Monday, January 10, 2005

Day 10

Before I get to the point of today's post (so in another 10,000 words or so), I just need to say three quick things:

1. The Yarn Harlot's MSF fundraiser has passed the $37,000 mark. I think something really cool should be planned for $50,000. It will not, however, involve naked snow angels (especially since there is no snow here yet).

2. Speaking of a lack of snow, it's about 60F here today, so I busted out The Shawl again. I got a very nice compliment from the barrista at Starbucks who was making my caramel frappuccino. It made me feel good, and a little less guilty that I spent the whole weekend knitting, and not doing housework, etc.

3. Someone has apparently gotten to my blog by searching for "dust" "knit" and "mittens" via Dogpile. I'm #64 on the list. I wonder if this post will move me up at all?

(You know, if I were a good blogger, this post would be 50% done. Instead, I'm a slacker blogger, and you'll be reading this for at least another 10 minutes, should you stick with it to the end. You don't have to. I won't be offended.)

Since it's day 10 of the New Year, and I still haven't talked about my resolutions (I prefer to call them "life improving suggestions") or my after-Christmas activities, I thought I should get that done now.

First, my Life Improving Suggestions:

1. Excercise more. I now have a desk job, and I take the bus to work everyday. My ass has gotten bigger, and I don't necessarily need my slightly-snugger jeans to tell me that. Thus, I'm going to try to move around a bit more. Progress: minimal. I've walked home from work once, but have made few (okay, no) attempts at using the free gym in my apartment complex. The only thing stopping me (okay, my major excuse) is that I haven't gone to the mall yet to get some sweatpants/yoga pants/excercise pants. That's a lame excuse, and I know it.

2. Be better about staying in touch with friends and remembering birthdays. Last year I think I missed every single one of my friend's birthdays, or at least called them several days late. I like having my birthday remembered, and I know everyone else does too. Thus, I will make a stronger effort to write or call on the appointed day. If I were really good, I'd do both. Progress: neutral. None of my friends have had birthdays yet. However, in a related venue, I still haven't sent any of my thank-you cards from my birthday/Christmas. Thus, progress is really poor.

3. Blog on a more regular basis, and thus have shorter posts. Let's face it - some of my posts are more like chapters. I'm a very good academic writer - I can craft 5 pages of content into 25 pages of end product and have it still look good. My blog, however, isn't a paper, and doesn't need to be done all in one massive sitting. Thus, I'm going to try to keep them short, sweet, and frequent from now on. Progress: see for yourself. Would this post be getting this long if I were doing well?

I'll get there. After all, it's only day 10. I have 355 to continue working on my "suggestions."

Oh, and before I do a post-holiday recap, for those of you actually interested in my knitting and not my verboseness, here's a quick rundown of my recent knitting:
1. Started the second Crusoe sock. My goal is to be done by the end of the month.
2. Joined Alison's Sockapalooza, and I'm looking forward to finding out about my secret pal. I'll start those socks when the Crusoe socks are finished, with and end goal of March 1.
3. Started Andrew's WaHoo hat. It was originally supposed to be a WaHoo scarf, but the dk weight yarn (Lorna's Laces Shepard Sport) was too thin, and my circs were too short. Thus, I'm using Alison's Double-Knit Hat pattern, with orange on one side and navy on the other. So far, so good. Depending on how much Andrew-free knitting time I can get, I may make this a lunchtime project, hopefully to be finished by the end of the weekend.
4. Knit my mum a hat over the weekend (mostly). It's from the Vogue Knitting Winter 03/04 issue that I'm planning to make a sweater out of. In fact, the hat is supposed to match the sweater, so it was good practice for me. The whole thing is cable knit, so I got really good at cableing without a cable needle (thanks wholly to some great directions here). The hat just needs to be seamed up, which I'll do tonight. I think my total knit time was about 15 hours, including frogging one row, with appropriate swearing.
5. Minimal progress on my Rainbow Jacket, which will probably stay on hold until I finish a new scarf for my mum. Maybe next weekend (you know - while I'm finishing Andrew's hat and knitting my socks).

Post-Christmas Adventures...

I opened gifts with Andrew's family on Sunday, the 26th. Matt headed back to DC for work, and Andrew and I loafed around Greg's house playing DS, knitting, and reading on Monday and Tuesday. We ran some minor errands, one of which included taking the DS back to Best Buy, since it had two blown pixels. Nintendo allows you to exchange them for free, so we just wanted to get one that was in perfect condition. This started a 10-day hunt for another DS, since EVERY Best Buy in Northern and Middle Virginia was out of stock. Andrew finally got a new one on January 5th. Poor guy. ;)

On Wednesday, the 30th, we went into DC on the Metro for some fun and excitement (more or less). First we went to visit Andrew's dad's office in the Golden Triangle. Greg's office was very nice, and we learned a lot more about the company (CSIS) and what they do. The whole experience actually reminded me a bit of a job interview. Anyway, Greg took us around to meet many of his co-workers, and I was introduced repeatedly as "Andrew's friend, Cathy." I'm not sure what, if anything, to make of this.

After we left, we walked a few blocks up 18th St. to DuPont Circle, and met Courtney, Val, Janice, and Melissa for lunch. The last time I had seen them all was at Janice and Melissa's wedding in May, and there hadn't been much time for group socializing then. This was also the first time Courtney and Val had met Andrew, so it was nice for them to see that he actually existed. The food at the restaurant was good (Mexican), although the service was a little shoddy. Fair enough to be remembered, but not laughably poor.

After lunch we walked throught the Circle to the Metro station, where Andrew left to go see Matt and his apartment. The ladies and I went into Krispy Kreme for some donuts to dip into chocolate fondue later that night. We all stood outside sharing a hot one afterwards, and Val commented that we looked like a bunch of anorexic sorority girls too afraid to eat a whole donut by themselves. At this point I had to comment that, although I didn't want to insult anyone, none of us could hardly be qualified as anorexic. Not that any of us are obese, or nearly so, but we're also not rail-thin, either.

After a quick stop in the gay bookstore (where I briefly looked at a book called "The Gay Man's Guide to Watersports"), we drove back to Janice and Melissa's apartment in their environment-friendly Hybrid car (as soon as I need and can afford a car, I'm getting a Hybrid Civic). Val, Janice and I immediately sat down for a game of Settler's of Catan. (You can google it for more info. It's basically a resource development/city building game. Way fun.) The rest of the night was filled with such fun things as Scattegories (which elicted such hit responses as "Annoying People: Politicians," "Part of Body: G-spot," and "Things you Find in the Ocean: Acorns." There were no points for the acorns.), and Pictionary, which I was painfully bad at (How would you draw Berlin?). It was interesting to discover, though, that Courtney can draw upsidedown amazingly well (she's an Art teacher). We also had cheese fondue, which was a first for me. Didn't love it, didn't hate it, but it was a neat experience.

Oh, and we also drank lots of champagne, and rum and coke, which made Pictionary way more fun than it normally would be. Towards the end of the night there was also much talk of the all-women-sleepover tradition of pillow-fighting in our underwear, but that just wouldn't work for a variety of reasons. This did prompt Val to tell us how some of her Res Life staff annually propose a Jello-wrestling match at the end of each school year. She keeps telling them that if they can propose a viable way to clean up the mess afterwards, she'll approve it, but it's yet to happen. Someone also proposed mud wrestling on the balcony, but that was just a bad idea for a whole lot of reasons (can you tell we'd all been drinking by that point?). (I should note that the underwear-pillow-fighting was completely a joke that I had inadvertantly started, and we were never serious about it. Sorry to all of you who are seriously interested in those kinds of things.)

The next morning involved the drinking of lots of rehydrating liquids and pancakes for breakfast while we all watched "The Dog Whisperer" which is an odd show about a Cuban dog psychologist. I must say, the guy was extremely skilled - at training both dogs and owners. We also watched a show about training dogs for the military, which was pretty interesting, although a bit sad at points, as some of the dogs succumbed to heat exhaustion during training.

After breakfast Janice, Val, and I squeezed in one last round of Settler's, and then it was off to the Metro for me. I met Andrew and Greg at Pentagon City where they had been suit shopping for Andrew. They had already picked everything out by the time I got there, so my presence was pretty superfluous, but I did get to have a tasty lunch at Au Bon Pain, so the afternoon wasn't a complete wash.

On Friday, Andrew and I headed back to C-ville, to re-settle into our house before I started work again on Monday. New Year's Eve was pretty uneventful. We actually almost gave up and went to bed at 10:00 (we were both pretty tired), but we persevered, and rang in the New Year while watching Sex and the City on DVD.

So there we are. All caught up on my post-holiday adventures. Shorter posts in the future, I promise. Have a good week, everyone!

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