January 2006 Archives

Well, that's actually sorta a Surprise

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I may be too young to actually have experienced good Cracker Jack prizes. If I'm not, well, CJ's weren't exactly sold at the Chinese Grocery (Shrimp Chips Rock). However, watch enough movies like Breakfast at Tiffany's and one totally understands how getting a temporary tattoo is a total let-down. For the sake of being "economical" the "Prize in Box" foods have all tossed total lame-o stuff into the box. Stickers. Who wants stickers? Sure, you can charge a reasonable price for Cracker Jacks or Cereal now, but the surprise isn't really good. And you know what? Until you start putting prizes in Salt and Vinegar Chips, I'll mostly buy sweet snack foods/cereals for the prize instead of the other way around. So yes, snack companies, I do feel totally cheated of a prize. Any prize. I'd be happier with a Prize stick of gum instead of a $.00001 sticker.

Lucky for me, someone still has the idea of "Prize in Box with bonus Snack". Oh yes, America may think it is the King of Snack Foods... but they have serious competition from the Japanese.


There's a Mystery Toy phenomenon in Japan, much like those kiddie toy vending machines near the Supermarket Exit. Some come in clear plastic capsules and some come in boxes.



The boxed kind usually shows the toy possibilities on the packaging.


I got Prize #1!


Look, it is a little onion with the kitty face. And it is tearing up! These regular items (like food, balls, or sushi) with kitty heads kinda freaks Char out but other than the weird psychological implications (Would I think a mutant sushi cat was cute in real life?) I think it is minorly cute. Better yet, it is a real prize I can attach to my phone or keys. Hey, for $2.99 a cell phone charm isn't so bad.

And the snack that comes with the prize? (Sorry the brightness levels are off)


Chocolate filled cookie things. They tasted like Chocolate Pandas

O Canada

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O Canada, How you have lovely woollies.

I finished a sock made of Fleece Artist intended for my Pop. I just modified the pattern a bit by putting in some ribbing so the sock wouldn't look abnormally huge. He doesn't understand hand knit sock ease. Yes, even after giving me this cold, I give him hand knit socks. Fleece Artist Hand knit Socks. It might not be a sweater knit out of hand spun, but considering I seem to have managed to lose one of my INOX #1.5 dpns which will necessitate a trip to the yarn store (where I plan to stock up on additional sets of 6" dpns)... The other yarn store in town carries them :) and I prefer metal since I have a grip-o-death. Snap, the needle, Crackle and Pop, the freecia. You can't really tell by the photo, but the yarn has a great sheen. Nice stuff to work with, too.


Of course, an order specially sent to Wool N Things in Ontario, Canada, also snagged me a few other items hard to get here.

Much coveted and hopefully will be knit from soon- Phildar 425 with English Insert. *wild laughter* I like a lot of these patterns.


Add in some 3mm needles (she carries 7mm too) and some anxious waiting during the Holiday Rush and I'm a really happy Customer. Gisèle provides excellent service as was very patient while I asked her lots of questions during her Anniversary Sale.

Want some more Canadian goodness? Gorgeous Handmaiden Yarn purchased on eBay.

But what have I managed to accomplish? Well, a set of the garter stitch Wrist Warmers made in Cherry Tree Hill Super Worsted (Dusk colorway?) were my friend Greg's Christmas Gift. Hopefully they're keeping his hands warm on his commute. I forgot to get a photo of them before I gifted them and there seems to be some reluctance in taking a Live Action Shot for me, so... Maybe a no-model posed shot, huh?

And for the boyfriend? A Knitty Satchel


I used webbing for the strap with a belt buckle so he can adjust the length.


Made of Cascade 220 and felting at Full Thread Ahead in the Felting Monster (as I like to call it) or Agitating Washing Machine. I did return a skein of the MC which I didn't end up using, probably because I didn't make the strap.

And yes, I'm still sick. This is the 5th day and I'm passing up a good Chinese New Year's dinner because I sound like a hoarse frog. It's gotten to be pretty annoying so I am going to try a belated Norma Cure. So far I do seem to be coughing less and learned that citrus causes mucus. Ooooooh. Oops. The great things you learn from Knitting Blogs.

Drinking Foul Tasting (and Smelling) Bark

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Perhaps it is my Asianess showing but I try to take herbal remedies rather than pills except for a few crucial things. I worship Western medicine with Claritin-D and Sudafed for my really bad allergy season (and resort to Root Beer for minorly bad allergy season) because I really dislike being plugged-up. However, when just plain sick, I resort to listening to my mother. It has always been this way.

Once, when a wee(er) Freecia was sick beyond normal, she was taken to the Chinese Doctor. He checked my pulse, looked at my tongue, and some mysterious stuff that resulted in a diagnosis. Then came the time to go to the Medicine House (or rather Pharmacy) to dispense the cure. To the child who resided America yet liked to eat chicken feet, the Medicine House could have been a horror film. Bits of things in bins, jars, and cupboards that I really shouldn't have asked about. Really, that's a lesson many Chinese kids learn- don't ask what it is you're about to eat, life will be much better that way. A pharmicist fills your perscription with a scale and a cook's eye for exactness as he pinches some of this, that, and Oh God, what is that?! There were probably times when I looked at my mom and asked her with my eyes "Are you seriously going to make me eat that?!" Then he wraps it up in paper and you take it home to brew. Cackle Cackle and noxious fumes. My mother brews the medicine outside because I can't stand the smell. Oh yes, to add to the problems, I'm a sniffer- I give unknown food a sniff before I eat it. Nose held shut, eyes closed, and will fortified, I poured the medicine down my throat and tried not to retch. From that point on, I was convinced I knew why this Chinese Medicine worked- it tastes so foul you really really want to get better. Quick.

So when I woke up with a slightly scratchy throat yesterday, I drank some water. Then a few hours later, bowing to the inevitable, I took Airborne (which comes in good tasting flavors). I got the Ricola sugar free drops. I went to bed at 8 and tried to sleep and sweat it off. Oh yes, the cold chills had come on. I was prodded by my dad out of bed at an obscenely late hour (Did I mention he's the one who gave this bug to me? Choice words. Choice words.) because of some reasoning with those who lie abed do not get well and general disgruntlement. More Choice Words. I broke down and took Throat Coat with Slippery Elm Bark. Not completely noxious but not a tasteless pill. Nose stoppered, breath held, I managed to get through half of it. I'm not sick enough to finish it.

Luckily, Homemade Chicken Soup is on the menu for tonight. A much more appealing "Mommy"cure.

Exceptionally Blessed

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I always feel exceptionally blessed when I meet a person I don't want to "grow up into". These people are probably what most people would term good people and contributors to society, not the scourge in any manner. Yet, they usually have a sense of unhappiness and malcontent which upon a bit of conversation reveals itself and makes me think on the drive home, "I feel exceptionally blessed with my great family and friends. I refuse to grow into that person." In a way, recognizing the undesirable serves as a caution sign with a big arrow pointing to specific character traits I'd like to avoid (along with the unhappiness).

Today, the big arrow was pointed at one-upmanship and I am reminded that I dislike one-upmanship in an 18 year old snot and also dislike it in someone a great deal older. In fact, I felt dissapointed that this person didn't grow out of, or somehow fell into, such icky behavior. Yet, being able to see this is such a good thing because I can prevent myself from going down that path. Also, it makes me think of how wonderful my family and friends (and their families) are. Surrounded by those I admire, I usually forget about those I could really live without. One of my relatives really surprised me with her insight today when she said she's trying to talk about current events and such instead about people (as conversation topics) because talking about people only leads to gossip. This was surprising because I always thought she loved a bit of gossip, but somewhere along the line she learned that gossip hurts people and wants to change her ways. Maybe someone important to her told her that gossip was hurtful or she discovered it for herself, but I really admired her for listening/observing and trying to change for the better. Also, it makes me think about my real life role models- they always ask about you and show interest in what you say... or at least delicately turn conversation to a neutral subject which all parties may converse about (hint: it isn't a full regaling of your glory days. Should you find yourself talking about your glory days 30 years later without being asked for the full blow-by-blow, look in the mirror to see if your head is swollen and if your insecurity is showing). Perhaps some will say that showing interest in what others have to say is merely good manners, but cultivating genuine interest and concern tells me that you care about me and my ideas.

This year, I'm going to be an executor and listen to people (much like How to Win Friends and Influence People ) I will remind myself to share my experiences and not to one-up. Yes, I will still talk about myself because hey, I'm not vanilla pudding and I like to share my quirky vivaciousness ;). But thanks to my friends, I also know that while they love me, All Freecia All the Time isn't really as interesting as I think it is. Even if 10 people occasionally tune into what I have to say. So please, leave a comment on what you think and if you ever meet people you don't admire but can't bring yourself to say that they're a horrid person.