...the absent-minded ramblings of a sometime diva, hyperactive yarn ya-ya.

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Name: Cyndilou :)
Location: Texas, United States

Just a little piece of sunshine and rainbow set free to wreak happiness on the universe.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Whoosh

...all I gotta say is, thank heaven for being able to come home to warmth. Currently 39 degrees Fahrenheit and falling. I wonder if we'll get an ice closing in the morning?

Winter finally got here...

Yesterday it was in the high 70s, low 80s. Today...well -- just look. At least this means I get to wear my new jacket finally.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Decidedly not work safe

...well, this post is, but I don't recommend you visit this link at work (it's just a pattern, but still). M and S and L (and V, if you were there) -- remember the naughty knitting book ideas? This would fit right in.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Good intentions be damned

It was originally my plan to not succumb to the temptations of Black Friday. No retail whore am I! Yeah, whatever. I was good at first and even though I woke up at 4 am for no explainable reason, I went back to sleep (okay, it took a little reading first). When I did finally roll out of bed, I did the morning routine - clean up, get dressed, breakfast, etc. - and then sat down to play a little FFXIII before the big game came on.

Aside: big game my heinie. I love my 'Horns, but what the hell happened today???

I left at halftime to go meet some friends at a local coffeeshop to knit. Admittedly, I did think about skipping knitting to watch the rest of the game, but after the first half I was getting rather ticked about the whole thing. We would have won at least 13-12 if one bad call had not been made, but that's another story. After knitting I decided to take a spin up to the standalone Lane Bryant to see if the parking situation was sane enough for me to try to shop. After all, a specialty women's clothing store shouldn't be too packed on Black Friday, right?

It turns out, it wasn't too bad -- and I got a fabulous jacket I'd been panting over at more than half off, which was worth it. As long as I was out, I figured I'd check out sales at a couple other specialty shops - one game store and one toy store. The game store (Dragon's Lair, for the curious) did not have the item I was seeking for my eldest nephew, unfortunately, but the toy store did yield three of the five kid gifts I needed to get. After that my car mysteriously took the wrong toll road (I admit it, I was on the phone to my sister and didn't pay attention to which on-ramp I needed, but I was at least paying attention to the cars around me) and since I was headed that way anyway, I went out to Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe. Even they had a BF sale, and I bought a couple skeins of super soft yarns for more chemo caps for a friend of a friend.

...and now, consumer whore that I have turned out to be, I have returned home to make dinner and play more video games until I stumble off to bed dreaming of more ways to spend money.

P.S. Friends who holler at other people who park their Escalades badly rock. They really do. :D

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Giving Thanks

I composed this post over and over in my head this morning, but no matter what I came up with, it all sounded pretentious. So, trying again, I just wanted to say to everyone: Thank you. Thank you for who you are, for what you've done, for the things that make you you and therefore make you special. And to my Heavenly Father - than ks most of all to you.

May everyone have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Preppin'

I love it when I actually get things accomplished. Heh. Let's see - got a little Christmas shopping in (and not coincidentally, some walking - decided to do a little today instead of fighting the crowds this weekend since I still have problems standing for long periods of time). Came home, did the dishes, did some laundry (only one load, but still) and took out the trash.

By the way, if you can make one complete load out of nothing but knickers and you live alone, you probably have too many. Time to thin the herd.

I just finished mulching the carrots and assembling the sunshine salad, which is now happily chilling in my fridge, along with a bottle of mead for dessert. The rest of the salad fixings are also in the refrigerator -- all I have to do now is remember to take everything along tomorrow. Yay! Now I can relax for a little while and still make the Thanksgiving Eve service at church tonight.

For the recipe hounds, here's how to make the fantabulous sunshine salad (which has been a hit with every dinner or potluck to which I've taken it):

1 16 oz can crushed pineapple
1 to 1 1/2 cup mulched carrots
2 large or 4 small packets of lemon Jell-O

Drain the pineapple and set aside (and drink that juice - really good with a touch of vodka or whiskey). To mulch carrots, you have to get them exceedingly well grated. I usually grate the carrots and then run them through the mulcher (well, what do YOU call it?) of my food processor. Exact amounts are not important, but the carrots need to be finely grated or they take over.

Boil 4 cups of water, then add to the powdered Jell-O in the container you plan to chill it in. If you want to use a mold, then you can use a separate bowl. Stir until it is completely liquified -- you really don't want powder Jell-O goo in your finished product. Once done, stir in the carrots and pineapple. Store in the refrigerator (covered, preferably) until firm.

Note: after the salad has been in the fridge for an hour or so, give it a stir or a jiggle to float those carrots and pineapple pieces around a bit - you lose presentation points if you have a clear layer in your salad. :D

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

When all else fails, complain

For a couple months now, I've had a VERY noisy upstairs neighbor. The noise centers mainly in their giant screen television, which they crank up while (apparently) attached to their massive sound system, which has a subwoofer that beats right through my livingroom ceiling. During the day it is loud hip-hop or rock music with a thumping beat, at night it is random jazz concerts (ever been woken up by a wailing trumpet at 3 am?) and at other times it is anything that makes the bass go boom boom boom.

In general, I am a live-and-let-live kind of gal. I realize that the walls here are not super thick, and that you're going to get some noise bleed-through. However, after a couple months of almost daily (and nightly!) throbbing noise, I've finally lost my patience. A few weeks ago I did leave a nice note on their door to ask that they keep it down to a dull roar, as their neighbors do have to work/sleep/(insert at-home activity here) occasionally without the sonic distraction. It seemed to work for a time, but the last few days they've been at it again. Not only was it vibrating through my ceiling, you could hear it all over the complex. This time I called management -- it only took most of an hour for them to get around to it, but now there is blessed silence coming from upstairs. Not that I mean them to turn it off completely - that would be rude of me - but I am glad that they've rediscovered the volume control.

Born and bred, baby

You are 96% REAL Texan!!

High five, you're a complete Texan. People from other states should tremble in your presence because they're simply not worthy. Let them bow before you and convey their undying adoration to you while they announce their true desire to be Texan.

How Texan Are You?



Actually, that should read 100% real Texan, as in born and bred here and happens to know that at least one of the questions on that quiz does not have a correct answer, unless I missed something in my last 32 years here (my first 18 or so in San Antonio, the rest right here in Austin). There are a couple of *close* answers. Ah, well... :D

Monday, November 20, 2006

My life, the soundtrack

Snaked from CrochetMe, and passed on to whomever wants to do it. Certain of my friends tell me my inner CD player is on audible all the time, so let's see what it is playing today... I don't have my player charged up, so I shuffled my entire MP3 library -- let's see what comes up.

Here's what you do:

1. Open your music library
2. Set settings to “Shuffle”
3. Press play
4. For each entry, type the song that's playing
5. For new entry, press the next/forward button

opening credits: “Mi dicha lejana” -- Fusion Andina
Nice, international and with a beat -- good music to get started to.

waking up: “And Nature Smiled” -- The Indiana Youth Chorale

first day at school: “It Would Take a Strong, Strong Man” -- Rick Astley

falling in love: “Cuddly Toy” -- The Monkees

breaking up: “Walkin' After Midnight” -- Patsy Cline
Hm, perhaps some of these are out of order...

prom: “20th Century Fox Fanfare” -- Alfred Newman
Hey, it comes on soundtracks, what can I say? Actually, my prom was kind of lame. I felt like the fanfare when I got there, then I left after 30 minutes of utter lameness.

life's okay: “Everybody Wake Up” -- Dave Matthews Band

mental breakdown: “Make It Funky” -- Information Society
Mental breakdown, nothin' - this is the story of my life.

driving: “Destination Unknown” -- Marietta
Okay, now it is starting to get a little spooky. I'm almost afraid to bring up the next song.

flashback: “Shakedown” -- Bob Seger
Perhaps Bob is worthy of a flashback. Flashback to the 80s, at any rate.

getting back together: “Another Night” -- Real McCoy

wedding: “Dance of the Reed Flutes” -- Tchaikovsky
Funnily enough, this comes from a Disney collection, and was used in Fantasia -- and the dancing flowers do bring to mind a wedding party.

birth of child: “I'm Kissing You” -- Des'ree
This is the first time I've listened to this song (lots of stuff from albums I got for one song in my library), but this seems more of a love to lover than love to child song. Pretty, though.

final battle: “Should've Known Better” -- Richard Marx
Oh, just laughing my pants off here.

funeral song: “The Force Field” -- Star Trek, the Motion Picture

end credits: “Relax” -- Frankie Goes to Hollywood


So, this is just too funny. Some of the songs were apropos, some odd, but my life is apparently mostly one big musical version of an 80s flashback. With some classical and avant garde thrown in to keep it interesting. Eclectic, that's me. I'm just surprised no Weird Al or Da Vinci's Notebook or such made it into the mix, or better yet Asylum Street Spankers. Oh yes, I could totally see Guy Forsyth singing my funeral song, even if "Wake and Bake" is totally inappropriate. :D

Saturday, November 18, 2006

How to have a truly lazy day

Sleep until almost ten. Get up, take a shower. Lay back down and snooze until about noon. Get up, have lunch. Go meet some friends to knit for a couple hours. Take a short walk. Take a two hour nap. Get up to make dinner and restore criculation to the feet. Make plans to play video games and catch up on email for the rest of the evening.


Of course, now I've slept so much today that I have a headache and I probably won't get back to sleep until well after midnight, but I have a week of vacation coming up and it doesn't really matter. Holidays are a good thing.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Making lemonade

So, no water for the bulk of the evening left me in a pickle -- what do you do when you need to use the restroom?

I considered checking into a hotel room, but decided not to since all I would do all evening is be bored and watch TV. Instead I went out and procured dinner, then went to the movies. Of course, right before the movie started, the fire alarms went off at the theater and we had to evacuate the building. After about 20 minutes in the cold, the fire department gave the all clear and everyone headed back into their respective theaters.

When I first got in there, it appeared I'd have a private viewing - well, almost, as there was one other gentleman about my age in there, but we were sitting well apart from each other. Shame, that - he was kind of cute. Anyway, right as the previews were ending a couple of giggly couples came in and sat right near me. Ah, well.

The movie was Flushed Away, and I will say that it was very well done. None of the humor was over the top and for the most part the animation was superb. It is definitely one of the movies I'll be adding to my DVD collection - if for nothing else than the scads of singing slugs. Singing slugs, I tell you!

...and now, off to the brand spanking new IKEA with a co-worker. Yup, we scheduled a hooky day to go shopping, what of it? :D Cheers!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Water


You never know how much you miss it until it's gone. Our friendly neighborhood utility service has managed to break the water main while replacing the fire hydrant by my building, which means the entire property is without water until they fix it. I sincerely hope that it happens soon, because I desperately need a shower - and all I have to drink in the fridge are a bottle of raspberry wine and a mocha chai. Neither one is what I had in mind for libations with dinner -- although the wine is starting to look better and better.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Havin' Fun

Well, I finally got my copy of Final Fantasy XII. Yes, there are twelve of them, and I own copies of eleven -- all save FFXI which is an online only version, and which disappointed me. So, here's a quick review after playing for a couple hours.

1. The movement is awkward and difficult to master the camera position, but you're not hunting forever to find a map. I do appreciate that the map does not rotate with you, but because you are behind the main character, you get a little confused and have to continually refer to your small and large map.

2. The graphics are simply stunning. Although there are some limitations on the graphic hardware, the team at Square Enix has truly outdone themselves to push the edge of that ability.

3. The storyline is exceedingly well detailed. Perhaps a little too detailed - I was startled by how fast you get rather far into a plot line that might do better to lighten up in order to keep the suspension of disbelief. It does go to show that the programming team spent a lot of time to keep your attention on the game. As soon as you are released from the beginning story, you can do and go just about anywhere within the confines of that part of the story. The start of the story takes a very long time, which is a little irritating that you can't speed through it a bit faster.

All in all, I give it an 8 of 10 stars. So far, I really like it.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Great M2010 review

From the Crave UK:
A review of the Dell M2010.

My favorite bit -- "It's the first laptop that nearly rips our arms from their sockets and beat us over the head with the wet ends...." All in all, it's a pretty cool thing. :D

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Like pulling off a band-aid

Sigh - my poor Longhorns. They did well, but not well enough after Colt McCoy was injured to hold onto our hopes for the national title. The need to see the new BCS rankings is like the desire to pull off an old bandaid - you know it needs to happen, but you also know it is going to hurt. Of course, it is also disturbing that no reports have come from Mack on the extent of Colt's injury, although not surprising. I certainly hope Colt is okay. Regardless, you can bet that Jevan Snead will be getting more work in practice.

On the plus side, we're still up for Big 12 South champions and if our team is healthy and ready we should take the Big 12 easily. That may mean that we end up back in the Cotton Bowl at the end of the season, but perhaps - just perhaps - the BCS and other bowl organizers will consider Texas for a more prestigious berth.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Llama, llama, duck

Llama, llama
Llama, llama,
originally uploaded by Cyndiva.
Actually, I kind of wish I did have a little duck to hold up in this photo - it would have been amusing. :) These are a couple of the beautiful specimens brought for show to the Kid 'N' Ewe fiber festival in Boerne, Texas. If you're in central Texas, you still have tomorrow to go check it out!

Truthfully, the vendor selection was a bit more limited than I was expecting, but I did find a great holly shuttle for my loom and a couple of hand-carved hairpins. The friends I was with were rather amusing as well :) and it was nice to meet a few of the other Central Texas bloggers back at the wiki table.

We did quite a bit of walking - I was just beat when I got back to my apartment - but I think it was a good level of exercise. Tonight I've got my feet up and I'm about to watch the Texas - Kansas game. Go 'Horns!

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Working out the mattress

By the time my back is up to 100%, I'll have had enough naps to last a lifetime. Don't worry, though - no danger of me swearing off napping. :D

Today's PT session got a little harder than yesterday's - she had me crank up the difficulty level a little on a couple of exercises and I was really feeling the difference by the end of the session. We also discovered that my sacrum was rotated -again- and she fixed that, too. Those falls on the derriere are going to be haunting me for the rest of my life, I'm sure. At any rate, by the end of the session all I wanted to do was fall into bed.

I was good - I did go run an errand first, but it was very nice to finally get a chance to lay down for an hour or so with a good book. I'm not sure how much sleep I actually got, but I feel lots better for it.

Today's random picture from my collection:
A view from inside Tintern This is a glimpse of the ghost of Tintern Abbey - a beautiful ruin in Great Britain, and one of the many Catholic structures forced into disuse after a certain king decided to try to permanently run off that sect.

Okay, so this picture choice isn't actually that random - today before my PT appointment I ran into a gentleman who'd traveled with us on the Wales trip; his wife was one of the singers in our chorus. Mmmm, good times. Now I am off to a wine-tasting with some friends from church. Cheers!

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Just an excuse to whine

Sigh. I'm cold. My comforters need cleaning (yes, I sleep under a blanket year-round), but I do have a clean afghan or two. Unfortunately they are the big mongo heavy winter weight ones and I'm pretty sure the one I really want to dig out of my closet weighs at least 20 pounds. Bleah - maybe I'll just put on a pair of socks with my jammies. It'll get cold tomorrow night, though, so I guess I'll just drag out the big blanket anyway. If I'm careful about it, it should be okay.

On the plus side, today was a much better day physically. I managed to get a little more walking in than usual without too much pinching from my sciatic nerve. PT was a little tough today, but in the physical workout way, not painful. This bodes very well. PT again tomorrow, and a happy trip to Kid N Ewe on Saturday!

Oh...and Go Rutgers!

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

This could be interesting

Check it out - a knitting movie...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What season is it, anyway?

Does anyone else think the Target Christmas commercials are uber-creepy?

...and, of course, it sets off one of my soapboxes -- we haven't even gotten through THANKSGIVING, forgoodnesssakes. There were Christmas decorations going up before Halloween! The over-commercialization of the season just drives me batty.

Physical Terrorism

I admit it, PT isn't really that bad. I do know now why they want you to do sets of 30 in these exercises, though -- you can usually get through 20 with no problem, the next five are a little harder, and the last five are just insane. At least I don't have anything pressing to do tonight so I can go to bed at a reasonable hour. :D

Pic of the day for your viewing pleasure:
Happy Hornsmobile

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Kid 'n' Ewe and Llamas, Too!

Yay, next weekend I'm going to Kid 'n' Ewe with some friends! I've wanted to go to this for the last few years and haven't been able to - this year, due to the back injury, I actually don't have other things scheduled for that weekend and so I can go. Of course, I have to be good and sit when I need to, but I am assured that this is totally do-able. No longer will I be a fiber fest virgin! Heh.

...and this photo I only included because it was an amazingly cute shot of a co-worker's little boy. He had a lot of fun with the big blue ball. I really need to carry my big camera around with me more often - I got some other pics of some friends, one of whom also has an absolutely adorable little boy, but the quality isn't as good from my point and shoot.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Session Three

So, my third session of PT got a little more interesting - we started doing more complex exercises, although still in very small amounts. It is amazingly hard to hold in your abs and pull your legs in while there is a balance ball under your ankles.

Today, I ache a bit, and I slept for a good ten hours - time to get up and get moving, though. Gotta go walking. :D

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Update on Me

Just posting an update - sorry I haven't posted in a couple days and thanks to those of you who dropped a line or comment checking up on me. :)

PT seems promising so far - my therapist explained a lot to me on why it takes so long to get spinal issues healed. When an insult happens to the spine, all those little muscles that stabilize the spine turn off. In order to turn them back on and help heal the herniation and remaining pinched nerve it is going to take lots of very minute work, which is frustrating but not as much as the sciatic pain has been so far.

There's been good days and bad days; for the most part I'm able to get around and not limp, but my back still gets really tired easily. I think there have been two legitimately bad days since I had the cortisone shot, and both happened after I tried to get some extra housework done - although at the time I didn't think it was too much. Just goes to show me that my limits are still a little lower than I thought. On the other hand, it might not have been related, but who knows. I do know that I spent all afternoon sleeping in order to allow my back to get some rest.

Well, PT again tomorrow, so I'll see what she has to say, because it bugs me when my back is so tired that I really do have to go home and take a nap.

In crafting news, I was weak this weekend and picked up a Tilli Thomas bag kit. I love the pre-beaded yarn, and if I could afford the machine that would string beads on yarn and ply it with another, I'd get it in a heartbeat. It is burnt orange, of course, and it will make a great project bag for socks or something else small. For those of you who might be considering one of these kits, a small review: the idea is great but getting started with the yarn pulled through grommets on a pre-made lining is kind of hard on the hands and wrists. After the first few rows it gets a little easier, but I think it make be a better idea to make the bag and then line it rather than pick up stitches from a pre-made lining. Eh, either way you'll have easy steps and hard steps. :D

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