YO! ZMK Knits!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Spill Your (Purse) Guts! (Blogstalking Week 2)

I am one of "those". You know what we are. Those women who carry a purse within a purse. Yup, that's me. A "purse-within-a-purse-carrier".

I love my mettalic green purse. ZMrK gave it to me for Xmas a few years ago. It already has a "distressed" look that just gets more distressed the more I use it. Unfortunately, the distression is getting to the point where the leather is starting to wear away.

I got the striped outer purse at Filene's Basement for about $25. That is also beginning to get a "distressed" look, but that's more because I knock it around on the bus and subway that anything else. I meant to change to a winter one last year, but never did, and I'm thinking of making a fall/winter one for myself out of some of the fabric I have stashed away here, in plain view in my cabinets so it's one of the first things I see when I walk in (besides Ken, who is always at the door when I come home).

Let's look inside, shall we?

Sort of clockwise, from top, until I realize how hard that is: Wallet (Vivienne Westwood, I bought it at Filene's Basement in 2000 and it cost more than the two purses put together!) bandaid (because I alway have bandaids), makeup case with a kitty on it (my friend Linda gave me a tote bag that came with it), pantyliner (because. . . duh), pen (I always try to carry on), shitty-assed cell phone (do not EVER buy the cheapest Nokia you can get a Cingular. Just. . . don't!), inhaler ('nother asthmatic here, but only mildly so. The inhaler makes me really wired though, and more than a little sick feeling, so I try to avoid it), little booklet of home/cell phone numbers for everyone in my office, a nearly-gone pack of Life Savers from one of those Life Savers books one gets for Xmas (yes, it's been around that long), and the little Miller High Life keychain thing holds a pair of earplugs.

Why earplugs? Have you ever sat beneath the fire alarm at work, in a big building that always has fire alarms, and even though they have drills for floors separately, the alarms sound on every floor. It also comes in handy if you have chatty co-workers. And if you suddenly find yourself at a rock concert, you've got protection!

This is what I carry in my larger bag, the one I keep my metallic green purse in. A paperback copy of "Book of the Dead", all zombie short stories, which I've since finished, a ziploc bag of lavendar, which I don't carry around with me daily -- I had bought that at the Farmer's Market the day I took this picture, a couple of napkins/tissues, just 'cuz (I think I'm going to start calling them "crapkins". I always grab the unused napkins when I eat somewhere and just stuff them in my purse. They come in handy when out hiking.), my iPod with a cute snake cozy that I got in a Craftster swap, some cheapa$$ headphones from JetBlue that I stuffed in there because ear buds hurt my ears (they got put to the test the other day when some drunk idjits were yammering on the train. They do their job), an empty tupperware container that I bring grapes to work in every day (I put my lunch in this bag, but everything else has throwaway containers), my keys (yes, that is a clicker on my keychain and no, I don't have a dog), my Charlie card (subway/bus pass -- $59/month), my work ID (real name and company name cleverly hidden), a pair of sunglasses that are way past their prime, and a note to myself of books I wanted to look up.

So, that's it, kids. That's the stuff I can't live without.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Guilty Pleasure Wednesday!

I feel kind of bad saying "guilty pleasures" because I believe that if it gives you pleasure, and is legal/moral, then what is there to feel guilty about?

Anyway, today is my guilty pleasure Wednesday!

First of all, I got this book out of the Boston Public Library. I had Pamela Des Barres' "I'm With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie" when it first came out (20 years ago! Damn I'm old!) and thought it was a hilarious read. This book promises more of the same, except she gets the confessions out of other groupies, including the fabulous Tura Satana. Love her!

Then I had a slice a pizza the size of my head at Bostone Pizza, and then bought a box of Reeses 100 Calorie Snacks. Reeses could make a product called Shit on a Stick, but if it had peanut butter in it, I'd buy it. It's got pb-flavored cereal bits, chocolate cereal bits, Reeses pieces and peanut butter chips. It took care of my peanut butter tooth. Does anyone else get specific sweet teeth, like peanut butter tooth (or sweet/savory, I guess).

Lastly, tonight is the only TV show that I watch in real-time -- America's Next Top Model! Part of me thinks I should hate this show, for several obvious reasons, but it's so ridiculous that I hate it.

There's only been one episode so far, which was the selection of the final 13. Here's my opinions of them.

Ambreal -- pretty girl, and if I remember correctly, she seems like fun. She had some wonky ensemble at the auditions -- it looked like she cut her jeans off from the knees down, took off the jeans, and put the knee-to-cuff portion back on. I found it a little weird, but it made me remember her. I also think she has gorgeous skin. I think she could go far.

Bianca -- this picture makes her look pretty modelesque, because when I saw her last week, I thought, "pretty girl, but not a model. more like a 'pretty girl who lives on my block' type of pretty". I hope she makes it to the makeover episode, because I'd love to see her eyebrows filled in (I don't like the pencil-thin look), and see the purple weave get taken out.

Chantal -- another one I hope makes it to the makeovers, because I'd love to see her with different hair. Half the show I was distracted by big blonde hair, and I thought it did nothing for her. I hope they chop it off and dye it a darker shade, because that will bring out her eyes.

Ebony -- I thought she was cute for a few minutes, because in theory, she can be -- she has big eyes and smiles a lot. Then I noticed the 5 o'clock shadow and Michael Jackson voice. YES!!!!! We may finally have a drag queen contestant! I need to find a pic of her in her bikini, to see if I can tell if she's hiding her candy or not. I also need to look for an Adam's apple.

She's already been edited as the "bitch" of the cast, but, what footage they showed us she really didn't seem to be any more of a bitch than any one else. But it looks like Bianca hates her, so there will be DRAAAAAAHMAAAAHHHH!!

Heather -- looks wise, one of my favorites. She *looks* like a model already. She has Asperger's syndrome (syndrome? disorder?), which will make her feel out of place in the house. However, when she was talking about "needing help" from the other girls and mentioning being tall and gangly and awkward, I wasn't sure if she meant it because she looked so gorgeous doing it! She has the total Joey Ramone posture going on though. Oh, and I hope they don't cut that luxorious hair off, but they probably will.

Janet -- She's a bikini waxer! She's also a bit of a hoot. I don't expect her to make it too far, but I like her crazy Southern girl sense of humor.

Jenah -- She came out and said right away, "other girls HATE me" and talked about her male friends, and the cool stuff she does, and how it makes her cooler than other girls. I'd crucify her for it but THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LIKE until I was about 30. It wasn't that other girls hated me, it was that I hated other girls and wanted my male buddies to myself. I hated when my friends found girlfriends and then I would lose my drinking buddies.

Kimberly -- I don't remember a think about this girl except she has Milla Jovonavich's eyes. Is she the "normal sized" girl or is Sarah? Right now, they're interchangable to me.

Lisa -- She's an exotic "bikini dancer" -- not a stripper -- and she's pretty hot. Part of me thinks she could make it far, but I think she will only make it to the halfway point.

Mila -- This shows the power of photography, because I thought this girl was a mess in person. She really reminded me of a cross between Miss Piggy and a potato. I know, I'm mean, right? She also came in and talked about how happy she is all the time, how she celebrates her birthday, her friend's birthday -- even a new nail color! Okay, then, pass the Ecstasy, Mila. . . when Tyra asked her about being sad, she replied, "No, I think crying is a waste of my time." She will be on the show until she cries, and then she will be cut, but Tyra is going to make her cry, dammit!!!

Saleisha -- She and Heather may be the most gorgeous girls there. This picture does her absolutely no justice (I think it's the pose). I love her heart-shaped face and bit eyes. I hope she does well!

Sarah -- Okay, so *she's* the "normal sized" model. She's bigger than average models, but waaaay to small for plus size. She looks to be about a size 6, nonetheless -- you know, smaller than the average American woman.

Victoria -- She seems to be the most controversial contestant, if you read message boards. Many people think she looks like a horse. She goes to Yale, and is supposed to be sooooper-smart, and is a self-professed nerd, but seems pretty sweet and down to earth. And AWKWARD. She seemed really self-conscious, and that could be her downfall. I think she will be torn between being a brainy nerd, and being a fierce beautiful model, thinking she can't have both.

But who said models aren't smart? Look at Tyra! What -- I didn't say she wasn't NUTS, I just said she wasn't DUMB!

Oh, okay, and what was up with having "Cycle 8 Winner" Jaslene meet with them? The film the new cycle when the last filmed is airing, and the new contesants aren't supposed to know who wins, in case it "leaks out". Oh, they are SO inconsistent!

Okay, and in the "also rans" department: I thought Marvita was pretty homely, but felt bad when Tyra asked her about the "tragedy" in her life, prompting her to tell a story of sexual molestation and abuse. I thought it was tacky and exploitative of Tyra to do this (especially with not picking her). Then I thought about it more, and Tyra's question didn't come out of nowhere -- Marvita probably wrote about it in her application/essay/whatever they have to submit to get on the show. So it seems less exploitative to me, even though it was still uncomfortable to about.

Jennifer, the "BAHtenDAH" from Walpole, MA, was one of the grossest creatures to ever try out. I am so glad I don't have to hear her donkey bray every week. Accent reductions can happen, dude -- I did it, and I come from a pretty Townie place myself.

Whoever that girl was who said she looked like Adriana Lima looked like Adriana Lima with a trout's mouth.

There was a girl from Long Island, Sylvia, who was freakin' adorable and reminded me of a cross between Sophia Coppola and Marisa Tomei. Unfortunately, she didn't make it on.

There was another girl with a messed up name -- Spontaneiose or something. The first words out of my mouth -- "Is that how she was conceived??"

That is all. It's on in 46 minutes -- whoopeee!!!!

Apologies to ZMrK

but I can't resist taking a LOLCat quiz!

Your Score: Cheezburger cat

62% Affectionate, 54% Excitable, 55% Hungry

Sure, you deserve one. You helped popularized lolcats from a running gag to an online sensation. Now mainstream media writes asinine columns on this 'phenomenon', students write theses on the topic, programming languages adopt the grammar, and losers write tests about them on dating sites. Now take your cheezburger and never touch the internets again.

To see all possible results, checka dis.

Link: The Which Lolcat Are You? Test written by GumOtaku on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Blogstalking Post 1: Who Are You?

Who am I?

Am I washed-up drag queen Taffy Harris?


Am I Japanese schoolgirl zombie Stacy?


or am I just some weirdo chick who lounges around nekkid with her cat Ken?


Ah, but I have been all three. I've been lots of things -- I've been a blonde, a brunette and a redhead (not all at once). I've been fat. I've been thin. I've never been tall, but I've been short. I think that I am your average, every day, 30-something, but one who lets the weirdo within out once in a while (or, more often than not).

I'm a dabbler, which means that I get *really* into a new thing until I reach a plateau, and then I get frustrated and drop it, thus never being more than proficient at anything (and sometimes not even reaching proficiency). I like to think of it as being "well-rounded" rather than "flakey". Over the years, my labors of love have been sculpting (figure sculpting and polymer clay sculpting), piano/compact organ playing (I had an early 70s Farfisa, which I have sold, a 60s Teischord and a 60s Fender Contempo), sewing, Arnis (a Filipino stick-fighting martial art), Swedish (yes, the language. I can say "thank you" (tack), "you're welcome" (det ver inget -- more literally, "It was nothing") and "i love you" (jag alskar deg), and can probably pick out a word or two here and there, but I'm really crap at the language), playing drums (which I was starting to get good at), knitting (which I haven't quit yet), and spinning (still trying to get the hang of it). I like knitting the most because I can sit while doing it, and I like sitting.

I love nature, and am easily amused and excited at seeing a turtle, frog, snake, salamander or toad while out on a walk. We saw four out of five today. I'm a big wuss when it comes to picking up bigger snakes, because I don't want to get bitten. Not many other people are as thrilled by my stories of seeing these critters. They're either like, "oh. . . ." and change the subject or say, "ewww. . . .gross!" (hi mom!) and change the subject. I'm so glad I have a husband who loves doing this as much as I do.

Another thing my husband and I love are horror movies. We especially like older ones (pre-90s), but there have been a handful in recent years that have won us over. Our special "areas of interest" are European films of the 60s and 70s, but we're big lovers of Japanese films too. If you have an old horror or cult film question that's been bugging you, or need recommendations, we may be able to help you out. We've got a massive DVD/video collection, rivaled by out music collection (and that is full of punk/hard rock/pop/jazz/blues/soul from all decades).

I'm a legal secretary. For years, I resisted being "defined" by "what I do", because there are so many people out there whose first question is, "what do you do" and then when you tell them they just say, "oh." Because, really, it's not the most thrilling job. But I spend 8 hours a day there, so I suppose it must define me somewhat. Basically, I keep files in order and make sure attorneys have everything they need and are where they are supposed to be. It's sometimes like being a parent, except for the fact that you get to get away them after 8 hours. Some days I am really busy and feeling really gung ho, and other days it's like watching paint peel. It is a decent way to make a good deal of money without a college edumacashun thingie. And yes, in some ways it is much like "the office".

Last but not least, I am a wife, daughter, step-mother, sister, aunt, great-aunt-to-be, cat mom and snake mom.

I also talk a lot.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fallen Off the Face of the Earth. . .

Or at least that blogosphere. That's what it seems like I did, doesn't it?

I think it's an unfortunate coincidence that I posted about being stung by a bee, and then disappeared for two weeks. Y'all probably thought I was dead. I'm not. I've been meaning to blog, and have had some stuff to blog about, but it just hasn't happened lately. One of the reasons is that I'm on a computer all day at work, and often, when I get home, I just want to go do something else, like. . . I dunno, knit? Spin? Read? Do fill-in word puzzles? Take a bath? Yes, all these, and really, anything but sit at a friggin' computer.

I did say I've been knitting, didn't I? Here's some proof:


I finished this on August 31, while waiting for the bus en route to the airport for my niece's baby shower. No, it's not for the baby, but the yarn is the leftover yarn from the licorice all-sorts hat I did make for the baby. I also made a London Beanie for ZMrK, mostly black with 3 pink stripes, but I haven't got a picture of that.

Or, do I?



Is it sad or funny how I am able to turn everything into a Ken photo op?

(by the way, you can get the Skully dishcloth pattern for free over at BlackRayne. It's a series of Halloween-themed dishcloth; it also has a bat, pumpkin and a cat. It was boatloads of fun to make, takes maybe 100 yards of worsted weight yarn, and you can knit it in like a day. I use mine as a washcloth, since the Blue Sky Organic Cotton I used is super-soft.)

I have more stuff I've been knitting!

My feather and fan scarf is getting longer:


It's gotten longer still since I took that photo last week. I finished that ball of yarn, and will probably be done by the end of the weekend. It'll probably be about 5 feet long (I like a long scarf!), and it is super soft and snuggly. I'll probably get angora bits everywhere though.

Here's a nice detail shot:


and here's a shot showcasing the little WTF! tufts of angora that show up here and there.


The yarn is a bit thick-and-thin (Noro Silver Thaw), and some spots are more tightly spun than others. It's really cool to knit with such yarn now that I've started spinning. I've discovered that I really like single ply, thick and thin yarn. I just feels really good to knit with.

When I am not watching TV while knitting, or knitting at my NEW! SnB, this is what I am doing:


Yup, it's Branching Out from Knitty! It's about freakin' time I knit this. This is what the red laceweight alpaca wants to be, I think.

A few things I noticed about knitting with lace.

1. No distractions! I can't have the TV on, and music has to be as "background music"-y as possible. I knit to the Smiths on Sunday. I can't talk to anyone either.

2. I count my stitches after every row. The pattern tells you how many stitches you should have, and I make sure I do. Yes, it takes a few extra seconds, but I'm not on a deadline with this.

3. I do, at most, ten rows and then put it away for another day.

4. I put in a lifeline! At the end of every pattern repeat (10 rows), I thread dental floss through the stitches. In the event I do mess up (and I could) and have to frog, I can do so and my dental floss will save me.

I have had to resign myself that it is not going to look good until I block it. That has been one of my problems with knitting lace. I didn't want to put in all the time while not knowing how it was going to look. I'm telling myself, "It'll look great. You're doing a great job. If it doesn't look great, frog it!"

ZMrK is going to get new socks soon, too:


I've been trying to ready myself for fall, and have been trying to do some fall shopping. I decided that I want pants but am having a really hard time finding a pair I like. Remember last fall, when the fashion industry was pushing the "skinny pant" on us? Yup, I fell for that one, and bought a pair of black skinny pants at the Gap. Audrey Hepburn and AC/DC told me to, and I obeyed. There's $58 I'll never get back. I still have the pants, but they look like CRAP on me.

This year, it seems as though the industry is swinging the pendulum in the other direction, and everything is "wide leg" (yet really fitted and tight on top). From what I've seen of them, equally ridiculous. When the fuck are designers just going to give us normal pants that, you know, look GOOD on people? And what is up with POCKETS? Everything has pockets right now -- even pencil skirts. I think pockets completely break up the clean lines of clothes, and add extra fabric and bulk. Listen, my outer thighs are FUCKING HUGE (which is why I have such a damned time finding pants), and I like to have as little fabric bulging them up as possible.

And A-line skirts? They just don't exist right now. Bah. They're the only skirts that look good on me.

So, like, it looks like I may be saying "fuck the pants" and making myself some A-line skirts. I did buy some SPANX though, which might help those huge thighs of mine.

I also have one seriously cute cat. Oh! I have to tell you what he does! Well, okay, he has a foot fetish, I think, but it's mostly my feet and it's never when I have shoes on. He stalks my feet, and stares at them, and if he gets close enough, he'll rub his face against them and then grab them and bite them. It's not really so much funny as it is painful. Ouch.

We also found his cat bed moved the other night, which we found odd, but we kinda figured out what he was doing. This morning confirmed it. I was getting ready for work, and he was meowing in the other room, so I called him (that "psst, psst, psst" thing you do to cats, with kissing noises thrown in there, and his name, as if he knows it at all). Finally he comes over to his favorite doorway (which is the doorway to the living room/kitchen) and he is dragging his cat bed along with him, with it in his mouth. Now, I'm not sure if I shared this here, but I did share it on the knittyboard and to anyone else who would listen: shortly after we adopted him, we caught him having his way with the blanket on our bed. On MY side of the bed. He had it in his mouth, and was kneading it with his front claws, which slowly lowering his back, um, "area" onto it. I think he is doing the same thing with his cat bed, which, you may recall, is the kitty pi felted cat bed I made last year and that he has adopted as his own.

Yes, I find that hilarious.


"Okay baby, I'll let you be on top this time!"

(In all honestly, I was going to turn that pic into an LOLCatz pic and caption it, "I haz a armor!" but this caption fits in better with the story.)

Well, I have an assignment to fulfill tomorrow for the new round of blogstalking: who am I? I need to think up something good. Also, I really want to post about the new batch of hamsters on America's Next Top Model, but don't really have time to. Remind me!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Bee Sting!

I just got stung by a bee! On my NECK!

This is what happened, I got home, and I keep my keys, building pass, and subway/bus pass all in the same pocket of my bag. When I was taking out my keys, I noticed my subway/bus pass wasn't in the pocket, and I thought, "OH SHIT! I lost my pass!". I threw the mail and my bag into the hallway, and went to run back to the bus stop, thinking that I may have dropped it when getting off the bus.

Halfway down the street, I feel something hit the side of my neck violently, and the telltale sting. I do believe I yelled. I ran the rest of the way to the bus stop, across the street, and back up to my house holding on to my neck.

And you know what?

My subway/bus pass was in another part of my bag! Can you fucking believe it?

I just held an ice compress on my neck for about 15 minutes. I didn't see the stinger in there, and it feels less painful. I've never had an allergic reaction before, but I'll keep a close eye on it.

And ZMrK isn't home yet to tend to my wounds. :(

All that to save a T pass! Considering I pay $59 a month for a combo pass, which, if I paid on a daily basis, it would cost me $7 a day to commute . . . well, yes, it's worth it!

But still . . . owie.

I'm gonna go wind up some yarn cakes.


Monday, September 03, 2007

A Feast for the Eyes

Today's yarn pr0n is brought to you by the Yarn Lounge in Richmond, VA, where ZMrK and I were for the weekend.

ZMrK bought me some sock yarn in "Camo".


I bought me some sock yarn in "Crayon".


I also cast on for a new project this weekend. It's a Feather and Fan scarf in Noro Silver Thaw:


My question is, does it keep the scalloped edge when you bind off, or do I have to start the other end separately and graft them together? I really love that edge, and would like both sides to look like that.

I have more pics from the weekend, but it's mostly my pregnant niece at her baby shower. My knits were a hit!

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