Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How I know NY will be Overwhelming Pt. 1

Maggie said- "We could go to a Sonic Burger in NYC! That would be awesome."

Phillip said- "Let's go salmon fishing."

I'm working on the assumption that there will be a reason to have more than one entry on this topic.

When I listed the possibilities for adventure to Maggie, she added "WE COULD PLAY MONOPOLY ON THE TRAIN!"

Quite frankly, I'm no better in terms of being excited to take them. I believe I talked about it non-stop for 2 hours last night but polite and understanding knit-nighters would have to confirm that.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


So I had about sixty-twelve billion stitches of the forest canopy shawl on my needles.

I went to do the last 8 border rows with reckless abandon and by the time I got to knit night, it was a mess. I should have "practiced" the new stitch pattern just to memorize it instead of pretending I had it memorized.

Did this stop me?

No it did not.

I knit 2 more rows with reckless abandon until I came to the center stitch of a pattern row, looked at Gina and said, "This is a mess- I don't know what to do."

She gently took the shawl from my hands, let me take the needles out and she frogged the errant rows.

THEN-most importantly-because let's face it- frogging isn't the hardest part-

She put ALL sixty twelve billion stitches Back. On. The. Needles. Wouldn't even let me do it when I offered to.

There is no greater friend than someone who will do that for you and pretend they don't mind a bit. - except I don't think she was pretending.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Making Plans

So, if you've been following this blog for a year or so, you might remember that last summer I adventured with Maggie- We went to Pittsburgh and saw the Titanic exhibit.

This year, in honor of surviving 8th grade and another school year, I've got another plan in the works. Me and Mags and our new friend Phillip (son of one of the kindergarten aides- in Mags' class and also currently surviving the 8th grade) are headed to NYC in June.

We're taking the train- staying 2 nights at the Hotel Penn- seeing the Empire State Building,the Spice Girls at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, The Lion King and Ground Zero. (not necessarily in that order.) We'll arrive Monday night, have Tuesday for some sightseeing, see the show on Tuesday night and head back on the train on Wednesday.

They are both really good kids and I'm fairly sure they will be no trouble- due to circumstances beyond their control they haven't had all of the adult attention they deserve.

The only thing that troubles me slightly in the above sentence is "adult" because I'm going to have to be one- in a sort of parental capacity. I laugh my a$$ off at fainting goats. I am age 9 when playing with my dog.

It's already a done deal, but maybe if you want to reassure me that I'm mature enough to pull this off, I wouldn't mind. kthnxby

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fainting Goats

Seriously. Fainting Goats.

I don't embed many videos. Probably because it takes just long enough for me to become impatient when I try to watch them myself.

I'm here to tell you that if you can wait patiently enough to get to around the 50 second mark, you will be rewinding and searching for people to show this to all night. Like bowling pins, I tell ya.

Also, I've probably been living under a rock and everyone else already knows about the Discovery Channel's Boom De Ya Da clip but if you don't and you're looking for a way to celebrate the planet and the people on it, it's a winner.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tickets, get your tickets.

Last night at knit night, D told us about a dog she had that once ate playoff tickets to a Steelers game. Steeler ticket workers must know dogs, she got them replaced without her husband turning in the remnants of the old ones.

C had an hysterical story about going to the Pittsburgh Symphony.

C: Do you have the tickets?
Husband of C (pointing confidently to his breast pocket): They're right here.

At this point many of you think, as I did, that he did not have the tickets. This is only partially true.

When they approached the usher, husband handed him the tickets which were 2 raffle tickets for 500 lbs. of meat. Usher said "What's this?" Husband said, "oops." Usher asked C if she knew where she was to sit, she did, the symphony went on as usual.

500 POUNDS OF MEAT!! Bwah ha ha.

One time (in college)I won a silver painted Budweiser horse statue under plastic with the words "Bud Light" underneath because I had the right ticket.

Got any good ticket stories?

Monday, April 20, 2009

For the uninitiated-


Also known as Allium tricoccum.

From the above cited wiki article:

Found in groups with broad, smooth, light green leaves, often with deep purple or burgundy tints on the lower stems and a scallion-like bulb strongly rooted just beneath the surface of the soil. Both the white lower leaf stalks and the broad green leaves are edible. They are found from the U.S. state of South Carolina to Canada and are especially popular in the cuisine of the US state of West Virginia and the Canadian province of Quebec when they emerge in the springtime. A common description of the flavor is like a combination of onions and strong garlic.

Pictures and recipes at the wiki site-

There were also plenty of these there but not so much in a good way.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

oo ooh that smell

House of Sophanne went on a field trip today to the Greene County Ramp Festival. I don't know the ins and outs of ramps but have read that school children used to be sent home for smelling like ramps. We did not eat ramps but watched others eat raw ramps, deep fried ramps, ramp burgers and drink ramp wine.

There were the high-tech corn dog makers,

The deep fried ramps,

A man and his ramps

The redneck windchimes

The "For Rednecks By Rednecks" booth

And still, in a corner there was some beauty to be found.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Makers and Readers

There are those who are exclusively music readers. While they have the ability to understand the complicated process of translating symbols into sound, little to no emoting is involved and performances are flat and lifeless.

There are others who are exclusively music makers. Music makers with little or no reading skills who often disregard themselves as Capital M Musicians because of their inability to read.

Then there is that small group of people who are both. Music readers and music makers. Two paragons of perfection in this category are Yo Yo Ma and Bobby McFerrin but there are many others.

As a student of music, I became a music reader. I believe that I became a student of music because I was/am a music maker.

The thing is, once you become a Capital S Student of music, the only path offered to you is that of becoming a better music maker by reading. That's o.k. There is a lot of good music that could and should be read and played.

When I bought the flute, somewhere in my subconscious was the desire to return to simply music making. I know this because I opened the etude books I purchased and began to play and the joy of the flute vanished. I could not picture sitting by the ocean with the wind blowing through my etude book.

Insight appeared this past week. With Rickie Lee Jones singing Autumn Leaves in my ear buds, I re-discovered music making. There are no rules for me these days. If my heart desired, I could learn technically complicated passages and increase my abilities with flute etudes. But my heart doesn't desire that. It just wants to play.

Given my unfamiliarity with this freedom, it was a little unsettling and awkward at first. The sounds aren't perfect, I'm not consistent, I fade in and out, my fingers occasionally panic. BUT. Every now and then it sounds good- and I'm making music with Rickie Lee.

Go forth and make Music my friends.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

in the meantime-

I'm working on a post in my head regarding the difference between reading music and making music. In the meantime I share a favorite story from the House of Sophanne. If I shared this once before just laugh again.

Mr. Sophanne did not always have such fine taste in companions. In fact, I've heard the word "bimbo" used when referring to those who came after his first wife and before me. I thought this was a little harsh until I heard this story.

Mr. Sophanne and his traveling companion (let's just call her Bambi) went to visit Son of Mr. Sophanne in San Diego. On a scenic drive on Rt. 1 Bambi said, "Which ocean is that?" Mr. Sophanne told her.

On a different day and at a different (but nonetheless west coast) location Bambi asked, "Is that the same ocean?" Mr. Sophanne (I'm thinking not so patiently but that's making an assumption) answered, "Yes."

To this she replied, "That's what's wrong with you, you think you know everything."

He said "It's because I watch the History Channel."

(o.k. I made that last line about the History Channel up but that's what I would have said.)

BWAH HAH HA HA HA! Luckily I don't have any children to report on the stupid relationship choices I made pre-Mr. Sophanne.

(and if you're a friend who knows my past, be warned, I'll delete any comments that try to remedy that-unless you tell about the one who believed "jumping campfires" to be a worthy feat and then wondered what to do about that burn on his ankle.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Facing the Book

Michael Scott asked me to join his paper company.

O.k. not really.

Actually, MY Michael Scott friended me on Facebook.

At 11:00 pm last night.

And then called in sick today. He is SOOOO Michael Scott.

In spite of the potential for great stories, I have chosen to ignore his request.

Posting on Facebook is announcing whatever is on your mind to your world. I do not often post on it because I fear I may forget all of the people in my world.

Exciting posts of the past include

Sophanne survived a root canal

Sophanne wonders why her dog foams at the mouth at the dog park.

and most often

That's such a cute picture

Although I'm pretty sure one time I wrote

Sophanne wonders why she works for Michael Scott

There is a diatribe in my head in response to the aforementioned request with words like not in a million years and are you WHACKED? and with friends like that etc etc. Fill in the rest.

What about that facebook? Are you there? Who are your friends (just family-former classmates-old friends-other)? Have you ignored requests? What do you ignore? What's good about it? Why bother? Is there a Miss Manners/Emily Post guide to Facebook etiquette? What would the rules be?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Remember how I said knitting the U-neck back to school vest from Fitted Knits was to be my test for following directions? For the record, I am failing miserably. Did I even bother to check to see if I had the same amount of stitches for the front and the back when I split for the arms? I did not. Not until I finished about 15 rows of the upper front. I'll save frogging and realigning- both terrible tasks- for knit night. I won't notice it so much then.

Given that I can't follow row by row directions, I started this next attempt at an EZ sweater. Why yes, that's Noro Sock yarn 71/2 stitches to the inch. I need something simple where I can knit for a really long time without having to think about what to do. The EZ Adult surprise jacket was to fill that need but I didn't like the idea of having to use a bazillion needles to hold a bazillion stitches. It's frogged. The other EZ sweater is on the needles and will eventually be frogged thanks to a workshop with Brooklyn Tweed. I can't go on with it knowing that it could have been done right.

It's all I can do not to try to add a fancy stitch or groovy cool yarn over K2tog but I appease this urge by pretending that I'll steek it later if I feel like it.

FInally- Monkey 1.2 is waiting for an arm and two legs, some ears and some end weaving. I'm happier with 1.0. I'll try one more and do as the pattern writer suggests- put the wrong side out for the body.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

from an anonymous source

I received this email from a teacher friend in an unnamed not local school-

I would just like to say that you can't put Smarties down the back of a student's pants and keep your teaching job. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Guess they were trying to illustrate "Smarty Pants." Maybe it was a lesson on puns. Whatever the case, consider yourself warned.

Just a little visual context from last weekends book fair adventure

Each spring it seems that some sort of theme makes itself apparent in my existence. One year there were bunnies. The next year, birds seemed to be speaking to me. Lately it's all about the monkey.

Version 1.2 of MonkeyMakers monkey is on the needles with some tweaking. I accidentally visited the Oriental Trading site and did a monkey search. I'm now the proud owner of a 57" blow up monkey and just about everything else monkey that they sell. These will be the decorations for Mr. Sophanne's birthday. I WILL keep a secret.

In other news, I've been practicing the flute and can now whistle better. I know you've been waiting to hear about that.

I wish I had more delightfully clever posts in my head but in the biorhythm of blogging, things are on the down side. I'm sure that days off with time to think will eventually remedy this.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Monkey 1.0

Mr. Sophanne Loves monkeys. This is version 1.0. Seems like when making such things it's good to have a practice round.

KNQDebbie found the pattern from monkeemaker. Her site is delightful, as is her sense of humor.

The School of Sophanne had a book fair at Barnes and Noble. I advertised on the intercom all week that of all the days events they should be sure to show up first thing and see us at 10:30. Three kids made their parents take them early. What a treat. One actually told a little white lie as to when his presentation was (2:00) to get mom there early. He fessed up beforehand but made it clear he wanted to hear Mr. Sophanne read.

Go Dog Go is one of my personal favorites. "To the Tree! To the Tree! To the Dog Party!" I read it to my sister to calm her nerves on her wedding night eve.

Are You My Mother? was picked because it was a perfect match to Mr. Sophanne's Brooklyn-y accent and came across more as "Are you my Muthah?" And, Mr. Sophanne is the opposite of a baby bird.