November 29, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving (a little late)

Ok Thanksgiving knitting didn’t go as I planned at all. I ended up teaching my husband’s cousin (who is 5) how to knit instead of working on my holiday knitting! That’s ok though – she was thrilled at the bracelet that she made and I’m happy to pass this um… skill on to another generation of knitters. I also shot myself in the foot when I tried to work on a complicated part of the epic project while watching Eddie Izzard. I should know better! I had to rip out everything that I did because of a stupid mistake. Grrrr.

Tonight I should get tons done… I’m going to SnB early and staying late since my husband is currently insufferable. Stupid Steelers. Why couldn’t they win? Don’t they know how happy they make him when they win? Hopefully a night of being introverted and playing Madden grudge matches will cheer him up. It usually does.

Here's a pic of Dexter in the first snow.... he doesn't seem to like the snow much!

November 23, 2005

Knit Some Holiday Cheer

I joined another knit along! This one is for just random holiday gifts… so now I can post pics of some of my knitting w/o fear of ruining any surprises. How fun! I’m a chronic procrastinator so of course I joined late… but seeing everyone else’s progress has really inspired me to get moving and hopefully this knit along will help me to get all of the knit gifts done this year without pulling an all nighter, stressing myself out, or getting frustrated and giving up (which is exactly what I did last year). And even if I do end up doing one of those things at least I’m not alone – there are other people out there sharing the insanity.

If you, like me, are in need of some serious holiday knitting advice call yarn harlot's help line: 1-877-SOS-KNIT.

November 21, 2005

Quiet Weekend

Ok here’s some of Jill’s pics from last weekend while I post a recap for this weekend…. Thanks for the CD Jill!!! I'll update the photoblog soon with the rest of her pics….

So yeah – weekend recap… Fri. night we went to my ‘rents for a fish fry with the grandparents. There are some serious benefits to having a father who is a fisherman - Lake Erie perch, walleye, or steelhead fried up in some Shore Lunch….Good stuff. Sat. morning we laid low… which was wonderful. Sat. afternoon we went to the West Side Market with my bro. If you live in Cleveland and haven’t been to the market you need to go immediately. They are open until 4 today. Go now. It’s amazing. I bought all sorts of spices (both the quality and price are way better than the supermarket), various meats and cheeses for lunch this week, and hand made pierogies from The Pierogi Palace. I don’t really like pierogis except for these - these are fantastic. My brother bought fresh, unsalted peanut butter. It tasted like peanuts. Soooo good. I wonder where that line is – because the reduced fat/reduced calorie Jif that I buy is probably better for you calorie wise…but I’m sure that this stuff is waaay better for you as far as additives and scary chemical stuff goes…. Which is better overall? Dunno… anyways…

Sat. night we went to a play. We subscribed to the Cleveland Play House for our anniversary – so we had 8 tickets that we can use whenever we want – we just have to call them before an hour before curtain and we can go! I’m so glad we did that. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be worth it but it really, really was. The play we saw was called I Am My Own Wife. It was about this person – Charlotte van Malsdorf – who was a transvestite in East Germany and survived being a transvestite through both WWII and Communism. Which in and of itself is amazing…. Also, Charlotte collected furniture and ran a museum during this time and was responsible for saving some seriously famous pieces. So it was interesting from a preservation perspective too – who makes history, who records history, and what is important to preserve and record? It was a one-man play – one guy played all of the roles – and I never think I’m going to like that approach but I always do. I highly recommend this one – it runs through this weekend at the Playhouse.

Sunday of course was football. This week the Bengals and the Steelers didn’t play at the same time – which meant a long day of knitting for me. We went up to the Winking Lizard to watch the games with Osam – it’s a good thing I don’t care if I knit in public! I cranked out a ton of my epic project. It actually looks like what it’s supposed to be! I hate to be so vague but Christmas will be here soon. Osam at one point asked me "whatcha knitting" and Matt says "she’s knitting a ____. She’s turning a ball of yarn into a _____. Isn’t that amazing?" Which I thought was the nicest thing to say ever. He is a hell of a guy.... Anyways, both Matt and Osam were pretty (understandably) crushed by the end of the day. Luckily Family Guy was new…. Nothing like seeing Brian dancing to "It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!!" to cheer him up. I seriously don’t know how that show does it… how they get away with everything that they do and how they find all of the references that they make. I remember the dancing banana from studio 4th year so what was that… 2002? Yeah… spring 2002…. Good times… good times…

November 18, 2005

More Murder & Housewarming

Ok so I updated the photoblog again with more Murder Mystery Party pictures. These are all from Rebecca – she used the sepia setting on her camera and they look awesome. How nice of her to resize them all so they would fit into an email!!!

Buzznet is weird and a little not user friendly in my opinion so basically to see the pics click on this link Murder & Housewarming – and then on the right hand side there is an orange bar with a blue button on it. If you click on the blue arrow it gives you more and more pictures. Sorry if that’s a little too explanatory but I know someone who missed like half of my pics b/c of that! Anyways here are some of the highlights:

"This Man is Stone Dead"

Damn it's good to be a Gangster.

November 17, 2005

Murder at the Four Deuces

The Murder Mystery party that we had last weekend was amazing! We ended up with 25 people (26 characters after Osam bit it), one extra murder, and a lot of empty liquor bottles. Everyone dressed up. Everyone. It was awesome. The food was great (Thanks everyone for helping out!!!), the company was great, and the game was phenomenal. I was waiting to post a recap for the rest of the pics but it seems like that could take awhile (Rebecca and Jill I’m talking to you!). So for now I posted a gallery of all of Jessica’s pictures on my photoblog….. here’s the link – Murder Mystery Party

The awards were:
Best Costume (pictured left): Velma Blake (Alyson I) & Cash Steal (John J)
Best Actor: Baroness Ravioli (Laura G.)
Most Money at the end of the night: Harriet Hambini (Alison I)
Super Sleuths: Sly Sleeze (Dan), Jack "Greasy Thumbs" Guiseppi (Peter), Guilda Guilseppi (Bridget) and Cash Steal (John J)

At first I was worried that the game wasn’t going to fly – it took everyone a little while to get into it…. But once Big Jim went to make his toast, we killed the lights, and shot him the game got really good. Everyone got so into their role – I got to scream at Osam, grease the accountant with free admission to my "clubs", and generally secure that my husband would be taking over the Chicago operations…. I paid off the reporter, the mayor, and the congressman and tried to recruit new "workers" for my operations. But I was far from the most into it – the guys were wheeling and dealing all night. At one point Matt, Joel, Osam, and the politicians were in the back room of the basement trying to reach an agreement and LB & Rebecca were listening at the door and feeding all the info to Alice (the reporter) in order to seek revenge on Brian for being paid by Osam to cheat on Rebecca with LB. Oh yes it was a tangled little web… but what a great game. I’m also very impressed at all of the different groups for mingling so well…. Family, Cleveland friends, and College friends all hung out and worked together to screw each other. It was fantastic.

The party must have been a success because when I mentioned that there is a Murder at the Four Deuces II everyone seemed interested. Perhaps we have to make this an annual event!

I also have to give a big thank you to everyone for the housewarming gifts and for helping out with everything. Megan got us an awesome snow shovel which from the looks of things will be very useful tonight, Laura P gave us a Christmas Cactus which is in full bloom (I can’t get mine to even produce buds! I think it gets too much light. Next year that plant’s going in the closet for October), and Sarah T gave us some fantastic wine. Alyson T gave us the most random, fun thing ever…. A Slip ‘n Slide!!!! So now I can’t wait until summer when we can set up that bad boy.

In knitting news (I swear this is a knit blog, really), I have been knitting a lot this week…. But nothing that I can post. It’s all gifts. The epic project is taking forever Sandlot style but it’s looking awesome. I’m going to post some pics on the knit along site so if you email me I’ll send you the link. I also plan on making my first ever knitpicks order sometime soon – does anyone have any thoughts on their Andean Silk? I want it for things that are worn close to the body – scarves and mittens and such – but I’m worried about it itching b/c of the wool content… any thoughts?

November 15, 2005

Arrested Development

This sucks.

Stupid Fox. Stupid Prison Break. Stupid Ratings.

Apparantly Emmy's don't matter.


November 13, 2005


So the Murdery Mystery/Housewarming party was this past weekend and it was AMAZING. I’ll post about that tomorrow though – I’ll set up a gallery for all of the pictures tonight. For now I want to show off our house – We moved in about 2 months ago and it’s really been a whirlwind. We have painted so frickin’ much…. But things really, really came together this past week. So here are some after shots….

Downstairs Bedroom #1 "Red Room/Guest Room":

The bedroom was painted in this horrible off-peach color and not very well. It looked like someone had slapped a coat of neutral over whatever was there before…. The thing is that we blew our entire painting budget on the upstairs so we needed to redo this room on the cheap…. Luckily we had leftover paint kicking around! The ceiling paint and off-white wall paint were out of my mom’s paint stash. The red wall was leftover from the apartment – we had bought paint to match the mullions but never did anything with it. We used the same semi-gloss trim paint as we used upstairs so that wasn’t too costly….Add a few curtains and touch-up paint the furniture and an old mirror and Voila! Finished guestroom. I’m very happy with the way this turned out vs. how much it cost us to do….

Downstairs Bedroom #2 "Office/Gray Room"Basically this was the same deal as the other bedroom – we had to redo it with zero money. We used the gray paint that we had painted the concrete columns in our apartment mixed with some light blue that my mom had and got a lighter gray. Then the yellow was leftover from the big yellow box in our apartment…. Perfect for an accent wall. My wonderful grandmother found us a day-bed hand-me-down from one of her knitting friends (yes my grandmother has knitting friends, too!). She made a slipcover and pillows for it and it is the perfect couch! Add a cheap desk from staples and wireless internet and we have our very own office! Oh yeah – we have wireless internet now. It rocks so hard…. So now all of our friends with laptops can come over and play on line wherever.

2nd Floor Studio:
I love this space. I know it’s completely empty but that’s what I love about it right now. There is so much potential. We could move the drafting board up there and make it a true studio… or the computer and make it an office… or a couch and make it a nice comfy spot for me to knit or read w/o Madden in the background…or I could put a loom here…..or build shelves across one of the walls….or Matt could put another tv and his playstation and make guy-land…or as Matt's brother said turn it into a music room...or even sometime down the road this could be anything. This is our flex space…. The space that gives us room to grow. But whatever we make it the dormer is absolutely the perfect spot for my bead table. I get my own little beading cubby!!! This is honestly the room that sold the house for me.

It was painted a dark, dark blue with even darker trim. I’m not really a blue person to begin with and dark would definitely not do for the crafting studio I had envisioned. So we went with the same color scheme as for our bedroom – Chocolate Brown accent walls and then medium brown (up the same paint strip) on the arched walls and light brown on the other flat walls. It’s a lot pinker than I had originally planned but I like it…. The color is one of those hard to describe colors that seems to change on us….

By the way… the built-ins are filled with yarn. Yup… I get my very own set of built-ins for my stash. And when I run out of room in the built-ins there is a huge storage area in the attic off of this room! I seriously think sometimes that house was built for us…. Oh and these twisty branch thingies came off of a bush in my front yard! I really like the way they look just bare and in a vase.

Our Bedroom:

Since our house is what realtors would call a bungalow (meaning it has bedrooms on the first floor), we decided to take over the 2nd floor bedroom as a master suite of sorts. There is a half-bath up there so it works out perfectly. It was painted a light purple/blue and then sponge painted in hot pink, cark blue, and purple over half of the wall. There is a previous post called "Before" that has a pic of this awfulness. Although I think the previous owners had a young daughter and this was her room – so I guess hot pink sponge paint would be appropriate for that. And whoever had painted this did a great time and had obviously spent alot of time on it. For us, however, the pink had to go.

We went with a similar color scheme as the studio - dark brown for the flat walls and a gold color for the sloped walls and ceiling. The bed and nightstands are Ikea- which I had my eye on for years and jumped all over once we found out that we couldn't fit the boxspring up the stairs. We also bought the wood slat blinds once we learned that there is a street light directly across from our bed…..But the hand painted curtains are the real showstopper. My mom bought them in Italy over 25 years ago. My grandmother reconfigured them to fit with our windows.. I love design like that – some things mass produced so it's within our budget with little touches that make it uniquely ours. I'm so happy with the way it turned out I can't even tell you. Even Dexter has his own little cubby - we put his bed into one of the built-ins making him very happy.


The paint colors are most definitely not ours. Basically all we did in here was put in the stove and the dishwasher. A major redo will probably come next spring or summer…. But we haven’t decided how far we want to go with it yet. The kitchen table and chairs were a great Cosmic Collectables find – yeah for second hand shops!

So yeah… That’s my house! It’s amazing what having a party will get you to accomplish…..

In knitting news I haven’t done anything in over a week… but tonight my only plans are to eat leftover dips, watch Arrested Development Season I and Monday Night Football, and knit. So hopefully I’ll have some progress to show on something soon.

November 7, 2005


So one of the things that was said in the eulogy was that my great-grandmother treated her good friends like family…. Something that I definitely relate to considering how wonderful my friends have been during this difficult time. I received a personal email from just about all of them telling me that they are sorry for my loss. Which was wonderful enough…. But then on Saturday my parents received a flower arrangement from them. I can’t tell you how touched I was by that. We have some very, very good friends.

Thanks, guys.

November 4, 2005

Sad blog

So I know my blog has been depressing lately but that’s life I guess….Last night was really sad. I helped my mom pick out pictures to display at the wake this afternoon. Today and tomorrow are going to be so much sadder.

Nonni’s obituary took up like half of a column in the newspaper just to list all of her family. As sad as this all has been she passed away in the best possible way. She lived such a good life and really had a chance to say goodbye. All of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren saw her in her last week. That’s truly amazing. And she was completely there until the end – she never went senile or lost her memory or any of those awful things that can happen. She even beat my grandfather at a game of cards a few days ago! Her body just shut down. I think we’re all trying to find some comfort in that.

I’m leaving for the wake now. Please keep my family in your thoughts this weekend.

PS. Earlier today someone im-ed me – I hit escape accidentally as it was part of the AutoCAD command that I was working on – I have no idea who it was. So if you im-ed me and I ignored you I’m sorry!

November 3, 2005

Anita S.

My great-grandmother died last night. Her 99th birthday was last Tuesday. She was an amazing, intelligent woman who taught me how to knit and play cards. She will be missed.

November 1, 2005

Trick or Treat!!!

Ok so I have pictures from last night but unfortunately my camera is sitting on my kitchen table and not here with me at work. I’ll update this post tomorrow with pics!

So last night we threw a little impromptu shindig in order to celebrate two firsts – our first ever trick-or-treaters and our first ever time grilling out at our new house. My parents got us a sweet Weber kettle grill for a housewarming present – but it didn’t get here until last week (damn off-season shopping). Osam, Gavin, Andy and Jill came over. It was a ball!

Jill, my bro, and I sat out on our front porch and waited for some kids while plowing through a couple bottles of wine and the guys dealt with the grillin’. Did I mention that our grill kicks ass? Anyways the trick-or-treating was less then stellar. We had like 5 kids and a guy asking us for money. We talked to one kid and he said that all of the rest of the crowd was over on the side streets. We live on a main road and apparently most kids skip it. That is helped by the fact that noone on our block other than us and the people across the street from us had their lights on. What up with that? Isn’t it like a requirement of homeownership that you hand out candy at Halloween? Oh well… we still had fun.

By game time – oh yeah it was a Monday night football Steelers game – which is like a holiday in and of itself it you talk to my husband. We were all well buzzed, stuffed, and happy. Osam decided to become a Ravens fan (the traitor!) so he and Matt got to fight about calls and yell at the tv a lot. Which is always fun.

Despite the serious lack of knitting content on this blog I have actually been knitting quite a bit. Unfortunately what I have been knitting is classified as it is for gifts (I told you it was all lies to think that I wasn’t going to make anything for anyone for Christmas!). I don’t think anyone I actually know other than my SnB girls is reading this but you never know. I want to get this one really complicated part of the epic project done by this weekend. That way in the car I can knit mindlessly for hours while Osam and Matt talk football.

Last night, I also started some arm warmers for myself because it is frickin’ cold in my office. I’m going to make them with some lion’s homespun that I never did anything with (it was supposed to be a Christmas gift at one point) I was able to cast on, knit in ribbing, on double pointed needles while on a serious wine buzz. So yeah I guess my knitting skills have improved!

Tonight is the SnB potluck party although I’m not sure I’m going to be able to go…. We have so much to get done before this murder mystery it’s not even funny and we aren’t going to be here this weekend to do it! Oh well….
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