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So long at the fair. September 28, 2006

Posted by marymac in Blondie and Dagwood, travel.

This weekend Blondie ditched Dagwood and Max back at the ranch and headed out to my neck of the woods so we could go to The Big E. I know it sounds like a euphemism for something dirty, but The Big E is actually short for The New England States Exposition, which is basically a state fair for all six New England states.

Yes, all six. They’re small (take two). Some of us like our small, traversable-in-a-couple-of-hours states.

I love The Big E, and lots of people agree with me.

  Like these people.

This is around 11:AM. The gates opened at 10. It took me about two hours to make what’s usually a 40-minute trip because I spent most of it sitting in this traffic.

With this scary truck trying to defy the laws of physics (there’s a law against two things occupying the same space at the same time, right?) inches from my bumper for a very, very long time.

Of course, once you get inside, the fabulousness of The Big E takes over and you forget that it took you two hours to get there. And then you had to find parking, because the official lots are always full. And then you had to walk from wherever you found parking where they weren’t charging a gazillion dollars for it. Then you’re distracted because you’re hungry and forget all about the traffic trauma whilst making your way to the one sit-down restauranty-type place at the fair because you want real food (as opposed to food of the carnival variety, that is — that’s later).

  We went outside the restaurant to wait for our table (historical building = not a lot of room for milling around waiting for tables) and saw these guys: Nuttin But Stringz — brothers from NYC who started out playing their violins (yup, violins) in the subways and are now touring and putting out albums and playing wicked cool music. I saw them on one of the late-night talk shows a while back, so it was fun to see a few minutes of them live.

After lunch, we decided to hit the livestock areas. Because what goes better on a full stomach than the lovely aromas of cows and sheep?

   One sheep.

   Two sheep.

   Three sheep. (Lousy picture, cool shirt.)

The cows weren’t ready for their closeups.

Blondie was remarkably tolerant of my need to examine everything wool-related, including the Fiber Barn (no pictures of the Fiber Barn — the lighting was kind of crappy in this building, in case you couldn’t tell by sheep shirt guy). She even bought a little felted bag in the Fiber Barn. I offered to teach her to knit one just like it, but couldn’t hear her answer over all the laughing.

After we were livestocked out, we headed for The Avenue of States. This is my favorite part of the fair — replicas of the statehouses where you can find tourism information (and free maps & magnets & stuff) and products made in that state. So I had Del’s Lemonade in Rhode Island and maple cotton candy in New Hampshire.

And then there’s Vermont. Once and future home of Ben & Jerry’s and a certain Rodent.

Happy birthday, Monkee!

Maybe one of these would be preferable?

  Alpaca alpaca duck.

We had a great time, and were totally exhausted by the end of the day. (And I, for one, was a little sticky — how is it that going to the fair always makes one a little sticky?) ( Maybe that’s too much information.) All in all a most successful Big E. Thanks, Blondie, for being such a willing victim companion.


Ten Minutes in My Head September 19, 2006

Posted by marymac in I'm so deep, knitting.

In case anyone is wondering how the penguin naming is going, I’m kind of leaning towards “Elvis the Penguin” because it’s just random enough to make me laugh. And it makes me think of Alice the Camel*. Boom boom boom.

Elvis is currently riding around in my knitting bag for no particular reason other than that’s where he ended up when I was bringing him home from Boston. He’s keeping Starsky company.

The back of Starsky as of Sunday afternoon.

I’ve gotten through another pattern repeat since I took that photo, but I was too lazy to take another picture (also, it got dark — funny how that happens in the evening). Pretend that piece is about 3 inches longer, if you don’t mind. I wasn’t excited about the Banana Tree cable pattern in the photos of the sweater, but it’s fun to knit (yes, I’m one of those freaks who likes knitting cables).

Every time I hear something about that Last Kiss movie, I get the song One Last Kiss stuck in my head. This is normal, right? How about if you were in Bye Bye Birdie in high school? Normal then? How about if you’re listening to part of the soundtrack as you blog?

Never mind.

Max says your ten minutes are up.

*Except those lyrics are wrong, because the last line is just “Because she’s a horse” — I am shocked that there is incorrect information on the interweb. Shocked!

“I learned early on that people liked you if you made them laugh.” September 14, 2006

Posted by marymac in Uncategorized.
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I did not want my tombstone to read, ‘She kept a really clean house.’ I think I’d like them to remember me by saying, ‘She opened government to everyone.’

Ann Richards, former Governor of Texas, 1933-2006

The Wayback Machine was in the shop…. September 13, 2006

Posted by marymac in Adam and Clive, Blondie and Dagwood, knitting, Max, travel.

So grab your spare Flux Capacitor and come back with me to the first weekend of this month (that was Labor Day weekend, if you’re in the US). I decided to ditch this joint (always good to be out of town the weekend when the students come back to Acme U) and visit my friends Blondie and Dagwood*, who live a couple of hours across the state from me.

The not-so-secret special attraction of Blondie and Dagwood’s house?

This is Max.
He is so money.
And he doesn’t even know it.

(Sorry. I’m a little overtired and I’ve been at Acme U too long today because my phone line is busted again. But I promised Theresa I’d update soon, and I don’t want her mad at me. That could get scary. *dissolves into laughter at the thought of Theresa mad*)


Anyway, Blondie and Dagwood and I have all known one another since our days as students at Hippie College and they’ve been together for about eleventy years now, so they let me come over and torment them and their dog pretty regularly. But I can’t leave things be and have to make all my friends be friends with each other, so Saturday night the three of us went out to dinner with another couple, Adam and Clive. Adam and I have been friends since our student days at Acme U (people attend more than one college sometimes — it’s perfectly normal), and he is (unfortunately) aware of some of my obsessions strong interests.

Like penguins. (click for big)

Shut up. Don’t judge me. They’re cute.

And this one is all Elvis-ified with a logo on its back, too:

Penguin needs a name. I suck at naming things, so I’m open to suggestions. Otherwise it will be “that penguin Adam and Clive gave me” forever, and that’s a mouthful.

Yes, you see knitting. I was so inspired by the change of venue that I finally managed to start Starsky whilst at Blondie and Dagwood’s (Blondie is Not A Knitter but she watches some good teevee, in front of which is my preferred knitting location of choice — serendipity!). I was not so inspired that I felt like doing more than starting a sleeve, however, so this is what I had by the end of the weekend:

Impressive, eh? I have since completed most of the sleeve but stopped when I realized that it might be a good idea to see what the sleeve will be connected to before I decide if I need to do extra increases to accommodate my super-chubby arms. So I started a different project. (Yes, I eventually cast on for the back. What is it with you and the judging today?) But I have no pics. You’ll just have to imagine the wonder of four rows of over 100 stitches. In 3×3 rib. Try not to spill anything when you swoon from the awe of it all.

*All names have been changed to protect me — these people have known me for a very, very long time and there’s no way I’m giving you knitting hoodlums access to them. Special thanks to Blondie for the camera assist.

Today September 11, 2006

Posted by marymac in I'm so deep, Uncategorized.
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I grew up in southern Connecticut, the part of the state that’s made up of lots of bedroom communities of New York City. While I spend more time in the Boston area these days because lots of my friends live there (more on that tomorrow), for me The City is always New York. This is for The City today, from Bruce Springsteen’s Into the Fire:

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love

May your love bring us love

Continued Hiatus September 7, 2006

Posted by marymac in Excuses for not posting.
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So….my phone line at home isn’t working (honestly, if this stuff wasn’t happening to me, I wouldn’t believe it either). And working at Acme University means that things are very busy at the office right now. This means no real update until Saturday at the earliest.

But just imagine how exciting it will be around here then! (It won’t; I’m totally lying. Isn’t anticipation fun, though?)

In the meantime, I’m sure I can find something that will keep you entertained….

Um… Snood? Blogroll? Spam the phone company for me? (Okay, don’t do the last one — I want them to actually show up. On Saturday. Three days after I first called to complain about the whole no dial tone thing. Phooey.)

Temporarily Sidelined… September 3, 2006

Posted by marymac in Excuses for not posting, Uncategorized.

I didn’t mean to disappear, but Life got in the way this week.  (Memo to People Who Take Other People’s Stuff: You Suck.)  I’m taking a couple of days away from Life this Labor Day weekend, but I promise to be back to the grindstone soon.  Perhaps even with pictures, if I can remedy the unwillingly-separated-from-my-camera situation relatively quickly.

In the meantime, you should visit Theresa’s blog.  She took the summer off to hang out by the pool, but she’s back now.  And Laura won The Amazing Lace Challenge #6!  Yay, Laura!  Yay, Other People’s Blogs to Distract You With!