Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I confess.....I Heart Boy Britney!

Let's face it----television usually sucks. But more particularly, summer television really sucks. Among the sucky summer TV offerings is "America's Got Talent." In case you haven't seen it, it's a show where regular people compete in a talent competition to try to win 1 million dollars.

For the most part, the show and it's competitors are all pretty lame, and the show is so bloated with fill and commercials, I can only stand to watch it as knitting background fill-in. But.....

Every once in a while, amongst all the off-key singers, dorky acrobatics and painfully tin-eared musicians, there comes a bright spot of sorts. Not necessarily a conventional bright spot, but rather one that captures your heart and imagination in some way---although you can't necessarily figure out why. For me, on this lame show this summer, that bright spot has been BOY SHAKIRA!!

I don't know exactly why I love him, but I do! He is funny and entertaining, in a bad drag queen kinda way, but I really look forward to seeing him each time. A definitely NOT boring standout in a sea of boring and lame talent-show acts. The best part is, he has actually made the finals and has a chance at winning the million clams!! Not bad for a boy in a bad wig!! And BTW, the muffin top hanging over his hip-shaking costume is a thing to behold as well!

To be able to stand out and make an impression in the finals, Boy Shakira pulled out the stops and became.......BOY BRITNEY!!! He does "hit me baby one more time..." complete with schoolgirl outfit (belly still visible) and back-up dancers! And best of all, HE'S got underpants!! I'm sorry, but it's just too much fun! In the world of boring summer TV drivel, I admit...

I heart Boy Britney......or Boy Shakira.....or Boy whatever!!! He's sweet and he brings his mom with him to his performances. I just gotta watch---it's like looking at a car a good way! And just for the record, I hope he wins the whole thing. There's a couple of other contestants who are good singers but excuse me,.....ho-hum.


And by the way, no, I have not lost my mind. I don't have a thing to show for knitting, work is kicking my ass, and as for blogging, I wasn't even going to try today cuz I had nothin'.....until now......ya gotta love a lame-but-in-a-good-way drag act on national television! Boy Shakira is more fun than your favorite drunk uncle at the family reunion!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

This and that.....random catching-up

Finally, a chance to actually make a post to my blog! I think this has been the longest I have ever gone without being able to post, and I've really missed it! I never thought when I started this blog that it would be something I would "miss" if I couldn't do it, but I have.

With such a long time having passed since my last post, I guess this will have to be a post of some randomness and rambling, as one tends to do when trying to make a long story short (something I'm not very good at, but I'll give it a go...). It's just that there are so many random bits, I can't begin to even try to tie them together cohesively. So this will have to be a post of this and that and the other thing, all stuck together so I can quit storing it for later in my poor, tired brain.

Even on my best days, I can somewhat be the queen of the non-sequitor and non-sensical segway. But now that the last of my brain has been squeezed into a dried apricot by my current schedule of 14-hour days, a string of non-sequitors might make more sense to read. Oh well....if it gets confusing, you can skip down to the actual knitting content near the end...

"Graduated" from training at my new place of wage-slavery. Yes, there was an actual lame graduation with presentation of a certificate in front of the rest of the current slaves. We were told at about 4pm the day before that each class had to present something---skit, speech, song, whatever---to the attendees. Say What? My 5 fellow trainees and I looked at each other in horror. This couldn't be good. Suffice it to say that out of desperation for something to do at the last minute, I made the mistake of joking that I play the ukelele.....

Just a message to the wise: If you are ever desperate for lame ideas for a needed performance, don't ever let jokingly slip to 5 desperate nurses that you play ANY type of musical instrument, as you will then be forced to play said instrument in front of about 150 co-workers you barely know. You know, just to cement your new professional reputation amongst the colleagues. Not only that, you will then be forced to write a lame SONG to sing along with the bad ukulele playing!

Let's just say that there was an ugly scene at graduation of me playing the ukulele and all of us singing a song I wrote to the tune of "Tiny Bubbles" (a la Don Ho----sorry Don, don't roll over in your grave too hard...). There is a tradition of "Aloha Fridays" at my new place of employment, so it did fit in with a theme, and everyone seemed to enjoy it, especially since I added in lyrics about the training making us need a cocktail----mention of cocktails seems to please crowds of nurses, for some strange reason.

And oh, yes, this performance was complete with lei's and bubbles being blown by our trainer and fake cocktails with little umbrellas in pink plastic martini cups for all. Good times! But let's not forget that all of those other rat-bastard fellow trainees got away with a little bad singing, while I had to play a musical instrument (badly) in front of over 100 people!!! Let's just say I really took one for the team on this one, and those bi-atches (and I call them that in the most loving way) owe me BIG TIME!

And in a totally random change of subject......Have any of you ever entered contests on anyone's blog and won? Did they actually send you a prize? I only ask because I have won only once, which I mentioned gleefully on this blog a few months ago. And what did I receive as a prize?....Nothing, nada, zip!
Edited 7/25/07 - I am happy and relieved that the contest blogger mentioned above just sent me an email explaining the circumstances. Said she sent a package in May (which I didn't receive), and then wrote an email later, which she inadvertently saved rather than sending it. Thanks for emailing....I feel much better now that I know what happened (and that it wasn't intentional or due to a bad life turn...).

Official Knitting Content:

While the past 6 weeks have been like a never-ending freeway roadtrip with extended daily breaks of brain-draining confusion at work and occasional 4-hour peeks at my own bed, I have actually managed to knit a few rows here and there. Not much, mind you, and not enough to be particularly satisfying, but at least I got to touch some yarn and knitting needles, which made me feel a like I remember how to knit. Humor me here, I'm trying to feel better about pictures of very little progress....
Some progress on my Mermaid Wrap....
While taking the pictures, I really started to notice how the yarn is patterning in little "boxes" of color. Not sure I'm crazy about that, but I still love the colors anyway. However, I think I still would have preferred this pattern in it's original semi-solid color.

Here's a picture of very little progress on my Tofutsies socks---two cuffs. Believe me, I've tried to let these see the light of day once in a while, but working on size zero needles after 9pm has not exactly been within my abilities this past few weeks...

The MD Moss Grid Hand Towel has fared a little better. It's about 3/4 done at this point, and beginning to feel like a bit of a boring slog, but I'm hoping I can actually finish it soon!

And finally, in a last-ditch effort to feel like I could actually have an FO, I decided to make this cute little cup cozy out of Fixation yarn. We have these plastic cups at work that sweat like crazy when filled with ice water, and I saw this pattern for a Java Jacket that Chris wrote up and thought it was kinda cute! Besides, I needed something to work on that I could knit with no time available and minus a brain....

I have to say I wasn't sure about the actual usefulness of this cup cozy in the beginning, but after road-testing it for a few days, I can say it actually works really well! No drippy water cup on my desk all week! I liked it so much that I'm making another one in a different color to carry around in my purse for those drippy iced latte cups in as well! And better yet, it only took me (the world's slowest knitter) about 2 hours to knit up!

Instant satisfaction and a cute pink FO---just what I needed!

(Pay no attention to those poor, ignored, unseamed and unfelted, clogs in the background...)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Yes, I'm still alive---I think that calls for some yarn!

I'm happy to report that the deadly virus-turned-respiratory infection did not lead to my complete demise. There were moments that I would have liked it to, but I survived nonetheless!

Spurred perhaps by the happy return of my health, or perhaps the happy receipt of my first paycheck, I succumbed to temptation this weekend and made some very small yarn acquisitions! I tried really hard to resist these beauties, but my will was too weak....

Oh, yeah! Who am I trying to fool anyway? I had a paycheck in my hot little hands and since I've now rejoined the ranks of the wage slaves, I felt very entitled to spend a little this weekend, thankyouverymuch. Besides, after two or three weeks (and weekends) of being sick and homebound, I just wanted to have a little fun! So, behold my newest stash additions....

They got a new shipment of Sea Silk at VY&T, so I thought I would head over there and pick up a replacement skein of the light green/blue that self-destructed a couple of months ago. Yes, they had the color I wanted, but I was disappointed in the dye lot this time around---it was very much more green than the skein I had before---IMO it did not have the soft, ethereal quality to the color that I so loved about it before. So I picked another color instead...

Hard to get the colors correct in the picture, but it is a little deeper with more variations of blue than it appears here. I think this will distract me from my disappointment in the lighter color.

Here's some Suri Blue I picked up a couple of weeks ago, in exchange for a color I had bought previously. Turns out the Sea Silk variegated I ended up with was the same colorway as the Suri Blue I had bought previously. So when the new shipment came in, I exchanged it for this...

Again, the colors are much more dark and saturated than I was able to capture here, slightly more bluish-red or bergundy in tone than it looks. I thought I would change over to something that was more fall/winter in tone to use later.

On Sunday, I had a $20 credit at Acorn Street Yarn, so I decided to head over there and pick up a new Evelyn Clark shawl pattern that I've been waiting for. Since the pattern calls for three colors and I will be using Zephyr, I needed to pick up another color to use with Pewter and Indigo I already have. I think this will accent those colors very nicely...

I'll probably try to start on that one when the current Mermaid Wrap is finished, since I think the shawl in three colors will be a fun knit, and I'm anxious to try knitting with Zephyr for the first time!

And finally, while browsing around Acorn Street, those tricky ladies lured me to the shelf where this incredibly soft Malabrigo laceweight was displayed. Once I touched it, I couldn't put it back down. There were so many incredible colors, it was hard to pick just one, but I decided to go with a color that is different from anything else I have right now...

Believe me, the picture does not do this one justice! The only way I can think of to describe the colors of this yarn is---think of a lush and mossy forest with giant redwood trees. There are different rich brown tones with a distinctively redwood-colored hue throughout, with shades of dark mossy greens and browns, with a little reddish tone thrown in. It is incredibly rich-looking, but no matter how I tried to photograph it, I could not capture the colors. Sigh. Trust me, it's gorgeous! So I know no one can blame me for snapping up this final little addition to my stash this weekend!

I have been trying to squeeze in some knitting when I can, but being gone from my house for 13-14 hours a day has not done much for the progress on my current WIP's. It seems the most I can sneak in is a few rows here and a couple of rows there. I have made some small progress on a couple of things, though, so I'll post those pics next time.

BTW, I'm very excited that I will be meeting up with two fellow knit-bloggers next weekend---Kathleen from Quail Hill Knits, and Danielle from The Knitting Niche. I have become email friends with Kathleen over the past few months and am excited to meet her in person. I also enjoy reading Danielle's blog and am looking forward to meeting her as well! I think that one of the most fun things about blogging is when you have a chance to meet other bloggers! I know we'll have a fun time---knitting and chatting, how could we go wrong? :)

Have a great week, everyone!