Sunday, December 31, 2006

Z is for Zoo

It wouldn't be right of me as a Bronx girl if I didn't have the Bronx Zoo as my Z. The Bronx Zoo has brought people to the Bronx even when people were still scared of the Bronx (silly people;)). It's a fantastic zoo and one of the first to start eliminating cages and putting animals into more natural seeming setting. Let's not forget that the buffalo (ok really the bison) were saved by the Bronx Zoo.

Oddly enough the name of the Wildlife Conservation Society's zoo only officially became the Bronx Zoo a little over a year ago. It's only been the nickname all these years. Glad they finally caught on.

During the holiday season the zoo is lit up with beautifully designed lights.

We saw giraffes:

...and of course the bison:

...silly monkeys:

...and a few animals you don't normally see at the zoo:

...the butterfly garden was set up as a scavenger hunt inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which Ian had a great deal of fun with:

I think Avery and Cheyenne enjoyed the hot chocolate best:

I'm amazed that I actually made it all the way to "z". It's funny that Vicki and I had the exact same "y" and "z" but I chalk it up to great minds and all that;).

Have a wonderful new year!

Y is for Yard

Rinaldo decided that "y" really had to be for yard (he's kind of taking over at the last minute dontcha think?). He has put so much work into it that he appreciates any chance for it to be admired.

I've shown this before, but just to remind you. This is what my yard looked like in June of 2005:

Here it is in June 2006:

...we were able to host lots of BBQs this year and much fun was had:

...this is when the tree limb fell on Labor Day weekend:

...and here it is today:

A little worse for wear after the tree limb came down. We can't fix the fence until the woman to the left of us pulls down her stone fence as it will continue putting pressure on ours, but aside from the obvious damage it's still a great yard and has made having a house so much more fun for this born apartment dweller.

X is for eXtra time

I couldn't for the life of me come up with anything for "x". Rinaldo suggested a wish list of what I would do with more free time. So here's a few things I came up with:

The most obvious thing of course is more time with the kids. I'd like to be able to actual sit and play with them more than I do.

I'd like more date time with the husband. Movies, dinner that kind of thing.

Naturally I would also like more knitting time and now spinning time.

I'd finally get back to school which I've been putting off forever.

I'd like to become a notary public. I can't say why but my grandfather was one and for some reason I've always wanted to be one too.

Of course none of these are impossible to do within the time I actually have. Time these days is like money, if it's budgeted well you can get get a lot done but I've always sucked at budgeting! Although I don't make it a habit of doing new year's resolutions maybe I will make a concerted effort to try to spend a little time on each of these things. It can only make life more satisfying so why not?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

For my "w" we most go into the most secret depths of my basement:

...into these boxes...

to discover that...W is for Wonder Woman:

These are my oldest issues. They date from 1961, but I have a complete collection starting in 1968, when Wonder Woman lost her powers and became something of a secret agent:

This is my favorite run on the old Wonder Woman series, but Gloria Steinem had it killed.

I, of course loved the Wonder Woman tv show and spent many an hour twirling in my bedroom, if you don't know what I mean it's rather difficult to explain, if you do know then I'm sure you did it too;).

In the eighties the writer and artist George Perez took over and did another re-do of the character which brought her back to her roots in Greek Mythology:

Other writers have brought her more firmly down to earth again. In fact the most recent writer is Allan Heinberg who is a writer for the O.C. and Grey's Anatomy:

In honor of my favorite super hero here is a little quiz that Susan put up, which means I had to do it since we are playing blog tag at the moment:

You Are Bold And Brave

But daring? Not usually?
You tend to like to make calculated risks.
So while you may not be base jumping any time soon...
You are up for whatever's new and (a little) exciting!
How Daring Are You?

That sounds just about right to me!

V is for Veronica Mars

I did come up with another V I was going to use but frankly I love Veronica too much not to use this as an excuse to pimp the show. It's intelligent, well written and just a lot of doggone fun (Tuesdays at 9 on the CW). I suspect this may be the last season as it's never really picked up the ratings. In the first two seasons Veronica always had a mystery of the week as well as a season long mystery that would culminate in the season finale. This season it will be two mysteries. The first one was finished in the first 9 episodes. The next will be 7 episodes long, then there will be stand alone mysteries for the rest of the season. Should it survive to the fourth it will probably just be stand alone mysteries. I'm not sure I like that idea as I think this season's shorter arcs have worked really well but people still aren't investing the time to watch so I guess it's worth a shot.

When I grow up I want to be Veronica Mars...although I have a theory that Veronica Mars grows up to be Jordan Cavanaugh but that's another story...

We will be fast forwarding through the rest of the alphabet so I can get it done beofre midnight tomorrow...

Monday, December 25, 2006

It's nice to be loved...

Life is quite amazing when your husband and your best friend conspire to chip in and get you one of these:

Christmas freakin' rocks!!!

Special thanks to Risa and Chante for advising and keeping secrets so well...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Day 5

wherein our heroine must face reality...the reality of abject failure...

So here we are on Friday and here is the last hat:

...beautiful isn't it? Yeah well it obviously had bad karma so I gave up. I tried to fix it at lunchtime but I kept dropping stitches and so I finally just said, "fuck it" (literally) and gave up. I read on the train trip home. Watched a little TV, took a shower, and was in bed by 10:15...heaven.

The gifts that did make it were much appreciated. I held a couple back so that Avery can give all his teachers theirs when break is over. Carla and I have voted that this whole holiday knitting thing is so over and Gina promises to stop me should I breathe a word of attempting any next year. I'm steadfast in my resolve this time.

Just so you don't feel completely bereft of finished objects here's a long overdue shot of the Christmas stockings. They came out pretty well in the end:

I am way happier now that the pressure is off...oh yeah the fact that I am out of here in a few minutes doesn't hurt either...

I doubt I'll post this weekend so have a wonderful Christmas to all who celebrate it and for those who don't enjoy the long weekend!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Day 4

Wherein the runner stumbles...

This is where I was late last night:

...looking good right? Five completed hats. Then I started the sixth one and somehow at 1:15 in the morning, while watching Golden Girls, I could not quite figure out how to knit around the first row of the magic loop. Although I've done 3 out of 5 hats this way. I've hit this wall late at night before. I decided to call it a night. This morning I cast on again and knit happily on the first five rows. Then I worked the first cable row. I couldn't quite finish it before I got off the train so I tried to do the last bit once I got to my desk while my morning reports printed. The pattern consists of a 12 stitch repeat. I reached the penultimate one, do you see a problem:

...'cause I do. That kinda looks like 6 stitches not 12. There's a screw up somewhere, now I need to take the time to find it. This hat takes me over a day to complete. I was up until 2 on Monday finishing the first one and that was with doing the first five rows the night before. It's not looking good people. The hats are supposed to go with the boys to school in the morning. I've not yet given up but realistically this may be it. Let's see how far I can get today.

I've decided to join Risa on Wendy's new knitalong Knit from your stash.

I've got a lot of nice yarn in stash and projects that I want to make but as is the case with most of us I am easily seduced by the new and different. I'm hoping to at least make it to my birthday in June without knitting something that I need to buy yarn for. I'm officially starting this January 1st. There are potential yarn shop visits next week so why ruin it from the start!

I haven't shared any shots of the boys in a while so here is some kid eye candy for you. The other night Avery wasn't feeling well, so he actually fell asleep on the couch waiting for dinner, he had some company:

That cat is so attached to Avery that we don't say he's Avery's cat, we say that Avery is Hiro's boy.

Not to be outdone in cuteness however. Mr. Ian received a late birthday present from his grandpa in Florida. It was a Superman shirt and cape that has a fan to blow it up like muscles. Ian is quite fond of it:

Thursday just a day away from Friday, have a good one...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Day 3

Wherein our heroine starts to flag just a bit in her the sprint toward the finish...

I did not get as much knitting done yesterday as I expected to. I did knit for about an hour on line for Colbert but then they make you stand up (I was sitting on the ground prior to that) so in the close quarters it was a bit difficult to cable. I am about 5 pattern repeats (out of seven) into the second hat:

I promise to give you nice pictures taken with a real camera on Friday.

My eye is even pinker today so I am hoping to get my work done and ditch out of work early. This should lead to some quality knitting time to get back on track. If I can start the third hat tonight I should be fine but we'll see what happens.

Steven Colbert was even funnier in person than he is on the air. He is also genuinely very nice. Rinaldo and I had a great time.

My dear cousin in law (yes I choose to believe that there is such a thing), Linda left a comment yesterday about what was missing from my "Year in Posts", as in everything of importance. She made me realize that I totally forgot to post the instructions for the meme. I have corrected that and updated the post. Just for the record the idea is to copy and paste the first sentence posted for each month of 2006. So in reality no Icelanders were dissed in the making of that meme;)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Good the Bad and the Blech

First up the good, I actually finished the first hat, see:

I finished it on the train this morning. It did involve much late night knitting but that puts me on a good schedule of a day and half each for the other two. The other good thing is Rinaldo and I have tickets to The Colbert Report tonight. That's good on two levels; one being simply that I love the show and have been dying to see it in person. The other being there will be much knitting time while I stand in line since they suggest you show up at least 90 minutes before the doors open.

The bad is that my ear has yet to clear up. I had an infection last week in my ear, nose and throat. The antibiotic cleared it right up and just left me with a plain old cold but my ear is still stuffed. It's driving me insane!

The blech, well last week Rinaldo managed to not catch my cold, nor my infection but he somehow developed pink eye. Typically this comes home on a kid but they have both been pink eye free so I'm not sure where he picked it up from. We're old hands at it so we did all the right things to make sure he kept it to himself. Yet it appears to not have been enough, I woke up this morning and my eye was a lovely shade of fuscia. So it's off to the dr for some drops before I hit Colbert. I am being religious about not touching my eye so I don't share the wealth. I'll take some antibacterial liquid with me also just to be extra safe. Can you imagine the headlines, "Entire Studio Audience Comes Down with Conjunctivitis, Typhoid Nancy Blamed". Yeah, I don't want that to happen. Of course the real reason I'm ticked is that I used my favorite eyeliner yesterday which means it's probably infected and I have to throw it out. Damn, good eyeliner is so hard to find these days.

Here's yet another meme to keep you warm. I stole it from Kim, although it's all over the place.
added later - The idea is to copy and paste the first sentence posted for each month of 2006.

The Year in Posts
January - Happy Birthday Cara!

February - Phenomenal Women by Maya Angelou

March - You may recall this post from a few weeks back.

April - It is actually warm enough to sit on my deck and blog, see...

May - Happy May Day/Day Without Immigrants

June - There once was a hat named Odessa.

July - The last few days I've been wanting to blog but the heat has me feeling horribly lazy.

August - Yes, ok it's pushing it a bit but I already did D so I can't do D for Disney.

September - If a tree your backyard, you're totally screwed.

October - Hi my name is Nancy, I am 37 years old and I still have a learner's permit...

November - No excuses for the lack of posting this week, it just is the way it is.

December - My title does not mean that I was the recipient of unexpected charity.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Here we are one week before the holiday break and what do I have to show for it? I have 7 teachers to knit for. I have already given up hope of having the Moebius scarf ready for Avery's science teacher by Friday. She'll get it when break is over. I have two Odessas finished and one nearly complete. It would be finished but I couldn't locate my size 8 double points last night so I just stopped where I was and started another hat. I figure the decreases will take me 15-30 minutes to complete so that can keep. I started the cabled lady hat last night and man I forgot just how long it takes me to do the 4 row repeat. I think it will get faster at least I hope. I'm not sure if it's the magic loop method or the slippery yarn or the bumping of the train this morning but I couldn't for the life of me do the cables without a needle. Cabling goes way slower for me when I have to actually use a needle. So 3 hats in 4 days. As of 9 this morning this is where I was:

I don't really have to go into the whole Monday morning, camera phone thing again, right?

I'll check in tomorrow so you can see how far I've progressed.

I picked this up from Susan:

How evil are you?

...really are any of you surprised? I do feel I should mention that she got the exact same result. I guess evil loves company, right?

She also had this one which I got a different result for:

You Are Dancer

Carefree and fun, you always find reasons to do a happy dance.

Why You're Naughty: That dark stint you had as Santa's private dancer.

Why You're Nice: You're friendly. Very friendly.

...there was no way I couldn't post something that said I was "Santa's private dancer"...

More proof that knitters are intent on world domination. I was reading this article this morning all about Veronica Mars availability on ITunes. Imagine my surprise to see that the author refers to shows as skeins. Really. Skeins. I suspect this is more about spell check run amok but whatever. I have no problem with referring to Veronica Mars as my "favorite skein" in fact her "handpainted drama" is what "knits" me in episode after episode.

101 hours 'til break...not that I'm counting...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

As I have been sick as a freakin' dog since the weekend. I am totally phoning it in today. Here is the meme that's been going around. I've seen it everywhere so I'll be damned if I can remember who I actually stole it from:

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

Hot Chocolate, preferably with a bit of peppermint in it.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?

Santa not only wraps but he wraps in special paper to differentiate from gifts given by parents. He takes this quite seriously.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?


4. Do you hang mistletoe?


5. When do you put up your decorations?

Usually right after Thanksgiving but I've been running late this year.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?

Ham basted with orange juice and ginger ale, like my Aunt Ruth used to make.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?

Everyone going over to my grandmother's, we even packed up the cat a few times!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

My best friend Susan when I was 7 or 8. I was devastated...still am.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

Yup, usually new jammies for everyone and whatever Maribel gets me!

10. What kind of decorations are on your Christmas Tree?

Typically we have character ornaments but due to the arrival of Hiro the nutty kitten we bought what I like to call Class in a Box from Target. So all the ornaments this year are gold, balls, bells, icicles and beads.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread?


12. Can you ice skate?

Yes, but badly.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

I really don't. I usually get some fantastic stuff for Christmas.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?

The break from work and school. Time to just relax and be a family without outside obligations pulling us this way and that.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?

Pumpkin Pie, yes I know it's really for Thanksgiving but since I only get it around this time of year I keep getting them all the way to New Years.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

I'm really not sure...

17. What tops your tree?

An angel bought at Macy's.

18. What is your favourite holiday book?

Miracle on 34th Street.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?

Either Happy Christmas by John and Yoko or Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas the Judy Garland or Chrissie Hynde versions.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yummy?

Eh, they're ok, but they get old fast. I can never finish one.

I did finish the Christmas stockings, pictures will be forthcoming. I am now working on the moebius scarf, with at least 4 more hats to be 7 days...Goddess help me...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Stolen from Bronxie and Cara:

Monday, December 04, 2006

Unexpected Charity

My title does not mean that I was the recipient of unexpected charity. No, in actuality it refers to those knitting projects that don't come out quite the way you intended. It can't be given to the recipient it was intended for but it's complete so you don't really want to tear the whole thing apart. Rather than letting it litter the bottom of the knitting basket I send them off to someone who can actually get use out of it.

This happened to me last year. I tried to create a hat that duplicated one worn by Veronica on Veronica Mars. A poor choice of yarn meant that it came out nothing like I intended. Still and all it was a good hat so off to Dulaan it went.

My latest Odessa will travel to Tibet next year as well:

if it's a crappy cellphone photo, it must be Monday...

Crappy photo aside, the hat came out well, hell the yarn even striped like I wanted it to on the other two hats. The flaw came, I'm convinced, from hubris. Maribel has been fighting with Odessa for a little over a week now. She must have frogged the damn thing 3 or 4 times. Every time she called to complain I would sympathize but I would say while I did vaguely recall problems with my first Odessa, I could do them in my sleep now! HA! I must have been doing this one in my sleep because I never changed the needle from 6 to 8 when I finished the ribbing. So it's a lovely hat for a small child, not a grown teacher. Oh well that's life. I decided to go back to my Christmas stockings.

The knitting group yesterday was fun. Maribel and I had a good time. They hope to have it once a month so I'll definitely go back.

Happy Monday (is that an oxymoron or what?) everyone...