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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween Meme!

I borrowed this from Old Lady Pen Pal.

Spooky! Scary! Halloweenie!

1. Do you believe in ghosts?

Yes, I do, but I haven't made up my mind if they are "ghosts" in the classic sense or just energy left behind after a living being passes.

2. Have you ever seen a ghost?

No, not that I know for sure. I question "orbs" on my photos though.

3. Have you ever experienced something that is best described by the word “paranormal”?

Yes, I have. When I was a teenager, my radio switched off by itself while I was doing my homework. The station did not go out, the switch itself on the radio switched off. I later lived in an apartment that had some negative energy in it. I would wake up to a man's laugh next to my head, and hear this disembodied whistling in my walls. The mailbox outside of that house would open and shut all night, except for when people were walking by, when it would stop. My friends thought I was crazy and/or drunk until they stayed over and had awful nightmares all night. One of my friends finally witnessed the mailbox.

I also used to hear my name yelled out when I was walking down the street, in the direction of people who were not paying any attention to me. The scariest time that happened I was walking down a tunnel that connected two train lines, and a homeless guy was coming in my direction and called my name in a raspy voice. I turned and ran back to the train station I had come from, hopped on a train that was conveniently there, and as the doors shut I saw him run into the train station.

The above examples happened when I was under 22, causing me to believe my teen angst was causing some poltergeist activitiy.

4. Do you watch any ghost or haunting themed shows?

Only if they are on PBS (I don't have cable!)

5. If so, do you sometimes sleep with the lights on or wake up your partner because the show scared you a whole lot and you can’t sleep and don’t want to be awake alone?

N/A, except we were both afraid to put out the lights after watching "The Ring" and "Ju-On"

6. Have you ever been to a supposedly haunted place? If so, did you experience anything spooky?

Yes, see #3 above. My family home is allegedly haunted -- my father, grandfather, and sister have all seen a "gray lady" in the house, and my mom has smelled perfume and had her hanging plants start swaying with no breeze around. I will NOT go into the attic of that house alone, at night, although we may go there to take pictures soon to see if we can find some orbs.

There's an animal sanctuary nearby that we went to for a Halloween Haunted Trail, and I got lots of orbs in the pictures I took in the woods. I also got orbs in one of the horse barns. I had gotten orbs in the same barn when we went there in July as well. There are a few theories as to what orbs are. Some people think they are just bits of dust or moisture that capture the light of the flash. Others think they are something supernatural. I am one of those others. I think someone (human or animal) who used to live on this farm is hanging out with those horses (or watching over them). I think the orbs in the woods are also the energies of past lives.

7. How much do you love Halloween?

I do like Halloween! I am always afraid of running out of candy and having my house egged. I always bring leftover candy to work the next day.

Ok! Take this meme! Put it on your blog! And then let me know if you did because I want to read aaaaaaaall about it!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rhinebeck 2: Electric Boogaloo!

Okay, before I get to the swag, I'll show you the only picture I got of "the people".


If you see yourself there, and you have a flickr account, go and drop a note on this picture as to where you are!

I always forget to get photos of people, even when they're taking photos of me. At least Pam and Jesh have photographic proof that I was, indeed, at Rhinebeck.

Otherwise, I've got the swag. I'll start with spinning fiber, since "f" is before "y" in the alphabet.


This is 6 oz of alpaca/silk from All Strings Considered. ZMrK gave it to me on Monday because I came home from work in a crummy mood (post-Rhinebeck blues? Not enough sleep? Pull of the impending full moon? Who knows?) I have 4 oz of alpaca/silk in neon green and white that I purchased from their Etsy shop. It's gorgeous stuff!


This is 4 oz of 80% Merino, 20% silk purchased from Fiber Kingdom. We visited their very quiet booth on Sunday and I bought this.


This is very hard to capture in a photograph, but it is 4 oz Merino/Tencel and is shiny black. I bought this from Cloverleaf Farms.


Mmmmm . . . this is 2 oz. baby alpaca from Burgis Brook Alpacas. The color is called "blueberry" and the blue is a little more intense in person.


Photos cannot do this stuff justice, but it is 2 oz. each of lilac and lilac/white merino. I forget who the vendor was, though.


2 oz. of white with streaks of primary and pastel colors, also merino, from the same unknown vendor.

Now for the yarn. . .


This is superwash Aussie Sock yarn that I bought at Seaport Yarn while everyone else at Rhinebeck was waiting in line to buy some Socks That Rock. Now, I'm not one to criticize, but. . . oh, shoot, yes I am. Okay, I had heard bout the whole Socks That Rock frenzy, but I also know they can be purchased online. But. . . there was a huge line for them. We asked, and one woman said, "I don't know what I'm in line for, but with all these people here, it's GOT to be cool!" (baaaaa! baaaaaa!). Another woman walked to the end of the line with her arms, and each of her two children's arms, full of yarn and congratulated them on how good they were. When I went past after leaving Seaport Yarn and buying the awesome yarn purchased about for $13, I noticed one of her kids having what looked like what was going to become a MAJOR meltdown. I would laugh, but the woman behind her had such an "uh-oh!" look on her face, that. . . bwahahahaha!!!! We made our exit there.


Merino/Nylon from Ellen's Half Pint Farm. You may recall that I bought yarn from this vendor last year, and I haven't used it yet.


Merino/Bamboo, also from Ellen's Half Pint Farm. I didn't know they had this!


Cascade 220. I felt a pang of guilt over buying this, because my LYS does carry it. I had a particular project in mind that I needed two tones of green for, and the best yarns I found there was the 220, so I bought it.

Here's a picture of me making a purchase:


I purchased a pattern for a "Fluffy Skully" hat, by Melody Parker Narvaez. I can't find any definitive links to a blog of hers, but there are possibly patterns of her stuff up on Ravelry (if you're on there).

I don't think I have any yarn that is suitable to make this, which means it won't be made in 2007, because I'm going on a YARN DIET.

Yes, it's true, and you've heard it here. It's not about money at all -- it's about space, and about STUFF. I need to get a hold on myself, and stop buying stuff so indiscriminately. I can probably make 20-25 pairs of socks with my stash as it stands, and 6 or 7 sweaters. That's not even thinking of all the small amounts of yarn I have that I could use for one-skein projects, and felting projects, and cat and baby stuff. I'm just saying from now until December 31, but maybe I'll push it along 'til my birthday (Feb. 12). Let's start small though, k?

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Not Another Post About Rhinebeck!

Yes, I went to Rhinebeck! My photos seem to differ from other people's photos, though. You'll see that as I get into this post.

We left on Friday, 10/19, at about 10:30 a.m. Around 11:45 a.m., not long after we left a service area on the Mass. Pike, our car started making a funny noise and felt a little jerky. ZMrK pulled over to the side of the Mass. Pike and discovered -- yes, we have a flat tire. On the side that faces traffic, naturally.

Have you ever been on the side of the road, changing a tire that faces traffic as trucks fly by you, while it's drizzling? I haven't either, but I witnessed my husband doing it. OMFG that was so scary. A State Trooper pulled up behind us with his lights on, which was a good thing because it at least slowed people down a little. I was still nearly crying because I was so afraid. But ZMrK was a man about it -- he got that donut on the car, and off we went to the next exit where we could go and get our tire fixed! The fix took 5 minutes and about $15, and the guys at the tire shop were pretty nice. I didn't get to see the damage, and I wish I had gotten a picture, but I guess there was quite a gash in the tire. From there we went to lunch at Subway, went to a Goodwill store where I found a faux-ocelot cape for $5 (and a couple of vintage sewing patterns for 20 cents each -- ladies, it's the Goodwill in Palmer, MA, not far from the Mass. Pike, if you're interested), and we visiting the pet store called "Animal House" in the same strip mall, where we saw this friendly little girl:


She's a painted turtle, which are abundant around here. You can tell the males from the females by the claws -- males have much longer claws. Her claws were pretty short, and I can't picture someone trimming them, so we're guessing she's a female. And yes, she was very friendly.

We checked in to our motel, The Skytop, sometime between 3:30 and 4:00. On a good day, the trip from our house takes about 3.5 hours, but this was obviously not a good day because (1) it was raining and (2) we got a flat and spent about an hour getting lunch/shopping/laughing at turtles.

A few things about the Skytop: it's fairly cheap, it's right on the edge of Catskill Park and is surrounded by lovely trees, it's a very servicable hotel with a manager who can be a bit of a grump, the "continental breakfast" consists of packaged pastries (like Otis Spunkmeyer muffins), coffee, orange juice, and two different kinds of cereal (Cheerios and Fruit Loops), and the attached Steakhouse is very, very pricey but has a brewery on the premises and the beer is awesome. MMMMM, beer.

Enough on that. We got dinner at a Mexican place in Kingston (which was pretty good but not awesome), went back to the Skytop, and decided to go to the Steakhouse to try some of that yummy beer (and see if I recognize anyone from their blogs). Instead, I got recognized!!!! Mama E approached me, and told me they were going to be knitting and drinking wine in her room after dinner. So, while ZMrK got some much-needed, "I've-been-white-knuckle-driving-all-day" rest, I went to a nice little impromptu stitch n bitch, which I stayed at until about 11.

The next morning was the Big Saturday at Rhinebeck. We got there with NO PROBLEMS whatsoever - well, after forgetting our directions and having to go back to the motel after our all-you-can-eat breakfast at the diner down the road, which, by the way, for $6.99 isn't really all that except for the coffee cake, which rocks my world. But we got to Rhinebeck without having to wait in traffic for 30 minutes, and got in right away.


(I'm cheating -- I took this picture on Sunday on the way to Rhinebeck. I also made sure to get Devil Ducky and his shadow in the picture.)

The gate we went in led us past some children's amusements, and a little zoo! There was a pen of little goats, with the vending machines of pellets that were a quarter a handful. At least the goats were inside, and you were outside, and you didn't have to worry about them jumping all over you, breaking your amber ring and nearly pulling off your tank top (did I ever tell you about my honeymoon?), but ZMrK did manage to get bitten:


I guess it's more accurate to say the goat sucked on his finger and managed to scrape a back tooth over ZMrK's cuticle, causing him to bleed. He went to first aid to put some antiseptic on it, and they made him fill out an accident report and he had to narc on the goat! He didn't really want to do it, and I don't know what good it did because they didn't remove Sucky the Goat from the pen, but they did make him narc on the goat.

It's probably a good thing ZMrK couldn't get closer to this guy:


The gator wasn't terribly large -- maybe 4-5 feet long, and I'm kidding when I imply that ZMrK would put his hand in there to be bitten. He wouldn't. I have held a gator that size before, but it's mouth was taped up. If I can find the picture of that, I'll show you.

So, yes, there were a bunch of cute animals there. Besides the goats and gator, there were kangaroos:


(This is a joey and we did get to pet him.)



(The eyes remind me of Ken. The eyes, and the expectant "you have food for me, right?" facial expression.)

and tortoises:


There was a goat whose photo came out looking like Jim Halpern on "The Office":


And a turtles whose photo looks like Tobey on "The Office":


There were many other reptiles, too:


You know, things you wouldn't expect to see at a Fiber Fest!

There were, however, fiber bearing animals galore, all over the fest:


There was also a Haunted House for the kiddies, which provided me with a few cool photos:


I think I'll do another post of just my swag, but I leave you with must be the Official Tree of Rhinebeck, which has been in almost every set of photos I've seen!


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Friday, October 19, 2007


Remember, months ago, when I scared y'all with a picture of an ultrasound that turned out to be not me, but my niece?

Well, she has arrived. Meet Karmyn:


Born 10/18/07 at 3:41 p.m., 7 lbs. 8 oz.

She's about 800 miles away, but hopefully I'll get to meet her sometime soon!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

From Here to There (Blogstalking, Week 3)

This post may not be completely safe for work. I'm just sayin'.

This week's blogstalking project is "how do I get there from here?" Or something like that. It's how we get to our places of work, school, etc. It presented a little bit of an issue for me, you see, because I think (although I couldn't find anything about it on the MBTA's website) that you're not allowed to take photos on MBTA property in the post-9/11 world. I considered doing it anyway, but my train station is very crowded and I didn't want some stranger getting all in my face about taking a photo they happen to be in. . .KWIM?

First off, here's my bus stop:


Real exciting, right? I walk down the street 2 blocks to catch a bus, usually see a bus zoom down on my way down, and wait for another, which takes me approximately 2 miles to the train station, where I am dropped off with several hundred other passengers.

I thought I would get right to the good part, though.

When I get off the train, I walk through a lovely inner city park.


There are many flowers still in bloom, and some butterflies flying about.


I definitely wanted to get the morning glories:


There are some fenced off community gardens there, and I always walk by and see these tomatoes and covet them. They're been ready for so long, and nobody has come by to pick them yet!


Well, okay, some are still green, but get them off the plant and into a paper bag, already!!!!

This plant always seems especially happy to see me in the morning:


I had quite a chuckle when I noticed it. The top part of it really makes me think of this record sleeve by Pansy Division:

I wonder if Penny Karma has any Pansy Division CDs. They would so be right up here alley -- queer punk band with X rated lyrics!?! Whaddya think, PK?

Once I leave the phallic garden, I turn down one of the quintessential "postcard" Boston streets:


And I walk past homes that cost more than I've made in my whole life:


Okay, maybe they're not THAT expensive, but the 'hood is known for being pricey.

I walk down the street with my two little feet:


You know how romantic and quaint brick sidewalks look? Well, they look more like potential broken limbs in the winter when they are slick with ice. Just remember that, kiddies.

This house has a nice collection of gourds:


I especially like the squid looking one.

This is my ultimate destination:


It's the second tallest building in Boston. I work halfway up the tower. I have to cut through a mall to get into it, which is no problem in the morning, but during lunch and after work, it's a real PITA.

I do have to cross this street to get there:


I usually make it halfway across before the light changes, and then I have to wait on the neutral ground for the next light cycle. The left turn only light turns green before the straight lights, and half the people in the left turn lane make u-turns, so it can get pretty dicey there.

Symphony Hall is in that pic, on the right, in the distance, if you're interested. I'm pretty sure it's the building with the greenish roof.

My building has a really cool garden:



And our lobby/reception area strives to be arty and elegant but not stuffy:



When I took the picture of the orchid, I was thinking about telling y'all how once in a while, they change the orchids out at reception and offer the old ones to whoever wants them. I now have this orchid at my desk. I don't know how to take care of them, though. A co-worker said I need to put it inside another pot without holes, thoroughly soak it with water, let it sit for 20 minute, then drain it, and I should do this a couple of times a week and also give it some direct sunlight. My workstation is not in the direct sunlight, so I should probbly kiss this orchid's ass goodbye, huh? If I find out they are not poisonous, maybe I'll bring it home, but I need to check that out first.

This is my workstation:


Typical office monkey cube, right?

Here are my pictures:


I need to redecorate, though. I threw a bunch of pics up there when I started, but I really need to personalize things.

The coolest thing, though, is the view from my boss' office:


Fenway Park is in this photo, towards the left, and the Charles River is on the right. The highway going through it is the Mass Pike/I-90.

so, that's my commute, more or less. Sorry I didn't get any massive crowd photos at the T station, but maybe y'all should come and experience it for yourself!