Saturday, February 14, 2009

War of the Roses/Carnations

Happy Valentine's Day!

This evening, the fella and I went to see Coraline. After, we left the theater and were walking to dinner around one of those dark, windy sidewalks around the perimeter of the theater, where just about anything could be waiting for you. (After seeing Coraline, you hope it's a black cat.) We were moving at our usual brisk pace.

Suddenly, from around a corner ahead of us emerged a young woman and a young man -- say, late teens, early twenties. She was carrying a pink flower. Without anyone breaking stride, we had a brief exchange.

She held the flower out at arm's length towards us. "What kind of flower is this?!!" she demanded.

"A carnation," I told her. (Unsure, my fella didn't say anything.)

"THANK YOU!!!" she said, as if she'd been waiting for someone to say those words for quite some time. The young man behind her followed wearily as all of us went on our ways.

After a bit, the fella and I reconstructed the conversation they must have been having all night.

He: "Hey. Happy Valentine's. I, uh, got you this rose."

She: "Awww! Thank you!"

He: "Sure."

She: "That's so sweet! I really love it."

He: "Awesome."

She: "You know, it's a carnation, not a rose."

He: "Huh?"

She: "I really love it! But it's a carnation."

He: "No. I think that's a rose."

She: "No, I'm serious. That's a carnation. But I love pink."

He: "But that's a rose."

Fifteen minutes later.

She: "Look, a rose has thorns. Everybody knows that."

He: "Don't they, like, cut those off?"

She: "Look at the edges of the petals. They're all ripply."

He: "Roses do that, right?"

She: "Look, it's a carnation. Okay? The next people we see, I'm going to ask them what this is, and they're going to tell me it's a carnation."

He: "Fine. Ask them."

From around the corner emerge two very tall people on their way to dinner after seeing Coraline and hoping for a black cat.

She: "What kind of flower is this?!!"

Me: "A carnation."

The very tall fella with her stares blankly at the flower.

She: "THANK YOU!!!"

And, scene.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Pit-falls of Cooking with the Flu

I've got that nasty bug/cold/flu/whatever's going around these days. I had to go to work anyway yesterday -- there was too much my boss couldn't do on her own without destroying the office along the way -- but she let me go home early.

I came home, planning to fix one of my favorite lunches: juice, some tomato soup with a little bit of cream and some basil, crackers, and an avocado, followed by a couple Thin Mints. The plan is, I'll eat it as I read Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off and then put myself to bed.

It was the avocado that did it to me.

Everything is going according to plan. The juice is poured. The book is open to where I left off. I've got the pit out of the avocado as the soup is warming up. I use my fingers to remove it from the point of the knife when --


It does not merely fly from my fingers. It decides to play pinball with my kitchen.

It was a high-scoring game.

Here is, I kid you not, the exact path taken by the squirpy pit:

And here's the thing: as I'm madly trying to catch it, two steps behind, the whole time I'm completely aware that it is going to fall between the fridge and the counter. There is nothing I can do to stop this.

So as my tomato soup looks on forlornly, I am, with a fever of 99.4, moving a refrigerator by myself out from the wall enough to get a disgustingly dusty pit out of there before the next cockroach comes along and decides to have himself a round feast. I even gave myself a minor strain in my right pec as I rocked the thing to and fro. I took a break so I could throw a pretty sizable temper tantrum, but that didn't get the effing pit out of there. So I had to keep shoving and pulling and pushing until I could free the stupid thing. Eventually I did.

And yes, the soup was cold.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Springtime Knitting: Hanami

The other day I took a quick glance through my 2008 FOs, and it struck me that nine of fourteen projects were predominately blue or green. Of the others, we've got two brown, one gray, and (ta-da!) one yellow.

2009 shall be the year that I go nutty with colors! Yes, it shall.

It shall also be the year that I learn to crochet.

It shall also be the year for which I must first file a joint income tax return.

Here are some thoughts related to the above three points:

1. I have created an insane wedding-knitting list. The list includes a Hanami as a gift, a gift for someone who reads this blog, a whole bunch of crocheted fan bookmarks, and a counterpane clutch (yes, that's you, Erin!) for me. That's so much knitting (and hooking), it's stupid.

In my own defense, I've discovered that with a few exceptions, a gal who has produced theater events and who combines forces with a guy who has produced several live music events can manage wedding planning very well, by and large. So when I really want to be doing something for the wedding, I sometimes discover that there's really nothing to be done at present. Wacky, I know, but it's been the truth so far.

I've created a whole bunch of wedding knitting that simply must be done so I can feel productive towards planning a huge event to which I'm looking forward, very much.

Here's how far I am with my Hanami:

It's delectable. The lace is lovely. You'll also note that it is neither blue nor green.

2. I am staring straight in the face several hard-to-wear colors for this year's projects: pink, orange, yellow... These are springy colors, and with Hanami (a very springy project relating to cherry blossoms), I am clearly ready for spring to come along.

This has nothing to do with the fact that I've lost both pairs of winter gloves that I own.

3. This has nothing to do with knitting or taxes or color, but I'm attempting to cut back on or cut out high-fructose corn syrup in my diet. I'm pretty heatlhy, thankfully, but I think my system might be happier if I avoided the stuff.

Now that I'm making the effort, I've noticed just how much of the stuff is in all of our food. Apple juice? Some brands, check. Cereal? Check. Granola bars? Check. Everything I enjoy snacking on and eating for lunch? Check and check.

Please tell me if you have suggestions for fructose-free lunches. I'd love to hear.

4. How many Schedule C's can you file with a single 1040, anyway?

5. Those ladies who are not yet married: my tragic mistake thus far in planning has been to avoid choosing a single "wedding color." "Pshaw," I said at first. "Why pick just one? My fella is a graphic designer. I knit and adore colors. Surely we can pull this off without limiting ourselves to white and green, or white and blue, or white and fuschia, or whatnot. Let's have lots of colors!"

/rude buzzer noise/

My fella is near the point of tears with the effort of figuring out how to coordinate a groom and two groomsmen with bridesmaids' dresses that are dark blue with ivory lace and flowers that are peachy/coral-colored. I think some of this has to do with his work as a graphic designer and his sincere love of unified looks; my pointing out that this wedding is not a final verdict on his aesthetic philosophy (actually, I think it's a verdict on mine) is not helpful.

Honestly, I never thought it would be that hard. Lesson learned.

Got any good reference points for telling men how to dress in a manly, formal fashion that incorporates either a mid-range to dark blue or coral? I am told the groom must stand out from the two groomsmen...