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.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I'm onboard...

..yes, only because I love each and everyone of you SO much that I'm dealing with the world's SLOWEST internet connection. For future reference, if on a cruise ship -- do NOT pay by the minute for your connection -- there is no such thing as a fat pipe -- and this is slower than most dial-up I know. However, because this is a special cruise it is FREE. FREE. FREE. So, I'm posting.

First, my review of the ship thus far -- LORD, it is HUGE. I had to change shoes because I think I wore the first pair out. Yes, there is a ton to do on board this ship. Hopefully, the issues I've found are more due to the beginning of the season and NOT a universal problem with ships this big or RCCL as a whole. My biggest complaint thus far is a real lack of food and drink. On Pride of Hawaii there wasn't a bar closed and most places to eat were serving LOTS. Here -- we have late dinning (8:45pm) and wanted a snack. THREE places later and there was no snack to be found. I'm hungry.

Second, I'm now childless. For the next four days, the Prince and I are without child. We are loving it. Yup, this is a life!! ;) However, what do we think of the first childless night together in a long time having twin beds??? Yup, walked into our cabin (Inside, overlooking the Royal Promenade -- I suggest you look up cabin 6297 on Freedom of the Seas -- we are in a PR cabin-- and see where we are) and had twin beds. My first thought was "What the heck???" then I thought ---- "hmmm, SLEEP." We have a queen bed now, so who do you think won? However, the bed is the new upgraded with the pillow top --- oh, yum. I'm not thinking too highly of my cabin boy yet either -- he left an empty water bottle in one of our drawers. Thus far, I'm rating this trip lower than Pride of Hawaii.

Thirdly, the hot tub is nice on this ship; they have music pumped underwater in one of the pools; and everything is free. I've been the gift shop once and will probably go back -- I need something for the boy and for my pretty internet buds (yes, there will be a new contest soon -- so warm up your writing hats). I'm hoping the Casino will be open soon too -- so I can win back some of what this trip is costing me ;) Other than that -- let's hope dinner doesn't disappoint me.

Finally, I think I'm suffering from a lack of adult beverages right now -- I need many, many MANY more.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My last day...sort of.

Today was my last day before we head off to the great wide world of the Freedom of the Seas. I feel rather un-prepared. I shood have deck plans in my hands, have the Prince and I split up and share the photo taking duties, and figure out how to get a spa appointment first thing. What I will end up doing is changing my clothes four times and wondering if I've got everything. I suck -- we all know this and can move on from the constant reminders of such right?
Also, I have to deal with the fact that Duke will be spending some quality time with the Queen Mum and Queen Pop. He will be brought to us at Club Med on Sunday. Do you think I can sleep in just ONE day between now and then? PLEASE? yep, I'm doubtful too.
I do happen to have BIG news. I'm going to be at BlogHer this year! It is in San Jose and I'm going. I truly can't wait -- there is SO much to learn and so many superstars to meet. But the best part is that I'm a volunteer! I get to go and I get to work at the same time -- oh, I'm oh so thrilled -- in the least snarky way I can say this. I haven't come down from this high all day.
So, I don't know how much I'm going to pay for internet tomorrow and Thursday -- unless it is the cost of Duke's college education, I may try to blog a bit for you folks at home. Otherwise, I'll get you all an update on Friday.
Presents? Oh, there may still be presents ;)

Monday, May 29, 2006

What a day and an half!!!

No, it wasn't a day and a half since I posted, it is just that we crammed a full day and a half's worth of fun into a day. And boy are we all tired.
First sidenote: let me be proud to announce that Duke is doing really well with the potty thing. He even woke up from his nap today to go poop (though not going back to sleep could have killed us all). He also went running in (while Prince was doing HIS potty thing) to go pee -- which he promptly did on his socks. Of course, in true form for Duke, he could be in underwear by Sunday here and then we will go home and he won't pee in the potty for two more months.
Second sidenote: The Queen Mum (yes, Polly we are visiting the Queen Mum -- not the woman who thinks I stole her son away) and Queen Pop throw a party/BBQ today. It was a blast. We had more food than we should have and enjoyed much laughter. Duke was a charmer and a half -- and didn't fall into the pool at all. Prince got brilliant this evening and took Duke and bought a remote control boat -- which turned into the hit of the evening. Shockingly, there was not a single guest here who did not play with the boat -- from 3 to 83!!!

And on to the post: I got this e-mail today from Polly, one of our (the royal "our" is use here -- we are so thrilled) frequent commenters (and someone who is Pro-Ocean):
You know when I saw Gin Blossoms? You knew I was
going before I went. So while I was there, the lead
singer was taking people cellphones and singing to the
person on the other side. And I thought wow, how
Queenie is this, a personal concert?? But I didnt
have your phone # saved or I would have totally given
him my phone for him to sing to you. What would you
have done said - hey sing one of your hits buddy... or
FREEBIRD.. or sing Toad the Wet Sprocket!

So this got me thinking. What would I have asked the Gin Blossoms to play for me on my cell phone -- had Polly thought to program my phone number in? At first it was easy -- some random hit -- but then I got to thinking -- really what would the Queen in me suggest? I'm thinking I'm leaning to "God Save the Queen" personally, but do you think that would be too much? So, I'm thinking I'd lean to Toad the Wet Sprocket -- or one of my obscure favorites Camper Van Beethoven.

So, now I must ask you what would you have asked? And in this area, what/who is the one concert that you are still willing to sleep outside OVERNIGHT for tickets to? I figure if after 30 you are still willing to sleep outside for tickets, it must really be worth it to you. I however will only reveal my choice in tomorrow's post.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A beachy day

I don't get along with the beach. I have never been a sun-bathing, sand in every crack of your body, salt water stringy hair kind of girl. In fact, if given the choice of never seeing the beach again and never seeing a moutain again, I'd opt for losing the beach -- without a thought.

Today, I may be forced to change my mind. I present exhibit A.

Please note the happy little boy with his feet in the water. He giggled NON-STOP from the moment the feet hit the sand through the waves knocking him on his butt to the run up the beach to re-join Prince and Queen's Pop to the post sand shower on the beach. He even enjoyed the nearly naked wrap in a towel and rush to the car.

What he didn't like is that he had to get another bath when we get home to get the sand out of his butt.

Now, I present exhibit B. Please note the happy boy in the swimming pool. Again, we squelled with delight at every moment. To the point, he asked us to "put him down" in 3 FEET of water -- he doesn't swim yet -- but at the pace he's going, he will be soon enough. We went to Target and picked up a this to help him "swim" more independantly. Wish him luck.

I wish I had other things to report, but I have to admit we live very boring lives. We went to church this morning and Duke sat in my lap through the whole service. That was nice and a little shocking. Duke has been loving all the fun trains in the house. Today he was too happy to take his nap and then at the appointed hour of bedtime, he was running full tilt in circles and told us that there was no way he was going to bed. Once in bed (after a small chat with dad) he was sound asleep in no time. Who knows what time in the morning we will be having a blast again.

There's a party here tomorrow. I can't wait. Then Tuesday holds lunch with Prince's Grandmother and then off to the ship -- oh, two whole nights off on a ship -- I can't wait. Can you?

Friday, May 26, 2006

I hate time zones.

Before I begin, let me warn you, I'm on my SECOND adult beverage after a LONG day that began at 4:45am PST and it is currently Midnight EST. I'm pooped, still sick, and of course, lamenting being awake. The Prince and Duke are currently experimenting with unconscious -- seems to be working for them.

Ok, the trip across country takes forever. Just like I kinda believe that we should have advanced modern medicine enough to not have pregnancy last 40 weeks; I think the trip across country should not take 12 hours. I also believe in fairies, but that for another blog -- I think.

So, you all want to know how Duke did -- he did very well. He was given a special backpack which he was to watch over. Duke did an amazing job at this. We traveled without a stroller -- a first really and I'm pleased enough to not go to TRU to buy one. He was good, slept on one of the flights and other than a few little rough spots, was better than those OTHER kids.

However, it wouldn't be Snarkville without telling you about the problem -- really two of them.

First, the rental car company. I went with a different one than our normal one, because it was $100 dollars cheaper. Well, for that $100 dollars, my car wasn't really waiting for me (eventhough I'd signed up to be a preferred person) and the bus driver sort of dumped the whole bus load of folks in the parking lot with NO information. I called the company, FROM THE PARKING LOT, and got a reservation agent who said to another agent about me, "I want to hang up on this woman." I got the manager and ended up with an additional $100 off my rental. NOW it is worth it -- not sure if we will ever use this company again.

FWIW, we have an HHR for the two weeks. It barely holds all out stuff -- but could be a fun car to run around in. I wouldn't own one -- but it isn't a piece of crap -- which is normally what I end up renting.

Secondly, let's discuss a Mickey D's experience. We know that Duke is a bite picky and after a day of eating NutruGrain bars, I wanted him to eat dinner. So, we stopped on the way to my parents to pick up his favorite, a Hamburger Happy Meal. Prince ordered, "a hamburger happy meal, plain. Milk. with a toddler toy." We got TWO plain hamburger and a milk. We called them back to the window to ask for the right item. We got the second time: ONE plain hamburger and a milk. I checked the receipt we were charged for a hamburger happy meal and a plain hamburger. Third time was a charm, we got the requested Happy Meal and the refund. However, the refund was THROWN into (or better at our car). Prince pulls away from the window, throws the car into the closest parking space (which might have been all three handicap parking spaces in front of the McD's). He went in to speak to the manager.

Welcome to Sunny South Florida. And my body only thinks it is 9pm and it is really midnight.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I got THE call...

...yes, the one that says I'm not going to die of skin cancer. The mole, the mole in the middle of my back is....BENIGN!!!! WAHHOO!

So, there is finally joy in Snarkville. Well, there would be, if I had a voice, if I didn't have mountain of clothes to pack (in some kind of order, since I will be in THREE locations during our trip), and if I didn't have stitches in my back that itch.

And for the record, the office chick in the doctor's office sucks -- he's one heck of a nice guy, which kills my normal theory of crappy office lady always equals crappy doctor. I may even recommend him to my bud in Novato who has the doctor with the world's WORST bedside manner ever -- with his personality, he could have been a brain surgeon ;) --- Nurses will get that joke.

Party, party, party!!!

Thoughts from my death bed

There's a frog in Snarkville and it is me. I thought to open with the classic, "Hello, this is Kermit the Frog" but I fear without sound you'd not think it nearly as funny as I do. Let's leave my health in the "failing" category and move along to the important stuff of the day.

First, I spoke to school about the timeline to move Duke to the 3's room. It probably won't be until winter. He must be potty trained (though I'm loving Polly's suggestion) and the room is FULL to the brim with kids that aren't moving up yet. This turns into a good thing, actually. One of the last kids moving up is one of the problem children, so goodbye. We dislike the teacher in the 3s room alot. To the point, Prince and I are already considering a school change, just because this woman is nasty. So, this is what we have. I also learned that there are less issues on Tuesdays and Thursdays when the class isn't completely full. This makes me think that the problem is more of 2 teachers to 14 kids might be a bit too much for these two teachers (or, oh, anyone -- I'm just saying). I am going to talk to the director again when we return and mention that I know it is ok per the state, but since the incidents go up (and there are 12 boys of the 14 -- which might not have been factored into the minimum state guidelines) on those days, is there a chance of an extra teacher to pitch in and help out a bit more? Please?

Next, I want to assure all of you that the two e-mails I quoted in the Hippie world post were NOT from the same woman. I know it would be hard to tell, seeing as I changed all indentifiers, but they are not in fact the same. I'm not sure if it is more disturbing that there could be more than one "nut job" out there or that this could seem so normal to so many. In case you were wondering what the final list was for the Organic Daycares was -- there basically aren't any. The one she mentioned is a parent co-op not a daycare, which is why they don't take un-potty-trained kids under 3. Now, that particular mommy has made other posts that make me laugh, including looking for a babysitter who doesn't use certain soaps or detergents on her clothing. The sitter can't have pets, smoke, or otherwise have a life. Now, if you are SO sensitive to everything like this, have you considered a plastic bubble? Or maybe you shouldn't be going out into the world where's there things you might breathe like air? I need to get off this rant and move along, because Karma will bite my butt. However, it was kinda nice to turn all my Yahoo groups to "no mail" yesterday. A true vacation awaits me.

Finally, let me leave you with Duke's plan for the day.

Prince: Do you want to go to school this morning?
Duke: No.
Prince: You get to ride in the blue car.
Duke: No, Daddy.
Prince: Would you like to ride around in circles then?
Duke: Yes.
Prince: Ok, let's get in the blue car and ride around in circles.

How much you want to bet one of those circles is going to stop right in front of school?

And today's bonus Duke item -- I have *THAT* kid. The one who puts stuff in his ears -- yesterday he, and his "friends" made playdough "earrings." The teacher told me, "I think I got it all out of his ears, but if his ears are bothering him it is probably playdough." How long from playdough to pea gravel in the nose?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Welcome to Hippie World -- Today's Bonus Post

Ok, we all know by now that I'm a transplanted East Coast (and Southern) girl into the world of free love, earth mothers, and silicone valley, right? We all also know that by comparison I'm a wee bit high strung and often look at these people like they are from Mars. Ok, just checking we are all on the same page.

I joined a "Mother's Club." I needed friends, thought women with kids could be a nice group of people to meet, right? I think I found the lost colony of loons. Now, let's keep in mind I live in hippie world. There's this Yahoo group for my Mother's club. They typically ask for potty training advice, playgroup things, and oh, selling/giving away of stuff. On the East Coast, I thought this was an important part of mommyhood, where kids clothing/toys/stuff never dies, it just gets passed on until it finally gets to GoodWill and then sold on eBay. So alas. I see lots of: does anyone want this or that e-mails. No biggie right? Until I saw this one:

12 Organic cloth diapers, 2 bumkins small, 6 litewraps med (15-20lbs), 2 litewraps newborn (up to 10 lbs). 2 rolls (100 sheets ech) Kushies diaper liners.
$20 for the lot
All in great condition.
Does anyone else see an issue here? Let go through the Queen's thoughts one by one:
  • Used diapers? HELLO? Yes, I'd like some used tampons please. I'm sorry, I'm highly opposed to putting something YOUR child poo'd in on my child's butt. Yes, I'm aware of diaper services and the fact this isn't all that weird, BUT services have HIGH temp washings and I don't KNOW the person who poo'd in the diaper before my son.
  • CLOTH diapers? Ok, I'm well aware of the landfill issues. I'm well aware of tons of enviromental things (I'm even rather aware that cloth diapered babies potty train sooner); but it is 2006, folks. I believe that God invented disposable diapers for a reason and we should embrass them. Plus after a few weeks of dealing with accidents in training pants in the Snark House, I'm thinking that two years of cloth diapers would have had me wandering the streets telling people the world was coming to an end. Go on and ask the next homeless woman you see, I bet she'll tell you she's on the streets because she put her kid in cloth diapers, or maybe not -- is worth a shot though.
  • $20 bucks for the lot? Ok, here's where I draw the line. People are giving away strollers, climbing structures, and STUFF all the time and you are SELLING diapers, used diapers?? Hey, and did you know that diapers make excellant cleaning cloths? Or maybe you are opposed to dusting your house with something your kid poo'd in? Would that make you think twice about selling them to one of us?
  • Finally, the Queen has a question. Is the reason all of these are in newborn sizes because you realized that this was a freak idea and you joined the rest of us on Earth who know and love our disposable diapers? Or is your kid potty trained?
Yes, the Queen has issues, why do you ask? And the biggest thing I'm having problems with is that in a day I'll see this same woman write that the diapers are sold. Why did I move here again?
To leave you -- this is by far my favorite posting to date. I've removed all the places to protect the innocent:
Wow, that new XXXXXX Montessori school sounds absolutely amazing. I spoke with them further and they are dedicated to organics and health. No pesticides, nontoxic cleaning and craft supplies, even no carpet and a low VOC paint. Just the kind of place I want my daughter to spend time in! It's a big chunk of money to spend but, per hour, it's actually much cheaper than a babysitter.

The catch? They absolutely won't take children under 3 years. My daughter is 14 months.

I'm not looking for day care/school right now, but my home business is picking up substantially and I may need this in a few months. Soapmaking is *not* compatible with toddlers.

So I'm considering options for the future. I have two wonderful babysitters I found through XXXXX's babysitting network, but I think a school-like atomsphere would be a good thing, and the costs are lower (not a big deal for the occasional day or evening, but it adds up when it's regular).

Are there any other organically-minded places around? If the place is like this, you'll know it. I really can't use places that don't spray pesticides inside but don't know what building maintanance is doing to the outside, or places that are willing to not to use the Lysol in front of my daughter, etc. I want the whole package: organic gardens, wooden toys, natural cleaners, and nontoxic building supplies.

I love the XXXXX Waldorf school in XXXXXXX but it's pretty far away, awfully expensive, short, and all the classes for children younger than kindergarden require a parent/caregiver to be there too.

I personally am not interested in any place that is identified Christian, but go ahead and send info if appropriate, and I'll include it in the compilation. Btw, the only Jewish day care in town sprays extremely toxic pesticides indoors and outdoors and uses pressure treated lumber for the gardens and children's play areas. This is what I need to avoid. Go ahead and give info for any age, since I know people with older children who are interested too, though something for toddlers is ideal for me.

So other than XXXXX Montessori, what's available? If you email me privately with your replies, I'll compile them for the list in a few days.

I live to serve

Yes, I may be your Queen of Snarkville, but I live to serve you my gentle readers. I have answers to all your questions (recently left in comments) and a few answers to questions you haven't even asked yet. Please feel free to ask more if you need answers of any of life's little queries. As you see, I live to serve.

From our Grenidine Girl:
Yarn says, life's not so bad, you've got me to love you. And the yarn doesn't charge you or bill your health insurance nor does it require to be fed, diapered or clothed.
True, yarn does make life better. However, she is a cruel mistress who will not tolerate being cheated on with anyone else. Have you tried to knit while thinking of something upseting? How many rows did you have to TINK out? I can share yarn time with some other things, but they must be good happy things, like TV, travel, petting, chatting, or snuggling. I however, can not be mad and knit. This leads me to one of the Prince's favorite sayings, "Don't _____, angry." Fill in your own blank -- it works for just about everything.

From our Sarah HB:
Um, can you knit him some socks?
No, I can not knit my father socks. There are three basic problems here. One, I have NO idea what size to knit as I've not been close enough to my Dad's feet in years. Two, he only wears black socks, boring, and I'd be forced to die just from the yarn purchase alone. Three, I can't knit socks very fast -- it would take a few weeks, and we have like DAYS here. I'm thinking I need to bring food of some type.

From our Bad Mommy:
Maybe the Duke would like to come over and work out his feelings by biting C? I'm off tomorrow and would be happy to take the Duke off your hands for a bit if you'd like a nap.

Thank you so much for the offer of a nap and some sitting time. I would have taken you up on hanging out on your day off -- BUT, I have no way of contacting you outside of comments -- I'll correct that tomorrow night at Knit Night, I assure you. For now, Duke has not bitten another child. I'm not sure at what point you get chewed on enough to believe that this an acceptable way to react, but I fear it may be coming. I've warned the school if it happens, I'm going to walk in the door and tell them, "You taught him to bite, YOU un-teach him to bite. This is NOT my problem." However, Bad Mommy, if you want to grab coffee this afternoon, I'll meet you in Novato.

From our Polly:
I'm sorry Duke is so tasty-- is it the same biter or as word gotten out that he is so succulent?

I guess we should stop bathing him in chocolate, huh? You know, Duke takes after his father who can eat and eat and eat and still no part of him will hang over his pants. Makes me sick. So, it isn't like Duke is plump and juicy. It is not the same biter, seems to be multiple different kid. Lately, it has been in response to Duke trying to take something that another kid had and Duke just took and didn't ask.

From my most wonderful Secret Pal (I'd link to you if I knew your blog -- care to share?):
About the biting, since Duke's almost three see if he can be moved to a room with 3 year olds.

Duke can move to the 3 year old room when he's potty trained. At the rate we are going, it will be a bit -- and probably past the age of 3 for him. So, we are kind of stuck. I am however, going to get dressed here shortly and run down there to observe to see if I see anything that might help. Probably won't, but at least I'm being helpful, right?

On to questions you didn't ask or probably care to know:
  • Duke is better. Yup, less than 6 coughs yesterday all within seconds of drinking a little milk -- so I think he's still got some phlegm, but nothing like it was. I'm canceling the doctor's appointment and sending him to school.
  • I am not. I slept SO well last night I couldn't believe it. I actually got a full night's sleep -- thank you Nyquil. I'm on cup of coffee number 2 just to keep my eyes open. However, I could make bank doing phone sex, because I'm totally the sexy voice lady right now.
  • My stitches are not comfortable. It seems that while I would have bet that this part of my back doesn't move -- it MOVES with every single thing I do. I can feel them pulling and it isn't fun. The Queen Mum tells me that as it heals it will actually feel worse because of pulling. ICK. I'm done now, put a fork in me.
  • I leave on Friday, folks!!! I become a jet setter once again to head to the East Coast, from whence I came, then on a ship, then to Club Med. Yes, I live the life. Who wants me to pack them in my suitcase? Any bets on how much yarn I'll take?
  • There are TWO entries for Pride of Hawai'i stuff. TWO folks??? Get your entries in before I get back from my trip and I'll have Prince pick in a winner. At this point, I may split up the stuff and make both winners -- so hello, folks, if you want me to score decent crap from this trip, you need to encourage me!!!!!
  • I will be at Knit Night this Thursday -- even though I'll be heading to the airport at 5am on Friday. I am hoping to be more over this bug -- we think if I have what Duke did, I'll be done soon enough. I'm taking that Airborne stuff that is supposed to help and while it isn't the tastiest, I'm doing ok and it may actually be helping.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Did you see the balloons?

First I want to thank my friends who are cheering me up so much for the what could be listed a truly a very, bad day. I have thrown myself a huge pity party -- there were balloons, did you see them?-- and I'm feeling better. But it is only 7am there's so much time.

Let's get the bitching over so we can move to the good stuff:
I think I'm getting sick. I woke up with all the fun drainage that is the early warning signs that by Thursday I'll be miserable. However, I'm the mommy so we all know that life will not stop long enough for me to die quietly in my bed.
Duke is not feeling great; but while I'm still planning on taking him to the doctor, I have a feeling we may be working on that last molar and not an ear infection --- only because my mommy gut says so -- oh, that and the crying all night long. Yes, I sent him to school this morning because I have a meeting and I know my doctor's office won't see him until late this afternoon or tomorrow. I'll be calling at 9am on the dot when they open.

Now on to the good stuff:

First the Socks that Rock Box.

Now, I'm about to say the worst thing ever. The sock pattern SUCKS. Sorry. I love the yarn (even with the little bit of purple in it); I love the emergency sock yarn; I even love the "love note" from Blue Moon. However, I think the pattern is one of the ulgiest things I've ever seen. Now in its defense, I do NOT wear ankle socks. I hated them as a kid, I don't wear them now. And this pattern has a linen stitch ankle which is worked flat and then stitches are picked up on one long side joined and knit the foot of the sock. Now, I'm completely interested in the linen stitch, so much so that I'm thinking of completely altering the pattern to use the linen stitch in the round for the ankle --- thus making it longer and eliminating the buttons. Thoughts? Do we think the linen stitch will work as the leg of a sock?

But back to the good. After posting last night, I knitted a bit on my fair isle bag, which is coming along. I think in a way I knew I needed yarn time. I also am enjoying watching a huge number of taped movies that we TIVO'd on a recent free movie weekend. Warning, my NetFlix is well over 100 movies and I'm mostly watching what was out three and four years ago. So, I watched a few movies and knitted away. I feel better, though I'm still taking a few more Advil than I like to take, because frankly, my back HURTS. (and I'm a wee bit concerned about the shower I'm about to take.)

Finally, I have a sweet Duke story to share, to prove I'm not a puddle of self-pity and I didn't move from Snarkville to Pity World. So, we are seeing my folks at the end of this week and Duke needs a haircut -- so he'd look good in the 9 billion photos which will be taken. So, I took him Sunday afternoon to get his haircut. I tried a new place, but they had closed 15 minutes earlier, so back to the standby of Supercuts. I walk in and see a waiting room full of people. I put Duke's name on the list and was told the wait would be an hour or more. So I thought we'd go home to wait. But Duke didn't want to leave. I got him out and we ran a few errands. (now please remember he's two -- three in August). We go to the pet store for kitty litter. They have little kid carts there, so he got his own cart and we played follow the leader through the store. I picked up a thing of litter and Duke tried to pick one up too -- only it was too big, funny but too heavy. We then toured the fish, the cats, the gerbils, and the birds. But Duke was doing great at following the leader -- something new for him. Then we took the litter to the car and he stomped in rain puddles while I loaded the car. Then to Trader Joe's for a bit. Duke helped me carry my muffins and gave them to the checker. He told me he wanted to pay, so I gave him a $5 and he got change like a big boy. He was so proud -- you could see the little chest puff out and everything. So back we go to get the haircut. He waited as well as any 2 year old can -- including knocking down an entire section of hair product. But he got his turn. He sat up straight and good -- so thrilled to get his hair cut he was. Then out of the blue he looks at me and says, "Balloon." (which he gets there after a cut) I said, "Yes, sweetie you can get a balloon when we are done. Hold still please." He grabbed his head to try to hold it still. I snorted hair laughing. Then a girl walks in and gets a purple balloon. Duke says (as the stylist has a lock of his hair cutting). "I done. I want purple balloon." We were still getting the last bits trimmed as he was getting down from the chair. But he got his purple balloon. He was so proud he wanted to take it to school yesterday morning. Maybe next time I'll let him -- since maybe he can shove the purple balloon in the mouth of the bitter.

So, did you see the balloons? Who knew purple balloons are all that are needed to make someone happy -- oh to be two again!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Cut, Bruised, and Mortified

Yup, all in one day. Hold on to your little bits for today's has been a rollercoaster of emotions.

Let's begin with the first fun of my day, I had my entire back sliced off. Well, ok, a 3/4 inch spot, but it sort of feels like my whole back. I have three stitches (which I might point out is triple the ONE stitch I was promised). I will not know the results of my little brush with the knife until probably at least a week from now. For the record, now I'm beginning to feel the beginnings of worry. I have no idea if it is that it took a week to settle in for me OR the sheer fact that I had an actual flashback to my epidural during childbirth that knocked some sense into me. In other doctor related news, I have high cholesterol and a script for seasickness patches. In response to the commenter who is amused that I get ill; it is only ever the first day; but yes I do -- however, the cruise itself is SO much fun that I try to forget my little green moments.

I rushed home for a business meeting. I got a call from Duke's school to tell me that my son was bitten yet again. This is becoming a horribly too often phone call and we are beginning to think that a change in school is in order -- but I have to say I fear we'd just end up in the same boat with higher prices. I'm such in a mommy dilemma here, that I may have been a wee bit harsh to the teacher --- While I refrained from the "Don't you have the brains to watch children?" comment; I may have said something about "biting is always unacceptable and I'm tired of hearing excuses." I even called the director of the school and will be enjoying multiple hours of watching Duke's class this week to see if I can point out anything they could do to prevent my child from being chewed on. My ego is a little battered on this one, because I basically agreed to send my child to an assessment for speech skills I don't think he needs (the assessment, not the skills). I'm PO'd that I won't get anywhere with the school until I can prove this isn't HIS problem -- and like I said my ego is bruised.

Anyway, the meeting went well. I bought some ad space in a magazine. Prince isn't as in love with this plan as I am, so we shall see how it goes.

I'm so red with embarrassment that I could light up the entire Pacific Coast. I forgot my father's birthday today. I forgot it to the point my mother called to remind me. I'm feeling like a complete and total heel and I am one. We are going to see them on Friday and I'm sure I should do something that says -- "I'm sorry for forgetting your birthday, but I assure you that this present was waiting to come down with us." Ideas? I'm open to anything at this point. I'm the worst daughter to walk. Add that to my bad mommy status as I'm batting 1,000 today.

Finally, I think Duke has an ear infection. He isn't running a fever, but he's grumpy and something just isn't right. I'm going to call the Ped tomorrow for an appointment -- what with us flying on Friday and everything. This is just NOT a good time for me. I just got back from responding to a "MMOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMAAAAAAAA" call. He tells us that everything hurts. His ears hurt, his teeth hurt, his toes hurt. So, we gave him kisses and hugs and little medicine. I'm calling the doctor to see if we can fix the boy before leaving town.

So, I'm too bummed to continue, so if you are looking for me, I'll have my head in the oven.

On the bright side, I got my Socks that Rock club yarn -- and it is prettier than last shipment. I'll post happy photos and perhaps good things tomorrow.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

So you want to know about it?

Yes, I know -- I'd want the gory details too if I didn't get to go. So, since I live to serve here's the all the great details.

First, if you, my dear internet friends, want to know the official review I wrote for the world, please read this. Since it is long, and I'm not going to re-write it here, you may wish to read it, just to have the overview of my trip -- but that is really ship based and not nearly showing off my snarkyness. So, thus I've had to do it in bullet form, but here's my rough outline of what happened over the past few days.
  1. Lesson learned: When trying to get a spa appointment on a ship with 1200 other people and only 1 day at sea to do it in --- go EARLY and beg. We missed the second show on the second night for facials. However, I think I'm glad I got the facial.
  2. Lesson learned: When 1200 travel professionals want to bitch to the VP of a cruise line, they will not EVER stop asking the same question. And yes, that question is all about money. Not all that important what happened, but let's just say TP (travel professional) #1 mentioned something; the VP said and I quote, "We know it is a problem. We are trying to fix it. I've got three people whose sole job it is to fix it in the upcoming months. However, this problem didn't start yesterday and won't be fixed tomorrow. We are trying to work with you." Then 14, yes I counted, 14 other TPs had to ask the same damn question -- but always adding that unique twist. "When?"
  3. Lesson to be taught: In a Rock and Roll review style show, kindly Google the various songs you wish to use and find out what decade they were written in and possibly what they were about before designing your costumes and props for them. There is NO Eagles song that has any need for motorcycles on stage (see point the 4th about the motorcycles too). Case in point: If you want to put the lady lead singers in full length beaded gowns, they better be singing the Supremes or R.E.S.P.E.C.T., not "I am woman" It doesn't work. Oh, and last note on this -- When you sing --- try to find out before you begin what the real tempo of the songs are --- because you didn't have it. The only song you got the costumes right on was "Pinball Wizard" and the only song you got the tempo right on was "Rock and Roll all Night"
  4. Lesson to be taught: If you want to do biker songs on stage and use motorcycles, USE REAL MOTORCYCLES. Do not use walkers with a Motorcycle front to them -- it makes the dancers look gayer than they already are. Hell, the gay men in the audience were embarrassed for them. There is nothing cool about a walker on stage -- EVER.
  5. Funny moment: I watched a newbie waiter pour an entire pitcher of ice into the lap of one of my dining companions one evening. Not only was the act funny, it was even funnier when the victim, us, and the rest of the wait staff made fun of the pourer asking if he needed training wheels on his pitcher.
  6. Great News: Not only was this cruise free, all the adult beverages, gratuities, and cover charges for some of the dining rooms were free. And yet, even with this, I never saw a single person falling down drunk --- though many of us were pretty much stuck in that happy giddy stage.
  7. Lesson Learned: I get green at the drop of a hat. Yup, seems I was a bit ill -- without actually BEING sick --- the first night. I kept on drinking.
  8. There was gross food, I didn't mention in my review.
    1. Gross food number 1: In the Tapas place there was something called "Shrimp Shooter" It appeared to be a salt rimmed shot glass with ground shrimp in something that looks a lot like clam juice. GAG.
    2. Gross food number 2: The chili we had brought to us once had a layer of grease that I've only seen under the paper towel of fried chicken. It had to be 1/4 inch thick -- GROSS.
    3. Gross food number 3: On the buffet line, they seem incapable of keeping the scrambled eggs from completely drying out. I'm not talking about just dry. I'm talking about cracking from being so dry. And yet, the bacon was under cooked and floppy.
  9. To laugh at others: My friend who went with me, sweet as she can be and normally smart as a whip. So imagine my shock that she thought there would be cell service on the cruise ship. Not that this is that unusual except that her reasoning was that she thought there would be a cell tower on the ship. For the record, if you have not cruised before: there IS phone service on board the ships. It is called satellite phone and it is expensive!! I got a big laugh at my friend's expense asking her if she thought there were cell buoys out at sea. Guess I should have warned her.
  10. On the stuff front: I have to say this area was a little lite. I got a framed print from the ship that was pretty cool. However, I purchased a few things in the gift shop. There is a huge lack of Pride of Hawaii branded items. I would have bought more if it had only been available. How sad is that.
So, that's a wrap. Even though I don't have much branded Pride of Hawaii, I do have a little something (and don't get your hopes up here -- but it should be enough for you to know I was thinking of you all), for anyone who wants it. But there's a challenge here. There will be a special Pride of Hawaii themed gift package to the best response to this question:

"I am most deserving of the Hawaii box because...."

You may post your response in comments or with a link to your blog. The best entry will be judged by Prince, without your names attached for the most unbiased results. GO.

(Be forewarned, if this is successful the prize may get better on my Freedom of the Seas trip -- so, don't disappoint. I've got three more trips currently planned -- there's huge chances for stuff this year.)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Hi, Honey, I'm Home

Yes, I am home now. I have all sorts of snarky comments to share, but I'm too tired to type. Here are the first few of my photos here.

I had a blast. I ate 3 dinners in three different places last night. I went to bed after midnight and was up by 7am. I am insanely tired, but I think I will live.

I'm so thrilled to be a part of this trip; and glad to be home. Details will follow. But I thought I'd share that I was home.

On the Knitting front --- I started a sock that will be my first gift --- and I'm going really well with it. Would show photo, but she reads it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Call me Irresponsible

I'm wild with abandon over here in Snarkville. Just wild I tell you. I'd love to say that I'm completely organized and packed and bathed and ready to be off today; only I'm not. I'm so not packed, bathed, or organized. For my knitter buds, I have no idea what project(s) I'm taking with me. For my other friends, I have literally put in my bag my undies, PJs, and ONE change of clothing. This will not get me very far on a two day trip (especially since I kinda think I might want to wear that one outfit today and not tomorrow) unless I plan to sleep for two straight days. While this doesn't upset me much -- it doesn't bode well for the two reasons I'm on this ship: Photos and free crap.
I love me the free crap. I'm a slut for promo junk -- and it is only fitting that my last two jobs in the "real" corporate world were in places with more than my fair share of free crap. My last job was best described as "it is not just a job; its a t-shirt" --- she types while wearing one of her over 20 tees from said job. I was there almost 4 years -- that averages to 5 tees a year --- we will ignore all the other crap I got from them too. Like I said, I love me the "swag." So, here's hoping there is TONs on this little voyage. But I also know that the gift shop will be open too -- which leads me to the quote of the day. Said the Prince this morning: "Don't forget us little people." As if.
So to sum up, I'm heading off today -- I'll do my best to live blog from the ship -- I HAVE back-up batteries to take photos for all. So what am I forgetting -- other than clothing, yarn, and to shower? See -- total irresponsibility. Loving it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Do you have spot remover?

Now, I'm normally a mess. The girl with coffee spilled down her shirt; the one you see in some form of disarray. Yup, that's me; the pinnacle of grace and aplomb.

However, I now have a spot I can't get out, without help. It seems that I'm cursed with my Great Britain genes: fair skin, blue eyes, bad ankles and all -- to have a few, um, moles. Well, these have always been small and not bothered me much; but there's this one that is in the center of my back. I think it may be growing, at the very least it is changing. So, yesterday, while at my doctor's office [(yes, the one who's staff gave me the distinct impression he was too busy to care about me) --- a side note within my side note here: He's very nice, took tons of time with me, and even laughed at my odd sense of humor and constant rambling of the mouth.] I asked the good doctor to "take and look and tell me it is nothing." He took a look and can't say it is nothing. So next Monday, Snarkville's Queen will be having a biopsy of her mole done -- I think this means that I will have large portions of my back sliced off, but I'm not sure. Actually, I know there will be a stitch or two, which my own mother (the Queen Mum and nurse extradinairre) will remove since we will be visiting her when it needs to come out.

So, why I tell you all of this is that I'm not in the least bit worried about it. Now, it seems that everyone I tell thinks I should be freaking out, but for the first time in my life, I'm not the least bit concerned. Maybe it is because I'm convinced that if it is something to worry about I'd somehow just know and since I don't there is no need to worry. Maybe I'm finally an adult and gained perspective -- and we all know that's a crock, right? Maybe it is that I'm in denial. However, I'm really not worried.

What is troublesome is my e-mails from my father who starts off, "I know you are worried...." No, Daddy, I'm not. I have three trillion things on my plate between now and Monday to deal with -- worry is not on my to do list. I don't have time to worry. So there. I'm not worried.
---------Begin PSA--------------
For all of you out there, I'd like to mention -- get your moles checked. Anything that looks funny or might have changed as you have aged: have some one check it out. Chances are it is nothing to worry with. If this turns is something to worry over, aren't we all going to be happier that we deal with it today when it is "small" and not when I'm looking for someone to knit me a Chemo Cap?
---------End PSA-------------
On to other news in Snarkville, I'm going to be leaving this country tomorrow. I am leaving to sail into international waters for two glorious days!! I shall eat food I neither will cook nor have to clean up after. I shall not change a single diaper for 48 whole hours. I shall drink an adult beverage. I will NOT be the mom nor take on any mommy duties. I shall take photos and knit with abandon. I will enjoy this, and no little spot on the center of my back will stop me.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I have SSS, I think

Yes, I've heard of the dreaded SSS (Second Sock/Sleeve Syndrome, for my non-knitter friends). I heard of it, but I'm not sure I believed it. Afterall, in my desperate attempts to avoid it, I simply put the first completed sock on my one foot (thus leaving second foot chilled) and cast on the next sock. However, I had not up until yesterday met a sock that entirely refused to grow anymore. I don't think my first sock took me as long to complete as this my 7th. But here it is, the ONE sock:
I think it is the cables every 8 rows. But boy am I glad to be done with sock number 1. But eventhough I finished this sock before Survivor last night, I have yet to cast on the second sock. I'm not sure if I need to take a break from this sock for a bit, or what. But right now I have no desire to cast on the next sock. So I think that means I have SSS.

In other SSS news, I finished sleeve number one on the ArtFibers Gyspy Sweater. I went with the large orange stripe at the bottom of the sleeve and decided to not make the sleeves overly long (like to my wrist --- it is more a 7/8 sleeve for pushing up with less bulk.) However, I'm again in no mood to cast on the second sleeve. Thus I have SSS. But tell me you like the sweater:

By this point, the Prince is freaking out. He believes that I will get to the point where I will stop finishing anything and that is not the case here. In fact, I've decided that while I have no desire to cast on the second sock or sleeve, I will and I will finish the other item in my bag before moving on to something new. Let's just step back and give the Prince some air -- he may be a little freaked out at the thought of an unfinished craft project in this house. Look something shiny.

In other Snarkville news, Polly came to visit on Friday and we went to ArtFibers and lunch. What fun. I didn't get lost getting out of the city this time and Polly only got slightly lost getting in. We laughed, we were snarky, and she only slightly thinks I'm a freak -- so all is good. The purple (yes, please note the plan is to dye this -- because I'm not a lover of the color -- but of the price? Of the price I'm its dirty little mistress) is lace weight silk and merino from ArtFibers. Yes, it is yummy -- and yes there is something like 3K yards. Yup, I'm in love. The black stuff is Natruwolle that is destined to be a bag --- also, yummy.

Well, finally, this week is my cruise to nowhere for two days. I can't wait to go and I need to pack and get a few last minute things done before I say Bon Voyage. If I'm a good little blogger, I may just post from the ship -- if not, I promise photos (if I remember batteries this time) when I return. Plus there will be knitting time -- then the week after there will be knitting time on the plane too!!! I love plane knitting, don't know why, it just makes me very happy.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Yes, it's a post.

If there was a theme to my past few days it would be "running late." I feel like I've rushed to everything since Tuesday. While I'm not the gotta be there horribly early kinda of girl, I can be the totally on time girl. However, I've been averaging 10 minutes behind my normal schedule all week and I'm sick of it -- sick, I tell you. So in my effort to stop that I figured I'd check my e-mail, wirte my post and run to the city. Then my browser locked up --- and I'm still 10 minutes late! Urgh.

So, since I'm running behind, here's a few tidbits from Snarkville:
  1. I won't be wearing shoes for a bit --- seems the blister that took over the back of my foot is huge AND painful. It hasn't burst yet -- so I don't see healing anytime on the horizon. In other news, be happy I've spared you a photo of the world's largest blister.
  2. I'm headed into the city to meet my SP Hostess. How cool is this -- even if she does want to start the pool on how long it will take the Prince to lay the scooter down ;).
  3. My cable sock is taking FOREVER. It has stopped growing completely. I need one more cable repeat and I think I'm going to make the toe and call it DONE. But then there's sock #2. URGH. Who's nutso idea was it for a cable sock?
  4. My friend Niki's husband is finding out something about his job today -- could be good or could be bad -- literally we are talking 50/50. So go over to KnitNik and leave a comment of support for her -- I think she may be a wee bit stressed out over there.
  5. I'm in need of coffee -- I decided to treat myself to Peet's today, so I need to leave a little earlier to get to Peets and then sit in traffic. No, I'm not taking the Vespa -- again, I'm going to the city -- and until I get my license no freeway driving -- which is fine, more of the crazies on there.
Ok, everyone, play nicely today. I'm off to my meeting, lunch, then Costco -- shall I pick you up 4 pounds of soap while I'm there?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

In which I suck

You see, if I didn't suck; this post would have photos. If I didn't suck, I would not have tried to kill myself to get a full day's worth of work done in two hours. If I didn't suck, I would not have left the house 10 FULL minutes late and gotten stuck in traffic getting to the city. If I didn't suck, I would not have followed the directions and parked a near a mile away from the pier I needed. If I didn't suck, my name would have been on the top line of the "special" list needed to get on the ship. If I didn't suck, I would not have taken my camera out of my bag and turned it on to discover that my batteries are totally dead. If I didn't suck, I would have had more to show for my day on the ship is a blister the size of a quarter.

If only I didn't suck!!!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

We Did It

So, let's review. Never driven a motorized two-wheeled vehicle before. (The Prince had a long time ago). Went to the DMV yesterday to get the permit to learn how to ride. Took shiney new permits to the Vespa sales place this afternoon to test drive. Came home with a scooter. Yup that wraps it all up for us. Thank you and good night.

Oh, you need details? 'cuse me, my summary isn't enough for you guys? Ok, we went to the Vespa sales place and asked to test drive two scooters -- different engine sizes (one 200cc and one 250cc). Good news is that they were sold out of the 250's (which was the only we'd get red -- one color crossed off the list). So, now to the part where we test drive. The Prince went out on two scooters with one of the guys from the shop. I however, had the same guy take me to a quiet street to get started and I took off on my own -- WOW, it was fun. I need a little time to get used to turning and feeling comfident -- but any thoughts of my poor abilities are SHOT.

Would you like to see it? Well, here's a shot of Prince riding home:
He did pretty well -- though he was very slow until he got out on the more open road. You would have seen the moment he got confident on it.
I had to turn off to go get Duke from school. Duke loves the "bike" but he's not going to ride it anytime soon.
So, want to know what we got? We bought a limited edition GT in midnight blue. That brown seat under the Prince's butt -- is a custom-made suede seat. (Yes, I loved THIS bike for the seat) -- we got the seat for free -- so I'm thrilled to say the least. In addition, there will be a matching top box coming in 8 weeks (they have to color match it) and a chrome rack for the front. And the Prince's "crown" is a slate grey Nolan with a face shield. I however, HAD to have a Vespa helmet (which has no face shield), but I got it in white with blue leather trim. There was much discussion on if it would white with blue leather or white with brown leather. Ideally, I would have wanted a blue helmet with brown leather -- but that wasn't an option.
Next up is taking our safety classes and going back to the DMV for our actual licenses. YIPPIE.

I'm thrilled. I would have said we picked the color because it was my secret pal's suggestion, mostly to suck up and stay on her good side, but it would have next to nothing to do with us falling in love with the seat in the showroom -- no, it was ALL my secret pal.

And to Polly who didn't like my choices and decided on Peach Puff (which I think may be more because she'd like to see the Prince drive a scooter in Peach Puff). In honor of my new love affair with this woman, I'm thinking of dedicating a small PINK bag in the under seat area to her. We shall forever more call it a "Polly Bag." Love it. Perhaps she will feel honored.

Now we must wonder if my spoilee will like Vespa stuff? I happen to have friends at a shop now ;) --- and for the record, I will NOT be knitting a cover for any part or the whole thing. I'm nuts, but not (as of yet) THAT crazy.

Final photo of the lovely:

Little bits and pieces

Since I can't find any coherant thoughts this morning (not enough coffee I'm sure), I'm going to have to leave you with a few notes from Snarkville:
  1. My Secret Pal LIVES. She has responded to my e-mail and seems to think I may be weird enough to like me (her words, not mine) -- I'm SO thrilled with that. I love being weird enough to be liked.
  2. If you ever have a need to remove blood, I may suggest reading a little posting from our very own Bad Mommy.
  3. The Prince will be arriving home by noonish for us to go use our shiny new permits on a test drive. I can't wait. I'm thinking this means I may be forced to change from my PJs, but this is still under some debate.
  4. Tomorrow begins my Summer of Busy. I'll be in the city on a ship tour. Yes, there may be a "special" photo for my friends in Snarkville. I know you will all be thrilled.
Ok, that's all before the showering and dressing thing begins. I may post this evening if there is any updates on the scooter. Until then, I'm looking for an opinion --- Black, Blue, or Red? (Note red would be a slightly larger engine and the Blue is more Midnight). I'm seriously thinking about changing the seat to a tan leather over black. And what do we think -- matching Vespa Helmet?

Monday, May 08, 2006

A Memory Stirs

I have been thinking about a year ago all day -- well since I got the e-mail from my secret pal. What has dawned on me is that I've never actually shared the FULL story of my Knitterly birth. It is long, so I'd suggest a cup of coffee or tea -- perhaps a stiff drink.

I think my becoming a knitter had stages, so let's look at them closely.

This is the stage that began long ago. This is where it dawned on me that there is truly something special about knits and handknits in particular. I have had a sweater fetish since living in SnarkBeach (Sidenote: I love the Prince to a fault -- but the names he came up with for our past residences made me snort). SnarkBeach is well know far and wide for its hot days and humid lifestyle. Yet, I wore sweater -- wool sweaters.
I would lust over beautiful Arans and dream of someday owning one. Now, the Queen Mum once crocheted -- she made an afghan with 3-D flowers. I have delightful memories of that thing, even if I believe it was made in Red Heart Super Saver. Anyway, I was in awe of all knits.

Craftiness Buds:
Because no one in my family knitted, I looked everywhere to fulfill my craft desire. I cross stitched for a bit, I scrap booked for a little while, I even made hand crafted miniature teddy bears. The Queen Mum always said I was looking for "MY" thing, but couldn't find it. I loved the beauty of cross stitch, but I hated following the pattern -- I always made too many mistakes, plus it is way too slow going. Scrapbooking was tough -- as I'm never sure what story these photos tell and my family takes too many photo -- good photos --- to pick out 4 per page. I loved the bears, but I'm a horrible sewer --- are you seeing my problem here?

Knitting may be an Answer:
My desire to knit began the year the Prince and I married. I worked in a craft store for a few extra bucks and I liked the idea of knitting. There was something magical about watching women make fabric out of string with pointy sticks. I knew basically how a crochet hook worked, but how in the world did stitches and and fabric form off those knitting needles. I had asked a couple of people to teach me, but time and my drive wasn't there.
Then, last year -- actually last year and a few months, I was working hard to plan a major event in the mountains. I needed some people to help and put a call into KnitNik's husband. We worked out our things -- then about a week before the event, I get an e-mail:
Do you know if anyone knits? My wife is really into knitting and she will be bored, but might like to meet a few people.
Ok, so I put a call out to the people and no one seemed all that interested, I mean seriously interested. So, I casually mentioned that I always wanted to knit. He jumped on it like a trampolene. No problem, Niki told me to get yarn I liked and needles to match. No problem. Seven WHOLE dollars later, I left Michael's with a ball of boucle in shades of green (see first knitted blob) and needles. I think she even laughed at me that I hadn't gone with something smooth.

Then I Learn:
Niki sat down with me at like 3pm one afternoon. Her kids were tasked with watching Duke and she began. Do this, do that. Pretty simple. I couldn't see a single stitch I was making. The green was horid. Calmly, she reaches in her bag and pulls out a ball of smooth red yarn, thick yarn, and says try this. CLICK. Knit stitches. I knitted for maybe 5 or 7 rows and said, NEXT. (I needed more) She taught me to purl. In doing that, I stockingette'd for a bit. Then I ribbed. It was the rib that worried me. I had flashbacks to counted cross stitch where my count was always off. I felt a little heat rise. Then Niki taught me the most important lesson I would learn that day: TINK.

Niki's calm teaching, fun way and instant kinship spurred me on. I frankly went back to my cabin that night thinking that I'd put those needles down and move on. Here I'd made another person happy and I knew "how" to knit. But really, I don't have time. I got bored waiting for something at somepoint and I picked up the green yarn and I tried to re-create what I'd done. It flew off the needles that time and I thought...hmmmm.

Despite making the blob and THREE handbags, I still didn't purl correctly until August when I saw Niki again. And I made more than one woman happy for a few hours -- I made a great friend. Yep, I'll keep her.

Now you know the WHOLE story.

Happy Monday All.

Before getting to the meat of this post I must admit that I have had to write out an OUTLINE for this one. I have so much to go over, I didn't want to leave anything out. However, in the Queen's normal style, I burned my popcorn and thus have decided that the outline was too much and thrown it away --- with the popcorn.

Don't burn popcorn. It stinks up the whole house QUICKLY. And in case you are thinking I was an airhead for burning it -- I was standing RIGHT there listening -- the popping never slowed, just begun to burn. URGH.

My secret pal e-mailed me this morning to wish me a happy "Knitiversary." How awesome is that? (I think I have a little crush on her already.) Ok, so in honor of my 'versary, I think we must thank Miss Niki who taught me to knit. And would you all like to see what I first made? Of course you would.

What do you think this blob is? Would you believe it was a shawl that became a laptop case. We aren't looking at the uneven flap or my very poor seaming. To this point, it is the ONLY project I've ever done on straight needles.

Oh, how far I have come --- from this to socks!!

The Queen now has a permit to learn to drive a motorcycle. Yes, I FINALLY passed the written test. The DMV in Snarkville is actually fairly well run. If you overlook the fact that Prince and I have two completely different types of permits though we have asked for the same thing. However, there was one guy who was in front of me in line whose first language was Italian. The conversation went as follows:
DMV Lady: What language would you like to take the written test in?
Italian Guy: I try.
DMV Lady: What language do you speak?
Italian Guy: Italian and some English.
DMV Lady: Would you like the test in Italian or English?
Italian Guy: English, I try.

Now I ask you -- WHY? If you speak and read Italian (probably 1000 times better than English), would you burden yourself with taking a test in English.

Oh and for the record -- driving written tests are NOT at all about the rules of the road -- and the motorcycle one is not either -- what a pain in the bottom. I would think the written test would focus on the LAWS and the driving portion would focus on the DRIVING -- but who knew -- the laws aren't different for motorcyclists -- thus the exam is all about how you hold the throttle and what to do if the clutch fails.

On a funny side note: We got home from test taking and I looked at Prince's Permit and thought -- that looks different than mine. I waited for him to go to work and took mine out to examine --- yup, sure enough. He had the standard Permit to learn to ride thingie -- I had a standard permit to learn to "drive a car" AND "ride a motorcycle." HELLO? Do you think we can get Prince to stop teasing me? I called the DMV (in hindsight, a HUGE mistake) and was told that one of the two was wrong, go to your local office to sort this all out. DUH. So, I walk in. The first guy who helped me this morning asked me, "So you making a day of the DMV today?" I laughed and showed him my papers --- come to find out (and please don't die of shock here) BOTH WERE WRONG. You see, Prince and I hold out of state licenses (it is legal for us to do this -- it is ok); but when we add the motorcycle license, we will need to move our licenses to this crazy state. However, since we were applying, correctly, for the Instruction Permit; we don't get new licenses yet --- but we should have gotten TEMPORARY Licenses -- NOT a driving permit!!!! URGH, to say the least. I felt 15 all of a sudden. But that's ok -- I'm just convinced that the state government around here is a little screwy anyway. And get this, if we don't pass the safety course or the road test by the time our temporary licenses expire, it is back to the DMV for an extension. And no, it seems they will not send us real licenses until the motorcycle thing is done. URGHsquared.

My secret pal is already awesome. First, I have to say that for this being my first time -- such a Secret Pal virgin, I'm already having a blast. I haven't heard from my spoilee, but I'm sure she's on just on vacation without internet access (which never happens to the citizens of Snarkville -- we love our connectivity WAY too much to go without -- we suck that way) or something equally acceptable. I hope to hear from her soon; cause I'm totally lame and need even more knitting friends!
However, I think my secret pal is going to be pretty cool. It will come as no shock to her that I'm stalking the participant lists to try to search her out -- I'm failing thus far and overwhelmed with how many blogs I'd have to read through.
But I've also begun sucking up to my Secret Pal Hostess. I have to say -- I'm getting good at the sucking up thing ;) But my hostess, with the mostest, will be in my area on Friday and I'm meeting her at yarn -- can you believe it? Meeting secret people so soon??? I love it.

Keep a look out on this space in the upcoming weeks, there will be "LIVE BLOGGING" from all sorts of neat and 'remote' locals. You never knew how portable Snarkville can be.

Happy Knitiversary to me. (Hey, Niki, thanks for teaching me --- I guess you are the pusher who got me hooked on yarn crack.)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

And it isn't even Christmas Eve

You know that old story where the parents are putting together a bike on Christmas Eve and are frustrated with it by 4am when the kids are stirring? Yes? Good, this isn't that story at all. While I'd love to tell you that there were thrown tools and temper tantrums -- nope, not much at all. Prince put Duke's tricycle together this morning.
Duke is thrilled -- though he can barely touch the pedals when they are the farthest away from him; he can't remember to steer, and he can get from stop to start -- but forgets he must keep going. However, he was very cute!!!

In other news, we are still discussing the Vespa. Do keep in mind, we are talking about short rides to town (I live in a SMALL town -- not a city at all) and next to no highway riding. I'd love to rent to see if we like it, but alas, there are rules preventing us from renting one --- longish story, but basically to many people in Prince's work were getting drunk and renting them on vacation -- it is now completely unacceptable. Trust me, we don't fight the system here. But we can own! So that's ok. I'm going to get my permit tomorrow am, provided I'm not so dumb as to not be able to pass the written test. Prince will probably get his Tuesday. Then I'm to get a sitter on Saturday, while we run back to the dealer and take a couple out on a test drive -- we are debating over two models and wish to compare. I'll let you know then, if we buy one -- and how I'm going to break it to my parents -- they've been classically against 2 wheels -- but I think my mum digs Vespas -- who knows. And YES, we would be taking the safety course too.

In an answer to Polly who wondered if this may change my royal image. I need to remind the masses that once the Queen of England owned a Mini Cooper --- she also drove a double-decker bus during WWII. So, I think it may just make me more human to the citizens of Snarkville. However, I'm already wondering what scarf will look the best flowing from my neck.

Finally, spring has sprung in Snarkville. Proof would be the 100's of Roses blooming all over my "overgrown" yard. However, (in classic DebR style), I wish to leave you with this photo:This is a sprout from my neighbor's tree -- growing from the picnic table in the backyard. I think this proves that there is magic in that yard allowing anything and everything to grow --- but we are leaving the tree to see how big it will grow --- perhaps it will become a design feature of the table.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Cool, Mid-Life Crisis, or Insane? Please decide.

Yes, it seems like just yesterday I was thinking I was finally starting to feel less insane. I've been scanning various blogs who have put up their answers to the Secret Pal program questionaire. I'm beginning to think I may be a little sane -- compared to some of my fellow knitters (which in my defense, I'm not thinking as a positive -- just more like I've not been knitting long enough and perhaps need to buy more yarn). Then IT happened.

In talking to the Prince last night, he mentioned something that would be really cool to own -- what with gas prices going over the top. And like a complete dumbass, I say, "Honey, if you want a Vespa, get a Vespa." He says, "You'll let me get a Vespa?" Yes -- if I said, YES -- I meant it. Then my brain kicks in.
Reasons NOT to buy a Vespa:
  1. Prince takes Duke to school so it can not be Prince's daily driver.
  2. I work in my house, so I don't commute more than from the kitchen to the basement.
  3. We can't ride it on the weekends because Duke can't ride it until he's at least tall enough to have his feet touch the pegs -- probably at least 10.
  4. Three motor vehicles in a family of two drivers.
  5. We don't have motorcycle licenses. And neither of us have driven one before
So, I was forced to ask ONE little question -- "When will you drive it?" So Prince thought and thought.

This morning -- as we were driving up to Santa Rosa to test drive and learn more, Princes says, "I've been thinking -- who in this family makes short trips without Duke all day long in the car that gets 17 MPG?" Yep -- it would be MINE. Hmmm, the hardship here, huh? (Yes, my knitting friends -- I checked there is MORE than enough room for yarn in the storage areas.)

So, if you are wondering where all the best fodder for Snarkville will come from Monday morning -- I'd put good money on the DMV while I take the test to get a permit.

I must ask -- do we think this is a cool idea, a mid-life crisis (early -- I always was an early bloomer), or just frankly insane?

Friday, May 05, 2006

My "First" Heel

*Note: When I typed the title, I typed "My 'First" Hell" which I happen to think is both funnier and probably a bit true.*

Ok, as it was pointed out to me last night, I am currently working on my 7th sock ever (3 complete pairs are done and in my sock drawer awaiting my feet). Now, in an effort to prove that I am not too old to learn new tricks, I'm trying out a new heel. Let me back up.

I used to think that KnitNik was insane for knitting socks. First, I will say, I've never said "but they are $3 at Wal-Mart," but I was a touch afraid of the small needles. Then she sent me handknit socks TWICE. The first pair were WAY too big and the second pair are pretty awesome. Now, (this will come as no surprise to Niki, nor anyone I think), I'm a touch competitive. No, really. I looked at the sock she sent me and thought -- hmm, I can do this. I pretty much dissected the sock to figure it out. Here's what I learn in my sock dissection:
  1. I need a longer "shaft" to my sock. I don't turn them down (Niki does -- but I like her anyway). I opposed the girly socks as a child with the ruffle, I oppose them now. Hence anything too short feels like it is falling down on me.
  2. I like the feel of the handknit sock --- but it could fit a bit snugger.
  3. The heel looks funky.
Actually the heel bothered the heck out of me. I decided then and there -- if that was the heel of a handknit sock, I'm not interested. I disliked the thick back portion tons. But I was intrigued by how many people make socks. Hmmm -- there's a challenge here somewhere. In a yarn shop one day (while I was being ignored by the sales staff -- HINT: not good), I found a book that showed me *MY* heel. Wow. It looked just like the heels in socks I already own -- trim, sleek, and with the lovely diagonal line. Ok, what do they call this --- Ah "Short Row Heel." Yippie.
Yarn store number 1 I went to, had never made a short row heel. No help.
Yarn store number 2 (Mecca we should call it -- but it is really Marin Fiber Arts) owner, says, "I love that heel -- I hate the other one too. I want my sock to look like a sock!!" Alrighty, I think I pink, puffy heart this guy. Ok, teach me. And teach me he did.
First sock, in Lorna's Laces Gold Hill -- short row heel and toe on 4 dpts. LOVE.
Second sock, in CSYE (cutest sock yarn ever) -- short row heel and toe on two circs. Love. Love the circs more.
Third sock in Socks that Rock Club Yarn -- short row heel with "normal" decreased toe on circs. -- I was getting tired of graphing 30+ stitches at the toe. Liked the toe a lot.
Now, I wanted to learn something new. So, being ever backwards, I decided sock #4 would have a heel flap. (I'm planning an afterthought heel at somepoint too). So, off I set.

Last night I got to the heel flap and raised the red flag and said, "Warren, HELP." I can read a pattern, but I'd increased the stitches to make a tighter fabric and didn't know how to fix the pattern. After Warren questioned my sanity, he helped.

Now, I'm on the gusset decreases and it doesn't totally suck -- though I have to say this heel seems to take longer than the other one. I don't fully see the magic that Niki used to tell me about -- but I don't hate it anymore. I'm thinking the tighter knitting on smaller needles is helping. I have some funky striping on the short row section -- I blame the handdyer (moi).

I promise photos in the next post -- it just isn't photographable right this second -- but I will get some shots.

In other news, let's send congratulations to our friend for getting a job at a yarn company. Snarkville is hoping for samples.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Today I must ask WHY

Why, I need to know, do simple things like "going to bed," "going to the potty," "getting dressed," and (my favorite) "put your underpants on." Always have to be met with the word, "NO" Followed by simple acceptance of the aforementioned fate, with a simple re-phase of the question.

Go to bed: Ask as follows, please: "Would you like Daddy to read you Thomas?"
Go to the potty: Ask as follows, please: "Would you like Mommy to read a book?" OR "Do you want some chocolate/TV/me not to poke my own eyes out?"
Get dressed: Ask as follows, please: "Would you like a bar?" (a bar in this house is a NutraGrain bar and is currently Duke's prefered PRE-breakfast.)
Put your underpants on: Ask as follows, please: "Do you want to ________?" Fill in the blank with any single action that Duke is currently headed toward -- it has been everything from "climb on the bed" (removed shoes AND put underpants on); "have dinner" (yes, even in snarkville we require underpants at the table -- no shirt is ok -- but underpants are required); "play with your trains"; "leave time-out."

Now, what I don't get is that I'm a fairly direct kind of person --- ok, no one ever accused me of beating around bushes or not spouting off when a thought came across my mind. See why I have no life and fewer friends. But my son seems to have become the MASTER of not being direct. We must never ask for exactly what we want. We MUST go through this complex guessing/question game which is almost always followed by a ticklefest or giggles, to brake the tension lest I eat him and pick my teeth with his toe nails.

However, I have to admit that I play into this on occasions. Like when he asks for something and I declare -- "can you do the '_____' dance?" All of Duke's dances include the word repeated over and over and over and over again with a few "dance" steps -- occasionally with turns ---- and the biggest smile you've ever seen. Ok, so I'm a sucker for the dance steps; but you haven't lived until you see the "milk dance" --- I'm sure it will be on Broadway soon enough for all to enjoy. I'm just waiting for him to ask *ME* to do the underpants dance because I'm so horrible as to ask him to put on his underpants. (in case you were wondering, the Prince has a strict no bare butts policy in the house)

Makes you just want to drop trou and wiggle, huh? No? Yeah -- me neither.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Don't I love getting gifts...

So, yes it took me about a second and a half to decide I HAVE to do this secret pal thing. I love the idea -- get gifts/give gifts. I'm all over it. My poor secret pal will hopefully want to chat all the time, because I'm nutty that way. Anyway, in order to let the sweet, kind, pretty person out there who will be drawing my name know what kind of freak, I mean person, I am -- here is my offical survey. Please feel free to ask me more questions if you need me to clarify or if you are just one of my friends who wishes to continue to prove I'm a freak -- see that I've knit in a public potty. (In my defense, I was going to be there a LONG time and had no book -- what else would you do?)
So, here's everything you would like to know about the knitting me and weren't afraid to ask.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I'm really big on natural fibers, mostly wool, cashmere, and silk. I hate novelty yarns (which I tend to call "Muppets") and I don't tend to like 100% acrylics.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Um, um. I'm a little embarrassed here. I HAVE this HUGE knitting bag where all my tools live. I have two sets of interchangeable needles that I do probably 90% of my non-sock knitting with. However, the balance of my needles live in their original bags or sleeves.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
On May 7th, I will be a one year old knitter. I have to say, I'm not looking forward to having knit for a year -- mostly because I LOVE when people ask how long and I can say, "only since May" and they say, "Wow, this is incredible." I've never made a scarf; but I consider myself an intermediate knitter with ambitious tendencies.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Not currently, but if you ask REALLY sweetly, I will. ;)

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Um, um. I'm not all that picky. Because of bad old-factory memories I loathe Cucumber-Melon and Cotton Blossom from Bath and Body Works. But other than that, I'm pretty flexible. My favorite bath shop in the world is lush (, in case you needed to know.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Boy do I have a sweet tooth. I love CANDY more than chocolate (yes, I'm a girl -- it is a allowed). I'm partial to gummy items, jelly beans, and gum drops. However, I must admit, I'm currently on a quest to find the butt I was meant to have (it is under there somewhere) -- so if I could beg to avoid sweets -- I have no self control at all where they are concerned.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I don't spin (cuts into the knitting time), but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE handspun yarn. I am in a controlling my hobbies place in my life. I used to do a bunch of crafty things, but I never could stick with them (please don't ask my husband about the cross stitch). I found knitting and I have never looked back.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
My favorites are 80's and random country music. Mostly what I listen to these days on my iPod are audiobooks. I'm a huge fan of listening and knitting. We have more tech/computer crap in this house than you can imagine -- if I can't play it, no one on this planet can.

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
Hmmm, nothing like a hard question here. I love lots of colors. I'm not a huge fan of purple, it is a long story and while I may someday forgive purple -- it was at one point in my life thrust upon me (more accurately my bridemaid) and when I complained, I was told if I ever owned anything purple the thruster would never let me forget it. I own NOTHING that all purple (or even lilac) -- I do have some yarn that has SMALL touches of purple. But that didn't answer what I like, right? Hmm -- I'm mostly a fall color kind of girl. But currently I've been completely into pinks and greens (ala the Preppy Handbook). Helpful? I'm thinking no.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Yes, I have one -- a family that is. Oh, do you want specifics? Ok, I have a husband and one son, who will be three in August. I have 4 beasts in the house. I have 1 dog, who is sweet has sweet can be; a thief of some food items; and can not give doggies kisses nor lift his leg. I have three cats. 1 overweight, orange tabby who is 10 years old now. He is MINE and very loving. My husband has a cat who is 7 this fall. She may have only just now forgiven me for taking her side of the bed. And the dog has a cat, who is basically the single best cat personality I've ever met. He doesn't get mad at anything, he will greet everyone at the door and never met a bowl of food that he doesn't want to eat.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Hmm. I live in Northern California -- recently moved from the cold East coast regions. So I can say not often. Of the 4, I'd wear a poncho or mittens more than hats and scarves.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Right now it is socks. I'm in a sock and sweater knitting mode. I love socks because they are portable, quick and fun to knit. Plus I love people asking me why I would knit socks. The other thing I like knitting are felted handbags.

13. What are you knitting right now?
I have 2 sweaters on the needles and a pair of socks and one fair isle handbag.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Oh YES -- YES, YES, YES. Did I mention I dig it?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
My favs right now are Addi Turbos. I fought the metal needle thing, but I'm into them now. I only own one pair of straight needles and I never use them. I much prefer circs, but will do the flex needle thing too. Don't dig plastic.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
No, I want one desperately. I'm told I must have one from my friend KnitNik (who you could always ping for more details if you need them), she literally sends my e-coupons all the time.

17. How did you learn to knit?
KnitNik taught me -- and by doing so, I decided to make her my best friend. I love her for sharing. I am even forced to thank her husband for asking about it and setting us up.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?
The pink sweater. It is in need of the balance of the i-cord edging to be complete -- well, that and buttons that I have no idea what I want or what will look right. It was started in August of last year and was completed except for the edge since February -- I've not touched it since then.

19. What is your favorite holiday?
My birthday. Don't you celebrate it in your house? I'm weird about my birthday, and I like to celebrate it as much as possible.

20. Is there anything that you collect?
Miniature teddy bears and more yarn. On the bears I'm only into those designed by Deb Canham, an English artist living in Florida. I haven't bought many in years because of the need for yarn.

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I need a really good stitchanary. I tend to look at patterns as suggestions so I am dying to get my hands on some Elizabeth Zimmerman's works -- especially anything take talks to theory on knitting. My favorite sock book is Simple Socks: Plain and Fancy -- for just this reason. I don't subscribe to any mags yet.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Steeks. I really want to try them. But I'm a total chicken. Not 100% true, I'm not a total chicken -- the thought of cutting hand knit kills me -- but until last summer the thought of throwing wool in the washer was horrible too. I am not too old to learn.

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I'm a sock knitter. My foot is 9" long and 9" in circumference around the ball of my foot. I don't fold my socks over and like to wear them at least 7" up my leg.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
September 16th --- please kindly put it in your calendar. ;)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I knew this might happen

When I started this blog, I had a great fear that at some point I'd have nothing to say. I know it is hard to imagine that I'd be struck dumb by anything -- but today's blank page is kicking my blogging butt. I thought about walking away and trying to come back later, but I have some other things to do and need to cross this off my list. My blog mentor told me to commit to only blogging twice a week at first to see if I liked it. But I know myself well enough that if I start missing a day, this poor blog will go the way of all the blogs before it (yes, there were other blogs before -- they all died the death they deserved). So, as I was trying to fill the blank space, I got to thinking why I started this blog and perhaps why people blog in general.
I read a few blogs, many more do I scan once or twice before deciding that I can't add them to my must read list. The blogs I enjoy come into two basic categories, mommyblogs and knitting blogs (with a lovely sub-set of knitting blogs with cats, but again I digress). I would love to say that I had some deep purpose to writing this blog. Some thing worthy, like breaking into writing or a journey into self discovery. But alas, I fear I'm not so deep. The first blogs I wrote I was trying to say something. Trying to get some thing I wanted to say off my chest without saying it aloud -- but alas, it really doesn't work well. First, I got no real satisfaction over writing what I was thinking and the one person I was trying to avoid hurting by not saying it was hurt anyway -- so it died. But I wanted this blog to be different. I would hope it would be a little funny and occasionally thought provoking, but mostly I wanted it to be me. I didn't go into this blog with any agenda or hopes. I have nothing to prove or angst waiting to get out. I'm comfortable to chat about my life, my knitting, and my family. I am inspired by all the blogs I read daily and love when those I respect so much touch into my life. This I guess was my biggest hope -- that perhaps those I read all the time (and a few I've met along the way of blogging) would reach out. I'm giddy with the slice of attention -- and can't thank you readers enough. I'd drive to your house and hug you personally if it wasn't so weird and stalkerish.
Today is my one month blogaversary. (I feel like I'm in Jr. High again celebrating in months). Perhaps that is why I'm a little senitmental (can you imagine my blubering when I hit a year?) However, I thought it was a good time to say yes, I think this blog might live awhile. This feels good and right to me now. Thank you for joining me thus far and may May bring us new fodder and more snark.
Happy First Month.

PS. For those of you following the saga of the potty. I'm pleased to annouce that Duke only wore ONE pair of underpants from the time he got home from school until he went to bed. He used the potty too!
PPS. For those following the silk sweater saga, it is currently on hold until I figure out how to handle the bottom of the sleeves. I need another 40ish rows and I'm already through all my stripe patterns.
PPPS. For those following the cable sock saga, I've done about 7 cable repeats, they look great -- though they are at a point they seem to have stopped growing in length. I need to decide on a heel and then turn it.

Special note to my blog mentor: You know who you are. Thank you for telling me to go for it. Thank you so much. You are pretty.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Then there was Sunday

Yes, I know this weekend in review is going on FOREVER -- but I swear things happened, which is rare in my world and please, let me just pretend to feel like I have a life.

So, on Sunday we all piled into the car to an advertising agency who was sponsoring a drive for my husband's car club. It included breakfast and lunch -- so we thought why not. Ok, there was only a HUGE number of cars and Duke posed in front of a bunch of cars and we ate -- Duke at his body weight in yogurt (from the Yoplait cup without a mess I might brag a bit). Then we set off on the drive.

Two little turns into the drive, we heard the worst clunking sound EVER. It was horrible. After a few "what the's" later we pulled over. Prince looked back thinking we were going to find tire parts in the road -- but no -- he found the oil filler cap in the middle of the road. Double checking the engine -- we found a light film of oil over everything. Ok, abort the drive and go in search of oil -- special oil, on a Sunday no less. Oil found, everything ok -- we needed something to do to kill time in order to get lunch --- so we found a park in the hot sun and let Duke run wild for a bit. See?Moving on we returned home to FrankenHouse -- only to be greeted by the fact we don't have AC -- and we didn't leave the windows open. Literally all three of us laid around sweating waiting for the house cool down until 8pm. Today, I kept the house open all day and it was a completely different experience. I still wonder if it might be worth it to look into a few window ACs, or a block of ice -- one or the other.
Lastly sidenotes from the weekend.
Perhaps I have found a friend to go on the 2 day Pride of Hawaii cruise with me -- totally cool.

I tried to knit while watching the sunset -- but the wind was SO cold that I was shaking. However, during dinner, I had to run to the bathroom. (To put it politely, it was not the kind of bathroom experience you like having in public restrooms.) So, since I was stuck in the potty for too long -- I knitted. So let's add to the oddest places I've knit a public potty. See, I have no shame.

May Day Protests

I'm not normally a political person. In fact, I sincerely believe what my mother taught me about never discussing religion or politics. However, here in Snarkville, we can't resist pointing out our views on all sorts of things --- this is one of them.

Is it just me, that thinks the rallies today would have been an excellant opportunity for INS to pick up some of the 12 million illegals we have in this country?

I'll return you to your normal fluff in Snarkville now.

Bits and Pieces

Eons ago, in a former life, I took saying "do you have all your bits?" when gathering things up to go. This has sadly stuck and I still ask this today. Then it was a reference to Monty Python's use of "naughty bits" and now, it is merely a reference to all the crap. I digress --- does it bother anyone that I haven't begun and I digress? I can digress on ANYTHING.
Anyway, on with the story, over the past three days so many little things have happened, I can only think to share them in little bits. So, in honor of yet another favorite movie, "let me 'splain, no there is too much, let me sum up." -- perhaps I should have gone with she's "only MOSTLY dead." but alas.
Friday is traditionally my day off (from my day job). It is the day I focus on the house we live in and attempt to return it to its upright and locked position. While this normally invovles laundry, dishes, and cussing, this Friday it involved my chair. Yes, prior to the great living room furniture move of '06, my rocker lived in the garage. This is now my spot. Kindly note the bags of knitting projects tucked to the right of my chair and the use of task lighting above my chair. This was created to be *MY* spot. One problem -- no one explained the rules of my spot to Duke. He came home from school Friday evening and walked right over to it and said, "ROCKER" and climbed up. Unfortunately he was too cute to disturb -- so it seems I'm SHARING *MY* spot. --- can we discuss how much the failed "sharing" in kindergarden? Perhaps Duke is trying to teach me?
Friday, part deux.
We've often discussed that my backyard needs a little bit of "thinning" out? right? Oh, I mentioned the only thing that would help it was fire and lots of it? Yes, well -- same thing right? So as part of my "day off" I went out and attacked some ivy growing along the fence and into an overgrown dog run. I'm not a fan of dog runs in general -- and have NO desire to ever put my doggie in it -- -- but I have a bit of a fear of mice/rats/ROUS [rodent of unusual size]. I heard that they like the ivy to nest, breed, feel homey in --- so out it must go -- yesterday! So I pulled, killed, cut, destoyed for a solid 30 minutes. It doesn't even look like I made a dent -- but trust me I FILLED the 65 gallon yard waste pail and now must wait until it is emptied to have a go again. Now I need good ideas of what to do with a dog run once I have it cleaned out? Is there some landscaping decorator out there willing to shed some light on subject?
Saturday and the car.
Prince took my car to the car wash for the full mani and pedi it needed. It looks great -- came home a completely different color than when it left. However, on his way out he mentioned that when he came home he would need 3 hours to wash his car. THREE HOURS? Excuse me? So, I had to head off to prove a point. I got Duke and I dressed. We then headed down to the car and washed and dryed the whole thing together in under an hour --- this included chasing down the distracted two year old, re-washing the same quarter panel three times, and being stopped by every single neighbor that there was a parade going on downtown and we should go -- ignore the fact that it was DURING Duke's nap and go to a parade -- can we say recipe for Mommy stress? So, once done -- and getting a soaking wet Duke to come back upstairs, I had him fed lunch and off to nap before my car came home. Yep, I'm a wonder woman -- but then again, in my defense -- I had "help" I might have needed three hours if I didn't have a 2 year old to help me. ;)
Saturday and the city
There was a sitter at my door at 5pm. Duke said, "bye" and we were off. We met a friend for dinner and headed into the city to watch sunset from the bay. It was beautiful and worth every shivering second of it. But that's not the point at all. Come to find out it must have been PROM night. Yup -- Prom Night. We saw more girls dressed in horrible prom dresses and boys? Boys? Those boys were in the formal wear equavilant to jeans and a t-shirt. I don't get it. First, there was the girl who walked by while we were at the table eating. She was wearing a BRIGHT green strapless (and skirtless I might add) dress. It had ruffles, but they were pulled way too tight across her tummy, ass, and back. She was falling over the top because she poured a size 14 body into a size 8 dress -- and let me remind everyone -- it HAS to go somewhere. But then there was the length. First, Duke will NOT be allowed to date this dress EVER. Let's leave it at -- ass cheeks are NOT attractive hanging out of the bottom of a formal gown. Now all of this was pretty awful -- then there was her date. No tux for him -- no -- probably too conservative. He wore tux parts. There were too big pants, no coat, some sort of tie and I'm not entirely sure he bathed. It was bad enough for me to long for blue velevet's return.