Mar 18, 2009

Please Don't Stop the Music!

I need help! I'm getting married in a few months and I have done next to nothing as regards my music. I was sent a questionnaire by my DJ, which I half-filled out before losing it. My wedding is going to be a good mix of parent-aged guests, people our age and a handful of children. We're also pretty split down the middle for US-borne and Irish-borne guests. I need suggestions (or requests if you are a guest) for as many songs, artists etc. to keep people dancing. I'll take any advice from friends and strangers alike. Also, recommendations on the equally important "Do Not Play" list are also happily accepted.

Mar 17, 2009

Bed, Bath & Bewildered

This is basically an open Futue Te Ipsum to the folks at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I am getting married to my wonderful fiancé in June. While I am only interested in being married to the love of my life, gifts have become an integral part of weddings in modern society. Accordingly, I have set up gift registries for my guests. While I have a few items at the Target Club Wedd registry, I have the majority at my Bed, Bath & Beyond registry.

A few months ago, Faith, Carly, Aubrey and I went to set up my gift registries. I am not much of a home décor enthusiast and decided to avail of their sagely wedding wisdoms. We made a day of it and ended up knitting at the Indulgences Café. However, before we could treat ourselves to a sit 'n' knit, we had to get the tedious registering out of the way. Our first stop was Bed, Bath & Beyond. We were taken all around the store on an extensive tour by a very helpful store associate, with whom we chatted for about an hour. The key point is that nothing was omitted from his exhaustive description of the registry program. Almost nothing. The conversation also included many references to the fact that I am from Ireland, as are many of the invitees of my wedding.

I was thus a little irked when I received an email from one of my Irish guests saying they had attempted to purchase a gift from my BB&B registry but were unable to do so. They were precluded from doing so because are not US residents. Why, in this economic climate especially, would a company reject a consumer's attempt to give them profit? I doubt anyone is worried that BB&B could be used for international money laundering schemes, nor could any of their products be adapted for nefarious purposes.

I was scratching my head for rhymes and/or reasons, until it occurred to me that this may be a jurisdiction issue. If there were any rejected payments, BB&B would be unable set the bottom-feeding, sub-human, scum that is the private debt-collector on my guests in Ireland. If this is the reason, I find it aggravating, and quite frankly insulting, if it is the case that BB&B prioritize their right (legal, not moral) to assess usurious fines above good customer service. I am also furious that half of my guest list being unable shop from my gift registry was never so much as mentioned to me at the time I was creating my registry!

I have contacted BB&B for clarification, and I am awaiting a response. If this is a genuine error, or if they emend their policy, I will happily, and expeditiously, delete this post.

Mar 10, 2009

You Did Not Just Go There!

It is reasonable to assume that I am not part of the demographic the F150 commercials are trying to attract. I have on occasion referred to the purveyors of those poorly built (Jeremy Clarkson's opinion, not mine!) gas-guzzlers as bottom-feeding scum that lay waste to the future of our planet out of nothing but pure greed. I have not had much better to say about their loyal customers, and worse still for any lobbyist who thwarts those who try to shield mother nature from their environmental matricide.

However, full strength vitriol is energy consuming and I am not, by nature, an activist. Over time, I have scaled back my ire for these environmental hazards to feelings of smug superiority any time I see one on the road. I even felt a slight sense of karma when I saw one spin out on an icy day, and then felt guilty for the rest of the day.

Until I saw the new F150 commercial, that is. Wrath back! Bigger and angrier than ever before. See if you can guess what crossed the line for me!

Mar 9, 2009

A Day in March

This weekend was a lot of fun. My boss's wife, Gretchen, and I went to Minneapolis on my second ever yarn crawl. We started off the day at the Three Kittens yarn store in Mendota Heights. The sales assistants were really friendly and extremely knowledgeable about a number of aspects of the yarns they carried. They had a great selection of yarns, and more importantly, a large selection of yarns that I had never seen or heard of before. My favourite was a yarn that was 50% milk! I initially assumed this just had to be a typo, and so I asked the sales assistant. Nope, it was milk! I never ceased to be amazed what can be spun. I didn't buy any because I was specifically looking for yarn to make a sweater than I plan to make and monochrome yarns to make lacy socks with. I picked up some Fresco by Classic Elite Yarns which I think will become a pair of Monkeys or another pair of Hederas. If or when I visit them again, I may take a less regimental approach to shopping and come home with some milk yarn!!

Our next stop was Borealis Yarns in St. Paul. They have a huge range of yarns spread throughout 3 different rooms, which make for a lovely atmosphere. They had a good mixture of the mainstays as well as more novel yarns. Again, the staff were really friendly. I picked up some Cascade 220 which I intend to use for a sweater and some Cascade sock yarn which I had never come across before.

Finally, we went to Depth of Field yarns, which is obviously very important to visit as a microscopist! This store had a much more laid-back feel. The selection was great and they also carried a wide range of acid dyes. I am definitely going to visit them again when I give dyeing another go. Unfortunately, we shopped through lunch and by the time we got to depth of field, the hypoglycaemia had taken hold! I was completely indecisive, but managed to select some Shirley by Kraemer Yarns which I converted into a pair of newborn size Sheepy Pants on the drive home.

I then dyed them with some acid dyes I picked up in Kansas. The yarn is half cotton and half wool. I love how the yarn stained the fibres in different ways!

10 Things in 1000 days

I decided to rationalize my impulse purchasing of knitting books by setting myself a personal challenge.
Here's how long I have left:

Quotation of the Day

This Day in History

Is There Anybody Out There?

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