Saturday, October 21, 2017

Dead giveaway

QOTD: Big Frog: You know how people can tell we're Americans?
me, silently thinking: sooooo many ways!
Big Frog: We switch our knife and fork as we eat.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Knit faster!



Pretty, innit?

And providentially completed.  Been working on it since this spring with no particular completion date required.

And then we flew to Germany.

More specifically, Big Frog & I flew to Germany, from Greensboro (NC) to OHare (Chicago IL) to Frankfurt (Germany), an adventure that included some surprising twists starting with unexpected free checked bags.  

Big Frog & I don't fly all that much.  Him more than me of late, with business travel, but still not too often.  But when we do fly, it's just carry-on luggage.  And we have to search flights out of GSO (Greensboro), CLT (Charlotte), and RDU (Raleigh/Durham), weighing time in car and plane and airport, number of stops, and price.  Thank goodness for Hipmunk!1


1 In days of old, although still in internet times, we searched MDT (Harrisburg PA), BWI, and PHL (Philly).  One time we flew super cheap out of Trenton, but that one really felt like a cattle call.  Mostly I miss HIA (Harrisburg International Airport, the colloquial name for MDT, which actually stands for MidDleTown where it's technically located.).  That was a small airport that was beautiful, well-run, clean, and community-friendly.  Their plane-spotting room was outside security.  And security itself was often a line of 3 people.  Also, they held and continue to hold open houses to board planes including cargo planes and military planes and ride helicopters.

We also maintain a reasonably wide circle of what we consider drivable, about a 9h comfortable radius and a 12h reasonably hard-line radius.  But Germany is simply not an achievably drivable destination for us.  It has been on our bucket list for as long as we've been together, though, a consequence of Big Frog having served here as activated Army Reserves the year before we met. 

So last spring, when his work posited a trip for him to their Speyer, Germany location, we got excited.  Even when it got pushed back and pushed off, the idea lingered.  And suddenly it was here.  It may be back to back weeks with his most recent trip to Mexico (He was literally home for 11h and 2 loads of wash Friday night.), and it may be during High Point Furniture Market and we have AirBnB guests living in the basement studio.  Never mind that, away we go!

There may be a million things hovering in real life but there's a certain unreality to travel.  The hurry up and wait starts at checkin, where for the first time I can remember, since childhood perhaps, certainly since 9/11, I checked a bag.  It was free.  And I gave in to the allure of not schlepping (as much).  So, I retaining my yarn & chargers, and Big Frog retaining his laptop, we proceeded.  

We didn't get far before security flagged us.  Snacks look a lot like explosives, evidently.  Then on to the gate to wait... And wait...

A 30min delay cropped up and I asked the gate attendant what our best alternative was for our newly foreshortened stop at O'Hare.  She presented a 2h later route I was glad of, and all the more when her next guest realized she'd missed her flight by minutes and burst into tears, and the following would have a day's delay, stranded at O'Hare. 

30 minutes became 90 minutes delay, and every person in that section queued up to see best options for rescheduling.  Glad I was to have a plan in place.  All would be well.

And well it was, despite a "We've gotta OJ!" skid thru the terminals.  We did get to see what to me is the visual touchstone of air travel: the rainbow neons as we walking-sidewalked our way from one gate to the other.   Also a dinosaur with Wi-Fi.  



Once at the next gate we dutifully checked in as a reroute from a different flight.  The gate attendant asked if we'd checked anything... as glad as I'd been to not haul thru O'Hare with everything, now I was wishing I had.  Then on the plane we learned that weather in Chicago was delaying all travelers to the northeast.  Even routed around it, we could expect turbulence throughout the flight2.  Maybe we'd be on the ground long enough for our bags to join us?  Of course!  We'd made it with time to spare, surely they would too.
 
2 Time for a turbulence reread of Spirit of Steamboat by Craig Johnson, a standalone Christmastime novella in the Longmire series!  Great book.


They did not.  

The Lufthansa lost luggage lady, a genuinely delightful individual, kept cheerfully apologizing on United's behalf as she printed claim forms and linked our hotel info with our original, defunct, and rerouted tickets.  And she even gave us sleep shirts and gender-specific personal supply bags as an additional "well we don't have your stuff but we will give you the cheapest roll-on deodorant known to man and a hairbrush that will break the very first time you use it" consolation prize. 


It took until nearly 8pm the next day for our clothes (and real deodorant) to return to us.  I finished up my knitted drape (see first image), ran a load of sink-laundry, and... well, all you can do is all you can do.  But once reunited with our belongings (I love you, navy gym bag that I won as a door prize at a Whitaker Center staff meeting!  Never leave me again!)...

QOTD: 
me, after Big Frog has showered and changed: Clean undies on a clean frog.
Big Frog: A dweam within a dweam.  So cherish your luggage...

Saturday, September 9, 2017

TWG (Token White Guy)

In wedding setup assignments, Big Frog graciously volunteered for something and wasn't heard.

me: No one notices the white guy.

After a query went up for someone to draft into the role, Big Frog made direct contact.  And got the desired responsibility of carrying 20 pies.  I have no doubt he can do that with aplomb, but if only 19 pies show up... or 18... 17... that means Big Frog is having a free for all with the other pies and a really big fork somewhere elsewhere.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Left?

So our epic roadtrip opened with a left turn out of our own neighborhood.  I said, "Wait, where are we going?" and the answer I got was, "Wait, where *are* we going?"

North.  The answer is north.

(And in a Jeep, for this leg of the journey.  Later there will be planes.  Also trains.  But probably no Steve Martin.)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Curling in Charlotte?!

TIL you can take a 2h Learn to Curl class in Charlotte!

Yelper Jess L (whom I don't know personally) says about it, "Have you ever woken up one morning and been like "Hm, I wonder what olympic sport I'll try today?" and then you think of the most random sport you could think of and you research where you can learn it..."

This we gotta try!  Curl away, Big Frog!

Monday, July 24, 2017

What the HELL is a Hufflepuff?

If you haven't watched A Very Potter Musical on YouTube, you should.  It's a full-length fan-made fanfic musical by UofM (Michigan) kids led by Darren Criss, who has since found fame on Glee and recently on Broadway, but who definitely was discovered because he wrote and composed AVPM, and starred as Harry Potter.  It has also two immediate YouTube sequels.

One of its many quotable lines is Dumbledore on sorting new students into the houses:
photo source: Tumblr

And with Harry Potter's (& JK Rowling's) birthday coming up this week, Bookmarks, like all good indie bookstores staffed by Potterphiles, is hosting a birthday party and encouraging dressing up.  But I don't HAVE any wearables from that fandom, except for my Super Megafoxy Awesome Hot tee, which if you don't know that quote, you didn't watch AVPM yet.

But fortunately, in last week's Central Carolina Yarn Crawl, I acquired some lovely chunky yellow wool as a door prize.  I wound it and searched the internet for yarn flowers.



My first attempt failed for scale.  I'm sure it's a lovely pattern but in bulky yarn this was just huge, and this pic was taken at 4 1/2 rows into an 8-row monstrosity.

I ended up modifying this double-layer chain flower to have its second layer slip-stitched onto the DCs of the first layer instead of being two separate flowers sewn together.  And I unpicked the enormous multilayered stacked one outright.


I'm ready for the party now.
Go team Badger.

PS Here's a Hufflepuff episode of Emily McGovern's My Life as a Background Slytherin.


source: My Life as a Background Slytherin



Also, for no particular reason, my favorite of all the Background Slytherin comics:

Sunday, July 23, 2017

At the New Lowe's

Anywhere in the US you go to Lowe's and get hardware.  Or lumber.  Or power tools.  Or if you're me, paint.

But in NC there's a grocery store chain, I believe locally owned, also called Lowe's.  Lowe's Foods.

And today I looked up from the seating section by prepared foods and realized something.

Me: Is that a bear with antlers?
Big Frog: Of course.  It's not a bear den and it's not a deer den.  It's a beer den.