Thursday, July 31, 2003

20 years and a little knitting

Yup, that's me a little more than 20 years ago. My high school reunion was last Saturday. I really didn't want to go, but kind of felt it was a necessary evil to overcome. I will say that it was mildly pleasant. It's a very strange thing to walk into a roomfull of people that you knew 20 years ago and not recognize a soul. I felt guilty looking at everyone's name tag until I noticed that everyone else was looking too. Let me also say that it was weird being in a conversation with someone who was constantly breaking eye contact to scan the room. I'm so out of practice with large social gatherings, is this the way it's done?

I sat at a table with a lovely woman that I remembered from high school as just being the sweetest person - and she still is. However, also at our table were 2 women (and their spouses) who I didn't particularly care for in high school - and still don't. They wanted to talk about the good old days. "Oh, I loved high school. I could just do what I wanted and I never had to do anything that wasn't fun. I didn't even have any goals." To which I replied, "I had only 1 goal back then." Her eyes lit up and she said, "Really? What was it?" "To get the hell out of high school." At this, she pouted a little, "Oh, that's so sad." I got up from the table shortly thereafter.

I don't know what I expected, but this gathering definitely wasn't it. I guess I wanted to see how far people had come and I was interested in how they got there and where they wanted to go next. Without being too touchy/feely, I wanted to hear about their journeys. They just wanted to talk about how much beer they drank 20 years ago. I was a little sad, but hey, I got to shake this guy's hand. And yes, he's as smarmy as he looks.

On to bigger and better things. This was my week 3 Tour de France knitting. My lovely friend Jillian persuaded me that I needed socks of my own, so here they are.

She also made me swear on my children that I wouldn't be anal and make sure they matched perfectly. I just pulled the yarn out of the skein and off I went. It's amazing to me that they match as closely as they do - but they are different. A promise is a promise, after all.

I just signed up for a crochet class with Amy, Lynn, and the incomparable Jillian! I'm very excited and I have no hook-a-phobia to speak of.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

What I'd like to say

Is that I saw this in person...

I'd love to say that I haven't posted about my boy because I just flew back from Paris (and boy are my arms tired). I'd love to tell you that I was in Paris when the man stepped up on the podium and kicked all of Europe's ASS by becoming the first American to win the Tour de France 5 times in a row

I'd love to say it, but it wouldn't be true. However, I'm trying to coax my husband into making plans for Lance's attempt at #6. Here's what I'd like to do:
1. Be in Paris for the kick off of TdF 2004
2. Travel to a chateau as our home base
3. Follow the Tour around France and be on the course or at the finish line of every stage
4. Show up in Paris when the man wins #6

I suppose it depends on how much work my husband gets over the next 7-8 months. He's a builder, so hope that everyone in southeastern Michigan needs a pole barn.

Knitting news later - I'm still recovering from my long flight.

Friday, July 25, 2003

What I did on my day off...

Finished this...

Got started on this...

I had my 6-month follow up with my Orthopod yesterday and figured since it was in the middle of the day (why do they do that) I'd take the whole day off work. My kids are at my parents' house this week (heaven!!). I got to sleep in, kick my husband out into the world and wallow in the TdF coverage while knitting. I don't think I could come up with a better day off! And just in case you were wondering - the whole shebang is coming down to the individual times trials tomorrow. Ullrich is behind Armstrong just 65 seconds. The thing is, they're both phenomenal time trialers. The forecast is calling for rain tomorrow as well. It should be a very interesting stage. I'll let you know how it turns out (although, you'll probably know that much on Sunday).

My class reunion is tomorrow evening. Strangely enough, I was weirded out by the whole thing until about a week ago. I'm treating it like a work conference - a whole room full of people I don't know. I get to practice my infant small talk skills and "work" the room. It should be interesting. At least I know the meal will be good.

One more thing...I've been thinking about doing one of those "100 Things About Me" pages. Did you know there's a whole webring of these? So I started reading some of them and decided I don't need to write 100 things about myself. As I was reading, I thought I'd have a seizure because I kept rolling my eyes so much. Why do people think I want to know all those things about them? Why do I think people want to know all those things about me?? Best just to leave it lay.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

The Man of the Day

Cribbed from Lance Armstrong Online

I'm running out of adjectives

Of course I'll start with the Tour! Yesterday was a rest day, so nothing much fun on TV last night. Anyway, Tyler Hamilton (the rider who crashed in Stage 1 and got up with a broken collarbone - yet continued to ride) won Stage 16 today. I was a little cynical at first, "Sure he's going to continue to ride. The IMax people are following him around with a big movie deal. Who'd quit with all of that?" Then I was kind of impressed that he kept going, now I'm just flat out stunned.

Two days ago, when Armstrong fell, Hamilton rode up to the front of the group and told everyone to pull up and wait for Lance to get back on his bike. You could see him punching his finger at all of them - and they waited. When asked about it later, he said something like "It's an unspoken rule that you don't attack the yellow jersey when it's down. It was the right thing to do." I'm going to have to agree with all the commentary that I've read, watch out for Tyler Hamilton in the future - he's one amazing cyclist!

I'm enjoying my amazing color changing Regia socks. I turned the heel last night and it's one of those "just a little more, I want to see how the colors turn out." I'm hoping to finish soon, as I have to get started on the baby hat. The shower's is August 1 and I'd like to make one of these showers with the actual gift in my hand.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

The joys of having 2 offices

While not as chi chi as it sounds, I do technically have 2 offices. There's one here, with my name on the window (along with someone else's - we share). And there's one at the hospital, which really isn't my office, it's more of a gathering place when we all have to be in one big spot. What's joyful about this arrangement? Well the hospital office is close to the yarn shop. On Tuesdays, I need to be at the hospital for meetings, but I get to leave around lunch time. I sometimes swing by Knit Around if I "need' something. I just got an invitation to another baby shower, so I have to have new yarn - right? Here's what I bought: Vogue Knitting Caps and Hats Two (I'm making this hat)

with this yarn:

I've also fallen in love with Bryspun needles. They are the bomb. The woman at the yarn shop tried to talk me into Brittany, but I said, "I already have those, I want the Bryspun." She sold me these:

I then wallowed in the sale bins and came up with these:

The darker one looks like the dog's breakfast because it had melted in the bin, so I had to re-wind. I already have 2 skeins of the orange (bought when Jillian and I slutted around Grand Rapids). Now I'm thinking I can have a couple pairs of these socks - mix and match!

One last thing (this is for you June). Who recently said, "We're poking a lot of bushes looking for skunks"?

Monday, July 21, 2003


I listen to the Tour de France on live radio here at work. In the last minutes of the stage today, I sat with my hands on my desk and my mouth hanging open. My stomach hurts now, but the man has done it.

17 H 07 - The Top 10 Overall Places
The top 10 after stage 15 is:
1. Lance Armstrong
2. Jan Ullrich at 1'07"
3. Alexandre Vinokourov at 2'45"
4. Haimar Zubeldia at 5'16"
5. Iban Mayo at 5'35"
6. Ivan Basso at 8'08"
7. Tyler Hamilton at 9'02"
8. Christophe Moreau at 11'09"
9. Francisco Mancebo at 16'05"
10. Carlos Sastre at 16'12"

He fell when he snagged something a spectator was holding. The leaders of the race waited for him to catch up and then he attached them! He went on to catch the rider at the lead of the course and won by 40 seconds. Now I have to go home and watch the coverage tonight. At least I know the outcome, so it won't be so bad. I'm sure my stomach will hurt all over again. What a geek I am.

Had a lovely dinner with Jillian and family last night. I love summer meals (corn on the cob and fresh made potato salad) - it was yummy. Then I went shopping at Casa Jillian. The saleswoman was extremely helpful and knew exactly what colors I love the most. She talked me into this...

Which became this while watching the Tour coverage last night...

The saleswoman convinced me that I must have a pair of my own socks and that I need to do them right away. Everyone should have such a good shop owner to go to!

Friday, July 18, 2003

Tour de France

Because I know you're interested...

17 H 24 - The New Overall Places:
The top five riders in the overall classification after the 12th stage are:
1. Lance Armstrong (USP)
2. Jan Ullrich (TBI) at 34"
3. Alexandre Vinokourov (TEL) at 51"
4. Tyler Hamilton (CSC) at 2'59"
5. Haimar Zubeldia (EUS) at 4'29"

While I'm proud of my boy, I must also take my bike helmet off to Tyler Hamilton. He fell in stage 1 in a HUGE pile-up inside the 1 km mark, breaking his right collarbone. It is unbelievable that the man has been in his saddle everyday since then - and is #4 in the overall standings! Cyclists are amazing.

The sad news for me this week is that I haven't been able to park myself in front of the TV and watch much coverage. Which also means I haven't been able to knit or spin at all! In between the riding lessons and dinner with visiting professors - I've been cavorting across the countryside. The good news is that my mother will be taking my children to her house on Saturday for a whole week. Woohoo!!! What will I do with all my time?!?

Wednesday, July 16, 2003


If you've never been to Ann Arbor, Michigan in the third full week of July, you have no idea how much terror is struck in the heart of the locals. I don't live in Ann Arbor (so technically, I'm not a local), but I work here. There are streets blocked off, crowds of people, and lots of $$$ flowing through the city. Now, I'm not anti-art by any stretch. It's more that I'm anti-stupid people. You know the types, the ones who only come to this lovely city to buy high-priced "art." They don't know their way around, drive slowly (in front of me) and take my parking space so that I'm late to work. Not that I'm bitching or anything.

Monday, July 14, 2003

And because Blogger won't let me upload a file without wiping out my entire are my Aunt Brenda's socks.

I finished them on Saturday and my mother promptly told me she'd "deliver" them to my Aunt. I told her, "Thanks, but I think I'll drop them in the mail."
I'm back from what I really thought would be the weekend from hell. My mother ran the Danskin Triathlon in Pleasant Prairie this weekend. It was my race last year. I had drummed up a bunch of women who were interested in the race and they all dropped out - EVERY ONE!! So, my mother got on the bandwagon and started training last October. She took swimming lessons. She doesn't like to get her face wet - even in the shower, so this was a really big step for her.

Then I had surgery in February and pretty much stopped doing anything. Mom, never the quitter, decided she was going to do the race anyway and so I signed on as moral support. Even though it killed me that I couldn't do the race. Anyway, I survived and was there at every start and stop during the race. When she came out of the water - that was me shouting. Then when she made it through her first transition, I was there with the camera, and shouting. Saw her coming out of the race start and I told her she looked good (my throat hurt from all the shouting at this point). She finished in 1:53:42 - pretty damn good for a 61-year-young (that's for you mom) woman with asthma and arthritis.

Soooo, because we were in Wisconsin (all the places in Pleasant Prairie were full) a quick check of the phone book came up with Barbara's on Main in Racine. What a lovely shop! We got lost on our way in and I called Barbara. She was a very pleasant woman who gave me directions on the spot (good ones too) and were at her doorstep in less than 5 minutes. Here's one of the things I bought

It's Aurora Melange by Karabella Yarns. I'm an orange freak and I fell in love with this as soon as I saw it. It's 100% extrafine merino and that swatch is 36 stitches on US 7 and it's about 5 inches wide. I only bought 1 skein (in addition to a skein of 100% rayon from Nepal and 2 skeins of a beautiful forest green Brown Sheep Handpaint Originals). I really wanted more, but as I have a to do list as long as my arm I couldn't justify more. If you're in Racine, stop by Barbara's. She's making plans to move very soon, but not that far away from the shop she's in now. A small shop, but she had lovely, lovely yarns. A personal bonus was that she was really nice! A lot of yarn shop owners have cool stores, but if they're not in it for the people factor - I don't consider the store a nice one.

Now, if you know me, you'll wonder why personal service is so important (if I could get away with it, I'd live in a cave with nothing more than a computer for company). I think if you're going to be the proprietor of a store, you should at least have the temperament to be nice to people. I will not shop in a place with the greatest yarn if I don't feel welcome for anything but my money. At least make the attempt!

By the way, my order from Woodland Woolworks came. I petted the skeins for a good long time last night. I'll have to snag the camera and take a picture. I made some wonderful color choices just by talking to the people on the phone. (See another extremely nice group of people.) Lucky, lucky me!!!

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Finally, the fellow socks are done. Here are Mark's...

The photo doesn't really show the beauty of the yarn. The base color is black and the loveliness of the yarn is in the subtlely of the purple and green bits that contrast with it. It's really more than he deserves. Am now working on the socks I promised my Aunt Brenda for her birthday. I think I'm tired of working on socks. It's time to start something new.

Had lunch with Jillian yesterday. She turned me on to "Chunky cherry chicken salad" from a local deli. So I stopped there on the way to her house to pick up sandwiches and cookies. She showed off her new Incredible Sweater Machine. She finished the back of a baby sweater in the time it took me to leave work, pick up lunch, and demonstrate the thing to me (in total about 25 minutes). She did her best siren song to convince me to buy one too (and I just might - 1/2 off? what a deal!). The best part (aside from the charming Isobel) was that I unloaded a bunch of crap about work and she sympathized and told me I was right and I went back to work feeling good about the day.

Got home and called Woodland Woolworks. They sent me a postcard letting me know that some of my order is backordered - they'll ship in 3-4 weeks!!! I figured it was the color cards. (Sort of - apparently the Jamieson's color cards are all gone and they're trying to find someone to make more.) Anyway, as it turns out, some of the yarn I ordered is out of stock. I switched the colors to something they had instock and they're shipping it out. Not a moment too soon.

My boy Lance is holding his own in the Tour. He is currently in 12th place after Stage 3. The mountain stages are coming up and he will shine.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

I'm about to make a confession here. I'll admit to being a geek - my children call me a knitting geek, my husband calls me a techno-geek. I have another level of geekiness going this week. I can barely sit still and here's why...

It's the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France. The race starts on Saturday and I'm such a geek, I'm planning my fiber projects around the next 3 weeks. Last year, I spun 1.5 pounds of lovely yellow/green wool. I called it (what else?) Le Tour Fil. I'm trying to decide if I should spin again this year or knit something with the yarn I spun last year. The great thing is that we watch the race on OLN and the sportscasters are so good that I don't have to always be looking at the TV (which is good, because I sometimes have to pay attention to that drafting zone).

So, I'm getting ready for 3 weeks of late nights and very little sleep all for the purpose of watching Lance Armstrong and the Blue Train win their fifth in a row. Go yo-yo Lance!!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

I was at my parents' house this weekend. Have I mentioned before that my mother makes me crazy? She's at the age now, where she can't remember things (61). In reality, she's always forgotten things, but never this bad. Lately she's been bitching to my sister about what an awful daughter I am - is it too late for me to be adopted by someone else?

I heard that died on Sunday. It made me very sad. The first movie I remember seeing her in was The Philadelphia Story. What a great flick - what a great woman.

I'm working on my last pair of Mountain Colors socks - still. It's been so hot (not that I'm complaining) that I haven't felt like touching anything to do with fibers, even with the air conditioning going. I also seamed up the Kandinsky Kimono. I should know by now that when a pattern says to "measure down xx inches and place a marker" that I won't like the width of the armseye. I put the thing on, and it's bunchy around my upper arm. Did I check this before weaving ends in? Of course not. So now the sweater is pouting in the corner while I screw up my courage to pull out the seams (did I mention the yarn is black?).

In other news, I want to wear this sweater to my 20th high school reunion. Yes, it's true, I was suckered in by the cool pamphlets and have sent in my check to attend the "cool" dinner. Okay the pamphlet wasn't really that cool - they expect me to dress like I did in high school...
ummmm, riiiiight.