Friday Quick Hits

I'm in a chipper mood this morning... maybe it's all the awesome stuff coming up?  I don't know.  But I was just browsing the news and since no one else is at work yet I needed to make a couple comments about some stories I came across and, GUESS WHAT!  You get to be my coffee chat partner. :)

  • How awesome must it be to be LeBron James?  Or really, how ridiculous?  I don't watch NBA basketball, but I saw him on some Dateline show or something so I sort of pay attention to whether or not the Cleveland Cavaliers are doing well or not.  Heard on the radio this morning that they won last night, putting them down one game in their semi-finals series with the Orlando Magic.  And then CNN gives me this story, which says that for 11 minutes and 32 seconds, *every* Cavaliers point was either scored by him or through an assist by him.  What.  In.  The.  Hell.  32 points.  And I love this paragraph... where it says he looks tired.  Ya think?  "When my guys make shots, it makes it a lot easier because it allows me to go one-on-one with a defender,'' said James, looking tired after his triple-double of 37 points (on 24 shots), 14 rebounds and 12 assists in 46 minutes. "That's what I need from my guys. I don't add no more pressure on my teammates, but they know we're a very strong team when they knock down shots.''
  • I totally need to use laodicean in a sentence today.  I love the Scripps National Spelling Bee, but I was too entranced by So You Think You Can Dance last night to watch it.  Still, in tribute, I *will* find a way to work that word into a sentence today.  It means lukewarm or indifferent, particularly in matters of politics and religion.  I know some people like that, so shouldn't be too hard to sneak it in. :)  Congrats to Kavya Shivashankar, the 13-year-old winner!  


Memorial Day View

So that's what my view was like for most of Memorial Day. :)

A few weeks ago, we bought a new toy. It's a 2006 Honda Goldwing motorcycle... or Bryan's "other wife" as one of his co-workers called it. While it mostly is something Bryan wanted, I actually really enjoy it too. Especially because the back seat is heated and unexpectedly comfortable. I wasn't able to post about it because Bryan's parents sometimes read my blog and he wanted to surprise them with it by us taking it up to visit them over Memorial Day, which we did. Bryan's dad had kind of figured that he'd bought a bike, because he knew Bryan was looking, but of course he didn't know for sure and didn't know what he'd get. When we arrived Friday night, his parents were asleep, and, knowing they'd be up before us, Bryan stuck a sign he'd made on the windshield that said "Happy Birthday, Bryan." His dad one-upped him by crossing out Bryan and writing DAD instead. :)

So anyway, most of the weekend was spent on the bike. Saturday we took a Klinger family ride, with Jan and Gary on one bike, Bryan and I on ours, and Bryan's brother Kevin and his daughter Katrina on another. We drove up to Lake Whompumupsidedahead (aka Lake Wallenpaupack, or something? I never could get it right, and Whompumupsidedahead really sounds about the same) to meet Kevin's new lady friend, who was there with her kids. The ride and visit were nice, as was Donna, but her damn dog BIT ME! She has two little yorkies, and even though I had been petting one of them in the house, I went to the bike to get something, and when I came back to the porch, he decided I was a stranger, and proceeded to jump and yip and generally freak out. In the process, the little punk chomped my knee straight through my jeans! I now have a half-dollar size bruise to show for it. Normally I love dogs, but this one really pissed me off. :)

Sunday we went to the extended Klinger family picnic, where I basically sat and ate all day while Bryan ate and worked it off playing volleyball. :) I get along well with my in-laws, so it was nice to see everyone again. Especially my adorable niece, Allie:

And then, Monday, more motorcycle riding. We had a nice ride home, in spite of running into a couple little rainshowers. I decided that rain on a motorcycle is a lot like turbulence on an airplane: a lot of it can be extremely uncomfortable, but a little bit just makes the ride more interesting. :)

Posted by ShoZu


A Stitchin' Time, Part 1: The Buy-In

I mentioned a while back that I've been taking a quilting class with my Grandma. Well, I have been meaning to tell you all about it, but I'll be damned if I've had any time to WRITE about it--I don't even have enough time to do all my quilting homework! Ironically, the lady who teaches the class suggested we keep a quilt diary, where we journal our quilting experience and what goes on while we're making our quilt. Uh, yeah, lady, I'm too busy cutting/sewing/measuring/quilting to do that.

But, let's begin. And what better place to start than the beginning, right?

So for Christmas, my gift to my Grandma was for us to go to a beading class together at Bangles and Beads in Carytown (which we did, and enjoyed, but, again, too busy quilting--no time for beads!). After she opened it, she asked me if I'd ever be interested in doing a quilting class. I said, sure, why not? It meant more time with my Grandma, and it meant I would finally learn how to sew something, a skill I did not have in my domestic arsenal.

My family is from Chester, and right in the heart of Downtown Chester there's a store called the Busy Bea. It's a quilt shop, and they teach all sorts of quilting classes (if you aren't a quilter, you would not BELIEVE how many different types of quilts there are). So I called them up, and Grandma and I got registered for the class. Class was starting the week after Bryan and I returned from our Valentine's Day cruise, and Ms. Bea, the owner, told me that Grandma and I would need to come in and pick out our fabrics before the first class. It was kind of hard to find a time to go, since Grandma doesn't drive and I have to work and the place keeps banker's hours, but we made it down there the Thursday before our first class.

I think Grandma and I both were thinking we'd be there for, what, an hour, maybe two? I think we were there for three and a half hours. Holy crap, it is STRESSFUL trying to pick EIGHT DIFFERENT PRINTS that go together in this thing you're supposed to have for the rest of your life and pass on to your children, who will pass it on to their children, and so on and so forth. What made it even MORE stressful was that Ms. Bea was very opinionated on the matter.

A brief word on Ms. Bea. Ms. Bea opened the Busy Bea something like 30 years ago, and just Monday she turned 85 years old. She is still sassy and knows her quilts, but she likes to talk. And not necessarily about the topic at hand. This tendency often extends the amount of time any given task takes at the Busy Bea. Not that you don't want to hear what she has to say, just that sometimes she has a lot of it to say, and you still haven't gotten done what you wanted to do...

So anyway, Ms. Bea sent her daughter Cathy off to the bank while Grandma and I floundered around the shop trying to figure out what kind of quilt we intended to make. We started gathering bolts of fabric, and Ms. Bea would give us the ol' "That doesn't match!" every so often. Finally, thank God, Cathy came back and whipped us right into shape, and in what felt like no time, we had 11 bolts of fabric each: 4 light patterns, 4 dark patterns, the stripping (the main color of the quilt), the accent solid, and the muslin.

Excellent! Now we were ready for class on Monday!

Except, not so fast. We were to take home all, like, 50 yards of fabric and put each piece through the washing machine with NO SOAP (big letters), then pull each piece out wet and iron it dry. Then we were to gently fold and HANG IT on pants hangers so there would be no creases. If parts of the fabric dried before we could get to them with the iron, we had to have a spray bottle full of water--NO WATER IN THE IRON--and re-wet it and then iron it.

I should have known when I spent about six hours ironing on the Sunday before our first class and didn't even finish all of my fabric that this class was going to be very time consuming...


Hello, Baltimore.

I'm in Baltimore for a conference. The company is good and there's lots of crab involved. I am a happy girl. :)

Posted by ShoZu