Mar 31, 2006

Google quote of the day, III

We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.
- Tom Stoppard

I will be offline (at least as far as blogging is concerned) for a few days because I am going to concentrate on writing something more scientific.

Hope everyone has a nice weekend.

Mar 29, 2006

Truth in Advertising

I went to Rite-Aid on the way back from lunch to get some eyedrops and came back to the office with this:

Rite-aid Raid

Here's a close-up of the soda, purchased with this blog in mind:


I bought it because it was so funny to see a soda advertising what your kid really will look like if she drinks it all the time.


The lid advertises the 'Chubby Kids Club.' According to the website, "An exciting new category in the soft drink industry was created when Chubby was developed to target children" and headings like JUST THE RIGHT SIZE AND SHAPE and CONVIENIENT AND SAFE FOR KIDS pepper the pseudo-science webpage.

I see a lot of overweight and even obese children in my neighborhood. Stuffing them full of products like Chubby really sets them up for a lifetime of health problems. Now I implore Jaleel & Co, please stop targeting children with Red 40 and 30g of sugar per serving!

Besides, it tastes like ass.

Happy Birthday, Nick!

Thanks for showing me how to use your camera... to be brave....

...and what's hott.

You're the best!

your sister amandamonkey

Mar 27, 2006

I think Spring has sprung


(for all my metric friends...)

I cast on the Prairie Tunic last night and made several shoudknowbetter mistakes that I will talk about in detail later. Not because YOU will make them, but because I will forget what a ding dong I am before I have to do something similar again.

Mar 26, 2006

A project about which it's worth writing home

Now for a more positive domestic missive.

Dear Blog...

Yarn: Khroma in 'Melon' and 'Aegean' (50% baby alpaca, 50% merino), ordered from Loop in Philadelphia
Pattern: 'Rib and Cable Mitts' from Spring 2006 issue of Interweave Knits
Needles: US3 bamboo DPNs
Recipient: both pair to be gifted
Thoughts: Even though it's a simple cable, it would be nice to see the pattern charted as I mentioned before. Or I might have liked it more if the directions were less prose-y so I could quickly find my place while learning the pattern. Either way, I found it easy to memorize and quick to knit once I got the hang of it.

The fit is perfect BUT I have relatively thin hands so be sure to check the gauge if you're planning to knit these. They could easily be modified by putting an extra rib in them and making the cable three stitches wide instead of two.

Two total skeins of Khroma were enough to make two pair...

Two pair of FOs

...with this much left over (US coins and pencil for scale):


They look a little deflated without hands in them, so here's another action shot:

Columbine and Mitts

The colors are more true with the flash (action shots) than without (still shots) for once. Because these are going to be gifted and I so love the colors and fit, I ordered some Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in 'Chocolate' to make a pair for myself. I plan to trim them with the leftovers from this project. They probably won't be as soft (yum, alpaca), but they should compliment the project I made with Jacey's yarn early in the winter and they will be mine, all mine!

Mar 25, 2006

Dear Cingular

Dear Cingular:

You suck.

Rock Star and I decided to get your 'family' plan and just signed a 2-year agreement. Now I wonder how exactly you pull off the 'family' part when you will not allow me to associate my name with my number and the account, half of which I will be paying.

The most basic problem associated with this is that Rock Star's last name is 'Star.' Mine is not, nor will be. It is and will remain 'Monkey.' Lots of people know me as 'Monkey' and a few of them have no clue what Rock Star's last name even is. So when they see 'Star' on their caller ID, they are not going to be likely to answer the phone.

Not to mention that HELLO I don't belong to him! Why should his name come up with my number?! AND I CAN'T SEND YOU FEEDBACK THROUGH OUR ACCOUNT WEBPAGE BECAUSE THE ANSWER WILL GO TO HIM SINCE MY EMAIL CAN'T BE ON THE ACCOUNT!

By the way, I am the media junkie of the family and was going to talk Rock Star into getting all the MediaNET packages you offered. Trust me that we will not be adding those features now.


Amanda Monkey

Google quote of the day, II

I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them later.
- Mitch Hedberg


Based on what I've seen from my blog friends, my guess is that I'm preaching to the proverbial choir here, but nonetheless...

Easter Bunny

I remember Easter Sunday
It was colorful and fun
The new life that I'd begun
In my new cage.

I was just a little thing
When they brought me from the store
And they put me on the floor
In my cage.

They would take me out to play
Love and pet me all the time
Then at day's end I would climb
In my cage.

But as days and weeks went by
I saw less of them it seemed
Of their loving touch I dreamed
In my cage.

In the night outside their house
I felt sad and so neglected
Often scared and unprotected
In my cage.

In the dry or rainy weather
Sometimes hotter sometimes colder
I just sat there growing older
In my cage.

The cat and dog raced by me
Playing with each other only
While I sat there feeling lonely
In my cage.

Upon the fresh green grass
Children skipped and laughed all day
I could only watch them play
From my cage.

They used to take me out
And let me scamper in the sun
I no longer get to run
In my cage.

Once a cute and cuddly bunny
Like a little ball of cotton
Now I'm grown up and forgotten
In my cage.

I don't know what went wrong
At the home I did inhabit
I just grew to be a rabbit
In my cage.

But they've brought me to the pound
I was once loved and enjoyed
Now I wait to be destroyed
In my cage.

- Mary Brandolino, In memory of all the bunnies we couldn't save.

Thanks for passing this along, Craft Whore.

Mar 23, 2006

Taking Off

I opened United’s in-flight magazine to the crossword puzzle before take-off, as usual, and noted 1. ACROSS. Do you see it? It's a four-letter word for 'Make an aran sweater.’

Good Sign I


The sunset from the air was beautiful but I was so excited to land and see Rock Star for the second time in less than a week and to sign the papers for our house.

Good Sign II

We waited and waited and waited all weekend for the big day. Finally, we got the keys.

New Home

We moved lots of heavy stuff and were so. tired.


…and maybe a little wary.


We spilled our first wine that first night…


…and then settled down next to our first fire with our newly-felted slippers.

First Fire

Mar 16, 2006

I'm it: Seven

So about a million years ago, I was tagged by Jaichan. It was my first tag - ever - and so exciting! I am trying not to read everyone else's first, because I always say, 'me, too!'.

Seven things to do before I die:
1. Finish my PhD, like Moe.
2. Have more puppies and a tortoise and some chickens. And maybe a human child.
3. Build a greenhouse in my backyard and install enough solar panels on our house to get off the electric grid.
4. Get paid to travel more and more and more. And to do it with Rock Star.
5. Catalog my family history, drawing a clear distinction between the wild fiction my imagination makes with the sketchy facts available.
6. Get a pilot's license and have a summer home in a Futuro.
7. Own my own piece of the desert that of course will be some sort of sanctuary or preserve after my death.

Seven Things I cannot do:
1. Any sport that involves flying balls that I have to hit or catch with bats or racquets or gloves.
2. Suffer fools.
3. Talk about my grad school experience for more than 10 minutes without crying (but I'm working on that).
4. Bake bread that actually rises.
5. Run 10 miles without stopping (but I'm working on that).
6. Go one week without eating cheese.
7. Win garden battles against squirrels.

Seven Things that attract me to my mate:
1. He nutures me without stifling me.
2. His eyes.
3. He can usually read my mind.
4. I can spend all my time with him and he never annoys me. This is a quality even most of my very best friends do not have.
5. His natural athleticism, especially those sports that involve flying balls that he has to hit or catch with bats or racquets or gloves.
6. His cooking and general foody-ness qualities and his secret ingredient.
7. His ability to get along with people.

Seven Books I love:
1. The Fountainhead
2. All the Trixie Belden books
3. House of the Spirits
4. Owen Meany
5. Anything Salinger, but especially 9 Stories
6. This Organic Life
7. Lonely Planet guides

Seven Things I say:
1. 'Shut your pie-hole'
2. 'Did you poop?'
3. 'Go poop! It's too hot/cold/rainy out here to dick around.'
4. 'Too early for food.'
5. 'I'm seriously going to jump off the top of this building if I don't finish this dissertation soon.'
6. 'Meh' or 'Mrrrr'
7. 'You've got to be kidding me.'

Seven Movies I've Loved:
1. Heathers
2. Red Sorghum
3. The Nightmare Before Christmas
4. Y Tu Mama Tambien
5. After Life
6. Brokeback Mountain
7. Walk the Line. #7 was briefly Fight Club, until I remembered JOHNNY! It's hard for me to choose only 7.

Seven People to Tag*:
1. MeBeth
2. Ashley
3. Kathy
4. Dancing Fish
5. Sweet Basil - in English, please!
6. Dani
7. Carrie and Carrie

*Most people have already done this. If I've tagged you and you have, disregard. Also, if you hate memes you can also disregard the request. Otherwise, 'fess up!


The Jaeger Siena I ordered from UK's Angel Yarns arrived while I was in Chicago! It came way faster than I'd thought it would and the price seemed good.

Praire Tunic, unassembled

This soft fiber is destined to become the Prairie Tunic from the Spring 2006 Interweave Knits. I really tried to convince myself to get a different color than the one on the model, but I just love the 'Driftwood.'

And... The IK Rib and Cable Mitts are coming along nicely after a little time figuring out the (non-charted, mrrr!) directions:

I'm really loving the Khroma alpaca blend so far and the very rich colors that remind me of fresh Crayolas.

Mar 15, 2006

Just a Quick Note

I am insanecrazybusy and anxious.

But I just wanted to post and let you know that I'm woefully aware I owe lots of you emails and that I REALLY REALLY appreciate all your great comments and support.

The reallymarvelous news is that we close on our engagement gift to each other on Monday. In fact, it's the first thing I think about every morning. Rumor has it that the sellers have a MAP of the PERENNIALS to pass on to us. This makes the gardening GIS geek in me veryvery happy.

Hope all is well with y'uns. I will catch up on your virtual lives soon.

Mar 13, 2006

"Please, please, please let me get what I want"

I'm heading back to PA today. I am very grumpy about this.

I will leave you with a photo of Barley* begging for a banana to entertain you while I'm listening to conservative radio, rolling my eyes at traffic, and trying to get across Ohio - which I am always surprised is much wider than it appears to be.

Please, please, please let me get what I want

*if you look carefully, I think you can see waaaay into his sinus cavity. Gross.

Mar 11, 2006


You are Supergirl

Wonder Woman
Green Lantern
Iron Man
The Flash
Lean, muscular and feminine.
Honest and a defender of the innocent.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Mar 10, 2006

A Foggy Day and More Anti-Dog Signage

We drove through our new neighborhood yesterday on our way downtown (no, we weren't stalking our new house, of course not!) and look what we saw:

Another Bad Sign

I'm worried now about Yuck Mouth in the new neighborhood - I don't want him to become muffins!

Teak is hanging out with the Guatemalan Lord of Death, just in case the 'Cat Fish' part of the sign might refer to him:


...and the highrise buildings of the Chicago Loop rise above the fog:

Rising above the fog

I had to drive downtown a couple of nights ago. I was heading north on Lake Shore Drive after my meeting and there was this driving rain. It was rush hour and thus gridlock. I looked out my window, took a deep breath, and realized that I'm so happy to be back home.

Mar 8, 2006

Berry Preppy

Berry Preppy

I am nearly finished with the second Fibertrends 'Felted Clog' for Rock Star. They are in Mauch Chunky 'Raspberry,' Blueberry,' and 'Walnut.' Yummy! I'm calling them 'Berry Preppy.'

In other exciting yarn news, I received my order from Loop for the fingerless mitts from the new IK - all quick and painless-like. I just keep petting it while I'm finishing those slippers (It's Khromas in 'Aegean' and 'Melon').

New Project!

If they're in Philly, why did I order the yarn? Because I am too busy to drive there and reallyreally wanted it before I left for Spring Break. Bonus news on the yarn front: I sold enough old CDs and books on Amazon this month to pay for this purchase and also the yarn I ordered for the Prairie Tunic.

Spring Break update:
I drove to Chicago Saturday to finally hang out with Rock Star and these guys:
Home Stretch
So What?

If you live in Chicago and are an old friend and haven't heard from me, please understand that Rock Star and I haven't seen each other for two months and we're feeling a little anti-social. We are going to have So Much Fun when I finally move here in May, okay? In the meantime, I *will* try to call you.

Last post update:
I am trying to learn to worry about things that only I have control over. This is very hard for me, but it does have consequences. I had a migraine the end of last week - which is why I haven't been posting.

Self challenge update:
The migraine threw me a curve ball, but I'm pushing ahead with Week 3. So far I've gone on some nice, brisk walks along the lakefront.

Diss update:
Trying to get another draft to my advisor, promised Monday and it's already Wednesday. Another reason I'm pretty anti-social and anxious these days.

On one of my walks yesterday, I noticed this:
Bad Sign

Eliminating dogs will certainly not aid my enjoyment! :-(

Mar 2, 2006

Ash Wednesday

I am not a religious person, but I find it painfully ironic that this was released on Ash Wednesday - the day after the city known for Mardi Gras limped through it.

Why are we not revolting? Don't you remember how we all felt when we watched it going down? Why are Americans so fucking pathetic? What can we do?

Mar 1, 2006


Check out Chaotic Chris' latest post.

It's the perfect merging of some of my Most Favorite Things Ever: fiber, New Mexico, bloggers, The Desert, Albuquerque, big skies, fresh air, sheep, tattoos*!

I have to start saving my dough and convincing Rock Star that this is a really good idea (Hi, honey! Call me!).

*(Okay, I added that last bit myself, but ABQ is full of people with fantastic body art. And Harleys. And livestock in their little urban yards).