Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Depressing, but true

This is the Wikipedia entry for the high school I attended:

Maryville High School is the public high school for Maryville, MO. They are more known for their unusual mascot, the Spoofhound, than anything else. Outside of the community no graduate from Maryville has risen to do anything of note.

Man, it just makes you want to go invent that robotic dog clone your husband's always telling people about and take over the world.

Monday, August 28, 2006

My first Snowflake Monday!

Okay, in respect to my last post, I'm officially asserting that Snowflakes Don't Count. I joined the Snowflake Monday webring (whose Ringers are very good about adding ring code thankyouverymuch) last week, and I have some flakes for show and tell.

Actually, I'll admit, I totally cheated. I had recently found a ziplock bag full of a dozen or so snowflakes that I made a couple of years ago, but couldn't find until I moved (and this had been driving me crazy). None had been stiffened and blocked. So my goal is to stiffen several a day until they are done, then start making a new one every week. And, yes, still make significant progress on my WIP's.

I discovered (too late, unfortunately) that I had a bad pin in my bunch and it left some rust on the first two flakes. Rest assured that said bad seed has been plucked from the lot and should cause me no further angst. I'm thinking just a dab of white acrylic paint might do the job. Anyone had luck with this?

The Pretty! potty makes a great backdrop for flake photography.

And one more in it's voodoo stage.

Somewhere a snowflake is screaming for mercy.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

New Doodad!

In the spirit of this being UFO August (even though I'm not an actual member), I've decided to try to get everything that I have started done before I start anything else. Man, that sounds so logical when said out loud. It implies that running around starting projects and never finishing them is the status quo or something. And kids, I'm tellin' ya, that just simply could not be the case.

Okay, maybe it sorta is. But I actually do finish things, I just start many more than I finish. But I've decided to put this tendency right out there, let you all witness it, and maybe, maybe, I'll feel the pressure to actually finish these things.

So, I've added a swanky little bit of code from CogKnition that has produced those little percentage bars you see to the left. As long as one of them moves at all each week, I shan't be completely shamed. Of course, determining progress on the Fatigue Cap is freaking impossible. I'm going to have to start actually measuring it or something. Oh, the humanity.

And yes, I suppose, if we're going to get technical, I should add a bar for that candlewicking kit I started in roughly 1983 and haven't touched since roughly 1985. I still have it, though. It's time may yet come.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Saturday Sky

It's been so gray and rainy the last few days. It's also been nice and cool, so I can't really complain much.

I got kinda wasted last night. Fun bar, good beers, new friends, darts. Yeah, darts. I've never played actual darts, with rules and strategy and everything. I suck at throwing darts, and I was kinda wasted, so it's not like I actually had a strategy beyond "hit the board with the dart". And, believe me, I didn't always accomplish that.

Best part? No hangover! Yay!

Friday, August 25, 2006

New Pet Peeve

Okay, actually it's an old pet peeve, but I had been out of the website business for quite some time and had forgotten what a pain in the neck this particular thing can be.

You may have noticed, over to the left there, that I have joined a couple more webrings. Nothing Earth-shattering, just some fun and maybe a little more exposure (I blog, therefore I ham). When I'm part of a webring, I make a point of travelling around the ring fairly regularly to see what my fellow ringmates are up to. If I weren't interested in what they're blogging about, I don't have any business in the ring, right?

So, I'm toolin' around the Blog On Wisconsin! ring and it hits me: My extreme hatred of ringmembers who don't have ring links on their site. Aarrgghh! Dagnab you non-code-adders! Don't you realize you have just broken the ring! Now I have to back up and do a random! And then, maybe they don't have the ring links either! Aarrgghh! I end up getting all kinds of mad and giving up and not even getting to see some (probably) very good blogs.

If I weren't so lazy, I'd start a campaign, or a petition, or a sit-in, or something. But, oh look!, it's time to meet some folks for beer. Mmmmm, beer.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


This week has been busy but, strangely, kinda boring. A lot of listening to people, mostly. Which is fine, but I totally wish I could bring some crochet to do while they're talking. Alas, that would probably be considered bad form.

So the Picasso has been slow going. There's progress, however. I've completed all three strips for the front and have even edged one of them.

I've also made progress in identifying and procuring some fine local brews (aside from the big names you know). Yummy!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Orange Limeade

Why isn't that the official drink of Irish Fest?

This is an actual exchange I had with a new acquaintance:

"I'm going down to Irish Fest today."
"Cool! Are you Irish?"

This just struck me as the stupidest thing someone could ask me. Not because I'm a fiery-haired lass with more freckles than white and was wearing a "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" shirt, because I am not and was not (my fire comes from a bottle -- I think it's fairly obvious). It struck me as incredibly stupid because, well, let's consider this parallel exchange:

"I'm going to the Renaissance Festival today."
"Cool! Are you from the Renaissance?"

You see my problem.

Irish Fest is a big deal here -- in fact I believe it's the largest such fest in the country. Everyone goes to Irish Fest. This was why, even though I was loathe to spend the money, I went -- I knew if I didn't I would regret it because people talk about it a lot. So I went. It was fun!

On the way to the park, I discovered something amazing. People actually buy these things and use them! In public and everything! With excellent attention to spacing! And, with helmets!!

Go, Segways, Go!

Once inside the park, the first thing I watched was a bunch of big (supposedly) Irish lads pullin' at each other with a big rope. I don't know which team won, because the rules to tug-of-war are apparently far more involved these days than they were at Camp Robinson.

Tug of War!

I wanted to experience a traditional Irish lunch, but considering I hate corned beef and cabbage and beef stew, I settled for a generic British Isles-y alternative:

Fish 'n Chips -- mmmm!

I'm really picky about my Irish music, but once I find what I like, I can barely contain myself. I was totally jammin' in my seat to Baal Tinne! You can download three of their songs for free here. I know it looks like they're just sitting sedately on the stage, but they were rockin'!

Baal Tinne

There were bands and dancers and readings everywhere you turned, food was bountiful if expensive, and the goods for sale were more varied than I'd expected. There was also a large display about genealogical DNA testing which I was, of course, very interested in but disappointed with. I'd like to see what kind of research there is that they didn't present.

Anyway, then there was a parade!

PipersKazoosIrish SettersTwirlers

I had only one complaint the entire day. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that there is one thing I must aquire at any festival, fair, or otherwise that has food vendors: Funnel cake. I must have it. It doesn't even matter if I'm hungry or not, I must have me some funnel cake. THERE WERE NO FUNNEL CAKES AT IRISH FEST. None. And, kids, I looked. Now, I know funnel cakes are not traditional Irish fare. Nor are giant stuffed soft pretzels, and there were certainly enough of those. So I ate a cinnamon scone and pretended to be happy about it.

But, really, aside from that small disappointment, I had a lovely time at Irish Fest. Then I walked home (yes, before it got dark, dear) and started a new picasso potholder for someone very dear to me who had donated some of the thread to me and I promised I'd make her something with it in return.

I had a wonderfully full day! I feel like I'm really getting my money's worth with this city-livin' thing. I'm diggin' it.

Tomorrow I'm going to Marquette for orientation. And no, I'm not a French explorer. So don't ask.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

New sky

Here's my first Saturday Sky from beautiful Milwaukee!

It's foggy and overcast here this morning, and probably will be all day, but I do hope it clears off some because I'm going to Irish Fest this afternoon.

Friday, August 18, 2006


I'm finding myself obsessed with Pretty! Not just pretty with a little "p", but Pretty! with a big "P". Oh, and an exclamation point. That's very important. It's times like these that I wish I were Spanish, so I could add an extra exclamation point. It's just that good.

Now, mind you, Pretty! can be Classy!, but is not always. Sometimes, Pretty! is Kitschy! or Cute-a-toot-toot! Think twinsets, a fresh pedicure, or hospital corners -- anything you can admire, stand back, and exclaim, "Pretty!" But this can also apply to heavily sequined cat-eye sunglasses. Dig?

I walked around Marquette campus yesterday and, for the most part, my campus = Pretty!

Of course, there always seems to be one building on every campus that makes you seriously question the sanity of the person(s) responsible. This is ours:

That's, uh, NOT Pretty!. Not even in the kitschy or even the sarcastic way. Even the building which will be my home-away-from-the-home for the next five years is not anti-Pretty!, it's merely boring as all get-out:

So, there are many Pretty! things out there. Of course, I'm not only obsessed with Pretty! "out there". Oh, no! Pretty! must come inside with me! Pretty! must surround me in my new abode and cradle me gently at all times! If there is not already Pretty! about me, I shall make Pretty!

New Pretty! potholders!

And the pièce de résistance, I present the Pretty! potty! Yes! This one has been percolating in my mind for weeks, just looking for a day or two of downtime for experimentation and construction! Gods, how I love it! It's so freakin' Pretty!

Red polarfleece and crocheted flowers. Man, it's so Pretty!, it gets a close-up.

I don't even want to hear about how this is the one that makes you question my sanity. Ppbbfftt.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Ah, home!

Did I mention I drove all night to get to Milwaukee? Maybe once or twice, eh? Well, suffice it to say that I was very tired and very cranky when I got here, and I just wanted everything to be perfect. These were, after all, the digs-I-hadn't-seen-yet, and there was trepidation, kids.

There's also major construction right next to my building (as in, they're ripping up all the major interstates that pass through town and rebuilding them. Ahem. Yes, major construction). So, I'm tooling into town and my building is easy to see from just about any direction:

I finally find a place to park the U-Haul and walk up to the lobby. It seems friendly enough:

I get my keys from the "guard" -- a 78 year old gentleman who, while kind and informative, is really more of a reception clerk than a guard. Whatever makes everyone happy, I guess. So, I take off for the elevator to make my way to my 14th (13th) floor abode:

YIKES! I'm positive that the above picture does not accurately depict the ickiness of said elevator. This is the "freight" elevator, thus the dingy padding hanging everywhere. It is, of course, used for daily resident use as well as moving. The only difference between this one and the other, "non-freight" elevator is the height of the ceiling and, of course, the padding. And perhaps the smell. Oy.
So, I ride the elevator, praying that all is well in my abode. But my stomach kind of hurts at this point. Remeber -- Tired! Cranky! In need of perfection! The elevator stops and I walk out into my hallway -- it's dark, it's got some of the yummiest wallpaper ever, and it smells no better than the elevator did. Dear Lord, help me out here, buddy. I find my door and come face to face with an old-school set-up that I can't quite operate (notice the wallpaper -- yummy!!!):

After a couple of minutes of being unable to work the lock on the door that kind of scares me in the hallway that definitely smells, while tired and cranky and in some serious need of some serious perfection just about NOW WILL DO NICELY, THANK YOU -- I got the door open and saw the view from one of the five windows in my corner apartment living room:

It was seriously like the clouds parted and angels began singing. That lovely building in Gesu, the Marquette University cathedral. Seriously, my view rocks.

I didn't take photos of the apartment when it was still empty, but suffice to say that it was clean, bright, smelled just fine thankyouverymuch, and the air conditioner works. It was freshly painted, new carpet, good tile, new cabinetry and the six (yep, I said six) closets that had been promised were much bigger than I had expected. The movers showed up, I slept a bunch, started unpacking, and two days later I present -- my cute little home!

Indy greets me daily. As it should always be, really.

My favorite bookcases fit so well here, it's like it was fate or something.

Cute kitchen! I can't wait to make more stuff to put on the walls!

The living room is comfy and full of windows with great views of my campus (you can see the lake a little bit from one window, but I'm on the southwest corner of the building -- my main view is of Marquette)!

Next to the living room is the office -- yes, those are my Star Wars posters on the walls. You gotta problem with that? The freak flag is flyin' high, kids.

Behind the living room is the sewing corner. Great things are going to be happening there over the next few days, I promise. Check back for progress reports!

Next to the sewing corner is the dining room -- yes, one of the first projects is a tablecloth for that sad, sad card table.

Okay, yes, those were just four corners of the same room. But I can pretend if I want, dammit!

The bathroom is bright and cheery and OMG! I found a duckie toothbrush holder that matches my duckie shower curtain rings and I am SO HAPPY! I have a cool poster for the wall in here, but the frame broke in the move and I'll have to find a way to repair. It's still pretty cool in here, though. Not that it couldn't get cooler... Bwahahaha... (check back!)

The bedroom is completely functional and fine and I sleep really well in there and the closets are huge and all my furniture fits fine but I don't have anything left to put on the walls in there so the pictures are just kind of boring. The upside is that this leaves me plenty of reasons to craft and to shop!!

So, this is where I live now and I'm really happy so far. I'm not sure if it's the fact that I love my apartment or the fact that I slept about 14 hours, but the hallway and the elevator don't bother me at all. In fact, they're kind of charming.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I'm here!

I left Columbia at 12:30 am Monday and got to Milwaukee around 9:30 -- I made great time and only almost fell asleep twice. The movers could come early, so I was all moved in by noon. I turned in the U-Haul, set up the bed, and slept until after 8. Ate and went back to bed.

So I've unpacked these last two days and I'm finally done. I left the computer for dead last because I know myself -- give me an internet connection and desperate little else is going to get done.

Pics tomorrow! I can't wait to show you!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Get ready

It's gonna be slim around here for the next week, kids. Getting Ready To Move has moved into full swing. There's still loads to do. I feel a little better now because this morning I did all the necessary administrative stuff like reserve the truck, hire people to unload it when I get there (what? You thought I was moving that sofa by myself? Well, I am almost that smokin', but just not quite) and, most importantly, I have phone and internet service that will be waiting for me, thus insuring that life in Milwaukee will be worth living.

I may have more to say this week; I may not. Fear not, though, as you know that all is well and I'm just a very, very busy girl.

See you in Beer Town!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Put a hat on that lid!

Ack! Help! I've been bitten by the pattern-posting bug! It was so much fun posting a pattern yesterday, that I was unable to rest (or sort, or pack, aarrgghh!) until I had finally figured out and written down the pattern for the fabulous Lid Hat. This is a little item that my sister found in a great aunt's things and has been used to the point of falling apart. She enlisted me to reverse engineer the darling hat in order to make more for her and her daughters (again with the familial dependence upon me for kitchen needs). It's a great little item -- when cooking with a lid, you put the little hat on the lid handle and leave it there so any time you need to lift the lid, you can do so without burning your fingers. And they're cute! And they're great for using up scraps. They only take a few yards of yarn.

I've modified the original pattern a bit, mostly to make the hat larger -- my standard is the lid of a basic piece of Corning Ware. This size works just right. You can modify the pattern so the hat will best fit whatever lid you most use (change hook size, eliminate or add a round, etc.). Here goes:

The Lid Hat


    Small amounts (a few yards) of two colors worsted weight yarn, a Main Color (MC) and a Contrasting Color (CC). (I love using cotton in the kitchen, but it does not work well for this project. A springier yarn is needed to better stretch and conform to the handle's shape. I use acrylic scraps, but wool would be even better.)

    Crochet hook, size H

    Yarn needle


Rnd 1 - With MC, ch 2. 6 sc in second ch from hook. Join with sl st in
first sc.

**From this point on, all stitches will be worked in the back loop only.**

Rnd 2 - ch 3 (counts as first dc now and throughout), dc in same
st, (2 dc in next st) around, join with sl st in top of ch 3. (12
dc made).

Rnd 3 - ch 3, 2 dc in next dc, (dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc)
around, join w/ sl in top of ch3. (18 dc made).

Rnd 4 - ch 3, dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc, (dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc
in next dc) around, join with sl st in top of ch 3. (24 dc made). Fasten off.

Rnd 5 - Join CC with a sl st to top of ch 3 from previous rnd. Ch 3, dc
in next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc, (dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc)
around, join with sl st in top of ch 3. (30 dc made).

Rnd 6 - ch 3, dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc, (dc in next 4 dc, 2
dc in next dc) around, join with sl st in top of ch 3. (36 dc made).

Rnd 7 - ch 1 (does not count as first sc), sc in same st, sc in each
st around, join with sl st in top of first sc. (36 sc made). Fasten off.

Rnd 8 - Join MC with sl st to first sc of previous rnd. sl st in each st
around, join with sl st in first sl st. (36 sl st made). Fasten off.

Fold the last few rows toward the outside to make the "brim" (once you start folding it will kind of naturally fall into place). It should lay so that the "crown" of the hat is only MC and the "brim" is only CC. Click on photo for frighteningly large view that should illustrate this nicely, if scarily. You may have to lean back a little.

Using a yarn needle, thread the tail from beginning chain through
the hole formed by the first rnd to the right side. Thread the tail
back through the same hole to the back side, leaving a loop. Tie the
yarn to the back side and weave in end. Weave in all other ends.

Now your lids won't have to run around nekkid! Whew!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Extreme fatigue

I say that I knit. To non-knitters, this is absolutely true. Well, actually, it's absolutely true, regardless, but to other knitters, I must specify that I knit. As in, I don't so much purl. I can, but I hate it. And I pretty much suck at it. At any time, without my undivided attention, like if there's a song I like on the radio or it's time for Will Shorts on Sunday Edition or if there's a particularly pleasant breeze or ANYTHING, any purl I attempt might suddenly, unexpectedly, become a knit stitch. So, in classic Sus style, if I am not good at something, I tend to avoid it. This means that garter stitch and circular needles rule my knitting life. Usually, my knit projects are garter stitch dishcloths. Granted, they are the bomb, if uninteresting. My family, for example, would freak out if I started making funky cool dishcloths in lieu of the basic, Grandma Black garter-stitch dishcloth (pattern below!). So, that's what I do.

But, within the aforementioned constraints, I've branched out! Sassy! I've begun knitting the thing that Gator has been trying to get me to knit for him for years. He calls it a toque, but the pattern calls it a fatigue cap. It's one of those closed tubes that can be used as a scarf or one end can be punched up into the other end and it becomes a hat. Much like your seat cushion becomes a flotation device! (If that's the case, why can't the plane just become a boat??)

********BREAK FOR SATURDAY SKY********

This time, with trees!


This is the first hat I've ever knit, and it utilizes those things that have been in my knitting bag for years but I have always maintained a healthy fear of -- yes, that's right, double pointed needles. Eek! Scary! I already tend to spend four years per project picking stitches up and putting them back on my needles, with dp's there would be dropped stitches everywhere! There! In the bushes! Under the couch! Ack, what's that poking me in the butt? A dropped stitch! Yikes!

But, in the spirit of the fatigue cap, I decided to bravely soldier on (Har! I'm so funny!). I actually swatched for this project (which I notoriously don't even consider doing, ever), and selected the proper size of dp's. I corageously cast on and, holding my tongue just right, started knitting. And you know what? Crazy Aunt Purl is right -- it's like extreme knitting! It's so fun! And it's so impressive to non-knitters! And it makes me feel like a real knitter, even though I know it's a complete sham!

I've only just begun (...to live, white lace and prom- Ahem. Excuse me.), but I think it actually working out for me. Obeserve (click for larger image with actual stitches represented!):

Now, don't do something crazy like expect an FO pic any time soon. Instead, there will be sorting! packing! moving! waiting for an internet connection to be installed in the digs-I-haven't-seen-yet! silly things like school! But we'll visit it every so often and maybe even make a flip-book so you can actually see the toque grow! Wild!

And now, my first publicly posted pattern. Ooooh. I found this pattern written in my dear Grandma's own handwriting in her knitting bag after she passed away. I've modified it slightly and now present it to you so that you too can make your family members completely dependant upon you for their kitchen cleaning needs.

Grandma Black's Dishcloth

Materials: (makes 2)
One skein Sugar n' Cream worsted weight kitchen cotton
Size 10 straight needles
Yarn needle


1. Cast on four stitches.

2. Knit (k) 4.

3. Slip (sl) 1, k1, yarn over (yo), k2. (You're increasing! Woot!)

4. sl 1, k1, yo, k across.

5. repeat row 4 until there are 40 stitches on the needles if you are using a solid color, 38 stitches if you are using variegated yarn. This is because the solid skeins are 2.5 oz and the variegated are only 2.0 oz. If you don't care if you make two that match from the same skein, make it as big as you want!

6. sl 1, knit 2 together (k2tog), yo, k2tog, k across. (You're decreasing! !tooW)

7. repeat row 6 until there are 4 stitches left.

8. cast off

9. weave in ends

Voila! The best dishcloth in the world! You're a superstar! Make them while watching football games and awards shows! Now you're just like me! Sassy! Scary! Sascary!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Dinner for eight

A week ago, I went with the women I worked with to a restaurant in a town 45 minutes away (I'm from the midwest; I measure distance in time. Deal.). Since we live in a town known (for its size) for its variety of epigastric delights, you may think it odd that we would traverse such wilderness (read: nothingness) to a tiny town in the middle of nowhere for supper. Well, it went like this:

The radio station we listen to every day (every. single. day.) has a contest each morning. They play a movie clip, then a potion of a song that has been sped up. It's sometimes surreal to hear the Cure sound like Alvin & the Chipmunks, but that's neither here nor there. Being the pop culture mavens that we are, we can often nail the movie clip or at least come up with a good educated guess. The songs are much easier as they are usually from the extremely heavy rotation we are bombarded with every hour of every day (every. single. day.). The prizes for this contest vary from gift certificates to a local record store (yes, I said record store. I will never consider a "CD store" an actual thing) to coupons for McDonalds coffee (but it's good now! All gourmet-y and everything! Really! This is not a bullshit prize! If we say this often enough maybe you'll even believe us! Or something!) For several months in a row, the prize consisted of gift certificates to a restaurant in Fayette which is home to a small college and not much else. We were bummed. Why would we try to win a meal at an out-of-the-way place like that, especially when it might suck and not even be very good?

Well, my co-worker Miss A. had a great idea. Let's try to win a whole bunch of gift certificates, then we can all go together and have cheap supper and if it sucks or is not even very good we will still have a good time because there will be beer! So, we screwed on our thinking caps, then realized that these would do no good because this was a radio contest. So, we screwed on our hanging-out-watching-videos caps and we totally scored seven sets of gift certificates in no time. I even won once and I wasn't even in the room! It was that easy!

Last Thursday, the time came to reap our rewards. We piled into two vehicles and started on the curvy, hilly way to The Restaurant In The Middle Of Nowhere.

It was a cute place, and friendly, and we had many appetizers and libations. The entres were enormous -- we felt we needed to give names to some the the pieces of meat we were served, they were that big. We were loud and probably annoying, and if I thought any of the poor people we tortured with stories of the histology lab were reading this, I'd apologize. But we were very cute, and tipped well, and made cute boys take our picture. And really, what more can people want from us?

In case you were wondering, the food at Emmet's Kitchen and Tap was exceptional and the prices were reasonable (even without the gc's). And there was, in fact, beer. It's too bad it's so far away or I would go there more often. Oh wait, I'm leaving the state. Well, I'll probably never go there again. Good thing that cute boy was there to snap the souvenir photo.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Schlameel, Schlamozel

Monday was my last day of work. I had spent the week before knitting my little heinie off and ended up with a lovely little parade of dish/facecloths. I was very excited to hand them out.

When I got to work, I knew something was up. On the half-wall, there was an interesting sight:

I didn't get it at first, but one I realized that those latex things were gloves (and not the other latex thing that might come to mind -- to some of you, not to me of course) the pieces started to fall into place. Co-workers started appearing with big black "L's" on their shirts. Soon everyone in the department had one. Steve would have only needed slightly more hair product than normal to be a perfect Lenny.

Yes, in tribute to my impending move to Mil'eh'wau'keh (Algonquin for "the good land"), it was Laverne & Shirley day in histology!! There was much theme-song singing and general revelry. Everyone was very sneaky up til lunch time, when I realized just how sneaky my co-workers really are!! They suprised me with a seriously awesome brunch and showered me with the best gifts ever: A box of tampons (the signifigance of this will be explained in about, oh, three or four months -- but, never fear, it will be explained whether you want me to or not), a super-soft kangaroo (it's a marsupial -- because they're fast!) and the funniest, best thing ever -- featuring our departmental motto (which I helped coin):

You knew there was a reason I fit in so well!

And it's all lovingly signed on the back! I love you guys!

That was the best place I've ever worked. You guys rock.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lordy, Lordy

Today is Gator's birthday. Yep, the big four-oh. He's still home from work and high on Vicadin due to foot breakage. Last week I asked him how he wanted to celebrate and he said he didn't want "any of that damned black Over The Hill crap". So, as antithesis to traditional 40-year-old crap-giving, I gave Gator the birthday of his dreams this morning. That's right, it involved much cuteness:

Yes! A Hello Kitty themed birthday! Granted, the banner was somewhat hastily hung. But that's not all, oh no!

All middle-aged (yes, I said middle-aged) men need dainty tiaras and mini-tumblers filled with - Yes! - pink lemonade (in keeping with the theme and all)!

He received a kickin' new computer and flatscreen monitor for his special day and he's in seventh heaven. Actually, it could just be all that Vicadin.

Happy Birthday, Sweetie! You're my favorite ever!