Dixie Peach: August 2006

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Un-haiku Thursday

If you're here thinking you're going to be treated to some haiku because it happens to be Thursday then I regret to inform you that you're going to be sorely disappointed. Or greatly relieved. Please don't tell me which you are unless you believe your admission will boost my already inflated ego. I tried but I just don't have the haiku groove going today.

It seems to be a symptom of my day. I go into something expecting it to go one way and I'm handed a twist.

Sort of like this whole post. I've been writing it for nearly two hours now and I keep deleting it. It's just not working. So instead I'll stop beating my head against a brick wall and just briefly hit the highlights of my day:

~ Our new personal banker came to visit B and me today. Our old one was a fidgety woman who bugged me. Our new one is a smokin' hot guy and seems to know what he's talking about. Not that I was paying much attention to what he was saying. I was focusing on how smokin' hot he is.

~ The finish on my glasses is coming off. They're just over a year old and in my world that's a little soon to have the finish coming off, especially since I don't wear them every day. I went to the optician today all ready to get defensive and threaten to take my business elsewhere and advise them that I'd badmouth them to every person in Germany who reads my blog because surely they were going to say that it was simply too bad that the finish was rubbing off my glasses and they couldn't help me. This is Germany! We don't do customer service!

Instead the optician not only apologized to me for my glasses not living up to my expectations, but he ordered new legs for the glasses (the finish is rubbing off on just one leg but he didn't want to take chances with the other one) and he'll call me when they arrive so I can just go down there and have the optician immediately replace them. He smiled! He was pleasant! And he remembered my husband when he looked up our name in the computer!

Okay, so a guy in a wheelchair married to an American speaking Germany with shakey grammar isn't so easy to forget but I still put it on my list of good qualities to have in an optician. Apollo Optik in Allee Center, I love you!

~ I got home from the mall expecting to make supper when B said he'd rather just have Chinese food. Hey! Unexpected break from cooking! I'll take it!

I waited until it just about the time we wanted to eat before walking the twenty-five yards up to the Chinese take out place. I could see the door to the adjacent market wide open but the door to the take out place was closed. It's never closed! It could be the dead of winter and below freezing outside and that door would still be open. It wasn't just closed but locked with no one behind the counter and the lights off. No friendly lady behind the counter to take my order. No smiling man ready to make his wok do my bidding. No chance of me getting crispy vegetables and chicken in a lucious brown sauce with just a touch of coconut milk added and poured over steamed rice. And no crispy, hot spring rolls. That's the one that really got me.

I had to turn and walk back home with a heavy heart. My disappointment was deep indeed.

Probably not as deep as your disappointment of not finding snappy haiku here to greet you but what is?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

So Much More Pleasant When Described In Song

I live in the center of the city, just a few blocks from the main train station. It's close enough that I could walk to the train station in about fifteen minutes - twenty if I'm feeling particularly pokey - and yet I never hear trains except in the wee hours of the night. Most nights around 3:00 or 3:30 AM I can hear a train's horn. It doesn't disturb me as I'm usually awake at that time. In fact were I asleep it likely wouldn't awaken me at all.

Every time I hear this train horn I think of the one time I was on a train in the middle of the night.

In March, 2001 I was taking a trip back home by myself to visit my family. I don't remember exactly all the reasons behind it but it was determined that my best flight would be from Frankfurt to Detroit to Memphis. Maybe it was the cheapest flight and that's why I took it. At any rate, I had to get myself to Frankfurt. Before when I'd flown out of Frankfurt I'd flown in from either Hannover or Berlin but this time B and I got the notion for me to take a train from Magdeburg to Frankfurt, take the commuter train from the main train station to the airport there I'd catch my flight. At the time it all sounded so reasonable. Fun even. Very Arlo Guthrie and City Of New Orleans. I now look back on the trip with the thought of "Exactly how far were our heads crammed up our arses?"

About a week or so before my trip I booked a seat on an overnight train that started in Berlin would eventually end up in Munich after meandering around the country for a painful amount of time. I believe you could book one of those sleeping berths but I wasn't interested in investing that sort of money in what would amount to a 6 1/2 hour trip. My seat was in a compartment in what was supposed to be an extra comfy seat that one could sleep in while sitting up.

The fact that the trip was scheduled to be about 6 1/2 hours should have tipped me off to something. The trip from Magdeburg to Frankfurt doesn't normally take that long but what did I know about such things? I figured the train went slower than normal or make a bunch more stops.

After spending the day shopping, packing and hiding and stuffing away clutter so my MIL wouldn't find it cleaning I tearfully left for the trains station around 11:30 PM. My departures are always accompanied by a crying jag and this, added to the fatigue I was already experiencing, was lending itself to me getting a grinding headache. Once I jumped on the train and found my compartment I found that my seat was occupied by the head of an man. I hated to awaken him but I figured my ass on his ear was going to have the same effect with less desirable results so nudged him and let him know he'd have to confine himself to his own extra comfy seat designed to allow you to sleep while sitting up.

On overnight trains they expect you to sit in the dark. This is logical, of course, but somewhat of a pain in the neck to me as I wasn't sleepy and fear sleeping while sitting up because I'm likely to snore so loudly glass in is peril of shattering. Curtains block out most of the ambient light from the aisles so I had to make myself content with just sitting and looking out into the cold March night. It was sort of soothing in a way until the compartment began to get stuffier and stuffier. I'm not claustrophobic but I don't feel comfortable being cooped up in a small room for hours. Finally I had to get myself out of that compartment.

I wasn't aware of this but evidently meandering aimlessly through a train is frowned upon by its employees. I'd walked quietly through a few cars when I came upon a Deutsche Bahn employee who asked me what I was doing. At this time my ability to explain in German that I had to get up and walk around or go crazy was sorely lacking so I ended up saying that I was just walking around. Yikes! Wrong answer! She chided me about my aimless wanderings and sent me back to my compartment.

I'd been out long enough that I could gladly take my seat again but my contentment was short lived. The train began going slower and slower until eventually we came to a halt. Not at a station but out in the middle of nowhere. Three o'clock in the morning in the middle of God knows where and for God knows what reason. I figured that the train has to stop once in a while in order to keep it's strange, long schedule and that we'd be going again in no time. What I didn't figure is that being at a standstill in a train compartment in the pitch dark with two strangers was going to turn me into the claustrophobe that I claim not to be. And dammit it was getting stuffier and hotter by the second.

Why is it that whenever I'm on a train or streetcar, the windows won't open for me without an extreme amount of tugging and/or a lot of loud clatter? I couldn't get that window to slide down and let in a bit of fresh air for love or money. That coupled with not moving at all was starting me to go into high wig-out mode. My run in with the Deutsche Bahn lady was keeping me riveted to my seat and this trip was starting to look like it wasn't going to be worth all this effort.

Finally the train started again and just knowning that I was getting closer to my destination was serving to calm my nerves. I sat quietly and I believe I even nodded off for a few minutes. Once again the compartment began to get stuffy and once again the train stopped - this time for about forty-five minutes.

The train started on its way once more and I took that opportunity to go out into the aisle. At this point I didn't care what the consequences would be, I had to have some fresh air. I made my way towards the end of the car, found a window to open and for a few happy minutes I stood on tip-toe in an effort to get a bit of fresh air on my face.

I now know why dogs love so much to hang their heads from a car window.

Around 7:00 AM my train arrived in Frankfurt. I grabbed my bags and wasted no time in getting out of that rolling prison. All I would need to do now is go down a level to the commuter trains and take the one going to the airport.

I couldn't do it. Even if it was just a fifteen or so minute ride, I couldn't face another train. I took up my bags once again, walked out the main doors of the station, found a taxi and took a rather pricey ride to the airport. With the window down.

Now when I hear the lonesome sound of a train's horn in the middle of the night I think of the folks who may be sleeping in those swaying cars. And that one poor tired person who would give her eye teeth to get off that train.

Air Kisses All Around

Know why y'all are the best? Because when I'm a whiny baby in need of an ego stroke, y'all are right there to comply. Thanks for putting up with me even when I'm being pouty.

And you can admit it. I'm kinda cute when I'm pouty.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Frantic Waving

Hello! Y'all are still out there, right? I'm detecting a distinct echo around here!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday Shuffle - Blogiversary Edition

There was a time, especially before I met and married B, that I often did things on a whim. I'd get the idea to start something, do it for a while, get tired of it and the move on to the next thing, sometimes with frightening rapidity. It sums up my first marriage fairly well.

When I started this blog there was a good chance that it would go the way of the countless other things that would hold my interest for a while before being shoved aside for something new, especially since I didn't have any idea what I wanted this blog to be like. No real clue about what to write, no real clue as to who would ever read it. I had a faltering beginning - hit or miss posting, thin content, no firm direction - but I found my groove and so far I've stuck with it.

I've had my blog for two years as of today. I suppose I should write something touching/profound/amusing/tear-jerking about my blogging experience but I'm too anxious to get on to the shuffle!
  1. Here It Goes Again - OK Go
  2. Bungle In The Jungle - Jethro Tull
  3. Daysleeper - REM
  4. Mississippi - Sheryl Crow
  5. Whatever's Left - Snow Patrol
  6. Jet Airliner - Steve Miller Band
  7. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
  8. Leaving So Soon? - Keane
  9. Good Ol' Boys Like Me - Don Williams
  10. Please Please Me - The Beatles
I'd be remiss if I didn't say something about y'all who come to read this blog regularly. It's easy to say that I write for myself and while I do, I write for y'all too. As the very clever Poppy would say, if we didn't want people to come read what we write, we'd just journal in a notebook. I don't know that I personally would journal, 'cause y'all wouldn't believe how often I simply can't find a pen around this place, but I sure wouldn't bother with blogging if I didn't want y'all to come visit and read and get to know me and in turn let me get to know y'all as well. I've met some terrific people, got to know folks from around the world and I've been able to let my loved ones back home keep up on my staggering malaise day to day doings. Y'all make it worth it.

Thanks for being a great audience. Today I celebrate you.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


My day summed up in Japanese style poetry.

Alarm rings too soon
Still sleepy, slap down snooze bar
Take five minute naps

Eyes bleary and red
Attempt to put in contacts
My eyes jerk away.

Trip to hairdresser
Didn't come from there gorgeous
I already was.

Red goo brushed on hair
Smelly, sticky, stains my scalp
And covers the gray.

Settle back with book
Glass of chilled water there too
Nice to feel pampered.

Bangs snipped, ends trimmed too
Blow dryer and big round brush
Hair fluffed into place.

Wielding giant can
Stylist laquers hair in place
It's a hairspray fog.

Back home, still sleepy
Lay on sofa for a nap
Hair is all crunchy.

Tomorrow's events include washing my hair to break through the varnish.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Secret Chamber

The man who lives at the other end of the hall on my floor, Herr S, has some record breaking body odor.

I can't wait to see who lands here after Googling "record breaking body odor".

I went to the grocery store this morning to grab a few things and when, upon returning home, I went into the elevator I knew instantly that Herr S had recently been in there. It was so funky smelling in there that I was desperate to cover my nose and mouth. Unfortunately my hands were busy holding a large plastic box of groceries so I had to merely take a gulp of air and hold my breath while the elevator crept upwards. This was not a good idea as it only succeeded in me taking in a lungful of rancid smelling air - air so bad smelling that I could taste it.

Cue full body shudder.

B told me as soon as I came in that the postman has just rung about fifteen minutes earlier. I was expecting the package I mentioned yesterday so I went back into the funky elevator to see if a slip had been left in my mailbox...perhaps I'd even been lucky enough that a neighbor accepted the package and I wouldn't have to go to the post office to pick it up.

Good news: A neighbor did accept the package. Bad new: It was stinky Herr S.

Back into the Funky-vator and up to the Chamber of Horrors.

I've seen into Herr S's apartment before - purely by coincidence. A couple times he's been coming out with his bicycle at the same time I was coming in or out of my apartment and I was able to see inside while he had the door open wide. Even still I couldn't see much more than the hallway covered in perhaps the dirtiest carpet I've ever seen. An empty Coke bottle here. A stray sock there. Sheets of newspaper around and about. I know he has pet rabbits and on occasion I've smelled bunny pee in the hallway, presumably because he's recently taken out soiled rabbit bedding.

I can't wait to see who lands here after Googling "bunny pee".

I rang the doorbell and you know that scene in The Shining where Jack Nicholson hacks open the bathroom door with an ax and pokes his face through the hole? That's sort of what Herr S looked like. Just his pudgy face poked through the space between the door and the door frame. I said in my friendliest voice "Do you have a package for me?" and he said in a slightly flustered way "Oh yes! Yes! Just a moment!", shut the door and left me to wait. Now I don't blame him really for shutting the door while he got the package. Our doors have automatic closers on them and they won't stand open for more than a couple seconds on their own. I do, however, think it was slightly weird that I waited a couple minutes for him to return. According to the drop slip the package had been in his posession for less than twenty minutes. Me? I'd still have it close by the door. Last week I accepted on two different days packages for the neighbor that lives between me and Herr S and both times she didn't pick them up from me until the next day. I still had them close enough to the door that I could quickly grab it and give it to her before the automatic closer shut the door. I can understand him not wanting the box to clutter up his home but it ain't like he doesn't already have the clutter thing down pat. Maybe he put it somewhere where it wouldn't be swallowed by all the crap he has laying around. In his case we may be speaking literally of crap.

He returned, opened the door just enough to poke his face and the small box through. I thanked him, said good bye and in the few seconds it took for him to remove his face and shut the door I was able to take in that his rabbit hutch could probably use a scouring.

I was heartened to see that the package was well sealed on the outside and the contents inside was well wrapped. No chance of Herr S funk being able to penetrate. Good thing too as what was inside is very valuable to me.

And was was contained in that box? There was one right guess amongst the rest. There were two small squeeze bottles of Hellmann's mayonnaise. The other item? Kraft Macaroni 'n Cheese. Yeah, the kind with the day-glo orange powder. I haven't eaten it in years and I just had a craving for it.

I had some tonight for my supper while B ate liver. I see they make the macaroni a bit shorter than they used to and a bit thinner. Still yummy though. I made the moan that translates to "This is so good!" when I took that first bite.

It's good to know that Kraft is impervious to neighbor funk.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Smaller Than A Bread Box

Today I received email from a company I ordered something from saying my order has been shipped. Two different things with two ordered of each thing.

Anyone want to guess what it is?

Monday, August 21, 2006


~ I want to lay on a hammock on a tropical island.

~ I want to live in London for a year.

~ I want to sit in my friend Lisa's kitchen in Illinois and eat cream horns and then us go to junk shops with Poppy.

~ I want to see my youngest nephew in a play at the community theatre.

~ I want to be able to french braid my own hair.

~ I want to have drinks with my friends at the Peabody in Memphis and watch the ducks.

~ I want to go to Florence with Darling Mollie.

~ I want a pedicure and a facial.

~ I want to go to the movies with my sister and then sit in her kitchen and play rummy.

~ I want some really, really perfect french fries with just a little ketchup and mayo on the side.

~ I want to shop for Christmas decoration with my dear friend, Susan.

~ I want to sit all day and watch my favorite classic films.

~ I want to sit next to my mother in church.

~ I want to see fireworks.

~ I want to hold a baby.

~ I want to drive for hours and sing along with the radio.

~ I want to waltz with my husband and have him kiss the top of my head.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

For That Downtime At Work

Also useful for when you're sitting and trying to think of something clever and amusing to blog about and you could use a little distraction. Not that I ever have that problem myself.

Won't help you win any money on TV....will be very helpful for when you want to train for whipping everyone's ass in Trivial Pursuit.

Write those secret thoughts and cast them into the ocean. Or just write something that amuses you. See what comes back to you. Best part? No stepping in the scary crap that people leave on the beach to do it.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday Shuffle - Completely Unmotivated Edition

So as you saw from my previous post, I spent the day working on a pair of Fetching hand warmers for Ashley. It rained all day and I was not feeling spurred to venture outside.

I'm not even terribly motivated to shuffle, but shuffle I shall because if there's anything that will motivate me to do something it's tradition. Lead on, Bixente the iPod!
  1. Oye Como Va - Santana
  2. Blue Orchid - The White Stripes
  3. Twilight Zone - Golden Earring
  4. Burning Love - Elvis Presley
  5. Divorce Song - Liz Phair
  6. Your Spirit's Alive - Dropkick Murphys
  7. I've Just Seen A Face - The Beatles
  8. Do You Want To - Franz Ferdinand
  9. Twin Cinema - The New Pornographers
  10. That's Amore - Dean Martin
Hope your weekend inspires you to do something grand. Or small. Just do something.

For Ashley

Ashley wants to know what I did today. I can sum it up in a word. This:

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Well...I had a little nap too.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Hi Koo!

The roundup in 5-7-5 verse.

August afternoon
Favorite seat, favorite cafe
Sunshine warms my skin.

Stories from auntie
Grandma made grenades for war!
World War One, not Two.

It's Balloon Fest time!
Floating orbs dot horizon
Come give me a ride!

Shopping for shampoo
Which to pick? Red one looks nice.
But smells sorta weird.

Pass Chanel display
Lipstick! Hear it's siren song!
Calls like a lover.

Need a little break
Board train. Explore nearby town.
In two weeks I'll go.

So if I told y'all I started a new pair of socks today, would you be at all surprised? Would you even pretend to be surprised?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

This One Goes To Eleven

Okay...we need some content here, no matter how it's done, so let's take the easy route and do a meme. Mr. Fab (seen his new digs yet?) has assigned this one to me. It's an easy one...he assigns me a letter and I must come up with five songs that I dig that start with that letter. Mr. Fab, being as he is a big showoff always up to a challenge did ten with his.

Hey. I ain't lettin' that guy show me up. I'm doing ten too. Ten if it kills me.

Songs Starting With The Letter D:

1. Daniel - Elton John - Not my favorite Elton John song but it could be in the top three. Top two maybe. I love his voice in this song.

2. Do You Want To Know A Secret - The Beatles - One of the first Beatles songs I learned the words to. I could sing it from beginning to end before I learned to count to twenty.

3. Don't Bother Me - The Beatles - " Because I know she'll always be
The only girl for me". I love the way they sing that line. Good George penned song.

4. Darkness On The Edge Of Town - Bruce Springsteen - Well, as far as I'm concerned, this entire album is perfect. Just one example of why.

5. Desperado - Johnny Cash - Yeah, I know it's an Eagles song but Johnny's way cooler than the Eagles. I like the way he does this song too.

6. Drive All Night - Bruce Springsteen - When The River first came out I had recently broken up with my first really serious boyfriend. I'd play this song over and over and just cry and cry and cry. Weirdly enough that's not a bad memory for me.

7. Do You Wanna Dance? - The Ramones - Rock and roll standard with the Ramones twist.

8. Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes - Paul Simon - The whole Graceland album is great and this is one of my favorite tracks.

9. Dumb Blonde - Dolly Parton - I loves me some Dolly.

10. Drive (For Daddy Gene) - Alan Jackson - I loves me some Alan. If this song doesn't get to you, I don't know what would.

11. Desire - U2 - Makes me jump up and fling myself around the room.

Heh. Did eleven. Touch me.

Want to play too? Leave me a comment and I'll give you a letter.

Just Stop

I have...let's, two, three, four...four skeins of sock yarn waiting patiently in line for me to indulge in the joy of turning them into lovely pairs of socks. So what did I do yesterday?

Bought three more skeins. Sad part is that if I went to a yarn shop tomorrow I'd buy even more.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tuesday Kinder Egg Blogging

Cooler weather brings Kinder Surprise Eggs back to the stores. I know you want to see what was in my eggs.

As ever, roll your cursor over the photos to see the finished toy.

Dude! Long, curling tongue! All the alien chicks must want to date you!

A lounging mole. Based on me, perhaps. The teeny tee-shirt says Schlaf dich fit! (Sleep yourself fit). Oh I've tried, my friend. I've tried...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Not For Lack Of Trying

I couldn't collect a thought and write a coherent sentence today if it meant saving my immortal soul.

That one didn't count.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Do Over

I've decided that if I were given a chance to live my life again and it were impossible for B to be a part of it, I'd want to marry a Scottish guy. I hear a Scottish guy on the radio every Saturday giving football and rugby scores and I gotta admit that I get more than a little lightheaded from it.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday Shuffle - To Whom It May Concern Edition

Dear Person Who Parked Next To Me At Kaufland,

You're fully aware that you're driving an Opel, right? And you're aware that Opels aren't known for their massive size, especially since you're driving a Corsa, right?

So can you tell me why you felt the need to not only park over the line but crookedly as well so that getting into my very tiny Toyota Starlet would be made nearly impossible and backing out a test of my nerves and driving skills? For the love of God, it's a huge, half empty parking lot! If your skill at perpendicular parking is so lacking, why don't you park out where there are literally dozens of empty spaces around?

And speaking of God, I noticed that you have a bumper sticker that professes your love of His Son. I love His Son as well. And I'm fairly certain that Jesus would also want to jerk a knot in your tail for that piss poor parking job. And the next time you pray to God I want you to thank Him for my loving Him and His Son so much that I stopped myself from keying the fucking shit out of your passenger door.


The Woman's That's Ready To Shuffle

So let's get at it:
  1. I'm Happy Just To Dance With You - The Beatles
  2. You're My Best Friend - Queen
  3. Grazed Knees - Snow Patrol
  4. Homecoming - Green Day
  5. Memories Are Made Of This - Dean Martin
  6. Dear God - XTC
  7. If I Could Talk I'd Tell You - The Lemonheads
  8. Watching The Wheels - John Lennon
  9. Wind In The Willows - Blackmore's Night
  10. Caught Up In You - .38 Special
The wise, wise shuffle always knows what fits.

Have a great weekend. May there be plenty of first class parking at your disposal.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Untraditionally Traditional

It's Thursday and that means it's time to use a time-honored form of Japanese poetry and twist it to fill my needs. It's still the 5-7-5 syllable form but it ain't your traditional Haiku.

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Darling Mollie's sock
Pinks, browns, reds, grays - all stripey
Second's underway.

Doctor here today
"Get ready for your blood test!"
Drain me, Dracula.

Goulash on the stove
Pork, onions, hot paprika
Ooops! Too much pepper.

Cherry streusel cake
Bite down hard on a missed pit
My molar's aching.

Vine-like plant as gift
Came from my mother-in-law
Something new to kill.

Raining on window
Comforting as I wake up
'Cept I just washed them.

Busy Friday planned
Shop, wash, clean, look for new yarn
Which most important?

I cook better than I let on. Honest. But the plant thing is pretty well on the money.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I Don't Just Knit

Oh no. When I'm not trying to make stuff out of two (or more) sticks and some string, I'm reading. Look! Here's a meme to prove it!

Nabbed from the lovely and thought-provoking Jemina.

1. One book that changed your life.
Giving a book credit with changing my life is pretty far reaching but I will say there are books that made me look at aspects of my life in a different way. A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving is one of those books. I've struggled at different times in my life with the idea that we are destined for specific events in life but after reading this book I've reconsidered whether we're actually predestined for events or if we choose a path on our own and when a significant event happens, if we look back on the path that's already created and have it merely appear that we've taken the only course possible because it was destined for us.

2. One book that you've read more than once.
Back in high school I started reading The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger once a year, always sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas and I still do it. I've been doing it close to thirty years now so The Catcher In The Rye would be the book I've re-read most often. I do it partly out of tradition. I do it partly because it doesn't take long to do it; it's amazing how fast you can race through a book after you've read it literally to pieces. I do it because Holden Caulfield still makes me laugh. He's a screwed up character, to be sure, but there's a sort of caustic wit about him that makes me laugh. Not a snorting, braying laugh but those little chuckles that get going and won't easily stop. And Holden's cynicism makes me a little sad as well. He's someone that's had the innocence of youth stripped away and he needs it back.

3. One book you'd want on a desert island
Well, I'd really want an encyclopedia at my disposal instead of a novel but I reckon that's not what the question is going for. Do they even print actual encyclopedia books anymore? I don't know if I'd go for something that would make me think or something that would be merely entertaining or if just sheer volume alone would steer my choice. Perhaps I'd choose the Bible. It's definitely got the sheer volume thing going for it plus I think it would be an opportunity to read it and contemplate what it says and what it should mean to me without outside distractions barging in.

Or maybe I'd want a book called How To Survive Should You Be Stranded On A Desert Island.

4. One book that made you laugh.
Lamb: The Gospel According To Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore is one that made me laugh in every way from wry chuckles to bursting out loud laughing as I read the book in the waiting room of a doctor's office. This novel reminded me of Christ's humanity - something I think Christians and pretty much everyone else tends to forget - and humor is a big part of being a human. I like to think that Jesus was witty.

5. One book that made you cry.
Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince. Oh yeah. I cried when Dumbledore died.

6. One book that you wish had been written.
Maybe it's been written and I haven't read it or maybe I read it and didn't interpret it correctly but I wish I'd read a book back when I was a girl and reread it in my teens and twenties that would have taught me how precious and worthy I am. And that I need to love and accept myself completely before I can expect others to love and accept me completely.

And I'd be pretty interested in a book tracing my family's history. I hope I am descended from people worthy of a well-written book.

7. One book that you wish hadn't been written.
The pretentious horseshit that is The Bridges Of Madison County by Robert James Waller. Asshole characters set in a ridiculous storyline with some of the most unbelievable dialog I've ever had the misfortune to suffer through. When I'm on my deathbed, I want back the hours I spent reading that festering piece of crap.

8. One book you're currently reading
And here is where I will confess my weakness for mystery series books. Currently one of the books I'm reading is Murder Can Cool Off Your Affair by Selma Eichler. Six or seven years ago I started reading Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series and it launched me into the world of mystery series. Darling Mollie loves them as well and goes through them at an alarming rate so she sends me her previously read books. I like the brain candy aspect of them. It's light reading, you revisit characters that you've grown to like and with most mystery series, a new one comes out each year. Not all reading has to be high fiber cereal and raw vegetables - good for you but not always easy to get down. Once in a while it's just fine to eat some nachos and mystery series books are the nachos of the literary world.

9. One book you've been meaning to read.
There are lots. I've got a shelf full of books waiting to be read. There are half finished books that I put down due to one distraction or another and I have yet to pick up again. There are classics that I want to read and have escaped me so far.

And I really, really need to finish The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon because I've been trying for more than four years to read it and I haven't gotten past the halfway point yet even though I've started from the beginning three times. I'd give up completely but I have A Breath Of Snow And Ashes waiting for me and the color-within-the-lines part of me won't let me skip it and move ahead. Must go in order. Must go in order. Must go in order.

If it came in an audio book then I could finish it and knit at the same time.

Monday, August 07, 2006

1000 Things

Sparkling water
Tealight holders
Flip flops

There's a store around the corner from my apartment with the name of 1000 Dinge (1000 Things). It's one of those stores that tends to live up to it's name, much like the 1 Euro store where everything there is, in fact, sold for 1 Euro.

Anyway, I ventured in there this morning in search of one specific thing.

Ladies panties
Mens underpants
Air freshener
Bicycle tires
Kitchen scales

Over the weekend I was knitting a sock for the darling Mollie who, by the way, should just be known worldwide as "Darling Mollie" because like 1000 Dinge and the 1 Euro Store, she lives up to her billing. I was well into this sock, just an inch away from starting the heel flap, when, while listening to B tell me about some new PC game he's currently into, I dropped a stitch.

Facial cleanser
Coffee mugs
Flower pots
Instant cappuccino mix
Dog food

Not only did I drop a stitch but this particular stitch decided to make a run for it and laddered down four rows before I knew it. This was accompanied by my suddenly blurting out "Oh shitshitshitshitdon'tdon'tdon'tFUUUUUCK! STOP!!". I love how I keep my cool under pressure, don't you?

Chocolate bars
Fountain pens
Needle nose pliers
Dishwashing soap
Toilet paper

This wayward stitch took pity upon me and stopped it's downward course. Now I had to get it picked up and up through all the rows back to the top. I just couldn't face either waiting for more experienced hands (read: my MIL) to fix my error or, God forbid, frogging the whole thing.

Condensed milk
Wine glasses
Kids sneakers
Change purses

The knitter's tool of choice to pick up stitches that have dropped down a few rows is a crochet hook. With it you put the hook through the loop and then...forget it. If you knit, you already know how to do this and if you don't knit, you'll have no idea what I'm talking about. I have a crochet hook that's served me well in the past but it was before I became a knitter of socks and those who knit socks will tell you that most sock yarn is quite thin. It's going to be pretty hard to pick up a stich that was knit with a 2.5 mm needle on a 4 mm crochet hook.

Cream pitchers
Adhesive bandages
Hair brushes
Rubber bands

The crochet hook route wasn't going to work so I needed to do something else. All of my 2.5 mm needles were busy holding together this sock in progress and while I have another set of 2.5 mm knitting needles, I didn't dare put down the knitting to get up and find them. In what seemed like an amazing feat of dexterity I was able to hold my knitting with one hand, keeping it balanced so the stitch wouldn't fall any farther, and with the other fish in my knitting accessories bag for a darning needle and a spare 3 mm sock needle.

Masking tape
Flower vases
Photo frames
Folding rulers

I stuck the 3mm knitting needle into the errant loop and with the darning needle I was able to take the laddered yarn and slip it through the back of the loop while removing the knitting needle. My forehead was dotted with beads of sweat while I whispered "C'mon,c'mon,c'mon,c'mon,go,go,go,yes,yes,YES!YES!!!". After what seemed like an hour but in reality was probably not more than five minutes I had the dropped stitch back on its proper needle and was back once more to knitting Darling Mollie's sock. I likely exaggerate a bit but I think I got a glimpse at the sort of satisfaction a brain surgeon feels after he's tackled a particularly tricky operation. Okay, I exaggerate a lot.

Elastic band
Safety pins
Sewing thread
Acrylic yarn

Crochet hooks

I picked up a 2.5 mm crochet hook this morning. A surgeon needs the proper tools, you know.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Friday Shuffle - Getting Things Done Edition

I've been a virtual ball 'o fire today. Everything I had set my mind to accomplish today got done. Groceries? Bought and put away. Cruddy bathroom? Cleaned down to the shine. Ironing? Finished and hung up in all it's starchy glory. Garbage that smelled so bad I nearly hurled every time I opened the cabinet door? Tied up, taken down to scary garbage room and bins cleaned and bleached.

I even had time to finish this little wooly confection. If you want to use some yummy cashmerino wool and you can't afford a lot, this is the project for you because it only takes one ball. If you want to learn to knit cables, this is the project for you because the cable pattern isn't overwhelming. If you want to start and finish a project in a couple days, this is the project for you. I finished the left hand one in about 4 1/2 hours and that was while watching episodes of Battlestar Galactica and Lost.

Here is my finished product. Move your cursor over the photo to see the action shot!

So while I'm still in the mood to finish things, let's shuffle.
  1. Bomb The Twist - The's
  2. Kiss - Tom Jones
  3. Crystal Ball - Keane
  4. Jungle Boogie - Kool & The Gang
  5. Pride And Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughan
  6. Love Is Here - Starsailor
  7. My Doorbell - The White Stripes
  8. My Generation - The Who
  9. Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway) - Billy Joel
  10. Running From Your Dad - Bowling For Soup
Hope you get done all you want to do this weekend, even if it's just doing nothing.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Do The Haiku

It's Thursday. Time for summations in 5-7-5 syllable verse.

Did an interview
You can read it all right here
Life as I see it.

Taking break from socks
Look! It's cables in the round!
A new skill for me.

Don't worry, Mollie
Your socks are not forgotten
The cuff is finished!

Big box comes in mail
Five seasons Babylon 5
Official! We're geeks!

Cooler weekend comes
Wait! It's too soon! Want warmth back!
Never satisfied.

Gone til tomorrow
Have thirty-six discs to watch
Tin foil hat to wear.

I hate to think of how much I've eroded my coolness factor today.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The End of the Whine

So now the pendulum has swung (swang? swinged?) the other direction and we're on the verge of having downright chilly weather. This is why we don't bother with air conditioning, folks! You could shell out for one and a day later it'll be cold enough for you to have to wear a long sleeves and your air conditioner isn't needed again for a few years.

Let me take this moment to pause and send my sympathies to those in the US who are baking to death right now from their own heatwave. As my darling friend, Mollie, put it to me yesterday, "Hell has made DC it's new zip code.". I'm sending cooling thoughts your way. May you be blessed with electricity that stays on and lots of Kool Pops.

Anyway, the change in temperatures has left me refreshed and better rested. I was able to take a nap this afternoon that may have broken all previous records for depth of sleep and amount of drool emitted. Seriously, it was one of those naps that leaves you unable to figure out what day or what time it is after waking up. "Is it Saturday? Wednesday? Is it time to get up? Why am I on the sofa? What time is it? Damn, I have to pee so bad.".

Other than deep sleeping I've been doing all those little things that I tend to slack off with when I'm a sweat covered mess in a heatwave. I changed the ink cartridge in the printer, cleaned out the science projects forgotten leftovers from the refrigerator, including three slices of strawberries and cream cake that was sporting a better beard than my ex-husband had. Plants and flowers were watered, laundry folded and put away and I finished these:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Aren't those cute? I'm sending them to my sister. Of course she's a menopausal woman living in Mississippi in August and really isn't in the market for 100% wool socks, but who can resist handpainted yarn?

If this keeps up I'm going to have a happy slide into autumn.