Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Identity Theft

So, believe it or not, someone stole my identity. And it's looking pretty likely that it happened at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival. Since I did not buy with my normal enthusiasm, there are only 3 vendors who got my credit card information, and of those 3, only one had a manual credit card imprinter thing. (Because I fear libel laws, I won't post the name of the booth that I think did it. But just so you know, the credit card company will go after them.)

I'm not worried about it, the credit card company is all over it (go Chase!), but here is what I am thinking:

If someone steals your identity, the proper punishment would be for them to have to live your life for as long as it * would * have taken you to pay off those charges. That's right, punk! It's cleaning up dog poop for you! And the gutters! Muah ah ah!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Rocky Stole My Homework

Mom, this one is for you. Happy Mother's Day!

Memory Montage Scene: A spring day in 1990.

I'm in second grade; Mrs. Casino's class. She likes giraffes. I like to spell. I finish my work early, go turn in my homework in the designated "homework- in" spot, and go out to play. While I was out playing, Rocky (that's what he introduced himself as, his name was Joseph) stole my homework, erased my name, and wrote in his. Fortunately for me, Rocky was too lazy to be thorough. I come back, drop something else off, and see my homework… with Rocky's name.

Having never learned to "shut up and take it", I took it to Mrs. Casino with some classic seven-year old rage. Rocky alleged that he began writing "Joseph" and then erased it to write "Rocky" in its' place. The teacher didn't buy this for a second, because Rocky was a miserable speller, and this was PERFECT. My spelling? The best in the class. Oh yeah, and the visible "Ja.." that he hadn't erased thoroughly.

I took this near-injustice to my mother when I got home, expecting sympathy, or some such motherly thing. I tell the story, and my mother laughs and says, "At least he knew whose homework to steal!"

Of course, seven-year old rage returns, and I say, deeply hurt, "I bet you're not my real mother! My REAL mother would be upset, too!"

"Oh, no! How did you find out?" My mother acts shocked. My face falls as I realize that I have uncovered MY OWN ADOPTION.

"I was hoping to keep it from you," started my mother, "But now you've found me out!"

"You see, one day, I was trolling a bog for a prince, picking up frogs and kissing them, hoping that one would be a prince. I saw this big, red, bullfrog, so I picked him up and gave him a smooch. There was a puff of smoke, lights flashed, and poof! There was your father. Not a prince. Then I saw this little red tadpole, so I picked it up, gave it a kiss, puff of smoke, flash of lights, and poof! You. I figured I would keep the two of you. Your real mother is a toad somewhere."


Friday, May 12, 2006

I don’t do “shaved”

It's basically summer weather here in sunny Silicon Valley. I have two Chow mixes, which means a fair amount of dog hair. I'm sure in purer Chows, they're built for cold weather, but my delicate blossoms sleep on our bed when it's 60 degrees out. (For any readers who are unfamiliar with Californian blood, 60 degrees is considered winter around here.)

Now, having said that, I went to one of the LYS in the area, and there was a super-cute book of dog sweaters. I already own 5 or 6 books on dog sweaters, because I thought I would adopt a breed I could knit for. The heart wants what it wants, and I adopted chow mixes that I love. Who absolutely do not need sweaters. Ever.

I coo at the book of cute dog sweaters. The owner, hoping to make a sale on the book and some yarn, assures me that my dog ("Oh, you have two?" [Dollar signs light up her eyes]) will LOVE the sweater.

"I have two chow mixes," I said, "They'll overheat in a sweater, even when it's cold."

"You could shave them," she suggests, helpfully, "Then they'll need the sweaters."

I politely offer to consider the idea, and leave the book behind. Could you imagine my dogs shaved? They would look RIDICULOUS! It's bad enough when I have to shave their butts, but Niki would look like an overgrown Chihuahua. I don't even want to imagine what Elphie would look like shaved. It's just sad.

So, with the summer heat rolling in, Andrew and I have discussed shaving the dogs to keep them cool. I'm voting "no", since they can get sunburned without the protection of long fur (and since Elphie is a fan of the sunbathing). I'll use the Mars King Comb (a comb made of razors, basically, but it works wonders on the dogs) and that helped last summer. Plus, we have A/C. It should be fine.

I just couldn't imagine shaving your dog so that it can wear a dorky sweater. Niki would never speak to me again, and Elphie would just hang her head in shame.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Goats, and Sheep and Puppies, Oh My!

I left sunny San Jose on Thursday for the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival; the biggest knitting/spinning/weaving event in North America. I had my trusty work laptop with me, so that I could work from the hotel (and not be a slacker during crunch time). Yes, that's right. I *heart* the internet!

We were at the San Jose airport, and since we were flying Southwest (the Klassiest airline EVER), we had to wait in line to get our seats. That's right, kids! Stand in line! Fortune favors the prepared and patient! So, we sit in line, knit, and end up talking about Star Wars (I don't remember how). Everyone around us joins in. Everyone likes to indulge their inner geek publicly sometimes, especially if it's with people who will never see you again. We board the plane, manage by some airline miracle to be seated together, and fly to LA.

We get to L.A., stand in another line, and find that one woman from the SJ flight is going to Maryland as well. Small world. The head flight attendant on the LA to Baltimore flight was hysterical! We got to Baltimore early, got the rental car, and were off to the hotel.

I love the Residence Inn. I say this with utter sincerity. It is BY FAR my favorite hotel. I've been to nicer hotels, yes. The comforts of home (i.e. a refrigerator, microwave, etc) make longish trips so much easier, and it's not much more expensive than a regular hotel. Plus, they let you bring your pets. I'll get back to why I love the Residence Inn so deeply later.

We started off Friday, working our respective butts off, until I was struck with "Jasmin Kryptonite". That's right. The only thing that can stop the force that is Whirlwind Jasmin. A migrane. There were no drugs to be had, only lots of yarn and sheep, so I laid down under a table and slept it off. I had very vivid dreams about a woman with lips (amazing lips, not like I normally dream about women sans lips), and Cynthia and Mom dragged me back to the hotel 6ish so that I could recoup the force that is Jasmin. I slept for six hours, ate something, and slept for another six hours. Saturday, the busiest day of the show has arrived.

People were getting angry that we weren't open BEFORE OPENING. Which was ok, we sold them yarn anyway. There were a challenging people, but mostly there were competent people with brains who understand that when they want to buy things, they have to pay for them. It was BRUTAL how sunny it was, and although I was wearing sunscreen, I now resemble a very cute patchwork lobster. For those of my readers that do not know what a patchwork lobster looks like, it's a lobster that is red in some places and white in the others. [This is entirely made up by me, but wasn't my confidence convincing?]

So, Melinda wanted to spend some time with Tess, and she asked us if we would rather crash at the hotel she had been at (the Ramada Limited) or if we wanted to crash on the floor in the room that we'd been in. Since we all needed beds to sleep in, she assumed we'd take the Ramada room. She reserved a room, and said that we'd confirm by 4PM.

At 3:00 PM, I called to say "Yes, we'll take it," and magically, our reservation had disappeared. All they had was a two bed room in the smoking section. Ick. I said I'd get back to them in a few minutes.

I called the Residence Inn (so we'd be in the same hotel). All they had was a 2 bedroom suite in the smoking section, but they would go up and deodorize it for us. For about $40 more per night, we got bedrooms to ourselves, two bathrooms as well as the comforts of home. I made the executive decision to take it.

We drive there (which was terribly convenient for everyone involved), and a non-smoking 2 bedroom suite had opened up. The cute concierge had slid us in there! (He recognized me over the phone- is this a good thing? My future as a spy is looking more and more unlikely.) Oh, and when I got the bill, it cost EXACTLY THE SAME as the 1 room/ 2 beds at the Ramada. I couldn't have been happier with the service or the room. We were on the same floor, so nobody had to do any extra driving on our behalf.

The sunburn still hurts, still, but for the entertainment of my suitemates, I sang "Jasmin the Red-Nosed Admin" (because my forehead and nose took the brunt of my facial sunburn), even though I'm not an admin anymore. Cynthia and I would break out into a verse of "A Little Priest" occaisionally. Good times.

Sunday was better, Tess's boyfriend set up an awning so that we weren't further cooked, and it turned out to be a lovely, more mellow day that included a funnel cake. I LOVE FUNNEL CAKE!

My diet at the festival consisted of hot dogs and chocolate milkshakes. That's fairly balanced right? Hot dog in one hand, milkshake in the other. It was complete chaos all weekend, and I have to say that I'm thrilled to be back to my real job. I could stand to sleep for a week straight, but that's not in the cards for me.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Valentina the Devine Rat

After Fromage died, we knew that Valentina wouldn't last much longer. Valentina had to be put to sleep today; she had developed tumors all over and was too old to be operated on.

Tina was a sweet rat; a little skittish but sweet. She and Fromage were the best of friends, and we adopted them both (even though we had only intended to adopt one rat). They used to run on the wheel at the same time for hours on end. We joked that they were in Olympic training; they continued to enjoy the wheel until old age (which none of our other rats did).

Tina was out 13th and final rat. We just can't deal with the heartbreak; they are such wonderful animals with vibrant personalities, but each of their deaths strikes us such a blow, and so soon. Two or three years is too short.

Valentina will be laid to rest between the lilies, next to Fromage.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Silence of the Moths

Most people panic at the sight of ferocious beasts. Lions, tigers, bears, oh my! What do I panic at the mere mention of?


That's right. Moths. I'm not scared of them, I'm not afraid that they'll crawl up into my brain while I sleep. I'm horrified at the potential damage that they'll cause to my stash. I had a really bad experience with moths (a very graphic and disgusting story that I will spare you) about 3 years ago, due to being sold moth-ridden yarn.

I'm usually pretty good at Ziploc bagging my stuff as soon as I get home… but sometimes I'm not. For whatever reason. The Ziploc-bagging helps to minimize the damage done- as well as point the finger at the offending vendor.

This morning I went into the Romper Room (also known as formerly Grace's room), to grab some clothes, and out flew A MOTH! Niki, awesome dog that he is, caught and ate the moth. (Good that he killed it, bad that he ate it. Ew.) But where there is one… yeah. So I'll be rushing to bag my goodies before going to Maryland on Thursday.

Monday, May 1, 2006

“Grown Up”

I've always been the youngest one at my job. At first, the age difference is very obvious, and after a while, people forget that I'm as young as I am. Today, I was at a meeting where I was the "expert" at what we were talking about (rare for where I work). That felt awesome and grown up. Like I belong here.

I get to my office and need to wet my contacts. I had a brand new bottle of stuff, and I get the plastic off only to find that I don't have the hand strength necessary to open the blasted thing! At this point, I realize that I have two options:

a- ask one of my co-workers to open it for me
b- Suffer until I get home.

You bet I chose B.