Thursday, May 28, 2009


So, I received a lovely swap package from Ann for a Ravelry swap.
EA Swap Pkg 1We have two skeins of Four Play - gorgeous Brooks Farm yarn in the magical blend of a color I probably never would have chosen and yet totally love.
A lovely Della Q project bag.
Sewing Stars Knitting buttons.
And a lovely card. Thanks so much, Ann!

Tim in a Cape

I adore Tim Gunn, just so we're clear. So, I can imagine very little more amazing than the idea of Tim Gunn as a superhero.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yay for Chuck!

Oh, and the TV gods were (mostly) smiling on me as news has come that "Chuck", "Better Off Ted" and "Dollhouse" will all be returning next year (although "Chuck" will return after the Winter Olympics.)
So, if you were considering those, now you have time to catch up on them before next season.
Monkey See has some thoughts about how the return of "Chuck" might indicate some changes in the network model.

Singing Commuters

In what I hope is turning into a trend of entertainment for commuters (although of a more intriguing kind than say TVs at the gas station), I hear that a group of students have created Bus Stop Opera. NPR talked to some of the students as they brought their traveling show to New York.
The students used interviews and conversations with actual commuters and set them to music. There are a range of characters including a couple falling in love, a creepy guy and an impatient traveler. Folks were confused, but, especially as the morning wore on folks were generally appreciative. Here's hoping they make a stop in DC.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Steps Along the Way

When people hear that I work with teenagers voluntarily the reaction is usually something like, "Wow - teenagers." Sometimes it is said with awe, sometimes wonder, often a little disbelief. During the years where I thought I wanted to be a teacher, I focused on elementary, because teenagers seemed sort of scary. Not life-threatening scary, but let's face it, you have more options when a ten year old is acting up, than you do with a seventeen year old.
However, it is one of the most amazing things I have ever had an opportunity to do. And I have to say, I talk to these kids and I feel this world is so lucky. Sure, I'm dealing with a select portion of them, and certainly there are days where I ask them, "Aren't you tired of hearing me ask you to get moving?", but mostly, they are awesome.
Now, I get it that being an adult they hang out with is an entirely different kettle of fish than being a parent or a school teacher. But, for every day I say, "My goal for the day is to not take anyone to the hospital. Please help me achieve this goal." (they did), there is a day where someone says, "It's so cool that you know that."
Each year the seniors, in addition to having the opportunity to give a sermonette in the youth led service, bridge into young adulthood. The idea is to both mark the occasion and also to remind them, that while they are leaving youth group and, often, their families and friends, they are also moving into something. (Young adulthood, - woo-hoo.)
Last year I spoke at the spring conference on behalf of the young adults. (They sent prompts, such as, "My name is..." and "I speak on behalf of..." - I had to write my stuff down because I was afraid in a moment of stage fright I would say, "I am the Lorax, and I speak for the trees."
This year I spoke on behalf of the advisors and forgot to write it down, but managed to be coherent. I told them as advisors we had talked, listened, and laughed with them, slept on the floor with them, and watched them grow into the amazing people that they are. That we sent them off into this next step in their journeys with all our love and support. (There were also blessings from the board, the religious education department, the young adults, the congregation and the youth.)
So, that's why I do it. For moments like this.

*One parent paid me the amazing compliment of saying that I was the one that made her cry.

Monday, May 25, 2009

This or That?

A raveler had alerted me to the cake vs. biscuit* discussion that had occurred in Britain regarding the Jaffa Cake. (Answer, yummy, and also a cake.) Well now, apparently the debate is on as to whether a Pringle is a crisp** or a snack. Yes, I see no reason it couldn't be both. At issue here is the Value Added Tax (VAT) that is levied on different classes of food items, and crisps and other potato snacks are charged at a higher rate than some other snacks. (And lest you write this off as strange British-ness, I will point you to the is a burrito a sandwich debate.)
To me the strangest part of the Pringles debate (although, yes certainly money is the leading factor here) is that Pringles is stating that they are not a crisp or potato snack. Why? Because less than half of it is potato. (You read that right.)

*Biscuit, of course, under the British usage, where a biscuit is a cookie rather than a dinner roll.
**Crisp, again, in the British usage, being what Americans refer to as a chip.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fuzzy Luggage

Imagine you go on a trip. You gather up your luggage, get home, and then open it only to discover someone else clothes. And then a cat jumps out.
Thanks to the raveler who shared this link.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Please Read More

There is a sign posted over the card machine in the laundry room that states: Please read all instructions thoroughly for proper operation.
Here's the thing, I can't imagine who this sign will help. As far as I can imagine people who are not currently reading the instructions are anti-reading, too "busy" to read, or unable to read English. None of this will be alleviated by placing a second sign saying hey, try reading.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Criss Cross

I wanted to make quick use of the Three Irish Girls Aiden that I had picked up at the Homespun Yarn Party. I hunted through my one skein books and came upon the Indian Cross Scarf by Marci Richardson.
I threw in a few extra spacer rows between the crossover rows (it is similar to the dream swatch pattern, just knit longways. It was a quick and fun knit. And I love the Wexford Merino Silk yarn.
Cross Scarf 1

Friday, May 15, 2009

Paging Gene Weingarten

A few years ago, Gene Weingarten set up a little experiment to see if DC commuters would stop and listen (an possibly contribute) to a young man playing violin during the morning commute in a metro station. The twist, the violinist was renowned Joshua Bell. The answer - not many.
Now, I think there are a lot of reasons for this, not the least being that a lot of people have jobs where they really need to be at their desk by a specific time regardless of a free concert going on. But certainly there are other factors. (Check the link for a review of those as well as video.)
However, I have to say on the list of things that I thought I would never see, I think that certainly a dance mix of "Sound of Music", line dancing to "Do Re Mi" and well this here would all be up there. So, my question is, would this* make DC commuters stop? I would have to think so.

Hat tip to Crazy Aunt Purl for the link.
*Apparently this is a promotion for a TV show where they are looking for the next star for "Sound of Music", so I have to add, if you want intriguing promotion, this might be the way to go.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gimme Movies

I read that HBO has pulled out of DC's Screen on the Green leaving the annual event up in the air at this point. While I understand that this is a time when many companies are having to prioritize, it was still such a fun event. How often done picnic on the National Mall and get a free movie too. (Yes, I realize the mall is in fact always there, and available for the picnicking. But the free movie helped.)
Now of course there are still free movies to be had - off the top of my head there's Crystal City, Rosslyn and Strathmore, and there's other summer events on the mall. But I hope someone steps in to resurrect Screen on the Green. It was fun.
ETA: Other people have done a better job outlining the other see a movie outside options.
ETAA: It's been saved!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Star Hat

So I offered to help test knit the Zoey Star Beret by Cassie Miller. It helped that I am love knitting hats (especially top down), enjoy unusual construction and had a skein or two of Patons SWS Stripes lying around. The pattern is charted but I found it very easy to follow and loved seeing how the striping enhanced the stars. I also found the tip about blocking it out on a dinner plate quite helpful. It took just a smidgeon over a skein.
Here it is pre-blocking.
Star Hat - Pre Blocking
And post blocking.
star Hat Blocked

Friday, May 08, 2009

Yes, We'll Get Right on That

One of my guilty pleasures, is the current Saturday morning reruns of "Property Ladder" - tales of first time house flippers with grand plans and often no budget. On one episode the featured flipper had given the kitchen cabinets to a "friend" for repainting. Weeks later, the cabinets had not been returned and neither were the flipper's calls to the alleged painter. She went to the police, only to have them explain to her that they did not handle what is essentially a contractual matter.
This isn't even the kind of the 311 is supposed to help with, instead her option was to sue, should she so desire.
And then we have this person. He contacted the police to report that the person he had paid to purchase drugs for him had failed to return with said drugs. In his case, I don't believe the police suggest a lawsuit.

Hat tip to ALOTT5A for the link.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

A Thousand Words, Saved

I mentioned before that my injuries tend to lack a good story. (Oh, the irony.) But if I had these super cool slings, I could have at least pretended well.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Dear Folks #23: Fashion

Dear Sir,
Football season in over for the moment so I have no particular complaint with your toddler wearing the black jersey. (Had the jersey featured green birds or silver and blue people, I may have considered reporting you for child endangerment.) However, if you are going to be foolish enough to dress your child in a black jersey on one of the first steaming hot days of the year, please do your child a favor and don't tuck the jersey into his shorts. From both a ventilation and a fashion standpoint, I find that quite cruel.
Burgundy Jerseys are Cooler Anyway.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

7 Things: Calling You (or Me)

1. I do not believe that I have to answer the phone every time it rings. In fact I
believe that was part of the purpose of voicemail, so that people could rest assured
that the information they wished to convey (be it call me or more complex than that)
could be clearly expressed to the person you are calling even when they do not answer.*

*The exception to this is my mother who has caller ID block that refuses to acknowledge my phone as a "real" phone and therefore blocks me from leaving voicemail, Which is why I now bypass my mothers landline and use her cell.

2. In this day and age of caller ID and such, calling two times in a row is a risky
venture. If, by chance, the only reason I missed your call was either I did not
hear the phone or did not make it to the phone in time, than yes, a second call
might assist. Although if I simply didn't make it to the phone in time, and wanted
to speak to you right then, chances are I would have already called you back.

3. Calling three or four times in a row is ridiculous. Seriously, even if you care
calling to get a ride to the hospital, I have now clearly demonstrated that I am
currently unavailable. Try someone else. Or 911.

4. It is a really good idea to have a sense of a person's schedule when you call
them. I personally think it's pretty risky to call most people before nine in the
morning (even on a workday when, you would, you know, expect them to be at work,
unless you are calling them at work). I also think after ten at night can be a
risky proposition, although certainly I have a number of friends for whom well past
ten would be totally acceptable, but the point there is that I know that about them.

5. It is also a good idea to know the timezone folks are in to better plan your

6. Most people have shorter tones for texts, so texts work well for some messages
that have some reason to be conveyed outside of a person's known good times.

7. Violation of more than two of these rules is likely to both delay my return
contact as well as increase my level of irkitude when I do call.

NB: This is not aimed at any of you in particular. Promise.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Sheep, Wool and Buttons

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival came and went this weekend. I was, ahem, very restrained. I just bought this one bag of yarn. See. Not much in there. Just some Brooks Farm, Tilli Tomas, Unique Sheep, and some buttons.
I arrived just about in time to hit the Ravelry meetup where I managed to run into almost everyone I knew there that day, pretty cool how that worked. We also successfully forced ourselves on Ysolda Teague who was wearing no less than three of her own patterns (Coraline, Ishbel scarf and Ishbel beret if you must know).
So then, I grabbed some ribbon chips before starting the shopping. I discovered that juggling, a purse, a bag, an umbrella and some ribbon chips - particularly ribbon chips dressed with 'cheese', sour cream, chives and bacon bits, is harder than it might seem. I managed to get cheese on my fingers (expected), my jacket, and on the inside of my umbrella. Fortunately the rain had dampened the napkins so that cleaning was easier.
After being very restrained through the first batch of booths and barns, I encountered Feederbrook Farm who had lovely handspun that even comes tagged with the sheep's name and personality.
Then, I fell in love with a shawl set with Unique Sheep yarn. I found some well priced Tilli Tomas yarn. And then I might have gone a smidge nuts (yarn fumes!) in the Brooks Farm booth.
Oh, and I found these adorable buttons.
See - not much at all.
The Haul