Monday, February 28, 2011

Finished Objects: Cherry On Top Hat

This hat reminds me of a weird dessert with a cherry on top, hence the name. The cherry looks a little fermented, because it's not actually the color of a cherry, and the cat came out looking uber goofy. On a whim, I added ear flaps, which are completely ineffective because I positioned them wrong. Plus...and this is silly...I had a really hard time making a simple pom pom. Therefore, I did a weird loopy version of my own until I could get some pom pom practice. 

Sorry for the bad lighting in the pictures. I can never get a good flash pic when dealing with white yarn, so I skipped it altogether. 




Even when I make something pink and girly, I can always count on Jon to ham it up for the camera. What a good guy!

Not sure what I'm going to do with this one. I look goofy in a hat, but it does wear low enough to cover my ears and I suppose it does have some charm. Going to put it in the finished objects pile until the right use for it comes along. 

ALF

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ode to a New (to us) Car

My old car, Francesca, was a good car. She got me all over the place: Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Indiana, Kansas...back and forth between these places several times. But it was time to move on, and Jon and I decided to go ahead and make our first big married couple purchase together in our new car, Cassiopeia.








Cassi is a Chevy Impala. When we went to the dealer, I wasn't wanting another sedan, but this one was more of a super sedan. It sits high enough off the ground to be comfortable, it's got an auxiliary port for an iPod, it's got room in the back so we can travel with others, it has a huge trunk, steering wheel radio controls, cruise control, and dual temperature controls.

Best of all, she fits in our budget, thanks to the great people at Suzuki of Wichita. Even though we were there for 8 hours, they found us a good car, fed us tacos (no kidding...there was a taco bar in the car dealership), and helped us get financed.

Here's to many more travels and many good miles in our new car.

ALF

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Working on Getting Some "Class"

I've thought on and off over the past few years about going back to school. I never did decide what I wanted to be when I grew up after I realized that I no longer wanted to be what I thought I wanted to be (does that make sense)? In a nutshell, I wanted something different than what I went to college for, and so I've kind of been wandering around, falling into jobs I like but that have very little to do with my original major.

When it came to school, I was burnt out by the time I was done. Actually, I was burnt out before that, and my priorities were not what they should have been. I was in my first "real" relationship and wanted to immerse myself in that rather than paying attention to my grades. Even though I came out of it with a decent GPA, I realize that I could have done better. I just didn't.

I don't actually want to go back to school. I don't like early morning classes, I don't like lecture classes, I don't like studying. There are things I want to learn, but let's face it. I'm a lazy hedonist. I'd rather read fun books and knit and watch TV than crack open a book and do homework. Even with the abundance of online schooling now offered, I've never really gotten up the motivation to go for anything further with my education. It's cool...I'm okay with it.

However, I've decided to take some classes through my work, and I'm kind of excited about them. A co-worker of mine inspired me to do it when she told me she was taking some. Since we're employees, we get a tuition waiver of sorts, so we can up our knowledge of the industry we already work in, though we work from the sidelines. It's interesting to see what our field staff actually does in their day jobs.

I also like the thought of having a little more knowledge under my belt and maybe having some new opportunities down the road. It's not a field I ever thought I'd be in, but I think it's one I could do well in if given the chance. So technically, I'm back in class. It's online courses, and the first one I'm taking is a 60 day course. I'm trying to do some time management when it comes to studying and taking the review tests, and so far I'm doing okay.

If anyone has any time management tips, class taking skills, or words of encouragement, send them my way.

ALF

Monday, February 21, 2011

Late Valentine's Day Dinner

As is our general way of doing things, Jon and I did nothing on Valentine's Day. We waited a day and then went out to dinner at Cox Bros. BBQ here in Manhattan, KS.

I love BBQ. It's tasty, it's messy, it's tangy, and it's delicious. I hadn't really found a BBQ place around here that I really liked. Okay, I hadn't found a BBQ place at all. Cox Bros showed up a few months ago and this was our first time visiting.






Cox BBQ is like the fast food of BBQ with higher prices than say the McRib at McDonald's. However, the prices are worth it for the taste and the amount of food you get. The meat was tasty and tender. I had brisket and turkey, both of which I've had tough and dry in the past. They were awesome. I also sampled all of the BBQ sauces, but I still don't know which one was my favorite.

I avoided ribs, and therefore eliminated the messiness, but we still had a good time and a relaxing evening out.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Goodreads: Midnight Pearls - A Retelling of "The Little Mermaid"

Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of "The Little Mermaid" by Debbie ViguiƩ

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


My last review was on another book in the "Once Upon A Time" series, and while that one tried to take the realistic retelling approach, this one stuck with the fantastical aspect of the classic fairy tale while the author gave it her own little spin.

Pearl is rescued from the sea when she's only four years old, but growing up, both she and her parents realize she's a little strange. The only person who seems to accept her outside of her family is James, her best friend who she meets in secret once a week due to the fact that he's the prince...and the prince isn't supposed to mix with commoners. When James is told by his father that he must wed, he approaches Pearl, but before he can propose, their boat capsizes and everything changes.

From the sea come two mermaids: Kale, who recognized Pearl as the sea princess Adriana, and his sister Faye, who falls in love with the prince and saves him from drowning. The mer siblings make a deal with the sea witch to become human, both for different reasons, but both paying a price with the ultimate loss being death. As they try to earn the love of the ones they've fallen in love with, they are caught in a treacherous plot of those wanting to take over the throne.

This was another quick read and it wasn't bad. The writing was good, and the story had a definite air of "fairy tale" about it. While it was a retelling, it stuck pretty close to the original with a few new characters thrown in. I like retellings to be a bit more subtle, but it did what it was meant to do. I don't think it's one I'll ever read again, and it got a bit boring towards the end, but I don't consider the time I spent reading it to be a waste of time.



View all my reviews

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hello My Friends...We Meet Again...

First of all....hi there new followers! The story of my life is that I come and go, blog then disappear, and though I always have the best intentions of keeping up with all my blogs, I always end up failing somewhere. Unfortunately, this blog often gets forgotten.

As to what's been happening in my world, 2011 has been a busy year and we're not even two months out. At the start of the year, I went into a partnership with a friend as a Passion Parties consultant.

In January I helped my friends move to Oklahoma from Michigan and learned how intense road trips can be.

Last weekend, J and I celebrated our first year of wedded bliss.

In two days, we're going to Wichita to go car shopping. My girl is pretty high up in miles, so it's time to trade her in for something that will travel with us just as much as she did.

At some point in the next couple of weeks, I will be starting classes through the American Institute of Baking. I  work for the company and so have an idea of what the courses are like. This will also determine if I've grown up enough to do well in a school type setting again.

J and I have already bought our badges and booked our hotel room for Gen Con in August. This year, we're taking one of the BILs and a friend of ours along to help lower costs.

I've been reading and knitting and trying to spread my time among all my hobbies equally. I stopped posting my book reviews but will start again after I finish the current book I'm reading. As for knitting, I've been working on hats to send as Pay It Forward gifts to friends. I dabbled in a little bit of crochet too and am planning on learning more this year, even if I just read through "Crochet for Dummies." Here is the standard granny square afghan I just finished.


I call it my Spumoni blanket because for some reason, it reminds me of the ice cream.

I've been batting around what to do with this blog for a long time, and I think I'm going to stop trying to make it one thing or another. I'll continue to share projects and pictures, but I might also do some ranting and some more personal things (nothing too personal though...mostly because I really have nothing scandalous to share).    Once again, we'll see how it goes and keep on keepin' on.

ALF