Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ribbit, Ribbit

I've just finished a frog for my cousin Sarah ... I'm still getting used to attaching/sewing the pieces together so its arms are a little higher up than the pattern but i think it turned out really cute. I'm not going to name it because it is her frog, not mine! By the way, Sarah wanted a non-traditional frog which is why its not green :)

frog-whole

frog-legs frog-head frog-arm

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Left Handed in a Right Handed World

I have always been left handed, and quite proud of that. Nobody else in my family was left handed when I was growing up, so it sorta made me special. My husband is left handed, so that is also cool - we related on that level. The level that only left handers know, about how sometimes it is difficult to do things with ease because of all those pesky right handers in the world thinking only of themselves.

As you saw in my previous post, I just finished my first crochet critter. I crochet left handed .... illustrations on how to do certain stitches are drawn or photographed using right handed crocheters. Normally this isn't much of a problem because I have pretty much all of the major things down in crocheting so I don't need to refer to those diagrams much. Except that every single piece of that critter was started with what's called an adjustable loop, so that it could be pulled tight and close the circle at the beginning of the piece. The only instructions I could find on how to do an adjustable loop were, yep, illustrated with right handed crocheters. Now, you'd think it would just be as easy as "flipping it around" but the way you are supposed to hold the loop and crochet around the yarn is just weird to begin with, I hardly understood how they were doing it in the picture in the first place. So, I did what I typically do as a left hander in this right handed world ... I figured it out on my own.

Now, don't misunderstand ... I LOVE being left handed and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. It would just be nice if right handed people who were writing/ illustrating/ photographing instructions for something, would think about us left handed folks and throw us a bone.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

My First Critter

I've finished my first crochet critter! It's a doll of sorts, I got the pattern in Crochet Today magazine which I've really been enjoying. It's a little crooked or lopsided but I think its really cute! What should I name it????? I'm taking suggestions :) Update: Thanks to my friend Tiffany, the critter is now named Pepe! Yay!!!

fullshot2

Here are some closeup views:
face scarf feet

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Jury Doodie - Day 2

We were told to report at 8:45 a.m. to the 6th floor of the Justice Building in downtown. I wasn't sure what the traffic would be like right at 8 a.m. on the freeway as I usually don't leave my house til 8:45 to go to work - so I left at about 7:45 a.m. and promptly got to the parking right next to the Justice Building at 8:05 a.m. Niiiiiiiiiiiice. What was I gonna do for 40 minutes. Oh well, better early than late. I parked (in a cheaper lot this time, yesterday was $15 .. today $7), and walked across the street and into the building. Went through the metal detectors and over to the elevator to ride up to the 6th floor. Then, the weirdest thing. The elevator started TALKING! It said "Going up?" I almost answered, before I realized it was the elevator. When the doors opened on 6, it said "Sixth Floor", I resisted the urge to say "Thank you" when I got off :)

There were a few of my fellow juror pool buddies there already, I grabbed a seat and began the process of waiting around. I tried to read some but people were talking around me, I tried to watch some of The Office on my iPod but felt people staring at me, I did play a few hands of cards on my phone though, that passed a few minutes for me. Every once in a while the baliff would come out and talk to us, answer questions, tell some silly jokes, check roll to make sure everyone was there, etc. This went on for quite a while, like over an hour. Come to find out later, its because the court reporter and defense attorney were trapped in one of the talking elevators! Anyhoo, one of the baliff's came out and started explaining to all of us what the dealio was going to be. We got new juror numbers, I was now #7, and we were led in to the court room in order to be seated in the gallery. Being #7 I was sitting in the front row - right smack dab in the middle, that was not really fun. To one side was a table with a man and woman, they both were dressed very smartly with laptops in front of them, looking at all of us as we walked into the room. On the other side was another table with 2 men, they were dressed less stylishly with no laptops in front of them - instead it was just a mass of papers all strewn about. The one that I later figured out was the actual Defense Attorney had, no kidding, a huge lime green plastic "Bubba Keg" mug sitting in front of him and he was making his notes with a bic pen that looked like it was taken from the local Holiday Inn. He also appeared to have no neck at all. I don't know if I'd be so jazzed to trust my future to this guy if I was on trial.

After everyone was led in and in their appropriate seats, the Judge came in and we rose for him and then seated. That's some power right there, to have people automatically stand up when you walk into a room. He was a normal looking guy, he came in and sat down and began to explain what was about to happen. He was funny, made a few jokes to warm up the room. He told us that when we were speaking we should stand out and use our loud voices so the court reporter (the one who had been stuck in the elevator earlier) could get all our answers on the record. He then went into much deeper detail as to what the qualifications were for serving on a jury - he had a whole big speech about how even if you were a kid and stole a Hershey candy bar from the 5 and Dime, if you were convicted and had to pay a fine that you weren't eligible to serve on a jury ... ever. And then, bless his heart, this guy behind me a couple of rows stood up to ask if that meant that he wasn't eligible because when he was 15 he stole a candy bar from "The Wal-Mart" and was caught, then having to pay a $7 fine to - he thinks - the police. He wasn't really sure where the money went. The Judge was so nice and patient with him, thanking him so much for standing up and asking this potentially embarrassing question in front of 60+ strangers. He eventually was allowed to go up to the Judge's desk and discuss this in more detail with the lawyers. He came back to sit down in his spot, so I'm guessing since he was a juvenile when it happened it wasn't going to count in this situation. A few more people came forward with questions about whether or not they were eligible - including one little lady who wasn't very familiar with the English language, she was dismissed. Some of the ones that went forward were dismissed, some were not.

Then the Judge went in to reasons people may be excused from jury service in general. Those were medical issues such as hearing problems, blindness, mental capacity, etc. A couple of people came forward and were dismissed. Then came the big news. This was going to be a murder trial! And because of that the length of time that would be needed to complete everything was a couple of weeks. So, the Judge asked if there was anyone that had any medical tests coming up or pre-paid vacations where they would lose their money if they didn't go or things like funerals, etc that would prevent you from being available during the next 2-3 weeks to come forward. And wouldn't ya know, I have a couple of doctors appointments coming up in the next 2 weeks that I really didn't want to change. I figured ... its worth a shot, so I went up and discussed with the Judge my situation and he said I could be dismissed. I asked if they'd like my doctor's phone number to verify my appointments, but he said no - that I was under oath and people typically don't make that kind of thing up (which I wasn't, I really do have those appointments). I was handed a yellow piece of paper with the Judge's signature and a note about being dismissed and told to go with the baliff to get further instructions. I was told to go back to the jury pool room from yesterday and see the lady in charge, give her the yellow slip and she'd give me a check (woo hoo! $46) and I'd be free to go.

I realize this is probably an anticlimactic story since I didn't actually get chosen for the murder trial jury. And although I'm very happy we have that system in place, I'm equally happy I didn't have to sit on that panel. I think I've watched too much Law & Order, CSI and John Grisham novels-turned-to-movies, because when the Judge said "murder" I immediately thought - oh man, if I get on this jury they're gonna come after me! Not to mention that the second guy sitting at the defense's table stared at the group of us the entire time, writing down notes on this piece of paper that had the "seating chart" of all the potential jurors. Every time someone would get up and leave for being dismissed he would systematically put a big black X through that spot on his chart. I really don't know who he was, but if he was the defendant and the one on trial for committing murder, I didn't really want to spend more time with him staring at me - just in case he did do it.

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Jury Doodie - Day 1

I received a summons in the mail a few weeks ago for jury duty. This is the first time I've been called since living in this city/county. I was called twice when I made my residence in Houston, however one of the times I was in college and physically living in another city and an active student so I was excused. The other time I reported but never was assigned to a court, just sat in the jury room all day reading a book and was dismissed later in the afternoon with the thanks of the justice system.

I reported at 8:15 a.m. on Wednesday February 14th (Happy Valentine's Day to me, thankfully I don't celebrate that Hallmark holiday) to the Justice Center in downtown. I parked and walked in the freezing wind over a block and went in. Through the metal detectors and into a long line. A few minutes later the line filed into a big room, we had our summons scanned and picked up a plastic badge thingy to put our nametags in. I had been chatting with the man in line next to me so we ended up sitting next to each other. He was very friendly, about 50 I'd guess, and had done this before so I asked him all kinds of questions about what to expect. They showed this little "movie" of sorts with lots of clips from TV shows and movies depicting court room scenes - with everything from Law & Order to Legally Blonde and Liar, Liar - interspersed with past jurors saying how much they enjoyed serving the justice system in this very important duty of us citizens of the good 'ol U.S. of A. They also talked about what it meant to serve on a jury and an overview of what we could expect. It was very high school assembly-ish.

After everyone got there and checked in, we were given more information about what the day would hold for us, then we took an oath to answer all questions asked to us in a truthful manner, and then the people who thought they weren't eligible or should be excused formed a line in the front of the room to talk to the jury baliff and her assistant. This line was loooooooooooooooong. I was surprised. Especially since right there on the summons it explains the qualifications and exemptions and allows you to mail in a portion of your summons to where you don't even have to show up there if you don't meet all the criteria. Why would anyone drive all the way downtown, find crazy parking, walk to the building, stand in the line, listen to all the jibber-jabber, take the oath, etc just to then do what they could've done in the warmth and comfort of their own home. People constantly amaze me.

When that line was finished she began calling names .... 3 different sets of people were called and given court assignments. Then a very large group of names, around 50 or so were called. Those people were told that there were no more court assignments for the day and that they would serve as the reserve jury pool for that afternoon and that they could go hang out for a while and report back to that room at 1:30 p.m. They sort of grumbled and shuffled out the door to go find something to do for the next 3 1/2 hours. Well ... since we'd heard the jury baliff say there were no more court assignments left to dole out the rest of us thought we were home free! But alas, she started calling names again, another list of around 50. Those people were told they were the MORNING reserve jury pool and that they could go take a short break and report back in about 30 minutes. I was still sitting in my chair at this point ... thinking I had great luck and was going to get to leave and be done with it. Then they asked for 6 volunteers to go down and report to a city court (as opposed to the county court where we'd been summoned). After much cajoling, 6 volunteers emerged and again I thought I was safe. Thought being the term to focus on there.

Sometime in the few minutes those 6 volunteers were doing their thing, another court assignment came in. One that required 60 potential jurors to be called. I was lucky #24. We had to fill out a questionnaire for the judge and turn it in. Then we were told we had to report back to his courtroom the following morning at 8:45 a.m. and that we were free to go for the rest of that day. Yippeee!

To be continued on day 2 .....................

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Art of Phlebotomy

I went to the doctor this morning to have some blood drawn for a cholesterol test. I love my doctor, in fact .. I drive 45 minutes one way just to go to her. (She used to be about 5 minutes from where I lived but then I moved and she branched out to her own practice - thus the monstrous distance between my house and her office.) I also like the people at the office, the nurse is fabulous and the receptionist is sweet. They had one phlebotomist a while back and he was alright, then they were without one for a long time. Well today when I went they had a new girl. I think she needs to go back to phlebotomy school. She was not very personable, I sat in the chair for a good 3 minutes and she didn't even acknowledge me until the doctor brought the paperwork that said what tests I needed blood drawn for. Then she gave me a hasty "hello" and went about gathering the vials and needle, etc without another word or glance. Oh wait .. she did say "What's your last name?" sorry that slipped my mind, it was probably the most words she said to me at one time. After she'd gathered her supplies she went to put the rubber tourniquet on my left arm - to which I politely asked if she would please draw the blood out of my right arm, since I'm left handed and my arm tends to be noodle like for several hours after I get blood drawn. She made a half-assed attempt to find a vein in my right arm, I even offered to her the location that I typically have blood drawn from - even at that very office in that very chair, several times in the past. She disregarded my suggestion while poking her finger at the inside of my elbow a few more times and then said "Give me your other arm". Nice huh? *sigh* .... So she put the rubber strap on my left arm, instructed me to make a fist, poked the needle in and drew the blood. It really wasn't bad, only pinched for a second like usual and the 2 vials were filled up quickly. I survived, and life will go on. But, it sure would be nice for those in the medical field to remember what its like to be a patient sometimes.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure she had on glitter eyeshadow ... I sure hope none of it got into my blood sample. That would prolly show up as really strange on the test results.

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Thursday, February 8, 2007

Crazy Art

Here's some crazy art to check out:

I hope this post is not thought of as a cop-out, but I still not feeling up to my normal self. Scratchy throats are no fun :(. But seriously, these art projects are way cool.

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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

ch 34, hdc in 3rd ch from hook, *sk 2 ch, hdc in 4 ch*, to end, ch2, turn

Is it any wonder I'm having issues learning how to crochet with those instructions? Actually I'm doing better than I thought I would be. I understand most thing in the patterns - but every once in a while I just get stuck and try as I might I can not find the answer online. My s-Mother has a crochet lesson tonight and she's gonna give me the lowdown to see if its something I might want to go to as well for some pointers on the less obvious things when working by a pattern.

I know I sound like its not fun .. that is mostly because I have a very scratchy and sore throat right now. I actually am loving my new hobby of crochet. I am still doing simple shapes with straightforward type yarns (read: worsted wool) but my stitches are getting more even and I'm getting faster. I have several skeins of yarn, found out which crochet hooks I like best (Boye), have a gauge measure, stitch markers, and several books. I've even subscribed to a crochet magazine that has tips and tricks as well as cool patterns in each issue.

As soon as I have my next piece (attempting a poncho at the moment) ready, I will post some pictures!

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Friday, February 2, 2007

Winter Wonderland

It is February in Texas (as it is in all the other states too I guess) .... and for the past 10 years that I've lived in the Fort Worth area it pretty much snows at least once a year, and usually in February. So the fact that we had some flurries this morning is not all that odd. What IS odd is that in the 33 days we've had so far in 2007 today was the 4th time it has snowed.

Now, mind you - I lived for a spell in the 'burbs of Chicago so I realize that when I say "snow" and "Texas" in the same sentence, most people who have experienced ACTUAL snow would laugh at me. Saying that, I am in no way comparing Texas snow to any snow that falls north of the Mason/Dixon line. I am simply saying that the white stuff does on occassion fall from the sky here in the great state of Texas. But, I digress ... When it does snow here you'd think the world was coming to an end. 90% of the time, when we do get snow it doesn't even stick on the ground. It's more like fluffy rain :).

If it is a slow news day that is the top story on every channel's newscast. And it is usually called something terrific like "Winter Blast 2007" accompanied by some threatening iceberg graphics on screen. They also send all the poor little news anchor wannabe's in the stations employ out "into the field" to do some necessary reporting on the harrowing weather condition that has befallen the city. If it wasn't such a sad display it would be rather funny. Some young buck thinking this is his big break into the local news arena - he gets to cover snow falling! And he is so serious about it too. "Now we'll go on location with Skeeter Jones to find out exactly what is going on out there. Skeeter? ... Thank you Nancy. This is Skeeter Jones reporting to you LIVE from this empty Target parking lot where as you can see behind me the snow is actually falling as we speak. We interviewed several passers by to get their reaction to this crazy weather phenomenon and they all agreed, they've not seen anything like this since last Tuesday when it uh ... also snowed, uhm, pretty much like it is right now. But anyway, we will remain here LIVE and will get back to you immediately with any further developments. Nancy, back to you in the studio ... Thank you Skeeter, you stay warm out there now."

That is actually one of the reasons I don't watch the news.

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About me

  • I'm scriggle
  • From Fort Worth, Texas, United States
  • I'm a 37 year old, left handed, aries, web designer, kitty cat mom, swimming pool fanatic, tv watcher, game player, knitter, seamstress, crocheter, aspiring photographer.
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