Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The poor Phillies are not to be mentioned, so instead I was tagged by Jen to answer a meme, which I will now fill out in an attempt to stifle my misery about the team...

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?
10 years ago I was working at an architect's office after spending a year in Wheeling and a year as a roofer/carpenter. I had just started dating Matthew.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order)?
1. Call the pool to schedule swimming lessons for Gus
2. Deposit rebate check for refrigerator (heavenly choir) delivery
3. Send a Momogus Knits sample to Cathy at Finely A Knitting Party (newest MK customer!)
4. Call the dermatologist for annual skin cancer screening
5. Send my friend Sabina a CD of favorite 70's funk for her and son Sam, who are studying 70's music

3) Snacks I enjoy:
1. Herr's Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips - the be-all and end-all of snacking
2. Any Tastykake, but especially Butterscotch Krimpets or Lemon Pies
3. Any pretzel product
4. Craisins - I'm CRAIZY for Craisins!
5. Wasabi peas

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Pay for Gus's school
2. Oops I wouldn't have any money left! (HA HA - bitter exorbinant school tuition joke.)
3. Pay off student loans, mortgage, debts, etc - the obvious
4. Pay off family's loans, mortgages, debts, etc
5. Do various charitable things (Parkinson's, American Friends Service, Save the Bees)
6. Buy some ding-dang %*&^(@ patio furniture!!!!

5) Places I’ve lived:
1. Jenkintown Pa, Philadelphia Pa, Wheeling WVa, North Hills, Pa

I now tag.....YOU....dear reader. Fill out your own questionnaire and let me know in comments so I can go and read it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What's up with the Phillies? What's up with MVP 2008 Chase Utley? I didn't realize that after the dispiriting series with the Red Sox, the Phillies would have to play the Angels, which means facing the ultimate Phillies destroyer of all time, Vlad the Impaler. I can't tell you how relieved I was to see him not only go to the American League, but go to the American League West so I would never have to think about him again. Until he came back to Philadelphia. And it was just like he never left. Ouch. I put the Phillies flag up again yesterday morning, but it doesn't seem to be having any effect. We've all lost our mojo.

Matthew and Gus went to see the Red Sox on Wednesday. Because they are such Red Sox fans and because I am such a Phillies fan, there was potential for, shall we say, disharmony chez Momogus. But they decided to root for whoever was playing at home and wore both Phillies and Red Sox paraphernalia to the game.

Curt Schilling's done as a doornail. What will we do without our hugely entertaining righty blowhard? As former Phillies GM Ed Wade so aptly put it, "If he wasn't our horse, he'd be our horse's ass." He's got my first ballot Hall of Fame vote. Nuff said.

Speaking of Red Sox, the GYAC Cork Tavern Red Sox finished their season, though not as gloriously as their Beantown brethren. They won their first game and then lost all the rest. Here's the valiant crew:

Gus got to pitch an inning, as did all the 8-yr-olds. This year, unlike last, he focused on control rather than speed and struck out 2 and got a groundout. He is more of a pitcher this year. We celebrated, as usual, with a trip to Rita's Water Ice. Gus chose the Blendini with a combination of chocolate ice cream, Oreos, and (brace yourself) watermelon water ice. He enjoyed it.

Go, all iterations of the Sox!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Across the aisle from me at the TNNA show was a booth for Kalamazoo Knits, manned [personned?] by two lovely ladies named Diane and Erica. During lulls in the traffic, we would kind of drift across the aisle and chat with each other. As I was examining their booth, I noticed a skein of really brightly colored Lorna's Laces. I asked them what that was about (they're a pattern company), and Diane explained that it was from a dyeing workshop she does in the Kalamazoo area. They had a sock knit from the dyed yarn hanging up and the colors were ka-pow-ey! The secret to the color intensity is that they use Wilton Cake Icing dye. It's gentle and kid-friendly, but with much more intense colors than Kool-Aid.

So of course, the split second that I got home I ordered the instructions, grabbed Gus and zoomed off to Michael's to buy some dye. I had some undyed superwash fingering weight yarn from a trip to Kraemer Yarns a couple of years ago. The instructions say to soak your yarn in vinegar and water for 4 hours-overnight, but of course 2 hours was the most I could wait before plunging in. Here is the dye master starting his skein:

Here he is almost finished up:

Here is his skein wrapped up, cinnamon-bun-style, read to get nuked:

Here is my skein, not so interestingly dyed, but colors I love:

Here are both skeins, hanging up to dry in the sun on the pitchback:

Here are the two skeins, dried and wound and ready to get knit into something fabulous!

I can't recommend this method highly enough. It was just as easy as Kool-Aid, but the colors - whoa! It's extremely kid-friendly if you want a fun summer project. I have a bunch more undyed yarn and plenty more icing dye.

You can buy the instructions from Kalamazoo Knits Etsy store. Now please excuse me as I go stand in front of my Wilton Icing Dye selection and ponder what's next....

Thursday, June 12, 2008

So off we went on our epic journey west. First stop, my beloved Wheeling, West Virginia.

After a delicious dinner at the River City Ale Works (formerly the Nail City Brewery), we took a walk along the river walk. Here's Gus examining the mighty Ohio River and Wheeling Island off in the distance:

We found some awesome and eerily-apt graffiti:

Here's Gus strolling purposely along the river (I love this picture):

We stayed at The Wheeling Inn, right in bustling (ha ha) downtown Wheeling. I last stayed here 13 years ago, and I don't think it's been painted since. It was a little down-at-the-heels. The best thing about the Wheeling Inn is its proximity to the historic Wheeling Suspension Bridge. (Now go and read about the Bridge and then come back please.)

The Inn has walkways all the way around the outside, and I could not take enough pictures of that damn bridge. I will spare you the thousands that I took; here are two of my favorites - the first taken at night and the second taken first thing the next morning when the river was enveloped in fog.

Pretty night-time shot:
Same spot the next morning:

This is the Interstate-70 bridge which handles most of the traffic in the area, also enveloped in fog:

I think this was the highlight for my two Homer-Simpson-loving men. They made me take a picture of it.

This is for sister Laura. She knows why:

On the way back we took a short detour to Altoona to see Horseshoe Curve. (Please go and read about Horseshoe Curve and then come back please. Today's blog theme is noted engineering achievements.) Matthew and I had been before, but it was Gus's first time to see this mighty engineering feat. Here's the first train coming through (ten engines!):

That's our trip in a nutshell. I might subject you to more Wheeling bridge pictures later. 

Top Chef note: Stephanie won. Phew.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm back!! I have 50,000 pictures to show you, but I will spare you until tomorrow when I can get my head on straight again.

(For those who care, don't forget tonight is the "Top Chef" finale. If Lisa wins, then life as we know it cannot go on. Go Richard or Stephanie!)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Today we head off to Columbus for the annual TNNA (The National Needle Arts) Convention. This will be my first time going as an exhibitor - for Momogus Knits patterns of course. I was really scared for a while, but now that it's getting closer I'm calming down.

The best part about our trip (we're driving) is that we're stopping in my beloved Wheeling, West Virginia on the way out and the way back. I'm hoping that we'll have enough time for me to show Matthew and Gus all the sights that were important to me. Like this:

This is the Alpha Bar, where I bartended while attending Belmont Technical College where I studied this:

I saw on the website that the Alpha's menu has a distinctive Greek flavor now, so it must have been sold. When I worked there, a family came in and asked if we had any fried food, and I replied, "At the Alpha, EVERYTHING is fried!" As you can tell from the photo above, its beautiful and extravagant decor has remained the same.

I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Wheeling. The year that I spent there was one of the best of my whole life. Definitely in the top 2! I haven't been back in 10 years though, so I'm anxious to see if it's changed at all. I promise you I will bring back lots and lots of pictures!

Wish me luck in Columbus!!!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

From ESPN's website (from a story about the top legends in baseball):

"This is a college baseball story, but about a current major leaguer, so hopefully it qualifies. I remember watching Pat Burrell, who had already clubbed two homers for Miami against the J.D. Drew-led Seminoles. His next time up, the pitcher threw a fastball right at him. But instead of diving away, Burrell took his hand off the bat and caught the ball with his bare hand. He threw it to the ground in disgust, stared down the pitcher (who probably soiled himself), then went on to hit another home run later for good measure."
--JT (Miami)

Oh my friend, Pat, how I hope that story is true.

The Phillies have been tearing up their poor opponents recently. I think they've scored something like 42 runs in their last 3 games. Moyer's been getting like 12 runs of support every time he pitches. Good times..... good times.....

On a more mundane note, I went to the optometrist yesterday to pick up my new glasses and contact lenses. The glasses now have bifocals in them (I'M OLD!!!!). The doctor said to wear them and the new contacts as much as possible to get used to them because "it will look like the floor is falling away from you." Huh. I must have looked a little alarmed because he said, reassuringly, "It will only take a couple of weeks to get used to them." Huh. Okay, but of course by then I will be in multiple casts from all the broken bones I've incurred while trying to compensate for the floor falling away from me.