Thursday, March 22, 2007

I didn't know that!

It turns out my paternal grandfather knew how to knit. I found out last night while I was out to dinner with my parents and they were waxing nostalgic about the past. No one can remember him actually making anything but when my mom was teaching herself how to knit he told her that it wasn't hard and anyone could do it. Mom gave him the needles and he started knitting and said "see it's not that hard." I would like this to be a warm fuzzy story where he then taught mom how to knit but grandpa wasn't really a warm fuzzy kind of guy. Family members are funny...just when you think you have their personality and skill set figured out and neatly tucked away in a box you find out something about them that is very much outside of said box. Of course he died 10 years ago so most of my memories of him are childhood memories and when you were a kid how much did you really know about the adults in your life. It turns out my grandma didn't even know he could knit (of course, she is still a little confused from surgery and not eating right for the past several days so maybe she would know when she is completely lucid.)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Gray wrap

Yeah! The gray wrap is finished and I did not succumb to my nasty habit of getting near the end on a project then putting it away to never finish it. I am now trying to decide what my next project will be: my first pair of socks, the wrist warmers from Knitty that were suggested by a swap-bot partner, a shawl, or something that I haven't thought of yet! Here is a photo of my wrap being used; it is not the best photo but it will work. Oh, all of the ends on the wrap have been woven in...that is yarn that I have wrapped around my wrist as a bracelet of sorts that you can see in the picture. Did I ever mention that this wrap is my own design?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Saturday's adventure

I spent most of Saturday hanging out with my friend Kastie having a bit of an adventure. It started out normal enough but knowing that I'm was involved, I am sure that you guessed it didn't stay normal for too long. I mailed my photos for the second photo scavenger hunt and then I headed over to the mall to meet up with Kastie. She needed a winter coat for next year and a I needed nothing (which means I ended up with three new lip glosses, two hand soaps, a tealight holder, two boxes of tealights, and a votive candle). After bowing to the consumer god, we grabbed some lunch and headed on to the real mission of the day.

Kastie is writing a book and she wanted to do some research for it so we headed out to the Mount Hope Cemetery in search of tombstones from the Civil War era (I told you it didn't stay normal for long). Kastie and I wandered around for three hours looking at tombstones and mausoleums taking pictures of the ones that interested us. We only say about a third of the cemetery and we didn't even make it to Woodlawn Cemetery to check out a specific tombstone that her aunt thought she would like to see. It turns out that Kastie's aunt has been documenting tombstones for years and has photos of thousands of grave sites. Kastie had no idea!

It was fascinating to see that even in death people still pay attention to trends. At some point, it was very trendy to have tree stumps incorporated into your tombstone. For a while instead of listing the deceased date of birth and death, the date of death was listed along with age in years, months, and days so you had to do a little math to figure out date of birth. I am happy to report that we have now moved beyond the age when women were only referred to as "wife of" on the tombstone. I mean if you want to put that, great, but for that to be the only thing listed because that was the only significance you had...not cool. Every once in a while we would stumble across something unique like:

a metal tombstone covered in some sort of paint to look like stone

an ornate door handle on a mausoleum

a tombstone with holes in it for no apparent reason

We are planning to go back at some point to check out the rest of the cemetery so Kastie can do more research and so I can take some more pictures. I discovered something new about myself: I like to make up stories to go with the tombstones to try to explain them. Periodically I will post a photo and the story that I made up to go with it. I don't know why I started doing it...probably some misguided attempt to make sense of death. The one photo I didn't take but wish that I had was an old gravestone that the elements had worn away almost all of the lettering. You couldn't make out the name, date of birth, date of death or any other identifying features but you could make out the epitaph "Gone but not forgotten."

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Best laid plans

So when I started this new night rover position at work I had all these ideas about the extra down time I would have at work. I would knit, catch up on correspondence with friends, read books, and occasionally I would have a project to work on. Not so much! Right now I am elbow deep in a project that is both fascinating and frustrating. I am looking up and documenting the criminal histories of the family members of juvenile delinquents. With just four families, I had 22 typed pages of police contacts and court cases...that is just nuts! I am glad to have a project to work on but this one is a tad bit depressing and just enforces my opinion that the criminal justice system is broken. Also, with the volume of contacts, a project that I thought might take three days is going to take more than a week and that is with a couple of people helping out. At least it makes the night fly by quickly. I guess that is what I get for thinking that maybe I could sneak in a way to get paid for reading or knitting! Until next time...try not to get arrested because someone, someday, may have to add it to a huge monster list. Oh yeah...also, breaking the law is bad or something!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Tuesday and taxes

I finally stopped procrastinating and completed my taxes over the weekend. You would think that I would have done then a month ago when I got my W-2s since I always get a refund but I have been in such a rut that I kept putting it off. Now that it is done, I don't have the gnawing dread that something horrible is going to happen to my W-2s [fire, giant hairball, etc...] every time I leave the house. {I tend to be a bit paranoid because work has made me believe in the power of the jinx!}

This morning I sent out my photos for the Black and White photo swap. I hope that the photo swaps come around again during the spring and summer when I am more inspired to get outside and take some wacky photos. Right now it's more of a take the quickest shot and get back inside thing.

I bought a DVD by Lucy Neatby and at some point I am going to try to teach myself how to knit socks. {Does it count as teaching myself if I use a DVD?} It seems like a great idea because socks are such a portable project. My only concern is getting the second sock done...of course, I could always just wear mismatched socks and pass it off as a personality quirk instead of admitting that I am just lazy when it comes to finishing a pair of socks. I guess maybe I should learn how to knit socks before I tackle the quandary of the second sock, huh?

Until next time...finish your taxes. You'll feel better, I promise*. [*promise void if you owe on your taxes]

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Eleven years

Happy 11th anniversary to Holly and Derrik who are currently celebrating in the Crescent City! Isn't it funny how life intersects in weird little ways? I just finished a documentary about New Orleans only to find out that friends are headed down there. I went to New Orleans several years ago for a New World Systems user conference but I did not get to see much of the city (I was in seminars all day). At some point, I would like to go back...although I probably won't notice much of a difference in the city pre- and post- levee break/hurricane damage. I only saw the French Quarter when I was down there and I don't think that the tourist area sustained much damage.

Friday, March 2, 2007


I have been watching "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" and I decided it should be mandatory viewing for the masses. There were so many things in the documentary that never made the news (or at least didn't make the news where I live)...I knew it was bad but I was fired up after watching. If you haven't seen it, you should check it out.

I got one of my "I heart books" swap letters yesterday and I am working on mine. It was really hard to narrow down my list of books to ten that are my "favorite." I love so many of my books for very different reasons so I tried to choose a wide variety of books. My final ten ended up being (in no particular order): The Eyre Affair; The Swiss Family Robinson; Knitting Rules!; It; Candy Freak; The Secret History; The Bridge to Terabithia; Ex Libris; New Jack; and Fahrenheit 451. I should get my "I heart books" swap letters mailed out tomorrow.

I haven't done much on the knitting front. I like to knit while I am watching TV or a movie so I don't feel like I am too much of a coach potato but I just couldn't knit while I was watching the documentary. I wanted to be able to devote all of my attention to it so I could retain as much of the information as possible. I hope everyone out in internet land is happy today...until next time, take care!

Oh the places I've been...