A Delayed Sense of Accomplishment

When I was in college, there was a girl that lived in my hall that taught me to crochet. She was broke (what college student isn’t) and needed a cheap Christmas gift for family members. She taught me and my neighbors how. I made a few small things, then I was on the phone one night with a guy named Tony that someone thought would be a great match for me. He wasn’t, but while on the phone I started chain stitching for an afghan that I wanted to keep. That was in 1993.

Eight addresses, seventeen skeins of yarn, and fifteen years later, I have finished the afghan. It’s disproportionate, matches nothing in my house, and is ENORMOUSLY HUGE, but I have finished. Working on it only in the winter while watching a movie, having it sit in my mother’s closet for seven years at one point, none of it matters.

Most importantly, the thing I most looked forward to about this whole thing was that I was finally able to wash it.

But it is warm, it’s finished, and it is a beautiful thing in its ugliness. Isn’t it???

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The year in review

As we face a new year and I face a time of great personal change in addition to the one on the calendar, I figured now would be a good moment for a time of reflection and review.  The year has had many changes, many upheavals, many instances of drama.  I’ve hit lows, highs, middles, and sides.  I’ve had days where I’ve been running insane, working 14 hour days, working 21 days straight.  I’ve had times where I didn’t get out of my PJs or my nightgown for two days.  So I figured this would be a good time to go down the list of things that happened in 2008.  Things both dramatic and mundane, both noteworthy and ordinary, both elated and miserable.

January: The year started with the traditional New Years Day movie viewings.  This year it was Juno and Sweeney Todd. It was interesting–mom had heard of Sweeney Todd but had no idea that it was about a homicidal barber who turned over the corpses to the baker downstairs for inclusion in her meat pies.  How on earth she could have reached the age of 58 and not figured that out I have no idea, especially since she knew the music, but there you go.  Of course, being on vacation that week, I had a bit of a movie marathon.  We ended up seeing the Academy Award winning No Country for Old Men, the forgettable Dan in Real Life, and a slew of others both good and not so good.  Virginia Tech then lost in its bowl game against Kansas, and while watching the game I learned how my cousin split his thumb cutting a sweet potato pie.  Oddly enough, he split the other thumb on a beer glass that same night while telling the story of injury #1.  Managed to sprain my wrist by falling off a stool at my mother’s house, that was fun.  While trying to learn how to use my new Inno XM radio device, I ran across this particularly useful bit of advice for how to make it compatible with my iPod: “Personally, I would duct tape them together. I think you can still get a lot of use out of both of them without any interoperability.” Continue reading

I don’t hate Christmas. I just hate a Christmas STORY.

I know. I, a 30-something female that came of age in the 1980s, should love this flick.

I’m sorry. I just don’t.

Sure, Ralphie is cute in his dorkiness. Yes, when I bundle up for football games and cannot lower my arms to my sides we make reference to the snowsuit scene. I have seen this movie a hundred time–at least!–and have no desire to watch even a single second of the 24 hour TBS marathon every year.

Let’s talk logistics, to begin with. Ralphie says he wants a Red Ryder BB Gun 28 times throughout the course of the 93 minute movie. This means that roughly every 3 minutes and 19.2 seconds he is reiterating the phrase. Which 80% of the time is followed by the admonition of the closest adult regarding his ocular safety. Then there is his little brother. I don’t know about you, but if we didn’t eat we sat at the table until we either a)ate, or b)fell asleep. And if it was option b, we then had the same plate of food at the next meal until we ate it. None of this ‘show me how the piggy eats’ bullshit. Seriously, I wouldn’t have been able to sit down for a week from the tanning my hide would have received if I had tried to pull that off.

Then there is the concept.  I don’t care if someone triple dog dares me to do it, I am NOT sticking my tongue on a frozen telephone pole.  (Incidentally, the kid that played that role starred in another 80s classic I love, The Toy, before going on to star in porn flicks.  Go figure, there must have been a commodity for tongues that had been ripped to shreds because of freezing.)  Plus,when I was growing up, if I asked for something 28 times in 93 minutes, there wasn’t a chance in hell i’d get it because I’d been nagging so much.

I will stop now, and not go on.  Although I could that’s for certain.  I just had to vent.  This one movie is the sorce of 24 solid hours of programming on one station alone, which I honestly feel is about 23.9 hours too many.

A proud member of the non-conforming Christmas movie club

As I’m sure I have made clear, I am a pop culture junkie.  I love movies, the theater, television, books, and just about everything else that makes you believe a story.  Especially movies.  In a not-so-fantastic childhood I was able to escape my own life for hours at a time by living through the characters I saw on the screen.  Great 1950s musical stars, old Hollywood contract actresses, even the kooky Helen Hunt in Girls Just Want To Have Fun.  Great way of taking your mind off of things.

At no time is there a larger plethora of feel-good movies than during the holiday season.  From the classic Dr. Seuss to the lovely Charles Schultz, there are many to choose from.  (Side note: Did you know that the Charlie Brown Christmas show was originally an ad for Coca Cola?  They took that part out of the now-shown version.  Cracks me up.  Movie noted for maintaining the true meaning of Christmas was originally a 60-minute commercial.) I have my favorites, of course.  But there are a few that don’t exactly thrill me either.  I’ve never cared much for Christmas Vacation, for example.  I have never cared for the Nutcracker on Ice..  Things like that.

But the one movie that I absolutely cannot stand is It’s a Wonderful Life. Continue reading

Family Stays at Three

So my lovely puppy is actually turning 13 in January. I have talked for awhile about getting another while she is still in good form, so that she can help with training. Two weeks ago, I found the dog. A friend told me of a beagle/deerhound mix that was up for grabs and I made arrangements for him to be at my house as of tomorrow (12/06/08). All was good. I bought food, leashes, etc., and enjoyed my Thanksgiving holiday.

Then I find out Monday AM she went to my friend’s husband, who she works with, and starting saying all kinds of things like I work too much, she didn’t know what to make of me, she wasn’t sure it was going to work, etc. My friend called me to say if I wanted the dog I should call right away because of the conversation. This made me more than just a bit upset, seeing as how she had called me before Thanksgiving and said “I don’t like this other lady, I really, really want you to have the dog.” What caused the sudden about face? I thought it extremely tacky that she would go to someone else like that, involving someone else in the procedure.

Then this morning, before 7AM, I get a phone call. She has bonded with the dog and just cannot bear to part with him. I understand that, however I still think it was not only poor form to call me at the crack of dawn but to wait until Friday.

I still want another puppy to join the family, but I have to say that this lady left a bad taste for the whole procedure.