Join me in Snarkville

Being snarky is the only thing that makes this place enjoyable. After all, if you can't laugh at others, how do you feel superior?

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Location: Snarkville, Left Coast

Treat me no differently than you would any Queen. I rule my Snarky kingdom with some kind of dignity, but I refuse to add grace. I rule with my Prince of a husband (he can't be King, since he married into his royal title) and my son the Duke of Snarkville.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I am NOT going for my morning walk today.

Nope, can't make me.

First, I can't find any of the four pairs of workout pants I own other than the gross ones I've worn for the past three days.
Second, my butt is still sore and I'm not at all thrilled with that.
Thirdly, I have a ton of laundry to do -- see point the first.
Fourthly, I just don't want to.
Finally, You can't make me.

So, instead I will make my pot of coffee; continue to wash the mountain of laundry that I have, and consider putting on pants before I head off to work. Thrilling huh?

I started the sock last night. I so need a traveling sock for all the stuff I'm doing over the next months -- perhaps I need many traveling socks. (Am I the only person that wonders if the Yarn Harlot can make a sock in 16 hours -- it is in her Knitting Rules book -- then why doesn't her traveling sock ever seem to grow when she's on the road? I think I would have at least turned the heel by now) But alas, back to me. I have begun a traveling sock.

This is one of my Kool-Aid dyed yarns from when Niki was here. I think if she could have squeezed it into her suitcase (it was a bit full of yarn) she might have tried to sneak this one out of here. I'm loving the colors even more as I knit them. There is no funky striping or pooling -- which of course makes me thrilled and requires that I show it off). I'm doing the cable and rib pattern by Nancy Bush from Interweave. Since I have yet to do a cable, I'm ok -- but I don't own a cable needle small enough -- so I must force myself to purchase a cable needle -- the horror. You know, because I HATE to sit in yarn shops and see yarn AND tools, it is so difficult to put up with touching yummy, soft yarns. See some of you tonight at Knit Night!!

In a recent development (a phone call 20 seconds ago), I have learned that my last, missing cabinet door will be installed today between 11am and noon. So, I'm thinking that may mean pants are in order. But -- one thing off the list of Frankenhouse -- hmmm, I've lived here 7 months and one item is off the list -- I thinking the whole house will be done by the time we move out, right?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I got my schedule and it isn't pretty

If you read me for any length of time at all, you know I go to great lengths to keep my life, well private. I go to great lengths, until you click on that little link that reads "Day Job" and you can reach right out and touch me for real -- but that's just because I'm a ho and need to keep up with my bills on occasion. Anyway, look something shiney.
Well, I feel I must pull back the curtain this one time to share with you the Queen's schedule for the summer months. I really want to have a personal secretary to help me keep up with it all -- or hey, just someone who will pack, launder, and re-pack -- truly, I'm easy to please. Some of this stuff is REALLY exciting too. I can't wait to do 95% of it, it's just I will be required to don real shoes and not my fuzzy slippers to do all of this. Ok, so here it goes.

26th (yes, tonight): Mother's Club Meeting
27th: Knit Night
29th: Hired a sitter, we are going to the city to have dinner with my husband's car club folks
30th: Car club event -- a drive, some food, some ad agency will be there too.

4th: Knit Night
10th: Tour and lunch on a Holland America ship in port for the day.
11th: Breakfast with Oceania Cruise Line
11th evening: Knit Night
14th: Mother's Day -- while I must remember to buy the Queen Mum (and two grandmums) cards and such -- I already HAVE placed the order for MY gift -- a delightful, handmade jewelry box (perhaps for my birthday I'll get new jewelry to put in it :)
17th: Board the NCL America's newest ship, Pride of Hawaii for a 2 day cruise to nowhere. Will be way cool and was by invite only. (Feeling special here)
19th: Return home from cruise
25th: Knit Night
26th: Depart to head to the Queen Mum's home for Memorial Day weekend
31st: Board Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas for a 2 day cruise to nowhere -- these seem popular, huh?

2nd: Head from the ship to Club Med for 4 days (and this is really work)
7th: Return home.
8th: Knit Night
15th: Knit Night
22nd: Knit Night
28th: Depart to Seattle for more training with Holland America (may leave on the 27th -- haven't fully decided yet) But a good friend of mine from AZ will be my room mate -- so all is getting better.

2nd: Return from Seattle

Then life can calm down a bit until October when the family take a 7 day cruise to Mexico. And then's there visitors coming in August and us needing to leave over the holidays -- my word, I'm pooped just typing all this.

So, who's up for becoming my personal assistant?? I don't pay and my life isn't glamorous, but I knit -- perhaps I can pay you in socks?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I don't read aloud properly

I know there are people in this world who can read a book aloud and it is like listening to the very author speak. These people, without having read the item first, can put the exact right tone on every single word. They never stumble over the names of people who have too many vowels. I, sadly, am not one of these people. My mother is. The Queen Mum has the most delightful reading voice. If I could figure out how to get her discovered in the world of books on tape, I would. As a child, she would read in the car -- from the newspaper -- and make the world around me come alive. My father delights in listening to her. Yup, that gene is going to die with her.

Now, I don't think of myself as a poor reader, I'm just not my mother and will never be asked to read aloud in public EVER. But I always thought myself capable of private readings of bedtime stories to my son. You'd think after the 9 billionth reading of Dr. Suess I might get it right. Probably not. My attention span, which is roughly the size of a gnat, does not allow me to remember that Mr. Brown is a wonder or that the Cat in the Hat comes back with Thing One and Thing Two. (odd sidenote: Did you know that Dr. Suess once wrote porn? I heard it somewhere -- perhaps total fiction -- but I heard that he began to write for kids to atone for his "adult writing" In college, we had great fun trying to think what he'd write, "No, I wouldn't in a car, or in a bar, or with a goat or in a moat...") But again, I digress.

Last night, it was time to tuck a spun-up beyond belief Duke into bed. Now, I change his pants, put his undershirt on (I like to call it his diaper removal prevention suit), and his PJs. He DID.NOT want to go to bed and told me, "No, Jammers." more times than I can count. So, I got him dressed. I called for the Prince for tucking in services. Prince was busy and said he'd be right in. So, I pulled down the book we had been reading -- the complete Thomas the Tank Engine series -- and began. Literally, two sentences in, Prince walks in. Duke gets all excited and says, "Daddy read." then "Night, Night, Mama, I love you." I get a hug and sent on my way. Now, I'm not upset that Daddy gets to read -- I was just amused that at TWO and a HALF, my son already knows that I'm not meant to be reading aloud. Either that or I should only be reading the "Zoo Book" (Put me in the Zoo) which I hate with a passion.

Well, I guess I should be off to read silently -- would hate to disturb the cats or dog with my "reading"

Monday, April 24, 2006

It is a very small world indeed

I was going to start this post to tell you all about my weekend. How we went into the city yesterday afternoon for soap (yes, we are weird people who go to a special store to buy soap at horribly high prices and I'm ok with it because I love it --- and you would love it too) and ran into a girl I knew on the east coast who moved out here about a year before I moved out. Literally, we passed each other on the street -- as we did countless times at our common workplace for years --- only 3,000 miles away in a town I don't go into except MAYBE once a month). Weird, huh?
There was some humor about the story and I would have shared. I would have until I was reading my long list of morning blogs and saw this. These amazing, fabulous people brought their kids "home" with them last night. I can't even get my hands around their last 24 to 48 hours. I remember giving birth to Duke and laying in bed with him thinking I'd taken on the biggest job I could ever imagine (and I did). But with Duke nearing 3 years old, I've grown up as a mommy as he's grown up as a kid. I look at the school kids walking to school down my street and I think, "I have no idea how to even begin to talk to a 5 year old." Once I thought that about 3 too -- but I digress. I can't imagine having two school aged kids, who don't speak English, yet, and jumping right in. I'm beyond impressed with these two people. So, congratulations, my friends. Come home soon.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Things and More Things

You know, this always happens to me. I sit down to post something to my blog and I think, Hmm, do we think this is funny or interesting or oh, worth spending calories to type? (yes, I refer to myself in the royal third person, want to make something of it?) Well, then I type something of vague interest to me at least and perhaps someone might get a snicker out of it. Then, I look out the window and when I stop thinking I should wash that window with all the nose prints on it, I see *IT* -- the thing I should have blogged about. The thing that is actually funny, interesting, and worth my time and calories. Ready?

I have a GANG in my backyard. Yes, it is a wild gang, take no prisoners, probably vicious. I have a gang of cats in my backyard. Now, in previous installments of Snarkville, you have learned that my backyard is a bit overgrown. You may also know that we have a neighborhood cat (we like to refer to it as "Scary Cat") who likes to come visit (read stalk) my back yard. This cat freaks me out, because at first glance it is a tabby - blue point mix that has potential of beauty. Then you take a second glance a realize that a) it is UGLY beyond belief and b) it is looking at you with that "Leave your door or window open for a second and I'm coming in and making myself at home." look. Yes, I have a small fear of this Cujo-esque cat.
This is Scary Cat, as seen in the fall, in our backyard. He is sitting on the table my dog uses to hop up to the steep slope of a backyard we have to do his dog thing.

This is what I saw out of the kitchen window this afternoon. What is shocking is that this cat is a PERFECT cross between my eldest ginger tabby (who is indoors all the time) and my in-laws' rag doll orange tabby. And he/she kept looking at me, like it wanted to be my best friend and sleep in my bed tonight UNDER my covers with me. He looked sweet and kind and made me want to go pet him -- and he looked perfectly content under his little tree in the shade --- enjoying his cat nap.

So as I was enjoying the "conversation" with this orange guy's eyes, I saw something that was grey and furry off to the side. Hmmm, I wonder if he'd caught himself a mouse or something -- then it moved -- freaked me out a bit; but I watched. And found cat #3 in our backyard. This one is a cross between the orange guy and Scary Cat. I got this one shot of him as my angle was a bit bad when he was napping in the bushes -- and I wasn't going to actually go outside to visit. I'm guessing I made some noise in my opening a window to get a good shot -- and out from that one bush came THREE cats running across my back yard and out the gate. THREE WHOLE CATS. With the three that live in luxury inside the house, that means there were a total of 6 cats within 20 square feet. I have just become THAT crazy cat lady (and bonus plan, I knit too --- so I'm thinking if Prince ever walks, my chances of landing any other man are somewhere in the snowball and Hell's chances).
Let me tell you that it is pretty freaky to see herding cats -- I was unaware they were pack like animals -- but I have them. So do you think they look vicious enough to keep the field mouse population away from my house?

Happy Friday.

Wow -- I really can't fathom that it is really Friday. Since I thought Tuesday should have been Thursday, you can imagine I've had a bit of a long week.
I became a hand model in yesterday's Marin Independant Journal. I'm getting a back copy since the photo of my hands is not online --- I promise to take a photo of the COVER shot to share. But I have to say it was very, very cool.
Knit Night, last night, was fun and snarky as usual. Actually, in a way I think we were more bonded because of the article and really enjoyed the evening better. There is a Farmer's Market right outside the shop on Thrusdays. While it is pretty cool to have food vendors (though I think I had the WORST Thai Iced Tea last night -- ICK), there is a band that plays --- literally 20 feet from the front door. It seems there may be a different entertainer weekly, and I do hope this guy doesn't come back. He seemed to believe he could make up for poor playing and no voice with SHEER VOLUME. Now, as one who is tone deaf, I can understand the finer points of volume over talent -- but I'm an accomplished tone deaf person, who knows the far greater benefits to "mouthing the words" over actual noise. Perhaps I should train others?
Anyway, the first sleeve has be begun on my sweater. Big shout of thanks to the bad mommy who brought me more orange yarn. I can't wait to wear my soon to be new sweater.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

When Frankenstein Builds a House

I live in "Frankenhouse" Yup. When a contractor does all the work on his very own house, this house is what you get. I have a house with 3 TOTAL phone jacks that work (Because of a mouse issue from years ago) and one of them is in the garage. I have a house that is missing window screens on 3 windows (two of them in bedrooms) and NO AC. I have a house that has a backyard that could use a little help -- if by a little you mean, "Fire and lots of it" -- over grown is an understatement. I have a house that has a completely NEW kitchen (with a very old stove) that is missing a cabinet door because it wasn't ordered correctly and should have been installed 6 months ago when we moved in. I have a house that the owners' insurance company was about to pull the insurance on because the spark catcher at the top of the chimney is SO old. I have a house with a backyard gate that is hanging by a RUSTY nail (I kid you not).
However, yesterday, the stars aligned, the sun was shinning, angels sung out with glee --- the spark catcher was replaced AND the unfinished cabinet door was picked up for finishing (with the promise of return by SATURDAY)!!!! Joy, Happy, Joy. Now if I can find screens for the windows before summer and try to figure out how to put up a ceiling fan in the one bedroom (Duke's) that is missing one -- life may be perfect in my little Frankenhouse.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

How "on time" can suck

I'm married to Mr. Punctual. In fact, there is a long standing story of how on our first date, he was literally at my door when I was stepping out of the shower. He claims he was driving around my neighborhood for 45 minutes before ringing my doorbell a full 15 minutes early. In my defense, I'm not normally a running late kind of girl. However, I had just gotten through a 1 year relationship with a guy who ALWAYS late, by at least 20 minutes -- so at that point in my life, habit had said I had 35 full minutes before I would be answering the door. But alas, no -- drippy and not quite dressed, my future husband got to joy of entertaining my cat while I rushed to do girlie things like dry off.

Anyway, that long history to explain that my husband actually believes in the phrase, "Early is 'On Time'; On time is 'Late'; and Late is unacceptable." So, we had to go to a meeting this morning, as a couple, together, in the SAME car. URGH. Not only did this mean leaving my house at an hour I hesitate to mention to take Duke to school. It meant I was forced to drink my required morning coffee in the car while listening to Prince's required BBC. URGH. Then we drive --- SOUTH -- towards the CITY -- in rush hour. Hello? Who thought a breakfast meeting anywhere around here was a good plan? But we left plenty of time to get there. We left so much time in fact that my dear, sweet, always early person had us arrive at the location a full hour before the meeting began. A full hour. So, not only are we the only dorks in the world who can't judge how long it takes to drive 18 miles, we are the only dorks in the room. No problem, there was breakfast. BONUS, first dibs on the good stuff.

So, while this was cruel and unusual punishment for me, I have a friend who was kind enough to send me an e-mail with subject line: "getting here on time stinks!" To summarize, she left for work at 7:40am and arrived at her destination on time. Why it stinks in her world is that when it seemed like it should be 9am, it was only 8:30am. To this I say, poor baby. I'm so sorry. :) Afterall, I was sitting in the car wondering how to waste time before an reasonable person might show up at 7:40am. No, I'm not bitter or anything.

Of course on most days, she hates me since I commute all of 20 feet in my fuzzy slippers and bathrobe to my office. I claim there is lots of traffic, what with the back-up of dust bunnies on the stairs and the horrible kitty cat roll over in the sunbeam. I don't think she's buying that I have a tough life -- maybe if I didn't knit in the middle of the day?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Nite Nite!

Just a quickie (teehee, I said quickie) on something Duke did. We all love to watch American Chopper in Snarkville. Since the Prince and I will be up for our parent of the year award, we feel it is important that Duke see what the competition is for "bad parenting".

Anyway, on a recent espiode, Mikey (the younger and lazy child) was sleeping on the couch in the office snoring loudly.

Duke pointed at the TV and said, "Nite Nite, Mikey." Then runs off to his room, pulls the covers over his head and fake snores (ala Three Stooges style).

Gee, is it only Tuesday?

I went to sleep last night thinking that tomorrow was Thursday and I'd have knit night that evening. It was a pleasant dream and you can imagine my SHOCK when I woke up and it was only Tuesday. Well, now it is 9:30am and I'm still waiting on the first cup of coffee for the day.

Better thoughts. The sweater is progressing. I'm about 12 rounds from beginning the sleeves. My good friend at The Bad Mommy offered to pick up the need two balls of orange at Artfibers for me, since she can't do lunch on Friday (the day I could have run into the city to pick them up). She's wonderful. This sweater is knitting up way fast and I can't wait to wear it, though it may be this fall before I do. Now just one more sweater and I can confine my stash once again to its box. But I NEED to get more socks done (yes, my feet are getting chilled). Oh, did you want to see a photo of the sweater? Of course you do.

So, what do you think? I think it needs sleeves and it needs LOTS of ends to be woven in (notice I didn't take a photo of the inside). Thus far it has been a really fun sweater to knit. The yarn is so soft and it feels good. I hope the stripes line up ok on the sleeves -- and, oh, that it looks as good on as it does on the table. Nothing like a little worry, huh?

Since I also know that you are just aching for a potty update. We re-read a book or four over the weekend and are now teaching him how to clean up after all accidents. In addition, he also must "practice" running to the potty when he needs to go. We aren't sure that the latter is helping much, but late yesterday evening, I walked by the bathroom to find Duke, holding his underpants over the potty (emptying poop into the toliet). Without much prompting he completely cleaned himself up, and mostly got himself into a clean pair. I am a wee bit proud of this. Now, if we can only prevent the accidents in the first place.

Unlike last week, when I took myself to the movies on a Tuesday, I think today, I'm going to take myself to the grocery store. Not so much a fair trade as a needed trip. I think the Prince may revolt if we don't have a meal this evening. He's so picky about this eating thing, I just don't understand why he can't live off Peeps like I have for the past two days. Anyway, while at the store, I plan on picking up Easter egg dye for future "dye jobs" for socks. Sounds like a blast huh?

So, back to dreaming it is Thursday. It seems a Farmer's Market closes the street near my yarn shop, which means parking is a premium. I plan on heading in early and grabbing a bite for dinner at the market. If you go to Marin Fiber Arts and want to join me, let me know so I'll be on the look out for you. Perhaps there will be sleeves by Thursday.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Reading Between the Lines

I must ask you if you think I'm over-reacting or if I've summed up my recent phone experience fairly well.

Me: I'd like to make an appointment.
Phone Lady: Have we ever seen you before?
Translation: Do I have to be nice to you because you will recognize me in the grocery store?
Me: I'm new to the area, so no.
Phone Lady: I just want you to be aware that we don't have a new patient appointment open until the 3rd week in May. Will that be ok?
Translation: Please don't make me do the computer work needed to put you into the system and frankly, we don't want/need any more people coming in here to cause us to get off our large butts and do actual work. Please find someone else who might like you more.
Me: Do I have a choice?
Phone Lady: No, but if you don't want to wait you can find another doctor who might be able to see you sooner.
Translation: Please go elsewhere. PLEASE.
Me: Would you like me to find another doctor, or are you capable of seeing me during the 3rd week of May?
Phone Lady: What day would you prefer?
Me: Friday.
Phone Lady: The doctor only works Monday through Thursday.
Translation: Nothing you request will be met with an acceptance or helpful answer.
Me (thinking -- that's shocking the doctor and I have the same schedule): Ok -- well, I'm fairly open that week -- seeing as it is 5 weeks away -- why don't we look at times and see if a day falls out because of the time. What do you have mid-day?
Phone Lady: 11am on the 15th?
Me: done.
Phone Lady: What are all your personal details? (this is not an exact quote, but you get the idea -- she asks for name, number, breast size, insurance company)
Me: Answers
Phone Lady: Just so you know, the doctor is no longer taking new patients with XYZ insurance; but since I already have you in the system, he'll see you.
Translation: It will be harder to delete you and you seem like the kind of woman who may hurt me if I cancel this appointment in 5 weeks since I've been such an ass thus far.
Me: Is that information I need? Does it affect me or my appointment at all?
Phone Lady: Well...............................No.
Me: Good. Let's move on then. See you next month.

Now, I must ask -- do these people sound like they want my business? Do we think I need a new doctor? Is it wrong to want to find a new doctor and not cancel this appointment and just stand them up?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter, everyone

Yup, the bunny has dropped his, um, droppings(?) off at our little home and I have one little boy who is on such a sugar high it is likely we won't see him come down for a week. The breakfast of champions that he had this morning was 1 Nutra-Grain bar; 3 containers of yogurt; and 4 Hershey Kisses. He followed this with 2 cups of milk and has been flying high ever since. Now this may not sound like a horrible breakfast, if you didn't know that Duke doesn't really eat. In fact, I've never seen a child turn up their nose at as much food as Duke can. At one point he only ate five foods -- now we have made it back to closer to 10 or 12 -- but what a long time coming. And most of what he does eat is JUNK. Now, at first this bugged me. I didn't want a kid to fight his weight his whole life -- but at some point (probably day 5 of the hunger strike he put himself on); I gave in. My feeling at this point is calories are calories and we will deal with veggies at some point.

However, I thought I'd share Duke's Easter Basket with you all. the reason it is on the kitchen counter is that our dog is a chocolate hound and will find and eat chocolate at every opportunity. He even followed Duke around when he was eating the kisses hoping for it to fall. The eggs with Dinos on them have matchbox cars inside (isn't our Easter Bunny pretty cool?) And yes, those are Thomas the Tank Engine underpants -- doesn't everyone get underwear in their Easter Basket?

Well, happy Easter folks. I'm off to go bite the ears off marshmellow peep bunnies --- which are my favorite Easter candy!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Let's play catch up....

Quick update: The car is fixed. Total damage to the bank account was ZERO.

In case you are wondering how to invent new torture for small children. Take them on the following errands.
1. The feed store for dog food.
2. High-end grocery store for bran muffins
3. Pet store for cat food.
4. Target for Easter Basket goodies
5. Lunch at Bakery Square

This is somehow a recipe for torture and will be meet by screaming everytime the car stops. However, wehn asked while our head is down on the table and our eyes are closing if you want to take a nap, state without question, "NO" Then fight sleep at all costs.

Enjoy the quiet now.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Can you tell me why....

...if you know I need my car on a flatbed to the shop, WHY would the tow company send a normal tow truck out to TELL me that the flatbed doesn't run until 8am???? And don't answer that they didn't know they could call --- they knew both that I was at home AND my number.

The tow truck guy (who smelled vaguely, or completely like SKUNK) told me that with these longer tows many people don't go with their cars -- so he was hoping to get my information and let me go on my way --- SO -- perhaps this wasn't all that weird --- but I was delighted they we here in 20 minutes --- but sad when it turned into a wait until 8am.

Now, why couldn't the two truck driver just have TAKEN the flat bed instead of the other truck???

These are the questions that haunt me at night.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

What's on the Needles today in Snarkville

If you knit or even know a knitter, then you may be aware that we are an odd bunch of folks. We are in love with fiber -- to the point we are often seen stroking it in public and rubbing it on our little faces. We love other people's work and will follow a stranger in an effort to figure out a cable pattern. Like I said, we are an odd lot.

I would love to think that everyone is like this with the hobby they love -- but I seem to notice this with knitters more than anyone else. But there are very few of us who can work on only one project at a time. We get bored with little yarn and little needles and need something that flys off fat needles with fat yarn -- so alas, we have many things going on at once. In addition, we tend to like to share our WIPs (Works in Progress) with others in an effort to finish them and have other people admire them. (Don't think we don't LOVE to hear how good we are at knitting or that we for a minute think that everyone can knit as well as we can -- I'm sorry, we knitters are a proud lot who know we can do things that most people won't and enjoy every minute of the pride and need even more glory.)

So without more explaination, here are a few of my current pieces. As of this second, I don't have socks on any needles -- which is only slightly giving me heartburn; but here's what we have:
1. A sweater made of Artfibers, Gypsy. This is 100% silk and feels great on the fingers and I do have to stop and pet it a few times. I'm making a simple sweater in the round (gotta love no seams) from the top down. This sweater will evenually be in brown, white, and orange. Thus far it is flying off the needles. I've just done my last increase row for the yoke and have ten even rows to knit before the divide for the sleeves, front, and back.

2. This is my first shot at fair isle. It is the Misty bag from MagKnits and thus far I'm doing ok with it. I'm using Karokoe yarn in two shades and preying that it felts as well as people tell me. It is 50% wool and 50% soy silk and will become a favorite yarn, if it felts well, as it is the softest thing to play with, next to the silk above.

That's it -- I think 2 posts in one day is enough for me -- but I was too proud not to share my little knitting items. Don't worry, I won't call at 2am to declare them complete and how wonderful it might be to look/pet/gawk at them. I'll wait until at least 4am ;)

Trapped in Snarkville

Oh, someone out there please pay the ransom -- I'm trapped. Ok, so I may be a wee bit melodramatic. Sue me.

Prince came home yesterday is one of those truly fabulous moods. His plane arrived at 9:44am and by the time you catch the mass transit to the 7th circle of hell, named long term parking, he discovered that his car battery was dead. No biggie, he walks to the call box -- only to discover that it is DEAD. He attempts to get help in several ways, but ends up walking to the complete other end of hell and gets a jump and heads home. He thought he had left the parking lights on or something. The hour drive home, should have been enough to re-charge the battery and everything be perfect, right? Wrong.

This morning, Prince and Duke head out to work and school. I wave goodbye with my coffee in my hand and thinking thoughts like "uninterrupted shower" and "total complete quiet" and "extra 30 minutes in bed". Then Prince screams for me -- seems the car battery is still dead and he's going to take my car -- except that the sunroof popped open on his car and since it is raining, he needs to jump it enough to get the roof closed. No problem. "You need me? No? Oh, ok" I go back to bed --- he needs me. Seems that the jumper cables we have aren't long enough to reach between the two cars in the driveway -- so we need to push his car out onto the street to do this --- no problem. With this jump, the car clicks and all sorts of lights go on and off -- but in fact the car DOES NOT START. So, now we have a dead car half in the street and can't push it back in the driveway because it is UPHILL. Now, normal, logical people would be on the phone with their auto club -- but my dear, darling hubby had to put a few things in the car (read: mess with the electrical system of the car) and he needs to pull them out before we can have it towed for work to be done to it. No problem, except he and Duke need to be at school and work today and "Sweetie, do you need the car today?" No -- I'll live. Hence, trapped in Snarkville.

Now, there's been discussion here that this could be a normal reaction to the Tax Refund gods who require things to break and cost the total of the refund to fix if you even think about spending the refund on something just for you. I'm not sure how I pissed off those gods -- since we put our refund into the savings account for our future. But maybe being solvent for another month was too frivolous to consider. Or, perhaps this is a warranty item and I won't have to worry about it. More to come tomorrow -- probably while I wait for the car to be fixed.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hazy Shades of Yellow Underpants

These are a few ramblings at the end of my day. Enjoy.

1. Movie? in the middle of the day on Tuesday? yep, it was wonderful. Yes, it was me and this highly annoying woman behind me, but it was so like eating chocolate for dinner. I saw the teen movie, "She's the Man" (yup, I'm ill that way). As I walked into the theater, I thought this isn't all that safe if you think about it -- sound proof room, no one really here -- dark. But I tried to put out of my mind that there was the chance of a psycho behind me and enjoy the movie. I got exactly 5 rows on a shawl I'm working on done -- it is growing from the point up -- so the rows are now REALLY, REALLY long. The movie is lame and predicitible -- but it has funny moments and is exactly what I love in escapist teem drama/comedy. Plus it is based on 12th Night, which is a play I did in college and I love the storyline.

2. It has poured here AGAIN. I'm getting webbed feet. My dog has constant 'wet dog' smell. I need to see the sun. I need to dry out again. It was raining when I walked the block and a half to get to the theater. It was raining when I left the theater. It was raining when I picked up Duke from school (who walked insanely slowly from school to the car and stopped to ponder the drops on his head -- URGH). It was raining when I got back home. I'm still wet.

3. And in reference to the title -- I'm dealing with wet underpants. Yes, in the midst of potty training hell here in Snarkville. It seems Duke has mastered telling me AFTER he goes -- which means we are averaging 2 pairs of training pants an evening. I'm 90% sure that my plan of training pants at home is a good one, because in the past two days I've seen him start to get it -- including running into the bathroom to potty on his own -- but he didn't go. So little progress, yet so much laundry.

4. The Prince returns to Snarkville tomorrow. Need I say more? Perhaps I won't be snarky tomorrow --- nope, probably not possible.

So Brain, what are we going to do tonight?

No adult human interaction in just about 3 straight days has left me with very little to post about this morning. Yes, you read that correctly -- I am a hermit. Not really, it is just that I am a WAHM (wow, I never knew I was a dyslexic pop band from the 80's), and with a child under 3, I don't get out nearly as much as one would hope.
So, instead of a real snarky post about how Duke has the ability to entertain himself up until the moment the phone rings and I need to do a little business; or how Prince, away on his business trip actually told me that he wasn't attending the dinner or the afternoon session tonight, but can't possibly come home a day early -- even if it would mean I'd get a sitter so I can get out of the house for that afore mentioned adult interaction. No, I'm not pissy or anything. Look something shiny.
However, I thought I'd share what my plan is for today. It is my top secret, totally for me plan for the day. I am going to reward myself for doing a few things that are needed in this house by taking myself to the movies this afternoon. Yes, an afternoon movie on a Tuesday -- I know how to have fun or what, right? But yes, I happen to love to sit in old candy and become deaf as I watch a movie --- LOVE.IT. I can't even believe I'm going to do it -- but I just can't contain myself, I'm that excited about it. Yes, I'm going to see something fairly trashy and not at all meaningful -- isn't that what the movies are all about? Is it not brain candy and therefore the mental equivalent to marshmallow fluff? And that's why I'm going to the movies today.
Last question I have is what will I knit while I'm there?

Monday, April 10, 2006

My house is quiet again...

Yes, the weekend alone without the Prince has been more than a little trying. After the Target experience, we had a fairly decent Saturday afternoon and evening -- though Duke did NOT want to go bed. That night he slept in THREE (yes, I said three) diapers. You see the night before, my dear, sweet, odd child wet his diaper when he was awake enough to notice and was kind enough to take it off. Not being able to find anything to replace it, he went to bed diaperless. Let's leave my morning as, "Wow, his comforter, sheets, and mattress pad all fit in the washer at the same time." and move on. So, we talked about his wet diaper and I offered him a pull-up that he could reach to put on should he wet his diaper and I moved on. Saturday night came, I was putting jammies on the child and Duke insisted on wearing a pull-up to bed --- now, he is NOT potty trained. He is at the very beginnings of THINKING about potty training. He pees ALOT at night -- more than a pull-up can hold. Faced with more laundry, I decided to put the regular diaper on him, but in compromise fashion, I put his pull-up OVER the regular diaper. This worked. He asked for the replacement pull-up that we spoke about that morning and I laid it out for him. When I went to check on him at 11pm and pull his covers up, I noticed he had added the pull-up to the mix of pants. Needless to say, I needed to do no laundry Sunday morning.

Sunday, however, was tougher. We got through the morning (with a few potty accidents and much angst on my part) and Duke decided to eat his body weight in Nutra Grain bars, and not oh, lunch. But happily went off to take his nap. When he woke up, he was happy as a clam and grabbed my jacket and informed me we should "Go" Where he wanted to go I have no idea, but we finally got dressed for the day and went. We ended up at a park for a bit and he had a blast -- and I got the side benefit of wearing him out. But I have to say, that at 7pm when he went to bed, I was one tired Mama.

So, all of that long story to say, my house is quiet. I took Duke to school and came home to a quiet little house. I was productive in that I took out the trash and made myself breakfast. I plan to get fully dressed (I always wonder if school realizes that I just throw a pair of jeans on and take him in -- or if they think I am this poor a dresser) and running two or three little errands. I want to melt into my couch and just might if given the chance. But, shhh, I plan on sneaking out tomorrow afternoon and going to a movie by myself -- just cause. I'm in love with the idea and can't wait.

On the knitting front, I had such a rocky day yesterday, that I feel the only way to re-cover is to cast on a silk sweater I want to make. After being anal about the stripe pattern and using Excel to sort through what looks best (here's hoping I have enough stripes to make it), I have cast on. Only to learn a valuable lesson --- Addi Turbos are bigger than my interchangeables. This is key on two fronts. One, I was going to use the 2 circ method to knit this sweater entirely in the round -- it will look a bit funny if the front is looser than the back. Two, my gauge swatch was done on my interchangables and I'd have to completely re-figure gauge on the Addis if I continue -- not to mention buying more Addis (which, frankly, is that all that much of an issue? I mean to buy knitting tools? Go to a yarn shop and smell and fondle yarn? So, not my biggest problem today). So, there in lies my problem --- to knit this on Addis, for which I'd need to buy new (probably smaller ones) or knit it on the interchangables and then there is what to do about the sleeve? I know in relation to world peace this doesn't rank very high, but to me -- it is up there with going to the grocery store.

Prince update: He returns on Wednesday morning. I'm still short a sitter for Tuesday evening, which probably means I will not be attending -- but I'll live with that, if I go to the movies Tuesday afternoon -- I may have all the "Me" time I can stand.

Sunday is Easter -- and I've not put ONE single thing into Duke's basket (heck, I don't even have a basket for him). I know, I gotta get cracking.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

How I know angels Target

Not so long ago, Prince, Duke, and I were vacationing in Las Vegas. It was my (and Duke's) first trip and I have to say that overall we had a ball. Duke loved to point out all the water (did you know there are a few fountains in Vegas?) and I liked the part where I only donated $20 to the economy of Las Vegas. Anyway, as you my not realize, Duke is the exciting age of two and a half. Which makes him a child of extremes -- when we are happy the world smiles, there are birds singing, and life is pretty wonderful. However, when we are ticked, block clouds gloom, nothing is right, and there is a fit of such proportions that innocent bystanders feel the need to take cover.

Anyway, while in Vegas, we made the horrible, parent mistake of taking Duke to a little buffet for dinner. Ok, this was not going to go well, the minute we saw that the entrance was an escalator (which is a 2 and half year old's idea of heaven on earth with a side of roller coaster thrown in). He immediately forgot about dinner and wanted to spend the evening riding. Now, being the stricter than strict parents that we are (being all demanding for you know, civil behavior), we took him to the table and explained how we are going to act in this eating establishment. Well, this (hopefully) well-meaning, but highly nosy gentleman at the table next to us, kept commenting on Duke's poor behavior TO US. We took turns staying with Duke, allowing him to sit in laps, play with sugar, walk laps around the buffet picking out options. Nothing was making him happy.

Once I finished inhaling my dinner, I grabbed the child and walked out to the lobby. Being horribly mean and nasty, and knowing that the ride down the escalator was what he wanted, I sat him down on the bench for a Time Out. Well, within seconds (and with a line of cheap, hungry, senior citizens watching) the same nosy man walks over hands my son a dollar and says, "I'll give you this dollar if you just SHUT UP." I was horrified. Too horrified to speak. Too horrified to offer to shove the dollar where the sun don't shine. I grabbed Duke, told Prince where we were going and took us back to our room for a serious Time Out (including grounding from TV) and a good cry.

Fast forward, I had almost put this behind me and move on. We got home, life calmed down a bit and suddenly, Duke had fallen into a bit of a groove. Yippie. So, this weekend, we are focusing on potty training. Duke has the idea, but needs to have a real consistent experience and I'm finding out that cloth training pants are working really well. SO, I only had 3 pair (so, not enough for what I've termed potty boot camp) and needed a Target run. In addition, Duke needed summer shorts, more shoes (as he has almost worn out his one pair) and a few other minor things. So, I took the Target tour -- checking all the clearance aisles out. Duke had no desire to ride in the cart; so I let him wander a bit as he's good to check in. He knew we were shoe shopping and kept pushing me to the shoe department. Ok, so we went and looked. He instantly found a pair (sandals in a size 12) that he had to try on. He took off his own shoes and carried the size 12's around while he was sock footed.

Ok, then he got adventurous -- he walked farther than I was comfortable and I went to get him. He threw one mother of a fit. I told him, "you stay with me, or you go in the cart." He screamed, cried, was totally mad. I put him in the cart. I thought nothing of staying put and not leaving the store -- since a) it was early and there were few people to offend; b) He would have gotten his way because he wanted to move from that spot and I believe that parents need to win when they are right c) I needed to get the child some shoes. I'd ask him, "do you like this pair?" Crying, tears pouring down his face, he'd say, "Yes." I'd go to try them on him he'd kick them off. I said calmly, "Target has a good return policy. Let's pick two and if they don't work, we will return." We pick out two pair and Duke has calmed a little and we are moving again.

Then it happens:
This older lady, who has no business in the children's show area, turns her cart down my aisle. I think, "oh, no, not again." I brace myself for the comment or nastiness. She kindly and gently puts her hand on my arm (I so prickle) and says to me, "I just had to come and tell you. You are doing a wonderful job. I heard you talk to him calmly and rationally. You are doing great." I think you could have pushed me over with a feather. I love her. She must have had an effect on Duke too -- he stopped whimpering and perked up with happiness for the rest of the Target tour. I'm not sure, she had nothing in her cart and I didn't see her again on my tour, but I think she might have been an angel telling me I was on the right track.

Duke, the angel, is now sleeping and I'm going to run out to the car and grab the bags from Target. The shoes were in the beginning of the trip -- after his episode, I was able to pick out a huge number of shorts, some tee, 9 more pairs of training pants (yes, I bought them out), socks, and the afore mentioned two pairs of shoes (one of which is light up shoes). What I didn't find were long sleeve tees for me or a new pair of jeans, since they didn't have my size.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

All Alone in Snarkville

Yup, it seems that Prince has left for a week for some random conference thingie this morning. I took Duke to school this morning and came home to an empty house. While I normally work all day from an empty house, this time it seemed really weird. I mean I totally left in the middle of chaos with my whole family here. Duke and I sang all the way to school and then he melted down and didn't want me to leave once we got there. Then I came home to an empty house. Poop.

Ok, so moving on to the whole point. I went to my weekly knitting group last night. Oh, my -- how wonderful. I go to two different knit nights, so that I end up going weekly. But I was thinking of giving up one of them, because frankly one of the women annoyed me. So, I took the whole month of March off -- truly, I had an insanely busy month and couldn't have made it if I tried. Well, since Prince wasn't going to be home on Thursday (my preferred knitting group), I went to the second string of knitting groups last night. Can I just say that I had a blast! The annoying woman was there, she just wasn't as annoying. But the best part was that I finished my socks. But that's not all. I had started a fair-isle handbag (my first shot at Fairisle and frankly, it didn't go well at first). I failed to read instructions well (which should be surprising since I'm not a man and all -- but alas) and ended up with a mess by the 6th row. So, last night, I ripped out the whole 6 rows (times 150ish stitches) and started over. Shockingly, once focusing on the actual directions and not just glancing at them, I am actually back to where I ripped and still in pattern. So, perhaps my next project will be finishing this handbag, before I work on the 12 or so pairs of socks I need to do -- and let's not discuss the 2 sweaters I have to knit. Oh, and I've yet to knit anything for anyone other than myself -- which is all going to change, I have some yarn that is destined to become socks for a blogfriend of mine. She may get the first of my gift items. However, I have old neighbors who are adopting two of the most sweet and adorable children and I think they might get my first scarves and hats --- though socks may go to them too.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I'm sitting on "Ignore"

Yes, I’m currently on "ignore" (hold to most people; here in Snarkville, we call it like it is --- IGNORE) with one of those customer “service” types. My phone actually has a timer, and I’ve officially been on the phone for 53 minutes as I type this. I’ve finished my cup of coffee (the pot to refill it is upstairs and I’m stranded without a cordless down here in the dungeon, I mean office). In addition, I FINISHED a cup of coffee which means I’m going to have to go potty here in a few minutes – wait, probably should have thought that. The music on hold SUCKS – frankly, who do you think sits and approves hold music? Do you think there is someone who listens to the selection from HoldMusic R Us and says, “Yes, I love the instrumental version of True Colors played at half speed. Let’s get that.” And if there is such a job, where do I apply because that sounds like an under-achievers dream --- do you think you could get fired from this job? What do the reviews look like? “Gee, Bob, we’ve noticed a sharp increase in people willing to sit on the phone for 56+ minutes waiting to talk to us. We feel it must be the hold music (can’t possibly be that we hired only ONE human who can actually answer questions and that person is too busy trying to teach rocks to answer the phone to do any real work). You get a bonus.” In a past life (and oh, the jobs I have had), I used to work in one of these “think tanks” – I mean call centers. Oh, what a lesson in why NOT to live in a trailer park. I worked with some really neat people; if by neat you think that having your top priority being having your 5th or 6th baby while bailing some man out of jail. I am told this was a NICE call center. I still think it is no wonder that they promoted me to a supervisor within weeks of showing up and I was only part time. It isn’t that I’m all that (I am, but that is beside the point); it was that I was a warm body who showed up on a near consistent basis --- and some people think it is advanced degrees and hard work that gets you ahead in life. I’m thinking the true secret is just to surround yourself with people lazier than yourself and shockingly you will rise to the top. You can tell I should SO influence this nation’s youth, don’t you?

I am now up to 1 hour and 15 minutes of total call time. I will grant that the rep has picked up answered (knock me over with a feather) ONE of my questions. So, now we must wait again. This is the third time I’ve heard True Colors and their little advertisement while waiting. I really need more coffee – and my bladder is not feeling any lighter. You wanted to know this right? You needed me to share?

Did I mention that I knit? (Did you get whiplash from that subject change?) Well, as you can guess my knitting is upstairs with my hot pot of coffee. Damn Knitting. Anyway, I’m working on my second sock of a lovely pair of “Socks that Rock” (For the uninformed, it is a brand of hand dyed sock yarn). I have only about a dozens socks in my stash to knit and two sweaters and that’s before I even get to the next strata of my stash. I haven’t been knitting a year and I’ve got layers in my stash. I’ve learned that knitting keeps my hands busy which not only focuses my attention on conversations and stuff around me, keeps me very calm when faced with stress. However, with my knitting a whole floor away; mocking me, telling me that it is enjoying the smell of my hot coffee (before the coffee maker turns itself off) that I can’t have and be close to the potty I so need; I’m feeling a wee bit stressful now. We are now up to a whole hour and 24 minutes. I may need to go to the post office to relax after this fun phone call.

I know all of this makes my life sound so thrilling, what with the need for a coffee and pee break along with sitting on ignore, without my knitting. Don’t hate me.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Welcome to Snarkville

Recently, I had myself described as "Snarky" I happen to love this word, I used the required three times and now I own it. Come to find out, snarkiness is a polite way of saying "bitchy". Hmmm, compliment or not? I tend to think of snarkiness as not so much bitchy as more a cynical view of the world around us. A view that will look at most situations as half empty glasses and wonder where the beer went. I want to believe that snarky is my own personal brand of humor, but I wonder if the people around me get my form of sarcasm is mixed with mild bitch. I fear that far too many miss the true sarcasm in my commentary and hence declare that I'm a total bitch. I'm truly only part bitch and any decent psychotherapist would see that the bitch part is really the candy coating protecting my gooey nugget center.

So, truly I welcome you to Snarkville. I consider myself the Queen of Snarkville and I know that out there are many princes and princesses, but I am the Queen. There's a little more about me and my kingdom in that little "About Me" thingie. Read and enjoy.