Thursday

[tv] Gilmore Girls

Every time I think I'm getting tired of this show, it pulls me back in. I've been working my way through Season 6 and the beginning was kind of "meh". Lorelai and Rory not speaking for half a season? I don't think so. I've tried to get Dollar to watch the show but whenever he sees it on, he starts whining, "Turn it off. Please. I hate this show." I skip to the parts that have Lane's band in it. I say, "Look, they really know how to play their instruments. See? They have a band. See? And look at THAT! Sebastian Bach. Sebastian Bach is a regular on the show!"

It's no good. When Paris was on the phone to Rory and said, "Of course you're coming back to Yale. What are you going to do without a college degree? Drive a forklift?" Dollar said, "I used to drive a forklift... I hate this show!" I tried to explain that's just who Paris is but he didn't get it.

Any-way, I saw this post about the "Knit, people, knit!" episode. An episode about a knit-a-thon. I'll have to wait until it comes out on DVD next year to see it but it's just another reason to keep watching.

UPDATE

Someone else posted about the episode as well. Hmm... I wonder how much network/cable t.v. PLUS Tivo would cost?

Wednesday

[cooking] Pork Dinner

Dollar and I had a couple people over for dinner last night. I served pork, potatoes, asparagus, corn and bread. OR, as I like to call each dish:

~ Pan-seared Pork Medallions
~ Roasted New Potatoes with Sicilian Herbs
~ Sautéed Asparagus Infused with a Garlic Essence
~ Arctic Corn Frizzled via a Technologically Advanced Contraption
~ Warmed Mini French Loaves

First I cut the new potatoes (why are the sometimes called "creamer" potatoes?) in half and tossed them with olive oil, salt and pepper. I roasted them in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Here's my trick- after 30 minutes I sprayed a few squirts of white truffle oil across the browning beauties and sprinkled on a Sicilian blend of spices. I have a single container of four different bread dipping spices and I was getting tired of used Goya's Adobo seasoning for my roasted potatoes all the time. I thought, Hey! I'll use some of these funky spice blends instead! The first time I did it I sprinkled a flavor on the raw potatoes right when they went into the oven but the herbs and spice bits were kind of charred by the time the potatoes were done. So this time I added the good stuff half-way through and the result was crispy potato bites with great flavor.

I got strips of pork loin (or was it boneless ribs?) from the grocery store, cut them into stewing size chunks and sprinkled on a little salt and pepper. I let the meat come to room temperature and then browned them in 3 or 4 batches in a little olive oil. I put them into a serving dish in a mildly rare state and then put the dish into a warm oven to rest (after the potatoes had come out and the oven had been turned down). I wanted to make pork like this after I made the Braised Pork with Persimmon recipe last week. For that recipe I browned chunks and tasted a bite right out of the pan. Seared, juicy, hot, delicious pork nugget. I gave Dollar a bite and he nearly chewed my fingers off. It was so good I knew it would be able to stand on its own- without covering it with spices or mixing it with something else.

In my pork pan, I deglazed the bottom with about a third of a cup of vegetable stock. I would have preferred to use white wine but I didn't have any on hand and came THIS close to using sake, but I wasn't sure how that would turn out so I didn't risk it. I used a little stock, scrapped up all the brown bits, added minced garlic and the asparagus spears. They kind of cooked/steamed in the stock, and when the stock boiled off, they sautéed a little. I took them out of the pan before they could get all bendy- I like my asparagus al dente.

The corn was just frozen corn I cooked in the microwave. The rolls were warmed in the oven (alongside the resting pork), cut in half (they were slightly oversized) and nestled inside a tea towel in a bread basket. Mmmm, warm bread with butter.

Besides being inappropriately smacked on the behind by one of my dinner guests (she made up for it by doing all the dishes), the evening went very smoothly. I have a knitting get-together on Thursday night and I think I'll bring my special macaroni and cheese. I've been craving it but Dollar doesn't dig on anything wicked cheesy. So I'm going to make tons and bring it to the knitters.

Monday

[amy] Thanksgiving Holiday

What a holiday. It started with Dollar's birthday on Wednesday. I left work early, went home, wrapped his presents and then scooted up to my mom's to help out with Thanksgiving preparation (i.e. shell the shrimp and make a couple thousand mandu). I got home at the same time as Dollar and, since I didn't have a cake, stuck a lit match into a Hostess cupcake. He blew out his 'candle' and opened his presents. The sound damper pads for his drums were more for me but he loved his new boardgame, Memoir '44. He immediately started to read the rules while we waited to leave for his Birthday dinner at his mom's.

DOLLAR: [reading on couch]

AMY: [napping on couch]

DOLLAR: This is so cool. The fights are historically accurate. One side is Axis and the other side are the Allies.

AMY: Who's Axis?

DOLLAR: What? Germany is.

AMY: OOoohhhh... That explains the title of the game Axis and Allies. I didn't know what they meant by Axis.

DOLLAR: [reading] Hmmm...

AMY: So when Bush was talking about the Axis of Evil...

DOLLAR: He was comparing what he considers to be terrorist states to World War II Axis powers.

AMY: Oh...

DOLLAR: [reading]

AMY: [napping]

DOLLAR: Some of these games are stacked more toward one side or another, so they recommend each player take one side, then immediately switch and play the other side, and see who can get the most medals overall. [putting down rule book] That's cool that the rules say that, because you already know who the winner is going to be.

AMY: How do you know who the winner is going to be even before we play?

DOLLAR: Are we speaking in German?

AMY: Oh. The games are that accurate?

DOLLAR: It looks that way.

Then we went to his mom's for presents, a roast beef dinner and apple pie.

Thursday I went up to my mom's early for MORE Thanksgiving preparation. Make the cocktail sauce for the shrimp, set the table, pan fry the mandu and crab cakes. There were 12 of us this year for our annual Very Korean Thanksgiving. In addition to traditional Thanksgiving fare (turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, carrots, brussels sprouts), we have things like gimbap, japchae and the aforementioned mandu. It was followed by an incredible pear cheesecake. All of it homemade, all of it amazing.

Friday night Dollar and I went to a party. My plan was to serve all kinds of hot, alcoholic drinks but I only ended up making one and I'm pretty sure I was the only one drinking it. I vaguely remember staggering around the party with coffee breath. Dollar drove home because he's good and doesn't drink. Once home, I may have pawed at his shirt once or twice before passing out half on/half off the bed.

Saturday we didn't do much at all. Ate lots of leftovers and slept. Ate, slept. Ate, slept. We did play one game of Memoir '44. I won but I think that's because I was playing on the Allied forces side.

Sunday I managed to do some chores. Dishes, laundry, tidy the craft room, do some Christmas and grocery shopping, change the sheets and duvet cover, etc. The only thing I didn't do all weekend was knit. I'm not feeling the knitting love. I have a couple unfinished projects I should finish, a couple things I said I'd make for Dollar but never did, gloves to make for my mom... Blah, it's just too much. But I need to motivate because some local knitters are getting together this week to knit. I'm going to bring the makings for a hot drink I wasn't able to make at the party Friday night.

Wednesday

[amy] Happy Birthday to my Special Friend

Dollar's birthday is today! He's says I'm more excited about it then him and that's because... I am! I left a card on the table this morning for him to find after I had already left for work. It says "For my special friend" on the front and depicts a little cartoon ballerina. Inside it says, "May all your wishes come true on you birthday."

I altered the card by putting quotation marks around the word friend on the front. Like: For my special "friend". Then I drew a goatee onto the ballerina's face and gave her arms & legs more hair. Inside I wrote, "To my little princess..."

My hope is that it kind of confuses and worries him. Regular old "Happy Birthday" cards are so boring. I like giving cards that you have to THINK about. And which force you to question your own sexuality. ... AHH HAH AHh ahahHA Hhaha! HaHa ha. Hmm. Siigh.

Tuesday

[gym] Hurts so bad

I have not been working out. I've been going to the gym for almost two months but I haven't been "working out". I hired a personal trainer and we had our first session yesterday. THAT was working out.

My trainer is a petite brunette whom I tower over. She's barely five feet tall and I'm six feet in my sneakers. We had already met a few times to do my body composition, take measurements, and plan a routine. All the while I thought she was a cute little thing one might want to carry around in their pocket. Now I know her as someone to be feared. Her reaction to seeing me crying as I lifted weights above my head? "Great. Two more."

I could barely drive after our session; I rested my wrists on the steering wheel as I tried to take the straightest route home. I could swing my arms an inch or two up but wouldn't be able to make any 90 degree turns. At home, I waited for Dollar and then stumbled into his arms as soon as he came through the door. I tried hugging him with my shoulders (I had to explain why my arms weren't working) and asked if he had any moral objections to roughing up tiny women. He said "Yes". What a pansy. I'd do it myself but I'm a pacifist and besides that, I'm totally scared of her.

The upside to the gym time is that I have more energy. I'm able to get up at 6:30 in the morning without (too much) trouble. This past Saturday I was awake and at the gym at 8:15 for a morning aqua fitness class. The cardio isn't too boring so long as my iPod is charged and ready to play me my workout music. I'm drinking a gallon of water every day so my skin looks a lot better. And I may be having more of the "pep". Monday at work a co-worker asked me, "How's it going?" For one insane moment, I had the urge to blurt, "Super! It's Monday! Yeah! Let's get to working! Isn't it great?! Yeah!"

Blah, the only downside is that it's more time out of my day. When am I going to knit? Do the dishes? Cook supper? Wash and dry the sheets and duvet cover? Sort and organize the mail? Clean my car? Put away my laundry? Clean the shower? Tidy my craft room? I'm freaking out! I'm freaking out! At least it's Thanksgiving week and I'll have a long weekend to get a lot of stuff done. Speaking of stuff, Mmmmm, stuffing...

Monday

[cooking] Persimmons, or What the Hell am I Supposed to do with These?

My mother did one of her gift-giving drive-bys the other day (knock knock knock "Here.") and gave me a box of fuyu (aka kaki) persimmons. I had one cut into slices and thought, "Well, it's sweet. Almost syrupy. The texture is soft-solid. It's sweet but there's no distinct flavor."

I tried one recipe out: Braised Pork with Fuyu Persimmon. I was afraid Dollar wasn't going to like this dish and/or he'd pick out the persimmons but he loved it (more than me). It's spicey, but not spicey-hot. The pork was amazing (I got the bonless ribs and cut those into chunks) and this dish would be just fine without the persimmons.

I took the rest of the persimmons and pureed them. I used one cup to try to make bread and froze the rest. I say "try to make bread" because I filled the loaf pan too full and it boiled over. Sugary, sticky dough all over the racks, the bottom of the oven (burning), the door (when I pulled the rack out), my pot holders (when I picked up the loaf pan), a cookie sheet (where I set the bubbling over sticky mess). Siiiiiiiigh. I'm not too upset because with the amount I cook, odds are I have to have a disaster every now and then. I won't even go into the burnt pasta sauce incident that left circles of charred grass all over the backyard...

So this evening I will clean the oven and maybe try making the bread again this week. I'd like to bring some to Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's but I sure there will be plenty of food for everyone even if I don't.

Thursday

[knitting] Dude, where's my yarn?

I placed an order with Knit Picks on November 1st and it still hasn't arrived. According to the tracking info it went to "missent" status in Maryland on November 6th. I called them and they said they would re-ship the order. I may still get the original order and if I do, I should let them know because they'll send me a pre-paid box to return the yarn from that order. So fine.

Only... All the special, limited quantity (but IN STOCK) yarn that I originally ordered is now OUT OF STOCK. I had to pick different colors that were in stock, juggle some stuff around, and get credit for what was no longer available (in any color). The new order is being sent to me via UPS (rather than USPS), so it should be here in 3-4 business days.

No big deal but I wish I was offered some kind of compensation- a gift certificate or overnight shipping of the replacement order. The package hasn't come and they're out of many of the things I ordered. The woman on the phone said "I'm sorry" and sounded like she meant it but that isn't going to bring me my Evening Sky Wakashan, is it?

# # #

braided_scarf Look at this scarf. I saw it on the Yarn Harlot's website and thought it was genius. Inspired by the scarf on the cover of Vogue Knitting (Holiday 2006), this lady opted for different colored tubes rather than all one color- I love it! Way more interesting. Looks like there's six colors. How much fun would it be to choose gradations of a single color? Here's one more post about it. Apparently Mairi saw the cover of Vogue Knitting and just went home to knit up her own version. The talent!

# # #

Tonight some local knitters are getting together at Salt Hill to drink beer and knit. I can't wait for all the drunken dropped stitches...

Monday

[games] Carnage: The Aftermath

Last week was crazy busy (dinner guest one night, book club the night after, two dinner guest another night) and the weekend was uber crazy but good. Carnage Con #9: Carnage from Outer Space. I'll briefly talk about the games I played and then give my overall impression of the convention.

Friday afternoon: Illuminati
I had an interest in this game after reading a book about secret societies for my bookclub. The premise is: You're a secret society and you try to take control of various organizations. You want either nine organizations to be your puppets or to achieve your own special goal. I was the Bavarian Illuminati so I just wanted to have lots of power. If I can remember, I had the Supreme Court, Fraternal Orders and some other groups. I was able to buy OPEC and traded them for the Democrats and Secret Service. Then I bought the CIA and won the game. I won the game! And I won a copy of the game for being the winner! That was an awesome way to start the convention. This game was fun and funny.

Pick-up game: For Sale
I was wandering around the board game room and saw a couple guys playing Commands & Colors: Ancients. I sat down at the table to watch and two other guys asked if I wanted to play a quick filler game. We played two rounds of For Sale in 20 minutes. You start with money, bid that money to buy as much real estate as you can, then sell all that real estate for money- The winner is the person with the most money in the end. It may sound boring but the property ranges from cardboard boxes and sewers to castles and space stations (the artwork on the cards is funny). I will be picking this game up.

Friday night: Battlestar Galactica Collectable Card Game
Not too fun. I love the show but the game mechanics were messed up. Turns aren't clearly defined and random events affect whether or not you win a person-to-person or ship-to-ship fight. The only thing I liked was that the corners were gone from the cards- no right angles ever!

Saturday morning: Arkham Horror
I was interested in buying this game (based around Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos) but after playing it, I don't think I want it anymore. It was way too complicated and took too long. I stopped caring about winning a couple of hours into it and just wanted to kill my character off. Lots of down time while you wait for all the other investigators to do their turns. I would be willing to play this game again, to see if it flows better but I dread the thought of sitting my friends down, spending an hour explaining the elaborate rules and then "playing" for three hours.

Saturday afternoon: Zombies of Catan
This is a variant that someone made up to incorporate the Plan 9 From Outer Space theme of the convention. Your space ships crash on an unknown planet, you need to build human and zombie settlements. The zombies eat the humans because your space ships are fueled by human souls, etc etc. The premise and rules weren't totally worked out (I don't think the game had ever been play-tested) so that was a little frustrating for me. But everyone at the table had a good sense of humor and the game was fun. 3 out of 5 stars (but could be higher once all the rules are clearly defined).

Saturday night: Rise of the Dead, Part 1: The Arrival
This was only the second role playing game I've ever played. I picked this one because it was being run by the same creator/GM as my first one (which was played at a friend's house) and he does a good job of using props, playing music/sounds and getting the mood right. I won't go into detail about the story because they may not make sense (ritualistic human sacrifices occurring all over the planet, a red meteor in orbit around the earth, dead bodies not staying dead) but I had a good time. Role playing games are kind of hard for me because (a) I don't really know what to do and the actions I want to take (e.g. cleaning) might not make sense with respect to my character, and (b) everyone else talks at once and wants to do their own plan. I felt like my actions were frowned upon by some of the other players so I just started to go along with what everyone else was doing. Granted, this time there were 7 of us and the first time I played with only 4. I think I prefer smaller numbers.

Sunday afternoon: Mystery of the Abbey
This game was so great. Like Clue, only based on Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose. Who killed Brother Adelmo? One of the Franciscan Novices? A Templar Father? Maybe a Benedictian Brother? You walk around, searching other player's cells for clues, going to the scriptorium to read helpful books, going to see who the last person in confession was, etc. Every few turns a small bell (which comes with the game- so cute!) is rung and you all have to go to mass. If someone enters a room you are in, they ask you a question but you may put your finger to your lips- signifying your vow of silence (you don't have to answer). You need to be open to a little bit of silliness with this game. For a few rounds we were forced to ask all our questions in chant, like in Monty Python and the Holy Grail when the monks are chanting, Pi-e Je-su Do-min-eeeee. Our questions were like, "Have you seeeen a fat beard-eedddd Franciscaaaaan?" Another time we had to sing "Are you sleep-ing, Are you sleep-ing, Brother John, Brother John, Morning bells are ring-ing, Morning Bells are ring-ing, Ding ding dong, Ding ding dong". All the other gamers in the room were looking at our table, like, "Yeah, that's why we DON'T play that game." Whatever, I thought it was fun. I'm definitely picking this one up.

# # #

My impression of the convention? It was awesome. So so so awesome. Everyone I talked to was awesome and I had a lot of fun. People told me that this is the best small convention they've been to because there is so much going on- board games, card games, historically accurate miniatures, war games, role playing games, live role playing games, video games, painting, vendors, movies and more. There's no way you could get bored or run out of things to do.

After my first day, I came home and told Dollar, "You have to come tomorrow. You have to. You'd have such a good time." He came and played 5-6 hours (straight) of Magic. He loved it. Later he played Pimps of Catan. He got to talk to a lot of people about strategic war games, which he wants to learn more about. The great thing is that everyone there knows so much about games and they'll talk your ear off about it. This game is better than that game for this reason but if you like this type of game you might want to try this or this...

And I had a moment of revelation there. I was chatting with one guy and we were mutually gushing about how great Carnage is. He said something along the lines of, "A lot us gamers are shy. I have a friend who stutters and you know what? It doesn't matter here. He's not reserved here like he would be around other strangers because he knows no one here will judge him." I thought that was really touching. It didn't matter what you looked like or sounded like (although, I wouldn't object to sticks of deodorant handed out to everyone upon registration)- just how you played.

I liked that I could try out all the games I had an interest in. Now I know whether I will enjoy the game I buy and whether or not I'll get a lot of replay out of it.

Wednesday

[amy] Dinner at THE CAVE

Besides all the yarn work, it was a busy weekend. I cleaned out the fridge (must start learning to EAT LEFTOVERS), Dollar took care of the recycling and garbage, I did some laundry, we played Magic, went out to eat at The Cave (Village Pizza) and rearranged the bedroom.

Sunday night I was so wiped from all the winding, washing and dying of yarn that I told Dollar we should go out to eat. He asked where we should go and I proceeded to name off the most twisted, f'ed-up places I could think of within driving range.

AMY: Friendly's.

DOLLAR: What?

AMY: It's, like, only families and senior citizens that go there. And it's kinda scummy. I can't even remember that last time I was there.

DOLLAR: Then why do you want to go?

AMY: I don't know. What do you think is the scummiest place you never go to eat?

DOLLAR: ...Denny's.

AMY: OOoo. That's a good one. But I've been there late LATE at night in the wee hours of the morning, wasted, getting something greasy to eat with a bunch of other people.

DOLLAR: Yeah, me too.

AMY: Hmmm... Oh! I've got it! The restaurant inside K-Mart! Ugh!

DOLLAR: What?

AMY: You know, that little... area at the end of the registers. They probably only serve rancid hot dogs and nachos with the barfy nacho cheese.

DOLLAR: I don't- [shaking head] I don't-

AMY: It's okay, we don't have to go there. I was just trying to think of the lamest place we could get supper.

DOLLAR: Why? I don't understand...

AMY: What about... um... oh- The Cave!

DOLLAR: Okay.

AMY: Really? I've never been there. Does it really look like a cave inside?

DOLLAR: Yeah. Let's go.

AMY: You really want to go?

DOLLAR: Sure. Wait- weren't we going to move around the bedroom?

AMY: We can do it when we get back.

[Later... at THE CAVE.]

AMY: Whoa, look at that sign. 'Please wait to be seated'? Is this like a sit-down place now?

DOLLAR: Yeah, you didn't know that?

AMY: No. Last time I was here, it was Village Pizza and it was more like a cafeteria. You ordered with someone, they called your number, you took your food to a table. Like a McDonald's.

DOLLAR: I think this place is pretty nice now.

AMY: Yeah it is. And it's not like a tacky cave either- it just look's like you're inside a regular old cave. [looking at menu] Whoa, look at all the stuff on the menu! It all looks good. Wow. Greek and Mediterranean stuff. Mexican stuff. Italian stuff. It's all the food of the world- inside a CAVE. I love this place!

[Amy and Dollar order Southwestern Eggrolls (filling = very good, wrap = too tough), Bread Stix with Cheese and Marinara Sauce (basically a small cheese pizza cut into strips, marinara sauce VERY good), small Blue Cheese Buffalo Pizza (Amy enjoyed very much), meatball sub (Dollar enjoyed, Amy couldn't understand why the meatballs were cut into slices. They weren't meat balls, there were small meat disks)]

[Back at home]

AMY: Blergh that was good. Me sleep now.

DOLLAR: I thought we were going to move around the bedroom.

AMY: Oh... Ha ha, YOU! [poking Dollar in the chest] You just don't forget about anything do you? Ha ha. That's great. Yeah sure, let's move a whole bunch of heavy furniture right now.

DOLLAR: I'll get the tape measure and vacuum.

AMY: Great.

[Ten minutes later]

AMY: Because that's as far as it will reach!

DOLLAR: Well then, can you plug it in somewhere closer?!

AMY: Fine!

[Ten minutes after that]

DOLLAR: OUCH!

AMY: Sorry.

DOLLAR: Can you just-

[Another ten minutes]

AMY: We can move the futon over there, put the tv there, move the clothes things over there and then have enough room to bring the U.S.S. Dollar in and put it here.

DOLLAR: And I'll put this table right here.

AMY: But look... Look, now I can't open my closet door all the way.

DOLLAR: Do you need it to open all the way?

AMY: ...

DOLLAR: Okay, I guess I'll have to find somewhere else to put the table.

AMY: Oh. I'm SORRY. I'm sorry I'm asking SO MUCH by wanting my closet DOOR to be able to open up to MORE than a sixty degree ANGLE.

[After all the moving was done]

AMY: Boy, I just love moving stuff with you.

DOLLAR: ...

AMY: It shows how- OW! My nightstand is too close to the bed now! I just banged my elbow!

Monday

[knitting] Family Yarn

I recently acquired all of my grandmother's yarn stash. She just had a heart attack and is (thankfully) on the mend. In the meantime, she's pushing all of her belongings onto family members. Which had my sister and I running around her farmhouse, saying, "I'll take the yarn!" "I'll take these old books!" "I'll take the German beer steins!" Now Grammy knows how it feels to be robbed.

No, it wasn't like a robbery. I was given a lovely little blue kerosene lantern that my great-grandmother would light at night when Grammy was sick. And a big jewelry box. Barbara got a whole mess of knives. I got cookbooks, Barbara got a large old frame, etc etc. My favorite was all her yarn and vintage knitting patterns.

Here's what most of the yarn looked like when I dumped it out:



I'd say about 50% of the yarn was hand spun by my grandmother. My grandparents used to have sheep on their farm and this yarn is from those sheep. And you want to hear something totally weird? It turns out that my grandmother bought some of her sheep from my boyfriend's aunt. Like, years and years ago, when we were just kids. So in my mind, I see Dollar petting (or more likely chasing) one of his aunt's sheep. The sheep is bought by my grandmother and brought to the farm. Then I come up one summer to visit and chase the sheep around the pasture. Later, the sheep are sheared, Grammy spins that yarn and here I have it. It's like... I don't know. The yarn has come full circle or something.

But I digress. My whole weekend was spent winding the balls into large hanks, soaking the yarn in a gentle soapy bath and hanging them out to dry.


My umbrella swift worked hard all weekend long



Hanks resting before their gentle soapy bath



Trying to expedite the drying process outside, in the cold and rapidly dimming autumn afternoon



You can see how dirty the yarn is- lots of bits of hay and stuff



Some of the yarn is plied- very pretty!



All done- washed enough yarn for two sweaters and a shawl


I even dyed some smaller lengths of all the yarn in red/purple Kool-Aid to see how the color would take.


The dark grey yarn at the bottom is my favorite


 
The color ranged from dusty purple to a very deep burgundy


I'd like to use all the dyed yarn samples to make a crazy hat. All of Grammy's yarn isn't the softest in the world (not by a long shot), so I may have to line the hat with a soft alpaca. I'd like to give the hat to my cousin's son (who is the only great-grandchild in the family right now) so that he can have a hat from wool his great-grandmother spun.

There’s more yarn to wash, but for now I’ve taken care of all of the hand-made stuff Grammy made. There’s more wool that she bought (enough for a Fair Isle yoked sweater) that needs to be washed to get out the strong sheepy smell.

Thursday

[knitting] Links

Julia Roberts to produce and star in a knitting movie based on a knitting book.

Here's a knitting book for men- yeah, like a title like that is going to make them want to knit.

Cool Kable Needle Case- a case for single-pointed (not cable) needles.

Neat idea: Come in From the Cold Coasters. Knit in the round, felted, then cut into individual pieces!

Wednesday

[amy] My cat?

I hope everyone had a spooky Halloween. I got twenty or so trick-or-treaters. And a cat. At one point a couple girls knocked on my door asking for candy. I feel weird about giving candy to high school girls who don't even try to dress up (they were wearing street clothes and a witch's hat- come on!). If a couple of guys looking like this knocked on my door, I would give them lots of candy. But these girls...

Anyway, a cat came running into my house as soon as I opened the door for them. The girls asked, "Is that your cat?" I said, "No," gave them a handful of lollypops and shut the door. The cat was walking around my living room like he owned the place, rubbing against furniture legs and meowing. I said, "Hey buddy, who are you? What are you doing here? Do you belong to someone?" He answered with enthusiastic meows but I couldn't understand what he was saying. "Are you supposed to be mine?" I asked.

See, the cat was a manx. A manx with no collar. I've always had a manx cat growing up and I love manx cats. No tail, very smart, rabbit-like, best-friend type cats. So what was I supposed to do with this cat? When more trick-or-treaters came and I opened the door, he didn't run back outside. See? He loved me!

I opened up a can of tuna fish and gave him half. He ate so fast that I thought for sure he must be a homeless cat. He meowed and meowed for more after he was done but I told him he had had enough. I went to the door to pass out more candy and when I went back into the kitchen, he was up on the counter eating the remaining tuna out of the can I had left in the sink. I yelled for him to get down (which he did) and thought, "Hmm... He must eat out of a lot of garbage cans. He must be homeless."

Eventually I told him to go back out. He sat on my stoop for a while but did end up leaving. Dollar got home a little later. More trick-or-treaters came and when I opened the door, the cat came running in. I hadn't told Dollar about him, so he stuck his foot out, trying to block the cat's way (but the wily cat dodged the boot and ran for the kitchen). "Whoa whOA WHOA!" he said, "That's not our cat!" I shut the door on the kids and turned to Dollar.

"I think he's supposed to be our cat," I said. "Look, he's here, he's a manx. Can you believe it? It's like, what I've always wanted." Dollar couldn't argue with my sad, pleading face without coming off like a totally cruel jerk of a boyfriend. So the cat stayed for a little while as I got supper ready. When I was setting the table, Dollar said the cat went outside and closed the door behind himself. Apparently the cat wanted to go outside when he was inside and come inside when he was outside. At one point the cat went outside and rubbed against the storm door, effectively closing it. So out he stayed.

I do want a cat. And if he comes back, I might just have to feed him again. But I don't want to cat-nap another person's pet. Maybe he can just be a frequent visitor.