roasting in the oven for turkey sandwiches during the Cowboys game later. (How 'bout them Cowboys?)
Secondly, there's Black Friday. I did the Black Friday thing once a few years ago. It was fun. This year, I scoped the sales ads and found two things that I really needed. One is a gift for the kid, and the other is a little something for me to block my knitting. I was able to score both items, and both were door busters - but I didn't have to get there at the crack of dawn to get them. Yay! Next, I went to the movies and had a generally wonderful day all to myself. Then, I came home and watched the Aggies beat the hell outta t.u. Whoop! (How 'bout them Ags?)
Finally - Christmas season begins. I really like to mark it on December 1, but since there is an extra week between Thanksgiving and December 1, I figure it's on! I put the Christmas CDs in the car, tuned in the XM Holiday station (103 for those who care) and got out the Christmas dishes.
All the husb has to do is put the Christmas lights on the tree. He chose to get it down and put it together last weekend. I told him he could wait until this weekend, but he wanted to get the lights on during the week and then I could hang the ornaments.
Um...check it out.
Yep...no lights yet. Tomorrow is December 1st, and the tree is lightless.
I made out the Christmas list a few weeks ago, but more importantly, I decided months ago that I would not be knitting any gifts this year. I needed a year off. However, this year was the year for "shopping the stash." I tried really hard to use stash yarn first when I got the urge to make something. The thing that I noticed was, I have some yarn - a good bit of my stash - that I bought because it was "a deal." In theory, it would save me money and I could make some neat stuff. In reality, I have some yarn that I am constantly trying to make work for the projects that I have in mind. I'm not going to do the "deal" buying anymore. I don't want a stash anymore. I just want to go project to project. (Yeah, yeah...We'll see how long that lasts.)
I've been eyeing this yarn that I bought three or four years ago. It's Naturgarn No 1 by Gjestal. I bought it originally to make felted purses, but a body can have so many felted purses. I'll show you what I end up making with it after Christmas. Until then, it is top secret.
On that note, I will end today's entry. The STARS are playing tonight; so, I hope to go watch them win.
Merry Karma out.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Here's a shot from the lodge where we stopped to eat near the highest part of the Talemina Trail that runs from Oklahoma to Arkansas. It is noted for it's beautiful panoramic scenery, especially at this time of the year, when the leaves are changing colors. The weather forecast for Saturday was sunny and warm... It was neither.
I was hoping to be able to take you on the tour with some great pictures. Instead, here's some knitting:
The kid is modeling the hat that I made with the Blue Sky Chunky yarn he chose on our trip to Tricoter in August. The recipe is quite simple: I will come back and post it later.
I finally finished the socks!!!
On the needles:
This car seat blanky was inspired by this pattern . I thought I would shop the stash and make a little gifty for one of the many girls that my friends are expecting in the next few months. I am using Cabana by Reynolds. I cast on 38 stitches, using the first and last three for a garter stitch border. I knitted the first and last 4 rows in garter. I used the ridges garter stitch from the pattern in between the border stitches. Tres easy. It is knitting quickly.
Such a cute baby sweater. I've knitted it before. It's Daydream, from Rowan Babies. I am using Sirdar Snuggly DK in a pretty pink. I am finishing the right front tonight, and then I will knit both sleeves at the same time.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
We have a joke in our family that our pumpkins wear the same face year after year. Husb carves them every year, except for the couple of times the kid and I carved an additional one to join Jack. So, here's a picture of said Jack Number 1-32.
Next to Jack is the hat that I started last night. All I have to do is run the tail through the top stitches and close off. It is made from Blue Sky Bulky. The kid picked out the yarn from Tricoter in Seattle. He has good taste.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Dayum! It's the end of the month already, and I've barely posted about anything. Could it be that we were the favored GI group this month and everybody had to consult us about any body function related to the GI tract?
I hardly did any knitting. Here's a picture of my socks that I took a few days ago. I am up to the toe decreases now.
I've hardly watched any movies either. Bummer city!
I have watched some tee vee shows. Grey's Anatomy - purely fluffical in the medicine department, but a guilty pleasure for entertainment. Private Practice - more medical fluff, but I really like the crazy characters. ER - I will watch that show until it dies. I started watching it with the first episode and I will not give up on it now. It's a little better in the medicine department, but it rather over-dramatizes stuff sometimes. Men in Trees - This show is about as close as you can get to Northern Exposure, without it being Northern Exposure. Brothers and Sisters - I like it. I really like it. Desperate Housewives - It's another guilty pleasure.
Oh my goodness - I am filling my head with mind garbage! Should I be worried? Ahhhhhhh....no.
There's been some of this type of stuff going on:
I have to say that no matter how October starts, or what happens in the middle, it always ends on a good note. I love Halloween - It's definitely one of my all-time favorite holidays. Last night, I watched Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin. Today, I baked my Halloween treats. I had my bowl of candy ready at 5:30. The husb carved the pumpkin and I had it out with it's candle lit at 6:30. I forgot to take a picture. (I'm still so new at this blogger thing. Sorry.) It never ceases to amaze me though...In the last 5 years or so, Trick or Treaters have shown up between 6:30 and 8:30, and I have about 8 groups of kids come. This year was no different. I had 8 groups. That's it.
Here's the first group. They happen to be my favorite kids in the whole world.
And here's a little treat for you.
Merry Karma out.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Hoodwinked is a cute, animated film that gives a modern twist to the back story of Little Red Riding Hood. Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close and Jim Belushi provided some of the voices.
I had been waiting for Away from Her to come out in video since it was playing at the Angelika in Dallas. Julie Christie, Olympia Dukakis and Gordon Pinsent star in this movie about a long-time married couple who are separated when the wife is stricken with Alzheimer's and chooses to live in a nursing facility. It was very good...great story and well acted.
When I first heard the title of this next movie, I really didn't think too much about it. Sometimes, I try to guess what a movie is about by the title of the movie. 51 Birch Street is a documentary film in which a filmmaker documents his own family. His mother dies unexpectedly and three months later, his father reconnects with a former secretary and later plans to marry her. The son struggles to reconcile his parents' seemingly good relationship with the details in his mother's diary. It was very, very good.
Another movie I had been waiting to watch on video is The Lives of Others. This movie is set in the 1980's prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. A writer in East Germany comes under surveillance by an officer in the East German Secret Police, or Stasi. A superior officer (who is trying to steal the writer's girlfriend) is interested in getting information that might be used against the writer. It turned out to be very good.
I love Cate Blanchett, and she did not disappoint in The Good German, with George Clooney and Tobey McGuire. This movie is set in post-war Berlin. Clooney plays a war correspondent who returns to Berlin and runs into his former lover (Blanchett). She is now a woman with some things to hide, and she wants to get as far away from Berlin as possible. It was good, but I'll bet the book was better.
Yet another WWII Nazi movie, The Black Book is about a Jewish woman living in Holland during the time of German occupation. It is based on a true story. She watches her family and some other people get killed by the Germans when they were on what they thought was a safe passage out of harms way. She narrowly escaped by diving into the water and getting away. She then goes on to be a spy to help the Dutch Resistance. It was good, but I think I need to step away from the WWII movies for a while. They can be quite depressing.
Jim wanted to watch We Are Marshall. This movie is based on the true story about the tragedy that befell the football team of Huntington, WV's Marshall University. In 1970, most of the team, coaching and university staff, as well as some athletic boosters died when the plane carrying them back from a game crashed. Matthew McConaughey portrays the coach brought in to reorganize a team, and Matthew Fox plays one of the surviving coaches. It was a good movie.
Finally, I wanted to watch Elizabeth again to remember what had happened, because Elizabeth - The Golden Age is coming out later this month. Cate Blanchett, who was incredible in this movie, will reprise her role as the famous monarch. Geoffrey Rush was great and will also be in the new movie. Excellent film...although a little gory and dark in parts.
I watched these movies at the theater:
3:10 to Yuma - So, I am not really a fan of westerns. I don't like the "shoot-em-up" action. Lately, Hollywood has really gone overboard on the graphic violence. It's rather macabre, if you ask me, but I digress. This movie was moderately violent, and despite being a western, it was pretty dang good. It is always interesting to watch Russell Crowe. The man is a gifted actor. He has such a range. Then, there's Christian Bale. The first movie I watched with him was "American Psycho." I really did not like his character at all, and from then on, it was hard to look past that. I had a hard time separating the IRL (in real life) Christian Bale from that character...despite the fact that I don't know Christian Bale IRL. I've seen him in several movies since then, and I have to say, he's good. I think he's rather underrated in Hollywood. Anyway, I really liked this movie about a bank robber (Crowe) and the efforts to bring him to justice. It's a remake of a 1957 classic.
2 Days in Paris - I really wanted to like this movie. I like Julie Delpy, except in the Before Sunrise and Before Sunset movies. I didn't like the dialogue that was trying to be all spontaneously conversational and, in reality, sounded self-aware and forced. Anyway, this new movie is about a French woman who now lives in New York. She and her boyfriend are returning home from Vienna, when they stop over in Paris for two days. She shows him the town and he gets glimpses of her past life. There were a couple of laugh-out-loud moments, but overall, I was not impressed.
Eastern Promises - despite the good performances by Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts, this movie was just okay, and graphically violent. The first scene should have tipped me off. Yuck! There was an article where the director boasted that the movie had only three scenes of violence. I think it was actually four, but none-the-less they were disgusting. Viggo plays a Russian mobster. Naomi plays a midwife who attends to a teenager that dies after her placenta abrupted. The girl kept a diary and in it, there is plenty of incriminating information. The movie is getting good buzz, but it just didn't send me.
Gotta dash now....Break over...Gotta get back to the mess that is my house right now. The flooring people did not finish yesterday and had to come back this morning. (Lovely.) Actually, they did a good job. I am happy. Now, I am trying to get everything put back in order.
Friday, October 5, 2007
I would've taken off on Wednesday, but I had scheduled the flooring people to come to my house today to replace carpeting and vinyl upstairs. I had already planned to take off yesterday and today; so, I figured adding Wednesday would really be pushing it. Besides, I thought, I only had 5 established patients and I wouldn't be that long. Famous last words.
Sooooooo......I worked on Wednesday - and yesterday, I moved everything out of the three closets upstairs, as well as the stuff that I have stacked (neatly) in the "exercise room" that needs to be addressed. I had been working on it at a slow-but-determined-one-box-at-a-time-fashion. It was under control. Really.
Here's what the living room and dining room look like right now:
I hope I survive the rest of the weekend. I suppose it is a good a time as any to send some of this stuff to new homes. I just don't relish the idea of having to deal with it. When it was upstairs, it was out of sight and out of mind, for the most part. Now, in the harsh light of day, I see that I have a problem. It's called too-much-stuffitis. I feel like that lady from Clean House's Messiest House in America special. I know I'm not that bad, but I do have a lot of stuff. I live in mortal fear of becoming that bad.
I will sign off now and get busy. I'll be back with posts about movies and knitting.
Friday, September 21, 2007
The Merry Karma was not amused. Ask her if she has ever been carded at the Walmart.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
I have been wanting to see this movie called Once for some time now. I was able to see it this week. (So, I didn't see it on a Sunday, but I'm gonna talk about it anyway.) It's about this Irish lad who is an aspiring singer-songwriter. He meets a Czech girl, who just happens to be a piano player and a bit of an aspiring songwriter herself. They team up and make some music together. Apparently, the cast is made up entirely of musicians. It was cute, cute, cute. I really enjoyed it.
Another cute flick I saw this week was Death at a Funeral. A group of friends and family gather for a funeral, when mayhem ensues. There were parts that were laugh-out-loud funny. I really liked it.
Broken English with Parker Posey, Drea de Matteo and Gena Rowlands star in this film about a thirtysomething single woman who's been unlucky in love. Nora Wilder (Posey) is frustrated that all her friends seem to be happily coupled, and the fish in the sea aren't very promising. She meets this hunky French guy who does his best to help her remedy her situation. Zoe Cassavetes (Gena Rowland's daughter) directed this cute little film. It had enough quirk to keep me happy.
I might be able to watch Flags of Our Fathers tonight. I've had it from Blockbuster Online for a little over a week and haven't been able to watch it yet. Slowly, but surely, I am whittling down the Blockbuster Que...but Hollywood keeps cranking them out; so, I will never run out.
Monday, September 10, 2007
According to Poodwaddle, my real age is 18 and I am going to live to be 105. The funny thing is that most days, I feel about 17 or 18. Thankfully, I've learned a few things along the way, but I have never gotten it through my head that I am a grown woman now. Not that I run around acting as if I am 17 or 18 (or at least I hope I don't), but I really cannot wrap my head around the number that is my chronological age.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
1. How 'bout them Ags?!? We listened to the Aggie game on the radio yesterday as we drove to the Ranger's game. The Ags ended up winning a squeaker against Fresno State, in three overtimes, that they should have "won decisively." Well, that's what "they" said, whoever "they" are. The score was 47-45. Whoop!
2. The Rangers also won last night. The game was good. We took The Kid, his friend and two of the grandkids. After the game, the Rangers treated the crowd to a spectacular fireworks show. It was fun to watch the grandkids - they were so excited.
3. When I was in school, I did not like Sunday nights. It seemed so lonely and sad that school was starting the next day. It almost felt like a death, as in "the week is over." Sunday never seemed to last long enough, and frequently, Sunday nights were spent in a private hell, trying to catch up and completing a weekend's worth of work.
Since I've had a family, Sunday nights can be hectic and busy with chores and getting ready for the coming week, but they seem more of a beginning. I never feel that melancholy anymore, and frankly, I don't miss it. I am always thankful for those positive paradigm shifts.
4. My current projects:
I had this fabric in the stash, and figured it would work for carseat blankies. There's another baby shower later this month, this time for a little girl.
The fabric matches this yarn, also from the stash, closely enough. I have started a pair of booties. I haven't decided on the hat design yet, but I saw the pattern for these booties mentioned on another blog. The pattern can be found here at Saartje Knits.
Here are the socks. They don't look all that different than the last picture, but I am working on the heel flaps.
And now, the Merry Karma will go enjoy the rest of her Sunday. She wishes that you enjoys yours too.
Merry Karma out.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
For the last several years, I've tried to see the movies that have been nominated for the top five awards - or, at least the awards that are important to me: Best Picture, Best Actor/Actress and Best Supporting Actor/Actress. I love to watch the Oscars, and if I've seen these movies at the very least, the show is more meaningful to me.
I really liked when the awards were at the end of March, and not the end of February, because I had plenty of time to see all the films that I wanted to see.
I have wanted to throw a big Oscar party for my friends for forever, but since the husb is not a big movie watcher, it has never happened. I think it would be fun to dress up (another black mark in the husb's eyes), have a red carpet coming up the front walk for everyone to make a grand entrance, serve cocktails and munchies, and then sit around and watch the show. The Angelika Theaters throw Oscar watching parties; so, I might make it to one of those someday soon.
I went to see Stardust the other day. This fanciful little film is really good. So, it's a bit of a fantasy, but the acting is very good, and I found it highly entertaining. Claire Daines plays a fallen star who is being pursued by a young man (Charlie Cox) to give to his true love (Sienna Miller), by a Prince (Mark Strong) and his brothers to get back a family heirloom and by a witch (Michelle Pfeiffer) who wants to cut out her heart and attain eternal youth and beauty. Add Robert DeNiro and Rupert Everett, and you've got yourself two hours of good time. I don't know if there will be any Oscar nominations forthcoming, but I liked it very much.
I watched Disturbia on DVD recently. Shia LaBeouf plays a high school senior who is stuck at home on house arrest. Since there's not much else to do, he watches the neighborhood and learns the patterns of behavior of the people who live nearby. He notices some really suspicious behavior and the fun begins. It's a real thriller. I can safely say that this movie is not Oscar-worthy, but I liked it.
So, in the interest of tackling the endless list of movies on my Blockbuster queue, I think I'll go watch a DVD.
Merry Karma out.
Monday, September 3, 2007
"So, Mike, what are your plans for To Celebrate the Social and Economic Achievements of American Workers Day? Me? My family and I are going to my in-laws' house for a cookout and pool party."
Yep...that must be it.
So, I am not working - well....I am not going to the hospital today to see patients. Instead, am picking up the house, doing laundry and, if I'm lucky, I will do a little knitting. (OK - maybe not that much of a misnomer.)
Speaking of knitting, I've been doing some, but not on any of the projects that I showed last time. First of all, I mailed off a wedding gift last week. Unfortunately, I wrapped it up and sealed the package before I remembered to take a picture.
Here's a picture of a similar afghan:
This one was made from Amore yarn and it was donated to the yarn guild at my church. (Thanks again, ML.) It was made for a local charity.
The wedding afghan was made using Lion Brand Wool Ease in reddish and brown tones. The pattern used was Mason Dixon Knitting's Moderne Log Cabin. (Luckily, the yarn was from my stash.)
Four of my PA school classmates are expecting babies this fall, and the first of the showers was Saturday. This mother-to-be is expecting twin boys. In keeping with my "Look in the Stash First" policy, I found some suitable yarn. It is leftover from another baby gift project from about 17 years ago - I kid you not. That particular bundle of joy is now a freshman at Texas A&M. (Whoop!)
I made the red and blue hats on the upper right for the twins. The yarn is Berella Sportspun.
I used my basic hat recipe for a baby hat:
Cast on 72 stitches in the round. Knit for 2 1/2 inches. Do a little design (or not). Keep knitting until the hat measures 5 1/2 inches from the CO edge. Do what I call a 6-spoke decrease every other round. Draw up remaining stitches. Weave in the ends...and vee-oh-lah! A hat!
I made two carseat blankies by backing this cute cotton print with flannel.
Sorry for the blurry picture, but I had to take it with my cellphone. The digital camera was in the husby's car, at work, with him.
I'd better get back to my chores; so, I will have a better chance of doing a little knitting. I really want to go see a movie, but that one might be a stretch.
So - Happy To Celebrate the Social and Economic Achievements of American Workers Day to you. Hope you have a good one!
Merry Karma out.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
I'm talking about back to school!!! You could hear the collective sigh of relief from all the mothers in the area on Tuesday. Actually, while I like the structure to our lives that the school year provides, that structure gets to be stifling after a while.
I like back to school because it heralds the fall season. Fall is my favorite time of the year. The temperatures get cooler - although, around here, it's usually in late fall. I celebrate my birthday, anniversary and birth of my child. I love Halloween. I also love Thanksgiving. Fall is the prelude to the Christmas season - another favorite of mine. See, I cannot say anything negative about fall.
I also like that back to school shopping phenomenon. I love shopping for school supplies and for clothes - even if it's not for me. Luckily, I've had someone to take BTS shopping for the last many years, but I can see those days coming to an end.
New school supplies are my favorite! The smell of crayons, the way they look in the box - standing up straight, side-by-side, with those pointy heads - it makes me giddy! Unfortunately, crayons were not on Kenny's supply list yet again, this year. All I was able to buy for him were some pens, paper, map pencils and a couple of folders. I did manage to score legal pads and gel pens for myself. Squeee!
Last weekend, Kenny and I decided it was time to get a couple of things. He hasn't outgrown things so much, as he's worn some things to threads. I figured we'd run down to the mall and see what Dillard's and Macy's had to offer. I figured wrong, apparently. Kenny lead me to Hot Topics, Pac Sun and Hollister's. He found a few things and we were good to go. We still have to find some new tennies, but here's the sum total of the BTS shopping:
Some stylish tee shirts.
Three new shorts. We see one we like, we buy one in every color.
Ya know, I am a big proponent of wearing uniforms to school. It really cuts out a lot of the dress code issues that take up a lot of the teaching time. Anyway, Kenny went to private school from K through 4th grade. He wore a uniform. It was great. The choices were navy or khaki pants - long pants when cool and shorts when it was warm. For the top, he chose from navy, white, navy/white striped, or light blue cotton chambray - and the sleeve length depended on the temperature. Simple.
He started going to public school in 5th grade, and he was happy to leave the uniform wearing behind. He told me he preferred wearing whatever he wanted to school. In 6th grade, the principal tried to pass a uniform dress code for the school. There were many students bussed into the school from some disadvantaged areas of the city, and she wanted to even the playing field a little. The idea was voted down by my "well-educated" neighbors, who probably need a little education in sensitivity. Plus, my argument was that the teachers needed to use their time to teach, not reprimanding dress code violations. Still, the proposal was voted down, and Kenny was thrilled!
So, fast forward to today... I don't know about you, but the outfits that Kenny picked out sort of remind me of a uniform.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I am here today to expound on the virtures of robes.
As in, why is it that people (patients) do not bring a robe to the hospital anymore?
Everyday, I bear witness to this phenomenon. Scores of patients are walking up and down the halls of the hospital not wearing robes. A few might grab an extra gown and wear it backwards simulating a robe (which is a definite Glamour Don't, by the way, but I suppose it is better than nothing), but the vast majority traipse around in just a hospital gown. Some even go downstairs - and out the door - to smoke a cigarette. (That's a topic for another day.)
I would like to point out that hospital gowns are not designer fashion, are not very flattering, and they provide only a modicum of modesty. Most of the time, people are wearing underwear under them, but it's not a guarantee.
I did have one patient, bless him, who did pull on his jeans under his gown whenever he left the room. That's not much of a fashion statement either. I mean, I would have either put on all regular clothes, or thrown on a robe (that zipped or tied closed securely). The half-n-half thing is a little too bipolar for my taste, but I digress.
Just the other day, I was reminded once again about this situation - because I see it so much that it is no longer on my mind on a minute-by-minute, or even a daily basis. OK, maybe fleetingly on the daily thing.
As I was writing a progress note in a chart at the nurses station, I looked down one of the halls while searching for a word in my mind, when I saw a perfect example of this breach of etiquette: A male patient facing the opposite direction was walking down the hall pulling his IV pole and wearing a hospital gown. It was barely tied in the back, and he was giving us all a view of his tidy-whities.
"Case in point!!!" I screamed to the charge nurse and the other nurses nearby. (They've heard me ask the universe why people don't bring a robe to the hospital many times.) I just pointed down the hall and we all started laughing discreetly behind our hands.
I know that sometimes, people are too sick to think about etiquette - but most of the time, these patients are too sick to get out of bed in the first place. If they do leave their rooms, it is usually on a stretcher or a wheelchair, on the way to a procedure. The nursing/transport staff usually are good about keeping these patients covered up, but they are sick, it's a hospital; so, it's okay if they look like they are sick patients in a hospital on the way to a procedure.
Aaaannnnnd, the point: On your way to the hospital, be sure to pack a robe. Put a reminder on the back of your driver's license; so, your family will know your wishes, in the case that you are too sick to talk or think.
Merry Karma out.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
I did do some knitting on the trip, and I have evidence. First, there are some completed projects:
I finished the little mitts out of the yarn I scored in May at the Ranger game for "Stitch-n-Pitch." The ball bands have disappeared. I don't know what the fiber content for the gray yarn is, but I hope it holds together when washed. It is a papery-feeling ribbon with a chain of what appears to be sewing machine stitching down the middle.
Here's a little project I designed for a friend and local artist who hand-dyes yarn. The pattern will soon be available at on her website at Madeline Tosh. Check out her yarn. The colorways are fabulous, and the yarn is really yummy.
The blue is really a purple in both of these hats that I made for graduation gifts.
Still OTN (on the needles):
I bought this yarn at the DFW FiberFest last year. It's by JoJoLand and it is really nice stuff. I started the fingerless gloves in December, and have been struggling to complete them since then. There is something about the pattern that I do not quite get, but I've never made gloves before. I had knit the small part of the fingers that you do knit on the one on the right, but I decided to just frog that part and start over. I will have to ponder about that a little longer.
I am using a pattern I found on the internet here.
I bought this yarn from the DFW FiberFest this year. It is hand-dyed yarn by another local artist, The Accidental Knitter. I just loved the colorway. It's called Chili Fest. (I keep calling it Chili Feet.) It does remind one of chili peppers, but I also think of Christmas or even watermelon.
Anwyay, I had to have it, and I am making a pair of socks. I am using the Magic Loop method and am knitting both at the same time. They are just plain, vanilla, stockinette socks with a picot edge on the cuffs. I'm letting the yarn do the talking.
I had purchased this yarn several weeks ago when Louisa Harding was visiting one my LYSs. I couldn't very well be in the presense of a knitting rock star without showing some admiration for her talent, even if it meant that I would be breaking my yarn diet, now could I? It was worth the sacrifice. I didn't snap a pix of the book, but it's a shawlette out of her Beachcomber Bay Accessories Collection.
I substituted two of the yarns, and other than trying to decide if I really want to have that fringe, and I am leaning towards maybe not, I am following the pattern.
Meet the ribbon top from hayul. I bought this yarn last summer and promptly started knitting a very simple top with cap sleeves. I was using a pattern with the exact look I wanted but made out of a completely different yarn. I knitted merrily along, until I got to the beginning of the sleeve part, and things went awry. The yarn I am using and the yarn that the pattern uses are two different guages, and this situation wasn't a problem until this point. So, as I was knitting something else at the time that I had to finish by a deadline, I put this top aside. I dug it out to take on our trip, and decided to change some things around on it. Take a good look, because the next time you see it, it will be a pile of balled up ribbon yarn. I think I am going to frog the whole thing and start over.
When I complete one or two of the above WIPs (works in progress), here's a little something waiting in the wings:
I had made a pair of socks out of this colorway of Opal yarn. It is Zebra from the Rainforest Collection.
A few months ago, I threw that pair of socks, as well as a couple of other light-colored hand knit pair, into the washing machine. One fingerless mitt I had made decided to jump in with the socks, unbeknownst to me. That little mitt is navy blue. My Zebra socks are now black and gray. It was a tragic day in the life of Merry Karma, that day was.
I thought about it for a long time, and finally decided that I really did want to knit another pair of socks uising this colorway, because I really do like it very much. I still can wear the other pair, and I will. They look fine, but I *know* what they are supposed to look like, and I feel a longing in my heart that only knitting another pair can remedy.
Finally, I will show you my souvenirs from the trip:
I bought a skein of Seasilk at the Beehive Yarn Shop in Victoria, BC. I am going to make the shawl on the pattern attached. They had one hanging up in the store, and it was quite lovely. It screamed Merry Karma appropriate attire; so, I had to get it!
At Tricoter, I purchased the current Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits. Both have some projects that are Merry Karma worthy. I cannot think about that today...I have plenty on my plate for now.
The yarn is some Blue Sky Alpaca Bulky that the kid picked out for me to make him a hat in black and gray. His school colors are black and silver - we had to wing it a little.
Alrighty then...I am finished. This post took quite a bit of time, but I've been teasing the internet with promises of posts of my knitting and it was time to deliver.
Merry Karma out.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
The trip synopsis: We visited friends in Denver. We spent a day at the alpine slide in Winter Park and then it was off into Canada. We drove through Kamploops, had lunch there and stopped for a short time in the park by the river. We drove to Kelowna for supper with a quick visit to the lake. We took a windy, (as in the configuration of the road - not the description of the weather) mountain road to Whistler - a ski resort not too far from Vancouver. After having supper up there, we headed towards Vancouver. We parked the RV in a suburb of Vancouver for about 6 days. We rented a car and tooled around the city. I tried to go to Three Bags Full - a yarn shop there, but it was closed on Mondays. I did go to another one down the street. I forget the name, but it was very small and the selection was not very inspiring. We took the ferry over to Vancouver Island and stayed in Victoria for three days. I really enjoyed visiting Bouchart Gardens. I did go to a great yarn shop called Beehive Wool Shop in Victoria, and I purchased the first of my souvenirs - a hank of Sea Silk by Hand Maiden. It's a really pretty stormy sea (kind of a teal) color and it's enough to make a shawl. Knitting content and pictures will be addressed tomorrow.
After we left the Vancouver area, we headed to Seattle and spent 3 days there, but they were jam-packed days. I had wanted to contact an internet knit buddy while there, but although all the RV parks where we had stayed up to that point (and for the rest of the trip, it seems) had free wifi, it was either down or all the sites were blocked. (I found that one quite odd.) It was quite maddening not to be able to access my e-mail and my contact information. While in Seattle, I did manage to go to one knit shop (there are quite a few in the area), and it is a rather famous one in the knitting world, Tricoter. (www.tricoter.com - I don't know how to add links in my text yet; so, pardon my ignorance.) It was heavenly. Both of the owners were there and were so welcoming and hospitable. The shop is artfully arranged, and they carry some really nice yarns. The owners have done quite a bit of designing, and have published several books of their designs. I highly recommend visiting this shop if you are in the Seattle area. It was nice to sit down and knit and talk to women. I had a wonderful, though short, time there. We left Seattle, drove by Mt. St. Helen's, and then headed to the Oregon coast. We drove along the mid-coast for about 100 miles and it took several hours, as we stopped many times along the way. Before beginning the journey home in earnest, we stopped at Crater Lake. It was beautiful. Actually, it was beautiful everywhere we went and the weather was awesome! It was cool, dry and sunny. Towards the end of our trip, we were hearing about the start of the 100 degree days back in Texas, and we dreaded coming back to that.
We got home late Tuesday night. I spent most of Wednesday washing (and not making a dent in the piles in the laundry room). I went back to work on Thursday. Our inpatient census went up while I was away, and it was a little crazy trying to catch up on 20 patients between the two hospitals. We signed off quite a few cases yesterday; so, hopefully Monday won't be wild. Since I never work on the weekend, I never know what is waiting for me until I hit the hospital. It's always an adventure.
Here is one knitting-related picture. I was sewing up some little mitts that I made, and the yarn broke:
I was not impressed, to say the least. I wonder what will happen when I try to wash these things.
I don't even know the name of this yarn. I've lost the ball band. I got this and the fancy yarn that I used for the cuffs of these mitts at "Stitch-n-Pitch" in May. A better picture is coming tomorrow.
(Why tomorrow? Because the pictures I took with my camera are not very good, and I just loaded the program for uploading pics from the digital camera to the computer tonight, and the lighting is not good now for picture taking.)
Anyway, I will leave you with a few vacation pics:
This view of a BC ferry boat, going the opposite way, shows Mt. Ranier in the background. That's as close as we got to that mountain. On the day that we were leaving Seattle and were intending to visit, it was quite foggy. We proceeded to Mt. St. Helen's instead.
Here is a picture of my son on the ferry. He tends to make friends wherever he goes. Mostly, they are of the female persuasion.
I am standing outside the very first Starbucks store in Seattle.
Kenny is standing dangerously close to the cliff along the Oregon coast.
I am standing far from the edge of the Oregon coast.
Can you believe this lake was formed after a volcano caved in? It is one of the deepest lakes in the world.
I now bid you goodnight. I will return (for real, this time) tomorrow.