Sunday, February 05, 2006

Monday Schlock

Knitters (and everyone else, for that matter), look at this shawl. All I can think when I look at it is "air." So light, so beautiful. Perfection.

We didn't watch the superbowl - Hub had work to do so we just listened to my very favorite music station of all time - it's like easy listening for the alternative set. Lots of cool Edie Brickell, some Tori Amos, Norah Jones, a little Dave Matthews, and generally awesome coffee house versions of all the best songs.

Anyway, I knit away on Trellis for most of the weekend, but didn't meet my goal of finishing the pieces. I'm about halfway through the right front, which is the last portion to knit. Then I have to block, seam, and knit the collar. I'm hoping to finish the knitting tonight, but we'll see. No photos as it's dark and stormy today so they'd be crappy anyway.

I've also been working on the pile o' paid sewing projects - most are almost complete and I'll try to photograph them today or tomorrow. Karen asked to see some sewing and I'm happy to oblige.

In addition, I'm slogging through I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe. I took it out of the library sometime around New Year's Day and have renewed it once already. I made it to page 420 this morning, so I'd really like to get through the last 200, just to see if Charlotte finally gives it up, if ya' know what I mean. Also, the rest of the story is pretty good...except I don't like Tom Wolfe's way of explaining everything to death. I know he traveled to many campuses and did lots of research to make the representation of college life as authentic as possible, but some of it is a little over the top. Also, he tends to write like and old person writing for another old person. An example (my own words, not a quote from the book) would go something like this: The students were engaged in "moshing," a type of dancing taking place at wild rock concerts in something called a "mosh pit." One girl screamed, which is a high-pitched sound emitted from the throat, often in excitement or fear.

Sometimes it's almost enough to make me want to throw the book down in disgust, but I persevere because the story is ok.

It's freezing here - in the 20s (which is still pretty mild for Buffalo for this time of year). We have the heat at an astounding 64 degrees, but our old crappy boiler and not-quite-right thermostat and drafty, shabbily constructed house combine to make it much cooler than that. I put Daughter to bed in a union suit, blanket sleeper, and socks, and cover her with a light fleece blanket, a light wool blanket (koigu...delicious), and the quilt I made before she was born, folded double to make it smaller. I also fill a hot water bottle and tuck it under the covers. We keep a thermometer in her room to monitor the temp (see boiler/thermostat situation above) and last night I freaked out when I saw it was only 60 degrees in there. I don't know if that qualifies as child abuse, but it has to be close. Husband and I said, "budget be damned!" and cranked the heat up a few degrees.

We are really wishing we had a woodburning fireplace/stove to cut down on heat costs, even if we only used it in the family room during the day. Right now we have one of those 'fake' fireplaces where you flip a switch and a 'flame' appears, but it burns through gas the whole time you have it on. We can't justify its use, so it sits there. At the beginning of this winter we considered having it removed and selling it, to pay for installation of a wood stove. But that would require the rebuilding of the wall, additional brickwork, and the cost of the stove itself, so we deemed it too expensive. But I can tell you this - we will never again live in a house without a woodburning fireplace or stove of some kind. And if gas prices stay where they are, we may still go with replacing the faker fireplace. After paying two $300 gas bills in a row (for my 1500 sq. ft. house) I am thinking the switch might be worth it. How are ya'll doing it? Are heating costs smashing your budget too?


Ramona said...

Ready for a long comment. When I was eighteen, Tom Wolfe walked into a coffee shop, where I worked. I was the hostess and the coffee shop was in a hotel. The hotel also had a very fancy four star restaurant. I didn't recognize him, even though he had on the full white outfit. He asked me for directions to the "nice restaurant". At the exact same moment the phone rang. I picked it up and the hotel manager asked me if I knew who Tom Wolfe was and had I seen him? I turned towards Tom Wolfe and replied to my manager on the phone, "Sorry,I have no idea who Tom Wolfe is." Tom Wolfe looked at me like I was the lowest of the low and should just crawl back into the hole I came out of and said, "I'm Tom Wolfe" It then hit my idiotic, eighteen-year-old brain who exactly, I was talking too. I couldn't speak and I just pointed in the direction of the "nice restaurant". He just turned and walked away. Thanks for making me remember that story. I hadn't thought about it in years.

HangerMom said...

I HATE gas bills. Mine's not as bad as yours, I'll admit, but it's been a mild winter and I should not be paying this much every month. We keep a warm-air humidifier in our girls' room to take the edge off the chill, which allows us to keep the heat a little lower for the rest of the house. Then we, too, layer our kids with blanket over blanket over flannel sleepers.

Johnny Stiletto said...

i don't have gas in my house, but a lot of my friends do, and even here in alabama have had bills over $200. i only have electric, and strangely enough, my bills this winter are the LOWEST in 3 years (about $80-85).

i have budget billing; basically the power co. averages my monthly use so i pay almost the same month to month instead of having spikes in winter and summer (summers here = $200 air conditioning power bills). i find it helps me maintain a better monthly budget so i have more extra $$ for things like, you know, YARN.

oh yeah, NOBODY here has a woodburning stove, and most have never even HEARD of a union suit. for instance, it was 31 degrees today, with a teeny bit of icing on bridges and overpasses, and it damn near shut birmingham down.

ps: my verify word is YTURGI. sounds like a brand of canned greek or ukrainian meat. (specifically turkey)