Friday, January 26, 2007

Giving Ugly Animals Their Day in the Sun

If Cute Overload made you roll your eyes so hard you sprained your retinas, you gotta check out Ugly Overload.

Here are a few of my favorites:

The Madagascar ugly-monkey

The ugliest kitten in the universe

Baby bird = ugly

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Barely-Rising-to-the-Level-of-Primate-Behavior Bathroom Antics

I hate for this to be the first thing I write after such a long leave-of-blog, but someone has pooped on the bathroom seat in my office. She took a shit OUTSIDE of the toilet. Has the seat pee-er decided to escalate her assault on decency, or does she have some hardcore competition? I don't know, and I don't want to know. I just want to share a bathroom with the well toilet-trained. Is that too much to ask?

P.S. How wrong is it that I just thought about going back and taking a picture of it with my phone so you would have to look at it, too?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Save Your 99 Cents

My mom requested a shawl with pockets for Christmas, and I found a pattern online at Lion Brand Yarns. They actually made me pay 99 cents to download it. Seriously, how is it worth the cost of processing the credit card transaction for 99 cents?

Turns out the pattern kind of sucked. The yarn it called for was too stiff and didn't come in a color I liked, and the pockets were too tiny. So, I fixed it.

Here is The Husband Who Is A Good Sport modeling it for me:

Here is my mom enjoying it:

What's that you say? It is so awesome you want to knit one yourself? Okey dokey then. Here's the pattern.

Pattern: Knitted Shawl with Pockets

Approximately 18" x 72"

3 skeins Lion Brand Homespun (98% acrylic, 2% polyester; 185 yds. per 6 oz. skein)
Size 11 (8 mm) knitting needles
Tapestry Needle

Gauge is not important. BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR GAUGE. (Just kidding. Inside joke.)

Cast on 40 stitches. Knit every row until shawl measures 72". Bind off loosely.

Pockets (make 2)
Cast on 20 stitches. Knit every row for 7" Continue in reverse stockinette stitch (purl RS rows, knit WS rows) for 2". Bind off loosely.

Sew pockets on each end of the shawl.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Cutest Little Parasite Ever

When I first got Dizzy, she would only begrudgingly sit on my lap if I spread a blanket over it. Even then, she would just uncomfortably crouch on my leg. As we became best buddies over the years, Dizzy started sleeping with me, sleeping on me, sitting on me, lying on me, and finally following me around while loudly demanding that I sit down in order to facilitate opportunities for her to lie on me.

Recently Dizzy has stepped up her fucking annoying wildly adorable need to be near me. Now she's decided that she needs to be inside my clothing while lying on me.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Duckling Drinks Malbec

Elsa Bianchi
2004 Malbec
$7.99 at Central Market

After a disappointing first glass, I found that this wine really benefited from sitting open, "breathing" as it were, for about half an hour. Once I gave it that chance I was really blown away by this relatively cheap red. The flavor echoed the aroma of cherries and dark chocolate in addition to minty and peppery notes with a finish of sweet oranges and cloves. I definitely would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a big, flavorful red wine.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

On Being a Tortoise

New Year’s resolutions have never been my strong suit. I actually made my last resolution in July, which was to eat infinite vegetables every day. If I aimed for infinity, I might actually eat 5 or 6 servings, right? That strategy worked pretty well for about a month, as do most of my self-improvement schemes.

Despite being weak on the resolution front, I’m all for vague good intentions. My most recent vague good intention is to try to be in better shape. Not to do anything specific, mind you, just to try to be somewhat better.

Well, even though every time the subject of running comes up I say that I hate running and I’m not a runner, I secretly wish I could run and run and run. It sounds freeing and exhilarating. At one point ten years ago I could sort of run, but I don’t remember enjoying it. I set a goal to run 5K. I did, and then immediately quit. When I think of running now, I think of feeling fast and strong, not in terms of time and distance.

A couple of times recently, with vague good intentions, I decided I would learn to run. I would start out running about a minute at a time, figuring I would work up from there and the whole process would be easy and painless. But, after 30 seconds my lungs would be burning and my legs cramping, and I would be hating the whole thing.

But then, I stumbled across some website (which I am kicking myself for not book marking) explaining how even the laziest of lazy-butts could learn to run by going v…e…r…y s…l…o…w…l…y. She said to go so slowly you would be embarrassed if anyone you knew saw you. This floated around in my brain for a while, sounding like a better and better idea until the other night I tried it.

I ran farther and longer than I have in ten years. And! It felt good.

You may be skeptical that running so slowly would have any benefit, but it was definitely a better workout than walking. I got out of breath, but not in an imminently fatal way, and my quads were sore the next day, but not excruciating.

This may be boring for a lot of people to read, but I am just bubbling with excitement. The fact that my pudgy little round body actually RAN anywhere has me grinning and surprised. I’m actually looking forward to trying it again!

On a side note, this whole “try to be in better shape” thing came to fruition when I realized I had gained several pounds over the Christmas holiday, mostly due to the efforts of my coworkers. Every day for a week people were supplying all manner of candies and baked goods. I do not understand this urge to spontaneously make food to offer to people who didn’t ask for it. My coworkers are wonderful folks, but I wouldn’t dirty the kitchen for them unless I had to.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Last night The Husband and I drank champagne, watched silly movies, and ate like kings.

There's nothing like starting out the New Year overfed and half-drunk! Midnight found us groaning slightly and watching Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. We didn't actually get to see said Conquering because we couldn't stay up any later, but least I made it to midnight this year.