Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WiP Wednesday: Volume 2 Issue 18

I am back!  Unfortunately I didn't go anywhere other than work and my bed.  I vowed to make some progress on some projects so that at least one of my June posts would have photos.  It's not like there were many posts to see though.

I started the week working on Hitchhiker.  I am slowly making progress.  Really slowly.

I am up to a whopping 15 "teeth".  But every one is one closer to the end.  I am really loving the color changes and how it is pooling.  It is so pretty.  I am sorry about the picture.  I sort of remembered I had to do this at 7:12 tonight!

Next up I have yet another jersey.  Only this one is not for me.  WHAT?  I joined in on the Puck This! Playoff Predictions Pool and offered up one of my jerseys and a gift card as a prize.  I did not win. I didn't come in last though either.  I think I made predictions for maybe one round.  I don't even remember.  I need reminders for these sort of things, like an ear burn.  Anyways, I am working on this to get it out the door as soon as I pick up a gift card (yeah I was totally on top of my game!).

I will leave the team a mystery.  It will match the button pin, but really isn't the exact color of the official jerseys.  Oh well...

And finally I got around to starting a Milo.

Yes I am still on the "set up" rounds and yes I purposefully didn't take a photo of the join area because it looks like crap.  I am hoping when I get it done I can fix it and if I can't, I am just going to buy a freaking baby present.  So far I am batting 0 for 2 on the baby present knits.  I made a sweet little dress for a sweet little momma who had a HUGE baby girl (9 lbs 21.5").  Yeah, it would not have fit over her head! 

So there you have it.  That is what I am working on this week.  I don't have a book to share because I am not currently reading anything.  I decided to take a break and try and get some fiber time in.  I did finish Bared To You and The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty.  Bared was a good quick read, Claiming was awful.  I would never ever recommend that book to someone.  Horrid. 

Other news:

Pittsburgh sure did make a splash at the Pittsburgh hosted NHL Draft!  Trading Jordan Staal to Carolina.  I was not surprised to see him traded.  I actually was cheering when it was announced.  Not that I necessarily wanted Staal to leave (he's not my most favorite, not my least), but I did want Pittsburgh to get something for him.  He turned down a 10 year/$60 million contract.  There was no doubt that he was going to test free agency next year, so why lose him and get nothing!?!  He wanted to play with his brother and thankfully it worked out so that we got the pick, and a couple of players.  I think Ray Shero is planning something BIG on Sunday.  He dumped the Staal salary and later dumped Michalek's salary trading him to Phoenix for basically nothing.  I think as it sits, they have somewhere around $14 million to play with on July 1st.  The buzz is they are thinking Parise, mabye Suter.  I don't is interesting.  Unfortunately we look to be stuck with Martin as he has a no trade clause!  Yikes!  I can't imagine Parise on a line with Crosby and Dupuis.  Holy crap if that happened we would have probably the two best lines in hockey with Neal-Malkin-Kunitz on the second line.  Fingers crossed.

Other than that trade, the NHL Draft is an extremely boring thing to watch.  It is a bit more entertaining if you throw twitter into the mix. 

Hmmm...I don't think there is much else.  I have still been watching a lot of Friends.  Like an entire weekend of it.  That is why I have so little to show for my knitting!  T.V. & Internet is how I have been spending my weekends and evenings. 

I am planning something special coming up next week.  Something special to me anyways.  And I hope to be back on track on Sunday!

Happy Progressing to all of you.

(either spell check is not working or there was so much talk of hockey that they have added the player names to their dictionary.  Sorry for misspellings!)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The One Where I Quit

Please don't be alarmed by the title.  I am not quitting the blog and I did not quit my job.  So what did I quit or what am I quitting?  Procrastinating.  At least for a week.  I am starting today and I am going to try really hard!  I think I have tried before but seem to be suffering a case of slight selective amnesia.  I am going to go out on a limb and say that it didn't work out very well at all.  So here's hoping this attempt is better. 

First things, I actually have a couple of pictures this week.  I have more than a couple, but only a couple are ones I took, the rest I am borrowing.

Yesterday we went to the World Mining Museum & Hell Roarin' Gulch.  It was in honor of Miner's Union Day, so they had free admission.  We LOVE the doll house display and here is a couple of shots of some of my favorites.

The Doctor's Office (oh and notice Charlie in the corner.  He was our latest Traveling Monster)

Here's a close up of the "operatory"

And because I love crime and police so much...the jail

After the doll houses, we went into the Gulch and the sun was bright and it was hard to get really good pictures, but I did get the store clerk...

Later that afternoon, I contemplated taking a nap, but as I lay there I knew I wanted to do something different, so I got up and hit the ATM and then went to see...

I never Squee!!!!!  But I really want to now.  I FREAKING LOVED THIS MOVIE!  Seriously it was full of so much energy and rockin' tunes.  I didn't want it to end.  Like I wish I were still there...

So much fun.  I have been rocking out to the soundtrack for the last couple of weeks since it was released on iTunes and just love it.  All those songs I remember from my youth...ahhhh.


...totally brought his A game.  He totally nailed it! 

I think a movie is really great when you can't stop thinking about it and you just want to see it again and again.  I definitely want to.  I am hoping that it will come to the drive-in in the next several weeks because I want to see it again and I have been really wanting to go to the drive-in.  Plus, it is WAY cheaper than at a chain theater!

I say if you are on the fence about going, GO.  Really RUN THERE RIGHT NOW! 

I was perusing the movie's facebook and site and found this fun little Band Name Generator that runs through facebook.  Here is my band name:

For some reason that doesn't really seem to 80's headbanger band to me.  More like some sort of MTV generated boy band spoof!  Remember that show they had on...2gether?  No?  Google it!

And finally I am still on my summer reading program.  This week I am reading Bared To You by Sylvia Day which was recommended by some site because I read the Fifty Shades trilogy.

So far I am liking it a lot more than I did Fifty.  It definitely feels like a real book than a fan fiction piece.

The week ahead looks like it will be pretty nice.  I have a little pampering on Wednesday & Thursday.  First getting my hair done and then a massage. What a great way to beat the mid-week blues and get into the weekend. 

I will leave you with a little picture of my only finished project this month (first of a couple I hope)...

The Buffalo Sabres Jersey

Speaking of hockey.  I am really looking forward to the NHL Awards on Wednesday night and then the Draft from Consol Energy Center Friday & Saturday.  Just a couple of weeks until free agency and let's all keep our fingers crossed that they start hammering out he CBA soon!  I want a full uninterrupted season beginning in October!

Wishing you all a happy happy week ahead!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The WiP Wednesday Post That Isn't

You are all going to be so shocked when I tell you that today I have nothing to share.  Nothing in the way of progress on anything that is knitted that is.  I know in my heart that you are all really happy that I came to post something anyway. 

Let me explain about my sudden aversion to knitting.  It is uncontrollable.  I have every intention of spending my evening in the comfort of my chair and knitting like a mad woman.  However, something happens between 7:15 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and that is called Work.  By the time I get home, Work has sucked the will to live out of me.  I plan every day what I am going to work on and suddenly once dinner is over, I sit down to check my email and find myself willing facebook to update so I have "something to do".  WTF?  I have PLENTY to do, I just don't have the will to do it.

Work is not the only one to blame.  Nook is also to blame.  It is SO easy to just buy a book and get started.  It is also really easy to buy a book and have it sit there and mock you while you read some sort of smut novel.  And then there are the Friends to blame as well.  All of them, Joey, Chandler, Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, but not Ross, no no, Ross and I do not get along all that well. 

I had a plan for today.  A really good plan.  First I was only working until 11:00 and then lunch with Mom, Aunt & "Uncle".  Then I was planning on coming home and casting on a new project (yes I was only casting on today so that it would look like I had done something new) and then working a few rounds, taking some photos and posting (much earlier than right now).  I was going to try to get my daily reading target in (new book!) and then I was going to settle in tonight and watch Dallas 2.0 while knitting away.  Here is what really happened.  Lunch with the family for Mom's birthday, then some errand running with Mom.  And by errand running I mean mostly gambling.  Then home for a siesta because I was BEAT.  Only that didn't happen because someone mistook my street for a dirt bike rally site.  Then dinner with Mom and now this.  Okay, so first I checked my work email, facebook (three times), Ravelry discussions (wait until I tell you about that!) and then I did convince myself to post.  Plan Fail!

So, Ravelry.  I am doing the Traveling Monsters this go around.  My sweet little Teague has been on the road since April 16th and I have not heard from him for 20 days.  TWENTY - 20 - TWENTY days.  I posted asking about him and have heard nothing.  I don't know where my little man is.  He is an only monster and sending him off was a huge undertaking of strength for me and now he is MISSING.  I can't figure out why it is so hard to drop a note that says, "Hey I have your monster".  But nothing.  Nothing for 20 days.  I try to be a gracious host and let the other Moms know where their monsters are.  I ear burn the Mom-Mom and the Host-Mom when sending out the little gems and then I let the Mom-Mom know that their precious monster has arrived safely at my home.  Why can't everyone be like me?!?  I am about three days away from ear burning every person in the group to find out where the hell he is.  I almost want to just scream, SEND HIM HOME because I am so upset. 

So, the new book is Bared To You by Sylvia Day (I think).  It was "recommended" because I read the Fifty Shades trilogy.  So far it is kind of oddly similar and I am beginning to think it was "recommended" to show an example of how a legitimate author writes.  To say I am a little more than miffed about what I unearthed when researching Fifty (after reading the whole flipping trilogy) is a great understatement.  But, so far it seems to be fairly fast moving.  I don't understand why romance authors (if that is the genre) write such LONG chapters.  I love James Patterson, I mean Maxine Paetro who writes two-three page chapters in the Women's Murder Club books and I am okay with the length of John Sandford's chapters.  But for the love of all that is right with the world, why do romance authors write 25 page chapters?  Break that shit up!

I do plan on having some photos next week.  I hope to post later this week a little JP update.  Funny thing happened this weekend with the Jersey Project.  The Random Generator picked the LA Kings to be knit up next and well they were playing the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Finals and since I am not a LA fan and was firmly putting my support behind Jersey, I thought it would be bad joojoo to knit up the LA jersey, so I pushed it aside.  And it worked!  Until it didn't and LA won game six on Monday night. 

I am going to go full on bitch-on-a-soap-box-mode for a minute.  I watched the celebration. I threw up in my mouth a little when Mike Richards and Jeff Carter raised the cup, I also laughed a little knowing that Scott Hartnell was probably at home in the fetal position seeing Jeff Carter (who allegedly had an affair with Hartnell's wife) raise The Cup.  I also felt about a one thousandth of the pain Jack Johnson had to be feeling watching the (see NHL Trade: Jeff Carter from Columbus to LA for Jack Johnson) Kings win.  I was happy knowing that Rob Scuderi, a former winner with Pittsburgh, won a second (even though he probably didn't really undergo concussion testing) and that Luc Robitaille was finally getting a little piece of it.  I like to just overlook LA's Ass-GM.  And I do mean ASS.

Here's where I get a little irritated.  Post-game presser with Jonathan Quick & Stone Face Sutter.  Quick's two-year old daughter is running around, jabbering while reporters are trying to get some answers/quotes for their pieces the next morning.  Quick spends more time watching that kid run around than answering questions. Then she nearly chokes on and M&M.  Finally Mom takes her, but then a few minutes later brings her back.  Um, sorry, but you are the Conn Smythe winner and an American born goalie (you don't see that every day) and these people are trying to do their job and you are being a dick and not paying attention.  In all the years I have watched the SC, I don't remember anyone bringing their kid to the presser, especially one that can't sit still.  I thought it was beyond rude, while everyone else thought it was adorable.  Sorry, I don't dislike Quick, I just dislike when people are rude and don't control their kids. 

Whew...that was a long step off that soap box.

See, if I would have had progress it would have been quite a short post and you would not have gotten to see the ugly side of me and my reaction to wandering kids. 

I hope you have a happy and progressive week.  I hope I have the same.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

HSC: Week 5

How do you identify the right gift for the right person? Do you spy on your giftees year round? Ask them what they want? Take requests? What tips do you have for making the right choices with handmade holiday gifts?

I would guess that a good portion of the time, I find the “right” gift for people by accident and often at the last minute.  I make fair use of my Ravelry Queue most of the time.  If I see something while browsing, I usually pop it in there and then when I am wondering what to make someone I go and look there.  Sometimes I take something from there, sometimes I look for something “similar but different”. 
Since my knit for list is so small that coming up with ideas about stuff they would like is pretty easy.
I don’t think I have ever asked someone what they wanted me to make for them. There is a good reason for that, I often take on more than I can stand and end up with horrible stress and anxiety.  If I just decide what to make someone, there is only myself to blame and I really like to surprise people.
As for tips, here is some guidelines/ideas I have come up with for the “what to make for _____”
…for the girly-girl
·         cowls in a soft dk weight in light soft colors (cream, baby blue, soft pink)
·         fingerless mitts with a lacework pattern
·         small clutch bag
…for the little ones
·         stuffed animals in any size and color (pink monkeys, purple hippos, red & gray monsters)
…for an acquaintance or other female family member
·         dishcloths (people seem to love these).  I like to do a coordinating set between four and six.  I love the fruit shaped cloths that are out there.
·         coasters.  Again, a grouping of four to six with a couple of mugs and some coffee/tea/cocoa
…for the younger crowd
·         young girls love fingerless mitts and knee socks (I don’t knit them, but I know they love them)
·         Cozies!  iPod & phone cozies are perfect and can come in a variety of styles and colors.  You can even tuck in a little gift card too.
·         Hats – girls and guys are always sporting caps, tight beanies or slouchy styles are really popular
·         Scarf! You can do the illusion scarves or the ever popular Dr. Who scarf.  There are spirals scarves and super skinny long scarves.  Team colors are always good too.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The One That is All Over the Map

Another photoless entry.  Oh well maybe some people are masochists and just like to read the drivel that is my life.  I can't really do a Snapshot Sunday post if I don't take photos and I just haven't been with it much the past several weeks.  But I am charging up all the batteries so maybe something will happen, like a little minion will pop up and take photos for me.

I was all set to work on the next jersey this weekend, but the random generator popped up with the Los Angeles Kings and well since I am gunning for the New Jersey Devils, I didn't want to rock the boat and tempt fate by starting that.  Plus I just wasn't in the mood to knit another one.  But I can skip this week and still be on track for the month so...

I am getting ready to start a gift.  That is always kind of exciting.  I am looking forward to it. Maybe not as much as some of the other things I have lined up, but I really would like to get something for this gift set done!  It is always in the back of my mind nagging me.  Plus, if I remember correctly, it goes fairly quickly.

The weather has been typical Montana June weather.  Which means it has been cold and wet!  We had snow the other day.  It never ceases to amaze me that people will whine and bitch about the weather in late May & early to mid June.  It is always cold and wet with a few nice days thrown in as teasers.  I don't much care for the warm weather, so this is just fine by me.  I love to snuggle up in my mommy quilt and read, knit, watch t.v., nap, whatever, it makes me perfectly happy.

I am super excited that Rizzoli & Isles is back!  I am looking forward to that in about an hour.  Also, Dallas 2.0 starts on Wednesday and that is fun exciting too.  I will have to watch that on DVR though, as I am fully expecting Game 7 to be on that night.  Rookie Blue is back and soon So You Think You Can Dance will be into the competition round and I can start watching that (I hate the audition and Vegas rounds).  I still have the Hatfields & McCoys to watch too. 

I have been watching movies as well.  This weekend was Man On A Ledge.  I wasn't too impressed with it.  I just found to many things I couldn't quite wrap my head around.  That seems to be a theme lately and I am blaming it all on Fifty Shades.  I did a little "research" because of some rumblings I had heard and was super disappointed to learn that they were true.  I don't know if it is a good thing that I read the books first or if it is a bad thing.  Bad for my wallet, but maybe good because I actually read the story.  I don't know.  I am still trying to come to terms with my thoughts on the series.  So so many things that I didn't think were executed well and so many things I would have done differently. 

I am now reading Heat Lightning by John Sandford, who has quickly become my favorite author.  Not all time, because that honor is bestowed upon the late Ed McBain, but definitely my current favorite author.  I am nervous about what I will read when I catch up with the Virgil Flowers series.  Eeek!  I am trying to delay that a bit by reading outside my genre a bit.  More to come on that as the month goes on.

Mom has a birthday this week.  As usual she gives no clues as to what she really might want.  I got her a load of books.  You know, the kind with two covers and paper pages.  She tried the Nook and just wasn't impressed.  It is hard to say if she wasn't impressed with the device or with the choice of reading material.  In any event, she continues to love to get books that are used.  If you can get her a used book on Amazon for a penny plus shipping she is happy.  So, I completed the Anna Travis series by Lynda La Plante.  I have already given her one because she was looking for something to read and since she already knew that I had them... I will be taking her to a nice dinner on Tuesday, utilizing a gift card I received from work.  And then on Wednesday we will be having lunch with my aunt and "uncle".  And then the Devils will win the Stanley Cup that night and all will be somewhat right with the world.

I have been loving two recent music purchases, first Adam Lambert's new album Trespassing and second the Rock of Ages soundtrack, both of which I quickly downloaded from iTunes.  I spent Tuesday afternoon rocking out to Rock of Ages.  I don't think in all my years of knowing that Tom Cruise existed that I would have ever thought of him as a singer or a good one, but...he is not that bad.  I am actually quite impressed with his take on a few of the songs.  It is always fun to hear other people cover songs that I know and love.  Sometimes it is not good, but sometimes it is totally awesome and unexpected. 

Also, I am loving Bartholomew by The Silent Comedy, which was the advertisement song for The Hatfields & McCoys. 

And that is pretty much where I am right now.  Looking forward to another week in my life and interested in what it will bring.

I wish you all a week of happiness, love and peace.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

WiP Wednesday: Volume 2 Issue 17

Ahhh June.  I must admit I am not a big fan of summer.  I don't like to be hot and sweaty.  Also, I am not much for the outdoors.  Bugs, allergies, dirt, just not my thing.  I am an indoor sort of girl.  Air conditioning, ice tea, Popsicles and movies.  That is really my plan for summer, lots and lots of movies and hopefully lots and lots of knitting.

Thankfully it is not summer yet, because while I have watched two movies this month, I have done very little knitting.  Sure I finished a jersey (to be shared later in the week), but I don't really count those anymore since they are part of a larger project.  Plus I never know if I should show them in the WiP category or the finished project category and it doesn't seem fair to double dip so to speak.  I failed to start anything new this past week.  I really failed to do any progress knitting until just about an hour and a half ago and that was out of guilt so that I would not leave you hanging with nothing.  If nothing else, I am loyal to my readers.

I do present you with some more "teeth"

I finally pulled out the yarn for a baby Milo.  And another skein for a little something else...maybe. It depends on finding the right pattern for what I have in mind. 

I have also been reading and am more than happy to report that I have finished the Fifty Shades Trilogy and none to soon.  I was going mad, but I was determined to read it all.  All 1242 ebook pages.  Yeah, that is a lot when the average ebook is around 260 pages.  But I did it and now I am over that and feel like I can get back to some "real" writing.  (Sorry to those who loved the series, I did not.  I don't apologize for not liking it, I just apologize for pissing you off by calling it something other than "real" writing.  It's sort of like people who call my Sid & Geno dirty and whiners.  I feel your "pain). 

So, I plan to kick off June Book #2 with Heat Lightning by John Sandford. 

Words cannot really express my love for Sandford's books.  They rank with Ed McBain, whom to me was the best author to ever have written.  In my estimation, McBain was the inventor of the police procedural.  I have read the 87th Precinct books numerous times.  I spent a long time and a lot of time in used book stores putting my collection together.  Money well spent.

I have books three and four lined up as well, but I am not going to list them just yet, because as always, it is subject to change based on my mood and whimsy.

Happy working in progress to all of you.  It is so much fun to see the projects people are working on and what people are reading as I am always looking for new authors.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

HSC: Week 4

You’ve made your list, you’ve thought about yarn, and you’ve scoped out some pattern ideas. Can you try to match up your projects to people? What about setting some completion deadlines? Now’s the time to think about how you are going to make this all happen early this year, rather than at the last minute. Do you have any organizing or motivating tips to share? Are there any pitfalls you are worried about? Tell us how you plan to get your holiday crafting done earlier this year.

Oh boy am I organized!  I have set up a nice little Excel (because it is the best program ever made) workbook and have each project laid out and each month planned to perfection. 

I break each project down into rows/rounds (either set or anticipated), build my formulas for % complete, remaining rows/rounds.  It is all wonderfully color coded and I update each day on my tracker sheet. 

You see, I am that big of a dork that I track EVERYTHING in my life.  Pages read, days read, rows/rounds knit, days knit, upcoming projects, journaling

But, if that sort of insanity gets stuff done, then that is what I will do.

This month I hope to finish:

2 baby items (don't worry they are small)
1 scarf/shawlette
3 jerseys (this is a pre-committed project that is not holiday related)
And anything else that I can fit in!

Don't forget to check out Underground Crafter for the Holiday Stashdown Challenge.

P.S. If there are misspelled words, please forgive me, spell checker went bat shit crazy on me and I had to abort.  ABORT!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

The One Without Photos

That's right.  I have no photos to share and really nothing much in the way of a story or any sort of plot based ideas.  I will admit that I had a fleeting thought of not posting today, but that really thwarts my plan for June and as it is only the third day, I thought I would try to wait until at least the fifth day to dump my plan in the crapper.

I watched two movies this weekend. First up was Goon.  I REALLY wanted to see this.  I had only pieces of information about it from a few different blog sites and as it is a Canadian film, there was not much in the way of a US release.  It would not have drawn any big numbers (viewers and dollars spent).  As a self-proclaimed hard core hockey fan, I just could not recommend this movie to really anyone.  It is definitely more of a Guy Flick than a Chick Flick.  Lots and lots of fighting, and that is not really my scene.  I assume it was some sort of satirical comment on the fighting in the League, but somewhere I think it lost something.  I laughed a couple of times, but once I got to the end and with the copious amount of blood, all that humor is lost on me. 

Thankfully, today I watched a movie I much more enjoyed.  I watched This Means War with Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy.  I think it is an example of a great balance between guy movie and girl movie.  I loved the action and the heart of the movie.  It was a lot of fun and made me laugh.  Of course I was in love with Tuck because of the accent.  Find me a girl who doesn't like a British accent.  Adorable movie and I am really glad I went out and got it last night.

I still have yet to watch The Vow.  I got it from Netflix, but just never got around to watching it and I just don't feel in the mood for a movie that looks very serious and potentially depressing.  I need something upbeat or a good police thriller.  Something juicy.

I am still muddling my way through the Fifty Shades Trilogy.  I am on book three and cannot wait to be through this book so that:
  1. I can get back to my genre
  2. I can finally read all the commentary on the book. 
I have several thoughts on it but I really want to have the whole story before I can make them be known.  In a word I would call this story interesting.  Now whether that is good interesting or bad interesting I have yet to finalize.  But I will let you know.

And with that I am going to be off, for a few reasons, Blogger is acting funny (he actually kicked me out once and froze up my browser and now it appears he is halting my writing).