Archive for February, 2009

This ‘n that.

February 27th, 2009 6 comments

Had coffee this morning with the lovely and charming Katie Bisbee, who is VP of East Region and Mobilization Marketing for Donors Choose. Basically she covers an area from Maine to SC, but since her home base is Charlotte, she thought she’d take some time with some local donors. Looks like a lot of coffee for Katie today, since she met with me at 8 and I know she’s meeting with my mom at 9:30. Pace yourself, Katie!

Hey, have I mentioned the Jayne hat Donors Choose challenge in the last five minutes? No? Well, consider it mentioned. The reading comprehension project for Em’s school only needs $210 now, so it’s very close to being fully funded. Yay! Maybe it’s time to do another Knitters Choose raffle. That raised a few hundred bucks last time and got some yarn out of my house at the same time. Everybody wins!

Sorry if I’m a little rambly – Julia’s Coffee gave me my Thin Mint Mocha in a mug this morning, and it was delicious. So delicious that I really wanted to finish it so I chugged about half of it before leaving. Now my brain is buzzing around like a hummingbird.

cash iroha gauge swatch
At right: gauge swatch in Noro Cash Iroha. I bought 14 balls of this silk, cashmere, and lambswool blend for $74 when The Sewing Bird closed its brick and mortar storefront in 2006. It was an amazing deal. However, if I never knit it up, then it’s not so much an amazing deal as it is $74 spent but never used. It was purchased for Joelle Hoverson’s Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts and that’s just what it’s going to be. The desired gauge is 19 stitches and 28 rows over 4 inches on a suggested size 7 needle. I’m a loose knitter, so I used 6’s and got 18 stitches and 28 rows, so I’ll call that good enough.

This’ll be a nice project to work on when I need a break from Jayne hats. Customers, don’t fret – “Craziness prevention knitting” is built into the time estimate on each order. Believe me, it’s better for your order to take an extra day than for me to go bughouse and stop making the hats altogether.

Casting spoiler for Dollhouse.

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D&D Week 12: An Elf, a Dwarf, and a Human walk into a bar…

February 26th, 2009 6 comments
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Internet: 3 Tvini: 0

February 26th, 2009 4 comments

Did one of you sign me up for a “bears” mailing list? And by bears I don’t mean grizzlies, I mean large hairy men.

I’ve been getting them once a month for several months and I’ve been afraid to de-subscribe up to now because I don’t want them to know it’s an actual valid e-mail address, but it’s coming with such regularity that I think maybe they really do think I’m interested.

I’ll say this – it’s a heck of a thing to see in your mailbox before morning coffee.

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February 25th, 2009 6 comments

I am developing quite a backlog of awesomeness that needs to be posted. I think I may have to start a regular feature called “The Awesome People Around Me And The Awesome Things That They Awesomely Do.”

That may need tightening up.

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¡Buena suerte!

February 24th, 2009 No comments

The last time I used Spanish on a regular basis was when I was freelance editing at Canal de Noticias NBC. They went under in 1997 so that tells you something.

Em’s party invitations went out today. I’ve looked up some phrases in Spanish that may come up should any parents call to RSVP me instead of the school parent guy, just in case. Fasten your seatbelts, this could be a bumpy flight.

Lots of other stuff to update on, including an appalling lack of yellow yarn (come on, Brown Sheep!), last week’s D&D session and some really amazing gift mail, but I’ve gotta go get Em. ¡Adiós!

Edited to add: Em came home and asked for one more invitation, for another girl. Apparently this girl asked if she could come and according to Em, “I said, ‘Let me think about it.’ ” So Em has decided she can come. That’s great! If this girl asked if she could come, I take that to mean that the other girls were excited about the party. This bodes well!

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blood pressure and fish

February 23rd, 2009 14 comments

This morning I went to the doctor to get my blood pressure checked after that high reading last week. It was a good 10 points lower in the doctor’s office, back out of the OMG HYPERTENSION range. Clearly I was more “het up” about standing up than I thought, and chugging that coffee probably didn’t help. We’re just going to keep an eye on it for now and when I go in for my next physical in a few months we’ll discuss it again.

Fishwatch 2009: Two days ago I changed Kathleen’s water. After the change, while I was out of the room, Em got the net and transferred the fish back into her original bowl and scraped off a tiny piece of fin. The fish seems fine, but I’ve made it clear now that moving the fish is my job. It could certainly have been worse. I’ll be showing Kathleen a little extra TLC while he recovers.

Later that day, Kathleen was very angry, puffing and displaying at me whenever I got near the bowl. I was very surprised that he would have that kind of a memory. Kathleen must be some kind of fish genius!

Then I realized that I was wearing a burgundy shirt that was the same color as he was. I took it off and he calmed down. Then I held the shirt up to a different part of the bowl and he ignored me and flared his fins toward the shirty intruder.

Kathleen thought the shirt was another betta. Genius my eye.

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Best. School. Ever.

February 19th, 2009 No comments

This year’s birthday party has been a major source of anxiety for me. You all remember the awful party-that-wasn’t that happened when I tried to invite her kindergarten class to My Gym. But then there was the triumph of last year’s party when we got three kids to show up and they all had a good time.

This year, I had no idea what to do. Em’s going to Sunday school now but we don’t really know those kids well enough to think that they’d come to a party. And she’s in a new Girl Scout troop now, and I don’t think those kids would come either. I’ve had zero luck with the schoolkids, but in fairness I haven’t tried to contact them this year for an outside event, either.

Em really wanted a party, but I was stumped. My husband made the excellent suggestion that I write to her teacher and ask for ideas.

The teacher (best teacher ever) just wrote back. She talked to the principal (best principal ever) and they’re on board with me giving them the names of the girls Em wants to come and having their parent advocate (best parent advocate ever), who does a lot of Spanish translation for them, call the parents and explain the invitation since English is not the first language in those girls’ homes and my Spanish stinks. The principal said it was fine for them to RSVP to the advocate so they’d be more comfortable speaking in Spanish. Em has five girls that she wants to come, and the teacher says “I know with parent permission those students would love to come and be a part of her birthday.” Furthermore, the teacher is willing to help with transportation on that day if it’s an issue for the parents.

I’m going to have invitations to send with Em tomorrow so we can get this show on the road.

I swear, this school is the best kept secret in Charlotte. Take your high-falutin’ rich kid schools, I’ll keep mine, where the teachers work extra hard in the face of great obstacles to improve the lives of their students.

This would seem to be a good time to mention again that Em’s school has a proposal up on Donors Choose called “Help us improve our reading comprehension!” I say again that if you ever find yourself with spare money burning a hole in your pocket, you could do a lot worse than to help out this school and those teachers.

Did I mention that we have the best school and best teacher ever?

Oh, and on another high note – remember how the playground got torched last year? Well, the burned section was finally replaced this moth. Em and her friends can race on side by side slides again. Yay!

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Approved by the Comics Code

February 18th, 2009 4 comments

Em’s solution to naked Green: pixelation.

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Ahead warp 9!

February 17th, 2009 8 comments

PicardJayne1Everybody knows that I own the disembodied head of Jean-Luc Picard. It comes up in conversation more often than you’d think. Unfortunately, Jean-Luc took a bit of a tumble a while back. I had him on top of a tripod, precariously perched while I took a picture of him and FOUR! LIGHTS! The tripod pitched forward and Jean-Luc broke his noggin on the edge of a table. The top of his skull came right off. Who knew Starfleet captains had such brittle bones?

Even if I try to put him back together, he’s got cracks running right over his eye. Basically, I have a Locutus head now. I’m considering leaving the top of the skull off and putting him out front as a planter. The neighbors already think we’re weird, so I don’t think a Chia Picard is going to damage our reputation.

Today I used some of my birthday money (thanks, Dad!) to replace poor Picard. Here’s a link to the seller. This guy baffles me. He’s clearly got the heads of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Carrey for sale, but nowhere does he identify them as such.

Has he got some kind of a deal where he can have the life casts, but not identify them as such? Schwarzenegger is listed as male mannequin head #4 so the guy must have at least four lifecasts of famous people. I’ve seen Douglas Fairbanks up there before, complete with moustache.

When I’ve corresponded with him in the past, he’s closed with “In Christ, (name).” I wonder about this guy and his life.

Says my husband, “He’s just your basic Christian fundamentalist selling bootleg heads on the Internet. What’s to wonder about?”

Hee! Okay, I’ll just take my Picard head and move along. Engage!

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Internet: 2 Tvini: 0

February 16th, 2009 14 comments

Emily loves M&Ms. Actually, she doesn’t care about the candy, since she’s not big on chocolate (how can she be my daughter?) but she loves the characters.

The main M&Ms site has a link to other corporate M&M sites in other countries. Emily particularly liked France’s flashy site. It has various commercials and fun animations of the M&Ms doing interesting things.

However, one of the interesting things the M&Ms do is pole dance. You heard me. The M&Ms strip. And I get that it’s a cute idea – they do a dance on the catwalk and then unzip their shell and walk around as just a big piece of chocolate. I mean, they’re big round candies, not people, and Em doesn’t get anything about sex yet, so as far as she’s concerned, they’re just dancing and doing something unexpected in removing their shells. However, Em loves dancing so she has REALLY glommed on to this.

Add to this that we’ve recently been talking about money and where it comes from, and why people get paid and it leads to this statement from this morning:

“Green got paid for doing her striptease! She took her shell off.”

I very casually asked her not to say that in school. The last thing I need is a reputation as some kind of deviant mom. Em is always very concerned when I ask her not to say or do something, because she hates to think that she might have done something wrong. I didn’t have time to get into the whys or wherefores of it before school, so I told her I wasn’t upset, it was just that it was a kind of naughty kind of dancing, so perhaps we shouldn’t talk about it at school.

So to placate me, she said, “Green doesn’t really like stripteases, but she has to do it if she wants to get paid.”


Em: “Red likes Green with her shell off.”
Me: “Oh, Red likes Green with her shell off or with it on?”
Em: “Yes. That’s why she does her striptease, Red likes her with her shell off.”

Great. Just great. So now Green has to strip to get paid, and she also does it to please her lecherous boyfriend, Red. There’s nothing on the French M&M site about getting paid or about Green being attached to anyone, by the way, so those are just Em’s interpretations of why Green might be doing something that I have said is naughty.

I have no idea how to begin to tackle this. I blame France.

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