Archive for December, 2008

And the hits just keep coming.

December 30th, 2008 2 comments

We rolled out of here in time to make it to the planetarium. In time, that is, if there hadn’t been construction work taking place right in front of our driveway. By the time we got on the road, I was skeptical that we’d make it, but we gave it a shot anyway. Because my parents read this journal, let me say that I drove in a cautious and sober manner, never speeding or otherwis7777777777777777777777777

Sorry about that, sometimes when I say these things my nose grows and starts hitting the keyboard. Anyway. We missed it by five minutes. Emily handled it like a champ, considering we’d had to drive 25 miles to get there. The December show runs for one more day, so we’re going to try again tomorrow.

We decided instead to go to Borders and get a calendar, which Emily was very anxious about having. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any of the ones she was hoping to get, so we left empty-handed. Right now she and my husband are looking online, and from what I’m hearing, there are no Strawberry Shortcake calendars that are modern. They’re all retro, looking like the Strawberry Shortcake of my youth, not the one she watches on Sunday morning. (Note: commercial TV is a new thing for her this winter, and it’s worthy of its very own post.)

Basically, this day has not been all that one might hope. Part of me is just shaking my head at the craptacularness of it. Fortunately, a larger part of me is saying that if this is the worst that life throws at us, then we’re still doing okay.

ETA: I hit the used video store, where the guy was feeling the Christmas spirit and gave me half off of a Collector’s Edition Dark Crystal, bringing it to $8. Then I hit the fabric store for the wooly nylon, which they didn’t have, but I did meet a nice Browncoat. Then I came home to find my husband had set up the telescope in the driveway and we could see the craters on the moon with remarkable clarity. Now he’s showing Venus to our daughter. See? Everything’s still okay with the world.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:


December 30th, 2008 2 comments

I dyed up the yarn for Em’s next pair of socks today, but I want to swing by a fabric store to pick up some Wooly Nylon thread to carry with it for reinforcement. You see, today I decided that it would be easier to cut out most of the sole of one of her old socks and re-knit it than to try to do a bad patch job. It was the first time I’d tried to do that. Unfortunately, kitchenering the old and the new back together did not go smoothly. There’s a big peak on the sole now, like stiff meringue. It’s where the number of stitches on one needle did not match the number on the other and I tried to MAKE it work. Sigh. Holly Jolly no more, I now dub them Frankensocks. At least I got the toe and the sole fixed, more or less. I’ve also got a line on a bunch of sportweight wool/nylon blend that would stand up better to abuse than the 100% merino I’m using.

Am I going to complain about having to do all this mending? Well, yes, apparently I am. But I’m stopping now to look at someone who’s doing far more time-consuming work, knitting the sweaters for the upcoming stop-motion animated movie Coraline.

Em and I are off to the planetarium this afternoon for their annual December program on holiday traditions. It should be fun. I’m enjoying spending time with my girl, but I must admit I’m ready for school to start again.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Protected: Life’s a bitch.

December 30th, 2008 Enter your password to view comments.

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

The final frontier…

December 29th, 2008 4 comments

Nana and Grandpa’s Christmas present. If you know anything about Emily and her love of the stars, you know this is a good gift. This is a great time for it too, because Venus has been very high and bright in the sky early in the evening, when Em’s still awake. Em was able to see it, then got cold and came in, but afterward Steve and I were able to fiddle with the focus until we could observe that it was half full. Very cool.

I’m hopeful that at some point we’ll be able to take it somewhere dark and she can see the Orion Nebula and various other nifty phenomena. In a couple of weeks, the moon’s going to be very well situated for viewing, so we’re hoping she’ll be able to spy some nice craters.

If you’re looking for astronomical software for your desktop, permit me (and Mr. Tvini, who discovered it) to recommend Stellarium. We’re really enjoying this software.

When my mother and I last went to Pennsylvania, we drove up the back roads, well away from the lights of town. She pointed out Cassiopeia as the constellation she could most easily recognize. Because of that, I’ve made sure to teach that one to Emily. I didn’t know if she’d recognize it in the actual night sky, since we live in the midst of the city lights and it’s tough to see the stars in detail.

Last weekend when we were heading home from my in-laws, it was night. I pointed out that we could see a lot of stars if we looked up through the windows.

“Look, there’s Cassiopeia!” she said. And she was right.

I’m so glad that her love of the stars is being fostered by so many people in her life.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Never too late for Christmas.

December 29th, 2008 No comments

Second verse, same as the first.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Wizard of Oz

December 28th, 2008 No comments

Ballantyne Village Theater here in Charlotte is playing Wizard of Oz this week as part of their ongoing retro series. Obviously, we had to go see it.

The down sides:
The print is old and scratched.
The focus faded in and out, not because of the projectionist, but because of a lackluster transfer.
The print is cropped at the sides, revealing the whole picture only through pan and scan.
It looks a lot like the trailer embedded below in terms of quality.

The up sides:
It’s only $5 a ticket if you go to the 5:20 show.
It’s the freakin’ WIZARD OF OZ on the BIG SCREEN.
I’m going with a nine-year-old, not a film appreciation class, so there’s a limit to how much I should really complain.

We talked about our favorite characters in the car on the way home. Mr. Tvini likes the Cowardly Lion because he likes Bert Lahr. I like the Scarecrow because I like the way he moves and dances (Ray Bolger is awesome). Em likes Dorothy “because she’s a really good singer.” My kid’s got good taste.

Em had a blast and wants to go again. And so we will. And we will share popcorn and bottled water and lo, it will be good.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

December 28th, 2008 14 comments


Development: Christmas socks live most of their life as yarn. When ready to mature, they leap onto the needles. The needles knit the fibers together, producing the adult sock. The size of the sock is determined by environmental factors, such as the quantity of the yarn and size and patience of the child receiving the socks.

Adult Life: The newly matured sock quickly adapts to its new home on the foot, often spending 5 days out of the week there. It must occasionally return to the water to clean itself. If it does not, its lifespan is greatly shortened. The sock has a symbiotic relationship with its host, providing it with warmth and Christmas cheer, while the host provides shape and (usually) basic care.

Returning to Yarn: The Christmas sock will generally live through the holiday season, approximately 30 days. The sock develops bare patches as the season wears on. Its host may provide basic health care in the form of darning, but eventually nature must take its course. The sock will unravel and return to the yarn from whence it came.

Reproduction: The cycle continues the following year, when the host begs for a new pair of socks.

Source: The National Christmas Sock Advisory Council.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Holly Jolly sole

December 27th, 2008 4 comments

Holly Jolly sole

This is what happens when you wear the socks every single day and night. I get them off of her every couple of days for washing, but they weren’t meant to stand up to this kind of wear. I darned each heel this morning, but this will pose a new challenge – I’m out of red yarn!

Guess I’ll just have to dye some more. Yay!

ETA: Now there are holes in the toes, too. It looks like these socks are just out of warranty, so now they can fall apart. Em still wants to keep them on.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,


December 26th, 2008 No comments

The slippers were well-received.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

More goods

December 26th, 2008 2 comments

Also under the tree yesterday:

Left: Inara’s Shuttle Ornament

Right: Knitter’s Rubber Stamp

As predicted, today all is well. Em spent most of yesterday playing with her toys, especially her “upside down doll” which is a traditional topsy turvy doll from my dad. This is something she’s been interested in for a while. It’s got Red Riding Hood on one side and when you flip her upside down, on the bottom side of the skirt where you’d expect to see her legs is Grandma. On the reverse side of Grandma is the wolf. Great fun. Emily, who loves outrageous things, tells us that Little Black Riding Hood was taking her basket of bananas through the ocean to Aunt Mary’s house when she met a horse. This cracks her up every time. It sounds a lot like Gianni Rodari so I might have to try to find some of his stuff. Once again, my egghead years working at the library in high school pay off.

Today is a little more low key. She’s spent a lot of time playing a wii game she got, My Sims Kingdom. It’s fun, but she needs a little help manipulating the remote and finding things sometimes. I’ve cut her off for now. We’ll pick back up again in a few hours briefly, but she can’t spend all day playing video games. I’ll thank you all not to tell her what a “pot calling the kettle black” statement that is coming from me. I haven’t had time to spend hours and hours playing games in quite some time, but back in the day… woof. It was something.

Yesterday’s mammoth load of ravioli generated a mammoth load of dishes, so I’m going to tackle another sink, hopefully before my husband gets home. He did most of the cooking, it seems only fair for me to do most of the cleaning.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: