Happy New Year

Happy New Year
Bonne Annee
Shanah Tovah
Bienvenido 2008

I couldn't let 2007 leave without getting the last word in :-D

Even though I've only been at it for 4 months or so, blogging has been one of my favorite new adventures of 2007. It's been fun meeting other stitchers at long last! I've thoroughly enjoyed meeting people from all over the place and reading about how everyone gets along in their own little corner of the world. Thanks for stopping by, it's nice to know that I'm not just talking to myself for a change. Lol, true story, I thought I was alone and talking to myself today, but my brother was in the next room, heard me and answered my question. Sort of like having a real life blog, although his comment wasn't as nice as yours are! If you have written me comments, thank you! (and if you haven't written anything yet, please don't be shy)

Stop by tomorrow for some stitchy goals for '08, some real life goals for '08, and a humorous recap of my outing with JS to scope out bridesmaid dresses...

Have a good year.


Life as a Techie

When my cousin E asked me to come on an NCSY Shabbaton* to help staff it I had no idea what I was getting into. I'd heard of it of course, but it wasn't a big deal in my town so I never did NCSY myself. Neither did my cousin, but he has been working for them for at least a couple of years now as staff, and when he invited me along this time I thought sure, why not?

Prior to leaving for the Shabbaton I called for some details, and was told to pack nice Shabbat clothes but stuff that could be easily washed. Staff are expected to follow the OU's guidlines for dress and behavior, but I was just told the first of what would become 7 rules:
1. Elbows
2. Knees
3. No touching guys
The first two are dress code, meaning sleeves that reach the elbows and skirts (no pants allowed) that reach the knees). The 3rd rule is a simplification of being shomer negiah, which is basically no touching guys - no high fives, no hugs, no nothing - unless you're related or married to them.

Pretty simple, right? Hahahaha. What he didn't tell me was that this was the Winter Regional, one of their 2 yearly Shabbatons for everyone in the "New York" region. Meaning, this was going to be a huge Shabbaton with a ton of people.

After a delay to deal with a worker that showed up at the house while my mom was out running errands, I left a bit late for my 50-mile drive to the Shabbaton. I also completely forgot that this is a holiday weekend, so despite leaving at 2:30 I had rush-hour levels of traffic to deal with. There was a scary 30-minute period of serious traffic on the Cross Bronx when I thought I wasn't going to make it, but I pulled into the parking lot of the shul just before Shabbat (4:20). Other people were also running late so I wasn't even the last one there, it was all okay. I had to get all my stuff out of my car (since I couldn't open it on Shabbat). My cousin Chaim (I had 3 and a CIL on the shabbaton) helped me find a place to leave it in the shul. Luckily I showered before I left so I just changed clothes in the restroom.

About 10 minutes later I found my CIL, E3, in shul and she told me where to find the rest of the staff. And this was when I learned that I was a techie - short for technical staff, and a pretty name for grunt. Techies set up, serve food, clean up, rinse and repeat about 6 times over the course of 24 hours. Cousin E was the head techie, and it turned out that I knew one of the other techies - LG, my frum female biker friend and only other frum biker I know. The other girl, SD, I had met at E's wedding. One of the guy techies I'd never met but had heard about him since he's friends with E3. He's famous (in certain circles) for accidentally falling out a window & down 5 stories during a stunt for a YU radio show. He landed on concrete or something, broke a significant vertebrae and not only survived but is walking just fine. Like he says, no brain damage aside from preexisting conditions. There were 2 other guy techies, a very nice & hardworking one and one who used to be "front of the house" (an advisor) and kept forgetting to stay "back of the house" and help us out.

Our first task was serving dinner. It wasn't easy. They were expecting 150 people and ended up having 200, 3 extra tables were set up at the last possible second, all food was prepped at the shul and then had to be schlepped across the street to the lunchroom of the local public school, and 3 of us were first timers. It was a bit crazy but it all worked out fine, no one starved/died/was trampled in a stampede although we it seemed to be a close call at times, lol. We had about a 10 minute break - not enough time to grab our own dinners - and then had to go set up a room at the shul for the Oneg (= after-dinner dessert buffet, usually accompanied by a kumzits).

Five hours after the dinner craziness started we'd finished setting up the Oneg and the first of the kiddies were trickling in. There was nothing left for us to do but the persons in charge were MIA, so we mutinied and went across to the school to have our own dinner. Rule #4, no inappropriate conversational topics, was born when the persons in charge found us discussing rapelling down the outside of university buildings and other pranks. G forbid one of the kiddies heard us. E and I then had to explain the rules to the other techies, apparently I was the only one to whom he'd given rules. Go figure. Rule #5, no same-sex touching, was created to deal with a comic demonstration between 2 of the guys as to what rule #3 is meant to prevent.

The rest of the rules were also created during dinner that night.
Rule #6 is that the dude who fell out the window isn't allowed to climb on anything to reach high-up things. Meaning no chairs, stepladders, nothing.
Rule #7 is no alcohol. Duh!

Rabbi Z, the head advisor to the New York region, stopped by our techie room to thank us for helping out. And probably to escape the crush for a bit. Once he heard about the radio stunt, conversation turned to "What was the craziest thing that ever happened to you, because this guy can top it". SD did well, she skydived and hit the plane on the way out. Someone else fell out a window, but *only* one story. Shards of glass embedded in their leg weren't enough to tip the scales. I did well with "I have E for a cousin", but falling 5 stories was the clear winner.

After a bit of cleanup we headed over to the Oneg, and Chaim helped me find the other girl who was staying at the house I was, so that I could get the details & key from her. Then LG, SD and I went to the girls' Tisch. They left pretty quickly to go back to their host house to sleep, and I left soon afterwards.

As I entered the house, my eye was immediately drawn to a wallhanging of a grandfather clock hanging in the entraceway. It was huge, probably 30"x60". On closer inspection I saw that it was actually crocheted, the picture was formed by double crochet stitches in various colors. The guy whose house it was heard me come in and came down to say hello. He said that his wife cross stitched the grandfather clock. Guys! When I told him that I also cross stitch & crochet, he told me that the room I was staying in had bookcases full of his wife's craft books, and he gave me permission to look through them! I did get to sleep eventually, but only because the lights were on a timer and went off around midnight. She had some great stuff, including a TW book I'd never seen before.

In the morning we were supposed to meet at 8:45 to set up breakfast and then prep for lunch. The 3 girls were on time. The guys showed up about 2 hours late. LG and I did a lot of schlepping and moving supplies back and forth between the 2 buildings. Then we started setting the tables out for lunch. I'd gotten a couple of nasty splinters from a table the night before, but we weren't wary enough. SD tried to drag a table into position but it was broken such that one set of legs wouldn't lock. The side she was tugging collapsed, catching one of her feet across 2 of the toes. Very luckily she was searing thick, warm boots (and not pumps) so there was some padding, because the toes still started bleeding and might have been broken. The Hatzalah guy on the staff was pretty much useless. He took one look, didn't see any bones sticking through skin, and told SD there was nothing he could do for her. Hello, do you have any bandaids? The poor girl's foot was bleeding.

SD was a real trooper though, didn't complain much and pitched in with any task that didn't require much walking - plating food, directing volunteers etc. And once the 3 of us techie girls plus the Hatzalah guy's wife bullied/nagged/shamed him into actualy doing something 2 hours later, he bandaged her food and she was able to walk around to help too. Guys!

In the interest of not writing a novel let's me just say that we worked from 8:45 to 7:30 with an hour total of downtime and were exhausted by about 2pm.

There was a snafu with losing and finding a key to the UHaul but it was resolved and we loaded everything out of the school and into the van before the 9pm deadline. Then we cleaned out the supplies we'd need for dinner from the shul, took 30 minutes to get presentable and headed further upstate to The Castle.

We weren't so necessary as helpers and LG and I were going home that night, so I wish we would've skipped the Castle and gone straight home. We did have an excellent techie game of Laser Tag. There were no teams but the guys talked big about not hitting each other and *getting* us girls, so we made a pact not to shoot each other. It ended up being 3 of us vs 5 of them, with us gals running around shouting "Girl Truce" to avoid hitting each other. We teamed up well againts the guys although we must've looked & sounded ridiculous.

We were all soooo exhausted at the end of the day, we had worked really hard to make sure the weekend would run smoothly for the kids. It was a great experience, a ton of fun, I met a bunch of really cool people and I would totally do it again. Next time should be a bit better as well, because after teching 1 shabbaton I know what to expect for next time and how/what prepare for it.

I don't have my own photos of anything Shabbaton related, but SD has some pics and promised to post them on facebook so I'll try to put some up for you.

LG and I both had to leave Saturday night because we'd made plans with each other, not knowing we'd be on the same Shabbaton. Lol. I dropped her off in the Bronx at 1:45 and made it home around 2:15 so we postponed our 9:30 outing today to 11:30.

Guess where we went? The Motorcycle Show at the Javits Center. I did mention that she's my 1 frum biker friend, no? Most of the pictures are on LG's camera but I took a few, so here's one of me sitting on a chopper for the first time.

I'll post more pics later this week, we had some really good ones. I sat in a sidecar for the first time, and I'm short enough that I can fully extend my legs so it's pretty comfy. We tried out some touring bikes too, those are ridiculous. Forget ride one, I couldn't even stand the bike upright. I didn't find anyone selling Bell helmets or women's riding pants, but I did find a stall selling extremely durable maps of NYS premarked with interesting bike rides, so I got a couple. Can't wait for warmer weather to try them out!

I need to go catch up on the sleep I missed last night, so ttys. Wish me luck, tomorrow I'm dress shopping with JS.

Happy new years!


*I don't love the wikipedia definition so I'll give you my own. A Shabbaton involves a group of people - a youth group, school group, synagogue group, or a group of friend - spending a Shabbat all together and in a location other than where most of the participants live. Generally this involves either going to a hotel (more common), or to a Synagogue and having members of that Synagogue's community host Shabbaton participants for the weekend. The entire group prays together, takes meals together (usually) and often has some educational programming, especially if it's a youth group or school event.


Ravioli rave

I went out for lunch today with MZ. It was an open ended invite to the *crew* at work, but it ended up being just the two of us so instead of the tex-mex bar & restaurant we usually go to, we went for *girly* food at a nearby shopping center. Lan and I found it one day on a lunchtime AC Moore run. It's a few doors down, and from the outside it's nothing special, but we're both *slightly* obsessed with this one dish they serve, the Butternut Squash Raviolis. We pretty much go there just for these raviolis. We haven't been since the spring so it was past time for a visit, but she's off this week and too busy these days anyway. So we went without her.

This was MZ's first trip, and she ordered a turkey burger. Still yum, but it wasn't the same. She tried some of my raviolis though, and agreed that next time that's what she'd be ordering. She was talking about going back there with her BF... so I think it was a hit :-D

Still trying to figure out how to get to DC, but now it looks like Jetblue is winning the battle for my affections. Apparently Greyhound goes to a shady part of town, and I'd be getting in at like 11 or midnight, and I couldn't ask my cousin to pick me up from there. She found a different bus company but they have 2 buses a day, and the time doesn't work for me. I could drive down but Jetblue sent me an email offer... so I might just do that. We'll see.

I spoke to my cousin and I'm going to my first NCSY shabbaton this weekend, yay! I'm not 100% sure what to pack, and apparently there's a dress code. Since I'm going as staff I can't wear pants at all. Even driving up to Monsey, or before or after Shabbat. And no short sleeves. We're supposed to be good examples. Oh well, it'll be interesting. Four of my relatives will be there and some others live nearby, so it should be fun.

Tonight I went bowling with Sh and Chavi and I didn't suck! I even bowled a 97 one game, which for me is like huge. Even though we bowled well we still had fun.

I'm off to put in 20 stitches on Ivy before I conk out. Good night!


A JS Wedding Update

Not much going on today, so I give you an update on JS's wedding. Enjoy!

JS IMed me in a panic about bridesmaid dresses. All along the plan has been for her to pick 1 designer and 1 color, and each of the bridesmaids can pick whatever style she likes. Well, she told me that over the weekend her mom told her to let us choose from just 2 styles. At which point I started panicking too. We are all very different body types, so this is going to be a disaster. First of all, if we don't get a 2-2 split then the odd person out (and I know it's gonna be me) is going to look like the idiot who ordered the wrong dress or the [insert unflattering adjective] girl who couldn't pull off the same style as the others. Second, I cannot imagine a dress that would fit me well and also fit any also any of the other 3 girls well. Ditto for fitting JS's other non-sister bridesmaid and any other person. I don't know her sister or the fiance's sister so well, but they *might* have similar body types. So good luck with that plan.

Thank goodness JS doesn't like the 2 dress style idea either! I'm not sure if I would argue with both her and her mom on the dress I'd be wearing, or if I'd just shut my mouth and go along so as not to cause problems. Luckily she's way ahead of me, and her mom seems pretty reasonable. So I think she's just not working with all the facts that JS and I are, which would be how different the 4 of us are. JS said something about having her call me (yikes!), or maybe she'll just email her mom photos of us and she'll see for herself.

JS still hasn't picked a dress designer or a dress color yet so that's the other thing she was panicking about. I got her slightly calmer, and found out all the dates she could possibly go dress looking. We called up some dress stores and we now have plans to go look at a place in Manhattan on New Year's Eve. Problem solved. Now we just have to actually pick stuff, but she's pretty decisive about things so I'm not worried.

Oh, I forgot to mention. I'm going to visit my cousin in DC next month, the one who stitches. HD! We're going to drive to Colonial Williamsburg - my first visit - and also try to go to the stitching night at her LNS. Should be fun. If anyone has any other LNS to recommend, or interesting/unusual stuff to see while in DC, please leave me a comment. Thanks!


Stitching, shidduch dating and shiva calls

Yesterday (Monday) was pretty quiet, mostly just bumming around the house. Sh had plans in the city, so I stitched and cleaned and did laundry. At night I had an offer from C to go to a Matzah Ball or 2 in the city, but I had plans to go out with a friend for her birthday, which was Sunday.

We went to a kosher dairy restaurant in the Five Towns - I'd tell you which but I can't tell them apart. It ended up being 13 girls and 3 guys, all but 1 of whom I only knew through my friend. Some of them are all cliquey but Shira's really sweet and is also completely uninterested in the conversations about people I don't know, so she ended up telling me and a few other people the funniest stories about shidduch dates she'd been on.

For the record, shidduch dating is very different from normal dating. It's blind dates on crack. What happens is, you have a matchmaker, called a Shadchan (shod-chan, with the ch like in chanukah). The Shadchan finds a boy and a girl to set up on a date. She (or he) checks with each that they are interested in the date, and then if it's a go gives the guy the girl's # to call. They then go on a very PG, not even PG13, date. Depending on how religious they are, this could be a *normal* date like dinner or coffee, or it could be sitting & chatting in a hotel lobby - I kid you not. After the date is over, they each report back to the Shadchan as to how the date went. If both people tell the Shadchan they're interested, she gives the guy permission to call the girl for a second date. I'm not sure if they need to do this before the third date or not, I keep forgetting to ask Shira.

So anyways, Shira was telling us all kinds of funny stories about her shidduch dating experiences. The cute Israeli waiter kept giving us these looks. Finally he starting pitching himself to us! I don't think he's Shira's type though, not religious enough. Oh well.

Today started off really mellow, slept late, woke up & stitched on my Mirabilia Ivy. This is a pic of how far I got. Then we found out that my uncle D's father, who lives in Israel, passed away. He was sitting shiva already at his house (in Monsey) so we drove up there this afternoon to pay a shiva call. It's a schlep - at least an hour each way - & I hate watching other people drive so I brought along some yarn & my circular needles to make another felted hat. Between going and coming I got through 70% of the hat.

D is probably my favorite uncle, but his family has the strangest minhagim - even my aunt (my mom's sister) rolls her eyes sometimes. He was explaining something about when he & his family were supposed to start & finish sitting shiva... we just smiled & nodded, and were very thankful that my grandfather wasn't around to challenge their wacky minhag. My cousins were there, and very eager to tell me how they got to stay home from school to be with their dad. I stuck with them as much as possible, it was safest.


Enjoying My Long Weekend

I just accidentally marked everything in my Google Reader as read, and I know I had 100+ new items in there. So I'm taking that as a sign that I need to stop reading blogs and start updating my own, and then get my butt back to stitching.

I've been watching Season 1 of "My Name is Earl", can't you tell? (Because on that show everything happens for a fairly obvious reason - as a punishment or reward from Karma). Got it out of the library Friday and I'm breezing through it. There's 24 20-minute episodes, basically 8 hours. It will be going back tomorrow. Luckily I found Tammy's blog, she has some good reading recommendations that'll keep me busy, starting with a new author for me, Tess Gerritsen, and a new book from Faye Kellerman that I hadn't heard about but will go comb the library for. Or possibly purchase myself.

I love Faye Kellerman's books, I think it's great that she has Orthodox Jewish characters and actually knows what she's talking about. There aren't enough *real* Jewish characters in popular fiction. In my own life I know so many different types of Orthodox Jews, and it's sad that people don't get to see that that variety exists. The only kind of Jews I see on TV are either secular, cultural Jews who don't practice anything or completely stereotyped charedi men (and that's not even Orthodox!).

I'm sure it's the same for other religions, The Media is not good at accurately portraying anything.

I'm gonna move on before this turns into a rant.

Ok, so a recap of last week... Friday the Fun Committee, aka MZ, JC and me, threw my department's *holiday party*. The Fun Committee mandate is to have some sort of *fun* event for our department (15-20 people) about once a month. We don't have a budget, so we are to charge people as little money as possible while still doing something fun. So field trips, nice restaurants, and paintball are out. We usually stick to board games, barbeques and pizza lunches.

Anyways, for December we usually do a holiday party. I obviously don't celebrate Christmas and I don't think it's appropriate to throw a Chanukah party for my 80% non-Jewish coworkers (3/15 of us are Jewish, and A. is pan-religious so I don't know, that might include Jewish), so it's a whatever-holiday-you-like party.

This year we went with a Festivus theme, JC's idea so he got stuck on the committee. MZ is new to our dept. and she really came through with presentation skills, powerpoint prowess and a Festivus pole. We had a cleaned-up-for-the-workplace airing of grievances which turned out hilarious. The feats of strength were pictionary, a bakeoff and a pushup contest, which turned hairy. Most people are good sports, and this is a dorky Fun Committee event, but I/we forgot that one guy in our dept is SUPER competitive and hates to lose. Apparently, "do as many pushups as you can in 60 seconds" is subject to interpretation (who knew?), and he wasn't letting it go. We should've stated the rules clearly before the contest began so that there'd be no confusion - but that part of the event was slightly hijacked by the head of the department... and next time I know not to let that stop me. It was slightly terrible. 15 people arguing about who was the *real* winner, and what to do to fix it... it wasn't pretty. JC had participated in the contest, so after way too much discussion (like 10 minutes) MZ and I conferenced... we told the guys that they could rematch at a later date to be absolutely fair since this contest was kinda screwed up), but that as the people running the even we were declaring so-and-so (not the guy who confused the rules) to be the winner. We needed to move on, and they just continued the debate after the party.

After the Feats of Strength we did our holiday gift exchange. No drama, thank goodness, and everyone remembered to bring a gift. I ended up giving my exchangee a gift card to Best Buy and a ginormous book of Sudokus. I didn't realize, since I got the book for a dollar at AC Moore, but the list price was $10, so it turned out to be a pretty good deal for him. He said he liked it, so that's what matters right? I still don't know who my gift is from, but it's a basket of Vanilla Caramel scented skincare products. I don't really use skincare other than the standard cleansers and a moisturizer for my hands, but since I work with beauty products, including skincare, maybe it's time I started using? We'll see.

I spoke to JF Friday afternoon, she was spending Saturday in my town with her boyfriend (who's from my town) and wanted to know if I'd hang out with them after Shabbat. I like her bf and love her, so of course! Well last night I checked my vm and she has broken up with her bf but was coming out anyways to go to Old Bethpage's Candlelight Evenings. That was a surprise! On the 30 minute drive I got the whole story out of her, and it was ok, they just weren't right for each other. OBVR was closed (which isn't mentioned on the website, GRR) so we turned around and came back to town, where we met Sh. for pizza dinner. It was exactly what JF needed - girls' night. Sh and I both know & like the ex so it was a good girls night: no bashing, just therapy :-)

Today Sh and I went to Lazy Daisy Stitchery. As soon as I picked her up Sh made it clear she was just along for the ride and had no time or interest in cross stitching. That's ok though, I can probably get her back into knititng :-) But while we were there Diana gave her a demonstration of punchneedle that was *this* close to hooking her... I think if I brought her back we could talk her into taking it up.

Diana & I have 2 running questions that I ask every time I stop in. First is, how's the website coming? I don't know who she's got doing hers, but it has been a WIP since June and there's nothing to show for it. And the current website has incorrect hours listed - she's open late Thursdays. I really hope she gets the site up soon, the internet is such an important tool these days! But anyways. Our second running joke started later, in October. I was looking for a design to stitch Mary Kathryn for the Fair Square exchange and I found Wish on the Shepherd's Bush website. Since it wasn't in stock I ended up stitching her Thankful, which is from the same *line*, but Diana ordered Wish for me from Shepherd's Bush. She ordered it in early October and just got it in this week. So now that one impossible task has happened, I'm hoping it means good things for her website too!

Other acquisitions today include:
  • A color I was missing for Princess & the Pea's bedspread, which I will stitch ASAP and show you once Jennifer posts a promised pic of her progress on P&tP. (Hehe, look at me buying myself some time :-)
  • Threads for Winter Symphony, a pretty LHN design from the new issue of JCS. How did I miss that there were Crescent Colors threads involved when buying those charts? Lol.
  • Spiced Tea threadpack from LHN. I'm a huge tea drinker, so those 3 packs are a must for me. Of course I read thread pack and thought kit, so I need to go back for the fabric. But I have plenty to stitch before Spiced Tea anyway so this is Karma working for my own good, lol.
  • 3 Caron Watercolors threads for... something.
I had chinese food for lunch and went to see National Treasure with C this afternoon, so I don't know what I'm going to do for christmas or erev christmas! If for whatever reason you don't do christmas either and find that you also have a lot of free time to kill on the 24th and 25th of December, drop me an email! I might go to a Matzah Ball with C (this is an example) but otherwise I'll be around. And probably stitching.

Happy christmas if you're of that persuasion!


Very Mild Superpowers

Guess I'm not the only one with very mild superpowers. This David O'Doherty guy has some too. (Thanks Janet for the head's up!) Everyone should recognize their own superpowers, and hopefully use them for good.

One of my superpowers (order out of chaos) is going to come in handy in a bit... MZ and I are throwing my department's holiday party, and these things are always crazy. I'll keep you posted.


Clash finale

Tonight was the Clash of the Choirs finale on NBC. I love that show! My favorite team won :-) and actually the top 3 were ranked how I'd have ranked them. Nick Lachey's team was soooo good, they sang such great songs. It looked like everyone on the show had a great time doing the show, which made it even more fun for me to watch. I hope this means they'll do a round 2 or something.

The host was really messing up a lot tonight. She kept getting peoples' names wrong. She'd go up to a team after they sing, and she's supposed to go to the person with the emotional, tearjerker story and ask them how they *felt* about singing live on TV or something. Well, she'd go up to the wrong person! And not just once, I remember at least 3 times! The *normal people* were pretty polite about it, until the 3rd time when the person finally just said "I'm not Lindsey, I'm ___." The funniest part was that the hostess had spoken to Lindsey after one of the songs earlier in the week, I think Monday, so she really had no excuse.

Anyways, the show was really good as usual, with lots of great singing :-) I even liked the songs team Shelton did, although I still didn't love Patti Labelle's team's selection. I think PL and I just have different tastes.

This is the what I've been working on since I mailed my Fair Squares exchange. I finished the cross stitching part tonight during Clash. The design is a freebie called 2006 Wyvern from Dragon Dreams, and I stuck to the recommended DMCs except for the mug which I changed from blue & white to pink. I'm going to turn it into a scissor fob, to practice for my exchange piece for the Hooked on Exchanging scissor fob exchange.

Next up is a Drawn Thread freebie chart so I can practice another fob. Mercy was right, these are addicting!


Short Post

This is gonna be a short post. I have a headache, and when that happens the best thing to do is sign off the computer ASAP.

I mailed off my exchange today to Australia. We'll see when it gets there. I went for the bubble-lined envelope at the post office, so it *should* arrive in good condition. We'll see. They only had either tiny envelopes or enormous ones (like, 11x14), so my exchange partner might think I'm a bit strange. Oh well.

This morning I went dress shopping with my mom for a dress for my cousin D's wedding, which will be this March. She already ordered her dress and was going in for a fitting. I'm kinda picky and not everything looks good on me so I was only cautiously optimistic. And I found a dress! A really, really pretty dress, and it's black so I'm going be able to wear it a zillion times after this wedding :-)

On the topic of dresses, JS and I have been discussing bridesmaid dresses. It looks like I'm going dress shopping again next week :-\ We wanted to go Sunday but places are closed for Christmas, even though Christmas is Tuesday. I don't understand why they are closed on Sunday already, but ok.

Anyways, I'm being a good little bridesmaid and helping her find shops that sell the designers she likes. I think I'm getting the hang of this bridesmaid gig :)

We've picked a date for the shower - May 4th - and I think everyone's on board with having it here. NYC apartments are so small, and shopping w/out a car is kinda hard, so this is probably the best choice. Am I being too OCD trying to plan the shower stuff now? I just feel like all of April is going to be so Passover-crazy, and it's April 20th-27th, so by the time it's over it's too late to plan for the shower the 4th. This way we'll get the planning done with and it'll be so stress free for everyone.

I'm watching Clash of the Choirs now, which means I need to go stitch something. If you can, definitely tune in. It's a great show. Nick Lachey's team is the best and the one I'm rooting for to win.

Keep rocking out, even if it's choir style.



My brother sent me an email this morning, subject: competitive knitting and this link in the body of the email. He's not a big fan of my knitting/crocheting/craftsiness so I was intrigued by what he would find that has to do with knitting, and then be cool/interesting enough to forward on to me. He didn't disappoint.

Sock Wars!!! (If I understand it correctly), everyone gets the name of a target to *kill* and the same sock pattern. If you receive a pair of socks you have *been killed* and have to turn over your started pair to your assasin to finish & use to kill the next person. Last person *alive* is the winner.

Best. Idea. Ever. Knitting is plenty combative already - it's all about poking and stabbing yarn with needles. And now they've turned it into a kill-or-be-killed game. w00t! I got googling right away and signed up for the Yahoo Group. I've knit for years but I've never done socks before, so I'm going to hit the library for some pattern books & practice. Next round starts in the new year and I can't wait!!!

Hmm, I wonder if we could do a similar cross stitch war?

In other news, my Fair Square exchange is complete! Now I just need to mail the darn thing off to Australia and hope/wish/dream that it gets there eventually and unscathed. MaryKathryn warned me that her package tore open last round so I'm wrapping this one better. It'll help that I'm not sending a heavy-ish book in an unlined envelope this time around, lol.

Ok that's all, just a quick update. Ttys!
The party Sunday night was fun. My 4 cousins (ages 16 - 25) threw it for their parents, and my mom is really OCD about being early for things, so we ended up helping them clean & set up. My poor cousin (the 16 yr old), her siblings all ran out *to run errands* and keep their mom occupied. They left her to arrange the house and bake a pie - she was making crust from scratch when we walked in! My mom & I & a neighbor pitched in (the guys were useless) and it was done in no time :)

You might be wondering how the *surprise* aspect worked. Well, my new cousin-in-law Erica3 took my aunt shopping to keep her out of the house & busy. Pretty normal stuff. My uncle, on the other hand, was asleep upstairs in the house that had the party. Apparently he sleeps through everything, including 30+ people invading his house. I think they kinda lost the element of surprise when they woke him up & he heard the racket downstairs, but it's still awesome & hilarious. Don't get any ideas though about doing the same to me - my *morning hair* is not acceptable for a party, lol.

I'm going on my first NCSY shabbaton! Ten years too late - NCSY is for middle & high school kids - but whatever :-) My 25-yr-old cousin & his friends run their local chapter, & he asked me to come on the shabbaton as *technical* staff, something about setting up and catering. It's volunteer and it should be interesting. I won't be dealing directly with the kiddies (a good thing, even though I like kiddies) and at the very least I'll be spending Shabbat with my cousin & his wife (lol still don't believe he's married). I aksed E3 about the guy prospects on these things, and she confirmed my suspicions: they're all pretty nebbish. Nebbish is jewish for, like, sad & pathetic. Eh, you'll get the report in January when I get back :-)

Did you know that Robert Jordan died? This according to the NYTimes. The Eye of the World was the first grownup book I read in high school that wasn't assigned reading, and it literally got me started reading. I had the best, dorkiest, geekiest friends in high school. The summer before freshman year As. read the first 5 or so books from the WoT series. She got S. to read tEotW first. They then bullied Ay. and me into starting the series. 3500 pages later we'd all read the 7 books that'd been published and we'd become best friends. The 12th & final book of the series is going to be written or finished by another writer using notes/plotlines that Robert Jordan left behind. If they really do publish it, I'm going to have to pull a marathon reading session and re-read 1-7, then read 8-12 for the first time.

In other news, I pulled a marathon stitching session tonight in an attempt to finish my Fair Square exchange. Clash of the Choirs is my new favorite reality TV show (yes, even trumping PR). I think Nick Lachay and Patti Labelle have the best choirs. I'm rooting for NL because I love him and PL made the weirdest comments throughout the episode. Blake Sheldon or Sheldon Blake or whomever s/b the one to go in my opinion. I don't like his song choice, and the others were just better. Plus, it wasn't a nice move that he grilled this choral director that auditioned for advice on putting together a choir, and then totally didn't pick him. But Michael Bolton is my guess for the one to actually go.

Due to some frogging (grr) the Fair Square thing is still not done, but I *will* mail tomorrow. So I need to get back to that.

It sounds like some more frogging is in my future - on the P+tP project. I knew that color contrast wasn't *right*. Ah well, I have some other grays to play around with, and it's not *so* much to frog. :-(

Mercy got me started thinking about beaded scissor fobs. Maybe this weekend... Oh, this is so not good for making progress on my SAL or the BC Snappers!

Have a good night :-)


Starbucks and Scissors

I went into Manhattan last night for a birthday party for a friend from HS. As anticipated, I knew most of the other people, but just to say hello to, so I was really relieved when Nicki (one of my college roomates) showed up. Eventually the party moved to a different bar where we could play flip cup. It was too loud and too crowded, so Nicki & I ditched & went to Starbucks instead. It was a great call, we had so much more fun catching up than if we'd stayed with the group.

We were supposed to go to Mohegan Sun today but the roads are too slushy. So instead I've been stitching & cleaning, and Dad & I winterized the motorcycle. I won't show you the cleaning, but here's a stitching update on Princess & the Pea by LHN, the SAL I'm doing with SweetPea.

Before you compare this to my last update on P+tP and marvel at my speedy stitching, I had finished the pillow & bedspread before this weekend. I also need some advice: see how on the right side of the dog there's a row of missing stitches between the parts of the leg? The chart calls for a white dog with light gray shadowing, but I'm doing a black dog, since Sky is black, so I need to find a new color for the shadowing too. I stitched the shadowy part on the left leg, so take a look & let me know if the gray I picked for the left leg too dark? I can't tell if there's enough contrast, but it looks like I'll be frogging & restitching in a lighter shade of grey.

Until about a month ago I didn't have special *stitching* scissors, I just used whatever old scissors I had on hand. After reading so many of other peoples' blog entries about their scissor collections, I picked up the 3.5" black gingher scissors at Michaels. Now I completely understand what the fuss is about :-) It's so nice to work with small, sharp scissors that cut threads so precisely and cleanly!

Joann.com is having great deals on Gingher scissors and I keep getting emails with free shipping coupons, so I caved and ordered a second pair of scissors. I got the 5" Bianca sewing sheers, and while they aren't as tiny and don't have the same snip sound as the black ones, I think they'll be great for cutting fabric :-) I'm not going to start collecting scissors because they're too expensive. Now that I have 1 pair to keep by each of my 2 stitching places, I think I'm good :-)

I signed up for a scissor fob exchange, so I think I'll wait to see what (if anything) comes of that, and then make my own fob for the other pair.

I got my stitching assignment for the exchange last night, and my person's from Europe! :-) Her blog is in 3 languages, and I'm going to have so much fun tomorrow deciphering it. Nope, that's not sarcasm, I'm really that big a dork & foreign language geek.

Speaking of exchanges, I'm *this* close to finishing my Fair Square exchange piece. I'll probably stay up tonight stitching so I can mail it tomorrow - I have time before the deadline, but it's going to Australia so better earlier than later, right? That's the plan anyways, I'll let you know what happens.

So, I'm blogging & watching one of my favorite movies (Legally Blonde) when I really should be getting ready for the surprise party. We're leaving in like 15 minutes. So ttyl!



Last night was Sit & Stitch at Lazy Daisy :-) I recognized everyone from the last one I went to, in October. I brought BC Snappers and my exchange... and got a lot of the November block done.

I picked up some threads I'm missing for BC Snappers (hopefully the last of them), some extras to send along to my Fair Square exchange partner, an LHN chart about winter, and the new Just Cross Stitch magazine. I was on the fence about the mag until I saw Diane Williams' chart "Winter Symphony". I used to love the Tikki Room at Disney, and the phrase on the chart is one of the songs from the Tikki Room show. Well it was, they might have cut it when they redesigned the *ride* with Iago and Zazu a few years ago. I have a ton of stuff to stitch now, but eventually I'll get to it.

It started snowing around 10, 10:30 this morning. A. decided at 11:30 not to come to the office & go bowling since she'd have a hard time getting home again. At 1:00 bowling was canceled. At 3:15 it got dark out and stayed that way - over an hour early. So Snow & I didn't get off to a good start today.

For some reason, 3-4 people approached me independently to ask whether I'd brought my motorcycle to work. What's up with that, schadenfreude?

I left the office at 5:30. At some point in the afternoon the snow had turned to sleet so the parking lot was a slushy mush, but I could drive through it. Snow would've been a problem. My problem was trying to get out of the parking lot - who's the genius who makes both exits uphill? Worried about not being able to stop at the top, I went a bit too slow & didn't make it all the way up to the exit, and once I stopped & had no more momentum, I couldn't go forward at all.

Luckily I had the worst time driving in the snow last year too, so I knew some tricks. Like that I'd need momentum. And to try reversing. So 15 minutes later I'd gotten stuck, reversed, driven to the other (less steep) exit, gotten stuck again, uturned, gotten stuck again, and was ready to storm the exit again. With the whole momentum thing in mind I *floored* it to 20mph, steered straight, and made it out, all on my own :)

The rest of the roads were cleared, so I went shopping as I'd planned to before I got the bowling invite. At AC Moore I picked up some DMC threads on sale and the rest of the things for my Fair Square exchange. I also got a couple of things for the gift exchange we're doing at work. I'm buying for someone that I know but don't work with. He travels and likes casinos so I'm going with that. For $2 I got some chocolate coins - which are gambly and also Chanukah-y (I think he's also Jewish), and a huge book of sudoku puzzles, which is something he could take to do on a plane. I have another $13 in my budget but I'm not sure what to get. Maybe some sort of book? I forsee plenty of googling in my future until I figure out what to get.

To do tomorrow:
Figure out gift for DK
Get some books out of the library
Call S. & make sure that Rummikub is on for Saturday.

May you accomplish what you need to tomorrow and enjoy your weekend.


Makeover & Making Plans

Last night was the last night of Chanukah :-( The menorot were pretty with all their candles, but I'm still gonna miss the holiday. And of course this morning, on the last day of the holiday, I find this article to bum me out even more. People are ridiculous. And give me a break, you can still be anti-semetic even if you have some Jewish relatives. Racists clearly aren't the brightest people to begin with, I'm sure a little thing like logic won't stop them!

Changing the subject.

Now that I've been on Blogger a while I decided it's time to give my blog a makeover. My original style was fine to start out with but I've learned more about what I like (sidebar elements) & dislike (orange, gray, and "897"). It was time for a change. Let me know how you like the new sidebar elements (did I go overboard with the adding?) and keep an eye out for my new favorite find: polls. I also posted some of the blogs I follow - not a comprehensive list, so if I've forgotten the obvious please drop me an email.

No new Bones or NCIS last night, but I worked on my Fair Square exchange. It's coming along really well, just 1 or 2 nights more should do it. I'm looking forward to sending out this exchange, it's going all the way to Australia and that is definitely the farthest I've mailed anything ever. Last year I received a postcard from a friend traveling in Thailand and it took over a month to get to me; I'm hoping it was the countries involved and not the distance that caused the delay.

Speaking of Australians, we're going bowling again tomorrow after work as a welcome for a new hire in Brian's group, and she's Australian! I wonder if they have the same rules as we do? Maybe I won't be the worst this time around :-)

I got my email from Edgar with the info on my partner for the SBBC yesterday :!) (=snowman smiley). I'm really happy with who I got for timing reasons but also because we seem to have similar stitching tastes so it should be easy to chose what to send. I've also been to this person's nearest NS and liked it a lot, so I'm going to check his/her blog and if they don't already go I can matchmake. I love using my superpowers for the forces of good, and networking is one of the best to use on someone else's behalf.

In case you were wondering, my other superpowers include: creating order out of chaos, untangling knots, and riding a bicycle through Parisian traffic. I reserve the right to claim more at a later date, that's just what I can think of now. Feel free to comment with a list your own superpowers :-)

Have a super-powered day!


Chanukah & Stash

Grandma's doing even better today, the fever is down and they saying she might be able to go home tomorrow! I spoke to her and she sounded good.

On the theme of family and since I shorted you on Chanukah party pics, here you go. How many cousins does it take to play chopsticks? See for yourself :-)

Yesterday was a great mail day - I received my first order from Silkweaver! I ordered 2 of the silkweaver solos & 5 solo minis and they are excellent! The minis are just whatever they send you, and I got a sparkly green that I love, a light bluish purple, a sky-at-dusk blue, a yellow and a brownish one that's still nice despite being brown. I don't generally do brown. Now I just need to find something to stitch on all my new fabric :-) Luckily I have a ton of stitching to do over the next 2-3 months so I will have plenty of time to find the perfect chart before I start stitching in February or March.

I didn't get any work done on my Fair & Square exchange project yesterday, so tonight I'm logging off by 7 so I can get working on it. ttfn!

Good news (sort of)

So tonight was another hospital visit, this time for my other (maternal) grandma. At first my grangpa thought it was a stroke from the symptoms, since she has had them before and was very out of it. The ER doc was very impressive, he figured out very quickly that it was *just* pneumonia - not that it's nothing, but it's way better than a stroke no? So that's the good news. The best part is, they gave her tylenol and an IV & she was much, much better only an hour later.

So the funny story for the evening... every 20 minutes or so, Grandpa would ask Grandma where she was, in order to see if she was feeling better & more with it. This technique was of limited sucess. Grandma could tell you she was in a hostpital, but not which one - because no one told her in the first place! Lol.

After the antibiotics kicked in and she was really better, Grandpa branched out into more complex questions. There were still some bugs in the system.
"What's the name of the ship you took from Europe to America?" Mom & I look at each other.
"I didn't take a ship, I was born here." Correct.
"No you weren't"
We intervened. Grandma was born here.
"Oh. Where were you born?"
Grandma spouted the name of some avenue. Probably the right one, but who knows? We weren't around when it happened.
"I don't think so." - Grandpa.
This went on for a while. We knew Grandma was feeling better because she kept arguing Grandpa around to her side, which is the status quo for them.

I still have to give them their Chanukah preset. Oh well, good excuse to visit Grandma tomorrow.

Here's to seeing the positive side of the not-so-great times.


Weekend update (without Tina Fey & SNL)

Shabbos was quiet. My friend that sometimes walks over for Rummikub on Saturday afternoons is in grad school and taking finals so our weekly game was off this week. I got a lot of reading done and thought about cleaning, so pretty much the usual minus the rummikub.

Saturday night was the family Chanukah party. As I was getting ready, something very strange happened to me: my mom asked if she could borrow some jewelry. To my knowledge, she's only ever worn "real" jewelry, whereas I go for beads and crystals. So this was definitely a first. Unfortunately I couldn't come through for her, she was wearing a purple sweater and the only purple necklace I have is a lavender one (that I made) that she thought was too light-colored. Luckily when I got to work today, T had brought in most of her collection. I bought this necklace (in purple) for my mom, it'll go perfectly with the sweater and it has too many different kinds of beads for me to try and make one myself. The best part is, I can borrow it from her :)

Anyways, back to the Chanukah party. My maternal grandmother used to host it every year at her house in Queens, and invite everyone: all her kids and grandkids, her nieces & their families, even her kids-in-laws' families. A couple of years ago when Grandma did something weird to her foot (like spraining it) so she couldn't host the Chanukah party my aunt stepped up
and had it at her house. She was slow on the invites this year, so her and my mom's cousin said she'd host it at her house. This cousin has never had the family over before for a party, so it was nice to be there.

The party itself went well, everyone chatted, looked at picture proofs from my cousin's wedding last October, and the kids played together well. My aunt & uncle said they missed me - last year when they had the party at their house Saturday night they invited everyone to spend shabbos, and my grandparents and I took them up on it. I haven't seen this aunt & uncle & their family as much, because we used to see each other on weekends in the Catskills over the summer but this year they weren't there when I was, so we've been missing each other in general. We made up to have a weekend at their place in January, and then it looks like 3-4 of my cousins are coming too which they are quite happy about. I know their kids are going to be thrilled :)

Then my cousin (the one that just got married) wanted to know why I hadn't visited them for shabbos yet. Hello? You're newlyweds, plus you haven't invited me! Well now I am invited, so I'm going there sometime in January or February.

I love visiting family. Once I finally get my own place I'm going to have a lot of return visitors.

Of course we had a gift exchange at the Chanukah party. I was covered for all but 2 cousins since I took everyone to HSM the Ice Tour. The other 2 got IOUs for unspecified handmade items. I owe one a scarf, and the other is the one getting the wedding sampler. Both are projects that will take forever, and they're not picky about it being on time since I'm the only one in my generation who gets gifts for people, it's mostly just the aunts & uncles & grandparents who get for the *kids*. I just think that at 24, I'm not such a kid anymore. Plus I love to shop :-)

C got me the coolest flip flops, and another aunt, the one with little kids, brought Webkinz. Cute stuffed animals are always good gifts. I made a necklace for C but forgot it home. Typical. I also forgot to bring the gift I got for UD - 2 little moisturizers to leave in his office and car, since he's too much of a guy to think to buy some of his own. Even though his hands are chapped to the point of bleeding. Sigh. Lucky for me he works near Penn Station so I'm going to drop them off on my way home tonight.

My newlywed cousin's new wife, Erica-3, and I made tentative plans to go to Woodbury Commons Sunday morning. We had to be there when it opened, so that the crowds would be manageable and so I could drive her back to NJ for her family's Chanukah party. So I woke up at 7:30, called her cell to make sure she'd be ready, left a message, and went back to sleep. She called at 4 but I missed it. I think we were both too tired to go shopping so early in the morning.

When I finally really woke up Sunday, I spent some time stitching and catching up on my DVRed TV shows, including the scuba episode of Bones. I did laundry, caught up with some chores, and spent a very quiet day in anticipation of a busy week.

I think I'm going to bail on my needlepoint meetup this week since that's the last night of Chanukah. I'll get my stitching fix though, wednesday is another Sit & Stitch at Lazy Daisy Stitchery. If you're in the neighborhood stop by.

I started my Fair & Square exchange over the weekend. It's a fun stitch. I'd like to finish it this week, but we'll see how that goes. I'm bringing the BC snappers Wednesday night to show Diana my progress, and I'm not sure how much stitching time I'll have the other nights.

Thanks for all the great suggestions about the BC Snappers! I'm going with SweetPea's excellent idea of February Knows, using this BC freebie pattern for the groundhog and tweaking it to fit the 50x50 block. T suggested a good idea for December, so keep an eye out for a pic when I've finished it - until then it's a surprise. I'm about 40% done with the November block, so I have to get cracking charting December. Oy.

Beatrice - I've only ever seen bowling with 10 pins and a large bowling ball.

Have a non-rainy Monday!


No new Chanukah socks pic for you today, but happy Chanukah all the same!

This afternoon at work we had our *kickoff*, basically a department-wide meeting where our manager tells us what the plan is for the next year. Last year the company tried to split my 20-person department up among 4-5 other departments, even though we all work very well together and would need to continue working together on the same projects. It made NO sense, because we all work very closely together and have very little to do with the other groups we were going to. We also all like each other, so no one was happy about splitting up. This year the company decided that my department really is a department (duh!) and should be it's own separate department (yes!), and then on top of that we finally got our own kickoff meeting. Woot! The meeting was long but the presenters, my dept head and his boss, are actually smart guys, so it was an informative meeting without being boring.

The best part of the meeting was the *team building*: we went bowling (thus no Chanukah socks, I didn't want to get them stinky from the bowling shoes). We all get along really well in my department, to the point where every month or so we either go bowling or to happy hour after work. Sometimes the boss is invited, sometimes not, but anyways that's how he knew bowling would be a big hit.

Best. Coworker. Ever. And not just because of her funky bowling style.

One of our *things* in the group is that the worst bowler of the first game buys Dunkin Donuts munchkins the next morning. It started as a friendly bet between me & LN, before I knew she was an awesome bowler. As usual I'm getting the munchkins, but this time I got better as the night progressed - 30 in the first game, then 69 and 86 - thanks 100% to some coaching from GB. I usually get 30-40 points a game so this is a significant improvement for me.

No stitching happened tonight because of the bowling. Yesterday, Sweet Pea and I decided to do a mini SAL for LHN's Princess & the Pea, so last night I pulled it out of the WIP pile. I've been largely ignoring it for the past month in favor of the BC Snappers but I made some progress since my first and last pic so long ago. Sorry guys but my camera just died, so you'll have to wait for tomorrow for a pic.

On deck for tomorrow/this weekend: my Fair Square exchange. I consulted with Sponz at work and she confirmed that the pattern I picked is good, so now I can start it.

Good night all! Happy Chanukah


Even the Empire State Building is celebrating Chanukah :-)

I would have been more impressed if they had 2 towers for the 2nd night, and then a third tomorrow....

Jacque, these are my favorite pair of Chanukah socks. The magen davids are in gold metallic threads, and on the soles they are plain but say "Happy Hannukah".

I need to do laundry Friday to make sure I have enough holiday socks to last all eight days, but it's sort of a theme of Chanukah to make do with not enough. One of the miracles of Chanukah is that oil for one night lasted for 8 days. My 3 pairs of socks will also have to last for 8 days, thanks to the miracle of modern washing machines.

In case you were wondering, the *other* miracle was that the Macabees won a war against the Greeks despite being outnumbered and outclassed, and then got to rebuild the Temple.

Nothing to do with Chanukah, but I finally finished this over the weekend. It was almost done when I put it down last but I'm glad it's completed. This project contains the most (and most notable) *customization* I've done on a piece, and I like how it turned out.

Pattern: Spring Lineup by The Trilogy
Fabric: Don't hate me, but I'm not sure, it's just whatever I got at the shop in Virginia. I *think* it's the recommended fabric.
Threads: recommended, except for the clouds where I used Whisper.
Additional changes: I can't do French knots and am too lazy to learn, so I used beads for the animals' eyes. Instead of blue cross stitches for the *rain* I used blue beads - they don't match the Old Blue Paint of the rest of the piece 100%, but I like the colors together.

I'm off to catch Project Runway. Ttys!

BC Snappers - decision time

I know I haven't been blogging much about stitching recently, but I have been working on stuff, really! Recently I've been working on my BC snapper months, and I'm about 75% finished with both September and October - I like to work on 2 months at once so that when I discover I'm missing threads, I can keep going with it.

My dilemma is that the next pair I'm working on are November and December, and I think I want to change the December Swirls pattern. I know it's just a chimney, but I think it's a Christmassy chimney, so I can't stitch it. I also have similar objections to the currect February square - February Glows - because I also don't celebrate St. Valentine's day (but that's a less pressing problem right now).

Any suggestions on redesigns for December? My first thought was to change the snow to swirl around a menorah, but that would be uneven b/c no other holidays are referenced in the piece. Now I'm thinking:
December Purls : with a design of knitting
December Swirls : a mug of hot chocolate with swirls on the top and steam curling from it
December Hurls : snowball fight?
Ok that last one's a stretch! But what else rhymes with -irls? Girls, Pearls, Whirls, Furls, Burls... okay there's a bunch, but what would I stitch for December?

Hopefully February will be easier! More rhymes with Blows and Snows: Throws, Knows, Grows, Goes, Flows, Crows... etc. It could also glow from a candle or a fireplace instead of a heart. We'll see.

I like how this person switched out the snaps for buttons. Snaps are not my style either so I'm considering buttons too. Or just stitches.

Happy Chanukah!

My mom's parents are staying over tonight, so we all lit candles together. This is my menorah.

Singing Ma'oz Tsur after candle lighting with Sky. She's either listening intently or attempting to sniff out my last meal from my breath, it's hard to tell.

Chanukah is the only holiday Sky dresses up for. My dad & older brother object, but as silly as it looks Sky doesn't mind the collar and since it generally earns her extra attention for any people in the vicinity, I think she enjoys it. She's definitely not unhappy with it and barely tries to eat it. We don't push our luck, it comes off pretty quickly.

Sky enjoying her Chanukah present.
My mom's stepladder is falling apart so I got her a new one. It's not a real Chanukah present, but presenting it as such means she'll have to use it instead of returning to the broken down one she has now. Manipulative? I think it's for the greater good in this case.


Playing catch-up

Ugh it's been forever since my last post! Ok, to quickly catch you up, I came back from Paris the Sunday after Thanksgiving and promptly was swamped at work. Two production cycles ended last week, Wednesday and Friday, and we got everything done and out but it was not easy.

Last Tuesday was the first meeting of the Needlepoint Meetup I signed up for. It was small - just 3 people - but it was nice to stitch with other people for a change! And the consensus was that I could bring cross stitching next time instead of needlepoint, so I'm happy. My needlepoint projects are too big & bulky to schlepp around and work on in public places. The meetup was on the UWS, so I stayed over at JS's & worked in Manhattan Wednesday. It was a really fun night.

Since I was in the city office Wednesday, I saw my friend T who sits in the cube behind me. She just launched a website last week and is selling jewelry, so we have plenty to talk about at work these days :-) After work I introduced her to my bead store on B'way, and T agrees it's a great store. I picked up some beads for a new style of purple necklace and stocked up on metal findings. As soon as I got home I made 3 of the new purple style, and they came out well! I'm thinking they'll make good Chanukah presents.

Thursday was another long, busy day at work, and then afterwards I tried to get some Chanukah shopping done. I found a DVD of 300 on sale for my brother, he liked the movie so I think it's a good gift for him, along with some wine I brought him back from France (he's 22).

Friday was crazy busy at work, so I left really late and just made it home in time for Shabbos. Not good. Shabbos itself was very mellow, and then Saturday night I went to Michaels with my aunt so she could Chanukah shop and I could pick up DMC flosses on sale. She got a cat latch hook and a cat needlepoint for my cat-crazy 9 year old cousin. I got 10 new shades of pink. I took my cousins to see High School Musical the Ice Tour the weekend before Thanksgiving, so I'm covered for them for Chanukah. They really liked it, and so did I.

It snowed Sunday! The first show of the season, and it actually stuck. :-D

Sunday was also JS's engagement party, which involved driving to Jersey with snow on the ground. I only got slightly lost, about 30 minutes worth. The party was in the same shul (shul = synagogue in yiddish) as my cousin's engagement party - unsurprising since JS and my new cousin-in-law are old friends & used to go to the same shul! I ended up talking to the groom's friends (who went to Ecuador with me in August) and JS's HS friends. I also met the other bridesmaids and exchanged info. We're starting to plan the shower already.

What do you think? JS has 1 sister, and she's married. A lot of JS's friends, including me, think that the sisters picked guys who look a LOT alike. When I first saw Mike, I thought he must be JS's guy's cousin or something since I know he doesn't have any brothers.

This is (in no particular order): JS, her guy, his roomate, some of JS's high school friends and me (a college friend). I ended up driving 3 people in this photo (plus myself) home to manhattan after the party, which is probably the only reason why I didn't get lost on my way home!

Yesterday I worked in Manhattan again. On my way home from work I stopped into my bead store on B'way and picked up some supplies to make pink necklaces. They're not coming out as well as the purple, so it's back to the drafting paper.

If I want to finish this post while it's still Tuesday I'd better sign off. Ttys!

PS I forgot to mention - my felted hat wasn't dry when I went to Paris, so I left it in my bathtub to dry out. Well when I came home Sunday it was ready! There's a natural brim to it, due to sitting upright in the bathtub for so long, which I love. It's still a little big but it's wearable, and I've gotten a bunch of compliments. I'll try to post a photo tomorrow.