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Ms. Knits: January 2006

Thursday, January 26


It all started with a swatch, really. You see, I had this yarn. Lovely, red yarn. And I was tired of knitting with tiny dpns. And the socks were turning out to be different colors, which was making me very unhappy. And, truth be told, I cannot focus on anything for more than, oh, 5 minutes these days.

And so, this lovely little swatch of cranberry Dale Sisik -

Suddenly became this -

Why, it's a nearly finished Salina back! Bet you didn't see that coming. Me either. I don't imagine this sweater will be finished anytime soon, but I'm plugging away at a few rows each day. At least until I decide to forgive the Claudia socks for being different colors and pick up sock #2 again.

Monday, January 23


My first ever Sockapaloooza! I can't wait! Sign-ups open until midnight Tuesday - head over and check it out if you are interested...

Friday, January 20

Aw, crap.

Apparently, after my recent rant about all the trouble I had getting a box picked up by UPS, this site is now the 2nd hit for the google search "how to get UPS call tag".

So, all you people who arrived here looking for help getting call tags - sorry I'm of no help, but best of luck to you. You're going to need it.

Wednesday, January 18

4 Things

Stephanie tagged me for this meme, and I will gladly oblige! Anything to take my mind off of 17th century common law for a few minutes...

4 jobs you've had in your life:
1. Waitress at a pizza restaurant (Happy Joe's for the Midwesterners out there - best taco pizza anywhere!)
2. Subway Sandwich Artist
3. Outside Plant Engineer (person who draws schematics showing where phone lines need to be laid)
4. Technical Marketing Engineer

4 movies you could watch over and over:
1. Pirates of the Carribean
2. Love Actually
3. Monsters Inc.
4. Any of the Disney classics (anything pre-Little Mermaid... I can't stand the recent Disney movies)

4 places you've lived:
1. On a farm in rural North Dakota
2. Golden, Colorado
3. Albuquerque, New Mexico
4. Citrus Heights, California

4 tv shows you love to watch:
1. 24
2. Desperate Housewives
3. Survivor
4. Law & Order

4 places you've been on vacation:
1. Kauai, HI
2. Disneyland
3. Mendocino, CA
4. Lake Tahoe

4 websites you visit daily:
1. Bloglines
4. My company's intranet homepage

4 of your favorite foods:
1. Filet Mignon (or any kind of steak will do, as long as it is not overcooked)
2. Chocolate of all kinds
3. Green vegetables
4. Cheeseburger & Fries

4 places you'd rather be right now:
1. At work (how wrong is that? work should not make my top 4 list, but I'm in my office having just finished taking a 3 hour long practice test. see what bar studying has done to me? i'm losing my mind!)
2. Skiing
3. Downstairs on the couch, knitting in front of the fireplace
4. At a nice restaurant, eating dinner. Perhaps some filet mignon & green beans, with chocolate mousse for dessert. :)

Ruth, Lynette, Dani, and Brynne - If you want to do this, feel free... if not, no worries. And apologies if any of you have already been tagged, I've been remiss on keeping up on all my favorite blogs.

Monday, January 16


On Saturday, I met up with Caitlyn, Lynette, and Ruth at Frog Pond Knits to knit and visit. Bad blogger that I am, I did not take any pictures, and so I have no documentary evidence that the event occurred. It was a fun break from my studies, and nice to see everyone again. I also witnessed the completion of Ruth's first sock - yay, Ruth!

Ruth & Caitlyn also surprised me with a very sweet card congratulating me on finishing school, and (as if that weren't enough), a gift certificate for yarn! Thanks so much girls, you have no idea how much your thoughtfulness and encouragement means to me!

Caitlyn asked if I ever got the rest of my curtain order... indeed, I did, just last Thursday. I had no idea that curtains could involve so much drama. To make a long story short, I had to make a change to the order after it was placed (due to insufficient product knowledge of the person who took my order), so my curtain and valence panels ended up with the wrong rings on them. Dealing with the return was a complete nightmare, and UPS is a bunch of bumbling idiots.

(this post got a lot longer than I thought it would... scroll to the bottom for the pictures if you don't want to hear my rant about UPS)

Here is a conversation that I had with UPS about a dozen times in the last three months:

"Hello, I'm calling because company X issued call tags to get a box returned to them, and it hasn't been picked up yet. The number of the tags is Z123456. Can you help me?"

"Let me look that up in our system. Oh, we can't pick up the box because your address is not in our system."

"Well, that is the correct address, and the exact location is near cross streets X & Y, can you make a note of that and have someone come out to pick up the box?"

"You'll have to call Company X and have them issue a new call tag and indicate the cross streets in the comments of the call tag, as this call tag is no longer valid."

Then, I'd call Company X:

"Hello, I'm calling regarding order XYZ. You sent out call tags, but UPS can't figure out where my house is. Can you make a note of the cross streets on the call tags and reissue them for me please?"

"That should be easy enough. I'll have to send a request to the factory and have them issue the new tags. It will take them 3 business days to get back to me."

"Can you confirm that they can make a note on the tags with my location?"

"Let me check. No, there is no space on the form for comments. We'll just have to use your address."

"That won't work, UPS doesn't have my address in their system."

"Didn't UPS deliver the box to you in the first place?"

"Yes, they did. I'm confused why they can't find it now too. Clearly they are idiots. Can you just find some way to make a note of my cross streets on the call tags? Or can I just send it back myself and have you credit my account?"

"We can't let you send it back, we'll just have to issue the tags again."

"Fine, thanks for your help."

And then more calls to UPS. And more calls to Company X. Dozens more calls. Dozens. All the same. Finally, one evening in December, a UPS truck stopped by to deliver an unrelated christmas package. I tore through the house, out the front door, and chased the driver down as he was getting back into his truck.

"Excuse me sir, is this your regular delivery route?"

"No, why?"

"How did you find my house? I know this street is not in your map system."

"Oh, I live in this area. I know every place around here."

"Well, I've been having some problems getting a driver to come out and pick up a box that needs to be returned to Company X. Supposedly no one can come out because my address is not 'in the system.' UPS customer service has not been very helpful either. Do you know if there is anything I can do to get my address in the system?"

Long pause.

"Ok, I'm *really* not supposed to do this, but call this number, and tell them you need to get a new address input into the navigational mapping system. Try to sound like you know what you are talking about. If they question you, tell them you used to work here, or that you know someone who used to work here who gave you the number. I didn't give you this number, OK? Maybe wait a day or so to call too, so they won't trace it back to me."

Whoa. This must be an important number. Note to self - file this one away for safekeeping.

"Wow, thank you! This is very helpful. Have a great Christmas!"

I was a bit nervous about calling the number, given the apparent secrecy, but I did, and shortly after, someone FINALLY made it out to pick up the box so the curtains could be sent back to get the proper curtain rings sewn on - nearly three months after the call tags were originally issued. Thank goodness for the friendly UPS man who gave me the secret number, or I would still be cursing both UPS and Company X.

And without further ado, here are the curtains that finally arrived on Thursday:

All in all, I'm very pleased with the way they turned out. I adore this fabric, and the curtains and valences add a lot of character to the family room.

Thursday, January 5

Fun, and not so fun


Claudia's Handpainted yarn in the Santa Fe colorway.

Claudia's is good stuff... very soft, and the way the colors stripe/pool is very agreeable to me. The darker blues and yellows sort of swirl and spiral around the lighter reddish/adobe colors. The photo doesn't really do it justice.

I've decided to stick with sock knitting until after the bar exam - they are quick, giving a sense of accomplishment (not getting any of that from studying... might as well get it from knitting), and it is easy to work just a few rows at a time during my study breaks.

Not so fun:

This is what I do in between my brief sock knitting breaks. Just so you know what you are looking at, there are about two dozen outlines, three (or four?) thousand multiple choice questions, and two hundred essay questions in these books that I have to read, memorize, practice, and study over the next six weeks or so. I should probably get to it!

A quick question - We are planning a trip to Vancouver after I take the bar. If anyone has been there and has hotel or activity recommendations, please let me know!