Thursday, May 30, 2013

Getting Ahead of Myself

As I was logging in to write this post, I was contemplating starting another blog.

And then I realized that it had been several weeks since I last posted on this one, and I thought that it probably  wouldn't be a good idea to start something else that I was ultimately going to neglect.

But I considered a new blog anyway, simply because I have returned to the workforce of Baseball Town, NY (known half the year when it's empty of annoying tourists as Cooperstown) and there are always stories to be told.

It'd be like Waiter Rant, except I'm bartending, and there would be much more baseball-hating. I'm starting to convince myself that this IS a good idea, again.

Change of subject.

I finished the last of three scarves the other day. Here they are:

I made them as thank you gifts for my professors from Bing who wrote me several letters of recommendation over the past two years to various grad school programs. Now that I've picked one, I owed them something.

I'll be starting at Goddard College in less than a month and I am both very excited, and terrified.

More on that later. Right now, I have to go bang out a hat for my friend who is leaving me (again) to go on another great adventure, this time in Providence, RI.

Then I need to make a baby shower present. I'm leaning towards a tiny sweater, because those are always adorable. Also, I have the yarn for it, and I'm doing my best to stash-bust in the interest of buying more yarn at the Central New York Fiber Festival on the 8th and 9th. It's a tiny event, but there was gloriously inexpensive alpaca there last year.

Fingers crossed those people come back.

For now, I'll leave you with a pretty picture of chives. I had no idea they bloomed like that.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Food Snob Walks Into A Bar...

...And so the service industry tales begin.

The restaurant I'm bartending at has only been open for two weekends, and I've already had someone send their food back and refuse to order anything else.

This woman and her husband came in, sat at the bar, and she was pretty awful right from the get go.

She wanted to know about the Porterhouse steak-

Cranky Woman: What does this mean? This doesn't make any sense. It says 4oz filet, 12oz strip. Well which is it?

"You're right, ma'am, that doesn't make sense. Let me check for you."

So I return and inform her that Porterhouse, says the chef, generally comes with the bone in the middle. He's cut the bone out of these steaks, so you get the 4oz filet from one side of the bone and the 12 oz strip from the other side of the bone, without having to actually work at getting around the bone yourself. Seems okay, right?

CW: Well, someone doesn't know how to cut meat.

"You're right, I don't. How about you order something else?"

She gets the chicken. It arrives, she eats all the mushrooms off the top and then pushes the plate away.

CW: This is just awful. I can't eat this. It's terrible.

"I'm so sorry, can I take it back and have him fix it? Or would you like something else instead?"

CW: No, this is awful. You can just take it. I don't want anything else.

"I'm really sorry. What was wrong with it?"

CW: It's not your fault, you didn't cook it. But the sauce is watery, the linguini doesn't taste like anything.

It's fucking pasta, lady. It doesn't taste like anything. That's why you cover it in sauce.

CW: It's not salty enough,

See that shaker full of white stuff right in front of you? You can have as much as you want. 

CW: And this chicken has no life in it.

Yeah, I generally like my chicken dead when I eat it. It makes it easier to catch it with the fork. 

"I feel bad that I recommended it to you. It wasn't that bad when I ate it."

Then I took her plate away and left her alone.

Side note: her husband looked really embarrassed, and HE ate everything with no complaint, so I feel like she does this everywhere she goes.

Poor guy.   

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Moses Supposes His Toeses... Are Almost Finished.

I missed a post last week because something terribly exciting (and relieving) happened.

I got a job.

I get to bartend at a new steakhouse in town. It's been fun, so far, if by fun you know I mean 'shit show.'

No, really, it's been both. We were most definitely not prepared for the number of people that showed up Friday night for the first night open, and it was good, overall. I mean, it was crazy, and people waited for hours (literally, an hour + sometimes) for their food, but it was good that we now know what needs to improve.

Everything. Except the bar service, obviously, because I'm fabulous.

We could use some Bud products and simple syrup and grenadine, but I'm doing pretty well so far.

Today's goal is finish this sock (not the pair, since this is just the first sock, but it's almost there.)
 Also, I need to write a new pitch for Letters to Myself.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Color Affection Take Two

I promise that this will be the last post about the Color Affection for awhile.


I'm so pleased with the way this turned out. I cut corners a little bit at the end, I'll admit, because I was afraid that I was going to run out of yarn and I don't have the ability to get more at the moment, and mostly because I just wanted the thing done before it got too warm to wear it.

And I am certainly not going to ask the warm weather to hold off for a bit, because that would be insane.

Still, even though it isn't as wide as it could be, it's a perfect size. Anything bigger might be too big for me anyway. I don't want to be dwarfed by my own shawl.

I wore it all day yesterday, and I loved it! It's warm and cozy, but light at the same time.

There will be more versions of this pattern, just not for awhile, because I have a pair of socks on the needles at the moment, and I want to make something with crochet, too. Now I just have to pick a pattern.

Easy, right?

Score: Color Affection: 2. Me: 0.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sunshine Around the Corner

I just came from the Harlot's blog, and it seems that we're all feeling the weather today. It's gray and gloomy and pouring rain here.

And I am this close to being done with this Color Affection.

That's right. Just the bottom couple inches of blue and then I cast off this beast.

It makes me not want to work on writing one novel and editing another, which is exactly what I should be doing.

It makes me want to curl up with a cup of tea (or maybe some wine) and something to watch on Netflix, and knit until this thing is done.

I DID clean the house today, so I can't call the day a complete waste, even if I spend the rest of it knitting.

I think I might indulge.

I'll catch up on the writing eventually, right?

For now, I'm going to find something to watch while I knit, and think about how beautiful it was last weekend. I hope more days like this are just around the corner.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Buzz Off

For the first time in too long it feels like spring. We've been ready for spring for months now (some of us) and we're all anxiously awaiting it, and it feels like it might have finally happened.

I don't want to say that too loud, in case Mother Nature has other ideas.

Today, I met a friend for coffee and spent a good two hours talking to a human being! It was great, and just what this mostly-housebound girl needs. Along with a job, and a car.

Then I went and got myself some sushi for lunch, and took it to the park to eat outside.

Two or three pieces in, my peaceful spring lunch was interrupted by a honey bee.

Not a 'quick sniff and be gone' honey bee, either, but a 'oh, there's sweet sauce on your shrimp roll- I'm going to land on your food and help myself' honey bee.

I didn't want to kill it, because bees are dying at an alarming rate, but I'll be damned if I was going to share the rest of my lunch with the thing.

When it had eaten its fill, and buzzed off to tell its friends about the awesome free food, I packed up and made a run for it. I had a less lovely lunch in my boyfriend's car with the windows up just in case the bees managed to track me down.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I Refuse to Take Pictures of My Food

So today, you just get a recipe.

3 or 4 small heads of broccoli, raw and chopped

1/2 to 1 cup of grapes, halved

1/4 to 1/2 a red onion, chopped (depending on how much you like onion)

3/4 pound of bacon, cooked and chopped small.

Mix together in a bowl.

Add just enough mayo to coat everything (about a half a cup).



Remark to your friends how fucking delicious it is.

You're welcome.

(P.S- this recipe is not mine. I just found it, and love it, and am sharing it with you.)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Lions All Around

I am again losing to the Color Affection pattern. It's absolutely addictive. I have a ton of yarn that I need to use up, and I have no job, but what did I do? Bought the yarn for a Color Affliction.

Screw you, addictive pattern.

And yet, I love you. And I can't wait for this one to be done, so that I can wear it.

I'm 3 rounds away from being able to add the final color, and that means that it's very hard for me to sit here and write this blog post, and look for jobs like I'm supposed to be doing, because I'd much rather finish this section while catching up on The Following.

SPOILER ALERT! The third color is blue.

I can't really spoil The Following for you, because I'm still three or four episodes behind. They've just arrived at Joe's weird compound full of followers.

I'd just like to say that I totally called the local cop being a part of the plan and shooting Jinxy (because Shawn Ashmore will forever be Steve Jinks from Warehouse 13 to me). But I'm glad he was okay. Because I like Jinxy.

In other, totally unrelated news, it's still snowing. I thought March was supposed to go out like a lamb? Not so much. Lions all around, here. It's ridiculous, and I've had enough.

Since there isn't much else exciting in my life, I'm off to search for more jobs. Hopefully then I'll have more interesting stories to relate.

That or I'll keep watching television...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Because I'm Irish, Damn It.

I've been doing so well with posting every week on Thursday or Friday. This week was just a little bit (or a lot) crazy, and I never quite got around to it.

My mom had a surgery last Friday (she's fine) but I've spent the week getting up at the ass crack of dawn- that metaphor specifically to convey to you how unpleasant it is to get up at 6am- to drop Ben off at school and then spend the day taking care of the dogs and wood stove for my mom.

Also, Daylight Savings Time happened, so it was even more dark, cold and horrible than it was the week before at 6am. Oh humans, and your totally made up construct of time, you're so silly.

However, hanging with my mom a) is always fun and b) gave me lots of time to crochet while we chilled on the couch watching Psych. When the hospital gives you narcotics (her, not me) that's about all you're able to do.

Project 4 of 13 in 2013: Cirrus

wool/silk/viscose blend, and I am totally in love with it. I wore it yesterday, even though it was way too cold and I really should have been wearing an all wool scarf.

Now, I'm going to spend the rest of my St. Patrick's Day knitting my new Color Affection, and drinking. (I started early today, with Bailey's-laced coffee. And I'm going to keep going. Because I'm Irish, dammit, and I can.)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I Am Not a Ballerina

I managed to finish those birthday socks I've been talking about on time!

Finished, blocked and dried a whole day early. Go me!

Other than socks, my time lately has been spent looking for a job. I haven't heard back from the most promising one at this point, but that's okay, because I don't really want it anyway. They have some shady business going on there.

Who starts someone at $8.00 an hour for an undetermined amount of time before they bump them up to their (measly) salary? For the amount of work and time involved, I'm going to demand more money. I was making more at my last job, which was basically the same thing, except there were set hours (there are not at this one, and I am not working 7 days a week for 22k a year. And I don't think that's unreasonable.)

Do you?

Anyway, in other, less stressful news. It's National Crochet Month! Woot. I need to find a good shawl pattern or something. I've got some lovely, silk blend worsted weight in some nice springy blues. I just have to find the right pattern for it.

I'll be off to do that now, and possibly do some spinning. The Harlot has inspired me to pull it out with her pledge to do a week of spinning.

Here's another picture of the socks:
I am not a ballerina. Clearly.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Milo Vest in Pictures

I've been sick (still am) so you get a half-assed post today. I did not finish those socks I was talking about last week. In fact, I haven't finished much of anything in the last couple of days except reading some Once Upon a Time fanfiction. (Yeah, I had that kind of brain dead, lazy day yesterday.) 

Here's a vest I made months ago for my favorite little man, Reed. I bet he's huge now, since I haven't seen him in the two months since we've moved.

Pattern: Milo with owl cable option.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sweater for Miss Anona Jane

When I made this sweater, the baby it was intended for was still two months away from being born.

Now, she has arrived! Actually, she's about two weeks old, but I'm just getting around to posting about this sweater.

I'm totally in love with this pattern- the Carle Cardigan. Quick, easy. A-freaking-dorable.

This one wasn't one of my favorites when I originally made it, but her parents loved it, and the more I look at these pictures, the more it's growing on me. 

I think the buttons make it. 

In other news, my grad school applications are done. And sent in. And now all that's left to do is wait. 

Also, write. I really need to do more of that. But I might be doing some copy writing soon for my mostly brother-in-law. In the mean time, I need to start doing some more research on WWI. I'm planning on finishing the first draft of Alekhine's Gun for the April Camp NaNoWriMo. 

Next week, you can expect more socks. Or possibly a baby sweater. 

I'll decide later. 

PS- This baby girl has one of the best names I've heard in a long, long time. Anona Jane. I love it. Well done, parents.

Friday, February 15, 2013


My days are full of socks.

These Hummingbird socks from The Knitter's Book of Socks.

These are for me. Finally! I get a pair of socks. I am already mentally planning another pair for Ben, because he's felting his faster than I can make them. I need another set or two of the bamboo DPNs. I have a metal pair, as you can see in the next picture, and I can't stand them.

However, these socks need to be done, and those Hummingbird ones are slow going.

This next pair is for my mom for her birthday, and it's just a basic sock pattern, courtesy of Silver's Sock Class.

As I'm in a little bit of a sock rut, I've been pondering my next project. I just found it on Ravelry.
Cabled Owl Neck Warmer. 
I just got so excited.
It's OWLS. I love owls.

And the best part??

It's CROCHET, y'all.

Do we know how many adorable owl cable knitting patterns are out there? Gazillions. And the adorable owl cable crochet patterns? Not gazillions.
While I'm getting better and better at the knitting, I still really enjoy the instant gratification that is crochet. It goes so much faster, and occasionally, I need to feel like I'm finishing things.

Speaking of finishing things, here I go finishing my grad school applications.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Just Keep Swimming

As you may have already heard, if you live on the east coast, particularly the Mid-Atlantic to New England area...


And he's coming to get us.

If you've been watching the news at all, you know we're in for a 'historic' blizzard that will possibly dump 1 to 2 feet on us.

For the record, this is NOT historic. This is the fucking Northeast, guys.
I distinctly remember a Christmas Day when I was a teenager where we got THREE feet. In one day. That's a historic blizzard, since I'm still talking about it today.

While I would pay to see the panic on the faces of the Long Islanders (and I can say this without offense, because I'm from there) we will survive this. I promise.

I'm all set. I've got a new scarf:

First Growth Scarf. Project 2 of 13 in 2013.
The yarn is Tintagel Farms Merino/Kid Mohair blend. Color: Driftwood
Pattern is Mae Geri Scarf, a lovely easy lace pattern that was perfect for my first go at knitting a lacy pattern.

I'm very pleased with how this came out.

In addition to a new scarf to wear in the snow, I have a pair of socks on the needles (no picture yet, sorry) and a massive to-do list all ready for me to work on while if I'm snowbound.

To Do:
-personal statement for grad school applications
-preliminary bibliography (this one annoys me. I'm potentially paying to go to your school, and you want me to design my own curriculum, too? Why, exactly, do you deserve my money?)
-pitch for the Book Doctors NaNoWriMo Pitchapalooza
-Smell of Rain character sketches
-blog post

Be brave, Northeasters, in the face of this latest blow.
Remember the wise words of the little blue fish:
Just keep swimming.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Turn: Color Affection Affliction

So awhile ago the Yarn Harlot posted a warning on her blog about the Color Affection shawl. Pattern can be found here.

Clearly, I didn't heed the warning.

In fact, the Knit Picks catalog with all those lovely neutrals on the cover came a few months ago and I had a fit of excitement at all the Color Affection combinations I could make with  two neutrals and a bright splash of color.

This one is for my mom. I'm still trying to pick the right colors for me. Stay tuned.

Score: Color Affection/Affliction - 1     Me-0

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fortune Cookie Speaks The Truth

Recurring weather conversation:

Me: It's STUPID cold, here. There is no reason for it to be 'highs of single digit temperatures.'

Ben: It's cold in Philly, too.

Me: I know that. I wasn't thinking that I wanted to be in Philly... I was thinking that I wanted to be in Hawaii.

For the record, it IS stupid cold here. It was -5  or more last night, and there's a high of about 7 degrees today. The wind is whipping, but at least it's sunny. That might make it feel like 9 degrees. Hooray.

This means that it's a great day to stay inside and work on cozy projects like that lace scarf that I started:

It's also a great day to finish the book I've been reading. I'm currently loving Markus Zusak's I Am the Messenger or, by its original Australian title, The Messenger.  Don't read the whole wikipedia plot summary- you'll ruin it for yourself.

What I love about Markus Zusak are his little one-line phrases that are absolutely gorgeous. One that comes immediately to mind is the final line of The Book Thief: "I am haunted by humans."

I should be writing, or at least applying to grad school programs, but I think for today, I'm going to take a day to relax and work on some quiet things. But before I do, I have to share the greatest fortune I've ever gotten out of a cookie:

Thanks for clearing that up for me, fortune cookie.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Whooo Are You?

Who, Who.

An ever-popular pattern with the people in my life: Owl Mitts. They're adorable, they're easy, they're warm. Win- win for everyone, really.

In fact, I have two more pairs that I need to make. As my mother pointed out when I posted this picture on facebook, she doesn't have a red pair. She has one in every other color.

In other news, I had a lousy job interview today. Why would you wait until the end of the interview to tell the candidate that the position has been filled, but that they should keep checking back to see if something else opens up?

Honestly, I'd have liked to have known beforehand. Especially since there were THREE WEEKS between when they scheduled the interview, and when I actually had to call them. You'd think they might have called and said "Hey, this position is gone, but would you like to do the interview anyway so that you're in our system and next time you apply you can skip this part?"

Sure, fine. Do.

But to wait until the very end? So frustrating, guys.

Finally, I'm looking at low-residency MFAs. My three to look at right now are, in order, Bennington College, Vermont College, and University of Southern Maine. As I'm sitting here staring at my pad of paper with my notes, I'm thinking about applying to Goddard too. It's only an extra $20- that's a stupid cheap application fee. Most undergrad app fees are more than that. The rest of them are in the $75 range, which makes me cringe a little.

And no one needs GRE scores. Which sucks because I paid all that money to take it, but is also good because I was again, perfectly average. Well...above average on the verbal, but every else was middle of the road.

First, I'm going to send an email to a professor that I really liked at Bing, who also went to Bennington, and now teaches creative writing, and see if she has any words of wisdom offer. Also, to see if she'll write me a letter of recommendation.

Then, writing and crossfit. I still have to be dragged to Cross Fit occasionally, but I'm liking it once I'm there. I back squatted 55 pounds the other day. That's like, half my body weight. On my way to becoming an ant-like ninja that can lift twice my weight!


Friday, January 11, 2013

Tea Stains and Socks

I just missed my mouth with the last bit of tea in the bottom of my mug. Now there's a wet spot on my pants and an empty mug. Do I go make the second cup of tea that I was planning?

I'm going for it. These pants are shot anyway.


Now that I've returned with a cup of tea, we'll get to the socks. Here's another Christmas present, this time for Ben.
These are an Alpaca blend yarn that I got at the Central New York Fiber festival this summer, in the Globe Trotter Socks pattern by Jodie St. Clair. It's a great pattern for a slightly dressy sock, especially in a dark color like these:

'Paca Pepper Socks

I really should be editing. I'm determined, while I'm unemployed, to seriously work on the revising and writing that I've been neglecting for a long, long time.

I've been super unproductive, and now sitting around all day means that I need something to keep me occupied. There will be knitting, for sure, and there will be job hunting, but there will also be progress on the several novels that are currently lurking around my bookshelves, hard drive, and brain.

Maybe the effort to blog regularly will help me to write regularly as well.

Being regular is healthy.

I've even dug out an old Scribophile account.  If you're on there too, let me know. We can be friends.

Now, to some writing. Stay tuned for more Christmas presents. Maybe even an excerpt from something if I feel like it's ready to be read.

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year, New Look, New York!

As you may have already noticed, with the exception of red/green colorblind people (and for those of you, I'm sorry that it looks the same) I have revamped the blog for the new year. I can't say for sure whether this will do anything in the way of making me post more, but we'll see. I may also be starting a different one, soon. A real 'writer's platform' kind of blog.

I am currently unemployed again, and back Upstate, both sort of against my will. The boy took a job back up here, and I couldn't afford to exist in Phila without him, so I came along, even though I didn't want to. Also, I was ready for a different job, but I would have waited until I had another lined up, in a perfect world.

Whilst I am on the hunt for something to do up here that won't make me want to hurl myself into traffic, I am going to make a conscious effort to be a writer. I might as well- I have no money, a bottle of tequila that was gifted to me by a coworker, and all the time in the world.

Seems like the right recipe to me.

I also need to start putting together Grad School applications.

MFA in Creative Writing program suggestions? I'll take them. Right now, Bennington College's low-res is my top choice. But I have to do a little more research and then start applying.

I've decided to screw it all and go do what I want. I can't be in any worse shape career-wise than I am right now. What's a little more debt that I'll probably spend the rest of my life paying off? No money is the new black.

In Yarny news, a pilgrimage to WEBS in Northhampton is in the works, and I have an abundance of Christmas presents that I haven't posted about. Perhaps if I do it one at a time, then that will keep me posting regularly.

Here's the most recently finished present.
Ex Parrot Scarf.  Yes, from the Monty Python sketch.

Made for Ashley, from the Fleece Artist Nyroni yarn, which is currently discontinued. Not sure of the colorway, since I'm having a hard time finding the yarn online.
Pattern is Abigail Phelps' Why Knot.

Stay tuned for more woolies and Grad School updates.