Shutting down

Im shutting this blog down and starting a new public blog on wordpress.

email me if you dont already know what the address is.

Happy Halloween

We had an awesome day yesterday. Nothing like Halloween to get you into fall, especially when you have a toddler.

We baked some awesome cookies

Hung around giving out treats and acting silly

Then went outside to "help" dad with the leaves outside

Then out to get us some candy. and by "us", I mean "me".

Hope your day was awesome too.

Friday night haiku

Wet day, cozy night
hurry knit a hat and scarf
Rhinebeck tomorrow

la grande festività

So I never told you about the big party.

As I said, we use the boy's birthday as an excuse to throw a big family party. We have a big one, there's 50 of us in all on my dad's side, and believe it or not, we see each other fairly often. It seems as though this party has fast become a family favorite, and is one of the few occasions where everyone is in attendance.

Every year we have a theme, and it is kept a surprise until the invitation is sent. We get harrassed all year to reveal it which keeps everyone guessing (and truth be told, gives us good
ideas for future parties). This year we decided to revive a tradition from our youth.

The Italian Feast.

No, not feast as in Big Night, or something you'd eat at Babbo. I'm talking good old church parking lot kind feast. "Casino games" in the rectory kind of feast. Pin a dollar on the saint
before it gets carried down the street kind of feast. Think San Gennaro. Get it?

If you've never lived in or near an urban city, particularly with an italian neighborhood, you may not know what I'm talking about, and unfortunately I'm not a good enough writer to describe it all to you. But I have the fondest memories of spending summer nights at my
cousin's house on the nights "the Feast" was going on. My aunt and uncle were active in their church so we were allowed to roam the place at will, a few dollars in our pockets for the games. My uncle worked the Sausage and Peppers booth, so we always split one for dinner. A big bag of zeppoles for the way home. As we got older, we ignored the games and food and set our sights on all the boys. I can close my eyes and remember clearly the sights and smells of those warm nights, giggling over the silliest stuff, following the boys without being too obvious (and
steering clear of the sausage and pepper booth) and staying up way too late (waiting for the
midnight mass of course). One year, the house next to my aunt was knocked down and they built a parking lot adjacent to a small church that was on the street behind. That year the feast was right next door! My cousin and I would beg for permission to go every night, with the excuse that we were just going to buy zeppoles to bring home to share. My cousin and I still
talk about the times we jumped the fence and lied about how long the lines were just so we could stay longer.

So we tried to bring a little of that to my backyard. Here's what we did:

This is the invite. We made it in photoshop and made it into a postcard as if it were really a feast advertisement (rsvp info on the back). The faces have been smudged to protect the innocent, but my husband was photoshopped into the first picture, I'm the nun making zep
poles with my aforementioned aunt in the background, and my dad is on the accordion. Obviously, my monkey is the one holding the pizza. My son's name was in place of the usual patron saint (funny enough August 29th is the day of another saint who shares the same name as my mom).

We had someone make us a huge banner (as a favor, free!) and we made tinsel decorations like you typically see in the streets at the feasts:

We strung red white and green flag banners (think used car lot) across the yard crisscrossed with strings of christmas lights and put gaudy decorations everywhere we could.

We cooked and baked for two and half days straight. I hand rolled over 100 meatballs and my husband must have cut up 40 peppers. Authentic signage.

This is a samping of the cookie tray I made. Clockwise from left are Sesame Seed cookies, Italian Wedding Cookies, Lemon "S" cookies, Apricot biscotti and Florentines. Not pictured are the rainbow cookies. I made about 3 dozen of each and they ate every. last. one.

Of course it's not a feast without Zeppoles. My dad was in charge and there were crowds 3 people deep around him waiting for them. We put a few in paper bags with powdered sugar and gave them out.
All my son was interested in was playing with everyone until the cake came out. He is currently in a complete obsession with Toy Story. Every present he got had Buzz or Woody on it. So naturally, I had to make him a Toy Story cake. He loved it to death and kept asking to see it in the refrigerator all day. And yes he is wearing a "guinea tee" or the more crass "wife beater" shirt - my brother thought that was a requirement at this kind of party. Ah stereotypes...

A good time was had by all. We were completely exhausted by the end. And in case you're wondering, yes, we do already have next year's theme picked out. But I ain't tellin', you'll just have to wait and see....

Happier Things

Thanks for your support in my last post. I realize that my boss is just an immature jerk, and while I'm not really offended, I just dont know how much longer I can work for someone who I just dont respect.

But as the title suggests, this post is about happier things.

First up, Nursery School! This week the monkey had his first official day of real live school. We had intended to just put him in a two day a week class at the same place he was going for a "mommy and me class" (or in our case, "all mommies and one daddy class"). The teacher there convinced us that he was ready for the four day a week class, and since it's close to home and only two and half hours, we agreed. An added plus is that the husband will use that time to go to the gym, something he's been trying to fit in his schedule forever. So while in general I am
happy that he is in school learning and socializing, there is a little piece of me that is completely freaked out about it. Taking his picture on the front steps with his backpack was
completely surreal and brought me back to the times my parents did that to us. In any case, he was damn cute.

On day three the teacher told us he had to be in time out for not listening. Sigh. Let the games begin.

And of course a post about happy things has to include knitting. I finished up that shawl a few weeks ago and my brother's girlfriend seemed to love it. It looked great on her.

Pattern: Shape Shift Shawl from Interweave Crochet (Summer 2009)
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss Lace in Celery - about three and half skeins
Mods: Added two extra buttons on each end (10)
Comments: It grew quite a bit when blocking, but I didn't mind the larger size. The drawstring idea is very cool, but you really have to tie it to make it stay. Also the button holes were too big, but you can really put the buttons through any of the holes without it looking funny. Would definitely make this again. My ravelry details here.

I also made another pair of the Mary Jane Skmimmers to match the Helena sweater I made previously.
I decided I don't love this pattern. The double soles throw the construction out of whack for me and its difficult for me to make two that look alike (or one that doesn't look slightly orthopedic). And I think the designer crochets very tightly because these come out more slipper like (flimsy) as opposed to being a real shoe as they appear in the designer's pictures.

Next up I am making my very first sweater, and for myself. I can't remember the last time I made something for myself. It's the "Hey Teach!" sweater from knitty out of Cotton Ease. I snagged this awesome magengta yarn on clearance ("azalea" colorway) and its pretty much my favoritist color in the world. Finished the back and have started the left front.

Lastly, I joined a gym. For the first time ever in my life. It's two blocks from my job, they cater to the Wall Street crowd (early mornings and late nights), its clean, bright, has tons of equipment and they were running a sale that gave me no excuse to refuse. I'm hoping I can start to fit in some exercise this way - I know that when everything else turns to shit, if you can at least feel good about yourself, you can deal with it. I'll let you know how it goes.

How was your week?

Tell me it's not me.

I wish they would invent something that would upload the blog post that develops in my brain when I don't have access to a PC. I have several formulated in my head but not a minute to type it up.


It's been a rough few weeks over here. Work has royally sucked and made me miserable at home because I can't sleep or stop thinking about all the crap I have to deal with. But I'm hoping the worst of it has passed. My right hand man guy who quit? I got him to stay. I'm not even sure what happened - whether I convinced him or if he decided he was nuts and was waiting for a chance to change his mind. In any case, he's staying and that takes enormous pressure off of me. We went back and forth all day, and literally minutes before the happy hour we scheduled for his send off, he came in my office and put out his arms for a hug, sealing his decision to stay. After that, I dragged him to the bar and forced him to buy me a very large Goose & 7, and watched in delight as those who came to the going away party harrassed him unrelentingly for giving me more gray hairs than my 3 year old.

With that behind me, work is slightly more tolerable. My boss is a jerk and I'm not sure how much longer I can stand to work for him. I'm going to update my resume and start looking for another job. Boy that feels so good to "say" that out loud. Last week in the midst of everything I had a little mini breakdown and was so happy that my parents and husband were supportive. I expected everyone to tell me to just suck it up and be happy I have a job in this sucky economy. But they didn't. So I'm going to take it slow and see what I can find. Maybe nothing, maybe something, we'll see. But I've been at this company 10 years and I think it's time.

A funny little thing happened which also convinces me it's time to go. CrazyAuntPurl had a little post about signs the other day, so that concept was in my head. After a particularly crappy work incident (which involved my boss saying "sorry', me saying "no you're not" and him saying "you're right I'm not" hello are you twelve) I was in the car, stuck in traffic and thinking about my job situation and if I should really leave. All of a sudden I look up and see a billboard that says: "Recession 101: Self worth beats Net Worth". It was so weird because there were no other words on the billboard and you couldn't even figure out what the ad was for (turns out it was from here). So I'm taking it as a sign, literally!

Now when I say my boss is a jerk, I am not kidding. He's not usually a jerk to me, just a jerk in general. But he's quite arrogant and competitive (which he freely admits) and most times I just deal with it, and sometimes even use his rough personality to my advantage - I talk to him like he talks to me and he seems to appreciate that he doesn't have to be all prim and proper with me. But lately it's been too much. He's been dismissive and inconsiderate and I'm tired of it. He allows a colleague to say negative things about me, tells me about it and then does nothing. He consults other people and makes decisions on my department without involving me. I complained about it the other day and he wasn't supportive at all. I said "so what you're saying is stop being a baby and just suck it up". His answer? "Yeah pretty much". Nice right?

But the last straw came the other day. We both witnessed a woman berating her husband in a public place. She was yelling at him about taking too long with what he was doing. When we were out of their earshot, he turned to me and said "Thats why women get beat".


Are you horrified? I was. Stunned into silence in fact - and believe me it takes alot to render me speechless. I didn't do anything about it. If I say something it will cause a whole big thing and it will just be worse. What would you have done? It's not me, right? That's pretty damn awful to say to a woman, let alone your subordinate, right?

Tell me it isn't me and that I need to leave.


And I thought last week was a bad week.

Hellacious pressure at work these days, with lots of tough projects looming on the horizon and not enough hours in the day to get them done. On top of that, I'm stressing over the big birthday bash, since most of the cooking and preparation can't be done until the end of the week. The planning is slowly killing me.

On top of THAT, today, my personal friend and right hand man, came into my office and handed me the dreaded white envelope containing a letter informing me he is resigning. I am totally fucked. I don't know how I am going to be able to keep my head above water with him gone. Worse than that, I am so unbelievably hurt that he didn't discuss this with me, didn't give me any warning - just walked into my office like any other employee and gave me three lousy weeks. This weekend our families were together. He was teaching my son to swim. Not a word about it. I think he's crazy to leave for the opportunity he's pursuing. It took everything I had not to jump out my office window today. Everyone who heard called me to see if I was okay.

I'm okay. It's not a death. I didn't lose my job. My feelings are hurt right now, but I'll get over it. I'm good at getting over it. In the long run it will be better for my department because it will shake everyone up and get them to step up to the next level, myself included. I will learn alot. It will be good. But tonight I'm not going to sleep.

On the plus side - I got my blackberry back, I bought a fabulous new pair of shoes, the shape shift shawl is done and my son is tremendously excited about his party this weekend.



I'm okay.

About me...

My son is adopted.  I love to knit.  I'm the breadwinner and my husband is a SAHD.  Yes, I am slightly off center from the norm.  So?