Monday, November 10, 2008

Let it snow

Awful awful news dear readers! I have been unable to attend knitting for the last two weeks due to my terrible school/life issues. I had a major school crisis earlier this week, which had me ranting to my mom on the phone for more than an hour. I almost wanted to quit school with only one semester left ahead of me. I am only sticking with it because it would be foolish of me to quit with only a semester left. This does not mean that I agree with everything my program is doing. It's too bad that I can't make a radical stand and just quit to prove a point. My solution to make me feel better about selling my soul to post-secondary school was to meet with Gary, my program guy. He was very reassuring, and he made us feel better about next semester. I'm still annoyed with having to be in school for something that really and truly doesn't need a real education. I best be getting a sweet salary when I get into the real world.

In other terrible news, I have just learned that Michael Crichton died of cancer on November 4, 2008. This makes me unbelievably sad. Say what you will about his skewed views of global warming (Dan), but I loved that man. He is my favourite author of all time, and his non-fiction book Travels is the only book I've ever read more than once. Now I am sad.

Holiday meeting last night. I'm excited to be involved with all the changes at the bux. In the next few years, there are some big things shaking down in the company. I'm also excited that I will be more involved with management decisions when all of this happens. Also, holiday makes me excited. Are you ready for red?

Onward,

vrock

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Scientific literature doesn't make for a real page-turner

Behold! Halloween awesome adventures with me and Fuzzy-head! The pumpkin carving adventures took place on October 30, as I had to work on Halloween night. We watched Sweeny Todd and Hocus Pocus. I tried real hard to rent Hocus Pocus, but my local Blockbuster thinks they are too good to carry the best Halloween movie ever. I also hate Blockbuster because they literally carry a wall full of every HORRIBLE new release, but one copy of each of the classic, awesome movies I actually wanted to watch. AND, the girl at the counter didn't even know what Hocus Pocus was when I asked if they had it. ???! I bet she wasn't even alive in 1993 when that gem of a movie was made.




My delicious Yoda pumpkin. Please don't give me all the credit, I used a pattern I found on the interweb.


Orc and Yoda! Together at last!

Onward,

vrock

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Contents may be shocking for those living under rocks

Gak, no post since I started back to school, I am so sorry dear readers. I meant to post things a few weeks ago, I had pictures and junk from a wedding we did, but Blogger AND Facebook were being lame and I got so annoyed that I just couldn't keep trying to upload.

To make it up to you, I present a fabulous postcard that I received in the mail today from my nerd camp friend Aja who is far off in Ottawa being a great big awesome person. I absolutely LOVE this postcard, it says:

"I masterbate. And I enjoy it. A lot. It took me years to discover it. Thankfully, I finally got over my hang-ups. I realized that a sex drive is as natural as the urge to eat, sleep, or drink. I wouldn't deny myself a fabulous meal, so why would I deny myself the experience of sexual desire. Sure it took me awhile to come around to the idea, but I've become more comfortable with my own body. And in doing so, I've discovered the wonderful gift of my innate sexual energy."

Aja immediately thought of me when she saw it at Venus Envy, what I gather to be a women-friendly sex shop: www.venusenvy.ca

So I thank Aja for sharing this with me and for thinking of me, and I hope my readers can appreciate it too.

Catherine Ford forever,

vrock

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Donut crumbs from the biggest baddest most icing-covered masterpiece

Rawr. Listening to fuzzy-head's podcast after about a week of delay (technical issues, beyond his control he says). Unfortunately, I did all my mindless internet checking stuff before I remembered I wanted to listen to it, so now I have to find things to do on the interweb while I listen.

Only 5 minutes into the podcast and already there is a shout-out to my humble little stitch n' bitch posse! Hi-five!

J'adore Starbucks Gossip. This is how I find out about all the upcoming things at sbux. Items I have learned about today:
-rumors that we're going to back pouring shots directly into the cups. Espresso excellence was clearly a PR sham
-poor Vivanno sales = discontinued product?? I hope so. Bananas are BALLS.
-there is a small group of die-hard Starbucks Gossip-ers who pretty much run that discussion board. I feel like a little fish in a big sea, and I rarely add my comment. I'm more of a message board lurker. A creeper if you will.

Fuzzy-head told me that my blog about the Beck concert was too negative. It's true, I was being unfair. The concert was just fine, I got to see Beck real close up, and if I cared even a little bit about MGMT I would brag about seeing that mullet-headed weirdo up close, but I don't. There were plenty of good things about the concert, but I just had to focus on the bad and tell my readers why I can never see a concert again. Beck's guitar-playing girl was gorgeous. I love her, I want to be her. More than anything, I think I just liked her hair. It was wavy and texture-y, pulled back into a loose bun thing. If I could stand having long hair, and if it would behave like that, I would do that to my hair. Also thinking about going a bit darker with my hair. Thoughts?

I am going to knit tonight to protest the family Thanksgiving I was not invited to. Here's the background: We never plan Thanksgiving in a timely fashion. We get told where we have to go, usually a few days before. Either my uncle or my grandparents host my beloved holiday celebration strictly because they have enough room to fit the 15 or so people in my family. My mom inquired about where we were going this year, and she got told my uncle (really and truly my aunt's decision) was having a small family thing at their house, with just their family. That's all fine and dandy, except they also invited my grandparents, and one of my other uncles (not the other one because he can't play nice with the first uncle). If we play a little game of family math, we will see that my family was the only group left out. THEN, my grandma found out we were mega-pissed about it, and she bitched at my uncle. We then received a pity invite. No thank you. I will wait for my own family Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Working tomorrow 8-4:30. Please please please holiday Monday, be nice to me!

Onward,

vrock

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sarah Silverman, keep your bra on

I don't like concerts. Now, hold back your shock and criticism for a moment, and I will explain why I don't like them at all. I went to see Beck last night with Dan, he had been looking forward to it for at least a month, this is his all time favourite artist after all. We were pumped, we made a day of it, drove to T.O. and had some dinner and went inside. We learned from our earlier experience last summer at a Muse concert that rushing to the stage is not all it's cracked up to be. We got over heated, and people were jerks, and other people smell funny, and we eventually moved to the side (where we still had an awesome view of the stage because Arrow Hall is an airplane hanger and there was tons of extra space). Not so much last night. We were at the Sound Academy which is considerably smaller than an airplane hanger.

We originally found a sweet spot in front of a pillar, where we could lean and not block any one's view. It was similar to the super sweet parade watching spot Slim Jim and I had at Disney World:











But as more people came inside and moved to the stage area, the gap between us and the stage mob got smaller. There was a nice aisle right in front of us where people were walking to get to the bathrooms, but more than one person would come and stand in that space thinking they found a sweet spot, and then get shoved around by the bathroom-goers, most getting pushed into us.

So we moved. We decided on the side area with a bitchin' view of the stage. It was fine during the opening band (ps. MGMT had some really intense mullets. Just because it's stylized and/or you're famous, doesn't make it cool), we had lots of room and all the other concert goers were smooshed in the stage mob. Then there was intermission while they set up the stage for Beck, and then the fun began.

I have personal space issues. I don't like other people touching me when I can't control it. A crowded concert setting makes me uncomfortable. At first it was fine, we stayed in our sweet spot, but then other people realized they didn't have to be mega-smooshed if they just moved to the side of the mob, where we were. We eventually got completely surrounded, but that wasn't the worst of it. Alcohol should not be allowed at concerts. I don't drink, therefore I can willy-nilly take away their precious booze without feeling bad. I know this is the money maker at concerts, and that hurts my soul. Concert drinkers should have their own section where they can spill drinks on each other and sway to the music away from me.

And then there were the security freaks. They went postal on anyone who tried to take a picture. They rushed into the crowd after a girl standing near us tried to take a picture, and I'm pretty sure the guy made her delete the pic. Then there was some obnoxious girl who pushed her way in front of us to record sound on her camera. They hauled her away, ha. Towards the end of the concert, more people thought it was OK to shove in front of us, where we had been standing for hours with a decent view of the stage. Ick. No more concerts.

Also, the parking lot after was awful. Pedestrians should not be allowed to go anywhere near cars or parking lots if they want to stand around and block cars.

I think I've got all the rants out of my pants now. No more concerts again unless there are seats. I'm just fine buying the CD.

Onward,

vrock

Friday, October 3, 2008

Surgery chairs











My glorious mitties! I've been wearing them for the last two days, even though it's only barely cold enough for mittens. My business banking lady Karen even commented on my winter-y attire when I came into the bank. She said she was dreading snow. I'm glad I didn't share the carefully stitched message of the mittens with her.



In other news, check out my newest project:



Tammy doesn't know how to read my blog so she'll never read this and know this is her Christmas present. AND, there's even a chance I'll finish them in time for Christmas. Hot damn! These are the mittens from the cover of the Fall Vogue Knitting that my let it snow mittens came from. Look at the cables! And the bobbles! And the glorious sock yarn! I'm really diggin' my sock yarn and double pointed needles. It's the only way to fly.

And still more pictures! A few choice pics from Tuesday knitting where two separate sets of old people complained about us sitting in the comfy chairs. The first lady was rather large and had recently had surgery. Our coworker told us she said we should be knitting at home and letting recently surgery-ed ladies such as herself sit in the chairs. The other complainer was a couple that recognized us as employees and said we shouldn't be sitting in the chairs. Hmm. I paid for my drink just like any other customers, and I am entitled to sit in that chair just like any other customer.

Anyway, Catherine and Anonymous were present, and we had a short visit from Bates (who did homework instead of knitting), as well as Valantina (she's the one doing homework). She joined us after her workout, and also didn't knit. School-aged kids are big into homework I guess. WHERE ARE MY FELLOW KNITTERS?















Anonymous looking sad because she dropped a stitch. This is face we watched for a good 20 minutes as she tried to put things right again.














That's all I got for now.

Onward,

vrock

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Duggers: please stop multiplying

Last day of September. Hello Fall. I am excited about the chilly weather you will provide me with for romping in corn fields, choosing pumpkins, and wearing knitted wears. Yesterday I wore a scarf and mittens to work, but no jacket, just a light sweater. It's really not jacket season, just accessory season. I will be working on the new pink mittens tonight at knitting party. I've also been talking up our weekly knitting fun to some new co-workers, and I've got a few takers. I think they might show up tonight, but showing up again might not happen. Where are all the passionate knitters and crocheters who want to craft in public?!

Coffee seminar was wonderful, we had a nice turnout. I was worried that since it was on a Sunday, we would get nothing but people stopping by for 5 minutes and then leaving, but that wasn't the case at all. Catherine did a marvelous job of promoting the event and a lot of our attendees were there because of her. We talked about growing coffee, and processing, and then we tasted coffee and food, and sent everyone on their merry way with some at-home brewing tips.

Erg. It's 9am and I need to get dressed and do something with my day. I don't know where my family is, as far as I knew, they didn't have anywhere to be first thing in the morning. I will get dressed and ready for the day and hunt them down.

Onward,

vrock

ps. Fall Phase II launches today!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Our good pals the wookies

Hello my loving readers!

Large news in the knitting world! Two things actually. One: the let it snow mittens are complete! And I mean completely complete. As in I sewed in the tassely ends and fixed up the massive holes between mitten body and thumb. Awesome! Two: I hosted a Star Wars knitting party. Imagine those two things separately, and now imagine them together, and yes, it was that awesome. Catherine and Anonymous found my house in the back woods and we enjoyed 4 of 6 episodes of Star Wars. We perhaps could have watched more, but that was a long time to sit and my hands were firmly in the double-pointed needle claw formation after 8-9 hours of knitting mittens.

Other wonderful news: coffee seminar today! Catherine and I will be entertaining and educating customers for one glorious hour. We'll be treating it a lot like an intro to coffee tasting, to hopefully get a core understanding down before we launch more intense coffee seminars. We were thinking a later seminar could be called "chocolate - the around the world coffee tasting bringer-together-er of the coffee world" That's a working title.

I now have to go and plan a bit of an outline for the seminar so I can not look stupid in front of strangers.

Onward,

vrock

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

You are Lisa Simpson

I am ridiculously attached to the gas stations I use. Since switching in my ol' gas guzzler for my sweet new ride, the smart car, I am suddenly very aware of my gas station anxiety. My sweet little smart runs on diesel, so already, I am limited in which stations I can visit. Every time I'm driving through an area with gas stations, even one I know very well and have driven by a million times, I crane my neck as I go by to see if they have diesel. Then I make a mental note, leading to a mental map of all the places I can't go use to get diesel.

Once that stage is complete, I have a list of a few places with diesel, usually larger chains like petro-canada. However, I have major difficulty going to a new station. I regularly use the two closest to my work, and I plan my refueling to happen when I'm already going that way. What is wrong with my brain? I went to the movies this week in a different part of town where I know there is a diesel station, but I couldn't use it; I drove a bit out of my way to my old favourite stations instead. I've never liked gas stations, especially when it's super busy and I have to negotiate for a pump. It's worse with diesel when there's someone else using the pump because there is only one. I hate being the jerk who sits by idling and waiting impatiently for my turn. So, instead of possibly looking foolish trying to navigate my way around an unfamiliar station where I don't even know where the diesel pump is, I stick with what I know.

Knitting night went on a mini vacation to Stacy's house yesterday. We hung out in her pool house and listened to Hawaiian music and talked about weddings. And then a giant spider tried to eat me and I left shortly after. All in all, a good time. Star wars knitting coming soon!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Plan your escape route now

Stopped by the ol' workplace on my way to a job today (more on that later), and I saw Catherine. She was most upset about missing the knitting adventures going on today. Anonymous went though, she will have to tell us about it in vivid detail so we can imagine we were there. Kinda wish I could have gone, but I chose to work instead (in my defence, I was told about this knitting fair after I agreed to work). I usually choose work over life, I hate me. The worst part is I know I will forever be a little workaholic. I will not change, this is one of the fundamental things about me. Hear that universe? You can't make me change, and even if you tried, you can't break my lifelong habits. My co-op is almost finished, which will free up a lot of my time. One more month, one more month....

And now, the job today. I was pimped out by my mom to work as a server for one of our regular server's family event. No details given, no instructions, just directions to the event with a vague timeline, noon to midnight. That's a long time for even a large event. I was really not interested in working 12 hours at any kind of job, but I was trying to optimistic about it.

My little crew of 3 showed up to a farm house around noon, and there were already people setting up the tables and table settings. That's one of the only jobs you really can do when you show up that early for a dinner event. It turns out the event was for a wedding anniversary/birthday, and all day long the jobs we could have been doing as the hired help were done by friends and relatives. It was like being hired to work at your grandmother's Thanksgiving family dinner, but then getting shooed out of the kitchen by all of the catty aunts. The food was all prepared beforehand, we really just had to slice a few things and set them on platters. The dinner food was cooked by a friend of the family, so there goes another job we were qualified to do. The rental items for dinner needed to be washed, so I was a glorified dishwasher for a while. Not even plates though, just cutlery, all the plates were disposables.

So in conclusion, we were not there until midnight, we looked bored and helpless around 8 and asked if there was anything else to do, and there wasn't. Happy to work, all experience is good experience, but knitting would have been kick-ass too.

Baking tomorrow for a coffee tasting for work. I want to wow everyone with an exceptional pairing, and I'll try to work in some of the stuff from my upcoming coffee seminar. Catherine and I will be teaching some Sunday customers about the wonderful world of coffee. More details to come,

Onward,

vrock

Sunday, September 7, 2008

We had a deal Sunday!

Finished a brutal Sunday shift from 10:30-7. The worst shift of all, mid-day, on a Sunday. I think today had a lot to do with it being the first weekend after kids went back to school, and every idiot who didn't get their back to school stuff in August did it today. It was awful, and the line just kept coming. I was getting really frustrated and angry, and I needed to take a few minutes off the floor, but I just couldn't. We were missing that crucial 4th person to make it bearable, and everyone could feel the strain. But then this comes right back to the customers; why would you join such a long line in the first place? I would wander around elsewhere for a while and come back when the line died down. I just don't get it. But these people were weekenders after all, I shouldn't be expecting so much from them.

You may have noticed that I returned from the cottage in one piece. Yes, it's true, all the vital parts of vrock came back from Sauble (which is where I found out we were going once we got there). Unfortunately, knitting in the car on the way there was out of the question, I started getting queasy a few rows in. I think reading the pattern was what did me in. Stupid mittens and their beautiful but pattern-required excellence. I present the following updates on the COMPLETED left mitten, "let it":











Some ends to weave in, and a gaping hole between the thumb and the rest of the mitten to sew, but otherwise, I LOVE THEM. I managed to get the thumb finished at the cottage, and I started on the cuff of the right mitten. The cottage wasn't terrible, I enjoyed sleeping in for 3 days and not working even a little bit. Although on Saturday night I realized I never called in the order before I left, and thus our paper products would not be arriving on Tuesday. Oops. I sent an emergency facebook message to bossman confessing my blunder, and it wasn't nearly as huge a deal as I made it out to be. We got by just fine, and when I came in next it made no difference. Would I visit the cottage again you ask? Perhaps when there are real doors on the bathrooms instead of giant sheets of styrofoam you have to prop against the frame.

Also, as you can see, we are totally gang-sta:












I worked as a ridiculous wedding on Friday night. I set up the tables in the afternoon according to the bride's seating plan. Oh wait, she didn't leave me one. All she gave me were the name tags for each table, not where she wanted everyone sitting. I totally made it up. Unless you were married and took your spouse's last name, I didn't know I should seat you together. Once guests arrived, I saw a lot of people switch name tags around to sit with the person they came with. I did the best I could with what I had. They were a drunk ol' bunch, they were living for that open bar. Thank goodness we were at a city-owned venue where they strictly enforce the 1am bar closing time. No last call either suckers. You'll never know when to grab that last armful of beers until it's too late. I unfortunately didn't get to stay until the bitter end, I had to open and I left at about 10, but I'm sure there will be many more drunken weddings to come.

Fuzzy-head's birthday! Yesterday the fuzzy-headed boy turned 23. He received an ipod nano from his loving lady, and last time I talked to him, he was creating playlists for all occasions.

I'm off to update facebook with a couple albums, some wedding pictures from Friday, some cottage fun. Until we meet again my loving readers,

Onward,

vrock

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Can you handle me the way I are?

Timbaland, Weezer was right, you know the way to reach the top of the charts. I bow down to you sir, you have re-ignited my need to get my jog on. Unfortunately, it's a bit to late for that tonight. I need to get myself into bed soon. Ugh. Effing opens. Oh man, I want to sleep in so bad. I can't wait for the upcoming sleep-filled days. Jogging will come back in full force in September I suppose.

Drinking some green ginger and poppin' marshmallows. I swear to you, this is the best just before bed snack. On a related note, I found vegetarian marshmallows. It looks like you can order them online. I'm just happy with my gelatin based squishy treats, but others may wish to check it out:

http://www.veganessentials.com

This is just one of perhaps many sites catering to you folks. Apparently the need for gelatin-free marshmallows is greater than I first thought.

I was trying to find a book at the library to entertain me at the cottage. I searched on their site, I narrowed down my choices, then I went to hold the title and a pleasant red message in capital letters told me "THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH YOUR ACCOUNT. PLEASE SEE A LIBRARIAN". It was pushy, and in my opinion, a little over the top. Simmer down library. I bet it's just something stupid like I need to update my information. This happens to me every time I use their website. I should just give up and waddle my way down the street and see the books in person.

Finished the first mitten, except for the thumb. I figure that will be a nice way to start my car ride.

Until we meet again,

Onward,

vrock

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fat bottom girls you make the rockin' world go 'round

Dear readers,

I will be out of town for a few days, I'm leaving for the cottage on Friday evening. I will be back on Monday. Please don't rob me while I'm gone. My very large dog might just take a chunk out of you, she's staying home to entertain my mom, and neither of them like visitors.

I will be knitting in the car on the way there, at least 2 glorious hours of uninterrupted knitting time. Not sure if I get car sick from knitting/reading a pattern, I will report back. Pictures to follow. I will be sleeping in and not working for 3 whole days. This hasn't happened to me all summer readers. The fuzzy-headed boy thinks I've lost my marbles for doing this to myself, but he also thinks I shouldn't knit in a movie theatre. Knitting forever, hollah! I think he might be right though, only a month and a half left of this super-working. With months of it behind me, I don't even have a solid gold house or a rocket car to show for it. The fuzzy-headed boy was right, but he will enjoy living off my riches when it's birthday season.

Almost done the first let it snow mitten, the "let it" one. I will probably finish it before I leave and start the second one for the journey. I'm thinking I could whip up a pair of these for a sister or two, maybe not the exact same ones, but something similarly cutesy.

And that is all. I have to go to bed. It's only 9:24pm. Please don't laugh, or I'll call you at home at 4am and you can get up with me. We'll take our first break together at about 7am, after we've already worked for more than 2 hours, and watch the sun come up. Mmmm.

Fire-toasted marshmallows for all (except fuzzy-head and Anonymous, sorry)!

Onward,

vrock

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I want it, I want it, I want it, me, me, ME!

The humble beginnings of my "let it snow" mittens. I started with checking my gauge, the most tedious and time-wasting of activities



Renate as she first arrived, putting on her knitting face.






Catherine, after I let her pose so there would be no "in the middle of knitting and looking down" double chin



Renate, on the comfy chairs. We made a speedy move towards them after initially sitting on rigid and UNcomfy wooden chairs.











The fuzzy-headed boy made a guest appearance at knitting to remind me of our movie date following my knitting party. ps. the clone wars movie was disappointing.







It looks like you, my faithful readers, will only get to see the pictures above. Blogger isn't agreeing with me right now, so the other half of my pictures will have to come another time. Le sigh <- french sigh.



It appears that I'm a big dirty liar! Victory is mine! The picture to your left is of the food Peter thought we would like to eat. He was the bringer of tasty treats all night. However, after our snacks of delicious Asian things that Catherine brought, we were unable to finish the warmed chocolate chip cookies with whipped cream and caramel drizzle. Shame.


And now, my pride and joy, my new and exciting two-colour project! Look at the fine craftsmanship, the delicate work, the attention to detail. Fabulous.





Ooooo. Ahhhhh. It's so wintery!








That's about all I can stand of blogger tonight, loading pictures really takes it out of me. I hope you enjoyed this visual sneak peak into the world of vrock. Oh heck, one more:




It's Sassy!







Knitting party + star wars at some point. When are you free my lovelies? Catherine, Anonymous, I'm talking to you.

Onward,

vrock

Friday, August 22, 2008

Revamping my love affair...

With double pointed needles! A set of 5! I feel so European. And they're bamboo, which only adds to the wonder. Started work on my let it snow mittens (in the fall edition of Vogue Knitting now!). I have learned how to knit with two colours, one in each hand. I am very proud of myself. As Catherine will happily point out to anyone, I'm a thrower and this doesn't translate well to stepping outside of my knitting comfort zone and all-of-a-sudden NOT throwing my yarn. Pictures to follow from this week's knitting meeting and a little knit session of my own with my old friend Olympic coverage.

Sneezing like the dickens lately, I have yet to conclude what late summer pollen-maker keeps me so miserable, but I can't wait for the first frost to kill all the little beasties. I thought the sneezing was from my cotton-angora blend sweater vest (and it may still have something to do with it), but I think it's more likely that I'm just allergic to life.

Working at two backyard parties tomorrow. The one I'm going to is the first party where I have been the main contact person for the client, and I am the one she addresses all her whining emails to. Tracy worries a little bit too much about things, she hired us for a reason, if she wanted to freak out about her party she should have enlisted a friend who cooks to feed her 30 closest friends (they are my favourite alternative to hiring catering professionals).

The Slim Jim left yesterday, and from what I gather, she won't be home anytime soon. I think her plans are to only come home on major holidays, or when she runs out of food. Have a good schooling Slimmers, we'll see you at Christmas.

Onward,

vrock

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I am smitten with mittens

Picked up your Fall issue of Vogue Knitting yet? Oh, when you do, turn to page 30 and skim down to the second paragraph. The article doesn't do me nearly enough justice, but this little blurb about Romni Wools includes a shout-out to vrock! Kind of. During our trip to T.O., we spent the most time at Romni, and we spoke with the fantastic knitting shop keep (who I can only assume now is the owner), and I mentioned that when I die, I want my ashes scattered at Romni Wools. The sentence from Vogue Knitting, as told by the owner, says "One woman told me that when she dies, her only request is that we sprinkle her ashes in the store." THAT WAS ME!! I am in Vogue Knitting! Line up now, I will happily sign your copies of the magazine, Catherine got the first official autograph but you can be the second!

In other non-celebrity news, I am tackling my knitting projects slowly by surely. I don't think I could ever be a professional knitter, my little fingies just can't handle the pressure. Plus, I'm very sure that the angora/cotton blend I'm using for my sweater vest makes me sneeze. Don't be alarmed, a lot of things make me sneeze, and it might just be from the little fibre fluffies that are coming off as I knit. I'm hoping it will stop once I've washed it. I will totally wear it with pride either way.

House flies are very dim. I just found out that vibrating/buzzing sound they occasionally make happens when they flip onto their backs and can't get up. I would feel sorry for them if they weren't so stupid.

Knitting and hanging out with the Slim Jim now. Olympics!!!

Onward,

vrock

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I've got soul baby

This is why I live for the olympics:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd5VEHEaVWs&feature=related

Thank you nike for combining a song that gives me chills with everything I love about that magical time that only comes around every other year.

onward,

vrock

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pull up your big girl panties and get back in the game

Baby shower for ex-manager tomorrow. I skimmed $10 off everyone's tips today to fund the communal gift from her former employees. We've scraped together enough for a reasonable gift, although it was like pulling teeth to get money from everyone. It's like this with every group thing we've ever tried to do. Since everyone works at different times and on different days, there is no best way to get a message to everyone. I at least hope we have a good turnout tomorrow. I will feel awkward and embarrassed if it's only me and bossman and the two former employers I know are coming. Everyone else has given me non-committal responses. These classic lines include:
"I'll see if I can make it...*shifty eyes*"
"I'd love to STOP BY ...*which quite literally means stopping in, saying hi and leaving*"
"Oh, THIS Wednesday? I'll get back to you...."
and so on and so forth.

Come on co-workers! She's having a freakin' baby! And while I whole-heartedly disagree with reproducing, some people are into that, and we should celebrate our differences. Babies are gross, but there won't be any babies at this baby shower, this is the only reason I even agreed to attend. And also, because I am making a cake, and only those who show up may have any. HA.

For more valuable information on why babies are gross, please visit this site:
http://www.cracked.com/article_16508_6-terrifying-things-they-dont-tell-you-about-childbirth.html

And thank you goes out to the fuzzy-headed boy for sharing this with the world.

Knitting tonight with my afternoon off. I will be changing back into PJs shortly for a nap, followed by knitting and maybe some Slim Jim hangouts before she goes to yoga.

In knitting project news, I "blocked" my first blanket square (and by blocked, I mean what I believe to be blocking as I've never done it before. I managed not to screw it up; nothing caught on fire, so I give blocking a thumbs up). I pinned it to my futon in the spare room and let it dry in a square shape. One down, eleven more to go!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Eat now or starve

Sunday morning. Not even 9am yet. Working today at 3 until close, followed by a mid shift on holiday Monday. I know holiday weekends, I have previously written about the kind of customer you can expect on a holiday weekend. The Saturday and Sunday are a little different. Most normal weekends bring out the morons. My store is unfortunately next to shopping areas and a movie theatre, and everyday wal-mart quality people make a say trip to the home depot with their son Cody and their little princess Jessica and they stare at the menu board, and pick the drink with a picture (aka the promo drink I outwardly support but think was a terrible drink that just takes us one more step away from real coffee). Then they have to be told to waddle their front-butts down to the other end of the counter to pick up their drinks, since they only come here once in a blue moon and are oblivious to the other customers NOT hovering around the till for drinks. They then push their way to the front of the drink line and ask if every drink I'm putting up belongs to them:
"Is this mine?"
"I'm not sure, what did you order?"
"Oh I don't remember, something with coffee"
"That could be a lot of things, THIS drink is a latte"
"Oh. Well I that's not what I ordered"
"Then this drink is not yours"

And so on and so forth. My other favourite scenario that pops up only on weekends: customer takes the first drink I put up, which is CLEARLY not what they ordered. They waddle away, and the poor customer who actually ordered that drink stands there for a few extra minutes waiting for a drink that will never show up. Sometimes the original moron will return with the drink they grabbed and accuse me of goofing their order. I smile sweetly, ask what they ordered, and tell then they took someone else's drink. "Oh goodness! I feel so foolish! * looks around frantically for the poor soul who is without a drink because of them * Look! I didn't even drink out of it! I just put a whole bunch of extra sweeteners in it, it's still fine."

And so on and so forth.

Planning to book off the next holiday weekend and join the fuzzy-headed boy and his entourage at the cottage. It will be the first holiday weekend I've had off in the last year. I wonder what they will do without me. Perhaps bossman will have to work in my place. Or maybe by then they will find a new minion to do all of their bidding. I cannot be everything for everyone.

Onward,

vrock

Friday, August 1, 2008

I made a funny

Here we go again. My blog, I am a little bit in love with you, I've proudly shown you off to friends and family alike, and maybe that loyal fan-base will keep the blog fires burning.

Just got back home from a jog, stopped off at Len's to visit the sister thing. I have possibly recruited another member to my S&B, but we'll see if she shows up on Tuesday. So many people hear about my group and say "that's so awesome, I would love to learn how to knit", but unfortunately, they either never show up, or come once, learn to knit, and give up. I think my group needs so more solid knitters/crocheters who are eager to knit in public with others and share their knowledge. That is exactly what my group has become: a small loyal group of awesome people (shout-outs to Renate and Catherine) who meet up to share knitting insider info. I couldn't have completed/started some of my more recent projects without their help. If there are knitters out there who are stuck in a non-knitting rut, join us!

Listening to the fuzzy-headed boy's podcast as I type this. It's almost frustrating because I want to join in his conversation with Tyler, but I clearly can't because they recorded this yesterday. It's just weird because I know both of them. I should be a guest podcaster. See that boys? Invite me to guest podcast.

In working news, one of my underlings complained about me to the bossman, saying I spend too much time in the back room/office. The depth of my frustration cannot be understood by anyone, I am so mad about this. My job as a worker bee keeper involves me running around like a moron to solve all their problems. Some of their problems can be solved from the back room, example: the phone rings and the workers out front won't put two and two together to answer it (or they answer it and immediately pawn off all responsibility on to me), I take over the phone, which leads me to the back for some quiet to listen to the customer on the phone. Another one of my favourite situations is keeping myself informed about the goings on at the bux. I'm one of a small group at my store who actually read the press releases and action items to know what's going with the company/at the store. This is why I can answer all of your questions, because it is my job to be informed and to be a step ahead of you. I get paid a measly $2 more an hour than the lowest new hire, and I am regularly doing 3 times the work. More than anything, I'm irritated that someone thinks I'm not doing my job. I do a better job than so many of my co-workers, and I can almost guarantee the person who thinks I'm not doing my job is someone who doesn't work very hard at all. Frustration. Bossman's improve-on-this-to-be-a-better-leader" solution is to communicate my actions to the team before I go in the back. Example: "Hey team, I'm going to the back for approximately 3 minutes to call around to other stores to get supplies for us to make it through the weekend. Is everyone OK with that?" I like the idea of improving myself through this, but I do not agree with the initial complaint. The worker bees need to understand my position before griping about why I'm not on the floor.

On the plus side, in 2 weeks I will be attending a focus-group-style meeting about my work position with the company, what we think about how the job description measures up to the reality of my work. I love giving feedback. I firmly believe in the comment card and all it stands for. Prepare for some honest feedback Big A.

Onward,

vrock

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A place to keep all my precious things

Why am I an awful blogger? Oh yes, because I work 60 hours a week and laze in front of a TV when I have some down time instead of typing about my adventures. But I will not give up. I am determined to make a habit out of this blogging thing, and maybe that will happen once I do it more regularly. Maybe. Here is my resolution for August: blog more, even if it's only a little bit. You'll never get to know me if you can't read about my adventures.

As promised (months ago), I come bearing knitting field trip pictures!The first shop we came across on Queen Street West. Americo was snooty. No pictures allowed inside and the sales people were all over us to buy something. Very small shops kind of have that feel, they make me uncomfortable. The yarns were gorgeous and expensive, I could never afford to make myself a sweater that doesn't exactly fit out of these yarns.

The highlight of the day for sure, Romni is my new favourite store. Like Len's Mill in terms of musty odour, but far more organized, even if it was a little chaotic. I've never seen so much yarn in my whole life. I think we spent at least 3 hours here.

Even with all the fabulous fibres around me, I only bought two knitting books, and I know they were both things available at my local Chapters, but I know they came from my knitting field trip. *drool* These books occupied most of my time at Romni

More yarn than you can shake a stick at! The variety was unreal, I love this place.

Cutest little shop ever. If I ever opened my own store, I would also combine yarn and coffee, but I would also include TV and puppies. It would be called "Victoria's Favourite Things".

Last stop on our adventure, I loved the name of this one, Lettuce Knit. Such a nice store, lots of things, a little cramped, but real estate must be pricey for a sweet little yarn store.

Working hard at work, both of them. The 60 hours a week is painful and I hate it, I literally have no time for myself. After the first month or so when I realized working this much was stupid, I got stuck doing it because the bux lost too many full-time supervisors/managers to let me get by with less than 30 hours. I'm foolishly dedicated to the store and I put up with the extra hours to help things go along smoothly. The next two weeks of schedule have me down for 24 hours each week, totally do-able. That is my ideal week right there, which is sad because it still leaves me working more than 50 hours each week. Soon my pretties, soon I will be a student once more with that classic of all cop-out excuses "Sorry I can't work more, I'm a student you know". I'll still work 30ish hours with classes to pay for my lux lifestyle, but I can handle it with such light course load.

Other work is going well enough. I work my 3 or 4 days with the bux and fit time in around that to get 30 hours in for co-op. Sometimes the days I pick to work don't have a lot of work to do and I feel like I'm wasting my time there, but really and truly there's always something to do. Coming up to a lot of big weddings and double-booked weekends. I booked off 4 days next week for the overload of work I'm expecting over a weekend.

Also, since my last post, I have completed another project! Behold!

Pre-felted, but looking like a bag, just like it's supposed to.

After felting, with syrup bottle supports and an elaborate cardboard rig to hold the shape I desired

The round bottom which worked perfectly as planned! I cut out a circle of cardboard and kept it holding the base in shape as it dried. B-E-A-utiful.

My fuzzy-headed boy, modeling my bag as a hat. In its early stages, the bag did resemble a beanie or other similarly hilarious hat.

In S&B news, my crew and I have started an ongoing team blanket project for a co-worker. We're each doing 12 8"x8" squares of our pattern choice, in earth tones and natural colours. I have completed one square so far. It's going to be what we've dubbed a "family blanket" for a new baby. Neither of our co-worker's sons received any hand made knits for being born, so we decided it was our duty as knitters to provide something.

Until we meet again,

Onward.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

All that glitters is gold

Knitting field trip is planned! Wednesday we will be hitting up Toronto for all it's knitting glory. Still ironing out all the details, but it looks like we'll be taking the train in, and hopping on public transit to get to all our sweet knitting destinations. Itinerary to come soon. My votes for knitting shops are based purely on how catchy the name is. I vote for Lettuce Knit.

Speaking of knitting, still working on my felted bag, and it's coming along nicely. It's taken on a blob shape, which I hope felts itself out. I'll be working on it at S&B on Tuesday, which I'm totally excited about. I have to open on that day, so I hope I'm not super tired by 7pm.

Have an entire weekend off. That's right, both Saturday AND Sunday, just like real people! To accomplish this, I had to work more than me feet could handle over 3 days. I closed on Wednesday (took a shift to help out a fellow coworker), opened on Thursday (I didn't realize that by taking the closing shift, I would also be opening the next morning. Stupid, stupid, stupid), worked a party for my mom Thursday night (where I totally rocked serving a seated meal. Marcus has forever kept me out of the dining room except for canape service, and I showed him. His cutesy nose ring server can't carry as many plates as I can, bahahahaha! I go to school for this stuff, clearly I should be practicing my skills on real paying customers). I got to leave that party at 9:30 as soon as dinner was over, but if I had my way, I would have been in bed at 7:30. Friday morning greeted me with another open at 5:15. I got to leave a measly 45 minutes early, and went directly to the boy's house for a snappy. But because of my foolish decisions to help out my fellow man, I no longer have to work Sunday, which makes me a very happy camper. Today the boy and I are having a picnic, maybe cruise down to the local library for some tom foolery. He works tonight at 5, so I will zip home in my zippy smart, knit for a while, do some laundry, and live it up. HA! Sunday it's back to work to get in those 30 hours for co-op, but I'm totally cool with that, I had a whole day off!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Baby's got back

Jogging milestone. I've been working at building up stamina since day one with my jogging, unfortunately, I don't go out as often as I should, so it's hard to build on my progress. BUT, today I jogged far more than I walked, I'd say I only walked about 1/4 of my usual route. !. I changed up my playlist on my phone, and I think that helped. Nothing but sweet beats to rock out to, kept me pumped. I'd be interested to calculate how far I'm actually jogging. I jog around a field to start out, then up the street, around my elementary school and back home. Takes me 20-25 minutes, but I jog at a pretty steady pace. Mmmm, I've got brow sweat going on. I don't understand how people I see jogging on the street always have giant sweat circles around their necks. I'm not a neck sweater.

Knitting party tomorrow. Hoping for a decent turnout, I sent a reminder out on Thursday via facebook, in case anyone was going away for the weekend and didn't plan on checking their vital computer connections.

Holiday weekend customers truly are terrible. They can't think of anything else to do with themselves except to drive around and find somewhere to spend their money. It happens every single holiday Monday, and I've worked the last 4 or 5. Slow morning, except for the retards who are getting an early start on driving around to see what's open. By 2pm, they're out in full force, having slept in and made the most of a Monday morning off work. By then the boredom and hatred of spending quality time with their families sets in, and they load the kids and the wife into the car. Welcome holiday weekend families, we are happy to see you again, it's been a while since Easter, and we know you only come out to get fancy coffee when nothing else is open. We can tell you don't normally come here, you're not fooling anyone.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Take a freakin' sample

I heart my smart. I love how tiny it is, I love the stares I get, I love the small children who stand and point at it in parking lots. Smart ownership has me hooked. I saw another smart parked in the lot at work today, I wanted to ask the owner to move it closer to mine so my smart could make some smart friends.

Started the co-op thing, working on a million things all at once. For the most part, my job right now is learning the new computer system. But I'm also invoicing as a result of my knowledge of said system because no one else can figure out how to use it to create invoices which is why we got it in the first place. Ugh. I also thought we got it to streamline our process from new client calling in to filing away their first paid invoice. Not so. The old by-hand ways are not slipping into fond memory, they are very much alive. Manually entering numbers I've already entered into TWO SEPARATE computer systems boggles my mind, but my mother just can't trust a computer.

Work riddle: what is hot most of the time but will always look the same whether it is piping hot or cold? the baking stone in the oven of course! Held parchment still with my finger while I wrestled with the tongs to get something out of the oven. I learned my lesson; ovens are hot.

Knitting news: finished the market bag, I am on a knitting roll. I now use my super sweet bag to cart around my junk from home to work. It nicely holds a change of clothes, a book or two, and a box of tea.

Working on another bag, another felting project to fuel my habit. That musty sheep smell haunts my dreams, I need to have the aroma of wet wool around me again. My next project might be a blanket, I found some ravelry patterns I really enjoyed today while I was waiting for The Office to load. Ps the Office was fantastic, and I hope I never miss a full week of my favourite shows again. It took me a good 2 hours to catch up on everything online, and that's not including the wait time for terrible links.

On a related side note, I thought about calling that update "knitting knews" but it looked funny and I thought it was kind of lame...but then I thought someone might think it was mildly clever and then I thought it was worth mentioning.

Going to sleep now, deep clean in the am with SMAC. We're scrubbing the garbage bins by hand. Who needs a hose when you've got elbow grease?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Stick a fork in me

My lord, you leave the world of blogging for a few weeks and the blogging gods make it very difficult to access what you believe to be your account. Oh well.

I am a terrible blogger, I guess i'm still getting into the grove of things and finding the time to make regular posts. Updates: started co-op. I now work 30 hours a week for my family owned catering company as assistant to the catering manager. My title doesn't really tell you much since I do a whole lot of everything. This week I entered data into a new catering software program which is supposed to simplify and make my life easier. We're not quite there yet, but I like to think things will get better. For the moment, I am trying to figure out how to charge people for food AND for service, because the program doesn't think our customers should have to pay for the $20/hour server that the company has to pay. I got frustrated with it in the last few days, so I've been helping to prep for parties, which is a job I truly hate. Cooking is not for me, although I enjoy cooking for myself on my own time. Tomorrow should be a better day, I am meeting with a wedding couple at 6, because they're interested in having a wedding planner. I will have to look professional so they can't tell I have no experience.

Knitting news: Had an emergency Stitch &
Bitch on monday, I think we all needed it, and we had a good turnout. Dan came along because his jerky housemates were having a loud and obnoxious party, so he sat quietly in a corner while the girls and I knitted up a storm. My male knitting friend who refuses to knit in public even showed up, but he just stopped by to say hello. We'll win him over soon though. I might start with a private knitting party in the privacy of my home, to lure him in and win his trust, then we'll get him out to the big hoop-las.

Finished the squid, and now I present the chr
onological story of the squid.

We beg
in innocently enough with me following what appear to be simple directions. We start with a few purl rows, then a knit, then a purl row, followed by more knitting. And then we got tricky. Switch to purl row again, and make an obscene number of increases on the purl row. Renate and I had to venture into chapters to find a knitting book that made reference to increases on a purl row.



The very complicated looking purl row increases. This was the first attempt of 3 or 4 at getting this right









Followed by the diagrams I made to ensure I really understood how increasing every other stitch would turn out






One completed squid, taking an ice water bath to speed up the felting process










And little squidy is drying on a towel, sprawled out

Squidy is currently sitting in my knitting bag waiting to be stuffed and sewn
up, and when he is, I will post a picture of a very happy Dan with his new squid buddy.





I also finished a baby sweater, buttons and all.

And I am the proud owner of a bright green smart car
Currently working on a 'this is not a plastic bag' market bag. The lace pattern caused me almost as much frustration as my squidy purl increases.

Monday, April 14, 2008

FO!

i have finished an object! the grown-up baby sweater is complete, minus the buttons. i will take a trip down to ye old len's and pick up some buttons to make it look a little less girl. no word yet on the baby gender, and i'd rather not present jen with a coral/orange/pink sweater for her brand new baby boy. i'll man it up with some fun buttons, bright colours or maybe shapes. and if it is a girl, every little girl needs reptile buttons on her first sweater. wanted to post a picture, but my camera is charging. apparently if you don't use it all the freakin' time, the battery wears down from sitting around and not being used. what evs, will post soon then, maybe when buttons are attached.

in the meantime, i have begun my felting journey. with the dusty and musty discount 100% wool from len's (which made me sneeze when i starting knitting with it), i created a swatch, and have since felted said swatch. the excitement is mounting. it measured 4"x4", just like it's supposed to be, according to the label. still waiting for it to dry, but it got at least a bit smaller. i could feel the little fibers tighten up when they went from the hot soapy water to the ice cold water bath. it was glorious.

ps. wet wool smells worse than wet dog (which is a smell i actually enjoy). as soon as my swatch touched the water, it unleashed sheepish barnyard odour, to the max. my hands still kinda smell
like it. maybe next time i'll wear gloves.

i should document my experiments with felting, step by step. still not sure which project to start with. i don't really want to waste yarn with something lame and overly simple. i'm thinking the squid
might be a nice first project. i thought about making the squid for sassy, but i'm pretty sure she would tear its legs off. sassy can't have nice things.

in the spirit of posting pictures, i present two projects recently completely for my fuzzy-headed boy:



the "coffee tea or me?" tea cozy to meet his tea drinking needs, a christmas present
the transformer mittens, because my poor boy never wore mitties and his hands suffered. this is a modified pattern from a very nice mitten pattern i've used at least 4 times. i found the tops to be too pointy in the original pattern, so i rounded them out a bit for these mittens.

until i post again!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

my very first blog. oh man. let me start by defining what i hope this space will be for me. i hope to express my frustrations with life and everything in it, and to share the good things too. this will be a place to publish my self-reflections, so i can look back on them and maybe learn something. i also plan to share my knitting journeys, my projects both great and small, and my upcoming ideas for things to do.

had my dining room meeting with jean-paul this week, he figured we should know where we stand going into "exams". i'm doing better than expected, but he suggested i keep a journal of my dining room thoughts: things i think i did well, things to work on, etc, so i can keep track of how i'm doing. as lame as a journal about service seems, i really liked that idea, and i'm running with it. i only have 2 more weeks of service left, but i have a whole summer of co-op to practice my skills. i think i'll also use this space to discuss my growth towards management material. i'm working on it.

knitting meeting coming up on tuesday. super excited. i've been hyping this one up to all my coworkers, and i'm expecting a decent turn-out. i'm finishing the baby sweater very soon. last night i completed all the baby sweater parts, and tonight we sew! i hate finishing projects, tying in ends and doing nice careful stitches. but it's such a small project, it's not really that much work. as for project the next, i have a few to choose from. i have yarn and patterns to make some felted stuffed animals (first felting projects, woo!), and a cotton market bag. will look over patterns and start something new tomorrow.