Monday, July 30, 2007

What Libby and I have been waiting for since about 1999

Hi, Everybody!

Okay, this is Part I of "what Bruce and Brax have been up to." I have decided to go in reverse order, starting with the most recent, Harry Potter weekend at last! As you all know, Libby and I are crazy Harry Potter fanatics. The depths of our fandom are eclipsed only by the 15 year olds who write fan fiction and run those Harry Potter websites. Websites which we may or may not check daily.

So, in celebration of the book being released, Libby and I always go out to dinner with Barb (Libby's mom) and a rotating cast of friends and family. After a long, wine-filled dinner, we always go to Joseph Beth's, an independant bookstore in Cincinnati, to get our books. This year, it was me, Libby, Barb, Libby's cousin Topher, Matt, Josh, and Libby's cousin Stephanie, and Stephanie's son Frankie. The drive down to the restaurant was uneventful until Barb hit something on the road, and we heard a loud "Bang!" I asked Barb if she blew a tire, and she said, "I don't know! I'm still rolling!"

Wellll.... Once we got to the restaurant (a good 5 miles down the road), it became clear that Barb had indeed blown a tire. After everyone freaked out about what to do for a second, it became clear that we all needed a drink inside the restaurant. In order to stop Bruce's mom from wandering the streets of Cincinnati looking for fix-it-flat, Josh and I decided to slip back outside and change the tire.

Well, Josh mostly changed the tire. I helped thusly:

Finally, after 45 minutes, the tire was changed, and we were finally seated on the patio. DInner was delicious, and many funny things were said. Unfortunately, the only picure I have is Libby's husband doing this:

Finally, after we were rushed out of the restaurant by the staff, we made our way to Joseph Beth's. Now, I want to preface this by saying that we have always gone to the same store for our books every year, and we have always bought pre-paid vouchers, which have enabled us to walk in at 12:15 or so, and walk right on out with our books. So, imagine our surprise when we showed up at 12:30 to this mess:

Whoa! What a line! We stood here for at least an hour. Here we are, with our vouchers. I have decided to hold my voucher in front of my face and cross my eyes for this picture:

We stood in line so long that we started to sober up, so we sent Matt and Frankie (aged 16) to the gas station on the corner for more wine. Yep, those are some classy dames in that picture. While we brown-bagged the wine, we noticed all the different costumes. All the little kids were dressed up like harry, malfoy, or luna. THe adults, however, had some pretty creative ones, like the guy dressed in a long, flowered nightgown. What a bunch of nerds we are! I had to yell at a handful of bad seeds who were flipping to the end of the book and trying to read the last sentance out loud. I bet they were scared straight.

The rest of the weekend looked like this:

And this (awww, Blanche. She's biting her feet.):

And this is a cute picture of Bruce's family eating breakfast.

Aaaaah, Libby's house. Breakfast town, USA.

Love, Brax

Sunday, July 29, 2007

goddamn son of a bitch

We're going to miss you.

Friday, July 20, 2007



First things first: Topher's birthday was amazing. (Micah, I am sorry, but I don't have any photos yet. As usual, I was too busy having fun to take pictures. I know 3 people who took pictures, and as soon as they share them with me, I will put them on the internet.) We really know how to rock a pool party at a mansion!

Husband and I are having a relaxing week on the farm. Yesterday we took Blanche to Cincinnati, where she was very popular with the youngsters. Also, the other day we got attacked by a chicken because Blanche got too close to her babies. That chicken is a maniac, she chased us halfway down the hill. Stupid dog.

I have been visiting my Grandpa every day. Some days he is ok--he can get up and walk around a little, and sit up and make jokes. There have been two days where it was painful to watch him struggling to breathe and move. He keeps saying things that indicate that he doesn't plan on being here much longer--"it'll be a hard year, baby, but you all will be ok," and "I love this place, I am glad I got to be here as long as I did. I wish I could be here longer," and "It'll be ok. everybody's got to go there one day."

I do not know how to respond when he says these things. Partially because I am still in denial about it, and partially because I am frightened, and when I search for a response to a comment like that, I just come up totally dry. Time is so limited with him, and I always feel like I'll say the wrong thing, so I just tell him about what we did that day, and give him the farm news--how many chicks have hatched, if the cat caught a bird, if the calves did something cute. I think he likes that, because he just hates that he can't farm anymore. I also offer to make him martinis. I know he can't really drink them anymore but he thinks it's funny when I offer--like everything is normal. I guess we will get through it.

Right, that is sad.
So let's talk about the plans for tonight.

I will see you at 8ish. We will leave here and drive to Cincinnati. we will have a fabulous meal. At roughly 11:00, we will leave the restaurant and head over to our favorite local bookstore, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, where we will observe the kids all dressed up in their wizard outfits, eating chocolate frogs. (The bookstore is even having a memorial service for Dumbledore, but we will miss that, we'll be at dinner.) We'll get in the line, and we will present out vouchers.

My mother purchased 6 of these vouchers the day they went on sale. I am looking at them now. They are just ripe with promise.

We will present the vouchers and they will hand us....the book. Oh my god.

I am really nervous about spoilers. I am worried that someone will get their book, read the last page real fast, and scream to the crowd, "Harry marries the Giant Squid!" Some people are real assholes like that. This kind of behavior is especially assholish when you consider that HP is first and formost a childrens' book. Dammit! Don't ruin this for the kids!

There is such a unique feeling of importance and love wrapped up in this release--we have been waiting to see how this story ends for years and years. Especially kids--a lot of them have grown up with Harry, and it feels like they've been waiting their whole life. I have personally been waiting for 8 years. When was the last time you waited to see how your favorite book ended for 8 whole years? Right, and you never will again.

I am ready, though. I am ready to know how it ends. And I don't think Harry will die. Snape will die.

See you tonight!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dork Out


I just thought I would show my true colors here for a second. I don't want to freak you out or anything, but...2 days!!!!! Two days before the last-ever Harry Potter book comes out. Two days until we will have all the answers. By this time next week, we will KNOW!

I'm probably more excited than I will ever be again for a book, but it's also really bittersweet. There will never be another time where a bunch of us go out for a fancy dinner, toast to Harry Potter, the boy who lived, and then pick up our books at the bookstore at midnight. No more drinking coffee all morning, discussing who we think will die in the next book, or whether Snape is good or bad, or whether Harry is a horcrux. No more lording it over our friends that we know the most about the books because we've each read them more than anyone else.

I know I'm totally outing us as huge gigantic Harry Potter nerds, and I'm sorry, but I will really miss it. I will miss the anticipation of more books, and the speculation on how it all ends. But then again, I'm dying to know.

Two days. See you at dinner!


p.s. Harry Lives!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Summer break!

So the period between losing my old job and starting my new job has been like summer break! And I got a little bit of severance pay, so it is sort of like a paid vacation to my house. Sweet! OK, I sort of feel like a bum. But whatever.

I've been keeping myself busy, the main problem is that I keep sleeping later and later in the day. Sort of counterproductive to my goal of revolutionizing my sleep schedule so that it's more like the sleep schedule of the rest of the world. Hey body clock! Stop fucking around!!! I am just biologically programmed to sleep from 2 AM-10:30 AM. Stupid world, hemming me in, forcing me to bully my body into artificial timetables.

Anyway, the Cashmere Rulz Scarf!

That sucker is really coming along. Here is a half-assed close up.
Man, I'm terrible at taking pictures. Anyway, you can sort of see the leaf pattern here, which is much more obvious in real life, in will be ten times more so when it is blocked. I am very pleased with it.

And the ol' blanket?

Another day, another square! I am really enjoying this project, here are the reasons why:

A) I get to knit something in 12 beautiful colors of 1824 wool. Damn almighty, I love 1824 wool. Love you, Mission Falls! This project, in fact, grew out of my madwoman need to buy balls of 1824 wool all the time, just because I liked the colors so much I couldn't resist. So I love having this reason to indulge my every 1824 wool whim.

B) I get to knit as many fun stitch patterns out of the Walker Treasury as I want, and nothing takes very long, so I can rip it out if I don't like it, or just finish up and switch to a new square, new yarn, new pattern. Essentially, this project is knitting playtime.

C) Very portable, and absolutely no pressure. The Cashmere Rulz Scarf is pressure. That yarn was so expensive! What if I screw it up?! It is a gift, so it must be perfect! Not so with the blanket--cheap, machine washable, gorgeous yarn, just for me to play with. Trust me, I can live with a mistake here and there.

The Harry Potter movie was fantastic! Now I am totally stoked to get the new book. Snape! What is your secret? You are so unreadable. Mirror! Can you reach Sirius beyond the veil? Harry! Do you have a horcrux on your head? I don't think so, but one can never be sure.

So do you want to grab some dinner friday night? Hah! Can't wait!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Friday, July 6, 2007

The Fourth


I know all about the Metro Problem in D.C. Last time I was there, I went to a conference. And coming home from the conference was the biggest pain in the ass, because no one knew about the stand to the right rule. At one point, as I was rocketing my way down the escalator to catch a train, I stopped and explained the rule to this group of businessmen who were lounging about on the left side with their popped-up collars. I felt so awesome, like a real D.C. person! And then, my metrocard didn't work for some reason. Yep, still just a jerk from Ohio who can't work a metrocard.

On Tuesday, I decided to celebrate our nation's independance by driving down to Columbus. I braved the fireworks downtown and met up with our marvelous friend Tome, who was catching his plane back to L.A. the very next day. I met him and Josh at a hotel room at the Crown Plaza (SO not fabulous), where I presented him with his birthday present, a bottle of wine. Things went kind of south from there, and the following pictures were on my camera the next morning:

Ahhhh, glass of wine posed on the bedside table. Josh in background, reading the Columbus visitor's guidebook provided in the room. It's pictured below:
Bruce, I tell ya. It took me hours to figure out why they pictured columbus as having a ferris wheel. In fact, it's a picture of the State Fair. Oh my! What in god's name is this creepy thing??

My best guess is that it's a picture of a page from the guide book.

And finally, someone snuck this picture of me. I call it "Contemplative Wino."
The next morning, we all watched Mythbusters in the hotel room and then went to First Watch (I know the face you're making right now!), and then Tome had to leave. I wish I saw that awesome dude more often. Josh and I saw Paris je t'aime, which was really sweet, and also the first movie I've seen in the movie theater in about a year.
Whew! When I got home, I worked on this baby blanket I'm making. It's for my future baby! Ha ha!!!! Just kidding, it's for a baby shower I'm going to at the end of the month. Here it is, draped over my couch and poorly lit:

And here it is, all spread out on the floor. And poorly lit. It's bigger than it looks. I'm making it out of a cone of peaches and cream cotton (classy!). It's yet another Argosy pattern...I'm obsessed! It's just so relaxing to knit, and it's one of those patterns that's really easy but looks impressive to the non-knitter.

I love having days off in the middle of the week. It's pretty sweet. And I also know you'll find a job soon. You are awesome and you'll get a job where they appreciate that. In the meantime, keep enjoying unemployment. I know I always did!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Honey is one the prowl...

July 4th! Can I tell you a little secret? I sort of hate July 4th. Fireworks are lame, and stupid kids are always setting them off and blowing each other's fingers off and stuff. Hundreds of thousands of people swarm into DC, and none of them know how to stand to the right on the Metro. (See previous post.) My plans for the morning were postponed, so I've had a pretty lazy day. I guess later I will go watch the stupid fireworks.

So unemployment is totally agreeing with me. I cleaned out the closet! Cleaned out the dresser! I have come up with a huge bag of stuff for charity, and also a huge bag of stuff to throw away. Nothing makes me feel more accomplished than getting rid of stuff. So I've been getting plenty of rest, reading books, and organizing my life.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, Knitting! Remember how sad I was that I didn't have time to knit? Well, unemployment can really change a girl's tune.

I worked on my Barbara Walker blanket. I am up to 4 squares now. Here is my favorite:

It is hard to capture the pumpkiny goodness, but trust me, that orange really floats my boat.

I spent this morning in a fluffy pink cloud of goat belly-hair!

Artyarns Cashmere 2. Oh, it's gorgeous. So nice. So pretty.

With the help of the Barbara Walker treasury (best 30 bucks I ever spent), I am turning this cashmere into a lace scarf. The pattern is called Drooping Elm Leaf. And do you want to know the funniest coincidence? I just went to the Walker Treasury Project to see if they had an example of it, and they just posted it today. Now is that spooky or what? I am honestly a little creeped out.

The only thing that I don't adore about the First Walker Treasury is that she doesn't chart. Come on, Barb!! I am just not willing to believe that Barbara Walker doesn't know about the superiority of charts. There must be some super smart Barbara Walker reason for writing all those patterns out, and I'm just not wise enough to get it.

Anyway, I charted out the lace pattern, because damn, I hate following written-out patterns. It was the first time I'd ever written out a chart! It was actually really easy, and now I can just glide right along on my scarf.

I'm really excited about all this knitting, cat petting, and closet cleaning. I know, you can't be unemployed forever. I am sure I will get bored soon, not to mention broke, so I am looking for jobs. Not nearly as hard as I should be, but I am looking. When I get one you'll be the first to know!


Stand to the right, guys.

Dear Tourists,
I am truly honored to live in a city that people want to visit. Thanks for coming here and enjoying the city and boosting our economy etc. I will be happy to give you directions if you need them. While you are here, here are some simple guidelines for using our underground mass transit system, Metro.

1) Everyone is in a hurry on the Metro, so please stay out of the way. If you need to stand still and figure something out, please stand still next to the wall, and not right in the path of traffic. This rule is especially true if there are 400 of you.
2) On the escalator, stand to the right, walk to the left. Do not stand still on the left side of the escalator. (It's like the passing lane when you're driving.)
3) Don't take your stroller on the escalator. DON'T TAKE YOUR STROLLER ON THE ESCALATOR. You will screw up the whole moving/stationary traffic system, you will clog the arteries of the Metro, and your kid will probably fall out of the stroller onto my head. There are elevators at all metro stations. Please use them.
4) Doors opening. Step back to allow customers to exit. (This means before you get on, let the other people get off, guys. That's our system.) When boarding please move to the center of the car. Step back doors closing.