Monday, February 27, 2012

A clutch? A mob? A swarm?

A pod of octopodes?

A horde of octopodes?

A gaggle of octopodes?

A flock?

A herd?

A squadron?

A gang?

A shoal?

A cluster?  Group?  Army?  Flange? Cote? Bevy? Family? Dole?  Brace?  Convocation?

THE INTERNET DOES NOT KNOW!  I have searched and searched, and nothing.  I did read somewhere that collective nouns are only used for animals that are hunted for food.  But I distinctly remember watching a documentary on Zanzibar (as one does) where the good people there would go out hunting for them.  They would swim down, in nothing but loin cloths, and spear them and quickly turn them inside out to drain the octopus goop.  So I think the Zanzibarbarians would object to the lack of a name.  Although maybe they have a collective noun in their language.  What do they speak in Zanzibar anyway? (The internet knows this one:  Swahili.)

Valerie, since you were so clever in letting us know what the plural for octopus was maybe you can help us out here.

Or, if any of you would like to come up with a good enough name that we can all agree on, I'll write a letter to scientific people who regulate these sorts of things and we'll make it official. 

I can just see the letter now:  "Dear Science Nerds, We think a group of octopodes should be called (TBD).  Hugs and Kisses, Rachel."

I am leaning towards rabble.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

An octopus for everyone!

1.)  Everyone gets an octopus!  I've got nothing but yarn and time on my hands.  Sam, Edie, Levi, and Rac's boys, keep your eyes peeled. 

2.)  This morning, to further my standing as your dullest and most obnoxious friend, I listened to a podcast all about the incorrectness of the phrase, "between you and I."  And loved it.  Because I clearly don't want to have friends again, ever.

3.)  I've had this pink material for ages.  Loads of it, in fact.  And between you and me it's kind of tacky. Well, more cheap than tacky.  It's this pink polyester that is not good for much but I have yards and yards of it. And it just so happens to match my new duvet perfectly.  So I decided to make a pillow.  Fact:  I have not sewn a pillow since I was 12 and in home ec.  And another fact:  at once point in the semester I was failing home ec.  Which seems outrageous now.  Geometry, sure.  But sewing and cooking?  Alas, it's true.  I think I pulled out a B by the end but it was close.  I initially wanted to do some sort of shingled effect so I cut out a lot of circles.  But once I started sewing them on they didn't have the look I wanted.  So I decided to make ruffles instead by sewing the circles in a row

then gathering

then sewing the ruffles on then sewing the actual pillow cover and tada:

one ruffled pillow.

So cute, right?  It turned out way better than I imagined.  I made it an envelope back (because I'm lazy and didn't want to put in a zipper or hand stitch the seam shut) and it fit the pillow form perfectly.  I've never been much of a decorative pillow person - they're just one more thing I have to put on my bed when I'm making it - but seeing how cute it turned out and also seeing how lonely it looks on my bed makes me want to make dozens of them.

Any color suggestions?  I'm horrible with colors but I'd love whatever else I put on the bed to standout a bit and not be so matchy-matchy.

Monday, February 20, 2012


I have been struck down by some mysterious ailment.  Rickets?  Scurvy?  Consumption!?  No, not consumption.  I am not coughing up blood.  But fever, yes.  Aches, yes.  Exhaustion, yes.  Dizziness, oh boy do I.  Lower back pain, left ear pain, throbbing head ache, burning eyes, slightly dilated pupils, sweaty palms - yes to them all.  All of these things give me the general feeling that I'm going to 1.) swoon and 2.) vomit.  And oh how I hate to vomit.  Oh, it's the worst.  We're not going to talk about it because I hate it too much.  Anyway, I woke up on Saturday morning with it, did my camp meeting (can you believe we're back to camp meetings already?) and then came home and put my pajamas back on and slept for most of the day.  And then slept for 10 hours that night and then skipped church in order to sleep all day and then watched the end of Downton Abbey (Hip hip hurrah!  I was going to throw a shoe at the TV if we didn't get a satisfying ending.) and then slept again. 

This morning I woke up determined to not sleep the day away and I showered and did my hair and put on mascara all with the intent of taking a stroll outside and then I did the dishes and had to take a two hour nap.  Unloading and loading the dishwasher for 10 minutes did me in.  I managed to make it to the post office, which was a pretty dumb idea because driving with this kind of dizziness and the general feeling of the thing we are not talking about it miserable.  And it did me in for another two hours.


But there are two positives: 

1.) I have the best visiting teacher ever.  Alicia stepped in for me on the organ yesterday AND brought over dinner tonight.  Because she's awesome.

2.)  I made this octopus

I think he needs a mouth.  Or a bow tie or something.  But after I finished all those legs my body was all, "I hate you.  What's with all this extensive finger moving?" and I was all "But I'm just sitting here.  Crocheting takes about as much energy as blinking." And my body was all, "Sorry, sister.  I'm going to throw up now."  And I was all, "NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!" So I put the yarn down and slept for several more hours to fight it off.

The octopus is your for the asking, by the way.  Once his face is fixed.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Failure and Success

Today's fails:

1.)  I drove out to Joanne's because the scissor sharpening guy was there and my good ones desperately need it.  I had to park far away and then cross the flooded parking lot in the torrential downpour and then search the store for the guy because the gals working were zero help (exact quote:  "I think he's somewhere in the back.  I don't really know." He was hiding behind the discount fabric.) and just as he  was about to start the sharpening he mentioned that it's $8 cash but he'd take a card as long as it wasn't Visa.  What do I have in my wallet?  $6 cash and a Visa.  Which isn't that big of a fail, that's just life.  The big fail was that I couldn't charm him into just cutting me a break and taking the $6.  I smiled and joked and asked nicely, which 95% of the time works, but he just turned off the machine and said, "There's a Stater Bros. across the parking lot. You can get cash there." "But it's pouring rain out there." "Too bad." I walked out of the store with my dull scissors and my principles.

2.)  I made cookies tonight.  Oatmeal chocolate chip - my standard.  I make these cookies all the time.  They're a cinch.  And yet, somehow tonight I managed to burn the bottoms while the tops were still goopy.  Is there anything sadder than a pan full of burnt cookies?  I submit there isn't.

Today's successes:

1.)  I got dressed.  Considering that a.) it's raining and b.)  so cold, sooooo coooollddd, holy cats it's cold and c.) I have Inclement Weather Paralysis - this is a pretty big thing to celebrate.

2.)  Did I mention I got dressed?  I think that should count for two.

Monday, February 13, 2012

I think I have a shot with my bathrobe

A brief list of things I would ask to be my Valentine if they were actually a single Mormon man with a job:

1.)  That caramel corn Kelsie brought to book club last week

2.)  The movie Dear Heart starring Glenn Ford and Geraldine Page which I just discovered and kind of fell in love with because of the line, "I suppose I'm a postmistress but I think that sounds kind of racy."

3.)  My bathrobe

4.)  George Clooney

5.)  My new duvet cover

They're giant purple doilies!  Appropriate for an 80 year old, right?

6.)  This scarf I recently made that I wore out in the arctic weather we had today.

I thought V-Day was the appropriate time to pull out the smize/fishy lips pose. Also, George Harrison called and wants his bangs back.

Happy Valentine's Day, friends.  I hope it is filled with all sorts of lovely things.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Internal Monologue at Wal-Mart

Walk walk walk walk.  Don't stop walking.  Don't stop for a cart because you're just here for envelopes and toner.  Envelopes and toner.  Nothing but envelopes and toner.  Are those Pringles really on sale for a $1?  NO!  Envelopes and toner.  It smells like feet in here.  Listen pack of wild children, I'm just here for envelopes and toner. I will kick you in the shins if you don't get out of my way. Envelopes. Not what I want or need but it will do.  Wal-Mart is trying to kill me with these displays right in the middle of their aisles. People of Wal-Mart - you will not find a movie worth buying in that bin that is right in the middle of the aisle!  Stop looking!  It is nothing but Weekend at Bernie's II and the latest straight to video Steven Segal.  But if you insist on looking, move your cart out of my way! Please!  Please for the love of all that is good and holy, move your cart!  Or at least move your grandma.  Why do entire families come to Wal-Mart?  I have never once been out shopping with my mom, dad, grandparents and siblings all in tow. Questioning is just slowing you down, Rach.  Keep it moving.  Toner.  Toner.  Toner.  No toner. This cannot be.  There has to be toner. HATE YOU WAL-MART!!!!!  AN ENTIRE WALL OF TONER AND YOU ARE OUT OF THE ONLY ONE I NEED.  THE ONLY REASON I CAME HERE WAS BECAUSE YOUR TONER IS CHEAPER.  I JUST CAME HERE FOR THE TONER!!! WHY!?  WHHHYYYYY!!!!????? I HOPE THIS PERVASIVE SMELL OF FEET IS ACTUALLY A SIGN OF RAMPANT MOLD AND YOU HAVE TO BE PERMANENTLY SHUT DOWN UNTIL YOU ARE DESTROYED BY A BALL OF FIRE WHEN ARMAGEDDON COMES AROUND AS I AM SURE YOU WILL THE FIRST TO GO ONCE ALL THE SMITING BEGINS!!!!!!! Exit.  Exit.  Exit.  Must get out of here.  No, I'll put my envelopes back because you're not getting my money today, Wal-Mart. Exit. Exit. Exit. Why does everyone walk so slow when they get here?  Is there some kind of strolling competition going on?  Okay, enormous family on a field trip, you see me trying to get around you. I KNOW YOU SEE ME! I'm going to die in this Wal-Mart.  I'm going to die and they'll never find my body because that pack of wild children will eat me and throw my remains in the center aisle display of plush Angry Bird pillows.  Woe.  Woe, to the life I would have had.  Farewell.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Put 200 candles on your birthday cake

Happy 200th Birthday Charles Dickens!!!!

Any man who combats male pattern baldness with side puffs like those and who wears a suit with what appears to be velvet lapels is aces in my book.

Oh, and also, he's ones of the best writers ever.  I, like you, did not always think so.  I read Great Expectations in the 9th grade and hated it, mostly because I could not get Miss Havisham and her ratty wedding feast out of my mind (although I was in my high school production of Oliver! in the 9th grade as well and that was plenty of fun - because I didn't have to read it. Plus, there was singing and dancing.) So when I got into the 10th grade and had to read A Tale of Two Cities I thought, nope, I will not be fooled again and I skipped it.

And that was the one high school shame that I took with me.  I read every single book I was assigned - The Scarlett Letter, A Farewell to Arms, Hamlet, even Moby Dick - except not A Tale of Two Cities.  I felt worse about that then I did about failing Geometry (fact:  I do not feel bad at all about failing Geometry).  But I refused to be guilted into reading any more of his books.  And I managed to make it through college as an English major without having to read any Dickens.  Moby Dick again, yes.  Hamlet, three more times.  But no Dickens.

But the shame was still there and then it came highly recommended by several trusted people and I must have been in a weakened state because a few years ago I read A Tale of Two Cities and fell in love.  Dickens is now my literary boyfriend. He's clever and funny and sensitive to the plight of the downtrodden and has a keen eye for the ridiculous, just like you want a boyfriend to be.

I know you hate him.  Nearly everyone I know who had to read him in high school hates him.  But I think you'll like him now.  So I'm just going to throw this out there - I think you should read some Dickens this year.  If only to honor that glorious beard of his.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It's no The Art of War, but it's close

1.)  I went bowling on Friday night and I have a few observations.  First, I am an old woman.  After the first 5 frames my arm hurt, my thumb hurt, my knee hurt, my ankle hurt and my hip hurt.  We ended up playing three whole games (sets? matches? rounds?) and when I woke up the next morning I prayed that my telepathy would finally kick in so I could contact the old folks home from my cozy bed and beg them to come and get me.  Second, bowling with just girls is so much better.  Guys turn it into a competition and get kind of pouty when they're not killing everyone else.  Girls cheer for gutter balls and go nutso when anyone even gets close to a strike. Also, there is a lot more dancing and posing with just girls.  Third, I bowled a 60, a 64, and a 67.  It's all about consistency.

2.)  On Saturday night I watched three of my favorite kids for a few hours and after we finished coloring (I'm going to have to buy a second fridge so I have more room on which to display all of our art work) we snuggled in and watched The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  If you recall the opening sequence is set during the London Blitz and Jarron asked, "Why are they getting bombed?" Try to explain the tactics of war to a six year old.  He wasn't getting it.  So I changed my own tactics and explained it using Star Wars.  How Darth Vader was going around with his Death Star (Jarron:  "Yes, I know all about the Death Star.") and blowing up planets, (Jarron:  "Like Alderaan?") and how the Death Star was like Germany and Hitler was like Darth Vader and the Rebel Alliace was like the Allied Forces and London was like Hoth or the forest moon of Endor. He totally got it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Too Cute. And I mean that literally.

Prepare yourself for a shocking revelation:

Pinterest makes me cranky.

I know that everyone loves it and they spend hours and hours and hours getting lost in it (as nearly everyone I know has admitted to on Facebook) and yes, I agree that there are some truly clever and lovely ideas on there.

But it's too much for me*.  There's just too much stuff on there.  And 99% of it falls under the cute category and seeing all that cute has an adverse affect on me.  I mean, I certainly like cute.  I have a drawer in my craft desk dedicated entirely to tulle - and there are few things cuter than tulle.  Or ribbons, and you should see my ribbon collection.  (Incidentally, I saw a genius way to organize ribbon on Pinterest but I shot it down because it wasn't cute enough!  Ugh, me!) But I have found that it only takes a few minutes of scrolling through all the pins for me to start feeling punchy.  I just can't look at too many pictures of cute puppies and cute cupcakes and cute fingernails and cute ways to braid your hair and cute outfits with cutely tied scarves without throwing my hands up in disgust and googling "monastic retreat".  It's like looking into a cute sun and going blind.

*This is also why I avoid Costco.  It's just too much. I cannot shop at a store that sells both peanut butter and mattresses.