Friday, August 31, 2007

The Great 2 week Gap

I did not do much different in the two weeks the cousins stayed with us but lots have happened as well. Though the cousin & her friend are only 2-3 years younger than me, I really felt like an older sibling or parent while they were here. I felt the need/obligation to make sure they don't starve, to make sure they weren't late, to drive them around. I didn't always act on my "instincts" to be a mini-mom but all those things were on my mind. I even worried or became angry when they stayed out very late, came home drunk or brought friends to our house. Well that's just kind of rude but from the parent-like part of me, I was also angry because some of their actions were so irresponsible. One of them had lost their camera from being too drunk at the wedding they attended. The other had her wallet stolen or just lost it on a night out to a club downtown. I had to lay down the law and allow them to do one or the other: have booze and drink in our home or have their friends over to hang out. In the end, they chose booze. Although they did end up going out more, which was fine with all of us if they didn't bring home their idiot stranger friends/relatives, drink roommate's beer and cause a ruckus in the middle of the night while I try to sleep.

Here's an update on my projects:

Bf's socks are technically done...although I was ran out of the original off-white yarn on the last 8 rounds of the second sock. So I went with a differnt brownish color which actually looks nice. "design" was unfortunate, in that the last 4 rows should've been a k2p2 ribbing, but for some dumb reason I decided to do stockinette to create a contrasting texture to the k3p3 of the entire sock. I also bound off too tightly...this resulted in the 2nd sock NOT fitting over BF's ankle. Frustrated, I put that aside, stufffed back into the closet.

Secret Project Okay, so I still haven't said what the secret project is but everything on it is technically completely. I even sewed up the lining but I am uphappy with the lack of stiffness that I think it needs. So I bought some stiffer interfacing from Fabricland and I will now have to remove the stitching on one end, slide in the new interfacing and re-sew it up. Then it's off to my friend across the pond along with a batch of cookies yet to be baked.

SugarN'Cream (Learn2Crochet) Mesh Bag I decided I should learn to crochet a while back and was intimidated by it for some reason. A huge factor was that I did not want to waste any of the yarn I had bought for specific project ideas. So a month ago I picked up a big ball of nasty Sugar N' Cream yarn in a turqoisey color called Robin's Egg from the big box craft store. It's really the nicest color they had and it was dirt cheap - a huge ball of 100% cotton for $7. I figured it would be good for practicing crochet or testing out stitches or making wash cloths. It was difficult to find clear pictures and instructions for crochet online so I checked out Simple Crochet by Erica Knight from the library. The photo instructions for stitches are pretty clear, although I could not figure out from the book what the difference between single crochet and slip stitch is. It seemed exactly the same in there (to me anyways!). That required more research online. Anyways, I am pretty much finished with the Mesh Bag that she does in the book with this plastic twiney string. Obviously the cotton will have a totally different texture & stretch, I also did not follow instructions well on the first 10 rounds. However, I've found a way to make the bag work as more of a very casual day-in-the-sun style purse than just a sling-over-your-shoulder utility bucket bag. I'll post pictures soon. It's the Labor Day long weekend and I'll be knitting and sewing that's for sure.

That means summer is over but it also means I will be bursting with ideas for fall & winter knitting. Although my other 2 summer knitting projects have not been made yet. You know, the Garns cable shoulder bag & yoga mat bag I wanted to make with the yarn I bought from the LYS. Once the secret project is off, and I might not even line the SugarN'Cream bag. I might have the cable bag done at the end of the September, or I'll do the yoga bag first because I'm thinking about inviting my mom to take a yoga class with me at the community centre.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Scary Knitting

I should write a pattern for something like this!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Chore Wars - The Good Fight on the Homefront

As I have mentioned before, two of bf's cousins are coming in, this Thursday night in fact. Bf already took the Thursday off to get some last minute things done. Actually that means EVERYTHING, minus ALL the stuff I have already done. There's really not too much left to do, most of the cleaning I have done, much to my discontent. I am not bitter that I had to do it, I am annoyed by the bf & roommate's procrastination to wait until the absolute last minute.

This past Sunday when I found out from roommate the exact date the cousins were coming, I was a bit miffed because aside from the work bf did with me on the long weekend, neither of them had lifted a finger. I said to roommate, "Great! That means I'm doing everything!" At that point, roommate reassured me that there was still time and he would get lots done on his day off yesterday. I didn't really believe it but was pleasantly surprised on Monday night when he asked me specifically for a list of to-dos. I gave him a manageable list to which he kept insisting on more so I would not have to do it but I did not say more, it would've been enough if he did all of it. Here's the list, a * indicates what he actually accomplished:

1) move drumset & plywood out of living room
2) return beer bottles
3) remove his own extra shoes from front hall
4) break down all the cardboard boxes lying around in the living room

5) clear boxes, steamer & ironing board in spare bedroom (I've already stacked the boxes together) *
6) vacuum & deodorize couch of doggy stank *
7) sweep & mop main floor (he mopped bathrooms upstairs too) *
8) bf added this because this is SOOOO important: clear dead weeds from driveway cracks *

Okay so that's a fairly big list but a lot of these did not have to wait for his day off. Granted he did a great job of what he did do but he was rushing to finish mopping the floor still when I got home at 8pm. You figure in an 8 hour day assuming he slept in that late, a person promising to do chores so that I "didn't have to end up doing it all" would have accomplished more. Then he went out to his mom's and said he would break down all the boxes when he came home. To which I said, no it's okay I can do it coz you did a lot. At that point I assumed more work had been done. He still insisted he would do them when he came back. In the end, I don't think he came home until 12:30am. At which point, bf asked him about moving the extra cupboard sitting in the living room, they both agreed they would. It still sat there by the time I went to sleep at 4 am (because I could not fall asleep).

When he came home, I showed him 2 notes I wrote on the fridge for him and bf to see. 1 is a list titled Don't tell me any of these are unneccesary, just DO IT! of 11 chores I want done by the time the cousins are here, I will contribute to these. The other was a detailed list of everything I had done since I got off work that day. Here's how it went:

"5:30 pm - Get off work
6:00 pm - Walmart to get extra bed sheets & pillowcases for spareroom
6:30 pm - Weekly grocery shopping
7:45 pm - arrive home, put away groceries
8:00 pm - Chill out on computer
9 - 11 pm - wash & dry new sheets & dog bedding
- move 2 mattresses & make beds in spare room
- clean bathroom (minus shower), main floor washroom, toilet & mirror in roommate's bathroom
- break down all cardboard boxes in living room
- put plywood in living room back into garage
- move & organize junk lying around basement laundry area
- sweep used areas in basement
11:00 pm - made dinner
This is what I did today after work. What did you do with your "spare" time? The point is not that you have to do all that much, but do something. FIND something!"

I don't think I am being unfair. I've told bf to look at the list on the fridge too but he insists there is time. Neither of their behavior is excusable but it's not my role to force them to work. All I can do is put on some pressure and that's it. I know if I pressure roommate too much he will just resent it but you know what? I am definitely not wrong in this case and I'm not being particularly bitchy either so there's really nothing either of them could say that would be justified.

There is a real Chore Wars by the way, a chore distributing RPG game that allows party members to share chore "quests" and "gain experience" the more they do. I am not making this up.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Suddenly Rushing Back...

All of a sudden, the stuff that was "blurry" from Saturday night came rushing back. I think there's good reason why I blocked it out too, IF that is the reason.

Bf's ex and her current roommate drove in from Belleville en-route to Wasaga at 11pm. At first we thought they were gonna come down for a place to stay after a night of partying but they were actually on their way up. It was late to make the trip since they wouldn't get there 'til 2am just before the bars closed but whatever I wasn't the one doing it. For some unknown reason that I never questioned until now, the roommate decided to bring her little Jack Russell with them on this outing, and asked us to dog-sit while they were out. I didn't mind at all because I love dogs and it was so cute to see puppy play with this dinky little thing. Why though, did they even bring this dog? Couldn't they have left it back in Belleville, knowing they were going out for the night? It makes no sense. The scheming and conspiracy portion of my brain is working today...

Anyways, the girls ended up hanging around our house until 12:30 before starting their trek north. Bf gave them specific directions and called his buddies up there to let them have a place to stay. Of course they got lost, and called bf every hour from the time they left until 3:30. They finally found bf's buddies but from 4 until 7am, when bf and I were trying to get to bed because he had work the next day, they called every hour again just babbling about god knows what! (I didn't ask as not to be nosy.) Come on, be a little bit considerate please!

I think what bothered me, apart from it being his ex (there is some back story I can't blog about because it's too personal) is that he didn't really get mad at her over the phone about the constant calls until they showed up the next morning around 11am to pick up the dog. Even then, it was kind of a passing comment. She stands there at the foot of our bed, the two of us literally still IN bed, bf not even moving out of bed, and she just yammers on until pretty much I tell her she has to go. I said those words to the Jack Russell when it almost jumped on bf's bruises and she finally took the hint, which then made me feel rude and guilty. I know the girl is kind of clueless and annoying and I like her as a person but a part of me is a little jealous too even though I try not to be. It's probably why I blocked out the whole night despite all the stuff with the dogs being so adorable.

Anyways, Puppy had a great time annoying this Jack Russell. All night long, JR was being a bitch, biting and tugging at Puppy's wrinkles. Puppy would play-fight with her and JR became completely wet from her slobber. Even after JR learned her place because Puppy is obviously much bigger and unphased by her nibbling attempts, Puppy just kept following her everywhere, nudging her, trying to pick a play-fight. I think she got a bit jealous near the end of the night before bedtime. Several times I had to seperate the two of them and pick up JR because I was afraid Puppy's play-fighting would get too rough, so JR learned to come to me for affection/protection. When we went to bed, JR tried to sleep in our bed at my feet and Puppy started tuggin at JR's hind legs, circling the bed, nudging JR out of her spot, sleeping right beside me and putting her head on my head. That's something she rarely does to me, usually only to bf. I thought we would show Puppy we love her by keeping her in bed with us while JR sleeps elsewhere. So I tried to make JR a nest in the laundry basket by folding the blanket in Puppy's cage into it. As soon as I laid down the blanket in the basket, Puppy stepped right into it and sat down, looking up at us as if to say, "This is mine." She hasn't even stepped into the laundry basket in a year. She used to do it a lot when she was really a puppy, when she could lie down and actually fit in a laundry basket. All these things she did to show us she was jealous was just the cutest I have ever seen. I love my dog.

Productive & Relaxing Long Weekend - Part 2

Saturday Night: After bf cleaned up from dirtbiking, we joined my mom and her beau for dinner. The remainder of the night is kind of a blur, NOT because I was drunk but because I just have a bad memory. I probably started the 2nd sock and watched TV, maybe some more Guitar Hero with roomie and our honorary roomie (hr).

Sunday: Bf had to go back to work so it was just the usual Sunday for me. Do some chores around house: laundry, bank, prep dinner. I did pull up almost all the weeds around our house, which was A LOT. We pretty much neglected yard work for a good 3 months this summer after I gave up on the veggie garden. The first 4-5 weeks, bf and roomie tried to mow the lawn everyday Friday but they got lazy and so did I. Our backyard & front was completely overgrown. I'll post the before and after pictures of just the area behind the tool shed. Yikes, scary! I also put the floorstep & seat back on the Ruck and went for a ride around the neighbourhood. I don't have a license or insurance so I can't take it on the real streets. She's doing good though! I restarted the 2nd sock several times this day because I counted my increases wrong the previous night and the toe's shape was getting all funky. I passed out while I was knitting from working the weeds in the afternoon, and napped on couch for a few hours. This night I was very happy because after roomie left for our friend's cottage in the middle of the night, and after hr left from post nightly WOW session, I woke up from my nap and bf and I had a really nice time just the two of us until the sun was rising. I really appreciate those times, no matter how insignificant what we did was, when I am reminded just how much I love him. The afterglow of it lasts for days, it's wonderful and brings me to tears just to reminisce on these times even when we are fighting hardcore.

Monday: Not much more again yesterday other than more chores around the house. Bf booked the day off and I'm happy that he actually did it with me. We bagged all the weeds I pulled together, he trimmed the hedge and mowed the lawn while I vacuumed and mopped. He and hr were supposed to take apart the swing set in the backyard to give to bf's buddy at work but as expected, as soon as hr came over, they had a long WOW session until it was dark. So of course, that didn't get done. I also forgot to move all the junk lying around upstairs to the basement which was something else on the chore-list. Oh well, he's still sore from dirtbiking anyways, I'll give him a break. He should really wait until roomie gets back and make the lazy idiot do something anyway. On the knitting forefront, I made it 1/3 of the way up the 2nd sock. Maybe 2 more days and it'll should be done. Then I really need to get back to the secret project that I've been procrastinating on because of all the slow hand sewing that is required. Oy!

On another note, thank you Kathleen for your comment about the sock-knitting class at the LYS. I thought about it a few months ago when I first heard about it and was going to bring my mom along for the class. But she seems uninterested now and after this pair of socks for bf and the secret project, I have to get started on the 2 other projects I bought yarn for during Knitter's Attic's Canada Day sale. Otherwise, I will just feel guilty, break-down and not knit anything. Can't let that happen. :P

Productive & Relaxing Long Weekend - Part 1

Friday night: made it JUST in time to catch The Simpsons Movie and the auditorium we were in wasn't too crowded, even though the rest of the theatre was packed! I was sure we wouldn't get tickets, and if tickets, then no seats. We ended up sitting in a decent spot, smack dab in the middle of the third row in the centre section. I'd say that's prime seating AND there was little complaints from bf and roomie as they are usually such babies about going to the movie theatres on a Friday night. The only thing roomie said was that the guy behind him kept kicking his seat. Honestly, I don't know how "kids" and "teenagers" are always "making snide remarks", "kicking the seat" and generally be very annoying all in the vicinity of their seats. It's like when they sit down, they enter into the cliche bad movie theatre experience universe where everyone is a jerk. I always come out saying it was fine. Pessimists, that's what they are.

Anyhoo, the movie was quite funny, as good as a Simpsons movie released this late in their seasons could be. I personally didn't think they should've waited this long to release it. Sure, now it's a worldwide phenomenon as the commercials are so keen to advertise, and the show has fully permeated popular culture across the globe, but for about 5, maybe more seasons now, it's just not as good as it has been. They shoud've made this movie back at the end of season 10 to mark the 10 year anniversary when the show was truly at its peak. Now, even though the movie was decent enough and contained all the classical Simpsons self-referencing, it's almost become the butt of it's own joke. It's become a vehicle for nostalgia to its own memorable moments. It really isn't new anymore. However, the movie does satisfy the insatiable thirst of both Simpsons fans from new and old generations so it was a great success nevertheless.

Saturday: I probably slept in but honestly can't remember much of what I did. That's a sign of a good holiday! I know I didn't really go out, just hung around the house. I know bf went dirtbiking with a friend in the afternoon and came home all bruised and scratched up. (He likes to brag about the hurt though, hehe.) Oh, now I remember! I finally got off my ass and worked on the Ruckus and I am so proud of myself! I cleaned* the carburetor, drained the engine oil and gas tank, then put in new oil and gas. Now she runs smoothly, no more chugging!

*I say cleaned because I tried to but couldn't take the damn thing apart. Those idiots at Honda put on these dumb-ass Philips screws that are so easy to strip! I thought I was just doing it wrong and got really frustrated with myself for stripping them but after some research on TotalRuckus, it turns out it's not just me. Now I hafta wait until the next major maintenance for bf to remove those screws for me but it's sketchy to remove it via drilling on the carburetor. BAH! So i pretty much just cleaned the outside of it and blew some compressed air through.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Knitting for Priest

Just have not been knitting. Been getting second sock syndrome and I guess I've been a little bit busy in my spare time (playing Guitar Hero 80's edition). I honestly think my SSS is justified though since the first one turned out pretty crappy. Plus, I have to go back and count the rows and decreases because I free-formed the other one. Anyways, I should have some free time tonight aside from the daily cooking, cleaning and definitely some exercising today. Although I should be moving the random junk upstairs into the basement to prepare for some of bf's relatives coming into town in about 10 days. Bah, why is there never enough free time in the day?!

Now on that twangy Guitar Hero note, there is a song in the 80's edition called Electric Eye by Judas Priest. It has made a convert of me and I've been obsessing for several days now over the greatness and perfection that is Judas Priest. I watched some of the concert footage included in the Metalogy box set from their 1982 Memphis show and was absolutely baffled, awed by their level of skill, showmanship and rock-your-socks-off-dom. They justly deserve the title of Metal Gods. I bow down to them in their skin tight leather and big poodle hair, whips, studs and motorcycle flair... They rocked so hard, it didn't matter that they weren't the hunkiest bunch of any era. The sheer bad-ass-ness of their music just kicks you in the face and screams "Come get some!"