Saturday, December 23, 2006

In which I am not at the disco

But I'm still in a panic.

I spent yesterday in my comfy chair cross-stitching in a frenzy. A FRENZY. This is never a good thing. In my crafty haste, I mis-stitched three separate sections and found myself digging through the rumble that is now my craft room (sorry Miss Angela... the neatness only lasted until just recently...), looking for both my embroidery snips and my stitch-fixer tool. Even with a solid 6 hours of cross-stitching, I'm still nowhere near done this project. I showed Mike my progress when he got home from work (earlier than usual, but apparently he still clocked 3 or so hours of OT since the business closed up at 12) and he said, "Cool! You're almost done!"

Almost done my ass. The sweet dear doesn't realize that what's left is about 3 hours of backstitching, along with about 3 hours of stitching--PROVIDED I HAVE THE RIGHT FLOSS. Oi Oi Oi Oi. I cannot exclaim enough! This kit has been among the worst kits ever.

If all I had left to do was the cross-stitch for my mom-mom, I wouldn't be freaking out in my platform boots. But, of course, there are a number of things left to do: knitting project for the B.U.M., 4-5 bottles of cheer for the 4-5 men on my list (I keep waffling about the one man, though I think now I'm going with a bottle of Pimm's No. 1 for him), wrap, take photos, take a few shots of us for his parents, pack, travel.

That doesn't seem like TOO much, but tonight we're entertaining our neighbors and her out-of-town father (from SINGAPORE. Dude wins.). Tomorrow morning we're going to Christmas Eve morning services. And we've got to be in Delaware, over an hour away, sometime around 3.

Even though my last post professed my love of the "letting go" philosophy, I think I'm still semi-stressed from last night. I tried to save a couple hundred bucks by renting a car from a non-Center City location; and while this morning, everything's worked out, there were a few moments between 6 and 7:15 last night when I was certain my smilin' face was going to be on the 11 o'clock news: "Breaking news: Girl loses her shit at the Hertz counter".

Wet, tired, grumpy, and hungry seldom make for a happy customer. But, discounts and free additional drivers do wonders to improve one's spirits. After that, Mike and I zipped along 63 West to 309 North* where we goopily ate nachos, salads, and andouille pizza (well, the pizza was just him...) at Iron Hill before hitting the Mall. Between the restaurant and three stores we visited in the mall, we managed to get gifts for 6 people--and our time in the mall? Less than 30 minutes. THAT'S nice.

Mike is off shopping today. I volunteered to go with him since I'm obviously so good at shopping (I do know how to pick the right gift**), but he shot that idea down immediately, pointing out that 1. he was shopping for me, and 2. I had to work today.

Finally, for those of you that eBay more frequently than me: what would you think if, after not receiving an item that allegedly shipped out around December 6, you contact the seller and the seller replies, "I shipped that on 12/6--the postman must have lost it. I'll send another right away...":

  1. The seller is a jolly old soul.
  2. The seller realized upon receipt of my email that the uncomfortable feeling he had when sitting was the direct result of having shoved my package up his ass.
  3. The postman is a thief!

*Conversation from last night, as I drove in the rain:

"How's your night vision, Mike?"
"Pretty good, why?"
"I can't see shit!"
"Want me to drive?"
"After we eat--there's no where to pull over... (at least that I can see)"

Few miles later...
"Why's that guy flashing you? Do you have your high-beams on?"
*fiddles with the lights*
"Uh... nevermind about the night vision thing... I didn't have my lights on...."

**With one exception: I bought something for Mike for Christmas that is... stupid. And I don't mean stupid in a cute way or stupid like the old Michael Jackson meant bad or stupid the way some kids these days say something is sick and mean, "Yo, that's fly. Werd." No, I mean stupid in "Why did I not look before clicking, and there's no way I can return this because nobody will want it. I don't even want it, but I'm stuck with it. Why didn't the store have a pop-up when I clicked to buy the item online that said something like, 'Yo, idiot-girl. Take a look at the package in the photo. You really sure you wanna buy this?' Hell, why did the store even offer this item since, really, it's of no use to anyone, especially since by the time he opens it, it'll be about to expire in less than a week....

Anyone that can guess the item gets a prize.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Deconstructing Eddie

Here is a finished object:

But--it's not what you think! This is not a finished object in terms of "look what I knit". No. This is a finished object in terms of IT HAS REACHED THE END OF ITS LIFE:

What we're looking at here, people, is the end of my rope. After being a faithful and loyal Eddie Bauer customer, I find that I have to quit this store. There have been far too many defects in quality, though in instances past, Eddie Bauer stood 100% behind its merchandise. When I attempted to return this item, I was met by an argumentative and downright nasty manager who all but accused me of trying to steal from the store. I notified the company's customer service department, but only learned that while they apologize for the attitude of their employee, they no longer have the same guarantee. Where once I could have returned the defective item for a full refund, they now can only accept returns with receipts. And I do admit--that's understandable--people DO abuse the returns policy. And, I'd gladly take my damaged sweater home and cry in my cereal if what I was trying to return was an item that had suffered normal wear and tear.

But this is an item that has been cared for: washing on the right cycle, drying at the right temperature, hung in a closet with cedar blocks. It makes no sense that the garment should develop at hole below the raglan shoulder seam when the rest of the sweater is in near-perfect condition:

I liked this sweater--the yarn had a nice drape without being slouchy, the ribbing adding some shaping, and the color was perfect.

After exhausting my case with Eddie Bauer's Office of the CEO, I'm just going to cut my losses. It's clear that the store no longer provides the quality of merchandise it once did: the fact that 4 items in the last two years have somehow failed or otherwise disappointed me can not be coincidence. Add to that the reduced guarantee--three of the four unsatisfactory items were returned with minimum questions asked and I was refunded the full price on each--and I'm not exactly eager to pay upwards of $70 on a sweater that might not last longer than a year. Especially when that same $70 could get me a small stash of sweater yarn!

And so as to not be completely negative, here's another shot of the snuggle-kitty:

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Final Countdown

Why do we do this to ourselves, fellow craftsters? You know what I'm talking about--we all start January breathing a sigh of relief that the crazy holidays and the related stressfulness of holiday crafting are a week behind us. We might even vow--next year? Next year, everyone gets Best Buy gift cards, heartfelt creations be damned! And yet, next year gets here and you know what happens, right? The siren call, the need for speed, the craving for that feeling of the needle, and before we know it, we're knee-deep once again in UFOs without much in the way of 24/7s.

And so it is that December 17 finds me furiously knitting a pair of wrist warmers, in between cross-stitching on the seasonal tea cups, and just before I start in on my next dozen or so pairs of hand-crafted earrings. Thank goodness for the craftiness of the Booger Grammy--otherwise, I'd still be working on Christmas '05.

Unrelated, here's a drink that I can seriously NOT recommend: Crystal Light Lemonade, tequila, and triple sec. I called it a white trash margarita, and boy howdy, did I feel white and trashy after having about 6 of those drinks...