Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I never watch SOTU addresses....

..... as Aurora Greenway in "Terms of Endearment" says, "blahhh, blahhh, blahhh..."

Instead, we attended a fun performance of "Fiddler on the Roof" .... Much, much better choice.

However, I've been hearing some good things about Ryans' rebuttal. Particularly, from an evenly split (between R & D) focus group. They liked that he spoke in facts....a little like Sargent Friday I suppose. But this quote is the tipping point. This vision is just so compelling (why yes, I am a little nuts, why do you ask?), from Jonah Goldberg at the National Review Online.

Ryan never comes across as a bomb-thrower, but tonight he talked like an ER nurse trying to talk down a violent hippy from a bad acid trip, which is pretty impressive given the substance of what he was saying.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The best compliment ...

... a knitter can get is when someone ASKS for MORE of her/his hand knits....don'tcha think?

Well it happened twice to me recently.

Over the holiday my sister-in-law asked if she should wash and dry one of the knit caps I made for my father-in-law. He's 90 and always cold, and wears little knit watchcaps in the house. Well he's been wearing the one I made for him two years ago, and well it's stretched and worn out. (Never mind that I made him a "Turn a Square" last year, and an Israeli soldier watch cap this year. You know old guys...creatures of habit.) On the way home, I mentioned to my husband that I probably had some of that gray yarn around and could make a duplicate. He suggested a black and gold Steeler version. And while we were on the subject he wanted ANOTHER pair of Fuzzy Feet, in Steeler black and gold, only more gold. (I made him a predominantly black pair in 2005.) So I did what any good knitter does. I immediately ordered yarn for these two items.

And yesterday this is what my morning looked like:

A cup of blueberry tea, and my father-in-law's Steeler cap in progress.

Finished!!! Just in time... wear for the Super Bowl.

Can't do better than that!! Fuzzy Feet will be in progress soon...but husband has black and gold handknit socks to wear on the big day. Not rushing the Fuzzy Feet.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bad news....

.... I've already broken one of my resolutions.

I was walking back to work through a nearby surface parking lot, after taking some time off for lunch (read: actual knitting time). A woman pulled up next to me and asked if I had any change for the meters. She had none. I had 3 quarters which I handed to her, and as she was looking for a bill to give me , I just told her not to worry..."have a good day", and walked along. OH NO!! Another RAK...albeit small. Well, this one has absolutely no strings.....Whew!

Good news...

Apparently, Virginia (Georgia, Tennessee, etc.) and Central PA have exchanged climates. Well maybe not completely, but while everywhere around us is getting FEET of snow. We have almost none. It very cold though. I went out without my hat today (what knitter does this?) and I'm not sure I still have ears. This seems like good news now, but wait for the drought come July because we have no snow melt.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Maybe now is ...

...the time to explain why I may be swearing off RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) for a long time. This and "eat more bacon" are my resolutions for 2011. I don't think I'll have any trouble keeping them. There were two "events" but I'd like to describe just the last one.

I have "season" tickets to a professional ballet company about 3 hours away from where we live (you can figure out the rest, I 'd like to keep this as potentially "search proof" as possible). We get a "three-pack" and this year the ballets were poorly scheduled (for us). I had to take the Nutcracker as part of our series. Now this is not usually a problem as December weather is usually not too bad and driving is not an issue. (February, on the other hand, is a b&^ch.) When you are a season "patron" you have a few options with your tickets. 1) You can exchange them for another performance day; 2) You can exchange them for another ballet in the series; 3) You can turn them back for a tax write off. They are very liberal in their policies, and very accommodating. I have no complaints.

This year, however, the weather looked like it was going to be a problem and we were trying to decide what to do with our tickets. (I've described our run in with black ice before, and we have been very careful ever since.) As we were thinking about our options, I had what I thought was a brainstorm. Why not offer them to a family member who was struggling with a recurrence of a serious illness? She probably needed a night out, with a friend, daughter or family member, and the tickets would be put to good use. (BTW, they are excellent high end seats.) My DH was delighted with this suggestion, so I got in touch with said relative, who was happy to receive them. I exchanged them (a week in advance) for the date she requested and all was well....for the moment. THE NIGHT BEFORE the performance at 6:30 pm, she called and left a message at our home and said she was too ill to go, and could I exchange them for another night!! (I might add here that I didn't get home until after 8:00 pm that evening, which is when I got the message.) Now, I was sympathetic at this point because this is the nature of her physical condition. I wanted to call her back, but didn't have the number at home. I called my sister in law for the number and she said "Oh yeah, I have it here I RSVP'd for the party." (!!!) What party, I ask? THE PARTY SHE WAS HAVING THE NIGHT SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO GO TO THE BALLET!! I was dumbfounded. This means she KNEW she wasn't going to the performance at least a week in advance (she mailed the invitations a week earlier), and instead of calling me ASAP and saying her plans changed and could I make the exchange for another night... She, didn't outright fib, but was disingenuous in the extreme. I called and she gave me the story about her condition, and I listened and asked if she wanted an alternate date, then told her I'd try. Steaming all the while. At this point, I didn't KNOW if I could exchange them, and if I couldn't I'd have to make another choice (see above). And I had about four box office hours the next day to do it. And this is before Christmas, and I had other things I planned to do. Sitting on the phone was not one of them. I vacillated from anger to incredulity to simply ticked.

I exchanged them successfully, and then cut my communication. I didn't trust myself to speak to her again. I find I'm still stunned by this. I was hoping by now I'd have some distance. No such luck.

Can you imagine?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Hai...I'm back

What an odd holiday it has been. While most bloggers were waxing nostalgic and posting pictures of candles, firelight, good food, and family, we surgery. Very successful dental surgery, but not without complications. Complications that made it impossible to have very many treats (other than adult beverages). Consequently, we both LOST weight over the most indulgent holiday of the year. Out of sheer frustration, I did make an awesome quiche on Christmas. Even DH liked it. Don't tell him that it contained about a pound of very fine cheese. But heck he had to eat something. And this is a man who eats a huge salad EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. and couldn't. So anyway, we had a very low key Christmas day. Culminating in a visit to a very dedicated dentist to have stitches removed the next day which just happened to be a Sunday.... A blistering cold Sunday.

Anyway, the rest of my time looked like this, in no particular order:

Finished three ornaments, that look like this (the first has already been gifted):

I'm currently working on a fourth that has pinks and grays.

I've hardly knit a stitch. My tendinitis was shifting from nearly unbearable to not too bad. Knitting made it worse. Beading, not so much. Which explains the ornament explosion. However, I have to get back in game shape for this:

Third class down is me. I finished the sample on December 22nd. Now we wait. I do have until March, however, I have to work up a couple more in different bead sizes, just for fun.

We finally got to another hockey game!

The new Consol Energy Center Arena.

Your [my?] Pittsburgh Penguins!

We even saw a faux hat trick. It was originally announced that Sidney Crosby had made the goal, and the hats hit the ice. Then Matt Cooke was awarded the goal and Sidney the assist. It was pretty amusing just the same. That's Cooke's picture on the scoreboard. Anybody know what happens to the hats?

My MIL celebrated her 92nd birthday by going to the hospital nearly in diabetic coma. (Not enough cake!) She's fine now. FIL will be reaching the 90th milestone on Sunday.

We're enjoying the last few days without traffic and short lines at grocery stores and post offices.