Friday, December 26, 2008

Yay for Christmas!

Happy winter holidays, readers! I was certainly a very lucky girl yesterday and got really awesome presents, so thank you to all my readers who donated to the "Paige wants clothes, CD's, DVDs and yarn" fund. So yeah, got clothes (I've ballooned this year thanks to tea, crumpets, fish and chips and all those other yummy British things) a few DVDs (I'm such a girly-girl, I got Wanted, the Dark Knight and some more awesome stuff) and a few CDs including the love of my life, Jason Mraz and my other loves, Alanis Morrisette, Pink and Flight of the Conchords. My dad also surprised me with the coolest CD ever- Nightmare Revisted. apprently he'd read about it in Rolling Stone and decided it was all me- I had a Nightmare Before Xmas phase that started my freshman year of high school and is still going strong...7 years running! It's all the songs from Nightmare before Xmas performed by artists including Marilyn Manson (I normally don't dig his stuff but he did a great job on this CD) Amy Lee, Plain White Tees, All American Rejects and some other people you really didn't expect to do a CD like this. It's awesome. I lurve it. I got a little yarn- 4 skeins of Brown Sheep to be exact. I bought some crazy turquoise a couple years ago and love it, but I'm not bold enough to wear something that's as bright and fuzzy as that. So I asked for something to pair it with to make a striped hoodie. I got 4 skiens of a charcoal-ey gray. My mom called up Molly at Stitches and Scones and explained that I'm hopeless at matching colors and so they sent out the Brown Sheep to the house- which is awesome! I'm really excited to start the hoodie- the pile of yarn will probably go to England to keep me company. I'm working really hard on this project manogamy thing and am about to finish the body on my blue sweater that only a few people have seen and nobody has maybe next post.
So, while I only got 4 skiens of grey yarn for Xmas, I did a little pre-holiday stashing. Here's a few show-and-tell pictures that I've been meaning to post for 2 weeks. The blue and green sock yarn is more Sheepyfeet from Mandie, the bulky light blue is my handspun, and that delicious emerald green that looks like mint in the picture is my lover, Malabrigo. I picked that up at Keepsakes in Carmel after having my nose prodded and then disapproved of by a plastic surgeon.
Note**I'm not entirely sure why there's a picture of chocolate cake in there, I tried to upload a picture of my new stash and it just jumped in my blog and I can't get rid of it. It's quite nice though...maybe I should post more chocolate cakes**
So the much anticipated (for me at least) White Elephant gifty-switch is tomorrow night and I HAVE A DATE! I tried to have the blue lacey sweater done for tomorrow night, but it's not going to happen. I'm going to be cleaning tomorrow and won't have time to knit another 3 inches onto the bottom and both sleeves. Was a good effort though, I think. I'll try to take some pictures of interesting things that aren't too obscene so you guys have an idea of what goes on at the Darling house.
What's in my head right now (in case you were wondering)
1. The picture at the top was taken at Starbucks while I was waiting for my green tea. It's a wreath make of red christmas ornaments and green yarn balls. I think I need to make one. I probably have enough green snippets to do it....but I'll get to it eventually.
2. I just watched "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and it was awesome.
3. I still need to make my dishcloth for the gifty-switch in Zionsville. And another Koolhaas hat for Pam in white. I got the yarn on sale at Knit-Stop today. More later once I actually start it. If I can still stand cabling after another Koolhaas, I'll make myself one out of that green Malabrigo. And it will be awesome.
4. I think I'm going to buy a dress form so I can put my sweaters in progress on it to decide if it makes my hips look big without actually wearing it. I think I'll wait until I get a JoAnn coupon. Those things are expensive. If I weren't so strangely shaped, I'd pay a random homeless person to hold still while I decide if my sweater is going to work or not.
5. Amazon has decided to wait to send my Yarn Harlot book and my Franklin book until the new Wendy Johnson book is published so that they can send it all in the same package. That's pretty lame, because Wendy's book doesn't come out until April.
That's about it. I think I'm going to go to bed now...I've got a lot of cleaning to do before the party tomorrow. Toodles!

Friday, December 19, 2008

6 days until Christmas!

So after a super-productive knitting night last night, I brought home a nearly finished sock and seriously thought about finishing it....but I didn't. Instead I played with my spinning wheel and will have some plied yarn pictures in a couple days. I'm working with more of the Lorna's Laces roving, but in blues and purples instead of Rainbow this time. I did take the rainbow and some other blue handspun to SnB for show and tell, and I think it was well liked. Janet had a hard time giving back the blue merino and I think I might have found a buyer for the rainbow handspun! I just have to decide if I really want to sell it or not...
But in more awesome yarny news, I finished the socks first thing this morning, and my Koolhaas hat a few minutes ago! Since it's not the best light for pictures and my mom isn't entirely sure how my camera works, the pictures aren't great, but they are pictures. Here's a few of the Koolhaas, which will be in the mail today. My mom and I went to Knit-Stop the other day and got some alpaca/wool and started the Koolhaas, which I've been looking for an excuse to make. (The yarn is Babe Softy Chic by the Fibre Company and is wonderful on so many levels and I would love to buy more but I need to wait until it goes on sale AND I win the lottery) I completely changed the crown because...honestly? I was too lazy to get up and find the directions...but I think it turned out fine. I actually think I like my version better! Here's a couple pictures of the hat, and because we all hated on compulsive cat-posters at SnB last night, here's a picture of Tubby Custard. She wasn't happy about getting her picture taken, but she was quite happy about the piece of ham that followed.
I already mentioned that I finished the second Wicked Stepsister sock, and it was about time. I got a nasty case of Second Sock Syndrome right after I turned the heel and let it sit for a week before I dragged it out last night at Borders. I wish I hadn't been so burned out on socks, the yarn was absolutely wonderful (go and buy some of Mandie's yarn now! You can find it at and it's called Sheepy Feet. Mine is silk and wool in the color "Black Widow" from the "Better than Black" collection.) The pattern was Cookie's Hedera from I'll get some better pictures soon, but since my mom isn't too sure how digital cameras work and this color is tricky to photograph, I'll have to get some better pictures over break to show off.

That's about it...I'm going to go drop this Chemo Choolhaas in the mail so it can make it's way to Boston. Have a great night!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Back in the Spin of things

Hey there! I'm finally back in the US and still a little jetlagged, but glad to be home. Traveling is always a terrible experience, only made worse by the banning of knitting on airplanes, so I won't talk about that.
Yesterday was my first full day back and slept...alot. Then I started unpacking and got all my Christmas presents wrapped! I'm so far ahead of my usual Christmas self- I blame it on the lack of Christmas knitting. I really like having everything already wrapped and under the tree. Then I went out to El Rodeo with the fam, which was awesome. They don't have Mexican restaurants in the UK, so I was thrilled to have a burrito, chalupa and a quesadilla. You'd be amazed at how much I can eat for a hundred and ten pound person. Then I bonded with my brother over Superbad and attempted to start a lace top, which will probably be frogged later. I'm not terribly happy with it, but I'm going to put it away for a few days and think about it first.

Today I got back to Lucrezia, my darling, my spinning wheel. I started spinning some Lorna's Laces roving before I flew the coop but I didn't get it done in time. Today I spun the rest of the really long spun single and then had the bright idea to Andean ply 400 yards- which obviously didn't turn out well. Andean plying is good for when you've got a little bit of single-ply handspun that you'd like to by 2 ply, but you don't want to separate it out on 2 bobbins to do so. So, had the slightly brighter idea to put it all on my niddy-noddy and then put it around a pillow and pull from both sides, still doing an Andean ply, just on a much bigger scale. I will definently do it again, and will try to take pictures of the process next time. I was thrilled that it worked! I'm also thrilled with how the Lorna's Laces looks all plied...isn't it pretty? I really missed my wheel when I was in was so pleasant to get my rhythm back at the wheel while listening to RENT (listening to La Vie Boheme at the moment...for the 12th time) and watching the snow fall. Its so relaxing...I love being home with my chatty cat and my spinning wheel!

Not a whole lot else going on...there's been talk about a trip to DSW for a new pair of boots to replace the ones I broke in England (at this point I have 2 pairs of shoes in the flat in England, black heels and red heels...not too great for the snow!) and I still need to go to Tiffany to get my Christmas bracelet fitted...I can't wait to start wearing it!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

So this is Christmas

At least it is in William Morris Tower, Flat 6!

I made my first Chocolate Victoria Sponge Cake with Chocolate Butter Icing...and impressed the pants off myself.

There was chocolate fudge...
and there was Red Velvet cake (scroll down for recipe!)

and there was Coca-Cola cake, complete with Chocolate and Coke icing and marshmallows (sounds weird as hell, but it's really very good)

The cooks couldn't have been more proud...
(This is one of the Alex-es of the flat, he makes a mean Christmas Chicken, pot roast, Yorkshire puddings and roasted potatoes, I took care of the cakes, green beans, carrots, and mashed potatoes. Together, we can put together quite a meal...for 20)

And finally, after 9 hours of cooking, we were finally ready to eat.

After a ridiculous amount of food, we were somewhat ready for my pride and joy, dessert. So Irene invented a reason for her pseudo-hubby, Tom to leave (his b-day is on Saturday and he's the one that's obsessed with Coke) and then we turned out the lights and put a bunch of candles in the Coca-Cola cake and brought him back and and sang to him. He was appropriately embarassed, but I think he liked it. He definently liked the cake.

Then we undid our secret santa gifts. I haven't gotten a picture of my own yet, so I stole someone else's picture of my gifts...yeah, I really got a necklace and a bracelet from Tiffany! I started crying right there in the middle of the secret santa swap, it was the best present ever! Yikes- I'm still crying! I feel so loved!

Red Velvet Cake:

1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teas. vanilla
2 T Cocoa
1 teas. salt
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup of milk plus 1 teaspoon white vinegar)
1 tsp soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1 oz red food color in 2 oz water
1 T vinegar

Cream shortening, eggs, and sugar. Make a paste with food color, water and cocoa. Add to mixture, then add salt, buttermilk, flour, and vanilla. Mix. Remove from mixer and add vinegar and soda (mixture). Spoon together, but don't beat. Bake 350 for 30 minutes.

Frosting... (aka the best frosting in the world)
1 cup milk
1 cup butter
1 teas. vanilla
5 T. flour
1 cup powdered sugar

Mix flour with milk and cook until thick. Cool in frig.
Mix 1 cup butter (real butter) with powdered sugar and vanilla
Beat mixture until smooth. Add flour and milk mixture gradually.

Enjoy! I'd love to know what you think- if you make it, you must let me know how it turns out!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Doin' the Happy Dance, Feelin' the love...

So...I just got back from turning in my last two papers, both of which were written so well, that if Nobel prizes were awarded for essays on Literature, I would have tied with myself. Okay, maybe not that good, but they were pretty darn good. The more important thing is that I am all done for the rest of the semester. And this happens every year, the due dates, the stress and then the epiphany. It hits me every year while turning in the last assignment: It's Christmas! I love it! The Christmas trees, the lights, the cookies, the silly santa hats, the way the trees sparkle when they're covered in ice! I love it all! (I think I'm loving it more this year since I don't have a pile of hand-knit deadlines for relatives expecting knitted presents!) I'm going home in 6 DAYS! As much as I'm going to miss the flatmates and English friends, I'm really excited to go home and see my parents and the cat...and I'm even a little excited to see my baby bro. I wonder if he's grown anymore since I've been away...

So I was talking to my friend Emma (who is American with an English name) and she is also flying out on the 14th (Sunday) and was saying how she has three suitcases to get back and she wasn't sure how she was going to do it. So I volunteered because I only have 1 bag and then she's like, oh, btw, my flight is 4 hours before yours. Poop. But- I have a plan. I'm going to get her and her bags to Heathrow, make sure she gets all checked in, then I'm going to check my bag, hop back on the tube and go get myself a nice, pre-flight non-airport lunch in London. Okay, it won't be that nice, but it will certainly be on the way to Loop yarns! That's right...I'm rewarding myself for getting to the airport with a trip to as many yarns stores I can fit in the 3 hours before I have to take the tube back to Heathrow and hop in line for security, with a bit of a secret. Heathrow has banned knitting/crocheting tools of all sorts, no matter their composition, but I don't think they'd take my bag of new yarn away. Especially if they can't find my sock dpns (they'll be in my shelf bra!) Get on the flight, read my new Sookie Stackhouse books and once we're in the air, get my knit on. I'd love to have turned a heel by the time I get to Chicago, but that might not happen, especially if they turn the lights off again. I am loading a few movies on my laptop this week to help with boredom (so far I have Fight Club and Romeo and Juliet- a nice balance of Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and my boy, Leo) and right now I'm just so friggin' excited to come home!

That's about it...have made minimal sock progress as all weekend was spent in bed with the flu or in front of the laptop writing about different versions of Cinderella. Hopefully there will be a nice big post Wednesday with all my baking pics, a couple recipes and pictures from the Christmas party! Yay!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Is it Christmas yet?

Good morning...or something like that. I'm a little flu-ey at the moment, so I appologize in advance for the inability to put a sentence together. I woke up yesterday with a sore lower back and hips, and this morning with a full-out flu. Bleh. I should have been a good student and written my papers this week when I wasn't sneezing every 30 seconds...but oh well. I also just sneezed while carrying a hot tea to my room...and now have wet socks and a bright red arm- ouch. Not my day. I just got back from my Fairy Tales class and I'll regurgitate my lesson over the blog instead of having my usual nap- because if I go to sleep now, I won't get back up again for my 1 o'clock Versions of Modernity class.
Today we continued last week's discussion of the nuclear family in fairy tales, and the common role of stepmothers and stepsisters cast as villians. We talked alot about this one story, Juniper (also known as the Rose-tree) where a woman kills her stepdaughter, cooks and feeds her to the loving father and brother, and the girl is reincarnated into a bird, who then somehow carries a millstone back to her father's house and drops the stone on her stepmother's head and kills her. Happy stuff. I wonder why Disney didn't cover that one?

Also talked about Cymbeline and The Three Heads in the Well, both of which have ties to Colchester, the town where I live when I'm in England. Colchester used to be the capital of England, long before London, way before the days of King Arthur...there is actually still a roman castle in the town centre- it's quite nice. They have beautiful roses and demonic squirrels that act like they want to share your granola bar, but they really want to tear your face off...back to fairy tales. Story starts off in Colchester where it looks like a recently widowed Kind is about to marry his daughter, the 15 year old princess (like Donkey Skin, this nasty French fairy much incest in real Fairy Tales) BUT he instead marries a hag who also has a 15 year old daughter. The hag and her daughter tell the king lies about his daughter and he banishes her from the kingdom with only a bag of hard bread, nasty cheese and some cheap beer (sounds like a college student to me!) and she's on her way! She sees this old man (who is actually a faerie in disguise) and offers to share her moldy cheese and nasty bread and beer with him, and he gives her a magic wand and shows her to a magic well. Three golden heads pop out of this well and demand that she brush their hair and lay them on the ground to she whips this magical golden comb out of thin air and does just that. They grant her three "weirds" (not wishes) which if you have studied linguistics, Old English and Shakespeare, you have figured out by now that the three "weirds" have come from three "wyrds" which represent the "wyrd sisters" from Hamlet- they were witches. So they "weird" her beauty, a lovely singing voice, and marriage to a wealthy prince (it's like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White all rolled into one) so she goes and snags herself the 14th century version of Prince William even though she has been disowned by her father and is without dowry, all thanks to old hag stepmom. So mini-hag daughter decides to do what her step-sis did and go find her own darn prince, but she screws up every step of the way. She tells the old man who asks her to share her food to bugger off, she beats the three golden heads in with a bottle of sherry and they "weird" her leprocy, a frog-voice and marriage to a cobbler. So then she meets a cobbler who happens to have an ointment for leprocy and is quite deaf and can't hear how terrible she sounds. So they get hitched, go back to the king asking for land or lordship or something and the old hag kills herself out of embarassment. I think she should have fallen into a vat of liquid hot magma, been eaten by wolves or been given leprocy herself, but a nice, respectable suicide will have to work.

So there...a fairy tale that I'm glad Disney overlooked. And now I'm going to tie it all in with knitting in a most amazing way: by showing you my wicked stepsister sock.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's Hump Day!

Happy Wednesday everyone! I'm just going to announce that I'm going home to Indy in 11 days and I'm thrilled to death. I'm really excited about getting my papers done by Monday and coasting on my last week while compulsively baking, my other addictive habit. We had a little vote yesterday for what goodies I will be making for the "family" meal (as in the 14 people living in the flat and whoever else shows up that day) and we decided on Coca Cola cake, Red Velvet cake (I will publish the recipe in the post after the Christmas party, Paisley Penguin- sorry it's taking me so long! Papers first, you know!) Chocolate Queen Victoria Sponge Cake (never made a sponge cake but I'm quite excited- it looks fabulous.) and lastly chocolate fudge. The fudge is really just to use up the leftover ingredients from the red velvet cake, but I don't think the flatmates will mind...

So I finished the monkeys in the last post, and I cast on socks with my new Louet Gems yarn (pictures below) and HATED IT. Seriously- I kept knitting tighter and tighter and I just don't like how the yarn feels. I figured I may have just been having a grumpy, sleep deprived day and frogged it. Then I realized I had SnB in an hour and grabbed a set of size 2's and the black/overdyed red Sheepytime silk/wool from Mandie ( and ran to the bus stop. By the time I got to the bar I had cast on and knitted the first two rounds of twisted rib and was ready to get my drink on. After a couple dropped stitches within the first inch I figured I'd switch to hot tea though...probably a good idear. I took some pictures this morning of last night's progress- this sock goes hella fast. I love the naughtyness of the color and the lingere quality of the lace (pattern is Hedera from Cookie A, this is my second pair this year)...but to try to keep it with the theme of life in England, I'm naming these socks the "Wicked Stepsisters" because I'm procraftinating with them and avoiding writing my paper for my fairy tales class, which is ironically on the construction of the nuclear family and the importance of evil stepmothers and stepsisters in Grimm's fairy tales. It's interesting...but I still don't feel like writing it right now. I also have a paper on the use of archaic language in 18th century poetry...gag. I think I'll knit socks today instead.
*By the way, the color in the first picture is more accurate, but the bottom picture shows the pattern a little better. If you haven't made a Hedera sock, drop whatever you are doing and cast on. Seriously*
I also need to run to Tesco to buy food- I'm completely out of's amazing how you can have food in the fridge, go away for the weekend and return to having no food at all. It must be the floor poltergeist. He steals milk too, but only whole milk. And mostly just my whole milk. The poltergeist might be called Luke.
Anyhoo, since my camera ate my stash pictures, I thought I'd retake one. The stuff still in the skien is my wonderful new Mirasol Hacho, the large purple ball is the Kraemer Sterling and Silk and the two smaller balls is the LOUET FROM HELL!!!! It's nice yarn, it just doesn't work with any of the patterns I've tried. I'm also very impatient. Maybe it will go home to Indy, maybe it will get left here and I'll deal with it next semester. Who knows. The Hacho will probably become a scarf...I've rubbed it all over my face like a cat trying to dream up what I will do with it boring to do another fan and feather scarf with it? It love multi-colored yarn, but there's not a ton you can really do with it as far as lace goes...any ideas? Any ideas on what I can do with the Louet from Hell? If you can come up with something good, there may be a terrible British gift involved....

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monkeys off my back

Hey there! I'm back from my wonderful weekend away in St. Neots visiting my mom away from mom. I did a ton of Christmas shopping, but my family occasionally reads here, so I'm going to stop talking about
I had a wonderful weekend of wining, dining (and shopping obviously) and beautiful, blissful, uninterupted sleep. I took my laptop with every intention of finishing the essay that was due today, but didn't. I did get the laptop out about 4 times and stared at Microsoft Word for a while, write a few lines, save it, then delete it a minute later, but I actually started over as soon as I got back here. 4 hours before the essay was due. I cranked out my 20 pages, cited my sources, proofread and send that beast in sent that beast in 10 minutes before it was due. I was actually started to get nautious as 4 o'clock approached- I was terrified. There are no extensions for any reason. Well, 1 reason, but I don't plan on getting beaten to a pulp and go to the hospital anytime soon. But then again, it could put my nose back where it used to be....and there's 1 monkey off my back. The essay- not the fugly nose that makes even Barbara Streisand look normal.
I barely touched my knitting this weekend. Seriously- it was that good. I did buy a little something for myself...but I didn't get a picture since it's past 4 pm here and therefore pitch black outside and any pictures taken of yarn with the flash look like something out of the Wizard of Oz. I picked up 3 skiens of this Peruvian yarn I'd never seen before but fondled innapropriately in a different store. It was on sale here and all three were the same dye lot, so I'm really glad I didn't buy it at the Remnant Shop as originally planned. It's called Hacho and it can be found here: It's beautiful stuff- the colorway I got is all different greens and purples (shocked? I know!) So, minimal knitting this weekend but I did pull off a miracle on the ride home this morning...
That's right! I got over the Second Sock Syndrome and finished the second pumpkin monkey (homesick socks on ravelry) and kitchenered the toe shut after I finished my essay. It's a good feeling...been wearing them ever since. Can't wait to get them home to Indy and get some really good pictures of them so I can add them to the hand-knit-sock rotation. Two monkeys off my back. It was a good day.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Still stuffed from yesterday

Hey there! Hope all my American readers had a great Thanksgiving! I had the best British-vegetarian-Thanksgiving a girl could ask for. I took a ton of pictures, but my camera has apparently eaten them. I'm sure they'll pop up randomly in a few weeks- they always do.

So...Wedneday was a trip to London with Rosie (flatmate) and James (new friend). We took a later train out so we paid half-price and crammed as much as we could into our 7 hours in London. We went to the Museum of Natural Science (Damn it camera! Those pictures were awesome!) and hung out there for a while. We did a quick run thru of Harrods ( I wanted to stay longer, but once Rosie had found her vibrating mascara, she wanted to go grab lunch) and we went to a map store looking for an Xmas present for my dad. I found a really cool map that was about a square foot, and it looked really old and was all black and white. Flipped it over, had a der Paige moment. The map was from 1442 and was over 800 pounds. Dad will not be getting that for Christmas. I may go to London before I head back for Christmas and look again at the map store- but Rosie and James were not so patient and wanted to go elsewhere. Then we had jam and custard doughnuts the size of our heads. There's a great picture of that to, but it's on demon-camera. Then we split up for a while- they went to Camden town and I went to Waterloo to see iKnit- where the Harlot stopped on her London stop. The place is pretty cool- has a fullout bar in it but I wasn't overly impressed with the yarn selection. It really didn't have all that much. But I still found a couple things I couldn't leave without (use your imagination- the pictures are gone) like 2 skeins of Louet Gems sock yarn in the Dusk colorway which has greens, blues and purples. I'm thinking a fan and feather-ish pattern may work best for that yarn. I also got some Kraemer Sterling "Silk and Silver" in a purple. I love it when some of my favorite things are combined for me like sock yarn, the color purple and sparkles. I couldn't let it go. I carried some Malabrigo sock around for a while but since it was the same colors as the Louet Gems and 3 pounds more, I put it down and bought the Louet and the Silk and Silver. Not too bad for me.

Met up with Rosie and James again and we then realized we had 20 minutes to get back to Liverpool station and onto our returning train before our tickets expired. So, we sprinted across Camden town station and crossed over onto the Jubilee line and then went on the Northern line for a minute...and made it. Whew. Sat down on the train to get back to Colchester and waited. And waited. And waited. Someone had jumped in front of a train and killed themselves and it shut down all the trains north of London for 4 hours. There were a ton of people bitching about how late they were going to be, and yeah, we were late, but when someone died you can shut your mouth and forget about how you're going to be late. It's just rude.

Got back quite late (but not too late to make pumpkin pie!) and so I did just that. While simultaneously reading Mansfield Park and drying my hair. Take that, Martha Stewart. So made the pie, got it ready to take to my American Women's History class (if you have to have class on Thanksgiving, then pumpkin pie better go with it) and got there and nobody wanted to try it. They were all stumped as to why anyone would want to eat a pumpkin. So then Sinead, the Irish teacher of American studied walked in, asked if that was pumpkin pie and asked if she could have a piece. Once she announced it was the best pumpkin pie she'd ever had, everyone else wanted some. Brits can be fickle sometimes. So, instead of having our lecture on women in Utopian societies, we ate pumpkin pie and had girl-talk. Sinead also let me know that she will be calling me Martha for the rest of the year.

Got back from lectures and started baking again. Started with carrot cake. Made the batter, threw it in the oven and left to go check my e-mail. 30 minutes in the whole flat smelled like carrot cake, which was wonderful, but 30 minutes was way too soon. Someone had gone and turned the oven from the "oven" setting to the "grill" setting and turned it up a hundred degree. My carrot cake was burnt to a crisp on top and still raw on the bottom. So, now an hour behind schedule, I started again. The rest of the cooking went without flaw and my friend Simona from Romania even came over at 5:30 to help with the cooking! Alex and Reece, two of the flatmates and declared that a meal without meat is no meal at all went and bought 2 chickens (Tesco was out of Turkey), just-bake-and-eat Yorkshire puddings (so anti-American but we needed a bread of some sort so it worked) and potatoes for roasting. Since only one of our ovens was working and the chickens took twice as long to cook as they were supposed to, we ended up eating at 8 instead of 7 and didn't get to have Sweet Potato Casserole until nearly the end of the meal since we stuck it in after the Chicken came out. Then we stuck in the Pecan Pie which wasn't ready until everyone had already eaten more than they thought they could and we were all miserably sitting around the table groaning. People were a little worried about the Sweet Potato casserole (are there supposed to be marshmallows on it? And you eat it with the main meal? Are you sure? Americans are weird...) but then my Polish-Hawaiian friend, Piotr came in and said "Is that sweet potato casserole?!" and told his just-Polish friend Magda that she had to try some, everyone wanted some. And I have to say so myself, it was a good casserole.

So: the numbers

People fed at Thanksgiving: 22
Hours spent cooking: 6
Pecan pies: 2
Carrot Cakes: 2 (only 1 was edible)
Pumpkin Pies: 2
Chickens: 2
Potatoes for roasting: 8 pounds (weight, not money)
Potatoes for mashing: 7 pounds
Yorkshire Puddings: 30
Green Beans: 2 pounds
Sweet Corn: 3 pounds
Cranberry sauce: 1 pound
Sweet potatoes for Casserole: 2 pounds plus bag of marshmallows
Standing ovation from flatmates while putting the last dish on the table: Priceless
Having the other people help with the washing up: Even better

All and all it was a good Thanksgiving. Luke, the one who had to have Thanksgiving in the first place, missed out on everything. Including pecan pie- for the second time. I'm a little angry with him for that, but Thanksgiving here isn't about what Luke wants. It's about what I feel like cooking.

So that's about it. Hopefully my pictures will come back one day and I can show you the awesomeness of the fully decked-out table before a single bite was taken.

I'm out- enjoy your black Friday!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Just Monkeyin' around

Good morning! (My clock that is still set on Indiana time says it's morning- so there!)

After finally accepting defeat yesterday and realizing that there is no reasonable way to get pumpkin pie, I walked into Sainsbury's looking for powdered cocoa to make Red Velvet cake with. I didn't find any of that, but I did find something else. 4 pumpkins. As in, the orange things that pumpkin puree is made out of. So I bought them- I mean, how hard can it be to make pumpkin puree? Turns out, not hard at all.

First you take those pumpkins (it turns out 4 is a bit much, I may end up having several pumpkin pies this year) and split them in half with a big ol' knife, like so.
Then get out the pumpkin seeds and goo, leaving only the "meat" inside the skin. Then my camera was hijacked by Irene, the Spanish girl and the pictures she took are not appropriate for a knitting blog. Or anything really...moving on. The rest will be without Martha Stewart-style pictures, I appologize. Cover your pumpkin halves with tin foil and then stick them in the oven, tin foil side up. Stick them in at 250 degrees Farenheit, or 165 C and set your timer for an hour.20 minutes in, some stupid freshman will pull the fire alarm and you will have to evacuate the building. Turn the oven off, your pumpkins will be okay. Turn back on after 45 minutes of standing in freezing cold and let them cook for another 45 minutes or so. With a spoon, scrape out the meat and throw it in Joe's blender. Blend until it looks like you think pumpkin puree ought to look. Throw that in ziplock bags. Throw those in the freezer. We'll deal with those on Thursday.

So, I should probably mention that my knitting mojo is back- or at least it was. I started a Cherry Leaf Lace scarf with some Sirdar Baby Bamboo that I bought before I left the US and realized after I used the first of 2 skeins that 2 skeins isn't going to be nearly enough. Great...where the hell am I going to find more Sirdar Baby Bamboo before Tuesday? Turns out Franklins carries it- and even better, they had one skien left in the color I needed. And I had a coupon. Score. Score. Score. Will be able to finish this thing for Marylyn, block it and have it ready to give to her when she picks me up at the train station on Saturday! So glad that worked out that well.
I also started a Monkey sock with the sock yarn I got in the mail on Tuesday (Thanks Mom!) I asked for stuff to make a pumpkin pie with, but sock yarn is just as good. It also happens to be pumpkin colored, so that's a bonus. I doubt I'll still be working on them by Thanksgiving though...but then again, if the SSS persists, I might never finish them at all! These are my Homesick Socks on Ravelry, because Pumpkin Monkeys has nothing to do with traveling. Here is the first sock being modeled on two different backgrounds, "cake ingredients" and "black radiator that works sometimes". I'll try to take them to London on Wednesday for some fancy pictures.
So since I'm making minimal progress on my essays and deadlines are approaching (and about to fly by) I really need to get some work done on those.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


So Rosie and Jess, two of my flatmates were doing makeup in the kitchen so they could go out clubbing tonight and Luke should have been smart enough to leave the kitchen when they've got makeup out....but he wasn't. So now we have Lucy.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Hey everyone! was the much anticipated Oxford trip, and I must say, it was pretty flippin' awesome. We had to meet at 7.45 this morning and drive for 2 1/2 hours while the driver played techno/rap remixes, but nothing an I-pod and Josh Groban couldn't block out. I do love that man.
Anyhoo- got to Oxford and had 7 hours to do it all, so we did. I went with my favorite Argentinians, Sere and Agus (Sere is forgiven, Luke is a douchebag and I'm really truly over it this time). We went to Christ Church Cathedral and College- which is the most famous one at Oxford. I turned on my camera to get some pictures, but it was nearly dead despite the fact that it charged all night. So I took a few snapshots and then saved my battery for the Oxford Museum of Natural Science (because I'm awesome like that-right?) So here is a small snippet of our day in fairly chronological order:

We went to Christ Church College, where I debated dropping out of college/uni and becoming a postcard photographer. Turns out it's not my mad photography skills, Oxford just really is that beautiful.Still thinkin' about dropping out....
There was something significant about that tree, but since we followed the Spanish tourguide for Sere and Agus, I didn't quite get it. I did get some Argentinian lovin' in the Churchyard though (totally going to hell for that) -that picture got knocked out of order, see first picture for Argentine lovin'.
We then teleported to Pisa to see the leaning tower. Not really, I just decided that this building looked better tipping over.We headed over to the Museum of Natural Science (if you ever go to Oxford- you must do this. The shrunken head exhibit was closed, but the rest was well worth it. How many places do you get to have your picture taken with Charles Darwin...seriously?)

I thought about how lucky I was to not be dating a dinosaur. Imagine how long it would take to knit him socks!I modeled the newest design in Dinosaur fashions. Agus was stunned.

Not to be outdone by my mad skills and Vanna White impersonations, Sere got her flirt on with a badger. She got his number, too.
and I was brutally mauled by a dinosaur. Then my camera died.

After the museum, we got a quick lunch (I went to this Panera knock-off called Pret A Manger, which is French for "Ready to Eat" and met them at Burger King with my uber-healthy sandwich.) and decided to part ways for a bit. I was exhausted from my lack of sleep (had an asthma attack last night and was a little shaken up when I tried to go to sleep) and decided I'd not follow them through another museum at break-neck speed, so I went shopping. I went to the Alice in Wonderland store (another must if you ever go to Oxford) and looked around. I got a tea cup (thought it was fitting) with the illustration of the game of croquet between the Queen of Hearts and Alice whilst using Dodo birds as sticks. They also had Mad Hatter tea but the exchange rate made me not get that. I did get a couple cool postcards, one of which I will send to my mother, and the other I will use as a bookmark. I send my mom a postcard from everywhere I go that's not Essex. I'm awesome like that. Plus I totally didn't get her anything for her birthday and think a year of postcards might make up for that. Back to Alice in Wonderland.

Lewis Carrol- the writer, as well as a heroin addict, was a teacher at Oxford. Alice, the inspiration for the stories, was the 7 year old daughter of the Dean. There's definently sexual undertones in the stories and the pictures that Carrol did of Alice, but that's weird and I'm not going there. I'm so traumatized from my fairy tales class, I'm seeing pedophilia everywhere! Ahhh! Anyhoo, the store that is now the Alice in Wonderland store used to be Alice's favorite candy store and there's a wonderful shelf of colorful and delicious things that make me wish I actually had a metabolism. Instead I bought postcards and a teacup. And 2 shirts that say OXFORD UNIVERSITY in super big bright letters across my boobs. I'm collecting hoodies from prestigious European Universities so when I go back to Indiana rockin' the Oxford shirt and people ask where I got that rockin' Oxford shirt, I'm going to tell them I went to Oxford/Cambridge/La Sorbonne. I will simply fail to mention that I only went to Oxford/Cambridge/La Sorbonne for a day and I took tours, not classes. Itty bitty details. Itty bitty.

Went shopping a little more, looked for a Chelsea shirt for little bro's Christmas present, failed at that, went to Borders to feel better. Got a book most appropriately called, I Never Fancied Him Anyway which I will read in the kitchen. And then leave in the kitchen. With my name in the front cover. Maybe not. I just thought it seemed fitting. It's also motivation to finish my GD history paper. Not going to even crack it open until I finish the paper. That's not going to happen, but that's what I'm telling myself. I am completely lacking on willpower at the moment.

I'm taking a little knit-break. Probably just a week or so- I just need to put all my creative juices into turing my 5 page paper into the 20 page paper that it needs to be by Tuesday. Then I need to make a scarf for Marylyn, my mom away from mom. I'm going to visit her and her granddaughters on the 29th and I'd really like to have it finished and blocked by then. Any ideas for a fairly fast lace scarf? The yarn is Sirdar's baby bamboo, the color is white. Leave suggestions in the comments or Ravel me...y'all know the drill by now.

Happy Knitting! I'll be back in a few days!

Friday, November 14, 2008


Something bad keeps happening to everything I'm knitting. It's terrible! The other day I was trying on the first of the green stripey socks after I finished the gusset. I knew it was going to be snug, but I could barely get it on. And then I snapped a size 0 dpn in half trying to get the damn sock off. So I frogged. And I cast on with a different sock yarn. And I frogged. So I thought I'd start the scarf that needs to be done by the 29th, and I frogged. I have failed so many times at knitting over the past week, I wonder if I will ever be able to actually produce something halfway decent again. What is wrong with me?!

I also lost a dpn from a different set, making 2 sets unknittable right now. I've checked every pocket on every purse but can't find the damn needle!

I worked a little on the handspun top-down raglan, but I really don't like the look of the handspun knitted. I am very proud of how even and sometimes machine-like my knitting is, but this handspun looks like it was made by a beginner. It may get frogged and turned into a lap-blanket. It really hate to spend that much money on a lap blanket though...Any suggestions?

I'm making progress on my essays- progress that makes a snail look like it's moving at the speed of light. Seriously. Yesterday I wrote 700 words and it nearly killed me. These essays have to be at least 8000 words. And there's 4 of them.

And I walked in on Luke and Sere having an intimate moment in the kitchen last night.

I have no idea what I'm doing here.

Monday, November 10, 2008


So far my essays are a lost cause- I planned to have 2 done by now, and instead I have one pathetic paragraph of word vomit. Writing just isn't coming naturally at the moment. I even set up appointments with my teachers to discuss my essays, which normally forces me to at least put some ideas down on paper...but I just can't convince my brain to help me out here! I know I'm way early and I have tons of time before these are due, but I really don't want to wait until the last minute with these darn papers like I do every semester! Any suggestions to kick-start my motivation? I thought booking a trip to Oxford this weekend would be motivation- nope. I thought knitting a little bit to get my brain in creative mode would work- nope. I've also been super distracted since I last wrote with Luke (don't judge, I'm not testing the waters with both feet- this time) but since he's in Manchester for the day, I thought I'd get cracking on my essays- but nope. No progress at all. This darn weather makes me want to sleep all day and not write papers....*yawn*.

So: new project progress. I told myself I wouldn't be starting new projects until I finished at least two papers. I failed at that. It's another sock- out of ONline Supersocke 100, which is the same kind the Picadilly Circus Socks are made out of. It's not great yarn, but it's cheap and very bright, both of which are extrememly important right now. It also washes really well. It's also tragically thin, and I couldn't get gauge on anything except Jaywalkers. So I casted on for Jaywalkers. And then frogged. And then casted on for Marigold Socks. And got to about 4 inches before I frogged. And now I'm knitting plain Jane stockinette stitch socks, and they're wonderful. I am knitting on size 0 needles (this sock is more dense than carpet- I'm willing to bet it's waterproof. And fireproof.) and I casted on 68 stitches around. It's a bit snug but the Jaywalkers I made out of this yarn have told me that it does stretch quite well. The size 0's hurt, but the fabric is great and it's totally worth it. I may do this again with the last skein of this yarn I have (bought 3- they were on sale- not the best yarn decision ever). If I finish the socks before Friday (might happen considering I started them last night and am now turning the first heel) then I will probably call them the Plain Jane Austen socks to keep with the British theme, and if they last until Saturday's road trip, they will be the Oxford Socks. I still need to finish Sere's scarf which I started forever ago- it's nearly scarf weather here. Plus I just want to get it off my desk.
So- on to a more interesting topic- Luke. I really can't make up my mind about him. Some days I want to punch him in the face and some days I want other things. Lately it's been the latter. So Saturday night after a few of us went to the pub (he didn't- we left before he got back from work) we all got back and were hanging out in the kitchen and talking about boxing. Apparently, there was this match that would be on at 11:15 (US time, that's 4:15 am for us) and normally I don't watch grown men beating each other to a pulp unless it's part of a Russel Crowe movie...but I was considering staying up to watch the boxing match with Luke. Then he made a comment about how the American boxer was going down and without thinking I blurted out, "Wanna bet?"
*I should probably point out at this time that I have no friggin idea who is who when it comes to boxing. Had I known anything about who was fighting I would have instantly agreed that the American was going down. And he did- he got his ass kicked by a Welsh guy. Darn.
** I should also point out that last time I said, "Wanna bet?" I ended up with a broken nose. What is it about Luke that makes my judgement dissapear?
So...2 hours of cardgames passed and everyone in the flat had gone to bed...except Luke and I of was game-time. So we were in his room watching the match and doing a little casual flirting and joking and then there was a tickle-fight and then...oh my's coming...the tickle fight stopped...the world stopped turning...he's going to kiss me...oh my god.....and I panicked. I jumped up and said I really needed to go to bed because at this point it was 7 am and I was still telling myself I was going to write papers all day and I FREAKED OUT! We made up, we flirted, we even had a friggin' tickle-fight and I FREAKED OUT! I have been kicking myself since Saturday night- my first shot at my first British kiss and I blew it! I am totally going to be a cat-lady.
So there. I get so close to getting what I want and then I run. Oh well...there's always tomorrow night.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Remember, Remember the 5th of November

So today is not only the aftermath of the American elections, but the day Guy Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament in 1605 with 2 tons of gunpowder stolen from the Spanish during a previous war. He rented the basement of the House of Lords for a night and when someone leaked the plan, he was found surrounded by barrels of gunpowder. He was tortured and killed for his attempt to start a revolution. Today it is called Bonfire Night and I'm guessing that there are going to be fireworks, and I sure hope they are visable from my flat. A few of us had planned to go to London to see the fireworks there, but it's an awful expensive trainride for a night standing in the cold and watching fireworks. Maybe we'll run to town and grab some fireworks and have our own show.
So, as promised, the pictures of the Guy Fawkes Sawkes on Guy Fawkes day. Not the dramatic pictures you were probably expecting, but considering I have spent all day in the library finding books to help with my term papers, this will have to do for now.

That also means that I probably won't be blogging for a while, as every waking moment will be spent writing term papers and trying to finish Wuthering Heights. I will be knitting (ever so slowly) another top-down raglan out of some off-white handspun, but if you've been reading for very long at all, you know what those look like...

So, goodbye for now and I'll be back after I write 20 pages on the role of separate spheres in womens history, 15 on John Keats, 15 on the Freudian approaches to looking at Evil Stepmothers, and 15 on something interesting about Mansfield Park. Hopefully this will go faster than I think it will, but I'm having doubts of being able to leave my room before December.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Death of a Crush

Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here to mourn the loss of a schoolgirl crush, one that began shortly after Luke moved in, and ended after a brutal exhibit of his true colors this afternoon. The crush is survived by Common Sense, Feeling of Independence and Desire to Focus on Schoolwork.

A Wake will be held at Midnight, where I will meet his friend at Top Bar with a small shirt on and watch the election coverage...all night long.

Oh- nearly forgot! I finished the second Guy Fawkes Sawk and did the kitchener stitch-backwards. I now have a perfect purl row at the end of my toe. Pictures tommorow...

Monday, November 3, 2008


So I was doing to usual facebook stalking a minute ago, checking on friends of friends and who has had babies and who has gotten married and whatnot, and I found something that looked a little familiar...

This hat was one of the last things I made before I headed to England, and apparently baby Andrew is not all that thrilled about wearing it...oh well. He's a cutie- had to share this.

Those of you who have been reading or have known me for a while have probably figured out what's going on- I've barely touched the needles since I broke my nose. At first I blamed the constant headache, inability to wear glasses to see the lace on the second Guy Fawkes Sock, but now I'm pretty sure it's really just a case of Second Sock Syndrome...or in my case, Sixth Sock Syndrome. Except that I don't want to work on my mitered squares blanket or the scarf I promised Sere, either. Slump. So I made the journey to Tesco today in search of something that would certainly pull me out of my slump...ingredients for a pumpkin pie. But of course, being Britain and all, I am unable to find any pumpkin puree here and it looks like I won't be making pumpkin pie after all. Maybe this is a sign that I should stop procrastinating and just start my damn essays? I've got roughly 40 pages of essays on various topics to write between now and December 1st...and the reality that I need to start working just hasn't sunk in yet. I have read the entire fall ration of cheesy romance novels already and have bought a couple more, I have cleaned my room a million times, I have even reorganized my stash by color and then my fiber content, using high heels as spacers, but I have NOT cracked a book for these damn papers! I haven't even picked my topics yet! Yikes!

I think I'll blame the cold- the one in my face, not the cold outside. I just don't feel like doing anything remotely productive. Hopefully a walk around campus will put my head straight. But I seriously need to get something done on my history essay before SnB tomorrow night so I can go guilt-free, and then pull an all nighter with Luke (not quite on speaking terms yet) and his other friends all majoring in "American Studies" to watch election coverage. I know how to party, eh?

Friday, October 31, 2008


Red Dress: $80
Red Shoes: $50
Red Purse: $18
Tickets to Halloween Party: $16
Glitter Devil Horns: $5

Being left by your date nearly as soon as you walk in and then elbowed in the (already broken) nose by a guy dressed as a bathtub: Priceless.

Hope your Halloween was better!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Day!

Yay! Today is awesome!

The start of today was not a promising one, but it's turned around rather quickly once I got moving.

Today started with some jackass pulling the fire alarm at 4 am. Did I mention that he or she was a jackass? So there was a good half hour of standing outside huddling with Luke to stay warm- okay it wasn't that bad. If you've got to be dragged out of bed by a 4 am false alarm, there better be a cute guy to huddle with once you get to the bottom of the stairs. Later, got back to the room, couldn't get to sleep, so I played on ravelry and read Mansfield Park until it was time to get up.

Had a pop quiz on Mansfield Park (there was only one question I couldn't answer, it was "Who was the landscaper at Mansfield Park?" My answer was "Roger the Shrubber"- I figured if I had to be wrong, I may as well be amusing) and later got into argument with teacher about the theme of morality in Mansfield Park. Considering I've got quite a bit of Jane Austen under my belt, I am NOT a person you want to argue with about anything Jane Austen. He actually looked a bit defeated at the end of the seminar. Paige 1: Musselwhite: 0.

Went to history class....bleh...wishing I hadn't stayed up since 4 am....class was over and I walked out the door to find..wonderful. Sleet. That's totally what my broken nose needs. I should probably mention that while it is getting less and less painful everyday, the bruises are suggesting otherwise. They are spreading and getting darker- I should really go as a zombie for halloween and not take the busted-up playboy bunny route I currently plan on taking. Zombies wear more clothes, and being warm sounds quite nice right now.

On the way home it hit me: Tonight is movie-night with Luke! We're watching Casino Royale again so we can be all caught up for tomorrow's show, which I will try hard to not spoil. Got back to the appartment after happy realization yarn from France is here! Yay! And so is my new credit card- mwahahaha! But I'm thrilled to death with this yarn. I took a few glamour shots for you guys...

For those who missed it, I will be designing socks with Maylin's wonderful yarn for the Knit 1, Dead 2 group on Ravelry, in other words, people who knit and watch True Blood. The middle yarn (yellow and pink) will be representing Sookie Stackhouse, the telepathic heroine, and the one on the right with the orange will be for Lafayette, the gay drug-dealer. He has some of the best lines in the show- it would be wrong to NOT give him a pair of fabulous socks. The green yarn was just something for me- it's a wonderful merino/bamboo blend and it might end up being Rivendell socks or perhaps Falling Leaves. Whatever it ends up being, I love the earthy colors with the subtle shine. Maylin does a wonderful job with her colors.
More big news: Clay got into Ball State! Woohoo! Ball State isn't his first choice, but he won't hear from his first choice (Purdue- Boiler Up!) until nearly Chritmas, so it's great that he's got a backup plan. I know he's definently NOT reading his older sister's knitting blog (because that would be dorky) but congrats anyway, baby bro.
I'm out- gotta get some naptime in before reading and snuggle- I mean movie time. If I don't write tomorrow (I'll try to do a quick pre-party picture posting) then HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Monday, October 27, 2008

London and Something Embarassing

Happy Monday! As you know I spent Saturday in London and Sunday in pain- but I'll get to that in a minute.

* I don't remember what this building is, but it's pretty*

Sere and I got up far too early and hopped on the earliest bus to the earliest train to London. I was hovering over a hot tea in a attempt to wake up, so I did not knit on the ride there. My knitting did sit in my lap the whole time though. We got off at the London Bridge station and walked over to THE tourist place, the London Dungeons only to find that the line was...a mile and a half long. So we walked across the London Bridge (new one, not the old that Fergie sings about) and headed down the street (or several streets) to see Buckingham Palace. We stood next to the guards and told each other dirty jokes trying to get them to laugh. We got a "Cheers" through closed teeth from one as we were leaving. Mission accomplished, silence broken. It was a bit chilly but the crisp wind and the turning leaves made it one of the more beautiful places I've ever seen. We saw the park where Finding Neverland was shot, and it's spectacular. Perhaps Prince William and I will get married in the would be beautiful for a wedding.

*Picadilly Circus, just after sunset; Caniballistic Zombie Butcher holding sock; Guard with nice hat*

We also did the Princess Diana memorial walk (If you are on facebook, there's an album with about 40 pictures of the trip- I can't put them all on the blog) and that was beautiful. This week? month? is something to do with remembering WWI veterans and there were poppies everywhere. It was beautiful. I bought a paper poppy which is now blue-tacked to my door in attempts to make it look pretty. We also walked around Picadilly Circus (I wore the wrong socks!) and then headed back to London Dungeons so we could get in before it closed. We stood in the line for a little over an hour and were taunted (Monty Python style) by the "undead" characters, and I even got one of them to hold my sock which I had finished about 30 seconds before he came around. He was such a good sport- I'd really feel like a dork if I asked someone to hold a sock and they said no.

We ended the night earlier than expected and it took a little convincing for Sere, but we went and had Balti. It was awesome. It's like Taj of India back home, but I think it's a little more authentic. Plus I love being able to have a glass of wine with my meal- legally. I had a vegetable Balti (big shock!) and Sere had the Chicken Tikka, which is like Indian food for beginners. She approved and I think I may have converted one more person to the Indian food-loving, sock-holding dark side.
So, I bet you're wondering about that "Something Embarassing"? Well, I broke my nose. I won't tell you exactly how it happened since there was a game of beer pong involved and I don't exactly remember how it happened, but I now have a broken nose, 2 black eyes, and Luke's shirt because I got blood all over my own. Isn't he sweet? Not really, but I'm super excited to go see the new James Bond movie with him, Reece and Kam on Friday- that's guys have to wait until November 9th or something and I get to see it Friday! Woot! I'll try not to spoil it too much, Janet and Mandie. But mostly Mandie.