Archive for January, 2010


Monster Hospital

I had a very weird experience or two last night.

Yesterday morning I wasn’t feeling well, but I had to take the kids to school and then I had to babysit the tree guys who were taking out our 3 Elms in the back. They were approximately 50 years old and dying, but it was still sad to see them taken out.

So later in the day I was looking forward to going to my knitting group, but I started to feel bad again. I looked up online the symptoms of a female heart attack and of course I had them – chest pains, back pains, nausea. I was going to drive to the urgent care of my doctor’s office, but that is 20 min away, and the hospital is 10-15 minutes away and I didn’t feel well enough to drive all the way to Palo Alto.

Of course it ended up being a busy night at the ER for some reason. I brought a book from the library, Jay Leno’s “Leading with my Chin” and by the time (actually, before that time) I had *finished* the 260- page book! (I had another in the car – too bad I had forgotten to bring that too!) So I’m up to 3 books read this year. And many, many infomercials at the ER, plus “The Hills” which really made me want to die.

While I was sitting in the lobby for 1 1/2 hours I started to feel better, of course. But then I had started and I didn’t really remember I have blood clotting issues so it was a good thing to stay, but I was not happy to be at the ER until 2:30 am! (I’m getting off track here.)

Anyway, I finished my entire book, then luckily I had some knitting I brought along. I am very close to the end of Safire but it is hard to knit with a blood pressure cuff and that oxygen thing on your finger! I didn’t end up finishing it last night, but now I’m done with the sleeves.

At some point after midnight, they decided to give me a CT scan. I haven’t had that before, but it wasn’t too bad.

Here’s the funny part. I’ve had some interesting experiences with what I would consider celebrity look-alikes. When I got my driver’s license years ago the guy who gave me driving test reminded me totally of Louis Gossett, Jr. (“An Officer and a Gentleman”). Especially when I failed the parallel parking and he said, in a Jamaican accent “you have knocked over my flag” (or would have hit a car if there was a car there).

Then when I got my wisdom teeth out I swear the endodontist was the spitting image of Andrew “Dice” Clay. You try to keep it together when you’re on laughing gas and Andrew “Dice” Clay is breaking your teeth. It’s an experience, definitely.

Which brings me to last night. The technician who did my CT really reminded me of Phillip Seymour Hoffman! It’s really funny to be in a big machine and be getting directions (“breathe”, “hold your breath”) from Phillip Seymour Hoffman! (Maybe I was a bit woozy from being up all night, I don’t know.)

All in all, they diagnosed me with chest pains of a non-specific something or other. Basically, they couldn’t tell what was wrong with me, but at least I felt okay, and they ruled out a heart attack and blood clot. And I finished a book!

“I read a book! 150 pages! (What was it about?) No idea. It took me 3 years” — Jim Gaffigan


You Look Mahvelous

Well, here it is, January 4th, and I’ve already read my first book of the year! Only 66 more to go to read the same as last year.

1. Absoutely Mahvelous – Billy Crystal

ETA more:

2. If you Lie About Your Age, The Terrorists Win – Carol Leifer
3. Leading with my Chin – Jay Leno
4. My Life as a 10 Year Old Boy – Nancy Cartwright
5. Punk Rock Dad – Jim Lindeberg
6. My First Five Husbands – Rue McClanahan
7. Live from New York – Tom Shales
8. Rickles’ Book – Don Rickles
9. Eat This, Not That – David Zinczenko
10. Cheech & Chong, The Unauthorized Autobiography – Tommy Chong
11. Official Book Club Selection – Kathy Griffin
12. Chocolate, Please – Lisa Lampanelli
13. Random Acts of Badness – Danny Bonaduce
14. Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Jeff Kinney
15. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw – Jeff Kinney
16. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days – Jeff Kinney
17. Comic Lives – Betsy Born
18. A Lifetime of Secrets – Frank Warren
19. Why is my Mother Getting a Tattoo? – Jancee Dunn
20. Born Standing Up – Steve Martin
21. The Making of a Stand-Up Guy – Charlie Murphy
22. Naked Pictures of Famous People – Jon Stewart
23. Bruce! – Bruce Vilanch
24. Just a Guy – Bill Engvall
25. When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops – George Carlin
26. How I lost 5 lbs in 6 Years – Tom Arnold
27. I Drink for a Reason – David Cross
28. High on Arrival – Mackenzie Phillips
29. Throw Out Fifty Things – Gail Blanke
30. Mike’s Election Guide – Michael Moore
31. Dead in the Family – Charlaine Harris
32. Barack Like Me – David Alan Grier
33. Killing Willis – Todd Bridges
34. What Just Happened? – Art Linson
35. Satiristas – Paul Provenza
36. I’d Rather We Got Casinos – Larry Wilmore
37. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules – Jeff Kinney
38. The Second City – Sheldon Patinkin
39. Other People’s Love Letters – Bill Shapiro
40. Comedy at the Edge – Richard Zoglin


Let’s Start the New Year Right

I was inspired by Jody/Savannachik’s New Year’s post to post my own goals for the New Year.

1. Keep paring my stash down in 2010. I have somewhere around 710 balls of yarn (I’m not convinced I have it all on Ravelry, but it’s pretty close), and by knitting 12+ sweaters last year I did make quite a dent, but over 700 balls is WAY too much. I do hope to move sometime in my lifetime and do not want to carry 700+ balls of yarn with me!

2. Keep reading somewhere near as much as I did in 2009. I really got back into reading lately and want to stay involved. Trust me, I’m still watching WAY too much television, but I like to throw a book in there every so often.

3. Continue in my weight loss efforts. I joined Jenny Craig in November, and was at a way higher weight then I thought, so at that point I needed to lose 44 lbs. So far I’ve lost approximately 7 lbs. It’s not amazing, but I’m glad I at least started. I need to lose 37 more, and if I lose 3 lbs. a month, it’ll take me a year. I paid for a year, so that works for me. I hope I can keep it going.

4. Get some sort of job/volunteer opportunity. I’ve been working on this project for 3 years. Now I’m definitely at the end of my patience for job hunting. I can’t move locations, and have some schedule issues, but there’s got to be something.

What about you? I hope everyone has a great 2010 and accomplishes all you set your mind to!


New Year’s Day

Okay, kids, it’s that time again. Time to document everything I completed this year! I’m sorry to say I don’t have photos of everything, but I’ll do what I can.

First of all, believe it or not, I actually read 67 books this year! I far surpassed the library reading challenge that spurred me on and still have a pile of books from the library to work through. I read:

1. X Saves the World – Jeff Gordinier
2. I Killed – compiled by Ritch Shydner and Mark Schiff
3. Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris
4. Living Dead in Dallas – Charlaine Harris
5. Club Dead – Charlaine Harris
6. Dead to the World – Charlaine Harris
7. Dead as a Doornail – Charlaine Harris
8. Definitely Dead – Charlaine Harris
9. All Together Dead – Charlaine Harris
10. From Dead to Worse – Charlaine Harris
11. The Worlds 20 Worst Crimes – Kate Kray (should be titled “The World’s Worst Edited Book”!)
12. Lizard Music – D. Manus Pinkwater
13. 10 Strategies for Reentering the Workforce – Mary E. Ghilani
14. Dinosaur Bones – Bob Barner
15. No More Pumpkins! – Peter Catalanotto and Pamela Schembri
16. Wanted! One Good Mouser – Paulo Campos
17. Twilight – Stephenie Meyer (I’ve decided that ALL the humans in this series are annoying on my 2nd read of this book. Charlie being the best of them.)
18. The Education of Robert Nifkin – Daniel Pinkwater (very nice story. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Not too long, not too short.)
19. Extreme Animals – Nicola Davies
20. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
21. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
22. A Family Called Bronte – Paula Guzzetti
23. Sucker Bet – Erin McCarthy (I really enjoyed this one. I’d rather read a series about Gwenna and Nate solving crimes than more Sookie Stackhouse books.)
24. Body Movers 3: Three Men and a Body – Stephanie Bond
25. The Field Guide to North American Hauntings – W. Haden Blackman
26. Dead and Gone – Charlaine Harris
27. 20 Years of Alternative Music – Spin Magazine
28. The Dilbert Principle – Scott Adams
29. Comic Relief – ed. Todd Gold (pretty funny – a collection of comedy from the Comic Relief specials)
30. I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight – Margaret Cho (Why did I like her again?)
31: Body Movers – Stephanie Bond
32: Body Movers: 2 for the price of 1 – Stephanie Bond
33. Body Movers 4 – Stephanie Bond
34. High Stakes – Erin McCarthy
35. Bit the Jackpot – Erin McCarthy
36. Notes from a Small Island – Bill Bryson (I liked Walking in the Woods better.)
37. 5 Bodies to Die For – Stephanie Bond
38. 6 Killer Bodies – Stephanie Bond (good ending of the story arc so far)
39. Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs – Molly Harper (uninteresting – I couldn’t even finish it)
40. Carrie – Stephen King
41. I Only Have Fangs For You – Kathy Love
42. My Sister is a Werewolf – Kathy Love (2/4 of these books done – they’re racy, but good. Lots of “soul mate” talk.)
43. Jane Austen Book Club – Karen Joy Fowler (I liked the movie too.)
44. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
45. Fangs but no Fangs – Kathy Love
46. Party Crashers – Stephanie Bond
47. Fangs for the Memories – Kathy Love
48. Friday Night Knitting Club
49. Bled Dry – Erin McCarthy
50. Any Way You Want It – Kathy Love
51. I Want You to Want Me – Kathy Love
52. Losing It – Valerie Bertinelli
53. Traci Lords: Underneath it all – Traci Lords
54. You’ll Never Nanny in this Town Again – Suzanne Hansen
55. My Life in High Heels – Loni Anderson
56. Does Anybody Have a Problem with That? – Bill Maher
57. How to Lose your Ass and Regain your Life – Kirstie Alley (horrible!!!)
58. Here’s the Story – Maureen McCormick
59. Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse – Phyllis Diller
60. Stori Telling – Tori Spelling
61. I Feel Bad About my Neck – Nora Ephron
62. What Would Susie Say? – Susie Essman
63. Too Fat to Fish – Artie Lange
64. Prairie Tale – Melissa Gilbert
65. Bouncing Back – Joan Rivers
66a. (1/2) Finding It – Valerie Bertielli (really, really boring.)
66b. (1/2) Yes, You’re Pregnant, but What About Me? – Kevin Nealon (also boring)
67. Speedbumps – Teri Garr

I don’t know that I’ll be able to top that next year, but we’ll see.

This year I also turned 40, lost 3 “friends” (and the others that those 3 associate with), and met 4 new people that are far superior! I also reconnected with many old friends on Facebook, which has been so fun!

Knitting wise, I was very busy this year. I completed:

12 sweaters (I still hold out hope that I’ll finish Safire tonight …. and I started and frogged so many more this year):

1. Mr. Greenjeans, February 2009
2. Juliet, April 2009
3. Lollipop, June 2009
4. Malabrigo sweater, June 2009
5. Volare Bolero, July 2009
6. Rolled Collar Shrug, July 2009
7. Extra Easy, Extra Fabulous sweater, August 2009

8. Baccarat Player, August 2009

9. Fake Fair Isle sweater, September 2009

10. Diva, September 2009

11. Pink asymmetrical raglan, November, 2009

12. Mr. Greenjeans #2, December, 2009

4 scarves for a homeless donation drive

1 beret from the Crazy Aunt Purl pattern

a grey wrap that I made on my knitting machine

6 other miscellaneous scarves

a Clapotis by Machine for my friend Cathy’s birthday

a felted bag that was supposed to be a kid’s birthday present

a pair of socks for my friend ARM – he was very happy!

6 market bags

and last but not least:

4 scarves for the Red Scarf Project

Phew! I really can’t believe I did all that in one year! I guess being unemployed really gives you a lot of knitting time!

Currently I’m working on my Safire, a small rug for my living room, and I hope to in the next 2 mos. start and finish a baby blanket for my friend Sarah who made me the most amazing baby sweater for my youngest. I can’t compete to her knitting skills, so I’m going with fancy crochet, and am hoping to complete the Little Star Afghan that has been in my Ravelry queue for 2.5 years!

Happy, Happy New Year! Thanks for sharing it with me!


is a knitter, librarian and pop culture enthusiast in the San Francisco Peninsula. Email me at emmckee@rocketmail

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January 2010