Saturday, March 31, 2007

On the Road Again

After extensive preparations, which included making sure that I had my knitting, we headed out. It was a short ride -- to Chocolate Haven, the Greenmarket and home but I got back on my horse bike. I was nervous, so nervous that I almost cried, but by the time we remounted after the Greenmarket I had my nerve again.
The verdict? I rode almost 500 miles last year, I'll do the same or better this year.

(The sock, by the way, was barely a ruffle this time last week. Lots of waiting room knitting and some intermission knitting have created a cuff, a heel flap, heel cup and most of a gusset.)

Later, some NYC pictures including Times Square at night.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Music !

Squidette got in to Music Camp! Off the waiting list! It's free! To celebrate, we got her these . Now to figure out what to do with Little Squid.

We went to a concert at Avery Fisher Hall last night and I was smart enough to: 1. bring my camera and 2. find the balcony during intermission. Hence you benefit from both day and night pictures of some of the Lincoln Center Buildings.

Avery Fisher Hall (day shot only) Home to the New York Philharmonic and site of the Stuyvesant High School graduation and hence fond memories.

The New York State Theater, home to the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera.
The Fountain where I once chased a suitor (not Papa Squid) and bopped him on the head with my high school yearbook. He still kept asking me out. Some guys just can't take no for an answer.The plaza in front of the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. I love the stars in the trees!
For the curious, I no longer look like Franken-mommy though half my face is still a bit green. My dentist sent me to a friend (read: nice doctor) to have my stitches removed and to be evaluated for additional damage. While I do not like the concept of Dentist, I do like love my dentist. After slipping me into his schedule this morning and checking me out (I thought I might have chipped a tooth), he even called his friend for me and arranged everything. Sweetest words of the day (uttered by the office assistant of my new Park Avenue Plastic Surgeon): "your co-pay is ..." They took my insurance!!!

And look what Mike got me!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My Face is Green!

and it hurts to sneeze!

Yes, I am wallowing in this, somewhat. I usually do not complain when I am hurt or sick but not this time. The green is not too obvious in this latest picture but even Mike noticed it. I know that green is good ... it is the bruising fading. So, to cheer it on, I added a matching green Cookie Monster band-aid. *grin* Yes, if I am trying to downplay this then Cookie Monster is not the way to go but if I am trying to dispel a rumor of beating-by-student then I think I've got just the right touch.

Yes, if anyone is paying attention, I am wearing a bicycle charm on my neck. It was my mother-in-law's and I think it makes the point -- if only to me. I will be back on my bike!

Tonight, some good music -- if I can stay awake.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Forgetful and Crochet

This morning I had to turn the corner to drop Squidette off at school because there were two police vehicles where I usually stop. Having dropped her in front of school, I continued north on First Avenue to drop off Little Squid. Several blocks later I heard a small "mom?" from the back seat. Oops, I had forgot to drop Little Squid off at school. Two left turns and a few blocks later I managed to get rid of the kid and made my way to work.

Since today is Tuesday, the knitting club did meet and I got a couple of the girls started on crochet using the sparkly hooks that KnittyOtter sent us. I love hooking kids on a new hobby! We lost some time due to a building collapse nearby that had me jumping up every few minutes to steer kids around the shut down subway lines. The I had to kick them out early so I could deal with my facial issues.

Not for the Squeamish. You have been warned!

I did get lots of knitting done today while waiting as a "walk-in" to finish the work on my face. After an hour of waiting for the walk-in (expected) and another 30 minutes in an exam room, I finally left ... with an appointment to go back on Thursday and the stitches still intact.

The entire cuff of my second ruffle sock is now done and I am working on the heel.

I was once again let go sans aesthetic covering (more understandable this time) but I am continuing to cover up in public because of my small degree of vanity and my belief that a bandage is more "attractive" then my bruised and stitched eye. Ick. I tend not to be vain but this is one area that does bother me and so I am doing something about it. Little Squid saw my bare face this morning and was a little freaked. I do not like to freak out my kids or my colleagues. Hence, the bandage. If there is anyone out there who really thinks that I should leave it uncovered in public, let me know. I'd love a good reason. Meanwhile I will continue to cover and to keep my hair tied back. (I also think my glasses might hit it a little. After all, they caused the damage to begin with.) (Mike thinks it is not very noticeable without a bandage.)

Oh, and the doctor did not seem to really believe my story. Hmm ... the number of people who think I was beaten is truly amazing. There is now a rumor going around school to the effect that I was attacked by a student. Given that I spent most of Friday all excited about riding over the weekend, I find that one odd. The rumor that I did it rollerblading is more understandable. I do rollerblade. I know that the E.R. people believed me, after all, I had my bike with me. *g* Yup, Mike folded it and sent it along in the ambulance with me.

Really guys, it was asphalt that did this!

No update tomorrow, we have concert tickets for the New York Philharmonic. (Just the adults, thank you very much.)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Fun Stuff

Mike discovered this today, its about a guy who walked every single street on Manhattan Island. Squidette thinks we should do it on our bikes. Sound good to me!

Mike also discovered this, I just love Dave Barry!

You think Mike has too much time on his hands?

Did anyone else notice that Tellitubbies are making a comeback? Eek! Squidette had a Tinky Winky doll when she was younger but that was about it. They never usurped the Muppets in this household.

Yesterday we watched The Muppet Movie. One of my favorite lines is uttered by Big Bird "I'm on my way to New York City to try to break into Public Television." Love that movie. When I was 12 my folks took me to see it at some huge Manhattan movie Palace and I remember being swept away from the very first minute. Seeing Kermit on the big screen practically made me squeal with emotion and seeing a Kermit doll on the shoulder of a little kid, afterwards, made me jump with excitement. The only other Muppet movie that brought that kind of reaction was Muppet Christmas Carol when the new voice of Kermit debuted. That was kind of sad. I admit it, I cried when Jim Henson died.


Looking for a picture of me? Go here. Things are looking better. I got to freak out lots of people at work today. One male student actually came up to me and softly asked if I was o.k. Sweet kid. Apparently it was the sight of the bandage that bothered people, not my red and puffy eye (which I guess is not too apparent from a distance and behind my glasses). And to think, one of the reasons I am wearing the bandage is to keep people from freaking out. (Mainly Squidette.) Also to keep my hair away from the area. And my glasses. The sight of stitches is kind of weird. I was, you see, originally released from the E.R. without anything covering the wound. They put one on when I had to go back for reasons that are too disturbing to share.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Road to Recovery

Thank you for all of your kind wellness wishes. If you came here for an injury update, scroll to the end. This blog should not be "all injury, all the time."

Squidette and I did get out today and walked over to a quilt show over at F.I.T. The quilts were great and we even found a few with squid!Squidette picked up some blocks with which to make something for someone special and then went back a few hours later and picked up a punch-needle embroidery kit. I am convinced that she is going to poke herself in the leg but at least I know that her tetanus shot is up to date. *g*
Meanwhile I have spent the rest of yesterday and most of today lounging on the couch. When energized, I knit on this -- Squidette's sweater. Under the influence of injury I messed up the neck decreased and had to rip back but I did manage to finish the first front last night. I'm now working on the other front and hope to accomplish a fair amount as I'm back to knitting with accuracy and at a decent speed.

Injury update

My face is not as bad looking as I thought it would be and if you really want to see, you can click here. Otherwise we will move on. Muscles ache and sleep is difficult since I can't sleep on my left side and I got a tetanus shot in my right arm. More ouch! I'd be concerned about how blah I felt for most of today except I was exhausted coming into this weekend and add the accident and lack of sleep to that and there you go. Fortunately spring break is only a week away.

No, we did not get back out on our bikes today. I haven't put my helmet on but I suspect that the straps will push my glasses into the sore spots, so that will have to wait until next weekend. Also, I can't find my earwarmer. It seems to be the only thing that went missing yesterday. Kind of amazing, actually. The EMT that treated me said that she never wore a helmet when she rides. Interesting thing to say to a person who just crashed head first into the pavement while wearing a helmet.

My lacerations were most likely caused when asphalt met my glasses and my glasses met me. Mike had a similar injury a few months ago though he didn't need stitches. And his accident was caused by a stupid person, not a stupid metal plate. That said, we are going to shop for glasses that might be less likely to cause this type of injury. Probably a good idea to have a back up pair of glasses anyway. I got very lucky that mine were not destroyed in this adventure. They are a tad worse for the experience but hey, they were due for replacement soon anyway.

A note to the other Cycling Knitters out there -- this was one of the few rides where I did not have my sock knitting with me. Since I had to hold a cold pack to my face most of the time, I didn't really miss it but I will never forget it again!

Saturday, March 24, 2007


I was going to show you this --Squidlings working together to make pancakes.

And then I was going to show you this picture as a way of launching our riding season. Figured I'd follow it with some NYC photos.
But instead, I am showing you these lovely consrution plates, similar but not identical to the one that requires me to holda package similar to this one,
to my face.I got my first ambulance ride and my first visit to an e.r. as well as my first stitches. Here's hoping that I avoid all of the above for as long as I did the first time. (A full 40 years!)

Total Miles: 5 pre-crash and 9 total (the rest of them had to ride home so we are counting it).

(Figured I'd post a photo before my face turns all black and blue. We will avoid photos again until my face is all healed.)

(If you click on the steel plate photo you will be sent to an article about the dangers that they pose to pedestrians and cyclists.)

Friday, March 23, 2007

How Many Adults Does it Take ...

to supervise two squidlings?

This is question I pondered while making small talk with some of my colleagues last night.

As a general rule, when we go out for dinner or a concert, one teen suffices. For parent-teacher conferences, however, with its longer time span (and the fact that our teen sitter teaches on Thursday evenings) my parents step in. This time they brought my younger sister with them. (She was in town for spring break and needed my kids for a school project.) That makes three adults to two kids. Overkill perhaps? (Just kidding guys, I know it is an excuse to see the grandkids.) Mike did point out that technically there were only two adults present, Mom and Amanda. (Love you, Dad!)

I was joking with a student teacher that my kids were such hellions that they needed three adults and she thought I was serious! Don't worry, I set her straight.

Tomorrow we hope to take to our wheels again and give you some NYC lore. Tune in, spring is kind of here!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's Stephanie's Fault!

On Wednesday's I make sure to leave work by 4:15 so that I can pick up Squidette from her art club. Today I was delayed and it turned out to be a good thing. Since, as I mentioned yesterday, I can not make it to the Yarn Harlot event, I took a load of hats from school to Knitty City to stand in for me. Most of these hats, I admit, were supposed to be chemo caps but they never made it into the mail for that project. Hey, someone will get good use out of them.

As Squidette and I walked into Knitty City who should we meet but Stephanie herself! She took the hats from us and added them to the display in the shop window. Dope that I am, I missed a chance to get a picture of her -- forgetting that my camera is now an almost permanent resident of my knitting bag. Once I remembered, she was gone but I did get a shot of the window.I also got this ...six skeins of Merinos Otto Shadow and two more shawl pins hair sticks. The yarn is the exact shade of purple that I wanted for a scarf and hat to match my new winter coat.

And just for the smile -- my cleaning lady seems to think that the new Squid belong here.We agree!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Parent or Teacher

Parents and Teachers in New York City are spending this week in conference. Both the elementary schools and the high schools have the traditional conferences during this short time period. This means that theoretically, both of the adults in this household get to sit of both sides of the conference table in the same week.

In reality, I played the parent to Little Squid's teachers earlier today and it is unlikely that I will actually conference with any parents on Thursday and Friday when the high schools have conferences. This does not mean that I get the night and afternoon off, I still have to be there -- just in case someone has a complaint about one of my teachers. If I am lucky one of the knitters will bring by a parent just to say "hi."

Papa Squid, on the other hand, played the parent role a few weeks ago for Squidette's teachers and in turn will see dozens of parents on Thursday and Friday. Feel for him -- well attended conferences are a huge drain on a high school teacher. You have 2 hours to see anywhere from 1 to 100 parents. I'm not kidding.

Do they matter? Yes, I honestly think so. As a parent you get insights from someone who doesn't live with your little darling and as a teacher you get a glimpse into a kid's home life. Both provide enlightenment.

I actually wrote a paragraph about my conference with Little's teachers and deleted it. It was fine. That said, I had a lovely lunch with my son followed by conferences and then a nice walk around the neighborhood until it was time to meet Squidette. We three had a snack and then, after dropping them at Hebrew school, I spent a lovely two hours in my car listening to an audio book and knitting on Squidette's sweater. Yes, I could have gone into a coffee shop but I wanted some time truly alone. It was nice. My phone rang only once -- Papa Squid asking if I had the newspaper (I forgot to leave the sports section) and I was fairly relaxed when I went to retrieve the kids. I have not checked in at work and refuse to do so until tomorrow morning. They seem to have managed without me for half a day.

All of this leads up to the fact that I cannot go to the Yarn Harlot event on Thursday because I have to be the Teacher. Yes, I want to call in sick. No, I won't do that because I am too responsible. On the up side, I get to see my folks and kid sister since they are my childcare for the evening. If anyone wants to "Represent" for me I will be grateful. I have some hats that I will try to drop at Knitty City tomorrow.

Monday, March 19, 2007

True Conversations

Most nights I give Little Squid an extra kiss as I head in to bed. I used to do it for Squidette, too, but more often then not I accidentally woke her up and then she could not fall back to sleep. So, now I only give Little the extra peck.

Some nights he is sound asleep. Other nights he sleepily lifts his head and give me a soft peck on the cheek in return. Most nights, however, he is still awake and he presents some of the exenstensial thought provoking questions that I have posted here before. Last night, however, went like this:

Me: "Are the pants I just stepped on clean or dirty."

LS: "I don't know."

Me: (Thinking that they certainly felt folded and not crumpled.) "Why would clean pants be on the floor?"

LS: "Because they fell off the bed when I was putting them away."

I will not relate the rest of the conversation but let is suffice to say that when I walked into my bedroom I looked at my husband and uttered these words "he's your son."

*** And then there was last night when he came out before bed and asked "What is Genocide?" We refused to answer on the grounds that it would keep him up all night.***
Tomorrow I get to be the parent in parent-teacher conferences. I also get to take my son out for lunch. Always an interesting afternoon. (I get to play the teacher part Thursday and Friday.)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Little Sis!

How does one embarass a sister? Well, like this ...oops, no, not that one --

Here we go ...Amanda at almost 4 -- as flower girl at my wedding.
(She is being held by my sister-in-law.)

As of today she has only one more year before she can drink legally in the United States.

Sometime later this year I will hopefully show you a picture of her as Maid of Honor at our brother's wedding. From Flower Girl to Maid of Honor in 16 short years. Way to go, kiddo!

Happy, Happy Birthday!

And on the Squidling front ..."Daddy said we could.""Want some?"

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Things that Make me Happy

As a way of distracting you from the fact that I got slammed (figuratively) at work last week, I have for you some of my favorite things.

My tea mug. It is a new acquisition and was one of a pair gifted to Mike for Christmas. Was, I say, because I already managed to break the other one. It is just the right size for a good cuppa but still delicate. And I love the flower inside. If I could figure out where it came from I would buy more of them.

The first season of the Muppet Show. I love muppets and find the Muppet Show to be the perfect workout viewing. It is lively and I can keep up a good pace on the bike. Kermit is my favorite. He sits on my car dashboard and serves as a way for us to easily identify our car. I have had him in every car I have ever owned. (All three of them.)

The Muppet Movie. Need I say more?

My husband.
for whom I purchased this ...and this for our anniversary. My cousin clued me in to this Etsy shop. I could get seriously addicted to Etsy.My son, the little goof ball. And my daughter who refused to let me put up my most recent photo of her. She also had a rough week but better then the week before.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Basketball Anyone?

I am not a sports fan. This disappoints my kid brother to no end as his niece and nephew are not being actively exposed to something that he takes such joy in. If you are a fan, you can share in his pure joy of sports, college in particular, by tuning in to the Double-A Zone.

During March Madness he is posting something about every school in the NCAA tournament as well as highlighting many of the players of both genders. If you are college shopping, the brief school profiles are very interesting and if you are a March Madness fan, well you will probably spend hours over in the Zone.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

One less child ...

Gauge has been calculated, numbers have been crunched and compared to current sweater numbers and a conclusion has been made. Squidette is no longer a child. She put on her current favorite sweater and said "I think it is getting small." I looked at it and thought it looked loose but hey, if she wants a looser sweater who am I to argue. And so, I am using the smallest adult measurements in my faithful Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns and have cast on for the back. Sniff.

Today was not one to sneer at, work-wise, and I am totally wiped out so this is another drive-by post. There were, however some comments on yesterday's post that I felt needed to be answered so ...

Cookie -- yes, Cascade 220 superwash. I prefer superwash for the kids and the regular Cascade 220 is a little itchier. Squidette has sensitive skin ...

The sweater is supposed to use a fuzzy yarn but all of the fuzzies were too itchy for my darling so smooth and soft it is.

KnittyOtter -- yes, we are latent Trekkies -- we had lapsed for a while but now we are catching up by watching 2 Enterprises a night. The DVR is overstocked with them right now and we are trying to get ahead of it somewhat.

Sprite -- I try herbs most years and sometimes have success and other times wind up with nothing. Our balcony microclimate can be a bit tricky sometimes. No colors are forbidden in school -- I know that some schools do this due to gang problems but we do not have those issues right now.

Dave -- Budd is one of my favorites too, once I realized that I really do need a basic pattern to follow ...

Anne K and Fillyjonk -- thanks for your contributions to Too Much Skin. We start broadcasting in another week or so. I'm not too worried about bare flesh tomorrow as it is going to snow again. Blah!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spring? Spring!

Look! Sprouts! The first is cucumber and the others are basil. I moved the flower seeds behind the turtle light so that they might get some natural light. I really should read the packages and figure out when to start worrying. Last week was a rough one for Squidette. Adolescence was not being nice to her and I think I came of as somewhat unsympathetic despite my best efforts to be understanding. So, I am proving my love in the manner I know best. Knitting.

She pored over my back issues of Knitter's Magazine and picked out this.We took the pattern to Knitty City and picked out these.I will take the pattern stitch and combine it with this, because the smallest size in the magazine will fit me loosely and Squidette is still smaller in all areas despite her best efforts at growing.

Two episodes of Enterprise later ... an almost completed swatch. I figure another episode should do it. The swatch, by the way, is bigger then one side of this sweater will be. Think it's big enough?

(Yes, Cookie and KnittyOtter, our inner Trekkies are coming out and Squidette is catching the fever. Years from now she will make me regret getting rid of all my Trek stuff.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

More Dress Code Verses and Help Needed

The kids and I brainstormed most of the way home and came up with a few more verses ... let me know what you think. (Papa Squid just poo-poohed most of them. Blah!)

Belt your pants at your waist,
Not below your tush
And they'll stay put when given a push.

and ...

If the teacher is giving
A good long glare
They might be viewing
Your underwear

and ...

If you find others to be a pest,
Maybe you're showing,
Too Much Chest.

If their hearts begin to smolder,
You might be showing
Too Much Shoulder.

If at your chest you see them grin
You might be showing
Too Much Skin.

If on your shoulders
Looks do linger
Check your straps
With 3 finger (s).

and a sign for the locker room:

Mirror, Mirror in the Gym,
Am I showing Too Much Skin?

Come on guys ... feel free to contribute!

Basic dress code: pants/skirts obey "fingertip rule" they must come to below the wearers fingertips when arms are at sides. Bellies are covered -- no belly buttons showing. No camisoles or "wife beaters." I'm not sure about the "three finger" rule for tank tops -- I have to check with the other Powers that Be. No mesh tops (or bottoms) on either gender. And we prefer not to view underwear. Our girls have never been in to showing thongs (Phew!) but some of our boys have their pants belted very low. (Squidette's school uses the three finger rule.)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Too Much Skin!

It's that time of year again. The weather is warming and the students are shedding their clothes. As a Major Female Role model, all of my clothes conform to school rules -- the fingertip rule for skirts and no exposed shoulders or midriff while kids are in the building. Heck, I even wear nylons up until the last week in June.

Three years ago I got fed up with our dress code. There were too uses of the word No. That was when I decided to put the code into rhyme. A verse a day was read during the morning announcements and three verses a week made their appearance in the stairwells, at a line per landing. After a few days, the kids were pointing at each other and chanting the refrain "Too Much Skin!"

In a few moments I will share those older verses but first let me tell you that I have once again been commissioned to put the dress code in to verse. My colleagues agree that the tag line "Too Much Skin" was a good one and that I should stick with it. I, however, like to branch out and am looking for a new tag line and verse structure. "Put On Some Clothes" has already been ruled out by the same colleagues. I am, therefore, actively soliciting new tag lines ... As for verse structure, last time I used "Burma Shave" this time I think I am aiming for Seuss.

And now ... Too Much Skin, a series of original verses written by Devorah Zamansky with contributions from Squidette Zamansky, Renee Zamansky and members of the SheepThrills Yahoo Group.

If your belly is bare
When you touch up your hair
Then you don’t want to share
Too Much Skin

If you stick to the seat
In the worst of the heat
Then it doesn’t look sweet
Too Much Skin

If your pants are a sagging
And the kids are all gagging
And the girls are a grabbing
Too Much Skin

If your shirt is so tight
That boys gasp with delight
Then you know that I’m right
Too Much Skin

If your tush we can see
When you bend at the knee
Then you know it must be
Too Much Skin

If your bosom is peeking
Out your shirt when you’re speaking
Then you know that you’re leaking
Too Much Skin

If your shoulders are glowin’
Then we all are a knowin’
That you must be showin’
Too Much Skin

If your shorts are so short
That kids laugh and they snort
You know what they thought
Too Much Skin

If your knees and your thighs
Bring out oohs, aahhs and sighs,
Then you know that we cries
Too Much Skin

If your sweat is a pooling
And the boys all are drooling
Then you know that you’re cooling
Too Much Skin

If your legs are all icky
‘Cause the seat is so sticky
Then you know why we’re picky
Too Much Skin

If your head and your toes
Are all that now shows
The you know that there’s Not
Too Much Skin

If everyone throngs
to ogle your thong
your dress choice is wrong
Too much skin

If your pecs are a chillin’
And the girls are a thrillin’
Then you know we are trillin’
Too Much Skin

If too much you reveal
when you sit, stand or kneel
you will hear the appeal
"Too Much Skin!"

Guess! Guess! Guess!

I feel the need for a fly-by post and remembered that I had not put up this picture for you guys ...
I forget where we saw this but it was along our regular Green Market route so we pass it regularly.

If you can guess what winds up in this spot then I will send you chocolate! Good, Jaques Torres chocolate ... and maybe yarn. More then one winner? Lottery!

Contest closes on St. Patrick's day.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Quiet Weekend

Before I start, I must thank you all for your kind wishes on our anniversary, you are all very sweet! Now on to your regularly scheduled post.
First I was mentally preparing a post on how cool it sometimes is to see movie production residue.

(The Bourne Ultimatum, if you care)

Then I was inconvienced by the same movie and was going to post a rant on how annoying it is to have streets closed by movie production crews. (They wouldn't let me walk down the block to the bank.)

Either post would have been combined with these before and after pictures of Little Squid.

You know the hair is too long when the following is uttered "I think I'm getting a migraine, I see the aura ... oh wait, it's just my hair."

And, while out I took these pictures of some neat buildings.

(Many of the Public Libraries in Manhattan are in buildings just like this one. I love it!)

Then Papa and I had a wonderful meal at JoJo, a leisurely walk home and a lovely conversation with a friend of my mother-in-law's who keeps asking when she can babysit for us.

Fast forward to morning and a rough wake up due to the time change and a lovely breakfast with more friends of Mike's mom while the kids were in hebrew school.

Pick up the kids plus one for the afternoon, feed them, water them and then start the garden.

Yes, the "pots" are egg cartons and yogurt containers and yes, they are sitting on top of the turtle tank for warmth. I plan on using the old, broken, tank as a "greenhouse" when it is time to start hardening them off in a month or so. My goal is a lush, green balcony this summer which will serve as my refuge from those I love.

All in all, a nice quiet weekend. Any bets on the week?

(Oh, and these arrived on Friday -- yes, Dave yarn.)

(And these were finished for someone out there in blogland.)