Archive for December, 2005

Only the Second Circle?

Just in case you were wondering what level of hell you might expect to inhabit (if you believe in that sort of thing), I present you with The Dante’s Inferno Test. And my score.

The Dante’s Inferno Test has banished you to the Second Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

Level Score
Purgatory (Repenting Believers) Very Low
Level 1 – Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers) Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful) Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous) Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious) Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy) Moderate
Level 6 – The City of Dis (Heretics) Low
Level 7 (Violent) High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers) High
Level 9 – Cocytus (Treacherous) High

Take the Dante Inferno Hell Test

Hmmm… not a bad place to be, really. Apparently Cleopatra and Helen of Troy share my fate. It’s rather disturbing to see that I scored “High” on violence, pandering and treachery. Because I don’t pander. (Except when it comes to yarn and yarn-related things. I’m a yarn pimp.)

In which level of hell do knitters & crocheters who can’t finish their Christmas projects find themselves? (2.5 weeks left! Holy Crap! Is that swearing? Does that put me in another circle of hell?)

This charming piece of time-wastey-ness comes from my library-school-student Laura (who should have her own blog, don’t you think?)

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If I Ran the World…

Every woman would be given a change-the-traffic-light-to-green button so that when she comes out of Borders at 10:30pm in sub-zero weather and her bladder suddenly contracts and starts threatening to expel its contents in a highly un-ladylike manner, she can get home without having to pause at Every Single Stoplight which causes her to concentrate on her bladder, making the problem even worse.

(you may notice that my name at the bottom of the post has changed. It’s still me. I don’t have a catchy handle [nickname, if you didn’t experience the CB era] [I didn’t really. I just absorbed my parents’ lingo], and wanted to make myself a little more standoutish [I was going to make a really lame joke about Miles Standish and name changes in America, but it was only funny to me, and only because I’m rather jacked on caffeine just now]. That is the story of my name change. Wow, I babble a helluva lot when I’m jacked on caffeine [is that how you spell it? Do you think I can possibly stop typing? Maybe I’ll just babble all night and make this the longest aside-post ever. Ever!] Now I’m done.)

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… everywhere you go!

I’ve been Miss Busy lately, what with all the Thanksgiving rigmarole, the visits to Mom&Dad’s house to cut down trees (insert “The Lumberjack Song” here), the everything else. I barely even noticed that it was FREAKING DECEMBER this morning when I typed my last post. Granted, that was before I looked out my window and saw the 8,000 inches of snow (I’m measuring horizontally here… it really only got to be 3 inches? Maybe?) and had to go shovel. That’ll bring you nose-to-nose with Reality (which, for me, inevitably ends with me getting Reality’s vicious uppercut).

So color me gobsmacked when I realized that I have only 24 days of stitching time left. No, wait. Twenty-three. Today doesn’t count because I squandered my precious time (I took some time off the early part of my work day) in useless sleep. C’mon, girl, you don’t need sleep. Anna apparently doesn’t need sleep (Oh, and Anna? Sorry about Heather and I hijacking your blog there). Anna is rocking the house when it comes to FOs, and I have only this to show:

Not sure what it is? To be honest, I’m not certain either. So far it’s a triangle of doom, frustrating the living snot out of me (ewww… gross!). Eventually it will be Clapotis, both the reason for and bane of my existence. This is the blue Malabrigo 100% Merino that I mentioned a while back. I’ve been working on it in secret (and, yes, ripping it back and cursing its name and throwing it in a dark corner while I wept over my inability to stitch both quickly and accurately–there was a stitch marker incident which I will not discuss here). If you look closely at the picture, you may notice my high school class ring on the right, finally finding its purpose in life (because it certainly did me no good while actually in high school).

Speaking of rings (and of distracting you from the fact that I lack adequate stitchy accomplishments), I ordered Nick’s wedding ring today. It is the most beautiful ring I’ve ever beheld, and he’s going to wear it in 8 months. (Holy hell, eight months!) It’s sterling silver (he picked it! He’s wonderful!) with a thin band of gold running through the center of the band, so it looks like two silver rings squishing a tiny gold ring. It’s beautiful. I’m so very very excited!

Did you forget that I haven’t been stitching? Neither did I. Crap. Well, I get to leave work early tomorrow which means I’m heading to the yarn store to buy some Lion Chenille Thick & Quick for Laura’s scarf. She gave me some worsted weight chenille, but it has entangled itself and refuses to be worked. I’ve even sent it to the corner in the hopes that it will want so badly to become a scarf that it will unsnarl itself and beg for forgiveness. No dice. Now that there are only 23 damn days of stitchy worktime left, I gotta use all the tricks I can to prevent further unnecessary freakouts. (Ha! Haha! Silly girl. There’s nothing you can do to stop them!)

Bonus Lesson Learned: I found out how to purl f&b from the Clapotis. I don’t really think it’s worth knowing, as I have to wrestle the damn thing to the ground and beat it senseless every time I get to the dreaded “pfb” part of the pattern.

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First of all, I didn’t get drunk on the cooking wine this year, but there are still pictures. Not as many, and not as inappropriate as there would have been with the wine, but still.

Thursday morning the Beloved and I cooked a vegan risotto and a vegan version of broccoli & mushrooms florentine, to take to his aunt’s house that afternoon. Now, the vegan risotto is a lovely dish and a favorite at Chez Hook despite its labor-intensive production (for those unlucky enough to be unfamiliar with risotto, it involves all of the stirring. All. The. Stirring.). The florentine, however, was a new dish. We arrived at Auntie Potty-Mouth’s house (it’s the name she gave herself, due to the blue streak that wraps twice around the house whenever she’s awake), cheerfully bearing food and thankfulness and goodwill. We visited, we chatted, we sat down to eat. We vegans loaded our plates with the risotto and the florentine, and the salad, and just as I was thinking, “my, what a good job we did with the food,” the Beloved proclaims the florentine to be horrible. Out loud. And encourages others to scrape it off their plates and into oblivion.

Now, making the florentine was his idea and mostly his domain that morning. I didn’t have much to do with it, so I wasn’t reduced to tears when he made his proclamation. I didn’t think it was bad, and everyone else said it wasn’t bad, but we do have a heck of a lot left over, and it’s not exactly a hot commodity here. Lesson learned: don’t bring a recipe you’ve never made before to Thanksgiving dinner.

We did have the most amazing pie, thanks to the other Aunt. She bakes and bakes and is fabulous, and makes truly lovely cherry pie with vegan crust. Hooray!

That night we went to my Mom’s house where we found all of her side of the family (6 brothers and sisters, and all my cousins, and their children) and (treacherous woman!) more dessert. I hadn’t seen some of these relatives in a hundred years, and it was a bit insane (the Beloved kind of hid round the corner from the main action).

On Friday we got ready for Saturday (The Day of the Keyes!). We chopped, washed, rearranged, boiled, thawed, and baked. We were champions of Thanksgiving preparation! We also got some of Grandma’s jewelry and sterling appraised, and I made my sole purchase on Black Friday. I know! I didn’t want to buy anything, but we were in this locally-owned gem shop in my tiny hometown and they had The Perfect Gift for someone at a price which caused me to say, “My Goodness, This Is Fantastic! I Cannot Pass This Up!” (seriously, I spoke in capitals). I felt horrid for purchasing anything on that Day of Evil Commercial Madness, but felt comforted because the shop was local, the owners were local, the price was amazing, and it was indeed The Perfect Gift. See how I justify? Isn’t that an excellent example thereof? Yes, yes it is. Oooh, watch how I distract you with pictures of tasty goodness!

The baguette that ate my brain. I forgot that there are eight million risings and proofings that go into making this damn bread, and started it at 9:30pm. Why didn’t I just make pain ordinaire? Because I am an overachieving perfectionist freak, that’s why. And please don’t make fun of the misshapen loaf on the right. It’s not his fault he’s ugly.

This is one of my favorite parts of the holidays: the PieBlob. Somehow, Mom invariably fills one of the pie crusts just to the edge and the filling goes everywhere. It’s still damn tasty, but we just turn that side of it to the wall.

Saturday is kind of blurry to me. I was cooking and baking (yes! more bread!) and for the first time, ate my dinner cold. Now I know what Mom’s been going through all these years that she’s hosted. We had 23 people, and it was kind of a madhouse. Kind of. No, it was a total madhouse. I was lucky enough to sit next to the cousins I like the most, and who appreciated my now-famous potato bread (no pictures–I was frantically running from table to kitchen to check on the bread baking).

And this is my all-time favorite thing to see on a Thanksgiving:

In our family, the men wash the dishes after the meal. We had more participants than just these (my uncles and cousins and various boyfriends of cousins), but this is my favorite picture because here you can see (L-R) Nick, Lloyd (nursing-student-sister’s boyfriend; he’s a wonderful guy), and My Dad. Nick is blurry because he’s Mister Efficient Action Man!!

That was my Thanksgiving: tasty food, family insanity, and being home. Yay!

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