Saturday, September 30, 2006

4 AM

So it is 4:30 AM and not only am I awake but I have decided that I am awake for the day and am sipping my tea as I blog surf.

Yesterday I learned about Google Reader as an alternative to Bloglines and am trying it out. I was able to import most of my Bloglines subscriptions with little effort. I think I like this but only time will tell.

Yesterday was a nasty day at work -- nothing horrible happened but I took one on-going saga too personally and obsessed and ranted about it all day. Then someone I have had on going issues with forced me in to a corner (figuratively).

The day eventually ended, however, and we had good friends up for a lovely Shabbat dinner. I even went out during work hours (it was my lunch!) to purchase the traditional prosciutto bread for Shabbat. (I work in East Harlem, they don't have challah!) I got the bread at Marrone's which is an old-neighborhood business where they make the most wonderful Italian breads. In addition to two prosciutto breads I also bought a huge "loaf" made of rolls and shaped like the sun. More than enough bread for 15 people let alone the 8 that were dining. We finished all but a small portion of the sun bread and only crumbs of the prosciutto loaves remained. Mike made a coq a vin variant, asparagus risotto and shoo-fly pie. YUM! I think all that good food may be why I am awake so early. Maybe I should start working it off ...

On the knitting front ... I fully expect to display a finished pair of corn maze socks for Sunday Socks. The second Woven sleeve is about 1/3 -- 1/2 complete. I did start another project (breaking my pledge, again) but this one is for charity so it does not count ... right? There is a story to this one ...

Last weekend as I was browsing the accumulated mail on an email account that I rarely use these days, I came upon the Synagogue news letter. Skimming it, I skipped over the details of the Mitzvah Sunday appeal figuring I would look more carefully when the detailed brochure came out. Then ... Squidette (who reads my email and blogs over my shoulder) yelped ... "did I see something about Knitting?" We scrolled back and found the item, I shot off an email and by the end of the following day I was the team leader for a knitting charity project for Mitzvah Sunday. So, following all of my teacherly instincts, I am knitting up sample squares which will also help me estimate the yarn purchasing requirements for the project. I figure I will knit up a few in the different patterns supplied by the sponsoring agency and then weigh them and divide by the number of squares to figure out roughly how many grams per square we will need.

Now ... can I get my bosses boss to join in the project? (Yes, she knits!)

Hope no one else is up quite this early and that you all have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sock-ret Pal

The following are my answers for the Sock-ret Pal Swap

The basics:

How long have you been knitting?

I learned as a kid but have only seriously been knitting
for 7 years.

Do you consider yourself a beginning sock knitter, an
intermediate, or have you been doing this so long you
could probably knit a pair in your sleep?

I think I did knit a pair in my sleep!

The measurements:

While your pal may ask for some additional info to
ensure a great fit, please provide your shoe size,
or any other fitting related info you think is pertinent.

Poor Sock-ret Pal! :-(
I have size 10 (women's) feet!

(fiber related) Favorites:

What colors do you love?
Blues, Pinks, Purples and pretty much anything else

Do you prefer solids or variegated?

I tend to purchase variegated but need to start
putting some solids in to my stash so I can show
off all those great textured patterns.

What fibers do you most love to knit with?

Wool! Wool! Wool! (no, really!)

Who do you consider your favorite yarn vendors?
My LYS -- Knitty City.

What projects (other than socks, of course*S*) do you
most enjoy knitting?

Mittens and small things that I can get creative with y
et still finish quickly.

(fiber related) Dislikes:

What fibers can you not stand to knit with? To wear?

Angora makes my eyes itch and my nose run even though I
love to pet it. I cannot knit, spin or wear it. Mohair
has a similar effect when I knit with it but not when I
wear it.

What colors would you never wear?

I wear from the entire spectrum though I tend to
stay away from dull greens.

The Tools:

Plastic or Metal? Bamboo or wood?
Circs or Straights?
DPNs or Magic Loop?

Addi turbo circs, no straights. B
amboo dpns but I have not tried any wood dpns.

Are there any knitting accessories you don't have
in your collection but would like?

Not that I can think of.

The Extras:
Do you have a wish list? If so, please share the link!

No list.

Do you like sweet, sour or salty?
or all of the above? *S*)
All of the above.

Do you have any allergies your pal should know about?
(Certain foods, smoke, pet hair, etc)

Angora (see above), pet hair, feathers, scents of
most kinds, smoke. Basically airborne allergens.

Favorite scents? Scents you can't stand?

No favorite scents -- see above.

Do you collect anything (other than yarn and
knitting toys of course)?

Squid and Tea Pots in classic shapes
(the tea pots, not the squid).

When is your birthday? (month and day is fine!)

November 27. This birthday will be my 40th.

Do you spin? Dye your own yarn?
Yes and Yes.

Your favorite author/band/vacation spot, anything you
think will help your pal know you better...

I love Elizabeth Peters (author) and Anne McCaffery.
I do not have a favorite vacation spot though I
love to camp with my family.
A lot of my likes and
dislikes are already on the blog -- I really can't
think of anything right now.
Pal -- feel free to
ask me more questions -- annoymous comments are
open on this blog.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bits and Pieces

This weekend was pretty much all about Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year for those of you still wondering) but I did manage to do some other stuff -- I am not so religious as to do a strict observance.

Among other things I finished my Dye-O-Rama socks. Thanks Cookie! Here is my kid sister modeling them for me.

Then I finished the first Woven sleeve. (no picture taken)

Somewhere in there I watched my kids attempt to build free standing structures with cooked asparagus. At a holiday dinner.

Prior to the official start of the holiday I had a scare when our violin teacher looked at Little Squid and decided that he had grown again. Fortunately she was mistaken -- or rather, he had grown but not enough to fit in to the next size violin.Somewhere after the official end of the holiday I discovered that we have four days to obtain a flute for Little Squid. He has had the notice since Thursday. Given the holiday, we could not have purchased/rented said instrument anyway this weekend so I am a bit irked and indicated so in a note to the teacher. Somehow we will have a flute in his hands by a week from Thursday. This is what I get for encouraging my kids' love of music. Oh well.

Today I dressed very professionally and prayed that the sky did not fall at work. It didn't but it is a bit lower ...

Oh, and my bosses boss? Seems she is a member of my synagogue. She came up to me during services on Saturday. I was floored. (This is not a bad thing, just a surprising thing. My boss, however was not surprised despite the fact that there are dozens of synagogues in New York.)

Regarding services -- my mother-in-law was a stubborn lady, fixed in her ways, and I should have ignored her long ago. The view from the so-called undesirable seats was fantastic (despite my obstructed view -- others had a good view) and I have a new favorite section for High Holy Day services. There are only 3 sections and I've tried the other two ... It is less stuffy then the Sanctuary (mentally speaking) and has better leg room then the balcony (with legs like mine, this is important) and the sound is impeccable.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Mmmm ... Tea

My tea swap partner was kind enough to ask some very detailed questions so I figured I would share my obsession with tea with all of my readers by answering them here.

Knit Fit asks:

1. What kind of chocolate do you like? (milk, dark, specific brands, plain, with nuts, in cookies, etc?)

You mean I have to choose? Chocolate in any form -- except blended with coffee -- is wonderful.

2. I see your a sock knitter, do you like to knit thin socks, thick socks? Who do you usually knit socks for? What method do you use for knitting your socks? (DPN, Addis, etc)?

I like to knit all types of socks and knit them mostly for family. I tend to be a Magic Loop knitter with Addi Turbos my weapon of choice but bamboo dpns have their place.

3. I saw the wonderful pic of you and your daughter at Yarn Harlot, does your daughter knit also? How old is she? (I saw in your blog your son is 9, right?)

Squidette does knit and is even starting a charity knitting group at school. She recently turned 11.

4. What kind of style would you say you, classic, retro, mod?

Classic -- clean and simple styles.

5. Are you an all day tea drinker, or do you have a certain time of day you like to drink it?

Morning, noon, night -- tea is always there. It is now 1:00 p.m. and I am sitting with a cup of oolong and a slice of honey cake. Yum!

6. Tea cup or mug?

Mugs of varying sizes. 14 ounces in the morning and 10 ounces or so in the evening.
7. Teapot or microwave?

Tea pot. (Actually, an electric water boiler both at home and at work.)

8. What do you prefer, loose or bags?

Loose but I do not turn my nose up at a good bagged tea.

9. Does your whole family drink tea, or just you?

We all drink it to some extent. Papa Squid likes a nice green on occasion and Squidette is starting to drink some in the morning. Little is still just a newbie, drinking it when I push it on him when sick or starting a migraine. Squidette now turns up her nose at supermarket tea bags!

10. I see you recently knit an afghan for you new nephew (congratulations, he is precious!), what other things have you knit and how long have you been knitting for?

I have knit tons of different things including stuffed Squid, sweaters, socks, shawls ... I have been seriously knitting for about 8 years but learned how as a kid.

Now to go shopping for stuff to spoil my own swap partner with. Tee Hee Hee!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Non-Stop Squid!

*** First and foremost, I must brag. Go here (Yarn Harlot) and scroll almost to the bottom of the post (before the comments start). Yes, that is me and Squidette, front and center.***

I feel like I have been going non-stop for 2 or 3 weeks now. I am really looking forward to Sunday with no obligations and the ability to sleep in. Frankly my plans for Saturday are not particularly strenuous and include the ability, should I choose, to nap, but it is Rosh Hashanna and there are obligations of a religious variety. (So is Sunday but we are not as formal in our second day observances.)

Despite my non-stop running, we did get to see Itzak Pearlman with the New York Philharmonic on Tuesday. This was the first time that I have seen him live and it was amazing! Our next set of tickets is not for another month, something for which I am extremely grateful -- I need a week where I come directly home from work and have no evening obligations. There is one obligation next week at Squidette's school but Mike is going.

I hit Little's class for a book celebration this morning and Squidette's school for PTA this evening. Got to tell you, nothing more amusing then watching / listening to five fourth graders discuss a book. They were so serious! They used such sophisticated language! It was all I could do to keep from laughing with pride and amusement. There was one parent, however, who I wanted to shake. First, she brought her boys to school late. Then, as she dropped them off, she told them that she did not think she had time to come to the book talk this morning. The woman was dressed in jeans and did not look like she was heading to work. I am pretty sure that she does not work (I have encountered her at other school events). Ten minutes in to the book talk she came in to the class room and immediately lit in to her son about the quality of his answers. The two of them got in to an argument and all I could think was "why did she bother coming." She did not get the same sense of joy and amusement out of the event that I did. I feel sorry for her son (and her in a small way).

There is very little that I can share about work but today I found myself victim of my own overloaded brain. Every two weeks we have a meeting with the contractors doing the renovations on the school. Today I totally flaked and forgot about the meeting and instead spent a pleasant period observing some of my staff. When I returned I got the message that one of the contractors had been by and that he would be back later. Still thinking nothing of it, I spoke to my boss and found out about the missed meeting. Since I usually run these things she just chatted with the guys and sent them on their way. O.k ... I head out to get some lunch, schmooze with some kids and wander back to my office to find that my guy had come back and that I should head to the trailer behind the building. Out I went -- leaving my hot lunch on my desk -- and stepped in to a double-wide with a dozen burly guys. Sounds kinkier then it was. They forgave my absentmindedness and we had the meeting. Me and 12 men. Yeah. It's o.k, I held my own. After almost a year of these meetings we get along pretty well and I am often the only woman there but today was just one more amusing bit on top of another.

Friday night starts Rosh Hashanna and this year I think I have it right and am giving up on habits deeply ingrained in my by my mother-in-law. When I first started attending services with her, she would insist that we get on line at least 45 minutes before services were scheduled to begin. She wanted a good seat -- in the sanctuary -- so that she could see and our congregation is very large. After a few years I convinced her that she could see pretty well from the balcony so we did not have to get on line quite so early. This was in the years when we attended the Late service (the congregation is so large that it has to run back-to-back, duplicate, services.) Finally, we switched to the early service because of the kids and she and I discovered that, without waiting, we could pretty easily get one of the less desirable seats in the back of the sanctuary where she could still see. (At this point Mike had stopped coming with us so it was easier to get 2 seats together instead of 3.)(My attitude is that I am there to pray and I really do not care if I can see.) The seats we managed to procure for the last couple of years were convenient for my quickly ducking out at the last prayer to run upstairs to get the kids from their programs (the logistics of claiming the kids is a nightmare which I will not get in to). Last year I attended Rosh Hashana services by myself. I sat in "our" seats and was not a happy camper. Mike joined me for Yom Kippor but it still was not right. So, I am trying something new this year. I have friends who always sit in a location that is extremely undesirable by mom's standards. Since I no longer have her to sit with, I am joining them. I can pray, I can be next to people I know and I can split the child reclaiming duties since their son is upstairs with Little Squid. Most of all, even though prayer is a solitary activity, I will not be alone with my thoughts.

To those of you celebrating the High Holy days -- or just celebrating anything -- May this year be full of Peace and Joy. L'shana Tova.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Nephew, Knitting and the Yarn Harlot

Saturday was all about the new Nephew. Isn't he cute?!Yes, I finished the blanket.
Yes, that is the seat of the Amtrak train. Yes, I was cutting ends just 15 minutes before we pulled in to the station. Yes, I almost picked up my sock to knit after finishing the blanket. My aching hands, however, over-ruled me and I read for the few minutes instead.

This is probably the fastest that I have ever knit anything and the first time that I have sacrificed sleep for the sake of a gift. It was totally worth it!

Pattern: Rainbow Blanket from Knit It! 2006. Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun. Note: pattern error -- the pattern calls for 2 skeins of each color. You only need one each of the blue, pink, purple, and green. I now have almost enough to make a second blanket -- I never did acquire the second skein of green and will need one more yellow. I guess my soon-to-be niece will have a blanket to match that of my new nephew.

The trip to meet my nephew was great. I spent 6 hours there and helped where I could. Laundry was done, the first bath watched and showers were taken.

I then took the train back home and spent the next 4 hours half knitting, half reading and half dozing. (That's 3 halves, right?) Every time I picked up the knitting I started to fall asleep. A heel was turned , a few chapters read and some sleep was caught up on.

Sunday should have been a return to normality but Papa Squid is not overly fond of "command performances" at Hebrew School so I agreed to do it. I figured I could knit ... and I did. (He usually takes the kids to Hebrew School to give me some "alone" time. I use this valuable time by myself to do the laundry and pay the bills. Sometimes I get some spinning in before they get back.)

Papa Squid proved wonderful as always, I did not have to do the laundry when I returned -- the laundry fairy came while I was visiting the Nephew! Got to love him!

After lunch we decided to ride down to the International Pickle Day festivities. Next year we will take the subway. The festival was neat but it was too crowded for four of us with bikes attached. We did, however, get to the Doughnut Plant and picked up some treats for later. This was not a smart ride -- we took the streets and had to cross the Feast of San Gennaro on our way to the Pickle District. It took us less time to ride twice as many miles to get home by using the Greenway from Grand Street down and around the tip of Manhattan and back north to home. Only 10 miles today and the first three were slow going.

Once home, I gave in to my baser instincts and took a nap. Then ... Squidette and I went to see the Yarn Harlot!!! Squee!
Look! Me and Stephanie! A rare photograph where I actually look like a human being -- it is all her doing. Stephanie is a very funny lady and nice to boot. The session was conducted at Knitty City (my favorite LYS in a town with lots of great LYS's) Squidette came with me and is now very aware that I can use this blog to embarrass the heck out of her. She brought some knitting and actually knit over an inch while laughing with us older folks. I think she now understands why I got so excited when Pearl told me that Stephanie was coming to town. The Yarn Harlot was the first blog that I ever read that was not written by a relative. It opened up a whole world to me that I was only vaguely aware existed. Thank you so much Stephanie!

Also present at Knitty City were Persia and Iris:

And Harlem Purls. Also present were many of the Upper West Side knitters and Knitty City Book Club. Hi Ladies!

Today, back to work on Woven. I am resuming my pledge to not start anything else until I finish Woven. It wants to be my Rhinebeck Sweater.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Must Sleep Now!

Blankie status ... 49 blocks completed. Only the border to go. I am going to sleep now and wonder if I can do the border during the 4 hour train ride to Boston. What do you think? Can I finish it? Any betters out there?

Talk to you all on Sunday.

Can't Blog! Gotta Knit!

Sorry for the dearth of posts lately. I am racing against the clock on this blanket. 34 squares down, 15 and a border to go. I see my sister at noon tomorrow. Will I make it? Will I find the creature I purchased for the little tyke back in July? Will I be sane by the time the train pulls in to the station?

Only time will tell. I promise pictures of the finished or unfinished blanket when I get back to town.

Gotta run, 15 squares to knit today and a full day of work, too.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Button Post and BBP

First, the fiber content.

Friday night I decided that it was o.k. to start knitting for my nephew. You should understand that because I would not knit for this kid out of superstition, all of my baby knitting was stopped. Yeah, I went over board and now there are a whole lot of kids due who do not have Squid Knit love waiting for them. They will live with Squid Bought love -- my kin come first.

So, I picked up most of the yarn I needed for the Rainbow Blanket from Knit It! 2006. I am short one skein of green but I am hoping to get it today or tomorrow on my way home from work. I have finished 14 squares and have 35 squares and border to go. Do you think I can get it finished by the time I meet him on Saturday? I lost all of my knitting time yesterday due to work commitments so the answer is "not likely," but maybe on the trip home. (8 hours of train time gives one ample knitting opportunity.) No pictures because I do not want to scare my sister. ;-)

The remainder of this post is to put up all of the buttons I want to install in my sidebar. I am a bit slow on some of this Blogger stuff so I have not managed to figure out how to put something in my sidebar without first creating a post with the image embedded in the post. This gives the button / image a "permanent" home that belongs to me to relate to. So ... here goes:

I recently joined Sock-ret Pal and the Knitters Tea Swap 2:
I am also both a player and a square in Rhinebeck Blogger Bingo (Saturday only right now).
And here are some of my favorite blogs that have buttons. If you are not here I promise that I will work on it. Just no promises as to when. These guys will go up in the sidebar with their links sometime in the next week or so.

I have to put the Harlot first because she is why I started blog surfing in the first place.
And these are blogs that I MUST hit every day and trade emails with the owners. I know I am missing many, many blogs -- blog lines says that I am currently subscribed to 166 feeds -- but when I went on my button heisting trip a week or so ago, these were the ones that I grabbed. I will do another heisting trip soon.
And now, some baby blanket knitting!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Thank you!

Thank you Cookie, KnittyOtter, Ann, Kirsten, HPNY, Susan, Ginny and anyone else who even thought about us for all of your birthday emails and cheering thoughts as we rode yesterday. I am sure that your long distance cheers kept us rolling along.

I had a Sept. 11. post prepared but for personal reasons I am going in to Ostrich mode for today after we do our tribute at school. I hope everyone has the day they desire and that if you are in remembrance mode, please do not forget the survivors and their families while you are remembering the deceased.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Squid do a Century!

Actually, after all was said and done, we did 44/100ths of a Century including the ride home from the finish line. Both kids held up fantastically with a little bit of droopage just before the second rest stop -- about 29 miles in to the trip.

The day began with wake up for the adults at 5 a.m. (yup, that is not a typo) and for the kids at 5:15 a.m. Fortunately, they woke easily and Little Squid even woke up with a huge smile on his face. Never underestimate the power of a birthday to wipe away early morning grumpiness.

We all donned our biking gear, including the brand new matching Squid On Wheels tee shirts. We looked very cute if I must say so myself.

At the Start Line.

The comments began practically from the moment we arrived in Central Park in our matching gear. If the gear did not bring the comments, the presence of the Squidlings did. Some of the comments heard / directed at us during the day:

"There goes the biking family." (Notice how we were the biking family.) This was answered with "We prefer to be called the Squid Family or Squid on Wheels." Yes, I really said this and said it with a smile.

"Great Shirts."

"Your daughter is really strong."

"Your daughter is really built for biking." Followed by "So is your son."

"I told my daughter she should have come with me!" And then at the finish line, on his cell phone talking to the wife and daughter -- "Hurry, the family I told you about is here." (We left before they arrived.)

"It's so great to see a family riding together."

"What is that on your shirts?"

"Are you a team or a family?"

There was not one negative comment and so many people were pleased and surprised to see a family doing this together. I think we inspired a few of them to try it with their kids next year. We had some nice conversations with the commenter and gathered a small cadre of people who we kept bumping in to at the rest stops and along the way.

There were a few other kids there but I only saw one other on the 35 mile route. Most of the kids were on the 15 mile route so we lost them after the first rest stop -- their finish line.

This ride went much better then the other two organized rides that we have done. The pace was much better then the Tour de Brooklyn and we stopped for traffic very few times between rest stops. The traffic stops were so light that we did the mileage a lot faster then on any of our other rides. The weather was great, the views were spectacular and we had a fantastic time. Next year -- the 55 mile segment!

A few of the photos are below. For more, go here and here. For the GPS map, go here. (Ignore the weird part in Manhattan -- it was a GPS anomaly. The weird part on Randall's Island was us getting slightly lost.)

A Squid pace line. All 3 white shirts are Squid.

Rest Stop #1. Look how fresh they are!

The Triborough Bridge from below.

Rest stop #2 -- starting to sag just a bit.

Squid on a Turtle. Amazing what some food can do to perk up a tired Squid.

On the Triborough Bridge. This is just about the time that Little Squid actually turned 9. Yes, we sang to him on the bridge just after carrying the bikes up the second set of stairs. (Squidette carried her own bike this trip.)

At the finish line! For our efforts we each now have a new tee-shirt and water bottle. The Squidlings plan to wear their tees to school tomorrow. Yes, they are planning to show off a little. I am not discouraging this.

And now, for some cake!

Happy Birthday Little Squid!

Yes, nine years ago today Little Squid came in to this world and promptly started annoying the heck out of us. That seems to be his purpose in life -- to annoy (in a good way) his family.

Little Squid loves to sing and you can tell when he is happy in what he is doing since he will hum or sing softly to himself. He likes to try new things and is even willing to like them.

My Little Squid is an incredibly cuddly, warm, snuggly child. He is bright and insightful and deep thinking. This is a kid who can see something on the street and, after thinking awhile, ask you about it ... 2 months later.

This is the child who can lose a shoelace off of the shoe on his foot and a glove off of a hand that is holding a lunch box.

This is my Little Squid and I love him dearly.

Happy Birthday, Little Squid.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Happy Birth Day Nephew Squid

My sister just called -- I am an aunt again. Everyone is healthy. These short sentances cannot express the emotion I acutally feel. Baby Nephew (to distingish from my other 2 nephews) had countless people wringing their hands waiting to get word this morning. Many people were holding their breath and sending positive vibes up to the mom. Superstitions ran high on my part and now I just have tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.

Sis -- I hope your son brings you and CB all of the joy and pleasure that my children have brought to me. I can wish you nothing more since I think I have it all. May he grow healthy and strong and give you hugs, kisses and lots and lots of Love!

Now to get knitting!

Friday, September 08, 2006

They grow up so fast

This morning we took the subway instead of driving. When we got uptown we all walked to the Middle School and Squidette gave me a huge hug. Little Squid and I continued walking, hand in hand until we reached the corner of his school block. At that point he dropped my hand like a hot potato and said "I can go to school from here." Since I had to walk past his school to get to the bus, I stayed with him. At the door I paused, waiting for a hug and kiss. Nothing.

I guess it is o.k. when he is in the car in front of the school - no one can see him there. Oh well. He still gives me lots of snuggles in private.

Birthday Squid hint: This Squid's favorite Disney flick is Dumbo. This Squid also just read "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" for the first time and loved it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Cheering Section Wanted!

On Sunday we will be riding the 35 mile portion of the New York Century bike ride. A Century, in biking terms, is 100 miles. We are not doing that. No, we are not yet that crazy. All of the long rides we have done in the last few weeks have been to train the Squidlings for this ride. We think we worked out all the kinks in terms of fuel and such and are ready to roll.

We have, however, lost our cheering squad. I should be able to share why sometime tomorrow or Saturday but don't want to jinx it. Let it stand that our Cheering section will be serving a more important function on Sunday morning.

So, if you are in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens and want to cheer on Team Squid, (this is not a race but cheering would be cool) then come on out. We leave Manhattan from Central Park at 110th Street at 7:30 a.m. We should arrive at the first rest stop in Prospect Park by 9 or 9:30 depending on traffic conditions and how fast Little Squid is riding. Our next rest stop is Astoria Park some time around 11 more or less and then finally back in to Manhattan to end where we began at Central Park at 110th Street.

How will you recognize us? Simple, we are the four idiots wearing the Squid Knits logo on our t-shirts. Color on the back and black and white where a pocket should be on the front. The kid's bikes will also sport orange safety flags which may or may not have squid drawn on them. We will be the group periodically yelling "Squid" and spontaneously singing "Happy Birthday" around 11:00. Yes, one squid will age during the ride. (O.k., we will all age but one will be able to say at the start of the ride "I am x years old" and at the end of the ride "I am x plus 1 year old."

As for which Squid that is, here is another set of hints: This Squid enjoys reading, cross stitch and computer games. Said Squid also recently acquired a brand new bike.

So, come out and cheer on Team Squid and stop lurking already! Hi Mary!

Blogger Bingo!

I'm joining and I want to be a square! (I also want to play, so there!) I sent my email in. What about you? (If you didn't figure out to click on the button, click here instead.)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

School Supplies

This is the week where things are very intense both at work and at home. At work you have to focus on the most important stuff while not forgetting about the smaller stuff which can be dealt with next week after everyone is settled in for the semester. At home it is all about the same thing.

At work there are over 2,000 people, all with their own issues, all just wanting to get / give an education. At home there are just 4 in this apartment but many others outside it who all have their own needs. Switching between work and home is not easy at times. The Squidlings come home with their back-to-school needs and I am always tempted to analyze why their schools do things as they do. I try to suppress the urge to do this in front of the kids. At some point in the evening I break in to a spate of verbal diarrhea and bombard Mike with my day. He actually listens. Do I have a great guy or what?! Then I remember to ask about his day. Oops. (I only overflow after asking about the kids' day and ... listening to the answers.) Squidette is already impatient with taking the bus home. How soon before she asks to take the subway?

Yesterday I came home from work and rushed right back out to get money for the various people we have to pay cash to for goods and / or services and to get a monthly metrocard for the college student who brings Little Squid home every day. Today I had to go out to get some "need now" school supplies for Squidette. After finally picking up my knitting I had to analyze and appraise a birthday present for the soon-to-be Birthday Squid. Some problems but we can make it work.

Birthday-Squid Hint: This Squid's favorite animal is the elephant of which many of the stuffed variety are owned. This Squid also takes up an inordinate amount of space in a bed and was recently banished to the floor for the duration of our Kentucky / Indiana trip. This Squid also desperately needs a haircut.

And, for those of you who have put up with this post up until now, I have this:This is a Giglio. If you need more explanation, click here. That is my school behind it and the famous Rao's on the left. Yes, the perspective is correct -- it is about 2 stories higher then my 3 story, HIGH ceilinged, school. My school neighborhood is very closely tied to the local RC church. When we had to evacuate due to a fire last winter, they took the entire H.S. student body inside to keep the kids from freezing in the sub-zero weather. Yes, the kids were respectful.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

First Day of School

I got a little silly this morning and insisted on taking everyone's "first day of school" picture.

Little Squid's legs are not really that huge.

Squidette's eyes are actually blue.

Yes, thank you, that is a huge zit on my chin and no, that is not what Papa Squid wore at work, just to work. He changed in his office after riding down.

Best line of the day was uttered by Squidette who came home all by herself today. (I dropped her off.) "School was fine but the commute was horrible."

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sleepy Sunday

Today was a sleepy, errand running kind of day. I was the first one up -- makes sense, I was the first one in bed last night -- and the day kind of crept along from there.

We went on a short bike ride to check out the rock/plaque commemorating the works of Nelson A. Rockefeller. Little Squid had noticed it on a prior ride and needed to get back to see what it was. We then rode to our favorite treat place and replenished the supply of chocolate for us and for friends. When we arrived back at our building, Papa Squid led us around the entrance circle 3 time before allowing us to dismount. Apparently the GPS was 0.04 miles away from a round mile and he just had to get that last 4/100 of a mile in. Total mileage: 7 miles -- exactly.

Lunch and then a trip out to Best Buy, the Container Store and Barnes and Noble for all Squid. Best Buy yielded a 2 Gigabyte memory chip for only $23. No, you can't get this deal -- there was an instant rebate and then we had a gift card for $25. Papa Squid kept the 2 Giga and I got his hand-me-down 1 Giga chip to replace the 256 M chip that I lost last week. I do not need 2 gigs for my audio books -- the 256 was serving me just fine.

The Container Store yielded some shelving ideas and very long lines due to the recent, annual, influx of F.I.T. students.

Barnes and Noble yielded lots of books and while there we managed to convince the Squidlings that The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was worth a go. We did not buy it then, however, because both Papa Squid and I were convinced that we had two copies of it at home. Once back, however, we discovered that we had two copies of Life, The Universe and Everything but zero copies of Hitchhiker. I went back out and got a copy. (It has since been read by Squidette and determined to be "eh." Little Squid is now working on it and Squidette is working on Restaurant at the End of the Universe on the theory that sometimes a second book is better then the first.)

Squidette and I attempted to do some shopping at City Quilts but they were closed for the long weekend. I will try to get home early enough to take Squidette there one day this week. She has a project in mind and needs the fabric for it. We also hit the post office to take care of a friend. It is nice to live near the main post office -- it is open 24/7.

And now, the promised Knitting Content.

Woven is coming along, one sleeve is about 1/3 done. The first corn maze sock is finished and the second has the beginnings of a toe. (It is a toe-up sock so this is not as good as it seems.) That's it. I have nothing else for you.

I will, however, leave you with this:
Someone (not me -- now that would be funny!) baked a birthday cake and cupcakes today. That means that another Squid has a birthday quickly approaching. Decorating ideas are flying fast and furious around here with Elephants and Frogs two of the possible designs. Next Saturday will see the decoration for a Sunday birthday. Try to guess which Squid is changing ages. I will drop hints over the next few posts.

Hint #1: This Squid's favorite color is Blue.

Oh so tired!

I find it amazing how a job that does not involve much physical activity can be so exhausting. Friday night I did not feel it. Yesterday I crashed hard. I was mostly fine while visiting with my sister-in-law. (We retrieved Squidette's clothes so she now has long pants.) On the trip home I kept my eyes open until I no longer had to navigate and then fell asleep for the entire length of the Palisades Parkway while Papa Squid battled nasty winds on a winding road.

It seems that my SIL's MIL -- whose English seems to be improving -- is interested in getting back in to knitting. The next time we go up I am going to kidnap her and drag her to a knitting shop I found in a nearby town. There is a quilting store in the same town so Squidette might want to come along for the ride. Just call me the enabler!

We went to the Museum of the Hudson Highlands in Cornwall, NY yesterday. There were lots of cool animals and the kids learned about the Great Horned Owl and various turtles from the staff. Since I neglected to take my camera, all I can provide you with is this:The Great North American Orange Backed Chair. They are rarely found in captivity so this is a unique specimen.

Knitting? What knitting? Oh, that knitting. I'll post some to Sunday Socks and get other stuff up by the end of the day.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Friday Night

This is what Friday night looks like at the Squid home from Mama Squid's perspective.

Mama Squid is the last to arrive home, coming in while violin lessons are in progress with three or four violin cases open on the dining room table and an other wise hushed home. She immediately proceeds to the bedroom where she removes all of her work clothes and changes in to non-work clothes. She washes her face, removes her nail polish (a new addition to the work persona), takes off her jewelry and watch leaving on the signs of marital commitment. (Engagement and wedding rings) Mama sings a shabbat tune softly to herself as she makes the transition from Mrs. Squid to Mama Squid.

Quiet conversations are held with the squidlings as they rotate in their lessons and with Papa Squid who supervises and plays along for some pieces. Mama hits the chocolate, hard, and catches up on her blogs while the music continues in the background.

Dinner is ordered (yes, we often order in on Friday night), delivered and ... not yet consumed. Shabbat candles are kindled, prayers are said, wine is sipped (or shot back as one adult or the other finishes the small amount served out) and dinner is consumed.

All the Squid watch the Simpsons and tonight, an episode of Who Wants to Be a SuperHero (don't give away the winner, we watch that episode tomorrow). Yes, our interpretation of Shabbat is a loose one but it works for us.

Squidlings prepare for bed, hug their parents and all is quiet.

The week is over the day is done and I will try not to think about work until some time on Monday.

Tomorrow, I promise some knitting but no cycling since the weather report is for nasty rain all day. Have a safe a pleasant Labor Day Weekend!