Saturday, April 27, 2013

Got My Goodies in the Star Trek Swap

I got my swap package from RikaHeart today. Unfortunately, her dad did pass away.

The package included:

  • 2 unstuffed ST:TNG command uniform pillows
  • clay ST:TNG communicator and command pipps
  • a selection of handmade cards with ST:TNG characters on them
  • outer space wall clings
  • a ST:TNG paperback
  • a burned CD of a ST/Doctor Who parody video
  • and a padd with paper

A Visit to the Virginia Zoo

I got to cross another thing off the bucket list today: Nicole the Knitter and I went to the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk. I haven't been there since at least 2006, and Nicole hadn't been there since 2011.

We actually started out the morning with a breakfast stop at Doumar's (no hipsters here today, just a tour bus full of old people--they really looked like they were having a blast, watching one of the employees make fresh cones on the baker outside), and ended it at Carolina Cupcakery. Because of my account with Recycling Perks, I was able to get a BOGO on the zoo admissions, and a BOGO on the cupcakes. The zoo and cupcakes were on me. I figured I should treat Nicole because the admission to the Richmond Zoo was more than she expected, at the time.

I was looking forward to seeing the tigers, but none of them were on display. The zoo is trying to encourage them to breed, so it looks like no tigers on display until later sometime this year. :( It was kind of pointless, really, for us to go now, even though I wanted to see the Trail of the Tiger. It would have been nice for the zoo to actually put that somewhere in their website, that the tigers are off display. I would have gone later on when they were back.

Anyhoo, pictures below after the updated bucket list.

  • I will get a job at some kind of animal shelter, and I'm going to be damn good at whatever I end up doing there. 
  • I will get at least one old, beat up piece of wood furniture, save it from going to the landfill, and refinish it. Holy crap, I'm actually doing this one right now!!! 
  • I'd like to go on an LCAC ride with my husband before he transfers to his new command. I had to cross this one off finally, because Shane left this command already. This bummed me out. I never got a ride on an LCAC out on the bay. Some of his family members did, and even though I offered to take any number of half days off from work, I never got to ride. 
  • I will go to see the Booth Trail in 2013. 
  • I will go to Natural Bridge, VA and the Shenandoah Valley and stay in a cabin in the woodsin 2013. 
  • I will go to Hiddenite Gems, an emerald mine open to the public, in NC in 2013. 
  • I will go to the Richmond Zoo and the Virginia Zoo (they have done a lot of remodeling and I haven't been there for a several years). 
  • I will go to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. in 2013. 
  • I want to go to Tokyo some day. I would like to go to Hiroshima as well, but I've heard that Americans are unofficially unwelcomed there, and I don't blame the Japanese people if that's true. 
  • I want to see the pyramids and sphinx in Egypt. 
  • I'd love to see the Mona Lisa (she's in the Louvre in Paris) and The Scream (there are a couple, two of them are in Munich). 
  • I want to go to London, and maybe look for the TARDIS and the Doctor. 
  • I want to go to San Diego to see my best friend, go to Comic Con, wear a costume, take lots of photos, find an awesome looking Spider-Man so I can give him a hug for just being Spidey, and then walk a beach on the Pacific Ocean, looking for shells. 
  • I'd like to go to a taping of "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" if we ever go to California. 
  • I want to have at least one great, wildly creative crochet pattern published in a real book somewhere. 
  • I'd like to have our yard be featured for our Halloween decorations with a local tv station, so people might understand you don't have to spend big bucks on decorations and still put together a great display (I say this because we don't go as crazy for Christmas decorations). 
  • I'd like to win a challenge on Craftster. 
  • I'd like to compete on Craft Wars on TLC. I had to cross this one off too, because I'm pretty sure it's no longer on the air. I can't find any updated information on it. 
  • I will finish the Jedi costume finally and I will join the Rebel Legion in 2013. 
  • I will finish the doll house I started several years ago. 
  • I want to go to Ohio and see Ralphie Harper's house from The Christmas Story. 
  • I want to see Weird Al Yankovic in concert, and maybe even the Bangles if I ever get to California. 
  • I want to see the Barenaked Ladies again, the next time they come to Hampton Roads. 
  • I want to take my friends to the Virginia Safari drive through park in Stanton, VA. I'm planning on doing this in June with Michelle the Cook and her mother, and maybe Nicole the Knitter.

  • The last time I was here, this mermaid had a tiger's face. With this repaint job and that tiny face, she looks like  Jocelyn Wildenstein, the NYC socialite that had a series of plastic surgeries to look like a cat. Way to screw up your mermaids, Norfolk!

    This little attraction was pretty popular with the kids...of all ages, of course!

    All of this Asian-inspired decor at the Trail of the Tiger is new, and it's very pretty. However, all these Asian details make the rest of the park look old and outdated.

    The really bad/funny thing we saw was two year old twin girls, damn near identical. One of them was having a meltdown of some sort over by the elephants and giraffes, laying down on the deck, screaming and crying. Well, her sister came over and started stomping on her head! Everyone around was just watching, us included (because I'm not going to interfere with someone else's kids), slack-jawed, until Mom started screeching and running over to them. When the angry twin was done with her sister, she looked at me and Nicole, stomped her feet and roared just once with tiny clenched fists. She looked little a little white Hulk.

    The look on Nicole's face was priceless. It was the best thing I saw all day. She just froze for a second, dragged me away and was whispering, "Oh my God, DID YOU SEE THAT???" 

    I said to her, "See it? Hell, I was watching it!" Who knows what came over that little girl to lose her shit like that, but whatever it was, she'd had enough!

    Friday, April 26, 2013

    Two Quick Necklaces Today

    I finally picked up almost everything I need to try some resin pendants this weekend. I want to make some pendants from some tiny little shells I got this last summer, with some sand from Tampa. The sand is white, and the shells came from Virginia Beach in July when my in-laws came to visit.

    While they were here, I bought a "shark's tooth" from one of the local gift shops, and I use that phrase "shark's tooth" loosely, because really...who knows what animal it could have come from. Not that it bothers me. I figured it was also a nice reminder of the first time I ever step foot on the beach out here, when we moved here in 1998. A guy was fishing in the surf, right amongst the waders and swimmers there. Someone on the beach stopped me (I must have looked like a tourist way back then), and told me to ask him what he had in the five gallon bucket he was sitting on. I asked him, and he showed me a shark he had just pulled in from that same water, maybe anywhere from 1-3 feet deep. It was about three feet long and pissed it was in his bucket. I asked him what he was going to do with it. He said filet and eat it. :)

    Anyway, when Shane's uncle was here, we took him to the Chesapeake Bay beach down at Ocean View here in Norfolk. While digging around on the beach, I found a rock with almost perfect little holes in it. The shape of it reminded me of a bird's skull, specifically, a crow for some reason. I kept it to turn into a pendant.

    I finally got my ass in gear and picked up some artificial leather cording today at AC Moore. I love that God damned store....they have everything. It's like creative retail crack for me. I turned both the shark's tooth (because it was cheaper for me to do it myself than buy a shark tooth pendant already) and the rock into simple necklaces.

    There are actually four holes in the rock (on the right). They couldn't have been placed any more perfectly for this little project.

    What Blew My Mind Today

    HIchop! - Klingon Kiss Me

    Crocheted Pinhead Bunny from "Hellraiser"

    Nicole the Knitter sent me a crochet "neeeeeeeeeeeeeeed" a few weeks ago. I was surprised, because I hadn't gotten any wants from her for awhile. This one was a crocheted bunny version of Pinhead from the Hellraiser movies. So this is what I came up with, created in the style of Creepy Cute Crochet.

    "We'll tear your soul apart."

    Pinhead is a prominent figure in the "Hellraiser" movie series, mostly featured as the main antagonist. Pinhead is the leader of the Cenobites, formerly human creatures from an extradimensional realm who travel to Earth through the Lament Configuration, and harvest human souls.

    In order to complete this project, you will need to know how to do the following:
    --How to start a piece with a Magic Circle (there are several online tutorials and videos to consult)
    --Single Crochet (sc)
    --Slip Stitch
    --Single Crochet Increase and Decrease
    --Hand sew a basic whipstitch

    Materials Needed

    • H sized hook 
    • Stitch marker (optional) 
    • Fiber fill 
    • 2 small googly eyes 
    • Yarn needle 
    • Super glue 
    • Black yarn 
    • White yarn 
    • Flesh colored felt 
    • Couple inches of red yarn 
    • Package of dressmaker pins 

    Finished height is about 7" tall, including the ears.

    Working with the H sized hook, crochet the body with 1 strand of the black yarn. The body will be crocheted from the bottom up.
    Row 1: Start with a magic circle of 1 CH and 6 SC. Pull tight and join the ends with a slip stitch.
    Row 2: Chain 1 and work 2 SC in each stitch around. Join ends with a slip stitch. Use the stitch marker, if desired, to mark the ends of your rows. Move as needed. Do not chain 1 at the beginning of the rows.
    Row 3:  Around the entire row, repeat the following sequence: 2 SC, 1 SC   
    Row 4: Around the entire row, repeat the following sequence: 2 SC, 1 SC, 1 SC.
    Row 5: Around the entire row, repeat the following sequence: 2 SC, 1 SC, 1 SC, 1 SC.
    Row 6: Around the entire row, repeat the following sequence: 2 SC, 1 SC, 1 SC, 1 SC, 1 SC.
    Row 7:  Around the entire row, work 1 SC in each stitch.
    Row 8 : Around the entire row, repeat the following sequence:  1 SC, 1 SC, 1 SC, 1 SC, 2 SCtog.
    Row 9: Around the entire row, repeat the following sequence:  1 SC, 1 SC, 1 SC, 2 SCtog.
    Rows 10 & 11: Around the entire row, repeat the following sequence:  1 SC, 1 SC, 2 SCtog.
    Rows 12 & 13:  Around the entire row, work 1 SC in each stitch. 

    Switch to the white yarn. Begin stuff the body.

    Row 14: Around the entire row, work 1 SC in each stitch. 
    Row 15: Around the entire row, repeat the following sequence: 2 SC, 1 SC  
    Rows 16 & 17: Around the entire row, repeat the following sequence: 2 SC, 1 SC, 1 SC  
    Row 18: Around the entire row, work 1 SC in each stitch. 
    Rows 19-25: Around the entire row, repeat the following sequence:  1 SC, 1 SC, 1 SC, 2 SCtog. At the end of row 25, secure the yarn with a slip stitch, but leave a good length of yarn (a couple of inches). Stuff the head firmly.

    Thread the yarn needle with the tail of yarn and weave it in and out through the stitches of row 25 (like you’re sewing a loose hem). When complete, pull the yarn tight like a drawstring and secure the yarn.

    Ears (Make 2)
    Working with the H sized hook, work with 1 strand of the white yarn.
    Row 1: Start with a magic circle of 1 CH and 3 SC. Pull tight and join the ends with a slip stitch.
    Row 2: Work 2 SC in each stitch around.
    Row 3: Work 1 SC in each stitch around.  Repeat this row until the year is 2-3" long. Secure the yarn with a slip stitch.

    If the ears don't match perfectly, don't sweat it. Don't stuff the ears. Press them flat. Sew the finished ears onto the top of the head, at slight angles.

    Finishing the Body
    Super glue the eyes to the head. I like them on the horizontal center of the head, with about 1.5 cm in between.

    Cut 6 small ovals from the felt to glue onto the chest in 3 rows of 2. Like the ears, these little ovals don't have to be perfect, especially because you're working in a small size to begin with.

    Cut two lengths of the red yarn long enough to lay over the ovals. Super glue them on over the ovals. Once the glue has dried, give the yarn pieces a little snip in between the ovals.

    Push the pins into the bunny's head, using the rows as guidance.

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    Today's Random Dumbness

    I work at a hospice with the volunteers. "Hospices participating in Medicare must comply with numerous regulations. One condition of participation is that 5 percent of all patient care hours at a Medicare-certified hospice be provided by trained volunteers. In addition to the '5 percent rule,' the hospice must utilize volunteers for care and services in accordance with standards set by the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. These standards are designed to ensure a continuing level of effort to use hospice volunteers."

    This is pretty straight forward. Our owner decided she wants me to shoot for 5-10 percent, so that we are giving our patients more volunteer hours than what is required. That's pretty straightforward too.

    Earlier this year, she asked me what percent we were at. Since I keep a running total on this, I was able to tell her immediately: 11 percent. She actually didn't like this and said, "I only told you to shoot for 5-10 percent. 11 percent is too much."

    Uhhh, what?

    I just said okay, whatever.

    Today, we had an inspection done on our program. We don't have the final report yet, but were told we were doing good and to keep up with what we are doing. At the weekly meeting, the owner went through our positions one by one and said what we've done well for the inspection. She got to me and said that last year, we averaged 12 percent of total patient care from the volunteers and said that was great.

    Uhhh, what? So, earlier this year, 11 percent was too much but 12 percent is great?

    I'm thinking that conversations like this are why people lose their cool at work and go "postal."