Saturday, March 31, 2007

More talent in their little fingers...

Graphic artists fascinate me, perhaps because I am so jealous of their ability to envision things I can't. This just blows me away...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

March Madness and FO's

Bracketology: The science of picking the winners of the NCAA college basketball tournament starting with 64 teams and ending up with a single National Champion.

I confess, I'm hooked. Why else would I spend the entire weekend glued to the tv watching a bunch of VERY tall college boys run back and forth bouncing a ball and bumping into each other while trying to make it look as if they were the bumpees not the bumpers?

They call it March Madness and one look at the rabid fans in the stands and you know where the term originated. And it doesn't end there. The business world has spent time and money documenting the productivity lost in office pools and time spent watching games on company time on the internet. (I would venture to say that a fair amount of productivity was also lost in doing the study!) But it remains an american reality. Maybe it is a harbinger of spring after the long cold winter. Maybe it is just a harmless diversion in a world full of tragic news. On any given day, any team can be a winner, sometimes despite the rankings so it sometimes becomes America's David and Goliath story. Everybody wants to root for David.

For the uninitiated here are some important terms: (If this is all boring to you, just skip ahead to the FO's)

64 teams are initially selected to participate in the tournament and a selected college team is therefore invited to "The Big Dance." These selections are based on their season records and the divisions where they play. Each team is ranked from 1 to 16 in their division. In a nod to sadism, the number one team is always matched with the number sixteen, the number two team is matched to number fifteen and so on. The first weekend of the tournament first and second round games are played, leaving 16 teams left. These teams become the "Sweet Sixteen." After the next round the "Elite Eight" emerge to play each other, followed by the "Final Four" and then ultimately, the Championship game determines the National Champion. Selecting the winners of each round has become a national pasttime, sometimes with great amounts of money at stake but often just offering the opportunity for some heavy duty bragging rights.

This year Facebook has become a major player. Yes, I have a facebook of the by products of working on a college campus. It has become my way of staying in touch with my students (as well as my daughter). I started a pool on facebook and five people joined, including Meredith and my nephew Paul. As of right now, here are the standings.

Pool Standings - Top 20
Rank Name R1 R2 Total
1 Mary Ann 26 24 50
2 Paul 27 18 45
2 Matt 21 24 45
2 Bobby 23 20 43
5 Meredith 26 16 42
6 Mike 19 18 37

Not too shabby, huh? I could end up getting hammered in rounds three and four but I am savoring my spot at the top of the heap right now!

When I haven't been biting my nails and screaming at the tv, I have managed to get some knitting done. I'm even working on the GD Baby Blanket which has been languishing in my knitting bag. Here's my output so far:

Pink Lady Hobo Bag
(I love, love, love
the Celtic Knot button)

The teal
"Pink Lady" Hobo Bag
(also with that
great Celtic Knot button)

A black envelope clutch evening bag for my sister's birthday *cough* last month.

...and a little ipod/cellphone bag made from some extra material.

The baby blanket is coming along agonizingly slowly. It has had more than its share of frogging but I am determined to finish it. Fortunately, I don't have a specific recipient in mind for it at this point. The little girl I originally started it for will be in kindergarten next fall so she got something else, a simple sweater and hat that I could finish in a short amount of time.

Also on the needles at this point: a second pair of wool socks for Brendan. He absolutely LOVES the first pair I made him.

So now he is getting a gray pair. He was such an angel while I was laid up with my ankle, doting on me as if I were royalty. A pair of socks is such a small way to show my love and gratitude, but it's all he wants. What a honey!

So, for the next couple of weeks you will find me parked in front of those basketball games, rooting, swearing (a little), and knitting. Oh, and Go Gators!!!!

Friday, March 02, 2007

The two best words in the english language: Snow Day!

Oh, yeah! I can't imagine any better feeling than rolling over at 5:30 AM, hitting the speed dial on the phone and hearing those magic words: "All classes and activities for today are cancelled. All offices are closed." Students aren't the only ones who relish an unexpected day off. And to have it happen on a Friday is like getting whipped cream and a cherry on top of a delicious hot fudge sundae!

Don't get me wrong... I love my job. I really do. Seriously. I'm not kidding. But what's not to love about a little unexpected time off and a chance to hang around the house doing what I want. Sure, I can always do the "Mental health day" route and take a day off on my own but then that old guilt thing kicks in. I can do guilt like nobody's business...I went to Catholic School for eight years!... so removing that makes it all the sweeter.

So, mundane as they may be, here are some pictures of my day:

mmmm, love the fire but it makes me sleepy! Time for another nap.

An easy knitting project to
leisurely work on...

Brendan gets ready to go out and do battle with the snow. He's a vision in his old Air Force hat which I have tried to "lose" many times over the years. Like a bad penny it keeps reappearing. His sweater is the first one I ever knitted and the one that forced me to accept the fact that I have a severe math disability. But he loves it and wears it faithfully. He's such a honey! (even in his dorky hat and his "Omar the Tentmaker" sweater!)

It's man vs. machine...
but he gets the job done!

Even Isla takes a break from her job protecting the property from the killer squirrels out back. She stays on alert for the evil mailman, however. You can't let your guard down against THAT tricky devil!

And where am I while all this work is to be done?...

...still working on getting that *&%^ ankle back in shape. It's getting there, slowly but surely but not quick enough for my liking! This growing older business is a pain in the ass sometimes.

At least I have some FO's to show for my "down" time:

"Pink Lady" bag (just needs a fancy button)

Felted tote

Whew, I'm exhausted...I think I'll take another nap!