Wednesday, August 30


My brothers have done it again — they're in another musical. The auditions were only yesterday, but they found out what parts they got today. The older one will be playing Vlad Vladikoff (a "black-bottomed bird" if I read the Wiki right) and the younger one will be Mr. Mayor, as in the Mayor of Whoville.

Sign me up for seeing that show! I think the middle of row E or F will do it ... the perfect vantage point for embarrassing pictures!

I think it's about time to go home and see if I got some yarns for wrappin'.

P.S. According to our paper deliverer's receipt, gas is now $2.38. On Monday, it was $2.50. By this weekend, I predict 99¢.

Tuesday, August 29

Tuesday, too!

Most entertaining message on the voice mail at work: *background noise, then caller leans away from phone to talks to someone else* This is an answering machine, it wants me to leave a message ... *click*

How many times have I said it? People are crazy.

Speaking of crazy (no, not really), I found another fun blog to subscribe to in my Bloglines. Dear readers, I present to you BSC Headquarters — "Revisiting my awkward(est) years, one Baby-Sitters Club book at a time."

I mean, in the comments of one of the posts, I found this gem: aaaaaaaah this is the life! i pulled some ding-dongs from underneath my mattress to enjoy while reading... That is the epitome of the BSC. I love it!

I totally used to read the BSC books — they may still be stored in my parents' basement, if they didn't give them away. A friend (or two) and I created our own version, which mostly consisted of discussing the latest episode of "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" and 5th- and 6th-grade gossip, homework and other trivial matters. It was good times.

Anyway, there's more work to be done.

Monday, August 28


According to a brief report on NPR, Des Moines' gas prices are the lowest in the nation. A quick look at confirms that the current price for a gallon of gas is $2.50 here. Suh-weet.

Only wish I could find my wallet. And maybe my alarm clock.

Friday, August 25

Spiders on a Shirt!

Okay, just one*. But it was a big mf-ing spider. Probably two inches, toe to toe. And it was a wolf spider. Eight hairy legs, pointy butt — wolf spider. (The first link is for Google Images, as in pictures of spiders. The second is from the caring people at, who think it's funny to animate a couple of the spider graphics just to make you squirm.)

Well, I'm glad I found it before it bit me. I mean, I respect spiders and all that (you, especially those of you who work with fiber, know and love remember Arachne, right?) but I'm not really a fan of getting welts or crawled on. Ew.

Enough about spiders. I need to go see if I can coerce the printer to work. I've got some patterns to print.

*Sorry about the dark picture. I didn't exactly have a chance to get out my light meter or anything, okay?

No, I don't actually have a light meter.

Monday, August 21

Four-letter words

No Parking! Iowa Stat(e) Fair -- I went back to the fair yesterday, this time with my mom and roommates. Since it was the last day, it was also half price (score!). I tempted the roommates to come along with free tickets and free beers (and that $4 overflowing bucket o' cookies that we got when we arrived). Worked like a charm.

Free beer -- I now know the meaning of "drink tickets" (which brings to mind the book Party Monster by James St. James), thanks to Diamond Jack. We had 25 tickets for either a 20-ounce beer or a frozen beverage, margarita or daquiri. We shared, of course, on the advice to use them to "win friends and influence people".

Free show: Joan Jett -- And the Blackhearts. I really loved the show. Did I mention that it was Joan Jett? And that it was free? I totally felt that she was singing to me and my secret girlfriend, Clover, when she sang Crimson and Clover. I mean, come ON. She was. 'Cause, like, she knows me and stuff.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Right there. She convinced me to get her new album, Sinner. She can turn the world on with her smile, that Joan Jett.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Free cash -- I won $20 to take to Terrible's Casino. I have to use it by the end of the month, but $20 is $20. The roomies won some, too, but not as much as me, because I'm just like that.

I love the state fair. Where else can you see snakes near some trains, a man riding a tiger, and freaking amazing African acrobats?

How was your weekend? Any four-letter words?

Thursday, August 17

Thursday is for blather

Mason-Dixon? To prove I've actually been knitting, here's some progress on my Mason-Dixon hand towel (the wavy one). I worked on it a bit last night during Project Runway, but had to stop around the time Michael Kors kept gushing about Jeffrey's trompe l'oeil. I thought he was going to wet himself with joy, the way his was talking. Yikes.

Oh, and can I just say that I was excited to be able to read more of Jeffrey's neck tat. For the longest time I've been calling him "Detroit", or at least shouting it at the tv whenever there's a shot of his neck. But now, now I can call him "Harrison Detroit". That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.

And just one more reason I love to read The Panopticon:
Bäuerliches Stricken is German for "stitch patterns that will make you rip off your eyebrows in frustration and eat them."

I would just die!

Wednesday, August 16

Swaps and such

Swap Swag So here's the stuff I got for the POTC swap ... First, a big red bag with a Jolly Roger and "Savvy?" stitched on one side, and a treasure mappish line on the backside. It's big enough to hold my current book as well as my usual day-to-day stuff, so I really like it. The fuzzy black is a pirate-y fun fur scarf; I realized yesterday that it's long enough for me to use as a belt, so I did. Someone said it looked like cat tails. (I laughed and said I've got the claws, too, for protection. Rawr!) The bright red object at the bottom of the photo is a wristband, which I wore both Monday and Tuesday. (I forgot it today, and it would have gone so well with my Headline News cap!) Finally, a (tamer) red satchel for "pirate booty". Really, it's holding a bunch of loose items that usually float around my bag. I really like everything — they're all pretty useful. (I kind of wish I'd gotten something a little more "Why is the rum always gone?" but I can do that myself.)

I got my swap partner for the Magic Yarn Ball Swap — hi, calico13, if you're out there! We've discovered that we're practically twins, so I think we'll have lots of fun. (Also, her signature says this: Dear Supreme Commander of the English Language: We respectfully request that there be more "h's" in the word "piranha", so that it is to be pronounced "piranhahahaha". How funny is that?)

In other crafty comments, I went through some of my stuff that's been gathering dust and cobwebs sitting in my parents' basement. I dug out some old crafty stuff that is still usable, and found six hardcover books to alter. I got a lot of inspiration from Lisa Vollrath's website, particularly the photos from a round robin she participated in, Impractical Magic. I find myself wanting to do something similar, with information I have collected both years ago and more recently.

Elsewise, the roommates are looking at moving into an apartment in Des Moines, not far from the new Hy-Vee near Jordan Creek. They're tired of the current landlord (surprise! so am I). I think it would work out feasibly, I'd just have a pain-in-the-ass commute every day (not that they don't now). All utilities are included with rent except electric; a 2-bedroom place will be roughly $300 a month, and a 3-bedroom apartment would be $279 or something like that, given that we have a fourth person. They have a person in mind. We're to look at it on Saturday. It sounds nice — 2 bath, rooms are 13x10, woodburning fireplace, pets allowed (even Luka), dishwasher and washer and dryer included ... I hear there's also a pool. That's open late.

Lots to think about, at any rate. (And damn, I just painted those walls, too!)

Well, I've got to get planning my yarn ball (and decide on yarn!) ... perhaps I'll be able to track down a pattern today. I also want to think about the layout of my book ... I think I want a niche or two.


Monday, August 14


The lesbian convention was a success. The weekend was filled with Karaoke Revolution, canasta, word games, the state fair, and random stories. I would've taken pictures, but my camera' s batteries were pooping out, and I couldn't find any more.

We (lesbian convention minus two roommates) spent 10 hours at the fair on Saturday, arriving just a bit after 8 a.m. so that we could watch the Cheviot (Chevy-UT) sheep show. As we walked through the sheep barn, I couldn't help but think "wool with legs" the whole time. Those Lincolns had the curliest wool ... (how do you get your pig's hair to curl like that?) I saw an angora goat as well. Mmm ... mohair. For lunch we had lamb burgers (B-e-e-e-th, don't e-e-e-at me!) and sweet potato fries from the po-boy stand. We pretty much wandered around all day. There was an African acrobatics troupe, which was really cool to watch, and there were Bengal tigers as well (which was across from the tractor displays. Very strange). It was hard finding places to sit pretty much all day. We finally called it quits around 6 and went home for games and chat.

I'm glad we all got to see each other again. I hope we can get together again soon.

I just talked to my mom a few minutes ago, and she said my POTC package arrived. (Why it went to their house instead of mine is a little confusing, but that's the post office for ya.) I'll go home for lunch in a while, so maybe I can take pictures and stuff. Woo!

I'm out for now.

Wednesday, August 9

Magical swap? And knitting, too.

Fyberduck, I've got another swap for you to co-join: the Magic Yarn Ball Swap!


The cat's enjoying his stay at the 'rents' house — he's been all over the place, including walking on top of the curtain rod in the living room. He seems to have fewer respiratory issues than at the verysmallhouse; he doesn't sneeze nearly as much, and his eyes aren't crusty, either. Ah, the benefits of a clean, large, mold-free house.

Timmy's going to visit tonight to watch Project Runway, as it seems he's back in town and without cable (not that the last part's a first).

I think I'm going to work on a hand towel from Mason-Dixon Knitting until I've got some papers here. I started one before — the checked one — with Elann's Canapone (100% hemp) and size 5 needles, but it was feeling a little too lacey. I think I was making gauge, too, so who knows? I decided to start the wavy-patterened one instead, this time on US 4s. It's looking much better, but I've only just gotten to the second 5 garter rows, so it's a bit too soon to tell.

Tuesday, August 8

Gooooood morning!

I just got a call from Provo, Utah. The 'rents are doing well; I asked them why they were up so early, as it's just after 7 a.m. there, and they told me that they'd already been awake for an hour because it's fossil day. I think they were getting ready to head out, which makes sense, since U-DIG Fossils is about 90 miles from where they're staying. They're having a great time so far, and they've got tickets to (I think it's this one) Timpanogos Cave for Thursday, and they're going to a Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearsal that evening. Sweet.

It sounds like this weekend is going to be devoted to the Iowa State Fair. I have a feeling we might be devoting some of our time on Saturday to the animal barns. The new homeowners from the Bulbous Nose of Iowa are coming to visit, and they're bringing part of their menagerie — Sophie the hedgehog and Sasha the beagle / dachsund. The roommates are coming along as well and, though I invited my brothers, they'd rather just stay home. (I don't blame them — we've drug them through the most boring exhibits, my mom and I.)

That's enough for now. I've got to get ready to go so that I can drop my tape recorder off at the City Supervisors meeting. I sat through a 90-minute City Council meeting last night, and supervisors take at least two hours. No way I'm going to do that. I've got pages to lay out, and a couple of stories to "write".

Monday, August 7

Pleasant weekend

Rainbows There was a rainbow yesterday morning when I took Luka out for his morning constitutional just after 7. (I wasn't even too angry that he woke me up. Scary.) I stuck him on the outside lead and ran inside to grab my camera — good thing, too, as it was gone about ten minutes later.

The rest of the weekend was just as peaceful, surprisingly. I got a $54 shirt, brown button-down with gold-ish pinstripes, and a $40-something skirt, fuschia and rather ruffly, for $10 each. My cousin had called my mom and I on Saturday, wondering if we'd want to meet her and a friend for lunch at Jordan Creek. They bypassed Omaha's Village Pointe in the Great White West to drive a couple of hours and spend a bunch of money. Not that I blame them, as JC is far superior to VP.

Yesterday afternoon, my brother and I dropped the 'rents off at the airport so they could catch their flight to Utah. As such, I'm doing a little brother-sitting, which is not much more than making sure there's dinner other than frozen pizza and trying to persuade them back into their school sleeping schedule instead of the all WoW, all the time schedule to which they've become accustomed.

The verysmallcat is also visiting the 'rents house for the week. Chloe, the verysmalldog, is not entirely sure about Demetrios. I think she's just used to having all of the love and affection, and now has to share.

It looks like my swap package has made it to Houston; I expect my partner should get it today or tomorrow. Pictures, then.

I should be off to get some work done — I'm in charge of the paper this week, after all — and then retreive my brothers for lunch. I'm thinking Subway.

Thursday, August 3

Accomplishment Thursday

See favorite @-hole get kicked off Project Runway? Check.

Harden, paint, seal polymer clay objects? Check.

Use one ball of Paton's Classic Merino? Check.

Observe moving very large, very broken, very heavy air conditioner? Check.

Join sock-knitting bandwagon? Check.

The Rules
1. The first rule of Sock Wars is, you must talk about Sock Wars.
2. The second rule of Sock Wars is, you MUST talk about Sock Wars.
(No really, for this to be a success we need as many combatants as possible)
3. Two socks to a fight.
4. One fight at a time.
5. No shirts, no shoes, just socks.
6. Fights will go on as long as they have to.
7. If this is your first time in Sock Wars, you have to fight.


Wednesday, August 2

Home again

How was my trip to the Bulbous Nose of Iowa, you ask? Have a look.

Beth's house
This is the brand new house.

Sarah's got her pinochle face on
We may have stayed up late playing pinochle.

Maggie has a scarf
A very fashionable cat.

Bye, Bye Zoolander
A little "Blue Steel" action.

Namij and Aramad enjoy coffee
Enjoying Panera bagels and coffee with friends.

Beth got hit by the AJ
A moment of strife during breakfast.

A little croquet?
We played a little leisurely croquet.

Sasha snuffles bugs
The dog likes hunting bugs.

World's Largest Truckstop
I stopped at the World's Largest Truckstop,
which has it's own website, on the way home.

It was a wonderful trip, and very good to see my friends again. I may have convinced B to come visit during the state fair. O, to eat a lamb burger ...

I've managed to get some more work done on the POTC swap. I did a little polymer clay work last night (into the oven this afternoon, I hope), and cut some strands of yarn this morning for another project. I've got some knitting to finish up and some to start, and one more project needs wrapping up. (That was a pun, but you don't know that yet. Heh heh heh.)

I'm off to finish work, and hopefully Craftster will be back up before I leave. It's been down this morning both times I've checked. (I referred someone to Craftster last week. I felt so proud.)