Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Distance Post

Estoy aqui, posting from The Placed Where You Try To Fake-Kill People...  Aka Tae Kwon Do.  Actually, I did TKD many years ago, until I was only two belts below my black belt.  Then, Circumstances Beyond My Control occurred (They generally do) and I had to quit.  Sadness.  So now, yeaaaaaaars later, I HAVE RETURNED!

Fear me.  I can see you quivering. :P

This would not be a good time to reveal that I almost fainted the first three times I went...came.  Here.  I have my excuses--absolute focus during the years in between on the core muscles and the core muscles alone...anemia, not cool...very low blood pressure anyway.  Fainting is not really an uncommon occurrence for me...just going up and down the stairs at rapid speed or standing up can make my head spin.  It's the change of altitude or something! :)

But I do not faint anymore, rather I enjoy myself. although I may not be doing it much longer.  So hard to fit it in the schedule.  Too bad, yes?

And a word on the weather, though I haven't any pictures today (I'm giving the LGM a day off, and besides I'm in the middle of a project).  Flat.  Out.  Gorgeous.  In Kansas, we don't have four seasons.  We have two, maybe three, if we're really lucky roundabout October.  We go from 30 degree ice and snow (remember this??) to about three or four really nice spring-type days.  60 degrees, sunshine, little white fluffy clouds, the whole shabang... and then WHAM!  Straight. Into. Summer.  And no joke.  After those three or four days, you have 80, 83, 87 degree, full sun, everything exploding into bloom.  I kid you not.  It's outrageous.

Bring on the tornadoes.  Hahaha.
AMZi x x x x

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

These Small Hours

Scroll waaaaay down and find the song "Little Wonders" by Rob Thomas and listen to it.  Explanation concluded.

Quickie Note ::

The hearts have been made into a garland, which has in turn parked itself over the door to the room de las hermanas.  The lighting in the hall is perfectly abysmal, so sorry for bad picture.  Just to give you the idea.

The pattern/tutorial is available under "Seasonal Stuff to Make" up on the tabs bar.

The weather is INSANELY good these days.  My teachers are cool about this, opening windows, conducting Spanish classes outdoors on miniature playgrounds, etc.  But when I'm at home, I cannot make myself buckle down!  Very inconvenient, yes.  I should be watching a guest lecturer ramble on about his family history, but I'm not.  I've been outside, and I'm going back out just as soon as I finish this post.

I took some pictures when I was out earlier...
Ooh!  Aaahhh! 
* conniptions* 

Usually I tweak the contrast in the outdoor pictures I take, to make the colors come out more like real life.  But I swear, I did NOTHING to these pictures.  The. Most. Gorgeous. Flower.  Himmel, I love those pics.

Aaaaaaand today on a whim I cut all my hair off.  No, not QUITE the way that sounded...  Actually the whim started a few days ago, and today I had a PROFESSIONAL cut all my hair off.  Well, lots of it anyhow.  And I'm very happy with it.  Even though you can't see the difference in this picture because I'm perfectly in-adept at photographing myself while sitting on swings....

Look who I found creeping along my windowsill?

 And then he decided to come in.

And we became friends.

His name is Huey, del hermano, and Himmel I sound like a baby.  Get this :: I don't blooming care.  I've been dying for these sunny days to arrive and I'm dashed if I'm going to sit inside and be studious during them.

Over and Out!
AMZi x x x x x

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Stories...

The Pictures on the Camera Tell ::

7:33 am :: Notice how the red sunrise reflects on the bark of the tree.  Slam up the sash and screen, snap pictures.  Click!  Click!  Click!

7:36 am :: Notice the buds.  Click!

8:37am :: Start fiddling with a new pattern idea before dashing out.  

4:20pm :: The tail end of my afternoon as I come home.  Click!

4:34pm :: Ooh, look, my shoes!  Love these shoes!  Click!

4:38pm :: Finish little project (well, finish two of them actually)  Click!  Click!  Click!  Click!

4:50pm :: Favorite seaglass and pebbles migrate over the windowsill into the sunshine.  Click! Click!

5:15pm :: Notice buds again.  Click!  Click!  Click!

And a little story....  Setting :: Dinner Table

El hermano :: Look, my broccoli all fell out of the middle and into the butter.

Me ::  Ew.  That is absolutely repulsive.

La hermana :: You say that all the time.  "Absolutely repulsive!"  

El hermano :: And "slightly repulsive."

Me :: *smugly*  It is so often applicable.

El padre :: *SMIRK*

AMZi x x x x x 

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Guess what I just heard??  The wonderful sound of the neighbor's crotchety and asthmatic weedwacker!  THIS is how I know summer is coming!  But let't not get too ahead of ourselves... Spring first.  ACK!  THE SUN'S OUT!  *races off*

*drags. self. back*  Sit!  Good girl.  Write!

Have I mentioned how I live for Sundays?  Even in spite of some gloom, some icky feelings (sub tempestas) some slight bantering ridicule (really, how long will it take to get used to, honestly) the day just might shape itself up.  Sunshine is good.  Yes.

I started crocheting some little hearts last night, and this morning had some early-morning stringing sessions before church.  The blinds at the kitchen table let in slats of light :: so cool!

A tutorial will be appearing in short order for these little hearts, just in case anybody wants to give them a go.  They're pretty simple, though I just can't seem to buckle myself down to a lateral back-and-forth or even round-and-round project.  I always have to be turning and crocheting across places where crochetery doesn't usually go, and flipping and picoting, and generally breaking rules.  Ah well.  The tutorial will be rather more in depth than usual, with pictures step-by-step.  Hope it helps.

I'm going to go sit in some grass!  :)
AMZi x x x x x

PS :: Happy Palm Sunday.  Go sing a really good old hymn, like "Oh God Beyond All Praising."  While we're sitting in the grass.  And maybe doing some small and colorful Crochetery.  Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Yet More Spheres

I'm on a spherical rampage, it appears.  Very sorry about the late trend.  It's just what I've been doing lately.

Check out that one on the right.  It Cracks. Me. Up.  I made it last night while listening to a live web streaming of a meeting, and taking notes!  Multitasking, yes?  Same with that two-layer flower.  New idea and new leaves there.  It just makes me laugh to play catch with a gigantic eyeball... :)

And this is the latest, which I've just finished.  I'm liking stripes!

I've got votes for a dark-blue-iris-ed Eyeball.  I wish I had a bit of light blue, or brown.

And as a follow-up for yesterday's post, I was cured by the time I got home from work, and a half an hour spent outdoors only bettered the situation.  :)  I'm back to my jolly self!  In spite of some frightful weather today!

I'm going to go find someone to hurl these balls at.... *insert evil laugh*

AMZi x x x x x

Friday, March 26, 2010


What is it with Fridays?  They have every excuse to be the best days of the weeks!  Anticipation of the weekend, movie night, no classes... what more can you ask for?

And yet it seems to be a trend :: Fridays are becoming ugly.  Discontented, maybe.  Mostly they feel like just an extra day to muddle through, staring out of windows, counting hours until it's over.  I H:A:T:E days like that.  Days when you're just waiting for them to end, instead of doing good things with them and enjoying them.  Maybe I need to get outside.  Maybe I need to find a good book to read.  Maybe I need some Attic 24 Therapy is all.  Some color.  Some yarn.  Some charming little projects.  Sounds good to me...

Maybe some tea?

Anyhow, all that gripe later, an announcement is in order ::
There is a New Pattern available in the Pages list at the top of the page, just under the banner

Those above are crochet spheres.  I made the green one yesterday if you recall, and the purple one last night. El hermano piensa que they look like fruits from this book.  Maybe so.  I have no idea what I should do with them, but I like them anyhow. :)

Now I'm going outside to try and work myself into a good mood before I have to take off for extra training at work.  Shall I say THAT is not contributing to my Good Mood Efforts?

AMZi x x x x x

Thursday, March 25, 2010

An Afternoon

Ahhhh.  That is a long and happy sigh after rushing around for several hours just to be able to sit down now and have some time to myself.

The sun finally decided to show, and I managed to get the LGM outside to get some pictures of the maples, which have burst into bloom.  Maple blooms are so silly and frivolous for temperate-climate trees....  *big grin*

I have no idea what these are... they remind me of something called "Hens 'N' Chicks" from way back when, but I'm not sure.  I love their fat thick leaves :: they must be succulents :: and how they catch the raindrops!  

The Grass is so Green...

And the Sky is so Blue..

And this Wall was so Wallish...  Yeaaaaaaaah. :P

So then the Hooligans cleared out and I had the house to myself for a lovely two sunny hours.  I made a hot lemon and honey, because my usual strong black tea seems a little oppressive in this light weather.  I suppose a dash of milk and a sweetener would fix that, but I'm really a solid-black-tea person, not putting extra bits in.  Anyhow, I settled in with the Complete Symphonic Recording of Les Mis, and some bright green Yarny Stuffs.

This was me at the Set-Out, thinking, this ain't half bad!  Sunny windowseat, crochetery, scalding hot stuff in a mug... yessss.  Hence the happy sigh at the top of this post. :)  I'm a girl who really requires her down time.  And then I use that down time very carefully, in activities that I plan out ahead of time so as to have the joy of anticipating them.  Anticipation's really half the fun, or maybe even three quarters of it.  I've always done a lot of it.  Might call it day-dreaming, as things hardly ever turn out quite as nice as I anticipated... :P  

But then someone will usually walk in on me while I'm doing something Down-Time-Ish and Very Carefully Planned and Very Muchly Anticipated, and they will say, "Boy, I think you have too much time on your hands!"  

As a matter of fact, NO, I do not.  I have enough work to fill a whole day.  I just choose to dash about madly getting it all done in a timely fashion, so as to have a nice chunk of Down Time to myself.  I like a whole hour of time rather than wasting five minutes out of each hour.  It's as simple as that.  And these same people somehow find the time to play video games, or watch sports on TV, or whatever.  Everyone makes time for things they love.  That's all I'm doing, and if it seems strange or silly, well, Live With It!

All of this Rumination later...  We reach the Halfway Point ::

This is me wondering if I will have enough yarn.  I never really do, you know?

And these people can't understand that I like my time quiet and undisturbed, to myself, and uninterrupted.  Alone.  Yes, what a nice word.  Of COURSE I enjoy other people's company, but in small chunks.  And I'm no antisocial hermit :: most of my friends tell me they'd never guess I was such an extreme introvert.  But there it is :: the I word.  I pull off a wild-and-crazy, entertainer, joker personality with my friends, and that's definitely a part of me, the Entertainer.  I make people laugh, and I'm happy with that.  But after about an hour or two, or more if I'm slap-happy, it wears off.  I start looking out of windows more.  I start listening more than I'm talking.  I start becoming the Observer rather than the Entertainer.  And the later it gets, the more serious the topics of discussion become.... Kind of funny, actually.  :)  I can break out of my shell, and it's not difficult or unpleasant, but I will say it's not quite as pleasant as having a few minutes quietly to myself being Happy.  

And during all of this, we have been stuffing and finish off and weaving in ends and.... Ta da! 

A perfectly Spherical crochet ball!  So pathetically Silly and pointless, but so worth it!  It's GREEN!  And it's ROUND!  And we've had a proper Think with ourselves during, so it's not completely a waste of time. :)

But now... I'm looking around... and I feel a massive tidy coming over me!  

Obsessive Compulsive Cleaning Disorder... Bother!!
AMZi x x x x x

Sheer Awesomeness

Methinks I need to start a Label for Sheer Awesomeness, yes?  What is so bally awesome today, you ask?  Take a look ::

Fully Awesome, right??  I designed this sword YEARS ago, my own personal sword.  It's fairly light (because if it were a real broadsword I'd never be able to lift it), has a dark leather grip, wound with gold wire, and a green gem in the hilt.  

Enter el hermano fabuloso who is brilliant and all that, etcetera etcetera etcetera.  This dude has been fiddling with a modeling/animation/CGI program called Blender (totally free too!) for a couple months now.  Edit :: Blender has hijacked his LIFE.  Sometimes bothersome.  But in this case, totally worth it! 

Because now he can do all this awesome free-form modeling, starting with a cylinder, shaving, cutting, stretching, turning, attaching, closing, hollowing, you blooming name it!  So I supply him with a drawing of the hilt, and lo and behold, 2 days later (4-6 hrs of work) here it is!

(This is the view you DON'T want to see, yes?)  

I mean, can you believe this?  All this from scratch.  Shapes, adding alloy, adding cameras and lights and shadows, and everything, and DUDE is it awesome!!!

Check this out!  This wasn't in the actual design :: a little artistic license on the part of el hermano fabuloso and it says (get this) "The Awesomest Sword In The World According To [Amzi]"!!!

Now if only there was a handy-dandy "Print" button that would make this awesome sword shoot out of the computer and into my hands...  I can dream, can't I?  ;)

AMZi x x x x x

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Drumroll Please!



Presenting ::


I've FINALLY gotten my blog to look the way I want!  *cue the Hallelujah chorus and sounds of wild rejoicing*

I love it!  Made my banner at last, fixed my tabs at last, etc. etc. etc. at last, and here it is to stay!

Three cheers!




The redbud (whitebud) is back in action after being frozz!  Three cheers for spring Just While We're At It!




And three cheers for Calculus and Trig!

What, where did your enthusiasm go???  Oh well, enough is enough, yes?

AMZi x to the fifth power

It's Country

Scroll way down and turn off the playlist player before you play these videos ::

I am Unapologetic.  I love country music.  Many people my age say they don't like country at all, but I find this hard to swallow.  They must be joking, right?  What's not to love?  

One of the best things about country music is what a vessel it provides.  You think about it when you turn on your radio :: country artists work all sort of Christian values and even blatant, unashamed Christian lyrics into their songs.  For example :: A well-known song, "Down the Road" has a chorus that starts like this ::
Her mama wants to know / Am I washed in the blood / Or just in the water 
That's deep right there.  And nobody knifes Kenny Chesney [[although I did a double take when I saw who wrote it because it's so... good!  Sorry Kenny Chesney fans, I just can't stand him and his usually-raunchy songs]] about it.  It isn't plastered over the tabloids or the news, and he isn't blacklisted, and it's played on radios nation-wide.  Or Carrie Underwood's new song, "Temporary Home," which is embedded below ::

That's a pretty clear message, and yet it totally culturally acceptable.  Ironic that music is often the battleground for our culture's movements and revolutions...and yet it seems to be one of the last fortresses of our country's roots.  Only in country music can you find real, unashamed patriotism, value of human life, traditional morals, and really good guitar.... ;)  Seriously though.  

Not to say that there aren't a lot of really nawsty and raunchy songs out there.  A lot of the country music playing on today's radios is dodgy at best.  But personally, I've just learned to pinpoint the bands that have those tendencies (hence the shock at Kenny Chesney earlier...) and avoid them.  It's all just another area where you keep a guard on your spirit.  Obviously you should be careful of what you're feeding into your ears (or eyes, or mind, or heart), but that is no different from any other music you could be listening to.  

And for the most part there is such a good, clean, grassy pureness in country music.  I've grown up on it.  I can remember very clearly (and I have a TERRIBLE memory!) my car-seat days,  driving along when it's raining and asking Mom to turn off the radio and explain every single song.  "Mommy, why is that man so sad?"  "Well, his wife died and..."  Etcetera.  I bawled my eyes out, but it's a good memory now! :)

And it ain't just for country folks.  Heaven knows I'm a suburbanite and only inherit the "Cowboy in Me" (Tim McGraw, go listen to it) from el padre.  But my argument is embodied in "Hillbilly Bone," a song by Blake Shelton with Trace Adkins.  New stuff, old stuff, it's not all that different in the long run.  Grow up slow, with your eyes wide open, and grow up Country.  ;)

AMZi x x x x x

Monday, March 22, 2010

Three Reasons

Why Mondays aren't all that awful! :)

Reason The Firstest ::

Spring springing back outside after all that sudden snow!  A little the worse for wear, perhaps, but still holding out!  Click for fullview and take a look at the smaller ones.  The Little Green Machinery [[camera]] makes me look like I know what I'm doing! :)

Reason The Secondest ::

A Brand-New Shiny Moleskine!  AYIIII!  It's.  So.  Awesome!  (Big thank you to You Know Who You Are!!)  :)

Reason the Thirdest but Not Leastest ::

A Gee-Or-Geous Valse Melancolique by this dude, Vladimir Rebikov, I never heard of before but DANG it is GORGEOUS! Love it!  So prettyful.

Unofficial Reason (Shhh!) ::  Singing a billion Broadway songs when nobody else is home!

AMZi x x x x x

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Corners...Rounds Three And Four!

Thank you for your patience, ladies and gentlemen!  We will now return to your scheduled programming...

Corner Numero Tres ::

This is my nightstand.  It contains a lamp, a clock, a vase, and a trivet from Turkey.

The interesting part is the vase (which is short and GREEEEEN!) and what it contains :: namely, two crocheted daffodils designed and made by Yours Truly.  Desafortunadamente, I do not have patterns for these, as they were made "by ear" as I went along.  I particularly like the white one, whose petals are reinforced by very thin brass wire on the back side.  They are supported by GREEEN! pipe cleaner stems until further notice....

Corner The Fourth ::

HAHAHA HA!  I tricked you!  That is no corner, it is only a lovely teapot with lupines (LUPINES!) painted on it!  Here is the real corner ::

This one contains a watermelon teapot and two blown-glass sculptures.  One is a frog prince and the other is a bird.  They were made by a marble company nearby.

Thank you for riding amAMZIng! Express!  We have now arrived at the end of our tour.  Please keep all arms, legs, heads, noses, tongues, and ears INSIDE the car until the ride comes to a COMPLETE stop!  Thank you!

AMZi x x x x x

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Slipping In The Back Door....

*creep creep creep*  Shhhhhh!  OH!  *cheesy grin*  Hello!  What do you mean I'm late?  Me? I'm not sneaking in!  Never!  I was just walking...uh...with my...toes.  Yeah.  You say I'm late?  Me? Late?  Noooo!

*shuffles feet*  Okay, okay, yes, I missed TWO DAYS without any semblance of warning.  I don't suppose a heartfelt apology and a ream of spring-ish pictures would help?  It wouldn't?

Well, GOOD, because my computer ATE THEM!  Grrrrrrrrrr!  Me and technology, we don't get along so well.   However, score one for me, because I got my camera!  This is technology I can handle!  Isn't it shiineeeeeeeeee?!  And it takes nice pictures, too!  12.1 megapixels, 4x optical zoom, and image stabilizer!  Which really good, because you may have noticed I can't take any remotely clear pictures without a tripod.  This one make 4 out of 5 shots perfect!  Can you tell I'm excited?  Really?

One of the first things I did when I got it was finish up the camera bag I had started for it expressly...  And here is the finished product!

It turned out so nice and stripey!!  Although I still can't get short stripes (as in the strap) to work well.  How to dispose of the ends properly??  Very bothersome.

There wasn't anything picture-worthy when I first got my talons on the Little Green Machinery, but I took this picture.  And then yesterday, I took lots of LOVERLY pictures, including the new stats on the daff shoots, the freshly blooming periwinkles, and several gorgeous shots of a liberated Pink Balloon floating off into the sky.  It was a marvelous afternoon yesterday, balmy and sunny, and I spent it outside with a really BIG book (The Four Adventures of Richard Hannay again).  But then, my Evil Computer decided to eat them, and they are lost forever!  Sob!

It must be a conspiracy, because guess what?  I cannot in any way, shape, or form, recover or re-take these pictures...  See below picture for evidence ::

AUGH!  The irony!  One minute, it's 60 degrees and sunny... an hour later, it's 40 degrees and windy, cloudly, blizzardy!!!  Wake up to about 4 inches of SNOW!  (I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto!)  And it's STILL going strong!

Spring :: Whoopsie!  False start!  Fifteen yard penalty!  See y'all later!

Me :: Blarrrrrrrrgh.

I so thought we were done with the icicle pictures this year! Ah well...

I'm off to try and salvage what's left of a positively shot-through weekend.  At least for a half hour or so...
AMZi x x x x x
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