Gryffindor Scarf

I was in a homemade name exchange this year. I wanted to do something nice, that anybody could enjoy if they wanted, but also something that fit my personality a little bit. In other words, something geeky. I finally settled on a Gryffindor scarf.


The scarf is knit in the round, so it is double-thick. There’s nothing particularly complicated about it, other than the fact that it is very, very long.


In retrospect, I probably should have picked something that was a little less time consuming. I started this back in about September, and since that time, I have spent most of my free time working on it. I can knit while watching tv or some other distraction, but I knit a little bit slower. I timed myself many times during the making of this scarf and discovered I could do about 5 rows an hour while distracted. Each band of color is 25 rows, and there are 19 bands. Add in the fringe, weaving in the ends, etc. and I think it’s safe to say I spent about 100 hours working on it. Luckily, I finished just in the nick of time, at about 10 p.m. the night before the name exchange.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone makes an excellent fringe-measuring tool!

However, I’m very pleased with how it all came out. It’s a really nice scarf. My step-father ended up winning it, so I’m glad it’s staying in the (immediate) family.


Towards the end, I kept saying, “After this, I am taking a break from knitting!” However, now that it’s done, I don’t know what to do with myself. While I was working on the scarf, I always had something to do when I had a free moment. I think I might need another project just to keep myself occupied!

On the other hand, maybe I just need to find a way to make scarves by magic…


Food Timeline

I was recently pointed to this food timeline website, which lists the years when foods were introduced to our diets. That probably doesn’t sound like fascinating information, but this captured my imagination.


  • High Fructose Corn Syrup didn’t appear until 1967. That’s 14 years after marshmallow peeps were invented.
  • Betty Crocker’s Cake Mix appeared 33 years before Yukon gold potatoes were invented.
  • Girl Scout Cookies were created before popsicles.
  • Nobody thought to put peanut butter & jelly together until 1901 – that’s after Jell-O, Campbell’s soup and Candy Corn. Heck, it’s 10 years after someone invented Fig newtons.
  • Conversation Hearts have been around since 1866.

Do you think that years from now they’ll look at this list and say, “They didn’t invent test tube burgers until 2013?” or “It took them 204 years to evolve from doughnuts to cronuts?”

Go ahead, fall down the rabbit hole. Anything jump out at you? What do you see that’s interesting?

Quote Monday is indignant

Ollie: “I couldn’t sleep because Evie kept asking me if I was awake.”
::Evie looks indignant::
Me: “Well, did you keep asking him if he was awake?”
Evie: “Not while he was asleep!”

Ollie, singing: “…Four calling birds, three French heads…”

Now THAT’S a Christmas carol…

Kid in Ollie’s class runs up to Sara: “We’re not made of chicken.”
Sara: “What?”
Kid: “Ollie said you said we were made from chickens. We’re not. We’re made of monkeys.”


It’s a car smash car world out there

Driving in the city is a totally different experience. Parallel parking into spots one inch larger than your car, squeezing past double-parked delivery trucks, people darting between cars to cross in the middle of the street, merging across 3 lanes, construction, potholes the size of an elephant, you name it. You can’t be afraid to bull your way in there, sometimes using your car as a shield, sometimes using it as a weapon.

This is a long way to say that I put a 2 foot gouge in the side of my 1 year old car the other day. It was not pretty, my friends. I never really saw exactly what happened; all I know is I was late for ballet, there was a truck with its flashers on and traffic coming the other way, and I thought I could fit through. Ollie said there was a piece of metal sticking out on the side. It smashed my mirror (not broken!) and put a deep scratch across both doors.

A day in the life.

My point is, if you live in the city, you have to expect that your car is going to get a little dinged up. I don’t know how many times I’ve come back to find a ding in my door and no one around.

Whaddya gonna do?

So Sara was getting out of a tight parking spot the other day, and she maybe kinda-sorta backed up until she nudged the guy behind her. She was creeping backward, watching in the rearview, so it wasn’t a hit, more of a…gentle rocking. Let’s be honest, you’ve done it, I’ve done it.

Except this time, it turns out the guy was sitting in his car.

Super embarrassing. Sara could see the guy freaking out, gesturing wildly and yelling. So what are you going to do in that situation? You know there’s no mark on the cars, but you have to get out and look. Give your insurance information if he wants it, after all, you did technically hit his car.

So Sara gets out of the car, with this maniac still gesturing. “Is it all right?” she asked. “Oh,” said the man, poking his head out of the door. “I…thought you were a guy.”

Sara looked at him, and then they both got back in their cars. Sara proceeded to go back and forth until she was out of the spot, and then drove away.

So, what exactly does that mean?

What was this guy thinking? Is it okay to yell at guys, but not at girls? I mean, she’ll take it, because she didn’t want some dude screaming at her, but maybe you shouldn’t be screaming at anybody, you know? Is escalating a little, harmless bump into a fistfight on the street just bros being bros, but women are too fragile to take it? Or is it just okay for a woman to be a bad driver?

More importantly, if he’s so concerned about his car, and he’s sitting in his car watching this person going back and forth, back and forth, trying to get out of the spot, and he’s the last car in the row, why not just, you know, turn on the car and back up a foot or two?

I guess some guys are just spoiling for a fight.

But only with dudes.

See, this is why I like having a 2 foot long gash on the side of my car. If someone’s trying to merge in and I’m not letting them, or if *I’m* trying to merge in and they’re not letting *me*, I just lock eyes, nod towards the scratch, and they move out of my way. “I’m coming over,” says my scratch, and, “You should see the other guy.” And, “If you don’t want to get hit, turn your car on and back up. I don’t give a f@^k.”

I need my car to say that, because I’m far, far too much of a pansy to say it myself.

Poinsettia on your butt – a psychological experiment

So, Evie’s class has a holiday breakfast yesterday morning. Somewhere between admiring the drawings of “where they live” and admiring Evie’s “book”, I must have leaned against a wall in the classroom. I don’t actually remember it happening, but I think it’s pretty clear that it did happen, because when I leaned against the wall an exact replica of a pastel poinsettia transferred onto my posterior. I’m pretty sure I could have found the specific picture I leaned on, because it would have been a one-to-one match.

Sara noticed it first, though I suppose I don’t know how long I was walking around with a poinsettia on my butt. Keep in mind this was in a room full of the worst possible people: people who I don’t really know, but am likely to run in to again frequently. If I knew them better, we could probably laugh about the beautiful mural on my butt. If they were total strangers, I could probably just pretend I’m the type of guy who can pull off a pastel butt mural. “Oh, you don’t like it? Well, it’s very European.”

I went to the bathroom and tried awkwardly to wipe my butt in the mirror (like you do), but it didn’t help much. It just sort of smeared it from “beautiful pastel poinsettia” to “big, mostly-red with a little black, butt smear”. Also by this time, Sara and Evie started referring to me as “poinsettia butt”.

Now, I must admit, situations like this are when it comes in handy to have no shame. I mean, I wasn’t HAPPY about the situation, but it was what it was, so, you know. ::shrug:: Ain’t no party like a red baboon butt party.

But you know what’s weird? Not ONE PERSON mentioned it to me. Not even to say, “Hey, uh, hate to be the bringer of bad news, but I think you accidentally squished a my little pony.” That’s weird, right? I mean, it was kind of hard to miss, so I know people were seeing it. I wasn’t sticking to the wall or anything. I guess no one wants to admit they were looking at my butt?

After this I had to go to work, so I debated going home to change. But, you know, in for a penny, in for a pound, right? Besides, I mostly sit at a computer all day.

Every time I went to get coffee or went to the bathroom, I expected someone to say something. Nothing. Not one person. I actually started to get self-conscious about them NOT mentioning it. “Hello!” I wanted to shout. “Can’t you see my butt?” What if I really didn’t know it was back there? Wouldn’t anybody tell me, or would they let me go like that all day?

I started trying to make my butt more conspicuous. What would it take for someone to say something? A hip thrust? A little wiggle? I don’t know. I never found out, because no one ever said anything.

So what’s going on here? Is it just uncouth to talk about someone’s butt? Do we all just assume someone else must have mentioned it, so nobody ends up mentioning it? (Kind of how nobody will call an ambulance in an emergency)

Or is it just me? Am I actually the type of guy who can pull off a pastel butt mural?

Apparently, I am.