- Does anyone know anybody who even watches that gaggle of inane hens on The View? Enough already with the 24x7 Rosie O'Donnell coverage! She's hideous enough on her own, but constantly having to see her lipless, bloated face paired with pictures of the gag-inducing rosebud-mouthed, combed-over Donald Trump is really destroying my will to live.
- Hey, sock-knitters. A question for you. Am I better off picking up my gusset stitches through both loops on the heel flap's edge, or should I just go through the back loop to minimize the "seam" on the inside of the heel? Please advise.
- My new interval training program at the gym is totally kicking my butt. My legs are still tired and quivery today from my thirty minute hi/low elliptical workout yesterday. I love it. I'm also down three pounds since Sunday. That's a mood brightener. (Thanks, too, to all of you who gave me pep-talks on Monday. Much appreciated!)
- Spiderman 3. Are we feeling the love? The reviews are great, but so little these days can lure me into the multiplex. Watching movies at home is so much more pleasant, especially with my new widescreen LCD TV. Instead of paying $9 for popcorn and a soda and listening to rubes chatter duing the whole movie, I can have a gin and tonic from my own bar and watch with a soothing terrier napping on my lap. Still James Franco on the big screen--kind of hard to resist...
- I've got that joy joy joy joy down in my heart, because one of the senior managers at my company retires today. By all accounts she's a pleasant person, but I would estimate that each morning before work she puts on at least twenty squirts of Calvin Klein's Obsession for Women. That cloying, sickly-sweet scent permeates the entire part of the building where this woman sits and creates a smelly wake wherever she goes. It's amazing to me that no one has complained about her polluting the air. Or perhaps people have complained, but they were ignored because Stinker is a bigwig. Well, whatever, Ding Dong the stench is gone.
- Come on Anderson, stop being a tease and give us what we want! If I went to that gym I'd just have to walk right up and smack him. I mean, why do you think half the men in NYC even bother to work out? It's to catch searing glimpses of hot celebrities in the buff! If you go all squirrelly on us and start hiding the candy, you're just contributing to the epidemic of obesity in this country by removing a prime incentive for going to the gym. It's just plain wrong. Have you no decency, sir? At long last, have you no decency? (On the other hand, there is something deliciously pervy about Mr. Cooper soaping up in his soaking wet boxer-briefs, isn't there?)
Okay, that's it. I'm outta here. May you all have many exciting adventures this weekend!
I realize that I'm a Seany-come-lately on this one, but ever since I got my new Mika CD yesterday, I've been shaking my groove thang all over the place. (Perhaps you've noticed me boppin' down your street.)
Fun stuff. Take a healthy dose of Scissor Sisters, add some Freddy Mercury, a little George Michael, some Prince, shake it all up, add a pretty sissy boy with a quirky video, and I'm sold.
Grace Kelly by Mika
Friday's nearly here. Hang on and dance!
I had a doctor's appointment yesterday that has left me feeling discouraged, frustrated, and pissy.
In the past year I have worked out an average of four days a week, had six thousand dollars worth of liposuction, and not eaten a tenth of the all stuff I would have dearly loved to eat.
As a result of my strenuous efforts and not inconsiderable physical suffering, I weigh exactly what I did one year ago at my first appointment with my doctor. That number on the scale is still approximately forty pounds too high.
To quote the Bard, D'OH!
I do know that my bodacious bod has a more appealing contour than it did a year ago. Thanks to my surgery, my waist is several inches smaller, as are my stomach and chest. I no longer have love handles. Regular strength training has built up my chest muscles and shoulders. These are all good things, and I'm grateful for the positive changes I see in the mirror.
Still, it's utterly maddening to me that had I NOT spent all the hours at the gym in the last year, I would have likely gained God only knows how much weight. That's the part that really freaks me out. It's like my body has some secret, devious plan to reach 350 pounds, and if I'm not constantly starving myself or sweating on some horrid cardio machine at the gym, my cells are busily squirreling away adipose for some erroneously anticipated future famine. It's all so dreadfully unnecessary.
So, what is my response today? I'm sitting in a cafe, whining to you when I should be at the gym sweatin' to the oldies. I've had a decaf coffee. I wanted a scone. And now I'd love to go have a beer.
Instead I'll go home and sip some ice water. Mmmmm, satisfying.
Sorry to bitch so self-indulgently,
I'm still in something of a sock-obsessed state. I don't really expect my condition to improve in the near future, either, because I have a huge bag of intoxicating socks yarns on my dining room table. Each type of yarn calls out to me as I pass, "Sean, knit me next!" "No, ME!" "Drop dead all of you, I'm next!!!" And so on.
Here's the current project. I finished Sock 1 Saturday morning (again, no wonky toe!) and started knitting Sock 2 that afternoon. I began the heel flap today while waiting in my doctor's office. He was 45 minutes behind, so I made good progress.
These socks are destined for life in Germany, but I think the next pair I make will be for me. Don't my feet deserve a treat?
Nothing much has happened in WG Land this week. My cold has had me down in the dumps since Monday, but I may finally be on the upswing now. I still have a bit of Demi Moore voice, but it's so sexy on me, you have NO IDEA.
Tonight we're having two friends over for an evening of pizza, beer, and Wii. (Who says I'm wasting my Princeton education?!) That social engagement sprung up out of the blue yesterday, much to my pleasant surprise. It will be fun to show the boys around the Wii and play some doubles. I've played so much tennis now that my ranking is sky high. I can pretty much whip the computer's butt every time I play. I even kick ass when I play left-handed! Having human opponents will be a nice change.
My weekend plans include spending much money. In May we're doing some remodeling in our kitchen, and tomorrow we plan to buy a new sink and a dishwasher. The big ticket item on our list is new quartz countertops that will be installed (along with the new stainless sink) a few weeks from now. Good-bye bland, scratched white formica! Hello gleaming, icy-cold beauty! (BTW, that's what people used to shout out when I strutted my stuff on the catwalk, back in the '90s.)
Other than kitchen shopping, I don't have too much on tap. Mmmmmm, tap. I have a suspicion that will feel compelled to bake another delectable loaf of No Knead Bread. Mmmmmm, crusty bread...
I wish you all a grand and gracious weekend!
I'm still feeling crappy today, so instead of wit and humor of my own making, I will lean on this amusing video that I first saw yesterday. It made me laugh until I peed myself. (Just a dribble, though.)
I'm feeling under the weather today, gentle readers, so this post will be short. Mustn't overtax my immune system as it tries to fight off a cold, you know.
I have a quick question for you sock knitters out there. Do you normally block your socks when you finish knitting them? (And after you wash them?) I'm not enough of a manly man to make my own sock blockers, like some of you, so I might buy a pair this weekend.
Any sage words of advice?
Well, the second Technicolor Dream Sock didn't take me half as long to knit as the first one. I got most of it done on my trip to Arkansas last week. I grafted the toe this past Saturday morning, and this time nothing was wonky. By George, I think I've got it!
Voici, mes amis... (Non-wonky is on the right.)
Encouraged by my success, by 9:00 Saturday morning I had cast on for a new sock. I'm booking through this one, and I imagine I'll have it done by the end of the week. Here's where things stand today, after two days of work.
Today, eight more balls of sock yarn arrived in the mail. I'm may be developing something of an obsession.
One of the many tasty foods my aunt Gerelyn served Darren and me during our trip to Arkansas was this delicious cake. Its official name is "White Texas Sheet Cake," but to me it will always be "Gerelyn's Almond Cake."
It's not a secret family recipe, so I feel free to share it with you. If you know what's good for you, you'll make one this weekend.
Gerelyn's Almond Cake
* 1 cup butter
* 1 cup water
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 cups white sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1 teaspoon almond extract
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/4 cup milk
* 4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
* 1 cup sliced almonds
In a large saucepan, bring 1 cup butter or margarine and water to a boil. Remove from heat, and stir in flour, sugar, eggs, sour cream, 1 teaspoon almond extract, salt, and baking soda until smooth. Pour batter into a greased 10 x 15 x 1 inch baking pan.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20 to 22 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and tests done. Cool for 20 minutes.
Combine 1/2 cup butter or margarine and milk in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Mix in sugar and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Stir in almonds. Spread frosting over warm cake.
Serve with vanilla ice cream. (For an extra special treat, warm the cake for several seconds in the microwave before topping with the ice cream.)
Wishing you a pleasant weekend,
On Monday I spent an enjoyable day with my my aunt, uncle, and Darren in Hot Springs. We had a tasty Mexican lunch, strolled Bathhouse Row, and went to the top of an observation tower for a great view of the city and surrounding hills.
A few pictures for you.
A steaming-hot waterfall.
Some great old facades along Bathhouse Row
Touring a bathhouse--the ceiling of the men's bath
Detail of the ceiling
A rather terrifying bathtub
An apparition of WG, haunting a mirror in the men's changing room
The solarium of the bathhouse, where well heeled tourists gathered for convivial conversation
The view of Hot Springs from atop the observation tower
A handsome tourist enjoys the view
The same handsome tourist, joined by his uncle, Jim
This morning we fly home, where our terrier pal is eager awaiting us.
Tomorrow, a return to our regularly scheduled programming.
Greetings from Arkansas! Darren and I arrived Saturday after a smooth journey, and my aunt and uncle took us into Little Rock for an enjoyable afternoon. We had lunch at a cool brew pub, and then we spent a couple hours touring the Clinton Library. It's a pretty remarkable structure.
Here's a view from inside.
There are some really interesting personal letters to Bill Clinton on display here, including hand-written notes from Mother Teresa, Elton John, and the Dalai Lama, to name a disparate three.
I would have taken more pictures inside, but flash photography wasn't allowed, so most of my shots turned out too dark.
I highly recommend a stop here, though I left feeling quite depressed at what a horrible turn the country has taken in the last six years.
In my next post, I should have some pictures from Hot Springs and Bath House Row. (It's not as pervy as it sounds.)
In 1988, Easter found me living in Vienna, Austria. Since I had nothing better to do on Easter morning, I decided to go St. Stephan's Cathedral to celebrate with the locals.
I put on my best student finery, complete with skinny leather neck tie, and walked through the warm spring air along the Ringstrasse into Vienna's beautiful First District.
I got to the church early enough to secure a seat close to the nave, a good distance from the chatter of the Italian tourists near the great front portal of the cathedral. The service was lovely and I enjoyed following the mass in German.
When mass ended, I stepped out into the bright sun of Stephansplatz, the heart of Vienna. I felt virtuous for having gone to church even when I was thousands of miles away from my mother's guilt rays.
As I headed south, back toward the Ring, I noticed a primly dressed old woman strolling towards me. As we passed each other, she suddenly swerved into my path and hissed at me, "Schwein!"
Now, in English, it's not very polite to call someone a pig, but in German it's extraordinarily rude.
"Was haben Sie gesagt?" I asked her, thinking I had misheard.
"SCHWEIN!!" Her eyes were wild, her lips curled back in a sneer.
Oh, apparently I had heard her correctly after all. How odd. I could think of no appropriately scathing response, so I just walked away.
I vowed that day that I would always have a ready epithet to hurl at mean old Viennese ladies should the need arise. Five years later, once again in Vienna, I called an old snotty woman a sow when she scolded me for using the elevator rather than taking the stairs.
It was one of my proudest moments.
When I was growing up, I always hated Holy Week. As an extremely devout Catholic, my mom saw it as her duty to make sure her kids endured every moment of worship she could possible squeeze into us in the last few drab days of Lent.
Generally, that meant that on Thursday and Friday night, we were in church listening miserably to the droning priest while our pagan (by my mom's standards) friends watched Gilligan's Island in the comfort of their homes and dreamed of Easter candy.
Sure, Palm Sunday, the previous weekend, had been somewhat diverting. I always liked leaving mass with a palm frond each year (except in fourth grade, when I broke my leg an hour before church and was allowed to stay home--an Easter miracle!), but services on Holy Thursday and Good Friday offered no such exotic party favors from the Holy Land.
Worse, on Good Friday, we had to participate in the Veneration of the Cross, waiting in line to smooch an icky germ-laden crucifix that was wiped quickly (but hardly disinfected) between each kiss. (Hey, maybe that's why nearly everyone in the parish had the same cold sore!) I found the spectacle demeaning and a little pervy.
Easter, when it finally arrived with its overflowing baskets of candy (the second best haul of the year after Halloween) always seemed like a meager payout for all the kneeling and tedium we had suffered. Plus, there was the interminable Easter service to attend with its choking clouds of incense, overcrowded pews, and obligatory fainting spells by parishioners overcome by the close quarters and long periods of standing and kneeling. (At least the suddenly slumping bodies caused little ripples of excitement in the otherwise soporific proceedings.)
Easter services might have been a nightmare, but I did always enjoy Easter dinner. Along with a ham and mashed potatoes, we usually had stinky and delicious deviled eggs on the table, and if we happened to be at the home of my aunt and uncle, each child found a large chocolate bunny waiting at their plate. My sisters usually gobbled up their bunnies within a day or two, but I liked to savor mine, taking a small nibble each day until my mom finally lost patience and, weeks later, tossed the stale chocolate rabbit in the trash.
This Easter, Darren and I will be in Arkansas, at the home of the above mentioned aunt and uncle. I'm looking forward to a nice, worship-free visit with them. (Well, they will worship--we'll relax on the patio.) We last saw each other at my grandpa's funeral in December, so I expect this visit will be far more jolly.
I'll let you know if I receive a big chocolate bunny.
Well, Sock 1 is off the needles. As expected, I botched the kitchener a bit, so the toe is wonky. That made me want to scream and scream and SCREAM. Still, I think the finished sock looks fairly decent.
It fits well, too. (This shot reveals the wonky, toe, however. ARGH.)
I plan to cast on for Sock 2 tonight, lest the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome strike me. Methinks a bit of 3-needle bind-off is on the horizon for the mate to to Sock 1.
Cursing my kitchener skills,
Thanks in no small part to your
nagging support, gentle readers, I continue to make progress on the Technicolor Dream Sock. See below.
Since Friday afternoon I've completed heel turn and the gusset and moved on down the foot. I'm just about to start the decreases for the toe, so the end is in sight.
Ooh, how I dread the kitchener stitch, though. I think I've only done it five times, and I botched it twice. I've decided to set up a few practice sessions before I try to graft the sock's toe. I'll just knit up a couple little squares on a few sets of needles and graft them together until I'm more comfortable with the process. That will postpone the sock's completion by a couple days, but I really don't want to ruin this sock in the last five minutes.
I'd say I'm 75% satisfied with how Sock 1 is turning out. I have tried it on several times, and it was immediately clear that my cast-on for the cuff was too tight. I can get the sock on, but the cuff is definitely a bit too snug snug around my ankle and heel as I pull on the sock. I'll make an effort to keep the cast-on looser for Sock 2.
The yarn I'm using is still thicker than I would like, but I'm committed to finishing this pair. The next ones can be made with finer sock yarn. I doubt I will ever wear these socks, so anyone visiting my house around the time the pair is finished may get a gift.
On to the toe...
WoolGatherer claims no rights to the images of models posted on this blog. If the owner(s) of the respective images do not wish for their work to be displayed on this site, the photos will be removed upon emailed request.
All opinions expressed on this blog, no matter how ridiculous or perverse, are solely those of the author.