Tuesday, December 29, 2009

You Get What You Pay For: Tale of the Ninja Death Scarf.


So I decided the Tuesday before Christmas, that over the break, I absolutely had to make myself an Irish Hiking scarf to go with my new red jacket. I didn't want wool because it tends to itch me if I wear it close to my face-even Cascade 220-which was my first thought. I didn't want to spend the $$$ for alpaca-especially since I tend to lose things and I wanted a really looooong scarf. I would have had to mortgage the farm for enough alpaca, yak, or camel for that. I didn't have time to go to a big box craft store to get some of the newer soft acrylics. About the only thing I had time and money for was a local store that only sells Red Heart. I know. I was in a hurry. I was that desperate.

So in went I and fondled the yarn and tried to convince myself that it felt better than it had the last time I'd used it-when you could literally file your nails with the stuff. They had three skeins of a red that matched my jacket left for $2.50/skein! It seemed to be kismit, so throwing caution to the wind, I bought them all thinking I would have enough for a hat and mittens to match.
All the way home I repeated the mantra...it's not as bad as it used to be...it's not as bad as it used to be....and by the time I pulled into the garage, I believed it. I put it in my knitting basket and went back out to do my other chores. By the time I cast on a couple of nights later, I had almost completely forgotten my reservation about RH. This would be great; an inexpensive acrylic scarf, hat, and mittens that would be a breeze to wash and dry and would match my jacket. Wouldn't I be stylin'!? Wasn't I a clever, thrifty, little Yankee girl!?
Over the holiday I finished about three and a half feet of scarf. Actually, you can't technically can't call it a scarf because...well...scarves bend. This sucker is so stiff that it will literally stand up on it's own and I'm not a particularly tight knitter. (Well, only when we get into the chocolate wine at Knit Night and that's a whole different kind of 'tight' that actually makes my knitting looser...but I digress) My Saturday Knitting buddies suggested that if I did actually manage to break it in a couple of spots so that it would hang, (and 'hang' is not something this scarf will never do! 'Drape'? Ha! A pipe dream! Become an actual pipe when it growns up? Slightly more plausible.) I could use it as a lethal weapon. A couple of quick swishes and !ZOT! it would immediately render any would-be assailant unconcious, if not decapitate him completely. (Of course, you more faithful readers know that I would almost certainly lop my own head off trying to get it off and swing it 'round. 'Cause that's how I (uh...at least how my head would) roll!) Hence the Ninja Death Scarf was born.

Oh, it's a thing of beauty. The RH positively POPS the cables. Jen says that they are beyond 3-Dimensional...they're FOUR-Dimensional! Elizabeth says that a wash and dry may make it softer but I don't have a lot of hope at this point. I'm think after it's completion, I put it up for bid on construction sites. It would make excellent rebar!

Additionally, I'm thinking that adding a hat and mittens of the stuff would be a huge mistake. While I would be properly armored against any type of surprise enemy or alien attack (and again...knowing how I roll, this is a distinct possibility) which would be an asset; the fact that I couldn't bend my hands, or lift my head or turn my neck could be a liability. Possibly. And then there would be that whole lopping off of one's own head while trying to flee to worry about.
At any rate, I will finish the scarf and wash/dry it to see if Elizabeth's right about it getting softer. If she isn't, I will have once again learned two major lessons that I seem to keep flunking over and over: 'Haste Makes Waste' and 'You Get What You Pay For'!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Is For The Dogs-A Pictoral Entry

Ben must have been a very good boy last year because he sure got heaps of treats and presents. First he got a new Christmas tug toy. It's a felt braid with a little tennis ball on the end. A least it was. Mr. Ben loved it. Hard.

New Toy

Aftermath.
(You know a toy is good if you sprawdle out all froggie-legs to destroy it!)



Then Grammie sent him a new penguin pal.

Oooo! It's so hard to wait while Mommy takes a picture!

NOM! NOM! NOM!



Why, he even got his very own Christmas card stuffed with tasty treats!

And...this is what a tasty treat hangover looks like.
(Actually he's not as sad and sick as he looks. He's tired for systematically destroying toys all day. Death to squeakers!!!)

All in all I'd say he had a super day! As for me, I'm excited to be able to finally be able publish pics of the 'Fetching' gloves I made for my sister and nieces for Christmas...

The bad camera angle makes them look all wonky, but they really are all the same length, just poorly photographed as usual! I just love the colors of the Mochi Plus.

Next up: Tales of the Ninja Scarf!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Whoa! Whoa!! WHOA!!!

I'm living life in the bonus round, People! I came thisclose to getting squished by a car Friday night on my way to The Ear for Knit Night. Once again, I have proven that Knitting is a dangerous sport! I was in the cross walk. Traffic in the far lane had stopped for me to cross (Thanks White Truck Guy!) and this little, old (apparently blind and deaf) dude pulled out of a side street to my left on two wheels at 90 mph. Had I not seen him and jumped back, he would have run square over me! And he never even slowed down! Not even when I slammed my open hand on the hood of his car and yelled a bad word. Really loudly! He was totally oblivious.
I didn't haul off and sock his car on purpose. Us little Yankee girls just automatically come out swinging when we're backed into a corner and poked with a stick! Even if the perp is a ton of metal with a Chevy logo on its back fender! As it was, I sprained my arm hitting the thing and spent most of the day Sunday on the heating pad. So even though I didn't actually get hit, he still managed to wing me! No matter though. Once I got over the scardey-ness, I got to experience that high you aquire when you really GET the fact that everything can change in a heartbeat.

Saturday I went to lunch with Friend Donna and then downtown to get a Christmas gift for my boss. It was mighty cold down there, but beautiful around The Square. Someone has been feeding the squirrels on the Capitol grounds and there was a veritable rodent convention going on! This photo does not do justice to the sight that we beheld. Each squirrel weights, conservatively estimated, 2 ga-zillion pounds. No. That's a lie. My mother has told me 10 gagigabillion times not to exaggerate. They were closer to a ga-thousand pounds each. There were easily 25 on one tree. And they show NO FEAR. When you walk by, they look you up and down, sizing you up. Humans look like too much of a challenge to each one individually, but it's only a matter of time before the concept of strength in numbers occurs to them.

Keep feeding them, Whoeveryouare. Woe's the day when they get hungry...


Saturday night was Mike and Hef's Christmas party. It was a blast; great food, games like 'Decorate the Christmas Cookie' and 'Human Christmas Tree', presents for all and so many new folks to meet including these guys:

Thing One and Thing Two


They were just a hoot and a half. Christmas is so much more fun when you have little kids around. Especially when they are just shy of two years old. So easy to mess with their little minds.

Why I was having such fun that I even loosened up and partook in a 3rd of a paper cup of champagne. I figured I might as well since I only had to walk down stairs to get home!

Thing One didn't handle her liquor as well as I did. When you're too short to reach the lampshades, sometimes you have to improvise.

Sunday I went to New Glarus to have brunch at Toffer's with Joe and Steve...


I love N.G.! I love the drive down and then it's such a cute-n-cozy little village once you get there. I highly recommend breakfast at Toffer's. The breakfast was second only to the wonderful company. By the time breakfast was over, I literally couldn't move my arm so I spent the rest of the day on the sofa with the heating pad; napping, doing the NYT crossword and watching Benjamin Button with my buddy Ben. (Thank goodness I discovered that I can still knit if I adapted my approach a little.) It was good to decompress for a half a day after another wild weekend.

Things should slow down some this week. Don't have much planned...with another big storm on the way, I won't be traveling. Got some snuggly red yarn and plan to knit myself a cable scarf and some mittens to go with my new jacket. That's right! Knitting for myself what a concept!

Hope you all have a lovely holiday week and remember to be fleet of foot and look both ways before you cross the street! Happy Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vicodin Induced Brilliance

I had oral surgery yesterday to install an implant post for my right bicuspid. Right away I OD'd on the nitrous while I was waiting for the numbing to set in and had to be thinned out with oxygen. Once they turned the gas down a bit I was fine, but I went for a fine fly there for a bit! Wheee! There was much Novocaine, grinding, and other unpleasantries and after all the fuss was over, it looks for all the world that he just hammered a 2 penny nail into my mouth. The flat metal head is very visible flush against the underside of my gum; the ultimate piercing. For $1,800 I at least should have gotten to choose something pretty to hang off it; something shiny or perhaps some wee fuzzy dice.

Doctor Dentist sent me home with copious amounts of antibiotics which are currently ripping up my tummy and Vicodin which makes me not care about it all that much. I have noticed however, that the pain meds have given me the super power of amazing intelligence. Why just this afternoon I solved a Biblical riddle that has puzzled scholars for decades. I was watching NatGeo and they have a special on Jesus: The Missing Years. We all know about Jesus' birth, and the last couple of years of his life until his crucifixion at age 32, but nothing in between. This special looks at the economic and social conditions of the area where Jesus grew up and speculates about what he was up to during the time that's not documented.

Based on the information that they gave me in the first 5 minutes of the documentary, I figured it out. They said that the only story in the Bible about Jesus between birth and age thirty was about the time Mary and Joseph took him to a nearby city for a religious festival when he was twelve. They get ready to go home and no Jesus. They can't find him for THREE DAYS. When they finally do, he's in the church talking with some scholars.

His mother says something to the effect of 'JESUS CHRIST! Where have you been? We've been looking for your for three days!'

The preteen gives her a little flip answer that went something like 'Duh, Ma! Why didn't you, like, look here in the church first?'

Mystery solved as far as I'm concerned. It's obvious to me that Mary drug his butt back to Nazareth by the ear ranting, "I don't care if you are the son of God , Mister Man! You are grounded 'til you're thirty."

NatGeo could have saved a lot of filming dollars if they'd've come to me first.

In other news, Sweet Willie Brown received his snowman hat

Isn't he the cutest Frosty Boy ever!?!?

Have to run. NatGeo has more mysteries for me to solve this afternoon; Amelia Earhart, Big Foot, Alien Abductions. I've got my work cut out for me. Just home the Vicodin doesn't run out!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Finally Face to Face with Franklin

Cutie patootie Franklin Habit , knitter, photographer, blogger, writer and cartoonist extraordinaire, spoke at the Madison Knitter's Guild tonight. He and I have emailed/blogged at each other occasionally for several years now but haven't ever met. [As you recall, I looked for him in Chicago last month, but he was too wily for me.] Dale Harriet gave me an original FH cartoon for my birthday last year that is among my prized possessions and his book 'It Itches' possesses a place of honor on my bookcase. (It doesn't hurt that I'm a fan of his sister's blog as well and she happens to live in Maine of all places!)

Anyway I moseyed on over to join the Knitter's Guild and to hear him speak. What a treat! He's a soft-spoken, gentleman with intelligence and wit to spare. His lecture was on the advent of written knitting patterns. I loved it! He was very knowledgeable. He even had some things that he'd knit up from antique patterns with him. A feat that's not as easy as it sounds!
The minute I got there he was separated from the herd, up on the stage alone so I marched right up and handed over the Oreo truffles. Chocolate is always a foot in the door. I also gave him a pair of mini-mittens for Harry. He was kind enough to not point out that Harry doesn't even have hands. And as luck would have it, he didn't know how to hook his computer up to the projector and since I do that practically every waking day of my life, I was there for the assist! (And it wasn't a disaster like the Nancy Zeiman easel assist of Sept. 2006!)
He was kind enough to sign my copy of his book and pose for a pic or two. It went very well, much better than my fellow Hog 'n' Bloggers thought it would. When they heard I was going, they made me promise not to throw my underwear on stage or try to kidnap Harry. They quickly rallied Dale Harriet to chaperon and keep me from smooching him although both of us were sorely tempted. He's highly smoochable. But we resisted and thus there was no need for a restraining order. This time.
He said that interest in antique knitting patterns was a kind of specialized insanity. Now I'm intrigued. And you know what happens when I'm intrigued? That's right. Now we're ALL in trouble. But for tonight, Molly Bee is a happy camper yet again. I KNOW! Two happy days in less that a week. What is this world coming to?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekend Update

We had a house guest this weekend. The lovely Tapanga (ie: Pangaroo to her Aunt Molly Bee) from upstairs stayed with us for a couple of days while her daddy was out of town. She's my kinda girl. She played with Ben for a while until he bugged her a little too much and then one snap put him in his place. She would cozy down for a rest and then after a while she was ready for another dose of the silly sogginess that is Bengaroo. Look at that face. I know right! Awwww! What a sweetie.

I made brownies a little differently-put Andes Candies in the middle and the rest of the batter on top. Got two thumbs up from the neighbors.

I spent all afternoon this afternoon making Oreo truffles. I decided to roll them in sugar and cocoa instead of dipping them in chocolate like I usually do. I put some in little tins for friends:

And the bulk of them will be used in our cookie/candy exchange at work this week.

With the exception of mailing two boxes (they are already packed) I am OFFICIALLY done with my holiday gifting and baking!
And this just in from the East Coast. My Mum actually FINISHED knitting a pair of socks she started last time she visited. She always starts a pair when she visits and then goes home with half a sock and the best of intentions of finishing the pair....but until recently she hadn't gotten the knitting bug. She's on a roll now as evidenced by this artistic shot she took of her own feet! Mum and me? We're gettin' 'er done!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Turns out, Grease IS the word!

OMGOMGOMGOMG, you guys! I just got home from seeing Grease at The Overture Center. Let me just start by saying... SHE-RAH! I made it downtown and back safely AGAIN! This time in concert traffic on tundra covered roads that would make those Ice Road Trucker guys quake in their woolies! That personal triumph aside, Grease was AMAZING!!!!!! I got tickets so that I could see Taylor Hicks from American Idol (I voted for you EVERY WEEK, Tay-Tay!). The evening turned out to be all I hoped for and more. First of all, my seat was THIRD ROW CENTER. That's right! I was court side, People! Any closer and I would have been in the orchestra pit! Taylor was astounding like I knew he would be, but get this... No one told me who was playing the John Travolta role.... ACE YOUNG! Also from American Idol. He was so great in the role-what a voice! Thank God they were only in one song together or I would have broken my fool neck trying to gawk at them both at the same time. And then after the play, Taylor came out and sang a song from his new album. I can't tell you how perfect the night was. I haven't been this happy in a long time. And on the way home...a huge shooting star. I know. It's like a Hallmark movie or something. Sigh... I really got my Idol geek on tonight! Off to bed now. I'm sure to have sweet dreams! Hope you do too!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Ode to Stephen King

(Sung to O' Christmas Tree)
O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King,
Your books they so delight me.
O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King,
Your novels they do fright me.

From Salem's Lot to Needful Things
From Misery and The Shining,
O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King,
I'm so enamoured with thee.

O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King,
Outside the blizzard's raging,
O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King
Through your latest read I'm paging.

If I must be tucked in at home.
I'm glad I'm stuck here with The Dome.
O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King
Chester's Mills is done, I'm wag'ring.

O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King,
Cold winter winds they do blow.
O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King
Outside the temps are zero.

A cup of tea and quilt of down
Will Captain Barbie save the town?
O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King,
Today you are my hero!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Ho Ho Holiday Spirit!

It's been a busy weekend as usual. Friday night was Knit Night where I finished a project for me. Then up and at 'em bright and early Saturday for errands and back to the Sow's Ear by 10:00 for charity knitting until noon. I'm making a 2' x 2' cat mat for the Humane Society. Then Friend Anne and I hit the open road to Mt. Horeb for lunch at The Sommer Haus (lovely parsnip soup) and to the Chocolate Shop for dessert; homemade cranberry gumdrops dipped in chocolate! Oh. My. Gosh. I have long suspected that there was a suspicious lack of chocolate in gumdrops and I was right. Great flavor combination. Tart and sweet.

After that we waddled on over to The Cat and The Crow fiber shop and fondled all of the yarn and fleecy goodness. Mo and Rebecca are seriously talented enablers. I didn't buy anything this time but came away with a fierce yearning for my own alpaca.

Then it was off to the Cave of the Mounds for their annual 'Caroling in the Cave'. This time around we heard a local A Capella trio of ladies called 'Ansestra'. They were lovely and the sound in the cave is just amazing. The Christmas spirit so whopped me up side the head that I gaffled poor Santa Claus on the way out and gave him a huge rib-crushing Christmas hug! You would think he'd be used to that kind of thing, but he looked kinda stunned. I'll bet he asks for hazard pay next year!

This morning I went to Walmart for dog food and there was Santa again...sitting in the jewelry department looking sad and alone so I hugged him again! Even though it was just the day before, he didn't recognize me from The Cave Of The Mounds. Either it was so traumatic that he blocked out the previous day's incident or ...well...I'll just say it...Santa may be slippin' a little, kids. All of those years of eggnog and cookies can't be good for the arteries. Lack of sufficient oxygen to Santa's brain makes for fuzzy thinking. I've always maintained that Mrs. Claus must be the brains behind that operation. Just sayin'.

The rest of the day was devoted to chores around the nest and finishing up reading Diana Gabaldon's latest book 'Echoes In The Bone, which is SO GOOD that it led to a lot more of the readin' and less of the chorin' so I'm off to do laundry. Have a good Sunday night and if you see Santa tell him Molly Bee says 'hi'! If enough people remind him, maybe he'll remember me!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Randomness

We had our first significant snow of the season last night; during rush hour of course! It took me 45 minutes to make the 12 minute trip home. Most of that time was spent dodging fender benders and weaving around people who couldn't make it up the two 'big' hills between work and home. I made it safe and sound thank goodness but during the evening I counted NINE pizza guys delivering to my 20 unit building. What is it about treacherous roads that makes it open season on the Papa John's guy? It's too nasty for YOU to go out, but it's ok to risk Skippy's 17 year old life for an extra large sausage and mushroom? And those of us who have to be on the roads would appreciate not having another newly-minted, inexperienced, teenager out there with us. Especially one who has to get there in 30 minutes or it's free! Just sayin'.

I had my dental impression made today. The first one got muffed up so I literally made a bad first impression, but I got a second chance to make a good one which is rare! T minus 11 until I can get the first stage of my bicuspid implant taken care of and then only 3 more months after that before I have a full set of chompers again. The missing one doesn't show that much but I'm wicked self conscious about it. I'm sure the faces I make while trying not to laugh or smile are way more conspicuous that if I just let 'er all hang out.

Mr. Ben has had his share of office visits this week too. He got a raging case of the itchy-scratchies and created a bald spot on his side by digging. I took him to his vet, who diagnosed 'some kind of allergy' and put him on a low strength steroid for the next several days. It's worked wonders so far thank goodness. There's nothing quite like an 80# moose-dog engaged in a scratching frenzy at the foot of your bed at 2 AM. I swear it's the equivalent of a 6.9 quake.

Dr. Vet also cut Ben's nails. It's not his favorite thing on the best of days and after he got nipped a little too close last time AND he was itchy, he was....well...less than enthused. He was pretty good though and when they brought him back into the exam room, Dr. Vet skooched down to make it up to him with copious amounts of smooches, treats and sweet talk. Ben was having none of it. He bumped her over onto the floor, promptly turned around and sat on her and then proceeded to casually look around the room through narrowed eyes like he had no idea she wasn't actually a throw rug. She was laughing so hard she was crying.

I'm enjoying having all of my Christmas knitting and shopping done. So much of the pressure is off. Tonight is Knit Night and tomorrow morning is Charity Knitting. I'll make mittens for me during the former and kitty blankets for the Humane Society during the latter. 'Bout the only Christmas thing I have left is baking and I love that so I plan to just enjoy the music (starting with Caroling at The Cave of The Mounds this weekend) and lights of the season and chill this year. May y'all have a relaxing holiday season too!

Monday, November 30, 2009

YAY!

Yay! 30 entries in 30 days!! Woot!

I finished Grammie's Christmas socks last night. I will definitely be using the leg and heel pattern again. I really like the way they turned out and it's a good use for plain, non-striping sock yarn!

I made a wicked good supper last night. There is no recipe....'cause we don't need no stinkin' recipe! Just saute three minced garlic cloves, salt, pepper and whatever other spices you like in olive oil in a large skillet. Add sea scallops. Cook on one side for 2 minutes. Flip. Add a package of fresh baby spinach and put the cover on until it wilts.

Then toss it with pasta of your choice. I like angel hair but I only had thin so that's what I used this time.

Put some freshly grated Parmesan on the top and TA DA! Simple tasty supper! Jazz it up with a salad and some crusty bread. I'll bet it would work with shrimp too.


NOM!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thank Goodness for Blog Buddies

Just got a comment on my last blog entry reminding me that Monday is actually the last day of November, not today. So I have TWO more entries to complete NaBloPoMo; today and TOMORROW. How sad would that have been...to blow the whole thing because I can't read a calendar? I just figured, hey, December is coming next week, might's well start it out first thing on Monday!

This here is a picture of my BubberKev and I at Thanksgiving. We're taking a momentary break from strangling each other to goof at the camera. Our mamma must be so proud!

Back to online Christmas shopping! Have a great Sunday evening!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Light at The End Of The Tunnel!

Today and tomorrow and that's it for NaBloPoMo! Yay! It's just too hard to think of something interesting to post every day. I'm sure you've noticed!

I put up a few Christmas decorations this morning, but have 99.9% decided to not put up a tree this year. It'll just be me and Mr. Happy Waggy Tail here this year. I have to redecorate the bottom 3rd of the tree every time he goes by it, so I think it will be a low key year in the decorating department.

Went to Last Saturday Knitting this afternoon. I am so blessed to know such wonderful women. We always have a great time. I worked on Grammies second white lace sock. I finished the cuff, did the eye of the partridge heel flap, turned the heel and did half the foot in two hours. And I double checked when I got home...I did it correctly! Usually I'm such a chatty monkey that I have to rip out any work I do at Last Saturday or Knit Night the next day because it's wonky.

Now I'm settling in to watch Dr. Who and Robin Hood and finish the sock and my Christmas knitting will be DONE! Before December! Just barely I know, but it still counts! Have a great Saturday night!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Back in the U.S.

Paris is nothing like they say. Coming in to town, the sign says 'Established in 1836'. All the books about Paris make it sound like it's waaaay older don't they? The natives were all really nice; so polite and helpful, and there wasn't any sign of the language problem that I had been warned to expect. There's a slight inkling of a southern twang but it's cute rather than snotty like they described. It didn't impede any of my business dealings at local stores or eateries. Their money was remarkably the same as ours. I guess Paris must have just said 'no' the the Euro. There weren't as many croissants as they implied there would be but the Thanksgiving dinner there (even though I was told that they don't celebrate Turkey Day in Paris-but they do) was scrumptious and more than made up for the lack of pretentious bread. I also didn't have any of the Customs problems I had heard about, coming back through Chicago.


Some things were like they say though. I did see the Eiffel Tower. In fact we had a lovely breakfast at a small bistro right next to it. It's smaller and redder than it looks in some of the other photos I've seen but it's still pretty impressive. They make fabulous 'American Fries' which I thought was amusing given that we call the same things 'French Fries' here in the U.S.. They have a wonderful sense of humor down there that they definitely don't mention when they are telling you about their Paris vacation. I think all of the negativity is just a smoke screen to keep the place to themselves.
All in all I had a wonderful Parisian Thanksgiving and wouldn't hesitate to travel abroad again, although I must say it was good to get back to the United States of Madison this afternoon for a good long nap! Globe trotting is exhausting although I didn't have the jet lag problems they complain about either! But at any rate, the moral of the story is, don't listen to 'them'. I'm giving it to you straight. Paris is a friendly affordable place to visit and I highly recommend it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gay Paree

Ben and I made it down to Paris just fine yesterday. I gave him a new bone which kept him occupied in the backseat the whole way so he didn't continually lick the back of my head the hole way giving me troll hair. That isn't to say that he didn't give me a couple of cursory licks now and then just to let me know that he was still back there.

Went out to dinner last night with Kevin and Shiela and new nieces, Kali, Kelsey and Brianne as well as Brianne's boyfriend David. Ben stayed home with one year old boxer, Sophie and 3 month old Peekapoo Izzi. It's a full house but it's nice to have some noise and activity around.

Shiela has been knocking herself out making Thanksgiving dinner and I counted 5 desserts out there so far. I am trying to stay out from underfoot in the kitchen while making sure I'm close at hand to annoy my brother in the living room. It's a delicate balance....but I believe I am achieving greatness in this arena. I've had years of practice!

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Turkey Eatin' Day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Road Trip!

*Mr Gobble Gobble strapped in the front seat? Check!

*Mr. Bentley strapped in the back seat? Check!

*Illinois map and driving directions? Check!

*Industrial sized coffee for the drive? Check!

*Instructions for folks staying at my place this weekend conveyed? (Just giggle the handle...it will stop!)Check!

*Socks and underwear? Check!

*Enough needles and yarn to teach new sis and 3 branks spankin' new nieces to knit? Check! (Never missing an opportunity to lure minions to the 'dark side'...priceless)!

*Nablopomo # 25? CHECK!

Let's be careful out there today people! If you're jammin' to Cat Stevens today too, seat dance with me! Otherwise put down the Big Mac, the Norellco, the mascera and the cell phone and just drive safely!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oy NaBloPoMo Is Killing Me!

I'm a busy girl getting ready for Turkey Day. As busy as I am, nothing significant enough to post about has occurred today, and yet, her I am! NaBloPoMo Day 24! Am looking forward to seeing Bubber Kev and his bride and my new nieces tomorrow. I should say, new to me nieces because they are all grown up young ladies of 15, 19 and 22 but still. Wonder how Bubber Kev will fare against FIVE feisty females for a couple of days!?! Heh! Heh! Heh!

I'm hoping Sistah Shiela will lend me her laptop so that I can post from their house on Thursday! Hate to blow this blogging every day in November thing just when I'm nearing the home stretch! If you're hitting the road for the holidays, drive carefully and have a wonderful trip!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday Secrets Countdown

Counting down the days until Ben and I go to my brother's for Turkey Day. Just talked to them last night and found out, that in addition to their 1 year old boxer, they just got a 3 month old Peek-A-Poo or some such adorable little white pup (much like Wee Fergus may he rest in peace!). Old Ben will be in his glory. He needs some play time. He's been a little depressed since he fell off the sidewalk last week. He still has a slight hitch in his gitalong but it's nothing serious. He's just bruised but is being a drama queen about it. He's such a delicate flower!

I finished one of Grammie's Christmas socks and LOVE the pattern. It's a 5 stitch pattern from one of Charlene Schurch's 'Sensational Socks' books.

I also did an Eye Of The Partridge heel which gives it a little different look. I really like how they are turning out and I think I'm going to have to make a pair for me! I'll have to go stash diving because this is definitely a stitch pattern that looks best in a plain color and most of my sock yarn is wild and stripey, but I'm confident that there is probably and errant ball of purple in there somewhere! Can't start them until after the holidays though as I have several Christmas projects in the works right now. Can't tell you...it's a secret!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nablopomo # 22

This is going to be short since I burned one of my typing fingers to a crisp on a hot cookie sheet. Am I taking one for the Nablopomo team or what!?!

I receive an email every day called Megan's Munchies. Today's recipe was for SnickerDoodle Pie. It's basically a custard pie with a cinnamon sugar crust on top. It looked good and I had all the ingredients so I decided to make it. Megan made a vegan version but I made the original. It came out great and I'm going to shuttle some up to the boys upstairs in a few minutes. The recipe calls for the pie to be placed and then baked on a preheated cookie sheet in a 350° oven. I wish there had been a step in the instructions that said to make sure your left pinky finger wasn't between the pie dish and the hot cookie sheet when you set it down in the oven. Would have saved a lot of pain. And blue language air pollution. At least YOU'VE now been warned. It turns out that 350° is very, very hot. And pinky fingers don't like it. Not a bit. There. Now go forth and make an awesome owie-free pie!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Twilight Zone

I would just like you all to know that I show no pregidous when it comes to messing with people's heads. I am an equal opportunity pain in the butt. Christophe and I went to see the IMAX 3D version of A Christmas Carol (Don't do it! It was like a really bad carnival ride!) on Thursday night. Christophe is from France and has been to the states a few times but isn't a seasoned pro at it or anything and really should bhave been given some sarcasm amnesty....but no.

We walk into the theater and it's wall to wall, ceiling to floor, tween age girls, all dressed in their jammies, with their blankies and pillows waiting for the premiere of the new Twilight sequel 'New Moon'. Christophe is stunned and asks me what is going on. Without hesitation or though (in other words...business as usual) I say, 'Oh, this is where we keep our homeless girls. We keep the homeless boys at a different facility.' Sigh. I know. I've taken diplomacy classes. I know that a lot humor (especially my 'unique' brand of it) doesn't translate well internationally.

I smiled and looked at him and he had this deer in the headlights shocked look. (And not in a good way like when he saw the buffalo head hanging in a restaurant and I told him that it had run through the wall). We picked our way through the giggling gaggle of girls and I explained that I was just kidding and told him what they were really there for. I don't think he even heard the explanation as I could see the wheels turning in his head as to how he was going to convey this to his countrymen when he got home.

I didn't make matters better when we got to the car and discovered a post it on the windshield that just said 'Puppies aren't scary' written in green marker with little hearts around it. I read it and passed it to him. He looked confused and asked me what it meant. I said, 'It means that dogs that have just been born are nothing to be afraid of.' He said, 'I know, but why is this on your windshield (in that cute little Parisian accent of his). Now I realize we just left a building stuffed to the gills with girls. I was once a tween age girl so I can imagine a million scenarios as to how that particular note came to be attached to the windshield. But do I throw our a possible explanation as to how it came to be? No. I just shrugged nonchalantly and said, "I guess someone just wanted to let us know.' When I dropped him off he was muttering something about 'Crazy Americans.

So if you see something in a French tabloid about the US stockpiling homeless kids in movie theaters....um...yeah....that was me. Sorry!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cutest! Turkey! Ever!

My patience and persistence has payed off! The first of the blackmail photos have started coming in. Upon inspection, I do have a dilemma though....

Is it a Turkey ?
... Or a Princess Laei !

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I've Tracked Down The Problem and It's YOU!

My first instinct when something isn't right is to think it's my fault. My second instinct is to try and fix it, smooth it out, apologize or otherwise makes amends. This morning one of the kids sent out a web link, via email, to our global colleagues. The web link led to a web page that I had built and now maintain. Wasn't long before he came to me to tell me that the international folks couldn't access the link. Oh My Gosh! I must have some permission errors on the page or something else wrong! I'll get right on it! I spent nearly two hours looking for the problem only to discover that the kid in question had simply typed the web address incorrectly in his email. This is commonly called a PICNIC Error (Problem In Chair Not In Computer). I took great delight in telling him, "I tracked the problem down and it's YOU!" That was the first of TWO times I got to use that phrase this morning. Feels good to have the shoe on the other foot! Now if I'd only grow a modicum of self esteem and at least suspect that it could possibly be someone else's error first, I could save HOURS of time!

Tonight I am taking Christophe, from our branch in Lyon France, to dinner and a movie. We are going to see A Christmas Carol in IMAX 3-D. I don't know if he's ever experienced IMAX 3-D before. I hope not! It would be neat to be the first to show him something so cool. I don't remember much of the French I took in HS and College, so I'll just make do speaking English in my cheesiest Inspector Jacques Clouseau accent to make him feel more comfortable. Should be a fun evening!
(NABloPoMo Day 19)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Turkey Suprise!

I started off today with a rainbow! Here is a photo of it on it's way out. I knew that it was a sign that today would go better than yesterday. Or at least that it would be sunny and rainy at the same time!


Since it has been delivered today, I can finally post pics of Sweet William's Super Secret Thanksgiving Suprise project.


Behold, the Turkey Carcass Thanksgiving hat!


He's going to hate me for life!


I am the essence of pure evil! Heh Heh Heh!

Wanna torture your the kids in your life? The pattern is on Ravelry. It's very poorly written with lots of mistakes in it but I made it through. It's pretty gnarly up close but at a distance (and for photos of him wearing it that can be pulled out for his Prom date's entertainment at a later date) it's OK!

It's going to be difficult to find something more evil than this to make the kid wear for the upcoming Christmas holidays but Aunt Min is trying! Love you Cookie Boy! Your folks too! Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Doh! Ouch!

It's been one of those klutzy weeks. Monday I slipped in the bathroom. I didn't fall, but I twisted to catch myself and took all the skin off my arm on the texturizing on the wall. Yesterday I started in with a back spasm that is getting worse by the minute. Then I came home from work, hooked Bentley up on his retractable leash and let him run out onto the lawn to pee. He got to the end of the leash and I hadn't hooked it properly so it reeled back in at 90 miles an hour and the metal hook at the end caught me in the ribs. I have a bruise of epic proportions today. I feel (and walk) like I got hit by a bus.

And apparently it's contagious. I took Ben out and tossed the ball for him this noon. He went scrambling for it and fell off the sidewalk. The edge of the curb hit him in the ribs. He ran back in the house like he was fine, but when I got home tonight and petted his side, he squeaked. Tonight he's pretty low key and snuggly, although he got up on the couch with me pretty gingerly. I couldn't feel any broken ribs and after the initial squeak he let me touch him all over and didn't say a word so I'm suspecting he just has a nice bruise on his ribs like me! If he's still moving gingerly in a couple of days, I'll talk him to the vet.

Of course I have a full work and social schedule this week so no rest for the wickedly wounded. I SHOULD be wrapping myself in bubble wrap and hockey pads and curling up in the fetal position until the klutz storm blows over, but instead I have a lunch date with a friend tomorrow, dinner and a 3-D movie Thursday night with a guy visiting from Lyon, France. Coffee with one friend and lunch with another on Saturday. Oh, throw A Pampered Chef party, an oil change and a game night into that mix. On top of work. And then it's off to Paris IL for a couple of days. Yikes! I'm going to have to hire a housekeeper! Chores have always interfered with my knitting time but with all this social stuff now, somethings gotta give! I say HOUSEWORK!

Hope your week is going much more smoothly!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Shrunken Heads

You know how sometimes you’re just sitting around thinking. Gosh I wonder what I’d look like if I was captured by Cannibalistic African Head Hunters? Come on now! Admit it! We all do it! Here’s what I would look like. (Not for the faint of heart!) I’ve developed a severe overbite!

I LOVE Expedition Week on The National Geographic Channel! I am such a science geek. Give me documentaries on Head Hunters, The Mayan Calendar, Bog Mummies, The Bermuda Triangle, etc and I’m a happy, happy girl! Until last night. I tuned in to see the Head Hunter thing. It was OK-a lot of hype, but OK. Then the next show was on Celtic Druids. Now I LOVES me the Emerald Isle and all things Celtic so I snuggled down to watch. Started off OK…great imagery; narration was good. Then they trotted out their primary ‘expert’ for the show, Professor Miranda someone-or-other from the UK.

C’mon National Geographic! There has got to be more than one expert on this stuff. Could we not have found someone else? Anyone else?! This woman is a professor and I’m sure she knows here stuff but she has a holier than thou attitude and a major league speech impediment that makes Sylvester-‘Suffering Succotash’ The Cat sound like he’s crooning the gentle murmurings of Mel ‘The Velvet Fog’ Torme!

The FirTHZ fifteen minuteTHZ were BAD… then it got worTHZ when she STHarted getting excSTHZited and talking about how the RomanSTHZ STHZailed up the coaSTHZt to InSTHZinglaSTHZ ISTHZland and STHZarted STHZlaughering and maSTHZacuring the CelsTHZ. She waSTHZ literally froSTHZing at the mouSTHZ by the STHZhirty minute mark and I had to turn it off. It’s too bad because the information was good but she was so distracting that I couldn’t retain any of it. I think the program narrator was the silken voiced Peter Coyote which made her sound even worse. Now don't flame me. I know many people have speech issues. I have friends with lisps or stutters. I’m just saying that if you are dumping beaucoup bucks into filming a documentary and you want people to understand what you’ve discovered...Miranda's not your girl! She has a way too high distraction factor!

Now, I would have hired Colin Firth to be the expert. (Talk about distraction!) He’s in the UK anyway so we wouldn’t have airfare. The expert could have written down the facts on cue cards and Colin could have read them like he knew what he was talking about. He’s got that acting thing down. That way I would be able to ogle Colin and understand the information and learn about Celtic Druids…. and Miranda would get to spend on set time with Colin Firth! It’s a win/win plan as far as I’m concerned!

And that said, the rant it over. Now go shrink your heads!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Doubt

OMGosh you Guys! I just watched 'Doubt' this afternoon. It's been on my list for a while and now that I've seen it, I'm kicking myself for not watching it in the theater on the big screen. What was I thinking? Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep in the same movie! How could it be anything but AWESOME...and it was! Seymour never lets me down and Meryl is an absolute chameleon! There was a great dilemma at the end and it made me really think about the gossip machine and how it can profoundly affect life. Run! Don't walk to rent this one.

Have been laying low again today although my head is much better. I have a supper date and really wanted to go so I've been taking it' easy. I ran out and got the paper and spent the morning with that. I must be getting some of my brain function back because I completed the Time's Crossword and the Sudoko...in ink....thank you very much. Then I made a nice stuffed pork chop, baked potato and squash lunch, did the dishes and settled in with Seymour and Meryl. Called Mum and Grammie afterward to catch up on the week and now am headed out to supper. Very relaxing Sunday. Hope yours is going great too!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Layin' Low

I have a humdinger of a headache today. Last night it was a migraine but it's backed off some and I can see out of my right eye again. Now I'm just left with a steady thump and foggy brain. I don't get them very often for which I'm eternally grateful!

Today is a stay at home day for the most part. I had plans to go to numerous craft shows and yarn shops with friends but begged off. Then I was supposed to go to game night in Stoughton tonight but called I cancelled that too. I can't imagine driving to Stoughton in the dark with this head! I did go get a few groceries and took some stuff to the library and that was more than enough movement for one day.

I got the new Diana Gabaldon book from the library today. I've been waiting for it for months, but can neither see nor comprehend it in my present state. Irony. Bleh. Can't even work on my knitting! The application for comprehending small print and fine details is still rebooting.

National Geographic channel is showing back to back Explorer shows so I am listening to that in the background: all my favorite topics-bog mummies, buried cities and what ever happened to Princess Anastasia. Later I think I'll bake a pecan pie to go with my baked beans, fresh bread and potato salad supper and then shuttle most of the rest of it up to Hef and Mike. I've had a hankerin' for pie but don't need a whole one sitting around my house! Just a slice or two thank you! It's nice to have neighbors who appreciate baked goods!

I think I'll go try a nap and see if I can get it together enough to be able to knit after supper. Hope you all are having a great Saturday!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bullet Point Friday

Today Molly Bee...

  • Remembered in the nick of time to write something here today. Nablopomo...you're doing it right!
  • 's computer is having issues. It's like it has a uncannily strong desire to doom my Nablopomo mission.Oh Yeah? Well, sabotage....you're doing it wrong! Ha!
  • had it out with the cable company mentioned a few posts earlier. Quel Suprise! That $30 service charge hadn't been deleted from my account like I was promised it would be.
  • is amazed and amused that said cable company has an unblemished record of not completing one single task or service that they said they would correctly.
  • went to see 'Couples' Retreat'. I loves me some Vince Vaughn!
  • had a Slurpee and a small popcorn for supper...kicking back after a long week...you're doing it right!
  • taking a hot bath and a cup of tea and hitting the hay early.

G'NIGHT AND SWEET DREAMS ALL!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Recipe Bomb

I love to try out new recipes and the majority of them are pretty successful. The most successful ones I post over on my kitchen site. I never write about the duds. But recently I made the dudiest of the duds and so I'm posting a warning to prevent any of you from replicating the disaster. Last year I learned that you can mix a can of pumpkin with a cake mix and it makes a pretty good low fat/higher fiber cake. So I says to myself says I...why not brownies?

They mixed together alright. They looked ok when I spread them in the pan. It even smelled right baking. However when I went to get them out of the oven, the top was dull not glossy, they had barely risen at all, and you know how they pull away from the sides of the pan when they're done? These looked like they were horribly afraid of the sides and had run as far as they could from them. There was a half inch gap all the way around. I cooked them 10 minutes less than the brownie mix said so they weren't over done. They weren't burnt. So I let them cook and lulled myself into the belief that looks can be deceiving and decided to I'd try them later.

Oh. My. God. They didn't taste like pumpkin (which they weren't supposed to so that was good) but they certainly didn't even taste like chocolate either. By far the worst part was that they had the consistancy of a Good Year retread! You've never seen such a wicked mess of crap in your life. Ben wasn't even interested, and he's been known to eat poo on occassion. I dumped the whole mess in the trash and thanked my lucky starts that I hadn't lost the pan along with the experiment.

So here's the lesson. You can mix pumpkin with a cake mix with great results. You can mix diet pop with a cake mix with great results. And although you CAN mix pumpkin with a brownie mix, for the love of G-d people, it is not in anyone's best interest to do so. Once again, I perform these experiments so you don't have to!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

BSJ X 2

Cousin Crystal (she of the cool Halloween skeleton shirt a couple of posts back) delivered her beautiful boys, Hayden and Zachary, the Monday after Halloween. Told you she held out just so she could wear the cool shirt! Both boys were about a month early, not unusual for twins, but weighed over 6 # each! Way to go kiddos! I finished the second Baby Surprise Jacket last night and will get them in the mail to the boys tomorrow. I probably won't make the pattern again. Although it's cool the way it folds up to make a sweater, I'm not a fan of the clunky increases and seams on the front. I'm sure the boys will look adorable in them clunky seams or not though!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fowl Language


(Click to bigify-more detail)
This is the hugantic herd of turkeys that lives across the street from my house. They are almost always out there. I've grown very fond of them over the past months and have even named some of them. See the one on the far right? Her name is 'Giblets'. And the one next to her? 'Cutlets'. And that big tom right about in the middle? He's from a french speaking province in Canada. His name is 'Monsieur En Croute'.... They are pretty nonchalant for T minus 15 days and counting! Just sayin'.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Cookin' On All Four Burners

Nablopomo # 9

Today was a blur. Was at work before 7:30 and didn't leave until 5:45. Don't think I stopped moving once all day but I sure did cook through the pile of work on my desk. I will be working from home the next couple of days. I was supposed to find an Executive Assistant type seminar to attend for continuing education, but nothing of any note has been given in the area, so I am taking the next couple of days to do some on line work; lots of tutorials, tips and tricks etc that I've been saving until I 'had time'. That hasn 't happened so I'm taking the time and having a couple of do-it-yourself seminar days! I learn best on my own anyway.

Came home and used my new birthday skillet to make a huge batch of Pasta Fagiolo! It's been simmering on the stove for an hour and my house smells SO GOOD. I think I'll ask Mike and Hef down for supper. I've got a loaf of crusty bread to bake up and some fresh Parmesan to grate over it. If it sounds good, I'm posting the recipe on Molly Bee's Kitchen. Delicioso!

Off to work more on my BSJ. I think I'll be able to finish it tonight and put the buttons on tomorrow night and have both of them in the mail by the end of the week. Then it's on to my secret Thanksgiving project for Sweet Willie Browne! G'night all!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I Broke My Dog

Nablopomo Day 8!

Mr Ben and I just got back from a rousing game of fetch....er... that is to say....a rousing game of 'You Throw The Ball And I'll Go Get It, Bring It Half Way Back And Then Head Off Into The Tall Grass With It Causing You To Chase Me, Catch Me and Call Me A Bad Dog And Making Me To Feel Bad Until You Throw The Ball The Next Time And I Bring It Half Way Back Only To Head Into The Tall Grass Again'. Lather, rinse repeat as needed. He's now laying on the floor wheezing like a bagpipe, but I suspect he'll re inflate in time for supper. It's so hard to be a big doggie.

Did a whole bunch of not much today primarily focusing on procrastinating about finishing the BSJ. Why is it that when you HAVE TO (self-imposed HAVE TO or course but still...) knit something, you don't want to, but when you should be doing something else, all you want to do is knit. I am my own worst enemy.

Off to order the new John Irving Book from the library before you can! Neener Neener! Have a good night!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Queen of Productivity

Went to Knit Night at The Ear last night. Did everything I could to talk myself out of it but the lure of my buds and Chocovine was too great. I didn't stay a whole long time, it was too crowded and hot, but they lifted my spirits immensely in the short time I was there. They are the best. I'm a lucky girl.
I even managed to finish these:
I like this Trek yarn. If I can't decide what color sock to wear, I'll pick these since they seem to have ALL of the colors in them!
With a little help from my friends, I am finally beginning to crawl out of my self-imposed funk today. Ben and I got up at 5:45 and took a walk for about an hour and fifteen minutes. We watched the sun rise and enjoyed the warm temps. I even had to take my fleece jacket off and tie it around my waist. Ben didn't take his coat off but he did pee on a lot of things to stay cool.

Came home and had some yogurt and fresh berries for breakfast, stripped my bed and loaded the linens into the washer, cleaned out the fridge and did the dishes. Then it was off to Wal-Mart to pick up a whole list of things. I HATE to go there so I tend to wait until the list is loooooong. It was pretty quiet today so it wasn't that bad. Got a nice deep dish frying pan, and a CD player so I can listen to my hypnosis CDs again, with b-day money from my Mum. Thanks Mum!
I stopped at Brennan's Market on the way home and picked up some aged cheddar and honey. Tonight is earmarked for my favorite comfort food; Molly Bees Special Toasted Cheese. (That's right Michael! I said 'Toasted Cheese rather than 'Grilled Cheese' ...'cause that's how I roll! If you want to try it here's what you do:
Take good bread (not packaged fog like Wonder Bread) Put in a slice of aged cheddar, and several THINLY sliced apples slices (with or without the peel-I do with). Drizzle with honey. Coat the outside with butter or margarine and put it in the 400° toaster oven for about 8 minutes. Take it out and sprinkle 2 tsp of Parmesan cheese on each side and out back in for another 6 minutes or so. YUM!
At any rate, I digress. I'm going to meet a friend for lunch later at Quivey's and then my afternoon will be devoted to getting me and big doggie outside to enjoy the last of the decent weather. Tonight will be finishing my Baby Surprise Jacket-over half done and watching The United State of Tara on Showtime On Demand. That show is hysterical! Anyway, that's all the news that's fit to print for now. So far I've reached my Nablopomo goal!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Thankful

On days like this when I feel less than wonderful and it seems like the whole world is coming apart at the seams, I try to concentrate on the little things. There's so much to be thankful for:
  • My family who loves me no matter what
  • My doggie who is a snuggler-most-excellent
  • My cozy nest
  • A hot pot of rose tea and a warm blanket
  • A wonderful book
  • Knitting
  • My journal
And the knowledge that life has a way of working itself out and that tomorrow will be better

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Guest Blogger: Ben-the-Dog

My Mommy is sick tonight. She has a bad tummy and feels yucky. She says it must be from eating healthier and says she is going back to eating cheeseburgers tout de suite. I don't know what that means. I, Ben-the-Dog, find cheeseburgers quite savory don't you? They are not too sweet at all. Anyway. She asked me, Ben-the-Dog, to write a blog guest post since she joined Nablopomo (National Blog Posting Month) and is supposed to make some sort of entry every day for the month of November. So I sat down and thought about it...

(This is me thinking about it.)

but couldn't think of anything to write so I, Ben-the-Dog, will just issue an invitation to all of you to come over and see my toys and maybe throw the ball. If you throw it, I, Ben-the-Dog will go get it and if you throw it I, Ben-the-Dog, will go get it, and if you throw it I, Ben-the-Dog will go get it, and if you throw it I, Ben-the-Dog will go get it....ahem...times infinity! You get the picture. And if we are extra cute, Mommy will give us cookies. Please come by soon.
Love,

Ben-the-Dog

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Beluga Babble

I went to Chicago with friends yesterday. It was a gorgeous day. The sky and the lake were both so clear and blue it hurt your eyes! Since I was on his turf, I looked around for Franklin. Obviously I didn't look everywhere, but I covered quite a lot of ground and never find him. He's a pretty good hider that Franklin.

If you happen to see someone who looks like me on the National News some night soon, it IS me! I got interviewed by an Associated Press camera man about the new holiday airfare taxes while we were dropping a friend off at O'Hare. I had a lot of opinions on the subject, especially that $25/bag fee. I thought it was funny that he chose me, especially since I wasn't even traveling. If you see me on the News in regards to grand theft auto, kidnapping or generally running amok in some other way, please disregard. That whole business has been cleared up now.

The highlight of the trip was a visit to the Shedd Aquarium. What a beautiful facility.
We saw some amazing animals, including this flirty guy. Handsome devil isn't he?
And this one. I have always been fascinated by sea dragons. They had two varieties at the aquarium. This one is the graceful leafy kind. They don't even look real. I think they are really from outer space and that Torchwood should be called immediatly. Anyone have John Barrowman's telephone number?

(Click to biggify. You won't be sorry!)
Interestingly enough, while there, I discovered yet ANOTHER superpower! I KNOW! I'm collecting them all right? I was using my 'all-purpose animal noise' (make fish lips and suck in making a high pitched squeaky noise and punctuate it with all kinds of 'here babys' and ' you're just the cootest widdles' you can throw in there) when this little lady came scooting right over and looked at me and started making all kinds of whistles, clicks and burps. She'd turn her head this way and look at me with one eye...


Then she'd swim off a little, come right back over and turn her head back the other way and scope me out with the other eye...

Then she'd toss her head back and squeal...
It was then that I realized, that all of these years, I have been speaking fluent Beluga and didn't even know it! I'm a bonified savant! I suspected that I was speaking Humpback once, but it was actually the man standing next to me on the boat. Anyway, she stuck around and gabbed with me for ten full minutes before she had mined all of the day's events out of me and swam away. It was so surreal. It was one of those special moments that you'll always remember.