The World According to Marney

Wednesday, July 30

It's a Tank

Last night I finished the front of the stripey tank and wove in ALL of the ends. It even fits! I still need to put the edging on. I started out crocheting the edge, but I didn't like it. The crocheted edge wouldn't totally cover the knit edge and there was a hint of the original color on the outside. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. It could also be that I was doing it late last night andwasn't thinking too clearly. I may try an i-cord edge for this tank.

Oh, I would have a picture, but for some reason, many of my pictures with my new camera come out a bit blurry. I think I am not used to pushing the button down so hard and my arm shakes a bit. There must be some finger strengthening exorcises out there somewhere....


Tuesday, July 29

With Help Like This...'s amazing I can get anything finished. With the constant help of George, last night

George is my helper

I was able to get through the back of my stripey sigma tank.

I have decided that I really need to focus on this instead of being lured over to the dark side of the Noro. It calls to me like a siren song, singing, "I could be finished in two days. Don't you want to have something quick to finish that will be pretty and special?" Make it stop!

On a total side note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NOLAN!!!

Monday, July 28

Sit right back and you'll hear a tale; a tale of a fateful trip. It started from this city port

aboard this

tiny ship.

My adventures this weekend took me to the "obscure" borrough of Staten Island. Although I have lived here for 12 years, before this weekend, I had never set foot on the Southernmost borough. Well, it didn't start out as the goal of the evening on Saturday night. I went to dinner at One if By Land, Two if By Sea with Nolan, Jess and Paul to celebrate three July birthdays, enjoy a fabulous dinner, and regale in a lovely evening with friends. Afterwards, we started on our adventure to enjoy the warm summer night on a boat ride through the harbor.

For those of you who aren't from around here, the Staten Island Ferry is the biggest bargain in NYC. It is a FREE boat ride between Manhattan and Staten Island, passing Governors Island, Ellis Island and the Statue Of Liberty. In the summer, most people decide to sit outside and watch the view as well as enjoy the fresh salty breezes. On the way back into Manhattan, you can stand at the front of the boat and watch the skyline get bigger and bigger.

Well, these four Manhattanites decided to take the ferry out and just ride it straight back, without getting off the boat. It is a very common practice. I have done it a couple of times. Anyway, unbeknownst to us, the boat we rode in on was going out of service which meant we had to run to get the the boat that was boarding as we were debarking. Well, the ferry schedule was not on our side, nor the side of the 40 or so people that decided to do the same thing. Alas, stuck in Staten Island for an hour. What to do? Well, we wandered. I'm sure there are lovely areas of Staten Island, but the area by the ferry is not set up for tourists.

In a nutshell, we found a bar that wasn't too scary, although rather political (Over the bar, there was a large painting of Rudy Guilliani, the police commissioner - I think, and the commissioner of the FDNY - I think, dressed in togas, on horses, spearing demons. Just inside the door, there was a petition to recall Bloomberg.), to grab a beverage amidst a post wedding party party.

The happy ending to this story is we caught the next boat and all made it home. Now I have been to all of the boroughs, just this summer!

Friday, July 25

Sorry about the missing pictures. They showed up this morning.

Deadbeat Sister

So, I forgot to give a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY wish to my little sister, Amy, yesterday. Sadly, I wasn't able to give her a call, nor will I be able to call her until possibly the end of the weekend.

Amy's the one sleeping in this picture. Well, this isn't the most recent picture of her, but it's what I have. For more old pictures of my family (subtle hint, Mom...), here are some cute pictures of my nieces, Amy and Wade's lovely daughters...

Hailee - following in my footsteps. LOOK OUT!

Sydnee - gorgeous even missing a couple of teeth

Kelsee - adorable but feisty

So these are the kids I get to see when I go back home for a visit. It's a rough life, but I think I'm up for the job.

This concludes my brief family pictoral. Maybe next time, I will have some more current pictures (more hints, Mom...).

Thursday, July 24

More Yarn

Look what I got in the mail yesterday

That's my Noro from ebay. There was a little bit of a problem with shipping (the seller forgot to send it to me), but who cares, it's in my grubby little hands, now. Which leads me to what Sandy calls "startitis" but I call being overly excited about new stuff.

I'm making the pattern in the picture above (Also note Koshka's legs in the way. He likes to help.) from Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple Knits, "Not Your Standard Issue Sweatshirt." You can really see the beautiful colors in this shot.

Now this is not to say that I have been ignoring my new tank. Oh, no. Thanks to a staff meeting that I had to call in for, I got a bit more finished yesterday afternoon.

Oh, I actually did more than just knit last night. I also went to see Swim Shorts as predicted. Thank you, Mother Nature, for clearing the rain away in time to have a successful show around a pool. It was a lot of fun. Okay, some of it was not that great, but there were some pieces that I really liked. If you are in NYC in the next couple of weeks, check out the pool at the Holiday Inn on 57th Street on the west side. For $15 you get a show, for an additional $5 you can swim in the pool until midnight, after the show. (No I did not do that. Maybe when I go back for the second night in August.)

Wednesday, July 23

Rain rain go away!

As of yesterday afternoon, New York City has had 31.22 inches of rain for 2003. And it's still falling. Well, falling is really not the correct terminology, more like dousing, drenching, soaking, dropping buckets, submerging, saturating. And it will still come down throughout the week and next week and WILL IT EVER END! The average precipitation is 29.08 by the end of the month. On the other hand, the average precipitation for my lovely hometown in the rainy Pacific Northwest is only 20.29 inches by the end of July. So much for leaving the rainy country!

Well, not much to report. I spent a little time working on the new tank. But it really took a backseat to more domestic endeavors. I did find out (after living in this neighborhood for over 8 years) that the laundromat is really empty on Tuesday evenings. There may have to be a schedule change from the usual weekend chores.

Tonight, I am going to go see a showcase of one act plays that all take place around a pool. It's called Swim Shorts (so clever). The good news is it literally takes place at a pool. The bad news is (as noted in the first paragraph) IT"S POURING OUTSIDE!!! Well, at least it's at a hotel and a pool, so they will have an abundance of towels.

Tuesday, July 22

Picture Pages! Picture Pages!

After I got my NEW tank project going last night (can you say addict???), I decided to start in on the picture taking of finished projects, since I can do that now. First of all, I'd like to introduce you to Dot:


I need to adjust the straps on this tank, as the cotton stretched a bit more than I anticipated. It made for an interesting day of nearly flashing the animals at the zoo.

Next is Rowan Halter:

Rowan Halter

So comfy. Perfect to go between the office and evening or casual. We love this top.

Both af these projects were made out of 4 ply cotton. I also ended up making them a size smaller than I originally planned, so I have an extra ball of the blue and the green, as well as much of the purple and almost a complete ball of the pink. So I thought I would give one more tank a shot. After seeing sigma on, I had to work with this pattern. I love the idea of not having a specific gauge that you have to conform to. Although it really calls for larger yarns, I decided to live on the edge and use up some of my leftover cotton. Wanna see?

new tank


I am going to do a graduated stripe - 11 rows of blue, 1 row of purple, 10 rows of green, 1 row of purple, 9 rows of get the picture. Then when I get to the middle, I will reverse the stripes by making them get bigger toward the top. I think I should be fine with the amount of yarn I have. If I think I'm running short, I will do some improvising.

Monday, July 21

I Am A Camera

Well, not really, but I'm feeling theatrical. Anyway, I got by new camera on Saturday. I really didn't expect it until sometime later this week or next week sometime. Hey, I won't complain!

Anyway, I didn't have a whole lot of time to play with it this weekend, cuz I'm a busy girl. But I did get a shot of my yarn fairy afghan that I was working on a bit.

So you may ask, what did I do to make me not spend quality time with my new toy this weekend. Well, I spent a good chunk of Saturday afternoon helping out at an audition. It gave me a chance to get a few rows done on the afghan. After that, Nolan and I went to dinner at the ever tasty, Chat 'n' Chew. Nothing like comfort food to keep your spirits up. Then we caught a show at the The Gershwin Hotel which featured his friends Singer & Saw aka Sarah Worthington and Nathan Carver. The show was interesting. There were a lot of not so funny comedy acts, but there were a few acts that were pretty well done. The hotel, on the other hand was freightening. I think I need to spend a little time on the description of this place.

Imagine, if you will, an architecturally historical building with crown molding carved into the plaster of the walls and ceiling, pillars and fireplaces with ornate decorative wood carvings and marbled flooring. Sounds like a beautiful space that has maintained its historical integrity. Now imagine taking that space and decorating it with Andy Worhol-esque design, Roy Lichtenstein works, fiberglass "horns" jutting from the outside facade, and modern, jewel toned furniture. Oh, but that is not even the half of it. Every wire in the building was exposed and hanging from the walls or ceiling. In the main lobby, these wires were bound up in a long, red cloth sheath that ran the length of the room, hanging from the ceiling like a scarlet worm. In the room where the show took place, the giant, carved wood fireplace was surrounded by track lighting (again with expose wires) and wallpaper with the statue of liberty in fromt of a star with a pinkish glow. The phrase eclectic does not do this space any justice. There is no way, one person could have mixed this many design choices into one building. It must have been a team of blind, design students that had left over projects they needed to unload. Or maybe there is a form of dyslexia for design.

Well, between all of that and hanging with friends on Sunday, I only started to get into the functionality of the camera last night. I hope to get a bit more under my belt tonight. Maybe get some pictures of those elusive FOs that I claim to have completed.

Friday, July 18

Additional Good News

I got my yarn shipment situation sorted out today. Apparently, the seller had forgotten to mail the yarn but it's now on the way. No worries. I am just happy that I don't have to argue with the post office about missing boxes, as you may recall I have done in the past.

On that note, have a wonderful weekend!

I have good news and bad news

Which would you like first? Good News? Bad News?

Guess who is currently wearing a freshly made halter? That's right, I finished the weaving last night at about 1:30 AM. I would have been done earlier, but I made a pitstop after the theatre last night. Of course, my camera is not here yet, so once again, I am pictureless.

In other good news, I taught one of the ushers at Lost Highway to knit. She is a quick study. Her stitches are very even and at a good tension. I am very impressed. She had been eyeing my projects as I would work diligently during the show.

You asked for it, I have some bad news.
First of all, I still haven't received by ebay Noro Kureyon. It's been 2 weeks and there is no sight of it. I am going to get to e-mailing today about it. Must have wool!!!

In even more horrible news, I picked up my aran sweater this morning to bring as my "if I have any time to knit" project only to find out that there is a hole in it. Not a dropped stitch, not a "design feature." It's a hole eaten by something that hates me.

So I need to get same feedback from you. This piece is currently 12 inches long, a bit further than 1/2 way. The hole is at the edge of the ribbing and the stitch pattern. Do I
  • a) try to weave in the one or two stitches that are damaged?

  • b) tear out everything dowe to the beginning and try again?

  • c) drop down that cable and rework it alone?

  • d) put a big old patch on it?

  • e) cry like a baby?

  • f) something I haven't thought of already?

Right now I am leaning toward option e.

Thursday, July 17

Just another Boring Thursday

Not much to discuss today. I only have 18 rows left on the halter. That means that I may very well wear it tomorrow. That would make it 6 days for this project. Not bad. Well, it is done all in one piece and in stockinette with a garter border, not terribly complicated.

Oh, today marks the beginning of the crazy season at work. Meetings are going into full swing for me. I have already started laying ground work for them, but they will start to take over every free moment for me now. Guess that means shorter posts.

Wednesday, July 16

Pictures and Cameras

I tried to upload these pictures yesterday but my internet connection was not playing nice, so here are the pictures of Arye and the hat I made for him:

Arye Wolberg

And to give you persective of just how small this little guy is, here he is with Mom.

Arye and Mom, Hillary

The hat was made from the left over Rowan All Seasons Cotton that I got with my subscription to the Rowan magazine. I have to admit, I was a little unsure of the size since I have never knit anything for a preemie (7 weeks early!!) before.

On more personal note, I ordered my birthday present from Mom & Dad. Since the web page that I created for them to browse wasn't specific enough (???), they sent me money to buy somenthing special. Well, I took it upon myself to do some research on digital cameras and decided on this one:
Canon Powershot A300

I found a good deal. That means, I have no reason now for not posting pictures, once I receive it. Well, other than the fact that I got the warning yesterday that I was out of space on the server I am using. Time to farm out more space or delete some old files. Decisions, decisions.

On the knitting front, for the fist time in months, I was able to make it to S-n-B last night. Unbeknowst to me (cuz I am a bit neglegent these days), Deb Stoller was having pictures taken of the group for her knitting book. Remember earlier in the year when I was knitting a secret project? Well, it is going to be in print. In fact, I heard the pictures they took of it ar really great. To tip you all off, it is a yellow, knit backpack with a bunny face on it. Very cute!!

I think I may have to make another one for me, since it came out so cute the first time. Look for Take Back the Knit in your bookstore's knitting section this Fall.

Tuesday, July 15

Birthdays, Weddings and other Blessed Events

Thank you all for all of your well wishes on my birthday. I have to say, considering everything, it was a pretty good birthday, well, aside from having to be at work for a big chunk of the day. I got phone calls from across the country from dear friends that I don't get to see very often. I had a quiet evening to fill with what I wanted (watching Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, knitting, spending quality time with my furry monsters). It may not be the most exciting birthday on record, but I am happy with it.

I got through a few more rows of the halter last night. It is going much slower now that I have 244 stitches to get through. I am coming close to my decreasing rows, though. That means I'll be in th home stretch. I may be able to wear it by Friday.

I talked to my friend, Pauline, last night. She is getting married in October and I have been asked to be in the wedding party. Well, let me tell you, this should be something of an adventure. First of all, Pauline is "marrying" Melissa who is a Wicca. I have never been to a lesbian, Wiccan wedding before. To make matters more interesting, Pauline and Melissa live a bit like a cross between hippies and trailor trash. Not to say they are bad people or in anyway in need of govirnment support, but they have chosen even more of an alternate lifestyle. They live in a winnebago or some sort of trailor out in Eugene, Oregon. Pauline is a baker and Melissa works at a fish store. This picture is becoming more and more colorful by the moment, isn't it. Well, I was told that there were so many people at the bakery that wanted to make the wedding cake that there will actually be about 6 cakes there (not full size, of course). You may be asking how I came to know these people that are clearly living on the other side of the reality spetrum from city-girl. Well, Pauline and I went to college together. I even knew her when she dated men. I was probably the one that made her decide to leave the City since I seemed to be a very bad influence on her (to this day, she can't even look at a bottle of Jack Daniels). Well, Pauline is one of the very few people that I kept in touch with after college. I think this wedding, aside from being a joyous, yet non-legally binding event, should be the source of many tales to come. How can I turn this one down?

I just saw pictures of my co-worker's brand new, preemie baby. I made a hat for him which apparently was used quite a bit while he was in the hospital for a week. When I made it, I was really winging it on the size but it looks like it fit perfectly. The pictures had to go off to family members before they could be scanned. As soon as they come back this afternoon, I will post a picture of baby Ayre and his tiny hat.

Monday, July 14

They Say It's My Birthday!!!

Well, I finally made it. The day I turn the big 3-ohhhh. That's right, my 20s are officially over. Oh, I'm not upset about that. Not in the slightest. I think I had a very good decade. I did more in my twenties than a lot of people can claim. Here are some of the highlights:
  • I worked on Broadway, rubbing elbows with celebrities.

  • I traveled throughout the country.

  • I traveled to the Caribbean and to Europe.

  • I lived in Manhattan for my entire 20s and by myself for most of them.

  • I lived in the fast (although not monetarily affluent) lane and took full advantage of the entrapments of youth.

  • All in all, I had a good time.

  • Okay, so there were a few downsides but they were not worthy enough to even bring up here.

    That being said, I enjoyed the last weekend of my 20s by going to the Bronx Zoo and having a wonderful dinner cooked for me. I chatted with friends and family that are too far away to visit. I enjoyed the beautiful weather that Mother Nature granted us. And I knit up a storm.

    That's right, the Dot tank is done, and I wore it on my zoo adventure Saturday. (I'll get pictures as soon as I can.) After that, I started in on the Rowan Halter on Friday, and already, I am about 1/2 way through it. It's so much easier when you done have to count for dots!

    I am going to try to enjoy the rest of the day today. It's a little anti-climactic when you celebrate for weeks before your birthday. Oh well. I am looking forward to having a quiet day.

    Friday, July 11

    Done with Dot!

    Last night and this morning, I finished the last of the knitting on the Dat tank. Now all that is left is the weaving in of the ends (and there are plenty) and the sewing of buttons. Due to my button bonanza earlier in the year, I have the perfect buttons for this project without ever leaving home. That makes me very happy. My main goal is to wear the tank tomorrow on my adventure to the Bronx Zoo. I hope I won't be mistaken for a giraffe or a leapard with all of my spots.

    You may ask, "Well, Marney, since you are running through projects like they are water, what are you going to do next?" Well, I still have the yarn for the halter that I found at the Rowan site. Also, I have that aran sweater that is not knitting itself. I really should get to work on that before the weather starts getting cold again. There is also the The Harry Potter Scarves that I want to make for my nieces for the holidays. Between all of the information on Ivete's page and the pattern generator on the girl from auntie site, I should have a pretty good idea of how to navigate these scarves.

    Let's see, what else do I have to share. Not much over here. I guess that means I have to get to work, then. Have a great weekend, everyone.

    Thursday, July 10

    Busy Day

    Did you see me on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night? Well, I was there, in the studio audience. What a fun time. Of course, I had to call a month and a half in advance to reserve tickets (that were not guaranteed) and wait in line outside of the studio for an hour. But once we were in, it was so much fun to watch. There was about 45 minutes of warm up with one of the writers and Lewis Black (who was there for his weekly segment of Back in Black). If you are in the NYC area, you should definitely check out a taping of the show.

    Right after the show, I raced over to meet up with my Book Club to discuss Stupid White Men. Talk about a politically charged evening. Well, the discussion wasn't so politically charged because all of us agreed with what Michael Moore has to say, although we all agreed that he is really beating a dead horse with much of his "Bush-whacking." We know there is a problem. We know that he continually breaks the law, but the rest of the country would rather be contented to have a dictator who forces his radical views on us so we don't have to make decisions for ourselves. But I digress.

    After all that fun, and finishing the main pieces of my Dot tank, I went home to work out my confusion with the Catnip Mouse. Silly me, I read

      Continue in this manner, decreasing one stitch at the beginning of each row, and doing the cable twist on the third row of the pattern until you have the last 10 stitches remaining, ready to work a right side row.

    without paying attention to that section that says decreasing one stitch at the beginning of each row. That would be the difference between


    Notice the seed stitch tail in icord. It was a little test I did to see if it would come out ok. Low and behold, it does.

    As you can see, although I stuffed these mice last night, they already look like they have had plenty of wear. Well, my dear friend George took it upon himself to destroy them.

    How could such a cute face be so destructive. Well, he has help from his siblings, Koshka

    and Nekko

    or Koshka and Nekko

    Aren't they all just precious? Well, that is not all of my tale of the evening, because the darling Nekko helped me stuff catnip. And, I should tell you that catnip makes her drool, uncontrolably. So even though the tub of catnip was closed, this adorable little cat managed to create a pool of saliva on the lid of the catnip. Who says cats can't help.


    I have worked on the site a bit and I can still get into my links. I don't know if I have fixed the problem or not. If you still can't link, please e-mail me about it and I will try and fix it again.



    Apparently, there are some difficulties getting the links on my page. I will be working on this problem today, which may be a problem since I can open everything through this site. Please be patient. I'll get it going today. Thank Mom and Liz for letting me know there are problems.

    Wednesday, July 9

    I tried my hand at the Catnip Mouse Pattern last ngiht only to get something that looks like a long cabled finger. I must have read the pattern wrong. I thought I followed it to a "T," but my mouse looks very different from any of these. Well, I suppose cats don't really care what they look like, as long as they are filled with catnip (and yes, mine prefer the Cosmic brand - it's like kitty crack). And it did only take me one act of Hank Williams Lost Highway to finish. I suppose I can always make more.

    I just found out about a new service of Strand Book Store here in NYC. Just when you think you have figured out the whole process of buying books, they up and offer books by the foot. That's right for anyone that just wants to have the appearance of being a reader, you can get as many books as you need to fill those empty shelves. For some reason, I don't think I will have to partake in this particular service as all of my bookshelves are currently overflowing onto the floor, other shelves, tables, window sills, any available surface.... Maybe I should offer that kind of service. I can sell my books by the foot, because at this rate, I will have to get a second apartment just to have as a library.

    Tuesday, July 8

    If you haven't noticed, I did a little bit of sprucing up the place. Can you tell that I really don't want to do anything at work? Not only that, but there is no one here that really knows what I do, so when there is code on my screen, they just assume it's something important.

    Man it is hot here! I think we are looking at 95 degrees here today and lots o' humidity. Makes a girl rethink her stance on air conditioning. That's right, I am sans A/C mostly by choice. Partially because I don't want to blow up my building by plugging one more thing into the 3 functional outlets I have in my apartment that are all on opposite walls that my windows. Partially because sleeping with A/C makes me sick. Partially because I like to rough it. My ceiling fan is nice and all, but it really doesn't make much of anything cool.

    I didn't really do a whole lot of knitting last night. It was a bit on the warm side for me. A couple of rows was all I could eke out before I decided that even cotton is just too much for the weather.

    I forgot to tell you about the rest of my weekend. On Friday night, I went to see Big River on Broadway. Well, this was not your run of the mill show. The entire production was performed in American Sign Language. Not all of the characters spoke, so there would be other actors that spoke while the lines were signed by the actual character. For example, Huck Finn did not speak, but Mark Twain spoke for him, so during the duets with Jim, Huck and Jim would both sign but the lyrics were sung by Jim and Mark Twain in the voice of Huck. Sounds much more confusing than it actually was. I really liked the way the sign language added a natural choreography to the piece.

    On Saturday, we went to the Chocolate Exhibition at American Museum of Natural History. The good part about it was there were samples of Godiva Chocolates at the end in the chocolate gift shop. Other than that, I didn't find a whole lot to share in this rather weak and sparse exhibit. So, we headed down to the Einstein Exhibit which was much more interesting, but then again, I have always been a bit of a science nerd.

    Monday, July 7

    I forgot to mention that I also won my auction on ebay for some Noro Kureyon. Isn't it purty?

    I am thinking about making a hoodie from The Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple Knits. With all of the colors of the yarn, it should come out really cool.

    It is finished and out of my hands!!!! I am happy to say that I don't have to worry about this blanket ever again. I think it came out beautifully. I am just so happy that it is gone. I hope that the recipients take the finished product into consideration when they think back on the circumstances of how they got it.

    Happily, I have been diving head first into Dot. I don't have pictures, but I am finished with the front and one side of the back. I was anticipating that it wouldtake much longer to deal with all of the dots, but I am happy to say that it will probably be a FO by the end of the week. Well, if i can find the energy to weave in ALL the ends.

    THat means I will be able to get to work on the halter top that is also made from the Rowan 4 Ply Cotton. In the mean time, I also wanted to get a couple of Catnip Mice made up for some of my friends who have just gotten new kitties. the trick will be filling them and packaging them without the help of my furry friends. Maybe if I do them in the scorching heat, they will be too drained to try and take them from me. Or else, I will have to do one for them first in order to distract them. Sounds like a knitting kinda night for me.

    Thursday, July 3

    One last note before I call it a week. After reading about Shannon's bids on some Noro Kureyon on eBay, I checked it out, only to find some beautiful yarn for a great price that now has me bidding. I know I shouldn't spend the money on it. I know I don't need any yarn right now, but it's so pretty and it's such a good price. Of course, I started looking at possible yarns for holiday presents for the nieces. (I'm thinking about making them each a Hogwarts Scarf, each for a different house.) Then I started looking at cashmere (1 lb cones for $70.00!!!) and other types of yarn. I really should stay away from ebay when it comes to yarn. I wil go out of control.

    I am happy to say that I got plenty of sleep last night. That means that the blanket is still unfinished. Although, I did get quite a bit of work done on it, I am still looking at another 3-4 hours of edging, sewing and weaving. I can handle that, especially because today is a short day at work, thanks to the market closing early for the holiday weekend. Gotta love that!

    I do want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes. But, I forgot to mention that the birthday party that I had last weekend was a couple weeks early for my birthday. A friend, whose birthday is June 15th, and I, whose birthday is July 14th, decided to split the difference and celebrate our milestone years (40 and 30 respectively) by having a 70th birthday party for the two of us. So, my birthday has not yet passed, but thank you all for wishing me a happy birthday.

    Other than that, I am looking at a fun filled weekend. Hanging with the girls tomorrow afternoon, Big River tomorrow night, Chocolate Exhibit at the Museum of Natural History (complete with tastings) on Saturday. To top it all, the weather is supposed to be great. Yes, Ayelet, that means low humidity to go with the sunshine. Of course, it will not be the same as the Family BBQ that Mom and Dad host every 4th of July. I'm sure they'll have a hunk of watermelon and think of me, though. Actually, it would be more likely that they would remember me over a big bowl of ice cream! Yum!

    Have a great holiday weekend!

    Wednesday, July 2

    %&$*^#@ Blanket!

    As much as I want to get this blanket out of my life, there are some sacrifices that are just not worth making. For the past week, I have been getting e-mails regarding the status of the blanket from the recipients through my dear friend MJ, who is the point person. As much as I love MJ, I am very close to unraveling the whole blanket, giving their money back and saying find some other sucker who will work this quickly for this little. Ok, I won't be doing that, but the thought has crossed my mind.

    So yesterday, I was informed that they NEED to have the blanket by Thursday, as in tomorrow. My gut reaction was, I can't promise Thursday, but I can do Friday, and that would be me working my booty off. Granted, Friday is a holiday and is not much help to the people who want to give it to their co-worker who is leaving on maternity leave after Thursday. That does not change the fact that I still have about 8 hours worth of work left on it. Quite a conundrum.

    So, after giving this much thought, being the reasonable person that I am, I came up with a business proposition. If I am to finished this blanket on their time frame, namely by tomorrow morning, they will have to pay me my rate, an additional $300. For expedited service, I will have to be fully compensatied for all of my work - and that is still a bargain rate, if you ask me. If they are willing to allow me to finish the blanket at my time frame, by Friday, I won't charge any extra. I find this situation to be quite reasonable.

    Let's further take into consideration the following:

    1. I have been working on the blanket since June 4th - a 50 inch long blanket within a month means either the knitter is a retiree or unemployed, works like a machine or has absolutely no life. (Please no comments on where I fit into that spectrum, my self esteem can't really handle that at the moment.)
    2. I made a baby hat and booties first so they could have something tangible to give at their baby shower on the 9th - for free.
    3. Because MJ is such a good friend, they are getting my labor for nearly nothing - less than $1 per hour.
    4. This is not a difficult pattern but one that still requires some skill. And it is also of very high quality.
    5. This blanket will most likely become an heirloom and will be something this child will have for a long time.
    6. Other than MJ, I don't know any of these people.
    7. I figured out that this blanket will have taken between 50 and 60 hours of labor to complete once it is finished.

    Am I being unreasonable? Please tell me if I am doing something that makes no sense or is totally in left field. I mean, I have been more than accommodating to sacrifice my time, and quite a lot of it for these people, only to be given demands and complaints. Again, I do not hold MJ responsible for any of these communications. I don't blame the messenger. But the message is pissing me off.

    Ok. I'm done being grumpy about this.

    Tuesday, July 1

    I have further proved to myself that I do not want a career in the performing arts, well, at least not in the performing part. Last night I participated in a reading of a new play. I don't think I have ever been a participant in a reading, though I have attended many as a spectator. Mostly I was there in moral support and with feedback. Oh, and I helped set up and clean up. That's the event organizer in me. Despite my biases, I really think this piece is good and has the potential to intrigue audiences. The entire piece was about one of the most notorious magic tricks ever performed, the Bullet Catch. Just to illustrate the interest in this topic, after about 2 1/2 hours of reading, the dozen or so participants jumped at the chance to see the trick on video tape and a corresponding documentary.