Friday, October 31, 2008

unprecedented!

we are in unprecedented times here people! UNPRECEDENTED!!!! really, the events of late are ones that are shaking my whole vision of reality. i'm starting to question all that i believe to be true and retest theories i have developed over the years.

and no i'm not talking about the whole economy / presidential election thing. no this is bigger. much bigger! Etisalat (our local UAE phone and internet service provider) told us they would install our internet in 2 weeks. And people it's been 2 weeks and i have internet!!! lets just take a few seconds to let the gravity of the situation sink in... (or perhaps you need to re-read the sentence to make sure you read it correctly)
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i'll background here for all you non-UAE'rs... when anything of this nature (installation of internet, cable, water, electricity, etc) needs to be done out in Abu Dhabi or Dubai the service provider will tell you 2 weeks and really they mean 6 weeks and that's only after many phone calls, a little bit of yelling and serious contemplation of not needing said service at all! so i don't know what happened here. DH told me Etisalat said they would be out in 2-4 weeks so i took this to mean 6- infinity weeks and low and behold we got a phone call this morning from Etisalat saying they would be at our place in 20 minutes and 1 hour later they were here!!! 10 minutes after that they were gone and we had internet. i couldn't be happier or more surprised.

so now that i have internet i need to catch you up on my goings on...

first the reason we didn't have internet for 2 weeks (only! woot woot) is because we moved. we decided to move to a small town in between Abu Dhabi and Dubai so that both cities are more easily accessible for us both (as we seem to be going to both cities a lot)

here's princess helping me pack.



here's princess exhausted after all the packing



this is our new room. which i love. i would show you more but it isn't done yet so you'll have wait



the move actually went very smooth this time thanks to Aramex coming and packing everything into their trucks and reassembling everything at the new house. we are almost completely unpacked at this point and i love love the new place. it's so calm out here. i feel like i'm at a retreat ; )

now. on to knitting news... i have been working a project for a friend of mine who is such a great friend that a knitted project is over due for her! she supports me through all my work craziness and opens her house to me when ever i need to stay in Dubai. when i saw this project i thought of her and when i showed it to her she loved it! so i let her pick out the yarn she wanted (which was Cascade 220 in a teal heather) and then i immediately ordered it from Yarn Country (along with some Rowan Purelife **cough cough**)



as soon as it arrived i got busy. (the pic above is more accurate for the color)



this is the makings of the Back to School U-Neck Vest from the book Fitted Knits by Stephanie Japel. this is the second pattern i have been working on out of this book. the other patter is the Crisp Rectangle Tunic. i refuese to say it's hibernating but i did take it off the needles. only because i needed the 7's to work on the back to school vest. but i'm re-motivated to finish this tunic and enjoy wearing one of my own pieces. so don't worry you will see progress soon!!!

oh and finally HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!! hope your halloween is very spooky ; )

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

more yarn!

first i want to say thank you to everyone for your support in me vs. the bank. i think i have prevailed! but seriously considering closing my account and going to another bank... especially after i ordered my new card and told them i would pick it up (after a long painful discussion) only to have DHL call me today and ask what address they should deliver my card to!
:::sigh:::

but on to brighter and shinier things... my mom sent me more yarn! an extended birthday present! i'm so lucky. my stash here is now over flowing and it feels great!

fist she sent me this cascade 220 in a plum heather (sorry don't know the official name but you can get the color lot on my ravelry page)
i think i'm going to use this yarn to make the February Lady Sweater i'm so excited. this is a project just for me and in my favorite color too!


second she sent me some of my stash from home (woot woot!)
i had made a baby blanket out of this. it was one of my first blankets and i had gotten WAY too much yarn. but that just means i can make something fab out of it now! and i am really enjoying knitting with worsted weight yarn. it just seems so virsital


this is left over from another baby blanket i had made. it's in a creamy yellow and gorgous


this is the most special of all from my stash. this is from my grandmother's stash! she had never gotten around to crocheting with it and after she passed away it just sat in storage. when i started knitting my dad dug it up and gave it to me. i haven't been able to make anything with it so far cause what ever i make i want it to be special and something that will be passed down. also it's quite a thin yarn so i'm not really sure what i can make with it.... perhaps a shawl? any ideas? (oh also there may be more of it but i'm still waiting for confirmation of that)


my mom also sent me ho ho's and twinkies! yum! i think my mom and my sis are trying to tempt me back to the states with sweets! and it just might be working ; )

thanks mom for all my yarn and sweets!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

sigh

have you ever noticed that some companies (especially the customer focused ones) try to make your life harder than it already is? or they try to make you feel like you are bothering them? if you answered yes then you might be interested in the below post.

i would like to share with you the experience i had with my bank today...

11:30 am - i went to a bank (not one of my branches) to withdraw money out of MY account and on the first try the machine ate my card. YES. IT ATE MY CARD! it's excuse that it printed and spit out at me.... "you have exceeded the number of wrong pin entries"

11:31 - i look behind me waiting for either A. to be let in on the joke that was obviously being played on me or B. to have the branch manager run at me, red faced and embarrassed, that this machine has accidentally confiscated yet another card.

11:32 - when neither scenario pans out i head inside to speak to an employee of the branch. i explained to him several times that his machine had stolen my card by accident and that i needed him to open it up (haha like that would ever happen!) and GIVE it back. he made a phone call to someone he could see from his desk but obviously couldn't be bothered to get up off his tush and walk over to the guy... but i'm digressing. the reply was please have a seat over there ma'am.

11:37 - the guy walks up to me and say's "i'm sorry ma'am we cannot give you you're card you will have to contact your bank." after letting out a DEEP sigh and giving him my "i'm not impressed" look, i walk out and back into my car

11:39 - bang head on steering wheel

11:45 - i have nearly begun to calm down so i call my bank's help line (HA!) the conversation went a little like this....
Bank Guy: good afternoon how can i help you?
Me: a bank machine just ate my bank card and i want it back
BG: when did this take place ma'am
Me: maybe 15 minutes ago. i just left the bank this happened at.
BG: ok ma'am can i please have the number on the card
Me: (ok at this point i kinda lost it) if i had the number i would have the card and if i had the card i wouldn't be calling you!!!!
BG: let me transfer your call ma'am
Me: (eye roll)

*please note the blow conversation has been shortened for your sanity*

Me: (waiting on hold with stupid music)
Bank Lady: good afternoon how can i help you?
Me: repeats story
BL: well obviously you tried the wrong pin too many times ma'am (pronounced maaaaaam)
Me: i tried it once
BL: yes ma'am i understand maybe you put in the wrong code ma'am
Me: i didn't. i'm sure. and even if i did it's your banks policy to take the card after one wrong try?
BL: no ma'am you probably entered it wrong too many times ma'am
Me: (losing patience) like i said before, I entered it once
BL: ok ma'am. well all you need to do ma'am, is go to your nearest branch and explain the problem to the manager and they will return your card within the hour ma'am
Me: (dumbfounded look BL couldn't see) what?
BL: yes ma'am, just go to the manager ma'am, and he will return your card to you ma'am
Me: ok can i have the number for the branch
BL: yes ma'am (provides wrong number)
there's more but basically she just took me in circles... i won't waist your brain power the way she waisted mine

11:55 - tried number BL gave me and realized it was wrong... so i went on to do the other things i had to get done for the day.

4:00 pm - i walk in to the main branch of my bank in abu dhabi. (i was even a little happy because i got a REALLY good parking spot and this is a nightmare area to park in). i walk up to the information counter and ask to speak to the manager (hehehe i doesn't hurt to be blond sometimes cause you can get away acting like you don't know what's going on) the guy asked me why i wanted the manager to i explained my story again. he then points to the desk in front of him. i walk up to the desk and a girl stops me before i can speak to the man behind the desk.

4:05: after giving the girl my spiel and then waiting (even though no one was in front of me) i finally go to speak to the manager. i repeat my story for the gajillienth time and i tell him that over the phone the customer service told me that he (the manager) would return my card to me with in the hour (he did a good job of trying not to laugh, which is ok cause i knew that was impossible) he then proceeds to lecture me on banking policy. let me give you a "his point" vs. "my point" as per our conversation (perhaps this will be a new blog game i play ; ))

his point: the bank sent out text messages saying that all customers should changer their pins due to an excessive amount of fraudulent charges
my point: i received the text. however no where on that text did it say it was mandatory for all customers to change their pins and if they didn't change them with in a certain amount of time their cards would be locked.
his point: we don't want our customers to loose a lot of money on fraudulent charges therefore we changed the policy and we lock your cards for your protection
my point: it's my money and i want it when i want it. also isn't our money insured by the bank therefor you are more worried about the money the bank will loose not the customer?
his point: well at least you are here and not abroad because we locked at least 95% of all card abroad
my point: well that is horrible. i'm glad i'm not traveling because the last thing i would want is to not have access to any money while i was in another country. (in my mind i was feeling very bad for anyone traveling not aware of this new policy) but i assume that if i were to call you before i traveled you would leave the card open
his point: no we wouldn't. but we do it for you because you would rather have your money even though you can't access it than to not have it
my point: what's the difference?

at this point we had reached an in-pass (therefore i won! especially cause his points were stupid) and he proceeded to tell me that i needed to order a new card, over the phone, through the same people that told me to go to him. i took a deep breath and explained to him that perhaps he could talk to whomever is in charge of answering the phones for the bank help line tell them to get their facts straight.

i was proud of my self for not yelling in the bank. i have yet to call back the help line because i wanted to enjoy what was left of my weekend. but i'll call them tomorrow and i may not stay so patient. stupid businesses and their stupid customer service. what ever happened to getting your customers the services and treatment they deserve. they are taking a fee from us so can't we demand to be treated well? YES WE CAN! and we should! and tomorrow when i call the bank i will! YEAH!

**sorry if that was a bit long winded but i had to get it out : ) i feel much better now. thank you.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

baby hoodie cardi: done

presenting the lion brand baby cardi..........


yup it's all done! i went ahead and binded off hood and then seamed the edges rather than the three needle bind off... this here explains my delema. i'm proud of my self though cause this is for a friend of mine who is having a baby in december and i'm done and it's only the beginning of october!! and i finished her gift! isn't that fantastic!!!

the new buttons i got the other day


i did make a few modifications. i made the body an inch longer and the pattern read that the sleeves and hood should be knit in a garter stitch but i went for a stockinette stitch with garter boarders that match the bottom and button edging of the hoodie.

i should also tell you that we were saved this weekend by princess. she came to our rescue and saved us from the attacking dry noodles! here she is in action

here she is with the noodle...


oh it almost got away but don't worry she was able to capture it again before it hid in the shoes


here she is presenting her fresh noodle kill.


thanks princess! that was a close one

Thursday, October 9, 2008

knitter's block

i'm having knitter's block. i don't know what to knit. i finished the baby cardi (pics to come soon) and now i don't know what to start on. i could work on the tunic..... but i haven't touched it in weeks. i'm thinking of bringing it with me tomorrow to the SnB to get some opinions on how it's going. however in the mean time i need something to work on. anything! well that's not true otherwise i would be knitting something. right? the problem is i want instant gratification. i want something quick and cute but that will also be a challenge... but not another baby sweater. something besides a baby sweater. and it has to be something i already have the materials for. i have put a stop to my yarn purchasing until either (a) i use up more of what i already have, (b) have a bad day and need a fix or (c) the unlikely event that a lys opens up here and i need to support their business : )
i have found a few patterns that i'm interested in. one (a lace purse) is in my new mason dixon knitting book and after scouring my stash i picked out a beautiful yarn and sat down to get my needles together and would you believe that i don't have size 10 s in 20" circs? nope i have 24" or longer :::sigh::: ok so i put the yarn back and look through my ravelry queue. ooohh and i found the most adorable hat that i have been dyeing to make! so this time i wise up and look for the needles first. yeah i KNOW with out even looking that i don't have size 2 DPNs. :::sigh::: i'll keep looking.... there's gotta be something out there that i have both the needles and the yarn for. right? perhaps i DO need to order more yarn and needles while i'm at it : D

hahahaha just kidding!

Monday, October 6, 2008

books, Oreos and yarn.... doesn't get much better!

it was recently my birthday and i received a package from my mom....



...and my sister.

you should know that she also sent me a book Eat, Pray, Love (it's not in the pic cause it's already on my bed side stand being read and i gotta say so far so good)



this shows how well my mom and my sis know me... they both sent yarn (fabulous fabulous yarn!) they both sent books and they both sent Oreos.... hehehe and they both knew that those things combined would be the PERFECT birthday gift : D what's even better is that i know they didn't talk to each other about this before hand!

i am like a kid in a candy store and i don't know where to start first... Oreos! no. reading!. no. knitting!!!!! not until i finish the baby cardi (yup still procrastinating). if only i could figure out a way to read and knit at the same time.... hmmmmm.... while eating Oreos..... oh does that sound like perfection or what? i think i'll go give it a shot right now!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

introducing the procrastinator

hello.

my name is lindsay

and i am a procrastinator.

i have been a procrastinator all of my life (with a particularly difficult time during college). most recently it has been the newest baby cardi i have been working on. i started it on the 26th of september and really got in to it over the five day weekend. i am now on the final two inches of the hood and i have stalled. stalled! i mean i have all the seaming done and all the edges sewn in buttons picked out and everything! all i have is 2 more inches to go and i am doing everything but knitting. i swept the floor, i read some blogs, i surfed ravelry looking for a matching baby hat and now i'm blogging. i'm doing anything i can think of except knit (and the dishes of course). i mean it's lion brand jiffy! it would only take me about a half hour to get the next 2 inches done. but nope, not happening.

part of the problem is i'm not sure if i want to bind off the hood with a three needle bind off or seam the edges together. see the hood is done by picking up stitches around the collar and knitting a rectangle. then you take the top edge fold it in half and seam it together. i'm tempted to knit half way down the last row and do a three needle bind off starting down the center as this will save me the time and ensure even edges. but if i seam the ends then it will look more... well... seamless. but it will take time and effort and i suck at seaming garter stitch. it always looks a bit like a mess. :::sigh::: i just can't pick

i could use my psychology degree here and try to analyze why i have stopped my self when i am so close to being done. such as: do i have a fear of success? or am i trying to hold my self back from completing things sooner than i have to (a self fulfilling procrastinator)? or perhaps sub-consciously i believe that if i don't finish the cardi then the long weekend that has been so wonderful will never end. hehehe. if only!

probably it's just that i can't make up my mind on how to bind off. and when i can't decided what to do i just pause (as if that fixes anything) and wait until i make a decision.

does anyone else have this problem???

Thursday, October 2, 2008

city life

i did something today that i have not done in a very long time. something that for a while had only been a distant memory... a memory so distant that i was starting wonder if it had only been a dream. but it wasn't a dream and today i reminded my self

i walked outside. in the city. that's right people, i walked. i walked around in Abu Dhabi city visiting multiple retailers that were not under the same roof. i parked my car and got out(!) and it was fantastic.

it all started when while we were on the way to the mall my hubby had to go to work un-expectantly (which is never good -but that's for a whole other post) so i dropped him off and decided that instead of going to the mall i would go to the Green Branch (on Electra Street). this was perfect because i wanted to see if they had gotten in any new knitting supplies and also to check out buttons (which for .60 - 1.50 AED is a steal!) and well my husband doesn't really look forward to my knitting shopping although he hardly ever complains about going with me...

when i was a block away from the Green Branch i spotted a Starbucks and then a plan was born. i parked my car in the block between the two streets and i got out and walked!!! i know, it's was fantastic. it wasn't too hot and it wasn't dark yet. it was just right. i headed to Starbucks first and got the best coffee (dopio on ice) i have had in a long time. i sat on one of the comfy couches drinking my coffee and reading my book ( i always always keep one in my purse) for about a half hour and then i got up and walked the block to the Green Branch.

at the Green Branch i was able to shop leisurely (with out my husband asking if i really NEEDED another skein of yarn... HA!) and look at all the tons and tons of buttons they had packed away on the back shelf. about the time i had gathered all my goodies to go and purchase them he called and said he was ready. after i purchased everything i walked back to my car and headed for the hubby.

really i forgot how good it felt not only to be outside but to be walking around a city with all the sounds and smells (although not all of them good) and the people walking along. it's been way too hot here in Abu Dhabi for that kind of walking for the last 3 months and finally we are at a place (weather wise) where it is enjoyable again. and i sure do plan on enjoying it over the next few months.