Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Category: friends (Page 3 of 3)

Random Orts. Shake ‘Em Like an iPod Nano.

1. We now both have iPod Nanos. James exclaimed he never ever thought he’d own anything Apple. I, on the other hand, work amongst the Mac devoted, and as a consumer, have looooved their marketing. So, when the new 8G Nanos went on sale at Target, coinciding with my work anniversary, I decided to engage in a little retail therapy. Since my husband likes to tell me I have to have everything better than him, I decided a couple days later to buy HIM one, too. I even loaded it with a ton of music.  So now we’re finally in this millenium, and I enjoyed using mine while doing yard work on Saturday. He was fairly amused by the “shake-to-shuffle” feature, which he proceeded to do for about five minutes (while it was hooked up to a speaker).  Mine is turquoise, his is black. I think they’re stupendous.

2. So I went to the Apple store on the Plaza, to get an armband thingy. I couldn’t have felt like a bigger Luddite if I’d tried.  I determined that one of the qualifications to be an Apple Genius is to have a really interesting haircut.

3. When we were at Em Chamas, there was one waiter who didn’t have much showmanship. He was the one serving flank steak. So now the big joke at home is to flip one’s emo hair while braying “FLANK STEAK”, just to illustrate your attitude and disdain for the situation at hand.

4. I have a dear friend coming to visit this weekend, so I was working on cleaning the guest bedroom. In the process, I discovered that I have a lot of yarn. That job springboarded to my Huge Project, and you can see, I’ve got some good storage upstairs. And a lot of yarn.

Just one day of sorting....

I still have a lot of work to do, but this makes me happy.

5. I need sunshine. This doldrums- rain crap, combined with freeze warnings, is making our household very emo. We are ready for spring.  Our thoughts on the weather can be accurately captured with two words:  FLANK STEAK.

6. My (very conservative) friend Shan accidentally went into a gay bar on one of our trips to NYC. He was reassured by the bartender (female) that it wasn’t, they served all kinds (including the two gay men at the bar).  He then told us it was a unique bar, because it had all these roosters all over the place.  I responded by asking him if he thought perhaps all the cocks in the room were a CLUE.

7. My friend Laura is finishing her final week of retail hell at Macy’s, before starting a really kick-ass job that will use her education and skills. She had posted about a certain crazy ceramic rooster that had gone on clearance and would make a great white elephant gift.

8. My friend Shan’s desk, as of last Friday:

Office Rooster

I love doing stuff like that. Ceramic rooster – $17. Making everyone laugh – worth every penny & then some.

9.  I finally got a Blackberry that works, exchanged by the eBay seller. I’ve discovered that you can chat with other Blackberry peeps (I have two!) and you can look up directions to Em Chamas because it’s in the Northland and you can’t remember the road, and you can see your email all the time. It’s pretty cool, I must say – and yes, I’d love an iPhone, but right now I’m stuck with T-Mobile (the aforementioned G-Foible) and this phone will at least get me through the end of our contract.  Still have that RAZR if anyone would like to take it off my hands; got a direct connection to Satan, should you need to be phoning him up anytime soon.

That’s it for today! Shake it up!

Happy Happenstance

Yesterday, I left for my lunchtime hair appointment. I was exactly on-time, which is always a riveting moment and should be noted, since on-time has never been one of my strengths.

My stylist greeted me with a slightly puzzled air – turns out, the appointment was for Thursday (in her book). I chalked it up to her pregnancy brain, because I never make plans on Thursdays, as I am often at a client meeting that can last an undertermined amount of time. This week, I wasn’t going, so I just told her it wasn’t a problem & I’d see her tomorrow, and now I could go to CostCo and get a new mini-fridge for my office!

You know, the old one-door-closes-and-a-window-opens thing? Or, make-the-best-of-it? So into the blowing cold wind & tiny snowflakes I went. Walked into CostCo and saw my BFF Beth! She was there to pick up pictures, but they’d mucked up the print job & needed to be redone. She didn’t have plans, so we cruised through CostCo together. I especially liked the part where I wrestled the enormous fridge box into my cart, telling her that while I knew she wished she COULD help me, secretly, I was hoping everyone around us would look at her with disdain for not helping her friend out. (She is not able to lift anything over 10# right now while recovering from a procedure.) (Obviously I was prepared to wrestle this by myself. She actually helped by holding the cart still.)

I got a fancier, bigger model (of course you did, I hear my husband utter), but I had researched them on Consumer Reports, and they basically hated all those little ones. The brands of the bigger ones they did like still cost a bit over $100 online, just for the hated-little size. So, that was all the justification I needed, my fridge is the equivalent of hunting quail with an elephant gun, but whatev. CR said it’s good, and that’s all I need!

Getting it in the car would have been easy, had the Murano been cleaned out. We purposefully didn’t get it seated in the cart, so it would be easier to offload. But I had to keep tilting and wedging the box in the hatchback area, and all I could think about was when I first moved here, and moved a 70-plus pound air conditioner into my apartment – by myself. That was a bitch and a half. People walked by me and watched me struggle then, too. Whatever. I am MIGHTY, dammit, and I am tenacious, and I am stubborn.  I realized afterwards that some of the looks might have been because my shirt had pulled down and my bra & a nice expanse of my bosoms were greeting the world cheerfully. Hm.

After that, we grabbed a bite at the Westport Flea Market, and I was greatly amused to have my order called in song. (to the tune of Snoop Dogg/Pharrell’s “Beautiful”) “Jennifer….. I just want you to knoooow….that your food is doooone.”

The new fridge is fantastico, if a bit overkill for an office fridge, but it actually keeps things cold (the other one conveyed more like … the notion of cool.) I actually had shards of ice in my Diet Coke this morning, so I took the temperature down a smidge. I like the ice, but I also put some apples in there, and I don’t want those frozen. Of course, I could put them in the crisper. Yes. I now have a crisper. Currently it holds the mini ice cube trays. For the mini freezer. Yes.  Shush.

‘Twas a happy day. I did get my haircut today, it’s fabulous! I came back and ate my sammich from my new fridge & need to figure out who has Diet Coke on sale so I can stock up. And then, tomorrow’s Friday! Yippee skippy! Cold weather & knitting go hand-in-glove!

It’s A Small World After All….

OK, I’m going to start by saying THANK GOD this is finally DST weekend. Because I got up at 7 am, to go to Liberty, to a craft show. Not your run-of-the-mill craft show, no, but a craft show with kick-ass good crafts. It was a lot of fun, and I did a good job of shopping, both for myself and for others. There were lots of unique finds, and we spent about an hour, toodling around the building, saying howdy to our buddy Ana, and making our purchases.

After that, we made our way to the Old Mill Stitchery, which carries some nice yarns (lots of Berroco), and has some stitchery-type things, plus a HUGE room for wool rug making. I fell in love with a small rug, and then instantly fell out of love with it once I saw the price tag. ($700. It was drop-dead gorgeous, but certainly not going underfoot at that price!) I got a cute little kit with wooden bowls designed to use up your leftover sock yarns, and it was pretty inexpensive.

Then it was time to find something to eat.  Beth wanted breakfast-y food (it was 10:30) and Laura & I really didn’t care, we just started eyeballing things as we were driving through the big shopping area up there. B saw a Steak & Shake, and since we knew they’d not only be open, but they’d serve just about anything, I turned right…. and moments before making that turn, saw “The Corner” in the opposite direction. So we did a U-turn, because lawd, if you haven’t ever been, they make cinnamon & sticky buns the size of your head. And all the food is good. Which is why there’s always a wait.

The beautiful thing about knitting is that it gives you patience when you need it. We had our name on the list, estimated wait was half an hour, and we sat outside on a bench, all three of us with our knitting. Chatting back and forth, jumping each time the overhead PA system sprang to life, knitting the minutes until we were called. Suddenly, a man crossing the parking lot looks over at us, and starts waving and shouting “HEY THERE!” We are all instantly confused, thinking surely he must mean someone else. Within thirty seconds, though, I realize, this is a former client of mine, and his name jumps into my head, and I find myself waving back saying, “Well, Hell! Hello there, Danny!” He comes over and shakes my hand and introduces himself (uh, I remember you, I said your name!) and we exchange pleasantries. He goes back to his wife, they head to their car, and we’re left chuckling about our confusion and the randomness of me running into someone in Liberty (which for those following from another location, this is a northern suburb, approximately 30 miles away from me, and not someplace I frequent.

Then,  a guy walks buy, and I look at him, and say, out loud, “That’s Chip! Hi, Chip!” Because it is CHIP from Kansas City SWAT, and I’ve not only met him, I have his autographed picture. Beth starts laughing. Chip turns to look at me, and I realize I’ve done all this out loud. “Hi Chip! We met at Jimmy Johns a while back, how ya doin’.” He is kind enough to go along with this and even mentions the correct location, saying he remembers, and hi, how ya doing today, and are we waiting to be seated, or have we already eaten? Which would be rather funny, to have eaten and parked ourselves on a bench to haaaaang and knit, but ok, it’s not like my stream of consciousness is going to correct yours, Chip, you could crack my head open WITH YOUR MIND and a TEASPOON. He goes in to check on the wait, returns, gets his wife, and we all nod at each other again like we’re old pals. I’m hoping to be able to use my ever-growing connection to Chip, SWAT team leader, for more blog fodder down the road, I’m just putting that out there right now.

We had a fantastic waiter (Charles) (he’s in charge) (I love him), great food, and an all-around successful, entertaining morning. I’m sleepy, so I should get a nap in before I head off to the festivities tonight – also up north, but more towards the west this time.

I realized as I was typing that it’s November now, but October marked the ten-year anniversary of my move to Kansas City. I think I came here mid-month, for my job. And every year I’m here, the universe seems to get just a tiny bit smaller. But ever so much more colorful, and ever so entertaining. I love it!

Is a Knitting Hangover a YarnOver?

Wowza, what a weekend!

Saturday was the Sunflower Knitting Guild’s Kansas yarn crawl. Laura volunteered to drive us, and Carmen, Jen & I gallivanted together. Carmen is the (self-proclaimed) Ghetto GPS, and at some point, I had to point out she didn’t have an “off” button. She retorted it done broke off and you gotta get the pliers out if you wanna change it! Well served comeback, my friend. There was a lot of laughing, needless to say, in between our shopping.

We went to Knit Wit, where I bought two skeins of beyootiful laceweight yarn. (You get so much yarn for the moneh, oo oo, oo ooo) It’s in BlueBlood Red.
Lacey Lamb

Then we went to the Needle Nest, and I didn’t find any yarn there that had to come home with me. I picked up a couple of Amy Butler patterns, and admired some fabric, but it was getting pretty crowded inside, I was starting to overheat and it seemed like a good idea to get outside and out of the way. Laura took this pic of us under the vine-covered arbor in front of the shop:

(Nobody was outside with us, so we couldn’t get a foursome shot. And my picture? Did not turn out. My little Kodak gets fussy if you don’t let it whir and think for at least 15 seconds after you take a picture. Grrrr. But, at least the Canon behaves & all the rest of the pics were taken with that.)

Back to the narration! After Louisburg, we zipped off to Lawrence, and were 45 minutes early for our visit to Tracy Bunker’s studio, so we trekked over to the DQ, and had us a snack. I love the DQ. We arrived back at her studio at the same time everyone else on the crawl got there, so we all descended at once. I bought some Rayon Ruffles in Dragonfly – the colors are atypical for me, and it was really reasonably priced. The only downside is that I noticed her sweet dog Ruby had a bunch of little black bugs on her tummy, so I’m quarantining the yarn until I’m sure I didn’t bring home anything unwanted visitors for our dogs. (We use Advantix on them, but still. It’s a battle I don’t need!)

Rayon Ruffles

The last stop was the Lawrence mecca, The Yarn Barn. I wasn’t going to get anything, actually, until I saw a shop sample of a cute cotton tote bag. They didn’t have the pattern, but I got some cotton yarn, and it’s a crochet pattern, so I figure, why not, I can single stitch crochet like a mad woman, maybe I could crank something out super fast?! Who knows. It looked like a relatively simple shell stitch, and it’s for their learn-to-crochet class. Famous last words, I know – but it shouldn’t be :that: hard?

Saucy Cotton

We went back to our carpool meet-up spot, and then Carmen and I went on to Joann’s, because I had to get more candy melts for the next day’s activity! Yup. We had a Ravelry meet-up at The Studio, Sunday afternoon. And because cupcakes are practically the official dessert of Ravelry, we had a cupcake contest. Boy, did we get a lot of cupcakes! It was awesome! Mine were simple – white cake, chocolate frosting, edible glitter, and then the toppers were the Studio’s daisy, made out of colored candy. I was inspired!

Daisy close-up

Studio Logo Daisy on Cupcakes

Then, since I was on a roll with the candy-making, I made dipped and molded pretzels as well. (Those did not go to the event. The Wo loves ’em.)
Pretzels in chocolate

We had a GREAT turnout, with around 45 knitters & crocheters & spinners showing up!

It was a sunny day, and everyone pretty much clung to the shade.

Ravelry Meet Up at The Studio
Everyone Clings to Shade

There were all sorts of cupcakes:
Cindy, Laura & Angela

My cupcakes won for Manager’s Choice, and I got a fabulous “Ripped” shot glass. I also won a Studio goody sack, and then my name got drawn AGAIN, but they picked another person, because seriously, it would have looked rigged at that point. (It wasn’t! I swear!)

The best part about yesterday is this:

Successful Food Drive for Harvesters

We got an entire table full of food donations for Harvesters. Knitters are good, generous folks! And they can bake like fiends, too….

Now I need a weekend, to recover from my weekend. Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a posthumous shout-out to George Carlin. He was just here a minute ago! Man, what a funny, funny dude. He will be missed, and I can only aspire to swear as much as he did.

Gummy Smiles….

Thanks for the notes and comments yesterday. I went home and JWo was a super husband, frying up homemade hot wings (extra extra crispy) and then made me a PB&J sammich with the chocolatiest milk, ever, for dinner. We watched a movie, and just had a quiet night. I didn’t want to talk much, so I just did my knitting & watched the television. When I went to sleep, I did what I usually do – stare out the window, looking at shapes and whatever I can see, depending on the clouds and moonlight. One of my favorite visuals that I had a child, and now get in my life because of our big yard, is lightening bugs, twinkling away. I started writing a really kick-ass haiku in my head, and almost got up to write it down, but alas, I didn’t, and of course, it’s gone. In any event, it was another point of reassurance in my life, as true as a cold glass of milk coats your throat, that life goes on, things are ok, I’m going to find joy and sadness throughout the journey, and it’s better to feel them fully than insulate yourself, because without one, you cannot have the other.

It was also interesting yesterday, because a couple people called me to chat, unaware of the date’s significance; my friend Shelley called from a nearby park, and I suggested she and Miss Kara swing by if they had the time. Miss Kara is growing up and her personality has grown by leaps & bounds since I last saw her. Holy Toledo! And now, she interacts even more, and treated me to countless enormous, hilarious, gummy grins. So I had to take some pictures. A snuggly, funny kewpie doll, on a day when I could use a little pick-me-up.

Starting to wind up the gummy grin...

It Starts on One Side...

Beaming the Gums

And Almost A Wink...

I realize I’m biased, but I think she is absolutely gorgeous, and hilarious, and no, her eyes simply cannot get any bigger. However, she may be emulating a Saint Bernard, because LORDY that child can drool. (Her teeth are starting to come in.) It was just the entertainment that I needed!

Choppin’…. Broccoleeeeeeee……

I recently hosted a small figurine, in the shape of broccoli, at my home. Traveling Broccoli is his website, and you can see & read about all of his adventures. Bekah discovered he’d smuggled himself into her suitcase after a visit to relatives in Illinois, and since then, he’s been on adventure after adventure! I’ve offered to have him back during warmer weather, because not only did he not get to see the great fountains of Kansas City, but he didn’t get any barbecue.

He did get a horror show when he went into our freezer to have a little ice cream, though. Poor dude.


Thoughtless of me, really.

So I took him shopping, where I shop best – at The Studio, of course, and Broc really seemed to like the yarn:
Broc Visits A Yarn Shop!

I thought he was going to fall asleep in the cashmere bin….who wouldn’t?

OOOOOH! Cashmere Is Softer!

We’ve had some crazy weather here – yesterday brought us insane blowing snow, plummeting temperatures, slick roads & whatnot – so it’s good that as Broc climbed back into his VIP Veggie Transporter (we don’t tell him it’s a USPS Priority Mail box), he had a whole ensemble to keep him snug and warm:

Socks, Mitts, Scarf & Hat

Um, yeah. I knit him a scarf, hat, mitties & socks. Out of Claudia HandPaint, leftover from my Chevron Scarf. For my knitters, who are shaking their heads right now and reminding me maybe this is why my Noro socks are taking so long, it was super quick & easy. OH? You want to knit some for your inanimate vegetables? Well, all I did was: 4-stitch I-cord for the mitts, 5-stitch I-cord for the socks, simple garter stitch lengthwise for the scarf, and a completely made-up pattern for his hat. Since I didn’t do as many photo shoots as I wanted to, I felt the least I could do was get him some knitwear couture to have as a souvenir of his visit.

Where’s Broc going next? Why, Mardis Gras, of course!!!!

My Buddy Greg

Imagine, if you will, someone who parallels George Costanza. I adore our friend Greg. He is actually one of my oldest friends here in Kansas City, because we worked together at my first agency (and my second…) and then he decided it might be a better idea to get a degree in law & jump out of the Crazy Ad Train. Now he shuttles between KC & D.C., and he said he won’t come to our fish fry if he doesn’t appear in my blog. Never one to disappoint – and I’ve never forgotten the fact I didn’t give him the birthday present he wanted so many years ago (me doing comedy improv at an improv place in town!), so I figure I still owe him.

Greg, G, where do I begin? Do I talk about the time at coffee night, you decided to leave one of those comments on the KCTV5 machines they were shuttling around town? And you were paranoid about us hearing you, so you got really close to the camera, which resulted in an EXTREME close-up? (I um, still have the tape, too, btw. Think about if you decide to run for office…) Or the fifty cents? We’d often lunch at Tanner’s, and Greg could always be counted upon to kvetch about how they always stiffed him with the extra fifty cents, because of course you leave the change on top of your tip and ALWAYS with the fifty cents, so I went and bought him a cake for his birthday, that had a Snickers bar cut into thirds on top? And washed two shiny quarters and cemented them between the spaces and dubbed it the fiddy-cent cake. Perhaps it was the time he dated a former Miss Minnesota, and broke out in hives and his doctor ordered him to stop dating her. (That was classic Greg-Costanza behavior!) Greg is such a good friend, he helped me move into Widow Creek, and amid all the stress, I remember two points of near-hysterical laughter: Greg whispering “I see old people!” (because Widow Creek was practically a nursing home) and Greg getting stuck with the really bad dolly that had one wheel that just went apeshit side-to-side.

Greg’s dating life and updates have always been awesomely funny, and again, he could have his own sitcom if he really put his mind to it. For a while there, it seemed like Greg ran into people he knew every time he was out with his girlfriend, and he had her convinced that he was almost a KC celebrity. (Almost.) In that vein, he also sent out one of the funniest pictures I’ve ever seen, telling all of us, hey! I was at this function, and look at the picture of me with Jason Whitlock (sports writer for the Kansas City Star) and Buck O’Neil (legendary baseball player & KC native)!

Here’s that famous pic…. Buck, Jason & Greg….
Buck Jason Greg
(oh, yeah, Greg’s white. He’s over Jason’s shoulder.)

The best thing about Greg is that he never hesitates to laugh at himself. The other best thing about Greg is that he’s a great, true friend. He called to check on me last summer, to see how I was doing, and I know that even though we have gaps and distance and time between when we see each other, he’s still my friend, we pick up and get up-to-date and have some more laughs. I know you’ll be in D.C. when we have the fish fry, my friend, but we’ll put up your supermodel photos I took last time you were in town, in your honor.

Greg, showing his best Blue Steel:
Getting His "Blue Steel" On...

Happy 4th of July, Greg. Your KC peeps miss ya!


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