Saturday, May 31, 2008

Ooh, the heat!

I know it's not interesting anymore to talk about how hot it is in Southern New Mexico, but it's so freakin' hot here! Here's the forecast for the next 5 days:

Yesterday my day was made way more exciting by the arrival of not one, but TWO birthday yarn packages! Thank you Mango, a woman after my own heart, and Jax, who traveled all the way to Ireland to buy me some yarn from the yarn shop I used to patronize while living in Cork. I now have yarn for 2 more pairs of socks, and 2 balls each of Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran (Merino Wool - very soft) and Twilleys of Stanford Freedom Spirit (wool), possibly for hats or other accessories.

Mango also sent me some beautiful stitch markers - quite an upgrade from the plastic rings from Wal-Mart I have been using! Thank you!

I have been knitting something for a while now that I neglected to mention. Right now its a blue blob, but very soon it will be the ribbed shrug from Fitted Knits. The ribbing is going to end up taking more yarn than the actual body! I'm hoping it fits, since I sort of guessed on the size - I've never knit anything that used back width for sizing. Most of the finished ones I've seen are pretty sweet looking, and it will help to keep me warm during the frigid summer we're having...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I Love My Gym

I'm kind of sad because I haven't seen inappropriate shorts man in a long time. He used to be there every Tuesday to make my day just a little more exciting. I can only assume he was run out of town by the "Citizens for Full-Length Pants" mob. It's happened before.

Speaking of the gym, did I ever tell you the story about the scary weight machine repair? I was on the elliptical, minding my own business, when a man arrived towing a lot of equipment, ostensibly to repair one of the weight machines. The one that was about 6 feet away from me. Well, apparently this repair required metal grinding. The guy gets out a scary looking rotating wheel tool, and as soon as he touches it to the machine, sparks start shooting out at least 12 feet.

I'm bopping along, singing "My booty's too bootylicious for ya babe!" ohmygod HOLY SHIT THERE IS FIRE SHOOTING AT ME! It gets better. After the metal grinding, the dude gets out welding equipment. You know, a really bright torch and a huge face mask to protect his eyes from the damaging brightness. Um, excuse me? Can I have a mask please?

Because seriously, he starts welding right in front me, and I'm trying to avoid looking at the bright light that could possibly permanently damage my retinas, and THEN the entire gym starts filling with toxic smoke. It was Saturday afternoon! There were people there! But I didn't want to seem like a wimp, so I just moved to the furthest-away treadmill.

And don't even get me started about the girl running on the treadmill wearing flip-flops.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Quilt, Chips, Bike

For years I've been saving up all the XL t-shirts (mostly) given to me for free. On almost every occasion, the person handing it to me looked at my 4'10" self and said, "Well, I guess you can use it as a night shirt!" Instead I decided to make them into a quilt:

If you can see the date on the blue shirt, you can see "1993". . . so I really do mean I've been saving these for years. I still need to add a border around the outside, and of course quilt it. I'm not really sure how I'm going to quilt it, since the squares are 12" and you need to quilt every 4-5" at least. I'm thinking of just quilting a smaller square into the middle of each large one.

Have you ever been to Big Lots? It's a pretty gross store, but they do have the most hilarious products. Such as this:

Haha! I just love the expression on the guy's face on the right.

And... my new bike!! I've been wanting a new bike since I bought a $20 clunker 2 years ago. I was torn between a road bike and something less road-y, but I finally settled on this hybrid. It has shocks, which are great for the horrible asphalt 'round these parts. And air actually stays in the tires! I have a new goal of buying 1 tank of gas a month, and I've already clocked about 50 miles on this thing. (More on bikes in a future post.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

6 Random Things

I've been tagged by Ashleigh at Random Field Notes to share 6 random things about me... I've never been tagged before! Here are the rules:

The rules ::
: Link to the person that tagged you
: Post the rules somewhere in your meme
: Write the six random things
: Tag six people in your post
: Let the tagees know they’ve been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog
: Let the tagger know your entry is post

1) I'm possibly unhealthily obsessed with lists. For example, I keep track of all the books I read - in at least three places. I have a written list, a spreadsheet, and a list on goodreads. Along with that, I have lists of books I want to read, a log of every time I work out, grocery lists, yarn shopping lists. . . and the list goes on.

2) I was almost in the movie Hearts In Atlantis. A couple of friends and I went to the open call for extras, and were cast in a carnival scene. Unfortunately, we got a call late one night saying we would have to show up the next day, which happened to be a day most of us had college exams. Oh well, I'll just have to find another way to be famous.

3) I really love throwing things away. When I finish something out of the refrigerator and throw the container away, I'm filled with a huge sense of accomplishment. Take that! ketchup bottle! You thought you'd be around forever? Oh yeah? - Well I finished you! Muhahaha....

4) I haven't eaten red meat or pork for 7 years. I have never missed it and have never had a craving for a hamburger or anything like that. I don't really do it for moral reasons, but mainly for health and thinking that meat is "gross." But you have to admit, watching a cow being slaughtered is pretty disturbing. Chickens I don't have a problem with. I would totally chop the head off of a chicken if it came down to it.

5) I don't really like dogs (hot or otherwise.) I do ok with small dogs that remain quiet, but I feel like they require too much attention and are generally slobbery and hairy. Plus, there are a great many dogs that approach or surpass my weight, which makes me scared of them. I have felt panic rising in my chest more than once while being chased on my bike by a pit bull. When my cat tries to bite me, I laugh and mock her.

6) For some reason some Jehovah's Witnesses were bent on converting me a few years ago. When they showed up for the third time at my door, I had to resort to lying. They said, "Is Sarah there?" I said, "Um, no." The woman responded, "Wow, you two look alike." "Um, we're sisters. Uh, she's gone to visit our mom," I said. I'm pretty sure they were on to me, but they went away. Now if the doorbell rings and I'm not expecting anyone, I won't answer it. (I'm pretty sure I've told this story before. Deal.)

Now I'm going to break the rules by not tagging anyone. If you want to list 6 things about yourself, go ahead, consider yourself tagged.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Reading Books Online

If you are as into reading as I am, then you are always looking for extra times to sneak in a book. Say, for example, you have a boring job that requires little intelligence, and your co-worker wears fake vampire fangs to work. It would be a little obvious to kick off your shoes and curl up in your broken office chair with a book, but what if you could make reading look like work? Then read on, my friends.

There are tons of books online, mainly classics, the reading of which will make you feel vastly superior to your friends and co-workers (because you are vastly superior.) Start with Project Gutenberg, probably the biggest of the eBook sites. If you can't find it here, The Online Books Page links to virtually every book online.

The biggest complaint most people have with reading books online is that it hurts their eyes. Try this trick: copy and paste the entire book into Word. Then, in Word, go to the "Preferences" option (I'm not sure where this is on PCs... on a Mac its under the "Word" menu.) Under the "General" tab, click "Blue background, white text." Trust me, the light words on a dark background are much easier on the eyes.

Don't have time for unlimited slacking during the day? DailyLit will e-mail about 2 pages of the book of your choice to you every day. This is particularly good for difficult books, that you want to claim to have read, but don't actually want to read. Although keep in mind that if War and Peace is one of those books, it will take you several years to read it on your email.

If you are lucky enough to have audio on your computer, and can get away with wearing headphones at work (or if you have your own office... although in that case, you really shouldn't be wasting your time doing this. Get back to work!) try LibriVox. These are free audio books (again, mostly classics) recorded by volunteers. This can be hit or miss, in that the volunteers' audio equipment and reading voices can greatly vary. But it's still better than listening to your co-workers discuss their latest questionable weight-loss strategies.

Happy slacking! I mean, um, working.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Socks & Plants

Ooh, a sock! I don't know about you, but I'm getting a little sick of these things. I started these last June... nearly a year ago. I finished one, ripped it out, made this one, and am currently working on the third (but really the second) of the pair. I think one of the problems is that I'm not really a hot pink socks kind of girl. When I bought this yarn, the dominant color seemed to be purple - but hidden inside was a whole lotta pink. I'm sure I'll wear them, since mostly socks get covered up by pants and shoes, but I'm sort of tired of looking at them.

In other endeavors, my plants continue to be very tiny (especially the spinach, below.) A few of my bean plants look promising, although a recent Rainstorm Of Death finished off the less hardy plants. I swear, it doesn't rain for 5 months, and then its a horrible torrential downpour. Even though I don't think I'm going to have a huge vegetable harvest this year, I'm optimistic for the future. If I ever live in a cooler climate with ample space to plant things in the actual ground, I'll certainly give it a go.

Monday, May 05, 2008

It's getting hot in here

Last weekend one of my college friends came down from Albuquerque for a visit. This was a good excuse to do some things that I've been putting off... first up was a 5K. This was my 9th race - but the first one in almost three years. Luckily numbers worked for us. My friend (who is an awesome runner) won the women's 5K, I got third in my age group, and my husband got first in his! It's quite possible that there were only 3 people IN my age group, but that's neither here nor there... at least I showed up, right?

Afterwards we drove out into the desert, in search of water. Lo and behold, it exists! This is Sitting Bull Falls. If you look really, really closely, you can see water flowing down the rocks. Nigara Falls is it not, but we take what we can get.

If you hike up to the top, you can see the source of the water... you CAN see it, right? There was a shirtless hiker who we saw coming up quickly behind us, and I commented to my friend, "Hey, he thinks you're hot, he's coming to talk to you!" He passed us gruffly, and I might have said a little too loudly, "Well that guy sucks, we didn't want to talk to him anyway! Shirtless hiker must be too good for us." We turned a corner and there he was, giving us a dirty look. I have a problem with waiting an appropriate amount of time to insult/negatively comment on people. Whoops. This is probably why I have no friends.

Coming up... plant and sock updates. Can't you just feel the excitement in the air? Also, another quilt... even though I haven't finished at least two.
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