Saturday, February 26, 2005


who loves me?

bryan does! he bought me this lovely case to protect the digital camera that is now officially my blog camera since his is a million times better. i had the camera in this big clunky camera bag, so this is much nicer. it's like a little camera wetsuit.

and i finished Rupesh's hat today, but then i was worried because it seemed way too big (it fit me and i have a huge melon head). i went upstairs to have him try it on so i could see if i'd have to rip it out and do it again smaller. he was very surprised and liked it a lot. and he likes the way it fits. yay! now i just have to weave in all the ends and give it back to him. i couldn't decide which picture to put up because in the one that's actually in focus he doesn't look happy. so i'm putting them both up.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


soft yarn and strange pets

right before stitching bitches on Monday, i went to a LYS (the one i don't like because of their ridiculous pricing methods ((but it was monday, so the one i like wasn't open)) with erin. while she was getting yarn for her fancy footies, i got some yarns for my secret pal and some yarn to make my friend Rupesh a hat. it's his birthday on saturday. he likes fancy clothes, so i got him a fancy yarn. i only glanced at the label when i bought it (i was mainly focusing on color) and i thought is was alpaca, but it's really angora. Elsbeth Lavold angora - 60% angora, 20% wool, 20% polyamid. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. it's so soft! i loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove it! i want to make a pillowcase out of it so i can feel it everyday. but then i'll drool all over its loveliness. maybe i'll make it anyway.

i'm making the plain old boring seaman's cap for Rupesh. hopefully he's not like heather (who starts to get sweaty when she just thinks about angora) and likes the fluffy softness.

and here are my strange lab pets. They are called axolotls and you can learn about them here. i don't do any research on them - they are living happy stress-free lives just as pets. i have two big ones in a tank that heather raised from babies and a small one that is a progeny of the big ones. you can't tell the sex until they are about a year old, so i don't know what the little one is yet. the two big ones are girls. i managed to give away the ones i had, and then heather left and now i have taken in her orphaned axolotls. aren't they next looking? the hairy stuff around their heads is their gills. if the little one turns out to be a boy, i can make more and then send them to people in secret pal packages. wouldn't that be a surprise!

hiding behind the natural plant life.

there's nothing for scale here, but she's about 8 inches long.

the little guy!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


the first meeting of the stitching bitches

last night the world's newest knitting group was born. yay for monday nights! but probably 40 new groups have starting meeting since then. i'm calling it stitching bitches because when i was first talking about a stitch n' bitch, bryan misheard me and thought i was saying stitching bitches. here is a montage to commemorate our first meeting.

clockwise from top left:

alexis, trying to swatch uselessly because i didn't hear her correctly and her yarn is too chunky to get down to the gauge she needed, even though i kept throwing smaller and smaller needles at her to keep swatching, poor alexis

erin, sticthing away productively on her quilted pillow cover (which she has talked about in some more detail here).

alexa, starting to cast on for her first hat, the hot head pattern from stitch n' bitch but with different yarn. but then she cast on for the small size because she was ignoring those pesky numbers in parentheses, so she ripped out the first few rows and is now going to ask her friend for her head circumference before she casts on again.

carolyn, learning how to knit with some big needles and fat yarn. she is a crocheter, so she started doing something crazy with the yarn with her left hand so after a while i just had her read out of the book to teach herself. i guess this is what continental knitting looks like. she made a lovely sample swatch with garter stitch, stockinette stitch, different widths of ribbing, and seed stitch. i should have taken a picture of it before we ripped it out.

erin, starting to work on her first pair of socks, these fancy footies. i have made one pair as well and can attest that the heel is confusing. but soon she will be a champion sock knitter!

as you can see, being the productive scientists that we are, we got right to work stitching, but the bitching suffered as a result. next week we'll have to drink more wine and let out some of our pent-up anger.

here's what the cats were doing:

Monday, February 21, 2005


giant strawberries and feline destructors

yesterday i spent the entire day down in san jose with bryan's parents. i finally went to a master's swim meet last saturday, and i got a wonderful idea while i was there to make two big mascot suits for me and my friend dave to wear while we cheer on people from our team. our team is from the strawberry canyon pool just above the UC Berkeley campus, so i thought that our mascots should be giant swimsuit-wearing strawberries. (the only one you can buy online is here. it is ugly and expensive, although heather likes mr. strawberry's moustache). since bryan's mom is crafty, i enlisted her help in making these sure-to-be-wonderful suits.

we bought all the fabric to make them at wal-mart and joann's. i picked a shiny polester red for the outside panels, and a duller but same color red cotton-polyester blend for the panels that you can't see. the green is for the strawberry top and i haven't decided on the color for the seeds so i'll have to buy that later. after much consideration, i decided on a design suggested to me by my labmate sally. each strawberry will be made up of 4 quarters, which will be 4-sided pillows lined with batting and stuffed with either polyfill or netting to keep the shape. velcro will hold the pieces together and my arms will stick out between the quarters on both sides.

this all sounds lovely, but trying to design the panel shapes so everything will work out that way was another matter. i made a small scale model first, and i still have to fix the big panel so that it curves at the top and the bottom where the inside panel will be curving so that there is a place for me to be in the middle. i don't think any of these desciptions are going to help anyone imagine this, but hopefully it will only take a few more weekends to see if my design works.

here is bryan's mom showing off her speedy midnight sewing skills (and bryan's dad made us a yummy dinner of shimp pasta. thanks to both of you for a great day!) we made two models of the quarter and i'm pretty sure from holding them together that this will work. you'll just have to take my word for it because i know that they look like two halloween ghosts trying to make out. we're going to line the panels with thick batting on the inside when we sew them together, and perhaps also with posterboard for the inside one to help keep the shape. i just stuffed the little models with polyfill so they're not acting the way the big ones will when we make them for real (i think). i'm excited to see if it works.

another exciting find at joann's was this orange furry fabric that bryan's mom bought for me to cover some pillows with. it is so neon! i love it. we'll probably cover them next weekend during a break from the strawberry madness.

and it turns out that i wasn't the only busy one on saturday. when i woke up today, look what a sad sight i found waiting in my baby hat and sock yarn:

two of my five number six dpns ruined. i wonder who could have done that?

Sunday, February 20, 2005


the most ridiculous song in the universe

bryan discovered the funniest not-supposed to be funny song EVER yesterday. it's R. Kelly's In the Kitchen. you should go find it if you want to hear the stupidest song ever recorded. butter rolls!


thanks, secret pal!

look what my secret pal sent me! a very happy valentine's day themed package! there are two skeins of a lovely boucle yarn, two heart-shaped candles, and three really cute heart stitch markers! thanks so much!

i'm busy thinking of things i could make with the yarn. and i have a relaxing evening of knitting planned and i'm going to enjoy the pretty candles then. thank you thank you thank you thank you!

this wonderful little package of happiness almost met its end out on the back porch where the mailman left it because my upstairs neighbor has the dog from hell. satan spawn. i know i'm a cat person, but i promise that i really do love dogs! but hers is a demon. bryan rescued it while i was down in san jose making giant strawberries (more on that later). the candles are slighty chewed and the yarn was unraveled. good thing the yarn wasn't chewed or i might have taken drastic action.

also on the porch with the remnants of my package (and the huge rotting cat structure) are three really big piles of dog shit. i'm not quite sure what to do about this. my neighbor goes out the back way every time she comes in and our of her apartment (upstairs), so i know she's probably seen it. just thinking about going upstairs and saying, "um, your dog crapped all over my porch, could you please pick it up because i'm certainly not going to and it's really gross," really makes me angry. i miss having at least one normal neighbor upstairs.

Friday, February 18, 2005



we made layered drinks in lab this afternoon. one we called "cupcake", based on a recipe from Dave's (a rotation student in the lab) friend. it had kaluha, bailey's, and stoli vanilla. it did not really taste like a cupcake at all.

and the other one we made, which sounded gross but most people liked, was the alien nipple. it was butterscotch schnapps, midori, and bailey's. yum yum.

yay for fridays!

Thursday, February 17, 2005


silly sugary sushi

yesterday, my lab mate cynthia IM'd me this link and asked me to make these for her. i said "sure!," although i have to admit i was regretting it a little while slicing fruit roll ups and twinkies at three o'clock this morning.

so many! for some crazy reason i didn't think twice about buying a box of 10 twinkies at target last night, and then realized when i got home that it was imperative that i use them all up or i would eat all the ones that were left. which makes for lots and lots of conversation-starting but gross-tasting treats. after a morning of offering on two floors in my building, i've only managed to get rid of 14 out of 30. but they look cute!

scientist that i am, i would like to offer some optimizations to the "recipe", although i'm probably the only person in the world who would ever make such god-awful snacks. stretch the fruit roll-up a little before you wrap it around the twinkie slice, because it looks like the fruit roll-up length is the exact right length to go around the twinkie, but it starts to come off when it doesn't stick to itself at the overlap. and i would round off the bottom corners of the twinkie next time before i cut the twinkies into slices so that they don't look so square. and there was only two green fruit roll-ups in the box of ten, so i had to use the other colors too, but if you wanted to get all martha stewart about these you could make your own fruit roll-up sheet and make the green look a little less neon and more sushi-like.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


yay for yarn!

i used to think that the knitting blogs i read that talked about these huge yarn stashes were completely crazy people when i first started knitting, but now i see that in a few years i'm going to have to rent another apartment just to keep my yarn in. they need to develop some kind of medication for this affliction.

on friday, we met bryan's parents for dinner to tell them all about our costa rica vacation, and his mom (the best mother-in-law in the entire universe) gave me this lovely basket with five different colors of Bernat Boa that she picked up for me at Michael's when it was on sale while i was gone.

and look what bryan bought me for valentine's day! enough kidsilk haze and the needles to make the camisole and cowl from weekend knitting! it was like i made him go to the yarn store with me and picked it out and told him to buy it for me! oh wait, that is what happened.

and finally, some baby presents - tonight i bought the blue debbie bliss merino dk to make new baby Noah (born yesterday!) a very cute hat and sock set from the debbie bliss baby knits book. and the pink lamb's pride is to make a pair of the cutest baby booties ever from the encylopedia of knitting.

Monday, February 14, 2005


tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff

happy valentine's day! what a lovely day of sugar and kisses.

here is a kit that my aunt sent me over from Ireland for christmas. there is even a little brush to make the acrylic yarn all fluffy and stuffed-animal looking. i have huge doubts that i will ever be able to make the final product look like it should, but it's worth a try.

Friday, February 11, 2005


happy fun felting time

my snow trip also gave me time to finish the marsupial bag for my niece. i was afraid it was going to be way way too big because of all my made-up calculations.

and i also think i found an error in the pattern - it said to knit 5 rows of the red for the pouch, but i think it really meant 5 inches or it wouldn't end up looking right. so i had to pull up the stitches all the bottom and knit more. i was thinking that the final dimensions would fit a notebook longways (standing up), but of course the excitement of felting things means you really have no idea what shape you'll get until you pull it out of the pillowcase. or maybe that's just me, i'm a little slow.

so it doesn't fit a notebook standing up, but it does fit one sideways. the white you can see in the bag is cereal boxes. it turns out that bryan's crazy person habit of buying 10 boxes of cereal that is on sale at the grocery store (you might think i'm exaggerating, but i'm not) is useful for me - i'm blocking the bag with three boxes of smart start with soy protein. so if melissa wants to carry cereal to class with her instead of school supplies and books, she's all set.

i know the little purse looks a bit giant, but i think it will be a nice size for wallet plus keys and maybe loose change. or it can be cut off if it turns out to be annoying and stupid. i am happy with the way it turned out, although i think it's weird that the red is more flopsy than the blue, and i was thinking the red also felt more puffy when i was knitting with it. strange. maybe the flopsy top gives it character.

let's look at it closer, shall we?

yay for felting!

Thursday, February 10, 2005


a lovely trip to the snow

i got back yesterday from a trip to tahoe with my lab. on tuesday we went snowshoeing and then on wednesday i sat in the lodge at kirkwood while bryan and some other people from my lab went snowboarding and skiing. here is han and cynthia and me in the snow (before our legs and feet exploded from the crazy hard snowshoeing trek):

and i was very productive with my knitting. i got the back of Ribbi up to the armhole decreases to catch up with heather.

doesn't lloyd look like he's in a casserole dish with a very orange cheesy topping? (mmmmmmmm, macaroni and cheese) he looked very frightened when i said this out loud.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


secret pals 4 questions

from looking around at the people doing secret pals 4, i noticed that the little questionnaire floating around would be very helpful when trying to send your pal stuff. so i answered all the questions to help my pal, wherever they are.

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high-end/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

kind of - i think cheap acrylic yarn definitely has its place, but if i'm making something special for someone, then i want nice yarn to show off all the hours i put into making the piece.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

i learned how to crochet way before i learned how to knit, and i've never spun anything.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)

no. except for mosquito bites.

4. How long have you been knitting?

since October. my aunt re-taught me while she was visiting from Ireland.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

yes, but i need to update it.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

orange. i like all fruity scents. and most other scents, but those are my favorite.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?

yes. i like milk chocolate the most and dark chocolate the least, and pretty much everything in between.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

i like making cat furniture, and hope to learn to sew soon (as soon as i buy myself a sewing machine) and i like making soap and bath products.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

i can play MP3s, and i have a very diverse taste in music.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?

orange. and i really like all bright colors.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Married (just celebrated our 11 years since our first date anniversary) and four cute cats.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)

to be happy.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

i love lamb's pride. and i like fun novelty yarns, i don't care that they're not cool anymore.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

the only yarn that i haven't liked so far was one called Snowflake. it was a fleecy yarn and i wanted to set it on fire. but it made a really cute baby hat.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

i don't have anything in particular, just obsessed with knitting in general.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

i really like felting things.

17. What are you knitting right now?

Ribbi Cardi, the marsupsial bag from Stitch n' Bitch, a garter stitch cotton washcloth, and a big afgan for my couch.

18. What do you think about ponchos?

that they look like you're wearing a blanket. a poncho would be nice to keep me warm in my ice castle of an apartment, but i would never wear it outside.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

it depends what i'm making - i use straights for scarves and washcloths.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

i like all of them.

21. Are you a sock knitter?

not yet, but soon.

22. How did you learn to knit?

my aunt retaught me last October.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?

4 months

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?

cats are wonderful, and i like the characters from A Nightmare Before Christmas.

25. What is your favorite holiday?

my birthday. it's a holiday for me.

26. Is there anything that you collect?

yarn and cute socks and random craft-making crap.

Sunday, February 06, 2005


my luckiest day

one of my favorite moments while we were in Costa Rica was when a lucky 89 butterfly landed on me (i don't know the scientific name for it). we had been to a butterfly garden in Monteverde and watched a cheesy video that talked about it - it is very rare and supposed to be good luck if one flies into your house. they say you should play the lottery if that happens. since it happened on the first day of our backpacking trip, and i was carrying my house on my back, then it was like it landed in my house. now i need to change my lucky numbers.

and bryan has started putting up the Costa Rica pictures! click here!

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Chapter 3: Ulceration of the Cornea

you can see the ulcer! isn't that neat? the eye doctor was impressed with my healing yesterday, but i still have to go back on monday. it feels almost better today. and did anybody notice how Seth talked about his corneal abrasion on the OC this week? i am so cool!

this is how freaky i looked with my one dilated eyeball:

and here is the lovely shield that bryan constructed on my glasses to protect my bad eye. the one part you can't see in the picture is the lab tubing that goes across the back to hold the glasses on since they are heavy on one side and kept falling off. i wonder why people were staring at me - it's so lovely!

and since it's almost healed, this will probably be the last eyeball picture for a while (i know, very sad). this is my eye when it was tired and hurty.

Friday, February 04, 2005


cat playtime excitement

there's a lady that works in the lab next to mine whose cats i have watched a few times when she's been out of town. on tuesday, she asked me to look after them next week for a few days, and then she gave me A MEOW TOWN CAT TUNNEL. i cannot express the excitement i felt. i looked like a crazy berkeley person (yet again) as i tried to ride home with it hanging by my handlebars. i almost died, but it was worth it, we're talking about a meow town cat tunnel here.

in spite of the many "Hide & Play Tunnel" features (thick berber provides warmth, treated with catnip for added fun, krinkle lining keeps cats curious), the cats were not jumping for joy at this playtime opportunity like i was. i threw almost an entire bottle of treats into it in an attempt to get them to go in, but with no luck. i'm hoping that they get used to it and realize how much more fun they could be having.

while they get used to it, it turns out that i brought them something back from costa rica to play with. we bought a lovely handmade mobile from a man in san jose. he explained how great it was for 10 minutes to try and sell it to us. of course it was all in spanish, so we missed most of it except fuerte. he was very emphatic about the fuerte part. i don't think he understood what this poor mobile would be up against.

Thursday, February 03, 2005


finally, some knitting! and corneal ulcers!

since i did start this as a knitting blog, i suppose i should show some pictures of my knitting. before i went on vacation i was working on the marsupial bag from Stitch n' Bitch for my niece Melissa (very late Christmas present). i decided to use lamb's pride bulky instead of the worsted that the pattern calls for so i'd get a thicker, bigger bag, and i already had blue in bulky. i got some red since she requested University of Arizona colors, and then i read the pattern. the bag is actually made with two strands of worsted held together, which turns out to be more bulky than the bulky yarn. way to be prepared. so i tried to normalize the gauge, but then who knows how it will felt differently, and i want it to be big enough for a notebook and other school crap, so i did some random calculations and multiplied all the numbers by 1.5. it will be interesting to see how it turns out. these pictures don't really show the bag that well but they do show how good i am at torturing pets.

i am quite positive that oscar is missing snuggling with me. (sad moan)

i made the red flower washcloth from the first pattern in Weekend Knitting using crystal palace cotton chenille. it was the first thing i made on circular needles. i liked how it turned out, and the cotton chenille is nice and soft, but it was a lot of work for a washcloth. my sister is definitely worth it, though.

and this is my sunflower variation. bryan came up with the idea while i was making the red one, and his sister Cheryl loves sunflowers, so i thought it would be worth trying. crystal palace doesn't make a yellow that was bright enough, so i used some lion brand microspun because it was the right color. it was too thin so i held two strands together, but i think that turned out a little thick. the brown middle is the cotton chenille, and i like how it's a different texture that the petals. if i did it again i would try to find a different yarn for the yellow. maybe i could dye the white cotton chenille? i have another friend who loves sunflowers, so i'm sure she'd love one of these. and she's worth it, too.

in other news, it turns out i didn't have to worry about my presentation (yet) because my eye turned into a giant swollen ball of painful hurtiness. i hope the gross picture of my eye doesn't startle anyone. i don't understand the infatuation i have with my eyeballs lately. thank goodness bryan spent tons of money on a good macro lens, or i would never be able to show this.

i started having pain in my eye yesterday around one in the afternoon, and since bryan and i had some strange tropical eye infection for three days about a week ago, i thought it was coming back. but it got very bad very quickly - we took the picture at nine o'clock. heather's diagnosis was infection by a tropical eyeball-eating worm. that's pretty much what it felt like. i became quite concerned and called my boss to ask his doctor wife her opinion. i took the picture to email it to her so that she could help me figure out if i should run screaming to the emergency room. from the picture and the fact that light was hurting my eye, she said that i should err on the side of caution and go to the emergency room, which at least gave me the perfect reason to cancel my presentation since my boss knew i wasn't just being a lazy flake. i decided to go to a very small little emergency room medical center place that i went to once and it was pretty fast because there was only one other person there. i don't really understand how they could still be open, but they were. i unfortunately picked a time when lots of people with life-threatening emergenies wanted to go to the emergency room too, and they took priority over my exploding eyeball hanging out of its socket by its optic nerve, as well they should. but i had to wait a long time. bryan fell asleep bent over in a chair in a very impossible-looking sleeping position and finally went out to the car to sleep. the only doctor there finally had a break from doing real doctor work and came in for about 72 seconds to put a dye in my eye and then shine some sort of blacklight on it and say, "oh my, did you get lots of sand in your eye or have you been in extreme sun?" and it turns out that she said i had two corneal abrasions. i have no idea what could have happened - i was around lots of sand and extreme sun in costa rica, but that was 8 days before. very strange. perhaps i should stop using my sand and broken glass citrus-mango eyeball scrub for a while.

she gave me a presciption for antibiotics drops and told me to go to the eye doctor. i was relieved that my eyeball was not being eaten by a microscopic army, but it was still hurting really bad. i had never thought about what a swollen eyeball would feel like. lots of painful pressure and the fear that my eyeball would explode, if you had ever wondered. she gave me a presciption for antibiotics and told me to go to the eye doctor as soon as possible.

after sleeping poorly due to dreams of rupturing eyeballs, i went to the student eye center today for about three hours, and they discovered that they weren't just wimpy corneal abrasions, they were corneal ulcers. when i get strange and unexplainable eye problems, i do it right. one is so big that you can see it, i'm told. it's one millimenter in diameter. they dilated my eye with super-duper mega dilation drops, because for some reason that i don't understand yet the chance for infection goes way down if you dilate the eye. my eye will stay dilated for at least 24 hours. yay!

it looks really freaky to have dilated eyes, but to only have one looks even freakier. i know that it will be an overload of eyeball pictures on this blog, but i'm totally taking one later and posting it. i can't see anything closer than five feet away with my bad eye, so i have to block one side of my glasses to prevent my head from exploding. good thing this is berkeley, because i looked like a nutcase with my cheap eye-doctor-just-dilated-my-eyes-wraparound "sunglasses" under my glasses and a piece of pink paper taped over the right lens. talk about hot. i'm pretty sure i'm going to start a trend. bryan went to work constructing me a lovely shield with black velvet and paperboard over the right lens of my glasses, and completed it with a big red X on the front. quite an improvement from the pink paper. what a great husband i have.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


winning the gold medal in the time management olympics

why do i like to procrastinate? i know it just stresses me out, but i always do it anyway. i have a presentation tomorrow morning that's going to take me all night to prepare for, but i'm consumed by my desire to post about brownies that heather and i made weeks ago. i'm sure once i finish this post that i'll get right to work. yep.

don't they look lovely? and they were pretty tasty, too. we had been on a brownie-making run for a few evenings, and when the box mixes ran out, we decided to make them from scratch. but then we didn't have any butter and heather had to search forever for a recipe that used oil instead of butter. we didn't anticipate it being that difficult. we didn't write down the site so we could refer to it, but here's what heather scribbled down:

3/4 cup cocoa
2/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

mix the cocoa and the baking soda, add 1/3 a cup of the oil, then add the boiling water and mix until it starts to thicken. add the sugar, eggs, and the rest of the oil, then the flour, vanilla, and salt. mix it all up good. oh and we added some chocolate chips as well. we wanted lots of chocolate. mmmmm, i want chocolate now. we put it in a 9 x 13 pan and they came out kind of thin. we also put some peanut butter in the micrwave to make it runny and then poured it over the top in lines and heather made it into a pretty design with a knife. it said to bake them at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, but our oven is kind of crazy since all the glass on the front exploded in a giant safety glass mess last year when our housemate brian was using it. it gets way hotter than the temperature you put it at, so i think we set it at about 250 and then kept checking until they were done, maybe it was about an hour.

considering we were too lazy to go to the store and get butter to make one of the 99 million "normal" brownie recipies on the web, i think they turned out pretty well. damn, now i might have to go and make some brownies before i start my presentation preparation.


sad and happy at the same time

i was happy to get home from my vacation because i missed my daily routine, although i was sad to end the vacation. and i am back in my routine, but now i have to accept the fact that heather has left me and moved far away (sad pathetic mopey moan). she left me some exciting presents - here is some lovely yarn that i was admiring at imagiknit when we went there together. it looks like an eyelash yarn made of out plastic, and that's exactly what it feels like. i think it is wonderful. but it makes me think of me and heather shopping at imagiknit. oh, i'm so conflicted.

she also gave us a fancy cat toy that she didn't want anymore, the pump n' run. she brought it down when the kittens were little, but they didn't seem very impressed by it. now it is a different story - you are supposed to squeeze the pump to make the little mouse move from one hole to the other, but after i did that for about two seconds the kittens just went nuts and played with it for about an hour with no pumping necessary from me. the perfect lazy person cat toy.

another thing she left me was a creation of mine and bryan's that she was so kind as to house for the last two years - a gigantic cat playland that we built while we were in tucson (it's all taken apart and kind of jumbled so you can't appreciate its full crazy cat peron glory in the picture). i didn't have room for it when we got a housemate and had to clear out the second bedroom, but we spent so much time making it that i didn't want to get rid of it yet either. it was very nice of heather to give it a home for a while - her two kitties enjoyed it. but now i don't know what to do with it. it would be a squeeze, but we could fit it into out office-y area, but we were thinking we would be something new as a fun project for 2005. i guess i could call the milo foundation and see if they could use it there.

since it's covered in about ten thousand square miles of carpet, i need to do something soon so that it doesn't just degrade into a soggy, mushy, pile of moldy berber and particle board pieces. it's the rainy time of year right now, dontcha know. while i now have the agony of my decision to deal with, the up side is that heather and patrick stapled their lovely ocean themed shower curtain to the side of the porch to help protect it from the rain.

the reason that this is so wonderful is because i have been jealous for many years now of my neighbor's many tarps. he's a little obsessed with tarps - we found the kittens in his yard under a big couch that was under a couch-shaped tarp. he has a million things in his yard and they're all covered by a custom fitted tarp. we especially like the way his house extension load-bearing tarps snap and flap in the wind tunnel that exists between our two houses. don't you just love how the tarps match the sky perfectly?

but now i'm the one to beat on the block, because i have a tarp with fish on it. a whole aquarium/ocean theme. so there! keep up with that, neighbors.

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